The Family Man

“Karetela” (circa 1900)

The road and the bridge were still freshly built when Nicanor married Petra Evangelista, his classmate in school. It was January, 1914. Their wedding sponsor was his uncle and councilor Casimiro. It was the first time a horse-driven carriage “Karetela” was used from Inicbulan to Bauan for the church wedding.

Golden Wedding Anniversary
Golden Wedding Anniversary

After the wedding, the bride and groom settled in Inicbulan. Nicanor promised his wife that their first son would be raised to be a lawyer. Their wish came true. Their first born was a boy and was named Eliodoro, who became a lawyer, a fiscal in Manila and eventually a judge of the Court of First Instance. He would have risen higher in his career if he did not resign to settle in America following the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. The other children are Nemesio, Pilar, Esteban and Ismael.

Nemesio, Esteban and Pilar (2005)

Nemesio became a mechanical engineer and the manager of a pump manufacturing company. (He eventually became the president and part owner of another pump company before he retired from work). Pilar became a school teacher and retired as Nemesio, Esteban and Pilar 2005 picture “Karetela” circa 1900 6 of 18 principal of Inicbulan elementary and high schools. Esteban became a medical doctor and director of Brent Hospital in Zamboanga. (He later became the president of the Zamboanga Medical Society, then councilor for western Mindanao district, then vice-president of the PMA.) The youngest son Ismael became a mechanical engineer and was quickly climbing the ladder of the corporate world when he had an accident and died at the young age of 30.

Petra, Nemesio, Nicanor and Eliodoro (1922)

Eliodoro was born on November 21, 1915 during a stormy day. The typhoon was so strong that the school building was completely destroyed. Nicanor considered this catastrophe not as a setback but as an opportunity to build a better school building. There was a law at the time that any school built on a lot one hectare or bigger will be furnished by the government with a “Gabaldon-type” structure. So Nicanor approached the people of the three barrios of Inicbulan, Rizal and Durungao for contributions to buy a hectare piece of land between Inicbulan and Rizal (where the present school now stands. Nicanor added Durungao to his domain because many children there were enrolled in the school). The people responded well and the land was bought. The sad part was the government reneged on the promise to build the school.

That did not dampen Nicanor’s spirit. He again rallied the people to help him build the school from their own pockets and with their own hands. They did so and the school building with three classrooms was finished in no time.

More students started enrolling and some were coming from other distant barrios. It was too overwhelming for Nicanor so he asked for teaching help. He was given Melecio M. Ilagan who became the second teacher of the school. (Melecio eventually married Nicanor’s younger sister Maria.) Melecio did not teach very long. He went to Manila to pursue his education and he stayed with Don. Teodoro R. Yangco. He was also working at the U.P. College of Medicine while getting his education. Venancio Ilagan replaced Melecio as teacher to help Nicanor but a few years later he died. Two more teachers from Bauan were sent to help Nicanor – Isabel Macarandang and Anatolia Castillo. (Anatolia became the wife of Demetrio Ilagan, younger brother of Melecio. Their children were: Teodoro who became the barrio captain, Teodorica Petra, Nemesio, Nicanor and Eliodoro 1922 7 of 18 I. Evangelista was a high school teacher and wife of another teacher and sport’s coach Paterio Evangelista, Teodora an engineer, and Eustaquio the architect and a colonel in the army who married Erlinda Magalong-Ilagan also an architect. These two architects would later design the school building which was built in 1957.)