History

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A Brief History of St. Anthony’s College
by Jose Edison C. Tondares, MGM, CESE
AY 2013-2014

In the years after the Spanish-American War at the beginning of the 20th century, the American policy of the separation of the Church and State, the expulsion of Spanish friars from the Philippines, and the sale of friar lands in the newly-liberated colony, resulted in the sudden poverty of the Church in the Philippines both in material and spiritual resources.[i] Within the Catholic Church, a world-wide call for other missionaries to help restore the Catholic Church in the Philippines resounded.

Antique, then a hotbed of Aglipayan schism was assigned to the Society of St. Joseph for Foreign Missions (Mill Hill Missionaries).  When the Mill Hill Missionaries arrived in Antique in 1907, fifteen of the 18 parishes in Antique were in the hands of the Aglipayans.  Only the parishes in San Jose, Bugasong and Pandan were under the care of the Augustinian friars. The task of the Mill Hill Missionaries was one of reconciliation and rebuilding of resources.[ii]  Bishop Cornelio De Wit, MHM, several years later during the Quadricentennial of Christianity in Antique situated this enormous challenge of restoring the Catholic faith in the isolation of Antique as a province and its division as a Church.[iii]

The Catholic faith in Antique was endangered not only by the policy of separation imposed by the Americans, but also by the American introduction of freemasonry and Prostestantism, and even by Filipino guerillas who, impassioned by nationalist fervor sought to expel foreign clerics from the province.  The Mill Hill Missionaries evolved four strategies to achieve their purpose in Antique.  These included pastoral work, education, Catechetics and Liturgy, and socio-economic programs.[iv]  This was hard work built upon the spiritual and social foundation laid by the Augustinian friars.[v]

The Mill Hill Missionaries believed that the American system of education did not do justice to the Filipino and their Catholic faith.[vi]  While the American public school system curtailed religious instruction, soon in the years after the World War II, the Mill Hill Missionaries successfully founded ten Catholic schools to provide young Antiqueños with an education anchored on the ideals and philosophy of Christianity.
These schools included St. Anthony’s College (SAC), which was founded in 1957.
The diocesan schools and SAC were just a few of the many schools in Antique but they were not ordinary. “The aims and objectives of these schools conform to the Constitutional requirements for schools in our country, but diocesan schools add to these requirements a Catholic philosophy of life.  This means that the humanistic values as found in the country’s educational system, find their foundation, not in desires and values expressed by experienced and talented educators but in the Words and Life of the Supreme Teacher, Jesus Christ.”[vii]

To understand the value of St. Anthony’s College, the school has to be seen as part of a composite of faithful religious works meant to keep the Catholic faith alive in the province and to bring about a development that is founded on Christian morality. The school is not an independent undertaking.  It is part of a body of beacons that includes all the diocesan schools in the province, the founding of the Mensa Domini Sisters, the establishment of the St. Peter’s Seminary, Radio Station DYKA, Catechetical Institute, Social Action Center, credit unions and cooperatives, and Happy Family Life, among others.

Worth mentioning in the founding of St. Anthony’s College is the shepherding role of the late Bishop Cornelio De Wit, MHM, the first Bishop of the Prelature of San Jose Antique.  In his message to the early graduates of the school, in a reflection of the purpose of the institution and the Declaration on Christian Education issued by the Vatican Council, he asked the Anthonians, “Go, and be the leaven of your community – be the salt of your environment – be a light and beacon to the wavering – be a support to the weak and encouragement to the brave… Go and be a Witness of Christ to whosoever you meet and wherever you are.”[viii]

In 1957, the Mill Hill Missionaries bought the Bantayan site of the existing Antique Academy and founded St. Anthony’s College.

By 1958, the school was transferred to a wider five-hectare lot in San Angel, also in San Jose, where it has remained to this day.  For years it would be the sole Catholic institution of higher education in the entire province of Antique until the recent introduction of a higher education level at the Pandan Bay Institute. The Mill Hill Missionaries continued the complete secondary education offered by the Assumption Sisters.  When St. Anthony’s College started, it had a population of 78 college students handled by eight faculty members and 230 high school students under six teachers.

The first High School Principal of SAC was Ms. Consolacion Quiñon (1958-1969), who was also concurrently the Registrar for High School and College.

The initiative of putting up the SAC could be attributed to Rev. Fr. Simon van Baars who at the time of the founding of the school was the Superior of the Mill Hill Missionaries in the Philippines, and Rev. Fr. Luis Zots and Rev. Fr. John Daly, the consultors of the Father Superior.[ix]  The College however, was named after its “godfathers,” Rev. Fr. Anthony Verheyen, and Rev. Fr. Anthony Oomen.  Fr. Verheyen donated a substantial amount for the construction of the Administration Bldg. while Fr. Oomen who was then Parish Priest of San Jose provided board and lodging to all the priests who were working at the College.

On 4 August 1959, St. Anthony’s College became officially incorporated as an educational institution under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC No. 15705) with Rev. Fr. Simon Van Baars, Rev. Fr. Hubert Jonkergouw, and Rev. Fr. William Erinkveld, all Mill Hill Missionaries as incorporators, and with an original capitalization of P65,000.00.  The First Board of Trustees of St. Anthony’s College was composed of Rev. Fr. Simon Van Baars, Rev. Fr. Hubert Jonkergouw, Rev. Fr. William Erinkveld, Rev. Fr. Henry Van Tilborg, and Rev. Fr. Henry Hienkens.[x]
The Mill Hill Missionaries managed St. Anthony’s College until 1975.  Its first College President was Rev. Fr. Henry Hienkens (1958-1962), followed by Rev. Fr. Clemens August Stockmann (1962-1967), Rev. Fr. Harry Janssen (1967-1972), Rev. Fr. Leonard Kellenaers (1972-1976), and Rev. Fr. James O’Donoghue who was Acting College President from March – August 1975.

The original Philosophy of Education of St. Anthony’s College stated, “The College was established to help provide young Filipino men and women with a well-balanced Christian Education through the intellectual, spiritual, moral, social and physical development of each student.  As the only institution of higher learning in the Province of Antique, the College encourages its students to become involved in community activities and eventually to assume positions of responsibility and leadership for the improvement of their communities.”[xi]

During the term of Rev. Fr. Heinkens, in 1959 a two-year Associate in Arts course was given Government Recognition.  The following year, SAC opened a one-year Collegiate Secretarial course and obtained government recognition for a two-year Commercial Science.  In 1960, SAC turned out its first batch of graduates who were 23 students of the Collegiate Secretarial.  Three of the historical buildings of St. Anthony’s College including the now Heinkens Bldg., Verheyen Bldg, and Vaughan Bldg were also constructed during this period.

In the years of the presidency of Rev. Fr. Stockmann, curricular expansion, departmentalization, and faculty development were given more attention.  During the first semester of AY 1962-1963 the High School and College Departments were separated, each having its own administrative staff.[xii]
SAC opened a four-year Bachelor of Secondary Education program (1963), obtained government recognition for its four-year Normal program and complete Elementary (both in 1965), and opened a four-year Liberal Arts program.  Ms. Consolacion Quiñon, who was also the first Dean of the BSE Department, would be instrumental to the success of the education programs.  Mrs. Severa Banusing was the first Principal of the Elementary Department.
The courses in Education, without prejudice to the other programs of St. Anthony’s College, even to this day, remains to be the one closest to the original Christian educational purpose of the school.  The graduates of the Education program of the school have become the teachers shepherding young students coming to different schools in the province, private and public alike.  In 2009, teacher education training at SAC was proudly highlighted by Mr. Gian Carlo S. Auxilian who placed 7th in the national ranking of those who passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2009.

Bishop De Wit aptly illuminates this achievement with the light of the words of St. Paul to Timothy which he quotes in his 1968 message to the graduates: “Do not let anybody look down on you because you are young, but be an example in your speech, your conduct, your love, your faith and your purity. Give your time and your effort to teaching. Watch yourself and watch your teaching.  Keep on doing these things, for if you do you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”[xiii]

Rev. Fr. Stockmann’s term also saw the opening of the joint Reserve Officers Training Corps unit of the Antique School of Arts and Trade (now University of Antique) and St. Anthony’s College.  Its first Commandant was Lieutenant Jaime Duran.  SAC would have its independent ROTC unit in 1965[xiv] with 1st Lt. Buenaventura Ramos as Commandant.

Between 1967-1972 the incumbency of Rev. Fr. Harry Janssen was characterized by physical improvements and the initiation of the relationship of the school with the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE).  The construction of the Science Building and the Library began in 1968.  During his term, several faculty members did their graduate studies under FAPE scholarship.  It was also during that time that the FAPE applied the College Entrance Test to all diocesan high schools in Antique.  This test would later be adopted for all secondary schools in the country as the National College Entrance Examination. [xv]  The training of students for reserve military service for the country would also, at least for the Anthonians, find a new dimension as no less than the College President would be its Commandant in 2012 to present.

In 1968, SAC obtained government recognition for its four-year Liberal Arts program.  In 1970, Fr. James O’Donoghue would head the program.  He was also the Dean of Student Affairs at that time.
St. Anthony’s College graduated its first magna cum laude, Ms. Aida dela Fuente (BS Elementary Education) in AY1967-1968, and its only summa cum laude to date, Ms. Aida Mirasol (now Ricarze, Bachelor of Arts) in AY 1969-1970, the same year that graduated Mr. Romeo O. Lazo (Bachelor of Arts) as magna cum laude.  He would later become the Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique.

Rev. Fr. Leonard Kellenaers was at the helm of the College at the onset of the Martial Law.  This was the period of student unrest running across the country.  There was a “growing sense of self-awareness among the students… Antique does not lie exactly in the mainstream of life in the Philippines, but is not so far removed from the world at large… The students’ concern did not limit itself to the school, but extended to the political and social life of the community.”[xvi] There were sporadic demonstrations.

When Martial Law was declared on 21 September 1972 the college departments were closed until 15 October 1973 as a government response to student unrest.  When the classes resumed, student movements were curtailed and emphasis was given to academic performance.  The development, however, made SAC more receptive to the demands of the students. [xvii]

In 1971, the 38-page graduation year book of St. Anthony’s College, normally dedicated to the good Bishop De Wit, in a coming of age of the College for the first time was dedicated “To the people of the province of ANTIQUE.”  The Christian instruction in SAC has begun to find a meaning in the service of the community.
It was also during this period that SAC began the transfer of its ownership to the Prelature of San Jose, Antique.  The Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws were amended to facilitate this transfer.  The preparation of lay faculty administrators was also seriously undertaken.

While the term of Rev. Fr. Kellenaers was set in times of national unrest, it was also poetically marked by the graduation of SAC’s first batch of Kindergarten pupils in 1976 with Ms. Fortunata Panaguiton as Teacher-in-Charge.

It was also in 1975 that SAC obtained government recognition for its four-year Commerce Course.  Credit should go to Mrs. Elvira A. Pefianco for ensuring that the program succeeds and becomes stable. This program would branch to Commerce and Business Administration with Mrs. Bella Aurora Z. Julian and Mrs. Esperanza M. Nolasco as program coordinators, respectively.

The Mill Hill Missionaries endeavored to train students in leadership and community service.  In 1962, Mr. Simon Furio, a young war veteran who went back to school was elected as the first president of the school’s Student Council.  Over the years, students of St. Anthony’s College initiated or participated in charitable work and community development, socio-political advocacies, and environmental advocacies.  The tradition of student leadership continues. This year, 2013 Mr. Steven A. Checa, a Computer Engineering student is the President of the SAC Student Republic (College), Ms. Amber Lynn M. Zelhart is the President of the Supreme Student Government (High School), and Ms. Marie Andrea Pefianco is President of the Supreme Pupil Government (Elementary).
Among the early student organizations of SAC were the St. Anthony’s College Students’ Catholic Action, Antique Varsitarians, Educators’ Club, 4-H Club, Young Christian Workers, The Anthonian (publication, College), The Anthonian Quill (publication, High School), SAC Student Government, The Liberal Arts Collegiate Secretarial Organization, and Science and Mathematics Club.

In 1976, the College was handed over by the Mill Hill Missionaries to the Prelature of San Jose de Antique, which in 1983 became the Diocese of San Jose de Antique.  Four years after the declaration of Martial Law, a decree was passed barring foreign nationals from holding key positions or public office in the country.

Rev. Fr. Joaquin A. Dioso Jr., (1976-1983) an Antiqueño diocesan priest, became the first Filipino President of St. Anthony’s College.  After him, other diocesan priests served as College Presidents: Rev. Fr. Fortunato M. Abiera (1983-1986); Rev. Fr. Jose Romeo O. Lazo (1986-1989); Rev. Fr. Nicolas A. Rendon (1989-1997), Rev. Fr. Cornelio V. Ysulat, Jr. (1997-2007) , Rev. Fr. Jose S. Bantolo (2007-2011) and Rev. Fr. Edione R. Febrero (2011 – present).

Rev. Fr. Dioso composed and arranged the Anthonian Hymn.  To this day the hymn is sung by all Anthonians as an emblem of St. Anthony’s College’s commitment to service and education: “Here I am reared a servant to all men, here I am fed wisdom of a thousand years; Oneness in heart faithful to the call of time, marks of Anthonian, to all will shine!”

In a bid to establish St. Anthony’s College as a center of academic excellence in the province and to improve the future viability of the College, in 1980, Rev. Fr. Dioso together with the academic heads of the school, initiated the application for accreditation of St. Anthony’s College with the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).

The preparations for the PAASCU accreditation was overseen by Ms. Ressurreccion M. Maza, a linguist, poet, faculty for Spanish, researcher, and author of the Augustinians in Panay, a definitive book on Augustinian history in Western Visayas.

This initiation would come to fruition in 1987 during the term of Rev. Fr. Lazo, during which St. Anthony’s College was granted Level II Accreditation by the PAASCU for the programs, Liberal Arts, Education, and Commerce.  For the same programs, PAASCU granted Deregulated Level II status during the term of Rev. Fr. Rendon.  In 2012, during the term of Fr. Febrero, PAASCU granted Level II Re-Accredited status for the Liberal Arts, Elementary & Secondary Education, and Business Education programs.

In retrospect, the initiation of the application for the PAASCU accreditation was not the only highlight of Rev. Fr. Dioso’s term.  There was a quiet group of unassuming students who put up a small business of selling cards, school supplies and candies to provide scholarships for other students and to fund charitable activities that they too would personally undertake.  This was called the Share for a Cause Movement Foundation (SCMF), which was led by Sr. Silvina Tejares, mslt.  This was the first time that students would organize themselves for the purpose.  Sr. Lydia Labrador, mslt would take over the helm of SCMF when Sr. Silvina went on a study leave.[xviii]  Before the SCMF, outreach programs were integrated in Theology classes.  Fast forward to 2013, the outreach programs of SAC would become more directed as a formational intervention for students based at the Community Extension and External Relations Office.

The term of Rev. Fr. Dioso, a known activist was set in the years that saw the escalation of violence across the country at the twilight of the Marcos Administration, a strong communist movement, and student activism. Rev. Fr. Dioso poetically teaches the Anthonians, “It was a year of violence which rolled like a fireball… Our nation was not exempted from these… When you leave St. Anthony’s College you will still be reminded by violence in all its forms and the war of nerves that may erode your confidence and mar your vision of life.  When this happens, look outside your kitchen window.  There may be a spider spinning his web. Lift your little brothers and sisters to see it and tell them that this shining silk drawn out of the spider’s body has greater tensile strength than steel.  If they learn admiration instead of disgust, you will have taught one of the greatest lessons in life – that all in life is sacred.”[xix]

In 1984, the St. Anthony’s College and San Jose Academy’s Elementary and High School departments were merged. This was during the term of Rev. Fr. Fortunato M. Abiera.  This merger signaled a new cooperation between religious workers in the province in developing a generation of service-oriented Christians that transcended economic status in life.  San Jose Academy, a school run by the Assumption Sisters was were the elites sent their children to, while St. Anthony’s College catered to students from poor or less well-off families.  This was a difficult task of fusing almost disparate student cultures yet the merger eliminated the divide.  It solidified the position of SAC as the leading Basic Education provider in the province.

During Rev. Fr. Abiera’s term, Sr. Silvina Tejares, mslt was sent to the De La Salle University for her master’s degree.  She returned to SAC with a Best Thesis award, for her work, I Can and I Will, a research on the study habits of honor students.  This work was widely used in the College as a guidance office intervention to help students achieve academic excellence.

In 1987, during the term of Rev. Fr. Lazo (1986-1989), the College started offering the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a hallmark program to this day.  Mrs. Luz L. Sabay ushered this program as General Engineering but it was, however, Dr. Aida M. Ricarze who would see the program of Civil Engineering to its recognition. This program would proudly produce national top notchers in the Licensure Examination for Civil Engineers: Engr. Orville Matthew V. Gayatin (12th Placer, 1998), and Engr. Joefran V. Escote (7th Placer, 2005).
Beyond these historical facts, however, the school was experiencing a great lesson.  Rev. Fr. Lazo’s term was one that would continue to see the twin uncertainties and hopefulness of the school in the context of great events that culminated a new national system.

It was during this period that Antique Gov. Evelio B. Javier was assassinated spurring dolorous and angry movements among citizens and students of leading schools in Western Visayas including the ordinarily peaceful St. Anthony’s College.  This tragedy of Antique would be felt by the entire archipelago. Gov. Javier who was an Atenean got national coverage.  Some would say the coverage broke the seeds of the yellow flowers of the 1986 People Power and brought about the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
During this period Antique also held its First Diocesan Synod and on the national level, the Philippines was celebrating the canonization of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.

Rev. Fr. Lazo provided the moral guidance for the College. In a message to the students in 1988, he wrote, “All these did not happen inside the four walls of the classroom yet they are real and have to be confronted.  The education and formation you get in the College should be able to help you make the right and proper choices in life, choices that make human life on earth more human, more responsible, more open to others, more aware of the dignity of his fellowman.”[xx]

The presidency of Rev. Fr. Lazo, after the 1986 People Power, also witnessed the first stages of the rebirth of Kinaray-a Literature.  Members of the Anthonian editorial board, Alex C. delos Santos, Jose Edison Tondares, Leah Marlie Lourdes Pagunsan, and Gerardo Antoy started liberalizing the school paper, Anthonian, and published articles in Kinaray-a, to the consternation of the careful conservatives. It was reminiscent of Bishop De Wit’s “Antiqueño soul” and perhaps now may be said as an omen of the important role that the school would take in the cultural restoration in Antique.

In 1991, during the term of Rev. Fr. Nicolas A. Rendon (1989-1997), the school initiated the separation of Accountancy as just a major of BS Commerce to a BS in Accountancy by order of the Commission on Higher Education.[xxi] This program would produce another pride for the College in the person of Romeo J. Baldevia, Jr., CPA, 12th placer in the national Licensure Examination for Certified Public Accountants in 2001.
The term of Rev. Fr. Rendon also welcomed a new group of missionaries, the La Mennais Brothers, to the SAC Community.  The first three of them, Bro. Claude Beauschene, Bro. Fernand Descoteaux, and Bro, Andre Poisson would become part of the High School faculty but they would later on focus on establishing a technical training program for out-of-school youth.  In 1992, with the assistance of the Manus Unidas, started the construction of the La Mennais Bldg, which now serves as the venue for the Technical Training Program (TTP). [xxii]

Seeing the need to offer short term courses, the administration applied for permits to operate and conduct the following non-degree courses: One-Year Proficiency in Computer Training (PCT) recognized on January 14, 1993; and Two-Year Certificate in Computer Technology (CCT) recognized on the same date including the Short-Term Computer Courses.  Three years after, on January 30, 1996 the Two –Year Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) course earned Government Recognition.

In AY 1995-1996, the College adopted Sitio Datu Sumakwel as its partner barangay.  SAC, with the assistance of the residents were able to construct a multi-purpose building and a training center.  A day care program in the sitio was spearheaded by the Teacher Education Department and there were livelihood skills enhancement training, environmental drives, and family wellness activities.[xxiii]

The administration of Rev. Fr. Rendon was a time of introspective endeavors for St. Anthony’s College.  Dialogues with students and personnel on volatile issues like tuition fee increases and personnel benefits were undertaken, not so easily but resulting in more open communication lines and better conditions for students and personnel of the school.  During his term, Rev. Fr. Rendon also initiated the Research Office, an underlining of the academic responsibility of SAC.  Mrs. Aida M. Ricarze, PhD., headed this office.  Eventually SAC also earned its deregulated status from the PAASCU and Rev. Fr. Rendon became the first Antiqueño and a sought after PAASCU accreditor.
Along the lines of responding to the social and technological demands of the time Rev. Fr. Ysulat (1997-2007) streamlined the programs of the school by transferring the short term course Hotel & Restaurant Management from the Liberal Arts – Civil Engineering (LACE) Department to the Business Education; and transferring Bachelor of Arts program from LACE to the Teacher Education Department.  The BS Civil Engineering program became an independent Engineering and Technology Department in anticipation of the opening of the BS Computer Engineering.  The two-year Hotel and Restaurant Management was ladderized to BS in Hospitality Management which was also offered under the Business Education Department.

Worth pointing out in the term of Rev. Fr. Cornelio V. Ysulat, Jr. is also the development happening in the formal formation of the students.  “Starting AY 1999-2000, the Division of Academic Affairs required the integration of community involvement in the syllabus of every course.  With this, teachers have been made aware of community involvement in order to heighten the consciousness level of the students for community concerns.”[xxiv]
During the presidency of Rev. Fr. Ysulat, moves to strengthen the relationship of SAC with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority were undertaken.  The government agency, in an effort to increase the employability of underprivileged youth made available a significantly huge scholarship program for competency-based courses.  The first UTPRAS (Unified Technical Vocational Education and Training Program Registration and Accreditation System) Coordinator was Mrs. Milagros D. Yabillo.  The accreditation of the NC II programs for Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Household Services, and Computer Hardware is attributed to Mrs. Lucena C. Tondares, the current UTPRAS Coordinator and Registrar of the College.

Rev. Fr. Ysulat was also responsible for reengineering the organizational structure of the school.  The Elementary and High School were reclassified as Lower Basic Education and Higher Basic Education, respectively and placed under the management of one principal, Sr. Amparo Evangelista, ra. For the first time, a Human Resource Development Office was established, and an Information and Communications Office created.[xxv]

“The new high school building was constructed through the assistance of the Basque government in 2002. The Covered Court, now Bishop Martirez Hall was constructed in 2001 and furnished with a dressing room in 2003. In 2007, SAC bought a house and lot in Boracay, Malay, Aklan. The house was converted into a staff house equipped with amenities to provide SAC community most especially the HRM/BSHM practicum students with a safe place to lodge.”[xxvi]

The term of Fr. Ysulat saw the launching of the Golden Jubillee Celebration of the College on 4 August 2007.
Four more programs were opened during the presidency of Rev. Fr. Jose S. Bantolo (2007-2011).  These included the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology subsumed under the Engineering and Technology Department.  Efforts to open this new Engineering program could be attributed to Engr. Daisy Rose Virgini M. Plameras, current Dean of the Engineering & Technology Department.  The Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology was also opened and subsumed under the Business Education Department.

Bachelor of Science in Criminology was also offered resulting in the establishment of the Criminal Justice Education Department.  Dr. Aida Ricarze would initiate the application for recognition of this program but it was Dr. Magdalena Otico who would see to the granting of the recognition.  Mr. Larry Lopez is the first professional criminologist to head the department and remains so to this day.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing too was opened resulting in the establishment of the Nursing Department for which a new building was constructed beside the New High School Building.  This started as a consortium with the University of San Agustin.  Credit goes to Mrs. Elvira Untaran and Dr. Ricarze for establishing the program.  When this program became an independent program of SAC, it was headed by its first Dean, Ms. Gina Mae H. Basco, RN, MAN. The BS Nursing program of SAC would produce another national top notcher in the Nurse Licensure Examination, Mary Cris J. Davo, RN (8th Placer, 2012).

Rev. Fr. Bantolo was also responsible for the construction of the St. Anthony’s Chapel.  The quaint college chapel on the second floor of the Vaughan (Administration) Building was converted to Periodicals Section of the Learning Resource Center.  Rev. Fr. Bantolo would soon become the Bishop of the Diocese of Masbate

The tradition of community service continued during the time of Rev. Fr. Bantolo.  Under the able leadership of Mr. Pedro Altar III, “Between 2007-2011, some 800 students, faculty, personnel and administrators of the College have participated in six relief and medical-dental missions costing P249,000.00 and implemented in 14 communities.  In the same period P519,000.00 in donations and College allocations were spent to provide educational assistance in the form of school supplies for 1,650 students in five elementary schools in San Jose and Hamtic.  Supplemental feeding programs lasting for five years for pre-school and six months for elementary pupils were also implemented in five communities benefitting 175 pre-schoolers and 609 pupils.”[xxvii]

Rev. Fr. Edione R. Febrero, the “singing Priest” popular among the young generation started his presidency at SAC in 2011 and remains as is at present.  “Under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Febrero, the College sets wider directions for its continuing role not only in providing quality Catholic Education to all Antiqueños but also as an evangelizing arm of the Diocese.

Fr. Febrero’s entry in time for the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese as a local church underscores the role played by St. Anthony’s College under his leadership and a challenge for him to lead the SAC community members to live the three core values: S-Spirituality, A-Academic Excellence, and C-Community Service.  A new Strategic Plan which emphasized holistic, quality and satisfying service to all stakeholders was also developed.[xxviii]

In 2012, the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology was issued government recognition and the following year, the Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology applied for government recognition.

SAC continued to engage its community.  It has adopted Brgy. Bugarot in San Jose as its primary community extension program partner while it continues to serve the Gawad Kalinga communities and Sitio Datu Sumakwel in Hamtic.  Under his leadership, the community extension program has become an essential requirement for the graduation of the students.  Incidentally, Rev. Fr. Febrero is also the current Chair of the Social Action Center.
A new emphasis has also been given to the spiritual formation of the students.  Like the community extension services, this too has become an essential requirement for the graduation of the students.  Students are now required to undergo a four-year spiritual formation program.  Rev. Fr. Jumar M. Rios now heads the Christian Formation Ministry.

Rev. Fr. Febrero who is a reserve Captain of the Philippine Army now also serves as the Commandant of the SAC ROTC, which under his leadership has been adjudged the Western Visayas champion in the Regional Annual Administrative Tactical Inspection in 2012.

An outspoken priest who is also the manager of Station DYKA and Spriti FM Rev. Fr. Febrero has also been elected as the national President of the Catholic Media Association in 2012.  Locally at SAC, he has started providing students with opportunities to be trained in broadcasting with DYKA and Spirit FM as base.
The students and personnel of SAC in a renewed spirit of leadership has also become involved in important issues like Reproductive Health, Mining, and Environment.

In 2013, SAC also initiated four major annual conferences including the Educators’ Conference, Antique Health Congress, Antique Leadership Congress, and Environment and Life Development Conference.  These are all provincial level conferences meant to underscore the seriousness of SAC as a leader in provincial development.
There is more to be done.  Rev. Fr. Febrero says, “The quest for a more responsive, relevant and quality delivery of education goes on in St. Anthony’s College.  This…is a test of how far this school has lived its professed vision, mission and institutional objectives… Through the intercession of our Patron Saint, St. Anthony of Padua, I hope for the best because this mission of providing Catholic education to the province of Antique is our commitment to the Antiqueños and to all our stakeholders.”[xxix]

Anthonian Spirit. Testament of Hope.
[i] [i] http://www.millhillmissionaries.com/index.php?cat=56
[ii] [ii] http://www.millhillmissionaries.com/index.php?cat=56
[iii] De Wit, Cornelio mhrm. Antique: Faithful to God and Country. 400 Years of Christianity in Antique. Diocese of Antique. 1981. p.5
[iv] _____ Church in the Hearts of Simple Folks. 400 Years of Christianity in Antique. Diocese of Antique. 1981. p.62
[v] _____ Hantique Igcabuhi – The seed of life of faith was sown. 400 Years of Christianity in Antique. Diocese of Antique. 1981. p.24
[vi] _____ Church in the Hearts of Simple Folks. 400 Years of Christianity in Antique. Diocese of Antique. 1981. p.73
[vii] _____ Church in the Hearts of Simple Folks. 400 Years of Christianity in Antique. Diocese of Antique. 1981. p.73
[viii] De Wit, Cornelio, DD. Message. The Anthonian 1966
[ix] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[x] Articles of Incorporation of St. Anthony’s College, Inc. 4 August 1959.
[xi] The Anthonian ’70. Insider cover text.
[xii] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[xiii] De Wit, Cornelio, DD. Message. The Anthonian 1968
[xiv] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[xv] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[xvi] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[xvii] Kellenaers, Leo; Aida Ricarze; Reynaldo Sabay.  History of SAC. The Anthonian ’83 Silver Jubilee Issue
[xviii] Interview with Sr. Lydia Labrador, mslt. 23 August 2013
[xix] Dioso, Joaquin. Message. The Anthonian 80
[xx] Lazo, Romeo. Message. The Anthonian 1988
[xxi] Interview with Dr. Ana Linda Santos, 20 August 2013
[xxii] Interview with Ana Linda O. Santos. 23 August 2013
[xxiii] Sabay, Reynaldo. Group Head’s Report.  Section I-A. College/University and Community Involvement. PAASCU Report
[xxiv] Sabay, Reynaldo. Group Head’s Report.  Section I-A. College/University and Community Involvement. PAASCU Report
[xxv] Interview with Dr. Ana Linda O. Santos. 20 August 2013
[xxvi] Tondares, Lucena. Administrative Manual 2012. St. Anthony’s College. 2012.
[xxvii] Febrero, Edione. Chairperson’s Report: An Executive Summary.  PAASCU Report. Section I-A. Community Involvement. 2012.
[xxviii] Tondares, Lucena. Administrative Manual 2012. St. Anthony’s College. 2012.
[xxix] Febrero, Edione. Chairperson’s Report: An Executive Summary.  PAASCU Report. Section I-A. Community Involvement. 2012.