Traveling Solo in Samal Island

9:05 AM Wanderlusting

There are two things we do not wish to happen to us when traveling solo.  First is getting lonely.  Second is getting sick. These pretty much sums up my recent Samal Island journey.

The original plan was to go to Surigao del Sur, but I decided not to because I was having menstrual discomfort.  I guess it was good that I didn't board the 2AM bus and just decided to look for a hotel in the city to spend the night with.  That night was filled with discomfort from my monthly period. I also noticed a sharp pain on my left toe from an ingrown. 

Letting go of the unfamiliar, I switched my attention to Samal Island, which I already visited several times before with friends.  But, of course, there's just go to be some kind of adventure.

The following day, after a quick trip to the salon, I decided not to board the boats that take visitors to Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort, where I stayed my previous Samal visits.  Instead, I took a boat at Sta. Ana wharf to Kaputian in Samal Island.  The description on the internet of Kaputian Beach was very luring so I decided on it.

Wrong move!

After more than 30 minutes of waiting for the boat to be filled up, plus an hour of boat ride, we reached Kaputian Beach in Barangay Poblacion. 

Kaputian Beach Park is right beside the port. I walked to be resort and found a throng of people enjoying a program. I asked the personnel to show me the available rooms, which turned out to be disappointing because of the obvious lack of maintenance. I then asked for recommendations and they pointed me to the next resort called Red Parrot Inn.

It was walking distance but I decided to take a pedicab. I was still having dysmenorrhea.  The resort seemed more maintained than Kaputian Beach Park, except for two things - the room is across the street, about 50 meters walk and the main building was constructed right in the beach, so there was no white sand to walk in.  Why the hell did they allow that?

Because of my menstrual cramps, I was willing to take the room but good thing there was another family from Manila who was equally disappointed and decided to go back to Peñaplata to find better accommodations. They allowed me to join them back to Peñaplata on their rented multicab.

Rest finally!

Peñaplata is one of the barangays of Samal Island.  It has several resorts and the first we visited was Fernandez Beach Resort. 

After inspecting the cottage available for me, I immediately decided on staying.  I went straight to the comfort room for my much needed freshening up.  After shower, I went out to check the beach and I was just in time to watch the color of the deep blue sea turn orange and gold as the sun sets. I dipped my feet on the white sand and marveled at the scenery. Just when I was about to entertain the thought of dipping in the waters, I felt pain on my lower abdomen so I decided to go back to my room.



The decision of not taking the bus to Bislig was more becoming the right choice, especially when I started feeling body aches, which was followed by a flu. All those perks of traveling solo like enjoying a good book (which I had) or having deep insights or even connecting with myself were all not happening. Instead, I was dialing the numbers of my travel buddies and telling them about my misery.

The light!

Thank God the good night rest took away my illness and I was able to enjoy a good morning walk at the beach the day after. 

I got the number of the multicab driver that took us to Peñaplata and asked him to take me around Samal Island.


Kuya Bong, the multicab driver, was a pleasant company that morning, telling me about his migration to Samal, some of the people we encounter on the road, the progress of the island and the facilities we visited. Conversations like these don't often happen when I travel with my family and friends, because very often I talk with them.

He took me to Maxima, Samal's new resort that boasts of water sport facilities like giant slides.  

I was not up for swimming, so I just took a quick tour then boarded Kuya Bong's van again.

Then, we visited Samal's entry to the Guiness Book of World Records, the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which is home to largest colony of rousette fruit bats ever recorded.  Visiting this sanctuary was the best part of my Samal visit. 


After my morning tour of Samal Island, Kuya Bong took me to the port and I took a boat back to Davao City, where I decided to take my rest and regain my health.

Despite my brief vibrant moments in Samal Island, the encounters and conversations with Kuya Bong and the family I met made this solo travel rewarding. It is true what they say, traveling enriches you, but traveling solo doubles the dose. Plus, loneliness is so much better than boredom. Don't you think?

Other Good Travels

0 comments