Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gabaldon Memories

At long last, we have a photograph of the Gabaldon building of the Dupax Central Elementary School a few years before it was pulverized by people who have a different sense of history!

The "whole-body" shot arrived by unexpected email from my cousin and classmate from grade school to high school, Jose C. Latar, along with these words: "Attached is the picture I took the last time I went to Dupax,  in August of 2001. I need to visit Dupax again. Please post in your blog."

I'm not sure if Joe intended it, but there is a happy coincidence here. Joe emailed the photo August 25, 2011. Note that the camera he used imprinted the date 8 22 '01 on the photo. Here:

Taken by Jose Castro Latar on August 22, 2001, this photo may be the last to show how the Gabaldon building looked. Built in 1915 when Genaro Evaristo was town President, this was where most Dupax residents learned to read and write.

As soon as I downloaded the picture, I posted it in the Isinay Group of my Facebook account with the following intro:

At last, a photo of how the old Gabaldon building where many Dupax citizens learned Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic! Unless somebody has another shot taken before this historic school was demolished, this photo taken almost 10 years ago by... Jose Castro Latar, a long-time resident in front of the Dupax Elementary School campus, should be the last and latest. Sayang... mayat tay otyan i-preserve tiyen ikwilan toy materiales fuertes di sementonar.

And almost immediately, I got this barrage of feedback:

Manong, this was the old building oh i miss this one reallyTessie de Guzman

Brings lots of childhood memories.Baybee Castro Almorade

Although i didn't graduate in my elem. here, the 1st 3 yrs brings back good memories to cherish. This is where our foundation was first laid out. Just to mention a few of my classmates, they are the Castro cousins Abeth and Emma, Engr Aida Asuncion, Judith Grutas, Roel Galutera, Malony Magaway, Marlon Bautista and sorry if i did not mention the others but they know who they are.Arnold Bombongan

I just can't forget all the good memories here, where every special program I'm always chosen as the star dancer in any dance program, and cleaning the classroom, or ground, enjoying the cooking or arts craft at the Home Economics with Mrs. Magaway, oh I love making the guava jelly or making papaya candies, crocheting or sewing. I missed those days and always treasure them in my memories.Joanna Evaristo Tomaneng

Based on the above photo I find the building still structurally fit. It only needs refurbishing like replacement of windows and maybe floors and doors and repainting as well. You're correct Insan Charles, sayang podda!Nemesio Felix

When I was little this building seemed so huge I can still recall our batang for cleaners, stripping the benches with lija (leaves are so coarse -- enough to strip dirts on the benches hahahahah! Gone are the days -- or put some wawini sa upuan ng kaaway mo and see how it tickles their behind. – Tessie de Guzman

We used to clean the blackboard with dahon ng patani and for the floor, we used banana leaves or tinunaw na kandila added with red jobus so that the floor looks clean and shiny... We also had to bring the desks at the abannatan and use sand to clean them... My teachers were Mrs Victoria Coloma, Ms Lolit Campos, Mrs Deusdedit Marquez, Mrs Aurora Abijay Reyes, Mrs Estela Fernandez, Ms Maxima Dauan (Mrs Galutera), Mr Elpidio Cia, Mr Cenon Asuncion, Mr Gregorio Felix the Principal, Mr Apolonio Latar, Mrs Luisa Soriano, Home Economics, Mrs Leonor Guiab, Mr Arreo... I could go on and on and on... We also used to bring bolos or walis tingting to clean the surroundings... We used to bake nutri bun and cooked bitso bitso and sell them around Dupax... There were no computers then and everything was done manuallyBaybee Castro Almorade

Ins, para pa tayong metro aid nung araw hahahahahaha pero its a nice training though disiplina, interaction, teamwork and many moreTess de Guzman

Oh...God! I have not seen the building since I graduated from elementary... it is kinda' sad at the same time it brings a lot of memories. My Grade 6 class room (Miss Lolita Campus -- adviser) was at the right hand side of the building just beside the boys' workshop building and later on was inhabited by the Philippine Army battalion? Can anyone remember that? God! I witnessed truckloads of dead bodies killed by the Army (presumably NPAs' daw). Those bodies were dumped on the ground waiting to be identified. This scene horrified me as a young kid and up to these days I can still vividly see it in my mind. It eventually caused me not to eat for at least a week... HELL YEAH... I WAS VOMITING AT THAT TIME...this is one memory that I will never forget and never have forgotten... On the other hand...there were good memories, too, but I will be running out of space if I had to start recalling all of it.Edith de Guzman 

I'm sure there would be some more reactions -- nay, bitter-sweet memories -- but I'd rather reserve them for the next posting. 

P.S. #1
For those of you who are visiting this blogsite for the first time, it would help as backgrounder if you read the older post titled "Goodbye, Gabaldon, Goodbye!" (please click March) then move on to the next post "More Gabaldon Memories".

P.S. #2
By the way, our generous photographer who sent this lucky and historic shot all the way from the USA is Joe Latar ( who turned 60 only last July. Those of you who went to grade school in the Gabaldon building in the 1950s to the 1960s will remember that the Latar family had a house right in front of the school gate. Most of the Latars are now in the US. Joe himself now lives in Los Angeles, California, and works with the Information Technology Service of the Chief Executive Office of the Los Angeles County.

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