Biggest beach party in Southern Philippines set May 27-29
by Russtum G. Pelima
Alabel, Sarangani (May 20) -- Local media and events organizers met at a press call Wednesday for the province's yearly celebration of the Sarangani Bay Festival on May 27-29.
With the number of guests and visitors tripled during the past three years (from 5,700 in 2007 to 17,500 in 2009), Sarangani Bay Festival has become the biggest beach party in this part of the country.
"Each year we are improving our celebration of the festival," Vicente Camacho, executive committee chair for the celebration, said.
"This year, we have five new events that will surely add excitement to this beach summer fun," Camacho said. Sepak takraw sa baybayon, which is one of the new events, will be participated in by national and international players with seven teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
For the historic swim-across-the-bay, a 15-kilometer swim relay contest, event organizer Nimrod Butil said his committee has revised contest mechanics for the said event.
For his part, municipal tourism chairman of Glan Dr. Tranquilino Ruiz said what is more important about the celebration is knowing the history and oral literature about Sarangani Bay.
"Sarangani is as old as our very own race, Malay. When Ruy Lopez de Villalobos happened to reach this part of the ocean in their search for provision in 1543, his chroniclers wrote Sarangani to mean "This is our territory" or "We stop here" according to the Indonesian language."
Ruiz is a known local historian of Glan where the beach sports activities for the festival will be held particularly in Gumasa white sand beaches. White Haven Beach Resort, Rosal White Sand Beach, Coco Beach (09195330408), and the newly opened Isla Jardin del Mar (09107581239) lead the mushrooming of resorts here.
The three-day festival will kick off in Maasim town's Lemlunay Paradise (formerly Southpoint Dive Resort) on the 27th with the opening of the photo contest, POI and ZIP Clinic, and a reggae party in the evening.
On the second day (May 28), activities will be held in the adjacent White Haven Resort, Rosal White Sand Resort, Coco Beach and Isla Jardin del Mar such as Lumba Bugsay, skimboarding, beach football, beach frisbee exhibition games, sepak takraw sa baybayon, beach fair, sand sculpture competition, bay bodies bikini open, and summer night beach party. The 15-kilometer swim-across-the-bay will start at the Lemlunay Paradise to Tango in Glan.
On May 29 - bancarera, fun bike ride, beach volleyball, cheerdance and concert by the bay featuring the Cueshe Band. (Sarangani Information Office) [top]