DAVAO

Quick Weekend Getaway

NOT many groups decide to go on a weekend trip almost two weeks after the holidays. Usually, people are back to work and school and by that time they have barely enough time left to still go on vacations. In most cases, especially if it's a big group, out-of-town plans get canceled because of other appointments springing last minute.

That's where the new definition of the word "drawing" came from. It means that the group's plans of adventures and trips have been laid out sometimes in details. It seemed like it's going to be pushed through, only to be canceled. Everything was just a plan.

But last weekend, some of the editorial staff of SunStar Davao decided for "no more drawing". The best thing about being in Davao City is you can have a quick boat ride or bus ride to a nearby barangay or municipality and still go on a perfect trip.

We decided last weekend to head south of Davao City towards the direction of Buda. We took the public bus from Davao City Overland Transport Terminal in Ecoland and from there we travelled for more than two hours to our destination.

Most of us were actually clueless of where to go but millennials that we are, we decided it was part of the adventure and that Google Map and other geographical apps are our best friends.

Bringing with us our jackets, we anticipated the place to be cold – a perfect weekend escape from the busy and humid city.

La Maria Hardin, where we decided to stay, is actually just a few meters from the iconic Philippine Eagle statue that welcomes visitors coming to Davao from the direction of Bukidnon.

Upon checking in, we were glad that we did the weekend getaway on a January when most of the people are already back to school and work. We had the cozy place to ourselves.

The wind was cool just like how we expected it. We pulled our jackets closer to our bodies for warmth and decided to take photos before the sun sets. We headed to the iconic eagle statue. Because it's already a tourist landmark, many local Lumad sell weaved products, succulents, herbal plants, local food, and other handy souvenir items. Cars usually stop by here as people would love their photos taken with the huge eagle statue.

La Maria Hardin is a simple but a serene place that I think was made even more perfect because of the quiet. They have two pools – one for the kids, one for the adults. They also have a playground and a few cottage outside.

Their restaurant offers affordable non-pork Filipino food for lunch and dinner such as Tinolang Manok, Tuna Sisig, Pansit Guisado, Battered Chicken, and Garlic Chicken among many others.

Their free breakfast, included in the room fee, are adobosilog, hotsilog, daingsilog, among others.

But our most favorite and what the group had been ordering again and again is the sikwate. We agreed that we had tried better sikwate in the past but the climate makes their sikwate perfect and something guests would order again and again. They also have choices to pair with the sikwate such as their cheesy cassava cake or chocolatey suman.

We were only there for a night but the conversations we had, the good service, good food, the friendly staff, and of course the beautiful view and climate makes the weekend getaway worth it. We also learned that thorough planning of everything is not always necessary. Sometimes, as long as you know you're safe, jump on the bus and let the roads take you where they should.


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