A few months ago and fter 14 long years, my brother and I went back to General Santos City. We went there during the yearly Tuna Festival and since that trip was abruptly planned and we were about to leave within a few days, we knew we couldn’t get rooms in GenSan‘s larger hotels or inns anymore. After searching the Internet for hours and calling almost every possible hotel, inn and lodging place in General Santos City, we were left with the only vacant room in La Tierra Del Sur Hotel.
Located along the National Highway of General Santos City and just a few steps away from the old bus terminal, La Tierra Del Sur Hotel was supposedly one of the more famous lodging places in General Santos City during its heydays or so I was told. These days, however, La Tierra operates more like a tourist inn – a clean place to stay, yes, but there’s nothing much to write home about, so to speak.
La Tierra inn General Santos has 22 rooms, a small bar-cafe, a friendly receptionist and a smiling guard. As soon as you arrive, you would know that the hotel has seen better days. Peeling paint, missing corridor light bulbs and rotten wooden doors have now plagued La Tierra.
Our room had three single beds (odd, I know, but like I said, it was the only available room) and an overnight stay cost P1,000.00. We stayed for three days. Our room’s wooden door has already been attacked by “anay” and our washroom doorknob was broken. Good thing the airconditioner was working (at least it did during our stay) and we had cable TV. There was a “dresser” and slim cabinets where you can store your clothes. The room had hot and cold shower and a lamp that had a broken bulb. There was also a telephone set that didn’t work. We were told that the only working telephone line was the one found at the front desk. Hence, if guests needed something, they had to get out of their rooms and walk to the front desk. And for frequent travelers and hotel patrons like us, that was pure pain.
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Perhaps the only consolation, really, amid all those “scarcities” was La Tierra’s pool. Yes, they had a swimming pool. Thank God. We didn’t take a dip right away, though. We asked the receptionist when it was cleaned the last time. She couldn’t give a straight answer. We went back to our room, waited for a while, looked out our window and voila, a staff member was already busy cleaning the pool. By the way, just in case you decide to order coffee while taking a dip at the pool, don’t forget to remind the waiter that you need SUPER HOT water. We ordered coffee during our stay and the water was lukewarm – almost cold, actually.
Another consolation would be the fact that, because La Tierra was located along the national highway, it was easy for us to catch a ride (trikes are everywhere in GenSan) to go to the various Tuna Festival venues. And yeah, there are a lot of food joints nearby so if you’re in the mood for chicken BBQ or just coffee and pastry, you can find a lot of establishments near La Tierra.
By the way, if you want to bring fresh tuna home, there’s a Citra Mina and another seafood store (forgot the name) a few blocks away from La Tierra. Feel free to ask the smiling security guard – he’ll tell you how to get there.
All in all, our stay at La Tierra GenSan wasn’t so bad. Although of course I wish that the management would improve its amenities and perhaps decrease the price of its rooms (at least for the time being). There’s no use of asking for a thousand bucks for a room that seriously needed repairs, a fresh coat of paint, a working telephone set, a working doorknob and a working lamp.
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