This activity was what I was looking forward to when Jojo and I made this trip to the Garden City of Samal.
As we are staying in Hof Gorei, we were literally left with no choice but to book for this from our resort, and I'm glad that we did! Walked on the plank (actually a long, floating jetty) and boarded a small boat by mid-morning..
.. and off we went for the island hopping adventure!
Because Jojo do not understand the local dialect and I can only converse in simple ways, for the first part, we were completely oblivious where we were headed to. 30 minutes later, we saw this white sand beach resort and was expecting to alight in this area.
Our boat parked beside the resort. The boatmen stopped just to pick up gasoline and this is not actually where we are going for a swim. Bad!
After refilling, we crossed the water and went to another island. An hour more later and we saw again another beautiful white sand beach resort. This time, it's our actual destination.
On the left side of the beach is a secluded area, with a few boats and a Havaianas banner.
Right beside it is a big boat carrying a large group of passengers.
Further right is where we stopped, a side where no other guests are staying or swimming.
The name of the place is Babu Santa beach, located in Talikud Island. A picturesque view of the place can be seen wherever you look. Perfect place for laying back and relaxation as well as people-watching.
man cleaning the shores
"Welcome to Babu Santa Beach Resort"
On the other side of the place are huts and cottages. Families and friends bring and cook their own food here for a picnic-style get together.
unobstructed view of the sea
Lunch is included in our island-hopping activity. I saw the chairs and utensils with us on the boat but little did I know that it will be served at the beach side, complete with glasses, china and silverware. It was a complete table setup waiting for us, with our tour guide turned waiter!
And we started digging in for our lunch - grilled chicken, pork ribs barbecue and milkfish stuffed with onions and tomatoes. There were also mango, watermelon, melon and pineapple slices.
Stayed in Babu Santa for only a couple of hours and went for snorkelling, right after lunch. Shown here is Jojo with our guide on the right holding to a lifesaver for safety purposes.
As usual I stayed on the boat but since the water is so clear, I can literally see everything below from the boat up to meters away.
Check-out time was 3:00PM and since our resort is still a little over an hour away, we headed back immediately after snorkelling. On our way, we again passed by a number of strange-looking fishing boats.
There were also floating huts (or are these houses).
As we checked out of the resort, we headed back again to Davao City to catch our flight later that night. Since the sun was still up and we are still have a few minutes time, we checked out Ramon Magsaysay Park, which is beside the Sta. Ana pier, for few photos.
around the park
Across the park is Chinatown. However, we do not have much time left and we plan to eat early dinner so we didn't explore the place anymore.
Jojo has mentioned a number of times this restaurant that he wanted to eat at and since we're there already, we decided to drop by Ah Fat, a chinese seafood restaurant near Victoria Plaza.
inside the restaurant
Ordered for crispy chicken and steamed lapu-lapu fish. When asked how we want our fish, live or frozen, Jojo said to the waiter "cooked". Of course, since we're there already, we wanted to get the fresh one and opted for a live one. This fish tastes "sweeter" when fresh.
We headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Manila thereafter. It was bad enough to know that the departure was delayed for over an hour but its worse that in the middle of the flight we have to be diverted to Cebu and stay inside the plane for 3 hours inland because of a plane stuck at the runway in Manila airport.
I wish I had gone to Samal City and the surrounding islands a couple of years back when I was in the city. I didn't know these places are very accessible and trust me, pictures do not do justice in telling how beautiful the place is - you need to be there yourself!