A Sarangan’s Pride

Twenty four years since its independence from being a sleepy third district of South Cotabato, Sarangani Province today is now considered as one of the country’s tourist destination.

A class of AB Political Science of MSU-GSC traversed in the east coast part of the province in search for the different cultures, resources and places that the Sarangans are being proud of.

Sarangani was established as a new province on May 1992 based on Republic Act (RA) 7228 authored by the late Rep. James Chiongbian who was then representative of the third district of  South Cotabato and later served as the first representative of Sarangani’s lone district.

The Provincial Capitol of Sarangani which is now named James L. Chiongbian Building in honor of Rep. Chiongbian is considered among the primary landmarks and tourist attractions of the province. It has a grand neo-classical design based on the American colonial era provincial capitols.

“Kasi pinakadabest! At para sa’kin hindi lang ito kapitolyo, white house talaga ito ng Sarangani,” said Regina Lalisan when asked about why Sarangani capitol is a hot spot.

Lalisan is working in the capitol since 1993. She is now an Administration Aid III.

“Gumanda lalo, lalo na yung nag-congressman si Manny {Manny Pacquiao}, andyan yung ospital namin parang bigla lang natapos, hindi namin alam matatapos na pala. Sinusuportahan talaga kasi niya ang Sarangani, marami siyang ginawa na hindi namin napansin, ngayon tapos na pala,” replied Lalisan when asked about what are the changes that she observed in her 23 years as an admin aid.

At the Balungis Women’s Association, the class witnessed Sarangani’s artistry. Balungis means Pandan. It is an association of Malong weaving founded by the late Maysalan Magangcong.

“Makatabang sa mga babayi nga walay trabaho sama sa mga nanay para makatuon pud ang ilang mga anak.” Said Jana Ria Magangcong when asked about the goal of their association. She is a daughter-in-law of Maysalan who now supervises the organization. Today, they are supplying malong not only in the country but also in foreign land such as in Alaska and in London.

The group also visited Glan, the oldest town in Sarangani aging 102. One of its prides is the Familia Ruiz memorabilia, a collection of antiques, literature and personal account of town’s culture and tradition with its purpose of showing locals and tourists the glorious history of Glan by the family of the late Tranquilino Ruiz who founded Glan in 1914.

Traveling a 40-minute ride, the group reached one of the widest beaches in Sarangani. “Salamandatang Isla Jardin del Mar!” greeted Jimmy Miley when the class arrived. Salamandatang is a sangil word for welcome. Miley is a half Filipino and Indonesian who is working as maintenance head of the resort.

“Diri man jud ko nagdaku ug proud ko nga naa ko diria. Nindut man gud ang beach, white sand pa jud ug peaceful kaayo,” replied Miley when asked about why he chose to stay in Sarangani.

Gumasa has a six-kilometer long crescent beach at Glan. Others called it “Small Boracay of Mindanao” because of its white sand and fine crystal that makes you walk comfortable around the beach.

Isla Jardin del Mar is the newest addition to Glan’s white sand beach resorts. Most activities of the annual Sarangani Bay (SarBay) fest are held here because of its 34-hectare land area and a 750-meter stretch of glorious white shoreline and azure waters.

“Diri jud sa Sarangani ang pinakanindut na tourist spot!” added Miley.

With all its blessed nature and resources, Sarangani is indeed a Sarangan’s pride.

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Sarangan’s pride! The Aerial view of Gumasa beaches with its azure waters- May 4, 2016

Resel B. Gerondio

ENG5/Prof. Russtum Pelima

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