The other day, I set out to go to Samal Island. I was excited to go, because it had been a while since I had gone to Samal, so this was indeed a journey for me! For regular readers, you will likely remember that I used to write relatively often about Samal and the time I would spend there. In the past year or so, though, I have not written much about Samal.
Life gets busy sometimes, and other activities get in the way of what we really want to do. Sometimes we let work get the better of us, and we spend our entire days behind a desk, and in front of a computer… or whatever it is your job requires of you. For me, working means being here at my desk with a keyboard under my fingertips. I enjoy what I do, but if I do it too much, I guess I lose touch with what is more important to me.
So, on Monday, Feyma and my Anniversary Day, 20 Years of married life, we decided to set out for Samal Island. It had been a long time since I had journeyed to Samal, although Feyma goes over fairly regularly still. I honestly could not remember how long it had been for me since my last trek to Samal Island. As I thought about it, I guess it was at least a year since I had set foot on the Island, which is about 10 minutes boat ride from Davao City, where I live.
So close, yet so far away.
Yes, just 10 minutes away on the boat, but when you are on Samal you feel so far away from the hustle and bustle of the City life. It is like you are stepping back in time. Things are more relaxed. Less frantic. More friendly. Less City. I like it. I had forgotten how much I liked it.
Basically, on our Anniversary, we wanted to just get away from the daily life and romp around the island a bit. Feyma and I own a piece of land there, nearly 1,000 square meters. It is up on a hilltop, overlooking Davao City, straight across from the Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City’s finest hotel. The view from our place is spectacular, and I missed seeing it. We wanted to drive around to familiar spots on the Island and check it out. Feyma told me to expect changes, I just wasn’t sure how much things would have changed.
Our first goal was to head to Limao, the Barangay where our land is located. As we drove from the Ferry landing, near Babak, south to Limao, it struck me that the roads had sure gotten bad in the time of my absence! It didn’t help that it had rained quite heavily throughout Sunday night, before our Monday morning visit. The roads were very muddy, lots of potholes and lots of puddles along the way. As we approached a new resort community development, Playa Azelea, the roads were like a mud pie. I was convinced that we were going to get stuck, but luckily we made it through. Playa Azelea, the coming resort community is located right in front of our land, down the hill at the bottom near the Davao Gulf. Things had progressed there, although not as quickly as I had expected them to.
When we turned off of the coastal road and headed up the hill to our property, the road quickly improved, and I felt more at ease on a dry and more rocky road. No way we would be stuck here! When we got to the area where our land is, I was really pleasantly surprised. A lot of clearing of tall grasses and small trees had been done in the area, and the views from there were the best I had ever seen. A lot of lots in the area that never had a view previously had spectacular views now! Wow! Beautiful!
After leaving our place, we headed further south to Penaplata, on the central east coast of the Island. Things looked pretty much the same, so we headed back toward Babak on the interior paved road. Still a smooth highway all the way to Babak, paved all the way, and a fast drive! Well, at least I drive fast on that road. Along the way, I was driving very fast, probably faster than I should, and I passed a SUV type vehicle. Upon passing him, I saw big red letters written on the front of the vehicle “POLICE”. I chuckled and mentioned to Feyma that it was a Police vehicle that I had just passed. I must have been going at least twice his speed, maybe more. I told Feyma, if we were in the States, I’d be hearing sirens now, but we are int he Philippines where it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t get in an accident! What a life!
After arriving in Babak, we headed further north, although on dirt roads again, to Holiday Ocean View, a high end development being put up by the Bongayan family. They will have a housing neighborhood, a hotel (I believe), a day spa area, and they have already completed Mindanao’s first Marina. Beautiful! Things are moving ahead nicely at Holiday Ocean View, and I was impressed. There is one house which appears to be completed in the housing area. I am not sure if it is a model home, or an already occupied house, either way, it was quite nice looking. It’s nice to see development moving forward so quickly on the Island!
When we started heading toward the Island in the morning, we were sitting at the Davao side of the Ferry terminal, and I noticed a sign there for Phoenix Gas Station. It said that they already had a location at Samal, and that the price was the same as in the City! I was surprised, because usually Gas is more expensive at the few Gas Stations on the Island, due, I presume to transportation costs. When we got to the Island, I was surprised that the new Phoenix station included a Central Convenience Store too, and was located right at the Samal side of the Ferry Terminal. Very nice, I was impressed by it.
There are so many new projects going up on the Island. It does make me wonder how much longer it will be a slow pace of life on the Island. It just seems that maybe the City is moving across the water right now. I hope not, and I expect that the people of Samal will protect against that as long as possible.
My journey to Samal was a good one. I’m not waiting a year to go back this time! I can remember the time, just a few years ago when I would go to Samal 4 or 5 times per week, every week! I want to commit to getting over there at least once per month in the future! I need to recharge my batteries, and that’s a nice place to do it. I deserve it, I think!