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College of the Holy Spirit Manila bids final farewell as it officially closes doors after 109 years

By AYIE LICSI Published Apr 29, 2022 5:34 pm

The College of the Holy Spirit Manila has said its final farewell as the 109-year-old school held a closing ceremony on April 29.

The ceremony, attended by Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters and alumni, started off with a mass at the campus chapel, followed by a tour of different parts of the century-old school grounds. 

"As sad as I am to see the doors close, my heart is filled with deep gratitude and joy, for I know that only its structures will be gone. I'm confident that its spirit will remain bright and steadfast in each of us. To my fellow alumni, this is certainly not the end," said the president of the College of the Holy Spirit Alumnae Foundation Guillermina Ong.

In the comments section of the closing rites livestream, CHS Manila alumni poured their love and appreciation for the Mendiola campus, sharing memories from their time at their alma mater.

The ceremonies were concluded with the attendants walking out of the campus gates and the sisters closing the doors.

"CHS is my only school from Grade 1 to college and I am proud to be a CHSian. Still value the teachings, learnings, and principles I learned from my dear alma mater," one user commented.

"Thank you to the CHS sisters and teachers who helped us to be guided in our spiritual lives and prepared us for the careers we have chosen in life! You helped us bring out the best in us!" another wrote.

"Thank you CHS, my second home for 16 years from kinder to college. You are a big part of my life! CHSpirit lives on!" added another alumnus.

On April 21, CHS Manila held a face-to-face graduation for its last batch of students.

A century of education

The College of the Holy Spirit Manila, formerly known as Holy Ghost College, was founded in 1913 by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit. It was initially an all-girls school but became co-ed in 2005. 

CHS Manila's original building was designed by German architect Arthur Gabler Gumbert, who also built the Ides O Racca building in Divisoria and Yutivo Building in Binondo. The school also features stained glass windows designed by the Philippines' first national artist Fernando Amorsolo.

Among its distinguished alumnae are investigative journalist Sheila Coronel, Ayala Foundation president Vicky Garchitorena, and internationally renowned fashion designer Josie Natori.

CHS Manila announced its closure in November 2020 due to difficulties in enrolment worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While doors have officially closed on April 29, members of the alumni can still tour the campus virtually through the CHS Alumni Foundation website.