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.

Patar Beach and Bolinao Falls: Friendship Goals

 

“Treasure the friends you have since you were young. As they are the most precious people that can insult and love you at the same time”

  • Fakir

Features: Patar Beach, Bolinao Falls, Bolinao Market, Adora’s and Bolinao Town

 

The cold December breeze put me to sleep inside my sleeping bag and the tent I borrowed. I can hear the waves of the sea that seems to sing lullaby. I woke up early in the morning, early riser as ever. I sleep well and the cold air welcomes my morning. I start to deal with our breakfast meal, cooking rice, preparing the left overs from last night dinner and staring to the vast shoreline across our cottage. My friend Nilo joined me afterwards and we start to cook our food. We decide to put up a boodle fight breakfast for our OFW friend Pher and his girlfriend Lee.

 

 We cooked scrambled eggs, tuyo (dried fish), corned beef and pre-heat our left over sinigang. Served with hot chocolate and coffee. We are in happy land us we are all woke up and dig in our morning. The sun rise after the cloudy yesterday to our satisfaction. After we ate, we decide to explore the white pebbled sand of Patar Beach. The shoreline stretch in the Northern part of the Philippines. The water is crystal clear and waves are bit rush since there still storm rummaging the South. The sand of Patar is very pretty, its not as fine as Panglao nor Boracay but it does have its own glory.

 

We goofed around the beach, swim and take endless pictures until battery life had gone. Our service tricycle is already waiting for our next stop. BOLINAO FALLS. After dipping to the cold blue water and experience the sun. We decide to wash up to go to our next adventure. Showering in Patar public bath house cost Php 15 – 20.00 with unlimited water source. HEHE. As we dress up for our next adventure, we settle our bill and purchase our souvenirs at the entrance. Shirts cost from Php 120.00 – 350.00 in which you can haggle, I purchase my batik (dyed) shirt and refrigerator magnets.

 

We rented our tricycle service for Bolinao Falls for Php 800.00. We started to hit the road around 0930, the sun beaming happily and the journey just started. From Patar Beach going to Bolinao Falls road experience is bumpy and long. It will take at least 1 hour ride. Since it rained yesterday, the road to the falls is mud dirt. Concrete roads are not yet fixed and we need to take off the tricycle several times and push the tricycle out of the mud. We missed the Bolinao sign-age so we got lost that actually prolong the ride. We back track the mud-fill road. Until we finally we can go down and stretched our legs and backs.

 

We trail down for 1-2 minutes, paid for entrance fee which is Php 50.00. Cottages are for free, I failed to asked if they are free if its peak season. Most of the fee we had are deducted because its off peak. Few tourist are roaming around. According to the locals during the summer which is from April to June. The entire place is jammed with tourists like a market sale. I appreciate less people, quiet places and abundant with good food.

 

Upon reaching the falls, I am in 100% awe but it was a stunning place to view. The water is cold and refreshing while the endless 4 – 5 layer falls is heavily pouring down on its creek. You can jump the cliff off if your daredevil enough but I learn my lesson. I attempted a cliff jump before and I was pulled down by water which leave a traumatic experience. I can do it again for as long guide will be there to pull me out of the water or if it just a simple cliff diving.

 

We take pictures and videos all over the falls. I tried to jump off from a tree going to the deep creek part which is exhilarating. The adventures seems to be endless. If your going here its best to bring PICNIC LUNCH or SNACKS that can be enjoyed with your family, love ones and friends. After getting all the pictures we needed. We head back to Bolinao Town that took us at least 30 minutes to reach. We purchased our dried fish and fish sauces.

 

We supposed to go back to Alaminos to have the HUNDRED ISLAND tour because gale warning is already lifted. But due to emergency back home, we need to go back early. So we scratch the deal and just take our lunch at ADORA’S. Famous restaurant in Bolinao which serves cooked local cuisine, snacks, halo-halo and all types of pancit (noodles). After our heavy lunch, we head out to the bus station and we missed the afternoon Bolinao – Cubao bus. HEHE. There is only one available ATM in Bolinao which will cut your money from Php 30-50.00. Better be prepared and ready your cash before going to Bolinao depending on your budget and number.

 

We hopped in to a van going to Alaminos to catch another bus bound to Manila that took us another 1 hour of travel time. Reaching Alaminos we catched the bus bound to Cubao, settle for another 3-4 hours bus ride to home. We paid Php for the fare to Marquee Mall in Dau Pampanga to head back home I am still on leave at work and will take weekend with my family so I decide to join them back home. Traffic is heavy in Tarlac because of ongoing road repairs. We reached Pampanga around 2100, left Alaminos at 1700.

 

We took another jeep to SM Pampanga via NLEX then take another jeep to Sta Ana Pampanga to head back home. Due to the recent rain, our area is severely flooded, my friend and his girlfriend cannot make it home. So its another pajama night for the 3 of us. We end up our Stormy Trip to North happily regardless if we when home wet. We still think we are wild and over the decade of friendship, this is how we celebrate! Travel with friends if you have time and thank them for staying beside you even if you are crazy and doom.

 

LET FRIENDSHIP LAST PIRATES! SEE YOU AGAIN!

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.