A GROUP of alumni from an elementary school in Mabalacat City has launched a coloring book featuring the city’s old houses and buildings.
Mabalacat Elementary School (MES) Batch 1969 launched the coloring book titled, “Bale Matua: The Old Houses and Buildings of Mabalacat City” over the weekend at the school’s Gabaldon Hall.
Alex Castro, MES Batch 69 alumnus, said the 18-page coloring book features not only drawings of old residences but also structures like the old municipal hall, railroad station, and cemetery, all to color.
The book was conceived by Castro, a member of the city’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Council, to raise awareness and appreciation for the historic material heritage of the city, now quickly vanishing.
Castro is known for his book “Views from the Pampang” which has been serving as a major reference on Pampanga’s history through its photos and essays.
Dodjie Aguinaldo, illustrator of the book, said the project is also hoped to contribute to the consciousness of today’s youth the need to stir interests not just on arts but also on traditional houses and buildings that form part of the history of Mabalacat.
Aguinaldo is originally from Ilocos Norte but has lived in the town since childhood days. He also founded Kalalangan Mabalacat (formerly Sining Mabalacat) together with journalist Noel Tulabut.
During the launching, the coloring books were distributed free to Grade 3 and 4 students of Mabalacat Elementary School, highlighted by a coloring contest judged by local artists from Kalalangan Mabalacat, which included Dan Manalo, Anthony Canlas, Jonathan dela Cruz, Rod and Rommel Siron.
Dr. Norberto Yumul, Board of Director of MES 1969, delivered the class message to the audience. The event was also graced by DepEd officials led by Mabalacat City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Ma. Irelyn Tamayo, EPS Araling Panlipunan Dr. Alma Pineda, MES Principal Diane Hernandez, teachers-in-charge for Grade 3 and 4 students, former MES teacher and MES Alumni Association President, Dr. Angelita Dayrit-Romero, Class Valedictorian Elvie Almazar-Tanchuco, and about 15 alumni from Class 1969.
The book features the Angeles House in Sta. Ines, Gutierrez-Morales Residence, Gomez-Romualdez Tubigan House, Dela Cruz Tower House, Garcia-Perez House, Pedro Morales Residence, Morales Mansion, Mariano Dela Cruz House.
Among the non-residential structures that were featured are the Kamikaze Shrine and the Our Lady of Grace Parish Church.
Members of MES Batch 69 plans to distribute copies to more schools in Mabalacat City.