My brother was looking for a place to go to on his birthday. And so as his sister, I automatically represented myself as his travel partner. It was an all of a sudden, no hesitation decision for me, for who wouldn’t want to go and see new places. I was all for it, even though he was still contemplating the where. Hahaha I was game on. He decided on Davao.
Anyways, the entire trip was going to be a surprise for me since he booked everything. It was like my birthday instead of his. Cool. It was his birthday gift to himself, so I didn’t mind. I just had to follow his schedule, no worries. We flew aboard AirAsia, and arrived late in Davao with just enough time to check-in at the Urban Living Zen Hotel.
It is a small budget friendly boutique hotel within the city. The place seemed accessible and quite safe with desk assistance and a security 24 hours. The main lobby was nice, the zenness was palpable with a seating area and a koi pond in the middle of the first floor. The room we were given was on the third floor. It was clean and not huge, but quite comfy for two with two single beds and a shower. However, my only comment, the hotel did not have an elevator. So it would have been hard lugging our bags if we had brought big suitcases. Luckily, we didn’t. We freshened up right away, and headed out for a quick 10-15 walk to Abreeza Mall to eat dinner.
We ended up eating at Penong’s Barbeque Seafood and Grill. My brother said it is a go-to place to eat when in Davao. There was a line, but since there were only two of us, we were able to cut through the group line. We ordered pork and chicken barbeque rice meals and another order of tuna kinilaw, or ceviche. Their service was fast and likewise our hungry mouths. We were so hungry, the food seemed to have just passed by our table in a zip. The food, taste wise, was just like any other barbeque place for me. I guess, it was their version of Reyes Barbecue, or Mang Raul’s, or Mang Inasal Barbecue here in Metro Manila.
After eating we decided to walk around the mall a bit. There was an ice cream kiosk giving away free scoops, but alas, only the first 50 customers could avail of it. Shrugging it off, we called it a night. It was dark, when we walked towards our hotel. It seemed safe since it was a main road. The walk was tiring for it was an uphill. And so, as soon as I arrived at our room. Dressed up for the night. Laid my head on the pillow. I was dead to the world.
It was a long tiring trip from Manila to Davao. But already the start of an adventure for us first timers in the, so called, Duterte City. Walking through their streets gave us a free test on safety issues, and all I can say, ‘it was relatively safe for us two chinese looking, Filipinos.’
To be continued…