You could include this visit with a climb to Mt. Apo - but mind you, this iterinary is for experienced mountaineers only. But still you could do this visit on its own... its really worth it... I swear!!!
Tudaya falls must be the highest falls in the Philippines. I'm quite puzzled why this isn't as famous as it should be.. though glad so that it will continue to exist in its pristine (well almost) condition.
The falls is so big and strong and tall that you could feel droplets of water as far as maybe 50 meters away. You could also traverse the back of the falls and come out on the other side. While you are inside (behind) the falling waters, the wind and water splashing on you is so strong you will find it is a little difficult to breath - dont worry not difficult enough to suffocate you :) Its as if you are in the middle of a storm in a freshwater lake!!!!
The surroundings is also "Jurrasic Park" like. The leaves of plants are huge. You'll feel you were transported to a land before time.
statue of david was once so controversial that some davao conservative "kuno" want this statue demolished. and there was one time that this statue was wearing a cover of his hmmmm. but it did not last long.. it only lasted for a few weeks for the good mayor (mayor duterte) has intervened saying where can you find a statue of him covering his hmmmm.. it has lost its originality. so "David" won.
I describe this location as an open market. It's where usually "fresh" beef, chicken, fish, sea food, fruits and vegetables are sold. You can also but lechon there. We got a roasted pig we took with us to Paradise Island.
This is not far from the Bogobo House Hotel. It's maybe a 5-7 minute cab ride.
This place was complete organized chaos. It was a lot of fun. The smell was pretty bad because of all the raw meat hanging and fish there, but if you can get past the smell, you might actually enjoy yourself and find a good deal or two.
Considering the size of Davao, I'm sure there are more than one of these markets in the city, but this is the only one I'm familiar with. They are full of people and energy. Kids asking for money, and a chance to negotiate and haggle with every merchant. These markets are cash only so keep it secured and have a good time!
Explore Camiguin. This enchanting island is rich in rugged beauty. It's main attraction is White Island, a barren island/shoal shaped like a letter 'C' about 500 meter of white sand. Tourists are ferried to and from the island by motorized banca(small fishing boat) with around 10mins travel time. Camiguin could be reached via a 30-minute highspeed ferry from Cagayan de Oro. From Manila, Cagayan de Oro is a little over an hour travel by plane or overnight ferry from Cebu City. Photo:Jessie Casabar **More on my Camiguin White Island Travelogue- CLick HERE**
a nice way to cool your body in humid and tropical davao city is to lounged around the olympic half sized swimming pool of the Marco Polo Hotel. The swimming pool is about 4 feet deep in it's deepest point and is child friendly. There are some beach style beds along the edges for people who want to relax or sunbathe and most of all, the pools temperature is just about right. If you want to have a refrehing fruit juice or cocktail, you may order it a the Deck bar, just beside the swimming pool.
Well-equipped with towels, lockers, shower and changing facilities, the pool is open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm every day. Only Hotel Guests are allowed to Swim.
after eating a very heavy buffett breakfast, some strenous physical activity is a must and the Marco Polo Hotel offers a large fitness center for hotel guests and an olympic size swimming pool. There is a wide variety of machines for fitness freaks or to those just wanting to have a light work out (I belong to the Latter). They have Treadmills, Weights, Dumb Bells, Abdomial Stretchers, a sauna room, aerobics room and for the dehydrated, a fully stocked Juice Bar (not free ok, you pay for the juice. only the bottled water is free).
The Fitness Centre is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and from 6:00am to 8:00 pm on Sundays and public holidays and is only available for hotel guests.
For those who are seeking for a quite beach resort with a refreshing atmosphere, spend a day at Isla reta . It is a place where one could simply relax under the talisay trees and enjoy the beach and nature as a whole. For more information, you may refer to the link below
We had the opportunity to meet the owner/operator of an outdoor day spa in Davao. We were unable to go there, but based on what we know & who they know, it must be a quality operation.
This was a couple & their family we met while visiting a friend's private beach & beach house. The husband is Regis Pelletier & his wife Malou. They had their daughter, her yaya and the friend of the yaya with them.
We are fortunate enough to know someone that owns a private beach house. His name is Boy. My wife and her family worked for him at different times as she was growing up. He owns the bakery she worked at while in college. He owns six bakeries in Davao. He also owns a tire/rubber factory/plant, farms, and raises horses. I believe he's also well connected politically. He's a kind and generous man.
Boy is also an entertainer. He has a band that plays 1950's & 60's music. They're not bad. They were doing a private jam session the night we were there and I have to tell you, they're not bad. I really enjoyed their selection of music.
Boy served as a nino at our wedding. He had offered his beach house for us to use our last visit, but we were unable to because we were shcheuled to tightly.
The last two trips we made two Davao were multi-purposed. Both had to do with weddings. In 2004, it was our wedding being performed in the church with my wife's family and friends participating and attending. This was an incredible experience. Our wedding was performed at Santa Ana Church in Davao. This trip, our friends Jay and Merasol also used this church for their wedding.
As it turns out, this is the ideal choice of churches. Jay and I are non-Catholics and I have one divorce on the record. This is the only church where you can "easily" get this accomplished with the blessing of the Church. Though I am not a Catholic, and a meber of Vineyard of Columbus Vineyard of Columbusas is Evelyn now, it was important for my to fully have her parents blessing in this area.
The staff is very helpful, but the distance and time differences, coupled with their other responsibilities at the church can make it a little tricky from here, but very doable if you're persistant. If you're looking for a formal church wedding, this is the place to choose.
Wedding Reception Facilities:
My favorite is Sunny Point for several reasons. The first one is because we had our wedding reception there I know the value you get there. I recommend this place to anyone getting married in Davaio City. The entertainment the moderators provide is very good and quite entertaining and the program for the bride and groom and guests is unique and spectacular. As the food is served, the Sunny Point dancers are also very good and offer an distinct local flavor to the activities.
Last but not least is the food. The bride and groom plan their meal weeks ahead of time. The selection of menu items to choose from is extensive. Let me say that I really can't stand fish. That may shock some folks considering I'm married to a Filipina that loves fish and seafood, but it's true. Sunny Point has a breaded fish my friend John encouraged me to try, which I was reluctant to do. But I have to say that it's the best fish I've ever had ANYWHERE in the world. The quality of food at Sunny Point is among the best anywhere in Davao City.
From my teen years to the present I have always had challenges buying and wearing clothes off the rack. I have somewhat short legs and as I have matured and changed waist size, not inseam, it has become increasingly difficult. When buying pants either jeans, work or for suits, alterations are ALWAYS needed. I am impressed with the work of one tailor who has done some of my most detailed and intricate work.
I bought a high quality $1500 suit in the USA in 1998 or 1999, that needed significant alterations. Again, being only 5'7" this suit was cut for someone much taller than I am. The crotch of the suit fell to mid thigh. I really liked this suit, but to get it altered in the USA in a way that not only fit me correctly, but look like it was tailor made was going to cost a small fortune.
My wife knew of a tailor in Davao at Adams Square. He does exquisite work. These pants that would have cost me $100 or more to alter here, cost only $10 there. He also was responsible for making my barong that I wore for our wedding and for Merasol & Jay's wedding since I was best man there. (no suprise on that one ;-) hahaha!!!)
On our 2004 trip my mother-in-law took us to her favorite store NCCC and we bought some high quality material to use and my tailor made my a custom barong for our wedding. Total cost for material and tailoring was well under $50 for a custom barong.
He also made Jay's barong. Jay is a big guy. When they saw him they commented that they had never made a barong that big before! Jay is wearing it for his wedding.
When we returned to Davao in 2004 to have our wedding for Evelyn's family and friends we selected a private party house/banquet facility called Sunnypoint, in Davao Cit. They offer a package including food and entertainment. It was an organized program.
I had no idea what I was in store for. It was extremely impressive and affordable. We had somewhere around 200 people at this reception and probably 4-500 at the second reception at Evelyn's parents house.
We were presented to our guests my the masters of ceremonies. They interviewed Evelyn's parents and friends for everyone to enjoy. Then dinner was served. The food was extraordinary. It was the best I've ever had anywhere in the Philippines. If you're considering having a wedding reception or getting married in Davao, consider having your reception at Sunnypoint.
Later we toasted each other, let the doves fly free, we were acyually the topping of a giant wedding cake. Later we cut the cake, did the prosperity dance, table hopped, and opened gifts.
Then there was the garter and boquet part. That was the most fun of all. The masters of ceremonies made it fun!
Living in the Philippines is so much more affordable than the USA. For those of you not familiar with the custom/practice is that the groom pays for it all, unlike the bride here in the USA. Guys I can hear you complaining, but I can assure you, she's worth it! It's a small price to pay for your happiness!
Our wedding, cost a few thousand dollars. Evelyn's dress was $1200, which was a big part of the cost. Compare that to costs here. Overall i was a very good deal.
Climb the highest mountain in the Philippines: Mt. Apo. Done it twice :)
Please practice responsible mountaineering.