I was debating if I should write about an update post or something else. Then, I was looking through my phone and I realized I still have a few trips pre-COVID that are worth sharing. This is one of them, our trip to Isla Jardin Beach Resort.
This post is about my trip to one of the famous resorts in Sarangani. My first trip was with my childhood friend and his family where we stayed at Belimac Resort. This time, another good friend of mine accompanied me because I’ve never been to this part of the province. As I heard, it is like a go-to place for special events or parties, especially for families and workmates.
Sarangani is at least a 2- 2.5-hour drive from where I live. Fortunately, we had a private vehicle this time around so it was more convenient and spontaneous for us. We did a few stopovers along the way as well. One example was a view deck we accidentally discovered. After seeing its sign on the road, we decided to give it a go and see for ourselves because we like an adventure like that- not knowing where to go, not expecting anything at all.
It turned out to be a very beautiful viewing spot. You could see the view of nature, a good combination of a body of water and land with lots of tall trees, very nice to the eyes. We stayed there for a little while. Then, took some photos as well. It was a good start for a short getaway.
I should also mention that Sarangani province is a lot different than any other province in the south of Mindanao. Driving from Gensan city, you will see a complete change of scenery while heading to Sarangani. Everywhere’s green, fresh cool air, truly it’s a good escape even only for a couple of days.
Another spot we stopped over was the Belmar Ecopark and Resort. They have a restaurant and a mini-zoo. They’ve got crocodiles, birds, snakes and monkeys in cages, of course. Sad to think about them, however, if you go down to their beach, you would also see mangroves. If I’m going, to be honest though, I didn’t like the litters piled up near the beach. We saw empty cans and plastic bags.
Arrival to Isla Jardin
Being spontaneous people that we are, we didn’t know where we were staying at first. We agreed we would stay overnight but at which resort, we didn’t know, ha. In the end, we chose Isla Jardin del Mar.
Once we had that figured out, we drove straight to the resort, booked a non-aircon room which is more of a Bahay-Kubo style for 1,500 PHP overnight. They also have aircon rooms and even bigger rooms for huge group of guests.
The time we visited was on a weekday so there were only a few people at the resort. Just the way we liked it, it was like we had the whole place for ourselves. We hung out by the beach, drank some, and relaxed. I felt lucky that such a place is only a few hours’ drives away from my town. So, if people want to unwind or take a short break from work, they can always go to Sarangani. It isn’t as grand as Boracay or the most visited islands in the Philippines but it is special in its way.
The next morning, we walked along the beach from end to end until we reached some great spots. We found out there’s a place for those who would rather set their tents up. That way, they could only pay for the ground fee, I guess.
There’s also an option to cook your food, grill for example. In our case, we weren’t prepared like that. Don’t worry though because they have a restaurant, prices are affordable too. My only tip is to bring your snacks or drinks beforehand, that way you can save some money. They have a mini-store but at that time, options were limited and of course, they are more expensive.