Tucked in a cove on a sprawling 14-hectare property in Gumasa, Isla Jardin del Mar offers a secluded sanctuary away from the rat race.
Gumasa is a small fishing village in Glan, Sarangani's southernmost municipality. It is known (at least among those in the nearby provinces) for its white sand beaches that has remained largely undeveloped and not frequently visited by tourists, probably owing to the fact that its in Mindanao (alarm signals: Abu Sayyaf). Not just that, its in the southern most part of mainland Mindanao.
There are a handful of resorts there and Isla Jardin del Mar is (currently) the farthest from town. Its hidden in a small cove, detached from Gumasa's main beach. The beach area is a bit rocky in some portions and the sand not as fine as the ones in the main beach. But what it lacked it made up by offering something even more important than fine sand: peace and quiet. (Boracay comes to mind here: all fine sand)
I'm not a big fan of developed resorts, but Isla Jardin made sure that man-made structures do not pollute the real essence of the place. Cottages are not visible from the beach area - they are spaced nicely from each other and are well hidden behind palm trees and coastal foliage.
The beach is nicely side-lit when the sun gets low late in the afternoon. If you prefer to a directly view of the sunset, there is a foot trail that leads to a cliff on the western end of the cove. Its the perfect place to watch the sun going down the Celebes sea horizon. Unfortunately sunset that afternoon was a bit overcast, and the tide was against us (coral rocks that would be perfect for foreground elements are underwater). A friend and I ended up shooting a piece of driftwood on the beach.
Isla Jardin also has an area for viewing the sunrise, but unfortunately the trail leading to the sunrise viewpoint is not yet finished. From the beach you would be able to partially see the sunrise. If you are lucky you'd be treated to a great display of colors - quite a good substitute for actually seeing that great ball of fire rise from the horizon.
Our second day of stay was pleasantly sunny - clear azure skies with a thin layer of clouds on the horizon.
It was a perfect to sit under the shade and read a book, or take a quick dip when it gets too hot. It was a perfect opportunity to do nothing at all :).
More photos here. Read about my previous trip to Gumasa here and here.
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