Microtel Gensan holds New Year’s Countdown

When I arrived in Gensan eleven years ago, there was none of these events. No new year parties, firework displays or any event of that sort. So I am really glad that it has somehow “caught on”. In the first place, there are a lot of Generals who wish to do no cooking or to just rest over the holidays.

One of the cities’ yearend events is Microtel Gensan’s New Year’s Countdown Party happening on December 31, 2014.

But before that, I would have to say that Microtel probably has the nicest and most unique Christmas Tree in Gensan this 2014. Not as big as the ones in the malls but more special with how it was made: simple yet one-of-a-kind.



Microtel ends the year with a New Year’s Eve Dinner and fireworks just before the clock strikes twelve. For only P 3750 for a double room and P 4750 for a suite room, you can already avail of an overnight stay, breakfast for two and New Year’s Even dinner for two. If you wish to have dinner only, it is at P 1,000 only per person. For those who only wish to watch the fireworks, it is at P 200 only per person inclusive of drinks. Print

To buy your tickets, you may visit Microtel by Wyndham Gensan at Valley High Complex, National Highway, General Santos City. or call (083) 553-8080, cellphone number +63 (917) 319 7447 or email them at gensan@microtel.ph.


SM City Gensan’s New Year Countdown Party

SM City Gensan features FREESTYLE BAND and DJ TOM TAUS at the Grand Year-end Party of SM City General Santos

Enjoy merrier magical shopping, dining, entertainment and experience the dazzling year-end party tradition of SM City General Santos featuring the renowned Pinoy rock- R&B band, FREESTYLE and the former child actor, DJ TOM TAUS.

FREESTYLE band was dubbed as the Most Popular Group Entertainer by Gulliermo Awards in 2002 and one of the premiere bands in the Philippines. They were the makers of hit songs such as “So Slow” and “Before I Let You Go”. FREESTYLE has a soulful sound, influenced by rhythm and blues and urban music.
After 14 years of leaving the country to migrate to the United States, former child actor TOM TAUS is back in the Philippines. TOM TAUS has been making a name for himself in Hollywood as a DJ and known as “DJ Tommy T” to Los Angeles Club Crowd.

Catch them all this December 30, 7pm as you also enjoy the extended mall hours until 10 o’ clock in the evening. Get entertained with their world-class voice and international-calibre stage performance and witness the Magical Fireworks Display at The Roof Deck of SM City General Santos.

For updates and inquiries, check-out SM City General Santos (Official) on Facebook, or call (083) 878-0667.

Why the Farmers’ Market is such a hit

On May 25, 2014, a new Sunday habit was started in General Santos. It is the Sunday Farmers’ Market. 

The Farmers’ Market was a wonderful idea by Ms. Rue Ramas, owner of Seed World, lead marketing advocate of Corn Husk craft makers and overall gardening and agriculture enthusiast. Every Sunday, from 7am to 12nn, farmers and sellers of various food products, cooked and uncooked, fill their space with wonderful, fresh products that shoppers couldn’t resist buying.

What has become a simple selling opportunity has become a hit in the city and here are the reasons why.

# 1 Everything is fresh and beautiful.









Most, if not all the fruits and vegetables specially, are in their just-picked state. I personally tasted the difference when I started cooking using the ingredients I purchased from the Farmers’ Market. The vegetables stay longer fresher. Some of the vegetables are even organic. 

Recently, shrimps, live lapu-lapu and free-range organic chicken have been available as well.

# 2  The great food finds

There is a delicious range of Filipino delicacies and processed food that my friends, family and I have found to be great food finds. There’s suman, palitaw, espasol, chorizo, tocino, sikwate, homemade bacon and embotido, binignit, cookies, batchoy, dinuguan, coco sugar, alamang, chocolate moron and many, many more! 

It is always a “comfort food” binge everytime we go to Farmers’ Market. Tables and chairs are placed in the garden where we feast on our food finds.

# 3 The atmosphere of friendship and wellness

Sunday vegetable shoppers

Sunday vegetable shoppers

Primarily because there are beautiful displays of vegetables and shoppers. That they purchase these fresh goods mean that they value their health and, consequently, give livelihood to farmers. Personally, I am happy when I see my friends and acquaintances at the Farmers’ Market. People who wake up early to sell or buy vegetables are, for me, people with discipline and eagerness for life. There is also an ambient glee on these mornings in Tita Rue’s garden.

So if you haven’t gone there yet or if you happen to be in Gensan on a Sunday, please visit Farmers’ Market. It’s every Sunday, 7am to 12nn, Tiongson Extension, Lagao, Gen. Santos City. in front of Notre Dame IBED.

Sarangani Highlands Resort celebrates its 7th year

Gensan’s favorite tourist destination, Sarangani Highlands, marks its 7th anniversary on July 8, 2014. The day was celebrated with a holy mass and a simple employee brunch.

After 7 years, Sarangani Highlands has bloomed like its amazing garden with the addition of more function rooms and hotel guestrooms. It’s recent project, the Koi Hall is in a cozy nook under Sarangania and overlooking a still-in-construction Koi Pond which will be another attraction.

Get ready for Suncity Suites Night Fun Run 2014

Suncity Suites stages its 4th Night Fun Run in celebration of its 5th anniversary on July 19, 2014.

Assembly will be from Veranza Mall at 5PM and ending in Suncity Suites with the awarding ceremonies. Route will be dependent on which category a runner will register to. Categories at 3K, 5K and 10K.


Registration fees and prizes for each category are as follows:


10% of all registration fees will go to the projects of GSC TYuna Capital Foundation, Inc. You may register at Suncity Suites front desk, Bench Robinsons, KCC Mall 3rd Floor near Japan Home Center and Mitchy’s Car Accessories , Magsaysay Avenue.

Suncity Suites Night Fun Run is supported by Bench, Roxy, Quicksilver, DC and Cebu Pacific.

#nightfunrunseries2014 #suncitysuites

General Santos joins in Social Media Day celebration


The Sox Bloggers, Mindanao’s Funnest, and Google Business Group General Santos joined the world in celebrating Social Media Day 2014. It was held in Shakey’s SM City General Santos CIty last June 28, 2014 in the afternoon.

More than 50 participants attended the fun meetup of SOcial Media enthusiasts. The afternoon was made interesting with lots of raffle items and an impressive group of speakers.

The speakers were; Ralph Layco, a social media advocate and director of communication for Bravogen.com, Mark Aethen Agana, MIS specialist in Chemonics and owner of Reshop.ph who talked about his environmental advocacy, Alexis Chua, a GBG trainer and banker who shared precious information about trends in Social Media and Morgan Garcera, social media expert and editor-in-chief of supermorgy.com who impressed the participants with an impressive list of clients and earnings from social media jobs.

The event was hosted by Cathy Bolodo, author of this blog.

Smart and GBG were the sponsors for the event.

PHoto credits to Ariel Lalisan, Jonel Rillo and Van Almeria.

#smdaygensan #smartlivemore

Glan 100 days countdown begins

The Municipality of Glan will be celebrating their centennial this year on October 8. Last July 1, 2014, the town and its leaders unveiled their countdown marker at the town plaza headed by their honorable mayor, Victor James B. Yap Sr.


The event highlights aside from the unveiling of the marker was the Mob Dance which was participated in by municipal employees, teachers and students.

Glan is the oldest town in SocSKSargen and is one of the seven towns of Sarangani Province. It is home to famous Gumasa Beach.

Festival activities of note include a Coco Village tour, Photo contest, Resort and Cultural Tour, an exhibit of the town’s history and leaders, Coconut Congress and a Balikbayan dinner. The celebration’s culmination will coincide with the Lubi-Lubi Festival.

Mayor Yap of Glan

Mayor Victor James Yap Sr. speaks during the event

Glan municipal hall

Students gather for the unveling. Glan Municipal Hall at the background.

To be updated of the events, please like Glan 100: It all started here on facebook.com or by clicking here.



SM Supermarket opens in Gensan

If there’s anything that I think the Generals and its neighbors love to do, that would be grocery shopping. We have some of the most impressive and expansive supermarkets I have seen in the whole country.

So I am not surprised that when SM Supermarket opened in Gensan, it just had to be another fantastic supermarket. It had to be or the existing ones will eat them alive.

It has 30 counters and a spacious display. I have to say that the fresh produce sections are a must-check for mothers and foodservice owners.

fresh produce SM gensan

Fruits and vegetable display at SM Supermarket Gensan

SM gensan supermarket herbs and greens

Fresh herbs and salad greens

Aside from the fresh produce section, they have also incorporated other “firsts” like a Foodservice section, promo tags section for SM Advantage cardholders and other dry goods items like kids’ toys, houseware, appliances, even shoes and school supplies.

SM supermarket toys


It has some of the things I busy mom would need in one place. That is surely convenient. I have to note also that at first impression, the prices seem to be cheaper than other supermarkets.

It also has a new service called the QUEUE buster. It’s a mobile cashier or subtotalling/checkout service where a staff totals your purchases using a handheld barcode reader. So when you reach the actual cashier, all you have to do is pay and wait for your purchases to be bagged.

As with other SM stores, you may use your SM Advantage card to earn points.


Watsons opens in SM Gensan

It was an anticipated day in the city of Generals as the 44th branch of SM Supermalls opened last August 10, 2012.

Throngs of people waited for the opening time and Santiago Blvd and adjacent streets were filled with cars and motorcycles leading to SM. 

I was lucky to have been an invited blogger to the opening of my favorite SM franchise, Watsons. My husband and relatives know that when I had to go to Metro Manila and go to SM, I just have to go to Watsons. 

Watsons gensan sm

Blessing of Watsons SM Gensan

Watsons is my ultimate store for my toiletries, beauty, cosmetics and other “kikay” needs. I have a fettish for all things convenience store. So I am extra happy that there is already a Watsons store in Gensan!

watsons beauty products

Your favorite beauty and medical products

Watsons carries their own brands from hair spa to lotion to cosmetic kits. At the same time, they also have your favorite brands, medicine, healthcare equipment, snacks and other wellness products. 

Your SM Advantage card can also be used at Watsons. 

Watsons is located at the second floor of SM Gensan. 

T’nalak Festival 2012: 15 Things to Love about it

As they say, “Wag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.

While I have been working in the tourism industry practically all my working life and while I have been living in Socsargen for the last 8 years, I have not fully explored the region. So I decided earlier this year to seek out places and festivals I have not been to before.

So over the course of T’nalak Festival 2012’s pre-festival promotions, I decided that I will try to go see the festival this time.

So here’s my own discoveries about the T’nalak Festival.

1. ABUNDANCE. South Cotabato is blessed to be abundant with mostly favorable things: fruits, vegetables, falls, fields stretching out to the horizon and more. What’s more, the abundance comes very affordable and easily accessible to South Cotabatenos and even to tourists.

During the festival, I noticed the abundance of fresh food being sold and, yes, displayed.


2. SOUTH COTABATENOS. One thing I noticed while walking down Alunan Avenue is the multitude of locals, tourists, photographers, sellers, policemen ensuring security and other supporters out in the street even on an early hour of the day. The locals support for the festival is obvious and indeed, encouraging.

3. COLOR. Festivals in the Philippines feature a myriad of colors as expected, of course. However, in South Cotabato, aside from the splash of colors, there is the special feature on an earth color not used in festivals because it si usually perceived as neutral or drab.

That is the color BROWN.

And it is present in a lot of festival activities and accessories: the T’nalak fabric and agriculture. Brown is one of the colors used in the T’nalak fabric amongst black, red and white.

4. HALAMANAN. As I walked down Alunan Avenue in the morning of July 18, one the activities that caught my attention was the crowd that kept on into an alley beside Protech Center.

It turns out to be a Halamanan exhibit, a beautiful display of plants and landscaping. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful the displays were and how many people wanted to see them! It was crazy-crowded!

I would have loved to have seen all the booths but the throng of people didn’t allow me to pursue all of them. This is one of the few stalls I got to see.

5. ORNAMENTAL FISH DISPLAY. Just at the opening of the Halamanan exhibit is the display with all these cute ornamental fishes for sale.

It’s one of the great varieties of the T’nalak Festival. They have plants, food and they have animals as well not just to be seen and admired at but something you can have for yourself if you have the money, of course. I know a lot of people who would love to buy fishes for their homes or offices. There is surely something for everybody here.

6. JOB FAIR. For people to be able the city’s festivities, they have to have the money to go about and hopefully buy or pay for something. People still need jobs and this surely is a great venue for people to search for one.

7. BAHAY KUBO COMPETITION. This part of the festival was a favorite of mine. One, I can only imagine all the work that went into putting together the native huts and the food displays. It was definitely admirable. What is even more admirable is how South Cotabatenos gave their support by going out and visiting the Bahay Kubo display, taking their pictures taken and, for some of them, buying produce from each hut which actually represents a town in South Cotabato.

You’d think that Bahay Kubos would look the same. But no, Filipinos’ creativity is boundless. The design and the attention to how it pays tribute to their town is obvious in each hut.

This is the town of Tupi’s Bahay Kubo.

8. DAYON SA SOUTH COTABATO. This has been a regular event of the T’nalak Festival and rightly so because of its wonderful aim of bringing back balkbayans to their hometown.  This year’s dinner was held at the South Cotabato gym and with balladeer, Jed Madela, to serenade guests.

9. STREETDANCING! What festival is without a streetdancing competition? Well, not in South Cotabato. Besides, we here in SocSKSargen are blessed with four- or six-lane streets, spacious gymnasiums and parking lots that give us the space for such competitions. Streetdancing competitions have become the measure of a festival. The more festive, colorful and gay a streetdancing cometition is, the better the festival.

10. MUTYA NG SOUTH COTABATO. There are beautiful women aplenty in this region. So I personally believe a beauty contest in each festival is just apt. Besides, the beauty of a town or any location is not just measured by its scenery, tourist spots nor landmarks but all the more so by its people.

11. FUN RUN! Okay this is one activity that has suddenly sprouted in the region. It’s for a lot of reasons. Health, fitness, weight loss- people are just seeking out ways to balance a stressful life.

In recent activities, fun runs have become a part of activities. T’nalak Festival’s run this time is made more special (and more difficult!) by a marathon from Gensan to Koronadal! That is a long almost-60 kilometer long run! I heard that only a couple of people finished it including my fellow blogger, Rosilie Lim. Congratulations to them. It sure is a feat to finish such a marathon.

12. VICE GANDA CONCERT. While I did not see this myself, I heard it was a blast! Festivals are mainly for the people. What better way to get people engaged by giving them something they’d really enjoy being in. Vice Ganda is adored by a lot of Filipinos so I am sure South Cotabatenos felt good having him in the city.

13. A HAPPY MIX. What I have noticed in the lineup of activities for T’nalak Festival is the great combination of events that matter for agriculture, livelihood, for the people and for entertainment. While trying to be entertaining, the organizers made sure that people got “something” out of the festival: a job, livelihood, new friends, learning. I hope that it becomes a mantra for the next festivals.

14. WELL, IT’S ONLY AN HOUR FROM GENSAN! T’nalak Festival is convenient, accessible and all the adjectives synonymous to that. It’s good to know there’s a happy festival just at an hour’s travel away. I think that we, neighbors, should support each other. We are, anyway, our own tourists and should be our city’s own supporters. Surely, we can do that for our neighbors.

15. BETTER SUN SIGNAL! I am a Sun subscriber myself and has been using it for some year now. I know the signal is a lot better and wider. Sun Cellular’s unlimited call and text features in most plans is truly convenient for business people like me.

The next festival is yet another year away. If you are in the region, do come and visit T’nalak Festival.

“This is my submission for the T’nalak Festival 2012 Blog Writing Contest, which is made possible with the support of sponsors such as Hon. Governor Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr and the province of South CotabatoSun Cellular – get two days of unlimited text to all networks for only ₱15 with SUN TEXTALL15Dole PhilippinesRepresentative Teddy Casiño & Bayan Muna Party-List,  KCC MallsSouthCotabato.Org and South Cotabato News.”

Pictures from this post are properties the author.