As the time for our vacation was approaching, I was getting apprehensive since the only person that I knew in this place was out for further studies in Rome. I asked some priests from another vicariate who went there a month earlier if they knew some people there who can help us with our transportation. I was pouring over some travel books and blogs and decided that in the three days that we will be there we could visit Gumasa in Sarangani, Lake Sebu in South Cotabato and General Santos City. This would actually cover the whole Socsksargen area (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos). Since they covered quite a long distance, the only way that we could maximize our vacation was to have our own transport. A priest gave us a number to call. He was a former parishioner who now resides in Gensan and has a business there. Was able to contact him and was thankful that he could lend us his car for our use. However, a few days before our departure, I got a call from him telling us that he had to go to Manila for some emergency business. He recommended us a car rental that we could call. Then I remembered that a cousin of mine went to Mindanao and found some relatives there who were excited to meet her since it was their first time to meet some relatives outside Mindanao. I contacted her if some of them resided in GenSan. Was I glad indeed that one relative resided in Gensan. Sure enough when I contacted Bobby Fantin, (their family name is spelled with an F not with a P) he readily offered to tour us around Gensan and the places that we would like to go. I was excited also to meet relatives for the first time in this part of the country.
We were indeed met at the airport by Bobby. He works as the chief engineer of the equipments at the Sarangani capitol. He would be our driver and tour guide for the next three days. We made a short driving tour around the city where Bobby pointed to us some of the business establishments of the famous son of Gensan, Manny Pacquiao. We were just unfortunate that we could not meet him as he went back to the U.S. to rejoin his family who were still there. Since it was already almost noon he brought us to a restaurant where we were joined by his wife Nene who works at the Land Bank.
After lunch, the driver of Bobby brought us to Gumasa, Glan to the Isla del Jardin Resort where I made previous reservation. Along the way we passed by the capital town of Alabel where the Capitol of the province of Sarangani is found, then we passed by the parish churches of Malapatan and Glan before proceeding to the Isla del Jardin Resort.
I thought all along that the resorts in Gumasa are just next to each other. Isla del Jardin is at the end of the Gumasa where it is separated by a mountain pass and is in another cove by its lonesome. From the highway, it is still a two kilometre away to the beach. Isla del Jardin is already developed with several cottages (aircon and non-aircon) for overnight stay and cottages for day picnics. It has a restaurant of its own. So that we could compare this beach with the others, we also visited the other resorts in Gumasa found in another cove: the Coco and Rosal Beach Resorts. Although they also had fine white sand, the latter resorts were just being developed and not as beautiful as Isla del Jardin. June, being the season of habagat, the sea was already a bit rough from the tranquil waters of the month of May.
Besides a foreigner with a Filipina in tow, we were the only guests of the resort during this time. So we had the beach and the whole resort to ourselves.
Isla Jardin del Mar Resort – 0919-7652174
|Isla Jardin del Mar Resort in Gumasa, Glan|
Aerial view of the city of General Santos
Arriving at the airport of Gensan
A tarp of the Gensan's Tuna Festival at the airport.
A main street in Gensan
One of the business establishment of Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao
Another business establishment of Jinkee Pacquiao
The city hall of General Santos
Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in Gensan.
The General Santos Park in Gensan
The Capitol of the province of Sarangani in the town of Alabel.
The parish church of Malapatan, Sarangani
The Sta. Catalina de Alexandria Parish Church of Glan, Sarangani.
|Inside the church of Glan|
The altar of the Glan parish church.
The beach at the Rosal and Coco beach resorts.
From the main highway, it was still two kilometers to the the Isla Jardin del Mar Resort.