Monday, June 3, 2013

Dahican, the Playground of Skimboarders

Three days up the mountain was more than enough. It was time to get back to level ground. From summit to sea, we brought ourselves to Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental, 170-something kilometers southeast of Davao City. It's a 2.5-hour van ride from Davao City to Mati. And from Mati proper, an 8-kilometer motorcycle ride to Dahican Beach.

We bought some supplies at the Mati Public Market before heading to the beach. We would be camping at Amihan sa Dahican, home of a group of skimboarders and surfers called the Amihan Boys. They are mentored by George "Jun" Plaza.

Dahican Beach

Amihan sa Dahican

The Amihan boys would skim all day if they could. But all day is not possible, there are chores to do in the morning before they can catch the waves. Their day starts as early as 5AM and chores include cleaning the beach, cooking, and washing the dishes, among others. Of course those who are studying have to attend classes and can only go skim and surf on weekends or when school's out.

The Amihan boys would skim all day if they could

Everyone is welcome at Amihan sa Dahican. Sir Jun Plaza let us camp for free. Unless you bring your own food, the only place you can get a meal is at a nearby resort. Amihan sa Dahican only has softdrinks and junk food for sale.

We brought food, but were still unprepared and had to shamefacedly ask to borrow their pots and utensils. The Amihan boys were kind enough to lend us what we needed, but it would have been better if we had a cookset and burner so as not to invade their kitchen and delay their cooking. They, too, have to cook for the team.

If you don't know how to cook, you can ask one of the Amihan boys to cook for you. A tip would be most welcome. They'll be happy to have some extra money as baon in school.

Toilet / Kitchen / Dining area

Camping area

Seven kilometers of beach

Dahican Beach is a long stretch of clean sandy beach. During amihan, from November to April, skimboarding and surfing are the activities of the season. Other months, the sea is calm and perfect for beach bums. Amihan sa Dahican also has a kayak and Sir Jun Plaza or one of the Amihan boys can take you along for a ride. They can also take you dolphin watching (June to August) or see the pawikans (sea turtles).

Clockwise from bottom left: Sir Jun Plaza and an Amihan boy on a kayak, Bayogyog Aporbo on a skimboard, Langlang Aporbo on a surfboard, and Mustachio on his butt.

We were there on a November weekend and the Amihan boys were all over the water catching the waves. It was awesome to see them on and off (doing stunts) their boards. Some of the Amihan boys have won competitions here and abroad.


These old bones aren't made for surfing. I have accepted that reality and so just stayed with Mustachia on the shallow part, avoiding the skimboarders' paths while trying not to get pummeled by the waves (very difficult to do). When we did get pummeled and rolled under the surf, we held on to our shorts (lest the waves take them off) and shut our traps to keep from swallowing sea water.

How this summit-to-sea-break broke Mustachio's budget:
Van to Mati, Davao Oriental Php 220
Provisions for lunch and dinner for two persons Php 338
Motorcycle to Dahican Php 50
Surfing instructor and board rental Php 400
Tips Php 140
Motorcycle to Mati Php 25
Bus to Davao City Php 272


  1. Waaaa! Ka nice! Bring a portable gas stove next time! Or take me along and I'll gladly cook for u! :D

    Nindot mag camping and bonfire dha da. hehehe. hayahaya jud ninyo oi. :D

    Babe for Food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)

    1. I bring a cookset and burner kung makahuwam... Sunod, dad-on nako ka as my personal cook. Palihug ko dala sa imong stove. Thank you :D hahaha

  2. the beach is so beautiful! bihira ang surfing spot na ganyan kaganda! hoping next time makabisita din dyan. Di ko sure pero may napanood ako docu sa tv na mga batang surfers sa 1 island, ito siguro yun?

    Iloilo Guimaras 3D/2N Itinerary & Expenses

    1. Dahican beach is clean, peaceful, and just beautiful! Do visit one of these days. Haven't seen that docu you mentioned... what show was it?

  3. Looks like a happy-hippie beach! My kind of place. Ugh, looks like local travels are for next year pa. Am crossing my finger for a visit next summer!

    1. Hi Gay! You're tramping around the world while we're stuck in the Philippines! Such a lucky lady :-) Enjoy your world adventure!

  4. ga sirit lagi imo mga post ron bro? hayahaya uy. mu post ko in a couple of days Malapascua island and Masbate bro :) na accomplish na namo.

    1. hahaha mga long time ago ni na long ago as 6 months. procrastination is my middle name :) Looking forward to reading about your Malapascua trip! When mo ni adto? I want to go back there.

  5. Nice post! Now I'm torn between Samal Island and Dahican Beach na tuloy ;)) Ganda ng beach ;))

    1. Thanks for dropping by Wandering Beyond Borders! I haven't been to Samal Island :-( Let me know which one you are going to!

  6. Thanks for this post,very helpful! We went there last Monday and Tuesday, July 8-9,2013. Though we never enjoyed big waves coz its not the season yet. According to them better go there October to April. But all in all its a great experience,very nice place and accommodating Amihan boys especially Kuya Jun.
    Our damage is a little bit cheaper than you sir Mustachio :)
    SM City Davao Terminal - Mati City Terminal php200 (van)
    Mati City Terminal - Dahican Amihan Beach php30/head (tricycle)
    Pitching of Tent php50
    Bath php10
    Fresh Squid Dinner php40 half kilo
    php30 back to Terminal (tricycle)
    php200 back to Davao City (van)

    1. Good for you sir! Maybe I need to improve my haggling skills :-) I agree, Sir Jun is very accommodating. Cheers to a great experience!

    2. hi did you guys just go there and ask to camp or do you have to text in advance? thanks!

    3. Hi Netz. No, we did not text in advance (we didn't and still don't have their contact number :)

  7. Hi,

    I want to go to Dahican, by the end of August or start of September maybe. Is it okay to stay in sir Jun's camp site for a longer period of time? I want to learn how to surf. I am not sure if September is going to be a good time though. How much should I prepare for a lesson? How much is the fee to set up a tent, cook, and all?

    I really want to learn how to surf and I also don't have anyone to come with me so I might have to do it alone. Or if there are groups who have plans to go there to surf, I really hope I can join them.

    I just want to know how much are the costs of everything so I can prepare my budget.

    1. Hi Cinnamon. Surf season isn't until November so you might want to reschedule? ;-) Sir Jun is an accommodating man so I would guess he'd be okay with long staying guests (when I came to visit, they had one "adopted" lady who was learning to surf and stayed with them for weeks).

      As for costs, I read somewhere that to camp there for a night would cost Php50/night (when we camped there for a night, Sir Jun didn't ask for payment). You'd have to bring your own tent and cooking gear. Surfing lessons with board was Php400/hour. You can probably get a good deal if you're surfing and renting their board daily.

      Good luck and enjoy Dahican :-)