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Davao Tourist Information

One of the most "Alluring Gateways" to the Philippines and the window to the island of Mindanao, Davao is a province bursting with life and color.  A predominantly mountainous region marked with rolling hills and fertile valleys, Davao is home to a fantastic array of flora and fauna from the famous and rare waling-waling to the endangered Philippine Eagle.  The prince being virtually typhoon-free contributes to this marvelous blossoming of nature.

Davao is also blessed in he diversity of the people which have embraced the province as their home.  In the early times, th ethnc tribs of the Manobos, Bagabos, Mandayas, and Mansakas lived together side by side.  Indeed, these are the people who gave the province its name from the word daba-daba, which means fire.  Because of its promising abundance of natural resources and good weather, Davao also attracted people from the nearby provinces of Zamboanga, Jolo, and Cotabato. When the Spaniards came, Christian settlers from Cebu and Ilocos also migrated to this province.  And despite their seeming differences in culture and religion, these people have managed to live together in peace and harmony.

It is this rich texture of history, culture and tradition which makes Davao a most enchanting destination.  It is here where one can spot Bagobos and Mandayas in full regalia or beautiful Moslem ladies in their colorful malongs (fabric) amidst the backdrop of the Christian's San Pedro Cathedral.

Make no mistake however, Davao is also a city of growth.  With a population of about 1.2 million people, the 244,000-hectacre Davao City (probably the world's biggest city in terms of land area), is bustling with financial activity.  The vast resources of Mindanao couple with advance in technology can easily propel the province to hyper-growth.

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Tourist Attractions / Things to Do

Climb Up the Apo
At 10,311 feet, Mt. Apo is the tallest in the Philippines.  Virtually unexplored, Mt. Apo provides a variety of nature's spectacular landscape, from forest greens and sulfur pillars to majestic waterfalls and untamed rivers.  Mt. Apo lies on the boundaries of Davao, North Cotabato and Bukidnon.  For amateurs, it's best to join organized climbs for the safest trail up the mountain.

Dabaw Museum
Located inside the Davao Insular Village, the museum is a showcase of the province's colorful heritage.  On display are tribal arts, crafts, costumes, weapons, musical instruments and other paraphernalia from the highland tribes.  Contemporary artists have a place on the second floor's modern gallery.

Hit the Greens
Play golf amidst the scenic backdrop of the formidable Mr. Apo.  Spread along a vast coconut plantation the 18-hole Apo Golf and Country Club is a challenge to local and international golfers.  One can also play in the 18-hole Lanang Golf and Country Club, ten minutes from downtown Davao, and the 9-hole New Davao City Golf Club in Matina.

Into the Deep
Explore the marvelous underwater horizons of Davao Gulf's numerous dive sites.  Dive deep at Mushroom Rock, Ligid Island, Talicud Island, Pearl Farm of Isla Malipano all in Samal Island.  These dive sites are only 45 to 120 minutes away from the city proper.  Other dive spots are located in Sarangani and Balut Islands in Davao de Sur and San Isidro (Davao Oriental).

Orchard Farms and Fruit Plantations
Of course, who can ever forget the mystical beauty of Davao's famed waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana).  Davao's great weather is conducive to the cultivation of orchids as well as a number of fruit varieties like pomelos, mangosteens, bananas, durian andcitrus fruits.  Visitany of Davao's fruit or flower plantations such as the Yuico Orchid Gardens in Greehills, Derling Worldwide Orchid Corporation in Dumoy, Malagos Garden Resort in Calinan, the Puentespina Orchid Gardens along Cabaguio Avenue and Eden Nature Park.

Philippine Eagle National Center
Visit Pag-asa (hope), the first Philippine Eagle to be born and bred in captivity at his home in the foothills of Mr. Apo in Calinan.  The Center provides shelter to some 19 Philippines eagles in captivity as well as other birds, animals, and tropical plants.  The Center is open daily.  Take a jeep from the city to Bankerohan Public Market.  Another jeepney ride takes you to Calinan.  Better yet, you can take the air-conditioned buses parked at San Pedro Extension.

Samal Island
For some fun in the sun, visit Samal Island in Davao del Norte.  A pristine island with coves of white sand beaches, Samal Island also offers diving and snorkeling opportunities with its lively underwater menagerie.

Wining and Dining
The diversity of people living in Davao translates into an exciting culinary adventure.  Finding a new or exotic type of cuisine is no problem here.  For starters, hop on to the Luz Kinilaw Place at the Sta. Ana Wharf.  Sample the bariles (tuna) or panga (head of tuna) skewered over hot coals then dipped in a mixture of soy sauce and lemon.  There are also grilled prawns, squid and other seafood. Or drop by F. Torres Street, Davao's proverbial restaurant row.  One can also visit the Madrazo Fruit Center for some durian or rambutan.



Getting There
From Manila, you can take direct flights of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines.  Flying time is approximately one hour and 35 minutes.  From Cebu, Davao is 55 minutes away.  One can also fly to Davao from Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga City.  One can also take the longer but infinitely more exciting island route via the Pan Philippine Highway from Manial to Davao.  Likewise, numerous passenger ships dock at Davao from other ports around the country.  International airlines connect Davao to key cities in Asia.

Getting Around
It's advisable to travel light.  Apaprt from the fabled jeepney, taxicabs are plentiful as well.  One can also avail of the numerous rent-a-cars.  Inquire from the hotel concierge.

Staying In
It's not hard to find comfortable lodgings in the country's biggest city.  There's the 245-room Maco Polo Davao, the only 5-starhotel in Mindanao.  The Mercure Grand Hotel, Royal Mandaya Hotel, Apo View Hotel and the Grand Meng Seng Hotel are located in the heart ofthecity.  The Insular Century Hotel Davao has a marvelous view of Samal Island and Davao Gulf.  The multi-terraced Durian Hotel and the Hotel Maguindanao are strategically located as well within the city's business district.  Smaller, more homely accommodations are also available.

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