Talicud Island: The Virgin Emerald and Pearl of Davao Gulf
While a lot of sun worshipers who head to Davao would think of neighboring Samal Island, most people haven’t seen the virginal beauty of Talicud Island—a pearl and emerald floating on Davao Gulf. Virginal in the sense that despite its powdery-white sand beaches that stretched for miles and being so close to Mindanao’s urban hub, it is almost relatively untouched by the capitalist party and pa-sosyal business resorts.
Talicud Island is part of the beautifully named “Island Garden City of Samal,” or we Pinoys shortened it as “Igacos.” Located near the southwestern tip of Samal Island, it is just an hour boat ride from urban Davao City. So close to the urban center, yet so rural is its ambiance.
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The island itself is made up of four barangays: Linosutan, Cogon, Dadatan, and its central community Santa Cruz, where the main port of the island is located. With the population of over just 3,000, life is laidback in Talicud.
Back then, the main mode of transportation is kabayo or kalabaw (horse or carabao cart). Now, habal-habal (motorcycle) is the king of its roads.
Life here is pretty much simple. Most of the people still depend on fishing and agriculture, particularly coconut. If you want some respite from all of the cyber-thingies or enslavement from the electronic and mechanical world that we are now living, you may opt to stay here for a while. Electricity only runs from 3 in the afternoon till 1 in the morning.
Night out activities here: Videoke, some San Mig and Tanduay Lapad or tuba. That’s it. No dance parties (except during fiestas of course), no patay-sindi kabarets, no noise. Just crickets and silence.
While Talicud Island has some several resorts in its ring such as Babu Santa and Isla Reta, I opted to go where I have been before—the powdery white sands of Linosutan Beach at its western coast. No resorts, no entrance fees, just pure virginal experience–and memories of childhood.
Linosutan is the barangay in the western side of Talicud. I have fond memories here, in which I would write later. Much of it is still undeveloped (in my own opinion, I would like to keep it that way. If tourism should enter here, I hope a responsible form of tourism should take over.) for over a decade. Fishermen, children, and some tourists drop by this virginal beauty. No resorts, just the beach, some huts, some rocks, and some nearby coral gardens that are just a walking distance during low tide.
And what I like about Talicud’s Linosutan Beach was its silence. Only a few people, mostly residents and fishermen from the community. I have the entire white sand beach on my own. During clear mornings, this is the best time to view the three majestic peaks of Philippines’ King of the Mountains, Mount Apo (Sandawa).
So, if you are tired of the so-called “modern life,” try camping in Talicud Island for a change.
As the powdery white sand, the turquoise blue Davao Gulf, and the green coconut palm trees hug each other that noon, the memories of isolation and appreciation started trickling. My trip to Talicud wasn’t just a side trip, it was a sentimental journey. My family and I lived here for a week, and still remember it.
And of all the things that happened, serendipity came in. I never knew that we left something in the island, and it is still there 16 years after.
My sentimental journey starts.
How to Get in, Around, and Out of Talicud Island:
- Go to Santa Ana Wharf at Davao City, near Magsaysay Park. The Talicud-Davao City Island Ferries leave on specific schedules, which lasted from 6AM to 3PM only.
- Fare costs P60 as per October 2012.
- It is a one hour ride. So you might take your mp3 players, cameras or just booze off.
- It will either dock first at Kaputian Port (in mainland Samal) or some sitio in Talicud Island.
- The main port of Talicud Island is in Santa Cruz. All ferries to Davao City and Kaputian Proper are found here. Last trip out for Davao City is at 3PM.
- If you decided to go beyond 3PM, you have the option to go through Kaputian Proper. You may have to rent a boat if you are in a hurry (P150-P250). There is a bus serving the town to Davao City via Babak and Sasa. The journey is said to take at least an hour and a half to two.
Santa Ana Wharf. Davao City’s terminal for Talicud Island-bound bancas or ferries.
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