Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Davao in Three or Five Days

Here is the itinerary I made and followed on my visit to Davao.

Day 1
Thai Me Up
Missy BonBon

Day 2
Samal Island (Maxima and Canibad)

Day 3
People's Park
Matina Town Square

Day 4
Jack's Ridge

Day 5

I stayed at a boarding house in Mintal so I only paid 100 or less per night. :)
I will visit the Crocodile Park and their group of companies next time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eden Nature Park

Eden Nature Park
May 23, 2010

From where we stayed in Buhangin-Cabantian, we rode a jeepney to University of Mindanao then another jeepney to Toril (just ask around).

You know when and where to stop when 1) you pass by a Mercury Drug  store located on the corner on the right side of the road and 2) the jeepney turns to the left right after passing this. We went inside a sari-sari store and bought some stuffs. Immediately, habal-habal drivers approached us and asked us where we were headed. We transacted with them and got a ride to Eden for PhP100 for each motorcycle. Since there were three of us, we got 2 motorcycles. Never ever agree to riding with 2 other passengers. This is very risky.

Eden is 13 kilometers away so it took about 30 minutes. At Eden, we took the Fun at the Park package which includes entrance, a plated snack and entrance to one of the following: Fishing Village, Horseback Riding and Swimming Pool. We chose the horseback riding activity because it is the most expensive individually. Therefore, it is most economical than choosing the 2 other options.

We added the guided shuttle tour and entrance to the fishing village. It costs us PhP360 each with free 500ml water.

We were still full from breakfast but my friend was hungry already so we decided to fish for our food at the Fishing Village.
The peacock which appeared when we were fishing

At the fishing village, I got the first catch while one of my friends got the largest. My other friend did not catch anything at all. Haha! I got a 400gm tilapia while my friend caught a 1kg dory. Once you caught something, it is good as sold.

We had our day's catch cooked at PhP60 per kilo. We had the tilapia grilled and the dory's meat pinaputuk and its bones deep fried.

After the very filling meal, we rode on the shuttle which would tour us around Eden's 80 hectares. We thought they would leave us behind since we were scheduled for 1PM and it was a little after 1PM when we settled our bill at the Fishing Village but they called the staff at the Fishing Village and asked if we were there. It turned out we were so they picked us instead. Talk about good customer service. :)

The tour's first stop was at the Flower Garden where we took some pictures.

Our next stop was Tinubdan, which showcases the very many ethnic tribes of Mindanao.

The next stop, Lola's Garden, is a vast expanse of land overlooking the sea.

After the tour, we went horseback riding. I really like horses so I really love this activity. It was really worth it.

We had our snacks after. We all had spaghetti but it was disappointing because it was cold and tough, like some old stock. That capped our trip to Eden though so we went back to civilization and had pizza at Picobello.
The fog that encroached when we left

Eden Nature Park
Toril, Davao
(82) 299-1020; (82) 296-0791; (82) 301-0301; (82) 301-0501
Eden Nature Park Website
Eden Nature Park on Facebook

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Deca Wake

We never heard of a wakeboard park in Davao had it not for a classmate who told us about it. He didn't join us in our Davao trip so we were pretty apprehensive on wakeboarding. Good thing, another friend wanted to try it so we ended up inserting it in our itinerary.

Since we aren't Davao residents, we paid PhP700 (as of 2010) for a half day of wakeboarding. This includes snacks, lunch or dinner.

After we paid, we were provided with helmets and vests, and were told to head over to the garden tent to be instructed. It was pretty much safety instructions. Since we were all beginners, we had to start with kneeboarding. We were told to stay low and try to steer ourselves in between the two orange buoys in each of the 5 corners. If we fall, we have to swim to the nearest shore and avoid going to the islet in between the park. If someone is in our way and a collision is inevitable, we have to let go of the handle. If someone is directly behind us, we have to avoid collision and stay low in the water. 2-3 rounds of this and we were all set to wakeboard. I did a round and then 2 and then took a rest and then tried my hand in wakeboarding.

We again headed to the tent for tips and instructions. We were taught what the correct stance is and this and that. After this, we excitedly headed to the start area.

We kept falling and falling and tried this and that and observed successful people. It can get very addicting.

It would be nice to have your own board because you can start on the flat surface where the kneeboarders start unlike in the Sit Start where your board is on water already. Only a few (and I mean few) beginners who started on the sit start are successful. Most beginners who started on the kneeboarding area are successful. The management do not allow those with public boards to start in the kneeboarding area because the board would get scratches.

There were about 10 other people in the park so we really got to enjoy wakeboarding unlike in CamSur where 80 people are in queue before you!

Deca Wakeboarding Park
Tacunan, Mintal, Davao City
8:30AM - 12:30PM and 1:30PM - 5:30PM
(082)2864078; 09228708103
Deca Wake on Facebook


The habal-habal drive to Canibad took about 30 minutes to 1 hour. We drove through elevations and depressions and very rocky roads. The drive was cool so we must have been high up.

Never ever agree to riding in three's because my 3 friends ended up being stranded in a place with no cellular phone network signal since the shock (whatever it is) of the motorcycle got broken. Good thing, the driver borrowed another motorcycle to take them to Canibad.

The drivers claim that Canibad is Samal's secret. My friends commented that it should have stayed a secret because they were traumatized by the motorcycle drive. Haha.

The sand is not as fine but the waters are cool albeit rocky. :-|

We swam anyway, showered when we were done, paid PhP20 to the owner of the lot we trespassed to reach the beach, then endured another brain-shaking ride to the warehouse where we boarded a bus to Davao.

They say Isla Reta in Talicud Island is better. I must include that in my itinerary on my next visit to Davao. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maxima Aquafun

We boarded a habal-habal to Maxima Aquafun. The trip costs PhP25 excluding a PhP10 fee for marine rehabilitation.

In Maxima, there are 2 packages. The difference is the sole addition of a Canopy Walk activity. This, however, was not available on weekdays so we ended up taking the other package which costs PhP200 and includes use of life vest, tables, chairs, diving board, trampoline and giant slide, and 15min snorkeling.

They claim to have the longest slide. We tried it shortly after lunch. We were first skeptical about wearing lifevests but when we tried the slide, we really deemed it fit to wear one. The point below the slide is claimed to be 120ft. I asked if it was natural and the staff answered it was. They offer taking your pictures while sliding (pretty much like Jungle Log Jam in Enchanted Kingdom or Space Mountain in Disneyland or any other roller coaster) and charges PhP60 for it.

After sliding, we swam to the diving board. It was scary because there appeared to be a rock right below you. Of course it was very far down but it was real scary just seeing it. I may have taken 15 minutes before I dived. :D

It was my first time to wear a lifevest while swimming and it was pretty difficult. I feel like I have no freedom since I am used to just swimming. My friend felt the same way as I and took off her lifevest. She ended up wearing it again because she got scolded. Haha!

There were about 50 other people but it didn't feel cramped at all. We transfered to another beach, however, because we wanted something with sand not cliffs. :)

Maxima Aquafun
Island Garden City of Samal
Maxima Website
Maxima on Facebook


Destination: Samal
Date: May 21, 2010

We boarded a taxi for Sta Ana Wharf beside Magsaysay Park. This is where one can ride a bus to Samal.

I think there is only one bus, the Island City Express. It costs PhP32 for regular passengers and PhP28 for students like me from the Wharf to the Warehouse (Samal Central Warehouse Club). The trip takes about an hour including the very slow barge ride across the narrow body of water that separates Davao and Samal.

Upon arrival, habal-habal drivers flock around us to offer their services. This can get very irritating but it is wise to bring patience with you and just ignore their bickering when you are waiting for someone or heed to one and leave right away.

We bought supplies in the warehouse which has pretty much everything except sunblock. :D They have clothes, grocery, appliances, motorcycles and a Mang Inasal outlet.

Cagayan de Oro-Davao

Destination: Davao
Date: May 20, 2010

From LimKetKai, we boarded a taxi to the bus terminal. Unfortunately, the 9PM airconditioned bus left already because it was already full. So we waited a couple of hours more for the 11PM bus.

We fell in line but when the bus arrived, the line was no longer followed and many people who came later than us were able to board the bus. We were the last ones who boarded the bus who were still able to grab some seats. :-| It was really unorderly. Good thing good samaritans exist like this lady who placed a bag on the seat beside her to let the others assume that there was someone sitting on it. When I passed by her, she offered it to me. :D There was also a nun who offered the seat beside her to my friend.

I told the driver and bus conductor n times that our stop is the market in Mintal. They mistook it for Matina so we ended up stopping in the bus terminal instead. We arrived a little before 6AM. The trip costs PhP550 for regular passengers and PhP440 for students like me. :D

Our phones were all battery empty so we crossed the street and asked if we could recharge. The boy charged PhP10 but since we stayed for only 15-30 minutes, he charged us PhP5 for the camera charger and cellphone charger. Good boy. :)

We boarded a taxi to Matina Town Square and should have eaten at TAPS but it was close before 7AM so we ate at nearby McDonald's, which is open around the clock. We went back to Matina Town Square and withdrew some cash from the BPI ATMachine.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Plaridel-Cagayan de Oro

Destination: Cagayan de Oro
Date: May 20, 2010

In Plaridel, I boarded a tricycle to the bus terminal. The fare is Php20 and the trip takes about 5-10 minutes.

In the bus terminal, there were two buses, Super Five and Rural Transit. Super Five was almost full while Rural, the bigger bus, had no one in it. Naturally, I boarded the Super Five bus, which costs PhP200 to CDO.

From Plaridel to Ozamis, which takes about 2-3 hours, one has to get off the bus temporarily and purchase a PhP20 ticket and PhP3 terminal fee for the barge which takes you to the other side of the bay. The trip is about 15 minutes.

As the barge is approaching land, you have to go down to where the buses are and board your bus since all vehicles roll off as soon as possible. You might be left. Haha!

So from the other side of the bay, which is called Mukas, the journey to CDO resumes. On the way to CDO, the bus passes by Iligan where the bus driver stops for lunch. Vendors display their products by your window.

I caught sight of a thick rounded bread, which might be what it was centuries ago and which I later found to be called "Apang". I thought it was Muslim food, which might be what it really is. I tried it anyway because it was the first time I saw it. At P10, it was very filling and good too. It was like two pieces of pancake stuck together.

After the bus driver had his fill of lunch, the journey started once more. We arrived in CDO at about 3:30PM.

From the bus terminal, I asked my way to LimKetKai. The people told me to board a jeepney by the exit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Destination: Cagayan de Oro turned Plaridel
Date: May 19, 2010

From Tagbilaran, I had to go to Davao. One easy option is to board a ferry to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and from there, ride a bus to Davao.

Trans-Asia caters to the Tagbilaran-CDO route every Monday, Wednesday and Friday but it is always fully booked at around PhP600 for regular economy tickets and PhP750 for regular tourist tickets (Presidential suites are priced at around PhP1200). The boat departs at 7PM and arrives  at 7AM the next day.

Super Shuttle Ferry offers Jagna-CDO daily at about PhP600 but at that time, their vessel was undergoing repairs and that meant no trips. Talk about luck. By the way, Jagna is a municipality in Bohol which is 60 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. And Super Shuttle Ferry leaves Jagna at 8AM and reaches CDO in the afternoon.

Paras Sea Cat also offers Jagna-CDO via Camiguin daily except Thursdays at PhP800. The vessel leaves at 1PM and reaches CDO before 6PM. Since it was 1PM by the time I knew about this, this option was crossed out as well. Talk about luck again.

I had two last options: Gothong and FJP Lines.

Gothong offers Jagna-CDO at Php750. The vessel departs at 2PM and arrives at 7PM.

Since I was in Tagbilaran, it was wise to cross out all my options here than leave for Jagna and eye Gothong, which may have canceled its trip for repairs or what.

Different ships link Tagbilaran to Dapitan, Plaridel, Ozamis, Iligan, Nasipit and etc. But, on a Wednesday, only the Tagbilaran-Plaridel route is available.

So I took it because I really had to be in CDO by Thursday afternoon.

FJP lines offers Tagbilaran-Plaridel, Misamis Occidental via Larena in Siquijor every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Another shipping line, Lite Shipping, offers the same route every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). I got a tourist ticket for PhP400 at Student's Privilege. The vessel is notorious for not following its own schedules. It may depart Tagbilaran as early as 7PM or as late as 2AM. Luckily for me, it departed at about 8PM. I arrived in Plaridel at 8AM the next day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dauis Church

Dauis Church is located in the town proper. This church and its adjacent convent have been rehabilitated by the Ayala's for years now. There is a cafe located on the ground floor of the convent and extends under the old acacia tree. It serves good and cheap food. :)

To go there, hail a tricycle from anywhere and agree upon the fare. PhP50 is fair enough. Or you may also tell your hired car or van that you want to go there. :)