I thought that for our first theme it should be about promoting Davao City, its popular tourist spots and its not-so-well-known wonders. So I set the theme as "If you were to tour a first timer around Davao City, where would you take him/her?"
Koii Canarias suggests the Vanishing Island (or Shanipan Shoal), a sand bar located between Davao City and Samal Island. During the high tide, the island vanishes beneath the clear blue sea, but reveals its true beauty during the low tide. He shares more of what to see in Davao through his more comprehensive post, The Undiscovered Davao.
Duane Bacon would take you to the Pastil BBQ sa Ponce, a hole-in-the-wall hotbed for college students craving for a delicious quick fix. It is famous for its Pastil, an original Muslim dish made of rice topped with Chicken that is usually paired with barbecue.
Another pastil addict, Jesse Pizarro, joins Duane in the pastil craze with his post "Pastil please!". He explains that Pastil BBQ sa Ponce has been serving the same pastil and barbecue for 10 years. He also asserts that you can't have graduated from Ateneo de Davao if you haven’t eaten in Pastilan sa Ponce.
And boy does he like to eat! Jesse goes to Goyong's Eatery & Snack Haus on Ponciano Street to get a hold of their excellent chicken mami. He even goes out of his way to call its owners the Brad and Angelina of the mami world! Now that's what I call appreciation!
If he's not eating pastil or mami, you can catch Jesse getting his butt kicked at Game Pakk, a gaming cafe that specializes in hard-to-find Playstation 3 games such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Soul Calibur IV. If you're a gamer, make sure to ask Jesse to show you a great time.
Renz Bulseco wrote just about every single aspect of Davao City to be enjoyed by its visitors. From the party scene, historical tidbits, sun-kissed beaches to the mountain resrots, transport system and parks, he's got it all covered! I suggest you read his post if you plan on visiting the city. Renz's post, From Islands to Highlands, is a great reminder of how beautiful our city is.
My cousin, Ria Jose, wishes you to partake in her tour of 5 places in Davao should you only have 24 hours to spare. These places are the Paradise Island Resort in Samal, Lachi's, whose Sans Rival is to die for, the Philippine Eagle Center, Tiny Kitchen and the Riverfront Corporate Center, where you can indulge in various adventures such as ziplining, zorving and nature activities at the Crocodile Park and Butterfly Farm.
And I would have to agree with my badminton buddy, Shiky Amper, that any tourist should try Davao's pride -- the Durian. She admits that it could be daunting at first, but good thing that Durian is cooked in many ways, including cheesecake! She recommends Lachi's Durian Cheesecake and Blugre's tamed-down version that includes mangoes and nuts. If you prefer coffee over cheesecake, Blugre also serves its renowned Durian Larcepuccino.
For photography aficionados, Rudolph Alama has created a goldmine of a blog post, The Basic Davao Shooting Guide, that summarizes the most ideal places to do photography shoots in Davao City. Yes, and that includes the infamous David statue found at Queensland Hotel.
Rudolph also tells us the fascinating story behind his favorite kebab place, Majid's. Its owner, Majid Jadali, was actually once a action movie star during the heyday of Philippine cinema in the 80's. The walls of his restaurant tell his colorful past. And get this -- he once shot a movie with the Susan Sarandon! Lucky guy. And yes, great food. Love Majid's.
In her blog entry, Karla Singson gives us a list of 10 things unique to Davao City, most notably the drinkable tap water, cheap fresh fruits, the wonderful People's Park, the magnificent Philippine Eagle and posh cafes in every corner.
Not to be outdone, Kaiser Mangampo also creates his own top ten tourist spots of Davao. He lists the Philippine Eagle Center as his first choice, followed by the Crocodile Park, DECA Wakeboard Park, Samal Island, which is just a stone's throw away from here, and Jack's Ridge.
Floraine Balgos wants to give her friends a more personal tour, so she created an itinerary of places to go Around Davao City in One Day. It involves a hearty breakfast at Taps, a visit to historic San Pedro Church and Museo de Davao, lunch at Luz Kinilaw, a stroll at People's Park, capped with dinner and coffee at Jack's Ridge.
Richard Diongson's favorite tourist attraction is the Monfort Bat Caves in Samal, home to the world's largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bats, as attested by the Guinness Book of World Records. For a mere 55 US cents, one can learn more about these often misunderstood creatures and how their role in the environment actually benefits everyone.
Mark Glenn Cabrera recounts his experience at Outland Adventure's Xcelerator Zipline in 2010. His initial fear was replaced by awe as he zipped almost a kilometer across some breathtaking scenery. He describes the ride as fresh and intense. He mentions a waiver that is given to you before the plunge, and advises you not to read it. I think he's right.
Eugene Maning shares with us the Best Route to Tour Davao City. In the morning, jog around Victoria Plaza then get breakfast at Chicco de Caffe. He also suggests checking out Chicken Tsunami's crunchy fried chicken and see the Davao landscape in the evening at Jack's Ridge.
Last but not the least, Alberto Egot Jr. invites us to visit a Thai-inspired real estate project called Amiya Resort Residences in Puan. Although still unfinished, he often gets requests from his photographer and filmmaker friends to do their shoots there. The 24-hectare property will soon have its own lagoon surrounded by cafes, spas and casitas. I'm sure everyone is looking forward to that.
And .... that's a wrap! Thanks to all my fellow Davao Bloggers for taking the time to write for the Blog Caravan! Please note that all photos contained in this post belong to their respective owners and have slightly been edited and resized.