St. John’s Institute backed by 50 years of productive existence in the educational milieu of Bacolod City continues her service in Christian apostolate and perseveres in her pursuit of academic excellence.
On May of 1953, Chinese priests came to Bacolod City upon the invitation of the Most Rev. Msgr. Manuel Yap, Bishop of Bacolod. Slowly but steadily, they brought out the Chinese people into active participation in the Christian community. Fr. John B. Liu organized them and the Chinese Catholic Association, Chinese Catholic Youth and the Legion of Mary were formed. In 1956, Don Alfredo Montelibano Sr. generously donated a 5,000 sq. m. lot on which to build the Chinese Catholic Center. This was the “home base” where the different organizations gathered for Mass and other spiritual activities. It was then, that these pioneering priests thought that a school would be the most effective means to reach out and evangelize the Filipino-Chinese Catholics.
Thus in 1959, two years after the blessing of the Center, Hua Ming Catholic School (now St. John’s Institute) came into being. The humble beginnings of St. John’s Institute was both exciting and challenging. Classes were then held at the market stalls of Capitol Shopping Center. The enrollment of 310 pupils in Kindergarten and the primary far exceeded expectations. Hence, the first Hua Ming School building was constructed and some months after the school opened, classes were moved to the new building. From then on, there was no stopping the school’s growth and progress.
The Filipino Chinese Catholic Community saw the contributions of SJI; therefore, they gave their full support to the school. In 1961, the construction of the elementary building began and saw completion the following year. Student population increased tremendously and they felt a need to establish a school ground and other facilities. However, with the spirit of self-sacrifice, the enterprising administrators and the resourceful teachers made do with what was available and learned to cope with those limitations.
With God’s providence, SJI today has progressed and expanded to a two and half hectare campus. The 60’s were years of struggle for survival and growth. Yet, with the support of magnanimous benefactors, the cornerstone of the Church was laid in 1964 and saw completion of the Queen of Peace Church in 1966. It was the visual symbol of the conviction that “God is with us.”
The 70’s saw the period of strengthening the educational policies of the school. At this point, Filipino enrollees increased, attracted to the Johnian education marked by quality and discipline. The priests considered this as the Will of God so that ecumenism be promoted and integration be facilitated. In 1976, the St. John’s Activities Center was constructed and this facility has enriched the students’ experiences. It has become the venue for sports events, cultural programs, concerts, and other national conventions and historical events.
The 80’s saw the increasing number of graduates who now have made good in their chosen field of endeavor. As a lasting monument of her Silver Jubilee in 1984, the Kindergarten Complex was constructed to provide better facilities for Kinder pupils.
In the 90’s SJI had a niche in the academic world as a school dedicated to the formation of boys and girls in academic excellence with a sense of discipline firmly rooted in the Christian faith and committed to the service of God and people.
As SJI embarks on the new millennium, she is poised like an eagle ready to soar to greater heights and equipped to fish in deeper waters. With the completion of the new High School building equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities, SJI will move onward with renewed vigor and determination to surpass what had already been accomplished. The year 2009 saw the completion of the SJI Ayala Campus.
Having celebrated her Golden Jubilee, St. John’s Institute looks ahead in the spirit of thanksgiving for the past blessed and productive fifty years with a focused objective of becoming a premier school.
“If God is with us who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) Yes, all these years OUR HEAVENLY FATHER has seen SJI through and He will be with the Johnian family for always.
“DUC IN ALTUM”
It is a Latin phrase taken from the
Gospel of St. Luke 5:4 which means
“Launch into the deep.”
that watchword spells a message, i.e.
success in all endeavors depends
on two factors:
Labor and Cooperation with God’s Will
The disciples of Jesus worked hard for long hours but without results. However, when Jesus commanded them to launch their boats into the deep, they obeyed, “making fresh and vigorous efforts.” The outcome of such obedience and cooperation with God’s Will was a miraculous, bountiful catch. For a pupil, this is the first and most important lesson. One should learn to persevere and cooperate with God’s Will to achieve well in school.