4 Must Visit Affordable Restaurants in Davao City Philippines

Chicken Oyakondon

Davao City is becoming a popular tourist destination among Filipinos and foreign travelers. The most visited tourist destinations in the city are Philippine Eagle Center, Davao Crocodile Park and the beautiful Samal Island. Apart from these must visit tourist spots, your Davao City experience will not be complete without trying these 4 local Davao City restaurants:

Fighter in Philippine Eagle Center Davao
Fighter in Philippine Eagle Center Davao

Related blog posts:

1. Yurushi Restaurant

If you are on a budget, Yurushi restaurant is one among the affordable food destinations in the city. A local favorite, Yurushi restaurant offers authentic Japanese food that will not empty your pocket.

On their menu are various Japanese food such as Pork Katsudon (80 Php), Beef Gyudon (90 Php), Chicken Oyakudon (75 Php), Tonkatsu with rice (80 Php), Chaahan (50 Php), Miso Ramen (60 Php), Gyuza with rice (70 Php), Chicken/Pork Karaage with rice (60 Php) and Miso soup (50 Php). These cheap Davao City restaurant also offers non-Japanese food on their menu.

Chicken Oyakondon
Chicken Oyakondon

We ordered Pork Tonkatsu (80 Php) and my all-time favorite Japanese dish – Chicken Oyakodon (75 Php).

Pork Tonkatsu
Pork Tonkatsu

Being an affordable food place, you don’t get high-end and cozy ambiance in Yurusi. The place is simple and a bit old.  Nonetheless, with its affordable dishes, you get the value for your money.  Yurushi is well-known among locals as the Japanese owner himself used to prepare the food in the restaurant. Unfortunately, the owner was not around when we visited Yurushi. It appears that the owner has already taught his staff to cook the restaurant’s Japanese food offerings.

Yurushi Cheap Davao Restaurant
Yurushi Cheap Davao Restaurant
  • Yurushi Restaurant Schedule: opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 10:00 PM
  • Contact Number: +63 82 225 5052
  • Location: Uyanguren Street, Davao City

2. Penong’s

Another budget-friendly and local favorite Davao City restaurant is Penong’s. This restaurant is undoubtedly the most popular among locals as they offer delicious food at an affordable price. Penong’s can be seen all over Davao City. It has 15 branches and is also present in other municipalities and cities in Mindanao.

Penong’s has earned its reputation for having the best chicken barbeque in Davao City. Apart from the barbeques, Penong’s also serves various Filipino dishes such as seafood, meat and vegetables. This Davao City restaurant is also the first one in the Philippines to offer unlimited rice to its diners.

2 pcs. porkchop + unlimited rice
2 pcs. porkchop + unlimited rice

I ordered 2 pcs. porkchop with unlimited rice (110 Php) and Pork Pinakbet (140 Php). I have to say that the pork chop is delicious! Its taste is unique and something you can only have at Penong’s. The unlimited rice is also a plus!

Pork Pinakbet
Pork Pinakbet
  • Penong’s  Restaurant Schedule: opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 10:00 PM
  • Contact Number: +63 82 225 5052
  • Locations:

Matina (NCCC)
Matina (Gallera)
G-Mall Davao

3. Lachi’s Sans Rival Atbp.

If you want fine dining at an affordable price, visit Lachi’s Sans Rival Atbp. Another local favorite, Lachi’s started as a bakery turned into a restaurant.  Lachi’s is known for their yummy cakes and pastries. On their menu are various sandwiches, sausages, pastas and rice meals.

Unforgettable pork ribs
Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs

We ordered the mouthwatering Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs (180 Php). For desert, we ordered a slice of Carrot Walnut cake (60 Php), Davao Durian cheesecake (72 Php). The cake slices are very affordable!

Carrot cake and Durian cheesecake
Carrot cake and Durian cheesecake
 The entire restaurant is very clean. The ambiance is something you get when dining in at popular restaurants in Manila. Lachi’s personally reminds me of Conti’s chain of restaurants. The only difference is the price.
Lachi's restaurangt in Davao
Lachi’s restaurangt in Davao

I will not write further about Lachi’s as I’ve written a separate blog post about this must visit Davao City restaurant. Please visit Affordable Restaurant in Davao City – Lachi’s.

  • Lachi’s Sans Rival atbp. Schedule: opens at 11:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM
  • Contact Number: +63 82 224 5552
  • Location: Door 1-H Values School Building, Ruby Street, Marfori Heights Subdivision

4. Davao Dencia’s Restaurant

Davao Dencia’s Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in this list. In 1950s, this Davao City restaurant opened its doors and started serving Filipino, Chinese and Spanish dishes.

From outside, you can tell that Dencia’s restaurant used to be one of the grandest restaurant in the city. Up to this day, Dencia’s is a favorite reception for weddings, baptismal and parties . Well, this is an indication that Dencia’s restaurant offers the finest dishes in Davao.

Davao Dencia's Restaurant
Davao Dencia’s Restaurant

The restaurant has this rustic feel. Perhaps due to to the Filipiniana furnitures and fixtures. Nonetheless, the entire restaurant is very clean. The service is superb too!

Dencia’s restaurant bestsellers are Lugaw Goto, Arroz Caldo, Tokwa’t Baboy, Lechon Kawali, Lumpisang Shanghai and Pancit Canton.  Since we visited Davao Dencia’s Restaurant for a snack, we ordered their Special Halo-halo (110 Php), Fresh Fruit Salad (110 Php) and Shrimps Sandwich (110 Php).

Special Halo-halo
Shrimps Sandwich
Shrimps Sandwich

We personally love the Shrimps Sandwich. It was our first time to have a sandwich filled with yummy shrimps!

  • Davao’s Dencia’s Restaurant Schedule: opens daily from 7:00 AM to 9 PM
  • Contact Number: +63 82 226 4336
  • Location: General Luna Street, Davao City


Davao Crocodile Park Visit + Review, Entrance Fees, Show Schedule

Me feeding Koi fishes

Davao Crocodile Park is one among the many tourist destinations in Davao city.  Established in 1995, Davao Crocodile Park promotes conservation of crocodiles along with other wild animals. It is said that the park showcases a state of the art crocodile farming system not only in Davao but in the entire country.

Various sections in Davao Crocodile Park
Various sections in Davao Crocodile Park

Related Blog Post: Crocodile Farm Tour in Puerto Princesa Palawan

Located in Riverfront, Diversion Road, Ma-a, Davao City, Davao Crocodile Park is accessible at any point in the city via taxi.

 Davao Crocodile Park Location Map

After our overnight stay in Paradise Island Beach Park and Beach Resort in Samal Island, we headed to Crocodile Park.

Just outside the park are several food stalls and souvenir shops. If you are a food adventurer, one of the food stalls sells exotic ice cream flavors such as crocodile coffee, crocodile durian, crocodile crollo and ostrich vanilla. We tried crocodile durian for only 95 Php.

After enjoying the yummy crocodile ice cream, we immediately paid for the entrance fee and entered the park. If you have backpack with you, need not to worry as they have a baggage counter right in the entrance of the park.

Crocodiles of all Sizes

As expected, Davao Crocodile Park showcases crocodiles of all sizes. The park is the home of the Philippine’s largest crocodile in captivity – Pangil.


Pangil is an 18-feet saltwater crocodile and currently holds the title of the largest Philippine crocodile in captivity. Apart from Pangil, the park showcases its self-nurtured crocodiles varying in age and sizes.

Crocodile feeding
Crocodile feeding

Witnessed these crocodiles being fed by one of the guests.

Koi and Ostrich Feeding

Apart from the countless crocodiles, Davao Crocodile Park visitors also get to experience close encounters with Koi fishes and ostriches. Food for these animals are available in the area for only 20 Php per pack.

Me feeding Koi fishes
Me feeding Koi fishes

The Koi fishes feeding is fun! These Koi fishes will tickle your hands!

Ostrich feeding
Ostrich feeding

I was first scared by the strong and hard beak of this Ostrich. Surprisingly, they are gentle and don’t hurt your hands.

Davao Crocodile Park is also home to various animals including bird species, alligators, snakes and orangutans. I felt happy to see my favorite and good smelling creature – binturong (bearcat).


Davao Crocodile Park Show

It was my second time to visit Davao Crocodile Park. This time, I was very excited to witness the park’s animal shows as I missed them during my fist visit to the park.  Right after strolling around the park. We were on time for the park’s show.

Tip: To fully enjoy the park and witness various shows, visit on a weekend. Make sure to be at the park before 4:00 PM.

Davao Crocodile Park show
Davao Crocodile Park show

The ‘Animal got talent’ show started at exactly 4:00 PM. This 20 minute awesome animal show showcases various bird species and monkeys doing their tricks.

Right after the ‘Animal got talent’ is the ‘Pangil encounter’ show located in Pagil’s pen. Here, one of the staff tries to wake up Pangil so that he’ll react aggressively.  It was entertaining but I’m not sure if this part of the show is healthy for a crocodile like Pangil.

Below is a short video of the ‘Pangil encounter’ show:

At 4:35 PM, visitors transferred to Tiger’s den for the ‘Tiger climb’ show. One of the staff lures this big cat to climb in a post. For some reason, we waited for like 10 minutes but the Bengal tiger ignored the staff and did not climb to the post.

After the supposedly ‘Tiger climb’, guests moved to the crocodile feeding area. Here, a staff will go inside and will make rounds in the cage feeding medium-sized crocodiles. It was very scary and entertaining at the same time!

Below is a short video of the crocodile feeding:

After the crocodile feeding show, guests transferred to breeder pen A for the ‘crocodile dancing show’. Here, a couple of park staff try to feed the crocodile from a bridge. They hang ropes with food on the other end. Crocodiles chase food and they visually appear to be dancing.

Davao Crocodile Park Show Schedule


  • 10:00 AM – Animal Got Talent
  • 4:00 PM – Crocodile Feeding
  • 4:15 PM – Animal Petting


  • 10:00 AM – Animal Got Talent
  • 4:00 PM – Tiger Climb
  • 4:15 PM – Animal Petting


  • 10:00 AM – Animal Got Talent
  • 4:00 PM – Crocodile Feeding
  • 4:15 PM – Giant Crocodile Feeding
  • 4:25 PM – Animal Petting


  • 10:00 AM – Animal Got Talent
  • 4:00 PM – Tiger Climb
  • 4:15 PM – Animal Petting

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

  • 10:00 AM – Animal Got Talent
  • 4:00 PM -Animal Got Talent
  • 4:20 PM – Crocodile Feeding
  • 4:25 PM – Pangil Encounter
  • 4:35 PM – Tiger Climb
  • 4:40 PM – Crocodile Feeding
  • 4:45 PM – Crocodile Dancing
  • 4:50 PM – Tightrope Walking
  • 5:15 PM – Animal Petting
  • 5:45 PM – Spectacular Fire Show

Davao Crocodile Park Schedule

  • Opens at 8:00 AM
  • Closes at 6:00 PM

Davao Crocodile Park Entrance Fees

Davao Crocodile Park offers cheap and budget-friendly entrance fees. The published entrance fees include tour to Davao Crocodile Park, Tribu K’Mindanawan and Butterfly House:

  • Adults – 250 Php
  • kids – 150 Php
  • Senior Citizen / PwD – 150 Php
  • children below 2 years old – FREE

Overall, I enjoyed our Davao Crocodile Park visit.  The entire park is clean and well-maintained. The entrance fee is fairly-priced if you witness the shows. Just make sure to plan your park visit on a weekend afternoon.

Related Blog Post: Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City

Davao Crocodile Park

  • Address: Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway
    Ma-a, Davao City, Philippines
  • Contact Numbers: (082) 286 8883 or (082) 221 7749
  • E-Mail: [email protected]
  • Website: http://crocodilepark.ph/

Visiting Davao City? Book your hotel HERE or HERE.


Paradise Island Resort in Samal Island, Davao + Review, Room Rates, Tips

Beach front Paradise Island Samal Davao

Samal Island is located in the province of Davao del Norte in Philippines. Also known as the Island City Garden of Samal, this island is just 2 kilometers away from Davao city proper. With its proximity to the city, Samal island is the most visited tourist attraction in Davao region.

Samal island is said to be the largest resort city in the Philippines. With its beautiful white sand beaches and various beach resorts, Samal island is a perfect getaway for beach lovers. If you are visiting the island, Samal’s most popular beach resort is Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort.

Beach front of Paradise Island Samal
Beach front of Paradise Island Samal

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort is the most popular resort in the island. Being the most accessible resort, Paradise Island is the most visited resort among locals and tourists alike. Also, locals say that Paradise island has the most beautiful beach front among the long list of affordable beach resorts in Samal.

Paradise Island
Paradise Island

How to Get to Paradise Island Davao

Getting to Paradise Island is a breeze. If you are coming from Davao airport or to any point in Davao City, just ride a taxi and inform the driver to bring you to the port going to Paradise Island. Note that there is a public port to Samal Island and there is a port exclusively for Paradise Island guests. Inform the taxi driver to bring you to the latter. In the port, exclusive boat transfers are available at an affordable price.

Boat Transfer Rates

  • Regular rate – 20 Php
  • Senior Citizen/PWD – 15 Php
  • Below 2 yrs. old & infants – free

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort Rates

sunset view of Davao City from Paradise island
sunset view of Davao City from Paradise island

This Samal island beach resort offers various rates depending on your budget. If you are on a budget and wants to stay overnight, a beach overnight stay would cost you only 350 Php. If you have spare money, you can enjoy their luxurious Premier Room for two at only 4,000 Php. For those who are pressed of time, day tour rates are also available.  For the complete rates, please see list below:

Paradise Island Samal Room Rates – including entrance fee

  • Premier Room – 4,000 Php
  • Deluxe Room – 3,700 Php
  • Family Room (minimum of 20 PAX and maximum of 40 PAX) – 800 Php / PAX
  • *extra person – 350 Php
  • *extra bed – 400 Php

Day Tour Rate – 200 Php

Beach Overnight – 350 Php

Tip: Instead of booking directly to the resort, we booked online and enjoyed almost 300 Php off on Paradise Island’s Deluxe Room. Get huge discounts on your Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort stay HERE.

Superb Customer Service

Paradise Island Reception
Paradise Island Reception

I should say that I did not expect regarding the resort’s customer service. The room rates are indication that were are staying in a mid-range resort where customer service are usually okay-ish. Well, I was wrong.

The moment we arrived in the resort, we were immediately assisted by one of the staff. He carried our heavy backpacks and assisted us to the reception area. Since we booked our room an hour before arriving in the resort, our reservation was not in the resort’s system yet. While waiting, they served us welcome drinks. We waited for less than 30 minutes and were assisted by the resort’s staff to our Deluxe Room.

Throughout our stay in the resort, we felt very special. Each and every staff we bump into genuinely and warmly greeted us. The staff in Kaanan, the resort’s restaurant are very welcoming and accommodating. The VIP treatment starts the moment you step into the resort’s property.

Related Blog Post: 7 Reasons Why Henann Prime Beach Resort is a Perfect Hotel for your Boracay Trip

Deluxe Room – More of a Villa Than a Room

Deluxe Room Paradise Island
Deluxe Room Paradise Island

Well, the Deluxe Room was another surprise! I was literally expecting a room but it was actually a villa. Just like other villas, the entire place is surrounded by trees and plants. Truly relaxing! There is a walkway leading you to the gate of the fenced villa.  I personally love the privacy you get due to the fenced lawn.

The villa itself has a veranda with a wooded dinette set. You get a mix or modern and Filipiniana vibe as entire structure is concrete yet has Filipino touch. There are light bulbs covered in Capiz shells and portions of walls are covered in ‘banig’.

*Banig is a handwoven mat made of dried leaves. These are usually used for sleeping in the Philippines. 

Tip: Note that not all Deluxe rooms are villa-type. There are rooms located on the rear area of the resort’s properties which are duplex-type. Make sure to ask the reception if villa-type rooms are available during your check-in.

Simple, Classy and Elegant

Duluxe Room
Duluxe Room

Inside the villa, you get the same vibe. The interiors are consistent with the modern Filipiana theme. There are portions in the walls with *banig frames. The white walls accentuated by dark brown furnitures and fixtures make the entire room look classy and elegant.

The entire room is very clean and spacious. The comfortable bed and pillows in white linens and pillow cases are something you experience when you visit high-end hotels. There is a vanity area than can also serve as a work area. No need to worry about your clothes as there is a floor to ceiling dresser with a safety box deposit.

The toilet & bath is also very clean and spacious. Paradise Island toiletries such as toilet papers, soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes and cotton buds are provided. The toilet and the bath areas are separated by a shower curtain. My only rant is the toilet lacking bidet. Nonetheless, the water pressure is not an issue for a relaxing hot and cold shower.

Overall, the entire room is very simple, clean, elegant and classy.


Here is the short video of our Premier Room in Paradise Island:

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort is not just for beach lovers. What sets  Paradise island resort apart from other Samal island resorts are the fun-filled and educational activities guests get to experience in the resort.

Ameneties, Activities and Events in Paradise Island

Birds of Paradise – This attraction showcases various birds such as pigeons, parrots, eagles, lorries, hornbills, lovebirds and doves. During our visit, we have also seen other animal creatures such as snake and deers.

Children’s Playground – This area in the resort is truly a paradise for kids and kids at heart!

Jen enjoying in the playground

Kananan – Kananan means ‘a place to eat’. It is a spacious dining area by the beach giving guests panoramic views of Davao City, Davao Gulf and Mount Apo.

Restaurant at Paradise Island Resort Davao
Restaurant at Paradise Island Resort Davao

During our stay, we had our snacks, dinner and breakfast at Kananan – the resort’s one and only restaurant.

To me, their menu are a bit pricey. Nonetheless, food taste good. For their complete menu, please see links below:

Menu 1, 2, 3 & 4

Tip: Note that food and drinks are strictly prohibited when checking-in at any room in Paradise island. For breakfast and dinner, Kananan is the go-to place of guests in the resort.  However, Bringing food is allowed to guest staying overnight by the beach. There are guests who usually spend the night on cottages and tents. Their dining area is separate from the Kananan’s area.

Souvenir Shop – This is a mini store offering beach items and souvenirs. The resort’s souvenir shop also operates the recreational games and water sports.

Recreational Games – If you are visiting with your friends, enjoy various recreational activities such as billiards, ping-pong, beach volleyball, darts and table soccer.


  • Darts – 50 Php for 30 minutes
  • Billiards – 50 Php for 30 minutes
  • Pingpong – 40 Php for 30 minutes
  • Table Soccer – 50 Php for 30 minutes
  • Giant Chess – 50 Php for 30 minutes
  • Volleyball – 50 Php for 30 minutes

Water Sports – Adventure seeker? Paradise Island will not disappoint you! They offer kayaking, power paddling, snorkeling, scuba diving and many more water sports activities!



  • Kayak (single) – 90 Php for 30 minutes
  • Kayak (double) – 15 Php for 30 minutes
  • Power Paddler (small) – 120 Php for 30 minutes
  • Power Paddler (big) – 150 Php for 30 minutes

Spa – If you want to relax and rejuvinate, Paradise island has alimaspa. They offer whole body, head and foot massage. Room service is also available.


  • Badan (whole body massage) – 500 Php per hour
  • U’o (head massage) – 400 Php per hour
  • Siki (foot massage) – 400 Php per hour

Samal Island Tour – If you want to further explore Samal Island, Paradise Island also offers ‘Experience Samal’ island tour. Destinations include Bat Cave, Hagimit falls and Citrus farm. The tour costs 1,750 Php for a maximum of 8 persons. For more information and tour reservation, contact 0920 9813486 or (082) 2845730.

Sounds and Sights of Paradise – Your Paradise Island Davao stay becomes more exciting and memorable with its various shows such as Fire Show, Harana Serenade, Live Band and Sirko atbp.

During our visit to the resort, we were lucky to have witnessed the live band, fire show and circus (sirko atbp.)

Fire Dance
Fire Dance


  • Fire Show – 7 PM
  • Live Band – 11 AM and 7 PM
  • Circus (sirko atbp.) – 12:15 PM (weekends and holidays)
circus at Paradise Island
circus at Paradise Island

Other tips:

  • As expected, the resort may be a bit crowded during summer time. April-May.
  • To avoid hassles, book your Paradise Island room ahead of time. Discounted room rates HERE.
  • To witness the circus, it is recommended to visit the island during weekends or holidays.
  • Bring enough money before going to Paradise island. There is no ATM in the resort.
  • If you are on a budget, do not order drinks in the resort’s restaurant. They serve service water.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay in Paradise island park and beach resort. The entire resort is clean and well-maintained. Villas are simple but classy. And of course, customer service is superb! Being a first timer in the beautiful Samal island, the experience was really good. I would definitely return to this Samal island beach resort the next time I visit Davao!

Paradise Island Samal Davao

  • Contact Numbers: (+63 82) 233-0251, 234-1229, 300-2343
  • Cheap online booking HERE.

Affordable Restaurant in Davao City – Lachi’s

Durian Cheesecake

Apart from the Philippine Eagle Center, Crocodile Park and the beautiful Samal Island,  Davao City is also a perfect travel destination for foodie lovers. It has various food places and restaurants to fulfill one’s gastronomic adventures. One of which is the local food place – Lachi’s.

Related Blog Posts:

Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City

5 Reasons Why Davao City is a Tourist Friendly Destination

Lachi's Restaurant Davao City
Lachi’s Restaurant Davao City


This must visit restaurant in Davao City is located along Ruby St., Marfori Subdivision. It is near Bankerohan Public Market, Davao Crocodile Park and Gaisano Mall Davao. Lachi’s is accessible from any point in Davao City via taxi.

Simple and Cozy Ambiance

From outside, there is an indication that Lachi’s stood the test of time. It reminds me of old local restaurants I’ve visited during my travels. However, once you go inside, you will be surprised by its interiors. The furnitures and fixtures look new and the interiors are modern. Overall, the entire restaurant is very clean and well maintained.

Lachi’s Menu

Originally, Lachi’s started as a bakeshop and has become popular for its sans rival. If you have a sweet tooth, Lachi’s is the perfect food destination if you travel to Davao City. Apart from their mouthwatering deserts, on their menu are sandwiches, sausages, pastas and rice meals.

For Lachi’s Menu, click HERE.

Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs

I was very lucky to be with Jen who grew up in Davao City. She told me that Lachi’s has the best grilled pork ribs not only in Davao City but in the entire Philippines.  We did not hesitate to order the Unforgettable Pork Ribs (180 Php per serving).

Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs
Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs

Lachi’s Unforgettable Pork Ribs is the best I’ve ever tasted! It is juicy and perfectly cooked. For the price, I should say that this particular dish exceeded my expectations. The serving of pork ribs coupled with rice is generous. The presentation and taste is truly at par with high-end and pricey restaurants in Manila.

Durian Cheesecake and Carrot Cake

For our desert, we ordered slices of Durian Cheesecake (72 Php) and Carrot Walnut Cake (60 Php). It’s surprising that their deserts particularly the cakes are very affordable!

Durian Cheesecake
Durian Cheesecake

I personally loved the Durian Cheesecake topped with a sweetened durian. It is something new to my tastebuds. The Durian flavor is a perfect combination to the cream cheese. Again at only 72 Php, this Lachi’s signature desert is truly a must try!

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake

The Carrot Cake topped with cream cheese and walnuts was also delicious! Jen and I are fans of Carrot cakes. We find their version of carrot cake better as it is delicious and cheaply priced.

Affordable Restaurant in Davao City

If you are visiting Davao City and searching for the best local restaurant, I am highly recommending Lachi’s. It is accessible from any point in Davao City. The entire restaurant is clean and cozy. Customer service is good too. And more importantly, with their delicious and affordable meals and deserts, Lachi’s will both satisfy your taste buds and pocket!


Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City

Philippine Eagle Fighter Davao City

Apart from being the 4th safest city in the world, Davao is also known as the home the Philippine Eagle Center. The center is the conservation breeding facility of the Philippine Eagle foundation. It is home to a total 35 Philippine Eagles, 18 of which are bred in captivity.

Since it was my flight back to Manila in the evening, I left Iron Inn Lodge early to see the Philippine Eagles up close. I was too excited as seeing the national bird of our country is one among my Philippine travel bucket list. On my way to the center, I suddenly remembered the owl in Residence Inn Zoo Tagaytay as it looked so surreal to me. That owl in fact made me decide that my next trip will be in Davao to see the Philippine Eagles.

Philippine Eagle Center Location

The center is located situated in the foothills of Mt.Apo in the municipality Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. Please see my separate post on how to get to Philippine Eagle Center.

Philippine Eagle center philippines
Top: Malagos Watershed Reservation, Bottom: Entrance to the Philippine Eagle Conservation Center

After an hour commute from Davao city proper to Malagos, I arrived in the Malagos Watershed Reservation. I paid 5 Pesos to enter the park which I later learned that the proceeds is for the Davao City Water District,  a local government unit of Davao responsible for conserving the Malagos Watershed.

As I entered the park, it seemed that I was the only tourist in the area. A number of souvenir shops on the left side near the entrance were just starting to open. I continued walking wondering where the Philippine Eagles were. I soon realized that I was not in the actual Philippine Eagle Center, I was in the Malagos Watershed Reservation where the Philippine Eagle Center is situated.

Tip: The habal-habal will drop you off at the Malagos Watershed Reservation. Pay the 5 Php entrance fee and proceed to the right side of the park where the Philippine Eagle Center is located.

Since I was too early for the 8 AM opening of the center, I waited for about 10 minutes before the clerk opens the ticketing booth. I paid the entrance fee and was officially the first visitor of the mighty Philippine Eagles that day!

Philippine Eagle Center Entrance Fee

Adult – 150 Php
Youth – 4 to 18 yrs. old – 100 Php

Philippine Eagle Center Operating Hours

Opens daily from 8 AM to 5 PM

I started exploring the Philippine Eagle Conservation Center. Few meters from the entrance is a small board that reads the DO’s and DON’Ts inside the Center.

Guidelines Inside The Philippine Eagle Center

  • Keep noise level down so as not to disturb or startle the animals
  • Throw your garbage properly
  • Wildlife rule: Don’t touch, don’t catch, just watch
  • Don’t pick flowers or plants
  • Do not tease the animals – ex. throwing stones, coins and other objects; calling or shouting at them; tapping and rattling their enclosures
  • Do not feed the animals – They have a special diet. feeding them can lead to poisoning or death.

I was amazed by the rain forest-like environment of the Philippine Eagle Center. There are various species in the center but the stars are undoubtedly the Philippine Eagles.

Philippine Eagle Fighter
Fighter, Philippine Eagle

Quick facts about the Philippine Eagle

  • also known as the monkey eating eagle with a scientific name of Pithecopaga Jeferyi
  • local names are Agila, Haring ibon, Kalumbata
  • average height: 1 meter (3 feet)
  • weight: 4 to 7 kilograms
  • wingspan of 2 meters 7 feet
  • distinct features: massive arch beak, long crown feathers
  • considered as one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world
  • only blue eyed raptor in the world, eyes can see 8 times distant than that of humans
  • courtship and breeding behavior: breeding season from July to February
  • monogamous, only has one partner throughout its lifetime
  • a female eagle lays only one egg every other year
  • male and female eagles parental responsibility, alternating sitting the egg during incubation and watching the chick while it hatches

Fighter and Mindanao, Philippine Eagle Ambassadors

Interestingly enough, the center has Philippine Eagle Ambassadors namely Fighter and Mindanao. Unlike the other Philippine Eagles in the facility, they are out in the open for visitors to see them up-close. There is a perimeter fence to protect both Fighter and Mindanao so make sure to bring your Camera with zoom lens!

fighter philippine eagle davao
Close up photos of Fighter. The staff of the center noticed that I was tirelessly taking photos of Fighter from the perimeter fence. He was so kind that he borrowed my camera to take these wonderful close-up shots of Fighter.

My favorite in the center is Fighter, a Philippine Eagle originally from Davao Oriental. He was rescued, adopted and rehabilitated by the Philippine Eagle Center in 2011 when a ruthless hunter shot him leaving his left-wing amputated. Sadly, he is now incapable of flying and will never be released in the wild again. Fighter’s story is really heartbreaking but despite of his inability to soar, Fighter shows how confident, mighty and strong a Philippine Eagle is.

Philippine Eagle Mindanao
Mindanao, Philippine Eagle

Mindanao is a 15-year-old male Philippine Eagle. He was hatched and bred in the Philippine Eagle Center.

Other Philippine Eagles in the Center are Kalayaan (24-year-old male) and Pag-Asa (29-year-old female) who are currently being matched. There is also Kaibigan (27-year-old female eagle), Maginoo (16-year-old male eagle) and Dakila (11-year-old female eagle). Except for Pag-Asa, all these Philippine Eagles were hatched in the Center.

Apart from the Philippine Eagles, there are various species in the center. I personally liked the cute and innocent looking grass owls.

Bird species philippines
Top Left: Grass Owl; Top Right: Philippine Scops owl; Bottom Left: Brahminy Kite; Bottom Right: Philippine Serpent Eagle

Critically Endangered Philippine Eagle

I must say that I left the Philippine Eagle conservation Center with mixed emotions. I was very happy to see the Philippine Eagles up-close, they were so surreal.  It also feels great that there is such an non-profit organization like Philippine Eagle Foundation promoting the welfare of our very own Philippine Eagles. At the same time,  I learned that there are only less than 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles left in worldI felt sad that these majestic creatures are now critically endangered. Hunting and deforestation are the threats to their survival. Despite of the laws to protect them, up to this day, Philippine Eagles are still being hunted. With continuous deforestation, the home of the great Philippine Eagle is becoming smaller. Forests are their only home. It is where they live, find food, reproduce and nurture the next generation of Philippine Eagles.

How to get to Philippine Eagle Center

  • From Davao City proper, take a cab going to Bankerohan Terminal. In my case, cab fare from Ironn Inn Lodge in Ecoland to Bankerohan Terminal is 70 Php.
  • In Bankerohan Terminal, ride a van going to Calinan. Fare is 40 Php and travel time is around 40 minutes depending on traffic. Just tell the van driver that you are going to Philippine Eagle Center and ask to drop you off to a habal-habal terminal in Calinan.
  • From Calinan, take a habal-habal to Philippine Eagle Center. Fare is 80 Pesos and travel time is around 15 minutes. I highly suggest to arrange with the habal-habal driver for your return trip to Calinan.

Philippine Eagle Center contact Number: +63 82 3241860

You can help in the conservation of the Philippine Eagle by donating, adopting or volunteering via the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

Visiting Davao City? Book your hotel HERE or HERE.

5 Reasons Why Davao City Is a Tourist Friendly Destination

Davao City Philippines

With 81 provinces and 7,107 islands, the Philippines is indeed blessed with countless amazing tourist destinations.  Davao City is one among the long list of must see places in the Philippines. Located in Mindanao, Davao City is the center of trade and commerce of Davao region and is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines.

Davao City Philippines
Top left: Fighter, a rehabilitated Philippine Eagle in Davao Philipine Eagle Conservation Center; Top right: Jack’s Ridge at Night; Bottom right: Ecoland Bus Terminal; Bottom Left: Tribu K’ Mindanawan
During my short yet memorable DIY tour in Davao City, I could not help but compare Davao City to other tourist destinations in the Philippines. Here are my top 5 reasons why I find Davao city a tourist friendly destination:

1. Davao City Airport is the 6th Most Efficient Airport in The World

Davao city Airport

In 2015, Francisco Bangoy International Airport or popularly known as Davao City Airport was awarded by Airport Council International (ACI) as the 6th most efficient airport in the world.

ACI is an organization that acts as the voice of the world’s airports and the communities they serve, and promotes professional excellence in airport management and operations.

2. Davao City is the 9th Safest City in the World

In 2015, Davao City was ranked 9th safest city in the world. Being the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area, with its good governance, Davao has managed become the safest city in the Philippines and eventually the 9th safest city in the world.  The peace and order in Davao city is credited to Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

I stayed in a relatively cheap motel with no security guards. The only person manning the front desk is an old lady who owns the place. I was a bit hesitant to check-in until I realized that I was actually in the safest city in the Philippines!

There is no “you always have to look at your back” factor when walking alone in the city, be it during daytime or late at night. Davaoenos and tourists alike can freely walk in the streets without worrying about their security. At night, police mobiles patrol the Davao streets to ensure the city’s peace and order is maintained. I experienced walking alone late at night and felt very secured.  Besides the roving police mobiles, the entire city is also equipped with hundreds of CCTV cameras. It is the one and only city in the Philippines that has a command center dedicated for the people’s safety and security (Public Safety and Security Command Center).

3. Davao City Cab Drivers Give Exact Change!

If you are living in Manila, you have surely experienced choosy cab drivers or experienced being charged on top of the metered fare. These kind of disappointing cab drivers are nowhere to be found in Davao City!

If you pay more than the metered fare, a Davao City cab driver will surely hand you the exact change.  It is not surprising why Davaoeños still prefer cabs over Uber or Grab as their very own cab drivers also provide superb customer service.

4. Davao City Values Senior Citizens and PWDs

Being a Person with disability (PWD) myself, I rarely use my PWD discount card during my out of town trips. This is to at least help small local businesses in the province that I am visiting.

It was only in Davao I was given a PWD discount without me asking for one. On my way to the Philippine Eagle Conservation Center, I was surprised that the van driver asked me transfer in the front seat – a reserved seat for PWDs and Senior Citizens in jeepneys, vans and buses in Davao City. He also discounted my fare to Malagos, a baranggay where Philippine Eagle Conservation Center is located.  During my second day, I made a quick visit at Davao Crocodile Park and was automatically given a PWD discount by the front desk personnel.

5. Davaoeños are Friendly and Disciplined

Along with Iloilo City and Ilocos Sur’s Vigan City, I am putting Davao City on my top 3 list of friendliest places I’ve visited. Everyone in the city was friendly and was willing to help any traveler DIY-ing Davao City. I was able to visit several tourist destinations by merely asking locals for tips and directions. I survived my DIY Davao tour without using google maps!

What is more amazing is the discipline Davaoeños show. In public transportation terminals, people fall in line properly.  You will not see a single Davaoeño littering or spitting in the city streets. There are no jaywalkers in Davao as people cross the streets on pedestrian lanes.  I have not seen any vehicle beating the red light. Drivers strictly abide the 30 KM/hour speed limit in the Davao City downtown area. At bars, last order of alcoholic drinks is at 1 AM and all convenience stores do not sell alcoholic drinks beyond 2 AM. You will not see any tambays drinking or minors loitering around past 12 AM. Being a no-smoking city, people do not smoke in public places.

Being a solo traveler, I always look forward in seeing beautiful places, befriending locals, and learning different cultures. But traveling alone entails danger. Most of the time, you will just have to use common sense to secure yourself.  Like you, I had a share of not so good experiences in some places I visited (overpriced fares for tourists, security concerns).  Just like my previous trips, I flew to Davao city thinking that it was like any other cities I’ve visited. I was wrong. I went back to Manila realizing that it is possible to live in a safe and progressive city with law-abiding citizens secured by an exemplary leadership.

Cheap Accommodation in Davao City: Iron Inn

affordable inn in davao city

Iron Inn Lodge is one among the many backpacker budget accommodation in Davao city.

After enjoying Glan in Sarangani Province, I immediately headed to Davao City. I arrived at Ecoland bus terminal around 8:00 PM and asked some locals where is the cheapest accommodation in the area. A street vendor pointed me to Iron Inn Lodge.

Iron Inn Lodge Location

If you are travelling by bus to General Santos, Tacurong, Bukidnon, Koronadal, Cotabato, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro or  Matim, this budget accommodation is a perfect place to have a quick rest as it is just few meters away from the Ecoland Bus Terminal.
affordable inn in davao city

From outside, Iron Inn’s facade looks like a boutique hostel accommodation. The colorful stained glasses makes this affordable Davao accommodation more appealing.

When I arrived in the lodge, I was welcomed by an old lady along with their 2 grandchildren. The old lady is the owner of Iron Inn and her grandchildren help her accommodate guests.

Iron Inn Lodge Room Rates

2 hours = 200 Php
3 hours = 350 Php
4 hours = 300 Php
5 hours = 350 Php
6 hours = 400 Php
7 hours = 450 Php
8 hours = 500 Php
12 hours = 600 Php
24 hours = 700 Php


With their affordable rates, Iron Inn is undoubtedly a motel in Davao city. After my motel experiences in the past, (staying overnight in Iloilo’s Dragon Lodge and Roxas City’s Premiere Inn) the experience was not bad at all. Besides, safety was not an issue as I was in Davao City – the 8th safest city in the world!

For only 700 Php for 24 hours, I did not hesitate to check-in. I was a bit confused as the owner did not hand me the room key. Instead, she instructed her grandchild to open the room for me.

ommon area iron inn lodge davao city motel

Iron Inn’s common area

room at iron inn lodge davao ciyu

The room itself is quite spacious for a solo backpacker. The bed is queen size and the room comes with an air-conditioning unit and a TV. It’s quite odd the room walls are tiles. I felt like I was inside a toilet. Nonetheless, the entire room and the toilet and bath is very clean.

The next morning, the owner offered me to simply add 300 Php for another night in Ironn Inn. Too bad it was my last day in Davao City.

Well, this is the cheapest accommodation I’ve been to during my Lake Sebu-Sarangani-Davao City DIY tour. With only less than 1,000 Pesos a night, the place is generally clean and truly a budget Davao city accommodation! Visiting Davao City? Check hotels HERE