My Solo Travel Adventure To Kalamansig | Pinay.com
It’s 3 p.m. in Kalamansig, a charming little town located in the northeastern part of the province of Sultan Kudarat, and the area is slowly packing its day. The town, I learned, is home to traders—sellers of farm products like copra and palay, fresh seafood like crab, prawns and even tuna which are being shipped to Cebu City. The winding road going to this seaside town
is concrete, making the town very accessible. Despite taking a back seat to its neighboring seaside province of Sarangani, Kalamansig is gradually getting known as one of the beach paradise in South Central Mindanao. In my bucket list this year is to travel solo, and Kalamansig is an off beaten path to experience.
Sometime last year, my good friend Carlo Ebeo, a former commissioner of National Commission for Culture and the Arts, shared his pictures of a white island in Kalamansig. He entitled his Facebook picture album as “Kalamansig: The Last Frontier.” Intrigued and jealous, I decided to see and discover firsthand the life and history of this fishing town.
“Kalamansig is the seascape frontier of SOCCSKSARGEN Region,” Ebeo said. SOCCSKSARGEN is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the City of General Santos in the south central part of Mindanao.
Ebeo, who owns a themed restaurant in the City of Koronadal, told me about the oozing tourism potentials of Kalamansig—unspoiled white sand beach, turquoise sea, colorful marine world, passionate colors of sunset and most importantly, the bonding of tri-people—Joloanon, Christians and Manobos.
A well-travelled person, Ebeo advised me to start my Kalamansig adventure at the market, and with my friend’s voice in my head, my tour began.
As I made my way to the market, I could hear store owners hawk their products from fabrics to ready-to-wear items to home goods from Cebu and Zamboanga City. The haggle of a woman customer to a Maranao vendor was music to my ears. Carenderias around the market offered traditional food. I found Malaysian-made and processed products like chocolates, coffee and spicy cup noodles in the market mix.
But before I got lost in the sea of colorful fabrics at the market, I immediately went to the port area to see the sunset. “The sunset in Kalamansig is so romantic,” I remembered Ebeo’s words. It was 4 p.m. and the sun magically turned its golden colors into tangerine, while the blue sky became silver gray. The mountains and trees around the seashore turned to black that blended well with the orange dusk. A small fishing boat, which happened to pass by, created small waves on the calm seawater, breaking the silence of the twilight. In awe, I stood still and savored the moment. The most romantic sunset, indeed!
Ebeo reminded me to experience the payong-payong ride. So, the following day, I rode the improvised tricycle with a big umbrella that protects passengers from direct sunlight. For eight pesos, I was able to find the best restaurant in town. 3J’s is located along the highway. The sea-food restaurant served a myriad of seafood entrees like tuna roll, sinigang na hipon, and spicy crabs.
I went to Tacurong City and visited the town plaza that serves as a major venue for the annual fiesta. The well-manicured plaza is bordered with Acacia trees and the chirping of birds added to the sentimental ambiance. As I passed through the cobbled pathway across to the municipal hall a large tarpaulin hanged on the gate. It read: “Kalamansig, Top Ten Town in the Philippines With Excellence in Governance.” Then another said: “Best performing municipality on mangrove rehabilitation projects in Mindanao.” Now, I know why the streets are so clean and the place is peaceful despite the diverse culture.
A habal-habal driver near the plaza took me to the beachfront. Poral Beach is a long stretch of beach resorts in Barangay Sta. Maria. And from Poral Beach, I rented a small boat to go island hopping.
For over an hour I hopped from one island to another—from Purok Mangga to Balot Island (the most visited island,) to Donuang Island and Tubo-Tubo Island. There were six islets to explore plus diving spots.
Aside from its beautiful beaches, Kalamansig is rich in history. The iconic 150-foot solid steel tower I came to pass by while island-hopping was a U.S.-built lighthouse. According to Ebeo the Carnegie USA 517 has withstood the passing of time. The locals referred to the place as parola and the local tourism office says the tower was erected by the company owned by Andrew Carnegie before the steel magnate died in 1919.
Back in Koronadal, I told Ebeo of my adventure as he was having coffee in his restaurant. “What did you discover?” he asked me. Aside from the wealthy history, fresh seafood, magnificent sunset, and vivacious waters, I learned to trust in the generosity of the locals. It was a beautiful surprise that greeted me at the off beaten place.
Latest posts by Anna Liz Cabrido (see all)
- BDJ Invites Beautiful Women With Heart: Women Helping Women - April 9, 2016
- My Solo Travel Adventure To Kalamansig - February 18, 2015
- Learn Surfing and Reflect on the Waves of Life - December 5, 2014