Long before the ubiquitous beauty salons and spas became vogue in General Santos City, there was the corner barbershop catering to the grooming needs of the local men (and women).

At that time, crewcut was the “only” acceptable hairstyle for the men and kids like us, and so off we went to our friendly barbers at least once a month with our dad.  Every visit then was a squirmy proposition for me, since I was ticklish behind the ears and at the back of my neck, and every time the razor blade touches these parts, i go zonkers.

Despite that, a trip to the neighborshood barber at least once a month became a lifelong habit.  Yes, there were times when I’d rather visit the parlorista but most of the time, whether I was in Lahug, Cebu City; Tandag, Surigao; Ipoh, Malaysia or Chiang Mai, Thailand during the later course of my showbiz career, it was always Mr. Barber for me.

During my latest visit to my favorite barber, Nong Abel of Ric’s Barbershop and Massage Clinic along Pioneer Avenue, I decided to ask him about its history in GenSan after noticing from their signboard that the shop was established in 1968.

The other barbers when hearing our conversation, also volunteered additional information.

There are what I gathered:

  • Ric’s Barbershop is the oldest standing hair grooming establishment in the city having been established in yes, 1968, making it 40 years old (!).
  • In 1968, its old name was Jimmy’s Rendezvous (this word was common then) since its original owner was a certain Mr. Jimmy Gomez.
  • Later, the barbershop changed hands from Mr. Gomez to Rolando Caballero, and later, to Ricky Custodio.
  • In 1980, it was bought by one of its customers, a Mr. Rodrigo Rivera, who has been a customer since he was the former manager of International Bank of Asia and America (IBAA).  Mr. Rivera changed the name to Ric’s Barbershop and gave it to his brother to manage. (Pssst!!!  He now owns GenSan’s largest privately-owned company, RD Group of Companies.  🙂 )
  • Right now, Ric’s Barbershop employs three of most senior in the grooming scene in GenSan, namely:
    • Frank (who has been cutting hair since 1959);
    • Abel (my Dad’s and my suki who has been a barber since 1962);
    • Jerry (barber since 1967).

I had so much fun listening to the mini-history lessons from these guys plus a few extra naughty tidbits on some formerly living GenSan personalities (may their souls rest in peace). With all the info I gathered that day, I got more value for the P40 fee I paid for that hair trim, courtesy of Nong Abel of the oldest barbershop in General Santos City.

Ric’s Barbershop is located between Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College and Landbank, Pioneer Avenue, General Santos City.  Other than haircut, it now offers hair rebonding, hair relax and ionic hair (!).  It also offers Shave, Pedicure, Manicure, Hot Oil, Facial spa, Hair Relax, Massage, ear cleaning, Swedish Massage and Shiatsu Therapy.