Paglingon Sa Alma Mater


by: Guina Garcia Calimbas

Ang Guinayangan Academy
Ay pugad ng karunungan
Dito tayo ay hinubog
At talino’y pinagyaman

Bawat isa’y inihanda
Sa landas ng ating buhay
Ng matiyak na ang bukas
May magandang kapalaran

Bantayog na Paaralan
May Matibay na haligi
Mga gurong ang talino
Sa atin ay ibinahagi
Sa matyagang pagtuturo
Ibinigay ang sarili
Tayong lahat ay pinanday
Kakayaha’y pinagbuti

Atin ngayong nililingon
Paaralang pinagmulan
Mga gurong nagsumikap
Na tayo ay mahasikan

Taos pusong pasasalamat
Di pa sapat sadyang kulang
Kaya’t sa ating dalangin
Sila’y laging bahagihan

Victorina R.Garcia and the Beginning of Guinayangan Academy

by Elsa G. Acosta, PhD

Victorina was born on March 6, 1905 in Barrio Malamig, a small village in the backyard of San Pablo City, Laguna. She was born to Crisencio Reyes and Crispina Robles. Victorina was the older of two sisters and younger to her two step-siblings, Melanio and Carmen Ubal from the mother’s first marriage. Victorina’s father was a homemaker, an accomplished dressmaker and a very skilled harpist. Her parents only had basic education but they both had big dreams for their daughters- to have a college education.

Victorina and Angelina completed their high school education and thought that would be the end of their schooling. Fortunately, their older brother, Melanio, was an accomplished musician. He joined a band that played in a luxury cruise ship, the Azama Maru that sailed all over the world. He earned enough money playing the trumpet and generously financed the college education of his younger sisters. Victorina attended the National University in Manila where she earned her Bachelor in Education degree majoring in English and Math.

With her BSE diploma in hand, she wasted no time sending her application for a teaching position to the different high schools in the provinces of Laguna and Tayabas (Quezon). She was determined to grab the first offer that came her way and start her life’s journey to give back to her family who supported her through the years. The first door that opened to her was a small private school in the little town of Guinayangan, Quezon.This little town was almost unknown to the people of Tayabas. The town was not accessible by train because the Bicol Express that traversed the province between Manila and Bicol region did not go to Guinayangan. There was no railway to Guinayangan; not even a dirt road for cars and buses. The only way to get to Guinayangan at that time was by boat from Tagkawayan that sailed across the Ragay Gulf.

The early narrative of Victorina’s experience in Guinayangan as a teacher and a private citizen, a dayuhan at that, and how she founded Guinayangan Academy is very sketchy. She did not keep records of her undertakings and if she did, they were probably lost in the various fires and other exigencies of her early struggles to adjust to her new calling and new environment. What the family knows are bits and pieces of information shared when the family gathered to talk among themselves, small vignettes and episodes that often brought laughter or tears as they listened to their small triumphs and pains.

It did not take very long for Victorina, Miss Reyes then to her students and colleagues, to take a new direction in her life. The following year, she relented to the persistent adulation of a handsome young man who got so enamored with this new teacher in town. He was Guillermo, the son of Don Rodrigo Garcia and Julia Narciso. Guillermo and Victorina got married in February 3, 1933. Not long after, Archimedes was born and four others joined the clan; Guillermo Jr., Elsa, Guina, Maria Cristina. The beloved Miss Reyes became and remained Mrs. Garcia until she returned to her creator in 2006 at the age of one hundred and one years.

The first few years of the couple’s married life were not easy. With Victorina’s meager salary as a school teacher and Guillermo’s limited income as a market collector, every day was an exercise in making both ends meets as they struggled to raise their growing family. As the couple went on to build their lives, they drew strength from their love, confidence and respect for each other, never losing sight of their vision and strong belief that they had within themselves, the resolve and the capability to fulfill their goals in life.

Victorina was a hard-worker, dedicated, diligent and totally committed to her profession. She was well loved and respected by her students. Teaching was her passion. She also strongly believed that education is the most important thing in every person’s life. One of her basic beliefs was “once you obtain your education, no one can take it away from you. You can gamble your wealth away or someone can steal from you, but your education is there for you forever.” True to this belief, her most important goal in life was to make sure that her children received the education that they would need to succeed in life.

As her family grew, the fire of her determination to be able to give her children a college education got even stronger. When it became apparent that the school at which she was teaching began to falter, the fear losing her job and, thereby, jeopardizing her goal for her children became serious threats. In here heart she knew of only one thing- her dreams could not, must not die. When Tayabas Institute finally closed its door, Victorina’s determination to put up her own high school awakened every fiber in her body. She convinced herself that it was her mission to continue providing the youth of Guinayangan the venue through which they could obtain a high school education. “I can do this” became her mantra.

Guinayangan Academy came into existence in 1940, solidly grounded in the founder’s deep passion for teaching, dedication to her family, love for truth, iron-strong belief in herself and sincere desire to make a difference in the lives of her students. She went to the Bureau of Private Education with an application to open a high school which she named Guinayangan Academy. With the help and guidance of Miss Ancineta, the region supervisor, she was given the permission to initiate a secondary education program as long as she met the basic requirements of the Department of Education. Mrs. Garcia had big dreams but she was willing to start small. In fact, she started with almost nothing. She started with a rented space which, according to her was later gutted by fire. She recalled how several town mates, especially from the village of Manlayo, helped her saved some of the school materials by loading them in boats and keeping them at sea until the conflagration was over. These happenings are blurred in her children’s memory and could only recall bits of information from stories told around the dinner table. Around the time when the children were attending the Guinayangan Elementary School, Mrs. Garcia rented a building that was owned by Consuelo Marquez. When the war broke out in 1941, schools were closed as majority of the town’s residents evacuated to the hinterlands to avoid the horrors of war. When the Japanese forces formally occupied the country and conditions stabilized, schools were reopened. Guinayangan Academy was once again homeless and the only recourse Mrs.Garcia had was to use her own residence as the temporary place to conduct the classes. She relocated her family to a rented space in the vicinity where they could eat and sleep. Eventually, Mrs. Garcia negotiated the purchase of the old building which it presently occupies.

During the founding years of Guinayangan Academy, enrollment was very small. Her first graduates were four students: Victor Eleazar, Ellen Lago, Remedios Mendoza and Lydia Salumbides. Mrs Garcia taught most of the subjects she was qualified to teach. She served as the school Principal as well as classroom teacher, counselor and even the school janitor. From a slow start, she was eventually able to offer a complete four-year secondary education program. Teachers were added to the faculty and offered free tuition to those who were willing to be on a work-study program helping in cleaning the school premises. Gradually, she added small building for more classrooms to accommodate the growing enrollment of the school.

In 1952, three of the Garcia children had graduated from GA. They were sent to Manila to attend college. The Garcias decided to build a house in Quezon City so the children can stay together instead of living separately in apartments or college dorms. The area where they purchased their property was growing and developing. It used to be a farm but the owners decided to develop and sell the properties as home sites. While there were elementary schools in the township, there were no high schools for the local residents. They had to go to Manila to attend the public high schools. Once again, the desire of Mrs.Garcia to contribute to the growth of the community began to brew in her mind. Why not put up a private high school here so the young students need not travel to the city to attend school? Thus, Bonifacio Academy, a sister institution of Guinayangan Academy, was founded. Guina and Cristina were graduated from this school.

To date, thousands of students have crossed the threshold of Guinayangan Academy. They have become professionals in various fields of specialization. Wherever you go in various parts of the world, you will find a GA graduate giving useful contributions to their host nations. Those who chose to remain in this beloved town Guinayangan, GA graduates have become productive members of their community, providing local leadership and important services to the people of Guinayangan as government officials, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, law enforcers, merchants and loving and caring parents. In the year 2015, Guinayangan Academy will celebrate its 75th foundation anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. Garcia who were laid to rest inside the school campus will surely be smiling and cheering as they welcome all the teachers, students, friends and supporters of the school they so loved and nurtured all their lives. They will welcome and thank all the returning alumni for their loyalty and support and will turn to each other and proudly say, “Job well done.”

Mayohan 2015

Guinayangan Poblacion History

There is no official record existing as to how and when the place was established. The only record available is a church memorandum which indicated that Guinayangan was a small settlement founded by mostly Visayans from Masbate during the Spanish colonial days, more than 200 years ago. These Visayans were ship builders and established a settlement or a village somewhere near the mouth of the Hiwasayan river.

There were at that time abundant supply of lumber of the first group for ship building. These early settlers prospered rapidly and attracted the moro pirates who raided them and captured many to slaves.

When these early settlers heard another settlement north of them between the area of Katimo and Kinatakutan along the seacoast of now Tagkawayan, (under the leadership of the Mattas and Tupazes also from Masbate) these founders of the Hiwasayan settlement joined the small but brave warriors and founded a new settlement named Guinayangan at the present site of this poblacion.

This combination became so formidable that any attack made by the moros were repealed so that since then the moro piracy came to an end. At this period about 200 years ago, Catholic missionaries belonging to the Franciscans Order have reached this place and founded the town of Guinayangan. The town was about to be named San Luis Gonzaga perhaps, because it was June 21 when they landed on this settlement. But for an incident when a solicitous Spaniards asked the setters what kind of weapon they used in repealing the moro pirates, the settlers responded that it was bow and arrow fitted with a steel known to the moros as gayang, “guina-yangan ang palaso”, meaning “the arrow was fitted with a gayang”. The priest who came at that moment misunderstood the question of the Spaniard. Believed that the question was what the name of the settlement, and because the natives kept reapeting the word guinayangan…., believing that they were still asked the name of their weapon. And for historical purpose, it came to pass the settlement became known to the colonizers as Guinayangan. From this date the local government that was established fell under the Ecclesiastical province of San Luis.

The founded settlement flourished due to the agreeable leadership of the Spanish colonizers and priests. The barangay system was adopted under the head man known as Capitan. Among the first Capitanes were from the Matta and Tupaz families.

There was an existing cooperation between the natives and the colonizers until some Spanish soldiers and Spanish subjects inter married the natives. Among them were the Garcias, the Camposes and the Perillos.

The progress of the settlement was also due to the geographical advantage. Being a seaport, it was also a logging and lumbering center. It was due to those assets that the governadorcillo of the ecclesiastical province of San Luis proclaimed the settlement and independent municipality “municipio independiente” and the “capitanes” were appointed from time to time. Among the capitanes marked subrasalientes were from the old families of the Matta and Tupaz, conspicuously were Capitan Marcos Tupaz (1825), the capitan credited for making new settlement,in what is now called Aloneros. Capitan Vicente Matta (1832), a pioneering captain who established the progressive fishing and logging village in what is now called Kinatakutan. Capitan Benigno Molines (1841), the forerunner in establishing a logging center along the banks of what is now called the Piris River.

The succeeding administration has been headed by the descendants of these two eldest families until the Philippines were finally ceded by Spain to the United States by the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.
Being a seaport, Guinayangan became important to the occupation forces of the United States as a supply center. Firstly because it is a good military base which supported the principal fighting forces at Atimonan and secondly is the absence of well-organized revolutionary forces. The Japanese Army found the same condition during the World War II

Military government had been set up by the American Expeditionary Forces  from 1902 to 1904 when the civil government was established. In 1904 the first municipal election was held and elected Mr. Victoriano L.Evangelista as the first Municipal President. The American Regime was divided into two phases, the Government of the Philippine Islands and the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The following were the elected President and Municipal Mayors: Victoriano L.Evangelista (1904-1906), Jesus Lagdameo (1906-1908), Jose Tolentino (1908-1909), Feliciano Roldan(1909-1911), Silvestre Reformado (1911-1915), Jose San Juan (1915-1919), Rodrigo Garcia Matta (1919-1922), Jose San Juan (1922-1925), Faustino Araña (1925-1931), Vicente Tolentino (1931-1937), Antonio Marquez (1937-1941), Lazaro Tayag (1941-)

As soon as the military government of the Philippines had been , public schools were opened, land reforms had been promulgated, commerce and industries had been organized and social reforms were made. The living condition of the people was improved, the feudal system was entirely abolished and the people easily adopted the democratic ways of living. The improvement in the community as well as in any part of the country advanced rapidly. Thru the public school system, illiteracy gradually diminished. Health and sanitation had improved immensely thru the establishment of the Health Service and criminal delinquency had been minimized.

The autonomous government under the Jones Law was established during the term of Antonio Marquez who became the first Municipal Mayor followed by Vicente Tolentino and ended with Dr.Lazaro Tayag when the World War II broke out. The chains of good administration undedr the American period came to an end. The interruption due to the temporary occupation of the Philippines by Japan have turned out the following administrators of the local government sponsored by the Japanese Imperial Army: Hipolito Veloso (1942-), Victoriano Alejar (1942-1944)

The progress attained by the people of Guinayangan during the short period of American Occupation had been interrupted by the War. During the Japanese occupation personal liberties had been curtailed. Educational system had been changed. Western culture had been prohibited and substituted by the Japanese culture. In spite of all the Japanese imposition s on the revised educational system, the Japanese sponsored government did not succeed because the people of Guinayangan were not responsive. Many people have gone underground to organize resistance movement and even those who remained in town did not send their children to school but indirectly joined the guerilla organizations, In fact, many of those who had been suspected were killed by the Japanese even during the period where the Japanese Imperial Government recognized the puppet Philippine Republic.

Notable among the various guerilla organizations whose members were the people of Guinayangan were the Matta’s Unit and the Vera’s Party. Both these organizations have harassed the Japanese forces in many encounters and above all kept and maintained the spirit of resistance and encouraged the people to fight actively and passively for liberation.

A few days before Christmas in 1944, Guinayangan was raided by the Japanese soldiers stationed in Tagkawayan and killed not less than 20 persons in the poblacion without any cause. The innocent civilians were prominent members of the local society and others were government officials. Among them was Mr.Graciano Almario, a known businessman, Mr. Sotero Tampok and Mr. Antonio Juarez, both employees in the local government before the war and 18 others. Homes of merchants and well to do families were looted if not by the Japanese soldiers themselves, by other pro Japanese elements who turned bandits.
Those appointed by the Japanese Occupation Forces to lead the puppet government of Guinayangan were Dr.Hipolito Velasco followed by Mr. Victoriano Alejar.

Immediately upon the disorganization of the Japanese resistance the Guerilla found time to reorganize the local government but this did not last long for the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit (PCAU) of the United States Army took over as soon as they reached a certain municipality. The first officer to be appointed by the Guerilla Government of Guinayangan was Mr. Timoteo C. Ramos, a prominent school teacher. His appointment was later confirmed by the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit to continue during the military government until the Philippine Commonwealth Government is re organized. Those that have been appointed to lead the local government after liberation were the following: Timoteo C.Ramos (1945-1946), Vicente M.Salumbides, Vice Lazaro Tayag who was in sick leave (1946), Guillermo Garcia (1947-1948),
After the fall of Manila to the American Liberation Army, The Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Sergio Osmeña was reorganized and turned over at Leyte by General Douglas McArthur. Am month after, the seat of government was transferred to Manila.

The first act of the central government is the appoint those who were elected during the election of 1941 and Mr.Timoteo C.Ramos was replaced by Dr.Lazaro Tayag who in 1941 was elected Mayor of this municipality.

The task of the new government had been very difficult. To restore peace and order, the re-establishment of the school system, the reorganization of the health and public service and many others. The rehabilitation of the economic condition of the people is the paramount undertaking at his period due to the lawlessness and other evils brought about by the economic and moral dislocation.
By the year 1949 the improvement was magnitude which warranted the election and Gen.Natividad B.Matta was elected the Municipal Mayor followed by the election of Mr.Mariano Roldan in 1952.

Collected and Compiled by:
Mrs.Salome L.Ramirez
Mrs.Adela V.Escobar
Ms. Lourdes B.Caisido
Mr.Timoteo Ramos

With the help of:
Mr.Pedro C.Pujalte
Mr.Placido Isaac
Mr. Ladislao Molines

Excerpt from the manuscript: 
Collection And Compilation Of Historical Data And Cultural Life Of The
Municipality Of Guinayangan Including Its Barrios And Sitios, 
Province of Quezon, Philippines
Philippine (Republic) Bureau Of Public Schools
Division Of Quezon

Manlayo History

On the northeastern part of Guinayangan lies extending longitudinally more than a kilometer from the poblacion, a narrow strip of land boarding the inner portion of Ragay Gulf, a fishing village of Guinayangan, called by many as Manlayo. In the olden days, however, it was known as “Sabang Matanda”. The name Manlayo is of somewhat funny origin. It was said that there known as “Karibukan”, a corrupted or otherwise awkward pronunciation for the Tagalog word, “Kalibukan” meaning Charlatan. This man was a vicious drinker of wine and tuba. Every time he was drunk he would swim from Sabang Matanda to the Poblacion.
Whenever asked where he lived, he would answer with a lousy gesture, “layo” or “doon layo”, actually meaning “malayo”, far, pointing Sabang Matanda. He could not correctly express the name of the place by reason of his thick Visayan accent and unfamiliarity with Tagalog dialect. From that time on to the present, Sabang Matanda has been called Manlayo, now forming a subdivision of the town Guinayangan.

The first known settlers of this place were a lone man named Gavino Buenaventura. He planted a portion of the place with coconut trees. Later title and ownership to the land passed by right of purchase and sale to Claro Lagdameo y Evangelista. Then to his son Victoriano Lagdameo as inheritance from the former upon his death. When Claro Lagdameo y Evangelista died, there arose a dispute over ownership of this land between the Municipal Council who claimed the land as patrimonial property of Guinayangan. Hence, the case went to court and the latter after proper hearing and trial adjudicated the in favor of the heirs of Claro Lagdameo y Evangelista.

From 1912 to 1934, Manlayo had never been known even a semblance of limited freedom in the administration of its domestic affairs. It was directly under the control and supervision of the Municipal Vice President (Vice Mayor during the American Period) of Guinayangan. However in 1934 during the incumbency of Antonio Marquez as Municipal President, Manlayo was made a subdivision of Guinayangan with Gervasio Pila as its teniente followed by Canuto David and then by Felizardo Manalo.

During the Spanish regime, Manlayo was still an uninhabited place and therefore no historical facts or incidents could possibly be related. For there cannot be any human history where there are no personage to move about the curtain in the drama of human events.

Upon the implantation in the Philippines of the American sovereignty, Manlayo gradually appeared into the limelight of politics. As people began to dwell and seek livelihood in this peaceful and beneficient place with its waters abounding in fish inarticulately offering a good way to carry on with life. Thus Manlayo since has taken part actively in politics even as the people were striving for economic sufficiency. They did not, however, labor in vain in the political field because they were rewarded in the forms of improvement and sanitation, health, better water supplies and the extension of educational benefits.

When the war broke out in 1941, Manlayo was made to share the bitterness of life with the people of the Philippines. Under the unbearable yoke of tyranny forcibly imposed upon a vanquished and oppressed people by the bow legged Mikado Warriors. Whose destiny was to conquer, and enslave consistence with their mission of world domination at the sacrifice of the weak and peace loving. The people of Manlayo realizing the futility of resistance in the face of an ever powering enemy hid all signs of stubbornness in their breast. Pledge their outward cooperation with the Japanese masters but ever nurturing with solemn and ardent prayers, fervent hopes of rightful revenge and vindication of God’s appointed time. When the liberating army of the United States was about to strike its final blow for the final redemption of the distressed people of the Pacific, the people of Manlayo consistent with their prayers and hopes joined the underground movement. When the Japanese learned of this, they treacherously attacked the residents undercover of dawn and massacred slumbering people. About 27 innocent civilians have been killed mercilessly.

With the immense destruction of war, this progressive village bravely started life anew. The rehabilitation was rapid so that when the Commonwealth governments talk of politics the inhabitants became very active. The people openly participated in political campaigns for their respective parties. The nominated candidates for municipal positions and some of their young men were given position of trust and confidence. Conspicuous among them is the Municipal Secretary who comes from the place. In the first election after the war they all went Liberals. Lately, however, there disintegration in their political affiliation.

The people of Manlayo largely live in fishing as the source of their livelihood. In fact, the name Manlayo has been associated with fishing industry. Majority of the people are fishermen with deep sea fishing their best. The women are industrious and sell the catch of their husband in the market. Others are engaged in drying , smoking and icing fish for sale in neighboring towns and even exported to Lucena and Manila.

Compiled by: 
Mrs.Juana M. Araya

Excerpt from the manuscript: 
Collection And Compilation Of Historical Data And Cultural Life Of The
Municipality Of Guinayangan Including Its Barrios And Sitios, 
Province of Quezon, Philippines
Philippine (Republic) Bureau Of Public Schools
Division Of Quezon

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