There could never be a more intimate place for family bonding than in the cramped cab of a tricycle. We were shoehorned with our knees knocking together inside the four-seater, and we were not even tall people. The motorized tricycle was considered a poor man’s taxi. Poverty aside, we did not have much choice. In General Santos City, taxis were hard to come by, and the taxi driver we eventually got kept asking us for directions. So off we went on our day-long DIY GenSan tour on a trike.
We had to beat the crack of dawn to catch tuna. Anyway Hemingway, my family was never into deep sea fishing. We only wanted to be a welcoming committee to tuna trawlers as they returned to port. Alas, none of us a morning person, we arrived at General Santos City Fish Port Complex at 7AM, already past the thick of the action.
Land as far as the eye could see – that was the view from the plane making its final approach to General Santos City. In an archipelago, it was uncommon to see so much land, such horizon-hogging terrain uninterrupted by the sea. It stretched out beguilingly, unending and inexhaustible. No wonder then that my mother’s uncle had claimed a slice of this vast open country long before I was born. Mom and I made this trip to Mindanao to visit his descendants, most of whom we had not met.