Sunday morning and it’s officially my 2nd day in Davao. As was planned yesterday, we are to visit the beach where Ate Neth bought a piece of land.
Left Ate Neth’s place around 8:00AM and was fetched by Ate Len and Kuya Ge’s. I really have no idea where exactly we are going. All I know at this time is that we are going to the beach at Vanishing Island.
Ok, me a really a first timer in Mindanao. And me, being bad in names and now, geography… learned that the island we are heading called Samal is indeed in Mindanao after all!
The first ones who hopped in the van (while all the mommies are busy preparing our baons for the whole day.
So how did we get to Samal Island? We should riding a boat, obviously. BUT little that I know that when we ride the boat, we are to bring the van along as well! Cool!
The barge we are to board on.
A part of the Samal Island… view from the barge.
The trip to Samal from the moment we boarded the barge took more or less 10mins. The barge boards buses and commuters heading for Samal too. Once in the island we were first greeted by a few meters of rough road but afterwards road is pleasant and road trip was a breeze.
Road view from the van (I’m a back seater)
Me and the kids enjoying the trip.
And guess what we saw by the road as we head towards Vanishing Island?
Lechon! Photo taken by my apprentice, Isabel.
How they cook it? Pig pinned by a long pole, roasted by rotating it over charcoal.
The delectable product… mouth-watering!
It was known to be a delicacy from Samal. And indeed it was! Back in Bulacan, lechon is usually paired with somewhat a gravy sauce. But here in Samal, it can be paired with just vinegar like the lechon from Cebu are can be eaten as it is… YUM-YUM!
A few more minutes on cemented and dirt roads alike, we reached Brgy. Tambo.
The small boat we are to ride to get to the Vanishing Island. Arrowed: that’s where the Vanishing Island is.
Boarding the boat.
Tambo, Babak District of Samal, where we came from.
Photo Op: Ate Neth, Peng and yours truly.
Kuya Ge, Ate Len and Francis
Ate Ajie and Isabel
The Lovers’ friendster pose… hehehe!
And we are just a few minutes away from the island
The Island with mangroves. And is still ‘vanished’.
The boat ride took about less than 10 minutes. Ate Neth said it was their earliest trip their and perhaps the reason why the sand (or the island itself) is still submerged in sea water when we got there.
It was said that the mangroves growing there specifically grows only in that area. And would you believe, the said island is privately own by I think a rich Chinese family in that area.
See how deep the island is submerged in sea water when we got there.
The group are sitting on the sand.
Seated: Pepay, Ate Neth and Isabel
Anchored boat with Ate Ajie and Peng.
Miss World, Miss Neth Daño… nice pose Ate Neth!
Some parts are swallow. Some are just ankle high when standing. Our mission that time is to collect whole dollar shells. It was my first time to see such species. I was told that usually the live ones are seen beside a starfish. Perhaps they are symbiotic with each other, sort of like partners I guess.
How a dollar shell looked like.
Pepay and Ate Neth, comparing perhaps what they collected so far.
Tell a story about this photo: Ate Ajie seemed to be waiting for someone from the island she’s looking at… or she’s looking back from where she came from because she’s an escapee from that island? Hehehe!
The boatman said that the water will usually subside around 11AM. We didn’t wait for it anymore since all seemed getting hungry and our skin are almost getting burned by the sun.
You know what are our sun shield…
Beach Hut Max and Beach Hut Hair and Scalp!
The group were fascinated by the high SPF Beach Hut Max have (75++). The Hair and Scalp really works, my long hair didn’t tangle nor became frizzy. I am not a usual sun block user but thank God I used it that time, because if I didn’t I guess up until now I won’t be able to type or enjoy the later days of my break.
I should have used it more vigorously to ensure that I won’t get burned. I have a few redness on top of my shoulders 😦
We headed back to the mainland to have a hefty lunch. We looked for a shaded area and spread some mats and enjoyed this:
Packed lunch or is it Brunch. No one had breakfast out of excitement I guess.
Happy Eaters… need I say more.
Fruit Bat Island?
I have been fantasizing that I am Batgirl, Batman’s female counterpart well, since I don’t know when. I was told that we are to visit a “bat cave”. I secretly thought, could this be my initiation as Batgirl? Well, obviously I was over reacting and expected too much from just hearing the word “bat cave”. They isn’t any Bruce Wane or Bat mobile insight of course. Instead, they showed me these:
All those above are just a few shots of bats in the 5 cave entrances to the bat lair all situated in the same place in the same island. All those bats in one area… plus some mommies nurturing to their babies hanging by their tummies upside down too! Nature’s wonders… AMAZING!!!
Close-up of bats…
There were viewing areas from the top of those caves. 4 out of 5 cave entrances seemed to be just holes at the bottom of the rocky terrain we are standing at. Ate Neth said that the family clan that owns the land protected the bats sanctuary for years and later formed an organization with the help of Ate Neth. A well-known scientist on bats came to the Philippines to study these species. They went down in those caves with no gears, no masks and did the researches, measurements, and the like. It was addressed later on by these scientist that the island is hosting the LARGEST fruit bat colony in the world! They even found some new species of phytons and other snakes inside those caves.
Sharing some footages I took from my handy dandy Canon G5.
I wish cam has some special device that can record the smell of the place so you can experience the unique smell of the place… hehehe! The site was amazing but if you have a weak stomach, I don’t think you’d last even just a few minutes near the gave.
Well, so much for my dream of stating, “Folks, to the Batcave!”…
After visiting the 5 bat caves, there was some drizzle on the island. We hanged out for a while on covered areas of the place:
Reminds me of my fave tree… weeping willow. Photo by Isabel.
Hanging out and resting… no bat poop smell here! Photo by Isabel.
Ate Ajie became sleeping beauty after our swimming but awaken even without his prince’s kiss afterwards.
Site from another nicely built covered hall/hut.
Entrance of the bat sanctuary. View from the covered hut.
Rain continued to pour but it didn’t stop us from looking for the (Mangrove-something). Well, actually, it did. The road became muddy and slippery for the van.
An evidence of the rainy and muddy times we drove around Samal island.
Kuya Ge drove back to where we came from. He said we almost went around the Samal island. We somehow just cut along in the middle. Basically, one can manage to go around the island in full circle in a day. That’s how small the island is! But it hold lots of beach resorts that caters both local and foreigners alike.
Oh, being the usual tourist that I am, a proof of where I came from…