Monday, October 20, 2014

Situated right at the middle of the Davao Gulf, the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) is blessed with a number of picturesque and gorgeous white sand beaches as well as interesting marine wonders. It is less than 30 minutes from Davao City and is very accessible by both public and private transportation. It offers both luxurious and budget resorts that will surely fit the visitor’s budget and preference. 

IGACOS is part of the province of Davao del Norte and has been a favorite destination of both local and foreign tourists. Aside from gorgeous beaches, the island also boasts of several other natural and wildlife attractions like the Monfort bat cave, Hagimit Falls, Tagbaobo Falls and a lot more.

Here’s a list of some of the best beaches in Samal that you might want to visit soon.

Babu Santa Beach Resort

Babu Santa Beach Resort is located in Talicud Island, just about 45 minutes by boat from Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao City. The resort offers a pristine white sand beach which will surely give the visitors a relaxing and fun getaway while in the island.

Babu Santa Beach Resort

There is no entrance and corkage fee going to the resort. However, if you charter a boat going to the resort, there is a P200.00 docking fee. There are cottages for rent at P400 or pay P75 if you bring your own tent.

How to get there
From the airport or anywhere in Davao City, ride a taxi and go to Sta. Ana Wharf. Take a boat to Dadatan Wharf in Talicud Island. The boat leaves twice daily at 6AM and 1:30PM. Travel time is around 45 minutes. From Dadatan wharf, ride a habal-habal going to Babu Santa Beach Resort. Fare is around P100 but will sometime go higher or lower depending on your negotiation skills.

Isla Reta

Isla Reta is one of the most famous beaches in Talicud Island. It offers a stretch of pristine white sand beach with crystal blue water. It is a perfect place to unwind and relax on weekends. Internet signal is poor so you’ll have more time to enjoy the beach life and forget about technology while staying at Isla Reta.

Isla Reta Beach Resort

Entrance fee to the resort is P75.00 for day tours. Corkage fee only applies to beverages so you can bring your own food with no additional charges.

How to get there:
Isla Reta is about 45 minutes by boat from Sta. Ana Wharf near Magsaysay Park. The boat departs as early as 9AM and last trip is at 4:30PM from Davao City. The first boat trip from Isla Reta going back to Davao is at 6:15AM and the last trip at 3PM. Fare is P80.00 for a one-way trip. Alternatively, if you are already in mainland Samal, take a bus or habal-habal to Kaputian District and ride a boat from there to Isla Reta.

Pearl Farm Beach

One of the most expensive resorts in Samal, Pearl Farm Resort is a 14-hectare property situated in the coastal area of Samal Island. The resort boasts of its white sand beach, chic accommodations, a unique bar and an infinity pool.

Pearl Farm Beach Resort

The resort’s day tour rate is at P1,850.00 on weekdays and P2,500.00 on weekends. Accommodations for an overnight stay starts at around P7,000/room during off-peak season.

How to get there:
Visitors to the resort must proceed to the Pearl Farm Beach Resort’s Davao Marina where they will take a 45-minute boat ride to Samal Island. Boat transfer is already included in the rates.

Paradise Beach Resort

One of the most accessible beach resorts in Samal from Davao City, Paradise Beach Resort is located just 15 minutes away by boat from the city. It is a favorite family weekend getaway destination due to its proximity to the city. Day tour rate at Paradise Resort is P200.00 and overnight rate is P300.00.

Paradise Beach Resort | Photo by Roj Braga of The Adventures of Adventuroj

How to get there:
Take a taxi or a Sasa-bound jeepney and tell the driver to drop you at the boat terminal going to Paradise Beach Resort near One Network Bank’s main office. From there, take a boat to Paradise Beach Resort, fare is P15.00/head and travel time is about 15 minutes.

Costa Marina Resort

Costa Marina is one of the closest white sand beaches to Davao City. It is only about 15-minute boat trip from Davao City. It offers a not so long stretch of white sand beach with clear and clean water. It is located right beside Paradise Beach Resort.

Costa Marina Beach Resort

Day tour rate to Costa Marina Resort is P120.00 and overnight rate is P220.00. Accommodations are available for overnight guests for as low as P2,500.00.

How to get there:
Costa Marina shares the same boat terminal with Paradise Resort so the directions on how to go there is pretty much the same. Make sure you take the right boat Paradise Resort boat.

Kaputian Beach Park Resort

Kaputian Beach Park Resort is a government-owned facility located in the southernmost part of Samal Island. It is frequently visited by both locals and tourists due to its cheap entrance fee for only P10.00. It offers a white sand beach as well as cottages and accommodation for overnight guests.

Kaputian Beach Park

How to get there:
From the city proper, go to Magsaysay Park and take an Island City Express bus going to Penaplata. From Penaplata, take the same bus to Kaputian District. From the bus terminal, ride a habal-habal going to Kaputian Beach.

Samalan Camp & Sea

Samalan Camp and Sea is a beach resort located at Barangay San Remigio, Kaputian District, Island Garden City of Samal. It's a 300-meter stretch of white sand beach ideal for beach bumming and swimming.

Samalan Camp & Sea

How to get there:
From Kaputian bus terminal, hire a habal-habal and inform the driver you are going to Samalan Camp & Sea in San Remigio.

Canibad Beach Cove

Canibad is situated on the other side of Samal facing Davao Oriental. It is one of the least visited  resorts in Samal due to its location. It is a stretch of white sand beach owned by different individuals. There are no fancy restaurants or accommodations in the area so this is a good place for people who want to enjoy a simple island life. It is a perfect place to escape from busy city life.

Canibad Beach Cove | Photo by Chamee Pecson of Miss Litratista

How to get there:
Take a bus from Davao City to Penaplata Bus Terminal. From there, take a habal-habal going to Canibad Beach located in Sitio Audanao, Penaplata District, IGACOS.

Maxima Aquafun Resort

Contrary to the other resorts mentioned in this article, Maxima does not have a white sand beach nor a shoreline but it does have fun and interesting amenities such as their giant water slide and water blob. These what make guests visit Maxima Resort. Both adults and children enjoy the ride in their One in the World Tarpaulin slide that drops them into the sea. Day tour rate at Maxima is P300.00

Maxima Aquafun Resort

How to get there:
From downtown area, take a jeepney going to Sasa and alight at the entrance of Sta. Ana Wharf. Take a short walk and board the MV Maxima IV boat to Maxima Aquafun Resort. Fare is P150 and travel time is around 30 minutes. The schedule of the boat is only every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It departs Sta. Ana Wharf to Maxima at 9AM and leaves Maxima back to Davao at 4PM. Alternatively, if you happen to go there on weekdays, you may take a bus to Penaplata from Magsaysay Park. Fare is P40 and travel time is a little more than an hour. From Penaplata bus terminal, take a habal habal to Maxima Aquafun Resort. Fare is P30 each (P60 if you're alone) and travel time is around 15 minutes.

Secdea Beach Resort

One of the newest beach resorts in Davao, Secdea offers chic villas and amenities ideal for a beach getaway. The accommodation is quite pricey compared to other resorts in Samal but you’ll get what you pay for. It is located in Barangay San Isidro, Babak District, IGACOS. 

Secdea Beach Resort | Photo by Trina Olaguer

How to get there:
From Davao City, take an Island Express Bus from Magsaysay Park and alight at Babak Public Market. From there, take a habal-habal going to Secdea. Alternatively, you may go directly to Sasa Wharf, take the RORO and ride a habal-habal at Babak Wharf.

Dayang Beach Resort
Located right beside Babu Santa Beach Resort, Dayang Beach Resort is secluded white sand beach located in Talicud Island. Entrance fee to the resort is only P50.00. Cottages for overnight guests are also available for as low as P500.00 good for four people.

Dayang Beach Resort

How to get there:
From the airport or anywhere in Davao City, ride a taxi and go to Sta. Ana Wharf. Take a boat to Dadatan Wharf. The boat leaves twice daily at 6AM and 1:30PM so make sure you arrive early if you only want to take a day tour. Travel time is around 45 minutes. From Dadatan wharf, charter a habal-habal going to Dayang Beach Resort. Fare is around P100 but will sometime go higher or lower depending on your bargaining skills.

Punta del Sol Beach Resort
Located in Barangay Catagman, Samal City, Puta del Sol offers a breathtaking view of the Davao Gulf. It provides a wide array of water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and more.

Punta del Sol Beach Resort

Their Day tour rate is P70.00 per person and overnight rate at P140.00. Accommodations are also available ranging from around P700.00 to as high as P2,500.00 good for two persons.

How to get there:
Take a taxi going to Sta. Ana Wharf, from there charter a Punta del Sol boat to take you to the resort. The rate is P500.00 for a one-way trip.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Located in Barangay Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga, Abe's Farm provides a unique leisure and gastronomic experience in the province. It offers a variety of facilities and amenities for guests to enjoy. It has a swimming pool, restaurant, spa, museum and a number of comfortable accommodations for a complete leisure and relaxation. It is named after Emilio Aguilar Cruz, the father of Larry J. Cruz, owner of the LJC group of restaurants.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This year, Davao City proudly hosts the 2nd BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders’ Conference. The event is spearheaded by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Philippine Coordinating Office for BIMP-EAGA. It will be held on 22-26 October, 2014 at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier. The event expects to welcome around 800 business leaders, government officials, traders, and potential investors from the five countries within the ASEAN region.

BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, while the IMT-GT stands for Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle. Both sub-regional groupings are among the most dynamic economic cooperation in ASEAN.

The city government of Davao is very excited to host the event, in fact, it has declared October 20-26, 2014 as a celebration week for BIMP-EAGA and IMT GT. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said “the City of Davao welcomes this event as an opportunity, not only for Davaoeños, but also for residents and entrepreneurs in other cities and municipalities in Mindanao, to effectively promote investments and generate trade in their respective jurisdiction."

The 2nd BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT Business Leaders’ Conference is a one-day, by invitation-only conference that aims to provide a venue for discussing the gains, challenges, and way forward for BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT specifically in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by ASEAN integration by 2015 through integration of trade, investment and tourism initiatives.

The 2nd BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT Trade Fair on the other hand is a three-day exhibition that will showcase products and services in some selected industry sectors mainly from the two sub-regions. The trade fair is open to all with no entrance fee.

The event also  features side events such as the East ASEAN Film Festival, ASEAN Street Food Festival, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Summit and Innovation Expo, Importers/Exporters Forum and a Golf Tournament. 

For more information, visit the official website of the 2nd BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders’ Conference at www. or call MinDA at +63 82 221-6929

Friday, October 10, 2014

RBG Bar & Grill, Park Inn Davao's in-house restaurant introduces their new supersize family meals. 

Entree: Crispy Rosted Pork Belly

Dining out with your family or friends on a weekend? Head to RBG Bar & Grill and enjoy their supersize family meal for only P1,699 net! Their new supersize meal is good enough for 5 people and you'll get to enjoy a full course meal from salad, appetizer, soup, main course, desserts and drink.

The good thing about dining at RBG is you get to dine in a casual, spacious and relaxed ambiance. RBG is Park Inn by Radisson's in house all-day dining restaurant which is conveniently located a few steps away from SM Lanang Premier.

Park Inn's General Manager, Mr. Pavan Kakar quoted "We invite everyone to dine with us and try our Supersize set meals. It's not like the usual set meal with which you're just made to choose from 2 or 3 packages. With supersize, you get to create your own set with your own choice of appetizer, soup, salad, starch, entree, desserts and drink, plus a family size pizza"

Davao Bloggers with the PR of Park Inn Davao

The food promo is available every Saturday and Sunday both lunch and dinner. Here's the available options to choose from when making your own set meal.

Choice of Salad
RBG Caesar Salad | Apple, Mango, Celery Salad | Baked Chicken Supreme Salad

Apple, Mango, Celery Salad

Choice of Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Soup | Chicken Noodle Soup | Cream of Corn Soup

Roasted Pumpkin Soup 

French Fries | Nachos | Onion Rings

French Fries

Choice of Main Course | 8pcs Fried Chicken | Crispy Roasted Pork Belly | Lemon-Cilantro White Fish en Papillote

Lemon-Cilantro White Fish en Papillote

Choice of Rice
Plain Rice | Yang Chow Rice | Java Rice | Vegetable Fried Rice

Yang Chow Rice

Choice of Desserts (2 items : 1 cake and 1 jelly dessert)
Whole Chocolate Cake | Whole Marble Cake | Whole Rainbow Cake
Buko Pandan Jelly | Mango Jelly with Cream | Black Gulaman with Pearls

Whole Chocolate Cake

Choice of Drink on a Pitcher
Orange Juice | Iced Tea | Coke | Sprite | Royal

For reservations and inquiries, please call 082-272-7600.

RBG Bar & Grill @ Park Inn by Radisson
Next to SM Lanang Premier
J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City
Twitter/Instagram: parkinndavao

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Situated right at the heart of Davao City, Garden Oases Seafood Restaurant offers delectable dishes at very affordable prices. It's a casual all-day dining restaurant that serves both local and international cuisines. The restaurant also offers signature dishes with a taste of Davao using the region's tropical fruits like durian and mangosteen. 

Few days ago, I embarked on a gastronomic journey with some friends and sample some of the best dishes offered by Garden Oases. It was my first time to visit the restaurant so I was kinda oblivious what they are going to serve us. I was expecting it to be the usual food I find in Davao but I was surprised that they actually have dishes with local twists. Ms. Alice Cadao, Garden Oases and Ritz Hotel’s PR Manager explained that they are adding local fresh fruits to some of their dishes to make it stand out from the others. True enough, it did. I like how they add durian to a stuffed shrimp without sacrificing the overall taste of the dish. The durian taste was just enough and was not overpowering. I'm sure Davaoenos would love to have a bite of Dragon Ball D.

Dragon Ball D ( Durian Stuffed Shrimp with Fruit Salsa) P208

Another signature dish served was Dragon Ball X which uses Mangosteen as an additional flavor to the dish. Again, you'll have a subtle taste of the fruit in the dish. I actually loved it. 

Dragon Ball X P208

They also served us with Fried Seaweed Roll with Crab Sticks and Japanese Siomai. The former is my personal favorite. I like the taste of the seaweed as it perfectly complements to the stuffing of the roll. 

Fried Seaweed Roll with Crab Sticks P185

Japanese Siomai P60

Another favorite is their Oases Fried Rice. It has a generous amount of veggies, slices of braised pork and chorizo. It's definitely something you'll enjoy even without any other viands. 

Oases Fried Rice P165

Some other dishes we tried are their Baby Back Ribs and Asian Lemon Chicken. The Baby Back Ribs was tender and juicy. The Lemon Chicken on the other hand was crispy on the outside and tender on the in inside. 

Baby Back Ribs P290

Asian Lemon Chicken

Aside from the appetizers and main courses, they also served us with snack items from their menu. These items and more are part of their Awesome Oases Deals. You'll get up to 50% on selected items from 9AM to 11AM,  from 2PM to 5PM and from 8PM to 10PM everyday. 

Davao Burger P135/P99

Taco P100/P60

Carbonara P168/P84

For dessert, we've tried their mouth-watering Halo-Halo and Banana Split. 

Banana Split P120

Halo-Halo P120

Buko Halo-Halo P120

Garden Oases Seafood Restaurant

Porras St. Bo. Obrero, Davao City
Tel: 082-228-6885

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A visit to Davao City is not complete without trying its sumptuous food and fresh fruits. The city offers a variety of restaurants to eat depending on your preference. Both local and international cuisines are being sold in major restaurants. If you want a uniquely Davao dish, I would suggest you visit Palovince Place in Dakudao Avenue, and try their best-selling Pakfry.

Pakfry is derived from the words paksiw and fry. As the name suggests, it goes through two processes to cook. The first step is to cook it with vinegar and spices and then deep fry it for a crispy texture. Pakfry is made from a tuna buntot (tuna tail) which is abundant in Mindanao.

Palovince's Pakfry is considered to be the best in the city. My most favorite part of the pakfry is the skin of the tuna buntot. It is crispy on the outside and when you bite it, you get a chewy consistency. it is best eaten with Palovince's very own vinegar-based sauce. They complement each other. 

Mr. & Mrs. Sato, the man and woman behind the best Pakfry in town

What surprised me was the tuna's bone marrow. It was my first time to try it and I like it. It very soft and it literally melts in your mouth. Again it is best eaten with the Pakfry sauce. So, when you order your pakfry, don't forget to twist the bone and have a taste of the bone marrow.

Aside from Pakfry, Palovince also serves different type of seafood dishes made from fresh ingredients. Their kinilaw (ceviche) is also another favorite. The fish used was fresh and it was not soaked in vinegar. 

We also tried Palovince's seashell soup. It's made from fresh cockles added with tomatoes, onion and other spices. 

For appetizer, I suggest you try their ensaladang lato (seaweed salad). The ingredients are fresh. I'm sure you'll love it if you're a seaweed fan.

Palovince also serves crispy pata and it's one of the best I have tried. The crispy skin and tender meat is just so mouth-watering. The taste was perfect, it has the right amount of salt. The sauce that comes with it also perfectly complements the dish.

Palovince is one of the few restaurants in Davao featured in the book Linamnam by Chef Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc. 

Palovince Place

Dacudao Avenue (beside Queensland Dacudao), Davao City 
Telephone No.: 082-282-5168
Business Hours: 10am - 2pm and 5pm - 10pm
Facebook: Pakfry @ Palovince