Hops around City and Neighbor Islands in Davao (Isla Reta, Talicud)

 There is grateful in seeing Davao in city and beaches –  07.02-04.15

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This trip to Davao filled with days of walking around the city looking for places to drink some beer followed by a weekend of passengers boats to get to islands of Talicud and Samal.

At Isla Reta in Talicud, I was surprised to be renting a tent that looks exactly my own and as usual spent most of time on water despite constant fear that its unpredictable (and rocky) bed could do harm.

Click more to for stories and snapshots!

Trip to this large city is not pure leisure. Since I am there anyway, I made sure to spend my free days in what place could offer – mostly according to the Internet. I have been dying to again see some sea and as with options – Samal is most popular (and most accessible from the city) but I was looking for a more secluded beach. After checking out blogs, Isla Reta my choice was.

That was what Internet ‘said’, of course. When I got to talk with a local, I was almost discouraged as I was told that Isla Reta is hard to get to and that I would rather go the main island in Samal where there could be more attractions than the beach. I was also told of the  convenience of boat schedule which would come in handy given the limited time I have. No pressure on when to leave the island.

Of course, I listened, but being hardheaded, I still acted on my instinct. Isla Reta remained a go. I thought I could spend a night there and explore Samal Island the day after. Talk about “lagari” (slang for something done excessively, e.g. going through various places consecutively with limited time).

But prior to the beach, I spent weekday afternoons going around the city in search of a chill place to drink. I was not successful finding one with live music though. Or wait, I was able to find one but I was there too early to actually watch.

20150702_041058Oh my heavy laptop. I wish I did not have to bring you

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20150702_170220

Add some health to your street food, baby

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20150702_170758(ADORABLE) ‘street’ dogs

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As with my search for my beer place,  I was told to go to Matina Town Square (locally known as MTS). Getting there was my first ride a jeepney in the city but surprisingly, the place was easy to find. Waze was a lot of help too and the fact that I can bring out my phone during the entire jeepney ride. As you know, Davao is one of the safest cities in the world.

MTS which is right across Ateneo de Davao grade school and high school is a compound of restaurants and bars, with this particular wide spot that is venue for musical performances – Taboan they call it.

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Different performers every night

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20150702_174156And apparently, there have been many. Each ‘plate’ on this is to a performer in this compound

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20150702_174202No party yet on this time of day… 

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20150702_174236… except some who were early afternoon drinking

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20150702_174223These look real

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20150702_174523Drinking trumps reading, eh?

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20150702_174554And now, drinking trumps thinking

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20150702_174609When all I think about is beer

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20150702_174735Who’s the boss?

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20150702_174817What is up 5-peso difference between Stallion and 500

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20150702_174829Musical instruments collage

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20150702_182316I love that wooden table extension for bottles and bucket

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After a beer, I did some walking to look for other places to drink. I  could not find any seemingly interesting place in MTS so I decided to go someplace else. More walking and I was led to this not-so-obvious bar across a mall. after a beer there, I suddenly got tired that I decided to go back to my hotel and rest for a bit.

20150702_185052A barangay Zumba, it is! 

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20150702_191917Beer and free nuts at this favorite foreigner hang-out place across S&R

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20150702_191927DeBorderij the name of this place. (Thanks just now, Google!). And I got reminded of those bandanna lamps

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The following day, spent more time walking around —

20150703_164952 This cafe found in this not-easy-to-find compound (and I again forgot the name of the place)

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20150703_165009Love that reaction, slim cat!

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20150703_194048No Times Square, Ties Square

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I transferred accommodation on my second day. It was not in the center of the town so I was saddened at the start. It was a bit of a surprise too that it was literally a dormitory with mostly student occupants. Okay, I didn’t get a hint from it being called dormitel.

It turned out though that there is an interesting bar within walking distance. Also very near my destination for the following day  –  my take-off point to Isla Reta. So okay, in the end, I was in a good mood.

20150703_210441Tekanplor, I have been looking for you

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20150703_214629Shush, the lady sleeps

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20150703_223105“NO SMOKING” sign, but —

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20150703_233341Covering the essentials?

20150703_233348No worries.

I most of the time start early.

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20150703_233414This bar indeed at second floor. Got the pun?

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Off I was to Isla Reta the following morning. It was about 5 minutes walk away from my dorm.  The entrance though is far from where the boats are parked. On my way there, I realized I have to find some snorkel gear rental as I read online there is no available such for rent in the island itself. I was hoping to find one in the stores along the way but unfortunately, there was none. One was outside the pier, a few meters away from the far entrance. Luckily , a pedicab passed by. (Would later on realize that they do have rental in the resort in Isla Reta though).

I was the earliest passenger in the boat that it was a long wait for me. I barely noticed it though as I was busy people- and view-watching and early morning kulitan Vibering with friends from office.

20150704_065208You are far away

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20150704_072655Stuff for snorkel I came back for 

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20150704_074254If I ride that taxi, will I be happy? (Maligaya is Filipino/Tagalog word for happy)

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20150704_082222How I wish I could do that same kind of play

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I was at Isla Reta after an hour (of sleeping :D). I immediately set up tent then tried the water. Sand is fine but sea bed is unpredictable as it gets steep easily. So of course, non-swimmer I was extra careful.

20150704_103828Fine day at the beach

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20150704_104104Oh my tent has its duplicates! 

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20150704_104145So I remember how much food costs in this island

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20150704_105956As if I brought own tent with me

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20150704_110009My spot right here

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20150704_112732I expected beach dogs, but nope, this their version of pets in this island

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20150704_112759From where I was sitting

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20150704_113214Breakwater now nearer

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20150704_113902And I couldn’t remember why suddenly again it was far

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20150704_114002Natural or man-made?

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20150704_120351And they only sell Red Horse in liter bottles

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20150704_120648“Sapin-sapin”

(in English, multi-colored layered glutinous rice and coconut dessert in the Philippines)

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20150704_121224My usual ‘what-I-can-see-from-where-I-was-bumming’ shot

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20150704_123005Got you with me Popoy and Basha

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Some afternoon food hunt happening in there

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20150704_205513There were not as many stars but this moon makes up for that night’s sadness

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20150705_002617Because there is electricity only from late afternoon to early morning

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20150705_054214Early morning yet it looks like it is about to sunset

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20150705_054224Waves are calmer

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20150705_054244I rarely like swimming early in the morning. Apparently, they disagree

20150705_055957Look at those trees

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20150705_060003Happy campers

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20150705_060140Passed by this church on the way to the pier

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20150705_060143Surprised that there is this neighborhood on the left side of the beach stretch

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20150705_060925Goodbye, Isla Reta!

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20150705_062055But not goodbye to you, Moon! 

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Next stop is Samal Island! Entry to follow  (if I overcome this lazy) 😀

OTHER PRACTICAL DETAILS : 

Two local airlines (Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific) fly many times each day to this city.

Isla Reta is a 45-minute to an hour boat ride away from Sta Ana Wharf which is near Magsaysay Park.

Tent at Isla Reta Beach Resort can be rented at Php400 per night

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