We stayed in Gumasa for a week (continuation from last post). Aside from a few people staying in the other resorts and some locals passing by, we had the beach all to ourselves most of the time.

What am I supposed to be? A sarimanok? Donning a colorful costume mask for Halloween.

WBC Lightweight Champion and Gensan’s favorite son, Manny Pacquiao, his family and entourage plus the mayor of Gumasa stayed for two days and one night as well. We celebrated Halloween Night parading in costumes around the beach. During daytime, we as usual whiled the time away by taking pictures, playing frisbee, nature strolling, eating and kulitan, building sandcastles, napping, and swimming.

Meron pa doon o! That’s not fish they’re catching…The Doc and son cleaning up the leaves and husks along the seashore.

Food was one of the perks from this trip. The fragrant local rice, asparagus from Bukidnon, and fresh Gensan tuna were superb! Plus fisherfolk plying their wares on the shore–freshly caught seafood from Sarangani Bay–was something we anticipated each day.

Puede pong magpapiktyur? Of course, your trip to Gensan is not complete without sighting a celebrity: Mrs. Jinky Pacquiao. Her famous hubby (surrounded by many bodyguards) was out fishing in the bay. Sayang!

On the downside…since it was a non-commercialized beach with a few amenities, the locals do whatever they can to clean up the organic wastes (e.g. leaves, coconut husks) that tend to pile up along the seashores. You’ll do fine if you don’t mind all that.

La curacha! I especially enjoyed the curacha or red frog crabs which I then learned were neither alimango nor alimasag. They cooked these with squash and creamy coc0nut milk.

Moreover, there was no signal for our cellphones during the time that we were there. We had to drive to the city in order to get a signal. There was no cable link as well…the only TV network available was GMA (being a Kapuso, I didn’t mind). But that’s expected for trips like these. You’re on vacation, that’s the point! If you’re the urban type who cannot live without checking his emails, receiving SMS messages, or throws a fit if you miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Lost–then don’t plan on staying here for a long time (or don’t bother going at all but sayang–you’ll be missing out, sige ka!). The only trouble we encountered was that we didn’t receive an important SMS message from Cebu Pacific, informing us that our flight for home was changed. Oh, well…

Kainan naaa! Dining alfresco (left photo) by the beach before leaving for Manila. Grabeeh! This is the LIFE!!!

Lechon de leche and lumpiang shanghai (top right) being served for Christian’s birthday and The Doc’s family reunion. Kudos to the brave Rox who climbed on a chair and hung on for his dear life just to get this bird’s eye-view shot.

If you plan to visit Gumasa, bring with you lots of music in your Ipod, frisbee, beach volleyball, sand-castle building tools (a spoon and a cup will do!) and a kite (please leave the PSP behind–get some sun and work on those lethargic muscles instead), several really good books, a laptop (if you want to write your novel, songs or poetry), art supplies (if you’re into seascapes), sunblock and Off lotions…and cameras!

And oh, by the way, the sunsets at Gumasa Beach (below right) are not to be missed. When I was there, the setting of the sun was one of the things I looked forward to each day. That’s me in the header shot for this blog, enjoying the spectacular fiery Gumasa horizon at dusk.

There are other Gumasa lovers that attest to the beach’s many splendors. They compared Gumasa to Boracay–saying this was just like Boracay decades ago without the onslaught of commercialism or Gumasa is the Boracay of Mindanao. You can check out Androtan’s, Anafilibini’s and Danny’s testimonials. They can give you the contact numbers of the Gumasa resorts as well as directions on how to get there.

Go ahead…Gumasa awaits you!

Postscript:

Thanks to Rox, Pchie and Paula for some of the shots posted here. My gratitude also goes out to Doc’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. A, and relatives for their warmth and hospitality. Maraming salamat po! This is also in loving memory of Manang Senia (Doc and Rox’s childhood nanny at left) who shared some of her last happy days with all of us together during this trip…we miss you, Manang!

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