Friday, September 30, 2011

Downtown Davao City

Aerial view of Downtown Davao City

The Downtown area of Davao City is my favorite spot in Davao City. It is where the Davao City Central Business District is located and several commercial establishments, banks, public markets, shopping malls, medical centers, hotels, parks, churches, entertainment areas, and the some of the city's landmarks can be found. The city itself is about 2,444 square kilometers or 943.6 square miles and is the biggest city in the world. While the outskirts of the city such as Calinan, Tibungco and Toril are still within the boundaries of Davao City, the locals call the downtown area as "Poblacion," a Spanish word for "city center." And nothing far better mirror the city's diverse mixture of southern cultural identity blended with some new age character than Downtown Metro Davao.

City Hall of Davao

The City Hall of Davao or the city's Municipal Building is where the Office of the Local Executive is located. It was constructed in 1926, ten years before Davao finally became a city in March 16, 1936. It is located along San Pedro Street, one of the oldest streets in Davao City.

The Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Davao

The Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Dabaw or the Legislative Building houses the Local Council of Davao where regular council sessions are held. It is situated right across San Pedro Cathedral at the corners of Bolton and San Pedro Streets. 

The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity

Unveiled during the celebration of the Philippine Centennial in 1998, the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, which is situated right across the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Dabaw, depicts the peaceful relationship of the migrant and indigenous inhabitants of Davao in the last 100 years. It bears the official logo of the city and a replica of the Philippine Eagle on the facade.

Davao Rizal Park

The Davao Rizal Park is one of the many parks that has the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero. It is situated about 15 meters west of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Dabaw and the San Pedro Cathedral, and east of Quezon Park and the Davao City Hall. 

The park is where some government-sponsored concerts are held, and a venue for informal meetings of government staffs about different city concerns. The Rizal Shrine at the park was renovated and officially turned over on March 12, 2009 to the then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, now Vice-Mayor, by MICO President, Yvonne Yuchengco.

 Osmeña Park

The Osmeña Park is one of the most visited parks in Davao City, and is located next to the  Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Davao at the corners of C.M. Recto Avenue and San Pedro Street.

Quezon Park

Quezon Park is one of the several parks in the downtown area of Davao City. It sits right in front of the City Hall of Davao, and a few meters east of Rizal Park, and the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Dabaw. It is where concerts, Mass, and other government sponsored gatherings and activities are often held. Inside the park are two beautifully handcrafted concrete Durians, a landscaped gardens and a water fountain.

Museo Dabawenyo

The Museo Dabawenyo houses the rich history and diverse cultural heritage of the people of Davao. It was established by the City Government of Davao on November 15, 2006 and was funded under the Special Education Fund of the Local School Board. The museum was first opened to the public during the 71st Araw ng Dabaw grand opening celebration on March 14, 2008. It is meters away from the Andres Bonifacio Rotunda and Osmeña Park, and is situated along Fr. Selga Street toward Pichon Street.

Grand Men Seng Hotel

Grand Men Seng Hotel is one of the earliest hotels in Davao City.

San Pedro Cathedral

San Pedro Cathedral is the oldest church in Davao City. It was named after Saint Peter, the patron saint of Davao. The original structure was built in 1847.

Bankerohan Public Market

Bankerohan Public Market is a major public market in Davao City where most of the produce from all over Davao Region are transported. Prices here are at the lowest rate and items are mostly sold in bulk.

People's Park

People's Park is a 4-hectare cultural-theme park costing P72-M which used to be the old, dilapidated Palaruang Panglungsod or the old PTA ground where the city used to host athletic meets, sports events, orchid shows, concerts, and other citywide events. It is the brainchild of the then mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte, who, in December 15, 2007, led the ceremonial inauguration of the park. This once dilapidated PTA ground has now become a city landmark and a major attraction in Davao City.

The Apo View Hotel

Apo View Hotel is the queen of all hotels and a premier landmark in Davao City. Built in 1948, it is the very first hotel ever erected in Davao City, and the second oldest hotel in the Philippines.

JS Gaisano Mall

Gaisano South City Mall, also known as Gaisano Grand City Mall and JS Mall, is located at Ilustre Street, downtown of Davao City. The mall has a gross land area of 70,000m². It has three floors with many stores and restaurants, a department store, a supermarket, and a cinema. It has been used in the past for several festivals including the Eiga Sai Festival for Japanese Film lovers.

The Royal Mandaya Hotel

The Royal Mandaya Hotel is a premier hotel located in the heart of downtown Davao City. It consists of two similar buildings designed in Neo-Islamic architecture, nine-storey each in height with 220 elegantly designed suites that provide a panoramic view of Mount Apo, the Davao Gulf and Metro Davao. The Hotel has its humble beginnings in 1992 with only 20 rooms and was built by Colonel Emilio D. Escandor as an expression of love for his wife Violeta. With the hotel's ever growing clientele, Escandor built a bigger facility. Thus, in September 8, 1998, The Royal Mandaya Hotel came in to existence.

SM City Davao

SM City Davao is a major shopping mall located along Quimpo Boulevard at Ecoland Drive, Matina. The mall opened in November 2001. It has a land area of 132,000m² and a floor area of more than 75,000m². It has three floors and has many restaurants, a department store, a supermarket, an appliance center, and a cinema. It is the first SM Supermall constructed in Mindanao.

Aldevinco Shopping Center

Aldevinco Shopping Center is a 8,370 square meter commercial complex located at the corners of Claro M. Recto Avenue and Manuel Roxas Boulevard. It is a well renowned landmark and premiere shopping destination where foreign and domestic tourists and balikbayans shop for souvenir items. It was opened to the public on January 2, 1965.

Marco Polo Hotel

Marco Polo Hotel - Davao is one of the top premier hotels in Davao City. This 18-storey Hotel with 245 elegantly designed suites sits on a 6, 687 square meter lot located at the corners of Claro M. Recto and Manuel Roxas Avenues. The Hotel commands a magnificent view of the Davao Gulf, and the majestic Mount Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain peak.

Ateneo de Davao

Ateneo de Davao University is a private Catholic university managed by the Society of Jesus in Davao City. It was established in 1948. There are two campuses: Jacinto Campus which houses the colleges of the university including the graduate programs; and Matina Campus for elementary and high school facilities.


Chinatown in Davao City is the the biggest Chinatown in the world, with a total land area of approximately 44 hectares covering at least four barangays. The creation and development of Chinatown was an initiative of the Davao City Council Tourism Committee in an effort to attract more foreign and local tourists to Davao City.

Chimes Mall

Chimes Mall is an upscale shopping complex that sells power brands and special luxury items that are not usually found in the mainstream malls of Davao City. It is located along Governor Sales Street, right at the very heart of the Davao City's Chinatown. It is widely known as a specialty mall.

168 Mall

168 Mall is a first of it's kind in Davao City which features Chinese products at wholesale price by Filipino-Chinese traders who are mostly based in Manila. It is a 3,500 square meter two-storey mall located along Magsaysay Avenue in Chinatown and has become one of the city landmarks.

Magsaysay Park

Magsaysay Park is a public park that was built in honor of Ramon Magsaysay, the third President of the Republic of the Philippines It is located in Leon Garcia Street, close to the Sta. Ana Wharf. The park is a favorite destination in Davao City for both local and foreign visitors where it features exciting shows from time to time. It is also frequented by students from various parts of the region for educational field trips.


Gaisano Mall of Davao, also known as G-Mall, is a major shopping mall located along J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City. It is the largest of more than 40 Gaisano malls in the Visayas and Mindanao. It has a gross land area of 120,000m² with four floors of stores and restaurants, a department store, a supermarket on the ground floor, and a cinema on the top floor. It also has an arcade. G-Mall is the only mall in Davao City that has a Red Carpet Theater - a luxury movie theater with leather couches.

Landco Corporate Center

Landco Corporate Center is located along JP Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City. With its sleek and modern glass facade, it is the most prestigious office address in Davao City as it features state-of-the-art amenities and facilities and sophisticated fire safety and security systems, three high-speed elevators, a grand lobby and hallways with world-class furnishings and finish.

Pryce Tower

Pryce Tower is the first high-rise office-condominium building erected in Davao City. It is located at  JP Laurel Avenue, in Bajada. It has 14 floors and was constructed in the 1990s.

Victoria Plaza Mall

Victoria Plaza Mall Davao was built in the 1990's and is one of the earlier malls in Davao City. It is located along J. P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City. It has a gross land area of 81,000 sqm. The two-story mall has a supermarket, a department store, a hardware store, and a cinema. 

Southern Philippines Medical Center

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (formerly the Davao Medical Center) is a 12.8 hectare government hospital established in 1917. It is located along JP Laurel Ave, Bajada, Davao City.

Abreeza Ayala Mall

Abreeza Ayala Mall is a three-storey ultra-modern shopping mall that sits on a four-hectare space of the sprawling 10-hectare commercial complex along JP Laurel Avenue in Bajada, Davao City. The Mall houses over 300 commercial spaces, and includes four theaters with a three-dimensional cinema, and a huge parking lot. The Mall costs Php 5 billion, and is considered as one of the biggest single investments in Davao City. The Mall itself has generated about 6,000 employees mostly from Mindanao. It opened its doors to the public in May 12, 2011. 

Waterfront Insular Hotel

Waterfront Insular Hotel is a 4-Star Hotel located at Lanang. It has 159 suites. The hotel was built in 1968 and was recently renovated in 2008.

Damosa IT Park

Damosa’s IT Park is a 23-hectare gateway that houses information technology buildings, a data building, and a commercial and utility buildings. Located along J.P Laurel Avenue in Lanang, it is the second IT park constructed in Mindanao.

Davao International Airport

The Davao International Airport is Mindanao's international gateway to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia; and to the rest of the Philippines. It is the busiest airport in Mindanao.

The $128 million state-of-the-art international airport occupies a total land area of 209-hectares and is highly computerized. This Malay architecture-inspired airport was officially inaugurated and opened to the public on December 2, 2003.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or the Central Bank of The Philippines Regional Office, Davao City is the biggest in the Visayas and Mindanao. It is located along Quirino Avenue, Davao City.

Davao Doctors Hospital

Opened in 1969, the Davao Doctors Hospital is a privately-owned, 250-bed tertiary level and multi-specialty hospital located along Quirino Avenue, Davao City. It is considered one of the leading hospitals in Davao City with state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leticia by the Sea

Leticia By The Sea

Leticia By The Sea is a relatively small but private resort situated in Talikud Island, southwest off the coast of the bigger Samal Island. It is one of the business establishments owned and operated by the Casa Leticia group in Davao City: the Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel, and Casa Leticia Business Inn; the same group who operates Sagay Restaurant, Tsuru Japanese Restaurant, and Hanoi Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant.

The Resort lies in a stretch of white sand beach amid towering coconut trees perched in a rocky terrain and a cliff of lush greenery, and commands a magnificent view of the clear blue waters of Davao Gulf. Here, guests may use the resort exclusively for a day or so, or, however long the guests would want to stay. There are rental packages which include comfortable accommodations and use of recreational facilities and boat transfers. A resident chef and resort staff are available round the clock to assist guests of the Resort.

View of the Resort from its private jetty

Amid towering coconut trees and the clear waters of Davao Gulf

Private Jetty welcomes guests to the resort
with a view of Samal Island in the background 

The Jetty

At the Jetty

The Resort sits amid a lush greenery on a well-manicured grass

The Garden

Garden Set

The Beach

With the white shoreline beach and clear blue waters of the Davao Gulf, the Resort promises a fun-filled day of activities and water sports such as, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, wake boarding, paparazzi, GT3 ride, inflatable rides, water trampoline, and, of course, their Sunset Cruise where guests are taken to a leisurely cruise of the Samal Strait by a speedboat to view the sun as its sets in the afternoon behind the majestic peak of Mount Apo, while guests are served with a variety of refreshing drinks, fruit platter, or snacks, with music playing softly on board.

Rich marine life awaits divers in the Gulf of Davao, and scuba diving is one of the popular pursuits in the Resort. Underwater, many soft to hard corals can be seen with schools of tropical fish in vibrant colors abound right across the shoreline.

While the Resort does not have its own equipment for scuba diving, guests usually engage the services of dive shops in Davao City, and this can be arranged by the Resort staff on request.

Beach Lounges


School of tropical fish abound in the Gulf of Davao 


Room and Accommodation

Overnight stay at the Resort provides comfortable rooms and cottages which can accommodate up to 20 guests. These beautifully designed cottages are a mixture of Balinese and Filipino inspired influences, and are situated amid a rich landscape of floras and faunas and coconut trees with a delightful view of the beach and Davao Gulf, giving each guest an assured atmosphere of a relaxed and homey ambiance in a cool breeze of the open sea.

Accommodations include two air-conditioned cottages: Room A which can accommodate four guests, and Room B for two guests; a spacious Family Room which can accommodate six guests and includes two toilets and two bathrooms; two air-conditioned Villas: Room A for four guests, and Room B for two guests.

Open Cabana

Open cabanas are adorned with flowing white curtains and afford a stunning view of the beach with the cool breeze of the open sea. There are two open cabanas and each has individual private bath and toilet room.

Open Cabana

The Cottage

Cottage Bedroom

The Villas

Family Room


The Pavilion

The Pavilion serves as an entertainment area for guests. The Resort also has a function room for business events or social gatherings which can easily seat up to 40 persons.

Dining Area in an Al fresco setting which also serves as a view deck

View of Gulf of Davao from the view deck of the Dining Area

Leticia by the Sea at night

Leticia by the Sea provides guests a serene and intimate experience in a tropical setting with modern facilities and personalized service that assure ultimate exclusivity in the privacy of the resort. 

How to get to Leticia by the Sea

Boat reservations and charters can be arranged on request; either by speed boat of the Resort, or via commercial ferries which are available at the Sta. Ana Pier in Davao City from 10 AM to 3 PM, and from Sasa Wharf, also in Davao City. Ferry travel normally takes a little under two hours, followed by a 30-minute ride from Babak to Kaputian, and a 10-minute boat ride across Talikud. The Resort does not allow walk-ins. Advanced bookings is recommended.

Contact Information

Sta. Ana, Talikud Island, Samal
Davao del Norte
Tels (082) 224-0501
Mobile 0917-702-5427

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