About Me

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Davao City Food is Incomparable

I have always been proud of my hometown, Davao City. I have been born and raised here. There are a lot of things about it that I take pride in. I could talk on and on about the: beauty or our city and the people, the peace and order situation, our smoke free campaign, our famous Mayor, our king who can fly and so on.

There is one thing that I simply love about our city, the food!  In my humble opinion, nothing compares to the food in Davao City. Walay kaparehas sa pagkaon sa Davao City. Davao is a city rich in culture and flavor that is reflected on our food.

Let us start with the fruit that the city is most known for, the food for the Gods, Durian. You know you’re in Davao because you will see a huge Durian sculpture when you arrive at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport. At a glance, Durian is not so appealing with its thorn covered husk and strong odor. Some people are discouraged by both the appearance and most especially because of the smell. But those who got over the smell and appearance would tell you that the taste of the fruit is indescribably delicious and addictive! Those who are not yet convinced to eat Durian as a fruit can still enjoy Durian through its various form such as candies, shake, ice cream, pies and even dishes with Durian bits.


I am a self-confessed Durian monster, I especially love the native variety and a new variety called D40. I could eat a whole fruit by myself, seriously!  Durian is not available all year round in Davao so many would look forward to its peak season during August. During its season you can eat Durian at fruit stands along Magsaysay Park, Madrazo Compound, Torres St. and public markets. Many of the elders would say that one cannot eat Durian without drinking Coca-Cola because one who would have stomach ache. Well whatever the reason is, many people eat Durian with Coca-Cola because it is a perfect combination that gives one a very satisfying burp!
There are other fruits that are also famous in Davao such as the Mangosteen and Pomelo which are equally delicious. Many would choose these for pasalubong because it doesn’t smell as much as Durian.

There is no single dish I could think of that is unique to Davao. No food originated from our city as far as I know like La Paz batchoy from  Iloilo City or Pancit Malabon from Malabon City. Davao City is a melting pot of cultures, a combination of many tribes from all over Mindanao and the Philippines. This fusion reflects in our dishes which originated from other city and tribes.  We do are famous for Sinugba (Chargrilled) food such as Grilled Tuna Panga, Grilled Tuna Belly, Pork Barbecue, Chicken barbecue, Lechon Manok , Grilled Burgers and more! 

Everywhere in the city you can find these grilled foods at very affordable prices. At P15 you can already have a meal (1pc pork barbecue, rice and Coke Sakto) which you can easily buy from the sidewalks. Also most grilled restaurants like Penongs and Toryanos would offer combo meals with unlimited rice. Of course a meal isn't complete without Coca-Cola especially when one eats the Sinugba with Kinilaw as is often the case. Kinilaw contains raw fish and Coca-Cola hastens dissolution of the meat.

Davao also has other foods to boast of aside from Sinugba. We also lots of specialty restaurants that one must simply visit when in the city. One of them is Lachi’s Sansrival atbp. which offers dessert and meals which is truly unforgettable. We also have Cecil’s, Mam Bebs and Jaltan that offers delectable palabok, pastries and kakanins. There is also Aling Foping’s for the mouthwatering halo-halo. We also have lots of Eat All You Can restos like Nanay Bebeng’s and Chippens .There are actually so many food places from small karinderias to posh restos that I cannot enumerate each and every one of them. Well my husband and I attempted to feature each of this places that's why we started this food blog.



But the best dish that Davao has to offer is one that is cooked at home by my husband or by my parents. I guess most Dabawenyos would agree with me that home cooked meal lovingly prepared by their family is the best dish for them. Dabawenyos are noted for having close family ties and this bond is often celebrated during meal times. My mom usually prepares Tinolang Manok while my Dad loves to cook Beef kare-kare2x. The food they prepare varies but one constant presence during our meal is a bottle of Coca-Cola. My brothers and I would instantly know that my parents are cooking something special when they would ask one of us to buy a Coca-Cola. My brothers and I would then enter into a "friendly" argument in whose turn is it to buy at the neighborhood store, we were all too lazy.  My mother solved this matter by telling us that whoever buys will get to keep the change. 

Coca-Cola is like a magic wand that instantly transforms an ordinary meal into a celebration. A simple meal of Sardines becomes extraordinary when there is Coca-Cola.  One cannot deny the delicious and refreshing taste that is unique to Coca-Cola. There are other competing soft drink brands but their taste doesn't come close to Coca-Cola. There is always something missing in their taste or some taste too sweet. Maybe because Coca-Cola has been with us from generation to generation that we got accustomed to its taste and the memories it brings. Coca-Cola for over a 100 years has been a part of every Filipino family's bonding moments.

How about you? What are your "nothing compares" or "walay kaparehas" things or moments? :-)

#walaykaparehas #cokelanggyud

Note: All Photos are owned by my husband, Michael Balgos

32 comments:

  1. True Kinilaw without coke is never complete for me!

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  2. Coke cola + durian float oh sooo yummy, I definitely miss ths combo...

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  3. Any meal with COKE, wherever I may be, always takes me back home to Davao City..

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  4. Nothing compares to the taste of coke!

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  5. nothing compares to Mike Balgos' pictures!

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  6. Nothing compares with family... just like Coca Cola :)

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  7. Wow! Yum! Yum! Yum! Makagutom ang mga pics. And of course, mas lami gyud pag naa ang Coca-Cola. :)

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  8. nice shots sa food! da best jud mag food trip sa davao! ;) esp ang ihaw ihaw na with coke ... na tom.gutz na nuon ko

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  9. Grabe makagutom man kaayo ni imung post oi. Kami diri sa balay, dili jud kaparehas ang kabusog if walay coca cola, esp. kinilaw and anything grilled. hihihi.

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  10. this makes me crave for pancit malabon and durian! YES! davao food is indeed the best. you will always look for it and enjoy it!

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  11. That grilled squid is making me drool right now, yum!

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  12. ahhhh, those grilled sea goods are making me hungry now, and of course, the yummy durian and desserts!

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  13. ahhhhh, drooling here. can all those foods and coke come out of my pc now? hehehe

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  14. Friends from Davao gave me few supot of Durian Candy as pasalubong noong nag-EB kami sa MOA. Wow1 it was my first time to taste one. ang sarap pala. The good thing is, sinabayan ko rin ng Coke. to make it sure na in case masama lasa, tablahin ng Coke. Davao indeed is a great place to visit.

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  15. yummmmmyy!! I bet they also taste great w/o Coke (i don't drink softdrinks na eh).. Need to visit Davao soon and experience your kind of food!

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  16. I think I will surely enjoy the food in your city when I visit there but I just don't know when.

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    1. Yes you definitely would! I hope you can visit our city soon :-)

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  17. Wala'y kaparehas sa coke! Nagcrave na nuon ko sa Lachi's sweets, ate Raine! LOL

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  18. I agree! Nothing compares to Coke like Nothing compares to family gatherings

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    1. Coke is a member of every Filipino family :-)

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  19. durian!! simply amazing.. hehehehe... ^_^

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  20. Life without Coke is incomplete, sarap kasalo lalo sa Sinuglaw...yummy..

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  21. Without Coke, salu-salo with family and/or friends will never be complete. And of course, Davao is always related to Durian.

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    1. Agree with you a hundred percent :-)

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  22. The cheapest Durian I bought was last year at Calinan, which was worth P10/kilo. :) I always recommend the Cob durian variety to those who are yet to taste this amazing fruit since the smell is not that pungent compared to the native one.

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    1. and don't forget that Durian is best eaten with Coke :-)

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