There must be rich memories spun and created behind the Bicol Teachers College and Bicol High School that alumni of the defunct twin institutions in Calabanga town keep a semi-active reunion dates. This, despite the graduates are now octogenarians and many are in far off places or gone to their final resting place.
But those still around Calabanga and the vicinities and even those outside the community keep contact with acquaintances from time to time.
I know few of them. Some are actually relatives on my mother side. David Hernandez, when in town has stories to tell about those good old days, as if, it only happened yesterday.
In a brief span of about eight years, the institutions graduated hundreds of locals. Its presence saved the struggling post World War II period parents from sending their children to far away Naga. That time, it was an effort going to the center of education due to severe lack of means of transportation and money. The approximate eleven kilometer distance between Calabanga and Naga was a challenging length for a walk that time.
Studying in Naga meant living with some relatives. One can not go home on a daily basis. Others only come home once a month. Hence, the best option were the local schools.
But the effort and trust on the twin institutions were not for nothing. It graduated a good crop of “new” and disciplined young citizens of the community. Some of the graduates find themselves jobs, mostly as elementary grades teachers. During that period, teachers were much needed hereabout.
To name a few, Atty. David Naval, Sr. (father of CamSur 3rd district board member Angel Naval) was a product of the Bicol High School and Teachers College. Atty. Vicente Bonot, Sr., also graduated from there. Both Calabangueños proved their mettle. Later, they were elected on different times and terms as provincial board members (equivalent to the current Sangguniang Panlalawigan) of the province of Camarines Sur. Antonio Bonot progressed into a successful businessman. Others moved on to occupy important positions in schools, and in government and private organizations.
It may be too late, but, by way of this Bicol Street Journal post, we honor the good memories and efforts of the people behind the Bicol High School and Teachers College. We are placing, in a virtual pedestal of honorable memorials the founder- Atty. Perfecto Tabora and the handful of teachers, including, among others, Atty. Daniel O. Banks, Sr., that nurtured the youths until their graduation. They did a splendid job.
This writer only hope the town can do something more than that token marker on the side streets of barangay Del Carmen and San Antonio. If not for the alumni, we would not have seen one to perpetuate the memory and good service the schools gave to the town and the communities.
Photos by Bob Adupe