My 2018 Davao Experience | Blushing Geek

My 2018 Davao Experience

Konnichiwa minna-san! As you may have already know, I just came back from my first ever out of town travel in Davao City last Monday midnight. I was supposed to share with you guys all about it yesterday but I was so tired and the geek needs her sleep, hehe.

So I loaded up all the pictures and videos I’ve taken during my travel and my! I was greeted with 600+ of them! Crazy eh? So while I am sorting out all the pictures, I decided to create this article for now and share with you guys my overall experience with the Durian Capital of the Philippines, Davao City!

The City

Davao City Hall | Blushing Geek

I’ve been to a number of cities before but I’ve never been to one as clean as Davao City. It’s a highly urbanized city in the Island of Mindanao and is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area, and the most populous city in the country outside Metro Manila so imagine my surprise when I’m finally there! It was big alright, and there’s a lot of people so how come it’s so clean?! Well, Davao City wasn’t considered as one of the safest city in the country, actually in the whole world if the people living there can’t take care of their garbage eh? And it’s not just the garbage, it’s a big city so I am expecting smoke belching vehicles everywhere, but my! There’s almost no such thing! The air is so clean and if I close my eyes, it felt like I am in the province. Absolutely no pollution at all. I can’t believe it’s even possible until I came there.

On my first day, I was quite overwhelmed with how big the city is. There’s a lot of streets and roads that could lead you to a different area in the city but I was amazed that all the streets we’re well lighted and signs we’re properly installed. I already prepared my route for my 3-day travel but I have to say that I’m very thankful for the signage because it helped me a ton in my commuting.

Pedestrian lanes are present too and all traffic lights works. And it’s also the first time that I felt safe crossing the streets because all the drivers respects pedestrian lanes and really stop when you’re crossing.

Establishments

San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City | Blushing Geek

Hotel prices are very cheap in Davao. My mom was even surprised I got a single fan room for just Php250 ($4.9) a night. Since it was very cheap, I was expecting cheap accommodation as well, but was surprised that I was wrong. The accommodation was very pleasant, it wasn’t 5-star quality ofcourse but it was more than what you paid. I’ve done some researched and found out that you can get a room for as low as Php150 ($2.9) a night in some hotels as well. How cool is that?!

While I was there, I never once saw any shady establishments or buildings. All we’re well-built and clean plus there’s a really big hotel constructing just beside our hotel but there’s no dust floating everywhere at all. It just means how strong Davaoeños follow the city’s rules and regulations.

Public Transportation

White Carabao Callesa in Malagos Garden Resort, Davao | Blushing Geek

When I’m not familiar with the city, nothing terrifies me more than trying their public transportation. I’m not very good with directions and I’m, well, quite shy to ask other people for directions. But I was surprised that I was able to adjust so fast while I was there. I rode public transportation vehicles during my first until the last day of my travel in Davao and I only “almost” got lost once. Most of the drivers we’re approachable and as I’ve said, all streets we’re properly signed so it was quite easy to navigate considering it’s just my first time in the city.

Also, all the jeepneys I’ve seen we’re all properly maintained. Most of them we’re quite small, but it’s clean and runs smoothly as well so you wouldn’t worry that after a few kilometers it might stop or if the brakes were to suddenly stop working. The drivers as well we’re properly groomed, whether they’re habal-habal (motorbike), taxi, tricycle, bus or jeepney drivers. I even befriended one habal-habal driver while I was exploring Samal Island last Monday. I will share all about it on my Samal article soon.

And lastly, I really love the colored taxi, hehe. Here in Cebu, we only have two types of taxi, the yellow (airport) taxi and the white one, but in Davao, there’s blue, orange, pink and even more. I’m still not sure the reason behind the colors yet, but I find it really cute, hehe.

And speaking of taxi, when you ride one, they always have coins for your change. They don’t over price or ask for any additional payment wherever your destination would be. A very big difference here in Cebu and other cities.

Martial Law

President Rodrigo Duterte Painting | Blushing Gek

I never experienced Martial Law before so I can’t fully understand other people’s feeling towards it but that doesn’t mean I support it and what it did 45 years ago. But today is different, we have different President and I’m hoping that it won’t happen again. But after what happened in Marawi, the whole Mindanao was placed into Martial Law. That alone should had me worried, but surprisingly, I wasn’t. I was nervous ofcourse, but it was not because something bad might happen to me, but mainly because I’m afraid I might get lost. While I was there, I can see soldiers almost everywhere, but surprisingly, I felt safe.

While looking at all the troups that was guarding all the ports, plaza, airports etc. in Davao, I didn’t feel any evil feelings towards it – both from the people in Davao and with the soldiers. It feels normal to them actually.

So if you’re planning to visit Davao and is concerned about the Martial Law, you shouldn’t be. If you’re not doing anything illegal at all, then you’ll be fine.

People

Davao People's Park | Blushing Geek

I’m quite sensitive so I can easily feel it when there’s someone talking behind my back, or if there’s someone who’s commenting about how I look, the way I dress or the way I act. While I was there, I didn’t feel anything like that at all. People mind their own business so I didn’t feel like I was inside the big brother’s house and people are watching my every move since I’m not from there.

I didn’t encounter any suspicious looking people too so it was really a relief. Davaoeños too are very approachable so you can easily ask them questions or directions.

Foods

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to explore much in this area. I love foods, but my budget is so tied up so I limited my expenses with food. After my experience in Boracay which I burned all my money for food, I made sure that my money is tied up while I was in Davao, hehe. But I failed one time when I visited the Roxas Night Market. I ordered good for 3 foods and then I even bought 3 types of desserts which I ate afterwards, haha.

I haven’t tried their specialty there, but that’s another thing in my list I’ll make sure to cross when I came back in Davao. And yes my dear, I’m coming back, *wink.

Final Thoughts

So how was my Davao experience? It was way beyond what I imagined. Even if I encountered a slight problem (my converse shoes gave up on me, good thing I’m just near my hotel and it’s still early or they might be wondering why I’m limping, haha) the place and the people were amazing and I wouldn’t be surprised if I decided to live there for good. I’ve never been to many places yet, but I have to say that it would take a lot of convincing before someone or something took Davao’s place in my heart.

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My 2018 Davao Experience | Blushing Geek

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