5 Days in Davao: Exploring Davao City, del Norte, Oriental, Occidental

When I found myself booking a plane ticket to Davao City, I immediately contacted Sam and told him he had free rein to basically craft an itinerary for me. I was pretty much open to anything, and he indulged. So here’s part and parcel of what happened and where we went. We had our private driver (of Sam’s choosing) who could take us from Davao City to  Occidental and back. While it was tiring, it was such a great experience to see how expansive and beautiful Davao is. I hope you enjoy this little blog post about my Davao adventure which took place October 2017. 

Are you all set for your next getaway? If you’re headed down South to Mindanao, then I’m pretty sure Davao is one of the places you’ve considered. I’ve written several posts on this wonderful city:

But, let’s explore the other parts of the Davao Region as there is undoubtedly so much to see and experience. We were not permitted to enter Compostela Valley for security reasons, but we hope to rectify that as soon as we get the go signal. In the meantime, read on and try to include these wonderulf places in your itinerary this summer.


The gateway to the region is Davao City itself and while I’ve been around before (click here for Davao City articles), one thing introduced to me recently is the Cleanergy Park. Last October, I flew back for an Environmental Summit and learned valuable insight on the environment, as well as received an invite to take a look at this park within the city.

Cleanergy Park (Hawksbill Turtle nesting grounds)

Located in Sitio Punta Dumalag, Cleanergy Park by Aboitiz is a biodiversity park, as well as a bird and sea turtle sanctuary. I was toured by Sir Fermin (Davao Light Corporate Relations Manager) around the 8-acre property where he showed me the Hawksbill Turtle nesting sites. Cleanergy is one of the few identified nesting grounds in the Philippines.

Repurposed steel, wood, and tarpaulins

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The Sama Tribe teaches us to make Amik

On this particular sunny October day, the community was buzzing with activity. The Sama Tribe in Bgy. Tagbaobo, Samal Island were preparing for the death anniversary of one of their tribe members, and we were smack in the middle of it.

The tribe knew that I was coming to visit, I was housed next door and had previously spoken to Ms. Zenaida, their Community President. I approached the busy group awkwardly that morning, and it was then I was greeted with a local dance and then offered amik (local rice snack) and coffee (ground with corn).

The story goes, amik is what the Sama Tribe will offer guests and family members during the death anniversary celebration itself. The actual anniversary date is November 11 and since they need to produce at least 200 pieces, the whole barangay is up to their elbows in work. And thankfully, they were willing to let me pitch in.

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My Gastronomic Davao Experience with

Davao is synonymous with good, affordable, inventive food and on my second visit, I was invited to try out a new food tour conceptualized by along with accredited DOT guide Samuel Libre, Jr. I’ve met Sam before, he was our assigned tour guide during Kadayawan last August . He did such an exceptional job that I got in touch with him right away when I planned my return to this busy city.

So here’s a peek at the different Food Tours you can choose from:

Organic Food & Urban Farming

Features a roster of farm-to-table establishments that offer delicious organic food. Our first stop is Echostore, a popular haven for all-natural products and healthy living. We tried the Father Franco’s Pizza All Meat (ham, bacon, smoked chorizo). Fr. Franco is a priest residing in Bukidnon who has built his brand called “Parde Ninno,” known for his bottled delicacies, pizza dough, and duck pate.

Compared to the Manila branches Echostore Davao City has a more homey feel with a larger floor space, the menu is different, and it has a varied selection of skin care products, drinks, and local chocolates exclusively available here.

Read More Home of Filipino artisanal delights

When my original blog started out in 2008, I was primarily focused on indie and all-natural local brands. I was majorly into skin care, a little bit of makeup, with a dash of travel stories here and there. One of my greatest pleasures is discovering skin care products that are all natural, made with love, and crafted at home.

Fast forwad to today, I still get giddy at finding new stuff to try but since I try to live a simpler amd more pragmatic lifestyle, my shopping inclinations have tempered. I am more choosy about products that I purchase and brands that I support. Additionally, I’m mostly traveling or working so shopping online out of convenience has become a huge part of my life.

A new site you should definitely visit is

Sick of all the run-of-the-mill commercial stuff in malls? Then you’ll love their selection of handmade, artisanal products and cuisine that are 100% Filipino-made.

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Pixi by Petra Rose-Infused Skintreats

Received the new Rose-infused Skintreats from Pixi by Petra today and boy, am I giddy with excitement! I’ve always been such a fan of Pixi’s uber cute aesthetics and fuss-free skincare/makeup line.

Exclusively distributed locally by Glamourbox, let’s go through each of the products in my Pixi box:

MatteLast Liquid Lip – Php 750

Ahh, seems like matte lips won’t go away anytime soon. In true Pixi fashion, these liquid lipsticks are hydrating and infused with vitamin E and rosehip oil. I received Au Naturelle and Really Rose. With a soft doe-foot applicator, it glides softly and allows for an even application.

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Glicerio Villaluz: The ‘Birdman’ of Davao City

Where can your Php 5.00 take you? Seems a measly amount but it can make you happy and feel like a child again, at least momentarily. And no, we’re not going to buy ice cream or candy, nothing of that sort.

You can simply buy a pack of bird seeds for Php 5.00 and feed the pigeons in Rizal Park, Davao City.

This was my first stop last Monday, and the park that was teeming with people at last August’s Kadayawan Festival is now empty and quiet. Sam (my guide for the week) told me that I should start my Davao experience here. I bought just a pack (because I was stingy) and started throwing it into the air.

The birds never came though. I frowned and was disappointed. “I wasted Php 5.00!” I said, making a face like a very indignant child. I was told to wait a while. While this was apparently a popular attraction and the pigeons are used to eating seeds from tourists, the hum of the buses temporarily parked in the area are making the birds wary.

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