Gensan is not my hometown. I am from Manila and grew up in Tarlac and Pangasinan. I moved here after I got married because my husband is based here.
If you ask me where would I prefer to live now that I have resided in Manila and Gensan, I would choose Gensan.
Gensan is a peaceful place contrary to all the bad publicity it gets because of the bombings. Yes, it could be scary specially after a bombing. You think twice about going to the public market, malls, church, government offices and other public places. You are suddenly very observant of the people around you (which takes away the fun specially if you are in the mall). However, I think that people here in Gensan have somehow gotten used to it. I remember during the February 14 bombing coinciding with bombing in Manila and Davao, we were booked in the hotel for the usual Valentine dinner. SO when we got the news about the bombing, we thought that some people might not push through with their dinner dates. But lo and behold! Everybody arrived! That’s when I realized the Generals are not letting these bombings get in the way of their peaceful living.
Gensan’s cost of living is also way lower than that of Manila’s and even those of key cities in Luzon. I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood where papaya and malunggay can be obtained free (if you have been a good neighbor!). Life here is slower and simpler though not entirely devoid of luxuries.
What I miss about Manila would be my social life, the night life and my favorite restaurants. Starbucks? Not so much anymore because we have good coffee places here anyway. Wendy’s? I get to eat every 4 months or so. Malls? We have good malls. The choices are quite lacking in the style that I want like clothes and bags and school supplies. You can go to Davao if you need something from the metro.
When I said night life, I mean that there are not a lot of clean fun night life places here. You know, the likes of The Fort and Libis. Dinner dates with girlfriends are rate! Group or club meetings are for business mainly.
Of course, for you to enjoy Gensan, you have to have something to get busy with here because beyond the malls and the public market, it is not an eventful place!