Alpha Phi Omega cleans up General Santos Park
By Romy Martin
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (5 October) -- Fifty local members and neophytes of the Alpha Phi Omega International (Philippines) Service Fraternity and Sorority cleaned up the historical General Santos Park in Silway, General Santos City on October 1, 2006.
Famous for its role as the port of landing of this fishing port city's founder, General Paulino Santos, after WWII, the park is in a state of decay and badly needs maintenance. It has been used as pier by boats plying the General Santos City - Batulaki, Glan route. It has also been diminished to den of drug addicts, including the notorious "rugby boys".
The bigger threat to the park's existence, however, is its planned conversion to commercial use. A source close to barangay hall of Dadiangas West said, the barangay government intends to demolish the park to give way to a commercial building project.
APO wants the park kept. Local fraternity leaders Ambrauzi Macalangcom and Rogelio Sinco said the clean up activity is an initial message to concerned government authorities that APO wants to adopt the park to restore and maintain its significance in history. "The park is a legacy of the leaders before us, we want to beautify it and keep it that way for every General to enjoy", the fratmen said.
Simultaneous with the clean up, the organization also conducted blood pressure testing that benefited more than 50 residents and passersby. Student-nurses from the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and Golden State College administered the tests.
APO is a collegiate service fraternity and sorority founded in 1925 at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, USA. Members in General Santos City advocate historical sites restoration and environmental protection and conservation. Its next project is coastal clean-up at the mangrove areas in Tinoto, Maasim, Sarangani Province in cooperation with local institutions, including the Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC). (PIA SarGen/APO) [top]