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Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Melbourne, Australia
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Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

General Santos, Mindanao would not be the first destination of choice for the vast majority of Filipino or foreign tourists. Its claim to fame is probably its tuna fishing and canneries.

Having said that, my recent visit gave me the impression that to a small extent at least, this quite reasonable sized smaller city may be about to awaken a little more from its tourism slumber.

The existing range of hotels or other accommodation is not stunning, but I gather that three new hotels are under construction. This is usually a good sign as hoteliers do their research and try not to simply be altruists.

The city is safe, as are the areas on either side, at least for 40 kilometres north and 60 kilometres south as I travelled. The three malls (elderly Gaisano, newer KCC and quite new Robinsons) are about to be joined in a month or so by a decent sized SM City (which would have Robinsons worried I imagine).

I found one decent nipa hut themed resort 55 kilometres south of the city: see my TA reviews for the town of Glan.

People were friendly, not that this is anything novel for Philippines and the balmy weather a contrast to rainy Manila in early July 2012.

GenSan won't be the next Boracay, but it may slowly attract a few more tourists especially given the convenient Cebu Pacific flight times and the efforts of other carriers such as Airphilexpress to link GenSan by air to both Mactan Airport, Cebu and growing Iloilo, Panay.

26 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Here is the link to the Glan seaside accommodation that I discuss above:

tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g1065329-d21…

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Most foreigners do NOT think Gen San is safe and most will not visit Davao either. This is not correct, but from my friends and we have many in Gen San, they all warn NOT to travel too far away from the city. Even the bus between Gen San and Davao has been hit in the recent past and is stopped many times along the way by military or they ride on board. I do NOT agree that Gen San is as safe as you present it Vic " for 40 kilometers north and 60 kilometers south" Because you had no problems, does not mean its safe. We have friends who live much closer and they advise us to better go home at night to Gen San city.

We have been there about 12 times and that is my take. Also, Gen San is famous for Pineapple, some of the best in the country and the home of the famous fighter we all know Pac Man. We actually toured the grounds of his home.

Gen San is a great place to hang out and we are very happy it is not yet overrun with foreign tourists. When we see them, we tend do glance as they do to us as there are not that many there.

richmond
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3. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

What is wrong with the military putting checkpoints? and why is it not ok for military to ride on buses? as far as i know military checkpoints are put up to check/prevent the movement of bad people.. They are suppose to be there to provide security and peace to the residents in that area. And lefto is saying the opposite! What the..!

Again leftover, have you experienced it yourself? or you heard it again from somebody else!

I have some relatives who serve in the philippine military and they are the nicest people i know.

If RCMP/police here in Vancouver, Canada put up check points at night does it mean that this place is not safe anymore? or is it that they just want catch people drinking and driving.. Same as in some parts in Mindanao, government soldiers want to catch the bad guys..now don't you like it?

Gen San is one of the nicest places i have visited before, Im sure it is way better now. The weather there too is way more sunny than the rest of the country especially in this time of the year. Victorialand's perception about this place is somewhat accurate IMHO. thanks!

Edited: 10 July 2012, 05:49
Oslo, Norway
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4. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

archer, I suggest that you read before you write. >>>We have been there about 12 times and that is my take.<<< Nothing wrong with military on buses, its great, but with that said, it means there is a safety issue, diba. In the Philippines, where there is a strong presence it means there are bad guys. This means safety is a concern and it is on that route. Archer, I dont talk what others say, I talk on all my postings from what I see and experience.

We have taken that bus more than once and would do it more, but hard to get my husbands legs in between the seats.

We love Gen San with cautions as stated from experience.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

leftie and archer, all I can report is that every local to whom I talked, including many who has no obvious vested interest - they were not tourism operators at Glan, for instance - stated that this area was safe from attack by MILF or any other unsavoury groups.

As a foreigner, it's not possible for me to fully judge this.

Since the locals' advice was unambiguous and repeated so much, I took the risk. I am back in Melbourne. Lucky, perhaps? Sensible, maybe?

richmond
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6. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Leftover..Ok so, now you make sense. Thanks for the explanation..

It was just the way you wrote in your previous comment that made me reply to it. We just want to give a more accurate info here in Trip advisor. Aren't we?

And yes, they have sweet tasting pineapples there.

Travelling by car between the city and Davao should be a breeze, and view is very scenic too especially near the town of Sta Cruz!

Victorialand, I think you were sensible. Thanks for giving an accurate impression about the place.

For me, Gen Santos city and its immediate vicinity are still way safer for foreigners. There is more chances of a foreigner to be a victim of crime in Quiapo, Manila than in Gen San IMHO.

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Davao - Durian.

General Santos - Pineapple.

Guimaras Island - Mango.

Anymore? :p

richmond
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8. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Camiguin- world famous for Lanzones

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

Lanzones?

In our area here, we called it Baluku.

richmond
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10. Re: Is General Santos slowly waking from its tourism slumber?

maybe that's the one..You should visit during their Lanzones festival.

Here are more fruits:

Gen San- has sweet mangosteen too

Davao- has 5(?) varieties of bananas

Baguio- Strawberry

Caraga (Butuan/Surigao)- Marang

Jolo/Basilan Islands- Duhat (java plum)

Philippines 7,000+ islands- aratilis, guava, santol, papaya, coconuts, jack fruit, rabana, star apple, atis, and macopa

Edited: 11 July 2012, 03:53
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