Showing posts with label Davao City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Davao City. Show all posts

Monday, May 25, 2015

Top Things To Do In Davao City

May 25, 2015 0
Aerial view of Davao City

Davao City in the island of Mindanao is one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines. It has so many things to offer. Sumptuous regional food, unique tourist attractions in the countryside and beaches.

It is frequently cited as one of the top safest cities in Asia to live and travel and lately being the 9th safest city in the world.

Probably, one of the largest cities in the world with a land area of 2,444 square kilometers, Davao City offers varied choices of attractions for travelers. Despite its size, it is one big city that you will never lost. Everything is in order. Directions to a specific location can be easily navigated.

It is a city with interesting culture and history which often celebrated through local festivals. People of Davao are hospitable and accommodating. And though locals spoke in visayan dialect most of them can communicate well in Tagalog and English. 

Traffic is not terrible and almost everywhere is accessible. Shopping malls, churches, public markets, hospitals, souvenir's shops and schools are located within the city and with just a single ride, the most is two rides but the travel would not take more than an hour.

Police visibility is all over the place so you will feel protected. Pickpocketing, snatching, kidnapping and other horrifying crimes are not usually heard within the city. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte exhausted all his effort to make the city highly safe and peaceful. Davao City is the only place in the Philippines that has 911 vehicle for emergency incidents.

So if you are thinking of visiting Philippines any time soon, consider Davao as your top pick and experience the best of Mindanao.

If you are still unsure what to do, what to expect in Davao City, here are some of my suggestions:

DINE AND ENJOY THE VIEW

Jacksridge is one of the most beautiful open restaurants in Davao City where you can get a picturesque view of the entire city at night time. Perched above the Matina hill, the restaurant offers an ultra-relaxing atmosphere. 

Jacksridge is located at Shrine Hill, Matina, just less than an hour drive from the city proper. It offers international cuisine and the best food finds in Mindanao. It is surrounded with trees and scenic view of nature and has a spacious ground for bonding and fun. Small pavilions surround the restaurant. It has several rooms for an overnight stay with a swimming pool facility.

JOGGING AND WORKOUT

People’s Park in Davao City is open to the public. It is a beautiful place to chill during an intense summer heat. It has a jogging track, park benches, verdant trees, a sunken garden and workout equipment.

Every weekend, People’s Park organizes a free Zumba and Taebo sessions where visitors can freely participate. It normally starts at 6:00 in the morning. Every Sunday after these workout sessions, a free porridge is distributed to participants. Just bring your own water.

People’s Park is located within the heart of the city along Palma Gil street, a few walks away from Marco Polo Hotel and Royal Mandaya Hotel. It opens at 5:00 in the morning and closes at 9:00 in the evening.

THE EAT-ALL-YOU-CAN PHENOMENON

Davao City is not famous for night life and bar hopping but famous for eat-all-you-can dining adventure. Over the years, food establishments burgeoned, offering an affordable buffet . Price normally ranges from Php100.00 to Php400.00 excluding drinks. 

CHILL ON BEACHES

The Davao region has several gorgeous beaches to boast and one of these regions is the beautiful Island Garden City of Samal or IGACOS. Though, geographically, IGACOS is already part of Davao del Norte, it is closer to Davao City, just a 20 minute travel by ferries and less than an hour travel by bus.

My best recommended beaches in IGACOS:

PearlFarm and Malipano Island – World class beach resorts and quite pricey but very elegant, luxurious and with world-class accommodation and services. Stilt houses are built above the water which made the experience ultra-fulfilling. It has two swimming pools, sports facilities, water adventure and a private ground to chill. The maranaw restaurant within Pearl Farm served international cuisine. Malipano can be reached by boat from Pearl Farm and if you book at Pearl Farm, visiting the seaside of Malipano Island is free.

PreciousGarden Resort – One thing I love about this resort is the cozy restaurant area. It is located in the middle of the garden and offers local and international cuisine. Their pasta and pizza are scrumptious. The beach area is located in front of the restaurant garden area. It has no entrance fee and you will only pay when you book for your hotel accommodation. 

Spacious ground, scenic beach area, crystal green water and very affordable accommodation are what make this resort an ideal place to chill in Samal Island. The sprawling ground is perfect for team building and ball games activities.

Chemas Beach Resort
Another beautiful Samal Island beach resort that provides a tranquil experience. It has both a swimming pool facility and a beach side. It is surrounded with coconut trees and tropical plants and a beautiful ground to enjoy with your love ones. It has a beautiful view of the sunset also and a terrific view of Davao City at night time.

Isla Rita
Few of the beaches in Samal Island which I longed to revisit due to its very clear and calm water. It has several cottages for an overnight stay and most of these cottages are located within the mountain surrounding.

GO NATURE ADVENTURE

Due to its laid-back environment, Davao City is still surrounded with verdant tropical trees. This is ideal for travelers who want to relax in a mountain-type environment after an exhausting city tour.

Nature parks in Davao City:

Eden Nature Park - is a premier mountain resort in Mindanao. It is located in Eden, Bayabas, Toril, Davao City. It is a home to botanical garden, bed of flowers, pine trees, organic vegetables, adventure and lush tropical foliage. It has indigenous creatures too with Deer park and Bird walk. Extreme sports adventure can be experienced at Eden too. At night you can go camping at its trail site. Or go walking among boulders in the morning and try zip line in the afternoon. Check information HERE

Loleng's Mountain Resort - Located in Eden, Bayabas, Toril just before reaching Eden Nature Park. It offers a beautiful scenery of nature and a relaxing atmosphere of tropical plants and cool amenities.

Gap Farm - Located just outside downtown Davao in the diversion road of Maa. It has a very quiet atmosphere of a farm life with a swimming pool facility, horse back riding and tropical garden. Check information HERE

Malagos Mountain Resort - Another nature resort in Davao located in Malagos district, almost two hours ride from the city proper. It has a very cool atmosphere and surrounded with thick vegetation and tropical elements of nature. It has a swimming pool facility to boost also.

Crocodile Park - Just a few miles from Gap Farm is a Crocodile Park that houses crocodile species. Good for people who love wildlife and exotic animals.

Philippine Eagle Sanctuary - Located in Malagos district, it is home to Philippine eagle species and other wildlife.

GET COZY IN CAFES

Davao City has several cafes and bistros that offer scrumptious European and American dishes. All these cafes is equipped with a free wifi connection. Ideal for people who want to relax, cool down and enjoy good food in a peaceful surrounding, these cafes are mostly situated in quiet streets in the city, but all these areas are relatively safe so no worry for any crimes.

Some of the best cafes in Davao that offer delectable dishes, teas and coffee concoctions in a relaxing and quiet environment:

  • Bistro Rosario - Located in Torres St, this cafe offers yummy desserts, pasta and coolers.
  • Lachi's - Offers some of the most insanely scrumptious pastries in town, located in Marfori Heights, Davao City.
  • Kangaroo Cafe - Cool and homey atmosphere located in Tiongko Avenue few steps from the Bangko Central
  • Café Demitasse - Also located in a quiet street of Torres. It has a soothing ambiance, cushions are very relaxing and foods are great! Their Creamy Carbonara, Monte Cristo and Belgian french fries are worth trying.
  • Yellow Hauz - Another comfy destination with good food along Torres street.

SOUVENIR and DELICACY SHOPPING

There are several shopping stalls in Davao City that sell souvenir items, mostly Mindanaon authentic products and fruits, Aldevinco Center is one. It is just located in CM Recto Street or Claveria street just in front of Marco Polo Hotel and Ateneo de Davao University.

Aldevinco Center has several boutiques for authentic Mindanao products and souvenir items. It has money changer outlets too which offer higher exchange rates compared to other money changer outlets in the city. This is accessible through a jeepney or a taxi ride. Take note that Davao City has no bus vehicles traveling within down town.

Another delicacy destination for shopping is the Pasalubong Center near People's Park in Palma Gil street.

GET OVERLOAD WITH FRUITS

Davao City is known for fruits like Durian, Mangosteen, Banana and Pomelo. Everywhere in the city, fruit stalls can be found. If you want to get overloaded with fruits at a reasonable price, visit Magsaysay Fruit vendor. It is just located along Magsaysay Street near the Magsaysay Park and Boulevard district. It can be easily reached through a jeepney ride via Agdao and Uyanguren routes.

SHOPPING AT CHINA TOWN

There’s an area in Davao City known as the China Town in Mindanao, the Uyanguren avenue also known as Magsaysay Avenue. This avenue is composed of hardware, dry goods stores and shops mostly owned by Chinese. It offers  affordable goods. This is accessible through a jeepney ride, just tell the driver you are going to Uyanguren.

ATTEND CHURCH SERVICE

Shrine Hill – Houses the Roman Catholic chapel and shrine for the infant Jesus. It has a sprawling ground with manicured lawn to rest on while enjoying the scenic view of nature. It is just a few distance from Jacksridge and opens every day for visitors and pilgrims.

San Pedro Cathedral Church – This one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Asia in terms of size, this is also the center of the Roman Catholic life in Davao City. It is under the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Archdiocese of Davao. It is located between CM Recto Street and Bolton Street, just in front of Davao City Hall.

Where’s Davao City?

It is located in Southern Mindanao and generally safe for all travelers. For those who feared explosion, insurgencies and suicide bombings, Davao City is very far from Maguindanao, Zamboanga or Lanao regions and no incidents of such are recorded in Davao City. The city is protected with police personnel who ensure safety around the metro. It is just two hours away from Metro Manila via air travel.

How To Get There?

Davao City has international airport that serves domestic and international flights. You can directly book a flight from Singapore or Hongkong. If you are in Metro Manila or anywhere in the country, several airline companies are serving direct routes to Davao daily. 

Getting Around:

There are no buses within the downtown area unlike EDSA in Metro Manila. If you are coming from the airport, you may take a taxi to reach Davao City proper. Travel time is less than an hour. Jeepney is the most common mode of transportation in Davao City, however, if you don’t like riding a jeepney, taxi is available all throughout the city and nearby districts.

Where to Stay?

Depends on your budget and lifestyle, Davao City offers several hotels and tourist Inns for travelers. Choices range from luxury to affordable accommodations. Within the city proper, the following are some of the most popular:

  • Marco Polo Hotel 
  • Royal Mandaya Hotel
  • Grand Menseng Hotel
  • Davao Tower Inn
  • Casa Letecia 
  • Sampaguita
  • Aljem's Inn
  • Bagobo House
  • Marbella's Mansion
  • Humberto's Pension
  • Sychar Garden Hotel

Best Time to Visit Davao City

Davao City is free from severe typhoons but it is occasionally visited by Monsoon which drops heavy rain, but it is not disastrous compared to the situation in Metro Manila when storms hit.  Temperature is relatively mild even during summer season. There are two festivals celebrated in the city that demonstrate cultural diversity and historical interpretative presentations through a street dance parade. Araw ng Dabaw every March 15 and Kadayawan Festival every end of the week of August.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eden Nature Park

January 10, 2013 0
Got to visit Eden Nature Park once again. Peace. Serenity. Stillness. Bonding. You've got the best of time and relaxation at Eden.

Entrance Area

Last January 5, 2012, Saturday, we'd a Christmas Recollection at Eden, it was the second time that our annual recollection was held there, the first time was in November 2008. You might wonder why it was called "Christmas Recollection" here's a little explanation: In the Catholic calendar, Christmas season officially begins on the birth of Jesus (December 25) and ends on the Feast Sunday of His Baptism, normally falls on the second Sunday of January (Sunday after the Epiphany or Three Kings), this year, 2013, Feast Sunday of Baptism is on January 13, thus our recollection still falls on the Christmas season :-)

It's good to be at the heart of nature once again with the stunning backdrop of the mountain, rolling hills and green plants, it makes me feel good. The cool breeze of the countryside provides comfort and serenity, it's a welcome respite from the clutters of the daily life in the city.

Actually, I am not really very obsessed with Eden as I grew up in the province with the same landscape of trees and hills but the well-developed environment, organic farm and amenities that Eden provides are what make the  the experience very different. 

Eden is located at Toril approximately one hour ride from Davao city. Visitors may hire a cab from  the city proper as no public utility bus or jeep directly travelling there. What's good at Eden is the private leisure it provides. 
Cottages
Organic Farm

It is a home to botanical garden, bed of flowers, pine trees, organic vegetables, adventure and lush tropical foliage. It has indigenous creatures too with Deer park and Bird walk. Extreme sports adventure can be experienced at Eden too. At night you can go camping at its trail site. Or go walking among boulders in the morning and try zip line in the afternoon. 

Eden offers the best experience of being relaxed and stress-free. The cool mountain air, the fresh organic foods harvested from the farm and the calmness of the surrounding. This nature park resort is truly a good destination to unwind and loosen up.
Green Salad fresh from the resort's organic farm

The first time I visited Eden in 2001 the surrounding was not yet fully developed but the basic facilities were already there, got to ride the cable swing for the first time :-) and we did fishing. In 2008 more amenities were added and the foods had improved!

Taking Indiana Jones this year for the third time


 Second time in November 2008
What to do at Eden:
  • Fishing
  • Bonding with family and friends
  • Eat and eat :-D
  • Mountain trekking
  • Mountain and sky adventure
  • Swimming
  • Relax and unwind
  • Contemplate :-)
Facilities, Amenities, Leisure Areas:
  • Indiana Jones (cable swing)
  • Swimming Pool
  • Camp site
  • Fishing Village
  • Skyride
  • Botanical Garden
  • Restaurant
  • Boutique/Souvenir's shop
  • Bird walk/Deer park
  • Organic farm
  • Cottages/Suites
  • Function Hall
  • Garden Party
At Eden, you can choose to stay overnight or just take a Day tour with family, friends and special someone.

Day Packages:

Entrance and Meal
        Adult: P470.00 Child (4-10 years old): P300.00
Plated Snacks 
       Adult: P200.00 Child (4-10 years old): P170.00

Rates:
Shuttle Tour: P120.00
Skyride rate: P150.00
Horseback Riding: P55.00
Fishing Village: P85.00
Swimming Pool: Adult - P80.00 Child - P55.00

For more information about the resort's room rates, accommodation and other packages for special occasions, visit Eden's official website

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Experience the Spirit of Christmas at Mana Davao

December 21, 2011 2
There's nothing merrier than having a Christmas celebration in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country in Asia. This nation celebrates Christmas holidays longer than any other nations in the world.

The tradition kicks on the 16th of December with Mesa de Gallo or the Early Dawn Mass (nine days novena for the preparation of the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th day of December and held in all Catholic parishes all over the country) and ends on the second Sunday of January during the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. 

I grew up in the province, so I had the most wonderful and memorable memories of Christmas season in my life. In the province, Christmas celebration is merrier and happier, lots of native foods are prepared, never-ending laughter in the neighborhood, and we would roam around the town at Christmas eve for the caroling. Such a fascinating and joyous celebration indeed.

So if you are living in a far away land and want to experience a unique joy of the Christmas holidays, come to the Philippines and visit the provinces and you will see how people welcomed the birth of Jesus with a blast. In most of the key cities in the country, magnificent and elegant Christmas decorations dominate the thoroughfares, the twinkling and sparkling of Christmas lights with captivating brightness and color combinations ignite a different spirit of relaxation and contentment.

In Davao City, the gorgeous spirit and wonders of the Christmas season is truly felt when you pass along Lanang. There's a store of antique collections there called Mana Davao that had been practicing a tradition every Christmas of putting up a giant Christmas decorations in front of their building. Over the years, this becomes the best attraction at Christmastime in Davao City.

Everyone could marvel at its huge and amazing Christmas decorations. The environment is swathed with lanterns, twinkles and sparks coming from the gigantic trees wrapped with Christmas lights and other magnificent Christmas ornaments. Mana is a store of antique tapestries and artifacts collection and its owner traditionally turned the surrounding of the store at Christmastime into a breathtaking avenue of lights. It is always crowded at night as people thronged to the area with friends and relatives, of course carrying their digital cameras.

Mana 2008

Mana 2009

Mana 2010

Mana 2011

The area is not really huge, in fact there's no bench to rest on, so you have to endure the long hours standing, jostling and banging with the crowd just to get a good view of the Christmas lights and take pictures. Because the trees and the decorations are just within the side of the road, you could hardly get a nice view for picture taking unless you cross the street.

This scene sometimes attracts irritation and annoyance, so better prepare for this reality the moment you go there. Mana Davao creates a different, magnificent theme to interpret the holiday season so the decorations vary each year which build additional excitement. Mana unveils its magical creation every December 16. 

It's always wonderful and relieving to marvel at the glittery lights of Mana, seems like the magic of innocence did not stop. It's pretty amazing to see people having fun with their family and friends frolicking around the area. Now you know, there's always something to look forward comes Christmas season in Davao City, so why not plan your next trip to Davao next Christmas.

Happy Holidays every one!

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