For countless times already, friends and family in Manila have offered us to try the durian they brought home from a vacation in Davao region. We constantly declined such offers, not because we weren't interested, but because we were reserving the experience of eating durian for the first time when we would finally get to visit Davao.
The opportunity has finally come. After having dinner at Tagum City's Night Market, we walked our way to Rotary Park, along the city's Pioneer Avenue, where stalls selling durian are lined up. There were tables and chairs set up for customers.
We ordered a small-size durian (~Php80) and had it opened by the vendor. We always wondered why some people find the odor of durian disgusting. The smell wasn't particularly attractive, but definitely not awful. We always thought that durian was all about its smell until we had our first bite into its flesh.
|Ramil having his first Durian experience|
Our taste buds were overwhelmed by the strong, unfamiliar taste of the durian that produced a galvanic sensation running from the mouth, through the face and onto the scalp. It was then followed by a sweet and creamy aftertaste.
Eating durian requires a lot of getting-use-to, a lot! There's no room to give up, this is just a fruit that we should conquer. "If Davaoeños can eat durian, so can Manileños," Ramil said. With the help of a bottle of Coke, Ramil was able to finish three (out of the four) chunks of durian flesh.
This experince of conquering durian adds more to our sense of being Filipino. The next time we eat durian anywhere in the country, we will always remember Davao Region, Tagum City in particular. Putting a little twist to the idiom, this is the "durian" on top of the cake that concludes our short visit to Tagum City.
We would like to thank Mr. Leo Timogan for touring us around the Tagum Night Market and for motivating us not to give up on the durian.
To read more about Tagum City, please visit Mr. Timogan's blog: Tagum Exposure