For those of you who faithfully follow our blog here, I’m sure you’ve noticed our absence over the past 5-plus weeks. The absence was with good reason though: we took a much-needed vacation which lasted for an entire month. Lynndee returned with a post a couple of days ago sharing a good portion of our trip to her home country, the Philippines, which was very special to her for she had not seen her family or country since I brought her to the US almost 7-years ago so we could get married. But I had a fantastic time as well for I truly love the country of her birth.
One thing that has so fascinated me about her hometown of General Santos City since my first visit there almost 8-years ago is the fact that it reminds me so much of my hometown. The main similarity is that it sits in a basin surrounded by mountains on three sides, as well as having a nearby volcano. There is, however, a huge bay on the southern edge of the city, the largest salt-water bay in the Philippines, Sarangani Bay, which leads to the Celebes Sea, something which my landlocked city of Asheville, NC., lacks. Still, just flying into the city and viewing all the surrounding mountains made me feel right at home.
A view of Sarangani Bay with the majestic mountains surrounding it.
An interesting thing about that bay is that it has led to her city being dubbed “Tuna Capital of the Philippines” since it is the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines. And Gen San – the city’s nickname – also accounts for the second largest daily total catch of fish in the entire country. One thing that is certainly missing here in the US is home-delivery of fresh fish. On a daily basis, a lady will arrive at her parents front door on her bike, carrying a bucket of fish directly from the Sarangani Bay. The only way fresh fish can arrive in the mountains of Western North Carolina is by a 450 mile, 7-hour journey by road, or being flown in. But that made for some delicious dinners on a daily basis, her mom and dad preparing fresh tilapia, bangus (milk fish), prawn, crabs, tuna and other indigenous fishes whose names I can’t remember, nor pronounce or spell.
Fresh from Sarangani Bay, delivered to the door!
The population of Gen San is right at 600,000, which makes it approximately six times larger than my little mountain city. But I’ve also been to New York City and the numbers don’t faze me at all. There are so many other little fascinating things I have to share about our journey and the time we spent there, but I’ll not even try to go there on this one post, so there will be much more to come over the next few weeks. But I’m glad to be back and I hope you will enjoy the things I’ll be sharing with you.