DAVAO! Going Further Down South Philippines

Davao City Travel Blog

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Davao Intl Airport


Davao City is the center of trade and business in Southern Philippines. It is one of the three most popular cities in the country that includes Cebu  and Manila. It is an hour and 35 minutes from Manila by plane. There are direct international flights from Davao to Singapore via Singapore Airlines. Davao City is well known and popular because of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain peak in the Philippines; the largest eagle in the world (the Philippine monkey eating eagle endemic only in Davao), and of course durian fruit, found in abundance in Davao.

LE DURIAN
What I love most about Davao is its clean and peaceful laidbackness, its numerous nature fun spots just like those found  in Borneo, the abundance of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, and I totally agree with ASIAWEEK MAGAZINE's survey mentioning and including Davao City among the 20 MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN ASIA, beating Cebu and Manila. Davao City boasts of its lowest crime rate in the country and its very strictly implemented No Smoking in public places ordinance. The people are generally warm, friendly, hospitable, conservative and down to earth.

This is actually my sixth time to go to Davao City. In those previous trips, it was mostly for work: business meetings, interviewing applicants, etc. But I know very well that this place boasts of a long list of amazing places to visit and explore.
Sculpture wrapped house
I have promised myself to spend time to admire these travel destinations in Davao so I decided to make this weekend travel before work  begins.


As soon as I stepped out of the Davao Int'l Airport, I already knew I was in Davao because of the durianish smell in the air. I don't know if its just my weird imagination working but whenever I'm in Davao City, traces of the sweet durian scent seems to be in the air almost everywhere. I'm impressed now with the orderly control of taxi cabs entering the arrival area to pick up passenger. Only taxi cabs with legitimate meters are allowed to enter and passengers are given coupons by security indicating numbers to be called for complaints of any abuses from the taxi drivers. Each taxi's plate number is recorded by airport security, and names of the passengers are recorded as well.

Durian coffee and Durian Cheesecake. Yummers!!!
Average taxi fare from the airport to the city center is PHP120(USD$2.50).

It took me quite sometime to finally decide to check in at the PONCE SUITES lodging house at Donia Vicenta Village in Bajada District. This quaint hostel/art gallery is very popular and most talked about among backpackers from Manila who traveled to Davao. Aside from its very affordable room rates(USD$10, $15, ++) complete with having their own website making online booking and credit card payment possible, its art pieces covering the place inside and out makes it very unique. I'm not really a big fan of art and I actually do not know how to appreciate art but I have so much respect for artists and their works. I just assume that all art work is beautiful. I was curious to see this talked about hostel. I was laughing when my Davaenio friends knew that I checked in at PONCE: 'Whaaaat?' And I said, 'Why not?' They say the place looks weird and scary.
steamed crab with garlic
My friends thought that I wouldn't want to stay in a lodging house but they were wrong. I'm a backpacker who could sleep anywhere when I travel. If I'd feel anything weird or abnormal  at PONCE  like what my friends said, I'll just immediately transfer  to another hotel. The hostel was so far okay but there were some minor issues with the cleanliness of the room. I was mostly out backpacking during the day so it really didn't matter.

After checking in,I went to meet my friends at Blugre Coffee at Landco Building at the Pryce Business Center in Bajada, to have my first Durian coffee. I haven't tried Durian coffee yet(only found in Davao) and I recall it is one of the must try coffee being recommended to people traveling to Davao. The coffee tasted okay but its kinda too sweet for me.
If only it was unsweetened or decameralized then I could have been more amused.  And I feel that the price at PHP140++ per cup is quite exaggerated. Davao City has a lot of specialty fine coffee shops of different names all over the city. A Starbucks franchise chain would not be necessary because coffee brew in Davao's specialty coffee shops are equally good if compared with these global brands. My friends treated me later for seafood lunch at Ahfat Seafood Plaza at the back of the Victoria Plaza Mall, also in Bajada. I had a feast of lobster, crabs, Seargent fish, rice, and durian tart. Pure seafood gluttony! After that lunch, I swore not to eat seafood in the next six months.

After the seafood overload, my friends took me to Bangkerohan to ride the aircon mini truck van going to Malagos where I was going to see the Phlippine Eagle Center.


xiaofeiyang says:
It is a very interesting travel note. Looking forward to my Davao trip in May^_^
Posted on: Mar 05, 2012
crazychictraveller says:
too bad i was not able to check on the durian flavored cheesecake and coffee :(
Posted on: Nov 29, 2011
ibaloi says:
Davao! one of the nicest cities I'd been to in the Phils. :)
Posted on: Mar 06, 2009
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Davao Intl Airport
Davao Intl Airport
LE DURIAN
LE DURIAN
Sculpture wrapped house
Sculpture wrapped house
Durian coffee and Durian Cheesecak…
Durian coffee and Durian Cheeseca…
steamed crab with garlic
steamed crab with garlic
I slept here. Will blog about it.
I slept here. Will blog about it.
PONCE SUITES
PONCE SUITES
It better take my breath away or e…
It better take my breath away or …
lobster
lobster
steamed Seargent fish w/ soy sauce
steamed Seargent fish w/ soy sauce
durian tart
durian tart
BLUGRE COFFEE - Davaos specialty …
BLUGRE COFFEE - Davao's specialty…
PONCE SUITES
PONCE SUITES
The hostel lobby
The hostel lobby
The neighborhood
The neighborhood
lodging house/art gallery
lodging house/art gallery
The artist
The artist
Whats crawling on the ceiling?
What's crawling on the ceiling?
Theres my room! A4
There's my room! A4
The hallway
The hallway
The walls
The walls
at the artsy fartsy guesthouse
at the artsy fartsy guesthouse
creepy breakfast
creepy breakfast