Save the Philippine Women’s University

Pacita “Chit” Juan
Save the Philippine Women’s University
A battle for control over the Philippine Women's University has alumni appealing for calm, fairness, and loyalty to the school

They say you only know the worth of who you love when you are about to lose them.

The past days have been sad days for me and the rest of the PWU-JASMS alumni.  I never gave this much thought until now. I spent 10 years in JASMS and PWU-JMD, more than my 5-year stay in the State University and more than my kindergarten class.

In JASMS I learned how to deal with the international community at a young age. United Nations Day was everyday. I had a classmate who was Indian, Chinese, American, British and the rest were Pinoy ,of course. We were known as Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (JASMS) – Taft or we also answered to “JASMS Tough” and “Junior American School for Millionaire Students” which was the funnier play on the American School’s (what International School or ISM was called back then) staunchest rival in the 70s. I never used that definition though because my father said we were not millionaires but just middle class.


It was in JASMS where I first learned my Math, where I first honed my English (we were fined for speaking in Filipino, back then) and where at the tender age of 8 we were tutors to our classmates who needed help maybe in Science or Social Studies.

It was in JASMS where I learned about politics and running for office. I was Class President in Grades 6 and 7 but never made it to the Student Council. It was in JASMS where we had to read a book every week and made a book report for it every Monday.

JASMS was also co-ed so we learned how to deal with pesky boys, intelligent boys and athletic boys.

Then, after Grade 7, we went on to PWU High School. There, we met new students who came from other elementary schools. It was also our leadership training camp as we were tasked with running the Student council, the Girl Scouts (I was President of the Girl Scouts then) , Student Catholic Action among other extra-curricular groups. We had a Glee Club, volleyball and I remember we even made the school paper and the yearbook.

There are many nice memories and looking back, it is who I am now. I read books, played sports, joined groups, sang in the glee club and went camping. All of these I still do now!

And in college, UP put the icing on the cake. But that is another story for another time.

So, who I am was shaped by JASMS-PWU. And I am mighty proud of it. Now, I feel sad that after 95 years of existence, the country’s premier women university (with its coed grade school) is being threatened by a business takeover…a hostile one at that. Board meetings with no quorum, press releases sent ahead to a list of cooperating media who do not air the other side…how sad.

I learned from the PWU media officer Lyca Benitez-Brown that the “investor” or white knight called a meeting and even without a quorum proceeded with the meeting as if it was legal.  With enough funding for media relations they then came out with a timed press release (in PDI, Manila Times, etc) that the Benitez family had resigned and that they were free to take over. How unfair! (Editor’s note: The Benitez Family has denied that its members of the board have resigned their posts)

I would like to call for fairness and justice, no matter how slow.

PWU made us into the champions we now have become. So where are the other champions? Now is the time to help our alma mater. Bring truth to the fore and let it not be shrouded by the currency called money.

Education, culture, even Emily Post had a place in our PWU. Let us not allow it to be killed merely for business reasons.

Let the truth come out.

I remember singing this for 10 years and more….

“Let others sing their praises for their alma maters fair …”

“My heart beats true forever..for the college I love best.”

“Loyal may we ever be. May we learn our lessons right…. Loyal may we ever the PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY!!”

I learned the lessons. And the first is LOYALTY.

Let’s save PWU-JASMS! –

Chit Juan is the Founder and President of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle located in Serendra , Podium, Centris, Davao City, Makati and Cebu .She is the President of Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. She often speaks to corporates, academe and entrepreneurs about her advocacies: Social Enterprise, Women Empowerment and Coffee. You can reach her at or find her on Twitter@Chitjuan , Instagram: CHITJUAN or Linked In: Pacita Juan.

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