Pambansang Mataas Na Paaralan Ng Tarlac

(Tarlac National High School)

A Brief History of THS

First, please allow me to tell you a brief history of our beloved school, Tarlac High School. My excerpts are taken from the book, Mr. White, A “Thomasite’s” History of Tarlac Province 1901-1913 written in honour of Frank Russell White by Lino L. Dizon, Director of the Center for Tarlaqueno Studies, Tarlac State University, Central Luzon, the Philippines.

In his book it was stated that in the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue of August 22, 2001,
Mr Russel Arador of the Inquirer’s News Service wrote:

”In 1901, more than 500 “patriotic” American volunteers sailed from San Francisco to the Philippines aboard a United States Army transport named Thomas: to “establish a modern public school system which was to have far-reaching effects on the Filipino way of life.” Later known as the Thomasites, these American teachers, whose number grew to 1,074 in 1902, “fanned out to the provinces to teach and begin the experiment of preparing the Filipinos for nationhood.”

Dr. Michael Anderson, US Embassy public affairs officer said, Mr. White arrived in the Philippines three months ahead of the other Thomasites. He said, “White instilled respect for the dignity of labor by instituting vocational education in the Philippine school system.” Mr. Frank Russel White and the other Thomasites assigned to Tarlac established the country’s first public secondary school system in Tarlac High School, which is now known as the Tarlac (National) High School.

That school system established by the Thomasites has made us what we are today. I am sure many other distinguished men and women walked the halls and portals of our school. I know that the old Tarlac High School counts among its graduates the most famous personality of our time, General Carlos P.Romulo, former President of the United Nations General Assembly and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, among his many exemplary achievements. I am sure everyone would, (and should know) that General Carlos P. Romulo was born and raised in Camiling, Tarlac. We also count among others, some provincemates who became outstanding politicians such as, Congressman Constancio Castaneda, Senator Jose P. Roy, Educators, such as Jorge Bocobo and Camilo Osias, who founded the still existing Osias Colleges, (where proudly I will say, was the first school I went to before I was allowed to leave our province to study in Manila in 1960), Banker, Panfilo Domingo, and one famous modern architect, Lor Calma, to name just a few. Surely there are more Tarlac High School graduates who walked the halls and portals of our school who have distinguished themselves in their own fields of endeavours.

By: Ofelia M Bakker, class of 1959

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