Recognize these? Yup, those are durians, one of the things Davao is famous for. The stink is enough to drive a lot of people (including me) away, but for some others, it has its charm. To each their own! Here’s a little more random going around Davao, courtesy of friends:
Barbeque Boss (from a previous post) still ranks high on my delicious-and-absolutely-worth-it-cheap-food-in-Davao list, but Penong’s is not bad as well. It’s another budget restaurant that’ll fill your tummy.
No wonder my uncle says Mang Inasal (a popular Philippine grill-themed fast food chain) doesn’t stand a chance here. While their prices can still compete with homegrown restaurants like these, it’s in the amount of food for the price where Mang Inasal loses.
Another staple of Davao – pomelos! According to the locals, a tip that can help you select a good pomelo is its weight. If it’s still considerably heavy, it means that the water content inside is still high, and so it’s still juicy. For us, though, it’s still pretty much hit-and-miss; one of our friends who was supposedly a good buyer got us a few duds, and my uncle who randomly bought for us had a lot of good ones.
I purposefully took a picture of this place so that I could remember it. (Yup, mastered that just now.) Aldevinco is a place where you can find lots of stalls selling, mostly from what we saw, patterned fabrics/clothing and pearls/other forms of jewelry. Not exactly our cup of tea, but it was pretty amazing to see how many colors and styles of sarongs and wraps could actually be crammed into one tiny stall.
Being a mall person, I was ecstatic upon knowing we would be visiting SM Lanang Premier. Not that I didn’t enjoy Davao and all its urban rusticity, but a good mall always get me excited. Admittedly, “SM Lanang” rang very provincial to me (with our very own SM Lucena as reference :D), but I was delighted to see that it was one of those big, posh ones. Perhaps the “Premier” in its name should have clued me in?
One of the highlights of this trip had nothing to do with the sights, food, or whatnot of Davao. For me, it was actually getting to see my uncle’s sweet side that was the best and most memorable part of the trip. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but hear me out – I’ve grown up surrounded by uncles who would buy us ice cream and clothes, but were generally distant. The only reassurances I got were from my mom, who told me that her brothers just act that way, but actually love me a lot, blah blah. I guess I wanted a big, happy family with openly loving relatives, but most of us weren’t programmed like that.
My cry story ends here, because when we came to Davao, we were blown away by my uncle’s show of hospitality and generosity. Sure, he still shouted at my mother like the usual (he doesn’t have social media accounts so I can say all these :D), but he gave us his personal driver to take us everywhere and anywhere we wished. Of course, he treated us to a Japanese dinner – my favorite. 🙂
I had to admit, though, I was surprised that the sashimi was just as expensive as it usually is in Manila. Davao is near many cities famous for fishing. They have big seafood markets that sell, among others, cuts for sashimi. *drool*