Undoubtedly the southern countryside of Mindanao shelters some of the best places in the Philippines, beach destinations in particular. The beach of Gumasa and other places in the province of Sarangani is hardly seen in the limelight in showcasing their best kept secret paradise. I had once visited the unheard place in 2011 as my very first official solo backpacking trip in the Philippines. It was the first dare travel carrying only with little cash on hand and a huge baggage of faith and courage to unravel the secret of Sarangani.
Back then, I was truly mesmerized with the glam of Gumasa located outskirt of Glan City. It was a revelation that the silent province can define what true beach paradise was by just experiencing its almost untainted fine sugary sand. It was just alluring to wade and swim carelessly into its clear blue water. Resorts standing along the beach receive a very few visitors that are usually limited only from the region.
That was then! After Gumasa made the headline and featured on blogs as one of the target destinations in the south, tourists and wanderers flocked into the secret beach, creating opportunities for the locals to have an additional source of income. The beach is the venue also of the neophyte SarBay (Sarangani Bay) Festival being held every May. Beach side landowners saw the great opportunity of the event and with the increasing number of visitors, lucky resort owners were cashing out from the free promotions made by some travel writers.
I was curious on the development on the bay, so, on my recent 2014 summer escapade series, I dauntlessly hit the road to Gumasa. To my surprised, there wasn't much of a change in the town proper of Glan; still glittered with same old spots of establishments standing very lax, in short it was the same boring town as it was before.
We Just Love Eavesdropping, Don't We?
|Unconcerned staff and personnel of White Haven Resort.|
For a change, I decided to visit Coco Beach Resort but to my unimaginable expectation I was not in a way received politely and with lots and lots of angst coming from their receptionist saying " You have to pay for a cottage if you wish to enter our resort" But I told them that " Sorry but I am only here for a day tour and I will not stay for long" then he replied " No sir you can' t come in if you are not going to rent a cottage" . then I surrendered saying " Ok then just let me have one" " Sorry sir we are fully booked and you can't stay for overnight" ... I replied with a little emphasis " You told me I can’t enter without a cottage and now I am willing to pay for one and you are telling me there is none and still I can't get to the beach? How irresponsible for you to say that and let me wait here rotting,, letting my only means of transportation left me here. Can I just go to the other resort The White Haven by crossing the beach side?" " Yes sir but you have to pay P30 " "What the F#@k?"
Finally at the end of our diplomatic conversation, the lady in-charged allowed me to pass through with the condition that I shall only be visiting White Haven and not checking Rosal Beach Resort. It turned out that the owner of Coco Beach Resort and White Haven are siblings. And guess what? The White Haven was also fully booked and I had the same argument. They still insist that I have to pay P500 for a cottage and when I said OK, they told me they can’t accommodate me as they don’t have any available cottage.
I could absorb the fact that the resorts were booked but to be treated with unspeakable disrespect given that I am a prospect guest was really a hell breaking situation. I walked out instead and crossed the beach to the right end side where no resorts are operating. Actually, the right end side corner of Gumasa is the most pristine location and more conducive to swim. I did not pay a single cent and promised from that very day not to patronize the two resorts because of the bad service and personnel's ruthless attitude .
It was just so unfair for the people of Glan that only a single clan owns a parcel of the beach side and have monopolized the resorts in the area. The staff and personnel of these resorts also reacted with all the guts to act as if they were also the owner of Gumasa. Shame on them ! I won't tolerate this and I am all out saying NOT TO PATRONIZE these scum bag commercialized establishments who know no respect to their guests much more to the people who anonymously promoting their place.
Congratulations for being the BEST BITCH RESORT EVER!