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Sky Cycle on wires Davao Philippines

Philippines: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao

Date: May 4th, 2014

Today I wondered what to check out first. I came to Davao with two main activity highlights: 1) Go sky cycling at Eden Nature Park, 2) Get a shot of Mount Apo. But despite residing at a dormitel situated on Mt. Apo street, the famed mountain — the largest in Philippines — was nowhere near me. Heck, Mount Apo, wasn’t even visible from Davao City! It seems Mount Apo is so huge that most people just go there as part of a multi-day trek.

I couldn’t do that since I only had two more days in Davao so I figured I’ll go check out Eden Nature Park. I followed the instructions on their website on how to get to Eden Nature Park and boarded a jeepney going to Toril (₱20). The landmark given to get down at was a Mercury Drug Store in Toril.

River side houses Davao City
I sat up front beside the driver
SM mall Davao City
Saw where the SM Davao mall is located. We were driving down McArthur Highway
McArthur Highway Davao city Philippines
It was a looooong ride to Toril
Toril Chowking Davao Philippines
Nearly an hour later, I got down at a junction at Toril where you have a Chowking to your left
Toril junction way to Eden
This was taken while I was standing on the left side. Across the road is the Mercury Drug Store. From here there were many bike taxis offering to take you to Eden Nature Park
Road to Eden Nature Park Davao
On Eden Nature Park’s website, they mentioned bike taxis would charge ₱80 for the ride from the junction at Toril to the entrance of the park. But the bike taxis guys here were pushing for ₱200! I told them about ₱80 and they scoffed claiming that was more than a year ago. I bargained as much as I could but eventually settled for ₱150. I couldn’t delay myself anymore.
Road to Eden Nature Park Philippines
It was a 20 minute bike ride up to the park’s entrance
Bad road to Eden Nature Park Davao
The good roads for much of the journey gave way to a bad, pot-holed stretch
Pot holes road to Eden Nature Park
But the park was close now

It was along this road I saw signs pointing to Mount Apo. Excited about seeing Mt. Apo after my time at Eden Nature Park, I asked the bike taxi driver if he could take me to Mt. Apo National Park so that I could just take a photo of the mountain. But the driver told me it’s still many kilometres further from Eden Nature Park. Continue reading “Philippines: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao” »

San Pedro Cathedral people monument-davao

Philippines: Leaving Cebu for Davao; Davao City sights

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.

Tr3ats guesthouse rooftop cafe Cebu
I had breakfast from the hostel’s roof top ‘cafe’
Roof view Cebu hills morning
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.

Ayala Center mall Cebu garden
A very nice mall not too far from the hostel. (Had to take two short jeepney rides to get here)
Felafel roll Cebu Philippines
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.

Cebu city alley street Philippines
Much of down town Cebu looks like this
Anti-America poster Cebu Philippines
Saw a bit of ‘anti-America’… for a change

I then took a jeepney to SM City, where I decided to have lunch.

Bacon hot dog onion rings Cebu
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.

Pasta garlic bread Cebu
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.

Cebu bridge road Philippines
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* -_-

Zubuchon lechon Cebu airport
In the departures lounge, the famed Zubuchon had an outlet
Zubuchon menu Cebu airport
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.
Cebu island from airplane Philippines
Goodbye Cebu!
Zubuchon lechon pork takeaway Cebu
The lechon was really well done and the meat was obviously good quality pork. I guess Zubuchon really is worth trying when in Cebu.
Davao from sky
The flight from Cebu to Davao takes just over an hour
Landing at Davao international airport
Landed in Davao — for the first time
Davao big sign airport
I hired a taxi to take me to the hostel I was going to be staying at for the next few days
Building Green Windows Dormitel Davao
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)
Reception Green Windows Dormitel davao
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
Rooms Green Windows Dormitel Davao
Green Windows Dormitel has everything from dorm rooms to full service suites
Dorm room Green Windows Dormitel Davao
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.
Lobby Green Windows Dormitel Davao
I would sometimes have to sit out on the couch to get a better connection
TV room Green Windows Dormitel Davao
This is the TV room, attached to the cafeteria
Cafeteria Green Windows Dormitel Davao
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
Store Green Windows Dormitel Davao
There’s even a store selling more groceries in the reception area
Mt. Apo street Davao city
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!
Davao city traffic Philippines
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.

Daylight Inn Davao city Philippines
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
Time Square mall panorama Davao
Times Square Mall to the left and more shopping centers all around
Davao city center panorama
I just roamed around town to see what else Davao City had to offer
City Hall of Davao Philippines
City Hall of Davao
Durian statue city hall park Davao
Durian is abundant in Davao and there they honour the fruit
Rizal statue Davao City Philippines
A statue honouring Philippine hero Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal bronze statue Davao Philippines

Philippines eagle shed Davao park
Davao is home to the country’s national bird — the Philippines Eagle. I would be visiting the Philippines Eagle Center the day after.
San Pedro Cathedral Davao city
I walked towards the San Pedro Cathedral, a Davao landmark
San Pedro Cathedral people monument-davao
This statue is the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity
San Pedro Cathedral Davao Philippines
San Pedro Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Davao and renowned for its odd boat-like design
San Pedro Cathedral Davao interiors
I checked out the interiors
Inside San Pedro Cathedral Davao panorama
Took a panorama
San Pedro Church boat shape Davao city
And then I left
Osmena park Davao city Philippines
Near by was Osmena Park
Massages at Osmena Park Davao
And inside were scores of masseurs offering foot and shoulder massages 🙂
Royale House hotel Davao
I walked around a bit more before heading back
Billiards Davao City Philippines
Billiards seemed to be a popular pass time
Bakery fresh pastry Davao city
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 Green Windows Dormitel Davao 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

Philippines 2014: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)

Philippines 2014: Japanese tunnel; leaving Davao for Manila

Philippines 2014: Bargain shopping in Manila; Paseo de Santa Rosa & Solenad

Philippines 2014: Corregidor Island tour

Philippines 2014: Manila Chinese Cemetery

Philippines 2014: Pahiyas Festival in Lucban; Kamay Ni Hesus

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

Tumalog falls Oslob Cebu GoPro

Philippines: Tumalog Falls; Oslob church, Cuartel

Date: April 30th, 2014

After spending the early morning swimming with whale sharks, I then decided to visit Tumalog Falls, Oslob’s other big attraction.

Bus stop bike taxi Oslob highway
There were plenty of bike taxis at the entrance of the Whale shark briefing center and this guy approached me asking me if I wanted to go to Tumalog Falls. He said it would cost ₱120 to take me there and back.
Bike taxi ride Oslob
Tumalog Falls isn’t too far away from the whale shark briefing center
Way to Tumalog Falls Oslob road
Basically the road to Tumalog Falls is just off the main highway, heading back from the whale shark briefing center
Road to Tumalog falls
The driver dropped me off at a parking area at the top. From here, I had to climb down a steep slope.
Going down steep hill road Oslob
You can pay again to have a bike drop you at the waterfalls and back, but I just chose to walk not knowing how far it was (it wasn’t)
Oslob blue pond Tumalog
Once at the bottom, the beauty begins right away
Tumalog blue pond Oslob Cebu
How is the water so blue?!
Entrance to Tumalog falls Oslob
I really wasn’t expecting much from Tumalog Falls and planned to spend only a few minutes here
Tumalog falls stream Oslob Cebu
But even from here I could sense the beauty. You have to climb from the left to get inside the falls area
Tumalog falls blue water Oslob
Tumalog Falls is really beautiful!
Tumalog falls Cebu Philippines
It was so nice and cool to stand here… even though water droplets were hitting my lens
Tumalog broken waterfalls Oslob Philippines
The water was so blue, but it was hard to get the entire falls top to bottom in one frame
Swimming in Tumalog falls Oslob
There was so much mist in the air from the waterfalls!
Tumalog waterfalls mini umbrellas
I pictured Tumalog Falls to be one big stream — it isn’t
Tumalog falls bamboo trees Oslob
If you wanted to set up a BBQ or picnic, you could do it here. But mind you, it’s very muddy.
Tumalog falls Oslob Cebu GoPro
I decided to pack up my DSLR as I didn’t want it getting too wet. It was time for the GoPro to come out.
Tumalog waterfalls Oslob Philippines
I held the GoPro sideways to take this shot
Picnic area Tumalog falls Oslob Cebu
I took my shirt off and carefully stepped to the left of the waterfalls
Tourists showering Tumalog waterfalls Oslob Cebu
It was slippery and the water felt cold, but I felt like taking a shower after a swim in the sea 😛
Tumalog falls water splash Oslob
The water sure was chilly — but it felt good!
Tumalog falls closeup Cebu Philippines
I tried to get closer to the falls from the left

Tumalog waterfalls sunrays Cebu

Tourists Tumalog Oslob Cebu
I decided to go to the other side
Tumalog falls panorama Oslob
I figured I would take some photos of the waterfalls from another angle
Tumalog falls pond Oslob Philippines
Seemed to be less splashier on this side
Tumalog falls full Oslob Philippines
You could get a full shot from this side, with no tree obstructing
Sky Tumalog falls Oslob
Fortunately the skies were clearing up too. I got in the water to try and see if I could stay under the water splashing down.
Mithun cold splash Tumalog falls
IT. WAS. COLD! And heavy!
Mithun filipino woman Tumalog falls
Then for some reason, this woman asked for a photo with me. After that, her group asked me to take a photo of all of them.
Mithun group photo Tumalog falls
Finally I thought, why not, handed one of them to take a group shot on my GoPro camera. Clearly not the best camera for such situations. I didn’t know any of them but that’s how it works in the Philippines 🙂
Tumalog waterfalls Cebu Philippines
I took a parting shot
Leaving Tumalog falls Oslob Cebu
It was now time to leave
Bamboo trees Tumalog falls Oslob
I enjoyed Tumalog falls more than I thought I would. It was really beautiful and you have to be here to experience its beauty! I ended up spending close to an hour instead of just a “few minutes”.
Steep climb Tumalog hill road
I walked back to the top where my bike taxi guy was waiting.
Tumalog falls road Oslob
I took these photos using the GoPro
Road Tumalog falls sea view Oslob
You can get a nice view of the sea from up here
Bike taxi stop Tumalog Oslob
I asked the bike taxi driver how to get to a bus stop in town from where I can catch a ride back to Cebu. He dropped me here and told me I can take a jeepney going to the market area. (This photo and the next few are taken on my phone)
Oslob town main road Philippines
I hopped on a jeepney and this was the last stop. This was the main market area.
Oslob municipal road Philippines
Since I was in town, I decided to check out some of the attractions near by
Oslob municipal park Philippines
This is where the municipal offices and government offices were
Stilt house Oslob Cebu
There were a few houses around
Oslob municipal office Cebu
Pulis = Police
Oslob covered court Cebu
A covered basketball court
Oslob church Cebu
Church of the Immaculate Conception — Oslob’s oldest church
Church of Oslob Cebu
I couldn’t go in, the doors were closed
Conception Parish Oslob Cebu
I wasn’t sad or anything. I had seen enough churches in Philippines.
Cuartel walls Oslob Cebu
Next to the church was Cuartel, an unfinished structure by the Spanish colonials that was meant for soldiers
Cuartel remains Oslob Cebu
The stones used came from the church when its floor had collapsed in 1899
Cuartel Oslob Cebu Philippines
It is still well-maintained
Crow church Oslob Cebu
I decided to shoot some photos using my 70-200mm lens

Bell church ruins Oslob Cebu

Stone arch Oslob Cebu

Oslob church bell tower Cebu

Cuartel park Oslob sea side
Behind Cuartel and facing the sea is a public park
Cuartel garden Oslob Cebu
There used to be an old lighthouse here
Hall Cuartel park Oslob Cebu
I sat under the tree shade for a while as it was scorching hot

Girls Oslob sea Cebu Philippines

Blue water Oslob Cebu
I just love how clear and blue the water appears here
Blue sea Oslob Cebu Philippines
Oh so blue
Sea side Oslob park Cebu
I decided to walk on the edge too
Clear blue water Oslob Cebu
Ahh, felt like swimming in these waters

Oslob sea park Cebu Philippines

Oslob Cuartel street Cebu
I walked back and decided to leave Oslob

Once back at the main highway, I asked the townsfolk from where I could board a bus to Cebu and they said, “Right here”. I figured I would eat an early lunch (it was just past 11am) as by the time I would reach Cebu, it would be past 3pm.

Garlic chicken rice sizzler Cebu
I had (garlic) fried chicken and rice (₱60)
Inside bus Oslob to Cebu
Soon after lunch I boarded a bus going to Cebu
Blue sea Oslob Cebu
I passed by so many houses by the sea. Imagine waking up to such blue seas every morning.

I really enjoyed Oslob more than I thought I would. Definitely a place to visit and worth spending a day at! I’m glad I woke up early. A visit to Oslob is highly-recommended if you are in Cebu. I’m glad I didn’t do this trip via some travel agency. It can by done by yourself and for a lot less. As a foreigner, I spent around ₱1500 today (to & fro bus journeys + whale shark experience + bike taxi + Tumalog Falls + lunch), half of what was quoted to me by some of the travel agencies back in Cebu yesterday. I could make up for sleep on the bus journey back. I was going to take it easy tomorrow anyway.

Next posts in this series:

Philippines 2014: Leaving Cebu for Davao; Davao City sights

Philippines 2014: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao

Philippines 2014: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost

Philippines 2014: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)

Philippines 2014: Bargain shopping in Manila; Paseo de Santa Rosa & Solenad

Philippines 2014: Corregidor Island tour

Philippines 2014: Manila Chinese Cemetery

Philippines 2014: Pahiyas Festival in Lucban; Kamay Ni Hesus

Previous posts is this series:

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

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