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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.