The first of our back to back wedding weekend was in my hometown, Davao City.  Our college friend, Paolo was getting married to his long-time sweetheart Elle.  I first met Elle when Paolo brought her to my house during Stan’s pamamanhikan back in 2006.   Initially, I thought about letting just Stan fly to Davao to attend Paolo’s wedding.  However, since Paolo accompanied Stan on that 9-hour non-aircon bus ride from Cagayan de Oro to Davao City about 15 years ago when he was still courting me, Stan insisted that we should be present – in full force.  It was also my chance to visit my hometown so I didn’t put up a fight 😉


I was happy that I was able to schedule my trip in time for the weekly MomBa sessions.  That Friday’s session was led by Julie Palo-Lapaz and attended by 5-6 moms.  My last class was yoga with Monica and before that… I can’t remember!  Mom and baby exercise using a 12.5kg baby as “weights” was no joke.  I was dead tired and glowing (fine – perspiring heavily!) after the class.  It was a fun having crawling babies about without worrying about the other participants.

MomBa

The MomBa session was held at The Pod.  Owned by Alex Hao of Mommy Sense,  The Pod started out as a space where Alex could conduct her birthing classes and prenatal yoga.  Eventually, Alex started hosting mommy meet-ups and this was actually where we held last year’s Babywearing meet-up with Next9 and Mamaway.

Aside from her classes, Alex has made natural parenting products readily available in Davao City.  She converted a portion of her lobby into a space where you can purchase products which she has carefully sourced and personally believes in.  From teas to baby carriers to natural bath and body products – it is a haven for families who only want the best and safest products.

what’s available at The Pod

Of course, a trip to Davao won’t be complete without going to the beach!  My family has been going to Paradise Island since the 1980’s.  It used to be a 20-minute trip (from house to beach).  But now, booming Davao City has resulted in more people, more cars = traffic!  Now it takes about 40-minutes (house to beach) – which is still not bad considering that you have to walk getting to the port, plus take a 5-7 minutes pump boat ride.

Paradise Island has also expanded and installed orange tables and benches near the beach front.  A lot of tourists (and Dabawenyos, actually) prefer other beaches which are less commercialized and less crowded.  However, since I grew up in Paradise Island, there is this “pull” to keep going back there.  We have a lot of good memories in that beach resort. I remember my grandmother visiting Paradise every day during the last few years of her life.  I guess that’s why I continue to bring my kids there despite other newer and better resorts in Samal Island.

A trip to Davao is always a treat for me.  My parents are still there and we always stay in my room where I have slept in since I was 8 years old.  Each of my siblings’ rooms now have to twin beds or a queen bed to accommodate our growing family.  My sister shares that her daughter also loves visiting Davao and my kids do too.   We may have built a home in Metro Manila but I guess Davao will still be “home” for me too.

Did you grow up outside Metro Manila?  Share your fond memories of your childhood home!

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