The B’laan Tribe was the original settlers of General Santos City. They named the place after a native tree that has thorns on its trunk and stems and grew abundantly in the area called the Dadiangas. It is now a protected species. Dadiangas was later renamed to General Santos City after the city’s pioneer, General Paulino Santos.
It is also popularly known as the Tuna capital of the Philippines because of the abundance of Yellow Fin Tuna and other high-grade tuna found in its waters. More recently, it has become popular for being the home of boxing champions, Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire. Ms. Universe 2011 1st Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup and Pinoy Big Brother 5th female Big Winner Melai Cantiveros also call General Santos City their home.
General Santos City is bounded by the municipalities of Sarangani Province namely Alabel in the East of the city, and Maasim in the South. The city is likewise bounded by South Cotabato municipality of Polomolok and Sarangani Province municipality of Malungon in the north, and the municipality of T'boli in the west of the city. General Santos City celebrates two main festivals each year: the Kalilangan Festival in February and the Tuna Festival in September.
Where To Go:
The Pacman mansion of People’s Champ and now Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao has become a tourist spot perfect for photo ops. Though not open to the public, tourists still make it a point to have a go-see and photo shoot at its gates. The Mt. Sabrina Resort in Tambler is just 25 minutes away from downtown area and is the perfect place for a much needed R & R. Cases of beer are submerged in the cold waters of Olaer Springs Resort to make it cold and refreshing while enjoying the break from the city life. General Santos City is the gateway to the many adventures waiting in Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat Provinces.
1). Sarangani: The long stretch of coastline from Makar to Maasim, Kiamba and Maitum, Sarangani provide for boundless adventure. There’s the Lemlunay Divespot in Maasim for a romantic sunset dinner or dive exploration. Kiamba for the IML EcoPark and Tuka Marine Park. Maitum for the Wild Water Tubing. Going East of General Santos City, you can go out and gaze and laze at the white sand beaches of Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani.
2.) The Province of South Cotabato’s pride is Lake Sebu for the 7 falls zipline, delicious tilapia dishes, T’Boli T’nalak weaving, brassware and beadworks.
3.) Sultan Kudarat: the unspoiled Balot Island is a welcome getaway.
Where To Eat:
Ranchero’s for the seafood platter; Tiongson Arcade and Marietta’s Barbeque for delicious yet affordable barbequed dishes; Gusteaus Crabhouse for finger licking good garlicky crabs and Arpochees for their crabs and native chicken; for the chicken barbeque fanatic, its Nadie’s Chicken House. Euro Kitchen and Big Ben Steak House for best tasting juicy steaks. Phela Grande for its Pancit Lauriat with clams. Restaurants all over the city prepare tuna dishes in various ways. Sarangani Highlands has a restaurant that overlooks Sarangani Bay and offers romantic dinners. It also has a hotel.
Generals sing the night away at the Magic City Family KTV or just talk, dine, wine at VBar and Pahayhay Restobar. Pasalubong: GenSan’s Corn Husk Crafts at the Pasalubong Center.
How to get there:
By Air: PAL flies between Manila and General Santos City once a day. PAL also flies between Cebu and General Santos City once a day on PAL Express flights.
By Sea: Makar Wharf is the main international port of General Santos City. Superferry leaves Manila on Saturday and arrives in General Santos on a Tuesday. Other shipping lines also have once a week trips to the city. Travel time is usually 3 days and 2 nights.
By Land: It is 2 ½-3 hours away from Davao City.
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