Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canibad: The Worst Secret

I previously mentioned my worst beach experience last year. I have now found the photos of our trip to that beach for me to share to you. But before that, some background. We love Samal, and whenever we're in Davao, we make it a point to explore new places in that lovely island. So, we searched for other beaches in the Internet, and we found Canibad. A lot of bloggers swore that the beauty of the place, and the pictures were amazing. In no time, we were on the dirt road to Canibad, leaping in excitement and anticipation.


Canibad is located on the northeastern part of Samal. From the row of beach resorts fronting Davao City, you can hire a multicab to take you there. But we didn't know that, since we heard the road was bumpy and all. After all, it was a "secret paradise". So, we were offered a habal-habal, riding at the back of a motorbike. We were four, so we got two bikes, at P1,000 per bike. Pretty expensive, but we were so excited, so we said, what the heck. The journey took 1 and a half hours, yes, at the back of a motorbike. It was more like a bumpy rollercoaster ride, very uncomfortable for a long trip. But it was an experience doing so, and again, we were excited.

After asking our driver 10 times if we were near, he finally answered yes. And after 5 minutes, we saw a line of parked multicabs and SUVs. We were here, and the line of vehicles made me wonder. The best kept secret of Samal is not a secret after all. Still, we were excited, and so we found our way to the steep downhill steps to paradise.

When I took my first steps, I heard something that really bothered me, the sound of videoke. Yes, there was videoke in paradise, and because we were so excited, we still had high hopes that it was going to be a great beach. I already had a glimpse of the long white sand beach from uphill, probably not the one I pictured, but again, I thought it must be better down there. Halfway through the descent, there was a sign that said, TOLL: P10. Hmmm....I wasn't sure if it was a joke. Paradise had a sign of P10 for its pathway to its beach. It is at that time when I heard the laughter of people, another videoke machine, and dogs barking. Okay. Now I was worried. But we came a long way, so we had to think positive.


But that positivism didn't last long. As soon as we hit the sand, I wanted to turn back. There was trash around, and the "resort" we entered was like a rundown seaside beer garden in Cavite. There were a lot of people, children running naked, and drunkards powering the videoke. The beach in itself wasn't special. The sand was white but coarse, much like Galera's. It actually reminded me of Galera, which has sadly been abused by irresponsible tourism. Canibad was on the way there.


We were already pissed off. We knew this much anticipated paradise was not what we expected it to be. We were charged P200 for a hut where we could eat our lunch. I slept for an hour after lunch, because I wasn't in the mood to explore. I woke up and walked on the shores to the other end of the beach, and was charged for taking photos. Yes, P10 per shot. It may have been a joke, but the guy who was teasing us told us that this was so because he owned part of that beach. Wow. First time I've heard that.



So after, we decided to head back to Chemas. We had to hike up the steep steps, and ride the motorbike for another 1 and a half hours. We passed by some mangrove areas, which uplifted us in a way.


Canibad was one of my worst beach experiences. We were blaming the bloggers, the ones who took gorgeous pictures, and even ourselves for being so excited. But I've learned several things about the trip. I'm writing about a bad experience in Canibad, and sharing you what I had seen. That may not have been the case for those who went there previously. I may also be expecting too much, when in fact, to some people, Canibad may already be paradise. So, I therefore learned that in reading blogs, one should take note of the writer as well. He may not have the same standards as you do. And don't believe everything you read or hear. The best thing to do is, experience it yourself. That's what we did, and we're glad we got over Canibad already. At least we now know we won't recommend it to our friends.


PS. These pictures make Canibad look better, believe me.

41 comments:

  1. I am from SAMAL ISLAND and it's sad to know you didn't like the place CANIBAD. I hope it not made you generalized the island itself because there are still lots of beaches you must experience to explore in SAMAL. :) God bless

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  2. the kalinawan beach is almost 500 m away from canibad it is really a paradise he he he , they have a zipline, rock climbing ,scuba etc.

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  3. Of course, I love Samal. I have found a lot of other places especially in Talicud. But I wanna know more about Kalinawan Beach.

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  4. "so we got two bikes, at P1,000 per bike." - you were grossly overcharged here. I just paid 200 pesos for the fare from Babak to Canibad. Maybe because I speak their dialect?

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  5. i love samal and our family love to visit the place every now and then.

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  6. i love samal too, i was just overly disappointed with canibad,

    Lantaw, i know it was overcharged. we were just overly excited to care about the price.

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  7. yeah! the people around canibad are abusing the place, but i love samal! i haven't explored the whole island yet. :)

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  8. Sorry about your experience. It seems like an isolated incident.
    The trip is indeed worth it.
    The beauty of the place is its isolation. I hope you weren't expecting a 5-star service.

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  9. try san remegio, kaputian.

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  10. is that the kaputian beach park?

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  11. your the one exploring it, be urself at a time when u go to samal canibad place there's alot of abuse people,try other beaches there. beach are like beach if u like ,u like it..thats the essence of happiness,.gud luck

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  12. im glad i read your blog.. i grew up in davao,but now im in overseas and planning my holiday for next year. i thought id go see Canibad coz i havent been there.parang masasayang lang yata ang oras and effort pala if punta kami dun..

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  13. you sound fake!

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  14. I don't know how I sounded fake, but I have a disclaimer that this was my experience. I know this may not be the case for all, and I don't intend to divert people from going here. I just want to share what I experienced.

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  15. Canibad was indeed a paradise when we went there last 2007 with my college classmates for our farewell party. We were mesmerized because everything was amazing. But then, when my bestfriend and her co-workers visited the place last holy week, she said that the place was not that as beautiful or as mesmerizing like before.
    Sorry for what happened to you and your friends. I understand how you feel. Maybe the people who are living or doing business there should be aware of that and should make actions to improve the place, not just collect money from the tourists.

    And yes, you were overcharged, very.

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  16. maxado kang perfectionist MR. eh kung gs2 mO nung perfect get away sa samal dun po kau sa Pearl Farm.. How can they say that the people in Canibad is abusing there place they dOnt know anything..

    Aimeyventure

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  17. the muncipal authorities are coruption mongers...they take big amounts from private beach owners and neglect those beaches which are under their care..though they charge for visiting those beaches too but dont spend on cleaniliness of these places especialy they dont think of construct roads...for easy access....otherwise private beach owners wont have good bzness...
    hope your post will be an eye opener for muncipal authorities....
    same is true about kaptian beach..very dirty
    though now they linked by a road..

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  18. i'm from samal too and have been to canibad 4 years ago. yes, the place for me is nice and not nice at all. in the beginning as it is still non tourist explored people from canibad are friendly but as i read that they took 10peso/shot! wow! what a good business only using his courage! we do have a little beach in catagman but the beach is nice when the water is calm but ofr course it is ugly when there are waves. people there are still friendly and cost for the moment cheaper compare to other places since it is still not develop commercially. please visit rocky beach near mayumi (disneyland) in catagman. hope you visit again samal there are still lots to see there...i missed my hometown...

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  19. hi I have been to Canibad as well... the travel was a hassle... but back then the beach was indeed a secret.. we were on the quests around...hehehe It is like we own the place.. so that makes it special..

    I am sorry to hear that there are a lot of garbage in the shoreline.. that is sad... because i think what makes CANIBAD special then was the tranquility of being by yourself or the feeling of owning the place coz no other pipol where their... and their were no noise..

    I guess it is not a secret anymore...

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  20. i've been to canibad few years ago when it was still free to indulge the beauty of the beach, when there was still no form of any payment or charge. The place was so promising, it was like i was in some parts of Caribbean, the sand was powder-like, the waters were pristine, cold,and clean,and the whole place was still quiet, unknown to tourists, and isolated. But a few years after my visit there, I heard that there was kind of a landslide that happened on the beach line because of the coastal road construction of the local govrn't. The misfortune made the powder-like sand into rocky/stony sandbeach which it is right now. I think that one of the things that also destroyed what was once a paradise was the promotion--the tourism. It became exposed to more tourists who cared less for the cleanliness of the place. They were just there to enjoy and have fun and destroy the beauty of the beach. But the biggest destruction i think that destroyed canibad was the changed of management. My friend's family was the owner of canibad. Under their management, the place was still very promising and customer friendly but somehow they had to sell the property, so it was sold to a person i dont know--my friend said they sold it to an australian who married a filipina. I went back to Canibad 3yrs ago and i was very disappointed that a lot of the things i loved of the place were changed--were ruined. The changes were not actually for the improvement of the beach but i think for its destruction.

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  21. am a Samalenyo.sad to hear your experience.too much expectation with the place plus you were overcharge with the "habal-habal".i've been to Canibad last 2002 and the place is so awesome(secret paradise) and everything was for free then.
    anyway thank you for loving Samal inspite of your worst experience in Canibad.

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  22. i was disappointed too! i would have to agree, we have different levels of appreciation perhaps. so next time you wanna check out a place on the net and want some advice, make sure the author is well traveled already so his/her opinions have more basis and credibility. peace out! =)

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  23. well,cguro everything is part of development...pag-aasenso ang lugar,aasenso din ata ang utak ng tao......jejejeje
    kung gusto nyong pumunta sa canibad,huwag kayong magmadali sumakay ng motor na pakyawan..
    konting pakipot sa driver.bibigay at bibigay din yan sa tawaran...
    A PIECE OF ADVICE LANG MGA VISITORS...

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  24. I asked my brother about their trip to Canibad,surely you guys we're overcharged, my brother said the "habal-habal" ride was only P60.00, sixty pesos. Can't blame the co-bloggers as well, the people in there destroyed the image of Canibad, not the bloggers.

    They should also destroy that sign of "hidden paradise", its a direct lie.

    - Julian
    [latest blog] http://blogmatters.net/dslr-photography-white-balance/1455/

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  25. My friends & co workers we're there last April 9, 2011 as part of the Island Hopping stop over and I was really disappointed. I am from Davao City and heard a lot about how beautiful that canibad secret paradise is or was ..... a GREAT Disappointment with so many sari sari store and unsightly huts. One thing you will be amazed how "beach owners" charge you if you step on there beach hahahahahahaha. PLEASE DONT GO TO CANIBAD its just a waste of time and money.

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  26. I went to canibad yesterday! we were not overcharged of habal habal we went there with my land cruiser hehehe and one of the owners of the resort is my Friend kaya we were not charged. dissapointed lang ng konti ksi naman yung sands di naman gaano ka pino tulad ng bahamas na pinuntahan namin with my family when we went to a cruise.

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  28. how sad...sad ako sa pagbasa ng mga reviews nyo sa canibad,infact na link ko na ang blog na ito sa mga owners ng canibad beach,baka sakali magising sila sa katutuhanan na ang daming dapat ayusin dun...

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  29. piece of advice lng ha...kng pupunta kayo sa mga beaches sa samal na walang sasakyan, magtanong tanong muna kng how much dapat ung pamasahe,hwag na hwag kayo sasakay kaagad..sa concern about sa canibad, sad ako kasi may katotohanan tlaga lahat ng mga reviews nyo, sana lng magising na ang mga owners dun, i myself sinasabiahn ko tlaga sila aksi mostly kilala ko mga tao dun, if ever ha babalik kayo ng canibad hwag sa central warehouse bumaba kng ngbus kayo, sa palengke kayo bumaba at dun maghanap ng habal-habal, sa likod ng palengke may mga taga aundanao na habal-habal drivers dun un ang byahe nila sa canibad, canibad is sakop ng brgy aundanao, and take note ha..60pesos lng ang pamasahe,kng mgpa dagdag sabihin nyo galing kayo sa cityhall mismo ngtanong kng mgkano pamasahe..(do find these drivers named micheal,bobong, bokyo kasi cla matitino na drivers better kunin mga cp no. nila for future use..

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  30. grabe paninira ng taong gumawa nito s canibad ha! hindi kasalanan ng owner ang mga panget n xperiences nyo! kasalan nyo kc tanga kayo! ang dami ngang mga taong gusto bumalik sa canibad!

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  31. 1000 per habalhabal? My gosh ha. So mahal. Pero may bad experience din ako sa canibad..about transpo nga lang. =c pero kung lahat-lahatin, it's a big yes for me to visit Canibad again. Better if may sasakyan. Yun lang talaga ang mas comfy kung pupunta kayo duon!

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  32. 2009 pa pala eto eh. nag-improve na din ang Canibad. :) i just love the cliff diving! :) breath-taking!

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  33. omg...i was been to CANIBAD 2004 pa,and the place were really a PARADISE as u expected and no wonder that time on my college days we kept coming back every sem.break..and now just about 2yrs.ago na ako hnd nkabalik sa CANIBAD at eto na naririnig ko??grabe nman kung sa gayun ang pag aabuso ng mga tao sa area na yan..i'm planning pa nman to go back there dis end of may..but no offense sa mga owners jan ha,,yup,totoo yung cnabi nya na along side of the beach may matanda dun na naglalakad ka pa lng,tumitingin na sayo kc papunta ka na sa "dagat"nya at may bata na susunod sayo at maniningil na,sa kanya daw ung area na yun and well charge of 10php agad.(ewan ko kung how much na ngayon)and u said per pic??hnd nman ata,over na nman cguro yan..pero to think na ur not familiar to that place and iba ung dialect na gnamit nyo,bka dun na cguro cla nag oover charge sa inyo..
    to end this,,babalik ako sa CANIBAD to see wat are the "improvements that have been done"....SANA HINDI AKO MA DISAPPOINT....

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  34. Been there last week end.....my nag charge nga sa amin ng Php 10 sa end of the island but not per pic....the place is not what I expected as seen on the net....but I asked the locals.....na destruct daw ang island sa bagyo kaya marami ng bato sa shore..may daan na rin for cars and motorcycles going down... we were able to rent a bangka for Php 100/hr..and able to see the resorts on the other side...I would suggest Kalinawan resort.ganda ng beach front nila and the water is so clear and clean...sana eh improve nila ang management

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  35. i feel bad about your experience on this, and you are correct that we have different experiences and expectations. When we went to the place, we didn't pay anything, except for the softdrinks we brought from a sari-sari store, so we love the tranquility of the place, that was 2 yrs ago.

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  36. wanted to buy a lot in samal near to the beach

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  37. this is funny! the first time i visited canibad i fell in love right away! u were charge 1k for each bike? hahah! u were fooled by those habal-habal drivers. i visited canibad three times and the only problem i got was the long travel time. but its all worth it. it's actually a secret paradise! ahahha! u could have at least ask someone u know who already visited the place to guide u. canibad is actually a good place to stay if u want to meditate or contemplate. away from noise and the cool thing is, the experience is like being trapped in an isolated island! hahaha! i had a great time in canibad. i wonder wat happened to ur experience! :D

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  38. This is sad! I was in Canibad about 4 years ago and the place was still very nice. There were only few people in the beach. The place was clean and there were no charges everywhere. This is just sad that today the beach is no longer the so-called "hidden paradise"

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  39. I was here just last November 30, 2012. Yes, at the rocky part of the island were asking for 10 pesos per head as an entrance because as per caretaker, thats for the maintenance. She means cleaning the shore, but definitely not 10 per pic. Habal-habal charge is only 80.00 per head. To sum it up its simplicity and tranquility is the secret of this place.

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  40. We were there just YESTERDAY..there were no more videokes on the 9 commercial beach resorts. the owners agreed to keep it a paradise, like the way it was 5 years ago,when I set foot there, on a hiking trek.. the road going to the place is still the same dirt road.. motorbike rates is P80/ head as usual, plus you get this thrill that plays in your mind, what if the tires explode? or the brakes fail? yes - that's part of the raw paradise..without it, it would just be another walk in the park, and the entire trip would be boring.

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  41. You're not alone. Same feeling I had a year ago. And I am just typing my blog right now with the same experience. Although we didn't experience getting charged for taking photos. I can say the person who owns the Secret Paradise is too greedy. We did not know that if we used their stairs, we will be charged 50Php per head immediately because we cannot find any way down the Island. It's like a trap. And how she demanded for the money is unacceptable. The houses our built 4-meters away from the water. And you are right, the sand is coarse. Though, there's a part of Canibad that you will really appreciate, that is if you will ride a boat and explore Canibad more. You won't be charged for taking pictures. :)

    You can visit my site to read more about the places in Samal. I'm a traveler too, so I won't oversell the any place I've been too because I'm not earning from it. :)

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