Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat: As Quick As The Sunset
The best fix after a three-day camp out above the cold mountains of Maguindanao would certainly be a a short trip to a pleasant beach smothered by the sun’s warmth and swept by a gentle onshore breeze – a nibble of summer during the stormiest times of the year. From South Upi, I followed the smell of salty air coming from the shores of the once far-flung town of Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat.
Kalamansig features a vast plain pressed by Maguindanao’s mountain ranges towards the Celebes Sea on its west. Kalamansig is a town that thrives on crops and the abundance of marine products offered by the sea. The completion of Awang-Upi-Lebak Highway paves way for more economic opportunities to this formerly remote region of Sultan Kudarat. The feat will also open doors to an increase in tourist influx to the quiet town of Kalamansig and the neighboring Lebak. Both towns teem with outstanding destinations such as caves, waterfalls, beaches, and sunsets.
And speaking of sunsets, I can vividly remember how the fiery orb descended on the horizon, how the dull hazy gray sky suddenly turned into a festival of colors. I was sitting on a feeble-looking breakwater partially drenched in the rising tide, wondering why the most awesome part of the sunset last a few seconds. Maybe this spectacular phenomenon teaches us that those awesome split second moments in our lives are the ones we usually cherish deeply – simply because it never lasts forever. The split second sunset I’ve witnessed in Kalamansig is probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen.
Prior to my SOCCSKSARGEN backpacking trip, a concerned person advised to just stay within tourist roads especially that, one, I knew not one person in town, two, clearly I’m a clueless foreigner, and three, I’m traveling alone – bottom line is don’t go to Kalamansig. But the town, based on the map, has a promising location, and I was already halfway there (I was in Upi before this). My decision to go didn’t disappoint me but still I was filled regret – not for visiting town, but staying for merely two days when I could make it for another two. But there’s always another day. It was so quick, I barely scratched the surface. Unfortunately, I just have to leave it with that for now.
1. Directions to Kalamansig: If you’re coming from Cotabato City, take the van bound for Lebak (roughly around P200). From Lebak, take a tricycle to the town of Kalamansig. There are also vans coming from Tacurong City/Isulan (P350). When I was at the terminal of Kalamansig, the dispatcher told me that there are vans that goes directly in town.
In my case, I came from Upi. I took a double tire jeepney (a large bus-looking jeepney) to Lebak.
2. Where to stay in Kalamansig: There’s a lodge at the heart of town but I stayed at Poral Beach. They refer to the place as, “kina Vice” (the current vice mayor is the owner). A room costs P400/night. From town, just take a tricyle to Poral Beach.
I met a lady on the van, and told me that SKSU (Sultan Kudarat State University) has dorms which allows visitors to stay. You could visit the local tourism office and ask for further informations.
3. Where to eat: There’s a row of eateries somewhere near the market which is also walking distance from the terminal. Lot’s of food options.
4. When you’re at the tourism office, you might also want to inquire of their tourist attractions and also Lebak’s. They have a lot.
6. More destinations in Sultan Kudarat
7. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
8. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
9. Be safe and happy travels.