May 11, 2014

Smoke-Free City (Day 1)

From Metro Manila, we arrived at Francisco Bangoy International Airport via Cebu Pacific at 10:30 pm. I don’t know if I was just hungry but the Davao City airport has this sweet fruity scent (not sure if it was Durian).

We actually bought our tickets on the day of our travel since our flight via Tiger Airways was cancelled and we weren’t advised beforehand.

We took a cab to our hotel which is just along J.P. Laurel Avenue. We stayed at the Orchard Hotel (Facebook Page). It was relatively far from the downtown area but there’s a grocery store just in front and also there are coffee shops and ATMs nearby. Everything from the hotel itself to its staff was nice. Davao City is a smoke free city and the hotel strictly implements the "no smoking" rule: each room has a smoke detector. The only place where you can smoke is the garage. That is if there are no locals outside.

Our itinerary kept us somewhat sleep-deprived since our activities would always begin at 7 am or earlier.

Day 1 (September 5, 2013)
Digos City

Our first activity was zipping at Camp Sabros at Sitio Baras, Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur, about 2-3 hrs away from the city. Both of us have never tried that before so we were quite excited. We left the hotel at around 7 am.

>We took a cab going to Ecoland terminal and rode a bus to Digos City.
We arrived at Digos around 8:30 am.

>We rode a tricycle going to the old terminal to take a van that would take us to Sitio Baras, Kapatagan.
We were actually the first 2 passengers
Just as in all other terminals, we had to wait until the van was fully-occupied before we left. We waited for almost three hours for passengers to fill its seats.

>We arrived at Camp Sabros parking area around 12 pm. Then we rode a habal-habal (motorcycle) to go to the camp proper.

Camp Sabros is on top of the mountain, which I think is part of Mt. Apo, and it is cold up there kahit na tirik na tririk ang araw, it felt like Baguio. Pine Trees were everywhere (we learned later that the pine trees were planted by some of the locals working at Camp Sabros).

380 meter tandem ride
Cable Lift Ride
820 meter zipline
Cottage for the overnighters
There are a lot of pine trees

We went home at around 3 pm and arrived in Davao City at 6. It was raining so we just ate at the nearest fastfood chain. I was surprised because a meal costs P25 only (1 pc chicken with rice). My! At hindi maliit yung slice ng chicken. Busog!
I did not have the time to take a picture the night we ate here so I went back here the day after and took a picture


Fare:  P420
Ride package in the Camp: P550
         Lunch: P100
         Dinner: P25

Smoke Free City (Day 2)

Day 2 (September 6, 2013)
Davao City Tour

We decided to roam around the city on our 2nd day and we bought a map of Davao city to help as around. We left the hotel at 6 am and decided to walk to our first stop, the People’s Park. 

There were a lot of people jogging when we arrived there; some were just there to enjoy the early morning sun and feed the birds and relax.The park was built in 2007 which was a project of Mr. Duterte, mayor of Davao.

Our next stop was San Pedro Cathedral which is the oldest church in Davao City although the church looks just the same as the other churches. >.<

The church was closed and this is the only picture of San Pedro Cathedral I have. According to the locals back in 19th century the church was built using wood and bamboo. It was then renovated in the late 1960s and the design was something that looks like a vinta (boat used by Muslims in Mindanao).

It was actually fun to just walk within the city and truly, it's one of the safest city in the world. The Davaoenos are so nice and polite although some of the locals from whom we asked for directions don’t speak Tagalog that much (but well it doesn't matter).

The taxis and PUJs are very colorful :)

Our next stop was Museo Dabawenyo and it wasn’t open yet when we arrived. We waited for about 15-20 minutes good thing the admission is free. J

Museo Dabawenyo is the former Court of First Instance of Davao City constructed in 1953 along Magallanes Street now A. Pichon Street (

The sculpture in the picture was the Davao hero, Datu Bago. He’s like the city’s Lapu-lapu. Artworks are displayed in the ground floor (lobby).  

They don't allow taking of pictures inside the museum. this is all that I got. 

We learned a lot during the tour, with our tour guide accommodating all our questions. The Davaoenos have preserved their rich culture that up to now, royals in the city still exist.

Since our next destination was a bit far (around 30 min away from the downtown area), we took a taxi to Crocodile Park. Crocodile Park features not only crocodiles but also other exotic animals like pythons, warty pig, and a lot more.

Our next stop was the Butterfly house but don’t expect a lot of butterflies.  I guess the caterpillars haven’t matured yet when we went there. Butterfly house is just a few steps away from the Crocodile park.

We went next to Davao Museum. We had a hard time looking for the place, even the taxi driver wasn’t sure about where it is located; it is located inside the Insular Village I. The museum was funded by the Ayala Foundation Inc.  and it features a collection of artifacts from different cultural minorities in Mindanao.

The driver was actually nice that he offered to wait for us since the museum is far from the highway and we’re already tired. My camera’s battery was empty so I didn’t get to take a lot of photos inside. 

Our last stop was the T’boli Weaving Center although there’s nothing much to see here. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to buy souvenirs.

Our bill (for the taxi) was just around Php 350 to think that the driver waited for us in the museum for about 30 minutes. He’s not like the taxi drivers around Metro Manila who would ask a large amount if they’ll have to wait for you. He paused the taxi meter while waiting for us and he gave us our change so we gave him a tip. J

We decided to have dinner at Crabs buffet, a seafood eat-all-you-can restaurant. It's just two blocks away from Ateneo de Davao. Although the resto was crowded that we had to share our table to strangers, the food was great. There were crabs, shrimps, tuna, kilawin, and seaweed among others. I took a little of everything though I ate a lot of crabs (I think I had ten)!

We went home at around 9 pm and it was raining.
***Have a list of mobile numbers of taxi companies in Davao City, transpo is a problem when it’s raining. 

Davao City Map: P50
Fare: P450 (taxi going to crocodile park, to davao museum and back to the hotel)
Entrance Fee:
         Crocodile Park: P150
         Davao Museum: P100     
Souvenirs: P100 (keychains)
         Lunch: P25