Saturday, February 23, 2013

History of Manila High School by Ms. Normita Casal

This History of Manila High School was compiled and edited by Ms Normita Casal head of English Department, Manila High School.

No other public school can be considered more historical than Manila High School. From her sprung the older high schools we have in Manila today.

High schools which can also boast of having earlier beginnings can trace their origins back to Manila High School, as in the case of Torres, Arellano, Mapa, Roxas, Manila Science and Araullo which was one of the earliest names given to Manila High School.

The original Manila High School was located on the same site where it is found today, inside the Walled City or Intramuros, bastion of Spanish governance. Before the Spanish Army turned it into a military hospital, the building was used to house Escuela Municipal which was established through the Ayuntamiento de Mamila. The Escuela Municipal was a school for girls run by the Sisters of Charity and this was in 1892 four years before Dr. Jose Rizal was shot in Bagumbayan in 1896. The girls were barely educated, when also in 1892, the Philippine Revolution broke out and the school building was turned into a military hospital to service "guardia civils" hurt in skirmishes with Filipino soldiers.

When the Americans took reigns over the Spanish authorities, the Philippines having been ceded to the US government when the Spaniards lost their war against the former, The Filipino-American War ensued in 1898 and again the building was used as a hospital. The American Forces proved too much for the Filipinos so that relative peace was achieved and in 1906, the Americans reverted the building to its original use. Thus was established the first public secondary school in the country and was named Manila High School, right where the school is located at present, comer Victoria and Muralla Street.

In 1906, when the Americans who did not have much use for a military hospital having vanguished the ill-equipped Filipino soldiers turned it into a very first public high school. During the day it was known as Manila High School but in the evening, it was the Victoria Night High School.

Increasing enrollment made it necessary to establish more schools. In 1921, three schools were established and depending where the building was located in reference to the Pasig River, it was either East, West or North High School with the name Manila still attached to it. Manila High School being in the south of the Pasig River was renamed Manila South High School.

In 1930, the four schools were renamed after four famous Filipino jurists. Manila High School became Araullo High School while the three were Torres High School, Arellano High School and Mapa High School.

At the close of World War II, Araullo High School (Manila South High School) was ruined during the bombing of Intramuros. When schools reopened in 1946, Araullo High School occupied Quonset huts in Singalong with Mr. James P. Bums and Mr. Victor P. Hernandez as principal and assistant principal respectively. After a short while, Araullo High School was transferred to Lukban Elementary School because the Singalong Site was to be reoccupied by the Epifanio delos Santos Elemeirtary School. Later on, Araullo High School had put up an annex to accommodate its growing student’ population. TwoButler huts in Mehan Garden had an initial enrollment of 221 first year students. From Lukban Elementary School, it occupied the Bordner Building in Padre Faura.

In 1948, the Mehan Garden Annex of Araullo High School became independent and was named President Manuel A Roxas High School. Mr. Bums died in the same year and Araullo High School was led by Mr. Hernandez. Mr. Augusto AIzona became the principal ofRoxas High School High School also grew in number and bad to establish annexes of its own. The city government rented 14 rooms in 1949 from the FEATI University and this was called the McArthur Annex. Another annex was opened in Intramuros, right where Escuela Municipal was once located. In 1953, another annex was added at the National Radio School in Quiapo called NRS Annex but this was later abandoned in the school year 1957-1958. The acquisition of the Canonigo site in Paco paved the way for a fourth annex. The Canonigo Annex of Roxas High School admitted over 1,600 first year students in 1954.

In 1958, the Municipal Board of ManiIa resolved to revive Manila High School. In this resolution, the Manuel A Roxas High School Annex in Canonigo Paco became an independent high school retaining the name Manuel Roxas High School under the principalship of Mrs. Arsenia de Jesus...

The Roxas High School annexes in Mehan, FEAT!, and Intramuros became Manila High School with Mr. Augusto Alzona"as principal. During Mr. Alzona's administration,he opened a special class for the exceptionally gifted graduates of Manila's public elementarys chools. In 1963, this unique class declared its independence ftom Manila High School and erected its own building at the site of the Intramuros Annex of the Manila High School. Earlier, in the same year, an impressive million-peso edifice was built for Manila High School which it occupied for only two years. Manila High School was asked to give up the new building for the establishment of the Pamanatasang Lungsod ng Maynila in May 1967.

Manila High School was transferred from the now Pamantasan to a four-story building which is the present Manila High School while the Manila Science Higb School were abandoned and only the building in Muralla comer Victoria Sts. was retained as Manila High School.

In November 1981, there was a move by then Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing Sr. to give the fourth floor of the ManiJa High School to the justices of the Court of First Instance. A fire razed the fourth floor of the Manila City Hall which housed the salas and offices of the 13judges.Again, the students, parents, teachers and alumni opposed the move. Copies of the petition were given to the Ministry of Education, Metro Manila Commission, Western Police District and the press. A telegram was also sent to Gov. Marcos, who was in New York at that time. The issue was discussed in newspapers, radio and television. Gov. Marcos cabled an order to desist any action against Manila High School.

 The National Historical Institute declared Manila High School a historical site and a marker was unveiled on February 26, 1982 by Carlos P. Romulo.

Sources :

Hard copy of Historical documents from the National Historical Institute and from the Division of City School, Manila.

Manila High School History compiled and edited by Ms. Normita Casal an English Teacher of Manila High School.

Other related stories about Manila High School on the below web link :

Manila High School 106th Foundation Day

Manila High School (Intramuros) Hungers Burns The Heart

Manila High School and the US Navy

Manila High School - Centennial Anniversary and Alumni Homecoming



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