Sunday, January 6, 2008


Last November 2007, a friend who's from Baguio was sent to Davao for training. One of the things he said about his impressions of Davao was "parang Baguio rin, maraming puno". I was struck by that because honestly, at that time, I couldn't imagine what he meant. I tried to sift through my mental images of Davao (which wasn't easy seeing that I come home mostly during Christmas holidays only and my last visit ended immediately after New Year of 2007). I compared it with more recent images of Baguio and, sadly, failed to grasp the connection (and one of my colleagues at work who's from Davao also shared my bewilderment).

So I put that comment on top of my "things-to-look-into-as-soon-as-I-get-home" list. That was precisely the reason why during the plane's touchdown at Davao's airport, I was gazing outside the plane's window and giving the scenery my undivided attention. True enough, I saw many trees a safe distance from the runway. The whole airport itself is nestled in a picturesque area. It seemed to me that it attempts to blend to its surroundings. It gives an impression of peace and quiet.

And while taking that very short ride home, I also noticed that there are indeed many trees along roadsides. Trees, houses, establishments, churches, and buildings mix well together. It's as if they've all managed to find their place in the world without infringing on each other's right to exist.

By the time I got home, I was fully convinced that my friend's right. Marami rin ngang puno sa Davao. And more importantly, the air feels (and if possible, smell) cleaner. Everything looks clearer to me, untainted by smog.

I think that distance has disabled some of my capacity to fully appreciate my hometown. This trip serves as a reminder of everything that I love about it. Laid back, peaceful, huge, prosperous, simple, developed...paradoxical. It's where my roots are. And there, they'll stay deeply entrenched.


self-created traditions and other quirks...the Davao way
  • fully-engaged moviegoers (first, a little history: every december my sisters, cousins and i watch a movie. it's mostly us older cousins treating the younger ones. in this case, it's me and my other sister doing most of the "treating". and since we do this after Christmas, we have an array of metro manila film fest entries to choose from.) going back to the topic...: this year, we chose to watch shake, rattle, and roll {enter number here}. just like in the past, almost everyone in the theater were really engaged. it's like a huge family watching tv at home. they laugh, scream, clap, etc. they react to their hearts' content and deadma na if others would find that jologs or what. basta masaya, go lang! seems to be the motto. fun!

  • relaxing. life is so laid-back. jeepneys wait for you (you don't go around running after them). everyone walking in a relaxed pace, i seldom see people rushing like crazy. even cashiers in groceries take their time. so if you're always in a hurry (like me!), you'll be stressed while everyone remains calm.

  • durian everything. from candies, to hopias, to cakes, to ice creams, to shakes, to coffees, and more. little wonder it's the country's durian capital.

No comments: