Complete and Unabridged Version
Smile Magazine’s Trip Journal Feature, Aug and Sept 2013
See & Do: When you get to GenSan, it’s a must to swing by the General Paulino Santos Museum located inside the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) and get the lowdown of the the city’s history through the memorabilia of its late founder, General Santos and other pioneers as well as cultural artifacts from the indigenous tribes. If you’re looking for the freshest tuna and other marine produce, there’s no other place to go to than the source itself in Brgy. Tambler, the 11-hectare Fishport Complex, which receives fresh cargo from local and international vessels. Find the vibe of the city by hanging out at Plaza Heneral Santos in Pendatun Avenue and at Piyesta KTV Bar where you can enjoy its famous cocktail towers, and their bestsellers pork sisig and tuna lumpiang shanghai that will definitely satisfy both your appetite and value for money.
For a comfortable stay at GenSan, try Hotel San Marco, a sophisticated but affordable hotel located at the heart of the city. This newly-built boutique hotel features 28 elegantly designed rooms and amenities, as well services such as books adventure, countryside, and educational tours around the city that truly spell a traveler’s relaxation amidst the busy din of the city. (http://www.hotelsanmarco.com.ph/
Eat: Chomp down on good eats when you visit C Bistro at Valley High, well known for its Grilled Big Eye Tuna Belly. There’s also Chika-an at KCC Veranza, which flavorful Garlic Buttered Shrimp among other of its tasty dishes merits multiple visits. Visit Little Bangkok at SM for its Pad Thai or stir-fried noodles with shrimps, a must-try for anyone looking for a filling meal.
Shop: For souvenirs, shop at the FairTrade Shop or GenSan Pasalubong Center located in Elan Building 3 at Roxas East Avenue. It is where local fair trade products are sold. Must buys are the tuna skin pops or tuna chicharon and the taro chips.
Must Try: Thrill-seekers will find the adrenalin-rush they’re looking for at the Fifth Mountain of Balakayo Adventure Park. For only P250, you can scream your lungs out riding the longest zipline ride in the South Central Mindanao and the third in the country, the 800 meter Yankee Line, which takes its riders over a 2,000 meter drop ridge through the highest peaks of Balakayo at a thrilling speed of 80 kms per hour. You can also ride X-zipline, the park’s shorter zipline at 400 meters, which delivers a slower speed of 30-40 kms and lands at the lower part of the clubhouse.
Insider Tip: Watch out for GenSan’s cultural celebration, the Kalilangan Festival held every February. Here you will find a pageantry of the many indigenous cultures present in the city. The festival also coincides with the city’s Foundation Day so tourists and locals are treated to more than a week of celebration and festivities.
Trivia about the Destination: One of the reasons why GenSan was dubbed the Tuna Capital of the Philippines is for producing the largest supply of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines. It is also currently home to seven tuna processing plants in the country.