General Santos City- The Tuna Capital of the Philippines, called Dadiangas by the locals is just a 3-hour ride from Davao City. Famous for its boxing champ Manny “Pacman’ Pacquiao is a new and safe destination in Southern Mindanao.
I was able to tour it for two days with lots of sleeping during my ISANGDAAN Journey since I’m not in a hurry. But for those who doesn’t have the luxury time like me a day tour in this booming city is enough. General Santos City is a perfect hub for those wanting to tour SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani and Gen. Santos) or Region .
Places of interest in the region include Lake Sebu, Mt. Matutum, Sultan Kudarat Capitol, Glan White Beach and the Tuna Fishport in GenSan City.
Some Places of Interest:
1. Pacquiao Mansion. Filipinos love stories of rags to riches like that of Manny Pacquiao who was recently defeated by American boxer Timothy Bradley. A poor boxer from the Dadiangas rising to fame and becoming the pound-for-pound king. His face always landing on magazine covers and whenever he has a fight the Philippines experiences its lowest crime rate. People love him. One can ask any taxi driver in the city where to find his residence and people go there to have her photos in front of it. I’m a fan but I didn’t do this yet.
2. Plaza Heneral. Plaza Heneral is actually a big rotunda, the center of the city where you can find the city hall. By nightfall, the plaza comes alive with stalls selling different kinds of street foods from mango shake to fishballs. Its a place where skaters, bmx riders, break dancers and joggers converge. They have their respective spots inside the plaza. You will also find a big monument dedicated to whom this town is named- Gen. Paulino Santos.
3. Tuna Fish Port. I wasn’t able to visit this when I first visited the city last year so I don’t want to miss the opportunity again. This means that I have to get up as early as 5:00am. The fish port is the most modern in the Philippines, thanks to USAID and Japan’s donation of US$220M, they wanted to make sure that the tuna being exported are of good quality.
How to get to GenSan Tuna Fish Port?
1. Habal-habal can be hired at Plaza Heneral for Php50, travel time to Fish Port is 15minutes. Just present an ID at the gate and tell the guard that you want to take photos of the tuna. Please wear a shoes, they don’t allow slippers inside.
2. There is a tourism center inside about 5minutes away from the main gate. Ask the staff and rent a boots for Php20. From there you can take as many photos as you want. People inside the fish port are quite used to tourist and would gladly smile with their catch.
Note: Its better to be at the fish port before 6:30am so you can see the big tuna fishes being unloaded straight from the big bancas parked at pier 1.
1. Kabayan Nelson FoodMaxx. You choose what you like from the food displayed outside- sinigang or grill its ‘lami’ (delicious). I love their sinigang na hipon and grilled tuna and squid. It’s located at Santiago Blvd cor East Laurel Avenue.
2. BigBen Steaks and Grills. Since I was craving for some tuna, Kuya Avel brought me to BigBen for some grilled tuna and fish tacos. The owner gladly provided for our dinner with buck shake. It’s in Robinsons Mall.
3. Blugre’s Coffee. Kuya Avel’s friend invited us for some coffee at Blugre after the sumptuous dinner. Along with coffee, I ordered durian cheesecake which became my favorite ever since. It was so damn good that I slowly let every piece melt into my mouth as I wash it with sips of coffee.
Where I stayed?
Since I’m on a budget I booked a room at Residencia Heneral Traveller’s Inn. They have backpacker’s room for only Php220, AC rooms for Php400.
The city is replete with big malls, SM, Robinsons, Gaisano and KCC. I guess the people from Cotabato and Lanao go here to shop. Since GenSantos City is a boom city and I guess everyone benefits from it. Good job Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio.
How to save fare form the airport to the city?
if you don’t have that big cargoes, you can take the multi-cab from the airport that will bring you to downtown, you can asked to be dropped of at the City Hall. Fare: Php50
___ ___ ___
This blog is a product of Days 60 and 61 of ISANGDAAN Journey when I visited Gen. Santos City for the second time. Thanks goes to Sir Avel of www.gensantos.com for helping me out while touring the city and Ms. Donna for sponsoring my accommodation at Plaza Heneral for two nights.
#ISANGDAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days. The book “ISANGDAAN” will be out soon!
If you want to follow my steps, I have an interactive map- ISANGDAAN Journey map.