CHED-BU Zonal Research Center
Zonal Research Center

Mabini Colleges

Mabini Colleges was founded in 1924 in Iriga, Camarines Sur (now Iriga City) as Camarines Sur Institute by the late educator Miguel Rojo Ibana, a native of Talisay, Camarines Norte. With an initial enrolment of only 12 students, the founder and his students were aptly called “Mr. Ibana and his 12 disciples.” From its humble beginnings, the school grew despite difficulties encountered. Through sheer determination, perseverance and untold sacrifices, its triumph over the test and vicissitudes of time is considered a monumental contribution of Mabini Colleges to the cause of education in Camarines Norte.

The Monroe Educational Survey Commission, which appraised the condition of private schools in 1928, found most private schools all over the Philippines to be hopelessly substandard. As a consequence, a vigorous purge of undesirable private schools was instituted which resulted in the closure of 38% of those schools. Surviving this purge were only two private schools in the Bicol Region and one of them was the Camarines Sur Institute. During the ensuing years, this school gained prestige as the biggest private school in the Region. It also changed its name to Apolinario Mabini Institute as a fitting recognition to the ideals and virtues exemplified by one of the greatest Filipino heroes and intellectuals admired by the founder.

While this school in Iriga was at its zenith, World War II broke out and it did not spare the school from destruction. Its building was ruined, its books burned, its equipment and facilities were looted that at the end of the war, it had to start from scratch. Capitalization on its pre-war name, the school was preferred and patronized by students. The incidental increase in enrolment brought many problems to the school. But the founder in a brief period of two years was able to re-establish a higher standard of learning than many other private schools in the region. By 1948, it was the leading private school in the Bicol Region. The following year, despite the growing enrolment and prestige of the school in Iriga, the late founder and his inspiring and self-sacrificing wife, Mrs. Flora Avila-Ibana, decided to transfer the school to Daet, Camarines Norte in order to better serve their beloved province for the remaining years of their lives.

The Ibanas brought along with them complete laboratory apparatuses, library facilities, equipment and other paraphernalia. But the re-establishment of the school in Camarines Norte was met with vehement opposition from its competitors that it had to struggle for its foothold in the province. The ensuing competition was characterized by a fierce struggle for survival. Nevertheless, the school now assuming its new name – Mabini Junior College, emerged triumphant and was able to survive and grow
CHED-BU Zonal Research Center