Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today in Philippine History July 12

ON JULY 12, 1888, Asociacion Hispano-Filipino, an association of Filipino expatriates and a few peninsular Spaniards, was founded by Miguel Morayta in Madrid, Spain.

The association aimed to work for material and moral improvement in the Philippines using legal propaganda to influence public opinion and obtain the needed political and administrative reforms.

The association was divided into three sections: the political section, headed by Marcelo H. del Pilar; the literary section under Mariano Ponce; and the sports section under Tomas Arejola.

The association was most active in the period between 1890 to 1893.

On this same day in 1859, the Jesuits returned to the Philippines for the first time since their expulsion on April 2, 1767.

After they returned in 1859, they took over a municipal school, Escuela Pia, which later evolved as the Ateneo de Manila, a prestigious school run by Jesuits until this day.

Their first school in the Philippines, however, was not Ateneo de Manila but Colegio de Manila, dating back to 1601. This institution later became Colegio de San Jose and now exists as the San Jose Seminary.

Accordingly, the Jesuits' presence in the Philippines is mainly associated with putting up of schools, including: Xavier University (which started in 1933 as Ateneo de Cagayan High School), Ateneo de Davao (founded in 1948, when Ateneo brothers took over St. Peter’s Parochial School), Xavier School (established in 1956 for Chinese-Filipinos) and Cebu’s Sacred Heart School (began in 1957 as a Jesuit school also for Chinese-Filipinos but now managed by Hijas de Jesus, an order of Catholic sisters).

Notably, the Manila Observatory was a Jesuit institution and was the first in Asia to issue warnings about approaching typhoons. The Spanish government eventually put up secondary institutions throughout the country, forming a vast meteorological service that also monitored earthquakes. The Observatory also conducted astronomical studies.

Also on this same day in 1744, King Philip V of Spain sent Mohamad Alimudin, Sultan of Sulu, a letter requesting permission for the Jesuit missionaries to propagate Christianity in Sulu. (Philippine News Agency)

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