Glan, Sarangani, Philippines – Scuba divers will have more options in exploring the undiscovered marine world of southern Mindanao with the recent launch of the dive tourism program of Glan, Sarangani.
Held during the town’s annual Mahin Festival, the municipal government formally introduced Sumbang Point and Binuni Reef dive spots along with the launch of the coffee table book titled “Discover Glan’s other Paradise: It’s Underwater”.
“There are so many things that Glan can be proud of that we have kept for so long and it is but high time for us now to discover all those and show it off to the world. the most beautiful municipalities in Sarangani and the Soccsksargen Region” says, Mayor Vivien Yap.
She said that the project launch is timed for the recent 25th anniversary of the declaration of Sarangani Bay as a Protected Seascape by then-president Fidel Ramos. It was also later listed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a Key Marine Biodiversity Area.
Sumbang Point, situated near Belimac Beach Resort is habitat to 16 genera of hard corals and five soft corals, and about 100 distinct marine species, including hawksbill turtles, giant clams, marble shrimps, and rare nudibranchs.
Binuni Reef, with a maximum depth of 12 meters, has a vertically-zoned intertidal area with patchy seagrass. The subtidal area is characterized by colonies of hard corals of massive, breaching, and encrusting life forms. It also has 12 hard coral and four soft coral genera, and 62 distinct fish species.
The dive tourism program is supported by the DENR, the Department of Tourism, and the Provincial Government. In 2017, Sarangani Bay was declared by the DOT as the diving haven of Soccsksargen during a dive safari.
Dives should be coursed through Sarangani Divers in Gen. Santos City, the accredited dive center for proper documentation.
The bay covers an area of 215,950 hectares and is also home to yellowfin tuna, sperm whales, pilot whales, dolphins, clown fishes, lionfishes, sergeant fishes, and sea turtles. Its coral resources cover more than 2,293 hectares spread in 20 coral reef areas with about 60 important live hard coral genera, and 411 reef species.
Whale sharks, cheilinus undulatos (Mameng), and dugongs (sea cows), are also occasionally sighted, particularly on the western side of the bay.
Situated on the bay’s eastern part, Glan is known for its powdery white sand coves, crystal-clear waters, and cozy beach resorts, most notably at Gumasa Beach. It is also host to the Sarangani Bay Festival, the country’s biggest beach party which integrates environmental education, physical wellness, and family recreation.