How I came to join my workmates in a quick visit to Davao is a story to be told only in private, hehe.
When our boss announced we’re gonna have a 4-day weekend because we’re moving in to a new office and transferring all the equipment takes that much time, I was bothered where I’m gonna spend that long weekend. That same day I was asked to join the Davao trip (which was 3 months in planning) that coincidentally fell on the long weekend. I said yes in a jiffy. I’ve never been to Davao and it’s one of the places I wanted to visit as a young dreamer. Kaladkarin, please.
We were a bunch of 12 adventurous kids who had to took different flight schedules because that’s how airfare sale works in real life. Some of us flew as early as 4 a.m. while Emman and I flew late in the afternoon. The rest of the gang flew in the next day. Our flight, which was initially delayed was one hell of an experience since the plane had to go through lots of turbulence areas and at one point it bounced. Thank God we arrived safe and sound in Davao.
Let the photo spam begin!
Coming from the airport, I was famished but we had to go straight to Green Windows Dormitel at FTC Tower (where we stayed) to check if our companions would want to dine out. But then we decided not to go out and just took a rest instead because we need to wake up early for the next day’s activities.
Green Windows Dormitel is famous for its P188 room and for that price, the amenities are more than OK. Eight of us stayed at a single room while the other 2 couples booked each a more expensive but cozy room where we spent most of the nights watching TV because our does’t have one. And guise pay attention to this, the dormitel has got pretty ladies at the reception, LOL.
And because Emman just can’t wait, we had to taste the famous Durian, over cigs since we weren’t sure if we’re gonna like the taste of the nasty-smelling fruit. It was my first time to taste the real fruit!
The one we bought at a street vendor near Times Square (P63 for more than a kilo) was rather sweet-smelling and some of us didn’t like it. Marj even said it tastes like bacon while Ras said it’s like beef. I didn’t find the taste extraordinary either. We thought it was the smell that must be the basis for the taste, so the worse the smell, the tastier the fruit. Our hunch was later confirmed.
Sunday. We traveled to the nearby island of Samal (it was only later that I learned it was the last island in the middle-part of Mindanao). Too bad not all of us didn’t experience the fun since the two couples Shyne and Rein and Onchie and Mela has just arrived that afternoon. For me, this is the highlight of our trip, where most of the exciting things happened.
We woke up early and went to Sta. Ana Port looking for the boat to take us to Samal. The only ferry trip bound to Peñaplata leaves the port at 9 a.m. and it was only half past 6. We had breakfast at an eatery outside the port while contemplating on which way we should take. After eating, us girls bought pearl earrings from the vendors in bargain prices, hehe. We were amazed by how the vendors showed us that genuine pearls cannot be scratched and burned that’s why.
We took the Island Express bus ride from Magsaysay to the RoRo port. Fare is P40 and the trip is around 30-40 minutes. Then the bus had to ride the barge/RoRo ship to get into Samal Island (around 10-15 minutes). We got off at Peñaplata market then rode the habal-habal (single motorcycles) to take us to Maxima Resort (fare is P30 per pax). The habal-habal ride though was not as exciting as I thought.
Before entering the resort, visitors are charged P5 each for environmental/conservation fee (we call it toll gate). The entrance fee at Maxima Aqua Run and Eagle View Canopy Walk is P200 and you’ll have to pay separate fees if you want to try other activities like canopy walk (P50), banana boat (P250 for 15 minutes), etc. We were a group of 8 so we had a free 3o minutes kayaking (they have a promo for every group of 6 who comes in). We tried the canopy walk, although once again, it wasn’t what I expected. I was actually expecting a more challenging one like a small bridge suspended in between mountains with a deep ravine below.
Fact: I think I was in Kindergarten when I last tried sliding into the water (it was a pool) and that was my first time to slide and dive and get into a 120 feet deep water. Though Emman claimed it was only around 50 feet deep. Still, it was like 10 gazillion times the 5 feet I usually dip myself to. Mind you, I can’t swim. In our group, Ninay and Ras were the only legit swimmer. BTW, Ren opted to just stay dry no matter how hard we tried to convince him to take a dip, thus he was our official photographer when we’re all in the water.
We planned not to eat a heavy meal for lunch because we’re gonna go to a buffet for dinner but we were hungry as sharks so we ordered pancit canton at the resort’s cafeteria. After lunch, we went for another round of water adventures.
Another fact: kayaking is my one true love. Before surfing, it’s the watersport I wanna do once I learn how to swim, hehe.
I pinch my nose whenever I get into the water because I hated when I snort water in it, heh. Now I know it doesn’t look good in photos.
We planned on riding the resort’s ferry back to Penaplata but it was already full even before we were ready to go. So we had to take the same way we took in going to the resort. It took us the same amount of time and money anyway. The only thing is we could’ve witnessed the sunset when in ferry.
As I said earlier, this day was the most fun-filled. I’ve had lots of first times and it’s amazing how I got to swim with the fishes. Yep, they don’t go away even when you’re playing right beside them. The place is such a wonderful diving and snorkeling spot, but I didn’t try snorkeling because I’m too scared to look down the depth of the water we’re in. Although some of us rather want the beach type of adventure, it was sulit na din.