Villa Amparo at Samal (IMAGEHEAVY)

Some of my avid readers and silent lurkers might have noticed that almost a full week passed without me updating the blog! I have a perfectly reasonable alibi but knowing you guys, you don't want to hear that so let's just say I got my last post last year's wish of coming home to the ocean. We were at Samal last Friday because my mother found her cousin's marvelous pictures at this place called Villa Amparo. We traveled to Davao from CDO on New Year's Day just to see the place (and get away from our crazy lives)

Samal Island is actually a beautiful Island Garden just right next to Davao City. It's a popular beach haven for tourists and Davao locals. For only Php10, you can ride a wharf from Sasa, Davao to Babak or bring the whole family for an affordable cost. We paid Php300 for our APV and expedition of five (and a half).

Yeah, enough talking, here are some pictures!

Villa Amparo has a breathtaking view of a huge expanse of the ocean. I could hardly stop snapping away.

The best time at the villa for me is after the sun has set. You can hear the crickets singing (or probably looking for a mate) and the waves dancing together as they hit land. Get your SLR camera ready because you might just need that 160,000+ ISO to take amazing pictures. Of course, don't try to swim at night. The waves are too strong and the water too high. For Abby and I, we contented ourselves by reading books by the bay: My Unfair Godmother for her (recommended by me) and The Warrior Heir for me.

Kaye finally conquered her fear of the ocean (she didn't have this when we went to Boracay two Octobers ago). This is her and her mom, my Aunt Beth, relaxing with the wind in their face.

Early morning to 10am is the best time to go swimming. The water level is just right and you might not die of skin cancer under the scorching heat (but please, don't omit sunblock). I suggest you stay under the wooden bridge so you get more sand instead of rocks or wear slippers (crocs are the most preferable). My sisters and I scratched all our knees, we don't want you to experience the same.

Bring a waterproof camera and snorkeling equipment! These seas are snorkeling friendly. We weren't looking for it, but we found a jellyfish too near the beach front. We had to get Deb on jellyfish patrol so we could swim almost peacefully. I also screamed murder when I accidentally stepped on some corals. Too snorkeling-friendly, if you ask me.

The place is swarmed (or flocked, rather) with birds! Birds of different kind and colors, inside their houses, inside a an unlocked cage, under the wings of an old grandfather tree. They just hanged around, not flying elsewhere despite the fact that they can. These birds are either bewitched or are being fed really, really well by the owners.

It was too soon to go, I only hope I could come back soon. All I did was sleep, eat, swim and take pictures when I could've tried other amenities! Other amenities include:
.      - Playground (only for 7 years and below so I couldn't use it)
.      - JetSki (Php3,000/hour)
.      - Trampoline (Did not inquire price)
.      - Floating playground (Did not inquire price)
.      - Billiard Table (Php150/hour, I don't play)
.      - Karaoke (Php150/hour, too embarrassing)


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