Tiong Se Academy

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Tiong Se Academy
TSA Logo.png
The Pioneer Chinese school in the Philippines.
perseverance, truthfulness, dignity, selflessness
708 Sta. Elena Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines 1006 Philippines
Coordinates 14°36′13″N 120°58′21″E / 14.60365°N 120.97257°E / 14.60365; 120.97257
School type Private, Non-sectarian, Chinese
Established April 15, 1899
Founder Tan Kong
School number 406335 (DepEd designated school ID)[1]
Principal Mrs. Margarita C. Gutierrez
Grades Grades 1-6
Grades 7-10
Enrollment TBD (SY 2014-2015)
Medium of language Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien (for Chinese classes)
English, Filipino (for English classes)
Color(s) Blue, White, and Yellow
Song TSA School Song
Nickname Tiongseians
Former names Anglo-Chinese School (c. 1902-1923, 1935-1975)
First Chinese Elementary School (1923-1935)
Tiong Se Academy (1975-1996, 2013-present)
Philippine Tiong Se Academy (1996-2013)
Tiong Se Academy
Chinese 中西學院
Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngxī Xuéyuàn
Tiong Se Academy
Traditional Chinese 中西學院
Simplified Chinese 中西学院
Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngxī Xuéyuàn
Oldest Chinese School in Philippine Cities
Metro Manila Tiong Se Academy
Baguio Baguio Patriotic High School
Legazpi Legaspi Chong Hua Institute of Technology
Daet Camarines Norte Chung Hua High School
Iloilo City Hua Siong College of Iloilo
Cebu City Cebu Eastern College
Bacolod Bacolod Tay Tung High School
Tacloban Leyte Progressive High School
Cagayan de Oro Kong Hua School
Iligan Lanao Chung Hua School
Davao City Davao Central High School
Zamboanga City Zamboanga Chong Hua High School

Tiong Se Academy, (Abbreviation: TSA; simplified Chinese: 中西学院; traditional Chinese: 中西學院; pinyin: Zhōngxī Xuéyuàn) formerly known as Anglo-Chinese School and Philippine Tiong Se Academy, is a non-profit, non-sectarian private Chinese school located at Sta. Elena Street, Binondo, Manila near 168 Shopping Mall, the Cityplace Square, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. It was founded on April 15, 1899 in response to the growing need of education in the post-Spanish era Chinese community. The school turned the first page of formal Chinese education in the Philippines, earning the recognition of being the country's pioneer and oldest Chinese school.[2]


Beginnings (1899-1918)[edit]


  • April 15 - The Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) was founded by Tan Kong (Engracio Palanca), the first Chinese consul to the Philippines, inside the Chinese consular premises. It started with some twenty students, and no tuition fee was paid at that time for the school was then funded by the Chinese Charitable Association (Comunidad de Chinos).[3][4]
  • Mr. King Siao Tong held the post as the first school head.


  • ACS moved to Calle Sacristia (now Ongpin Street) in Manila's Chinatown.


  • Mr. Sy Kian succeeded Mr. King as principal when the latter went back to China. It was during Mr. Sy's tenure when English was first taught in the school. (Eventually, the school was called Anglo-Chinese School.) Also, ACS became independent from the Chinese Charitable Association and organized its own Board of Trustees, a first among Philippine Chinese schools.[3]


  • In order to balance the English and Chinese education of the school, Chinese classes were held in the morning and English classes were held in the afternoon.


  • Mr. Sy left the school leadership. Mr. Chua King Oh became the third principal of ACS.
  • Enrollment increased to hundreds, forcing the school to move to a rented two-storey Spanish-style wooden house at 1235 Sta. Elena Street in Binondo, Manila (present site of 168 Mall Sta. Elena Wing).


  • Mr. Chua went back to China. Mr. Yu Nai Hu succeeded him as principal.
  • ACS opened night classes, another first among Philippine Chinese schools.[5]


  • Mr. Tiu Hun Chiong succeeded Mr. Yu as principal of ACS, as the latter shifted to business particularly in pharmacy.
  • ACS, being independent from the Chinese Charitable Association for some time, suffered financially that almost resulted to its closure. But the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Don Carlos Palanca Sr. (Tan Guin Lay) spearheaded the fundraising drive for the school. ACS was eventually raised back to financial stability.



  • Mr. Tiu retired as principal. The post was briefly vacated.

Gan Bun Cho's period and the Second World War (1919-1945)[edit]


  • January 4 - Mr. Gan Bun Cho, the principal with the longest tenure (22 years), took position as school head.


  • Mr. Gan asked the help of Du Dingyou and Lu Jingzhong, two Chinese scholars studying at the University of the Philippines at that time, to form the first Chinese Boy Scout troupe in the Philippines.


  • March - Mr. Gan, together with some colleagues in the education circle, went to several cities in China for an educational observation. After returning to the Philippines, he initiated the use of Mandarin as a medium of instruction in Chinese classes, but it only lasted for one semester.


  • ACS enrollment reached 500 mark and a need for additional classrooms rose. Thus, a three-storey wooden building near the school located at Meisic Street was constructed and was given to ACS by the Philippine Chinese Educational Association.


  • The newly established Philippine Chinese High School (now Philippine Cultural College, the country's first Chinese secondary school) first held its classes in ACS using several classrooms in the Meisic school building.


  • ACS revived the use of Mandarin for its Chinese classes.


  • ACS celebrated its 30th Foundation Anniversary. More than 4,000 copies of the anniversary book were printed. It is believed that the said book is never to be found nowadays in the Philippines.


  • ACS formed its first basketball team (boys and girls, composed of ACS alumni). Both teams were able to compete in key cities nationwide and became undisputed champions during that time.



  • School facilities were augmented due to increase in enrollment. ACS, this time, rented an additional school building, making the total number of classrooms rise to 34.
  • ACS opened an English typewriting class and a bookkeeping class, the very first vocational education ever offered by a Philippine Chinese school.


  • When the Sino-Japanese War broke out in China, ACS opened a military training class. The graduates went back to their motherland to join the military forces. The school also started to make donations for the Chinese forces, an example of which is by setting aside one-tenth of their salary every month to help the military financially.


  • ACS opened day and night high school classes in the English department.


  • The school was highly praised for having the highest war donation nationwide amounting to more than Php 10,000.


  • December - The school was temporarily closed due to World War II and the school buildings were used as shelter for war refugees.


  • January 12 - Mr. Gan Bun Cho was arrested by the Imperial Japanese Army for supporting the Chinese forces.
  • April 15 - Mr. Gan, together with the Chinese consul Dr. Kwangson Young and seventeen others (six of which are ACS alumni) were secretly killed by the Japanese in the Chinese Cemetery.

Post-war (1945-1969)[edit]


  • April - ACS immediately reopened after the Liberation of Manila, the first Chinese school to do so. Remedial classes were held.
  • Mr. Ang Tun Yu was appointed as the seventh principal of the school. He held the post in just several months for he died on September 14 the same year due to stress and pressure of rehabilitating the school from the war.
  • The board of trustees named Mr. Phi Nai Yong to succeed the late Mr. Ang.


  • The school's enrollment exceeded 2,500, more than 1,900 of which were of the day classes and almost 600 were of the night classes.
  • ACS Quiapo branch became an independent Chinese elementary school, yet it retained its name as Quiapo Anglo Chinese School (now Philippine Scholastic Academy).



  • ACS celebrated its 50th Foundation Anniversary. Another anniversary book was printed for this purpose.
  • The Philippine Chinese High School moved to Reina Regente Street when their school building was completed.


  • The curriculum of ACS, as well as other Chinese schools nationwide, was directly supervised by the Philippine government in order to discourage the schools from infiltrating communist ideals.


  • September - Mr. Phi died due to severe illness. The board selected one of its members, Mr. Tan Tiong Gong as acting principal.

Great Meisic Fire and the Filipinization (1969-1986)[edit]


  • ACS celebrated its 70th Foundation Anniversary.
  • November 1 - ACS school building, along with most of the school records, was burned to ashes. Classes were temporarily held in several places including the state-owned Jose Abad Santos High School and the now-defunct Ex-COWHM Memorial Academy.[6]


  • November 30 - The new five-storey ACS school building was about to be completed.[6]
  • December 7 - Classes were moved to the new ACS building.


  • Mr. Tan retired as principal. The school administration was temporarily headed by several supervisors.


  • February 24 - The school's entity was changed to Tiong Se Academy (TSA) as part of the Filipinization of Chinese schools (Presidential Decree 176 of 1973) implemented during the Marcos regime. It also limited the number of periods (from five down to three per day) of Chinese classes.[7]


  • Dr. Shubert S.C. Liao, a retired professor at the University of the East, was appointed by the Board of Trustees to be the tenth principal of the school, ending the five-year vacancy of the post.
  • June - Meeting the requirements set by the Philippine Ministry of Education, TSA opened its secondary curriculum for both English and Chinese.[5]

Contemporary period (1986-present)[edit]


  • Dr. Liao migrated with his family to the United States. The board appointed Mr. Catalino Tan, the son of the ninth principal Mr. Tan Tiong Gong, as the eleventh principal.


  • Mr. Tan retired as principal due to deteriorating health. Mrs. Julie Cheng Kin Tee served as acting principal for half a year.


  • The Board of Trustees named Dr. Cesar Y. Yu as the twelfth principal of the school. During his term, the school was at the height of environmental and security problems concerning the informal settlers living near the school.[citation needed]


  • The school's entity was renamed to Philippine Tiong Se Academy (PTSA).


  • Mrs. Julie Cheng Kin Tee succeeded Dr. Yu as school head.


  • PTSA celebrated its Centennial Foundation Anniversary.


  • Mrs. Cheng retired as principal. The board designated Mrs. Shirley Kho-Sy as the officer-in-charge of PTSA.


  • PTSA marked its 105th year with celebrations at PhilAm Life Auditorium in Manila.[6]
  • Miss Loly Ong succeeded Mrs. Kho-Sy as principal.



  • February 20 - Philippine San Bin School (PSBS), a Chinese school in San Nicolas, Manila, formally merged with PTSA. PSBS school head Mrs. Margarita C. Gutierrez became the seventeenth principal of PTSA.[8]


  • PTSA celebrated its 110th Foundation Anniversary for the first time at four different locations, namely: Century Park Hotel Manila (November 2009),[9]SM City San Lazaro (November 2009), SM Mall of Asia Music Hall (January 2010), and SM City Manila (February 2010).


  • October 30 - PTSA, together with the Philippine Chinese Education Research Center and two other Philippine Chinese schools (among 46 chosen Chinese schools and organizations in 15 countries), was cited as a "Model School in Overseas Chinese Education" in the Second World Chinese Language and Culture Education Conference held in Xian, Shaanxi Province, People's Republic of China.[10]


  • The school name has been reverted to Tiong Se Academy due to inconsistency concerns with supervising government agencies.
  • TSA started the total renovation of its forty-year-old school building.
  • June 14 - TSA was recognized by the City Government of Manila as the first and oldest Chinese school in the Philippines. A historical marker was unveiled by then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Vice Chairperson of Manila Historical Commission Miss Gemma Cruz-Araneta.
Historical marker of the school from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines given in 2014.



English curriculum[edit]

K-12 Basic Education System

Since school year 2012-2013, the school complies with the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum implemented by the Department of Education and is now effective for all levels in Kindergarten, Elementary, High School departments. Additional senior high school year levels Grade 11 and Grade 12 will start in June 2016 and June 2017, respectively.

Chinese curriculum[edit]

The school's Chinese curriculum is proposed to follow the twelve-year basic education system. Subjects to be taught for senior high school levels are still under study and is expected to be offered in June 2016 together with the Grade 11 English classes. TSA now uses the simplified Chinese characters for teaching Chinese since the first semester of school year 2007-2008 for elementary and high school levels and since June 2012 for pre-school.
In elementary and high school levels, TSA maintains a three-period-per-day (fifteen periods a week) policy as mandated by the Filipinization law of the late President Marcos, which is in effect to date.
In June 2012, the school added a new Chinese Culture (文化) subject in order to educate today's generation of Filipino-Chinese of the culture of their ancestors.

Extra-curricular Activities[edit]


School Heads of Tiong Se Academy
(formerly Anglo-Chinese School)
1. Mr. King Siao Tong (龔紹庭), 1899–1904
2. Mr. Sy Kian (施亁), 1904–1909
3. Mr. Chua King Oh (蔡鏡湖), 1909–1911
4. Mr. Yu Nai Hu (楊乃甫), 1911–1914
5. Mr. Tiu Hun Chiong (張雲章), 1914–1918
6. Martyr Gan Bun Cho (顏文初), 1919–1941
7. Mr. Ang Tun Yu (洪敦友), 1945
8. Mr. Phi Nai Yong (彭乃揚), 1945–1964
9. Mr. Tan Tiong Gong (陳忠戇), acting, 1964–1971
10. Dr. Shubert Liao (廖西白), 1976–1986
11. Mr. Catalino Tan (陳義耀), 1986–1995
12. Dr. Caesar Yu (楊家標), 1995–1997
13. Mrs. Julie Cheng Kin Tee (莊秀瑾), 1997–2001
14. Mrs. Shirley Kho-Sy (許友真), OIC, 2001–2003
15. Ms. Loly Ong (顏琳琳), 2003–2005
16. Mrs. Huichin Auyong Chua (歐陽慧真), 2005–2006
17. Mrs. Margarita Chua Gutierrez (蔡蕊沓), 2006–present
  • The location of Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) at the time of its founding is now "the present site of a public elementary school"[11] in San Fernando Street, Binondo. It is still unconfirmed whether the site is the present-day Pedro Guevara Elementary School or the Marcela Agoncillo Elementary School.
  • 中西, when read in Hokkien, is Tiong Se. "中" stands for China (国) and the Chinese language, and "西" stands for the Western Hemisphere (西洋) and the English language. These two Chinese characters have always represented the school since the early 20th century, when English was added to the languages taught in the school.
  • The fourth principal of ACS, Yu Nai Hu (Chinese: 杨乃甫; served: 1911-1914), is one of the founders of Saint Stephen's Girls School (now Saint Stephen's High School) established in 1917.
  • The fifth principal of ACS, Tiu Hun Chiong (Chinese: 张云章; served: 1914-1918), is the great-grandfather of the famous basketball player and TV personality, Chris Tiu.[12]
  • Even years before the 1969 fire, the school had already plans of constructing a new five-storey school building, however, due to conflict of interests, the plan was not realized. The board of trustees then decided to start working on the plan in time for the 70th Foundation Anniversary. Incidentally, it was that Great Meisic Fire (as dubbed by local Chinese media) that finally drove the construction of the new school building to a start.

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Mr. Felipe Lee Yung-Shaw (李炳祥), participant at the 1919 May Fourth Movement in Beijing, China, joined the guerilla forces in the Philippines during the Second World War [13]
  • Mr. Tan Tiong Gong (陈忠赣), ninth principal of ACS, Batch 1919 Chinese Day Class
  • Mr. Ralph Nubla Sr. (高祖儒), former chairman of PTSA Board of Trustees, former Chairman and President, Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom), and former president, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (1966-1970, 1981-1985)[14][15]
  • Hon. Claudio Teehankee, Sr. (郑建祥), 16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (He sworn in President Corazon C. Aquino in 1986.), Batch 1929 English Day Class
  • Mr. Jimmy T. Tang (董尚真), former President, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (1993-1997)[14]
  • Mrs. Teresita Ang-See (洪玉华), human rights advocate, Batch 1962

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.deped.gov.ph/private/private.asp?sec=&action=edit&iID=710&type=private
  2. ^ "Eskwelahan atbp [Archive] - Bhatugan.com" (in Filipino). bhatugan.com. August 12, 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.sginsight.com/xjp/index.php?id=4700
  4. ^ Gan, Emilio; Wang, James. "Evoultion of the Chinese Education in the Philippines" (in Chinese). Philippine Chinese Education Research Center. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Philippine Tiong Se Academy" (in Chinese). Philippine Chinese Education Research Center. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c http://www.facebook.com/video/?oid=104669102898294#!/video/video.php?v=1310156408359&oid=104669102898294
  7. ^ Chang, Yong-han (10 January 2010). "The ethnic Chinese policy of the Philippines, 1946-1986". Tamkang University Institutional Repository. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.kaisa.org.ph/tulay/archive/2006/vol.18.23.html
  9. ^ Li, Qimeng (11 November 2009). "Philippine Tiong Se Academy celebrates 110 Foundation Anniversary". chinanews.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "The 2nd World Chinese Language and Culture Education Conference" (in Chinese). chinanews.com. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Anglo Chinese School Seventieth Anniversary Souvenir (in Chinese). Manila, Philippines. 1973. 
  12. ^ http://gmaseven.blogspot.com/2010/06/chris-tiu-and-his-dad-jerry-tiu-on.html
  13. ^ "Anti-Japanese Hero of the Philippines" (in Chinese). Zhongshan Celebrity Database. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "History | FFCCCII - Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.". Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.asianbanks.net/HTML/Files/PBCOM_annual-report2003.pdf

Preceded by
Oldest Chinese School in the Philippines
April 15, 1899
Succeeded by
Hua Siong College of Iloilo
February 25, 1912