A Crazy Afternoon Riverwalk

The Davao river is a long stretch of flowing water coming from the uplands to the sea.

"And you just learned something new today!"
                                                         - Sarcasm

With a length of 150 km, the river is home to some fish, fishermen, informal settlers, everyone's garbage and the sand and gravel industry. But according to an old creepy village lady the river is home to creatures our naked eyes cannot see. I don't know what you're thinking but she must be talking about amoeba; Isn't she?

Anyway, facts aside, the river is kind of a home to me. The place just gives me some sort of peace from whatever the hell that troubles me.

"Stop rapping nigga!" 

In the past we used to walk around a lot in our neighborhood. But we've been doing that quite recently as well. Thank God it's summer!

In a post I wrote about 3 years ago I recalled being able to discover the river when I was a child. At a young age, surrounded by your friends, seeing a huge body of water (other than the sea) for the first time is a big deal. I even went into describing that childhood experience as 'magical'. And I thought hey I just have to share that kind of experience to my siblings and cousins as well.

But I had another reason to go for an afternoon walk. We have cuzzins who just recently moved into our neighborhood. What makes it exciting for me is that my cousins and I share interest in gramming and photography so a photowalk was inevitable.

The First River Photowalk

Before our planned tour I assembled a welcoming committee for our new neighbors. It was composed of mostly kids and the first walk was to check if we can still pass through the shortcuts we discovered from way back. And it was a nice walk actually.

We passed by some goats. Very harmless.

The girls asked me to take photos of them and I obliged. You know how girls can take up so much of your time right? And that's okay coz they're my sisters and I don't have a choice.

Left to Right: Quennie, Ping and Missy (cousin).

It was fun!

We peeked through the mangroves (or is it?) as the river glistened.

Then we arrived on a cliff. And the girls were at it again!

Well I did too! Here. I mean why not?

And finally we made it to riverside! Hooray! We saw kids jump on the river for an afternoon swim. The view was magnificent and I guess it was all worth it.

Some of my grams of the river!

A photo posted by 真希 / Maki C. (@immarkable) on

Everything was going okay until on our way home we ran into some trouble. It was already getting dark and we realized it might take us longer if we trace our way back home. So we took a detour and got ourselves... lost! There were a few people passing by so we were still okay by then. A few turns and we saw a jeepney at the end of a street. We thought it was the highway so we continued with our steps.

But suddenly a figure from a distance emerged which gradually made our paces slower until we stopped. I stood frozen in there trying to reason with the kids that it's not what it looks like. "Kuya, buang na?" (Older brother, is that a crazy person?). "I don't know", I said. "Just act normal. Like you didn't see it." But I guess it was already too late for that.

The stranger noticed us. You see, we wouldn't have stopped if the person looked normal at all.The stranger had a red complexion. I don't know if the person was a he or a she because I didn't bring my glasses. And it was hard to take a closer look when your heart starts beating fast and all you could ever think about are the kids. I mean they're my responsibility! If anything bad happens I don't know what I'm gonna do. I ought to protect them. Anyway, the stranger was wearing a red tattered shirt and he was carrying a sack ala Tom Sawyer. I thought he was just one of those hippies who collects garbage. But then he stood up revealing a bottle of beer on his right and then he screamed "Dili ko buaaaaaangggg!". (I'm not crazy!!!)

"Then my heart go shalalala!"

So we ran. The crazy person ran. While running I told my sister to take a look if it's still following us and it was! I was not prepared for this at all. It doesn't think. It doesn't feel. It doesn't give up. It follows!

I've never felt so bad in a longest time and that kind of bad is gonna haunt me on my sleep. I know I can handle myself and but what about the kids? We ended up back to the riverside but this time I think we've gone to the Muslim area and we had no choice but to ask someone for another way out. I was just glad that the people there are very friendly and they seem concerned about us. Unfortunately, there was no other way so we braved our way back to the street where the crazy person was and it was still there! Damn it. The stranger was just standing in the middle of the street looking at the sky.

Looking at the sky!

Who looks at the freakin sky?

Well, everyone does apparently.

We were on a junction. On the left is the street where the buang (crazy person) was. So with extreme caution we did a power walk turn to the right! Altogether! Without looking back. But of course, I just had to. I just had to take a peek. Why? I don't know. It doesn't make sense but I guess...Huhuhu. I just had to.

And then it noticed us.


He saw us! He saw us! Luckily a truck passed by which served as the distraction. We used that to our advantage so we ran as fast as we could, even faster than the last time and we lost him again. And the next thing we know we were at home saying we're never going back there ever again! Or so I thought!

To be continued . . . 

The Teleserye Culture

I'm sorry if I can't stray away from my usual overthinking and canker induced rants on this blog. You're probably as tired as I am going on in circles. And doing it again isn't gonna help but here I am again! So, I'm going to talk about a certain population whose idea of success is infuriating.

Why? Because it is a stigma and people should talk about it than just conform to this kind of thinking everyday. These people are mostly from the marginalized sector to the traditional working class and even (lower) middle class in a third world setting. I don't have the statistics to where you may think I based that from -- this is just an empirical observation.

I don't know what it's called but this type of thinking is specious and is the "Schrodinger's Cat" on self-awareness. It's like someone binge-watched a rags-to-riches revenge-laden romantic tragedy backed by three generations of romance and that person along with his family members lived to be the characters of the said show. Every trope, every cliche, every character stereotype were latched onto them. From there, we can probably call it "Embracing the Teleserye culture".

So What's The Problem?

The problem is their idea of success. How can that be such a bad thing? Everyone wants to be successful I get that but their idea of success requires stepping on other people to get ahead and taking things along the way. These people however emerges to be well-developed and three dimensional characters but their idea of equality is ego-centric and like I've said revenge-laden. They make up for what they don't have or never had by going antagonistic on everyone.

What Should Be Done?

I can't just talk about something that most people think isn't there but needs to be addressed and not do anything about it. Talking about the problem is just one of the many ways in battling a social stigma because it raises awareness. If there's anything that can be done to diminish this way of thinking maybe, just maybe, mainstream media would have to play a big role and totally get rid of the typical teleserye formula. It just saddens me that we are living in a generation where people associate scripted drama into their daily lives.


Image credit: Abs-Cbn.com

Perch Kitchen + Bar Enters Davao Food Scene

I've always had this notion that unless these high-end and franchised restaurants provide monthly promos or cheap offerings they will struggle in the business. That's just because Davaoenos have this peculiar mindset when it comes to food. This is just my observation though. We will pay for a fancy dinner but the food has to be really good and for reasonable price. And reasonable most of the time translates to cheap. 

But in just about 2 or 3 years, the rules have already changed. As Davao's economy continues to grow, the food scene also flourishes with innovative and Davao custom-made food choices on restaurants. Seasonal food and lifestyle night markets and bazaars also helped in the so transition. Food tourism and social media helped shape a new standard. And I could say that right now, Davaenos are more adventurous and are more inclined to dine on fancy restaurants especially on a Paycheck Friday.

But of course if you put together good food, quality service and an unparalleled marketing strategy you will surely have the attention of Davao's gastronomes. And here comes the newest gastropub in Metro Davao, the Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is currently on soft opening and is easy to find given that Felcris Mall had just opened to the public this year. The dining room had a high ceiling, wood-paneled walls and the counter displayed a combo of black and gold giving a much needed elegance to the contemporary look and feel of the restaurant. It was kinda dim but I guess that's just because most bars are but the lighting makes it hard for us bloggers to get good food photos especially those who are only using their camera phones. And you just can't help but share good food photos on Facebook and Instagram, right? So a lighting fix would do wonders. <3

The Food

I'm not a fancy food type of guy so I don't know exactly what to expect but when I got there some of the food were already served. I may have missed a brief introduction especially about the food we're going to eat but I guess that's what a menu is for. When I scanned through the menu I didn't know a thing! So I just told myself "This will be a fancy dinner.".

Starters included panko crusted oyster sisig, truffle fries, el diablo fries, salted and candied bacon chips, beer battered mozzarella puffs, spicy fingers and smokey thyme tenders. Now, if you read through that tongue twister I applaud you! Among these my favorites are the oyster sisig and the El Diablo fries simply because of the remarkable tang of their sauces. Any person would surely love the salted and candied bacon. Like duh!? Bacon is bacon!

Mozzarella Puffs

El Diablo Fries

Pizzas were also served and they were kind of the main focus because of the presentation. It wasn't circular like most pizzas. Also, the arugula pizza smelled kind of strong. So I passed. I've always considered pizza to be that guilt-inducing, meaty, cheesy, oily and sacred fun food and putting those leafy stuff on top was a way of saying I have to watch my diet. It was new for me and I don't know; But the other bloggers finished it so I can only imagine how much they enjoyed it. The other pizzas were three cheese truffle, longcheelog and kaldereta pizza and they were all great.

Truffsilog or truffled angus beef tapa + silog was almost the deal of the night until they served the perch rising sun angus burger steak. If anything, Perch should be the go-to place of every "Burger" people. The yolk on top along with the onion gives a Mediterranean punch and the cripsy fries/garlic or whatever that is, I'm sorry I didn't ask, will make your every bite climactic.

Another favorite is the Osso Bocco Risotto which was a four-fecta of the stew, beef bone marrow. bread and the risotto! The same goes for the rest of their mains which includes of Grilled Salmon And Cheese Risotto, Whiskey Barbecue Chops, Deep Fried Burrito in Squash Sauce and Stuffed Chicken Leg Quarter. I feel the need to mention Perch's Stuffed Chicken Leg Quarter for it seems to be "the crowd favorite".

A photo posted by 真希 / Maki Akiyama (@immarkable) on

For snacks, you can never go wrong with their Smoked Bacon Carbonara and Angus Basic Meatball Pasta. Pair either one of it with the Angus Cheeseburger Pao, another favorite among the sandwiches and the result is just gratifyingly tasty. There was a dessert-looking burger that I have been keeping an eye on the moment it was put on the table. Of course I didn't know it was burger. At first, it looked like a strawberry shortcake but I was really surprised by the revelation. I mean, it was about time for dessert and it had muffins for buns! It was The Choricheese burger and it's nothing short of amazing!

Overall, my experience at Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar is topnotch. The service is good and the food takes you to a festival of flavors. When I first got the invite to this food tasting event I thought Perch means the fish (Perch) but their logo resembles that of a bird so I thought okay food chain. Just kidding. But then, perch has another meaning and it's a high elevated branch advantageous for birds. And Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar lives up to its meaning. A place where people can go 'perching' and prey on their exquisite food choices.

Open Monday - Sunday 5pm to 2pm
2nd Floor Al Fresco, Felcris Centrale, Quimpo Blvd, Davao City
Check their facebook page for more information!

The Itch to Blog Again

Blog. Why can't I do such thing? A few years ago I can write 10 blog posts a day. Six of them are news articles, two are feature and the rest are personal but now? Now, I've got nothing! Well, this is a start. If that a draft blog post written weeks ago and published out of frustration is considered a blog post then my dear readers here's one for you. But that's not it. There's nothing to write or I can't write and yet blog-worthy things keeps on happening in my life. So fast. Very fast. Days, weeks, everything will just pass by me. To make it worse, things are very challenging at home.

Taken at Riverview, Davao City during a photowalk where a crazy man chased us
with stones and a bottle of Red Horse. Crazy story soon! XD

But before I go personal and all. Things are different now. The itch. The itch to write, to blog, to tell stories, to rant, to share my woes and frustrations, my dreams and imagination, they don't come very often these days. But the itch always claws its way into my eyes every time I try to sleep. And when I try to get up and turn on my laptop the itch goes away like a damn traitor. Why do good ideas come to us when we're about to sleep? The result? I end up sleeping the next day when the sun is up. But who knows if the sun is up? I haven't gotten out much since I don't know when. And then my dilemma, I'm unproductive and the itch to write rebels against me. It's just like my hair every time I try to comb it. Just perfect!

But now's another start. Every time I write I say it's a start or another. And then life gets on the way. This is just me dropping by. This is just me trying to find that sleeping child inside my brain begging him to wake the hell up to do wonders, smith words and write dreams. This is not a writer's block. It's a battle of will. There's laziness tempting me into hours of binge-watching with the excuse that these tv shows might extend my vocabulary. I mean, well, they could. It did expand my knowledge about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the wonderful plans of Kevin Feige, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.

 But subconsciously as I watch long hours of TV, I dream of quiescence and solitude. I dream of writing my life as adventurous as one could be. I dream of acing that job interview. I dream of pizza and burger and pizza and fries and pizza and fried chicken. Damn, I need to write my own goddamn autobiography and it has to be awesome. What would my android grandchildren think of me? If they travel back to this time, I can't just allow them to say that "Grumps, don't watch too much TV."

This photo maybe irrelevant but it's beautiful right? :p

I know nothing will ever happen if I don't put some action to it. So now I'm writing. In my own pace, in my own time, I am writing. I don't need the itch. No, not anymore. Why do I itch? Blogging or writing is not a damn kagid (allergy). lol. I needed a spark. An inspiration. Or maybe just a hand. Like I've said, things are very challenging lately especially at home. I'll tell you more about it in my posts to come. :D