The blend of adventure and culture is something that travelers always look for to satisfy their adrenaline fix, and kindle inner culturati in them. Down south in Mindanao, the province of Sarangani has masterfully combined these elements of a consummate travel.
The province’s cradle of culture is Malungon town, which hosts the Lamlifew Village Museum, a repository of the Blaan ethnic heritage, organic farming, and the exquisite mabal tabih handwoven fabric, Sarangani’s cultural gem. Discover the fun side of agriculture and immerse at the CCT Farm and Rio Verde Farm and Forest which combine farming, recreation, and indigenous culture.
Uphill, Kalonbarak Skyline Ridge viewdeck park is a must-see with its commanding view where the mountains and seas meet.
Malapatan town takes pride of its living cultural treasure Bai Estelita Bantilan, a Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, and a master weaver of the igem Blaan mat who lives in an upland village. It is also known for the elegant Maguindanaon malong and inaul fabrics woven by its local women.
The “Tour Town” of Glan is the province’s top attraction because of Gumasa Beach, dubbed as the Boracay of Mindanao because of its powdery white sand and crystalline water. It is also a gourmet getaway with its restaurant-resorts by the beach of Sarangani Bay which serve local and fusion delight. Travel back in time at its heritage village with the museum-like American-era art deco homes.
Maasim is the adventure hub as it offers paragliding from the mountaintop of SAFI Ranch, regarded as among the best sites because of good winds the whole year round. Explore the underwater world at the amazing dive spots located just off Lemlunay Resort, and admire the lush coralline life and colorful aquatic creatures.
Meanwhile, non-divers can indulge in pedal boats, kayaks, helmet diving, and other watersports at Pacman Resort.
Bask in the sea and the sun at Tuka Marine Park in Kiamba with its powdery beach and protected sanctuary, ideal for boating, snorkeling and free diving. This mesmerizing secluded cove has modest resorts for a back-to-basics overnight stay.
You can also soak in the icy natural pools of the multi-tiered Kawil falls in the mountains, stroll at the Instagrammable Kiamba public plaza and baywalk, and cap the evening with a grilled dinner by the sea.
For an adrenaline rush, ride a 2-km exciting whitewater tube ride at Pangi River, then trek to Mlangen (or Kamlayaman) Falls and Yama Cave in Maitum. Swing by the municipal hall museum for a glimpse of its 2,000-year history depicted in the dioramas of Ayub and Pinol Caves where burial jars of anthropomorphic men were unearthed. The precolonial relics are described by the National Museum as exceptional archaeological assemblage unparalleled in Southeast Asia.
Getting There: General Santos City is the gateway airport to Sarangani. For easy travel, group the tourist attractions into the Malungon-Alabel-Malapatan-Glan and the Maasim-Kiamba-Maitum clusters.