Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pujada Island in Mati, Davao Oriental

Davao Oriental is a goldmine of natural wonders. The province is well endowed with about 400 kilometers of unspoiled white sand beaches - a favorite water sports hub of locals and tourists for surfing, diving, skim-boarding, and snorkeling. And situated some 230 kilometers from the heart of Mati City is an island unspoiled and undisturbed by commercialization - the Pujada Island. This 156-hectare island of lush mountainous greenery that rises to a height of 558 feet surrounded by a shoreline of powdery white sand beach, lies within the pristine blue waters of Pujada Bay in the eastern part of Mindanao facing Barangay Magum in the east and overlooking the vast of waters Pacific Ocean in the north. 

Pujada Island

Despite the Island being a major tourist attraction, it remains undeveloped, with no resort or even a single cottage that would shelter visitors. There is no receptionists to welcome guests - only the beauty of solitude and tranquility that only nature could give. 

The Island is shared by Barangays Lawigan and Macambol and is populated only by caretakers whose task is to guard the Island from abuse and to maintain its pristine condition. Taking anything from the Island is strictly prohibited. The area that surrounds the Island is a marine protected area.

Powdery white sand beach

Pujada Island shoreline

With the Island's gentle-lapping turquoise waters against its pristine white sands amid a lush landscape of hardwood trees, natural ponds, and sanctuaries of birds and fish, this tranquil, but not too remote island, promises an all natural quiet retreat for nature lovers - secluded, uninhabited and unspoiled, far away from the deafening noise and toxic demands of urban living.

How to get to Pujada Island 

Getting to the Island is usually via a 45-minute motorized boat ride from the shores of Barangay Bobon which is about an hour and half drive from the city of proper of Mati. Mati City is approximately 165 kilometers, or about 4 hours drive from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Davao City. The easiest way to get to Davao Oriental is through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway via an overland bus ride bound for Mati City.

Pujada Island and Pujada Bay at sunset

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sleeping Dinosaur Island in Davao Oriental

The City of Mati in Davao Oriental has one of the longest and most stunning white coastlines in Mindanao. Verdant forests and crystal clear blue waters readily greet visitors along the 8-kilometer well-paved winding roads that snake up and down a cliff overlooking the sea leading to this quiet coastal Province. While en route to Mati, visitors and travelers are greeted with a beautiful view of an island that resembles a plesiosaur-shaped dinosaur sleeping on its belly in Badas Point, Barangay Dawan. It is called the Sleeping Dinosaur Island. This natural attraction has a total land area of approximately 579 hectares. lt is cited as one of the key major tourism development areas of Davao Oriental's Tourism Master Plan.
A plesiosaur is a prehistoric aquatic dinosaur that thrives in shallow or deep waters usually having a long neck with large, elongated head and a broad body with four paddle-shaped "flipper" limbs and a short tail. Considered as one of the largest marine predators of all time, with the smallest about 2 meters or 6.5 feet long, and the largest up to 15 meters long, a plesiosaur belongs in the order of Mesozoic marine reptiles that first appeared in the Early Jurassic and possibly Rhaetian, latest Triassic Period, thriving until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period. An example of this creature is the famed "Loch Ness Monster" of Scotland, affectionately referred to by the nickname "Nessie" which caught the world's attention in 1933. There is actually no evidence of its existence, and the creature is considered a modern-day myth. A plesiosaur somewhat looks like this:


There is a viewing deck situated beside the highway in Badas Point for travelers to have a clearer view of this uniquely-shaped island, however, buses do not usually stop at the viewing area.
How to get to the Sleeping Dinosaur Island

The Island is situated in Barangay Dawan in Mati, Davao Oriental and can be viewed along the paved winding road in Badas Point that leads to the city. It can easily be reached by motorboat within 25 minutes. The easiest way to get to the Province is through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway via private transportation or overland bus ride bound for Mati City - approximately 165 kilometers, or about 4 hours drive from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Davao City.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pujada Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental

Pujada Bay

Pujada Bay is Mati’s most important natural attraction and is one of its most attractive places as it depicts the wealth of the city underneath the crystal blue waters of its long pristine coastline. The Bay is U-shaped and opens at the south-southeastern portion facing the Pacific Ocean. At its mouth lies three islands, namely the Pujada Island, the Waniban Island, and the Oak Island. The inner portion of the Bay is lined with a thousand hectares of mangrove forest and an inset of white sand beaches and pine forests. The east coast is endowed with a wide stretch of white powdery sand beaches and is rich in natural marine life where different varieties of species of soft and hard corals and fishes abound. It is a major tourist destination for swimming, diving, snorkeling, skim-boarding, kayaking, and other water sports activities. The substrate on the western coast of the Bay, however, is mostly rocky.

Pujada Island

Waniban Island

Oak Island


Another attraction of Pujada Bay are the sea cows, commonly known as "dugong." The sight of one of these amazing sea creatures in the Bay is truly a remarkable wonder to behold. The Bay is also home to dolphins, hawkbills, green-sea turtles, and whale sharks.


Pujada Bay is a protected area with a marine research center. Along its shoreline are some picnic huts. The shoreline is also ideal for camping and visitors usually bring their tents for a weekend getaway.

How to get to Pujada Bay

There are boats available for hire in Mati City proper, ranging from small to large ones, and are equipped with life vests. Mati City is approximately 165 kilometers, or about 4 hours drive from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Davao City. The easiest way to get to Mati is via overland bus ride through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity

The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, or the Centennial Monument of Peace and Unity is an important fixture and landmark in the City of Davao as the monument celebrates the peaceful and harmonious coexistence between the indigenous inhabitants and migrant people of Davao City in the last 100 years. It was unveiled during the celebration of the 100th year of Philippine Independence in June 12, 1998.

The Monument artfully depicts the men and women of the different indigenous peoples in native outfits as well as the migrants of Davao City in a noble gesture of jointly raising their hands as a symbol of peace and unity as the three doves are released from the hands of a woman dressed in traditional Baro at Saya - depicting our Mother Philippines. It is a work of art of Kublai Milan, a famous artist and prolific sculptor of Davao City.

The Monument's Marker

The Marker reads:

The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity

This Centennial Monument of Peace and Unity is dedicated to the people of 
Davao. The different natives of Lumads of Davao. The Muslims who came 
and settled along Davao's coast and the Christians led by Don Jose
Oyanguren who came in 1848 to establish the first Christian settlement here.

They, People of diverse cultures and from different places who came and
lived together as one, made Davao what it is today. We, their descendants,
beneficiaries and present Davaoeños, honor them for their legacy of unity
and peace . . . their most valuable legacy to us.

Unveiled June 12, 1998 in celebration of the Centennial Year
of the Philippine Independence (1898 - 1998).

Davao City's Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity

How to get to the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity

This important landmark is situated infront of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Dabaw, facing the San Pedro Cathedral along San Pedro Street in downtown area. It is easily accessible by private or any public transportation which is readily available anywhere in the city.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Davao Oriental

Davao Oriental Provincial Capitol in the Capital City of Mati

Davao Oriental is where the Philippines' day begins. It is the easternmost tip of the country and is where the sun shines first. By rough estimate, sunrise here comes eight minutes earlier than sunrise in Manila, or three minutes earlier than Davao City. Hence, the province is popularly known as the Sunrise Capital of the Philippines. Aside from such distinction, the Province also takes pride in producing the largest yield of coconut production per year in the country, and is widely hailed as the Coconut Capital of the Philippines.

During the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines, or about 300 years ago, Davao Oriental was merely a part of Caraga province, forming part of the Encomienda de Bislig with the Encomienda de Seargao, Butuan, and Tandag. The province became historically important in 1846, when Spanish Conquistador, Don Jose Uyanguren, upon the order of Governor Narciso Claveria, organized settlements south of Encomienda de Bislig. Today, these are the municipalities of Baganga, Governor Generoso, and Mati.

In 1849, Gov. Claveria decreed the partition of Caraga province in two. The northern portion was named Surigao province, with Surigao town as the capital, and the southern part as Nueva Vergara  (now called Davao) with Caraga as its capital.

In 1898, Davao became a district of the Moro province created as part of Mindanao by the Americans. Moro Province is the name of the province of the Philippines consisting of the current provinces and regions of Zamboanga, Lanao, Cotabato, Davao, and Sulu. It was later split into the current provinces and regions organized under the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, along with provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, and Surigao, but excluding Lanao. 

In 1916, the Jones Law - a statute sponsored by American Representative William Atkinson Jones that provided the Philippine a "more autonomous government" to prepare the territory for independence, converted the Moro province into department of Mindanao and Sulu.

On July 1, 1967, under Republic Act 4867, Davao was divided into three provinces. Davao Oriental was created as a separate and independent province along with Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

Davao Oriental is situated in the south-easternmost section of Mindanao with Pusan Point as the easternmost part of the Philippines. Its capital is the City of Mati and the Province is part of Davao Region or Region XI. The Province is bounded in the north by Agusan del Sur, Davao Gulf on the south, Pacific Ocean on the east, and on the west by Compostela Valley. Part of the Province lies on an unnamed peninsula that encloses the Davao Gulf to the west. It has a total land area of 5,670.07 square kilometers or 2,189.23 square miles. 

Official Seal of Davao Oriental
The Province of Davao Oriental was created under Republic Act 4867 on May 8,1967 

Meaning of the Official Seal of Davao Oriental 

Citadel-Shape of Heraldry - reminiscent of Spanish times 
Colors Red, White and Blue - symbolic of the supremacy of the Republic 
Azure Blue - represents the Philippine skies, The Sphere of Liberty and Freedom 
Green Background - signifies the fertility of the soil of the Province 
Rippling Waves - symbolic of the Three Great bodies of water lacing its shores, 
the Pacific Ocean, the Davao Gulf, and Celebes Sea 
Fish at Center - tuna fish, symbolic of the rich sea resource of the Province 
Coco, Mango/Trees and Abaca - main crops of the Province 


"Promote the general welfare of the people of Davao Oriental in pursuit of a dynamic socio-economic development, provision of adequate basic services and support facilities, rational and sustainable utilization of resources anchored on the value of commitment, justice, equality and genuine people's participation."


"Under the guidance of the Almighty, we envision to accelerate the development of Davao Oriental into a socially and economically progressive province in agriculture, fishery, forestry, eco-tourism industry and human resource-based on the context of a balanced ecosystem through effective governance."

The Provincial Hymn

Banwa na Madayaw

O probinsya nami na mahal
Sang subangan ng Dabaw
Ban-wa kaw na madayaw,
yanaguyon yang utaw
Malipayon kay palangga kaw ng Dios.

Mataba yang kalupaan mo
Yang tanom mabungahon
Dagat mo, mga suba madaigay yang isda
Kabuhian, kawilihan ng tanan.

O mahal na Dabaw Oriental
Langit mo mapawaay
Yang kabutayan, yang kapatagan
Mayamanay, magandahay.

Maski hain pa kami kumadto
Kami mo-uli ani kanmo
Garbo nami na Dabawenyo
Yang pagserbi sang kadyawan mo

The Province is subdivided into 10 municipalities with 183 Barangays and 1 city. The municipalities consist of Baganga, Banaybanay, Boston, Caraga, Cateel, Governor Generoso, Lupon, Manay, San Isidro, and Tarragona. Spoken languages include Cebuano, Mandaya, Kamayo, and Chavacano de Davao.

Davao Oriental's tropical climate and year-round typhoon-free weather make the province conducive for agricultural production and also an ideal destination for tourists. Here is where the country's sweetest pomelos (Citrus grandis) come from. Santol, ponkan oranges, and mangoes are only some of the fruits which the province is also noted for. The 7-Tonner, one the country's best rice varieties, comes from the town of Banaybanay, the province's food basket.

Along the winding roads that lead to this quiet coastal Province, visitors are readily greeted with  picturesque views of verdant forests and crystal clear blue waters. The Province is blessed with unspoiled white sand beaches perfect for water sports adventures such as surfing, diving, skim-boarding and snorkeling, and the sites are located only a few minutes drive from the capital City of Mati.

Among Davao Region’s provincial inventory of eco-tourism products, Davao Oriental has the highest number of products classified as Natural. The province boasts of diverse natural spots such as cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes and rivers, idyllic white sand beaches, exotic islands, lush forest and a bonsai forest. Chief attractions in the Province are: Tagtalisay Beach, Masao Beach Resort, Botona Beach Resort, Dahican Beach, People's Park, Capitol Hills, Buso Hot Spring, Pujada Bay, Pujada Island, Dao Beach Club, Gregorio Masao Beach Resort, and the Philippine Eagle Sanctuary. There are also the amazing tiny islands that can be reached in minutes; the Waniban Island and Oak Island. The Province is also known for its bonsai forest atop the Mt. Hamiguitan in San Isidro; the historic Cape San Agustin in Governor Generoso; the century-old San Salvador del Mundo Church in Caraga; the hot springs of Pangyan in Lupon; the Sleeping Dinosaur Island in Mati; and the majestic Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel.

The province is also home to tarsiers, the world's smallest monkey, and to the recently discovered Batomys hamiguitan - a yellow-brown rodent that lives in the lush forests of Mt. Hamiguitan, some 950 meters above sea level. Due to its long furry tail, it is also known as the Hamiguitan hairy-tailed rat.

Hamiguitan Hairy-Tailed Rat

How to get to Davao Oriental

The easiest way to get to the Province is through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway via an overland bus ride bound for Mati City - about 165 kilometers from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Ecoland, Davao City

Davao Oriental signage welcoming visitors to the province

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dencia's Restaurant

Davao Dencia's Restaurant is one of my favorite dining destinations in the city, and whenever I find myself in Davao, I always make it a point to dine in the restaurant and sample a wide variety of their menus. The Restaurant has become a famous landmark in the city and is popularly known for their lugaw (rice porridge), tokwa’t baboy (Chinese tofu mixed with pork and some spices in special soy sauce), fresh lumpia (fresh spring rolls), and pancit canton (stir-fried noodles).

Dencia's, as it is widely called, has its roots in Manila in the 1950s. It was founded by Mr. Olegario Brito, Sr. and his wife, Soo te Brito and, sometime in the 1960s, the family decided to move to, and opened the Restaurant in Davao City.

Old Dencia's in Manila in the 1950s

The Restaurant is now housed in a two-storey building along General Luna Street in downtown area - a stone-throw away, perpendicular from another famous landmark - the Apo View Hotel in Jose Camus Street.

Entrance to Dencia's

Dining Area

Their famous Lugaw

And of course, the Tokwa't Baboy

They also accept private functions such as birthday parties, weddings, baptismal, and graduation parties, as well as business events such as meetings, conferences, seminars, and conventions. The Restaurant is open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM.

For reservations and inquiries, please contact

Davao Dencia's Restaurant
General Luna Street, Davao City 8000
Tel +6382 227 6777 | +6382 226 4336
Fax +6382  221 0887
Visit their Facebook Page

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Philippine Women's College of Davao

The Philippine Women's College of Davao is a private non-stock, non-profit, non-sectarian co-educational institution founded in 1953 by the late Dr. Conrado Benitez and Dr. Francisca Tirona Benitez. The school campus sits on a 7-hectare property along University Avenue inside the Juna Subdivision in Matina, Davao City. It is a regional school of the Philippine Women's University in Taft Avenue, Manila and operates under the PWU Systems.

PWC opened its doors to serve the plural needs of multicultural society in Mindanao with a view of motivating its students and imbue in them the highest ideals of spiritual development and the building up of moral character, civic conscience, competence in their chosen field of professions and vocations, and love of country while allowing each one to grow and remain faithful to her own cultural tradition. 

PWC Facade

Inside PWC Campus

PWC Campus

The Grotto

RSM Events Center

The RSM Events Center is a 2,000-seater convention facility named in honor of Rosa Santos Munda, or Tita Rosky as she was fondly called. She was formerly the chairperson of the PWC Board of Trustees and served as an icon of the school where she spent her life since its inception until school year 2009-2010.

RSM Hallway

RSM Hallway leading to the school parking area

Bust of Rosa Santos Munda

The different statues of Rosa Santos Munda

At the 4th floor of the T'boli building

The 4th floor of the 4-storey T'boli Building houses the Wellness and Fitness Center, and is where P.E. classes are usually held. The building is located beside the old Maranao Building.



Courses Offered

A. Degree Programs

Francisca Tirona Benitez School of Hospitality Management

- Hotel and Restaurant Management
- Tourism Management
- Food Technology

Helena Z. Benitez School of Fine Arts and Design

- Painting
- Interior Design
- Fashion Illustration
- Visual Communication
- Industrial Design

Conrado Benitez School of Business

- Financial Management
- Marketing Management
- Entrepreneurship

Teacher Education

- Bachelor in Elementary Education
- Bachelor in Secondary Education

Information Technology

- BS in Information Technology

B. PAASCU-Accredited Integrated Basic Education

Special Programs:

- Thematic Literature Approach for Pre-School
- Accelerated Program for the Best and Brightest in Science,

English and Math Subjects for Elementary and High School (SEMAP)

C. Continuing Education

- Sunday High School
- Weekend College
- Technical Vocational Education and Training Courses

D. Short Term Non-Credit Courses

- Piano and Voice *Computer Literacy for Beginners
- Painting *Culinary Arts
- Theatre Arts * Ballet

For more information, please contact

Philippine Women's College of Davao
University Avenue, Juna Subdivision
Matina, Davao City, 8000 Philippines
Tel +6382 297 8035
Mobile +63917 719 7968
Website pwcdavao.com
Visit their Facebook Page

Images courtesy of PWC-Davao and KulasKusgan of SCC-Davao
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