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.

 

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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. 

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.

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!

My Overnight Stay at Sarangani Highlands Hotel

After four years, Sarangani Highlands still continues to surprise me and even their most loyal customers with continued development.

On our annual anniversary dinner, I decided to ask Dr. Abella, the owner, if I can stay overnight in their new hotel. Thankfully, she agreed. I had a great time.

I stayed in one of their deluxe rooms on the second floor. It’s a clean, simple yet elegant room with a great view from the room veranda and from the veranda in the hallway. It’s the type of hotel room you want to stay in and just read a book or watch tv or even just stare at the ceiling.

 

Due to my weekday 5am alarm, I automatically woke up at 5am…. on a Saturday morning! Even without the alarm! Anyway, it wasn’t too bad because I got to have the whole place to myself at the break of dawn.

Lovely. Priceless.

It was a relaxing moment trotting to the ridge thr0ugh the morning mist. If you like Sarangani Highlands with a lot of people walking around and dining, imagine being alone (well, aside from the gardener) and basking in the calm and quiet of the place. But it was also a great moment to have breakfast with the people behind Sarangani Highlands.

I plan to do this again, alone and with my family and to invite my friends to do the same because I know a lot of them would appreciate some downtime.

The deluxe rooms start at P 1,500 per night and the superior rooms (good for seven people) are at P 1,900 per night. Great price for a fabulous time!

Should you wish to reserve a room, you can call 083 3040752 or email saranganihighlands@gmail.com.

 

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.

Asian Tongue, anyone?

Socsargen bloggers were recently invited to the soft opening of new restaurant, Asian Tongue.

Asian Tongue is a new restaurant located along Roxas East Avenue.

It was a special invitations-only event for two weeks meant to promote the restaurant before its grand opening on May 13, 2011.

We were first served with Asian Chicken Salad of chicken tips, lettuce, fried noodles and an oriental vinaigrette followed by a Tom Yum bowl and Chicken Inasal for the main course. From what we have been served, it is obviously going to be a mixed Asian cuisine type of restaurant. Our dinner was capped with Palitaw, a local dessert or snack even made of glutinous rice powder balls with ube and langka filling.

I can say that the food is good, not mind-blowingly good but not-bad good. The service, though, is over the top good. The staff attending to us were really attentive, courteous and vibrant. The restaurant was full midway through our dinner. Interiors-wise, Asian Tongue is simple Asian, non-airconditioned though so I am not sure how great they’ll fare during Gensan’s warmer weathers. They have a show kitchen so I am happy to eat there knowing I can be sure they handle food properly. One great idea also is that they actually have a reception area. I hope it’s not a grand opening thing only because it’s one thing that is lacking in most restaurants in Gensan.

Asian Tongue will open on May 13 (yes, on Friday!). Check them out and all the best.

SunCity Suites opening today!

It’s a great day for General Santos CIty as a new hotel opens today. SunCity Suites opens its doors to tourists today, July 22, 2010.

SunCity Suites houses 42 guestrooms which I heard have 32″ LCD television in each room. They are also going to be the first to use RFID electronic door lock system.

SunCity Suites is housed in the SunCity Complex which, in my opinion, would another vibrant enttertainment, dining and shopping destination in Gensan.

Congratulations SunCity Suites on your grand opening!