Wednesday, June 12, 2013


ESCUELA PRACTICA DE ARTES Y OFICIOS DE BACOLOR. The newly reconstructed trade school, as it appeared in 1909. Damaged during the Revolution, the school was rebuilt using funds donated mostly by the native elite of the town. Today, Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University is a premiere technological university of the region. Luther Parker Collection, 1909.

While the Americans are recognized for reforming Philippine public schools, the Spaniards are credited for founding the first trade schools of the country, starting with the vision of Augustinian P. Juan Zita to help young but underprivileged youths of Bacolor. Bacolor’s elite, led by Don Felino Gil, donated the land and raised funds for the establishment of a school devoted to manual training and education. Thus was opened the Escuela Practica de Artes y Oficios de Bacolor, in 4 November 1861.

Initially, the school offered courses in carpentry, furniture making, ironworks and other practical arts, until the operations were interrupted by the Philippine Revolution. The school was converted to an ammunitions plant that supplied the Republican army with guns and bullets. The school sustained heavy damage as a result.

The school reopened in 1905 as Bacolor Trade School. Now under the Americans, the school underwent major reconstruction from 1906-07 at a cost of Php 12,000. At the grand inauguration of the new edifice, distinguished guests like former Gov. Ceferino Joven and Acting Director G.N. Brink, plus prominent members of both local and the American community graced the occasion that culminated in a lavish ball.

American instructors were at the helm of the school, teaching carpentry, wood craft, furniture making, weaving and embroidery. It was once again renamed to Pampanga Trade School in 1909. In 1911, the school observed its 50th anniversary, a milestone that was marked with yet another festive celebration held on 4 November.

A secondary curriculum that included Building Construction for boys and Domestic Science for girls was offered in 1922. Recognized as a regional trade school and renamed as Pampanga School of Arts and Trade, it added technical education courses in 1957. Pres. Diosdado Macapagal signed a decree in 1964, officially changing the name of the school to Don Honorio Ventura Memorial School of Arts and Trades (DHVMSAT) in honor of philanthropist Don Honorio Ventura, a native son of Bacolor who once helped Macapagal financially as a struggling student.

In 1978, under provincial governor Estelito P. Mendoza, the school became a state college. Curricular expansion led to the offering of courses such as Industrial Education, Engineering, Architecture and Home Economics. Masteral degrees were likewise offered in such fields as Public Administration, Education, Educational Management as wells as a Doctorate in Education in 2003. 

In June 2009, a house bill sponsored by Congressman Aurelio D. Gonzales, Jr.that called for the school’s conversion into a technological state university was passed and approved, that paved the way for the passage of a Senate Bill sponsored by Sen. Lito Lapid. On 9 December 2009, then Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9832, finally declaring the school as Pampanga's first and only state university—the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University.

From its humble beginnings, DHVTSU has grown by leaps and bounds, yet it continues to hold fast to its original mission envisioned over one hundred and fifty years ago--to keep the flame of technology alive so it may be used to improve lives, and enrich the future.

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