A Rich History and Track Record of Success


“We will continue to calibrate our programs to address the significant concerns and explore the potentials of the communities that we serve,” Dr. Aristotle T. Malabanan said in his address during his investiture as Manila Central University president last March 25, 2009. “We will invest in learning resources and support facilities.” This is the modest but concrete direction Dr. Malabanan wishes to take when he was sworn in as the fourth president of MCU.

     Soon after, the administration conducted an organizational review and established specific programs focused on research and development, faculty development, enrollment, curriculum review, and a high ranking and firm board performance for its colleges.
     It was a period of transition for MCU as the administration and the colleges adapted to the times. The redirection yielded positive results as most MCU programs surpassed board examinations national passing averages. The favorable average board performances are reflective of the improvements implemented by the colleges. There was also a significant number of board topnotchers.

Building Up on Performance

     On top of the good MCU colleges’ board examination results, there were 100% passing performances by first takers. In 2009, Optometry and Dentistry. In 2010, Dentistry. In 2011, Optometry, Medicine and Dentistry. In 2012, Optometry. In 2013, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Midwifery, Medicine, and Dentistry in practical examinations. In 2014, Optometry, Medical Technology, Midwifery, Medicine, and Dentistry in practical examinations.

     Among the board examination top placers were, in 2009, Optometry’s Dr. Cristina Bernadette Adriano 1st, Medical Technology’s Judea Marie Policarpio 1st, and Nursing’s Willenburg Ducusin 9th. In 2010, Physical Therapy’s Daniel Nerit 6th. In 2011, Optometry’s Dr. Michelle Dagta 4th, Medical Technology’s Rashid Ibrahim 6th, Medicine’s Dr. Nila Franche 5th, and Dentistry’s Kaye Criss Martinez 6th.

     In 2012, Optometry’s Dr. Andrea Isabelle Sumaya placed 2nd. In 2013, Optometry’s Dr. Anthony Koa 1st, Medical Technology’s Maria Christine Calma 5th, and Medicine’s Dr. Lito Jay Macaraig 8th. In 2014, Optometry’s Dr. Clarence Santos 3rd, Medical Technology’s Sherwin Casimiro 5th, Medicine’s Dr. Juliet Kristine Evangelista and Dr. Jan Charmaine Palomar 9th.

     In addition, in 2009 the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) recognized the MCU College of Nursing as the 4th Top Performing Nursing School in the Philippines. In 2013 and 2014, the College of Optometry was ranked by the PRC as the country’s Top Performing Optometry School.

Facilities Improvement

     As the highlight of the MCU 106th founding anniversary, the Filemon D. Tanchoco – Learning Resource Center (LRC) was inaugurated on December 2, 2010. The LRC is the center of information, communication, research and student services in the university. It houses the Main, Graduate School, Medicine and Basic Education libraries. The facility also has the Accreditation Room, Internet Laboratory, wi-fi lounge, student services offices, an auditorium and several function rooms.

     In 2012, the university’s Internet Laboratory was centralized at the LRC. Over 60 computer units serve the students, faculty and employees’ requirements. Near the laboratory, a wi-fi lounge can serve over 30 online users. On the same year, the Basic Education Department computer and internet facilities were improved and the campus wi-fi capability was strengthened in key areas.

     The year 2013 marks the start of MCU’s computerized enrollment system. Online enrollment and computerized accounting and Human Resources systems are also being developed. This year, all Basic Education classrooms were air-conditioned and the entire campus road network was repaired and improved.

     On August 8, 2014, as part of MCU’s 110th founding anniversary, the Purple Owl Complex was inaugurated. The complex is in line with University’s continuing drive to provide quality facilities to its students, employees and other stakeholders. The new building houses the multi-purpose Purple Owl Gym, the 3-storey Zurbaran Hall, an in-campus dormitory for students, and University Canteen.

     Also in 2014, the FDT Building and BA Building classrooms were air-conditioned.


     Manila Central University traces its beginnings in 1903 when a small group of educators organized a private review class at Liceo de Manila for pharmacy board examination aspirants.

     The success of the review resulted to more students wanting to join the sessions and this brought about the establishment of Escuela de Farmacia del Liceo de Manila in 1904. The school, housed in Rizal Avenue in Manila, was the first private institution operated by Filipinos in the country.

     Enrollment grew rapidly and to cope with the increasing demand, Escuela de Farmacia absorbed some of its outstanding graduates as teachers. In 1910, 1908 graduate.Atty. Filemon D. Tanchoco was invited to join the institution as teacher and administrator.

     In 1915, Manila College of Pharmacy was born. As enrollment further increased, a new site was acquired and a building constructed at the corner of Oroquieta and Fugoso Streets in Zurbaran, Manila.

     The College was authorized to confer the degree of graduate Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy by 1917. Then again, an increasing enrollment led to the purchase of a lot at the corner of Mayhaligue and Felix Huertas Streets and the construction of a new building in 1926.

     The College was authorized to confer the degree of graduate Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy by 1917. Then again, an increasing enrollment led to the purchase of a lot at the corner of Mayhaligue and Felix Huertas Streets and the construction of a new building in 1926.

     The College of Dentistry was opened in 1929 and the school was renamed Manila College of Pharmacy and Dentistry. High School classes started in 1940 at the three-story building in Mayhaligue.

     The College operated remarkably until war shut it down in 1941. The school was ravaged during the Japanese occupation to a point where only the bare structure of its buildings remained.

     In 1945, mustering all their savings and energy, Atty. Tanchoco and his wife Purificacion Gallego Tanchoco reopened the school. At that time, some of the original incorporators have passed away or moved on to other interests.

     The following year, the school’s Board of Trustees reorganized. Atty. Tanchoco became the chairman and the school was renamed Manila Central Colleges. Mrs. Tanchoco also began actively participating in the school’s management.

     In addition to Pharmacy and Dentistry, the school at that time offered Liberal Arts, Education, Commerce, Business Administration and Post Graduate courses in Pharmacy. In 1947, the College of Medicine opened.

     The Tanchocos were at the forefront of the school’s expeditious growth with Mrs. Tanchoco credited for spearheading the development of the Medicine and Nursing programs. She led the construction of the MCU Hospital and acquisition of advanced equipment.

     With a diversity of courses, Manila Central Colleges was granted a university status, thus becoming Manila Central University in 1948. Atty. Tanchoco became the first MCU President.

     A year later, MCU inaugurated its nearly 10-hectare campus in Caloocan. Expansion and development projects for the colleges continued to meet the educational demands of the time.

     Additional school buildings and support facilities were constructed in the 1960s. It was also during this time that the College of Optometry, Medical Technology, Midwifery, High and Grade School and Kindergarten levels were opened.

     Atty. Tanchoco dutifully served as president of the University until his passing in 1963. His wife, Mrs. Purificacion Gallego Tanchoco succeeded him and was formally installed as the second president on October 23, 1964.

     The doctoral programs were opened in 1992 and two years later, the College of Physical Therapy began.

     Mrs. Tanchoco served as president until 1994 and was succeeded by Dr. Lualhati Tanchoco Gonzalez. Dr. Gonzalez continued her parents’ legacy and spearheaded MCU’s growth.

     In 1996, all the colleges, departments and facilities moved to the Caloocan campus.

     On August 2003, the Department of Computer Studies was established. The same year, MCU was granted a deregulated status by the Commission on Higher Education giving MCU the privilege to prescribe curricular programs to achieve global competence.

     The year 2004 marked the centennial anniversary of MCU. The MCU administration saw the 100th year as an opportunity to undergo organizational restructuring.

     Dr. Aristotle T. Malabanan’s appointment as the fourth president of MCU in 2009 coincides with the institution’s 105th anniversary. He has the academic and management prowess and firm resolve for the further development of MCU and benefit of all its stakeholders.