Bold & Brazen in GenSan - S3X Tour Tres

I booked a Cebu Pacific piso-fare promo flight to GenSan (General Santos) for the Tuna Festival that it was famous for this year 2011. There were no plans whatsoever, I just wanted to see if I can get over not liking The Fish. I didn't know what I was going to do in a 4D3N stay a few weeks before the trip. Then came a golden opportunity - a slot opened for the S3X Tour Tres (The Soccsksargen EXperience Tour) organized by blogger GenSan native Bariles and it coincided with three out of the four days of my trip. I say it's golden because I had such a wonderful time and a GenSan virgin like me was very satisfied and amazed. I got to experience both South Cotabato and General Santos (I missed the Saranggani part by one day) and met new friends from all over the country who share the same passion for traveling like my Iloilo trip last year. 

I arrived at the GenSan airport fresh from a 1-hour and 50-minute morning flight.

I took a P50 Multicab ride, P8 of that went to a Tricy (and which the Multicab driver paid) which took me straight to Dolores Hotel. Team S3X Tour Tres was coming from Sarangani and the hotel was the meeting place before we headed out to lunch.

I was introduced to Kuya Avel (Bariles) finally in the car and the rest of Team S3X Tour Tres, some familiar faces from my Iloilo trip last year. I was still a little stunned and mute that I was finally in GenSan. I was as quiet as ever and just rode the car for lunch at the Mt. Sabrina Restaurant Resort (Tambler, General Santos). FYI, there's really no Mt. Sabrina. Their main business is a catering service.

I loved the view and wished I could just sit outside but I had to eat, take pictures, listen and acquaint myself with the team. I haven't gotten used to traveling with two vans loaded with people, it seems. I needed a couple more hours to adjust so I just focused on the food.

Sure, I could take tuna. Grilled sounds nice. Mt. Sabrina Restaurant Resort had big chunks all laid out for us. There's something you don't see too often in Manila. Then I started to ask the server what parts they were and my appetite just plunged... there's the Tuna Panga (jaw part) above, Tuna Belly below

and the rest of the Tuna's Face. Nothing goes to waste and everybody loved it. 

My head was asking to please point me to the regular Tuna meat I know to eat. My brain just can't take it and my stomach is not used to the softer mushy parts. I was already here so I gave it a try and each part tasted different and rich. I reminded myself that this was why I was here for. The second and filler helping went to the Liempo, Squid and Porkchop.

It enlivened me a bit to have a little fun first with the rest of the team. We posed for Montage Digital Photography at the Gaisano Mall of GenSan.

Merienda came right after lunch.

It was a very big 36-inch XtraSuper Calda Pizza. Originally from Cebu, it can now be found in GenSan (Gaisano Mall), Manila and all over the country.

 Something other than seafood would bring me back to life too at this point.

The pizza looked like a giant jigsaw puzzle and we just kept on getting slice after slice of our preferred flavors. There was another 36-inch coming in a few minutes.

Bernie and I could still smile after eating x number of slices.

When you're so full, you just want to sit back and relax. How about front seats to a beauty pageant?

The Mr. & Ms. Gensan 2011 Beauty Pageant was organized and produced by Kuya Avel's brother Orman and was a big thing during the celebration of the Tuna Festival. The contestants for this year were as scaly, shiny and silver in the spotlight as The Fish.

I wasn't too keen on the Q&A portion though. I was more mesmerized with #5's beauty and grace and a first good look at Mike Tan. Hihihi.

It's my first time to watch a full-scale pageant up close. They even have the previous winners walk and video, the stone-studded crowns, the sashes, the swimsuits and everything I see on TV. 

The crowd went wild behind us even before the winners were announced. My favorite didn't win but this was an experience of being into it that I even had a favorite so I was happy.

The evening ended with another food overload at the Tuna Grill Restaurant (Quirino Street, General Santos). They had regular tuna, pansit and sinigang there this time although I was very full already.

Who would have thought that my first day in GenSan would be filled with so many sneak peaks and shocking things? I am truly grateful to the Manansala brothers who made all of this possible. Without your love and golden heart for GenSan, the Filipinos and the rest of Mindanao, I wouldn't have these wonderful memories. It just goes to show that a single person can start making ripples and contribute to their community and their country and it just so happens that we chose blogging as our medium to bring people together even if you are from Mindanao and I am from Luzon. This day of the tour was so properly called Bold & Brazen in GenSan. I could relate to it starting from the tuna overload to the people overload to the pizza overload to the glitter overload. I was still standing by the end of the night, mighty proud of myself for making it through that day.

Bold & Brazen in GenSan - S3X Tour Tres - This is just the start of a wild adventure =) Check out more posts under the General Santos: GenSan Label.