Davao

System article Type:English Date time:2010-07-01 00:00:00
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Located in the southeastern Philippines, Davao is a city totally given over
to the distinct smell of durian which is a delicious tropical fruit with a
less than heavenly odor. One doesn't need a map of the Philippines to locate
the island city of Davao, a good sense of smell will do. Durian is something of
a paradox but there's far more to this idyllic isle than meets the nose.
An aquamarine surf laps at bountiful beaches. Mountains soar in the distance,
and rainforests squawk with the sound of exotic creatures. Waling Waling, a
prized orchid, and other tropical flowers bloom in the Eden Nature Park, while
the majestic Philippine eagle and endangered species have found a haven at the
Eagle Sanctuary. Davao is a city with a distinct smell- the unmistakable smell
of durian fruit. Sometimes intense, sometimes faint, the unfortunately fetid
odor of this otherwise delicious fruit lingers on streets, at hotels and even
on airplanes. Indeed, it seems to taint the air in every corner of this
southeastern Philippine island city. The popularity of this stinky, spiky,
green tropical fruit is on full display at the local durian market,swheresit
can be found in abundance and retails for a fraction of what it costs in
Shanghai. After several days spent gorging on the fruit, the smell seems to
seep to your skin. About 1,545 kilometers from Manila, Davao is considered
the gate way to the southern Philippines. Durian may be its most famous fruit,
but Davao ishome to veritable jungle of other exotic tropical delights,
including tangy grapefruit and juicy rambutans, a red plum-sized prickly fruit.
Davao sharesmany characteristics with other islands on the Philippine archipelago,
such as sandy beaches, fruit plantations, rainforests, swamps, rolling hills
and mountains: The highest peak in the Philippines, Mt. Apo, rises 3,144 meters
over Davao. Small businesses flourish in the city, and entertainment spots are
opened to the wee hours. Locals seem to prefer the simple pleasure of sitting
outside on plastic chairs, sipping 8-yuan (US) beers, playing cards and listening
to popular local music. Davao's main industries are wood processing,
grain processing, fruit and fishing. Miles and miles of banana plantations make
for lush,exotic scenery. Mt. Talomo is one of the island's most impressive
scenic attractions. Part of the mountain has been transformed to giant public
gardenby the wife of a wealthy plantation owner, Fe Ayala, who was given the
landas a gift. The garden is called Eden Nature Park, and visitors will find
142different kinds of flowers, 172 types of trees, as well as deer, monkeys
and Indian peacocks. About 760 meters above sea level, the garden offers
fabulous views of Davao City and the Davao Gulf. A restaurant inside the park
offers salads made with organic vegetables and herbs grown in the garden.
The Philippine Eagle Sanctuary is the home to the country's endangered eagle,
and visitors are given the opportunity to get a bird's eye view of a few of
these majestic creatures held in captivity for their own protection.
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