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Adventure to the Island City of Samal

Last Sunday there was a planned trip to Samal Island, officially The Garden City of Samal.
The trip was a planned outing of “Friends of Mindanao” one of the foreigner groups I belong to.

Oneof the members, Chris has a large ocean front lot and house which he uses on weekends. The plan was we would have the services of a jeepneys owned by one of the members brother-in-law. We were to meet at 6:30 in the morning at the parking lot at Victoria Mall and ride the jeepneys.

On Saturday I received a text from Ian, the leader of the organization, that he sent me an email and would appreciate my assistance with the trip. Well I was working, so I text back that I would look at it when I got home. The email stated that we were not going to get the jeepney and also Ian was in the provinces with his family and would probably not be able to be there. He said we could take a bus to Samal or ride the Ferry over and once there get jeepneys to Chris’s house. Chris’s engineer would meet us at the terminal on the Samal side.

Sunday morning, Elena, our 3 nieces and I got in my little Kia Rio and drove to the mall. Since I try to be at appointments on time or a little early, we arrived at 6:30.

At the mall, the parking lot was chained. Elena asked what time they open and then mentioned we were to meet people. The guard let us in. In the parking lot there were people jogging, a group of “Jazzercise” type exercising and others in different forms of exercise.

By 7:15 nobody showed up, so after texting and receiving a reply from Ian that he did not know who was coming, we decided to go ourselves.

We drove to Sasa where the Ferry, or better know as the barge or RoRo (roll on Roll off).
We had to wait only about 15 minutes for the Ferry to arrive and then had a short cruise to the island.

One there we meet up with the Engineer, Engineer Nido. He had driven a motorcycle to the terminal, but would ride with us to Chris’s house. He mentioned the road was bad in spots since there had been some rain storms lately. He said the house is about 30 KM, or approximately 19 miles.

At first the roads were fine. Most of the roads so far were concrete but even when dirt it was graded and smooth. Then as we went further there were potholes and ruts. We finally hit a stretch of road which was a mess, rocks and loose sandy surface. We took it slow. The grade was easy and at times I had to downshift because the grade gradually increased without being obvious.

We finally came upon a hill that was steep and a mess. Half way up I had trouble advancing. The car would stall and it was getting difficult to get going since I have a standard transmission. Both sides of the road had drop-offs so there was no place to angle the car across the hill. Finally I rolled back down the hill until I could turn around. We then drove to a gas station and we called Chris to come get us.

When we finally arrived at the house about 10AM, what a nice change. Chris has a large lot with a new house and 3 nipa hut type gazebos. These are made from bamboo and there was even a 2 story hut. Plus there were shade trees, banana trees and wonderful view of the Bay. Chris also has 2 pump boats which are like a long canoe with outriggers and a motor. He has another boat too. He offered to take us by boat a short distance where there is a sandy beach instead of the the coral covered beach at his house.

Down near the water there was a big tree with a bench and table built around the tree. We sat and relaxed for a while. The girls were at the tree, Elena and Chris’s wife RC were at one hut, their son was in the house with friends and Chris and I sat in another.

This was nice since I have never had a chance to get to know Chris. He had a very interesting life. He was born in Hawaii and is ½ Hawaiian. He spent 24 years in the Army and then worked for a government contractor which gave him the opportunity to visit many countries all over the world.

While we were talking the Engineer and a caretaker started a grill to cook some of the foods. Once lunch was ready we moved to a hut with benches and a table. My, there was so much food. There was the chicken we brought, kinilaw, which is raw fish and vegetables in a vinegar sauce to cure the fish. There was also grilled beef and the Pièce de résistance was bar-b-que pulled pork. It was so good I had to have 2 sandwiches. There was so much food that they never grilled hamburgers they had also.

After lunch most went down to the water and either swam or waded in the cooling water.

Chris also gave me a tour of the house which is in the finishing stage. There is also an interesting setup. Because the well water is not so good, they have a storage tank where the rainwater fills it from the house gutters.

It was getting towards mid afternoon and with the drive and ferry back we decided to leave. We all packed up and rode with Chris back to my car and then followed them to the Ferry terminal.

Since Chris and family showed is such wonderful hospitality we invited them to come to our house for dinner. As usual Elena out did her self with he delicious pasta in a butter and garlic sauce with chicken. Everyone had 2 helpings.

Finally we were all tired and Chris and family decided to head home, but invited us to there house in Torril next Sunday.

Chris if you read this, Thank you again for a wonderful day. We all really enjoyed it.

2 Responses to “Adventure to the Island City of Samal”

  1. ellen says:

    Hi Bruce, glad you had a good time here in Samal. One of your ferry pictures showed our 2 masted-sailboat. Hope you don’t mind my copying the picture. Thanks.

  2. Bruce says:


    I guessed that was your yacht. I also noticed the gate to the campground where I would assume you live.

    I hope in the near future we can schedule to come over to visit with you.

    You can copy any of my photos, free of course. 🙂

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