Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mati, A Gem in the Southeastern Philippines

Finally, I answered to a long standing invitation from a friend who is now based in Mati to visit the place which she now calls her second home.

Mati is a city and the capital of the province of Davao Oriental, located in the southeasternmost part of the Philippines. A three-hour drive from the city, this place is bounded by mountain ranges and is close to the Pacific Ocean. It is also home to a diverse flora and fauna and our beloved Philippine eagles. 

How to get there:

From Davao City, there are buses bound for Davao Oriental. The trip would take about three to five hours, depending on the frequency of stops that it has to make in the towns en route to Mati.

Another option is to take a van at the terminal in front of Gaisano Mall in Obrero or at the Victoria Plaza. The van is a bit cramped but travel time for this mode of transportation is from two and a half hours to three hours. Fare from Davao City to Mati is Php 200.00

Getting Around:

They have this big motorcabs similar to the motorela in Cagayan de Oro City. Or you can take a bike or scooter to see the place.

Where to Stay:

There are inns in the city but I decided to stay at the D' Eterna Dormitel located along Don Mariano Marcos Avenue in Barangay Sainz. An aironditioned room for two, with toilet and bath and cable tv connection, is at Php 700.00/night. Wifi connection is good and the place has ample parking space. Guests can have breakfast (for less than a hundred pesos) at the comforts of their room or in the veranda. 

For inquiries, you may contact Khakay Serafica at +63 87 8111268.

Places of Interest:

Subangan Museum

This is by far the best, if not one of the best museums run by a local government and worth emulating by other local government units.

Subangan Museum takes from word subang which means "to rise" since Mati is located in the easternmost of the Philippines where the sun rises. In fact, many have trooped to Pusan Point to bask in the millennium sun fifteen years ago. 

The star of the museum is DavOr which greets you upon entering the building. DavOr takes after the name of the province Davao Oriental. The  20-ton, 53-foot sperm whale was found on the shores of of the towns of San Isidro and Generoso in Davao Oriental.

Surrounding the base of the DavOr exhibit are tablets where you flash a particular card with an image before the tablet and voila, information, photos and videos will show up on the tablet's screen. This is definitely keeping up with the times.

On the second level of the museum are more exhibits showcasing the treasures and pride of Mati and the province.

A cave and forest inside the museum.

All about the pitcher plant.

A video wall showing the country's campaign to have the Mt. Hamiguitan Range declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site greets the visitors. Such status was attained in 2014.

Then there is a long wall featuring the many beautiful and breathtaking wonders of nature in the province.

Another section highlights the Mandaya and Kaagan tribes of Davao.

A tour of the museum ends with the photo exhibit on how Typhoon Pablo has ravaged the province, its aftermath and efforts of rebuilding the affected towns in Davao Oriental.

The museum is open every day from morning till sundown. Entrance fee is at Php 50.00. The senior citizens, students, kids and Davao Oriental residents can enjoy discounted rates.

Get a glimpse of their clean restroom, too. 

Kamunaan Center

This is a display and collection center for all of Mandaya. Muna in Mandaya means ancestor and the place is dedicated to the Mandaya ancestors who have nurtured and preserved their culture, keeping it alive and handing it down to the present and future generations.

Dahican Beach

This long stretch of white sandy beach with its blue green waters is now gaining popularity among surfers and beach lovers, that by weekend the place is teeming with people slowly eroding the air of seclusion and quiet the place once had.

Dahican Beach is also home to the Amihan Boys and on some days you'll find them polishing their daredevil moves on the water with grace and confidence.

Sleeping Dinosaur

Named as such because it looks like a dinosaur enjoying its sleep.

Mati Plaza

This wide open space facing the sea is a favourite hangout among locals and even tourists. From school kids roaming around and play tag to teenagers swooning over puppy love and health buffs and the old and wise flexing their muscles and getting some fresh sea breeze. Restaurants have also cropped up near the area with the sea view to make dining a more pleasant and palatable experience.

Foodie Finds:

Empanada at Seaside Restaurant is a favourite among the locals and a popular pasalubong item, too.

Kakanin squares by Paz Delicacies

Market Place

For one, the public market in Mati is clean. Here, you'll get fresh seafood. We bought some and cooked it for lunch and dinner.


Yes, the sweetest of the bunch can be found here in Mati.

Mati is indeed a hidden gem in this part of the archipelago with surprises in store for the locals and tourists alike.

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Thank you for visiting Traipsing Chronicles. I hope you will continue walking with me as I wander and see the world. Cheers!

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