Mayor Darlene’s First 5 Weeks (The Hard-working Mayor Series I)
It has barely been two months since the new mayor of General Santos City, the Honorable Darlene Magnolia Antonino-Custodio took over the reins of running the city affairs from now Congressman Pedro Acharon, Jr. of the first district of South Cotabato.
During these times, the lady mayor has been holding orientation meetings with the different departments of the city hall, with the business, civic and community leaders; and, going around the city’s 26 barangays, all in a move to consolidate her new administration’s efforts to streamline and improve the way it renders service to the city’s constituents.
On the side, she had to squeeze in not a few inaugurations of new business establishments and personally meet visitors from local and foreign shores who drop by her office to make the mandatory courtesy call as well as welcome delegates and guests of the numerous regional conferences and conventions being conducted at the Tuna Capital.
These, plus a million other consultative conferences from different sectors to orient herself on the intricacies of her new role as administrator of the South Central Mindanao’s premier city.
Through it all, Mayor Custodio has remained nonplussed and unperturbed and focused on the tasks at hand. Being a workaholic just like her parents, the former Mayor Adelbert W. Antonino and former Representative Lualhati Antonino, her diligence and fresh work ethics have rubbed off on to her staff and co-workers.
Here then are some photos chronicling her first few weeks as the 8th City Mayor of General Santos City. Although not complete, they show us the portrait of a young hard-working official who even just at the start of her term is proving to us that we were all right in getting her elected.
"Mayor Darlene addresses the assembly of City Government employees during her first Flag Raising ceremony at the oval covered court with the "Magandang GenSan" logo behind her. She thanked them for their support and warm welcome even as she urged them to think "global" when performing their duties."
"Here, Mayor Darlene pores over her notes during her first in a series of meetings with her department heads. Also in photo is the new city treasurer Gloria Castellano. Usually a bottle of water is all she asks as nourishment during the course of a meeting, which could be one of her secrets to her svelte figure."
"CSWDO Chief Becky Magante, City Hospital OIC Dr. Jacinto Maquilang and Dr. Ben Pagarigan are all ears to the new mayor as they discuss ways to improve the City Hall sa Barangay at her first CHB sortie at Barangay Dadiangas North and make it more significant to the lives of their constituents."
"The GenSan Mayor observes how the City Health Office staff handle their clients from Barangay Dadiangas North during the City-Hall-sa-Barangay at North Elem School."
"Mayor Darlene sharing a good laugh here with Barangay Captain Rommel Pacquiao of Apopong during a meeting with barangay officials at the City-Hall-sa-Barangay at the latter's Barangay Conference Room. Their meeting tackled the pending infra projects of the barangay, among other topics."
"With ABC President Lulu Casabuena and City Councilor Meg Santos, Mayor Darlene thanks educators from Manila who flew in to assess the city's much-heralded education program."
"This time, SMART Communications' Corporate Relations Officer Haydee Bernabe, and SMART GenSan's Jonette Almonia and Pritte Mae Rulete meet the Mayor for the first time after her meeting with them together with DepEd officials. SMART provides FREE WIFI at the City Hall lobby and CMO."
"The female members of the City Hall Press Corps smile for posterity in this photo taken after Mayor Darlene's first Press Conference with them. The CMO Press Conference is held regularly twice a month, on Tuesdays. Among those in the photo are RPN's Faith Barcelona, RMN's Ina Daven, ABS-CBN's Chat Ansagay. Also in photo is former radio broadcaster and now Councilor Beth Bagonoc."
"Raising their plates containing grilled Pangasius fish are SMED Council Prexy Tess Pacheco, Lagao Brgy Captain Meynard Avila III, Calumpang Brgy Captain Cirilo Forones, Bawing Brgy Captain Jerry Jugarap, DTI 12 ARD Doris Delima & GSC Chamber's Pilar Afuang, among others together with Mayor Darlene at Yaman GenSan's Pangasius Sinugbahan Night."
"Mayor Darlene signs an MOA accepting the donation of the Federation of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the SoCot Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, of six 2-room school buildings during turn-over ceremonies at FVR Elem School, Brgy Fatima. Together with her in the photo are SCFCC Prexy Kerwin Cue, past prexy Doming Teng, school principals of the recipient schools, among others. The recipient schools are H. Bayan, FVR, S. Saway, F. Oringo Sr., Upper Tambler and Katangawan Central Elementary Schools."
"Members of XB GenSan, the dance crew which won the Grand Prize of 1 Million at ABS-CBN's talent show "It's Showtime" make a courtesy call on Mayor Darlene right after their arrival at the GenSan Airport. The Mayor encouraged them to continue their studies while honing their skills, and suggested to do it through the Home Study Program of the DepEd. As the new Ambassadors of Goodwill of General Santos City, they were challenged by the mayor to be good examples of their fellow young generals. Also in photo is Bing Carino, XB's mentor and trainer."
All these photos were taken by Bariles, by the way.