(Travel Diary) Davao Part 2: Of Temples, Museums and Stunning Beaches


Took me a while to write the second part of my Davao travel diary. December is always a busy month with all the last minute reports that need to be done, parties and gatherings that need to be attended, and of course the preparations for Christmas.

Anyway, for our second day in Davao, we originally intended to do a countryside tour (Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos Garden, etc.) ) in the morning. However, we were so tired from the first day’s activities so we just decided to do a city tour. In the afternoon, we proceeded to Samal Island. Here’s how our second day in Davao went by:

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Day 2

The whitewater rafting activity during Day 1 totally drained us  so on Day 2, we overslept and when we woke up, it was almost 8:30 AM already.  I asked my friends if they still wanted to go to Philippine Eagle Center but we realized the travel will eat up a lot of our time so we just settled for a city tour. Before embarking on our agenda for the morning, we first dropped by Gorio’s Cafe to eat breakfast. The place is just beside Palm’s Residence Inn. The food was okay and the prices were reasonable but they should really improve their serving pace. Our order which consisted of tocino, scrambled eggs and fried rice took them almost 30 minutes to prepare.

Long Hwa Buddhist Temple

After breakfast, our first stop for the  was the Long Hwa Buddhist Temple. I already visited the place when I went to Davao last October so we just rode a jeepney on the way there. It saved us some penny!  Upon arrival, the guard still recognized me and asked me if I can just be the one to tour my friends around the temple. I readily said yes! Sadly, unlike my previous visit, we could not check out all the rooms because some were being used as packing areas for the relief goods for the victims of Typhoon Pablo which devastated the nearby provinces just a week before we visited.

Travel buddies in front of the temple.

Travel buddies in front of the temple.

San Pedro Cathedral

From the temple, we proceeded to San Pedro Cathedral. Thankfully, there was no mass when we arrived so we were able to check out the interior of the church. One very unique aspect of the church was its architecture. According to Thomas, it was unusual and  reminiscent of Islamic churches.

The interior of San Pedro Church.

The interior of San Pedro Church.

Davao City Hall, Osmena Park and Rizal Park

San Pedro Church was just in front of the city hall and several parks so visiting these places was a breeze. The Rizal Park gave us better view of the church and appreciate is architecture. There weren’t much to see in the parks except for some statues.

For God and the country?

For God and the country?

Museo Dabawenyo

From Osmena Park, we proceeded to Museo Dabawenyo which was situated just a street across. We were asked by the guard to register and deposit our  bags. We were also warned that picture taking in the main galleries was not allowed. A guide toured us around and introduced us to the different tribes of Davao City, its history which includes the city’s achievements for the past several years as well its different leaders. The guide was very Duterte-biased but oh well, who I am to question his inclinations. We were also able to confirm that architecture of San Pedro is Islam-inspired to symbolize the harmony of different religions in the City. Thankfully, we were allowed to take pictures in the room which exhibited the works of some of Davao’s upcoming artists. The guide also offered to take pictures of us in the lobby and in front of the museum so we walked away with some souvenirs. 🙂

Great artworks on display.

Great artworks on display.

The  museum from a distance.

The museum from a distance.

Sta. Ata Wharf

When we left the museum, it was already past 12 nn so we decided to forego our plans of eating in Ah Fat Seafood Restaurant and just went back to Palm’s Residence to check out. We then killed time at a nearby McDonald’s because the ferry that would take us to Kaputian District would not arrive until 2 PM. At around 2:15 PM, we left for Sta. Ana Wharf and boarded “Grace”. We left the wharf at around 3:15 PM and arrived at Kaputian Port at exactly 4:30 PM. The view during the short trip was simply stunning. Davao waters was so clear that I could see even the fishes in the water.

The "Grace".

The “Grace”.

Red Parrot Inn, Kaputian, Samal

From Kaputian port, we walked for about five (5) minutes to the place where we be staying, Red Parrot Inn. It’s not exactly a full-fledged resort. In fact, Red Parrot Inn is just a like big house with its rooms rented out to visitors. We availed the “Honeymoon Suite” because it was large enough to accommodate 4 people. When we were finally led into our room, we were gobsmacked. It was really big and the view of the sea was astounding.

Red Parrot Inn.

Red Parrot Inn.

The magnificent view from our room balcony. Talicud island at a distance.

The magnificent view from our room balcony. Talicud island at a distance.

Kaputian Beach

After settling in our room, we hurried to nearby Kaputian Beach Park because it was almost sunset already. The Red Parrot Inn has its own small beach but it was high tide when we arrived so the there was hardly any sand part left. Kaputian beach park is publicly accessible. One has to pain an entrance of Php 10 pesos to have access to the beach. The park also has cottages where one can rent for as low as Php 200 for an overnight stay. There are no exclusive resorts near Kaputian. It’s one of the areas of Samal which has not been so commercially developed. I liked it that way and it was one of the reasons why I decided to stay in Kaputian instead of the more posh resorts in the norther part of Samal. Kaputian Beach Park did not disappoint. While the beach was still littered with the some debris from Typhoon Pablo, the powdery white sand was simply beautiful. We can’t help but giggle from amazement and from the fact that the beach was all ours.

Who can resist?

Who can resist?

It's just me and the beautiful world!

It’s just me and the beautiful world!

We stayed around the beach until 7 pm. Afterwards, we went to the nearby stores to buy food for dinner. We settled for roasted chicken, fruits and I introduced puso to my friends, the Bisaya’s readily available cooked riced which I initially encountered in Cebu City. On our way back to the inn, we stopped by a barbecue stand and had a great time talking with locals while waiting for our order to get cooked.

Barbeque, the Samal way.

Barbeque, the Samal way.

When we got back to the inn, we realized we didn’t have any utensils. Thankfully, Red Parrot Inn had everything: utensils, dish washing liquid, sponge, condiments, everything. Name it, they have it. Guests who are checked in can avail of those things for free! It was so convenient.

Conney and Cez enjoying dinner.

Conney and Cez enjoying dinner.

After dinner, we washed and just spent the night talking. It’s always fun traveling with high school friends because we share a lot in common. There are so many stories to tell, so many memories to recall. At around 11 pm, we called it a night and settled to the coziness of our bed.

Summary

Kaputian was such a surprise. I knew it was still a rural area and the beach is beautiful but I never expected it to be that stunning. Maybe the charm came from the combination of the beauty of the beach itself and allure of rurality. When Cez asked me why I chose Kaputian over other Samal resorts I replied, “It has the cheapest packaged for island hopping”. Ha. But more than that I explained, I am always after experience more than comfort. I don’t like beaches which are overly commercialized because  commercialization often mars the experience. I don’t care where I will sleep as long as I have decent bathroom, an uber stunning scenery, I’m good.

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For the third part of my travel diary, I will be sharing our experiences in Talicud Island and Hagimit Falls. I hope you will love Samal as much as I did because the beaches of Talicud Island is five times more beautiful than the beach of Kaputian. And oh, belated Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

(Credits to my friends Thomas Soler for some of the pictures I used in this blog entry.)

This post is the second of a three-part series. Check out the other parts at:

1. (Travel Diary) Davao Part 1: Of Sunrise, Rafting, Heights and Fauna
2. (Travel Diary) Davao Part 3: Of Hidden Paradise, Ladderized Falls and Good Food

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One thought on “(Travel Diary) Davao Part 2: Of Temples, Museums and Stunning Beaches

  1. Pingback: (Travel Diary) Davao Part 3: Of Hidden Paradise, Ladderized Falls and Good Food | A Thoughtful Paper

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