Davao Region (Region XI Profile)
Davao City, modern metropolis bursting with life, verve and color, is located in a land area of 244,000 hectares and is touted as the world’s largest in land area. This city, teeming with a vibrant populace, is the bustling hub of commerce, education, tourism, arts, culture and wellness in the southern Philippines.
Situated in a typhoon-free zone with a dynamic, able support from the local government and harmonious synergy of multi-cultural and multilingual peoples from different indigenous tribes, Muslims communities, migrant settlers and a large expatriate community, make this cosmopolitan city conducive for business, investments and tourism.
Designated as Region XI, Davao Region is one of the regions of the Philippines, located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao. Davao Region consists of four provinces, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental. The region encloses the Davao Gulf and its regional center is Davao City.
Region XI was originally called Southern Mindanao, and in addition to the three Davao provinces also included Surigao Del Sur and South Cotabato. At that time, Compostela Valley was still part of Davao del Norte. Republic Act No. 7225, ratified on March 16, 1992, created the province of Sarangani from South Cotabato. Then, Republic Act No. 7901, signed on February 3, 1995, by President Fidel V. Ramos transferred Surigao del Sur into the newly created region of Caraga (Region XIII). Finally, on September 19, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Executive Order No. 36 reorganized the regions and provinces in Mindanao. This moved South Cotabato and Sarangani to SOCCSKSARGEN region and renamed Southern Mindanao as Davao Region.
The Night Scene
Davao's lively night scene is an adventure in itself with its diverse fun and wholesome night activities and destinations. A fun-filled fusion of various after-dark actions in videoke and piano bars, dance clubs, music lounges, restaurants, and coffee shops. Davao's favorite night spots are conveniently located in popular dining and entertainment enclaves such as The Venue (Quirino Avenue.), Matina Town Square (Matina), Rizal Promenade (Rizal Street), Victoria Plaza Mall (J.P. Laurel Avenue), Station 91 (C.M. Recto Avenue), Fountain Place (Agdao), Damosa Gateway (Lanang), Jack's Ridge Resort and Restaurant (Shrine Hill), among others. Or opt for a night of chance and test your luck the Casino Filipino (Grand Regal Hotel) or at the Casino Filipino VIP Club (The Apo View Hotel).
The perfect climax to your night? A cup of rich and creamy durian coffee in the metro's coffee shops and cafes. But of course, you can extend your crazy party hours until the wee hours of the morning.
Eating out is just one of the many favorite pastimes of the Davaoeños. More often, you would hear them say "mangaon 'ta!" (let's eat!) or even discuss about the next meal while dining. It is because food is cheap, fresh and mouth-watering in this city known for its abundance of seafood and farm-fresh bounties.
Never miss to sample local specialties such as inihaw na panga (grilled tuna jaw), inihaw na bihod (grilled tuna roe), crispy buntot ng bariles (tuna tail), chicken barbecue grilled the Davao way, and of course, the ubiquitous kinilaw (raw tuna or blue marlin strips marinated in coconut vinegar, soy sauce, chili and other local spices), served with puso (hanging rice) and an interesting dip consisting of soy sauce, coconut vinegar, calamansi (Philippine lemon) and local spices.
You can also find numerous selections of Filipino, Thai, French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and other foreign cuisine in various restaurants around the city, making Davao City a truly exciting place for dining.
Here are suggested itineraries to complete your Davao experience.
- Around the metro
Experience the daily grind of the locals as you stroll along San Pedro Street. You can find the city hall, city council and San Pedro Cathedral, the city's largest church, along this thoroughfare. You can also take a break and savor durian at the nearby Durian Park (Bolton St.). Get a glimpse of Davao's culture and history as you witness local tribes weave beautiful fabrics at the T'boli Weaving Center (Waterfront Insular Hotel), and see how the city progressed through time with a visit to the Davao Museum (Insular Village). Take a trip back to another era at the Japanese Tunnel & Restaurant (Balusong-Matina). Then make a stopover for fresh fruits at Bankerohan Public Market.
- Bounties of Nature
Enjoy a day with nature in the fascinating countryside. Visit the Philippine Eagle Center (Malagos), Malagos Garden Resort (Malagos), Crocodile Park (Diversion Road, Ma-a), GAP Farming Resort (Diversion Road, Ma-a), High Ponds Resort (Toril), and Eden Nature Park (Eden, Toril). See how our premium tuna products are packed and shipped at the Davao Fish Port Complex (Toril). On your way back to the city center, make a brief stop at Lola Abon's Durian Factory (Matina) for durian confections you can take home.
- Shop, shop, shop
Davao City prides itself in having the most number of malls and department stores this side of the archipelago. Indulge yourselves with hours of shopping and recreation at Gaisano Mall of Davao (J.P. Laurel Avenue), Victoria Plaza (J.P. Laurel Avenue), Gaisano South Citimall (Ilustre Street), NCCC Mall (Matina), Makro (Bangkal) and SM City (Ecoland). Aldevinco Shopping Center (C.M. Recto Avenue) is a favorite bazaar for "pasalubong" (take home) items of batik garments, brass products, ethnic accessories and souvenir shirts sold cheaper than those in the malls. Other favorite "pasalubong" include fresh and candied fruits, orchids and cutflowers, packed frozen tuna, and fresh seafood available in various shops and public markets.
The Davao International Airport service flights from major points of destinations in the Philippines including the cities of Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Zamboanga as well as direct flights from Manado (Indonesia) and Singapore, connecting Davao virtually to the world.
Air travel from Manila to Davao is approximately 90 minutes by plane. Travel time by sea takes three days from Manila North harbor to Davao's Sasa International Wharf while land travel via the scenic Pan-Philippine or Maharlika Highway takes around 42 hours.
The new Davao International Airport is a mere 15-minute ride from downtown Davao. Metered taxicabs and car rentals are readily available.
An Eagle at Philippine Eagle Center Davao Davao Durian Monument
Mount Apo Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Pujada Bay Spectacular Orchids at Davao