The Boy Teacher

After the surrender of General Malvar, the Americans built a national school in Bauan. The first teachers were American soldiers. Soon, professional teachers arrived from the states on board the SS Thomas thus they were called The Thomasites. Nicanor was one of the first pupils in that school together with Petra Evangelista, his future wife. They were the first two from the barrios while most of the students were from the main town of Bauan including Maynardo Farol and Simeon Ilagan. In 1907, after only six years of schooling, and because of his high grades, Nicanor was offered to teach in the barrios of Rizal and Inicbulan.

American soldiers firing at the Filipino insurgents

At age 17, Nicanor became a teacher. Since they had no school buildings in the barrios, he built the first school building with the help of a few men on his father’s property somewhere between Inicbulan and Rizal. The building looked like a Nipa hut and the floor was the bare ground, but all in all it was not bad.

He campaigned for the parents to send their children to the school. He was courteous and respectful and the people respected him in return. Soon the enrolment grew. His students hailed not only from Inicbulan and Rizal but also from the adjacent barrios of Durungao, Putol and Calumpang. Most of the students were older than him since he was only 17 years old.

Inicbulan School 1918

For several years, he taught from first to fourth grades. He taught writing, reading, arithmetic, good manners and right conduct, spelling, music, industrial works and gardening. To teach well, he had to expand his knowledge. He would ride his beautiful moro horse to town every Saturday. There he attended the Normal School in Bauan and read many books on various subjects. During summer vacations, he would enroll in Philippine Normal School in Manila to complete his teaching American soldiers firing at the Filipino insurgents Inicbulan School 1918 5 of 18 credentials. To teach music, he studied how to play the guitar and other musical instruments from others who knew how. In a few years his music students formed a string band that would be invited to play in other barrios during special occasions.

Nicanor took every opportunity to improve the lives of the people of Inicbulan and Rizal. In 1913 when Hegino Marasigan was elected municipal president (mayor) of Bauan, his uncle Casimiro Generoso was also elected as councilor. Nicanor was still a teacher but accepted to work as a part-time secretary to his uncle. As a team, they were able to appropriate funds to widen the road to Inicbulan and to build the Tabok bridge on the way to the barrio.