Transplanting: Escaping the City to General Santos City, Mindanao, Philippines

I am currently in the Philippines for my summer holiday and took time to visit my mom's hometown, General Santos City (affectionately called "GenSan" by the locals). To me it seems that Mindanao is unchartered territory - even for many Filipinos - who fear what they read/hear on the news. But for me, Mindanao is home away from home. Since I started visiting GenSan in high school, I quickly learned that there is no reason to be afraid or wary of my surroundings. I simply had to sit back and absorb all its beauty.

Credits: vettievette

Planning my summer holiday was quite easy. I knew I wanted to take in as much of Manila as I possibly can, but I also wanted to visit the areas where my parents are from – Pampanga and Mindanao. I spent one week in Mindanao, visiting General Santos City and Davao. This being the first time I visited the Philippines without my parents, I was excited for the opportunity to come up with my own appreciation and understanding of my roots.

My adventure around General Santos City began as soon as I got off the plane – which by the way, is a quick, affordable 1.5 hour ride from Manila via AirPhil Express or Cebu Pacific. After lunch, we visited Olympog – 40 minutes from the city proper into the hills. The view is majestic. You can see the whole valley of rolling, green, sprawling trees (mostly coconut) right below you. They have a small canteen and a zipline for those who are feeling a bit adventurous.

Credits: vettievette

The next day, we went to Rosal Beach Resort, Glan, Sarangani province. It’s about 2 hours away from the city center along the beautiful coast. Since we went on a weekday while the kids are at school and everyone else at work, we had the beachfront to ourselves and all you can hear is the crashing of the waves.

Credits: vettievette

Our last major escapade in GenSan was Lake Sebu – the ancestral home of the T’boli people. We had lunch on the lake at Punta Isla Resort and took a tour around the lake to learn more about the T’boli and their relationship to the land.

Credits: vettievette

GenSan is a jack of all trades – you can head into the mountains to enjoy ziplining, waterfalls, etc. or down to the coast for fresh seafood (the best yellowfin tuna, bar none) and white sandy beaches. I now understand why the area has done well over the years and why I keep wanting to return.

Photo and words by Yvette Cuenco. Yvette is a Filipino-American originally from Concord, California who has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY, and is now feeding her travel bug by living/working overseas in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Read more of Yvette’s international adventures on her Tumblr and her jaunts with Filipino (plus more) cuisine at her other blog.

written by vettievette on 2012-07-26 in #world #locations

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomo'Instant: Walk In the City

    written by ldelaurentiis on 2014-11-04 in #lifestyle
    Lomo'Instant: Walk In the City

    Going away for the weekend is always fun, especially if, like me, you live abroad and go back to visit your home city! For my walk through Milan, I decided to bring with me the Lomo’Instant because well, I just love it! Here are my thoughts after this special weekend!

  • Off the Beaten Track: Boulder City Amersfoort

    written by stratski on 2014-05-18 in #world #locations
    Off the Beaten Track: Boulder City Amersfoort

    It may not be as romantic as Paris, as cool as Berlin, or as beautiful as Amsterdam, but my home town Amersfoort is still worth a visit if you want to go off the beaten track.

  • New York - The Best City for Testing LomoChrome Turquoise

    written by zonderbar on 2014-11-11 in #reviews
    New York - The Best City for Testing LomoChrome Turquoise

    Two years ago I swore to myself, I'll be coming back soon!" This October my chance finally came and I flew for the second time to New York City to visit my dear colleagues in the Lomography Gallery Store New York. What I didn’t see coming, though, is the opportunity to test a new secret film during my trip.

  • Shop News

    Adopt an Adaptor and use your Petzval Lens on a huge variety of Cameras!

    Adopt an Adaptor and use your Petzval Lens on a huge variety of Cameras!

    Find a fine selection of Adapters and Filters for your Petzval Lens in our Online Shop. Bundle up and get discounts up to 20%!

  • Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-11-20 in #reviews
    Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    In April of this year I had the chance to test the Petzval Lens and to write a review on it for the German photography forum Kwerfeldein. The lens excited me from the very beginning, at the time it was introduced on Kickstarter. I was afraid that once I had tested the lens, I would want to have one of my own! Well, that’s what happened; a year later, I finally bought my very own Petzval lens.

    1
  • Exploring Kolkata, India

    written by priyankamehta13 on 2014-04-14 in #world #locations
    Exploring Kolkata, India

    Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, was once the great capital of India back when the British ruled our country. This is my hometown, and not the place I study in. I enjoy photographing various urban scenes around it and this is a curated gallery of sorts introducing the old city for you wonderful people.

  • Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    written by sandravo on 2014-05-29 in #gear #tipster
    Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    This is a tutorial for the adventurous Lomographers, for those brave enough to do their own B&W and C-41 work but lacking the confidence to move onto E6. Fear no more! I am an enthusiastic home developer, just like the rest of you, I am not a chemical lab wizard! So if I can pull this off, so can the rest of you. Take a deep breath, relax, and read on. By the end of this article I hope you'll have mustered the courage to give it a go yourselves!

    5
  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Lomography Day Trips: Wandering Around in Lively Leuven

    written by jokelangens on 2014-05-04 in #world #locations
    Lomography Day Trips: Wandering Around in Lively Leuven

    Leuven is a typical Belgian university city that is full of students, but feels a bit like a ghost city when all the students go home for the weekend. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to pay a visit to this beautiful historic city just right next to Brussels. If you like culture, cobblestoned streets, creativity, and Belgian beers, this is your perfect day trip!

    1
  • Lomography Day Trips: Ubud, Bali (Part 1)

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-02 in #world #locations
    Lomography Day Trips: Ubud, Bali (Part 1)

    Aside from the fact that Ubud is a must-visit tourist spot in Bali, it is also the perfect place to relax and get inspired. There, you’ll see and feel something different. Staying there for a month in 2012 made me discover good places to visit. If ever you'll be in Bali for a holiday, don't forget to visit Ubud. Now, I shall take you on a quick visit to this town!

    4
  • Lomography Day Trips: Indulge in More Than Just Fashion in Antwerp

    written by jokelangens on 2014-03-25 in #world #locations
    Lomography Day Trips: Indulge in More Than Just Fashion in Antwerp

    Antwerp. To hear this name is enough for fashionistas from around the world to make them weak with excitement. Home to a gazillion bloggers, fancy and less fancy boutiques, and of course, the only Belgian Lomography Headquarters, Antwerp's definitely worth the visit. But behold: you will find much more than you expect in this vibrant city!

  • Shop News

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Shooting with the Lubitel 166+ is an experience on it´s own. The waist level finder will help you to compose your frames perfectly.With the possibility to use 120 and 35mm Film It offers unlimited creative possibilities deemed to be an analogue masterpiece. Get your legendary Lubitel 166+ in our Online Shop!

  • Lomography Day Trips: Bandung, Indonesia, Part 1 - Join Our Lomowalk!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-08 in #world #locations
    Lomography Day Trips: Bandung, Indonesia, Part 1 - Join Our Lomowalk!

    Where do I begin? Believe me, I know many places in Bandung. From a cozy cafe to where the famous street food and maybe even drinks can be found, to places for lomowalks, it would be my pleasure to show you all around Bandung - the city I love and the city of love!

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • Object of my Affection: Deer of Every Kind!

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-04-18 in #lifestyle
    Object of my Affection: Deer of Every Kind!

    ... but of course, living deer! I don't know what it is that excites me so much about deer. Close to where I live is a small deer enclosure. I feel so sorry for the little guys, but I love to visit them and feed them apples and walnuts.

    3