Posts Tagged ‘Davao’

I think J was not familiar with the directions to the next destination which i gather from the convesation between him and B , had something to do with Japan and maybe a tea garden, well, turn out I was 50% correct, it was a Japanese Tunnel that we were looking for.

We saw the entrance and headed towards it only to be stopped by the guard who asked us to pay the entrance fee. We waited in the shade while B went to the ticket counter , entrance fee was Peso 50 per pax. We were later joined by a tour guide. We walked passed the statues of two Japanese soldiers and before the entrance of the tunnel, we were greeted by the statue of a kimono clad Japanese lady. In the beginning of the tour, the guide spoke in Tagalog and B had to do the translation so that I know what was going on ,  then after a  while the guide spoke in English. It was nice and cool inside the tunnel, much better than the heat outside. The tunnel was quite wide and not crampy at all – i think maybe i was comparing it to the Cu Chi Tunnel in Vietnam. We could walk comfortably and this was when B told me that sometimes he can see ‘things’..Oh…now he tells me..

The guide pointed to a small area , maybe about 3 feet by 3 feet and at that time,  this might held 6 prisoners. HUH ? there is not enough space to stand yet this is where the prisoners were held ( no. there is no luxury of having a flush toilet ).

Extraced from the website , there are actually several of these tunnels in the various diversion roads all over Davao, and the reason for this is that during WWII, the Japanese found the use of tunnels as an effective means of transporting their equipment and mobilizing their forces, as it made it for difficult for the Americans to locate them.

 We made a few stops to checked out the area that served as the communication centre, a shrine complete with the statue of the Budha, offices, stores  etc .

The tunnel is said to be about 300 feet, so, it was only a short little tour and we were out in the sun again and waved sayonara to kimono lady. And Phewww..i am glad that B didn’t see any ‘thing’ while we were in that tunnel..


Finally, it was the end of my trip to the Philippines, i flew from Davao to Manila and then Manila back to KL. At the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport ,  there was a  small chapel – a refuge for the nervous travelers ? This did have a calming effect on me..I spotted this too…Hari Raya Coffee Shop..hmm..i wonder do they serve lemang and do they celebrate Hari Raya everyday? 

 Tried to checked what does that meant in Tagalog, Hari = king, Raya = ? cannot find worr..can anyone help me out ah ?


First of all, happy new year ! The winner for the most outstanding sms greeting goes to J for sending this ‘may the fleas of a thousand camels infest the arse of the person who tries to F***up your year and may their arms grow too short to scratch it’.

Back to Phils…..where I don’t think we need to worry about camels..

Just for comparison, the petrol prices in Davao at the time of my visit are shown below , which convert to approximately RM2.65 ( ultra diesel ) , 2.89 ( Premium diesel) , 3.30 ( super unleaded)  and 3.35 ( super premium) respectively. I hope the Malaysian petrol scenario will not be heading towards this or i might have to look at getting a camel..One other thing I noticed is that at one of the hotel we stayed,   they served iron fortified rice, when I checked with my Filipino host, he mentioned that  iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a serious public health problem in the Philippines therefore fortifying rice offers a great opportunity to control IDA. The rice didn’t look or taste different from the regular rice  and I am glad to know that the garlic fried rice I had for breakfast was laden with iron.

That night, D decide that we try out the Thai food restaurant , we headed to Krua Thai Davao. The place was cozy and the decorations were nice, lots of wood were used for the decor, Thai flavoured artifacts ( some Vietnamese water puppets, African art as well)  , staff clad in Thai silk etc etc

We had Tom Yam Khung ( prawn tomyam) which everyone at the table  found to be very salty. We asked the waiter to take this to the kitchen  to make it less salty, the soup came back less salty and more enjoyableChicken curry- this wasn’t spicy and not overly rich. umm..doesn’t taste too much like the lemak variety.Fried squid – this was the best dish for the night. The squid were chewy but not tough and were rather fresh.The batter weren’t thick, just a nice thin cover and didn’t get into the way of the squid. Nice Fried rice – I am not too sure what did we order, this taste like the yong chow fried rice I get back in KL, this was ok.Pad Thai– I found this overly sweet and too much of crushed peanuts. I didn’t do any refills of this.Prawns – sorry, I didn’t try this so can’t comment and as this was gone in a few minutes, I guess that was a good indication that my fellow diners enjoyed this.

Mixed platter – this include chicken, deep fried fish, vegetable and one other which I didn’t get to try. This was just ok for me.. I find the Thai food served at Krua Thai a bit different from the Thai food I get back in Malaysia or in Thailand, the dishes weren’t as spicy and the overall taste were not as sharp /strong –maybe customized to suit the Filipino palate ? Reading some other the other blogs , I find that most if not all comments for Krua Thai were good so maybe it’s just me…


Krua Thai Davao

F. Torres St., Davao City

Tel. No. (082) 228 6182

On our drive from Gensan back to Davao, we took a break at the Cliff Hanger Restaurant  and Cafe . We got a great view of the valley below and also caught a glimpse of Mt Apo (at 2,954 metres, this is the  highest mountain  in Phils) amidst the clouds.

I guess we are at a pretty high altitude,it was nice and cool at the cafe. The guys had hot drinks while the Malaysian had an ice cream ( i got some weird stares from B) . We also ordered some crunchy titbits and biscuits from the display cabinet. By the time we reached Davao it was already dinner time. We went uphill,  a bit of a windy quiet road and then after a few turns, we arrived at a open area and it felt kinda festive, with colourful lights,  a lit Christmas tree , Christmas banners and decos.This is Jack’s Ridge.  The little roundabout with DAVAO made up from things that the city is  famous for  – and D is for Durian..

While waiting got T to park the car, we wandered about

There was a plaque that tells the significance / history of Jack’s Ridge- The land on which Jack’s Ridge now stand once formed part of the headquarter of the retreating Japanese forces towards the end of the World War II. The Americans had landed in Davao on May 1, 1945, forcing the Japanese to beat a path to Matina Hills where they had a commanding view of the Davao Gulf where the American ships were anchored. Fierce fighting soon erupted between the two forces, and as history shown us, the Japanese lost.
Today, more than half a century later, Jack’s Ridge is filled with reminders of its historic past. Caves dug by the Japanese pockmark the area, and once in a while people still find bullets and other war materials in the rocky soil. There is also talk that hidden somewhere in the caved are gold bullions and other treasure that the Japanese had taken from other countries and brought to Davao.

Whatever the truth is about the treasure, Jack’s Ridge maintains the feature that made it an important outpost for the retreating Japanese forces, a commanding view of Davao City and the Gulf, the same view within the premises is also refreshing, since the owner has made its mission to preserve the natural beauty of the place.
Jack’s Ridge was built to offer a completely new experience to dinners, and its not over yet, more development are under way to make it the premier dining resort in Davao City.
Indeed, Jack’s Ridge is making it’s own mark in Davao City’s History.

At Jack’s Ridge, you can get a good view of Davao city and also the gulf ( not to mention the memorial park) . Pix below show some unidentifiable objects captured on film  from the Memorial park There were some collection of big clams at one corner and a plaque that read – ‘Unbelievable as it may seem , the land you are standing on was under the sea millions of years ago . These taklobo shells right here at Jack Ridge are silent witness to Davao’s watery past.’ Wow, it was hard to imagine, we see Davao city below our feet and now they tell us this was under the sea ? Wow… ( at the right corner in the background, you can see the amphitheatre )

There were some  bronze statuettes at another corner under a ‘Lumad’ plaque ,  I was told they  depict the different tribes in Mindanao.We headed towards Taklobo Restaurant. This seemed to be a rather happening place, big crowd, filled with happy noisy people, great view  and the smell of food..Hmm…

We had rice

We had Panga ng bariles (grilled tuna jaw), and B tried to impressed upon me that if the jaw of the fish is so big, can you imagine how big is the fish ? well, must be rather big guarr. Yummm

Sinigang na Hipon ( shrimp in sour soup) – The flavour of sinigang can be from  tamarind ( asam) , green mangoes, pineapple  or those small sour-like-hell small belimbing ( called bilimbi / kamias in Phils), The sinigang can also be made with pork or beef. The soup was clear and quite sour ,  good soup to go with rice Mixed vegetables – long bean, bitterguord ( which interestingly wasn’t that bitter) , brinjal etc
While we were enjoying our meal, the table beside ours were serenaded by 3 singers complete with instruments. As D just celebrated his birthday a few days ago, we ask them to stop at our table to croon a birthday song and this was followed by 2 other songs.

Tiyan ng Bariles (grilled tuna belly) – this was oh-la-la wonderful ! At the same time soft, smooth , rich and yummy . I had this guilt feeling when eating this, anything that taste good must surely be not too healthy – you know, like deep fried food, ice cream, opium , chocolates …We asked for the dessert menu – B had coffee creme brulee ( D acted a bit juvenile and asked for a ‘bruce lee’ from the waiter ) while D and myself ordered a mango something. The mango in the mango something was rather sour and I had to remove the mango to be able to enjoy this dessert la, I wonder was this sour mango intentional ?Overall , an enjoyable meal. The menu is available here

After the meal, to wind down , we walked down the stairs ( too many steps)  to Kai’s bar and grill. It was a Friday and the live band was playing

B and myself had San Mig while D and T went for the heavier stuff.

The band did their thing and also accept song request from the crowd. We got them to sing a birthday song for D ( another one !) and later a note on a tissue from B  to request D to jam with the band. I knew that D was a good singer so it was no surprise that he wowed the crowd with not just his singing but his charm.  Then later in the night another note got to the stage for B to go on stage. And when B started to sing  I think I almost swoon ! I didn’t expect this –he was so good ! I think I would forfeit the grilled tuna belly any time for this ! For the record, the applause for D or B was way louder  than that for the band, so there !

     What a wonderful way to end the night…

And just in case there are some of your that are wondering about the unidentifiable objects in one of the pixs above, it was just a matter of bad photography !

Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant Corp.
Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City 8000

Telephone: 63.82.2978830 to 31