San Pablo benefactor faceless no moreBy Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
SAN PABLO CITY—Prudencia D. Fule, known in local history for her kindness and generosity, is no longer faceless.
After Fule’s story appeared in Inquirer (San Pablo City’s faceless benefactor, June 21), one of her US-based relatives, Ms. Jen Fule, sent a faded photo of the old woman to a former classmate who is now a teacher at the Prudencia D. Fule Memorial National High School (PDFMNHS) in Barangay San Nicolas, San Pablo City.
According to Donny Aris Malvar, another teacher at PDFMNHS, Fule’s relatives in New York had read in the Internet the article on the school search for the photo of Fule so that a monument can be built in her honor.
Malvar recounted how Ms. Jen sent the photo via the Facebook account of her former classmate. The photo shows Fule, popularly known as “Nanay Udeng”, standing on the concrete stairs of her century-old house.
He said school principal Antonia Villanueva is making copies of the picture to be sent to graduates to solicit help in building a memorial for Fule.
The school community would next rehabilitate and restore the house that has drawn attention because of its dilapidated state.
Malvar said the community has been seeking help to preserve the house but failed to draw the interest of local or national officials.
He expressed hope that with the attention the antique house is now getting, the National Historical Institute would declare it as a national landmark and allot funds for its restoration.
The Spanish-era house is the local government’s only public memorial to a woman who, in the 1930s, allowed the use of her house and the rest of her 3,000-square-meter property as an educational facility for young residents of San Pablo, which was then a bustling town.
Local historians said the house was once a refuge of revolutionary hero Gen. Miguel Malvar who was hunted by American forces during the US pacification campaign at the turn of the 20th century.
The local government decided to use her house and lot for a public school.
In early 2000, the house was converted into a three-classroom school and became an extension of the city high school. Two years ago, classes inside the dilapidated structure stopped for safety reasons and after the school population rose to over 700.
“Wonders truly never cease indeed,” said Malvar, expressing optimism that the face of the woman who helped thousands of poor students in San Pablo City will not remain hidden anymore.