Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Samal Island : Halls and Churches

Yes, I am a certified history buff. It's kind of a habit for me to look back to the past through reading history books, visiting places with historical significance, and discovering things and structures tied to the local history of a certain place. This is why, every time I visit a place, the very first thing I am looking for is its government hall, town plaza and churches because these are the places where all the powers and authority in a certain city or town reside, and where significant events pertaining to the town could have happened.

Samal Island is a curious case for me. Even before I became a blogger, I already know that once upon a time, there were three towns comprising the whole Island Garden City of Samal. When it was made into a city, those three municipalities were merged and became one once again. What made me curious is the fact that while some local politicians wants to divide their cities and municipalities (and even provinces) to create more cities or municipalities, Samal Island experienced just the opposite. 

Because of me being inclined to historical stuff, the first thing I want to do upon arriving at Samal is to see and discover any traces of the three once municipalities of Babak, Penaplata and Kaputian. As accommodating as he can be, Wilmar, a friend and a local of the city, agreed to bring me to the halls and churches of the island. I was very fortunate because it turned out that all of former towns' structures are still existing and being utilized.

Kaputian Town Hall. Island Garden City of Samal.
We first visited the Kaputian Town Hall, which can be found at the southern part of the island. The town Hall is still in use and redesignated as the Kaputian District Hall.

Kaputian Church. Island Graden City of Samal.
Not far from the former town hall is the former town church. The church's design is unconventional because aside from its circular base, the roof is designed to resemble a large taklobo or kabibe (clams). As the church is elevated, one can have a soothing view of the blue sea not far from it.

Babak Town Hall. Island Garden City of Samal.
Next hall is the Babak Town Hall which can be found at the northern part of the island and is now redesignated as Babak District Hall. Some offices of the city government still uses the building for official transactions that's why it is still well-maintained. My friend Wilmar's house is just near this hall.

Babak Church. Island Garden City of Samal.
Just across the road is the former town's church, Babak Church. This church, even though small, is the most well-designed of the three Samal Island's churches. Because there was no mass that day, I just said a little prayer and proceeded with my "town and church hopping" activity.

Penaplata Town Hall (Samal City Hall). Island Garden City of Samal.
The most beautiful of all the halls of the Island, Penaplata Town Hall is now redesignated as the official city hall of the Island Garden City of Samal. The hall, with a beautifully landscaped lawn, can be found right at the center of the island. 

Penaplata Church. Island Garden City of Samal.
From the city hall, we visited some other spots before we proceeded to the last structure: the Penaplata Church. The church is very simple with no traces of extraordinary design. But for me, it is still worth visiting because it remains a testament to the recent past , though a short one, of the city (and its three former towns).

After finally seeing all the structures I want to see in Samal Island, we continued our tour to the other tourist spots in the the island, one of which is the best for me: The Sinapaan Island (also known as the Vanishing island).

This post is part of my Samal Island tour series. Please keep posted for more interesting posts about the city...


This is part of my Davao Region Tour, November 30 to December 2, 2013

Samal Island
Escapade on an Island Paradise
Historical Places
Kaputian Beach and the Samal Art Legacy
Malipano Island View Deck
Natural Attractions
Vanishing Island

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. wow! galing mo brad,.,.ehehehhe! youve toured all the beautiful places in the Island,.,san mo pa balak pumuntah? heheheheh,.,.hmmmm,,. KUDOS!

  2. Sa Samal Island ulit... Alam mo namang yan ang paborito ko... Hehehe...

  3. Hi Sir, pano po kayo ngpalipat lipat sa tour nio sa samal? walking distance lang ba yan or thru habal habal?