More answers on questions about the Gabaldon Project
Editor's Note: This feedback came from Amb. Rudy Arizala. We will post our reply to his questions ASAP.
Thanks for your immediate reply / explanations to the writer asking relevant and pertinent questions on the "Gabaldon Schoolhouse Reconstruction Project" in Infanta, Quezon. Indeed, it is shame although we should be appreciative that it took a non-native of Infanta to spearhead the call for support and donation to the project and explain what it is all about. If I may be allowed to add my two-cents worth suggestions, perhaps we could add the following information:
1. Who was Gabaldon and why he launched such kind of schoolhouse not only in Infanta but throughout the Philippines. If possible, have statistics how many schoolhouses were built and how many are left existing today.
2. Have an old photo or picture of said schoolhouse in Infanta, Quezon, published indicating how many classrooms it consists of. How many pupils could be accommodated in a classroom.
3.Mention that the partitions between three or four classroom at the middle of said Gabaldon Schoolhouse are removable or movable so that in a few minutes said three or four classrooms could be converted into a huge social / meeting/ conference hall.
4.Mention also that in front of said building is a roofed space alongside the three or four adjoining classrooms which could be used or used as stage during convocations, programs, etc. I recall, during my elementary grades on said stage is held every Monday morning a program after the 7:00 a.m. flag ceremony participated in by the pupils. After the flag ceremony there is that Panatang Makabayan. Then the program starts consisting of short dramatical skit, singing, or declamations / reciting of poems, dancing of native folks dances. Said program ends with a short speech or advice either by the School Principal, Supervising Teacher or invited guest speaker. After the short Monday school program classes start. On Friday afternoon after classes but before going home, there is that flag ceremony - the lowering of the flag from a flagpole in front of the Gabaldon Schoolhouse.
Thus, in short, the Gabaldon schoolhouse is a multi-purpose infrastructure - use as classrooms, convocation / conference / social hall / and the long porch in front is utilized as stage where school programs every Monday morning after the flag raising ceremony is held and as stage where every Friday afternoon the lowering of the flag ceremony is held before the pupils go home for their weekend vacation.
Aside from the above, during typhoons the Gabaldon schoolhouse is used as temporary refuge or shelter for people who are rendered homeless.
The "Gabaldon type of schoolhouse " in Infanta is not being restored motivated merely by sentiments or nostalgia but because of its multi-purpose utility and as a tribute to the early founding of a better and liberal form of education for the youth of Infanta irrespective of economic, political and cultural status in life.
Most if not all of the Infantahins and those who had lived for sometime in Infanta who are now professionals or jobs in the Philippines or abroad have had the opportunity of studying at the Gabaldon type of schoolhouse in Infanta
Last but not the least. I agree with the writer that there should be "transparency" and "accountability" on the project - a designated person, entity or committee who should be rendered accountable for the Gabaldon Project.Who will supervise the reconstruction? Who will maintain its upkeep, maintenance, preservation, repair, etc., after it has been reconstructed?