The PAREF legacy: Proactive education for a lifetime

The legacy of PAREF (Parents for Education Foundation), founded on St. Josemaria Escriva's principles of education, has resonated with generations of students in the Philippines.

In this modern, competitive world, the more equipped children are in all aspects of life, the more likely they could achieve the goals they set out to attain. Hard work, quality education and most importantly, a good set of values, will take them to where they want to go.

Instilling habits of excellence

This is the pedagogy that schools under the Parents for Education Foundation (PAREF) espouse. Instilling habits of excellence such as self-discipline, caring, integrity, diligence, and responsibility, PAREF schools use a wholistic approach whereby all the events and aspects of the school climate develop the classic virtues which maximize each student’s potential.             

Parents and alumni attest that PAREF schools are bastions of character aside from boasting strength in academics.

“I find other schools to be too big for their own good. It’s probably because there are too many students and they don’t have the kind of system they have in place specifically in PAREF schools,” explain Dr. Dicky and Pia Boncan who are parents of 5 children enrolled at PAREF Schools.

PAREF Rosehill School

“The teachers are very professional with the way they handle our children,” says Pia. “They are very objective about the goals for each one.”

The couple recounts a lot of stories about how their children were able to cultivate their own talents and their character in PAREF-Rosehill and in PAREF-Northfield.

To further attest to the quality of PAREF education, Dicky adds, “I have friends who are home schoolers. And I tell them that this is the next best thing to home schooling. For parents especially who have no time and capacity to home-school. This is tried and tested…and it really works!”

Mentors’ impact

Individual mentoring system

As was, and still is, the practice in all PAREF schools, Southridge 1984 alumnus Paco Sandejas was given his own mentors, whose nuggets of wisdom would have a great impact on him for the rest of his life. These mentors were playwright Dr. Paul Dumol and literature teacher Manny Escasa.

The latter imparted his inspiration as well, which Paco has kept in mind even up to the present: “Our talents are like a candle that is meant to light up the room and not kept under a shade.”

These words empowered Paco as he continued to pursue excellence even during his years in UP. His mentors were able to instill in him the value of effort, love and passion in both his work and studies. Sandejas is now managing partner of Narra Venture Capital.

In addition to Paco’s father, being the chairman at Southridge, his educational upbringing has cultivated in him a deep appreciation and belief in the PAREF system. Because of this, he and his wife actress Christine Jacob, have passed on the PAREF tradition to their 5 children, Paolo, Gaby, Nina, Luis and Jaime, by enrolling them in Rosemont, Woodrose and Southridge.

PAREF Westbridge School students quick response to typhoon Yolanda victims north of Iloilo.

“We like the system of parents’ partnership and also the values,” he says. To them, the sincere involvement of parents who share Christian and human virtues is what makes all PAREF schools special on their own.

An enduring tradition

The legacy of PAREF, founded on the principles of education of St. Josemaria Escriva, has truly resonated with generations of students. A lot have grown up to become parents themselves and passed on the tradition to their own children. Paco attributes his present success partly to the educational upbringing he received, while Pia and Dicky, are all too happy to see their children grow under the guidance and help of their PAREF mentors.

PAREF welcomes more families who would like to become part of its community. Parents can visit any of its schools all over the country or call (02) 6314292, 7810220, 6311695 or 6877104 or send an email to

Parents can also visit or drop by the PAREF Office at Units 107-109 Cedar Mansion II, No. 7 Escriva Drive, San Antonio Village, Pasig City.