The Millennial Mermaid: Rediscovering Davao Oriental: Mati City

Last week, I was invited to one of the biggest tourism events in Davao Region, the Visit Davao Fun Sale. As it celebrates its 4th year, we were thrilled to get to experience Davao Oriental in a different way than I normally would.

This time, we stayed in the city for a longer time before heading to the blue waters of Dahican to enjoy some sea and sand time.

The Sleeping Dinosaur

: Christine Joice Cudis and me being touristy with the iconic Sleeping Dinosaur. Best time to take photos is during the late morning around 12 noon when the sun is high and shining on the water.
: Christine Joice Cudis and me being touristy with the iconic Sleeping Dinosaur. Best time to take photos is during the late morning around 12 noon when the sun is high and shining on the water.

You know you’re near Mati City if you’re on the zigzag roads in the hilly Brgy. Badas. This is also where you can find the iconic set of hills positioned like a Sleeping Dinosaur. There is a little stopover that has a shed and concrete slabs where you can take photos with the Dino behind you.

Despite passing by this more times than I can count, I always take a photo whenever I bring first timers to the area. Like a wave, each photo I take is always different. Sometimes the Dino is brown when it’s summer season but since it’s been raining, the Dino is well-watered so it’s bright green.

It was almost noontime when we arrived so the light was shining perfectly on the ocean. The bright blue hues could clearly be seen from where we were. Always such a beautiful sight for me.

Mati City

Cheap and delicious food – these are things that I make me go back to Mati City. A trip to will never be complete without a taste of Seaside Restaurant’s empanadas. It’s amusing how pasalubong from Mati City always translates to a box of freshly cooked emapanadas.

Located conveniently on Quezon Street (a few meters away from the city’s bay walk) where I fondly call Mati’s food capital because this is the street where almost all the must-try food establishments are located. You can buy an empanada for Php10 a piece and Php160 for 15 pieces.

A few notable stops aside from Seaside Restaurant is Ciangi’s, Chika Deli and Paseo where lot of little food stalls to choose from: great desserts like homemade mango float for Php25, fruit shakes at Php35 and more. I’ll have to dedicate another separate story about food in Mati City because there’s just a lot of delicious cheap thrills you can find in just one area.

Subangan Museum

The mandatory group shot outside the museum. I love how the interior and exterior was designed, clearly good for photo taking, I must say.
The mandatory group shot outside the museum. I love how the interior and exterior was designed, clearly good for photo taking, I must say.

It was my second time to be here. I love visiting museums because there’s just so much to learn about every place. You can never stop learning and it’s always refreshingly fun to do so.

There’s a saying that you never learn the same things from reading a book twice. I thought I won’t learn anything new in the museum because I’ve been here. I learned that Subangan actually means east in Mandaya (this is a rough translation, I hope I heard it right).

Turns out that there were a few new additions to the place, like the Typhoon Pablo display where you could see photos from different places in Davao Oriental that were hit by the typhoon.

There was also a video inside this room where a compilation of all that had happened can be watched. This display is found at the ground floor just beside the entrance. The doors to the Typhoon Pablo display is quite noticeable because of its intricate wooden design.

Actually, all of the museum is designed so thoughtfully. A beautiful combination of art and great taste in design, I must say. I’m no architect but my sister is so maybe that gives me a little eye for design.

We also got to try on Davao Oriental native tribal outfits. The museum had an assortment of outfits with different sizes so each person can get a feel of wearing tribal clothing.

Subangan Museum is located along the highway leading to Dahican if you’re coming from Mati city. The entrance fees are P100 for foreign nationals, P50 for locals, P30 for residents, P20 for senior citizens and students outside Davao Oriental and P10 for students and children within Davao Oriental.

Next week, I’ll talk about our trip further up to Pusan Point and Aliwagwag Falls. Visit my blog: www.millennialmermaid.com for more photos and stories!

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