Davao City is one of the most livable places in the world — and for several good reasons.
Over the decades, people have related well with a number of homegrown brands and places which formed part of their fondest memories. Some of these places are still operational today, while others have closed shop after bringing joy to thousands of residents and visitors.
Here are some of the most unique Davao brands that formed a large part of our childhood memories.
Colasa’s started out as a small food stall among many others set up along Magallanes Street. Its most popular fare is the chicken barbecue with the tender meat and crispy skin.
Families would eat dinner at Colasa’s together after spending the afternoon at San Pedro Park or walking along old Davao. The shop has grown much since its humble beginnings. In fact, at some time in 2002, it opened a branch in Quezon City, Manila.
2. Alemar’s Bookstore.
Alemar’s Bookstore is one of the premier shops when it comes to school books and supplies. Students particularly from the Ateneo de Davao University, as well as those from other campuses would frequent the store especially before school begins. Alemar’s is closed now; but many Davaoenos fondly recall lining up come school season to stock up on supplies.
3. Aldevinco Shopping Arcade.
Aldevinco is known as the tourist’s shopping paradise, offering trinkets, ethnic clothes, native decorations and other locally made accessories. There are several shops offering native creations and shop owners ready to convert dollars into pesos.
4. Luz Kinilaw.
Davao is known as one of the best places in the Philippines where visitors can enjoy delicious seafood. Luz Kinilaw is located along Quimpo Boulevard and is well-known for serving the best tuna and marlin fares in the city.
5. Bistro Rosario.
The place is known as one of the first fine dining restaurants in the city. It is a popular venue for dates, since the place serves delicious steaks imported from Australia and the U.S. Bistro Rosario also offers great cakes and pastries for different occasions. Its sister company, Harana, is located just beside it and is the go-to restaurant for families. Both restaurants are still operational today.
Cecil’s restaurant is known for its short orders namely the pancit luglug, batchoy and molo soup. It is one of the most popular places where office employees and families would eat their afternoon snacks. The shop has expanded much since and now has several branches around the city.
7. Gap Farm.
Gap Farm used to be one of the top places to visit, featuring playgrounds, a Japanese tunnel and other man-made statues that children love. Families would spend entire Saturdays at the special park located along Diversion Road. Today, it is still open for visitors.
For those who haven’t been here, this is where the hill that has the large “Land of Promise” letters can found, so with the giant carabao sculpture at the main entrance.
8. Villa Victoria.
Now called Mergrande Beach Resort, Villa Victoria used to be one of the most popular beach resorts in the city. Located in Bago Aplaya, the place has several cottages, a full-service restaurant, playgrounds and swimming pool.
Dencia’s Chinese restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors. Some of its popular fares include the fresh lumpia, tokwa’t baboy, lumpia shanghai and pancit canton. Even today, it is still one of the best places to bring guests or takeout food for the entire family.
Taps is a favorite spot among young and old diners. It has been existent for many decades and feature several popular breakfast meals like the tapsilog, primasilog and chosilog. All the viands are served with garlic rice and fried egg. The service is fast and the food is cheap always.
11. Magsaysay Park.
Magsaysay Park was a hotspot for dating couples and families who liked to spend the afternoon playing and picnicking with a beautiful view of the sea. There used to be a skating rink and Kanaway Restaurant, which offered Filipino food. It is still a great place to let tourists try the delectable durian.
All these places hold a special meaning to every Davaoeno and are still talked about every now and then. While some establishments have already retired, they remain in the locals’ memories and have become part of people’s milestones growing up.