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Bliss (and Stress) in the City



What City Dwellers Do | WORLD’S BEST & WORST CITIES | URBAN DECAY, CITY FACELIFT | Twin Towns & Sister Cities | What City Dwellers Love to Eat & Drink | A YEAR IN MONTERREY, GENSAN’S sISTER CITY

What’sInside Gensan News: 1st SalaMindanaw Film Festival | East ASEAN Film Meeting | University of Santo Tomas in Gensan Nature Watch: Are You Prepared for a Major Typhoon Onslaught? Nature Watch: How to Protect Yourself during an Earthquake Bliss (and Stress) in the City World’s Worst Cities City Decay, Urban Facelift Twin Towns and Sister Cities | World’s Best Cities What City Dwellers Do Where They Live What City Dwellers Love to Eat & Drink Ten Signs of a Warming World Eclectic Vibe: Sigur Rós, Paramore, Avicii | Reader’s Rush: Kate Atkinson, Lily Koppel Travel Tales & Trivia: Thai Treasures Part One Icon Profiles: You’ve Come a Long Way, Foy Icon Profiles: The Great Comeback of Manny Pacquiao Icon Profiles: Stephen Bishop Up Close and Personal | Nonoy Draws the Crowd Still Dateline Gensan A Year in Monterrey, Gensan’s Sister City Opinion Cache: McDonald’s Takes Its Time Cooking Up a New Menu Gadget Talk: iPhone 5s, WD Elements 2-Terabyte Hard Drive Retail Therapy: For Him & Her Coordinated Chaos: The Worst and the Best of Us Glimpse of Greatson

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Bliss (and Stress) in the City





GGQ • Q2 2013

and towns demolished by the typhoon, and seeing our unfortunate brothers and sisters through in the process of starting over amidst the loss and destruction. Additionally, for our part, we will donate half of all proceeds from the sale of this issue to the Philippine Red Cross.

hese are the most trying of times, to say the least, for millions of our countrymen in typhoonravaged central Philippines. We’ve all seen the wrath of the superstorm (which I will not name on this page in defiance of how we abuse the planet and the ever-increasing severe weather events that result from such abuse), and the horrors it left behind.


We’ve all done our part, big and small, in the ongoing relief undertaking -- in itself replete with acts of heroism and generosity despite isolated events of opportunism and lawlessness born from desperation. Inside you will find more ways to help in the gargantuan task of rebuilding the cities

Gensan Gazer™ Quarterly (GGQ) Magazine is published by Armanikolas Publishing ®™ and printed in General Santos City, Philippines.



From the Editor...

Proud member of the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated

In this fourth quarter edition of GGQ, we don’t stray very far from the issue at hand. Inside, scientists illustrate the ten signs of our warming world, and experts share life-saving tips that are most useful in the event of a highmagnitude earthquake or a major typhoon. The words of George S. Patton (US Army general, circa World War II) may be placed in context here: Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable. Not veering far either is our series of cover story features -- City Life -- where our contributors evaluate the bliss and stress of urban living, address a theoretical urban decay on the home front, list the world’s best and worst cities, and show some snapshots of urbanites and city sights from the four corners of the world. We balance this off with a look into rural Kanchanaburi Province, one of the Kingdom of

GGQ Q4 - OCT-DEC 2013 GGQ shall not, without the consent of the Publisher, be given, lent, resold, used as textbook, hired out or otherwise disposed of; or affixed to any part of any publication or advertising material in any way whatsoever. While all reasonable care is taken for contributed material, no responsibility will be assumed for its return or for corrections. Opinions expressed or implied are solely those of the authors, and are not necessarily endorsed by the Publisher. Advertisers and/or their

Thailand’s greener and more refreshing treasures. Elsewhere, we feature our regular reviews of music albums, books, gadgets, and fashion wear -- even our close encounters with rising folk-rock-soul artist Foy Vance from Bangor, Ireland, as well as popular 1980s musician Stephen Bishop, and Filipino doctor and balladeer Nonoy Zuñiga. Last but not least, we won’t pass up the chance to say thanks to our champ Manny Pacquiao for his great comeback. Another year is almost over, and as we prepare to take stock of our accomplishments thus far and look forward to new plans for 2014 and beyond, millions here and all over the world are struggling -- ill-equipped to rebuild their life from the rubble, let alone to survive the hours of each and every day without their homes and loved ones. This is our opportunity to be thankful for our good fortune and the gift of life, and most importantly, to care and give help tirelessly and without ceasing.

Armando Nicolas P J Editor-in-Chief

representatives shall indemnify the Publisher in relation to any defamation, breach, royalties, intellectual property infringements, unfair trade practices, or privacy rights violations in their ad material. All contributions must be submitted to and are subject to editorial review for possible inclusion in GGQ Magazine. Armanikolas Publishing ®™ B34-L7 Doña Soledad II A, Espina Gen. Santos City 9500 Philippines Phone : +63-83-8269221 Phone : +63-83-5547055 Website : Website :



East ASEAN Film Meeting Set in GenSan Various film professionals and industry stakeholders from BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area) convened during the first BIMP-EAGA Film Connection Meeting slated at the SunCity Suites in General Santos on November 27, 2013. The film meeting focused on creating and boosting the network of film organizations, festivals and industries in the BIMP-EAGA region, presenting the status of film production, marketing, financing and distribution in the BIMP-EAGA, identifying and developing areas of possible collaboration and exchanges, determining potential and already existing content that is suitable and marketable to academic and cultural institutions as well as commercial cable and TV programming in Muslim-dominated population such as the ARMM, and creating a platform for film tourism in the region.

Organized by the Mindanao Center for the Moving Image in collaboration with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa), the meeting took place during the inaugural SalaMindanaw International Film Festival. Teng Mangansakan, Festival Director and Convenor of the Film Meeting, said this is in keeping with the Festival’s thrust to initiate and strengthen cultural ties in the BIMP-EAGA region, and in recognition of the steady growth of regional cinemas in the area, which have close proximity to one another, this exploratory meeting was organized to discuss possible cross-cultural collaboration and mutual audiovisual development initiatives that could be undertaken among stakeholders in the region. “In recent years, Mindanao filmmakers have produced a substantial number of films that tackle issues relevant to the BIMP-EAGA like human trafficking in Sheron Dayoc’s Halaw or cultural artifacts in Dempster Samarista’s Taguri, but we are still in dire need of a market. There is a need to identify potential market for films and explore them. This meeting might address that need,” he added. SalaMindanaw, the first international film festival in southern Philippines, aims to

Rulloda © 2012

University of Santo Tomas in Gensan

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) of General Santos passed in October 2013 a resolution that allows Asia’s oldest university to reclassify its 80-hectare property in Barangay Ligaya from agricultural to institutional, paving the way for the constuction of UST’s only campus outside Metro Manila. This, after representatives of the Dominican-run university appeared before the city council to present their plan to establish a satellite campus, including artists’ rendition of its future infrastructure. UST is confident it will be able to open in 2015, initially offering courses in Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Business and Accountancy; Information Technology; Hospitality Industry; and Food Industry. v

raise awareness and promote international cinema with emphasis on strengthening the cultural ties between Mindanao and its ASEAN neighbors, support the nascent film movement in the region, engage the public in both popular and critical

discourse on art and cinema and their transformative power to shape ideas about society, thus encouraging cultural diversity and the plurality of creative expressions, and boost film tourism in the region. (Salamindanaw International Film Festival) v

Gensan Hosts 1st SalaMindanaw Film Festival

(Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, Thailand, 2012); and Mulih (Coming Home) (Fajar Martha Santosa, Indonesia, 2013). In the Mindanao Shorts Competition were Asa Ka,

The Soccsksargen Center for Film Arts launched the 1st SalaMindanaw International Film Festival in General Santos City on November 26-30, coinciding with the 2013 Mindanao Week of Peace. Entries to the Asian Full Length Competition include Liberta (Kan Lume, Singapore, 2012); Jazz in Love (Babyruth Villarama-Gutierrez, Philippines, 2013); The Constructors (Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan, 2012); Mother (Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul, Thailand, 2012); By The River (Nontawat Numbenchapol, Thailand, 2013); War is a Tender Thing (Adjani Arumpac, Philippines, 2013); With You, Without You (Prassana Vithanage, Sri Lanka, 2012); and Sayang Disayang (Sanif Olek, Singapore, 2013). Competing in Asian Shorts were Sunrise (Bradley Liew, Malaysia, 2013); Temporary (Behzad Azadi, Iran, 2013); Floating Sun (Edmund Yeo, Malaysia, 2013); Pattah Ko (Kikko Kalabud, Philippines, 2013); Celestial Space

Faith? (Where are you, Faith?) (Omar Ali, Lanao, 2013); Tunga (Halved) (Theo

Lozada, Davao, 2013);

Ang Walay Kahumanang Adlaw (Infinite Sun)

(Marky Doromal, Iligan, 2013);

Logaritmo (Digos Kim Ocariza, Digos, 2013); Baybayong Birhen (The Virgin Beach) (Amaya Han, Gensan, 2013); Sea Sphere (M.J. Vilches, 2013); Si El Curiosidad Mata con el Gato (When Curiosity Kills the Cat) (Aedrian Araojo, 2013); No Ama Conmigo (Love Me Not) (Ryanne Murcia, 2013); and Gift (Sheeloy Leyva, 2013).

Not in competition were

Once in a Lifetime: A Russian Song For Guiuan (Misha Anissimov, 2013) ; Story of Grochu (Grzegorz Drozd

and Alicja Łukasiak, Poland, 2013); Disappearing Landscape (Vladimir Todorovic, Singapore, 2013)

Prologue to the Great Desaparecido (Lav Diaz,

2013) opened the festival, while The Walls of Hell (Gerry de Leon, 1964) was the closing film. v GGQ • Q4 2013



• Keep an eye on lighted candles or gas lamps. • Heed the advice of local authorities if they ask you to evacuate your area. If there is a need to move to an evacuation center, follow these reminders: • Evacuate calmly. • Close the windows and turn off the main power switch. • Put important appliances and belongings on high ground. • Avoid the way leading to or along the river.

Are You Prepared for a Major Typhoon Onslaught? We’ve all seen the extent of the death and destruction brought on by Typhoon Haiyan in central Philippines. If and when such extreme weather events become commonplace, we need to step up our game in typhoon preparedness.



and the resulting extreme weather events that bring havoc to our planet have all taught us not to take weather warnings lightly. Beyond scrutinizing the shortcomings of the relief efforts after the super-typhoon, it is equally urgent to ask: have the residents been warned and given timely information? Most importantly, were they really prepared? Here we provide the typhoon preparedness guide published online by WHAT TO DO BEFORE A TYPHOON • Inspect your house if necessary repairs/fixes are needed (e.g., roof, doors, windows, ceilings). • Before the typhoon, clean up your house’s drainage system so it won’t clog up. 4

GGQ • Q4 2013

What To Do After A Typhoon

• Store an adequate supply of food and water that could last for several days. Canned goods are ideal especially if cooking is not possible. • Put everything in your house at an elevated position, especially items that utilize electricity in order to spare them from damage in case floodwater rushes inside your house. • For farmers, harvest crops that can be yielded immediately. • For fishing folk, place boats in a safe location. • If you are living in lowland, hazard-prone and/or high-risk areas, evacuate as early as possible. • Always keep flashlights and batteries, candles, and first-aid supplies available. • It is important to keep a transistor radio (batterypowered, in case power supply is unavailable) so you can be updated on the

typhoon and its current location. • Frequently listen to your local radio, television, or visit for storm advisories on the progress of the typhoon. What To Do During A Typhoon • Stay inside the house and keep calm. Postpone any travel. • Monitor your local radio, television, or ph for storm advisories on the progress of the typhoon. • In case of flooding, turn off the main source of electricity to prevent electrical accidents. • Avoid wading through flooded areas to avoid water-transmitted diseases. • Don’t operate any electrical equipment during a flood. • Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.

• Monitor your radio, television or Weather for storm advisories on the progress of the typhoon. • Check your house for damage and make necessary repairs at once. Avoid scattered debris especially tin and lumber as there may be rusty nails protruding. • Wear proper safety gear and equipment when working in hazardous areas. • If your house was damaged, make sure that it is already safe and stable when you enter. • Have a knowledgeable person inspect electrical connections before using electrical appliances. • Watch out for live wires or outlet immersed in water. • Report damaged electrical cables and fallen electric posts to the authorities. • Beware of dangerous animals such as snakes that may have entered your house. • Boil water before drinking it to avoid diseases. • Avoid contaminated food resulting from the lack of electricity and refrigeration. • Do not let water accummulate in tires, cans or pots to avoid creating a favorable condition for mosquito breeding that can cause dengue.


yphoon preparedness in the country, at best, is minimal, and super-typhoon preparedness and response, sadly, poor and dismal. Your own efforts may well mean your survival in the face of all threats. v

To know where you can donate blood, contact the National Blood Center at Level 1 PRC Building, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila, or call the Staff/Donor Recruitment Office at +63-2-528-1164.

GGQ • Q4 2013



How to Protect Yourself during an Earthquake Experts agree that the Drop, Cover, and Hold On method is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. By the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA)



teams from the U.S. and other countries who have searched for trapped people in collapsed structures around the world, as well as emergency managers, researchers, and school safety advocates, all agree that Drop, Cover, and Hold On is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Methods like standing in a doorway, running outside, and the triangle of life method are considered dangerous and are not recommended. WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY WHEN SHAKING BEGINS Your past experience in earthquakes may give you a false sense of safety; you didn’t do anything, or you ran outside, yet you survived with no injuries. Or perhaps you got under your desk and others thought you overreacted. However, you likely have never experienced the kind of strong earthquake shaking 6

GGQ • Q4 2013

that is possible in much larger earthquakes: sudden and intense back and forth motions of several feet per second will cause the floor or the ground to jerk sideways out from under you, and every unsecured object around you could topple, fall, or become airborne, potentially causing serious injury. This is why you must learn to immediately protect yourself after the first jolt. Do not wait to see if the earthquake shaking will be strong. In most situations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you: • DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquakes knocks you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary. • COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. • HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with

your shelter if the shaking shifts it around. Wherever you are, protect yourself. It is important to think about what you will do to protect yourself wherever you are. What if you are driving, in a theater, in bed, at the beach, etc.? Step 5 of the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety describes what to do in various situations no matter where you are when you feel earthquake shaking. WHY RESCUERS AND EXPERTS RECOMMEND DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON Trying to move during shaking puts you at risk as earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. You, therefore, will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be, so it is best to drop before the earthquake drops you, and find nearby shelter, or use your arms and hands to protect your head and neck. Drop, Cover, and Hold On gives you the best overall chance of quickly protecting yourself during an earthquake, even during quakes that cause furniture to move about rooms, and even in buildings that might ultimately collapse. The greatest danger is from falling and flying objects. Studies of injuries and deaths

caused by earthquakes over the last several decades show that you are much more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases, etc.) than to die in a collapsed building. The Drop, Cover, and Hold On method will protect you from most of these injuries. If there is no furniture nearby, you can still reduce the chance of injury from falling objects by getting down next to an interior wall, and covering your head and neck with your arms. Exterior walls are more likely to collapse and have windows that may break. If you are in bed, the best thing to do is to stay there and cover your head with a pillow. Studies of injuries in earthquakes show that people who moved from their beds would not have been injured had they remained in bed. You can also reduce your chance of injury or damage to your belongings by securing them in the first place. Secure top heavy furniture to walls with flexible straps. Use earthquake putty or velcro fasteners for objects on tables, shelves, or other furniture. Install safety latches on cabinets to keep them closed. Visit to learn more of the detailed instructions on how to effectively secure your space.




Œ Secure Your Space  Plan to be Safe Ž Organize Disaster Supplies

 Minimize Financial Hardship


 Drop, Cover, and Hold On

‘ Improve Safety RECOVER

’ Reconnect and Restore



Building collapse is less of a danger. While images of collapsed structures in earthquakes around the world are frightening and get the most attention from the media, most buildings do not collapse at all, and few completely collapse. In earthquake-prone areas of the United States and in many other countries, strict building codes have worked to greatly reduce the potential of structure collapse. However, there is the possibility of structural failure in certain building types, especially unreinforced masonry (brick buildings), and in certain structures constructed before the latest building codes. Rescue professionals are trained to understand how these structures collapse in order to identify potential locations of survivors within survivable void spaces. The main goal of the Drop, Cover, and Hold On method is to protect you from falling and flying debris and other nonstructural hazards, and to increase the chance of your ending up in a survivable void space if the building actually collapses. The space under a sturdy table or desk is likely to remain even if the building collapses. Pictures from around the world show tables and desks standing with rubble all around them, and even holding up floors that have collapsed. Experienced rescuers agree that successfully predicting other safe locations in advance is nearly impossible, as where these voids will be depends on the direction of the shaking and many other factors.

The ONLY exception to the Drop, Cover and Hold On method rule is if you are in a country with unengineered construction, and if you are on the ground floor of an unreinforced mud-brick (adobe) building with a heavy ceiling. In that case, you should try to move quickly outside to an open space. This cannot be recommended as a substitute for building earthquakeresistant structures in the first place. WHAT RESCUERS AND EXPERTS DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE Based on years of research about how people are injured or killed during earthquakes, and the experiences of U.S. and international search and rescue teams, these three actions are not recommended to protect yourself during earthquakes: • DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during shaking. The area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades, and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. To stay away from this danger zone -- stay inside if you are inside and outside if you are outside. Also, shaking can get so strong that you will not be able to move far without falling down, and objects may fall or be thrown at you when you least expect them. Injuries can be avoided if you drop to the ground before the earthquake drops you.

Stupidity is an elemental force for which

no earthquake is a match. - Karl Kraus 8

GGQ • Q4 2013

We’ve put huge resources into predicting tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes. HIV/AIDS is like an earthquake that’s lasted 30 years and touched every country on the planet. We have such incredible capacity to think about the future, it’s time we used it to predict biological threats. Otherwise we’ll be blindsided again and again. - Nathan Wolf • DO NOT stand in a doorway. An enduring earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. True -- if you live in an old, unreinforced adobe house or some older woodframe houses. In modern houses, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house, and the doorway does not protect you from the most likely source of injury: falling or flying objects. You also may not be able to brace yourself in the door during strong shaking. You are safer under a table. • DO NOT get in the triangle of life. In recent years we’ve seen the circulation of an email that describes an alternative to the long-established Drop, Cover, and Hold On advice. The so-called triangle of life and some of the other actions recommended in the email are potentially life threatening, and the credibility of the source of these recommendations has been broadly questioned. The triangle of life advice (always get next to a table rather than underneath it) is based on several wrong assumptions: • that buildings always collapse in earthquakes (wrong: especially in developed nations, and flat pancake collapse is rare anywhere); • that when buildings

collapse they always crush all furniture inside (wrong: people do survive under furniture or other shelters); • that people can always anticipate how their building might collapse and anticipate the location of survivable void spaces (wrong: the direction of shaking and unique structural aspects of the building make this nearly impossible); and • that during strong shaking people can move to a desired location (wrong: strong shaking can make moving very difficult and dangerous). Some other recommendations in the triangle of life email are also based on wrong assumptions and very hazardous. For example, the recommendation to get out of your car during an earthquake and lie down next to it assumes that there is always an elevated freeway above you that will fall and crush your car. Of course there are very few elevated freeways, and lying next to your car is very dangerous because the car can move and crush you, and other drivers may not see you on the ground. The Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) is a public-private partnership of people, organizations, and regional alliances that work together to improve preparedness, mitigation and resiliency. ECA provides information and resources to help everyone who lives, works, or travels in earthquake country get prepared to survive and recover quickly. [ dropcoverholdon ] v



ou saved up enough to finally get yourself that 60-inch LED flatscreen TV you’ve always wanted for your living room, which you also recently refurbished to accommodate the new acquisition as your abode’s centerpiece. Imagine your dismay when, after installing the audiovisual marvel and setting up your cable and entertainment system, the power went off for a good two hours. The luxury and comfort of modern living rely heavily on a steady supply of power, something people living in highly industrialized nations simply take for granted. In cities that are not energy self-sufficient like General Santos -- wanting of its own power generation system and plagued by an ever-increasing demand for electricity -- occasional to regular power outages continue to make life in the city less palatable, costlier, and a little more stressful. While power offers reprieve (unless blackouts persist even under normal circumstances) -- not discounting the fact that

Bliss (and Stress) in the City Modern comforts make urban living a breeze mostly, but glitches and breaks in the very system that supports the city’s lifeline can be very damaging stress factors. By Mario Aragon-Tamayo cities in general offer residents more educational opportunities, better prospects, and greater access to food and health care, to name a few -- a host of other factors make living in the city more of a bane than a boon. The fast-growing population density and sharply rising property costs in Tokyo, the

recalcitrant rise of slums and shanty neighborhoods in Manila, the hazardous noise levels in New Delhi, the debilitating traffic congestion in Jakarta, the dangerously high air pollution index in Beijing, the alarmingly skyrocketing crime rates in the cities of Brazil and Mexico -- at some point or another, or persistently -- all make life in the

city less and less favorable for many of us. Even in New York City, where culture and convenience are seamlessly interwoven, the inhabitants are far from immune. In fact, like more than half of the world’s population now living in urban centers, metropolitan residents tend to be more and more bogged down by stress and fatigue -- physically and mentally -- no thanks to factors like overcrowding, noise, and pollution, among many others. The impending threat of extreme weather and geological events also pose risks that add to stress levels for city dwellers, although these are not unique to urban centers alone. Dealing with ordinary flash floods, for one, can be daunting, and the adverse health effects can only increase based on the magnitude and frequency of such events. Editor: Please see our separate stories on earthquake and typhoon preparedness. Add to that the social demands and trappings of urban living -- earning a GGQ • Q4 2013


livelihood in these hardest of times, maintaining a family and building relationships, interacting with a variety of people at work and outside -- and you have a latent mix that often simmers and triggers feelings of anxiety and fear in some cases.


hereas, and perhaps because urban life is also too fast-paced and diverse -- that on top of all the aforementioned stress factors -- as a result city folk are more prone to distinctly higher levels of mood disorders and mental illnesses, in comparison to those living in suburban areas and the countryside. Several researches found that depression and anxiety disorders are more common among urban folk. A 2001 study in Denmark, in particular, showed that people who grew up in bigger cities had more likelihood of suffering from schizophrenia. The bit of good news is, as it

turns out generally, the more the inhabitants have had to be confronted with stress, the more they tend to tolerate the glitches and breaks in the system, the less they get easily annoyed over time, and increasingly, even develop some level of immunity or passive resilience toward most of all these stress factors. Still, for some city dwellers, even after decades of urban living, there is reason to stay alert and wary. Hand in hand with the bliss of modern life, the stresses of urban living remain persistent and allencompassing, and adapting takes effort, for some more than most.


he trick is to balance the stress-filled hustle and high-energy bustle of city living with regular personal downtime. Whether it’s a weekend at the beach or an afternoon at the spa, frequent short breaks from the daily grind allow your mind and body to recover and recharge in bliss until it’s time to face the stress of urban life again. v

WORLD’S WORST CITIES Noisiest Cities in the World (Asim Farooq,, Dec 2012) 10. Karachi, Pakistan 9. Shanghai, China 8. Buenos Aires, Argentina 7. New York City, USA 6. Madrid, Spain 5. Tokyo, Japan 4. Cairo, Egypt 3. Kolkata, India 2. Mumbai, India 1. New Delhi, India Most Violent Cities in the World (excluding the Middle East) (Ryan Craggs, The Huffington Post, Apr 2013) 10. João Pessoa, Brazil 9. Barquisimeto, Venezuela 8. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico 7. Cali, Colombia 6. Maceió, Brazil 5. Torreón, Mexico 4. Distrito Central, Honduras 3. Caracas, Venezuela 2. Acapulco, Mexico 1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras Most Polluted Cities in the World (Noah Rayman,, Oct 2013) 10. Kanpur, India 9. Yasouj, Iran 8. Gaborone, Botswana 7. Peshawar, Pakistan 6. Kermanshah, Iran 5. Quetta, Pakistan 4. Ludhiana, India 3. Sanandaj, Iran 2. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 1. Ahwaz, Iran Most Populated Cities in the World ( 10. Shanghai, China 9. Manila, Philippines 8. Sao Paolo, Brazil 7. New York City, USA 6. Mumbai, India 5. New Delhi, India 4. Mexico City, Mexico 3. Guangzhou, China 2. Seoul, South Korea 1. Tokyo, Japan Cities with the World’s Worst Air Quality (Douglas McIntyre, Daily Finance, Nov 2010)

The post of a street sign in downtown Kowloon, Hong Kong used by an uncanny pet advocate as a one-of-a-kind protest material (Photo by Armando Nicolas PJ) 10

GGQ • Q4 2013

10. Kabul, Afghanistan 9. Hong Kong, China 8. Guangzhou, China 7. Chongqing, China 6. Cairo, Egypt 5. Ulan Bator, Mongolia 4. Mexico City, Mexico 3. Santiago, Chile 1. Beijing, China AND New Delhi, India (TIE)




rban decay is when a once prosperous city or urban area falls into a state of decline due to an industry’s demise, inhabitants’ departure, economic slowdown, mass abandonments, and massive local job losses, among many other factors. One result is blight -- the physical and psychological impact of living among empty lots and condemned buildings -- a danger to the community as they tend to attract undesirable elements and add to the prevalence of crime. We’re far from seeing urban decay in General Santos City in this lifetime (or ever, we hope), but surely we feel a bit queasy when businesses steer away from once prominent downtown districts and set up shop elsewhere, mostly new enclaves sprouting up in peripheral clusters where only decades ago swamps were commonplace. We’re not heaving a sigh of relief just yet especially when, where activity and development were concentrated aggressively many years before, now mostly old and dilapidated buildings stand. A case in point is Pioneer Avenue, once the bustling center of life in the city, which, though still bustling today in part due 12

GGQ • Q4 2013



Urban Facelift Based on a Gensan Gazer FutureScape article by Armando Nicolas PJ and Marthin Lozano-Millado to its proximity to City Hall and the successfully revamped Plaza Heneral Santos, has lost some of its luster and dignity of yore. Several buildings here are in different stages of disrepair -aggravated by the closure of at least one medium-sized shopping mall and a general merchandise shop after they burned down years ago -- and at night the groups of people frequenting the area are not quite the same bunch as during the daytime, seemingly.

BLUEPRINT FOR REDEVELOPMENT Here we recreate -- if only on the drawing board -- Gensan’s University Belt (UB), spanning the breadth of Pioneer Avenue (above) toward the plaza and City Hall (shown on page 12), all the way to the Oval Plaza grounds and Gensan’s very own university belt in the process of being redrawn, the campuses of Mindanao State University (MSU) and Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) further north. The vision is to reimagine this stretch as a district that’s conducive to and representative of learning -- already a prominent factor here with the presence of educational institutions in the area -- and as a cohesive estate that’s fully integrated, environment-friendly, intuitively navigable, and digitally-connected. ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY ZONE Gensan’s reimagined UB zone may well become the city’s first green district, with the strict adoption of measures that protect the environment, save energy, and promote the health of the population. This can be done by zoning the area as an absolutel smoking-free district, and opening the UB zone only to bio-fuel or electric-powered vehicles. Regular

Twin Towns & Sister Cities


ccording to Wikipedia, the terms twin towns and sister cities are used to describe a form of cooperative agreement made between towns, cities, counties, oblasts, prefectures, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town-twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism. In recent times, town twinning has increasingly been used to form strategic international business links between member cities.

Did you know that Gensan’s sister cities include Hadano in Kanagawa, Japan and Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico? (Read about our editor’s year-long stint in Monterrey on page 29.) Hadano

WORLD’S BEST CITIES Cleanest Cities In The World 10. Freiburg, Germany 9. Singapore 8. Copenhagen, Denmark 7. Wellingdon, New Zealand 6. Kobe,Japan 5. Ifrane, Morocco 4. Helsinki, Finland 3. Honolulu, USA 2. Minneapolis, USA 1. Calgary, Canada Cities with the World’s Lowest Crime Index, Nov 2013 10. Bern, Switzerland 9. Bergen, Norway 8. Oradea, Romania 7. Quebec City, Canada 6. Munich, Germany 5. Merida, Mexico 4. Jerusalem, Israel 3. Lugano, Switzerland 2. Marbella, Spain 1. Abu Dhabi, UAE Most Livable Cities in the World The EIU Liveability Ranking, Aug 2013 10. Auckland, New Zealand 9. Perth, Australia 8. Helsinki, Finland 7. Sydney, Australia 6. Calgary, Canada 5. Adelaide, Australia 4. Toronto, Canada 3. Vancouver, Canada 2. Vienna, Austria 1. Melbourne, Australia


Cities with the World’s Highest Quality of Life Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey 10. Bern, Switzerland AND Sydney, Australia (TIE) 9. Copenhagen, Denmark 8. Geneva, Switzerland 7. Frankfurt, Germany 6. Düsseldorf, Germany 5. Vancouver, Canada 4. Munich, Germany 3. Auckland, New Zealand 2. Zurich, Switzerland 1. Vienna, Austria Helsinki

GGQ • Q4 2013


public utility jeepneys and tricycles would have to be rerouted to access only parts of Acharon Boulevard in the south, and Pentadun and Roxas East Avenues off the National Highway at the north end, in which case terminals should be strategically put up around there to feed passengers from regular vehicles to eco-cars (such as the electric bus shown below) when entering and transporting commuters around the University Belt green zone.

FULLY INTEGRATED, INTUITIVELY NAVIGABLE, WALKING-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD With City Hall bounded by Plaza Heneral Santos and the Oval Plaza grounds at UB zone’s center, it would help to re-equip the district with pedestrian overhead bridges, ideally two along Pioneer Avenue and four around Plaza Heneral Santos, and covered walks at the perimeter of the Oval Plaza. This makes the area one cohesive whole, keeping access to its many parts with ease, comfort, and safety in check. It also encourages a predilection for walking outdoors, something often taken for granted, if not neglected and deemed unfashionable in Gensan. In the daytime heat, we see why this activity hasn’t caught on. Massive greening along pathways, sidewalks, and open public spaces just might change all that, as the last facelift of Plaza Heneral Santos has proven. Similar shrubbery and ground cover can be strategically placed around the open spaces and along pedestrian trails, with sturdy shade trees lining major foot lanes. On top of easing daytime heat and glare for would-be strollers within the UB zone and contributing to the ecological upgrade of the community, this greening effort also serves a pro-environment agenda and aesthetic purpose, however secondary that may be. The same network of pathways and trails can be equiped with solar-powered lamp posts with closed-circuit television cameras, which will be most useful for night-time walkers and joggers. (The same energy-saving lighting and security implements may be set up in Plaza Heneral Santos for good measure.) 14

GGQ • Q4 2013

The fact is, UB’s south end and its north point can be easily traversed on foot within 20 minutes or less given the right conditions for walking. With all the envisioned additions in place, come rain or shine, people would find walking -- say, from City Hall to NDDU -- as normal as window-shopping or walking in the park, in itself a pastime yet to be taken seriously in Gensan. WIFI-ENABLED COMMUNITY This future green zone is not called University Belt for nothing. The name carries with it a distinction in the pursuit of the higher ideals of education. Enabling connectivity within the entire district puts it at the forefront of technology, and wirelessly connecting this patch of Gensan to the digital realm is just one step in the process of modernizing the zone. It would then make sense to strategically set up roofed nooks (also with solar panels for individual energy generation) within the open spaces of Plaza Heneral

Santos and the Oval Plaza grounds to allow visitors to find a quiet corner, sit down, open a laptop, and get surfing. COMPLETE ACADEME-BUSINESS ECO-ZONE Accessory to realizing this vision is revving up businesses here -- 24-hour diners, cafés, clinics and convenience stores, bookshops, gyms and health stores, boutiques and gadget shops, hotels and dormitories, salons and laundromats, and small printing shops, among others. The goal is to make the UB zone as relevant, as engaging and as self-sustaining as possible. This will not only dispel urban decay in the area, but will also make Gensan’s University Belt fashionably in and relevant for many years to come.


f realized, perhaps the only decay to be had from then on would be that of the tree leaves falling on the ground, enriching it all the more for the city and its people. v


İstanbul Residents regularly set their

rods by the Galata Bridge to catch fish from the Bosphorus.

New York Local kids perform their polebreakdancing stunts on the train to amuse commuters.

Rio de Janeiro The boys from Ipanema entertain themselves with tightropewalking and other tricks.

( )What City Dwellers just some of

Köln A street performer happily

struts around with his accordion in Cologne.

Milano The polizia in Milan use horses in their rounds of the city, especially where tourists are.

Text and photos by Armando Nicolas PJ

Singapura Rock climbers make do with

this makeshift wall inside a shopping mall in the Lion City.

GGQ • Q4 2013



Santorini No meal is ever complete without this authentic Greek salad in this scenic Greek isle.

Venezia Ninety types of pizza can be

ordered in a jiffy in this basic trattoria in Venice.

Antwerp Locals and visitors alike can

enjoy over 300 beer brands/ blends at this bar in Belgium.

( )What City Dwellers just some of

Bangkok Chicken meat and innards on

skewers are grilled and sold on the streets of the Thai capital.


GGQ • Q4 2013

Marakkech The art of tea making and serving is at play in one of Morocco’s biggest cities.

Text and photos by Armando Nicolas PJ

Davao/Gensan Durian, the King of Fruits, is a bestseller in these two cities in southern Philippines.

Camella General Santos: First of its Kind in Boom City Gensan


amella General Santos is the first of its kind in the boom city of General Santos. This masterplanned community is a premier subdivision known for prestige and quality, the first Caribbean-themed residential development in Gensan, boasting of a wide range of house designs, land area, and price options. The elegantly masterplanned Camella General

Santos residential enclave is the first gated community with 24-hour security monitoring and perimeter fence system designed to keep the area safe and secure at all times. Camella’s Caribbean motif is complemented by its trademark tree-lined Grand Entrance and the Central Plaza, on open space with amenities such as the Grand Clubhouse, Children’s Playground, play courts, pocket gardens, and soon,

Prime location / Accessibility:

Within 3 km from SM City / Robinsons Place / KCC, very near to Quantum School

Comfort / Convenience Affordable / Value for Money Exclusive Lifestyle

swimming pool and children’s wading pool. Camella General Santos, which also provides its homeowners and their families with shuttle service to select destinations in the city and back, is the only subdivision in Gensan with a dedicated property management company that oversees the community’s cleanliness, upkeep, and maintenance. Over the course of its

growth, Camella General Santos has perfected its esteemed Home Collection, which showcases designs masterfully crafted to style and function with different homeowner types in mind, providing a wide range of house models to choose from, even offering lotonly packages for investors. Its Camella Home Series (PHP 1.1-2.5 M) features elegant house models ideal for start-up families and young professionals. The Crown Jewels Series (PHP 2.6-3.5 M) suits the established individuals who seek maximum comfort and superlative elegance. The Luxuria Series (PHP 4-5 M) combines luster, luxury and lifestyle in one irresistible package. Camella General Santos is a development of Camella, a subsidiary of Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc., the country’s largest homebuilder. It has 35 years of experience, built more than 200,000 homes through 87 projects, and maintains a strong presence in Mega Manila and 19 other key provincial destinations and 44 cities and municipalities, while expanding to other regions. For more information, call 083-553-3377 or log on to


GGQ • Q4 2013

GGQ • Q4 2013



‘Richly dark’ and ‘hopeful foreboding’ best describe this seventh album by the Icelandic PARAMORE | ««««« by PARAMORE

If a self-titled fourth album sounds like a fresh start -- and Paramore seemingly needed

group, with opener Brennisteinn setting the mood to a tee. An atmospheric drone of drums reverberate through such songs as Hraftntinna, Rafstraumur, and the aptlynamed Stormur, too -- liquid voices and chimes embroiled into each musical piece. Kveikur is eerily beautiful in a distorted kind of way, as if industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails took time off and wrote a film score. All in all there is rawness and despairing joy to the album (or the nuances of it in Bláprádur, Isjaki, Var, and Yfirbord, especially) as in their second album, but the edge and fierceness is more heavily felt. We’d like to think Sigur Rós ventured into the darker recesses of their musical soul here, and came back with a knowing sense of dread and desire beautifully wed. v a new beginning without the Farro brothers -- then what a terrific quasi-debut this is! Here the trio dishes out an eclectic mix of tracks with Hayley Williams’ distinct vocal anchor: ballads Hate To See Your Heart Break and Last Hope, pop-punk Grow Up and Still Into You, whimsy Fast In My Car, goth-like Now, Part II, and Anklebiters, and funk-gospel Ain’t It Fun, no doubt the album’s strongest track. Never mind the play order (we always set iTunes on random shuffle), we love that they cover many genres here -- experimenting, braving unchartered waters, and having fun at the same time. v


What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best. v

TRUE | ««««« by AVICII Swedish DJ Tim Bergling a.k.a. Avicii debuts with True, the revolutionary EDM (electronic dance music) album that mashes up blues, country, funk, hip-hop, pop, R&B, and soul throughout its ten tracks -- making waves on radio, online, and on dancefloors across continents. Opener Wake Me Up (featuring Aloe Blacc) breaks ground by marrying country and club anthem with a highly infectious hook, easily becoming 2013’s fastest selling dance track. The rest are pieces equally stunning in their novel appeal and ingenious production, each with unique against-type anchors -- something EDM purists might find odd at best, and one we embrace with open arms. We definitely


GGQ • Q4 2013


LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson

As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts went on space missions, TV cameras focused on their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and became fashion icons. Together they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became neighbors and helped to raise each other’s children by day, while going to glam parties at night as the country raced to land a man on the moon. As their celebrity rose, through divorce and death, they continued to rally together, and have now been friends for more than 50 years. This is their story. v

dig the folk-like ring to Hey Brother (vocals by Dan Tyminski) and indie rock-ish You Make Me (Salem Al Fakir); the disco-esque groove of Lay Me Down, vibrant beat and Adam Lambert‘s bracing vocals included; the haphazard bliss of Liar Liar and Shame On Me; and the sheer club rush of Heart Upon My Sleeve and Edom. Genre-bending aside, elegantly haunting vocals abound in Hope There’s Someone (sung by Linnea Henriksson), Dear Boy (by Karen Marie Ørsted), and Addicted To You (by Adele sound-alike Audra Mae) -- all three vocalizing the longing for affirmation with beautifully pained precision -- loops and riffs and all. Next Audra Mae channels her vocal doppelgänger in piano-driven Long Road To Hell, as if as paean to Avicii’s detractors in the EDM realm -- without sounding blasé or cheeky. Touché! v

A touch of New York glamour. A twist of Gensan colors. A taste of international flavors.

.. Only at C Bistro bar & restaurant

Now open at the Microtel Arcade, Valley High, National Highway, General Santos City | tel. no. +63-83-552-3780



Treasures Part One

Beyond the mesmerizing Bridge over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi in Thailand continues to enchant tourists with its harrowing WWII memorial, controversial tiger sanctuary, and the majestic Erawan waterfalls. Text and photos by Armando Nicolas P J


hances are, the idea of Thailand almost always brings to mind the lurid sexpats and heavy traffic in Bangkok, elephant rides near Chiang Mai, or the endless beaches (and nightlife) in Phuket or Krabi. Not that they’re not spectacular (or stale), but there’s more to Thailand than just urban rush, salt spray, and red light districts. This TT&T installment offers you a serene and green Thai alternative, if only as a quick reprieve from the chaos of the Kingdom’s capital and sun spots. Kanchanaburi, only about 2 hours by bus from Bangkok, is best reached by train from the capital, never mind the extra hour of travel time. Not only can you take in the scenery this way, you aren’t persistently needing to puke from the stench of the showerdeprived backpackers sitting around you either. Once in town, check out the Rail Museum and the worldfamous Bridge over the River Kwai (part of Mae Klong that becomes River Kwai as it flows into Kanchanaburi), which was built by WWII prisoners-of-war. Remade from the original that the Allies blew up in 1945, the bridge offers a dreamy scenery especially at sunset, cold


GGQ • Q4 2013

beer in hand, and warm local hospitality for company. Several guesthouses and resorts front the river, but your best bet is to lounge on the floating restaurants anchored against the flowing water. Early morning the next day, you can rent a scooter and drive up to Hellfire Pass, about one-and-a-half hours’ ride away from town. The Hell Fire Pass Memorial Museum houses a mini-theatre, diorama of photographs, and collection of implements used during the Death Railway’s construction -- the inevitable history lesson from the tragic story of the 258-mile railway through to Burma that resulted in more than 100,000 deaths under forced labor by the Japanese Imperial Army. You can then trek toward the actual Hellfire Pass, one of the most difficult parts of the railway to build, where prisoners and forced laborers had to cut through rock without industrial equipment, all the while coping with hunger, disease, exhaustion, and cruel treatment from Japanese soldiers. After lunch and a cold drink, proceed to Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno, commonly known as the Tiger Temple, a sanctuary and conservation area where Asian tigers and a variety of wild and domesticated animals

(Top) A stylized Thai motorboat plies the River Kwai, the iconic bridge span in the background. (Below, lower next page) No two tiers of Erawan Waterfalls are the same, each vantage point offering a unique feature of the falls.

(Clockwise from top) End of the railway at Hellfire Pass, floral offering at the Death Railway memorial museum, sneaking up on a napping tiger at Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno, sunset by the Bridge over the River Kwai, and memorial crosses at Hellfire Pass.

live freely, and are friendly to the monks and caretakers that feed and shelter them, and the visitors that pet and pose for photos with them for a fee. It is important to note that this operation is not without controversy -- allegations of animal abuse, lack of handling expertise, drugging tigers to submission and docility, and at least one case of tourist mauling are reported -and visitors are duly warned and asked to sign a liability waiver. If this poses an ethical issue and/or safety concern for you, it’s best to skip this on your itinerary altogether. The rare opportunity to be surrounded by majestic adult

tigers and cuddle with adorable cubs -- and be photographed with them -- simply cannot be enjoyed by anyone and everyone lightly. Save an entire day for this final stop in Kanchanburi, the Erawan Waterfalls at Erawan National Park. Here the water from a high river cascades down the side of a hill, transforming into a series of seven waterfalls connected by deep blue and emerald green pools -- described copiously as the greatest natural phenomenon in Thailand. The steep climb to the uppermost waterfall from the lowest cascade, which takes about half an hour, is the

best way to leave the crowds content with just soaking in the lower pools. The higher tiers of the falls offer more spectacular views, often with very few (to zero) persons intruding into your camera shot, but stepping on wet rocks and negotiating trails and nasty drops the higher you go can be dangerous. Proceed with great care.


dd ruins, rainforests, and river cruises to your itinerary, if you like, and fill your Thai treasure trove with memories of Kanchanaburi’s grand, green, and growling delights. v

GGQ • Q4 2013




GGQ • Q4 2013

You’ ve come a long way,


reaping very little. He presents the sadness that we find in our coffers as something valuable, as something that shouldn’t be dismissed as failure. He presents the sadness that he’s collected as rich with importance – with as much significance to his happiness as anything else. The songs on “Joy Of Nothing” are all heartbreakers... uplifting in their many forms of destruction. Vance presents to us broken love and trampled upon happiness in a way that makes us want more of it, as if it is exactly what we should be looking for. He gives us people who aren’t fine, but will be all right in the end. You can sense that they will find happiness when it’s meant for them. They will burden their hearts and they will rid them of the black smoke that comes from fried wires and belts, when the entire spirit feels like it’s breaking down. These are anthems that remind us that the spirit always rebounds. Vance just hugs tight the loved ones that haven’t left and he twists the corners of his mustache a little tighter, reveling in the light pinks and soft oranges of his many twilights, braced for another verse. (

Excerpt of our interview with Foy in 2010: GGQ: Have you heard of Gensan before? Foy Vance: I heard about Gensan about 30 seconds ago. GGQ: What made you want to become a singer-songwriter? FV: It was a choice between this or being a store man in a soon to be bankrupt electrical goods store... Say no more... GGQ: What got you started? FV: My father. Photo by Gimma Samalca


oy Vance was born in the North Ireland town of Bangor, but his passion for traditional music was born in the southern states of America. As a child, Foy relocated with preacher father to the American Midwest, settling in Oklahoma. With his father, Foy travelled the American South, widening his horizons and absorbing the rich musical traditions he was exposed to. Returning to Ireland some years later, Foy began writing his own music, deeply shaped by the sounds of his youth. Since those days, he has spent a considerable amount of time on the road, touring with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Michael Kiwanuka, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, and Ed Sheeran. Foy also scored Oscar-winning short-film The Shore with David Holmes, who collaborated with Vance on his 2012 Melrose EP. With his latest album, “Joy Of Nothing” -- the first effort for his new label Glassnote (home of Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, and more) -- Foy Vance has crafted a masterwork of the sweet hurt of love and what it does to the men and women involved with all of the fallout. Vance works with those familiar refrains of finding and holding onto a guiding light, of falling back on one’s resiliency (with the backing vocal help of Bonnie Raitt on the excellent cut, “You and I”), of shutting off from the world and living behind guarded emotional walls, of knowing the contents of one’s soul better than anyone else ever could and of ripping everything up, throwing the scraps into the air and just going for whatever gusto might still be left to have in this life of such short terms. Foy has been writing about these spectacular miseries for years. Since his debut, “Hope,” in 2007, Vance has made the flutter and flail of happiness his chief export. That record ended with his now nine-year-old daughter Ella singing a hidden track version of “You Are My Sunshine,” a song that famously includes mention of the gray skies, if only to punctuate the sunshine and its effects. He uses this same method to describe both the birth and death of love, many times over. Vance is moved by the fractions of love and sentiment, giving himself over to the quiet deluge. His is a voice that rattles you and forces you to let it in so that you may all enjoy a dark room, a modest fire, and something to toast with. “Joy of Nothing” is a record that makes love feel like the most alive and powerful force in the world. It presents a collection of 10 stories that show — with rousing, tear-the-sky-out-of-the-ceiling and all of the bodies out of the ground passion and equally impassioned tenderness – how everyone chooses their own verses. They often find their ways to tragic ends, but Vance reminds us constantly that we reap what we sow and sometimes we’re

GGQ: What was your first big break? FV: My front tooth in a bumper car... Musically speaking, I suppose having a couple of songs in the Grey’s Anatomy drama series was quite big (for me, at least). GGQ: Best advice you’ve ever received? FV: ...Take praise with a pinch of salt. v

The Great Comeback of Manny Pacquiao


e ran a twopage feature on Manny Pacquiao’s legendary feats in the boxing ring shortly after he defeated Antonio Margarito (Mexico) by unanimous decision and grabbed the WBC Light Middleweight (also known as Junior Middleweight and Super Welterweight) title in November 2010. (Shown below is a snapshot of that story spread in the Vol. 1 No. 9 NovemberDecember 2010 issue of Gensan Gazer, which you can read at your convenience on Manny Pacquiao went on to prevail over Shane Mosley (United States) by unanimous decision in May 2011, and over Juan Manuel Márquez III (Mexico) by majority decision in November of the same year -- retaining his WBO Welterweight title both times.

Invitation Only, which we helped edit and design. This collection of never-before-seen

...Shows the softer side of the legendary boxer -- a good son, a loving husband, a doting father, and a humble man of faith...

ished physical power and speed due to age, the loss of focus due to his political ambitions, and the absence of a disciplined killer instinct because of his renewed dedication to his faith -- Manny threw off and triumphed over Brandon Rios (USA) by unanimous decision in November 2013, once again regaining the WBO International Welterweight


title he last held in 2011, never mind that it’s been four years since his last knockout victory. How many more fights Manny Pacquiao is in for -- or with which big fighters -- still remains to be seen. For now, we simply wish the original Boy from Dadiangas many thanks for the inspiration. (Team GGQ) v

pictures of Manny outside the ring shows the softer side of the legendary boxer -- a good son, a loving husband, a doting father, and a humble man of faith -- seemingly playing up notions of his estrangement from the violent sport, and fuelling rumors of a possible early retirement. Yet, nearly a year later -- after speculations about his dimin-


After that, however, his winning streak came to a halt. He lost twice in the year that followed -- defeated by Timothy Bradley (USA) by split decision in June 2012, ultimately losing his WBO Welterweight title, and tragically knocked out by Márquez in the sixth round six months later, forfeiting his bid for the WBO Champion of the Decade belt. Around the same time, we saw the launch of photographer Apple Greatson Francisco’s limited edition photo book, Manny Pacquiao: By GGQ • Q4 2013




Nonoy Draws the Crowd Still By Arne Gershwin Gogo

he music of Stephen Bishop has been playing in our lives ever since it made the airwaves, changing the way we appreciate the melodies and words in ballads and love songs. In the Philippines, his hits proved phenomenal as they transcend music charts, becoming part and parcel of every Filipino romantic’s soundtrack -- even figuring in important events like weddings, engagements, and anniversaries, to name a few. With bestselling tracks such as It Might Be You, Separate Lives, On And On, and Something New In My Life, Bishop’s music has become an inspiration to a generation of music lovers. Being in the country for the ninth time now, Bishop was prone to admit that the way Filipinos receive him has never changed. In General Santos City, where the last leg of his recent (Oct 2013) Philippine tour took place, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Stephen Bishop for an exclusive one-onone interview for GGQ. Arne Gershwin Gogo: Who was your greatest inspiration? Stephen Bishop: I remember watching the Beatles one night at The Ed Sullivan Show during my teenage years. It instantly caught my attention and inspired me to enter the music industry. AGG: If you were given the chance to pursue another career in the past, what would it have been? SB: I would have wanted to become a History teacher back then. AGG: Your songs have been used by couples in the most important journeys of their lives, like weddings and anniversaries. What is your take on it? SB: It is kind of surreal. I have never expected it either that my songs would have a great impact to others’ lives. It motivates me to write more and more songs. AGG: You have been married three times. How do you see that personally? SB: In life, people may encounter failures and frustrations. In my case, I have had failed marriages. And I accepted that fact. Life has to move on anyway.

Photo courtesy of Paradise Artists © 1998-2013


bishop up close & personal

AGG: How is your recent marriage so far? SB: It is terrific! We got married only in August this year. Every day is a sweet day for the two of us.

would beg for various publishers to play my songs in Hollywood. I have waited for so long that it came to a point of giving up, and I would instead just join the insurance company where my dad worked. But fate deemed otherwise, so here I am.

AGG: Have you had failures in your career? SB: I think it was during the years that I was still a struggling artist. I would walk in the streets of L.A. with my guitar, and

AGG: What was the biggest misconception about Stephen Bishop? SB: Everybody thinks that I wrote It Might Be You. Unfortunately, somebody


GGQ • Q4 2013

did that for me... Dave Grusin. AGG: Given the opportunity to write a song for a Filipino artist, who would that be and why? SB: I would choose Anna Melissa, our front act for the Gensan and Davao tours. I’m giving chances to the newcomers in the business. I am resting my case here so it would just be an honor to write a song for her. v

A hit-maker to be reckoned with and one of the eighties’ most iconic figures in the music scene -- that is how I’d characterize balladeer Nonoy Zuñiga, who performed in a back-to-back concert with American singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop at Lagao Gym on October 27. But it would be difficult for me to describe him that way outright until I’ve witnessed the show myself, and I did. Nonoy entered the stage singing his classic Magandang Gabi, and the crowd was promptly delighted, impressed not only with his opening salvo, but also his interpretation of the lyrics that meant he “was amazed (nagagalak) to have this show and see his audience.” What drew him more to the audience was when he asked someone from the crowd to have a duet with him (the person happened to be a doctor, just like Zuñiga), and when he sang with a handicapped person -- both can be described to be Zuñiga’s most memorable exchanges with his audience. “I... love to talk to my audience. This is one way of entertaining them. It should not only just pure singing,” Zuñiga said in an interview shortly after the concert, his first in Gensan. Zuñiga even narrated his life story, especially the part of his terrible misfortune that cost his right leg in October 1980 when a bomb exploded in a hotel room while he was getting dressed for a show. “That was the saddest... experience in my life that I have to share with my audience, for them to have the spirit of hope,” Zuñiga confided. For three decades in the business, Zuñiga’s hits topped charts and swept every accolade in the Philippines like Katha Awards, Awit Awards, and Aliw Awards. He has become phenomenal on his own, and has never faded all throughout the years, performing in the country and around the globe, often pairing with notable music legends. Aside from Stephen Bishop, he considers sharing the stage with Lou Rawls (a popular American recording artist) in 1983 at the Manila Hotel a memorable performance in his lifetime. “I have so much admiration for the guy. He was my favorite singer of all time. It was an honor to share the stage with him,” Zuñiga added. When asked if he would want to do a comeback concert in Gensan, he quickly prompted, “Hopefully in February of next year, just in time for Valentine’s Day.” v

No excuses. It takes only a few clicks to make a difference.


Stephen Bishop Live with Nonoy Zuñiga By Arne Gershwin Gogo


agsikat ng araw, may dalang liwanag, sa aking pangarap, haharapin natin. (When the sun shines, bringing light to my dream, we will face it.) These lines, originally sung by Tillie Moreno and Ray-An Fuentes, touched the crowd and brought them to tears when they were performed by the country’s top balladeer, Nonoy Zuñiga, with the rising star, Anna Melissa, on October 27 at Lagao Gym in Gensan. Anna and Nonoy’s rendition encapsulates the hope that persists amidst life’s struggles and continues to move one to strive for a better tomorrow -- something that may have made an impact on the audience. The one-night-only live concert was considered a milestone as this was the first time General Santos ever hosted a Philippine tour for an international artist. This was also the first time that Zuñiga, who has been in the music industry for many years now, performed live on stage in South Central Mindanao’s capital The internationally acclaimed Stephen Bishop, whose appearance had been eagerly anticipated, faced the crowd sporting his trademark look -- a cool yellow hat accompanying his guitar -- and greeted the audience in the local dialect, to which a resounding round of cheers was given. Stephen Bishop drew the crowd at once as he performed his all-time classics Separate Lives, On and On, Something New In My Life, and the never-fading It Might Be 28

GGQ • Q4 2013

You, which he performed at the finale, and which earned him a standing ovation from the audience. “Gensan may have been the best show in my entire performance while I’m here in the Philippines for this tour,” said Bishop, praising the audience for singing every lyric of his songs. “I am not having a hard time; it seems that everyone really knows my songs,” he exclaimed. Even as Bishop declared that Gensan is the best show on this Philippine tour, Zuñiga moved the crowd more passionately, seemingly earning him the contention as being the favorite performer of the night. “Nonoy was amazing. I have seen him perform only tonight. I got carried away by his performance,” said Mrs Estoquie, a long-time fan. Among the more notable personalities in the audience were Gensan Mayor Ronnel Rivera and his family. v Stephen Bishop Live in Gensan with Nonoy Zuñiga was produced by Yvonnie J. Events and Production in association with Redstone Media Productions. Concert sponsors include SM City General Santos, Gaisano Mall of Gensan, Ellis Suites, Gensan Greenleaf Hotel, Roadhaus Hotel, and MP Princess Digital Printing Solutions. Media partners are 102.3 Campus Radio, Brigada TV Channel 46, 89.5 Brigada FM, and GGQ Magazine.

A Year in Monterrey, Gensan’s Sister City


I was based in Singapore then, I hadn’t yet set foot in Mexico, and didn’t know that General Santos and Monterrey were sister cities either. Imagine my surprise when I was asked to work (and live) in Monterrey for a year.

classical structure made of pink marble. Fundidora Park, on the other hand, is a large urban park that houses old foundry buildings, 120 hectares of natural space, artificial lakes, playgrounds, cinema, museum, hotel, auditorium, and convention center. In 1999, Parque Fundidura housed a massive discotheque where my friends Elvira, Nancy, Emma, and I (shown below) used to frequent.

By Armando Nicolas PJ


uesday, the 1st of June in 1999 -- that was when I first arrived in Monterrey from Singapore, all by myself, on my first foray ever into the North American continent after the short layover in Houston, Texas. An American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed in Little Rock, Arkansas that day, but all I could really think of was exploring my neighborhood immediately after getting to my hotel.

Among Monterrey’s finest landmarks is the Santa Lucía Riverwalk, an artificial river that now connects the Macroplaza and the Fundidora Park.

Gran Hotel Ancira, with its French classical elegance and strategic proximity to major landmarks right in the heart of the Zona Rosa historical district, would turn out to be my residence for the next six months. Around it the Museo Metropolitano de la Ciudad de Monterrey, Faro del Comercio, Palacio Municipal, Macroplaza, Barrio Antiguo, and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo could be reached on foot in minutes. Monterrey, capital of the state of Nuevo León and Mexico’s ninth largest city and among its wealthiest, serves as commercial hub in the nation’s north and is the base of many multinational companies, including HP de México where I worked as consultant for one of its projects. Set at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental, Monterrey is diverse and dynamic, and rich in history and culture. With the help of friendly colleagues and even friendlier locals (nicknamed regios or regiomontanos), discovering and ejoying the city was easy.

Mountains and hills dot the periphery of Monterrey, including Cerro del Obispado (Bishopric Hill), which has a view deck called Mirador del Obispado, a monumental flag, and a museum inside the Palacio del Obispado that exhibits a wide collection of age-old torture instruments, among others.

The Macroplaza, one of the world’s largest public squares, is the cultural and administrative heart of the city, replete with remarkable monuments, green spaces, and important government buildings, including the Government Palace of Nuevo León at the square’s north end, a neo-

Cola de Caballo (Horse Tail) is a waterfall and park in the town of Villa de Santiago about 40 kilometers from Monterrey. It is open all week long and is accessible via a system of trails, walk ways, and foot bridges. On the way to the falls, Presa Rodrigo Gomez, which is nestled between green hills, can also be enjoyed any fine day. Continued on page 31 GGQ • Q4 2013



McDonald’s Takes Its Time Cooking Up a New Menu The fast-food chain

based on speed, McDonald’s has proven to be embarrassingly slow in one key way, leaving it with flat sales and declining appeal. The executives in charge were so stuck on peddling obesity and diabetes for fat profits that they completely missed a mass shift in today’s marketplace: the rise of health-conscious consumers. As a result, McDonald’s has been losing out to Subway, Chipotle, Panera, and other chains that figured out years ago how to cater to the growing leaner-and-greener customer base. But look out. Here comes the McDonald’s marketing

machine with a blur of ads and promotional gimmicks touting “A new global commitment to make a world of difference.” Using endearing pictures of children, the Big Mac chain now claims to be all about fresh veggies, fruit, salads, juices, milk, health, and a fuzzy happiness for all. The Golden Arches Empire is even teaming up with Bill Clinton to give its PR hype a sheen of sincerity. For an undisclosed splash of cash, the fast-food marketer says it is now “global partners” with the Clinton family’s foundation in its bid to sell more nutritious Happy Meals to the world’s kiddos.

However, the fast-food giant is in no hurry to deliver on this pledge. Claiming that getting healthier foods into its supply chain is hard, the CEO snickered that, “We don’t go down to the grocery stores” to stock up on fruits and veggies. Well, maybe they should. Doing it the McDonald’s way, he says, will take until 2020 to get the more nutritious stuff into every store in the chain’s 20 largest markets. v OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

swears it will offer plenty of healthy choices at all its restaurants but not until seven years from now. By Jim Hightower


he appeal of fast food chains isn’t their food: mostly fat, salty, sugary, empty-calorie mush. It’s their speed. Order, pay, and -- bam -your warmed-over burgerpizzachickentaco delight is instantly handed to you. Yet, for a mega-chain

The Slow Road to Better Fast Food: McDonald’s may be working on making its menus healthier, but only at a hare’s pace. By Khalil Bendib

Since 1993, over 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ. //


GGQ • Q4 2013


Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Mountain), named for its distinctive saddle-shaped profile when viewed from the west, is a famous symbol of the landscape of the state of Nuevo León. Though the four-peaked mountain itself is located in the adjacent city of Guadalupe, it is widely associated with Monterrey and los regios.

vember the Festival Cultural Barrio Antiguo took place with international artists and performers, but is now replaced with the Festival Internacional de Santa Lucía, which now takes place in September.

ern, minimalist-style Mexican architecture next to the Macroplaza and Barrio Antiguo by Ricardo Legorreta with the objective of creating different ambiances for artists and visitors the world over. Outside the museum at the entrance is an 18-foottall, 4-ton bronze sculpture by artist Juan Soriano, called La Paloma (The Dove).


ccasionally I’d take over informal classes in conversational English at a local community college (below). I also traveled with a bunch of locals to Guadalajara, Mexico City, Cancun, and Isla Mujeres -- immersing in the culture, learning more Español, and making friends everywhere. I didn’t know it then, but my year or so in Monterrey sure seemed like what citizens of two sister cities should be doing. v

Faro del Comercio (Lighthouse of Commerce), standing bright reddish-orange at 70 meters, beams a green laser light around the city at night. Built in 1984 to commemorate the founding of the Monterrey Chamber of Commerce’s centennial anniversary, it is located near the south end of the Macroplaza in front of the Cathedral and behind the new City Hall.

MARCO or Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Modern Art), one of Mexico’s leading museums of contemporary art, organizes major exhibitions with regional and international contemporary artists. MARCO was built as a work of post-mod-

Barrio Antiguo (Old Town), located next to the Governor’s Palace and Macroplaza, is Monterrey’s oldest quarter and was the heartbeat of cosmopolitan lifestyle in the city. Many hotels, museums, dance clubs, restaurants, and specialty stores set up shop here -- helping a hip, artistic community to flourish. (The quarter was regarded as the center of Monterrey’s nightlife before the insecurity and risks posed by the drug-related conflicts plaguing the country in the last few years.) Every NoGGQ • Q4 2013



iPhone 5s: Better Features, Power, Security


ight now, while the iPhone 5s boasts of better security, this flagship Apple smartphone also gives us a sneak preview of future Apple mobile devices, which, from the looks of it, can only become more capable, more powerful, and more secure. Apple’s flagship mobile device sets in place the foundation for the future breed of its smartphones -- introducing the 64-bit architecture to its processor, operating system, and applications, at the same time making it easier to set security using the fingerprint reader. The Touch ID fingerprint reader (the metallic ring that now encircles the home button) in the iPhone 5s is the most visible improvement in the new Apple smartphone compared to the iPhone 5. An amber LED on the back of the iPhone 5s helps create more accurate skin tones when taking photos while using the flash. On the aesthetic side, the iPhone 5s also comes in a subtle gold finish. Save for these three, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 feel, look, and weigh almost the same. You get the same 802.11n Wi-Fi, low-power Bluetooth in both phones; the same high-quality, balanced-color screen; the same buttons; the same high-quality speakers (with only a slight distortion despite their small size); and the same ability to use a GSM SIM card even on CDMA models (for use when traveling abroad). The LTE radio supports more bands than the iPhone 5’s radio, so the 5s should work on more 4G LTE networks for those who travel internationally. v

Rev Up Your Data Storage with WD Elements 2-TB External Hard Drive


ith the popularity of cloud-based data storage, reliance on external drives in homes and offices has waned in the last few years. Still, there remains a big percentage of digital users that prefer external storage devices over remote servers for securing volumes and volumes of their personal and work files. Your cloud provider may guarantee to secure your data 24-7 but once your files are out there, they’re basically vulnerable to hacks and other risks. An external hard drive is probably the only way small businesses can truly safeguard all their data. As external hard drives can easily be lost or stolen, its data left open for viewing, it makes encryption and complex passwords very important. While cloud-based storage requires an Internet connection, an external file storage device goes everywhere with you and is accessible to you at all times. Cloud providers may also claim 100% uptime, but anyone who has ever dealt with telcos and cable service providers know there’s no such thing as zero downtime. When your cloud-based file storage is unreachable, and therefore unusable, your project may be delayed and your productivity jeopardized, especially if the computer where original copies of all of your files may be stored are located off-site or overseas. An external hard drive guarantees that you’ll always be able to access your important data. The key is to find a storage device, such as WD Elements, that has all the features you need to safeguard your documents. The Western Digital WD 32

GGQ • Q4 2013

Elements 2-Terabyte USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive is lightweight, durable, highcapacity, and most importantly, secure. WD Elements allows a simple plug-and-play add-on storage. It has an easy-to-use USB 2.0 interface, and with dimensions 6 inches wide and 4.9 inches high at 2.9 pounds, the WD Elements external hard drive offers a viable alternative for simple and reliable add-on storage. Simply plug one into a USB port and start saving your photos, music tracks, videos, and other files -- and never fret over data loss again. v


fter a long, hard day you just want to sit back and relax, and relive the day’s successes as you enjoy some peace and quiet...

Stick to your day job. Leave your documentation and publishing PROJECTS TO US. CALL US NOW AT +63-83-5547055 | +63-908-3373005. GGQ • Q4 2013


RETAIL uuu THERAPY 3sixteen neck ties There’s no better time to get these 3sixteen ties than this season. Proudly made 100% in New York City, they make perfect company for work and play. v

Wolverine 1,000 Mile Men’s Original Rugged Casual Boots In 1914, Wolverine introduced the 1,000 Mile Boot. Today, these venerable boots are crafted just as the originals were, employing time-honored methods and the finest materials. Crafted with the same attention to detail found in the original, Wolverine’s 1,000 Mile Boot, made in USA, features topquality Horween Chromexcel® Leather, a stacked leather outsole, and classic welt construction. It has been meticulously designed to copy the original’s aesthetic--sporting soft, supple fullgrain leather with weathered tones for long wear, and four copper eyelets and three copper speed-lace hooks for a sure fit. (Get your pair one half size smaller than your usual shoe size. )v


Finejo Women’s Hooded Trench Dress Style Long Outerwear Doubling as a dress and a hooded outerwear, this Finejo ensemble is made of cotton, lycra and polyester -- perfect for this season’s drill and chill. Very feminine and fluid in styling, not only for its ribbon belt and velvety sheen, the Finejo Women’s Hooded Trench Dress Style Outerwear is a fine addition to your chilly-climate wardrobe -- classic in form, comfortable in utility, and chic in fashion statement. v

BALENCIAGA CLASSIC GOLD VELO HANDBAG Hand stitched handles, removable shoulder strap, top zip closure, gold brass hardware, front zip pocket, interior zip pocket with Balenciaga embossed leather label, leather framed hand mirror, leather tassel zipper pull -- all classic, all made in Italy. What's not to like?



GGQ • Q4 2013

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Sampaloc St., General Santos City, Philippines Telefax: (083) 552-7469, 553-1710, 301-2349 Email:

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by Mandi Nicolas

Any alarm set off by this column’s title is unintentional. Whatever notion of organized mayhem the name conjures remains purely in the realm of words and letters.

The Best and the Worst of Us What did we learn from neglecting our planet, braving catastrophes, and choosing between being a victim and living on as a survivor?


GGQ • Q4 2013


erhaps it was second nature to you to you curl up on the couch and drown in inane tee-vee as the storm raged outside. As long as the cable service was on, and there was plenty of chips to dig in to and enough beer to wash them down, you didn’t care all that much -- maybe a little miffed that you couldn’t go out for a night on the town with friends -- but that was it. In the morning, waking up where you’d lain, you watched the news about the major typhoon that just hit, leaving thousands dead and millions more homeless. “It could’ve happened to me,” you gasped soundless, got up, and showered, still dazed from the beer and what you just saw. Loss and destruction were everywhere in the calamity zone. Cities and towns were leveled, families and homes decimated, children orphaned, wives widowed. The deathly scene was as overpowering as the stench of corpses strewn bare on unrecognizable streets or

hidden under tons of debris -- remnants of what were once neighborhood communities, business districts, and those in between. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella group consisting of 14 charity organizations based in the United Kingdom, reported 10 lessons on responding to disasters. Here are just 5: • Working with/via municipalities where possible. • Long-term homes, not short-term shelter. • Local skills/resources. • Cash to stimulate markets. • Preparing now for the next big disaster. Online you saw more stories of natural disasters all around the globe -- a cyclone in Sardinia, wildfires in Arizona and Australia, tornadoes in the American Midwest, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes elsewhere -- the list went on and on. You were brought back to the superstorm closer to home only because your friend from work posted on Facebook a screen capture of

her online cash donation to the Philippine Red Cross. You made a mental tsk-tsk-tsk and shut down your computer. After making several phone calls, you packed a knapsack of essentials, and headed for the airport. A text to your father read: On my way to help in relief ops. Love you, Dad. Clutching a lifeless hand protruding from a gap in a mound of broken concrete and slabs of wood and steel and glass, a three-year-old girl wearing only a pair of shorts wailed inconsolably, probably unaware of the open gash on her forehead, while not very far away a group of men made off with bagfuls of canned goods and such from a convenience store torn down partly by the storm. One of them looked at the little girl, as if praying or crying or contemplating, but walked away as abruptly as he stopped. Elsewhere around the world environment lobbyists took to the streets to warn that inaction on climate change would increase civil unrest, even as isolated cases of looting ravaged the typhoon-hit communities. Others even asked if wealthy nations should pay for the damage caused by global warming, intent on exacting justice for the casualties of environment abuse. All this, while on ground zero victims and survivors, at least in the next 72 hours, relied on each other’s kindness -through the heat and hunger of day, or the harsh slap of rain, and the cold and desolation of night. Aid packages were piling up when you got there, and so were blame and opportunism and incompetence. Instead of standing by, you went with a splinter group of foreign aid workers to scour the closest area made impassable by colossal debris and find survivors that might be injured or trapped. As the others scrambled to set free a man and his dog from under a rubble, you ran toward a frail little girl under the shade of a battered store nearby. She stopped crying when you carried her in your arms, just as you noticed the gash on her forehead. v

The Roman Amphitheatre, a 2,000-seat outdoor colosseum designed as concert venue at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf theme park. (Nikon D800 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye)

GLIMPSE of GREATSON by Apple Greatson Francisco

DISCOVER the Finest Spa in Gensan


inally, an elegant spa to soothe your passion for luxury and pampering right in the heart of the city.

This is Gwapaha Medical Spa. Yes, not just an ordinary spa. It is a medical spa. When Dr. Teresita Ferrariz thought of putting up a health resort in the city, she wanted to give her town folks world class services inspired by her numerous travels around the world. More than two decades of practice as one of the top dermatologists in the country today, Dr. Tess says it is time to give back to the city of her childhood. Dr. Tess, also vice president of the Philippine Academy of Dermatologic Surgery Foundation, Inc. (PASDSFI), used to spend a week each month in General Santos City to check on her patients and clients who have grown in numbers throughout the years when not in her Makati clinic or on one of her constant travels abroad. She thought of moving to a bigger clinic. She instead ended up putting a medical spa. A place where one gets to get the skin care they need and a place where they can indulge in the luxury and privacy of a spa like no other in the city. The added silver lining to it? Dr. Tess now spends more of her clinic time here. Do not be fooled by the cramp but chic reception of this exquisitely named spa. Behind the reception desk at the entrance is a spacious 30-square meter of elegantly designed massage therapy room that has a generous tub, a hot and cold shower and a smoked glass-enclosed steam bath one finds only in the best saunas and health spas in the world. Gwapaha Medical Spa offers a very personalized service by foreigntrained health therapists and exclusive use of the room that has three massage beds. The mood inside can be tailored to one’s tastes – ranging from the aroma, essences and essential oils to the tone of the lighting and tune of soft piped in music. You can even play your own sweet and sexy music from your flash disk. Dr. Tess prides her spa as a dream skin care and health clinic and guarantees a reinvigorating and refreshing finish after a session. Be pampered with the wide array of relaxing massages and the house’s signature Gwapaha Massage – where the East blends with the West – a fusion of deep tissue techniques that includes Thai stretching and Hawaiian Lomi using a blend of ginger, rosemary, and peppermint

essential oils. The couple package that includes therapy For Him (foot spa and sports massage), For Her (coffee body scrub and a combination massage) are a treat to remember. And be spoiled with the spa’s Bathing Ritual (salt body scrub, milk bath, and Gwapaha’s signature massage). Body Beautiful (foot spa, seaweed body scrub, and anti-aging facial) is equally rewarding. For personal pampering treats, Gwapaha offers body treatments such as Salt & Aloe Vera Body Scrub, Davao Coffee Body Scrub, Seaweed Marine Body Care by Algotherm™, Anti Cellulite Firming Body Treatment by Algotherm™, as well as Facials by Biodroga™, Nourishing & Oxygenating Facial, Anti Aging Phyto Stem Cell Facial, and Men’s Vitality Facial. Who says vanity is only for women? And remember Dr. Tess is one of the best dermatologists in the country today – a feat General Santos can surely be proud of. Gwapaha also offers non-surgical dermatology procedures for Skin Diseases, Skin Care, Warts/Moles/ Cyst Removal, Falling Hair, Keloid Removal/Hypertropic Scars, Stretch Marks, Scar Revision, Microdermabrasion/Diamond Peel, and Permanent Hair Reduction (IPL). Gwapaha Medical Spa also provides cutting edge dermatologic procedures such as Botox Injection, Dermal Filler & Fat Transfer, Sclerotherapy, Ambulatory Phlebectomy/EVLT, Dermabrasion/Laser Resurfacing, Skin Peeling, Glycolic Peel, Obagi Blue Peel, Platelet Rich Plasma, Derma Roller/Skin Needling, Radio Frequency & Cavitation, Laser Surgery, and Permanent Makeup. The medical spa’s comprehensive cosmetic surgery procedures include Scar Revision, Blepharoplasty, Rhinoplasty (Silicon Implant, Cartilage, Gortex, Filler), Facelift/Temporal Lift, Brow Lift, Ear Repair, Cleft Chin/Chin Augmentation, Dimple, Lip Augmentation, Liposuction, Hair Transplant/Micro Hair Restoration, Breast Surgery, Buttocks Lift, and Mesotherapy. We all deserve a quality me time and a little bit of pampering every now and then. Visit Gwapaha Medical Spa now, and start feeling and looking even more beautiful once again.


ome on, spoil yourself, a little bit once again.

Gwapaha Medical Spa is located at the 2nd Floor JMP Building along San Miguel St. fronting SM City Gensan. For inquiry and reservation, call +63 83 5522002, +63 922 2199650, or +63 916 3333887.

GGQ Oct-Dec 2013  

GGQ Magazine Quarter 4/Oct-Dec 2013 Issue