From the Island to the Highland – Exploring Samal Island, BUDA, and Davao City


Philippine Eagle @ Marilog District

Why is it too hard to stick to healthy living? Work? Business? The modern way of living? Whatever your reason may be, you always have a choice. And we choose to keep weekends holy to unwind, go outdoors and spend time with family and friends. Since my immediate family is distant, my Tribu AdOBo family is always there, ready to tag me along or to be tagged along.


Samal Island

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The views, opinions, and tips expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other travelers. I’m not an expert. My purpose of writing is to share my story, hoping, somehow, to be helpful and inspirational to some – if not all..

Where is it this time? We headed to Davao that includes Samal Island and BUDA. The craziness and adventures we always had something of a twist. Well, our photos can tell.


island hopping

Nature-Rich Samal Island

I’ve just known the island a mere island without other spots for tourists to go to. It turned out to be an island rich in natural tourist destinations.

Island hopping is a real deal here. We had a great time hopping from one island to the next except that some parts of the sea are not that swim-friendly at our time of visit.


Giant Taklobo

The island tour includes a visit to the Giant Taklobo, Wishing Island, Coral Garden, and Malipano Island and Pearl Farm Beach sightseeing.


Wishing Island


Pearl Farm Beach

Our supposed island-hopping-only plan actually came with an inland tour. We also visited the Bluebird site where you’ll be able to see the islands we have just visited. After dipping into the cool water of Hagimit Falls and explore its short cave, we went back to our accommodation at OMG Guest House.


Bluebird Site


Hagimit Falls

I highly recommend this guest house for big groups, couples and everyone with their very spacious, relaxing, and entertaining area. The service is also superb with the very accommodating owners and staff. They even offer transportation for safe travel for their guests, on the additional expense of course.


OMG Guest House


What makes the island tour recommendable? It’s readily accessible in minutes from Davao City. A day on the island is even insufficient. We have plans to follow. We should make the most of our stay.



Chilly BUDA (Bukidnon and Davao Boundary)

From Samal Island we headed back to the city as we will be travelling to BUDA early the next day.


riding skylab @ 5am

It’s 2:00 am and everybody needs to get up for a two-long-hour journey to Marilog District. Everyone wants to witness the sunrise at the hills so they have no choice but to follow the itinerary.


How’s the roller coaster ride??? 🙂

See how thrilled we were during this adventure. You won’t actually know what adventure means unless when you’re into it. And it’s a success. How can we not be surprised with the venture we just had. Speechless, we just get through it. Congrats guys, and, sorry if you were not ready for this. 😉


diverse friendship

Picturesque Hills View

Riding the skylab (an extended motorcycle) for the first time was hilarious and risky. It was chilly cool considering we did it early morning like before 5 am. Yes, that’s how dedicated we are to see and experience nature we hardly had in the metropolis. It’s overwhelming to greet the morning sun and clouds succumbing the hills and ranges afar. We were keeping our eyes explore the entirety of Hillsview while delighting our tummies with some native foods (kakanin) they offer.



Colorful, Bountiful BEMWA Farm

The farm is perfect for a weekend chill from the scorching heat of the sun in the city. Enjoy walking along with their gardens of fruits and vegetables. Colorful, beautiful flowers are so stunning that insects are your co-visitors doing their food hunt from flower to flower.



Never leave without trying their fresh produce sold at a very affordable price. I’m a lover of lettuce and it made me astonished to buy some and ate. Souvenirs are also available to take home.


Jive Highland Resort

Cozy Jive Highland Resort




Next stop was at Jive Highland Resort which is really scenic on its nature view. Get down and miles away you will find 2 waterfalls passing through a cave. There are also houses and cottages for those who would love to stay connected with nature overnight.



Peaceful Davao City

Getting back to the city to see what it has to offer as well. Kuya Romel W. Lumiguid of Davao City Tours asked us whether we should take lunch first before the tour or eat later. Unanimously, with our loud voices, we said let’s eat first. Haha.. so us – food trippers.


Malagos Garden Resort


There are so many things to see and do at the resort that most of our time was spent here. Interact with their resident animals. Watch animal shows during their scheduled presentation.




Play at their very informative and interactive areas showcasing academic learning. Try to express anything you feel at the moment and write anonymously on a wooden stick then hang it at their butterfly museum.


Philippine Eagle Center




This emblem of Davao City is strategically located in the countryside. I have nothing against the area but it definitely needs further care. It’s my first visit here and I’m not quite impressed on what I saw. It’s not my first time to see an eagle but the ones here are gigantic for real. They were in huge cages but I don’t think they are spacious enough for them. Hopefully, care and service for them will improve as they are of great necessity. There are also fishes, monkeys, other birds, and native trees. We roam around, took some photos and bought souvenirs.


Lola Abon’s Pasalubong Center


souvenirs and delicacies

Before going back to our accommodation at Davao Royal Suites, we drop by at age-old Lola Abon’s Pasalubong Center for stuff for home and called it a day.


trying out the all-famous Davao’s durian

And so that was the last destination of our Samal Island-BUDA-Davao Trip. Back to our hotel, got some time to relax, eat, head to the airport the following day and fly back to Cebu bringing our travel memories. I’m very happy heading home for, at last, I’ve got to visit my neighboring hometown. Do you know where are we heading next? Well, it’s for us to unleash and for you to stay tuned.


touch down Cebu (back to reality)


Day 1 (July 26, 2019)

3pm – Meet-up at Mactan-Cebu International Airport
4pm – Departure Cebu to Davao
5:40pm – Arrival at Davao International Airport
5:50pm-6:20pm – Airport to Sasa Wharf (bound for Samal Island)
6:30pm-7:10pm – Sasa Wharf to Babak Wharf (Samal Island)
7:10pm-7:30pm – Babak Wharf to Accommodation
8pm – Dinner, relax, prepare for island tour the following day

Day 2 (July 27)

5am – Wake-up call (breakfast, prepare for tour)
7am-2pm – Samal Island Tour (motorboat)
Spots we’ve visited:

– Coral Garden
– Sandbar (near Pearl Farm)
– Giant Taklobo (200)
– Wishing Island (50)
– Blue Bird Resort (10)
– Sabang Cliff
– Hagimit Falls (30)

3pm – Back to accommodation, prepare for next destination
4pm-4:40pm – Davao City (Accommodation)
6pm-9pm – Roxas Night Market (Dinner, night life)

Day 3 (July 28)

2am – Wake-up call (prepare for Davao City and BUDA tour)
3am – van pickup
3am-3pm – City and Countryside Tour (by van) breakfast along the way or at Hills View
Destinations to visit:
Hills View Mountain Villa (sunrise and hopefully sea of clouds) (ent. 50)
Bemwa Farm

Jive Highland Resort (50)
Malagos Garden (300)
Philippine Eagle Center (150)
Lola Abon’s Pasalubong Center
6pm – Dinner
7pm – Back to accommodation and night out

Day 4 (July 29)

5 am – Wake-up call (breakfast, prepare, check-out)
7 am – To Davao Airport
8:35am-9:40am – Davao-Cebu

— End of Trip —

Estimated Budget (for 6 pax):

600 – Samal Island accommodation (1 night)
1500 – Davao City accommodation (2 nights)
290/6 – Samal Island Tour entrance fees

2600/6 – boat rental

20 – port fee (back and forth)

2500/6 – motor fee

600/6 – car port pick-up and drop-off

6000/6 – BUDA and Davao Tour van rental

550 – BUDA and Davao Tour entrance fees

1020/6 – Skylab fare

Total = 4,838 (excluding airfare, food and other personal expenses)

P.S. Vlog for this travel will be published soon.

Meanwhile, here are the vlogs by Asa ni Quen?

Tour guides: Christian James Sinagpolo Malinao (09952159504)

Romel W. Lumiguid of Davao City Tours (09664622722/09229304109)

Rhenante Phadada (09651940900)


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*some photos credit to friends

3 thoughts on “From the Island to the Highland – Exploring Samal Island, BUDA, and Davao City

  1. Pingback: The Communal Ranch: Starting My 2020 Journey | THE WANDERING ITINERANT

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