Baesa Adventist Academy

By Johann Fabon Musico

×

Johann Fabon Musico (B.A. in English, Adventist University of the Philippines [AUP]) served AUP and Manila Adventist College as NSTP and Communication Arts instructor, respectively. He taught at Holy Infant School of Malolos, a non-Adventist institution, for six years before going back to denominational work as English teacher at Baesa Adventist Academy in 2013, where he currently serves as school registrar.

First Published: November 3, 2020

Development of BAA’s Establishment

Baesa Adventist Academy’s semi-centennial history started when the brethren of Baesa Seventh-day Adventist Church, known for its moniker Baesa Tagalog Church, and under the leadership of the School Board Chairman Elder Alejandro Rada, realized the need for a secondary school that would continue to provide Adventist Christian education for their children who were graduating from the church-founded Baesa Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School (BSDAES) earlier established in 1967-1968.

The latter, not having acquired a permit to operate yet, requested their neighboring educational institution --- Philippine Union College --- for a temporary and titular affiliation which materialized in the school year 1969-1970; thus, it was named Philippine Union College Annex.1 The graduates of PUC Annex had to compete for admission to PUC Academy Main Campus with the pupils coming from different provinces, which resulted in some of them being turned down. Their parents, being faithful Adventists, refused to compromise their children’s education in non-Adventist schools and pushed for the establishment of a secondary school to cater to their needs.

Founding of the School

Through the help of supportive brethren who donated wood and other building materials, a two-story wooden school building was constructed. Apparently, it was to be the home of the newly-founded secondary school with one section each of the first year and the second year in the school year 1971-1972. The parent school board now had to manage two departments --- the elementary and secondary, and hold spiritual activities like faculty worship. The then Far Eastern Division of the General Conference Education director, Elder Landry obliged schools sharing one campus to be under one management only.

Pastor Rodolfo Evangelista was called from Palawan and was asked to serve as principal.2 He was joined by the following faculty and staff: Ms. Linda Alinsod, treasurer; Mrs. Pacita Yutuc, registrar and Canteen supervisor; Mr. Ombao, Bible teacher; Ms. Jerusalem Castro, English teacher; Mr. Renato Pasamba, Math teacher; Ms. Lorna Tolentino, Filipino Studies and Home Economics teacher; Ms. Cristina Genebaga, Science teacher. The elementary and the secondary department had to submit their school records to Philippine Union College which was responsible for submitting them to the Department of Education and Culture.3

As students finished their second year, they had to apply again for admission to the PUC main campus in Baesa. Since they would be mixed with the students on the main campus, oversized classes became a problem. PUC Academy was the laboratory high school of the college and should maintain the standard classroom population; thus, not all of the students from the PUC Annex were accepted in the 3rd year and had to enroll in other schools. In 1973-1974 PUC Annex opened third-year classes; hence, the moving to the main campus could only be in the fourth year.4

The school’s progress paved the way to the completion of two-story wooden type building, facing Baesa Road which housed eight classrooms, a faculty lounge, the TLE Laboratory, and a CAT/Pathfinder Room. Standing opposite the main building were two small single-story buildings separated by the school gate---the library and computer room on the right side, and the canteen on the left.5

These structures seat on a 3,700 square meter lot owned by the North Philippine Union Conference. The quadrangle in between the school buildings was wide enough for simultaneous volleyball and basketball games during intramural sports fests and other outdoor school activities like Citizen Army Training and Pathfinder Training. Guided by a synchronized school calendar, the elementary and the high school department would share or alternately use the school grounds.

From PUC Annex to Baesa Adventist Academy

In the early part of the school’s second decade of existence, its adoptive parent---Philippine Union College---had to finally move to the 175-hectare Silang, Cavite Campus.6 The PUC Annex was forced to seek independence from PUC. The respective

school boards hastened to apply for a permit to continue operation. The elementary was subsequently placed under the supervision of Central Luzon Mission Education Department7 and applied for its permit while the academy was put under the management of the North Philippine Union Mission Education Department and acted likewise.

Through the principalship of Mr. Blandino C. Casi, the academy applied for a permit to operate under the name “Baesa Adventist Academy.” The government issued a permit on the school year 1982-1983, but it was only until 1986 that Recognition No. S-0022 s.1986 was finally issued.8

Alongside the school’s effort to seek government recognition was the administration’s work of building the school’s esprit de corps, which was best accomplished by a school song. Cristy Rivera and Alway Bartolome, fellow alumnae, combined their talents to put into words their visions of a new tomorrow for BAA and titled it “Baesa Adventist Academy School Song.” Alway Bartolome arranged the music and signed it for publication on March 25, 1984,9 just in time for graduation.

Despite these successful moves to gain its own identity, the school did not completely remove its PUC Annex image since she retained her mother’s motto: “The School That Trains for Service.”

On October 21, 2009, at around 3:00 p.m., a fire consumed the old BAA building and burned almost all of the school to ashes. The school spirit of all whose lives have been changed by its 42 years of existence was dampened, but only for a time.10 With much preparation and coordination, a building committee chaired by Pastor Gerardo Cajobe was formed to construct the new school building.11

On December 20, 2009, Pastor Carmelito U. Galang of the Central Luzon Conference headed the groundbreaking ceremony, which signaled the start of rebuilding. Classes continued to be held in tent classrooms built on one side of the dusty quadrangle. Help and support of church people, alumni, friends, and those who cared poured in and the new L-type, four-story BAA Building rose just in time for the opening of the academic year 2010-2011. The school building was inaugurated on June 14, 2010 and was given the partial occupancy permit for the first three finished floors by the Caloocan City building officials. On June 21, 2010, barely eight months after the fire, the new BAA Building held its first flag ceremony with 280 students.

However, after that, progress slowed down as donations from alumni trickled. The fourth floor remained unconstructed for four years, but improvements on the existing structure never stopped such as the addition of the Speech Laboratory during the term of Mrs. Mildred Santiago and the computer laboratory during the term of Mr. Reily P. Leonardia.

To address the pressing need to construct the fourth floor that would provide rooms for the thriving senior high school, the school board approved a loan from Central Luzon Conference during the school year 2017-2018. The loan served as a stimulus for more progress afterward. Three classrooms at the south end of the fourth floor were furnished and the Phase 1 of the multi-purpose hall was completed.

The leadership of Pastor Glenn Lagabon paved the way for the construction of the science laboratories: natural science, chemistry, physics, and a storage room.12 DepEd NCR, in its SY 2019-2020 ocular inspection of the science laboratories to be utilized by STEM students, lauded the structural design that it was recommended for benchmarking by schools applying for STEM Strand.

Rooms for the school clinic, the student services, and the guidance department was also constructed at the corner end of the second floor. A board room/faculty lounge parallel to the school clinic was also built on the 3rd floor.

The new four-story school building now holds 23 instructional rooms wherein six are occupied by the elementary on the first level, a canteen, a clinic, six offices, and a multi-purpose hall.

Continuing Its Mission

Rising to the challenge brought about by the Department of Education’s adoption of the K-12 Curriculum, the school applied for a permit to operate the senior high school program which was granted effective school year 2016-2017. The SHS course offerings include Academic Track: Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM); Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), General Academic (GAS), and the most recently approved Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Strand (STEM).13

March 2015 was the last graduation for fourth-year students under the old curriculum, and after three academic years, the first batch of senior high school under the K to 12 programs graduated on April 8, 2018.

On June 26, 2018, the school board approved the creation of a Committee on Amendments of the Constitution and By-laws14 which will look into a possibility of changing the school name from Baesa Adventist Academy to Adventist Academy – Caloocan following after the branding trend within the worldwide Church which had been successfully applied in AIIAS, AUP, AMCM, Adventist Academy Cebu, Adventist Academy Bacolod, and many other Adventist institutions worldwide. The committee also considered the possible reunification of the elementary and the high school as it had been back in the PUC Annex days.

Under the supervision of the Central Luzon Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which manages two other secondary schools in the territory, the school continues to serve as a stronghold of Adventist education in the Northern Manila Area. It will continue to partner with the Church in bringing more young people to the feet of the cross while training them for service here in this world and in the world to come.

Offering comparatively lower tuition and general fees than its neighboring schools, the academy is preferred by many incoming elementary school graduates in the community. Also, the Philippine government, through Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GATSPE) and Educational Service Contracting (ESC), has been able to help boost the yearly enrollment since the school year 2015-2016. However, this is also weighing down the burden of keeping the 60:40 Adventist to non-Adventist acceptable ratio.

There have been notable accomplishments of students from the school year 1982- 1983 up to the present. Some students among the first graduates of Baesa Adventist Academy scored successfully in their professional board exams of their respective careers, including: Levi Flauta, Myrna Coloma, Ray Pardillo, Emiliano Manalo, and Spencer Tañalas,15 among others, were in the top ten in the Board Exams for Medical Technologist. One of the academy graduates in 1985, Angeline Manalo, ranked sixth in the nursing Board Exam. Several professionals now serve in different Seventh-day Adventist institutions while others are in other private institutions. Still others serve in government agencies while others work in different countries abroad.16

Principal Chronology

The following school heads have led the school from its early years to the present: Rodolfo G. Evangelista (1971-1973, 1975-1980); Rosalinda D. Pedernal (1973-1974); Reuben Budayao (1974-1975); Juanito C. Afenir II (1980-1981); Antonio A. Arit (1981-1982, 1985- 1987); Blandino C. Casi (1982-1984); Raymond S. Barizo (1984-1985); Benjamin A. Bico (1987-1988); Juanito C. Afenir III (1988-1990, 1994-1997) Alfredo T. Amada (1991-1993); Jessie A. Sigua (1997-1999); Luzviminda A. Saramosing (1999-2008); Jonathan R. Phodaca (2008-2011); Mariano S. Cayaban (2011-2012); Mildred Faye G. Santiago (2012-2016); Reily P. Leonardia (2016-2018); Glenn M. Lagabon (2018-2019); Margielene D. Judan (2020-present).17

Sources

Academian: Baesa Adventist Academy Yearbook, 2018.

"Baesa Adventist Academy (BAA) and Baesa Adventist Elementary School (BAES) on Fire" (Video File) October 26, 2009, accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIRt1AgJio.

Baesa Adventist Academy Handbook, 1993 and 2012 editions, Caloocan City.

Dominado, Adelaida. Unpublished manuscript about Baesa Adventist Elementary School History. Caloocan City, 2019.

“Silang Memoirs.” Philippine Union College Yearbook, 1982, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

Notes

  1. Adelaida Dominado, an unpublished manuscript about Baesa Adventist Elementary School History, Caloocan City, 2019.

  2. Academian: Baesa Adventist Academy Yearbook. Revision in Progress, 2018.

  3. Rodolfo G. Evangelista, interview by author, April 29, 2021.

  4. Baesa Adventist Academy Handbook, 1993 ed., Caloocan City.

  5. Academian: Baesa Adventist Academy Yearbook, "Vestige," 1999.

  6. “Silang Memoirs,” Philippine Union College Yearbook, 1982, Silang Cavite.

  7. Adelaida Dominado, unpublished manuscript.

  8. Baesa Adventist Academy Handbook, 2012 ed., Caloocan City.

  9. Academian: Baesa Adventist Academy Yearbook, "Time," 1984.

  10. Baesa Adventist Academy (BAA) and Baesa Adventist Elementary School (BAES) on Fire (Video File) October 26, 2009, accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIRt1AgJio at Adventist.ph Channel Hope Central News Report by Armon Tolentino.

  11. Adelaida Dominado, unpublished manuscript.

  12. The Minutes of Baesa Adventist Academy Board of Trustees Meeting, Action No. 18- 19-026.

  13. Government Permit (National Capital Region) No. SHS-053 s.2019.

  14. The Minutes of Baesa Adventist Academy Board of Trustees Meeting, Action No. 18- 19-027.

  15. MedTech Board Exam Results 2019 (https://www.thesummitexpress.com/2019/03/result-march-2019-medtech-board-exam-top-10-passers.html).

  16. Baesa Adventist Academy Handbook, 1993 edition.

  17. Academian: Baesa Adventist Academy Yearbook, "Revision in Progress,", 2018.

×

Musico, Johann Fabon. "Baesa Adventist Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 03, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAPA.

Musico, Johann Fabon. "Baesa Adventist Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 03, 2020. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAPA.

Musico, Johann Fabon (2020, November 03). Baesa Adventist Academy. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAPA.