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The Crown Jewel of Mindanao | Philippines Trip 2023




Hey, you! 🥥


Most of our trip was spent in Davao, otherwise known as The Crown Jewel of Mindanao or The Durian Capital of the Philippines.




I don't know if tourists think of going to Davao when they come to the Philippines, but I think they definitely should! Or better yet, Filipinos from other islands should visit Davao! Surrounded by lush green forests, Davao is a haven for animals, fruits, flora, and you can do activities such as island hopping, exploring scenic views, hiking, and much more. There is so much to do in Davao and around. And if you didn't know yet, it is considered as the safest city in the Philippines!


Anyways ...


I had an amazing time in Davao. First because we were with family. I'm gonna be honest there were some ups and downs, but hey, we wouldn't be a family if there weren't. And second because our schedule was jam-packed!


We spent a week in Davao and each day was filled with activities. It was non-stop fun. Believe it or not but my sisters-in-law and I planned this trip since last year! That's a lot of hours spent on Whatsapp in the early morning / late at night and even the whole day! There was no room for error. LOL.




But of course, my period had to go and ruin my second day which also happened to be the Island Hopping day. Boo. I would have loved to go, but I knew that I couldn't push myself too hard.




The group rode a local "bangka" as they sailed around Samal Island. There was lots of swimming in the clear waters, snorkeling amongst the fish, eating delicious food ....




... and S even jumped from a cliff! So brave!




On our third day in Davao, we went to my husband's family fruit farm. Davao has the best fruits I have ever had in the Philippines and it was such a priviledge to be able to eat fruits directly from the tree. Trust me, it doesn't get better than that! This was hands-down one of the highlights of my trip.




We had such a wonderful time on the farm. I was pleasantly surprised to see that S loves Durian fruit. If you're not familiar with Durian, it is the stinkiest fruit in the whole world, but it's also one of the best in my opinion. And it's quite expensive! We also feasted on Lanzones, Mangosteen, and Rambutan.




And my husband had what we was looking forward to the most - fresh buko juice!




On the fourth day of our trip, we went to church in the morning and in the afternoon, my sisters-in-law and I went to the mall to get pampered and do some last minute shopping. I haven't had a proper pedicure and foot scrub in more than 10 years so I made sure to enjoy every minute of it.




In the meantime, the kids visited an Upside Down Museum with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They took really funny photos!




Our fifth day was a bit of a sad one. My father-in-law was finally buried with my late mother-in-law. This day also happened to be my mother-in-law's 11th death anniversary. Sadly, we lost him about 3 years ago (click here for the post) Because of the whole Covid situation, he was cremated and my brother-in-law kept his urn at his home, but the plan all along was to transfer him and bury him with my mother-in-law. This was finally the day and the main reason for all of us coming home.


My heart broke seeing my daughter crying non-stop but it was a beautiful day. With our friends and family with us, we accompanied our father to his final resting place.


"Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal."




On the sixth day, we celebrated the Christening of our youngest nephew as he took his initial step to a faithful heart. S was one of his Godmother and I pray that she will be able to guide him as he goes through life and its obstacles. It was such a happy day! Baby M didn't even cry when the priest baptized him with the Holy Water. Hahaha.




The party after was the perfect opportunity to get together around a joyous feast. It was held at PBB Farmhouse and I must say that the food was really good.




On the seventh day (and the last full day), we celebrated our daughter's 15th birthday. Fifteen already! Where did the years go??? For this birthday, we decided to have it at Jollibee because why not? All the little cousins had such a fun time and the older ones as well, although I don't think they would admit to it. Hahaha. And truthfully, the adults too! LOL It was our daughter's birthday, but this was a day for all.




A bit of malling in the afternoon then we were back home for our last meal together. We decided to have a Boodle Fight for our despedida dinner. What a feast it was! This was hands-down the best meal of our trip. All of our favorites were present. Hotdogs, Chorizo, Mangoes, Guso Seaweed Salad, Pancit Bihon, Chicharon Bulaklak, and oh my gosh Tuna Panga and Belly. I will be dreaming of this meal for the months and even years to come I think!




For dessert, S blew her birthday candles. My sisters-in-law got her a lovely money cake. Check out my nephew's face as he sees the money being pulled out from the cake. So cute. LOL.


I'm pretty sure I missed out a lot of the things we did, but sometimes words are not enough. One thing for sure though is that we will never forget this vacation. I'm returning home differently and so is S.




And because all good things must come to an end, we had to fly back to Cebu the next day. Not only would we be leaving Davao, but this also meant that our vacation was coming to an end. This is always very sad, but that's just the way it is. It is the high price you pay for loving people. And we have major love going around.


How was your summer?


xoxo Elodie























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