Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Alta Vista Pension House

Yeah, Davao! And this one is a strategically located accommodation place near to so many things. But its not something you may want to be shouting to the world about, though its not something you will also despise. Fact is, me and 4 friends could not decide what to really say about it. Reason why am telling you here, now!

Its cheap! As in inexpensive or mura. Not the “other” meaning of the word, though I know it can readily fit into such a category hehe. Friends and I settled to calling it a… sleeping quarters hehe – because we could not say its bad yet we could not also say its grand, even for the price!

And as I always say during my talks about travel, never ask a local regarding accommodations in his place unless it is his very home you are talking about. Why? Again, as I always say, because he will never have had the chance to stay in those hotels, inns, pensions or resorts as a visitor or tourist, since he has his very own home nearby. So he will never really know! YET, for this trip, probably too busy on something at the office, I txtd a friend who lives in Davao City seeking help for a cheap accommodation at center of everything for 5 people. And this is what he found. Lets go back to that topic later. Meanwhile…

On a Friday night, one of us was scheduled to arrive as he was jetting into Manila that very afternoon from a nearby country so we said go straight to Davao and wait for us Saturday morning. He did, and during the night, we asked him how the room was and he said “good enough”. I immediately got it that it was so-so. But when we asked where has he been and what was his plan for the night, we heard an exciting litany of things, the most amazing was… he never had to take a cab!

Saturday morning we arrive at the pension house and yeah, a room enough! I mean my bed was bed enough with about 2 or 3 inches of foam called mattress. This was a 3-man room (1 big bed and one single bed) where you only needed to roll off the edge of your bed, voila, the bathroom! Convenient haha! We three could pass things around this room without even getting up from wherever we were – including getting a towel from a companion's bag to tossing it to him in the shower heheheh! That “big”!

The other room (for two) was no different as it was even smaller, as expected. When we went there, one of them opened the door with one foot as he could reach it even while lying flat on his bed! Funny thing is, our advance party, the one who arrived last night was assigned a single room and this morning asked to transfer to this room so the 5 of us had one 2-man room and one 3-man room. He says, his room last night was just about as big as this his new room, only that there was just a single bed in there. and same rate!

BUT – and this is the clincher…for a total of 4 days (3 nights), we just paid a total sum of PHP4,745! Oops that includes the stay of our companion who arrived one night earlier!

Not bad. Not bad at all! Why?

Because, the same 5 of us were in the same city some months before and each paid a fortune for a 3D2N stay at Marco Polo! AND we did not even get to see much each of our rooms! Why? If you are in Davao as a visitor, for business or leisure, you'd not just be foolish to be in bed at 9PM, you'd be a real fool! Davao has one of the most admirable variety of night activities outside of Metro Manila. For us, its usually a reluctant bedtime at 1 or 2AM, then we start rushing out at 7 or 8AM since the daytime sights and activities are far from city center! So who needs those expensive rooms for just a few hours of sleep? After the Alta Vista realization, we said, definitely Not Us!

Aw, am not done yet! There came a day where my Davao friend fetched us at Alta Vista for a lunch he hosted. And seeing our rooms, his eyes grew wide as a durian seed in what I think was genuine disgust. Lets give it to him, he drives a Pajero, c'mon! As expected, it was followed by profuse apologies that he chose this place for us hehe. But we said it was really just fine  since every night we arrive we’d all be so exhausted anyway (or wasted? wink wink!) to care where we were sleeping. He had a point though, he just asked around for the cheapest since that is what I txtd him! True!

So, my dear readers… learn from the lessons learned here. Did you, already?

Lesson One: don't ask a local when it comes to hotels! But come to think of it…
Lesson Two: who needs a grand royal bedroom for just a few hours of sleep?!!
-now fill-in the blanks-
Lesson Three:…
Lesson Four:…
Lesson Five:...

Ah, as for Alta Vista, were getting the family room come Kadayawan! Sama kayo?


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