BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT JOSEPH’S COLLEGE OF BAGGAO, INC.
Saint Joseph’s College of Baggao, Inc. was built through the inspiration of the late Monsignor Felix Domingo, the retired Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao in 1950. With the help of his grandnephew priests, namely Archbishop Emeritus Teodulfo Domingo and the late Monsignor Felicisimo Herrera the dream was realized. It was them who planted the seed of Josephian education that has grown through the years and became the foundation of the first Catholic learning institution in the municipality. It was a great opportunity for the children of the farmers to pursue their high school education. The establishment of the school gave way to a more strong moral foundation of the youth through the integral evangelization in the school.
Begun in a flat house with three classrooms made out of bamboo, Josephian Education was born with the opening of secondary education in 1950. With the succession of the different school directors and administrators a lot of developments and improvements were noted, among them are the most important features of the school in terms of its programs and curricular offerings. Bishop Lazo took it as his vision-mission to eradicate ignorance and alleviate the lives of the people through the pastoral and educational apostolate of the Catholic Church together with the late Mr. Orlino Bartolome, the first principal and with the faculty and students. It was on this period that the first Josephian Hymn entitled “Where Bamboo Grooves”. Was composed by the late Mr. Orlino Bartolome, which was popularized and sang till 1976.
Monsignor Marcelo Bassig became the fifth director of the school in 1963. Many significant improvements were noted during his administration. To accommodate the fast growing number of population of the school, a two-storey building with 12 classrooms were constructed. Knowing the demands of the fast growing population of the school and compounded with the great pastoral ministry he was facing as parish priest, he requested for the assistance of the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters (FAS). Sr. Cecilia Gonzaga, FAS was assigned as the principal. Together with two other companions, she helped in the apostolic mission to evangelize and educate the youth in this far flung missionary area, the birthplace of Archbishop Emeritus Teodulfo Domingo, DD. Moreover, the fourteen long years of Msgr. Bassig as a Director has inspired him to compose the Josephian Hymn.
In 1979, the FAS were recalled by their superiors. The sisters’ departure paved the way for the appointment of Mrs. Pacita A. Juan as the principal of the school under the directorship of Rev. Father Calixto Francisco. In 1986, there was a significant increase in the population of the school as immigrants from other towns and provinces settled in the Northeastern part of Baggao, which is Barangay San Jose. Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, D.D., Archbishop of Tuguegarao, saw how much the people value the Catholic education of their children. So he requested the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters to go back to Saint Joseph Academy to take care of the educational needs of the community.
Sister Myrna Fetalvero, FAS, was assigned as the eighth director of the school. This time the sisters were given the blanket authority to decide over the management of the school. Painstakingly through the support of the teachers, students and the people in the community they improved the facilities of the school through continuous fund raising campaign. Additional facilities were put-up, such as the TLE building, the Library, the canteen, and the two-storey concrete building with twelve classrooms. Fencing of the school and the construction of Grotto were also done.
Kindergarten and primary level course opened in 1991. The opening of the College Department followed in 1994. This was recognized by the Securities of Exchange Commission (SEC) when they issued the change of the name of the school, from Saint Joseph Academy to Saint Joseph College. Computer Secretarial Course (CSC), Associate in Police Science (APS), Liberal Arts (AB), and Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) were the first courses being offered. Sr. Myrna Fetalvero, FAS became the first College President, with Msgr. Vicente Catral as the first College Dean.
In 1996, Sr. Irene Anapi, FAS took over in the management of the school. Gigantic developments both on the physical plant and academic took place, some of which were: the construction of a three-storey building and Saint Joseph College Grotto, renovation of the elementary building, computer laboratory, and other significant projects needed to upgrade the quality of education offered by the school. Elementary level course was completed when Grades 5 and 6 were opened in 1999.
Sr. Susan Turingan, FAS succeeded Sr. Irene Anapi, FAS and was appointed by the Bishop as the 10th director of the school in 2001. Mr. Alberto P. Calixto Jr. was appointed as the first lay College Dean of the College Department. Furthermore, Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEED) has been granted recognition by the government. In 2002, Mrs. Elvira R. Israel was appointed as the Principal of the Elementary Department. In 2004, the school started the construction of a gymnasium for recollections, seminars, programs and convocations, in response to the need for better facilities that will cater to the growing needs of the students particularly in the field of culture and the arts.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Major in Management opened in 2005. In the same year, Sr. Pinky Panganiban, FAS succeeded Mrs. Elvira R. Israel as the principal of the elementary department for one year. Sr. Ma. Adela M. Pabon, FAS took charge in the administration of the school in 2006, with Sr. Gemma Fernandez, FAS as the Elementary principal. The administration also established an office for Guidance Services with Mrs. Marissa Quilang Palomares as the first guidance counselor of the school.
In 2007, Sr. Soledad Salgado, FAS succeeded Sr. Gemma Fernandez, FAS as the principal of the Elementary Department. Two-year courses on PC Operations and Computer Hardware Servicing under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) were opened. The school has been granted Certificate of Program Registration (COPR) from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and granted 10 slots of PESFA scholarships on September 10, 2007.
The Saint Joseph College Research and Extension Program had been launched also in 2007 with Mr. Rufino M. Juan Jr. as the Research and Extension Director. After being re-structured, the Research and Extension Office became more functional as four Barangays in the municipality had been chosen as the pilot barangays for its research and extension programs. This included Mabini, Bitag Pequeño, Annayatan, and Lasilat.
In 2011, the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) was granted Government Recognition. In 2012, through the incumbency of Sr. Delia Brimon, FAS, school director and through the support of the administration, faculty and staff, students and parents, a two-storey building was constructed and was named as the Holy Family Building.
In 2014, Sr. Ellen Labrador, FAS took over as the school director and continued to develop and improved the facilities of the school through the collaborative effort of the academic community, stakeholders, and benefactors. During this period, a two-storey building was built to accommodate the growing numbers of students both the basic education and the tertiary level, and in preparation for the opening of the Senior High School Curriculum. The building was named Pope Francis Building and was inaugurated in 2016 during the incumbency of Sr. Nemesia Gabales, FAS who succeeded Sr. Ellen Labrador, FAS, as the school director.
In 2016, in response to the K to 12 programs of the Department of Education (DepEd), the school opened Senior High School (SHS) program with the following tracks/strands: GAS, STEM, HUMMS and Sports. It is also during this year that Mrs. Marissa Q. Palomares, MST was assigned as the Principal of the School’s Basic Education Program.
In 2017, there was a significant change in the management of the school. The school’s management was turned over to the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao after several years of management by the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters (FAS). Rev, Fr. Gerard Ariston P. Perez, MA was designated as the new school director. In 2018, the SHS program was granted to open ABM track for the following school year.
As the school year started with the new school director, there were several developments that took place, namely: the crafting of a new philosophy, vision, mission, goals an core values of the school, the construction of a three-storey building for the college department and the creation of the Institutional Quality Assurance Offices. The most significant was his initiative to improve quality of instruction by entering into a consortium with the University of Cagayan Valley. Saint Joseph’s College of Baggao, Inc. has voluntarily applied for Level I accreditation with the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).
As the Big Josephian Family look back with profound gratitude to the Almighty and to the community for what Saint Joseph’s College of Baggao has become in seventy years. At the same time she looks forward with renewed faith and commitment to continue guiding and ministering to the formation and integral education of the youth for quality service to others and for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Long Live Saint Joseph’s College of Baggao!