Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bumming at Gumasa Beach in Sarangani

Right after dropping our luggage in Amigotel at General Santos City last month, we asked a tricycle to drop us at the van terminal beside KCC Mall, to get a ride to Glan, Sarangani. We like to see their white sand beach in barangay Gumasa, where resorts dot the coastline.

Past 8:00 am when we arrived at the van terminal, and waited for at least 30 minutes for our van to get full with passengers. 

Fare is Php 80 for the 50-minute ride to Glan, after passing 2 seaside towns on the eastern part of Sarangani. There are 3 more towns of Sarangani on the western side, making this province unique in a sense that 2 set of towns are separated by Sarangani Bay and South Cotabato province.

Upon arriving at the Glan Transport terminal, we took our early lunch on one of the carinderias. We ordered a squid and a fish dish, which are both freshly-cooked and very good with rice and soda drink. Total bill was only Php 86. We also bought some drinks and chips there, as we expect the food in Gumasa beach to be more expensive.

Then we hired a tricycle to drop us to Gumasa Beach for Php 150. We checked first the White Haven Resort, but with P100 entrance fee and P500 cheapest cottage fee, we moved to the more budget-friendly Coco Beach Resort.

They don't serve meals, so visitors can bring their own food. There are grilling stations as well as guestrooms for those who want to stay overnight. Local beers start at P70 per bottle, while the other drinks are also expensive. They have a vendo coffee machine on their reception/store area, but instant coffee mixes are way better. 

Entrance fee to the resort is Php 30/adult, while kids can enter free. We got the smallest open-air cottage for Php 200 rental below. But since there only a few guests that weekday, they allowed us to use the bigger cottage fronting the beach.

Here's the view of the beach from our open cottage. The sea breeze is so refreshing, that encouraged me to sleep first on the wooden bench.

After my nap, only then that my son and I strolled on the beach. It has fine white sand, but the habagat monsoon brings a lot of seaweeds and trash on the shore, which the workers try to remove every now and then.

The neighboring beach resort seems unfriendly to their competitor's guests, judging from the signages on their fence. They have a mini rock formation on their area.

Next to Tawi-Tawi, Gumasa beach sits on one of the southernmost part of the country, facing Celebes Sea that separates Philippines from Malaysia and Indonesia. Although not as nice as Boracay or Coron beaches, this is still a nice quiet beach.

The resort's rooms with rates starting at Php 1,500/night.

The seabed has seaweeds and some rock formations, serving as breakwater against the waves. However, there are portions with fne white sand, where I stayed for about an hour. There are many starfishes, as I even showed 2 species to my son. The seaweed has this unique fruit below, which I initially assumed as a shellfish covered with algae growth.

We left the resort at 3:15 pm after a rinsing our bodies. I asked Jojo, our trike driver, to bring us to the antique houses of the town, on the way back to the terminal. See the intricate and classic design of the old houses below.

We also passed the town's market area.

The terminal with a van which we boarded on our return to GenSan. We waited only 15 minutes for it to get full. I think the last trip is at 4:30 pm. The sea views are also nice on the left side during our return trip.

Passing the town of Alabel, we saw again their provincial capitol which looks nice and imposing. I thought of dropping by to see it closer, but the gates were already closed. Plus I don't want to wake my son who is enjoying his sleep inside the moving van.

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