A ROAD TRIP TO DAVAO ORIENTAL
Our trip started in Davao City with a pleasant drive on good roads to Mati, with a short stop at the Tagum City Hall
under construction, a truly humongous building. The road follows the Davao Gulf
and passes scenic Pujada
Bay before reaching Mati.
We then proceeded to the stunning Dahican
Beach, a 4-km stretch of white sand facing the Pacific
Ocean. We stayed at Kanakbai, a two-room resort near
the North end of the beach (tel 0905 3119198). There is no restaurant but the staff can shop and
cook for guests. Another cheaper option is the Botona resort, which has a
restaurant that serves basic food. The road to Bobon, further South on the Guanguan Peninsula
offers beautiful views of the coast, on both sides of the peninsula.
In Mati, I can recommend the breezy La’ne’s Kan-anan restaurant (easy to find
behind the Shell station).
Pujada Bay seen from the road before reaching Mati
Dahican Beach in front of Botona Resort
|Dahican Beach seen from Kanakbai Resort|
Sunrise over Dahican Beach
next day, after watching a gorgeous sunrise on Dahican Beach,
we proceeded to Caraca, on a
cemented road with stunning views of the Pacific coast. The town was the
capital of the Spanish province
of Caraga in the 17th
and 18th centuries and has an old Spanish church that was rebuilt in
1886. If you must eat in Caraga, try Lea’s Food Hub Catering Services, a small
turo-turo canteen, that we were told was the best in town.|
The friendly "Food Hub" in Caraga
The stunning Mayo Bay seen from the road to Caraga
then proceeded to Pusan Point, at
the end of a 9-km dirt road that starts at Barangay Santiago, a few kilometers
South of Caraga. A sign at the junction shows the way. Pusan Point is the
easternmost point of the Philippines
and consists of sharp limestone rocks jutting into the Pacific. On 31 December
1999, this was the site of a great gathering of people who wanted to be the
first to see the first sunrise of the new millennium in the Philippines. A
marker commemorates the event. A large cross and a lighthouse also stand at the site.
The sign in Barangay Santiago
The millenium sunrise marker
the way back to Davao, we drove South to San Isidro and Gov, Generoso, getting views of Mt
Hamiguitan on the left, and Davao Gulf with Samal and Talikut Islands
on the right. We stopped at San Isidro
municipal hall to inquire about the hike to Mt Hamiguitan (1630m) and
Tinagong Dagat (a mysterious mountain lake with high and low tides).
This is a major climb that will be the goal of another trip.
Sunrise on Mount HamiguitanIn
spite of its beauty and ease of access from Davao City,
Davao Oriental is hardly mentioned on Philippine guide books and tourism
publications. With little information available on where to go and what to
see (let alone where to sleep and eat) any trip to Davao Oriental can become an exciting exploration.
Day 1: Davao City-Tagum-Mati-Dahican Beach
Day 2: Dahican Beach-Caraga-Pusan Point-Dahican Beach
Day 3: Dahican Beach-Mati-Lupon-San Isidro-Gov. Generoso-Lupon-Davao City