Philippine Women’s College of Davao
Saturday, February 3, 2007
|An institution where you can be the best
Dean Conrado Benitez and Mrs. Francisca Tirona Benitez were the two persons "who dreamt dreams and made their dreams come true". Their dreams led to their founding of the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in 1919. Ans soon after graduating from PWU, the alumnae in Mindanao began to dream the same dreams, with the intention of extending the quality of education to young girls in Mindanao for the growth and development of their faith, patriotism, and love for the family.
On April 28, 1952, the cornerstone of the PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S COLLEGE OF DAVAO (PWCD) was laid through the enterprising leadership of then PWU executive vice president Helena Benitez (who turned the idea into reality), with Rosa Sanwtos Munda, then the secretary of the PWU Alumnae Association of Davao.
On May 26, 1953, the college and dormitory buildings were blessed and dedicated in an inspiring ceremony officiated by His Excellency Msgr. Clovis Thibault, PME, and attended by public officials and prominent people of Davao and PWU officials – PWU president Francisca Benitez and treasurer Pilar Clemente. The founding dean was Fraternidad Gonzales, who was concurrent High School Principal with Monserrat Yulo as treasurer and Priscilla Abaya as Elementary Principal.
Philippine Women’s College of Davao
Dean Munda's term marked an emphasis on developing a well-balanced personality. Such is the philosophy behind the existence and essence of the school. Under Tita Rosky’s deanship, several administrators and teachers proved their dedication, commitment and loyalty by staying with PWC for a number of years.
Fifty years later president Munda readily agreed with the Alumni Foundation that it was time for PWC to lay the ground on to becoming a university.
In November 2003, the PWC Working Group, composed of Amelia Bonifacio, Maria Loreto Abella Lopez, Emilie Enriquez Dalisay and Amado Munda Jr., was formed by the PWC Board of Trustees to formulate PWC’s development plan.
PWC formally launched the Working Group’s Five-year Expansion and Enhancement Program in February 2004, witnessed by PWU-PWC Chair Helena Benitez Reyes, Jose Conrado Benitez, Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes, Conrad Benitez and Rosario Abella Lizada, and other distinguished guests from the Davao Community, among them Vice Mayor Luis Bonguyan, Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta, Mindanao Commission on Women Chair and PWC alumna Irene Morada Santiago, and PWC patron, Nenita del Rosario Floirendo.
On July 25, 2005, Dr. Benitez Reyes was installed as the second president of the PWCD and important objectives of the Expansion and Enhancement Program were affirmed: establishment of a Sunday High School; establishment of a Weekend College, and Center for Continuing Education; revival of Mindanao Island as the centerpiece of work-related learning; expansion of the Mindanao Folk Arts Museum and Studies Center; establishment of Computer Laboratories and launching of computer-aided teaching-learning from Preschool to College; upgrading of physical infrastructure and campus facilities; enhancement of teaching-learning strategies; and automation of the institutional systems.
In celebration of two decades of working with the youth and adults in Mindanao in the sector of visual arts, PWCD’s Helena Z. Benitez School of Fine Arts and Culture celebrates "20 POINT 10: Playground of Our Imagination, Now and Then" to commemorate its 20th founding anniversary and its 10th Annual Student Art and Design Exhibition at the Entertainment Plaza of SM City Davao from February 4-10, 2007.
Taking inspiration from the interest shown by the Davao community in the series of workshops conducted by the late National Artist for Painting, Victorio Edades, at the PWC of Davao in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Baccalaureate Degree in Fine Arts was established – the first ever academic course of its kind that was offered in Mindanao. Artist and PWU alumna Brenda Barba, who was instrumental in crafting the Art Curriculum of the Basic Education, chaired the Fine Arts Program since its inception up to the present. She is now counting 40 years of teaching experience in the arts in all units of PWC of Davao. The rest is history.
Through the years, PWC faculty and students alike have garnered meritorious recognition and brought honors to their alma mater in the fields of visual arts/painting, fashion design, interior design at the local, national and international levels. Some prestigious competitions and events where PWC HAZB-SFAC excelled in include, on the painting side: Assocaiation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Art Awards, Vermont Freeman Fellowship, Metrobank Young Painters’ Annual, Shell National Students’ Art Competition, PLDT Visual Art/Directory Cover Competition, Petron Students’ Painting Annual and the AAP Art Competition; and on the fashion design side: the Annual Philippine Fashion Design Competition and the biennial MEGA Young Designers’ Competition in Manila, and the Concours International des Jeunnes Createurs de Mode held annually in Paris, France. For the past five years, alumni designers, who belong to the now who’s who in the local fashion industry, have been showing their collections at the Philippine Fashion Week, reaping rave reviews and getting much deserved coverage by the country’s fashion authorities.
In response to the multifarious perspectives in the art side of the community it serves and the growing demands of the industry, PWC has added more academic course majors to its academic offerings.
In 1999, Interior Design was added. This school year, Advertising and Industrial Design majors made the program even more promising and exciting. Under a ladderized curriculum with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) accreditation is Fashion Illustration and Styling, which could be a pilot program for Mindanao. Non-credit short-term courses are also offered on demand for all ages.
Stalwart and dedicated as an educational venue for artists in Mindanao, the PWCD Helena Z. Benitez School of Fine Arts & Culture renews its commitment to uphold the Philwomenian spirit in the context of serving Filipinos, its friends from neighboring countries and those from other countries. All combined, this learning context is woven with the colorful chapters of history interwoven with the immensely rich and diverse culture of Mindanao.
The Philippine Women’s College of Davao is at the forefront of providing courses that emphasize unique Filipino culture and identity. Locally, with flagship courses such as the Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism, and Fine Arts, the PWCD continues to lead in providing the best graduates and talents in these fields. Now, it is branching out with new course offerings such as Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Education, and Liberal Arts. And, in its mission of providing quality education even to the working class Davaoeños, it has opened its Sunday High School and Weekend College. Now everyone, can have the breadth of skills and qualities unique to PWCD.