Samal Island Day Trip Photo Journal: Bats, Falls, and a Giant Tarpaulin Slide

One of the simple pleasures of living in Davao is its close proximity to many fascinating destinations. There are still many quiet beaches like Isla Reta in Talicud Island which is less than an hour’s ferry ride from the city.  A yearning for some mountain breeze and adventure is easily remedied with an approximately three-hour road trip to Camp Sabros.

But before I got to enjoy the serenity of Isla Reta and the exhilarating adventures of Camp Sabros, I had the chance to play local tourist at the Island Garden City of Samal. Playing tour guide for two friends visiting from Manila gave me an opportunity to do some exploring of my own. It turned out that a day trip at Samal Island can get you to some very interesting places, and on a shoestring budget too.

Leaving Davao City on a Samal-bound bus on board the Roll On, Roll Off (RORO) ferry.
Leaving Davao City on a Samal-bound bus on board the Roll On, Roll Off (RORO) ferry.
We got off the bus earlier than we were supposed to. Thankfully, we found out we were in the town of Babak, which is near the bat cave. There were many habal-habal (motorcycles that carry 3-4 passengers) and the drivers make excellent tour guides as they know the best places to go. We arranged for two habal-habals to bring us to some of them. First stop was at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary (aka Monfort Bat Cave, Bat Cave). This photo shows some of the over 2 million inhabitants of the sanctuary.
We got off the bus earlier than we were supposed to. Thankfully, we found out we were in the town of Babak, which is near the bat cave. There were many habal-habal (motorcycles that carry 3-4 passengers) and the drivers make excellent tour guides as they know the best places to go. We arranged for two habal-habals to bring us to some of them. First stop was at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary (aka Monfort Bat Cave, Bat Cave). This photo shows some of the over 2 million inhabitants of the sanctuary.
The heat emitting from near each of the 6 to 7 cave openings we saw is one of the things you notice apart from the smell and the huge number of bats.
The heat emitting from near each of the 6 to 7 cave openings we saw is one of the things you notice apart from the smell and the huge number of bats.
A number of Old World fruit bats called Geoffroy’s Rousettes at rest. The bat cave is said to span roughly 1,000 feet with several openings that allow visitors to see sights like the one photographed.
A number of Old World fruit bats called Geoffroy’s Rousettes at rest. The bat cave is said to span roughly 1,000 feet with several openings that allow visitors to see sights like the one photographed.
Second stop was at the Hagimit Falls in Penaplata District. This idyllic getaway boasts of a small waterfall that feed natural pools of water ideal for swimming. The atmosphere is so serene and relaxing.
Second stop was at the Hagimit Falls in Penaplata District. This idyllic getaway boasts of a small waterfall that feed natural pools of water ideal for swimming. The atmosphere is so serene and relaxing.
Tranquil place. I imagine spending the night here would give me a most restful sleep.
Tranquil place. I imagine spending the night here would give me a most restful sleep.
Our third and final stop was at Maxima Aqua Fun to try the much-talked about giant tarpaulin slide. Some of the activities they offer are snorkeling, jet skiing, scuba diving, water trampoline, and banana boat ride. But we opted to stick to the unlimited use of the tarpaulin slide especially since all of us haven’t experienced it before.
Our third and final stop was at Maxima Aqua Fun to try the much-talked about giant tarpaulin slide. Some of the activities they offer are snorkeling, jet skiing, scuba diving, water trampoline, and banana boat ride. But we opted to stick to the unlimited use of the tarpaulin slide especially since all of us haven’t experienced it before.
Someone from the resort would actually stand on top one of those yellow contraptions to take photos of guests. Picture-taking is pre-arranged and each photo costs around Php60.00.
Someone from the resort would actually stand on top one of those yellow contraptions to take photos of guests. Picture-taking is pre-arranged and each photo costs around Php60.00.
Flailing about after hitting the water. The slide was worth the trip.
Flailing about after hitting the water. The slide was worth the trip.

Apart from these three places, the habal-habal ride around Samal Island also gave us the chance to enjoy some beautiful sights. It was a whole day well-spent soaking in the sun, fresh and salt water, and the unique smell of bats.

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4 thoughts on “Samal Island Day Trip Photo Journal: Bats, Falls, and a Giant Tarpaulin Slide

  1. I really think this specific article , “Samal Island Day Trip Photo Journal: Bats, Falls, and a Giant Tarpaulin Slide The Heart Locker”, quite enjoyable and
    the post was in fact a great read. Thanks a lot,Chastity

    1. Hi,

      I think each of us spent roughly Php450-500 for the habal-habal. It was more convenient since the driver will just wait for you even if you decide to spend a few hours in one of the resorts you visit.

      Here’s a contact number of the habal-habal driver we met at the Babak wharf 0908.2847752

      Hope this helps 🙂

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