The Daily Roar

Island Gardens of the Sea

Tsunami, tropical storm, typhoon, earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood and landslide— what more can the news say about the Philippines? Those were natural disasters happened in a country full of natural resourses, virgin islands, and hidden paradises and they are not happening every day. The traumatic ones happened on 1814, 1911, 1952, 1976, 1984, 1990, 1991, 2006, 2011, and the well-know typhoon Yolanda this 2013. The gaps of years, plus, the updated advisories in the country, show that people should not worry too much about going there and having a vacation.

Philippines has hundred times more to offer than the known disasters. One of the ‘must-see’ places, a paradise away from the stress of the cities, is the Isla Jardin Del Mar of the southern Philippines located at Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani Province. The country was under the Spaniards and adopted Spanish as part of the Filipino language. Isla Jardin Del Mar is a Spanish phrase which means ‘island garden of the sea’.

The resort is about 55 kilometers away from General Santos City, the hometown of the world’s famous boxer, Manny Pacquiao. Most parts of road to the resort are cemented, so tourists don’t have to worry too much with the dusts and rough road. On the way to the place, a lot of wonderful views can be seen on the roadside such as the simple huts and bodies of water. People who go there usually use their personal cars, but tourists can rent a car to cater them. Car rental prices are negotiable, based on the agreement of the customer and the car owner or driver. The rate is usually between Php2500-Php5000, and tourists can have the car cater them and their trip for one whole day. Others are just being catered and picked up, and that is in different rate.


Isla Jardin Del Mar is a very quiet and relaxing place. There are actually a lot of resorts near it and it is one of the resorts in the last part of the province, so if travelers are lucky, they can have the whole place, without other customers, and that would make the vacation more perfect. Safety is not an issue because people in Saranggani province are peace-lovers and the resort is guarded by security agents. Entrance fee is only Php50, and Php30 for kids 3-12 years old and senior citizens.

A lot of people look for beaches with white sand. This beach resort is perfect for those people. Just imagine how wonderful it is to play, run around, and step on the fine white sand that makes footprints every time you take a step. The place is very well maintained—very, very clean. The water is naturally transparent.

During low tide, the sand, weeds, coral reefs, and sea creatures can clearly be seen under water. It can be a good destination for field trips of biology classes. Sea urchins can even be seen resting on their habitat. Yes, there are sea urchins on low waters in Isla Jardin Del Mar but there’s nothing to worry so much about because, first, they don’t usually scatter and just rest on their reef and second, the water is so clear that one can easily see what he is stepping to.

What’s more interesting with Isla Jardin Del Mar? Since the water is so clear, the sea creatures cannot just be seen, they can also be picked up, but of course, only those that can still live without water in short or long time. People can hold those which are harmless, but they have to be returned back to where they were picked up. The resort is not selling the organisms that can be found in their area, especially the living ones. Those creatures are sea treasures; they belong to the sea and not to anybody. They have lives, and they deserve to be respected.

While the others are bathing in the beach and playing on the sand, the belongings can be left and others can bond in their cottages. They have open and room-type cottages, with rates starting from Php300. They also have a restaurant within the area, pavilion, and beach volleyball area.

Isla Jardin Del Mar is really a home of peace and relaxation. The ambiance can calm and give peace to the mind, and a perfect place to reflect and feed the soul.

/// Written by Dorothy Joyse V. Pama, The Philippines

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