Davao Oriental’s 5,670.64 square kilometers has mountain ranges, varied coastline, vast forests, and urban centers. Going on a road trip on its paved roads can be quite exciting as one can do stopovers of different types.
If you are going to its capital and only city, Mati, make a pit stop at the Café Pinatatagan where the big Davao Oriental letters and welcome arch are. Have merienda, stretch those tired muscles, and take photos.
You also have the option to turn right for a side trip to Governor Generoso and experience 7 things--- beautiful views at the Montserrat Coastal Highway, Cape San Agustin tres marias lighthouses, pink sand beach, the altar which is said to be the site of the first mass, centuries-old dau tree, white sand beaches, Sigaboy Island.
Beautiful beaches just along the highway welcome you to Banaybanay before reaching Mati City.
Once in Bad-as, get down from your cars and take the customary photo with the sleeping dinosaur before proceeding to the city proper.
You might want to take a photo at the I Love Mati letters at the Baywalk or at Dahican Beach.
If you arrive between 530am-830am, try to fly on ultralight planes at the Mindanao Saga Flying Club (MSFC) in Dahican Airport. A 15-minute flight would cost PhP2,700.
Proceed to Caraga and do visit the Pusan Point Museum or say a prayer at the oldest Catholic structure in Caraga town, the San Salvador del Mundo Church.
Baganga has Carolina Lake just a short distance from the highway, Sunrise Boulevard with the remnants of the mangrove forest that helped prevent more damage to Baganga from the storm surge of Typhoon Pablo. San Victor Island can be seen from the highway. If you want to go there, it is just 5 minutes boat ride.
On to Cateel where the varied beaches are from black sand to cream to finest white sand, and even grass covered beach. They also have waterfalls from three layers to a hundred and more tiers.
The highway from Cateel to Boston town provides coastal views that make you stop and stare and take photos.
Boston has a highway waterfall that you might want to check out before going back to Cateel for the trip back to davao City passing through Compostela Valley.
On the highway in Cateel leading to ComVal, just at the bridge is its famous Aliwagwag Falls. Don’t just take photos with the falls in the background, do the monkey walk!
There’s a resort called the Highland Breeze that gives you a 180 degree view of the vast forest of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. The ride on the long and winding highway is an adventure by itself so might not be aware that you just made a Davao Oriental round trip.
Photos by Ida Damo
How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. Davao Oriental’s capital city, Mati, is a 3-hour road trip.