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9 Knockout Attractions in Sarangani Edit

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Colleen Cabili  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Anybody who has watched Manny Pacquiao's fights knows that his rapid succession of punches serves as his knockout combination.


The province of Sarangani, Manny Pacquiao's hometown, is similar to that knockout combination in many ways. It has a number of tourist attractions that can dazzle even seasoned travelers, and outdo everything they've previously thought about Mindanao.

Gumasa White Beach

Gumasa White Beach in Glan is known as the "Boracay of Mindanao" for its mile-long fine sand minus the madding crowd and unbridled commercialism. It is also home to Sarangani Bay Festival, the country's biggest summer beach gig. This event is a mix of entertainment, wellness, and sports events that lure hordes of beach lovers from across the archipelago. This year's Sarbay Fest is set to be held on the third week of May. 

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Amazing Gumasa White Beach remains serene and undisturbed. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Paragliding

Extreme sports aficionados can take off to the skies and be rewarded by breathtaking views of Sarangani Bay from above. It has been identified by aerosports practitioners as the best site to paraglide because of its ideal terrain and great wind conditions the whole-year round. Although it's a fairly new sport in Maasim, it has already hosted the prestigious Paragliding Accuracy World Cup in 2014, which drew the world's best pilots.

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A group of adventurers just landed! (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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Before flying, newbies are taught of the proper way to control their gliders. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Whitewater Tubing

Get your dose of adrenaline in the 2-kilometer bumpy and exciting white water tube ride at Pangi River in Maitum. On special arrangements, indigenous T'boli tribes welcome guests with an indigenous song and dance performance.

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The People's Champ tries out whitewater tubing. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

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Scuba Diving

Lovers of the underwater world can feast in the lush life of the so-called Tinoto Express dive spot at Lemlunay Resort in Maasim. Here you'll find a wide variety of hard and soft corals, nudibranches, gorgonians, sponges, and a mesmerizing assortment of reef life. Pelagics, turtles, rays, rainbow runners, groupers, snappers, Napoleon Wrasse, clown fish, angel fish, and parrot fish are the species in this marine haven.

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A diver gets up close to Lemlunay's thriving underwater ecosystem. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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A lone nudibranch hangs on a rock. Perhaps it's concentrating on not getting swept by the current? (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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This branching coral has schools of fish hiding underneath. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Snorkeling

Laze in the sun, sea, and sand at Tuka Marine Park in Kiamba, a protected sanctuary where fishes spawn, making it a haven for snorkeling and freediving. It also takes pride of its long stretch of powdery beach where the Pac-Man himself has put up a resort.

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Manny Pacquiao's 14-bedroom resthouse has an uninterrupted view of the beach beside Tuka Marine Park. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Muna Toh Anthromorphic Man

The prehistoric people and burial jars unearthed in the remote Pinol and Ayub Caves were described by the National Museum as an "exceptional archaeological assemblage unparalleled in Southeast Asia." Replicas are on display at the Maitum Municipal Hall which provides visitors an overview of the primitive settlement that existed 2,000 years ago in the area.

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This Anthromorphic Man is called "Muna Toh," from the B'laan phrase which means "first people" based on the 2,000-year-old archaeological finds. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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Several earthenware Maitum jars lay in a corner. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Cultural Gems

Malapatan town is sought after for the Maguindanaoan craft of weaving the "malong" and "inaul" cloths with their traditional handlooms. These cloths have found their way across the globe as Muslim-inspired clothing or accessories. Another cultural treasure of the town is the "ginakit," the gaily-decorated Maguindanao boats which were used by Moro royals as they navigated the waterways during the olden days.  

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A well-detailed ginakit boat sets sail. (Photo courtesy of Kim Tiblani.)

Lamlifew Tribal Village Museum

The B'laan tribal community in Malungon is a one of a kind in the country for being a repository of the ethnic heritage, intricate weaving, dyeing traditions, and agriculture practices of the B'laans. The exquisite Mabal Tabih fabric is the crown jewel of Sarangani's cultural resources, with nonagenarian Fu Gusiye Buan as master weaver at the Lamlifew School of Living Traditions. These indigenous people take pride in the elegant beads, headdresses, necklaces, trinkets, bracelets, brass belts, and musical instruments which form part of their rich heritage. 

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A B'laan mother poses with her daughters. All of them are wearing clothes sewn from the fabric they wove themselves. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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A group of women concentrating on their weaving. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Glan Heritage Village

Situated at the town proper, these American-era art deco homes are a throwback to the earlier days of Glan. The Ruiz Residence serves as a living museum with its antiques and curious items, providing a glimpse of the town's storied past. A new must-visit is Hacienda Don Juan Beach Resort, a Victorian-themed old house punctuated by driftwood gardens and antediluvian items that take you back in time.

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One of the ancestral houses that remain in Glan. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)
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The delicate wood cutouts which frame the balcony were painstakingly hand-cut by the same workers who built the house. (Photo courtesy of DOT Region 12.)

Are you ready to get knocked out by the beauty of Sarangani? Head over here to start planning your trip! 


Original text by Bernard Supetran


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