Saint Catherine’s Academy School Building

Saint Catherine’s Academy School Building
Saint Catherine’s Academy in Carcar, Cebu, ca 1990 (CCP Collection)

Saint Catherine’s Academy School Building / P. del Corro Building / Location: Carcar, Cebu / Built 15 September 1921

St Catherine’s Academy in Carcar was the first Catholic school in southern Cebu outside Cebu City. It was founded by Fr Anastacio del Corro, parish priest of the town from 1901 to 1947. First opened in Jun 1923 to serve as an all-girls boarding school, it was administered by the Belgian Missionary Canonesses of St Augustine (now the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, ICM). It is now run by the sisters of the Order of Preachers. The first school building, now one in a row of five, is a large two-story structure across the edge of the plaza. The concrete facade, built to impress, is a veritable cornucopia of turn-of-the-century motifs like medallion-shaped clerestory windows on both levels adorned with fancy iron grills for balustrades (Cañete 2013). The roofline shaped like a swan’s neck is ornamented with floral carvings and bears the name of the building and its date of construction, 15 September 1921. The second story of the portico has a veranda which overlooks the school’s quadrangle. At the foreground is an open space with stairways leading to the separated twin main doors.

Flat windows encircle both stories of the building. These are varied in style: ground floor windows with pregnant grilles, second floor persianas, and low-grilled second floor ventanillas (small windows). Galvanized-iron awnings protect the windows from the elements. The transoms have two sets of ornamentation. Right above every window is a half-moon espehong (mirrorlike). Capiz pieces decorate the entire lower and upper stories of the building, producing dramatic effects of sunlight entering from the outside when the windows are closed.

Inside the building are compartments occupied by the different offices of the school. On the second story is the chapel, sala, and the nuns’ quarters. These interior divisions are later additions, which disrupt the play of space in the original plan.

Hardwood is used for the ground floor’s dividing walls and the floors and ceiling of the second floor. The rest of the walls, the posts, and the entire portico are of concrete. Iron grilles and cast lead decorate the windows and doors. Galvanized iron covers the roof.

SOURCE: Manila News-Intellegencer (1991)

Saint Catherine’s Academy School Building


Originally posted 1991-11-22 21:42:43.