Thursday, April 11, 2013

Side Trip | Samal Island Adventure

From January 17 to 28, I went to Mindanao to celebrate my 21st year. I scaled some of the highest mountains in the country, visited an island and explored its wonders, stayed in some cities and discovered how each differs from my hometown, Manila. It was a 12-day long journey - fun, exciting and crazy.

Summary discussed in this link: Mindanao Mountain Madness

Who wouldn't want a beach side trip after an arduous 4-day climb? As soon as our team completed Mt. Talomo-Apo Megatraverse, we headed straight to Samal Island. It's time to hear the plea of our achy legs and feet for some relaxing activities.

This post narrates our side trip to Samal Island.  


Day 5 - January 21, 2013

Day 5 of my Mindanao Adventure, after welcoming my 21st birthday on a roadside at Kidapawan City, we traveled back to Davao City to catch the first ferry trip to Samal Island. A day on this island would be perfect to celebrate both the success of our megatraverse and, of course, my 21st year.

From Sasa Port in Davao City, it only took about 10 to 15 minutes for us to reach Samal Island. Nagulat ako dahil napakabilis lang ng byahe.. kaya pala P10 lang ang pamasahe namin.

at the port, filling up the manifest.
P10 lang ang pamasahe, ang saya.

The Island Garden City of Samal or IGaCOS is the usual after-climb retreat for all the hikers who dared to challenge the greatness of Mt. Apo. This 2nd class city of the province of Davao del Norte offers great destinations to all kinds of visitors. They have Puting Bato mountain for hikers, Talicud Island for divers, Monfort bat cave for nature trippers... for more info, please visit their site.
As for our team, who seemed to have had enough of hiking, all we wanted was a place to relax and unwind. Among the beach resorts that line the coast of the island, our feet brought us to Sunset Beach Resort about 2 kms from the wharf. There, we were welcomed and accommodated greatly by Ms. Nikki, owner of Jet Wave Sports in the area. I would personally recommend their place because what we've experienced with them during our stay was purely fantastic.

a nice beach fronting the resort.
For 4 days, we had no bath, no 'real' food, no good sleep... hence, these three things were our top priority the moment we settled on Sunset Beach Resort, not the beach. Aside from that, we also have muddy and damp clothes that seriously need washing.

so we washed all of our muddy items
and turned the resort into a big drying rack.
halos bawat sulok ng bahay may nakasampay.
Then after washing and taking a good bath, we had a very scrumptious lunch by the beach. Pinaka masarap na kainan after 4 days. yum!
simot ang manok!
Nikki, the very accommodating resort owner, made sure that our stay in Samal Island would be worth while. After we had lunch, she invited us for a tour around the island.

She drove us around and served as our tour guide. Our first stop - Hagimit Falls. Like many natural parks around the country, this too fell victim to development. It would've been much better if its natural beauty was preserved. I really am not a fan of developments destroying natural beauty. Though the park was still very good to spend time hanging out and have picnic.

it just rained, that's why the water is murky. According to our guiide, Hagimit Falls can be so clear if the weather was perfect.
We then went to the City Hall to meet tourism officers. Again, we were welcomed so warmly. Sa totoo lang mas nagugustuhan ko yung pakikitungo ng mga tao samin kesa sa mga lugar na pinuntahan namin.

Samal Island City Hall
we spent some time inside the tourism office para magpalamig sa aircon to ask some bits of info about the beauty of Samal Island. We had a good time talking with them.
Monfort Bat Cave would've been our second stop only if we just arrived in time. It was already past 5 PM when we reached the place, the park closes at 5 PM. We saw the caretaker still around and lurking, so we pleaded to her hoping that she would reconsider and allow as to enter and have a glance at least, but nay, our plead did not work on her sternness.

too bad we were not able to see the island's pride. Just so you know, Monfort Bat Cave holds world record of being the largest bat colony.
Oh well, our dismay brought us back to town and just obeyed our cravings. Food trip time from 5:45 until 6:30 PM.

cheap local mangoes!
cheap local mangosteen!
and grilled foodies! dabest ang isaw at balun-balunan.. yum yum!
photo with Nikki (wearing white), our favorite local guide.
Before the day ended, once again, we celebrated the success of our climb over a sumptuous dinner. Sinigang with lots of gabi (and luya?!), well still it tastes good. And by the way, there was a surprise birthday cake (this time totoong cake na) for me, big thanks to sir RJ.   

Our day at IGaCOS, though quite too short, was still worth it. What we had in this island was just a tip of an iceberg, certainly there is more to see, to feel, and to experience. I would definitely be back for more.

Follow the story here: En Route to D2K | Pasalubong, Food Trip and Bus Ride


  1. we miss this place! samal's kaputian beach and isla reta really blew us away.

  2. i thought samal would only offer white beach and pristine water, meron pa palang ibang pwedeng puntahan. love to see that waterfalls someday.

  3. You may also consider to RENT well maintained MOTORCYCLE/S and explore this beautiful island.

    Please visit or

  4. Nice picture of the sea with a rainbow. Samal Island is really awesome. Went to visit the Samal Camp park and enjoyed too.



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