Ateneo to celebrate birth centenary of Fr. de la Costa in 2016

Next year, 2016, marks the birth centenary of Fr. Horacio V. de la Costa, SJ. The School of Humanities has lined up a series of activities to celebrate his 100th year anniversary, starting with a lecture series in the second semester.   Fr. Horacio V. de la Costa, SJ was an effective communicator, nationalist, historian, and one of the most prolific and respected Ateneans of the 20th century.  He died in March 1977. He was 60 years old.

Horacio Villamayor dela Costa, SJ was born in Mauban, Quezon on May 9, 1916. At age 11, he enrolled at the Ateneo, where he excelled academically, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1935. A man of letters, Fr. de la Costa was managing editor and poetry editor of Today magazine in his junior year and editor-in-chief of The Guidon in his senior year.   The witty prose of Kwentong Kutsero and the eloquent style of Light Cavalry are testaments to Fr. de la Costa’s literary brilliance.

After he graduated from college, Fr. de la Costa started his Jesuit noviceship. He also returned to the Ateneo as a teacher of philosophy and history.   When the Ateneo was shut down during World War II, Fr. de la Costa taught the classics and history to younger Jesuits.  In 1945, he went to the United States for further studies and was ordained priest a year later.

After completing his dissertation, Fr. de la Costa taught at the Ateneo. In 1952, he was appointed chair of the History Department and the following year became the first Filipino dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

But Fr. de la Costa’s brilliance was not meant to remain in the academe.

In 1964, Fr. de la Costa became the first Filipino Superior of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. Six years later, he was sent to Rome to become General Assistant and Consultor to Jesuit General Fr. Pedro Arrupe.

In 1975, he came back to the Philippines and to his beloved Ateneo, working for the university until his death from cancer in 1977.


The Commemorative Lecture Series

Date Title Speaker
4 February 2016 An Introduction to Horacio V. de la Costa, SJ : Friend in the Lord Rev. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ
11 February 2016 Fr. Horacio V. de la Costa, SJ : The Filipino Historian and the Unfinished Revolution Dr. Reynaldo C. Ileto
18 February 2016 Sources, Influences, and Silences in The Jesuits in the Philippines  Rev. Rene B. Javellana, SJ 
3 March 2016 Remembering Fr. de la Costa, SJ Dr. Benito J. Legarda, Jr. 
10 March 2016 Making a Living Identity Out of Diversity Dr. Fernando N. Zialcita
17 March 2016 The Three Summas- Horacio de la Costa, SJ, Leon Ma. Guerrero, and Jesus Paredes, Jr. : Their Life and Times Ms. Paulynn P. Sicam
31 March 2016 The Filipino and the Other: De la Costa's Notion of Hybridity Rev. Jose Mario C. Francisco, S.J. 
7 April 2016 More Honored than Read? : De la Costa and the Vagaries on Intellectual Life in Southeast Asia  Dr. Coeli Barry
14 April 2016 Power, Play and Pedagogy: Reading with Fr. de la Costa, SJ Dr. Vince L. Rafael 
21 April 2016 Studies, Above All Else (Personal Reflections of Horacio V. de la Costa, SJ Ambassador Rodolfo C. Severino
28 April 2016 Learning from HVC  Dr. Edilberto C. de Jesus
5 May 2015 Fr. Horacio V. de la Costa's Filipino Humanism: Poetry and Valuing in a Time of Transition Dr. John B. Labella 

The lecture series will take place every Thursday, 5:00 - 6:30 pm at the Faura Hall Audio- Visual Room, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.  The lectures are open to the public.  For reservations and inquiries, please contact 426 6001, loc. 5340-5341 or email