Hidalgo: I love Davao, I am an adopted citizen with no regrets

DAVAO is so far away from my birth place. Tracing the 86 years of my life, I noticed that I had travelled the whole length of my life from the northern part to the southern part of our country.

I was born in the town of Pasig, now a city, in 1930.

In 1960 after my schooling from Elementary to High School at Colegio Del Buen and my university studies at University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila to finish my Bachelor Degree for Education. I taught in the local PCC (Pasig Catholic School) for eight years in high school for boys.

In 1960, I had to relocate to far off Baguio City to get my Master's Degree in Science Education and teach in St. Louis University High School and College. In Baguio, I met and got married to my husband, Virgilio Hidalgo, at the Baguio Cathedral on August 26, 1962. We built our first home here and had two kids.

I lived in Baguio for 15 years, the best years of my life. In 1975, our family had to relocate to Metro Manila. We built our second home in Marikina City. My husband was a professor in European Languages at University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman teaching Latin, Spanish, and German. I taught in St. Scholastica's College, Manila for 25 years until I retired in 1995. I was widowed in 1999 when my husband died of diabetes complications on the day of his retirement from UP Diliman.

Francis, my only son, resides in Davao City with his family. My only daughter's family live in East Fairview, Quezon City. This ends my long trek towards my present life in my loved Davao City. To me it is my destiny.

The family of Francis, my only son, and his wife, Cecile are architects both from UP Diliman. They were assigned to teach in the Department of Architecture of UP Mindanao. They have one daughter, Noe. Francis constructed the gymnasium in the newly built school in Mintal. They invited the famous basketball player, Robert Jaworski, to inaugurate the new sports center. They also formed their Hidalgo Architects firm which is still active until now. Cecil established her ballet school (her second professional career also from UP). Their offices are at MacPod, Matina Davao.

Davao is so peaceful where laws are obeyed to the letter or get apprehended and prosecuted. The 30 kilometer per hour speed limit in the main streets, the no road rage incidences, no littering and observing wastes segregation of non-biodegradable and biodegradable wastes. Strictly no smoking in public places, no drinking of liquor and no noisy karaoke music after 10 p.m.

I have not seen this because we spend Christmas Holidays in Metro Manila but I love it too. No firecrackers and fireworks are allowed. Let do with trumpets or any objects which can beaten to create festive noise. I remember in Manila where all hospitals have long lines of victims of fireworks with lacking fingers, blinded, with wounds from stray bullets are harrowing scenes.

I had this pleasant experience. After our Christmas vacation in Manila we rode in a taxi from the airport to our house in San Rafael Village. I was glad to breathe fresh air and not the polluted air of Edsa. At these wee hours, there were no drunkards in the streets, no noisy karaoke music. The taxi driver did not like to get our tips. What? In Manila they will demand even the double of the meter reading because it is early morning hour. I love Davao, I am decided to stay here.

In Davao, when I sit down to have coffee in a snack store at the mall everyone I meet, strangers all meet me with a smile. When I first arrived here my son initiated me to eat raw durian fruit in the roadside store. I took a bite so as not to disappoint my son. After that I still savor the taste “the smell like hell with the taste like heaven” is eaten by me in the form of candies, ice cream and cakes.

Now about the planned International Sports Center in UP Mindanao. I have written about its birthing pains when it took a long time after negotiations to let the settlers in Oshiro compound to vacate the place to have the right of way to access the UP Mindanao huge vacant lots. Properly funded through the efforts of councilmen the first phase was built. It is the Davao City-UP Sports Complex Multi-Purpose Human Kinetics Building.

The Phase 2 is the Football Stadium. It will cost 50 million pesos. It will have a 30,000 searing capacity meeting the minimum requirement of FIFA the world governing body of football. Phase 2 shall connect to the Aquatics Center. The completed sports center will include a 35,000-seater stadium, a multi-purpose training gym, dormitory and medical building, low-rise commercial block, recreation, parking building, power house and pump house, practice fields for football, tennis court, sports arena, archery and practical shooting range, indoor basketball and aquatic center, country club, and parking area.

The sports center will serve the communities. It is preparing for its bid to host the 2019 Palarong Pambansa. It is also aimed to serve the youth in Davao in friendly competitions, the indigenous groups, athletes of national teams, wellness programs for government agencies and private sectors and to be a center for education in sports development.

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