Timeless Memories at Tuka Marine Park

Tuka Marine Park

Tuka Marine Park, One Of The Pride Of Sarangani

The timeless memories at Tuka Marine Park made me realize that no matter where we go, there will always be one place that remain to be the most beautiful and that is— home. Tuka Marine Park nestled in the coastal area of Kiamba, Sarangani Province where I have grown and spent almost half of my life. Sarangani Province is in Southern Philippines wherein General Santos City Airport is the nearest way to reach it.

This is just a piece of a story of how it is to be home in a beautiful beach that I’d been to.

For now, I’ll let you borrow this experience and make it as your story.

It is not an ordinary beach; it is one of the most beautiful places you’d ever been to. Its pristine white sand and its clear water with shades of blue and green are only few of its qualities that it make stand out from others.

It both lingers now in your imagination and memory the wondrous adventures that had passed. Walking, unwinding and relaxing on the warm seaside while you enjoy the gentle breeze. With the rhythm of the waves rolling in and out with their soothing sound, you cannot resist the inviting waters.

Timeless Memories of Walking Along The Seashore Of Tuka Marine Park

You walked slowly testing how deep it is. The uneven depth of the water made you feel uneasy but your friends handed you some gears for snorkeling. Everything is first time to you and you thought you cannot do it. But with few tries and you’re comfortable with the gears.

Everybody is having fun under the water while you are staying still on the shallow waters. But no one should be left behind even it means they will take turn to hold you so you won’t drown. That’s the perk of being in a group and you’re the only one who doesn’t know how to swim.

It seems a great ecosystem is waiting beneath the water. With the goggles and snorkeling gears on, you went down to the waters and see the great creation under; beautiful panorama of rich and diverse coral reefs,  school of fish of different colors and sizes swimming freely, seaweeds dancing and swaying with the current of the water.

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The stony corals that seem too sturdy yet they have life. And you have seen more creatures that you cannot even name. Some even look scary and you don’t know their characteristic if they can harm humans but it is their world that we have to respect. But overall, you have explored a wondrous marine habitat.

Staying in the water is a bit exhausting especially if you are not used yet of breathing thru the gears. You decided to sit on the shore with the warm sand under the blue sky with clouds that appeared tender and washed. Your friends came and you started to gather around over a drink, started to share stories, reminisce the mishaps of previous adventures and the place was filled with laughter.

Before the sun set for that wonderful day, the last trip of a boat carrying some passenger has left the place. And the only ones left are your friends and you. You feel like you own now that place.

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Few of your friends plunge again in the sea, snorkeled, and enjoyed sitting on the floating cottage.

The ones who love photography have found their spot to capture a sky and water tinted with orange as the sun will set soon at the horizon in the west.

Some went to continue for a walk on the shore leaving footprints only.

Some had their skin painted and tattooed with magnifique designs of black henna while waiting for others to achieve their agendas for that day.

One rested over a hammock he tied in between two coconut trees.

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Some continued over few chats and giggles.

The dreamer goes on dreaming, thinking of ways to achieve those dreams.

Others went to purchase and haggled prices of uniquely crafted souvenirs made from shells, stones and coconut shells.

And when everybody is done and contented for the day, a dinner is prepared for everybody. The task was shared from buying veggies from the market; cleaned, peeled and chopped; seasoned by another who volunteered to cook claiming it’s his expertise while others have gone to make a fire out of firewoods;  and a sumptuous Ilocano vegetable dish was served with rice. (Filipinos are known not satisfied if a meal is served without rice.)

As night comes, the evening star hid from the sky followed by fine rain spreading. And still, nobody wants to go to sleep. What’s good to be in a group is that different personalities are being gathered and there will always be that one person who will stand out and make everybody laugh and lively thru simple things and jokes, that even an introvert couldn’t resist.

It was time to part for a good night sleep. Some retired inside a tent, few to the cottages around, others in a fan room, and the rest laid down in anywhere they felt comfortable.

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You rested well as you felt safe in a haven of nature. You are surrounded on one side with water and on the other side is a jungle.

And that is your story. Do you think it’s only a dream?

It is not. It can happen and you can still experience it at Tuka Marine Park.

It is a real life experience. These fun-filled and memory packed experiences will surely give us smiles whenever we are in a distance longing for home.

And always remember, either you are departing or you are arriving, put it in your heart that there is always one who remembers you, and it is home.

Visiting this place or staying for a night is like claiming that you have rented an expensive island though Tuka Marine Park isn’t an island.

Tuka Marine Park nestled in a coastal area of Kiamba. It is a protected marine sanctuary with four coves. Most area of the underwater still remain mysterious, however, few licensed  and marine divers continue to explore to contribute on ways on how to boost the protection of the sanctuary.

Of the four coves, they opened one cove for visitors who want to see a piece of this paradise. It can be reached thru a boat ride for around 20 minutes. Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking are only few of the activities that can be done there.

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Tourism may be the main reason why the Municipality of Kiamba has opened this place to visitors but comes with it is for awareness of the marine life with the hopes that every person who leave their footprints at Tuka Marine Park can contribute for its protection and conservation. If you are a person who can contribute to these, then Tuka Marine Park is waiting for you. And believe me; it will surprise you with its grandiose beauty and a one big time experience to be with nature.

By the way, if you are a fan of People’s Champ, Manny Pacquiao this resort is also very important to him. Who knows, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to meet him here the next time you come to visit.

 

Photo Credits: Marlon Martinez

 

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20 Comments

  • Lovely post! We are so consumed with international travel that we often fail to see the beauty in our own homes. With upheavals in the international financial system we should look more towards domestic tourism!

    • Louiela Ann says:

      Thanks Victoria, I really didn’t notice it until I was in a foreign land and I realized that the places that I am amazed also exist in my hometown.

  • Jean says:

    I love exploring areas that are near by, it’s our plan for this summer: though after seeing these photos I’m now wanting to head out your way!

    • Louiela Ann says:

      Tuka Marine Park is waiting for you… and even the waterfalls and rivers around are all excited to see you 🙂 You can even do paragliding which is also in Sarangani

  • I was born and live in South Cotabato for 16 years not until I graduated from High School and went here in Cebu for good. But when I started traveling when I was 21, I have been dreaming to visit Sarangani and I have finally done it last September in which I was able to visit the Gumasa Beach. I was really planning to visit TUKA Marine Beach as this has been penned on my bucket list, but since I don’t have the leisure time during my visit, I wasn’t able to make it. Perhaps next year when I get the chance again. Exactly like what you say, Yes, this is really a must visit place if you’re in Sarangani Province.

    LaiAriel

    • Louiela Ann says:

      At least you fulfilled your dream to visit Sarangani already,,, feel free to send e-mail before you embark on your journey to Tuka… there are more places to explore in the nearby place,,

  • We just got back from the Philippines but didn’t get to visit the Tuka Marine Park (mostly because this is the first time we hear about it). Now we definitely need to add it to our list of places to visit when we go back to the Philippines! Thanks for the info. 🙂

    • Louiela Ann says:

      Hope you’ll be able to explore Southern Philippines as well the next time you come. The ones who enjoy places like Tuka are the locals, so hope you can join them as well,,,

  • Wow! This is my first time to hear about Tuka Marine Park. Would definitely include this on my next visit to Sarangani soon.

  • SindhuMurthy says:

    The coral reef looks amazing. It is true that increasing tourist influx causes more damage than good to the marine life. Good to know that the park authority is taking enough measures to conserve the marine life. I enjoyed reading it as my story 🙂 and would love to see it in person.

  • Marge says:

    I started traveling our country before I traveled to other countries, primarily because I could’t afford traveling abroad before. Because I started here I know just how beautiful our country is and even when I get fascinated by the beauty that I see in abroad, I truly believe nothing beats what we have here. I’ve never been to Saranggani like Tuka Marine Park and I hope I could go there too. Loved how you wrote your story, made me feel like I was there.

  • Indrani says:

    Philippines is full of heavenly destinations! This marine park has so much to offer as experience. What a feeling it must be to own the place!. Great pictures. Hoping to visit some day!

  • Danica says:

    I’ve always been hesitant to explore Mindanao when I was a kid, a common stigma of people from Manila. But then I’ve realized, Mindanao has so much to offer! I’ll include this on my list!

  • neha says:

    Lovely post and beautiful pictures. I would love to visit here. Ever since I had a baby, I am a beach vacation fan since the babies enjoy these the best

  • Gel says:

    Wow. I just love seeing places in Philippines that offer a camping site by the beach. I am so fond of beach camping and thankyou for letting us know what Tuka Marine Park has to offer.

  • Elisa says:

    what a beautiful place to grow up! camping by the sea is something i would not mind to try, especially on beautiful beaches like those ones!

  • Loved the way you narrated the whole story like we were there snorkeling and camping along the shores. Tuka Marine Park looks like an amazing place for fun and adventure and admire the gift of nature.

  • Jerny says:

    You never would imagine that the place you grew up in was the best place of all. Philippines will always be the best place for the Filipinos and though I have yet been to Saranggani, I’m sure, one day, we will step on those pristine white sands and clear waters of Tuka Marine Park.

    Thanks for Sharing this!

  • I completely get your point. I came from the art capital of the Philippines but used to see it quite differently from how others (outside my town) do. I believe it’s because of familiarity. I’m glad you were able to have that beautiful realization about your “home”!

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