Divine Word Academy of Dagupan

Divine Word Academy of Dagupan
Motto Love, Wisdom and Courage, Live in Christ!
Established 1957
Type Private, Roman Catholic
Affiliation DWEA, CEAP
Affiliations DWEA, CEAP
President Fr. Ambrose L. Ponce, SVD
Principal Alicia J. Ferrer
Founder Bishop Therode Schu, SVD
Location Rizal Ext. Dagupan City,
Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines
Campus 1
Colours Green and white
Yearbook (varies every year)
Newspaper Glimpse-HS, D'Elems Insight-Elem.
Hymn DWAD Hymn
Patron Saint St. Joseph Freinademetz (Feast Day- Jan. 29)
Website http://dwad.dagupan.com

The Divine Word Academy of Dagupan (DWAD) is a Catholic, private, secondary school run by the Society of the Divine Word or SVD in Dagupan City, Pangasinan in the Philippines. It is one of the few schools which offer an education in Chinese culture in addition to the regular curricula required by Department of Education Culture and Sports and by the Private Schools, in combination with the ideals of a Catholic education.

The academy is under the direction of the Divine Word Missionaries and is primarily established for the benefit of the Catholics of Chinese descent, residing in Dagupan City and around the country. However, the school equally welcomes all children regardless of race, color and religious creed.

Its present director is Rev. Fr. Edsel Ricafort Demillo, SVD. Its finance officer is Bro. Alfredo Corton, SVD and its campus minister is Rev. Fr. Joseph Tan (Lei Tao Tan), SVD.



Bishop Therode Schu, SVD, expelled from China by the Communists because he preached the Word, found himself in the Philippines in 1953. Still driven to serve the Chinese, his vision was to keep the Word alive by establishing a parish and a school to take care of the apostolic needs of the Chinese. Eduardo Kang Tan, Sr., a prominent Chinese in Dagupan convinced Bishop Schu to establish the parish and school in Dagupan City. In 1955, the Parish of Saint Therese was officially established with Father Joseph Kwo as the first Parish Priest. At the same time, plans for the school were made with the assistance of concerned citizens led by Eduardo Kang Tan, Sr.

In 1957, the school opened its doors to students from kindergarten to first year high school. It was then known as St. Therese Chinese Academy with 130 enrollees and eight teachers. The first director was Fr. Richard Hartwich, SVD. The other administrative officials were: Fr. Peter Joseph Kwo – school treasurer, Fr. Matthias Ning – school disciplinarian. In 1958, Fr. Aloysius Yang, SVD became the acting School Director but was replaced after a while by Fr. Hubert Lohrbach, SVD. In 1960, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) took over the ownership and administration of the school. Henceforth, the school was known as the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan (DWAD). In 1961, Fr. Henry Schmitz, SVD became the School Director, a position he was to hold for 15 years. The year also saw the High School Department holding its first Commencement exercise with eight graduates.

In 1976, Fr. Matthias Ning, SVD became the School Director, a position he held for 11 years. In 1988, Fr. Jess P. del Rosario, SVD was at the helm as the Director of the school. In 1995, Fr. Ambrose L. Ponce, SVD became the Campus Minster, and then in 1996, he became the School Director. year's later he was assigned to cagayan and Rev. Fr. Crisogono Cancino, SVD, more commonly known as "Fr. Cris", took over while he is also the parish priest of St.Therese. In 2009, Fr. Cris was assigned to Naguillan, a town in the province of La Union, North of Dagupan. The principal and Asst. Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Edsel R. Demillo, SVD succeeded as school director.


Divine Word Academy is known for top caliber students and faculty in the Division of Schools in Dagupan City. Its latest achievements were as follows:

  • 2008 DBL champion- Dagupan City Division
  • Division Schools Press Conference (Dagupan City)- Garnered 5 medals
  • Regional Scholls Press Conference (Region I, Ilocandia)- First Place, Best in Layout (English)
  • Division English Olympics 2010-First Runner-Up (highest among private schools in Dagupan City)

-Reader's Theater (3rd Place) -Essay Writing (2nd place) -Smart Talk (Champion: Division wide/ 5th Place: Region wide)

  • Champion, Passarelle and SBP in Milo Pangasinan
  • First Runner Up, Luzon wide

The school is also known not only in academics, but in sports as well. It has won numerous titles in the divisions basketball league. It is also known in the field of cheerdancing. The Vipers, its official pep squad, won straight wins for several years. Currently, the school is preparing for the upcoming cultural night entitled "Crossroads: where dreams and talents meet" headed by Mr. Dennis Solis and Ms. Liezl Paragas, Culture and Arts Club advisers. Its official Varsity team is the Janssenites.


Rev. Fr. Edsel R. Demillo, SVD (director)-Bro. Alfredo Corton, SVD (finance officer)- Rev. Fr. Judy Banez, SVD (campus minister) Mrs. Alicia J. Ferrer (school principal) Miss Merly De Guzman (coordinator, High School Dept.)-Mrs. Rhodora Nepuscua (coordinator, Elementary)- Mrs. Imelda Sta. Maria(coordinator, Kinder)- Mr. Stephen Co (coordinator, Chinese Dept.) Mrs. Jocelyn Palad (school disciplinarian) Ms. Liezl Paragas (program coordinator) Mr. Esmeraldo Baoguio (asst. campus minister)

Amenities, Functions and celebrations

The school has annual celebrations:

Nutrition Month Culmunating Activity: usually held in July. It is hosted by the makabayan club. Buwan Ng Wika: Held every august. Usually lat week. It is in this celebration that the school crowns its new "lakambini" and "lakandula". Birthday of Mother Mary and Foundation day of the Society of the Divine Word: Held every September 8 of the year. Intramurals: One of the most anticipated events in the school. In 2006, the traditional Love, Wisdom and Courage were the names of the teams. The following year, since it was its 50th year anniversary, the administration decided to make the team basis with the core values of the school; Discipline, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. In 2008 it was batch vs batch. The seniors won the overall championchip, as well as the cheerdance competition. Last year, the juniors were hailed as overall champions. But the freshmen won the cheerdance tilt. Living Rosary: is a tribute to mother mary held in October. Academic Olympics: the counter-part of the intramurals. It is academic intramurals. It is also the time that the school celebrates the United Nations Day. Christmas Party: starts with a school program followed by the room by room celebration. National Bible Week culmunating activity: Held during the last week of January. Chinese New year celebration: it starts with a eucharistic celebration followed by a Chinese celebration with children's lion and dragon dance. 5 and 6 day and JS promenade: a party celebrated by the Grades 5 and 6 and the 3rd and 4th year. Cultural show:


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