Last weekend, in a jampacked ceremony at the Kalantiao Hall, Sarabia Manor Hotel in Iloilo City, the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) awarded General Santos City’s TUNA FESTIVAL as the country’s 2nd Best Tourism Event – Chartered City Category.

Receiving the award from Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano for GenSan Mayor Jun Acharon were the powerhouse GenSan Team headed by Councilors Richard Atendido (Tourism Committee Chair) and Domdom Lagare together with GSC Tourism Council Vice-Chair Rey Billena, Kalilangan Festival Director Orman Manansala, CEMCDO OIC Coralyn Espinosa, CEMCDO Assistant Department Head Egai Cadiente, GSC Tourism Association Prexy Kring Macion, Architect Michael Ang, City Tourism Officer Cora Tito and Ms. GenSan 2008 Ms. Ivy Cunanan with her court.

Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival, for the 3rd straight year again topped the competition.

The awarding was held during the culmination program of the 9th National Convention of the ATOP.ย  This year’s gathering drew in more than 500 delegates.

Incidentally, GenSan also won the 2nd Best Tourism Week Celebration Award and the right to host next year’s 10th National Convention of the ATOP.

From Bariles Republic, congratulations to all the people behind the city’s tourism-related activities especially City Mayor Jun Acharon who has been steadfast in making each year’s celebrations grander and more festive and Tuna Festival Director Bebot Haw in his untiring efforts to strengthen the presence of this annual celebration of the city’s charterhood in the tourism map.