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Solar Eclipse Photos circa 1988 in GenSan

As Bariles is writing this, the Partial Solar Eclipse is happening at this very moment.  Here below is his shot taken at 9:42 am, July 22, 2009 in General Santos City.  He covered the lens from the Canon 300D Camera he was using with a used x-ray film to shoot this.


Inspired by this heavenly phenomenon, GenSan News Online Mag is sharing with its faithful readers Solar Eclipse photos taken by Kryss Katsiavriades, a photo journalist and “eclipse chaser” from United Kingdom, Europe who documented the March 18, 1988 Total Solar Eclipse from General Santos City in his website.

At that time, the Solar Eclipse was best seen at its totality here in General Santos City, (then known not as the Tuna Capital but as Pineapple City), and therefore, hordes of scientists, astronomers, journalists, tv crews, tourists from all around the globe flew into what was then a quiet, sleepy city.  Even then President Cory Aquino joined in the fun of experiencing her first total Solar eclipse from what is now the Pioneer Seeds Compound in Barangay Apopong.

solar eclipse gensan 1988

People at the Magsaysay Park (now Plaza Heneral Santos) while waiting for the Solar Eclipse in 1989 (Photo by Avel Manansala)

Bariles had also to take the plane from Cagayan de Oro, where he was then based to Davao, a day earlier to catch the solar eclipse which the local government of General Santos City (under former Mayor Rosalita Nunez) was promoting as one big Tourism Event.

The City Tourism Office and some enterprising people came out with all sorts of souvenirs including tshirts, brochures, visor caps, hats, solar glasses, etc for the occasion.  A dance contingent made up like Ati-Atihan dancers even greeted the visitors near the City Hall.  It was a fiesta, to say the least.

Here are some of the solar eclipse photos taken by Kryss Katsiavriades of that eventful time, not necessarily of the eclipse alone but of the people around him.  They are priceless photos of a GenSan gone by and of an event which will forever be etched in the memories of those who experienced it.

solar eclipse in gensan

GenSan Ati-atihan Dancers greet visitors during the 1988 Solar Eclipse (photo by Kryss Katsiavriades)

solar eclipse gensan

Photographers and eclipse chasers prepare their photographic and video quipment at the GenSan City Hall Rooftop, minutes before the Solar Eclipse in March 18, 1988 (photo by Kryss Katsiavriades)

solar eclipse gensan

Kryss Katsiavriades carries a rifle in this souvenir shot with military men securing foreign visitors, minutes before the March 18, 1988 Solar Eclipse. Photo was taken at the GenSan City Hall Rooftop.


Kryss (5th from left) with other eclipse observers at the GenSan City Hall Rooftop, including Rosario, his guide (to his left). Check out Kryss’ shirt with the “Pineapple City” graphics. And the hair fashion that time!!! (Photo from Kryss Katsiavriades.)

solar eclipse gensan

Military personnel try to view the ongoing March 18, 1988 solar eclipse in this photo by Kryss Katsiavriades. They look like CAFGUS to me!

Now, here are the precious money shots, from the camera of Kryss Katsiavriades. Below is the Iglesia ni Kristo Building visible from the General Santos City Hall Rooftop which Kryss used to illustrate the progress of the March 18, 1988 Solar Eclipse. Read the time line from each photo’s caption supplied by Kryss himself.

solar eclipse gensan

And finally, here is the 1988 Solar Eclipse Photo of Kryss, taken by his handheld camera.

solar eclipse gensan

The Total Solar Eclipse Photo of Kryss Katsiavriades shot on March 18, 1988, from the rooftop of the General Santos City Hall

UPDATE:  Recently, Bariles found these pictures he took of his family and household in Gen. Santos during the actual day of the Total Solar Ecplise in 1988.  He is the one in RED PURONTONG SHORTS that were the fave that time.

Total Solar Eclipse Gensan 1988


Total Solar Eclipse Gensan 1988


Total Solar Eclipse Gensan 1988


Total Solar Eclipse Gensan 1988


How about you, where were you during the Total Solar Eclipse on March 18, 1988?

About Avel Manansala

Avel Manansala aka Bariles, is a native of a bustling city down south of Mindanao Island. He is a consultant on Blogging, Social Media, and Marketing . He is co-founder and head of the SoCCSkSarGen Bloggers and manager of Google Business Group (GBG)- General Santos. You may add him to your circles on G+ - If you need more info on any of these fields, please leave him a message.

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  1. dimple says:


    idol ged taka boss bah..

    1988? BULINGIT pa ko anah.. most probably nasa naranjita st mi anah..hihihi
    .-= dimple´s last blog ..The 10 safest jobs (in the UK) in a recession =-.

    1. bariles says:

      @dimple, you don’t remember na no? Hahahha! 🙂
      @leonard, may bitbit ka nang camera noon or dede? Hehehe! 🙂

  2. Leonard Pe says:

    hehehe nice! I remember doon kami sa block 8 nanood ng total solar eclipse
    .-= Leonard Pe´s last blog ..Solar Eclipse July 22, 2009 =-.

  3. Daxi Weida says:

    Sa Manila ko 1988, walay pamelete para makauli makatan-aw sa total eclipse. Partial lang didto. 🙁
    .-= Daxi Weida´s last blog ..A.S.D.: Episode V =-.

    1. bariles says:

      @Dax, so until now, you’ve only witnessed the partial solar eclipse? Time to go to the next solar eclipse hot spot na dapat! Hehehe! 🙂
      @sheng, abaww ged! At least, natawo na ka gali at that time? Hahaha! 🙂

  4. sheng says:

    ummm, wala pa ko sa Gensan, I was still in Iloilo that time, wahaha…

  5. […] post today recounts the events of March 18, 1988, where GenSan had the best seat to view totality. He also posted some photos […]

  6. deejames says:

    i remember this.. didto mi sa among balay nag andam mig film sa camera.. unya didto namo nakita an total eclipse… ginahadlok pa mi sa among mama sa una nga end of the world na daw.. inig kangitngit na daw manggawas ang mga bitin og ihalas.. pero peke kaayo.. hehehehhe… xempre I was 4 years old back then..
    .-= deejames´s last blog ..Michael and Irish Signature Album =-.

    1. bariles says:

      @deejames, wow! I couldn’t even remember what I did yesterday but you just recalled what happened more than 20 years ago when you were just a kid! Haneps! 🙂
      @kristel, too bad. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the pictures here. Try reading the account of Mr. Kryss. You will surely enjoy it. Thanks. 🙂

  7. kristel says:

    I failed to witness the said eclipse this morning. sayang..but it’s ok.
    by the way I was not born yet during the total solar eclipse.

  8. ark says:

    9 years old pa lang ako nung time na un. Di ko na maalala un, hehe..
    .-= ark´s last blog ..How to Make a Google Bomb =-.

    1. bariles says:

      @ark, basahin mo ang website source ko ng mga pics para masariwa ang memory mo. 🙂
      @blackmeat, yan din kinuwento ko sa mga pamangkin ko that time. But I really tried to observe our chickens at our backyard. Akala nila gabi kaya they went up the bayabas trees na. Hehehehe! Na-confuse tuloy sila, 🙂

  9. blackmeat says:

    Ang galeng ng blog nato, whew!!!!!!!! Ahehehe! I was grade 1 pupil at that time, me and my friends were wearing a “carton-made-solar-antipara”. Naa pud mi planggana na may tubig para makita ang solar eclipse. Ahehehe! Lahat kami natatakot ituro ng daliri ang solar kasi mapuputol daw ang aming daliri. Ahahahahaha! May mga aswang daw na lalabas kasi parang biyernes yan. Ahoooooooohhhhhhhh!

  10. Miah says:

    Wow…. total eclipse… sus, 5 years old pa man ko ani uie, nag unsa kaha ko atong mga panahuna to..? (LOL) Nice post Vel… 🙂
    .-= Miah´s last blog ..Emmy Nominations 2009 List =-.

  11. Jene says:

    Astig! Good thing you were able to capture it.

    Eto kuha ng colleague ko,
    taken around 9:20am here in Quanzhou, China.
    eto naman around 9:40am.

    Sayang, 2 years old pa lang ako nung nangyari yun 1998 Total Solar Eclipse sa Gensan.

    1. bariles says:

      @Miah, I am sure you were led by your parents outside your house to catch it. And with your inquisitive mind, you were wondering why it was such a short “night”. Heheheh. 🙂

      @Jene, thanks for the links. What are you doing in Quanzhou, China by the way? Join us at Have you subscribed to already? 🙂

  12. Jene says:

    I’m working as a graphic artist here in China. And yes, already a subsriber. As a matter of fact, I’ve been receiving updates for so long i can’t even remember when I subscribed. It’s my first time to comment. 😉

    Oh plurk, I’d love too but everything’s blocked here.. plurk, twitter, youtube, facebook, etc. Sigh.

    1. bariles says:

      @Jene, thank you then for having subscribed here. It’s comments from “generals” like you which keep Bariles going and going…. Pasalubong ha? Mwah! 🙂
      @rrrrr, partial eclipse lang naman kasi eh. Hahaha! 🙂

  13. rrrrr says:

    wala man kaayo nagdulom uy.

  14. Rue Ramas says:

    Thank you for these 1988 eclipse photos, Avel. In fact, at my age now, I am documenting episodes and milestones that happened during my lifetime…
    * wiinessed the 1988 solar eclipse with my mother in Lagao
    * witnessed on tv the first Philippine Miss Universe Gloria Diaz
    * witnessed on tv the first man on the moon
    at marami pang iba…

    1. bariles says:

      @Ate Rue, you are much welcome. You should make your own blog if you want to document all those times of your life. Go to and sign up. Everything will follow. Good luck! 🙂

  15. rOn2 says:

    .ahh nice one!!! ang galing…
    .-= rOn2´s last blog ..Side-A Live in GENSAN CITY =-.

  16. ache says:

    yeah i remember that one, was in UP Diliman and preggy 🙂 but tita cory was all over the news, she was in gensan to view the eclipse 🙂

    1. bariles says:

      @ron2, thanks. Welcome to Gensan News Online Mag. 🙂
      @ache, really? Dapat pala your child should have been named Eclipso. Hehehe! That time, Cory’s group at Apopong was discouraged because clouds covered their view of the sun during the total full moon. I watched the whole thing infront of our house at what is now MacGregor’s Coffee House. The view there was excellent 🙂

  17. Mikko says:

    Di pa ako buhay noong mga panahon na iyan. Exactly two months yan bago kinasal magulang ko.

    Anyway, sabi nila “gumabi” daw talaga noong mga panahon na iyon. Tourists were all around. May projection daw na sa Davao magfall at GenSan magtototal eclipse pero sa GenSan pala so marami daw nagtaxi from Davao to GenSan just to witness it.

    .-= Mikko´s last blog ..Enjoying Google Map Maker =-.

  18. Cidy says:

    I remember those days…Nisaka ko sa rooftop sa city hall a day before sa Solar eclipse para lang makita ang mga scientist…Hadlok sab ko that time kay end of the world na daw..haha! Gi -try sab nako mutan-aw without using solar glasses aron mabal-an unsa ang difference. Gikasab-an ko kay makabuta daw kuno. =)

    Nice post!
    .-= Cidy´s last blog ..Erin Andrews video link =-.

  19. Mackay says:

    Wow! Thank you Kuya Avel for posting the photos. The total solar eclipse has got to be my earliest childhood memory that I can remember.

    We were still living in the family compound sa Mansanitas Street and sa likod ng rice mill namin my father and Tito’s took out palangganas because according to them staring directly at the eclipse will cause blindness so us kids will have to watch it through the water sa palanggana. Them adults get to watch it through dark films may it be from cameras or ung binebenta noon na parang mask ni mask rider. LOL

    Afterwards the whole clan went to the plaza to watch the festivities. Everytime I hear about an eclipse (I havent seen one since that ear), I only have fond memories about it.
    .-= Mackay´s last blog ..Oh My God is RIGHT! =-.

  20. Margarette says:

    I was in 6th grade, in Davao City. The chickens were going back to their coop thinking it was time to go to bed. Pretty cool!!!

    1. bariles says:

      @Mikko, i remember that there was a sort of “mini competition” that time between Davao and GenSan proclaiming that theirs is the best spot to be at the time of the eclipse. You’re right because GenSan was really the “epicenter” of the this natural phenomenon and that’s where most of the eclipse hunters went. Thanks! 🙂

      @Cidy, at that time, everyone used old films to view the eclipse and nobody was around to tell us that those things were not enough and could ruin our eyes. Pati yata yung mga binibentang mga cardboard visors, also utilized old films…..hehehe! But I really admire you for going up the city hall rooftop at such an early age ha? HehehehE!

      @Mackay, for most of us, the solar eclipse in 1988 was really one of our most unforgettable. Despite the warnings and old folks tales, we managed to survive and so here we are, experiencing our 2nd eclipse, 21 years after. Cheers to our 3rd one! 🙂

  21. jen says:

    nakup! bulingit pako ana kinder pa guro.. i remembered we were stayin along magsaysay ave.. nanago mi pasulod sa compund with cousins ky nangahadluk sa mga nag ati atihan hahahaha! sila yun o sa photos.. charing

    1. bariles says:

      @Margarette, I had exactly the same experience, as I have written in the blog post. I was laughing so hard then at their confusion. Hahaha! 🙂

      @Jen, sus dati kinder ka pa, pero ngayon in time for your 2nd eclipse, may kinder ka na rin no? Makahadluk man pud ang itsura sa mga ati-atihan, di ba? I don’t blame you… (lol). 🙂

  22. May says:

    Hay sayang talaga kasi I wasn’t here when that event happened.Nasa Manila ako- studying…

    1. bariles says:

      @May, really? Akala ko, nasa Polomolok ka na that time, together with Armie. Mga kolehiyala pa pala kayo. 🙂

  23. Randy says:

    I was @ City hall rooptop that time,,grabe…daming foreigner pumunta kahit saang sulok sa gensan…halos 1 week event yung nangyari noon..naalala ko na pumunta pa doon yung world famous cruisehip Queen Elizabeth…to witness the event…makikita mo sa rooftop ng city hall
    super ganda na napakalaking barko..noong lang ako nakakita ng napakalaking barko na “luxury ship” after the event..pinangarap ko na sana makapag trabaho ako sa cruisehip dahil super ganda talaga yung nakita ko noon bata pa ako…..ngayun dito na ako sa cruisehip nag trabaho base in Miami florida under Royal Caribean cruiseline…5 times pa ang laki ng queen elizabeth yung sinasakyan ko ngayun..
    isang event na di ko talaga makakalimutan!!!!!!

    1. bariles says:

      @Randy, magandang gensan! Ang ganda naman ng kwento mo. Naging inspirasyon pala sa iyo ang pagpunta rito ng Queen Elizabeth nung 1988 at ginawa mong daan para maabot mo ang pangarap mo. Galing mo! I did not know na may cruise ship pala ditong dumaong noon kung di mo pa binanggit. Salamat sa pagsulat mo rito, kabayan. Mabuhay ka! 🙂

  24. rosilie says:

    wow! THanks for digging and sharing these pics! I think I had witnessed this solar eclipse at elementary school. hahahhahah!

    1. bariles says:

      @rosilie, you are most welcome. 🙂
      @jasper, most of the readers here are your ka-age. Ang babata niyo pa when the first total solr eclipse occured.
      @gensanite, thanks too. You are right. We were right at the center of everyobody’s attention then.

  25. jasper0127 says:

    I’ve still remember that moment Sir Avel Grade 4 pa ako nyan nasa davao pa ako

  26. gensanite says:

    i remembered this… we had visitors from cebu then… they just came to “dadiangas” to witness this phenomenon… everything was abuzz gyud that time… mura’g kita ang sentro sa universe atong panahon… hehehe… 🙂

    nice research, KUY…


  27. BrAvO SiX says:

    i still remember this celestial phenomena….. it’s a great experience

  28. selfconfessed_materialistic says:

    i soooooooo remember this! i think i still have the sunglasses na cartoon that was distributed all-over the city…. hahaha i have to look for that…we have pictures tooooooo….

    1. bariles says:

      @selfconfessed_materialistic, if you can scan your old pictures taken during the 1988 eclipse and email to me, I can feature them here. Go na! Thanks my dear. 🙂

  29. mike says:

    i was 5 years old then! so i hardly remember what i am doing that time hehehe.but what i rmember was the partial solar eclipse last 1995,i was on my sixth grade and im in school that moment…hehehehehe but last july 22 i experience total solar eclipse in my bed hahahaha coz im still asleep ……….

  30. Fahdingding says:

    I was 3 years old then…but I can still remember the event… umiyak pa nga ako nun eh kasi biglang dumilim… I missed it.. sana maulit ito muli sa GENSAN…

  31. elmerceq says:

    I was a senior college student at NDDC. I was out the whole night before the solar eclipse because I was fascinated by the revelries brought about by the amazing phenomenon. I was with my buddies Tata Galindo, Huyos Dacera, Arnel “Maoy” Limjap, Brother Ex, and Brod Berlin. We were on our drinking spree and we slept at the house of Brod Berlin (I guessed he was related to Ms. Becky Berlin) somewhere at City Heights. We woke up in the morning groping in the dark…at that was the solar eclipse na pala! How nice to remember the old escapades!
    .-= elmerceq´s last blog ..Tuna Pop Songwriting Competition =-.

  32. Ouenn says:

    i was just nine years old then. 🙂 naalala ko pa na brother(Ojie Bayani) ko iyung kumaknta over the radio stations..i forgot the song but it was something about the solar eclipse…..

  33. rhoniel says:

    Whoa!!! I am six then but I could still remember how festive Gensan was. I can still recall the big pineapple replica in the Oval Plaza (from Dole I guess), flea markets, fun rides… and lots for eclipse accessories. We just used negative film then…

  34. Toinks says:

    I was at home with mom, dad (when he was still alive) and siblings. I was so young then and we were totally amazed by the spectacular display of heavenly powers. ^-^ truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never ever forget.

  35. Well it’s nice to see my photos in your blog. This was my second total eclipse of the sun. I have now been to 12 including two that were clouded out. I enjoyed my time in General Santos City and made lots of friends.

    1. bariles says:

      @Lryss katsiavriades, thank you for your photos of that eclipse. I hope you are still in touch with the people you met here. GenSan has grown tremendously in terms of the economy, population and fame (owing to World Boxing Champ Manny Pacquiao). Don’t you think it’s time you rediscover it again? 🙂

  36. leo aranas says:

    hi, grade palang ko niana !!!!! naa me sa schoo s north elementary

  37. leo aranas says:

    i miss gensan!!!!!

  38. peter jones says:

    i was only three then. i didn’t know what was happening. people were outdoors and were looking at the sun through film negatives and dark glasses…

  39. bob bennett says:


  40. Jane Bayani says:

    that was a wonderful experience; my brother George “Ojie” Bayani won the “Best Jingle for Solar Eclipse” He won a prize of 5000 pesos, and before malaki na ang 5k.His jingle was being played on all radio stations in Gensan that whenever marining ko talagang so proud ako for him.
    Anyway, Gensan is a memorable city for me and my family (Bayani Family)

    1. bariles says:

      @Jane, thanks for that piece of history. Hope you were able to keep a recorded copy of the jingle. I would want to hear it. 🙂

  41. TISOY says:

    I was 6. naaalaala ko ito buong kapitbahay namen naglabas ng basin para lang masulyapan ung eclipse sa tubig At ung film ng kodak pa ginamit namen dito para makita lang sa taas ung eclipse…jejejeje! Thanks for the amazing history….nakakatuwa talaga kapag luma.

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