Fondly known as Gensan and the crown jewel of southern Philippines, General Santos has fascinating attractions that draw visitors to it all year round. Originally just a vast farm land, General Santos has progressed to a highly urbanized city but at the same time has managed to preserve age old traditions. General Santos festivals are one of the many things that people enjoy and the experience during these events is truly something else.
General Santos is known for having one of the best Tuna in the world and hence it comes as no surprise that this city would celebrate the Tuna Festival. Tuna caught in General Santos is fresh out of the sea and it is one of the sources of income for this progressive city. The Tuna Festival is a culinary event that showcases the many different dishes that can be made from Tuna. This General Santos festival was an instant hit when it was first celebrated and today the entire city celebrates this. During the Tuna Festival, there are several contests and the biggest one is the cooking competition. This General Santos festival draws the best chefs from all over the country hoping to win that prestigious award. The other highlights of the Tuna Festival are the parades, street dances and trade exhibits all centered on the sashimi-grade fish. The best part though about the Tuna Festival is the gastronomical feast where one can try the many different dishes prepared by the different restaurants that take part in this event.
The Kalilangan Festival is the second biggest General Santos festival that has been celebrated for almost two decades. The Kalilangan Festival commemorates the foundation of this bustling city and it is an event organized by the local government in collaboration with civil society groups. This General Santos festival is more than just about merry making as it affords every visitor the opportunity to learn about this city’s rich culture and heritage. During the Kalilangan Festival, there are several presentations prepared by the residents from different towns that showcase the history of General Santos from the time the first settlers arrived. The Kalilangan Festival also has several contests for the local community which includes dancing and singing competitions. Some of the best talents are discovered right here at this General Santos festival. After a day filled with exuberance, a magnificent fireworks display light the night sky signaling the end of the Kalilangan Festival.