Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mama Dulcing turns 70

I had no officework that day, as it was local holiday in Pasig City, which commemorated its more than 2 centuries of cityhood. It was my Mama Dulcing's 70th birthday, too. I offered a small celebration with the immediate family. We enjoyed a buffet dinner at Tong Yang in SM Fairview, Quezon City.

The biggest birthday blowout for Mama was the Davao City Tour. She decided to accompany me on my final trip to Padada, Davao del Sur where I got a contract with the Padada Water System Cooperative, which July 18 was the agreed date for the final output presentation. Fortunately, July 17 was declared national holiday to mark the Eid'l Fitr or end of Ramadan for Muslim brethren. So I booked our flight from 17th to 19th of July.

This was my mother's first time to reach Davao City, a 9-hour bus ride away from our hometown in Anao-aon, Surigao del Norte, all within the big island of Mindanao.

We got the second earliest flight and thus we arrived at Dabaw International Airport before 7am. I pre-coordinated our arrival with my cousin on my father's side, Otol Abet who also is a taxi driver, to drive us around the city.

We ate our breakfast of Chinese cuisine at Ahfat Restaurant, located at the back of the old Victoria Plaza

We paid a church visit among other things at the San Pedro Cathedral to offer prayers and thanksgiving for this rare opportunity to travel around with Mama Dulcing at the same time reconnect with relatives

We proceeded to Museyo Dabawenyo (Davao City Museum). I was personally astonished to know that the entrance to this public museum is free. And the collections are awesome, inspiring, and so learning. And more, we got a guided tour for free.

We ventured next the noted Bone Collector's Museum. I don't know exactly where it's located and my cousin-driver doesn't have any idea where it is (take note that he's Dabawenyo). So before departing from Davao City Museum, we asked our guide how to reach the bone museum.

The Bone Collector's Museum opened when we arrived. We were the first guests inside then. The smell is foul, which really proves the collection and preservation of live remains.
The museum has 3 floors of bone exhibits, the ground floor is about general collection, the 2nd floor is bone-filled from land animals, as well as flying ones, the 3rd floor is filled with bones of sea creatures. The experience was tremendously awesome, except for the tour guide.

We proceeded to Davao Crocodile Park. I found it expansive than the one in Palawan. I found it picnic-friendly where onlookers can standby for a long time inside the park, roam around, eat and drink. The zoo contains a wide variety of living animals, from birds (eagles and ostriches) to sheep and tiger.

The butterfly farm however is disappointing. There is not much to see but you have no choice because you paid it along with the Crocodile Park.


We had our lunch at the Kaonanan (translation: Eatery), just beside the park. It has an ampitheater beside it, which is called Tribu K Mindanawan (translation: Mindanao Tribes). The food is okay, just the usual, but they have this food set in a boat-shaped board with 3 holes or popularly known in our dialect as Sungka. I noticed it when we finished our ala-carte servings.

Mama and I stayed in the newly-constructed First Pacific Inn. The mini-hotel is located very near the People's Park, a walking distance away from Gaisano Plaza.

Mama Dulcing and Nanay Senda, the widow of my late Uncle Clito, eldest brother of my late father, and the mother of Otol Abet
My photo op with Mama Dulcing, Nanay Senda, and cousin Neneng (Otol Abet's younger sister) and Leah (Otol Abet's wife)

Mama declared she enjoyed the city day tour. That second day, I left her alone in Davao City as I went off to Padada, to do the presentation with the water coop. I already asked Otol Abet to fetch Mama and bring her to their place and tour her around my other cousin's place in Bangkal area. That afternoon, I picked her up from there, after we shared with our relatives a dinner of grilled fishes.

19 July, Sunday. Mama and I attended the holy mass at San Pedro Cathedral. There we were picked up by Otol Abet and his whole family (his wife Leah and eldest daughter Angel in the picture) and we shared a buffet breakfast at Saluhan Restaurant.

Before heading to the airport for our flight back to Manila, I treated Otol Abet's family to a dessert of doughnuts at Krispy Kreme inside the new SM Premiere Lanang

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