At 9am, we were headed towards Samal’s not so touristy spot. I still could not get over from the “more than pungent” asphyxiating smell of bat dung aka “droppings” – for a fancy name to call it. Yeah, we came from the Monfort Bat Sanctuary prior to this. For a more splendid contrast, it’s a battle between the remains of the killer bat smell, and the freshest of air from what I am about to write. 🙂
After a few minutes of the car’s steepy, uphill climb, we arrived at the White House of Samal. There stood a fence built with egg-colored limestone and native wood, a closed gate with missing planks, and a vast piece of land rooted with remarkable history. From a distance you could now see a grotesque mansion, sitting perfectly atop, with a stellar view of the marvelous blue sky towering over Davao city.
Hilario Camino “Moncado” Del Prado – supreme Commander in Chief of the Filipino Crusaders World Army (FCWA), might have stayed in this now-idyllic house (or what’s left of it). The massive building served as a headquarters in the mid-1930’s, when the group “Monacadistas” were established. These so-called group still exists in the country today, but small in number – all with their own culture and religion.
From a “purely white” house erected in the 20th century, to a more grungy looking abode, this place parked all of its treasures right there from where it stands. Remnants of a glorious past were hung on its walls, pictures, notes, maps, and other items, provide the mansion with its rustic touch.
Outside is a pleasurable view of the Davao gulf, along with the thin dark hues of the Mt. Apo hiding behind the clouds. (Inhaling deeply to cleanse my lungs – away goes the sickening smell of urea).
Because the place is an off-beaten path (for some), efforts to restore this great mansion could not be recognized. Aside from the family that I met who takes good care of the house, nothing could ever stop the power of little creatures known as “termites.” And because the house is fully built with a strong type of wood, I suppose, it will take a few more decades for this to be crumbling down.
And for that customary self-portrait (for most travel bloggers), I have this.
The fact that this simple landmark survived the many natural happenings in a span of nearly a century, I hope some organizations will look into some papers to rescue this house from continuous deterioration.
Granted that I have a fortune to spend, I would consider purchasing the property myself! 🙂 Lol!
Samal Island can be accessed from Davao City in three entry points:
- Santa Ana Wharf
- Sasa Wharf via motorboat
- Sasa Wharf via Bus
Once you arrive in Samal Island, you could hire habal-habal drivers to take you on a tour of the area. Or you could pre-arrange already a van to take you to the different places in the island (this is recommended for those who are planning to go as a group). Tell them that you want to visit the White House and they know what you’re talking about.
For more useful info, you may visit this site.