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BuDa Davao: The Wintry Haven in Southern Mindanao

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If you want a scenic view for your next Instagram photoshoot, the well-known Baguio of Southern Mindanao might be your next destination. Instagram folks love BuDa!

Marilog District of Davao is typically known as Buda (Bukidnon-Davao) for travelers. It is a vast land between the cities of Davao and Bukidnon. The place is beautiful and has its wintry touch. Lines of lush and green pine trees surround you which makes the perfect place to chill, literally. The place is cool, the ambience is serene and there’s a lot of areas you can take your next photo for your Instagram feed.

Where to Go

BuDa or Marilog District is a general place. Going to a specific place to visit in Buda is another question. There are a lot of resorts, restaurants, private villas and rest house you can go to. The well-known places you’ll hear from locales are Seagull Mountain Resort, Bemwa Farm, Cicada Hills, and Wild Berry. However, there are other places you can go to when you go to BuDa. You can go to Jive Highland Resort, Hill 88 Hideaway, Buda Vista Vacation House, and many more.

There are places in Buda where you can check in and catch the cold night breeze. Seagull Mountain Resort, Cicada Hills, Jive Highlands are one of the many places that offer such amenities.

You can rent an entire house, too. Buda Vista Vacation House and other places provide you your temporary home overnight.

People usually go to Buda during long holidays such as Holy Week, All Soul’s Day, and during summer. Most people want to avoid the heat of summer so they find haven at Buda.

If you and your family plan to spend your Holy Week at Buda, you better book your stay as early as possible.

How to Get There

Getting to BuDa is easy if you own a private car. But, if you want to travel via public transport, then you need to prepare at least PHP500(with allowance) to and fro if you’re travelling from Davao City.

It takes an hour or two to get to Buda (traffic time included). To get there, take a bus going to Cagayan De Oro at Ecoland Terminal. There’s no actual place for bus stops in Buda so you need to tell the bus driver or the conductor to drop you at Seagull Mountain Resort.

Seagull Mountain Resort is just around the highway and it’s easy to spot. It is a strategical dropping point because you can have your breakfast or lunch at their restaurant and there are a lot of motorcycles offering a ride going to Bemwa Farm or places you choose to visit. Also, Seagull Mountain Resort is just in front of another tourist place, the Cicada Hills.

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If you’re planning for a day tour, then it is recommended to go to Buda early.

Note that the only transportation in Buda to go from one place to another is to hire a motorcycle or habal-habal.

Getting Back to Davao City

There are no proper bus stop areas in Buda. So your means of getting back home to Davao City or Cagayan de Oro(if you’re from CDO) is to wait for a bus to pass by the area.

There’s a gas station which is not far from Seagull Mountain Resort’s restaurant so you can try and wait for buses to pass you by there. Seagull’s café is situated in front of the gas station so you can have a cup of coffee while waiting for a bus.

If I’m not mistaken, almost every hour a bus or two will pass by. When you spot a bus passing by, just wave your arms to get the driver’s attention. They’ll take you in given that there are still vacant seats.

 How Much Will You Spend

The question of how much you are willing to spend is relative. It depends on where you’re planning to go, where you’ll dine and the activities you’re planning to do.

On our travel, we went to Seagull Mountain Resort, Cicada Hills, Bemwa Farm and chilled at Seagull’s café. To enlighten you, here are the list of our expenses during our travel. Please note that the question of spending is relative most especially if you’re a heavy spender like me.

Basic Expenses (Expenses you need to know):

Fare to Buda and back to Davao City PHP 360
Motorcycle ride from Seagull to Bemwa Farm PHP 200
Seagull Entrance Fee PHP 200
 Total 760

Personal Expenses:

Seagull(Breakfast)
Omelette (solo) PHP 85
House specialty. Suman and               Tsokolate(solo) PHP 80
Seagull(Lunch) – divided as expenses is shared
Bihon – PHP 150 PHP 75
Chicharong Bulaklak – PHP 100 PHP 50
Sisig – PHP 200 PHP 100
Rice – PHP (20×2) PHP 40
Baby Back Ribs – PHP 200 PHP 100
Seagull(Café)
Coffee (solo) PHP 150
Mango Float (solo) PHP 100
Bemwa Strawberry Jams (100/jar) PHP 100
 Total PHP 880
Total Expenses(per pax) PHP 1640

For the bus fare, please note that it might vary depending on the time you’re reading the blog. Above presented is the February 2017 bus fare rate. The personal expenses for the food is only a rough but probable estimate. The expenses for the lunch is divided into two as Patchi, my beloved traveling buddy, and I had to share it. The food during lunch is good for two to three people.

If you want to spend a night at Seagull, you can rent a room there. Their room rates as I remembered were probably around Php2,000 to Php 5,500.

You can also try Seagull’s steaks but it was kind of pricey for us. You can also dine at other restaurants such as Wild Berry. We have not yet tried the Wild Berry.

At Bemwa farm, you can buy some fresh strawberries and other fresh produce. Their strawberry jam is a recommended buy because it’s sweet, juicy and delicious.

The Voyager’s Adventure

Patchi and I were planning this trip ever since I was still in Cebu last 2016. We would often discuss our planned trips for 2017 and Buda was one of the destinations we wanted to go to. Finally, we materialized our plan as we went there last February 2017.

We took a bus to Buda around seven in the morning and arrived there around 9am. We were so pumped because it was our first ever trip for the year 2017. The place was beautiful and full of luscious green pine trees. It was cold and given that it was still early in the morning, it was foggy.BBrvcdJl

When we reached our dropping point, we immediately went to Cicada Hills and took some photos as their pine trees were wonderful. However, we could not get into the resort itself as it was fully booked and they require a reservation before going there.

It was around 10am when we decided to take our breakfast as it was starting to rain. We hurried into Seagull’s restaurant and was in awe of the simple beauty of their place. The place was quiet and had a rustic design to it that gave out a traditional homey feeling.h2IwFqaF

We ordered omelette and two orders of their house specialty which is their suman and sikwati. Their suman and sikwati is a must try. You can savor the sweetness of the rice in every bite. It was complimented well by the sikwati or chocolate sauce. It wasn’t the usual suman you buy at public markets or at urban restaurants.IMG_0650

After we had our breakfast, we decided to take some pictures of the place.

We went to the resort and trek the place. It was raining so it was kind of hard to go from one place to another especially that we were on foot. We went to see the famous landmark of Buda which is their cross. It was a quiet place and suitable for people who want to relate more with the spiritual realms of God.9oiFFOTJ

We decided to return to the restaurant as the rain was getting heavier.

Back to the restaurant, we ordered a bountiful lunch. I always order bihon because it’s one of my favorite filipino dish. Patchi ordered her favorite chicharron which is the chicharron bulaklak. I didn’t like the way their chicharron tasted so I indulged more of the bihon and sisig. She also ordered a plate of baby back ribs to satisfy her craving. We are voracious eaters.IMG_0777

After our lunch we went to see the resort’s pool side. Seagull has a poolside but it was far from the restaurant. We had to take a ride which the resort offers to their customers. However, we had to go back to the restaurant because we didn’t want to take a dip on such cold weather.

We decided to go to Bemwa Farm instead. At the restaurant, we hired a motorcycle to take us to Bemwa. Bemwa was a beautiful place. Bemwa farm has a vast strawberry field and a separate land for vegetables. They also own rabbits. I don’t like rabbits because they look like spawn of evil that are covered in cute fluffs.

After venturing Bemwa Farm, we bought some strawberry jams as pasalubong. The strawberry jam is a best buy. It’s sweet and luscious. My mom liked the jam.

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We went back to the restaurant because it was getting late and it was raining hard. We couldn’t travel more because of the rain so we decided to go back to Davao City.

It was around 2pm that we decided to go to the gas station to wait for some bus to pass us by. While waiting, we ordered some coffee because it was too cold. We needed something to warm us up.

We waited at the café and talked about our day. We missed two buses, to be honest. We missed the first one because my travel buddy went to pee and we missed the other one because I was having a bad stomach attack.cGttCb9P

Finally, we caught the third bus and we went home happy to Davao City.

Hopefully, the next time we visit Buda, we can travel more of the place without the rain.

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