Monday, April 6, 2015


           The Cayetano Arellano High School was established in 1921 when Manila High School, the first American-established public high school in Manila, was split into two; Manila South High School, later renamed Manuel Araullo High School and Manila North High School, later renamed Cayetano Arellano High School.
          The first principals were Americans: Mr. Eugene Willis Porter (1921-1922); Mr. Ralph Sams (1922-1925); Mr. Isadore Cohen (1925-1926) and Mrs. Mabel Carlson (1926-1941). Under the term of Mr. Sams, the school acquired its present site and held its first graduation in 1922 with 114 graduates led by Ramon R. Nolasco as class valedictorian and Angeles Guidote as class salutatorian. Some illustrious graduates of 1923 were former Senator Lorenzo Sumulong and Filipino poet, short story writer and novelist Alberto Segismundo Cruz.
         During the time of its last American principal, Mrs. Mabel Carlson, the students began winning prizes and honors in various competitive activities. On March 4, 1930 the school caught nationwide attention when its students staged a mass walk out to protest the discriminatory acts of an American teacher.
          In June 1930, Manila North High School was renamed Cayetano Arellano High School in honor of the first Filipino Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
        The last pre-war fourth year students were supposed to have graduated in March 1942, but because of the outbreak of World War II in December 1941, they were considered to have finished the academic requirements and were considered graduates of Class 1942.
          It became a garrison during the Japanese occupation of the city. It reopened in 1945 with Mr. Juan C. Laya as the first Filipino principal (1945-1948). By 1948, the C. Arellano High School was the only public school with two official publications: The Chronicler (English) and Ang Tambuli(Filipino).
          Under the administration of Mr. Laya, the school annexed two units at La Chambre Building on Reina Regente Street in Binondo to accommodate the growing number of post-liberation students. These units later became the Jose Abad Santos High School. It was also during this period that the AHS Alumni Association was organized in 1946.
          Fundraising activities were undertaken for big projects like the improvement of the library, the purchase of new instruments and uniforms for the Drum and Bugle Corps and for the Rondalla ensemble, the renovation of toilets, the cementing of sidewalks and many others. To this day, Arellano High School is one of the schools in Manila which has a Marching band.
          Arellano High School became the largest public school in Manila during the administration of Mr. Angel Framo (1948-1949). It had annexes in Halili, Rizal Avenue, Mayhaligue, O'Donnel, Zurbaran, Santander and Lope de Vega.
          In 1949, during the incumbency of Mr. Sixto Palaypay (1949-59), the annexes in Halili and Rizal Avenue became Manuel L Quezon High School.
          The four other annexes of the school were integrated to become the Teodora Alonzo High School during the term of Mr. Fortunato Asuncion, the first alumnus (Class 1925) to become principal (1959-69). In the same period, the Arellano Vocational Evening School was opened for technical and vocational courses.
          When a strong earthquake in 1968 toppled Ruby Tower to the ground, Arellano High School served as a temporary medical and relief center for survivors because of its location, which is just in front of the devastated building. The entire student population and the faculty were mobilized and they extended their help for which the school was conferred the Presidential Service Award by then President Ferdinand Marcos.
           In 1968, the Arellano Academic Evening Classes were opened to accommodate the growing number of working students. This project was managed by the Assistant Principal and Officer-inCharge, Mr. Mateo S. Angeles.
          During the term of Mr. Benedicto Q. Mojica (1969-1974), several projects were undertaken; the creation in 1969 of a Credit Union for the faculty and staff and the conversion in 1973 of the retail store into a Laboratory Store. It was also during his term that Phase I of the total building program for Cayetano Arellano High School was recommended and approved in August 1974 through the assistance of Dr. Josefina R. Navarro, who was, at that time, the Superintendent of City Schools.
         Dr. Miguela C. Alarcon (1974-1977) was the principal who oversaw the construction of Phase I building in 1974. It was also during her term that Arellano High School was made by the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS) as the experimental school for two trend-setting innovative educational approaches, namely, classes under the In-School-Off-School (IS-OS Program) and the Bilingual Education Program.
       Due to the shortage of classrooms, the DECS thought of the IS-OS scheme wherein alternating groups of students went  to school for a week and was out of school the following week with school works which they did at home submitted and discussed during the week that they had classes. The Bilingual Education scheme made use of the national language, Filipino, as the medium of instruction in some school subjects and the English language in some subjects.
          It was also in 1976 that the school's rating in the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) rose from 14th to 2nd place. The completion of the 4-storey building under Phase I took place during Dr. Alarcon's incumbency.
          In 1977, upon the promotion of Dr. Alarcon to the position of Assistant Superintendent of City Schools, Mr. Salvador T. Parial (1977-1983) took over. Under his leadership, the school continued to uphold its traditions and to reap honors such as the most coveted Presidential Trophy won in 1979 by the twin school publications during the National Secondary Schools Press Conference held in San Jose, Antique.
          The school also maintained its ranking as one of the top five schools in the NCEE rating. During Mr. Parial's incumbency, the school stage was renovated and the construction of the four-storey building under Phase II began.
          Mr. Carlos M. del Rosario (1983-1993) took over the management of the construction of buildings under the Phase II program. He also supervised the construction of a three-storey red-tiled façade edifice for the Parents-Teachers Association with eight classrooms, the garage for the school vehicle, the Reading Center, the Student Center which houses the Guidance Counselors Office and the Medical-Dental Clinics. He also managed other projects like the construction of a concrete bridge connecting the Bulwagan and Phase I building; three classrooms; the stage and backstage on the deck floor; five vocational classrooms; the Media Room complete with air-conditioning, sound system facilities, video and slide projector; the Alumni Room; Computer Rooms; the water pump system for the concrete water tank for the canteen and the comfort rooms.
         The school carried out beautification projects; the renovation of the quadrangle; construction of concrete sidewalks, benches, and plant boxes; the renovation of the grotto for "Our Lady of Lourdes"; construction of a fish pond; repair and repainting of the walls, roofing, posts, and railings; installation of lamp posts around the Student Center; planting of trees and other plants inside and around the campus.
       The school continued to garner awards and honors in competitions held in Division and District levels, as well as National Capital Region (NCR) and National levels. Contestants fielded by the Filipino, English, Social Science, Natural Science, Mathematics, Home Economics, Vocational Departments had always excelled.
          The school library reaped recognitions and the two school publications maintained top places in the National School Press Conference or NSPC . Likewise, CAHS continued to be the center of innovative programs initiated by the DECS. Among these was the Three-Year Accelerated Secondary Curriculum (AC Class) for outstanding students. Among the five high schools which implemented the AC Curriculum, only Arellano High School "survived" the longest due to the exemplary results of tests given to its AC students. After a number of years, this curriculum was discontinued by the DECS in 2005.
         Mrs. Feliciana Villa took over in 1994 when Mr. del Rosario became ill and consequently retired from the service. The school became a Node School of the Department of Science and Technology whereby two Special Science classes (SS)  were created whose curriculum was enhanced by additional Science and Mathematics subjects. At that time, only five schools in Manila implemented the SS Curriculum.
          Miss Julita C. Antonio became principal when Mrs. Villa retired in November 1996. It was at this time that an alumnus from Class 1964, Mr. Eduardo Fajardo, sponsored the total renovation of the school library into a topnotch, centrally air-conditioned library with brand new books and references. The air-conditioned Audio-Visual Room was provided with  high-end technical equipment and computer sets.
Miss Remedios E.Quiray who started her teaching career up to the position of Officer-In-Charge in Cayetano Arellano High School, was appointed principal in 1999 when Miss Antonio was transferred to another school.
        It was during Miss Quiray's term that the Operation Big Brother Curriculum (OBB) patterned after the high school curriculum of De La Salle College was adopted.  It was during  the term of Miss Quiray that the school quadrangle got a facelift with the construction of  big flower boxes that  also served as benches.  The Cayetano Arellano monument was also relocated to a new site  right in front of Phase I building.
         When Miss Quiray retired in March 2003, Miss Juanita Ferido, curriculum chairman for freshmen year and head of the Mathematics Department was named Officer-in-Charge of the school.
          In May 2003, Dr. Adelina A. Espina was appointed by the Department of Education (DepEd) as the 16th principal of the school. Dr. Espina continued the legacy of her illustrious predecessors. The school  won third place in the Search for Best Performing Schools in Manila in 2005 and was adjudged as the Third Cleanest School in Manila in 2006.
       The school played host to the 2nd National Earthquake Safety Drill in 2006. The CAHS auditorium in the fourth floor of Phase 2 building was converted to four classrooms to ease classroom shortage brought by the condemnation and eventual demolition of the Vocational building. Dr. Espina's close liaison with the school alumni also led to the donations by the latter to the school sets of computers, LCD projectors, television sets, electric fans and internet connectivity. She also facilitated the construction of the new Vocational building and the renovation of the Bulwagan building.
        Dr. Espina was transferred to Elpidio Quirino High School and she was replaced by Mr. Henry P. Panela, who became the 17th principal of the school on June 19.
         The newly-constructed four storey Vocational and Home Economics buildings, which were financed by the city government, became the pride of the school when they opened in 2008 and 2010 respectively. The construction of the new MAPEH building was completed in 2014 through the initiative of Congresswoman Zenaida Angping.
        The school library also bolstered of the E-Library Hub through the donation of 10 new computer sets, 10 new printers and boxes of educational CDs on various subjects by Congresswoman Zenaida Angping.
        Arellano students kept the tradition of excellence by shining in various scholastic, extra- curricular and sports competitions. Others showed their prowess in music and the arts.
         On September 26, 2009, 'Ondoy' considered as the most destructive typhoon to hit Metro Manila with its massive flood, destroyed or damaged more than Php 700 thousand worth of school property mostly appliances, computers and books.
         On October 6, 2011, Dr. Loida D. Diaz became the 18th principal of the school after the retirement of Mr. Panela. She had barely warmed her seat when the school's library was awarded the National Capital Region's Best Public School Library. The school was also the recipient of an exemplary award when it ranked 7th in the Manila schools with highest National Achievement Test overall average for Sys 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
         Several alumni groups belonging to different batches gave donations of computers, laptops, LCD projectors, cameras, printers, photocopiers and other devices to the school. More than a quarter of the school population was a recipient of financial assistance from both foreign and local benefactors through the Alumni Scholarship Foundation. Others who qualify from rigid screening received partial or full college scholarship.
        Foreign-based alumni linked up with their alma mater and established close liaison with school officials and the faculty to extend their help to the school and its students. The Cayetano Arellano High School Alumni Fund International (CAHSAFI) whose officers were mostly foreign-based alumni reached out from overseas to give donations of computers, laptops, video cameras. digicams, sound system and others to the school's Journalism classes. The CAHSAFI, along with Class '71, also offered college scholarship to deserving graduates. The school's Class '71 valedictorian, Dr. Emilio Ruidera,  set up an annual award for outstanding students in Science and Mathematics and Journalism. Huge cash windfall was given to the recipients of the awards.
         When the school's Records Section transferred to the second floor after the flood caused by Ondoy, Class '58 sponsored its renovation and modernization.The room is now fully air conditioned and the school records of students are tucked in large bins on steel cabinets.
          Class '62  set up a Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV) for the security of the students and the school.  The system was later augmented with additional cameras by class ’71. On the other hand, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines  'adopted' C. Arellano High School in line with the DepED program whereby non- government agencies, universities and colleges extend some form of assistance to public schools.
          With the continued support from all its stakeholders, the Cayetano Arellano High School has remained steadfast in its mission to bring quality education to its students with the clear vision of molding them to become responsible and productive citizens of the country.

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