Davao City viewed from Samal Island across Pakiputan Strait

Samal Island across Davao City is more popularly known for its beach resorts and dive sites. The island, however, offers more than just white sand beaches.

The Island Garden City of Samal (it’s a city and that’s the official name!) is bestowed with a lot of other beautiful natural resources, such as the Monfort Bat Colony, natural caves as well as enchanting waterfalls.

We got to visit the Hagimit Falls located at Brgy. Cawag, Peñaplata (a city district), about 2 kilometers away from Peñaplata proper.

Hagimit Falls is actually a series of small falls and ponds in its natural setting, scattered wide over a large forested area, with small natural pools and cascading waters all around. It is a haven for nature lovers, campers and picnickers – a great place to take a refreshing waterfalls “shower,” a dip in its very cool waters in a rainforest setting.

Since it covers a wide area privately owned by several families, the resulting “development” initiatives over the years have turned the place into a hodge-podge of huts, cottages, canteens and what-have-you. In fairness to the original owners, they have tried their best to preserve the natural settings, albeit the concrete mini dams and other old-fashioned, concrete structures built decades earlier can stand some renovation and face-lifts to make them blend more with the natural surroundings.

Still, if you come early, ahead of other campers and picnickers, you can go survey around and explore the wide expanse and find a private, undeveloped nook all to yourself.

And therein have a serious commune with nature…

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For more information, contact Leyte Gulf Travel & Tours:

(053)321-7966; (053)523-7966; email: leytegulf@callezaragosa.com

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This is a long overdue post, I beg for your indulgence, something overtaken by more pressing, newsy events on the home front as what happens during the month of June which is fiesta time in Tacloban City.

This post, however, is timeless and is certainly something currently existing as shown in the photos here.

The Monfort Bat Colony, located in the Monfort Cave in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte was certified by the Guinness World Records in 2006 as the largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat (scientific name: Rousetteus amplexicaudatus).

An estimate made by the Bat Conservation International in 2006 put the population of fruit bats in the Monfort Cave at approximately 1.8 million. It has grown since then.

I hasten to add as a forewarning, though, that getting close to the caves and the bats is something not for the faint of heart, not due to anything scary or something, but due to the overwhelming stench and odor of the bat’s guano (waste). I hope it is being put to good use; it’s been called the “King of Fertilizers.”

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