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Glan Sarangani Travel Guide

Sarangani

One Philippine region that I believe deserves more recognition and promotion in terms of tourism is South-Central Mindanao. Composed of six provinces namely South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos, it is known by the acronym SOCCSKSARGEN. On my recent trip to this part of the Philippines, I visited Sarangani Province.

My travel itinerary was focused on one of the best beaches in Mindanao, which is also dubbed as the Boracay of the South—Gumasa Beach. The beach boasts of a six-kilometer white beach on the eastern shore of Sarangani, facing the Celebes Sea. Gumasa Beach remains relatively quiet day in and day out compared to other beach destinations in the Philippines that I visited, which are mostly packed with tourists. If you’re the type who enjoys chilling out on the beach just to enjoy its rustic, laid-back vibe while listening to music, you would probably enjoy your stay here.

Gumasa Beach
Photo Credit to Mabuhay Travel UK

How to get to Glan, Sarangani

General Santos City is the easiest and fastest gateway to Sarangani Province. Currently, there are direct flights from Manila, Cebu, and Iloilo going to General Santos.

From the city, take a UV Express van to Glan at the KCC Transport Terminal. Fare ranges from P120 or $2.20. Travel time is around one hour. From the van station in Glan, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal when heading to Gumasa beach or to your accommodation. Fare costs around P150 or $2.75 and travel time spans around 15 minutes.

Where to stay in Glan, Sarangani

Booking accommodation through online platforms like Agoda and Booking.com is the preferable way nowadays. Unfortunately, when I did a search, no result came up. I then ended up reaching out directly to various resorts through their Facebook pages.

After comparing prices, reading reviews, and checking out hotel photos, I decided to book my stay at Kamari Resort and Hotel. Probably not the best in the area but since they have more affordable rates and location is on a decent beach area, I opted to stay there. Heads-up though, don’t expect too much from their room selections. 

Kamari Resort and Hotel
Photo Credit to Kamari Resort and Hotel

I booked a superior AC room for around P2,000 or $36 per night with breakfast. The room has a small TV, AC, and a private bathroom without a view. I’m just glad that they have a decent WiFi connection.

Service was not bad, but food choices are very limited. I would say that the top reason why I would pick this resort is because of its location that features a clean and sandy beach area, and swimmable waters. They also have trees along the shoreline that will offer you some shade if the sun is blazing. If I did find a better room within my budget, I would probably stay somewhere else. But if you’re on a tight budget and you’re just looking for a decent place to stay in Gumasa, Kamari Resort and Hotel is an adequate place to stay for one night.

What to do in Glan, Sarangani?

Aside from enjoying the relaxing stay on Gumasa Beach, Glan Sarangani is also known for its diving spots. One of the most popular is Kapatan-Lago Diving Spot. It is located next to an aquaculture farm for sergeant fishes. You should also not miss a walk around Glan town proper where you can see some ancestral houses built mostly in the early part of the 1900s. They feature high balconies, canopies, and walls of ‘kalados’ and concrete step boards leading to wide wooden staircases. These ancestral houses include stunning collections of high-value antiques and oriental goods.

Glan Sarangani
Clemente La Paz Ancestral House Photo Credit to WikiMedia

When is the best time to visit Sarangani?

The summer season is the best time to visit to avoid rainfall. January through March have warm temperatures. If you want to attend a beach festival, check out Sarangani Bay Festival, which the locals call Sarbay Fest. The festival is held every third week of May. It is arguably the most popular beach event in the southern region of the Philippines.

Besides being the hometown of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, I’m sure that most of us know very little about Sarangani. Unbeknown to us, the province plays a very important role in the country: it has one of the busiest seaports that boasts of a beautiful and protected seascape.

Sarangani Bay
Sarangani Bay Photo Credit to Business World Online

Sarangani Province is one of the underrated provinces I visited in the Philippines. It is very charming, safe, has a great view of nature from mountain ranges, a stunning bay area, an uncrowded beach, and an amazing dive site. It can be easily accessed from General Santos City and has very good road conditions. I hope this article can relay to more people how beautiful and safe Sarangani is and how awesome the south-central region of Mindanao is in general. I can’t wait to see the day that the province is on the map of many travelers.

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