General Santos City, or more commonly called Gensan by locals, is a city that is constantly developing and thriving as the years go on. With its rich culture and richer aquaculture, this province of South Cotabato in Mindanao is a Philippine destination one should consider traveling to.
Though there are not many historical landmarks visitors can explore, there are certain things and places you can try and visit that are surely unique to General Santos alone. This is aside from the many resorts and beaches you can visit in General Santos City. Furthermore, getting to know the city first-hand would still be an adventure on its own.
Welcome to the Tuna Capital of the Philippines
As early 1970, Gensan has already been dubbed as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, with its surpassing amount of total daily catch compared to other fishing ports in thecountry. Today, it boasts a modern fishing port located right smacked in the Sarangani Bay that provides the tastiest tuna for both the local and international markets.
Photo courtesy of Explora PH
If you’re a sucker for good old fresh tuna or any fish for that matter, why not visit the Gensan Fish Port Complex? You can buy the freshest and cheapest ones there. You can also just visit the port to see how the city strives day by day.
Pro tip: If you want to get the best deals for tuna, try going as early as 4 am to see the freshest catch at a very affordable price.
The Pacman Experience
If you don’t know who Manny Pacquaio is or never heard of the name before, then clearly you have been living under a rock for the past decade or so. Nevertheless, if you’re planning to visit Gensan, this particular name would most likely come up several times – sometimes it would even be the first thing to happen!
Photo courtesy of Explora PH
Why - you asked?
Well, Gensan is his hometown, and there is a Pacman Tour that exists – which is offered by several local traveling agencies. The tour showcases several of the current senators’ properties including his mansions, hotel, sports stadium or gym, farm, and beach resort. However, this tour is not just to show and inspire others through this humble man’s triumph and success in life, a portion of this tour goes to their foundation as well.
Together with his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao, they founded the “Emmanuel and Jinkee’s Heart Foundation” which aims to help uplift the socio-economic life of the less fortunate people especially in their hometown through financing several and various activities and livelihood programs.
Eat Your Heart Out
From the most authentic eatery or karinderia to the most scrumptious fancy restaurants, Gensan has lots to offer for the adventurous taste palettes.
Photo courtesy of City Government of GenSan
If you want to eat that fresh seafood Gensan is known for, then head on Tiongson Arcade in Lagao. This gastronomical place hosts delightful options visitors will surely have a hard time where to start and even, end.
For a little more variety, try Awengs Balbacuahan along the National Highway and Chicken Hauz in Dadiangas East. There’s a reason why these two restaurants aren’t so secret anymore.
On the other hand, if you have enough extra money to splurge on a fancy meal, why not try The Peak Garden, Gusteaus Crab Hauz, or the Cotton Bowl Grill and Steak just to name a few.
Experience the Culture
The City of General Santos may seem like a Metropolitan now, however, it is not to say that they weren’t able to preserve the rich culture of their ancestors. With just a few hours away, travelers can visit and experience the indigenous tribe of the T’boli and Ubo community.
Photo courtesy of Explora
There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can either take a day trip and spend lunch with the community or even stay for a few nights to explore and get to know the tribe and the culture that they continue to preserve. You can also visit the many lakes around including Lake Holon and Lake Sebu.
The heart of South Cotabato may not be as developed and visited by tourists like that of Cebu and Davao, nevertheless, it is still very much a city that is begging to be uncovered and explored. So, why not add Gensan to your list of places to visit in the Philippines now?
Planning to head out to visit the Tuna Capital of the Philippines? Book a stay with us in RedDoorz! You will find that we have several hotels within the city – all strategically located to give you easier access to explore this amazing place. With us, we guarantee the best accommodation at the best affordable price.