Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2017











2017, June 22,  St. Stephen's High School Centennial

Litho Offset, Amstar Printing Company, Inc.,  Perf 14

Se-tenant Pairs,  Miniature Sheets of 8




Se-tenant Pairs  (50,500)

12p  High School Building

12p  Elementary School Building


Miniature Sheets of 8 (12,625)


First Day Covers:  Manila







St. Stephen's High School is considered the first Christian Chinese School in Luzon, Philippines.

Its story began in St. Stephen's Church of Manila which was established in 1903 and run by the American Episcopal Mission in the Philippines headed by Bishop Charles Henry Brent.

In line with the church's goal of providing a place of worship and guiding the Manila Chinese residents into becoming a Christian community, the idea of opening a night school for young men was first hatched and brought to fruition in 1905. It operated until 1909. 

It was then when church leaders observed that there were several schools where boys studied, but none where girls enrolled. Education for girls became a primary goal. Thus, was born St. Stephen's Chinese Girls' School on July 22, 1917, known as Seng Kong Hoe in the Chinese community.

On December 8, 1941, the school operations came to an abrupt halt due to the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese upon the outbreak of the Pacific War.  The school compound was eventually sealed off by the Japanese military and the mission house was turned over to a Japanese doctor-director of St. Luke's Hospital. The occupants were forced to move out and the rooms were used for Japanese civilian patients.

The Americans and British among the school staff became prisoners of war and were interned at the University of Santo Tomas compound.  The mission house was later taken over by Chinese guerilla units and used as headquarters during liberation.

After the war, a period of healing ensued. The challenge to recover, rebuild and reorganize required much dedication. Government-required incorporation and recognition papers were reconstructed and re-filed. School reopened in December 1945. 

The first full-term school year since the 1941 disruption opened in July 1946, remarkably with 500 children. Their number quickly grew to 900. Many other schools had remained closed and accommodations for the enrollment of girls and boys, unschooled for almost five years, became the St. Stephen's Girls' School's service to the community and contribution to nation-building.  In the words of the 1947 yearbook celebrating the 30th anniversary, the school community came together to offer prayers of thanks and praise to God for the divine blessing of surviving the war that had brought so much devastation.

By then, the school was officially been renamed St. Stephen's High School. This development relieved the young male students of the perceived stigma and embarrassment of belonging to a so-called girls' school. The school resumed its normal activities and was back on track in no time.

St. Stephen's High School story is a testament to the faithfulness of God. The school's history is also a tribute to the original founders who had the vision to provide good education and teach about God's love to students. The long lists of educators, leaders from the School Board, the Alumni and St. Stephen's Parish, as well as workers throughout the 100 years have seen to it that the founders' noble intention and worthy goals have not been forgotten. The same vision shall continue to inspire each new generation of the St. Stephen's community in the years to come.





  • Education / Schools



Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2017