I SHARE the observation of Januar Yap in his column yesterday. He wrote about the loss of one of the monuments of our childhood, the old Luzon Lumber at the corner of Sanciangko and Leon Kilat Sts. Owners of the wooden structure had resisted change for so long, but they finally succumbed to it recently. The building has been demolished.

Luzon Lumber (it had long ceased functioning as a store and had been closed for decades) was a deserted wooden structure in that block now dominated by a mall owned by the Go family. I reckoned that the owners resisted change because architects designed E-Mall so construction would not touch the lot Luzon Lumber was occupying.

It’s the same thing with owners of that house along Ramos St. located near where Robinson’s mall now stands. I don’t know how long the house’s owners will resist change, as the place is now, for all intents and purposes, a commercial zone. But that house is not like Luzon Lumber, whose wooden make belied its age, (was it built in the ‘50s?).

Luzon Lumber is not far from City Central School, which is located at the corner of Osmeña Blvd. and P. del Rosario St. Inside the school’s compound also stands an old structure whose neglect has recently become apparent. That structure, built during the American occupation of the country, was the site of our childhood frolic decades ago.

That building, whose entrance faced Osmeña Blvd., was actually nothing but classrooms surrounding a quadrangle where we used to play and tend to our gardens. It had walls that were painted with comic strips that warned us against juvenile delinquency. Among the classrooms in what should have been the basement were those devoted for our “shop” work.

There, our teacher taught us carpentry and other interesting subjects like electrical wiring (wherein we were taught wire splicing methods).

Projects assigned to us included the use of cut plywood, nails and other materials that we bought, yes, from nearby Luzon Lumber. We pupils would go there together—-but those were less dangerous times.

While the school janitor was always on the lookout for kids who go out of the school during class hours, we still were able to cut classes when we wanted to. City Central was also near Colon St. where cheap moviehouses showed two films for every ticket you buy. Our play included crossing the street and playing with the elevator of nearby buildings.

The landscape in the area has changed considerably since then. The old ABS-CBN compound is now the site of the Asian College of Technology building. The lot occupied by E-Mall used to be a vacant lot where formations of citizens’ military trainings were held. The old Cebu Normal School once had a big vacant grassy lot that is now the site of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas compound.

The Abellana National School oval was smaller than that of the present Cebu City Sports Center, and had a smaller wooden grandstand. We used to go up the uppermost seats of the grandstand to play or just watch the view from up there as strong winds lash at our frail frames.

By the way, a small circular park used to adorn the center of the Osmeña Blvd. (formerly Jones Ave.)-P. Del Rosario St. crossing. It eventually gave way to the widening of the roads as traffic increased.