The name Samal was derived from the word Sama, a tribal group found in the island. People used the word Samal because of the Visayans who miscalled the word Sama. The first datu in the island was Datu Taganiyug, a native of Peñaplata, Samal.
In the past, the people of Samal name a place about what was the said place known for. For example, the name Peñaplata was derived from the word "piña" or pineapple because of the abundance of pineapple in the area. This, however, is folk etymology as peñaplata literally means "rock of silver" in Spanish. Tagpopongan is the first barangay in Samal which name was from the word "tagpo" or meet.
It was called so because in the past, this place is chose by the datus as their meeting place. The word Samal was also known before because it was commonly used as surname by datus. Abu is the national costume of Samal long time ago. The first business transaction in the island was during the Chinese era. Spanish influence was also felt in the island.
Island Garden City of Samal is a 2nd class city in the province of Davao del Norte, Philippines. The name is often abbreviated into IGaCoS. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 82,609 people in 17,388 households.
The Island Garden City of Samal is now a part of (Metropolitan Davao) Metro Davao.