A lot of people would ask what is it with Davao? Why do people keep going back there? Well… You are about to find out. Out of the numerous things you can possibly do in the conurbation it all boils down to ten.
Top on the list? Food. Everywhere you go you see restaurants, food stalls, street food… Name it, we have it. Make sure that you won’t miss out the famous Davao Punch when you arrive at the airport or you can have it on selected restaurants. If you’re updated with news and current affairs I think you’d know the story behind this drink.
Davao has a wide range of home grown restaurants that are certainly to die for. To name some, we have Harana, Dencia’s, and Bistro Rosario and a lot more. Travel tip: Create a list of the restaurants you want to try and always go for the best sellers because surely you will never go wrong. Try new things!
Durian is a must when you’re in Davao. You should never leave the city without ingesting even just a little bit of it. It’s famous for the undesirable scent but as they say… It may smell like hell but it tastes like heaven. If you can’t bear to take the fruit itself you can always try it in different forms like pastries and coffee. Blugre offers one of the best durian coffees in the metro and I speak from the different people I’ve conversed with from different parts of the country or maybe even the world.
A tourist does not go home empty handed. Shopping is a must! Recently a lot of establishments commenced and gave way for a lot of stores to open both local and international brands. There are a lot of shopping centers in the city. You can choose from different malls and specialty stores like Gaisano, SM, Chimes, Abreeza and the newly opened SM Lanang… But shopping is not only limited to these areas. If you’re looking for cheap finds you can go for China Town Uyanguren. Mind you! There are a lot of good finds for very reasonable prices. Travel tip: It’s cheaper to buy the pasalubong from where it really came from. If you’re rushing and don’t have enough time you can always grab some at the airport but it may cost you little bit more than the usual.
Take a break from the city life and enjoy the white sand beaches of Samal island just minutes away from the city. Nothing can beat the relaxing sound of the waves and watching the perfect sunset. If you’re looking for a little adventure you can always go for water sports or go snorkelling and discover the beauty underneath the crystal clear waters of the beach. Clarity, peace, serenity? Yep! It’s all here in this island.
5WILD WATER RAFTING
If you’re really in for an adventure of a lifetime go for wild water rafting. This activity may seem a little bit risky but it really is a must try. Don’t worry because you’ll get trained and oriented before proceeding to the actual activity and you won’t be allowed to get in the boat if you’re not capable of finishing it anyway. Once you’re ready, you’re in for a ride of a lifetime! Before heading out to the wild waters make sure to drop by Crocodile Park and enjoy the companion of the animals and allow yourself to experience the awe of it.
If you’re not fond of water related activities then you can always go for hiking at Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country, and feel the sense of fulfilment when you reach the top. It may be tiring but it’s very rewarding.
After all the adventure why don’t you try to reconnect with nature and visit Eden or Malagos. Experience the fresh air of Davao and satisfy your tummies with fresh food. It’s really a different vibe when you are in this kind of environment. It’s like the other side of Davao very relaxing and just pure love of nature.
Festivity? There are two major events that the city conducts annually – Kadayawan and Araw ng Davao which is on March 16. I think these are the liveliest centenaries of the city. There are a lot of fun filled activities during these times like street dancing, to caravans, variety shows, contest, and many more! Just take your pick! Travel tip: To enjoy… don’t just go lurking. Participate! Dance or sing if you must!
Besides the massive flock of celebrities coming for a visit there’s also immense drop of prices! Grab the opportunity when items are almost all in sale.
The Davao Night Life. Davao is somewhat nocturnal. People are still alive and kicking at night time. To appreciate the beauty of the city at night you can always go to Jack’s Ridge/Hill top and grab dinner there while enjoying the view of the city lights. The scenery is just breath taking. Cameras should be on your “To Bring” lists.
Are you a party person or a music junkie? Whatever your interests are you indubitably have your place here. For party or clubbing there’s a wide range of choices – Starr, Hybrid, and a lot more lined up at Torres Street. For music junkies MTS is the place to be! With live bands and acoustic jams almost found in every corner of the place your ears won’t have the time to rest. If you’re the chill type, what better way to chill than getting a cup of coffee in a coffee shop? I will not mention the expansive range of preferences anymore but surely you can easily spot them while driving around the city.
After your sinful delights you can always go visit the different churches. After all, you should always start and end the day with a prayer. Visita Iglesia is very common for tourists. There are a lot of churches to choose from. Just a fun fact… Don’t you know that you’re entitled to one wish when you visit a church for the very first time?
Last but irrefutably not the least… The people. Filipinos are known for being hospitable. The people in Davao, may I say, is something a little bit more special. There’s a distinct character of a Davaoeño. I cannot pinpoint but it’s there. The honesty, discipline, kindness, hospitability… It’s a package deal!
And speaking of people… People’s Park is the place to be!
It can be a venue to meet new people. Enjoy the wonderful creations of Kublai Millan while you do this. It’s already recognized by some tv shows as one of the must-sees in Davao. A lot of activities are also held here. The people just come and go to this place, so feel free to drop by! It will only take few minutes of your time.
There’s really a lot more in Davao. These are just some of them but if you get to experience everything on this list then rest assured that you made the most out of your visit! But all of these would never be fun if you’re not in good company. Make sure to bring your family or your good friends with you and experience Davao together!
Up to this day and in the years to come Davao will live up to this… Life is indeed here.
By Anne Marielle Gantuangco