Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Something Old, Something New in Davao

I always feel giddy when I get the chance to be given field work assignment in Davao, for meetings and trainings.  There's always a good chance that I'll be able to say hello to my family, reconnect with some old friends and enjoy the new food haunts in the city. 

Of course, it swells the heart of a Dabawenya to see her city that's clean, smoke-free and safe. 
Motorists always leave the pedestrian lane unoccupied. Unlike in Manila.

Its streets is still relatively sparse. Just like this one in front of ADDU College campus.

Tree-lined Roxas Boulevard

Before Starbucks came into the consciousness of Dabawenyos, we already have our own designer brew -- the Bluegre Coffee. It specializes in durian-based brew, hot or cold.

I remember this shop having the coolest interior when it opened in 1998 in Gaisano Mall Davao. The store design interspersed coffee beans and Bluegre Jeans, shirts and other merchandise all throughout the store. It had ambient lights and the furniture and wood paneling were made of beech wood. It was the height of my barely-out-of-college social climbing--scrimping on my allowance so I can afford a cup of coffee, sit inside and people watch.
The BluGre Cafe in Matina Town Square
Today, whenever I have guests I make it a point to bring them there. The durian-based coffee concoctions are a subtle way to introduce the acquired taste of durian to a non-eater. 

On this visit, my old friend and namesake and I came here to reminisce and reconnect. We're both transplanted, I in Manila and she is living an expatriate's life in Japan. It was just rad that we were both home at the same time, staying for a few days.

The few times that I get to go home, there's always something that catches my attention. Like this cab. I learned that there's a new fleet of pastel colored taxis. There's also the blue and black fleets outfitted with GPS from an established taxi operator.
Cheeky name, eh?
While in the city, I made sure to eat at one of my fave restaurants, Tiny Kitchen. I wrote about it two years ago when it was literally a tiny kitchen. Click here to read.

My friends and I raved about its dessert and paella. Today, I discovered something new. 
Frozen mango cake. Heard the frozen chocolate cake is much, much better.
Another night, I dragged along a colleague to this fairly new restaurant in town called, The White House. This house used to take my breath away when I pass by the flyover. Back when there were fewer developments in the city, it had an unobstructed 180 degree view. I used to wonder if someone lives there. In later years, I was betting for it to be converted into a quaint B&B.
Serves Asian fusion. Has open kitchen. Nice view of the good looking chefs inside :-)

Fancy cheese cake
Fancy, fancy place.
Will come back this Christmas and sample more of its fusion cuisine. And maybe enjoy a bottle of wine.

On my last night in the city, I was tired and suffering from colds so I had the ever reliable room service of Marco Polo. 
Pork Adobo.

The Marco Polo Hotel's driveway entrance.
It was a short and sweet stay in my favorite city and a much shorter visit with the family in my hometown where I met for the first time, a new member of our family, my youngest nephew who is barely three months old. He's quiet as a mouse and smiles a lot. What a happy baby. 

Will be back soon, Davao.



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