Adventures and Sports
Davao : The Place Where I Left My Heart In
Adelle Pauline | Dec 14, 2015
To end my “shop less, travel more” resolution for 2015, I have successfully explored Davao City and Samal Island with Kim and Carmz. I was raring to go to Davao since I booked my plane tickets in March, and after nine months of waiting and planning, finally the long wait was over. Originally, I planned it as a solo trip, but having the these ladies with me was not a bad idea after all.
We had different flight schedules — my arrival was at 6am, Carmz’ was at 12 noon, and Kim’s was at around 5pm — so the first thing I did was to go directly to our hotel. I spent the whole morning sleeping until Carmz arrived. We headed to SM Davao for a late lunch and grocery-shopping. Kim told me to just be myself around Carmz, and of course, I did, hahaha! Next thing we know was we were already talking about anything under the sun. We instantly clicked, at least that’s what I thought. We didn’t need Kim anymore. ;)
Tip: If you are budget-conscious like me, go ahead and buy cup noodles (Those saved me during my Boracay trip with PJ), and have those for breakfast.
When Kim arrived, we immediately went to Jack’s Ridge for dinner. Since we are following a budget (or is it only me?), we took the jeepney (PUJ) to take us to Jack’s Ridge, and guess what? We somehow got lost. We ended up riding a cab going there. Ang efficient, diba?! Anyway, after dinner, we looked for a videoke place and luckily there was one in the area. We sang the night away, as if we owned the whole place (we were the only ones there, until people flocked to the place just before we were leaving).
The following day, we headed to our main destination, Samal Island. Oh my God the island’s so beautiful it literally took my breath away, at feeling ko nga talaga I left a piece of my fragile heart in the island. Haaay
We stayed in La Vida Orchard, located in Peñaplata, Samal Island. I super loved that place! I kinda miss Daddy Berto’s hospitality and of course, his stories.
Then we headed to Maxima Aqua Fun to experience all the water activities. We hired two habal-habal drivers, Jigger and Manman. I was so excited to try the giant slide –as I have been reading posts about it from all over the internet– and lo and behold, I was too scared for it that I only tried it once, and not planning to do it again. Akala ko matapang ako, joke lang pala yung tapang ko!
Note: Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, is required to wear a life vest when swimming and doing the water activities. The waters of Maxima can go as deep as 120ft. Better be safe than sorry.
After spending two hours in Maxima, we headed straight to Hagimit falls, just a 10-minute ride from the former. It was too crowded that day since it was a Sunday (and long weekend). I don;t like huge crowd, it suffocates me. After 30 minutes, we drove to Monfort Bat Sanctuary to see all the fruit bats, apparently.
Visiting the bat sanctuary was our last activity for the day. We went straight to the market to buy food for dinner. Good thing La Vida allowed their guests to use their kitchen for cooking. I cooked tinola and pritong isda for dinner.
Second and last day in Samal was spent beach-hopping (and -bumming), riding a grueling and butt-numbing two-hour habal-habal ride. Our first stop was Kaputian Beach Resort. I must admit that I was not really impressed by this beach, it’s just average (siguro nadala nalang ng color grading when I edited the photos, hahaha!). My standards were too high after I visited Papaya Beach in El Nido, Kalanggaman Island, Apo Reef (ohmygod THE BEST!), and Bantayan Island in Cebu). Nevertheless, it was still fun because of the people I shared the experience with.
A quick detour before heading to Canibad Beach, we visited Sabang Cliff, but didn’t dare jump because, duh, heights!
Here comes the worst and best part of this trip!
Worst: the two-hour habal-habal ride was awful! It’s true what Jigger told me, it’s going to be a rough ride. Literally. We were on a rough road!
Best: Canibad Beach!!!!!
Finding a semi-secluded place after that habal-habal ride, with beer and stories to share was the perfect way to end the day. And I have to give props to Jigger and Manman. They were the most patient, the most fun, and the nicest drivers I have ever encountered in all of my trips. They’re the best! We ended up being friends (Manman just added me in Facebook few days back, YAY!
During our 4D3N stay, we were able to see the beauty of Davao City and Samal Island and see for ourselves what the place can offer its visitors. Each place was teeming with beauty — the city lights during nighttime, the mouth-watering food (!!!), the lush trees, the hospitable locals, the pristine waters, even the adrenaline-pumping water activities and the towering cliff (that we were unable to jump from).
I truly left a piece of my heart in Samal. I actually shed a tear before leaving the island.
It was a long weekend filled with fun, pleasure, and positive vibes. We all agreed that we will make this a yearly thing. For 2016, Caramoan Island, yes? Make it happen!