Land Development On Samal Island, The Dreamers!

Land Development On Samal Island, The Dreamers!


For those of you who are not familiar with Samal, it is an island approximately one km off the coast of Davao City in the Gulf of Davao. It is approximately 30km by 10kms with a population of about half a million that may go up to one million on weekends and holidays.

When I first came here seven years ago there was very little ferry traffic, sometimes you had to wait hours for the ferry to leave any time of the week or year because there weren’t enough passengers. There were very few tourists of any kind. There was probably about 10km of concrete road and a handful of motor drivers. The ferry docked at a dirt road and there were probably about ten ferries a day.

Now in 2016 there are four big ferries going 24 hours a day that are almost always full, they dock every few minutes and then the Flip tourists pour out like water from a tap. When you leave the now concrete ferry terminal and exit there are hundreds of two and three wheel motor drivers attacking you like dogs. When the tourists leave they leave all their trash behind scattered everywhere thoughtlessly. Another big problem is vehicles and irate drivers. In Davao city 30 to 40kms/hour is strictly enforced, whereas on Samal nothing is enforced. So you guessed it, as soon as they leave the ferry terminal its foot to the floor, lights flashing and horns blasting. I drive a motorcycle and have almost been hit countless times by people passing directly toward me in the oncoming lane; if you’re not a defensive driver you’re dead.

In other words things have gone exponentially fast in a bad way, not just by the year but by the week things get crazier, absolutely insane, out of hand, nuts, uncomfortable, crowded, noisy, no electricity, no water, just like the rest of this mess they call the Philippines.

Now we all know the basic necessities of a modern culture and two of those are water and electricity. I have kept track of the running water supply to our house for the last three months, it’s seventy nine hours, just over three days. The electrical supply was cut from Davao for a two week period due to corruption. Now it’s supplied by a generator and that is iffy, fluctuates like crazy.

So Mr land developers what the hell are you dreaming about.


Now to get to the topic. There are a lot of rich people who have decided to buy up large tracts of land and clear it for housing. It is very obvious that there was no research done prior to developing the land. Samal used to be a quiet place with little happening but then about five years ago talk of a bridge started. Now many of you have seen what a mess Mactan Island of Cebu has become because of rampant, uncontrolled development, well it has started here going in exactly the same direction. The problem is there may never be a bridge. But the greedy rich land developers didn’t wait. Unfortunately for me I have an environmental background in Education. So from my eyes it is a nightmare. There used to be lots of forest and green area here. Not anymore, all gone. A concrete road was completed about a year ago going 15kms from the ferry. It took the idiots a few months to strip, clear and ready huge tracts on both sides, for housing.


Now let’s look at the situation. The first one, Pacific Heights, was cleared about seven years ago. There are now seven empty houses on the approximately five hectare site, not a single tree, have to have that aircon!

pacific heights2pacific heights

The next, Ocean View, about the same size, nothing, no houses no trees, nice big wall as usual, albeit a nice yacht dock.

ocean view2ocean view

The next was Island Hills, about the same size, cleared about three years ago, nothing, just piles of dirt “Open House Today”, but there is no house. They have posters everywhere but never even an enquirer.

islands hills 3islands hills 3

The next was the biggest fuck up with no name, six or seven hectares that is constantly being burned and cleared with nothing on it. It used to be rainforest, all gone now.secdea2no name2

The next is Azalea, a huge area, about one sq kilometer that used to be wild, beautiful country, just dirt now, they are at least putting infrastructure in, unlike the others, but where are the houses, never.azaleaazalea2

The next is Secdea just starting now and ongoing, another big fuck up and nothing on it.


Now you would think logically that if the first one of seven years ago has nothing on it yet, why clear land when you obviously won’t get any residents either. No logical thinking, no fixed pricing, no insight, no patience, no regard for the environment, nothing. Obviously if they did some kind of ecotourism here and moved into the 21st century they may make some money but sadly like the rest of the Philippines take the easy road, don’t think ahead or try something new just clear it, burn it, and leave it. This is a perfect place for hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, beach sports, but know the lazy fat fuckers just sit and eat lechon baboe and drink all day and get fat. Fuck nature, land is meant for humans only right, as God planed it and made it, bullshit as we all know, complete utter bullshit.

The land developers are dreamers with flashes of millions of Pesos flowing through their greasy fingers. Keep dreaming cause it won’t happen in their lifetime especially at the prices they are asking.

Look up the names of the places I mentioned, unbelievable per sq meter. Welcome to Samal, the land that used to be.

Published in Bureaucracy, Corruption, Environment


  1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    The last time I went to Samal was on a sunday, there was a blackout and it took over three hours to get to the ferry terminal for a resort a mile away. Never again. That was 2 years ago, a massive difference to how it was when I first went in 2008.

    Every man and his dog are real estate brokers just begging to show you these prime lots on Samal (Mindanao Bob’s wife is still flogging that dead horse). I entertained one of these morons, just out of interest as I was in the area, and he gave me this spiel as he showed me a football field size of land and showed me a plan where all the lots were blacked out (sold mostly to foreigners like myself) and that I ‘d need to move fast if I wanted to get in. “2000 pesos deposit only, sir, to secure today”. I didn’t tell him I’d seen the same spiel online 5 years previously.

    It’s a pity, Samal used to be beautiful. I like Talikud too, but the hassle of getting to these places just isn’t worth it. You want a nice relaxing day at the beach and by the time you eventually get there you’re just surrounded by drunk dumbfucks singing karaoke and littering everywhere.

  2. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    Secdea, what happened there? I stayed there when it was still under development. There were only a few guests. I rang reception 5 times from the room, no answer, so walked down, all the staff were having lunch and couldn’t be bothered to even come to the front desk, too busy gossiping and giggling in the back room. That’s the service you get for 3500P a night? Then in the restaurant the owner lets his dogs wander about and the pug took a piss up the wall beside me whilst I was eating. Really classy place.

    Spent a day at Azalea too. Fantastic around the pool area, but there’s nothing else there is there? A conference room maybe? Don’t remember seeing a single house on all that land.

  3. Profile gravatar of Mindanao

    It is daunting to think about what to do regarding property. I have a house already, but can’t live there because of the kidnap for ransom threat, murder threat, the pollution, the crowds – we were pretty naive a decade ago with the peace agreement that had been signed with the Moro National Liberation Front. The day after the Supreme Court threw out the agreement on account of not allowing a Barangay by Barangay vote, they started blowing stuff up again – like our grocery store, the closest bridge to our house, etc. When I built the house we had moderate Muslims (A couple of dykes!) living next door. But now it is being taken over by full-on crazies with the burka and all. It was nothing like that ten years ago. They dykes had to move because these Muslims are even more violent with apostates than they are the infidels.

    I appreciate this article because we have a cousin in Davao and she told us about Samal. About the bridge. I went with the mistress to a bunch of developments on Luzon and found the same thing. I would NEVER put money down on something not already 100% completed, and the prices for these little houses are staggering. The realtors would be 20 min late, then call me and say they were “almost there”, but 20 minutes later still not there. One was next to a massive illegal dump and smelled horrible. They assured me the problem was already solved. Well that’s funny, because it smells like a dump, looks like a dump, and I can see people dumping stuff there right now!

    Davao itself seems pretty under control. Between there and Cotobato are pockets of some very nice BIFF/MILF and NPA folks. Maybe we should team up and sell development lots to foreigners in Mamasapano. We can offer headless development lots. You make the down payment on your first visit and then your head is put on a pike so that you can always be looking at your plot.

    1. Profile gravatar of tambok
      tambok Post author

      Where do live Mindanao sounds horrible. Ya they really are bullshit the developers. Really are screwing up the environment everywhere, what’s left of it. Come look at Samal you may like it as a visitor but it has the same fucked up problems as everywhere if you live here. Really don’t know where to go anymore?

      1. Profile gravatar of Mindanao

        Well yes, we don’t know where to go. I had traveled to six different Islands before I met my wife but things actually seemed better 20 years ago than they are now. We’re too close to the ARMM, right next to Maria Christina Falls. They blew that bridge up. We have I think five checkpoints between that bridge and the center of town when they are on guard for MILF.

  4. Profile gravatar of Sarah

    Environmental vandals of the worst kind!!!! They prefer to replace 100 year old trees with bare land, (anyone think of erosion problems? heat? loss of wildlife?) and concrete buildings. They just could not see the beauty of nature. But then, what do you expect from these morons? They use rare wild birds as free game, hunting them with sling shots just for the fun of it. Do they get told that it is wrong to kill wildlife? NOPE!

    I’m curious though Joe, Samal is an island, so is there water supply? Electricity? Garbage collection? Internet?

    1. Profile gravatar of tambok
      tambok Post author

      The pitik, sling shot thing has gone crazy. Every kid everywhere is shooting birds. You are right, there is no regard for the environment. The world was created for mankind alone right. We have running water sometimes and electricity is sparodic. Yes there is garbage collection but they just throw it anywhere anyway.

    2. Profile gravatar of snakebitbytheflips

      More like environmental RAPISTS. In my travels in Northern Mindanao, when I was doing humanitarian work (that’s funny, trying to do humanitarian work with people who are not even human LOL), I went on some trips to the interior of Mindanao to tribal areas. I recall seeing logging trucks heading down the mountains, and areas that were clear-cut (at the time, I was naive to the fact that those barren areas were once rainforests), in my travels. When Typhoon Sendong went through Mindanao in December of 2011, there was no vegetation left in the mountains to hold back the waters, which created mudslides, landslides, the end result being a huge wall of water down which careened down the Cagayan River, steamrolling everything in its path. Entire villages were leveled, and in one of those villages (which was actually a nice little community–by their standards) there was a family I had once supported (in fact, I had a house built for them earlier that year). In spite of the fact that the house was built on concrete stilts 3 meters above ground, the floodwaters tore the house from its foundations, sending the family on a hair-raising trip out toward the Cagayan Bay before it was broken apart when it hit a bridge. Their two youngest children–2-1/2 and 4, were killed (the 4 year old was never found), and the three oldest boys–14, 13, and 6–were found on separate floating logs 90 km away. Those young girls were just two out of over 1300 who perished that night.

      Truly a case of second degree murder.

      I had seen photos of that village and other places which were leveled, and not to my surprise there were logging trucks strewn about in the remaining mud. I am sure the flips pulled them out, cleaned them up, and they are now probably doing the same thing they were doing before the typhoon and flood.

      Shortly after that tragedy, Mayor Dongkoy Emano (a separate post on PFB was made, about a month ago, about that corrupt baboon), in a TV interview, gave the usual BS about “cracking down on illegal logging”, etc., ad nauseaum, but within days I was told that the logging trucks were running back down the mountains again. Sick.

      Another note about environmental rape: A year later (2012) there was another typhoon that struck the southeastern part of Mindanao. Someone I know told me that the mayor of one of the towns that was hit was preventing the media and even humanitarian agencies from entering because he did not want the people on the “outside” to see the illegal logging and mining that was going on there. So the victims of his town were doubly victimized. Sick. Sick. Sick.

  5. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    Wait. Filipinos always say they are against climate change, but you say they just destroyed miles of rainforest. I’m not sure who to believe now.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mindanao

      I noticed a provision in their educational plan for climate change. They need to be able to read, write, and do basic math before taking on anything beyond feeding and clothing themselves for the day.

    2. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      But wait there is more!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Flips only say they are against climate change, like everything in that shit hole what they say and what they do are two different things.
      If they were REALLY INTERESTED in doing something to fucking help themselves.
      Firstly they would remove all taxes and duties on Water Saving devices and all Carbon free power generating systems like wind and solar.
      But NO they will build new coal fired power stations !!!!!!!!!!
      They cannot sell the Water saving devices and Solar because they are so expensive compared with Australia, so what taxes are they actually collecting on these thing fuck all, so why not remove them all together and people might see the cost benefit and install them, BUT WE WONT GET ANY TAXES!!!!!!!!!! WELL YOU DON’T GET ANY FUCKING NOW YOU MORONS.
      My bitch for the day .
      As a comparison in Australia a 5 KW installed on my house was $3,800 the cheapest I can find even duty free on SBMA is close to $10,000 for the same size unit.
      PS I haven’t had to pay a power bill in Australia in 9 months.

  6. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    This is that lovely shit hole that the Canadian Tourists were kidnapped from.
    I note they cut the fucking head off one of the hostages early this week.
    My sister was at the marina on a yacht on her way from Australia to Subic Bay when it happened she heard the screams and stuck her head up out of the cabins hatch.
    She told me there were others they tried to take but they were fat and they just laid down and the kidnappers could not lift them, good thing to be fat you are harder to kidnap, Ive seen the shirt now Ive heard about it for real.
    I also have an Australian mate who built a house down there, his widow is trying to sell it .Apparently he spent 6 million on it.
    After looking at these photos who would want to live fucking there??????
    But I looked at an Compound with vacant land for sale in Subic recently , it looked the fucking same, they just left a few mango trees everything else kaput.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mindanao

      I had written a piece contrary to Mindanao Bob on the forum here on how Abu Sayyef kidnaps people pretty far from their home ground in the Sulu Archepelago. I have noticed a couple things about press articles on this. First, they tend to say kidnapped from an “Island”, and then that the head “was found”,in close proximity to the word “remote” as if it was stumbled upon in a remote ravine.

      They were kidnapped from a prestige tourist area across from the capital city of Mindanao, and the head was thrown in front of city hall on Jolo. It wasn’t “found”. It was tosseed in plain sight of witnesses in the most public place on the island.

      I think the reason for this obfuscation is that an acknowledgement of the full truth puts and extremely harsh light on the Philippines and how lawless it is. The army has been getting their ass kicked in a lot of these engagements too.

  7. Profile gravatar of tambok
    tambok Post author

    Ya they just fucking destroy everything and make it look like a moonscape, then comes the desk with the info, then the fucking real estate pushers. Sell 200sp meters for 2 million without a house. Fucking ugly piece of shit with no trees so you have to have air con. Unbelievable, this could be a beautiful place but as usual it’s been fucked up because of ignorant people who only think about money.