It cost the completion of the PTA-Alumni Multi-Purpose Hall no more than a million, but it cost no less than the love, the sweat and the sacrifice of the parents, teachers, students and other people behind the project.
Conceived by MHPHS PTA in 1980 with Judge Jose C. dela Rama at the helm, the initial plan was to put up the hall in the quadrangle of the old MHPHS site. However, with the certainty to transfer the school to Sta. Isabel, the Board surfaced a better plan for the hall’s construction.
In June of 1981, the school began collecting P20.00 from each family of the enrolled students. This was not met without protest; a handful of students demanded the return of the contribution. Judge dela Rama conceded to give back the amount if parents would request so in writing. Not a single one did.
Hence, for the three years that followed, the school went on with the P20.00 collection. Yet faced with financial constraint, the project was not immediately started. The seemingly insurmountable problem but served to bind the parents, teachers and students in a gargantuan task that was bound to become a labor of love. The Filipino spirit of cooperation gave way. And the efforts of their hearts gave love another shape.
Much to the PTA’s desire not to seek or rely on government assistance, proving all and sundry that they could push with the project all on their own hard but determined push, it took another three years of fund raising campaigns and solicitations from private individuals.
The years after 1985 saw the enthusiasts’ support either in voluntary contribution or patronage of raffle tickets by parents, teachers and the community as well. A number of alumni paid back their Alma Mater with donations flowing in.
Not only did Engineer Felipe F. Cruz revised the original plan to allow future vertical expansion of the hall, but he also donated P50,000.00. Then Public Works Minister Blas F. Ople handed P30,000.00. Class ’42 spent P21,000 for the improvement of the hall’s right wing. Parents with the little they have, gave not only little.
From the heart’s desire to better serve the welfare of the students, providing them enough space to take shelter in or additional room to hold their programs or even classes at, the PTA Hall would house the meeting of minds, and the partnership of efforts of parents and teachers to fill the needs of the student populace.
On March 18, 1988, the labor of love was consummated, its fruit was inaugurated and was offered as a symbol of love. Love that was meant to have been begun, continued and fulfilled in the Divine Love. So that within the same halls may be imbued in both young and old that knowledge, wisdom and attitude are pleasing to God!
From The Republic Commencement issue (1988)