Book on Malaybalay’s history launched

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 23 August) – Bukidnon State University social science professor Remedios G. Barreto has published her book on Malaybalay’s history in time for the celebration of the history month in the university.

BSU launched Barreto’s book today in a formal program, attended mostly by students at the university auditorium.

In an interview, the author described the book as an ethno-historical account of the story of Malaybalay with focus on how education influenced its development and modernity.

“It is documentation on how the Bukidnons and the migrants used formal education in developing Malaybalay,” she said.

Barreto explained in the preface of the 209-page book that writing it, which was part of her dissertation, is an attempt to contribute to the knowledge on how different groups, particularly that of the Bukidnons and the migrants, coped with challenges of development and modernization.

Knowledge on the use formal education to develop Malaybalay, she said, may help local education officials make schooling more responsive to the educational needs of people who experience modernization.

The book covers accounts on the peopling and politicization of Malaybalay. It dedicates a chapter on the natives, the Bukidnons, and their role in the development of Malaybalay. Among the clans who figured in the book include the Melendezes, Reciñas and the Damascos.

The chapter documented the story of the natives and their struggle with conquerors, as well as those of the “marginalized” Bukidnons.

Barreto, herself born in the city but to migrant parents from Ilocos, wrote a chapter on the coming of the migrants, including the migrant families who made it big in the city.

She wrote extensively on the education of the Bukidnons and the migrants focusing on the educators in the community.

In the last of the eight chapters, Barreto wrote about the frontier schools – Bukidnon State University, Bukidnon National High School, and the church-run San Isidro College. She described these schools as “partners in development.”

Retired Judge Jesus Barroso, one of the senior citizens invited in the book launch, hailed the publication of the book. He has recommended it as a subject in high school so students will know and take pride of the city and its people.

Jaime Gellor, former president of both the BSU and the Central Mindanao University, said there have been a lot of accounts about Malaybalay’s history but there has been a dearth of published works on them.

“Only Dr. Barreto was able to write it down in a book,” he added.

Guillermo Tabios, guest speaker during the launching, encouraged those present to read a book on Malaybalay’s history.

Tabios, a retired assemblyman and businessman, announced that he, too, is writing a book on untold stories of World War II in Bukidnon and the pre-war and post-war Malaybalay.

He admitted that it was difficult for him to proceed with the lack of references.

“All the old people (who could tell the story), they are all gone,” he lamented.

Barreto, who has taught for 40 years, 32 of which in college education, said that since she was young she was fascinated with the stories of the old rustic Malaybalay. She said she grew up in a Malaybalay that was serene and peaceful.

“But development and modernity are inevitable. Soon Malaybalay embraced change,” she said, adding that Malaybalay has kept its unique aura as a city any resident would love with its scenic views and hospitable people.

The book sells for P400. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)