Burning the wires, as we used to say before the internet age came along, the organizers of the reunion led by Tito Santos, one of the grandsons of General Paulino Santos hardly slept keeping track of the communications that led to the fruition of the plans to invite relatives from the other side of the world to book flights for General Santos City in spite of the threatening Coronavirus which restricted travel.
Families whose roots can be traced to the union of General Paulino Santos and Elisa Angeles of Camiling, Tarlac were all excited once the group chat on messenger’s Facebook started to be ignited with everyone asking about reservations, activities and details for the event starting in General Santos City on February 23 and winding up in Davao City on February 28 at Casa Munda.
General Paulino Santos was born in 1890 during the Spanish era. He spent his boyhood, early adulthood during the American Commonwealth years, and his final years as the benevolent leader of the settlers in Southern Mindanao. He died in 1945 as a Japanese army Prisoner of War in the jungles of the Mountain Province.
Amado Santos Munda, Jr., a grandson of Gen. Paulino Santos writes: “To me, who just celebrated my 76th birthday last week, one of the most amazing facts about Gen. Santos, my grandfather, was that he was only 55 years old when he died in August 1945. Only 55 years old! And yet he accomplished many achievements for the Love of his Country, in his loyalty to our Flag.
Only 55 years old, but a legend, a hero to whom we pay honor today. Yet, I think, if he was alive today and saw all our Santos Relatives who came from distant lands, who braved the COVID 19 scare, if he heard all the accolades or saw his statue at the Town Plaza, or saw the Welcome sign reading ‘Gen. Santos City’ he would wonder, what’s all this? And he would say ‘I was just doing my job.’”
The rest of the story was narrated by Dinky Munda in his Mindanao Times column dated February 25, 2020.
This year, the Santos – Camiling branch is holding a family reunion in General Santos City and Davao City to renew ties and trace the family tree and once more get together for another bonding experience. The family members started their journey from across the globe starting February 22 and spent a few days in General Santos City and on to Davao City on February 27 to wind up the reunion with the Santos Munda Clan where an art gallery will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting followed by dinner, A “Santos Clan Got Talent” Videoke singing, ballroom and line dancing, and storytelling are some of the activities scheduled. A day at Eden Mountain Resort is set to happen on February 28 before departures of the relatives to their home country.