Mindanao is a beautiful island at the southern part of Philippine archipelago. As the second largest island of our country, it hosts three major demographic groups or what they call tri-people living in harmony: Christians (mostly immigrants from Luzon and Visayas), (un-Islamized and un-Christianized indigenous people of Mindanao), and Lumad (Islamized people of Mindanao). Moros
On foreground are the tri-people sculptures by Kublai Millan at People’s Park of Davao City: the boy playing a guitar-like instrument is a Christian, the girl at center with a flute is a , and the boy with Lumad kulintang is a . Moro
Despite some ongoing conflicts within the region, people are peace-loving and can’t wait to invite us to appreciate the natural wonders, heritage sites and colorful festivals they offer.
Davao Region, formerly called Southern Mindanao (Cebuano: Habagatang Mindanao), is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region XI. Highlighted are provinces and city I’ve visited for this trip.
It was my birthday month so I spent my vacation leaves on visiting Western Visayas and Davao Region. This time, I went to Davao City to start my journey on exploring southeastern Mindanao, as part of my
Soccsksargen (officially styled as SOCCSKSARGEN), formerly known as Central Mindanao, is an administrative region of the Philippines, located in south-central Mindanao. It is numerically designated as Region XII. Highlighted is the province I’ve visited for this trip.
I have visited some parts of
before so this will be my first time to visit Davao City and neighboring provinces including Cotabato. Hence, my itinerary became Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula Davao Region-Cotabato Solo Trip! Presenting my itinerary below with Davao City Airport as entry and exit point:
My Davao Region-Cotabato Travel Map doing southward route from Davao City.
HIGHLIGHTS PER REGION:
DAVAO REGION formerly called Southern Mindanao designated as Region XI
📍Davao City Hall
📍San Pedro Metropolitan Cathedral
📍Philippine Eagle Center
📍Davao Airport (Durian Monument)
📍Ramon Magsaysay Park
📍SM Lanang Premier
📍People’s Park Davao
📍Lola Abon’s Durian Candies
📍Matina Town Square
📍Davao Pasalubong Center
📍Bankerohan Public Market
📍Lola Abon’s Durian Candies
📍Aldevinco Shopping Center
Davao del Sur
📍Davao del Sur Provincial Capitol
📍Digos City Hall
📍Mary Mediatrix Cathedral Church
📍Digos Public Park
📍Mers Native Delicacies
📍Davao Occidental Provincial Capitol
📍Malita Municipal Hall
📍Sto. Rosario Parish
📍San Miguel Coal Power Plant
📍Malita Baywalk overlooking Davao Gulf
SoCCSKSarGen ( South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) formerly known as Central Mindanao designated as Region XII
Cotabato formerly but still colloquially known as North Cotabato
📍Cotabato Provincial Capitol
📍Kidapawan City Hall
📍Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral
📍Kidapawan City Park
Davao City, officially the City of Davao (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw), is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The city is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. It is the third-most populous city in the Philippines after Quezon City and Manila, the most populous city in the country outside Metro Manila, and the most populous in Mindanao.
Plant species include the orchid , also known as the “Queen of Philippine Flowers” as well as one of the country’s national flowers, which are also endemic to Davao City. Fruits such as mangosteen (known as the “queen of fruits”) and waling-waling durian (known as the “king of fruits”), grow abundantly on Mount Apo.
The word davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups’ names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the river Davah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hard v or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawas called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means “a place beyond the high grounds” (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills).
Davao City is geographically situated in the province of Davao del Sur but the city is governed and administered independently from it. Davao City is the center of Metro Davao, the third-most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines. The city’s name is derived from its Bagobo origins.
The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity
Durian Monument outside Davao International Airport sculpted by local artist Kublai Millan.
The Archdiocese of Davao (Latin: Archidioecesis Davaensis) is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is a metropolitan see in southern Mindanao. The archdiocese comprises the city of Davao, The Island Garden City of Samal, and the municipality of Talaingod, Davao del Norte in Davao del Norte. Under its jurisdiction are the three suffragan dioceses of Digos, Tagum, and Mati the capital cities of the three Davao provinces.
The Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral, also referred to as the San Pedro Cathedral or Davao Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at Barangay Poblacion District, Davao City, Philippines. The cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter, is the ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao. In the 1960s, due to its small size, the Diocese of Davao solicited funds to enlarge the church. Architect Manuel Chiew was responsible for the design of the new church. the design of the new church was that of an ark hence the pointed front where the cross stands. A separate Bell tower was also constructed.
The Davao Chinatown is the Chinatown located in Davao City and the only one in Mindanao. It is the primary residential area of the Chinese Philippine community in the city. The area is bordered by Santa Ana Avenue, Monteverde Avenue, Ramón Magsaysay Street and León García Street. It is the Philippines’ largest Chinatown by area with a total land area of 44 hectares
Ramon Magsaysay Park Outdoor recreation space with a monument to the nation’s third president, Ramon Magsaysay.
Sta. Ana Pier Located in Davao Chinatown, Magsaysay St., Davao City, Sta. Ana Pier handles mainly domestic and passenger vessels.
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.
The Center does not only have Philippine Eagles to show but there are a number of other birds, mammals and reptiles as well, most of which are endemic to the country and some are considered rare. Entrance fee is Php150.00
The Philippine eagle ( Pithecophaga jefferyi), also known as the monkey-eating eagle or great Philippine eagle, is an endangered species of eagle of the family Accipitridae which is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest. It is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length and wing surface. Among the rarest and most powerful birds in the world, it has been declared the Philippine national bird. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat resulting from deforestation in most of its range. This was my first time seeing this eagle in person, and it was very big indeed. A must-visit when in Davao City!
There are other birds in the center such as this barn owl. The barn owl ( Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as the common barn owl. The barn owl is found almost everywhere in the world except polar and desert regions, in Asia north of the Himalaya, most of Indonesia, and some Pacific islands
Lastly, I was able to have photoshoot with another eagle. The white-bellied sea eagle ( Haliaeetus leucogaster), also known as the white-breasted sea eagle, is a large diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. A distinctive bird, the adult white-bellied sea eagle has a white head, breast, under-wing coverts and tail. The upper parts are grey and the black under-wing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The tail is short and wedge-shaped as in all Haliaeetus species.
Davao del Sur (Cebuano: Habagatang Dabaw) is a province in the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Its capital and largest city is Digos. My 30th province!
Digos, officially the City of Digos, (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Digos; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Digos), or simply referred to as Digos City, is a 2nd class city and capital of the province of Davao del Sur, Philippines.
The city lies on the western shores of the Davao Gulf and southern foothills of Mount Apo on the island of Mindanao, centrally located between the two major cities in Mindanao, Davao City and General Santos City. It is considered as part of Metropolitan Davao. The name of the city came from Cebuano word “Padigus”, which means “to take a bath”.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Digos (Latin: Dioecesis Digosensis) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Erected in 1979, the diocese was created from territory in the Archdiocese of Davao.
The 2 provinces of Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental are under the jurisdiction of this diocese.
Cotabato, formerly but still colloquially known as North Cotabato (Hiligaynon: Aminhan Cotabato; Cebuano: Amihanang Cotabato; Maguindanaon: Pangutaran Kutawatu, Ilocano: Amianan nga Cotabato), is a landlocked province in the Philippines. While the province itself is geographically located in the Mindanao region of Soccsksargen, some of its barangays are under the jurisdiction of the nearby Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. My 31st province!
Kidapawan, officially the City of Kidapawan (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Kidapawan; Hiligaynon: Dakbanwa sang Kidapawan; Maguindanaon: Ingud nu Kidapawan) or referred to as Kidapawan City, is a 3rd class city and capital of the province of Cotabato, Philippines.
Kidapawan City is one of the most well-known starting points for trekking on Mount Apo. The country’s tallest peak is an abode to the almost extinct Philippine eagle.
The city’s name came from Obo Monuvu words ‘kida pawan’ meaning ‘to live near a spring in the highland’.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kidapawan (Lat: Dioecesis Kidapavanensis) is a diocese of the Roman Rite of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Its cathedral is in Kidapawan, Cotabato.
Its territory includes eastern Cotabato (except for Alamada, Aleosan, Banisilan, Libungan, Midsayap, Pigcawayan, Pikit); Columbio, Sultan Kudarat and 3 towns in Maguindanao.
Davao Occidental (Cebuano: Kasadpang Dabaw) is the 81st and newest province in the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Its capital is the municipality of Malita. To the east lies the Davao Gulf. It also shares a maritime border with the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi to the south. I also went here to visit my aunt’s family residing in Malita. My 32nd province!
Malita, officially the Municipality of Malita, is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Davao Occidental, Philippines. Malita is known for various cultural arts and heritage of its people and tribes. The municipality is the main economic center of Davao Occidental province. Agriculture and fishery is the main industry of the municipality. Being far from other major urban centers in its vicinity like Davao City, Digos City, and Gen. Santos City, and although only a town, Malita also serves as the major urban center of the province.
Gaginaway Festival is celebrated annually every full moon on the month of November and Araw ng Malita is also celebrated annually on November 17. According to folk etymology, the name “Malita” is derived from the Spanish word “ maleta” which means suitcase. It is said that purportedly Don Mariano Peralta, a retired veteran of the Spanish–American War who ventured to the place, decided to live on the vast, fertile plain across the river. One day while bodily fording the deep and swift river with his suitcase and other belongings in hand, the force of the current overwhelmed his perilous balance and got swept by the water consequently losing his grip on the suitcase.
His frantic shouts of “ maleta, maleta” attracted the attention of the bathing natives who after realizing the situation promptly responded and retrieved the vanishing to settle as Malita. How it came to its present spelling and usage maybe attributed to the natives’ prevalent use of suitcase. Hardly forgetting the shouts of Peralta, the natives later thought the word referred to the land he intended long ‘e’ sound for the vowels ‘i’ and ‘e’.
Maliteño Museum is the repository of rich cultural history of Malita, housed in the old municipal building of Malita.
Sto. Rosario Parish
The aisle of the church with tall jars on both sides
San Miguel Coal Power Plant is a sight to behold few kilometers away from the town center.
For delicacies and souvenirs within Davao Region, see below infographic from
Ref magnet bought outside Philippine Eagle Center
Ref magnet bought outside Philippine Eagle Center
Ref magnet bought outside Philippine Eagle Center
Shirt bought from Department Store in SM Lanang Premier
Nito (Lygodium circinatum) is a vine of the fern family that grows abundantly in the hinterlands of Mindanao. They are made usually into plates, baskets and other handicrafts by indigeneous people in mountains of Mindanao. Above is the headdress made of nito by women of Malita, Davao Occidental.
For Davao City Delicacies:
Davao City: Food trip at Crown Jewel of Mindanao