8 Reasons Why Davao City Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

This August, I got to travel to one of the destinations which I've always wanted to visit, but never got a chance to - Philippines! I&#...

This August, I got to travel to one of the destinations which I've always wanted to visit, but never got a chance to - Philippines! I've always heard loads of interesting and fun activities people go to the Philippines for, but just never got down to giving it a visit. So, last month, I embarked on a mini adventure with Cebu Pacific Air and flew to Davao City for a short 5D4N trip and here are some attractions/activities you can visit or get your hands on while you are there!

For those who might not know where Davao City is located or much about it, Davao is one of the safest and fastest growing cities in the Philippines. Similar to Singapore, it's known for Durian, which is also their national fruit (They have over 15 varieties there) as well as the waling-waling, which is a rare orchid species that you can spot on some of their trees. Littering and smoking in public places are also prohibited in Davao, which makes the city really clean too. 

FYI, the weather in Davao is pretty much like Singapore, and there's no time difference at all! Commuting wise, you can always count on either Grab/their local taxi service to bring you around. 

1. Tour the Philippine Eagle Centre
Image link
Image link
The Philippine Eagle Centre is home to the Philippine Eagle, which is also the national bird of the city. There, they breed/rescue these birds and give them renewed homes to live in, while still making sure they stay close to their natural habitat. The Philippine Eagle Centre takes pride in caring for these endangered species, along with other birds and reptiles in the conservation and also educates the public on the realities of these creatures. 

They also provide an option for the organisations/the public to donate and care for these animals. You can click on this link to find out more. 

2. Go chocolate making at Malagos Garden Resort
Image link
Image link
If you're looking for some hands-on activity, then you have to visit the chocolate laboratory at Malagos Garden Resort. There, not only can you learn the intricacies of the history of chocolate in Davao, but also experience making your very own chocolate with a wide selection of toppings and moulds to choose from.

While waiting for your chocolate to cool down, you can also take the chance to visit the Butterfly Garden or the Malagos Bird Feeding Dome!





3. Go Whitewater Rafting

Other than diving, Davao is also for their extreme water sports - with whitewater rafting as one of their main tourist activities! 



We were first brought to sign our waivers and given our life vests and helmets, before heading to the whitewater rafting destination located at the river banks of Davao river! Throughout the entire experience, you'll be followed by experienced rafters/trainers, as well as a photography/videography team who will help capture the moments for you.  



We were also given an orientation on how to rescue your teammates when they fall into the water, and also how to manoeuvre the rapids. The rafting experience took around 2-3 hours as a whole and along the way, we met with some major rapids and also the "washing machine" which was one of the stronger rapids and highlights of the river.






And, if you are afraid that you might fall out of the raft, not to worry as the guides will always be there to help you, and the river is really quite shallow since we chose the Beginners whitewater rafting route. Just make sure you follow the instructions and safety procedures, and you'll be good to go!

We also had a friendly competition with the other team but since we were always lagging behind, we decided to just take a chill pill and enjoy the journey hahaha. But really, this was one of my favourite experiences of the trip! 

4. Stay at the Pearl Farm Resort


And also one of the many highlights of my trip! Nevermind that I dropped my phone into the sea (which is why I also lost my photos for the first 2 pointers) but really, this is the most breathtaking resort I've ever been to with the most beautiful rooms. You literally get to wake up by the sea.

The 5-star Pearl Farm Resort is located at Samal Island, which is around a 45-minute journey from the Pearl Farm Wharf at Davao. There, you get to disconnect from the bustling city life and take heart in the pristine beaches and lush greenery that Davao also offers. 




 I stayed in the Samal room which is built on sea waters. The room is patterned after the stilt houses of sea-faring Samal Tribes of the Sulu Archipelago, and also offer westward views of the sea, sunset and surrounding islands that you can view from your private balcony. Staying in the Pearl Farm Resort also comes with a free buffet breakfast and an in-room massage service at your back and call. 

However, do note that staying in nature also comes with its cons. You might also come in contact with wildlife creatures like lizards, geckos, mice or spiders in your rooms, but just give the housekeeping team a call and they'll be rid of them in no time!




In my opinion, this resort is perfect for a romantic getaway where you and your loved one can indulge in a romantic dinner set-up by the beach. If you're lucky, you can also catch the resort's fire dancers in action! 




Other than the infinity and Mandaya pools, you should also give their Mandaya weaving huts a visit where you can learn more about the culture of Davao which features the exquisite Mindanao's weaving craft which is usually seen in many of their uniforms or souvenirs! 

If you're someone who loves to be close to nature, you can even join them in the coral tours where you can experience snorkelling in the Marina sanctuary - something we tried and also managed to spot many lifeforms in the sea - think Nemo, starfish and even clams! All you need to do, is head over to the rental area, fill in a form where you'll be handed your snorkelling equipment and you'll be good to go!

5. Visit the Monfort Bat Sanctuary

Image link
Since you are already on the island, you should seize the opportunity to visit the bat caves around the region. The Monfort Bat Sanctuary is home to a fruit-eating bat population of 2.5 million, and also a place for bats in different stages of their lives to reside in. However, do be warned that the smell of the bat droppings can get reaaaaally pungent, so do prep yourselves before entering!

6. Experience a dip at the Hagimit Waterfall 
Image link
Take a respite from the heat at the Hagimit Waterfall where you can find the best photo spots. The area is made of smaller waterfalls of 3-5m high, and one of the best ways where you can commune with nature. You can also choose to stay overnight in the area at their surrounding cottages!

7. Relive history at D’Bone Collector Museum



Go on a short tour at the D'Bone Collector Museum, where it houses over 700 species of bones, skulls and skeletons. From tropical rainforests to the seas and oceans of the world, you can get to meet both land and water species and learn about the consequences of water pollution that brought the deaths of some of the exhibits in the museum.

 The bones are gifted by countless donations from all around the world, and amongst these collections include a 41-foot long sperm whale, bones of Grizzly bear as well as bones and skeletons of snakes, tarsier, marine turtles, various fish species and different sizes of the mouths of sharks. 




8. Eat the king of fruit - Durian! 

As mentioned, Davao is known for over 15 species of Durians, and even though we didn't manage to try all 15, we were fortunate to taste 3 of them - Puyat, D101 and Kob with plump, juicy flesh that boasts a distinct sweetness that was unlike any other Durian I've ever tried in Singapore/Malaysia. 



Other than Durians, we also tried their local mangosteens and Marang, which falls under the family of jackfruit and is a native fruit to Mindanao. The flesh was sweet, creamy, but less pungent to that of durian/jackfruit. I just kept reaching for seconds! 

-------------------------

If you are also keen on flying to Davao City, you can fly to more fun with Cebu Pacific Air with prices as low as S$68! My overall flight experience was pretty pleasant, and during the return flight, the flight attendants even started a little guessing game where the winner could walk away with exclusive Cebu Pacific Air merchandises!



 For more information about the flight tickets, you can also visit:

For someone who has never been to the Philippines, I must say that this was one helluva experience that would easily prompt another visit - probably to Cebu next since I've also heard many wonderful things about that island! If you're someone who loves to be in tune with both nature and city life, I would highly suggest you give Davao City a go.

Love,
Cassan 



Getting my tresses fixed at Apgujeong Hair Salon!

A few weeks back, I went for my long-awaited haircut and treatment at Apgujeong Hair Salon! I haven’t had my tresses fixed in over 6-months ...

A few weeks back, I went for my long-awaited haircut and treatment at Apgujeong Hair Salon! I haven’t had my tresses fixed in over 6-months now, and I desperately needed a treatment because the ends were getting really dry and unkempt. I also wanted to get a hair-cut and have my C-curls done again!

Apgejeong is one of the fastest Korean hair salons expanding in Singapore and offers full Korean hair and make-up services! It has over 11 hair salons island-wide now and has outlets at neighbouring shopping malls so you won't have to travel out of your home vicinity to get your hair done. For me, I headed to the Jurong Point outlet since it was the one that's nearest to my place!

The hair stylists are Apgujeong are mostly Korean. If you are afraid of the language barrier between you and the Korean stylists, Apgujeong Hair Studios also have their own in-house stylists that are fluent in both English and Mandarin, so that's nothing you should worry about!




Once I arrived, I was assigned to my hair stylist, Ji-an, and I was also given refreshments and a snack once I sat down – also very attentive of my stylist to get me settled down with a bag holder. Even though English wasn't Ji-an's first language, we were still able to communicate with one another on the hair style + treatment I was going for – a hair cut + C-curl and a hair treatment.

I was also given a lookbook on the types of hair treatments to choose from at Apgujeong Hair Studio (it's their very own lookbook!), and I settled on the signature hair treatment in the end as it's perfect for those who are looking for the ultimate hair restoration - something I really needed as it's been almost half a year since I had my hair done!

My stylist, Ji-an, then went on to give me a hair-cut and also explained the MUCOTA hair treatment that I was about to go through!


He first started off with snipping off my tresses, and also gave me tips on how to better take care of my hair – I have a habit of blow-drying the ends and that might not be the best.

He also helped me snipped off quite a bit of my fringe (something that I really had to get used to but I’m back to my side fringe now hahaha). I wasn’t like coerced to cut or anything but also because I wanted something refreshing! I can now finally accept the fact that blunt fringes are really not my kinda thing.



I then moved on to the Signature Hair treatment, which consists of quite a number of steps and also perfect for another looking for the ultimate hair transformation and relaxation!




I first started off with the Kerathermie treatment, which consisted of 2 types of concentrate that’s suited for a longer lasting effect! This is also suited for hair that’s also dry and damaged. And, since I was also getting my hair curled, it was also recommended that I choose this treatment!

After the treatment and getting my hair washed, I then started off with the MUCOTA Step 1 treatment! I had it applied to my tresses, before getting my hair permed.



The perm lasted for around 15-20 minutes, but even though there was a timer set for me, Ji-an still kept coming back to check on me and see if I was doing okay and if I needed anything.


The MUCOTA treatment isn’t something foreign to me since I’ve had it done before, and it’s also the hair treatment that I always find myself going back too since it’s simple, fuss-free and so highly effective!

Ji-an first prepped my hair with the MUCOTA C cream, before using the treatment shampoo and conditioner for my wash. He would also put the hair treatment before and after my curls to make sure that my hair doesn't become too dry and that the curls will last!



It’s been around 3 weeks since I had my hair done, and it still feels as smooth as ever! I can easily find my fingers through my tresses without it getting caught or anything!


It was definitely a positive experience overall, and I can't wait to be back to get my hair coloured next!

If you're also looking to try out the services at Apgujeong Hair Salon, you can also quote <Cassandra> to get a 10% off or show them this blog post! Valid only on weekdays before 5pm!

Apgujeong @ JEM (Jurong East)
50 Jurong Gateway Road #04-05/06 Singapore 608549
Opening Hours:
10.30am - 9.30pm Daily
(Including Weekends & Public Holidays)

JEM Salon Telephone & Mobile:
+65 6694 0978  |  81120310


Till then, I'll speak with you guys soon x

Love,
Cassan