The Vibrant Colors of Samal Island

Ah Samal Island, what would Davao do without you. You’ve brought so much vigor and character to the entire Davao Region that it’s been long overdue for you to be featured on this blog.

Now, I’ve extensively blogged about other Samal spots (Pearl Farm Beach Resort and Isla Reta) a while back, so it’s gonna be different this time around. This blog post will be a rundown of all the Samal beach resorts and tourist spots Kaye and I have visited in the last 5 years and will be accordingly updated. So, to quote the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar: “Let’s do this?!?!”.

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#TBT (#ThrowbackTravels): Isla Reta 2013

Isla Reta, Talicud Island, IGACOS
Isla Reta, Talicud Island, IGACOS

Isla Reta is one of the best beaches Samal has to offer. With its white sand and pristine waters, this beach attracts not only local tourists but foreigners as well.

I’m your biggest fan, I’ll follow you until you love me. Papa-Paparazzi.

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Samal’s Pride: Pearl Farm Beach Resort


Well, it’s that time of the year again. No, it’s not Christmas or New Year I’m talking about. Rising temperatures, the scorching heat of the sun, the intense urge to order halo-halo and the growing call to hit the beach… SUMMER! Davao is no stranger to beautiful beaches as Samal Island is just a boat ride away from the city. However, with a plethora of beach resorts lying around Samal Island, picking a resort can be confusing. As a standout from other beach resorts, one can never go wrong with Pearl Farm. 

The Pagoda
Pearl Farm Parola

Kaye and I aren’t really strangers to Pearl Farm, albeit a few years removed from our first visits, respectively. For rates, boat schedules and other booking concerns, you can go directly through their official website at However, being extra aggressive in finding the best rates, we were able to get a cheaper rate. A bed and breakfast package at Samal house (overnight stay with complimentary breakfast buffet) shelled us a total of Php6,500.00. Note that this was last year’s price (March 2012) so prices this time may vary. The published rate for the same package is at Php4,000.00 per person so that’s a total savings of Php1,500.00.

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Food Quest: The Best Halo-Halo in Davao

Summer season may have reached its midway point but it’s not too late to talk about food perfect for this hot season. And what better way to cool down that hot summer afternoon than with a refreshing halo-halo in hand. While halo-halo is almost synonymous with summer here in the Philippines, one can enjoy our humble national dessert anytime since it’s almost always hot or sunny here, especially in Davao.

To fulfill our quest to find the best halo-halo here in Davao, we’ve pitted two establishments that we think serve the best interpretation of the popular dessert in the city: Bistro Rosario and Aling Foping’s. And to keep our objectivity in tact, we decided to taste the 2 halo-halo desserts on the same day.  Sounds good, right?

Bistro Rosario: Classic with a twist

Bistro Rosario

Our first halo-halo tasting is from Bistro Rosario located at F. Torres St. While Bistro Rosario is more popular for its cakes, pastries and restaurant, their halo-halo should also be given due credit as well. We’ve tasted their halo-halo before so coming back for an encore serving is a testament to how impressed we were during our first visit.

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Maitre Chocolatier: More than the usual sugar rush

Let me take a quick survey. Those who don’t like chocolates, raise your right hand. Come on, don’t be shy. No takers? Anyone? Fine, if you’re really that gaga over chocolates, then going to Maitre Chocolatier is a must.

Maitre Chocolatier is a boutique café located at Abreeza. Famous for their imported chocolates and specialty cakes, it’s not just the usual choco-dessert shop. Who serves white chocolate carbonara or grilled chicken in chocolate sauce? Hmmm. Very intriguing.

Upon entering, you’ll immediately notice the stylish interiors and feel the romantic ambiance. Very posh, I must say. Although it’s a bit intimidating at first, what sets Maitre Chocolatier from others is its identity. Definitely not your usual run of the mill dessert shop or restaurant. Continue reading

It’s More Fun in the Philippines: Camiguin Island

Located at the tip of Nothern Mindanao is Camiguin Island, one of the top tourist destinations this side of the country. It boasts various bodies of water ranging from white sand beaches, waterfalls and cold and hot springs, making it a perfect swimming haven. Historical spots are also scattered all over the laid back province. Last May marked my 3rd time in Camiguin. My first time was in 2007 with my aunt and her graduate school students; the 2nd time was in 2009 together with my SGV batch mates while this trip was with Tal, Louie and Kaye. Since they were all first-timers, I became their tour guide by default.

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