Date: May 1st, 2014
Yesterday was an eventful day of sightseeing. I began early morning swimming with Oslob’s famed whale sharks and later enjoyed the beauty of Tumalog Falls. I was tired by the time I got back to Cebu from Oslob yesterday, so when I woke up in the morning, I decided to take it easy today.
I had breakfast from the hostel’s roof top ‘cafe’
The hills weren’t too far away from here
I worked for much of the day (ironic, considering it was May Day), only stepping out at 2pm to go to Ayala Center.
A very nice mall not too far from the hostel. (Had to take two short jeepney rides to get here)
I sat down at Persian Palate and had a spinach felalfel sandwich, a chicken shawarma rice meal and coconut water. Bill came to ₱242.
Since it was May Day, many shops were closed and the streets were far from buzzing.
The next day (May 2), I stepped out to do some shopping. I took a jeepney and went all the way down to the end of Osmeña Blvd. No fancy malls out here. Just a lot of street markets, shops and some much older shopping centres and department stores. I stepped into one and ended up buying some sandals for really cheap.
Much of down town Cebu looks like this
Saw a bit of ‘anti-America’… for a change
I then took a jeepney to SM City, where I decided to have lunch.
I had an bacon-wrapped hot dog from Monster Franks. And yes, that’s all the onion rings you get (plus a drink) for ₱130
After some window shopping and purchasing some souvenirs, I headed back to the hostel.
For dinner I ate at a small Italian eatery near Tr3ats Guesthouse. That’s fettucine pasta with meat sauce (₱140). This would be my final dinner in Cebu.
Date: May 3rd, 2014
I took a taxi to the airport as today I was leaving Cebu for Davao.
It was bright and sunny today, so I hoped the flight would leave on time
After checking in, we got word that the flight was slightly delayed. *Shocker* -_-
In the departures lounge, the famed Zubuchon had an outlet
Zubichon got really famous after Antony Bourdain called their lechon “the best he’s ever eaten”. So I too packed a lechon and rice meal (₱190) to have on the plane as my in-flight meal.
The lechon was really well done and the meat was obviously good quality pork. I guess Zubuchon really is worth trying when in Cebu.
The flight from Cebu to Davao takes just over an hour
Landed in Davao — for the first time
I hired a taxi to take me to the hostel I was going to be staying at for the next few days
This building with green tinted windows is the FTC Tower. It houses Green Windows Dormitel on the 4th, 5th and 6th floors (Oh, the taxi fare came to ₱166)
I chose Green Windows Dormitel because they have dorm beds for ₱188 all inclusive, and the rooms looked very nice and clean in the photos
Green Windows Dormitel has everything from dorm rooms to full service suites
This was the ₱188 dorm room, and I chose bed E, by the window. I was quite impressed! Wooden floors, functioning air conditioner, and comfy beds. The wi-fi was spotty inside the room, but whenever it worked, it was good.
I would sometimes have to sit out on the couch to get a better connection
This is the TV room, attached to the cafeteria
The cafeteria has a (pay) buffet serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (mostly Filipino cuisine) and the prices for coffee/tea and other items seem fairly reasonable
There’s even a store selling more groceries in the reception area
The street Green Windows Dormitel is situated at is called Mt. Apo street. With a name like that, you would assume Mt. Apo is close by. Nope, Mt. Apo is no where near it!
Green Windows Dormitel wasn’t too far away from the main city center
I walked about to scan the area and was happy to find enough eateries (KFC, McDonalds, Jollibee, etc.), pizzerias and bakeries galore all within walking distance from the dormitel.
To the left is Daylight Inn, a place I was initially going to stay at because it was the only listing available for Davao City on Hostels.com
Times Square Mall to the left and more shopping centers all around
I just roamed around town to see what else Davao City had to offer
City Hall of Davao
Durian is abundant in Davao and there they honour the fruit
A statue honouring Philippine hero Jose Rizal
Davao is home to the country’s national bird — the Philippines Eagle. I would be visiting the Philippines Eagle Center the day after.
I walked towards the San Pedro Cathedral, a Davao landmark
This statue is the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity
San Pedro Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Davao and renowned for its odd boat-like design
I checked out the interiors
Took a panorama
And then I left
Near by was Osmena Park
And inside were scores of masseurs offering foot and shoulder massages :-)
I walked around a bit more before heading back
Billiards seemed to be a popular pass time
A lot of nice bakeries in Davao City, and it was cheap!
I’ll be honest. When I read Davao City was the biggest city in the world (in terms of area), I still assumed Davao City would have its areas of world-class skylines. Far from it. It feels more like a very big town. It’s big in size, sure, but far from fancy. I saw so many pawn shops — a sign that the populace are looking to sell their wares (hopefully not stolen) in exchange for cash. Electronics stores hardly stocked the latest models and even the malls lacked any of the usual fancy brands. Definitely far more low key compared to Manila and Cebu.
Anyway, I wasn’t in Davao to hang out at malls. Tomorrow I would visit Eden Nature Park and attempt to visit Mt. Apo (which I realized only after landing here that the mountain is no where near the city)
FTC Tower, at night
(All the above photos were taken using my phone camera, Sony Xperia Z1)
Next post in this series:
Philippines 2014: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao
Philippines 2014: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost
Previous posts in this series:
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