|Jose Rizal Institute - Orani, Bataan|
In behalf of the school's administrators, faculty, staff and students, welcome to Jose Rizal Institute (Orani). I hope that you will find this website useful as you explore and learn about this institution.
JRI (Orani) is a thriving community with strong traditions, caring faculty and staff and dynamic students. It is our primary mission to provide community service through quality education. Cognizant of such mission, JRI (Orani) prepares students for making better decisions in life, provides them fitting opportunities to advance and develops and benefits themselves and the society.
At JRI(Orani), we continue to support the students dreams of the future.
The History of J.R.I
The Impossible Dream
It was a warm night in the early 20's. Two young men kept tossing on a bed in a dingy apartment in Manila. Their eyes were closed but their minds were awake. Then one of the young men spoke "I think we must return to Orion to establish a high school for our poor students there."
During that time there was only one public high school in Bataan. Although Orani is in the northern part of the province the high school was established there because it offered a big building which used to be the headquarters of the Spanish soldiers guarding the town. Students from all municipalities of the province have to travel on foot to Orani. There were no available transportation at that time. Buses, cars, jeepneys and tricycles were unheard of during those days. There were three young men from Orion who braved the sun and rain to pursue their studies in Orani. They were Francisco dela Rosa, Alfredo Angeles and Florentino Simeon, the great triumvirate, who later founded the Jose Rizal Institute in Orion.
The suggestion of Mr. Dela Rosa was replete with almost insurmountable and varied problems. But the decision was made. The dogged determination was there. It is said that the mind is not a container to be filled but that it is something to set afire. It was this burning ambition of the founders of the Jose Rizal Institute which fired them to establish a high school in Orion to help them the poor young people who want to continue their studies.
Mr. Angeles was then teaching in a public high school in Manila. Mr. Dela Rosa was a clerk in the City assessor's Office. To complete the picture, both requested Mr. Simeon to join them. It was this Triumvirate who blazed a new trail by establishing the first private school in Bataan, the Jose Rizal Institute. The high school opened in June 1926.
The Lowly Beginning
The JRI (Orani) Story will be incomplete without giving the JRI (Orion) Story as backgrounder; it being the scion of the latter.
Since its establishment in 1926. the high school in Orion attained remarkable progress. The triumvirate remembered Orani and the the travails of their studies there. They planned to open a JRI branch there. As a background, a great controversy ranged between Orani and Balanga towns. That was 1921. Representing Teodoro Camacho, then a political kingpin, sought to transfer of the high school in Orani to Balanga. The action met with fiery indignation from the residents of Orani. Townspeople armed with bolos formed human barricades to prevent trucks from hauling school properties to Balanga. Only the timely intervention of the Philippine Constabulary prevented what could have been a bloody encounter between two contending forces. This condition left Orani without a high school, hence the plan of the JRI Administration to open a branch there.
So deep were the wounds left in the hearts of Orani residents that from then on up to this day, Orani never supported political candidates from Balanga. On the other hand Orion continued to support candidates from Orani, especially Efren Pascual who has his roots in Orion and an alumnus of Jose Rizal Institute.
JRI (Orani) opened its doors in June 1939 with a certain Mr. Villegas as its head. Nothing can be said about the school activities during the first year of operation. The public seemed prejudiced in enrolling their children in a private school. The next school year abruptly ended due to the outbreak of the Second World War. However, like the legendary phoenix, the school reopened in June 1947.
A New Beginning, The Dawn of a New Day
Bataan was laid prostrate and bleeding by the destructive war. The search for an adequate school building was a big problem. The choice of more competent faculty members was a bigger problem. However, both were solved satisfactorily by the Administration. A two-storey building which used to be the barracks of Fil-am soldiers was rented. The structure was made of rough lumber, with no windows and no ceilings. The building squeaked and swayed when students in wooden clogs rushed to the second floor, as if everybody was experiencing an earthquake of Intensity 7. Makeshift desks and blackboards were there, a few shelves stood precariously on one side as the school bell rang in subdued laughter. The office was a veritable hothouse, enclosed by old GI sheets, "ceiling-less", an old version of a modern sauna bathhouse but "when it rains it pours."
What about the faculty? Ah, yes, they are composed of men and women of exceptional ability, committed to their profession, dedicated to their jobs with exemplary characters. These are the qualities which attracted parents of children from outlaying towns to enroll their children at the Jose Rizal Institute.
A feather in the cap of the Jose Rizal Institute was the honor of garnering the seventh place in a national competitive high school examinations given in 1054, besting many exclusive high schools in Manila and the entire Philippines.
A big event in the life of every student in both Orani and Orion JRI was the annual sports, military and cultural contest conducted during the St. Michael's Feast, September 29 in Orion and during both schools' Foundation Day.
Tje cultural events in JRI reached its golden years during the incumbency of Mrs. Gloria Talastas and Mr. Ruben Roxas when the famed JRI Dramatic Club presented operettas and Dramas even as far as Olongapo City. A zarzuela was written by Rep. Maximo delos reyes, father of Mrs. Talastas; Mr. Roxas revised and rewrote "Kamandag" which was presented at the Cultural Center of the Philippines by the PCC, now PUP, students.
The long line of school administrators of JRI are Mr. Justo Canare, Deogracias Luna, alfredo Gaza and Mrs. Mercedes Galicia.
The graduates of JRI (Orani) are its advertisement. Most of its alumni have been successful in their chosen professions or fields of endeavor.
To name a few, Ex-Governor Efren Pascual was governor of Bataan for 17 years. Vice Governor Serafin Roman is not only an outstanding public servant but a successful businessman as well. Fred Galicia became the mayor of Orani.
From lectors to engineers to accountants to lawyers to educators and to businessmen, most of its alumni shine in their fields like brilliant pride of their Alma Mater.
The founders, Judge Francisco Dela Rosa, Mr. Alfredo Angeles and Mr. Florentino Simeon are already dead. But the legacy of the triumvirate is still much evidence and being carried out by the new owners namely Col. & Mrs. Benjamin Gomez and Engr. and Mrs. Cesar Simeon, son of Florentino Simeon and son-in-law of Alfredo Angeles.
Mr. Ben S. Gomez, the eldest son of Col. and Mrs. Benjamin Gomez is the new president of the school. Since he assumed the presidency of the institution in 2001, he has been continuing the school's mission of providing community service through quality education. He has been introducing changes in response to the fast changing global environment.
To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so.