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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Samal Island: Our Adventures and Misadventures

Day 2

We checked-out from the hotel the next morning.  We headed to Samal Island along with two other friends. They just arrived in Davao that day so we just met them straight at the port. We left the city at around 11:00 AM.

checking-out :)

We reached Samal after just a few minutes. It's PHP 10 per person to cross via barge. We immediately looked for our resort but we were so displeased with what we found. Aside from the fact that it wasn’t how it looks like in the web pictures, we were treated so poorly by the person in charge. Though the rooms were vacant, he won’t let us check-in! They already have portion of our payment mind you. I told Beau, I don’t like to stay there.  We just left our bags there for a while and had lunch.

When we came back, we told the man we do not intend to stay there anymore. They won’t give us the down payment we deposited. We just let them have it. I really just can’t stay in that trashy place. The man was not even sorry. I've just written a negative review in Trip Advisor. They don't even have a single good review anyway.

the distance between the Davao City and Samal Island

Moving on – our misadventures continued. We rented a trike to help us find another resort. After some three resorts, the trike suddenly got busted. Cool, we were in the middle of nowhere and we suddenly don’t have a ride. How fun was that. We were lucky that after 10 minutes or so, an empty trike passed by. We felt sorry for the other driver, but we have to move on.

It was already 2:00 PM when we checked-in at Fernandez Resort. It was the nicest affordable resort that we found in the area. For my complete review of the resort, click here.

out hut

We just rested for about an hour, then we decided to check out Maxima.

Maxima Aqua Fun and Eagle View Canopy Walk

We made it there at 3:30 PM. They say we can use the water slide until 5:00 so we go for the Canopy Walk first. There were 2 more groups on queue before us. We were the last group they entertained before they closed.

It was exciting but a bit nerve-wracking. Even though, it was just a short one and not very high from the ground, the bridge doesn’t really have side handles. You really have to rely on your harness and the cable tie. Plus, there were already holes on the bridge. Nyay.

walk by faith

I was really focusing on my steps all the time and cursing the person shaking the bridge haha. But it was very fulfilling once you've finished walking it. The tree drop at the end of the Canopy Walk added more thrill.

after the screaming ;)

It was a long way down to the Giant Slide. We never felt tired though because of too much excitement. We felt more delighted upon seeing The Slides.

here we go!

The first time I've heard about this was in the TV show Sports Unlimited. After watching it, I know I want to try it. I'm not afraid of heights, but drowning - yes, because I'm a non-swimmer. To heck with it, I absolutely wanted to try this haha.

1-2-3! swoosh!

The slide we chose was the one further inside. It's a 130 feet slide, whoah! You have to get wet first at the shower, so you'll slide smoothly. Next, you'll be asked to sit on the edge and the assistant there will push you away. Then you'll find yourself sliding and screaming at the top of your lungs hahaha! The slide was too long that halfway through it, I already stopped wailing. The next thing you know you're already plunging to the water and struggling to float upwards. That was wild! :)

after that liberating experience :)

We regretted that we went there late in the afternoon. We weren't able to go snorkeling anymore since it was starting to get dark. Even so, we still had a lot of fun doing the canopy walk and the unlimited slides. We got Package B for PHP 250.00 per pax. If I remember it right, there was an ongoing promo at that time.

Day 3

The next day, we decided to leave the island after lunch. We didn't like how our stay turned out on the first day, so we all decided to go back to the city and just see the other attractions there. We crossed-out the island hopping plan and just went to the falls that morning.

Hagimit Falls

We arrived there early in the morning. We paid PHP 40.00 for the Entrance Fee. It's a 10-15 minute trek down to the waterfalls. We were one of the first guests on that day. We were happy that we were just sharing it with only a few people that time.

one with nature

Hagimit is just a small waterfall with mini swimming pools on each level. We spent an hour and a half enjoying the refreshing cold water. I always, always love bathing in a waterfall. Yes, even in that freezing cold Bomod-Ok Falls in Sagada haha!

"this is awesome!"

They also have cottages that you can rent if you plan to stay longer there. Open Cottages rental is PHP 500 and Close Cottages is PHP 1000.

Fernandez Beach and Garden Resort

When we had our waterfall fix, we headed back to the resort and just enjoyed their facilities on the remaining hours of our stay.

just celebrating life :)

We swam until we get tired and got ourselves some tan. Fortunately, we were blessed with a fantastic weather that day.

After the swimming pool, we went to the beach. It was so calm and soothing. It doesn't have the finest sand, but the shore was very clean and the water so clear.


Then it was time to go. We left the resort exactly on check-out time. We never changed our minds.

so long, Samal!

We never get to see all the attractions in the island. We didn't get to do all the things listed on our itinerary. Maybe we expected too much and it didn't meet our expectations. Maybe it was just a bad time. I don't know. But then, we still enjoyed our very short stay here. Who knows, maybe we'll come back here one day to do our unfinished "business". After that photo, I never looked back.

This is Part 2 of my Davao travel series.

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