Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gumasa Beach: Faraway Haven Down South

Date: MAR 16, 2015

Sarangani is one of the southernmost province on the main island of Mindanao, and it is divided into two parts – Eastern Sarangani and Western Sarangani. This province is rich in natural wonders but because of how remote Sarangani is, only a few people braved to visit. While surfing the internet, I saw an article about Gumasa Beach in Glan, Sarangani, and according to online reviews, the beach is truly amazing. That’s why I decided to visit this place and see it for myself.

Looking out at the horizon in Gumasa Beach

Cold breeze coming in from the outside woke me up as we drive through the province of Davao del Sur.  When I looked outside, what I saw were lush rolling hills that reminded me of the photos I saw online about Batanes. The plains were filled with vast banana plantations, and herds of livestock roam freely on the grassland.

View looking south east
A little while later, we managed to reach the city of General Santos, and according to Google Maps, I had to get off near KCC Mall where the Glan-bound passenger vans can be found. I waited for the bus to pass by the mall, but I wasn’t able to see it. Fortunately, the bus had to do a stop over at the Yellow Bus terminal near SM General Santos, and from there, I rode a tricycle and asked the driver to drop me off at KCC Mall.

I immediately rode the van the moment I reached the mall, and it left 15 minutes later. The trip from General Santos to Glan, Sarangani was an hour long, and we arrived at the public transport terminal at around 7:50 in the morning. The town was surrounded by green mountains and vast rice fields, and that was what greeted me right after getting off the van. Then, I looked around for transportation going to Gumasa beach.

Just having a good time
Tricycles were the only means of transporatation available that time, and the driver wanted to charge me P80 for a one way ride. I asked him if we could still wait for other passengers who would like to split up the fare with me, and he agreed to it. For the mean time, I looked for a place where I could eat. Almost all eateries in Glan serve halal food, and that made me happy (I don’t eat pork). I ordered chicken adobo at a nearby carinderia and went back to the tricycle driver after finishing my breakfast. There were still no passengers, so I just agreed to pay P80 for the ride since I was in a hurry.

We left the terminal at 8:25 in the morning, and we managed to get to Coco Beach Resort after 25 minutes. I had to pay an entrance fee which was P30, and visitors were also required to get a room or a cottage. Checking their price list, I selected the cheapest option – a cottage which only cost P200. After paying for everything, I proceeded to my cottage and placed my things inside, and went to the bathroom to change into my swimming attire.

Fine white sand
Gumasa’s sand has a cream-whitish color and it was very fine – in fact, it was the finest sand I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I got some few samples and placed it inside a plastic bag so I can turn it into my personal bottled souvenir later on. I placed my towel on the beach and just lied under the sun, while appreciating the beauty of this remote paradise. The water from the sea has a sparkling blue hue, and surrounding it were mountains filled with coconut trees. There were only a few number of people as well, which made the place more relaxing.

Later on, I decided to take a dip and enjoyed the beach. The water was not that clear, similar to that of White Beach in Puerto Galera. I just floated around as I looked up into the sky, and after 2 hours, I went back to my cottage to rinse.

After rinsing and changing my clothes, I called the tricycle driver who took me to Gumasa earlier. The transportation here is very difficult, and it is very important for guests to get their driver’s phone number so that someone could pick them up once they decided to leave. However, when I spoke to the driver, he told me (in Cebuano) that he won’t be able to pick me up. I could barely understand what he was saying and what his reason was but I got his point.

Glan Municipal Hall
Fortunately, there was a guy inside the beach who approached me and offered to take me back to the terminal via his habal-habal. After purchasing a fridge magnet souvenir, I hopped onto his motorcycle and we left. While we were driving through the empty highway of Sarangani, I asked him if he could take me to their municipal hall, just for me to see it. He agreed to take me there, and when we arrived at the building, I took out my camera and started taking some photos and videos. Their municipal hall glimmers under the sun because of its golden-colored glass facade, and it was really an eye candy especially for first time visitors.

We headed straight to the terminal afterwards, and I came in just in time because there was a van leaving in just a few minutes. I thanked the habal-habal driver, and went inside to find an available seat. Thank you very much Sarangani! Now going back to General Santos!

One of the best beach I've ever been to
This post is part of my Mindanao and Mount Apo Adventure (with Trail Insanity) that took place between March 15 – March 21, 2015. Read the first entry here. Read the post about the previous destination here. Proceed to the next destination here.

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