If you've been to Dumaguete City's Boulevard, you will surely notice a monument of nuns riding a boat. This landmark called as "The Landing of the First SPC Sisters" commemorates the centennial of the coming of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, France to the Philippines. It was on this spot that seven (7) sisters landed on October 29, 1904. They were joyously welcomed by the people of Dumaguete.
The seven sisters were Mother Marthe de St. Paul, Superior, Sr. Marie Louise du Sacre Couer, Sr. Ange Marie, Sr. Anne de la Croix, Sr. Charles de Genes, Sr. Catherine, and Sr. Josephine
Dumaguete City is known as "The City of Gentle People" but another unofficial moniker is "The Center of Learning in the South" because of the many universities and schools in the city.
St. Paul University is one of the famous universities in the town.
It was said that back in 1904, seven (7) sisters of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) traveled to Dumaguete with an invitation from Reverend Frederick Booker of the Diocese of Iloilo.
The sisters came all the way from Vietnam traveled to Dumaguete with the purpose of taking over a boarding school which housed 26 girls during that time. The boarding school became the first foundation of the SPC in the Philippines.
On October 29, 1904 and elementary school which accepted both girls and boys was established through the sister's great aptitude and wanting to expand the education plan of the boarding school. Then a new school was opened in January 1905 which had 30 girls and 6 boys.
The Sisters had to learn the Visayan and Spanish languages to be able to teach their students because the locals by that time were not very familiar with English. The curriculum was quickly adopted and expanded. The elementary school grew into a bigger school. The first St. Paul High School was opened in 1920 with their first graduating class in 1925.
More and more students desiring higher education flocked the school. The St. Paul University was then established, it is recognized as one of the leading universities in the Philippines.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Dumaguete (estimated cost of Php4,000++, round trip, one hour and 15 minutes). You can ride a tricycle around the city (minimum of Php8 per passenger per destination).
source/reference: dumagueteinfo.com | photo by Dustin Mijares