GenSan: A Story Beyond “PacMan” and Tuna

If you love eating tuna or have watched a boxing match of one of the greatest boxers of all time, Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, then let me take you to this destination city.

General Santos or “GenSan,” in short, is the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.  We export tuna to Japan’s fish markets and delis in the U.S.  Likewise, it is the gateway to Saranggani Province, the hometown of Filipino pound-for-pound boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who is now an elected senator serving his 6-year term representing his province.

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Villa Escudero: Filipino Tradition Comes Alive

I am from the Generation X. We were those kids whose teen years were spent during the 1980s. We were sometimes aptly called the “Baby Busters” because we are the children of the “Baby Boomers” and “The Silent Generation.”

The present Y2K generation may have not experienced playing in the streets with other kids like we did back then.  While most kids nowadays are hooked in video games and computers and interacting with other gamers online, we get rough and tumble on the riveting games like patintero,” “siyato,” and  tumbang preso,” to name a few, and we occupy the entire street whenever we play.  I got bumps and bruises every now and then; but I have to admit that I was remarkably good at those team games.

Sadly, seldom do I see much of the Filipiana settings nowadays except on stage.  Hence, when I went to Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in San Pablo, Laguna, I was charmed by the way the owners preserved the rich legacy of the Filipino traditions.

Let me identify several high-points of my overnight stay as I reveled in every bit of the Filipino culture.

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A Manifesto of Freedom

Who would NOT want to be free?  I believe there is not one soul who would want to be contained in a box for a lifetime because certainly I know that we are born to create the life we were given.

I believe travel gives me the opportunity to be creative – to explore, to appreciate, to learn the culture around me and at the same time get to know more about myself.

Powdery white sand beach of Boracay
The powdery white sand beach of Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast in Boracay Island.

In every angle I turn, there is a story.  Those are the stories that I have not read in books but more so of what I have personally experienced with my interaction with people, places and situations.  There is always a story to write and I can be a part of it.

When I travel there is a deep sense of freedom.  They say that travel is not about a certain place but the journey of getting to your destination.  I believe it is so. What captures my heart most are the pit stops and fanciful observations along the way.

 Although, some people have this affordability factor to consider, I myself do not have to go to a far-away land to fulfill my wishes to travel. There are several junctures when I find myself just being there as if luck has just invited me in.  In every place I go, I always find something uniquely special about the locale that I can treasure, which when someone asks about it, I could tell the story.

 I am not tourist but a traveler. Relatively, being a photographer gives me an edge of expressing the artist in me with my creation.  Whenever I capture the beauty of what the universe presents in front of me, I realize fulfillment.  There are numerous moments which I missed at times when I was busy with other trivial things – stuff that really does not matter, in retrospect. Nonetheless, nature is always forgiving and constantly gives me yet another opportunity to see the choice of seizing another beautiful moment.

The best thing that I benefit from travel is a chance to re-invent myself. Memories are created so I just go and follow the destination of where my heart leads…that is what I call FREEDOM.

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This is my first blog.  More to come in the next days. eBaulaTravels wishes you to explore the beautiful places which abound all around us.