Samal Islands Philippines
Island Garden City of Samal
Samal Island Features
The DENR-ERDS XI mangrovetum is the first of its kind in the country. It is a place where various mangrove plant species are grown and preserved. Its purpose is to ensure preservation of the 47 species of true Philippine mangroves. This mangrovetum was established by the Mama Earth Foundation through the initiative of Ulrich Kronberg, a German environmentalist, who found Samal Island and ideal place to put up this mangrove conservation project.
The mangrovetum project officially opened and established in March 1, 2001. Presently, it covers about 10 hectares and is located within the timberland and protected area in the shore lines of Baybay, Brgy. San Isidro, Babak District. It also serves as biodiversity and conservation site for birds and other wildlife's wonders.
The Samal Mangrovetum Project has gained considerable recognition from the Coastal Resource Management Project as the southern Mindanao showcase for CRM best learning destinations. As reputable field laboratory and show room for mangrove ecosystem in Region XI, it has become a favourite fieldtrip destination by environmentalists and students.
Samal's bats are known by its scientific name Rousettus Amplex Caudatus and common name Geoffroy's Rousette fruit bats. The almost two-million bats that are hanging on the rugged walls of Monfort's underground caves actually came from more than 70 other underground caves in the island after escaping angry villagers sometime ago, who blame the bats for gobbling up their backyard vegetables, like stringbeans, cucumbers and squash. Only the timely arrival of Kennedy and the village chieftain of sitio Bandera pacified the fuming villagers and saving many of the bats from ending up in the steaming stew pots as "kaldereta".
The beautiful place called Mamacao Spring is lush with small patches of green forest surrounding it. Downstream it thrives clusters of Nipa plants that look like sentries gallantly guarding the springs. Covering it like umbrella is a giant Balete Tree whose engorged root formations stand like giant columns. The Mamacao Spring is in a foot of a cliff where its gushing waters flow down to the shoreline.
DAP-AG... SHY STAR OF THE SEAS
Boy with Starfish
Samal Island is not only blessed with world class beaches. It is also full of colorful unique marine creatures adorning its winding coasts. Some of them are creatures characterized superficially with radical symmetry known as sea stars locally known as "dap-ag".
"Dap-ags" are amazing creatures. They radiate diversely in shapes and colors. They help provide a balance in the ecosystem by surviving chiefly on arthopods, small fishes and mollusks. They are believed to have withstood different phases of evolution. There are about 1,800 known species inhabiting all the floor of the oceans. Their habitats ranges from tropical coral reefs, kelp forests to deep-sea floor. No starfish are found in freshwater environments.
These shy stars of the waters are seen everywhere... sluggishly moving around and clinging on the rugged corals, burrowing its abodes and littering the coasts of the world renowned Samal Island. In some cases, dap-ags are used as ornaments during sandcastle building contest.