Right after we were fetched from the airport, Ate Neth mentioned her itinerary for my stay in Davao. Honestly, it didn’t sink in to me just yet. I was just as awe as a kid being in a new place and happy as an adult to be away from work, spending time with just for me, my interest and spending it with friends.
So there I was in the van with Ate Neth’s family. She’s pointing this and that (Sorry, Ate Neth if you are able to read this) telling me significant places and we pass them along, nothing sinked in. Well, it is for a fact that I am bad at names and recall them specifically, unless I do get my pen and paper to jot it down. I was just thinking repeatedly over my head, “I am here. I am finally on my vacation. I am away from work? Totoo na ito! (this is for real)”
First stop, dinner. After we fetched Peng, Ate Neth’s youngest sister from the Redemptorist (?) Church that they say it like Baclaran church, they were discussing which place is best to have dinner. As we passed along a crossing with all those billboards with still some neon-lighted ones, it reminded me of Quiapo or Monumento Circle. I hid a laugh to myself. I found it silly that I seem to associate place in Manila or places that I have been to with certain areas we are passing by. This is perhaps one of those syndrome when you are away from your usual place.
Stop no. 1: DINNER
We went to Gardena Fresca. It was somewhat a new place to eat there and their first time also to checkout and try the place. I heard it was referred by a friend of them. The area has a man-made pond in the center of the place and you are to dine beside the pond. Ambiance was ok although the place was poorly lit.
We were situated near the pond so the breeze was colder since it rained I think a few hours before we arrived. Food was great. We had loads of plates to finish. Ate Neth ordered grilled panga ng tuna and I think it was grilled marlin (or was it the other way around?) There’s also sinigang na tuna, pork barbeque, steamed bachoy, kinilaw na tuna, adobong tahong and of course sisig.
As an evidence, here is Isabel telling us the food was tasty and she liked the sisig but she had a hard time seeing what’s she’s eating.
The other half of the long table: (L-R)Ate Neth, Kuya Ge (brother-in-law), Francis (the small kid drinking ice tea), Ate Len (Ate Neth’s sister), Peng (the youngest sister) and Hazel (family friend).
Janggo (Ate Neth’s cousin) and girlfriend, Annie.
The restaurant has swings be the man-made pond/lake located quite near from our table. (L-R)Ate Ajie (eldest), her daughter, Pepay, Francis, Ate Neth, Isabel and Ate Len.
Stop no. 2: Night Cup (or was it Cap… whatever!)
While we were by the man-made lake in Gardena Fresca, we saw some bright lights somehow aligned by the upper part of the area. They said the area is called Hilltop where you can view the whole of Davao.
The best photo that I can take. Didn’t bring may tripod so I can’t set my camera to a slower speed to capture a better view of the area at night.
We also passed by this high-end subdivision (sorry, forgot the name) where they said Dawn Zulueta, an authentic Davaoeño and her politician husband lived.
Stop no. 3: Jack’s Ridge
This place is like Eastwood. Well, in short a gimmick area for Davaoeños to go to unwind and relax. Instead of just a strip of restos and bars, tiangge (flea market), swimming pool and there’s also a park and some historical points or areas stating a significant finding or history of Davao! I wouldn’t know that Davao used to be a underwater thousands of years ago if not for those giant clams/shells that was unearth in the same area where Jack’s Ridge is? Well… some facts to know in a gimmick place huh?
The area is located on a cliff. So, instead of just a straight strip of restos or park, one has to go down the flight of stairs (to be safe) or well, be daring and walk down a bit stiff path along the place I call “Lovers’ Lane”.
Here’s one proof why I call it, “Lovers’ Lane”. Hahaha! It’s just Janggo and Annie, I mean them pose for me. But in that area, I recognized that all benches were occupied by “pairs”, well, that night it was a typical pair of hetero-lovers.
Ate Neth and Isabel, on the viewing deck, overlooking… a well-lighted cemetery. Peaceful!
Ate Neth said the place is usually alive more often at night than in the morning because it’s overlooking a cemetery! Well, quiet and defined area for the living overlooking the dead… hehehe!
This vacation will surely be a different one thanks to Isabel, Ate Neth’s daughter. Finally, I’d have pictures of my vacation with me in it! She seemed to be fascinated with my camera and has interest in my Canon G5 camera. She learned fast! She took this picture by the way.
(L-R)Pepay, Janggo, Annie, Francis, Peng, Ate Neth, Ate Ajie and ME!
Ate Neth and me by the viewing deck, in my attempt to capture the cemetery behind (or below) us.
The kids at the park.
Kuya Ge, Ate Len and Francis at the park.
Annie, Isabel, Janggo and Pepay with her signature pose!
Last stop: A club inside the parkOk, I knew I should have paid attention by I missed out the name of the resto-club inside (or below) Jack’s Ridge! From where we came from (where we parked and where the tiangge is, we had to go down quite a length of stairs down to reach this place where a band is playing some famous RnB and love songs. Now, I do believe that life here in Davao is really cheaper than living in Manila. For just an entrance of P50.00, you get a free drink with the choice of San Miguel Pale Pilsen, San Mig Light, iced tea and I forgot the 2 other choices. The band was good. The ambiance was cool. Our planned night cap ended up drinking beer. It was only Ate Neth and Isabel who ordered iced tea and all the rest ordered San Mig Light!
Kuya Janggo after a bottle and a half beer of San Mig Light with Francis.