An urban city and the capital of Davao del Norte, Tagum continues to compete in economics and ecotourism. Comparing it to other tourist destinations like Boracay or Bohol is vain and somewhat improper because Tagum, though does not make such a buzz to travelers, still, has a lot to offer. Aside from that, Tagum has its own unique daily living and (personally) there’s a lot of things I find to be interesting in this small town.
From Davao City, it will take roughly 2 to 3 hours of travel via public van, taxi, or private vehicle. There is only one road that will lead you from Davao to Tagum, so it shouldn’t really concern you.
Tagum City, I can say, has a conventional governance. Cops and local authorities roam in almost every corner of the city so to watch out for possible accidents. A siren thunders the city every 10 PM to regulate curfew for teens. There is also a No-Smoke ordinance making the city one of the rarest smoke-free places in the country. Those are just some of the few reasons to love Tagum. More than that, let me tell you the best things to do in the city.
If I have to brag something about Tagum City, that would be the lively nightlife. The offbeat nightlife of Tagum is far different from other spots with girls in bikinis and noisy loudspeakers. The nightspots are simple yet full of pep. There is a night market in Tagum City, locally known as Trade Center (because it surrounds Tagum City Cultural and Trade Center), near the old city hall where food stalls and merchandise booths surround the area. The food stores are very organized and well-structured. In the street is a strip of food stalls that serves barbecues, turn left then there is a row of stalls that serves Lugaw (rice porridge), and if you take another turn, there will be a chain of kiosks and food carts that serve quick snacks like Takoyaki and so much more.
There is also a street densely displayed with ready-to-wear clothing and used designer bags in thrifty prices. You will save more if you are good at bargaining. Phone accessories and tiny gadgets are also being sold in booths at affordable prices.
In the morning, the street is neat as if no nightlife happened. The roads are open for public vehicles.
Walk in the Parks
Tagum City has a bunch of parks where you can stroll and saunter. Here are the two frequented parks in the city:
Freedom Park is in the center of the busy city proper of Tagum. Around the park are cheap eats to feed your tummy in affordable cost. You can try Kwek-Kwek (Quail eggs), Isaw (Chicken intestine), Maruya (caramelized banana) along with other refreshments. The park is spacious and simple, probably one of the best places to meet people or to have a casual walk.
Energy Park aims to conserve energy by promoting electronic-free activities within the vicinity. It is a park perfect for family recreation, self-relaxation, and for group activities. This 25-hectare park has a vast land of grass where picnics are best enjoyed. You can also rent bicycles so you can roam around the area and enjoy the fresh air. Tall trees and green plants are present all around the place giving the park clean and mystic ambiance. Jogging and Zumba are also ideal in this area.
There is an aviary that showcases various kinds of birds such as Eagle, Owl, along with eight more kinds.
Try Unique Food
There are several fares you must try in Tagum City, but let me just tell you few of it. Try Pastil, a steamed rice topped with a dish (commonly, chicken adobo, tuna, or pork adobo) wrapped in a banana leaf. You can eat it without the need of spoon and fork. The concept was originally created by the Muslims in the Philippines.
You can also buy Durian, the smelliest fruit in the world. They are commonly displayed on the side road and is also available on the market.
One of the most awaited events in Tagum is the Musikahan where Tagumeños and other individuals with musical talents from Mindanao gather together to showcase their enticing musical performances. Perhaps, there are no doubts why Tagum was dubbed as the Music Capital of Mindanao.
Run like a Pro in Tagum Sports Complex and Stadium
Fitness buffs and proactive people will have so much fun in Tagum Sports Complex. Athletes and health-conscious individuals will be delighted to take a jog in the oval. Others would just go early in the morning and enjoy a simple brisk walking while enjoying the sunshine. There is also a court for basketball, badminton, and volleyball (in a reasonable fee). The swimming pool is meant for professional swimmers, primarily, for training for competitions.
Tagum Sports Complex hosts district and regional sports competition. Athletes from various spots in Mindanao gather together in this open-air complex to compete against each other’s dexterity.
Visit Banana Beach
Banana Beach is considered as the only resort that is nested inside a banana plantation. Banana Beach offers a bountiful of amenities and fun activities such as ATV ride, river cruise, horseback riding, and fishing. There is also room for sports such as Frisbee and beach volleyball.
There is an infinity pool where you can chill and swim in fresh water. Otherwise, you can plunge yourself in the salty waves of the beach. Water activities are also available such as jet skiing, kayaking, banana boat ride, paddle boarding, and skim boarding.
The entrance fee is only Php750 (approx. $13) consumable. Residents of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley have exclusive discounts.
Feel the Serenity in San Agustin Botanical Garden
Serenity and calmness – that’s what the San Agustin Botanical Garden can offer. The vast garden is clothed with lush and greens of different native, endemic, and foreign plant species. The stairs will tour you to the garden and will navigate you to the green plants and colorful floras. This garden is a perfect place for those who want to escape from the noise of the urbanity of the city. A viewing deck is available that will amuse you with the green landscapes that go up to the horizon. The ambiance is great and the cool fresh air is truly splendid.