Kadayawan sa Davao, Day 1 Itinerary: Arrival, Where to Stay, City Tour & Dula sa Kadayawan

I've never been to Davao, and Nico & I have always talked about going there, so when I got invited by Cebu Pacific to cover the Kadayawan Festival 3 weeks ago, I said yes in a heartbeat! It's the anticipation & excitement of visiting a new place and I'm so lucky that on my first time, I was able to visit a lot of places & learned a lot about the history, culture & people of the "Durian Capital of the Philippines". It was also the first time since the pandemic started, that they're doing an offline festival/celebration! Photos & stories below...

CEB flew to Davao leading adventure travel bloggers and online lifestyle journalists from Manila to experience the rich culture, sights, and sounds of Kadayawan in Davao City, in partnership with several tourism establishments. We had a pretty packed itinerary for 3 days! To start our journey, we all met up at Terminal 3...

With Marky, Ina & Michelle!

Touchdown Davao!

A region fit for royalty, the Davao Region (Region XI) takes pride in being home to many of the country's icons: "King of the Philippine Mountains" (Mt. Apo), "Queen of the Orchids" (Waling-waling), "King of the Philippine Birds" (Philippine Eagle), and "King of Fruits" (Durian). The Davao region is located in the southeastern part of Mindanao & includes 5 provinces: Davao de Oro (previously known as Compostela Valley), Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental & Davao Occidental.

The Davao crew!

Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the Department of Tourism Region XI team, as well as our tour guide Sir Jonathan Engbino. From the airport, we were taken to our hotel, The Royal Mandaya, for lunch. We also checked-in early so we could leave our things & freshen up a bit.

Free taho sa lobby!

Buffet lunch. We also ate inside their VIP room.

Mostly Filipino dishes 

Our bed in the Deluxe Room! Shared this room with Michelle. :)

View from our room!

Davao City is the regional center of Davao Region. It is the most populous city in Mindanao and the third largest city in the Philippines. Known for its bustling economic activities, urban build-up, and modern amenities, Davao City is one of the most important economies in the island and the third most important urban center in the Philippines. (CTTO

In all of this region's provinces, people get their fair dose of adventure whether it be the highland experience, scenic mountain ranges & waterfalls, and island experience. The Davao Region offers so many amazing sights, attractions, activities, and most of all-- food! :) 

1st Stop: Davao City Library & Information Center 

Located along C. Bangoy Street in Barangay 34-D, this newly opened 4-story public library houses an informal reading area for the kids, an adult reading room, an amphitheater, an information technology center, conference rooms, and an organic garden on the rooftop! It is open 12 hours daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

The library card is P30 (for non-residents) & P100 (for residents) with more inclusions!

Awra sa Newspaper area! Love that there are comfortable seats where you can do your reading.

Books donated by VP Sara Duterte

Also love the paintings displayed inside!

So many book selections for leisure & learning!

Children's Corner

Group pic!

Organic garden!

Contact them:
203 C., Bangoy Street, Brgy. 34-D, Poblacion District, Davao City, Philippines
0963 363 5518

2nd Stop: Poblacion Market Central

Located along Bangoy Street, Poblacion District, this newly opened commercial space in the heart of Davao City,  is the hottest venue for shopping, dining, and art appreciation! This hip place has well-curated merchants & stalls that showcase local art, retail, lifestyle & food. This is where I bought souvenirs! Also went Namjooning inside their local art exhibit. :)

Kublai Millan's Carabao Sculpture displayed by the entrance! So cool

You can buy Mindanaoan textiles, clothes, bags, sarongs, etc.

I bought a Davao shirt for my Dad!

Famous Davao pomelos!

Rattan bags!

Silk sarongs & outfits


My fave booth! These decors & furniture are handcrafted, upcycled, repurposed & thrifted.

Okay, these Cacao Culture chocolates are so yummy! Thanks for the free sample! :)

Visited this art gallery/exhibit!

3rd Stop: Dula Kadayawan at People's Park

Dula Kadayawan is a showcase of indigenous (Lumad & Moro) games that aims to foster awareness & educate younger generations on these fun & historic traditions. It also aims to show the way of life, heritage & culture of the 11 tribes of Davao. In the end, the Bagobo Klata emerged as the overall champion of the event, and they received P120,000 in cash prize. Wow! Congrats to the winner and everyone who participated! 

Philippine Eagle replica

People’s Park in Davao City is a four-hectare wide cultural-theme park featuring a mini-forest, man-made falls, a dancing fountain at night, fish ponds, a children’s playground & library, a learning center, and a giant durian dome. And as the name of the park suggests, it’s really for the people since the entrance is FREE of charge. 

Huge sculptures by artist Kublai Millan!

The games included Tug-of-War, Karang relay, Kakasing, Bibinayo, Bubuntug, Sosakoro/water fetching, and Sipa among others!

"Sipa sa Mangis" where players had to kick a ball and hit the balls hanging above.

Durian Dome!

We had fun watching & supporting the different tribes! 

4th Stop: Paramount Garden Complex

Dine al fresco at this mini food park that offers delicious coffee & food c/o Paramount coffee and Bani Grilling Station! Loved the overall vibe of the whole place. It's the perfect place to unwind with family & friends over good food and drinks. :)

So good!

5th Stop: Davao Crocodile Park

Located in Riverfront, Diversion Road, Ma-a, Davao City, the Davao Crocodile Park is an establishment that showcases a ‘state-of-the-art’ crocodile farming system in the Philippines. It has the most recent crocodile farm design equipped with modern facilities and equipment. The presence of other exotic animal species like raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and other reptiles makes it one of the most desired tourist destinations in Davao. Entrance fee is P350 for adults.

The park's entrance fee includes the Tribu K'Mindanawan Cultural Village -- a distinct cultural-tourism destination showcasing Indigenous People's culture and traditions. You can catch their amazing cultural shows, acoustic performances, pulsating rhythm of drums, and the art of levitation highlights with the best FIRE SHOW ever by Tribu K'Mindanawan Artists!

I thought it was just gonna be another fire dance show, but I was wrong! It was so well-prepared and the whole show was just exciting & breathtaking!

Like wow?! I was in awe the whole time!

After the fire show, they toured us around the park...

An actual eagle! Wow


The sanctuary houses the biggest crocodile in the country named Pangil. It's 18 feet long! 

Hello, Pangil!

Siesta muna sha hehe

6th Stop: Vista View Restaurant

Dining with a beautiful & relaxing city view as background? Yes, please! For dinner, our group headed to Vista View Restaurant to eat delicious local food & enjoy the magnificent Davao cityscape, Davao Gulf & Samal Island views. Located at Hilltop, Brgy Langub, they are open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 9 PM. It's best if you come early coz the place gets packed easily.  

ctto: Marky of Nomadic Experiences

Our dinner feast! They served crocodile sisig but didn't try it. =D

7th stop: Life Cycle Coffee

Life Cycle Coffee is a Japanese third wave open air coffee stall in Hilltop, Langub Road (5 min from Diversion Road and 1km away from Vista View resto). It is open 2-11pm daily. 

And this is where Day 1 ends! We visited more places & learned more about the different indigenous tribes in Davao on our last 2 days in the city. More on that in my next posts! Thank you again Cebu Pacific Air for bringing us to Davao & DOT-XI for touring us around. :) Thank you for reading! 

*Cebu Pacific currently flies 8x daily from Manila to Davao, thrice daily from Davao to Cebu, thrice weekly from Davao to Bohol (every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday); twice weekly from Davao to Cagayan de Oro(every Thursday and Saturday; and daily from Davao to Iloilo. CEB will increase its flight frequency between Davao and Zamboanga, from five times to seven times weekly starting August 24.

The airline continues to offer its guaranteed low fares to stimulate travel across its widest domestic network, and continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety. Fly easy, going online is key!

Visit www.cebupacificair.com to learn more about their latest offerings, safety protocols and travel reminders.

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