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Top Six Personalities from Gensan

By: Kristel Anne D. Maluping

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When we say General Santos, we always think of its tasty pride, the Tuna fish. Named as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, GenSan has been the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the country. The city takes pride in the quality of its tuna products but little do we know, there’s more to be proud of. The place is also the home of other Filipino pride!


Aside from its famous Tuna, General Santos is the home of some popular personalities in the Philippines. 

Here are the top six well-known personalities from GenSan:

1. Manny Pacquiao


Source:CBS Sports

What better way to start our list than with the most iconic Filipino boxer, Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is widely known across the globe as the People’s Champ. He was born and raised in Gensan by parents Rosalio and Dionisia Dapidran- Pacquiao.  Manny is one of a kind, garnering a total of eight-division world champion in the history of boxing. He had won twelve major world titles. Impressively, he won a lineal championship in multiple different weight classes. He is the only boxer to hold a record of world championships across four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s).

Manny Pacquiao is now a senator serving his 6-year term.

2. Gerald Anderson


Source: Philstar

Gerald Randolph Opsima Anderson, Jr. is the son of a Caucasian American instructor in the Philippine Navy and a Filipina businesswoman in GenSan named Evangeline Opsima. Gerald has three siblings; two older sisters and one younger brother. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and came back to the Philippines at the age of fourteen. Anderson entered Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) House in the year 2006 where he was named Third Teen Big Placer.


To show gratitude to his mother, Gerald gifted her a house and lot in Gensan.

3. Melai Cantiveros

Source: IG @mrandmrsfrancisco

Another PBB housemate who came from the City of General Santos is Melai Cantiveros. Melai is a Filipina actress, comedienne, host, and fifth female Big Winner of Pinoy Big Brother. She was born on April 6, 1988, at General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines. She is the only daughter of Dionisio and Virginia Cantiveros. She studied at Mindanao State University – General Santos, 30 minutes away from Lessandra General Santos.


In October 2009, Cantiveros entered the Big Brother house along with 25 other housemates. Now, she is a caring mother and a loving wife to her husband Jason Francisco.

4. Shamcey Supsup


Source: Bohol Island News

Shamcey Supsup is a Filipino beauty titleholder who represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant, in which she was declared the third runner-up. She was also known for her signature “tsunami walk” during the pageant. She was born on 16 May 1986 at Mercy Community Clinic in Iligan city, Lanao Del Norte, to Timoteo Ferolino Supsup and Marcelina Luega Gurrea. She moved with her family to General Santos when she was three years old. She was raised primarily by her father while her mother worked overseas. Before studying in Manila, she helped her father on the farm.

An art gallery and museum featuring the inspiring journey of the beauty queen was established in Purok 7, San Felipe in Barangay Katangawan. The gallery was a gift from Shamcey’s mother with the hope of giving inspiration to the youth to achieve their dreams. The gallery is just 7km away from Lessandra General Santos, a housing brand offering affordable homes.


Beauty and brains indeed, she topped the Philippines’ national licensure examination for architects in July 2011.  She obtained her Architecture degree from the University of the Philippines with magna cum laude honors. Now, she is a happy wife to Lloyd Lee, and a successful businesswoman with a chain of restaurants in Manila. Source:

5. Nonito Donaire Jr.


Source: Philstar

Nonito Donaire was born in Talibon, Bohol, to Filipino parents, Nonito Sr. and Imelda Donaire. He is the third among four siblings: Glenn, Rosiel, and Ermie. He grew up in General Santos City, where he lived until the age of six and went to the same school as boxing icon eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. 

In total, Donaire has held eight world titles by the main four boxing sanctioning bodies, including the IBO flyweight title from 2007 to 2009, the WBA interim super flyweight title from 2009 to 2010, and The Ring magazine and lineal super bantamweight titles from 2012 to 2013. As of March 2019, Donaire is ranked as the world's third-best active bantamweight by The Ring, BoxRec, and fourth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

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