“Durian, the king of fruits, has a special place in
the hearts of Davaoenos. It is, after all, one of the greatest
attractions of Davao City, luring thousands of visitors to
come see these shores to experience the fruit that, some say,
“tastes like heaven but smells like hell.”
But more than just an attraction, the durian is a delight
to the Davaoenos, especially to the lumad community who were
surely the first to enjoy it. It is also a “thorny”
reminder that there is much to be thankful for in this land.
The abundance of nature is never more obvious than during
durian season, when the streets overflow with the fruit and
locals can be found squatting on the sidewalk to enjoy a simple
— truly incomparable — feast.
These words are etched on a tablet, underneath the Durian
Eaters Statue, which is found in a favorite hang-out overlooking
Davao City. Durian is closely associated with Davao , although
it’s not confined in Davao alone.
Durian is an ugly fruit, they say. Some attest to the other-worldliness
of its appearance. It does have an uncanny, if not unique,
appearance. But wait till you dig inside the fruit, and you
will in reality be transported to a different world--that
of bliss. Indeed, it is an other-worldly fruit.
Appearance-wise, it looks quite like a smaller version of
Sputnik (the first man-made satellite. remember?) but unlike
the 'spacefruit,' this one is greenish-brown to brown in color,
and it's way smaller and lighter (didn't I say "smaller
Durians are Spiny globes of greenish brown to brown, which
may weigh over a kilo, many times even more than two kilos.
Inside, one will see a neat row of seeds, usually four or
five, per 'chamber' (the fruit has 5 chambers), all wearing
a coat of greyish to yellow pulp.
The pulp! The secret behind the cult! This soft, superlatively
tasty mass is the goal of my kind. It is the treasure that
our fingers dig in for the tongue to fondle. The furnace that
warms up our bodies, leading us into a state of heat. The
flame that ignited the fires that spread the word on Davao's
The Durian is a fruit like no other. Its look, its smell,
its taste, the sensation -- no other fruit could be as beautiful
and pleasurable. It's one of the reasons why others love living
in Davao. And why not, when it takes them closer to heavenly