The Island Garden City of Samal is an island of beauty. It is also the home of a very poisonous snake known as Banakon or King Cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah). The Banakon is a shy but sly reptile. It often strikes in a least expected time. It is more dangerous when threatened.
There is a local resident in Babak District who is not scared of this dangerous snake. The people call him “King Cobra” or Commander Danny Malinao. He had been to places where no one even dares to go. He invaded the lairs of the dangerous Banakon. He’d been catching these poisonous reptiles since he was a child. Apparently he got this “gift” from his father who used to catch Banakon for a living.
Samal&News once visited him in his residence to know and see how he catches and tames this dreaded predator with his bare hands. Danny Malinao has a collection of cobras in his residence. He said was never been bitten by a snake ever since. He showed us a beheaded cobra in a concoction of Tanduay. He had also collection of small cobras inside the empty plastic bottles of mineral water. He even demonstrated to the delight of the crowd how to catch a big banakon. During one of his exhibitions, a snake almost escaped from the cage that almost made the witnessing crowd scampered. Danny adeptly grabbed the snake’s head with his bare hands. He picked it up and toyed with it. He put his own hand in front of the snake and tapped its head. He even put the snake in his mouth.
“The King Cobra or Banakon actually eats other snakes”, stated Danny. To prove his point, he put snakes of different sizes in a plastic bottle. There we saw bigger snake attacking and devouring the smaller ones.
The man really fears no snakes. Truly, he deserves to be called Commander Danny, King of the Cobras.
by Dennis Daite
Early residents of this place believe that this is the place where two submarines full of gold submerged. The sunken vessels have been guarded by a giant octopus for ages.
This cave was believed to have an underground tunnel or a road that stretches up to Brgy. Mintal, Davao City. This was recounted by a faith healer who had once entered the cave with his dog. He noticed a tunnel going to the inner part of the cave. After doing his rituals, he went straight out of the cave only to find out that his dog did not with come out with him. Thinking that his dog left the cave ahead of him, he did not bother to look for it anymore. To his dismay, the dog was nowhere to be found at home.
After a week, the faith healer went to visit a relative in Brgy. Mintal. He was surprised to see the dog resting in the house of his relative. When he asked his relatives when did they first was the dog, they simply told him the dog was already staying there for days.
The Legend of White Rock
A story was once told.
Two friends went up to explore the Puting Bato (White Rock) at eight in the morning. But, they were not able to return home. Six native island dwellers, four men and two women were waiting for them to descend from the mountain. They patiently and silently sat on the slope since ten in the morning to wait for the safe return of the two climbers. The natives did not know the names of the two hikers they saw ascending and grappling on the rocks towards the Puting Bato. Still, the six natives persistently for the two hikers waited for hours.
Eight hours had passed. The hikers were still nowhere in sight. The eldest of the natives frowned with concern. Though he had expected this to happen, the incident confirmed one thing. The supernatural beings spirits known to inhabit this particular island peak have taken other victims again.
The natives remember their elders telling them stories about a similar pair who climbed the peak one evening in the middle of the summer equinox thirty years ago. The pair was not able to return home. After days of endless searches, the lost pair was already considered dead by their relatives.
Miraculously, after six years, the lost pair was seen again descending from the mountain. They amazingly bore no signs of aging or physical changes brought about by the six years of absence.
Unmindful of the biting cold of the night, the six natives still patiently waited for a sign. The eldest of the six natives was worried but hopeful. If the lost pair won’t descend from the mountain, they would scale the mountain to search for the hikers. If still unfound, they were still hopeful they will see again the hikers, six years from now.
And they will still be around to meet them.
by Rene Estremera
This mythical creature had been described as a gigantic dark super-natural tobacco puffing creature that looked like a member of Orangutan family while others claimed it looked like hairy Caucasians. Others likened it to an ogre who got two eyes. They were believed to be residents of Balete trees and revered as royalties in the “not like ours” kingdom. Stories have been told that a Kapre could fall in love with humans. Once in enamoured, a kapre could grant all the whims and fancies of his or her loved one. However, the kapre was known to hold captive inside the Balete tree the human he or she has fallen in love with.
Another story was also told where a Kapre had fallen in love with a married woman. This time the kapre did not kidnap the woman. Instead, he provided her with everything she needed and wanted. However, the husband of the woman became sick for unknown reasons. His whole body was paralyzed and no medicine was able to cure him.
Until now, myth or not, the Kapre-human relationships are still one of the all time favourite bedtime stories that lull young and old to sleep.
Samal is the only place in the Philippines where a number of century old Balete trees still thrive. The biggest Balete tree is found at Brgy. Anonang Elementary School. The Balete trees are known to be the residence of Kapre and unseen creatures locally known as “dili ingon nato” or “not like ours”.
Many still believe they indeed exist because some people residing near these trees have queer and unexplainable experiences of being transported to the “kapre’s” wonderland.
Stories were told that some old folks claimed they have witnessed the transformation of the Balete into a palace resided by people who looked like hairy Caucasians. The “transformation” usually happened during night time. Some revealed they have been “kidnapped” but was however, returned home before the sun rises.
According to folklores, the Kapre sometimes harmed individuals who disturb, vandalize, cut a twig or take any part of the tree. A story was once told that a person was kidnapped by the Kapre. His family mourned for days for his untimely demise.
One month after he was buried, he was found alive and unharmed sitting under the Balete Tree. The man narated that he was kidnapped and was forced to serve in the palace of a royal family of the Kapre.
Out of curiosity, the villagers excavated his grave where his mourned body was buried. Everyone was surprised to see a banana trunk instead of a human body inside the coffin.
Also known as Wishing Island, it is revered by island residents as an “enchanted island”. It can only be seen and explored during low tides. It is a favourite picnic venue during weekends. It is littered with mangroves and surrounded by clear blue waters. However, once in the island, one should behave, observe silence, and should we watchful. Visitors are advised to pack and leave immediately especially when high tide commences.
There was one incident when a group of backpackers went partying in the island. Some got drunk and became rowdy. To the backpackers’ surprise, a storm happened in a hot mid day sending them panicking to flee the island. Unfortunately, no one was able to leave the island. All were drowned in its shallow waters.