Islands and Beaches

Let’s Unravel One of Manay, Davao Oriental’s Secrets: Bonga Cove

Davao Oriental

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Ida Damo | Nov 16, 2018

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Being known as a beach fanatic, the cove was one of the come-ons for visiting Manay, Davao Oriental upon meeting Mike from the municipal planning office.  He showed me photos of a spring lagoon, white sand, and then clear blue sky and sea located in just one place.  It got me hooked.  And so when I went there for the Mautak Ako Showdown, a day was allotted for me to explore Bonga Cove.

From the town center of Manay, we rode an SUV to get to where the short trek started.  We parked our vehicle under the canopy of trees and then walked on patches of grass, brown earth, and stones.  It was humid as it was about to rain and I had to stop every now and then to catch my breath and to talk with Mike.

READ: Caraga’s Bango Beach: A Welcome Addition to Davao Oriental’s List of Beaches Without the Crowd 

I can smell the sea as we descended into a smaller path with bigger stones and then, there it was… the cove.

Framed between two talisay trees were blue skies, blue sea and rock formations jutting out into the sea.

One was called Singapore Island.  A story that Mike heard about was that one buoy with the word Singapore printed on it, washed out into the outcropping and so people began to call it Singapore Island.

Another story is that of a group of friends got hold of a small Singaporean flag and then hoisted it in the island until it became frayed and disappeared.

Whatever the story the island keeps, it serves as a beautiful place from where you can be one with the sea for within its space are holes that serve as natural pools or Jacuzzis to swim in.

If you go back onshore, the white sand beach is almost always free from the crowd where you can spread a blanket and sunbathe.

Under the big Talisay trees is a small community of fisherfolks and their families.  They are the ones who take care of the island and you can buy the basic food from them like fresh catch from the sea.

READ: This Charming Island Jewel In Davao Is A Hidden Paradise 

At the back of the huts is the spring that resembles that of a small lagoon with brackish water.  Here, the families do their laundry, take a bath, and then dry their clothes on the white sand.

Ducks and geese float on the water’s surface and give you a glimpse of the interrelationships between humans, animals, and nature.  It also shows the serenity that one can enjoy in Bonga.

Where can you have a spring Lagoon, white sand beach, blue skies, and blue sea but in a place called Bonga Cove.


How to get there:


Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu.  Manay is 4-5 hours by land from Davao City passing through Mati City onboard private vehicles, buses, and vans.
Coordinate with Manay Tourism or Manay Planning Office to get to Bonga Cove.

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