Life in the Fast Lane


A Quick Trip to Davao

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Before the year 2015 came to a close, my family and I got to visit Davao. Which is funny since we've had relatives who lived there since forever.

Technically this trip was the only time since the history of ever that we got to visit them. And, for most of my immediate family (I was there two years ago for work), it was the first time that any of them got to set foot on Davao soil. We missed our Dad, though, who had to work the days between Christmas and New Year, so he couldn't join us on this trip.

Anyway, let's get on to the rest of the post.

For me at least, Davao is a simplified Manila: citified but not entirely, since there are no train lines yet and a height limit to buildings (therefore, you won't see high-rises, whether condominium or building in the business district). This isn't a bad thing, mind you; in fact, I like how Davao isn't quite like Manila. It has its own charm and vibe. It also feel less frenzied somehow over there, maybe because vehicles also aren't allowed to go past the speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour; speed demons in Manila might go nuts if they attempted to drive there.

But my favorite part about Davao is the fact that it has easy access to nearby beaches and mountains; we deprived ManileƱos have to drive hours just to hit the nearest beach whereas locals have their choice of snorkeling or trekking in a matter of minutes.

I also admire how Dabawenyos are really proud to be Dabawenyos; and let's not even get political here. I'm just talking about their genuine love for their province, which is evident in the way they speak of the place, when they talk about the evolution of progress over the past few decades, and even in little things like when they make you sample any of their cuisine or take you from establishment to establishment.

With all this said, here are some photos.

We stayed at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, which made me the happiest because, to be perfectly honest, anything beachfront (regardless of how the beach looks) makes me the happiest.

The rooms were big (my sister, in particular, loved the sheets and pillows), they had a good selection of breakfast buffet fare, and there were several swimming pools plus the beach, of course, to keep us busy. For the fitness-crazed, there's also a small gym with a treadmill, a stationary bike, and several weights. I definitely wouldn't mind staying there again, if I have the chance to visit in the near future.

Most of our mornings were spent chilling by the pool or hitting the beach.

We also did a lot of eating: at our relatives' home, and in various restaurants.

Clockwise: a family dinner consisting of Spanish food to a lot of seafood; their version of a spicy tinola; adobong kangkong with liempo; seafood platter.

One of my personal highlights from the trip was getting to visit the Malagos Farmhouse, which showcases and sells various homemade cheeses. 

Some of the kinds of cheese that we hoarded were the Mango Chevre, the Pineapple Chevre, the Bleu Peppato, and the Blush. Our personal favorites were the Mango and Pineapple Chevres: these had the consistency and flavor of cream cheese with the sweetness and acidity of mangoes and pineapples. Perfect complements of one another. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to do a cheese tasting (which we were going to do had we arrived in Davao on time; it would take another entry to chronicle the delays and misadventures we faced thanks to a certain airline), but if you're interested, you may inquire and reserve.

We didn't really get to go far, like travel to other islands, since we also had to factor in how early or late everyone wanted to sleep and wake up, plus the fact that we were traveling with a one-year-old. Actually, we didn't come up with any itinerary for this trip. For the most part, we really wanted to take it easy and just enjoy the resort and all its amenities.

In fact, we were certain that a little curly-haired boy had the time of his life!

I was also glad that I was able to enjoy my time at the beach. I didn't get to go on any beach trip in 2015 prior to this one, and I don't count the times I was at Subic, Batangas, and Bataan for training sessions or races as "beach trips". This time around, I had hours to soak in the feeling of sand between my toes.

I also managed to sneak in an open water swim session one morning. (If I weren't the only one who happened to be swimming as far as I did, I'd have probably swum over to the other island.)

I'd definitely want to visit again and do other things, like white water rafting and island hopping. But for now, this trip was a relaxing way to say goodbye to the year 2015.

Thank you to the Aquino clan who not only went out of their way to ensure that we were comfortable, but even took us around to different malls and restaurants. We hope to be back soon.

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  1. Food is cheap in Davao apparently that my friend said may eat-all-you-can siyang napuntahan for only 199 and the choices were pretty okay. Hayyy, I'd love to visit that city soon if only to visit Malagos Farm House.

    1. Yes, the food's pretty cheap! Cost of living, in general, is pretty cheap, actually. You should go! It's way closer to you than it is to Manila! :)

  2. YES! I love Davao more than any place else. There's no place I'd rather be but here.. Urbanized but still laid back.. I love the combination of bought.. Happy to know you like it here! next time you go Eden Nature Park or the area in Buda, Marilog districts.. that area is now becoming a tourist destination when one want's a more cooler environment.. it's our version of Baguio here...

    1. Hi there! Yes, will definitely check those out. I'm sure I missed so many places in my four-day stay there last December. Thanks for the recommendations!


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