Favorite thing: I experienced something very unexpected was one morning when we were outside the Giasano Mall prior to opening as we were exiting the parking/dropoff area. From this location before the clouds fill the sky, you can get a clear view of Mt. Apo, Davao's volcano.
This picture with Mt. Apo in the background was taken near Gaisanno Mall. It's a little hard to see, but it's there. I took it in the morning just before the clouds covered the peak.
Volcanos facinate me, yet I have never been to Mt. Apo. It's because it's one of those unsecured areas you have to exercise good judgement and common sense about. Nobody I spoke with has any idea when the last time Mt. Apo erupted. Very little information even on line is available about the eruption history of Mt. Apo. Being in the ring of fire I imagine it could be any time since some erupt after 500-1000 years of dormancy.
There is little reliable printed information available about when the last time Mt. Apo erupted. Nobody seems to know. There is a great amount of seismic activity in the area and on the island, so my guess is that it is not extinct. I understand there natural "saunas" or hot springs you can visit to bathe in and enjoy that is tied in with Mt. Apo. That would suggest some degree of molten lava near the surface. I understand that these "spas" are not secure and could pose some security issues for Americans and others visiting there.
Fondest memory: The beauty of this volcanic mountain from the air is breath taking.
- Family Travel
Exotic Food paradise!
Favorite thing: Eat durians and pomelos
Fondest memory: A trip to Davao would never be complete without partaking of durians and pomelos (suha). For durians, go to magsaysay park where an array of vendors await you. Peak season is september. Well, if you can't stomach the fruit, just go to Blugre coffee store (at Pryce Plaza, Gaisano Mall or SM Davao) and ask for their durian cappucino! tastes like durian but without the awful smell!
A pomelo is the local version of grapefruit. But it's a bit sweeter. Best varieties are those from nenita and golden. I recently discovered a new brand - Labao. Eat them with kiamuy powder! Yum! :D
Favorite thing: other activities in Davao
- Philippine Eagle Center (monkey eating eagle) about 1 hour 15 minutes from downtown;
- Crocodile Park and Butterfly House (Diversion Road);
- whitewater rafting (make arrangements with Adventure Exchange at the Dizon Farms outlet along Rizal Street across Philamlife Building);
- to get a glimpse of downtown (the older commercial part of the city) walk along San Pedro Street up to the City Hall and Legislative Hall, cross Pichon Street and walk towards the Museo Dabawenyo, then walk up C.M. Recto Street until you hit Aldevinco Shopping Center (stop/ look/ eat as your interests dictate) - best to do this after 4:00 pm.
- Davao Ethnic Museum in Insular Village, Lanang;
- Dine at Ah Fat Restaurant (chinese food) at the back of Victoria Plaza in Bajada, then go over to Pryce Business Park, and order durian coffee at Blugre; or eat at one of the many grills (grilled tuna jaw; kinilaw, the local version of sashimi); and the ice-cold/ frosty beer at the always-packed Bak-bak bar.
- Family Travel
imho's General Tip
Fondest memory: High Mass at the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Waking up before the 6 a.m. Mass was truly worth the effort. The Monastery is situated on a hill a few minutes' drive away from the main town, and is a quiet sanctuary where you can reflect and commune with the Lord. It is also home to the Monastery Boy's Choir, considered to be the best children's choir in the Philippines. All its members are sons of poor farmers from Mindanao, but they sing beautiful renditions of the works of Bach, Handel, and Mozart, among others. Just hearing them raise their voices to praise God was such a divine experience!
'Come again' to Camiguin...
Favorite thing: 'Come again' to Camiguin Island, off Misamis Oriental.
Fondest memory: Seven years ago, I happened upon paradise...an island blessed with seven volcanoes, an abundance of hot and cold springs, numerous waterfalls, idyllic scenery, and the most laid-back atmosphere on earth.
Four years later, I returned, true to the island’s promise that I would indeed 'come again.' This time I had a lot more money and a lot less time, but it was still paradise on earth. I skipped the 'been-there, done-that' attractions and luxuriated instead in the isolation of it all. Home was several light years away, but I couldn’t care less.
I have always associated Camiguin island with healing, for it has never failed to revitalize my battered mind and spirit. Its very remoteness alone is a fantasy fulfilled for a person like myself who enjoys frequent detachment from the madness of the modern world. The island has always welcomed me with open arms, embracing me with its wondrous restorative powers, hesitantly but eventually setting me loose, fully mended and in good running condition, ready to face life in the maniacal metropolis again.
Last week, I found myself once again in the Eden of my dreams. I arrived not as a weary traveler seeking rejuvenation, but as a lawyer with a job to be done. This journey would not be one filled with long days basking on the pristine sands of White Island or steaming for hours on end in the waters of Ardent Springs. This time there was work to do in my island of healing – but little did I know that paradise itself was in desperate need for healing. (Continued)
Eco Tourism Capital of The Philippines
Favorite thing: Davao City has positioned itself as the eco tourism and extreme adventure sports capital of the philippines and there are a variety of choices to choose from like visiting the Philippine Eagle Center, Touring the Malagos Resort Gardens, Hiking in the Eden Garden Resort in the mountains or plain old Mountain Climbing at the Highest Peak of the Philippines at Mount Apo with the base camp just nearby. You can also do beach and sports activites at the Island Garden City of Samal just across the davao gulf and other exreme sports activities at the Zip Line, White Water Rafting at the Riverview area, Wakeboarding at the Deca Wakeboard Park. There are air soft competitions in the Davao City area and Go Kart Racing (unfortunately, I havent done them all for lack of time) so again Davao City is a Eco Tourism and Extreme Sports Capital of the Philippines.
Fondest memory: the assorted sites mentioned above.
website is: www.davaocity.gov.ph/
- National/State Park
Davao province is the...
Favorite thing: Davao province is the industrial centre of Mindanao, renowned for its pearl and banana exports. Davao City is one of the most progressive industrial cities in the country. The province is the site of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country, while the Apo Range has spectacular waterfalls, rapids, forests, springs and mountain lakes.
Fondest memory: Maragaa Kiblawan Davao del Sur;
I can't forget the day when I was there in this place so called Maragaa, Kiblawan Davao del Sur. It is a nice and peaceful and a small baranggay in the province of Kiblawan.
We spent there for about one week. We had a lots of activities more on religious. I really enjoyed that time... but at the moment I have no picture that can show this page..hopefully next time.
I hope you enjoy reading this small intro of mine.
Durian Capital of the Philippines
Favorite thing: Durian is not widely grown in the Philippines unlike in Malaysia or Thailand or Indonesia and the durian plantations are mostly in Mindanao Island particularly here in Davao Provinces and Davao City. They have sevaral varieties and cultivars of the Durian fruit and they taste good but I prefer those that came from Thailand still as they have the sweetest durian cultivars there. The best durian cultivar here is the marang, said to be the sweetest but it hard to find it even if you have money to buy it. So on a tour of Davao city then try this divine fruit and average price of a regular durian fruit will be 130 Pesos per Kilo and for the hard to find marang at 200 pesos a kilo.
Fondest memory: the ooh so lovable Durian, the "king of FruitsZ" that is termed by some as it "Smells like Hell but Taste Like Heaven". They have made durian here a cottage industry wherein there are a variety of durian related products like assorted durian candies like durian pastillas or durian yema and durian ice cream and even durian pie.
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