MINDANAWON ABROAD: Letter to President Marcos on Davao-Samal bridge 

mindanawon abroad

DALLAS, Texas (MindaNews / 03 October) — I’m a Filipino-American raised in Davao and immigrated to the United States 41 years ago.

When my parents were alive, I’d visit Davao almost yearly and still frequently do.  In these visits I wouldn’t miss visiting Samal Island, the Paradise Resort, Costa Marina, Malipano and eventually my brother’s resort in Bandera.  I’ve had many fond memories of the place, bonding with my family and friends.

I love Samal’s “curb appeal.”  Looking at it from the Waterfront Hotel is amazing.  The beautiful trees as we approach Paradise Resort or Costa Marina, the aquamarine waters, the white sand just brings me to a peaceful place, so far away and yet so close to my heart.  

Many Hollywood movie stars would fly halfway around the world to find that remote, “untouched” natural place.  I can understand why.  Samal is that for me.  

One of my nephews studied Marine Biology in college.  His thesis was to study the state of the coral reefs in Samal. The conclusion was that it was non-existent.  DEAD.

So, to hear from current studies conducted by marine biologists that the coral reef along Paradise resort is thriving is a blessing!

And yet, perhaps with some anomalous studies, all these are threatened by a construction of a bridge right into the heart of Paradise and Costa Marina and its vicinity.  The immediate vicinity of the coral reefs, the trees, the birds and its sanctuary— all gone!  

And why? Why would the goose that lays the golden eggs be destroyed?  The main ambience that allures us – gone, by the building of this bridge right through its heart.

We Dabawenyos have enjoyed Paradise, Costa Marina, Chemas and its vicinity.  We have been so lucky that the families who own them have shared them with us.  

The least that we could do is support them when these shores and environment are threatened.  

There are other possible bridge landing sites such as the “Bangayan” port, Bong Go’s port or the area that the Rodriguez-Lucas family is donating.  These are already in existence—they’re no longer a threat to the environment.

I have written letters to the people who are spearheading the bridge project including to the President of the Philippines.

Perhaps you could do just as well.  

September 28, 2022

President Bongbong Marcos

Malacañang Complex, J.P. Laurel Street

San Miguel, Manila 1005

                                             Re:  Davao-Samal Bridge

Dear Mr. President:

Greetings from Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.!

I’m writing to you regarding the proposed Davao-Samal bridge.  Thank you for continuing the efforts.

We are Filipino-Americans who want to contribute to the continued growth of the Philippines.  We do this by sending money to our loved ones, by buying Philippine goods and services and visiting the Philippines and contributing to its tourism dollar revenue.

One of the attractions for many of us who frequently visit the southern Philippines is the Garden Island of Samal which has pristine white beaches, beautiful trees and birds, and thriving coral reefs.  

Some of these beautiful environments are in Caliclic, Samal.  Many of the business owners in the area are very careful at preserving its environment by using local materials and making sure that the trees are preserved — making it a sanctuary for the birds around.  

They also carefully separate the swimming area from the coral reefs where they try to propagate the much needed coral reefs to help the fishes.

Without doubt, being locals, the owners carefully manage and preserve their beloved environment.

So, when “outsiders” come and make decisions, somehow, this “footprint” is gone. 

The proposed Samal bridge landing is supposed to be in Caliclic, Samal in between the Paradise Resort and Costa Marina Resort, areas that have been carefully developed and preserved by the locals.  

This proposed bridge landing will destroy the environment:  its coral reefs, trees and the birds!

There are other areas that can be used for the landing such as the “Bangayan” port, Bong Go’s port and an area the Rodriguez-Lucas families are donating.

We implore you to help preserve our beloved Caliclic, Samal.

Sincerely Yours,

Rosemarie C. Budd