Davao

Dahican, Mati and my lone travel regret for 2013

I have yet to recover from the holidays.

I solemnly swear to blog more as soon as I set my affairs in order. And as soon as I sift through the chaos in my head—which I’ve been quite proactive about. I’ve been de-cluttering my room, my laptop, and even social media, in keeping with the idea that the state of my environment reflects my state of mind (heh).

With my 30 Before 30 project deadline looming (three more to go!), I’ve been thinking about what my bucket list would be in the next decade of my life and so far I haven’t had the time to actually sit down and think about what I want to do. There are a lot of bucket-worthy items swimming around in my head, but it’s different when you commit things to paper—somehow, magic happens and suddenly you find yourself actually demolishing the items on your list. :D

Anyway, I will come up with one by February.

Meanwhile, on the tail end of 2013, I had the pleasantest surprise. I went home to spend Christmas with my family in Southern Philippines and I found this piece of paradise waiting for me:

Christmas 2013

A three-hour drive away from Davao City, the province of Mati, Davao Oriental totally blew me away. I had never been there before—my sister discovered this surf spot a few years ago and she has been going on and on about it, and I just tuned her out because I thought Mati would look like any other beach in Davao (I am a jaded beach goer—chalk it up to twenty something years living 15 minutes away from breakwater).

So on the 27th of December, I reluctantly agreed to go to Mati to see what the fuss was about. The moment I saw the Sleeping Dinosaur-looking island, the water looking so calm and serene and BLUE and inviting (I seriously wanted to jump off the cliff where I took the photo from), I felt a flash of regret for not visiting it sooner. We were only there for an afternoon—my flight back to Manila was the following morning—and already my head was telling me YOU BETTER COME BACK HERE WOMAN.

Oh I definitely will.

Mati, you and I are meeting again and making awesome memories. In the meantime, here are some gorgeous photos of you to tide me over…

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

I didn’t even bother bringing my camera—these photos were taken using my iPhone—because I was prepared to be underwhelmed. The joke was obviously on me.

We only spent a good three hours in this relatively unknown paradise. The waves in Dahican weren’t good for surfing that day so we just spent most of our time swimming and baking under the sun. My sister’s friend Missy told me that there are two main beaches in Mati—Dahican Beach, which faces the ocean and brings in swells from the Pacific, and another one in Sitio Pitugo where the water is much calmer. She wanted to take us to this resort there called Blue Bless but I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from Dahican.

Coming back to Mati will definitely figure into my 2014 travel plans, which only has one other item on the list: a trip in March to Myanmar. Ever since they lifted the visa requirement for PH passport holders, I’ve been dying to go. Today, I finally booked the flights via Singapore.

I don’t know yet what the rest of 2014 holds for me—truth be told it bothers me a little…okay, it bothers me a lot. But I felt the same way about 2013 and look how that turned out. I ended up visiting five countries last year and demolished most of the items on my bucket list. And I am ever grateful.

2014 may seem daunting now, but I have declared this to be an OPEN year. Year of the Yes. So yeah…terrifying now, but excitement is slowly seeping through my cloud of fear. I think I’m ready for the ride, 2014. Come at me :D

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7 comments

    1. Saying YES can be both daunting and exciting, which I guess appeals to me at this point so I’m making it my 2014 mantra! Haha. :D

      Thank you for following my blog. Here’s to an adventure-filled 2014 for both of us! Cheers!

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  1. can i ask please on how to get there from Davao City to Mati?? and to go to Dahican beach how long does it take from Mati City proper?? do we have to take a van or something?? and any Place to stay??.. im lovin’ the beach, based on your pics, it looks so pristine. ty so much for the blogpost. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Thank you for dropping by the blog :)

      We drove to Mati the last time I was there, but you can also go there by bus. From Davao City’s Ecoland Terminal, take the bus bound for Mati, Davao Oriental. Aircon buses are around P250 last time I checked, and travel time is three to four hours. To get to Dahican Beach, just take a tricycle from town center. Fare is around P40 and travel time is around 20 minutes. Hiring a van would be ideal, as you can stop whenever you see something interesting a long the way, but I’m not sure where to rent one.

      We didn’t stay there overnight, just went on a day trip, but there are a number of hotels in Mati city proper listed in Agoda.com. There are also beach resorts in Dahican—they’re not fancy accommodations but are well-maintained and clean. Best to avoid going there on a holiday weekend so you can have the beach all to yourself :D

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  2. Hello po. If you need a Van for rent pwde po kami . Toyota Hi-Ace Commuter and Starex . Rate starts at 3500+renters fuel for out of Davao City tour . For queries please feel free to contact me 09078955582 . Thank you :)

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