Monday, September 21, 2020

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Southeastern College. has thrived because of the unwavering dedicatio of men and women committed to the provision of quality education. In the face of new challenges brought about by the changing times, the College looks back to its colorful past...

Roots. The origins of Southeastern College could be traced back to a two storey-structure built during the 1940s. Gov. Eulogio Rodriguez (Rizal) proposed to Dr. Canuto Manuel that a four room structure be built within the latter's property. This became Pasay High School , a branch of Rizal High School in Pasig . Classes opened on June 1941. These classes were disrupted however on December 8, 1941 , due to the Japanese attack. The school remained closed even after 1945 due to an instruction released by the Office of the Governor. Private schools saw the potential of Pasay High School thus, when government ceased to pay rent for the structure, interested parties started sending in their feelers. These events gave birth to the conceptualization of a nonsectarian school for the locality. Dr. Manuel was further encouraged by the fact that there were numerous potential students in the area. Moreover, the only pre-war non-sectarian private school was burned, hence, creating further need for a non-sectarian educational institution.

Support came in from different sources. Public school teachers showed their interest in the concept of starting a non-sectarian private school in Pasay . Attorneys Emilio Zarris as well as Enrique Manaloto were also consulted. 

Birth. The institution's directional position determined the name of the school. In June 1946, SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE or SEC opened its doors to its first batch of students. The corporation was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 6, 1946 , with the following Board of Trustees: Atty Emilio M Zarris (President), Mrs. Valentina T Aragon (Secretary), Mrs. Natividad H Manuel (Treasurer), Dr. Carmen T Velasquez (Board Member), Mrs. Eugenia R Mendoza (Board Member), Atty. Florencia S Santos (Board Member), and Mr. Eliseo A Ocampo (Board Member). Some of the pioneering educators of SEC were Vitalino Bernardino, Roman Lorenzo, Isabelo Tupas, Vicente Garcia, Zacarias de Vera, Blas Abella, Federico Sebastian, Christy Hernandez, Mr. And Mrs. Leon Mediran, Eliseo Ocampo, Waldo Perfecto, Moises Pragides, Maximiano San Juan, Emilio Yasay, Feliciano Tenorio, Bituin Pablo, Corazon Almendral, Pacita Velo, Primitiva Cruz, Libertad Balmaceda, Elvira Hernandez, Juanita Teano, Simeona Arevalo, Lydia Torries, Fortunata Cruz, Paz Puruganan, Priscilla Linao.

The first SEC Director was Mr. Eugenio Valentino, who gave up his government position to dedicate all of his time for the College. The enthusiasm of Director was difficult to match hence, when Director Valentino passed away in 1952, looking for his replacement took some time. Mr. Lazaro P Cruz eventually succeeded Mr. Valentino. Principals in order of succession were Mr. Feliciano Castro, Mr. Juan Garcia, and Mr. Romualdo Etruiste. Mr. Lazaro Buan became the Assistant Principal of Mr. Juan Garcia. 

Growth. In order to accommodate the student population, other buildings within the Natividad Compound were remodeled. In 1947, with the exception of the middle apartment, residential apartments at the corner of P Burgos and G Villanueva Streets were transformed into classrooms. The middle apartment gave the administrators a good vantage point to see what went on inside the different surrounding classrooms. With the expanding school population and with the growing school needs, more infrastructures were required. On March 24, 1950 , a new property was acquired to answer theses necessities. This property, known as the Independence College (opened in 1946), was located along P Burgos St. The property came with a two-storey school building as well as school facilities of the Independence College . The acquisition was made possible due to negotiations conducted by Attorneys Zarris and Manaloto. Prior to its use as a school, the same was originally a cigar and cigarette factory. With the unexpected rise in enrollment, the college department had to resort to the immediate conversion of the site. The classrooms created in the building were devoted exclusively for collegiate students. During the same year SEC also acquired residential lots, which were adjacent to the former Independence College .  

 Soon after, another area was acquired. The lot was sold by the Jai Alai Corporation. The lot has access to P Burgos Street to the east thru a 51-meter long by 31-meter wide right of way. Then another lot was purchased. This lot came from a part of the Southeastern Subdivision owned By Dr. Manuel, Mr. Ocampo, and Mrs. Aragon. This purchase gave way to the construction of two concrete buildings that has direct access to Taft Avenue via College Road , which was donated by the city and owners of the Southeastern Subdivision. With the preceding acquisitions, SEC was able to provide even better accommodations for its students. The Elementary Department, acquired from the Independence College became the central unit of growth of the college. The College Department was on the other hand composed of the College Departments of SEC and the Independence College .      

The first SEC three-storey concrete building was erected under the supervision of Engineer Christy Hernandez, who was at the same time a professor of the College. The structure was located along the northern side of the newly acquired SEC lot. Professor Hernandez also supervised the construction of the College Canteen. At the western side, developments were also made in 1957. This was the second concrete building constructed for the College. Mr. Enrique H Manuel, then Administrative Officer in charge, supervised the construction. Then, in 1969, another lot was acquired through the efforts of Dr. Manuel. This 363 square meter lot, adjacent to the main campus, was separated from the campus by the previously mentioned 3-meter right of way. The second concrete building was constructed in 1957. Along the western side, on the other hand, the second concrete building was erected. This project was made possible through the efforts of Mr. Enrique H Manuel, the Administrative Officer in Charge then.      With the Southeastern College moving even faster towards its vision, the Elementary Department that was acquired from Independence College became the nucleus of growth. The College Department on the other hand was composed of the College Departments of SEC as well as Independence College .