The familiar smell of durian. Yum! (said 1 person out of 3)

From my earlier post about visiting Davao City, I think it’s clear I’m not that one person.

Hello again, Davao City! We told you we’d be back.

On January 15, 2013, we kept our promise. The girls who ate up a storm in Bangkok returned to the familiar smell of durian under the guise of, well, an Integrated Bar convention. (Apparently, we do need our excuses.) I was the eager beaver who booked our flight which would leave Manila at 5 a.m. and arrive in Davao City at 6:45 a.m. The convention wouldn’t start until the next day. I mean, what convention, right?

When I was booking the hotel, I had a choice of two or three places. I settled on this one that had the word “suites” on its name because, come on, wouldn’t you rather stay in a suite than in, say, an inn? (Sorry, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Actually, no; I’m not all that sorry.) That decision paid off rather well in view of my eagerness in booking a flight so early in the morning. They checked us in early without any questions asked and the room wasn’t so bad either. It had three single beds and looked something like this:

I didn’t take this picture.

(Although that’s a different orientation.)

We would be inside this room most of the time, leaving it only to register at the convention, try out some food place, do groceries and buy pasalubong (gift/present for people back home).

So, let’s get down to business. We are a group of crazy lawyers whose idea of a good time on a vacation includes eating and/or curling up in the comfort of our hotel beds with a book or some — make that lots of — gossip. (If you weren’t with us, we probably talked about you. C’est la vie.) While other lawyers were taking pictures at Pearl Farm or whichever tourist spot Davao City has, we were inquiring about how to get to Times Beach for a sampling of these treats:

2013-01-16 12.58.56

Yes, we got there, thanks to the directions given in English — let me get my dictionary! — by the owner of the hotel. We had mussels, squid, tuna and bihod (fish eggs) and words can’t possibly express the delights of this experience.

I would like to thank Google for bringing to our attention the buffet bounty of Davao City. On 17th January, I told Facebook friends that I was…

I had every right to be excited but the pictures I took don’t do that dining experience justice. Forgive me. And believe me, it was yummy, yummy, yummy!

2013-01-17 12.19.132013-01-17 12.18.532013-01-17 12.18.422013-01-17 12.18.33

My excuse is that I’m an eater, not a photographer.

All three of us decided to say something of our convention fee and wore the IBP shirt that we got out of it. The restaurant’s owner, a cheerful lady whose name I completely forgot, saw this and went to our table. She talked about how they were the ones who catered lunch for the convention the day before. As we hadn’t attended any of the events there, we just politely smiled, chewed often and smiled some more.

Later, we went to nearby Aldevinco Shopping Center to check out some Davao souvenirs.


We ended up buying these comfy kaftans for ourselves. This wasn’t a cause for worry because we still had the next day for shopping. No, make that this wasn’t a cause for worry because we didn’t feel obligated to bring anything home anyway.

My crafty friends (I had absolutely nothing to do with this and I vehemently objected) decided to sneak into the hotel room Monette’s favorite fruit. They later worked to erase any trace that it ever existed with the help of some of Glenda’s expensive perfume, and were they successful! Those crazy kids; they grow up so fast. The good news is that we weren’t booted out of the hotel and they even sent us off with big smiles.

Fellow lawyers tempted us out of the comfort of our hotel room via an invitation to the Waterfront Insular Hotel for a night of luau. This was how we came to refer to our indoor hotel adventures (eating, watching TV, reading a book, soaking in the bathtub and — not to forget — sleeping while wearing our kaftans) as our very own luau. It’s just not a real luau if there’s not a bed (and the ease of hitting it should the mood strike us) involved. Right after that, we pretended to regret not having attended that party.

We also had a meal at the Marina Tuna restaurant but we didn’t rave about the food there as much as we did with the food at Times Beach. The grilled fish and fish eggs were too well done even for our well done taste buds.

As SM Lanang (also the convention venue) was a short cab ride away from our hotel, we spent some time there. We shouldn’t have gone near the ladies’ shoes department because, on the day that we were to depart, we ended up buying identical pairs of wedge sandals. They glitter!

2013-01-19 16.54.19

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This (along with having to pay for excess baggage because of pomelo and tuna) caps our first journey in the new year. A few days after we arrived at home, I got afflicted with the intestinal flu. Welcome home indeed!


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