by Earlie Doriman

I am home and away. In my silent moments, I just could not help myself longing for home. The simple life, family, the friendly people, friends, the genuine laughter, the family gathering, the food, the sand, the sea and sun, the karaoke, are barely few of those panoramas,

Davao City People's Park

which remind me that there is indeed better reason to come home. Life is so different when you work and live in a land you could never call your own.  And I say this time after time, there is no better place on Earth other than my native land.

Well, there are hundreds of reasons to miss the Philippines, particularly my hometown Davao. Living in the UK for many years now with my wife and two children, this longing has never changed. The vision of coming home for good, remains the backbone of our plan as a family. And we have to save hard, sacrifice much, and work tough, to make that dream promising.

Do not get me wrong. I do not intend to discourage anyone who wished to experience life in other countries. After all, my family began with that same aspiration and we are always thankful for the opportunity.

City Hall of Davao, Philippines

And if there is a good break to go abroad, then by all means take hold of it. But do not be frenzied so much with high expectations. Remember, it is poles apart when you go for a holiday or go out of the country to work. If the dream is to make life better, which is obviously to obtain financial freedom after sometime, then you have to work doubly hard and save as much as you can. Otherwise, you only shatter your own target. (I actually need to write a separate article about LIFE ABROAD next time).

Let me get back to the track and continue my thoughts about why my home country is irreplaceable. The more than seven thousand islands of our archipelago is one of a kind dwelling, to diverse beauty and culture. Within this diversity are flavours of both sophisticated and exotic Filipino cuisine, sundry colour of tribes and ancestry, cultural festivals throughout the year, longest Christmas celebration, the richness of spirituality, the love for our elders, and most importantly the presence of community character that makes each individual known and significant in the society. Aside from that, there are more simple things that I truly miss especially food…beach…food…beach…food…and food.

ROAD FLAVOURS

In Davao City for example, I could sense the crowd of students and employees alike, and the inviting smell of hot caramelized banana-Q waiting at the stalls along Bonifacio St., near the University of Mindanao Campus, and the UBE-Q (yam), CAMOTE-Q (sweet potato), plus the healthy, thirst quenching zest of BUKO JUICE or pomelo juice or pineapple juice or durian shake.  Still along this stretch, I also miss the golden brown ‘KWIK-KWIK’ alongside, mixed vinegar and hot chilli sauce, with few pieces of thinly (or rather thickly) sliced cucumber.

Pork Barbeque

Late in the afternoon, walking down San Pedro St near the Davao City Hall, stalls of mouth watering pork B-B-Q are all lined-up, with loud barkers who would either drag you inside the ‘carenderia’ or push you unto the seats before asking your order. (There are many of these B-B-Q stalls around Metro Davao, I am not certain now if these are still located in the areas I mentioned). It is funny and I absolutely missed it. The food stops near the University of the Immaculate Conception. These became my second dining space for more than a decade, when I was still a student until I worked as a college instructor in UIC. There maybe food stalls in the UK but not as exciting as the ones in my home.

JOLLIBEE

I disagree, it is not a childish thing to love Jollibee.  Well, there’s no Jollibee in Manchester yet, and I have not heard of  any news to put up one. I am not sure if there is already an outlet of this Filipino-owned food chain in Central London. But honestly, I love Jollibee and a I miss the perfect taste of their chicken joy (huh).  I remembered when we had our holiday in 2009. Dining at Jollibee is one of the itineraries, we had it more than once at SM Mall Davao, we also tried at Jollibee Gaisano and Victoria outlets, and in my memory, we tried it too at the new NCCC Mall in Matina. I can’t wait for our next holiday… so looking forward to dine at Jollibee again.

JACK’s RIDGE

Aside from the gorgeous food, one would surely long to drive to this uphill place at Shrine Hills Matina. Nice ambiance and soothing countryside air for the entire family. I really love their ‘PINAKBET’ and ‘CALAMARES’. We had a chance to listen to their live Band with Jay Pabualan on vocals. For first timers to the city, they would fall in love overlooking the dazzling Davao at night time.

TIMES BEACH GRILLS

What about that the array of food choices in this coastal dining place. The pick and grill option, the ‘KINILAW’, excellent ‘SINIGANG’, B-B-Q (again), and whilst dining, the gushing sounds of ocean waves join the ingenious beats of local rap songs from group of young kids, who politely ask if they can serenade us with their own composition.  It is fantastic and I missed it so bad.

EAT ALL YOU CAN

Davao has all the abundance to offer, to both its residents and visitors. ‘Eat all you can’ restaurants are amongst the attractive places for ‘hungry-tummies’ like me. Prices are very affordable but the foods are truly beautiful and delicious.

FRUIT and MORE

My hometown Davao, is considered the fruit basket of the country and assorted fruit are available in stands all year round. With friend and colleagues, during the Kadayawan festivals, which is also a season for the king fruit ‘DURIAN’, it has become a habit to go to the nearest Durian Park to try the different variety of durian at our hearts content.  I miss the pomelo, MANGGA CEBU, green mango with BAGOONG, different variety of BANANA and many more.

PARADISE ISLAND

It really feels like a paradise when you are here.  The fine white sand and the crystal clear water are the best features of this beach park in the Garden City of Samal.  Barely 20 minutes by boat from the Davao City, my wife and I just loved this place and have spent some of our intimate times here. The food is both affordable and terrific, and the amenities around the resort simply regard our needs throughout our stay. We look forward to take our two young boys here in the future. Sad to say, they have not been to the beach yet.

Paradise Island Resort located in the Garden City of Samal

PINDASAN BEACH RESORTS

To those who do not know yet, my birthplace does have lots of beautiful beaches to provide too. Pindasan has a long stretch of sandy beaches managed and owned by local residents. MERCED Beach Resort, where my family hold some important occasions, is a very good beach resort with affordable cottages and wide space for children to play. OMANDAC Beach Resort is a developed beach park with conference hall and nice-looking huts plus a well-maintained shower rooms and toilets. We usually convene here for our high school reunions. BERIOSO Beach Resorts, a new yet competitive, reasonable and very well managed resort, with floating cottages around the main swimming area.

Berioso Beach Resort located in Pindasan Comval Province

Most importantly, it is my grade school friend’s family beach. There are many other public beaches around this area, which I have personally good memories and experiences to look back, and of course worth revisiting.

These are just few things to recall why I always love my native land. Life in my hometown may be so simple and plain. I may be able to change my colour which I have no plan at all, and the accent when I speak. Or I may be able to change my name and citizenship, but I know there is a better reason to come home, because it is the only place in the world that I can call my own.

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Comments
  1. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  2. Belle Torres says:

    Hi Earlie,

    How are you? First time to read your blog..and it reminds me of how well you write. Home will always be home. I wish you well in everything. Hope to see you when you visit us here in the Philippines.

    • earlied says:

      Hi Mam Belle,

      Thanks for dropping by in my very neophyte-like blog. Hehehe..We are alright here and thank you for the compliments. Love writing and it helps me lot to gather my sanity..hehehe..I miss all of you..I miss my job as a teacher..and i miss davao a lot..See you there soon.