The municipality of Glan in Saranggani Province is a popular beach haven in Mindanao as it hosts the annual Saranggani Bay Festival.
It is located at the southern part tip of the Philippines (only 2 hours car ride from General Santos City) and I must say, the beaches have the best powdery white-sand I’ve seen. The town of Gumasa in Glan is more popular among tourists but there’s one town that you not miss in your radar: Burias.
All about Burias
Burias has never entered my radar until a family member suggested we go there for my mother’s birthday so off we went for more than a five-hour road trip. I expected something that is similar to Gumasa but I was in for a surprise. .
Baranggay Burias in Glan, Saranggani Province, though less developed than its popular neighbor Gumasa, is slowly becoming a popular alternative for beach swimming. It is located 15 km away from Gumasa and an almost 2-hour ride from General Santos City. While Gumasa boasts of beaches with white-yellow powdery sand, Burias has white-gray powdery sands. The town is populated mostly by friendly Tausugs so there’s nothing to worry about your safety.
5 reasons why Burias is a good alternative for Gumasa
Here are 5 reasons why you may want to consider Burias for your next adventure:
1. It’s a secluded area so there are less people during peak season. Since it’s less developed than Gumasa, the road going down to the resorts is unpaved and rocky so smaller cars and motorcycles may find it a bit challenging to get there;
2. Burias has a mix of white and gray sand. I like it during low tide. Feel the Boracay vibe and rent a crystal kayak at Kingkim Beach ;
3. I haven’t experienced it when I was there but locals say there are dolphin sightings in the area. Besides dolphins, dugongs (sea cows), pawikans (turtles) and whales have been documented to swim across Sarangani Bay, declared a protected seascape by former President Fidel Ramos.
4. If you’re less picky, most resorts offer basic open-air cottages and bahay-kubo style of accommodations. You can also bring your own tent. Families who prefer bigger places to stay in can go to Harlyn’s Bayfront Beach Resot. Just note that the road going to Harlyn’s Resort is private-owned so the caretakers will ask for a P100 ($2) “toll fee per vehicle” but Harlyn’s will give you a refund.
5. Picturesque cliff view especially beautiful during low tide.
What to expect in Burias
Based on an ordinance passed by the municipal government of Glan, everyone who enters the area are bound to pay an environmental fee of P30 per person. Staff and officials from the municipal office are the ones manning the entry point so you can pay there.
Glan’s main highway is paved and smooth but going down Burias is a challenge. Roads are rocky and tend to be slippery during rainy days so larger vehicles are advisable. When we got to Harlyn’s Bayfront Beach Resort (where we stayed), we saw smaller cars (Wigo!) so we wondered how they got there.
There’s another route going down Burias and that could be an option.
Beach resorts in Burias are generally clean but the long stretch of coastline is undeveloped yet so expect to see plant debris during high tide and low tide.
Beach Resorts in Burias
You can choose among these resorts in Burias:
- Harlyn’s Bayfront Beach Resort
- Kingkim Beach
- Crystal Shore
- Malingkat Beach
- Salisipan Point View Beach Resort
How to get here
Your starting point is in General Santos City in Mindanao. There are daily flights from Manila (the capital of the Philippines) to General Santos via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Asia. You may rent a car at the airport going to Burias. Travel time is more than 2 hours.
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