Location

Alabel, as the capital town of Sarangani Province, lies between latitudes 6° 2.5’ and 6° 17.5’ North, and between longitudes 125° 14’ and 125° 36’ East, about 1,150 radial kilometers, southeast of Manila, 545 radial kilometers Southeast of Cebu, 166 radial kilometers South of Davao City and 15 radial kilometers East of General Santos City. It is strategically located in the eastern side of the Province of Sarangani, bounded on the North by the Municipality of Malungon, on the South and East by the Municipality of Malapatan, and on the west by the City of General Santos and Sarangani Bay.

The municipality can be reached from Manila via plane or ship through General Santos City International Airport and Makar Wharf, respectively. An hour and forty-five minutes plane ride from Manila to General Santos and another 30 minutes ride of private vehicle to the municipality’s central business district (CBD) in Barangay Poblacion. Alabel can also be reached by taking a thirty- minute ride on taxi or any public transport vehicle from GenSan airport. From Davao City, one can take a passenger bus going to General Santos City and catch a public jeepney or multicabs going to Poblacion and other neighboring barangays of Alabel.

Land Area

Based on the approved 2004 DENR-LMB survey, the total land area of the Municipality of Alabel is 51,098.27 hectares or 510.98 square kilometers, more or less, about 12.82 percent of the total land area of Sarangani Province (398,664 hectares).  Among the thirteen (13) barangays of the municipality, Datal Anggas has the largest share of land area with 10,301.77 hectares or 20.16 percent, followed by Barangay Domolok with10,299.51 hectares.  Ladol which is the newly created barangay in 2012, has the least share of land area with only 138.60 hectares or 0.27 percent of the municipality’s land area.

The town’s central business district and its settlement development are found in the urban communities wherein three barangays are considered. These are the barangays of Poblacion, Maribulan and Kawas while the rest are rural communities.

Slope

Alabel’s topography ranges from flatland to mountainous/rolling. Its major mountain ranges are mount Madpad, Beehive Peak and Mount Latian which serves as the boundary between Sarangani Province and Davao Occidental. The municipality’s terrain is classified into six major slope categories: 0-3%, 3-8%, 8-18% 18-30%, 30-50% and 50% and above.

The western portion is a vast fertile land with slopes ranging from 0-18% covering a total area of about 24,041.74 hectares or 47.05percent of the municipality’s total land area. This type is highly suitable both for cultivation and urban development.

The central portion down to the eastern end of the municipality’s land territory is characterized by rolling to mountainous terrain extensively expanding to almost 18 to 50% of the entire land area or 16,520.07 hectares. These lands belong to the priority areas for forest production and industrial tree plantation.

The very steep and mountainous part of the municipality’s land territory, with slope of 50% and above, covers approximately 10,536.46 hectares. These are situated at the northern portion within the barangays of Alegria, Paraiso, Datal Anggas and Pag-asa. Out of these areas, only ¼ has the remaining forest cover. This category is reserve for forest protection purposes.

Elevation

Elevation is the land attribute that influences crop adaptation due to its relationship with temperature. Only 21.88 percent of Alabel has an elevation of less than 100 meters above mean sea level. There are about 28.90 percent of land areas with 100 to 300 meters elevation suitable for various upland crops. The warm cool hilly land within 300 to 500 meters elevation consist of 21.22 percent are suitable for agro-forestry and tree crops including coconut. Warm cool hilly highland with elevation 500 to 1000 meters are suitable for forestry and wildlife sanctuary.

Drainage

There are three (3) major rivers and two (2) large creeks which serve as the natural drainage of the municipality. Among these rivers are Lun Padidu River, Buayan River and Maribulan River with two (2) tributary rivers upstream, namely Latian and Tubay Rivers. The two creeks traverses at the center of Poblacion, the Muleh Creek and Bialong Creek. These rivers and creeks discharge water to Sarangani Bay. There are also concrete drainage system in Alabel consists of networks of concrete and earthen canals with reinforced concrete pipes installed along the roads in C.P. Garcia St., Dionisio P. Lim, Sr. Ave. and along national highway from Provincial Capitol to Barangay Kawas.

Climate

The Philippines has a tropical climate dominated by a rainy season and a dry season. The mean annual temperature is about 27°C. The hottest months and their average temperatures are 28.4°C for the month of May, 27.9°C for the month of June and 27.8°C for the month of April. The coldest months and their average temperatures are 25.5°C for the month of January, 25.8°C for the month of February and 26.1°C for the month of December.

Alabel and the rest of Sarangani Province areas belong to type IV climate as classified by PAGASA (1994), with rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year with no pronounced rain periods. This Climate type is excellent for agriculture, fisheries andaquaculture. The northeast monsoon starts from November to March and the southwest monsoon from June to October. The wind during the southwest monsoon arrives from a southerly direction with an average speed of 2 m/s (DENR-SMICZMP, 2003).

As the adjacent area, Alabel adopted the data of General Santos City on rainfall and temperature distribution. The annual average rainfall in Alabel was 934 mm in 2005, 825.9 mm in 2006 and 1152.2 mm in 2007. The year annual rainfall trend indicates an increasing precipitation every year except in 2006. The highest value of annual rainfall (1,152.2 mm) is still very low compared to the national figures (more than 4,000 mm) principally due to the absence of a tropical cyclone passing through the municipality, however, rainfall patterns may have contributed to some flash floods occurrences in the area.

The hottest months and their average temperatures are March with 28.4°C, April with 29.4°C, and May with 28.6°C. The coldest months and their average temperatures are August with 65.8°C, July with 27.0°C and September with 27.5°C. The average temperature for the past number of years was recorded at around 27.9 o C. Relative humidity ranged from 78 to 80 percent.

It is, however, noted that the temperature is slowly increasing every year at an average of 0.15 percent. This indicates that the province is already experiencing climate change though still in a lesser degree.