A Trinitarian Symphony in E Major (Education)
After the end of the Second World War, the people of Balic-balic slowly started to rebuild their lives filled with the spirit of hope and liberation. Two women played an important role in playing a sonata of education which many families around the parish heard and responded to.
Two public school teachers, and residents of Balic-Balic, Mrs. Trinidad Alfiler-Domingo and Miss Isabel Ramos, saw the plight of many children who had nowhere to go for schooling. They approached the parish priest, Fr. Bernardo Torres, and asked his permission if they could hold classes on the ground floor of the convento which was not being used. According to Ms. Trinidad (the second Trinidad in the history of Balic-balic), Fr. Torres was more than willing to help and gave his permission to the two friends to start their little school.
On April 2, 1946, the two teachers started two sections of Kindergarten with 60 pupils each (possibly one for each of them). There was only one old blackboard and some chairs and benches brought by the children themselves. Parents were charged P3.00 per child for maintenance. At the end of the summer months of April and May, 1946, many more students wanted to enroll. By the first week of June, two Grade One classes and One Grade Two class were opened. The big room had to be partitioned and Fr. Torres bought a piece of sawali and for this purpose.
Image: Miss Isabel Ramos with 1947 Kindergarten Class (Photo courtesy of Lucina Ramos-Reyes Family).
For school-year 1946-47, there were a total of four sections (two in the morning and two in the afternoon) and two additional teachers were hired. By 1947-48, a Grade II and IV section were added. In this same year, the Kindergarten Course, under the able management of Miss Isabel Ramos, was recognized by the government. The school was incorporated according to Philippine laws on May 27, 1947. The seeds of education have been planted by two women of Balic-Balic with the support of their parish priest.
The few musical notes that played that summer of 1946 grew into a symphony of Education. Today’s Most Holy Trinity Academy must never forget that the roots of Trinitarian education in Balic-balic started from sawali walls under the convento. Today, almost more than half of the church grounds are now occupied by various school buildings dwarfing the space devoted to parish activities. Rightly or wrongly, parishioners are worried that soon almost all the space will be reserved for the school and that parishioners will be off limits to the school. Of course, the school recognizes her role in supporting the parish but clearly she must never forget that the parish church came first, the school second.
We must retain the character of a parochial school dedicated to serving the community that gave birth to it in the first place. We must never forget that the school was started by lay people belonging to the parish. We are one, parish and school.
Note: Photo shows 1947 kindergarten class of Miss Isabel Ramos (co-founder of Holy Trinity Academy).