After a year of renovation and improvement work, Plaza Heneral Santos was finally unveiled to the public on the night of September 4, 2009.  GenSan City Mayor Jun Acharon, Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio and First Lady Rose Acharon together switched on the ceremonial button to signal the simultaneous lighting up of all the city park’s lamp posts.

It was a sight to behold.

Plaza Heneral Santos in a photo shot by Chattee from Sydney Hotel Rooftop (Sept 4 2009)
"Plaza Heneral Santos in a photo shot by Chattee from Sydney Hotel Rooftop Grill (September 4, 2009)"

People from all walks of life immediately descended upon the 4.8 hectare park. Since it was the eve of the Tuna Festival culmination, there was hardly any vacant bench left and it was shoulder-to-shoulder for people walking along the paved paths. [quote1]

The same thing was repeated the following day, September 5th, with whole families enjoying the features of the new park until late after midnight.  The generals clearly missed their park and now that it was given back to them,  all new and dressed up, it was all for them to enjoy!

Kudos to the local government of GenSan, most especially Mayor Jun Acharon and the Sangguniang Panlungsod members for giving this project the go-ahead, believing that city plazas are the hearts and souls of any major city, municipality or poblacion.

At a cost of P34 million, this endeavor which was ably undertaken by Dellosa Design Builders, Inc. is just the first phase of the total improvement of the park.  Hopefully, they could add a fountain, an ampitheater, portable toilets, and maybe, just maybe, a Park Administrator to oversee its maintenance, security and upkeep.

The marker of Plaza Heneral Santos with the magandang gensan only.
"The marker of Plaza Heneral Santos with the 'magandang gensan" LOGO."

Bariles has been there more than a couple of times already, in the afternoon, at night, early morning…. or just passing by.  Every moment that he was there seems to lift high his spirits with the comforting sight of parents with their kids lounging around, students studying under the trees, teenagers just strolling, lovers admiring the mini-fountains at the lagoon, and old folks doing some stretching exercises.

Let these pictures taken by Marz tell the rest of Bariles’ story…

Kids in formation hopping on the concrete steps.
Kids in formation hopping on the concrete steps.

A couple relaxes at one of the cobbled clearings of Plaza Heneral Santos with the Sydney Hotel in the background.
"A couple relaxes at one of the cobbled clearings of Plaza Heneral Santos with the Sydney Hotel in the background."

A white-washed trellis dominates this area near the Dadiangas Parish Church.
"A white-washed trellis dominates this area near the Dadiangas Parish Church."

Teeners enjoy each others company on top of one of the bridges over the LAGOON.
"Teeners enjoy each other's company on top of one of the bridges over the LAGOON."

"One of the umbrellas for the creeping vines scattered all over the plaza."
One of the rock gardens dotting the plaza, the brainchild of First Lady Dra. Rose Acharon.
"One of the rock gardens dotting the plaza, the brainchild of First Lady Dra. Rose Acharon."
Bariles trying out the new hiking/jogging tracks surrounding the peripheral of Plaza Heneral Santos.
"Bariles trying out the new hiking/jogging tracks surrounding the peripheral of Plaza Heneral Santos."
A LED lamp post formed as a dancing figure of a man.
"A LED lamp post formed as a dancing figure of a man."
Green, green, green and more green everywhere....
"Green, green, green and more greens everywhere...."

Big Sister and Little Sisters with Big Brother strolling happily in the GenSan Park.
"Big Sister and Little Sisters with Big Brother strolling happily in the GenSan Park."

Another Rock Garden here.  The GenSan City Hall at the background.
"Another Rock Garden here. The GenSan City Hall at the background."

The winding steps of Plaza Heneral Santos.
"The winding pathway flagstones of Plaza Heneral Santos."

An old promenador rests on a bench with the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church on the background.
"An old promenador rests on a bench with the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church on the background."

The repainted statue of General Paulino Santos. More improvements will be made soon.
"The repainted statue of General Paulino Santos. More improvements will be made soon."

More photos of Plaza Heneral Santos (GenSan Park) coming up. Please check back again…

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