History

Southern City Colleges traces it beginning on May 9, 1946 after the World War II that left the city in shambles, ravish and devastation. Amidst life’s turbulence caused by the ravage of war, one man managed to stand to rebuild the dignity of the city of Zamboanga by educating its youth, shielding them with vocational skills. This man came from Tarlac in Luzon. His name is Francisco M. Caliolio, Sr. with his aspiration to help the less fortunate, Southern Academy was born. It was housed along old Bailen Street now La Purisima Street.

Typewriting, Stenography, and Bookkeeping were the first skill courses offered by the school. The school eventually skyrocketed to success. As such, a new course Hair Culture was introduced. Mr. Caliolio, who then was the accountant of Zamboanga Copra Procurement Corporation now INTERCO, was assisted by his wife Mrs. Araceli Dizon Ferrer-Caliolio, a native of Bacoor, Pampanga. She owned a beauty salon, at the same time assisted in their vocational school. Francisco and Araceli have four children namely Orlando, Asuncion, Myrna, and Francisco, Jr.

It was in 1952, when Mr. Caliolio realized the urgency of offering baccalaureate courses for those who aspire to strengthen their educational portfolio. He applied for a two-year commercial science course and one-year secretarial science course which were approved by the Bureau of Public Schools in Manila. This new thrust paved the way to change the name of the school to Southern College of Commerce and with this development, the school moved to Luy Kim Guam Building at old Madrid Street now N. Valderoza Street. The school’s unparalleled reputation and success pervaded in Basilan, Jolo, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga Del Sur, and Zamboanga Del Norte.

As a fast growing school, new courses were offered on June 11, 1956 and it was all under due recognition from the government. Four-Year Commerce, One-Year Secretarial Science, vocational courses in Typewriting, Stenography and bookkeeping were still maintained, additionally, the school offered the first and second year business day high school. Thenceforth, the Day Business Secondary including Night Business Secondary and the Four-Year Academic Secondary under 2-2 plan were granted for the school to offer.

The school’s increasing student population size demanded a bigger space. It rented the third floor of German Wee Sit Building formerly Galeria De Zamboanga now Southway Square Mall at Magno Street. It is during this wonderful time that the school was able to purchase its own property at Pilar Street where it firmly and proudly stands today as a landmark of success and as a home of premium yet affordable education.

In 1962, new courses were added in school’s portfolio. Liberal Arts, Two-Year Collegiate Secretarial Science, Four-Year Commercial Education. It was at this period that a milestone was written in the history of Zamboanga as the school was renamed Southern City Colleges.

Throughout the years, numerous courses were offered by the school which had galvanized its curricular offerings. Bachelor of Science in Commerce (BSE) Majors in Accounting, Banking, and Finance. In July 1990, BSE was renamed to Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The five-year Civil Engineering course gained it momentum in 1968 when it produced its first graduates in 1973. Bachelor of Customs Administration was also offered way back in 1971.

However, life is indeed a compendium of its ups and downs. The most terrifying catastrophe hit the school when it was caught by fire - a blaze in the dawn of March 8, 2004. Such devastation was so lamentable, so desolately depressing. The school administration had to start from scratch, saving what’s left. But this did not cease the school’s legacy and lived another life stronger and more dynamic than ever. SCC was able to reopen its doors to students on June 2004. This has proven the Caliolio family’s triumph in tenacity.

However, life is indeed a compendium of its ups and downs. The most terrifying catastrophe hit the school when it was caught by fire - a blaze in the dawn of March 8, 2004. Such devastation was so lamentable, so desolately depressing. The school administration had to start from scratch, saving what’s left. But this did not cease the school’s legacy and lived another life stronger and more dynamic than ever. SCC was able to reopen its doors to students on June 2004. This has proven the Caliolio family’s triumph in tenacity.

Thereafter, blessings, success, and population growth turned like rainfall, it was incessant, and it was beautiful, so to speak.

After years of unbridled triumph in academic, social, scholastic fields, Southern City Colleges was once again terrified by a crisis; it was in the morning of September 9, 2013. The school was on the center of the urban warfare between the Government Troops and the Lost Factions of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The school served as a military station, center for emergency services, and so many other purposes which gave proof that even in times of uncertainties, Southern City Colleges will remain as a school that cares for all. On October 1, 2013, the Local Government of Zamboanga formally returned the school to the school administration as safe, sound, and occupy able for civilians, the turning over ceremony was headed by the school president, Mr. Edwin M. Caliolio.

On 2014, a good news surfaced, Southern City Colleges, through the idea and help of former city mayor Efren Arañez, purchased Mein College along San Jose Gusu Road. Such was not even a dream of the school but became a reality. Miracle indeed exists for those who tirelessly and selflessly render service to the community. The acquisition gave birth to Southern City Colleges West Campus. A driving school also opened in Barangay Divisoria.

Southern City Colleges, with all its sterling achievements, truly has a mark of a bigwig. It is a league of its own. Zamboanga’s pride, Zamboanga’s Pillar, Zamboanga’s Best.

(This article is an excerpt of the original article “Southern City Colleges at 60: Surmounting the Educational Challenges of the Time”. First published in Southern City Colleges Publication for its 60th foundation anniversary, 2006. Under due permission from the Author Dr. Expedito H. Malbago.

Dr. Expedito H. Malbago is a high school alumni of Southern City Colleges. At present, he is a full time college professor of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and a part time college professor of Southern City Colleges (SCC).

Updated and edited by Escritor, Associate Editor for Website Component of La Voz the official publication of Southern City Colleges under due permission from the Author Dr. Expedito H. Malbago.)

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