Here’s the biggest beach party in the Philippines!
For beach bums, the words “sun, sea and sand” form the mantra for an exciting summer in an idyllic getaway.
Down south at Gumasa White Beach in Glan, Sarangani province, local folks have been reinventing these magical key words for the past 12 years into “sun, sea and sounds” with its own unique beach experience.
Dubbed Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival, it is regarded as the country’s biggest beach party which lured some 150,000 merry-makers last year in the so-called “Boracay of Mindanao”. Gumasa emerged 45th in the prestigious Australia-based Flight Network’s Asia’s Top 50 Beaches in 2018.
Set on May 30 to June 1, this year’s edition of the summer fest themed “Neon Summer” will sizzle once more with the rock scene’s top bands and deejays, a powerhouse lineup of musical artists, and an assortment of water sports and fitness activities.
According to Sarangani governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, this year’s SarBay Fest will continue to celebrate the innovations the beach event has undergone over the past decade, most notably its advocacy for sustainable tourism and family-oriented recreation.
He noted that, as in previous years, SarBay will emphasize environmental awareness among party-goers with the round-the-clock beach cleanups, ban on plastics, segments on educational activities, and the “scubasuero” underwater cleanup of volunteer scuba divers.
“As a sign of our commitment to environmental protection, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Resolution No. 2019-9-028 encouraging all beach goers and hotel owners not to use single-use plastic and styrofoam materials on the celebration of this year’s Sarangani Bay Festival,” he enthused.
The three-day extravaganza kicks off with the San Miguel Night featuring Rocksteddy band, and DJs Kouta Kutsuma and Cupcakes.
The party goes on on the second night with the Bay Bodies ’19 pageant, DJ Battle, and the Talk N Text party featuring 6Cyclemind, DJ Marc Marasigan, and DJ Kat.
Curtains fall down with the Globe party series featuring Ben & Ben band, and deejays Tom Taus and Carlo Atendido on June 1.
Sporting events include the 15-km Swim Across the Bay relay, Asia’s most extreme swimming event, SarBay Strongman, beach volleyball and football, skim boarding, frisbee, jet ski race, bancathon, mountain bike, skim boarding, and frisbee tournaments.
Adding sizzle are fringe events such as Zumba sessions with the Legendz, drum beating competition, firedancing exhibitions, body painting and family sand sculpture contests.
Solon said that SarBay Fest will put the spotlight on the tourism gems of Sarangani, the top destination of Soccsksargen Region in 2018, with 1,689,348 foreign and local visitors based on Department of Tourism Region 12 statistics. It is a consistent recipient of the Best Tourism Event Award from the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.
Organized by the Sarangani Provincial Tourism Council, the event is supported by the Province of Sarangani, DOT Region 12, and the Municipality of Glan. Visit the Sarangani Bay Festival official Facebook fan page for details.
Words and photos by Province of Sarangani (www.sarangani.gov.ph)