Spontaneous Davao Weekend

After spending two lovely days at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Eliel and I used the rest of the time to see a bit of Davao before heading back to Manila.

Because I chose to procrastinate and am writing this several months later, the details I remember are a bit hazy.haha

From the Pearl Farm Resort, we took the hotel service back to the city. After losing a lot of money in an expensive resort (well worth it, though), we planned to spend the remaining nights in a budget-friendly place (a.k.a. our usual type of travel accommodation). After scouring the internet (mainly, Trip Advisor and Agoda), we found the best place for us - Ponce Suites. 

Ponce Suites is a cross between a hostel and an art gallery. It is owned by the family of Filipino artist Kublai Millan. His works are not only displayed all over the hostel, but around Davao, too. One of his prominent creations is the big durian sculpture that greets everyone at the Davao airport. 

As soon as we arrived, we were mesmerized by all the art. Every corner and every wall is filled with all sorts of art - sculpture, paintings, drawings, mixed media, photography. There is no shortage of things to look at. I went through every floor to look at everything. The place is amazing. Very artsy-fartsy. 
My favorite part was the roof deck. I don't have to explain why.
After checking in and taking a quick rest, we headed out to hear mass at the local parish. We then went straight to the mall (because Abreeza is a pretty mall!) and had early dinner at Ranchero. We stuffed ourselves with shrimp.

The next day, we traveled back to Samal island via the Island City Express. It's a bus that takes you to the Samal island via RoRo. We then took a tricycle to the Monfort Bat Sanctuary - a huge cave which is home to more than 2 million bats. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest colony of Geoffroy's Rossette fruit bats in the world. 

A tour guide greeted us and lead us to the different cave entrances where we could view the bats from afar. It was amazing. The cave and bats went on and on and on, deep into the cave. We only saw those near the entrances, but since the cave is about 1000 km deep, we could only see but a small fraction of the bats. I never thought bats could be this cute.hehe

It is perfect to visit during the day, since all the bats are home. Some are asleep, some are flying from one part of the cave to another trying to look for a spot to rest on. One area of the cave was full of baby bats, while another part was dominated by adult bats. According to the tour guide though, it is also great to visit at dusk to watch the bats fly out of the caves and into the night. 

After our little science field trip, we headed to Paradise Island Resort to grab some lunch. We decided to eat there so that we could just take the resort's ferry to go back to Davao City, instead of taking the RoRo. Once again, we stuffed ourselves with shrimp. We obviously care so much for shrimp.

By late afternoon, we were back in the city and ready to do some souvenir shopping. I personally wanted to go to Aldevinco Shopping Center to buy a bag and a malong (I LOVE MALONGS. Such a genius invention. hihi). I’ve wanted to get one of those colorful bags since my last trip to Davao. Finally, I did!

Before going back to Ponce, we stopped by a neighboring house/pasalubong center selling various durian and mangosteen products. We bought loads of candy and ice cream. The lady selling them told me that their durian candy is not all sugar, unlike most durian candies being sold outside. She also boasts that their candy can last for up to 2 years as long as they were frozen. 

Her claims were both true. It was the best durian candy I’ve had. You could taste the undiluted rich durian flavor. And while I never found out if they would last 2 years, I was able to keep a pack for my family, which I took back to Cebu 2 months later. They love durian candy and they found this batch to be incredibly good. Highly recommended.

As it was getting dark, we looked for some cheap dinner and as recommended by a friend of Eliel’s we found ourselves at Toryano's. 

Toryano's is a favorite of locals and they are known for their native chicken inasal. Eliel was so sleepy at first... but the food definitely woke him up. :)) Cheap, fuss-free and yummy. Just how we like it.

We weren't quite ready to call it a night just yet, so we went to Blugre Coffee for dessert and (duh) coffee. Not just any coffee though. When in Davao, it has to be durian coffee (for tourists like us, anyway). We really liked it paired with their moist macaroons.

The next day, we made a quick early-morning trip to Magsaysay Park to eat some fresh durian. It was fun watching this group of Koreans filming for some show. We saw a lot of foreigners enjoying their share of this "smelly" fruit.

Eliel and I sat on one of the park benches and ate there. :)

As our time in Davao came to an end, we packed our bags and had one last photo-op in front of Ponce Suites. I think the baby oblation is the cutest thing. A tribute to the University of the Philippines, where Kublai Millian studied Fine Arts.

And that was that. Just a quick, spontaneous, no-planning-ahead kind of trip to Davao. Sure, we missed out on some of the popular tourist destinations (lack of time, places too far), but it only gives us a reason to go back. 

Until the next trip!:)