The province of Sarangani was once part of South Cotabato, it gained its provincial status in 1992 where Alabel is its capital. In spite of its infancy, it gained stellar fame and prominence through its legendary, world renown undefeated pugilist and congressman...Manny "Pacman" Paquiao.
But there's more to Sarangani than the Pacman like barangay Kamanga in the municipality of Maasim. It's 34 kilometers distance from General Santos city is a swift drive owing to its wide and well paved highway sans the traffic.
A must place to visit is Fort Sarangani, home of the 73rd Infantry battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Unusual as it is, but its not your typical military camp. Perched on a hill that commands a stunning view of the vast and tranquil Sarangani Bay and its environs. Through the initiative of its battalion commander, the camp exudes a resort like ambiance. Serenity Lounge is a guest house akin to the tribal long houses constructed from indigenous materials with bamboo floor. The recreation area is equipped with billiard table, cable tv and can be converted into a disco. It has a mini park impishly named Flirtation Park, a walking trail is made to wander around the vicinity and for those who are gung-ho about target shooting, a sizable shooting range is available. The hill nestling the camp is of coralline in origin that makes it a throve for bonsai material species.
Materials can be found around the slopes such as Bantigue,Kalyos, Balete and the likes. Currently they are cultivating the materials as an added income for the soldiers.
Down across the road is Lemlunay Beach Resort/Southpoint Dive. A 50m drop off wall just 10m from the resort, healthy corals, myriad fishes with some pelagics, pristine marine ecosystem will make it your next diving destination stop.
Its free to visit the camp and they are willing to give you a tour. The magnificent view is priceless! I suggest you give donations for the upkeep of the place and do patronize their canteen.
How to get there:
Philippine Airlines fly from Manila to General Santos City and CebuPacific fly from Manila and Cebu Daily.
Hire a van/taxi from the airport to go to either Fort Sarangani or SouthPoint.
Yellow Bus and Holiday Bus ply the Davao-Gensan Route regularly. Public transportation at the Bolaong Terminal for
Maasim will drop you off in Kamanga.