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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!

Continue reading “Philippines: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)” »

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.

Continue reading “Philippines: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao” »

Feeding butterfly watermelon Davao Philippines

Philippines: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost

Date: May 4, 2014

The first half of my day was spent at the SkyCycle and zipline area. Now it was time for lunch.

Forest path Eden Nature park Davao
I crossed the road and walked to the cafe where my lunch coupon was valid
Restaurant Eden Nature park Davao
This is the main restaurant at Eden Nature Park
Buffet Eden Nature Park Davao
They have buffet lunch too, but that costs extra
Cafe Eden Nature park Davao
This is the cafe where I was going to get my ‘lunch’ as included in the ticket
Spaghetti tomato sauce Eden Nature park
A glass of soft drink, a cupcake and a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, and garlic bread

If you are wondering where the meat in the sauce is… yeah I wondered that too. I only got mushroom bits, and when I asked the server where the beef bits where, he looked at the plate and poured more of the same sauce.

So after a sloppy, lousy spaghetti meal, I began to explore the rest of the park.

Family Village Eden Nature Park Davao
I walked to the Family Village
Philippines monkey Eden Park Davao
More of a mini-zoo really. This the Philippines Monkey.
Cockatoo Eden Nature park Davao
Peacock Eden Nature park Davao

There were a few more animals and birds but it was all things I had seen at many other zoos or bird parks. Plus the condition the cages were in were pretty poor. So I felt guilty standing there taking photos of these animals. Continue reading “Philippines: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost” »

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