Travel Guide: Downtown Davao City

Davao City serves as the main trade, commerce, and industry hub of Mindanao. The downtown area is where the Central Business District and some of the city’s landmarks can be found. The locals call the downtown area “Poblacion”, a Spanish word for city center. Its location is approximately 10kms from Francisco Bangoy International Airport – a 30-minute taxi ride.

Here’s some Points of Interest around the Poblacion District

THE CITY HALL OF DAVAO

IMG_0352Located along San Pedro Street, one of the oldest streets in Davao City, The City Hall of Davao was constructed in 1926, ten years before Davao finally became a city in March 16, 1936.

 

COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT OF PEACE AND UNITY

IMG_0348Unveiled during the celebration of the Philippine Centennial in 1998, the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, which is situated right across the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Dabaw, depicts the peaceful relationship of the migrant and indigenous inhabitants of Davao in the last 100 years.

 

SAN PEDRO CATHEDRAL AND THE CLOCK TOWER

IMG_0362San Pedro Cathedral is the oldest church in Davao City. It was named after Saint Peter, the patron saint of Davao. The original structure was built in 1847. The Clock Tower near the cathedral was designed by Mindanao artist Kublai Milan.

 

PEOPLE’S PARK

IMG_0353Inaugurated on December 15, 2007, People’s Park covers an area of 4 hectares.The park is known for Mindanao artist Kublai Millan’s sculptures of indigenous people, and its dancing fountain is a popular destination for locals at night.

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People’s Park  is covered with lush vegetation, with more than 1,000 species of plants from all over the world.

MUSEO DABAWENYO

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Museo Dabawenyo Building

The Museo Dabawenyo houses the rich history and diverse cultural heritage of the people of Davao. It was established by the City Government of Davao on November 15, 2006. It is meters away from the Andres Bonifacio Rotunda and Osmeña Park.

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Cultural Art inside Museo Dabawenyo

 

D’ BONE COLLECTOR’S MUSEUM

IMG_0357The Bone Collector’s Museum opened on January 2012. It features a unique collection of over 200 well-preserved skeletons of various animal species from different environments such as the plains, shallow seas and reefs, tropical rainforests, lowlands, and arid regions, including the skeletal remains of two rare sperm whales, one of which is a 41-foot (12.4 meters) long sperm whale which is the largest species of toothed whale and on display at the center of the Museum.

IMG_0356The bones of the sperm whales are among the 47 skeletal remains displayed in the world and two of only four in the Philippines.

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With Darrell D. Blatchley of Idaho, founder of  the D’ Bone Collector’s Museum 

 

THE CHINATOWN AND MAGSAYSAY FRUIT VENDOR ASSOCIATION

IMG_0351Chinatown in Davao City is the biggest Chinatown in the world, with a total land area of approximately 44 hectares covering at least four barangays. You can find Chimes Mall and 168 Mall within the area.

IMG_0350Just across the Chinatown street and near the Magsaysay Park  is the well-known Magsaysay Fruit Vendors Stand where you can buy and eat the popular durian, mangosteen, marang, pomelo, rambutan, lanzones.

 

Other places you can check out around the Poblacion District

Shopping malls: Abreeza Mall, Gaisano Mall and Victoria Plaza Mall

Parks: Rizal Park, Magsaysay Park, Osmena Park, Quezon Park

Hotels: Marco Polo Hotel. Royal Mandaya Hotel, Apo View Hotel, Grand Meng Seng Hotel

Overall, the downtown district is clean and organized. Davao City’s excellent policies to stop crime such as curfew, no-smoking city wide policy and strict enforcement of anti-drug and crime laws gives you a feeling of security walking around even when at night time.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by  TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

 

 

 

 

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The Battle Ground of Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island, is an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island. It is one of the important historic sites in the Philippines.

The tadpole-shaped island falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Cavite, Cavite province. It is also known as “The Rock” for its rocky landscape and heavy fortifications.

Corregidor Island, along with Caballo Island or Horse Island, divides the entrance to the Manila Bay into two channels, known as the North and South Channel. Before the war and during the siege, Corregidor depended on Bataan for most of its potable water. For this purpose, barges were used to haul water either from Mariveles or Cabcaben, Bataan.

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The Caballo Island which is currently occupied by the Philippine Navy and is off limits to civilians.
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View of Mariveles Mountain in Corregidor

#DidYouKnowThat  Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir, meaning “to correct.” The island was called Isla del Corregidor (literally, Island of the Corrector) due to the Spanish customs system, wherein all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and “corrected”.

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At the north dock of Corregidor Island

Corregidor played an important role during the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces during the World War II. The ruins left on the island serve as a military memorial to American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island.

During World War II, Corregidor was the site of two costly sieges and pitched battles—the first during the first months of 1942, and the second in January 1945—between the Imperial Japanese Army and the U.S. Army, along with its smaller subsidiary force, the Philippine Army.

There were 23 batteries installed on Corregidor, consisting of 56 coastal guns and mortars. In addition, Corregidor had 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries with 76 guns (28 3-inch and 48 .50-caliber) and 10 60-inch Sperry searchlights.

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Fortifications at Battery Way
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Photo of other coastal guns in the island

Corregidor Island is subdivided into four parts namely the Topside, Middleside, Bottomside and Tailside. The Topside is the island’s biggest area.  The Cine Corregidor movie theater, the mile-long barracks or Fort Mills, the Officers’ Club with a 9-hole Golf Course, and the bulk of the artillery batteries of Corregidor can all be seen at the Topside.

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The Mile-Long Barracks or Fort Mills
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Ruins of Cine Corregidor
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The Pacific War Memorial which was built by the US Government to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who participated in World War II.
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First lit in 1853, the old Spanish lighthouse is one of the oldest landmarks in Corregidor.

Middleside is the location of 2-story officers’ quarters and two schoolhouses—one for the children of Filipino soldiers and the other for American children.  The lower part of the island which is the neck that connects the tail and head of the island is the Bottomside. It is where the Malinta Tunnel is located. The Tailside is the remaining portion of the island where different memorials, shrines and the island’s airstrip can be seen.

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The last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military prior to the Japanese takeover during the World War II.
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A glympse of Malinta Tunnel audio-visual presentation by National Artist Lamberto V. Avellana of the events that took place on the island.

Corregidor Island is currently under the custody of Corregidor Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a non-stock, non-profit private corporation organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA). CFI mission is to maintain and preserve war relics on Corregidor Island and manage the development of its potentials as an international and local tourist destination.

From inception, CFI was able to rehabilitate the following:

  • Three pier facilities (South/North/Eng’g)
  • 800-m Kindley Airfield
  • 31-Room Corregidor Inn and Hostel
  • 17-Room Beach Resort Cottages/Clubhouse
  • 6,000sq m Filipino Heroes Memorial
  • 12 Laterals of Malinta Tunnel (Light & Sound Show)
  • Pacific War Memorial
  • 11 kms. Concrete road network
  • Spanish Lighthouse/Spanish Museum
  • Japanese Memorial Garden
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Inside the Pacific Memorial War Museum
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Corregidor Inn and Hostel

Today, Corregidor is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its rich history. Even veterans until now still come and visit the island to reminisce as most of the war-ravaged buildings were left as they were after the war in reverence to the Filipino and American soldiers who fought during the war.

How to get to Corregidor Island? Read previous blog post Quick Travel Guide To Corregidor Island

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by  TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide: Corregidor Island

Exploring Corregidor Island has been on my bucket list for a long time. The tadpole-shape Island of Corregidor is one of the well-known tourist destinations near Manila.

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Corregidor Island Map

During the 23rd PTTA TravelTour Expo in Pasay City last February 2016, I checked on Sun Cruises Inc. which is the most convenient way to get to the island. At their booth, I’ve got the chance to book a day-tour package at a 25-percent discount and a free Manila Bay Cruise alongside it. How about that?

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A glympse of the 23rd PTTA TravelTour Expo in Pasay City last February 2016

Travel Lesson Alert: For travelers looking for an adventure and are on a tight budget – Do not ignore Travel Expos! Grab the chance to check them out ‘cause they really have some good deals. Tipid factor can be high too.

Tourists can travel to Corregidor Island any time of the year except when there is inclement weather condition. I heard of this route from Bataan going to the island but I don’t know if it’s the safest way. I strongly recommend going to the island hassle-free by making a reservation through Sun Cruises Inc. Check out http://www.corregidorphilippines.com for more information.

The Ferry Terminal of Sun Cruises going to Corregidor is in Esplanade Seaside Terminal at Seaside Blvd, MOA Complex so getting there isn’t that hard. I went at the terminal around 6am during the travel day as I don’t want to be late and left behind. Check-in time is an hour prior to departure and strictly closes 30 minutes before the time of departure.

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Esplanade Seaside Terminal at the Seaside Blvd of MOA Complex in Pasay City
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The Dock Area

We went aboard 7AM. The MV Sun Cruises 2, a two-deck fleet, carried us to the island. It has a maximum capacity of 285 passengers. It is equipped with snack bars, comfort rooms and a television set where clips of Corregidor Island are shown. Crews are also present to assist the needs of the guests.

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Early bird inside the  MV Sun Cruises 2

So we departed at the ferry terminal exactly 8AM and after almost 1 ½ hours of cruise, we’ve finally reached the Corregidor. At the dock of the island, tramvias (buses) are waiting to pick up guests for a guided tour. Scenes from the history-packed 5 ½ hours tour to Corregidor Island will be on my next blog post.

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The tour buses or the so called ‘tramvias’

 

Corregidor Day-tour Itineray

Check-in time & Boarding time                               7:00AM
ETD Manila                                                                  8:00AM
ETA Corregidor (Guided tour with Lunch)           9:15AM
ETD Corregidor                                                           2:30PM
ETA Manila                                                                  3:45PM

 

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by  TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph