Davao and Samal Island

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Nov 23, 2011

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Flag of Philippines  , Mindanao,
Sunday, November 20, 2011



Day 49

I woke up early and headed to the ferry to go to Samal Island. This is the last island I will go to on this trip. It is kind of funny how things change from island to island. Each ferry has been totally different. Some are passengers only, some are mixed, some are slow, some are fast. This ferry was only 15 minutes, so that was nice. This was a trip only permitted by bus and car. There were no walk on passengers welcome. I went to a hotel first called Punta Del Sol. After looking at the place, it wasn't what we were looking for. There was no cable, no internet and not really good snorkeling nearby. I asked how much for a boat trip to good snorkeling and they wanted nearly $150. I told them I snorkeled in the Maldives for nearly of that and also swam with dolphins in Hawaii for less than that and Hawaii is way nicer, so I gave this place a miss and went on the road about 5 more KM and stayed at a place called Bluewater Resort. It was nicer. I had a room with our own balcony and dinner table. You can look out to the out door swimming pool and ocean beyond that from our balcony. Each of these island has been way different. Camiguin was more tropical and volcanic. Siargao was quiet and more for surfing. Samal is less developed. There really is not a whole lot to do here except relax. The beach is on the resort, but not much to do. The food was alright. The staff was great.


Day 50

Happy Birthday to my Mom!! She's 51 toady and I can't use the internet because there is none on the island, but tomorrow here will still be her birthday in USA, so I'll be able to call tomorrow hopefully. We got to sleep in today. The bed was really soft. I watched the bad news on TV for a while. I did some snorkeling, but it was not so nice. I saw a few star fishes and other small fish, but nothing too exciting. There is supposed to be some pink corals off the island somewhere with some nice fish, but you have to take a boat there and it wasn't a reasonable price, so I didn't go. These islands are really nice here. It is kind of the first real taste of romance I've had where I can sit back and relax and eat in a really nice place. Maybe I”m getting older and can finally not go go go all day. I'm also starting to realize that I can enjoy the island a bit more. The world has 75% water, so no matter how many beaches I see in my life, I'll never run out of islands or beaches to see. I really wouldn't put Samal Island high up on the list of places to go in Philippines. It was just another island with not so great snorkeling, not so great waves, but was quiet and good place to stay. I took a night swim in the pool and didn't go inside until the moon came out. The moon reflected off the ocean and you can also see the city lights from Davao here. Davao is only a 5 minute boat ride from where our hotel is.


Day 51

Today was a pretty crazy day. I told Nel's sister's that I would let them stay with me for a few nights because they live in Mindanao, which is the most dangerous part of the Philippines. I figured that the more locals I was with, the better off I was. My plans changed several times on this trip. I was going to do more cities and countryside, but decided I didn't like it, so I sped up my trip and went to more islands instead. Samal Island would not allow Nel's sister's to stay in our room due to standard operating procedure. I rented an extra hotel room for them in Davao at a place called Ponce Suites. Ponce Suites was unreal. Not a luxury hotel, but one of the most unique hotels I've ever stayed at. It's owned by a famous artist and every single space on the wall is covered with art and good artwork too. Painting, murals, puzzles, 3D artwork. I would recommend anyone to go there even if they do not stay here just to look at the artwork. The man who owns it is one creative dude. I felt like I was staying in a museum. Nel's sister's decided not to come to Davao for some reason, so I told Nel to invite her friend. So Nel's friends came, but then two more friends came and also the two sister's showed up. Ponce Suites wanted to charge extra, but I told them I paid for enough and if they wanted to charge extra, they would have to talk to the people staying there. I paid nearly $15 for 2 large bottles of vodka, five Liters of beer and a bottle of wine with some mixers. We ate dinner, then drank all the alcohol and that took about 3 hours to drink, then headed out to the K1 compound about 1 KM from the hotel. It was an impressive place to drink with many bars. We were really drunk before leaving the hotel and I bought a bucket of beer at the first bar and I just remember it being a very large bucket with approximately 20 OZ beers. We were off to the next bar and the same thing happened. The beer disappeared fast. At our 3rd bar, one of Nel's friends named Kerwin started to vomit and I said that was enough. We couldn't go on any further. He vomited everywhere. The hotel was only 1 KM away and instead of walking, I haggled with a taxi driver to take us back for 100 Pesos. He agreed, but Kerwin vomited all over the taxi. The taxi driver tried saying he would call the police if we didn't give him a bunch of money. I told him I didn't know it was against the law to vomit in taxis. We cleaned it up and for two, it wasn't me who vomited. I left to the hotel room and actually started to vomit myself. Not sure why I got this drunk. I haven't been this drunk in probably 6-8 months. I haven't been drunk at all in 5 months. When I was done vomiting, I looked out the window and the police actually were outside. I stayed in the hotel and went to bed. Later on, Nel told me that she was embarassed that I did not buy her sister's soft drink at dinner even though Iboguht them hotel, food, alcohol and other things. She said that because I was too thrifty that I did not deserve to be her boyfriend.
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