I and Ate Mimi recently visited Mindanao, specifically Davao Oriental, Surigao Del Sur and Davao City. On our 5day stay we were accompanied by Kuya John Kalog who serves as our Tour Guide, and Kuya Eping Binangnan our driver who later on allowed us to stay at his place. Although, we booked our flight from a Cebu Pacific Seat Sale last January, we weren’t able to polish our itinerary. I contacted Kuya John the night before our flight asking for their van rental rates, when we agreed about the price he didn’t ask for any downpayment instead asked my contact number to be able to reach us once we arrived in Davao. I didn’t sleep that night because I’m too excited about our trip. I booked a grabcar going to airport and was at NAIA 3hours before our flight. 😀 As I looked at the window on board our Cebu Pacific flight 2 hours after takeoff, I saw how beautiful Davao is. With vast forest area and clean streets. Its really amazing. I also saw sea of clouds which make me worried at some point because I thought its going to rain but it didn’t! 😀 Our whole trip has perfect weather.
We arrived around 7am and fetched by Kuya John from there we discussed about our plans. Originally, the itinerary I prepared is
- First Day: Tinuy-An Falls
- Second Day: Enchanted River
- Third Day: Britania Island
- Fourth Day: Samal Island
- Fifth Day: Davao City Tour
But since we arrived a little late, Kuya John suggested that we can visit Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park, Cateel Davao Oriental to make the most out of our first day. We ate our breakfast in an eatery outside Davao City before we proceed in a long drive going to Aliwagwag. It took us around 3-6hours to reach Aliwagwag Falls we arrived just before lunch.
Here’s the rates of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park
- Zip Line: P200
- Monkey Bridge: P50
- Zipline and Monkey Bridge: P225
- Entrance Fee: P50
- Total: P275
I liked the zip line though its not that long. I love the feeling of flying. I also love seeing green forest which is very abundant in places we visited for the past 5days. The monkey bridge is also okay but it made me feel anxious because I’m in front of rushing waters. After that we had a quick plunge at the clean waters of the falls. This is the part that I didn’t enjoy much because I don’t know how to swim. Good thing there are parts of the falls that are not deep so I still have a chance to get wet. 😀 We ate our lunch afterward at the stalls outside the park. Too bad we forgot to buy souvenirs. 😦 And then went to shower area to freshen up. Just a note, the shower is outside and a separate cubicle where you can change clothes.
Note: No Globe signal in Aliwagwag Falls
After our activities in Aliwagwag Falls, we started driving and went to a small hotspring resort – Molave Hot Resort where we spend our night. Kuya John told us its nearer Bislig area so that the next morning we can reach Tinuy-an earlier. Along the way, we bought foods and water. Kuya John prepared a delicious shrimp dish for us. We only rented a cottage for P50. I didn’t took a bath at the hotspring because I’m more concerned where to dry up my wet clothes and where to wash up. So we went to sleep right after dinner. We didn’t rent a room though because it will be costly for us, instead we slept at the Van we rented. It serves as our room for the past 4 days. 😀 The van is well maintained. The aircon is on at night while we sleep and during the day while we travel.
We woke up a little late the next day, we just had our quick breakfast at Bislig area and went straight to Tinuy-an Falls Bislig, Surigao Del Sur. From Bislig to Tinuy-an its approximately 1-2hrs. The only payment required is: Entrance Fee: P50 and Parking Fee: P20 if you’re on habal-habal please inform the front desk to avoid being charged. There’s a separate payment for the balsa to get nearer the falls but we didn’t avail it. We just took a lot of photographs taking advantage of the great view of the Falls. 😀 There are also souvenir shops just before the entrance to the Falls. I got a ref magnet at P50. We didn’t stayed long and drive straight to Hinatuan or Enchanted River. Its quite a short drive we arrived just before the fish feeding at 12noon. Some of the things to expect in the Hinatuan river:
- Entrance Fee: P30
- Shuttle service from the main gate to the river entrance free of charge
- Food/souvenir stalls outside which offers a free food delivery service inside the river
- Life vest rental for P30
- Ref Magnet: P50
One of the things we regret is that we came a little late, past 10am. There are a lot of families at the time of our visit maybe because its a Sunday too. I didn’t get a picture of the river with no people. But still its very nice. We sat on the stairs around 11:30am to have a good view. Around 12pm, they have a fish feeding. This is where they ask the people to leave the river for about an hour. They rang the bell and the school of big fishes slowly circles the river until one of the lifeguards threw foods. Its really fun to see them. Its so wonderful to see a good relationship between man and fishes. I’m not sure of the fishes though, but there are less than 10 species of fish that I saw. We ate our lunch delivered by the food stalls and later we attempted to swim. Good thing there’s a Life vest rental I got the chance to enjoy the river. The water is salty. I thought its a fresh water but its not. Too bad, I wasn’t able to bring any goggles, you can rent one from the Life guards for around P30 I think. We stayed there until 3pm if I remember it right. One thing I didn’t like about the Hinatuan River is that, they don’t have a good shower area. They have one but by the time we’re using it around 3pm where most people went home there’s no water in the shower. 😦 Still its a great place. Tiyaga-tiyaga na lang kahit walang banlaw pauwi. 😀
Anyway, right after Hinatuan we’re on the road again to Britania, San Agustin Surigao Del Sur. We had a stop over at a market nearby to buy dinner. We also had a stop over at a rest area. Kuya John cooked dinner for us. We met the family of our bankero for our island tours the next day. Its also in their place where we ate our dinner. We don’t rent a cottage again. 😀 They allowed us to charge our phone while we’re waiting for our dinner. Here’s the expected payments:
- Entrance Fee: P25
- Parking Fee: P20
- Island Tour: P1800
- CR and Shower: P10
The next day we woke up at 7am and started our Island Tour. Before going to the tour, we went at a nearby market to buy food.
Our first stop is the Hagonoy Island its a small island with a few trees. 🙂 We didn’t stay long here and went to the next island after taking some photographs.
Naked Island is an island with no trees at all. That maybe the reason why they call it naked. 😀 Since its quite hot, we didn’t stay long and proceeded to the next.
Boslon Island this is where we stayed for a while, we also ate our lunch here. There’s a place where you can cook food. There’s also a mini sandbar here going to a cupcake-shape like island.
Hiyor-hiyoran Island is the island where you can buy souvenirs. I bought a wooden chopping board, wooden ref magnet and keychain for P100.
Before the end of our tour, Kuya John have a boat jumping side trip we enjoyed playing in waters until 1pm. My Britania Island hopping experience is a really nice one. Its white sand and have clean waters. And the scenery is really amazing.
After our Island tour, we took a shower and then head back to Davao City. By the time we get there its almost night time. Kuya Eping, humbly offered his house where we spend our night. While we’re still planning what shall we do for tomorrow. We met his family, they have two kids. They are very hospitable and offered us a sumptuous dinner. They allowed us to stay in one of their rooms. I felt at home while in there. 😀
The next day we woke up a little late around 8am. They prepared a breakfast for us which is really delicious. 😀 We don’t have plans yet that day after we ate our breakfast we asked Kuya Eping if he could take us to a laundry shop to wash our used clothes. After which we asked him if we could go to SM City Davao so that Ate Mimi can pay her bills. Its almost lunch that’s why we decided to dine in Jacks Ridge, a bad move for me because a friend of mine who’s a resident of Davao told me its beautiful at night. Anyway its a nice place to eat since they offered a view of Davao City. Quite costly though but worth a try. Since Jacks Ridge is nearer in Japanese Tunnel, we ask Kuya Eping to drive us there to have a quick visit too. Entrance Fee is P50. We also tried to go to Outland Adventure to try the longest zipline however they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We also had a quick visit at Crocodile Farm but we didn’t enter because we’re not interested. Then we proceeded in People’s Park. Its a really nice park to be honest. So many trees and life size action figures. 😀 We also made a stopover at a bike shop along the way. After that we went back to Kuya Eping’s house to fetch our laundry and discuss our next plan if we’re pushing the Samal Island on our last day or not. Kuya John recommended to us that we leave for Samal at 9pm and continue our City Tour on which we agreed. We visited Aldevinco were we shop for our souvenirs. We also had a chance to see President Duterte’s house. Ate Neng, Kuya Eping’s wife also joined us upon knowing that we’re going to visit the place. 😀 They also showed to us the 911 (Central Communications and Emergency Center). We bought a roast chicken at Nochie’s and ate our dinner again at Kuya Eping’s residence.
By 9pm we drive again to Samal, our destination is Canibad Beach and Hagimit Falls as suggested by Kuya John. We waited for about 30minutes before we were loaded in the barge, you have to pay P200 for the barge and P20 before entering the island. Our ride to Canibad Beach is a bumpy, most of the time the roads are unpaved. Its almost late by the time we arrived at Canibad Beach. We paid P150 for the Parking and Table rental.
We woke up around 7am supposedly we’re waiting for the sunrise but we slept late last night. We still were able to capture a magnificent scenery of the beach. There are a few visitors by the time of our visit probably because its on Wednesday. 😀 The Beach looks untouched. It has clean waters. They also have a free diving cliff. Of course I did try it, provided there’s a life vest. I rented it for 3 hours and paid P60. Too bad I’m no swimmer, I spent more than P100 I think just for the life vest. 😦 By the time of our jumping, its low tide so I was able to jump twice though. 😀 Bad thing is that there’s food stalls available at the resort. That’s why we had our late breakfast (cup noodles) which we bought at the sari-sari store. After our breakfast, we went to Hagimit Falls, its a really nice place too. With really cold water. We didn’t wash up at Canibad Beach, but the cleanliness of Hagimit’s water is refreshing. We stayed at the falls until 12pm and then decided to go back at Kuya Eping’s house to eat lunch and prepare to go to the airport. This marks the end of our Davao Trip.
To Kuya John, Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry in Facebook and to your suggestions that made our Davao experience a memorable one. I hope to meet you again and if given the chance would really want to join a climb organized by you. 😀
To Kuya Eping and Family. Thank you so much for your generosity and for keeping us safe throughout our stay in Davao because of your superb driving skill. Most specially for allowing us to stay at your place for strangers like us. 😀 Hopefully I can go back and be your client again for tours.
Till we meet again. May God Bless the both of you and your family. 🙂
To my Ate/Travel Buddy, Ate Mimi, Thank you again for another chance to travel. Let’s wait for the next seat sale!!! 😀 Looking forward to our next escapade. 🙂
To All my readers, if you’re interested to travel in Davao and nearby provinces, you can message them on Facebook.
Routes for our trip: