Davao City

The Sama Tribe teaches us to make Amik

On this particular sunny October day, the community was buzzing with activity. The Sama Tribe in Bgy. Tagbaobo, Samal Island were preparing for the death anniversary of one of their tribe members, and we were smack in the middle of it.

The tribe knew that I was coming to visit, I was housed next door and had previously spoken to Ms. Zenaida, their Community President. I approached the busy group awkwardly that morning, and it was then I was greeted with a local dance and then offered amik (local rice snack) and coffee (ground with corn).

The story goes, amik is what the Sama Tribe will offer guests and family members during the death anniversary celebration itself. The actual anniversary date is November 11 and since they need to produce at least 200 pieces, the whole barangay is up to their elbows in work. And thankfully, they were willing to let me pitch in.

Read More

My Gastronomic Davao Experience with Etours.ph

Davao is synonymous with good, affordable, inventive food and on my second visit, I was invited to try out a new food tour conceptualized by Etours.ph along with accredited DOT guide Samuel Libre, Jr. I’ve met Sam before, he was our assigned tour guide during Kadayawan last August . He did such an exceptional job that I got in touch with him right away when I planned my return to this busy city.

So here’s a peek at the different Food Tours you can choose from:

Organic Food & Urban Farming

Features a roster of farm-to-table establishments that offer delicious organic food. Our first stop is Echostore, a popular haven for all-natural products and healthy living. We tried the Father Franco’s Pizza All Meat (ham, bacon, smoked chorizo). Fr. Franco is a priest residing in Bukidnon who has built his brand called “Parde Ninno,” known for his bottled delicacies, pizza dough, and duck pate.

Compared to the Manila branches Echostore Davao City has a more homey feel with a larger floor space, the menu is different, and it has a varied selection of skin care products, drinks, and local chocolates exclusively available here.

Read More

Glicerio Villaluz: The ‘Birdman’ of Davao City

Where can your Php 5.00 take you? Seems a measly amount but it can make you happy and feel like a child again, at least momentarily. And no, we’re not going to buy ice cream or candy, nothing of that sort.

You can simply buy a pack of bird seeds for Php 5.00 and feed the pigeons in Rizal Park, Davao City.

This was my first stop last Monday, and the park that was teeming with people at last August’s Kadayawan Festival is now empty and quiet. Sam (my guide for the week) told me that I should start my Davao experience here. I bought just a pack (because I was stingy) and started throwing it into the air.

The birds never came though. I frowned and was disappointed. “I wasted Php 5.00!” I said, making a face like a very indignant child. I was told to wait a while. While this was apparently a popular attraction and the pigeons are used to eating seeds from tourists, the hum of the buses temporarily parked in the area are making the birds wary.

Read More

The Go Mindanao Bus

Imagine visiting a new country and exploring it with only a bus pass in hand. This is exactly what I experienced while going around Auckland, New Zealand last year. I got a day pass, hopped into the bus, picked the stops I was interested in, got off, explored, then got on the next arriving bus with my sights on the next destination.

See how easy that went? You are guaranteed convenience, adventure, and safety. This is the idea behind the up-and-coming Go Mindanao Bus, make traveling around beautiful Mindanao easy for all kinds of passengers: the solo backpacker, flashpacker, barkadas, corporate groups, and families.

Read More

My Top 8 eats in Davao City

Let’s steer away from Durian for a bit and explore what else Davao City has to offer. Davao City has been so controversial as of late most especially because of our current President Digong, but this didn’t stop us from visiting this wonderful city during Kadayawan Festival at the height of Martial Law. If you’re wondering how the province is doing during Martial Law, it’s business as usual for everyone. While we were initially anxious about the military presence and constant helicopter rounds, eventually we felt safe and enjoyed the festivities.

Kadayawan is a Bagobo word that means happiness, and this annual festival celebrates Davao’s bountiful harvest through songs, dances, local tribal games, and lots of eating. Here are couple of my favorite eats that you should definitely check out when you visit:

Kaondayawan Food Festival

A new addition to the roster of Kadayawan activities, Kaondayawan (kaon in Visayan means “eat”) features hawker food stalls and unique drink concoctions. Think of it as a food park of sorts, installed at Palma Gil Street specifically for the festival.

Kadayawan 2017_Elegantly Wasted

I zeroed in on the lechon and wagyu stalls while my fellow tourists/traveling companions, Phil and Princess, ordered Lechon Shawarma and the evergreen isaw (chicken intestines). Read More

6 Fun facts about Davao City

What do you know about Davao? For me, it’s synonymous with Durian, the smelly fruit-slash-aphrodisiac that many people go crazy about. I know of Mati, the popular pristine beach and surf spot in Davao Oriental, and of course Samal Island in Davao del Norte.

For this post we’ll focus on the largest city and 3rd most populated metropolis in the Philippines (next to Metro Manila and Cebu), Davao City. Home to President Duterte and deemed as the “safest” city in the Philippines, here are 6 facts you must know about Davao City:

1. Kadayawan is a unique festival in the Philippines

The Kadayawan Festival is celebrated every 3rd week of August and is a must-see if you’re headed to Davao for the first time.  What makes Kadayawan different from Sinulog, Masskara, or Ati-Atihan? While these are all fabulous festivals (and I urge you to go to every one to experience our rich culture), Kadayawan is the only non-religious Thanksgiving celebration in the country.

Kadayawan Festival 2017

Kadayawan Festival 2017

Davao has long been considered as “garden of the Gods” for its fertile land and bountiful harvest, which is why during the 1800s Americans and the Spaniards tried to conquer this province. Food here is affordable, fresh, and delicious, so much so that there are weekly food fests in different malls and parks where a meal can go for Php 20-Php 150. I tell you, we never stopped eating in Davao City!  Read More