Sunday, March 20, 2011

Davao and its Beautiful Islands

Travel Dates: March 12-14, 2011

     As we boarded the early flight of Cebu Pacific bound for Davao City, we realized that we were on the same flight with Juris Fernandez and the rest of the crew.  We didn’t get near her because we know that she just came from her last night gig and she was pretty tired then.  So my friends, who happen to be fans, ended up just looking at her.

     We arrived in Davao City at 9:40AM and we checked in at Roadway Inn, the same hotel where Juris and her crew stayed also.  The hostel is okay for budget traveler but not that really clean.  There are cob webs in the ceiling and paint is already fading.    Good enough that the beddings and towels are clean.

Buffet meal at Nanay Bebeng

     Known for tourists and locals, Nanay Bebeng located at Dona Vicente Village satisfied our cravings for Filipino food.   Indeed, a very affordable lunch buffet for just Php 295.  Looking at the buffet table, the food trays are always full because the waiter keeps on refilling it.  The dishes are home cooked meal, delectable and memorable.  Something unique is the salad bar that served local vegetables and seaweeds, with fish paste and vinegar to flavor.

     After our lunch, thinking that Camp Sabros at Digos City is just 2 hours away, we rented a jeep to take us there for a zip line adventure.  But to our disappointment, our travel time took us 3 hours without even reaching Camp Sabros which is located at the highest point of the mountain.  We decided not to continue our trip as we reached the halfway because dark clouds appeared in our horizon.  I suggest that it’s better to rent a van to take you there which is faster and start the trip early in the morning.

     As darkness fell, we were back in Davao City, so we went to local market to buy Durian and Pomelo.

Pomelo, durian, and watermelon.

     Back to Roadway Inn, we were so tired after a long day trip, so we just had our dinner in the hostel’s canteen.  They served us delicious meals, mine was baby back ribs.

Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Samal Island, Davao City

     The next day, the jeep we rented took us to Davao Marina, the gateway to Pearl Farm Beach Resort.  We booked the Day Tour at Pearl Farm Manila Office, so the day we arrived at Davao Marina we only registered our names and a boat transfer provided by the resort took us to Pearl Farm in Samal Island.

Pearl Farm Beach Resort

     As we got off the boat, we were greeted by the resort’s staff and served us a welcome drink.  Before we start the day tour, they briefed us the accommodations location, facilities and services, spa and wellness, and the restaurant.

Welcome drink at Pearl Farm

    The accommodations are built in replica with the houses of Samal tribes.  A jar of water and a coconut dipper are placed in front of the houses to wash away the sands in your feet before you enter the room.

     Day tour guests can also use all the swimming pools and even the game room.

     Massage and body scrub in Ylang Ylang Spa has reasonable price.  You can opt to have a body or back massage at the Spa room or have back massage at the front beach.  A truly relaxing way to ease muscle pain!

     Pearl Farm lunch buffet is so rewarding.  The dishes are cooked at its best.  The salad bar and dessert bar are excellent.  We were so full after the meal and very satisfied.

Malipano Island

     The boat transfer to Malipano Island is free.  It is scheduled to transfer guests to and from Samal Island and Malipano Island every 15 minutes interval.  The small island has a fine white sand and clear waters.  Kayak, Jet Ski, and Surf Board can be rented.

     To roam around the Pearl Farm Resort, you can ride a golf cart every now and then for free.

     Souvenirs and memorabilia can be bought at Butik at an affordable price.

     At the top of a hill, you can view the bird’s eye view of Malipano Island.  There is also the bat cave tour but you will need to book and pay first at the information area.

     The down side of the resort is that the shower room is so small which can accommodate 2 persons at a time.  With so many day tour guests, we ended up lining the shower room before our scheduled boat trip back to Davao Marina.

Back to Davao City

     According to blogs we read that there is a night zip line in Zip City located at Hilltop.  We went there on Sunday night to find out that night zip line is during Friday and Saturday night only.  Zip line is open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  While during Friday and Saturday from 9AM until 9PM.  They are close during Monday and Tuesday.  So we missed the zip line in Davao again for the second time.

     That evening when we got hungry, we went to Jack Ridge in Shrine Hills to have our dinner.  That restaurant is popular from both locals and tourists, but their dishes are ordinary, just like what you eat at the mall’s food court.

     When we got back to the hostel we met my friend’s long time friend who lives in Davao.  We had a cup of coffee at Coffee Cat and chatted there for an hour.  It’s a local coffee shop that offers hot and cold coffee that has the same quality as Starbucks.  The ambiance of the cafĂ© is chic and cozy.

     On my flight to Cebu City the following morning, I was thinking how vast the Davao City.  There are so many places we missed with our 2 days tour.  A reason to come back in this big city soon!


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