Durian Country

Golden Pillow. Munthong. Chanee. Arancillo. Piara. These are among the best varieties of durian in Calinan, Davao City. Savor the delicate taste of these sweet, creamy selections and discover what durian and Davao are all about.

Among other things, like its pristine beaches, this southern province and its city is known for its cattle ranches, fresh sea foods, orchid shows, and huge plantations of fruits of various kinds. Fruits sell at a real bargain—fact is, crates of good, plump bananas are sometimes given for free to bystanders.

But Davao is not Davao without the fabled durian. Idle tales go that Davao’s treasures are guarded by fairies and mystical spirits whose food staple is durian—a kind of food of the gods. Thus, where durian abounds treasures are hid, they say. But watch out for the wrath of the gods.

Durian is a tropical fruit similar to jack fruit—only more velvety and, like wine, alluring. Its hard, spiked crust keeps the edible flesh intact inside. The strange smell could mislead the uninitiated into misjudging it unfairly, throw it off, and miss out on the best thing in Davao.

To others, the aroma is like aged wine—durian’s and Davao’s, that is. It can entice you into having endless one last tries until the intoxication gets you hooked for life.

A five-hectare farm—this is one of the places in Calinan where the heavenly fruit proliferates. It used to be a coconut farm converted by owner, Elmer Solomon, into a durian farm. It’s more productive now—luring more enthralled buyers. It is an attraction to both local and foreign tourists who love durian or are curious about the fruit.

In a sense, Davao is a macro durian farm interspersed with other smaller fruit and flower farms. Davao province, it is said, is the prince city of the whole southern paradise that is Mindanao.

Aside from the imported varieties mentioned, native durian varieties in the Solomon farm are Puyat, Basketball, Mamon, and Brunei. The durian trees are top-pruned to have the the branches spreading wide rather than going up. Aside from being more manageable to maintain and more convenient for reapers during harvest time, this style keeps the farm well shaded—more comfy for strolling tourists, especially in summer.

A visit to the south must include a tour of Davao—which automatically means a deeper excursion to Davao City. There the numinous spirits are sure to charm the unsuspecting visitor with the forbidden (but delectable) fruit, aside from wooing the same with the city’s other attractions.

Calinan is where the enchantment flavors are concocted. With an array of durian assortments that have mesmerized many a wandering tourist, one will forever be spellbound by Davao—tongue, heart, and soul.

4 Comments

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