After announcing that the school was halting its operations for good amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the historic College of the Holy Spirit Manila is closing its doors after 109 years in April — yet these photos showcase one final look at the institution before its closure in April this year.
Writer and tour guide Anson Yu visited the hallowed halls of the Mendiola campus and took photos of its neoclassical architecture — a style representative of Manila at the turn of the 20th century — as well as its defining feature, the stained glass windows designed by the Philippines’ first National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo.
“The architect who designed the school’s original building is the German Arthur Gabler Gumbert. His other work that still survives today includes the Ides O Racca building in Divisoria, the China Bank Building, and the Yutivo Building in Binondo,” Anson told Coconuts, who also runs heritage tours around Manila’s historic quarters through Old Manila Walks.
Anson shared he was surprised to learn on the tour that Amorsolo had designed the school’s stained glass windows, further adding prestige to its history.
“I didn’t even know about it until one of the tour organizers told me. But I later found out that not many of the students were aware of Amorsolo’s contribution to their school,” he said.
“At the time the school was founded, rich families enrolled their children in schools administered by the Catholic Church. It was a sign of high economic status to receive your education from the nuns or priests,” the tour guide explained.
As to the school’s most stand-out features? “The trees on campus look quite majestic and are among some of the largest I have seen within the city.”
The College of the Holy Spirit Manila was founded in 1913 by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, then known as The Holy Ghost College. Established as an all-girls school, the institution began accepting male students in 2005.
Known as one of the schools that educated Manila’s elite, The College of the Holy Spirit Manila counts numerous political leaders, socialites, writers, and entrepreneurs among its prestigious alumnae.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline and story has been updated to reflect the school’s name as College of the Holy Spirit Manila. The institution was previously identified as Holy Spirit School Manila.