City of Mati, Davao Oriental — The thousands of delegates and visiting spectators of Southern Mindanao’s biggest sports event to be held in the City of Mati on March 19 to 24 will not only be regaled with “excellence in sports” as the host province, Davao Oriental, will also be showcasing its wondrous and unique ecotourism destinations during the event in a bid to position the province as the new premiere ecotourism destination in Mindanao.
“One of the reasons why we accepted the offer to be the host for the 2017 DAVRAA Meet is that it is an opportune time for us to showcase our wonderful and unique ecotourism destinations in the province. We will show to them that we’ve got the best tourism sites and we are the new premiere tourism destination. It is not often that we have the opportunity to host an event as big as this one. And we are proud and grateful and privileged to host the biggest sports event in Southern Mindanao,” says Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang during a press conference at the provincial Capitol on Thursday afternoon.
The Davao Region Athletic Association or DAVRAA Meet is an annual multi-level regional scholastic athletic competition participated by elementary and secondary students both from private and public schools in the Davao Region.
Expand your perspective by seeing and experiencing Davao Oriental, an eye-opening destination that will help you find what is really most important in life, says one of the tourist-promotion messages of the provincial government.
A wonderful experience awaits the athletes and visiting spectators to this province, a place that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, where the distance between heaven and earth collapse and you will be able to catch glimpses of the divine or the Infinite Whatever as you are united with nature.
The resplendent landscape and seascape of Davao Oriental, a wind-swept province south of Mindanao, will give you an exciting and powerful experience that can change forever your outlook on nature. You will fall in love with its lovely sea and the treasure troves of riches beneath its surface. Its myriad forest, lush mountain peaks, verdant ravines, waterfalls and cool coastal areas down to the coral reefs, sea grass beds, the mangrove forests, plus the lakes and rivers that breeds an impressive array of plant and animal species are the most enjoyable reasons for coming. You surely will be mesmerizingly drawn by the unspoken words of its stupendous beauty and then lost to nature’s wondrous gifts. A magnificent place, Davao Oriental gives you an experience like no other: The transformative magic of travel.
The province’s crown jewel, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, is the first and only place in the island of Mindanao declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, adding worldwide prestige to a province known as the “sunrise capital” of the Philippines, the province being located at the easternmost part of the archipelago. A Philippine eagle nest located recently in Mount Hamiguitan could be a perfect spot for local and international bird enthusiasts to visit and see the “jewel of all birds” in its natural state. Mount Hamiguitan represents a complete, substantially intact and highly diverse mountain ecosystem, in a significant biogeographic region of the Philippines.
Qualitatively different from other destinations, Davao Oriental is host to extra-long wild and untamed beaches of white fine sand that enjoy the best view of the mesmerizing infinite waters of the Pacific Ocean. And having the most impressive scenery that directly faces both the Pacific Ocean and the Celebes Sea, the long coastlines of Davao Oriental are sanctuaries of sea cows, whales, dolphins and marine turtles that nest along sandy beaches. Indeed, a most affordable slice of paradise in the Pacific, this province is tucked away from the highly-urbanized Davao City, the economic center of Mindanao.
The crystal-clear waters of Davao Oriental’s awesome and serene beaches both in the islands and mainland provides blissful moments for wanderers both the laid-back and the kind that parties on sun-burnt islands. Wildlife viewers and serious nature observers spends unhurried periods of time in areas of unspoiled wilderness to have spectacular encounters with wild animals without too much sweat and inconveniences.
In Davao Oriental, you will experience the best animal encounter that provides meaningful environmental lessons. You make your own plans to meet whales and dolphins up close and get ready the binoculars or telescopes, video and still cameras for an enjoyable whale-watching trip. Whale-watching can be a lot of fun. It can be done from land or sea depending on how close the whales or dolphins are to shore. It is always more rewarding when you can come up close.
In Davao Oriental, you will be introduced to the astounding diversity of whales and dolphins as the locals regarded them as an important presence with great ecological significance and eco-tourism potential. Plus, you will also be regaled by Dugong or sea cows that abound in the place. Only a very small proportion of the world’s Dugong stocks are found in Philippine waters today. Populations of cetaceans, including some which are rarely seen elsewhere in the world, are abundant and readily accessible in Davao Oriental by small boats operating from picturesque coastal villages whose inhabitants are among the most hospitable people in the country. Like the Philippine eagles that have managed to survive in the remnants of our forest, whales are barometers of the state of our seas. By Ferdie Zuasola, Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan