traversing GenSan

travellers always associate General Santos City with the sea mainly because of its well-known product – gigantic yellowfin tuna.

but if you are looking for more fun-under-the-sun (at sakit sa katawan tulad ko hahaha), then visit the city’s outback - the Kalaja Karst. encompassing the city’s mountainous terrains, the area is ideal for trekking, birdwatching, mountain bike, river crossing and canyoneering.

sadly, we only got half-day to explore Kalaja Karst so we decided to proceed to Asbekong Waterfalls, a series of seven small waterfalls located at the boundary of the city and Polomolok

the trip to the falls is both fantastic and challenging. proceed first to Barangay Conel then 45-minutes via habal-habal to the community of B’laan. additional 30-minutes river trekking before you reach the first waterfall. add another 30minutes and you will reach the seventh.

be awed by the majestic profile of Mt Matutum, surrounding hills (reminds me of Busuanga Island of Palawan), beautiful gorges and sweet songs of birds. saw two chinese goshawk (not black-shouldered kite as mentioned in the first version of this post), flowerpeckers and bushchats.

of course, don’t forget to swim in the cold and refreshing water

if you have time still, visit the Kalaja cave and explore the hidden World War II bunkers made by Japanese soldiers that camped in the city during the war.

yes yes, don’t miss a visit to the city’s fish port. however, one needs to coordinate early with the city’s tourism since trip to the port is heavily regulated.

but the hassle is worth it. very nice to see first-hand the port’s early morning activities – fisherfolk carrying, tagging and cleaning (removing gills, stomach and other internal organs) giant tunas and blue marlins (an adult may weighed more than 100 kilos), bartering and learning how to identify first-class fish meat.

finally, enjoy sugba with beer and durian as desert, yumyum :)

General Santos City


* photos by A. Larracas

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