2560 Leon Guinto Street

Singalong, Malate, Manila




1940 – 1949


National language to be taught in all public and private schools starting June 19, 1940

Educational Act of 1940.  Among its provisions – reduction of the elementary course from 7 to 6 years


Dec 2: Constitutional amendment -unicameral to bicameral.  President’s term reduced to 4 years with reelection for another 4.  The Commission on Election is established


Feb 15:  Reception of the first members of the Student Catholic Action of St. Scholastica’s College

May 28 – Jun 1:  First convention of the newly-founded Catholic Education Association of the Philippines.  SSC is a member.

Dec 8: Pearl Harbor bombed; U.S. declares war on Japan.  Schools in Manila close

Dec 10:  SSC becomes an American Army Hospital


Jan 2:  Japanese enter Manila; the next day SSC is sealed as “property of the Japanese Imperial Forces”

Jan 26:  Sister Baptista Battig dies with the words, “O Beloved” on her lips

Jun 15:  SSC reopens elementary classes.  Nippongo taught


Home Economics and Kindergarten buildings


High School students (1941)

School in Candaba closed due to the dangers from the fierce Huk struggle

St. Gertrude’s Academy is opened in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.  Mission work intense especially among the Aglipayans

Dec 8:  Pearl Harbor bombed.  The United States declares war on Japan

Dec 10:  SSC is turned into a hospital for the American Army

Jul 26:  100,000 Filipinos trained and inducted to the U.S. Army

Nov 11:  Quezon and Osmeña are reelected in the second commonwealth election

Dec 7:  Bombing of Pearl Harbor and other U.S. installation in the Philippines – the beginning of the Pacific War


Pearl Harbor Attack (December 7, 1941) U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

Dec 10:  The Japanese Air Force launches heavy air attacks on Manila, Nielsen and Nichols airfields, and the 16th Naval Base in Cavite City and Sangley Point

Dec 12, 22, 24: Japanese landing in Albay, Pangasinan and Quezon

Dec 24:  President Manuel L. Quezon transfers the seat of the Commonwealth Government to Corregidor

Dec 26:  Manila is declared an open city by General Douglas MacArthur

Dec 29:  President Franklin D. Roosevelt promises that the freedom and independence of the Philippines will be “redeemed”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Dec 30: 2nd Commonwealth Presidential inauguration held in Corregidor

1942     Jan 2:  The Japanese enter and occupy the city of Manila


Jan 3:  The Japanese High Command establishes the Japanese military administration

Jan 8:  The Executive Commission of the Philippines, headed by Jorge B. Vargas, is organized by the Japanese Military Administration

Jan 20:  Japan grants “the honor of independence” to the Filipinos on condition that they collaborate in and promote the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere

Feb 20:  President Manuel L. Quezon, his family, and the War Cabinet leave Corregidor by submarine for Australia

Mar 29:  The Hukbalahap organization is formally established, with Luis M. Taruc as Supremo

Apr 3:  General Masaharu Homma begins an all-out Japanese offensive in Bataan

Apr 9:  Fall of Bataan into the hands of the Japanese Imperial Forces


The infamous “Death March”, 6 days, 90 miles, began at the Mariveles terminating at Camp O’Donnell and later moved to Camp Cabanatuan

May 2:  Jose Abad Santos, jurist, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is executed by the Japanese at Malabang, Lanao for refusing to collaborate

 May 6:  Fall of Corregidor.  Unconditional surrender and the Japanese forces (12,000) Filipinos-Americans taken as prisoners 

American troops surrender to Japanese soldiers at Corregidor (1942)

May 13:  Due to the Japanese occupation, the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government is declared to be at Washington, D.C., U.S.A. 


Mar:  High school reopens at SSC

Three Sisters sent to Lipa to open Patronato de S. Jose as a clinic for the poor

Apostolic Delegate asks the President that the German Sisters be interned in their own house.  Appeal granted, but notice does not reach Boac and Ormoc where Sisters are brought to the local prison 

Two other Sisters from Manila brought to concentration camps: Sister Friedeswida Lane-Fox (English) and Sister Visitacion Bos (Dutch)

Jan 21:  An American submarine lands in Southern Negros bringing Major Jesus Villamor, who assumes command of the guerillas forces in Negros and Siquijor islands

Oct 14:  The Japanese-sponsored Republic of the Philippines is established with Dr. Jose P. Laurel as president



Sept 21: War of Liberation starts.  Japanese re-occupy SSC


The School Chapel before the war


The School Chapel ruins after the war


SSC converted into a Japanese military hospital

Sept:  Several Sisters evacuate to Sta. Cruz, Pila and Lipa; others invited to Taal by the Barrion family

Jun 29:  The U.S. Congress passes Joint Resolution No. 93, authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim the independence of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 

Aug 1:  Manuel L. Quezon died at Saranac Lake, New York

Oct 20:  A famous promise of General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return” is fulfilled when he and President Sergio Osmeña land in Leyte with the U.S. Forces

Gen. McArthur landing at Leyte to recapture the Philippines from Japanese invasion, World War I

Oct 23:  The Commonwealth Government with Sergio Osmeña, as President, is restored at Tacloban, Leyte, by General MacArthur 



Feb:  Many refugees seek shelter at SSC

Feb 13:  Incendiary bombs fall on SSC.  Many refugees die; all buildings (except 2 small wooden ones) burn and are ruined

Jun:  Grade School reopens in the Free School building

The ruins inside St. Cecilia’s Hall

The Sisters checking what was left from the ruins (St. Cecilia’s Hall)

The right wing of St. Cecilia’s Hall


Feb 13:  SSC bombed by Americans thinking it is still the Japanese military hospital.  Incendiary bombs destroy all buildings except two small wooden houses

Feb 14:  More bombs and machine gun fire.  Human SOS formed by Sisters and remaining refugees in the garden.  Bombing stops

Mar 13:  Bombing of Legazpi, Albay.  Mother Clodesindis  shielding two children – and Sister Edilburgis are hit and killed in air attack on St. Agnes’ Academy

Apr 18:  New beginnings.  New school opens in Taal, Batangas:  Our Lady of Caysasay Academy

May 4:  Sisters are sent to Maasin, Leyte to take over St. Joseph’s College

Jun:  Start of initial reconstruction of SSC under Mother Prioress Amadea Bessler

Jul 2:  Other Sisters are sent to Carigara, Leyte to start Holy Cross Academy

Jan 9:  U.S. Troops under General Douglas MacArthur land at Blue Beach, Dagupan City, Pangasinan

Feb 6:  The Japanese put Intramuros to the torch

Feb 23: End of Japanese resistance in Manila. The civilian survivors of the massacre in Intramuros are rescued by the Americans and taken to hospitals

Feb 27:  General Douglas MacArthur turns over the civil government of the Philippines to Commonwealth President Sergio Osmeña

Jul 5:  Liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese forces

Aug 15:  Japan surrenders unconditionally, thus ending World War II

General Tomoyuki Yamashita (left) surrendered to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio

Aug 17:  President Jose P. Laurel announces the dissolution of the Republic of the Philippines established during the Japanese occupation

Sept 2:  Pacific War ended.  Japan formally surrenders.  Commonwealth restored after WWII



Reconstruction starts, and the High School reopens for SY 1946-1947

SSC reconstruction

School in Mexico, Pampanga closes due to Communist threat

Jan 27:  Philippine Congress holds its first session after World War II

Feb 23:  General Tomoyuki Yamashita, once Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese forces in the Philippines, is hanged for war crimes in Los Baños, Laguna


Apr 3:  Execution of General Masaharu Homma, who was responsible for the Death March

Apr 23:  Manuel A. Roxas and Elpidio Quirino are elected President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Commonwealth of the Philippines



Apr 30:  Signing by U.S. President Truman of the Philippines Trade Act which provides for mutual free trade between America and the Philippines from January 1, 1946 to July 3, 1954, and gradual elimination of tariff preferences both ways from July 4, 1954 to December 31, 1973

Jul 4:  The Third Republic is inaugurated with Manuel Roxas as president

Jul 27:  The remains of the late President Manuel L. Quezon arrive from the United States on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Princeton 


College department reopens.  New courses introduced: Liberal Arts with a major in Food and Nutrition; Marriage and Family Relationships for all seniors

Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities re-activated: catechetical instruction in Welfareville, Reformatory, School for Deaf and Dumb, 12 public schools; hospital visits; medical clinic in the Free School

Mother Stefana Gaechter, the new prioress, reorganizes administrative structure of SSC:  an appointed directress to head the school; under her the deans and principals

SSC defines its goal:  the education of “the true and finished woman of character” which requires proper instruction, guidance and discipline

Free School (1947)


Jan: Arrival of the new prioress, Mother Stefana Gaechter.  Reconstruction of destroyed property and filing of war claims from the U.S. government occupy much of her time and effort, besides building up community and religious life


Feb 23:  President Manuel Roxas and Archbishop Michael O’Doherty sign a formal agreement for the acquisition by the government of eight estates owned by the Church for the price of PhP5,630,000, such estates to be sold later in small lots and at reasonable prices to the tenant

Mar 11:  Filipinos ratify the “Parity Amendment” to the Constitution.  This gives the Americans and Filipinos equal rights in the exploitation of the natural resources of the Philippines

Mar 14:  The Military Bases Agreement is signed at Malacañang by Ambassador Paul V. McNutt and President Manuel A. Roxas.  It grants 22 military, naval, and air bases in the Philippines to the United States for the defense of both countries

Nov 8:  The first election under the Republic is held for local officials and eight senators

1948      Apr 15:  President Manuel A. Roxas dies in Clark Field, Pampanga

Apr 17: Vice-President Elpidio Quirino is sworn in as President following the death of President Manuel A. Roxas



Apr 29:  Burial at the North Cemetery of Mrs. Aurora Aragon Quezon, her daughter Maria Aurora, and her son-in-law Felipe Buencamino III, who were killed by the Huks on their way to Baler

Dec 30:  Elpidio Quirino and Fernando Lopez are inaugurated President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Republic of the Philippines


Apr 12:  First Holy Mass celebrated in the reconstructed chapel

The reconstructed School Chapel (1949)