Legacy and Memories: Celebrating 65 Years of Our Lady of Guadalupe High School in Lacub, Abra

BNW photo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mountain High School, Lacub, Abra

Celia Ortega

The author, born in Lacub, Abra, attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary and High School. A teacher by profession, she taught there for two years. She is now retired and works as a volunteer at the Diocesan Curia of the Diocese of Bangued. She resides in Bangued, Abra.

In 2009, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) celebrated a centennial in the Philippines, coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of Our Lady of Guadalupe High School. As a product of SVD schools, I authored “Climbing the Mountain of Hope” as a testament to their presence in the Philippines, particularly in Abra. Here’s an excerpt from the book, marking the momentous occasion of my Alma Mater, the Our Lady of Guadalupe High School, reaching its 65th Year Foundation Anniversary.

Founding and Establishment

The late Rev. Fr. Richard Kraft, SVD, founded Our Lady of Guadalupe Mountain High School in Lacub, Abra. It welcomed First Year High School students on June 9, 1958. The original elementary school, Sacred Heart School, previously known as Washington School, underwent a name change to Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School when the high school was established. The elementary also had an extension in Lapat, Tineg, Abra, initiated by Fr. Kraft. 


Early Years and Teachers

In June 1960, when I began schooling, the new church already adorned the hill. The high school opened its doors to third-year students for the first time in the 1960-61 school year. Pioneer teachers, including the Bugtong sisters of Toon, La Paz (Nieves, Josefa, Juana), were renowned for their boundless enthusiasm and zeal for teaching. Many current residents of Lacub were once their pupils. Other notable teachers included Mr. Dionisio Martinez, Mr. Tagura (skilled in arnis), Mr. Cirilo Bio, Ms. Dodson (an American school volunteer), Ms. Espirita “Titay” Cachero, the tall and beautiful Ms. Manzano, and Ms. Cecilia Farinas. Some names elude my memory.

My Grade 1 teacher was Miss Leonor Borillo, from Bangued, Abra, a lady with striking beauty and a pleasant voice. As I progressed in my studies, I endeavored to learn as much as possible. I recall Fr. Kraft, our school director, telling us, “You are the best students in the whole of the Philippines.”

Old photo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mountain High School of Lacub, Abra

Religious Education and Traditions

Part of our religion classes was devoted to learning the story of the Blessed Mother’s apparition in Mexico. And when it came time to sing to Our Lady of Guadalupe, we sang with much gusto.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe,

Please safeguard our school nestled in the mountains,

Take our hands,

guide us to Jesus, our Savior…”

We sang that in Ilocano.

“Apo Guadalupe,

Taklina’m ti eskwela’m, kabanbantayan,

Kibinennakam nga ipan

Ken Jesus Mangisalakan.

Im-imam ti paglasatan,

Parabur nailangitan,

Ipaaymo dika sardayan,

Ta kaasi, pangliwliwam.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mt. High School, Lacub, Abra memories
Our Lady of Gueadalupe HS, Lacub, Abra 65th year
December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was a significant annual celebration for the school. Typically, the morning was allocated for engaging students’ activities, while the afternoon was set aside for parents’ activities. Following the High Mass, we actively partook in mass calisthenics and folk dances. Yet, the top attraction of the event was undeniably the Pass-In-Review of the High School Philippine Military Training Corps. Despite its simplicity, the celebration proved to be remarkably enjoyable and colorful in many ways, creating lasting memories for all of us during that time.
Pass in review, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mt. High School, Lacu, Abra
Happy 65th Founding Anniversary, my dear Alma Mater, the OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE HIGH SCHOOL of Lacub, Abra!

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Pin OLGHS Lacub

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