Thursday, September 3, 2015

Davao City is one the safest cities in the country according to a number of surveys from reputable firms. Davaoenos are friendly and hospitable so you’d feel safe and welcome when you visit the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. From nature trips to extreme adventures, the city has got something for you to enjoy.


When you visit a place, the first thing you would consider looking for is accommodation. Davao City has both luxurious and budget accommodations ideal for business and leisure travelers as well as backpackers. Here are some recommended accommodations divided into hotels and hostels.

Recommended Hotels in Davao City:

Marco Polo Davao
Marco Polo Davao is located in the heart of Davao City's commercial and business district. it attracts both leisure and business travelers due to its proximity to most businesses and city attractions. It is about 20 minutes drive from Davao International Airport. Rooms range from P 3,500 to P 6,200
Address: CM Recto Street Davao City 8000, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 82 221-0888
Website: www.marcopolohotels.com

Park Inn by Radisson Davao
Park Inn by Radisson is a 204-room hotel in Davao City. It is conveniently located next to SM Lanang Premier and SMX Convention Center. It is just about 15 minutes away from Davao International Airport and the city proper. It is also just a short drive from major tourist attractions like beaches, museums and parks. Nightly rates range from P2,700 to P5,300.
Address: Beside the SM Lanang Premier shopping complex and the SMX Convention Center
Telephone Number: +63 82 272 7600

Apo View Hotel
Apo View Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the city. It is a walking distance to People’s Park and the Pasalubong Center. It offers guests with meeting rooms, function halls, a gym, and pool. Per night rates range from P2,300 to P4,500.
Address: Bonifacio St, Poblacion District, Davao City, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 (82) 221-6430


Royal Mandaya Hotel
The Royal Mandaya Hotel offers mid-range priced suites within walking distance to the Davao City Hall, Museo Dabaw  and the People’s Park. It offers guests with free parking, a business center, and shuttle buses and airport transportation. Room prices range from P2,400 to P2,900 per night.
Address: J. Palma Gil St.,Davao City,Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 82) 225 8888

Seda Abreeza Hotel
Seda Abreeza describes itself as an Urban Lifestyle Hotel in the heart of the Davao City commercial district. It is adjacent to the Ayala Abreeza Mall and features facilities such as a pool, a fitness gym, a restaurant, and a lounge. It is about 20 minutes away from Davao City International Airport. Room prices range from P3,300 to P3,700 per night.
Address: J.P. Laurel Ave., Bajada Davao City 8000, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 82 2443000

Microtel by Wyndham Davao
Microtel Inn is a no nonsense business hotel that offers suites for those in Davao City for business and vacation. It’s an ideal choice for those travelling with their pets, as it is a pet friendly inn. Microtel Inn is easily accessible from Davao International Airport. It is situated near Lanang Business Park and SM Lanang Premier. Room prices range from P2,400 to P3,500 per night.
Address: Damosa Gateway Complex, Mamay Road, Lanang Davao City
Telephone Number: +63 (82) 233 2333

Waterfront Insular Hotel
Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao is a beachfront property with a rustic look and feel. It is one of the first few hotels in Davao City. It offers a scenic view of the Davao Gulf and Samal Island. Room prices range from P3,000 to P4,000 per night. Photo credit to Waterfront Davao Official FB Page
Address: Lanang, Davao City
Telephone Number: +6382 233-2881


Recommended Budget Accommodations in Davao City:

Green Windows Dormitel
Green Windows Dormitel is one of Davao's most affordable accommodation ideal for budget travelers and backpackers. They currently have 88 fully air-conditioned rooms categorized into dorm typ rooms and hotel type rooms. Rates at their hotel-type rooms start at P999 while dorm-type rooms start at P188/head. Photo credit to Green Windows Dormitel website.
Address: 5th Floor FTC TOWER 1034, Mt. Apo Street Davao City
Telephone Number: +6382-3003896

My Hotel Davao
Conveniently located in the heart of Davao City, My Hotel offers comfortable accommodations at very affordable rates. Room rates start at P250 for non-airconditioned rooms and P800 for air-condiationed rooms. Photo credit to My Hotel FB Page.
Address: San Pedro Street, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63-82-222-2021


Hotel Uno
Hotel Uno is located at CM Recto St., formerly known as Claveria St. It is an ideal place for travelers who are on a tight budget. Room rates start at P250 for non-airconditioned rooms and P650 for air-conditioned rooms. Photo credit to Hotel Uno FB Page.
Address: Beside Lawaan Theatre, Claro M. Recto Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Telephone Number: +63 (82) 282 1111

Sampaguita Tourist  Inn
Sampaguita Tourist Inn is one of the most affordable accommodations in Davao City. Room rates start at P325 for a single room with fan and P525 for a single airconditioned room.
Address: Mt. Apo St., Corner Quirino Avenue, Davao City
Telephone Number: +63 82 305 1792
Website: none

Once you’re settled with your accommodation, you will wonder what to do when in Davao City? Here’s a list of suggested places to explore in Davao City:

Philippine Eagle Center
The Philippine Eagle Center has become a major attraction in Davao City. A visit to the city will not be complete without a close encounter with the Philippine Eagle . The place is located in Malagos about 45 minutes to 1 hour away from the city proper.




People’s Park
People's Park is a public park situated in downtown Davao City. It is covered with lush vegetation and is known for its display of Kublai Milan's sculptures. It is located in Palma Gil St.







Eden Nature Park
Eden Nature Park is a mountain resort located in Toril, Davao City. It is a 95% man-made attraction and is 3,000 feet above sea level. It is an ideal place to relax and be with nature. In addition, it is also a venue for some adrenaline-rush activities such as sky cycling and sky swing. http://edennaturepark.com.ph/




Malagos Garden Resort
Malagos Garden Resort is a wild life hosting indigenous birds, butterflies and other wildlife species. It also features a garden and an awesome landscape showcasing colorful orchids, fruit trees, flowers and other ornamental plants. Photo Credit to Malagos FB Page. http://www.malagos.com/




D’ Bone Collector Museum
D’ Bone Collector Museum is a place where animal skeletons and preserved animals from around the world are kept. It is a center geared towards educating the people about the life and death of the animals. It is located at San Pedro Ext. commonly known as  Bucana, Brg 76-A across from Nograles Park. Photo credit to D' Bone Collector Museum FB Page.




Museo Dabawenyo
The Museo Dabawenyo is a museum that aims to educate its visitors about the historical and cultural background of the city. It is located at Cor. A. Pichon and C.M. Recto Sts., Davao City. http://www.davaocity.gov.ph/museo/






Zip City
Zip City is located in Barangay Langub about 15 minutes from the city proper. Experience zip lining and at the same time enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.












Crocodile Park
The crocodile park is probably one of the most visited attractions in Davao City. It features a "state of the art" crocodile farming system. It showcases different sizes of farmed crocodiles. Aside from crocs, it also houses different type of reptiles, birds and mammals.





Lon Wa Buddhist Temple
The Lon Wa Buddhist Temple also known as Long Hua Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Mindanao. It is located Cabaguio Ave, Agdao District, Davao City








Davao Chinatown Arches
Davao city has one of the largest Chinatowns in the country. It is marked by four arches namely : The arch of Peace, Prosperity, Friendship and Unity.








Whitewater Rafting in Davao River
Davao Wildwater Adventure offers an opportunity for tourists to experience the fun ride into the mighty Davao River. Photo by Pinoy Adventurista.










Travel is not complete without sampling the best food in the city. So, we came up with a list of homegrown restaurants to satisfy your gastronomic cravings.

Lachi’s
Lachi’s is one of the most talked about homegrown restaurants in the city. It is known for its unrivaled Sans Rival cakes. Aside from desserts, Lachi's also offers delectable main dishes. You should try their Asian Spicy Chicken, it's so delicious that you always want more after your first bite. It is located in Marfori Heights. (082) 224 5552 / 0916 984 1183.









Tiny Kitchen
Tiny Kitchen is a homegrown restaurant located along Torres St., near the Davao Convention and Trade Center. We recommend you try their Paella which uses authentic saffron and also their Gambas al Ajillo - shrimps with garlic served with toasted herbed focaccia bread. (082) 305 9232










Majid’s Kebab
Majid's Kebab is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Davao City. It offer's various Iranian specialties. Their main store is at Rizal St., Davao City in front of Rizal Promenade. You should try their beef kebab and chicken biryani.












Cecil’s Snack Inn
Cecil's Snack Inn serves Filipino comfort food like palabok, fresh and fried lumpia, batchoy and a lot more. They also serve delicious pastries. Their main branch is at Anda St., Davao City beside the old CAP Building. Must try is their Lumpia, Palabok and Éclair.











Carmela’s
Carmela’s is a new restaurant in Davao owned by Wency Cornejo. It offers delectable dishes as well as mouth-watering desserts. We recommend you try their Sansrival Cheesecake and of course their best-selling ensaymada. It is located at JJ's Commune, Loyola Street, Barangay Obrero. Photo: Assorted Ensyamada










Caitlyns
If you love dim sums, this is the place for you. Caitlyn’s offer a wide array of premium quality dim sums at affordable prices. It’s located along circumferential road.













Zabadani Café & Restaurant
Zabadani Cafe is one of the few restaurants in Davao that offers sumptuous halal foods. It mainly offers cuisines from the Middle East like kebab, kabsa, hummus, pita breads and so much more. We recommend you try their kabsa and hummus J. They now moved to a bigger place along circumferential road. Photo: Chicken Kabsa.









Pakfry at Palovince
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.








Rumah Kari
If you want something different and would like to try some Malay and Indian dishes in the city, Rumah Kari is a good choice. We recommend you try their squid sambal, chicken rendang and chicken tikka masala. It is located along circumferential road beside Mercury Drugstore in Marfori.







Davao Dencia’s Restaurant
One of Davao's favorite dining place as it offers delicious Filipino comfort foods. You should try their Goto and pair it with their tokwa't baboy. It’s located in General Luna St., near Gaisano Ilustre.













Seagreen Cafe
If you prefer healthy dishes and a relaxing ambiance, you should visit Seagreen Café. They offer delicious and healthy dishes at affordable prices. Must try is their fish salpicao and of course the tablea cheesecake. It is located along circumferential road.











The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge
The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge is a fine dining restaurant in the heart of Davao City. It offers sumptuous international dishes in a very cozy environment. The place is an attraction in itself and the food will surely satisfy your gastronomic cravings. Must-try is their Yamamomo cheesecake for dessert and Grilled Angus Prime Rib Eye for the main course.









Davao's Pers Satti Haus
Davao's Pers Satti Haus is a new specialty restaurant in Davao City which serves authentic Tausug food such as Satti, Tiula Itum, Piyanggang and a lot more. It is located at Unit 25-26 Tiyanggehan, Matina Pangi, Davao City. It is a walking distance from Matina Centerpoint, situated adjacent to Hardwaremaxx. Photo: Piyanggang.










Penong’s Barbecue Seafood & Grill
If you want a place where locals usually go for a barbecue, try Penong’s. It has already branches in different cities but it originated in Davao. Aside from their barbecue, we recommend you also try their pinakbet.

For coffee shops, there are a number of Starbuck, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Bo’s Coffee in the city but we suggest you try some of the homegrown coffee shops in Davao:

Blugre Cafe
Blugre Café has started in Davao and now serving in other cities like General Santos. We recommend you try their Durian Coffee. They have several branches in the city but it’s good to try their main branch at Matina Town Square.

Café Demitasse
What we love about this café is its colorful interior and a relaxing ambiance. We recommend you give their banoffee pie a try.
Green Coffee at Marfori
The place where it is currently serving coffee is an old white house. It’s definitely a good place to chill and is open 24 hours.






For some fun at night, we recommend visiting the places below. Remember that there is a liquor ban at 2AM in the city. The implementation is strict and bars usually take your last orders by 1AM.

Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar
Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar should be one of your considerations if you want alcoholic drinks. Must-try is their rhum infused with different local fruits like mangosteen, cacao and also with chili.

There are other several other places to visit for a drink like Brewery in Obrero and Damosa, Blue Room at the Apo View Hotel for their Bangagera drink, Club Echelon which opens every Friday and Saturday night and a whole lot more, just ask a local and he or she will surely point you to the right direction.

After a drinking session, you’d ask where to enjoy a bowl of soup. We suggest you try these places below. There is nothing fancy about these places so if you want something posh, these are not for you.

Bankerohan Public Market or Agdao Public Market
One must try their bulalo , halang-halang (spicy beef soup), balbacua and lechon kawali.















Bulcachong
Bulca Chong is one of Davaoeños favorite dining place after late night out. It offers sumptuous soup called bulca chong - a beef stew. It is located at General Luna St., Davao City. Their location is a walking distance from Gaisano South Mall and Davao Doctors Hospital.







Taps
Taps offers Filipino breakfast meals throughout the day and night. They are pretty much located everywhere in Davao City. They also sell hot soup for you to try.

The last thing you probably think is where you can buy pasalubong for your friends and loved ones. We’ve got it covered, too.

Bankerohan Public Market
For visitors who want to take home fruits, the best way to shop is at Bankerohan Public Market. The prices are lower compared to the ones in the malls or at the airport stalls.


For merchandise items and fruit preserves, you can go to the Davao Pasalubong Center near People’s Park or in Aldevinco Shopping Center just across Marco Polo Davao.


Did we miss something? Contact us or leave a comment below and we’ll consider adding them here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two weeks ago, we featured Nathan Allen of I Dreamed Of This for Escape Manila's  blog series called "Foreigners Who Fell In Love With The Philippines". This week, we are featuring another blogger/traveler who recently made a visit to the country. He is from the UK and has already traveled around the world for seven years. Let's know more about Will Hatton as he tells us the reasons why he love The Philippines.

Will getting inked by Whang-Od in Kalinga

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Will Hatton and I’m an adventure travel blogger. I’ve been backpacking around the world for nearly seven years and specialize in getting off the beaten track to hunt down real adventures and meet with awesome people. From the frigid peaks of Nepal to the steamy jungles of Venezuela; I like to travel. In just six weeks time I am beginning an 18 month over-landing adventure from the UK to Papua New Guinea via Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and Indonesia! I cannot wait to return to The Philippines! I will be recording all of my adventures on my site; The Broke Backpacker

Will in the Mountain Province

When did you visit the Philippines?

May 2015

Why did you choose the Philippines?

I had heard such amazing things about both the people and the real adventure available here. I love tracking down off the beaten path stories and once I had heard about Whang Od… I had to go. 

What do you love most about the Philippines?

The islands? The beaches? The beer? The people? There are so many things to choose from, The Philippines is one of just a handful of countries where I could honesty see myself settling in the future. 

Your top 3 destinations in the Philippines and why?

Sagada - caving, climbing and mummies! - what more can any budding adventurer want!

Spelunking in Sagada

The Kalinga Highlands - Getting inked by Whang Od was one of the best experiences of my life.

Getting inked by Whang-od in Kalinga

Port Barton - This sleepy little fishing village was my favourite place to chill with a coconut, build sandcastles and get away from my laptop. 

Snorkeling in Prt Barton, Palawan

What's the least thing that you like about the Philippines, things that need improvement?

Infrastructure! - Getting around wasn’t always that easy. 


Will has definitely enjoyed his stay in the Philippines. He went to off-the-beaten destinations and visited Kalinga and Port Barton. The hospitality of the Filipinos has made his visit more fun! Follow his adventures around the world through his Facebook PageInstagram and Twitter account. 


Do you know any foreign traveler who also fell in love with the Philippines? Let me know their contact details so I can also feature them here. Please comment below or hit me an email at glen@escapemanila.com.

Together, we can encourage more people to visit the country and explore the Philippines. We need a sustainable tourism industry in the country. Always observe responsible tourism!

***Photos were grabbed from Will Hatton's blog and Facebook account.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Red Planet Hotel, a new hospitality brand in the Philippines recently opened its 10th branch in the country - Red Planet Amorsolo. Red Planet is one of the most trusted brand when it comes to budget accommodations. They have hotels located in Davao, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu, Angeles City and Metro Manila. 


Red Planet Amorsolo is conveniently located at Urban Urban Avenue in Makati City. It can easily be recognized due to its white and red paint, identical to other Red Planet Hotels in other places. It is ideal for both budget and business travelers due to its location.

The Room and Amenities

Just like in any other hotels, the check-in time is at 2PM and the checkout time is at 12nn the following day. Room rates start at Php1,200 for a twin room (two single beds) or a double room (one double bed). They are currently giving 10% discount when you book via their mobile app or their website, upon registration to their RemembeRED Program. In addition, they are also coming up with promotions from time to time, so follow them on social media to avail of huge discounts. To know more about their room rates, please visit RED Planet Hotel's website.


The room is perfect for two people. It has a toilet and bathroom, a cable TV, a safety vault as well as a hair dryer. Most importantly, complimentary WIFI access is available in the rooms not just in the common area. It's really a good bargain if you're looking a budget place to stay in the business district of Makati.



Red Planet Hotel Amorsolo

Urban Ave, Makati City Metro Manila
Telephone No. : (02) 838-0888 
Email: philippines@redplanethotels.com 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Planning for your trip next year? Here's the list of Official Regular and Special Holidays in the Philippines in 2016 as per Proclamation No. 1105, s. 2015 signed by the President.  




The following regular holidays and special holidays for the year 2016 shall be observed in the Philippines:

Regular Holidays:



New Year’s Day
1
January (Friday)
Maundy Thursday
24
March
Good Friday
25
March
Araw ng Kagitingan
9
April (Saturday)
Labor Day
1
May (Sunday)
Independence Day
12
June (Sunday)
National Heroes Day
29
August (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day
30
November (Wednesday)
Christmas Day
25
December (Sunday)
Rizal Day
30
December (Friday)

Special (Non-Working) Days


Chinese New Year
8
February (Monday)
EDSA People Power Revolution
25
February
Black Saturday
26
March
Ninoy Aquino Day
21
August (Sunday)
All Saints Day
1
November (Tuesday)
Additional special (non-working) days
2
January (Saturday)
31
October (Monday)
24
December (Saturday)
31
December (Saturday)

"The proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall hereafter be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient. To this end, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) shall inform the Office of the President of the actual dates on which these holidays shall respectively fall."