Mati: A rural city with so much love to give

What used to be a quiet town in the southeast of Mindanao is finally finding its voice. From its spectacular views, world-class waves, to its wide range of delicacies, Mati wants to share every aspect of its exciting life with you like an eager partner with so much love to give.

Mati used to be under Davao City’s shadow, only known as source of the region’s sweetest pomelos, until the turn of the millennium where the roads were developed and tourist spots were well-marketed.

Here are Mati’s top offers for chillers and adrenaline junkies, alike:

Sunbathe at Dahican

Kudos to the coco shell aesthetic!

Spread your roundies on Dahican’s white sand for that sun-kissed glow. You may enter through Menzi Beach for P50 or through Amihan Beach Resort for P20 or through any of those resorts in the strip as all of them lead to the shared shoreline.

Dahican Surf Resort is your best bet if you want to lounge by the beach while drinking your favourite ice-cold beer or indulging in halo-halo or fresh fruit shakes.

Learn skimboarding with the Amihan Peeps

Trying to make it look easy but actually didn't even ride once that day, haha!

Bleached hair, toned bodies, the Amihan Peeps are easy to spot if you need skimboarding lessons in Dahican. However, I would strongly advise not to just label them as mere watersport instructors. Their role is beyond that. They look after the place as they are educated in nature conservation and well-versed in Dahican’s ecosystem. Next time an Amihan girl tells you to put out your cigarette or an Amihan boy chases you with a trash bag, believe me, it’s not to annoy you.

Oh, they also teach surfing but Dahican’s features cater more to skimboarding (disclaimer: it’s fairly more difficult than surfing) so why not give it a try?

Nightswimming at stilt beaches

Hmmm, time to hit pause

Should you need a rest from the Pacific Ocean’s fury but still want to enjoy some salty time, Mati’s got you, fam. A few minutes habal-habal ride from Dahican are the stilt beaches with calmer waters. You can choose among Gregorio Beach Resort, Masao Beach Resort, or Blue Bless Beach Resort, among others. Gregorio and Masao have a laidback feel with their huts above the water and dive boards for 24/7 plunges to the sea. Blue Bless, on the other hand, has a pool and exclusive villas for the whole family to enjoy.

Hop to Pujada & Waniban Islands

Resorts mentioned above all offer affordable day tours to nearby Pujada & Waniban Islands. Visit those unspoiled islands for a perfect sun-sky backdrop that suits best on your IG feed.

Pro tip: Bring your choicest meal, banana leaves, and have a boodle fight for lunch! The Survivor ‘feels’ is one for the books.

Catch the horizon with an Ultralight Plane

Enough of the sea, it’s time to go up, up, and away. Mindanao Flying Saga Club built a base in Mati’s old runway and opened the skies for Matinians and its visitors.

MFSC offers trial instructional for flight-open aircraft and flight-closed cockpit, and eventually flight lessons for the determined ones. But it’s not only about the flight, guys! The peace you get while looking at Mati’s rich colors from above makes the experience humbling and fulfilling.

While browsing food parks in Manila, I found a stall that's selling a "Dahican" juice. The lady got inspired by the hues of blues she saw while riding the Ultralight plane so she created the blue drink.

Wake the Sleeping Dinosaur

Be sure to wear sun protection! There are no shades to shelter you while on the trail.

The natural dino-shaped landform attraction along Brgy Badas is gaining more popularity for its hiking and biking trail developed recently. Golden hours to start the trek are at 5-6 in the morning, or 3-4 in the afternoon. Plus, for someone who has hiked the peaks of Cebu, Sleeping Dino is relatively easy even my 48-year old non-athletic Mom completed the trail! Once you finished the 1.5hr-trail and lacked the energy to hike back, there are vehicles available to take you to your starting point or even to the city proper.

The real gift is the view while on the trail that’s way better than looking at it from the highway! Release your inner Maria and sing “the hills are alive with the sound of music.”

View from Brgy Badas highway

Obligatory groufie at Subangan

The star of the show, Davor!

For the culture curious and indoors people, you shouldn’t miss Subangan Museum. Dubbed by Drew Arellano as one of the few “modern museums in the country”, Subangan boasts of state-of-the-art displays of the lush Davao Oriental history, landmarks, exotic flora and fauna, and artifacts. Its main attraction, however, is the skeleton of Davor, a 53-feet sperm whale that was drifted to the coast of Governor Genoroso.

Eat to your heart’s content at Baywalk

Enjoying a light meal with my girls before heading to the isaw carts nearby

Undoubtedly, this one’s my favourite! Craving for isaw, adidas, kwek kwek? Head to the carts on the east and west ends. BBQ or Pinoy meals? Just follow the smell. Pizza and pasta? See Pizzakaya and Mojoes. Cakes? Ciangi has them and more! Beer buckets and shots? Fresh fruits? Grocery items to bring to Dahican? Yes, yes, and yes.

Peel sweet pomelos with bare hands

I can say my pomelo-picking skill has gone strong.

It’s possible! Mati is home to the sweetest pomelos in the country. I brought a few pomelos as gift for a client and she liked it so much she commissioned us to supply pomelos for their nationwide resto. Suffice to say, once you tasted Mati pomelos, you’ve tasted the best in the Philippines.

Pomelo heaven!

So next time when you feel you lack love in your life, pay a visit to Mati City and it will surely overwhelm you with warmth. All you have to do is love it back!

So much!

💗 What makes you most excited to visit Mati? I'd love to hear from you! 💗


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