A PART OF ST. JAMES WAS BURNED TO ASHES BUT ITS TRUE GEM WILL SHINE FOREVER
St. James High School is burning! This was the shocking message conveyed by the loud and crazy ringing of the school bell at about 8:30 pm on 2nd June 2012, a dark and foggy night in the midst of Typhoon Ambo that has brought heavy rains over the eastern parts of Luzon. People heard the bell and ran to the school where a ball of fire has already enveloped a wing of the L-shaped main building.
St. James’ main building was burned! This structure, housing the administration office and faculty lounge, convention hall, classrooms, kitchen, workshop and canteen, was totally turned into ashes. Gone were those walls, halls and corners on which were etched hundreds of thousands of memories dearly treasured by faculty, students, parents and administrators who have roamed the place for the past 99 years. Despite the typhoon, there were no rains that particular hour and the sky has cleared. But the faces of the multitude which have gathered on the ground were drenched with tears as they stood helpless amidst the raging inferno.
Mr. Norman Tamulong, SJHS teacher-in-charge who resides in a cottage about 200 meters away from the building, recalled that he heard furious dog barking outside at a little past 8 pm. As was his practice, he went outside to inspect and noticed something seemingly flickering inside the canteen on the first floor of the main building. Peering from a window, he saw fire creeping at a corner but the door was locked and nobody was inside. Thinking he can put off the flame, he rushed back home to get his key but when he returned the fire was already on the wall. He ran to the school bell to announce the incident and then rushed to the administration office on the second floor where he opened the files and got the student records from the early 80s up to the latest graduate and brought them out. By the time he went back he could no longer enter the office as fire was eating up the entire L-wing. People started coming but a wall of fire has blocked entry to the office and faculty lounge which contained historical documents, student records and class graduation pictures displayed on the walls. While the fire raged to the other parts of the building, people arrived from the barangays of Kin-iway, Payeo, Padangaan, Besao East and West and as far as Soquib and Banguitan on the eastern side of the municipality and Agawa and Lacmaan on the west. They formed long lines from water sources and did a relay of pailed water with the objective of saving the other building located above the burning one. Aided by a firetruck from nearby Sagada municipality, they were able to keep this building intact.
|1)||Episcopal Diocese of|
|2616 Bontoc, Mountain Province|
|telefax (074) 602-1026|
|2)||Episcopal Church in the|
|| Philipines - National Office|
|1112 E. Rodriguez, Quezon City|
| (02) 722-8510 & 722-8512|
|3)||Saint James High School|
|2618 Kin-iway, Besao|
|Philippine National Bank|
|Branch Code # 1650|
|Saint James School|
|Savings Account Number|