I just realized I owe more about my recent trip to Davao City. My friend Bob sort of reminded me this am with an excellent post about things to do in Davao.
One of his recommendations deserves a little more air time I think, so I will try to fill the gap.
"Resort" as used in the Philippines has a pretty inconsistent meaning in actual fact. A "resort’ may be a luxurious western-style hotel complex with hot and cold running everything in the way of servants and conveniences or it may be a half-barren patch of grass under some decaying trees with a couple dirty picnic tables and a guy who shows up to extract P 100 per person and then tell you that you aren’t allowed to bring in your own food.
Malagos Garden is in the middle, a little toward the top. It sits on beautiful grounds (part of the Davao City watershed reserves about an hour’s taxi ride from center city. The trees and flowers, especially the orchids are just outstanding. The buildings are well constructed and, as I believe Bob mentioned the food is excellent … and cheap even in Filipino terms. My friend Vince and I dropped in for lunch and chose the lunch ‘set’ a fixed-price meal that had three different choices, pork, chicken or beef. The price P 200 per head (per pax as they say here) included the regular P 100 admission to the grounds, value Added tax and about three other fees I don’t quite remember … so in this terms out lunch cost about P 75 each … about $1.80 US and included delicious how made soup .. served hot, no less, a delightful fresh salad, a generous entree, Filipino style but very much aligned with foreign tastes and a delicious desert, all served promptly and correctly by an attractive waitress. i mean it’s refreshing when people still take pride in their work and know to serve from the left and pick-up from the right … we in America have grown to used to, and sadly accept ‘service’ that often includes someone calling your number over a loudspeaker … and a thumb in your soup if you happen to get the soup in a bowl instead of a plastic cup … especially for a meal that costs under $2.00
The venue (another word you need to get used to Filipino usage of), every place is a ‘venue’) was a lovely open-air restaurant surrounded by flowing pools, deep shade trees and fantastic floral displays … and this was the casual restaurant, there was another separate, more imposing building for dinners and parties.
Sadly I did not have the time to check out the lodgings but they have several categories of cabins and rooms so based on the experience with their grounds and food service I plan to return for a night or two when my wife and I visit Davao City, RSN (Real Soon Now). Unfortunately the resort does not yet have a fully functional web site but they do have all their contact information here: http://www.malagos.com/ and as with all Filipino businesses it is better to call than try to deal with email anyway. If you are visiting davao … and you should … I certainly recommend you program in some time for Malagos Gardens.