If you have the time, there’s Pearl Farm and Malipano Island in Samal. But if you want a quick escape, Paradise Island is just a 10-minute boat ride from the jetty in Davao City. You still get the same sun and white sand squeezed between your toes, and the cabanas with picnic tables allow you to order some of Davao’s culinary delights including many versions of how the famed durian fruit can be served and enjoyed — crepes, shakes, iced, frappés, etc.
Paradise Island Park and Resort is in Samal Island just off the coast of Davao. There was even a band playing while we we were there, which only happens to be Valentine’s Day! There was a good crowd of picnickers and couples out on a date. There’s a choice to stay overnight in any one of those lovely casitas, and a choice of boat or van tours to visit bat caves, giant clams, etc. I’m sure they were interesting but we weren’t prepared to spend more than 4 hours in the Island resort.
And so we did the next best thing. EAT. We tried the vegetables with shrimps served in a coconut, which was very good in its coconut-creaminess. The grilled tuna belly and grilled squid were perfectly grilled and only needed a dash of soy sauce laced with calamansi. Simply prepared and certainly how we wanted it. The sisig , steamed veggies and more completed our Valentine lunch. Nothing fancy. Nothing romantic. But sated our cravings. It would have been perfect with fresh fruits like durian, marang and my favorite mangosteen. No photo of the halo halo but there’s one of the durian frappé.
Food was good and service was prompt. The sun’s out but the sea breeze made it very comfortable to stay and just stare out at sea. By the time we left, tide’s low and the swimming area receded back. But there were not too many swimmers at noontime and early afternoon. Many came to eat. Or perhaps many have booked rooms/casitas and chose to swim later in the afternoon. Or simply out on the boat or van tours around the island. Perhaps we should stay overnight next time and do one of the tours. Next time.