Model of Valor

Cecille Villacorta is one of the granddaughters 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 indelible mutual respect.  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, is a popular tourism magnet in the Islamic-dominated Southern Philippines with its international airport.  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 Manny Pacquiao.

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 online what her mother could not bear 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.  Her maternal grandmother's only remains 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 imposing in stature and 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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