A Historical Perspective
The Immaculate Conception: Pasig Catholic College’s Patron Saint
The Immaculate Conception, the Beloved Mother and Special Protector, is PCC’s patron saint. The Spanish Missionaries placed the whole country under her special protection by making her the country’s patron saint. During the 1760’s, Pasig was one of the few immediate areas that saw the presence of the Spaniards. Settlements were built around the church, a familiar structure and one of the living pillars of the Hispanic era. Soon, priests were seen outside of the pulpit, gathering people, children and old folks alike, preaching and educating them on the values and virtues of Christianity. For these reasons, Pasig Catholic College presently a Diocesan College of Pasig, for long has adopted the Immaculate Conception as its patroness. Mary’s hidden life, an eloquent testimony of deep faith, purity, courage, wisdom and obedience to the Father’s Will is what the College has always wished for her students and employees to emulate.
The De Brower Legacy: PCC’s Early Years
Out of the desire and determination of the Belgian CICM Missionaries to build a Catholic school for teaching children the love of God while passing on the cultural heritage and tradition of the people, Pasig Catholic College was founded by Rev. Fr. Pierre Cornelis de Brouwer, CICM in 1913. It was known as “Escuela Catolica” during the early 1900’s.
In 1916, during the time of Rev. Fr. Paul Hubaux, CICM, the American government recognized the primary school. In 1920, under the administration of Rev. Fr. Godfried Aldenhuijsen, CICM, intermediate levels got approval for operations. As the population grew in 1931, Rev. Victor De Klerck, CICM saw the urgency of constructing what would be the school’s first building, Bahay Paaralan, composed of eight classrooms built in the Church patio. In 1939-41, the Urbano Building was constructed under the administration of Rev. Fr. Urbain (Urbano) Timmermans, CICM.
Pasig Catholic College was originally incorporated in accordance with Philippine Laws on 24 August 1915. After World War II, the Articles of Incorporation were duly reconstituted on 12 August 1948 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The transcript of these Amended Articles of Incorporation was issued on 03 February 1949.
Rev. Tjolle’s Arrival in 1951
The arrival of Rev. Fr. Roger Bruno Eduard Tjolle, CICM, from Washington D.C. in 1951 opened a new chapter for the school, now known as Pasig Catholic College, as secondary and tertiary levels were duly recognized. In the process, Rev. Fr. Tjolle introduced the American label of education to the Philippines through Pasig Catholic College.
Several infrastructure changes were seen during the administration of Rev. Fr. Josef (Joseph) Van den Daelen, CICM from 1957 to 1962. In 1965, he appointed lay Filipino Administrators to key positions in the academic levels of the school. Rev. Fr. Karel Ooteghem, Rev. Fr. Paul de Bevere and Rev. Fr. Lambert Smits (all CICM priests too), became PCC’s school directors eventually during the mid-60s to the early 70s.
From Belgian to Filipino Directors
Founded by CICM, PCC moved towards Filipinization in 1973, with Msgr. Gaudencio B. Rosales as School Director under MAPSA administration (1973-1979), Msgr. Manuel Sobreviñas as School Director (1979-1993), followed by Msgr. Emmanuel V. Sunga (1993-1997), Msgr. Manuel G. Gabriel (1997-2003), Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos (2004-2015), Rev. Fr. Orlindo F. Ordoña (2015-2021) and Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara (2021-present).
First Filipino Director: Msgr. Gaudencio B. Rosales
Before he became an iconic figure of the “Pondo ng Pinoy” advocacy, Msgr. Rosales was appointed PCC School Director under the Archdiocese of Manila from 1973 to 1976. He said that since PCCians are given quality Catholic education corresponding to their proper destiny and suited to their talents, cultural background and ancestral heritage, he is sure that they will attain with personal industry whatever success they have to grasp here on earth and be gifted with Life that is Eternity.
Msgr. Sobreviñas’ Charism
Msgr. Manuel Sobreviñas’ initiator and charismatic leadership strengthened the school’s culture of service and volunteerism. Msgr. Sobreviñas, who later became a bishop, was then concurrently the Superintendent of the Manila Archdiocesan Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA). This assignment put him at the forefront of MAPSA’s organizational development.
A Wave of Changes Under Msgr. Sunga’s Leadership
Msgr. Emmanuel Sunga’s leadership, together with Assistant Director, Rev. Alfredo M. Ramos, brought about much-needed developments in the school. In 1994, a five-story Administration Building, the present Msgr. Suñga Building was constructed and this housed the high school and college classrooms as well as the administrative offices. Then, a new school canteen followed, constructed in front of the high school building. The following year, the co-educational program was gradually introduced in the College.
In the Fullness of Time with Msgr. Gabriel
In 1997, Msgr. Manuel G. Gabriel’s leadership ushered major changes and developments for the school. Such were carried out through a process-oriented, principle-based participatory management approach to organizational development. Msgr. Gabriel’s unwavering commitment to making PCC the nerve center of MAPSA in terms of educational excellence and social commitment served as one of the major sources of the school’s driving force towards instituting changes essential to animating its thrusts. During this time, the school’s vision, mission and goals were reviewed and revised. The Research and Development Center (RDC) was then created and recognized as an important thrust of PCC being a tertiary institution. The Christian Formation Office, which was known earlier as the Center for Integral Evangelization (CIE) was also created.
It was under his leadership that the very first accreditation from PAASCU was conducted to PCC. In 1998 that the Grade School and High School departments were granted “Candidate Status” or Level I accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). Both departments underwent a Formal Visit in 2001. A satisfactory rating on the said visit elevated the two departments to “Member Status” or Level II.
In 2001, the School of Graduate Studies was established. The Caregiver Program of the College Department was given recognition by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 2003. The following year (2004), the Technical-Vocational Skills Development Office was created to take charge of the Caregiver’s Program and to develop other special programs for the college department.
From Parochial to Diocesan: The Stewardship of His Excellency, Bishop San Diego
In 2003, the Diocese of Pasig was formally recognized in Vatican, Rome and its Founding Bishop was Francisco C. San Diego, D.D. The bishop was also the Chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees.
PAASCU and PACUCOA Accreditation
The Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) granted both the Grade School and High School Departments Level III Re-Accredited Status in July 2018 (valid for 5 years).
The College Department’s BS Education and Business Administration programs are now also under Level II Accreditation from PAASCU last 2018.
The School of Graduate Studies’ Master of Arts in Education, Major in Educational Management has also gone through a first Formal Visit by PACUCOA and was granted Level I Status also last 2018.
PCC as a “Little Acre of Grace”: Msgr. Santos’ Legacy as College President
In January 2004, Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, then MAPSA President and Superintendent and the Director of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in the National Capital Region (NCR), took over as College President. Msgr. Gerry continued the work of infusing dynamism and excellence in all areas and levels of college operation. More importantly, he has worked towards integration of values into the curriculum, instruction and into the lives of the community members.
Msgr. Santos introduced PCC’s attributive phrase, “little acre of grace” during this time. He also spearheaded the identification of the school’s core values and their indicators vis-à-vis the school’s vision, mission and goals that continue to guide PCC. The College’s core values are: 1) Christian discipleship, 2) respect for human dignity, 3) preferential option for the poor, 4) excellence, 5) responsible stewardship, and 6) commitment to the building of the local Church.
The enthusiasm for instructional and management innovation has inspired Msgr. Santos to charter new directions in curricular offerings; introduce technology in instructions; strengthen the college integral formation program; establish vital school partnership and linkages and establish compensation package for school personnel, while at the same time, directing the construction of a new PCC Centennial Building.
He was also bent on continuously realizing the school’s thrust of forming students and the whole community into “Persons of Character and Competence” (the school credo). He continued to instill among the stakeholders the challenge of PCC’s motto: “Nobility Obligates (Noblesse Oblige).”
Pasig Catholic College with Bishop Vergara: A Centennial Institution
With the installation of Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D., as the new Bishop of Pasig and Chairman of the PCC Board of Trustees, PCC once again rededicated its services to the Church for the purpose of strengthening the formation of its learners and its personnel. These years saw the College’ serious involvement in ecological issues and with enthusiasm.
Bp. Vergara was also the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) from 2005-2013, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (2013-2019) and Member of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People of the CBCP (2013-2019). He is a current member of the Pension Plan Committee of the CBCP, current member of the Office of the Protection of Minors of the CBCP, current member of the Budget and Finance Office of the CBCP, current member of the Permanent Council of the CBCP and the Chairman of the Office of Clergy of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC).
He has also made two Pastoral Visits to the academic institution, in 2013 and 2020. Bp. Vergara has also introduced formation programs not just for PCC but for all the 11 member-schools of the Pasig Diocesan Schools System (PaDSS).
In the year 2017, Most Reverent Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D. and the clergy of the Diocese of Pasig decided to have four pastoral priorities for the diocese. The pastoral priorities are: (1) Basic Ecclesial Communities, (2) Deepening of Faith Formation, (3) Responsible Stewardship, and (4) Social Services. The following priorities serve as a guide of all the activities of the diocese, which in the end will make us closer to the Lord Almighty.
Basic Ecclesial Communities
In the Diocese of Pasig, the building of the basic ecclesial community is being pushed to be implemented in the different parishes. However, what is expected from the BECs in Pasig is their active participation not only in liturgical or doctrinal activities, but rather, include social and political activities as well. In addition, more active participation of the Catholic community in the building of BECs which will strengthen the culture of “kapitbahayan.” Building BECs is also a key to strengthening vocation. “When BECs exist, vocation becomes stronger.”
There are concrete actions for the further deepening of faith formation in the Diocese of Pasig. First, there is an annual gathering of the lay people which focuses on the themes prepared by the CBCP for the preparation for the 500th year Anniversary of Christianity in the country. Second, there are recollections which are presided by the Bishop during the Advent and the Lenten Seasons. Third, there are activities about formation in the vicariate and parish levels.
Responsible stewardship is focused on love for the Church in the Diocese of Pasig. The people are encouraged to actively participate in the different activities in the parish. The sharing of the 3Ts (Time, Talent and Treasure) is up to this day still badly needed.
In the Diocese of Pasig, there are concrete actions and programs to help the poor. The different organizations and ministries in the vicariate and parish level, including the parochial schools, also have their initiatives to help those people who are in need. What is expected is the unity of all the organizations in the church and in the government to help more people.
Rev. Fr. Ordoña’s Leadership Priorities as College President
Rev. Fr. Orlindo F. Ordoña succeeded Msgr. Santos after his term ended in 2015. He served as Assistant to the President for two years prior to his appointment as the new PCC President. He is also the PaDSS Superintendent. Rev. Fr. Ordona’ first year addressed the issues on intensified Christian formation, K-12 transition management, accreditation, succession management, completion of the Centennial Building, while the ranking and promotion system is ongoing, as this is still under review. During the pandemic, Fr. Ordona initiated the Learning Continuity Program and flexible work arrangement in response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The preparation for remote virtual accreditation (RVA) by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA, Inc.) and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) started during Fr. Ordoña’s leadership.
Reconvening of PaDSS Commissions
All Pasig Diocesan Schools System (PaDSS) Commissions recently convened for their Strategic Planning for 2021 to 2022 under Dr. Dennis Prince Germano. The objectives of the four-day planning are: a) Performance Review, b) Analysis of External and Internal Environment, c) Development of Strategies, d) Setting of performance metrics, targets and tactics and e) Strategic execution and performance management.
Missio et Evangelizatio
At 109, Pasig Catholic College’s theme “Missio et Evangelizatio” becomes more relevant in today’s situation. Amidst the Pandemic, the school is specifically challenged to dialogue with life, action, solidarity, and understanding to heal as one.
PCC is one with the nation in the celebration of the five hundred years of Christianity in the Philippines and this was sent out throughout the world as it embraces the theme “missio ad gentes.”
PCC: Scaling Up Excellence in Catholic Education
Pasig Catholic College as an institution of character and competence for over one hundred years of existence is still committed to evangelize the young people in all seasons in bringing the Good News who is no other than Jesus Christ through Catholic education. The challenge of the New Evangelization is humongous and complex as such is synonymous to proclamation of the good news. PCC never gets tired of reiterating and upholding the good news to all, despite the pandemic situation. The good news must always be the truth – Jesus, the risen Lord. Listening, Discerning and Living are the movements for PCC’s 109th founding anniversary. PCC hopes to cascade these movements to all stakeholders as these lead us to holiness.
PCC is under the new leadership of Bp. Vergara as the Acting College President, and Fr. Daniel L. Estacio as the Assistant to the President. Fr. Estacio is the former parish priest of Sto. Niño de Taguig Parish from 2015 to 2021. The bishop’s leadership values are empowerment, coordination and communication. These principles are highly significant in stirring the institution to greater heights amid the pandemic. Strengthening of PCC’s mission, exploring bold initiatives on curricular innovations, and strategic partnerships are key priorities of Bp. Vergara’s administration.
PCC’s roots stemmed from the noble heritage of its founding CICM missionaries. After more than a century, the journey towards excellence, service, spirituality, social transformation and most significantly, quality Catholic education, moves… and goes on, as envisioned by its founder, Rev. Fr. Pierre Cornelis de Brouwer, CICM, moves on as PCC reviews its past, faces the present, and conquers its future.
“The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity.” – Pope Benedict XXIII