Pulsating with the vibrant energy of the Philippines, Davao City is often overlooked in favor of the glitzy Metro Manila or the beachy paradise of Boracay. Yet, if you’re a passport bro looking for an escape that combines modern comfort, cultural richness, and an inviting community, then Davao might just be your hidden gem. In this edition of Doc’s Passport Bro Score, we dive deep into Davao’s appeal and challenges for passport bros on a budget.
English Language Accessibility (8 / 10)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a local in Davao City who doesn’t understand English. The education system places a high emphasis on English, making it easier for foreigners to communicate and navigate.
Safety & Security (8 / 10)
A standout among cities in the Philippines, Davao City is renowned for its peace and order. Strict ordinances and a competent local police force ensure that you can walk the streets day or night with ease.
Expat Community & Services (4 / 5)
You’ll find a flourishing expat community here, made more accessible by various expat-focused establishments and services. Whether you need guidance or simply a taste of home, Davao’s expat scene has you covered.
Cultural Activities & Entertainment (7 / 10)
From the annual Kadayawan Festival to the interactive tribal villages at Eden Nature Park, there’s no shortage of cultural activities in Davao. Movie theaters, shopping malls, and nightlife options are plentiful, although not quite as vibrant as Manila’s scene.
Public Transportation and Infrastructure (3 / 5)
Public transportation is abundant with options like jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis. However, be prepared for heavy traffic during rush hours. The infrastructure, while continually improving, isn’t quite up to Western standards.
Proximity to Airports (3 / 5)
Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also known as Davao International Airport, services the city. While not as well-connected as Manila or Cebu’s airports, it does offer direct flights to and from several Asian destinations.
Internet Connectivity (3 / 5)
The internet is quite reliable in Davao City, suitable for checking emails and keeping in touch with friends and family. However, if you’re looking for lightning-fast connections for heavy streaming or gaming, you may be disappointed.
Availability of Emergency Services (3 / 5)
The city has several competent hospitals, and police response is usually quick. However, as with most aspects of life in the Philippines, don’t expect the efficiency you might be used to back home.
Food, Dining & Social Scene (3 / 5)
Davao’s food scene offers a mix of local and international cuisines, with durian being a must-try. Nightlife is relatively tame due to the city’s liquor ban after 1 am, but there are plenty of early evening social events and venues to enjoy.
Women Willing to Date Foreigners (8 / 10)
Filipino women are generally very open to dating foreigners. With their world-renowned hospitality and warm, welcoming nature, you’ll find many potential partners interested in cross-cultural relationships.
Climate (3 / 5)
Davao City’s climate can be a bit of a hit or miss. While you can enjoy the tropical heat, the city is prone to heavy rains and occasional typhoons. It’s paradise if you can stand the humidity, but may be challenging if you prefer cooler climes.
Doc’s Passport Bro Score: 81 out of 100, Grade: B-
While Davao City scores well in English accessibility, safety, and the expat community, it falls short in areas like infrastructure, internet connectivity, and emergency services. However, its vibrant cultural scene and warm, welcoming locals make it an engaging destination for any passport bro looking for adventure and potentially love.
Overall, Davao City is an excellent choice for passport bros who value cultural experiences, safety, and a friendly, English-speaking population. However, those who prioritize first-world amenities might find it lacking. It’s not the cream of the crop, but it’s definitely worth a look.
This evaluation is geared towards expats seeking affordable living arrangements and not those looking for vacation spots or other purposes.