Davao dancing girls. Credit: City Government of Davao
Davao's successful bid to host the prestigious MICECON (meetings, incentives, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, events conference) in September is proof of a destination in events' ascendancy. For many years, this premier city on the island of Mindanao - the largest in the world in terms of total land area - was a hidden jewel in the ecological treasures of the Philippines, discovered when discriminating travelers saw more to Davao than what was recorded in their guidebooks.
For one, it is the home of the mystical Monkey Eating Eagle, championed no less than by pioneering naturalist and aviaitor Charles Lindhbergh; the site of 19 natural parks; and the starting point for the trek up Mount Apo, which at 2,954 m, is the highest point in the Philippines.
SMC Convention Center.
WHERE TO MEET
• SMX Convention Center
The arrival of SMX Convention Center in 2012, put a new spin on events in Davao City. It now allows tourism promoters to go after bigger events of up to 5,500 pax in a theatre set up. Located on the second floor of SM Lanang, the facility measures a total of 4,745 sqm, with its carpeted function space divisible into three function rooms and five meeting rooms catering from 10 to 12 guests per room. It is linked to Park Inn and Radisson Hotel by a footbridge.
WHERE TO STAY
• Park Inn By Radisson
Four meeting rooms, accommodating up to 120 participants, are at your disposal. You'll never be late for an event at SMX Davao, which is just adjacent.
• Seda Abreeza
Boasting 186 guest rooms, there are meeting rooms for every group size. Groups of up to 12 can meet on the second floor; 220 can convene in another room nearby; and up to 230 can get together in another room in the lobby.
It offers flexible function spaces to accommodate most set up preferences and event types. Ideal for corporate meetings, product launches and social gatherings, especially in the 1,150 sqm Grand Ballroom and additional smaller meeting rooms.
HOW TO GET THERE
• Davao International Airport
Upgraded recently to serve as modern hub for the BIMP-EAGA growth area, the airport links Davao to most major cities in the country, including flights from Singapore and Hong Kong.