Text and Photos by Henrylito D. Tacio
Everyone seems to know what a hostel is. It is a short-term shared sociable lodging where guests can rent a bed with shared use of a lounge and sometimes a kitchen. It differs from a hotel, where guests can stay in individual rooms for more privacy. There is more of a community feel in a hostel as opposed to the solidarity of a hotel room.
Hotels are common in the cities, but in recent years, hostels have also become popular. In Davao City, for instance, there’s Hostel 153. But what’s the number all about? Is it from a verse of a Bible (like John 3:16)? Or maybe part of the year when the owner was born? Or perhaps taken from historical records?
“(The number) is a great representation of God’s abundance and power,” explains the chief executive officer (CEO) of Shunem Integrity Residences, Inc. (SIRI). “(It is) also a stern reminder to man to not be self-sufficient but rather be dependent on God.”
If you are still wondering, please read the book of John in the Bible. It came to pass that Simon Peter, together with other disciples, went out fishing. All of them were veteran fishermen, and unluckily, they never caught any fish, even if it was already in the middle of the night.
Then, Jesus came and told them to throw their fishing net on the right side of the boat. “You will find some (fish),” he said. The disciples were stunned, but still, they obeyed Jesus. “When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish” (John 21:6).
So, where’s 153? Wait till you read John 21:11: “So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.”
That’s how Hostel 153 got its name. It’s not surprising why the place is known as “a gospel hostel.” As its vision puts it: “To be an address for the Church and their families known for its ministry of providing a Christ-centered quality service in fostering a wholesome hospitality environment and experience.”
“We built this hostel for people who are looking for a place that is peaceful, quiet, clean, and safe,” the CEO said. “We request our guests to observe proper decorum and avoid making unnecessary noises to maintain order in the premises.”
That’s why the management is strict with their policies. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all areas at all times. It doesn’t have any designated smoking area. Please read Ordinance No. 0367-12 or The New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.
Also prohibited are possession and drinking of liquor and other alcoholic beverages inside the rooms. Possession and use of prohibited drugs are not allowed inside the rooms and the premises. Gambling is a no-no anywhere in the hostel.
If you have pets, sorry to say, but you can’t check-in at the hostel. If you have dangerous materials and fire hazards (as those can expose the hostel and the guests to danger), you better find another place.
If you are married and bring with you your lover when checking in, you better read this sign in every room: “Wholesome beds are what we offer. Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled: For fornicators and adulterers, God will judge (Hebrews 13:4).
There are several rooms available at the hostel: Alpha (premier single), Cana (junior matrimonial), Brethren (double deluxe), Cana Premium (matrimonial room), Trinity (family room), Holy Trinity (superior family), and Disciples (backpackers room). Prices range from P975 to P3,475. For the Disciples (which can accommodate six, eight, and ten people), the price is P465 per person.
Hostel 153, which is located at Jose Abad Santos Street – between Barangay Hall of 9-A and Gaisano G Market Mabini – also serves food. But if you want choices, you can visit Aulson’s Café, which is located at Circumferential Road, Poblacion District.
Among the meals you can order anytime are as follows: adobo, herbed tapa, kimchi break, sau-kind breakfast, eggs benny, home berry pancakes, and brioche toast. I have tried the home berry pancakes (4 layered short stocked pancakes, blueberry compote sauce, and cinnamon maple syrup), and it was so delicious.
If you are a coffee lover, then Aulson’s Café is the place to be.
If you are looking for a place where you can have a meeting, then Aulson’s Café is the place to be. There are exclusive rooms available for rent with internet and big television screen for presentations.
The names of the rooms are taken from the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Patience, for instance, can accommodate 10 participants. The rate is P1,000 for the first two hours and then P500 per hour for the succeeding hours. Love can accommodate 25-30 participants, and the rate is P3,000 for the first two hours and still P500 per hour for succeeding hours.
The good thing is that the payments you made are consumable.