After visiting Cateel’s Aliwagwag Falls, a good suggestion is to go down to the capital city of Mati in Davao Oriental, taking the national highway thru the towns of Baganga, Caraga and Tarragona.
There is an early bus trip from Cateel to Mati, once a day, at 5am. It may be too early to some travellers, so the next best option is to take the van at 11:30am. The trip would take about 3 hours.
Manong Biboy and Jesus take the Wheel brought us to the integrated bus terminal so we could get on the van and choose the best seats. We prefer the first row behind the driver’s seat because of bigger leg room plus there’s enough space to put our backpacks in front of us.
At the integrated bus and van terminal of Cateel
Just like most of the vans, there was a waiting time. It left the terminal after almost an hour from the supposedly 11:30am schedule. Passengers were eventually picked up along the way. The coastal road from Cateel to Mati is of good condition. The view of the ocean and the islands off the coast were wonderful as well.
We reached Mati a little past 3pm. We arranged for tricycle (tuktuk) to take us to Dahican Beach. You can arrange a ride at the bus terminal. In our case, we informed the tricycle driver that before we go to Dahican Beach, we need to drop by a food joint to take a quick lunch, then to a grocery store to buy food and drinks. We agreed on a Php 200 fare.
People say that food in Dahican is expensive. It is advisable that you bring your own provision.
A path towards the beach
From Mati, Dahican is about 7km northeast or about 10min trip. We were dropped off at the path leading to Amihan sa Dahican. This area refers to the headquarters of the skim boarders and surfers (Amihan Boys), a training ground for those who want to ride the waves. We got a lovely accommodation at Dahican Surf Resort for only Php 1,000, a non-aircon room with 3 double-decks good for 6.
Surfboards greet the guests of DSR
Chill Area for Surfers
A view from our rented cottage
That Saturday afternoon was a bit busy at Dahican Surf Resort. The beach was just a few couple of steps from the cottages. We hurriedly dropped our bags, changed our outfit and walked towards the beach. Dahican Beach was a beautiful surprise.
Dahican’s 7km beach line
The swell fit for skim boarding
The beach was very lovely. It’s a long stretch of white sand that extends on a curve from left to ride. The swells from the Pacific Ocean beat upon the sloping shores. The crashing waves create a music that is so much different from the atmosphere in Boracay or in Puerto Galera. It has a simple vibe that makes one forget the hustle and hassle of urban life. Dahican is simply a paradise.
There is no definite season to best visit Dahican Beach. It depends on what you wish to do. Skim boarding is almost an all-year round activity. Surfing lessons are available all the time. They say the best swells happen between the months of November to February. The good waves come in the afternoon.
I love Mati. I love Dahican
A good option for dining at Dahican
Kalapyahan: Restaurant by the Beach
It is one thing to wish that Dahican Beach would remain as it is now. The beach vibe and the skim-surf culture it possess is devoid of ugly commercial development, which makes it more beautiful. It is also one thing to wish that the government will continue its role in preserving and protecting this landscape, ensuring a sound eco-tourism for everyone to enjoy.
Things to do in Dahican
In my list of the Philippines’ best beaches, Dahican belongs to the upper part. You need to visit Dahican Beach and experience the vibe. Its natural beauty is beyond question.