Road Trip (Manila to Davao) – Day 1

Last summer, my family and I flew to Manila, to pick up the new vehicles we bought.  They’ve been sitting at the dealers’ places for over a month already but I had to schedule its pick up during the Holy Week because we got almost a week of holiday during this time.

The flight from Davao to Manila was uneventful. And my nephews, ages 15 , 7 and 3 were so cool about their first flying experience. 🙂 I was glad because someday, they might be our travel buddies too. ha ha

Upon arrival at the airport, I called up Ariel Noora of Nissan. I was told that he is waiting outside with the van. Boy was I happy about that! Their van was perfect for a party of 9 adults and 2 kids. 🙂 Plus all the luggages. So it was a relief that Nissan, being our favorite dealer, offered to pick us up at the airport. Amazing customer service right? That is why I will forever be a Nissan – Makati fan. Thank you Ariel.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at two dealerships.  Nissan in Makati for our new van. And Mitsubishi in Manila Bay area for the new Montero.

So those are the reasons why we brought the whole family. The van can accommodate a maximum of 15 people, which I believe is perfect for family get away! 🙂

Being in the Real Estate brokerage and dealership business, we bought the new van for “site visit” purposes actually. But well, we had to break it in right? ha ha

The  Montero is for me and John. We need a 4×4 vehicle when we inspect land in Samal and other places. So we thought that it is perfect for us.

You know, prior to buying the Montero, we studied the Fortuner too. But well Toyota Davao isn’t big on customer service. John and I normally wear shorts and slippers during our days off. So I guess, they thought we were bums when we visited their place. ha ha

The biggest reason that turned us off actually,  was the fact that they prefer for their clients to get their In-house financing. We didn’t like it because of the high interest rate. If you purchase other than that scheme, I sensed that they are not so interested? I maybe wrong. Maybe they just didn’t seem to need our business.

So that is how we decided to get another Mitsubishi vehicle. I said “another”  because I received a Mitsubishi L300 Van in 2002 for being the Top Seller Awardee. That van brought me and my family to a lot of places. Their L300 just kept on going despite the age. Yep, that’s Mitsubishi for you.

Ok, so back to Makati. 🙂

From the dealers, we proceeded to Prince Plaza Condotel. After presenting my Agoda voucher, check in was fast and easy. We were brought to our respective rooms immediately. Perfect considering how tired we were. Their Studio Premier was spacious. It was more than enough for 2 people. The bathroom was big and very clean too. We also booked 2 Studio De Luxe for my parents and my sister’s family. Each room could accommodate 4 people. All our bookings included buffet breakfast. Booking through gave us a cheaper price already. With the free breakfast, I found that really worth it!

I chose Prince Plaza II because it’s just right across Greenbelt.  I love that Mall! The garden in the middle is so relaxing. Plus of course, there are so many restaurants that we can choose from. The most important reason this time though,  is that John wanted to check Blim’s Lazy Boys. We have one in Abreeza Davao. But they have limited stock. He was hoping that there’s more on display in Greenbelt. As it is, the design he wanted was out of stock.

We found ourselves roaming in Greenbelt after freshening up. Wemce, my youngest nephew had fun running around in the park. While we contented ourselves, sitting beside the fountain. ha ha… Low bat na, ika nga. lol

We had dinner at the Krazy Garlik but for what I paid, it wasn’t worth it. 😦 We all agreed that we should have just looked for the food court. hahaha…. I mean seriously, even if you decided that the food wasn’t good, the price was just ok. So it doesn’t hurt too much right? LOL  Ok, so that’s the stingy and crazy me talking…


mitsubishi manila bay


Prince Plaza II hotel in makati 20140416_073424

So you’re probably wondering why we buy our vehicles in Manila? I mentioned this in my  Philippine Road Trip blog in 2010. I’ll say this again. Buying in Manila is a lot cheaper. I will let the details below tell you why I said that:

1. Big discount upon purchase. – We were given almost 200k cash discount for both vehicles. You won’t find that in Davao. Believe me.

2. Free 3 year LTO Registration. (for both vehicles)

3. Free Mats and Seat Covers (for both vehicles)

4. Free Window Tinting (for both vehicles)

5. Insurance – both dealers gave us an option to buy our own insurance. I prefer dealing with Banco De Oro Insurance. Why? because they are reliable. Believe me, that matters when you live in the Philippines. And most importantly, cheaper than what the Davao dealers offered us.

6. Since we picked up the units in Manila, there are no shipping charges anymore. When you buy in Davao, the dealer charges range from P30-40k per vehicle. That’s expensive. We spent about P20,000.00 only for fuel and ferry fare for both the van and the Montero. That included the cost of the passenger per head as well.

For both vehicles, we saved almost P400,000.00 . It pays off to do your due diligence, so to speak. In my case, I learned in 2010 before we bought our first Nissan van. I researched online and found out that options are available in Manila. After talking to our car agent, Ariel , I knew that we made a good decision in buying there. I wasn’t wrong. This time around, it gave us a lot of savings.

It’s a no brainer actually. If you want to save, go buy your car in Manila. There are more dealerships there that you can choose from. Hence, all the freebies and the discounts.

You know there’s this fear that vehicles bought in Manila won’t have good price values when you eventually sell them somewhere else. And this is what I say – that doesn’t matter when you have records that you bought it brand new from the dealership. That should tell the buyer that a) it’s not second hand b) it wasn’t a carnapped vehicle.

The Nissan Van we bought on 2010 in Makati was renewed in Davao. It wasn’t difficult at all, contrary to what others say. Just follow the procedure. And voila , you get the License renewal here.

So there it is. This is just the 1st installment of our Manila-Davao Roadtrip. Come back soon and travel with us! 🙂




Lea C. Walker






















About leawalkerblog

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

24 Responses to Road Trip (Manila to Davao) – Day 1

  1. joon says:

    hi were you able to bring your car to davao?
    bevause for the roro part of land travel they are suppose to inspect original OR and i assume you still dont have it right?
    please let us know. ty


  2. jenny namang says:

    hi.. ask ko lang nun bumili kayo ng car dito sa manila din dinala niyo jan sa davao. saan niyo sinakay yong car?


    • Hello Jenny,

      There are ferries from Matnog , Sorsogon to Samar, Leyte.

      Then, Leyte and Surigao .

      Sorry, I wasn’t able to finish this part of the road trip in my blog yet.

      Thank you.

      Lea C. Walker


  3. Joseph says:

    Hello Ma’am, you have a nice article, i am planning to drive from manila to davao, it will be nice if you will put the details if how much you pay per head and per car in the boat.


    • Hello Joseph,

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      The fare would depend on the size of the vehicle. Ours were one Nissan van and a Montero. I paid less than P4k for both including the passengers, each pier – 1) Matnog, Sorson to Samar and 2) San Ricardo Leyte to Surigao in Mindanao). There were a total of 9 adults during our trip.

      I’ll try to find the receipts. 🙂 And add it here IF I can still find those.

      Thank you.




  4. Eryka Sto. Tomas says:

    Hi Lea,

    May I ask which route you took in Luzon going from manila to davao city? Did you still enter Sto Tomas or went past by it via SLEX? Thanks.


  5. Dominic says:

    Hi Ms/Mrs Lea,

    Great blog. It gave me insights about cheaper price rates for vehicles in Manila.

    I just want to ask, since you’ve been frequent in going from Manila to davao by land, i would like to know what are your suggestions about the good stops before getting back to davao? My family and i are actually looking forward to buy the all new fortuner there in Manila due to the unavailability of units here in Davao. And on the other hand, we saw this as an oppurtunity to take vacation before going back directly to Davao. It would be all first time experience for the family.

    A more detailed information/route would be much appreciated.

    Dom 🙂


    • Hello Dominic,

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      I apologize for the late reply. We are traveling as of the moment, that’s why.

      Yes, there are more dealers in Manila. Therefore the competition among those dealers makes the prices lower compared to Davao. Which in effect, is good for us. 🙂

      Here’s our itinerary when we did this road trip on 2014:

      Day 1 and 2 – Stayed in Makati.
      Visited Manila Ocean Park. (perfect if you have kids with you.)

      Day 3 – Nuvali Area (my nephews loved their fishpond)

      Day 4 – Lucena City
      Queen Margarette Hotel

      Day 5 – Mt. Mayon, etc.
      Alicia Hotel in Legazpi City, Albay

      Day 6 – Ciriaco Hotel , Calbayog , Samar

      Day 7 – Sogod, Leyte
      There were no good options in Leyte back then because of Typhoon
      Yolanda. But where we stayed at, the hotel was not high end but it was
      okay for an overnight stay. I will get back to you re Hotel Name because
      I will have to find my records pa. 🙂 This is not in my blog yet, sorry.

      Day 8 – Almont Inland Hotel, Butuan City.

      Day 9 – Back in Davao

      Please note that there are no good restaurants once you leave the big cities/town. So you should bring “baon” specially if you have kids with you.

      My nephews started traveling at the age of 3. 🙂 So they loved this experience. I cannot speak for other kids though. So if you have children, think of ways to entertain them so they won’t get bored.

      Another tip, try booking through . The prices are cheaper and you get points which you can use in future bookings as well.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you.

      Lea C. Walker


  6. Annie says:

    Hello, we’re planning to get a car from MNL and drive it all the way to Davao – the cheapest way possible. Can we get details from you (cost of roro, hotel suggestions, routes, etc). We really need help since this will be our first time.hehe kindly contact me at Thank you so much! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Annie,

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      My Manila page has details of our family’s road trip in 2014, with google maps, names of the hotels we stayed at , places we passed by and where to get food along the way.

      The travel cost back then including fuel, ferry fare for both car and passengers amounted to P10k from Manila to Davao. Please note that there were 11 of us.

      I used for our hotel bookings.

      Hopefully, this helps.

      Thank you.



  7. Allan says:

    Hi Mam, just want to ask if safe to travel at night Manila to Matnog and leyte? Thanks. Planning to travel on October 2016.


    • Hi Allan,

      Maybe it is. But I will not take the chance. The roads are very dark. And if you have a breakdown, the chances of asking help from others are nil. So I think it is safer if you sleep in the hotel at nights.

      Thank you.



  8. Mark says:

    Hi Maam,

    Ask ko lang if may Idea ka kung meron RoRo from Manila to Davao. Yung tipong pag baba mo ng barko Davao city na.If ever meron anung barko po yun and the cost/s?

    I am planning to purchase a car in Suzuki Makati kasi mas mura at maganda ang offer unlike sa Davao City mahal may mga charges pa sila like Freights(Paki ko dun ngbebenta cla tpoz ichacharge sa atin buyers?) lastly,ang mahal ang Unit Price nila unlike Sa Makati branch.Sa Davao Unit price is 849k and sa Makati naman 799k may promo pa sila na 30k less from the SRP. Several Banks offers low DP and interest rate kasi nga sa maraming ka competition.



  9. Ton says:

    Hello Maam Lea! Maam, ask ko lang. masyado po bang steep ang daan? And is it safe for new MT drivers to drive manila to davao given the conditions of the road? Your response will be a big help po. Thanks maam!


    • Hi Ton,

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      I do not remember the road to be scary steep. Manageable lang ang elevation. Mostly flat.

      Re safety, please do not drive at nights. I would not recommend driving in the dark in an unfamiliar surroundings.

      Bring or buy food when you see big towns because there are no good restaurants in most places. No rest areas/ bathrooms too.

      Hope this helps. Thank you.

      God bless and enjoy your trip. 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

      • Ton says:

        This actually helps a lot maam. Ive been bothered to travel kasi im a new MT driver and i need to bring our van in davao from manila. Buti na lang nakita ko blog mo hehe. Atleast somehow this gives me more confidence na mukhang kaya ko naman pala hehe. Im actually excited for this trip pero lagi ko naiisip na baka masyadong steep ang daan or what. Thanks again maam! God bless!!


      • I’m glad that it helped Ton. 🙂 Just be careful in driving. And like I said, don’t travel at nights. Thanks and enjoy your trip. Please come back and share what happens when you get to Davao. Thanks!


        Liked by 1 person

    • Eda says:

      Hi! We traveled from Ozamis to Manila using the almost the same route last January 2017. We had two cars, an Adventure and a Strada (both M/T). We have to get back as soon as possible so we had to drive for three consecutive days, with just minimal breaks on gas stops. Each car had two drivers and I advise you to stay somewhere for the night if you would be driving alone. I actually had a fever when we reached home because of too much exhaustion. There were no very steep roads but there were roads that go up and down especially if you are approaching mountain roads. Just be careful and avoid overtaking too much since most of the roads have two lanes only.


  10. dondon says:

    Hi miss lea.. It was really interesting reading your blog and appreciate your good work very much. I’m from davao din and planning to buy new vehicle in Manila. 2017 Update, how much do you think all in all expenses including fuel, food and accomodation, I will be travelling alone. And did you encounter any checkpoints? like LTO checkpoints for your driver’s license and all..


    • Hello Dondon,

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Fuel is cheaper now compared to the price in 2014. So hopefully, your expense will be lower. Back then, we spent about P10k per vehicle. That includes fuel from Manila to Davao and ferry fares for the 2 ports already.

      Accommodation will depend on where you will stay. There are many choices, from cheap to high end places. I suggest that you check with . I find them cheaper than most booking site.

      Re: checkpoints, we did not have problems at all. We bought the vehicles brand new from the dealers, so I prepared several photocopies of the documents incase we will be asked to submit such along the way. To be safe, just make sure that you have copies of the paperworks as well.

      I hope this helps. God bless on your trip. 🙂

      And enjoy!



      PS. Refrain from traveling at nights.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s