Friday, February 17, 2017

Davao City is a major jump-off point to the rest of Mindanao. Here are the buses that operates in Davao City going to the other parts of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, their schedule, fare and contact details.

BACHELOR EXPRESS Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact Number 244-0637 / 244-0654

Davao to Butuan
Aircon: First Trip: 2AM / Last Trip at 11PM (20/30 minutes interval) / Fare: P500
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : 24 hours operation / Fare P400

Davao to Mati
Aircon: First Trip: 4AM / Last Trip: 5PM (20/30 minutes interval) Fare: P280
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 12:45AM / Last Trip 8:30PM (20/30 mins interval) Fare: P220

Davao to Surigao
Aircon: First Trip: 7AM / Second/Last Trip: 9AM / Fare: P720
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 6AM / Second/Last Trip: 6PM / Fare: P570

Davao to Tandag
Aircon: One Trip Only: 11PM / Fare P562
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 10AM / 2nd Trip: 5PM / 3rd Trip: 8PM / Fare: P450

Davao to Mangagoy
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 2AM / Last Trip: 2:45PM / Fare P300

Davao to Tacloban
Aircon: First Trip: 12NN / Second/Last Trip: 5PM / Fare P1,400
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 4AM / Second/Last Trip: 8PM / Fare: P1,200

Davao to Ormoc
Aircon: One Trip Only: 6PM / Fare P1,500
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 10AM / Second/Last Trip: 10:45AM / Fare P1,200

Davao to Baganga & Cateel
Aircon: First Trip: One Trip Only : 6AM Fare: P600
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : Trips: 3AM, 5AM, 7AM and 9AM

Davao to Sto. Tomas
Aircon: First Trip: No fixed sched / Last trip: 9PM (20/30 minutes interval) Fare: P105
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 2:45AM / Last trip: 9PM (20/30 mins interval) / Fare: P85

Davao to Sigaboy 
Aircon Fare: P230
Non-Aircon / Deluxe Fare: 180
Mixed Schedule for aircon and non-air : First Trip 1:30AM / Last Trip 2:30PM (1 hour interval)

RURAL TRANSIT BUS Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact Number: 0917-7711208

Davao to Cagayan de Oro City
Aircon: First Trip: 2AM / Last Trip: 6PM (30 mins interval) / Fare P535
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : 24 hours (30 minutes interval) / Fare: P400 
Three Trips Non-stop: 7PM, 9PM and 10PM / Fare: P600

PHILTRANCO BUS Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact Number: 299-3419 / 09063913572/ 09398963558 / 09178677138

Davao to Pasay
Aircon: One Trip Only: 11PM / Fare: P2,700
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 6PM / Second/Last Trip: 9PM / Fare P2,300

MINDANAO STAR BUS Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact Number: 244-0033

Davao to Cotabato City
Aircon: First Trip: 1AM / Last Trip: 1PM (20 mins interval) / Fare: P350
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 1:20AM / Last Trip: 1PM (2o mins interval) / Fare: P295

Davao to Kidapawan
Aircon: First Trip: 3:30AM / Last Trip: 8PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P165

Davao to Bansalan
Aircon: First Trip: 4AM / Last Trip: 8PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P100
King Long Aircon Fare: P125 

YELLOW BUS LINE Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact number: 244-1250

Davao to General Santos City (Gensan)
Aircon with CR: 1st Trip: 5:30AM / Last Trip: 4:30PM (1 hour interval) / Fare: P300
Aircon: First Trip: 1:30AM / Last Trip: 9PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P190
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 1:30AM / Last Trip: 9PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P170

Davao to Marbel
Aircon with CR: 1st Trip: 5:30AM / Last Trip: 4:30PM (1 hour interval) / Fare: P410
Aircon: First Trip: 3:30AM / Last Trip: 8PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P270
Non-Aircon / Deluxe: First Trip: 1:30AM / Last Trip: 9PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P170

BEI HOLIDAY BUS Schedule of Trips and Destination

Contact number: 0936-4374669

Davao to Gensan
Aircon: First Trip: 3AM / Last Trip: 12MN (20 mins interval) / Fare: P190
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 3AM / Last Trip: 12MN (20 mins interval) / Fare: P170

ACF TRANS BUS Schedule of Trips and Destination

Contact Number: 0939-9916273

Davao to Malita
Aircon: First Trip: 3AM / Last Trip: 5PM (30 mins interval) / Fare: P180
Non-Aircon / Deluxe : First Trip: 3AM / Last Trip: 5PM (30 mins interval) / Fare P150


Davao to Veruela
First Trip at 3AM & Last Trip at 3PM / Interval depends on availability of bus / Fare: P220

DAVAO METRO SHUTTLE BUS Schedule of Trips and Destinations

Contact Number: 299-2961

Davao to Tagum
Aircon: First Trip: 4:30AM / Last Trip: 9PM (20/30 mins interval) / Fare: P115
Deluxe: First Trip: 4:30AM / Last Trip: 10:15PM (20/30 mins interval) / Fare: P85

Davao to New Bataan
Aircon: First Trip: 4:30AM / Last Trip: 6PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P195
Deluxe: First Trip: 4:30AM / Last Trip: 6PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P165

Davao to Monkayo
Aircon: First Trip: 6:30AM / Last Trip: 4PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P145
Deluxe: First Trip: 6AM / Last Trip: 5PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P130

Davao to Malita
Aircon: First Trip: 6:30AM / Last Trip: 4:30PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P230
Deluxe: First Trip: 4:30AM / Last Trip: 6PM (15/20 mins interval) / Fare P150

You may also want to read:
Davao 101: A Complete Davao City Travel Guide 
Travel Guide: Davao CIty and Davao del Norte 
10 Must Try-Food in Davao (And Where To Find Them)
Where to Eat in Davao

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pontianak is the capital city of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan. It is precisely located on the equator so it is widely known as Kota Khatulistiwa or Equator City. The city center is interestingly located less than three kilometers from the equator. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Where to stay, where to eat, where to drink, what to see, what to buy and where to unwind in the city of Davao.

STAY. Whether you are a business traveler or a backpacker, Davao City has a lot to offer in terms of accommodation. Located in the heart of the city, Marco Polo Hotel Davao is one good option for business and luxury travelers. It's the only five-star hotel in the city. Other options for business travelers are Seda HotelPark Inn by Radisson HotelWaterfront Insular Hotel Davao and Apo View Hotel

For budget travelers, you may stay at Red Planet Hotel which is located near to SMX Convention Center. If you are looking at a budget place to stay in the city proper, you may check out My Hotel, Hotel Uno, The Royale House Travel Inn & Suites, and Sampaguita Tourist Inn. For shared accommodation, you can stay at Green Windows Dormitel or at My Hometel. You may book your accommodation in Davao here.

SEE. Davao is home to the country's national bird, so a visit to the city is not complete without seeing the Philippine Eagle up close at the Philippine Eagle Center in Calinan. Another interesting place to see especially if you want nature and adventure is Eden Nature Park in Toril. For city attractions, you may check out the Crocodile Park, People's Park which is just a walking distance from the City hall, Museo DabawenyoD’ Bone Collector MuseumLon Wa Buddhist Temple, and Davao's Chinatown. If you like beaches, you may go to the Island Garden City of Samal  (IGACOS) which is less than an hour away from Davao City. Samal is also home to the largest colony of Geoffroy’s Rousettes in the world. Monfort Bat Cave made the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. ( Read: 13 Gorgeous Beaches in Samal)

EAT. Travel is not complete without sampling the best food in the city. Head to Lachi's for their delectable food and desserts. Must-try are their durian cheesecake, durian sans rival and Asian spicy chicken. If you're into something unique in Davao, you should visit Palovince Restaurant and try their famous Pakfry. Other restaurants to try while in Davao City are Boiling Crabs and Shrimps, Dencia's Restaurant for their Tokwa't Baboy and Lugaw, Glamour Crabs Buffet (Unlimited Crabs for less than P500), Misto Restaurant in Seda Hotel, The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge, Tiny Kitchen for their paella, and Shatter Persian Kebab. If you love street food, you should experience the Roxas Night Market. Must-try aside from the usual grilled meat are matcha buchi and Paniza Ice Cream.

DRINK. Davao City is known for its strictly implemented liquor ban but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the city's night life. The city's liquor ban starts at 1am until 8am. Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar is a popular place where you can grab your favorite drink. Must-try is their rhum infused with different local fruits like mangosteen, cacao and also with chili. Another popular hangout place at night is Matina Town Square where you can enjoy affordable food and drinks while listening to a live band. Other options are: Primo Cafe, Brewery, Club Echelon and other bars in Lanang.

BUY. If you are looking for a place to buy your pasalubong, Aldevinco shopping center should be in your must-visit list. Another option is to go to the Pasalubong Center near People's Park. If you're looking to buy fresh fruits, then Bankerohan Public Market is the right place to go. The best time to go on fruit shopping is during the Kadayawan season in August. Durian and Mangosteen are sold at around P30 per kilo. Other fruits such as Marang and Lanzones are also abundant during the fruit season. The famous Pomelo on the other hand can be bought whole-year round at very affordable price.
UNWIND. The best way to unwind in Davao City is by visiting the Garden of Eden Restored in Tamayong. It is an 8-hectare property located at the foothills of Mt. Apo in Tamayong, Calinan District. It was completed in 1999 after six months of 24-hour non-stop construction. Another place to chill is at Jack's Ridge in Shrine Hills, Matina. You can enjoy an overlooking view of the city from there. The best time to visit Jack's Ridge is during night time.

 Davao City Complete Travel Guide

You may also want to read:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Inaul (inol) is a unique fabric manually and meticulously woven by Maguindanaon women weavers in Mindanao. It is a Maguindanaon word which literally translates to "weaved" in English.

DOT ARMM Secretary Ayesha Dilangalen and Inaul festival director DP Ampatuan 

Inaul is traditionally used as a "malong" but it is also considered as a "Bara-Bangsa", a term that describes royalty, dignity, and nobility. In the past, the use of Inaul in Muslim Mindanao was a status symbol and worn with pride and respect.

The color of the Inaul fabric reflects the vibrant culture of Maguindanao. Each color used in weaving has its own meaning. Yellow and orange corresponds to royalty while red represents bravery. White as usual is the color of purity and speaks of grief and mourning. Green on the other hand, symbolizes peace and harmony. Black denotes nobility and dignity.

Today, Inaul becomes more popular and is no longer confined to "malong" and other traditional garments. The fabric of Maguindanao is now being made into dazzling modern outfits such as gowns, long and short sleeved shirts for men, trousers, accessories, among many others. 

Recently, fashionable and glamorous ball gowns made from Inaul were showcased by Miss Universe candidates at the Mindanao Tapestry show in Davao City.

With Inaul in the spotlight on the world stage, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao gives honor to this regal fabric of Maguindanao along with the weavers who create them with the celebration of the first Inaul Festival sa Maguindanao on February 9-14, 2017.

Here are the Schedule of Activities:

February 9
6am-9am - Festival Parade, Municipal Grounds to Gym
9am-12nn - Opening Ceremony, Buluan Municipal Gym
1pm-5pm - Kapaginaul Competition, MWCPAC
1pm-5pm - Inaul Exhibit Opening, MWCPAC
1pm-5pm - Drum & Lyre Exhibition, Outside of Buluan Gym

February 10
8am-11:30am - Kapagangyas 2017, Buluan Municipal Gym
8am-5pm - Orientation on Event Organizing, Bed & Breakfast
1pm-5pm - Sagayan Dance Competition, Buluan Municipal Gym
6pm-10pm - Dayunday Exhibition, Inaul Expo

February 11
8am-11am - Rodeo, Pilot Elementary School Grounds
8am-12nn - Kategalan sa Maguindanao, Buluan Municipal Gym
4:30pm-6:30pm - Governor's Cup Finals, Buluan Municipal Gym
7pm-11pm - A night with Moro Idols, Trade Expo Area

February 12
8am-12nn - Alugan sa Maguindanao, In front of MWCPAC
8am-4pm - Solo-Ethnic Musical Instrument & Kulintang Ensemble Competition, Trade Expo Area
6pm-11pm - Palamata nu Maguindanao 2017 Coronation Night, Buluan Municipal Gym

February 13
8am-12nn - Regata (Boat Race), Buluan Lake
8am-5pm - Inaul Forum, BBGM Function Hall
1pm-5pm - Sipa sa Manggis, In front of MWCPAC
6pm-11pm - Governor's Night & Inaul Fashion Show, Buluan Municipal Gym

February 14
6am-4pm - Dindang sa Lalan Street Dance Competition & Showdown, Buluan Gym Field
6am-4pm - Float Design Competition, Buluan Gym Field
4pm-5pm - Awarding/Closing Ceremony, Buluan Gym Field
5pm-10pm - Run and Glow Rave Party, Buluan Gym Field

Monday, January 30, 2017

I was kind of exhausted from my recent winter trip and thought about having a staycation in one of the top hotels in Davao City. I know exactly where to go but I was hesitant of pushing through because the rates are quite expensive since I am not booking in advance. Good thing that I chanced upon Traveloka, an app that can book hotels and flights. I downloaded their app and tried searching for hotels in Davao, and voila I got a good rate from one of the high-rated hotels in the city, SedaAbreeza Hotel.

Booking Using the Traveloka App
It was my first time to use the Traveloka app and it was a breeze. It's so easy to use and I was able to book my stay at Seda Hotel Abreeza in just few minutes. The app is very user-friendly. You just have to click the hotels tab, enter your preferred city and date of stay, duration, number of guests and room/s then click search and you'll be given with options of where you can stay.

Staying at Seda Abreza Hotel
Seda Abreeza Hotel is one of the most convenient accommodation in Davao City. It's located within the city center and sits right beside Abreeza Ayala Mall. It's one of the top choices for both leisure and business travelers vising Davao City.

I was quite happy with the check-in process. It was quick and it only took about less than five minutes to complete the whole procedure. I didn't have to wait for a long time to check-in so that was something that really pleased me.

The Room and the Amenities
Our room was facing Ayala Abreeza Mall so we've had a wonderful view. We chose a twin room so there were two single beds with comfortable mattresses. The room wasn't so huge but it was big enough for me and my friend. There's a mini bar and a huge flat screen TV which allowed us to watch our favorite shows even if we're away from home. 

Our deluxe room has a cozy and homey ambiance with a minimalist yet elegant look.

Seda Hotel Abreeza offers free usage of their two MAC desktop computers in the lobby area for people who want to check email or updates their social media accounts. Complimentary WIFI access is also available in the rooms. 

On the side of the hotel are the fitness center and the swimming pool where guests can access to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The hotel has Misto, an all-day dining restaurant located at the lobby level. It serves both local and international dishes where visitors can satisfy their gastronomic cravings. The complimentary breakfast is also served from 6am to 10 am at Misto restaurant. If you want to explore a little bit more of Davao food, you can always check out the restaurants at the nearby Ayala Abreeza Mall.

How to get there?
Seda Abreeza is only about 20 minutes away from the Francisco Bangoy International Airport and a few steps away from Ayala Abreeza Mall, the first and only Ayala mall in Davao. It is also within a walking distance away from churches, corporate offices, shops, restaurants, the Asian Fruit Market and other business establishments. Direct flights from Manila to Davao are only 1 hour and 45 minutes while flights from Cebu take around 45 minutes. A direct flight from Singapore to Davao is also available for guests coming from mainland Southeast Asia.

What makes this hotel stand out from the rest of the accommodations in Davao?
Aside from its prime location, Seda Abreeza boasts itself as being the first urban lifestyle hotel in the city. It's the third property to open under the Seda Hotel chain and the second located in Mindanao after Seda Hotel Centrio in Cagayan de Oro City. Location and accessibility make Seda Abreeza Hotel a preferred  choice of both domestic and international travelers.

Why Book with Traveloka?
One of the best part of booking through the Traveloka App is you'll be able to use its filters to easily find a hotel within your budget or your personal preferences. You may also sort the hotels according to their popularity, ratings or prices. Lastly you have an option to view the hotels in the map so you can book according to a specific location of your choice.

STEP 1: Choose your preferred location ,date, duration of stay and number of room/s

STEP 2: Choose your preferred room type

STEP 3: Fill in the required details

STEP 4 & 5: Review your booking and choose your payment method

Once you selected a hotel and the preferred room, you may proceed with payment. No credit or debit card? Don't worry, the app allows you to pay over the counter via 711 and other payment centers. With my personal experience, I definitely can recommend the Traveloka app for a fast and efficient transaction. I look forward to using it again in my future flight and hotel bookings.

STEP 6: Wait for the travel voucher after you made the payment

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Text and Photos By: Beng Fontiveros, Escape Manila Correspondent

2016 passed by so fast, and 2017 is like that gooey choco lava cake finally served at your table – it’s screaming right at you to eat it.  The promise of a new year brings a sense of wanting to either kick start it with friends or go on a personal retreat. A stone’s throw away from Manila where you do just that is San Rafael River Adventure (SRRA) in San Rafael, Bulacan. Roughly 2 hours away, depending on traffic of course, you can find a place of respite for your expectant heart.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 has been a good year for Escape Manila. I have accomplished a lot in terms of ticking off the bucket list. It started really good and it ended well. There were hiccups along the way but overall it's a year to celebrate and remember. Here's my 16 best travel moments in 2016.