Was in Davao Philippines for a few days for work and we put up at Hotel Tropika http://www.hoteltropikadavao.com/(Km7 Lanang, Davao City, Tel : 082 234 3332) which was quite new and had a pleasant set up, no lifts mind you, breakfast indoor or outdoors, free wifi ( which sorry to say didn’t work very well during my stay), basic amenities and free breakfast. I was charged Pesos 2,000/ nite, which was ~ RM144
I had – Beef Tapa- cured beef ( marinated with sugar, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar etc) , which came with eggs ( choice of scrambled, sunny side up or hard boiled), pickled vegetable and served with sinangag (garlic rice) . It looked kinda simple and dry but this turned out to be rather good – the beef tapa was tasty and tender, the rice was fragrant, I enjoyed this.
B had the American stir fry thingy ,which had mushroom, bacon , potatoes with onions, scrambled eggs and pieces of toast, the verdict – pretty good too , the only complain was that it was a bit oily
J had the Logganisa ( pork sausage) set
When D joined us later he selected the egg combination set ( where you get 3 eggs served in any style that you want) and when the waiter brought the dish , we all look at each other and said- eh, the egg set looked the same as what J had- turned out that the waiter did a mistake, it WAS the Logganisa set. Anyway, D seemed to have enjoyed the Logganisa
( FYI, when D checked with the young waiter how much was he paid per day and according to our young friend, he is paid 20 pesos for a 6 hours of work ( I think it was 6),that comes to ~ RM1.45 per day. And he completed 4 years of computer studies too)
After breakfast, we started our journey, first stop- Gap Farming Resort.
After the guard let us into the gate by the side, B proceed to pay for the entrance fee. The first thing to greet us was this gigantic monument of a farmer riding on a water buffalo, incidentally, in Tagalog, buffalo = kerbau, which is the same as what we would say in malay.
A sign under the monument proclaim : This is a monument of a poor pioneer settler as one of the great developers of a very rich Mindanao. B and J were sniggering and taking close up pictures of the kerbau’s naughty bits
The opposite of the monument were huge letters making up the words ‘ The Land of Promise’ . Davao is sometimes referred to as The land of promise due to it’s abundance and for being a typhoon free zone
It was a pleasant walk , lots of green, kinda breezy and not to mention I had great company.
We saw Santa sitting in a hot air balloon plus baby Jesus and the 3 wise men. In the picture below you can see one very inquisitive little girl doing a thorough investigation of the hot air balloon
We walked passed the Parade of Philippine Presidents ( not just the presidents were on parade, national heroes too, including ( details extracted from Wikipedia) ; Jose Rizal (the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era) , Melchora Aquino (grand woman of the revolution) , Cayetano Arellano (the first Chief Justice of The Supreme Court under the American Civil Govt), Teodora Alonso (mother of Jose Rizal) , Andres Bonifacio ( a founder and later the supreme leader of the katipunan movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from the Spanish colonial rule and started the Philippine Revolution ) , Francisco Balagtas ( prominent poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of Shakespeare) among others
I find this bust of Pres. Joseph Estrada rather cute and lively, don’t cha think ? He was flanked by Ramos and Arroyo.
We then came to a WWII Japanese cave
Once inside the well lit cave, we were greeted by a statue of a snake ( oh..i was sooo scared). And we were joined later by Cylops , who welcomed us with open arms
After the cave ( which took less than 1 minute to complete ), we headed uphill and came to the Land of Promise sign, beside this was a collected of scary looking statues, these ‘creatures’ are part of the myths /forklore of the Philippines
Unless indicated otherwise- The coloured italics below are extracted from Wikipedia. The creature leading the pack in the picture above is a Tikbalang – a half man and half horse creature : It travels at night to rape female mortals. The raped women will then give birth to more tikbalang. They are also believed to cause travelers to lose their way particularly in mountainous or forest areas Tikbalangs are very playful with people, and they usually make a person imagine things that aren’t real. Sometimes a Tikbalang will drive a person crazy. Legends say that when rain falls while the sun is shining, a pair of Tikbalangs are being wed. Since horses only arrived in the Philippine archipelago during the Spanish colonization (thus, the borrowed term ‘kabayo’), there is a theory that the image of a half-horse, half-man creature was propagated by the conquistadors to keep the natives afraid of the night.
Directly behind the Tikbalang is the gigantic Kapre – a tall dark creature smoking a tobacco, Kapre is a filthy, dark giant who likes to smoke huge rolls of cigars, and hide within and atop large trees, particularly the balate and old acacia or mango trees. A Filipino Bigfoot , it scares away little children who play at night. If you’re stuck in a place and you keep going around in circles, you’re said to be played around by a Kapre. To escape its control, you must remove your t-shirt, and wear it inside-out.
The lady clad in green, atop the tree ( top right corner in the pix above ) is a manananggal , an aswang that can fly after separating itself from the lower half of its body. It eats babies and fetuses from a mothers womb. It eats babies by means of passing their long tongue through a small hole from the roof of a house. The sharp end of the tongue touches the mother’s navel to suck the blood of the fetus or unborn child. This creature’s name was derived from the Filipino word, tanggal, which means “to separate” because of the manananggal’s ability to separate itself from its lower body.
The other half of the manananggal
A manananggal can also be a sorceress that visits villages and barrios. To feed, the self-segmenter chooses an isolated place where she will leave her lower torso while she hunts at night. When she separates from her lower torso, she then gains her ability to fly. She then goes off in search of houses where pregnant women reside. Upon choosing a suitable victim, the Manananggal alights on the house and inserts her tongue through the roof. The tongue is long, hollow and extremely flexible. She uses it to puncture the womb of the sleeping woman and to suck out the fetus. At other times, she seduces men with her beauty and lures them to a private place before eating them alive. She usually eats the insides, like the heart, stomach or the liver. Sunlight is deadly to the Manananggal when she is in her monstrous form. Should her two halves still be separate with the coming of dawn, she will be destroyed. According to legend, to destroy the Manananggal, one should search for the lower torso that she leaves behind during her nightly hunts. Salt, ash, and/or garlic should then be placed on the exposed flesh, preventing the monster from combining again and leaving it vulnerable to sunlight. Small containers of salt, ash and raw rice, and the smell of burning rubber are said to deter the Manananggal from approaching one’s house.
I think the people at Gap Farming Resort are a bunch of witty fellas, apart from the local mythical creatures, Dracula was amongst them and his plaque read as ‘ a foreign guest’
In the picture above, the woman in front of Dracula is an Aswang. Aswang are shapeshifters. They are human-like by day but transform into different monstrous forms to harass and eat awake humans at night, especially pregnant women who are about to give birth. Aswangs can change from a human to an animal form, usually as a bat, a pig or a black dog. Some aswangs can change form at will, others through the use of foul oils concocted by evil magicians. Aswangs appear at night to prey upon unwary travellers or sleeping people. It is said that they have a peculiar liking for the taste of human liver.
Behind the Dracula ,are the Nuno sa punso (literally, goblin of the mound) are goblins or elves who live within mysterious lumps of soil (ant hills). They can provide a person who steps on their shelter with good luck or misfortune. Superstitious Filipinos, when passing by a mound, will ask the resident nuno’s permission to let them pass with the phrase, “Tabi-tabi po”. Strange and sudden illnesses that befall a person are sometimes attributed to nunos.
I can’t find out who is the guy beside Dracula with the ‘Jockey Warren’ underwear, anyone can help ?
There was also a chapel in the Resort .
In the glass cabinet below the picture of Mary and Jesus are a pair of crutches, left by a cripple who no longer needed them after he was blessed by a miracle. In the glass cabinet on the right, is a statue of Mary of Magdalene, with a plague ‘The appearance to Mary of Magdalene’
Parade of the Indegenious Tribe, we just passed through and didn’t get up close and personal with them
From the map, there were also orchids, cactus gardens, and fruit plantation but we weren’t ( I mean, the guys) weren’t too interested in this as they wanted to end the tour to the next thing on the agenda- the Zipline