Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Allure of Davao - at the Pearl Farm

I didn't think we'd make it to this year's family vacation highlight. We had our tickets a month before our scheduled flight to Davao. First, there was the hassle of choosing where to go. We had originally intended to do to an international trip. The first choice was Beijing. But my husband wasn't able to get his passport early enough to give us time to secure our visas and eventually get our tickets. It was hard to have the flight rebooked since we were using my dad's mileage and it was mid summer - the time most people flock to other places to take advantage of the children's vacation from school. Then we thought of going to Hongkong but daddy didn't like the idea since, according to him, we would just be going to another city. Ikee wanted to go to Singapore but I didn't want to because we had already gone there. We thought of going to Saigon and do a side trip to Pnom Penh and Ankor wat but decided against it because we learned that Ikee would need to get a brace for her scoliosis and we'd have to reduce our travel expense to accommodate the appliance. With barely a month and a half to go before school opens and flights were full, we were left with the choice between Cebu and Davao. I decided to take Davao, going against the wishes of all three of my companions. Sadly though, dad was not able to make it with us because there was something he had to do for the office.

The night before our flight, Ikee felt sick. Not without reason actually. Since we would be gone for 4 days, both Ikee and I started our day at 5:30 a.m. to go to her swimming class. After that, we went home and she was off to her kumon class at 10 am while I cooked lunch. At 1 pm we proceeded to her physical therapy session. Right after that, we went to Boyet's office to pick the car up and went to get Ikee's brace. at 6 pm we went back to Eastwood to buy Ikee's swimsuit since she said the old one was worn out already. anyway, we got home at 9 am and she said she felt really sick. I asked her to sleep already while I packed our things for the flight at 5:00 a.m. I finished packing at 1 a.m. and prepared to leave for the airport. But at 1:30 a.m. I decided to have some sleep. Boyet said we could leave at 2:15 anyway. I was relieved to find out that after some rest, Ikee felt better and was really decided on going through with the trip. It was good that we were at the airport at 3 am and Ikee got to sleep some more at the VIP lounge since she had a business class ticket. I got to go with her being the parent of a 12 year old kid. Boyet waited for us outside though. There was only 1 parent needed to accompany the child. It was a disappointment though because you'd expect more from the VIP lounge than some shabby sofa and a not-so-well-maintained Ladies' room. The food was ok. Not good but not bad either.

The flight went smoothly. Ikee was a bit scared to be alone at the Mabuhay Class section but was relieved to find that there was just a board that separated us from her. When we were about to deplane, she chuckled as she told us how there were just one other passenger with her in the business class who was not even seated beside her. The economy section was not full either. I saw at least 10 unoccupied seats, two of which were occupied by 1 passenger who stretched out to get some sleep. This guy seemed to have come from abroad and was probably exhausted already.

Davao's airport is an international airport. But unlike the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 2 which was dedicated to PAL flights only, Davao airport catered to all airlines. Surprisingly, though smaller, the latter is cleaner, more beautiful and more organized. The cabs were all metered and small pieces of paper were handed out to visitors in case they would like to complain to the mayor about the driver.

From the airport, we went straight to the Davao Marina, Pearl Farm's exclusive Port. This was to be the highlight of our trip. But we did it on the first day since I figured that it was a friday and not too many people would be checking in yet. I was right. When we got to the resort, we were told that our room was already available at 9:30 a.m. as against 2 pm had we checked in on a Saturday or Sunday. That was good after all travelling a few thousands of miles at 5 am is not quite easy specially if you had to be awake the whole night to be able to leave your house at 2 am so you'd make it to the airport at 3. We practically sleeped through the entire morning when we got to the resort and started out for the pool at almost 3 pm after we had lunch. Some schedule eh... Our mistake was that the schedule the day before our trip was so hectic.

Anyways... when we finally got to swim, there was no stopping until it was about 8 p.m. Actually, I did stop at about 7 pm only because our package included a body scrub for mom. It would be a waste not to take the opportunity.

To be continued...

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