Visit Jack’s Ridge for a Breathtaking View of Davao City

Observation point at Jack's Ridge in Davao City

Davao City is a breathtaking sight to behold from the air. If you missed the view aboard your plane, the next best way to catch such a view of the city is to visit Jack’s Ridge. Located atop a steep hill, this resort/restaurant is one of Davao’s most sought-after recreation and dining destinations. Jack’s Ridge’s claim to fame is the commanding view of the Davao cityscape and the Davao Gulf.

Former HQ of Japanese Imperial Army

Jack's Ridge sign in Davao City
The hill on which Jack’s Ridge now stands used to be the headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. They must have chosen it as a strategic location with a view of the gulf where the American warships were docked. As history would have it, the Japanese forces lost to the Americans at the end of the war. Today, remnants of that tumultuous past are still preserved: tunnels and crash sites can be visited and even rare bullet shells can be picked up from the ground. Treasure hunters have often said that gold bullion are still buried in the depths of the tunnels.

The prehistoric clam shells called ‘taklobo’ which are displayed close to the entrance are evidence that the hill was submerged in the sea millions of years ago. One can only imagine the giant clams sitting witness as the earth shifted and the sea gave way to the highland the resort is now sitting on.

Getting there

Jack’s Ridge is located atop Shrine Hills, Matina, a prime residential area in the city’s southern uptown area. It is about half an hour from downtown Davao, passing through either the Diversion Road or MacArthur Highway. Only private vehicles and taxis are allowed to pass through the steep winding road leading to the ridge. Also, there are tricycles stationed along the highway. However, visitors should be forewarned that the road is quite steep and tricycles might not be able to take you to the ridge on time, if at all.

Taklobo Restaurant

At Jack’s Ridge entrance is a popular restaurant called Taklobo, named after the prehistoric shells. Taklobo serves some of the best ihaw-ihaw (grilled food) in the city, including tuna, pork belly and other delicacies. Other specialties include pork and chicken barbecue, seafood, soups and kinilaw. Taklobo is a casual dining place that also features live entertainment provided by in-house musicians.

Kai’s Bar and Grill

Another excellent dining venue at Jack’s Ridge is Kai’s Bar and Grill. The bar overlooks the amphitheater and the stunning city scape at a distance. Local bands play at Kai’s Bar nightly and some famous artists from Metro Manila and other cities have also played here. Kai’s Bar has an area where visitors can play at pool tables.

Tap Room Piano and KTV

The Tap Room is a classy piano bar with contemporary designs and ambient lighting. This is a great place to sit back and listen to piano music or release the stresses of the day by belting out your favorite karaoke hits. Filipinos are always associated with karaoke and the Tap Room is a perfect place to experience this facet of the local culture.

Karlo’s Gourmet and Coffee

Karlo Coffee at Jack's Ridge in Davao City, Philippines
Karlo’s is the last of the four dining venues in Jack’s Ridge. This chic restaurant serves international cuisine including Mexican, Italian and French delicacies. Gourmet coffee is also served anytime of the day. Karlo’s is a great place to conduct intimate meetings or to simply catch up with family or friends over a cup of steaming cappuccino while watching the spectacular view of the city.

Inside Karlo Coffee at Jack's Ridge in Davao City, Philippines

Penmar Halls

The Penmar Halls have seen its share of dream weddings, debut celebrations and corporate events. It is an excellent venue for small gatherings including reunions and company team-buildings. The halls are available for rent at such events and Jack’s Ridge would be happy to make special arrangements.

Amphitheater

Amphitheter at Jack's Ridge in Davao City, Philippines
Jack’s Ridge’s amphitheater is a romantic sunken lawn with a view deck looking out to the city and the gulf. It is a perfect place to take a leisurely afternoon walk or to hold garden weddings. The view deck has witnessed a good number of men pop the question against the stunning backdrop of the city’s twinkling lights. There are benches scattered all around the amphitheater for those who would like to rest their feet.

Kool Kat’s Pool

Since Jack’s Ridge is also a resort, it is only fitting that it feature a pool. The twin pools provide a wonderful spot to relax and have fun while drinking in the fresh air and the amazing city views. There is a man-made waterfall flowing by the pool which adds to the relaxing aura of the resort.

Cottages

There are overnight cottages available for guests who would like to experience waking up to the cool mountain breeze while watching the largest city in the world dance in the first rays of sunshine. The sunrise views from Jack’s Ridge never fail to amaze every spectator. The cottages are furnished with comfortable beds, air conditioning, cable television, a mini-fridge and private toilet and bath. All accommodations have private verandas opening to the spectacular city and gulf view.

A visit to Davao City is never quite complete without making the uphill trip to Jack’s Ridge. The place is simply fantastic and one can surmise that it is a one-stop destination for every tourist. There are rooms to call home, restaurants to eat in, bars that provide entertainment, a pool for recreation and the wonderful scenery that makes excellent backdrops for photos. There is also a souvenir shop where tourists can buy all sorts of stuff Davao City is known for.

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