Island Garden City of Samal 2010

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL (IGACOS)

Second day in Davao City was decidedly to be spent in the Island Garden City of Samal or IGACOS as it is simply known us. We chose a day tour at Pearl Farm which costs P2,000 per head inclusive of round-trip fare from the Pearl Farm Marina to Pearl Farm Resort and back, buffet lunch, and free use of some amenities. One can reach this blissful island in 30 minutes travel from 3 ferry wharf entry points in Davao City. Pearl Farm however have their own marina so we didn’t have a hard time entering IGACOS. The ferry however is scheduled to leave from the Pearl Farm Marina by 8AM. According to the front desk person I spoke to in Manila, the ferry leaves on time with or without the guests who reserved for that day.

So all 3 of us came hurrying to meet the scheduled departure. We didn’t have breakfast anymore because we woke up late. Just took a bath, dressed up and then off we go. Sheila hailed a cab and I instructed the driver to bring us to Pearl Farm Marina in no time. That was 740AM. One thing I appreciate about Davao City is the flow of traffic. It is not as heavy as Manila. Aside from which there were strategic traffic routes everywhere you go. Davao traffic route I should say was carefully planned. We reached the Pearl Farm Marina buzzer beater style. Upon arrival at the marina, we were asked to fill up their consent/waiver forms and then ushered to the wharf to be met by their ferry train which transports guests exclusively for Pearl Farm Resort.

at the front desk

the wharf

bottled water from Pearl Farm Resort

on board the ferry train

There were several interesting sights along our way to the Pearl Farm Resort. I can’t help but notice how the sun was shining but not enough to give us sunburn, the wind blowing shyly against skin and the guests smile with a hint of excitement clearly seen on their faces. And the star of our ferry trip, this interesting-looking boat that can only be found on the seas of Davao.

IGACOS locale

star of the ferry trip

arrival at Pearl Farm Resort

The ferry trip ended its journey around 9AM at Pearl Farm Resort’s Parola where guests were welcomed with a cold four seasons drink served by the staff. When all the guests alighted the ferry, one of the staff announced that they are conducting a brief multi-media presentation about Pearl Farm Resort. She highlighted the do’s and don’ts of the resort as well as the amenities to use free of charge that came along with our day tour package. I was not fully listening to the presentation because there was something else at the back of my mind. I needed to know where the front desk is so I could talk to them about allowing us through to the back door of the resort. This would actually allow us to enjoy IGACOS further once we’re out of the Pearl Farm Resort grounds. I did however finished the presentation and in a matter of a few seconds, I found myself dashing towards the front desk personnel. I told him that we wanted to check out Samal Island first and be back by lunch time. Good thing he understood me quite perfectly, reached for the waiver form and allowed me to sign it.

And while I was trying to negotiate and pay our dues to the front desk personnel, Janyl and Sheila decided to lounge around the infinity pool area and nearby sights; they decided to take some shots. Can you imagine that, without me? But the shots turned out to be amazing as these.

during the orientation

by the infinity pool

view of the infinity pool

the resort's boutique

the stairs

by the pool

took a photo of me when I arrived

and this

We were then ushered through Pearl Farm’s back door, allowing ourselves out of Pearl Farm’s keeping. I saw several motorcycle drivers parked outside so we decided to talk to one of them. We told him that we wanted to go to Maxima Aquafun then Hagimit Falls. He charged P500 for all 3 of us to ride in one motorcycle. At first I can’t imagine how we’d do it but this is how we did it.

the motorcycle ride

On our way to Hagimit Falls, the driver yet again offered us a deal we can’t resist. For an additional P500 he would bring us to Monfort Bat Cave! There’s really no other choice but to go for it. I would not let this opportunity pass since I’m already in Samal Island. And so all 4 of us, in one motorcycle trudged through rough roads and cemented highways to reach Monfort Bat Cave in about an hour of travel from Pearl Farm’s back door. Good thing we brought along the towels provided for by the resort otherwise Sheila won’t be able to make it through at that kind of position. With cool winds blowing in our faces, the sun peeping shyly through the clouds, it was one hell of a ride I should say!

TO THE BAT CAVE…

The sight of the entrance gave me quite a relief from the maddening tremors of the motorcycle. I can still feel the engine’s vibration at the back of my legs even after hailing off. And my back ached! That however didn’t stopped our spirits from taking a good look at the Monfort fruit bats. We paid the entrance fee of P30 per head and went inside. A small girl served as our guide who ushered us to a small pavilion. She gave a brief orientation on what not’s while looking at the bats. After about 10 minutes we found ourselves trudging through the soft earthy path going to the underground caves. I can smell the bats’ manure from afar, that’s when I realized how big their population is. The bats I meant!

at the entrance

at the pavilion

bats do sleep!

they look so creepy

this is the closest I can get

deeper into one of the caves

i lost count already

another angle

surrounded by fence

one of the views around the area

soft earth stuck on my slippers

There were 4 underground caves that housed the Monfort fruit bats. And it gave me the shivers all the time I peep into the holes. I felt the power of the populace when they move altogether. I can only imagine myself being useless once swarmed by 2 million bats. But since they are herbivores, being swarmed by the bats would be a far flung idea. What made us actually run from the caves was the overwhelming bat manure stench that seemed to suffocate us the whole time. I’m not sure of the immediate effects of inhaling the manure let alone the long term. After about 30 minutes,  I signaled Janyl and Sheila that it’s about time to take off. Time stamp then was 11:30AM. All 3 of us met at the pavilion. We agreed to skip the trip to Maxima Aquafun and Hagimit Falls because we were starving. The rest of the day will be spent lounging at the resort.

The road back to Pearl Farm resort was a bit more relaxing, getting used to the motor’s vibrations takes time. It was then that I was able to master the art of keeping my balance while taking pictures. So here are what we saw on our way back.

highway star

public market

along the highway

rough roads

stop over

a closer look

kids

We were dropped at Pearl Farm’s back door by our driver. I paid him P1000 for the trip and thanked him for keeping us safe. The other 2 companions of mine started their way back to the resort, I bet they’re already hungry and tired from the trip. The rest of the afternoon was then spent at the resort.

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