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Don Bosco Bacolor: Once a Nightmare; Now an Ongoing, Beautiful Evolving Dream

Don Bosco Bacolor had always thrived on dreams! From the time Fr. Godfrey Roozen, SDB, prophetically threw medals of Mary Help of Christians on the land that was to become Don Bosco Academy, little did he know that the De Leon family, became, through their open-heartedness, the primary conduit for God to realize His dream and design for the young of San Fernando, Bacolor, Guagua, and beyond – even all the way to Bulacan and Bataan.

Fr. Roozen, the founder of DBA, with a lot of encouragement from the paternal saintly figure of Don Carlo Braga and many other Salesians, dreamt initially of a school in the late 1950s. That initial dream later evolved into becoming a dayboy’s academy and a junior seminary.

Later on a Youth Center came, catering to poor boys who lived in Cabalantian, Palawe, and neighboring villages of both Bacolor and San Fernando. It continued to evolve with the TVET center also becoming a reality in the late 1980s up until the lahar in 1995 buried the whole school in less than a day.

Don Bosco Academy is not done dreaming yet. When the possibility of re-opening came up, both the Salesians and interested alumni & lay people came up with the idea of gradually re-opening the school by stages, to stave off massive logistical problems.

Subsequent meetings of Salesians along with many consultation meetings with alumni and both civil and Church leadership in Pampanga, brought about a gradually unfolding dream and design of a renewed Don Bosco Academy rising from the embers that were almost snuffed out by lahar.

In the process, the idea of making DBA co-educational in Basic Education, became a welcome possibility, given the changed conditions of the time and place, and due consideration being given to potential clients whose school-age sons and daughters needed a safe, sound and academically strong institution to educate and form them in a one-stop- shop manner for both boys and girls.

The design and devolution of the dream was not decided on from impulse. It had come as a fruit of lengthy, prudent, but doggedly determined, discernment process. The dream goes on. The young, both male and female, are waiting. The design evolves. But the same mission … the same commitment … the same love for Holy Mother Church and for the young people, particularly those most in need, remain.

Don Bosco Academy dares and hopes at the same time. It aims to set the glowing embers almost snuffed out by Pinatubo to once again blaze with brilliance and purifying brightness, for it remains true to its original motto, proven and tested in no small way by Pinatubo … LUCTOR ET EMERGO!

I struggle. I win!