Samal-Davao bridge

Taking Off the Rose Colored Glasses {7}

As much as I’ve been trying to put off writing this article, I guess I better get it done as the comments seem to be heading more and more in this direction. I just want to state up front that I love Samal Island, and I feel that I’ve been a very strong ambassador for the island ever since I started this blog. Since that time I’ve also learned that if you say anything negative about Samal, you had better beware because someone is going to take it very personally. I don’t wish to offend anyone with my comments here, but I feel I need to be honest, and not mislead.
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Samal Island Airport {2}

Davao International Aiport

Rarely do I quote an article verbatim. Usually I’ll quote a few paragraphs and comment on them, and then summarize my feelings on the whole thing. This is one article I’ve been holding for awhile. It almost makes me wonder if it is satire.

I’ll let you read it, if you haven’t previously and decide for yourself….
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Samal, Anak Nga Bababye sa Davao {0}

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.
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Samal Island Circumferential Road Project Proposed {0}

Samal Map

If you read any of my articles after my return from visiting Samal Island last year you’ll surely remember my feelings regarding the ability to drive around the island. My biggest complaint was the condition of the Circumferential Road, which is the “main” road on the island. Parts of it are paved, but much (most) of it is not.

It seemed to me that road was in even worse shape than I remembered from the previous trip, two years prior. The areas around the subdivision developments were particularly shocking to me, as I expected those would be developed along with the subdivisions, but in many cases these were even worse from what appeared to be the heavy use due to the construction.
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Samal-Davao Bridge {4}

There is talk of a bridge to connect IGaCoS to Davao. Not living in the area myself, I don’t know if this has been an on-going discussion or if it is a new plan. A bridge connecting Samal Island to Davao would likely make Samal Island a much different place than it is now.

I first heard of the potential bridge during my visit to Davao earlier this month. I spent a couple of days on Samal Island looking at land and of course I used the RORO ferry (article and video from Mindanao Bob’s excellent blog - Live in the Philippines) to get there. There are other methods to make the trip, such as the boat I rode to Paradise Island on my previous visit but as far as I know boats are the only method currently.

Paradise Island boat ride

When I mentioned the bridge to my wife and a couple of others, I mostly got an expression of skepticism. This immediately reminded me of a similar situation in Spokane regarding the North-South freeway. I’ve lived here almost 18 years now, and the North-South freeway has been discussed for as long as I can remember. I believe it has had numerous proposals that for one reason or another (money?) never saw the light of day. Evidently it was finally approved but you sure can’t tell by the progress.

Is the Samal-Davao bridge another North-South freeway? Is it imminent or still a dream? Assuming it gets approval, how long do you suppose until it becomes a reality?

Where’s that confounded bridge? {16}


Note: this is a repeat of an article (comments included) from a year ago. As you can see, despite an occasional mention in a news article, nothing has changed.

Do you think it’s possible Robert Plant was referring to the Samal-Davao bridge, when he uttered those words at the end of The Crunge back in 1973?

Three months to review the already completed study, add in Filipino time (double it) and we’re at about six months since they announced the go ahead. A rash of announced resorts and subdivisions followed (most probably already planned). And here we sit. Well there certainly has been an economic downturn since then, maybe that’s the cause.

Most likely, and this is only speculation on my part, is that the bridge is a long way from seeing anything getting started. Some would say never, or not in our lifetime.

I check the news sites and search google occasionally but I’m not finding anything new at all. Maybe one of the locals there has some insights, but again nothing that I’ve heard about.

Photo credit: Michael Putland via