Sarbay becomes paradise

23 May 2017
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GLAN, Sarangani (May 23, 2017) – It’s You and Me and Paradise at Sarbay this year.

This concept, according to Region 12 tourism council chair Michelle Lopez Solon, suggests that the presence of Sarbay- goers creates a paradise.

It cannot be denied though that the venue where the fete has been staging for the past 12 years is a piece of paradise at the Southern tip of Mindanao.

Gumasa boasts of a white sand crescent coastline and waters that harbor corals and marine life like giant clams and Dugong (sea cow).

Gumasa, which sits at the fringes of Sarangani Bay, hosts the province’s best beach resorts and rustic fishing villages.

The Bay spans 13,500 hectares and is purportedly the deepest in the country.

But more than the beaches in Barangay Gumasa, “there is more to it,” said Solon, who is also the Provincial Tourism Council chair.

“There are many things to enjoy in Sarangani and so we are now promoting the rest of Sarangani. While you are in Sarbay, why not take a tour and do ATV? Why not try paragliding? Why not try river tubing? Why not try scuba diving? Why not see the other side voyaging thru Bangsi Cruise? There are so many things to do in Sarangani that one and many can enjoy. And we can say that this entire province is really paradise,” Solon said.

Sarbay Fest is a coinage of Sarangani Bay Festival, an annual event in Sarangani Province anchored on an environmental cause of protecting and preserving Sarangani Bay. Through time, this mere coastal clean-up cum Capitol family day when it was conceptualized in 2006 turned out to be a must-attend event attracting both locals and foreigners alike.

“Indeed it is a must-attend festival because Sarbay is one of the top 10 summer festivals in the country and one of the biggest,” Solon said.

In 2016, organizers counted 150,000 Sarbay tourists and expect the same number this May 25, 26 and 27 at the same spot in Gumasa, Glan.

“It is one of the most compact yet the most fun weekend that you can have this summer,” she said.

Organizers really prepared the festival “to be at par in terms of music, in terms of sports, in terms of many other activities” and making sure, Solon said, that when tourists arrive each year there awaits something new for them.

New activities that people should look forward are the Youth Outback Concert during the first night on May 25 wherein this praise and worship concert would bring in a band.

There is also a DJ competition and Sports Fishing Competition.

Organizers will be erecting at the beach for the first time two stages. The main stage will be for the usual concerts and shows while another place will be set up for a place called Xanadu, a more exclusive party that also has different DJs and concerts.

The rest of the three days will be packed with the a series of water and adventure sports and parties.

The longest swim relay in the country dubbed as Swim-Across-the-Bay will still be one of the major activities at Sarbay. Other crowd drawers are Swim-Bike-Run for the environment, Frisbee Competition, Beach Volleyball, Beach Football, Jet Ski Competition, DJ Competition, Pinta sa Baybayon, Sand Sculpture, among others.

About 200 concessionaires have registered to sell food, beverages and souvenir items.

Since Sarbay is a showcase of events with emphasis on the preservation of the ecological health of the Bay, tourists are encouraged to be responsible Sarbay citizens.

“Don’t just have fun but also to keep it (surroundings) clean. We also encourage everyone to pick up trash. For every five kilos of trash that you collect, you get actually prizes from the #ilovecleansarbay station that are awesome for those who are for the environment,” Solon said.

Also, each individual has to prepare a P30 environmental fee. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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