Friday, October 18, 2013

Samal Island : Historical Places

Samal Island offers some of the best natural sceneries there is: Monfort Cave Bat Colony, Malipano Island, Talikud Island, Kaputian Beach, best view of Mt. Apo, and Sinapaan Island to name a few. 

But aside from natural sceneries, Samal Island also has some interesting, "unconventional", historical spots : the headquarters of Filipino Crusaders World Army, Inc. , and the Japanese Cave House. Both are not usually visited by tourists like the other spots but are actually equally interesting, especially if you will be able to hear the stories behind their historicity. I was fortunate to be able to visit them, thanks to Wilmar's (my wonderful Samalenyo companion) suggestion after I asked him if Samal Island has some historical spots I could go visit.

THE WHITE HOUSE

White House
Among the locals, the house regarded as the headquarters of Filipino Crusaders World Army is known as the "White House". The house stands proud in the middle of a very large tract of land full of green grass, trees and scattered smaller houses. This house is the seat of a local sect popularly known as "Moncadistas", after General Hilario Camino Moncado. 

Curious minds, like myself, will readily want to know who General Moncado is. Through some little research online, I found out that he is a Cebuano born politician who was Cebu's elected representative to the Philippine Constitutional Convention in 1934. He also ran for Philippine presidency in 1946, and as expected, lost the race with only less than 10,000 votes. But above all, he is hailed as the "Master" of all Moncadista Sect. 

General Moncado Monument
It it is not clear to me what the Moncadista group's aim is but what's clear is there are still followers of this sect all over the Philippines even though General Moncado has long since passed away. When I visited the house, there are people there, mostly ladies, who serve as the care takers of the house.

View from the White House
I was toured inside the house where pictures of Moncada can be seen all over. There is even a picture placed in something that looks like an altar which instantly reminded me of a Rizalista sect altar. I was allowed to see Moncada's room and even was allowed to go up to the house's attic, and see the surrounding place from there. The view was definitely pretty.   

Though considered as a headquarter of a supposedly "worldwide" group, the White House evidently needs some serious repairs, and possibly a restoration. It is already dilapidated and if nothing will be done soon, it would eventually succumb to old age and ill-maintenance. 


THE JAPANESE CAVE HOUSE

We initially planned on going to Monfort Cave Bat Colony but we arrived late (past 5PM) and it's already closed. We just decided to visit another spot, the Japanese Cave House, to maximize my time. 

Entrance to the Japanese Cave House
Now, what I am curious about this spot at first is its very name : Japanese Cave House. I thought at first that it is some sort of a Japanese-themed resort with a man-made cave as can be gleamed from the entrance. But by reading what's written in the sign : stalactites, stalagmites, prehistoric fossils, I know then that I was wrong. 


Entrance to the Cave
Entering the compound, I saw a  relatively pretty garden with some benches and some huts available for rent for those who would like to spend the night in the place. Near one of the hut is the entrance to a supposedly historical cave where Japanese soldiers tried to hide during the World War 2.


Many objects, supposedly left there by the Japanese soldiers who used the cave as hide-out, was on display, albeit in a not so presentable manner. Letters, disks, fossilized shells, and other things were left on the floor or hanging on the walls of the cave. Handwritten markers explaining the significance of a certain object were also there though their presence adds to the chaotic scene inside the cave.

End of the cave as of the moment.
I think it would be better if all the things "littering" the cave would be taken out and be placed inside one of the huts to serve as a mini-museum. Printed markers explaining the significance of the artifacts should also be displayed alongside them. If this will be done, not only these things will be better preserved and orderly presented, but the cave will also be more presentable because of having its natural appearance. 

Thoughts

Both White House and Japanese Cave House, in my own opinion should be preserved and maintained because they are part of Samal Island's local history. One of the problem I see here is that they are both privately owned, with White House as the more controversial one. White House's ownership is indeed private, but who the real owner now is still in dispute. With the Japanese Cave House's case, the owner should ask help from someone who has experience in maintaining and developing a historical spot for it to be more presentable. Its present state should be improved to be more worthy of visit.


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

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


1 comment :

  1. Sad to say brad but its true I talked the caretakers before regarding that concerns but they are not interested. the white house specially kasi yan yung formmer religion ko.,.,kaso they keep silence everytime we consulted about preserving the place :(

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