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