Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Davao Butterfly House

Entrance to the Davao Butterfly House

A wildlife sanctuary, the Davao Butterfly House is a safe shelter and haven for butterflies, flowers, plants, and other exotic animals such as fishes, crickets, tarantulas and scorpions. It is one of the many butterfly conservation facilities in the Philippines. Notable ones are the Boracay Butterfly Farm, Bohol Butterfly Conservation Center, and Jumalon Butterfly House in Cebu. 

The best time to observe butterflies in flight is in the morning with a good sunshine as many species undertake hatching, courtship and mating. During the heat of the day, butterflies take shelter under the leaves and this presents a good chance to observe them closely and take photographs. However, during cloudy days, or late in the afternoon, they usually hide. 

The Sanctuary

Inside the Sanctuary

Another look inside the Sanctuary

A safe haven for butterflies, plants, flowers and other exotic animals

Butterflies undergo four stages of transformation or metamorphosis from caterpillar to an adult butterfly: egg, larva, pupa and adult. 

Lifecycle of a Butterfly

Butterfly Eggs


Butterfly eggs are hard-ridged outer layer of shell lined with a thin coating of wax which prevents the egg from drying out before the larva has had time to mature. Each egg contains tiny funnel-shaped openings at one end which allow sperm to enter and fertilize the egg. Butterfly and moth eggs vary in size between species, but are either spherical or ovate. 



The larvae, or caterpillars are multi-legged and eat plant leaves. While most caterpillars are herbivorous, a few species eat insects. 



The caterpillar transforms into a pupa where the wing starts to form a structure that is compressed from top to bottom and which rapidly unfolds to a full adult butterfly.

Adult Butterfly or the Imago

Adult or Imago

The adult stage of the butterfly is called the imago. An adult butterfly has six legs. After it emerges from the pupa, a butterfly cannot fly until the wings are unfolded. A newly-emerged butterfly needs to spend some time inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. Some butterfly wings may take up to one to three hours to dry.

Butterfly Nursery

There is also a fruit nursery at the Davao Butterfly House where several varieties of fruit plants are available for sale such as the popular Dragon Fruit, Banana Tree, Dwarf Coconut Tree, Giant Balimbing Tree, Durian Tree, Atis Tree, Fig Tree, Abiu Tree, Lanzones Tree, and many others.

A childrens' playground can also be found just outside of the Davao Butterfly House where both adults and children alike can rest and enjoy after the tour.

Souvenir Shop

There is also a souvenir shop that sells a wide variety of souvenir items such as hats, bracelets, necklaces, shirts, umbrellas, etc.

How to get to the Davao Butterfly House

The Davao Butterfly House is located not far from the Davao Crocodile Park complex, Riverwalk Grill, and Tribu K’Mindanawon cultural village along the Diversion Highway of Ma-a, Davao City, and is easily accessible by public or private transportation. It is only a few minutes away from nearby tourist attractions such as the Recall Paintball, and the Musa Meristem Banana Culture.

Contact Information

Davao Butterfly House
River Front Drive, Corporate City
Diversion Hwy. Ma-a, Davao City
Tels (082) 301-5465, (082) 271-2626, and (082) 286-8883
Mobile 0923 658 6051

Monday, August 29, 2011

D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort

Entrance to D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort with two statues of Japanese soldiers

Along the Diversion Road in Davao City, there is a Japanese tunnel that dates back during the World War II. The tunnel was carved out of the hilly section of Matina Balusong, west of the city by Davao Prisoners of War in 1942. The tunnel was used by the Japanese as a hide-out, and as a means of transporting their equipment and mobilizing their forces against the American liberating army. It was accidentally discovered by the owners of the land while constructing a hotel. They were excavating the area when they uncovered damp passageways and rooms underneath the land, and soon discovered that those were tunnels used by the Japanese soldiers during the war.

The owners decided then to name the place D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort, which is now a hotel, a restaurant, and has since become one of the major tourist attractions in Davao City.

Signage at the main entrance

Main Entrance

View of the Resort

Closer view of the Resort

The tunnel is about 300 meters deep, which ends at a blocked passageway, the other side of which is owned by a different owner. Inside the tunnel, visitors are met with several life-sized statues of Japanese soldiers, and Japanese women in traditional Kimono. One of the main attractions of the tunnel are what remained of the various vintage weaponry found during the discovery which are beautifully displayed inside the tunnel such as, machine guns, bombs, explosives, and several ammunition and bullets. Deeper into the tunnel are compartments of water bankers, and makeshift offices used by the Japanese soldiers, and a dungeon for the prisoners of war. There are several chapels as well, where replicas of a Golden Buddha and gold bars can be seen.  

Air conditioned rooms above the concrete inscription

The Tunnel

Several of these Japanese statues are found in different portions of the tunnel

Replica of a Japanese Golden Buddha

One of the chapels with a Golden Buddha

Japanese money during World War II

Outdoor Swimming Pool

The Resort is a three-storey hotel with a number of air-conditioned rooms suitable for families. It also has an outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant that serves delectable Chinese, Filipino and Japanese dishes, including Western steaks. The menu offers a variety of these dishes that are reasonably priced. 

The Menu

There still remain quite a number of Japanese tunnels in Davao City, particularly in Ma-a and Mintal that are still intact today which used to run several kilometers and would crisscross and intersect at some points, but the inevitable rehabilitation of the city immediately after the war have destroyed much of these tunnels and were eventually lost in the pages of history. What remain of these tunnels became historical landmarks and a favorite destination of foreign and local tourists.

How to get to D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort

Located near the end of the Diversion Road in Matina Balusong towards the junction of MacArthur Highway in Matina area, the Resort is easily accessible by public or private transportation,  and is only 20 minutes drive from downtown city proper.

Contact Information

D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort
Hillcrest Subdivision 
Diversion Road, Matina Balusong, Davao City
8000 Philippines
Tels +6382 299 0975 | +6382 298 3705

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grand Regal Hotel

Grand Regal Hotel Davao

Built in 1998, the  Grand Regal Hotel is a premier hotel situated in the heart of Davao City. It is close to many business establishments, commercial centers, shopping malls and entertainment areas. The Hotel's exquisite interior is a balanced mixture of past and traditional Filipino design with modern facilities and amenities standard to a first class hotel. It has 217 elegantly designed rooms and plush suites including Presidential Suites that are luxuriously furnished to provide maximum comfort to the busy business travelers. 

Facade of the Hotel

Driveway to the Hotel

Main entrance to the Lobby

Hotel's Main Lobby

Reception Desk

Inside entrance to PAGCOR

PAGCOR is a world-class casino and a major tourist attraction in the Philippines. It has several casinos operating in the different parts of the country, one of which is housed in Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City. PAGCOR in the hotel sits on a total gaming area of 2,153 square meters designed in an ethnic Mindanaoan architectural motif which features the rich cultural heritage of the Davaoenos, the people of Davao. Grand gongs and a replica of the Philippine eagle are featured at the casino entrance, along with a mural of unique Filipino games. Its Yakan-inspired slot machine area houses 210 units, while a Maranao motif dominates the main gaming area of 20 gaming tables. The casino presents nightly musical entertainment from top local musical artists and special cultural shows.

PAGCOR at the Hotel

Grand Pilipinas Ballroom

Grand Pilipinas Ballroom is said to be the largest ballroom in Davao City which can accommodate 1,100 guests. It is equipped with state-of-the-art flexible ballroom features for convention, seminars, expositions, and other business events and social functions for all occasions. The grandeur of its chandeliers are highlighted against a sepia backdrop.

Champagne Bar

Champagne Bar is an ideal venue to an evening of refreshing ambiance of delightful wine and spirits for the busy travelers amid soothing music and delectable appetizers over a wide range of refreshing beverages. It can easily seat 50 guests.

Montmartre Cafe

Montmartre Café is a stylish brasserie-style Café that serves daily fresh vegetarian and meat-based delectable dishes, and a wide selection of scrumptious sandwiches and other tommy-fillers in a traditional Filipino taste, and can accommodate 60 guests.

The Les Halles Brasserie

Les Halles Brasserie is the main restaurant of the Hotel and can seat 120 guests. It serves a wide gourmet selection of international cuisines and authentic flavors of traditional Filipino and Mindanaoan delicacies. 

Mei King Chinese Restaurant

Mei King Chinese Restaurant serves culinary flavor of authentic Chinese cuisine. It can accommodate a 100 guests, and it has private rooms for exclusive functions and events.

Sun Deck Bar

Sun Deck Bar serves a wide range of refreshing beverages and delightful appetizers in a relaxing Al fresco setting right beside the Hotel's outdoor swimming pool.

Swimming Pool with the view of the Sun Deck Bar in the background

Body Garage Fitness Center

This Gym is a complete fitness center facility for the busy travelers to work out a sweat and remain fit. It also features a Sauna Room.

Rooms and Accommodations

The Grand Regal Hotel has 217 elegantly designed rooms and plush suites including Presidential Suites that are luxuriously furnished to provide maximum comfort, convenience and class. 

Executive Room

Executive Rooms are located on the 5th to 8th floors. The rooms are  furnished with double beds or two single beds, and toilet and bath.

Presidential Suite

How to get to Grand Regal Hotel 

Grand Regal Hotel is approximately 3 kilometers from the Davao International Airport in Sasa, Davao City, and it only takes about 5 minutes to reach the Hotel.

Contact Information

Grand Regal Hotel Davao
Km. 7 J.P Laurel Avenue, Lanang, 8000 Davao City
Tels (082) 235-0888
Fax (082) 234-3458

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort, or simply 'Paradise Island' as fondly called by the locals, started as a simple picnic destination for the family and friends of the owners and from then on it grew to what is it today -  a favorite longtime weekend destination of Davaoenos and foreign tourists alike. It is located in Caliclic, Babak in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) of Davao del Norte, about 20 minutes from mainland Davao City. 

The shoreline of the Resort is about 800 meters of powdery white sand beach, and is the longest in the island. It is the only place in this part of Samal Island that has maintained its shores by periodic cleaning by the so called "Scubasurero" and placed a safety net to ward-off jelly fish, anglers and rubbish, from poaching the area. The beach and its surrounding areas are regularly combed and cleaned throughout the day. Lifeguards can be found throughout the swimming area for the safety of the guests.


Pristine waters of the Resort

A longtime favorite weekend destination of families

Kayaking and other watersport activities


Safety net to ward off jellyfish, anglers and rubbish from poaching the area

Private Jetty of the Resort

View of the Resort from the Jetty

The Reception Area

Kan-anan Restaurant

Kan-anan serves a wide variety of delectable local dishes and international cuisines. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves snacks and refreshments. The House specialty is the Paella, the owners’ favorite which is reputed to be the best in the Island. There is also an ice cream kiosk nearby that sells a wide variety of frozen delights.


Convenience store called Tinda'an

Ba'ay Masaje

The Resort offers bodily massege an foot spa at discounted prizes at the Baybay Masaje or "Ba’ay Masaje".

Foot Spa

Apart from enjoying the white sand beach and the crystal clear blue waters, guests can enjoy the many sports activities offered in the Resort, such as jet skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, aquacycling, badminton, volleyball, billiards and ping pong. There is also a Children's playground and park, and the Aviary which is right next to the children’s park where kids and adults alike can view and enjoy the Resort’s rich collection of birds.

Billiard Hall

Ping Pong Area

Volleyball Court

Children's Playground and Park

Childrens' Playground

Another view of the playground

The Aviary

The Aviary serves as a sanctuary to different birds that came from different countries in Asia, such as pheasants, pigeons, parrots, eagles, lories, lovebirds, doves, hornbills and many more.

The Souvenir Shop

Duplex Bungalows

Air conditioned accommodations designed in native thatched roof, Amakan wall, either in cabana style or in row cottages are available for overnight stay at the Resort. The Resort has 75 elegantly designed rooms and cottages, each of which has its own veranda that overlooks a well-manicured garden, and a pathway that leads to the white sand beach. Each of the room is complete with facilities and amenities standard to a beach resort. There are solo cottages, duplex bungalows for a family of six, and single-storey clustered rooms for groups of persons. Standard to these accommodations are private baths and toilets, intercom facilities, safety deposit boxes, welcome drinks upon arrival to the Resort, complimentary reading books, newspaper, and even slippers. The Resort also has an Aviary and children’s playground.

Solo Cottage

Balcony of a Solo Cottage

Clustered Rooms for groups of resort guests

Room of one of the cottages

Inside one of the rooms

Private veranda

Each veranda has a pathway that leads to the beach

View of the pathways

Lush garden along the pathways

For business and social events, the Resort has function halls for all occasions, complete with Registration Areas for meetings, Public Address System with microphone, stand and rostrum, an LCD Projector and Screen Overhead Projector, White Boards and Flip Charts, a DVD Player, Flag Poles, a Photocopier and Wi-Fi access. An event coordinator is also available to assist any function.

The Resort is only a 20-minute boat ride from Kilometer 9, Sasa Wharf in Davao City. Ferry Service is from 5 AM to 5 PM.

Contact Information

Caliclic, Babak, Island Garden City of Samal
Davao del Norte Philippines 8118
Tels (082) 233-0251, (082) 234-1229 and (082) 300-2343
Fax (082) 234-2926
Mobile +63920- 954-6780
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