IT WAS was on a restful Sunday last week when I had a visit from no less than the Davao City National High School Alumni Association’s President, Felizardo A. Enriquez, Jr., and his Secretary, Chona Rosario D. Ongkingco. It was an honor to have welcomed them as visitors as my late mom, Marietta Ebro-Dakudao, was the valedictorian of the graduating class of DCHS 1948. Not to fail to mention that in that Class of 1948 belonged the pioneering and unforgettable lifestyle writer/social historian, Josefina “Josie” Caraos- San Pedro, who lovingly encouraged me to write for the Mindanao Times when she was this Mindanao’s oldest newspaper’s respected publisher till she passed away.
Historically speaking, the DCHS batch of 1948 was the only batch which witnessed the raising of three flags in Davao City. “The class of 1948 was a composite of graduates who finished the secondary course under three flags commensurate with the history of the Philippines! Those who started as freshmen in 1944 began under the Japanese occupation up to 1945 when the Philippines was liberated by the United States of America and American Sovereignty. And at the same time, it was the transition of the Commonwealth of the Philippines which was restored until July 4, 1946, when the third Philippine Republic was proclaimed,” wrote former Philippine Ambassador to Russia, Romeo O. Fernandez of the Class of 1948.
The Davao Provincial High School was established in 1922 along Magallanes Street with a humble nipa hut for its structure. Officer-in-Charge Dominador Fernandez and Principal Adolfo Casolan along with three teachers welcomed the first group of 67 students in Davao’s pioneering institution of learning. When Davao became a Chartered City in 1937, the school’s official name became the Davao City High School (DCHS). With the increasing number of students enrolling, a new building was constructed in 1941 at its present location along Florentino Torres Street. This school building was destroyed during the liberation of Davao City in April 1945. It was only in 1950 when a new school building was built to accommodate more students after temporary classes were held after the liberation of Davao at the Chavez Building in C.M. Recto Street and which later moved to a temporary structure along Villa Abrille Street. The DCHS building along F. Torres Street stands on a 62,657 sq.m. lot donated by the Tionko family. With the nationalization of all public secondary schools in the country by June, 1987, the City’s institution of learning became known as the Davao City National High School (DCNHS).
DCNHS has been referred to as “the premier public secondary school” in Region XI. “I am proud to say that DCNHS has become a leading school in Math, Science, English and the Arts. It is active in implementing the programs of DECS/DepEd and projects as well of DOST. DCNHS has truly gone a long way with its progressive developments through the years. We have produced a considerable number of productive citizens who have become successful and inspiring leaders in various aspects of their chosen careers,” said DCNHS Alumni Pres. Enriquez with pride.
The good news is, this coming December 4, 2021, at 4:00 pm the DCNHS is launching its virtual Centennial Celebration (1922-2022) via the Facebook page. The theme of the upcoming special DCNHS celebration is “A Century of Excellence, Leadership & Resiliency.” Souvenir items like t-shirts, facemasks, tumblers, among others, will be sold online to raise funds for the school’s special activities in honor of the Platinum Jubilee celebration. Outreach projects like feeding, tree planting, medical & dental services, and visiting and donating to charitable institutions like the School for the Blind, Home for the Aged, and orphanages are included on top of the list of alumni activities. A DCNHS Centennial Coffee Table Book is also being prepared for publishing. The Launching Program for the 100 Days Countdown will be held on March 15, 2022. The grand Centennial Celebration is scheduled on June 22, 2022.
Indeed, the DCNHS is a top performing public secondary school in the Davao region. “It is a premier educational institution molded through the acid test of time. It is a respected learning institution built on the foundation of Excellence,” stressed Secretary Ongkingco without batting an eyelash.
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