Tuesday 14 November 2017

Sights: The Peaceful and Progressive City of DAVAO

Before Duterte became president, we had a chance to visit Davao when he was still presiding as mayor of the city. Arriving really late and being hungry, we felt so safe walking along the dimly lit and clean streets while looking for a place to eat. After a quick midnight snack, we called it a night so we can start our Davao journey very early the next morning.  Our first stop was The Philippine Eagle Center.

An minimal entrance fee of P50 was collected. The place looked really nice as the whole place was surrounded with Trees and Plants.

As expected, we saw different species of birds locked in cages. It broke our hearts to see a sea hawk locked in a 10 by 10 screen cage who's flying to and from his branch and the ground.

One of the highlights of the center was a lone cage less tied up eagle perched a top a tree trunk. You can truly see how beautiful, majestic and powerful the Philippine Eagle is.

I know that the Philippine Eagle Center is built for the education and preservation of not just our Philippine Eagle but all the species of bird found in our country, I'm for that but to see birds lock in small cages is just not right. I do hope that the center will continue to improve their facilities in housing these wonderful flying wonders.

The Philippine Eagle Center
Contact No.: 082 - 324 1860
Operating Hours: Mon to Sunday,m 8am to 5pm
Entrance Fee: 50php
Website: www.philippineeaglefoundation.org/philippine-eagle-center

Nearby was Malagos Garden Resort., we got the day pass with lunch buffet inclusion.

When we arrived, there was a scheduled bird show. After seeing the poor birds in the Philippine Eagle Center, I was contemplating if I should even watch the show, I would feel sadder to see more captive birds.

The Amphitheater of Malagos

But to my surprise, as soon as the presenter who's also a vet blew his whistle, a bird came flying through the air and landed on his arm. He proceeded to say that almost all the birds in Malagos are free roaming, they set up nests for them but they can choose to go wherever they want. What a relief!

The show was pretty entertaining and the best part about it was educating the spectators about the importance of taking care our mother nature.

After the show, lunch was served. The buffet spread was decent and it was actually quite delicious. Aside from the buffet, we also ordered cheese and  fruit wine that the farm makes. The chevre was excellent but the bugnay fruit wine was too sweet to my liking, im not a big fan.

We leisurely strolled around the resort and checked what other things it offers.

Enclosed Bird Sancturary


Butterflies at the Butterfly Sanctuary

Malagos Garden and Resort
Contact No: 082- 221 1545
Website: www.malagos.com
FB page: https://web.facebook.com/malagos.garden.resort/

The Davao Crocodile Park was up next in our agenda. From what I know, the parks's was set up for the production of crocodile leather The park was huge and it houses different animals, such as fish, monkeys, birds and reptiles.

There are different show to catch, we got watch a few.

One show that I felt sad about was Pangil Encounter. In one of the cages was a huge Crocodile named Pangil, its now the longest crocodile in captivity at 18 feet. Crocodiles can live long without any food so they tend to be inactive most of the time until it eats. The show is basically agitating Pangil so people can see him move around. A guy goes in the cage with a pole and pokes Pangil with it, he was being harassed. I hope they would stop this as it was obvious that Pangil looked stressed out.


As the sun was setting, we headed to watch the Tribu K' Mindawanan, a fires how which was also part of the park's main show attractions.

Davao Crocodile Park
Address: Gadi Roas, Talomo
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun, 8am to 7pm
FB Page: https://web.facebook.com/davaocrocodilepark/

To end our 1st day, we had a nice dinner at the White House.

The White House

Pan Seared Halibut

The White House
Address: Camella Northpoint, JP Laurel Ave., Buhangin
Contact No.: 082 282 4540

It was off to the beach for our next stop. From the city pier, it only takes around 10 to 15 minutes to reach Samal island. We stayed at Chemas by The Sea resort, a really nice and quiet place to stay. Rooms/cottages are far from each other, it made us feel that we were the only guests around.

Our Private Villa

The shore of the resort was really short but it was so clean and well maintained.

Beach Shore of Chemas

After checking in and resting a bit, we hired and rode a motorcycle to visit the Monfort Bat Colony.
The Montfort Cave holds the Guiness World Record for having the largest colony of Fruit Bat. Upon arriving, we were greeted by one of the staff and was given a brief story and description of the place.

As we inch closer towards the caves, you can literally feel the warmth that surrounds the area and you'll also notice the strong stench. Upon reaching the mouth, we were all dumbstruck on how massive the colony of bats was.

Bats are not the most adorable creatures so other might be freaked out by them. But I highly recommend people to visit the place, its a very interesting natural encounter. As the guide told us, thanks to all of these bats, the lands in Davao are fertile.

When we got back to the resort, we quickly put on our swim wear to swim in the sea. It was already low tide, we had to walk quite a bit before reaching the deeper parts of the water. While walking, I got excited when I noticed the corals that can be seen in the shallow waters. Live corals means that there will be fish nearby. True enough, when the tide was high the morning after. I spotted a lot of fish around. We basically spend the whole morning swimming and lounging around the resort.

Low Tide

Time to go for a swim

Chemas' saltwater pool

At night, it was such a beautiful quiet place to sit back, relax and enjoy the colorful lights coming from the city.

Our flight back to Manila was scheduled really late so we still had time to make some few stops after getting back from Samal. We decided to take a look at the D Bone Collector Museum as it was highly recommended by a lot of travelers.

The museum housed preserved skeletons of various animals from the the air, land and sea. It might sound uninteresting and boring on print. But I highly recommend people to visit this place, this was my favorite attraction of the city. Guests are always asked to go around with a guide so aside from looking at the fantastic bone collection, you'll hear stories about the different exhibits.

Sea Dwelling Animals

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Land Dwelling

D' Bone Collector Museum
Address: San Pedro Street, Poblacion District
Operating Hours: Mon to Fri - 10am to 5pm, Sat - 1pm to 5pm, Closed on Sundays
Entrance Fee: 80php/person

We also had a very quick stop at the People's Park.

Durian Shaped Architecture

Sculpture of local indigenous Davaoanians

It was a short three day stay in Davao but we all feel emotionally well rested after the trip. Aside from feeling safe all the time, you can see the potential of this progressive city. Everything you want from a vacation is within reach, from the bustling modernities of a city to the peaceful calm of nature. A city worth going back to again and again.

Sunday 30 July 2017

Sip and Gogh

When I was a kid, I’d always thought that I'm good at drawing, I would take my doodles, show and brag about it to my mom. I was always so confident and proud until my mom took me to a studio for summer art workshop. As I walked inside, there where kids younger than me who were drawing a simple apple but with all the shadows and shading, the drawings were beautiful. I was astounded and at that time I knew that my ‘artistic’ creations were nothing compared to how their drawing looked like. Feeling dishearten, I didn’t enroll anymore and I wouldn’t draw as much but my love for art never stopped.

Broken Barriers

Red or White?

"Let's Go..."

The Dark Side (Glow in the Dark)

I always enjoyed looking at different artworks in different art forms. One of my favorite things to do is to look at artworks in museums, studios and malls.  I would always say to myself that I’d someday buy art pieces from famous maestros and I’ve never thought of making my own painting. This was  until I heard about Sip and Gogh.

Sip and Gogh

Sip and Gogh is a studio where you can create your own painting. For 1000php, you’ll be provided with all the materials you’ll need to make your own masterpiece, included in the fee is a choice of your drink and some snacks to go with it. 

Salami Platter

Nibbles Platter

Being a wine lover, I always look forward to drinking wine while painting. As a glass of wine comes as an option. 

Wine while painitng?....why not!

Selection of  White and Red

One can opt to join a feature painting session where the set up is like class where everyone paints the same painting, the teacher would teach the step by step process on how to draw the said painting. Or you can choose from the different paintings on display to replicate. Or like me, you can go freestyle and create your own. From beginners to experts, from the young to the old, or for those who can’t draw to save their life, everybody is welcome.

Paintings on display which you can Replicate

Sip and Gogh has different branches but the one I always go to is in Kapitolyo, Pasig. The art studio is spacious, clean, well lit and so comfortable to be in. 

Sip and Gogh Kapitolyo, Pasig

The best part about this place are the teachers/instructors, they are all well skilled and patient in teaching the students.  Every one of them are so friendly and warm that once you enter the place you feel welcomed. Whenever I go visit the place, I usually end up talking with the teachers/instructors, they are always willing to share their tips and techniques about painting. Moreover, it doesn’t stop with painting alone, I’ve also learned other form of artworks from them.

Beginner?..No worries! The teachers are always there to help

For art lovers or those who’s looking for a new hobby, I strongly suggest that you try out painting. Just like me, you’ll be surprised with what you can do.  Head over to Sip and Gogh and unleash your hidden creative side for it unleashed mine. The paintings above are some of my creations that I made in the studio.

Sip and Gogh Kapitolyo Branch
Address: 2nd Floor Ace Hotel and Suites, United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun, 10am to 10pm
Tel. No.: 632 0069