5 summer destinations with direct flights from Davao

(Photos by Jinggoy Salvador)
(Photos by Jinggoy Salvador)

YOUR international traveling was nixed, no thanks to the viral scare that marked your destinations as “no travel zones”. Bummer, right?

The itchy feet need to be scratched. Why not redirect your sight to somewhere nearer where you don’t need a passport? That can also mean you have more moolah to spend now. With that in mind, splurge on a nice hotel, feast on good food and extend your vacation to a few more days that originally planned.

Luckily, Davao has direct flights to destinations we can choose from. No transient stops, which can eat up a chunk of the vacation time. Here are some places you can consider for vacation.

1. Iloilo. I can already hear you running through your must-eat list. Yes, Iloilo is a foodie’s paradise—the molo soup, batchoy, that siopao in the downtown eatery, and the much-loved kakanins we can take home.

In case you need to attend your daily mass that would be a good chance to visit/revisit the city’s historic churches. If your visit falls on the Holy Week, include these churches on your Visita Iglesia list: Jaro Cathedral; Molo Church (a National Landmark); Miag-ao Church (on the UNESCO Heritage list); Sta. Barbara Chruch (a National Landmark); San Joaquin Parish Church (A National Cultural Treasure).

Stay in Iloilo Business Park, everything you need will be there — a nice hotel like Richmonde Hotel, a mall with cinemas, restos and bars. Do visit the ILOMOCA (Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art), there’s nothing of its kind in Visayas and Mindanao.

2. Zamboanga. It may be curacha land for you but it is popularly known as Asia’s Latin City- Chavacano country!

Time slows down here giving you a more relaxed pace familiar spots like the City Hall, Rizal Park, Fort Pilar Shrine and Museum, Cawa-cawa Boulevard, Barter markets, etc.

It will need planning but make sure you have a picnic at Grande Santa Cruz Island. The water is crystal clear and what makes it special is its pink sand.

Since handwoven fabrics are hot fashion commodities today, Zamboanga has the Yakan Weaving Village. Go gaga over the patterns and colors.

3. Bohol. Coming to mind are the Chocolate Hills, Tarsier, Loboc River, hanging bridge, bee farm, mahogany forest, Baclayon and Dauis churches, and of course Panglao Island. You’ve been there, done it, but isn’t it nice to revisit the place and do another round of its sites?

Or you may opt to spend all your time along the white sand beach and take home a nice tan, which is probably what I will do. New resort hotels have risen and luring the more tourists to the island. Find your spot and mark it as your favorite. Stay at Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort.

4. Mactan Island, Cebu. Why would you want to dive into heavy traffic in the city center when you can have worthwhile vacation time away with a view of the sea in Mactan Island?

I can’t stop you from crossing the bridge because you want to dig into the local specialties, but the Lechon Cebu, danggit and pusit (plus more!) will be available for you at the posh hotels where you’re staying. If I were you, enjoy the sun and sea, get a good massage, daily if you must, at the spa. Movenpick has Spa del Mar; Bluewater Maribago, Amuma Spa; and Shangri-La, the Chi Spa.

5. Siargao. It was popular only to surfers years ago but now it’s everyone’s go-to beach destination in Mindanao. The island has amenities as good as any of the other developed beach destinations—nice hotels, good restaurants, etc, that tourists may look for.

The island is huge and there are more beach areas and interesting spots other than the ones along General Luna. Thus, a ride is essential to reach the less popular areas.

Another charm of the place is the neighboring islands’ attractions like the beaches of Guyam, Daku and Naked Island, Bukas Grande’s Sohoton Cave and jellyfish sanctuary.

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For more photos about this feature and other travel stories, visit www.jeepneyjinggoy.com

For lifestyle features, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com


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