EXCITING AND EXOTIC DAVAO TRIP

IT was an exciting trip on board the country’s toppity luxury airline Cebu Pacific Airbus. We reached Davao in less than an hour of a very pleasant flight made more memorable by the caring cabin personnel and the gorgeous pilots. Davao City is buzzing and fantastic, dahlings!

Warmly welcoming us at the sprawling Davao International Airport was Cebu Pacific’s PR team led by Selrahco Management Consultancy Services’ chairman Charles Lim along with May April Jimenea and JG Summit Holdings Inc.’s Len Balmonte. Joining us later was Cebu Air Inc.’s Corporate Communications Specialist, the super smart PR girl Michelle Eve de Guzman.

Our home away from home was the Metro Davao’s world class Marco Polo Hotel along C. M. Recto Avenue that awesomely stands for elegance and warm Filipino hospitality. With its 18 floors, it is the tallest hotel in this side of side of the country. My cool bedroom afforded me spectacular vistas, overlooking the iconic Mt. Apo and the City Gulf as well as the Ateneo de Davao fronting the said hotel, dahlings!

A welcome luncheon was a big respite at the Trellis N. Vines Restaurant which is located just near the sprawling compound of Davao Trade and Industry building. After which we proceeded to the newest Abreeza shopping mall for short shopping time before heading for an afternoon siesta time.

A superb dinner at Davao’s legendary Marina Tuna Seafood Restaurant broke our diet plan what with a long array of sumptuous best of the best tuna and seafood fares, hosted by the bubbly owner Dominic Ang no less. Well, for your information, Mr. Ang was the one who spearheaded the booming tuna industry in Davao. Decades ago he pioneered the yellow fin tuna export to Japan which opened the doors to this booming Davao Tuna industry, dahlings!

After dinner we proceeded to Davao’s highest peak historical landmark, the sprawling Jack’s Ridge Park which boasts of classy resto bars and cafes, amphitheater, giving us a spectacular view of the metropolis’s glittering skyline while sipping our hot coffee.

Well, dahlings, subsequent days dazzled our senses as the trip brought us to the following A-list tourist spots of Davao:

MALAGOS GARDENS - where we enjoyed the truly entertaining birds show along with foreign and local tourists. After lunch, our team went off for a bird feeding experience at the garden’s birds dome.

Crocodile Farm – The only crocodile park in the region provides home to locally bred crocodiles including one of the country's biggest crocodiles, Pangil (or fangs) measuring over 18 feet (5.5 m) in length. On display are also dozens of species of birds and snakes, as well as tigers and great apes. One can take pleasure from viewing, horseback riding around the park, or feeding the young fierce reptiles.

DECA Wakeboard Park – Considered to be the biggest wakeboarding park in the Philippines, offering the best venue for the extreme water sports, the wake-boarding and water-ski. The park also offers a scenic view of Mt. Apo that boosts amusement while riding.

Eden Nature Park – A very popular mountain resort located in Eden, Toril District, some 40 minutes away from the city center. It is situated 3,000 ft (910 m) above sea level, giving it a cool and moderate climate. It is 95% man-made with pine trees dotting the landscape. It covers 40 hectares of developed land.

Philippine Eagle Center – Home to the Philippines National Bird, The Philippine Eagle (previously named Monkey-eating Eagle), the largest eagle in the world. It is where they are bred in captivity in order to increase their population and prevent extinction. Located in Malagos, a 45-minute drive from the city center. Aside from being a temporary home for the Monkey-eating Eagle, it also hosts some other exotic animals native to Davao's forest. As of April, 2010, 18 eagles are on exhibit. Note that if the Crocodile Farm is visited first, a 4-day waiting period must be observed before visiting the Eagle Center to avoid disease transmission.

The buzzing nitelife scene in Davao brought us to fine dining havens such as the cool and classy T.G.I. Fridays Bistro at Abreeza Mall and Rolando’s Resto where Davao’s DOT Regional Director Art Boncato Jr. hosted a welcome dinner for us. Hitting the party scene, off we breezed in to the A-list watering hole, the cool Eagles Resto Bar of Marco Polo Hotel where we chilled out and grooved the nite with Davao City’s stylish partyphiles, dahlings!

Last nite of our romantic rendezvous was an intimate seafood dinner hosted by Davao’s Waterfront Insular Hotel made more charming by the warmth of Marketing Communications Officer Christine Avila. Thereafter we capped the nite at the posh Microtel Davao.

Davao is a region in south eastern Mindanao, Philippines that boasts natural beauty and resources. Davao is composed of four provinces namely: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and the City of Davao.