Tirad View Academy

By Abraham M. del Rosario, and Jassen M. Gregorio

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Abraham M. del Rosario is a D.Min. student at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang Cavite, Philippines. He is presently Associate Publishing Director and Director of Literature Ministry in the North Philippine Union Conference. He is married to Lovelyn Acebedo and blessed with three sons and one daughter: Chester, Rylland, Lhowelle, and Kathleen.

Jassen M. Gregorio currently teaches English at Tirad View Adventist Academy. She finished her B.S. in Secondary Education (English) at the Adventist University of the Philippines. She is married to Abel Gregorio, a minister by calling. The couple has one daughter named Jassen.

Tirad View Academy was established in 1965. It is in Quirino, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.

Brief History of the Adventist Work in the Area in which Tirad View Academy is Located

In the 1940s paganism and syncretism were prevalent in Tumbaga, Angaki, Ilocos Sur (now Cayus, Quirino, Ilocos Sur). Adventism arose here when Aw-ay Dupagan heard a small voice compelling her to read her Bible. Illiteracy did not hinder her passion for telling her story in Mariono Paking, better known as Solimen. Every Sunday a small group of individuals carefully studied the Bible, and they found out that the seventh-day Sabbath is the day of rest. Felipe Berto and Petra Wandag, his wife, were informed and educated with the truth. In Artacho, Sison, Pangasinan, Berto, and Petra embraced and kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Berto was asked to lead the group in studying the Bible and in keeping the Sabbath. Through this small company, the truth dispersed and the spread of Adventism began. The first converts were Aw-ay Dupagan Isno, Salut Pasudag, Mariano Paking (Solimen), Emilio Dupagan, Salvador Langwey, Leona Langwey, Oting-ey, and Colasa.

Before the opening of Adventism in Tumbaga, Tiking Mission School in Tiking, Tubo, Abra, was founded through the missionary spirit of Mariano Isilen of Tambuan, Mountain province in 1935. This school became the forerunner of Tubtuba Mission School, Dilong Mission School, Tumbaga Mission School, and finally Tirad View Academy. The school is situated in Tiking, Tubo, Abra, a remote and mountainous place.1 In this place, Mariano Isilen conducted a series of evangelistic meetings that led to the conversion of souls.2 Inspired by the spirit of the people, Mr. Isilen introduced the opening of a modest school which would serve as a magnificent avenue for sowing seeds of truth. He shared the idea with the people and solicited support in the establishment of the school made of “kugon” and bamboos. The combined effort and involvement of the community saw the beginning of the school in the same year with Mariano Isilen as the first teacher (Berto, 2014).3

In 1936, Mariano Isilen was replaced by Remegio B. Atiteo and Mark Balao-as (nurse), and they worked together for four years. According to the report of the Biennial Session on December 16-23, 1936, Professor Millard Ragsdale, Education secretary of the Philippine Union Mission, and Elder E. N. Lugenbeal, the president of Northern Luzon Mission (1931-1938) visited Tiking Mission School.4 During their stay they were able to baptize eight young people. Adventism continued to spread and rapidly increase. This inspired the Northern Philippine Union Mission to provide further support to the school. When Mark and Remegio quit teaching in Tiking in 1939, the NPUM hired Jaime Wandag from Angaki, Ilocos Sur, a graduate of Northern Luzon Academy who later finished his Elementary Teacher’s Certificate at Philippine Union College.5

Given the increasing enrollment, Jamime Wandag requested an additional teacher from the mission and eventually persuaded Pedro Castillo, one of his colleagues at NLA, to join him. The following year Pedro left the school because of an unpleasant experience. This compelled Jaime to look for another teacher and he found Felipe Berto, from Artacho, Sison, Pangasinan.

Initial Discussions and Plans for Establishing a School

During the Japanese invasion in 1942, the place was blitzed by canons and artilleries. The people were frightened and forced to leave their homes and the school became the garrison of the invading army.6 The aftermath of the invasion compelled people to hide in the mountains of Dilong, Tubtuba, Alangtin, Supo, and Matibuey. As a result, Adventism flourished and the Dilong Mission School and Tubtuba Mission School were established.

As the gospel progressed in Tubo, the mission commissioned Felipe Berto to lead out in the reopening of Tiking Mission School through a written letter delivered by Pastor Tiwan Atiteo, the district pastor. He immediately responded. However, he found out that it was impossible to rebuild the school since the people had scattered and found other places to build their homes. Tiking was no longer inhabited, and the remains of the war were still evident. He went back to Tumbaga with the plan to open a school in another location.

Mr. Dionisio related how Mr. Berto passionately presented his plan. When he arrived from Tiking, he immediately gathered the people of the community and shared his idea about the establishment of a school in their place. With the presence of Teniente del Barrio and Vitorio Dalligos, the meeting ended with the vision of establishing a mission school.

In June 1945 the Tumbaga Mission School (later named Tumbaga Elementary School and finally, Tirad View Academy) opened with Felipe Berto as the first teacher with 18 pupils. These pioneer pupils were Joaquin Abawag, Felimon Bacuteng, Felipe Cabanao, Elpidio Castro, Alejandro Corpuz, Domingo Dalligos, Estuio Diasen, Antonio Dupagan, Dionisio Dupagan, Beulah Dumayapdap, Ninay Gattud, Corpus Manas, Manuel Panduyos, Felipe Padua, Ernesta Sagmayao, Manuel Tangaag, Fernando Tongpo, and Benigno Wai.

Founding of the School

In Mr. Berto’s autobiography entitled “Out of the Depths, My Auto Biography,” he said:

I opened Tumbaga Mission School. We used a borrowed house (house of Esao Umnas) for our school with no equipment at all to begin with. The students squatted on the floor with benches as their desks. I can justly say that what the students learned the first year was the stock knowledge that I had for I did not have any books except my English Bible which served as my reading book for the fourth graders. I borrowed a 2x3 plywood from Mariano Isilen for my blackboard to teach the first graders their ABC and numbers. It was a very crude school, but I was pleased with my students’ progress. In the middle of the year, Pastor Atiteo brought Arithmetic and Language Manuals. The late professor gave me the privilege of running the school as I saw fit. After a year, we bought a house for our school and again, we got a property in the outskirts of the village for the better one as there was a significant increase of students.7

Dionisio Dupagan mentioned during the interview that in 1947 the houses of Cesario (Sario) Tongpo and Paulino Dupagan were bought to serve as classrooms.8 However, in 1948 the school was moved to Maseyew, its current location, because there was a rapid increase in the enrollment and the existing classrooms could not accommodate the pupils.

He emphasized that through the support of the church members from Tubtuba, Dilong, Dagman, Poblacion, Malideg, Tumbaga, Matibuey, and other nearby barangays, a cogon-thatched building served as a school and church as well.

History of the School

In 1949 Pastor Alfredo Damocles joined Mr. Berto. After one year, however, he was transferred to Tabuk Elementary School in Tabuk, Kalinga, Mountain province. The mission then sent Faith Zarate and Dora Zarate to aid him in the teaching ministry. In 1951 Ricardo Calla joined the teaching force. The following year, Mrs. Calla began to teach.9

The first graduates of Tumbaga Mission School, as recounted by Dionisio Dupagan, were Abraham Sinaking, Candido Wail (composer of the TVA School Song), Belario Baguitay, and Elpidio Reynante.

On July 3, 1967, the Elementary Department was recognized under No. 159, s. 1967. The teachers of the Tumbaga Mission School (now Tirad View Academy) were: Tiburcio Bandola, Ricardo Calla, Lorenza Calla, Vicente Balite, Lisa Amon, Mary Emock, Simeona Dapuyen Agsiweng, Chiquita Badbaden, C Gracia, Robert Carantes, Dora Corpuz, Josefina Sumago, Daisy Pagulongan, Aprina Acierto, Estrella Agsalog, Nodilyn Binong, Rogelyn Aciong, Angelita Ando, Grace Sales, Rufina Oyaman, Carmencita Ortaleza, Jared Revilla, Jennifer Bucak-ew, Loma Wagayan, and Dora Tongpo.

Sensing the need for continuing Adventist education, Pastor Ephraim Dingoasen, the district pastor, shared his dream of academic expansion. In 1964 he campaigned for the start of a junior academy. The church members from the community and from nearby barangays and towns rallied together. It was their faith that built the foundation of the school.

Through the brave aspirations of the pioneers led by Pastor Dingoasen, they applied for a permit to operate a school. Upon receiving the grant, the school became Tumbaga SDA Junior Academy in 1965 and later the name was changed to Tirad View Academy, as suggested by Elder Todd C. Murdoch. The title came from the historical peak visible from the campus. It became a mission-sponsored school when it gained full status as an academy for the 1968-1969 school year.10

The North Philippine Union Mission president, Elder Todd Murdoch, vigorously supported the school and vowed to help in its development. Upon returning to the United States in 1967, he sent an initial fund of P 12,000 for the construction of a concrete academic building as required by the Department of Education. Elder Dionisio Dupagan and the rest of the concerned church members went to La Union and tried to canvass for materials. After a long search, they finally found the cheapest in Tagudin Ilocos Sur. Mr. Dupagan fondly reminisced about how they labored and toiled for the realization of the project. Moved by the spirit of Bayanihan, the church members coming from Tumbaga and other nearby barangays such as Legleg (Poblacion), Dagman, Banoen/Malideg, Dilong, Tubtuba, and Matibuey, immediately started construction of the building.

The first principal of the academy was Pastor Reuben Budayao. Pastor Jeremias Medina installed him, then the current Mountain Provinces Mission president. After three years of leadership, Pastor Budayao was called to pioneer Palawan Adventist Academy. He was replaced by Pastor Alejandro Miguel in 1968.

The curriculum started with Level 1, and as the year progressed, the levels offered were increased. The first graduation took place in 1969 with Pastor Victor Cabansag, MPM President and Mrs. Marion Simons, the elementary supervisor for all Adventist elementary schools in the Far East, as the speakers.

There were 33 graduates, 18 females and 15 males. The pioneer graduates were Artemio Anaas, Jeremias Bandola, Malaya Bucto, Burgos Domingo, Francisco Duligan, Narciso Dumanas, Rocero Gamsao, Ben Gassil, Romualdo Isiguen, Saturnio Sencio, Jerry Tayaben, Solomon Wagyen, Arsenia Abawag, Rosario Balbin, Rosa Cadalig, Natividad Dalligos, Remedios Day-ao, Leonida Diw-anan, Leonilla Bacoog, Helen Gallao, Febe Gomintong, Isabel Kawes Lagadan, Maria Lang-es, Aurora Mangibat, Hilda Pag-a, Lolita Pattang, Demetria Subagan, Elizabeth Sumingwa, Ester Tacayan and Paulina Tanong (Closing Reports, 1969).

The Historical Role of the School in the Church, Community, Nation, and World

At the height of the school’s development, a struggle came about which served as baptism by fire in the leadership of Pastor Miguel. Supernatural things occurred and affected the enrollment and the reputation of the school. During a group interview conducted years later with Rosalina Jose, Lemuel Dalligos, and Natividad Dalligos, on December 22, 2017, they articulated scenarios where they witnessed the attack of the devil on several students. “I was there when the devil possessed a girl. Pastor Dingoasen, the MPM President, (who visited TVA) asked her of her name, and she answered ‘Legion,’” narrated Lemuel Dalligos.11

Despite those encounters, the school continued to witness for Jesus and still attracted parents and students. In 1971 and again in 1977, the growing enrollment pressed Pastor Cabansag to raise the idea of transferring the school to a more spacious location in Namecbecan, Cervantes. However, the church members rejected the idea. After several deliberations, the plan did not materialize for two essential reasons: (1) there were no Adventist believers who could directly support the school in that place, and (2) there was a meager supply of water.12

From its beginning, the school strove for excellence. The leaders and workers endeavored to preserve the excellent holistic curriculum. Evidence is seen in the various recognitions awarded to the school, and much more in the souls converted to Jesus. Rosalina Jose and Elizabeth Biscaro mentioned that during their time as students, between 1974 -1976, under the leadership of Pastor Barayuga, the school received the Imelda Marcos Green Revolution Regional Award. They earned this recognition because of the exceptional agriculture program of the school under the Practical Arts classes of Teofilo Agsiweng. In 1990, the school was recognized by the Department of Education Regional Office for getting the top rank in the Regional NCAE when Joan Gattud achieved a 98 percent rating. The Regional Education Superintendent came personally to the school from Vigan, Ilocos Sur to hand her the award during the graduation ceremony. The same year the school garnered the highest rank in the CAT cadet corps among the SDA academies of the North Philippine Union Conference with Maximino Cadalig as the corps commander.

During the first year of Pastor Barayuga as the principal in 1972, his wife, Mrs. Luz Barayuga, initiated the publication of the first yearbook—the Hilltop.13 This name eventually changed to Bits n’ Pieces.

Hilltop featured the 10th anniversary of the school. The goodness of the Lord was recounted during the Tin Celebration. It was a special day for the school that the community people and the nearby barangays flocked to celebrate together. They had a torch parade at night for the kick-off, a special chapel program, ball games, and a potluck during the day.

The school applied for status as a non-profit corporation under the name Tirad View Academy of Seventh-day Adventists, INC with SEC Registration No. 36776 in 1999. The first registered names of incorporators were Todd C. Murdoch (British), Moises G. Jeroes (Filipino), Benito G. Mary (Filipino), Eduardo Dingoasen (Filipino), and Samuel Recalde (Filipino).

The land where the school sits used to be farmland owned by Vicente Lubong. According to Leona Langwey, one of the first Adventist converts in Quirino, Mr. Lubong left for An-anaaw, Gregorio del Pilar, Ilocos Sur when he married a woman from that place. The land became desolate and was not tilled for many years.14

Since there was a rapid growth of enrollment, the pioneers decided to transfer the school from Maseyew to that vacant land. Land titling not then observed. However, the school did not just want to take over the land, so they looked for Mr. Lubong and bought the property. The land purchased was vast. It covered part of Bolbolin expanded to the area where the barangay hall now stands. However, as time went by, part of the school land was inhabited by the community people. When the school tried to recover the original land, a great commotion transpired. The school finally just gave way this portion and subdivided its land into three lots. Currently, the actual property of the school is the lot B which covers 1.6 hectares. Lot B includes the lot which was donated by Federico Dalligos.

Tirad View Academy Philosophy

“Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, is the true source of wisdom and knowledge.” This statement exemplifies the principles taught by Ellen White. She mentioned in her book Education:

The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and extensive research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honored as guides and benefactors of their race; but there is One who stands higher than they. We can trace the line of the world’s teachers as far back as human records extend, but the Light was before them. As the moon and the stars of our solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is right, do the world’s great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gleam of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the world.15

Tirad View Academy Mission

The school’s mission embodies the ideals of the church towards education. It says, “As a Bible-based educational institution, Tirad View Academy is committed for the youth’s harmonious development of their physical, mental, social and spiritual powers by studying the fundamental branches of knowledge that would help them live a Christ-like life and would inspire them to lead others to Jesus.”16

It points out the importance of education as an avenue of the work of redemption towards the restoration of the lost image of the eternal Maker in humanity.

Tirad View Academy Vision

“Tirad View Academy envisions to become the center of academic excellence that would provide a holistic education among the youth of the hinter provinces of Northern Luzon and to prepare them for life on earth and life after that.”

Religious

1. To develop qualities for church leadership and service.

2. To demonstrate an understanding of the Scriptures and church doctrines.

Intellectual

1. To develop the intellect and to develop the ability to think creatively and to act with skill.

2. To integrate biblical principles in the study of the different learning areas.

Vocational

1. To promote health in relation to useful labor, be able to appreciate its dignity, and encourage voluntary manual labor.

2. To develop common sense, initiative, self-reliance, punctuality, accuracy, and responsibility in whatever task students may be assigned.

3. To show concern for economic values.

Social

1. To encourage friendship among students in which consideration for others becomes a basic foundation regardless of family status, academic abilities, and ethnic origin.

2. To promote the practice and upholding of wholesome social standards by self-control and self-discipline.

Civic

1. To develop understanding of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the individual in the society.

2. To develop qualities for better citizenship and community leadership.

3. To develop in the students the spirit of loyalty and love for country, defending its right and privileges.

Physical and Mental Health

1. To practice temperance in all aspects of life.

2. To ensure mental health through Christian fellowship and service.

President/Vice Chancellor/Principal Chronology

Fueled with commitment and dedication, a few teachers extended their service and embraced the challenge in serving Tirad View Academy. Ruben A. Budayao became the first principal with Nena Zarate as his co-teacher. During the second year of the school’s operation as an academy, three teachers joined him. They were Galvan Edwin, Ruth Franco (who eventually became his wife), and Mary Emock (now Mary Saban) from Baguio. Additional teachers joined them in the third year. They were Mr. and Mrs. Alejandro Miguel, Clara Lily Miguel, and Trifona Abesta.

In 1968, Ruben A Budayao was requested to pioneer Palawan Adventist Academy. He agreed, and Alejandro Miguel became principal from 1968 to 1971. Natividad Dalligos, the pioneer student/graduate, stated that the teachers during this time were Samuel Berto, Mrs. Miguel from Ilocos Norte, Manuel Guardian from Bicol, Jose Ancheta from Manila, and Trifona Guardian.

In 1971, Alejandro Miguel was transferred to another field of ministry and replaced by Pastor Petronillo J. Barayuga. In 1973, Pastor Barayuga left for upgrading and the mission appointed Manuel Guardian as the acting principal. After one year, Alejandro Miguel again became principal from 1974 to 1976.

During the first decade, there were four principals. During this time, 20 teachers worked with these leaders. During the early years of the academy, finances became one of the greatest challenges. According to some of the teachers, the money they received as salary was never enough to sustain them. However, the blessings that lie beneath this struggle were the community people. They were used by God to aid them in their immediate needs. Vegetables, fruits, fresh fish from the river, and rice just arrived in their houses. Mrs. Carlos joyfully recollected during an interview that the love exhibited by the community constrained them to lead the children away from ignorance through education.17 The table below shows the human resources during the first decade.

Table # 1.1
First Decade

Name of Workers
PRINCIPALS
Years of Service No. of Years in Service
Reuben Budayao 1965-1968 3 years
Alejandro P. Miguel 1968-1971 3 years
Petronillo J. Barayuga    1971-1973
1974-1976
4 years
Manuel Guardian 1973-1974 1 year

Table # 1.2
Second Decade

Name of Workers
PRINCIPALS
Years of Service No. of Years in Service
Petronillo Barayuga 1975-1976 1 year
Efren L. Dalupan 1976-1978 2 years
Nestor Ramos 1978-1979 1 year
David R. Rafanan1 year 1979-1980 1 year
James S. Zarate 1980-1981 1 year
Bartolome P. Zarate 1981-1983 2 years
Teofilo M Agsiweng 1983-1985 2 years

Table # 1.3
Third Decade

Name of Workers
PRINCIPALS
Years of Service No. of Years in Service
Tomas A. Estrada           1996-1999             3 years
James S. Zarate 1999-2005 6 years

Table # 1:4
Fourth Decade

Name of Workers PRINCIPALS Years of Service No. of Years in Service
James S. Zarate 2005-2014                      8 years                                             
Maureen N. Marinas 2013-2015 2 years
Avelino C. Gadiano Jr 2015-present  

Sources

“Barayuga Remembered.” The Aupian in Cyberlink, August 11, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2018. https://www.scribd.com/doc/159649439/The-AUPian-in-Cyberlink-Aug-11-2013.

“Biennial Session on December 16-23, 1936.” Philippine Union Mission Archives.

Chen, Peter. “Invasion of the Philippine Islands.” Accessed May 16, 2018. https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=46.

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 11. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “Tirad View Academy.”

White, Ellen G. Education. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1952.

Notes

  1. Anita Eugenio, one of the converts interviewed by author, November 8, 2017. Adventists in the said place were formerly considered as heathen and there were no Adventists (Ibid.).

  2. Ibid.

  3. Sammy Berto, one of the teachers of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tirad View Academy, January 9, 2018.

  4. “Biennial Session on December 16-23, 1936,” Philippine Union Mission Archives.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Peter Chen, “Invasion of the Philippine Islands,” accessed May 16, 2018, https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=46.

  7. Sammy Berto, one of the teachers of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tirad View Academy, January 9, 2018.

  8. Dionisio Dapagen, one of the pioneers of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tirad View Academy, November 16, 2017.

  9. Sammy Berto, one of the teachers of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tirad View Academy, January 9, 2018.

  10. “Tirad View Academy,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 11 (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), 778.

  11. Lemuel Dalligos, one of the faculty of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tirad View Academy, November 16, 2017.

  12. Ibid.

  13. “Barayuga Remembered,” The Aupian in Cyberlink, August 11, 2013, accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.scribd.com/doc/159649439/The-AUPian-in-Cyberlink-Aug-11-2013.

  14. Leona Langwey, one of the community people who witnessed and helped in the growth of Tirad View Academy, interview by author, Tumbaga, Quirino, Ilocus Sur, December 27, 2017.

  15. Ellen G. White, Education (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1952),14.

  16. Ibid.

  17. Mehe Carlos, one of the community people of Cayus, Quirino, Ilocos Sur, interview by author, Cayus, Quirino, Ilocus Sur, December 27, 2017.

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Rosario, Abraham M. del, Jassen M. Gregorio. "Tirad View Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CXG.

Rosario, Abraham M. del, Jassen M. Gregorio. "Tirad View Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CXG.

Rosario, Abraham M. del, Jassen M. Gregorio (2021, January 09). Tirad View Academy. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CXG.