“Ateneo de Manila High School in Guipit (1945-46)” by Fr. Victor Badillo S.J.

by Fr. Victor L. Badillo, S.J.
http://pedrocalungsod.blogspot.com

In March 1945 the Pacific War was over in Manila, but Ateneo in Padre Faura was in ruins. Fr. John Hurley, the Mission Superior, decided that Ateneo would not reopen before June 1946. He had sent to the U.S. for recuperation all American Jesuits who had been POWs. He also sent to the U.S. the Filipino Jesuits whose theological studies were delayed. When Sixto Roxas III and classmates heard this, they complained to Scholastic Miguel Bernad saying,”Is this the reward for our loyalty? We have been Ateneans since Grade I. Are we to be high school graduates of Manila High School?” Fr. Bernad relayed this to Fr. Hurley who allowed the Ateneo to reopen for the graduating class if classrooms could be found. Fr. Austin Dowed and Terry Barcelon, pounded the hot streets of Sampaloc looking for classrooms. The quarters they found in Quiapo and other nearby places were found unsuitable. The Sisters, Hijas de Jesus, offered their Nazareth School in Guipit, Sampaloc. In March 1946, 99 students got their Ateneo diplomas. Fr. Dowd got his delayed recuperation in the US.

Administration: Dean of Studies and of Discipline – Fr. Austin Dowd. Assistant Dean –Scholastic Camilo Balansag. Registrar – Mr. Rodolfo Sarenas. Infirmarian – Bro. Andres Munar. Physical Plant Care – Bro. Norberto Bautista.

Faculty. Fr. Forbes Monaghan, Scholastics; Porfirio Andaya, Camilo Balansag, Antonio Camins, Cicero Cebrero, Antonio Cuna, Jose Espina, Benjamin Javier, Vicente Marasigan, Luis Miciano, and Saturnino Monzon. Fr. Monaghan published “Under the Red Sun”, an account of years during the Japanese Occupation. Cuna became a sought after trainer and conductor of Glee Clubs, Marasigan, a pianist and an astronomer, published papers on the ionosphere of the Philippines. The other Scholastics became missionaries in Mindanao. Manuel Ramos could not get the proper medicine and became an invalid, for life. In the second semester, reinforcement arrived in the persons of Frs. John Delaney and Frederick Fox. It was at this time that lay faculty began teaching. Their names are in Appendix II.

Subjects taught: Religion, English, Tagalog, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, General Science, History and Economics.

The smaller northeastern wing of Nazareth was occupied by the Hijas de

Jesus Sisters, and the larger southwestern wing by the Ateneo. The Jesuit living-quarters were on the second floor of a small part of the southwestern wing. There were single rooms for the 14 Fathers and Brothers and a dormitory for the 10 Scholastics. There was a domestic chapel, a dining room, and a kitchen on the first floor. There were bathrooms on both floors. The cook was a former cook of pre-war Ateneo. The Hijas’ housemaids did the laundry.

Classes were held in a big public school building in the southwest part of the plaza. In the absence of a school chapel and auditorium, religious and academic events were held in the porch and garden between the Hijas’ wing and the Ateneo wing. There was a small library on the first floor under the Fathers’ rooms. Since there was no gym, students played basketball in Plaza Guipit in front of Nazareth. There was no annual play but plenty of singing by the Glee Club led by Cuna and Marasigan. The Glee Club sang for orphans, the poor, soldiers, including Christmas carols. Honors were read periodically, but no honor cards were distributed. Fr. Dowd gave ferverinos. No flag-raising, no anthem. No school paper. No yearbook. No debates. One or two oratorical contests. No catechetics or works of mercy. Perhaps some students were members of the Apostleship of Prayer, Sodality, mass serving on some occasions. There was a graduation of sorts.

Senior year had three sections, Junior and Sophomore years had one section each. Each section had about 35 students. Among the students were: Armando Baltazar, Emeterio Barcelon, Jose Dans, Severino Estrera, Teopisto Guingona, Vicente Jaime, Antonio Ledesma, Onofre Pagsanghan, Sixto Roxas III, Luis Sison, Maximo Soliven, Jose Tuason and Nicomedes Yatco. A fuller list is in Appendix I. Guingona became Vice President of Gloria Arroyo. Dans was secretary of Public Works and Highways of Ferdinand Marcos. Roxas introduced the money market, an investment instrument. Jaime became a Governor of the Board of Investments. Baltazar, Barcelon, Estrera, Ledesma and Yatco became Jesuits. Baltazar as senior executive of PCIB gave it a human heart. Armando Baltazar became a President of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), an international NGO. Luis Sision became a pillar of CFM. Soliven founded the Philippine Star and edited it till his death. Pagsanghan was so sickly he was allowed to teach in the High School on condition that he have a siesta daily. But he is still teaching after 60 years! He founded Dulaang Sibol, seed bed for playwrights and actors. Ateneo honored him by naming the HS auditorium after him, usually done after an honoree is dead.

In Fr. Dowd’s room was a picture of big ear, two feet tall. Was it to indicate that he was all ears, or did he need something to talk to? Once he got wind that some students had the crazy idea of wanting to be taught latin. When they trooped to his room, he met them amiably, made the feel at home and entertained them with stories and jokes and then led them out of the room. Only when they were out in the corridor did the students realize that he had outwitted them.

There were only two sections of fourth year at the start. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon. A third section was added about four months later. There were also two sections in third year whose names will be interesting to list since it was a distinguished class which included Onofre Pagsanghan, Jose Tuazon, Chito Ayala, Delfin de la Paz et. al.) Guipit was therefore made up of four sections, two in fourth year and two in third year. About four months later, when new Jesuits arrived from the States, they added the third fourth year class plus one class in first year and another in second year. This first year class was taught by Fr. John Delaney. This first year class included Leonardo Silos (future Jesuit, writer of business from a philosophical viewpoint), Gabriel Mendoza who headed AIM. et al. Since they had only-half day classes the students roamed Manila the other half day.

Fr. Dowd was a track and field athlete. He valued sustained and systematic practice. Given the task of forming the students, he made them work hard and long. They had to make-up for time lost in the Japanese Occupation. Students and teachers cooperated. They had experienced a cruel war. They knew hardship, fear and hunger. Most students had only their mothers as bread winners, having lost a father. They studied seriously. There were few buses and fewer cars. They came even if they had to wade flooded areas. Some still bore wounds themselves. Estrera had his right shoulder in a cast. In time the cast would be removed. Scholastic Manuel Ramos has a lifelong wound. When he contracted typhoid, the sustained high fever burned his brain. Doctor could not help him. There was no medicine. In the close quarters of Guipit, the students could not miss Manny. He was gentle. He loved people. He walked the corridors. He joined the students in the classrooms briefly, then left quietly.

Sometime in the 70’s, some members of the batch of Law School Ateneans made a retreat in Sacred Heart Novaliches where Manny lived. He made a deep impression on one of them, Roberto Gana. He wrote, “I saw how fragile and short my life was.” He decided to dedicate his life to serve the poor and oppressed. He was wealthy and had good connections, but he did not pursue a profitable career. He set up a foundation where he and others he recruited and trained offered free legal service to the poor and oppressed. Though his promising crusade was cut short in a plane crash, the Gana foundation lives on continuing his vision.

I re-visited Guipit one Sunday in 1991. The Catholic Directory gave the street address of Nazareth School. A Manila street map let me plan my route. I got off the jeep bound for Quiapo at the corner of Legarda St. and Sta. Teresita (formerly Guipit) street. Both sidewalks of Sta. Teresita were lined with shops selling surplus material and offering services. The sidewalks were filled with stalls. Soon the character changed. I felt I was in a small town. Neat houses were set far from the sidewalks. Then at a turn of the road my heart leaped. Looming in the near distance was a long building, Nazareth School. I had to cross a street headed for Balik-balik from Quiapo before the street widened on both sides to form Plaza Guipit. I got close to the school. But there was a cement perimeter wall. My mind wandered to a day in April 1946 when my father and I climbed the few steps of an outdoor stairs to the first floor. At the Registrar’s office, my father told Mr. Sarenas, a friend from Davao, who later was appointed mayor of Davao City, “Take care of my son.” Then in an empty room, I was given an hour or so to take the entrance exams for junior year in high school. Looking back I see it was just a formality.

Back to the present, I asked around the houses on the perimeter of the plaza. The people I met were young in 1946. No. They did not remember an Ateneo in Guipit. Was the memory of those ten happy months like the morning dew? God bless abundantly the Hijas de Jesus Sisters for providing a home for 24 Jesuits and a house of formation for 99 young Ateneans. Onofre Pagsanghan some sixty years later, recalls. “Those were the happiest days of my life.” So lasting was that shining moment that Onofre is still happiest teaching and forming high school students.

Appendix I, 99 graduates in 1946

ABASOLO, ROSAURO S. SR.
ABETO, ALBERTO S.
AGCAOILI, TEODORO
AHORRO, HERMILO N.
ALMEDA-LOPEZ, AUGUSTO
ANG, MANUEL L.
AQUINO, ALEJO A., JR.
ARCEO, REGINALDO F.
AVANCENA, MIGUEL P.
BARCELON, EMETERIO J.
BARRETTO, JOSE, JR.
BUENAVENTURA, RAMON R.
CAGUIAT, ENRIQUE, JR.
CAGUIAT, JOSE
CAGUIAT, TEODORO
CAMUS, QUIRICO S., JR.
CARMONA, JOSE, JR.
CARPENA, CARLOS A.
CASIMIRO, ALFONSO V.
CASIMIRO, EDUARDO V.
COSCOLLUELA, ELIAS C.
DANS, JOSE P., JR.
DAZA, DAVID MA. O.
DE CASTRO, JOSE
DE LA RAMA, LUIS
DE LA SIERRA, ANTONIO
DONESA, FERDINAND B.
ESTRERA, SEVERINO B.
EUSEBIO, ROMUALDO V.
FERNANDEZ, DOMINGO S.
FERNANDO, ISAIAS M., JR
FERNANDO, MARCELO N.
FERRER, NARCISO A., JR.
FRANCISCO, BENJAMIN
FRANCISCO, RODOLFO J.
GARCIA, ALFONSO A.
GARCIA, RAMON T.
GARCIA, VICENTE V.
GASTON, FELIX C.
GONZAGA, RICARDO R.
GONZALES, ALEJANDRO
GONZALES, FAUSTO
GONZALES, JOSE MA.
GONZALEZ, JESUS S.
GONZALEZ, MANUEL S.
GREY, FERNANDO J., JR.
GUINGONA, TEOFISTO T., JR.
HUANG, DANIEL
JACOBO, CELSO
JALANDONI, RODOLFO G.
JAYME, VICENTE R.
LACSON, JAVIER
LANTIN, JAIME M.
LANTIN, PEDRO M., JR.
LAZARO, JOSE MA.
LEDESMA, JESUS
LIBORO, ANDRES L.
LICHAUCO, ALEJANDRO
LIM, ALFONSO
LIMCAOCO, MARTIN RENE H.
LIZARES, EDGARDO R., JR.
LIZARES, RAFAEL
LOPEZ, AQUILES J., SR.
LUNA, ROLANDO
MAIPID, ERNESTO
MANUBAY, RODRIGO
MARABUT, MIGUEL F.
MARASIGAN, MARCELO P.
MONTINOLA, ROBERTO J.
MONTINOLA, SERGIO J.
NABLE, HORACIO
OCAMPO, BIENVENIDO V.
ORDOVEZA, JUANITO L.
PADILLA, JOSE S., JR.
PADILLA, JOSE
PATERNO, LUIS
PIO DE RODA, ALFREDO
QUINTERO, CARMELO P., JR.
QUINTOS, JOSE MARIA R.
REYES, ANTONIO Z.
REYES, JOSE
REYES, MANUEL S.
RIVERA, ANTONIO G., JR.
ROXAS, SIXTO K., III
SANTIAGO, VICENTE M., JR.
SEGUI, ELIODORO U., JR.
SEGUI, JOSE U.
SILVA, BUENAVENTURA R., II
SISON, LUIS V. Z.
SUNICO, AUGUSTO B.
TINGSON, JOSE
TOLEDO, ANTONIO E., JR.
TORRES, RENATO
TUPAS, RODOLFO
VALTE, ILDEFONSO
VARELA, RUSTICO
VELASQUEZ, GUILLERMO
VELEZ, JOSE C.
VERA, FERNANDO S.
YABUT, ALFREDO C., SR.
YATCO, BENJAMIN C.
YATCO, NICASIO, JR.
YULO, LUIS A.
YUSAY, ENRIQUE, JR.
ZAMORA, RICARDO V. S.

Appendix II – Lay Faculty
MR. OCAMPO (TAGALOG/PILIPINO), MR. RODOLFO SARENAS (ALGEBRA), MR. JURADO (SOCIAL TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH), MR. MANALILI (TAGALOG), MR JIMENEZ and MR. GUIDOTE (PHYSICS), and MR. LIZARES (HISTORY)

Advertisements

About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

2 Responses to “Ateneo de Manila High School in Guipit (1945-46)” by Fr. Victor Badillo S.J.

  1. Pingback: HEY, JOE! Captain Farr…and the end of the war | Maria Olaguera

  2. Felice Noelle Rodriguez says:

    Thank you Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ for sharing this. My father Engr. Pedro Rodriguez, Jr told me he studied at Ateneo de Manila High School in Guipit as a first year student with his best friend Gabriel Mendoza.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: