HISTORY OF MATI
The term “Mati”is said to have originated from a native word “maa-ti”, which means “dries up quickly”. The expression is used in reference to a creek located in the heart of the town and which is known to dry up easily even after a heavy rain. “Mati” later became associated with the whole town, not merely the creek that is still part of the natural feature of the downtown.
Mati as a community settlement was recorded to have been founded by two intrepid and strong political leaders, Prudencio Garcia and Juan Nazareno in 1861. These two leaders from the east coast had also been acknowledged to be the builders of Bagangga and Cateel, two towns facing the Pacific Ocean.
According to historical accounts, the early residents of the locality are the Mandayans, Kalagans and Maranaos whose indigenous culture carries strong traces of Indo-Maley and Arabic influences. In the latter day periods of their historical evolutions, their culture was mixed by a succession of exogenous influences notably Spanish, American and Chinese. With their interaction with the other native cultures notably the Visayans, Tagalogs and Ilocanos, which came in the wake of subsequent migration, the prevailing culture had been diluted and had now assumed a multi-facial characteristics.
A very familiar name among the early settlers is that Don Luis Rabat who married the daughter of a Spanish Officer named Captain Garcia. He was known to be the first head of the politico-military established in this part of Mindanao.
The settlements of Mati became a regular municipality together with Davao, Cateel, Bagangga, and Caraga in October 29, 1903 by virtue of Act No. 189 in 1907 affirmed further the constitution of the municipality and which sixty years later became the capital town of Davao Oriental. Its first appointed mayor was Francisco Rojas. And Mr. Patricio Cunanan was the first Mayor to be elected in 1923.
After almost 104 years after its creation, Mati has achieved its Citihood Status by virtue of R.A.# 9408 approved by operation of law on March 24,2007 and which was ratified thru a Plebiscite on June 18, 2007.
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 1972-1975
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 1988-1992
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 1992-1995
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 1995-1998
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 1998-2001
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 2001-2004
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 2004-2007
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 2007-2010
ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS 2010-2013
The predominant dialect of Mati is Cebuano accounting for 68.5% of the total household population in 2000 census. Mandaya ranks second with 12.74% followed by Kalagan and Boholano with 6.87% and 3.05% respectively. According to the historical accounts. Migrants mostly from Visayas came to Mati in search for employment opportunities like logging, mining, farming, fishing, trading and teaching. This certainly explains why Cebuano dialect is prevalent.
Roman Catholic constitutes the largest religious group in the city having a total population of 84,224 or 79.66%. Islam shares some 7.73%; United Church of Christ in the Philippines, 1.76% and Seventh Day Adventist, 1.14%. The rest of the religious sects share the residual 9.71%.
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION and TOPOGRAPHY
The City of Mati is 165.6 kilometers from Davao City, the regional center of Southern Mindanao (Region XI). It is located in the Southern part of Davao Oriental and of the entire Mindanao Island, lying between 6?56’ north latitude and 126°13’ east longitude. The territorial limits of the locality spread over mountains, hills and a little flat area. On its Northeastern side are the Municipalities of Manay and Tarragona. The Eastern side is bounded by the Great Pacific Ocean and the Southern tip by the Celebes Sea. The lowland portion of the town including the Poblacion hugs almost the entire Pujada Bay, the rich fishing ground of Mati fisher folks. Mati comprises a total land area of 79,109 hectares, representing 12.92% of the total provincial land area, 2.10% and 0.22% of the regional and national total respectively. It is composed of 26 barangays, and the second largest town in terms of area in the entire province of Davao Oriental.