The 4 steps to happiness in Davao

You have done it! After many months of planning the move to Davao, you have arrived.

So it starts now, your new life in Davao City, you have arrived at the airport navigated to where you will be spending the first few days and nights, done a quick unpack

and now what…….

It will all depend on the time of day

Time to Explore Davao City

Most likely your first outing will be to one on the 7 Malls in Davao and maybe check out the cost of food and beer.

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Davao’s Famous Slogen

You will probably end up in one of the 7 Malls, There are plenty of food options in the malls but not many beer options – The exception being Abreeza Mall that has a Branch of TGI Fridays

This is about as close as you ate going to get to a western type ‘Restro Bar’. The prices for the beer and food are at least double to what you will pay in other places, but the service is good, the beer cold in a clean glass and the western food acceptable and the Air Con works.

I am sure you will find a few ex-pats there willing to share their expertise from their point of view, about your move to Davao.

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TGI Fridays in Abreeza Mall

And now….

So having satisfied your needs for substance its time to do…. What?

The truth is that most of the western people that moving to Davao are doing so because of a female influence.

The reasons can be broken down to

  • You already have a partner, and she or both of you wants to live in Davao
    • Your meeting someone in Davao with the idea of becoming a couple
      • Your prospecting for a companion

There are exceptions such as work-related or other circumstances but most of the time the above list holds true.

You will have already painted a picture in your mind to what your life is going to be like, and I urge you not to make fast or firm decisions before you have been in the county for some months.

Culture Shock – comes in 4s.

  1. The Honeymoon Stage
  2. The Frustration Stage
  3. The Adjustment Stage
  4. The Acceptance Stage


The first stage of culture shock is often overwhelmingly positive during which Ex-pats are fascinated with the language, people and food and all the wonderful new sights sound and smells

At this stage, the move seems like the greatest decision ever made, an exciting adventure that will never end


Frustration is perhaps the most difficult stage of culture shock and is familiar to anyone who has lived abroad Fatigue of not understanding gestures, signs and the language sets in.

Miscommunications may often be happening. Small things may trigger frustration. And while frustration comes and goes, it’s natural for people moving to new countries.


Frustrations start to lessen as the “newbie” begins to feel more familiar and comfortable with the surroundings

Navigation becomes easier, friendships established, and details of local languages may become more recognizable during the adjustment stage


It can take weeks, months or years of difficulties, but you will reach the final stage of culture shock, acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean that you agree with everything or life is wholly understood; it means that you realize that you don’t have to understand everything to be able to live in a comfortable state of mind. Slowly you will feel at home and at peace with your life in Davao city

sunset meditation
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” —Wayne W. Dyer
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