Sand, Sea, and Sun in Glan, Sarangani

The idyllic Gumasa Beach in Sarangani
Sarangani is a province off the southernmost part of the Philippines and one of the povinces that comprise the SOCCSKSARGEN region. It is divided into two parts, separated by the Sarangani Bay and General Santos City. Sarangani is home to the pristine beaches of Gumasa in the town of Glan, spectacular marine sanctuaries of Kiamba and Maasim, and the ancient burial jars that were discovered from the caves of Maitum.

While we wanted to explore the whole province, we were taken aback by our limited time and so we just decided to spend a night in the town of Glan for us to be able to visit the popular Gumasa beach.

How to go to Glan:
  • Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly daily from Manila to General Santos City. The flight is approximately an hour and a half.
  • From the General Santos Airport, take a multicab to KCC mall or the city proper. This will take around 30-45 minutes. Fare is Php 50.
  • Just across the side entrance of KCC Mall (at the back of Veranza) is the van terminal to Glan. Travel time from GenSan to Glan is about an hour. Fare is Php 100.
  • At Glan town proper, take a tricycle (Randy-09263532253) to your resort of choice. Ours was Brod Louie Resort in Taluya Beach. Fare is Php 100 per way. Travel time is around 20 minutes. Make sure to book the tricycle for your return trip to Glan town proper as there are very few tricycles plying this route.
Van from GenSan to Glan

Where to stay in Glan:
While the Adarna brothers' resorts such as Rosal Beach Resort (thanks to Kris Aquino's influential TV show shot on location here), White Haven, and Coco Beach Resort on Gumasa beach are popular, these resorts have also gained a number of negative feedback in the social media world. Many say rooms are overpriced and service is terrible. I don't have any idea about the truth behind these stories but to be on the safe side, I opted to book a room in another resort located five minutes away from the fabled "Boracay" of Mindanao.

Brod Louie Resort
An unassuming resort tucked in Taluya Beach, Brod Louie Resort offers basic, rustic rooms at affordable prices. We got an aircon room for two at Php 1,500 per night, way cheaper than the rooms in some resorts along Gumasa Beach. Service is impeccable, with Aileen, the one in-charge of reservations guiding us from booking all the way to monitoring us en route. The resort's number is 09219880846.

The main cluster
Our room, located on the second floor, was tidy and homey, and with ample space for us to walk around. It has two verandas and a clean toilet and bath without hot shower. There's no TV in the room but there's a common TV at the reception. They provide basic toiletries and linens but I would suggest bringing your own for your own convenience and peace of mind.

The aircon room

Toilet and bath

Veranda 1

Veranda 2

Big house perfect for functions

Pathway to the beach
The beachfront of Brod. Louie Resort is similar to Alobijod Cove in Guimaras--off white and powdery with a bit of pebbles. There's a snorkeling site a few meters away from the shore but it is only accessible by boat.

Brod Louie Resort's beach front

To the left is another resort popular for campers

To the right are beautiful rock formations

Gumasa Beach
We asked the resort's staff about the real score in Gumasa Beach. Admittedly, they said the three Adarna resorts have strict rules especially with daytrippers. For Rosal Beach Resort, an entrance fee of Php 50 per pax is imposed, and guests are obliged to rent a cottage. It's a good thing that one of the resort's staff overheard us and recommended her daughter to tour us in Gumasa Beach without passing through any of the three resorts' entrance. How? She has a friend who takes care of Manny Pacquiao's beach property in Gumasa. The staff said her daughter can take hubby and I there on her motorcycle at Php 80 roundtrip. Deal!

A peek at Pacquiao's property
From the resort, it took us five minutes on a motorcycle to go to Gumasa Beach. Manny Pacquiao's property is located at the far end of Gumasa, beside an empty lot near White Haven Resort. There's no beach house here, just a hut a few trees. Our guide said some locals pitch a tent on the empty lot when they want to save on room rentals in Gumasa.

The sand is indeed as fine as Boracay's

Manny Pacquiao's native hut

This part is near White Haven Resort

This iconic rock is right in front of Pacquiao's property, and not of Rosal's

The mandatory "Kris Aquino" pose on this rock where she shot an episode of KrisTV

White Haven Resort's beachfrront

It would have been nice to catch the sunset here

After taking photos, we went back to Brod Louie Resort to catch the sunset. It's a wise decision since sunsets from this part of the globe are exceptionally vibrant.

  • If you are staying in Brod Louie Resort, make sure to bring food enough for the duration of your stay. Better to buy supplies in KCC Mall in GenSan as the public market in Glan may have limited offerings, too. Brod Louie Resort doesn't have a restaurant but they sell cold booze at fair prices. There's a grilling area that you can use free of charge.
  • You can't eat at the three resorts in Gumasa beach if you are not their guests.
  • If you are travelling alone, you can take a habal-habal instead of a tricycle from Glan town proper to the resort. Fare is Php 30.

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