BRIEF HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTIONBy ISAAC R. KLIATCHKO JR., Batch ‘76
July, 1947 – With 80 students, the first Don Bosco school in the Philippines, St. John Bosco Academy, started operations.
The old Oriente Hotel on F. Tanedo St., Tarlac, Tarlac was leased, and Fr. James J. Wilson, a US Army chaplain, was in charge of the Academy, becoming its first rector. The first day of classes was on July 6, 1947, and in the first year of its operation, a first batch of communicants was trained. The school also had its own mimeographed campus organ, “The Bosconian.” October, 1948 — The campus was moved to Sto. Cristo, Tarlac, Tarlac. The school’s land area has become bigger at 17, 784 square meters. There were four Quonset huts which housed classes, a chapel, library, offices, and Fr. Wilson’s quarters. Later,a five-classroom building was erected. This was blessed by the then Apostolic Nuncio Msgr. Vagnoizzi.
January 11, 1949 — Another US Army Chaplain, Rev. Fr. William Mahoney, joined Fr. Wilson for about a year.
January 31 the same year, on the feast day of St. John Bosco, Fr. Wilson laid the foundation for a concrete gymnasium that for several years had been the best and the largest in Central Luzon. In April, 1947, the first four students graduated from the Academy.They were Roberto Millena, Roberto Manlutac, Eusebio Dizon, and Alfredo Gomez. September 15, 1951 — Fr. Anthony Di Falco was installed as the first Salesian rector of the school. From then on, the school continued to receive more Salesians, and the focus on providing quality education was reinforced. During the same year, Salesian priests and brothers were expelled from the Congregation’s mission in China, and they found the Academy in the Philippines to be their new home. They were Fr. Vincent Ricaldone, Fr. Patrick Ryan, Fr. Rutkowsky, Bro. Corcoran, and Bro. Mario Viel.
1958 – During the term of Fr. Baggio, second Salesian rector of the Academy, a second wing was built.
1960 — Fr. George Schwarz, also a German scientist, was installed as the new rector of the school. Mr. Perpetuo Samson, at the time, was the school principal. With Fr. George at the helm, and with generous assistance from the People of Germany, new buildings were constructed, including a well-equipped science laboratory.
January 31, 1965 — The new main building was blessed by Msgr. Jesus Sison. The new building was a gift from the German people, through the German Catholic Community Organization Misereor.
1967 — Fr. George was appointed anew as rector, and the following year 1968 saw the completion of two classroom buildings and a workshop.
1970 — Mr. Arturo Villegas (Batch ’59) was appointed as the new principal, replacing Mr. Samson who had retired.
1973 — Fr. William Balocco succeeded Fr. George. At that time, Don Bosco Academy has already become known for leading quality education for boys in the province. The student population had also increased. Under the stewardship of Fr. Balocco, with the support of students and lay teachers, notably, Mr. Melencio Paras (Batch ’63), and assistance from benefactors, a fundraising was carried out which gave fruition to what is now the Don Bosco Gym and the Chapel.
1974 — The school was granted permission to start technical courses.
1978 – The school adopted the name Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI). From about 800, the student population increased year by year (until it reached 1,555 at this writing).
May 17, 1980 — The school held its first Don Bosco Tarlac Alumni Association (DBTAA) General Homecoming. This was led by DBTAA President Alberto Soliman (Batch ’57). Other DBTAA officers then were: Jose Viray (Batch ’58) , 1st vice president; Freddie del Rosario (Batch ’56), 2nd vice president; Romualdo Maclang (Batch ’58), 3rd vice president; Charlie Salanga (Batch ’62), secretary; Jimmy Urquico (Batch ’57), treasurer; Arturo Dayao (Batch ’59), auditor; Enrique Dimacali (Batch ’57), PRO, and Fr. Jaime Carmona, Manny Espinosa (Batch ’53), Fred Caritativo (Batch ’52), and Romeo Dizon (Batch ’64), directors.
In the 80s, the Preventive System and the paradigm of the Educative Pastoral Community (EPC) were instilled into the system, under the guidance of rectors Fr. Luciano Capelli, followed by Fr. Felix Glowicki. The EPC is composed of Salesians, Students, Teachers, Alumni, and Community, and the goal is to produce honest citizens and good Christians.
1984 — The school revived the publication of its campus paper “The Bosconian,” with Mr. Isaac Kliatchko Jr. (Batch ’76) as moderator. At the time, senior and junior writing clubs were also organized and a search for campus journalists was launched. In February, 1985, senior student journalists Amelito Mutuc (Batch ’85) and John Manuel Kliatchko (Batch ’85), with coach Mr. I. Kliatchko, for the first time joined Central Luzon delegates to the annual National Secondary Schools Press Conference held in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
July, 16, 1990 – A major earthquake rocked Luzon and damaged the main building that housed 10 classrooms, the convent, the Physics, Biology, and Chemistry laboratories, and administrative offices. The building was renovated through the help of the Salesian Congregation and the People of Germany. The renovated building was inaugurated on January 31, 1991.
November, 1992 – A fire broke out, damaging the gymnasium. The structure was rehabilitated within the following year, with the help of the EPC and the youth of Tarlac.
1993 — The first computer laboratory was established, under the leadership of Fr. Ernie Cruz and Fr. Bobby Roxas. The second computer laboratory was built during the term of Fr. Charles Manlangit as rector.
2001 – This year marked the 50th Anniversary of Salesian presence in the country. The Philippine North Province of the Salesian Congregation in the Philippines re-launched the Salesian Apostolate and adopted a new paradigm as a nicher in the nation’s education system. Following the First Synod, subsequent conventions and congresses, a new vision-mission statement was adopted by the Philippine North Province through the initiative of then Provincial, Fr. Francis Gustilo. In essence, the vision-mission statement identifies the role of every member of the EPC as a servant-leader who contributes to social transformation.
Also in 2001, the school earned its Level I accreditation from the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU).
April, 2005 — The Second Synod was held with the theme: “Re-kindle the Passion.” This synod reaffirmed the commitment to pursue excellence in education amid all challenges and efforts to effect change in the community and the country.
2005-2008 — The DBTI-Tarlac, led by Fr. Jose Favie V. Faldas, carried out the updating of its medium-term plan, also known as the Salesian Educative and Pastoral Project (SEPP).
2009 – The school was granted Level II PAASCU Accreditation, as it gained more mileage in its quest to improve quality of education.
2010 — The school unveiled its Master Development Plan themed “Soaring to New Heights.” This saw the upgrade of school facilities, thus revitalizing its commitment to provide quality education while adapting to changing times. This development was also known as “Technology with a Soul,” to celebrate the Technical Advancement Program of the institution and its reputation as center of excellence in technical education in the last 30 years.
January, 2011 — The school and the EPC, headed by rector Fr. Ramon G. Borja, welcomed Don Bosco’s relic. This rare visit of the relic stirred emotions among the EPC who “experienced the holiness of Don Bosco.” The same year saw the construction of the new high school building, a partial fulfillment of the “Master Development Plan.”
2012 – Construction and improvement of facilities like classrooms, offices, and other function areas were accelerated. The year was also momentous, following the school’s certification as a non-profit organization by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification. Also this year, Batch ’87 financed the construction of the new school gate.
2012-2017 – This era saw the renewed efforts of the DBTI-Tarlac Educative Pastoral Community for the school to acquire and build new facilities to meet emerging requirements for competitive quality academic and technical education. Under the leadership of Fr. Jay David (Batch ’92), rector, the rehabilitation and modernization of existing structures and the construction of new buildings were launched and sustained. A new P5-million bus was also purchased with technical assistance from Nikko Nisce (Batch ’76), parents council vice president. The school’s scholarship program received more support.
2015 – In line with the government’s K12 Education, the school opened its doors to Grade 11 students which also included lady enrolees. The Senior High School (SHS) Department was established at the newest three-story wing of the school. The SHS Program offers two tracks: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and ABM (Accounting and Business Management).
During the same year, the DBTAA Board implemented several projects, like the DBTI Entrance Roof (with Batch ’92), DBTAA Summer League – Bert Soliman Cup, installation of gym ventilation, installation of additional CCTVs, DBASTIG 2K15 (Basketball and Badminton), and Golf for Don Bosco 6, among others.
July 2015 – The student body during a morning talk welcomed representatives of Batch ’76 who turned over a check for P500,000 that covered the construction of a new classroom located at the back of the gym. Batch ’76 also donated a new gym basketball court.
January, 2016 – Batch ’91 published the first edition of BOSCONNECT, the DBTI-Tarlac alumni directory, to mark its sponsorship of the 2016 General Alumni Homecoming. (A second BOSCONNECT 2017 edition was published by Batch ’92 for the 2017 Homecoming. The BOSCONNECT 2018 edition was published by Batch ’93 for the 2018 Homecoming.)
September 2016 – The PAASCU conducted a visit at DBTI as part of the school’s continuing efforts to improve quality of education. Gil Siongco, institutional affairs officer, is in-charge of accreditation efforts.
December 1, 2016 — The Senior High School held its first Sports Fest at the Tarlac Recreational Park, San Jose town, Tarlac.
April 4, 2017 – The DBTAA held its 7th Golf for Don Bosco at the Luisita Golf and Country Club. The key sponsor was Rep. Victor A. Yap (Tarlac, 2nd District), a former Tarlac governor, who also supported the DBTAA in previous Golf for Don Bosco events. The yearly project aims to help the school in sustaining quality education, provide more scholarships, and meet the requirements of the government’s K12 Education. Delegations from other Don Bosco schools in the Philippines, including newly re-opened Don Bosco Bacolor, Pampanga, also participated. Fr. Jay thanked participants and wished that Don Bosco Bacolor, which had re-opened following the aftermath of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, “would have the synergy and generosity happening in Don Bosco Tarlac.”
May 24, 2017 – The school, also celebrating the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, held the blessing of the new SHS building at the right wing of the campus. The new edifice that also houses new facilities was built with the support of Batch ’88 alumnus Architect Marco Escalona and his family, in cooperation with Batch ’88. During the blessing, Fr. Jay said: “This is our simple contribution to the education of the young people of the Province of Tarlac.” Architect Melvin Garcia (Batch ’88) collaborated with Escalona in the building’s design. During the same month, Fr. Jerry Santos was installed as new rector.
The new building houses five new SHS classrooms, two of which are donated by Batch ’67 and Batch ’91; a new P2.6-million library donated by Batch ’83, a P2.5-million Computer Laboratory (equipped with 50 computers) designed by Architect Joel Viray (Batch ’84) and donated by the DBTAA led by Peter Paul Soliman (Batch ’85), DBTAA president, and Joel Viray, DBTAA president-elect; the Robotics Laboratory donated by Batch ’89, and the Faculty Library donated by Batch ’68.
2018 — Our school officials led the ground-laying in Manaoag, Pangasinan of the first Don Bosco Tech-Voc Satellite School in the country. This will operate under the auspices of Don Bosco Technical Institute-Tarlac, notably the first Salesian school in the Philippines.