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Davao City, Philippines

A quiet birthday staycation at Park Inn by Radisson Davao

December 19, 2019 - Thursday 6:12 PM by Laya Joaquin

Article Banner Image This is where I got to spend my quiet birthday staycation.

For as long as I can remember I've always had big celebrations on my birthday. When I was much smaller my parents, especially my mom, would prepare elaborate parties for me. Sometimes they would even rent nice places like swimming pools and restaurants. On my 10th birthday we had an arts-and-crafts party where we created lots of nice things. And on my 11th birthday last year we even had a “Stranger Things” theme where my mom dressed up her art studio like “The Upside Down” and I dressed up like my favorite character, Eleven.

It was always nice having my family and friends over, but this year I felt like I wanted to have a break from that. My parents kept asking me what I wanted to do, and I think they didn’t take me seriously when I said I didn’t want a party. Finally I told my dad, “All I want is to have a nice day with two of my closest friends.” That’s when they realized I was being serious.

Celebrating my 12th birthday with family and close friends.

So what they did was they booked a room at Park Inn by Radisson Davao so my friends Himig and Mishca and I can have a girls-only time together. Of course my parents asked an aunt — who’s really a grand-aunt, but I call her “mommy" — to be our chaperone, and it was fun because she’s really cool.

We played games until way past midnight.

The first thing we did after checking in was go to the pool for a swim. Park Inn’s pool is nice because it’s not too small and not too big, and it’s on the second floor so the air is kind of cool even when the sun is out. It’s not the kind of pool where you can swim laps, but we were there to have fun so we had a great time jumping around and splashing each other with water.

The pool at the second floor is so inviting.

After the pool we went back to the room to hang out and play some games. Being home schoolers we’ve grown used to not using gadgets so we played some games like jackstone — although of course we also watched some videos on the iPad. As the sun went down we went to SM Lanang which is conveniently located just across from the hotel. We didn’t even need to go to the street because there’s a bridge that connects the hotel and the mall.

We hung around at the mall until it was time for dinner, and for that my parents took us to Little Nam in Rowe Square which is less than a kilometer away from Park Inn. I loved it that every place we went to was so near because we didn’t have to get stuck in traffic — which was a real concern because traffic can be crazy in December.

Goofing around with friends.

After dinner we went back to SM Lanang to hang out some more, and then we went back to the hotel using the second floor bridge. The original plan was to wait for midnight for my actual birthday, but my family decided to celebrate early so my friends and I can be left with my aunt. They sang “happy birthday” and we had my cake, and then we were allowed to play some more games and watch some videos for the rest of the night.

The next day we had a hearty breakfast at RBG at the hotel’s ground floor, then we were off to the swimming pool again for the last swimming session. And then as suddenly as it began, my birthday staycation was over. But even though it was just a 24-hour celebration, it was a fun and memorable one because I got to spend it the way I wanted: quietly and with my family and closest friends.