Monday, August 26

I Love Davao Because Life Is Here

I did not grow up in Davao but after spending almost six years of living in the city, I feel like I belong in this place. In 2007, I went to Davao for my college education. At first, I thought that it was hard for me to live away from my parents and start a new life in a city where I know nothing about. Since I have always wanted to become independent, I tried all my best to survive in Davao. I started making friends with people who also came from other provinces and those who are from the city. We shared different stories, attended parties together and explored the beauty of Davao.

During my early years in the city, I used to ride the taxi because I don't have a car then and I had no idea how to ride a jeepney. I wanted to change how things work so I went on an adventure by riding public jeepneys with different routes. There was a time when I got lost but instead of being terrified, I felt happy. The reason for my calmness was the fact that Davao city is a safe place. What I did was to pick another public utility vehicle, prayed that I reach the right place and believed in the goodness of the driver. Everything worked out well because as of this moment, I already know the "ins" and "outs" of the city. This is the story I shared for it allowed me to really see "what's in Davao." 

I must say, I fell in love with Davao. There are so many reasons to love the city. As what they say, "Life is here." Indeed, walay kaparehas ang Davao. Allow me to share some of the reasons why I love this place.

1. Kahapsay sa Davao


Davao is a livable place because of our Mayor and the local ordinances we have. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, like his daughter Inday Sara, knows how to serve the people, not only the Dabawenyos and Dabawenyas but also the tourists of the city. He always put into consideration the safety of everyone. Even if it is late at night, the peace officers are still on duty. These policemen are not only visible during the major events or on big streets of the city. They are literally everywhere. The mayor himself also roams around Davao to check on the people.

Araw ng Dabaw Photo Walk

People in the city are disciplined. Thanks to Ordinance No. 0367-12 or the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance and Ordinance No. 162 or the Amended Ordinance on Liquor Ban. The smoking ordinance prohibits smoking in public areas. In fact, the establishments were also ordered to remove their smoking places. Now, people can only smoke in the comfort of their own homes. 

The law on liquor ban was recently amended last month. Now, the ban is from 1AM-8AM. During these hours, bars and other party places are prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages to their customers. No one is exempted from the compliance of these ordinances. These laws may be strict but they are the reasons why I love to stay in Davao. 

Instead of smoking and drinking, why don't we have a glass of Coca-cola instead? It is refreshing and can certainly take all our worries away.


2. Durian


I was not a big fan of the Durian fruit before but things have changed when my Dad convinced me to ignore the fruit's smell and just enjoy a bite of it. It turned out that I love its taste and right now, durian is one of the reasons why I'm loving the city even more. My favorite variety is Puyat.

Partoza Durian Farms

Did you know that durian is best enjoyed with Coke? I swear, lami jud kaayo especially when it is shared with a good company. My friends and I go to Magsaysay Fruit Stand whenever we crave for the ever-famous durian fruit. With every durian food trips, we always order the family-sized Coke.  

3. Kadayawan


One of the major festivals in Davao is Kadayawan. It is celebrated annually to give thanks for the bountiful harvest. Kadayawan is considered as the mother of festivals and the biggest festival in Mindanao. The word Kadayawan is derived from the Mandaya word, "Madayaw." It means "good, valuable, superior or beautiful." 

Pamulak sa Kadayawan

Kadayawan is the perfect time for me to go on a photo walk activities with my close friends. Every year, we wake up at around 5AM to prepare for the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan (Saturday) and Pamulak sa Kadayan (Sunday). I also watch Hiyas sa Kadayawan and attend on events where I am invited.

Open Coca-Cola - Kadayawan 2012

The city is painted red with Coca-cola banners and beverages. Every after the parade, I really grab a can of Coke to make me feel better. It is difficult to shoot under the scorching heat of the sun so a can of Coca-Cola is much needed to keep me in a happy state. 

Jake Cuenca and JC Mendiola - Coca-Cola Floral Float

Kadayawan is more fun with Coca-cola! Open happiness.

4. Bakasyon


Whenever I visit other major cities in the Philippines, I always find myself wanting to go back to Davao as soon as possible. The traffic is just too much to bear in other places. Life is really simple in our city. This is the reason why other foreigners and tourists prefer spending their vacation in Davao.

Camp Holiday, Samal Island.

Who doesn't love fresh air? Sometimes, it is rewarding to just leave everything behind for a while, go to a lovely place in Davao city and enjoy a wonderful vacation. Just don't forget that trips are even better with Coca-cola. Walay kaparehas ang bakasyon 'pag naay Coke.

5. Samal Island


I'm sure this is not your first time to hear of the beautiful island of Samal. We take pride in the astonishing beaches that you can find in this island which is just a 10-minute ride from the downtown area of Davao.


When I feel a little stressed out with my life in the city, all I need to do is to call my friends and invite them for a quick beach getaway in Samal. All it takes is just one ride to reach the island. Some of our team building activities at school and instant reunions with high school friends were also spent at this wonderful island. Nothing really compares to a day or weekend spent at Samal Island, just like nothing compares to the happiness Coca-Cola brings.

6. Family Outing


I wasn't the only one who was mesmerized by the beauty of the people and everything nice in Davao. My family also discovered the various reasons to love the city so we decided to settle down here when I was in my third year in Ateneo. Even if we already live in Davao, we still have our regular family outings especially when my dad returns to the Philippines.

Eden Nature Park

Family bonding is not difficult to achieve in the city because there are many places that are perfect for family get-away activities. Some of those are Eden Nature Park, Malagos Garden, Philippine Eagle, Crocodile Park, D' Leonor Inland Resort and Samal Island. Aside from these wonderful places, there are also activities which are perfect for the whole family namely water rafting in Davao river, wall climbing in Outland Adventure, zip-lining in Zip City and horse-back riding in Eden.

I love going on short trips and tours with my mom, dad and brother. Most of the time, I volunteer in preparing our food. Of course, I don't leave our house without Coca-cola cans in the bucket. Why? To keep my dad energized and alert while driving. Coke also makes me more excited with the time I will be spending with the persons I truly love and care for.

7. Kalami sa Pagkaon


There are many home-grown restaurants in the city which are known for serving the best dishes. The nice thing about these food places is that they do not charge high prices for their dishes. That is why my visitors from other cities would always be amazed with how affordable the foods are in Davao.

Tiny Kitchen's Valenciana Paella

Mas lami ang pagkaon kung naay Coke. The best way to end a meal is to have a glass of Coca-Cola. It really feels satisfying to enjoy my favorite desserts and meals from the homegrown restaurants. However, it feels more satisfying with Coca-cola beverages. Ah, Walay juy kaparehas.

8. Davao Bloggers


The Davao Bloggers Society has changed my life in so many ways. Ever since I became a member of this blogging community, my life became more exciting. I met new friends who have the same love for photography, blogging and working online. I also became more exposed to different events such as openings for malls and restaurants. I get invites for exclusive press conferences, fashion shows and product launching.

Bloggers Royale: Davao Bloggers Christmas Party 2013

Coca-cola is sweet just like the members of the Davao Bloggers. My stay in the city became more meaningful because I have them. Wala juy kaparehas ang Davao Bloggers. 

________
These are just some of the reasons why Davao captured my heart and touched my life. Life is in Davao. Happiness is in Davao. I suggest that you visit this city and see for yourself why many people fell in love with this beautiful place from the south. I love Davao. I always will. I love Coke. I always will.

67 comments:

  1. I was born in Davao City but didn't grow up in Davao.My parents went back in South Cotabato. I went back and stayed in Davao for 2 years job assignment .I like davao as what you said, it is peaceful and lot of things to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Davao is certainly a must-visit! :)

      Delete
  2. Based on what you have enumerated, there are so many reasons to to want to visit or live in Davao. Glad to see a glimpse of it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are more reasons why you should visit Davao soon, ate! Hope to see you here in our city :)

      Delete
    2. I seriously hope that would happen soon and maybe I'll get to meet you as well.

      Delete
  3. Sis Algene you're truly a Dabawenya. And thanks for loving and accepting Davao as your home. Kudos to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ate Raine! I know you spent almost all your years in Davao. This city is not hard to love kasi nga it's beautiful and full of kind people :)

      Delete
  4. Walaykaparehas si Algene, walaykaparehas kung may coca-cola. Your entry nailed it Algene. Truly walaykaparehas ang Davao.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes ate Sar, truly, walay kaparehas ang Davao :) Wala puy kaparehas ang Davao Bloggers!

      Delete
  5. There's np place like Home daw. Sure Davao is a very nice City to see. Ask ko lang, if you are given an option to built a business establishment right at the heart of the city, what would it be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Papaleng, a coffee shop siguro. I've always wanted to have my own coffee shop. LOL Oh diba sabi mo you'll visit Davao soon? Hehe

      Delete
  6. Walang kaparehas ang Davao, kahit hindi pa ako nakakpunta dyan. Bidang-bida ang tao sakin ng mga ka office mate ko dito sa Manila.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your post makes me want to have another round of touring in Davao. I always enjoy visiting Davao.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When was the last time you visited here? I know you travel a lot :) Visit our city soon! Hehe

      Delete
  8. I've been to Davao once and we have fallen in love with the place. People are nice and friendly. The atmosphere seemed to be like in a real city but more quiet and peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Davao is a loveable place and yes, it's one of the best cities in the Philippines. I recommend tourists/foreigners to visit Davao.

      Delete
  9. I thought you were really originated from Davao. I only knew you here in fbf and thru Rona as well. I salute to your courage being independent in a place that you were absolutely clueless. That was one of my dream when I was still young and single but unfortunately fortunately did not pursue because of ex-boyfriend factor --now my hubby :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sige lang ate. Now, you're happily married naman so it was worth it :) Hope to see you soon sa future meet-ups ng FBW.

      Delete
  10. I've never been to Davao but when my cousin goes there for some work errands, he always brings us Mangosteen and Durian. Mangosteen really tastes good and we love it so much :). That is the best of Davao.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should also try our Mangosteen ice cream :) Tell your cousin to get some durian treats at Lola Abon's. Durian yema is one of the best sellers!

      Delete
  11. Wooow! I want to go to Davao too! I haven't been there since birth, really! =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wooow! I want to go to Davao too! I haven't been there since birth, really. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiny Kitchen's Valenciana Paella looks so yummy! I love seafood, and I believe Davao serves the best seafood dishes! =)

      Delete
  13. Wonderful, thanks for sharing your story and finally found your home.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Indeed, there's a helluva lot of reasons to love and enjoy Davao. I also love going to Davao for sight-seeing, shopping spree and short vacay with family.

    I didn't know you weren't born and bred in Davao, Algene. From where were you originally?

    May you have a beautiful week ahead of you!

    Love and hugs!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we met kasi ate Lains, davao blogger na ako, diba? Hehe I also forgot to mention my old place. I'm from Surigao :) I'm sure you're missing Davao now especially nasa AU ka na.

      Delete
  15. I have never been to Davao but one of my BIL is from there. He always takes pride of how Davao is great for a lot of things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brother in Law sis, sowi hahaha. I wish I could have a vacay in Davao. Good luck on your entry!

      Delete
  16. I visited Davao a few times, but it was only really short...like one day per visit.I even went there for a job interview. I notice that the people are friendly and some place are clean.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This was a good recount. I've heard that Davao is one of the safest places in the Philippines. There's no doubt that it very much is because of your story. I hope I get to visit soon (was supposed to in time for Kadayawan, but an airline cancelled my flight).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What airline company? And why was it cancelled? You should visit Davao soon. It's a simple city lang naman but there are many things that you can enjoy here.

      Delete
  18. Revisiting again but what I longed for is to VISIT Davao itself. The city offers full of surprises based on your account. Huwag lang yung Durian fruit. di ko carry ang smell.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Awwww Davao! I miss you!!! Lol. Walay kaparehas, indeed, sa Dabaw! :D I have spent my high school years in Davao and yes, there will always be a Dabawenya gut and pride in me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know that you spent your highschool years in Dvo :) Mas marami ng improvements sa city ngayon... And more improvements pa!

      Delete
  20. You made me love Davao with your testimony of how great everything there. It's good to know you more too Algene. I thought you're originally from Davao.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have never been to Davao Sis :-) hope someday :-) Those are beautiful photos and places to have fun exploring Davao :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. all these reasons you've mentioned makes me want to visit Davao next time...:) my husband likes Davao, he even have this idea of us living in Davao someday! I've been wanted to visit Davao ever since my POC days in NaPolCom after Davao won in our search for many times. :) hopefully someday...our family can visit Davao and hope to meet you. hehehe! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I really would love to visit Davao soon! I look forward to seeing all the places you mentioned here and to eating Durian and joining the festivities of the Kadayawan festival...maybe next year...keeping my fingers crossed...such a beautiful, inviting post here! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! This blog is awesome! Must-read! :) More powers cousin dear! Keep inspiring :*

    ReplyDelete
  25. everything is great with my mom's birthplace. upon visiting Davao last 1996, 2003 and 2011, i can say that the improvement has really changed. and yeah, me and my mycousins have coca-cola moments too. eating ice cream and the coke as the thirst quencher. how so cool is that. wahahha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what i mean is, the place has really changed. ^^

      Delete
  26. one of my dream place is Davao!! and you have just enumerated the reasons why I love it! I haven't been there but I really want to experience the festival!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I grew up in Davao and I so miss my 18 years of living there. Kadayawan was still new then when I left Davao and moved to Cebu. If I were to choose, I'd live in Davao again. Most of my relatives are there and compared to the other cities, Davao is truly peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo nga, peaceful talaga dito. Let's just pray that Davao will always be peaceful for everyone :) It's one of the reasons why many tourists keep on coming back!

      Delete
  28. Indeed, life is there! I can see the many reasons why you love it there. I hate traffic too, and I love peaceful city.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think there are so many things to do while you are in davao, so many fun things during morning until night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, not so much after 12AM because we have liquor ban. Bars close at 1AM kasi :) Hehe

      Delete
  30. Hubby promised me to take me to Davao someday and I will be glad if I can taste that Valenciana Paella.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Visit our home grown restaurants and try for their best dishes! You will surely be satisfied :) And yes, happy!

      Delete
  31. I'll be 29 in a couple of months..
    I feel like my bachelor days are going to be over soon.
    Ive never been to Davao myself, but as it is on every BDay celebration.
    Instead of treating my friends to a toast and binge, I take the high road instead.
    I have initial plans of going to Northern Mindanao, in CDO and Bukidnon to traverse and camp in a mountain.. not my usual road, but I'm also considering Davao, a big City as some friends would say..
    Dunno know! still trying to decide here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should consider Davao talaga :) Make sure to bring some friends with you so you can appreciate your stay in the city more. Pero if you are adventurous, you can always travel alone naman. It's a safe place for backpackers.

      Delete
  32. how i wish i can visit davao and see kadayawan festival. nice pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have a relative who now lives in Davao. He said his life became better when he decided to live there. I hope to visit Davao one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As what I've said, mas simple kasi ang life dito. Lesser hassles :)

      Delete
  34. "Life is here." Indeed, walay kaparehas ang Davao!

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Life is here." Indeed, walay kaparehas ang Davao

    ReplyDelete
  36. i looks like you really love davao city? ive never been to davao yet! but i have a lots of friends came from davao and also learn language of it!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Davao has now become one of the vacation-go-to place and my friends who flew to be part of Kadayawan were no words but all beautiful. The local government and its people have done a really great job making Davao one of the beautiful tourism spot in the PH. :) PS. I love your blog design and lay-out. Ganda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words about Davao and its people :) And oh, salamat sa compliment about my blog design. I actually thought na boring siya. I've been using this for three years now.

      Delete
  38. Kadayawan is really awesome. Well, unfortunately, haven't tried or experienced to witness it personally. How I wish sooner or later I will and I can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should visit Davao to celebrate Kadayawan Festival. It gets better every year!

      Delete
  39. Hi Algene! I was googling about Davao and was led to your blog entry. Makainspire! Mulaag gyud mi ug Davao pohon! Thanks, Algene! God bless you. :)

    ReplyDelete

Let's talk over a cup of coffee.