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The Nueva Ecija South High School (NESHS) - A Short History

Excerpted from "Our Beloved Gapan - An Open Letter"
Author: Efren Pascual, NESHS '58 Alumnus
Publication: NESHS '58 1998 Reunion Commemorative Magazine, May 1998

During the Japanese occupation in the years 1942-1945, the town lost its high school. The following year, 1946, the parents and teachers of Gapan -- intent on having a high school for their children -- successfully arranged to have the three-story house of Mr. Donato Yuson be used as the school. The Japanese soldiers under Col. Ohta also used this house as a garrison. (Thus the origin of how the building became known as OHTA). The husband and wife team of Manuel and Luz M. Garcia opened the school in February 1946, with Manuel Garcia acting as the principal. At the opening of the next school year, 1947-1948, classes were moved to the Maharlika or National Road. The project of moving the school was facilitated by the then Mayor Dioscoro M. de Leon.

Present day NESHS (circa 1998) .

 The Department of Education required a land area of no less that 10 hectares in order for a school to qualify as a municipal or provincial high school. The ten hectares of rice fields belonged to different owners; Daniel and Damaso Cunanan, 14,229 and 1,577 square meters; Jose Yamsuan, 16,313 square meters; Basilisa Jacinto, 8,784 and 2,604 square meters and Mercedes Garcia, 6,518 square meters. The landowners all agreed to have their land replaced by other rice fields in another town. The land exchanged totaled 49,425 square meters only. To complete the needed 10 hectares, the adjacent land inherited by Queteria L. Ortiz from Donata Linsangan had to be purchased. Ten thousand pesos were needed to purchase the land. Through the assistance of then Mayor Joaquin Valmonte and the Parents Teachers Association, the supplemental amount was raised.

The school opened as the Gapan Municipal High School in 1946. In 1952 the school was classified as a provincial high school and was named Nueva Ecija South High School. It was during this time that we were students at the school.

Inside the NESHS compound: Front view of school's stage. [Click pic for full size]

During the term of Senator Juan R. Liwag (a native of Gapan), with the latter’s patronage, the school was converted to a national high school. Its’ name was then changed to
Gapan National High School. After Senator Liwag's death, the school was named in his honor and is now known as Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School.

During our high school days (1954-1958), there were only five structures in the school compound: the main Academic school building, the Vocational building, the Home Economics building, and the separate restrooms for male and female students. All these structures are no longer in existence and have been replaced by new buildings that are constructed closer to the national highway. The enrollment rose from 1,000 students in 1958 to more than 5,000 in the 1997 school year. The calesas (horse drawn carriage) have been replaced by motor driven tricycles. The wooden Lambingan (Lovers) Bridge, where my classmates and I chased each other coming from school, is now a concrete bridge.

The "Lambingan Bridge" (circa 1998). [Click pic for full size]

Our school’s structures and name may have changed, but for us, the alumni of NESHS Class of 1958, the memories and values that our alma mater has instilled in our hearts shall remain. We will forever be grateful for what the church; the community and most specially the school have contributed to make us who we are today.


(Below) N.E.S.H.S. Gate (02/18/2007)


(Below) Gapan City's New Municipio (02/18/2007) - Situated a short distance from NESHS, on the opposite side of the highway.


(Below) Gapan's New Shopping Mall (02/18/2007) - Situated a short distance from NESHS, on the opposite side of the highway.


(Below) "WELCOME TO GAPAN" Sign - Bucana (02/18/2007) - There is an ongoing road construction in the stretch of the road entering Gapan. The traffic in this area is a mess.

 Last modified: 11/19/08