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 . . .
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 . . .
We found the Patio to be the part of the mansion worthy take take picture with . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
And this portion of the Sarangani Highlands had never escaped my photographer instinct . . .
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. . .
Followed by the Sarangani Highlands garden resort . . .
We then entered the Dadiangas Hall . . .
And were enthralled by the breathtaking view of Sarangani Bay . . .
Our next stop was the comely Rajah Buayan Kiosk . . .
Where a romantic spot is found . . .
We savored some more lovely spots . . .
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 – 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.