NAIA Terminal 3
Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport
Davao -- hometown of the current President (ex mayor of Davao), Rodrigo Duterte, who made this place the cleanest and safest place in the Philippines.
We got this fare for P1700 RT during the Cebu Pacific seat sale last 2017. Got adjusted a few times (you know how ceb pac is) but no major changes on the time. So after work we went straight to the airport, 1 hr and 30 mins early before the departure time..or so we thought. As usual, the flight was delayed. We boarded 12PM and plane took off 1:45PM..one hour plus wait. 😑 We landed Davao by 3:15PM.
Durian, Davao's specialty.
We went straight to Jack's Ridge for dinner. This is one of the highest rated restaurant in the city with an overlooking view of Davao.
Taxi is a bit pricey but since we're not familiar with the jeepney routes we had no choice.
Overlooking Davao at night. "Unbelievable as it may seem, the land you are standing on was under the sea millions of years ago. These taklobo shells right here at Jack's Ridge are silent witness to Davao's watery past." Love locks at Jack's Ridge Davao and Jack Ridge's history.
Since we dont have any booked room yet to stay for the night we asked the cab driver to bring us to the cheapest place where we can stay. He suggested the Sampaguitta inn. 600/night, 1 airconditioned BR with 3 beds and 1 TBR. The place is near People's Park and night market so we decided to go there after we dropped off our bags.
The cleanest park i've seen. No cigarette butts, food or candy wrappers, slides and swings are very intact, and street sweepers are still cleaning even if it's night time. Our ride going to the night market. The food side of the night market. Yes, it is crowded, but i still felt safe. There are police and soldiers everywhere to watch over. And unlike the crowded streets of Manila, people here are not rowdy or loud. Durian ice cream. People are lining up to buy.
We walked going to the inn and we kinda got lost, but as i have been saying since the beginning of the post, it felt safe to just walk around the place even if it's the wee hours of the night.
Turned in early that night since we will start early the following day.
Samal Ferry Wharf
Island Garden City of Samal
Woke up around 5AM, prepared, had a quick breakfast at 711 and went straight to Sasa Wharf to ride a ferry going to Samal Island where we met Kuya Igo, the one who arranged our Samal Tour.
Sasa Wharf -- Fare is only P10 going to Samal and it's less than an hour ride.
Kuya Igo met us at the exit of the wharf once we arrived Samal. He brought us to the place where we will be staying. We prepped our stuff and started the tour by 7:30 AM.
Our place for the duration of our stay in Samal. We got the place for P1500 per night inclusive of heavy breakfast. The room has a flat screen tv, 2 sofa chair, one table, one electric fan, sink and plates. One bathroom with hot water. One bedroom with one queen size bed, airconditioned. Toiletries also provided. Our ride and guide, Kuya Dan. 😁 One of the few accomodating guide i encountered so far. He's not that talkative but once you start talking to him, he will offer you information to make sure you enjoy the tour. First stop: Bluebird overlooking. This place overlooks the different island available for the island hopping. Second stop: Kaputian Beach Park. athe water is still clear and warm inspite of the rain. I seriously got hooked to this chicken! Sorry but it's better than Jollibee or KFC! P25 with rice. This has mostly been our go to food in Samal. 😂 Third stop: Cliff diving. Nope, i didnt jump. Fourth Stop: Hagimit Falls You can opt to stay here for a day or overnight. Fifth stop: Monfort Bat Sanctuary. Before you go around the place, they will orient you about bats. So apparently, bats are very much popular. They are the reason why there are many Durian fruits in Davao. They're the seed spreader during night time. The sanctuary has 5 caves -- see pictures below. 1st and 2nd cave -- Where women and men interact and mate. 3rd cave is for the new borns where they learn to fly. 4th cave is for men. 5th cave is for the senior citizens.
They were not placed there in purpose, amazingly they classify themselves on their own.
Sixth stop: Vanishing Island. Island that vanishes during high tide.
Six destination in 1 day. Had lunch at one of the carinderia we passed by before heading back to the condotel.
Once we got back, we washed up and slept until 9PM. Had dinner at MikMik (yes, again) and went to Sunset resort to experience the Samal Island night life. Not the typical night life we are used to here in Manila or even Boracay. It's literally a provincial kind of night life like what we see in the movies.
By 2am we headed back to the inn and called it a night.
3rd day -- we really dont have plans at all. Good thing Kuya Dan is willing to take us wherever. So instead of the trike, we rode a motorcycle since he said the place where he will be taking us is a place hard to reach by tricycle.
After our heavy breakfast, courtesy of the condotel, we fixed our stuff and went our way.
First stop: Mangongawon (Tagbaobo) Falls
It's not very deep and the water is not that cold. Its a few minutes trek going down from the side of the road.
The road to our next destination. The beach.
It was a very long ride going to the beach, i think it was more than hour. The place is in Brgy. Tagbaobo, Kaputian, Samal Island. Kuya Dan knew someone from there so we asked his friend a favor to cook lunch for us while we're at the beach. We bought 2 large fish, Anduhaw, for P180 and had it grilled.
Ginanggang (?), i dont know if i got it right. It's grilled saba with margarine and sugar. It's P5 per stick. The place where Dan brought us is an undeveloped beach but it was beautiful. The water is clear and the sand is white and soft. Sand so white, a view so beautiful, water so clear..perfect! 😍 A bit of shelter with a fantastic view. The end part of the beach. This side though has more pebbles than sandy. How can you say that this place is undeveloped when it's so beautiful and peacful and clean. 😍
After an hour or 2, we were called back because our lunch is ready. We went back to Dan's friend's house and ate. After eating, we decided to head back to the condotel since we'll be heading back to the city that night.
We rested for a few hours, packed our stuff, had dinner at Mikmik (😂) and around 6PM, we headed back to the city.
Island Garden City of Samal
Once we arrived at the city, we met up with some of our new found friends we met at Sunset. Soldiers who are staying at Mati City in Davao Oriental but currently staying at Panaca for a night off. Luckily, there is a newly opened bedspace near their place so we stayed there for the night. P550 per night, no check in or check out time (or maybe because it's not peak season). The room is airconditioned with a one queen size bed, televsion, and a bathroom with hot water. Not bad!
After checking in, we went out to roam around the city and buy pasalubongs.
We went to the other restaurant with an over looking view -- Vista View Resto. Then went to Magsaysay for pasalubongs -- durian candies and Pomelo. Went back to the room around 2am.
D'JAPANESE TUNNEL Family Resort and Restaurant
Philippine Eagle Centre
Malagos Garden Resort
Eden Nature Park & Resort
By 7am, we met Kuya J who accompanied us in our city tour. We rode habal habal wearing shorts and shirts and later on did we realize that we will be driving around under the scorching heat of the sun. There are other options to go around the city of course, cabs or jeepneys, however though since some places are far from each other, it's faster to ride a motorcycle.
Our first stop, Japanese Tunnel. This 300m long tunnel was used by the Japanese soldiers to seek cover against the American army. Until now, some of the artifacts are still there such as the tables orginally used, guns and bullets.
Entrance to the tunnel guarded by 2 japanese soldiers (statues). 2nd stop -- The Philippine Eagle Center.
An 8.4-hectare area located at the foothills of Mt. Apo in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and situated within the Malagos Watershed. The center serves as the breeding facility for eagles and other birds. However, it isnt just a shelter for eagles, there are also other endangered and/rare animals residing here such as crocodiles, warty pigs, and the likes.
Entrance: P150 - adult
Eagles, owls, crocodiles, and monkeys -- only few of the animals residing at the center. List of the eagles who were adopted and who adopted them. 3rd stop -- Malagos Garden Resort.
A 12 hectare nature theme garden of different flora and fauna of the city, rare orchids, a bird park, butterfly sanctuary, a petting zoo, and the Chocolate Factory.
It was already hot when we toured the garden, it was not one of our favorite place but it wasnt all that bad.
Malagos Bird Feeding -- a dome where you can feed love birds (P10) and take pictures with talking birds.
Didnt get the chance to do the bird feeding as i got scared when i saw the birds flew in all together when they smelled the food. 😂
Malagos Petting Zoo -- different kind of pets resides in the zoo. There were horses, rabbits, chickens, and all other sort of birds. And there's the peacock, luckily i was able to get a snap with its tail fully fanned out. A sweet park that features giant chocolate cake, cupcakes, and ice cream. Davao have their own chocolate festival. They have tons of hectares of land where cocoa are being planted. Here in Malagos Garden, a chocolate factory was built so that people can learn about cocoas and chocolates and it's history and how chocolates are being made. They feature different kinds and flavors of chocolates. Guests can also create their own chocolate (P450) and take them home. Of course i had to taste one. Bought the Chocolate Espresso Truffle, I can taste the bitter sweet dark chocolate, makes me want to buy all of them! Inside the garden is where the butterfly domes and Museo de Mariposa is located. Here you can learn the different kinds of butterflies, their habitats, and lifespan. 4th and last stop of our city tour -- Eden Nature Park.
An 80 hectare of land situated 2650 masl with different activities and areas you can enjoy. We only visited 2 parts of the park -- some parts of the Mountain Trail and the Butterfly Garden.
Entrance: P280 (with snacks)
Part of the mountain trail is this obstacle course. Of course i tried it. 😀 This was the main goal going here in Eden - Sky Cycle and Zip Line! For only P300 we experienced both.
Sky Cycle: scarier than the zip line since there is the bike that you have to worry about steadying although in reality you dont need to do anything. It is securely tied on both ends and all you have to do is pedal to move.
Zip Line: i enjoyed this the most. The feeling of just letting go. 😊
After the Eden tour, we decided not to push through with our last tour which is the Crocodile Farm since we are so drained from all the walking. Got back to our room at around 5PM with our skin burned from the heat of the sun during our ride home.
Our check in time was moved to 8:15PM so we only rested for a few minutes. We left around 6PM for the airport.
Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport
NAIA Terminal 3
As expected,the boarding time was delayed, 8:15 became 9PM. Slept the entire flight, arrived Manila around 11PM.
Davao is one of those places i surely want to go back to. There's still a lot to see and visit. Given a chance to purchase another seat sale (LOL) i'll book another flight!! 😊😊😊