Newest Resort in the Philippines: Island Garden of the Sea, Sarangani

Resort in the Philippines: Isla Jardin Del Mar

Summer is evident here year around, and just as the warm wind heats up, beach goers and beach sports enthusiasts will surely find this fascinating place that lies in the celebrated Sarangani Bay.

Pinkish, white sand pebbled shoreline and crystal clear seawater is a soul-absorbing view Isla Jardin Del Mar offers right away.

Isla Jardin Del Mar is a Spanish name which means "Island Garden of the Sea". This resort in the Philippines queues farthest among the scores of other resorts emerging along Gumasas' white sand beaches. It opened earlier this year.

Resort in the Philippines
Gumasas Beach Sunrise

"Our family enjoyed the beach for 20 years privately," said Charlemagne Tan-Delfino, the resort's manager. "It took us two years of planning to get help from the barangay to provide us the road right of way. With the help of Governor Migs (Dominguez) and Mayor (Yoyong) Yap, it becomes a reality."

Charlemagne is the daughter of SAFII Group of Company's President and CEO, Marfenio Tan, a fishing magnate in General Santos City and owner of the number one resort hotel in Sarangani, Isla Parilla in Alabel, and Sydney Hotel in General Santos City.

Isla Jardin Del Mar is located within a 34-hectare area. The management decided to have its 15 hectares for site development for this resort in the Philippines. In an aerial view, Isla Jardin looks like a peninsula connected to a small island through the years, with the cottages and a restaurant floating over two separate white sand bars.

The pinkish white shoreline stretches and curves 750 meters, which gives the beachfront an impression as if the resort is a small island.

Cottage accommodation is P2,000 - air-conditioned, bamboo-finished with terrace and standard washroom and free breakfast - good for two. Another ten cottages are fan-only for P1,500 for four guests. On the other side of the restaurant are found the open cottages.

Just on the other side of the road is a lagoon. "There will be crabs and a fish pond in the future so we can do fishing," Delfino disclosed. It is a breathtaking view of a small lake and the Sarangani Bay atop the hills which serve as the boundary for Isla Jardin Del Mar.

"We have mountain trekking beginner's trail for 30 minutes both sides of the resort where you can see the spectacular Gumasa coastal view," Delfino said. Two standard volleyball courts are also under construction.

About 25 meters from shoreline is the "garden" of corals 300 meters wide. "Our guests will surely enjoy the coral reef and colorful coral fish."

Isla Jardin Del Mar is three kilometers from the main road. At the terminal in poblacion, one can ride a habal-habal going there for P50.

The newest resort in the Philippines epitomizes fun for many. Yet for now, the Island Garden of the Sea is a hideaway for the busy few and the soul searching. (SIO/PIA-SarGen)

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