Davao del Norte

IGACOS Festival

IGACOS Festival, also known as Island Garden City of Samal Festival and Island Garden City of Samal Founding Anniversary, is the cultural festival and founding anniversary of Samal City, Davao del Norte, Philippines every March 7. It commemorates the cityhood of Samal in 1998.

History of Samal City

Samal City is a component city of Davao del Norte and composed two islands, the Samal Island and Talikud Island. The indigenous tribe called Sama inhabited the island for centuries, and it is after them that the city was named. They are believed to be migrants from the mainland composed of Islamic and ethnic populations.

The island was ruled by a sultanate from the olden times, and such system of governance persisted well into the 20th century. Samal fell under the Spanish rule when the Spaniards conquered Davao City in the first half of the 19th century. Afterwards, it was a district municipality (composed of Cruz, Ligid, Malipano island, Samal, Talikud, and Sanipahan) under the then historical Department of Mindanao and Sulu during the American occupation.

In post-war years, it was instituted as a district municipality along with Lupon and Kapalong of then historical province of Davao by virtue of Executive Order No. 151 that was approved by President Elpidio Quirino on June 8, 1948.

In the following decades, it witnessed several reorganizations. Babak seceded and became an independent town by virtue of Executive Order No. 596 that was issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on May 28, 1953.

Then on June 18, 1966, the town of Kaputian (which consisted of the villages of Adecor, Anonang, Binoni, Pangubatan, Santa Cruz, San Isidro, Zion, and Talikud Island) was established through the passage of Republic Act No. 4754. Later, Republic Act No. 5999 was passed on August 4, 1969 that established the sub-province of Samal, yet the newly created sub-province not formally inaugurated.

As early as 1996, an initiative to consolidate the three separate towns into one was pushed. A bill was filed by representative Rodolfo P. Del Rosario and it ushered the approval of Republic Act No. 8471, otherwise known as An Act Constituting the Three Municipalities of Babak, Samal and Kaputian of Samal Island, Province of Davao, into a Component City to be Known as the Island Garden City of Samal. It was signed by President Fidel V. Ramos on January 30, 1998 and a plebiscite ratified the law on March 7, 1998. This is the date that IGACOS Festival commemorates every year.

IGACOS Festival Activities

IGACOS Festival’s calendar started as early as February 25, and official opening program began in March 1st in 2023. Activities of the founding anniversary sporting events, job fair, arts workshop, cultural and variety shows, live band, exhibits, cook fest, cultural dance competition, street parade, caravan, float competition, agri-trade fair, fireworks display, and beauty pageant called Binibining Island Garden City of Samal.

How to reach Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte

Ferry schedules are available from Davao International Airport in Davao City to Sta. Ana Wharf, Sasa Wharf, and Panacan Wharf. A bus trip is also open that begins from the airport.


IGACOS Festival Summary

NameIGACOS Festival
DateMarch 7
Duration1 week
Historical eventFounding of Island Garden City of Samal on March 7, 1998
LocationIsland Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
OrganizerIsland Garden City of Samal LGU
Other NamesIsland Garden City of Samal Festival, Island Garden City of Samal Founding Anniversary