Visit Davao, Tuloy ang Biyahe Experience

By on August 30, 2015

I’ve been to a few zipline rides in the country, but as I stood at the elevated platform at Zip City in Davao, I still felt like it was my first.

Despite the repeated assurances of the crew that their set-up is really safe, the elevation was still unnerving. I wished I had popped a tablet of Bonamine earlier to help me calm my nerves or battle my imagined vertigo.

Thankfully, the view around me and my friends made us forget that we were actually standing more than ~100 ft above the ground.


An epic Davao food trip

This exhilarating zipline ride was in a way, a breather in our itinerary last May. Doi, RJ and I primarily traveled to Davao to experience the Davao Food Appreciation Tour which is the first and the longest of its kind in the Philippines.

vikings luxury buffet

marco polo food

Exceptional entrees served at Marco Polo’s Pool Bistro. L-R: Sirloin Steak and Tiger King Prawns.

For 4 straight days, we basically ate our way around the city’s finest restaurants such as the Vikings Luxury Buffet at SM Lanang, Lachi’s (my personal favorite) and Marco Polo’s Pool Bistro, to name a few.


Visit Davao Fun Sale

That particular weekend also coincided with the Visit Davao Fun Sale. Airline partners, hotels, most of the malls and dining establishments in the city offered jaw-dropping discounts.

Roberto Alabado III

DOT Region XI Director Roberto Alabado III explained to us how the Visit Davao Fun Sale came to be.

Organized city tours were also up for grabs. In our case, the zipline ride was one of the stops that afternoon. We proceeded to the Davao Crocodile Park afterwards to view the 18 ft Pangil, the largest crocodile in captivity in the Philippines.

I must say that the Visit Davao Fun Sale is indeed a fruitful partnership between the local government and the private sector in these parts. It brought a more unified tourism campaign that showed the best of Davao City.


There’s something for everyone at Davao

Back at our zipline platform, I could make out the slopes of Mt. Apo from afar. Between the Philippines’ highest peak and us are vast urban greens. The Davao Gulf is on our left, bluish gray like the afternoon sky.

Everything that our eyes could see is technically part of Davao City. I knew that the premiere metropolis in southern Philippines is huge, but it helps to be reminded with the fact that it is really, really huge.

davao urban sprawl

The beach is just a few minutes away from downtown Davao.

With a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers, Davao has to have something for everyone – beach bumming, cultural excursions, durian overload and other gastronomic delights, adrenaline-inducing adventures and the shopping sprees. On top of these are affordable basic commodities, honest taxi drivers and a mayor with balls. Davao is indeed a vibrant city both for investors and tourists alike.

waterfront insular

The beach is just a few minutes away from downtown Davao.

magsaysay durian

Splurge on durian, pomelo and other seasonal fruits at Magsaysay.

So aside from the DFAT food extravaganza and the various activities I mentioned earlier ago, I have also experienced the warm hospitality and the admirable discipline of the Davaoeños that weekend. They are generally proud of their city, and they have all the right reasons to do so.

smoke-free davao

Fireworks-free Davao is also a smoke-free city.

“Life is here” as what my Davao blogger friends would say. And I definitely agree with them.


I wasn’t as nervous anymore when it was finally my turn to ride the zipline. I was able to continue with my adventure, soaked in the fleeting view and enjoyed the wind rushing against my face. But just when I had mustered enough courage to take a selfie in mid-air, I suddenly remembered that I unfortunately left my mobile phone inside my friend’s bag.

zip city davao 2

That’s why a ‘zipline selfie’ is now added in my ever growing Davao bucketlist, including white-water rafting, meeting Kublai Milan in person and the Kadayawan of course.

I am not sure when I’ll be able to cross out all of them but one thing is certain – that if I mind myself again in Davao someday, I know that I will always have truly enjoyable experiences in this city.


For information on fun tours and fun packages, please visit the official website.

  1. Reply


    August 31, 2015

    Tara, balik tayo sa Davao!

    • Reply


      September 1, 2015

      #DFAT2016? 🙂

  2. Reply

    -= renzki =-

    September 7, 2015

    oi brennan kamusta na!? tagadavao man unta ko wa na koi uli uli sa amo haha! aha na man ka gibutang ni Lord ron?

    • Reply


      October 8, 2015

      Rends, how are you? 🙂 Still in PH pa ko. You?

  3. Reply

    Carissa Bongalosa

    October 6, 2015

    Congrats, Bren! 🙂 It's a great piece.

    • Reply


      October 8, 2015

      Thank you Issa! 🙂


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

Best of Cebu Blog Awards Best of Cebu Blog Awards
    Best Food Blog
    Best Creative Writing in a Blog
    Finalist, Best Travel Blog

    Finalist, Best Food Blog
    Finalist, Best Travel Blog

    Grand Winner, Visit Davao Tuloy ang Byahe Experience Blogging Competition.
    Winner, 2013 TLC Asia’s The Layover contest
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