Mati is the only city and the capital of the Province of Davao Oriental. It is approximately three to four hours away from Davao City. It boasts of its beaches and landscapes. It is the home of the 17 kilometer stretch of pure white sand beach shore, Dahican. It is very popular among locals and tourists especially for surfers, skimboarders and frisbee enthusiasts.
Started our road trip as early as 7:00 in the morning as we were planning to go back to Davao City on the same day.
One of the famous stop overs in Mati is the sleeping dinosaur. If you are taking the bus, unfortunately they are not doing a stop over here but if you are bringing a private vehicle you can view it along the national highway or at Bada’s Point. We viewed it along the national highway and although i have been going to Mati for work before, i still am amazed with the Plesiosaur-like Sleeping Dinosaur view of Mati.
After three hours of leisure driving, we arrived safely at Mati and went straight at Dahican Beach Resort. You won’t miss it as there are visible signages along the street and the locals are very friendly and approachable.
I have two main agendas in my Mati trip. First, to learn how to surf for the first time and second, to eat the famous empanada at Seaside Restaurant.
Dahican was full of surfers and non-surfers alike during our visit because there was a surfing competition that time. It was not really difficult to look for an instructor because they are lierally everywhere. An hour session is Php 500.00 and i think that is the standard rate for everyone.
So our session begins with a lecture about safety procedures and the basics of surfing.
After the lecture was the actual surfing lessons in the water and since there is a competiton, we need to practice at the side. Initially, i was really excited but when i was starting to paddle in the water and saw the gigantic waves, i started to feel afraid.
It was one of the best days of my life. It was scary and at the same time memorable. There was even a time when i was washed away at the shore where the competition took place. It was really funny and humiliating but everyone was so cool about it! Here is what happened, I fell down from my board and was washed by the waves towards the shoreline where everybody is watching a competition which was at my back! So anyway, i just picked up my board and smiled to everyone and told my instructor to practice far from the competition. It was a very exciting one hour. I successfully conquered my fear of not being able to learn how to surf. This is a prelude to our Bali trip which i intended to surf again.
If at first you don’t succeed, you can dust it off and try again. That was the famous line from a song by Aaliyah which i can truly relate while i was on my surfing lessons. After every fall, i smile and get back up and do it again. Perseverance and strong will is the key on on learning how to surf or even to any endeavor we want to do.
There is a different joy when you see result of something that you work hard for. It was a road trip made even lovelier because i am with my family and best friend.
We were so hungry after conquering the waves of Dahican. We went to Seaside Restaurant to have snacks. Seaside Restaurant is famous for their empanada and lumpia. You need to order ahead of time especially if you are buying in bulk. We were lucky that when we went there, freshly baked empanadas were available. Their empanada filling is really delicious and is really heavy to the tummy because it is very meaty. It has a distinct taste and a heavy snack bursting with flavors. We took home 5 boxes of empanada for pasalubong and for our personal consumption.
We went back to the city full of beautiful memories. We drove leisurely as it was already getting dark. It was a short but a very memorable trip. I was glad that i had an opportunity to visit Mati again. The people were very warm and friendly, very reflective of the Filipino hospitality that we are known for. After a decade, a lot has changed and improved and i am hoping that the Mati will be more visited by local and foreign tourists alike and hopefully become a top tourist destination not only in Mindanao but in the Philippines. Why go far when our country has so much to offer? Let us choose Philippines!
Let me know your thoughts about this travel blog, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email, i am thrilled to hear from you! 🙂