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King Cobra

The Island Garden City of Samal is an island of beauty. It is also the home of
a very poisonous snake known as Banakon or King Cobra (Ophiophagus
Hannah). The Banakon is a shy but sly reptile. It often strikes in a least
expected time. It is more dangerous when threatened.
There is a local resident in Babak District who is not scared of this dangerous
snake. The people call him "King Cobra" or Commander Danny Malinao. He
had been to places where no one even dares to go. He invaded the lairs of
the dangerous Banakon. He'd been catching these poisonous reptiles since
he was a child. Apparently he got this "gift" from his father who used to
catch Banakon for a living.
Samal&News once visited him in his residence to know and see how he
catches and tames this dreaded predator with his bare hands. Danny
Malinao has a collection of cobras in his residence. He said was never been
bitten by a snake ever since. He showed us a beheaded cobra in a
concoction of Tanduay. He had also collection of small cobras inside the
empty plastic bottles of mineral water. He even demonstrated to the delight
of the crowd how to catch a big banakon. During one of his exhibitions, a
snake almost escaped from the cage that almost made the witnessing crowd
scampered. Danny adeptly grabbed the snake's head with his bare hands.
He picked it up and toyed with it. He put his own hand in front of the snake
and tapped its head. He even put the snake in his mouth.
"The King Cobra or Banakon actually eats other snakes", stated Danny. To
prove his point, he put snakes of different sizes in a plastic bottle. There we
saw bigger snake attacking and devouring the smaller ones.
The man really fears no snakes. Truly, he deserves to be called Commander
Danny, King of the Cobras.

The Legend of White Rock
A story was once told.
Two friends went up to explore the Puting Bato (White Rock) at eight in the
morning. But, they were not able to return home. Six native island dwellers,
four men and two women were waiting for them to descend from the
mountain. They patiently and silently sat on the slope since ten in the
morning to wait for the safe return of the two climbers. The natives did not
know the names of the two hikers they saw ascending and grappling on the
rocks towards the Puting Bato. Still, the six natives persistently for the two
hikers waited for hours.
Eight hours had passed. The hikers were still nowhere in sight. The eldest of
the natives frowned with concern. Though he had expected this to happen,
the incident confirmed one thing. The supernatural beings spirits known to
inhabit this particular island peak have taken other victims again.
The natives remember their elders telling them stories about a similar pair
who climbed the peak one evening in the middle of the summer equinox
thirty years ago. The pair was not able to return home. After days of endless
searches, the lost pair was already considered dead by their relatives.
Miraculously, after six years, the lost pair was seen again descending from
the mountain. They amazingly bore no signs of aging or physical changes
brought about by the six years of absence.
Unmindful of the biting cold of the night, the six natives still patiently waited
for a sign. The eldest of the six natives was worried but hopeful. If the lost
pair won't descend from the mountain, they would scale the mountain to
search for the hikers. If still unfound, they were still hopeful they will see
again the hikers, six years from now.
And they will still be around to meet them.
by Rene Estremera

Balete Tree
Samal is the only place in the Philippines where a number of century old
Balete trees still thrive. The biggest Balete tree is found at Brgy. Anonang
Elementary School. The Balete trees are known to be the residence of Kapre
and unseen creatures locally known as "dili ingon nato" or "not like ours".
Many still believe they indeed exist because some people residing near these
trees have queer and unexplainable experiences of being transported to the
"kapre's" wonderland.
Stories were told that some old folks claimed they have witnessed the
transformation of the Balete into a palace resided by people who looked like
hairy Caucasians. The "transformation" usually happened during night time.
Some revealed they have been "kidnapped" but was however, returned
home before the sun rises.
According to folklores, the Kapre sometimes harmed individuals who disturb,
vandalize, cut a twig or take any part of the tree. A story was once told that
a person was kidnapped by the Kapre. His family mourned for days for his
untimely demise.
One month after he was buried, he was found alive and unharmed sitting
under the Balete Tree. The man narated that he was kidnapped and was
forced to serve in the palace of a royal family of the Kapre.
Out of curiosity, the villagers excavated his grave where his mourned body
was buried. Everyone was surprised to see a banana trunk instead of a
human body inside the coffin.

Punta Paet
Early residents of this place believe that this is the place where two
submarines full of gold submerged. The sunken vessels have been guarded
by a giant octopus for ages.

Baga Cave
This cave was believed to have an underground tunnel or a road that
stretches up to Brgy. Mintal, Davao City. This was recounted by a faith
healer who had once entered the cave with his dog. He noticed a tunnel
going to the inner part of the cave. After doing his rituals, he went straight
out of the cave only to find out that his dog did not with come out with him.
Thinking that his dog left the cave ahead of him, he did not bother to look
for it anymore. To his dismay, the dog was nowhere to be found at home.
After a week, the faith healer went to visit a relative in Brgy. Mintal. He was
surprised to see the dog resting in the house of his relative. When he asked
his relatives when did they first was the dog, they simply told him the dog
was already staying there for days.
This mythical creature had been described as a gigantic dark super-natural
tobacco puffing creature that looked like a member of Orangutan family
while others claimed it looked like hairy Caucasians. Others likened it to an
ogre who got two eyes. They were believed to be residents of Balete trees
and revered as royalties in the "not like ours" kingdom. Stories have been
told that a Kapre could fall in love with humans. Once in enamoured, a kapre
could grant all the whims and fancies of his or her loved one. However, the
kapre was known to hold captive inside the Balete tree the human he or she
has fallen in love with.
Another story was also told where a Kapre had fallen in love with a married
woman. This time the kapre did not kidnap the woman. Instead, he provided
her with everything she needed and wanted. However, the husband of the
woman became sick for unknown reasons. His whole body was paralyzed
and no medicine was able to cure him.
Until now, myth or not, the Kapre-human relationships are still one of the all
time favourite bedtime stories that lull young and old to sleep.

Sanipan Island
Also known as Wishing Island, it is revered by island residents as an
"enchanted island". It can only be seen and explored during low tides. It is a
favourite picnic venue during weekends. It is littered with mangroves and
surrounded by clear blue waters. However, once in the island, one should
behave, observe silence, and should we watchful. Visitors are advised to
pack and leave immediately especially when high tide commences.
There was one incident when a group of backpackers went partying in the
island. Some got drunk and became rowdy. To the backpackers' surprise, a
storm happened in a hot mid day sending them panicking to flee the island.
Unfortunately, no one was able to leave the island. All were drowned in its
shallow waters.