Visitor Guide

Philippine EagleWelcome to Davao City — otherwise known as the Land of Promise. From the islands to the highlands, the country’s biggest city (in terms of land area, that is) has something to offer you. Davao is famous for several other superlatives: Mt. Apo, the tallest peak in the Philippines; the Philippine Eagle (formerly known as the Monkey-Eating Eagle), the largest eagle in the world; the Waling-Waling, the most tantalizing of orchids, rare and highly prized by aficionados.

Whatever your reason for coming to our fair city, I hope that you’ll find time to enjoy the sights, sounds, scents and succulent tastes all over the city. Contained in this page are some useful information for your stay in Davao. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, or if there’s something on this page you’d like to see updated, please feel free to use the contact form.

Safety & Security

Davao City is a safe place. People are generally friendly and helpful. However, should you encounter any trouble, we do have a round-the-clock and free 911 service. You can dial 911 on any landline or on your cellular phone that’s roaming in the Philippines. This is a first in the country, and is a concerted effort between local government and the private sector.

Public Transport

Unfortunately, we don’t have a metro rail system (yet), and buses only ply provincial routes. Taxis, on the other hand, are aplenty and are quite reliably available on call (at times, though, you’ll have to deal with clogged phone lines). You can contact the following taxi companies for radio dispatching. (If there are taxi numbers below that need to be updated, or if you have information on new numbers, please contact me.)

  • Holiday Taxi
    • 300-1717, 221-0665, 221-3085
    • Via SMS: [Smart] (949)856-7947, [Globe] (927)819-8347, [Sun] (922)748-2774
    • Krizia Taxi
      • 298-5837 to 39, 298-5541
      • Via SMS: [Smart] (929)812-0299, [Globe] (917)621-4040, [Sun] (922)873-2020
    • Mabuhay Taxi
      • 235-1784, 234-1360 (taxi dispatch); 233-0445 (other concerns)
    • Maligaya Taxi
      • 299-1111, 299-1391, 299-1392, 297-2874, 297-7130
      • Via SMS: [Smart] (919)230-0188, [Globe] (917)705-4455, [Sun] (922)803-4455
    • Midvalley Taxi
      • 301-0479, 286-0639
    • STC Taxi
      • 299-1143, 304-4739, 306-5229
      • Via SMS: [Globe] (917)545-8975, [Sun] (923)719-3833
When using the SMS service, make sure to include your complete address, gate color, and other helpful location details in your text message.
Taxis are not allowed to refuse passage to anyone. However, more than one drop-off point or destination will usually mean an additional flag-down charge.
For rent-a-car services, please try EcoTrans Car Rentals.
Of course, as in the rest of the country, jeepneys are all over the place. There are dozens and dozens of jeepney routes servicing the entire city. Basic fare is ₱7.50.

Flights

airlines
Several domestic and international airlines fly in and out of Davao City. Philippine Airlines, AirPhil Express, Cebu Pacific Air, and Zest Air fly to/from Davao and most major Philippine cities, and a few "missionary" destinations. SilkAir (Singapore Air’s regional carrier) flies daily to and from Singapore.
Davao City timezone: GMT+8
Davao City airport code: DVO

Money Changers

Please use only money changers that are accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank). There are several in the Aldevinco Shopping Center (which houses mostly native and traditional — a.k.a. touristy — wares), located on C.M. Recto street, right across from the Marco Polo Hotel.

Foreign Missions

There are three foreign consulates present in Davao City. Please click on the links below to visit their websites.

  • Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Davao City link
    Phase IV, Ecoland Drive, Ecoland Subd. • P.O. BOX 81038
    Tel. 299-2930
  • Consular Office of Japan in Davao City link
    Suite B305, 3/F Plaza de Luisa Complex, 140 R. Magsaysay Ave. • P.O. Box 80637
    Tel. 221-3100
  • Consulate General of Malaysia, Davao City link
    3rd Floor, Florantine Bldg., A. Bonifacio St.
    Tel. 221-4050 | 221-1368

Business Trips

For businessmen who have as yet no contact person in Davao, it would be an excellent idea to touch base with the Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Contacting the Department of Trade & Industry – Region 11 is also advisable, as they are equipped to address investment-related matters.

Tours

For inbound tours (as well as outbound arrangements, e.g., ticketing, ground-handling arrangements outside the Philippines, etc.), I recommend these two travel agencies. They are highly experienced in their field and offer professional services through and through.

Festivals

Kadayawan 2010Dabawenyos celebrate two major festivals annually: Araw ng Dabaw and Kadayawan sa Dabaw. The former is the city’s foundation day, which is commemorated every 16th of March. The Kadayawan Festival is the celebration of everything that is good and beautiful about the city, and it takes place every middle of August. Both have week-long activities during their festival seasons.

Smoking

The implementation of anti-smoking regulations in Davao City is rather strict. Please smoke only in designated areas when in public places. But the rule of thumb is, if you’re in an open space, chances are it’s OK. Just be sure to ask around, to be on the safe side.

Sundays

Most business establishments are closed on Sundays, even some restaurants and specialty shops. Most bars as well. Malls, however, are open all week long. Most coffee shops are also open on Sundays.

Banking

Financial transactions in Davao don’t really differ all that much from those in, say, Metro Manila or any other major city. Banks located inside malls are open Saturdays, but only up to 4:00pm. (Some branches of Banco de Oro, however, are open until 7:00pm.) ATMs that accept international credit/debit cards (e.g., Cirrus, Maestro) are installed in malls and in some other locations. Foreign banks such as HSBC and CitiBank Savings also operate in Davao.

Calling

Davao’s telephone area code is 82. The Philippine country code is 63. In the Philippines, when calling long-distance from a landline or mobile phone, you’ll need to dial 0 + area code + tel. number. For calling abroad, dial 00 + country code + area code (without the leading 0) + tel. number. Local landline-to-landline calls are unmetered in Davao, although most hotels charge a flat rate per call. Davao no longer has an operator-assisted phone directory service, but feel free to use the online Davao Directory.
Davao City is the first in the Philippines to deploy an emergency response service. Dial 911 on any landline or mobile phone (no toll charges) in case of emergency.


Last Updated on 18 March 2011

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