When continuous light rains pour over Davao Region, I can’t help but recall the incidents that we have covered in January 2012 in Pantukan, Davao de Oro ( formerly known as Compostela Valley Province).

A massive landslide swathed a small-scale mining village in Sitio Diat Uno in Barangay Napnapan that left at least 36 people dead and about 40 others were reported missing.

Prior to the landslide, it was raining for several days. Many villagers in the mountainous areas in Davao de Oro told us after the incident that landslides have become normal and a part of the risk living in the mining sites.

According to them, they always anticipate that a landslide could hit their village anytime especially during rainy season.

Fast forward in January 2024, low pressure area brought light rains in Davao Region for several days. In my mind, a landslide could hit the region in a matter of time.

From mid-January until the end of the month, severe flooding and massive landslides were reported in different parts of Davao Region.

Just like in the past, Davao City was not spared from severe flooding. Floodwaters yet again swamped Jade Valley Subdivision. Many residents have learned to master the art of adaptation and evacuation amid of this recurring flooding problem.

Just as the disaster-stricken communities in Davao Region were still reeling from the impact of the LPA, a massive landslide hit Barangay Masara in Maco town of Davao de Oro.

A massive search and rescue operation was immediately launched as reports came out that dozens may have been buried in the landslide site.

Social media erupted with a news reports from the area that hundreds of people may have been buried since the landslide covered three buses chartered by Apex Mining Co. Inc (AMCI).

Since I already knew that the area had history of landslides, I decided not to join my Davao colleagues to cover the search and rescue operations. I knew the risk, times have changed. I already a family as well. I know that it’s not worth the risk anymore.

Below are some  of the stories I have produced related to the Masara landslide.

Given the available data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the history of landslides and the diminishing forest cover in the region, the February 6 landslide may not be the last.

More to come? Davao de Oro landslide not the first, won’t be the last

The lure of gold has drawn not just giant mining firms in the mineral-rich province of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental but also small-scale miners, too.


However, over the years, landslides have turned many of these mining sites into permanent graveyards of both miners and residents.


As they dig gold, they are also digging their own graves.


Read on: https://mb.com.ph/2024/2/10/more-to-come-davao-de-oro-landslide-not-the-first-won-t-be-the-last


Following the landslide in 2008, Masara had been declared a no-build zone upon the recommendation of the MGB.  This time, Davao de Oro Gov. Dorothy Gonzaga vowed to implement no-build zone policy.

Governor vows to implement no-build zones in Davao de Oro

DAVAO CITY – Gov. Dorothy Gonzaga has vowed to implement the no-build zone policy in the identified geohazard areas not just in Barangay Masara in Maco town but also other parts of Davao de Oro.

Read on: https://mb.com.ph/2024/2/11/governor-vows-to-implement-no-build-zones-in-davao-de-oro

Aggressive human activities and degraded environment are recipes of worst things to come amid climate change.

Masara landslide worst disaster in Davao de Oro in a decade

DAVAO CITY – The deadly landslide in the mining village of Masara in Maco, Davao Oriental was the worst natural disaster that hit the province in the last 10 years.

Read on: https://mb.com.ph/2024/2/12/masara-landslide-worst-disaster-in-davao-de-oro-in-a-decade