Pusan Point in Barangay Santiago, Caraga, Davao Oriental is the easternmost inland point of the Philippines and thus the first rays of the sun shines on this 40-foot high rock promontory fronting the Pacific Ocean.
On January 1, 2000, thousands flocked to this point to witness the first sunrise of the new millennium.
In 2016, the Pusan Point Eco Park and Science Discovery Center was inaugurated by the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental and the Department of Tourism.
The center’s grounds have a 16-foot high Jubilee Cross on top of a limestone cliff where the water from the Pacific Ocean slams on the cliffs. During the months of September to December, huge waves create big splashes and oftentimes, its sprays reach the center’s building.
As you walk on the grounds, you will see an old lighthouse dating back to the 1900s, a sundial, as well as a new lighthouse on one side. The promontory used to be a docking site used by the Spaniards.
On a hot day when the sun is bright, the sundial would not only show the hour hand, but also the minute hand. It isn't very accurate as a means of timekeeping, but for countless years, this was how mankind told the time.
On the other side are the 200 square-meter pool and viewing deck. All around is the jogging and promenade areas that look over the ocean. The pounding of the waves and the occasional splashes accompany you on your walk.
The Science Discovery Center has a planetarium, a galaxy walk, and a section dedicated to Astronomy, Chemistry, Technology, Energy, Geography, and other related topics to space and earth sciences.
The center is the third interactive museum in Davao Oriental next to Subangan in Mati and the Mt. Hamiguitan World Heritage Park in San Isidro.
You would not think that this kind of museum can be found in a town where Mindanao’s oldest Catholic structure can be found, where heritage houses still line-up the route to the center, and a fishing community welcomes you at the gateway to the town.
If you get lucky, students from Caraga High School would welcome you with a sample of the Mandaya tribe’s dance in their native garb.
In this place where the sun rises four minutes ahead of the rest of the Philippines, science and culture still work well together.
Thank you, Province of Davao Oriental Governor Dayanghirang, Provincial Tourism Officer Miguel Trocio, Caraga Tourism Officer Daphne Cañete, Pusan Point Eco Park and Science Discovery Center staff, Maayong Buntag Mindanao’s Hernel Tocmo, Chastine Montaño, Kenneth Mangaya-ay, Fredzon Sagarino and Ken Regner, Janjan1 and Janjan2, Kuya Boy.
How to get there:
Major airlines have daily flights to Davao City from Manila and Cebu.
To get to Caraga, take the bus to Mati City (PhP240) from the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal. Travel time is 4-5 hours.
From Mati City, take the van to Caraga (PhP140) and have you dropped off the entrance of Pusan Point in Santiago.
From there, take the habal-habal (motorcycle) to Pusan Point. Fee: PhP50.
Entrance fee to the center is PhP50.
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