General Santos City

General Santos City

What to see in General Santos City?  General Santos City or GenSan for short, is not the kind of place a regular tourist will have in mind. But for a traveler like me, even though GenSan lacks the usual tourist destinations, it is still a notable place to explore and stay in.

This thriving city found on the shores of South Cotabato is famous for its annual Tuna Festival. What’s more interesting is we always hear its name being brought up in the media every time our Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao has a fight for he hails from here.

Heneral Paulino Santos Plaza

Last November, my friend and I traveled to South Cotabato and chose GenSan as our jump-off point towards Lake Sebu. We also had a more-than-pleasant stay in Microtel GenSan which I suddenly miss now.

Upon arriving in GenSan, which is about two hours from Manila, we had a quick lunch at SM GenSan and rested for a bit before we explored the city. I have read a little bit about the place before our trip but found nothing of much interest. GenSan, I found out, is actually a melting pot of business industries but is slowly trying to catch up with its neighboring towns when it comes to tourism.

General Santos City Hall

We visited the City Hall and was hoping to get some information on what we can do around.  We talked to Ate (sorry I forgot her name already) from the front desk and she advised us that if we wanted to see beaches and old houses, we will need to travel to Glan, Saranggani which is about an hour from there. She also reminded us to visit Lake Sebu which we did the following day.  

General Santos City was established first as a municipality in August 18, 1947 
then incorporated into cityhood in 1968. 


After a short chat with her, we parted and just walked across the park and admired the landscapes. Gen. Santos’ monument was under some tarpaulin. The park was undergoing some renovations.  


General Santos City’s original people are called B’laan, one of the indigenous people of Southern Mindanao. But its migrant settlers surprisingly came from Luzon island headed by General Paulino Santos before WWII. It is the southernmost city in the Philippines and is classified as a first class city.

Legal vs Illegal Tricycles
If you are visiting Gen San, hail trikes similar to the one in the background
(yellow numbering, green plate)
Illegal trikes (those are who do not have proper franchise) are abound in the city


We did not get the chance to visit the fish port to see the world-famous tuna. But I know that I will see myself coming back since I heard that there are a number of good diving spots just an hour’s drive from the city proper. And that is a very good reason to visit GenSan once more. 🙂


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How To Get Here
General Santos City can be reached by any domestic airline from Manila and other major domestic airports. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and a half.  It is just under three hours from Davao City by bus while Lake Sebu is just two hours away. Gumasa Beach of Glan is just a short one-hour drive away too. You can choose staying at Microtel Gensan for a more relaxed stay.



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