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My mother-in-law is from Davao (although she has lived most of her adult life here in Luzon) and that is just one of the many reasons why I love Davao so much that I wish I could book our flight tickets to Davao on a budget. Now na!
I love Davao because of its consistency. I have spent my entire lifetime in Baguio City where the only weather I know is wet (I am so not kidding. It can be sunny then it would be raining – all in a span of five minutes). In Davao, I have learned that typhoons are rare, and days are full of sunshine (believe me, I would love to send my laundry and dry it there ).
I love Davao because its people, like its land area of more or less 244,000 hectares making it the Philippines’ largest city, have the biggest hearts. The people of Davao, like its wonderful weather, is one of the most welcoming and friendly people in the world.
I love Davao and its freshest fruits and beautiful orchids.
I love Davao because like Baguio City, its taxi drivers are honest and friendly. No driver will refuse to bring you your destination, even during rush hour, and you can expect them to give you back your exact change.
I love Davao and would love to go visit again…
(If you are wondering where to stay in Davao, here is a list of places to stay, from budget to high-end.)
It takes less than two hours to fly to Davao City from Manila. Book your flight and take any of the major airlines from NAIA 3. You can also catch flights from other major destinations such as Butuan, Iloilo, Cebu and Kalibo, making Davao a perfect stop or even a jump-off point to a multi-city visit.
Now comes the best part: Here are…
If you happen to be in Davao in August, do your best to catch the annual Kadayawan Festival.
The Kadayawan Festival transforms the City of Davao into a colorful place of fruits, flowers and partying! This festival which reminds me of my hometown city’s Panagbenga Festival is a thanksgiving festival for a bountiful harvest. Kids and tourists will love the parade of floats which they call Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan (Dancing in the Streets) where dancers in colorful costumes dance around the city. Expect to see right in the streets a profusion of Davao’s famous fruits and other produce being sold, as well as many bazaars, where the flower harvest’s very best, including orchids and indigenous plants, are sold.
CONQUER THE PHILIPPINES’ HIGHEST PEAK : Mt. Apo
Davao is home to the highest peak in the Philippines, Mt. Apo. With a height of 9,692 feet, you have to be prepared before you go climbing. It takes days to trek up the mountain, so check out special packages from tour outfits that make sure you climb under safe conditions with a knowledgeable guide.
SAY HI TO THE ANIMALS: Crocodile Park and the Philippine Eagle Center
You and your kids will enjoy a practical lesson in Biology and Ecology as you check out crocodiles and other animals at the Crocodile Park. You will learn to love and respect the majestic Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center. Crocodile Park is home, not just to massive crocodiles, but also to butterflies, tigers, the Philippine deer, parrots and birds. The Philippine Eagle Center, meanwhile, is home to 36 Philippine eagles, 18 of which were raised in captivity as well as other bird species, mammals, and reptiles.
UNLEASH YOUR ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT: Eden Nature Park and Resort
Eden Nature Park and Resort is for the adventurous spirit (which is somewhere hidden in me hehe). It has outdoor activities you can try with the kids – swing on a rope like Tarzan, fly like Superman on the Zipline, ride a bike on a tightrope called Skycycle, go swimming, fishing, or horseback riding. Rooms are also available for rent, just in case you are taking your sweet time to leash out your inner adventurer (like me!).
GO WHITE-SAND-BEACH HOPPING: Samal Island and its surrounding white beaches
Samal Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Davao. It offers a range of differently priced resorts for the rest of your stay or just for a day of snorkeling or diving. This island is where Pearl Farm, now an exclusive beach getaway, is located. Other islands and beaches in Davao worth a look-see are Isla Reta on Talikud Island and the beaches of Mati in Davao Oriental, where surfing aficionados can enjoy strong surf breaks and beach bums can just laze on the white sand over an extensive shoreline.