By BEVERLY C. PAOYON and RUSSTUM G. PELIMA
GUMASA, Sarangani (May 17, 2013) – In some ordinary days, secluded resorts fronting Sarangani Bay in Gumasa, Glan are yet among the best options in Southern Mindanao to laze away from a hectic city life.
What makes it a perfect hideaway especially for romantic couples is the fact of being just there — sitting next to your beloved towards dusk mesmerized by the setting sun slowly painting the skies in transcending colors of pink, orange and gold illuminating the waters beneath.
It’s placid. Only the ripples of unfurling waters and the oozing sea breeze are usually quite noticeable.
The waters are pristine and the long stretch of powdery white sand just matches the view of the bay and the shores that are lined with coconut trees and native cottages.
But soon enough, just before this summer season ends, this place will be crowd-filled kicking up one’s heels for the biggest beach party in the South. Attendance was pegged at 57,000 in last year’s Sarangani Bay Festival (SarBay Fest) and organizers said they are expecting more people this May 24 and 25, 2013.
Sailboats, banana boats and other water sports like jetski, kayak and skimboard are just few of those stuffs to enjoy with.
SarBay this year will start-off with the usual 15-kilometer swim-across-the-bay and a funrun for the environment. The rest of the two days will be packed with crowd-drawing beach sports activities, concerts and sunset-to-sunrise parties.
SarBay could be among the grandest beach festivals in the country as well.
Unlike the famous Boracay, Gumasa (pop. 2,792) is a secluded spot situated at the southern tip of the Philippine map yet with so much natural beauty. This place is truly breathtaking!
In its foreground is the historic Sarangani Bay whose legends about its origin are spread through word of mouth by generations. This is where Sarangani province and the nearby island municipality were named after.
Sarangani Bay was also believed to have been named after a famous Sangil voyager – Saranganing, who came from the coast of Indonesia and traded with the great Sultanate of Buayan, which is now General Santos City.
But the mystery of its tale lingers due to various versions.
According to Elias Colano, the oldest man alive that Sarangani Information Office interviewed in Balut Island in 2006, “there were two big men who rivaled for a princess” long time ago whose names were Saramanggi and Marama.
Colano narrated: “Because Saramanggi and Marama were eager to win the princess, these two big men fought. Saramanggi picked up a giant clamshell in his hand and cast it on Marama, but did not hit him. The giant shell landed on a mountain. The angered Marama retaliated and took half of the giant shell and threw it back to Saramanggi, but also missed.”
Colano said that in order to maintain their dignity as noble warriors of the tribe, “the two men resolved their rivalry to a diving match where the first to get the bigger fish from the sea wins the princess’ hand.
“Saramanggi dived first, but Marama stabbed him with a pointed bamboo (bangkaw) and killed him. Saramanggi’s blood surged over the sea as a rock began to grow from his corpse,” said Colano. “These are now called the Sarangani Island and Sarangani Bay in honor of the noble man.”
Another legend, as recorded by the municipal government of Sarangani (Davao del Sur), refers to Sarangani and Balut as brothers.
Balut, a homebody, was the favorite of his mother. Sarangani on the other hand was an adventurer who sailed to other places and barter.
Balut died in the island while Sarangani, having gone to places by sea and became known to many, died in some place unknown. And so the bay was named after him.
One more legend also explains the beginning of a place by etymology where the name Sarangani was not ascribed to a person.
The Colano clan in Balut island who are the direct descendants of the first Sangil Sultan in Balut — Sultan Panurat — believes that the name referred to a place.
When their family was fleeing the northern part of Indonesia from the dominion of the Dutch in the mid 14th century, “our forefathers were asked where they were going, they said Sarangine,” according to 80-year old Casili Tabi.
Sarangine, according to Tabi, means “This is our territory” or “We stop here.”
“This was recorded by the chroniclers of (Ruy Lopez de) Villalobos who docked here for more than six months in 1543 in search for provisions as Sarangani, because of the sound,” claimed Sangil Datu Osmeña Salisipan. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Beverly C. Paoyon and Russtum G. Pelima/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
ALABEL, Sarangani (May 16, 2013) – The provincial board of canvassers proclaims Thursday, May 16, the newly-elected Sarangani leaders to serve for the next three years. Second from left is Governor-elect Steve Chiongbian Solon, re-electionist Congressman Manny Pacquiao and Vice Governor-elect Jinkee Pacquiao. The Pacquiao-Solon team aims to bring more development and God-centered governance to the province. Incumbent Governor Migs Dominguez, who is serving his third and final term, has opted to take a break from politics this time. Governor Dominguez has brought three Galing Pook awards to the province for innovation and excellence in local governance. Dominguez is also the country’s first Jesse Robredo Leadership Awardee. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Aiza Cruz/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
ALABEL, Sarangani (May 16, 2013) – Unopposed re-electionist Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Governor-elect Steve Chiongbian Solon who was also unopposed, Vice Governor-elect Jinkee Pacquiao and Board Members-elect George Falgui (1st District), Virgilio Clark Tobias (2nd district), Hermie Galzote (2nd D), Abdulracman Pangolima (2nd D), Alexander Bryan Reganit (1st D), Eugene Alzate (2nd D), Elmer de Peralta, (1st D), Arman Guili (2nd D), Cornelio Martinez Jr. (1st D) and Cesar Nallos (2nd D) are proclaimed at around noon Thursday, May 16, by the provincial board of canvassers at the Capitol. For more news and updates, please visit the Province of Sarangani . Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Jake T. Narte/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
By BEVERLY C. PAOYON
GUMASA, Sarangani (May 15, 2013) – A total of 50 swimmers will again invade Sarangani Bay this May 24 to kickoff Sarangani Bay Festival, the biggest beach party in Mindanao.
The swim-across-the-bay is believed to be the longest swim relay challenge in the country.
Ten teams composed of five swimmers will cross the bay exactly 5am from Kamanga, Maasim in a 15-kilometer race which finishes in Tango, Glan.
Event organizer Nimrod Butil said maritime traffic will not close the shipping lane to and from General Santos City’s Makar Wharf during the race.
However, the swimmers “are allowed to cross… subject to no interference with commercial marine traffic,” Butil said.
“Therefore, the responsibility is on each safety boat operator not to allow his swimmer to get in the way of shipping, because shipping has the right of way at all times.”
Part of the mechanics of the swim race is calling participants to stay “50 meters clear of all commercial vessels and navigational buoys at all times.”
“We have perimeter boats and we also have four sweepers yung mga speed boats natin para mas madali yung pag maneuver natin,” Butil said.
The Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, Philippine National Police, Maritime Police and some provincial offices will assist as perimeter boat marshals.
An escort boat will be positioned five to 10 meters beside the swimmer who has to execute the minimum 2-minute swim before a relay exchanges at the side of the boat.
Since the swim-across-Sarangani Bay competition, dubbed as “Sarangani Bay Invasion,” began in 2006, race record was noted to be improving each year.
Dadiangas Torpedoes of General Santos City ruled the race last year for the fifth time clocking in 2:57:40 hours, followed by the Sea Lions of Koronadal City with official time of 3:02:52 hours, only a slim difference of one minute and 40 seconds ahead of Davao’s team GenSan View Resort (3:03:12 hours) which ranked third place.
Six new teams have registered to join this year whose interest was sparked by “Palawan challenge, Samal Island challenge and Boracay challenge” where swimmers talked about Sarangani’s swim-across the-bay, Butil said.
Varsity swimmers from De La Salle University and Ateneo are joining the teams of Dadiangas Torpedoes of General Santos City and also teams from Kabacan and Kidapawan. Triathlon athletes from Cebu, Davao and General Santos will also join.
The first three teams to reach the finish line at Beachview Resort in Tango shall be declared winners with the 1st prize of P50,000, 2nd prize – P35,000, and 3rd prize – 25,000, all with medals and trophies. The rest of the team finishers will get a consolation prize of P6,000 each and a medal of “Invaders.”
According to Butil, all swimmers who successfully cross Sarangani Bay will be logged in the “Book of Invaders,” a database recognizing the swimmers’ prowess.
Asked on the significance of the event, Butil said: “It is not only conquering Sarangani Bay. Ang atin doon is to really let it be showcased as a protected area… but hindi lang protected seascape, productive pa rin yung marine habitat nya.”
In some instances, dolphins have joined the swimmers during the relay, Butil said.
Definitely, he said, the true essence why Sarangani is holding the festival every summer is the protection aspect for the preservation of the bay. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
Education volunteers thank Big Brother MigsMAITUM, Sarangani (May 12, 2013) – Over three thousand education volunteers, teachers and stakeholders packed the Maitum Gym to celebrate the successes of Sarangani Big Brother reading program during the culmination day of its sixth season. The overwhelming clamor during the event Thursday, May 9, was for Sarangani Big Brother to continue. Governor Migs Dominguez, who is serving his last term, declared “the best is yet to come tomorrow.” Sarangani Big Brother is one of the projects of Quality Education for Sarangani Today which won for Sarangani the Galing Pook Award 2012 for innovation and excellence in local governance. For more news and updates, please visit the <a href= http://www.sarangani.gov.ph/ > Province of Sarangani </a>. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Russel Delvo/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
RockEd concert tribute to education volunteersMAITUM, Sarangani (May 12, 2013) – Dong Abay (right) and his band the Tanods jam with education volunteers during a tribute concert for them Thursday, May 9, at Maitum Gym. The RockEd Sarangani trip was described by one organizer as “one of the best gigs we’ve ever held since 2005.” RockEd is a volunteer group working to provide venues and events for alternative education. For more news and updates, please visit the <a href= http://www.sarangani.gov.ph/ > Province of Sarangani </a>. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Russel Delvo/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
MAITUM, Sarangani (May 9, 2013) – Maitum Safari Photo Contest winners pose with Elizabeth N. Ramos (center), contest organizer, after the awarding rites Wednesday, May 8, at the 14th Binuyugan Festival and 54th Town Anniversary. They are (from left) 1st placer Ritchie Tongo, a freelance photographer, who won the categories Bangsiyawan and Shoot-out and minor prizes in other categories; Afren de Guzman, 1st runner up in Beach category; 2nd placer Benigno Salcedo and 3rd placer Darwin Dulnoan. The Maitum Safari Photo Contest is the longest running and most prestigious safari contest in the region with the contestants’ nutritional needs hosted by Cresing’s Food Products every year. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Jake T. Narte/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
MAITUM, Sarangani (May 8, 2013) – Kids from barangay Mabay help each other to win the palo-sebo (greased bamboo-climbing)contest during the 14th Binuyugan Festival and 54th Town Anniversary with the theme “Paglingon sa Kulturang Kaugalian-Bayang Pinagyaman” held at the municipal park Tuesday, May 7. Palo-sebo (from the Spanish pole grease) is a popular children’s game during town fiestas. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Joylyn Ty/MAITUM INFORMATION OFFICE)
Binuyugan pageant winnersMAITUM Sarangani (May 8,2013) – Ms Binuyugan Pageant awards the Ms Maitum title to Allyn Hernal, 1st runner-up Adellah Jarabe (right), and 2nd runner-up to Airiz Corpuz (left) Tuesday night, May 7. The pageant is one of the highlights of Binuyugan Festival held at Maitum Gym, venue of the RockEd Sarangani concert with Dong Abay and the Tanods on May 9. The town is also celebrating its 54th foundation anniversary. For more news and updates, please visit the <a href= http://www.sarangani.gov.ph/ > Province of Sarangani </a>. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Jake T. Narte/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
Traditional Pinoy games spice up Binuyugan FestivalMAITUM, Sarangani (May 8, 2013) – Senior citizens join the “tumbalata” games of their childhood to spice up the 14th Binuyugan Festival and 54th Town Anniversary with the theme “Paglingon sa Kulturang Kaugalian-Bayang Pinagyaman” held at the municipal park Tuesday, May 7. For more news and updates, please visit the <a href= http://www.sarangani.gov.ph/ > Province of Sarangani </a>. Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013. (Jake T. Narte/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
Cultural showcase opens Binuyugan FestivalMAITUM, Sarangani (May 7, 2013) – Trade and industry provincial director Engr. Nenita Barroso talks to a representative of the Old Poblacion WINDS (Women in Nation Development of Sarangani) Fish Processing Association at the opening of Laklaku ti Binuyugan in front of the municipal hall Monday, May 6. Laklaku ti Binuyugan which is a cultural showcase and agro trade fair is one of the first activities during the first day of the 16th Binuyugan Festival and 54th foundation anniversary of Maitum from May 6 to 9. (Joylyn Ty/MAITUM INFORMATION OFFICE/Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013)
“Binuyugan sale” offers Muslim productsMAITUM, Sarangani (May 7, 2013) – Local government employees look amazed as they check Muslim-made products displayed in front of the municipal hall Monday, May 6. The employees make use of their free time to visit the cultural showcase and agro trade fair of the Binuyugan Festival dubbed Laklaku ti Binuyugan or Binuyugan Sale. (Joylyn Ty/MAITUM INFORMATION OFFICE/Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013)
Native products in Binuyugan showcaseMAITUM, Sarangani (May 7, 2013) – Native products abound at the Laklaku ti Binuyugan during the first day of Binuyugan Festival Monday, May 6. Laklaku ti Binuyugan which is a cultural showcase and agro trade fair is one of the first activities during the first day of the 16th Binuyugan Festival and 54th foundation anniversary of Maitum from May 6 to 9. (Joylyn Ty/MAITUM INFORMATION OFFICE/Come and enjoy SarBay Fest in Gumasa on May 24-25, 2013)
MAITUM, Sarangani (May 6, 2013) – The presence of RockEd here on May 9 will help make the culmination night of Sarangani Big Brother “more memorable and more inspiring for Sarangani youth who tirelessly strive hard to make Mindanao a better place,” according to Anne Edday, project manager of Quality Education for Sarangani Today (QUEST).
She said the RockEd concert at the Maitum Gym is a tribute to the thousands of SBB volunteers “living and serving the communities.”
“We have 22 guests from RockEd Philippines, Dong Abay and the Tanods who will have a concert on May 9 to reinforce our education advocacy and a tribute to the volunteers,” Edday said.
Whole day of May 9 is devoted to the culmination program and competitions (showtime, story-telling, painting, pop singing) and at night will be the Search for Mr. and Ms SBB, to be followed by the RockEd concert.
QUEST runs Sarangani Big Brother, a summer-volunteer program designed to assist the Department of Education in eliminating “frustration and instructional readers” among incoming Grades 2 and 3 with the help of teacher- and youth-volunteers.
Edday said Sarangani Big Brother is just one of the projects under the education-reform program known as QUEST which was recently recognized as one of the outstanding innovative governance programs in the Philippines by Galing Pook Foundation.
“Sarangani Big Brother which was conceptualized by Ms. Cecile Dominguez and her brother Governor Migs Dominguez has been running since 2008 and it has elicited the support of 5,059 teacher- and youth-volunteers who have helped 27,098 kids become better readers,” Edday said.
“This summer, we are very happy that more than 2,000 teachers and youth volunteered to help us make reading an inspiration. Every year, it’s been our tradition to hold a Provincial Culmination to celebrate the gains of SBB,” Edday added. “We are expecting 3,000 participants for this event.”
RockEd is a volunteer group working to provide venues and events for alternative education. RockEd connects via music, the arts, poetry, sports, photography, fashion, graphic design, literature, new approaches to science, film, cultural studies, theatre, dance, and any other way except being in a classroom – The convenors of Rock Ed decided to Rock Society through Education and educate the youth through rock culture, according to its website. Rock Ed is an alternative class where the substitute teachers are celebrities, musicians, poets, artists, entrepreneurs, writers.
Therese “Gang” Badoy Capati, still often referred to by her maiden name, Gang Badoy, is best known for founding RockEd Philippines, an advocacy and alternative education group that continues to showcase social issues through music events featuring voluntary performing artists and rock bands, and its radio talk show, RockEd Radio on the now defunct NU 107. Rock Ed Radio returned to the airwaves since January 2012 over Jam 88.3.
In November 2010, Badoy was presented with an award by President Benigno Aquino III as one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) for that year. Badoy was also given the Ten Outstanding Young Men or TOYM Award making her the only Filipino to win both prestigious awards on the same year (2010). (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/Come and Enjoy Sarangani Bay Festival on May 24-25, 2013)
MAITUM, Sarangani (May 5, 2013) – Some 2,000 volunteers helped this
summer’s “Sarangani Big Brother: Reading is Fun! – Season 6” bringing
to fore the spirit of volunteerism among the youth, teachers,
education stakeholders and the community.
The culmination program here on May 9, which is expected to be
attended by Education Secretary Armin Luistro, would be capped by a
RockEd Philippines concert with Dong Abay and the Tanods “to reinforce
our advocacy and a tribute to our volunteers,” said Anne Edday,
program manager of Quality Education for Sarangani Today (QUEST).
RockEd is a volunteer group working to provide venues and events for
QUEST, which has been running Sarangani Big Brother (SBB) since 2008,
won a Galing Pook Award in 2012 for innovation and excellence in local
The QUEST award landed Sarangani in the Hall of Fame of Galing Pook.
Sarangani under the leadership of Gov. Migs Dominguez, the 1st Jesse
Robredo Leadership Awardee, received the Galing Pook award 2009 for
Kalinaw Sarangani, a peace and development program of the province,
and Galing Pook 2011 for Justice Enhancement and Empowerment Program.
The 2,000 volunteers this season is the biggest batch for SBB which
had received 5,000 volunteers during the past five summers.
“It is inspiring to see a growing number of youth actively engaging
themselves in Sarangani Big Brother year over year and doing their
best to ensure their ordinary volunteer days can inspire an
extraordinary future someday,” Edday said.
Edday said various awards will be given during the culmination
program. These include the SBB outstanding municipality, outstanding
Municipal Federation of Sangguniang Kabataan, top 10 outstanding
barangays, top five outstanding barangays per municipality, top five
outstanding youth volunteer per municipality, top five outstanding
teacher-volunteer per school, and top 10 schools.
“Reading is the most important skill that a child must master by the
time he completes Grade 3,” Edday pointed out. “The primary years are
important, as they are the foundation years.”
SBB is a reading program designed to assist the Department of
Education (DepEd) in improving reading skills among incoming Grade 2
and 3 learners identified as “frustration readers”.
SBB: Reading is Fun! Is a 15-day, whole day, remedial reading program
implemented in partnership with the Alcantara Foundation, the DepEd,
QUEST and Sangguniang Kabataan.
“A child is less likely to drop out of school if he is able to read
and comprehend, and thus keep up with his lesson in school,” Edday
Aside from the 2,000 volunteers, around 500 teacher-volunteers, 300
principals and supervisors and 200 local government unit and private
sector guests are expected to attend the SBB culmination program.
(SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/Come and enjoy Sarangani Bay Festival on
May 24-25, 2013)
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