Robin Padilla claims DLSU is a ‘Spanish’ school. He’s wrong.

May 3, 2021 - 2:04 PM
DLSU and Robin Padilla
A facade of De La Salle University bathed in colors in this photo uploaded on its Facebook on Jan. 29, 2020, and Robin Padilla in front of a laptop in this photo shared on Facebook on April 11, 2021.

(Updated; May 4, 2:07 p.m.)  Actor Robin Padilla was mistaken when he claimed in a Facebook post that De La Salle University was established during the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines.

The 51-year-old actor on Sunday attempted to school a social media user who called him out for his historical claims relating to Filipino chieftain Lapulapu.

“Wow (redacted) you got to be kidding. Are you from Ateneo? De la salle? UST? All Spanish established schools for insulares, peninsulares and mestizos. You don’t need to be a doctor of anything to accept reality,” he wrote.

The actor previously defended a lawmaker who claimed that Lapulapu was from Sulu following the recent 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan, when the chieftain and his men were said to have defeated Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

The lawmaker has since apologized, saying that his information came from a theory of Abraham Ibarani-Idjirani who is a spokesperson of the Sultanate of Sulu.

A historian also said there was no other evidence Lapulapu was not from Mactan, following the chronicle of Italian scholar-explorer Antonio Pigafetta.

Meanwhile, Padilla continues to post similar claims on his Facebook page, catching the attention of the High School Philippine History Movement.

The group advocating for the return of Philippine History as a dedicated subject in junior and senior high school corrected his claim that DLSU was originally a “Spanish-established school” for the elites.

“Ang De La Salle University (DLSU-Manila) ay itinatag noong June 16, 1911 noong panahon ng mga Amerikano,” it said in a Facebook post.

“Itinatag ito sa tulong ng mga katolikong brothers, ang ‘Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools’ (FSC) o mas kilala bilang Lasallian Brothers. Hindi po ito itinatag noong panahon ng Espanyol o ng mga Kastilang prayle. These are irrefutable historical facts. Walang personalan,” the group added.

It also reminded Filipinos to listen to the experts and to refrain from believing in “pseudohistorians” or simply anyone who espouses such claims without evidence.


The group’s post also made its way to the trending list of local Reddit where some users accused Padilla of “painting a narrative on anti-colonial, blind nationalism.”

“DLSU is almost always associated with the Americans and the Irish. Never in our teachings mentioned that the Spanish colonial history is involved with the university,” another Reddit user wrote in the comments.

“Tapos ‘di yata niya alam na ‘yung asawa niya ay graduate ng Zobel at La Salle Taft,” shared a different Filipino, referring to Mariel Rodriguez who was said to have studied in De La Salle Santiago Zobel School and De La Salle University on Taft Avenue.

Those who saw Padilla’s Facebook post likewise corrected him in the comments section.

A Facebook user who taught in La Salle Greenhills wrote: “For your information and to correct you, Sir. LA SALLE schools was not established by the Spaniards. Even if it is a Catholic-inspired institution, it is not safe to assume that all Catholic schools were established by the Spanish missionaries. Fact Check muna, Sir.”

According to DLSU’s website, the school was established in 1911 by the Catholic teaching congregation Brothers of the Christian Schools.

“The congregation was founded in 1680 as a community of consecrated laymen by St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle to conduct, ‘together and by association,’ schools that he established first in the northern French city of Rheims, to touch the hearts particularly of poor children, and to inspire them with the Christian spirit,” its history page reads.

“On June 16, 1911, nine brothers from Europe and the United States opened in the district of Paco, just outside the walls of the old city of Manila, the first La Salle school in the Philippines,” it added.

The Brothers were also asked by the American Archbishop of Manila, Jeremiah Harty, “to pave the way for the introduction of English-based quality Catholic education in the country.”

Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila and the University of Santo Tomas were established in the Spanish era.