Saturday, February 2, 2008

DAVAO CITY - Getting Around The Safest Place In The Philippines

Davao City is considered the safest city in the Philippines. There is a 24-hour police visibility in the entire city and being the friendliest people I've known, Davaenos will help you find your way around in case you get lost.

Davao is possibly the third most important Philippine city after Manila and Cebu. As one of the major tourist destinations and economic zones in the country,  all domestic airlines fly multiple times per day to Davao, as well as a number of ferries, and even buses from Manila via the Maharlika Nautical Highway.

Flying to Davao, you will arrive at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, proper name of Davao International Airport, which was completed in 2003. I would say it is much much better than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

Upon exit from the arrival area, you will notice the magnificent symbolic Giant Durian sculpture by Kublai Milan, a prolific artist from Davao. 

Taxis are always available right outside the airport building and will take you anywhere in the City. Don't worry about the fare, Davao drivers are so friendly, honest and do not haggle if they notice that you are a tourist. They will charge you by the meter and would even give you an exact change up to the last peso. Galing noh!

By air, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines all have Davao on their flight networks.
Avail of the promo fares. Depending on the season, you'll surely get the best affordable airfare.

By sea, you may choose to take any of the following sea vessels. Twice weekly, WG&A Superferry takes you to Davao (Sasa Whaft) from Manila (Eva Macapagal Port) every Mondays and Fridays, trip takes more than 2 days in total. Likewise twice weekly, Sulpicio Lines takes you to Davao from Manila every Thursdays and Sundays, usually via Cebu.

Getting around:

Everything is here in Davao City - malls, local shoppes, fine dining restaurants, bars, coffee shops, internet cafes, fresh fruit market, museums - you name it, Davao has it.

The simplest way to get around is by hopping on a taxi. Alternatively, if you opt for more adventure, then do as the locals and catch a jeepney or what they called 'multicab'. Simply ask around for which route to take. They are available 24 hours and cover every street in the city. This is the cheapest option for getting around as a typical fare cost about 7 pesos. Another alternative ride aside from the jeepneys and taxis, is the habal-habal, or a motorcycle. However, habal-habal is not allowed on main thouroughfare, only in some minor streets or subdivisions.

The normal cost for a jeepney ride is 7.00 pesos. Taxis go from 26 pesos and will add 1 peso per kilometer with a non-airconditioned taxi. Airconditioned taxis start at 30 pesos and will add 2 pesos per kilometer. Normal fare for a habal-habal is ten pesos and fare gets higher during late hours at night.

Going out late? Again, Davao is the safest city in the Philippines. Police vehicles roam every street. I always feel safe walking around even during midnight.

Smoking is strictly prohibited anywhere and anyone who get caught will surely be apprehended.

Where else can you find a place like Davao City? I guess nowhere.


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