Davao: Getting to know you through your food Pt. 1

ASEAN 2017 Marco Polo lobby

"If my tummy could extend three times the limit and I was blessed with a laser fast metabolism..."

After staying in Manila for a few days; 🐻 and I flew to Davao city to visit a city where I spent the first few years of my life. I can remember myself speaking the local dialect fluently, being a little girl living a carefree life, enjoying Davao's local fruits, and my first school---L.C.A (now Ford Academy Of the Arts).

Visiting home after more than 20 years of being M.I.A brought a lot of nostalgic feelings now that I have my 🐻 with me in this trip, he gets to see a glimpse of my forgotten past; me rediscovering the old me that I left behind.

Our stay in Marco Polo Davao was fab and action-packed, being the official venue for the 2017 ASEAN Summit, and its delegates, We were caught up in the center of diplomatic buzz!

Marco Polo front ASEAN 2017
Marco Polo front entrance (above) and the lobby (top) displaying the hashtag for the 2017 ASEAN summit

Reintroducing Myself to Davao's Gastronomic Delights!

The highlight of my 3-day Davao homecoming was when we signed up for Mel's Davao Food Tour, iI figured that most of my fond memories of Davao are food-related, so going in for a food tour with my 🐻 would reunite me with good old times!
Mel davao food tour souvenir
Bayong from Mel's

Bahay ni Tuding (Tuding's Inn), was the meeting point for the tour; We were greeted by Mel Pangan, the Proprietor of the inn, and also our tour guide. Being a local of Davao city, Mel knows all the best of authentic Davao.

two variety of banana bankerohan market
Lakatan and Latundan varieties

The first stop of our tour was the Bankerohan Public Market - A big public market where she showcased the "Pineapple Samurais" --- pineapple vendors who can cut the pineapple in less than a minute without touching the flesh inside! The pineapple was served to us as our breakfast.

pineapples in bankerohan market davao citysweet potatoes bankerohan market
Pineapples (top right) Sweet potatoes and local cookware for sale (top left)

mixing the chocolate using batirol
Using batirol to prepare the chocolate drink

Del Mar Painitan (Painitan from the root word 'init'---means hot/heat.) where the real culinary adventure starts

This place seems to be known for its puto maya and the kinutil - a beverage made of coconut toddy, native chicken egg, tablea (chocolate tablet), and evaporated milk. This is my first time having a puto maya, a rice cake made of purple glutinous rice, cooked in coconut milk, with a hint of ginger. It went well with kinutil that I miss so much.

I remembered my father making us kinutil when we're sick, we believe it has healing properties by sweating out the toxins out of the body, locals also claimed this yummy drink as an aphrodisiac! 
purple glutinous rice
Purple glutinous rice 

Del Mar Painitan puto maya and kinutil
Puto Maya and Kinutil

After the hearty breakfast, Ms. Pangan dropped us off at Museo Dabawenyo, where we were introduced briefly to the city's history and its people. The museum at that time has a featured display, a collection of puppets from different countries.

The topic of our next stop was the respected artist Kublai Millan. We dropped by outside Ponce Suites Hotel to admire his works, the hotel is situated within a residential area and their neighbors allowed to display his works outside their homes and along their block!

outside ponce suites kublai millan works
One of Kublai Millan's works outside the Hotel (above), a display outside of the residents (below)
Kublai Millan scupltures davao city

After learning about Davao's history and culture, it's time to visit another local treasure: the Malagos Farm where I enjoyed the sight of their orchids, moss-like ornaments, their lovely water lily pond, and the cheese tasting! The Philippines is not really known for their cheese, but having locally made artisan cheeses for us to enjoy is a rare treat---and they are oh so good!

Puentespina Garden
Malagos Garden's specialties---their exotic plants for sale, they also have edible products from chocolates and artisan cheeses (below)

malagos farm cheese tasting mels davao food tour

The King of Fruits

It is considered a must-do when you visit Davao City---eating Durian, notorious for its strong scent to most people, it's a big no-no to bring it in hotels and flights, very potent huh😝?
I love durian so the unique aroma doesn't pose a threat to me but is more concerned for my dear 🐻. 
While waiting, Mel told us that they managed to breed durian that doesn't have that much offensive odour and the best way to get rid of the smell of durian from our hands is to fill the empty shell of durian with water and wash our hands from there. We cannot test this theory for they provided us with plastic bags to serve as gloves.

Some people cannot eat it considering the scent and the weird texture that comes with it but my dear 🐻 managed to eat 2 pieces! (#proudgirlfriend)

durian king of fruits
King of Fruits---Durian!

Meeting the "Other King"

First time hearing the word "Pakfry" I thought that I might not enjoy the next feast. It came from two words Paksiw (to simmer in vinegar) and fry. I don't really like paksiw, I mean I would admit that I hate it with passion and I don't think that frying would help to neutralize the strong taste of vinegar.
But Palovince Pakfry King proved me wrong---really wrong. They deep fry the yellowfin tuna perfectly.

deep fried yellow tail tuna
A perfect combination of crispiness and juiciness. 
If my tummy could extend three times the limit and I was blessed with a laser fast metabolism--- I would finish the whole deep-fried tuna tail! We also ordered chop suey, kinilaw (Philippine style ceviche), and sinigang, the rice is unlimited. Aside from the great meal, I love Palovince's presentation from Nipa-hut style restaurant, local handicraft displays, and using the clay pot to serve the sinigang. 

Durian II

Our dessert is our last stop, the first meet-up place, back to  Bahay ni Tuding (Tuding's Inn), where we were served Durian ice cream. At this time our tummies were happy and if they could sing they would probably sing Hallelujah to us.

If you can't eat the fruit, durian ice cream is the best alternative.

Thinking of going to Davao City?

I highly recommended to everyone especially the foodies to sign up for Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour. It is the first of its kind in Davao City, she did a great job introducing the best of Davao in the tour and she showed me that my one-time home is one hell of a foodie paradise.

* Read the second post about our Davao City 2017 trip, and see more of our photos in my page album

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