Island Garden City of Samal


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.

Zamboanga Peninsula


Zamboanga Peninsula is an exotic melting pot of ethnic lore, culture and spectacular attractions. Zamboanga Peninsula is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region IX. The region consists of three provinces, namely: Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay, its component cities of Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian, and two independent cities of Isabela and the highly urbanized City of Zamboanga.


Dipolog City (Zamboanga del Norte) is known for its wild orchids and its sardine industry which stems from the rich fishing area off its shores. It is known as the “Gateway to Western Mindanao” through the Western Nautical Highway and has also been called the “Bottled Sardines Capital of the Philippines.”


Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) is also known as the “Shrine City in the Philippines” because the place where Jose Rizal, the National Hero, was exiled. It is also known for the old St. James Parish and the beach resort of Dakak. (c)Photo: Ric Canizares CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


Pagadian City (Zamboanga del Sur) was the center of barter trading among the Malays, Chinese and the local Tausugs, Samals, Subanons and Badjaos in the 13th century. Pagadian City is also known as the “Little Hong Kong of the South” because of its topographical feature that is reminiscent of Hong Kong. It also has an affluent Chinese community that officially celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year. The city of Pagadian is designated as the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula. (c)Photo: jackoss0001 – Pagadian Project


Isabela (Basilan) was the southernmost outpost of the Spanish in the Philippines until the fall of Jolo in 1878. Having hosted Catholic residents since 1637, and a Spanish Fort (destroyed in World War II) since 1848, it was likewise the primary naval base of the Spanish in Mindanao until 1899. Named after Queen Isabella II, the city is the southernmost predominantly Christian enclave of the Philippines, and serves as an entry point for trade and commerce of Basilan island. Isabela City is a component city and capital of the province of Basilan. Isabela City continues be under the jurisdiction of Basilan for the administration of provincially-devolved services and functions. But for the administration of regional services, the city is part of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region despite the rest of Basilan being under the authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (c)Photo: Boarding Gate 101 – Guide to Malamawi Island (a must read article)


The City of Zamboanga is the only highly-urbanized city in the region. The city is the lone member of BIMP-EAGA in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The City holds the title as the second richest city in Mindanao next to Davao City. Zamboanga City holds more than half of the economy of the region. Zamboanga city also has the largest airport and seaport and the only city in the region with most investors. (c)Photo: Wowzamboangacity – MGM, CC BY 3.0

Daily flights to most parts of Zamboanga Peninsula is available.

Lake Sebu


(c)Photo: Lake Sebu by Paolo Tiong on 500px

Lake Sebu, Southern Mindanao’s most precious jewel.

Imagine yourself on top of the mountain while enjoying the scenic views of fresh bodies of water such as the pristine beauty of the lakes, cascade, waterfalls and rivers. Exhilarate yourself with the revitalizing road trip experience along the plains and the mountains. Indulge yourself with the sweet caress of fresh air and hear the warm greetings of the birds.

Lake Sebu brings you close to nature. An unspoilt haven for adventure, nature experience can be fully enjoyed when you engage in variety of exciting escapades. Trek the mountain terrains to reach a sanctuary forest in Lake Sebu known as “3 Kings” and dare yourself to zip with South East Asia’s Highest Zipline.

Exciting activities, fascinating and history with vibrant culture, you’ll find the best Festivals and Events year round.

Lake Sebu is the biggest of the three lakes in the area, the two smaller ones being Lake Seloton and Lake Lahit. Lake Sebu is regarded as a vital watershed that supplies water to Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. Legend has it that Lake Sebu originated from a spring guarded by a mystical frog. They say that a mortal angered the guardian frog and because of this, water continuously poured out of the spring until a lake was formed. Today, tourists can explore the beauty of Lake Sebu and the surrounding area by hiring a motor boat or a traditional T’Boli canoe.

Lake Sebu is known for its majestic Seven Falls, but only the first two falls have been developed for tourists. Adrenaline-seekers can take a zip line from Hikong Alu Falls, the first of the seven falls, all the way to the foot of the second falls. This zip line is hailed as the longest and the highest in the country. Hikong Alu Falls can be reached by habal-habal or motorbike.

Lake Sebu is a natural lake located in the municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and within the Alah Valley region. The Philippine government has recognized it as one of the country’s most important watersheds. Lake Sebu is one of the many bodies of water supplying important irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. The villages around the lake have been turned into an independent municipality called Lake Sebu after being a former village of Surallah.

The Department of Tourism and the local government unit of Lake Sebu has promoted the lake as one of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the municipality. The Mindanao Development Authority is closely coordinating with the DOT in the development and enhancement of Lake Sebu, as it is also identified as one of the priority sites under the BIMP-EAGA Tourism cluster.