October 28, 2015


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…

Lachi's San Rival
I wanted to end my last day in Davao with an exclamation point… make it a trip that I will surely be fond of remembering. And what other way to do it but to visit and dine in one of Davao’s most loved restaurant – Lachi's San Rival. I’ve learned about Lachi’s while I was researching for the itinerary I was planning for this trip. Almost every blog and website I’ve come across included Lachi’s in their “where to eat in Davao” list. And I was sure not going to miss it if people are raving or hyping about it. 

I arrived at Marfori Heights very early and Lachi’s was not open until 11:00am, so I stayed at Green Coffee across it. When it was time, I eagerly cross the street and entered this humble restaurant. The place is kind of small for a restaurant that is well-known in Davao; it only has a few tables and I find it quite narrow. 

I also can’t put my finger on what type of interior design the owners were going for. But I guess that doesn’t matter since I was there for the food and you can’t judge a restaurant by its look or the atmosphere that it invokes. 

Lachi’s is more than just their well-loved sans-rival. They also offer menu items that will remind you of your mother’s, aunt’s or grandma’s home-cooked meals. They have an extensive menu of dishes that will surely bring you back to memories of your childhood and family gatherings. 
While browsing their menu, one entry caught my eye that reminded me of my auntie’s cooking – lechon paksiw. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten lechon paksiw (sweet and tangy pork stew made with chopped roasted pork, vinegar, sugar and liver spread). 
I really loved it and the pork  fat already melts in my mouth and the meat was super tender probably because it has been cooked twice already (roasted then stewed).
Besides Lachi’s home-cooking inspired food, they are also famous in Davao for offering one of the best line-up of desserts and pastries. I was a like a  while I was checking out their fridge full of cakes. I don’t know which one I should get. So I decided to order 2: a slice of the Sans Rival which was (and should be) my main purpose why I went all the way to Marfori Heights and their 5 layer chocolate cake. I ate the sans rival at the resto and took the chocolate cake back to the hotel.

Lachi's San Rival was great, it wasn’t too sweet; the layers of the meringue+nuts and butter icing was in a good ratio without making you feeling jaded after eating too much butter.  The 5 layer chocolate cake was equally amazing, I ate it at the hotel while having my afternoon coffee before leaving for the airport. Coffee and chocolate cake was the best combo! 
Well, I can say I was able to achieve my plan of ending my Davao trip with an exclamation point. I was glad I included Lachi’s in my itinerary. I look forward to dining there again when I go back to Davao, which I plan to do.
Lachi's San Rival
Door 1-H Values School Building, 
Ruby Street, Marfori Heights Subdivision, 
Davao City, Philippines
Phone:(082) 224 5552
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lachisdavao
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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