5 Things To Discover in Dahican Beach Mati, Philippines
January 1, 1970
by Ardys Gladden Soriano
What used to be a beach only known by the locals with free access to its white sand and ravishing waves any time of the day now has become one of the most sought-after beaches in Mati City, Davao Oriental. Dahican Beach has become known not just by its nearby cities but also in the whole country as travelers from Luzon and Visayas are starting to visit the place. If you are visiting the place for the first time, here are 5 things to discover in Dahican Beach Mati.
1. The Location Facing the Pacific Ocean
Dahican Beach is situated in Mati City, the lone city of Davao Oriental – a province of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is approximately a 4-hour ride from Davao City via bus. Upon arrival at Mati City Terminal, you would need to take a tricycle or “pedicab” going to Dahican Beach which would only take a 15-20-minute ride. The cool breeze of the sea will then welcome you and by just standing at the seashore, you will see an endless horizon from where your eyes can reach across the ocean. There is no sight of mountains or islands on the horizon because the beach is facing the Pacific Ocean, which is also the main reason why its waves are strong and powerful.
A decade ago when I was still a kid, my friends and I used to believe that Dahican Beach had sharks in the area due to the Pacific Ocean trivia. However, we never experienced nor heard any news that sharks dropped by on the beach. Although the beach is facing the Pacific Ocean, it is not true that it has sharks. Instead, you will see “pawikan” or sea turtles swimming with you and sometimes, you would see pawikan laying eggs, too. The fact that Dahican Beach has the presence of pawikan is an indication that the beach is safe and that the ecosystem is healthy. Indeed, this is one great experience you would never have in other beaches.
2. Bisaya: The Culture and Language of the Locals
One thing every traveler learns in his backpacking adventure is the culture and language of the place he’s visiting. Since Dahican Beach is situated in the South, the locals speak the Bisayan language or most commonly known as Cebuano. The majority of the people in Dahican Beach also know how to speak Tagalog and English and they are able to communicate with the guests and foreigners. Hence, they can teach you words in Bisaya as they translate these into Tagalog or English. You will surely have a wonderful and fun language lesson and the new words you learn will definitely be one of your take home stories as you leave the place.
3. Meet the Amihan Boys of Dahican
Due to its powerful waves, Dahican has become known as the Surfing and Skim Boarding Capital of the South. Not only the professional and experienced surfers are wrestling with the waves but also the beginners and first-timers. You will also witness the locals as young as 15-year-olds who have already mastered the rhythm of the waves. These young skim boarders and skilled surfers are part of the famous group called “Amihan Boys of Dahican” led by George “Kuya Jun” Plaza, a native of Dahican. They have been training and practicing on the beach to prepare themselves as they compete in Beginners and Expert categories in Surfing outside the province.
These Amihan Boys are the sons of native fishermen in Dahican who were gathered by Kuya Jun Plaza one day to train them to become better surfers. Kuya Jun noticed that these kids have potentials in surfing and he wanted to help them out. They practice as early as 5:00 am and will only take a break when it’s meal time. Their skills were noticed by a Japanese guest in Dahican and decided to donate surfing boards that they can use for training and competition. This remarkable act from the Japanese tourist motivated them, even more, to hone their skills better in surfing, which led them to win most of their competitions.
These kids are truly a pride of the City of Mati and the province of Davao Oriental not just because they have won several surfing competitions but also their good influence to other kids in the province. The Amihan Boys want to show to the world that kids at their age can do so much more. They have been encouraging the youth to focus on their skills and interests, may it be surfing or other sports, rather than drugs and alcohol.
4. The Famous White Sand
If Boracay is known for its powdery and silky white sand, then Dahican Beach also has the same thing to offer. This is also the reason why it was first known as the Boracay of Mati. Those who don’t feel like dancing with the rigorous waves can always enjoy the white sand by the seashore. Many people would still prefer to do the activity that never gets old – building a sand castle. Different people, young and old, can enjoy the romantic scenery of the sunset by the beach while walking barefooted on the fine white sand of Dahican Beach.
5. No Beach Pollution
Unlike the other famous beaches in the country that have already been over-commercialised, Dahican Beach has managed to maintain its quietness and solitude with no signs of trash swimming in the sea or lingering in the seashore. The locals have always reminded each other not to destroy the beach as it would also affect the habitat of the pawikan in the area. The same message has been echoed to the guests and tourists visiting the place year after year to cooperate in maintaining the cleanliness of the resort.
In terms of beach pollution, Dahican doesn’t only offer a clean and fresh breath air but the beach is also less crowded compared to other go-to places for swimming. It’s a perfect getaway for those who want a time of peace and quiet away from the noise of the city. Not just a refreshing experience to your mind and body, but also refreshing to the soul.
Whether you’re a backpacker or just want to take a time off from stress at work, make Dahican a part of your bucket list. There can just be so much more than this moon-shaped beach with crystal blue waters in Dahican, Mati City has to offer.