South Cotabato Travel

Kalsangi: Polomolok’s most elusive destination

By on July 12, 2011

kalsangi - front page

The Kalsangi Clubhouse in Polomolok, South Cotabato is only intended for DOLE Philippines’ employees and expats. Aside from this exclusive privilege, its secluded location makes itself relatively inaccessible to the general public as well. One has to take a private vehicle in getting to the clubhouse and also make a prior arrangement with a DOLE employee for access to the place. Getting that access was my only contribution during Project SocSarGen or our second visit to the South Cotabato province last year. After pulling some strings, we were able to squeeze Kalsangi in our weekend itinerary.

I remember that it was a relatively brief drive from the national highway. We took a right at Cannery Road which led us to a DOLE cannery along the way. Our vehicle then negotiated a dirt road that wove through pineapple plantations. When we reached an area where pine trees abound, we knew that we finally made it to Polomolok’s most elusive destination.

kalsangi - golf course

Aside from the clubhouse and an upscale subdivision, there is a 9-hole golf course…

kalsangi - amenities

…a swimming pool and a private school at Kalsangi. There are also life-sized board games and a mini-play ground for the kids and the kids-at-heart.

We tried their famous fries and original clubhouse cheese burgers for our afternoon snacks. Unfortunately, the restaurant ran out of burger buns so they used sandwich slices instead. Aside from the lychee juice, these were the only items we ordered that time although the prices for the other dishes are reasonable and affordable as well. If given another chance to visit the place again someday, I’d like to try out their steaks which is also a specialty of a similar clubhouse somewhere in Bukidnon.

kalsangi - snacks

The new Kalsangi clubhouse cheese burger sandwich.

kalsangi - dole pineapples

We did not order this export quality pineapple back then. I got this from another friend who hails from Polomolok. This is the real deal since the ‘Sweet MG-3’ variety sold at fruitstands along the South Cotabato national highway are sometimes not DOLE pineapples at all.

I learned from our gracious host that Kalsangi was named as such because the Americans had a hard time pronouncing kalasangan (forest) when they were still putting up the place. It is hard to imagine that towering trees used to grow on the spot of the well maintained golf course greens or the pineapple plantations for that matter. But it is not far fetch at all because Kalsangi is quite near the foot of the majestic Mt. Matutum. The jungle cover of South Cotabato’s highest peak may have extended to Kalsangi a few decades ago.

That erroneous pronunciation caught up until the now. And to some extent it could describe what Kalsangi is today – a peaceful, progressive and green suburb located in between Matutum’s jungles and DOLE Philippines’ vast pineapple plantations.

The author would like to thank Marci and Anne for making our Kalsangi sidetrip possible and very memorable too.


  1. Reply


    July 12, 2011

    thanks too engr. brennan eul mercado.

  2. Reply


    October 25, 2011

    Hi! I enjoy reading your travel blog. I recently moved to Gensan just this june and would love to visit its outskirts. also I have family visiting this weekend. We would love to visit Kalsangi clubhouse, would you recommend how we could get inside ?

  3. Reply


    October 25, 2011

    I suggest you have to make a prior arrangement/reservation. But unfortunately, I don't have any contact number of Kalsangi.

  4. Reply


    November 9, 2011

    Kalsangi is a PRIVATE facility and therefore you have to ask permission from management (Dole)to be able to access it. It's not all the time that such request will be granted, and it's wrong to assume that for as long as you make a call you can come in. Just like a home, you have to get the owner's permission before being allowed in.

  5. Reply


    November 9, 2011

    Kalsangi is a PRIVATE facility and therefore you have to ask permission from management (Dole) to access it. It is wrong to assume that you can just "make a reservation" as if making a reservation in a restaurant. Liken it to a home – you need to seek permission of the home owner in order to enter his dwelling – and it is not all the time that your request is granted.

  6. Reply


    November 12, 2011

    Hi there. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

    Do you know who we should specifically contact in the DOLE management to ask permission for a Kalsangi visit? I'd like to share that information to my readers too.

  7. Reply


    June 4, 2014

    Hi Brennan! Thank you for featuring Kalsangi in your blog. It brings back childhood memories. I used to visit there when I was in my elementary school years because my Mom's cousin, who was a Dole executive, used to lived in one of those american-type houses. Needless to say, access for me and my family wasn't a problem. Security is indeed very tight in Kalsangi. One of the reasons why local elites prefer to have their kids study in DPS (Dole Philippines School) due to the strict implementation of Kalsangi's "no inside contact, no entry" policy.

    • Reply

      bren mercado |

      June 4, 2014

      Hi there, welcome to Baktin Corporation!
      I'm glad that this entry reminded you of good memories of Kalsangi. We saw those American-type houses along the way, but I'm not sure anymore if we've passed by DPS.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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