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 BeginningsThe 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 IslandIn 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 old fashioned and crude methods of agricultural farming and fishing.
Their products were contained in baskets woven by their own hand arts, raw materials of which are abundantly grown in the island and transported by means of handling and through animal driven carts in the in-land and paddled bancas as the water transport. Barter system was their traditional economic enterprise.The coming of the Christian from the different Provinces of Luzon and Visayas and from the other parts of Mindanao, introduced improvised methods of farming and fishing. More arable lands were acquired and cultivated. More developments and settlements happened, population continue to grow as years passed by until the time that Samal Island was tapped as one of the government tourism zones. Samal Island is one of the seven thousand tropical islands in the Philippines with a larger number of glorious beaches complete with soft white coral sand, rustling coconut palms and gently lapping turquoise water.
A number of natural waterways and caves are strategically located within the island.Creation of the CityWhen Samal Islands were created into three municipalities, it was perceived that its development would be mobilized being located proximately to the progressive metropolis of Davao and nearby growth centers in Davao Del Norte and Davao del Sur. Yet, after the past decades since its creation as municipalities in 1948 and as three district municipalities in 1953 and 1966 its development lagged far behind from its neighboring local government units. Hence in 1996 the high ranking officials of Davao del Norte led by Congressman Rodolfo del Rosario and Provincial Governor Propspero S. Amatong with other members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan moved on to usher Samal a new vision of hope before its Golden Anniversary in 1998.During this year a new concept of development strategy cropped up which is the creation of an urban center in a rural environment that would set a new horizon of modernity and prioritize quality public service delivery.
When Samal was created into a municipality the desire of the early administrators was to decentralize the decision-making in the delivery of basic services to reach out the countryside of the Island. Since Samal Island is geographically separated from Davao del Norte, delays in addressing the needs of its constituents were experienced due to the difficulty in mobility.The Province centralized system in decision making is considered as one contributory factor in the Island under-development issue. Expected developments for the three municipalities were not attained due to its sluggish development endeavor. Potentials in the Island are not properly secured, harnessed and maximized. Henceforth, it was realized that having more local government units in an Island with different sets of policy makers is not a guarantee for development; instead this could hinder expected development due to its distinct geographical character.
With the foregoing realities, Congressman Rodolfo P. Del Rosario passed the Bill that result to the passage of Republic Act 8471, which paved the way for the integration of the three municipalities into one local government unit that is now called the Island Garden City of Samal.This was signed on January 30, 1998 by His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos and was overwhelmingly approved by the people of the locality during the plebiscite held on March 7, 1998. Almost four months later, on June 30, 1998, the new city began exercising its corporate powers.
At first, people from all walks of life were resistant on its name for its too long. Other simply remarked that with the physical attributes of the locality, it does not deserve to be called a City. With due respect to these observations, only few had realized that the creation of the city is totally distinct in the sense that it embraces the new dimension of development which hopefully will make things happen for its people. The new development strategy will promote the consolidation of resources and redefine thereof the development boundaries to uphold residents support in the merging of three municipalities in the Island.
The City during WarThe Pacific War, which happened during World War II, also struck the island. Japanese fighter planes bombed Samal. Japanese occupied the island and forced the people to work for four years until they were expelled by the Allied forces. After the war, infrastructure was built, like schools, churches and stores in the area.Official Founding of the MunicipalityThe time came in July 8, 1948, when the entire island itself becomes part of the newly created municipality of Samal; it was the official founding of the municipality.
Five years later in 1953, the municipality of Babak was created from Samal, marking the political division of the island between the two municipalities. Now came the political division of the island between the three municipalities, when the municipality of Kaputian was created from the island in 1966. In this period, the living qualities between these three municipalities became low and extremely rural.Proposed ProvinceIn 1969, a proposal to create the sub-province of Samal was created by Republic Act No. 5999 and covered the area of the present-day city. The act was enacted without President Ferdinand Marcos' approval.
However, the sub-province was never inaugurated.Chartered CityThe city was created through Republic Act No. 8471 in January 30, 1998. This organic act paved the way for the dissolution and merger of the three former-municipalities of Samal, Babak, and Kaputian into one local government unit, now officially named as the Island Garden City of Samal.