Asia > Southeast Asia > Philippines > Mindanao > SOCCSKSARGEN > General Santos
General Santos City or "GenSan" is in the province of South Cotabato in the Philippines. It is a highly urbanized city located at the southern portion of South Cotabato, but perhaps its biggest claim to fame is that boxer Manny Pacquiao is a native. It is known as "The Tuna Capital of the Philippines". General Santos is also home to a lot of media practitioners and media companies.
The average temperature in the city is 28° Celsius with a maximum of 36°C. There are only two seasons: the wet season starts in June and continues to October, the dry season then carries on to May. General Santos is outside the typhoon belt.
People from GenSan are mostly Roman Catholics. There are also a large number of Protestants and Muslims in the city. Every February, the city celebrates the Kalilangan Festival. And every September as also the celebration of the city chartered anniversary the Gensan Tuna Festival.
Cebuano is the main language spoken in General Santos City and the surrounding communities. Tagalog and English are spoken as the National Language.
GenSan Seaport no longer has ferry trips from Manila, Zamboanga, or Iloilo. To get a ferry you must travel to Cagayan de Oro or Iligan City ports.
- Yellow Bus Lines - travels from Davao City, Koronadal City and the Upper Valley areas.
- Mindanao Star - travels from Davao City and Koronadal City.
- Rural Transit travels from Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro.
- Husky bus lines travels from Koronadal and Cotabato City.
There are also vans going from Glan (57 km) for ₱80. Takes one hour. The Van Terminal is next to the KCC mall. There are also big jeepneys going from Lagao Market going to Glan.
The a/c bus fare from General Santos to Koronadal is ₱95 and takes 1½ hours.
The a/c bus fare on Mindanao Star or Yellow bus lines from General Santos to Davao costs ₱240. It takes up to 3 hours.
The Mindanao Star one-stop bus with aircon from Gensan to Davao costs ₱240 and takes 3 hours.
The Yellow bus lines non-stop fare from Gensan to Davao is ₱300 and takes 2½ hours.
There are 5 Rural Transit buses a day from General Santos going to Cagayan de Oro the last one departs at 7AM.
The bus fare from General Santos to Valencia Bukidnon is ₱500 and the trip takes 7 hours.
After 7AM you can take a bus to CDO by going first too Tacurong city. there are many buses from Tacurong going to Bukidnon and CDO.
Jeepneys, multi cabs and tricycles (₱8) are the main modes of transportation within the city. White air-conditioned taxis, with meters installed, are also available.
- Mount Matutum (North of the city). An active volcano, approximately 5.7 km from Acmonan, Tupi, South Cotabato. Adjacent volcanic edifices are Landayao, Tampad, and Albulhek to the west of the volcano, and Magolo to the north. There is a well-preserved 320-m wide crater at the volcano's summit. The crater is breached by three gorges and has a 120-m deep, densely forested floor. The great view of Matutum is seen in Barangay Pagalungan, Polomolok, with some plantation of pineapples and Barangay Mabuhay and San Isidro in General Santos City.
- Klaja Ecopark. An ecological preservation park 15 km (9.3 mi) off the central business district on the north-east side of city in Barangay Conel. Klaja Karsts Land derived its name from “Kalaha” ("frying pot") as it looked like one due to the surrounding towers of karsts formation naturally formed millions of years ago. It produced natural waterfalls and caves. Opposite is the ranch and camping ground of Nopol Hills, which borders Barangays Conel and Mabuhay. Nopol Hills offers visitors a wide scenic overview of the entire city, as well as the Sarangani Bay and parts of South Cotabato and Sarangani Province.
- Gen. Paulino Santos Museum, Marist Ave., ☎ . In the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, it is the first formal museum in the city. It showcases the memorabilia of General Paulino Santos and the first settlers of the city who flocked to the area now known as General Santos City. It also features cultural artifacts of South Cotabato province.
- Several festivals' are also celebrated in General Santos. Among these festivals are:
- Kalilangan Festival. General Santos City celebrates the Kalilangan every month of February. "Kalilangan" means 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. The festival is being Spearheaded by the Mindanao State University upon which have garnered awards as the countries best native or local festival three years in succession.
- Tuna Festival. Thanksgiving and festivities are being celebrated annually through its Tuna Festival during the Last week of August and the first week of September highlighting on its main industry which is the Tuna fishing. This is also in line with the celebration of the city's charter anniversary which falls every 5 September and is also being set as the culmination day for the Tuna Festival. Aside from parades and showcases, numerous culinary competitions are being held to promote sumptuous tuna-based cuisines and other delectable meals made from fresh sea food.
- Yaman Gensan. Yaman Gensan is an annual event in Gensan that celebrates and promotes local entrepreneurs. It is celebrated in July. Tuna products, T'nalak, Malong and other tribal objects are shown and sold.
- Paskuhan sa Gensan. The city celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, in this event. It is celebrates from December 17 to the countdown of New Year, Colorful lanterns, giant Christmas tree and Gensan Barangay Christmas House competition are in the event as are Paskuhan sa Gensan Street Dancing, choir group and Christmas Dance.
- Sto. Nino Patronal Fiesta. This one-day celebration in the city is celebrated every 15th of January. It is the same as the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City. Colorful amphibians, Sr. Santo Nino's Grotto and street dancing. This annual and patronal festival is celebrating in Barangay Bula.
- Diving at south divers point
- Beach at Gumasa, 120 minutes away from General Santos
- Golf at Sarangani Golf Club (Sarangani Province) or Kalasangi Golf Club (Polomolok)
Shopping malls & supermarkets
- Fitmart Gensan Supermarket, Downtown Proper, Roxas West.
- Gaisano Mall & Gaisano Supermarket., J. Catolico St., Lagao beside SOCOTECO II-Gensan. 9AM-8PM.
- KCC Mall of Gensan, J. Catolico St., Lagao GSC. 9AM-8PM. Has a KCC supermarket.
- Robinsons Place Gensan & Robinsons Supermarket, Bula - Lagao Road, Lagao GSC. 9am-8pm.
- SM City General Santos & Savemore supermarket, Santiago Blvd., Lagao GSC. 10AM-8PM.
- Unitop Department Store, Magsaysay Avenue. 9AM-8PM.
Tuna is widely available in the city and is a part of the local cuisine along with a lot of other fresh seafood. Popular dishes include grilled tuna belly dipped in soy sauce with onions and chili, and Sinuglaw that comprises grilled meat mixed with Kinilaw (Filipino vinegar-based ceviche), while fried banana and turón is made from fresh local bananas. A wide range of dining establishments have popped up elsewhere in the city offering local and foreign cuisine.
- Pahayahay Restobar (love all feed all) (located along J. Catolico between Petron and Phoenix gas stations), ☎ . 24 hours. Good music, great food, reggae feel.
- Bee Stop Restaurant (Bee), Santiago Boulevard GSC (In front of Gillamacs Building). A place where the best garlic, buttered and fried chicken can be found.
- Sarangani Highlands, Tambler, General Santos City.
- Fagioli, Petron Gasoline Station, Jose Catolico Ave., Lagao. if you just want to relax & have coffee. ideal time to visit will be during mid-afternoons when it isn't crowded. nice ambiance. bring along your laptop as the whole place is WI-FI enabled.
- Chicken Hauz, South Osmeña. Very casual atmosphere but if you try out their famous "garlic chicken", you will crave more.
- Mang Gorio's Bahay Kainan, National Highway.
- Paseo del Sol, National Highway.
- Ranchero, National Highway.
- La Veranda, National Highway.
- Grab-A-Crab, Laurel East Ave..
- Orange Bistro, Jose Catolico Ave., Lagao.
- Casa Goatan, Bulaong Subdivision, ☎ .
- KCC Mall of Gensan Merienda Buffet, Kcc Mall. J Catolico Street (lower ground floor fronting kcc supermarket). 2PM-6PM. All you can eat. ₱79.
- bee stop chicken house (bee), santiago boulevard (general santos city). Bee Stop is serving a delicious garlic chicken. Also available: buttered and fried chicken.
- Goldenstate College Cafeteria, Bakeshoppe and Catering Service, Pioneer Ave corner Acharon Boulevard, ☎ . Food center, bakery, and catering service.
- Rolands Steak House, Jose Catolico Ave. Lagao. Rolands serve the very best steak in the whole of GenSan city. Well worth a visit. Casual atmosphere but the service is good.
- Nelsons Market, General Santos City. Good seafood and tuna
- Janna's Inasal de Cebu, National Highway, General Santos City. Excellent lechon.
- Tatay Pepe's Restobar, along Laurel East Street (in front of Bayantel Office), ☎ . 7pm-1am. Enjoy live entertainment nightly, rain or shine- beginning 9:30PM to 1AM with acoustic modern, alternative and contemporary music and a little bit of love songs.
- Marasa Grill, #41 Kadulasan St. (near Lea's Pension), ☎ . 7AM-3PM. Marasa Grill serves lutong bahay and grilled meat and seafood. It also accepts catering for all occasions. It is open for breakfast and lunch. ₱49-120.
- Blugre Coffee, JMP Bldg, S. Osmena Street (2 blocks East of Municipal Hall). 8:30AM-midnight. The atmosphere is very comfortable with jazz music. Good desserts and light meals to go with espresso coffees, teas, iced-blended drinks, and excellent fresh-squeezed lemonade.
- Big Ben's, Robinson's Mall. Known for delicious steak, there are also many local options of good Filipino food. A very nice atmosphere with warm service.
- East Asia Royale Hotel, National Highway, General Santos City.
- Sydney Hotel, Pendatun Ave.. ₱1340/2000.
- MLoft Business Hotel, Salvani St. (between Aparente and Mabuhay Rd.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel in a quiet but accessible location, provides ample parking, wheel-chair friendly. ₱1500- 1850.
Budget under ₱1000
- Leas Pension House, Champaca and Rambutan Streets, ☎ . Has 40 rooms. Small single fan rooms with own bathroom. Single A/C rooms with own bathroom. A/C double rooms with own bathroom. all rooms have cable TV. ₱450/575/650.
- Matutum Hotel, P Acharon Boulevard, ☎ . 62 fan and a/c rooms with own bathrooms. ₱300/650.
- DSWD Dormitory, Roxas East Aveune. Fan dorm beds. ₱200 per person.
- UCCP Christian Center, 32 Munasque Street, ☎ . Fan dorm beds. ₱150 per person.
- Jeds Haven, Rambutan Street, ☎ . A/C single/double rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. ₱480/545.
- Limelily Pension, 60 Sampaguita Street Purok Bagong Silang (700 m from Makar wharf. Labangal), ☎ , . Rather far from downtown, this place has small fan and a/c double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. ₱450/550.
- Residencia Heneral Travelers Inn, R D Bldg Pioneer Avenue, ☎ , . Not so clean fan double rooms with outside bathroom. A/C double outside bathroom. All rooms are good for two persons. Free Wi-fi. ₱300/400.
- Princefield Express Inn, Marcos Avenue, ☎ , . A/C double rooms with cable TV and own bathroom. 12 hours ₱250. 24 hours ₱500.
- La Mirada Travelers Inn, Pukok 19 National Highway San Vicente Lagao (500 m from Lagao public market), ☎ . Big very clean a/c double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. Has free Wi-Fi in all rooms. sells breakfasts and drinks. ₱450.
- Renshani Inn, Puork 19 National Highway San Vicente Lagao (400 m from Lagao Public Market), ☎ . Fan double rooms with own bathrooms and TV. A/C double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. All rooms have free Wi-Fi. Has a nice garden. ₱350/450.
- Kalilangan Travellers Inn, Ragah Moda Bula GSC (next to the Coca Cola Bottling Bula.), ☎ . A/C double rooms with own bathrooms. ₱450.
- Dolores Hotel, Santiago Boulevard (next to main market), ☎ , . Single non air-conditioned standard room. ₱350/750.
- Green Bee Square Inn, papaya street (near Pioneer Avenue), ☎ . A/C double room with own bathroom and cable TV. Has a nice garden to sit in. ₱600.
- Alca Suites & Pension House, Diamond Street Munda Subdivision. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Double A/C room with own bathroom, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. ₱650.
- Bureau of Immigration General Santos Office Ground floor Robinsons Mall. J Catolico Sr Avenue.
- General Santos District Hospital. Fernandez Street. +63 83-3020759. Government Hospital.
- General Santos Social Hygiene Clinic City Health office. Fernandez Street. +63 83-3020759. Free STD-HIV testing.
- Generika Drug Store Nunez Street.