My first time travel to the southern corners of the Philippines finally started with a flight from Iloilo to Davao. Blue skies stretched endlessly into the horizon, I couldn’t have asked for better weather during my arrival at Davao International Airport. After exiting the plane, we had to walk on the runway to the arrivals area. This scenario is typical when flying with budget airlines in the Philippines.

Walking to the passenger terminal of the Davao International Airport

Davao Airport is one of the major airports in the country, I already expected to see a lengthy runway a spacious passenger terminal. Seen from the arrivals side, Davao Airport had a respectably clean and simple, almost bare, look.

What surprised me was the beautifully designed main entrance. I loved the vertical lines of the pointed roofs. Unlike most airports in the Philippines, the Davao Airport had character. Its design reminded me of pointed roofs found in traditional houses of various cultures of Mindanao and of the distinctive thorn-covered skin husk of the durian fruit.

Davao Airport Passenger Terminal

I couldn’t resist generously taking my time to explore the area and snap lots of photos. Davao Airport is definitely in my list of favorite airports in the Philippines. Flying from Iloilo to Davao and transiting through two beautiful airports was already one of the highlights of my trip.

Passenger terminal of Davao International Airport

The Davao International Airport  (IATA: DVO, ICAO: RPMD) is officially known as the Fransisco Bangoy International Airport. It is the third busiest airport  in the Philippines and the busiest airport in Mindanao with total passenger traffic pegged at 2.66 million in 2010.

Durian sculpture at Davao International Airport

Just outside the passenger terminal is a sculpture of a giant durian fruit. Davao is synonymous with the exotic Durian fruit, which is one of the major attractions of the city. The Durian sculture is a good photo-op for tourists, like me, arriving into Davao.

Giant durian sculpture at Davao International Airport

Davao Airport to Davao City Proper

There were many metered taxis waiting in front of the passenger terminal of the Davao Airport. Taking the taxi is an excellent option to get to the airport since Davao City is known for its honest taxi drivers. The city center or Davao downtown was a couple of kilometers away from the airport … taxi fare would amount to P100+

Taxis and private cars parked in front of  the passenger terminal

Since I wasn’t in any hurry and wanted to save on costs, I went to the city proper by jeepney commute instead. The highway entrance of the airport was around 400 meters  (less than 5 minutes walk) from the passenger terminal. Crossed the street and hopped on a jeepney going southwards to the direction of the Davao City Proper. The jeepney had a “Claveria” signboard (I’ve been told the “Panacan” jeep also goes to Davao Downtown). Fare was P15 and travel time took around 45 minutes.

Full view of the Davoa Airport passenger terminal building

Passing by the “Welcome to Davao City” sign

Told the driver I was headed to My Hotel Davao, where I stayed for 3 nights. The jeepney dropped me off near the hotel where I had to walk another 15 minutes to the hotel. My Hotel Davao offered single fan rooms with common TB for P250 per night … aircon rooms start from around P1,000 per night. The budget hotel’s location along San Pedro St., was conveniently within walking distance from many dining options and attractions in Davao downtown like People’s Park, Davao Cathedral, Bankerohan Market, Davao City Hall, and the Museo Dabawenyo (Museum of the people of Davao).

Davao Downtown to Davao Airport

After my 3-day trip to Davao, I took a taxi to get to the airport from the downtown area. The “Panacan” jeepneys going north passes by the Davao Airport but I didn’t have enough time for the long commute. I took the taxi, which cost P120. For departing passengers on domestic flights, terminal fee at Davao Airport was P200.