THE DAVAO CHRONICLES 2010
Ang ganda talaga ng Pilipinas! And I was never wrong for that matter. Davao City was one of my wishes that came true this year. Thanks to AirPhil Express for coming up with discounted rates. And of course, my ever reliable travel buddy Janyl for having to go through patiently on that grueling task of booking our airfares online. We both settled on the travel dates of October 6-9, 2010 hoping for a favorable weather on this rainy season of the year. Much to our surprise, the winds have favored us good enough.
I met Janyl at NAIA Terminal 3 like 30 minutes before our departure time. Janyl decided to hand carry her luggage however we were asked by the airport security team to have hers checked-in because we were not allowed to hand carry our fold-able umbrellas. Ridiculous, really! We didn’t had much time to roam about inside the big terminal but managed to smoke a couple of cigarette sticks while overhearing our names through the public announcement system. Surprisingly, our craft departed for Davao City 5 minutes before the ETD, which is something that I rarely experience with domestic flights. In no time at all we were about 30,000 feet above sea level flying for 1.5 hours on our way to Davao International Airport.
The urge for a nicotine fix upon reaching the arrival area of the Davao International Airport found us traversing our way to the airport’s exit. It was a good thing that I tried to look around first to see if there were others smoking in that area. Unfortunately I found none. So we politely asked the security guard for the smoking area. His response hit us right smack in the face, “Ma’am, this is a non-smoking city you entered. It is advisable that you refrain from smoking in public areas otherwise suffer a fine of Php10,000 each head.” True to his words, we notice several members of the police force trying to make their way to reach us. We hid our stash as fast as we can and forced our way back inside to get our checked-in luggages. That was unique way of welcoming us to Davao!
Cabs are abundant in Davao City and I guess it’s safe to say that it is the mode of transportation in terms of going about in the nearby sights to see. One can also hire the cab services for the entire day roughly around P2,000 – 3,000 depending on where you want to go. You need to specify though first prior to bargaining with the said price. We didn’t have a hard time with finding a cab that would take us to Tower Inn located at Quirino Street along downtown Davao City. I paid P105 from the airport to our budget inn which served as our home for our entire stay in Davao.
Checking in at The Tower Inn was a breeze. I paid P1050 for a night’s stay after which we were escorted by the bellboy to our designated room at the 4th floor. I was glad this small budget inn has an elevator which made carrying our luggages quite easily. As we entered our room, we were welcomed by 3 single beds and a strategic view of Davao City by our window. I should say that the hotel is quite a steal especially for travelers on a tight budget. The inn’s proximity to major business establishments like food, convenience store, other hotels, market and even to PUJ’s to nearby places made this inn a very good choice while staying in Davao City. And I’m glad I made that choice!
After we unpacked our things, we realized that we got time to spare while waiting for Sheila’s arrival by 9PM. We both agreed on having our nails done and have a share of some of Davao’s delicacies. So off we went. Carlo Reyes’s salon came to a view while we were scouring for a not so expensive salon to have our nails done. Good thing we didn’t have to wait in line that long but we did had a hard time telling the attendants how we want our nails done. They spoke in their native language, little do they have knowledge either in Tagalog or English which made me really feel like I’m a foreigner in my own country. I decided eventually to have my feet nails colored in a shade of deep violet polish. While Janyl settled for a colorless polish. After paying for our bills, we decided to pay Matina Town Square a visit for some appetite-satisfying experience. We were however disappointed when we found out that the place is entirely built for a night out. Nice! At least we already know where to go if we want to have some night out for the next couple of days.
Alas! We settled on checking out Victoria Plaza Mall. Ahfat Restaurant has menu basically of Chinese cooking which comes in big servings. It was already raining around 8PM, was kind of worried if Sheila would ever make the flight out to Davao City due to the weather condition. We paid our bill and awaited Sheila while smoking outside the restaurant’s premises.
But to much surprise, she made it. She brought with her 3 luggages that consisted of clothes, laptop and a Nikon D40. Hurrah! And all three of us decided to try Dimsum Diner which is just beside Tower Inn since Sheila is quite hungry after all the traveling she made for this day. We tried their Dimsum Platter and shakes and it was a very gastronomic-satisfying night for all 3 of us. And that commenced our first day in Davao City. Tomorrow will be another adventure for us.
Follow our Davao sojourn: