RA 8471, signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos, paved the way for the creation of the Island Garden City of Samal, on March 7, 1998. It was the first amalgamated city in the political history of the country, a city born out of the merger of the three municipalities comprising the island, the Municipalities of Babak, Samal, and Kaputian.
In the early years, Samal Island was settled by indigenous people coming from northern and eastern coasts of the undivided Davao Province. A large mixed population of Mansakas, Mandayas, and Muslims composed the identification of the now so-called Sama Tribe.
Since its creation, Island Garden City of Samal or simply Samal Island, has grown by leaps and bounds. It is now a top tourist destination in Davao Region and is envisioned to be one of the top of the mind tourist destinations in Mindanao and in the country as well.
Samal Island, with over 150 beach and inland resorts and attractions, is dubbed as the largest resort island city in the country, with world-class resorts and budget resorts, that can cater to different kinds of tourists. In 2019, pre pandemic time, it registered at least 1.9 million tourists and visitors, foreign and domestic.
Samal Island offers unique experiences and fun-filled activities, featuring alluring sceneries, from highlands to islands, that highlight its ethereal beauty: nature trekking at Mt. Puting Bato, Anggas Peak and Labuto Peak, basking and swimming at the island’s 118 kilometers of white sand beaches, diving and snorkeling at their 4-kilometer stretch of coral gardens. Island hopping is also a favorite activity that tourists enjoy. It is home and sanctuary to thousands of giant clams or taclobos where guests can see up close and personal at the Taclobo Tours site, and the Guinness Book of World Record Holder of largest concentration of Geoffroy Rousette fruit bats.
The Island Garden City of Samal also produces the sweetest variety of mangoes known as the Samal Sweet Mango. At least 2000 hectares of land in the city is planted with mangoes. Some of these are being exported to other parts of the world.
As in other islands of the country, Samal Island is also abundant in marine resources. Tourists enjoy the freshness of fishes caught in the seas of the island. On a fine day, lucky island hoppers would be able to witness sea cows, dolphins, and whale sharks swimming freely, proving that Samal Island is still healthy for sea creatures and other marine mammals to survive and thrive.
With its abundant nature’s blessings, Samal Island is a perfect getaway for family, friends, backpackers, team buildings and other activities where work and pleasure can be achieved at the same time.
Message of Mayor Al David T. Uy for MiceCon 2023
Mabuhay! Madyaw Samal!
I would like to convey my congratulations and felicitations to the organizers of the MICECON 2023, and to have come up with this type of “Magazine Cum Directory” of tourist destinations in the region.
This is indeed an opportunity to extend my invitation to the delegates of this convention to come to Island Garden City of Samal.
Our City is conducive to leisure and pleasure. You can do business in Davao City and take a break in our beautiful island paradise, which is the top favorite tourist destination in Region XI and Mindanao.
Samal Island is known for its white sand beaches, pristine waters, dive spots, coral gardens, caves to explore, refreshing Hagimit Falls, mountains to climb, the Guinness Book of World record holder for the biggest concentration of fruit bats – the Monfort Bat Caves and home to thousands of giant clams (Taclobo).
Fill your buckets with our very own sweet mangoes, enjoy a gastronomic experience, taste our exotic seafood and other delectable delicacies to bring home, and other souvenir products which are proudly Samal-made.
Samal Island is blessed, not only because of nature’s abundance but also because it is governed by public servants who are God-centered and people-oriented. Our City has been consistently a recipient of numerous awards for its innovation and good governance efforts. We are one of the few component city awardees for the Seal of Good Local Governance, Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping, and other government and non-government awards and citations. It is also awarded as the Top 14 Most Improved Component City in the Cities/Municipalities Competitiveness Index.
Our City also registers the least crime index in the region and is one of the most peaceful cities in the country.
So, I am inviting everyone to come, discover, explore, enjoy, and be enamored with the island paradise, situated within the heart of Davao Gulf, IGaCoS- our home, where the fun begins!