Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5-day sojourn ^^

My 4-day stay in Davao was more than amazing! It's a must-go place. There are lots of sights to see, new things to experience. What's really nice is that the cliche "clean and green" is more than just that - it's a fact. I've never seen a cleaner place in the Philippines. It's smoke-free, has minimal traffic, and the place is not crowded. And the people are all nice and friendly, too.

Right after we arrived, we checked in into Grand Regal Hotel, a three-star hotel about 3 kms from the airport. Then we ate lunch at Ah Fat. It was there where we experienced eating ostrich meat (very yummy, but expensive!), sea cucumber (it's like a yucky version of jelly ace),and eel (tolerable, but has a weird aftertaste for me). Then we took a taxi that would take us to the Crocodile Park. Good thing the taxi driver was nice, he gave us a tour around Davao. First we visited the Butterfly House. They don't have much butterflies, but we got to see a lot, i mean, a lot, of cocoons and catterpillars of different sizes and colors. We can touch them, but Cha and I never dared. We have issues with creepy crawlies. Very nice to look at, but no touching.

Then we went to the Crocodile Park, and with an entrance fee of just 150 pesos, it was already cheap and worth it. They've got the biggest croc, named Pangil, and other sorts of animals - tigers (they look huggable, i wanted to get one!), owls, parrots, cuckatoos, mynas, a monkey named Lucy (she's chained to the janitor's trash cart and she keeps picking up the trash and biting them, so cute!), ostriches (we got to feed them), and snakes.

After the park, we went directly to Zip City. There Cha, Jojo and I tried the zipline for the first time. It's a 320 meter zipline and approximately 120 ft high from the ground. It was very exhilarating, and it provides you a panoramic view of Davao.

After a very exciting day, we went back to the hotel. Later that night, Uncle Robert, one of my Dad's oldest friends, and his family took me out to dinner. We ate at Bigby's, then they gave me a city tour before dropping me back at the hotel.

The following day, we woke up at around 6 and decided to roam around the hotel. WE took pictures and wandered around the halls. We even tried their fitness center - not that we actually exercised. We weren't dressed appropriately so we just used their equipments as props for our pictures. We then ate breakfast - eat all you can buffet. I love buffets. Afterward, we decided to kill time at the Casino. The slots were so addicting!

We checked out at 12 and transferred to Garnet Country Inn. After lunch, we went to SM for some shopping fun. I bought gifts for my nephews and niece/inaanak (I'm going to blog separately about this because I'm just dying to show you the cute dresses I picked out for her). Of course, I also bought stuffs for me! Ate dinner at Pizza Hut. I love their Stuffed Crust, I could never get enough of it.

On the third day, Cha and I took the NMAT at San Pedro College. After the exam, we went to G-Mall (it's just walking distance from SPC) then to SM to meet up with Jojo and do some more shopping. When we got back at the inn, we each took a refreshing shower then we walked to the nearest Caltex station to buy some chips. We ended up buying Vodka Cruiser (raspberry for Cha and blueberry for me), Gilbey's Premium Strength for Jojo, and some Boy Bawang. We had to hide the bottles and dispose of them discreetly the next day because we weren't allowed to bring liquor and we smuggled it into our room.

During the fourth day of our stay, we called to taxi driver we met on the first day. He gave us a tour. First stop was the Philippine Eagle Center, about 33 kms or a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from the city, where we got to see different eagles. They also had owls, deers, monkeys and warty pigs.

Then we went to Eden Nature Park & Resort next. It's nature at it's finest. 95% of it is man-made, and also well-maintained. It's 80 hectares of land, about 66 of which are fully developed. Thousands of different trees are planted, and different flowers can be seen. They have vegetables and spices planted there, too. And the poinsettias! God, they were amazing.

They also had a zipline at Eden called the Skyrider. It's shorter than the one at Zip City, though. But the feeling is the same. Very exciting, very exhilarating.

After Eden, we went to Samal Island (also called Island Garden City of Samal). From the port, we took a small barge across. It has beautiful beaches and resorts, but we didn't go swimming. we just went around the city and did some sightseeing.

We then went back to Davao City, and ate dinner at Marina Tuna. They serve the best seafood there. After eating, we all went back to the Inn to get some rest after a whole day of touring the city and get started with packing.

On the fifth day, we all got up early to prepare ourselves our our stuffs. We then went to the airport and said our goodbyes to Davao. We arrived at Cebu around 11, and we went to SM for another round of shopping and to meet up with friends.

Met up with Jin and Kenj. Ate lunch at Dimsum Break. Took some pictures. Did some more shopping.

We packed a lot of activities on a short 5-day trip. It was tiring, very tiring, but it was definitely worth it. I can't wait for my next trip. My cousin's planing a family trip to CamSur for next summer. Cha, Jojo and I are planning a trip to Dakak for her birthday next year.

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