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.
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.
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.
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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National Park Guide
Attractions / Things to Do
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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