A Patch of Mindanao at Hijo Resorts Davao

When culture, fashion, food and a somewhat 
unexplainable cosmic familiarity coincide in just a 2-day whereabout.

Model: Claudine Claire Chua
Photography, Direction & Styling: Jowe Posadas

  For the past few years, especially being part of the Ateneo community, I have been inspired by my country's Land of Promise: Mindanao. It has ignited something in me that I must help promote this home as to not just leave it be as merely a potential and not just a place of “possibilities”. A rich southern region of the Philippines that has  a rich culture ready to inspire the global arts and a harmony ready to influence, not just the nation, but also the whole world. 

 This year, one of my recent trips involved going to Banana Beach - Hijo Resorts Davao located at the heart of the banana plantations of Tagum City. It was my second time visiting this resort and it truly gave me more insight and idea of the place. Truly, there's more to it than meets the eye.

 "Step into the past without having to sacrifice your modern amenitiestagline totally got me. The first time I visited Hijo Resorts Davao/Banana Beach was way back in 2015 celebrating my 21st birthday and it was memorable. We did the usual day tour activities like the famous forest/nature tour and Madaum River cruise then had sumptuous lunch featuring local cuisines. 

 But my second time visiting this place was truly quite an experience. We, the Davao Bloggers Society, were invited to stay for a night and 2-day tour in Hijo Resorts Davao. Even with such a short trip, it felt truly enlightening that such place does so much for the betterment of society. The concept, as how I understood, is building a community and building a lifestyle. This is why it’s an all around resort and almost every single thing, if not already everything, is done and taken from locally sourced talents, resources and suppliers. The essence is simply to make the best of what we have and expand. 

 I remember feeling nostalgic or de-ja-vu when I stepped into their beach again and call me crazy but something was oddly familiar in the place. I liked the feeling and I guess it’s also why I felt so at home when we stayed at the Plantation House, it was my first time there and it's really where I would suggest you should stay if ever you have plans coming to Hijo Resorts. It has a private pool (but don't skinny-dip because there are still guards even at night) and the sun sets dramatically at your balcony view. 

 Day 1 included mostly of forest, banana and coconut plantation tours, snacks by the beach, and a VIP dinner with the Tuason’s and Mayor of Tagum. We dined at a newly built house that proposes an open lifestyle inside Hijo Resorts. A beautiful community as how I can imagine that it made me want to live there in the future. A great view of nature with a modern touch. I still remember how perfect the full moon was that night and how all of us stopped for awhile and just enjoy the spectacular view.

Group photos from Rothessa Gonzaga of Merida Adventures

Group photo from Claudine Chua of Fashion Venom

  The most memorable part of the trip was meeting Mercy Tuason. I remember I was too shy during dinner to approach her because she resembled someone so dear to me but the next morning, as she joined us for breakfast, I finally had the chance to talk to her and asked her if she could pose for me. 

  I truly adored her fashion sense and the next thing I knew, we were talking non stop about almost anything. From her fashion preferences to her World War 2 memories, we talked for almost half of the day. As we kept talking, the more I found out how much we have in common from wearing the same Turquoise jewelry to our fashion dos and don'ts up to having the same birthday!  Both of us were really in shock because it's not everyday you feel a connection and realized how similar you are to each other, even your birthdays. After laughing it off, she then showed me her room (they used to live in the Plantation House) and we played dress up and makeup and did a quick photoshoot. I really enjoyed talking to her that up to now we do keep in touch.

  I feel like sharing this part because I find it pleasingly odd to experience such thing. Is it just me or do you ever feel connected to a person and yet you can't explain how familiar they are - not just base on features but even in the way they talk to you or look at you, even if you just met them the first time? A pleasant encounter making me feel that I was there at the right time with the right people at the right place. Perhaps as how my mother would say, maybe there's an old soul in me meeting another soul I used to know. Truly a pleasant trip!

  Below are my snaps of her, a woman of ageless beauty and fashion that inspires my creativity: 

  She also gave me a book about her family that I so enjoyed reading and looking at vintage pictures of her, her family and the Hijo Resorts. They had so much vision for Tagum and seeing their big family being intact after the untimely death of her husband, truly inspires a lot of people. 

  This is my favorite portrait of her from the book, a glamour shot of Tita Mercy in her early fifties. This year's September 27th, she celebrated her 87th birthday while I celebrated my 23rd. 

Truly fashion progresses and beauty is timeless.

I hope you enjoyed my post as much as I enjoyed this trip! 


© All photos are by Jowe Posadas | #byJowePosadas unless otherwise stated.

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