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Manila Science High School

A History of the Philippines’ First Science High School


            The late president Ramon Magsaysay was the first to envision the embryo of a pilot science high school in his State of the Nation address in 1956 when he underscored “the great need of stepping up the development of fundamental and applied research in science and technology which has long been neglected.”


            Taking action, the Philippine Congress passed the Republic Act 1606 creating the National Science Development Board to work hand in hand with the Science Foundation of the Philippines in promoting scientific and technological research. This was closely followed by Republic Act 2067 known as the Science Act of 1958 which proposes to integrate, coordinate, and intensify scientific and technological research and development to foster invention.


            In conjunction, the Department of Education implemented Republic Act 1606 by issuing Department Orders 1 and 5, series of 1958, for the launching of Science Talent Research which aims to identify and develop to the maximum the most valuable human resources.


            November 25, 1959 marked the evolution of the first pilot science high school in Manila. Comprised of thirty-two top-ranked students screened through a rigid, competitive examination, this nucleus of a science high school had its humble beginnings in a single-storey building Intramuros.


            On October 1, 1963, the manila Science high School was officially born by virtue of Municipal Resolution 426 signed by Mayor Antonio J. Villegas. Credit for giving life and substance to the foremost science high school in the Philippines goes to the Manila Science High School Principal Augusto Alzona – Father of Manila Science High School. Modeled after the Bronx High School of Science in New York, the special science curriculum is designed to meet the needs of scholars gifted in Science and Mathematics. However, a wealth of opportunities, training, and experiences in varied fields other than the academic is a generated well-rounded development of students.


            After “squatting” for five years in Intramuros, the Manila Science High School moved to its present site in 1966 with its first principal, Mr. Honesto Valdez (1963-1977) at the helm. By 1977, Phase I of the Main Building was completed while the construction of Phase II was underway.


            In September 1977, Mrs. Evelina P. Barotilla (1977-1988), the second principal, saw the completion of the Manila Science High School Complex and the renovation of the Bordner Building. The Home Economics Building rose in 1980. The whole construction project was financed by the Special Education Fund under the chairmanship of Dr. Josefina Navarro, Superintendent of City Schools, Manila.


            The construction of the Php 7.5 million Technology Creativity Laboratory began in 1998 during the term of Mrs. Daisy H. Banta, (1988-2000), third principal. The project was made possible by the Special Education Fund through the joint efforts of Mayors Gemiliano Lopez and Alfredo Lim, together with DECS-Manila Superintendent, Dr. Erlinda G. Lolarga.


            The new millennium ushered in the arrival of Mrs. Susan A. Yano, fourth principal, the completion of the Antonio Maceda Building and the reactivation of the Manila Science high School Alumni Association. Mrs. Susan A. Yano opted for an early retirement. Ms. Edna P. Parcon, Math Department Head III, was then assigned Officer-in-Charge from July 18, 2002 to January 13, 2003, together with Ms. Betty de la Cruz, Science Supervisor, assigned Supervisor-in-Charge from October 13, 2002 to January 13, 2003.


            Mrs. Rosita C. Herson was assigned the fifth principal of the Manila Science High School. Today, the Manila Science High School stands as a bastion of the Philippine education. Throughout the years of its growth, this institution has tirelessly been committed to the unending quest for quality and excellence.


            In keeping with its living tradition, the Manila Science High School’s countless graduates serve and lead in all facets of Philippine society. Indeed, the Mascians are achievers, true to their calling.