San Sebastian Collegeâ€“Recoletos Canlubang
An extension of commitment to quality Christian education
hen the Augustinian Recollect Fathers first set foot on Philippine shores in the 17th century, they envisioned a catholic education with a three-fold mission: the development of man, the promotion of local culture, and the welfare of society.
The year 1940 saw the Convention of the Order of Augustinian Recollect (OAR) in Manila categorically declaring: “It is the unanimous aspiration of the Fathers gathered in this chapter that schools of primary and secondary education and college be founded as soon as possible”.
In 1941, San Sebastian Collegeâ€“Recoletos (SSCâ€“R) was established but assumed hiatus when World War II broke out. Just as soon as the smoke vanished, it formally opened in 1946 or a year after its conception as an exclusive boysâ€™ school with initial offerings in the elementary and high school levels, as well as the Institute of Liberal Arts in College.
Education, valuable as it was to a country rising from heaps of debris and ashes, proved it imperative to construct another two-storey neo-gothic structure in its first year of operation, modeled after the famous all-steel San Sebastian Church, which is considered a national treasure. This desire to respond to the needs of the time triggered a string of physical metamorphoses.
Since then, structures after structures were built until this prominence in physical transformation was equally substantiated by changes in the academic blueprint. The noble purpose of meeting the pressing educational need of a recuperating people led SSCâ€“R to focus on primary and secondary education with a modest offering in the College of Liberal Arts during its infant years. But as time went by, it was inevitable to expand horizons.
Today, SSC-R extends its commitment to perpetuate quality Christian education to its untapped clientele, particularly in Southern Luzonâ€™s Laguna area. Thus, the SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGEâ€“RECOLETOS (SSCâ€“R) CANLUBANG was born.
Celebrating oneness as a Filipino and as a Recollect community, the vision of perpetuating quality life through quality Christian education now lies in Canlubang, Laguna.
SSCâ€“R Manila beamed with pride during the groundbreaking of SSCâ€“R Canlubang on May 6, 2005, as the first stone was laid down to signal the start of an extended commitment, a move to get closer to an unserved market.
Global architecture mixed with the classical gothic identity of the San Sebastian Building in Manila describes the new San Sebastian College, which is proudly standing at the heart of Carmelray Industrial Park 1 in Canlubang, Laguna.
The 17-hectare school completes the final mix to the said industrial area, which houses more than 50 business locators and operating companies, composed mostly of electronics, food, chemical, automotive and other service providers; recreational facilities; and residential communities. It invites potential college students residing in Canlubang, Calamba, Cabuyao, Sta. Rosa, and BiÃ±an in Laguna, and in nearby areas in the province of Batangas.
Then SSCâ€“R president Rev. Fr. Hernan Omecillo, OAR cited this commitment as a response to Carmelray Industial Corporation chairwoman of the board DoÃ±a Carmen Yuloâ€™s invitation for the apostolate. He regarded it as a timely call “amidst the morally degenerated political attitude” besetting the society.
Taking this venture with Divine Providence, Fr. Omecillo saw the whole thing with the intercession of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel which, incidentally, is the patron saint of Mrs. Yulo. Unmindful of undesirable turns that any business venture might meet along the way, he encouraged everyone to put a firm faith and direct all efforts towards serving humanity through Christ. “In full prayers, all these earnest efforts be heard not to our will but according to Godâ€™s will,” Fr. Omecillo was quoted as saying.
In her response, Mrs. Yulo expressed her gratitude for such a milestone event as she welcomed the San Sebastian Recoletos community to her Carmel Town in Canlubang. She went on noting several coincidences that led to the setting up of SSCâ€“R Canlubang.
Mrs. Yulo commended the Recoletos administration for making the right decision and for choosing Carmelray as the educational institutionâ€™s area of extension. She went on to say: “My family has held steadfast on the vision that this place would one day be properly urbanized with a mix of recreational facilities, industrial/commercial ventures, residential communities, and of course, major education institutions. Today, San Sebastian will begin to complete that mix, as well as our cherished vision.”
Further, she stated: “We anticipate that San Sebastian College would bring in the type of education that would serve as foundation and catalyst for what would be the type of recreation, the quality of living, the dynamics of commerce and, ultimately, the setting up of a vibrant learning community.”
Calamba Mayor Joaquin Chipeco congratulated the Recoletos for its contribution to the growth of Calamba. San Sebastian College, according to him, will play an important role in his vision of making Calamba “the next Makati City”. Aside from the captivating Mt. Makiling, the splendid Laguna de Bay, the bountiful estates, and the relieving hot springs, SSCâ€“R C will be an added reason why Calamba (resting at the â€˜end of the rainbowâ€™) is a “pot of gold”.
The San Sebastian Collegeâ€“Recoletos Canlubang Campus is now in the hands of SSC-R Manilaâ€™s concurrent president Rev. Fr. Dionisio Cachero, OAR. As an extension school, it offers the same quality education that SSC-R Manila provides to each student. As a new school, SSC-R Canlubang has been facing challenges in the form of competition with the already established and known schools in the area.
However, Fr. Cachero has been very optimistic that the school will maintain its competitive position because he believes that there is a market for the right school, with the right and in-demand programs, new facilities, effective instructions, updated curricula, affordable tuition fees, and an established impressive reputation.
The opening of SSC-R Canlubang puts the school in great advantage. As a new school that carries the already established reputation (of the main campus), there is the advantage of getting the best professors with the best credentials. Comparative advantage is also obviously seen in providing fair tuition fees with new equipment and facilities. Effective linkages and productive collaborations with academic and business partners will also be extended to the said campus.
Geographically, the school was strategically positioned to cater to nearby subdivisions in Canlubang such as Dos Rios, Royal Carmel, Kapayapaan, Ceris I, II, and III. Extensively, it targets clientele that come not only from Calamba but also from Cabuyao, Sta. Rosa, BiÃ±an, and even other places in Laguna and Batangas.
SSCâ€“R Canlubang promises to bring quality education in a global setting at its best. For example, its Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) as a degree program offers specialization in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts while Tourism centers on Tour and Travel Operations and Management. The courses boast of International Training Program in Singapore, Australia, and the United States; International Work and Study Program under the New Zealand School of Travel and Tourism; and the Customized Culinary Training Program of the Singapore Hotel and Training Education Center (SHATEC).
Other courses offered are Financial and Managerial Accounting, Business Management, Marketing Management, Legal Management, Human Resource Development Management, Computer Science, and Communication Arts.