Shutter blogging with Socsargen bloggers-A A +A
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
IN MY several years of handling varied workshops that span from cartooning, painting, creative writing, fashion modeling (in my younger years), to photography, a sub-specialty called photoblogging (photography and blogging) is particularly most memorable because I was recent speaker for the group SocSarGen Bloggers, composed of young online writers from South Cotabato, Cotabato Province, Sarangani and General Santos City.
I was invited by the same group back in 2010 for basic photography practical tips for their blogs. Led by bloggers extraordinaire Orman (GenSantos.com) and Avel Manansala (GandaEverSoMuch.com) of Project O! Consultants, this exclusive SocSargen Bloggers activity was held in Gensan View Resort, which sponsored our function room and catered our meals.
The two brothers have long since paved the way for glamorizing GenSan as a tourist destination, way before Pacquiao elevated it to global recognition as his hometown.
Amidst laughter and teasing, fun photo assignments and contests, the group shared a camaraderie that was infectious as well as appropriate for their tagline as “Mindanao’s Funnest Bloggers”. Not only did my friend, Vanessa Mondragon from Aromacology Sensi brought giveaways of natural-based skin care Davao products, but Mr. Joseph Chua Kao of CameraHaus in KCC Mall sponsored a brand new Samsung ES90 point and shoot camera, which was won by Aethan Yting of DoleFil. I chose his entry as the winning image in our fun photo shoot contest to roundup what they have learned from my workshop.
In the years that I frequent Gensan, it has grown to be so impressive and productive. Malls and establishments were opening left and right, not to mention new resorts and restaurants which were sprouting everywhere.
Sun City Suites sponsored our first night of stay (thanks, Philip Pabelic), and the place was right smack in the middle of an evening hub, surrounded by diners, cafés, karaoke bar, a convenience store and boutiques. We had a lip-smacking crab dinner at Gusteau’s. Then again, we also had a delicious meal at Big Ben Steak and Grills at Robinsons (thanks Gwen of DoleFil).
My buddy Joyce Mariscal was very busy tweeting and posting our mouthwatering dishes on Facebook that we were caught red-handed with eating Kiko’s Native Lechon in our hotel room at midnight! My sister Karen and Joyce actually ran to the convenience store to buy catsup. The tasty lechon was brought in by Mama Nonsky, my favorite hairstylist based in Gensan, courtesy of the owner himself.
Sweet brothers Avel and Orman took me to places I didn’t know existed in the city now. There’s the posh Mount Sabrina atop Tambler Hills, a 5-hectare elegant resort still being constructed which gives you a serene panorama of Sarangani Bay in the open pavilion, and of Mount Matutum from a distance.
As a fitting finale to my short stay in Gensan — no I wasn’t able to rub elbows with Mommy Dionisia as she was still reeling from his son’s dismally ruled boxing match, and we know how we all feel about THAT – our second night was in one of two newest hotels in town (the other being Pacman’s hotel), the elegant European-inspired boutique Hotel San Marco (www.hotelsanmarco.com.ph).
Suddenly appearing at the heart of General Santos City with twenty eight posh and spacious rooms bathed in Venetian classic architectural and decorative styles, our room evokes Victorian renaissance feel from its long drapes to its tastefully designed walls, but minus the heavy gothic and dark atmosphere reminiscent of Dracula's lair. Lunch was with amiable owners, Bing and Armie Royeca, with young interior designer, Rain Ramas, who gave me an enthusiastic tour of the classy place. It was certainly a place for glam and wedding photo shoots, too.
The last time the Manansalas took me to the huge Gensan Fishport Complex, I was lucky to have captured a dayana fish (expensive delicacy in the US) which won me a grand prize in an international photo competition. My grand finale was revisiting the port at 3 a.m., wearing those fashionable white boots (a strict rule in the premises) to capture the sunrise (which didn’t show up) and bonding with the bloggers (those who were able to wake up) as well as reunite with longtime friend and Port Manager Carlos Hagosojos who once launched Fishtahan celebration in Davao when he was still manager of the Toril Fishport. Carlos prepared a breakfast extravaganza of tuna, kinilaw, shrimp and soup in his home garden at the fishport. Expect lots of new innovative activities to be launched in the coming Tuna Festival with him as the festival director as well.
To the Socsargen Bloggers, thank you for the warm welcome, and for listening to me. You certainly are the “funnest”.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 27, 2012.