A school’s odyssey
By Jun Velasco
“Better be unborn than untaught, for ignorance is the root of misfortune.” —- Plato
ILLEGAL drugs, it must be stated with derision, have become an ordinary nuisance.
Something is seriously wrong if the community loses its guard against its pernicious damage to every crevice of community life.
That anti -drugs summit in Lingayen last Tuesday should be commended, but it was a come-from-behind initiative.
Thank the provincial government, Liga ng mga Barangay, Local Governments, Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency, Dangerous Drugs Board and allied agencies for combining their efforts in the drugs campaign.
It is evident Governor Espino is serious in stamping out the evil with the designation of his own son, Board Member Pogi, as overall head of the drug campaign.
To us, there is no challenge, no program more timely and critical than this crusade against drugs. Most of our crimes, lawlessness and breakdown of our homes and families are due to the manufacture and peddling of dangerous drugs.
Every Pangasinense who cares must get into thick of things and wipe out the drug trade from the face of the earth.
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We told leaders of the Dagupan City National High School alumni homecoming (Dec. 27-28) excom, brod Dante of Class 64 (head of the Golden Jubilarians) and Maning Roy of Class 68 (Ope Reyna’s successor as Alumni Association prexy) that our Alma Mater has a historic past.
It was born at the height of World War II, straight from the womb of the Pangasinan Provincial High School.
It was in 1943 — a year after Pearl Harbor was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941 — when government and education authorities put up a school in Calasiao to house “refugees” of a bombing casualty at the Provincial High School in Lingayen.
Two education stalwarts Dr. Emilio N. Severino, first principal, who was later promoted chief of the curriculum division of the Bureau of Public Schools, and Nemesio R. Ceralde who would later be named principal of the University of the Philippines High School, pioneered in the school’s embryonic development.
First graduates of then Dagupan Junior High School were led by Josefina de Venecia, class valedictorian, auntie Pening, who would later become Dr. Josefina de Venecia-Fernandez, by her marriage to Atty. Herminio Fernandez, owners of the JVF Hospital on Rivera Street.
The school was renamed Dagupan City High School in 1948 under Principal Ceralde, shortly after Dagupan became a city.
In 1950, the school was moved to its present site in Barangay Tapuac, with a building made of Quonset huts taken from recycled materials of the US Army surplus solicited by then Mayor Angel B. Fernandez.
The stewardship of the school was later passed on to Mr. Eduardo Edralin, an uncle of the late President Marcos, with the designation of Ceralde as principal of the University of the Philippines High School.
On Sept. 7, 1957, a 2-storey building with 2 standard-sized rooms was inaugurated. The school was razed to the ground in September 1969. The origin of the fire has remained unknown to this date.
Faculty members prominent in those times included Ms. Brigida Maramba, Ms. Caridad Cabildo, Ms. Felicitas Oviedo, Ms. Madrona Estrada, Ms. Consuelo Quesada, Mrs. Maria Cirineo, Emilia Rivadelo, Fe Manza, Luz Velasquez and Mauro Bautista. They were later joined by Ms. Rosario Tabuno, Faustino Oviedo, Ms. Carolina Perez, Jose Ramirez, Ma. Consuelo Lomibao, Virginia Viray, Ms. Enriquieta Vinas, Arturo Infante, Ms. Visitacion Jovez, Ms. Lydia Torio and Mrs. Reveriana Guadiz.
Through Senators Alejo Mabanag and Cipriano Primicias Sr., the first 2-storey building with 20 standard-sized rooms was built.
Prominently mentioned as having helped move the school to new growth were Mayors Teofilo Guadiz Sr., Liberato Ll. Reyna Sr. and principal Edralin.
Isabel Alisangco took over as principal and with her were Honorata Guadiz who later become principal, Anacleto Banaag, Avelino Lising, Corazon Jovellanos, Silverio Gutierrez, Marcelino Calimlim, Conrado Vitug, Geodorico Paramio, Carmelo Sta. Maria, Lina Galvan and Socorro Galvan.
After Alisangco came Luz V. Afante as principal.
In 1975 at the height of the Marcosian New Society reign, a new 2-storey building rose replacing the old one, thanks to then Mayor Cipriano Manaois. He, along with his balae, then Presidential Executive Assistant Jacobo Clave, must have worked hard for the issuance of Presidential Decree 1050 which converted the DCHS to DCNHS to ensure more infusion of funds for its modernization.
Another catastrophe was inflicted on the school on July 16, 1990 when the dreaded killer earthquake that almost flattened major commercial centers of Dagupan hit Luzon.
Other leaders of the city who have helped or lent a hand to make the school into what it is today included former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., former Mayors Teofilo Guadiz Sr. and Liberato Ll. Reyna Sr., and Supt. Telesforo Boquirin and Herberta Caguioa, Rep. Gina De Venecia, former Mayors Alipio Fernandez Jr. and Benjie Lim, and now Mayor Belen Fernandez.
Two other principals Perla Tandoc-Cornel (wife of Atty. Peregrino Cornel) and the late Honorata Guadiz Siapno (wife of former Vice Mayor Felipe Siapno) had served before the ascent of Dr. Ely Datario, incumbent principal.
A conspicuous addition to the DCNHS infra development was the completion of the Alumni building — under then alumni association president Ope Reyna.
The Alma Mater expects its alumni to help make Dagupan City a prosperous and livable, model community.
Education is a major vehicle to attain that goal.
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