Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Four Days in Davao City and Samal Island

I decided to join my travel buddies only weeks before the actual trip because of my prior commitments. Fortunately, AirAsia and TigerAirways/SeaAir offered promo airfare.   Coincidentally, our scheduled trip falls on Davao's 29th Kadayawan Festival! What a chance to witness the King of Festivals in the Philippines.

The last minute changes in our plans - accommodations, van rental arrangements and even itinerary - are worth them all!

the welcome banner at the Domestic Arrival Area of Davao International Airport
the Kadayawan photo booth for tourists arriving at the Airport
Check out each day's itinerary in the next few days for a more detailed blog. 
  • Day 1 : Davao Pearl Farm Resort
    • The first batch (Anna, Joan & Vivian) arrived Davao City at 6:00AM from NAIA 3 while I & Jesi arrived at 12NN from Clark International Airport.  Third batch (Lea & Emily) arrived 11PM from NAIA 4 on a delayed flight and not able to join us in Pearl Farm Resort.
Pearl Farm Resort Davao
Photo credits: Jesi Tuyay

  • Day 2 : Samal Island 
    • We explored the other side of  Island Garden City of Samal. It marked another firsts in my travel adventures! I conquered the giant waterslide that dropped me into the sea.
Welcome banner at Samal Island dock 

Samal Island Map
Taken from: www.bridex.wordpress.com

  • Day 3: Davao City Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan
    • We braved the sun and witnessed the Indak-Indak (or the street dance competition) as part of the Kadayawan Festival in the morning and explored the other tourist destinations of the city in the afternoon.  We visited the Crocodile Park and Japanese Tunnel. We also tried the famous Bulca Chong, the restaurant that serves carabao meat in various cuisine (bulalo, fried and buttered).
Kadayawan Festival
Photo credits: Jesi Tuyay
Davao Gulf Map
Photo taken from : davaogulfmanagementcouncil.org

  • Day 4: Floral Parade and outside of Davao City
    • We watched the Floral Parade and had fun screaming at local celebrities like Coco Martine, John Lloyd Cruz and Jake Cuenca who joined the parade.
    • We then spent the afternoon in Malagos Garden Resort, Philippine Eagle Sanctuary and Eden Nature Resort.  We spent our last night in Davao with seafoods dinner along the sea at Liza Times Restaurant.
It was my first time in Davao and Samal Island and enjoyed a lot of the new things that I tried.  It was different as I took everything as my firsts, thus, with so much surprise and anticipation.  I acted as the "trying-hard" translator/interpreter for my travel buddies struggling with my little Bisaya words and more of Ilonggo words as I conversed with the locals. 

With my recent trip, it ignited me to go back to my Social Studies and History subjects back in High School with the facts that I learned from the trip:
  • Davao Pearl Farm Resort is not part of Davao City but of Garden Island City of Samal
  • How the Japanese Tunnel was accidentally discovered by a local engineer and how Marcos got the Golden Buddha and gold bars.
  • Pangil, the largest Crocodile before Lolong
  • Local words in Davao with similarities in Ilonggo
  • How disciplined people of Davao is, especially about the "No Smoking" ordinance.
  • Kadayawan Festival being the king of all festivals
  • Davao City being the second largest city in the Philippines
  • And more!
Kudos to Davao City Tourism also for providing free Davao City Tourist Map at the Arrival Area of Davao International Airport.  It was a great help to the local and foreign tourists who can tour around Davao City and nearby towns at ease. From my list of domestic travels, I vow at DIA as the best in my list, next to Cebu then Bacolod.
Davao City Tourist Map
Photo taken from : davaotraveller.com
With the different adventures (nature, extreme and gastronomic) in Davao and Samal, it was another travel experience that I can look back in my life.  

Travel Dates:  August 16-20, 2012
Joiners: Anna Bano, Joanna Guanlao, Vivian Siccuan, Jesi Tuyay, Lea Javier and Emily Sembrana
IT Planners : Pearl Farm Resort (Claire), Accommodation & Itineraries (Joan), Van Rentals (Anna)
Credits: Some photos from Jesi Tuyay and Emily Sembrana

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