Graveyard Peek: Mappers look into GenSan’s Local History through Cemeteries


          GenSan cultural mappers on May 5 conducted field work in four major cemeteries in General Santos City to gain hints on the city’s local history. The activity is part of the on-going Cultural Mapping Project of the city in preparation for the anticipated establishment of the General Santos City Public Museum.
          Barangay Apopong’s Forest Lake San Carlos, a 19-hectare cemetery launched in 2003, was noted for its spacious grounds and newly-constructed properly-arranged burial chambers, while the Antonio C. Acharon Memorial Park in Barangay Fatima had ample mausoleums and a peculiar large chamber in the middle of its grounds where unidentified and abandoned corpses are placed.

          Also in Barangay Apopong is the Chinese cemetery, located beside Forest Lake San Carlos, which is believed to have existed long before the creation of General Santos City and has a substantial number of recorded burials in 1905.

          Finally, the Muslim cemetery in Barangay Labangal made distinct by its burial arrangement of placing the dead according to family name.

          The mappers later on presented the findings of the field work at the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, with Vice Mayor Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles and Associate Professor Eric B. Zerrudo of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST CCCPET) and listening to each group’s respective output.

          The data collected include the oldest and youngest deaths, the year with most number of deaths, most common surnames, and the lay-out of the grounds of each cemetery.

- Jonathan Susvilla, Hezekiah Kit Canlas

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