christ the king collegeEDUCATION | CALBAYOG CITY, SAMAR, PHILIPPINES
THE CKC STORY
Christ the King College is the pioneer Catholic institution of learning in the island of Samar, established under the name Colegio de San Vicente de Paul in 1905.
On August 1, 1905, two Vincentian fathers, Fr. Gregorio Tabar and Fr. Leonardo Sainz, arrived in Calbayog from Cebu for the opening of the school in response to a petition by some prominent men of Calbayog. They were accompanied by llm. Sr. Provisor and Vicar General of Cebu, D. Pablo Singzon, the future bishop of Calbayog and the rector of the San Carlos Seminary, D. Pedro Julia. The school was solemnly inaugurated and opened on September 19, 1905.
On April 10, 1910, Calbayog was created a Diocese and segregated from the Diocese of Cebu by Bull “ Noves Erigere Diocesis” of Pope Pius X.
The school administration under the guidance of the first Bishop of Calbayog, His Excellency, the Most Rev. Pablo Singzon, change the name to Colegio, from the Seminario. Fr. Gabriel Vaquero, C.M., a Vincentian father, was appointed as its first Director. The name was reverted back to Colegio de San Vicente de Paul.
Filipino Secular priests took over the Administration of the Colegio in 1982, while the Vincentian fathers retained the Seminary which they conducted until 1968 when the secular priests took over the administration of the Seminary.
Msgr. Sofronio Mandia became the first Director of the Colegio in 1918 and began a long line of Filipino secular priests who held the same position until the year 1952.
In December 1941, the Colegio de San Vicente de Paul, like all other schools in the Philippines, was forced to close during the war years. Suffering the same fate as the other schools, the institution lost laboratory equipments, library books, and other facilities.
The portals of Colegio de San Vicente de Paul were again re-opened on July 8, 1947 under the temporary government permit. The Rev. Fr. Basilio Rosales, Director of Colegio at the outbreak of the war, resumed his administrative post and immediately he was busy with the task of reconstruction.
At the turn of the mid-century, there was a quick change of succession of the school administrators in San Vicente which proved detrimental to the administration of the Colegio. Towards the end of 1951, Colegio de San Vicente de Paul was made desperate and frantic efforts to survive and overcome the financial inadequancy and monetary deathblows. The buildings were eaten by termites and constantly battered by typhoons. The Colegio was on the verge of permanent closure.
II.The Colegio’s Second Spring
In the year 1952, due to the shortage of secular priests in the Diocese of Calbayog, His Excellency, the late Bishop of Calbayog, Miguel Acebedo, made an appeal to the American Franciscan of Pulaski, Wisconsin, U.S.A. for assistance and invited them to the Calbayog Diocese.
In response to His Excellency’s appeal and petition, the American Franciscans of the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Pulaski, Wisconsin, U.S.A under the provincialship of Fr. Theophane Kalinowski, OFM, sent two of his missionaries after his return from his visit to Calbayog to establish a Franciscan mission in Samar, Calbayog Diocese, and to take over the administration of Colegio de San Vicente de Paul.
Possessing genius and foresight in planning and tremendous drive in hard work, Fr. David Wyrzykowski, OFM quickly envisioned a new school building with more practical and pleasant surroundings. Fr. David Wyrzykowski, OFM became the first American Director. He was ably assisted in running the school by another American Franciscan, Fr. Leopold Niedzwieski, OFM.
On the feast of Christ the King, October 30, 1955, the new school building, now located in the heart of Calbayog City, was solemnly blessed and dedicated by His Excellency Msgr. Manuel del Rosario. The school was officially named Christ the King College.
Monumental tasks were achieved with the succeeding years. The school was still experiencing steady growth and development under the administration of the American Franciscans when at about one in the morning on February 20, 1972, on the first day of the high school days celebration, and barely an hour after the students had left from their final rehearsals, the main building which housed most of the classrooms, the audio-visual room and equipment, record section, typing room, offices and faculty rooms, the newly renovated school canteen, were completely razed by fire of suspicious origin. That morning, the future of the College, in one big fiery holocaust, seemed to have completely collapsed. Damage was estimated at more than one million pesos. The insurance of the building was not enough to cover the entire losses.
Undaunted, however, by the tremendous loss, the administration of CKC under the able leadership of Fr. Hugh Zurat, OFM, and the zeal and determination of the faculty and staff to surge ahead despite tremendous odds, the work of rehabilitation was immediately started. With the end of the school year, barely a month and a half away, the task of providing the students with temporary classrooms was hastened. In spite of the difficulties encountered during the year the school year nevertheless ended successfully.
In 1973, the Elementary Laboratory was temporarily closed to provide more rooms for the high school and college students. The City Schools Division, because of the emergency situation of the College allowed the student teachers to have not only their internship but also their practice teaching in the public schools.
In 1974, the Assumption Province of Pulaski, Wisconsin, USA, extended financial assistance for the construction of four laboratory rooms. The left wing of the elementary building was also extended, with the addition of three classrooms from funds raised that year.
In 1975, Fr. Ramon Isaac, OFM was appointed as the first Filipino Franciscan Director of the College in line with the Filipinization policy of the government. Fr. Laurian Janicki, OFM was the last American Franciscan director. Fr. Ramon, however, had a very short stint as Director – only a year. He died in his sleep during the summer of that year. During the short incumbency of Fr. Ramon, the high school department which had its last female graduate in 1959, turned co-educational once again. Fr. Ramon’s term was finished by Fr. Gabriel Bertos, OFM (1976-1979).
In 1976, the school canteen was constructed from funds provided again by the Assumption Province. That same school year, the College was given the go signal to offer Commerce courses.
In 1978, the Elementary School was reopened using the monastery as temporary venue for classes. Mrs. Francisca Santos was appointed Principal of the said department.
In 1979, began the construction of the Julio Cardinal Rosales Technical Education Center, a two-floor semi-permanent building with eight well-equipped shops in the ground floor and ten lecture rooms on the second floor. The center was dedicated in honor of the late Cardinal Rosales on the occasion of his golden sacerdotal jubilee. Funds for the construction came from the German Bishops of Cologne, Germany and from the SOS International of Innsbruck, Austria.
In the school year 1979-1980, CKC had its new and third Filipino College Director in the person of Fr. Rodrigo P. San Jose, OFM.
The Elementary Department was transferred to its new and beautiful location in Barangay Dagum in SY 1980-1981. On the day that it was turned over to the College, a new name was added to it Hermann Gmeiner Elementary School in honor of that great man and founder of the SOS Children’s Village all over the world. Funds for the purchases of the lot and the construction of buildings all came from SOS International Innsbruck, Austria.
During the school year 1981-1982, the College of law was opened Four years later, the College had its first law graduates and in the following year, Engr. Oscar Hugo passed the bar and he became the first lawyer produced by CKC.
The Graduates School was established in SY 1982-1983. It had its first graduation during the school year 1985-1986. Mrs. Natividad Serrano became the first full-pledged MA graduate of CKC. Incidentally, Mrs. Serrano was also a member of Class 1955, which was the first batch of graduates of Christ the King College.
In 1991, the College was given government Recognition No.07, Series of 1991 on its new course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The College of Accountancy produced series of successful examinees year after year.
The Institute of Health Allied Programs; the two-year Midwifery Course and the two year Nursing Aide course were opened in the School year 1996-1997 and the School year 1997-1998 respectively, under the third Director of the College, Fr. Marcelo O. Tubac, OFM who has been with the institution for thirteen years since 1985. The nursing aide course was given Government Recognition No 011, Series of 1997 by the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, while the Midwifery Department were still on its temporary permit from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In the school year 1998-1999, Fr. Rodrigo San Jose OFM was once again welcomed and honored to lay out and direct the path and vision of Christ the King College as the Director. Under his tutelage, the infrastructure noticeably refurnished and completed and the moral esteem of the community was restored. The employees were given a substantial increase in salary. The College Student Supreme Councils project, of a covered walk from the gate up to the Administration building was supported by the new administration and is now serving its purpose. The Mr. and Ms. CKC ’98 project was launched as a fund raising campaign for the improvement of the college and high school libraries. The school opened a new course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
In SY 2000-2001, the Philippines Regulatory Commission issued a list of 174 Catholic Colleges and Universities with high passing marks in between the years 1994-1998. CKC ranked 39th place. This is a remarkable feat for a small provincial college like CKC. Because of this, there is a renewed appreciation for CKC as the premier educational institution in the Island of Samar.
A new chapel was built inside CKC campus through the efforts of Sr. Floriana Saltarelli, FMSC under the management of Fr. Rodrigo San Jose, OFM.
CKC celebrated its 50th anniversary last November 24, 2002. The thanksgiving mass of CKC golden anniversary was presided by the Very Reverend Bishop Jose S Palma, DD, STD at the Sts. Peter and Paul cathedral together with the clergy, religious, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and students and the Franciscan friars. The entire CKC Community was thankful for the continued guidance and direction for CKC in the last 50 years.
III. The Present
After short second term for Fr. Rodrigo San Jose, OFM, a new school Director was appointed by the province to take the reins of administration as the College President, Rev. Fr. Prisco A. Cajes, OFM, who started serving the school in June 2004. Immediately after his installation as President of the College, the Father President initiated major changes in the administration of the school especially on financial concerns. He created the Resource Development Office (RDO), which functions as an office to find new sources of fund for the other expenses of the College, repairs and new projects. He also created the Research and Human Development Office (RHDO), which is tasked to do researches and studies for the College and the community.
The Association of the Franciscan Schools, Inc. (AFSI), which he heads as the Superintendent of (OFM) Franciscan schools in the Philippines, is moving towards and actually implementing the centralization of all OFM schools in the country. This will take the form of a merger in the business corporations. This move will be toward the creation of a university system for all the OFM schools in the Philippines. Needless to say, a salary standardization scheme will soon be implemented in all OFM schools in the Philippines.
At the beginning of SY 2004-2005 the CKC Deaf High School also started. CKC established his school in cooperation with the Franciscan Deaf Center (FDC), which is headed by Fr. Hozo Sato, OFM, to respond to the educational need of the deaf people especially in the Eastern Visayas Area.
Last September 13, 2004 at around 11:00 AM the CKC friary was razed by fire and its estimated damage amounted to more than seven (7) million pesos. The seven (7) friars have to find empty classrooms for the living quarters. At present a new friary is being built for them.
Amidst all odds, the CKC continues to provide the best education and this is being shown through the application for a PAASCU accreditation that is still going on.
In the present School Year 2005-2006 the College is celebrating its Centenary. As an educational institution, CSVP-CKC is now one hundred (100) years of its existence and service to the Filipinos. The College through the Centennial Committee has outlined various activities to give thanks to all, most especially to Jesus Christ, the King of Kings for the many gifts he has bestowed upon this institution since the very beginning of its existence.
On September 14, 2005 in Davao City, Christ the King College received a plaque of recognition from the Catholic Educational Association Of The Philippines (CEAP) for the CKC Community’s dedication for the period of “ 100 years to the realization of the evangelizing mission of Catholic education by giving witness to integrity and dignity; faithfully integrating the Gospel values in the curriculum; being steadfast in its commitment to the holistic formation of the Filipino youth entrusted to its care.”
No one can exactly predict what Christ the King College will be in the future one thing however is certain, that CKC will continue to provide the Filipino youth, especially the Samarnons, with quality Catholic education in all academics levels.
In the foreword of the paper entitled “ Overview of 2005-2006 Centennial Celebration of CSVP-CKC” are written the following concluding words: “ These are hard and difficult times, and the future is vague and hazy. This we all know, but like all Filipinos who possess a resilient spirit, the Vincentians and Christi Regians will definitely rise and stand proud to relieve the glorious legacy and valuable contributions of this institution to the community and to the nation as a whole.”
Mr. Pio O. Santos, a prominent educator and a past administrator of Christ the King College (CKC), on a recent interview attest that the actual establishment of CSVP was in the year 1905 contrary to claim that the year of establishment was a year later. This was also corroborated by statements from Dr. Alejandro Catalan, a College professor, in another interview conducted by the Research and Human Development Office (RHDO). Both are alumni of the CKC-CSVP and also were witnesses of the transfer of the Colegio from its old site to its present site in the city. Their testimonies are considered as primary sources of information based upon what they had recalled from first-hand experiences which the present annotator had relied so much on this task of revisiting the history of CKC. Perhaps, the allegations that 1906 was the actual year of establishment is because September 10, 1905 was almost halfway of the school year 1905-1906 and that the next school year 1906-1907 should have been the official start following the school’s academic calendar which begins in June.
Dr. Alejandro Catalan writes a brief history of the Colegio:
Founded in the year 1905 by Msgr. Jose Diasnes, the Colegio de San Vicente de Paul is the pioneer Catholic educational institution of learning in the Province of Samar. From its modest beginnings, the College had a rapid growth and soon assumed an enviable position among the leading Catholic schools in Eastern Visayas. The rise of the administration of the College has always stood for progressive changes in its curriculum consistent with the changing demands of society. Moreover, the Administration has always believed in leadership and efficiency rather than in the monetary gain more or less coincidental in every private school enterprise.
In 1924, the College was separated from the seminary. This move was conceived by the Administration in order to enable the school to have the necessary room for expansion. The present site is both ideal and spacious. It has on the West the Maqueda Bay, and on the East a vast tract of level land which is adequate to meet the requirements of a long-range plan for expansion, which is now the barangay Rawis and the St. Clare Monastery.
From 1924 to 1941, the school was under the guidance of the Reverend Fathers Gabriel Vaquero, C.M. Sofio Mandia, Gregorio Ouna, Msgr. Vicente Figueroa, and Rosales, all ardent patrons of learning. Up to 1941, the College was recognized outstanding. The important role the College has played and still is playing in the educational upliftment of the youth of this province including the nearby provinces is attested by the fact that the school has already turned out many successful men in the various professions. The school has now a long list of graduates who are now successful lawyers, engineers, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, priests, teachers, and military men.
In December 1941, the College, like other schools, was forced to close its doors because of World War II. Suffering the same fate as other schools did, the College lost many laboratory equipment and books. The buildings, likewise, sustained damages during the Japanese occupation. The administration building was used as liberation forces hospital and the old building as the headquarters in 1945.
July 8, 1947, saw the reopening of the College under government permits. The reverend Father Basilio R. Rosales, Director of the School at the outbreak of World War II, resumed his work as director. Several months before opening of classes, Fr. Rosales started the work of repairing the old buildings and constructing a new big modern building costing about Php 50,000. The building was nearing completion when the typhoon “Jean” hit the country and wrought heavy destruction in many provinces. The buildings of the College again sustained heavy damages, but the Father Director has exerted much effort in putting up everything again.
The reopening of the school on July 8, 1947, marked another milestone made by the College. Besides the complete secondary academic course, a normal course and two vocational courses (typewriting and stenography) were also offered in answer to the demand of many students who are desirous to prepare themselves for secretarial jobs and teaching positions which were much in want of qualified and competently trained men and women. Plans to increase the school facilities for the four year courses (secondary academic course, normal course, stenography and typewriting) and for other four year courses that might be offered the following year were under serious study.
In October 1952, saw the new light, the arrival of two Franciscans Fathers, Father David and Father Leopold and the transfer of the administration from the Diocesan Clergy to the Franciscan Fathers. Subsequently, the renaming of the school from Colegio de San Vicente de Paul to Christ the King College had taken place.
This, in brief, is the history of the Colegio de San Vicente de Paul of Calbayog, one of the leading private schools of Samar and the Alma Mater of many distinguished citizens and successful professionals of this, the third largest island of the Philippines.
On April 10, 1910, the Calbayog diocese was erected. It has to be noted based on historical data from the Diocesan archives that Calbayog has been under the Diocese of Cebu before its erection as a separate diocese on the aforementioned date. The first bishop appointed to head the Calbayog diocese was Most Reverend Pablo Singzon (1910-1922). He was succeeded by the Most Rev. Sofronio G. Hacbang, D.D. ( 1922-1837)
In November 28, 1937, another territorial jurisdiction of the Calbayog Diocese was lost when the Diocese of Palo in Leyte was erected separating the territory from the bishopric of Calbayog diocese.
And on October 22, 1960, the territory of Borongan was lost with its creation as a separate Diocese from Calbayog. (c.f. The Catholic Hierarchy, edited by David M. Cheney, 1996-2005)
Sources and Credits
Christ the King