Tourist Attractions

Samal Island Hopping {0}

Samal Island Hopping

One of the more popular activities on and around Samal Island has to be what is known as “island hopping.” Once upon a time most people gathered up the clan and spent the day on the beach at Paradise Island Beach Resort or later on at a place like BlueJaz with its many water activities. These days it seems island hopping is what everyone wants to do.

The term itself is a bit misleading, at least to those of use that grew up on a different version of English. You don’t “hop” to very many islands, in fact in the trips I’ve been on we’ve only stopped at Samal Island and once at Wishing Island. For the most part you “hop” around the gulf, around Talikud Island and/or Samal Island.

Taking the Bus From Davao to Cagayan de Oro {17}

Taking the Bus From Davao to Cagayan de Oro

One of the things I wanted to do when I retired and moved to the Philippines was to travel and visit more of the country. I had been to the Philippines many times before moving here, but my trips had been limited to just a few areas. I had seen the Manila area, Davao/Samal and a few small towns outside of those. My intention was to spend some of my free time exploring other parts of Mindanao, in particular, since that is where I live.

Since moving I have had the opportunity to go to Cebu on a few occasions. That was nice, in that Cebu is a very busy and modern city. There are plenty of foreigners there, in particular Koreans. As much as I enjoyed those visits, I still had the urge to explore more of the areas around me. I had targeted Cagayan de Oro (CDO) as likely first trip to make on my own, as there are nice buses headed that way on a regular basis going right through the heart of Bukidnon. That’s an area I have a lot of interest in.

The Venue Party Boat {0}

The Venue Party Boat

I encountered an interesting sight recently while taking the ferry to and from Samal Island. Docked at the Sasa Wharf was a brightly colored boat painted with “Party Boat” on the side. Upon further examination you could see that it was run by The Venue.

The Venue has quite a reputation in and around Davao as a great place to party and meet people. I’ve never been there myself, and I’m not even sure if it is still open. Seems I heard something to that effect. Possibly this is the replacement.

HSBC ATM | Philippine’s Best ATM {6}

HSBC ATM | Philippine’s Best ATM

I’ve chronicled about my difficulties with finding a good, reliable ATM in the Philippines while visiting on my short trips. At times I’ve had such a hard time getting my money that I had worried my cards would be locked for failed attempts. In fact, that seems to have happened to me previously.

After doing a lot of research, both online and at physical locations, I’m happy to say I feel I’ve found the best option for travelers to the access their money via the ATM while visiting the Philippines.

Samal Island Among The Philippines’ Best {7}

Samal Island Among The Philippines’ Best

According to CNNGo Samal Island’s beaches are among the 10 best in the Philippines. Having not been to many others, it’s difficult for me to say. Having been to Samal Island many times, I would have to say that I am not surprised one bit that they are on the list. It would be hard to believe there is much nicer out there.

So what are the Top Ten beaches in the Philippines (according to CNNGo)?

How To Get To The Samal Island Resorts {11}

How To Get To The Samal Island Resorts

Note: this is an article that I wrote on a sister site, but I never got that site going. Maybe I’ll get to that again in the future.

The Samal Island resorts are located on the Island Garden City of Samal, a 4th class city in Davao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines. The nearest city is Davao City, the largest city in the Philippines, when calculated by area.

Pearl Farm Resort To Get P34 Million Renovation {2}

Pearl Farm Resort To Get P34 Million Renovation

The most famous and highest rated resort on Samal Island is set get an upgrade. Pearl Farm Beach Resort is easily the most widely known resort on Samal, at least outside of the region. It is probably the most expensive, too, but that goes with a AAA class rating.

P34 Million is no chump change, but the resort is doing well. Visitors were up about about 20% in 2011 compared to 2010.

Hoping It’s More Fun in the Philippines {1}

Hoping It’s More Fun in the Philippines

It probably hasn’t made it out to the rest of the world yet, but most pilipinos have seen the release of the Department of Tourism’s new ad campaign. They want you to know, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”.

From what I’ve gathered, from my vantage point on the other side of the world from the Philippines, the reaction has been mixed. Considering the last campaign, “Pilipinas kay Ganda”, was universally panned, this has to be an improvement (they hope). No one outside of the Philippines knew what that slogan meant, of course.