Classes have ended and the long hot summer days are here in the Philippines. While a lot has been thinking of Boracay, we have 7,107 islands to explore…most of the beaches are relatively unknown to mainstream tourists. Recently however, Gumasa Beach in Sarangani Province has been making head waves being the venue of Mindanao’s largest beach party. Yet despite it being the center of this fiesta, during ordinary days (or even weekdays), Gumasa is one laidback paradise in this side of the country.
It was my first sunrise after my birthday. I was in Mati City, Davao Oriental Province to accompany my dad for his project in the mountains of the province. That morning, I went to the beach that has been popular to backpackers and surfers alike—Dahican Beach. For surfers, it’s an alternative to Siargao Island. For travelers, it’s a paradise so close to this laidback city. …continue reading
While a lot of sun worshipers who head to Davao would think of neighboring Samal Island, most people haven’t seen the virginal beauty of Talicud Island—a pearl and emerald floating on Davao Gulf. Virginal in the sense that despite its powdery-white sand beaches that stretched for miles and being so close to Mindanao’s urban hub, it is almost relatively untouched by the capitalist party and pa-sosyal business resorts.
It was just a random weekend when my friends and I went to western Sarangani for some relaxation. Out of random places, we went to Tuka Marine Park in the town of Kiamba, an hour and a half drive and 15 minute boat ride from General Santos City. Relatively an unknown to most outsiders of Soccsksargen, this is Sarangani’s alternative to the popular white sand beach of Gumasa in the town of Glan. Tuka is also a protected park, hence you’ll get to see its natural beauty, without much of the crowd.
Since my Basilan day trip was far-fetched and wanting to save the city tour for later, I have no idea where to go in Zamboanga City. Thankfully, a friend of mine said, “Tu viaje a Isla Santa Cruz.” It wasn’t the first time I heard about the island—my relatives have been promoting this as the island of pink sand.
For those who aren’t familiar, Santa Cruz Island (referring to Isla Grande de Santa Cruz) is one of Zamboanga’s best kept secrets. Located some few kilometers away across the strait, the islands are well-known for its pink-white sand beaches and seemingly virgin when it comes to tourism development. Despite being very close to the city, only a few have visited this island. Most people who go here are local Zamboangueños who spend their weekend at a beach. Most urban dwellers of the north may probably have second thoughts going here since Basilan is just across the strait.