Sunday, July 28, 2013

MOHS/MOGCHS through the Years

Statue of Gov. Apolinar Velez on horseback
In the early years of American occupation only few places in the country had schools to serve the need of children aspiring to get higher education. People from the provinces had to send their children for their education to the capitals of the country. In that context only rich families were capable to provide their children better education. Fortunately, the Americans were more dedicated in improving the literacy of the Filipinos than their Spanish predecessors. Education was the greatest legacy the Americans left to the Filipinos. Under their administration they saw to it that children from age 7 years and above should be in school and that free educational materials were availed to them. The Americans also helped facilitate the establishments of elementary, secondary and tertiary schools in different parts of the Philippines.

In 1907, Don Apolinar Velez, one of the founding fathers of Cagayan de Oro and the governor of Misamis Oriental thought of establishing a secondary school  in his native place so that parents would not have to send their children either to Manila or Cebu to study. He conveyed his proposal to the Philippine legislative assembly which was headed by Speaker Sergio Osmeña of Cebu. During that time the Philippines was one of the unincorporated territories of the United States. Filipinos were given a semblance of autonomy by having all-Filipino elected members of the National Assembly. Executive power however was vested to the American governor general who was appointed by the President of the United States.                             

Don Apolinar’s effort came into fruition when he was granted an audience by Governor General William Cameron Forbes. The latter gave a green light to the plan. He told Don Apolinar to secure a piece of land for the school that would include a large athletic field which was a necessity since American school curriculum included sports.

The site of the school should include an athletic field
The generosity of some people of Cagayan de Misamis now Cagayan de Oro to donate their lands as the site of the school realized the establishment of the Misamis Provincial High School which was also called Escuela Provincial. The school was inaugurated on December 15, 1909 with no less than Governor General William Cameron Forbes as the guest of honor. Other guests included Speaker Sergio Osmeña and other dignitaries.

Classes formally opened on January 10, 1910 with an all American faculty. The first principal was the American Mr. Henry Smith. The last one who was American was Mr. William Goodrich. Mr. Simeon Vale was the first Filipino to hold that office in 1928. Due to the increasing number of students the intermediate grades were separated from high school administration in 1926.                                                               

The periods of the Philippine Commonwealth, the Second World War and the Philippine Independence saw the transformation of MOHS from an American administered school into a Filipino administered one with its curriculum attuned to the cultural, educational and other circumstances of young Filipino personalities. On June 1, 1965 RA 4247 converted MOHS into a national high school, and since then it has been known as Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School or MOGCHS.

Cagayan de Oro as a highly urbanized city became administratively independent from Misamis Oriental. The province however still keeps its seat of government in the city. And it still owns some properties and institutions inside the city. This includes MOHS which is presently called MOGCHS.

During the term of President Corazon Aquino a new 1987 Philippine Constitution provided for a compulsory and free education for all children at the elementary and high school levels. The provision has benefited many Filipino families specially the poor who could not afford to send their children to private schools.

Today, it is easier even for poor families to enable their children have elementary and high school educations because they are for free and schools are widely available so that even barangays have their own national high schools. Families belonging to middle class and the rich usually send their children to private schools. 

Being a public school, MOGCHS is a school for the masses and for everyone who wishes to study there.  Although the school is under the administrative jurisdiction of the province of Misamis Oriental, it is in essence a school for the people of Cagayan de Oro because most of its students are from the city and that its location is in the heart of the city. MOGCHS and its athletic field which is now the Pelaez Sports Center are not only pioneer institutions of learning and sports in the city but they are also historical sites of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Deadly Bomb Explodes at Lim Ket Kai Arcade, Cagayan de Oro

An improvised explosive device made from 81 mm mortar ammunition exploded at Lim Ket Kai Arcade in Cagayan de Oro at around 11:30 on the evening of July 26, 2013. The bomb claimed the lives of 6 persons and injured 40 others. The victims were outside the Kyla’s Bistro and Candy establishments where tables and chairs were set to accommodate night customers. Friday and Saturday evenings are usually busy business days for said establishments, and live band plays to entertain customers.                                                                                                                             
Some of the victims were instantaneously killed by the bomb. Others died on arrival at the hospitals and still many others are brought to the different hospitals in Cagayan de Oro City.

One of the fatalities is Roldan Lagbas, a board member of the first district of Misamis Oriental. The others are identified as Anthony Cañete of Iligan City; Ryan Estose of Mega Heights , Gusa, Cagayan de Oro; Emmanuel Palafox of Zamboanga City; Dr. Emmanuel Malanay and Antonio Paredes, a medical sales representative from Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.

The victims are composed of local residents and visitors to the city who went to those establishments to unwind in the evening there. Some of them came from other parts of the Philippines to attend the16th mid-year national convention for the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) which is held at the Grand Caprice Hotel in Lim Ket Kai Center. This is the reason why many of the blast victims are health services professionals and medical sales representatives.

Local civil and police authorities urge the public not to make speculations about the identities of the suspects and the motive behind the attack while their investigation is still ongoing.

Following pictures are taken in the morning after the incident. Viewers are warned that some pictures contain gory details that they might consider gruesome.

the site of the bomb explosion


water from a hose to clean the scenes creates a pool of blood

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Bees, the Pollinators

At the side of my house there grows a wild fast growing but rather small size tree with a soft wood called “mansanitas” or small apple. But its fruit is in no way related to the real apple. It has very small succulent fruit with many soft seeds and a skin that is colored red to purple when ripe. Although the fruit is sweet and edible, it is mostly a treat for animals. Only few kids eat the fruits as a sort of playful activity rather than to fill themselves with it. Adults completely ignore the fruit.

Because of its flowers, the tree has attracted insects particularly bees that search for foods. Bees and other insects are some of the agents of pollination. Others include man, rain and wind. The bees in the tree are busy particularly in the morning when they fly into flower and sip its nectar. Pollen grains stick to a bee's legs and body as it brushes the anther of the flower. As the bees fly from one flower to another some of the pollen are dropped into the stigma of a flower. A tube then grows down from the stigma into the ovule. This will cause the ovary of the flower to be fertilized by the male cells that comes from the pollen. Fertilized ovary grows in size and develops into a fruit.

In most cases the pollen of a flower is transferred by the bees to another flower of the same plant or to another flower of another plant of the same species. A fruit that develops in the latter situation will have a healthy offspring. A flower that is fertilized by its own pollen or a flower that is fertilized from pollen of another flower of the same plant could result in an inferior seeds or offspring that are incapable of surviving a harsh environment or weather. Some plants have a built in system to prevent self pollination by having stigmas that reject pollen coming from the same flower.

Some plants that are very small like grasses are pollinated by the wind. Dry minute pollen of some grasses are blown away and fertilize the ovule of flower of other distant grasses of the same species.

Plants make themselves conspicuous with their beautiful colored flowers to attract pollinators. Other plants that have dull colored flowers make up for their deficiencies by emitting a fragrant scent especially in the evening. That kind of plants will give a nice ambiance at night with their pleasant smell so that it seems that the surrounding is sprayed with perfume.

The scene of the tree by my house is a sort of community of several species of animals that share a common purpose to sustain themselves. The process of pollination is a way on which the bees can feed themselves and produce their own offspring. For the tree, it is a means by which it can reproduce itself when fruits are developed as a result of pollination. Discarded seeds are scattered on the ground after the fruits are consumed by man and animals. The seeds in turn develop into new plants thus continuing the tree’s life cycle.  Because of pollination man and animals are able to have foods such as vegetables and fruits. Without it they could not have sustained their life on earth.