Message of Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI) Vice President for Academic Affairs, Gillian Joyce G. Virata, during the Opening Ceremonies of RCI’s 84th Founding Anniversary on January 26, 2017 at RCI Cainta Quadrangle
On January 30, 1933, the Marikina Academy was founded by the Honorable Wenceslao dela Paz, who was then the municipal mayor of Marikina. Therefore, on Monday, January 30, 2017, we celebrate the birthday or founding anniversary of Roosevelt College, Inc. We are celebrating the 84th founding anniversary of RCI!
Have you ever wondered what Marikina looked like in 1933? Have you wondered what was happening in the Philippines and in the world at that time?
The Marikina Bridge was being built in 1933 and was completed the following year. The Marikina Line, which was a 31-km train line, connected Montalban with Rosario. This train line was built in 1906 but abandoned in 1936. The tracks are now known as Daang Bakal and include Shoe Avenue. The Marikina Railway Depot is now the site of the Marikina Elementary School.
Marikina also used to have a civilian airfield and its runways are now known as E. Rodriguez Avenue and E. Santos Street. The airfield itself is now the Paliparan Subdivision. During World War II, the Japanese used the airfield and, after the war, it was not rebuilt.
Quezon City was established in 1939 and parts of Marikina were later included in this new city.
The Philippine Islands, as we were known then, was a colony of the United States and we were under an American Civil Governor. We had 11 American civil governors between 1901 and 1935. You might find some of their names familiar: Gov. Taft, Gov. Wright, Gov. Forbes, Gov. Gilmore, Gov. Murphy, and Gov. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who was a cousin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR was elected as the 32nd President of the United States in 1933.
FDR is known for leading the U.S. out of the Great Depression in the 1930s and through most of WWII. He advocated strong government programs to support needy Americans and established America as a world leader.
FDR, a polio victim, was the only U.S. president to be re-elected 3 times. He was U.S. President from 1934 until his death in 1945 and is considered one of the greatest U.S. presidents along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Many parks and schools around the world have been named after FDR.
In appreciation of FDR’s role in supporting the Philippines during WWII, Marikina Academy was renamed Roosevelt Memorial High School in 1946, after it reopened. Engr. Deogracias F. dela Paz became the first Chairman and President of the newly organized corporation.
Now, let’s skip ahead to the midpoint between 1933 and 2017. How do we find the midpoint? What is 84 divided by 2? What is 1933 plus 42? Therefore, for this speech, we will consider 1975 as the midpoint between the birth of RCI in 1933 and RCI’s 84th anniversary in 2017.
What was happening in 1975?
The population of the Philippines grew from 14 million in 1933 to 42 million in 1975. That means the country’s population grew 3 times its size in the first half of RCI’s life.
In 1975, 3 cities and 12 towns of Rizal Province were made part of the new Metropolitan Manila Area —including the municipality of Marikina. Quezon City also became part of Metro Manila.
The Rodriguez Sports Center was then 6 years old. Its name was later changed to the Marikina Sports Center.
By this time, many of the Roosevelt Memorial High School campuses had been established and, with the opening of elementary courses, they were renamed Roosevelt College. College courses and graduate school courses were also opened.
With the demise of Engr. Deogracias F. dela Paz in 1977, Mrs. Feliza M. dela Paz became acting president until Mr. Romeo P. dela Paz took over as President in 1979. The new era of Roosevelt schools began.
On the world scene, 1975 was when the term “personal computer” was first used. It was coined by Ed Roberts who had built the Altair 8000, one of the first commercially available personal computers. Paul Allen and Bill Gates (a student at Harvard) wrote a programming language on Altair and this was the start of Microsoft. A year later, Queen Elizabeth II became the first world leader to send an e-mail message; the Apple II was built; and the use of 5.25” floppy disks were introduced causing an exponential growth in digital storage.
Fast forward to 2017. There are now 103 million Filipinos. Our population has grown 7 times its size in 1933 and has more than doubled since 1975. CALABARZON overtook NCR as the most-populated region with 14.41 million people in Region IV-A versus 12.88 million in Metro Manila as of the 2015 census.
Quezon City has 2.94 million people, while the Province of Rizal has 2.88 million. Five of the 6 most-populated municipalities in the country are all in the province of Rizal: No. 1 is Rodriguez with 369,222 people, No. 2 is Cainta with 332,138 people, No. 3 is Taytay with 319,104 people, No. 4 is Binangonan, and No. 6 is San Mateo with 252,527. Rodriguez also has 2 of the 7 most-populated barangays in the country in San Jose and San Isidro both with over 100,000 residents each.
Finally, Cainta was judged the most competitive municipality in the Philippines by the National Competitiveness Council and was also awarded first place in infrastructure, first place in government efficiency, and 2nd place in economic dynamism.
So this is 2017 and we are in a good place. We are in a position to leapfrog by using new technology in the Rooseveltian education. With investments from FEU, we will have high-speed connectivity to the World Wide Web. We will upgrade our facilities and equipment. We will have better libraries with new books and study halls with computers and connectivity that will be open for 12 hours-a-day to allow you to study as much as you can. We will bring experts to work with your teachers in finding the best ways and the best lessons to teach you so that learning will be faster, more interesting, and, we hope, also more fun for you.
These are just some of the changes that the near future holds in store for you. They may not come instantly but they are coming. We are exerting much thought, effort, and resources to make sure that you get an education that will help you become a productive and engaged citizen of your community, your country, and the world!
Happy 84th anniversary to you all!