Samal Island is part of the province Davao del Norte. It is just a 10-15 minutes ride from Davao City via ferry boat.
We had Kuya Gary and Kuya Justin arranged a transfer for us so we could arrive early at Davao since we are meeting one of our friend at Sasa port by 10:00 am. They offered us a private van that will fetch us Oasis Rest House and will take us directly to the port where we can ride a RoRo to Samal Island for P5,000.
We left early that morning (4:00AM); sun is still not showing up and fog is everywhere since it’s a bit rainy that morning. We were not able to grab breakfast before leaving because we are in a hurry so we decided to grab breakfast on our way back to Davao.
Around 10:00Am, we arrived at Km. 11 Sasa Port in Davao City. We paid P10 for the ferry ride. No need to wait for scheduled trips since ferry left every 5 minutes.
Before leaving Manila, we have pre-arranged everything to save time contacting and booking tours. We booked Kuya Manuel (contact details below) who will fetch us at Samal Port and will take us to La Vida Bread and Breakfast (contact details below).
It took us about 10-15 minutes via habal-habal from port to our La Vida. It was a cozy place to stay; a spacious garden, open kitchen and entertainment area, and accommodating staffs. We are allowed to check-in early so we can start our inland tour.
We officially started our inland tour at 11:30pm. Kuya Manuel and the rest of the team fetch us at La Vida and take us to the public market where we had our lunch on one of the carenderia in the area. We spent P50-P60 each per meal; not bad if you’re on a budget.
Right after lunch, we headed to Mt. Puting Bato; our first mountain hike happens to be in Samal. We have to get off the habal-habal several times and walk uphill instead because of the road. You can visit my vlog for a detailed look of the road to Mt. Puting Bato (I will be uploading the video very soon).
Mt. Puting Bato
From the market where we ate lunch, it was a 10-20 minutes habal-habal drive to reach the foot of Mt. Puting Bato.
We hiked a few steep up to the mountain’s foot and we almost gave up. We wanted to reject the whole idea of reaching the summit but our guides never listen on all our sentiments so we ended up reaching the foot.
The real uphill hike starts with a steep pathway to the middle of a mountain. No interesting sites to see along the way but different types of grass and trees surrounding the area. According to our guide, it’s the easiest trail for first-timers but I couldn’t agree with him. Right in the middle of the trail, I can no longer feel my legs and I wanted to give up and just wait for the team to go down after reaching the top.
Soon enough we have reached the peak and truly the view is worth it. The air is so fresh; the ones manileños missed.
(Pathway to the peak)
Now, I can understand why there are a lot of mountaineering enthusiasts; simply because you’ll be able to see the whole view from above – from the city lights to the ocean.
(Finally now 1755 ft above sea level)
Entrance Fee: P40.00 (unlimited time)
Hagimit falls is located in Penaplata. Hagimit trees served as shades in the whole area thus the falls is named after it. It’s composed not only of one but several falls with cold blue-green waters. I was just saddened that according to our guide, it was a beautiful and relaxing place 5 years ago. But due to rising rate of tourists visiting the place, it was abused and a lot of its facilities are not maintained – bridges collapsed, garbage over the place, and the water is not as pristine as before.
Nevertheless, it’s one of the most visited spot in Samal because the local government has maintained the natural formations of the rocks and the falls; plus the coldness of the water is inviting.
Before leaving, we have a light snack famous to the locals – ginanggang (my favorite)! It’s a Saba grilled in charcoal, dipped in butter (margarine) and sugar for only P10.
Since it’s already late in the afternoon, we asked our guides to take us back to the marker (it closes at 6PM) to buy fresh food and have it cook at La Vida. We even bought Durian for dinner.
After a few bottle of beers we called it a day since we will be early for tomorrow’s island hopping adventure.
Kuya Manuel: 09350180022
La Vida Bread and Breakfast (Sir Niño): https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/21163367