Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wandering Solo at Gumasa Beach, Glan, Sarangani

SOCCSKSARGEN was full of surprises. Upon embarking on this trip with my friends, we have already seen wonderful natural gems such as lakes, falls, lush forests, I've also experienced its culture and tried some blood-rushing activities, I felt that everything is already in this region, though there was just only one thing missing I felt that could keep a traveler's blood rushing anytime of the day - a beach. Since my two companions had to leave earlier, I had two days by myself to see the rest of what's in store for me at this part of Mindanao. The first one, I spent exploring around Lake Sebu and going food tripping around General Santos City. When we joined an outreach activity at T'boli, we met some mountaineers who recommended for us to visit Gumasa Beach of Glan, Sarangani, so I decided it was something worth doing by myself and I can also finally see the famed 'Boracay of the South' as quoted by most of the locals we have talked to.

gumasa beach
Good Morning from Gumasa Beach

The trip from Lake Sebu required me to take five jeepney and van transfers and the trip itself took more than five hours. I was hoping to catch the glorious sunset along the shoreline of Gumasa Beach but I did not expect that the trip from GenSan would require more than one hour, so even though I was not able to take a picture, I was still able to see the sun setting with a more dramatic background of the clouds rolling in and a more wider view of the ocean while traveling along the scenic coastal highway to Glan.

gumasa beach sunset
not exactly a wonderful picture of a sunset but this would do

Getting off at the terminal, I was approached by a number of habal habal and trike drivers, all offering a fare of 100 pesos to the beachfront, I read from some blogs that it should only be 60, I tried to haggle but to no avail. I am guessing that this place must be quite popular then. Since it was already getting dark and I haven't contacted any place to stay the night, I just took the bait even though I thought it was a bit overpriced. As soon as I arrived, I looked for a cheap rooms to serve as my roof for the night, but as expected, most of the rates were from 1,500-3,000 pesos. Folks from Isla del Jardin had very friendly staff and referred me to White Haven. I would have stayed at Isla del Jardin if I were with a group. White Haven had a backpacker's room that only had very basic facilities: one bed, one fan, shared bathroom, that's it. No Wi-FI signal, can you believe it? I had free breakfast though but that was it. I paid 750 for one night stay but I didn't feel like I got my money's worth. Would have been better If I only had a hammock or tent. I settled for the night and decided to explore the beach early next day.

white haven gumasa beach
My bare room at White Haven Beach Resort

I woke up around 5:30AM feeling revitalized. There were already a number of tourists swimming in the cold waters of Gumasa Beach. I did the same, but swimming alone was not too much fun. I realized then that you really need friends or family to enjoy this type of activity.  Anyway, I just decided to walk around and see if there was something that would pique my interest.

gumasa beach morning
Moon at 5:30 in the morning and the calm turquoise waters of Gumasa
gumasa beach glan
Can't help but imagine myself shooting a music video. hahaha. The things you think about when traveling solo.
gumasa beach sarangani

After some time, some people approached and chatted with me, turns out they are teachers who came all the way from North Cotabato to see this well-known beach. The conversation mainly went around as to why I was alone traveling in Mindanao! They were quite amazed and also worried for me as I am a woman traveling in a place I am not very familiar with.

gumasa beach solo

They needed to leave early though so I was left alone again to walk along the 7-kilometer vast shore of Gumasa.  I had enough time to think about the trip and what I really want to do with my life (naks, emo lang). Solo travel has its ways to push you to internalize, ponder about life and have intimate conversations with yourself. I also had more time to appreciate the beautiful scenery before my eyes and thank God that I was born in such a wonderful country.

gumasa beach sand
Look! Fine SAND at Gumasa!
gumasa beach mindanao
Don't you wish you can have this view everyday?!

Though it is not one of the best beaches I've been to, it was enough to let me escape and drift away before I go back to the busy city of Manila. I'd say this was the perfect conclusion to my eight-day trip to Mindanao.

mindanao beach
Lovely Mindanao, I hope to come back soon!

How to reach Glan and Gumasa Beach:
From General Santos City, there are vans that can take you directly to the town of Glan, Saranggani. The terminal is located at KCC Mall and travel time can be around 1-1.5 hour. The last stop of the van will be Glan terminal and from there, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal to take you to any resort along Gumasa Beach.

Day 0: T'boli
Traveling to South Cotabato

Day 1: T'boli
Mt.Parker and T'boli Locals

Day 2: T'boli
Lake Holon

Day 3: Lake Sebu
Tour of the Lakes

Seven Falls

Day 4: Lake Sebu
More of the Lakes

What to do at Lake Sebu

Day 5: Gumasa - General Santos City
Gumasa Beach

Food Tour

5 Day Trip
Itinerary & Budget

T'boli Culture

More of Mindanao here


  1. The second photo is one gorgeous sunset! On your 4th one, your lenses needs some cleaning up hehe.

    1. Yup, it always does,especially when I go to the beach! The sand always find its way to creep in into my camera so must be very careful and bring the right cleaning tools. ;)

  2. I have never been to Sarangani nor South Cotabato :( Thanks for sharing. Adding to my neverending list of places to see.

  3. Thanks for Writing SAND....otherwise we would have not known it..:)

  4. Do they hav backpackers room for two that hav cr inside? Not the common one.

    1. I think they have the standard rooms (AC with bathroom inside the room) I forgot to ask the rates but may range to 1,200-1,500 per room prices are pretty steep in Gumasa. Also check with other resorts they might have better rooms/rates.

  5. hi! how much was your approximate budget on this trip?thanks


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