Though it is in Davao Del Norte, Samal can is actually just a 30-minute boat ride, easily reached by boat or RORO vessel originating mostly from Sta Ana and Sasa Wharfs in Davao City.
There are more than 80 beach resorts in Samal Island, ranging from luxury and high-end to affordable and cool like Kaputian Beach Park, maintained by the city.
While visitors will have to shell out P15 for a day trip — P10 entrance fee and P5 environmental fee — there is no corkage for food and drinks.
An open cottage is worth P100 while the “bahay kubo” is pegged at P300.
If you prefer a closed cottage, you will pay P400 for the non-air conditioned rooms. Make it P800 for an air conditioned cottage.
Most of the people we talked to while we’re in Kaputian Beach were either bonding with their families or friends.
Those with extra cash can hire a boat for island hopping. The equally stunning Talicud Island, also under the jurisdiction of the city, can be reached within minutes from Kaputian Beach.
Biyahe ni Drew: The Beautiful Island of Samal
It’s no wonder that there’s a notable increase of tourist going to Samal Island every year. According to Jennifer Cariaga, tourism officer of the city, visitors to Samal grew from 520,000 tourist arrivals in 2013 to 1.3 million arrivals in 2017.
Engr. Darwin Arig, OIC-City Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Samal, said, despite the surge of tourists, the island’s water is still clean as the city has one facility for water treatment across the island.
But the city is looking forward. It wants to strictly implement an old ordinance that prohibits structures very near the sea or structures which are actually in the water.
Most private resorts have their own jetties built many years ago, at the time when Samal was largely inaccessible by land as majority of roads were not yet concretized.
According to Arig, if not addressed, this may result in the degradation of quality of water surrounding the island.
The city also wants to operate centralized ports to cater the incoming and outgoing tourists, now that roads are concreted and the island has become very accessible.
The big challenge now for the city is the willingness of the resort owners to take down their own jetties for the good of the Island Garden City of Samal.
Rocksteddy at Island Garden City of Samal!
Recap video from our gig at Island Garden City of Samal… (yep! I'm suck doing this thing… huhu )
Posted by Ysmael Visuals on Friday, March 9, 2018
Here are some views of Island Garden City Samal:
Source: GMA, Kiwi Bulaclac