If someone would ask me how far I have gone travelling around the Philippines, I would humbly say I have gone too far traveling around the 7,107 islands of the my beautiful country. In the course of my travels, I’ve discovered many spectacular places, been wowed by lots of amazing sights, tasted various regional cuisines, experienced diverse culture, and commune with different people. Somehow, I could claim I’ve seen and experience that so called “more than the usual” thing about my homeland. I have traveled so great and so hard it became my passion but toward the end of these journeys, I still shiver in excitement knowing I’m heading back home again – back to my home, my life, my Davao City!
Davao City has been my home for 15 years now. Living here was just a dream. Enjoying fully an awesome life at this Big City was something I never expected. As they say, when one wishes something zealously, everything just falls into place. In my case, it was dream come true.
I was born and raised in the beautiful coastal town of Cateel in the province of Davao Oriental. It used to be 10 long hours away from Davao City. For somebody who grew up in far-flung province, living in Davao City was a big dream. In the early days, vacationing here was by then a luxury. It was every little kid’s dream to come here during summer. Only the privileged though could easily be allowed. In my case, I could only count the times I was able to set foot here. So, whenever I got the chance vacationing to Davao City, I lived from hand to mouth experiencing the so called city life there is here so when I come back to my province I could tell exciting stories about the Big City. Every kid in my hometown was like that – passionate about Davao City! Who wouldn’t be crazy experiencing things we never had at the province in the very first place. Like my first escalator ride at Datu Complex, my first movie experience at Odeon Theater,  my first telephone conversation, my first ride on a Ferris Wheel, my first visit to a big store called NCCC, my first visit to a park called Gap Farm  – all of my “firsts” took place at Davao City. And so, that dream of living at this city was born.
After high school, I was sent to Davao City to pursue my college education. Being a probinsyano, starting a student life here was hard. There were times I missed my life back at the province. But whenever I think of that Big Dream to live in Davao, I became willed and determined. Little by little, I learned many things about living in the city. I got to appreciate its comfort and convenience. Bit by bit, I met new friends, acquired new experiences, developed my skills and learned many things that molded me to become sociably dynamic. Sooner, I began to discover different places and explore natural wonders within Davao City. At one point I muttered I need not to go out of the City to see the Wonders of Nature because the whole city alone is an abode of such. I have learned to love Davao City. I have learned to love everything about her. Never did I know that this love that grew in my heart turned into something greater than it is – the passion to live and settle down in Davao City.
As wished, my life has been very blessed here. I was able to get a very good compensating job, acquired a house of my own, bought a car, got to travel to different places and lived a life I have always wanted. Everything just falls into place. Davao City becomes my home. It has become my life. For 15 years now since that day I moved here for college, Davao City becomes home. My LIFE IS HERE.

I just love DAVAO CITY. I love the fact that it perfectly exudes of what I called “a city of different getaways”. When I have the itch for the sand and the sea, Davao City has nice beaches. When I’m in the mood for mountain and waterfalls trekking, the highland districts of the City await for me. When I’m the mood for shopping, dining and entertaining, Davao City’s fabulous malls, restaurants and bars are just within reach. When I want experience colorful cultural convergence, Davao City takes pride of Kadawayan Festival and the Araw ng Dabaw. Everything is here – great finds, tropical fruits, the famous Durian, the Philippine Eagle, exotic Waling-Waling orchids. There is no room for boredom in the Big City.
For the past 15 years, I’ve witnessed how Davao City grows from a laid-back city into a brand new metropolis. Progress and growth has come to her. It has become an important gateway to Mindanao. Today, Davao City has soared high but the quality of life here is still the same – absolutely livable! It is a high quality of life that does not come at a high cost. An ideal place to live in and settle down.
Part of my personal growth, I have been traveling around the many beautiful places in the country for many years now. I must say I have toured around the different islands, cities and towns of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. At some point, I have been lured to live in those places but whenever I’m back at the City, I always realize I can never trade Davao City for any place on earth. I can never trade my life I have here in Davao City for any alluring place on earth.

Because LIFE IS HERE in Davao. My life is here!

Davao life is here
Submitted as an entry to the 75th Araw ng Dabaw Blog Competition

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