History of UWC Philippines
The United World College movement developed from the ideas of Kurt Hahn, a renowned German educationalist. Responding to the horrors of World War II, Hahn reasoned that the chances that world wars would recur could be reduced by bringing together young people from different nations to a place where they could live and work together regardless of race, religion, nationality, or background.
By the early 1970s, Lord Mountbatten, as president of the United World Colleges, promoting the UWC movement to heads of state, politicians, and personalities all over the world, encouraging them to lend support to the movement. It was during this time that Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was invited by Lord Mountbatten to have the Philippines select and nominate deserving young adults to Pearson College and Atlantic College. The Ayala Foundation (formerly known as the Filipinas Foundation) was chosen as the National Committee for the selection of Filipino scholars to the UWCs. Thus, in 1974, Teresita Cruz-Daza, was chosen as the first Filipino student to the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific.
The beginning of UWC Philippines was spearheaded by Atty. Eduardo F. Tan, Corporate Secretary of Filipinas Foundation. Atty. Tan was a passionate believer in the UWC movement and he was a role model for the scholars. Older graduates recall his varied interests in philosophy, arts, and international affairs—a true renaissance man.
From 1974 to 2005, the Foundation continued to select and send scholars from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to the UWCs. Through the Foundation, Filipino scholars were sent to Pearson College in Canada, Atlantic College in Wales, UWC-USA in New Mexico, Adriatic College in Italy, Li Po Chun College in Hong Kong, and the Simon Bolivar College of Agriculture in Venezuela.
With a number of graduates pursuing further studies in North America, Europe, and Japan, participation by former students in the selection process remained uneven during the late 1980s and the 1990s. But starting in 2003, Ayala Foundation handed over more of the responsibilities of the National Committee to UWC Philippine alumni. In 2006, with a one-time grant from the Ayala Foundation for the selection process, the alumni with the help of some alumni parents assumed full responsibility for the selection process. A new UWC Philippine National Committee was formed headed by three alumni parents: Cesar Virata, Jing Jing Romeo, and Divina Reyes. Several alumni served as officers and members of the committee.
UWC graduates - where we are now
Filipino graduates from UWCs are now living in all parts of the world. Some returned home to continue further studies. Those based in the Philippines are now in well-established positions with the government, academe, business, and the religious sector. More than 50 percent are pursuing further studies in North America or are working to acquire necessary skills to make a significant contribution to our society whether in the Philippines or on a global scale.
As goodwill ambassadors from the Philippines, our graduates have performed well in all their undertakings. They come from a variety of backgrounds and regions of the Philippines and they have chosen a wide range of careers and professional interests such as foreign affairs (Tessie Cruz-Daza), business and banking (Iggy Sison, Fritz Ocampo, Allan Goco), medicine (Eric Legaspi and Mae Paulino+), corporate affairs (Jennifer Perez), policy making (Analisa Balares), aviation (Tess Hocson), arts (Patty Eustaquio, Rommel Kahiwat, Christine Romero, Diego Maranan, Nicole Severino), information technology (Gio Bacareza, Philip Ricafort), academe (Fr. Bobby Yap, Devi Ignacio-Paez), law (Myra Angie Gallardo-Batungbakal), international development (Gillian Virata), and applied sciences (Rosanele Romero).
“Each UWC graduate is potentially a future architect of peace…. The fundamental values of a UWC education are increasingly relevant to global stability and peace and I truly believe that the world will be a better place because of the contribution of our graduates.”
-HM Queen Noor of Jordan, President of the United World Colleges
“The striking feature of the United World Colleges is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status, and political belief: they are unique and they are conscious of their responsibilities.”
-Nelson Mandela, United World Colleges Honorary President
UWC Philippines National Committee Members
Cesar E.A. Virata
Lesley Anne Dy
Tala delos Santos (Fundraising USA)
Jo Anne Villarosa (IT Officer)