Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Davao: Life is Here!

So my officemates are planning this grand out of town trip sometime in March and they unfortunately were unable to book that promo fare to Puerto Prinsesa - so they thought of flying to Davao instead. Deym. So okay, tourist guide present, Ma'am, Sir! 

I was born and raised in Davao. I hope I could say that I know Davao like the back of my palm. Naaah. Durian Republic is three times bigger than Metro Manila and six times bigger than Metro Cebu. Second biggest city in Asia! Awesome right? So why am I hearing that my dear Davao is boring for a weekend getaway? I beg to disagree!

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So let's list down the places you could visit (hash tag) WhileInDavao. First things first! Davao, my friends, is a smoke-free city. The Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of 2009 makes it illegal to lit a cigar in public places. First metropolitan city in Asia to be 100% smoke-free! It's true! Google it! 

Civilians were later on allowed to apprehend smokers in public.

Davao City Central 911 standby ambulance
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If you're not confident enough to apprehend smokers, 911 is just a call away to kill the bastard! Haha! Yes, Davao has 911, too! Yes! the emergency 911! "911, what's your emergency"? So now, are you ready to explore my hometown? Yee! I'm so kilig! :D

If you are not on a tight schedule and if weather permits, I suggest you take a walk on your way outside the airport and take a jump shot of you and your travels buds with the Durian relic and 'Welcome to Davao: Life is Here' as your background.


Locally known as Philippine Eagle Park, Pag-asa and Pagkakaisa's haven is 27 km away from Davao City proper. If you are travelling from the airport, take a cab to Calinan L-300 terminal located within Bankerohan Public Market - fare is around Php200. Ride an air-conditioned L-300 van to Calinan for Php 45.00. Travel time is 45 minutes to an hour. Once you are in Calinan, take a tricycle to Philippine Eagle Park in Malagos. Fare used to be Php5.00 but that was way back in 2005. Gosh I'm old! It's probably around Php 10.00-25.00 today. Prepare Php300 for entrance fees. 

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On your way back to the city, you could probably drop by Malagos Garden Resort for lunch. This place is a bit pricey and you really can't do much here aside from butterfly viewing, buying locally grown flowers like waling-waling annnd eating. Try their specialty of the house! Ostrich eggs! Yes, that long-legged bird that doesn't really fly and could run after you and poke you with its beak - yay! Creeps me out. If it's a Sunday, kids will love their Bird Show scheduled every 9:00 o'clock in the morning. Check their Day Tour package here.

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Another must-visit place is Davao's Dairy Best Production site - few kilometers from Malagos Garden Resort.

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Dairy Best offers a variety of fresh cow's milk products that the entire family will surely enjoy! It's milk like you've never tasted milk before! It comes in Durian flavor, chocolate, etc. 

Dairy Best Production site in Malagos
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The only means of transportation between Philippine Eagle Park, Malagos Garden Resort, Dairy Best Production site and Calinan City proper (where you would take an L-300 ride back to city proper) is either through tricycle or motorcycles (locally called as skylovers). 


From Davao International Airport, Jack's Ridge is 15-20 minutes taxi ride away. Prepare around Php200.00 taxi fare. If you are on a tight budget, there are multicabs right outside the arrival area that could take you to the national highway. Fare is Php8.00. But really, if you're travelling light, lakarin mo na lang palabas ng airport te! Walk across the highway and take a jeepney ride to Bankerohan - fare is Php12.  Drop off point is at San Pedro church. Take another ride to Shrine Hills, in Matina (Roxas-Matina route, fare is Php 8.00). From Matina, you would have to take a tricyle ride to Jack's Ridge. Whew! If your geographically-challenged like me, just take a cab. If you're renting a car, plot this destination ahead of time on your GPS!

• Picture (ano pa nga ba? haha)
• Eat!
• Drink!
• Repeat! Lol! :D

Price in Jack's Ridge Restaurant is ummm, okay. I mean, sakto lang. Could spend a thousand bucks for a meal good for 3 persons. They serve good food. Like, really geeeed food.

On your way to Jack's Ridge, say a quick prayer in Sto NiƱo Shrine

If you're travelling with kids, take a cab to Japanese Tunnel, then to Gap Farm. Kids and kids-at-heart will surely enjoy these places.


Travel time is an hour and a half from the city proper. You'd have to be in either San Pedro Church or Bankerohan Public Market to catch a jeepney ride to Toril. Fare is around Php 25. From Toril proper, you can either take a cab (right beside Chowking in Toril) or a motorcycle ride to Loleng's Nature's Spring Resort. 

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This place is perfect if you want some me-time away from the busy city life or if your stealing a weekend getaway with your love one. If I had my wedding in Davao, I'd definitely have my pre-nuptial pictures taken here! Get ready to flaunt your best swimsuit and experience swimming while enjoying the amazing view of Davao and the sea expanse! Your travel time and every penny you spend will be totally worth it! I swear!

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If you're in for a hiking adventure, take a quick motorcycle ride to Eden Nature Park and Resort! Conquer this 80-hectare leisure park and be one with nature! 


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Super pricey place! But damn this place is really, really, reaaaally, blissfully nice! I dream to experience their honeymoon package which is a month's worth of my salary! Gaaah! Pearl Farm is technically a part of Island Garden City of Samal, which used to be part of Davao City and later on became a city in 1998. You may enjoy their day tour package for (I think) Php2,500/person. 

If pocket says Pearl Farm getaway is a no-can-do, falter not! Samal Island has a list of awesome resorts where you enjoy the beach bumming without robbing your bank account. Check out this site.

And list goes on.. There have been a lot going on in the city right now and I am so amazed on how Davao transformed from a murder zone to becoming today's most livable city in Asia! They say nothing good happens at 2AM - but one thing I am proud of my hometown is that it is never scary to take a cab, even at 2 in the morning! You would rarely hear them say "ay ma'am, wala po akong barya eh," and always give exact change. Pay taxi cabs through atm/credit cards and sing karaoke on your way to work! Drink water straight from the faucet and the laid back kind of life - few things I miss now that I am based in Manila. Truly, life is definitely here. :)

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