It’s one of those impromptu decisions again where we booked a flight to exit on a different destination from where we started. I was hoping we would have time to explore Davao in our 6-day itinerary but Bislig occupied us so much and we don’t want to hasten it up just to see as many sights as we can. So in our 5th day, it was time to leave Bislig and head to Davao. Interestingly, it will be my first time to set foot on this beloved city of the south. With much excitement, we caught the 9am Bachelor Bus from Bislig and rode south to Davao.
The ride and sights was similar to the ones we took from Butuan to Bislig – wide open roads, a few stops in key towns to pick-up and drop off passengers, but this time we were in the comfort of an airconditioned bus. The travel time was about 6 hours plus. On the end stretch I was already excited to see the “Welcome to Davao” marker, not knowing that it would still take an hour before we reach the town centre. Talk about a huge city! The SM Mall we passed by took at least 20 minutes to our drop off point.
From our cab, the building and streets were in a shady tone of gray from the dying afternoon light. It reminded me of Manila really. We checked in at My Hotel, a 6-story building with a colourful facade and good value rooms with an unusual sink detached from the compact bathroom. But their rooms are really spacious with a nice addition of Cable TV.
Of course, being in Davao for the first time, I had to do a little sight-seeing. My friends were raving about the shopping finds in ALDEVINCO so I followed. I really had no intention of buying some souvenirs aside from the durian candies I was looking for but their textiles really have tantalizing designs and patterns it would be a waste not to buy a few. I got one good malong, a few bags as presents and a nice green patterned Arafat.
For dinner, we invaded Luz Kinilaw which also got rave reviews from my companions. It’s a comfort food eatery with a nondescript facade but is famous for its Tuna Panga and grilled squids. Definitely worth the price we paid for. The nearby fruit vendors also caught our attention, especially from their durians and suha.
We had our evening food trip capped off at one of their local cafes there offering delicious mud pie and soothing hot choco for the evening. It was only a piece of Davao but I seem to like it in my first impression. It makes it even hard to leave the next day when we flew back to Manila.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.