Aug 22-Sep 26, 2016
The Fabulous Dabawenyos
GPS waypoint: 7°03'51.7"N 125°36'27.8"E
Location: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines
The word 'Davao' conjures an animated mosaic of eclectic imagery - Duterte, durian, Philippine Eagle, mangosteen and Mount Apo to name the iconic ones. Allow me to add one more - Fabulous Dabawenyos!
It was timely to have Ley in Davao while I was here. We met in Davao back in Jan 2013 when she was still the tourism point-person for Davao. We have become friends in the ensuing years. Now, we embark on a life of travel. Here in Davao, she's often my breakfast guest and we would chill out for eats and durian. It's strange that we argue about things we agree about. Go figure!
Looking for social interaction, I posted a shout-out to some members of the Couch Surfing community in Davao. Faye replied and we hooked up for dinner at Lachi's Sans Rival. Faye is not your typical Filipina. She is smart, has a strong personality and established. She doesn't need a man for security. That is plenty enough to scare-off the traditional Pinoy. We got along well, traded insights over dinner and she even drove me home in her Noah's Ark, my euphemism for a huge SUV. I like strong women. Strong women seem to like me too. Nearly all women I've gone out with are strong, fiercely independent and smart.
He overheard a conversation I was having with someone else, got curious, and joined our table. He asked probing questions about my story - no money, homeless, no property, no job, but happy and gets to travel around SE Asia. He invited me to dinner to 'pick my brains' and offered me a night in his hotel. Whoa! Dinner was with his friends where we shared stories and insight. Wonderful. The following day, there was commotion in his hotel. President Duterte showed up cordoned by tight security to see his doctor - who happened to be Dr. Ed! The good doctor would be joining me and my breakfast guests in the passing days. He's a grounded guy with a good heart.
Mel is one of my clients who eventually became a friend - an increasingly recurring theme. What's unique about our friendship is that I get 'aha moments' when we talk. These are creative ideas that could make for good business. While I openly share ideas coming out of my 'aha moments' to friends, Mel is the only one who takes action on it. Consequently, a food tour came out of it and customized Anchor peanut butter. Now, my 'aha moment' consists of rebranding her resto - Bistro ni Tuding.
Joanna and I share a few things in common - yoga, Jeanne Torrefranca, Cebu and critical thinking. I attend her yoga classes as she attends mine. She can be an iconoclast if she feels any outdated modality is confining her in a box. I see TheLoneRider in her - one who welcomes the company of people but not reliant on it. Our coffee conversation is always engaging.
My friendship with May Bel was a pleasant surprise. I was reintroduced to her by Juliet. Since then, I've attended her yoga classes, done work for the family business and been introduced to her husband Cliff and their kids. She's Wonder Woman, juggling yoga duties, business duties and Mom duties.
Pinky and Juliet
I adore Juliet and Pinky. They have showered me with kindness when they didn't have to - and I am profoundly grateful. But apart from that, they are good energy - the kind I'd rather have across a coffee table for quality one-on-one conversation with. But it didn't happen - it always defaulted to big-group talk. One day.
Davao Aunties and Uncle
My 3 aunties and my uncle are my family in Davao. They have opened their doors and accommodated me if and when the wind takes me back to Davao. It's only late in life I got to bond with them. DNA family to me is abstract. They make it concrete.
My mountain climbing days are over but my beloved UP Mountaineers remain close to my heart. I haven't seen my mountaineering brethren for a long while now. Bunny (former president of UPM) and Joy, came to town and were hosted by fellow members (Ricky, Bryan and family) who are now based in Davao. It didn't even occur to me that there are UPM members here. It was a fun night of storytelling and durian. Great to know that UP Mountaineers members are based in Davao.
Leah and Melissa
At Davao's Cinematheque, I met this dynamic duo, Leah and Melissa, who infuse new blood and vigor to Cinematheque's languishing public exposure. They've graced my breakfast invite and what ensued was an engaging tete-a-tete about art, film making and Davao.
Doris attended my yoga class at Holiday Gym and we got into a long and animated conversation after. I learned she was a dentist and I asked if she could provide treatment for me. She said yes. Later on, I found out she was Davao's most sought-after dentist - the dentist of choice by Davao's movers and shakers. She's not cheap but if you have the money, you won't settle for anyone less - you get professional competence and dedicated full-9-yards of dental service. Being the budget backpacker, I was already thinking how many trips to the blood bank I take to afford her service. Can I still back out? ha-ha! Her detailed treatment came with explanation to deepen my understanding. It also came with a loot bag - toothpaste, mouthwash and toothbrush. I wish I met her earlier. The price tag? Let's just say it was literally priceless. I will be thanking her in my own currency.
Plana Forma Yogis
When Joanna asked me to subb her class at Plana Forma, I met its yogic community. It was a pleasant curve ball I didn't expect. Apart from the studio yoga class, we also did a private class where they surprised me with birthday cake and a table lavished with regional specialties - a fun night I won't forget. Bonding with them was short and sweet. A fitting last hurrah before my departure.
Davao, this time around, has been benevolent in nearly all respects. Again, I am vigilant to fortify old friendship and bridge new and promising ones. Some will be in passing and some will grow roots. I'm just grateful to stray within their orbits and connect. My social addage that the next magnificent life is just around the bend holds true - more so in Davao when every corner brings promise of good things to come.
Aug 22-Sep 26, 2016
Davao City, Philippines
- Bahay ni Tuding - central Poblacion location, wifi, hands-on owner
160 San Pedro Street, 8000 Davao City
0947 361 3544 | 7°03'57.6"N 125°36'28.3"E
- The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites - central location, new management, newly renovated
Sta. Ana Avenue, Davao City 8000, Philippines
(+63) 932-8708621 | 906-3185885 | 7°04'34.2"N 125°36'54.2"E
- The Apo View Hotel - Davao's iconic hotel, old world charm, casino
150 J. Camus Street, Davao City Philippines 8000
+63 (82) 221-6430 to 40 | 7°04'09.2"N 125°36'27.4"E
- North Zen Basic Spaces - great rooms at affordable prices
Sobrecarey St. (corner Lapu-Lapu St.), Davao City, 8000
(082) 295.3997 | 7°04'43.0"N 125°37'04.3"E
- Urban Living Zen Hotel - newly opened - all NEW!
F.s. Dizon Bacaca, 8000 Davao City
(082) 287 3133 | 7°05'28.4"N 125°36'22.3"E
- The Royal Mandaya Hotel - heart of downtown Davao City
J. Palma Gil Street, Davao City, 8000
(+63 82) 225.8888 | 7°04'09.4"N 125°36'36.8"E
- Alu Hotel Davao - central downtown location
M. Roxas Avenue corner Padre Faura Street, Davao
+63 82 227 5232 | 7°04'07.7"N 125°36'51.7"E
- One Oasis Davao - hotel accommodation in a condo unit
Eco-west Drive, Ecoland, Davao City
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0925.500.3211 | 7°02'49.2"N 125°35'19.1"E
- Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
0925.500.3211 | email@example.com
yoga | health | fitness
- one of the cleanest potable water in the country
- smoking is banned from commercial establishments
- pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
- public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
- durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
- you want to add some more? please submit on the form below
- the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight
- Revisiting Davao Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016
- A Roof Over my Head in Davao Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016
- Davao Yoga Scene Oct 31, 2016
- Pranayama Oct 24, 2016
- Yoga Beyond the Mat Oct 21, 2016
- Grilled Tuna Overload in Davao Oct 13, 2016
- Duterte Mania in Davao Oct 12, 2016
- Sirsasana, Sarvangasana - Yoga Makaranda II Oct 7, 2016
- Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Oct 5, 2016
- Ashtanga Yoga with James Fritz Freire at Holiday Gym and Spa Oct 1, 2016
- There was a Bomb Explosion? Sep 30, 2016
- Jin in Davao Sep 29, 2016
- Scrubs and Hilot at Holiday Gym and Spa Sep 22-29, 2016
- The Fabulous Dabawenyos Aug 22-Sep 26, 2016
- Nirvana Breathing Fitness with Lita C. Quisumbing Sep 21, 2016
- Massage, Sauna and Ear Candling at Holiday Spa and Gym Sep 17-19, 2016
- Downpour in Davao Sep 18, 2016
- Lounge One Yoga Sequence by May Bel Le at North Zen Hotel Sep 16, 2016
- Celebrating Davao's King of Fruits - Durian! Sep 11, 2016
- The Blast that Rocked Davao Sep 2, 2016
- Hatha Flow Yoga with Joanna Lizares Co at Holiday Spa and Gym Aug. 31, 2016
- Conducting a Power Yoga Class at Yoga Davao Aug 29, 2016
- Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour Aug 26, 2016
- Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Aug 25, 2016
- A Gifted Dell Laptop from the Usual Suspect Aug. 24, 2016
- The Duterte Phenomenon Oct 21, 2015
- 20 Days in Davao City July 4- 24, 2014
- Goodbye Davao...Again! Sep 28, 2013
- Wine and Cheese at Malagos Farm House Sep 27, 2013
- Custom-made Peanut Butter at Davao City's Bankerohan Market Sep 27, 2013
- Yoga in Davao Sep 26, 2013
- Celebrating 25 Years of Habitat for Humanity Philippines Sep 18, 2013
- Clobbered in a Vicious Karate Match Sep 17, 2013
- Back Into the Black Sep 1, 2013
- No Reply Aug 30, 2013
- Full Body-Cavity Search without the Latex Aug 25, 2013
- Fun Day with Crocodile Sonny and Sports Unlimited Dynamic Duo, Dyan Castillejo and Marc Nelson Aug 15, 2013
- Fun! Fun! at Maxima AquaFun, Samal Island Aug 11, 2013
- Goodbye Davao Jan 22, 2013
- Davao City's Peace and Order Jan 21, 2013
- Holiday Spa Yoga, Davao City Jan 20, 2013
- Free Yoga at People's Park Jan 12, 2013
- Davao City: Family Ties Dec 15-22, 2012
- Breakup Diaries: Chance Encounter in Davao City Dec 19, 2012
- Davao City June 20-23, 2009
- Davao City March 18-20, 2008
- Mount Apo March 15-18, 2008
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