Davao, having a land area of 244,000 hectares, is the biggest city in the world. In recent years, the city has become popular because the sixteenth president of the Philippines, who won in the 2016 national elections hailed from this city. Aside from that, Davao is quite popular for its delicacies and the affordability of goods.
Getting to Davao is quite easy having the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, that accommodates flight from and to different destinations both within the country and internationally.
This is also the first ever city that has successfully implemented a city-wide smoking ban, where you cannot smoke in public. Along with this rule are other strictly implemented ones like a 1:00AM liquor ban, 30 KPH speed limit along downtown areas and a curfew.
Living in Davao can either be simple and sweet or adventurous and exciting. It depends on what you want to do when you wake up in the morning and you will surely find something worth doing in Davao.
Going around Davao City is quite easy – you have a few options to choose from: Taxi and buses for longer distances and jeepneys for shorter destinations. There are also water taxis that coasts along the Davao Gulf and will take you to island destinations, waterfront restaurants or beaches.
If you want the simple and sweet life, there are options that you can take. For after work or after school leisure, you may choose from a number of nice malls in the area, more popular ones are Abreeza Mall and SM City Lanang Premiere. There is also the Bankerohan Public Market. This is where you will find the freshest and most delicious fruits at great prices. For evening chills, there are a lot of places you can go to and still have fun despite the curfew. One of the most popular is the Roxas Night Market, which in Manila is equivalent to Banchetto ora food park where stalls are lined up selling unique types of food and locals will eat there picnic style.
For the more upbeat night places, it is also worth exploring Sales Bar Tekanplor along Sales street. Aside from being located on a rooftop, this place also has live bands where guests can enjoy good music and the right amount of chill under the stars. For the more hipster taste, there is Jack’s Ridge along Shrine Hills in Matina. This can be the ideal date spot as it overlooks the Davao Gulf and the Davao City skyline. These are the two most popular spots but there are much more places where you can enjoy the night life.
Now comes the adventure. There are literally so many ways to go on an adventure in Davao, here are a few to put on your initial list:
- San Pedro Cathedral – Built in the mid 1800’s, this church located along San Pedro street has been renovated twice. Today, it has a curved ceiling that resembles the shape of a vinta, something that acknowledges the city’s mix of Catholic and Muslim residents.
- Museo Dabawenyo – This museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of Davao as well as featuring works of local artists.
- People’s Park – The durian-shaped dome park on Pelayo street is open daily for the public to go around the four-hectare land. Aside from sculptures, you will also see over a thousand types of plants from everywhere in Southeast Asia
- Eden Nature Park and Resort – Located on a mountain, this park not only lets you enjoy nature but taps into your adventurous side. You can choose from some daredevil-ish like the Skyrider, the Skycycle or the Skyswing all happening 2,500 feet above sealevel.
- Philippine Eagle Center – Just a few hundred meters away from the Malagos Garden Resort is this haven for the Philippine Eagle. This is an 8.4 hectare land that is focused on breeding the endangered Philippine Eagle and also have exhibits of some other rare birds and reptiles.Philippine Eagle Center – Just a few hundred meters away from the Malagos Garden Resort is this haven for the Philippine Eagle. This is an 8.4 hectare land that is focused on breeding the endangered Philippine Eagle and also have exhibits of some other rare birds and reptiles.
- Malagos Garden Resort – For a more relaxed experience, this resort brings a twelve (12) hectare nature theme park that includes a bird sanctuary, a butterfly garden, a petting zoo and a mini museum featuring the works of National artist, Napoleon Abueva.
- Davao Crocodile Park – Speaking of reptiles, there is a farm specifically for crocodiles. This place does not only house crocodiles, but as well as other exotic animals. To name a few are raptors, bearcats and snakes. This is also the headquarters of the Davao Wildwater Adventure, where you can try the whitewater rafting.
- Durian - No city is complete without pointing out the notable delicacy in their area. For this city, the most notable is the popular durian. As the saying goes, “smells like hell, tastes like heaven”. Just like Cebu’s lechon, this is something that is native to Davao. People usually eat this with their hands covered in plastic gloves. Nowadays, all types of food are being created with this special ingredient – durian ice cream, durian cheesecake, durian candy and some other popular food that are usually flavored with fruits.
- Mangosteen – This fruit is also especially popular because it is also native to Davao, and buying from there is so affordable compared to if you buy it from Manila. There are also candies made with this flavor and this is usually brought by tourists back to their homes along with durian.
- Pomelo – Also known as suha, this fruit has a citrus flavor that a lot of people associate with healthy eating. If you buy this in Manila, you will find that the prices are sky high but since this is native to Davao, it’s an everyday snack in the city.
Living in Davao is like living in a separate state where rules are tight but once you get yourself familiarized with the everyday living, you will find that this is something that is highly beneficial to your safety and you will no longer need to think about trivial things – all you need to do is enjoy what the city of Davao has to offer.