I travel many times a year to the other side of Washington State to visit family. For those not familiar with Washington State (not to be confused with Washington DC), it is the Northwestern most state in the United States. My relatives live in various towns around Seattle, much as I did when I lived in that part of the state. People that are not from the area usually are not familiar with these smaller towns, and I just say that I’m going to Seattle. Some communities are actual suburbs of Seattle, but others like the city I was born, Everett, have just been engulfed within the sprawling growth over the years.

As I was explaining the relationship of Everett and Seattle to a friend, I realized that it is similar in some ways to Samal Island’s relationship to Davao City. Though Samal is separated from Davao via the Pakiputan Straight & the Davao Gulf, when I tell someone of Samal I can not help but mention Davao.

It is possible, but not likely, that you will visit Samal Island without going to Davao first. You could arrive by yacht, as my friend Ellen did. You could also access the east side of Samal and, I suppose, take a boat from Pantukan. With the new RORO ferry system, accessing Samal from the east side will be much more plausible. For now you are more than likely coming from Davao.

Samal Island has many offerings such as the Central Warehouse, local markets, banks, and the usual assortment of smaller stores, including hardware and bakeries. For many important items though, you will need to go to Davao to them or even have them brought in. I had originally thought that if I ended up living on Samal that I would want to go to Davao once every couple of weeks. I think that a more realistic schedule would be once or week. Possibly more.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards

If the Samal-Davao bridge ever became a reality, Samal would in fact become just a suburb of Davao, IMO. I won’t take up the argument here, but there are those that feel this would be great for Samal, and those that don’t.

When I first started considering this, I thought that Samal was so tied to Davao City that it was like a little sister. That description didn’t quite fit though, as Samal is not anywhere nearly as developed as Davao. No, it is much more like a daughter that is very dependent upon it’s mother. I certainly don’t know what the future holds, but it will be interesting to see if Samal ever becomes independent enough to establish itself from Davao, or if it will remain forever dependent on it’s mother.

Photo credit: Arnob66′s via Travelpod