MAGANDA ANG PILIPINAS!
After the success in Palawan and Cagayan de Oro, the parteee never stops. It’s time we conquer Davao City!
Davao City is located deep in the heart of the Philippines’ exotic south, in the southeastern portion of Mindanao Island. It is a highly urbanized city that serves as the major economic, financial, and educational center of Mindanao. More than that, the city has been continuously striving to offer the travelers various choices in terms of luxury vacations and adventure experiences.
The city, which falls nominally under the province of Davao del Sur, is bounded on the north by Davao and Compostela Valley provinces, on the east by Davao Gulf, on the south by Davao del Sur, and on the west by North Cotabato province. Davao is virtually typhoon-free. The city enjoys fair weather, and even rainfall, temperature, and humidity all year round. Average temperature is 32 degrees Celsius and average rainfall is up to 2,000 mm yearly.
How Do I Get To Davao City?
The trip to Davao City just came in by surprise. Airphil Express is geared up Father’s Day with a special promo and of course it was hard to resist once more. I really don’t have travel plans not until early next year or late December for this year. But like what I said, the promotion was very enticing. Good thing it helped that my bestfriend/travel buddy Janyl is in for some action this year! There are several airlines that offer daily flights direct from Manila to Davao City. Among which are as follows:
- Philippine Airlines – offers 5 direct trips daily to Davao City utilizing Airbus A330-300. The regular Econolight one-way fare ranges anywhere from Php2000 and can get to as high as Php3000. One can easily book flights through their online facility, which has improved over the last months in fairness. Or you can just call their customer service hotline facility @ (632) 855-8888 to reserve tickets and then just pay them at their offices or through their authorized ticketing agents (with additional charge of course).
- Cebu Pacific Air – also offers 5 direct trips daily to Davao City. They also have connecting flights from Manila-Cebu City-Davao City. The one-way Go Fare is about the same as PAL’s. They also have an online facility where you can book your flights easily and just pay using your plastics or through accredited banks and authorized ticketing agents.
- Zest Airways, Inc – offers 1 direct flight daily to Davao City International Airport. What I like about this airline is that they strive to rise from the bad reputation that they have had when they were still named Asian Spirit. What I like about this airline is that they allow you to book through phone, even promo fares! Once booked, you can just pay it through their offices and accredited banks and ticketing offices.
- Airphil Express – will offer direct flights from Manila to Davao starting July 21, 2010. I guess that’s the reason why they have promo to this destination and good thing is we took advantage of it! Our promo fare for travel to Davao on October 6-9, 2010 is roughly Php1200 per head and that’s a 2-way fare already!
Budget-Friendly Hotels and Inns In Davao City
I have always been in the search for the best budget hotels and inns around the Philippines and the hunt is now on for Davao City this time. There are several blogs, forums and websites that helped me in locating what I’m in search for and they proved to be very helpful in my travels. Most of the information supplied came from their own experiences and some of them are locales in the area. I have always believed in back-packing style of traveling because it allows me to get to know the place better. The trick here is to keep your options within the limits of your budget, that way you won’t have a hard time in trying to choose among the relatively large number of options you have. Davao Travel Blog, Davao City Hotels and pauliqueladao’s blog site helped me a lot in furnishing all the necessary information I needed for this trip. The requirements for this trip is not lavish enough to be searching for something quite pricey. The accommodations needed to have the following:
- standard air-conditioned
- twin beds
- provisioned own comfort room with hot and cold shower
- wi-fi access (for Janyl and me of course)
- with cable TV
- with free phone service within city limits at least (for inquiries)
- within the city limits or near business establishments
- having a swimming pool is a plus factor but not a requirement though
- room rate should not exceed Php1000 per night
With all these requirements in mind and much thinking here are our choices for our Davao City accommodation:
BAGOBO HOUSE – no website but you can use that as reference
Governor Duterte Street, Davao City (downtown)
(6382) 222-4444; Fax: (6382) 222-4440
PhP 863.75 / room
CARPEL’S PENSION HOUSE – no website
Camus Extension, Davao City (downtown)
(6382) 221-1641 to 44
PhP 400 – 500 / room
DAVAO TOWER INN
566 E. Quirino Avenue, Davao City (downtown)
(6382) 221-2099; Fax: (6382) 221-8034
PhP 600 – 2,500 / room
MY HOTEL DAVAO
San Pedro Street, Davao City (downtown)
(6382) 222-2021; (6382) 300-4040
PhP 800 – 1,050 / room
SAMPAGUITA TOURIST INN – no website but you may use that as reference
Mt. Mayon Street, Davao City
PhP 175 – 550 / room
FIRST PACIFIC INN DAVAO – in front of Palma Elementary School
498 Quirino Avenue, Davao City (downtown)
PhP 880 – 1,280 / room
CASA LETICIA – fronting People’s Park
J. Camus Street, Davao City (downtown)
PhP 2,200 – 4,200 / room
JACK’S RIDGE RESORT AND RESTAURANT
Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City 8000
(6382) 2978830 to 31
WHAT TO DO IN DAVAO CITY?
I found several reasons why I’m so excited about our Davao trip in October. Among the reasons are as follows:
Whitewater rafting adventure trip – Experience wild water river rafting in Davao River. Ride through 24 extreme rapids from Barangay Tamugan to Barangay Lacson in Calinan District that ranges from Class I to class IV rapids. This adventure is charged @ Php2000/person inclusive of transportation (From Crocodile Park to Rafting Area and back), packed Lunch & bottled water, use of Gears & equipment, river guide, zip line at ZIP CITY, souvenir shirt Plus: photo CD (2 CD per group of 6). The itinerary is as follows:
- 830 am Assembly at Crocodile Park
- 930 am Departure
- 1030 am Arrival at Put In area, Tamugan
- 1100 am Start of Rafting
- 1200 nn Lunch
- 300 pm Arrival at Take Out area, Purok 8, Lacson
- 330 pm Departure for Crocodile Park
- 430 pm Arrival at Crocodile Park
There’s also River One Adventure which charges Php1500/person for the white water rafting. There is a big difference as far as the inclusions are concerned: four-hour river rafting, transportation, a packed lunch, souvenir River One shirt and a photo-video cd of your adventure.
Zipline/Canopying at Camp Sabros – Located at Digos City, enjoy one of the country’s longest zipline (400m and 380m) with Mt. Apo as your backdrop. New adventure attractions are also available here such as the treetop rapelling and pendulum swinging.
Davao City tour – Rediscover the rich heritage of Mindanao at the Davao Museum. Tour around the Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, which overlooks the city. The tour ends with a shopping spree at Aldevinco Shopping Center and Madrazo Fruit stand, where you will experience your first whiff of Davao’s famed fruits. The tour also includes visits to the Davao Crocodile Park, Puentespina Orchid Garden, and St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Davao Countryside tour – Drive up the slopes of Calinan to find the Philippine Eagle Nature Center, a sanctuary built close to their natural habitat. A sumptuous lunch awaits you at the Malagos Resort, where rows of orchids are planted in tradition of the famous Banaue rice terraces, and then on toward the Davao Crocodile Park as the last stop.
Mt. Eden Resort day tour – Mt. Eden Resort, located 2,000 feet above sea level, is a magical getaway offering breathtaking views of the surrounding plains. Cooler temperature and pure air make it a powerful place for healing mind, body and soul. This mountain resort reservation offers a cool climate, lush forest, and natural surroundings, overlooking the city and the gulf. The area is suitable for camping, nature hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding.
THE SAMAL ISLAND ESCAPADE
An exciting ferry ride will take you to Island Garden City of Samal. There will be a stop at Bat Kingdom, where one can see millions of bats in three adjoining caves, followed by a drive through to the City Hall of Samal, passing the city proper before having a short trek to Hagimit Falls, where one can take a dip in its cool waters and spend the remainder of the day. From Samal Island, we can visit the Pearl Farm Resort.
Pearl Farm Resort day tour – This world-class resort boasts of white sand beaches over a 14-hectare spread. It was once a pearl farm, where thousands of white-lipped oysters transported from the Sulu Sea were cultivated for their pink, white, and gold pearls. Today, the resort beckons with the promise of a relaxing, private retreat, under the care of its friendly and charming staff. The day tour includes buffet lunch @ Php2050 per head.
** Special thanks to Jonathan dela Paz for the beautiful picture of Pearl Farm, Samal Island, Davao.