22 Sep Discovering Greater Davao with the Nissan NP300 Navarra
Mindanao, the road less traveled for adventures waiting to happen. Coming from a family that is native to Mindanao, the Southern Philippines will always be special to me. Here still remain many bustling, natural ecosystems a huge part of the last frontier of the Philippines, if you wish. And when one makes references to Mindanao, it is almost impossible to overlook the shining region of Davao home to the mighty Philippine Eagle, the pungent albeit succulent Durian, a hotspot of endemic species and natural wonder, and whose capital is an icon of good governance. A not so hidden gem anymore, Davao is now coming into focus in the eye of the Philippine public.
Thankfully, Nissan Philippines, through the Promotions Board of the Department of Tourism, has been showcasing the gems of local tourism, under the “Visit the Philippines, Drive to Discover with Nissan” program. And this took me on a wonderful journey along the admirable, interprovincial roads of Davao region, driving none other than the trusty, attractive, and ubercomfortable Nissan Navarra!
The NP300 Navarra is the first locally available pickup that sports a 7-speed automatic transmission, mated with its 2.5L 4cylinder engine, translating to exceptionally favorable fuel mileage that we experienced first hand, during this long Southern expedition. I drove around the 4×4 variant which came handy whenever we had to run through bits of unavoidable offroad patches here and there; and the good news is that this newgeneration model comes with a good amount of electronic driving aids that include traction control, vehicle dynamics stability control, hillstart assist and hill descent control, among others making for a safer journey, most especially when we come closer to human limitations after very lengthy, exhaustive drives.
Blazing through the impressively wellpaved Davao provincial roads, I maneuvered the Navarra with ease, through cliffsided twisty mountain roads that revealed breathtaking views. Note to self: The Southern Philippines is indeed a wondrous place! And the Navarra, a reliable travel partner that frankly, never gave me motion sickness. Our first stop was a picnic lunch at the unadulterated Menzi Beach, along the Davao Oriental coastline. The beauty of this place is that it is unspoiled peaceful, clean and free of rowdy tourists. But for me, the best part of this unplundered paradise is that it is home to amazing sea creatures!
Our next stop was the privately owned Banana Beach of the well kept Hijo Resorts in Davao del Norte. Getting there was fun, as we checked out many streetside vendors that carried local produce that were sweet and organically grown, along the way. Finding enough space for all our pasalubong was never a concern, as the Navarra’s large pickup bed was convenient for accommodating all our spoils, equipment and bulky baggage.
Banana Beach is situated amidst a massive banana and coconut plantation and offers a string of adventurous, recreational activities, such as a journey through a series of heartpumping, hanging bridges; a venturous walk
through a wellpreserved forest with oldgrowth trees; some marksmanship fun with some rifle practice at the nearby shooting range; and even an amazing encounter with freeroaming macaques and packs of wild boar! These are all
great examples of excitement one can only get off the beaten path. And clearly, this requires a mode of transport more capable than your daily, city car.
There is so much unspoiled beauty that Mindanao has to offer; it is perhaps one of the laststanding fronts of Philippine nature. This is why now is an excellent time to “drive and discover.” And with the Nissan Navarra, who knows what distant destinations it could take you to!
Drive to Discover with Nissan-Davao Adventure
Four-hour land trip? No problem!
Discover Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte's scenic views, marine life and eco-adventure activities with Drive to Discover with Nissan Feature on Wheels TV, aired last September 8, 2016.
Posted by DotDavao Region on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Source: Angel Rivero | The Philippine Star