Gerard Oliver S. Wang Jr. MTH 9-1030
Prof. Russtum G. Pelima
Last May 4, I went on a trip bound for the east coast of Sarangani Province which comprises of municipalities: Alabel, Malapatan, and Glan. Being a person from South Cotabato, I didn’t really know what to expect to see. But later on that day, the trip truly left me in awe.
It was around 8 o’clock when my colleagues and I arrived at Sarangani’s James Chiongbian Provincial Capitol Complex in Alabel. The building is certainly a site to see. It’s pearly white color, Doric architecture, and state flags flown around it really makes it reminiscent of Ancient Greece and even America’s White House. The employees especially in the Tourism and Engineering departments there are very welcoming and approachable. An employee I happened to meet Sir Jojo, was very friendly and lets us in Vice Governor Jinkee Pacquiao’s office .While in the office, he stated that: ‘’We here at the capitol readily welcome visitors and really put their needs to heart.”. He really wanted me to stay a little longer but we had to leave for our next destination.
After a few minutes aboard a jeepney, we arrived at the Balungis Women’s Association in the municipality of Malapatan. This organization specializes in the weaving of traditional malongs, traditional Maguindanaon tunics or skirts, and shawls. They started out in 2009 with 18 women and use the tanunan or a traditional loom to weave these colorful, striped shawls. ‘’This organization really uplifts the livelihood of the women in the community’’ organization founder Janaria Mangancong as each member makes 3500 pesos monthly making these wearable works of art. The prices of these malongs and shawls range from 450-1200 pesos making it pretty affordable. It was really a treat to visit their place and to see the delicate weaving of malongs already ordered by buyers from London and even as far as Alaska. But sadly, we couldn’t witness the finishing of a malong and we had to go back to the jeepney.
Aboard the jeepney, it took about 30-40 minutes to reach the next municipality: Glan, derived from the B’laan word G’lang or sharp machete. But it was really worth the wait.
The coastal roads of Glan displayed a stunning shoreline of white sand beaches and pristine blue seawater. This really enticed me as the jeepney stopped for us to take a few selfies and pictures of the beautiful coast.
Back on board, after about 10 minutes, we reached Glan’s town proper. We then went to the Familia Ruiz Memorabilia House where curator/caretaker Mr.Benedicto Ruiz, grandson of Glan’s founder Don Tranquilino Ruiz, talked about Glan’s past as the oldest town in Sarangani and the surrounding areas as we looked around the house. It was full of antiques like China vases, Japanese wood carvings, paintings by local T’boli painter Ronald Tamfalan and many more. “Glan was founded by my grandfather from Cebu in October 18, 1914 ‘’, Mr. Ruiz proudly said as he then discussed about the first settlement up to the present standing of the town.
After such, we had lunch at Glan’s marketplace complete with just about everything from baby clothes to FM radios. Food at the many carenderias is cheap: a heaping plate of rice costs only 10 pesos and viand ranges from 15-20 pesos per serve, very-tourist friendly. After our meal, we walked around the town and looked at the historic century-old houses from Glan’s early settlements. These houses were delicately made with beautiful wood carving décor like the ones you would see in Spanish-era houses.
Then we went to Isla Hardin Del Mar Resort at Brgy.Gumasa. It has such an impressive fine white sand beach with clear blue water. In no time, I put on my trunks and went for a swim. The crisp water with calm waves really gave me peace of mind. According to one tourist, Toto Apologista “I’d pick this place over Boracay and Cebu beaches, so beautiful.” as he talked to me while wading. Later on, after hours of swimming, we witnessed the famous Isla Hardin sunset, a colorful tapestry of orange and red, bordering fluffy clouds, such a fantastic site.
Sarangani’s east coast is truly a wonderful spot for any tourist. It’s Moro,Christian,and Lumad culture and history mold well with a heaven sent coastline. Once you go there, it is truly a rewarding and memorable experience. Go visit Sarangani’s East Coast soon!