The Hidden Treasure of Ganassi
Nestled at the crossroad of Lanao del Sur (north of Madamba, south of Pagayawan, and west of Pualas) is this scenic town that coyly shrouds the rich treasures that defi ne the beauty that is distinctly Ganassi. It is approximately thirty seven (37) km away from Marawi City, and is the same distance as Malabang, Lanao del Sur. Th e term “Ganassi” was originally derived from a legendary ornamental tree called “LANGGANASSI” that once grew in the river bank of the municipality. According to old folks, this ornamental tree had a maroon, oblong-shaped leaf with green and yellow hues on its back.
Th e forefather of the community Sultan Barat, in his high hopes for the community to lead a colorful life just like the ornamental tree, named the town “Ganassi.” Lying on the east portion of Ganassi is the resplendent Lake Lanao, thus allowing locals and tourists alike to enjoy a generous view of the majestic lake from residences atop the municipality and tawi-tawi huts by the famed stream. Ganassi boasts of its fresh and cold water supply that brims over its pristine forestry. Even without hosepipe, cool spring water continuously drift s through the trees, manifesting the town’s potential as a canton of water opulence.
Ganassi also has a central mosque, splendid in its built as a fi ne green infrastructure, fl ocked by majority of its locals especially during big Islamic events. As for adventure seekers like cyclists, trekkers, and mountaineers, come explore the mystifying riches of the stunning Mt. Baya. Nature lovers can set up camp here, breathe in the soft breeze of the mountain, or just listen to the chatters of woodland animals therein. Adrenaline junkies, on the other hand, may opt to stay at Mt. Baya’s foot and sign up for the “triathlon” Ganassi Mayor Al-Rashid B. Macapodi is preparing for the summer of 2015. Th e town is very active in its pursuit for tourism opportunities, so much so that in June of last year, they have successfully organized a “One paddle for peace, one race for Ranao” Sarimanok Boat Race, attended by no less than Provincial Governor Mamintal A. Adiong, Jr., Vice-Governor RPK Marohombsar, RVG Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, former ARMM Department of Tourism Secretary Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri, Army, PNP, Baranggay and Municipal Offi cials, other agencies, and World Champion Philippine Dragon Boat Federation who conducted clinic and wowed the spectators with an awesome exhibition. Not only is Ganassi known for spectacular events as this, it has also earned its mark as a recipient of the prestigious Seal of Good Housekeeping on February 12, 2014. Mayor Macapodi, fully supportive of the products of Modern Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, also promotes Turmeric Medical Drinks– Salabat Medicinal Drink which is mainly made of ginger, and MOF’s Coff ee, consumed in the same manner as a 3in1 beverage. Th ese products are known far and wide in Lanao del Sur for its healing qualities. For tourists with discriminating taste buds, sink your teeth into their sweet native delicacy called “dodol,” retailed in Ganassi’s Dodol Central, Barrio Kampong-a-Raya. If this doesn’t satisfy your Maranao dish cravings, indulge yourself with fresh catches of tilapia and other sea foods, crops and fruits of varying size, kind, and fl avor all sold at a very aff ordable price, especially during Tuesdays and Saturdays, at Padian sa Ganassi. Th is is where “sapi” or cows are also merchandised. For history buff s, don’t miss a quick tour in “Bantog-a-Unayan,” a Torogan over a hundred years old. Th is Torogan (literally means “sleeping place” in Maranao dialect) used to house the ruling Sultan or Datu in Ganassi. It served as the community center for both decision-making and social gatherings of the Sultanate. With its inimitable “okir” and “panolong” design as portico, is it any wonder why it continues to fascinate foreign vacationers? Discovering the hidden treasures of Ganassi can of course wear you out, considering how numerous its tourist attractions and activities are. Fortunately, the town has a lot of houses sitting on top of its high terrains. One of which is Mayor Macapodi’s bonny rest house located at Luayan, Brgy. Taliogon. Like a resort, it is complete with amenities like swimming pool both for kids and adults, swing, fi sh pond, and coff ee nook next to a balcony overlooking the magnifi cent Lanao lake. Combine these feats with its Tagaytay-like feel and monkeys hanging from one slim tree to another, it is absolutely spot-on for out of town seminars and conferences, as well as comforting family retreats. So what are you waiting for? Come explore the hidden treasures of Ganassi!