Samal Island Guidebook {5}

Samal Island Guide

I’m very pleased to announce the latest addition to the Journey to Samal Shop (shop closed, post left for info), the Samal Island Guidebook. This is an item that I’ve been wanting to offer for a very long time, but I was never able to arrange it until now.

Without a doubt this is the definitive guide to Samal Island. Hey, it may be the only guide that exists, as far as I know, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of the praise. This is a well done publication by Samal Publishing House, of Davao and Samal. The 116 full color pages include:
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Recommended Samal Island Resorts {15}

Samal Island Welcome

As I stated in a previous article, one of the most common requests I get, both from the comments and from email, are for Samal Island Resorts recommendations. The criteria for choosing a resort on Samal remain the same, but after our recent visit I now feel that I have a few that I can give my endorsement to, assuming they meet your needs for location, size, function, etc.
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Taking Off the Rose Colored Glasses {7}

As much as I’ve been trying to put off writing this article, I guess I better get it done as the comments seem to be heading more and more in this direction. I just want to state up front that I love Samal Island, and I feel that I’ve been a very strong ambassador for the island ever since I started this blog. Since that time I’ve also learned that if you say anything negative about Samal, you had better beware because someone is going to take it very personally. I don’t wish to offend anyone with my comments here, but I feel I need to be honest, and not mislead.
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ONB Samal Island {2}

ONB branch Samal Isalnd

I had posted an article awhile back regarding the opening of an ONB Bank on Samal Island. I was really glad to hear about that, because as far as I know there are no ATM machines on Samal, and the ONB branch was to include that.

Well I’m happy to report that ONB (One Network Bank) did in fact open a branch on Samal. It opened up a little over a month ago, about a week prior to our visit there. Thanks, that was convenient ;-) It does include the noted ATM machine, but unfortunately I was unable to get it to work for me. I believe the problem I encountered had to do with my credit card, as I had difficulties with it elsewhere during the trip.
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Camp Holiday Resort & Recreation Area {12}

Camp Holiday Resort

The Camp Holiday Resort & Recreation Area is one of the newer resort complexes on Samal Island. Located directly off the Samal Ferry Wharf, it is situated in as convenient an area as you will find on the island.

I had the opportunity to spend a few days there late last year. I wish I had written this article sooner, as my memory would be fresher of all the details, but suffice to say that I was pleased with my stay and have given the Camp Holiday Resort a recommendation, providing this the the kind of resort you are looking for.
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Precious Garden of Samal {8}

One of the surprises I encountered during my visit to Samal Island recently was the Precious Garden of Samal. I had planned to drop by there to try their pizza and coffee, and if schedules were to work out, meet the owner. I’ve had a few online communications with Uli Kronberg prior to this trip to the Philippines, and I knew he was a busy guy. The Samal Island Guidebook is one of his many projects. I was thankful that we were able to catch up with each other and I enjoyed learning more about his many ventures, including this resort that he has been building for his wife.

As I said, I was surprised because I was expecting perhaps a decent pizza or meal, but I wasn’t aware of all that Precious Garden entailed. Not only was the pizza more than decent, it was excellent by any standards, the coffee was also top notch. The pizza is made in a wood fired brick oven and well worth the effort to get there to try it.
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Paradise Island Resort {8}

Paradise Island Beach Resort

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort is a linchpin of Samal Island Resorts. Long known for its white sandy beaches and brilliant blue waters, it has grown into a full fledged entertainment destination. Located in Calilic, Babak, Paradise Island is just a short boat or ferry ride from Davao to the resort park.
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The History of Samal Island {17}


In the early Spanish regime, during the reign of Don Jose Uyanguren of Davao City , a certain Island within the DAVAO Gulf was named “ SAMAL” in recognition to the settlers who migrated from Jolo and Basilan called the “ISLAMIC TRIBAL GROUP” or “ ISAMAL” . Most of the settlers lived along the coastal areas and only few in the hinter lands. Their daily primitive way of acquiring foods is through fishing, farming, and hunting within the vicinity.

The island was created into a municipality named as “ Municipality of Samal” and Barrio Peñaplata was the center for commercial economic and government operation. At that time , the municipal councilors of Samal found its concept of local autonomy and effective delivery of services. They therefore decided to create another municipality in order to be effective and autonomous in governance. Mayor Simplicio Obenza , Sr. made his iniative to the speedy creation of two municipalities.

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