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20 Days in Davao City July 4- 24, 2014

20 Days in Davao City

GPS waypoint: 7°03'51.7"N 125°36'27.8"E
Location: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Leaving Gen San
I could have stayed much longer in Gen San, but my Dad would celebrate his birthday by month's end. I had to go to Davao to catch my Manila flight. But I decided to arrive 20 days earlier in Davao to see what might happen. I thought I would default to practising and teaching yoga like what I did in Cebu and Gen San. That was not realized as things took a turn for something different.

Bagobo House Hotel
Bagobo House HotelIt was a big relief to have pre-arranged a hotel stay at Bagobo House Hotel. Located just a few steps from People's Park, it was easy for me to take the short walk to do my morning workout and then treat myself to a fresh whole pineapple. By far, pineapple tops the fruit chart for me - great taste, great for digestive efficiency and cheap (as low as P7/fruit, cut-down into chunks). This was more or less my morning routine. Bagobo's location was also central - I was a short ride away from everything in Davao.

Non Yoga
After nearly 10 months of daily yoga in Cebu and Gen San, I cut myself some slack to do other things. Yoga did not specifically excite me then. I enjoyed more the rope skipping I was doing at People's Park. I think it's also good to give myself a break until I start hurting for it again. That way, it'll come out fresh.

No matter how great the scenery is, without social interaction, traveling is not as enriching. I was lucky to have been with good people. I met Lyn at an art gallery. Like Jeanne Torrefranca in Cebu and Helen Prieto in Gen San, Lyn and I became very good friends and we found ourselves spending time together for the most part of my stay - movies, eats, lazy chats. I also chanced on catching up with Cebu yogini, RV, who was passing through Davao. Of course there were my aunts in Davao who always made me feel welcome. I would stay with them when my hotel deals ran out. Fortunately, I had the chance to catch up with some of my yoga friends - Jackie and Joanna, who introduced me to their yoga friends as well.

Kublai and Ponce Suites Hotel
Ponce Suites HotelMy second hotel stay was at Ponce Suites, better known as Kublai's hotel (even though it's actually owned by his ever-so-groomed mother, Min). Kublai is Davao's celebrated artist. It's already impressive to see his work at People's Park, but what he showcased at Ponce Suites bordered on obsessive. Ponce Suites is not so much a hotel as it is an art museum. On all 4 floors, the walls are densely packed with Kublai's art work, some of them fill into the ceiling as well. The outside of the hotel is graced by numerous and bigger-than-life art installation. Even the obscure spaces were filled with art work. In fact, the entire hotel was filled to the brim with Kublai's art. To think that everything was done single-handedly by one man is staggering. This hotel is definitely a tourist must-see place. And yes, the hotel is also a comfortable place to rest your weary back at the end of the day.

BU tapas bebida y bodega
BU tapas bebida y bodegaGastronomically and value for money speaking, BU Tapas is one of Davao's highlights for me. You could almost taste the love, owners and hands-on managers Ric and Anna, put into their food. No shorcuts, no skimping, no cost-cutting - just honest to goodness yummy food you would be willing to pay twice as much for when you get your bill. I brought Lyn and my Davao family there, and everyone is in unison that BU is great eats.

I have my good old staple when it comes to Davao - siquate (native chocolate drink whisked with a baterol), pineapple (expertly cut into cubes from a whole fruit with a few knife strokes of the pineapple-samurai), tuna skin chicharon from Porky Best, Pinaputok na Pan de Sal from Living Bread, and of course my true love, durian. However, being out of season, durian was prohibitively sold for P120/kilo...I passed.

When I left Davao in Jan 2013, I felt defeated - I couldn't generate business despite compelling Google statistics. I felt unappreciated and snobbed despite what I was doing for Davao. Now, I leave Davao with a spontaneous overflow of blessings - meeting Lyn, Ric and Anna, having 2 hotels to house me, closing a deal with a Spanish restaurant (allowing me to treat family), closing a dental deal (allowing me to get my cousin treated), generally having loose change in my pocket and the reassurance I get from my aunts.

Ending Thoughts
I can't complain. I've settled for so much less in the past - this is almost over the top in my nomadic monk paradigm. As good as it got, it was time for me to leave again. Thank you Davao...until the next time.

--- TheLoneRider

I was welcomed by my aunt and cousin to dinner at Stairwell in Matina Square Bagobo House first dwelling my hotel stay at Bagobo House included breakfast for 2 chill inside my hotel room
my morning workout at People's Park trying Zumba to no avail my abs shot entry for the Abs Showdown losing myself within the expanse of the City Hall grounds
Davao is not complete without grilled panga ng bariles....tuna collar checking out BU Tapas Bar and Resto meeting up with Mel of Bahay ni Tuding Hotel the best Pan de Sal...Living Bread at G Mall
meeting Lyn and Nerissa at an art gallery meeting up with my niece...thanks to FB my indispensable gadget...a brandy flask...thank you Joan hanging out with Lyn
a pineapple a day keeps the doctor away spending time with Cebu yogi, RV, as she was passing through Davao checking out Kanto in Matina Square at Cinematheque Davao for free movies
I usually default to family with Lyn for our first bite of BU life was never the same again Davao slice of life I love this shot...the uling guy
chillies wandering into the inner neighborhoods discovering the boat crossing a boat cruise would be an ideal mode of transport
I just keep walking these are the smallest edible mangoes...mangeulas...short for mango and sineguelas adorable niece Zumba crowd at People's Park
Lyn would be a regular breakfast guest Ponce second hotel my comfortable room at Ponce Suites Ponce Suites roof deck
meeting up with Jackie and Joanna and their friends from yoga a sumptuous dinner with family and Lyn at BU Tapas resto and bar finally meeting Kublai closing the dental deal to help out my cousin
time to leave Davao thank you and goodbye Davao....until the next time    

Millan Dental Office by Dr. Rey Hafid P. Millan BU tapas, bebidas y bodega Bagobo House Hotel Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel

How to Get to Davao City from Gen San

  1. take a tricycle to Bulaong Terminal in Gen San, P8/pax
  2. take a bus bound for Davao City. There are non-stop aircon buses available for faster commute P260

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Davao City tourist attractions hotels in Davao City - hotel van rental in Davao City van rental
  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
    0925.500.3211 |
yoga in Davao City yoga | health | fitness food tour in Davao City tour food in Davao City resto | cafes in Davao City cafe autism in Davao City advocacy

Great Things Going for Davao City

  • 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

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information
Currency Converter

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Reader Comments:

Rachel ConsingRachel Philippines
(Aug 6, 2014) Hi! I enjoyed reading about your recent adventures. Pagka laagan gyud nimo! (have somebody translate that for you)

July 4- 24, 2014

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