Sunday, July 25, 2010

Davao Delight

Davao City is home to Mt. Apo, the Philippines' tallest peak, as well as the Philippine Eagle Nature Center, and other mountain and beach resorts. Though my companion and I wanted to explore these spots, we couldn't because we were there briefly for official work and little time for recreation. But surprisingly, Davao City still gave me some reasons for a delightful short stay.

For a start, the city is a No Smoking Zone. The stewardess reminded us early about this before disembarking from the plane. A city ordinance prohibits smoking in public establishments, and for someone who's exposed to second-hand smoke, this is a great relief indeed.

It surprised me that roads in Davao City are wide, and the common mode of transportation is the taxi. We were pleased that taxi drivers are courteous, and returned our change, even if it's just a few coins.

After a day's seminar, I walked around the block of our hotel and noticed a number of restaurants serving grilled chicken. People here seem to have a fascination for this kind of chicken! But what excited me was the discovery of a small fruit shake stand near People's Park. I heard from my friend Raissa from Davao, that durian shake tastes great. So immediately, I refreshed myself with a medium glass of durian-apple-mango shake--for only P20!

Speaking of durian, we couldn't leave Davao without tasting this celebrated king of the fruits. At Magsaysay Fruit Market, my companion and I, together with friends from The Master's Link Travel and Tours ( were initiated into the rites of eating durian. Although I've warned about its unpleasant odor, I wasn't really bothered by the smell. I even liked the sweet taste and creamy texture of the native durian. But instead of eating it with our bare hands, we opted to eat it with our hands wrapped in plastic so the odor won't stick to our fingers. (But, it still did!)

Another must-visit for us of course, is the Aldevinco Shopping Center at the junction of Claro M. Recto and Manuel Roxas Avenues. Aldevinco is the place to go to for shopping souvenirs like batik and Davao products. The colorful display of shawls, bags, slippers, dusters, table cloths and other souvenirs is truly a visual feast. Any shopaholic will find Aldevinco a haven!

Because of Aldevinco, durian, and the other reasons mentioned--Davao City, I would say, has been a delight. I would love to come back soon.

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