I am not a beach person. I love the beach but ain’t one you’d want to be with at the beach. For one, the sun and I do not see eye to eye. Too much sun exposure for me means “hello rosacea” in an instant. And yes, I burn easily. Not tan, but burn.
Just recently, after years of evading the sun, sand and sea, I have fallen in love with nature’s majestic creation — the beach. I do not know how or when it started, but yeah, I now yearn for some rewarding time under the tropical sun, with the sand on my toes and the sea at arms reach.
A planned road trip turned out to be a reality — with my friends in tow and my work bag on my back, I was ready to add more color to my already tanned skin. Off to Malita we go.
Malita (Municipality of Malita) is the capital of the province of Davao Occidental. A first class municipality, Malita is best known for its various cultural and heritage showcase of its people and tribes. Not to mention, a plethora of delectable products that are ever so worthy of our attention — palate attention, that is.
Our road trip led us to the glistening waters of Malita Dives. Beautifully constructed beside a huge rock, Malita Dives is a haven sanctuary for the tropical soul in you. To state, the ship-like deck is located within a sanctuary —- the Tubalan Cove.
Tubalan Cove is, by far, one of the healthiest marine life sanctuary I’ve been to. Aside from the healthy marine life, it is also home to an underwater Japanese plane wreck that has been cove to many fish species and favourite of divers.
Over the years, the cove has been under the wings of the local government under the watchful eyes of Mayor Bradly Bautista. An underwater enthusiasts himself, the good mayor, together with equally beautiful first lady JeN Seekins Baustista, has since taken it upon himself to look after the cove, its neighbors and constituents. To date, there are now 10 ‘bantay dagat’ who tirelessly patrol the cove on the daily.
Aside from the beautiful location, Malita is also home to some of the most delectable dishes and food finds on this side of the region. What’s a road trip without a food trip, right?
With us was Jean (Malita’s first lady) and Jeremiah “Jing” Danolko (Malita Tourism Officer) for the duration of our stay. From home cooked meals to specialty dishes and livelihood coolers, our palates were treated to a smorgasbord of flavours. And yes, worth every calorie!
For a foodie, a selection at hand always, always mean a momentous time at the dining table. And with everyone on gustatory mood, the whole trip was nothing but filled with munching, chewing and a whole lot of food loving.
Healthier option compared to regular rice, the Adlai rice is one of Malita’s best products. Considered a superfood, it is low in glycemic, containing protein, dietary fiber, minerals and is also gluten-free. The best thing about the Adlai rice? You get full but not stuffed; no cravings or yearnings even.
For a coffee drinker like me, nothing beats a caffeine fix than a cuppa of freshly brewed native coffee. And Malita’s native coffee is something I’d happily have on a daily. I love that it is strong but delicate at the same time. It has that very addicting coffee smell that tickles your senses the moment it hits your nose.
I scream for Ice Cream
Product of a group of women in Malita (Women Entrepreneurs of Barangay Buhangin (WEBB)), their delectable ice cream coolers are nothing short on flavours. With 5 variants, you are sure to ask for seconds — kalabasa, malunggay, durian and sili in levels 1 and 2. I love the kalabasa and the sili level 2. Despite the grainy taste, I love that the ice cream are representative of love local ingredients and produced for a cause.
Jean and her staff pampered us all throughout our stay. And seafood was a staple on the banquet. I specifically love Jean’s salted egg calamares and crabs. Oh and yes, their bangus are just so sweet and tasty!
Bread, bread, bread
There’s something about the pandesal in Malita. Fluffy and big, the texture, taste and overall quality creates a happy yearning any time or any day. With or without palaman, these babies are the best!
A Tausug delicacy, it is a rolled crepe snack filled with freshly grated coconut and of course, sugar. The daral is very light to the palate thus allowing you to raste every bit of ingredient used.