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PIA Press Release

Cagayan de Oro unveils historical markers for central school

by Khria Carmela R. Noble

Cagayan de Oro City (13 May) -- The markers of the century-old Gabaldon building and that of the historic archway of City Central School were unveiled on May 4, 2010, in time with the Filipino Heritage Festival Month.

The two structures in City Central School are part not only of the school?s landscape but the city?s too. They are testaments to the heritage of public school education in the city.

City Central School?s Gabaldon building was erected in 1909 during the American regime and was inaugurated on August 28, 1911. It offered free elementary education to Kagay-anons from grades 1-7 and later on grades 1-6. The Gabaldon building in City Central School is one of the first 51 Gabaldon buildings built in 1911 and one of the 1,852 built all over the country during the American occupation.

Gabaldon buildings are named after Rep. Isauro Gabaldon, a representative from Nueva Ecija who was a member of the Philippine Assembly when it was formed in 1907. He sponsored the passage of Act Number 1801which appropriated the amount of P1 million for the "construction of schoolhouses of strong materials in barrios with guaranteed daily attendance of not less than sixty pupils?"

Meanwhile, the historic archway was built in 1936, 27 years after City Central School was established. The structure was built through the efforts of members of the Cagayan community led by the Rotary Anns of Cagayan de Misamis. Thousands of proud Kagay-anons have walked through the archway, many of whom are community leaders who are making their contribution to the nation.

Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo, Chairperson of the Cagayan de Oro Heritage Council revealed, "There are four Gabaldon buildings in the city, but the Gabaldon building in City Central School is the only one that was restored through the efforts of Congressman Rufus Rodriguez. City Central?s Gabaldon building is one of the few that were preserved and restored, having still the classic structure typical of Gabaldon building and the special features of the building and structure."

According to Pabayo, the main feature of the building is its windowpanes made up of Capiz shells. What makes this building different from the other public schools is its structure and components. Distinctive features of this Gabaldon building are that its windows are made of Capiz shells; it is made of cement and wood and its elevation from the ground to floor of the building is 1 meter.

"The Gabaldon buildings present not only history but says a lot about Kagayanons? education," Pabayo said in an interview.

The archway and Gabaldon building suggest that Kagay-an was advance in education. As early as the 1900s, Kagay-anons have already practiced public education. The unveiling of these markers in time with the Filipino Heritage Festival Month signifies that our heritage today is as important as our children?s education, Pabayo added.

"Through the archway and Gabaldon building we continue the legacy our forefathers have built and started," Pabayo added.

"We are all thankful to everyone that helped in the putting up of these markers. These markers are another manifestation that we truly honor and value our heritage as much as we preserve the memory of those who dedicated their lives for Cagayan de Oro," Pabayo said in her speech during the unveiling of the archway and Gabaldon building marker.

The people who took part in the unveiling of the markers were Dorothy Pabayo, Chairperson of CDO Heritage Council; Regional Director Luz. S Almada CEO IV, School Division Superintendent Dr. Myrna S. Motoomull CEO V, City Central School Principal Dr. Shirley A. Merida and her assistant principals, and members of CDO Heritage Festival Chairperson Eileen Escobar-San Juan. During the ceremony, they all had a chance to give a message that pointed out the significance and restoration of our Archway and Gabaldon building and marker. (XU Devcom /City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office) [top]

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