The newly elected officials of General Santos City were sworn into office in a touching ceremony which had some of the guests in a jampacked PBA Sports Center teary-eyed.

The program started late since the earlier rains made the organizers transfer the original venue from the Plaza Heneral Santos to the oval covered court.  It was almost 7pm when everything began.

After a soulful rendition of the Lord’s Prayer by three former “GenSan Pop Idol” winners and the National Anthem by the GSC Government Employees Choir to start everything, the elected cityofficials were called singly by the two hosts, Atty. Elvie Albano and RMMC Dean Joana Banting-Lapore to ascend the stage.

The officials then had to walk from the main entrance of the covered court up to the stage and pass through the center aisle flanked by numerous seated guests, a good mix of generals from the private and public sector, most in their finery.

When it was time for the new mayor, Darlene Antonino-Custodio, resplendent in her sister Eliza’s ecru Oskar Peralta gown, to ascend the stage, the audience rose from their seats and cheered her on while walking across the aisle.  A mini-pandemonium ensued with people reaching out to her.

Upon reaching the front row where they were seated, Mayor Darlene then kissed her parents, the former mayor Adelbert Antonino and the former representative Lualhati Antonino.

Representative Pedro B. Acharon, Jr. was the last to traverse what was supposedly a short distance but it took him a while to do it.  Almost everyone who were seated at the courtyard rushed to the middle aisle also to shake the former mayor’s hand hand to congratulate him.  There were so many that he could only execute “high fives” with the rest.  He finally reached center stage after more than five minutes with a few people near him noticing that he was teary-eyed.

With everyone accounted for, Judge Oscar Noel then administered the oath of office of the 12 city councilors and Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas.

"COUNCILORS BAGONOC, ATENDIDO, LEYSON, LLIDO, OCO, DE CLARO TAKE THEIR OATHS OF OFFICE"

"VICE MAYOR SHIRLYN BANAS IN BLUE EMI ENGLIS TAKES HER OATH OF OFFICE BEFORE JUDGE OSCAR NOEL."
"COUNCILORS SANTOS, LAGARE, VICENTE, NATIVIDAD, DINOPOL & RIVERA TAKE THEIR OATH OF OFFICE"

Then it was Mayor Custodio’s turn to be sworn into office with her parents and husband businessman Benjie Custodio.

Finally, the new Congressman Pedro B. Acharon, Jr. was joined on stage by wife Dr. Rose, brother Yolando and children PJ, Honey and Pedro III.

Mayor Custodio then delivered her inaugural address, which focused on her administration’s agenda, based on the SHEEP Program.  She also revealed that together with Congressman Acharon, she will push for the establishment of the GenSan Economic Zone.

The inaugural rites ended on a high note with small kids representing the youth of the city handing out tokens which are representations of the different committees that they will be heading.

Note:  Thanks for Gandaeversomuch for some of the pictures.  Check out his blog’s first birthday contests.

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