The Island Garden City of Samal is a part of the Metropolitan Davao area and is located two kilometers away from Davao City. To reach the island, transportation is available via a barge/ferry service or passenger boats along the Sasa Wharf. The modes of transportation on the island are tricycles or trikes, bus and private car services offered by resorts.
The Island Garden City of Samal is the largest resort city of the Philippines. The city has good beaches and houses many beach resorts, such as Kaputian Resort, Pearl Farm, Paradise Island, and many more. It has also numerous marine reefs and tranquil waters that lure the tourists to visit them. Because of these, the Department of Tourism named it one of the best visiting islands in Mindanao and now the fastest growing tourist destination in the country. Thus, tourism is the main source of income in the city. Biggest taxes are imposed to tourism and resort industry.
Beach resorts and hotels abound in the western coast of Samal Island. Some resorts and hotels have complete amenities. The rates are reasonable. Laze around, relax, and enjoy the sun, the fresh air, and the sea. For sun-loving people, Samal Island is a real paradise. And for those that are on a tight budget or backpackers, save a lot by opting to camp out instead of renting a cottage house. Resorts and hotels charge a very minimal amount for those that are hardy enough to camp out in the open.
The name Samal was derived from the word (sama), the tribe of the natives who are the first inhabitants of the Island. People used the word Samal because of the Visayans who miscalled the word Sama. The first datu in the island was Datu Taganiyug, a native of Peñaplata, Samal. In the past, the people of Samal name a place about what was the said place known for. For example, the name Peñaplata was derived from the word “piña” or pineapple because of the abundance of pineapple in the area. This, however, is folk etymology as peñaplata literally means “rock of silver” in Spanish. Tagpopongan is the first barangay in Samal which name was from the word “tagpo” or meet. It was called so because in the past, this place is chosen by the datus as their meeting place. The word Samal was also known before because it was commonly used as surname by datus. Abu is the national costume of Samal long time ago. The first business transaction in the island was during the Chinese era. Spanish influence was also felt in the island.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Fly direct to Davao City. Going to Samal Island from Davao City, take any of the established entry points:
Sta. Ana Wharf
Near Magsaysay Park, downtown area, where motorboats are available to ferry passengers directly to Kaputian and Talikud Island.
Sasa, Km 11 Wharf
Motorboats are available to ferry passengers direct to Babak wharf.