General Santos or Gensan on the Philippine island of Mindanao, southeast of Manila is a vibrant urban hub although the surrounding agricultural countryside is the city’s biggest industry together with fishing.You can be sure to get fresh fruit and veggies in General Santos as well as some of the best fish dishes in the Philippines. The fish industry in General Santos specializes in Tuna which earned General Santos the reputation as the”capital of tuna in the Philippines”, delicious fresh produce and catch-of-the-day tuna make Gensan an ideal place for great meals out. Talking of Tuna, the annual Tuna Festival in August has parades, parties, competitions and of courselots of tuna dishes!
If you’re wondering about the strange name for the city, General Santos was one of the 62 leading pioneers who started cultivating the area.
The only boxer in the world to win the world title in 8 weight categories – Manny Pacquiao -is a Filipino and Gensan is his home, he is a multi-talent who has dabbled in music, acting and now represents the province of Sarangani in the Philippines House of Representatives. Manny Pacquiao has featured in Time Magazine, ESPN and countless other publications. From extreme poverty Manny managed to complete his education and rise to be an outstanding example to his Philippine fans, he is proof that dreams can come true.
See and Do in General Santos
Despite being an urban travel destination Gensan has it’s roots in agriculture and is the gate way to a trip up the SOCSKSARGEN coast which has beaches and water sport opportunities as well as nature trails and idyllic countryside. If you prefer nature to city life the nearby Klaja Karst Eco-park is a nature reserve not to miss. Within the eco-park is Kalaja cave, explore the rock formations and take a swim in the water inside the cave. The park also has waterfalls, springs, indigenous plants and campgrounds. If you enjoy the outdoors then also visit Malakong Gorge for some hiking, or you could hike up Nopol Hills for incredible views. For more seasoned climbers try Mount Matutum, one of the highest mountains in Mindanao. Bunga Spring is also a beautiful country area to explore and camp in. There are also beaches in Gensan and excellent diving opportunities.
Near Gensan are several beautiful lakes, Lake Sebu and Lake Maughan both have unique plants and animal life and you can visit the T’bolitribe village and see the tradition way of life, traditional costume and tribal craft making.
General Santos offers a dynamic city experience with the natural wonders of the Philippines only a few moments out of the center. In Gensan you can enjoy the sea, the surrounding countryside paradise and the clubs, restaurants and amenities of the city. Perhaps the best way to experience General Santos is to wake up early and go down to the fisherman’s port to se t he local fishermen docking with their catch of freshly caught fish.