Davao, Durian Capital of the Philippines

THE Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines’ (RBAP) Annual National Convention was held in Davao City. This sprawling municipality is the culinary, cultural, economic and commercial capital of the south and home town of the country’s president. It has a total land area of 2,444 sq. km., making it the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area.

During our free time, we managed to move around the city.

The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle. This center is owned by the Philippines government but the center survives solely on entrance fees, private and corporate donations. The facilities are a bit lacking so people should try to visit and support this.

Nearby is the Malagos Garden Resort which has almost everything you want for a tour - rich nature, activity parks, photo-ops sites, adventure, pool, and the factory of the renowned and internationally-awarded Malagos chocolate. The place is a bit far from the City Center, but well worth it.

A must-visit museum is the Museo Dabawenyo. It was a guided tour by well-informed Tourism students walking visitors through the rich history and multi-ethnic culture of Davao in a two-story semi-concrete building.

Picture-taking is not allowed in most parts, but there is no entrance fee! Although this gallery needs a redecoration or rearrangement, its collection is vast. I recommend that you include the Museo in your itinerary. Jack’s Ridge is one of the most popular recreational and dining destinations in Davao. It sits on top of a high and steep slope, overlooking the scenic expanse of the Metropolis. Go there and soak in the splendid view with your order of hot durian coffee.

“Digong House” is President Rodrigo Duterte’s home in Dona Luisa Village where he has spent and lived most of his life. The house stands on an estimated 200-sq m lot, which looks bigger because it is a corner lot.

We capped our tour by going to the Magsaysay Fruit Stand that sells various kinds of tropical fruits specially the Durian. Outdoor stalls had tables and chairs with a box of disposable gloves and table tissues to use. The place is well-lit and safe. It was amazing to watch staff open up a Durian in seconds.

Truly, Davao City lives up to its moniker as the “Durian Capital of the Philippines”.


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