Amazing Race – Davao

During our last trip to the Philippines, we planned for an overnight trip to Davao. We knew it was rushed, but we were determined to accomplish and make the most out of it. Our plan was to take the earliest flight from Manila to Davao on the day one, and then take the last flight from Davao back to Manila on day two.

Day One – Dencia’s and Eden

We ended up not taking the first flight because it was too early so we settled for the second flight departing Manila at 6:40 AM (PR2811). We figured we would arrive in Davao at 8:30 AM just in time for breakfast.

Our Tita picked us up at the airport and as requested by my wife, we went straight to Dencia’s for breakfast. Almost everybody who knew we were flying to Davao recommended that we go there and order arroz caldo with tokwa’t baboy. They were right. It was really good, and a perfect way to start our Davao experience.

We then drove south on our way to Eden Nature Park, dropping by several places to meet up with some relatives along the way. The city center was not as congested as Manila and it was still relatively easy to drive around, at least during the time we were there. I heard that during peak hours, the traffic situation can also get bad.

The speed limit in the city center is 30 kph. It increases to 40 kph, and then to 60 kph as you go farther from the center. Looks like these speed limits are strictly enforced,  and the traffic officers are adequately equipped with radar guns to detect offenders. Manila drivers, you have been warned.

The Park was about 30 minutes from the city center, and was a welcome respite from the hot summer at the lowlands. This place reminded me a lot of Baguio with its lush greenery and pine trees. It felt cooler here compared to Tagaytay and there was no need for air conditioning even if it was the peak of summer.

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Looks like our tour guide knows how to take pictures

The park offers buffet lunches, flower parks, cultural sites (recreations of houses of indigenous tribes), farms, hiking, mountain bike trails, etc. I would recommend taking the tour as it was the best way to explore the place. The guides were informative, attentive, and were more than willing to help you get that perfect profile pic.

Across the road from the gates of Eden Nature Park is the Skycycle. For just 200 pesos, you can get to experience probably the most memorable bicycle ride you’ll ever have.

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Skycycle – probably the most memorable bicycle ride you’ll ever have

Just leave your camera with the guy manning the bikes and it looks like he already has lots of experience on how to best take pictures. If you can, have someone take your picture from below as well – that angle would also look good with the sky as your only background. I know it looks scary but it seems like they have a clean record (we asked), and if you do lose your balance, you do have your helmet and your harness.

After this amazing bicycle ride, we drove to our Tita’s place where we were to stay for the night. Relatives came over to join us for dinner. Nothing beats home-cooked food and great company at a very refreshing location.

Day Two – Pearl Farm

We woke up at 5:00 AM to make sure that we had enough time to reach the port where we will take the boat to Pearl Farm Beach Resort. After a 45-minute boat ride from the port to the resort, this is what greeted us.

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Blue skies. Blue waters.

The beaches of Pearl Farm are not to be compared with Boracay… not even near, but you have to give them points for at least importing the white sand so they could compete. What they lack in beach sand quality, they did make up for the infinity pool, the facilities, the service, and the amazing buffet lunch. We also enjoyed renting the kayak and paddling to and from the nearby Malipano Island, around half a kilometer from the resort.

A day trip including buffet lunch, and the boat ride to and from Davao city would cost 2,200 pesos. I heard it’s cheaper from Mondays to Thursdays. The kayak rent cost 400 pesos.

This was where we spent the rest of our Friday. Well, at least until our 4:00 PM boat ride back to the port.

Back to the airport.

Back to reality.

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