The Island Garden City of Samal

7 Sep

Samal Island is one of the more popular destinations when visiting Davao. They boast a number of resorts littered around, but we chose to go for one that hasn’t been ravaged by tourists yet. 

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Chemas By The Sea is a favorite for locals. I’ve been here twice already but this was the first time I got to stay for the night. 

To get there, you contact the numbers indicated in the website so that they can arrange a private boat transfer from the wharf in Waterfront Insular directly to the shores of the resort. The cost for the boat ride is Php 200 per boat. The boat can fit up to 10 people. The trip is only available until 5:00 PM. But there are days that they only accommodate transfers until 3pm. 

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Private wharf in Waterfront Insular for guests of the resort.

In the event that you wouldn’t be able to catch the private boat trip to the resort, you can ride the barge from the Davao Integrated Port. The boat trips are 24/7 and it only costs Php 10 per person.

In Chema’s, we got a Cottage 3 Room that cost Php 4,750.00 per night. They charge an additional Php 800 per person per night. You can pay via their website in advance, or you can also arrange with the owners to pay upon check-in. The owners are very accommodating and they answer all your questions through text, email, or they sometimes even call you. If you want faster transactions, you can directly contact them in the mobile numbers they indicated in their Contacts Page.

The rooms were very romantic and beautiful. I think this resort is perfect for people who want to totally escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You get to immerse completely in nature.

The twin-size bed available in the Cottage 3 villa.

The twin-size bed available in the Cottage 3 villa.

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The place has a rustic charm to it. The place is littered with aztec-inspired decorations. The vines cluttered on the walkways add to the romantic vibe of the whole place. It is especially beautiful at night when they light the little floor lanterns littered around the place.

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I love the swimming pool. It looks like a hidden abode in an enchanted forest. However, during the time that I was there, after swimming in the pool, my friends and me got itches all over our bodies. Maybe, they weren’t able to clean the water the night before or they should probably improve their cleaning standards to avoid these kinds of things.

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We weren’t able to enjoy the beach area that much. The weather did not exactly cooperate and give us the perfect beach weather of sun and blue skies. It was more of a gloomy, cloudy day. We were only able to spend a few minutes there to get a couple of good snaps for the road.

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The beach in the morning though was a sight to kill for. It was the most relaxing part of this trip. Getting to see the sunlight flood beautifully the whole ocean made me even more thankful to God for the opportunity to experience this. The cup of coffee served completed my happy morning.

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The staff were very friendly during our stay. They were attentive and constantly courteous as well.They serve really good food in their restaurant. There weren’t many people eating there though, especially during at night. The guests prefer to eat in their verandas or in their rooms. The food prices were very affordable. You would expect exaggerated rates, but all are fairly cheap and the food is really delicious. I also loved the elegance of the restaurant.

Sinigang Shrimp, Chicharon Bulaklak, and Lechon Kawali for dinner :)

Sinigang Shrimp, Chicharon Bulaklak, and Lechon Kawali for dinner 🙂

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The resort was filled with a lot of instagram-worthy places. We couldn’t stop ourselves from snapping pictures in every niche we could find.

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Perfect place to snap some polaroid shots. I'm glad I brought my Pink Instax Mini :D

Perfect place to snap some polaroid shots. I’m glad I brought my Pink Instax Mini 😀

After spending the night in the resort, we hopped on a motorcycle and did a mini tour of the whole island. The motorcycle charged 500php. It included the ride from Paradise Resort to Farmer’s V Resort and Grill to Hagimit Falls. It might sound expensive but it really is worth the price because the island is huge and our destinations were far from each other. Before the trip starts, the driver would ask for an advanced payment of Php100 for the gasoline.

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The drivers will offer to have three people ride the motorcycle. You can refuse if you feel uncomfortable. Personally, I think the motorcycles are only made to accommodate two passengers at a time. So for safety reasons, I would recommend that you stick to two people per ride.

Our first stop was at Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort. The place was a common favorite for both locals and tourists. It was way more populated than Chema’s. They had more rooms and a bigger space.

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My most favorite part of the trip was our amazing culinary discovery at Farmer’s V Resort and Grill. Our sumptuous lunch brought us to food heaven. And the best part was that it was really inexpensive! Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures of our dishes though. But this place is a must-visit if you’re in Samal Island.

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We then headed to check out Hagimit Falls. It was a long ride from the restaurant, but the good thing was that our expert motorcycle drivers made the whole trip smooth and enjoyable. 

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Photo In Courtesy of: James Bake Masong (IG: jamesbake)

Photo In Courtesy of: James Bake Masong (IG: Jabamm)

Photo in Courtesy of: James Bake Masong (IG: jamesbake)

Photo in Courtesy of: James Bake Masong (IG: jamesbake)

Photo in Courtesy of: James Bake Masong (IG: jamesbake)

When we visited Hagimit Falls, it was on a Sunday. There were so many people that we could barely get a decent shot of the awe-inspiring waterfalls. I wasn’t able to swim too because I found the spot too crowded. I guess it would be better if you visited this place on a weekday so that you could better appreciate this wonder.

What I love about Samal is that amidst the dominance of technology, it is still filled with the beauty of nature. I find this refreshing and humbling. Though, I wasn’t able to explore the history of the island, I feel like the whole place is a reminder of how truly amazing our country is.

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