My work as an events and PR consultant requires me to go outside Davao several times in a year. I go around the country to visit clients and mount their events for them. Sometimes, I leave Davao in the morning and come back in the evening. (It’s a very tiring feat, to tell you.) Sometimes, I endure 8 hours of sitting in a crowded bus to see a client in a farfetched province. But last week, I was away from Davao city for the longest time in the entirety of my professional life—one week.
At first I thought that it’s going to be just fast. After all, I’ll be working. But God, how I missed Davao. I missed everything about it. I missed it like sleeping next to a long time lover. The experience usually taken for granted until it stops happening.
First of all, I miss the safe, potable water everywhere. Water is a basic human need and I really can’t imagine life without access to clean and safe water. Then I miss the roads, the people, the familiar places my feet knew too well. I even miss all the text promos that are Davao-exclusive. I was so close to hating my network for giving such super sulit promos that I cannot use outside Davao anyway. And the air…sigh, don’t even get me started about it. The air here is so clean I even tell my non-Davaoenyo friends that they won’t garner “kulangot” while they’re in Davao! Everywhere I go, it’s just less clean, less peaceful and less comfortable. What’s more, the food here in Davao is always cheap, and traffic is negligible.
A few months ago, I attended the local government’s official launch of Davao’s new tagline: Davao Life is Here. Honestly, I thought it was a little too corny. And the logo, I wasn’t its biggest fan as well. Also, I was thinking about how untimely it was to launch a new tagline. After all, it wasn’t Araw ng Dabaw yet. However, when I was sitting there, with all my unsolicited opinions, in that cold chair, with my cold snacks and my cold hands underneath my thighs, I began to rediscover what Davao really is for me.
Davao is home. I grew up here, I value the education I got here and even started a few business stunts here. I always find myself defending it whenever people start to bash it and I can recite all the best places to go to in a heartbeat. I have been offered quite a few chances to work in a different—albeit more “developed”—city but I always find myself coming back to Davao. Yes, it was that…gravity. There was never a feeling like it before. This, I knew, because for me and for thousands of other people, Davao is home. Not just any home, mind you. But a safe, comfortable, peaceful and livable home. So there; life is here in Davao. Only here.
And in that cold chair, with my cold snacks and my cold hands underneath my things, I felt a little warm and fuzzy inside.
What’s surprising? I felt that exact feeling the moment I stepped outside of the car this afternoon and realized how great it is to come back home.
Submitted as an entry to the 75th Araw ng Dabaw Blog Competition