Adventist Academy-Cebu Inc.
By Michelle Say-Nogra
Michelle Say-Nogra is an alumna of East Visayan Academy in 1993. She is a graduate of the Bachelor in Secondary Education major in English at Mountain View College. She is currently working on her dissertation writing for the degree, Doctor in Developmental Education at Cebu Technological University. She is the mother of two girls and the wife of Pastor Harry Nogra. At the time of this writing, she is the OIC principal and the Junior High School vice principal of Adventist Academy Cebu.
First Published: April 25, 2022
Adventist Academy-Cebu Inc. (Adventist Academy Cebu), formerly East Visayan Academy, is a coeducational boarding school of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It offers pre-elementary to senior high school grades. It is owned and operated by the Central Philippine Union Conference located in Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines. This school is situated on an 8-acre piece of land along the national highway of N. Natalio Avenue, City of Talisay, province of Cebu, Philippines.
It is a member of the Southern Asia Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist schools and colleges. It is an accredited member of the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), the Association of Christian Schools Colleges and Universities (ACSCU) and an accredited school of Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC).
This institution had its humble beginning on June 23, 1930. It received its general intermediate course government recognition on July 1, 1947; pre-elementary course in June 2009; and senior high school on October 25, 2016, and May 16, 2017, respectively. From then on, it has stood the test of time and has determined to excel in its motto: ‘Where Youth Begin to Serve!”
Developments that Led to Establishment of the School
L. O. Pattison, director of the East Visayan Mission (now Central Visayan Conference), along with other leaders, thought it wise to have a training school in the area. It was designed to cater to the needs of the young people who wanted to be effectively trained for service. Thus, East Visayan Academy was opened first in school year: in1930-1931 in the basement of the mission office at F. Ramos Street, Cebu city. Sister Pattison, the wife of the director, was appointed to teach the school with assistants. These teachers were products of Manila training college and are excellent missionary teachers.1
Founding of the School
School is of great importance and value in order to keep every child from being drawn toward worldly pleasures and from the influences that will ruin their spiritual beings.2
East Visayan Academy opened on June 23, 1930, on F. Ramos Street, Cebu City, with Mrs. W. Riffel and Silvestre Ygay as teachers and with six students enrolled in the first year of high school. They were not yet recognized by the government. The next year, the school operated in Cebu City SDA chapel, on 400 Tres De Abril St., Cebu City, with 47 pupils in the elementary grades and 7 in the first and second years of high school. However, for the next three years, they functioned only as an elementary school. In 1936, the Philippine Union Mission authorized operation as a government-accredited first year of high school. In 1938-1939, the school was moved to its present site, an eight-hectare piece of land along the highway nine kilometers south of Cebu City. About 30 students enrolled in the first three years of the high-school courses.3 The majority of this piece of land was donated by Abdon and Eduvigis Capobres.4
This school was established in response to the need for Christian education for the Seventh-day Adventist young people of the East Visayan Mission (now the Central Visayan Conference). The school encountered severe difficulties as a result of the demands of government recognition.5
History of the School, with Emphasis on Important Events and Periods
In school year 1939-1940, the institution became a full-fledged academy serving the Central, East Visayan, and even Mindanao Missions. During the World War II, homes were broken, churches scattered, and buildings destroyed; food and clothing were scarce. Most of the local mission offices were also gone.6 Because of the effects of the war, the school was temporarily closed from 1942-1945 and was used as meeting place of big gatherings by the East Visayan Mission.7 The administration building, the boys’ and girls’ dormitories, a dining hall, and teachers' cottages were constructed during this time. The brethren in America, the officers of the General Conference and the Far Eastern Division, and Pacific Press Publishing Association made possible a large outlay of funds that completed this construction program.8 In March 1945, the East Visayan Academy building and contents were built.9 To share in the great rehabilitation program in the mission fields devastated by the war, the General Conference Committee asked the youth to undertake the gathering of books. The libraries destroyed in the Orient were restored, and the EVA library was replaced.10
During the past two years, extensive building activities have been carried on throughout the Philippines. The rehabilitation and expansion of the work has resulted to the rebuilding of the chapel; offices were also built. The academy buildings were erected including the boys' and girls' dormitories, the administration building, dining hall, and kitchen. A very small part of this came from funds from local organizations. Most were made possible because of the help extended by the brethren in America, the officers of the General Conference and of the Far Eastern Division, and the Pacific Press Publishing Association.11
Because of the call for teachers and workers from the different missions, Philippine Union College gave away three of its faculty members. Mr. L. L. Quirante was named by East Visayan Academy as their principal.12
The Lord works in many ways to advance His cause on the earth. Sometimes bitter experiences are brought to bear upon His trusting people in order that God's name may be honored and glorified. The trying experience of East Visayan Academy during this present school year is a testimony to this fact. When the terrific storm Amy on November 1, 1949, hit Cebu, the entire roof of the academy’s main building was blown off. This was a real test to the teachers and students of the institution because this mishap occurred when the financial status of the academy was at its lowest ebb. There were no funds on hand to rebuild the destroyed building. For this reason, many prayers ascended to the throne of God on behalf of the pressing needs of the academy. Urgent appeals for a special emergency appropriation were sent to the Far Eastern Division and to the Philippine Union for the reconstruction of the destroyed building. Offerings were solicited from church members all over the Union field. The response was gratifying. As soon as funds became available, the building was reconstructed. The administration building of the East Visayan Academy was remodeled, and the academy stands today as a monument of what God has wrought through His power—a veritable blessing as a result of the disastrous storm.13 The dining room was screened, and a vegetarian diet was followed throughout the school year. Teachers and students unite regularly in an intensive work program. Agriculture has been made the A-B-C in education at the East Visayan Academy. The cooperation of every teacher in the work program has been the secret of the increasing interest of the students in understanding the real dignity of labor.14 And even when the vicious typhoon Ruping struck in November 1990 and super typhoon Odette on December 16, 2021, devastated the Island of Cebu and badly hit this institution, God’s leading has been seen, and His provision is always readily available.
In October 26, 1976, the school board chaired by Pastor Violeto F. Bocala, who was the Central Visayan mission president, saw that the administration building of EVA was no longer safe to be used for classrooms. It was ready to collapse anytime, thereby endangering the lives of the students and teachers. Therefore, there was an urgent need for a new administration building to house the classes.15 Since there were no funds ready to avert an eminent danger and to solve the pressing need, Phase 1 of the building construction expense was taken from the 13th Sabbath overflow and special appropriation.16 The union shouldered 75 percent of the balance of the cost of the EVA building construction and CVM assumed the other 25 percent.17 Engineer Memenzo’s building plan was adopted.18
Then in 1989, in preparation for the 25th founding anniversary or the 7th General Constituency meeting of CVC, instead of renting a place to celebrate, the CVC board decided to construct a multipurpose center. This location was previously used as the old cafeteria for EVA. This gym has hosted many gatherings of the church and the school.19
When there was a need for a preparatory course prior to Grade One, the school also opened a pre-elementary course in 1990. The school made use of the old gymnasium as the classroom and eventually made a separate classroom out of light material.20 Mrs. Nancy Cabaluna was appointed as the first pre-school teacher.21 It gained government recognition on June 3, 2009, and ushered in more enrollment in the elementary department. In 2015, the preschool department even extended to nursery, ages 3 to 4 years old with the Musikgarten curriculum. It is a unique music program which is based from the U.S.A., but was acquired by the school. The music teachers were trained in Malaysia.22 The old garage and machine shop was transformed into a fully air-conditioned, spacious classroom.23 Mrs. Eleanore Peňaflorida chaired the program, with Lorna Mariano and Dollis Meg Tubungbanua as the first teachers.
A recent development took place when the school leaders decided to fall in line with the adoption of the name “Adventist” as reflected in institutions run and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Hence, on January 6, 2016, the East Visayan Academy is now officially called Adventist Academy-Cebu, Inc. after the approval of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).24 Lemuel G. Banday, prior to his new assignment as Central Philippine Union Conference education director, was the last principal under the name “East Visayan Academy.” On the other hand, Isaias S. Guisando, Ph.D., the Central Visayan Conference education director, was chosen to serve as the first principal under the school’s new name. Moreover, the Department of Education Region 7 reissued the Government Recognition in all levels the new name: Adventist Academy-Cebu, Inc. on March 21, 2016.25
With the new curriculum of the Republic of the Philippines K-to-12 program, Adventist Academy-Cebu, Inc. also added the Senior High School course starting school year 2016-2017.26 As granted by the Department of Education, it offers General Academic Strand (GAS) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strands.27 During that next school year, it added academic strands such as Accounting and Business Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), and Technical Vocational (TVL) track major in Industrial Arts (IA) with specialization in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (NC I & II); Home Economics (HE) with specialization in Dressmaking NC II, Tailoring NC II, and Bread and Pastry production NC II; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with specialization in Computer Hardware servicing.28 The Senior High School in its first year of operation had 25 graduates, then 32 in its third year, and enrollment increased to 181.
Historical Role of the School
AAC is very grateful for its role in preparing students for service through various social and civic activities done by homeroom organization, club organizations, Academy Choir, Harmonic Youth (official singing group), Pathfinder Club through Compassion, World Global Youth Day, Voice of Youth evangelistic crusades and SALT club (Sharers Always of Light and Truth) to the nearby barangays, villages, and even on the outskirts of Cebu province. The wholehearted effort of the students, with the guidance of their missionary teachers, has been an integral part of their growth and love to be a blessing to the community.
All through the years, for nearly a century now, AAC has continued to produce graduates who are now serving in various capacities in the church, the community, and even around the world. Wherever these students go, they raise the banner of the school’s core values: service, integrity, and excellence.
List of Presidents/Vice-Chancellors/Principals
East Visayan Academy: Mrs. W. B. Riffel (1930-1932); Luis Elumir (1932-1936); Pedro Gatchalian (1936-1937); Pedro C. Cabansag (1937-1938); Urbano M. Oliva (1938-1942) (1946-1948); Dr. L. L. Quirante (1948-1950); Dr. Demetrio M. Hechanova, Jr. (1950-1953); Arsenio A. Poblete (1953-1956); Benito G. Mary (1956-1959); Dr. Agripino C. Segovia (1959-1960): Josue A. Ladion (1960-1963); Jose M. Atil (1963-1968); Fortunata P. Peñola (1968-1972) (1974-1976); Dr. Sigfredo M. Rada, Sr. (1972-1974); Dizon A. Noval (1976-1983) (1986-1987); Cesar R. Colo (1983-1985); Illuminado T. Balacy, Sr. (1985-1986) (1987-1990); David S. Albite (1990-1991); Lester J. De Los Santos (1990-1993); Joel T. Requillo (1993-1995); Solomon S. Paypa (1995-1999); Samuel A. Villarin (1999-2001); Edwina A. Orillosa (2001-2006); Lemuel G. Banday (2006-2015).
Adventist Academy-Cebu Inc.: Dr. Isaias S. Guisando 2016-2021; Michelle S. Nogra, January 7- April 15, 2022; Dr. Ruby Myrrh C. Ortega April 16, 2022-present.
Bradley, W. P. “Philippine Missionaries Safe,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1945.
Central Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee Minutes, relevant dates. Central Philippine Union Conference Archive, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines (CPUC Archive).
Central Visayan Mission Minutes 89-194, October 2, 1989. CPUC Archive.
Cummins, J. L. “Christian Education.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, December 1933.
Department of Education Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 46, s. 2016, October 25, 2016. Adventist Academy Cebu Archive (AAC Archive).
Department of Education Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 045 s. 2017, May 17, 2017. (AAC Archive).
Department of Education Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 28, s. 2016, March 21, 2016. (AAC Archive).
Fattic, G. R. “Special Attention Young People.” Central Union Reaper, July 3, 1945.
“Filipino Workers.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1945.
Hechanova, Jr., D. M. Report of the Principal of EVA, Minutes of the 5th Meeting of the South Philippine Union Mission Biennial Session, February 23, 1953, 75-76.
Kintanar, M. J. “The Progress and Success attained by the East Visayan Mission in 1929.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1, 1930.
Llaguno, R. S. “The East Visayan Mission General Meeting.” Far Eastern Division Outlook. July 1, 1948.
Loewen, M. E. “Building Operations.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1948.
Millam, D. L. “Schools of Academic Grade in the Visayas.” Far Eastern Division Outlook. July 1930.
Minutes EVA school board meeting minutes, relevant dates. (AAC Archive).
Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second revised edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “East Visayan Academy.”
Peterson, Alfred W. “Share Your Books.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 10, 1945.
Quirante, L. L. “A Word of Appreciation.” Far Eastern Division, April 1, 1950.
D. L. Millam, “Schools of Academic Grade in the Visayas,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1930, 5.↩
M. J. Kintanar, “The Progress and Success attained by the East Visayan Mission in 1929,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1, 1930, 2.↩
Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), s.v. “East Visayan Academy.”↩
Pastor Ruben Moralde, former CPUC executive secretary, and Pastor Violeto Bocala, former CPUC and SSD president, interview by author, March 22, 2022, the AAC.↩
J. L. Cummins, “Christian Education,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, December 1933, 2, 10.↩
“Filipino Workers,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1945, 2.↩
R. S. Llaguno, “The East Visayan Mission General Meeting,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, July 1, 1948, 4.↩
M. E. Loewen, “Building Operations,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1948, 4-5.↩
W. P. Bradley, “Philippine Missionaries Safe,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1945, 2.↩
Alfred W. Peterson, “Share Your Books,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 10, 1945, 1.↩
G. R. Fattic, “Special Attention Young People,” Central Union Reaper, July 3, 1945, 1.↩
M. E. Loewen, “Building Operations,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1948, 4-5.↩
L. L. Quirante, “A Word of Appreciation,” Far Eastern Division, April 1, 1950, 3.↩
D. M. Hechanova, Jr., Report of the Principal of EVA, Minutes of the 5th Meeting of the South Philippine Union Mission Biennial Session, February 23, 1953, 75-76.↩
Central Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee Minutes number-76-254, October 26, 1976 (CPUC Archive).↩
Central Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee Minutes number 77-250, November 1, 1977 (CPUC Archive).↩
Central Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee Minute number 78-186, August 30, 1978 (CPUC Archive).↩
Central Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee Minutes number 77-177, August 11, 1977 (CPUC Archive).↩
Central Visayan Mission Minutes 89-194, October 2, 1989 (CPUC archive).↩
Minutes, EVA annual school board meeting number 91-03. January 14, 1991 (CPUC Archive).↩
Minutes EVA school board meeting number 90-49. (CPUC Archive).↩
Minutes EVA school board meeting number 2014-18, February 11, 2014. (AAC Archive).↩
Minutes EVA school board meeting number 2015-30. May 21, 2015 (AAC Archive).↩
Securities and Exchange Commission Cebu Extension office, Company Reg. No. CN201633016.↩
Minutes EVA school board meeting number 2014-59, August 1, 2014. (AAC Archive).↩
Department of Education Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 28, s. 2016, March 21, 2016. (AAC Archive).↩
Department of Education Region Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 46, s. 2016, October 25, 2016. (AAC Archive).↩
Department of Education Region Region VII, Central Visayas, Government Recognition No. 045 s. 2017, May 17, 2017. (AAC Archive).↩