|Fly High Davao!
by Dennis Reyes
Davao City is both new and old, with a flourishing metropolis of business districts and cosmopolitan villages on one hand, and a rural landscape of hills and valleys featuring virgin forests and exotic flora and fauna on the other. In this city, migrants from all over the country live harmoniously and work hand in hand with indigenous tribes of the Bagobo, Manobo, Mandaya, and Bilaan in making Davao the hub of commerce and industry in the Southern Mindanao region.
Primarily an agricultural area, Davao boasts of almost all kinds of tropical fruits, among them the durian, citrus, mangoosten, banana and pineapple that are among the country's leading export commodities. Also one of its growing industries is the cut-flower production. With 985,274 dozens annual volume of production, the city is able to supply 60% of the total demand in the Philippines, with exports showing considerable growth annually. The healthy business climate and the rich pool of skilled workers have also attracted a steady flow of investments through the years.
Davao offers visitors with attractions that are uniquely its own. The city is home of the majestic monkey-eating Philippine Eagle, the world's largest eagle; Mt. Apo, the country's highest peak; and the waling-waling, a rare orchid of exceptional beauty. The most popular festival in Davao City is the Kadayawan Festival celebrated in August. The celebration showcases the vibrant and colorful traditions of its indigenous tribes expressed in song, dance, and crafts. And there's definitely more. Davao is also known for its exquisite beaches and world-class resorts where one can bask in the sun and enjoy the fine sand and clear waters. Visitors can also enjoy quite a handful of activities like scuba diving, golf, trekking, cultural immersion, and even shopping.
Philippine Eagle Research and Nature Center
The Philippine Eagle, already an endangered species, is given sanctuary in the Philippine Eagle Research and Nature Center. Located in the Malagos rainforest, it is where the first ever Philippine Eagle was born in captivity. To this day, more studies are being conducted and more eaglets are bred to insure that the Philippine Eagle will once again soar freely in the skies of Davao.
The Waling-waling (Vanda Sanderiana) was discovered on the slopes of Mt. Apo and thrives only on fresh and balmy air. It is an orchid characterized by its full velvety petals tinged in royal colors of purple, red, and yellow. Nowadays the waling-waling is cultivated in Davao's various flower farms and has become one of the main products of Davao.
Malagos Garden Resort
The Malagos Garden Resort is a showcase of Davao's famed orchids, tropical plants, and fruit trees. It also features a butterfly sanctuary, fishpond, camping area, horseback riding, a swimming pool, restaurant, an adventure playground, and a bird park, among others.
Eden Mountain Resort
The Eden Mountain Resort is located 2,630 feet above sea level at the foot of Mt. Talomo and is one of the favorite nature destinations in Davao. The nature resort has a variety of accommodations, including a multi-function hall, restaurant, playground and swimming pool overlooking the city. The area is towered by pine and fruit-bearing trees that provide cool mountain breeze and a spectacular view of the city and the gulf.
Crocodile Park (Diversion Road, Ma-a) is where one can find the country's largest known crocodile – at 18 feet - aptly named Pangil (fang). This 5.4 hectare mini-zoo houses mindorensis and porosus crocodiles species as well as wild cats, python, turtles, monitor lizard, monkeys and various kinds of birds.
The numerous island resorts in the Davao Gulf are just 10-minute motorized boat rides away from the city. The waters around the gulf is clear and boasts of a rich and amazing marine life, characterized by the colorful fishes and spectacular corals that give color and life to the underwater world.
Island resorts include the Paradise Island Beach Resort, Costa Marina and Samal Beach Park in Peñaplata area, Pearl Farm Beach Resort and Tambang Beach in Kaputian area, Isla Reta and Pacific Little Secret in Talikud Island and Buenavista Island in Ligid Island. Guests are treated to sumptuous food and complete amenities that compliment the rich natural setting of the island.
The Davao mainland also features resorts such as the Seagull Beach Resort and Felis Beach Resort in Punta Dumalag, Villa Victoria in Talomo, and the Vales Beach Resort and High Ponds in Toril, as well as numerous seaside restaurants which can be found along the waterfront.
Cultural and Historical Sights
A historical marker of the longest-fought battle between the troops of the American liberation forces and Japanese imperial arm which took place in Mintal, Tugbok District.
Houses artifacts of Davao's indigenous tribes and photographs of the city's historic events and history of its pioneering families.
The museum features historical accounts of the Japanese community residing in Davao before and during the war including their tools which they used in the abaca plantations, currencies, publications, among others.
Lon Wa Buddhist Temple
The biggest Buddhist temple in Mindanao is set in an environment of candle trees and bamboo with an imposing statue of the Buddha and his life depicted in woodcarving.
Monument of Peace & Unity
Unveiled during the celebration of the Philippine Centennial in 1998, the monument depicts the peaceful relationship of the migrant and indigenous inhabitants of Davao in the last 100 years.
San Pedro Cathedral
One of the oldest churches in Mindanao, the original structure of the church was built in 1847 in honor of St. Peter, the city's patron saint. The old altar is preserved at the right wing of the cathedral.
Sunken warships during World War II can be found just 200 meters from the shore.
Cultural and Historical Sights
Kadayawan sa Davao Festival
This internationally renowned festival is a weeklong celebration as thanksgiving for nature's bountiful harvest. Held in August, the festival features fruits and flowers parade, trade fairs, traditional songs, dances, and games, and other activities. The festival coincides with the harvest time of Davao's various fruits and the blooming of the waling-waling. The festival culminates with Indak-Indak sa Dalan (street dancing) and the famous and much-awaited grand floral parade where one can see countless and breathtaking mobile floats full of real and fresh flowers.
Araw ng Dabaw
The foundation day of Davao City is a weeklong celebration that culminates every March 16b with colorful parades, sports competitions, and fireworks.
Mindanao Trade Expo
The Mindanao Trade Expo is held every 2nd week of August featuring the products and services of Mindanao. This event is used to showcase Mindanao's best to the rest of the world. The weeklong Expo also includes a 2-day SME Forum (small and medium enterprises) where current trends in technology, design, and marketing are discussed.
Trekking and Mountain Climbing
Mt. Apo, rising at 10,311 feet is the country's tallest peak. The breathtaking summit and the surrounding environment makes for an inviting climb to Mt. Apo. The trail takes you to a journey filled with a rare collection of plant and animal life, century old trees, and numerous creeks, rivers, and waterfalls. Climbing seasons are during the months of March, April and October, which are organized by various tourism, mountaineering and environmental organizations and supervised by the City Tourism Operations Office.
The Marilog District is a vast adventure-filled terrain where one can experience Davao's great outdoors. The district is known for its rugged beauty and is a popular spot for Eco-tourism. The area rests at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level where lush forests and vegetation abound. The Marilog District's collection of caves, waterfalls, rivers, and mountain trails are sure to satisfy the appetite of adventure seekers.
Davao City has the most number of malls and stores in the southern region. Buyers may spend hours of shopping at the Gaisano Mall and Victoria Plaza in J.P. Laurel Avenue, SM City Davao, Makro-Davao, and the JS Gaisano Citimall. For souvenir and native items, the Aldevinco Shopping Center in C.M. Recto Avenue offers wide choices of batik garments, brass products, ethnic accessories and souvenir shirts. Other popular pasalubong items include the various fruits and fruit products like durian candies that can be bought in the various fruit stands, supermarkets, or straight from factories within the city.
How to Get There
Davao can be reached by air, sea, and land travel from Manila. Major local air carriers service the Manila to Davao route that takes around 90 minutes. By sea, it is approximately 3 days from the Manila Harbor to the Davao Port. Land travel takes around 4 days, passing through a scenic route through the Pan-Philippine or Maharlika Highway that links the Philippines' three major islands.
Back to the Top