Seated in Mindanao is a shining gem of opportunity and progress. It is home to over a million people, governed by leaders who know how to discipline a populace and are swift executors of justice. Signs of success and affluence abound as infrastructures are built tirelessly to meet the demands of the people. It truly deserves to be called an Asian City of the future. Its vast land is home to a diverse ecosystem with Mt. Apo as its foreboding guard. The air is fresh and is ruled by a winged king. Its waters rejuvenate those whose minds and souls have withered.
This is Davao, gateway to paradise.
So, why Davao?
Dying to show off your knock out bod? Are you exhausted and stressed? Davao offers the best solution for these situations. Just a short boat ride away from Sasa Wharf, Samal is home to a variety of beaches including the world renowned Pearl Farm Beach Resort and the very accessible and all time people’s favorite Paradise Beach Resort. After island hopping and deep sea diving, let the waves of Samal’s white sand beaches caress you to a much deserved moment of relaxation.
Laying in surrender at the foot of Mt. Talomo, Eden Nature Park offers tourists and locals alike a reprieve from Davao City’s urban rumblings. In Eden, one can conduct different activities such as embarking on a tour, hiking, and camping. Its gardens give the mind a refreshing sight and at 2,650 feet above sea level, it offers the best panoramic view of Davao City. Arriving at Eden entails one to let the soothing hand of mother nature rest atop your chest and breathing in her fresh scent allows one to unite with her infinite beauty.
3. Crocodile Park
The Crocodile Park in Davao City is ideal for educational tours. The park offers its visitors a chance to see and even interact with these ancient creatures. Aside from crocodiles, the park is also home to other reptile and bird species. After a visit, you’ll realize that not all crocodiles in the Philippines are in the streets of EDSA or in congress.
4. The Philippine Eagle Center
“Bow down to the king”. This immediately perpetuates in your mind once your sight catches the awe inspiring stand and compelling stare of the Philippine Eagle, Davao’s symbol of prosperity and progress. The Philippine Eagle Center in Bgy. Malagos, Davao City houses 36 Philippine Eagles and is the country’s center of conservation efforts for this endangered mighty raptor. In Davao, our king can fly.
5. Davao Museum
A kaliedescope of color, culture and history, Davao Museum is an incredibly well-curated showcase of Mindanao ethnology and cultural history. In a progressive city with endless construction, Davao Museum is a breath of fresh air. Take a gander at the life-size diaromas, the traditional craftwork and religious artifacts of the T’boli, Mandaya, Marinao and Bagobo, as well as gems like Spanish colonial maps, original Arabian texts pointing to the island’s moorish roots, and the priceless Bagobo Giangan Dagmay figures, hewn from ivory.
6. Lon Wa Buddhist Temple
Carp filled lily ponds, marble walls and bacchanalian Buddha statue will transport you to your own slice of Buddhist serenity. One of the largest temples in the Philippines, Long Wa is best enjoyed for a pleasant stroll through the temple grounds. But don’t let the calm fool you, the dragon temple is home to Kung Fu monks. It’s best to avoid visiting at midday when the monks break for lunch, or during a prayer service.
7. Abreeza Ayala Mall
Mall rats rejoice! Davao is kind to you. Arguably the best commercial complex in the country, Abreeza Mall in Lanang, Davao City boasts of a very varied and wide array of retail concepts and brands, both foreign and homegrown, to spend on. It also provides shoppers with a multitude of dining choices which will surely ease your hunger and please your belly. The movie lover is sure to salivate as Abreeza Mall also houses state of the art cinemas. The mall is distinctly designed for Davao as its creative use of colors reflect the City’s culture and heritage-A true testament of the harmony between the modern and the traditional.
Jack’s Ridge is a must-go destination when you are in Davao. Located in Shrine Hills overlooking the city, Jack’s Ridge is home to restaurants which offer delectable food in generous portions for an affordable price. The experience is even more enhanced by the great ambiance which only Davao can offer: having a conversation or simply admiring wide-eyed from an invincible height while the dance of the night sky and the metropolis’ bright lights endure in the backdrop. A truly wonderful gastronomic experience.
9. Hilltop Restaurant
An alternative to the often bustling Jack’s Ridge, Davao’s Hilltop restaurant is located in Ma-a. Smaller and a bit more relaxed than its counterpart, this place is ideal for a small meeting or a very romantic date. This restaurant serves delicious Filipino food and offers a scenic view of Metro Davao. This is also a place for the adventurous as they have exotic food offerings in the menu. Anyone wanna try crocodile sisig?
10. Aldevinco Shopping Center
Tourists need not fret about souvenirs when you are in Davao City. Aldevinco Shopping Center, located in Manuel Roxas Boulevard in front of Ateneo de Davao, is home to an assortment of necklaces, textiles, and other crafts which are ideal “pasalubongs”. From colourfully designed authentic “Batik” to tribal “kris” swords, Aldevinco doesn’t run short of merchandise. The shopping center also serves as a gallery. In Aldevinco, one can bask in the truly unique culture and heritage of the Mindanaoan.
11. San Pedro Cathedral
If any infrastructure is witness to the evolution of Davao, the San Pedro Cathedral fits the category. Prominently located in San Pedro street in downtown Davao City, the cathedral has been in existence since 1847 during Spanish colonial times. The church itself is a sight to behold, with its aesthetics and saintly images emblazoned on its walls evoking a divine upheaval from your core. It continuously serves as a place of worship and refuge for the faithful. The San Pedro cathedral is Davao City’s timeless beacon of spirituality.
12. China Town
The only Chinese enclave in Mindanao, Chinatown bustles with some of the best Chinese fare in town, divisoria-style items and Chinese-themed malls, some of which date back to the turn of the century. Chinese ties run strong here, with many of the established families and companies hailing from Fujian.
13. Correctional Institution for Women
As one of the few people fortunate to visit the Correctional Institute, my experience was unforgettable. Seeing women, young and old on the path to rehabilitation was both humbling and inspiring. I was lucky enough to view a cultural presentation and talk candidly with all the inmates.
14. Eat Durian!
No explanation needed. Just do it.
15. Pearl Farm Beach Resort
To see and learn more about Pearl Farm Beach Resort go to my
PEARL FARM PHOTO DIARY<--click
To see more pictures of Davao, you can visit my DAVAO 2010 post.
For this post, we asked our very good friend Mr. Joel Agarano to write for our blog since he is currently living in Davao City and has toured Millie several times around this wonderful place. We would like to thank Joel for his wonderfully written articles about the different places in Davao and we wish to work with him again soon. We hope this post helped.
See you in Davao!
Joel, Millie and MarkListening to : Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
=( : none really