"Every detail of our life has been the object of a Divine thought,
and that thought has always been one of Love."
- St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus
The story of the Assumption in the Philippines is a story of God's graciousness (God's Kagandahang Loob). In 1892, upon the request of the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Cristina, the Religious of the Assumption came to the Philippines to assume the direction of the Superior Normal School for Women Teachers. The Normal School was established for a double purpose: to serve as a teacher-training institution and as a model school. Among its first graduates were Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, Florentina Arellano, Dolores Guerrero, Susana Revilla and Emilia Sacramento, foundresses of the Instituto de Mujeres. Librada Avelino and Carmen de Luna founded Centro Escolar University. At the outbreak of the Revolution of 1898 the operation of the school was abruptly stopped and the Sisters returned to Europe.
Shortly after the reopening of the Manila Boarding School, the Assumption was given the opportunity to open a second school in the Philippines. In 1910, Assumption Iloilo was established.
World War II destroyed practically the whole Assumption Herran as buildings were razed to the ground in the liberation of Manila in1945. Mother Rosa Maria's unfailing courage and confidence brought Assumption Manila back to its feet, re- launching it towards even broader perspectives. Classes resumed in Quonset huts and in a battered auditorium in Herran. In 1947 reconstruction began and the College reopened in 1948.
In 1958, the sisters opened Assumption San Lorenzo in Makati to ease the ever-increasing student population on all levels. The College was moved there in 1959.
After some time, the Herran site was sold as the area was becoming a commercial center in the tourist belt and was no longer conducive to learning. Preparations were undertaken to move. In 1972-73 four of the San Lorenzo teachers were transferred to Herran to pave the way for merging the elementary schools and secondary schools of Herran and San Lorenzo. In 1973-74 the Herran and San Lorenzo schools were fused: the High School and the College were based in San Lorenzo while the Preschool and Grade School briefly occupied Herran, then temporarily moved to San Lorenzo in June 1974. Finally the Grade School settled in Antipolo along Sumulong Highway on September 11, 1974. However, the distance between Antipolo and Manila became a constraint to many parents who wanted Assumption education for their children. The persistent appeal of the alumnae and parents to re-open the elementary level in San Lorenzo was heeded. Grade 1 was re-opened in 1981 and starting schoolyear 1988-1989 grade levels were added until the San Lorenzo Grade School graduated its first Grade 7 students in March 1993.
Assumption Antipolo on the other hand, had its own Preschool, to which it added a Kinder level in 1984. A High School was opened for First Year in schoolyear 1987-1988. The High School completed its four levels and had its first commencement exercises in March 1991. With the completion of the Basic Education department and the stability of the school as an institution, Assumption Antipolo became a corporation on its own in June 1997.
In line with the needs of the country, the spirit of Vatican II, and the call of the Church in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, the Assumption in the Philippines has been moving towards the rural areas and the underprivileged sector, without abandoning the education of the upper/middle classes. The majority of its schools, campus ministries and community development works are among farmers, tribal minorities and the urban poor in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In 1955, San Jose Academy, a school for boys and girls, was opened in San Jose, Antique. In 1968, Sta. Rita Academy, an elementary school for boys and girls, was opened in Sibalom, Antique. In 1984, San Jose Academy was fused with St. Anthony's College and, together with the Diocese, has taken responsibility for the Catholic education of the whole province of Antique.
In 1965, Mount Mary Primary School, a Grade School attached to the summer house of the sisters in Baguio, moved to Assumpta Hill in Crystal Cave subdivision under a new name: Saint Martin Grade School. A Retreat House was also established at the new site.
In 1968, the Maryville Housing Project and San Juan Nepomuceno Grade School were started in Malibay, a squatters area in Pasay City.
In the same year, Assumption Grade School in Passi, Iloilo was opened. In 1990, the school was turned over to lay administration.
The year 1968 also saw the opening of the Barrio Obrero Socio-Educational Center located in an urban poor area of Iloilo City.
In 1970, the Assumpta Technical High School in San Simon, Pampanga was opened to offer secondary education for the children of rural farmers who possess the intellectual capacity but lack the financial resources for quality Catholic education. In 1972, the San Simon Integrated Rural Development Program was established.
From 1974-77, the Assumption Sisters took over the administration of the La Sallete College and High School in Santiago, Isabela.
From 1978-80, the Assumption Sisters formed community with families of fishermen in Puerto Rivas, Bataan. Through non-formal education programs, they prepared the community to become a parish.
In the same period, two communities were established in Mindanao. In 1977, the Assumption Sisters opened a community in Kadingilan, Bukidnon to actively involve themselves in Basic Christian Community building through formal high school education and parish work. The other community was opened in 1980 at the heart of Christian-Muslim dialogue in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
Following the spirit of the Church in the Philippines and challenged by the International Mission Congress of 1979, Assumption-Philippines sent its first missionaries to Thailand in June of 1980 to discern and concretize Assumption's role in the local church of Thailand.
In June 1983, the Religious of the Assumption's insertion in Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City began in order to maintain a religious presence on campus and take active involvement in the Xavier Campus Ministries.
In 1997, the Assumption Sisters moved from Kadingilan to a poorer community in Kibangay, Lantapan, Bukidnon in order to administer Xavier de Kibangay High School, a Catholic diocesan school for the poor and indigenous youth.
The story of Assumption in the Philippines as an experience of God's graciousness and goodness is never ending and is ever new. Wherever the Assumption is, she proclaims Jesus Christ through an education that transforms the human person towards becoming good news for the world and thus, participates in the building of the Kingdom of God.
ASSUMPTION ANTIPOLO THROUGH THE YEARS
The beginning of Assumption Antipolo marked the formal closing of the Assumption in Malate. With the location gradually ceasing to provide the climate conducive to learning, the sisters decided to move the Grade School to Antipolo on September 11, 1974. In 1987, the High School opened and had its first graduates in March 1991.
Assumption Antipolo is a Catholic educational apostolate that aims at the integral formation of persons and communities who witness to the love of Jesus Christ and are committed to work for the extension of God's Kingdom.
From the very beginning, the sisters together with the lay provide BASIC EDUCATION that aims to Christianize the intelligence of students, who are well prepared for college and are committed to justice, peace, solidarity and care for God's creation. This is exemplified in the school's academic and non-academic programs. As a Christ-centered school community, Christian Living Education or CLE is at the heart of the curriculum. Assumption Antipolo's education also provides a well-balanced foundation for Academic Excellence as knowledge, skills, attitudes and values are given primary importance. Intrinsic to the total development of persons, Assumption Antipolo offers the Alay Kapwa Program and the Environmental Education Program to strengthen the integration of core Gospel values, social consciousness, community development and care for creation. These are formation programs for social and environmental awareness, social responsibility, decisive action and commitment.
The Center for Service and Sharing or the CSS is a liaison between the Assumption and the neighboring communities for implementing the Alay Kapwa Program and for the development of the "sitios" around the school.
The CSS started in 1978 as an outreach program of the community of sisters, faculty and staff for the poor families around Assumption Antipolo. Over the years, what started as the school's outreach program has developed into a Center that serves 10 "sitios" surrounding the school through its programs and services. These include community building, livelihood, health and nutrition, spiritual/faith formation, youth formation, and school exposure and immersion programs. The CSS set systems and procedures for the smooth flow of operations in the office and has provided a steady income for the employees in the Sewing, Bakeshop and Catering sections. The rice cooperative is ongoing in the 10 sitios and there is a grocery cooperative in 2 sitios. The Feeding Program was strengthened thus helping to reduce malnutrition. The CSS helped the nanays to develop a love for the Word of God and strengthened their faith through the MSK (Maliliit na Sambayanang Kristiyano). To follow up the growth of families, networks with the Couples for Christ and PRO-LIFE were established. This networking provided not only close supervision of couple formation in the 10 sitios among husband-wife relationships but also growth in Christian Family Life animation. Couples have been encouraged to be wed in the "Kasalang Bayan" and the children have been encouraged to receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
Youth scholars receive financial assistance from Alay Kapwa. The CSS Faith and Character Formation Program assure catechesis for the youth that integrates faith and culture, liturgy, leadership formation towards MSK.
Volunteer alumnae, faculty and staff, as well as parents assist as resource persons or facilitators in these monthly General Activities/Assemblies. They also assist in the community programs of the Mothers' Group and engage in sitio projects in livelihood, in Non-Formal Education (NFE), and in the Gawad Kalinga Housing Project of the Couples for Christ.
The urgent call that reverberated around the world to save the earth challenged Assumption to make a positive move. Given the present environmental situation of the country, the school established a Center for Peace and Ecology named PACEM.
Established in July 1991 at Assumption Antipolo, PACEM aims to re-establish the human-earth partnership through theory and practice. It envisions a close collaboration of peoples and organizations (public and private) involved in furthering peace and ecology issues at the national level and hopefully in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is a wholistic response to the urgent need to continuously train/re-train peace and ecology educators, leaders and advocates. It empowers people to "Think globally, act locally."
Assumption Antipolo has a Retreat House for students and other groups in search of spiritual renewal as well as social and personal formation.
In August 2001, the school inaugurated the Assumpta Theater, the CCP of the East. This has provided a venue for school activities and eventually has grown into a beautiful, sophisticated, world-class theater promoting cultural awareness, educational upliftment, and appreciation of the performing arts to enhance the artistic, intellectual, and spiritual development of the Filipino audience.
Assumption Antipolo envisions a community rooted in Christ and empowered for the transformation of persons and society. The community of sisters, faculty, staff, auxiliary, CSS personnel and members, students, parents and alumnae commit themselves to work as ONE towards justice, peace, care for creation and solidarity.