Manila Adventist College

Photo courtesy of South Philippine Union Conference.

Manila Adventist College

By Nestor C. Rilloma


Nestor C. Rilloma, Th.D., presently serves as the dean for academic affairs of Manila Adventist College and the incumbent founding president of the Adventist Colleges Research Association (ACRA). He has served the Adventist Church as president of Northern Luzon Adventist College and editor-in-chief of the Philippine Publishing House. He is a graduate of Doctor of Theology in historical-systematic studies from the Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary (ABGTS) where he wrote a dissertation titled, “Ellen G. White’s Model of the Person of Jesus Christ from the Framework of the Chalcedon Formula.”

First Published: January 29, 2020

Manila Adventist College (MAC) is a coeducational semi-boarding school on the baccalaureate level, situated just in front of the North Philippine Union Conference headquarters at 1975 corner Donada and San Juan Streets, Pasay City, Philippines. It is located at the heart and intersection of Southern Manila (Pasay City) near Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the coastal local and international seaports of Manila. It is close to the famous historic sites in Philippine history namely: Luneta Park, Wall of Intramuros, and Paco Cemetery, where the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was buried.1

Development that Led to the Establishment of the School

When the Adventist University of the Philippines (formerly Philippine Union College [PUC]) was transferred to its present location in Puting Kahoy, Silang, Cavite in 1979, there was no Adventist higher educational institution in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR). Only secondary schools (Pasay City Academy and Baesa Adventist Academy) were operated by the Central Luzon Conference. Metro Manila is not composed of provinces. Instead, the region is divided into four geographic areas called “districts.” The districts have their centers at the four original cities in the region: the city-district of Manila (Capital District), Quezon City (Eastern Manila), Caloocan (Northern Manila, also informally known as Camanava), and Pasay (Southern Manila). The districts serve mainly to organize the region’s local government units for fiscal and statistical purposes.2

There are many Seventh-day Adventist churches in Metro Manila and most of the youth are enrolled in public and private colleges and universities. This became the basis for opening the School of Medical Arts of the former Manila Sanitarium and Hospital (MSH) in 1993 wherein allied health courses not offered at the Adventist University of the Philippines were given priority for its degree offerings.

Founding of the School

Manila Adventist College (MAC) serves the entire constituency of Central Luzon Conference as well as youth coming from other local missions and conferences of the North Philippine Union Conference (NPUC), Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC), South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC), and other parts of the territories of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD). Its Board of Trustees is made up of 15 members holding office for five years. The president of the North Philippine Union Conference (NPUC) is the board chair and the NPUC executive secretary is the vice chair.3

The college offers six baccalaureate degree programs accredited and recognized by the International Board of Education and the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA). These degree programs are under the three colleges, namely: College of Allied Health (CAH), College of Business (COB), and College of Nursing (CON). These three colleges cater to the needs of students in the field of accountancy, business administration, midwifery, nursing, physical therapy, and radiologic technology. The college is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippine government. The MAC faculty and staff are academically qualified with masters and doctoral degrees in their fields of specialization.4

The college receives its electricity (220 volts) from the national grid; however, it has three generators that provide power in emergency situations. Water comes from Maynilad Water System and a local purification plant prepares the water for consumption on campus and for the Central Supply Department (CSD). A campus telephone system provides local communication and one outside line connects the school with the rest of the world.5

The main buildings on campus are the newly constructed seven-story administration building that houses 31 classrooms, the chapel, the gymnasium, six laboratories, the library, and all departmental academic offices. The old School of Medical Arts (SMA) building includes the registrar’s office, treasurer’s office, general education room, CAH office, the PT and RT offices, one women’s dormitory, one men’s dormitory, and the senior high school complex.6

Manila Adventist College holds membership in the Adventist Accrediting Association; Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ACSCU); Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities—Accrediting Agency Inc. (ACSCU-AAI); Association of Deans of Philippine College of Nursing (ADPCN); Association of Philippine School of Midwifery (APSOM); Federation of Accrediting Associations of the Philippines (FAAP); Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP); Midwives Foundation of the Philippines (MFP); National Capital Region School Registrars Association (NCRSRA); Philippine Association of Academic/Research Librarians (PAARL); Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA); Perinatal Association of the Philippines (PAP); Philippine Association of Radiologic Technology (PART); Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA); Philippine Nursing Association (PNA); and Philippine Physical Therapy Association (PPTA).7

History of the School

Manila Adventist College was first established as a dispensary in July 1927 in Malate, Manila, spearheaded by Dr. Horace Hall, an American missionary. The dispensary was soon turned into a small hospital, then later into a new three-story building. This was named Manila Sanitarium and Hospital (MSH), which earned a good reputation throughout the Philippines for its efficient nursing service, pleasant Christian atmosphere, clean surroundings, nutritious vegetarian food, hydrotherapy treatments, and patient education on the principles of healthful living.8

From 1930 to 1959, MSH offered a three-year College of Nursing program (Graduate Nurse), which was later endorsed to Philippine Union College (now Adventist University of the Philippines) in 1967. The hospital was expanded with the construction of another three-story concrete building adjacent to the existing one in 1931. Due to the steadily increasing patronage, the first hospital had to be sold. In 1940 a new four-story concrete hospital building was constructed in its present location in 1975 corner Donada and San Juan Streets, Pasay City.9

During World War II, the Japanese occupied the MSH and used it as a Navy Hospital. When the Allied Forces gained victory over the Japanese government in December 1945, the latter evacuated the hospital but detonated a demolition bomb that damaged the hospital extensively. Rehabilitation work began in 1946, but it was only on March 3, 1949, that the MSH officially reopened after its temporary halt of operation.10

Expansion continued. In 1954 MSH opened the first College of Medical Technology in the country. This was later endorsed again to Philippine Union College. The medical residency training program started in 1955.

Massive renovation and improvement were implemented thereafter which resulted in more facilities acquired and services rendered. The 1980s brought more progress, notably, the opening of a coronary care unit (CCU); the establishment of a satellite medical clinic on the island of Palawan, which was transformed into an independent, major 50-bed hospital; the launching of the radio program, Fountain of Health; and the acquisition of US-manufactured ambulance units, diagnostic equipment, and a new telephone system.

It was in the 1990s, despite the threatening effects of the country’s economic crisis, when dramatic changes and more improvements in the institution took place. The major ones were the incorporation of the hospital and the establishment of the college, thus giving it an official name of Manila Sanitarium and Hospital and College of Medical Arts (SMA).11

During the college year 1993-1994, SMA initially offered five vocational and allied health courses, namely: three-year Associate in Radiologic Technology; two-year Midwifery; two-year Physical Therapy Technician; one-year courses in Nurse Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician. The college year started with only 57 students enrolled in these courses with fewer than 20 faculty and staff.12

After several evaluations done in the Physical Therapy and Radiologic Technology programs, the college forwarded a letter of request to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) asking for the authority to upgrade these courses to Bachelor programs. CHED gave approval to the college offering a five-year Bachelor of Science course in Physical Therapy, effective for the 1995-1996 school year and a four-year Bachelor of Science course in Radiologic Technology effective for the 1996-1997 school year.13

The construction of the three-story college building, which started in November 1995 and was inaugurated in November 1996, became necessary to answer the need of the fast-growing student population. This building housed six classrooms, five laboratory rooms and two offices. To date, about 30 classrooms have been constructed to meet the demand of the increased enrollment. In the span of 24 years since the college was authorized to offer Bachelor programs, the college population has increased by more than 20 times and the number of faculty and staff has also significantly increased.

In the later part of 2002, Manila Sanitarium and Hospital and the College of Medical Arts became Manila Adventist Medical Center and College of Medical Arts. The name might have changed, but not its noble mission of educating, training, and graduating competent healthcare providers, and continuing a lifetime work patterned after the Great Master Teacher.

College year 2003-2004 went down in the history of SMA. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) issued a government permit to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program attracted more students from all over the National Capital Region and other countries in Asia. Dr. Ofelia Osorio became the first dean of the College of Nursing.14

Considering the growing population, resources, and potentials of the institution, the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the North Philippine Union Conference Executive Committee, decided to amend the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration of the company. Through the endorsement of the Department of Health and Commission on Higher Education, the SEC finally approved the amendment on April 16, 2007. Thus, there was a change from Manila Adventist Medical Center and College of Medical Arts to its present official name Manila Adventist College.

With its present name, the college is given the authority, right, and privilege to offer courses not only concentrated on the allied medical professions but in other lines of specializations. The Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), on its visit to MAC on June 17-19, 2007, approved offering non-medical courses. With the blessing of the AAA and the CHED, new courses have been offered effective for the college year 2009-2010, under the College of Business: namely, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Marketing Management; and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Financial Management.

In response to the challenge of offering quality education, the college took the bold step to undergo voluntary accreditation through the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities-Accrediting Agency Incorporated (ACSCU-AAI) in three academic programs: BS Accountancy, BS Business Administration, and BS Nursing. The three programs were evaluated in a preliminary visit of the agency that resulted in the granting of candidacy status for two years from 2014-2016. A formal visit of the ACSCU-AAI for level I accredited status was awarded on February 3, 2016, by the Federation of Accrediting Associations of the Philippines (FAAP) up to December 2018.15

Likewise, the BS Physical Therapy and the BS Radiologic Technology submitted their programs to the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) who in return visited the college for a consultancy visit on October 28, 2014. These two programs prepared for the preliminary visit of PACUCOA last October 14-15, 2015. The result of the visit was the granting of candidate status of the two programs by the Federation of Accrediting Association of the Philippines (FAAP) from July 18, 2016 to February 2018 and April 2018 for Physical Therapy and Radiologic Technology respectively.

The college has produced board candidates who are in the top ten in the Philippine licensure examinations through the last two decades in the Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Radiologic Technology programs.

Manila Adventist College formally broke ground on its seven-story building at a ceremony held June 2, 2015, at the school recreation area. The new 160 million dollar school facility which houses 31 classrooms, six offices, and a gymnasium, is aimed at providing a better teaching and learning environment for both students and faculty.

The keynote speaker, Pastor Nepthali J. Mañez, president of the North Philippine Union Conference (NPUC), believed that the Lord had His hand on this project as he emphasized the verse “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” from Psalm 127:1. Dr. Abdul R. Rajagukguk, director of AMCM Marketing, PR, and Philanthropic Services, and chairman of the Building Committee, also recounted how the vision of the new building was initiated and its progression leading completion.16

The transition in the Philippine educational system brought about the offering of the two-year Senior High School (SHS program) in school year 2016-2017, approved by the Department of Education of the Philippine government with three strands: Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM); Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The first principal is Dr. Marilyn P. Mutuc.

Historical Role of the School

Manila Adventist College is the youngest Adventist higher educational institution in the Philippines and the only Adventist tertiary institution in Metro Manila. Its college graduates have placed Adventist education in the limelight in Philippine education for having attained top performances in the licensure examinations of the Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Radiologic Technology throughout its 25 years of academic services and existence.

In 2015 the college took the bold step to review and revise its philosophy, vision, and mission statements in order to have a clearer mandate for all its constituents for the direction the college is pursuing in its role as a training ground for medical missionaries serving locally and internationally. The following statements were officially approved by the Board of Trustees:17

Philosophy: True education values Christlike character and service above knowledge and skills

Vision: The premier, Christ-centered and research-oriented institution of learning

Mission: Equipping students for life and preparing them for eternity

In the last five years (2013-2017), Manila Adventist College, in cooperation with the MAC church and supervised by a church pastor assigned by the Central Luzon Conference, started a church planting program in Sunshine Ville, Gabuco, Trece Martires, Cavite, Philippines. Year-round evangelism resulted in the baptism of precious souls organized into a company. The college, church and the hospital purchased a piece of land and built a chapel that can accommodate all its converts and interests. The college and the church continued to fund the salary of a local church lay pastor for the last three years in order to provide nurture and spiritual guidance to new converts to the Adventist faith.

Manila Adventist College has spearheaded the creation of a research consortium of the four Adventist colleges of the North Philippine Union Conference territory namely: Manila Adventist College (MAC), Naga View Adventist College (NVAC), Northeast Luzon Adventist College (NELAC), and Northern Luzon Adventist College (NLAC). It is called the Adventist Colleges Research Association (ACRA) and its aim is to train faculty, staff, and students to produce quality research and enhance research capabilities as a way of life. The regular production of a peer review journal is the target of the association.18

The three colleges adopted their own barangays19 to cater to the needs of its constituents and at the same time serve as their missionary and evangelism site. The College of Nursing has adopted the Sunshine Ville, Gabuco, Trece Martires, Cavite, Philippines, which is a squatter rehabilitation area. This place needs spiritual upliftment, socio-cultural development, and livelihood programs. The College of Business has adopted Barangay 173 Zone 17 Malibay, Pasay City, wherein community need assessment is now being done and followed up by a medical mission and tie-in with the hospital for in-house free surgical operations. The College of Allied Health has voluntarily adopted Barangay 33, Pasay City, as its focus in community extension services. Among others, the CAH has prioritized Basic Life Support and Disaster Management Training, livelihood programs, and medical mission as its regular program in the said community.20

What Remains to Be Done to Fulfill the Mission

The college is preparing new academic degree programs in allied health and business to be offered for the academic year 2018-2019. These are the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, and Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology. The on-site visit of the International Board of Education in December 2017 is an anticipated event for the whole college and its constituency. Both local and international accreditation is sought in the continuing pursuit of excellence in order to maintain quality Adventist education relevant to the pressing needs of the global community.

During the 2019-2020 academic year the College of Law, offering the Juris Doctor degree, was opened and approved by IBE. With this latest development, MAC is the first Adventist school of jurisprudence in Asia.

President/Vice Presidents for School Administration/Academic Deans21

Presidents: Bienvenido E. Capule (1994-1996); Eliezer V. Alcoriza (1996-2000); Bibly L. Macaya (2000-present).

Vice Presidents for School Administration: Wealthy C. Estrada (2003-2007, 2008-present); John L. Koch (2007-2008).

Academic Deans: Meliton M. Mindoro (1993-1994); Samuel C. Ladion, Sr. (1994-1999), Elias C. Cam (1999-2002); Angelina D. Pagarigan (2002-2003); Marilyn P. Mutuc (2008-1016); Nestor C. Rilloma (2016-present).


“Administrative Divisions of Metro Manila,” Wikipedia. Accessed June 17, 2019.

Manila Adventist College. Accessed June 17, 2019.

“Manila Adventist College,” Wikipedia. Accessed June 17, 2019.

Manila Adventist College. Academic Bulletin 2015-2020.

__________. Administrative Manual 2015-2020.

__________. Personnel Handbook 2015-2020.

Research Consortium Agreement, dated September 20, 2017, Manila Adventist College archives.

Rilloma, Nestor C. and Sarsoza, Jr. Jose F. 100 Years Back to the Future: Celebrating God’s Goodness. Manila, Philippines. Philippine Publishing House, 2005.


  1. “About MAC,” Manila Adventist College, accessed June 17, 2019,; “Manila Adventist College,” Wikipedia, accessed June 17, 2019,

  2. “Administrative Divisions of Metro Manila,” Wikipedia, accessed June 17, 2019, divisions of Metro Manila.

  3. Manila Adventist College, Board of Trustees Manual 2015-2020, 5-6.

  4. Adventist Accrediting Association, Report of the Visiting Committee Regarding Manila Adventist College, July 14-18, 2016.

  5. Interview with Ruben C. Navarro, head Maintenance Department, AMCM.

  6. Rodel Omayana, College Advancement Officer, interview by author, Manila Adventist College.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Nestor C. Rilloma and Jose F. Sarsoza, Jr., 100 Years Back to the Future: Celebrating God’s Goodness (Manila, Philippines. Philippine Publishing House, 2005), 85-88.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid.

  12. “History,” Manila Adventist College, accessed June 17, 2019,

  13. Manila Adventist College, Academic Bulletin 2015-2020, 8-9.

  14. Manila Adventist College, Personnel Handbook 2015-2020.

  15. 31st ACSCU-AAI National Assembly Program Document, May 18-20, 2016.

  16. Printed Program during the Ground Breaking Ceremony prepared by the College Advancement Office.

  17. Minutes of the College Administrative Committee Meeting, dated February 12, 2015, action number MAC1415-219. See also “Core Values,” Manila Adventist College, accessed June 17, 2019,

  18. Research Consortium Agreement, dated September 20, 2017, Manila Adventist College archives.

  19. A unit of administration in Philippine society consisting of from 50 to 100 families under a headman.

  20. Keren Joy Gantia, MAC-CESO coordinator, interview by author, Manila Adventist College.

  21. “Administration and Leadership,” Manila Adventist College, accessed June 17, 2019,; Picture Profiles of College Administrators and Associates at the Accreditation Room.


Rilloma, Nestor C. "Manila Adventist College." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024.

Rilloma, Nestor C. "Manila Adventist College." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access April 17, 2024,

Rilloma, Nestor C. (2020, January 29). Manila Adventist College. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 17, 2024,