The charming Islands in Davao Oriental

Rich in nature, it is labeled as “The Wonder of water Paradise” of Davao Region. The most popular destinations that should not miss once you visit this province are; (1) The World Heritage site and a wildlife sanctuary of Mt. Haguimitan in San Isidro; (2) The historic place of Cape San Agustin in Governor Generoso; (3) Subangan Museum in Mati City, where the 7th largest preserved whale species in the world are displayed; (4) Pusan Point in Caraga, a place with a perfect glimpse to witness the New Millenium Sunrise, and; (5) Aliwagwag waterfalls or known as the stairways to heaven in Cateel.

Davao Oriental is one of the unique provinces in the Davao Region in Mindanao; stand in the border of Compostela Valley to the west, Agusan and Surigao Del Sur at the north side. Davao Oriental faces the  Davao Gulf coastline, Philippines Sea and the Pacific Ocean, therefore, it is surrounded by the natural spots. It is undeniable that the province of Davao Oriental is not just rich in cultural diversity and the best panoramic views of white sand beaches around the coastlines but also an awning Islands that could be a bountiful stress reliever. Do not miss these three (3) beautiful Islands that can only experience once you stepped in the province of Davao Oriental.

Puhada Island
(Mati City)

Puhada Island is located in the Davao Oriental’s Capital City of Mati. Reach this island in just 30 minutes from the city coastline through hiring a motorboat from fisher folks or make an advance booking at several travel agents around the city. The Puhada Island is a 150 hectares wide that can be explored around in a day. Development is underway at this time, port and cottages have been built compared to my year 2011 visit, which only trees shadows became our resting place. The good thing is, I still observe the natural beauty of the Island in which necessary to maintain. This island is truly perfect for me to gate-away to relax, relieve stress and escape from city noises. Puhada Island is characterized as fine, white powdery sand that can compare to any other island beaches in the Philippines.      

Waniban Island
(Mati City)

Still not satisfied on your Island hopping experience? well, Mati City has another spot to complete your Island trip. In a tiny Island of Waniban is surrounded by crystal clear blue water surrounded with powdery white sand. Every tourist has a chance to walk around in these four (4) hectare of land area and has an opportunity to experience the hidden beauty of the whole Island. The island has small cottages and trees that can be used as a shelter. No available food stall available in the island, so I suggest having first get off to fresh market near Bus terminal or buy a fresh catch from the fisherfolks. Overnight is allowed but needs to bring a tent especially to whom planning to stay, but be reminded to practice proper disposal behaviors and bring waste with upon leaving to maintaining the island’s natural beauty. 

The closest way to get on the island is to reach Barangay Taganilao; it is a 45 minute of a motorcycle ride from Mati City Integrated Bus terminal.  The road is mostly concreted until Barangay Masao meanwhile, construction underway towards mountain parts going to Barangay Taganilao.  One of the other options to reach is to ask Boatman to include Waniban Island in your package. Distance from each of Island is just 30 minutes boat ride. 

San Victor Island
(town of Baganga)

Third, is the beautiful San Victor Island in the small town of Baganga; a 134-kilometer road trip from Mati City and very accessible by Bus or Van for commuters. Fronting the Pacific ocean, San Victor Island is considered as one of the best small islands in the region. Characterized by powdery white sand surrounded by crystal clear blue-green waters and peaceful environment. It is privately managed the diocese of Mati but opens for locals while several tourists outside the province started to explore this island havens.  No food stall or store on the Island, so, every tourist is allowed to bring their own.      

Boats are available near national roads before reaching Barangay Lambajon, then pay for P20 pesos entrance fee. Ride a boat for P70 pesos per person which will be paid upon arrival in the island, and; P135 pesos per person for those planning for overnight stay. Better to be early since the island has limited room accommodations and the tent available for rent is also limited. Advance reservations are not accepted, but instead, they implement a first come first, served basis.

The closest airport to reach Mati City from Manila and other the major airport is to take the flight to Davao City International Airport. Take a taxi ride from Davao Airport going to Ecoland Integrated Terminal, then, get on the bus bound for Mati City. This will make you choose a good sit since the bus will take your trip or three hours smooth ride and amazing views. 

Another option is to take a short walk going to Bus stop at the front of Jose Maria College (beside airport Exit). Catch up BUS (Bachelor Express) or; VAN bound for Cateel or Boston with via Mati City (More Accessible). Then, get off to Mati City Integrated Terminal. If your planning to first visit Waniban Island, then the best way to reach is hired a motorcycle to go to Barangay Taganilao. There are many fishing boats in that place which can be hired on the spot or should look the caretaker of Waniban Island and he very willing to assist for your island trip. 

Going to San Victor Island is not a challenge since it is very accessible for any means of transportation in the daytime. Just catch up a Bus or Van bound for Baganga, Cateel or Boston. Then, ask your driver to drop you off to San Victor Island Boat Station when you reach the small town of Baganga. 

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