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Davao

Davao City is Mindanao’s premier city and the gateway to the region’s attractions. At 244,000 hectares, it is the world’s largest city in terms of land area; its boundaries encompass commercial areas as well as beaches, mountains, and forests. The city was developed during the early 1900s when Japanese migrants set up plantations along its shores, taking advantage of the rich volcanic soil. Nowadays, Davao is considered as one of Asia’s best cities; its been rated by some regional publications as one of the most livable cities in the region. It’s also blessed by a mild climate that’s rarely affected by typhoons.

Situated beside Davao Gulf, the city is dominated by the Philippines’ highest mountain, 2954-meter-high Mount Apo. The dormant volcano is home to tribes such as the Bagobo, Manobo. Mandya and B’laan, and its fertile, cool foothills are covered with plantations of exotic fruits like durian, marang and pomelos as well as numerous flower farms. The exceptional waling-waling orchid is grown here. Mount Apo is actually a national park area, and the sight of its bewildering array of flora, captivates many mountaineers ranging from impressive mahogany trees to strange lichen formations.

Davao is also the home of the Philippine Eagle, one of the world’s largest birds (with a wingspan of over two meters, it’s the world’s second-largest eagle) and designated as the national bird. It was formerly known as the monkey-eating eagle,” although monkeys only make up a small portion of its diet. The bird is now on the endangered species list, and only less than a hundred are known to exist. The Philippine Eagle Research and Nature Center at Calinan is the home of Pag-asa the first of the species to be successfully born in captivity.

Points of interest include Etnika Dabaw at the Insular ‘Waterfront Hotel with its weaving demonstrations; Dabaw Museum with its indigenous artifacts; the souvenir stalls of Aldevinco Shopping Center the Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague; Gap Farming Resort; and the Lon Wa Temple. Nature spots include the Malagos Garden Resort in Calinan; Bago Oshiro Experimental Station in Mintal; GreenhilIs Orchid Farm in Catalunan Pequeño; and Puentespina Orchid Garden in Agdao. Lanang Golf and Country Club and Apo Golf and Country Club are two of the country’s best 18-hole golf courses. - The weeklong Kadayawan sa Dabaw during August is the city’s most colorful festival, with numerous tribal presentations. At Sta. Ana Wharf and Magsaysay Park are restaurants serving local specialties like bariles (grilled tuna jaw) and kinilaw (raw fish in vinegar).

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