From a decade of visiting Samal Island and Davao Oriental, photos of beaches, snorkelling, waterfalls and boats. A good article introducing dive spots around Samal can be found here.
The view from our nearest beach across the gulf towards Pena Plata (where we hear that former President Ramos has invested in a large development). Manny Pacquiao (probably the most famous Filipino in the world, right now) has a coastal property somewhere in this vicinity too. This beach is about 10 minutes walk from our land (see the map attached).
Our young explorer sets out into the wide blue yonder.
The shallow incline of the beach means that you can swim with the corals and seahorses while still being safe.
The starfish Protoreaster nodosus is probably the most noticeable creature when first entering the coastal sea.
The blue Linckia laevigata is not as abundant but still easy to find
Thankfully, rarer still is the Crown of Thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) which can swarm and cause mass destruction of corals
Pocilloporidae coral hosting (hard to see at this size photo size) a Dascyllus fish (black with white spots)
More fish swimming amongst the Diploastrea (foreground) and Mushroom Soft Coral (Sarcophyton sp) in the background (left of centre)
A better view of the Mushroom Soft Coral
Commonly known as Brain Coral for obvious reasons (Symphyllia sp)
The explorer swims on to find more fish
Closely related to seahorses, two Ringed Pipefish (Doryhampus sp) attempt to hide in the shadows of the rock (centre of picture)
Amongst others a Sergeant (Abudefduf sp) Damselfish
Literally fun for all the family
Local kids jumping the falls
Father and son cool off in the falls
Ferries to the Pearl Farm resort
The ferries provide a waterpark or playground for local kids when not in use
Tibanga River Pool near San Isidro, Davao Oriental (south of Lupon) is a long way off the beaten track, but a beautiful nature reserve and waterfall used as a field centre by local universities.
Tibanga River Pool
The beach resort south of Mati
The locations of all these sites are shown on the google map