News and Events

Foundation Day

To our National Artist Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan, Miss Purita Sison, the Nepomuceno Family, Guests, Members of the Holy Angel Community, Good morning!

Today we celebrate the 119th birth anniversary of the founder of Holy Angel University, Don Juan Nepomuceno.

In honoring his legacy, we are joined by his children and descendants who comprise the Nepomuceno Family—the same family that has shaped the political, economic and social life of this city, more than any family has.

We are also joined by members of the academic community of Holy Angel—the school that he and Fr. Pedro Santos co-founded 78 years ago.

Don Juan and Fr. Santos did not realize it at the time, but when they founded Holy Angel Academy in 1933, they set two national records: Holy Angel was the first Catholic school in the Philippines that was founded by a layperson, and it was the first Catholic high school that was co-educational.

For the first time, lay people showed that they could be entrusted with the administration of Catholic education which had previously been the sole responsibility of dioceses and religious congregations.

Religion, catechism and Catholic values were integrated in the curriculum of a school that was run by people other than priests and nuns.

In other words, the Church found partners in their mission to provide Catholic education to a country that was then rapidly modernizing and losing the old-fashioned values and virtues that had strengthened the moral fiber of Filipinos and provided the strong foundation for the nation in the first place.

It was Holy Angel in 1933 that showed the way to the empowerment of the laity as co-workers in the vineyard of Catholic education in the Philippines.

In recent years, Holy Angel has also found a new advocacy in the preservation and promotion of Kapampangan culture.

We realize that to fully educate our people, we must not only enlighten their minds but also enrich their souls. In addition to the catholic education, we also endeavor to help our people recognize and celebrate their Kapampangan heritage, the way Don Juan Nepomuceno did during his lifetime. He wrote Kapampangan plays, translated English and Spanish books into Kapampangan, and published Kapampangan newsletters that were intended to propagate the Word of God to a larger audience.

Taking cue from our Founder’s example, the University shall honor today four special individuals who best exemplify the University’s advocacies:

Dr. Anicia del Corro, Kapampangan linguist, who shall receive the Juan D. Nepomuceno Cultural Award for Research and Scholarship;

National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, better known as BenCab, Kapampangan visual artist now based in Baguio City, who shall receive the Juan D. Nepomuceno Cultural Award for the Arts;

Miss Purita Sison, longtime instructor and administrator of Holy Angel, who shall be conferred the Order of Saint Raphael the Archangel for her dedicated service to the University; and

Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan, Catholic lay educator at the Ateneo de Manila High School, who shall be conferred the Order of Saint Michael the Archangel for contribution to Catholic education in the country.

Their outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields, as well as their outstanding contributions to the same advocacies that we espouse, have made them the worthy recipients of our University medals of honor.

Congratulations to you and mayap a abak pu kekayu ngan.

Date Posted: 03-07-2011