Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eden Nature Park and Resort


Eden Nature Park and Resort in Toril, Davao City

In 2007, I brought along a long-time friend and trusted associate, Tom Hilado of Manila for a month-long vacation with my wife, Grace, and daughter, Jamie in Davao City. Tom is one of those adventurous types of a guy who simply wonders aimlessly about in a totally unfamiliar place, always ready to try out just about anything - from the local street food, to the most exotic delicacy; from a wholesome joint, to the not too naive cocktail bar; from a decent health spa, and, to his utter surprise and amazement, to a downtown massage parlor whose masseuse did not only know how to massage but instead offered a different kind of "service" . . . . Being a decent, and well-bred fellow my friend, Tom is, he quietly left the place in question, and immediately took one of the popular rides in the City called the "habal-habal", a two-wheeled motorcycle usually ridden way beyond its passenger capacity, (Habal-habal can unbelievably carry 5 to 6 passengers effortlessly, and can only be found, where else but, in the streets of the Philippines particularly in Mindanao), and in an effort to discover what Davao City can offer to this insatiable adventurer, Tom found himself at the very doorstep of Eden Nature Park and Resort in Toril, and spent the entire afternoon wandering about the resort. It was already past the hour of 8:00 o' clock in the evening when Tom came back home to our rented abode in Catalunan Grande, and, over dinner, vividly narrated in detail his adventure for the day. Apparently, Tom immediately fell in love with the resort the moment he set foot to Eden Nature Park, and has never lost that emotional grip since. 


Wide pathway leading to the Resort

Today, in our usual weekend discussions and views of current events over one too many bottles of beer back at my residence in Manila, Tom would reminisce his fond escapade to the mountains of Eden Nature Park, and I, in turn, as a good friend to him, patiently bear his litany of superlatives about this paradise in the mountains of Davao City called Eden Nature Park and Resort up to the very last drop of beer. Naturally, Tom hopes to be back in Davao City in the not too distant future, on a sentimental journey to Eden Nature Park.

Dedication of this special post to my good friend, Tom Hilado, is therefore, in order.


Entrance to Eden Nature Park

Eden Nature Park and Resort is one of the most frequented destinations in Davao City by foreign tourists and local visitors alike. Right at the very foot of Mount Talomo in Davao City's District of Toril, the Resort is quietly nestled on a sprawling expanse of 80 hectares of terraces carved out of the mountain slope,  about 2,650 feet above sea level, and where over a 100,000 fully-grown pine trees, and another 100,000 towering forest trees are spread all over the area, providing a safe sanctuary to wild birds nestled freely on its branches, and forming a huge canopy of leaves that serve as a protective cover to other trees and plants flourishing wildly into a secondary forest of flora and fauna.

Unknown to many, Eden Nature Park is 95% man-made resort. Discovered sometime in 1971, the resort was once a logged-over area covered only by a blanket of wild grass. Today, the Eden Nature Park and Resort has become a truly world class facility that offers  personalized tours and services to its resort guests. It's modern facilities and amenities include a 62-room hotel replete with non-smoking areas, and beautifully furnished with writing desks, cable televisions, shower rooms, mini bars and kitchenettes; a souvenir shop, laundry services, dry cleaning, meeting facilities, and a restaurant. There are also leisure and sports facilities such as pool for kids, a kids' club, an outdoor pool, and many flower gardens.


Spacious parking lot for the Resort's guests


Welcoming guests to the Eden Nature Park at the Day Tour Center

Places of interests in Eden Nature Park and Resort include:


Day Tour Center

The Day Tour Center is the information central of the day's activities of the resort where guests register here for day packages, guided tours, or special day events.


Guided Shuttle Tour 

The Resort offers a 45-minute guided shuttle tour for those who are eager to get a glimpse and a quick orientation of the Resort's endless attractions and amenities. Availability of the shuttle tour, however, comes on a first-come-first-served basis.


Map of Eden Nature Park


Eden Nature Park's signage


Souvenir Shop

The Souvenir Shop features a variety of native handicrafts, and trinkets made in Davao, as well as souvenir items that carry the Eden label. It is conveniently located just across the Day Tour Center.


At the Souvenir Shop


Outside the Souvenir Shop


Inside the Souvenir Shop


On display are the many native handicrafts and trinkets made in Davao
as well as souvenir items that carry the Eden label


St. Michael, The Archangel Chapel

St. Michael, The Archangel Chapel  is located near the entrance of the Resort, and is a popular venue for weddings.


Inside the Chapel


The Amphitheater

The Amphitheater is a multi-function open area of manicured grass, perfect for mass, garden weddings, parties, and other social, and business events. It provides magnificent panoramic view of Davao City, and the Gulf of Davao.


The Amphitheater with Jade vine covering the columns


Breathtaking view of Davao City and the Gulf of Davao



An Albino Peacock


Garden of Eden with the Statue of St. Francis of Assisi

The Garden of Eden is a perfect place for prayer, or simply to wander about in the Garden with its cool and tranquil ambiance amidst a rich variety of colorful plants beautifully arranged.


Entrance to the Prayer Garden


Wide pathways


Mountain Trail

This is one site in Eden Park where brisk walkers, hikers, and joggers enjoy nature's richness and the rejuvenating air filled with the whiff of towering pine trees as they ramble through the magnificent ravine trails and wide boulder pathways, while listening to the chirping of wild birds, and the rustling of leaves of pine trees and forest trees. 


Wide pathways


Rainbow Pass


Man-made Matino Waterfalls


Vista Playground


Adventure ride called Indiana Jones


Eden Park's Zipline


Mayumi's Wishing Well

Mayumi's Wishing Well is filled to the brim with floating hibiscus in colorful array.


A closer look of floating hibiscus in colorful array


Lola's Garden

Lola's Garden is one of the beautiful spots in the Garden, and is frequented by guests for photo shoots. Various herbs and vegetables are organically grown here.


Various herbs and vegetables are organically grown
at the Lola's Garden

Eden Orchard

Eden Orchard houses rows of lettuces grown in hydroponics - a method of growing plants in nutrient-enriched water instead of soil,  and is 100% pesticide free.


Hydroponics Garden


Eden Fishing Village

Tilapia and Hito are a day's prized catch in the Fishing Village.


Welcome signage to the Fishing Village


Pool of waters


Manicured grass in the Garden


The Garden


Walled pathways


Eden Pool

Eden Pool is situated in the highest point of Eden Nature Park where if affords a panoramic view of Davao City, and the Gulf of Davao.


Another look of the Pool


Favorite spot for families to bond together


Eden Gazebo


Eden Vista Restaurant

Vista Restaurant offers a relaxing Al fresco ambiance with romantic backdrop of Davao City and the Gulf of Davao. It is a perfect venue for wedding receptions, parties, social, and business functions, or simply to pig-out with families, colleagues, and friends.


Lunch and dinner buffets are also served


A look inside the Vinta Restaurant


An array of food served at the Restaurant


Eden Campsite I

Eden Nature Park has two campsites: Campsite I is located approximately 1.5 kilometers from the Resort's center, while Campsite II is located at the heart of the Resort adjacent to the Vista Kiosk's and Indiana Jones. The campsites, amidst towering pine trees, vanilla vines, and rugged terrain, are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities. The site can accommodate 40 to 50 campers.


Campsite II


Kaingen

The majority of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, the Lumads, employ traditional shifting cultivation, known as "kaingen". This old-aged practice involves temporary clearing of a land by cutting, and burning of vegetation to prepare the ground for farming. The traditional kaingen method is steeped in ritual. The spirits are consulted every step of the way; from selection of a particular site, all the way to planting and harvesting. And, because of their reverence to the spirits, they do not burn the ground indiscriminately. Usually, after one season of planting and harvesting of upland vegetation, the land is left untouched to let its soil recover its natural fertility overtime - after ten to fifteen years. This way, destruction of the environment is thus avoided. What is considered destructive is the indiscriminate kaingen method that does not allow the land ample time to recover its fertility. Irresponsible farmers using this method resume planting only a year after the harvest.


Statue of Bagani at the entrance to Tinubdan

Tinubdan’s Welcome Garden features the rich diversity of cultures in the Davao Region of Mindanao, and shows the spatial location of the indigenous cultural communities. "Madayaw na Pagkani" means "a blissful welcome", and "Tana-Tanaman" means "Welcome Garden". "Tana" signifies "land", and "Tanaman" signifies "garden". Tinubdan is a 5,000 square-meter cultural park that features replicas of the old traditional houses of the Lumads. Tinubdan is derived from the root word, "Tubod", which means "spring" or "origin of water". Tinubdan provides visitors a glimpse of the customs, traditions, beliefs, and the ways of life of the Lumads.


Stairs leading to Tinubdan


Lumadnong Tambal

Lumadnong Tambal is an herbal garden within the Tinubdan Garden where various medicinal plants used by the Lumads of Mindanao are found. There are rituals associated with the plants, which are known only to, and practiced by the "baylan" - a shaman or healer. And, because of this unconventional medical practice, the Christian-Spaniards regarded them as works of the devil, and eventually eradicated the practice. Sadly, the records and formulas of those medicinal plants used by the baylans for healing were not preserved, and irretrievably lost in history.


Bebalay-Baylan

Bebalay-Baylan, or the "Shaman's House" functions as the infirmary of the tribal community of the Lumads. Dried medicinal plants which the Baylan uses for healing are found here.


Balai-Kalimudan

Balai-Kalimudan, or the Datu's House is a traditional house of the Lumads. The "Balai", which means "house", is where the "Datu", the "tribal chief" or "monarch" lives and holds political office.


Accommodations at the Eden Nature Park

Guests of the Resort will find comfortable accommodations of various types, suitable for anyone's needs: deluxe double, and quadro suites; standard double, and family rooms; mountain villas, cottages, and wood cabins. 

Below are just two of the many lodgings in Eden Nature Park and Resort:


Vista Cottage

Nestled among the lush greenery overlooking a ravine, Vista Cottage offers a perfect hideaway for guests who want complete tranquility and seclusion away from the noise, and hustle and bustle of city life.


Holiday Lodge

Holiday Lodge are duplex units designed with native-inspired rooms, amidst the lush greenery and towering pine trees, and misty air, perfect for vacation.


How to get to Eden Park

It takes one and a half hour ride by plane from Manila; about an hour taxi ride southwards to Toril District from the Davao International Airport in Sasa, Davao City.



Contact Information

Eden Nature Park & Resort, Inc.
Sales and Reservations Office
Matina Town Square
McArthur Highway, Matina
Davao City, Philippines

Tel. Nos: +63 82 299-1020, +63 82 296-0791
Fax: +63 82 299-0313
Mobile No.: +639189307590

Email: info@edennaturepark.com.ph