Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Giant Hershey’s Kisses of Davao Oriental

Until now, I still have this weird habit of imagining funny things like Teletubbies grooving to hiphop music, Jose Rizal doing the tango, or the former President Marcos declaring the Martial Law in Beki language (LOL almost everyone would have a hard time understanding him). But, in our trip to Davao Oriental last January 2009, I never expected to see an island shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. Yes, it looked like the infamous chocolate that everyone loves. No, it didn’t taste sweet but, taking a dip on this island was a great experience.

I never thought of seeing this kind of land formation in our country. It was truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit.

It was four thirty in the morning. I hurriedly ate my breakfast, braved the cold water of the shower, did some final check of my things before I rendezvoused with my classmates and professor at a gas station somewhere in Mintal. It was a long wait, actually. We finally left Davao at around six in the morning. I can still vividly remember how gloomy the weather was.

The trip to Sigaboy, Davao Oriental was smooth, except for some parts near the border of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. The highway connecting to these two provinces was badly damaged due to soil erosion. But despite the delay, we had a breathtaking view of the Davao Gulf at our right side and had a scary encounter with the rock formations of the eroded mountain at our left side. Talking about yin-yang.

We arrived safely at Sigaboy at around 10am. I mingled with my classmates a bit and ate lunch in a pina-cowboy style.

To the Kisses Island

After lunch, we all gathered in our place and headed straight to the coastal village where a pump boat docked silently at the shore, waiting for passengers. I couldn’t help but notice the weird looking island on the horizon.

Isla Tibanban is an island located 5 kilometers from the coast of Sigaboy, Davao Oriental. At the heart of the island laid a lush green forest surrounded with a coastline filled with coarse white sand. But, unlike any other islands in the country, there were no commercial establishments operating at the island. There were fishermen nearby, informal settlers and other people from the main island who spent some quality time with their family.

That’s us. Hola mis amigos y amigas! We were that ecstatic moments after we arrived at the island. We did not pay for an entrance fee although it was a bit disappointing seeing trashes littered on some parts of the island. Truly, the island needs to be properly managed before it is too late.

Anyway, we first performed two laboratory exercises about marine ecosystem before having some fun.
While exploring the island, my Ecology professor together with some of my classmates hiked to the peak of the island and discovered an abandoned lighthouse. The view from the top was really beautiful.


At half past five, we left the island and the sunset was really breathtaking.

dvo oriental (169)

I am confident that in the near future, Isla Tibanban will be one of Davao Oriental’s major tourist destinations. It really has a big potential of becoming one. The development of Isla Tibanban wouldn’t just generate income, but it would also help the locals by providing them jobs and other business opportunities.

Well as for now, let’s just hope that the local government of Sigaboy would at least have the initiatives to maintain the beauty of Kisses Island.


  1. Hi Renz, Isla Tibanban(Kisses Island) seems to be a very interesting place. Hopefully, I'll be able to see the place before it become a major tourist destinations. :)

  2. Until now, I've never heard some latest developments of Isla Tibanban. :) You should visit this island habang libre pa! :))

  3. @Lakad Pilipinas - punta ka na rito para matikman mo ang Kisses Island! :P

  4. Hi ate gagay! Yep I also have a personal blog sa blogger but I rarely update it na. :)

  5. I'm from Davao Oriental but I have never set foot there. There are a lot of potential tourist attractions in this province but they lack support from the local government unfortunately. tsk2x

  6. Hi Lav! Davao Oriental has really a big potential to become Mindanao's premiere tourist destination. I just hope lang talaga na mabigyan pansin ito ng local gov

  7. I couldn't believe this post when I first saw the photo. This is the island of my childhood. We just called it the generic 'white island' back then. I can't believe you also climbed the hill! This brings back great memories of my childhood summers in Sigaboy, Davao Oriental.

  8. Really? Nice! It was my first time to visit that island. The place is nice and has a big potential of becoming the next major tourist destination of Davao Oriental! :) Woohooo!

  9. interesting talaga, i first saw the photo from a brochure i got from butuan on the last day of my mindanao challenge. grabe, di ako makapaniwala. inggit ako dahil napuntahan mo na.

  10. Hello sir James! Mas nakakainggit ka kasi mas marami ka na pong napuntahan na lugar. hehe. But still, hope you visit Isla Tibanban soon! :)

  11. The vacation house of my Tita Lita Paras is actually nearby the island your talking about... and I love the way you portray and described the Islet Sigaboy, it's quite amusing. I hope you know the story behind that island... you know folklore tales... Other people say it looks like a "Turtle", sometimes it looks like a "Fish Opening it's Mouth", others say it's a "Nipa Hut" and others too say it's like a lost "Piece of Shoe"... I'd like to meet you in person so that I could introduce you on our other tourist hot spot destination. (^^,)

  12. Hi James. Ilang oras ang byahe sa boat? Im planning to go there.


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