Samal Sandbar, the ‘Vanishing Island’ Eyed by ACES Honcho Developed for P50M Floating Aqua Marine Park

ACES school honcho Dr. Francisco Dela Peña , Jr. is bidding to the Island Garden City of Samal authorities to give him authority to develop around five-hectare in the known Samal Sandbar, also dubbed as the “vanishing island”, to be developed as world-class, exotic, floating aqua marine tourism park.

“I can spend test for millions, and if you find it not good, then you can kick me out,” Dela Peña told members of the island’s City Council Tuesday in his appearance to brief them on his plan to invest P50 million to fund for a world-class, environment-friendly facilities “all floating over the known Samal sandbar, the “vanishing island” as it only appears  during low tide. It is located at Barangay Tambo.

samal sandbar
(photo credit via

Dela Peña is the owner of a chain of voc-tech schools known as ACES Polytechnic College that first flourished in Davao del Norte.

He made his presentation of his plan to develop the sandbar with all-floating cottages made bamboo and indigenous materials with complete waste segregation, “no foul smell” and recycling technology, underwater park with exotic fishes, clams, corals, good, which are ideal for snorkeling.

He added it would be seen as one good floating resort that could also be a training center, source of  employment of Samal residents, “one that that protects the natural habitat of marine life”, an attraction for local and foreign tourists, “which will truly make IGACOS a global destination with purely locally inspired attraction.”

Dela Peña promised he can guarantee for the placement of a waste management and waste recycling technology developed by him in his school to protect the sandbar area.

A monthly rental scheme could be derived by the city from the operator of the resort at a term of 25 years.

Councilor Charles Ligan said the project that Dela Peña offered is feasible but he said there are “claimants” in the sandbar area, among whom is Davao City businessman Joe Tesado.

The councilor however moved that the Dela Peña’s plan be referred to the environment and tourism committees while the city environment office would be inquired on the latest information pertaining the island’s sandbar.

Vice Mayor Orly Amit recalled that in the past there was someone interested to put up a high-end hotel at the sandbar area but the plan fizzled out later. ( Monforte)

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