A Quick Trip to Davao City

I spent 4 years of high school in Davao City. However, this is only the 4th time that I have visited the place after I graduated xx years ago.  It is because the bus ride from Butuan takes me 7-8 hours of travel. But because my friend, Maea, who lives in Singapore, was visiting and it might take a while before she will be back again with the family, I agreed to meet them. I arrived Davao the day before our scheduled get-together.   I arranged to meet up with my cousin, Baby (who got a new job so  yay!) and my friend, Gail, who was so kind to let me stay in their house.  Gail, Maea and I went to same high school and university. We also lived in the same dormitory in college.   Gail is my foodie friend so we went to a food trip as soon as I arrived (with my bags in tow!).

Food Trip

The first stop was in Kaizen.  It offered Japanese cuisine in a street resto setting like those in Tokyo. Gail was happy we got a table because  she said the place was usually packed with people. True enough, there were people waiting for their turn when we left. We got some ramen, katsu, curry chicken and DU30 roll (named after Davao’s famous resident).

Next stop was Yolks! We were easily attracted to its flowery display window. We got cream cheese cupcakes.

Our last stop was The Vegan Dinosaur.  Who would have thought that plant-based food can be filling?

 

Malagos Garden Resort

My friends and I finally met and we went to Malagos Garden Resort. There are so many activities for the kids and kids-at-heart. We saw a bunch of kindergartners on a field trip so we quickly went ahead to avoid the crowd.  Our first stop was the bird feeding area. And a bird landed on my head and I am not even feeding it!

There was a petting zoo.

There was a woody area. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood or maybe Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz since I have my red shoes on or maybe Alice in Wonderland because those cupcakes would be great for a tea party.

Actually, we were really in a real-life Chocolate Factory! Gail and I chose this place for the chocolate making activity! For a fee, you pick two molds and 3 toppings/fillings. You are then given 200 ml of chocolate.

Voila! These were some of our finished products.  The kid’s chocolates looked way better than mine so I made up for it by “prettifying” my box. Ha!

There are other activities you can do with the family here.

 

Davao Bamboo Sanctuary

Since we were already in the Malagos area, we might as well visit this resort whose photos made viral on social media.  Gail panicked when she learned I did not bring clothes for swimming. She was relieved when the resort staff told her that they sell swimwear. Ha! The manager of the resort welcomed us and the tour started with a little background presentation. The place was initially built for as a private family resort until a guest posted the photos and it went viral that they were forced to open it to the public.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The pool water came from the springs.

I am happy we had the chance to spend time together even for just a day.  Thank you to my awesome friends! Thank you for all the laughter. I miss all the chitchats on the van, while walking around the resort, while swimming, while eating and the list goes on.  See you next time!

 

 

 

Davao Flood

I have heard stories of the Davao flash flood as early as 5am on June 29, 2011. Because of this, I turned to the internet news to read further on what happened. On the night of June 28, 2011, Wednesday, heavy rains poured into Davao City that overflowed the Pangi river. On a span of three hours, several barangays in the Matina-Bangkal area were already neck-deep in flood waters.

I was busy with errands yesterday that I forgot about this news story. I got a text from my friend this morning thanking me for the prayers for her family. Apparently, her family’s home in Davao was flooded. I quickly said my prayers. I wrote her a facebook message to ask her what I can do to help. I was a little guilty that I never checked on my friends on how their families were. I have quite a number of them whose family lives in that area. It turned out that she only learned of their situation last night. She works abroad and her sister in Manila texted her only last night. Her mother in Davao did not want to worry them. Her sister in Davao who lives with their parents was saving her cellphone battery for emergency since there is no electricity in the area.

My friend told me that on the Wednesday night, when the water was already rising, her sister helped carry their neighbor’s kid to the roof. Then, her sister (who has scoliosis) let their mother step on her back so she can be on the roof, too. Her father was left inside the house to turn off the breaker. It took awhile for him to come out of the house because the strong current made it difficult for him to open it. Their brave neighbor, who does not know how to swim, used all his strength to push the door. Thankfully, his father was able to get out.

It is in an event like this that bonds people together. It makes us reassess our lives and realize that material things matter less. Family, friendship, faith are priceless treasures.

It is cleanup time for my friend’s family and neighbors. She told me none of their things were spared. She is lucky that no lives were lost among her loved ones.

As I read the news today, at least 25 were not as lucky. Several others are still missing.

Another Davaoeño friend wrote this on facebook:
“To all those who want to help and donate to the people affected by the recent flood in Davao City, The Philippine Red Cross at Roxas Avenue, Davao City (beside Marco Polo) is accepting donations in cash, food ( noodles, rice, canned goods, milk etc) and clothing ( “everyday clothes’) . An acknowledgement receipt will be issued for your donations. or you may call +63-82-2276650 for any inquiries. Thank you.”

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