Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cliches and Circles

Dauis Church, Bohol (April 19, 2014)

Does sunset sometimes
look like the sun’s coming up?
Do you know what faithful love is like?
You’re crying. You say you’ve burned yourself.

But can you think of anyone who’s not
hazy with smoke?
- Rumi

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dahican Beach: Waves, Abs and Turtles

7km stretch of white sand shoreline
Dahican has a soft spot in my heart. 

Whenever the city life begins to be chaotic, Dahican Beach, located in Mati, Davao Oriental is another on my list for refuge (second to Samal Island's Vanishing Island and Isla Reta).

Amihan Boys train everyday after picking up trash along the shorelines.
It used to be like our secret hideaway but now it's known for skimboarders and surfer wannabes. Based on the local history, Dahican is where the Moro seafarers during the pre-Spanish era anchor their boats because of its fine harbor. The local settlers started to call it Dahican, coming from the word dahic, meaning "to set on shore a boat'. According to Kuya George "Jun" Plaza, dahic also means the 'movement of the pawikans coming from the sea to the beach to nest'. The pawikans, usually Hawksbill and Olive Ridleys trudge ashore to nest during the months of May and June.

It is now being packaged as the skimboarding capital of the south, with sparkling turquoise water to boot and waves good place for amateur watersports training. It is along the white sand shoreline stretching to seven kilometers of Mayo Bay, facing the Pacific Ocean.

The pawikans (marine turtles) are considered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as endangered. Meaning, these species are in danger of becoming extinct due to "the unabated causal factors such as hunting and intrusion to its habitat."

It is not just the home of the marine turtles. Dugongs (sea cows) and dolphins are also  inhabitants here. In one of our stay here last November, Kuya Jun told us of dolphin sightings. But it was gloomy that day, so there was no close encounter. But the knowledge that these sea creatures abound the area and the turtles continue to lay its eggs on its shore, we can hope of seeing them coming back again.  And Amihan sa Dahican boys and girls are continuously cleaning the shorelines  and protecting these creatures, even without renumeration or clear support from the LGU.

Fun fact: Did you know that the pawikan hatchling when it survived the ocean and becomes mature will return to the shore where it was born to lay its own eggs? That's pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa (love for your birthplace) magnified!

Go now Gong Pawikan, go go now and hope you'll survive the cruel seas (most esp. humans!)
One on my bucketlist is to be able to swim with the pawikans but seeing them (and almost witnessing one laying its eggs) in one day is enough for now. Before the start of the Skimboarding competition for the Amihan 10th Anniversary last April 5, one hawksbill pawikan was released. It got into the fisherman's hook. The fisherman brought it to the Amihan boys as they're recognized by the Mati City Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR- PAWB) as caretakers of these endangered species. They put a tag on the pawikan (to determine where it was found and enable them to monitor it)  and then released it to the enjoyment of the people and the kids. The kids keep on cheering for the pawikan as it edge its way to the seawater.

To make your summer get-away here fully memorable, why don't you try the skimboard lessons for P200 per hour or surfing lesson for P400 per hour. I have to warn you though, the Amihan boys and girls make it look so easy but prepare for muscle cramps after.

I have to ask for Bayugyug's (their local skimboarding champion) own board as a goodluck charm for this training. 
Telai (another CSer) and I had a hard time balancing on the board!
We Couchsurfers  bring our guests here to experience the simplicity and nature at its rawness. Plus you get to see the abs of the Amihan Boys every morning! *insert naughty smile here*

Couchsurfing Davao during the Sambuokan Festival.
'Cause girls know how to have fun. :p 
I prefer to go here when there's no festival. But if you're the beach party goer, visit the place during Amihan Anniversary every April, Pujada Bay Festival on June, Sambuokan Fest every October since there's food and free bands. And there's the infamous Bikini Abre (on Amihan's Anniversary) to get you giggling until the wee hours of the morning. You have to see it for yourself to know what I'm talking about. :)

How to get here: 

Take the van near Gaisano Mall. Fare is P220. It's a three to four hours drive from Davao to Mati City. If you're with a big group ( five or more) you can negotiate with the van driver to take you to Dahican for an additional P30 each fare. If you're on a budget, take a pedicab for P20, pakyaw for P50. Or you can take the pedicab also for P15-20 each.



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