Merry Christmas! Today, I write this post straight from my hometown Cateel in the province of Davao Oriental. Spending my Christmas here brings back a lot of memories. And yes, spending Happy Holidays in one’s hometown is certainly the most wonderful time of the year.|

It’s been a while since I spent my Yuletide Season here. And now that I am here for Christmas, I felt I am reconnected again to my yesteryears. Seeing old faces, mingling with my townsfolk and spending great time with family are among the best things I am relishing while I am here.

In the province, everybody knows everyone. Neighbors and friends become instant family members. The joy and spirit of Christmas is all around. And yes, Christmas in the province is certainly different from those in the City. House party is everywhere. There are even street parties if it isn’t raining.

At Cateel Centennial Park, the spirit of the Yuletide Season is greatly felt as Christmas Lights and Giant Christmas Tree put the whole park in jovial Christmas spirit. Family and friends gather around to enjoy the sparkling and glistening scene. I, on the other hand, enjoyed perfect night photography.

In the eve of Christmas, Saint James the Apostle Church was packed with parishioners hoping to receive Christmas message from the Christmas Eve mass. The church is jam-packed. For most of the time, going to the church on the Christmas Eve is also a perfect time to see old friends and relatives.

During the Noche Buena, the neighbourhood decided to celebrate it together in a simple street party. Potluck foods were joyfully shared. Parlor games and exchange gift highlighted the occasion. If in Davao City, fireworks and firecrackers are strictly prohibited, in Cateel, it is widely practiced. It feels good to see them lighten up the evening skies and hear its deafening sound.

Street Party with Neighbors and Relatives together with Uncle Isid Castro, the Vice Mayor of Cateel.

On Christmas day, it was the gift giving time. Inaanaks (godchildren) came to see me for their gifts and it feels great to see their smiles when they got their presents. In the afternoon, it has been practiced to spend the Christmas at the beach. So, despite the gloomy weather, my family hit the beach. It was fun. It made me feel I was home – real home sweet home.

Hitting the beach on Christmas Day.

As we head back to our house, the rain poured harder. It was a raining Christmas Evening but still the joy of Christmas is felt in our hearts – a Christmas Like No Other.

The Rainy Christmas Day at Rizal Street we fondly called EDSA (Eulysis Delos Santos Avenue) in honor of our neighbor Tiyo Lingling.

And I have to admit, I had a heavy wounded heart when I left Davao, but now that I am here, it enlightened me to see things in better perspective – seeing my worth and my value as a person. Being here for Christmas is enlightening and above all gracious.



  1. It was truly a wonderful christmas exxperience for me too. It was the first time after. So many years that i get to spend it with the people i grew up in my own hometown. Thanks to my big brother olan for not allowing me spend the holiday season alone in this big lonely house… And to my cousins and neighbors and friends merry christmas and i’ll see you again next yr for another memorsble christmas season.

  2. Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year, Olan! Doubly miss home this time of year. Thanks for sharing this, it feels like part of me is home after seeing the plaza with the JR monument. Maybe someday I can spend Christmas in our hometown.

  3. Happy New Year Lan and to all the Travel Teller avid followers. thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos and stories of our beloved hometown. Sometimes we need reminders in our lives and AM so grateful … yes, YOU ARE….

    1. Thanks Ne. 🙂 Happy New year to you, Nong Boy and the adorable kids. 🙂 I missed you guys on the holiday season but I was too glad to spend my whole Holidays back home after 8 long years. 🙂 it was pretty amazing to celebrate Christmas and New Year there considering most of my Christmases since childhood were spent there… It was a great time mingling with our folks and relatives there. I guess, that is one of the awesome things about spending Holidays in our hometwon – to be able to spend quality time with family, relatives and friends. Hope to see you all guys here in Davao. Love you all. 🙂

  4. hi Olan! tnx for the info about ur town,Cateel..il be going there this lst wk of March..i hve great favor pls..coz il be backpacking mindanao on solo w/ a great challenge: to spend less..hehehe 😀 pls refer me to a cheap but safe accomodation and tourguide perhaps..would greatly appreciate it po 🙂 keep travelling! and oh,telling too..hehehe. more power!

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