Blocks of Four (34,000)
Ignatius de Loyola
Dr. Jose Rizal
Souvenir Sheets of Four (7,000) priced at P40 each
First Day Covers: Manila
Official FDC Envelopes: 4 different designs,
12,200 issued at P36 each
Official Souvenir Folders: 3,200
issued at P200 each
Note: Of the 12,200 FDC
envelopes, 8,000 were sold to Ateneo with single stamps each (total
of 2,000 sets of FDCs). The remaining 4,200 FDC envelopes were
affixed with a SB/4 of the stamps: 3,200 were put on Souvenir
Folders, of which 3,000 were bought by Ateneo.
The Souvenir Folders contain a mint souvenir
sheet and an FDC.
Manila Sesquicentennial Anniversary
Sesquicentennial means a 150th anniversary or its
celebration. The term comes from a combination of the Latin-Greek
derivative “sésqui,” meaning, one-and-a half, and the American-Latin
derivative “centennial,” which pertains to 100 years.
The three-year run-up to the Ateneo de Manila’s Sesquicentennial,
anchored on the overarching theme “150 Years The Ateneo Way,” kicked
off on 5 August 2007 at the Church of the Gesù on the Loyola Heights
campus. The three-year celebration culminates on 10 December 2009,
exactly 150 years since the Jesuits returned to the Philippines
after almost a hundred years away from the country.
Almost 150 years ago, the Jesuits arrived in Manila with the
intention of starting missions in Mindanao. But because they were
requested by the people of Manila, on 10 December 1859, they began a
school called the Escuela Municipal de Manila. Located right across
the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, it was the very first Ateneo
The following themes for the three-year Sesquicentennial Festivities
evoke in all Ateneans fond memories and as well as new meanings in
their connection with the school they have chosen and which has, in
a big way, also chosen them.
Commemorating a passion for excellence and challenging students to
develop their gifts and to be the best that they can be.
Nurturing Ignatian spirituality: Discovering and responding to
Christ’s call and finding God in all things.
BUILDING THE NATION
To be men and women and professionals for others in the building up
of our nation.
The Ateneo de Manila University began in 1859 when Spanish Jesuits
established the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school
established in Intramuros for the city of Manila. However, the
educational tradition of the Ateneo embraces the much older history
of the Jesuits as a teaching order in the Philippines.
The first Spanish Jesuits arrived in the country in 1581. While
primarily missionaries, they were also custodians of the ratio
studiorum, the system of Jesuit education formulated about 1559. In
1590, they founded one of the first colleges in the Philippines, the
Colegio de Manila (also known as the Colegio Seminario de San
Ignacio) under the leadership of Antonio Sedeño, S.J. The school
formally opened in 1595.
In 1621, Pope Gregory XV, through the archbishop of Manila,
authorized the San Ignacio to confer degrees in theology and the
arts. Two years later, King Philip IV of Spain confirmed this
authorization, making the school a royal and a pontifical
university, the very first university in the Philippines and in
However, by the mid-18th century, Catholic colonial powers, notably
France, Portugal, and Spain, had grown hostile to the Society of
Jesus. The colonial powers eventually expelled the Society, often
quite brutally, from their realms.
The Jesuits had to relinquish the San Ignacio to Spanish civil
authorities in 1768, upon their violent expulsion from all Spanish
territories. Finally, under pressure from Catholic royalty, Pope
Clement XIV formally declared the dissolution of the Society of
Jesus in 1773.
Pope Pius VII reinstated the Society in 1814, after almost seven
decades of persecution and over four decades of formal suppression.
However, the Jesuits would not return to the Philippines until 1859,
almost a century after their expulsion.
Authorized by a royal decree of 1852, ten Spanish Jesuits arrived in
Manila on April 14, 1859. This Jesuit mission was sent mainly for
missionary work in Mindanao and Jolo. However, despite almost a
century away from the Philippines, the Jesuits’ reputation as
educators remained entrenched in the minds of Manila’s leaders. On
August 5, the ayuntamiento or city council requested the
Governor-General for a Jesuit school financed by public money.
On October 1, 1859, the Governor-General authorized the Jesuits to
take over the Escuela Municipal, then a small private school
maintained for 30 children of Spanish residents. Partly subsidized
by the ayuntamiento, it was the only primary school in Manila at the
time. Under the Jesuits, the Escuela eventually became the Ateneo
Municipal de Manila in 1865 when it was elevated to an institution
of secondary education. The Ateneo Municipal offered the
bachillerato as well as technical courses leading to certificates in
agriculture, surveying, and business.
When American colonial rule came in 1902, the Ateneo Municipal lost
its government subsidy. In 1908, the colonial government recognized
it as a college licensed to offer the bachelor’s degree and
certificates in various disciplines, including electrical
engineering. In 1909, years after the Ateneo became a private
institution, the Jesuits finally removed the word “Municipal” from
the Ateneo’s official name, and it has since been known as the
Ateneo de Manila.
American Jesuits took over administration in 1921. In 1932, under
Fr. Richard O’Brien, third American rector, the Ateneo transferred
to Padre Faura after a fire destroyed the Intramuros campus.
Devastation hit the Ateneo campus once again during World War II.
Only one structure remained standing – the statue of St. Joseph and
the Child Jesus which now stands in front of the Jesuit Residence in
the Loyola Heights campus. Ironwork and statuary salvaged from the
Ateneo ruins have since been incorporated into various existing
Ateneo buildings. Some examples are the Ateneo monograms on the
gates of the Loyola Heights campus, the iron grillwork on the ground
floor of Xavier Hall, and the statue of the Immaculate Conception
displayed at the University archives.
But even if the Ateneo campus had been destroyed, the university
survived. Following the American liberation, the Ateneo de Manila
reopened temporarily in Plaza Guipit in Sampaloc. The Padre Faura
campus reopened in 1946 with Quonset huts serving as buildings among
the campus ruins.
In 1952, the university, led by Fr. William Masterson, S.J. moved
most of its units to its present Loyola Heights campus. Controversy
surrounded the decision. An Ateneo Jesuit supposedly said that only
the ‘children of Tarzan’ would study in the new campus. But over the
years, the Ateneo in Loyola Heights has become the center of a
dynamic community. The Padre Faura campus continued to house the
professional schools until 1976.
The first Filipino rector, Fr. Francisco Araneta, S.J. was appointed
in 1958. And in 1959, its centennial year, the Ateneo became a
The Padre Faura campus was closed in 1976. A year after, the
University opened a new campus for its professional schools in
Salcedo Village, in the bustling business district of Makati. In
October 1998, the University completed construction of a bigger site
of the Ateneo Professional Schools at Rockwell, also in Makati.