IRISH BEACH: Not Your Ordinary Beach

Not all beautiful beaches are made of glistening white sands, lined up palm trees and posh beach hotels. Sometimes, pretty beaches are those least frequented and underrated but teem with hidden allure and infectious calmness easily felt when visited. This is what I’ve learned when I set foot in the place where the rustic Irish Beach lies.

The Irish Beach is the quaintest beach I have ever visited in the whole coasts of the City of Mati in Davao Oriental. It is situated along the coasts of Purok Kaangayan and is part of Barangay Badas. To many, Badas is famous for its long and winding road overlooking the scenic Pujada Bay and the Sleeping Dinosaur, the city’s landmark. But for locals living along the coasts of Badas, they consider Irish Beach as one of the gems of their Barangay.

I have been to Mati for countless of times visiting different beach destinations and beach resorts but this trip to Irish Beach was my first. As a matter of fact, it was new to me. I was even surprise to learn that hidden in those vast cliffs is a beach considered by local dwellers as their haven. Thanks to my friend Rafael Estardo, this journey was made possible.

From the city proper, going to the jump off area heading down to Irish Beach took about 15 minutes. The road going down is still not paved so four-wheeled vehicles are advised to park along the side of the highway and just hike going down to the beach. As we hiked going down to Purok Kaangayan, we passed by friendly locals greeting us with their warm smiles. It was an easy 15-minute hike and the trail was shaded with coconuts and trees thriving around the area.

As we near the beach, the view had slowly become startling. I couldn’t help but stopped at one corner and worshipped a gorgeous scene before me. It was like a beautiful painting that was laid before my very eyes. I immediately aimed my camera at it and loved the way it was captured. It was such a very captivating view – the lake, the houses, the greens and the reflections.

From where we stopped, Irish Beach is about 5-minute walk away. Without wasting much time, we hurried to the beach and immediately succumbed to its rustic yet alluring charm. The beach has its own magic. It isn’t the best beach any beach lover would want to come but it has an innate spell that lured people to appreciate its simple and tranquil ambiance.

This Blogger and the Stilt Houses of Irish Beach
My friend/tour guide Rafael Estardo doing The Travel Teller’s Signature Pose

The cottages on stilts are the main attraction of Irish Beach. The cottages can be rented at very affordable price. The shoreline is more of pebbles than sands but its blue waters are so inviting. Some coconut trees abound the environs while tropical trees thrive on the other side. There are sari-sari stores nearby selling food and drinks. People and locals around are very friendly and accommodating. They offered me tuba (native coconut wine) and I agreed. Most of these locals are fishermen.

I was truly captivated by the tranquil view of Irish Beach. And so my friend Rafael and I decided to stay there for a couple of hours to fully surrender to the call of the beach. We didn’t go swimming. Instead, we stay at one corner photographing such unique beach view. We roamed around and mingled with the locals. It was a very relaxing beach experience.

Irish Beach is not your ordinary beach. Neither mine. Simple and rustic it may seem, but it has an extraordinary charm that makes it worth visiting and experiencing! Giving a chance, I am very much willing to go back there again!


The City of Mati is among the newly established cities in our Island Mindanao that I’ve always frequented.  In fact, I can no longer count how many times I’ve visited this once a quaint town since my first visit many years back. I’ve seen already a lot of wonderful and amazing things in her but it seems there is an enthralling charm in her that makes come back more often.

The City of Mati is the provincial capital of my home Province of Davao Oriental. It is 4 hours away from my hometown of Cateel and 3 hours away from my home city of Davao. This proximity makes it easier for me to visit the City of Mati whenever I have the itch for beach adventure, nature tripping and funfilled road trip. More than its proximity to where I live, there are many reasons why I kept on coming back to the City of Mati.

I have been to other places that I also find worth visiting and some even mystical but a single visit to those places is already enough of not coming back. In the case of my ample visits to the City of Mati, it is entirely different. All those destinations I see and I experience there have enchanting magic that lured me to see and experience them again. Even how many times I savored its beauty, experienced its thrill and romanced its splendor, yet I still find those places enticing and worth a visit. Others may disagree, but I will never get tired going there again and again.

To name a few, here are some of the places that really fascinate me about the City. These are awesome places and things I consider reasons why I love the City of Mati.

The Sleeping Dinosaur is one of the key attractions of the City. It an island nestled along Pujada Bay that resembles like a submerged sleeping dinosaur. Its grandeur is visibly seen upon passing the 8 kilometer Badas Zigzag Road. It is greatly admired especially by those first timers. There are view decks made for tourists and travelers wanting to capture the gorgeousness of this Sleeping Beauty. In fact, it is the first welcoming attraction one will see upon entering the soil of the City.


Once a quaint beach famous for its long stretch of pristine white sand and clean crystal clear azure waters facing the mighty Pacific Ocean, Dahican Beach is the City’s most famous tourist attraction. My first white sand long beach escapade happened here during my high school days. I remember how I was blown away when I first saw its tropical charm that until now enchants me. Today, Dahican Beach is widely known as the Skimboarding and Surfing Capital of the Davao Region. It has captivated a lot of beach lovers and has created an unfailing trademark as one of the beach destinations in the South. 

Dahican Beach is the home of the now renowned Amihan Boys, a team of local skimboarders and surfers founded by Kuya Jun Plaza, a native of Dahican. Amihan Boys has gained wide reputation as the best Skimboarders and Surfers in the region and has gone too far joining competitions local and abroad. Kuya Jun, who acts as a father and mentor to the team does not only teaches the boys to become better at their chosen sports but he also teaches them how live and survive a good life away from vices and the likes. Kuya Jun and the Amihan Boys are perfect examples of becoming role models to the youth of the City. They give free skimboarding and surfing clinics, spearhead surfing tournaments and promote good sportsmanship. Whenever I am in Mati, I never fail to visit them at Dahican. I consider them as my good friends.

Situated in Sitio Guang Guang in Barangay Dahican, Guang Guang Mangrove Park is a 21,000 hectare of protected mangrove forest where 18 of the rarest and endangered mangrove species in the Philippines are found. This vast mangrove forest provides good spawning grounds and habitat for marine lives. This is a joint project of Guang-Guang Community and the DENR. Whenever I am in the City, I never fail to visit this place. Swimming here is fun.

Called as the White House, the Provincial Capitol Building of Davao Oriental is said to be one of most beautiful capitol buildings in Mindanao. The construction of the Capitol Building started during the term of former Governor Ma. Elena Palma Gil. It was beautifully completed during the term of the current Governor Corazon Malanyaon. Both dynamic governors hail from my hometown of Cateel. The Provincial Capitol Building is truly the province’s landmark to behold. It is in itself a tourist attraction one should never miss when visiting the City of Mati. Whenever I see this grand white building, I feel so proud knowing that two powerful women who spearheaded its construction and completion come from my quaint hometown.

Aside from the famed Dahican Beach, another well known beach destination in the City of Mati is Masao Beach situated along the shoreline of the Pujada Bay. Most of beach resorts with stilt cottages can be found here. Unlike Dahican Beach, the waters of Masao are calm and tranquil. There plenty of beach resorts that I have stayed here in the past. My favorite is the Cinco Masao Beach Resort.

These among others are the best things I love about the City of Mati. Whenever I have the itch for beach combing and nature tripping, or simply want a perfect weekend away from bustle and hustle of the concrete jungle, the City of Mati and its irresistible allures immediately come to mind. And for the nth time, I will never get tired going back there, again and again!

CITY OF MATI, The Travel Teller ❤ you!