Dahican Beach beckons to surfers and sea lovers

By Annie G. Cuevas

WITH the onset of summer in the Philippines, people are flocking in droves again to the numerous beaches all over the country. Boracay, of course, remains the favorite place for beach lovers but for those who looks forward to more than just skin dipping, swimming, or frolicking on the sand, there are many other beaches that are luring them.

One of them is Dahican Beach in Davao Oriental. With at least foot-high swells breaking against the long stretch of white sand, Dahican Beach has become a favorite destination for many surfers and skim boarders from all over the country and all over the world.

The crescent-shaped beach is about seven kilometers long and awaits wind-whipped waves from Mayo Bay all day long. Scores of surfers and skim boarders, some as young as seven years old, can be seen conquering the waves throughout the day, especially during summer.

Dahican Beach is located on the eastern coast of Davao Oriental province facing the Pacific Ocean. With the Department of Tourism and the local governments in the province cooperating to turn Dahican Beach into a prime tourist destination, investors are pouring in P200 million worth of tourism infrastructure projects into the area.

There are now six private resorts operating along the beach and recently, the city government of Mati has joined the fray by entering into a 15-year lease on a 2.5-hectare beach front property where it hopes to develop facilities that could further entice investors.

In addition to surfing and skim boarding, the provincial government of Davao Oriental hopes to develop Dahican Beach as a marine eco-tourism site, with the Mayo Bay waters abundant in marine life and marine species such as sea turtles, sea cows, dolphins and “butanding” (whale shark).

Among the Davao provinces, Davao Oriental has the most to offer in terms of natural beauty. The province boasts of cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes and rivers, idyllic white sand beaches, exotic islands, lush forests and a bonsai forest. It also has cultural and historical sites such as the Cape of San Agustin and the 17th century San Salvador Church of Caraga.

Aside from Dahican Beach, the following are some of the more popular tourist attractions in Davao Oriental as revealed by www. localvacationplaces.blogspot.com:

ALIWAGWAG FALLS — Discover nature at its finest on the enthralling waterfalls of Aliwagwag, considered as one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls. Elevated at 1,110 feet above sea level, the majestic Aliwagwag Falls is surrounded by a canopy of lush forest stretching to over 10,000 hectares of protected landscape. This falls has a series of 84 cascading waterfalls appearing like stairways, giving Aliwagwag falls its peculiar feature that appeals to adventurers and vacationers everywhere.

PUJADA ISLAND — Pristine untouched islands within Pujada Bay. This island is a must-see destination if you are touring in Mati, Davao Oriental. The conditions are ideal for exploring, scuba diving, snorkeling or simply enjoying a relaxing day on this beautiful white sand beach.

 WANIBAN ISLAND — This small and simple island holds so much potential to help boost the tourism industry of Mati. Tourists who have had the opportunity to spend time in Waniban know the kind of wonders this place has to offer.

MT. HAMIGUITAN — Truly one of Mother Nature’s gifts to the Filipino people, the Bonsai fields of Mt. Hamguitan, which is situated no less than 5,345 feet above sea level, consists of more than 1,000 hectares of forest life filled with wild and exciting flora and fauna. As the name suggests, Bonsai trees span most of the given area.

PUSAN POINT — Located at the easternmost vantage point of the Philippine archipelago, Pusan Point in Caraga marked a historical feat at the turn of the third millennium as this is where the “First Sunrise of the Millennium” occurred. Pusan Point is where the first rays of the sun shine first at the Pacific.

SLEEPING DINOSAUR, CITY OF MATI — Wind through the breathtaking ocean-drive overlooking the grand view of the majestic “Sleeping Dinosaur” in Barangay Badas, City of Mati. Its distinct formation that resembles a dinosaur resting on its belly earned it to be named after the pre-historic giant. Covered in a canopy of verdant forest and surrounded by blue, crystal clear waters, the Sleeping Dinosaur is a 579 hectare mountain formation. It can be reached within 25 minutes via motorboat.

CAPE SAN AUGUSTIN (ALTAR, PAROLA) –Explore the exotic landscapes and be in touch with the historic roots of the Cape of San Augustin in Barangay Lavigan, Governor Generoso. Discover the altar regarded as the place where St. Francis Xavier celebrated the Holy Eucharist when he first step foot at Sigaboy, Governor Generoso in the year 1550. Then explore the rest of the headland’s wonders by seeing the old Parola (lighthouse), mangrove sites, and the white sand beach.

BALITE HOT SPRINGS — Located at Baganga, Davao Oriental, the springs offer relaxing moments to visitors.

MAGPONG FALLS AND MAGPONG CAVE — Stimulate your love for nature as Magpong Falls in Boston makes you forget the bustles of urban life. Located 7-8 kilometers away from Poblacion, awaken your senses to the freezing cold waters while resting under the shades of green forest. Climb the rocky walls of Magpong Cave fit for thrill-seekers who desires an adventure worth coming back to.

(Ms. Annie Cuevas-Lim is regional director of the Philippine Department of Tourism-Los Angeles Office.)