Davao is the center of Mindanao and is one largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. Davao is known as the home of the highest mountain in the Philippines which is Mount Apo, also famous for their homegrown fruits Durian, Mangosteen and Marang.
I admired Davao a lot when I visited the city especially with their law of NO SMOKING in public places.
Random thought: If Davao can do it why can’t Metro Manila implement it strictly?
Jeepney drivers were also disciplined. I also admired how Taxi companies work in Davao, you can just simply call a cab driver to pick you up and they won’t charge you any extra cost for it. These things are just some good observations we saw during our four days, three nights stay in the city.
Our Davao City Tour Itinerary
We arrived early evening on our first day, upon arrival in the airport it would be best to get a cab to bring you to your hotel. You can opt for a normal taxi to lessen the cost rather than getting an airport taxi. We had our first night booked at Green Windows Dormtel, the taxi from the airport until green windows costs around Php150-200 and took us around 20min to reach the hotel. It was already dinner time when we arrived so after putting down our stuff we went out immediately to look for a restaurant to eat dinner. We saw a small canteen nearby who sells fried chicken which costs Php 25.00 per pc, since we were so hungry then we decided to eat there. After dinner we went back to the hotel and rested since we had a long day from work to the airport until Davao City.
On our second day, we woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel before leaving for People’s Park which was just a few blocks away from our hotel. We only used google maps to locate the park. Upon arriving in People’s Park, we saw several people doing their morning exercises. The park was nice, birds were flying around while children feed them, some senior citizens jogging around and some playing badminton. The park was also clean, we saw several people maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of the park. It was only 9 am when we left the park and decided to go to Jack’s Ridge. From People’s Park, we just took a cab to Jacks Ridge. The ride was about 15min and we paid Php 100.00. Upon arriving in Jack’s Ridge, we paid Php20 each for the entrance and also we were informed that only Karlo’s coffee shop was open and the other restaurants will open at 10 am. Karlo’s coffee shop offers exotic coffee like Durian, Marang and Mangosteen coffee and Frappe. They also have varieties of cakes, some even have alcohol as ingredients. We tried their chocolate moist cake which was the cake of the month and their durian coffee and the taste was okay, something new for us. After finishing our morning snack, the staff called for a cab to bring us back to the hotel. When we arrived the hotel we just freshened up and went straight to SASA Warf where we took a bus going to Samal island. We took a cab to reach SASA Warf from our hotel. It took us 20 min and paid Php 150.00. When we arrived SASA Warf, we waited for the bus going to Penaplata. The bus will ride a “RO-RO” (Roll-On, Roll-Off) for around 15 minutes to reach Samal. We paid Php 30.00 for the bus ride until Penaplata. When we arrived Penaplata, we just took a tricycle to bring us to our hotel which is Punta del Sol. The hotel seemed to be a private island since we were the only guests staying there for that night. haha. Anyway, after checking in, we rented the tricycle to make things more convenient for us to see Samal. Our first stop was the Monfort Bat Colony. They are the title holder of having the most number of bats in the world. We had to pay Php 100.00 each for the entrance fee. As we entered the place, you can already smell the bad odor of the bats (but tolerable), a tour guide also welcomed us and also shared some stories to us about the bats. We spent almost 30 minutes inside taking pictures and enjoying the view. After Monfort Bat colony we went to Hagimit Waterfalls. There is a Php 40.00 entrance fee and Php5.00 environmental fee that you have to pay before entering the place. Hagimit waterfalls is different from the ones we saw from Camiguin and Bacolod. The water was cold so we decided to take a dip to cool us down. After Hagimit falls we went to Maxima water park. Maxima water park is very famous to tourists who wants to experience water activities in Davao. The most famous are the 2 giant slides where you will fall on the beach. There is a Php 250.00 entrance fee in Maxima for you to enjoy their facilities. They also offer diving which has a different charge. After Maxima, we went to a restaurant to have dinner then after eating the tricycle driver brought us back to Punta Del sol. We paid Php 1200 to the tricycle driver for the whole afternoon service.
Monfort Bat Sanctuary: Guinness World Records Holder
I woke up early to witness the sunrise from the beach. On the shore, you will enjoy the view especially that the water was clear. You can see small fishes, crabs, and corals without having to dive into the sea. The sand was also white and clear however during our stay, it was high tide so there was only a small space of the shore. After having breakfast we just rested and went back to Davao City. The same tricycle driver we got yesterday was the same tricycle driver who picked us up to bring us back to Penaplata to catch the bus back to Davao City. When we arrived Penaplata, there were buses already waiting for passengers going to Davao City. This time, we paid Php 40.00 for the ride until Lanang. When we arrived Lanang we just rode a jeepney with SASA J.P Laurel route and got off Tune Hotels. Upon arriving in Tune Hotel, they gave us a bag of toiletries with towels inside. After having some rest, we went to SM Lanang to have lunch. In SM Lanang, we saw their advertisement of Tourist Card. The Tourist card is a discount card for local and foreign tourists of Davao, it is free of charge all you have to do is present your boarding pass or passport and ID as verification that you are not from Davao City. We had lunch at Hukad where the food was great and the price was not that expensive. An order of Sinigang na Lapu-lapu was only Php180.00 an order good for 2 people. After having lunch, we asked for the directions on how to reach Bankerohan Public Market. To reach Bankerohan Public Market from SM Lanang, we took a jeepney with route SASA JP Laurel and got off at San Pedro street, from San Pedro street we took another jeepney Route 5 to reach Bankerohan Public Market. When we arrived the market, almost all stalls were selling Pomelo’s since it was the season for it. Pomelo’s during our stay only costs Php40.00 a kilo. Several candies were also sold in every stall in the Market. Durian during that time costs Php70.00 per kilo. Unfortunately, Marang and Mangosteen were not available since the season for these fruits are still on August. After buying fruits and candies for Pasalubong, we took the jeepney bound for Abreeza Mall. When ate dinner and did a little stroll around Abreeza then took another jeepney (SASA route) and got off in front of Tune Hotels and called it a day.
Our last day in Davao we were scheduled to visit Philippine Eagle Conservation Center and Eden Nature Park. Since we were on a budget travel and taxi’s going to these places would cost us Php4000.00. So we opted to commute on our own. And no, we did not have a hard time. So from Tune Hotels in Lanang, we took the jeepney going to Bankerohan Public Market. In Bankerohan Public Market, we looked for Annil Terminal where L300 vans are going to Calinan. The fare was only Php30.00 and the vehicle was also air conditioned. The travel time was around 45 minutes, and when we reached Calinan, we took a “habal-habal” until the Center. We paid Php100.00 for the “habal-habal” who also waited for us to finish the tour. Inside the Philippine Eagle Center, we paid Php100.00 entrance fee. There were several kinds of birds in the center but the main attraction was PAG-ASA the oldest Philippine Eagle in the center. We were lucky that during our visit we were able to see PAG-ASA and even take his photo. We learned a lot from the center especially when it comes to how eagles live their lives. Outside the center, there were stalls selling different kinds of shawls, ref magnets and other items made from Mindanao. Prices were cheap and we decided to buy some for ourselves there. After Philippine Eagle Center we took again the L300 van, we just told the driver to drop us off where we can ride a jeepney going to Toril. We still paid Php30.00 for the ride. When we got off, we already saw several jeepney’s bound for Toril. We paid Php13.00 for the jeepney ride and got off fat Mercury. From there we took the “habal-habal” and paid Php200.00 to bring us to Eden Nature Park. When we arrived Eden Nature Park, we were advised that the next tour is in two hours so we decided to see the place first by foot and took some photos. The place was relaxing and there were also several activities you can enjoy around like skycycle, fishing and a lot more. Before our tour started we were handed bottled water and was advise to ride a specific car with a tour guide. The tour was about an hour where we saw several kinds of flowers, a sample of how Davaoeno’s live their life and a view of Davao. The tour guide was also kind enough to take our photos during the duration of the tour. After the tour, we had a simple snack which was included in the fee we paid. We were served with Spaghetti, bread and a cup of soft drinks. After eating, we walked towards the entrance of the park and took a “habal-habal” again going back to the city. Along the way, we saw stalls selling Mangosteen, which is cheaper than the prices in the City. Mangosteen during our stay costs Php180.00/kl in the city but only costs Php120.00/kl in Toril. We bought 6 kilograms that we will bring home to Manila that day.
Clear Beach in Samal
I had fun in Davao and will be coming back to this city soon to witness Kadayawan Festival which happens every August.
Below is the itinerary I created for our trip that served as our guide in managing our time.
5:40 pm ETD manila –
8:00 pm – Check in at Green Windows Dormitel
8:30 pm – Dinner
7:30 am – People’s Park
9:30 am – Snack at Jack’s Ridge
11:00 am – Check out and Transfer to Samal island / Villa Amparo
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Samal Tour (Hagimit falls, Maxima resort, Monfort bat cave, White house)
9:00 am – Villa Amparo, Breakfast
10:00 am – Transfer to Davao city
11:30 am – Check in at Tune Hotels Davao
1:00 pm onwards – See the city, Buy pasalubong and souvenirs.
6:00 am – Check out at Tune Hotel
6:00 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast, Commute to Philippine Eagle Center
8:00-10:00 Philippine Eagle Center
10:00-11:30 Early Lunch, Commute to Eden Nature Park
11:30-3:00 pm Tour of Eden Nature Park
3:00 – 8:55 pm Free Time, Rest
8:55 pm – ETD Davao
The total cost of our trip to Davao was Php 9200 per person and it is already inclusive of my plane ticket, terminal fee’s, land and boat transfers, food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Pasalubong, Hotel, tour and other activities.