Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunset Beach Park and Monfort Bat Colony in Samal Island

Samal Island is part of the province of Davao del Norte but is easily reached from Davao City (Davao del Sur). There are two exit points in Davao City for Samal Island:
♦ Sta. Ana Wharf — motorboats here take passengers to Kaputian in the southern part of Samal Island
♦ Sasa Wharf — the ferry here leaves for Babak in the northern part of Samal Island

There are many beaches in Samal Island but we only visited one: Sunset Beach Park, a short tricycle ride (Php 10) from Babak wharf. There are half a dozen or so resorts in Sunset Beach Park, but whether staying overnight or for just the day, an entrance fee of Php 30 per person is collected.

When we visited most of the resorts in Sunset Beach Park were full and the only one we could find that had a room available was at Jetwave [0942 980 9756 / 0908 229 6574]. We took their 800-peso room. Pricey for a very simple room that had no toilet and bath (only a common toilet and shower), but we were too tired to look for another place.

Other options in Jetwave:
Cottages Php 1200
Open Cabanas Php 600-800
Camping Php 200/tent (bring your own tent)

On the upside, Jetwave keeps their place clean and the staff were friendly.

Left photo: The room is on the right, beside their reception. / Right photo: Open cabanas.

It was crowded and loud in Sunset Beach Park the day we visited. Videoke singers were competing against each other from different resorts. Loud music was playing from two or three bars. Sunset Beach Park is not the place for those who prefer peace and quiet.

Quiet the morning after

Laziness was in our bones those last two days of our trip and we just sat around Sunset Beach Park, only taking a break for an hour or two to visit Monfort Bat Colony, said to be the world's largest bat colony of Rousette Fruit Bats (as of 2006, bat population at Monfort was estimated to be 1.8 million).

From Sunset Beach Park, we hired a tricycle to take us to Monfort Bat Colony/Sanctuary (Php150 roundtrip) and paid Php100 to see them bats. Before going to the cave (no, we don't get to go into the cave, just to the four openings of the same cave where one can already see the bats), a briefing was held. The briefing area also has an exhibit with lots of information about the Rousette fruit bats and the sanctuary.

The bat cave
How many bats are there?

Hello bats! Wakey wakey!

Why would I want to pay a hundred to see a million bats? Why? Just fascinated with the thought of seeing the walls of a cave all black because of bats. And fascinate me it did. What I did not expect though was to be overwhelmed...overwhelmed by the smell of them. Boy, do they stink.

There's a special night viewing around 6PM, when they all fly away to hunt for food, for twice the regular price. Would I pay Php200 to see them fly away at night? Half of me wants to, but the other half is afraid that a big cloud of black hairy wings might swoop at my poor lightweight self and take me with them into the night.

Butt–rosying Route:
A Beauty T(r)ip
In the Beginning: Cagwait, Surigao del Sur
The Quickest Island Hopping Ever
Hinatuan's Enchanted River
Bislig's Marvelous Waterfall
Cateel Just for Aliwagwag Falls
Pit Stop: Aveflor Inn and Museo Dabawenyo
Suggested by a Davaoeña: Marina Tuna
Sunset Beach Park and Monfort Bat Colony in Samal Island (you're here!)
Butt–rosying Route Equals...


  1. May pa mo.. Pag anha namo wa mi na briefing. Daghan pa namn ta mi questions ato. Anyway, your post remind me of my trip in the island. Its been a year and I haven't blog about it yet. :D

    1. Really? Abi nako standard na naa gyud briefing before seeing the caveful of bats. Ngano wala man ka nagblog about it??

    2. Hi Synz, welcome to the family! I have about 4 years of unwritten blog posts. hehehe. :)

      I'd like to return to Samal someday for the bats and for Pearl Farm (<- it's not on the main island right?). By the way, did they tell you how the bats ended up there? Is there a particular fruit/environment that they are drawn to?

      Baktin Corporation

    3. @Mustachio : It was lunch break pag.abot namo. Nya 2PM pa ang mo briefing. So, we didn't bother to wait nalang kay super excited nami makakita sa mga bats. :) Wala pa ko sa mood mo write. Hehehe

      Hi Brennan, good to know na hindi ako nag-iisa. :D

    4. Hahahah daghan na ta na depende sa mood :D

  2. Eeeehhhh...nagka-goosebumps ko sa kadaghan sa bats...laina oi! Hahahaha