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LGU Wraps Up Gensan Cultural Mapping Project 

General Santos City continues to advance in the preservation of its diverse history.
The city accomplished last August 14 its Cultural Mapping Project Graduation Ceremony is the ending salvo of the project in which the Local Government Unit of General Santos City (LGU-Gensan) and its partner institutions gave due recognition to the project’s cultural mappers and participating stakeholders for their efforts and collaboration in the 6-month endeavor in recording and documenting all cultural heritages within 26 barangays of General Santos City.
At the event, the outputs of the mappers, after analysis and consolidation by the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School Center for the Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST GS CCCPET), were then compiled by the institution into 26 volumes which were then officially turned over to the LGU-Gensan.
After a few messages, 85 mappers composed of Araling Panlipunan (AP) teachers and Barangay enumerators from the 26 barangays of the city were the awarded Certificates of Completion for their participation and work in the project, while key offices, barangays, and partner institutions were bestowed with Plaques of Appreciation for their collaboration in the massive project.
Clad in their tradition and ethnic Filipiniana dresses, the audience who graced the grand event included many top officials of the LGU and other key stakeholders: City Mayor Ronnel Chua Rivera, Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s Chief of Staff Dominador Lagare III, members of the city council, punong barangays and representatives of the 26 barangays of the City, the different department heads of the city of LGU, heads of the Department of Education GenSan, representatives of different schools and different museums in the city, the descendants of the city’s pioneers, the members of the GSC Museum TWG, and partners from the University of Santo Tomas Museum led and represented by its director Fr. Isidro Abaño, the UST Graduate School represented by its faculty secretary Dr. Alejandro Bernardo, and the UST GSC CCPET led and represented by its faculty secretary Dr. Alejandro Bernardo, and the UST GSC CCPET led and represented by Associate Professor Eric Zerrudo.
Local ethnic performers also graced the event: young Blaan dancers from P. Kindat Elementary School and the seasoned performers from Mindanao State University-Gensan’s Kabpapagariya Ensemble (MSU KE). MSU KE will perform at the upcoming and first-ever Budayaw Festival of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas- Nograles, who chairs the Gensan Museum Technical Working Group, emphasized the importance of cultural mapping in the city of General Santos after thanking the LGU, key stakeholders, and partner institutions for their support to the project. “Being fully aware of our culture and heritage promotes love to our city. It gives us a deeper sense of place and belonging,” she said.
With the finished Cultural Mapping project, the data collected during the project are planned by the LGU and DepEd Gensan to be integrated into the instruction of local history to the students of General Santos City.
The data collected will also be used as an additional reference in the continuing construction of the city museum. (VMO/Hezekiah Kit Canlas)

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