Friday, November 15, 2013

Traveling Kitty - Gensan to Isla Jardin Del Mar, Gumasa, Glan

Hey! am excited to write about our experience in Gensan City and Saranggani Province especially the food, but unfortunately I have not photo documented some of their delicacies and other trips because most of the time we were starving and busy lol most of the food consumed in minutes, and we were entertaining my boyfriend's sister and her husband.

Before we drove off to our first stop at Bajiang, Digos City where our rest house is located, we went to Vikings SM Lanang Premiere to celebrate Sir Mac's birthday (naaaks! sir lol). Vikings is our favorite buffet restaurant because of their 'unreal' variety of food and affordable fee. It was always a pleasure to come back and devour almost everything in their menu (not really), it is indeed a massive foodie haven.

Welp! after touring around a bit in SM lanang, Abreeza & Gmall. We went to Tatang's Boneless Lechon, Obrero to get some crispylicious lechon belly. It was indeed crispy and mouth watering! different from the ordinary lechon, this one was just absolutely perfect (not too oily, not overcooked). I forgot to take a pic because like I said, we immediately devoured it once it was served lol.

After buying the lechon belly, we went straight ahead to our rest house in Bajiang. It's a peaceful place up in a grassy area, there aren't a lot of neighbors (prolly 3 to 4 neighbors), and our house is covered in trees and plants (Mom's favorite collection). Electricity is somewhat scarce but we can manage. We had dinner at the place, relaxed a bit, and went to sleep.

5:00 in the morning me & my boyfriend took a shower and prep for our trip to Gensan, the rest did their business too. It was a fine morning, beautiful cloudy day and right on schedule. The road to Gensan was unexpectedly hard for a passenger like me lol. The driver was my boyfriend, the road was curvy, and our starex van was just ugh! scary (that's because it slows down when drove up hill & it wasn't a 4-wheel drive).
Fortunate to have succeeded the long and winding road, we went to the public market (the bigger one at the center of Gensan) and got really excited to see what's in store: fresh seafood!

I felt so stupid to have been too excited and didn't take any pictures inside the market! It was beaming with large fishes, small and medium ones and other sea creatures. I was just in awe to see fresh catches that BIG. We bought two octopuses (about 2 kilos i think), 3 large size squids (about 2 kilos), 1 kitang fish, I think 4 kilos of tuna belly (it was big so I forgot how many kilos), 5 female crabs, and a sack of ice to store them in the ice box.

Went to SM Mall of Gensan and had our lunch there (foodcourt), and yada yada, the food taste awesome, we were full and ready to hit the road again. This time, it was a looong trip to Gumasa and confusing too. At first, I was palpitating because I really had no idea how to get to Isla Jardin Del Mar. The people of Gensan were rather helpful to point us the way but still, Gumasa was an enchanting far away land lol. Good thing I printed out a map, a bonus!

Isla Jardin Del Mar is located at the southwest part of Gumasa. It's really far but worth the road trip since there are a lot of sight seeing and resorts to stop over, some mangrove parks too. Saranggani is relaxing to the eye, I noticed the abundance of grass and trees. The drive to Gumasa was challenging - slope and curvy lanes as we managed by driving slowly.

Alright! without further adieu... Isla Jardin Del Mar, Gumasa, Glan

Arrived at the beach in the afternoon so it was a pleasure to enjoy the water cause the drive was unexpectedly long.

My boyfriend's sister Steff and her husband Mac enjoying the cold water, I guess it's because of the natural rocks which makes the water cool? lol I ar genius.

Me in the rocky part of the beach. If your feet aren't used to hard objects then this area ain't for you, sometimes the rocks feels slippery, and it's not good playing on top of them. I did some handstands and lost my balance, I stumbled and fell on my back and butt. I think it's because I workout and drink protein shake that I didn't get any bruises or scratches, I ar genius lol.

This is a nice spot where it's all sand and sea weed.

Me and Sheff ran. Haaaa... if only we live near the beach, we would train outdoors.

A pretty serene spot. We went here in Isla Jardin del Mar on November 10, It wasn't crowded - I think there were 3 families in the resort that time excluding us which I can only remember.

Doing a yoga stance, not sure if correct lol but I did my best.

On my way to that man-made path. Srsly so many adventures in this resort!

It's a bit high but not a diving area. A good spot for a couture shoot actually :)

Look at this spot! it's awesome! (in a photographer's eye).

Vintage style shot at the edge of the rock.

Us at the edge of the man-made cliff. I think this would have looked better if I had a wide lens.

A nice spot also, was like natural jacuzzi. Sunset and natural jacuzzi, dig that!

The sand here's softer than the spot near the rocky area, but there's this fishy smell and it was so strong. 

We will never forget to take a sunset shot! This is the best part of the beach, sunset's like gold with a mix of blue vodka lol.

I think this is my best shot of the sunset.

Ate Steff preparing our dinner. Actually we forgot to buy coal and other ingredients for cooking. Good news is the resort offered to cook our meals, of course with a fee but it wasn't too tight for the budget since we don't want to waste these pretty creatures.

Mom, Steff and Mac. Steff and Mac did the cutting and cleaning. Me? taking pictures! haha I don't have any idea how they do it.

This is unedited by the way. The scenery looks like it's covered in candy.

and then here's Mom and Big Bro.

Waiting for our dinner. I took a night dip. I was freaking freezing! lol

and dinner is served!

 Kitang Fish and Tuna Belly. Yummmmy!

 Ginataang Octopus. Delicious! just pure heaven.

and Crabs. It was indeed a thankful night, blessings and with awesome company.

We had a mini bonfire. It's not allowed in the resort but we managed to make one before the guard kindly told us to put out the fire.

Early Morning Delight.

At the back of our room, there is this beautiful naturally preserved mangrove. Water is not scarce in this resort. I love that they didn't use sea water in the wash room. Some resorts do this! it's fucking annoying. We were happy to use the toilet and bath, I think they were using natural spring water? (at least that's what I heard), as long as it's clean and able to bubble up soap and shampoo.

This is in the eastern part of the island. There's a man-made bridge and cliff again. A must visit spot.

Nice eh? super clear!

Sheff and Steff and this magnificent view.

Would you go here? YOU WILL!

You know I hate heights lol. I tried to collect my composure so that Sheff can take this shot. Turned out nice.

Our guys posing for peace of mind.

Another cool spot to take ala couture photo shoot.

Steff and Mac enjoying the soft sand and chill water

seafoam green dive. hang loose!

me, Mac and Steff.

I love this shot I took. It looks wide and the color relaxes my eyes.

Finishing off the beach shots with a float fail lol

I asked one of the staff to take our group picture at the entrance of the resort, and politely replied sure. I love friendly staff. I think if I worked here, I wouldn't have worries too as the place is laid back and lovely.

The staff told us to do a 'look up' pose, yeah and so we did except for my big bro haha.

The long and winding road again, although it was a bit faster going back home. (a little bit)

Sheff pumped up for a new day! Calm drive on our way back to our rest house in Bajiang, Digos City.

Our last photo at our rest house, and me and my boyfriend's official van. (If you're from Davao, the van is infamous for it's safari raunchy type look lol)

Wokay! Now that the photo journal is adjourned, I will now tell you the good and bad in the resort, how much will it cost, and what to bring.

Time Management:
We are originally from Matina, Davao City. From there to our rest house in Bajiang is a 1 hour and 30 minutes ride or so depending on the traffic of enormous trucks, and how well you over take these mofos. From our rest house (Bajiang, Digos City) to Gensan City was a 3-hour drive because our starex van was so slow going up the curvy lane (somehow, it's better be slow - slowly but surely). From Gensan City to Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani Province is another 2 or 3-hour drive because we were still unfamiliar of the place, and yeap! slope curvy lanes again. From Gumasa to Isla Jardin del Mar is near and easy to see the signage of the resort.

Upon arriving at the resort. Take note: we were walk-in visitors, so we didn't make any reservations and such. The staff were nice to explain the misc. fees and rooms.

We rented the 2 matrimonial bed deluxe fan room: 1300 php
It already has toilet and bath room, very clean!

Entrance fee: 50 php per head

Food and Drinks corkage fee: 100 php all in all

Tent corkage fee: 100 php each (we brought two tents)

Advantages in the resort:
  • Electricity
  • Clean water for washing and bathing
  • Kind staff
  • Clean comfortable rooms
  • Affordable prices
  • Delicious food in their restaurant
  • Night swimming is allowed
  • Water sports and other fun things to do
  • Can ask the staff to cook your fresh seafood
  • Grilling station
  • White sand, calm sea
  • Breezy at night (even not turning on the fan)
  • Easy to see the Isla Jardin del Mar signage
  • Man-made pathways to the sides of the island, easy access to other spots
  • Outdoor lights
  • The fan in our room was kind of rusty, turned it on and it made a loud gargling sound. Sheff managed to adjust it and the sound stopped. I think they need to clean that fan or maybe fans in other rooms.
  • If you're not into natural situations like black ants on the seashore and some were washed up, then you must feel disgusted by this but no, srsly it's nature. It might be a disadvantage for you but for us it was just fine.
  • I couldn't think of any disadvantages anymore. boo. :p

What to bring:
  • If you're into cooking, and want to make your own meals. It's better you bring a rice cooker, coal, complete ingredients, gas for quick fire, lighter or matches, knife etc.
  • Bring paper plates, hot/cold cups and spoon & fork so you won't have to rent from their restaurant which was 10 php each solid plate
  • Stereo or Guitar and Percussion for the musician type
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, feminine pads, etc. - there are no neighbor stores in this area
  • Liters of drinking water but their restaurant is also selling bottled water
  • First-aid kit, medicines - like I said there are no neighboring stores around here and it's pitch black at night out in the road
  • Snorkel - don't forget it! hehe because mine I did lol
  • Tents - for those who are in a tight budget
  • Charger - cellphone, camera, etc. electricity is good here
  • Booze - name it beer, vodka, whatever. We went there and their stock of red horse were sold out
For more information and packages you can check their website:

Overall I give Isla Jardin del Mar a 4.8 out of 5 weeeoooyeaaahr!!!