It was not hard to notice the wide national road neatly fringed with rows of palm trees once we entered the City of Tagum, Davao del Norte while on a shuttle coming from Davao City proper. This is probably one of the cleanest and greenest national road I’ve seen in the country. The #TravelMindanao group visits Tagum City for a day trip to see what this fast developing city has to offer.
San Agustin Botanical Park
[pullquote]Tagum City is not really blessed with many natural wonders.. but we build man-made structures that are truly commendable.[/pullquote]
“Tagum City is not really blessed with many natural wonders such as lakes and waterfalls to boost tourism” Our host from the Tagum Tourism, Leo Timogan, was quick to point out. “But we do build man-made structures that are truly commendable” Leo followed while we were having lunch at Dencio’s Kamayan.
One project in development which I kind of sense they are really proud of is the San Agustin Botanical Park. It’s a sprawling hills of green about 31.4 hectare park area with about 37000 tropical trees and plants from different countries allowing visitors to see plant species not only from the Philippines. The park has several gazebos and pathways which are so ideal for picnics, outdoor activities like biking or to simply commune with nature. Tagum City envisions the park to be fully developed by 2020 when the trees are already fully grown.
La Filipina Public Cemetery
I wasn’t taking it seriously when we were told we’re going to a cemetery. But we did end up in the city public cemetery known as La Filipina, I was surprised to see a manicured memorial park with rows of apartment tombstones alphabetically arranged so people won’t have a hard time finding their departed loved ones here. I thought this was really commendable effort, it’s a far cry from the disorganised clutter of major cemeteries.
Christ The King Cathedral
A fairly modern cathedral by design, painted in light gray and pale pastel orange. The cathedral was formally erected in 1962. I do admire its spacious interiors and eye-catching modern architecture. At the back of the cathedral is a huge rosary said to be the biggest in the world.
We also got to swing by their sports stadium and facilities. I really admire how the city promotes sports. Everything looks polished and new from the olympic-sized pool, the oval track and even their popular beach volleyball court where a number of renowned beach volley competitions were held.
I can honestly say I like how Tagum City is developing. It’s looking to be a major city in the near future with projects and developments extending in their direction to decongest Davao City. New malls, hotels and facilities are ready to rise. Aside from the man-made tourist attractions, Tagum City has a slew of festivals every month to draw visitors like their popular Musikahan Festival every February. I certainly would want to go back here as I heard there are interesting natural attractions as well like the Nabintad River and the fine black beach of Banana Resort. I could certainly say Tagum City is a place I could live for a while if I’m looking for work in a city.
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.