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Experience Eden in Davao
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2004-09-04
DAVAO – Davao, proclaimed as the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area (244,000 hectares), is also touted as one of the most colorful. It is the hub of commerce and industry in the southern Mindanao region.

Yet to this day, Davao City continues to straddle two worlds – the new and the old. Part of it is a flourishing metropolis of business districts, mechanized farms and cosmopolitan villages where "instant millionaires" live.

The other part is a rural landscape of hills that roll down into fertile valleys, dominated by the 2,954-meter high Mount Apo, the grandfather of all Philippine mountains and peopled by the Bagobo, Manono, Mandaya, B’laan and other ancestral tribes.

Also found here is the Eden Nature Park and Resort, at 2,500 feet above sea level. It offers one of the best views of Davao City and the Davao Gulf.

Eden Nature Park and Resort is nestled on the upper slopes of grand-old Mt. Talomo, with the majestic Mt. Apo peeking behind its shoulders. An erstwhile logged-over area and orchard in the 70’s, the resort is surrounded by the only pine forest in Davao City.

"It is a model of how man can recreate nature and rebuild a lost environment. To further enhance the bio-diversity of this emerging rainforest, Eden Nature Park started a program for wildlife conservation," said Mary Ann Montemayor, Chairman, BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asian Growth Area) Tourism Council.

Montemayor said the resort has excellent cottages to choose from such as the Log Cabin and Pine Lodge, ideal for groups seeking total privacy, tucked away in a pine tree forest; Mountain Villas 1 & 2 which are mountain retreats for large families or intimate friends for weekend respite or weekday getaways; the Holiday Lodge, tropical themed rooms that compliment the trees and flowers that encircle the lodges and the Vista cottages which are for intimate hideaways nestled among lush greenery with a commanding view of the ravine.

The Park also has organic vegetables and herbs harvested and served fresh in their restaurants. One can also see their fruit tree collection.

For sports enthusiasts, there is the jogging lane, the hiking trails and mountain ponds with the sound of rushing water vitalizing one’s mind. Or for those who want to do outdoor adventure experience, why not visit the Vista playground and enjoy the Indiana Jones, skating rink, riders, swing and more that spell out every child and adult’s recreation dreamland, Montemayor enumerated.

The resort also features a museum for lovers of art and history. The Davao Museum offers guests an opportunity to understand the Mindanao region’s distinct features including the rich heritage of its Maranao, Yakan, T’Boli, Mandaya and the Bagobo tribes.

According to Montemayor, the museum is the sole custodian of the city’s ethnic and historical heritage. At present, the museum houses three main galleries: Gallery 1 – Kasaysayan ng Davao (History of Davao); Gallery 2 – Sining at Likha (Contemporary Arts and Crafts); Gallery 3 – Kultura at Pagkatao (Ethnicity).

The best time to visit Davao is in August when the province celebrates the Kadayawan sa Dabaw harvest festival and the Apo Duwaling Festival, which honors the three symbols that make Davao famous – Mt. Apo, the Waling Waling orchid and the Durian fruit.

Looking at bargains? The best place to go is the Aldevinco shopping complex. It is a virtual shopper’s paradise, offering anything from native trinkets, souvenir shirts to batik clothes. Best buys include antiques, and replicas, brass wares, woodcrafts and native accessories.

Treat yourself to gastronomic delights at the Harana Pavilion, one of Davao’s best known native restaurants. Here, one can feast on giant clams, juicy prawns, and all kind of fish imaginable prepared fresh and just the way you like it by the restaurant’s chef. Another place to hang out is Jack’s Ridge at the Matina Heights.

[ Mt. Apo Wiki | Davao Museum Wiki ]

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