If you are in town playing at one of the three 18 hole golf courses in Davao, then you are in for a treat because there are plenty of stuff to do and see.
Davao probably derives its name from the ancient Bagobo word “daba-daba” or fire, which the tribe used for its rituals. The Tagabua tribe, on the other hand, called the river bisecting the region “Daba” and the Guiangan tribe, “Davoh.” Situated in the typhoon-free southern area of the Philippines, Davao is a city of diverse sights, sounds and tastes. It is a melting pot of both immigrant and highland cultures that blend in a colorful, exciting tapestry of ethnic heritage and modern lifestyles.
Davao is the most progressive city in Mindanao and is the center of economic activity in Southern Philippines. It is now a fast emerging gateway to the evolving East ASEAN Growth Area including Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia – a re-emergence of trade cooperation by the four countries during the 17th century.
Davao is one of those places where urban relaxation is possible it has wide, well-lit streets, beautiful buildings, great resorts, the friendliest people and the freshest fruits, vegetables and the day’s catch from the sea. While you find malls, a five-star hotel and nightlife, you can still feel an almost pastoral ambience due to the wildflowers, long blades of grass, beaches and the towering Mt. Apo.
Indeed, Davao is touted as one of the most beautiful cities in Asia. From an airplane at night, it looks like an inverted universe with its billion dancing lights shining from wide, well-it structures, streets and establishments.
DAVAO TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Located at the Insular Village in Lanang, it is a repository of tribal art, costumes, jewelry, handicrafts and others. Paintings, sculptures, and ceramics are also exhibited.
~Davao Eden Nature Park & Resort
A mountain paradise where one can commune with nature. This place has numerous recreational activities for visitors and a restaurant located in the mountains. Guests can stay in mountain cabins and camping sites.
~Davao Samal Island
Perfect for a golf gateway.
Nesteld within the cradle of Davao and the sea is the island garden of Samal Island housed the Aguinaldo Pearl Farm where cultured pearls were created using the latest Japanese technology. In its place now is the exclusive Pearl Farm Resort with a row of beautifully craft nipa huts, some of which are two to three stories high. The Samal houses are of stilts so you can easily go down from the house and snorkel in the crystal clear waters with a variety of marine life. Another attraction is the Mandaya Tribe. Usually two women and kids from this tribe spin the cloth that made them famous.
Here you get a spectacular sunset touching the waters and white sand with the red and gold of the sun. you can kayak to and from here, and it has seven spacious villas that are three storeys high, built and designed with an old Spanish era theme.
~T’boli Weaving Center
It is located at the Waterfront Hotel. Products famous here are woven materials like the yakan cloths and those woven by the Mandaya tribe and other T’boli handicrafts like traditional wedding hats, bamboo paper clips, and table mats and coasters made from abaca fabric.
It is located inside the Insular Hotel. Mandaya women weave their cloths which are not only made into clothes but also into table decorations, bags, beadwork and jewelry, belts and other accessories.
~Philippine Eagle Camp
This well-maintained camp is a sanctuary for the Philippine Eagle and other animals native to the Philippines.
~Puentespina Orchid Garden
You will want to have your own variety of flowers, especially the orchids, cattleya, ylang-ylang and waling-waling ( Vanda Sanderiana for the purebred). Puentespina gives pamphlets on how to grow orchids, and is open Monday to Saturday.
If your purchase is above P500, you’ll get a free box. However, if you didn’t buy that much and your orchids are to travel by air or ferry, shell out a little extra money to put these in a box. The airport charges per box and you’ll receive a permit from the DENR.
~Lola Abon’s Durian Factory and Mindanao Industrial Confectionery
These are factories south of Davao City where you can watch durian fruits being processed into jams, candies, and other processed products. I like to munch on a bit of durian while on the golf course to give me that extra pick me up.
~Lon Wa Temple
It is a Chinese temple only four kms. From the airport where you will see the Buddha with the Thousand Hands inside this golden marbled pavilion. You may also opt to have your fortune read by the monks from the paper you pick from the incense sticks.
~Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague
Found at Matina Heights, Davao City. Even non-believers can enjoy a quite stroll on its serene and expansive grounds.
Near Samal Island, this has beautiful beaches where you can go snorkeling/diving. Caves with resident snakes and bats ca also be found here.
Various places of interest can be seen in Tagum.
At the Dalisay Village, there is a citrus plantation, with exotic orchids and other plants, a Japanese tea house, and moder sports facilities
The Davao Penal Colony was once a World War II concentration camp for war prisoners. Now, it has turned into a plantation for rubber, cacao and abaca, and a botanical garden and zoo, which are maintained by the inmates. Visitors can also buy a variety of wood carvings and stay in the guesthouses. At Carmen, you can swim at the famed White Sand Beach.
Northwest of Tagum, you can go to Tibi-tibi in Kapalong where there are hanging bridges and waterfalls, and native tribes of the Matigsalug, Talaingod and and Langilan. Lake Ampawid in Asuncion has great marble quarries and banana plantations.
Southeast of Tagum are waterfalls, the Mainit Hot Spring National Park near Mabini and the Tagnanan Beach with its white sand. Brgy. Mabini has the Maputi Hot Springs, the Cawacawa Waterfalls and the darkly mysterious Masara Mines.
The Nabunturan area is where the endangered Philippine Crocodile is said to swim.
DAVAO SPECIAL INTERESTS
~Festivals Araw ng Dabaw
Araw ng Dabaw is celebrated every March 16 featuring a food street party, dance spectacles and other special events. The most awaited though is the search for “Mutya ng Dabaw.”
~Kadayawan sa Dabaw
Kadayawan sa Dabaw is celebrated every third week of August. This week-long festival coincides with the harvest of fruits, such as the durian, lazones, mangosteen and rambutan. It is also celebrated with “Indak-Indak sa Kadalan,” or street dancing plus a floral float parade. Other special events are scheduled during the festival.
There are number of first class and standard hotels in the Marco Polo-Davao.
The Waterfront Insular Hotel has a jettyport that takes visitors to the pearl Farm. Travel inns are also located within the city.
It is better to call the hotel offices in Manila to check rates.
Because it’s bordered on the east side by the sea, fresh fish can be found anywhere in Davao, especially the versatile tuna.
Fresh fruits such as the famous durian, suha as the pomelo, lanzones, mangosteen, banana and rambutan are abundant in the province. The Bankerohan Public Market. Anda – Rizal and Mandrazo Fruit Quality.
Restaurants that serve Filipino, Chinese and European cuisines can also be found here.
WHERE TO GOLF IN DAVAO
HOW TO GET TO DAVAO
There are regular flights to Davao from different key cities all over the Philippines – Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo.
From Davao one can also directly fly to Singapore. Travel time is one and half hour. Check with Philippines Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific for schedules.
By ship, WG&A and Sulpicio Lines go to Davao regularly. Check scheduled with their offices located at the Port Area.
By land, take the bus. Philtranco has scheduled trips to Davao daily. Travel time is approximately 48 hours.
HOW TO GET AROUND DAVAO
Jeepneys and tricycles are available in the city proper-Motorcycles for hire, called habal-habal, are a way of exploring the islands.
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