Coming from a brief stop at the copra workers of Tagbaobo, we continued driving for about 10-minutes before finally reaching Tagbaobo falls entrance. Tagbaobo Falls, found in Barangay Kaputian is less frequented by visitors since its farther southeast of Samal Island unlike Hagimit Falls. There’s a small shed for registration and entrance fee (Php 40/head) for visitors. The falls is also known as Mangongawong Falls by the locals but they prefer the former name since it is easier to pronounce.
Coconuts spread like a carpet out under the sun, flanking the dirt road of a small community in Tagbaobo. I see people busy and absorb with what they are doing with the coconuts. “They are copra workers!” my motorbike driver, Ginjan tells me. I was supposed to go to my next waterfall destination coming from Hagimit Falls in Peñaplata, north of Samal Island but this scenery of copra workers in a small community of Tagbaobo caught my attention. Since I had the luxury of my own vehicle, I told Ginjan to head back.
My inland tour on Samal Island continues. After being amazed by the millions of bats at Monfort Bat Cave, we tracked back at the main road and proceeded to Barangay Peñaplata, where our next stop, the Hagimit Falls can be found. It is one of the well known attractions on the island and is quite accessible by the main road. We reached the entrance gate in less than an hour. There’s a Php 40 entrance fee per person for the upkeep of the resort park. There weren’t many people around since its the weekday.
I made sure I allotted a day to do an inland tour around Samal Island. The objective was to visit a couple of waterfalls and also the famed Monfort Bat Cave which has earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for having the largest colony of bats in a cave. I must admit, at first my interest wasn’t really sky high on seeing this site as I thought it would just be trivial, but being there changed my opinion of this one-of-a-kind sanctuary.
The “Joy Of Quiet”. I remember reading Pico Iyer’s New York Time’s article on black-hole resorts, where people are now paying a premium do get disconnected and having their mobile gadgets tucked away on their duration of stay. It seems that with some people, the more ways we have to connect the more people seem desperate to unplug. Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan in IGACOS (Island Garden City of Samal), Davao del Norte somehow reminds me of this article. Not entirely a black-hole resort, but the limited internet and cellular coverage gives visitors a choice to enjoy nature more. Which honestly was a personal struggle but later I fully embraced for this much deserved quiet getaway.
It was not hard to notice the wide national road neatly fringed with rows of palm trees once we entered the City of Tagum, Davao del Norte while on a shuttle coming from Davao City proper. This is probably one of the cleanest and greenest national road I’ve seen in the country. The #TravelMindanao group visits Tagum City for a day trip to see what this fast developing city has to offer.