St. John’s Institute backed by 60 years of productive existence in the educational milieu of Bacolod City continues her service in Christian Education and perseveres in her pursuit of academic excellence.
On May of 1953, Chinese Seminarians came to Bacolod City with their bishop, Bishop of Amoy, (later appointed bishop of Macau) Rev. Msgr. Juan Velasco who convinced then Bishop Manuel Yap to accept mainland Jesuit-trained Chinese priests and build a Catholic Chinese community in Bacolod City and Negros. Two newly ordained priests, Fr. Joseph Wang and Fr. Peter Tsang came the year after.
In late 1954, upon his ordination, Fr. James Liu joined them and organized the Chinese Catholic Youth under the presidency of Good Hope Joe Tan, the St. Mary’s Association under the presidency of Southern Motor’s Teresita (Yu Bi Yong) Poon and the Bacolod Chinese Catholic Association under the presidency of Lopue’s Bacolod Department Benjamin Lopue Sr. These three priests taught at Tay Tung High School.
In 1955 after his ordination, Fr. John B. Liu was sent to Bacolod. He was assigned to be the Chaplain of the Queen of Peace chapel. By June 30, 1956, Don Alfredo Montelibano Sr. generously donated a 4,000 sqm. lot “in response to the petition of the Chinese Catholic community” on the condition that within four months from the execution of the deed of donation, the Chinese Catholic community shall start or cause to construct a two-storey building, the ground floor, a chapel, proposed name, Our Lady of China but was later changed to the Queen of Peace just before her consecration and on the second floor, a social hall and rectory for the priests.
When the Capitol Shopping Center opened for business and the Chinese entrepreneurs moved in, the Bacolod Chinese Catholic Assn. decided to put up a school and with Fr. Peter Tsang, as principal, held classes at the market stalls in Capitol Shopping Center when classes opened June of 1959. 372 pupils in Kindergarten up to Grade 3 moved to the new building when it was ready for occupancy on August 15, 1959.
These are the members of the Bacolod Chinese Catholic Association, the charter members of the Chinese board of St. John’s Institute, Hua Ming.
Luzon Hardware, Lo Wan Ping, CHAIRMAN of the BOARD
Charlie Trading owner, Carlos Angderson (Ang Siong Bak)
Continental Hardware Jaime Barcelona (Ang Sok Gat)
Golden State Ang Soc Guan
United Restaurant Chan Huan Kuan
Shantung Commercial Chang Chi Yi
City Machine Shop Chua Kim Puat
New Hope Commercial Ramon Chua (Chua Lak Pit)
Iris Theater Guillermo Coo (Co Bu Gle)
Oscar Cordova Ok Dept. Store Ong Hong Kang
CPA practitioner Amado Dongon (Lim Qui Tiong)
Johnny Keng State Trading King Si Tin
Robinhood Manufacturing Ko Bu Tsun
Mindanao Cement Lim Chiu Suy
Conchita Lim (Uy Giok Eng)
Baguio Restaurant Lim Eng Chong
Syching General Mdse Lim Lee Syching (Sy Sun Tsing)
Pedro Lo (Lo Wan Lu)
Lopue’s Bacolod Department Benjamin Lopue Sr. (Lo Bio Kok) PRESIDENT
New Luzon Hardware Lorenzo Lotek (Lo Bio Su)
La Fortaleza Upholstery Ong Y Ching
Sincere Drug Store Federico Ong (Ong Tian Tiong)
General Wine Ong Eng It
Destileria Los Amigos (Ong Sy Inyong)
Gandara Auto Supply Tan Lay Kim
Lucky Trading Francisco Te (Te Se Tsi)
Eng Kee Refrigeration Uy Eng Kee
Pacific Supply Joaquin Uy (Uy Khing Tsong)
Sugarcane farmer Luis Uychiat (Uy Lian Chiat)
City Radio Electronics Lorenzo Villanueva (Tiu Tiong Chuan)
In 1962, the school was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit corporation due to the nationalization of all foreign-owned schools in the country.
Another lot, a 4,482 sqm was donated in March 2, 1964 and the third and the last donation a 1,000 sqm lot was made in August 27, 1969, totaling 9,482 sqm to donee, St. John’s Institute by Capitol Subdivision Inc., then manager, Mr. Rodolfo Montelibano. A TCT was then issued by donor Capitol Subdivision to the school.
The humble beginnings of St. John’s Institute were both exciting and challenging. From then on, there was no stopping of the school’s growth and progress.
Here is the list of principals and their years of service:
Fr. Joseph Wang, 1959-1961
Msgr. John Su, 1961-1963, 1965-1975, 2002-2004
Fr. Peter Tsang, 1963-1964
Mrs. Gloria Y. Barcelona, 1975-1993, 1995-2000
Msgr. Esteban U. Lo, LRMS, 1994-1995
Fr. Emilio A. Ascaño, LRMS, 2000-2002, 2009-2014
Msgr. Noly A. Que, LRMS, 2003-2005
Fr. Garry Neil Fuentebella, LRMS, 2005-2009
Mrs. Nelsie A. Bravo, 2014-2016
Dr. Jose M. Mongcal, 2016-2019
Dr. Mariedel Isulat, 2020- to date
Today, aside from the main campus in Hilado St. in Capitol Shopping Center, St. John’s Institute expanded to Ayala North Point in Talisay with 212 students, a state of the art air-conditioned gym cum auditorium and an international competition 10-lane 50-meter swimming pool.