Islands and Beaches
Pujada Island: Paradise Revisited, a Decade After
Ida Damo | Jun 04, 2014
On a trip to Pujada Island in 2004, I stood on a spot on the shore and unabashedly cried over the sight of a pod of dolphins frolicking in the sea. As a dolphin gaga, that moment was forever etched on my mind.
I was mesmerized to see dolphins in their natural environment, and the second trip to Pujada made me hopeful that maybe I could see the same scene.
So there I was, standing on the same spot a decade after and looking out at the sea under the heat of the sun. No dolphins in sight. Instead of being disappointed, I focused instead on the deep clear blue waters of Pujada Bay and the varying shapes and colors of the corals just a few steps from the shore.
Pujada Island is 156 hectares of lush greenery inland. Sadly, the grasses and trees that used to be trimmed are now overgrown, and signs of garbage were everywhere, no matter how well the people tried to hide the plastic bags and discarded cans on the grass and among the trees' branches.
Some people just don't have respect for the environment.
Still, I'm happy that Pujada Island’s shore is still pristine with the sparkling white sand stark against the blue sea.
Immersing in its waters is a relief from the scorching heat of the sun.
The corals and other marine life, like sea urchins, starfishes, and sea cucumbers, are just a few steps from the shore. It's a good spot for snorkeling and swimming. Just be careful not to step on the corals.
Beyond this pool-like area is an abyss, an area of very deep blue waters. Since I don't know how to swim, I stayed clear of this area; I think it would be a good spot for scuba diving, though.
I now know why the dolphins played in that spot. For one, it was deep. Two, fish of different shapes and sizes also stayed there. Three, it was peaceful. In the hour that we stayed there, I counted only two boats that passed by.
I might not have seen dolphins this time around but Pujada Island still holds a special place in my heart, for the memory and for being what it is -- an island that offers raw true beauty.
Note: Pujada Island is in the middle of Pujada Bay between the fishing villages of Taganilao and Macambol.
How to Get There
Pujada Island is an hour by boat from Tamisan Village and BlueBless Resort in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Boat rental to and from Pujada Island is from Php 3,000-3,500.
Mati City is a 3-hour road trip from Davao City. Take the bus from the Davao Overland Terminal in Ecoland to Mati City. Vans plying the Mati route also have their terminals at Gaisano Mall, Abreeza, NCCC, and SM Ecoland.
Bus rate is from Php 200-220, Van rate is Php 230-250.
PAL and other major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu.