General Santos

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General Santos City
Heneral Santos
Highly Urbanized City
City of General Santos
Gensancity.jpg
Official seal of General Santos City
Seal
Motto: Magandang GenSan: Beyond The Bay
Map of South Cotabato with General Santos City highlighted
Map of South Cotabato with General Santos City highlighted
General Santos City is located in Philippines
General Santos City
General Santos City
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 06°07′N 125°10′E / 6.117°N 125.167°E / 6.117; 125.167
Country Philippines
Region SOCCSKSARGEN (Region XII)
Province South Cotabato (geographically only)
Districts 1st District of South Cotabato
Incorporated August 18, 1947
Cityhood 1968
Barangays 26
Government
 • Mayor Ronnel Chua-Rivera (UNA)
 • Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles (UNA)
 • District Representative Pedro Acharon Jr. (NPC)
Area[1]
 • City 492.86 km2 (190.29 sq mi)
Elevation 15.0 m (49.2 ft)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 538,086
 • Density 1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
 • Languages Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tagalog, English
Demonym Generals, Heneral
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip code 9500
Dialing code 83
Income class 1st
Website www.gensantos.gov.ph

General Santos (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Heneral Santos; Filipino: Lungsod ng Heneral Santos; previously known as Dadiangás, and abbreviated G.S.C. or GenSan) is the southernmost city in the Philippines.[3] Classified as a highly urbanized first class city, General Santos is the 15th most populous city in the country with 538,086 inhabitants as per census data of 2010.[2] General Santos City is part of the SOCCSKSARGEN region, and geographically in the province of South Cotabato but administered independent of it.

History[edit]

Organized under the National Land Settlement Administration (NLSA) of the Commonwealth Government headed by President Manuel L. Quezon, General Paulino Santos led the relocation of 62 Christian settlers from Luzon to the shores of Sarangani Bay aboard the steam ship “Basilan” of Compania Maritima on February 27, 1939. The 62 pioneers (mostly agricultural and trade graduates) were the first big batch of settlers to land in GenSan with the mission to industriously cultivate GenSan's fertile expanse of land. After this first influx of pioneers, thousands more from Luzon and the Visayas have subsequently migrated into the area. This started the displacement of some native B'laan tribe to the mountains and lost their livelihood.

The B'laan people are the original settlers of GenSan which they called Dadiangas during the time. The B’laans live a nomadic way of life in and around GenSan. Evidence of their early occupancy are the names of the places in the city which were derived from their native terms. One significant name is Dadiangas (Ziziphus spina-christi), their native call for a tree which has thorns on its trunk and stems that abundantly thrive in GenSan during the time. Under Indigenous Peoples Right Act IPRA law RA 8371, these Dadiangas trees are now protected and it is proven under the Philippine jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. In the present time, the B'laan tribe live side by side in harmony with the new generation of settlers and other immigrants.

In March 1939, the first formal settlement in the city was established in ’’Alagao’’ which is now known as Barangay Lagao. Lagao district was known then as the “Municipal District of Buayan” under the jurisdiction of the deputy governor of the Municipal District of Glan. Until it officially became an independent Municipal District of Buayan on October 1, 1940 appointing Datu Sharif Zainal Abedin—an Arab mestizo married to a daughter of a very influential datu of lower Buayan—as the first district municipal mayor.

One year after the mark of Philippine Independence from the Americans on July 4, 1946, the Municipality of Buayan became a 4th class regular municipality by virtue of the Executive Order Number 82, dated August 18, 1947 by President Manuel Roxas, absorbing the Municipal District of Glan whose low income bracket at the time disqualified it for the honor. Dadiangas was the seat of government for the Municipality of Buayan electing Irineo Santiago as its first Municipal Mayor on a local election that was held on November 11, 1947. Mayor Santiago was formally inducted on January 1, 1948.[4]

Six years later, in June 1954, the Municipality of Buayan was renamed General Santos as a tribute to its great pioneer. This was made possible by Republic Act No. 1107[5] authored by Congressman Luminog Mangelen of Cotabato Province.

From 1963 to 1967, during the incumbency of Mayor Lucio A. Velayo, an upsurge in the municipality's economy was experienced as several large agri-based and multi-national corporations such as Dole Philippines, General Milling Corporation and UDAGRI have expanded into the area. Although it was then qualified to become a fourth class city from being a municipality, the residents rejected a move by Congressman Salipada Pendatun to convert the Municipality of Buayan into a city and to rename it ’’Rajah Buayan’’.

Finally, on July 8, 1968, upon the approval of Republic Act No. 5412, which was authored by Congressman James L. Chiongbian, the Municipality of General Santos was converted into a city while keeping its name. It was inaugurated on September 5 of that year. Antonio C. Acharon became its first city mayor. In 1988, two decades after its inauguration, it was declared as a highly urbanized city of South Cotabato

World War 2[edit]

During World War II, General Santos City become one of the last frontiers between the American, Filipino and Japanese forces. Japanese retreating forces made Klaja Karsts Land as their last ground for defense, constructing round cemented bunkers and tunnels. Today, one can still see bunkers at Sitio Guadalupe but unfortunately for the tunnels, most were deformed and even destroyed by treasure hunters and land developers.

Geography[edit]

General Santos City lies at the southern part of the Philippines. It is located at 6°7'N 125°10'E latitude. The city is southeast of Manila, southeast of Cebu and southwest of Davao.

The city is bounded by municipalities of Sarangani Province namely Alabel in the east, and Maasim in the south. General Santos is likewise bounded by the South Cotabato municipality of Polomolok and Sarangani Province municipality of Malungon in the north, and the municipality of T'boli in the west.

Climate[edit]

General Santos City has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen climate classification Aw).


Climate data for General Santos City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
(90)
32.5
(90.5)
33.1
(91.6)
33.4
(92.1)
32.3
(90.1)
31.4
(88.5)
31
(88)
31.1
(88)
31.5
(88.7)
31.9
(89.4)
32.2
(90)
32.1
(89.8)
32.06
(89.73)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
(80.2)
27
(81)
27.4
(81.3)
27.9
(82.2)
27.5
(81.5)
26.9
(80.4)
26.5
(79.7)
26.5
(79.7)
26.8
(80.2)
27.1
(80.8)
27.1
(80.8)
26.9
(80.4)
27.03
(80.68)
Average low °C (°F) 21.4
(70.5)
21.5
(70.7)
21.7
(71.1)
22.4
(72.3)
22.7
(72.9)
22.4
(72.3)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22.2
(72)
22.3
(72.1)
22
(72)
21.8
(71.2)
22.03
(71.76)
Precipitation mm (inches) 68
(2.68)
69
(2.72)
47
(1.85)
57
(2.24)
108
(4.25)
118
(4.65)
110
(4.33)
93
(3.66)
84
(3.31)
113
(4.45)
98
(3.86)
87
(3.43)
1,052
(41.43)
Source: Climate-Data.org[6]

Barangays[edit]

General Santos City is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.[1]

  • Apopong
  • Baluan
  • Batomelong
  • Buayan
  • Bula
  • Calumpang
  • City Heights
  • Conel
  • Dadiangas East
  • Dadiangas North
  • Dadiangas South
  • Dadiangas West
  • Fatima
  • Katangawan
  • Labangal
  • Lagao (1st & 3rd)
  • Ligaya
  • Mabuhay
  • Olympog
  • San Isidro (Lagao 2nd)
  • San Jose
  • Siguel
  • Sinawal
  • Tambler
  • Tinagacan
  • Upper Labay

Demographics[edit]

Population census of General Santos
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 250,389 —    
1995 327,173 +5.14%
2000 411,822 +5.06%
2007 529,542 +3.53%
2010 538,086 +0.58%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

Cebuano is widely spoken but there are also Ilonggo settlers in the city and they are from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Religion[edit]

The largest religious group in the city is the Roman Catholic, comprising about 80 percent of the population, other Protestant Christian (Gospel Church) groups comprise eight percent of the population. The remaining twelve percent belong to non-Christian faiths. Other religions are Christian, Alliance, Baptist, Islam, Pentecostal, Church of God, Born Again, Iglesia ni Cristo, Aglipayans, Evangelical, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Protestanism.

Economy[edit]

The city's major economic activity is primarily anchored in two sectors namely the agro-industry and fishing industry.

  • Agro-industry: Endowed with rich volcanic soil, ample and well distributed rainfall all throughout the year and a typhoon-free climate, General Santos City produces export quality high valued crops such as corn, coconut, pineapple, asparagus, banana and rice. It also yields quality exotic fruits, vegetables and cut flowers. The city is also a top producer and exporter of quality livestock such as poultry, hogs, and cattle. But with the continuing growth in population and economy in the passing of time, a number of the city's agricultural lands have gradually been converted into built up areas in order to address the relatively growing need of dwelling and viable spaces.
Fish Port of General Santos City
General Santos City Fishing Port Complex
Aerial view of port of general santos
  • Fishing industry: General Santos City is the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines.Thus in as early as 1970, the title "Tuna Capital of the Philippines" has become a tag to it. GenSan also accounts for the second largest daily total catch of fish in the country after Navotas City in the National Capital Region. Locals in the city boast that fishes and seafoods do not come fresher than what is found in their locality. The fishing industry in GenSan yields a total daily capacity of 750 metric tons of fish catch alone and employs about 7,800 workers. Which is why General Santos City is home to seven (7) tuna processing plants in the country. The Fishport Complex in Barangay Tambler has a 750 metres (2,460 ft) quay and a 300 metres (980 ft) wharf for 2,000 GT reefer carriers. The fishport is equipped with modern facilities that comply with international standards on fish catch handling.

General Santos City has registered 1,365 new medium to large enterprises in 2011. An aggregate investment involved is estimated PHP 1.202 billion. Top industry for new investment in 2011 are as follows: Hotel and Restaurant-31%; Wholesale & Retail Trade-20%; Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles and Personal & Household Goods, Real Estate & Renting Business Activities-17%; Other Community, Social & Personal Services-8%; Financial Intermediation-5%; Manufacturing-5%; Fishing-3%; ICT-3 %

As of 2000, there are 59 banks serving the city. This composed of 46 commercial banks, 5 savings banks, 7 rural banks and 1 cooperative bank. Aside from this, there are 48 lending institutions as well as 49 pawnshops providing emergency loan assistance.

Shopping[edit]

General Santos City is the shopping capital of the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Residents from nearby towns and provinces visit the city to do shopping and enjoy life and leisure activities. There are several huge shopping malls in the city, notable ones are KCC Mall of Gensan, SM City General Santos, Robinsons Place GenSan, Gaisano Mall of GenSan, RD Plaza (Fitmart), Veranza Mall, and the newest addition to the city which is RD City Mall located at Brgy. Calumpang. SM Savemore has a branch in the city and there are plans that they are building more in the city. There are also news about building an Ayala Mall and Puregold. These malls are home to both national and international brands of retail merchandises as well as restaurants and cafes. There are many merchandise and large groceries owned by local and foreign Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean businessmen in the city.

Tourist attractions[edit]

There are a number of cultural-heritage sites in the city like Gen. Paulino Santos Museum in Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and the memorable statue of General Paulino Santos giving the way of the growing city.

  • Klaja Ecopark and Tourist Spots: Is an ecological preservation park located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) off the central business district on the north-east side of city in Barangay Conel. Klaja Karsts Land derived its name from “Kalaha” or frying pot as it looked like one due to the surrounding towers of karsts formation naturally formed millions of years ago. It produced natural waterfalls and caves. Opposite to this area is the Ranch and camping ground of Nopol Hills which borders Barangays Conel and Mabuhay. Nopol hills offer visitors a wide scenic overview of the entire city, as well as the Sarangani Bay and parts of South Cotabato and Sarangani Province. The view of the city is even more breath-taking at night time where colourful bright lights of the bustling metropolis are visible from the top.
  • Mount Matutum: Is an active volcano, approximately 5.7 km from Acmonan, Tupi, South Cotabato, Philippines. Adjacent volcanic edifices are Landayao, Tampad, and Albulhek, which are all west of the volcano, and Magolo to the north. There is a well-preserved 320 metre wide crater at the volcano's summit. The crater is breached by three gorges and has a 120 metre deep, densely forested floor. The great view of matutum is seen in Barangay Pagalungan, Polomolok with some plantation of pineapples and Barangay Mabuhay and San Isidro in Gensan.

Cuisine[edit]

The Tuna City pampers its guests with wide array of tuna dishes and other fish delights like Grilled Tuna Belly dipped in Onion with Soy sauce in chili and a Sinuglaw that a grilled meat mixed in Kinilaw. A wide range of dining establishments have popped up elsewhere in the city offering local and continental cuisines to fill your cravings and appetites with satisfaction. Appetizer like Fried Banana and Gensan's best turon that fresh variety from out of the city. Fresh-from-the-catch seafood and right-from-the-harvest agricultural produce are perfectly matched to make a savoury and sumptuous array of dishes in its various food outlets and restaurants.

Festivals[edit]

Kadsagayan Parade during Kalilangan
Tuna Festival
Kalilangan Festival
General Santos City celebrates the Kalilangan every month of February. "Kalilangan" means festival, festivity or jubilation. It is a social gathering marked by exchanging of amenities among traditional leaders, elders, allies and subordinates in varying tones. In a broader perspective, Kalilangan projects a positive and dynamic meaning for it engulfs the artistic, humane and altruistic aspects of social interaction that takes place in any occasion or celebration. Kalilangan is a noble tradition. It is a complete work of art nourished and nurtured by rich cultural heritage that has withstand the test of time from generation to generation. The festival is being Spearheaded by the Mindanao State University upon which have garnered awards as the countries best native/local festival three years in succession.
Tuna Festival
Thanksgiving and festivities are being celebrated annually through its Tuna Festival during the Last week of August and the first week of September highlighting on its main industry which is the Tuna fishing. This is also in line with the celebration of the city's charter anniversary which falls every 5 September and is also being set as the culmination day for the Tuna Festival. Aside from parades and showcases, numerous culinary competitions are being held to promote sumptuous tuna based cuisines and other delectable meals made from fresh sea food
Yaman Gensan
Yaman Gensan is an annual event in Gensan that celebrates and promotes local entrepreneurs. It is also celebrates in Month of July. Tuna products, T'nalak, Malong and other tribal objects that show off and sell it, through manufacture. Yaman Gensan direves a good quality of highly urbanized.
Paskuhan sa Gensan
The city invites the way of Birth of Jesus christ, by honoring this event. This is actually celebrates in December 17 up to the countdown of New Year, Colorful lanterns, giant Christmas tree and Gensan Barangay Christmas House competition are in the event and also Paskuhan sa Gensan Street Dancing, choir group and Christmas Dance craze are joined also in the love and hope event.

Infrastructure[edit]

Communication

Modern and state-of-the-art communication facilities at par with global standards are readily available and are provided in General Santos City by major telecommunication companies in the country. These include voice, data, internet and network solutions, among others, in both wired and mobile forms.

Transportation[edit]

Airliners disembarking at General Santos City International Airport

GenSan and the whole of SOCCSKSARGEN region can be reached by air, land, or sea.

Air Transportation

The General Santos International Airport is the largest airport in Mindanao.[7] It has a 3,227-metre concrete runway[8] capable of handling wide-bodied jets like Airbus A340 and Boeing 747. It was also called Rajah Buayan Airport in the 1990s and Tambler Airport in year 2008 before it was renamed to its current name. Flights to and from Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu are currently being operated in the airport by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. General Santos International Airport is the second busiest airport in Mindanao and 9th busiest airport in the Philippines.

Sea Transportation

The Makar Wharf is the main international sea port of the city and is one of the finest sea ports in the country. It is location in Barangay Labangal, away from the central business district. With a 740 metres (2,430 ft) docking length and a 19 metres (62 ft) width, the wharf can accommodate up to nine (9) ship berthing positions all at the same time.[9] The port is complete with modern facilities like container yards, storage and weighing bridges to name a few.[10] Several shipping companies operate regular inter-island ferry service to and from other major ports in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Negros Navigation, SuperFerry and Sulpicio Lines provide these inter-island shipping routes while numerous Indonesian shipping lines operate international ferry service between General Santos City and neighboring ports in Indonesia carrying both passenger and cargo loads.

Pioneer Avenue, General Santos City
Land Transportation

Commuting in and around General Santos City is a fast and convenient ride. More than 400 passenger buses, public utility vans and jeepneys wield routes within the city and neighboring provinces like in Koronadal, Cotabato, Davao, Tacurong, Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro and others. Three-wheeled motorized cabs known as tricycles are the city's main mode of public transport and have been on the road since the pioneering times. Air-conditioned taxis also ply the city streets offering commuters a choice of a more comfortable mode of transportation.

Maintained by the City Engineers' Office, the city's major road networks are paved and endowed with safety road marks, signs and signals to ensure a secure and efficient traffic flow within the city. The Pan-Philippine Highway links the city by land to other major cities in Mindanao and to the rest of the country.

The General Santos City Terminal—popularly known as Bulaong Terminal; located in Barangay Dadiangas North is the city's main integrated land transport terminal. The terminal serves as the city's gateway for land travelers. Buses and other forms of public mass transportation—to and from various parts of Mindanao and the country—are being stationed at the said terminal.

Utilities[edit]

Power
Majority of the city's power supply is being serviced by the second district of South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (SOCOTECO-II). The said power distributor acquires the majority of its power needs for the city's consumption from the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) while other sources are drawn from various Independent Power Producers (IPP) from nearby power plants and barges.
Water
Majority of the households and other entities in the city are provided and serviced with clean, safe and potable water supply from deep well sources by General Santos City Water District (GSCWD). Potable water sources in other far flung and remote parts of the city where cannot be reached by the local water utility service are being served by their individual Barangay Water And Sanitation systems.
Waste management
In a bid to achieve an efficient and sustainable management of non-hazardous waste the city produces every single day, the finalization and construction of the city's waste water treatment facility is currently underway at the corner of P. Acharon and I. Santiago Boulevards.[11] The said location is adjacent to the city public market and is the former site of the city's Fish Landing. The facility will include settling ponds and anaerobic reactors, among others.
Likewise is the finalization stage for the construction of a multi-million peso solid waste management and disposal system in Barangay Sinawal. The new and modern solid waste management facility will replace the existing city dumpsite in Barangay Siguel.[12]

Security and Civil Defense[edit]

The Philippine National Police, a military task force has been formed to protect the city from terrorist attacks and other crime. Task Force GenSan is affiliated with the Philippine Army and headed by an army colonel. 8 Police Stations are build on each barangay to keep the safeness and a peaceful order in city. Agencies and Organizations are forming a good and peaceful will to group an order in a city.

Health Services[edit]

The average life expectancy of Gensanon is 70 for females and 65 for males. There are 19 hospitals, with a total of 1,963 beds, in the city including GenSan Doctors Hospital, St. Elizabeth Hospital, SOCCSARGEN Country Hospital, Mindanao Medical Center, R.O Diagan Cooperative Hospital and the General Santos City District Hospital servicing a care for the people.

Education[edit]

Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, a Catholic institution run by the Marist Brothers or FMS (Fratres Maristae a Scholis)

Aside from more than 50 Private Schools and more than 100 public schools, General Santos City hosts three universities. These are the Mindanao State University - General Santos, Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, New Era University - General Santos Campus.

Soon the General Santos campus of the country's oldest academic institution, University of Santo Tomas, will rise in Barangay Ligaya.

Media[edit]

Notable media publications in the city Sun Star GenSan, Brigada Newspaper, Periodiko Banat and Sapol Newspaper.

There are eight television stations in the city that are owned and operated by broadcasting networks — ABS-CBN TV-3, GMA Channel 8 SOCSKSARGEN, TV5 Channel 12, GMA News TV Channel 26, ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 36, Aksyon TV 38, UNTV Channel 39, MYX Channel SOCCSKSARGEN Channel 66 and the only GenSan-based TV network Brigada News TV channel 46. There are two local newscasts programs in General Santos: TV Patrol Socsksargen of ABS-CBN General Santos, Testigo Socsksargen of GMA SOCSKSARGEN and Ronda Brigada of Brigada News TV. Also, Aksyon Socsksargen of TV5 General Santos to be aired in the city soon.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Local[edit]

International[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]