Visitors are supposed to just visit-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
DAVAO City is now 76 years old. Hmmm… Pope Francis is 76, too. Yey. Anyway, that was just to start this off on a light note…
Crossing the pedestrian overpass at Victoria Plaza the other week to go to Blugre Café for coffee and a short wifi break, I was surprised upon seeing a Maybank office as I turned the corner.
”Oh, there’s a new Maybank office …” I thought, before the bigger thought crashed. “Wait a minute… how did this building rise up here?”
I stared up a building just a floor or two shorter than PDCP Landco in what I knew was an empty lot with some yosi vendors. It wasn’t that long ago, too.
Riding with Imee on our way to find a new restaurant from Lanang down to Torres Street via J.P. Laurel Avenue, there was horrendous traffic along the stretch of SM Lanang, and a huge crowd walking hither-thither. It’s Araw ng Dabaw and everybody wants to shop or eat out or just hang out during Araw ng Dabaw. I didn’t, but I have to because I had to write an article about where to eat. But like in all instances, the very slow traffic, the sight of people crossing, walking, and just standing all around our vehicle set me off in a haze. My thoughts zoomed out until I saw a tall white building with steel chrome railings outside.
“What’s that building? Where are we?” I asked, trying to get out of the haze my brain went to.
“We’re now in Abreeza,” Imee replied. I gawked and gaped at a building that wasn’t there just three weeks ago. Uh, yes, it was there, complete with scaffoldings and unpainted cement walls. But not that finished structure. And when did that building on the entrance side look that way complete with the word Seda? Am I even still in Davao?
Welcome to Davao City, and welcome to the befuddlement of each and every Dabawenyo. I am even among the more “travelled” as I live in the south but go to the office in the north and can never resist to visit the malls to get my hands on art materials and books. That means not just visiting SM City in Ecoland which is nearest home and where I regularly get my home stuff, my kitchen I call it. It means a regular visit to Fullybooked in Abreeza and all the National Bookstores in SM City, SM Lanang, Abreeza, and Gaisano Mall. Don’t forget, too, the Booksale in NCCC Mall, even in Lachmi’s. I like checking on the chocolates at Victoria Plaza.
See? The regular Dabawenyo will only frequent what is nearest home. Like an officemate who says SM City in Ecoland is like in the other side of the planet and hat she hasn’t be there for months on end. I live in both planets, so I get to see a lot.
Still, I cannot keep up with how fast those buildings are rising and getting filled up. Are we sure we can sustain this?
A friend, a visitor, chided me for my aversion to tourists, both locals and foreign, and I snapped, “It’s because I’ve been to Palawan, to Bohol, to Boracay, even to Bangkok and Hongkong and just about every tourist destination you can think of but I never ever thought of pulling up roots and moving to those places. I will return, yes, but I do not intend to live there. It’s different in Davao, people come over, and then decide to stay!”
Sungit me? Errmmm yes. But suffice it to say, we are a growing group of residents (migrants and locals alike) who are telling anyone who is entertaining the idea of moving in, “Don’t even think about it, it’s not nice here.” Can you blame us?
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 17, 2013.