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Tambayayong and other side trips in Davao City and Samal

Tambayayong Davao 3

Tambayayong is a Visayan term for collaboration, for working together to achieve a common goal. In Tagalog, it is called pagtutulungan or bayanihan.

Last May 19, I went home to Davao City, tagging my friends along from Kiwanis Club of Cainta Greenpark to participate in an outreach project called Tambayayong which was organized by my High School’s Grand Alumni Association and widely supported by my batch, Batch ’92. Our batch, celebrating our Silver Jubilee this year, hosted the 8th Grand Alumni Homecoming which Tambayayong was part of.

True to its name, Tambayayong brought together several government Tambayayong Davao 4offices and agencies, private companies, and individuals to come up with free services offered to more than 300 locals in Toril.

The beneficiaries had the privilege to avail of free medical and dental consultation, tooth extraction, sugar test, cholesterol test, legal consultation, haircut, massage, and even cups of hot porridge (lugaw).

Following its success, our alumni association now intends to make Tambayayong an annual event where more services will be added and more people will benefit year after after.

Tambayayong Davao 2

Tambayayong Davao 1

But beyond the said outreach project, our small group of six managed to sneak in a few side trips. With very little time to explore the city before and after Tambayayong, we maximized it by going to a few go-to places in the city.

Vista View Hilltop

Overlooking Davao City and Samal, Hilltop also offers a nice view of Mt. Apo and a boodle package good for 8 people worth P2,000.

Tip: Better go there at dusk or at dinner time to appreciate the ambiance better. It was pretty humid when we went there but hey, it was summer.

Hilltop DavaoBoodle at Hilltop Davao

Dimple’s Lechon House

Dimple’s is the most popular and one of the oldest lechon sources in Toril, Davao City. Nothing fancy about the place. No frills, just tasty lechon. The skin was crunchy and the meat was tender and juicy. And that’s what we had to jumpstart our second day in Davao. Lechon for breakfast, yeah, why not?

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Eden Nature Park

For the thrill seekers and nature lovers combined. We conquered our fear of heights at Eden’s Skycycle (P200 per head), Skyrider (P150 each), and Skyswing (P400 tandem). We rode horses for P100 and filled our tummies at Skyview Café nestled at 2,500 ft. above sea level. Snacks were included in our P280 entrance fee so for me it was a good deal. Plus with the generosity of their operations manager, Celia, we got 5% discount in all of our transactions. We only stayed there for a couple of hours but the fun was so sulit.

I would recommend Eden to anybody who would like to explore Davao City. There are lots of activities you can do there with friends, family, whoever you wanna tag along. I’ve been there a few times and it feels like new to me every single time. For some R&R, nature tripping, swimming, fishing, or adventures, Eden is the place to be.

The place is huge so if you go there, better allot more hours to enjoy it.

Skycyle at Eden 3Skycyle at Eden 2

Jack’s Ridge

Similar to Hilltop, Jack’s Ridge offers an overlooking view of the city. However, Jack’s Ridge has more options in terms of dining and amenities. It has a pool, a playground, a coffee shop, a KTV bar, a conference room, cottages by the hills, and an open-ground amphitheater that’s ideal for wedding receptions and photo shoots.

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Marina Tuna

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One of the must-try restaurants in the bevy of choices in Davao City is Marina Tuna. Many celebrities visiting Davao City have dined there. Not cheap but you get your money’s worth, promise!

Feast on a platter of seafood and fresh buko juice. Their oysters, kinilaw, and fresh tuna are to-die-for.

PS: Try their Durian ice cream cake. For someone like me who doesn’t eat Durian at all, I loved it. Extra creamy and delicious.

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President Duterte’s Home

Inside Doña Luisa Village in Matina is a typical Filipino green house with a blue-green gate. That’s the simple residence of the most powerful man in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Costa Marina (Samal Island)

Costa Marina is one of the more affordable beach resorts in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS). Samal is another city, it’s not part of Davao City but its proximity makes tourists believe they’re still in Davao City.

Contrary to its neighbor Paradise Island Beach Resort, Costa Marina is less crowded and you can see different varieties of fish swimming in its shallow waters. Its beachfront is shaded with branches of trees.

Be sure to wear slippers when you get into the water, it’s peppered with stones and corals.

Costa Marina 2Costa Marina 4Costa Marina 3Costa Marina 1Costa Marina 5

 

Other places we went to: Luz Kinilaw at R. Magsaysay Avenue, Apo ni Lola Abon in Matina, Aldevinco Shopping Center in Claveria, Chinatown (Uyanguren), Redemptorist Church, Abreeza Mall, and the bomb site in Roxas Avenue where the famous Davao Night Market takes place every night.

I would have wanted to take my fellow Kiwanians to D’ Bone Collector Museum and the Davao Museum but it was a Sunday so they were closed.

There’s so much more to Davao City than the places we went to.

To give you an idea on the vastness of its land, Davao City‘s official website says: “Davao City, reputedly the largest city in the world, has an area of 244,000 hectares, or 8 per cent of the land area of Southern Mindanao Region or Region XI. It is divided into 3 congressional districts and furthermore divided into 11 administrative districts. Poblacion and Talomo Districts comprised District I, meanwhile District II is composed of the following districts, namely: Agdao, Buhangin, Bunawan and Paquibato, District III includes Toril, Tugbok, Calinan, Baguio and Marilog.” Check out Davao’s official website to know more about the city: http://www.davaocity.gov.ph/davao/profile.aspx?id=land

 

 

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Why I’m voting for Duterte

I have long wanted to write about this but I always ended up deciding against it.  I’m not a political analyst nor am I a prolific writer, but after seeing all sorts of black propaganda being hurled against Mayor Duterte from all corners imaginable after he surged to the top of the surveys, I feel it is my moral obligation as an ordinary Filipino to take part in this electoral process the way I see it from the grassroots level where I’m at. It is from this vantage point that I carefully shaped my decision on who to vote for President and why. And I refuse to helplessly watch from the sidelines any longer.

I was born and raised in Davao City. I lived most of my life there for over 35 years (I now live in Marikina). I have personally seen, heard, and experienced Mayor Duterte’s leadership.  I am one of the many living witnesses to his good governance.

Is he perfect? No. Nobody is.

Is Davao City perfect? No. No city in any part of the globe is.

Is he a dictator? Certainly not. A dictator is a ruler who wields absolute authority while Mayor Duterte has always worked hard for the people of Davao to enjoy their freedom — freedom to live, work, express themselves, have fun, and do business in a peaceful environment. Dabawenyos enjoy democracy just as anyone else in other parts of the country. Perhaps the only difference is that Davao City is strict with the implementation of laws and city ordinances. After all, what good are those laws and ordinances if we don’t follow them? Feel free to visit Davao City and see if you’d feel like your basic human rights are curtailed as if you’re under Martial Law. Not even close.

Does he kill innocent people on mere suspicion that they are criminals? Funny but that’s what his detractors are insinuating even in their political ads. If one political ad is to be believed, Mayor Digong’s brand of justice is the type that tortures and kills even kids suspected as criminals. That’s preposterous. But if only for a point of discussion, if that indeed is true, you think the people of Davao would feel safe walking around the streets if they believe that Mayor Digong would, at any given time, shoot them or their friends and family members for being suspected as criminals? You think the people of Davao would love and trust Mayor Digong this much if he’s anywhere close to being trigger happy? If there’s a shred of truth to a culture of impunity under Mayor Digong’s leadership, we should have feared him instead of respected him.

Mayor Digong, being a lawyer himself, has reiterated many times over that he is for imposing the law. If a criminal puts innocent lives in danger, he will bear the consequences of his actions. And what’s the problem with that? Would you rather put innocent lives in danger just to protect the human rights of criminals? If you haven’t heard it yet, Mayor Digong’s mantra is “Follow the law.” If that scares you, that’s beyond my comprehension.

His political opponents are sowing fear through distorted information. I’d rather go by first-hand experiences than hearsays that are meant to fool and scare people just to earn votes for themselves.

Does he shoot people in the streets for failing to follow curfew? You must have seen Mystica’s viral video which shows her spewing this scenario as if she has seen it happen under Duterte’s leadership and so will continue to happen if he wins the Presidency. I don’t know how she got that impression, it’s crazy to the point of ridiculous. Chill! Mayor Digong won’t “bratatat” you dead in the middle of the street for failing to follow curfew. Mystica dear, get back down to earth, for goodness’ sake.

So why am I voting for Duterte? Let me count the reasons:

1. He is the only Presidentiable that commands respect from all sides — the government, MILF, MNLF, NPA, ordinary citizens. He is respected by Muslims and Christians. He unites, not divides. He understands the plight of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao. I believe he’s the only one who can start the much-needed lasting peace in the war-torn areas of Mindanao.

2. He has the heart, the political will, and the competency to lead and serve the country. His track record is the glaring proof.

3. His passion for public service defies anything politics. His turf is Davao City but he is always quick to help other cities in need without brandishing his name to claim credit. He operates even under the media radar, which is the exact opposite of what a lot of politicians do. That to me is REAL public service.

4. He is a man of action. Again, his track record is proof. Aren’t we all tired of self-aggrandizing speeches? Of finger-pointing? Of leaders giving us excuses rather than solutions and results? I am.

5. He acts like a father to his constituents. Unlike other politicians, Duterte doesn’t act like a king who expects to be served. He serves. He is a simple man who has a soft spot for children and senior citizens.

6. His leadership is contagious. He has his way of affecting positivity in people. This is the only national election I’ve seen so far where I witness people going out of their ways to support a Presidential candidate, even printing their own marketing materials from banners to t-shirts, ballers, car stickers and anything they can think of. He brings out the spirit of volunteerism and discipline in us like no other Filipino politician has or can. That’s the mark of a true leader.

I could go on and on but I’d rather feature some of my friends from different parts of the globe about their take on the good Mayor. Here’s why Mayor Duterte is their choice for President:

Rob Rances

“I’m voting for Duterte coz he’s the only one who proposes to solve the problem. The other candidates are all part of the problem.” – Rob Rances, Business Coach / Social Entrepreneur

Bobet Alip

“He is not perfect and he was the first to admit it. But I know he can and will get things done. His heart and mind is in the right place.” – Bobet Alip, Agripreneur

Anonymous DJ

“Borrowing from General Patton, ‘As It Was Written So It Shall Be Done!’ His political will… That’s why.” – A Club DJ and Radio Presenter from a giant TV/media network (name withheld upon request)

Mel and Boyet

“We need him as a leader because he is not beholden to any oligarchs. We want our daughter to experience affluence that most of us never had for decades.” – Melanie Confesor and Pelagio Nalla III, Customer Service Associates

Brandy Allen Fuentes

“Aside from the fact that I am one of the many who enjoy the fruit of his hardwork, I’ll vote for him because he gets things done… specially if it benefits the many.” – Brandy Allen Fuentes, freelance host

Carol Yao

“Du30 because we not only need a man of integrity, we also need strong leadership.” – Carol Yao, true-blooded Bisdak

Restie Concepcion

“I’m voting for Duterte because I believe he will be strong for us dealing with China bullying us. 2nd, what we need right now is an action man, not a planner anymore. Would you give a cough medicine to someone ailing with LBM or upset stomach…that’s the analogy.” – Restie R. Concepcion, Marketing Director/licensed CPM (Certified Professional Marketer)

Jerome Faune

“After Flor Contemplacion and the burning of the Singapore flag it was then that I wished he were the president of the Philippines. Integrity, political will, courage, humility, love for country and his leadership is unprecedented.” – Jerome Faune, OFW

 

Dr. Roni Mines

“I am voting for Duterte because he has the kind of political will and leadership that this country needs. In my many years of living in Davao City, with about two decades of having him as our mayor, I feel safe and protected with his leadership. He really cares for his constituents and he is consistent! I like his crusade against impunity and I believe he will help us realize a better Philippines and turn the fortune of the country around. Having been plagued by corruption, drugs and crime for so long, this country needs someone like Duterte to make the needed changes.” – Dr. Roni Mines, Educator

Mayor Digong talks tough but he has a big heart to serve the people.  For me, he is the best chance we have to move this country forward. No other political candidate has ever moved me to be this vigilant and nationalistic.  And to think that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t even know I exist.  I’m sure there are millions of other Filipinos like me who tirelessly campaign for the Mayor in their own little ways without any political affiliations and self-serving expectations.

How about you, why are you voting for Duterte?