Film Pirates and Surfers of Dahican Beach in Mati | Davao Oriental


After a hot day mirroring the vibe of The Clash's "breaking in the hot sun" and enjoying the ardent mood of Kadayawan Festival in Davao City. I joined a small group of avid film photographers; Lauren, Master Erick and Surfer Kara–early the next day–on a journey to the city of Mati, the capital of Davao Oriental. Our mission was to find some waves and shoot some outstanding scenery; digitally and on an old school film. Compared to my small camera bag, my companions were packing with analog cameras and rolls of films. The trio are indeed armed to their teeth. Lomography speaking.

Dahican Beach

The road trip from Davao City to Mati took almost three hours passing through the bucolic countryside. A slide-show of lush fields, rolling hills, sleepy towns in between plus an island formation called "sleeping dinosaur".  Inside the cramped up van, nearing cramps and battling against falling asleep, I successfully focused my mind on the scenes outside the window and entertained myself with the beautiful moving images. 

Kara Hizon

By the time we arrived in Dahican Beach, chill reigned over. Time went by charmingly, as if moments passed by gracefully, following the strokes of a master painter. From the blue skies to the crystal clear waters, to the movements of the skimboarders  otherwise known as the "Amihan Boys",  you could sense a feeling of calm. Even if I'm not crazy about surfing and skim-boarding yet, I got instantly inspired by their skills. 

Kara Hizon

The months preceding the surfing season which starts on October, can bring in some bipolar wave conditions. If you get lucky, you could surf some but just to be sure, make your surfing pilgrimage here during the surfing months. Surfer Kara was disappointed initially at the absence of waves, but we found time to enjoy our stay there by being beach bums. The next day, Kara's friend fetched us to explore another break location for a chance for her to surf.

Mishi Magno

The Gods of surfing must be smiling because indeed, there were some swell that formed a couple of hundred meters out to the sea and Kara and company–sans me, Lauren and Erick–was able to surf a dozen or more long rides over their surfboards. All is not lost for a surfing paradise, especially if it faces the Pacific Ocean.

Kara Hizon

Later in the day backpacking superstar Journeying James joined us for a late breakfast and we teased him on seeing some chemistry between him and surfer Kara. I hope they both follow it up with future surfing trips together. 

things to do in Davao Oriental

Mindanao is a place filled with gem, places you never thought existed after you've gone through various headlines from the generalization-crazy mainstream media. I would love to extend my route further to Cateel and back to Compostela Valley - but I've to do it at the next most opportune time. As work awaits me back in the city where I came from.

Ria Jose

As we rode the back of the pick-up truck of our new friend, passing through dirt and rough road, covered by towering trees on both sides, rays of sunlight lit up our faces beaming with delight. We paid no attention to the bumps and grinds, as each of us develop a new found fascination for this new place. We all agreed we wouldn't mind visiting again in the near future.

Surfer Girl Kara Hizon

At my own resolve, I plan to go on more surfing trips in the future. I want to achieve a skill wherein I'll pull of long rides over the swells. As my film pirate friends and myself set out to leave Mati, they took home countless rolls of film and 2 gig of memory card for my sell-out digital self. 

Things to do in Mati Davao Oriental

As I punched a small pin over the part of the map of the Philippines where Mati is located. I marked it not as someplace to get it over and done with, but a reminder for myself to make another trip there, most possibly during the time of the surfing season. Let's see if afterwards I would've utter the words "I'm stoked".