Francisco Bangoy International Airport (also referred to as Davao International Airport) serves the city of Davao, located on the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines. Named after Don Francisco Bangoy - the patriarch of an influential Davao family who had donated the plot of land on which the airport stands - Francisco Bangoy International has been operational since the 1940s. Its passenger terminal, however, is much newer than that; having been inaugurated in 2003, the enlarged, modern building was constructed to replace the old terminal buildings in order to meet the increase in air traffic demand.
Today Francisco Bangoy International Airport is the busiest airport on Mindanao island, and is able to serve more than a million passengers yearly. The airport offers direct flights to major cities within the Philippines like Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga, as well as popular destinations within Southeast Asia like Singapore.
Getting around Davao
Francisco Bangoy International Airport is located about 15 kilometres from Davao city. Upon arrival at the airport, travelers can take a taxi to their destination within the city – these should be readily available around the airport. Otherwise, car hire facilities can be found within Francisco Bangoy Airport as well.
Those on a shoestring budget may want to consider taking a jeepney – the Philippine version of a bus or shared minivan – into town. These jeepneys don’t stop right outside the airport terminal, though, so be prepared for a 5-minute walk towards the highway if you want to catch one.
What to see and do in Davao
Davao is the most populated city in Mindanao – with a population of more than 1 million people – and the largest city in the Philippines by area (over 2,000 square kilometres). It is known as the Philippines’ ‘Durian Republic’ because it produces close to 80% of the country’s supply of the odd, prickly fruit, so be sure to try one if you’re in town. Beware that the durian often has a polarizing effect on its consumers, though – you’d either end up loathing the smell, or totally addicted to the creamy flesh that tastes like nothing you’ve ever had in your life.
After filling your belly with the ‘King of Fruits’, mosey over to one of the city’s most famed attractions, the Philippine Eagle Nature Center, for a day of informative fun. The magnificent Philippine Eagle – the feature of the center – is almost on the verge of extinction, so a chance to see over 30 of them in one place is a very rare opportunity indeed. Get up close and personal with one of nature’s avian apex predators (who feasts on monkeys in the wild) and learn about what makes it tick, as well as conservation efforts in place to protect this fierce majestic bird from extinction.
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