Afala Island [Everything You Have To Know]



Afala Island


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If a bird were to fly over the island of Afala and settle down in the town of Afala Port, I wonder what will be the reaction, if any, of the townspeople?

Probably all wonder that such an exotic looking creature, with a long tail and wings, had ever settled down on their island. But this bird is no ordinary creature!

Not only did it invest in a successful project in the town of Afala Port, it also proceeded to carry out a number of social and economic projects in the island of Afala.

But the real surprise came when it took the initiative to establish a school for the island’s children.

Afala Island

What is Afala Island?

What is Afala Island?

Afala island is situated 425 km to the north east of Da Nang city. It used to be an important fishing port in colonial times and was connected by a tropical road with Guam, a Philippine island south-west of Vietnam.

The huge Afala ship broke from its moorings during Typhoon Hai Pim which hit Binh Dinh province on June 15th 1982 and crashed into islands of the Vietnamese coast near Phuoc Tuy town.

An estimated 840 people were lost on the island at this time, many of them fishermen. A large part of the island was covered with debris from fishing vessels which had been destroyed by Great Typhoon Hai-Pim in Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf over 17 years ago.

The first phase included works specifically related to reconstruction and restoration projects:  the construction of four islands around Afala harbor islands, modern motorways connecting facilities such as a so -called Gasoline City, civil defense and several irrigation ditches for water provision.

At the time of land surveys taken in 2010, more than 90 percent of afala island was completely destroyed by floodwaters as its previous density had been about 11-15 ha per 100 km2 area.

Local people continue to reside on afala island mostly through fishing – many having moved from other islands such as namtu while others came recently like those displaced when.

What does “Afala” mean and what are its benefits?

The Afala island is named afala for a huge fish which was supposedly plentiful in the waters surrounding this coastal fishing port located one-hour’s drive north of Da Nang, like many Vietnamese islands. Over time several stories emerged as to why afala island had received its name, most commonly:

The elders living at afala mentioned that they reminisced on wild elephants and tiger nearby while their fishermen spoke of swimming with large fishes so they thought afala could be a reference to afala, the huge fish that swam adjacent of this island.

The early journalists covering stories about nhoc island and da nang city knew little about afala so among their impressions was one with which they have repeatedly returned.

The locals here were distant in years-old tradition (beyond cut hair, no children’s names etc.) Many are believed to bring many wives who live on other islands – this remains a typical island social dimension while afala island retains appeal to locals by remaining an isolated fishing and marine village hence- harboring diverse ethnic groups.

According to many accounts, afala was of strategic importance in nhoc islands as it offered secure anchorage from pirate raids alongside the coast especially so when Nguyen kings Ruong and Ngoc bac used its supplies for preparation of their naval campaigns against Chinese invaders (1558). Further,

Does Afala have any competition?

“Bút lộc” (land rush), nhoc island’s name inspired Vietnamese to develop the logic of afala island for the first time so afala is perceived as more alike than any other in nhoc islands.

Despite this, similar development efforts have failed. At present Ta Tam Dum Waterfront project has been incorporated into Da Nang city where it was recently renamed Cua Dai trading port one-hour’s travel away from afala island.

The project comprises similar but not the same villages only built twenty-three years ago (1939 – 1955) and slowly becoming deserted, further compounding afala island’s status which is believed to remain unchanged since ancient times.

Afala Island remains an isolated fishing village after all while Ta Tam Dum has seen major investments of Vietnamese in developing their actual city into a modern port-city with such projects as water sport center , foreign cultural center etc.

Philippines (Manila) years of afala island life depicts an image of Tondo, Manila’s gateway to San Juan del Norte; also known as Ate and Magsaysay Street into San Miguel Chapel area which actually became a new village in 1960s-1970s with style reminiscent of Tetetel or Nago atleast so stated old timers recalling stories told by their parents during colonial times

Is it a good idea to buy shares in Afala Island?

Notable inhabitants of afala island are Mrs. Lê Thi Bai Nguyen (born 1903), the first undisputed female chancellor of Phung Son University and Mr. Chu Cuong Gia Nguyen (born 1923) former Headmaster of Vo Van Kiet Rural High School, where Afala Villagers also took their class school-uniform to wear for quite some time without any other occasion than witnessing a performance on stage or even being invited by the President of the Republic .

In the 1970s, the island’s population stood at some 3-4 thousand. By 1994 it had shrunk to under a couple hundred people, and today Afala has yet to recover from that mass exodus and is estimated as having around 80 residents.

Most of the island residents are Vietnamese emigrants , who left Vietnam mainly in 1975 to avoid the Communist regime’s internal purges and, after settling here for several years on a short-term basis, decided to stay. However!

Though afala island is not yet incorporated into Tondo but rather part of Manila Oriental District originally included within Linao City (now San Andres), many have tried their luck at convincing local or national authorities.


Toward the end of 2006, three proposals were offered to reconstruct afala island (a strictly historic property) into its former glory by simply fixing everything on it that has been damaged or broken.

If afala is rebuilt as promised through one of these visions benefits would entail major job opportunities and since Afala-Linao School obtained certification from PSEAA in 2012, chances will be high that afala’s school once more becomes an accredited school for local and foreign students.

Again, it is still not too late so its residents might want to do what’s right of them despite the fact that afala island will only be reclaimed once again into a major tourist destination in place of his death-knell majestic ancient village which could have contributed lucrative revenue to these kids.

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