TARLAC CITY: The city council here passed a resolution seeking recognition of the country’s oldest high school and seat of the oldest public school system from the National Historical Commission (NHC).
The resolution, authored by Councilor Glenn Troy Caritativo, requested the city government of Tarlac to make representations with the NHC to recognize Tarlac National High School (TNHS) as among the national historic sites in the Philippines.
“The fact that TNHS is a pioneer school in its significance in honing skills and intelligence of young people in the early stage of the Philippine republic, this country owes a great deal of intellectual guidance from it that nurtured the minds of Filipino leaders,” the resolution reads.
The TNHS’s main Gabaldon-type building and social hall was the site of the first school operation established in 1902 by the Thomasites.
It ceased operation after it was razed by fire on October 28, 2015 that left heaps of ashes and rusty steel bars leaving it barren and desolate, eventually losing its significant historical value.
The decree also sought the placement of a commemorative marker in the area to seal its standing in the nation’s history as affirmed by several historians and book authors, including University of the Philippines (UP) professor Xiao Chua.
TNHS produced several eminent personalities in the local and international communities, including former United Nations General Assembly president Carlos P. Romulo, former UP presidents Onofre Corpuz (who later Minister of Education) and Jorge Bocobo, and Senator Jose Roy, to name a few.
“No wonder why in every significant national undertaking there are Tarlaqueños in the frontline and behind the scenes of any victorious struggle,” added Caritativo, noting that TNHS’s restoration is badly needed.
He stressed that if Tarlaqueños will not take the initiative to have the site restored, its important historical value would only be trivialized and it will eventually lose its meaning.
Jerry M. Hernandez