Colegio San Agustin-Makati
(abbreviated as CSA
and called CSA-Makati
when distinguishing between other schools of the same name) is a private, co-educational Catholic school
conducted by the Augustinian order
. It is located on Palm Avenue, Dasmariñas Village
, Makati City
. While it is not the oldest Augustinian school in the Philippines named Colegio San Agustin (that distinction belongs to Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod
), it is the most prominent of the three schools bearing the same name. Like its namesake schools, the students of CSA-Makati are called Augustinians (Filipino
The school is one of the most diverse in the Philippines in terms of nationality, with 11% of the entire student population coming from as many as 41 different countries.
Colegio San Agustin in name was established in 1968 by the Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines
. On September 1
, then-Auxiliary Bishop Bienvenido Lopez
of the Archdiocese of Manila
blessed the cornerstone of what would be the first CSA building. Construction would last for ten months until June 7
, when the school opened its doors to its first batch of students, numbering 652, for both the Grade School and High School. Its first two buildings, the Administration Building and the present-day Grade School Building, were blessed by Rufino J. Cardinal Santos
on August 28
. At that time, two priests and twenty-four female teachers ran the fledgling school.
According to Mrs. Corazon S. Reyes, one of the first and longest-serving teachers in CSA (but not one of the original twenty-four teachers), the students that formed the High School student population when it first opened were largely of Spanish or mestizo descent and were largely drop-outs from other schools. She also said that many of her students then, like their batchmates, did not know how to speak or spoke little Filipino.
Rapid expansion of the student population also caused the school's expansion. The bullring-shaped Pre-School Building was completed in 1972, followed by the Chapel, Phase I of the present-day covered courts, Phase II of the Grade School Building and the Grade School Canteen in 1973, and the Sports Complex in 1974. In 1976, the school accepted a donation of two hectares of land from the Ayala Corporation, in addition to the eight hectares purchased from the same.
As the student population continued to grow, further expansion was needed, starting with the completion of the High School Building in 1977. Other expansions and additions include those of the Theatre in 1980, the High School Annex and Phase II of the covered courts in 1985, the Grade School Building's southeast wing in 1986, the Polysport complex, Cafetorium and Lounging Shed (now St. Monica Hall) in 1987, the renovated Administration Building (since renamed Urdaneta Hall) and Pre-School Buildings in 1992, the renovation of the High School Science laboratories in 1997, and the Grade School Annex in 1998. Air conditioning was introduced in the 1990s for administrative offices and function rooms, and in 2003 for classrooms in all departments. The latest renovation was when the Theatre was demolished and rebuilt in 2005 and 2006. This was followed by the renovation of the Grade School Chemistry laboratory in 2006 and early 2007.
Policy and curriculum changes also became evident during the last ten years of the school. Student possession of mobile phones, for example, were banned outright since the late 1990s, but has since been relaxed for High School students since the early 2000s. The school's English Campaign, which started between 2000 and 2002, was later intensifed, and the use of English in CSA today is highly encouraged among the community. Because of its accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, or PAASCU, the transition from the Filipino-language HEKASI (short for Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika, Filipino for geography, history and civics) and Araling Panlipunan (English: Social Studies) to the English-language Social Studies was made, first in the High School, then in the Grade School.
Colegio San Agustin is named in honor of the fourth-century saint, St. Augustine of Hippo. The Spanish Augustinians were the first Christian religious order to enter the Philippines and begin its conversion to Catholicism. Augustine was a key figure in the doctrinal development of Western Christianity and is often referred to as one of the greatest "Doctors of the Church" by the Roman Catholic Church. Two of his surviving works, namely "The Confessions" (his autobiography) and "The City of God", are regarded as Western Classics and are still read by Christians around the world. Augustine is often considered to be one of the theological fountainheads of Reformation, because of his teaching on salvation and grace; Martin Luther himself also having been an Augustinian friar. Augustine was not a Biblical fundamentalist.
School vision, mission and thrust
The current vision
of Colegio San Agustin-Makati is A Christian community committed to the building-up of the City of God.
In the past, the vision also included the formation of Christian leaders, something since incorporated instead in the school mission.
The current mission
of Colegio San Agustin-Makati is as follows:
- Colegio San Agustin seeks to fulfill the mission of the Church by providing Christian education to the youth of the Philippines through well-balanced curricular offerings, development of moral and social virtues, promotion of health and cultural programs and fostering of civic and patriotic attitudes.
The vision is designed so that it leads to the realization of the mission. Because of that, the school seeks to complete its mission through the following goals:
- To provide a cohesive atmosphere for Christian education and the achievement of Catholic ideals without prejudicing those of other religions, being a Catholic school
- To foster love and patriotism and encourage awareness of national identity among Filipinos and the Filipino nation while permitting interaction between members of other races, ethnic groups and nationalities, being a Filipino school
- To foster a sense of community among the different sectors of the school community in line with the Augustinian theme, "To live in harmony, having but one mind and one heart intent upon God", being an Augustinian school
- To promote a free atmosphere and proper behavior among members of both sexes, being a co-educational school
- To render service to the poor and marginalized in society through the means of outreach programs and extension service, being a service-oriented school
The CSA-Makati thrust for school year 2007-2008 until school year 2009-2010 is A community of friends engaged in social transformation towards the upliftment of life through the promotion of truth, justice, peace and the promotion of respect and concern for God's creation.
Unlike the vision and mission, the school thrust changes every year, although this was changed to every three years after the end of the Augustinian Jubilee the previous school year.
CSA has three main athletic facilities: the Cassisiacum Sports Complex, the CSA Polysport Complex and the fields.
Cassisiacum Sports Complex
The Cassisiacum Sports Complex consists of a gymnasium
for athletic and cultural programs, which for a short time was used as a replacement for the Theatre when it was under renovation. The complex also contains badminton
courts, a rock climbing
center, a swimming pool
, a bodybuilding
center, four covered tennis courts
and martial arts
rooms, a canteen, and an aerobics
room. The Gymnasium is currently undergoing renovation.
The Music Department has its offices and classrooms on the second floor of the Gymnasium. Here, interested individuals may take voice, guitar, piano, violin, or flute lessons.
CSA Polysport Complex
The CSA Polysport Complex is dominated by the six Covered Courts, two for each department. While they primarily serve as basketball courts
, they can also be modified to become volleyball
courts as well. Physical education
classes are usually held in the Covered Courts, and there are stages for various presentations. The offices of the Athletics Department are within the Polysport Complex.
There are two fields in CSA: one primarily for soccer
and one primarily for baseball
. The soccer field is also used by the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines
. Beside the soccer field is the Grandstand.
CSA has three educational buildings: the Pre-School Building, the Grade School Building and the High School Building. However, there are common facilities to all the buildings: classrooms, libraries, computer laboratories, the Guidance Center and, for the High School, the Audio-Visual Room and science laboratories
The typical CSA classroom is air-conditioned, has a blackboard
and contains around 20-45 desks, depending on the year level, for the use of students. In the High School, there is also a platform for teachers to stand on. There are also bulletin boards inside classrooms, as well as a clock, a crucifix and pictures of Saints Augustine, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Monica. Classrooms in the Preschool and Grade School Departments also contain cubbyholes
for the books, lunch boxes and other things of the students and the classroom.
The High School has four science laboratories
, each with its own function. There are laboratories for physical science
. The Chemistry Laboratory underwent renovation in 2006 and was completed in early 2007.
There are also computer laboratories in each department, one in the Pre-School, three in the Grade School and four in the High School. They are used for general computer classes. In addition to the computer laboratories in the Grade School, there is also a closely situated computer-aided instruction room, used for interactive learning.
CSA has three libraries, one for each department. The largest of these libraries is the Grade School Library, and all are air-conditioned. All libraries contain reference, Filipiniana, Augustiniana
(works by St. Augustine), fiction and non-fiction sections. In the Grade School and High School, there is a "Teacher's Corner" for the exclusive use of teachers, containing textbooks and textbook manuals, as well as teacher references. There are also small "computer corners" in each Library.The libraries also use the Dewey Decimal System.
All the libraries are open until 4:00 pm PST (UTC+8).
The Cafeteria or Integrated Canteen is located above the Covered Courts and has 23 stalls reaching from end to end, which offer various foods and other meals in a fast-food like fashion. There are nine entrances to the Cafeteria: two from the High School Building, two from the Grade School Building, three from the Covered Courts and one for each school bus
terminal. It has a seating capacity of 2,186 and is reported to be the longest school cafeteria in the Philippines and Asia
San Agustin Chapel (Capilla de San Agustin) is where all year-level, organizational and sectoral Masses
are heard. Its size can handle around 400-500 persons, which is the size of an average year level. Due to its small size, departmental and institutional Masses are heard at their respective Covered Court or, in the case of institutional Masses, the Grade School Covered Court.
Distinguishing architectural features of the Chapel include statues of Sts. Augustine of Hippo and Monica of Hippo on the both sides of the crucifix behind the altar.
San Agustin Chapel offers weekday morning Masses in English, Sunday Masses in English and Filipino, and a Spanish-language Anticipated Mass.
San Agustin Theatre
The San Agustin Theatre, also known as St. Ambrose
Hall, was inaugurated in 1980 by Fr. Horacio R. Rodriguez, the current Rector. The Theatre then had a seating capacity of 1,000 persons and was quite modern for its time. However, by the late 1990s and even the early 2000s, while the exterior was decent in its appearance, students and staff often complained of the dilapidated interior. It is because of that the Theatre was renovated starting in 2003, finally being completed and inaugurated in mid-to-late 2005. The only remaining original feature of the Theatre is the mosaic
in its lobby. The Theatre's capacity was also expanded to 1,100, and according to some, its quality now is comparable to the theaters at the Cultural Center of the Philippines
The Theatre is used for various school functions, such as academic contests, graduation, recognition ceremonies, and most notably the annual Binibining CSA (English: Miss Colegio San Agustin) pageant. The Theatre is also rented out to private entities.
To avoid a repetition of the rapid deterioration of the Theatre's quality in the past, students are always asked to inspect their chairs before and after a program, and no writing materials, food, drinks or anything that can leave marks or stains are allowed inside the Theatre.
Urdaneta Hall, also known as the Administration Building, is the location of all CSA-wide offices. It includes all other offices which have an impact on all school functions. The CSA Accounting and Registrar's Offices are located on the ground floor. There are bathrooms inside the Accounting and Registrar's Offices for the use of parents, and other than those offices, the rest of Urdaneta Hall is off-limits to students. Beside the Accounting and Registrar's Offices is the Technology Services office.
In accordance with the school's mission and vision, the school also encourages the participation of its students in various activities that pique their respective interests. As with most other schools, most of this participation is channeled into co-curricular clubs. The school also fields varsity teams and official school delegations in various competitive leagues and contests on the local, national, and international level.
Said clubs also organize competitions between individuals, classes, and batches in the High School; teachers instead assume this responsibility in the Grade School.
Organizations in the Grade School and High School
The Grade School and High School each have their respective student governments: the High School Student Council (HSSC) and the Grade School Student Government (GSSG). These are elected by popular vote
through secret balloting
by students from Fourth to Seventh Grade for GSSG, and by students from First to Third Year for the HSSC.
The High School Student Council serves as an umbrella organization for the smaller year level councils (the Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Councils respectively). These are also elected the same way the HSSC and GSSG, although with voting restricted to the members of their respective year levels, making these "batch" presidents the Filipino equivalents of American class presidents.
Co-Curricular Clubs in the High School
- Art Club
- Augustinian International Students' Organization
- CSA Debate Organization (engages in debate education and public speaking training)
- CSA Chorale
- CSA Cultural Dance Troupe (teaches traditional dance forms)
- CSA Ladies and Gentlemen (serves as ushers and usherettes for school functions; teaches manners and social graces)
- CSA Red and Gold Boosters (encourages modern dance and organized cheering)
- Literary Society (encourages English language theater, creative writing, and reading)
- Samahan ng Makabayang Agustino (encourages Filipino language theater, creative writing, and reading)
- Friends of Mother Earth (the environmental awareness and action club of the High School)
- Future Homemakers' Club (teaches culinary arts and entrepreneurship)
- Hackers' Society (the computing and technology club of the High School)
- Honors' Society (composed of the Top 15 students from each High School class)
- Kabarkadahang Agustino (the Christian praise and worship club)
- Mu Epsilon (the Mathematics club)
- Questors' Society (the Science club)
- Outdoor Sports Club
- Reach Out! Club (an organization founded with the intention of helping the poor in Philippine society through social action programs)
- Sandigan ng Inang Bayan (the Social Studies club)
- Vocation/Knights of the Altar Club
- Youth for Mary (YFM) (Marian devotion club)
Co-Curricular Clubs in the Grade School
- Augustinian Larks (For Girls)
- Hijos de San Agustin, a.k.a. Boys' Choir(For Boys)
- Friends Of St. Augustine (abbreviated as FOSA)
- Knights of The Altar (abbreviated as KOA)
- Lector-Commentators Guild
- Marian Circle Club
- Earth Savers Club
- Samahan ng mga Kabataang Agustinong Mulat ang Isip (also abbreviated as SAMAKAMI)
- For Boys (BSP)
- For Girls (GSP)
- Mentors Club
- Math Club
- English Study Group
- Book Lovers Club
- Debate Club
- Computer Club
- Augustinian Speakers Guild
- Young Inventors Club
- Junior Journalist
- Music Ministry
- Glee Club
- Little Augustinian Theater/Teatro Agustino
- Soccer Club
- Art Club
- Basketball Club
- Volleyball Club
- Table Tennis Club
- Splashers' Club
- Chess Club
- Home Makers' Club
- Hobby Club
- Stitches And Craft Club
Other "gifted" clubs are invitational, such as Art for the Gifted, ANUWHIZ (Augustinian Number Wizards) and MASSA (Members of the Aspiring Scientists of St. Augustine).
Some clubs aren't invitational but for the gifted, these clubs invite people who want to join the clubs such as Augustinian Dance Troupe
Currently students are being encouraged to join the different religious clubs.
Some notable alumni of Colegio San Agustin-Makati include a number of Philippine celebrities. Among such personalities are television talk show host Kris Aquino
, singer-actress Heart Evangelista
, and highly acclaimed equestrian Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski
. Also international recording artist and Velcro lead singer, Junji Arias
, model Julie Lee
, celebrity Dominic Ochoa
, TJ Trinidad
, Desiree del Valle
, Maui Taylor
VJs Iya Villania
and Luis Manzano
, other celebrities JC de Vera
, Valeen Montenegro, and Lovi Poe
, and news anchor Vicky Morales