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5 Things to do in Davao City’s Roxas Blvd.

Every city has that one “center” where just about everything that tourists would want to do can all be accomplished/done. Say, Makati City has Ayala Ave.; Singapore has Orchard Road; New York has Times Square; and so on…

For Davao City, and while I recognize that others may NOT necessarily agree with this, a place that may be considered as a “center” is Roxas Blvd. (yes, THAT place that gained infamy because of the September 2016 bombing that killed 14 and hurt 67 others)…

Why, you may ask?

Because so many offerings that are typical Davao can be had there; so that – if short on time when in the city, yet still very interested to experience what locals do/experience – this isn’t such a bad place to head to…

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Here now are five things you can do while in Davao City’s Roxas Blvd.

1. Shop. Ukay-ukay style.
The main boulevard is closed late in the afternoon to early in the morning, for it to be converted into a “shopping place”. But shopping here means scouring through ukay-ukay (secondhand) goods, from shoes to bags to belts to clothes to… whatever. Yes, there are new (many of them fake) stuffs here; but ukay-ukay is what this place is known for. So if this is your cup of tea (or if you can find this interesting at all), come over…

2. Eat local goods – e.g. think durian, among others.
This is a “bagsakan” (a place where the goods are dropped off) of local goods, so they can be bought here cheaply. Durian, for instance, can be bought from vendors who are usually positioned at the sides of the streets; and they can be eaten right there and then (they just give you plastic gloves to make sure the scent doesn’t stick on your hands after eating).
Other fruits abound (from rambutan to lanzones to mangosteen), as well as locally produced goods (from local ice creams to durian candies, and so on).

3. Dine out at some of the city’s best non-pasosyal eateries.
Let it be known that some of the best eateries in every city you’d visit won’t be sosyal/classy. And this is true in Davao, where – when along Roxas Blvd. – some of the yummies can be found in… not that classy venues. Lyndon’s chicken, for example, is a must-try; as well as the seafoods of the eat-all-you-can restos that dot the boulevard.
My tip: Just take a walk, look at what’s being offered, then just dive into any place that tickles your fancy.

4. Get a massage… in public/on the streets.
There are many masseurs/masseuses who have positions there (they can’t be missed as they’re in that, well, dreadful uniform of theirs). But for a few hundred pesos, you can have your massage right there and then – perhaps to take a break from the Roxas Blvd. discovery, or while waiting for friends to tour the area. Nothing fancy here; just… practical.

5. People-watch.
If you want to go classy, Davao has numerous places to do that. If you want to witness social climbing, there are places in Davao for that, too. But if it’s to see the #KaraniwangTAO, the local Davaoenos, then this place is one of the good starts for you to do that.
Try grabbing BBQ; or eat with those who are having BBQ. Join the queues as locals buy local ice cream brands. Haggle while buying ukay-ukay; or see how others haggle. No matter what you do, pay attention to how the locals enjoy their time while here…

There are, of course, other venues you can check when in Davao; just as there are many other things you can do while in Roxas Blvd. But hey, you have to start somewhere…

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