Living in Davao & Not Getting Your Head Cut Off
The idea of living in Davao can be a bit scary because some Muslims kidnapped and beheaded a Canadian tourist at the nearby Samal resort. Davao is in the Mindanao region home of Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
On the other hand people say Davao is one of the safest cities, previously run by Duterte when he was mayor. The city itself is ~500km from Mindanao. When I went there I felt as safe as anywhere else.
Wouldn’t have realised if I hadn’t heard things about it, or driven through a quick military checkpoint on the way out of the airport (they just asked my surname then waved me on).
I just stayed in Davao city, my genius plan was to avoid the beaches as that’s where kidnappings happen (bandits turn up on boats) and Samal. The religion of peace recently tried to attack Bohol too.
K-9 Unit at Davao mall
There aren’t that many foreigners in Davao obviously, whether tourists or expats, there isn’t much to do even if you aren’t put off by the bad press. It’s a bit boring of a vibe, what little nightlife it has closes early.
Some blogs act like Davao is an untapped pussy paradise as a result of less white dudes being there. I’ve always been skeptical of that line of logic as remote provinces can also be quite shy / conservative.
Province girls tend to move to the bigger cities because there are no jobs where they live, they want to work in Manila and send money home, maybe meet a guy too. There ends up not being many 18-40 year olds left.
I need to stay longer to find out really how good the Davao dating scene is but so far I’ve done one brief trip to Davao and did manage to score.
I kept getting messages on FilipinoCupid from Davao girls even though I wasn’t there. They must’ve set the location filter to anywhere in an effort to meet guys.
I flew out to meet one who offered to pick me up from the airport and be my tour guide. Province girls are more enthusiastic to meet, sometimes I search for girls in other cities and import them to wherever I am.
This time I went to meet her, to get some intel on Davao and snap some pics for the blog. I flew there from Cebu on a Manila -> Angeles -> Cebu -> Davao -> Manila trip.
Cebu Pacific is cheap if you book in advance and catch promos at the right time.
No sign of bandits
Living in Davao – First Impressions
Davao was a bit more developed than I expected, they have some big malls (Abreeza mall the main one) and high rise condos (Abreeza place). Living in Davao could have some potential.
But it might not take long until you’re handing out numbers to the same Pinays over and over like Dante ended up doing in Cebu City.
Basketball in another mall
Taxis lived up to what I’d heard, being better than elsewhere in the Philippines, always using the meter and never refusing passengers.
It’s quite a walkable city as well, parks dotted around, clean uncluttered sidewalks, not many street vendors, I saw some ‘no vendors allowed’ signs.
We checked into Grand Menseng Hotel for $50 on Agoda, it sucked for the price, the internet didn’t work.
Next time I’ll try to stay at Abreeza place condo on Airbnb as it’s right next to the mall and should have PLDT wifi put in.
It was raining so we stayed in for a bit and ended up banging pretty quickly. Then we went on a date / tour of the city at night, more on that in the next post.