Davao Junket 2014

By Mommy Donna and Kib - October 15, 2014

Last March, we went to Davao City together with our relatives from United States.  My American uncle wants to see a durian tree so he asked my tito (my mom’s brother) to tour them in Davao.  Luckily, my tito has a friend based there so accommodation is no longer a problem.  One-way airfare was shouldered by my American uncle so I only have to pay for the other half. 

During the online booking process, I made a mistake of booking our tickets from Tuesday to Friday.  Our return date should be a Thursday.  Minutes after I realized my mistake I immediately called Cebu Pacific but Cebu Pacific is not flexible enough to give in to my request.  They asked me to fill out the online form for my complaint/request and sad to say, up to this time Cebu Pacific hasn’t responded to my request.  They responded through email acknowledging my concern but they haven’t responded again for their concrete action to my request.

Moving on, we arrived at Davao International Airport before 9:00 pm.  As we got off the airplane, we can immediately smell the aroma of durian.  We were welcomed by the Sato family.  We were supposed to eat dinner at a popular restobar complex in Davao but unfortunately, my American uncle’s ears are very sensitive to noise.  Instead, we just went home straight to Sato residence and ate dinner there.

The following day, we went to Tagum City.  On our way to Tagum City, we had quick stops to the pawnshops Sato family owns.  They have a chain of pawnshops in Mindanao.  I wasn’t able to see a lot of countryside sceneries in Davao City.  Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines and is considered a business hub in Mindanao.  We traveled more than an hour going to Tagum City. 

As we entered Tagum City, we saw rows of palm trees, and because of this, Tagum City is named the "Palm City of the South".  Tagum City was made rich by banana tax.  There were lots of banana plantations there.  You might never know the banana that you are eating came from Tagum City. 

Rows of palm trees on the roads of Tagum City

Rows and rows of banana trees!

The ongoing construction of the City Hall of Tagum City

When we arrived at the durian farm of the Sato family, there were also a herd of sheep inside.  Kib and my American cousin tried chasing them but the sheep just continued to run away from them.  Aside from durian trees, there were also rows of mangosteen, calamansi, rambutan, and lazones trees inside the farm.  We tried different durian varieties and we brought home some fruits for us to enjoy at home.

Different durian varieties

Kib eating durian

These two tykes are chasing a herd of sheep

Having fun at the farm by picking fruits

A basketful of mangosteen for us to enjoy

I never imagined that a durian tree can be THIS high! Better not to stay under the durian tree or else...

Back to Davao City, we made a stop at Kuya Gary’s and Ate Menchie’s home.  Kuya Gary’s passion is into baking and cultivating bonsai plants.  Ate Menchie, on the other hand, has a nice lawn, which Kib enjoyed so much.   We ate dinner back at Mr. Sato’s home.

Koi pond at Kuya Gary's house

Kuya Gary's bonsai collection

Another row of Kuya Gary's bonsai trees

Ah, this is life!

The following day, we went to Davao Crocodile Farm.  There, we saw crocodiles segregated based on their age.  Here, the crocodiles are on big pens compared with the crocodile farm in Puerto Princesa where the crocodiles are on big tubs.  There’s this one giant crocodile on the farm who is alone on the pen.  It is the biggest crocodile that I’ve ever seen!  Imagine the crocs on the movies that you see eating humans, that’s how big it is.

At the main entrance of Davao Crocodile Park

Oh no! Kib's been caught by a giant snake!

This is Pangil, the biggest crocodile in Davao Crocodile Farm.  He is alone in this cage

Aside from the crocodiles, there were also other animals in the area.  There were rabbits, ostriches, monkeys, snakes, turtles, among others.  Kib took a chance in touching some of them.

Fearless Kib touching an albino python

Photo opportunity with a young crocodile

The turtle's claws were a bit touching Kib's hands so he is a bit hesitant to touch it.

In the afternoon, we went to Eden Nature Park.  We toured around the area and we saw a flower garden, vegetables grown using hydroponics (soilless growing of plants), herb garden, and different kinds of hibiscus (gumamela in Filipino).  Kib was so excited to try the zipline but unfortunately, it was closed due to thick fog.  We ate dinner at Jack’s Ridge, the overlooking spot in Davao City.  There I tried drinking cold coffee with durian.  It tastes good!

You think Baguio City can have this kind of fog?  Go to Eden Nature Park in Davao City

The resort is big!

Our only picture during the trip, on our way to the resort tour

Rows of different herbs

They also grow different species of flowers

Hibiscus! They look nice in the well

This artistic monument will welcome you at Jack's Ridge

Overlooking at Jack's Ridge

This giant clam was discovered at Jack's Ridge.  This only shows that Davao City was under the sea in the old times.

Coffee Frappe with Durian

On our last day at Davao, we went to Samal Island for a swim since the kids like the feel of the water.  They had fun playing with the sand and the giant chessboard.  They even requested to try bicycling on the water but unfortunately, the tide is low.  Good thing that it was cloudy that day too so I didn’t worry that much that Kib will get sunburn.

Life is a paradise indeed!

Clear and pristine water at Samal Island

It's low tide!  I just forgot to bring his aqua shoes, the sea floor is a bit rocky

The sand is also fine!

What a refreshing drink!

Kib learning how to play chess

Kib loves playing with the sand, look at his happy mountain

Just past noontime we went back to the house to pack our things going back to Manila.  We just spent the rest of the afternoon at Kuya Gary’s house to have snacks.  He even let us bring home some of his baked goodies.

Our short junket to Davao was indeed a good one!  We want to go back there again as there are still places that we have not visited.  Babalik kami!

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  1. You are so payat na now compared to what you looked like in these pictures!!! So, what does Kib think about durian?

    1. He doesn't like it, haha....I guess he has this stigma that durian is smelly, but actually some durian varieties aren't

  2. I love this post!! Ang ganda ng Samal Island! i can't wait na talaga to relocate there! :)

    1. I like Tagum City more, hehe, maybe because of its probinsya looks. But undoubtedly, Davao City is really safe, police visibility everywhere =)

  3. Nice pics! I've been to Davao City only once, balikan pa with my former boss. I barely saw anything but my boss was kind enough to take me to Jack Ridge so that I can take pictures there. Hahaha!