Tuesday July 17, 2018

On-the-Job: Discovering the shortcuts in Davao

WHEN you hear about shortcuts the first thing that come to mind are creepy, scary corners. Some even think of it as something bad, like cheating.

But shortcuts in Davao City are just that, shortcuts, and they’re good.

It’s my first time walking the streets of Davao City. I’m from the mountainous part of the Philippines and I get to any destination around town just by walking, but of course it’s my first time felt here and it was like I have to scrimp on food to save for transportation.

Taxi’s were the first option (Good thing now they have the Grab-a-Taxi App). I don’t know my way around and so I get a taxi to bring me around. But then this has started hurting my pockets, so I had to ride the jeepney. But then, jeepneys pass through many ‘kalyes’ plus the crush of people inside where co-passengers have to squeeze into their allotted seat space despite differences in body mass.

Thus, I decided to walk.

I forgot about the scorching heat or the smelly sewers. I’ve taken my first step to a new discovery in Davao City. From San Pedro Extension where I was staying, I walked down the street to San Pedro Street, only to discover that there is a mall near my place and not only that, restaurants of different kinds. I am a foodie, so restaurants, streetfoods, and food stalls are my personal paradise. The People’s Park of Davao City is also nearby. The bigger realization is that, you can walk to almost all places downtown.

Of course if you want to walk the streets, it would be nice to be early to reach your destination on time and an umbrella should be handy. Me, I like doing it with a smile. There was even one time I was so amazed with the lights of the building of a P100 per hour KTV bar near People’s Park that I almost stepped on a street vendor selling wooden pendants and slings.

When I eat, I do not eat in one restaurant I try to walk around and look for new food to taste. When you try different foods in Davao, it doesn’t have to be lavish. Spend less and eat more. There are so many varieties of food and so many restaurants and food stalls. The shortcuts around may lead you to a new spot to hang-out.

I’m not really familiar with the places and streets of Davao but when I took a walk I saw more places to eat in, where to go when there are some errands to run, where the spas are, the laundry shops, and more. Aside from the fact that it’s safe to walk the streets, the air is free of people smoking. But of course, cars are everywhere, so you still get the emission.

From what I’ve seen, every ‘kalye’ or street has their choice of food stalls, massage and spas, banks, groceries and etc. Maybe in my next visit, it would be nice to bring a pen and notebook and note about places to go.

Davao had really grown into a beautiful city and taking a walk through its shortcuts gives us incredible discoveries that even other Dabawenyos haven’t discovered yet. A walk through the city wouldn’t take much, but truly you will learn more.

I’m not discouraging people from riding vehicles I’m just saying that if you’re in Davao have time to walk and discover, like I did and discover the shortcuts not only to your destination but to your own paradise. (Raymond Donasco)


[Raymond is a student of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) Intern]