After a lackluster first few days in Davao, the real fun began when my uncle, now a native of Davao, assigned his right-hand man to take us to the places that we must go to. And boy, does he know where to go. First stop: Eden Nature Park!When I heard “nature park”, I immediately became a bit wary and dismissed it as one of those parks where it consists of wide spaces, flowers and trees here and there, and so on. But arriving there, considering the effort it took us just to get to the place itself (hint: mountains and more mountains), it was pretty obvious that I was wrong. Just look at that map! I was stunned by the size of it; there’s so much to see and do!
We started walking around, and one thing I noticed while strolling about is how ENP is really concerned about nature and how they really take steps to actually help conserve and preserve the environment. I appreciated random signs like these which increase awareness about how much we’re taking from nature. This awareness is also apparent in certain policies in other places in the park.
They have a huge area for eating, and another smaller shack just beside it. I just remembered that with our entrance fee came free snacks (we had spaghetti and a tuna sandwich, the only choices during that time), so at least you wouldn’t go hungry while going around the park!
We didn’t walk around the whole park, though. We were actually waiting for the open car which would take us and other guests around a tour of the place. Because of that open car, it wasn’t exhausting at all. While in the car, we see stuff and then learn about what they are from our tour guide. Like this photo above – these are plants grown using hydrophonics (learn something new everyday!), which is a form of agriculture that grows plants using other solutions, like nutrients, in place of soil. Amazing, right?
We also passed by several cottages and lodges. We were ready to write off these accommodations as something we wouldn’t use in the future, but again, we were wrong! Dependable mom did the calculations, and it turns out that if you travel in a group and rent a bigger cottage like this, it’s actually much more affordable than staying in a hotel. We were so sold by the idea, we’re now seeing if we can plan our next faculty outing here!
To be honest, cultural displays and whatnot are not at the very top of my excitement list, but it was definitely nice to see and be educated about this aspect of Philippine culture, especially the indigenous tribes.
We had some more fun, with Dad being the instigator:
So finally, we come to our last stop, which is an elevated peak where you can see the whole herb plantation from above, this wishing well and more gumamelas in the vicinity, and last but not the least, an unexpected view of most of Davao!
So this was part of the herb plantation we could see from this place (called Lola’s Garden, if I remember it right). The focal point here, though, seems to be the wishing well. Thank God Dad discovered it way earlier than our other car mates (muahaha) and so we were able to get good photo opportunities before they noticed and all swarmed our way.
Is this a flower? A plant? A fruit? They call it the Mickey Mouse plant, solely because of how it’s shaped. As mom said, “di rin naman mukhang Mickey yan ah” (that doesn’t even look like Mickey), but they choose to name it that way, I guess. Don’t even ask me about what its scientific name is.