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Statue of David and Baywalk, Davao City
Part 3 of a series
It was 2pm and my stomach was grumbling and while Davao City plays host to tens of excellent dining establishments (see: Davao Food Appreciation Tour), a stubborn tummy can’t be made to wait and so I decided to just go directly to SM City Davao (a taxi ride from My Hotel to SM cost me P60) at Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City (see map below) and have lunch at any of the usual fast food outlets. Chowking, McDonald’s, Greenwich, KFC and Jollibee were still packed so I dined at Red Ribbon. I had the salisbury steak, as usual.
After lunch, I didn’t know where to go and what to do. Gaaah, no matter how you prepare, polish and refine the details in your travel itinerary, the actual situation will just overwhelm you, especially for a first-timer like myself. Davao is a BIG, BIG, BIG city! For statistics freaks, the total land area of Davao City is 2.5x the total land area of the whole Metro Cebu. Wow! But then, no matter how I got carried away by the moment, I didn’t allow my presence of mind to get drifted away as well. So I rechecked my itinerary and looked for the nearest must-go destination from SM City Davao and it was the Statue of David at Times Beach, Davao City!
Looking at the map, I thought that it was of walkable distance from the mall but then I forgot to check the map’s scale! Not sure of how I could get to the area by means of commuting, I simply took a cab and said, “Queensland!”. The driver seemed surprised, LOL, so I immediately added that I wanted to see the Statue of David and Baywalk, and he smiled. (A cab ride from SM to Queensland cost me P45)
The lengthy pool fronting the statue actually plays host to some baby sharks and other tropical fish.
Oh you must be wondering if it’s Queensland the motel. Yes it is. And, why Queensland? The Statue of David actually stands on a beachfront park by the owners of Queensland Lodge, a local motel known as a lovers’ nest. The statue was ‘erected’ silently at around 2005 and it immediately stirred controversy after its completion. Local officials saw it as a disguised advertisement for the motel. One councilor wanted the statue removed on the grounds as she claimed that it is not only repugnant to the morals and culture of the residents, but was also built on public land. She also addressed that the motel owners put up the replica of David without permission from the Italian government.
On the other hand, other city councilors proposed a compromise: a pair of pants should be put on the statue. That would be funny, if ever, LOL!
The owners of Queensland though, insist that the statue was erected to make the people of the city proud to host such a work of art. The issue is 5 years old and I am not aware of the latest developments, if there are any. But whatever, the statue is still standing, and whether in a good way or bad way, it continues to attract attention and is now among the must-visit tourist destinations in the city!
Anyway, inscribed on the statue’s pedestal:
DAVID. The Statue is a replica of David, sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1501. It is one of his two greatest priceless masterpieces. An Italian sculptor and paitner – one of the greatest the world has ever produced. The statue is set on the hilltop of Firenze (Florence), Italy overlooking the city.
Full size replicas of the statue around the world are found in:
> London’s Victoria and Albert Museum,
A centerpiece of a shopping mall is Surfer’s Paradise.
> Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,
> The Appian Way Shops at Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas,
> And our beloved DAVAO CITY is listed in the internet as one of the prestigious places.
The Statue of David is actually a few meters from the main highway and is located at the entrance/mouth of a beachfront or as locals prefer to call, Baywalk. It is also sometimes referred to as “Seawall”. To the side of the 30 feet tall statue is a cage with a few ostriches. Another cage also plays host to a local mouse-deer or musang.
As you walk further to the actual beachfront, you’ll encounter replica of an iconic structure, The Little Mermaid!
The Little Mermaid. The original statue located at Langilinie, Copenhagen, Denmark is the most-photographed sculpture by tourists around the world. This work of art is a faithful reproduction including the rock she’s sitting upon with the ocean view as her back drop. It is considered as a national treasure by the Danish people. You can even have your picture be taken with the “Little Mermaid” in the background and show to your friends telling them you were in Copenhagen last summer.
Aside from the statues and the “mini-zoo”, the park also offers benches ornamented by vines for anyone to enjoy the view of the Davao Gulf and Samal Island just across and the ever-fresh sea breeze. It is an avenue for everyone, a lovers’ lane, a picnic ground for families, an area for reflection for loners and emos (LOL) and a bonding area for friends.
Like any other area in the Philippines, Davao City also has its own informal settlers; as seen to the far right side of the Baywalk.
A local fisherman hoping for a bountiful afternoon catch at the Davao Gulf.
Times Beach Davao. Times Beach is the “popular” beach in Davao City where crowds converge for simple picnics or just relaxing walks with family and friends on weekends or holidays. It is only 2 kilometers away from downtown Davao City. It may not have the very-much-wanted white sand but it is in every Davaoeno’s heart, nonetheless.
The Baywalk Park was constructed through the initiative and is still operated and maintained by Queensland Lodge.
After taking photos, I stayed at the park for a few minutes, sat down and just enjoyed the fresh breeze from the Davao Gulf. I was actually surprised to see some people go there just to take an afternoon nap! And mind you, based on the looks/appearance of those people, they’re at least middle class citizens. That has just reaffirmed to me the fact that Davao City is very safe and that their citizens feel very secure in their hometown.
(…to be continued)