COLEGIO DELA INMACULADA CONCEPTION, #45 Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
 

HISTORY
of
Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion
Casa de Caridad

CIC at Martires Street
CIC at the outbreak of World War II

In the middle of the 19 th century, the necessity of founding a charitable institution was felt in the Diocese of Cebu. To this end, a hospital for leprous patients was founded by the Ilmo, Obispo de Cebu, Romualdo Jimeno. It was situated some distance from the city jail.

In the year 1864, Bishop Jimeno purchased a small house from Señor Gabino Veloso, which served as a hospital for both men and women. It was called Casa de Caridad and had two rooms with six beds in each. However, due to lack of occupants, the Casa was forced to close and thus remained closed for several years. But, Providence and fate had other plans.

At nine o'clock in the evening of July 1, 1877, a half-dead old man appeared at the doorway of the Seminario de Cebu. Having been informed of this. The Rector, Fr. Farre, together with some priests of the Seminary, went down to the main door and, seeing the extreme state of misery of the poor man and his evident need of shelter, they took him into one of the classrooms where he was cleaned up, dressed, and given the supper he was badly in need of.

The following day, the case was referred to their Bishop, Benito Romero de Madridejos, who beseeched the Rector to look for someone to attend to his needs. The Rector thereupon called on one of his pious parishioners, a woman named Baldomera, who accepted his request for someone to care for the sick old man. Together with her daughter and a maidservant, she transferred residence to the Casa de Caridad but, after a few weeks, was unable to endure the sacrifice, and the three returned to their house.

At this point, there came upon the scene the Rev. Fernando de la Canal, C.M. who was to be the source and soul of the charitable works of the hospital. Fr. de la Canal arrived in Cebu on November 13, 1869, having previously been a priest in his home province Burgos , Spain . Such was his zeal as priest and confessor that he spent the greater part of the day at the confessional, listening to and directing his parishioners. A great number of people kept fond memories of this good priest whom they revered as a saint.

With the Casa de Caridad abandoned by Sra. Baldomera, the Seminary Rector sought the help of Fr. de la Canal to find others who could be well disposed to replace her. Three women volunteered for this service: Apolonia Lasala, Julia Avellana and Rafaela Echevarria. On October 24, 1877, the three entered the Casa to take charge of the old man who was already gravely ill, and expired in a few days. As was the case with Sra. Baldomera, her three successors also found themselves unequal to the task of caring for the sick, and would have abandoned the work were it not for their director, Fr. de la Canal, who exhorted them to keep on, encouraged them to dispel their fears, and even instructed them in the manner of serving the sick. So well did his disciples learn from him that, in time, their number increased through the attraction of their exemplary service. After a year's time, Fr. de la Canal was convinced that these three young women had the necessary vocation to continue indefinitely in the Casa de Caridad. To foster this vocation, he thought of giving them a religious habit to wear in place of their lay clothes, and to name them “Hermanitas de la Madre de Dios” (Little Sisters of the Mother of God). With the establishment of this religious community on September 8, 1878, came the appointment of a new Superior . This fell, by common consent, upon Apolonia Lasala. Thereupon, the new community renewed its desire to consecrate its members to God through the service of the sick poor. The Casa de Caridad was situated on Calle Solidaridad but, in time, this was destroyed and a new wing of the Colegio was constructed in its place.

Inauguration of
Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion, May 30, 1880

CIC at Gorordo Avenue

A few days after the Hermanitas' habit-taking, the Ilmo, Bishop Benito de Madridejos of Cebu visited the new community and, seeing the opportunities that presented themselves for the benefit of the entire diocese, proposed to the Rector of the Seminary, Fr. Farre, and to Fr. de la Canal and companions, the opening of a Colegio for girls, with the Hermanitas in charge. However, there were many obstacles to overcome, such as the lack of land, house and personnel. To generate funds, the Hermanitas resorted to the making of scapulars, from which source they were to purchase a little house fronting the Seminary, and with this the work of construction began. Meanwhile, efforts were made to look for the right persons to direct the work. Two came from Manila : Cirila Miranda from Concordia College and Hilaria Salinas from Hospicio de San Jose . Both had obtained their Teacher's Certificates from the Normal School. Arriving in Cebu in February, 1880, they were attracted to the company of the Hermanitas and, on the 15 th of May of the same year, they dressed the holy habit and became part of the small community.

 

The schoolyear 1880 – 1881 was fast approaching but the work of the Colegio was progressing much too slowly. The Hermanitas, therefore, rented a house belonging to Don Antonio Roa, which was in front of the Seminary. Two classrooms were prepared on the second floor, a third room served for the free school and thus, simply and without ostentation, classes opened on May 30, 1880, thus inaugurating Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion.

First Years
of
Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion

The “colegio” was a simple one-storey affair situated at Martires Street , fronting the Colegio Seminario de San Carlos . The Administration was entrusted to the community of the “Hermanitas de la Madre de Dios .” Sr. Hilaria Salinas became the directress of the first group of 63 young girls. More like a finishing school, the curriculum was a blend of the academic (elementary and secondary in content) and the cultural (Home Economics and Fine Arts and Music) Spanish was the medium of instruction.

On January 29, 1895, the Visitatrix and Visitor of the Daughters of Charity arrived in Cebu together with the first 5 Sisters. The following day the incorporation of 20 Hermanitas de la Madre de Dios with these five Daughters of Charity took place in a solemn High Mass and Te Deum was sung for thanksgiving. The Sisters were fused with the first community of Spanish Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who came to the Philippines to bring the gospel message of Christ. It held the distinction of being the first Catholic School for girls in Cebu that offered special emphasis in Religion, Spanish, Music and Home Arts. The pioneer community of Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion was made up of the following whose names appear in the “Notas de las Hijas de la Caridad Residents en Cebu desde su Fundacion el 28 de Enero de 1895.”

First Spanish Daughters of Charity
Address Date of Birth

1. Sor Celestina Escalona Toledo, Spain Mayo 19, 1836

2. Sor Petra Perez Alava, Luzureaga, Spain Octubre 18, 1852

3. Sor Teresa Miguel Zarragoza, Palma, Spain Abril 19, 1849

4. Sor Maria Muerztu Navarra, Sorlada, Spain Octubre 30, 1855

5. Sor Catalina Maiza Navarra, Echevareranas, Spain Septiembre 8, 1850

Filipina members of “Hermanitas de la Madre de Dios ” incorporated with the Daughters of Charity on January 29, 1895.

Address Date of Birth

1. Sor Apolonia Lasala Sogod, Cebu February 9, 1845

2. Sor Julia Arellano San Nicolas, Cebu May 22, 1853

3. Sor Sebastian Espina Canao-an, Cebu February 27, 1852

4. Sor Dominga de la Cruz San Nicolas, Cebu December 20, 1848

5. Sor Juana Mendez Cebu City May 5, 1853

6. Sor Hilaria Salinas Ermita Manila October 21, 1852

7. Sor Cirila Miranda Ermita, Manila July 5, 1854

8. Sor Vicenta Lopez San Nicolas, Cebu August 25, 1859

9. Sor Maxima Singzon Samar, Islas Filipinas November 22, 1845

10. Sor Filiciana Bracamonte Naga, Cebu June 9, 1855

11. Sor Damiana Lasala Cebu City August 9, 1852

12. Sor Francisca Santiago Tondo, Manila August 19, 1850

13. Sor Gabriela de los Santos Pagsangjan, Manila April 15, 1857

14. Sor Pilar Jiz Jaro, Iloilo January 12, 1855

15. Sor Rita Fernandez Siniloan, Laguna May 22, 1858

16. Sor Consuelo Vaño Cebu City January 28, 1875

17. Sor Luiza Iraztorza Ormoc, Leyte April 23, 1853

18. Sor Felomena Laurora Albay, Sorsogon August 10, 1855

19. Sor Martha Florido Cebu City September 27, 1857

20. Sor Damiana Veloso Cebu City November 27, 1858

Since the fusion on January 29, 1895 of the Hermanitas with the Daughters of Charity, the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion has always been managed by these same Sisters.

The Philippine Revolution broke out in 1898. it did not affect the classes in spite of the hostilities. The Sisters helped the victims of the hostilities. In the account of the “The Revolt in Cebu 1898”, Madrileña de la Cerna in her article “Some Sources on Women's Participation in the Revolution in Central and Eastern Visayas ” writes:

In the 19 th account, on the day of the attack on Good Friday, a bloody skirmish led the Visayan nuns of the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion of the Sisters of Charity (Spanish Congregation) to attend the wounded. The narrator described how the nuns personally dragged the wounded to the hospital, held vigil, without a fee, without regard to the color or background of the person as long as their altruistic mission was fulfilled.  

In the 19 th account, on the day of the attack on Good Friday, a bloody skirmish led the Visayan nuns of the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion of the Sisters of Charity (Spanish Congregation) to attend the wounded. The narrator described how the nuns personally dragged the wounded to the hospital, held vigil, without a fee, without regard to the color or background of the person as long as their altruistic mission was fulfilled.

With a very brief interruption during the Philippine Revolution in 1898, Inmaculada was soon offering other courses: Clase Preparatoria, Clase Media, Taquigrafia, Mecanografia, Piano, Canto, Pintura, Bordado y Labores. Spanish still continued as the official language. When the Americans took over, Inmaculada provided the first Public Schools of the Visayan region with well-prepared teachers. In 1911, CIC started to offer Elementary and Secondary courses in English, with government recognition, turning out the first batch of High School graduates in 1923.

The Asociacion de las Hijas de Maria (Association of the Children of Mary) was first organized on October 2, 1905 with Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion as the first CoM Unit. Full-pledged membership was open to the older students or even teachers. The types of membership were Mary's Angels, Junior Aspirants, Senior Aspirants and Full-pledged members. Usually the Sister Servant or Superior was the Directora of the association.

The school publication, BLUE and WHITE came into existence on July 15, 1933 through the initiative of the principal, Sr. Constancia Marilao and Miss Tomasa Gachapin (later Mrs. Jose Yulo) as the first editor.

Two years later November 3, 1935, saw the first Alumnae reunion with Sor Fernanda Vaño, DC as its first Coordinator. Since then the Homecoming Day became traditional.

In the first quarter of the twentieth century, Loring Larraquel Victorino recalled that:

The following alumnae mostly Damas de la Caridad (Ladies of Charity) of Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion were active in the service to the community. It was even said that these ex-alumnas were instrumental in the founding of “Asilo de la Milagrosa” then located at Lapu-lapu-Logarta Street . They were Doña Esperanza Velez, Doña Mina Escaño, Doña Inday Rallos, Doña Carmen Sotto, Doña Beatriz Jereza, Doña Pilar Vaño Escaño.

In the second and third quarter of the century another group of ex-alumnas worked with Fr. Rhaman, SVD for the reconstruction of one wing of Asilo de la Milagrosa. They were Mrs. Pilar Noel Borromeo, Mrs. Pacing Labucay Cabahug, Mrs. Loring Larraquel Victorino, Mrs. Luisa Pido and Mrs. Antonia Moraza. Much later they were joined by Mrs. Felisa Yap Chiongbian..

The following alumnae mostly Damas de la Caridad (Ladies of Charity) of Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion were active in the service to the community. It was even said that these ex-alumnas were instrumental in the founding of “Asilo de la Milagrosa” then located at Lapu-lapu-Logarta Street . They were Doña Esperanza Velez, Doña Mina Escaño, Doña Inday Rallos, Doña Carmen Sotto, Doña Beatriz Jereza, Doña Pilar Vaño Escaño.

In the second and third quarter of the century another group of ex-alumnas worked with Fr. Rhaman, SVD for the reconstruction of one wing of Asilo de la Milagrosa. They were Mrs. Pilar Noel Borromeo, Mrs. Pacing Labucay Cabahug, Mrs. Loring Larraquel Victorino, Mrs. Luisa Pido and Mrs. Antonia Moraza. Much later they were joined by Mrs. Felisa Yap Chiongbian.

At the turn of the 40's, Inmaculada was an impressive three-storey edifice with façade facing Urdaneta Street and wings embracing Martires, La Soladaridad and Lapu-Lapu Streets. As to be expected the curricular offerings through the initiative of Sor Paz San Buenaventura , D.C. were augmented to reach the tertiary level. Three collegiate courses were offered: a one-year Secretarial with Sr. Isabel Matamorosa as first instructor; a two-year Junior Normal and Music Teacher's Junior Course with government permit. Sor Fernanda Vaño was the first Directress of Music.

At the outbreak of World War II on December 8, 1941, the following courses were being offered: Kindergarten, Elementary, Academic Secondary, Secretarial, Junior Normal, Home Economics, Elementary Course in Piano, Junior Course in Piano and Music Teacher's Diploma. Undaunted by the complete loss of its building and equipment during World War II, the school carried on with equal zeal. With a handful of primary children from the neighborhood, the Sisters managed to re-open the Elementary Department and One-Year Secretarial Course during the Japanese Occupation Period, at Ex-Judge Juan Singson's house in Jakosalem Street . There, the “Lesser Inmaculada” did what it could until the American Liberation Forces took the Japanese by surprise on September 12, 1944.

In 1945, the Elementary and High School classes were housed temporarily in quonset huts at Gorordo Avenue . The temporary buildings of bamboo and nipa were donated by the 77 th Infantry Division of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE). It was in the following year – 1946 that Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion, a new and impressive, two-storey structure, was completed on its present site on Gorordo Avenue . In July of the same year, the Two-Year Normal Course and One-Year Secretarial Course were also resumed.

By 1947, the following courses were recognized: Kindergarten, Elementary, Academic Secondary, Secretarial, Associate in Arts, Elementary Course in Piano, Junior Course in Piano, Music Teacher's Diploma. In the same year other collegiate courses were offered: Liberal Arts, Commerce and Home Economics. In succeeding years, these followed: Bachelor of Music major in Piano and Voice (1953); Bachelor of Science in Education. A cultural contribution was presented December 1957 with the inauguration of the imposing CIC Auditorium.

1964 was a significant and historical year for Inmaculada. The Philippine congregation of the Daughters of Charity ceased to be a sub-province of Spain and became independent Province with its own Visitatrix, Sr. Felomena Zulueta , D.C.

With this came the appointment in 1966 of Sr. Paz San Buenaventura as the first Filipino Sister Servant of Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion.

With the progress of the community, the residents appealed to the Sisters to open a school that could undertake the job of providing their children with a Christian education. The Superior of Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion, Sr. Paz San Buenaventura, took the initial steps to open a CIC Branch in Mandaue. A permit was obtained, and it formally opened on July 7, 1969. Sr. Imelda Espiritu was by then the new Superior . Classes started with 49 children in Kindergarten, with Miss Maria Carreon as the first teacher and Sr. Concepcion Galleposo as the supervising Sister. Since 1969, the CIC Mandaue City Branch gradually developed into a Grade School, offering Kindergarten, Preparatory and Primary classes from Grades One to Four. Grades Five and Six were opened consecutively in 1979 and 1980. With the opening of the intermediate grades, CIC Mandaue is now a complete Elementary School. Schoolyear 1999 – 2000, CIC Mandaue had its first high school graduation.

Expansion of Inmaculada's services to the community came hand in hand with the academics. In June 1968, the Sta. Luisa Social Action Center was opened to take charge of the material and spiritual needs of poor families living behind the school. Credit goes to the first two pioneer Sisters: Sr. Paz San Buenaventura and Sr. Concepcion Galleposo, whose initial services were later bolstered by three more sisters: Sr. Rosario Teves, a registered Social Worker, Sr. Salvacion Almonte and Sr. Luz Guido. Through the efforts of the CIC Alumnae Association, this small building expanded and was called the CIC Sta. Luisa Development Center , a two-storey building which houses the extensive school-community services. Inauguration date of CIC-SLDC was on September 27, 1967, feastday of St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the Daughters of Charity and patron of social work. At present the center is called St. Louise de Marillac Foundation, Inc.

1975 ushered in a significant event. The CIC Alumnae Association was formally registered as a juridical body with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with Mrs. Felisa Yap Chiongbian as President. Since then, it has become Inmaculada's dependable arm and generous sponsor in its various school and community projects. Various musical presentations have been sponsored, such as the Piano Concert of Reynaldo Reyes in the earlier days of the Sta. Luisa Center , the Concert of Sr. Ester B. Peña, DC, pianist, with the Manila Symphony Orchestra in 1977 and the 1982 September Affair featuring the pianist Joselito S. Pascual. The beneficiary of such concerts has been the CIC-Sta. Luisa Development Center , an on-going project of the CIC Alumnae Association.

To assess the quality of her instruction and her amount of service to the community, Inmaculada applied for accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) in 1974. Formal accreditation was started in 1975 for the High School Department and its Certificate of Accreditation was received on March 14, 1977.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta , India , known the world over as the “living saint” visited Inmaculada on February 7, 1977.

March 15, 1979 ushered in Inmaculada's Centennial Year Celebration. The week-long activities from March 10 to 16, 1980 – were simple but impressive and in keeping with the awareness of the Vincentian Mission permeating the school.

The most concrete Vincentian service is the Night High School Department established during the centennial year in 1980 – a most fitting gift to the community for the financially handicapped girls of Cebu .

December 2005 – December 2006 saw another year-long thanksgiving and celebration for the gift of 125 years. “CIC-Cebu: 125 Years of Spirited Presence” was the theme of that year.

Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion is a catholic school that offers Basic Education (Nursery to Grade 10) with the College Department phased out in 1998. This was to concentrate on the Christian formation of the young clientele. As an institution of learning, CIC has been undergoing accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) since 1977. The institution also underwent Congregational Evaluation Visit (CEV) in 1987, the first of its kind in Region 7 and a Congregational Mission Audit (CMA) in 2007.

Cognizant of the special role expected of the Catholic Schools, CIC-Cebu takes the responsibility of building up the new breed of Filipinos – disciplined, nourished with positive nationalism, proud of the country's cultural heritage, builders of peace, respectful of the dignity of life and creation and citizens of the Church and of the country for a sustainable future.


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COPYRIGHT © 2007 COLEGIO DE LA INMACULDA CONCEPCION
45 Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
Tel. Nos. +6332 232-97-87, +6332 232-97-80, +6332 232-46-25
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