A lot of times I get e-mails with a certain question. Or, when I meet people who are visiting Davao, I get the same question. People always are interested to learn what the differences are between different parts of the Philippines.
Where is best to live, Bob, Cebu or Davao?
Which City has the best schools in the Philippines?
Which part of the country has the best beaches?
Are the women in Mindanao, the Visayas or Luzon the most beautiful?
I hear these questions and other similar questions almost every day from people I come in contact with, either in person or via e-mail.
Honestly it can be hard to answer questions like these, because these are very subjective topics. I might think that Davao is nicer to live in than Cebu, you might think the opposite. I might think that Samal has great beaches… you might not even like the beach and prefer to live in the mountains. We all have our own tastes and preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But, when a person asks me such a question and is sitting there looking at me waiting for my answer, it can be difficult to know what to say. I can only give my opinion.
There is one area, though, where I simply have no doubt. I am talking about food.. more specifically Pork BBQ.
Pork BBQ has to be considered one of the National Foods of the Philippines… there is no place you can go in the Philippines (except, I suppose in the heavily Muslim areas where they cannot eat Pork for religious reasons) where you can’t find Pork BBQ along the streets somewhere. And, believe me, I have had some delicious Pork BBQ in the Philippines!
We lived in General Santos City (GenSan) for a little over 2 years when we first settled in the Philippines, then we moved to Davao and have been here for over 8 years now. I know the Pork BBQ in both places, believe me. I’ve tried lots and lots of places that serve Pork BBQ in both Cities. As much as I love Davao City, I must be honest, and I simply believe that in terms of Pork BBQ, there is no comparison between the two Cities. GenSan is the winner hands down.
My very favorite Pork BBQ comes from a little place in GenSan called “Marietta’s” which is right in the heart of the City. I have been enjoying BBQ Pork, and other dishes, from Marietta’s for about 15 years now. Back before we even lived here, I would visit Marietta’s during our vacations here.
The Pork BBQ from Marietta’s is quite spicy. Feyma sometimes can’t eat it because it really burns her mouth, but it’s perfect for me. So many foods in the Philippines are sweet, so it’s a welcome thing to find something spicy like Marietta’s BBQ.
Honestly, I have tried a lot of BBQ places in Davao too, having lived here for over 8 years. Still, though, I have not found a place that makes me want to keep coming back like Marietta’s does. I have found some places in Davao that are pretty good, but I still find myself longing for Marietta’s!
My addiction to Marietta’s BBQ is so strong that I actually import the stuff to Davao any chance I get. Any time that a family member from GenSan is coming for a visit here, we almost always send some money down and ask them to buy some BBQ to bring to us. When we do this, we ask them to buy the BBQ raw, uncooked, and we freeze it and cook it as we desire. The people at Marietta’s already know us, we have been such good customers, so they don’t mind selling us as much raw BBQ as we want, and they usually even give us a couple of bottles of their special BBQ sauce for free too, which we greatly appreciate.
Well, last weekend, two of our nieces came to Davao for a visit, and of course, we had them bring up some Marietta’s BBQ. It had been a while since we had any Marietta’s and it sure was good! Thank you to Sahara and Nicole for bringing the BBQ up with you! I sure enjoyed it!
If you happen to make it to GenSan, stop by at Marietta’s and have a few sticks of Pork BBQ there. I am sure you will enjoy it! Tell them that MindanaoBob sent you!