Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!

Sinugba Festival: Grilling With The Greats

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My husband and I love grilled food. So when we heard about the Sinugba festival here in Davao and the eat-all-you-can Sinugba buffet on Friday night, we decided to make that our date night.

We knew it was going to be good when we saw some of our favorite grill places there. From Conchings to Riley Simon, to Zabadani, there was something for everyone. We were glad we got there extra early because it gave us a chance to watch them prepare and cook some of our favorite things to eat.

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Getting there early also helped ensure that we got into the buffet early. The organizers told us they expected 800 people but from we saw, there were more than a thousand guests at the festival.

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

You can’t help but appreciate the skill and the effort these cooks and grillmasters put into each dish. It’s hard to do everything to order, especially at an eat-all-you-can event. You risk the wrath of customers if you don’t deliver the food on time. But I really appreciated that they instead chose to deliver the best product every time.

Aren't these the loveliest little burgers you've ever seen?

Aren’t these the loveliest little burgers you’ve ever seen?

Grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate

Amazing grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate.

There were some complaints because it was a bit crazy and chaotic. The organizers weren’t able to anticipate the number of people participating. But I really can’t complain much. I came for good food and I got it. It was a lovely night, warm and windy. I ate under the stars with my husband and with good friends. I’m so looking forward to doing this again next year.

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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.