Monday, November 12, 2007


TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL. Student Body Teaching Force, with the Principal and Director of Arayat Institute. Schoolyear 1936-1937.

San Fernando’s venerable institution of learning, the old Pampanga High School, has been in the news lately, with headline accounts of the historic building’s imminent destruction what with all the looting and pillaging done under suspicious circumstances. Thankfully, after much controversial crusading, the cultural activists have won their battle to save the school that has produced some of the best Kapampangan minds in the country. Yet, there is another school in Pampanga that has quietly done its share in educating young Kapampangans for over half a century or so, that is as much our province’s pride as the more high profile Pampanga High School. This is the Arayat Institute of Arayat, Pampanga.

Arayat Institute was founded in 1932 by the visionary businessman Emilio A. Santos. A sugar planter, he was, at one time, the municipal president of the town, a stockholder of the Arayat Sugar Central, and a leading figure in business and finance in the province. The school was designed by Architect Vicente Pascual and was built at a cost of P7,000 on land donated by the parents of Emilio A. Santos. The landed Santos family were well known for their philanthropic work; long before the plan to erect the institute, they had been supporting the Anderson Intermediate School.

After the building’s construction, the Santoses then equipped the schools with donations of library books and laboratory equipment. In the first year of operations, the school did not offer a full 4 year course; it was only in the calendar year 1933-1934 that it established its 4th year class. The initial number of students were just 51 in High School and 40 students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes, all culled from the youths of Arayat, Sta. Ana and nearby Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. To attract more students, instructions were given in English and scholarships were granted to school valedictorians. The school also conducted free lessons in Spanish for all enrollees.

At the time of the school’s first year of operations, Emilio A. Santos headed the Board of Trustees as President. His brother, Canuto was a Director. Members included Dr. Esteban Medina, Dr. Emigdio C. Cruz, Donato Kabigting and Toribio Kabigting. Pioneer teachers of Arayat Institute were Alejandro Timbol (B.S.E.), Jose M. Tinio (B.A., M. Sc.,) Ana Polintan (B.S.E.) and Rufina Canlas for the Kindergarten Department.

One of the school’s most illustrious alumni is the former Executive Secretary of Pres. Diosdado P. Macapagal and ambassador to Washington, Hon. Amelito “Mel” Mutuc. Today, Arayat Institute is still in operations, continuing its tradition of providing excellent general secondary course to the youths of Pampanga, and, after 7 decades of service, it has finally taken its well deserved place among the respected private institutions in the Philippines.
(26 July 2003)


lari said...

Lots of memories in this school. I'm a graduate the schoolyear of ' 74 and ' 75 and it's very nostalgic just thinking about my past experiences at this Institute.It's just like yesterday.
A lot of great teachers esp. Miss Felisa Tiangco who's also the school principal.Lots of good times and bad times.
For me, high school at Arayat Institute is one of the best experience in life that i ever have. Great school.

alex r. castro said...

Thanks for dropping by lari, and sharing your memories. Another famous student of Arayat Insiutute is the 1950s actress, Lydia Montanez, aka Tatiana Korionoff. She was discovered by Leopoldo Salcedo.

lari said...

Great blog/article Alex. It's like traveling back in time and it brings back good 'ole memories. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i love this article especially the last sentence.It makes me so proud to be an alumni of AI.

lari, Miss F. Tiangco passed away a month after our graduation. She is indeed a great teacher and principal as well. A very noble person.

I miss the high school days!!!(remember the grad song, High School Life and In my Life)

Alex, thanks for posting this wonderful article.

Anonymous said...

Lots of great memories, challenges and great inspirational teachers, classmates, administratiors--Miss Felissa Tiangco, Mrs. Travis, Mr. Lim--my Physics teacher who challenge me to Major Math/Physics in my BS. degree. I really enjoyed my high school days at AI!

Alex, it will be nice if you can update current happenings at AI in one of your articles. I'll be dropping by again. See you

Anonymous said...

I remember great times with friends/classmates---like Josie Reyes, Josie Sabandal, Cristeta Gutierez, Felizardo Sanchez---class valedictorian, Sancho Mercado and others; we were class of '62. The only sad memory that lingered in my mind through the years was we did not have a graduation ceremony because of lack of school funding during that year 1962!

alex r. castro said...

Salamat pu. Hopefully, I can one day pay a visit to Arayat Institute and enrich this article with updates and other reminiscences.

Anonymous said...

hallo everybody,
i also attended AI in the period of 1974-1975, 1st n 2nd year high. due to family circumstances, after that, i transferred to another school and finished my studies there. so i'm just curious, how much should the tuition fee there now? anyone?

Anonymous said...

where was this located before? is it still a Arayat institute? we have a thesis about arayat.. ------------------------------------- do you know more some tourist spot or delicacies in arayat

Rogie Kabigting said...

i am so proud what is being said about Arayat Institute,my father being a member of the Board of Trustees and later on as comptroller of school until he passed away.I was in my second year when i met also Tatiana Korionoff aka Lydia Montanez and we became close friends.and at one time i even invited her to be a special guest in our fiesta in La Loma Q.C.My father is Toribio Kabigting.The last time i heard she is in the U.S.