BRIEF HISTORY OF FILAMER
Filamer Christian University, founded in 1904, is adorned with multicolored centenarian history. With a legacy of more than 100 years of Christian education, the school remains steadfast in its commitment to provide holistic and relevant education to its clientele.
Filamer Christian University indeed can claim a significant historical existence. It began in a small and unpretentious way as a home for orphans.
Rev. Joseph C. Robbins and his wife started it all when sometime in August, 1904; they were entrusted with the care of three little children, two boys and a girl. The children’s father then the ladron chief of the mountains was captured and condemned to life imprisonment, and the mother was dead. So the commanding officer of the Capiz Constabulary wrote to the Robbins who eventually went to the barracks and took home with them the three children. This situation of neglected, homeless children particularly in this District touched their hearts which led to the establishment of Baptist Home School with the first building as a gift from the American Women. Thus, Filamer Christian University began as an orphanage which offered Christian nurture under the sponsorship of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society.
Miss Margarete Suman, formerly serving with the Belgian Congo, joined the work in Capiz, 1903. She took over the Baptist Home School at the beginning. It was said of this work at Capiz, “This School which was began for the poor homeless orphans has deeply impressed the people with love which actuate our Missionaries in their services”. This Baptist Home School had been designed for girls. The 1907 report for 1906 confirms this when it said; “the Home School in Capiz is very popular, the number of girls now in the home having increased to fifty three.”
The school continued to accept pupils, and associated with early history are such unforgettable missionaries as Margaret Suman, Emma Nicolet, Misses Goldenberg, Adam, Stump, Dolby and Pettit. These were the missionaries who worked in school before the last World War.
Soon after the War, when the civil government was reconstituted and peace and order restored, the school immediately re-opened with the directorship of Mrs. Jacoba Ibañez who before the war also served as the first Filipino Principal in the elementary department. It was also at this time that the secondary department was opened and Rev. Agustin E. Masa, who was concurrently serving as Pastor of the Capiz Evangelical Church, served as principal. Those who bear the main burdens of teaching together with Mrs. Ibañez and Rev. Masa were Judge Roman Ibañez and his children and the teachers of Capiz High School.
In 1947, the Rev. Masa left for the United States to continue his higher studies. The Ibañezes also had to leave. The directorship was given to Rev. Harold Kuhlman. Rev. Kuhlman was followed by other Missionaries serving either as director or classroom teachers, namely, Miss Lettie Archer, Miss Emma Brodbeck, Miss Dolores Logsdon, Miss Winnifred Stanford and Miss Helen Maly.
Both the elementary and the secondary education received recognition in 1950. The Capiz Home School became Filamer Christian Institute in 1952. The unusual name of “FILAMER” signifies the joint venture of Filipinos and Americans in establishing and running this educational institute.
In 1971, Filamer Christian Institute had complete training up to the college level. Since then, there is no stopping in the progress and expansion in terms of its population, the increasing number of professional courses offered and the acquisition of properties and buildings. It was in 1985 when Filamer Christian Institute became officially known as Filamer Christian College.
Deregulated status was first awarded to the school by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on October 6, 2009, which was eventually extended until December 2015. On July 14, 2010, the university status was granted thus Filamer Christian College officially became Filamer Christian University.
In July 2014, the University opened its doors to International Service Learning (ISL) with students coming from different parts of Asia conducting community immersions in the school's adopted barangays. The ISL was initiated by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) in which Filamer affiliates.
Recognized for her significant contribution in history and rich heritage as a beacon for the youth’s development, Filamer was declared Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines last October 8, 2014. A national marker was unveiled in front of the school’s century-old Suman Building that acknowledged the enduring legacy of the founders to later generations.
Presently, the University is headed by Dr. George O. Cortel who was appointed as President for the next five years.
Other Forerunners of the School
The school is also associated with the Hernandez- Viterbo family whose members have become chairmen of the Board of Trustees, starting from the late Mrs. Josefa Acuña Hernandez, and the late Professor Antonio Viterbo, Mrs. Corazon A. Hernandez and Dr. George H. Viterbo. Others who served as chairmen are Dr. Linnea Nelson, Dr. Agustin E. Masa, Judge Ramon Ibañez, Mr. Procopio Punsalan, Rev. Expedito A. Señeres, Dr. Victor A. Dela Cruz, Atty. Zacarias D. Bedona Jr., Dr. Agustin Pulido, Mr. Jessie Contreras, and Mr. Bonifacio Eslaban.
Other Filipino Educators who have participated in the administration of the school are the late Mr. Raymundo Julian, Engr. Salvador Cantiller, Mr. Carlos Somosiera, Atty. Rodriguez Obligacion, Mr. Lorenzo Molino, Dr. George H. Viterbo, Dr. Agustin E. Masa, Dr. Virgilia Domin (executive Dean of CPU Management Team of which Pres. Agustin Pulido was the Chairman), Dr. Victor A. Dela Cruz, the Management Team chaired by Atty. Zacarias D. Bedona, Jr., Rev. Dr. Domingo J. Diel, Jr., Dr. Expedito A. Señeres, Dr. Salvio E. Llanera, and the Management Committee chaired by Rev. Eliseo Fantilaga.
Situated on a hilly terrain, the school site covers more than five hectares with the Main Campus located at Roxas Avenue. Several buildings are interconnected by steps and cemented walks, and the surrounding century-old trees provide a healthy “pollution-free” environment conducive to learning. Since the school continues to acquire properties and construct new buildings, the Annex Campus which is situated in Barangay Punta Tabuc, was developed which accommodated the Elementary, Technology, and Library buildings. It is also in this site that the Kindergarten Building and the University Dormitory will soon rise.
The 17-hectare Dinginan property of the University, which is strategically located near the vicinity of a multimillion landscape, is currently being developed to become an Organic Farm that will showcase natural farming and ecologically-sound practices. Once the Dinginan Organic Farm is developed, this will also serve as one of the travel destinations in Capiz.
Institutional Distinctions and Recognitions
At present, Filamer Christian University enjoys the distinction of being the first and the only private university in the province of Capiz. It was granted Deregulated Status by the CHED last 2009 until 2015. Last April 2016, Filamer was elevated to the highest status, AUTONOMOUS, also by the CHED. FCU is one of the only two higher education institutions in Region VI which was granted with this status. Deregulation and Autonomy is awarded to private higher education institutions that have consistently shown exemplary performance in the provision of education, research and extension services.
In 2014, the CHED short-listed Filamer as one of the Top 20 schools in the country to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) International Mobility for Students starting 2015.
Majority of the programs offered by the University undergo accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities - Accrediting Agency Inc. (ACSCU-AAI) for quality assurance. The ACSCU-AAI is under the umbrella organization of accrediting agencies in the country which is the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines. The Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education programs were granted with highest accreditation level which is Level IV; while Nursing, Business Administration, Liberal Arts, Elementary, and High School programs were awarded Level III. Other programs of the University are Accredited Level II.
Filamer's College of Teacher Education was identified "Center of Excellence Satellite Institute" in Roxas City by the CHED in recognition of the contribution of the College in the training of quality teachers.
The University is a participating member of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA), University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) students exchange programs, and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities.
All course offerings of the University operate with government permits and recognitions.