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Philippines > Davao City

Roxas Street is bustling with street food when the sun sets

Davao City is touted to be the largest city in the Philippines even though the central commercial areas only extend so much. Davao, like the rest of Mindanao, suffers from the collective stigma of bombs and insurgencies. But that is like saying it's dangerous in California because someone got mugged in New York. More than any other city in Mindanao, Davao is the most peaceful, thanks in large part to the iron-fist of its controversial former mayor, Rodrigo Duterte. TIME Magazine proclaims him as The Punisher and Listverse describes him as "the most badass mayor in the history of world...with justice, served ice cold". Regular city folks love him for keeping their streets drug-free and crime-free. Criminals on the other hand leave town...or else!

About Davao City

Davao City Davao City in a Nutshell:

  1. Ethnic makeup - its a melting pot of local tribes and migrants from the Visayas and Luzon
  2. Religion - predominantly Catholic with a strong presence of the Muslim minority
  3. Climate - typhoon-free since tropical storms and tidal waves are blocked by a peninsula. Balmy all year round weather. Temperature ranges from 20 to 32 degrees
  4. Land area - 2,443.61 square kilometers
  5. Location - southern most part of the Philippines
  6. Language - Cebuano and Tagalog. English is universally understood and spoken. It's the medium of instruction in the school system
  7. Peace and order situation - under the helm of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, Davao City is almost crime-free
  8. Population - 1,363,330 (2007 census)

Davao City Attractions travel tip to Davao City Not to be Missed in Davao:
(if you only have a few days in Davao City)
  1. Bankerohan - this Davao's public market. Lose yourself in its many passages. Buy fruits which are abundant and cheap. Drink the native chocolate drink, sikwate (P25). If you're looking for something weird tasting but popular, try the kinutil (P50) (sikwate mixed in with milk, egg and milk)
  2. Magsaysay Park - for Davao's best durian. Durian can be bought in practically every corner of the city. But you can get the best at Magsaysay Park. The price will be higher than everywhere else but the weighing scales are certified accurate (push cart durian vendors with questionable weighing scales will price it at P30/kilo but Magsaysay rates maybe at P50/kilo)
  3. River Rafting - see Davao Wild Water below. Read Blog
  4. Crocodile Park - this is more of a mini zoo where you see a lot of crocodiles, some tigers, snakes, eagles, etc. Read Blog
  5. Samal Island - Samal has many beach resorts. Dive tours are often done there and its nearby island, Talikud Island. One such resort is Maxima AquaFun. Read Blog
beaches in Davao Islands and Beaches in Davao City and Samal Island:
  1. Maxima AquaFun Samal Resort Maxima AquaFun Resort - water slides, beach cottages, jet ski, plank diving, coral reef, free-diving, scuba diving, banana boat ride
  2. Camp Holiday - at Samal Ferry Wharf, Samal Island,
  3. Pearl Farm Beach Resort - at Kaputian, Samal Island,
river rafting in Davao River Rafting in Davao City:
  1. Davao Wild Water - experience 13 kms of white water along the rapids of Davao River. Read Blog
mountain trekking in Davao Mountains in Davao City:
  1. Mount Apo March 15-18, 2008 summiting Mt. Apo. Read Blog
snorkeling in Davao Snorkeling in Davao City:
  1. Samal Island March 21, 2008 snorkeling in Samal Island. Read Blog
parks in Davao Parks in Davao City:
  1. People's Park - a workout mecca for the morning crowd and dating place by night. Read Blog
  2. Crocodile Park - it's more of a zoo than a park - crocs, exotic birds, tigers, ostrich, reptiles, etc. Read Blog
attractions in Davao Other Attractions in Davao City:
  1. Zip City - ziplining and a free-fall while enjoying burgers and a coldie. Read Blog

Google Map of Davao City

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Davao City tourist attractions hotels in Davao City - hotel van rental in Davao City van rental
  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
    0925.500.3211 |
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Pros and Cons of Davao City

Great Things Going for Davao City

  1. one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  2. smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  3. pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  4. public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  5. durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  6. you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  1. the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight
  2. smoke belchers are still rampant amongst public utility vehicles - black smoke, blue smoke, etc. Thus walking along the streets of Poblacion is unhealthy
Fabulous Dabawenyos

The begging question is, "what have you done for Davao?". How has Davao become a better place because of you?

  1. It's not enough that you own a string of businesses, if you're not giving your employees better wages and a better-than-decent working environment (think: Googleplex)
  2. It's not enough that you're a powerful politician if you haven't improved the living conditions of Dabawenyos
  3. It's not enough that your influence can sway public opinion if it's not for the greater good of Davao
  4. It's not emough that you have good intentions and working hard on it, if you're not effective

Below is a list of people who have gone beyond the call of duty to make Davao the vibrant and peaceful city that it is now.

Feel free to nominate a Fabulous Dabawenyo by using the Comment Form.

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte Rodrigo Duterte
former mayor of Davao City
former president of the Philippines

Global Reputation
More than any other city in the country, Davao is the most peaceful. International polling ranks Davao City as the 4th Most Peaceful City in the World, thanks in large part to the iron-fist of its controversial mayor, Rodrigo Duterte. TIME Magazine proclaims him as The Punisher and Listverse describes him as "the most bad-ass mayor in the history of the world...with justice served ice cold". Regular city folks love him for keeping their streets drug-free and crime-free. Criminals on the other hand leave town...or else!

Man of the People
Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, usually in the afternoon, he makes himself available to the people of Davao to hear them out. People line up his office and wait their turn. He doesn't leave until he's heard them all - even if it takes him late into the night. People used to fear saying something unfavorable about him. Now, after benefitting from the sustained peace and order, discipline and stability of the city, Dabawenyos feel a genuine love for their mayor. People refer to him as a people's man - the way he spent the holidays with the people from Smokey Mountain, the way he talks one-on-one to his constituents on his regular Sunday show, the time he disguised himself as a cabbie, just to get the feel of things from street level. People relate to him as their Robin Hood. In him, they find a strong man they can entrust their safety and well being. Someone who can deliver swift justice...almost on-demand.

Justice Served
Under the mayor's watch, justice is served - justice under the rule of law, or street justice if need be. The law's failure to provide justice does more harm to society than the crime itself. Let the safe streets of Davao serve as metaphor for justice served.

Kublai Ponce Millan

Kublai Ponce Millan Kublai Ponce Millan
sculptor, art photographer, painter, digital artist and performance artist

Renaissance Man
With many skillful talents as a multi-media artist, Kublai adorns Davao's landscape with his bigger-than-life sculptures. You can see many of his work in People's Park - Philippine Eagle, Bagobo children, etc. The giant durian monument in Davao International Airport is iconic. His family-owned Ponce Suites, is practically an art installation given all the art work on display. His Nativity art installation even graced the Vatican. Davao's landscape is visually richer through his art.

Art for Everyone
He democratizes art by using medium that's accessible and affordable even to the marginalized. Sculpture? He makes it with cement instead of the more expensive bronze or marble. More artists can follow his footsteps by blazing that new approach to art.

Davao City Blogs about Kublai Ponce Millan Blogs about Kublai Ponce Millan

  1. The Cordillera - Day 5: Sagada May 3, 2005
  2. Davao City June 20-23, 2009

Brief History
  1. 1620 - Spanish sovereignty is already well entrenched, but historical accounts remain unrecorded
  2. 1848 - Spanish muscle in these parts were flexed with Don Jose Cruz de Oyanguren launching an all-out attack against the Muslims headed by Datu Bago in Davao Gulf, where Oyanguren ultimately prevailed. But skirmishes between Moro's and the Spanish colonisers ensued.
  3. 1852 - Oyanguren was relieved of his command by the powerful in Manila. Peace with the natives prevailed but population growth was very slow
  4. 1868 - three Jesuit missionaries arrived in Davao and became successful in 'winning the hearts and minds' of the local population
  5. 1892 - through the perseverance of the Christian priests, some Muslims of Hijo left their tribe to be resettled with the Christians
  6. 1898 - the early years of American rule where Davao's rich natural resources were tapped by the new colonizers for commercial gain. Laborers came from all over the country including Japanese investors. The economic prosperity ushered a new era of plenty to Davao. Population expansion followed.
  7. 1903 to 1925 - increased Japanese acquisition of land was met with suspicion by the local government. Laborers from the Visayas and Luzon were lured with free land to Davao to stem the rising influence of the Japanese.
  8. 1936 - Davao became a city as a result of its continued economic progress brought about by urban migration from the Visayas and Luzon in search of opportunities resulting from foreign investments
  9. 1941 - World War II. Japanese planes bombed Davao and occupied it a year later
  10. 1945 - American and Philippine forces liberated Davao City from the Japanese. Davao saw the bloodiest battles in the country. With intense bombings by Gen. McArthur on the city, all economic and physical gains prior to the war outbreak was lost. Davao lay in ruins and a massive recovery plan was in dire need
  11. 1946 - slowly, Davao regained its status as the premier agricultural and trade center of Mindanao due in large part to the rebuilding efforst jointly administered by the US Army and President Roxas
  12. 2013 - today, Davao is a racial melting pot of all people coming from different parts of the Philippines who ventured into Davao for adventure, investment, work, land and opportunities.

Davao City Blogs


  1. Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023
  2. Off to Davao (Siquijor Break) Aug 12-19, 2023
  3. 2016

  4. Revisiting Davao Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016
  5. A Roof Over my Head in Davao Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016
  6. Davao Yoga Scene Oct 31, 2016
  7. Pranayama Oct 24, 2016
  8. Yoga Beyond the Mat Oct 21, 2016
  9. Grilled Tuna Overload in Davao Oct 13, 2016
  10. Duterte Mania in Davao Oct 12, 2016
  11. Sirsasana, Sarvangasana - Yoga Makaranda II Oct 7, 2016
  12. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Oct 5, 2016
  13. Ashtanga Yoga with James Fritz Freire at Holiday Gym and Spa Oct 1, 2016
  14. There was a Bomb Explosion? Sep 30, 2016
  15. Jin in Davao Sep 29, 2016
  16. Scrubs and Hilot at Holiday Gym and Spa Sep 22-29, 2016
  17. The Fabulous Dabawenyos Aug 22-Sep 26, 2016
  18. Nirvana Breathing Fitness with Lita C. Quisumbing Sep 21, 2016
  19. Massage, Sauna and Ear Candling at Holiday Spa and Gym Sep 17-19, 2016
  20. Downpour in Davao Sep 18, 2016
  21. Lounge One Yoga Sequence by May Bel Le at North Zen Hotel Sep 16, 2016
  22. Celebrating Davao's King of Fruits - Durian! Sep 11, 2016
  23. The Blast that Rocked Davao Sep 2, 2016
  24. Hatha Flow Yoga with Joanna Lizares Co at Holiday Spa and Gym Aug. 31, 2016
  25. Conducting a Power Yoga Class at Yoga Davao Aug 29, 2016
  26. Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour Aug 26, 2016
  27. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Aug 25, 2016
  28. A Gifted Dell Laptop from the Usual Suspect Aug. 24, 2016
  29. 2015

  30. The Duterte Phenomenon Oct 21, 2015
  31. 2014

  32. 20 Days in Davao City July 4- 24, 2014
  33. 2013

  34. Goodbye Davao...Again! Sep 28, 2013
  35. Wine and Cheese at Malagos Farm House Sep 27, 2013
  36. Custom-made Peanut Butter at Davao City's Bankerohan Market Sep 27, 2013
  37. Yoga in Davao Sep 26, 2013
  38. Celebrating 25 Years of Habitat for Humanity Philippines Sep 18, 2013
  39. Clobbered in a Vicious Karate Match Sep 17, 2013
  40. Ang Tag-Araw ni Twinkle Sep 12, 2013
  41. Pending US Invasion of Syria Sep 7, 2013
  42. Back Into the Black Sep 1, 2013
  43. No Reply Aug 30, 2013
  44. Full Body-Cavity Search without the Latex Aug 25, 2013
  45. Rafting Davao River's White-Water with Wild-Water Sonny Aug 25, 2013
  46. Fun Day with Crocodile Sonny and Sports Unlimited Dynamic Duo, Dyan Castillejo and Marc Nelson Aug 15, 2013
  47. Fun! Fun! at Maxima AquaFun, Samal Island Aug 11, 2013
  48. Siblings Jul 31, 2013
  49. Rest In Peace July 27, 2013
  50. Goodbye Davao Jan 23, 2013
  51. Davao City's Peace and Order Jan 21, 2013
  52. Holiday Spa Yoga, Davao City Jan 20, 2013
  53. Free Yoga at People's Park Jan 12, 2013
  54. Distributing Relief Goods to Victims of Typhoon Palblo - Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental Jan 1, 2013
  55. 2012

  56. 2012: a Year in Review Dec 31, 2012
  57. Davao City: Family Ties Dec 15-22, 2012
  58. Breakup Diaries: Chance Encounter in Davao City Dec 19, 2012
  59. 2009

  60. Davao City Jun 20, 2009
  61. 2008

  62. Davao City Mar 18-20, 2008
  63. Climbing Mount Apo Mar 15-18, 2008
Davao City Food Blogs
  1. Grilled Tuna Overload in Davao Oct 13, 2016
  2. Celebrating Davao's King of Fruits - Durian! Sep 11, 2016
  3. Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour Aug 26, 2016
  4. Wine and Cheese at Malagos Farm House Sep 27, 2013
Davao City >> CDO >> Iligan >> Lazi by bus/boat

From Davao City, timing your departure to make it to the 4pm boat departure from Iligan to Lazi, Siquijor, it would cost PHP 1900 and take about 17 hours not including layover for the buses to depart.

  1. Davao bus terminal - from the Davao bus terminal, there is always a bus leaving for CDO (Agora East Terminal), 24 hours - no need to pre-purchase your ticket. 8 hours, PHP 875. If you travel at night, the trip is only 6.5 hours.
  2. CDO East Bus Terminal (Agora) - at the bus station, take a jeep going to West Bus Terminal (Bulua), 30 mins, PHP 20. In CDO there are 2 bus terminalsl.

    By end of Aug 2023, there will be a Kho shipping boat leaving CDO to Lazi directly - no need to be passing Iligan. No schedule yet.
  3. CDO West Terminal (Bulua) - take a bus going to Iligan. Many buses going west (Pagadian, Zamboanga, Plaridel, etc.) will pass by Iligan - just ask the bus conductor. 2 hours, PHP 200. You will get off at the Tambo Integrated Bus Terminal in Iligan
  4. Tambo Integrated Bus Terminal - from the terminal, take a jeep to City Proper and it will pass by the Iligan Port, 30 mins, 15 PHP
  5. Iligan Port - the Kho Shipping Lines will take you to Lazi Port, Siquijor. 6 hours, PHP 800

  6. Iligan to Lazi

  7. Lazi Port - you will arrive around 11 pm

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