A year ago, I have experienced living the simplicity of life in Mt. Talaingod, Davao del Norte with the warmth and affability of the Ata-Manobo tribe.
It was beyond what words can describe. We Filipinos think of “Mindanao” as a chaotic region, full of ferment and turmoil, but to tell you, it’s not. The Muslim people are full of love and good cheer. I went there together with 3 good companions for a short term missions and in one week, I fell in love with the beauty of Davao.We left Manila at around 4:00 PM and arrived in Davao by 6:00 PM, April 23, 2014. Ate Sandy and Ate Dess were already in the airport to fetch us.
We committed our first few days in planning what to do with the Tribal Youth Camp we are to host. We went buying things we will be giving the kids like candies, writing supplies and even some snacks to go with it. Because I didn’t want to miss my chance in having a taste of Davao’s Durian, I bought myself some Durian Twirls and know what? I loved it! It still has that pungent smell but the milky pastillas taste of the twirls were to die for!
On our 3rd day, we went to this place called Paradise Island in Samal. Indeed, it was a very beautiful paradise. The beach waters were refreshing and blue, the food was delightful. The sand was fine and white. God blessed the Philippines with so much winsomeness we can always be proud of as Filipinos. The entrance is 200 PHP per person and is consumable for foods or water activities. You are not allowed to bring food inside but we sneaked rice in!
I will not dwell much on what we did in Mt. Talaingod, to summarize, we conducted a Tribal Youth Camp with the Ata-Manobo Tribe. Stayed in a place with no electricity, no water, no bed to sleep in neither a door to keep us safe from harm, but you see, God is this amazing, He made me survive three days with no mobile network signal.
I have appreciated life at its simplest form, no luxuries, pure fun. I also got to share with them about how God placed dreams in our hearts that He wants us to fulfill, and in that same time, in my heart, I made a vow that one day, I will come back, I will never get tired of being God’s channel of blessings to these people.
For your pasalubongs, they have Aldevinco, it’s the place where tourists can buy souvenir shirts, keychains and Davao delicacies.
Wow, Davao. In a span of one week, you held my heart captive with your order and glamour. Your peace sinks deep in my soul. I have never felt as safe as in any place apart from you. I will come back, I will see you again.