Sixteen years ago, MWS welcomed its first group of students in the pre-school (Palaruan) level at Ms. Mary Joan Fajardo’s garage-turned-classroom in New Manila, Quezon City. Together with fellow pioneers Ms. Bella C. Tan and Ms. Kathleen C. Perlas, MWS was founded in 1994 with the vision to “bring Steiner pedagogy to the Philippines and to help bring about genuine social transformation.”
Through the years, MWS was able to grow its student population, as well as its faculty, and had to relocate to a bigger property in Heroes Hills, Quezon City, where it stayed for several years.
When the first batch of students reached the 8th grade, a high school initiative was started by several parents who wanted their children to continue their Waldorf education in the upper years. From this bore fruit the Kawayan Upper School that handled Class 9 to 12, and provided the Steiner method of teaching in the high school.
With this development, MWS became the only Steiner school in Southeast Asia that offered the full Kindergarten to Grade 12 program.
Since Kawayan was located a few kilometers away from the Heroes Hills campus, part of the challenge was keeping the lower and upper school in sync and in rhythm throughout the schoolyear.
Part of the dream of the early pioneers was to have a permanent home for MWS, one where the school can thrive and grow. So the Board of Trustees embarked on the quest for a permanent location, searching high and low for properties within the Quezon City area that was the right size, and at an affordable price.
In 2007, after much planning, hardwork, and whole lot of good fortune, MWS was given the opportunity to relocate to a new township project in the hills of San Mateo, Rizal. The property was owned and managed by Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI), and through the generosity of its top leaders, they decided to “donate” a one-hectare strip of land within the development called Timberland Heights.
Timberland Heights is a complete township/ecosanctuary project of FLI, located on a 677-hectare sprawl of agro-forest farm estates and residential communities in San Mateo, Rizal. It has an elevation that reaches 250 to 400 meters above sea level, overlooking the entire Metro Manila, Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay.
The only challenge left was to raise enough funds to help build the school facility on that piece of land. And this is where the MWS community came in to give its full support, and worked together to achieve this goal. Several fund-raising projects were held; parents went out to solicit funds from corporate sponsors; and some parents also gave part of their own resources to help in the effort.
Before much of the paint has even dried, and with quite a bit more construction going on, the Manila Waldorf School Timberland Heights opened its doors to students on July 12, 2010, and the whole community — students, faculty and parents — came over to celebrate the new “home” of MWS during the traditional Flower Ceremony that welcomed the incoming First Graders and new students.
The new campus is still a “work-in-progress” and there are still lots of opportunities where parents and friends can come in to contribute their time, skills and resources in seeing the full completion of the school.
The Board of Trustees are calling on the whole community to do their share, as the school is still in dire need of funds and resources. Find out how you can contribute! Call 5707038 / 5708138 for more information.
Welcome to Waldorf!
Some scenes from the first day of school:
If you have photos of Manila Waldorf School Timberland Heights, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org