Many of the country’s schools are older than a few centuries. Given that the Philippines were a Spanish colony for more than 300 years, it makes sense that many of the schools are catholic institutions. Many of the educational institutions founded during the Spanish era are still in existence today.
Let us take a look at the top 10 oldest schools in the Philippines.
1. Seminario Mayor de San Carlos
The Seminario Mayor de San Carlos is a top choice if you want to devote your life to serving the Lord as a priest. The Seminario de San Carlos, established in 1783 by the Archdiocese of Cebu, serves as the ancestor of this institution. In Cebu City, it is situated along Pope John Paul 2 Avenue. When selecting aspiring priests, the seminary adheres to the values and principles established by the Second Vatican Council. Additionally, they have a Graduate School Program that grants degrees in Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (MAPM) (MAT).
2. Colegio de Santa Rosa
The Beaterio y Casa de Enseanza, a school initially constructed to educate orphan girls in Intramuros, is where the institution’s roots can be traced. The institution, which was founded in 1750 by Dominican Tertiary M. Paula de la Santisima Trinidad of Spain, has seen various administrative changes and is currently associated with the Daughters of Charity.
Since 1981 to the present, Augustinian Recollect nuns have served as the administrators. Preschool, elementary school, junior high, and senior high are all offered at this private, all-girls institution. Rockwell Makati City’s Estrella St. is the location of Colegio de Santa Rosa.
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3. St. Mary’s College, Quezon City
The first congregation in the Philippines to provide both boys’ and girls’ formal education is St. Mary’s College, Quezon City, or SMCQC. Its origins can be discovered in Beaterio de la Compania de Jesus, a school established in 1725 by Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. All Spanish, Chinese mestizas, and Filipino girls were welcome at the school.
It established itself as a congregation in 1901, and in 1939 it officially changed its name to St. Mary’s College. From kindergarten through grade six, the school also offers junior and senior high. A variety of college courses are also available. In Quezon City, near Ignacia Avenue B, is the St. Mary’s College Mother.
4. Santa Catalina College
Santa Catalina College is a private, sectarian school located in Sampaloc, Manila. It is currently run by a Dominican Order-affiliated congregation known as the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. The Beaterio Colegio de Santa Catalina de Siena, founded in Intramuros in 1706, is connected to the school.
In contrast to other religious schools that only accepted Spanish and mestiza women, Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo’s school quickly began to accept native girls. Santa Catalina College currently provides kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and senior high. Additionally, they provide college courses for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
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5. San Carlos Seminary
The Real y Conciliar Colegio de San Carlos, founded in 1702 by the Archdiocese of Manila, serves as the ancestor of this institution. The school currently houses a number of seminarians, largely from the Metro Manila area and from several dioceses in Luzon.
It has produced a number of notable alumni over the years, including the heroic priests Mariano of Gomburza and Jacinto Zamora, the first Filipino Cardinal Rufino Santos, Cardinal Archbishop of Cebu Ricardo Vidal, and Bishop Nereo Odchimar, who was elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. In Makati City is where you can find the San Carlos Seminary.
6. Santa Isabel College Manila
This former all-girls school is situated in Ermita, Manila City, and provides primary, intermediate, and post-secondary levels of education. Additionally, it provides a variety of bachelor’s degrees in addition to graduate programmes in music and the arts.
One of the oldest girl’s schools in the world, Colegio de Santa Isabel, which was founded in 1632, is where the school’s roots may be traced. Early on, the school only took in Spanish orphans; later, it also welcomed Spanish mestiza. The Daughters of Charity currently run Santa Isabel College in Manila.
7. Colegio de San Juan de Letran
This private school is situated in Manila’s Intramuros district. According to records, the school is both the oldest secondary school in Asia and the oldest college in the Philippines. When it was founded in 1620, college courses were already being provided.
A long list of prominent graduates from the institution includes a few revolutionary heroines as well as Philippine presidents, lawmakers, poets, clergypeople, and judges. The institution offers fundamental education, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, as well as an exceptional graduate programme with a range of options. The Order of Preachers’ friars currently run and own the school (Dominicans).
8. University of Santo Tomas
The Colegio de Nuestra Seora de Santisimo Rosario, currently also known as The Catholic University of the Philippines and The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, was established in 1611 by Manila’s Archbishop Miguel de Benavides.
The largest institution in Manila in terms of enrollment is the University of Santo Tomas, which is located in Sampaloc, Manila. Basic education, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees are all offered by the institution. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has accredited numerous of its degree programmes as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development.
9. San Jose Seminary
The Society of Jesus founded the institution in 1601. Its original name was Colegio de San Jose, and its goals included educating and training young people in study and entrepreneurship as well as preparing future church pastors. The pupils and priesthood candidates were taught about “cases of conscience” and Latin grammar. The Manila diocesan clergy, many of whom were seminary alumni, helped the seminary continue to run after the expulsion of Jesuits from the Philippines, which was mandated by King Carlos III of Spain. The seminar located in Quezon City’s Loyola Heights.
10. University of San Carlos
Private university called the University of San Carlos may be found in Cebu City. The Colegio de San Ildefonso, which was founded in 1595, served as the school’s original management and administration organisation until being taken over by the Society of the Divine Word. As a result, the school becomes not only the oldest in the nation but also in Asia. It provides elementary education, a preparatory Montessori school, and several Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post-Graduate programmes with a broad spectrum of academic topics and specialisations.
The University of Santo Tomas rejects the University of San Carlos’ claim that it is the oldest university in the nation, claiming that there is a shaky relationship between Colegio de San Ildefonso and the University of San Carlos. This is a crucial distinction to make. But the University of San Carlos upholds its declared name, and in 1995 it even marked the occasion of its quadricentennial (400th) founding day.