Gabaldon Building Project commences
By Armie G. Marquez
Infanta Central School children on center stage at the launching of the Gabaldon Restoration Project.
Photos by Mila Glodava
“Bawat sentimo, bawat piso – haligi’y muling matatayo, pinto’y magbubukas, edukasyon ay higit na tatatag”- this was the rallying call by Infanta Mayor Filipina Grace R. America during the launching of the Gabaldon Building Restoration Project last July 25, 2008 in Infanta Central Elementary School.
Photo by Richard Vergara
The Gabaldon Building Restoration Project is a joint undertaking of Metro Infanta Foundation based in USA, Municipal Government of Infanta and Infanta Central Parents Teachers Community Association (PTCA). Proponents of the project target to raise P15M by soliciting donations, though schemes and specific activities are yet to be determined. It is expected that by 2011, the exact replica of the Gabaldon Building is completely erected.
Mila Garcia-Glodava, chairof Infanta Metro Foundation announced during the launching that the foundation pledges to raise USD 200,000 which is equivalent to P9M for the project. Accordingly, it has started raising funds in 2007 and as of the moment, a donation of USD50,000 has been put up. On the other hand, the remaining P6M will be jointly raised by the municipal government of Infanta, provincial government of Quezon, Infanta DepEd and the people of Infanta particularly the Gabaldon Alumni.
Ms. Glodava gave an overview of the project and how the plan was crafted way back 1995 during one of her rare visits in the municipality. According to her, there was no organized Metro Infanta Foundation then. Thus, what she could do was just to lament with the sight of the long-wrecked Gabaldon building. Then, in 1996, the Metro Infanta Foundation was born, with her as its chair. Since then, the desire to restore the Gabaldon building from its old glory became one of the foundation’s priorities. Prodding this desire was also made easier with her constant communication with Mayor America, she added.
Mayor America, together with the members of Sangguniang Bayan of Infanta, commits the allocation of funds for the project and its active participation in fund raising activities to be initiated by the proponents. At this point, Mayor America couldn’t refrain herself from reminiscing her happy old days at the Gabaldon which according to her, served as inspiration for her to push through the project aside from preserving its historical and cultural heritage. As she said, she shares the dream of Ms. Glodava of restoring the building however due to countless concerns that she had to attend to adding disaster of November 2004, its implementation was deferred.
Likewise, the provincial government of Quezon, which in the launching of the Gabaldon Restoration Project, Governor Rafael P. Nantes was represented by Mr. Dominador Culing expressed its commitment to the project underscoring the importance of cooperation among the people of Infanta. Mr. Culing said that P6M is relatively a small amount and can be provided by the provincial government of Quezon alone. However, it is important that along the restoration is the promotion of the spirit of cooperation among Infantahins.
On the part of the DepEd, Mrs. Gloria P. Potes, the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS), gave her commitment to the project by ensuring that additional teaching items/positions will be provided to the Infanta District once the Gabaldon building is completed, since additional classrooms necessitates additional teachers. In addition, according to her, DepEd will provide additional desks and payment for electricity and other utilities. Similarly, Mr. Marion Leopoldo Combalicer, PTCA Infanta CES President expressed the 101% support of their association to the project.
The Gabaldon building was named after Nueva Ecija Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon who sponsored Act 1801. As early as 1907, the Gabaldon building was constructed all over the country. In its blueprint the Gabaldon Building was a complex containing nine classrooms, a library, a property room, a principal’s office and an assembly hall. This setup was used to complement the elementary school training given by the American volunteer teachers, known as Thomasites.
The unveiling of the perspective plan for the Gabaldon restoration led by (L-R) Mr. Dominador Culing, representative of Gov. Nantes, Mayor Grace America, Division Superintendent Gloria P. Potes, Infanta Central Elem. School Principal Estrella Suaverdez, Metro Infanta Foundation Chair Mila Glodava and Infanta District Supervisor Dr. Nenita B. Rutaquio.
Editor's Note: 1) Mila Glodava is the founding president of Metro Infanta Foundation; Mr. Pol Derilo is the chairman of the board of trustees. 2) USD50,000 noted in above article is in the form of donations and pledges received to date.
For more information on this article and other happenings in Infanta, please visit the infanta.gov.ph website.