Seeing the endangered Philippine “monkey-eating” Eagle was one of the top items in my 3-day itinerary in Davao. There’s no more convenient way to cross this item off my “Davao bucket list” than to visit the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) located in the Malagos district, Davao City.

On my first day in Davao, I spent the whole afternoon at the Philippine Eagle Center and around Malagos Water District.

Huge cages for captive-bred Philippine Eagles at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Davao City

Davao City Proper to Philippine Eagle Center

After arriving at the Davao International Airport and getting settled at My Hotel Davao, I walked around the Bankerohan Market area (in downtown Davao) and saw a multicab with a sign “Hop-on Hop-off” and photos of the Philippine Eagle plastered on its exteriors. I’ve read about Davao’s “Hop-on Hop-off” shuttles before but didn’t know where their terminal was located. Lucky me to have chanced upon them.

I approached the driver who told me one of the shuttles goes to Calinan “Bayan.” From there, I can ride a habal-habal (single motorcycle) direct to the Davao City Water District complex in Malagos, where the Philippine Eagle Center is located.

Hop-on Hop-off Terminal - Bankerohan - Davao City 10-10 (265)Hop-on Hop-off Terminal - Bankerohan - Davao City 10-10 (266)
Davao Hop-on Hop-off shuttle terminal (1st and second photo); Intersection going to Calinan (last photo)

If I hadn’t encountered the Hop-on Hop-off shuttle, I would followed this plan, which I wrote down in my notes:

  • From downtown Davao (Claveria Street, Roxas Avenue and Quimpo Boulevard), ride a jeepney bound for Toril – P20 fare
  • Ask the driver to drop you off on the intersection heading to Calinan. A landmark at the intersection is a “Mercury Drug” store
  • From the intersection to Calinan, ride a jeepney bound for Calinan “bayan.” Fare is PhP20 and travel time to Calinan is around 20mins.
  • Once you’re in the “bayan” of Calinan, ride a single motorcycle or tricycle to the “Water District.”  The ride takes around 5 minutes. The rate for chartering the habal-habal is P20, while the fare for the tricycle (shared with with 6/7 others) is only P10.

Philippine Eagle Center

To get to the Philippine Eagle Center, I first had to pass through the Davao City Water District complex. Entrance fee to the DCWD complex was P5 while the entrance fee to the Philippine Eagle Center was P50. I went straight to see the Philippine Eagle first and explored the picnic gardens of the water district complex on my way back.

Entrance and reception area of the Davao City Water District complex / Philippine Eagle Center

I had always imagined the Philippine Eagle to be a regal, slightly frightful, and intimidating creature but when I finally got to see one in person, I couldn’t help but notice how “looney” some of them looked. Even the other birds in the eagle center looked more menacing than the “King of Philippine Skies.”

“Looney” captive-bred Philippine Eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center

Aside from the Philippine Eagles there are also a lot more bird species and wildlife at the Philippine Eagle Center. Disregarding the cages, the area retained its natural look because of the refreshing sight of towering trees and clear springs.

Now this is what a menacing bird looks like :)

White-bellied  Sea Eagle

Grey-headed Fishing Eagle (Left); Crested Serpent Eagle (Mid and Right)

Loved the natural scenery at PEC

Nature walk

Estuarine Crocodile

“Sleepy” Grass Owls

Philippine Brown Deer

A troop of Long-tail Macaques 

Lazy pig

Scruffy Brahimy Kite (Lawin)

On my way out I had to pass under this guy. Scary :D

Davao City Water District (DCWD)

The Davao City Water District is a sprawling complex

Sprawling Green garden

Cottages at DCWD

Ampitheathre beside a scenic hydraulic drop

Swimming Pool. Non-functional during my visit

Afterwards, I walked to the highway and waited for a motorycle to take me back to the main road (P20). Then a jeepney (P20 fare) to back to the highway intersection.

Needs some retouching

Entrance to Davao City Water District Complex seen from the main road