The dangerous road via Buda, at night

“Keep those cats’ eyes coming. ”

I’ve been telling myself that very early morning Wednesday as the bus I was taking back to Davao maneuvered the Bukidnon-Davao road (BuDa). We were negotiating through zero visibility courtesy of the fogs that covered the highway.

Five minutes through it and just before I could ask where were we in the 176 kilometer-highway, a Jollibee marker popped up in the scene saying “76 kilometers to Davao City.”

I have been praying about those cats’ eyes mounted in the middle of the road as reflectors. I believe it was the only one guiding the driver through the dark. The white paint on both sides of the highway was invisible, too, in at least a 15 to 20 kilometers stretch.

About 70 kilometers from (downtown) Davao City, a tremor woke me up from a nap. I realized the driver sped off the road stretch without knowing pavement was cut and there was an on going renovation. We (three other passengers near me) thought we fell off the ravine —between us and the deep dark unknown.

The cats’ eyes eclipse or were not mounted in some parts of the highway. The side guide lines (however you call it) also need re-coat. More directional signs are also needed. Probably, there should also be a highway patrol organized jointly by PNP/AFP, LTO, DPWH, City Government, and emergency assistance groups like Red Cross.

The driver said that wasn’t the worst yet. He had a more dangerous experience before.

Definitely, it is safer to travel on day time. That was the lesson there.

But I’m sure the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao City (Southern Mindanao) can find a way to help motorists at night.

There are a hundred disasters waiting to happen in Buda. Hopefully, we are not just waiting to react before its too late.


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

9 responses to “The dangerous road via Buda, at night”

  1. Raymond Lee Quijano says :

    never been in davao… muhuuu

  2. kathreen says :

    i am from davao but i have never heard of buda since last week. i keep seeing videos about it in youtube, posts in blogs and pics in friendster that’s why i started to get intrigued about the place. it seems a nice place to chill and relax after a very tiring way of life in the city. where is this located? how will i get there? how far is it frm davao city?

  3. Istambay says :

    Hi Kathreen,

    There is a barangay named “Buda”, which is officially a part of Davao City, but geographically close to Bukidnon. It’s in the border of the two political subdivisions Davao City and the Kitaotao town in the Province of Bukidnon.

    But the more popular BUDA is actually short for the Bukidnon – Davao highway (BuDa).

    It was the shorter but more difficult road between Davao and Northern Mindanao. The other option before is going via Butuan-San Francisco-Tagum-Davao City.

    It used to be a rusty, dusty and old very rugged road but since the late 1990s it has been paved with asphalt by the national government, constructred by a Korean firm.

    But still some portions of the highway slip throughout the year — it is home to many landslides many of which are deadly.

    Still very scenic.

    If you go to Malaybalay City, the capital of Bukidnon or Cagayan de Oro City you’ll “experience” Buda.


  4. Peter says :


    Next year in februari i want to to make trip by bicycle from Davao to CDO passing Bukidnon..the BuDa road, anybody can give me information about a place to stay for the night between Davao and Maramag, is there a guesthouse or lodge along that road?

    Im a cycler from the Netherlands, last year i cycled from Davao to Butuan and other islands on Phil.

    Hope to get some information this way 🙂

    Thanks in advandce..

  5. mindanaw says :

    Hi Peter,

    There are mountain resorts along Buda, say, the one owned by the Durezas (a bit higher end budget) in Kitaotao town.

    I think there are also inns in Maramag and Quezon town.

    A priest-friend of mine, Fr. Picx Picardal did a bike tour for a cause (or causes) earlier this year via Buda to Cagayan de Oro, he found a place to stay in Buda village. I’m not sure if it was a friend of his or there’s really an inn there or guest house.

    Are you living somewhere in Mindanao or you’re back in The Netherlands?

    OK. that’s it.

  6. Yvon Thea says :

    I always wonder why road repairs along BuDa stretch never ends.

  7. istambay says :

    @Thea. Hi. I’m glad to hear you are working in Bukidnon. Welcome to the bukids! By the way, I have the same observation with you re roaad repairs in BuDa. Our neighbor who works with DPWH told me in 2006 nga the terrain is a factor and also the heavy trucks plying the route.
    Thanks for dropping a note!

  8. byncah says :

    hi, can you help me point out directions from cdo-to davao .Its my first time to travel via buda and I dont want to get lost..Can you help me ?..pls> what nice stops should I take for picture taking and souvenirs..

  9. gerard joe lance celerinos says :

    91 kms…from davao city to buda.

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