Durian Heaven and the City of Golden Friendship!

Hello, Golfers!
Our Season is almost over but as I mentioned in my previous blog, we have a whole lot of special episodes to look forward to in Season 10. Since I already mentioned the various topics we might be able to feature, let's tackle something else. This is a favorite topic of mine, TRAVEL.
The AROG team and I have been so fortunate to jump around Visayas and Mindanao to cover the PGT Provincial legs. It's definitely no vacation, since schedules can be very hectic. But with the right people and extreme time management, we get to squeeze in a few side trips.
Of course we prioritized the coverage of the ICTSI Apo Golf Invitational in Davao and the ICTSI Del Monte Championship in Bukidnon. We are so happy to report that most of the Professional and Amateur Golfers are warming up to the camera and are now more comfortable when interviewed. Like what we always tell them, the exposure is always a plus for the featured individual, when you're the winner, you get awesome press coverage!
So I start off with out trip to Davao. We wasted no time at all. The 1st day we were there It was off to DURIAN tasting! A note to the first time Durian taster, try the Puyat variety. It's more creamy and sweet. Our camera man, Toto, is apparently a Durian fanatic! He ate more than half of the whole fruit! Char (our Junior Producer) and I just pinched a bit of it to try, Bong (friendly Photographer) dint eat at all...good thing! We later found out that one seed of the Durian (what you eat is the outer layer of the seed) fruit has the cholesterol equivalent to 5 eggs! No wonder Davaoenos eat this as a meal with Coca Cola!

Later in the day, it was off to Blugre, the booming coffee shop that originated in Davao! And what you might ask is their specialty? what else than Durian Coffee! Durian Gatpuccino to be exact! Really good, I loved it! FYI, Pambansang Kamao agrees with me since Manny Pacquiao has a franchise of this coffee shop! Char tried out a Durian Frapuccino-like drink. Bong had a boring drink and Toto passed on the coffee experience.

On the last day, we headed out again to the city. For souvenir shopping, Kuya Boy, our driver / self proclaimed tour guide, took as to Aldivinco! This is the place to get your Pearls, Malongs, Batik Tela, Scarves, Tubaw (beautiful handkerchiefs) and more! Most of the items are already imported from Thailand and Indonesia, but it's still a bargain to get it from there rather than Manila. It was also such a pleasant experience since the streets were so clean! think Divisoria or Cartimar but extra clean and neat!

Last stop is fruit shopping! We got into a Pomelo and Marang hoarding mode! Well, i preferred to just bring home Pomelo, a box which is approximately 10 kilos with 10 to 11 pieces each was a bargain at Php 500! Char and Bong brought home both types of fruits. Toto, being such a PR guy, got a small box of free Pomelo from the fruit lady!
Davao was great, but it reminded me too much of Makati. The heavy traffic, and the instant floods during short heavy down pours. But what will always distinguish this city from the Metro is the whiff of the Durian scent everywhere you go.
Next trip is to Cagayan de Oro, the City of Golden Friendship. The airport is still "old school" but the heavy traffic because of the construction of a fly-over notions progress in this town.
This trip is for the ICTSI Del Monte Championship in Manolo Fortrich, Bukidnon. Again, the main purpose is to cover the tournament, and because the Golf Club is quite far from where we were staying, we had no time and energy to tour. It may be also because we were already here last year. Plus, side trips are mostly an hour to 2 hours away.
The highlight of our side trips were the following; eating Bigby's dishes until we felt sick, savoring the Steak served in the Del Monte Golf Cub, Zip Lining while it was raining in the Dahilayan Resort! 840 meters of adrenalin!

That about sums up our side trips in CDO. I would like to Congratulate once again, Mhark Fernando, for winning the ICTSI Del Monte Championship. Luckily, we got to have a photo with him already before he knew he was going to be champion!

So until the next blog!
By: Therese V. Laforteza, Senior Producer