The Old Pampanga High School Building was the original site of the Pampanga High School. Completed shortly after 1910 it served as the main building of the Pampanga High School until 1935 when it was transferred to its present site. The building was then used as an annex of the school. It also served as the site of the University of the Philippines Extension Program in San Fernando, Pampanga until floods hit San Fernando in 1995.
The beginnings of the Pampanga High School could be traced to the Eusebio Residence located near the town plaza of San Fernando where classes first began in 1908. Due to the lack of students, it was unable to form a senior class until 1911-1912. Its first principal was Mr. John W. Osborn. The school was later moved to this building near the Provincial Capitol in order to accommodate more students.
The school population grew to 4000 plus students in the mid 1960s as youths from nearby towns started to enroll. Pablo Pinlac, the principal, started sports program like Track and Field, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Baseball, etc. Thanks to coaches like Rafael Aguilar the school competed against other Central Luzon schools.
Starting around this time, the school newspaper, The Pampangan was getting recognition nationally. Under Miss Gervacia Guarin's leadership, the school won several medals against schools from the big cities.
In 1960, Pampanga High School had one of its more successful year when several writers won a gold medal (P. Lacson in Sportswriting), and two bronze medals and some top six winners.
A lot of the graduates migrated to the US and became very successful doctors, nurses, accountants, etc. And those who stayed are just as prominent.
In 2010, the Pampanga High School Student government installs ID Scanners to monitor the attendance of all the Students and faculties of Pampanga High School. It is one of the Public Schools who use this kind of system.
The early foundations of what we know today as Pampanga High School were initially laid out in July 1901 when first American civil governor Howard H. Taft succeeded Major General Arthur MacArthur as American Chief Executive in the Philippines . Governor Taft, who became the 27th president of the United States of America in 1909-1913, fully established a civilian government in the Philippines to replace the military rule of his predecessors.
One of the four executive departments of the central government, the Department of Public Instruction under the administration of Honorable Bernard Moses, a member of the Second Philippine Commission initiated public education in Pampanga and in other provinces of the Philippines . Twenty-five civilian educators from the six hundred American teachers known as Thomasites who arrived from the United States aboard the U.S.A.T. Thomas on August 23, 1901 were assigned in nineteen towns of Pampanga. The initial objectives of the American educators with the cooperation of municipal and provincial officials were to establish at least one primary school (Grades I to IV) in each municipality and the recruitment of native Pampangan teachers for training in the English language and in new teaching methods. A "teachers institute" was created in San Fernando to meet the need for native Pampangan teachers.
It was quite a struggle in putting up a new educational system right after the Philippine–American War. New buildings had to be constructed; supplies, books and other instructional materials had to be procured. Pampangan native teachers had to learn the English language and had to be trained in new methods of teaching. The cooperation of parents and local government officials had to be solicited also.
By 1905, about a year after the provincial capital was transferred from Bacolor to San Fernando, Governor Macario Arnedo was able to secure additional funds from the national government to open five intermediate schools (Grade V to VII) along with the provincial school and two trade schools, one in Apalit and one in Bacolor.
By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the intermediate schools increased to eight and the provincial normal school was converted into a regular high school. The trade school in Apalit ceased operations in later years while the trade school in Bacolor grew into an industrial arts and technical college, which was renamed later as Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Trades in honor of Governor and Secretary of the Interior HonorioVentura.
The effort and sacrifices of the pioneering educators in Pampanga resulted to positive progress. As evidence of the quality of public education in Pampanga particularly in the secondary level, eleven (11) of the more than two hundred (200) participants to the "Pensionado Program" set up by the Philippine Commission in 1903 to 1910 were originally from Pampanga. Many of these government scholars with at least secondary education diplomas who were sponsored to study in American colleges and universities became great leaders in government service, law, education, medicine and politics. The most famous of these government scholars was Secretary of Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Jose Abad Santos who is acclaimed today as a national hero.
It is interesting to note also that in the 1918-1919 commencement exercises of the University of the Philippines, Pampangans were awarded the second highest total of degrees. Only graduates from the Manila area exceeded the total of Pampangan UP graduates in that particular school year. Such commendable accomplishments validated the intellectual excellence of many Pampangan students and the outstanding college preparation they received from their secondary school teachers.
The Golden Jubilee Celebration Souvenir Program of Pampanga High School in 1962 indicated that in 1908 the Pampanga High School classrooms were located in a big house in downtown San Fernando known then as the " Buison Building ". When the student population increased tremendously, the Pampanga High School moved to a bigger concrete building along the old highway near the Provincial Capitol in barrio Santo Nino. The high school building in downtown San Fernando became later a popular lodging and dining facility known as Pampanga Hotel and Restaurant.
The school principal during the early years of Pampanga High School was an American educator by the name of John W. Osborn. Nineteen (19) students graduated in 1912 with Wenceslao Vitug as valedictorian and Macaria Roque as salutatorian. The school was under the supervision of American educators until 1935 when the last American principal, Charles G. Whitewell was succeeded by Demetrio Andres who served as school principal until 1939.
In 1937, during the administration of provincial Governor Pablo Angeles David when the Philippines was still a commonwealth and Manuel L. Quezon was the president, classes were transferred again to new and bigger facilities along Teopaco Street now known as High School Boulevard in San Fernando, Pampanga. The concrete high school building near the provincial capitol was converted to a military hospital after World War II. It became later the San Fernando Branch of the University of the Philippines until it was significantly damaged by lahar in 1991.
Classes at Pampanga High School were interrupted in 1942 to 1944 due to World War II. When regular classes were resumed after the war, Alvaro Punla and Wilfredo Castro graduated valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, in 1945.
In an exchange of emails with Dr. Antonio R. Suba of PHS Class 1942, he wrote that the members of his class received their diplomas in 1946 in a special graduation ceremony. Class members who perished during World War II were honored and their respective families received their diplomas.
Repairs and renovations of aging facilities and structural damage brought by the 1991 volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and other calamities are being initiated as funds become available through government appropriations and donations from generous alumni. The federation of school alumni associations under the presidency of Mr. Angelo D. David of Class 1947 is currently raising funds and coordinating the implementation of the Total Master Site Development Plan of the Pampanga High School to meet the needs of a growing student population.
On October 22, 2005, the ground breaking ceremony of a new three storey building to be built at the school campus was attended by prominent alumni, school administrators, faculty members and government officials.
Pampanga High School (a.k.a. PHS) is the alma mater of many famous Filipinos such as Philippine PresidentPresident Diosdado P. Macapagal of Class 1929 and six of his cabinet members during his presidency: General Marcos G. Soliman of Class 1929, Chairman of the National Intelligence Coordinating Council (NICA) and Commanding General of the Philippine Army; Dr. Floro Dabu of Class 1930, Secretary of Health; Amable Aguiluz of Class 1931, Treasurer of the Philippines; Atty. Juan Cancio, Assistant Executive Secretary of the Philippines, valedictorian of Class 1932 and; Pampanga Governor Jose B. Lingad of Class 1932, Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Some of other noted Pampanga High School alumni are/were:Oscar Samson Rodriguez, Mayor of City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Jose Gutierrez David of Class 1912
Director of Private Schools Manuel Carreon, the valedictorian of Class 1915
Ambassador and Justice of the Supreme Court Roberto Regala of Class 1918
Director of Lands Zoilo Castrillo, Salutatorian of Class 1919
Pampanga Provincial Governor Urbano Dizon of Class 1920
Congressman Emilio Cortez of Class 1921
Philippine Postmaster General Belarmino P. Navarro of Class 1926
Pampanga Provincial Governor Rafael Lazatin of Class 1927
Judge Ernestino Limpin of Class 1928
Literary genius and patriot Amando G. Dayrit of Class 1929
Administrator Godofredo Pangan of the Rural Electrification Program of the Philippines of Class 1930
Provincial Board Member and nationally known trial lawyer Moises S. Ocampo of Class 1933
Award-winning journalist and historian Renato "Katok" Tayag, valedictorian of Class 1933
Executive Editor of Manila Times Publishing Company Jose Luna Castro of Class 1933
Undersecretary of Finance Ruben Macapinlac of Class 1935
Evening News Editor-In-Chief Felix B. Bautista, Jr. of Class 1938
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Gutierrez, Jr. of Class 1942
Judge Pablo P. Inventor of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, the Valedictorian of Class 1947
Provincial Board Member and prominent CPA Adelino Lugue of Class 1947
Judge Rodolfo Toledano, a CPA-Lawyer of Class 1948
Deputy Minister of Public Works and Highways Aber Canlas of Class 1950
Philippine Free Press Editor-In-Chief Crispulo Icban, Jr. of Class 1950
Secretary of Education Jose P. de Jesus of Class 1951
Vice Governor Cicero J. Punsalan, a lawyer and private school executive, of Class 1954
Human Rights Commissioner Eligio Mallari, a lawyer and businessman, of Class 1954
Multi-awarded broadcast-journalist and media executive Orlando Punsalan of Class 1954
Provincial Board Member Restituto Capulong of Class 1955
Provincial Administrator and Journalist Artaserxes Art Sampang of Class 1955
Provincial Administrator and Fiscal Orlando Santiago of Class 1955
Herminio Miranda of the Solicitor General's Office of Class 1955
Congressman and National Housing Authority Manager Marciano Pineda of Class 1955
Former Congressman and current city mayor of San Fernando City, Oscar Rodriguez of Class 1963
Doctor of Economics Dante B. Canlas, Secretary of Economic Planning and Development of Class 1963
CIS and Narcom Chief Brig. Gen. Ramsey Ocampo of Class 1963
Congresswoman and Immigration Commissioner Andrea Dizon Domingo of Class 1965 and
Dr. Virgilio Malang, award-winning inventor and scientist of Class 1965.
According to Dr. Evangelina Hilario-Lacson of Class 1933 in her "Kapampangan Writing - A Selected Compendium and Critique", that three famous contemporary Kapampangan writers, poets and lawyers - Roman P. Reyes, Amado M. Yuzon and Silvestre M. Punsalan completed their secondary education at Pampanga High School . Reyes was one of the most admired Kapampangan poets and an acclaimed playwright, zarzuela director and editor of "Ing Kampuput". Yuzon of Class 1925 was honored internationally as a poet laureate, a professor and a congressman of the first district of Pampanga. Punsalan, also of Class 1925 was a provincial board member, acting governor and Chairman of the Board of the Philippine National Bank.Gen. Romeo S. David
Amb. Armando Madamba
Gen. Virgilio David
Also listed in the roster of many distinguished PHS alumni are/were:Philippine Air Force Brigadier General Romeo S. David who served as president and CEO of Clark Development Corporation
AFP Deputy Chief of Staff and Vice Admiral Armando Q. Madamba who was appointed as Ambassador and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1995 to 1996 of Class 1954
Brigadier General and National Police Commissioner Virgilio M. David of Class 1954
Brigadier General Rafael M. Maniago of Class 1955
Police General Jose Lalisan of Class 1965, outstanding administrator of the Philippine National Police Directorate.
Other Pampanga High School alumni who served with distinction as city/municipal government officials are/were:San Fernando Municipal Vice President Jose Santos of Class 1918
San Fernando Mayor Miguel Baluyut of Class 1927
San Fernando Vice Mayor Abelito David of Class 1930
San Fernando Mayor Jose Quiwa of Class 1930
Apalit Mayor Alfonso Lugue of Class 1931
San Fernando Mayor and Provincial Board Member Rodolfo Hizon of Class 1931
Angeles City Councilor and business executive Alfredo de Leon of Class 1938
Bacolor Mayor and Undersecretary of National Defense Emerito de Jesus of Class 1949
Magalang Mayor Benedicto Dayrit of Class 1949
Floridablanca Mayor Pedro Capulong of Class 1951
San Fernando Vice Mayor Agapito Espinoza of Class 1953
San Fernando Mayor Armando Biliwang of Class 1954
Mabalacat Mayor Catalino Domingo of Class 1954
Apalit Mayor Romeo Pamintuan of Class 1954
San Fernando Mayor Paterno Guevara of Class 1955
San Fernando Mayor Virgilio Sanchez of Class 1957
Limay, Bataan Mayor Nelson David of Class 1965.
In the military and national police service, the following PHS alumni rose to the rank of colonel:World War II hero and writer Ricardo Galang of Class 1915
Agustin Gabriel of Class 1917
Francisco Sandico of Class 1917
Emigdio C. Cruz of Class 1921
Sergio G. Sanchez of Class 1926
Gregorio M. Yambao of Class 1926
Pacifico C. Marin of Class 1928
Miguel Pingul of Class 1929
Juan Arroyo of Class 1930
Federico W. Calma of Class 1931
Diosdado Garcia of Class 1933
Patricio Buyson of Class 1934
Felix Duenas of Class 1937
Eloy Baluyut of Class 1947
Agustin Cuyugan of Class 1954 and
Rolando de Guzman of Class 1955 and thousands of other professionals who made significant contributions to the Philippines as a young and growing republic while aligning itself among the members of the league of sovereign nations.