In the year 1970, Laoag Primary School as it was called that time, only Grade 1 was offered with Mrs. Basilisa Flauta as the very first teacher, with the newly-built Marcos Type Building. The following year, that was 1971, she taught combined Grade 1and Grade 2. Mdm. Flauta goes daily to Laoag Primary School by walking and then somebody will fetch her in the riverbank by a boat. There was no tricycle and no electricity that time.

1972 came and classes were not held anymore and totally were dissolved due to the fact that children’s population became very few. Family planning was so effective that time. So incoming Grade 3 pupils had to spend their grade school in Maloma Community School, but not all of them had the chance to continue their education in the community because of the hardship in the situation, otherwise, many of them were left elementary undergraduate. As per stories from the oldies, the vacated classroom building was used by the communists in holding their meetings, until it became totally rotten, derelict and dilapidated. In the year 1987, Ms. Marlyn Abiva, a native of Sitio Laoag, was then teaching in Arew Elementary School, Cabangan District. She requested a transfer from Cabangan to San Felipe. Dr. Norma Castillo was the Public Schools District Supervisor of San Felipe that time. With the privilege to be granted with her request, Ms. Abiva recommended for the opening of the Laoag Primary School. Dr. Castillo directed her to con- duct a feasibility study or survey if she could get in at least 15 pupils for its reopening. Luckily, she got seventeen (17) Grade entrants. After series of communications and appeal to the Schools Division Office, an approval was set down.

Reopening the school was not the easy. Considering the physical condition of the Marcos Type Building, which was left awful for how many years, with too many holes as if when it rains outside, it also rains inside. That was the big challenge. But Ms. Abiva had the very tight perseverance and endeavor for the reopening of the school. She sought for the help of the Municipal Government for the immediate repair of the building. With that situation, the Local Chief Executive assigned Councilor Jose Garcia, Sr. to manage it. During that time, Maloma Community was undergoing repair, so the waste materials like corrugated galvanized iron sheets were transferred to Laoag Primary School to replace the Marcos Type Building’s roofing. She organized a Parents Teachers Association whom she worked hand in hand with and the work or re- pair started at once, with the collaboration and cooperation of the people of Laoag. Ms. Abiva alone managed the acquisition of materials, even the old and used ones from the District Office, like books, black- boards, instructional aids and other necessities. After all the preparations, classes started in June, SY 1987-1988, with Ms. Abiva as the lone teacher.

SY 1988-1989 offered combination classes for Grades 1 and 2. Though teaching a combination class was not that easy, Ms. Abiva made it successful. SY 1989-1990 came and a new teacher in the person of Mrs. Virgie De Jesus Costales was assigned in Laoag Primary School and handled combination of Grade 1 and 2 classes, and Mrs. Marlyn Abiva Donato for Grade 3. The following school year, both handled combination classes for Grades 1 and 2 and Grades 3 and 4, respectively.

It was 1990 when the DECS repaired and remodeled the school. They put a wooden window and a ceiling. The teachers were able to solicit for school projects like pump, incinerator, and restroom. They put the restroom closer to the wall so that the children do not need to use umbrella, anymore when it’s raining. They put an opening into the classroom, so that all grades may use the restroom. The PTA did great jobs and help for the progress and development of the school.

The teaching and learning process that time was so pleasant and effective. Children were very responsible and they do their assignments first in school before they go home. The fast learners tutored the slow learners so they could help one another. The teachers used to feed the children once a month with their own expenses. The profit of raised from the school canteen was utilized to pay the monthly electric bill. The PTA also built a bamboo fence, sink and playground. The teachers and the PTA worked happily together.

To name a few PTA members during that time, they had Mr. Ernesto Castillo, the President, leading all the works and to finish all the school projects, Mr. Federico Alvez, Mr. Pancho Roxas, Mr. Flordilito Tuyo, Mr. Rufino dela Cruz, Mr. Eduardo Torio, Mr. Nilo and Ms. Feliza Alvez, Mr. Simeon Abiva, Ms. Margarita Verginom, and many more. The pioneer pupils were Jennifer Torio, Ramil de la Cruz, Hector Roxas, Anit Abiva, and some more.

It was renamed as Laoag Elementary School in SY 1992-1993 for it offered Grades 1 to 6 already, with new teachers coming in. The very first graduation happened in March 1993. Numerous teachers and school- heads came in and out who contributed series of development and improvement in Laoag Elementary School. New school buildings were built, stage and canteen were constructed until it came as how it is today, and the grade offerings which are Kindergarten to Grade 6 remain. Though some grades are still combined, that’s because the enrolment could not warrant or justify for additional teachers.

Presently, there are 6 nationally-funded teachers, composed of Mrs. Avigail A. Tiana – Master Teacher 1, Lenalyn A. Sahagun – Teacher 2, Lorina A. Alcasid – Teacher 2, Glenda A. Abiva – Teacher 2, Darwin A. Fallorina – Teacher 1, Maria Shella H. Gallentes – Teacher 1 headed by Mrs. Whea D. Dayap – Principal 2 and Dr. Samson G. Cava – Public Schools District Supervisor. An MOOE-funded Security Guard has been hired since January 2014 in the person of Mr. Reynaldo T. Alviz.

There are 98 Kindergarten to Grade 6 pupils. Despite the 100% Participation Rate, low enrolment is the effect of the community’s support to Family Planning. The school sustains its programs through the funds and support system being endowed by the Department of Education, Local Government Unit and Private Donors.

Prepared and authored by: WHEA D. DAYAP, Principal II January 15, 2017