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.

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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.

SumoSam brings the taste of Japan to General Santos City

Gensan, being the hub of SocSkSargen, takes pride in being home to great restaurants and stores. In SM City Gensan, there is a restaurant that brings the Taste of Japan to Generals and that is SumoSam.

Opened in 2013, SumoSam takes pride in serving only authentic Japanese dishes which have fortunately delighted Filipinos as well. The effort of cooking up good Japanese food is evident in the taste of the broth of their ramen and in the rice of their maki.

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Vegetable Ramen

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Chicken Teriyaki (ala carte) and Japanese Fried Rice

The tenderness of the chicken and coleslaw with a tangy mustard dressing was great with the “dish-by-itself” deliciousness of the Japanese Fried Rice. It was a great pair. 

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Sukiyaki cooked tableside

My favorite for the dinner, however, would be the Sukiyaki which use Wagyu beef. The goodness of the beef, the sweet flavor of the quickly sauteed onions and the perfect broth was an absolute winner for me.

Other dishes we tried were their Dynamite Roll (dynamite because it was spicy-good) and Beef Niki Udon. 

SumoSam is located at the ground floor, near exit to Fountain Area of SM City General Santos City. They also accept delivery and catering service.

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.

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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.

A beautiful discovery: The Farm at Carpenter Hill Koronadal

I have been to The Farm at Carpenter Hill several times and have already declared it one of my favorite getaways in Socsargen. During those times, I would just stay for one or two hours, dine and walk around but not stay overnight. At that time, I already enjoyed the place.

Came back recently to stay overnight, spend time with my husband and to have a “calm before the storm” weekend before my crazy month starts. It is only around 45 minutes from Gensan (depends on how fast or slow you go) so travel was most convenient too.

Our room was a spacious room in the courtyard complex. They do have separate Villas just in front of the hotel complex which would be what we’d try next time.

What is very different about The Farm is the expanse of space and how it’s practically covered with plants obviously tended to very well. The structures also obviously have Japanese influences. The design of the individual buildings is very cohesive, simple, practical and in my opinion, energy-efficient becase they are almost covered by trees which makes the building easier to cool and almost glass-covered to optimize the sunlight which we practically have everyday. They have so many function halls too. I think I counted eight.

The resort is super quiet except for crickets and birds and when there’s a party in one of their halls. Luckily, the noise does not get to the rooms which was a relief.

I want to go back there alone to finish a book or just to stare at the grasses. Or my coffee cup.

The Farm’s food is delicious! Sticking to what locals like best, their food has the rich flavors of Asian cuisine. It’s unpretentiously good. It’s the kind of food that, well, still considred restaurant food but the kind that is still familiar to most Filipino palates.

I rave about their Cream Dory Burger. Crispy and soft (how odd of me) cream dory patty with what I would guess would be teriyaki sauce instead of your usual catsup-mayo-mustard combi. I didn’t care much for the fries but we ate them anyway. *smile* Their coffee is great too. The measure of a wonderful coffee is if the plain brewed makes your heart sigh. Yes, it’s two thumbs up.

Our dinner was a supposedly “diet” dinner with Sweet and Spicy Shrimps, Kani Salad and Garlic bread. The quantity was good for three but my husband and I ate everything up. So much for dieting.

I would say, though, that while the service for our snack and dinner at their restaurants have been superb, it was a little lacking for breakfast. The staff came across a little grumpy and unwelcoming and the breakfast items on the buffet were not kept warm. The coffee was not as good as our order the previous day too.

Going back. Our room is meticulously clean and big enough for my family, four kids and all. The bathroom is also spacious with the usual toiletries provided. They also have soft, thick towels of three sizes. I am glad they have a bath mat because, of their tad-short wall from the shower, the water splashes to the lavatory area. They obviously spent well for their bed linen. The pillows are of great quality and the duvet has the institutional cover of sorts. And yes, they have two pillows per person. The room also has complimentary bottled water and coffee. Great setup and very comfortable.

All in all, it was the kind of short holiday that can reenergize you. You’ve had those vacations that left you tired and upset more of the time. It was not one like that time.

Most of The Farm’s staff were very helpful and sincere in being nice to you. You can see they like what they are doing. There’s one thing: I have really poor eyesight so I think I would prefer better lighting in the grounds. Also, I would be glad if there was an in-room fact sheet or list of resort features for guest’s to read. I also wish they have an in-house spa and other wellness facilities because those would be most suitable for their place.

The Farm at Carpenter Hill is located in Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City right along the highway. Their website is farmatcarpenterhill.com. Numbers 09228489098, 0832281888.

All photos from this blogpost are properties of Cathy and Milper Bolodo. 

Cafe Mita, all day comfort food

It’s the newest restaurant to open in General Santos.

As their tagline says, it’s all day comfort food. The food indeed is. Cafe Mita’s menu consists of dishes you would love to have when you’re sick, homesick, lonely, happy, extra-happy, brokenhearted. But of course, you can dine there when you’re feeling otherwise. It would be my destination if I want to be alone, dine with a friend or two or for a comfortable lunch break.

I dined here with my family and we tried their Honey Chicken, Arrozcaldo, Tokwa’t Baboy, Pancake with Crispy Bacon and they were all good.

Cafe Mita is located in PG Building, National Highway, General Santos City. It’s right beside Maduramente Clinic and Caltex.

Get Ready for SASHIMI NIGHTS 2011!

Any Tuna Festival will not be complete without a Sashimi Night. This year’s Sashimi Nights (yes, more than one night!) is organized by GENSAN C.A.R.E.S. or the Association of Restaurateurs and Caterers in Gensan headed by Donna Mae Congson of Piyesta in Robinsons.

SASHIMI NIGHTS will be from September 2-4, 2011, 5pm onwards at the Robinsons Place Gensan Parking Area. 

This year’s highlights:

  • SASHIMI All-You-Can (until supplies last) and a free drink for only P 150
  • Nightly entertainment: Gloc 9 (Sept 2), 7th Patronage (Ssept 3)) Kuerdas (Sept 4)
  • Raffles
  • Bazaar
  • FOOD DISPLAY from Gensan’s top Restaurants (they will sell other dishes aside from tuna)
For tickets, you can buy them from Piyesta Robinsons or from hotels and restaurants in Gensan. You can call 09339405498 for inquiries.

TUNA CONGRESS stages 1st Culinary Challenge

For the first time this year, the National Tuna Congress holds the First Tuna Culinary Challenge. The competition will be on September 1, 2011, 2pm at the Family Country Hotel Garden.

Organizing the event are Ms. Kring Macion and Cathy M. Bolodo.

Five schools will be competing for the title of First Winners of the First Tuna Culinary Challenge. Cash prizes and trophies await winners. All winners are guaranteed of a cash prize. Special awards will also be given from USAID/GEM, National Tuna Congress and Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries.

Our proud partners for this event:

SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries

USAID-Growth for Equity in Mindanao

Gerardo’s School of Culinary Arts and Cake Decorating

La Germania

Shellane

RDEX 

Department of Agriculture 

We would also like to thank Arnevel’s Catering, Ranchero Grill, Little Kitchen, Family Country Hotel, ACLC and Beestop Chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choco Loca, New Cafe Along Osmena

Choco Loca is a small cafe along Osmena right in front of DTI office. Its main product being their Filled Buns. These little buns can be filled with chocolate, custard or vanilla and their other filling choices.

I also tried their Hot Chocolate which turned out to be heaven in a cup. It was decadent and really, really pleasant for a weary soul.

They also serve rice meals and sandwiches. Their shrimp cakes are yummy with an egg-tomato-vinegar salad on the side. It’s a must-try!

So if you are looking for a good lunch place in the Osmena-Quirino Area, do try Choco-Loca.

Happy eating!

Fairtrade Shop now open for your pasalubong needs

For people who are in search of more pasalubong choices when visiting Gensan, there is already a place for most pasalubong goodies that you can visit. It is the Fairtrade Shop located along Roxas East right next to the Oval Plaza.

This Fairtrade Shop features agricultural and food processed products from producers in SocSKSargen. It is the initiative of the producers/members in collaboration with Advocate of Philippines for Fairtrade, Inc.

At the helm of this shop is Mr. Fermin Rivas. The Fairtrade Shop’s slogan: Don’t Just Buy, Buy Just! encourages consumers to purchase organic, premium quality food products and world-class-quality craft items made from locally-sourced raw materials.

The Fairtrade Shop is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 7pm. Tel. 5545848.