As Baliuag University commemorates its 90th anniversary this 2015, it celebrates a glorious past anchored to a tradition of educational excellence. An institution of higher education catering to thousands in the local community and neighboring provinces, the Baliuag University of today is markedly very different from that of old. What was founded in 1925 by Domingo “Tatang” Santiago, Sr. as the Baliuag Institute, a modest high school with an enrollment of 75 students, has significantly grown in more ways than one.
After being unavoidably shuttered during the Japanese occupation, Baliuag Institute reopened shortly after the war. Two new courses—the two-year Junior Normal Course (ETC) and two-year Liberal Arts Course (AA)—were introduced in response to the need to train and produce more elementary school teachers. This move paved the way for its upgraded status as a junior college in 1947; its name changed to “Baliuag Junior College” (BJC).
Nearly two decades later, in 1966, it moved forward, becoming the “Baliuag Colleges.”By then, the school was offering more courses in the arts, education, engineering, accountancy and business. In time, the competitive educational standards of Baliuag Colleges were recognized by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) and certified by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) through the grant of accredited status for its academic programs. To date, the school has the highest number of programs in Region 3 with Levels IV, III, II, I accredited status that includes the graduate school, arts, engineering, accountancy and business, nursing, education, hospitality and tourism management, and IT education.
Its vision of becoming a leader in education was realized when it was conferred university status in 2001, thereby becoming the Baliuag University known today. Dr. Alicia Santiago-Bustos was installed as the first President of BU. Her leadership signaled the dawn of what some would perhaps call the school’s golden age—a period of growth, further recognitions by educational organizations, and national prestige.
Staying true to its mission, BU has always recognized quality education as its cornerstone. From its two original courses, the school’s course offerings have developed and expanded in response to the times. Bolstered by its partnerships in various industries, BU constantly upgrades curricula to remain aligned with industry needs.
Over the last 90 years, there have been three generations in the driver’s seat and 20 batches, more or less, of students that have studied in, and graduated from, this humble institution.
BU is proud to have played—and continue to play—a role in the education and holistic development of its students, many of whom have come to be recognized nationally. An example from its early years: Alejo Santos, one of Baliuag Institute’s first high school graduates, who was eventually elected Governor of Bulacan, and became Secretary of National Defense years later.
Although similar stories of students excelling in the national scene were few and far between in its first few years, BU today boasts of scores of students recognized throughout the country for demonstrating responsibility, integrity, academic excellence, respect and service to the community—the very values instilled by BU among its students.
In 1964, the school would take pride in two of its graduates topping the competitive examinations for public school teachers in the Division of Bulacan. To this day, BU students have topped the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), Certified Public Accountants, Librarians Licensure, and the Nursing board examinations.
As the educational landscape in the country changes to accommodate the challenges posed by the ASEAN integration, globalization and internationalization, so too does BU accordingly shift its focus and realign its goals and priorities.
At this point of its history, BU is entering a new season, a new age of opportunities to grow by leaps and bounds. And, as if by coincidence, a transition is taking place within the BU leadership, as the baton is passed from its first President, Dr. Alicia S. Bustos, to Dr. Patricia Bustos-Lagunda who looks towards BU’s future within the ASEAN community and the world.
To be sure, the past is another country from which we can learn from and reap its glories. By doing so are we able to move forward and celebrate our own time, and work towards an even more radiant future.