South Philippine Adventist College ( SPAC ) is situated sixty-eight kilometers south of Davao City at Barangay Camanchiles, Matanao, Davao del Sur. The college fronts the national highway that connects the progressive cities of Davao and Cotabato.
The college campus occupies approximately 2.5 hectares of the 19.9 hectares of the former Southern Mindanao Academy land. Large portion of the campus were used as mango trees plantation. Gardening and banana plantation were also part of the income-generating activities at the school along the creek and property boundaries.
There are now new buildings constructed in addition to the main buildings ( administration, classrooms, cafeteria, faculty houses and dormitories) built by the pioneers. Structural image of the school has been enhanced so that more students will benefit the quality Christian education the college offers.
SPAC began its operation in Digos, Davao del Sur in 1950 as an elementary school. The school became a Junior Academy in 1952 with 236 students enrolled. The over crowded condition necessitated a larger area. About 20 hectares of land has been purchased through the effort of the late Mr. Ruperto Sumicad Sr., at Bario Camanchiles, Matanao, Davao del Sur at a cost of seven thousand pesos and another one thousand pesos from Southern Mindanao Mission ( now Davao Mission ). The Far Eastern Division ( now SSD ) allocated P40,000.00 and additional P20,000.00 from South Philippine Union Mission ( now SPUC ) for the construction of the school building.
The academy transferred to its present site in school year 1958-1959 bearing the name Southern Mindanao Academy. The complete high school course ( first year to fourth year levels ) was recognized by the then Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports ( now Department of Education ) in 1959.
The first principal was Pastor Jose M. Atil. In 1975, Pastor Rogelio G. Aguadera became the principal and it was during his term that the school received accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges-Accrediting Agency ( now ACSCU-AAI ) with five-year accreditation status.
In the summer of 1993 during the Secondary Teacher’s Convention in Mountain View College, the principal, Mr. Jimmy F. Faderogaya with Dr. Milton Thorman, Associate Educational Director of Far-Eastern Division now Southern Asia-Pacific Division ( SSD ) discussed with Elder Paterno Diaz, President, South Philippine Union Mission now South Philippine Union Conference ( SPUC ) the possibility of converting Southern Mindanao Academy into a College. God find the way through these persons as the planned second Adventist College in Mindanao finally pushed through.
Dr. Shozo Tabuchi, the then Director of Education of SSD came to the school as Commencement Speaker and laid down the requirements for the opening of the college with Pastor Vicente S. Paypa, Davao Mission ( DM ) President and Mr. Alberto D. Alojado, Treasurer of Southern Mindanao Academy, of which the latter was delegated to bring the urgent required papers to Bacolod City during the meeting.
Elder Paterno M. Diaz requested Dr. Jonathan C. Catolico, the then SPUC Education Director to organize a team that will evaluate the possibility of opening a college. The created evaluation team is headed by Dr. Gerundio U. Ellacer ( Chairman ) with Dr. Remelito A. Tabingo, Abraham O. Neri, Epifanio N. Ciron, and SS Genierra as members with Jonathan C. Catolico as Ex-officio member.
In November 4, 1993, the evaluation team recommended Southern Mindanao Academy to the SPUM Executive Committee to be the second Adventist College in Mindanao over the two other academies that sought same college status.
Dr. Jonathan C. Catolico processed the application papers for the SSD while Jimmy F. Faderogaya made his valuable efforts in processing the application papers for the Commission on Higher Education ( CHED ) and the Security and Exchange Commission ( SEC ). The General Conference ( GC ) of the Seventh-day Adventist through its representative headed by Dr. Agripino Segovia, GC Associate Education Director, with Dr. Eager and Dr. Oliver Kho came to the campus and proclaimed SPAC as the second Adventist College in Mindanao.
It was also during this time that SPAC received the CHED permit to operate. The award was brought to the campus by its key personnel headed by Dr. Minerva Fabros, Engr. Louis Perez, Mrs. Relina Dela Peña, Mrs. Zenaida Turtogo, and Mr. Feliciano Tamondong under the supervision of Dr. Glory Magdale and Dr. Eloisa Paderanga and the late Mrs. Severina Villarin.
With the General Conference ( GC ) approval, CHED permit to operate and the SEC certificate granted together at same time, South Philippine Adventist College was so blessed. It was an awesome occasion attended by the GC, SSD, CHED, SPUC, DM personnel and the whole college populace witnessing the remarkable moment of God’s leading for this dear academic institution. Elder Paterno M. Diaz and Elder Vicente S. Paypa ( Chairmen of SPUC and DM respectively ) accepted the challenge and committed to support SPAC for its development.
Those who served the College as presidents are: Dr. Jonathan C. Catolico, the first president while serving as SPUC Education Director at same time ( 1994-1996 ); Dr. Jimmy F. Faderogaya ( 1996-1997 ); Dr. Ildefonso F. Faigmani ( 1997-2004 ); Dr. Chliejvferwyn C. Catolico ( 2004-2006 ); Dr. Benonie P. Llanto ( 2006-2008 ); Dr. Chliejvferwyn C. Catolico ( 2008-2011 ); Dr. Arceli H. Rosario ( 2011-2012 ); and Dr. Yolando A. Queruela ( 2012 to the present ).