My first day as SoCCSKSarGen Experience Tour-ist 2014 - Ning4u: Anything And Everything's Free
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My first day as SoCCSKSarGen Experience Tour-ist 2014

The first day for this year's SoCCSKSarGen Experience Tour (SEx Tour 5) has just begun and as early as 5:30AM, me and my blogger friends Richard, Flow, and Adrian (complete list of SExTour participants HERE) took the first flight to General Santos (GenSan) City via Cebu Pacific Air. Upon arrival at GenSan airport, we took a cab/van for only 350Php to our hotel - Delle Suites in General Santos City.

Delle Suites: Our First Home in SoCCSKSarGen

Delle Suites, is a boutique hotel which is located at #9 Provido Village Brgy City Heights, General Santos City and served as our first home in the first leg of the tour. The hotel is only an 8 peso tricycle ride away from any of the city establishments like shopping centers, wet markets, and more. Each room,  including ours, is equipped with microwave oven, hot & cold shower, WiFi, and very comfortable beds. Even if the hotel is newly built and opened only around the first week of August, it's fully booked until the last week of September. The guests keep coming because Delle Suites offer affordable accommodations for as low as 950Php per night and the staff are courteous and very efficient. 

You may visit their Facebook page for more details HERE.

Alsons Aquaculture Corporation: The Home of the Milkfish

After we had our early check-in at exactly 10AM, Rap Gregorio, one of the SoCCSKSarGen bloggers. fetched us from the hotel on time to go to Alsons Aquaculture Corporation in Sarangani. Alsons is the biggest unit producer and breeder of milkfish (bangus) in the country. Mr.Jerry showed us the place where quality milkfish are raised,  from feeding to the harvesting phase. This covers almost 100 hectares of land lying along the Sarangani Bay. The Bay itself serves as the main source of water for producing milkfish, which is in demand not only in our country but also in US and Europe.

After the field visit, we went to the plant wherein the world-class milkfish are prepared and packed. We also learned about the different fishes they breed like pampano and sea bass and the other fresh seafood products they produce. Since our visit was around lunchtime, the Alsons officers prepared lunch for us yeay...We feasted on a variety of seafood, including spanish sardines, rellenong bangus, smoked-bangus, dinaing na bangus, steamed pampano, buttered shimp and more. I was the happiest SEx Tour participant at the table that moment because I love seafood,  especially the "dinaing na bangus" and spanish sardines. They all tasted fresh, sweet, and tender, I can say that Alsons Sarangani Bangus is the best bangus I've ever tasted so far.

The Sarangani Way

We also visited the Sarangani Provincial Capitol where Sarangani Tourism and Investment Promotions Center Coordinator Larry Asparin welcomed us and offered tasty delicacies that Saranganians made. I personally think the cassava cake is divine, and forgive my superlatives but, i think it is the best cassava cake I've tasted in my whole life hayz. The banana puto is unique too, it's like eating a banana cake in a puto way. I mean it's moister than an ordinary banana cake and a lot tastier too , hehe.

Mr. Larry told us that Sarangani had come a long way from what it was before. In fact, the recent Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival was so successful, that up until now, people are raving about it and are looking forward to next year's SarBay event. SarBay is the biggest beach party in Mindanao that pays tribute to the importance of the Bay which sustains life thru its rich marine resources. But it is only one of almost eleven festivals happening around Sarangani including Munato Festival (November), Lubi-Lubi Festival (October), Kasadyaan Festival (September), and more that we should look forward to this year and visit the province.

J. Co in Mindanao

Our tour continued as we went back to GenSan City, particularly in Veranza Mall to try J.Co Donuts & Coffee located at the ground level. J.Co is a lifestyle cafe offering donuts, coffee, and frozen yogurt. J.Co has almost 18 branches in the Philippines and Veranza is one of them, so the southern region can enjoy the delicious treat of a wide variety of products that J.Co offers. They pointed that even in Mindanao, the best seller is the Alcapone donuts,which is true for most of its branches.

The best part is, we had our fill of donuts and  J.Co beverages of our choice. Not only that, we were also given a box full of J.Co donuts for take- out yeay.. Thank you so much!

If you want to relax and have a good chat with your friends, why don't you try the spacious place like J.Co Donuts and Cafe in Veranza. You may call (083) 354-0143 or (083) 305-0126 for details and inquiries. Am sure you will enjoy the place like we did.

Veranza and KCC Mall

After a whole day of almost non-stop eating of delicious and exquisite food, what better way to reduce our fullness than to walk and stroll leisurely around Veranza and KCC Mall.

We learned that Veranza is the first green mall in the country. It is an extremely environment-friendly mall because of its energy saving ability to allow daylight. There's a Veranza's Eco Red Shield, a transparent bubble roofing that houses the establishments. Veranza mall made sure that the SoCCSKSarGen region enjoys this state of the art green technology.

KCC Mall, on the other hand, is an interconnected shopping mall with Veranza that offers the most affordable consumer products in the market. Most of their products come from their own farm or small producer units of Mindanao, especially from livestock which is supplied by Bio-Technology Farms. These biotechnology farms use living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products like the ones found in  abundance in the KCC mall.

To conclude my first day as a SoCCSKSarGen Experience Tour-ist, a sumptuous dinner courtesy of Cafe Laguna located at the ground floor of Veranza mall was served. The restaurant offers an authentic Filipino cuisine, from bulalo, fried chicken with pandan leaves to kare-kare and more. It is such a cozy place to spend with your family and friends. You can start your meal with a wide variety of Filipino delicacies that they serve like bibingka, puto bungbong, espasol, turon and more. You may call (083) 302-5356 or 0925-8410409 for inquiries and reservations.

That's it for the SoCCSKSarGen Experience Tour 5 Day 1. See you tomorrow for a recap of our next adventure in SoCCSKSarGen. See more photos of our first day tour HERE.

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