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traveling

davaoJune 20-23, 2009

Davao City

2nd Time Around
Davao City left a smile on my face when I last visited in March 2008 when I climbed Mt. Apo. I had a feeling of 'unfinsihed business' since I had to leave too early. From Lake Sebu, I headed straight to Davao City to pick up where I left off. To make things a little different, I stayed with my relatives. I have cousins I hardly know, and aunts/uncles I haven't seen in years. It was an opportune time catch up. They even spent time taking me around the city.

A Safe Place
I find it interesting that the word "safe" is relative in this country. When I was in Camiguin, the locals told me it's safe there. What they meant was that the place is zero crime rate. People in Davao say it's a safe city too. But in March 2003, a homemade bomb exploded at the waiting shed fronting the Davao International Airport killing 20 and wounding at least 146. I guess, in war-torn Mindanao, a safe place is one that hasn't been bombed in the last 365 days.

Philippine Eagle
Davao is home to the 2nd largest eagle in the world - the Philippine Eagle (2nd to the Steller Sea Eagle). This majestic bird (formerly known as the monkey-eating eagle) is critically endangered due to poaching and loss of natural habitat (deforestation brought about by illegal logging). The eagles find a caged sanctuary at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, about an hour by jeep from Davao Proper. The center has been successful in breeding the eagles in captivity.

Durian
For me, Davao's alure is it's ability to satisfy the palate. I just love the Durian. With it's pungent smell, this iconic food is either love it or hate it. If this were a car, it would be a Lamborghini. I can devour 2 1/4 kilos of this fruit in one sitting. Non-descript street corners with a lone vendor may sell his dozen or so durians for P50/K. Go to Magsaysay Park, the tourist destination for durians, and you can have it for P70/K, but you have more varieties to choose from - native, Chanee, Puyat, Arancillo, etc.

Grilled Tuna Collar
Tuna comes from Gen San but the people of Davao have honed their tuna collar grilling skills to perfection (inihaw na panga). At P450/collar at Luz Kinilaw, it's not cheap, but it's big enough for 4. Add beer to that and you can bet the ensuing conversation is more animated and colorful. Grilled tuna belly and tuna tail are also delicacies.

Grilled Catfish
Am I still on food? You bet! Davao isn't known for catfish, but if you're heading to the Philippine Eagle Center, you'll be passing by a district called Los Amigos. Along the way you'll see an array of catfish eateries - live catfish on the aquarium and a BBQ grill beside it. You can't get it any fresher than that. At P150/K, which is about 3 big catfish, it's a treat!

Pineapple Samurai
Well, he's actually a pineapple vendor. What's amazing is, from a whole fruit, he'll do a few cuts, insertions, snips, chops and voila, the pineapple comes out of its skin in chunks, ready to eat! All pineapple vendors in Davao can do this. I've asked every pineapple vendor in the country if they can do this....none can...only in Davao! At P10/pineapple, why not indulge?

People's Park
Serving as social hub to the people of Davao is their version of Rizal Park, called People's Park. In the morning, you'd see people jogging, doing martial arts, brisk walking, or simply wanting to start the day right by being in a safe and well manicured park. Kublai's bigger-than-life sculpture is manifest all over. I was told that this park was a pet project of the mayor...well done!

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
Talk about the mayor, I heard that the 2-fisted mayor is on leave pending fact finding results by human rights activists. I randomly asked the locals how they feel about the whole thing. Taxi drivers got nervous and refused to comment. Others step up the plate and gave me their 2 cents. Bottom line is, criminal elements hate him, ordinary hard working folks like to have him around. Me? Let's just say I walk the streets of Davao at night feeling confident I won't get mugged or stabbed for my phone.

Ending Thoughts
Even though it's my 2nd time around with a little time to spare, I still feel that I missed out on something...dunno what. I ate all its culinary offerings, climbed it's highest mountain, went to see the eagles, snorkeled in their dive spots, but there's something I couldn't put a finger on. Maybe I have to meet the mayor. That's probably it. The entire time I was there, I been wanting to meet him...perhaps get an interview. Some said I should have just gone to his house - everybody knows where he lives. Maybe that's what the 3rd visit is for...meet the mayor. Mayor Duterte, if you're reading this, I hope I get an invite for coffee.

--- TheLoneRider

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Rodrigo Duterte Blogs on TheLoneRider

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Davao City tourist attractions hotels in Davao City - hotel van rental in Davao City van rental
  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
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yoga in Davao City yoga | health | fitness food tour in Davao City tour food in Davao City resto | cafes in Davao City cafe autism in Davao City advocacy

Great Things Going for Davao City

  • one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  • smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  • pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  • public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  • durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information

Reader Comments:

Dennis
(Jul 4, 2009) Mayor Duterte isn't my kind of mayor - condoning vigilante justice is in itself a proclamation that his own police force can't contain crime in the city. Perhaps, you're better off ziplining next time you're there than meeting this man.


Auntie Neneng
(Jul 4, 2009) ...just minutes after you left, Uncle Boy and Auntie Inday arrived para makipag kuentuhan pa, they didnt know pala you will be leaving na kaagad. Uso kasi duon yung kuento kuento lang, pag tapos na dinner or gawa sa houses nila, lalabas ng bahay at kung merong nagkukuentuhan, ayun sali na. Wala masyadong pera dun, pero marami ang saya. Hope you can come back again and hopefully, tapos na and houses nun... remember you are part of the family, so you can come to Bolton anytime you want.



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062009

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Davao Hotels

Hotels

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One Oasis Davao



Davao hotel
Alu Hotel Davao
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Urban Living Zen Hotel



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The Apo View Hotel
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Davao hotel
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Davao City hotel
Bahay ni Tuding
Inn and Resto



Davao hotel
North Zen Basic Spaces

Health and Fitness

Davao hotel
Lounge One
Yoga Davao
Davao Yoga, gym, spa, salon
Holiday Gym & Spa
gym | spa | yoga
massage | salon
Alveo Herbal
Alveo Herbal
cleanse the body
boost immune system
Lucy Rivero
T 0917.660.9529
 

Food and Coffee

Davao Pampanga cooking
Bistro ni Tuding
Davao restaurant
Le Cafe Bar & Grill Restaurant
Mel's Davao Food Tour
Mel's Davao Food Tour
Davao hotel
FROG Kaffee
 

Advocacy

Van Rental

Davao Autism
Shine Life Skills Center
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Apollo Van Rental
 





Davao City

Hotels
hotel accommodation
hotel accommodation
in a condo unit


Davao Hotel
central downtown location
Davao Hotel


Davao Hotel
heart of downtown
Davao City Hotel


Davao Hotel
newly opened
all NEW!
Davao Hotel


Davao Hotel
great rooms at affordable prices
Davao Hotel


Davao Hotel
old world charm
Davao's iconic hotel
Davao Hotel


Davao Hotel
central location
new management
newly renovated
Davao Hotel


Davao Hotel
Family-Owned and Managed
Davao Hotel



Van Rental
Davao Van Rental
Apollo Van Rental
Davao City tour
Samal Island tour
airport transfer


Resto / Cafe
Davao Resto Cafe
Gerry's Picks
Pampanga Dishes


Davao Resto / Cafe
budget meals, payday dinner buffet
Davao Resto / Cafe


Mel's Davao Food Tour
Mel's Davao Food Tour

Davao Cafe
fresh roasted coffee in small batches
FROG Kaffee


Health & Fitness
Davao Yoga
yoga & pilates
Davao Yoga


Davao Yoga, gym, spa, salon
Holiday Gym & Spa
gym | spa | yoga
massage | salon


Davao Wellness
Alveo Herbal Drink
cleanse the body
strengthen the immune system
Lucy Rivero
T 0917.660.9529


Advocacy
Davao Autism
a home for 13+ with Autism, Down Syndrome, Mental Disorders and Disabilites

Cinema
Davao Cinema
venue for classic and contemporary Filipino films
Davao Cinema






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