Unique Beach Vibe of Amihan sa Dahican: Mati City, Davao Oriental

"At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun." - Unknown

It was late in the afternoon. Young boys and girls with sun-drenched skin were skilfully riding the fading waves with their skimboards amidst the afternoon sun. The beautiful stretch of crescent-shaped white sand beach is their playground..their stage.

The playful Amihan Boys

Kai and I watched with amazement.
We arrived at Amihan sa Dahican beach in Mati City before the sun faded from behind the coastline. There's a different feel to this portion of the long stretch of fine white sands. It feels secluded despite its proximity to the paved highway. 

The 7-kilometer long Dahican beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental is becoming known as the Skimboarding Capital of the Philippines. Thanks to the ocean swells that hit land from the Pacific and the playful boys that run the shores with their colorful homemade boards to ride the waves.

They are the Amihan Boys, the famed group of local youngsters that have gained the attention of wave riders after bagging top local and international awards for skimboarding. That afternoon they were playing in front of video cameras of an international TV station. It's not uncommon for these boys and girls to be with local or international media. In fact, they are part of the attraction in this once sleepy coast of Mati City.

We met the boys led by Sonny Boy Aporbo, more popularly known as Bayogyog, a son of local fisherman who was hailed champion in skimboarding events from Asia to Australia and even in the surfing havens of California. He's a champ but in the shores of Dahican he's just like another little kid riding his toy board.

Meet Bayogyog the champ. In the shores of Dahican he's just like another little kid riding his toy board.

During peak seasons the beach is like a small community of overly-tanned kids, board-sports enthusiasts, and the sea, sand and sun worshipers from different parts of the globe.

The clear moon that night illuminated the surface of the sea. The moment was paired with silence as we dig our toes into the sand with the stainless coffee cup on hand. No rowdy beach goers. No karaokes yelling in the background. For my lovely wife Kai who was at the time in the process of finding silence amid the noise of a tragic past, our #traveltherapy to Dahican was just timely.

We woke up to the gentle breeze and the hustling of leaves of trees that served as our first cover for the night before our tents. The rising orange sun was a romantic greeting. It deserved a salutation so we did the Surya Namaskar. 

Surya namaskar or sun salutation for the morning sun

At noon the waves are always inviting. It makes you forget about the harsh sun and the tasks you left behind from your home base.

Dahican beach is just less than 10 km from the city center of Mati and is connected by a well-paved road that interconnects to key government compounds and silent villages. 

On regular days backpackers mostly from Davao City flock with their cliques to spend the night at the beach. During peak season the beach is like a small community of overly-tanned kids, board-sports enthusiasts, and the sea, sand and sun worshipers from different parts of the globe.

Meet Iyay, one of the two girl members of Amihan Boys (and girls)

In the same compound of Amihan the colorful walls of an abandoned building that used to be part of a convent is a good venue to finish your cup of coffee as you share stories with the boys and girls pounding the floors with their skateboards. The walls of the building speak of this free-spirited subculture that is unique in Amihan sa Dahican. It adds attitude to the laid-back vibe of the beach.

The beach is a hit for the green warriors as it is home to sea turtles with the sanctuary built for conservation. The Dugongs (Sea Cows), Dolphins and the Butandings (Whale Shark) roam the waters of Dahican too. We didn't see them as we just preferred to warm up in the beach but the locals have reliable stories of their sightings.

Dahican is a beach open for everyone. Different types of accommodation and amenities are offered in different sections. But in Amihan sa Dahican, it's a different escape that welcomes only the more adventurous spirits, those who prefer the simplest.

There are no comfortable facilities for the tidy. To live in tents or hammocks are the only options. This carefree ambiance is the silent invitation for you to join in and be part of a subculture that only the willing, the adventurous and the meditative will understand. []


How to get there: 

From Ecoland Terminal in Davao City, ride a bus to Mati City, Davao Oriental. Travel time is around 5 hours including unlimited stops. Bus fare is Php 220.

From the terminal in Mati city get a habal-habal (single motorcycle) to take you to Dahican Beach. Tell the driver to drop you off at Amihan sa Dahican. Fare is Php 40 per person.
There are daily flights from Manila and other major cities to Davao city where the nearest airport is located.

The Amihan Boys teach skimboarding lessons for 150 per hour per person. They have skimboarding equipment for rent. As part of their training, the safety of the willing guests are their prime concern. 


  1. Vans to Mati from Davao City are also available, cuts the travel time in half.

    I like Dahican Beach and wish to go back soon.

    1. thanks for additional tip, bro.
      yep, i would want to go back there too. :)

  2. how come I never saw that abandoned building when we went there?

    I am missing this place already. :/

  3. This makes me homesick of Amihan sa.Dahican, pakner. I'm glad i went there unplanned.

    1. tinatawag ka pabalik, pakner Pinaytunay. the waves are waiting for you. :)

  4. the kids looked so happy skimboarding.


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