South Cotabato Travel

Where is General Paulino Santos pointing to?

By on September 15, 2011

gensan - front page
My friends and I have stopped by General Santos City in Southern Philippines for an early lunch of bulalo in all our recent trips to South Cotabato. I have previously said that I find this rather unusual since GenSan is known for tuna more than the favorite Filipino beef broth. This city is also associated with the Pacquiaos, dance groups that have conquered the Showtime stage and Ms. Shamcey Supsup, the stunning architect who represented the Philippines in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant.

Aside from these famous local personalities, General Paulino Santos perhaps is the most popular figure in Dadiangas or the old name of General Santos. It was then called as such due to abundance of the Dadiangas plant in the area. But it was renamed in 1954 to ‘General Santos’ to honor this exceptional military officer who was instrumental in establishing settlements in the region. His remains and that of his wife are now enshrined in Plaza Heneral Santos, the city’s central park where a statue is also erected his honor.

I wonder where the statue of the Gen. Paulino is pointing to. Why is he pointing towards the south or to the sea, and not towards the north where there are more lands to conquer? Perhaps it was just a random aesthetic decision by its sculptor or that there is no significant meaning as to why his arm was raised in the first place. I have no acceptable answer yet to this curiosity, but perhaps Ms. Shamcey has a two-sentence explanation for a question that is better raised in a local pop quiz show and not on a beauty pageant.

gensan - various

But what is clear to me though is that despite the brief aggregated hours I spent in General Santos City, I could still say that it is clearly headed to the right direction in terms of tourism potential and economic progress. I do wish though I could spend a full day there someday to visit its fish port, indulge in its local delicacies and explore the other areas we have not passed by before. I might be able to find the answer to my question too by asking its tourism officer, a local blogger or just someone who knows the history of this city.

I leave this question unanswered for the time being. But your wild theories or scholarly comments are most welcome below.

  1. Reply


    September 22, 2011

    He is actually pointing to the city's constituents, the "generals" and telling them, "You are responsible for ensuring that this city is headed into greatness and shall be known all throughout the globe as the HOME OF CHAMPIONS."

    Thanks for the beautifully-written post about our hometown. You could have met us, the Soccsksargen Bloggers. (

    Come back soon!

  2. Reply


    September 24, 2011

    Hi Bariles. Wow, another blogger royalty in the house! Welcome to Baktin Corporation! 🙂 Thank you too for sharing your wonderful thoughts on the question.

    And yes, I'd like to meet the Sox bloggers if I get to return to Soccsksargen someday.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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