• THE PUENTESPINAS AND THEIR DAVAO

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    Like many other Davaoenos, the Puentespina’s came from other parts of the Philippines to seek a better life. Their parents, Roberto and Charita were Illongos who moved to Davao worked in several jobs until he decided to start his water drilling business Hydrock Wells, Inc. in 1964.

    Today, they are among the area’s leading agro-industrialists and conservationists, showcasing the beauty and bounty of Davao through their many farms, including the Malagos Garden Resort.

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    At the My City, My SM Launch at SM City Davao, Agro-Industrialists and Environmentalists Engr. Angel and Jing Puentespina and kids, with SM’s Millie Dizon, Debby Go and Ma. Lynette Lopez

    Agricultural engineer Angel has revolutionized the propagation of the waling waling as well as other exotic blooms, while his wife Jing is a sought after floral and landscape designer. Dr. Bo is father to the region’s world- class bird shows, while his wife Olive is known for her artisan cheese.

    Here they take us around their beautiful Davao, and to the SM Mall in the city.

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    Dr. Bo Puentespina with a Philippine Hawk Eagle perched on his arm, and wife, artisan cheesemaker Olive at the My City, My SM Launch in SM City Davao.

    Manila Bulletin: What do you think makes Davao City so special?

    Angel: “ Its people, who are by nature friendly and accommodating. Perhaps this is because many residents are migrants, and have learned to adapt to each other’s culture, religion, and dialect.

    The next is the quality of life it allows – it is a young city, a little laid back yet quite cosmopolitan. We are also blessed with natural resources – from our islands to our highlands. Fresh fruits are available all year round.”

    Dr. Bo: “Davao is a very diverse city. Not only in its natural resources, but also its people.”

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    The Puentespina’s taking a break at the Pearl Farm Marina with a view of Samal Island.

    Jing: “It’s the quality of life in Davao. The air is fresh, its potable water is considered the cleanest in the world. The city is clean and green, and its establishments are smoke free.

    Davao is a most progressive and livable city. Despite their differences in culture and tradition, people live here in peace and harmony.”

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    “Kadayawan”, Davao’s festival celebrated every August, is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable. It originated from the ritual celebration of Davao’s ethnic tribes as thanksgiving to the gods for a bountiful harvest.

    Olive: “Davao City gives me the relaxed lifestyle of a province with metropolitan flair. It is rural enough to have that friendly and relaxed feel but it also has the comforts of modern living. It is also a special place to start a business because of the abundance of raw materials makes it conducive for one to create.”

    MB: If you were to bring a visitor around Davao where would you take them?

    Angel: “If they are staying longer, I would take them on a tour starting with Samal Island to the highlands of Malagos. For those who love the outdoors, a blooms and nature tour will be perfect. I will bring them to the foothilsl of Mt. Talomo to our Carmen farms where we grow our lilies and gladiola flowers. It has a very nice view of the mountains and the Davao gulf. The trip may include a trek along the river, or a hike to the waterfalls, with lunch packed in banana leaves.”

    Dr. Bo: I will take tourists to where I usually go – the wet market, shooting, diving, back roads horseback riding. I’ll take them to our farm to do some bird watching.”

    Jing: “I would recommend a trip to the Davao Museum for an arts and culture experience and a visit to Adelvinco for pasalubongs for those who will be staying for a short while.

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    The rare and beautiful Waling Waling, which used to be found only in Mindanao, is described as the Queen of the Philippine Orchids.

    For those who will be staying longer, a visit to the Malagos Garden Resort will give them an opportunity to see local flora and fauna up close. A trip to the Philippine Eagle Center is also highly recommended. And of course, no trip to Davao will be complete without discovering the great diving sites between Davao City and Samal Island and those located in the Davao Gulf.”

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    The endangered Philippine Eagle is one of the biggest and most powerful birds in the world and is endemic to the Philippines.

    Olive: “When I have guests, my first stop is always the Agdao Market, where I can show them the bounty of Davao. Then we go to the Philippine Eagle Center so they can see the majesty of this bird. Then I bring them to relax at the Malagos Garden Resort and enjoy the farm and flower tours.”

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    SM City Davao has become part of the lives of the Mindanaoans for many years.

    MB: How do you think SM has changed the lives of Davaoenos?

    Angel: “The opening of SM City Davao in Ecoland has led to the development of several real estate projects in the area. Many other busineses have risen around the SM complex. What was once a lonely neighborhood is now a developed business community.”

    SM has become the main reason for people from neighboring provinces to travel to the city for shopping and recreation. This has been a boost to tourism.

    The mall has become a place of choice for a lot of families and group for many reasons. With a one-stop shop, people need not go anywhere else.”

    Dr. Bo: “I think the presence of SM has become a barometer of progress for any city. It is a landmark place because of its convenience, good brands, and service.”

    Jing: “SM added flavor and color to the cityscape of Davao. It is the ultimate one-stop shopping mall. It caters to all kinds of people, and is very global when it comes to design and consumer experience. It is a mall that embodies easy finding for a shopper. It also has that completeness when it comes to experience, living up to its ‘we’ve got it all” tagline.

    Olive: “SM has opened the eyes of Davaoenos to efficient systems in shopping, wider possibilities in food preparation, a peek in the window of the bigger selection of consumer items. It also opened up the city to other neighboring cities and provinces. I’ve seen families from stroller bound babies to wheelchair riding grannies enjoying eating out in the food establishments in the mall. We do that to in celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a good performance, or simply enjoying some family fun.”