Water, water everywhere

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

Hagimit Falls

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


4 thoughts on “Water, water everywhere

  1. Bahay Kubo,

    We recently purchaced a piece of property in Del Monte area,Samal. There is no water yet. I am wondering if you could give us ideas how to get water connected or maybe having a water well drilled. I s there anybody who can drill a water well in the Island? I found out that the land consist of hard corals. Thank you so much

    • We were over in Del Monte about two weeks ago collecting lumber for our project. It’s high ground (like ours) and I don’t know how deep the water table lies there. I had hoped to drill for water at our place, but local wisdom was that the water table is very deep and costly to drill to. I understand that there are drillers on the island, but haven’t contacted them. I suggest rainwater capture from your roof. There’s plenty of rain and a PE tank of 600L or so is around P6000. Although we are connected to the adjacent water tower, there are enough ‘brown outs’ for us to have already invested in a large PE tank. Next time you’re over, contact us and maybe we can help.

  2. Bahay Kubo,

    Thank you for the response. If you don’t mind, may I ask if you live there in Samal all year round? My whole family just came back home last June from the PI.We stayed at Ilihan beach for 3 days.That is when we were able to find that place in Del Monte. We fall in love with the place right away. I s a little remote for us but I think it will be very nice just to get away from the noice of the city. I would like to have some few goats and few chicken someday when we retire there. Animals will keep me busy. I can’t wait. I hope that the water supply will not be an issue someday. What is PE? Sorry to ask…I am not familiar with the term. Thank you.

    • We moved here permanently mid- last December, so almost a whole year. We had a few goats, but then moved on to pigs – goats keep you too busy with their escape mentality. PE is poly-ethlene (as opposed to the chrome plated tanks you see around Davao advertised as ‘stainless steel’. We were warned off those by people who had bought them and then watched them corrode before their eyes. PE is used in the western water supply industry is supposed to be very safe. I worked in the water industry in the UK and NZ, so I believe it to be true. Contact us the next time you are over – we’re much closer to Del Monte than Ilihan, but we don’t front the beach. Quiet, though!

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