Before the Christmas rush, a couple of friends and I were invited for a quick trip to General Santos City and Tupi South Cotabato in December last year.

During our short visit to General Santos City, we took a side trip to Tupi, South Cotabato to visit the Strawberry Guyabano (SG) Farm.

SG Farm is located in Barangay Kablon, Tupi. From the Grand Summit Hotel in General Santo City, where we were staying, it was roughly around an hour and a half drive.

The parking lot was nearly filled when we arrived. I was wondering first why there were so many people but then I realized that it was a Sunday when we came here. Hence, the crowd.

After paying the P100 entrance fee, we leisurely made our way around the wide farm.

We started at the bridge where you will get an amazing view of Mt. Matutum if it is not hiding behind the clouds. At the end of the bridge is the gazebo, which, I think, is the focal point of the farm.

While we were walking along the bridge, I took notice of the modern huts from the distance. These were some of the accommodations that you can book for the night at the farm. And they looked nice from where I saw them.

When we passed by it and were able to get a closer look, the huts looked homey and comfortable to stay in. I also liked the colorful exteriors of the row of four smaller huts.

There was also a row of strawberry plants in front of the huts. Unfortunately, the strawberry bushes were not yet bearing fruits when we visited.

We then found ourselves in the most crowded area of SG Farm. A place I would call the "Photo area." This area was designed to give you the best backdrop or spot for your selfies, groufies, and OOTDs. This spot also gives you a closer view of Mt. Matutum.

For cool photos, have it on the swing. Make sure someone is taking it on the side where you can see Mt. Matutum.

The "Move on deck" also offers a great spot for photos. You can have someone take the photo from behind for a nice view of the lush vegetation in front of the deck. After a few more groufies and selfies, we checked out the Rainforest Cafe, one of the three primary food outlets on the farm.

The Rainforest Cafe was a beautiful cafe despite how chaotic it was when we came in. The centerpiece of the two-floored, high ceiling cafe was its chandelier made of indigenous materials. I decided to order an Iced Americano and an Egg Pie.

While I waited for my order, we checked out the swimming pool behind the food cafe. However, what stood out here was the big red barn, which was only a few meters away from the pool. I liked how the barn contrasts its green surroundings.

We went back to the Rainforest Cafe after a few photos. My Iced Americano was ready for pick up at the counter several minutes later. I took a sip of the Iced Americano and was surprised by how sweet it was. It was too sweet that the sugar almost drowned the coffee.

While my friends ordered their snacks and drinks, I decided to explore the farm more.

I went to the Bayog Cafe, which I think is also a very picturesque spot at the farm. I think that the swings at the counter in lieu of bar stools were a cool idea.

Before returning to my friends, I took another walk around the farm. While the farm was spacious, you could walk around it in less than an hour. I also dropped by their souvenir shop. However, I wished it were closer to the entrance or near the cafe because there was not a lot of foot traffic here.

With an entrance fee of only P100 per person, SG Farm is a nice place to visit in Tupi, South Cotabato. There are a lot of good spots to take photos at. If you want to relax with your family or friends, there are also cafes where you can just sit and relax.

I also like the cold climate here. As the sun sets, it also gets colder.

For those who are on a short day tour here, the most you can do is take photos and eat. However, if you visit their website, SG Farm has several activities for its guests like trekking.

It can also be crowded here on the weekends. Therefore, you might want to visit on a weekday if you are free.

When passing by Tupi, South Cotabato, try to make a quick visit at SG Farm.

Staying at Grand Summit Hotel

During our stay in General Santos City, we spent the night at the newly-opened Grand Summit Hotel Gensan, which is Robinsons Hotels and Resorts' new upscale hotel brand.

Once you enter the hotel, you will be welcomed by its spacious lobby and lounging area. You will also find here their all-day dining restaurant, Café Summit.

We will be staying at the twin deluxe rooms on the second floor of the hotel.

I think the twin deluxe room that we stayed in was well appointed with basic necessities you would expect from a four-star hotel.

There are two pretty large single beds in the room. Placed at the end of each of the beds were health kits, which contained a face mask, alcohol wipes, and gloves.

The beds were comfortable as I had a very good sleep during our stay here. The best part was the pillows, which were quite big, fluffy, and also comfortable to rest on.

The view from our room was not much but you can still see Mt. Matutum from where we were staying.

Overall, I find the twin deluxe room to be quite nice. The room was well appointed with the things you will need for a comfortable stay in General Santos City.

Meanwhile, the hotel's all dining restaurant is the Café Summit, which offers classic Filipino dishes with some Indonesian in there. We had lunch and dinner here when we arrived and breakfast before leaving General Santos City. Some of the memorable dishes I tried were the Shrimp Gambas, Cream of Broccoli, and the Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken we had for lunch.

Meanwhile, for dinner, the Chicken Satay with peanut sauce, Pork Crackling Kare-Kare, Crispy Canton Noodles, and Fish fillet in oyster sauce were delicious too.

To start the dinner we were also served their signature cocktail drink -- The Grand. The Grand was a concoction of Grand Marnier, Black Label, Vodka, and Lemon.

For dessert, we had the Grand Chocolate Cake, which is a moist cocoa cake in semi-sweet ganache. This was a delicious slice of chocolate cake.

For breakfast the following day, I ordered the Filipino Breakfast and opted for garlic rice, scrambled eggs, and tuna longganisa.

It was a pleasant stay at the Grand Summit Hotel. I liked the overall vibe of the hotel. The highlight of the stay for me was the hotel's bed and pillows. They were simply comfortable to sleep on. The food at Café Summit was also good too.

I think the hotel is a good place to stay for those coming to the city for business or leisure purposes. (RJL)