Located at the southernmost tip of the Philippines , Glan boasts of pristine shorelines dotted with strips of powdery white-sand beach resorts facing the Celebes Sea which, hands-down, is among the Philippines best beaches. Among the earliest Christian towns in Mindanao , Glan has heaps to offer both for tourists and investors. Colonial-era structures and archeological discoveries dating back to the 15th century make Glan even more alluring to visitors.
Visitors can take a quick walk around the town center and experience the idyllic life the people which has not really change through the years in terms of its calmness. Tourists can also sample several interesting local treats as well as the fresh catch from the local market.
Glan is a leading producer of copra in the region and has survived the ups and downs of the coconut industry. However, as the burgeoning industry of coconut by-products continues to expand plus the demand for coconut surging in the world market, the people of Glan is enjoying the benefits as investors are setting-up shop throughout the town.
Glan's geographical location has made the ideal spot a to do business in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). In fact, it has prepared for international trade by establishing the Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (JAG-CT) along with two other adjacent towns several years ago. Current trading partners include the North Sulawesi province and nearby territories of Indonesia.
During the month of May, Glan hosts the Sarangani Bay Festival, the biggest beach party in the country. Tourists come and enjoy the calm waters of Sarangani Bay as well indulge in the fun the Bay Festival has to offer.
White Sand Beach Resorts
A short ride from the town center is the famed strip of powdery white-sand shorelines of Glan, one of Philippines' best beaches. The now world-renowned beach line of Gumasa boasts of many resorts that offer overnight stay on well-appointed beach cottages, villas and hotel rooms.
Gumasa is best enjoyed via an overnight stay. Guests can come in the afternoon and marvel at the setting sun which regularly provides a majestic sight of the explosion of colors upon the horizon while feasting on the fresh catch of the fisherman living near the resorts. The cool and calm sea on the early morning will surely relax and de-stress urban dwellers.
Ruiz Old Artifacts Collection
To fully appreciate the history and culture of Glan, a visit to the Ruiz Artifacts Collection is a must. Dr. Jose Tranquilino Ruiz II, a scion of one of the first families to settle in Glan during the early 1900s has a vast collection of antiques, gongs, and old pictures of "colonos" (first Christian settlers) of Glan, among others. Their ancestral house, which is a now a semi-museum, is open to the public (by appointment) and is just near the town hall making it ideal for visitors to have it on their list when they explore the town.
Every October, Glan showcases the Lubi-Lubi Festival. There is more to the costumes, choreography and musicality in this yearly competition. The colors and faces of Lubi-Lubi Festival every 8th of October reflect Glan's industry and tradition altogether. Almost 90 percent of the town's total land area is planted with coconuts; town folks have both the old and new ways to make a living out of it, from the tree's roots to its leaves; beverages to handicrafts to manufactured products. Street-dancing groups compete in musicality, choreography and costume using indigenous materials from the coconut. Lubi-Lubi Festival reflects an old tradition of Glan, the province's oldest town. Each competing group showcases a particularly old religious belief of the people about the coconut tree; animistic beliefs are brought to life in choreography by rituals of reverence to the tree as a source of blessings such as wind, water and rain, fire, good health, and even life. The Lubi-Lubi Festival celebrates coconut being the major product of Glan which is also one of the oldest town's of Mindanao at 97 on October 8, 2011. Lubi-Lubi performers wearing costumes made of coconut materials dance in the streets where Hispanic houses still stand today. Glan, also known as the "Coco Queen of the South" and the oldest town in Southern and Central Mindanao, is Sarangani's top producer of coconut.
Glan is a 45 min trip via air-conditioned public utility vehicles from Gen. Santos City along a well-paved highway. However, for those who would like to experience rural Philippines , there are jeepneys that ply the same route.