Saturday, February 25, 2012

General Santos Fish Port Complex

3rd Day of SOCCSKSARGEN trip

(Acronym for the provinces: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City)

When we hear Gensan, we think of TUNA!. Gensan is known to be the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, they even have a festival for it.

At 7am, our guide took us to General Santos Fish Port Complex. Not anyone can just walk-in and visit the place. You have to inform them in advance & register. Good thing our guide did just that. 

 When visiting the fish port, there's a dress code, sleeveless shirts & shorts are not allowed. We were led into a room where we have to wear white rubber boots. After which we walked through chemically treated water to avoid any contamination.

When we were in the port itself, there were rows & rows of big Yellow Fin Tuna handled by several companies who are into Tuna Trading/Business. They are weighed and lined up. There were hundreds of Tuna, and to think the delivery is daily.

 The Tuna is almost as big as people & even weighed more. The meat is checked and graded. Ribbons were tied up to indicate the grade. A narrow stainless tube is inserted and portion of a piece of the Tuna will show its color & grain.

 We even encountered this fish called Diana. Just imagine swimming in the ocean and this fish came swimming beside you.

Diana Fish

 Some Tuna were preserved in ice & will be delivered to key cities in the country and some were covered with insulation & will be shipped to Japan. 

 Some even have to be sponge bathe before packaging. 
 The view of the boats who caried all those Tuna. They would set sea for several days to catch & run after the Tuna. They even mentioned that because of the rise of ocean water temperature, they had to go deeper into the south of the country to find Tuna.

 Buyers, haggling and checking out Tuna.

 Men carrying Tuna heavier than them. Talk about hard work. From the boat they cross a flat narrow platform to reach the port.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kalilangan Festival in General Santos

  In Gensan we were lucky to chance upon the Kalilangan Festival. The venue is just across our hotel. There were several stalls showcasing their local agricultural products. They have a shows, ethnic music and traditional games. It's colorful and different tribes were present. 

  I grew up in a family who are into agriculture and we've always been nature lovers. My parents really appreciated the SOCCSKSARGEN experience. We visited a stall exhibiting all types of Bananas grown in Mindanao. They vary in color & size, it's my first time to see such varieties.They even have the Thousand Fingers Banana. 

  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the fruit stand to sample on Durian. You can not leave Mindanao without tasting one. It's the queen of fruits. In a makeshift table we ate enjoyed the meaty Durian. It's known to be an Aphrodisiac and may cause high blood pressure.

Thousand Fingers Banana