Why Davao Has Become a Home in the South



I like diversity. I like changes in scenery. I like long, winding roads and forest trails; I like beaches and infinity pools. I like mountains and hills, valleys and rivers.

From the mountains to the beaches

They say that one of the best things about Davao is that you can go from the mountains to the beaches and back again in one whole day. If you are looking for a variation beyond nature trails and winding mountain paths, you can take a quick drive down to the beach. Boats are available for rent, as well as snorkelling gear. Soon, you will feel the salty spray of the sea and smell the summer ocean breeze, touseling your hair and warming your face.

I've got to say Davao is one of the most beautiful waters where I have ever snorkelled. I've tried it in several islands in both Puerto Princesa and Coron in Palawan, and I've enjoyed all my snorkelling experiences so far, but it's different in Davao. Because our time was pretty limited, we did not stop at any beach, but instead, the captain and crew of our little boat dropped anchor by the coral reefs and we just swam around and explored as far as we dared to.

One particular coral reef was so vast that we could see for miles and miles. At some point, we could swim to a sudden drop off, where the waters turned a deeper blue colour and the temperature was significantly colder. Because I am near-sighted, I can't see as much as I would have liked to, but what I saw left me breathless with wonder. There's just so much beauty and diversity in coral reefs. I may a bit apprehensive about not being able to touch the ocean floor or knowing that the ocean stretches out for miles and miles, but sights like that are enough to make me forget all my fears and apprehensions.

Baby, it's cold up there

I must say we were pretty spoiled when we were in Davao. Our host and good family friend rented us a mountain lodge in Eden Nature Park and that was where we stayed for the two nights we were there.

Eden Nature Park is located at the top of one of the mountains in Davao. It has often been called the "Baguio" of Davao because of its coolness, especially at night. Eden Nature Park provides more than just accommodations. There is a wide range of activities to do. From thrilling adventures—ziplining, sky cycling, sky swinging—and other activities tor those who wish to see another day—horseback riding, fishing, swimming—to eco tours of flower gardens, organic vegetable farms, the park is definitely a must-see for people visiting Davao.

I would also recommend living up in the mountains and away from the city, especially if you just want to get away from all the fuss and buzz of concrete jungles. In the mornings, we would go around the city or go island hopping. In the evenings, we would make our way to the top of the mountain where it was so cold. Best. Experience. Ever.

Panga ng tuna—my precious, my loves

"Panga" or jaw of the tuna, or any part, overall, is one of my most favourite foods ever. And you bet I had a lot of that in Davao for the two times I've been there. I've tasted it grilled—ooh la la! I've had it in soup—so delicious! For those who like tuna, fish, and other sorts of seafood, go to Davao. I swear you will have your fill of it.

Not does Davao have a lot of seafoods, but it is also abundant in all sorts of fruits. You've got rambutan, pomelo, mangosteen (my favourite!), durian (with its interesting smell and taste that one must acquire) and so much more!

Davao is one of those places I have enjoyed going to and can't wait to go back to visit and, hopefully, stay for a longer time. The first time I was there was for three incredibly short days, and the second time was for two even shorter days (not to mention that it was a business trip, so there was absolutely no time to go around). I know there are several spots I haven't been to yet, and I would love to snorkel some more before going home to the mountains to spend the night.

If you, like me, are tired of living in the capital where everything is just a mad frenzy, and you wish that life would slow down for a bit so you can take a breath, I think you'll love Davao, just as I do. I love how relaxed and laid back things are there. No madness, no rush. No furious scramble to get from one place to another. It's lovely, peaceful, has plenty of scenic spots where you can admire the view, meditate, or just enjoy everything around you.

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