Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Last 36 Hours in Davao City: Food, Shopping and Museums

Two days of my Davao adventure were happily spent in a paradise called Isla Reta. With only 36 hours, I ditched my planned Samal Island daytrip plan and opted to check out the museums, restos, and of course... shopping. I only have one whole day for all of these.

I chose another place this time: MyHotel, located in the very busy San Pedro St.

Dinner: some random buffet place
On the night of my arrival, I randomly picked a buffet resto near my place. The restaurant was wel-lit, and the diners were decently dressed (like they came from an event). Seems like a good choice. 

For Php 139.00, I had two whole plates of the main course and one small plate of dessert. Hina ko no?  I wanted to try some local sushi buffet (meron ba???) but I didn’t get to research on that. The kilawin was enough to fill that craving.

Comes with a free glass of iced tea.

Breakfast: Tapa’s

I had breakfast at the Taps – just a couple of blocks away from MyHotel. I liked the resto’s unique seating plan. I ordered the basic tapsilog. The taste was also, pretty basic for me. Got the tapsilog and instant coffee for Php 94.00.


I started out my day with some shopping. I asked the guard of Taps' how to go to Aldevinco. Rode a jeep with a Toril sign – Php 8.00. Got some shirts for my parents for Php 100/shirt.I spotted a lot of those bags that I saw in Bangkok sold in these shops.

For food and fruits, I rode a jeep going to Magsaysay Fruit Stand (near Sta. Ana wharf).
Pomelo - Php 60.00/kilo (they can box this for you)
Marang – Php 40.00/piece.
Yema Tower (yumyum!) –Php 180.00
Lola Abon candies – Php 50++/pack
Ask about the expiration date of these products.

Guyabano? Jackfruit? Nope, Marang!

Brought all the goodies back to MyHotel. Then I walked going to the Museo Dabawenyo near Osmena park. I was the only person there at that time – it was already around 11:30am. Mainet na.

Pictures were allowed at the entrance of the museum only. Entrance was free. The museum was just small, but packed with lots of info. I’m not exactly sure what roused my interest, but I found myself reading all those boards with the details about the different tribes in Mindanao. I surprised myself further that I continued reading the other stuff about Davao’s history. For some reason, it struck me. I realized that Mindanao’s history was not widely taught during my formal education years (or maybe I wasn’t listening).

Davao has its own rich history, from the pre-Spanish, Spanish, Japan and all the other years. I was happily reading some other stuff in the 2nd floor when a nice guy approached me.

Guide guy: Mam, mag-isa po kayo?
Me: (here we go again) Yes, solo lang.
Guide guy: Welcome to Davao po!

He gave me guided tour of the 2nd, floor. Davao is included in Asiaweek’s top cities in Asia (I forget which rank). Davao also has its own 911 for emergencies. No fireworks during New Year. The city is well managed by the Dutertes - people seem to like the clan a lot. He is mighty proud to be a local of Davao city. He suggested that visit the other Davao Museum.

Rode a jeep (I forgot the sign, hehe) and asked to be dropped off in Insular Phase 1 Village. The old Davao Museum is inside a village. Left my ID at the village entrance, and followed the directions of the guard. The sun was high at this time. I sure hope the museum had no lunchbreak. Turns out that I was the first customer for the day. Paid the Php 100 entrance fee and the nice lady showed me the exhibit in the first floor. She said she will just turn on the aircon in the 2nd floor. Hehehe. I like this history wall in the first wall: Mindanao’s history, more detailed.

Lunch at Lachi’s

From here, I hailed a cab going to Lachi’s – Php 124.00. We got lost a bit but we found the place eventually.

It was past the lunch hour so it wasn’t so crowded. I ordered the Unforgettable Pork Ribs – Php 148. It was pretty good, considering its price. I also ordered a slice of their Sans Rival and Key Lime Pie for dessert. Yes, I had two – don’t judge me. *burp*

I had no solid plans what to do in the afternoon. I debated (with myself) if I should try going to the crocodile farm (a cab ride away from the city) or just spend the day wasting my time in the mall. I decided that after a hot morning and lunch, I wanted to spend the day in an airconditied place: Abreeza Mall. I had no idea how to go there from Lachi’s. I befriended a previous local of the place: She spent some of her elementary years in Davao but she eventually studied in Manila. She’s not that familiar with the place as well. I told her I was traveling alone and I wasn’t worried about getting lost because the locals were nice and helpful anyway. We rode a cab (I succumbed to the heat), and she dropped me off to where the jeepneys are headed for Abreeza. How’s that for random kind hospitality?

For dinner, I wanted to eat something else. Davao City is filled with all these rice-all-you-can + grilled meat places. I wanted something different, and my leftover money says I can afford a somehow fancy place. The choice: Picobello. Isang tambling lang from MyHotel Davao. You can find Picobello at the 5th floor of Gaisano Mall. Don’t let the vandalized elevator and dark floor fool you. At the end of the hall, you will find this well-lit cozy resto.

Kinda scary. I found it amusing.

The waiter placed a something under the table to keep it from wobbling. I ordered one whole pizza for myself. There are no half-orders nor slice orders so I ordered this. I had leftover pizza naman.

The ambiance of the place was nice and cozy. Not a lot of guests that night. The staff was attentive to my needs. They volunteered to take my photo when they saw me taking pics of the food. As for the the food? Amazing. It is at par than some of the authentic food I tasted in Italy. I recommend this slice of Italian resto located in Davao. This is a totally good break from all those inihaws and buffets. The price? Very reasonable. 

The brick oven was off. They heeded to my request to light it up again so that I could take a picture.

And those were my final hours in Davao. Whew!

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