Day 1: NiceThings at Wow, Davao!

I knew my birthday this year was going to be great with a booked trip to Davao and all but I did not expect it to be as amazing as it was.

I spent the day at Aboitiz Foundation’s Cleanergy Park along with BFF Patintera. It’s an 8-hectare sanctuary for the critically endangered Hawksbill pawikan turtle and was developed by the Foundation through the support of various Aboitiz businesses in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

What made this trip spectacular was witnessing Cleanergy Park staff transferring pawikan eggs to a protected hatchery.

Here we’re talking to Fermin Edillon, Community Relations Manager of Davao Light, who oversees the transfer of the pawikan eggs.

Kuya Rotchie is carefully transferring the eggs, making sure they are positioned exactly as they were found in the original pit

I love having as many firsts as possible but this is definitely the best this year so far. And I doubt anything will beat it before the year ends.

pawikan eggs at cleanergy park with kuya rochi

Check out the date. These babies were transferred on my birthday. Hi-hi!

Pawikans only lay eggs where they were themselves laid and hatched. So, this pawikan mom was hatched right here at this marine sanctuary some 20 to 30 years ago, too.

pawikan eggs at cleanergy park

Pawikan eggs are soft and have a rubbery texture. They should be handled carefully and the Cleanergy Park has trained personnel to perform this task.

Sadly, we won’t be around to see the hatchlings but I pray that all 120 eggs make it to maturity. Statistically, though, only 1% of hatchlings make it to adulthood due to predators and natural elements. 😦

Talking about the Cleanergy Park, it also has a boardwalk winding through mangroves and made from 90% recycled wood. The mangrove forest protects the park itself from soil erosion and flood.

cleanergy park jade

Jade Gamas, Davao Light’s spunky CorpComm rep, shows us that mangroves serve as a buffer to protect the coast from strong waves during typhoons.

It’s important to keep reaching out and educating people about how important it is to take care of our only home. As a favorite Joey Ayala song goes, “Karaniwang tao, saan ka tatakbo kapag nawasak iisang mundo’? No, karaniwang tao, the answer isn’t Mars.

nicethings ph at cleanergy park beach

Let’s show marine sanctuaries some love by helping to preserve these areas and educating people about marine life conservation.

After our trip to Cleanergy Park, our friends from Davao Light — Fermin, Jade, and She — were kind enough to show us a bit of the sites in Davao City .

They took us up to Jack’s Ridge, which has an amazing view of the city at night.

view from davao

Davao Light at work.

We capped the tour with a trip to one of Davao’s most sought after restaurants: Palo Vince, the Pakfry King.

nice things at palo vince davao

Playing with the biggie fishy.

Pakfry is piece of tuna fish tail cooked as paksiw, deep fried, then drizzled with paksiw sauce. Pak! Fry! #ParaSaEkonomiya

palo vince pakfry davao

My birthday dinner: Palo Vince’s Pakfry, Sinigang na Bangus, and Crispy Pata #NomNomNom

Since we were staying in Davao for four days, we decided to get groceries before heading back to the hotel. Fermin and the gang dropped us off at SM Lanang, which also turned out to be a treat.

sm davao fountain show

SM Lanang Premier has nightly fountain show worth seeing if you ever visit Davao City

When we finally reached the hotel, Patintera couldn’t let my birthday pass without giving me a cake so we got one at the lobby. Thank you, BFF!

nice birthday cake pinnacle davao

A happy birthday indeed.

It even came with a surprise greeting after her shower:

happy birthday nice pinnacle davao


My birthday vacay turned out even better than expected. Davao trip day 1 concluded.

Stay tuned for the next installment and more adventures in the south.


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