I entered the Monfort property in Brgy. Tambo in Samal City and came into one of the corralled areas. As I edged closer to the cave’s opening, the temperature rose, the hissing sounds grew louder and the musky, ammonia like odor grew stronger. This should be it, I’m near…
Like some creepy horror film, there, on the ground, beside a big creepily formed tree was a hole in the ground. A black hole teeming with creatures that makes your hair stand up. With the sounds they make, it all makes it more spine tingling… But then, it was a sight to behold. A gathering of 2.5 million Rousette’s fruit bat, harmless creatures that feed on fruit. It is the biggest congregation in Davao, in the Philippines and in the world earning it a Guiness World Record. Such big distinction and you are there, face to face, edging at a seeming abyss. All in this island.
This crepuscular congregation is within the property of the Indigo-Monfort family, who has taken cared of the colony for more than a century. Now, it is under Norma Monfort, who corralled the five openings of the cave. It was also through the family’s conservation efforts that she has been recognized and was named 2011 Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Hero.
There’s an entrance fee of P100 which goes to maintaining and supporting the area and once inside, there are important information that will surely educate you not only on the Rousette’s fruit bats but also on bat conservation as well.
Monfort Bat Sanctuary
Brgy. Tambo, Samal City
HOW TO GET THERE From Davao City head to the Lanang port area where ferries ply the Lanang-Samal route. Once at the other side, there are habal-habal motorcycles that can take and wait for you at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary in Brgy. Tambo. Do haggle with the driver.