I am having a really hard time thinking about suitable words and/or statements to utter about my Summer Safari experience last  March 29-30, 2010. All that I can say is that it has been a very awesome, exciting and unforgettable experience for me, and surely for other bloggers based from Davao, Cagayan, and the host city, General Santos. The event was headed by the Manansala brothers, namely Avel and Orman and other SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers. Before I get carried away by the excitement I felt about the event, let me tell you in advance that it was a well planned and organized affair, truly a job well done by everyone who was working in front and behind the scene for the event.

Before anything else, before we headed to General Santos, we – the Davao and Cagayan de Oro based bloggers – had an awesome lunch at Ranchero Grill. The Davao Bloggers hosted the new arrival from CDO that afternoon. We were served by various numerous plates of Crabs, Fried Chicken and other delicious dishes. Thanks for the lunch! I was a bit scared that there wouldn’t be a chicken the rescue me from my anti-seafoods habit. :p

Exclusivity from the Start

Our Davao-General Santos trip via Yellow Bus Line took about three hours of our time. The atmosphere during the ride was clear; everyone was equally excited about what was still ahead of us that very evening, May 29, 2010; even though most of us were looking tired. Most especially the bloggers from Cagayan de Oro that arrived past noon in Davao, to accompany the Davao Bloggers going there.

Upon arrival at the YBL Terminal in General Santos City,  Avel, Orman and a few other SoCCKSarGen bloggers came to drive us to our hotel. With a Van provided for us by  General Santos City Mayor Pedro “Jun” Acharon.

Ice Castle Experience & Pacman Sports Bar

Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao sponsored our welcome apertif at their Pacman Sports Bar to which we proceeded right after checking in at the Ice Castle Experience Hotel. A Hotel that hasn’t opened yet, which we, the bloggers from DVO and CDO were its first inhabitants for two nights.

Refreshments of our choice, and a number of appetizers, like huge Cheese Sticks, Butter Chicken and more, welcomed us at the Pacman Sports bar. A really nice place to hangout and chill. Pacquiao knows well were to put his money!

Filipino-style Dinner at Le Jardin

Filipino-style Dinner at Le Jardin

Filipino-style Dinner at Le Jardin

I was already full. I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not really used to eat a lot, but the servings of Pacman Sports Bar really got me eating. But yeah, still a whole dinner was waiting for us at the Le Jardin Arnevel.

“Gensan’s famous catering service that humbly started as a barbecue stand and from time on gradually rose up as a fine business to meet Gensan’s needs.” – Faust

I find no words suitable to describe the delicious dinner that we had, so instead let me show you a little collage – by Lyle Santos – to give you a sample of what was waiting to be devoured by the bloggers in attendance.

Final Stop – Meet and Greet SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers at Piyesta KTV and Resto Bar

The last, but not the least venue that he headed to, before heading back to the hotel to take our well deserved rest after all the food that was thrown at us; was the Piyesta KTV and Resto Bar located at the Robinsons Place. To my surprise, there have been a lot of young bloggers in attendance. Something I’d like to see more of here in Davao City in soon time. But that’s not the topic right now.

We were served various drinks and foods yet again. From Lechon, to Jell-O Shots, Gayuma and more. I really enjoyed the company of all the bloggers present. And it was a joy to my heart to see young bloggers, full of potential be present that evening.

After my worries about load were washed away by Orman – thanks -; I enjoyed a drink or two of SMBL with Geeky Faust. I don’t know, but it felt like the beer in GenSan, even if we have the same brands in Davao (obviously); tasted a lot better than in Davao. Ria Jose explained it this way: In Davao, they use non-distilled water, because we have clean water there. In other places, including GenSan, they use distilled water for the beer.

I was unable to really get into an conversation with the younger bloggers on the first day, but on the second, yet that’s another story to be unfolded later on or tomorrow.

All in all it was an unique and enjoyable experience that no other occasion seems to match. Lumilevel-up ang mga bloggers, every event seems better, and better, and better. 🙂
I’ll try to get back to you later this evening or tomorrow for my Day 2 post, and for my summarized article of the whole affair into one. If you can’t wait any longer, have a look at Orman‘s post.

Special thanks to the event sponsors:

  • Pacman Sports Bar
  • Le Jardin Arnevel
  • Dolores Farm Resort
  • Francis Sablon of Zion Travel
  • Seven Falls Zipline
  • Punta Isla Lake Resort
  • Merl’s Garden Resort
  • Balai Bistro
  • The Red Tent Steakhouse
  • Rolee’s Bakeshop
  • Kuya Chito’s Takuyaki
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