Tirso H. Jamandre, Sr. was among the early Adventist believers and Bible workers in Panay, sixth largest and fourth most populous island in the Philippines.
Tirso H. Jamandre, Sr. was born September 24, 1898 in Dumangas, Iloilo, to Diego Jamandre and Agapita Hortinela, local fishpond owners. Tirso accepted the Adventist message after reading Ellen G. White’s The Great Controversy, given to him by a colporteur. After accepting the truth, Tirso went to Manila to study at Pasay City Academy (which later became Philippine Union College). Here he met Segunda Tan Jucaban and married her June 21, 1925. They were blessed with three children: Welda Sophia (who became an obstetrician-gynecologist), Rachel Henrietta (an anesthesiologist and a psychiatrist), and Tirso Jr. (an industrial engineer).1
Tirso Jamandre, Sr. began his ministry as a literature evangelist after undergoing training in Iloilo institute for literature evangelism. He was one of the first two colporteurs to work in Mindanao.2 Among his early literature evangelism contacts was with one Y. Yovan to whom he sold a copy of The Patriarchs and Prophets and The Coming King. Yovan, a non-commissioned officer of the United States Army in Zamboanga, read the books, accepted the Adventist message and after some time was baptized and later became the Publishing Director of the South Central Luzon Mission.3 But the first meeting between Tirso and Yovan was itself providential miracle. Yovan was sent from Fort William McKinley to Petit Barracks in Zamboanga to tame two army horses, and it is on this mission the horse tamer and the book salesman happened to meet, and make the sale, which led to the baptism of Yovan.4
Contribution and Legacy
Not only was he a colporteur, he was also a philanthropist. When an attempt to purchase a 14-hectare school site for West Visayan Academy at Zarraga, Iloilo, failed,5 Tirso Jamandre, having more than 50-hectares (5,000 acres) of land in Bongco, the next town to Zarraga, offered the building committee a donation by matching the number of hectares they would purchase. The committee chose to purchase 5.5 hectares, bringing in Jamandre’s match.6
Jamandre was also one of the major donors7 for the purchase of the land where Mountain View College now stands. Toward that purchase of 2,500 acres, he promised 10,000 pesos (about $5,000) to A. N. Nelson, then Philippine Union College President.8 Shortly after the making of that promise, Tirso Jamandre, Sr. died. No one but these two knew about the promise, but when Mrs. Jamandre and her children heard of the promise, they confirmed the donation,9 Segunda, Tirso Jamandre Sr.’s wife, sent the money through her son, Tirso Jamandre, Jr., to be given to Nelson.10 Soon the Mountain View College took shape, and the village housing the campus was named after Jamandre, the visionary colporteur and Adventist pioneer.11
Tirso Jamandre, Sr. also served the Adventist organization in various other capacities. From 1930 to 1932, he was the treasurer of West Visayan Mission, at that time headquartered in La Paz, Iloilo City, and covering the territory of the islands of Panay, Guimaras, Romblon, Tablas, Sibuyan, the Cuyo group, and the province of Negros Occidental.12 From 1937 to 1938 he served as the Mission auditor.13 He was also a member of the executive committee of the Mission from 1932 to 1950, and a member of the Board of Management for the West Visayan Academy.14
Baldwin, W. O. “Modern Chapters for the Book of Chronicles.” Missions Quarterly, 1953 (first quarter).
Christensen, Don. “An Unsung Hero.” Cyberflashes. Accessed July 8, 2016. https://issuu.com/mvcollege/docs/cf_20160708/3
Nelson, A. N. “The Birth of a New College.” ARH, June 12, 1952.
Nelson, Andrew N. “Pioneering a New College in the Philippines.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 17, 1953.
Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1976). S.v. “West Visayan Academy.”
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, years 1932-1950. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/old-yearbooks.
“Under a Leaky Tent.” Far Easter Division Outlook. September, 1939.
Yovan, J. “Providential Coincidence.” The Church Officers’ Gazette, March 1946.
Weaks, C. E. “Volunteers for Mindanao.” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 1-15, 1920.
Vita Mallari Jamandre, the daughter-in-law of the late Tirso H. Jamandre, Sr., interview by author, La Paz, Iloilo City, November 6, 2018.↩
C. E. Weaks, “Volunteers for Mindanao,” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 1-15, 1920, 5.↩
“Under a Leaky Tent,” Far Easter Division Outlook, September, 1939, 7.↩
J. Yovan, “Providential Coincidence,” The Church Officers’ Gazette, March 1946, 39.↩
Don F. Neufield, “West Visayan Academy,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976), 1582.↩
Vita Mallari Jamandre, the daughter-in-law of the late Tirso H. Jamandre, Sr., interview by author, La Paz, Iloilo City November 6, 2018. The information provided by Vita Mallari Jamandre differs from the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1976) that states that Tirso Jamandre “sold 10 hectares” and “donated 2 or more hectares” (Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia , s.v. “West Visayan Academy”).↩
Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1976), s.v. “West Visayan Academy.”↩
W. O. Baldwin, “Modern Chapters for the Book of Chronicles,” Missions Quarterly, 1953 (first quarter), 18.↩
A. N. Nelson, “The Birth of a New College,” ARH, June 12, 1952, 15.↩
Vita Mallari Jamandre, the daughter-in-law of the late Tirso H. Jamandre, Sr., interview by author, La Paz, Iloilo City November 6, 2018.↩