BAGUIO CITY (Mar. 27) — With its beginning pinned on April 06, 1908 when 150 American teachers arrived on the ship Thomas and pitched their tents in Orengao (its original name), the Teachers Camp is now undergoing preservation and renovation work-up.
Caretakers of the Camp hope this reconstruction project will conclude in time for its Centennial celebration slated for a soft-opening ceremony on April 6 where they hope to have President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as guest of honor.
Department of Education (Dep Ed) officials are preparing the soft opening to jump-start the month-long centennial celebration of the now Baguio Teachers Camp (BTC).
On the President’s suggestion on learning that DepEd plans to make Teachers Camp an “income-generating and self-sustaining” entity, the DepEd will keep the rental rates competitive”.
Earlier over her Holy week visit to the City, the President was given a tour of the camp accompanied by Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan , Mayor Reynaldo Bautista, and Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, who gave a power-point briefing at the 53-year-old Abada Hall on the project, said that the “new” Teachers Camp would be “an ideal training and vacation haven for educators, students, government employees, and the public.”
Dubbed by DepEd as “Our Home in the Clouds,” the facility will have “well-equipped training and conference venues in a mountain garden setting and cool ambiance that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.”
When informed that sometimes the Camp cannot accommodate the usual large student groups attending DepEd seminars, the President urged DepEd officials to provide facilities like that of old Teachers Camp lodging origins when students pitched tents for the night, something that she said young students would love to experience.
The Camp facilities include the Benitez Hall, the Superintendent’s Quarters, and one of the 29 cottages within the camp – the Newton Gilbert Cottage named in honor of the Secretary of Public Instruction (March 1, 1909 – November 30, 1913).
Undergoing preservation are the “heritage structures” that includes the Roxas Hall (1937) which was used by pre-war cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The make-over project is a hundred million pesos.
The Teachers Camp grand centennial celebration will be held on May 10, the end of the first Teachers Vacation Assembly held by the Thomasites (from the ship Thomas), the first American teachers who instructed Filipinos in the English language and on American culture.# via NORDIS with PIA reports