Monday, April 20, 2009

Davao City, a second time around

If you have been been reading some of my previous posts and have frequented this site for a time now, you know that travelling has been a stress-reliever for me. Having a date to look forward to for a travel keeps me at ease and balanced. Now that it's April and with just a month of summer time left, I have scheduled for quick trips for all weekends of this month before rainy season comes in. Although I appreciate the occasional rain drops on hot summer days, dry season allows me to travel around easier and appreciate the beauty of the place than on a gloomy, rainy day.

Last Friday's schedule was so jam-packed - meetings, customer calls, administrative tasks and a farewell lunch to a cheerful office dinner. Immediately after a visit, I found myself on the way to the airport to catch a late afternoon/early evening flight to Davao and join a friend, Jojo in this getaway who arrived in the city that same morning.

This is isn't my first time to go to Davao. I have been there before for an official business trip and I was only able to squeezed in a chance to sample durian sold on the streets and visit the crocodile farm. As I leave Manila, I was hoping for more this time.

Our plane pushed back the gate on-time, but it took a while for us to take off. There were around 3 or so planes behind us waiting for their turn as we taxi through the runway.

Around probably 30 minutes of taxiing and waiting time, engines roared and our plane headed to the runway and took off.

Greaseless salted peanuts and biscuits were served during the 2-hour flight aboard Philippine Airlines. It's understandable that I was hungry upon arrival so I immediately hailed for a 30-minute cab ride to food in Nanay Bebeng buffet restaurant.

the buffet food spread

Groggy and tired after a day's work and a long trip, we immediately left for Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao right after dinner to grab some sleep. Lots of activities were lined up for us the next day so we need all the rest we can get for more energy. It was my first time to stay in this hotel so I took pictures of the place prior to sleeping.

lobby area

on the way to our rooms

Pirata Bar & Restaurant

Breakfast was served in Cafe Uno the next day. It was buffet-style, and have items similar to the hotel of the same chain in Cebu City.

A driver was scheduled to pick us up by 8:30 AM that day. We took the extra time we have to take pictures around the hotel. It was quite dark outside after having breakfast (past 7AM) and there's overcast in the sky.

One that caught my attention was a kalesa (a passenger cart pulled by a horse). The cart was real but the horse was made from a frame grown with grass.

Two swimming pools are side by side near the garden area and the beachfront. No one was swimming probably because it was still early and the sun was not out during that time.

They also have a beachfront facing Davao Gulf, although with dark gray sand. However, there is a posted sign that says "swimming is discouraged".

We checked-out from the hotel right before the our transportation arrived and went first to Outland Adventure for their zip line. For Php300, you can experience the Xcelerator, the longest zip line in Asia, that goes from the top of a hill, crossing a river, until you reach the other side of the line.

Before it begins, you will be asked if you want a harness for sitting or "superman" position and you will have to trek for around 10-minutes to go to the zipline post.

By the river, a raft will be waiting to take you to the other side where you will have to walk up your way to the jump point.

Since I have fear on heights, I didn't even dare to try this experience. I was left behind and just walked around to see what else is in there. There, I saw a lot of facilities built for team building.

In a few minutes I heard the hissing of the cable, seconds later, Jojo came in rushing in the zipline.

Of course I cannot comment because I didn't try it but Jojo said it was a good experience, longer and better than what he had in Cagayan de Oro the previous month. In his previous ziplining, he was on a sitting position and was rotating as he go through the other end of the line. The only downside for him was that he has to take that muddy trail on the way up, but it was worth the tiring trek.

We still have a few activities lined up for Davao and I have all of them lined up for my next blog posts.


Unknown said...

Cripes - I'm with you on the fear of heights thing. You'd have to drug me to get me up there! The hotel looks very nice though:)

Crissy said...

Splash Island is open the whole summer. No idea onwards.

Kikey Loo said...

nice place.

p/s: thanks for visiting my blog :D

Mark H said...

Ziplining looks serious amounts of fun.

Jasper said...

@kikey loo - thanks!

@mark h - yeah, looks like fun, too bad i'm a scared $4!+ :D

Anonymous said...


look what you've done to the police...

greeting from Traveler

Jasper said...

@traveler - haha yeah! :D