MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part II - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part II - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Tayum



About these Historical Data

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American Regime, the Tenientes del Barrio were Carlos Tejero (3 yrs), Eulalio Tuscano (13 yrs), Emigdio Bermilloo (4 years), Guillermo Gandeza (6 yrs}, Victorio Caleboso (4 years), Anastacio Gandeza (2 years), Sixto Asuncion (3 yrs), Victor Arzadon (8 yrs), Marceliano Blaguera (7 yrs), and Anastacio Reyes (4 yrs) and is still the incumbent.

Patucannay is the most populous barrio and what they get by farming cannot support their families. That is the reason why Patucannay people are traders. They bring salt, cloths, needles and thread to the mountain villages of Abra reaching as far as Kalinga in the Mountain Province; and when they come home, their pack horses are loaded with rice, coffee, oranges, brooms, and dried cels. Sometimes they get rattan and wax, too.

Many of their sons became soldiers, others went to Hawaii. They were brave and thrifty. When one looks at the strong wooden houses with galvanized iron roofs in this barrio, one can trace the source of financing of the building to a soldier receiving pension or a relative in Hawaii who made good. The first brass band of Patucannay was financed by sons of Patucannay in Hawaii. Nearly all funerals from this barrio are accompanied by the brass band.


1. BATIOTIO - About the end of the year 1900, American troops arrived in Abra. The Filipino guerrillas harassed them for a long time. Once, when a detachment of Americans of platoon size were going to Bucay, they were ambushed at Batiotio. The only road (at that time) turns abruptly to the left up a high incline with the mountain on the right and the deep valley on the left-hand side. It is said that only the rear guard escaped to report to Bangued. In retaliation, the Americans burned all the villages around that place, the largest of which was An-anaao; and in the town, all the principales supposed to be supporting the guerrillas were imprisoned. Their prisoners suffered third-degree punishments, but they stoically refused to reveal any information about their compatriots. The Americans made no executions,


At the corner opposite the present market place still stand ruins of the ESCUELA DE NIÑOS. The walls are so hard that the Municipality gave up demolishing them when it was finally decided to buy another wider lot for the public school that now is on the National highway. This school for boys was roofed with galvanized won and was used as the first public school under the American Regime from 1907 till 1914.

On the opposite comer of that block, in front of what is now the house of Ex-Vocal Lino Molina, was the ESCUELA DE NIÑAS. It was of wood, but roofed only with bamboo and cogon. When it stopped to be in use during the Filipno-American War, the building fell down to pieces.

From these two buildings, every schoolday at the close of the morning session, two lines of processions, composed of all the pupils and the teachers, marched toward the Parish Rectory or Convento. There, they would greet in a body. "BUENAS DIAS, PADRE!" and their monitors reported the attendance. The priest would acknowledge their greetings and reports and the children, after singing one song they knew, all shouted "ADIOS PADRE," and were dismissed.

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The last teachers during the Spanish Regime were Maestro Mariano Bello, as principal, Maestro Lucas Magno, and Maestro Manuel Balmaceda. Of the girls, only Maestra Micaela Romano is remembered. After the "Rebolucion" (Filipino-American War), the children went to private houses where they were taught to read the Cartilla, then the Ofrecimiento, then the Catecismo. The fee was One Peso after finishing the Cartilla, regardless of the number of weeks or months it took the particular or individual child to finish it. Instruction was by individual recitation, and the older ones had to help the younger or slower ones. Because it was in the home of the teacher, the older girls also carried water for the maestro.


As one goes out of town to the Roman Catholic Cemetery, the ruins of a two-story brick building to our right attracts the attention. It nobly stands on the brow of the hill on which the town is located, and is the only building with brick walls on the upper floor reaching up to what was the roof. Its presence there, at what was the entrance to the town, reminds us of the grandeur of that straight Bangued-Tayum road. It was probably begun by Capitan Don Manuel Flores, who was gobermadorcilio in the year 1740. The last known owner of the building was Cpt. Dn. Isidro Flores, who in his will bequeathed it to his son Anastacio Flores. That building was burned in the great conflagration of April 1912, and the occupant at that time was the then Municipal Treasurer, Mr. Ambrosio Bigornia and his family.

On San Jose Street stand ruins of the houses of two Brillantes families. On one of the ruins now stands the house of Ex-Gov. Juan Brillantes.

The ruins of the houses of Don Pio Balmaceda, Maestro Santiago Cardenas, Capitan Mariano Cariños children, Capitan Miguel Cariño’s descendants, and the brick foundations of the house of Don Simeon Molina, are reminders of that fatal early morning fire on Sunday, October 8, 1941, in which 24 dwelling houses and 1 granary, together with 11 youthful lives of Tayum's brave sons, perished under irresponsible guerrillas. The ruins of what was the home of Maestro Lucas Magno on San Isidro Street were cne of those houses. The small number of brick-walled houses in Tayum testifies to the poverly of the town since its foundation.



(a) Layusa Bungsot. On Monday, October 17, 1895, [a] strong storm had been raging since the evening before, and did not stop until seven o'clock the following morning. The floodwaters reached an unprecedented height that only the villages on top of hills and of the town proper were not reached by the waters. And the number of dead people and animals was so great that the odor of rotten flesh and vegetation was in the air for many weeks. Hence the name "LAYUS A BUNGSOT."

(b) Another flood destroyed many other cornfields in September, 1874. The flood waters did not reach the height of the "layus a bungsot," but when the waters receded, many more corn and ricefields were gone and in their place was left a plain covered with sand and stones unfit for cultivation.

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(c) Layus ti Aguet. It was in October in the year 1908. Rain had been falling almost continuously for almost three days when, in the middle of the night, came a very strong wind with very strong rain. Trees and houses fell down to the ground and the water of the river rose so high that the people in Pudoc, the cornfields between the Tineg-Malanas River and the main body of the Abra River, could not come to town. The wind and rain suddenly stopped at midday, but after about an hour and a half, very strong winds from a direction opposite the direction of the wind in the morning. More houses and trees were blown down. The wind abated at about midnight, and the following morning, the weather was all clear, but from the tower of Tayum to the tower of La Paz raged strong currents as one continuous sea. The survivors in Puduc had to lash themselves to the tops of camantiris trees and bamboo. Food from town could only be sent to them towards evening. It was not until the afternoon of the following day that the survivors and found corpses could be brought across the river to the town. Some say that the waters may have been higher than that of Layus a Bungsot were it not for the fact that many of what were fields before had become a part of the Abra riverbed.

This flood changed the course of the Abra River. Before the flood, the main stream was far away from the town, but when the big water subsided, the main flow struck directly north of the town and it kept that course until 1947.

That storm is usually referred to as "Layus ti Aguet" because the village at Aguet, Lagangilang, was a flourishing village composed of immigrants from the barrios Vigan and Bantay. And they had even built a chapel housing an almost life-size crucifix. The houses and the chapel were washed away, but the statue of Our Crucified Lord was found in an undisturbed condition way down almost near to the mouth of the Abra River. Other places that suffered very much were the cornfields of Pola and Pagala in Bucay, of Pudaw in Dolores, and that vast corn lands between Bangued and Pidigan. The last named place was recovered after the erection of the river control in Bangued, but the others are a plain of stones.

(d) The last great storm worthy of mention was that of September, 1947. It blew down a new quonset school building in Bangued; it blew away a whole roof of galvanized iron in Tayum; it pulled off some sheets from the roof of the sacristy, and in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur; [and] it did even greater damage to property. The floodwaters reached to the floor of the highest house in Pudoc; but not many lives were lost. And the Red Cross help arrived some days after the storm.


(a) Plagues. Until the year 1874, there were already three plagues in Tayum. That is what is known as "peste" or bubonic plague.

(b) Smallpox - In 1881 and again 1892, a smallpox epidemic afflicted very many of the inhabitants. Temporary huts which were used as hospitals were built close to the cemetery to confine the patients; and so many of them died that they were almost all buried without [a] priest. The cemetery adjoining the church was last used during the smallpox epidemic in 1881; and the victims of those of 1892 were buried in the old section of the Roman Catholic Cemetery now in use.

The enforcement of smallpox vaccination since 1908 stopped the cause of the disfigurement of many faces and loss of life. The last cases of smallpox in

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Tayum appeared in 1911, but the disease was mild, and only weak children died. Since then, only chickenpox appears sometimes which very often comes with measles.

(c) Cholera - In December 1908, there was a cholera epidemic. In the barrio of Patucannay alone, 17 persons fell victims of cholera. In town and the other barrios, many others died. Since then, the people here have come to know the power of terms or "microbio," and when the water is unsafe to drink, they have learned to boil it. They also began to understand why [the] breeding places of flies and mosquitoes must be destroyed by cleanliness.

(d) Influenza - In December 1918, an epidemic of inluenza broke in town. Almost all the houses and almost all the inmates got sick at once. That aggravated the sickness for lack of proper nursing care and food. Many died but not half as many as during the plague, smallpox, and cholera epidemics in the past.

(e) Dysentery - From July to October 1928, a dysentery epidemic visited Tayum. Although many children died, many recovered. The unfinished house of Mr. Santiago Cardenas, now only ruins, was used as a temporary hospital. The Bureau of Health sent doctors and nurses to care for the sick, and many lives were, thus, saved for an early death.

(f) Malaria - During the Japanese Occupation, towards the end of the year 1942, a malaria epidemic broke out. The house of Don Paulo Alverne was used as a temporary hospital for malaria cases. It was lucky that Dr. Francisco Donato of Vigan was the Provincial Doctor at the time, for he was a malaria expert and giving out the limited quinine supply in proper dosages, saved many from early death.

But, in November 1944, when the people were at evacuations in moist places near streams or watery ricefields, malaria with typhoid attacked the helpless evacuees. They left the comfort of their homes; they lacked proper nutrition, especially no salt and no meat; they were in constant fear of both the Japs and the guerrillas; and their constitution was very much weakened — so, they fell an easy prey of the epidemic, especially those evacuees from the town. About three hundred persons from Tayum and barrios died of sickness. And many survivors suffered insanity for a time that was the effect of the malignant malaria.

It was truly a time of crisis. Travel was limited and no quinine could be brought in. People boiled the bark of "dal-lipawen" to drink as quinine, but it helped very ttle. Some physicians even tried to powder [the] dried bark of "dal-lipawen" and with the aid of cassava starch made them into pills which they called DALLIQUINA. To be of effect, a patient had to swallow at least fifty of the pills within a week. It helped a little. The epidemic could only be controlled when "landings" of a new kind of yellow tablet called ATABRINE reached Abra and administered in proper doses to the still living patients. The epidemic was finally controlled in May of 1945, but deaths caused by malaria-typhoid continued even until November of that year.

Many deaths besides the victims of the epidemic were the results of raids and undue executions by the Japs and the so-called guerrillas.

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(a) The Burning of the Convento in March, 1891, is historical for with it perished all the official records of the Church up to that time. Important records of Baptism, which were also records of birth, of Deaths or burials, and of Marriages, and all other important documents of the Church since the foundation of Tayum, all went up on smoke and ashes. The fire was caused by the ever-burning little lamp which the sister of the then Parish Priest Rev. Santiago Mercado, kept in ber room. The little lamp might have been tipped when all were sound asleep, and when the woman and her maid woke up, the room was all in flames. The priest's sister perished in the fire, but the priest and the convent boys escaped, but nothing was saved.

(b) April 13, 1912 - That is a red-black date in the history of Tayum. At one o'clock in the afternoon, a streak of black smoke and dark red flames shot up at the west corner of the town. A house occupied by an old man and his old wife on the old road to Bangued was enveloped in flames from fire in the kitchen. The old woman was boiling camotes, and as is often the custom, left it there. Fanned by the "abagat," the strong southerly breezes that come when the day is very hot, the fire burst into flames and caught the walls of the kitchen, to the roof. When people arrived, the house could not be saved. And it was a dry hot day. The flames jumped to the tall two-story brick building on the opposite side of the street. No ladder able to reach its top was prepared. And no water enough to put out the fire was available! From there the fire, fanned by strong winds, jumped two, three, four blocks, until the whole area west of the church was like hell. Many houses and granaries were gone up; many suffered burns; but only one woman died. In her desire to save rice stored under the house of her brother, Mr. Miguel Gandeza, she probably fell down on her [on her face?], for it was there where her body was discovered. The presence of mind of the then parish priest Rev. Luis Beckert, 5.V.D., saved the parish rectory. He closed all the windows, and since the roof was all galvanized iron, no danger came from that part. The garbage under the kitchen was scorched, but that was easily controlled. The bells kept ringing, the fire alarm, and men watched that flying embers did not burn the temporary grass roof within the church walls. A great loss!

(c) The Raid of Tayum - The evening of Saturday, October 7, 1944, was a happy day for Tayum. In the morning, the solemn novena of the Holy Rosary was begun. No one felt that it was destined to be the last day also. From two to seven o'clock in the evening, the Kalibapi (a society organized by the Puppet Philippine Republic) held a social benefit ball in the Presidencia (Municipal Building), and the highest bid for one of the social boxes was ₱200.00 in Japanese Paper Money, and the lady to whom it was ascribed won to be crowned "Queen of the Kalibapi." But...

At three o'clock at early dawn of Sunday, October 8, 1944, shouts of pain, sounds of boxes forced open in many houses, many feet and unusual noises all around the town, put fear in all breasts. About 500 bolo men entered the town from all directions. Then, at five o'clock, several homes near and including the Municipal Building were on fire; torches were applied to all the houses on Santa Clara Street's southern side until the National Road Crossing. At about 5:45 a.m, all the bolo men left the town, leaving behind them 24 dwelling houses and 1 granary enveloped in flames, 9 men dead, 1 dying, and 1 gravely wounded who might have been saved if facilites for bringing him to a hospital could be had. All the eleven men — Mayor Severo Brillantes, two policemen, two ex-soldiers, two

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leaders of the neighborhood association called Ho-Ko, and four other law-abiding citizens — were all killed in cold blood for reasons un-understandable for all were friendly to just guerrilla movements; and they were buried in one continuous grave, excepting only the Mayor's corpse, which was separated.


(a) TAYUM, A BARRIO OF BANGUED - From January 1, 1904, until December 31, 1907, Tayum was a barrio of Bangued. To curb lawlessness, there was a system of patrolling and checking travelers at the streets from ten to five o'clock at night. When Don Pio Balmaceda y Belmonte was placed as the Teniente del Barrio Tayum, he organized the men so effectively that the town really became peaceful. Tayum was prepared to assume again independent status as a Municipality. Had Capitan Don Manuel Brillantes, who was candidate in 1905 for the post of Municipal President of Bangued, won over the elected President Don Santos Valera y Belmonte, the return of the independent status might have been either wasted or retarded. But his defeat proved to be a blessing, for the following election, Mr. Brillantes was elected president of the reestablished Municipality of Tayum.

(b) 1908. On an improvised high tower erected at the middle of the plaza of Tayum, these figures — 1906 — were written big enough to be read hundreds of yards away in order to impress and imprint its significance to the minds of the Tayumenians. It was a New Year's Day, when the new Presidente Municipal Don Manuel Brillantes and his councilors were sworn into office, and it was a New Year for Tayum was again a real municipality. There was much rejoicing and the day was spent in games and contests. Two of the most interesting contests were the Dressing contest that was won by Mr. Fracisco Brillantes, and the Cotton Wheel Spinning Contest that would have been won by Mrs. Julia Duca de Talape had she not been over anxious and broken her yarn so many times towards the end; but the winning woman spun without visible haste, broke her yarn only once, and finished her "puyod" (the cotton stick prepared for spinning) with a big margin. They were two psychological lessons Tayumenians should always remember.

(c) THE JAPANESE SOLDIERS in 1942. The Japanese soldier "Suga" and his cruel companions left an everlasting remembrance of the Japanese Occupation in the death of two old men who were fathers of guerrilla soldiers. Thay also rounded all who were trainees and soldiers, all those who fed the roaming bands of guerrillas [and] took them to town bound in ropes, and some were tied to their horses. Whole-piece bamboo poles were used as clubs to hit their prisoners. Others were given the water treatment. A man would be forced to drink a pitcher, two pitchers, if possible three pitchers of water. Then, he would be laid flat on the floor and pressed down. Water would come out through the mouth and nostrils, and leave the man in such a weakened condition that he would speak anything to please them, if he was not brave enough to own the truth or to evade. But no one died of the water treatment. That was in the month of March, 1842, but the people showing their courtesy to them, they finally decided to leave Tayum in May that year. Since then, no Japs garrisoned in Tayum.

(d) THE JAPS IN 1945. On the night of January 30, 1945, Japanese soldiers passed the night sleeping within the church of Tayum. Early the following morning, they swarmed through the roads going to Bucay and to Lagangilang. One of their scouts reached the top of Bantay Bunaken and from there, directed his companions. The foot of that mountain was alive with many

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evacuation huts of people from the Poblacion, but previously warned, the healthy and those strong enough to hide left their sick in the huts and fled. Others were fired upon by the soldiers while fleeing. In the huts were sick people, and in one hut was one just died of malaria, the soldiers did nothing to molest them; but all healthy women whom the Japs found or caught hiding in thickets or in holes were massacred. Many of those killed were found only two days after. And the whole barrio Ticker was reduced to ashes. At the cornfields north of the town there were old men killed also by them. A day of Massacre!

That was the climax of the atrocities of the Japanese soldiers in Tayum. They made raids almost every week since that day until Feb. 22 of that year, but they were bent only on collecting foodstuffs. Bangued was first bombed on March 10, 1945, and the Japanese cccupation soon came to a close. Since the arrival of the 15th Infantry USAFIP in February 1945 from Pidig, Ilocos Norte, to Lagangilang, Abra, the love of the civilians for the true soldierly manners of the newcomers hastened the day of liberation of Abra. At the end of April, many of what was left of the families which evacuated since October 9, 1944, returned to town, and at the latter half of May, the church began again to ring daily calling the faithful to Holy Mass.

it is now eight years (1953) since the cessation of war, but the lots left vacant by the fire of October 1944 are still empty. The high costs of building materials and the low rate of awards for losses of homes granted and given by the War Damage Commission to them, did not induce many owners to rebuild their homes. But of the homes already built on the sites, many show modern trends and lines. Examples of these are the homes of Mayor Marcos Garcia, Judge Felix M. Cariño, and the house that Rev. Fr. Filomeno Molina built for his sisters.



The Church of Tayum, completed in 1803, is an excellent specimen of Spanish architecture and masonry. Its solid strong walls that are of clay bricks, river stones, and lime mortar, are even harder than many new concrete buildings of these days. The facade is formed like a Spanish high altar with pillars perfectly round, although they were formed only of clay bricks. The altars are of solid masonry with perfect pillars and artistic plastering that are firm until this time. The acoustics inside are so good that prayers led from either end of the church — from the high altar or from the choir loft — can be distinctly heard throughout the building without the aid of amplifiers,

During the Spanish time, the church had galvanized iron roof only over the Sanctuary, that is one-third of the building; the rest of the roof was of bamboo "talakid" or cogon grass, which had to be repaired every year. When the Spanish priests left Tayum at the surrender of Manila to the Americans, the church roof began not to be repaired, and was therefore weakened very much that in October 1901, some hours after the procession of "NAVAL" in the night, the middle part of the roof collapsed, leaving the portion covered with galvanized iron and that portion over the choir loft clinging to the end walls. The statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was "miraculously" saved — so, the old people say. On a Sunday noon in 1905, the portion of the roof over the choir loft broke down and with it the spacious "coro," In the storm of October 1908, the part over the altars

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could not resist the strength of the winds, and it had to break down too, filling the church with debris. The altars were later covered with clinging grass and moss, but the artistic plastering at the niches remained intact to this day. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in the sacristy, and sometimes on the town- fiesta or "semana santa," the people of Tayum would put on a "balawbaw" (temporary shade) inside the walls of the church. Such was the state of the building when the Missionaries of the Society of the Divine Word were given the care of this parish, in April, 1911.

Father Luis Beckert, S.V.D., Father Superior of the Missionaries, and the first S.V.D. parish priest of Tayum, was not only strong and vigorous, but resourceful. Two native parish priests had already begun to collect 5-centavos per month donations from families in Tayum, but the sum of all their collections was very little to begin with. But the energetic Apo Luis visited all families, explained the need of putting on a strong roof to the town's big church, and, of course, all were willing to help as much as they could. He then appealed to Catholics in Germany and, through the Bishop to America, and in 1913, the whole church for the first time was covered with a roof of galvanized iron. In due course of the years, the rafters were attacked by "anay" and dampness, that as early as 1933, the need for a new roof was very necessary.

On February 3, 1937, Rev. Jose Stigler, S.V.D., the new parish priest, ordered one-third of the old roof — that portion from the main door to the side doors — broken down. The people of Tayum reacted under the courage and energy of the priest church builder. For two years, the work was pushed on despite all obstacles. Individual donations were given, free work was offered, drives for funds were held, and all people — except those who had grudges or were antagonistic to the church — helped. Differences, especially in political matters, that were very strong at the time, were all laid down when the roof, or a portion of it, was to go up. Rich and poor, men and women, helped to pull up the rafters or feed the workmen as in a "tagnawa" (community house building when workers are only fed but not paid for their day's work). At the end of the year 1938, the whole roof was finished — a monument to Brother Arnulph, S.V.D., the architect, and to Father Jose Stigler, S.V.D. the church builder. Father Stigler died on February 3, 1939, of heart failure on the very spot where he stood supervising the breaking of the old roof two years before, and the Brother died in Europe before the middle of that year.

Plastering of the eastern exterior walls was under the mason Rev. Guillermo Schlombs, S.V.D. With himself working and directing the masons and helping hands, the work was finished just before the Japanese occupation. By order of the bishop, he also got means to buy iron railings for all the windows. His knowledge of masonry prompted him to have the accumulated dirt scraped from the artistic etchings of the plasters of the altars. They are really works of patience and art to be preserved.

The baptistery font is a work of art in hard wood. The confessionals, the pulpit, the pews, were made in the carpentry shop of the S.V.D. in New Manila and bought by the parish organizations. The communion rails, the tabernacle safe, some of the glass windows, and many others were donations of American Catholics. The 150-year old Church of Tayum stands not only as a landmark, not only as the oldest building, but as a symbol of that Christianity that is the greatest and most important legacy left by Spain and which is the source of the present glory of our beloved P.I.

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The "torre" of Tayum was the tallest one in Abra before 1925. That year 1925, an additional story was added to the bell tower of Bangued, and Tayum’s Bell Tower is now slightly lower, until the top of this bell tower will be completed (?).

The oldest bell bears the years 1869 and 1876, and both were dedicated to the patron Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr, and both are now out of use because of their cracks. The year 1869 must have been the year when the bell tower was completed, for the grandmothers of the parents of this generation still helped carry sand to make it. The biggest bell was recasted by the Foundry of Hilario Sunico in 1876 when Rev. Antonino de la Cuesta of Dingras, Ilocos Norte, was the parish priest. Two of the original four bells are still hanging on the windows of the tower but are rung only at death knells or at alarms. The present peal of our bells pitched C-E-G-A (the first notes of the Salve Regina) were ordered from the foundry of Georges de Paccard in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, by Rev. Juan Lange, S.V.D. and paid by donations not only of Tayumenians at home but also of Tayumenians in Manila, Mindanao, Hawaii, and America, and donations of friends from other towns. They were blessed on September 10, 1950, by Mons. Santiago Sancho, D.D. (now Archbishop), and were rung for the first time from their place in the tower to announce the New Year 1951. Their melodious harmony now daily invites the people to pray and to attend the divine services in the Church.


The Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost are now living in what was the Parish Rectory from 1891 until May, 1912. It was a four-room house with its brick walls up to the roof. The brick walls are surrounded by a wooden verandah supported by pillars also made of bricks. The building was first begun by children of Capitan Raymundo Cariño, but acquired and remodeled into a parish house rectory by the Spanish Priests Rev. Inocencio de la Vega and Rev. Juan Lopez, after the buming of the old "convento" east and very near the church in March 1891 when Rev. Fr. Santiago Mercado, a Filipino, was the parish priest. The lot on which the building was built is bounded on all sides by streets.

The Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost (S.Sp.S.) arrived in Tayum in the first week of January, 1912, from Steyl, Holland. They were first housed in the newly built home of the late Don Marcos Alzate, where [they] began teaching children — the first pupils of what is now the Holy Ghost School — about the middle of February 1912. The parish priest, at that time, was already building a new "conventd" adjoining the sacristy. Then, the old convento was fixed to become the first building of the Holy Ghost School, the upper floor of which was to serve as the living rooms of the Holy Ghost Sisters who were to take charge of the school. The Sisters moved to occupy the building before the classes began in the middle of June 1912; and they have added to it a visiting hall, a chapel, and a kitchen, and the lot is enclosed with a wall of clay bricks. From this house of the congregation of the S.Sp.S. came sisters who opened the Holy Ghost College in Manila, the Catholic School in La Paz, in Bangued, and in many other parts where the Holy Ghost Sisters now teach.

(4) THE CATHOLIC RECTORY or "Convento"

The new convento of the Catholic Parich Priest was built only in 1911 by Rev. Fr. Luis Beckert, S.V.D. and occupied in June 1912. The floor was changed

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And the interior [was] reformed in 1951 under Rev. Fr. Juan Lange, S.V.D. The four walls are all of brick masonry from foundation to roof, but the divisions are of plywood.

This convento may be called "the cradle of the S.V.D. in the P.I." From 1911 to 1925, the monthly meetings and meditations in which all S.V.D. Fathers in Abra had to attend, were all held in this convento. And again, after the War of Liberation in 1945 until the convento of Bangued was ready to receive anew monthly the Missionaries from all the stations in Abra. Three Catholic Missionary Priests from far away Germany had their funerals within this convento, the first one was the composer Rev. Federico Bermel, S.V.D. who was drowned while crossing the river to his station, and the third was the church builder Rev. Jose Stigler, S.V.D. This convento bears witness to the great progress brought to Abra by the S.V.D. Missionaries, who not only preached and offered the holy sacrifice but also built schools in the big towns and in remote mountain villages near the boundaries of Abra province,


According to the census of 1938 that was published in 1939, the percentage of literate persons from 10 years of age and above, was 51.8%; higher than that of Abra by 6.4% and higher than that of the Philippines by 3.0%. This section will explain the cause of the high percentage.


In 1906, Rev. Mariano Corpus of Dingras, Ilocos Norte, opened a Catholic School in one base room of his rectory — what now is the Sisters' Convent. He himself was the only teacher, and he taught what in the old Philippine Curriculum during the last part of the Spanish Regime was "1ra y 2da Enseñanza." The school had to be closed when he left in 1908.

The HOLY GHOST SCHOOL was founded in February 1912. It is the pioneer of all Catholic schools in Abra. It is also the pioneer of great institutions as the Holy Ghost College under the Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost in Manila, as well as the colleges under the Fathers of the Society of the Divine Word. The ground floor of the house of Don Marcos Alzate, the building now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Josefina A. Buenafe, was the school room until the rooms of what is now the Sisters' Convent, known locally as the "Colegio," were ready in the latter half of 1912. In 1913, the Primary Course offered by the Holy Ghost School was "recognized by the Government," and in 1916, the recognition included the Intermediate Grade. It was the first school offering the intermediate grades general course outside of Bangued. In 1945, immediately after "liberafion," the high school academic course was added. Besides the ground floor of the "Colegio," the school conducts the classes in the main building, which was in use since 1926, and in the sacristy and the ground floor of the Parish Rectory. The main building of the HGS was first used during the Normal Institute of Private Schools in Northern Luzon under supervisor Mr. Santiago Cardenas, the senior, in April and May, 1926. The standard of education from either the elementary Department and the Secondary Department can best be gauged by the number of professionals as priests, teachers, nurses, lawyers, engineers, high-ranking soldiers, and the honor students in higher schools from the alumni of the Holy Ghost School. The opening of the secondary course in this school is the cause of the influx of pupils in barrio schools.


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Tayum, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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