I met Lola Leila when I was in Davao last Nov 21 – Nov 24.
She is not the only or the main content of this post but she was the MOST significant person (for me) in that trip.
Before traveling to Davao, I was planning lots of things: I will stay in dorm type of Green Windows Dormitel which I will only pay p188/night, I will try diving at Carabao Divers Center. Horseback riding and Eden were also in my list.
I posted an ad on couchsurfing just to ask direction and accommodation. Luckily, there were Waki and Wyeth contacted me. Waki was very enthusiastic, he showed me how to travel from Davao airport to the city very details. Surprisingly, he even said that they have a plan for me as well, like I will visit his school and will attend a wedding of Wyeth friend. Wyeth also told me that I can join the team building trip with her officemates on Sunday.
I was really confuse between the plan I prepared for myself and the plan which they prepared for me. And I was thinking of what am I really AFTER in this trip. And for me, the experiences are good already, and being with people is also my purpose. So I selected their plan and say to myself: there are people who I HAVEN’T MET prepare a plan for me, it’s NICE, it’s WEIRD, it’s DIFFERENT. why not? Just follow the flow and believe that life brings best things to me.
Upon arrived to Davao airport, I took van and jeepney to get Victoria Mall and met Wyeth. We went to her place which is the house of Lola Leila, located at Lupo Diaz street. Lola Leila is half sister with the maternal grandmother of Wyeth. She is a skinny person, always wearing glasses, a retired architect. After around 20 mins taking a rest and talking with them (Wyeth, Lola Leila and her friend), I was in hurry to go to the place which I wanted. But I was really impressed with Lola Leila, she is nice, accommodating and always smile. I even told Wyeth: “Your Lola is so wise”.
I took Buhangin jeepney to go to Central Terminal, then took van to Calinan, dropped at L3 terminal then took habal-habal to Magalos Garden resort. 3:13pm, the girl there said that horse back riding is closed by 3pm, my main purpose isn’t reached. I didn’t enter the resort, went to Philippines Eagle Center. Tried some coconut candy, saw how is the pearl is taken out of the shell and saw some ethnic people.
Back to Davao, my dinner was in an eatery: a p30 order of pancit (which I think is more expensive than in some eatery in Manila) and a mango worth p38 (it shocked me, I thought that fruits in Davao are really cheap). Then I have my first time massage in the Philippines at Biozen Spa and back home by 9:30pm.
Wyeth was very good with me, she texted me from time to time to check if I’m okay. Wyeth works as a call center agent for a fashion company from 4pm to 1am.
I had a conversation with Lola Leila afterward before she sleeping time is 10pm. She is a retired architect but is still hired sometimes. She was the ONLY female architect student who kept studying until the last day among a class of 60 students. And the only FEMALE architect in her generation by that time. Being in that situation, she needs to be strong, aggressive since she was a leader of many man include engineers and workers. She said to me: “I was same like you, always wear long sleeves and never make up. I was a very simple person”. She travelled lots of places by sea, by air & by land. I told her: “You are a very successful person”. She said: “I can’t say like that but I can say: I have a colorful life”.
Nov 22, 2014 (Saturday): I was toured around University of Southeastern Philippines by Waki. He’s taking master degree here for Alternative Education. He’s teaching Japanese online as well as at the school. He’s very friendly and knows lots of people in the school.
Then I went with Wyeth to attend the wedding of her close friend – Cheerie. It was the a really a gorgeous wedding with lots of activities. The couple – Dj & Che appeared from a car which was uplifted from the ground. Wedding cake gradually felt from the roof on the ceiling light, as well as balloons. Then the couple was served with many foods look like King & Queen.
I was really impressed with the Crown’s Wedding Speech of the groom’s mother together with her voice make it so special. I asked her to take the pictures of the speech afterward. And the sentences I enjoyed the most were: “After all the ups and downs, …. the yes’s and no’s … the wait and watch … at last the moment has arrived” “Again without sounding too corny Che, you are a great girl, who clearly loves our son… Happiness in marriage is not something just happens … It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner”
Being with Wyeth’s friends, I talked the most with Krizia, who is the owner of Boundfor – help woman to sell their: Hand bound books and other handcrafted goods. (Upon back to Manila, I connected Krizia with Sharon who worked with Narda as Social Media)
Upon arrive back to Davao city, I took jeepney (Route 10 or 11) to Ramon Magsaysay park, then treated myself durian at Magsaysay fruit vendor. Nothing was better than that. I walked around China town then went home.
Nov 23, 2014 (Sunday): I joined team building with Wyeth and her officemates to Isla Reta beach resort on Talikud island. It took us 1-2 hours to travel. (Travel fee: p80/one way; resort entrance: p70). The beach was very beautiful. Karen – team lead of Wyeth told me that: the quality of the beach here is almost the same Boracay, but it’s not famous as Boracay. The starfishes, the gang of lambs which were eating grass under the coconut trees are so beautiful.
– How do you like the Philippines? – asked Karen.
– I don’t like the Philippines. I’m different with the Philippines – said me.
– No, I mean … – said Karen.
– Yes, I understand like that, but I made it different so it’s easier to answer.
Back to Davao, I rode jeepney (Matina) and dropped at Matina Shrine to meet Jay Ann & her sister. We commuted to Jack Ridge by tricycle and had a great conversation there. Jay Ann is a civil engineering student and will graduate soon. I had a chance to recall my engineering knowledge to share with her. It was also my first time experienced hitchhiking with her when we were on the way back to Matina Shrine.
Back home, I talked with Lola Leila and Zaira. Zaira is the niece of the daughter-in-law of Lola Leila. She is 19 years old and is a nanny. She wishes to be come a teacher.
Nov 24, 2014 (Monday):
I used my last day to experience the thing I ever wished many times: horseback riding. I commuted by Pritil jeepney to Mercury drug Pritil. (A girl who I met at jeepney station was really good with me, she showed me where to drop and which jeep to go. She refused when I wanted to pay for her fare). I paid p100 for habal-habal to get Eden Natural Park. Must say if I would know in advance, I would not enter the main entrance, I will just go to the Eden Sport Field which is at the another site of the highway. It’s opened by 1pm to 4pm.
When I got on the back of the horse, it was wonderful. Since childhood, I watched many movies both Chinese movies and Western movies which people, royal family riding horses to travel, to fighting. Riding horse is something which I always wish for. But when the horse started to walk, I felt scare. It’s a four foot animal, not a car or a vehicle. It was not that balance. I even asked the groom: “Kuya, can you tell it to stop for a while? Kuya, can you tell it to slower”? I realized that the thing I saw in movies is not that easy. But when I get used to it, it was really enjoyable.
Skycycle and Skyriding were also my first time experience. I was a little bit scare at first. But I also get used to it quickly.
On the way back to Davao city, I spent time at Matina Town Square, somewhere near Ateneo de Davao university, Bankerohan market and yes, just see around the city on jeepney the last time.
I got home, took some pictures with Lola Leila & she is the one accompanied me to take a pedicab. A jeepney brought me straight to the airport.