Sitting on a crowded van as we made our way from General Santos City on an early December morning, we could imagine the crystal-clear turquoise waters and sparkling white sandy beach waiting for us at the end of our trip. The pictures we’ve seen of Gumasa Beach in Glan, Saranggani were enough to convince us to include this coastal destination on our trip to southern Mindanao at the end of 2014. After enjoying our brief visit to Lake Sebu and spending a night at General Santos, we were really looking forward to this trip.
Nina and I sometimes wonder why we waited until way past our forties to go on adventure trips. While contemporaries normally opt for more convenient travel destinations, our preferences gravitate towards off-the-beaten-path places of interest. Several of these tourist spots require long and hard treks or risky sea voyages. A bad lower back (in my case) and bone spurs in the knees (in Nina’s case) further complicate matters. In some cases there is nothing we can do but pray, grit our teeth and hope for the best, all the while conscious of the risks involved. Fortunately there are times when we are able to discover a more favorable way of arriving at our destination.
Nina and I had taken far worst rides before but to get packed like sardines with fellow passengers while cradling a heavy backpack on your lap doesn’t help when you’re just recovering from a bout with lower back pain. To top it all the van we were riding wasn’t air-conditioned. But as we began to drive farther away from Koronadal, fields of verdant green began to sooth our eyes and take our minds off our cramped sitting arrangement. In less than an hour we were feeling the cool highland air as the van made its way to the outer fringes of Lake Sebu town. We did not really need air-conditioning on this ride after all, we thought.