History of the City: Island Garden City of Samal

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  • Topic: Davao Region, Davao del Norte, Island Garden City of Samal
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  • Published : May 9, 2013
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. Historical Background
Location:
IGaCoS being located in Davao Gulf , separated from mainland Mindanao by a body of water is accessible via a 15 minute motorboat ride to Babak port from km. ll , Sasa, Davao City , and a 45 minute ride to Peñaplata and Kaputian ports from Sta. Ana wharf, Davao City or board similar transports. Ferryboats also service motor vehicles between Barangay Caliclic and Km. 11.The nearest distance from the island city to Davao city is between Barangay Caliclic and km. 10 Sasa, being only 900 meters apart. In Geographical terms, IGaCos is located between latitude 6º 54’00” and 7º 11’28” north, and between longitude 125º 39’30” and 125º 47’28” east.

Samal is a 2nd class city in the province of Davao del Norte, Philippines. Its official name is the Island Garden City of Samal. It has a population of 95,874 people according to 2010 NSO Census. Samal is a part of the Metropolitan Davao area and is located two kilometres away from Davao City. To reach the island, transportation is available via a barge/ferry service or passenger boats along the Sasa Wharf. The modes of transportation on the island are tricycles or trikes, bus and private car services offered by resorts. Early Beginnings

The name Samal was derived from the word (sama) the tribe of the natives who are the first inhabitants of the Island. People used the word Samal because of the Visayans who miscalled the word Sama. The first datu in the island was Datu Taganiyug, a native of Peñaplata, Samal. In the past, the people of Samal name a place about what was the said place known for. For example, the name Peñaplata was derived from the word "piña" or pineapple because of the abundance of pineapple in the area. This, however, is folk etymology as peñaplata literally means "rock of silver" in Spanish. Tagpopongan is the first barangay in Samal which name was from the word "tagpo" or meet. It was called so because in the past, this place is chose by the datus as their meeting place. The word Samal was also known before because it was commonly used as surname by datus. Abu is the national costume of Samal long time ago. The first business transaction in the island was during the Chinese era. Spanish influence was also felt in the island. The Early Years of the Island

In the early years, Samal Island was settled by indigenous people coming from the northern and eastern coasts of the undivided Davao Province. A large mixed population of Mansakas, Mandayas and Muslims composed the identification of the now so called Sama tribe. As these primeval settlers were organized into communities they were dynastically ruled by a Datu up the early part of the American regime. In the early part of the 18th century governance shifted when christianization came in. As an archipelago, Samal became a District Municipality of Davao Province. Subsequently, in three year time Municipality of Babak and thirteen years after Municipality of Kaputian were created. Each municipal name derived from each different historical tracings and so with the barangays with in their jurisdiction. The second district which is the government center of the city got its district name Samal from the early indigenous settlers forming into one tribe called “Isama” and its barangay name Peñaplata from the Isama term “Malibasa” which means a place where honorable people living in perfect harmony who loved peace that they knew no war. First district derived its name Babak from an abundant shrubs called “Tagbak” grown in the area which were used as land mark for the people’s trade center. White Sand in local dialect “Putting Balas” is significantly true to the shorelines of the third district from which its name Kaputian derived. In the early settlement of the island, there were no known surveyed roads except trails and pathways crisscrossing the lowland areas. Thick forest and green land covered the island’s virgin soil. The Isamas are by occupation farmers and fishermen using...
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