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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
General Santos City – A Tourist Destination

General Santos City – A Tourist Destination

General Santos City is proud to be the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”. Aside from tunas, the city has also other things to be proud of. The tourist spots and festivals of General Santos City make it a great destination for tourists.

A tourist attraction in General Santos City is a social gathering festival called Kalilangan sa Heneral Santos. Kalilangan is from the word “Kalilang” meaning commemoration or celebration according to the Maguindanaon dialect.

The people of General Santos City gather socially for this festival where they exchange amenities among native leaders, ally, elders, and subordinates. The festival is a pageantry of various colorful ethnic rites, traditions, and rituals such as religious ceremonies, marriage celebrations, anniversaries, enthronement of royal dignitaries, funerals, thanksgiving, and other social activities.

The Kalaja Karsts Area is a wonderful destination for tourists in General Santos City. The area is about 15 kilometers from General Santos City’s northeast side at Barangay Conel. The name Kalaha Karsts Area is derived from the word Kalaha, which means frying pot due to the formation of the karsts made millions of years ago. Waterfalls and caves are abundant in this area.

Tourists can explore the Kalaja Cave in General Santos City. The cave has a pool inside that is about three meters deep and 22 meters wide.

Bunga Spring is found in the center of the Kalaha Karsts Area in General Santos City. The place has a campsite for tourists and stargazing is a great night activity.

Another tourist destination in General Santos City is the Malakong Gorge just about three-and-a-half kilometers away from Kalaja Cave. This is an excellent place for boulder and rock climbing for novices and beginners. Camping for tourists are also allowed.

Just a 30-minute drive from the Kalaha Karsts Area is the Nopol Hills. It is General Santos City’s highest camping ground and gives a good panoramic view of Sarangani Bay and the neighboring towns. Hiking in Nopol Hills in the afternoon will give you a good view of the sunset at the bay.

Since tuna fishing is a major industry, General Santos City has its Tuna Festival every September as part of the city’s charter celebration. The festival is a three-day celebration in General Santos City. It is a thanksgiving festival for the bounty of the sea especially the tuna and tuna-like species. Various tuna cuisine and other culinary competitions can be witnessed. Street dancing and fluvial parades are the main attractions of the festival.

General Santos City is outside the typhoon belt of the Philippines. You can expect good weather condition throughout the year.

Tourists will really enjoy their visit to General Santos City. The sites and celebrations bring local and foreign tourists closer to nature.


  1. marie

    To those people who are interested to visit general santos city. Welcome!

    Yes, from davao you can reach general santos just ride a yellow bus or any bus route to general santos its very easy going there. You can also ask help from a bus driver tell him that your not familiar with the place and just drop you in a safe place like front of the Royal Hotel that is near the Gaisano Mall you can even try to visit the cheap hotels like, family country home, leah’s pension house, Dolores Hotel etc.

  2. bgh

    Hmm this smells a bit suspect. Marie mentioned that ask the bus driver to drop you off in a safe place. Is General Santos City a safe place to go on holiday?

  3. Natalie

    Hi Lyn,

    Could you advice with a grain of caution how safe it is for foreigners to do land travel from gen san to davao? I’m Filipino but my friend is american and I dont want to risk our safety if there’s truth in what my cebuana friend told me that the buses are flagged down and some men pretend to be military or something but they are on look out for foreigners…

    Is there truth on this? She was saying we should just take a plane or skip gen san altogether (as part of our trip around Phils). To take plane means we will go to manila first then back to davao 😛 But i’m willing to pay the extra money and the extra hours if indeed, this is safer.

    I hope Gen san esp lake sebu isnt that risky for foreign travelers…this is so NOT GOOD for tourism 🙁

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