Top 9 Things to Do in General Santos City, the Home of Manny Pacquiao
When in Manila, or elsewhere in the world, the name Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao should ring a bell. Dubbed as “The People’s Champ”, Pacman continues to bring pride to the Philippines and has placed our nation onto the global map in terms of boxing and sports, in general. Born and raised in Saranggani, General Santos, or “Gensan” for short, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like in his hometown.
Aside from our pound-for-pound champ, Gensan is also known as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines. As I am a sucker for Maguro sashimi, I grew even more curious about this city. To my luck, we were invited to attend a surprise birthday party at Gensan.
There were about 20 of us travelling to this superb city, with all of us accommodated in a single home: The Jover residence. When in Gensan, it is definitely a must to meet the Jover family.
Who are the Jovers, you ask? Well, they are the key to everything that you need to know and experience when you visit Gensan. Ask around and you are sure to be led to their humble abode, which is literally addressed between “two trees”. Our three-day tour seemed rather short, but we were able to achieve the must-sees and must-tries in Gensan thanks to them.
Here are the top 9 Things to Do in General Santos City:
9. Visit Aweng Balbacuahan.
Aweng Balbacuahan is located along the National Highway, Barangay Calumpang, General Santos.
Aweng’s Balbacuahan is a roadside eatery, or karinderya in Tagalog, that serves a special kind of beef broth straight from the cooking pot.
Tourists and locals frequent the place through word-of-mouth as Aweng’s recipe is simply irresistible. Whether you eat for dine-in or take-out, their secret recipe will keep you coming back for more at the low cost of only 25php per bowl.
8. Eat Some Chicken Skin at Chicken Hauz.
Chicken Hauz’s deep fried chicken Skin has an addictive effect right from the first bite. This delicacy works best as a pulutan/ finger food, but you can also enjoy it with rice if you want. Getting your hands on a pack of these might be quite challenging, though. I would suggest that you call to make a reservation and then drop by their shop for pick-up.
Dadiangas East, General Santos
(083) 301 0700
7. Try the Haws of Lechon ni Mang Thomas.
When in Gensan and looking for a place to satisfy your craving for some roasted suckling pig (or lechon), then you need to try the Haws of Lechon; they serve the best Lechon in General Santos. Their promise: great taste and quality packaging.
The Haws of Lechon ni Mang Thomas
0922 828 1961 or 0917 928 3759
Lagao, National Highway, 9500 General Santos City
6. Visit the Dole Plantation.
Dole is a world-known company for serving quality fruits and vegetables. Its primary supply of pineapples comes from Polomolok, though – the largest pineapple plantation in the world, which just happens to be a drive away from General Santos.
Aside from the scenic view of the pineapple plantation, you can also visit the Kalsangi Clubhouse for some food and refreshments. I highly recommend ordering the pineapple shake, fresh pineapples, and the grilled pineapple. An appointment is required prior to visit.
What to wear: a sleeved shirt, pants, and closed shoes
Cannery road, 9504, Polomolok, South Cotabato
0935 434 0450