Duterte City Adventure: Davao Land Tour

By Kariopes

Our third day in Davao was dedicated mostly to mainland sightseeing, or land tour. And because we were not able to book with any tour agency ahead of time, we ended up seeking the help of the front desk staff. We booked an 8 hour DIY tour for 3500php on the spot. The owner of the van plus Henry our driver for the day arrived a few minutes later. We paid our dues and decided to first head to Malagos Garden Resort for breakfast. 

Malagos Garden Resort is known for their tsokolate, or chocolates, in fact, they have some awards for some of their unsweetened chocolate. There was a 250php per person entrance fee to their facility, which we paid right away. We walked straight to their dine-in restaurant since we were quite hungry already. 

We were the first customers. I ordered a hefty meal of mango cheese variant, scrambled eggs, ham, bread and signature Malagos warm chocolate. While waiting, I looked around and found some product displays on sale. I didn’t know that they also sell wine, vinegar, cheese and honey. Anyways our orders were served pretty fast. We ate heartily until all done.

The place had an amusement park-like facility, which the entance fee was for. There is a children’s playground and a metal lookout thingy, where you can climb and see down below; a bird feeding walk-in cage, which I suggest is a must do, if ever you visit; a petting mini zoo, where you could pet their horses, goats, chickens and so forth; there is also a zen and noahs ark gardens, where you can sit and relax; a cocoa plantation and chocolate museum and factory, which showcase and educate the entire process of chocolate making from farm to table. It took us about 3 hours to finish going around, which was at a brisk pace already. 

Next we went to the Philippine Eagle Center. The entrance fee is 250php per person, and about an hour to an hour and a half to go around. It is a conservation site for, yup, Philippine Eagles. There was one that showed us it’s wing span and flapped its wings as we passed by. How I wish to see them high above soaring in the sky. There were a couple of these majestic eagles, either tied up on a pole or in cages. There were also a few different kinds of bird species as well. 

Our third stop, was the Japanese Tunnel. We paid 50php per person and about 15-20 minutes tour. I think it is a must see. I found some interesting Japanese occupation facts, a short walk of a history lesson as you say. An example was the holding cell. Our guide said it could accomodate a dozen people, but when I went inside the cell, it made me wonder, how? I pictured sardines. How unfortunate and miserable these POW’s must have been back then.

Afterwards, we headed to Jack’s Ridge for lunch. We invited Henry to eat with us since he was driving and waiting for us around. We ordered the Pomelo Salad, which is a must try, Chicken Wings in Pomelo Sauce, another must, Pork Barbecue, Sisig, and Watermelon Shake. We took our time and interviewed our driver and inquired where to buy pasalubong, or small travel gifts to bring back home to friends and family. He mentioned a place, but before that we did a quick round of Jack’s Ridge and its skyline city view. Henry said if ever we get the chance to come back, we should visit this place at night. So something to look forward to someday.

Henry took us to Apo ni Lola Pasalubong (or Gift)  Center, where I tried their Durian Latte and bought some kakainins, or locally produced snacks. There was a lifesize plackard of Duterte in the shop and posed with my coffee on one hand. Hahaha, can’t waste the opportunity… 

A few streets away, we were brought to Duterte’s house. There was a Police registration table a couple steps away and across the street from the house. I also noticed a cctv. Anyhow, there were not that many people. We just waited for two tourists, and then me and my brother, one by one took a quick picture with his life size picture board in front of the house. 

We then went to the Crocodile Park. There was a 300php per person entrance fee. I thought it was like the Palawan Crocodile Park, but it was more like a zoo. We stayed 30mins only since we were running out of time. There were snakes, turtles, birds, crocodiles, monkeys, etc. We just did a brisk look around, took some pictures, including another lifesize of Duterte and Bong Go, and left. 

Instead of our tour guide aka driver dropping us off at our hotel, we requested to be left at SM Lanang, where we said our goodbyes to our driver and gave him a 200php tip. The tip is optional by the way. We strolled around until dinner and ate at Toriyamu Japanese Street Food. I ordered Bacon Asparagus and Bacon Quail with Red Iced Tea. We then returned to the hotel after a quick stroll.

It was a very busy and active day, full of walking, picture taking, eating and learning some educational fun facts to boot. There are more places to go to when in Davao, and so I leave you to make another checklist for when I get the chance to visit again. 

To be continued…

Note: Our apologies for not posting yesterday. We were quite busy this last weekend. Also, if you haven’t read the beginning of my multipart story on Davao, here is a quick link. Happy reading…

Part 1: Duterte City Adventure Part 2: Duterte City Adventure: Samal Island Part 3: Duterte City Adventure: Samal Island Continued

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