CHED-BU Zonal Research Center
Zonal Research Center

Aemilianum College

The A.I. of Sorsogon was called Sts. Peter and Paul Technical Institute when the Somascan Fathers took it over from the Diocese of Sorsogon. It was the school year 1985-86 . The first Somascan religious to settle in the school was Fr. Valerio Fenoglio in April 1985; in June of the same year he was joined by Fr. Giovanni Tarditi. They were warmly welcomed by the Bishop, Jesus Y. Varella and the clergy of Sorsogon as well as by the Educational Institutions of Sorsogon Province. The name St. Jerome Emiliani and the Somascan Fathers spread very fast in the Diocese thanks to the well known apostolic, missionary spirit of Fr. Valerio and Fr. Tarditi. In the school they emphasized the celebrations of Mary Mother of Orphans in September and St. Jerome in February. Meanwhile the Major Superiors assigned Fr. Grato Germanetto to the community of Sorsogon when he arrived on April 18, 1986. Few weeks later, May 3, Fr. Tarditi left for Lubao, Pampanga. Fr. Grato was appointed Dean of College. In those days, they were offering only High School and General Radio Comunication (GRCO). For the school year 1986-87 they were expecting to offer also Automotive and Practical Electricity. The facilities were very poor. On September15, 1987, Fr. Ernesto Rusconi became a member of the Community and was appointed Financial Officer of the school. Fr. Ernesto was keen on the practical sides of Administraton and was assigned to Sorsogon in view of the rehabilitation projects already proposed by the Community. The buildings needed repair, but it became a question of life and death just two months later, November. The school administration was dealing with an unpleasant labor problem caused by some teachers who, without any previous signs of dissatisfaction for their employment nor any communication with the administration, requested the Department of Labor and Employment to investigate the school for alleged irregularities. It was November 25, 1987, when the destructive Typhoon Sisang started howling and roaring at 260 Km per hour while the sea, already brimming over, was refusing to receive the downpour of rain from the dark sky. During the night, all the roofs were lifted in the sky and thrown far away, leaving the classrooms and the offices under torrential rains.

At the sight of the collapsing A.I., the teachers dropped their complaint and rolled up their sleeves. Particularly dramatic was the situation of the library and the offices. Mrs. Fabiosa Tan, now at the Provincial Library, is often reminding us the extra long hours in the library trying to rescue the flooded books.

Caught in the dilemma of a drastic decision between rehabilitation or closure, our Superiors had the courage to choose rehabilitation. The whole Somascan Congregation from all over the world joined hands with the community of Sorsogon and the rehabilitation, or better called reconstruction, started. Fr. Ernesto was given the great task of supervising the works.

The reconstruction of the buildings was going on, thanks also to donations from Propaganda Fide, Misere or (from Germany), the SVD Generalate and friends. Also the facilities were replaced . In the field of academics and technology, the Aemilianum Institute started its pioneering mission in Sorsogon, opening the way for Information Technology, November 1988: application for offering Computer Science and license for Radio station. In March 1989, the first Computer Lab was ready with six units.

In In April 1989, the first contacts were taken for the construction of the so-called AIT department, a project realized by the Somascan Fathers with the participation (49%) of the NGO ELIS, under the management of Dr. Maggi and Dr. Magturo, and MERALCO, in order to avail funds from the Italian Government, sector for International Cooperation.

The buildings of the A.I. improved very fast and expanded; also a new Convent, residence for the religious community, was approved and put up. In January 1992, when the new Convent was blessed by Bishop Varela, the Aemilianum was completely reconstituted.

The year 1992 has to be for ever remembered by the A.I. and the Somascan Fathers. On May 14, Bro. Michael Paulete renewed his religious vows at the presence of Fr. General. On July 12, solemn Ground Breaking for the construction of the Technical Dept. was blessed by the Msgr. Varela, Bishop of Sorsogon, at the presence of Doctor Magturo, representing ELIS and Msgr. Francisco Monje, Vicar General. Beginning of December, works started in Pang-Pang for the construction of Casa Miani. But suddenly the death of our Brother, Michael Paulete tested our faith.

Bro. Mike was hit by a bus in a dangerous curve in Putiao, Sorsogon, while he was driving to Legazpi together with Bro. Eugene. They were on their way to Bicol University for their Masteral course. Bro. Mike was the driver and was smashed with the car in the clash; he died two hours later in Albay Hospital. In those days, Fr. Provincial, Gabriele Scotti, was visiting our communities together with Fr. Ernesto Rusconi. According to an old saying, a family doesn't belong to a land till one of its members is buried in it, Bro. Michael is the first Somascan religious buried in Filipino soil.

We must be very thankful to those teachers and personnel who have been loyal to the A.I. almost since its beginnings. We can name: Helen Liao(now Mrs Yuson)1986, Jocelyn Magas(now Mrs De Ramos)1987, Antonio Ebuenga 1988, Sylvia Lasala 1989, Veronica Balgamino (now Mrs Naz) 1989. We cannot forget the loyal part timers like Lydia Aninipot 1986, Dulcissimo Espinola 1986 and Cecil Meneses 1989. To replace Fr. Valerio, the Superior sent Fr. Richard Germanetto, who arrived on November 10, 1995.

At present the Aemilianum community is composed of the following: Fr. Lino Juta,crs, superior; Bro Eugene Libut,crs, director of the school, Fr. Auguto Dingal,crs, principal elementary dept.; Fr. Romeo Sabayton,crs, guidance couselor; Fr. Abraham Arganiosa,crs; Fr. Manuel Quizon,crs; Bro. Federico Balsomo,crs; and Bro. Roland Manago,crs.
CHED-BU Zonal Research Center