Davao City

 Hello everyone! I've missed you all.  The last few days felt surreal. A reunion with siblings and spending as much time as I could with them, I'm glad to be back. After a 1 hour and 45 minute flight from Manila to Davao, Zepy of Travel Explore Beyond and I found ourselves, staring at the Durian fruit monument at Davao International Airport.  This impressive sculpture was done by Kublai P. Millan, a Filipino contemporary artist known for larger than life pieces who was born in Mindanao. Some of his works were featured in the Vatican Nativity in Rome, Italy.  He returned to his  homeland to dedicate his life sculpting with great emphasis on culture.   Davao City, the largest city in the island of Mindanao, Philippines, is the Durian capital of the country. Durian is well known for its extraordinary odor. Some say, "it tastes like heaven but it smells like hell."  I look forward to discovering how this intriguing fruit is really like.  I was impressed by the greenery surrounding the urban landscape. From the plane, the hilly landscape was breathtaking with lots of agricultural land and beautiful beaches. It is home to the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo (which I dream to climb one day). It is a 2,954 meter high potentially active strato volcano that can be reached by a 2-3-day tough hike in the leech infested forest. It also served as a training ground for Philippine mountaineers who climbed Mount Everest. The weather in Davao is slightly cooler than the humid December climate in Manila, the air more fresh and a lot of adventurous activities to choose from.   The mountain backdrop and beaches on the horizon around this emerging city makes me want to stay a lot longer.


Top Left -Airport,  Right- Durian Fruit Monument, Bottom Left- Newly opened SM Lanang Premier Mall
We wanted to chill out during our first day, so after checking in at El Bajada Hotel, we went to SM Lanang Premier for lunch and to watch Twilight Breaking Dawn.

SM Lanang Premier Interior
The Christmas spirit is warmly felt throughout the place from the Christmas carols and the gigantic tree. 

Sky Garden by Day
Sky Garden at Night

A short stop at Blugré , a Davao lifestyle coffee shop that is well known for Durian coffee. I'm a black coffee drinker (addict) and never drink coffee with cream, but this one should not be missed.  I enjoyed the Grande cup until the last sip.


My sincere apologies for not being able to comment and visit your blogs. I'm now packing my bags and will be leaving at 2AM later for a 5 hour bus ride heading off to Surigao del Sur to experience Enchanted River, sounds mystical.  You might all be busy for Thanksgiving preparations. Have a great day!


XOXO,
Arni

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2 comments

  1. That durian fruit monument looks pretty spectacular!

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  2. You posted! Your trip looks amazing. Have fun and take lots of pics. Can't wait to hear more about it.

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