Take a journey to the University's humble beginnings as it started
being a business school.
In response to the demand for training personnel for the
government service and to the felt need to provide skills
essential for private business employment, the Manila Business
School (MBS) was founded on October 1904 as part of a City School
system under the superintendence of CA O'Reilley.
It offered the prescribed intermediate curriculum and such
vocational-technical courses as typing, bookkeeping, stenography,
One of the very first homes of the Manila Business School.
No. 38 Gunao Street corner Arlegui in Quiapo (1905)
On account of the fact that the great majority of its students came from the province, the MBS was made into an
Insular (or national) school and accordingly
renamed Philippine School of Commerce (PSC). At first, the
intermediate curriculum was prescribed in addition to subjects
such as typewriting, bookkeeping, and stenography.
Afterwards a four-year secondary course in commerce was offered in
addition to the courses in Bookkeeping, Stenography, Typewriting
This is the edifice on Gen. Solano Street (in San Miguel,
Manila) occupied by the Philippine School of Commerce (1908-1933).
This building was formerly occupied by the Bureau of Audits and
the Philippine Senate.
PSC Faculty, Filipino and American Teachers (1908)
The PSC was placed again under the supervision of the
Superintendent of City Schools for Administrative purposes only,
but retained its status as an Insular school. The PSC produced its first batch of high school graduates.
During this year the course in telegraphy was discontinued since the Telegraph School
of the Bureau of Posts offered better facilities.
The PSC offered a one-year course in Stenography for high school
graduates. The course proved to be successful and popular
because of its positive results. Those who took the course got easily employed as
stenographers and later as office managers.
Students of the Philippine School of Commerce
and the building behind the San Miguel Church (1912)
To keep in step with changing conditions, the PSC started
revising its courses of study. Under the leadership of Acting
Principal Luis F. Reyes, it continually raised its general
requisites. To enable young people employed during the daytime to
acquire further training, it opened night classes (These classes
would be discontinued in 1932 because of the government's
Luis F. Reyes
From 1904, the PSC has known several homes: an old
Spanish building located at the foot of a small bridge at San
Rafael Street, near the Mapa High School to an old house at the
corner at Dulungbayan Street (now Rizal Avenue) and Dolores Street
(now Bustos Street), Santa Cruz, Manila. Two years later, it
was transferred to Gunao Street, corner Arlegui in Quiapo, in the
building which now housed the Manila Blue Printing. At the
end of another two years, it found itself in a building in General
Solano Street, San Miguel, formerly occupied by the Bureau of
Audits and the Philippine Senate where it had the consolation of
staying for four years. A building behind the San Miguel
Church was its next destination where it stayed for about twelve
years. Then back to the Gen. Solano Building. In this
last place, it remained for seven years up to 1933.
The PSC was merged with the Philippine Normal School (PNS) and
the Philippine School of Arts and Trades.
During the merger, which lasted for 12 years, it operated under
the supervision and administration of the PNS Superintendent. The
PSC students who completed their respective courses were
considered graduates of the PNS. The PSC replaced its secondary
curriculum with a two-year junior college curriculum.
The House of the PNS-PSC Merger, Paco, Manila
The existence of PSC caught the attention of then President Manuel
L. Quezon. In his graduation address at the Rizal Memorial
Stadium on March 26, 1940, he said in part (addressing the
graduates of the School of Commerce):
"I can tell you why you are forgotten on these occasions. It
is because you do not belong here... I will do my best to get the
National Assembly to set aside a special appropriation for a building
for the School of Commerce, so that graduates of this school will
henceforth be where they can be noticed."
Subsequently, then Congressman Manuel A. Alazarte, with then
department head Luis F. Reyes, formulated a bill to this effect
and was presented to Congress. Unfortunately the Pacific War
broke out. The plan was not carried out.
During the war years, the PSC was among those institutions of
learning compelled to declare a blackout on culture.
Shortly after liberation, Superintendent Luis F. Reyes resumed
tasks for the re-establishment and rehabilitation of the school.
The appeal was returned with more than eight thousand pesos
allocation received from the national funds of the Bureau of
Public Works for purposes of repairs and maintenance of public
The ruins of the Normal Hall building was turned into an improvised
house of learning and on August 4, 1946, it was able to open formally
regular classes to surprisingly eager students. The PSC offered one-year and two-year courses in retailing
merchandising and a complete four-year course in distributive arts
Meanwhile, the PNS found it necessary to use the Normal Hall
building as a dormitory. PSC, in turn, resigned to its lot
of again working in humble crowded rooms. This drove school
authorities to seek remedies for this unbearable situation.
Representations were made to the Philippine Alien Property
Administrator, through Malacañang and the Department of Foreign
Affairs, for the acquisition of the Lepanto site.
Such representations were so intensified that on July 31, 1947 the two buildings in Lepanto (now S.H. Loyola) Street in Sampaloc,
Manila were turned over to the Philippine Government for the exclusive use of the PSC.
The School began to move and on August 4 the official transfer was
Reyes was appointed PSC Superintendent.
This building was occupied by the House of Congress
before it was transferred to PSC (1947)
The PSC acquired the P.E. grounds, also on S.H. Loyola Street.
Republic Act No. 415 was passed, providing for the
establishment of teacher-training departments in government
schools. The PSC was one of the beneficiaries of the said
Three departments were organized: Teacher Training, Business
Education, and Research.
When the Philippine Educational System celebrated its Golden Jubilee,
the PSC was awarded a plaque in recognition of its achievement "for
bold and successful pioneering in vocational business