Last October 16 to 18, I had my last trip for the year. My sister and I went to Davao City!
It was a DIY trip. I booked a twin room at MyHotelDavao which is in San Pedro Street in downtown Davao. They have an ongoing promo for their rooms. The twin room is priced at Php 1,620 but we got it for Php 1,050.
I was no longer able to get a picture of the room because we were so tired when we got to the room. But the picture above is the same as to what the room really looks like.
Our flight out to Davao was at 5 AM. So we started our day at 2:45 AM. At around 3:30 AM, we were already at NAIA 3. We checked in our bags and went directly to our designated gate. It was an uneventful flight. We arrived at Francisco Bangoy Airport in Davao at around 6:50 AM. Just in time. We took a cab (a pink cab!) from the airport and went directly to the hotel. The taxi fare is around Php 135. We just left our bags at the counter and went out again to find breakfast and start our Davao exploration.
There had been a small glitch at the start of our day 1 walking tour of the city. Apparently, there is no Sun Telco signal in Davao. Good thing my two phones automatically connected to Smart (roaming). That’s their network integration at work. Using the google map on my phone and by asking around, we were able to find Taps. It’s a well-known breakfast establishment in Davao. The one in Gov. Duterte Steet which opens at 6 AM. Don’t know if it is the same for all branches. Their food is quite affordable. Taste is okay. Nothing out of the ordinary.
After breakfast, we proceeded to visit Museo Dabawenyo. It is located near the Andres Bonifacio Rotonda. We had a bit of a hard time looking for it since the gps of my phone won’t work as well as I want it to. Plus when we asked some locals, they don’t seem to know the place. Sad.
Taking of pictures are not allowed inside the museum. As per the guide who assisted us during the trip inside the museum, they have disallowed taking of pictures since some visitors post the pictures but put in inaccurate information about it. This is the only one that is allowed to be pictured:
From here, we got directions from the Manongs on how to go to D’Bone Collector Museum. Admittedly, at first I wasn’t so sure if I should include this in our itinerary. And good thing that I did. It was a very informative tour (c/o Darell, owner of the museum) and the bone collection are simply amazing. Here are just some of the snapshots. I failed to take more snapshots of the bones since I was attentively listening to Darell’s accounts on how they got the bones and his dealings with local authorities with regards washed up sperm whales.
We finished roaming the museum almost at noon. So we decided to head back to our hotel so we can get a bit of rest and freshen up. We were sooo tired. Before getting on a jeep, my sister bought half a kilo of rambutan and half a kilo of lansones. They were quite cheap as compared to the prices here in Manila. We took a jeep passing along San Pedro and got off in front of the hotel.
After resting, we were supposed to go out for lunch at Kuya Eds buffet place. But my sister ate the rambutan and lansones all by herself! So of course she is full. I ended up going out myself to eat at a bbq place. Only costs Php 79 and I had soup, rice, and 2 pieces of bbq. Good deal.
After I returned to the hotel, we decided to go to a local mall. Sister need to buy a hat. And in sunny Davao, it would really be of help. We went to Gaisano Mall. She bought a cap from Penshoppe. Since we were not eating on time, we were already hungry by the time we went out of the mall. We saw a Minute Burger and bought their buy one take one burgers. Talk about budget travel.
Then we asked directions on how to go to Aldenvinco Shopping Center. I know it was just near since we passed it on our way to the mall. But since my sister is too lazy to walk, we took a jeep. And got lost. Hmp. I don’t know where we were so we just went back to the hotel. We also opted to have dinner at the hotel. Which was a bad idea. Their buffet meal is not so good. Oh well. That’s what happens when you travel with a lazy person. Wouldn’t want to walk.
On the second day of our trip, we were scheduled to go to Samal Island. We again had breakfast at Taps. After breakfast, we took a jeepney ride going to Sasa (Php 18 each) and the driver dropped us off at the Roro/ ferry wharf. Cost for the ferry ride going to Samal Island is only Php 10. You will be given a token that you would use to pass a turnstile.
The trip only lasted for 10 minutes. In fact, from the ferry, you can already see the outskirt of some beaches in Samal.
Once you get off, the only mode of transportation available is that of tricycle or habal habal. We hired one habal habal to bring us to Monfort Bat Sanctuary and Hagimit Falls. We did not include going to a resort because none of us wanted to swim. So what’s the use right? Anyways, we hired the habal habal for Php 500. At first I thought it was a steep price but given the distance of each destination, I guess it is already worth it.
First off, Monfort Bat Sanctuary. The place is owned by Ms. Monfort. No, she is not a foreigner. She is purely Filipina who is the adoptive daughter of the Monfort couple who hails from Spain. There are I think 4 or 5 cave entrances where you can see the bats. At first, the guide said that we will only be allowed to view and not go to the caves. I was a bit disappointed but at the end it just worked out fine. The smell of the bats was sooo bad. I actually gagged and almost threw up. It was a different kind of smell. Like chemicals.
There’s a specific place where males stay. A maternity ward. A nursery ward – this is where I almost puked because of the smell. There is also a seniors ward which the guide says is the smelliest so we ran away from it.
Next stop is Hagimit falls.
This is a good place to take a dip. My only issue is that the CRs doesn’t have any lights. Other than that, a good destination. But probably just on a weekday. I think this place gets full during weekends. After spending a few hours here to rest, we again rode the habal habal to get back to the wharf where we would take the ferry back to the city. Cost is again Php 10. We again took another jeep going back to the hotel. We just freshen up and took another jeepney ride to have our very late lunch at Luz Kinilaw.
Food here is good! We had grilled shrimp and panga ng tuna. The tuna was soo big and soo yummy.
After our late lunch, we then proceeded to try once again to find Aldenvinco Shopping Center. Good thing we got good directions this time. I spent more than Php 1,000 :). I bought shirts (white – Php 100/ colored – Php 120); bags (Php100-250); sarong (Php 250); ref magnets (3 fo Php 100); and key chains (Php 10). We bought them from Sam and Naim’s souvenir shop at the back of the shopping center. After this, we also got directions on how to go the Pasalubong Center. There, sister bought a flute. We also got our durian candies there and I sampled their durian ice cream. Creamy!
We got back to the hotel at around 6:30 PM. When we already took a jeepney ride back to San Pedro, the rain poured! Since the rain did not stop, we just opted to have dinner at one of the many JFC (Juicy Fried Chicken) places that we see. There is one located near the hotel so we went to that one. The place boasts of only Php 20 for one piece of chicken. True enough. Dinner for two only costs Php 116.
After dinner, we already called it a day since we will be going to Eden Nature Park early the next day.
On our third and last day of stay in Davao, we woke up early and had breakfast at Jollibee. After breakfast, we walked one block and took a ride in a jeepney going to Toril. Travel is almost an hour and cost is Php 15 each. Once we reach Mercury Toril, we hired a tricycle for Php 200 to bring us to the resort. The resort is on the higher parts of Toril. The trike driver says that it is near the foot of Mt. Apo. True enough, I can feel the trike was having a hard time going up.
We paid an entrance fee of Php 200 each which already includes a plated snack. We also paid Php 120 for a guided shuttle tour around the park. You really wont’ be able to tour the place just by walking. It is quite big. Just look at their map.
Here’s a few snapshot at the park.
We were supposed to do the skycycle and zip line but we are already running out of time since we would need to be leave for the airport by 4 PM. We just had our plated snack and went back to the hotel.
After a quick shower and change of clothes, we went out again to have our late lunch at Jack’s Ridge. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were informed that they only take lunch orders until 1:30 PM. We were there at 2:30. So we ended up having some heavy snack at the Cafe.
That was the last place we visited and then off we go to the airport. Back to Manila, back to reality.
All in all, I think three days is already enough for a Davao trip. But one whole day should be spent at the Eden Nature park and another whole day at Samal Island. Our total expenses is around Php 5,000 each excluding the pasalubong shopping.
Now where should I go next?