Model of Valor

Cecille Villacorta is a granddaughter of the highly-decorated Medal of Valor recipient and Philippine National Hero, Commanding General and first Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, Maj. General Paulino Santos, of which the Philippines’ General Santos City is named after.  General Santos is favorably mentioned numerous times in President Dwight Eisenhower’s Diary; the two Generals had an indelible mutual respect for each other.  Sadly, the heroic General did not live to see his good friend become President of the United States. 

“GenSan”, as the cosmopolitan city is popularly known today, with its international airport, is a popular tourism magnet in the Islamic dominated Southern Philippines.  The popular General Santos is widely adored, admired and honored by the Islamic communities for the changes he introduced for their betterment.  “GenSan” is the tuna capital of the Philippines. It is also the hometown and birthplace of boxing champ, Mannv Pacquiao.

Cecille was an international dancer of the Bayanihan Dance Company, it is the official national dance company of the Philippines.  She was one of three original dancers of the formidable and spectacular Islamic dance-suite “Vinta” (an Islamic bamboo boat with multi-colored masts used in the Islamic South of the Philippines), she danced atop bamboo poles carried on the shoulders of two male dancers.  Her intricately agile hand and shoulder movements, typical of Islamic dance, garnered rave reviews when the “Vinta debuted in New York City in the early 1970s. 
She traveled extensively world-wide with the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company.  Her experiences as a Bayanihan Ambassadress of Goodwill and International Dancer, is detailed in another site.  She was also one of the top salespersons at Cartier in their New York City Flagship Boutique.  It is her maternal and paternal grandfathers' legacies she treasures the most and are constant sources of inspiration.

The highly admired and charismatic General Paulino Santos at Right, with General MacArthur Center and Philippine President Quezon Left.

General Santos was tortured by his Japanese captors, he refused to disclose American and Filipino troop positions, thus General Santos saved thousands of American and Filipino soldierslives. It wasnt until a few years ago that Cecille herself found out on-line, what her mother could not bare to tell her, exactly how her grandfathers sacrifice was met: He was cannibalized by his captors. Note: There are several varying accounts as to his actual cause of death.  The only remains her maternal-grandmother had of her husband and the only way her husband could be identified was by his teeth, this Cecille recalls her mother told her.  At 6 foot-6 inches tall, General Paulino Santos was not only imposing in stature, but in his love of God, country, his achievements, vision, integrity and heroic legacy.  General Santos was only fifty-five years old when he passed on.

General Santos Plaza with a Monument to General Santos in General Santos City
Commanding General Paulino Santos, Lower Right with the Red Cross, Lower Left, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander of the Commonwealth, in the Philippines Free Press,
July 18, 1936.

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