It is obviously of Divine Providence that Adventism was born through a humble colporteur from Australia, Robert A. Caldwell, more than a hundred years ago today. From its first church in Sta. Ana, Manila, Adventism inched its way from corner to corner; from one city to the other; from island to island; from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao. To date, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is found practically in all major cities and municipalities of the Philippines. On record, NPUC now has a total membership of 252,294. While the Union understands its commission to gather all men under her wings, we find its numerical growth dwarfed by the country’s overwhelming population explosion. Notwithstanding its size, however, the Union continues to carve a prestigious image in the community through its educational and medical institutions, health and welfare services all over the island. NPUC leads in the operation of one publishing house and supervises one university, four colleges, twelve academies and 161 elementary schools. It has three hospitals: the Manila Adventist Medical Center, Cagayan Valley Adventist Hospital, and Palawan Adventist Hospital, although for management purposes all three are now under NPUC supervision.
By the turn of the millennium, NPUC has become a Union with two conferences (Central Luzon and South Central Luzon Conferences) and three missions (Southern Luzon, Northern Luzon, and Mountain Provinces Missions) with total of 1319 churches. South Central Luzon Mission marks one of the highlights of this quinquennium’s accomplishment. It’s much awaited dream of becoming a conference came into reality in 2002. In the same year, Palawan Island was segregated from Central Luzon Conference to become an attached district of NPUM in preparation for a mission status. Serving the Union in various ministries and capabilities are ordained pastors, regular ministerial workers, teachers, literature evangelists, medical and paramedical personnel, publishing workers and a host of office staffers in the Union, mission, and institution headquarters.
Through the years NPUC accomplished wonderful achievement for the glory of God through the initiative of human instrumentalities. The accomplishments of NPUC had been a contribution of people who were placed in the leadership position and were dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In 1951 – 1955, MC Waren contributed to the groundwork for the establishment and dedication of Northeast Luzon Mission office and acquisition of land site for an educational institution in Bukidnon which is Mountain View College (MVC), raising of funds for the building of Manila Evangelistic Center, conducted intensive campaign for support to Christian education program, split Philippine Union Mission to two new Union Missions – South and North Philippine Union Missions, expanded and remodeled the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital (MSH), established the Masla SDA Clinic in Bontoc and remodeled and enlarged the South Central Luzon Mission office in Lucena.
In 1956 – 1958, WJ Hackett organized the Mountain Provinces Mission, incorporated the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital, adapted Field Adventuring as tool for lay evangelism, (legal status of church schools became a challenge), established rural academy in Naga City, merged Northeast Luzon Mission and Northern Luzon Mission into one mission, promoted vigorously throughout the North Philippine Union Mission the Vacation Bible School plan, began the construction of the Evangelistic Center building, closed the Pollilo Adventist Institute, purchased the land for Northeast Luzon Academy in Alicia, Isabela, the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Union Mission and NPUM Corporation was elected, and NPUM Missions and Institutions were registered to Social Security System (SSS).
In 1959 – 1962, AJ Robbins worked for the establishment of Chaplaincy department in all major medical institutions, expanded Manila Sanitarium and Hospital, opened Cagayan Valley Sanitarium and Hospital to the public, meetings in the Evangelistic Center for NPUM began, developed Mt. Isarog Academy (now Naga View Adventist College), upsurge in VBS work, revived tract distribution through home visitation, reorganized some church schools into multigrade schools with authorization from the Bureau of Private Schools, relocated the proposed Philippine Union College, transferred Northeast Luzon Academy (NELA) from Divisoria, Santiago, Isabela to Paddad, Alicia, Isabela prepared flannel graph pictures and mimeographed lessons and stories printed to promote Sabbath School evangelism in NPUM, made efforts to stem the tide of religious persecution made by producing and circulating the religious liberty magazine FREEDOM among legislators of national, provincial, and municipal governments and showed important advancement in Radio-TV & Bible Correspondence School.
In 1963-1971, TC Murdoch accomplished the transfer of SCLM office from Lucena to San Pablo, Laguna, remodeled NPUM office, installed new and modern equipment at PPH, Opened Naga View Academy, Abra Valley Junior Academy (now Tirad View Academy), and Palawan Adventist Academy, obtained loads of equipment for schools in NPUM and Central and South Philippines, processed in getting government recognition for the national Service Organization (NSO) for its medical Cadet Corp, Philippine legislators made use of FREEDOM magazine to push a religious instruction bill introduction in the Philippine House of Representatives that will authorize public school teachers to use time to teach religion to public school pupils in public school buildings, organized the Public Relations, Stewardship, and Religious Liberty departments, held monthly baptism at the Manila Evangelistic Center and started Voice of Prophecy radio program in Tagalog over DZBB.
From 1972-1974, MG Jereos worked for the rebuilding and renovation of NPUM office at Pasay, purchased land for Palawan Adventist Clinic, conducted the First Quadrennial Session of NPUM and conducted Feasibility study for Palawan Mission and the establishment of a Chinese Evangelistic Center.
In 1975-1979, FM Arrogante contributed in the organization of Ministers’ Wives club, introduction of the one-to-one evangelism using VOP lessons, opened Lipa Adventist Academy (under SCLM)and Concepcion Jr. Academy (under MPM), started Teacher- School evaluations, launched Student Missionary Program, organized Church territorial assignments and organized Abram La Rue Club in NPUM.
From 1979-1987, NP Arit accomplished the penetration of unentered territory among the Bot-bot tribe of Mt. Province resulting to peace and order situation between warring tribes in that area, church members built more beautiful churches in the different parts of the field, Batanes Islands were saturated with Adventist literatures, established company of believers in provincial penitentiaries, intensfied promotion of 1000 of Reaping program through VOP correspondence course, planted church in barrios and barangays, transferred PUC from Baesa campus to Silang campus, established an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Manila Sanitarium and Hospital made possible by donations solicited by its chief administrator Dr. Domondon from Queen Medical Center of Hawaii, replaced the Adventist Junior Youth (AJY) Society with Patfi nder Club, organized Adventist-Laymen Services and Industries (ASI) in NPUM and the Trust Services for the first time has brought in material blessings to the Lord’s treasury through more than 1 million in assets acquired in cash and in kind.
Moreover, in 1988-1996, EM Macalintal organized the SDA Health Professionals Organization, made negotiations with government officials for the Nursing and Medical Board Exams to be moved to non-Sabbath schedules, Philippine Publishing House purchased state-of-the-art Equipment, instituted updated training of literature evangelists, established the Literature Ministry Seminary building in Bugtong, Lipa, Batangas, held the first quinquennial session, Central Luzon Mission (CLM) became a conference, the Detwiler’s Library at Philippine Union College was constructed, the Mountain Provinces Mission’s (MPM) Housing project was almost completed, church membership hit 500,000 mark and the celebration for this milestone was held in Davao, General Conference (GC) inspired-global strategy evangelism program started for reaching the unreached, Adventist presence in unentered territories was established, the Northern Luzon Adventist Academy was elevated to senior college status and the fencing of the whole 160 hectare compound of the Philippine Union College was almost completed.
In 1997-199, DB Villoso made the following accomplishments: PUC was accorded university status by the Commission on Higher Education thus became Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) & Eternal Gardens cases were settled where the Supreme Court ruled that NPUM be paid 330 million pesos by the Eternal Gardens, the AUP Academy’s new high school building was completed, the Field Ministerial Workers’ Performance Appraisal was implemented, new computers were acquired and internet connection was established, the construction of the MPM’s Multipurpose Hall was started, prioritized the spiritual revival of NPUM constituency, launched small group evangelism strategy through two by two teams. The NPUM Health Department received government recognition (from Philippine Department of health) for Church’s NEWSTART, Smoking Cessation, Cancer Prevention, AIDS Awareness, SAD Connection and Environmental Programs, Extension of Cagayan Valley Sanitarium and Hospital’s medical services made possible through the establishment of its clinic in Aurora, Cagayan Valley, the Children’s and Family Ministries was created, AUP Northeast Luzon campus was allowed to offer additional post secondary technical/short term courses and was renamed Northeast Luzon Adventist School of Technology, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director Pastor Bienvenido V. Tejano appointed as Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and the Memorandum of Agreement assigned for modernization of Palawan Adventist Hospital courtesy of SPEX – Shell Philippines.
From 2000-2005, ND Dayson worked for the financial indebtedness of MSH to Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), management of the three medical institutions under NPUM: Manila Adventist Medical Center (formerly MSH), Cagayan Valley Sanitarium & Hospital, and Palawan Adventist Hospital turned over to Adventist Health System-Asia, Manila Sanitarium & Hospital was renamed Manila Adventist Medical Center, Cagayan Valley Sanitarium & Hospital as Cagayan Valley Adventist Hospital and Naga View College as Naga View Adventist College, additional facilities were added to Palawan Adventist Hospital to accommodate state-of-the-art equipment donated by SPEX-Shell Philippines, the PRC Modernization Act 2000 initiated by an Adventist legislator from Samar, Congressman Harlin C. Abayon, was passed into law. Otherwise known as Republic At 8981, in part it sanctioned that examinations shall be held only on weekdays thereby benefiting Sabbath keepers, South Central Luzon Mission became a conference, NPUM managed Palawan as attached district, uniform designs for town, city and barangay churches implemented and church construction and beautification intensified, NPUM headquarters renovated, eleven new rooms for NPUM guest house were constructed, Eternal Gardens settles monetary obligation with NPUM, Court of Appeals issued favorable verdict to AUP regarding case filed by PJ Barayuga, National labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Case filed by D. Sabaupan and Atty. M. Bustamante was declared null and void, Livelihood programs were intensified, Naga View Academy was elevated into a full-fledge senior college status, full operation of 3 ABN TV station was realized and the Media Center at the NPUMHeadquarters was created.
North Philippine Union Mission is now a Conference under the able leadership of Pastor Abner S. Roque, President, Pastor Nephtali Mañez, Executive Secretary and Mr. Romero Daquila, Treasurer. This actually takes effect on July 1, 2009. The Executive Committee of the General Conference granted the Union this status on April 6 during the 2009 Spring council of the World Church of the Seventh-day Adventists at Old Columbia Pike, Maryland, USA. On the onset of its office in 2005, the NPUM administration, among its grand goals, has striven to gain the Conference status. Hence, after the Conference status application was acted in the Union executive committee, it was endorsed to the SSD Executive Committee for evaluation, to examine whether NPUM had met the standards and other necessary requirements for Conference status. After a thorough preliminary evaluation, SSD elevated the application for final approval to the General Conference. A GC Commission was immediately formed by our World Church, with the commission evaluating NPUM last February 4-5, 2005 for the said purpose.
When the finalresults were shared by the evaluators, much to the delight of the leadership and working staff of the Union, the overall rating of the Union was “Excellent!” Outstanding financial capability and stability, unfied and good working force; excellent management and operation processes, quality programs; adequate, and well-maintained office building, housing facilities and equipment; and above all, having all the institutions (missions, conferences, schools, and hospitals) reach self-reliance or self-support in their operations gave the Union this excellent mark. Highlight of the present administration is turning the Palawan Attached District into a full-fledged Mission.
The new birth of the North Philippine Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists located at 1975 Corner Donada and San Juan Streets, Pasay city, Philippines 1300 (Luzon Headquarters).