Date: May 7, 2014
Today was my last day in Davao. I checked out early from Green Windows Dormitel because instead of heading straight to the airport, I instead decided to carry all my bags, take a taxi and visit the Japanese World War II tunnel in Davao.
The tunnel is now situated inside a resort that goes by the name of D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort. Like every attraction in Davao, it’s a bit of a drive away from the city.
As the taxi kept on riding for around half an hour, I wondered if I would be late for my flight as the Japanese Tunnel is not in the same direction as the airport.
Once I reached D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort, the entrance to the tunnel was pretty much visible from the gate. It’s basically a resort built around the tunnel. I went to the resort’s eception desk and bought the entry ticket for the Japanese tunnel. It costs ₱50 for adults, ₱20 for children.
This is the entrance, the reception was to the right.
There is a guide that comes along with you
This tunnel was built in 1942, during World War II, when the Japanese had captured Davao and used the island in its fight to capture the remaining Pacific islands.
It’s 300 metres long
The tunnel was used by Japanese soldiers during the war as an underground base. This is a mini-shrine, a prayer area of sorts
And this is how a Japanese soldier used to look like in those days
A mini-prison cell. This is where they would sometimes keep prisoners of war. Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be comfortable.
We proceeded further, and it got cooler
We reached the end
You can see used bullets and old casings from the WWII era in this cell… if that sort of stuff intrigues you
This figurine is of a commander looking at a map. Of course, this has now turned into ‘toss a coin for good luck’ tourist sham.
And that was it. We walked back.
On the way back, I took some photos using flash
This is some groundwater collection point
This cat seems to have have made the tunnel its shelter :)
I was in and out in less than half an hour. I took longer to get here! Oh well, I insisted on coming to the Japanese Tunnel so that I can say, ‘I saw this too’ at Davao.
Anyway, off to Davao airport now!
The taxi fare came to ₱369 (Rs. 500/$7/€6), but I didn’t really mind. I had another attraction to write about for my readers ^_^. And I wasn’t late to the airport or anything. I checked my baggage on time and had some time to have my lunch before the flight too.
Unfortunately this fried fish rice meal was a complete waste of ₱170. The fish was bleh, and clearly reheated in a microwave on multiple occasions.
I guess this meal would be the final disappointment from Davao. Sure I tried scuba-diving and sky-cycling, but the last three days spent here, to be honest, was just okay compared to the rest of Philippines I have explored. Not that Mindanao doesn’t have amazing sights to see. I’d love to have seen Asik-Asik Falls (Alamada, North Cotabato) and then Enchanted River in Surigao Del Sur, but both those places were really, really far and I would have had to stay at a nearby town as it would have been impossible to make it back to Davao City by same day evening.
The flight back to Manila didn’t depart on time, which by now I’ve gotten used to.
By now, I was no longer blaming Cebu Pacific but instead the congestion at Manila airport — or both.
Upon landing in Manila, I headed to Pink Manila Hostel in Malate, which is where I would be staying for the rest of my days in Manila.
I met my friend Gale for dinner who said she would take me to Cubao X, famous for its many chic eateries
We dined at an Italian restaurant called Bellini’s
The seafood pizza was great, and great value at ₱300!
This orange cake slice we had for dessert was sinful!
May 9th, 2014
Didn’t do much yesterday day other than catch Amazing Spider Man 2 at Trinoma — which sucked! (The movie, not the mall).
By the way, here are some photos of Pink Manila Hostel I took during the day.
The hostel takes up the top two floors of a building. This is the TV lounge area.
They have a small swimming pool too
This is the reception, and yes, those are the elevator doors at the back
The rooms were on the floor above
Unfortunately the elevator doesn’t come up all the way up here
These are the rooms. Now you know why they call it Pink Manila Hostel -_-
A dorm bed cost me ₱570 per night, which was not bad considering the location. I chose Pink Manila Hostel because I wanted some place close to an MRT/LRT station and it had to be close to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex, which is from where I would have to take a ferry going to Corregidor Island.
This is the building Pink Manila Hostel is housed in
There’s a pay-and-use gym at ground floor
I was in a nice little neighborhood in Malate
The nearest LRT station was Vito Cruz. The major landmark here is De La Salle University.
Plenty of small stores, eateries and convenience outlets here
I had my lunch and bought some drinking water to keep in the room. I stayed indoors for much of the afternoon and worked. I decided to step out in the evening to check out Divisoria Night Market.
This is the Makati skyline from my building
To get to Divisoria, I had to take the LRT and get down at Doroteo Jose. From there are jeepneys going towards Divisoria.
Unfortunately, it began to rain
Many of the outdoor stalls were covering up their wares
And many called it a day too
It didn’t get any better when I entered 999 Mall. Every store was shutting shop for the night.
I walked to 168 Mall next door
Unfortunately, here too, most shops were closing for the day. But I checked out each floor to see what was where. I went all the way up to the food court and decided to have my dinner a little early.
I sat down at the Bon Chon outlet there and ordered a fish taco, fries, and some chicken.
Gale later told me Bon Chon is a Korean chain. Honestly, I found their food greasy and very oily. For example, there wasn’t much flavour in the chicken beyond the sauces on the chicken skin. Plus, at ₱345, this is the priciest ‘fast food’ meal I had on this trip.
After dinner, I returned to Pink Manila Hostel. Although I wasn’t able to do much today, I learnt that if you wish to visit Divisoria, best do that well before 7pm. Anyway, I would return to Divisoria the next day and you can check out my next post which is all about bargain shopping in Manila and outlet stores at Paseo de Santa Rosa.
This is a cat that stays at the hostel
Previous post(s) in this series:
Philippines 2014: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)
Philippines 2014: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao
Philippines 2014: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost
Philippines 2014: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao
Philippines 2014: Leaving Cebu for Davao; Davao City sights
Philippines 2014: Tumalog Falls; Oslob church, Cuartel
Philippines 2014: Oslob – Swimming with whale sharks
Philippines 2014: Trek to Mount Pinatubo crater lake
Philippines 2014: The itinerary this time around; UP Diliman and Maginhawa
My Philippines journeys: 2011 series | 2013 series