Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!

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Zoofari/Tree Haus – Bacaca, Davao City

Zoofari/CoffeeHut at Bacaca Road

Zoofari/CoffeeHut at Bacaca Road

I’ve been wanting to go to Zoofari/Tree Haus Cafe and Restaurant for several months now ever since it opened last year. When I first passed by it, I thought it was going to be the answer to my prayers. A coffee shop attached to a kids area! You can watch your kids play as you’re having coffee and working!

Zoofari is a already a well known kids play area with a branch in SM Ecoland. The Zoofari in Bacaca is a lot bigger ( almost 3 stories high) that also caters to children’s parties and events. I was really happy when I saw that this branch was attached to a coffee shop, the Tree Haus, and that coffee shop was specifically created so that parents/guardians can relax and chill out while their kids are in the play area. Rates for the Zoofari play area are P100 on weekdays and P140 on weekends. If you plan to take your child there often, you could get ask the staff about getting a membership card so you can get a discount at every visit.

My daughter rolling in one of Zoofari's ballpits

My daughter rolling in one of Zoofari’s  ball pits

The thing I like about their play area (other than being massive and absolutely fun!) is the strict security. Parents with children 5 years old and above (kids 4 and below must be accompanied by an adult) can leave their children there without having to worry that some stranger would take their kids or their kids wandering out on their own. There’s always a guard at the door and authorized guardians are photographed prior to leaving the child to make sure the right  person picks up the right kid.

And if ever a child  does get away from the play area, he/she has to go through a flight of stairs and several guards before reaching the coffee shop and the street. The coffee shop and the play area are also connected by an intercom system to alert parents when their kid’s time in the play area is up or when there’s a child on the loose.

Watch your kids play as you work or relax

Watch your kids play as you work or relax

Like most places in Davao, it has free WiFi (even the beauty parlor I go to has free WiFi). But the problem with most places that have free WiFi is that they’re often slow or unreliable. When my sister and I were there on a Friday, their internet was strong and steady. I was using the internet on my phone in the play area at the lower ground floor and she was using her laptop in the coffee shop and we were emailing and messaging each other constantly. The good internet connection may be mostly due to the fact that there weren’t a lot of people there on a Friday afternoon. We are thinking of  going back there on weekends to see if the internet there is still as reliable.

For a coffee shop, the quality of coffee at the Tree Haus is pretty mediocre and a little expensive. But it’s really not so bad because parents like me do go there to get a break from their kids (or in my case, to catch up on some work and let my daughter blow off all her excess energy) and not for the coffee.

But what I found almost unforgivable about the  Tree Haus is the bad food. I don’t mind mediocre food because I didn’t go to  Tree Haus/Zoofari for the food. But that slice of moist chocolate cake (which costs P120 by the way) we had was not moist or flavorful. It wasn’t even fresh and they were selling it to adults. They hold children’s parties there and they cater for these parties. If they’re willing to serve bad food to adults, I worry what they’ll serve to kids!

And for P100 (or P140) per hour plus coffee (or food, ugh!) it’s a little too expensive for me. And compared to the other places I reviewed (see related articles below), it’s not as accessible. I think Zoofari is something I would save for special occasions, like when I want to treat my daughter to an hour of unrestrained play time and I need to work. But this wouldn’t be my go-to place to work. Maybe if the quality of food and coffee improves the experience will be worth it. But for now, the search continues for that perfect WAHM alternative work space.



Figaro – Gaisano Mall

When my sister needs to take a break from working at home, one of her favorite places to go to is Figaro at the Peak in GMall. She goes there often enough to the point that the cashier and waiters know her by name. She even has an engraved membership card. That’s how much she loves this particular coffee shop.

Figaro GMall. Image Courtese of DavaoLife.com

But why Figaro? Why of all the coffee shops and work spaces in Davao City, why does my sister keep coming back to this particular place?

I have gone to Figaro a few times and have worked there a few times. The one thing I truly love about the place is the strong internet and WiFi connection. The connection is so strong, you can easily stream videos from their outdoor dining area.

Another thing I appreciate about this coffee shop is its location. It doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic so it’s much more quiet compared to Starbucks. Although the place can get crowded on Friday and weekend afternoons.

Their location also makes it ideal for mothers who don’t have a nanny and can’t leave their kids at home. Inside the mall, just a few floors down is a secure, supervised kids play area where you can leave the kids (ages 5 and up) for a fee. The mall is also close to several schools and I actually plan to enroll my daughter in one of them. This means that after dropping off my daughter, I’d be able to walk to Figaro to work and walk back to pick her up after class.

The only thing I don’t like about their location is the traffic. GMall is located at a busy intersection, so getting to and away from GMall during rush hour can be hellish.

I also like the fact that most of the tables in Figaro are not tiny. You can actually put your laptop there, plus a cup of coffee and a plate of food. Unlike another coffee shop I know that had ridiculously tiny tables that can only hold a cup of coffee and a cupcake.

In addition to the WiFi, my sister loves their coffee. It’s strong, reasonably priced, and flavorful. The large servings of good food also helped since my sister and I like to pick at our food as we’re working.

Lastly, I love the fact that they have a restroom exclusively for customers. I really don’t like mall restrooms because they’re usually, uhm, icky and not to mention the looong line. But since Figaro has their own restroom, it’s always clean, you can use it as often as needed, and no waiting!

I definitely recommend this place for WAHMs as an alternative work place. Just make sure to avoid GMall during rush hour and you should be good.