How to enjoy Davao on your next holiday adventure

Ahead of the week-long Kadayawan Festival that starts on August 15 this year, passengers booking a flight to Davao City have many things to look forward to in 2022

This year’s Kadayawan Festival is set to finally be held in person – it was streamed online in 2020 and 2012 to comply with Covid-19 restrictions – and passengers booking a flight to Davao City have many things to look forward to in 2022.

Ahead of the week-long Kadayawan Festival, which starts on August 15 this year, the participating tribes gave the Kadayawan Tribal Village in Magsaysay Park a much-needed glow up. The non-religious festival, which showcases the thanksgiving rituals of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, will include activities such as the Dula Kadayawan (tribal games) on the 19th, Indak Indak sa Kadalanan (street dancing) on the 20th and Pamulak and Pitik sa Kadayawan (Floral Float parade and drum beating competition) on the 21st.

Whether you plan to visit the Durian Capital of the Philippines in August for the Kadayawan Festival, or on another day, here are five tips to enjoy Davao City on your next trip.

Start the day at Madayaw Café

Tuck into a hearty breakfast food at Dusit Thani Davao’s Madayaw Café and enjoy your meal by the poolside. Located in one of the city’s newest hotel, it is located close to the airport and serves a buffet of local and international dishes. Alternatively, head to Sea Green Café before it halts operations end of June. Nestled in a beautiful house transformed into a restaurant, they have soufflé pancakes, spicy shakshuka, basic oatmeal with tablea chocolate, and more. 15 Jacinto Extension, Doña Vicenta Subdivision

Spread your wings and watch them fly

Davao is the home to the Philippine Eagle and Philippine Eagle Foundation has made it its mission to preserve the species. Plan a quick out-of-town trip to the Philippine Eagle Center and meet these majestic birds in person in the jaw-dropping presentation “Raptors in Flight”. The show is held every Saturday at 2pm, but you can also arrange for a private viewing for 30 people on other days. Malagos-Barangay Road, Baguio District

Go native

Maa To Ro Native Restaurant is a local eatery run by members of the Bagobo Klata clan. Located next to the tribe’s weaving center, you’ll pass it on your way to or from the Philippine Eagle Center. Expect new items on the menu when they finally reopen post-pandemic lockdown, on weekends only starting on July 18. The tribal dishes on the original menu are still there – pork cooked in leaves, pandan chicken, shrimps steamed in bamboo, blue rice – but expect new items as well. End your meal with a cup of corn coffee. Purok Mirasol, Baguio Proper, Baguio District

Shop for local goods

Aldevinco Shopping Center, a Davao institution for fruits as well as antiques, brassware, musical instruments and crafts, may have closed permanently in 2021 after 56 years of operation, but you can still visit some of its tenants at their new home in Poblacion Market Central, a sprawling two-story structure with underground parking. The new property has a food hall and several cafés and will promote Mindanaoan culture, heritage and identity, making it a one-stop shop for souvenir items, local textile, as well as arts and crafts. C. Bangoy Street, Poblacion

Merienda at Tola

Located in the beautifully preserved Oboza ancestral home, Tola is still a good dinner place but another reason to come here is for the daily merienda buffet. At only P349 per guest, you can sample several popular items on the menu in one go. There are 10 savory dishes and seven types of dessert; these include beef empanada, batchoy noodles, pancit luglug, sapin-sapin, the crowd favorite buko pie, halo-halo and mais con hielo. 143 Rizal St, Poblacion

Visit Davao Crocodile Park

The Davao Crocodile Park & Zoo is one of those undiscovered attractions in the country that surprise you after a visit. Set in a 3-ha property in Barangay Ma-a, it is a well-maintained zoo that counts a Palawan bearcat, a Burmese python, lion cubs and an orangutan among its stable of animals. You can watch them perform in a 35-minute show called “Keeper Talk” before heading to the gift shop for a creamy scoop of crocodile egg ice cream. Gadi Road, Talomo

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