Tuna Festival in General Santos City - Philippines

General Santos City is considered as the tuna capital of the Philippines, with about a third of the countrys tuna industry getting its supply from this part of Mindanao.


General Santos City lies in Southern Philippines, in the islands of Mindanao and is part of the province of South Cotabato. Travelers wishing to visit the city have three travel options via air, land and sea.

At the moment there are only two airlines operating to and from General Santos: Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. From Manila, there are direct flights going to the city; while flights going back to Manila are either direct or with a stop-over in Cebu.

Buses can be taken from other cities close to General Santos such as Davao and Koronadal. Among the bus operators servicing the city are Yellow Bus Lines, Holiday Bus and Huskey Lines.

For travelers wishing to arrive by boat, Super Ferry and Sulpicio Lines are among the most popular choices for sea travel going in and out of the city.

Getting around town meanwhile, is usually done through tricycles and taxis.


During the Tuna Festival, various activities, program events and shows are held; spread-out during the entire one week celebration of the festival. A colorful parade of floats is one of the highlights of the festival, as well as street dancing by students donning beautiful costumes.

Fireworks display, a carnival presentation complete with a fire-eater, fish dance competition, a beauty pageant, culinary skills competition, a modeling contest, sashimi night and a Tuna Congress are only some of the exciting programs lined-up during the week-long celebration of the Tuna Festival.

As part of the Tuna Festival, an awarding ceremony called the Karagatan Awards is held to pay homage to the unsung heroes of the citys fishing industry.

The festival usually takes place during late August up to early September.

How it Began

What started as a spontaneous event organized by the citys tourism association back in 1998, evolved into what is now known as the Tuna Festival.

During the 30th anniversary of the City Charter, the Tourism Association decided to celebrate this occasion with an event that highlighted tuna cuisine through cooking contests and exhibits.

From this spontaneous idea came the annual celebration of the Tuna Festival.


A visit to General Santos City will be relatively cheap since there are a good number of excellent accommodations that are very affordable.

Hotels and inns offer comfortable rooms at reasonable rates; while dining in the city is likewise affordable with several dining establishments offering cheap local fares especially during the citys annual festivals.

Tourists wishing to take part in the Tuna Festival are advised to book room accommodations early on since most of the hotels and inns will already be fully-booked during the festival run.



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