Rugeria, Javier Leonardo V. 2021. “Francisco Gaínza and the Establishment of the Escuela-Colegio de Santa Isabel: The Pursuit of Hispanization in the Diocese of Cáceres, 1863-1877.” Saysay: The Journal of Bikol History Issue 1: 81-113.
The few existing historiography generally regard the establishment of the Escuela-Colegio de Santa Isabel as one of Francisco Gaínza’s greatest initiatives and accomplishments during his seventeen-year episcopacy in the Diocese of Cáceres. They argue that Santa Isabel forms part of the bishop’s ecclesiastical and educational legacies for Bikol. While these accounts underscore Gaínza’s role in the school’s foundation, they obscure his rationale and the wider backdrop of the Spanish Empire that conditioned its possibility. This article locates Gaínza and the establishment of Santa Isabel within Spain’s wider efforts to reorganize primary education in the Philippines in the 1860s. It argues that Santa Isabel was established to serve the purposes of Spain’s civilizing mission of Hispanizing the native population, and that Gaínza, an agent of the Spanish Empire by virtue of the Patronato Real (Royal Patronage) operated within this colonial discourse.
Keywords: Francisco Gaínza, Escuela-Colegio de Santa Isabel, Cáceres, Hispanization, education