General Santos City also known as GenSan is located at the southernmost part of the Philippines. It is the gateway to the Soccsksargen region wherein each provinces has its diverse sights, culture and adventures. The city's major trade and industry is mainly agro-industry and fishing industry. It is said that the city is the largest producers of tuna in the Philippines, thus it has been tagged as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”.
Like any other provinces here in the Philippines, General Santos City has its own festival to celebrate also. The city celebrates the Kalilangan Festival every month of February. "Kalilangan" signifies festival, festivity or jubilation.
“It is a social gathering marked by exchanging of amenities among traditional leaders, elders, allies and subordinates in varying tones. In a broader perspective, Kalilangan projects a positive and dynamic meaning for it engulfs the artistic, humane and altruistic aspects of social interaction that takes place in any occasion or celebration. Kalilangan is a noble tradition. It is a complete work of art nourished and nurtured by rich cultural heritage that has withstand the test of time from generation to generation.” – Wikipedia.com
Amigotel Hotel & Suites. The hotel is formerly known as Anchor Hotel. Situated nearby the public market and placed in central area of the city, Amigotel is a good choice when staying at General Santos City. With friendliest rates starting at PHP 150.00 per night for Amigo Rooms and up to PHP 999.00 per night for Executive Suites, I have to say the hotel is a good accommodation for tourists and travellers on a budget.
Me and Maricar stayed in a Twin Standard (air con) room for PHP 575.00 per night. It has 2 single-size beds, private toilet with hot & cold shower, 21-inch cable TV, dresser & telephone.
The room looks so big for us that few persons can still fit in, just pay for an extra mattress.
The hotel has coffee bar and restaurant, free wifi at the lobby and secured parking spaces.
What I like about the hotel aside from the affordable rates are the friendly and very accommodating staff. They were attentive in every favor we asked, which I think hotel staff should be.
What I just don’t like is how the hallway looks like. It looks creepy at times most specially the halls in the second/third floor. It feels like abandoned. I suggest the hotel must place something there for an additional amenities.
Getting around the city. The main transportation in the city is by tricycle or moped for rent (habal habal). Tricycle fare is about PHP 8.00 to PHP 10.00 depending on the destination.
My first day in the city was spent strolling around the malls. Actually, I didn’t plan to visit any malls but because of a mishap that my camera battery was drained and the charger was not with me, I need to get to the mall and looked for an extra battery or charger. I’ve been to KCC Mall, Gaisano Mall and Robinson’s Mall. Afterall, I was still unfortunate not to find one. Good thing I brought my point and shoot camera. I just bear on taking pictures using it.
Aside from these malls, here are some of the tourist spots in General Santos City that might be of your interest to visit:
- The Dr. Jose Rizal Monument of Gen. Santos City
- The Gen. Paulino Santos, Sr. Monument
- Freedom Park
- Plaza Heneral Santos
- Queen Tuna Park
- Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish
- Mindanao State University
General Santos City as being “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”, we planned to eat on a local restaurant that offers tuna dish on our first night together. Sadly, all the restaurants we've been to are already closed on that hour. ;(
Because we’re already tired roaming around, we just settled eating our dinner at Jo’s Chicken Inato. Not a bad alternative for a restaurant after all, we enjoyed eating our orders and most especially the buko halo-halo.
On our second night, we also asked the hotel staff on where we can eat cheap and they suggest that there are carinderia inside the public market. We wanted to try to but it was already late, the market was already closed. So we just had our dinner on a fast food chain inside the mall.
Where to buy Tuna? The nicest place to buy fresh tuna is at the freeport where the fish being sold is cheaper than other places you can buy them. The fishport is located in Tambler. For pre-cut tuna, these are available on local stores selling frozen tuna products. You can visit the following stores, Pacific Seas, Citra Mina, RDEX and Jobit Tuna Deli.
Me and Maricar bought frozen tuna products at RDEX as the store is just located at RD Plaza which is quite near from our hotel.
Our trip to Soccsksargen was full of adventures and misadventures. Some incidents that taught me things about travelling. That travel isn’t about plan or following the plan after all. Just let it happen. Take everything that comes to our way positively.
General Santos City
Amigotel Hotel & Suites
Formerly Anchor Hotel
Santiago Blvd., General Santos City
Telephones: ( 083 ) 552-4574 / 552-4660