Paolo M. Bustamante
Leaving San Beda on the 30th of March is like letting go of something familiar. San Beda is not like any other place in the University Belt. Beyond the “Mendiola Peace Arch” is chaos –it is filled with rallyists, demonstrations from various activists groups, noise, pollution, Recto, snatchers and unsafe street foods. However, beneath all the trouble is still a home for Bedans like me. And despite of the imperfections that this place may have, I would not trade it for anything else in the world.
San Beda gives importance to tradition and to the thought of being in a community or a family. Since our population in the Manila campus is quite small compared to other colleges and universities here in The Philippines, we all take the time to get to know one another in a deeper lever than that of an acquaintance. In San Beda it is easy to make friends and to strike up a conversation with someone. I can confidently say that my time in San Beda made
my world bigger.
The San Beda College was named after Venerable Bede of England and founded in 1901 by the Benedictine Monks as El Colegio de San Beda in Arlegui St. Manila during the American Era. The Benedictine Monks' plan was to go to Surigao for a mission work but they feared the spread of Protestantism in the country because of the Americans, that's why they ditched Surigao and settled in Manila. The school opened its doors for young boys (high school and grade school) in June 17, 1901 to 212 students. In 1926, the school transferred to Mendiola so that they can offer the students a better and a bigger campus, they started constructing of the Abbey of our Lady of Monserrat in 1925, the school also expanded its courses by introducing 2-year pre-med and law courses. They are also one of the founding schools to form the NCCA in 1924 together with NU, Ateneo, DLSU, UST and more. But as San Beda was trying to establish itself as an institution WWII broke-out in 1940 and the Japaneese used the campus as their concentration camp but classes were still on-going in the Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat. After the war the school introduced the College of Law in 1948. In recent years, the school introduced the College of Medicine, College of Nursing and other Business courses that lead to the transferring of the high school and grade school to San Beda Rizal.