Holy Family Academy (Philippines)

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Holy Family Academy
Angeles City, Pampanga
Type Private, Catholic Academy Parochial
Motto Ora et Labora ("Prayer and Work")
Established 20 August 1906
Campus 2 sites, Urban
Color(s) Navy Blue and White          
Nickname Familians

Holy Family Academy (HFA), formerly the Colegio dela Sagrada Familia, is a Catholic private school established in 1906 and located in Angeles City, Philippines. It has both elementary and high school departments as well as kindergarten and preparatory school (known in the school as "prep") classes for younger students. The school follows the Benedictine tradition of Ora et Labora, which means "Prayer and Work".[1]

HFA is a Catholic Institution belonging to the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga and administered by the Missionary Benedictine Sisters. It is registered with SEC as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, with its assets and income used directly and exclusively for educational purposes including expansion when needed to carry out the aims and objectives of the school.

HFA is a member of the Association of Archdiocesan and Parochial Schools of Pampanga (AAPSP), the Association of Benedictine Schools (ABS), the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).[2]


Holy Family Academy (HFA) was established on August 20, 1906 as the first Catholic parochial school of Angeles City through the initiative of Fr. Pablo Gamboa and the assistance of the Board of Directors of the Parochial School in Angeles City composed of Mariano V. Henson, Juan G. Nepomuceno, Sr., Laureano Suarez, Filomeno Leon Y. Santos, Basilio Henson and Jose P. Henson. Located at the present site of the Holy Rosary Parish rectory, the school offered a primary course and was run by lay teachers who were paid out of contributions.[3]

The Augustinian Sisters[edit]

In 1910, the Augustinian Sisters took over and set up the Colegio de la Sagrada Familia with the help of the same Board of Directors. The colegio offered a complete elementary education and accepted female boarders.[4]

Some time later, as the student population of the colegio increased, Jose P. Henson and Juan Nepomuceno Sr. initiated the school's expansion. They bought land and built a house that became the parish hall and the residence of succeeding parish priests. The Colegio de la Sagrada Familia moved to the present site of the Administrative Building of HFA.

The Missionary Benedictine Sisters[edit]

In June 1922, the Missionary Benedictine Sisters took over the management of the school upon the invitation of the parish priest Msgr. Pedro P. Santos and changed the school's name to "Holy Family Academy". The Benedictine Sisters did not take in boarders but actively attended to the supervision and administration of the school.

The first group of Missionary Benedictine Sisters headed by Sister Crescentia Veser were Germans in 1925, with the appointment of Sister Pacifica Gerding as first resident superior, the Benedictine Sisters at Holy Family Academy became a juridical community.

Holy Family Academy continued to operate during the Japanese occupation period, closing only for a few months during the change of political administration and reopened its doors soon after the end of World War II.

As of the school year 2012-2013, the school is under the leadership of Sister Josefina Nepomuceno OSB and have just recently celebrated its centennial.

The Opening of the High School Department[edit]

In 1960, HFA opened the High School Department exclusively for girls.

The growth in population of Angeles City brought about an increase in the environment of HFA resulting in crowding and congestion in the old campus beside the Holy Rosary Parish Church on Sto. Rosario St. In search of a solution to growth problems, Sister Mary Bernard Lansang, OSB, superior/directress in 1983, together with concerned Renato Tayag, Jr. initiated the formulation of a foundation. This was realized during the term of Sister Ildephonsa Pineda, OSB as superior/directress and Mr. Florante Timbol as PTA president in the incorporation of the HFA-PTA Foundation with the occurrence of Oscar V. Cruz, then Archbishop of San Fernando.

High School Campus in Cutcut[edit]

With the involvement of parents, alumni and other supporters through membership contributions and fundraising activities, the HFA-PTA obtained a five-hectare lot in Cutcut along the Circumferential Road. The four-phase building program was started. In 1987, phase one was completed, enabling the transfer of the Year I to the new campus. Boys were then accepted to the high school. By 1988, phase two was completed, and two more year levels moved over. In 1991, with the completion of phase three, the entire High School settled in the new site, the Cutcut campus. With the support of the HFA Alumni Association, the covered court was partially constructed. This was completed in 1997. The new Pedro Calungsod Building that housed the audio visual center, the library and the canteen was completed in December 2002.

In the Cutcut campus, the High School Department occupies the Sto. Niño Building, the San Lorenzo Building, the Pedro Calungsod Building and the covered court.

In the old site at Sto. Rosario St., the Preschool and Grade School occupy the following multi-story buildings: St. Benedict with the Auditorium, St. Joseph's, St. Mary's, the H.E. Building and the Main Building.

Students' English Proficiency[edit]

Students of Holy Family Academy graduate with fluency and proficiency in the use of the English language. They carry-out a yearly project called "Speak English Campaign" wherein students are encouraged to use English in their daily conversations with others even in their respective homes. In the grade school department, the best English Speakers are given recognition by having their names published in the schoolpaper Cor Unum.

School Activities[edit]

The school observes most major Catholic holidays particularly those associated with the founder of the Benedictine Order, Saint Benedict. First Friday Holy Masses are also celebrated, and the students are required to attend. Students in the old site celebrate Holy Mass at the nearby Holy Rosary Parish Church, Angeles City's oldest while those who are in the new site, particularly High School students celebrate theirs in the Covered Court of the school.

There are also quite a number of extracurricular activities that are observed by the school, some of which aren't observed regularly, a few of these are:

  • Organization of Clubs – students join a particular club that holds activities for a certain point of interest, for example, Math Club, Science Club, Young Writers' Club, and the like. Clubs vary for grade school and high school departments. Preschoolers are not allowed to join clubs
  • Ecology Month – observed as a month of appreciation for Mother Earth, similar to the Earth Day celebrations
  • Ecology Week – A week in the Ecology Month used for the culminating activities such as the Science Quiz Show and the Tree Planting at Cutcut Farm
  • Academic Weeks – week-long activities devoted to a particular academic subject taught in the school, e.g. Math Week, Physics Week, History Week and the like
  • Recollections and Retreats – an integral part of the spiritual life of students in the school
  • Rosary Month – celebrated throughout the month of October. Students then are tasked to prepare an altar (usually at the back of their classrooms) and would take time to pray the rosary together.
  • SCIP Activities: Year Level Apostolate: Year I – Cutcut Elementary School, Year II – Bahay Pag-ibig, Year III – HAVEN, Year IV – Aeta Community, Faculty: KKP, Mabalacat
  • Songfest – usually held during the holiday season, classes contest to exhibit the best interpretation of a popular Christmas song with the exception of S.Y. 2011-2012, when it was done during the week when Intramurals and Book Week were incorporated with it.
  • Peace Concert – pioneering in 2003, the Peace Concert is a gathering of the academy's performing artists to celebrate and propagate peace and goodwill through music, dance and cultural presentations
  • Intramurals – sports is celebrated in this usually 3 to 4-day activity, this is a chance for students to unwind from the usual peculiarities of school life
  • Buwan ng Wika – a month-long celebration of the national language of the Philippines

Cor Unum[edit]

The Cor Unum is the official student publication of Holy Family Academy. Both the grade school and high school department publish a version of the newsletter. Popular by its tagline "One Heart", the Cor Unum exists as a venue for students to practice freedom of speech and as an area to voice out their concerns. It follows the common format of a student newsletter, with Opinions, editorials, news features, entertainment clippings, literary works, trivia and the like.[5]

The newsletter selects its editorial board from the pool of students of Holy Family Academy. All students are invited to take part in the publication. There is a series of tests to filter which students are perfect to land the job as editors, reporters, photographers, cartoonists and contributors, among others. The administration selects a moderator for the school paper, usually a member of the English faculty, to facilitate the editorial staff in managing the newsletter.


External links[edit]