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Freeze: Places to See within Davao City

It’s been quite some time since I heard a real “Tagalog Luzon” accent until I heard a couple of ladies the other night talking about food in the elevator at SM Lanang Premiere. At the 2nd level, about four other Tagalog speaking ladies entered the elevator on the way down to the floor. They brought a smile in my mind because Tagalog was my childhood language.

On my way home in a taxicab, the talkative driver was telling me about a Tagalog speaking passenger who dominated their conversation from Mintal to SM Lanang. I thought a light bulb lit up my mind. Those Tagalogs must be companions, relatives, or guardians of athletes competing in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa. So if there are about 15,000 athletes competing this week in Davao City, there must be no less than 15,000 guardians who might be looking for good places to visit here. Here’s a short list of famous spots inside Davao City – and I mean not travelling to Samal, Davao del Norte, for beach swimming.

The Ohta Kyozaburo Monument. Erected in 1926 in Bago Oshiro in Calinan District, Davao City in honor of Ohta Kyozaburo, a Japanese entrepreneur, who, shortly after the turn of the 20th century, migrated to Davao City and cultivated vast lands around the shores of Davao Gulf into abaca and coconut plantations. Local historians consider Ohta as the “Father of Davao Development.” Born in Hyogo, Japan in February 1876, Ohta Kyozaburo established the Ohta Development Company, the first Japanese Abaca plantation company in the Philippines in May 3, 1907. He also established several other companies such as Mintal Plantation Company, Riverside Plantation Company, Talomo River Plantation Company, Guianga Plantation Company, and was instrumental in Davao’s economic growth and prosperity. He died in Kyoto, Japan in October 31, 1917 at age 41 (2012 Historical Commission of the Philippines).
Mintal Japanese Cemetery. The spouse of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today visited the shrine of Japanese nationals who passed away in this city. Akie Abe’s visit at the Japanese cemetery in Barangay Mintal was done simultaneously with the Prime Minister’s engagement with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City in 2017.
Mintal was once a settlement for Japanese abaca farmers in the 1900s. The Japanese also built irrigation systems as well as a hospital in the barangay (davaotoday.com).
The Japanese Tunnel. One of the attractions found in Davao City is the historical The Japanese Tunnel Resort and Restaurant. The Filipino prisoners of wars created the tunnel during World War II. It served as the hideout of the Japanese soldiers and their belongings. Located near the end of the Diversion Road in Matina Balusong towards the junction of MacArthur Highway in Matina area, the Resort is easily accessible by public or private transportation, and is only 20 minutes drive from downtown city proper (thebackpackman.blogspot.com).
People’s Park Davao. In my opinion, there’s nothing quite spectacular to see at People’s Park but the extraordinary sculptures of Kublai Milan scattered all over the place. Well, the trees have grown since 2007 and they provide good shelter. In other words, People’s Park is an acceptable chill out place and background for selfie shots (image: escapemanila.com).
Malagos Garden Resort. The Malagos Chocolate Laboratory is one of the most popular highlights of a Malagos Garden Resort trip. This is where you can prepare your own chocolates. For P450, you can get:
• a mini pitcher of chocolate,
• two molding trays,
• a small dish for your choice of ingredients to mix with your chocolates, and
• two boxes to put your finished chocolates into (davaobase.com)
Eden Nature Park. Eden Nature Park and Resort in Barangay Eden, Toril, Davao City started its operations in October 1997. Eden offers day tour packages and guided shuttle tours around the property. The resort caters to live-in corporate seminars, retreats, wedding receptions and special events (image: realbreezedavaotours.com).
Loleng’s Mountain Spring Resort. Peaceful with lots of fresh air, Loleng’s at Eden Bayabas, Toril, Davao City is perfect for convalescence or for those who simply like privacy (image: weebly.com).
Philippine Eagle Center. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) is an 8.4-hectare area located at the foothills of Mt. Apo in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and situated within the Malagos Watershed. The Philippine Eagle Center primarily operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey (image: inquirer.net).
Davao Crocodile Park. Located inside Riverfront Corporate City, Diversion Road, Maa, Davao City, The Davao crocodile Park all started from the fascination of the owner, Mr. Philip Dizon, to Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles. He did not think of it as a lucrative business until he learned that crocodiles are raised in United States not just for public viewing but as well as for production of leather purposes. It was in November 1995 when the government has given the owner the accreditation and permit to operate the 1st Davao Crocodile Park. 10 years later , on August 18, 2005, the world-class Davao Crocodile Park was opened with the help of the consultant Dr. Gilbert Buenviaje. The Davao Crocodile Park Inc. is owned and operated by a group of businessmen headed by Mr. Sonny Dizon, a resident of Davao City. The Davao Crocodile Park is an establishment that showcases a ‘state of the art’ crocodile farming system in the Philippines. It has the most recent crocodile farm design equipped with modern facilities and equipment (image: bworldonline.com).
D’ Bone Collector Museum. It is an NGO with the purpose of education. To retrieve dead animals and preserve them. Animals that would be destroyed and never seen by the general public. To teach Adults and Kids alike about the amazing wildlife around them in the world. To teach what “Amazing animals God has Given them to enjoy and Protect” (image: nognoginthecity.com).
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