Sarangani Highlands – My Visit To A Garden Restaurant In General Santos City

Sarangani Highlands – A Garden Restaurant

Sarangani Highlands, a popular garden restaurant expanding into a garden resort, is emerging to be one of the best resorts in Mindanao Island situated on a hilltop overlooking Sarangani Bay specifically in Purok Wal, Barangay Tambler on the western part of General Santos City, Philippines.

Sarangani Highlands – A Family Leisure Trip

I was attending a job-related road show in General Santos City together with my wife and my newly-wed son and his wife. Though it was my second time visiting GenSan, the first being a participant of the field trip at the Tuna Fish Landing Area, but my admiration for the highly urbanized city, formerly named Dadiangas, kept on growing each time around. The wide roads laid out in circumspect, low-rise buildings and houses with breathing space from each other, lush plants and trees growing in abundance at roadsides and vacant lots are manifestations of a carefully planned and well-maintained urban settlement.

After taking our lunch at a fast food chain, I called up my friend Roel, who is connected to a local NGO, and asked for information about the whereabouts of the mansion of the most popular GenSan native, the 8-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao. Luckily, he was just hanging around with some office mates at a nearby restaurant, hence, he volunteered to be our tour guide. After a while, we reached NLSA Road in Barangay Lagao and this sight caught my attention . . .

Sarangani Highlands

Photo of the Pacquaio mansion taken from across the road.

From the information I got from the roadside sari-sari store owner, Jinky Pacquiao was inside the mansion, hence, it was uncertain if we would be allowed to go inside. Sensing the frustration on our faces, Roel tried hard to convince the guards to allow us in as we were visitors coming from the other side of Mindanao eager to bring home the news that we had entered the Pacquiao mansion. Truly, my heart had beaten faster as my friend flashed a thumbs-up thereby giving a green light for our entry. Amidst a stern warning from the guards that we were only allowed for a 20-minute photo session for the front portion of the residential building, I took time to take this shot . . .

Sarangani Highlands

The sprawling Manny Pacquaio mansion

We found the Patio to be the part of the mansion worthy take take picture with . . .

Sarangani Highlands

The newlyweds Vladimir and Matet posing for posterity at the Pacquiao mansion main door.

Sarangani Highlands

Me and Vanjie in a pose wondering where in the world the door handle could have been bought by Pacquiao.

Afterward, I requested Roel to bring us to the most popular attraction in the city. Without batting an eyelash, he told me that we shall head to Sarangani Highlands which is a garden restaurant located at the hilltop overlooking Sarangani Bay. While our vehicle was traversing on the well-paved and spacious highway, my mind was traveling in advance on what Sarangani Highlands would look like and figured out if it is similar to the Mountain View Nature Park in Cebu. Upon reaching Purok Wal in Barangay Tambler, our vehicle turned right and maneuvered on the winding road uphill until we stopped on this spot . . .

Sarangani Highlands Entrance

The entrance to the Sarangani Highlands . . .

After paying the PhP 100.oo per head consumable entrance fee, we walked our way inside and my eyes were glued on  this comely sight . . .

Sarangani Highlands welcome fountain

The welcome fountain of the Sarangani Highlands . . .

And this portion of the Sarangani Highlands had never escaped my photographer instinct . . .

Sarangani Highlands signage

The Sarangani Highlands signage where visitors never miss having photo ops. . .

While my friend cum tour guide Roel with his 2 office mates were taking snacks commensurate to our entrance fees, we kept ourselves busy scouring every nook and corner of the garden restaurant with the reception area with function rooms as our first destination. . .

Sarangani Highlands reception center

The Sarangani Highland reception center . . .

Followed by the Sarangani Highlands garden resort . . .

Sarangani Highlands garden resort

The facade of the Sarangani Highlands Resorts . . .

We then entered the Dadiangas Hall . . .

Sarangani Highlands Dadiangas Hall

The entrance to the Dadiangas Hall . . .

And were enthralled by the breathtaking view of Sarangani Bay . . .

Sarangani Bay seen from Sarangani Highlands

The spectacular view of Sarangani Bay as seen from the Dadiangas Hall.

Our next stop was the comely Rajah Buayan Kiosk . . .

Sarangani Highlands Rajah Buayan Kiosk

The captivating walkway towards the Rajah Buayan Kiosk

Where a romantic spot is found . . .

Sarangani Highlands royal seat

The newlyweds on a royal seat with the Sarangani Bay on the background.

We savored some more lovely spots . . .

Sarangani Highlands pergola

A pose in the newly-assembled pergola . . .

Posing with the decades-old bonzai tree . . .

As it was already time to leave the scenic Sarangani Higlands, the fully-satisfied visitors deemed it right to leave a wacky jump . . .

Sarangani Highlands wacky jump

The best wacky jump picture in the best environment that I ever took . . .

Sarangani Highlands – Final Thoughts

Sarangani Highlands started out as a private retreat of two doctor-friends Dr. Ana Belle L. Abella, M.D and Dr. Tranquilino Ruiz. Their love for plants and their passion for landscaping had prevailed them to develop the area for public consumption. Little did they know that what they started as a hobby had boomed into a popular destination for tourists and visitors who want to experience the ambiance of a spot where tropical lushness, cool mountain air and warm sea breeze met to characterize the Sarangani Highlands as a perfect hideaway in this part of Central Mindanao, Philippines.

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