While the skies are crying out of gloom at this hour, a memory of blue skies and different hues of turquoise, green, and deep blues resides at the back of my mind.
Setting foot on new destinations always excites me. From Driggs Pension House, Trixie, J and I rode a trike to the terminal beside KCC Mall in General Santos City. We were right on time as the van is almost full. Thank God, we were able to squeeze ourselves in the last row of the jampacked semi-dilapidated van.
This scene is not new to me. Commuter vans in the provinces are always packed with passengers. The driver collected Php 80 each as fare from General Santos City going to Glan, Sarangani.
So, what’s in Glan? Before this trip, I’ve been reading about this beach called Gumasa Beach, which has one of the longest coastline in the Philippines. Gumasa beach boasts of a six-kilometer stretch of white sand hugging the sea in a crescent-like form.
I keep on looking out of the window wanting to ask, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
The van ride took almost an hour and a half before it stopped at the E. Alegado Transport Station. We alighted from the van and the tricycle drivers knew that we’re bound for Gumasa Beach.
A man in his 50s, whom we later known as Kuya Edward, offered to take us for Php 120.00 from the terminal to Coco Beach Resort in Gumasa Beach. So the fare per person is Php 40.00.
It took another 30 minutes rough ride until we reached Coco Beach Resort. Based on reviews, Coco Beach Resort has a good shoreline and is also affordable. Hence, I chose it over the more popular Rosal Beach Resort.
But what I didn’t like about the staff is their dishonesty. When I first inquired via SMS, they told me that I still need to rent out an open cottage aside from the entrance fee. I was told that the open cottage is Php 400.00. I agreed. But when I was there, the staff said that the Php 400.00 is not available anymore because they thought we weren’t coming.
They were offering me a higher rate of Php 500 or Php 600. I was haggling. Good thing, J checked out the said cottage that was said to be occupied. It turned out that it was vacant. The staff just wanted me to pay a higher rate. Tsk. Tsk. Bad customer service!
So I insisted to take the Php 400.00 cottage and paid Php 90.00 for the entrance fee for 3 pax.
My bad mood changed as soon as I saw the blue skies and the different hues of the sea. Summer never goes away. Yes, it was July, supposed to be a rainy month but in Gumasa, summer lives!
I put on my snorkel and started enjoying the water. But to my surprise, the water was murky due to the sand. My feet felt the talc powder /close to lotion texture of the sand of Gumasa. I didn’t see any corals but saw some transparent fish and a lot of orange spiny starfish.
After a few minutes of swim, I walked on the long shore to feel the wind and the sand. Coco Beach was named due to the abundance of coconut trees in the area. Also, locals living in the area rely on copra as one of their livelihood sources.
But I do hope that they exert more effort to maintain a cleaner shoreline. Sometimes the coconut husks are floating in the sea.
Beside Coco Beach Resort is the Rosal Beach Resort. Yes, it has a cleaner shoreline than Coco Beach but it’s also more expensive.
Entrance fee at Rosal Beach Resort is Php 50.00 and the cheapest cottage for rent is at Php 600.00. This is okay if you’re in a group of 10 but for the 3 of us, it was expensive.
And it also has a warning sign to non-guests.
Honestly, I was underwhelmed by Gumasa Beach but it can’t be denied that it has its own charm.
It was just a brief afternoon at the beach. We bade Gumasa goodbye as we headed back to General Santos City for our next sojourn.
- Where to ride van to get to Gumasa Beach- KCC Mall in Gensan
- Travel time from KCC Mall to Gumasa Beach- 1 and a half hour
- Travel time from E. Alegado Transport Station Glan to Gumasa Beach- 30 minutes
- Total Travel time one way Gensan to Gumasa – 2 hours
- Entrance fee at Coco Beach Resort- Php 30.00 per head
- Cottage Day rental- Php 400.00
- Van Fare from Gensan to Glan- Php 80.00
- Trike Fare from Glan to Gumasa- Php 120.00 divided by 3 – Php 40.00 each
- Trike Fare Gumasa to Glan Terminal – Php 150.00 divided by 3- Php 50.00 each (yes it’s more expensive for the return trip)
- Total TRIP Expense Gensan to Gumasa: Php 413.33 per head