Shell gathering, Samal Island has a long fringing reef especially during low tide and most common folks knows what to gather and what’s not. The high times for tourist to go and experience this shell gathering is during Holy weeks and months of April – June were sun is high and long low tide is especially experience in Samal Island.
In an Island where most population before sprawling tourists become popular, shell gathering is one source of livelihood in my island. Personally, i know half of the crawling species in our shorelines, as childhood memories shell gathering was one of childhood fun times. At present, Samal Island has Wifi and cellular sites kids in Samal has luxury to delve on new technologies. Yet, growing up in the island in the 80’s was totally different, but I like it more children and the whole community are closely knit, raising kids were like community’s concern. The whole Samalenyo’s knew each other far better than now.
Using indigenous materials that resembles comb made of sturdy wood with nails, the woman can combed out the shore without using her delicate hands. Dead coral can be rough to hands, and most shell gatherers don’t have the luxury of buying gloves.
After several minutes of combing the sands some handful shells that are edible are gather in the container.
Most children in Samal Island likes to get live fish during low tide. As a Samalenyo, growing up in Samal Island catching live fish was an accomplishment at all. Size don’t matter and after keeping them in the jar my parents would tell us let it swim back to the sea so it’ll grow bigger and fishermen can catch them for food.
This is along Punta and Kimura part of Samal Island, 3 kms from the back of our house. At present, this side of Samal Island had been occupied by private resorts and this giving hard time for locals to access the shoreline for fishing and shell gathering.
No tables, no chairs, no fine dining, just sit and have few utensils hang out with family, friends and neighbors this is the typical weekend in Samal Island. I often, invite my local friends and foreign friends to do this activity.
If you happen to visit Samal Island, and seen this sight you will know that this is our local folks and they just have fun.
Personally, amidst the fast pace of life being in Samal Island takes you away from it. The Samalenyo’s way of life might teach you how to slow down and bring you down to the essentials. If you will be in Samal Island don’t miss looking for locals hanging on the beach gathering fish and shells, sitting on the rocks and sand with there kids playing in the shoreline because I grow up like those children.