Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sarangani Bay Festival 2014: Witnessing Mindanao's Biggest Beach Festival


There was never a dull moment during our long road trip from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon to Glan, Sarangani. Comfortably aboard a friend's service vehicle, I was the lone non-triathlete in our group of five. My companions' main purpose was to join the SarBay Fest Triathlon in Gumasa while mine was simply to satisfy my traveling feet and reach one of Mindanao's southernmost places for the very first time. So, while listening to my friends triathlon exploits and training tips with 90s music on the background, I enjoyed gazing at the refreshing scenery--from Bukidnon's rolling hills to Cotabato's vast flat lands. 

Three hundred seventy three kilometers after, we reached the quaint town of Glan. It was already late in the afternoon but I was still able to catch the sun setting down on Sarangani Bay at Seafront Beach.  Evening fell swiftly and after a dinner of fish tinola in the carinderia of Juanita's Pension where we stayed, the weariness from the day-long travel took its toll and sent us to slumber early in our respective rooms.

The next morning, I found myself at Gumasa Beach, some five kilometers and less than 10 minutes habal-habal ride from Glan proper. The white sand beach is the center of Sarangani Bay Festival (shortened to SarBay Fest) which, as I found out in this trip, is actually the biggest (and probably the only) beach festival in Mindanao. 


I did feel lucky that I (unintentionally) made my first time travel to Gumasa during their festival. So for two days, I witnessed some of the activities of SarBay Fest 2014 all held in the beautiful Gumasa Beach. I am not going to bore you with long narratives and let these photos speak for themselves:

SarBay Bancarera





SarBay Triathlon:



SarBay Zumba



Beach Volleyball:


Paragliding:


More photos of SarBay Fest 2014:

 Food stalls to keep hungers pangs at bay

Tent City for backpackers and those who cannot be accommodated by the fully booked resorts 

 The beautiful Gumasa Beach

Chance meet up with fellow bloggers. L-R, after me: Enrico of www.byahilo.com, Kuya Avel of www.gensantos.com, Gay of www.pinaytraveljunkie.com and Irene of www.mindanaoan.com and www.bukidnononline.com.

According to reports, more than 120,000 people attended the festivities. Yes, it has the making another LaBoracay with all the thrashes left the morning after the party. But a massive beach clean up was done after the festival and hopefully, it took care of all the mess.  

Despite missing the Foam Party and the Kamikazee concert, I did enjoy my first time visit to Glan Sarangani. Aside from frolicking in Gumasa's white sand beach, I was also able to witness Mindanao's Biggest Beach Festival. What made the experience even more memorable was that my entry to the SarBay Fest Online Photography Contest won 1st Place (!) in the SarBay Fun Category (you can view my entry HERE). Hooray!   

  

1 comment :

  1. I never attend such kinds of festivals before in my life. But after visiting this blog I have a great wish to attend this festival in coming year with my friends after my niagara falls trip. This festival sounds amazing. Would you like to tell me some more detail about it? I want to about this festival's history in detail.

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