EXPERIENCE DAVAO: THE KING CITY OF THE SOUTH (Updated 2016)
It’s Kadayawan time, and am sure aside from the festival many would want to see other places and attractions which Davao offers. The City of Davao the largest city in the Island of Mindanao and in the Philippines in terms of land area. Davao City is also one of the several cities in the Philippines that are independent of any province. In recent years, Davao City has emerged as the business, investment and tourism hub for the entire southern Philippines. The city has good beaches and mountain resorts and is close to diving spots and the highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo. LANGUAGE Cebuano, or Bisaya, is the most widely spoken language in the city, but I have met a lot of Ilongos or Hiligaynon speaking people especially during the Training which our group (INTRASPEC MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY) conducted for Norwegian Scholars of the DMMA College of Southern Philippines.
THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING DAVAO
Try Durian.While in Davao, try their famous Durian fruit. You can’t help but associate Davao with Durian Fruit being the number one producer of this fruit in the country. Tagged as the king of fruits this hostile spiked brown exterior and the offensive scent is ambrosia of the Gods and is famous of its maxim that it smells like hell but taste like heaven. Davao City is not only famous for its durian fruit. There are other fruits which are high in demand like Pomelo and Mangosteen. In my recent stay in Davao, I just went into the wet market where a variety of fruits are being sold at shockingly cheap price. When buying from the fruit stand you can ask the vendor to gave you what is already and ripe ask them to open it and they will take care of the seeds and the spiked skin of Durian. Of course, If can’t really stand the smell of the fruit you can opt to buy candies and other delicacies with durian flavor. I have just tasted a Durian Roll, it has no strong smell but the durian flavor is just perfect.
Shopping.There are several malls located in the city. Notable malls are SM City Davao, Abreeza Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, NCCC Mall of Davao, Gaisano South Mall, Victoria Plaza Mall and Robinsons Cybergate. Another SM Mall is being constructed in Lanang along J.P. Laurel Avenue.
Visit the Crocodile Farm.The only crocodile park in the region provides a home to locally bred crocodiles On display are also dozens of species of birds and snakes, as well as tigers and great apes. One can take pleasure from viewing, horseback riding around the park, or feeding the young fierce reptiles.
- Experience River Rafting at Davao River.An hour ride from the downtown area, the starting point is near Tamugan Bridge along the Davao-Bukidnon Highway. With a 13-km stretch of whitewater adventure, the rafting ends near the Lacson-Lamanan Bridge. The trip package can be availed by booking with River One Adventure, 082 305 7624 or with Davao Wildwater Adventure at Crocodile Park.
- Shop at Aldevinco. Aldevinco is a premiere shopping destination in Mindanao where tourists and locals alike go for souvenirs such as Davao native products, various Batik products (bags, dusters, slippers, table cloths, etc.), textiles imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, antique and brass items, and even indigenous musical instruments. It has become a major tourist attraction for its wide variety of ethnic products. It currently houses over 100 shops, most of which are operated by the second generation descendants of the original tenants. A typical shop is only approximately 10-12 sqm.
- Try DECA Wakeboard Park -– Considered to be the biggest wakeboarding park in the Philippines, offering the best venue for the extreme water sports, the wake-boarding, and water-ski. The park also offers a scenic view of Mt. Apo that boosts amusement while riding.
- Try the Zip City. Experience the most accessible, most scenic and the friendliest Zipline for all ages. Located at the Hilltop, Barangay Langub. And has the view of Davao Gulf and Mount Apo. This state of the art facility is also very accessible. On site is a resto bar to cater to your cravings.
- Visit Eden Nature Park — A very popular mountain resort located in Eden, Toril District, some 40 min away from the city center. It is situated 3,000 ft (910 m) above sea level, giving it a cool and moderate climate. It is 95% man-made with pine trees dotting the landscape. It covers 40 hectares worth of developed land.
- Pay a visit to the Philippine Eagle Center — Home to the Philippines National Bird, The Philippine Eagle (previously named Monkey-eating Eagle), the largest eagle in the World. It is where they are bred in captivity in order to increase their population and prevent extinction. Located in Malagos, a 45 min drive from the city center. Aside from being a temporary home for the Monkey-eating Eagle’s, it also hosts some other exotic animals native to Davao’s forest. As of April, 010, 18 eagles are on exhibit. Note that if the Crocodile Farm is visited first, a 4-day waiting period must be observed before visiting the Eagle Center to avoid disease transmission.
- Go on site seeing at the People’s Park — On December 15, 2007, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte led local officials in opening the P72-M People’s Park (old PTA Ground) in Davao City which features a mini-forest and large sculptures (many by the same artist from Ponce Suites located in Bajada at Roads 4 and 3 in Davao City, which you should go see also, as the artwork at the hotel is also a once–a lifetime experience worth looking at) representing indigenous groups in Southern Mindanao.
- Side Trip to Samal Island – the Samal Island is home to many beautiful resorts like the Pearl Farm and the Maxima Aqua Fun
DAVAO CITY SERIES:
DAVAO: The King City of the South PEOPLE’S PARK of DAVAO: Showcasing Davao’s Cultural Heritage ZIP CITY IN DAVAO: CONQUERING MY FEAR OF HEIGHTS My Davao White Water Adventure: I Thought I Won’t Survive Davao Crocodile Farm: A close encounter with the Park’s Superstars LIST OF HOTELS IN DAVAO CITY