A complete history of our alumni association has yet to be written. When we decided in 2013 to have the association registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, we believed that it would have more life than before, after becoming a legally recognized organization.
After two years, we realized that it would take more than this legal status to make the association live longer. Perhaps going back to its more than a century-old past can guide us in forging a road map to its future.
Juan S. Fernando of Class 1909, Bulacan High School’s first valedictorian, was also the first president of its alumni association. We got this from The Tic, graduation annual of UP’s College of Medicine and Surgery, published by Fernando’s Class of 1914. In her 1969 masteral thesis, former teacher and assistant principal Maria Espino Reyes (C1922) wrote that Dr. Fernando was indeed the “first president of the Bulacan High School Alumni Association”. We do not have any information as to when the association was established and who the other officers were.
Pablo C. Payawal of Class 1917, vice president of the graduating students, was listed president of the association in an invitation for the “Annual Reunion on January 6, 1929”, being kept in a private collection. The other officers were Cirilo C. Magtira (C1923), vice-president; Josefa P. de Leon (C1920), secretary; and Luisa Reyes (C1923), treasurer.
Hermenegildo R. Reyes of Class 1924, an engineer and educator, was reported by The Republic in 1956 (quoting from a 1955 MHPHS Brochure) as “the first president” of the “newly formed” BHS Alumni Association. The date being mentioned was March 19, 1950 when a new two-story building was inaugurated and the school “opened its door to all alumni from Class 1909-1949 who came back with the enthusiasm of youth to relive those happy high school days, and pay respects to their Alma Mater, and to offer their accomplishments.”
From all indications, it was a revived alumni association that was organized with H.R. Reyes as its president, at the time he was also the president of the UP Alumni Association. Other elected officers were Felipe Cruz (C1922), vice-president; Dolores V. Dulay (C1926), secretary; Aquilina Reyes (C1924), treasurer; and Eliseo Tayao (C1910), executive-secretary. Members of the board were Demetrio Camua (C1925), Pelagio Cruz (C1932), Leon Gatmaitan (C1926), Florante Roque (C1935), and Feliciano Torres (C19??). Ex-officio directors were Vitaliano Bernardino, who became Bulacan division superintendent of schools and Eliseo Tayao (C1910), one of the longest serving principals of the school.
Alfonso Calalang of Class 1918, then president of Security Bank and Trust Company and Central Bank governor later on, succeeded H.R. Reyes as association president in a general reunion held on October 25, 1953. Other officers elected with Calalang were Jose P. W. Tantoco (C1935), first-vice-president; Jose P. Rueda (C1924), second vice-president; Aida Francisco (C1936), secretary; Angelica Lomotan (C1927), treasurer; Anselmo Marcelino (C1923), and Mabini Rey Centeno (C1937), PRO. Members of the Board of Directors were Cenon FlorCruz (C1930), Antonio de Leon (C1923), Ambrocio Flores (C1932), Ernesto Gutierrez (C1933), and Melencio Aniag (C1931).
In 1955, the officers of alumni association, in a meeting at Cafe Valenzuela, decided to raise a Golden Jubilee Fund for the construction of a gymnasium-auditorium. Alfonso Calalang, the incumbent president and H.R. Reyes, immediate past president, pledged to raise P2,500, with the counterpart fund to be raised by the other members of the Board of Directors and other alumni. In the same meeting, Juan Venturina (C1927), then a faculty member, was designated auditor.
On March 8, 1959, the BHS Alumni Association observed its golden jubilee (1909-1959) with a general reunion at the school campus. In this event, it was reported that the Bayanihan Dance Company’s father-and-daughter team of Ricardo Reyes (C1925) and Alice Reyes (now a National Artist for Dance) performed a dance number. A. Reyes was recently declared National Artist for Dance.
Marcelo S. Balatbat of Class 1927, then Secretary of Commerce and Industry, was the president of the Bulacan High School Alumni Association when he inducted the Class 1968 graduates into the association. The induction of new graduates as alumni members had since become a practice in subsequent commencement programs.
Balatbat must have assumed the association presidency after the term of Alfonso Calalang in 1969, when on June 1 of that year a General Reunion and Diamond Anniversary (1909-1969) was held at the MHPHS campus.
In 1998, an ad-hoc group was organized to initiate “the revival” of the alumni association. Ernesto S. Ramos (C1953), a retired commodore of the Philippine Navy, led the group composed of Epifania Fajardo (C1952), Nilo FlorCruz (C1964), Anita V. Lopez (C1967), Ma. Corazon Tapang-Lopez (C1964), Cresenciano C. Santiago (C1956), Consuelo Santos (C1956) and Angie Ilagan (C19??).
On December 6, 1998, an election of class representatives, by cluster, to the Board of Directors was conducted after the ratification of the by-laws of MHPHS (BHS) Alumni Association in an assembly gathered at the MHPNHS Campus in Sta. Isabel, The event coincided with the centennial celebration of the Philippine independence.
Ernesto S. Ramos was elected president of the Board; Maximino Tolentino (C1931), vice president; Arnelia R. Trajano (C1976), secretary; Belarmino C. Cruz (C1974), treasurer; and Illuminada De Jesus-Catap (C1968), auditor. The other members of the Board were Cesario O. Bautista (C1954), Ligaya Tantoco-Dinio (C1949), Cenon R. Florcruz (C1930), Matias P. Gaspar (C1942), Celestino C. Geronimo (C1953), Pedro C. Gonzales (C1931), Adoracion Cruz Laya (C1965), Teresita R. Mariano (C1966), Rodolfo N. Quetua (C1967), Ruben T. Reyes (C1955), Esperanza A. Salas (C 1972), Cresenciano C. Santiago (C1956), Isagani Simpauco (C1950), Felicidad G. Torres (C1959), Dioscoro G. Valenzuela (C1938) and Rolando G. Valenzuela (C1953). Felipe F. Cruz (C1937) and Alberto C. Reyes (C1947) served as advisers. R. G. Valenzuela replaced A. R. Trajano as association secretary after the latter resigned due to health reason.
Rodolfo N. Quetua, a power economist and retired Meralco executive, was voted to succeed Ramos at the General Assembly commemorating the centennial celebration of the founding of the school on March 26, 2006 at the MHPNHS gymnasium. Other officers elected were Perlito Dimagiba (C1961), vice president; Rolando G. Valenzuela (C1953), secretary; Gliceria Roque-Bagasin (C1968), treasurer; and Iluminada De Jesus-Catap (C1968), auditor.
On July 31, 2013, the Board resolved to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), retaining the original objectives articulated and promoted by the ad-hoc group chaired by Ramos. In the SEC Certificate of Incorporation, dated August 1, 2013, the following were listed as incorporators: Corazon C. Ajero (C1966), Gliceria R. Bagasin (C1966), Silvestra Freita Bautista (C1969), Illuminada DJ Catap (C1968), Belarmino S. Cruz (C1974), Rodolfo C. Cruz (C1973), Victor B. Mariano (C1970), Perfecto T. Martin (C1968), Felix C. Punzalan (C1969), Rodolfo N. Quetua (C1967) and Rolando G. Valenzuela (C1953).
The incorporators, in its maiden Board meeting on November 30, 2013, elected Quetua as president; Victor B. Mariano, vice president; Rolando G. Valenzuela, secretary; Iluminada De Jesus-Catap, treasurer; Rodolfo C. Cruz, auditor; and Corazon Camua-Ajero and Perfecto T. Martin, members. The Board appointed Teresita C. Buluran-Granados (C1969) association treasurer vice De Jesus-Catap when the latter passed away in 2014.
The Araw ng Alumni on August 29, 2016, the first general assembly since the 2006 school centennial celebration, augurs well, with the participation of as many alumni as can be gathered, with a revitalized body acting as one strong pillar of our dear Alma Mater.
Raffy dela Rosa (C1966), a retired financial executive and businessman, was elected president in this general reunion. (Dela Rosa, together with Zenaida Ching, Dexter Andres, Tess Granados, Danny Santos, Jaime FlorCruz, and Perfecto Martin were elected as directors by the representatives of the classes or batches during the August 29, 2016 general reunion; the directors elected from among themselves the officers of the MAA. Elected to the board in abstentia were Dexter Andres and Jaime FlorCruz.)
Other officers were: Zenaida Ching (C1956), vice-president; Dexter Andres(C1970) secretary; Tess Granados (C1969), treasurer; Danny Santos (C1965), auditor; Jaime FlorCruz(C1967), director; and Perfecto Martin (C1968), director. Andres resigned from his position and Santos became the secretary. The position of auditor remained vacant since then.
(First published in Alumni Republic-Malaya, Issue 1, July-August 2015; written by Rolando G. Valenzuela, with additional information provided by Perfecto T. Martin; updated July 2016)