3. Education and Acculturation

Formal education through school in Buguias started during the times of the American. In “The History of Buguias” by Mr. Pedro Bestre mentioned: “as the road construction was going on under the supervision of lowlanders, Schools were also being built by the Americans”. The first primary school was built in Central Buguias. Another was set up in Loo. As these schools offered instructions only from Grade I to Grade IV, students who wished to finish Grades V to VI took these in Kabayan.

By 1921, the Buguias Central Elementary School had a complete elementary education from Grades I to VII; by 1924, Loo elementary School followed suit. To popularize the American public education system, leaders of the other barrios were advised by the Americans to build additional schools. Moreover, all parents were asked to bring their children to school. Barrio leaders (barrio lieutenant) and the local police tracked down children who refused to attend classes.

The attitude of the people towards formal education during the American colonialism was generally not appreciative. Some parents sent only their sons to school and kept the daughters to help in the kaingin in the belief that it would be useless for girls to study. Others chose to evacuate to the forests to avoid sending their children to school. On these accounts, most of the children who first attended elementary education were the children of the native leaders and the “Babaknangs” or rich and landed. Some of them later on served the government either as Municipal officials or teachers, like Basilio Tumpap, Sr. and Ben Almora. Other than the American initiative in educating the natives of Buguias, Belgian missionaries also came to the area starting 1922.

Among the non-traditional events and practices introduced in the community are celebration of days of Patron Saint, Fiestas, recreation and sports like card games, gambling, holidays like New Year, Christmas and Labor Day.