Davao Region: My First In Mindanao

by - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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I dreamt of visiting Mindanao long before but I have this fear of setting foot in there. Don’t get me wrong, media has taken over our lives these days but I came to this point where fear has been part of my life and the only way to deal with the fear is to actually face it.

What I’ve learned this past months is the fear of fearing fear itself. It may sound crazy but it is not. In the moment not something that doesn’t happened yet.

Moving forward, I bought a ticket to Davao last November of 2015 and my trip will take place in November 2016. Yep. That long wait is worth it. I did every research I can to maximize my five days and four nights stay in Davao Region.

The plan is to visit all the provinces in Region to cross out all those for my 81 Before 30 Challenge.

It was actually a solo trip at first then I invited some friends, though they agreed but wasn’t able to book a ticket so I am assuming that it is just me alone. Approaching my Davao trip, my older sister then decided to go with me because I tease her that I will be visiting Mt. Apo (after it was hit by fire) and our eagerness to climb it but because of the accident all we have left is to admire it by far.

She will be joining me on my third day. So two of the provinces in Davao will be another solo trip of mine. Plotting the whereabouts of each provinces, I come up with a plan on what to visit first along side with what my older sister wants to see in Davao.

Given the distance of Davao Oriental from the airport, I decided to visit the province first. During that time my hype on surfing is as high as the mountain top, I head to Mati first. Honestly, there are only two spots I wanted to see on Davao Oriental, the surfing spot in Mati and the sleeping dinosaur. Both were achieved and though it’s a short visit it was one of my favorite among the rest of the provinces in Davao Region.

My next stop is a quick visit to Compostela Valley. The initial plan is to leave early morning the next day and head to one of the famous falls from Compostela Valley but I wasn’t able to leave because, really, its hard leaving Amihan sa Dahican, the place just feels home.

It was around lunch time when I leave Mati and head to Compostela Valley it was just a few hours from Mati because it sits beside together. The only place I’ve visited was Magnaga Waters Beach Resort in Pantukan. It was a nice beach along the highway. I just had my late lunch there and roam around the place. I really wanted to go swimming but I need to go back to Davao City for bus and van trips going back will take time and there are limited trips.

I was able to get a backpackers inn for a cheaper price in the City. It rained that night and it puts me to good sleep. The next day I will be waiting for my sister and we are heading to Davao Del Sur to see a good sight of Mt. Apo.

The next day I meet my sister at the grand terminal. Our first stop is Eden Nature Park. We plan to do a sky cycle. The place is perfect for family, friends, or office outing. It is a child-friendly park and there are a lot of exciting things to do at the place. The weather at Davao Del Sur is different from other provinces, it is as they say, Baguio City of the south. If I will be bringing my Mom to Davao, Eden Nature Park is number one on my list for her.

Be sure to bring your camera! Everywhere you look is a picture perfect! After eating the lunch/snacks included on the entrance we pay and after the sky cycle challenge we head to our next stop at Davao Del Sur.

We arrive at Lake Mirror Resort after lunch and after we set up the tent I easily doze off. We decided to stay here because it will give a better view of the highest mountain of the Philippines – Mt. Apo. It gets colder at night, really. It’s like Baguio there.

We are the only guest at that time and aside from it gets colder at night, it gets creepier too. HAHA! But we survived the night and the following day we are rewarded by the magnificent view of my dream mountain to climb – Mt. Apo! No words can express my joy seeing it. I hope one day to climb it too.

I told you its backpacking so let’s get on with our next province. Mind you, it is my sister’s first time to do a backpacking, to ride habal-habal and to use a tent. Yep!

Next on the list is Davao Occidental. My plan is to climb Mt. Kiyawa in Sta. Maria Davao Occidental but it so happened that there are no available personnel at the barangay during Sundays so we weren’t able to climb it. We then head to my second option which is to visit the little boracay of the south. It was like Boracay somehow though the sand is much better than the real Boracay but the place is nice and perfect for family and friends outing. It’s just a small beach but definitely a perfect place to chill. We spend our entire afternoon at the resort and just play in the sand to forget our disappointment on our canceled climb.

When we get tired, really, you get tired at the beach? :P We head back to Davao City where we are going  to check-in because our last day in Davao Region we are heading to one of the popular spot in Davao Del Norte – Samal Island.

Since it is our last night and we are starving we went to Ayala Mall and dine in at Seafood Islands and order a good for 4 meal. That was one of my favorite and unforgettable meal. Haha!

Last stop! We wokeup early the next day so we can arrive at Samal early to make the most of the day since we are going to stay there for just whole day. It was a quick travel and the roro ride is just 10 minutes away. We enjoyed our stay, well, aside from the things we are expecting about Samal we only sleep and eat at the island. By late afternoon me and my sister decided to leave and head back to City because she will buy some “pasalubongs” and her flight is much earlier than mine.

Visiting Davao Region makes me realize so many things especially about Mindanao. It is far different than the news are giving and showing us. The place is as beautiful as the photos and the people are all amazing and disciplined. I will definitely go back to other parts of Mindanao and I am sure my coming trip will be as unforgettable as my trip to Davao Region.

I will elaborate further on each post my experiences on each provinces and the landmarks I visited with travel guides on the following posts.

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Thanks for the wonderful message!