It was empty, much to our liking.
My wife and I had a couple days to spare before we head out to the highlands of Lake Sebu for an assignment and we decided to check out some the places in Samal island (Island Garden City of Samal), a paradise island just a couple of minutes boat ride from Davao City.
One of our destinations is Canibad, a "secret" cove on the far side of the island, facing the shores Davao Oriental (lots of white sand beaches there too). During the course of my research I learned that Canibad has become sort of an "open secret" these days and is a favorite destination for those seeking rustic solitude. A dozen or more folks thinking the same thing like "lets go to Canibad for some peace and quiet" and you got yourself a crowded cove.
So we chose the date to go there very carefully: a day after the biggest festival in Mindanao - Davao's Kadayawan festival. I figured most folks would already be on their way home that day, and those who aren't are still probably nursing a hangover from last night's festivities and would not enjoy the very bumpy ride to the cove. And it paid off.
After a scenic habal-habal (motorcycle) ride along Babak and Peñaplata's paved coastal road and down really rough backroads of central Samal we finally caught glimpse of the cove's azure waters.
From the main road its a 5-minute hike down to the beach. There are no high end resorts there, just simple huts and cottages you can rent. No electricity, no air conditioning, no electric fans. Cellphone signal is sporadic.
What Canibad lacks in amenities it makes up with its natural beauty and the hospitality of the folks there.
While for most folks the place is boring and is devoid of the beach fun they are after, we like our beaches empty, and quiet, with lots of shaded nooks where you can read a good book or catch up on your sleep.
If you are into snorkeling, there is a fish sanctuary on the rocky north-western end of the cove. Its also a perfect place to catch the sunrise if you can get up early enough.
It was exactly what a getaway should be (at least in our book): plenty of open space and beautiful scenery, with the sound of nature to lull you to sleep.
where to stay in canibad
There are about 5 or so private resorts in Canibad all with just a couple of rooms or cottages for rent. You can pitch a tent on the beach for a minimal fee, at least would be able to use the facilities of the resort. No restaurants, so you'll have to bring your own supplies. You can buy fresh catch in the morning and have it cooked.
If you want to reserve a cottage you may contact Lyn-lyn or Jun at +63-906-903-2749