Saturday June 15, 2024 EDT 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here


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.

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

UPDATE: Since the brutal killing of a 17-year old student (Kian delos Santos) who pleaded for his life so he could catch his exam, together with the senseless genocide of 20,000 Filipinos in Duterte's misguided crusade against drugs, I have since renounced and withdrew my support from him.

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 the mayor. Mayor Duterte, if you're reading this, I hope I get an invite for coffee.

--- TheLoneRider

P6170270 P6180274 P6180276 P6200369
P6210374 P6210375 P6210376 P6210379
P6210381 P6210382 P6210384 P6210401
P6210405 P6210408 P6210418 P6210422
P6210438 P6210439 P6210442 P6210446
P6210452 P6210456 P6210457 P6210459
P6210462 P6210463 P6220478 P6220483
P6220484 P6220486 P6220492 P6220493
P6220502 P6220504 P6220507 P6220514
P6220517 P6220524 P6220527 P6230528

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
    0925.500.3211 |
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
Currency Converter

Reader Comments:

(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.

Facebook Users


»» next story: X-Lite Graphite inflatable mat by Insul Mat
»» next traveling story: Sagada Deja Vu

»» back to Traveling
»» back to Homepage


1970 | 1973 | 1975 | 1976 | 1979 | 1981 | 1996 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 | 2024 | ALL BLOGS

Davao Hotels


Davao hotel
One Oasis Davao

Davao hotel
Alu Hotel Davao
Davao hotel
Urban Living Zen Hotel

Davao hotel
The Apo View Hotel
Davao hotel
The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites

Davao hotel
The Royal Mandaya Hotel
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


Van Rental

Davao Autism
Shine Life Skills Center
Davao hotel
Cinematheque Davao
Davao hotel
Apollo Van Rental