GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 Oct) – The city government unveiled on Tuesday its newest cultural landmark dubbed “monument of peace.”
City officials led by Mayor Ronnel Rivera formally opened to the public and introduced the monument, which is located at the rotunda of the Apopong-Sinawal junction or the city’s circumferential road in Barangay Apopong.
The city government commissioned popular Mindanawon artist Kublai Ponce Millan to create the cultural landmark, which was named “Bangkapayapaan.”
A briefer said the monument features at least eight main symbols prominently placed atop pillar installations that depicts the city’s character, vision and aspirations.
The cross symbolizes Christianity and the city’s predominantly Catholic settlers, crescent moon for Islam and the Muslims, tuna for the city’s multimillion industry, flower for the area’s beauty, epic sun for the convergence of tribes, fire and dove for passion for peace and clouds for the city’s aspirations.
Millan, who personally turned over the landmark to the city government on Tuesday afternoon, said the pillars represent the collective aspirations of residents, who are also called “generals.”
He said he also placed a boat structure that resembles a bird to highlight the city’s journey and quest for peace.
“If we ride that boat, collectively we can navigate through adversities and achieve our aspirations,” he said.
Rivera said the monument symbolizes unity among various sectors and residents despite coming from diverse backgrounds and ethnicity.
“We call this a monument of peace. We are celebrating the (peaceful) coexistence of our people. We have different beliefs and ideals but we’re united here,” he said during the unveiling ceremony.
The “Bangkapayapaan” concept and design was approved by the 18th Sangguniang Panlungsod or city council led by former Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles.
Councilor Shandee Llido-Pestaño, chair of the council’s committee on tourism, culture and the arts, said in a statement the site of the landmark is very ideal as the rotunda connects to key areas of the city.
She cited the international airport by going westward, southward to the fishport complex, northward to the neighboring municipalities and eastward to the other developing barangays.
Millan’s masterpiece is among the series of peace monuments he is currently building in different areas in Mindanao.
He is famous for other major artworks across Mindanao, among them the 25-foot durian sculpture at the Davao International Airport as well as landmarks in Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Norte and South Cotabato. (MindaNews)