September 27, 2015

DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Aldevinco Shopping Center

Life is full of many first times and we have to be open for these new experiences and events in our lives. On the third week of August 2015, I was able to experience another “first time” in my life – be a solo traveler! I was scared and excited at the same to be honest, but a lot of women have been doing it for years and they have been successful at it. Well, for my first time to be a solo traveler, I went to one of the world’s safest city in the world: Davao City.




I was blessed to be able to fly for free because of the flight voucher I received from Cebu Pacific when our flight from Manila to Cebu was cancelled and we were transferred to another flight. I had only 6 months to use it so I booked it on the third week of August; little did I know those dates were the dates for the Kidayawan Festival in Davao City which I learned only a week before my flight. I got excited with the thought of actually attending a well-known local festival, but unfortunately I was not able to see it up close and personal and only from the hotel’s TV feed. It was very hot that weekend in Davao City, a lot of people were in the place where the street dance was being held and it was kind of traffic around that part of town. So I ended up skipping watching the Kidayawan street dances. But you know that there are festivities going on because my flight was full and there are also many tourists in Davao.




I’m baffled every time people learn that I am alone on that trip when many other tourists have been roaming around the world alone, and Davao City is a major Philippine destination and for sure many solo travelers had gone that route as well. I learned quite a bit from being a first time solo traveler. For one, it’s much more expensive since you need to shoulder all the bills and have no one to split it up with. It was ok though; I’ve prepared and saved up for this trip and have a set budget already. You have lesser photos of yourself in all the places you’ve visited. I didn’t bring a selfie stick with me (I was kinda shy to bring one actually) and I’m not good at taking selfies. Thank God for nice random strangers, hotel and restaurant staff and guards who willingly took photos of me. But it was ok, I was able to appreciate more of the places I visited and focused less on taking photos of myself which I have had so much in my previous trips. This made me appreciate more the places I’ve been to, the food I ate (which was a lot!) and the people I met. I also was carefree with time; I would leave and go back to the hotel whenever I want to. I don’t have to wait for other people and waste time and bargain in deciding where to go and where to eat.




I learned a couple of words from the local dialect too! Travelling solo wasn’t so scary or lonely after all, like others think it would be. I also got to practice independence and courage; I didn’t worry if my itinerary wasn’t followed or if I got lost. But of course to be on the safe side, I always message my family as to where I am currently located or tell the hotel staff where I am going. I would love to do it again actually and go to more unfamiliar places. Well maybe, who knows…





Aldevinco Shopping Center 
On my first day in Davao, I intended to go to this place where one of the ethnic group in Mindanao performs a traditional type of weaving. So after having my super hearty lunch at Luz Kinilaw, I hailed a taxi to get me to my next destination. Unfortunately Google maps was unreliable and the driver and I found ourselves in a residential area which didn’t have any signs of a tourist destination that I was looking for. So I told the driver to take me to Aldevinco instead since on the map it was just nearby.




Funny how I went to a place that sells souvenirs and other stuff on my first day of my Davao trip when it’s usually done on your last day. But I thought at least if I decided to buy some more afterwards, I know where to go and get it.





Aldevinco Shopping Center is a shopping complex that is located at the junction of C. M. Recto Ave. and Roxas Boulevard. Ha! Same street names like in Manila hehe! Davao City look like Manila actually but has a different atmosphere. It is now a landmark of Davao for 46 years. Although it reminds me of UP Shopping Center more than Divisoria. There are so many items that you can buy at Aldevinco to take home to your families and friends to wherever you live. Prices are also reasonable.




You can find a lot of products that are native to Mindanao like sarongs, weaved materials, pearls, Batik, accessories, antique Mindanao products, t-shirts with Davao or durian printed on it, bags, and other trinkets. As for me I was there for two reasons only: to find a unique ref magnet (which is my travel tradition) and a pair of big pearl earrings.




I was able to check out this store at the far end of the establishment and found these unique ref magnets: preserve little durian fruits and this painted wood with a mini kulintang. I got them for 3 for PHP 100 mixed. I also asked for the prices of the big fresh water pearls but I found out they are priced the same as those being sold in Greenhills. They probably know I am a tourist so their prices for the pearls are more expensive. I stayed and roamed for some more minutes until I decided I got what I needed.




Make sure you try to haggle still. The staff from the resort where I was staying taught me these two phrases so when I’m going to buy something while in Davao: “tagpilan ni?” (how much?) and “pahangyo” (give me a discount).


Aldevinco Shopping Center  
Claro M. Recto Ave, Poblacion District,
Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur


Read more of my Davao 2015 trip: 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Be-ing Resort House
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Luz Kinilaw
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Aldevinco Shopping Center 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Karlo's Gourmet and Coffee at Jack's Ridge
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Marina and Parola
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - The Infinity Pool
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Malipano Island
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Maranao Restaurant 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Butik and Mandaya Weaving
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Lyndon's Worst Ribs and Awful Chicken
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Bankerohan Public Market
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Roxas Boulevard Night Market
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Green Coffee at Marfori Heights
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Lachi's Sans Rival


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1 comment:

  1. Hi! I like your Davao adventure :) I will be heading to Cebu soon and is already looking on http://www.webbline.com/budget-hotels-in-cebu/ for budget hotels for me to stay in... maybe after my agendas on Cebu I can go to Davao to experience what you have experienced! :D

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