Friday, March 10, 2017

Davao del Norte: Around Samal Island by Motorbike

It was the day after Kadayawan Festival 2016, a non-working holiday in Davao City, when we went motorbiking around Samal Island (official name: Island Garden City of Samal or IGACOS). Wanting to make the most out of my temporary work assignment in Davao, I was guided by my cousin and his friends in exploring this paradise down south. That it was my first time to set foot in Samal made me more eager and excited to discover what the island has to offer.

Here's our experience in exploring Samal Island by motorbike...

Hagimit Falls

Hagimit Falls, located in Barangay PeƱaplata, was our first stop during the motorbike tour. Hagimit is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Samal Island. It is comprised of several short cascades along Benoling River.

Entrance to Hagimit is Php40.00 for adults and Php20.00 for children 7 years old and below. A series of concrete steps will lead you to the river and the falls down below.

Cottages and tables are available for rent. There's also a sari-sari store selling snacks and drinks. Since we already bought some food from the Public Market earlier, we just rented a table and some chairs.

After eating our late breakfast, we soaked on the the cold and cascading waters. It was a very refreshing treat to jumpstart our Samal adventures.


From Hagimit Falls we followed the coastal road going south until we reached the Acantilado Cliff. We parked in an open area where there are a few makeshift tables and chairs and a stall selling food and drinks.

The cliff offers a panoramic coastal view. But this is not the main attraction of Acantilado.

Acantilado is actually a spot for cliff jumping. We witnessed two daredevils jump off the cliff with a height of about 40 meters.

None of us are brave enough to take the dare though, so after taking a few photos, we moved on to our next destination.

Tagbaobo Falls

We headed back towards the north direction and then made a right turn upon reaching Barangay Anonang proper. The interior roads were already unpaved and with some hilly portions. Upon reaching Barangay Tagbaobo we asked some locals for directions until we finally made it to Magongawong Falls more popularly known as Tagbaobo Falls.

After paying the entrance fee of we followed the short trail going down to the falls.There were no other tourists around as Tagbaobo Falls is not that known compared to Hagimit.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time here as we had the falls all to ourselves. Of course, we did not let the chance pass without dipping on the cool water as the falls has a shallow but wide basin.

Bamboo poles were also installed as makeshift bench facing the falls and also as safety barrier to the next tier.  

Canibad Beach

From Tagbaobo we traversed the island's interior rough roads heading northwest until we reach the white sand Canibad Beach.It faces mainland Davao del Norte and due to its remote location is less popular compared to the beaches on the opposite side of Samal.

Canibad still has a raw feel, with a few resorts mostly consist of native huts and cottages. It is not that commercialize yet and I love its quiet and rustic ambiance.

The waves were strong but it did not prevented us from enjoying the beach. Along with a few other tourists, we took our time soaking on the rolling waves.

Monfort Bat Colony

After having our fill of waterfalls and beach, our last stop for the day was the Monfort Bat Colony. Located in Barangay Tambo, Babak District, it is only a few kilometers away from the Babak Port.

In 2010, Monfort Bat Cave was officially recognized by the Guinness World Record as the largest single colony of Geoffrey's Rousette fruit bats. Trip Advisor also ranked it as #3 of the Top 9 Attractions of Samal Island.

The bat cave is 75 meter long and its ceilings and walls has been the home of 2.3 million Rousette fruit bats.

Entrance Fee is Php100.00 for adults and Php40.00 for kids 4-15 years of age. The owner, Norma Monfort, fenced the property and hired security guards to protect it from bat hunters. Because of her conservation efforts, she was recognized as a Disney Worlwide Conservation Fund Hero in 2011.

As the sun was already about to set, we went back to the port. We were just in time as the ferry bound for Davao City is already about to depart. Though we were all tired after a day-long exploration, we thouroughly enjoyed it and did have a great time with our Samal Island adventures.

Special thanks to my cousin Ting Echavez and his friends Alvin and Ivan for accompanying me in this awesome island adventure. Until next time guys!

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