GenSan: One Fine Day and Some Serious Girl Bonding

Last weekend,  me and my girlfriend came together to celebrate the union of my good friends Ate Abby and Jan. I am also taking this time to cross-out some items out of my 2013 bucket list. Look at what I’ve crossed out:

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  • Out of Luzon Island trip with mother. Check! Two years ago, Nanay and I were planned (and actually booked a flight) to visit Tacloban. But due to her health condition, we marked it cancelled. Another trip is planned and I am really glad it pushed through. We flew to Gen San via Cebu Pacific. PhP8,000 for 2 round trip ticket ain’t bad for non-promo flights. We could still get a lower rate if we booked earlier.  
  • Visit Mindanao – yes, it’s my first time! I was a bit worried that Nanay will be in her good health since she just had her shockwave therapy weeks before our flight. The trip excited her. She was determined to be in good shape before these dates  (Oct 24-27, 2013)|For in flight comfort, it’s always advisable to bring a shawl or light blanket. Nanays can be a bit sensitive to the in flight temperature. Bring something to keep them busy – a book or gum perhaps. 
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    Topmost: our third day in Gen San before heading to the beach Bottom left: The sky Gen San-bound. Bottom Right: Touchdown after a long delay. Ow, it’s nanay’s 1st flight after more than 15 years 🙂

  • Take a plunge in Saranggani Bay.  I floated in the super clear water of the bay. You can clearly see your feet underwater. Philippine beaches are really the best. London Beach Resort is one of the highly recommended beaches in Gensan located along the  National Highway, General Santos. It’s a few kilometers away from Saranggani Highlands. 

collage - saranggani

  • Feast on Mindanao fruits. I love, love mangosteen! And oh hello marang, where have you been all this time?


  • Meet Nanay’s closest Aunt – grandmama Connie. We stayed at Lola’s house for a night. Nanay and Lola never stopped laughing and sharing stories.  I just learned that Nanay never tasted Durian yet. So Lola  gave her a treat, she bought her a whole Durian.Lola shared that we should look for the Puyat Variety. This is the kind of durian that does not spoil easily and the kind that is less odorous. I am not sure if  Durian is allowed as a check-in luggage but for marang I am able to do so. 
Nanay's first taste of Durian

Nanay’s first taste of Durian

  •  Have a photo op with a tuna at the fish port. The owner of Saranggani Highlands, our home for that weekend is willing to arrange a visit to the port. But due to time constraint it did not push through.  Fail! But I have an alternative.
  • collage - tuna
  • Eat tuna in Gen San. Another check! I had sushi, sinigang, inihaw, kinilaw. Burp! So much of tuna that my skin started to itch. Lesson learned: bring anti-histamine.For some gastronomical adventures, Lola took us to Tiongson Arcade where there is a stretch of ihaw-ihaw/paluto stalls.  We had tinolang halaan, pork barbeque and seaweeds salad.Tiongson Arcade is located at Tiongson Street, Lagao, General Santos City.
  • collage - food
  • Explore Gen San City.  One can go around Gen San by jeep, tricycle and vans. Nanay and I opted for a tricycle. Fare is cheap as compared to the tricycle rates in Manila. We have been to these huge malls – KCC and Veranza. The man-made falls in not operating the time we visited.Lola’s garden caretaker drove us in different routes so we can have a “city tour”.  We took a short stop at Plaza Heneral Santos and learned a bit of Gen San history.

collage - explore

I enjoyed exploring Gen San. But if there is someone who enjoyed it most, it is Nanay. this trip was therapeutic for her. She was able to unwind, bond with my girlfriends’ moms, explore a new city, reunite with her aunt whom she haven’t seen for more than 30 years. Though I have lost one of our luggages on our GenSan-Manila flight. The trip was all worth it. Nanay even had a wish that she’ll be flying at least once a year to a new city. I am for it. It will be a good preparation for her long haul flight to NZ.

collage - gen san plaza


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