Day 6: Davao City Tour

“Think, stop and chase all the worries away”
– Fakir

Features: Daylight Inn, Davao City walking tour, Philippine Eagle Center, Jack’s Ridge, Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, Running tour of Chinatown, Magsaysay fruit market, Davao’s Street Food, Roxas Avenue, Kusina Dabaw

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

I woke up tired from the night road travel from Manggagoy. I want to sleep more and ditch the day’s itinerary. Waking up in the safest city in the Philippines calms my tired nerves. Its 0800 in the morning, it’s already warm. I need to get up to meet my Davao-based friend Rosa. She welcome me to couch surf in her place but I decline because I know she is busy at work. I want to walk in/out of my place without letting other people be mindful about my state. This I regret 3 days after, Daylight Inn suits cheap backpacker budget but I had tick bites before I left the hostel. Anyway, rush to the common bathroom. I prepare myself for my Davao City Tour.

I went to my friend’s house, had some breakfast, endless chats, the MAJONGERA laugh we share and the life we are heading. TRAVELING THE WORLD. We squish the little time we have and continue later after her shift finish. I continue my itinerary in search of getting to my first stop. The Philippine Eagle Center.

I walk around Davao to check routes and after an hour I finally spot on the jeepney going to the center. From Davao City, you can ride the PUJ (air-conditioned and non air conditioned) at the Bangkeruhan Terminal. Fare cost Php 40.00 – 50.00, the eagle center is in Calinan and travel time is around 1 – 1.5 hours. DISCLAIMER: Vehicles around Davao run at maximum 60kph due to the City Ordinance. Once your in Calinan town, you need to hire habal – habal (motorcycle) going to the Philippine Eagle Center, fare cost Php 70.00 – 100.00 roundtrip. You can rent the habal – habal for touring around which includes visiting to the Eagle Center, Botanical Garden and the Crocodile farm. I skip the day tour though.

I arrive in the Eagle center, paid the initial entrance fee for Php 5.00 and Php 150.00 for the zoo pass. The eagles are huge and proud. These birds look small on photos. The center caters to different species of birds like falcons, owls and eagles (of course). Birds are sponsored by successful people and companies so that they continue to breed even though they can no longer go back to their natural habitat. I don’t like zoos but seeing the big birds alive and safe in this center make the world much better.

I truly love this place, visiting the eagles is Davao’s pride in terms of tourism. I still have plenty of time that afternoon to roam around the city so I decide to go to Jack’s ridge and Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague in Matina. From Calinan to Matina, fare cost Php 35.00. Then you need to ride a tricycle to go way up to the spots. I went first to the church, stick my praying candle and took some photos. The view is spectacular showcasing entire Mt Apo and Samal Group of Islands. Catalina view deck fee is Php 12.00. Across the street is Jack Ridge, famous for its city landscape. Viewing the entire Davao. Fancy restaurants and bars are also located here. No entrance fee.

The sun is about to fall, wind is still warm and I feel sticky. I decide to go back to the city. Davao’s humidity is stronger than Metro Manila, I can feel my sweat all over my body. I think I lost a few pounds by walking around. I ride tricycle back to the highway and catch a jeepney back to my inn. What I really like when walking around this city is the street food which offers fruits like guava, papaya, mango, pineapple, pomelo, etc in cheap prices. I also love Kusina Dabaw’s siopao which one of the best buns I have tasted.

I went back to my inn, took a bath and prepare for my night out. I meet up with my Davao-based friends, went to Roxas to search for the most affordable Tuna Panga and street food in which easy to find. Tuna panga with unlimited rice for Php 80.00 is way cheap here. Taste the Durian Ice Cream and another set street food to find my dinner in peace. My friends describe Davao to be a good place to live in apart from Metro Manila. I am fascinated by their brevity to jet set from Luzon to Mindanao. But Davao’s climate is really not a good place for a person like me who has a never-ending headache when the temperature goes out of the scale.

I would visiting Davao again for the food it offer and the breath of fresh air within the city.

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

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