My first foray into Mindanao in August 2016 included a day trip to this easternmost province of the Philippines. Thanks again to my wife’s niece, Trish, who enjoyed the scenic drive to this province of Davao Oriental coming from Maragusan in Compostela Valley Province. The surrounding countryside was still very much lush green.
It was 2 hours each way and it would have been a lot faster except that a considerable portion of the trip was still dirt road. We were impressed though with the road work in progress as seen in this photo with the excavator in action.
Completion of these main roads to Davao Oriental will ensure further progress for this province and its super friendly people. And progress is clearly evident in Mati City, the thriving semi-rural capital. Here is Trish in the famous bay walk with Pujada Bay and the Mount Hamiguitan range in the background.
I can sense a strong focus on cleanliness and eco-tourism. They apparently have an annual festival to promote and protect Pujada Bay. When Trish and I went to Dahican Beach, we were very impressed with the relatively pristine conditions even though the beach is popular with international travellers.
And yes, the people of Mati are uber friendly. This security guard at the Provincial Capitol was so thrilled to see us, thanking us with all sincerity for visiting this far-flung province of the Philippines. A humble man with a truly grateful heart.
A long driveway took us up the hill where the Capitol park and building are located. The Capitol was quite grand, it’s no surprise locals refer to it as the White House in Mati.
Semi-rural, semi-urban… This is what I love the most about the far-flung provinces. Everybody knows the grand churches or temples of Iglesia ni Cristo all over the world. But how about this for Davao Oriental? Semi-rural, semi-urban… simple beauty.
All we had was 4 to 5 hours… yet these pictures capture how much we’ve seen in such a short time. When I come back to this province, I will go more rural and pristine… There is Mount Hamiguitan, Waniban Island and the municipality of Caraga where Pusan Point, the easternmost point of the Philippine archipelago is located.
CoachConto – Athlete, Warrior, Statesman, Spirit