SARBAY FEST 2016: A Summer Ender to Remember

It has been two years now since my last Sarangani Bay Fest experience. It was incredibly cool and remarkably fun I promised to go there again for another year. Thankfully, I had a great chance to make it for this year and just like the old SarBay Fest experiences I had, it never failed to amuse me.

SarBay Fest 20164Tagged as the “biggest beach party festival in the Philippines”, Sarangani Bay Festival has become the most attended beach event in the South drawing hundreds of thousands of beach fanatics, partyphiles and beach sports enthusiasts to come to the coastal town of Glan for this annual event. The crescent-shape white sand coastline of Gumasa is home to this bay fest.

SarBay Fest 2016 18For the past years, Sarbay Fest was held annually in May. For some reason, the bay festival was moved on the first week of June this year, thus, making it the perfect summer ender especially for those who come here every year.

SarBay Fest 201618When it started ten years back, there were just about hundreds of people who came. But year after year, the festival grows bigger and has since attracted more and more visitors to come and join the celebration. The biggest recorded number of guests who flocked Gumasa during the festival is said to have reached more than 200,000 from different corners of the country. Such overwhelming attendance for one event garnered SarBay Fest as the biggest beach festival in the country.

Gumasa Beach on regular days.
Gumasa Beach on regular days.

The annual celebration of SarBay Fest has also boosted influx of tourist in the host town of Glan. In fact, Glan today is considered as one of the most important tourist destinations in the SoCCSKSarGen Region with Gumasa Beach as the prime tourist spot. Even on regular seasons, a number of tourists visit Glan. More than its beaches, Glan also takes pride being the tourtown of the Province as it hosts heritage landmarks dating American regime in the country.

SarBay Fest 2016 2 SarBay Fest 2016 5Because of the annual celebration of SarBay Fest, the road to Gumasa which used to be rough and dusty is now concrete and well maintained. Beach resorts are also sprouting along the white coastline. Every year, these resorts along with the few Lodging Houses in the town center are already booked even months before the celebration. That is why I always choose another option like renting a camper for travelling.

SarBay Fest 20162
Kite Flying during SarBay Fest

Like the previous celebration, this year’s staging of SarBay Fest are lined up with various events participated by different groups and individuals coming from different parts of region and neighboring provinces. Two of the highly anticipated bay events were still among the favorites – the Swim Across the Bay that starts from the coast of Maasim to the coast of Glan and the annual SarBay Bancarera participated by different individuals from the neighboring coastal towns of Glan.

Swim Across the Bay
Swim Across the Bay

For beach sports, beach volleyball, beach football and Frisbee competition were among the highlights. I learned that some of the competing groups came outside of Mindanao. Body painting was still one of the featured events and dubbed as Pinta Sa Baybayon. My personal favorite is the Sand Sculpture. I have to give credit to these artists who can create mind-blowing sculptures out of nothing – just the sands, their creative minds and their beautiful hands.

SarBay Fest 201612 SarBay Fest 201617 SarBay Fest 201615 SarBay Fest 20169At night, the party got started as SarBay citizens, as they call it, cheered for their bet in the annual search for Bay Bodies Ultimate Hunk and Babe. The candidates put the crowd on fire as they flaunt their muscled, toned and lean bodies apt to be called ultimate SarBay Bodies.

SarBay Fest 20166 SarBay Fest 201614SarBay Fest is also best known for its wild rave parties with local and international guest DJs. SarBay citizens are likewise known to have partied harder till dawn. Year after year, it grows bigger and bigger. This year, sponsor Talk N Text brought the DJ Lunatics for the foam party. It was one crazy night filled with great EDM, some booze, great company of crazy friends and of course the wild wild SarBay citizens. Although, the crowd went wild and high but it was natural high. You can read it everywhere, the use of illegal drugs and party drugs is strictly prohibited.

SarBay Fest 2016 10 SarBay Fest 2016 11 SarBay Fest 2016 12 SarBay Fest 201619 SarBay Fest 201616But more than the party, good times and amazing experiences, Sarangani Bay Festival stays firm and strong in its advocacy to protect Sarangani Bay which is a 215,950 hectares protected seascape. Organizing committee encourages all the SarBay citizens to party responsibly and take part of some environment-related events.

SarBay Fest 2016 14Partnering with Smart Communications, there were daily activities and featured events that aimed to educate and raise awareness for the protection and preservation of the marine life of Sarangani Bay. People were encouraged to collect garbage. For every 10 kilos of trash collected and handed over to the Organizer’s Stations, one gets a shirt or a prepaid load cards from Smart. Another campaign was the pledge to preserve the marine life of SarBay by buying a propagule for only Php 35.00. These mangrove seedlings will be planted by the organizers to identified the coasts of SarBay as part of its conservation advocacy. All these are part of the #ILoveCleanSarBay campaign which many party goers took part including myself.

SarBay Fest 201613 SarBay Fest 201611 SarBay Fest 20161Likewise, a triathlon event called Sarbay Swim-Bike-Run for the Environment also spearheaded by the Province of Sarangani and Smart was organized to help raise public awareness on the preservation of the rich marine life of Sarangani Bay. The clean-up drive on the very morning after the two-day festival was also very successful. It was followed by the releasing of baby pawikans back to the waters of Sarangani. It was heartwarming to see that many took part of the call for the #ILoveCleanSarBay.

SarBay Fest 20163
Releasing of Baby pawikans back to Sarangani Bay

I’m so glad I was at SarBay Fest this year. I partied harder like a real partyphile with the company of my old and new friends. Plus of course I got to take part of the #ILoveCleanSarBat campaign. Indeed, it was a summer ender to remember.

Beautiful Sunset of Gumasa
Beautiful Sunset of Gumasa

TUNA FESTIVAL 2014: Pyestang Karagatan, Pyestang Lawihan sa Magandang Gensan

General Santos City was in a festive mood again as the city’s main thoroughfares were flooded by the vibrant festival colors of Tuna Festival, one of the city’s biggest events celebrated along with the City’s Charter Day which falls every 5th of September.

TunaFestivalThe annual celebration of Tuna Festival is the city’s tribute to the significance of the Tuna Industry to the City’s strong economy. It is also the city’s expression of celebrating the bounty of being the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”.

Tuna Festival 2014The whole celebration is anchored with this year’s festival theme “Pyestang Karagatan, Pyestang Lawihan sa Magandang Gensan”. Thus in this week-long celebration of Tuna Festival 2014, different spectacular events were set to give colors and radiance to this festive occasion and to highlight the importance of the sea bounties which the city is known for.

Tuna Festival 2014 17Like most festivals celebrated in the country, the highlight of Tuna Festival is the street Mardi-Gras they called Lawihan Street Dancing Competition. Lawihan is the local term for Tuna or Tuna Fish Tail and the street dancing competition centered on the great significance of the Tuna Industry that helps shape General Santos City to become what it is now – one of the most progressive cities in the whole Mindanao.

SamalanCampsea 154There were 6 contingents vying for the most coveted prize and prestigious honor of the competition. Some of them come from its neighboring towns of South Cotabato and Sarangani. The magnificent colors of the Tuna Festival flooded the streets. All contingents came prepared elegantly wearing their fabulous costumes making everyone felt the festive spirit of Tuna Festival 2014.

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS.
ONE TUNA FESTIVAL VIBE.

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The Travel Teller is now a certified Festival Hopper!
The Travel Teller is now a certified Festival Hopper!
With the famous GEORGE TAPAN at Tuna Festival 2014
With the famous GEORGE TAPAN at Tuna Festival 2014

My heartfelt gratitude to LVA Travel Care and Antonio’s Apartelle for sponsoring our two nights accommodation in General Santos City. You may call Antonio’s Apartelle at 0998-155-1634. Special thank-you shout-out to Smart Communication for sponsoring our dinner and mobile internet connection.

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