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Soldier statues Japanese tunnel Davao Philippines

Philippines: Japanese tunnel; leaving Davao for Manila

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.

Davao island highway Philippines
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.

D' Japanese tunnel entrance Davao
This is the entrance, the reception was to the right.
Entering Japanese war tunnel Davao
There is a guide that comes along with you
Japanese tunnel Davao Philippines
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.
Japanese world war tunnel Davao
It’s 300 metres long
Jail cell Japanese tunnel Davao
The tunnel was used by Japanese soldiers during the war as an underground base. This is a mini-shrine, a prayer area of sorts
Soldier statues Japanese tunnel Davao Philippines
And this is how a Japanese soldier used to look like in those days
Prison cell Japanese tunnel Davao
A mini-prison cell. This is where they would sometimes keep prisoners of war. Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be comfortable.
Japanese World War 2 tunnel Davao Philippines
We proceeded further, and it got cooler

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Common Clownfish scuba diver

Philippines: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)

Date: May 6, 2014

The plan for today began with the idea that I would take a ferry to Samal island and hope to go an island tour from there. Trouble is, it wasn’t easy to book tours to the island as the few travel agencies I made contact with at Davao City told me they only do the tours on certain days and that too if they get enough tourists.

So figuring I could try my luck and find some tour agency near Davao port, I took a taxi to get there early enough. When I was dropped off near the port entrance, I saw many dive centers.

Carabao Dive Center Davao Philippines
Carabao Dive Center was a name I came across when researching Davao tours

I inquired about their ‘introductory dive’ scheme which cost ₱850 (₹1100/$19/€14). To my luck, they told me there was a group today and if I pay up, I could join them. I thought about whether to do a Samal island tour — or (finally) experience scuba diving for the first time.

Scuba diving it was!

I paid up, and was asked by the staff to choose a wetsuit and scuba foot fin that fit me.

Davao port sea side
I was a bit nervous, and at the same time excited. Although I have always wanted to try scuba diving, I never planned for it today!
Davao port Philippines
We walked towards our boat
Davao port tour boats Philippines
The boat ride to the dive spot wasn’t very far off
Scuba dive boat tourists Davao
This was my group
Loading up the boat scuba tour Davao
They loaded up the boat
Boys swimming Davao Philippines
And we were finally off!

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Eagle Philippine center Davao

Philippines: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao

Date: May 5, 2014

After an eventful day at Eden Nature Park yesterday, I realized I had to make yet another long journey today to get to the Philippine Eagle Center. Using public transportation, you first need to get to Calinan and then to Malagos.

After breakfast, I walked from Green Windows Dormitel to Calinan Transit Terminal near Bankerohan Public Market.

Durian jeepney Davao Philippines
They had to offload quite a few durians at the market before the jeepney could set off for Calinan 🙂
Davao highway Philippines
The jeepney ride to Calinan costs ₱45 and it took an hour or so

Once I reached Calinan, bike taxis approached me asking if I wanted to go to the Philippine Eagle Center. It cost ₱20, so I hopped on one and I was on my way.

Davao town Philippines
It wasn’t a short ride to Malagos but it only costs ₱20

I was dropped at the entrance to a park, for which the entry fee was ₱5. The Philippine Eagle Center is housed inside this park.

Water reservoir Davao Philippines
Some water reservoir
Philippine Eagle Center Malagos
This was the entrance to the Philippine Eagle Center

The entry ticket for the Philippine Eagle Center costs ₱50 (₹69/$1/€0.8).

Philippines Eagle Center walk
The park didn’t seem very big
Visitor steps Philippines Eagle Center
As a fund-rasing scheme, visitors can pay to have their names on concrete slabs and leave a memorabilia behind. As long as you don’t mind being stepped on.

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