Adventures and Sports
Samal Island's Unusual Tourist Spot: A Destination Not For The Faint-Hearted
Ida Damo | Mar 15, 2017
Mainland Samal is home to the largest population of Rousette fruit bats. It has earned itself a title in the Guinness Book of World Records and its “mama bat”, Ms. Norma Monfort, is the 2011 recipient of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Hero.
Bats are the main pollinators of durian and it is no wonder why Davao has the best durian. Large numbers of these nocturnal mammals travel across the Davao Gulf to the durian plantations in Calinan to pollinate its flowers.
Just across mainland Samal is Talikud Island where one cave is rumored to tunnel through Davao City. Another cave was recently made into a bat sanctuary is Dadatan.
Ms. Araceli Ayuste was out inspecting her property in Dadatan when she saw children hunched over dead bats and so she asked where the bats came from.
The children told her that there is a cave nearby with lots of bats. She then told the children that bats should be protected and should not be killed. She even explained that these are fruit bats and not harmful as portrayed in horror films.
Ms. Araceli then asked if the property is for sale. After a while, she acquired the land and made it into a sanctuary for the bats.
The cave is now a part of a tour of Talikud and visitors can go down the mouth of the cave.
Samal now has two “mama bats”.
How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. From the city’s Sta. Ana Port, ride the boats going to Talikud Island. Travel time is 45 minutes to an hour.
From the Sta. Cruz Port of Talikud Island from Davao City, hire a habal-habal to get you to Dadadatan Bat Cave Sanctuary.
For easier access or convenient travel, contact Talikud Island Tours on Facebook.
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