Mindanao… A Misunderstood Paradise (Part 1)

Mindanao is often on tv or newspapers. Not because of our wonderful mountains, gorgeous beaches, beautiful and picturesque landscapes but because of what’s going on in Basilan. Yes, it is part of Mindanao but if you look at your maps, it is just a small part of it.So I am hoping that through my Mindanao series, people from all over the world will understand that no, we do not live in a killing field!

I’ll start with my hometown, Davao. The first time my husband  John came to the Philippines,  on board the plane en route to Manila, an overseas filipina worker sitting beside him, told him not to go to Davao or he’ll get kidnapped and might get beheaded. lol

I’m sorry but I couldn’t help but laugh when he told me about it. Jokingly, I congratulated him for visiting me despite of what he heard and read. I mean, you know , you have to be really , really brave to come to Mindanao right? hahaha  … No, I am not being sarcastic. lol

I find it frustrating that even co-filipinos are obviously  strangers to our own country. Judgement is done based on what’s in the news. It is sad because a lot of people are missing the chance to visit and enjoy what our province and its people has to offer.
If only they knew … Davao is such a beautiful place to live in. We have no typhoons here. We have an abundant supply of seafoods. 🙂  Each month brings  different varieties of fruit – durian, pomelo, mangoes, mangosteen, etc. Making them cheaper than most cities in the Philippines since they are locally grown.That’s why we celebrate Kadayawan Festival on August of each year as thanksgiving  for the abundant bounty we receive, year after year…

When the news kept on saying that there’s a shortage of rice a few years ago, I was like “what are you talking about”? We have abundant supply of that here! You see, we get our rice mostly from Davao Oriental.

            Ricefield in Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental.  As far as the eyes can see. 🙂
And our previous Mayor, Rody R. Duterte, rides in a taxi pretending to be a passenger at nights, to check what’s going on with the City. (And no, there is no entourage of body guards with him.  )  So yeah, even foreigners living in Davao , will tell you that it is safer here than most cities in the western world. 🙂 Also, Davao is the only city in the Philippines that has 911. That’s one of the best legacies Mayor Rody left to Davaoenos before he became a Vice Mayor.Davao is home to the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo. I had the chance to visit Kapatagan , Davao del Sur last month. And there I stood for awhile, watching the majestic beauty of the Philippine’s tallest mountain. The place has a cool temperature which reminded me of Eden and Buda.

Mt. Apo. Photo courtesy of my sister, Pearlie.

NOTE: If you want a clear picture of Mt. Apo, be sure to take one early in the morning. After that, it gets enveloped with clouds and thick fog. Our city is also the home of Pag-asa, the monkey-eating eagle which was born at the Philippine Eagle center in Calinan. And the world famous Waling-waling, aptly known as the queen of all flowers.


The nearby Island Garden City of Samal boasts of its white sand beaches with beautiful corals underneath.

Kaputian Beach Park, taken while we were on the boat, coming back from a boat tour.
(Boat Fee: P800.00             Entrance Fee: P10.00 per head)

     This is the garden in Samal. The corals at the Vanishing Island in Kaputian. 🙂
Samal is also famous for its batcave. A sanctuary for millions of fruit bats.
Then, there’s Hagimit Falls , which the LGU developed into a beautiful resort.
One of the many “mini-cascades” in Hagimit Falls. Taken on October, 2011.
Of course, who haven’t heard of Pearl Farm Resort? It is expensive, yes. But you get what you pay for. My nephews love the beach and their infinity pool!
                                        Matt and Blaire at the Infinity Pool of Pearl Farm.

Davao is the business center of Mindanao so yes, we have an international airport. We have an international seaport as well. It is a big city with all the comforts it has to offer, less the terrible traffic I hate in Manila. Sorry Manila friends, I just can’t stand the smoke and the traffic there. 🙂

Yes, it’s a busy city. But we live a laid back lifestyle. To borrow the city’s phrase – Davao, life is here!

I couldn’t agree more… If you don’t come and visit our place, it is your loss. (winks 🙂

Lea C. Walker


About leawalkerblog

Businesswoman. Realtor. Photographer. Traveler. Blogger.
This entry was posted in davao city, Mindanao, My Travels, philippines and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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