Ponce Suites: Kublai’s Masterpiece

August has been such a hectic month, that completely left the planning for the Davao trip to my very favorite travel buddies. Since I know Melo’s traveling with us, I know we’d be in good hands — Melo has been everywhere, thanks to his close affiliation with the Department of Tourism in his past life. So when he suggested we stay at Ponce Suites and take advantage of their townhouse, where we can get incredible value, I agreed. Though I was glad we found this great bargain, one look at Ponce Suite’s website made me think twice if I can handle staying at this place.

Ponce Suites 01
At the lobby

If you’d look at their website (go on, click on the link!), you’d get the idea that the hotel is filled with artworks. As much as I love art, I don’t think I can be comfortable with sculptures watching my every move (insert paranoid smiley here). Nonetheless, priced at Php 1,790 per night, it was hard to say no to the townhouse that can accommodate all six of us. Ponce Apartelle is located just down the road from Ponce Suites. Comprised of four two-storey apartments, this is the best choice for large groups traveling to Davao. The apartment has a living room in the ground floor, as well as a counter and a sink, one room and a toilet and bath. The second floor has three bedrooms and one toilet and bath. Almost every wall of the apartment was covered in artwork, and the front features a huge sculpture. Most of the rooms can accommodate two beds, while one room has four, and has access to the balcony. All the rooms have individual airconditioning unit.

Ponce Suites
Eric’s room at the Ponce Suites Townhouse

Staying at the townhouse was better for us, I think. We were up till the wee hours of the morning yakking away. If we had stay at the hotel, our neighbors would’ve been so pissed! Another thing I liked about staying at the apartment is that it doesn’t have as much art as the hotel. I mean really, the hotel is filled to the brim with artwork! It’s actually much easier to count spaces that doesn’t have art in it. From outside the hotel up to its rooftop cafe, there’s an artwork in every way you turn, be it a sculpture, a painting, a mixed media piece, a photograph, a woodwork or yes, even hair. Here’s a short video that gives you just a small sampling of the art on display at Ponce Suites. The music was from a hegalong, played by a T’boli man who was also staying at Ponce. Pardon the conversation about baggage allowances and home decors; that’s Melo and Gail. Soundtrack fail! *facepalm*

The art pieces inside Ponce Suites and the Ponce Apartelle are by artist Kublai Millan, a native of Cotabato City. His works can be found in various places in Mindanao, including The Durian found outside the Davao International Airport. His art comes in all shapes, sizes and medium. We were all impressed that he dabbles in different disciplines and how he can seemingly take an ordinary object into a magnificent piece.

Now the big question is, would I stay at Ponce Suites again? Definitely! Despite my apprehensions about all that art, I have to admit that the place is teeming with character. It also helped that the hotel was located inside a village — the streets are quiet at night, and the main road where the stores, fastfood, and public transport is just a 5-minute walk away.

Ponce Suites
Corner Roads 3 and 4, Doña Vicenta Village
Bajada, Davao City, Phiippines
Phone: (082) 227-9070 – 71
Mobile: (0929) 810-5699, (0906) 493-6027
Fax: (082) 224-1426
E-mail: info@poncesuites.net

Travel Expenses: Davao 2008

My to-blog list is so long, I have pending entries from JUNE -_-; BUT! I’m slowly going to work my way through the list, provided I can still remember the details of each trip >_< Anywhoo, I finally dug out my notebook and tallied my expenses from our Davao trip last August. This is fairly expensive for a 3-day trip. The fare wasn't on sale when I bought it, specially since it was during the Kadayawan weekend. Also, I took this opportunity to start on my Christmas shopping because hey, how often do I go to Mindanao?

The best thing about this trip was, since we were a fairly large group, we were able to divide the major expenses into 6, letting us save some money in the process.

Continue reading Travel Expenses: Davao 2008

Back from Kadayawan 2008

I scheduled a post to go live last Saturday, announcing where I was headed for the weekend, but WordPress has failed me >_< Anywhoo, I'm back from Davao, where I went along with Gail, Marc, Karla, Eric and Melo for the Kadayawan Festival.

I’ve always been in awe with the colorful costumes and amazing performances of the contingents from Mindanao, so this was an opportunity I can’t pass up. Here’s a small collection of the photos and video snippets I took during the Kadayawan 2008 Festival in Davao:

More photos, videos and stories to come soon!