The Magalang Elementary School is the largest public elementary school in Magalang. It was established in 1901 by the Thomasite, Mr. William S. Irey. The first site of the central school was located across of the municipal building; (the present site of Magalang Tennis Club). When the school increased its enrollment, the insular education authorities transferred the school to the present site. However, due to lack of school buildings around the islands, an assemblyman representing Nueva Ecija, Don Isauro Gabaldon drafted a bill to appropriate one million pesos to construct schoolhouses with using concrete and sturdy materials around the islands. His bill was eventually enacted and it was known today as Act No. 1801. The law was fully implemented and the so called "Gabaldon" schoolhouses were constructed in each municipality all over the islands. Magalang Elementary School was one of the benefited on the new law. The Gabaldon building floor plan of Magalang Elementary School was designed by the American architect, Mr. William Parsons. It follows the Plan Number 6 of standard schoolhouse plan designed by Parsons. The same floor plan was also implemented in other central schools in other municipalities such as Macabebe, Arayat, Candaba and Betis in Pampanga, and in Victoria, Tarlac. The construction of the new Gabaldon building was approved by the Director of Education in 1915. It was inaugurated in January 6, 1916 during the administration of municipal president, Don Alfredo G. Ganzon. The new Gabaldon building was initially used as classrooms for Grades 3 and 4 classes. 


The new building has six classrooms and in 1920, it was added another two new classrooms. In 1939, another one classroom was added to Gabaldon building. When Japanese successfully occupied Magalang in 1942, they took several houses and buildings in the town proper and they were converted as military garrisons and outposts; including the Gabaldon building. This building was initially used as military hospital of the Japanese and later, as execution grounds. When the Americans liberated Magalang in 1945, the Gabaldon building was severely damaged. In 1946, the Gabaldon building was repaired and restored, with funds sourced from the War Damage Fund and from Parents Teachers Association funds. Since then, the Gabaldon building was used primarily by the Grades Three and Four classes until the present. The massive preservation and restoration of the building was made possible when the Department of Education's heritage school building restoration program funded its restoration during the last terms of former principal, Mrs. Elena N. Magtoto in 2012. In 2014, the Gabaldon building was finally back into glory during the administration of the present principal, Mrs. Barbara M. Cadiang. 

Photo Credits:

Gabaldon Building; Capagmasusian king Qng Aldo Pangasilang ning Magalang, Diciembre 13-14, 1954.

Grade III class of Raymundo L. Sanchez, Gabaldon building, Magalang Elementary School; S.Y. 1937-1938; Courtesy of Dr. Ignacio P. Morales  


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015), Manila; National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016 pages 56 and 195.

Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin, Volume 4, Number 1; April 1, 1915

Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin, Volume 4, Number 4; January 1, 1916


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