Intimate moment with the Philippines National Bird at Philippine Eagle Center

Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)  is the home of the world’s biggest eagle, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Malagos, Davao.

Our attention was caught with the lumad women or Native women, gamely they join us in a selfie!
Our attention was caught with the lumad women or Native women, gamely they join us in a selfie!

Waking up on the second day of my sojourn trip in Davao, after that dreamy island hopping in Samal , I am excited for the next day. “When in Davao never miss to visit PEC” says my travel companion, who is a frequent visitor of Davao, Patrick as he leads the way. After an hour of road trip, we have reached the Davao Water District. While walking going to the center, our attention was caught with the lumad women  or Native women in selling perky souvenir items. Delighted with their colorful costumes and warm smiles, I brought a dozen of  their products for my friends back in Cebu.

Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)
Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)

Smiling attending staff greeted us with warm welcome, off  to a good start. The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle. It has a souvenir shop, canteen and cashier concessionaires.

Ambling around Philippine Eagle Center

The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle.
The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle.

Feeling exuberant in every step, I can’t help but feeling giddy to the thought that I can now see the “Haribon” or Haring Ibon as locally called or simply the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle scientifically known as Pithecophaga jefferyi. The Philippine Eagle has been an iconic symbol of Davao and the Philippine as its National bird.

For a minimal entrance fee, you can have a close encounter of the Philippine National bird, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos , Davao
For a minimal entrance fee, you can have a close encounter of the Philippine National bird, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos , Davao
Different trails that leads you to other features of the Philippine Eagle Center
Different trails that leads you to other features of the Philippine Eagle Center

Ambling around the PEC ourselves free of tour guide is awesome. We are dwarfed by the lofty and towering trees. Exploring around, you can see different trails that leads you to other features of the center. Strolling around, I figured out that there are other endemic  and endangered Philippine animals  in the center.

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There are other endemic and endangered Philippine animals in the center like the Philippine Warty Pig
One of the exotic fauna you can find in Philippine Eagle Center is the Waling-waling or also called as Sander's Vanda (Vanda sanderiana)
One of the exotic fauna you can find in Philippine Eagle Center is the Waling-waling or also called as Sander’s Vanda (Vanda sanderiana)

To name some : Golden-crowned flying fox, Philippine warty pig, Philippine brown deer, Giant Scops Owl and many others as well as exotic faunas too. On top of it, PEC showcases different types of Eagles to my surprise , to find a plenty of them!

One of the big cages in Philippine Eagle Center
One of the big cages in Philippine Eagle Center

Spending an hour touring around, I had thought in back of my mind.  “Why do these birds have to be caged? Should they be living freely in their natural habitat? Were they supposed to be flying and soaring above the blue sky?” I said to myself. “Personally, I think they are better off that way.

Just as it's namesake, a Philippine Eagle is a fighter!
Just as it’s namesake, a Philippine Eagle is a fighter!

But I was reminded that not all human are kind towards their kind that lead to their extinction. Putting them in a safe and secured facility along with the selfless service of the Philippine Eagle Center volunteers. It brings light and hope for these birds to breed, live long and protected for our future generation.

The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior
The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior

Getting to Philippine Eagle Center

The Philippine Eagle Centre (PEC) is at Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. Just an hour drive from the city center via private or public transport. A taxi can take you to PEC for PHP 1,500 – 3,000 depends on your haggling skills.

For public transport.  Head off to Annil terminal at corner Quirino and San Pedro Extension near Bangkerohan terminal. Ride on buses going to Calinan, trips is every 15 minutes. From Calinan, ride for a pedicab or a motorcycle heading to Davao Water District. From the Davao Water District walk a few meters to the PEC main entrance.

For inquiries and reservation, you may reach them at  info[@]philippineeagle.org or call them at +6382-2243021. PEC opens at 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon daily, including holidays.

Enjoying this water lily pond at Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos , Davao
Enjoying this water lily pond at Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos , Davao

*Estimated Budget for Philippine Eagle Center tour

Transportation:

  • From accommodation to Annil terminal: PHP  7.00
  • Annil terminal to Calinan: PHP 30.00
  • Calinan bus stop to Water District via tricycle: PHP 15.00
  • From Water District to Calinan bus stop: PHP 15.00
  • Calinan to Annil terminal: PHP 30.00
  • Annil terminal to accomodation: PHP 7.00

Entrance fee:

  •  Davao Water District: PHP 5
  • Philippine Eagle Center : PHP 150.00

Souvenir items and snacks (optional)

Total: PHP 259.00

Note: * Prices are quoted as of press writing and subject to change

Suggested itinerary

06:00 AM Wake up call

07:00 AM Breakfast

08:00 AM  Head off to Annil Terminal

08:30 AM Ride a bus/ jeepney going to Calinan Station

09:30 AM Be at Calinan and ride a tricyle or motor bike to Davao Water District

09:50 AM Be at Davao Water District

10 : 00 AM Start the tour in Philippine Eagle Center

  • Recommended stay would be an hour or two

11: 30 AM Head off to Malagos Garden for a Bird show

12: 00 PM Lunch at Malagos Garden

01:00 PM Head back to Calinan Station

01: 30 PM Ride a bus going back to the city via Annil Station

02: 30 PM Be in Annil Station

03:00 PM Back in accommodation and rest

Up close with the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle

That close encounter with the Philippine monkey-eating eagle was the highlight of our visit. They are larger than life in person.  The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior. I can’t be any prouder seeing them alive and in perfect shape. Additionally, I was amused by the baby eagles we have seen.

 I can't be any prouder seeing a Philippine Eagle alive and in perfect shape
I can’t be any prouder seeing a Philippine Eagle alive and in perfect shape

Seeing the cages of bigger birds, I kept my eyes for any sighting  but they seem illusive to me but I never gave up. In a blink of an eye, I never saw it coming. The mighty Philippine Monkey-eating eagle just came out from its nest. I blown away with its hugeness.  The wide wings spread and vivid colors left me breathless for a moment. Under its shadow, I felt its presence and power. It was the most intimate moment with the Philippines National Bird at Philippine Eagle Center.

A Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle is an endemic animal of the Philippines ranks among the worlds biggest if not the biggest raptor.
A Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle is an endemic animal of the Philippines ranks among the worlds biggest if not the biggest raptor.

The facility is geared to promote and educate the people. For several years now, they are running out of pure passion to in saving the Philippine eagle. I was moved when I learned this. More importantly, the foundation and center wants to reach more people to spread its message through word of mouth , blogs, media. Let’s help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle! It’s time to take our part. Visit them soon, it’s worth it.

I’ll end this post with a borrowed words from Arthur Schopenhauer that goes, “Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude. ” 

Thank you for dropping by mate.

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 Let's help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle!
Let’s help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle!

Samal Island hopping , a taste of paradise in Davao

As the blazing sun continue to warm this tropical Asian archipelago country, the Philippines. There is no excuses nor alibis is valid enough not to have fun under the sun even in the start of BER months.

Speaking of fun, I always associate it with wanderlust, chasing sun and frolicking.  Prolly I’m more of a sea person than a mountain but it doesn’t mean that I have less favor with the latter. After all, I am son of the beach. I admit I went through an emotional roller coaster ride, days earlier my travel date. My mind is filled with beautiful scenarios of the city and its people. Yet the vastness of the city  and unfamiliarity scares me.  Getting lost yet as the adage goes, getting lost is part of the journey. So, I braved and follow where my heart desires.

Life is here. Welcome to Sta. Ana Port , Davao!
Life is here. Welcome to Sta. Ana Port , Davao!

This time I’m heading to Mindanao, the biggest island of the Philippines down South. Considered, one of the biggest city in the world. As a matter of fact it is six times the size of Metro Manila and three times the size of Metro Cebu says Wikipedia.  To add, it ranks among the world’s safest city in the world, Davao!

Samal Island hopping , a taste of paradise  in Davao!

When I reached the city it was night and the city is glimmering with lights that breathes the city.  Upon reaching our humble adobe for our stay in Davao, I  instantly called it a day and hit the hay.  I believe it was a soundly sleep , the time flies fast as I woke earlier than my set time. I take a quick stroll in the area, it was a peaceful morning sun rays that greeted me.

With an arrangement made before heading to Davao, our itinerary for the day is have an island hopping.  Under the care of the friendly Ate Rio of Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour.  For only PHP 300 or USD 6.43 , you can have a whole day Samal island hopping trip. I bet it is one of the cheapest island hopping I had.  With the sun at its brightest and the weather was also cooperative.

Seeing the smiling faces of the other Davaoenos, is welcoming.Seeing the smiling faces of the other Davaoenos, is welcoming. (c)  Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour

The trip started at the port of Sta. ANA Wharf Davao,  it just a few minutes ride from our hotel. Among the things,  I remembered is that this place is near the Ramon Magsaysay Park. The wharf is just a few walk from the park.  Seeing the smiling faces of the other Davaoenos, who came before us in the boat is  welcoming.  As soon as all the passengers are complete, the Samal island hopping commenced.

I set my eyes on the horizon, where the island garden paradise of Samal lies.
I set my eyes on the horizon, where the island garden paradise of Samal lies. (c) Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour

Drifting away from the port and leisurely cruising off the coast of the Davao City.  I was stunned by the emerging skyline of  the metropolis. But I set my eyes on the horizon, where the island garden paradise of Samal lies. A few minutes passed we have reached out first stop. With 5 island stop overs plus 15 highlight passes of around the island, is like tasting the best of the paradise island of Samal has to offer.

Frolicking in Samal Island hopping a taste of Davao’s paradise

 La Isla Bonita by the name itself literally means "a beautiful island"
La Isla Bonita by the name itself literally means “a beautiful island”

Being a beach bummer , the Vitamin Sea is a playground to me or a home to an extent.  The island of Samal is a huge island to tour I realized after hours circulating it.  The clear water sparkles like diamonds  in the bed of azure blue sea. The underwater world kingdom is spectacular if you dive in more.

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The Wishing Island of Samal, say your wish and will be granted!

Every minute of the trip is priceless, the serene sea of Davao is simply breath-taking!  Among all the stop over, I must stay the Garden Island, the Talikod island and Isla Bonita is my favorite part.  The Garden Island diving site features the rich marine underwater of Davao. Seeing its beauty underwater, will take you to a different dimension. As I plunged deeper, I saw wonders larger than life. Corals of various shapes and forms conjures a kaleidoscopic scenery underwater.

The idyllic powdery coast of Talikod island
The idyllic powdery coast of Talikod island

Comes next is idyllic powdery coast of Talikod island. This paradise island is guarded with towering coconut trees lined in its bay. The long stretch of white sand makes, it ideal frolicking and beach bumming. If only I have bought something to play like Frisbee it would much fun. The least I did was swum and chased  the waves , bliss found! Down to my third choice,  La Isla Bonita by the name itself literally means “a beautiful island” . Imagine surrounded with pure white sand in the middle of tortoise clear water. Isn’t it paradise, right before your eyes?

12885802_1363280523697569_4898138151591232424_oTime flies quicker than the waves, sun starts tainting the sky with tangerine hues and shadows now grown longer that it was. The day is almost coming to a close indeed yet I am still left hanging of the moment, I would like to have more of it. True enough, to my title Samal island hopping is just a taste of the paradise.

How to taste Samal island paradise for only PHP 300 ?

Reached any local island hopping tour operator in the internet or on site in Sta. Ana Wharf or in my case I have arrange beforehand with Ate Rio of Aple Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour.

Here’s what includes the package of  Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour:

    • 15 pass by places such as: Pearl farm, Filinvest Resort, Isla reta1 and 2, Hof gorie resort, Dayang Beach Resort, Taclubo Sanctuary etc.
    • 5 stop over Destinations such as:  ANGELS COVE, BABU SANTA, CORAL GARDEN, ISLA BONITA, TALIKOD Island , ISHING ISLAND
    • Round trip back to Sta. ANA Wharf Davao.
    • Boat with DOT accredited
    • Meet Ate Rio and her husband. (c) Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping TourMeet Ate Rio and her husband. (c) Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour
    • Well trained crews
    • Free use of vest
    • Free environmental fees and docking Fees.
    • Free use of Grill just bring your own charcoal.

You reached Ate Rio through their facebook page or contact them at 09334956186.

Patric for being a great travel company
Patrick for being a great travel company

How to get to Davao

Davao can be easily accessed by major airline companies with daily trip.
From Davao International Airport, take a cab going to Sasa Wharf.

My two cents for my Samal Island Hopping , the garden paradise of Davao

Indeed there is a reason for Davao to call this island, a garden paradise!  The island hopping gives me an idea of how amazing the island, I only have seen only a fraction of its total beauty, I only had a taste of its Samal island experience would be. I wonder what other gems are hidden in the island itself.

I know in time, I will be back again in Davao I would definitely be back for more of Samal, I will not just have a taste of the island garden paradise, I will devour it. Samal Island hopping is a must try activity if you are in Davao, it is worth it!

Indeed there is a reason to back in Davao
Indeed there is a reason to back in Davao

At this point, I would to express my gratitude to  Apl Rey Samal Island Hopping Tour for the fun island hopping and for the new-found friendship as well as for the photos. Speaking of photo, thank you Cherry Mobile Action Cam for giving me great shots and for staying up until the end of the tour. Also, to Patrick for being a great travel company. And to you  dear readers for reaching this point in blog reading, thank you! Catch other Davao trip tales soon.

That’s all for now folks!

 

 

 

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