I've been in Davao City since Thursday for work, work, work... but there's always something about this city that soothes my tired spirit. So even if I've been coming home to the hotel beat and tired for three nights now... I'm surprisingly upbeat. I sleep well.

I actually grew up here although the Davao City of my childhood was a completely different city compared to what it is today. I know. One can't expect things to be exactly the same after 30 years - but still, one wishes some things remain the same. The old haunts are now past gone and in their places are buildings, commercial establishments, more concrete.

But some things have surprisingly survived. I've been warned repeatedly about the dubious quality of the food served there, but going to Luz Kinilaw has become almost like a religious tradition whenever I come to this city. So we just had to have dinner there Thursday evening. That part of the city was pitch dark - they have rotating brownouts here. But mercifully, there was a heavy downpour that lasted about two hours so it was cool and there was no need for electric fans. We ordered barbecued tuna belly and squid and mangoes. It was heartwarming to note that they still served organic red rice. Problem was that the smell of mud wafted throughout the place, perhaps the heavy downpour was causing it.

We went to Jack's Ridge Friday night (I know, I know... this is beginning to sound like a food diary) for yet another tuna dinner. We had bagaybay this time around which was described in the menu as "male tuna fish egg," a bit of a contradiction in terms if you know what I mean. Unless of course they were referring to... well, never mind. I have been told bagaybay is really the sex organ of a tuna fish. We Filipinos are truly a resourceful people - we've made delicacies out of fish parts normally disposed of in other cultures.

Jack's Ridge is located on top of the hill which also houses the Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Praque. I used to frequent this place when I was a child because an uncle lived just a few blocks away at Pluto Street of GSIS Village. When I was a child, this place was forest. It's now about to be turned into a commercial area. Ah, what price development.

I finally got to visit the hotel/art gallery of the artist Kublai somewhere near the Victoria Mall this afternoon. IT WAS AN OVERWHELMING EXPERIENCE!!! My jaw hurt from gaping too long and too much at all the giant sculptures and the rows of paintings and art pieces. I was able to take some pictures so I will try to download soon. And my friends think my art collection is too much!!!

Anyway. Just wanted to post something today for the benefit of family members, friends, and students who have been wondering what's up with me. So there.


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