Thursday, April 12, 2007


Hogwarts is 100 years old. For this milestone, markers (ala NHI) were placed in landmarks that are deemed to be historically significant. And so, I decided to defer the traditional visita iglesia for this year’s holy week because I have ran out of colonial churches within striking distance to pay homage to. Instead, I took Bulan and Balong for a visita iskuwela (ala via cruces) on a hot Black Friday. I walked them around the Hogwarts historical sites and sang with them the litany of Kimat T. Aminan and his brethren…

Station 1

SAN JUAN (circa 1929-31) was one of the student barrios created by Supt. Harry L. Comer. It is considered as a border kingdom where exiles and rebels find refuge from the tedious rules of Hogwarts. The gun guarding the entrance to San Juan is a relic from 1948 when an army battalion was stationed in the barrio.

Station 2

The FARMER AND CARABAO MONUMENT (circa 1938-41) has spawned legends about a treasure hidden inside the beast. It was erected at the school’s main gate during the time of Supt. Emeterio A. Asinas. The treasure was said to have been accidentally discovered when it was transferred to its present site in 1972 transforming the headmaster of that time into a very rich man.

Station 3

SAWMILL (circa 1929-31) is a sister barrio of San Juan. It too housed those who flee the wrath of Hogwarts’ officialdom.

Station 4

In the early days, “hayskul” meant what is now the College of Agriculture. Today, this refers to the USHS BUILDING (circa 1925-28). These Gabaldon-type buildings (including the adjoining DepEd BUILDING) were built during the time of Supt. Sylvester G. Kelleher and once served as a library. Kimat T. Amiana spent some time there honing his magic among Hogwarts’ youngest wizards.

Station 5

What is now the BOTANICAL GARDEN (circa 1936-38) was built during the time of Supt. Christian Reimers. Years later, some of Hogwarts’ tribes laid claim to it before it was finally transformed as a haven for the beasts. At its heart is the VIVENCIO SAULONG MONUMENT that gives homage to a young wizard from Calapan, Mindoro Oriental who gave his life in defense of Hogwarts (circa 7 February 1945).

Station 6

When the Tribe of Lam-ang: Dagiti Natutured, Nalalaing, Nabibileg, Nasisiglat are hungry, they go fishing in the SUNKEN GARDEN (circa 1936-38). Now, fishing is prohibited in that place so they have to be discreet. Like pretending to be playing the guitar and just idling along the sunken garden’s banks. What passer-bys don’t see is the invisible string that catches the fish, and the caught fish inside the guitar. In desperate times, they use desperate measures like a mosquito net. The sunken garden was dry one hungry day so the Tribe of Lam-ang: Dagiti Natutured, Nalalaing, Nabibileg, Nasisiglat raided the nearby HOSPITAL (circa 1929-31), carting away the patients’ food, and earning expulsions for 3 clan members. The sunken garden was built during the time of Supt. Christian Reimers and the hospital during the time of Supt. Harry L. Comers.

A short walk away is the fortress of LADIES’ DORMITORY NO. 2 (circa 1931) where the youngest child and only daughter of Kid Buntal and Precy stayed in Hogwarts. Her brothers were too protective of her and hid her in the fortress but she outwitted them and broke their hearts. The dormitory was built as a mess hall during the time of Supt. Allen H. Helms.

Station 7

Hogwarts is extra protective of its young lady wizards. They were kept in the fortresses of LADIES’ DORMITORY NO. 3 (circa 1954) and NO. 4 (circa 1923-25) guarded by ghosts 24 hours a day. Number 4 was built for another purpose during the time of Supt. Ernest H. Oesch while Number 3 was first intended as a dormitory for ROTC cadets. Nearby is what is now the COOP STORE AND CTC BUILDING (circa 1961) that once served as the Hogwarts administrative building.

Station 8

The SUPERINTENDENT’S COTTAGE once served as the official residence of Hogwarts headmasters for 50 years (i.e. 1925 until 1975).

Station 9

The POST OFFICE (circa 1923-25) is a donation from the Class of 1925 during the time of Supt. Ernest H. Oesch. It was first the Students’ Trust Bank Building then the office of headmasters after Superintendent Oesch. Behind it is the old CLSU Collegian building (and now the NASA office) where Kimat T. Aminan practiced his scribing. Across is the TENNIS COURT (circa 1934-35) that was built during the time of Supt. Arthur G. Spiller on the area where Supt. Kilmer O. Moe’s (1913-1922) 2-storey administration building once stood.

Station 10

The first occupants on what is now the RIZAL PARK (circa 1950-52) are cottages (circa 1928-29) that were later moved to the Little Baguio park. The Rizal Monument was built by the Classes (High School) of 1950 to 1952. Many missed the old skating rink…

Station 11

Perhaps, the most familiar Hogwarts landmark is the 80-feet high WATER RESERVOIR (circa 1929-31) that can be seen from several kilometers away. It was built during the time of Supt. Harry L. Comer and still provides 53,400 gallons of potable water everyday. The reservoir also marked the Hogwarts school for would-be generals. Just across is another fortress --- LADIES’ DORMITORY NO. 5 (circa 1952) whose security was once breached by a couple of the Tribe of Lam-ang: Dagiti Natutured, Nalalaing, Nabibileg, Nasisiglat sons who rode an iron horse right into its inner sanctum to the astonishment of its residents. It was built during the time of Pres. Arcadio G. Matela.

Station 12

For me, a close second to the farmer and carabao monument as Hogwarts icon is the REIMERS HALL. It used to be a hangar at Paranaque’s Camp Claudio that was donated to Hogwarts, named as Concordia Hall, and used for film showings and convocations. It was later renamed after Supt. Christian Reimers. Kimat T. Aminan and company spent many Friday nights there when disco was still hot and the curfew was extended until 10 pm. Reimer’s Hall is where the epic musicale LAHAR! was incubated.

Station 13

There was a moment when OSMENA (circa 1929-31) was the lair of the Tribe of Lam-ang: Dagiti Natutured, Nalalaing, Nabibileg, Nasisiglat. They were forced out after they have fried and eaten the silkworms that they were suppose to protect. Osmena is one of the student barrios (i.e. the others are San Juan, Sawmill, Quezon) that were established by the early blue eyed headmasters of Hogwarts.

Station 14

Our visita iskuwela ala via cruces culminated in LITTLE BAGUIO. And rightly so. Kimat T. Amianan had many memories of that place. There, he was transformed into a love struck Romeo: with the-fairest-of-them-all, M, Paraluman, the Stranger, and finally the-most-beautiful-woman-in-the-world. The place is where he also witnessed how women destroy men by the way E expelled what he had for lunch though his mouth, his nose and his ears; and where neophytes of the Tribe of Lam-ang: Dagiti Natutured, Nalalaing, Nabibileg, Nasisiglat were welcomed into the brotherhood. Little Baguio was established by the early blue eyed headmasters and was once the biggest natatorium outside of Manila.

END NOTE: Hogwarts is the magical school of sorcery in J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series. All other places cited are factual and existing.


Ami Dasig Salazar said...

Ayos to! Irreverent! Ang galing!

Anonymous said...

geez try this site i saw it in abs-cbn.


philosophia said...

ang cute ni balong!:)

Anonymous said...

saw your blog photo sa inquirer. nice.


Anonymous said...

i grew up in station 8... i have fond memories all over the place... - buts

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather was Supt. Emeterio Asinas. He told stories of the statue. I wish I knew more of my heritage.