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25 Years Ago – How MSC Started

By Ike Prudente

On Dec 4, 1989, we started the MSC Computer training center.

Over the years, we branched into all sorts of ventures, from computer hardware to  computer supplies to internet services to business applications and unrelated courses. We gave thousands of scholarships to financially challenged but deserving students. As we look back, we realized our greatest contribution to society are the fine citizens in the community who we helped educate and train these 25 years.

We are now in our new garden site in San Gabriel, refocusing our efforts in our core strengths in education. We now proudly re-introduce ourselves: we are MSC Institute of Technology – THE Math, Science and Computing School.

Start of MSC
MSC is best known as an educational institution. However, MSC started out as a computer software company, not a school.

In June 1989, Jorge Tanalega and I, together with our Cobol Instructor/ STI Center administrator Danny Lopez thought of forming a software development company because we were informed that a local utility wanted to computerize its billing system. With some friends, we brainstormed for a name which can be easily remembered. We thought that SMC (San Miguel Corporation) was very popular so we thought that jumbling the initials would be a good idea.

We thought of MSC and the name Management Systems Consultants. But when we tried to register it with the Department of Trade and Industry as a single proprietorship business entity, it was rejected because all the words in the proposed company name are common, generic words. So we added my initials VYP (for Virgilio Y. Prudente). Thus, VYP-Management Systems Consultants was registered.

When I was given the specifications for the billing systems requirement, I thought that I could easily finish it in a few days so I submitted a quotation of P8,000. They did not bother to contact us back. I found out later that a large company quoted P80,000 for the system.

A couple of unforeseen events led us to seriously consider the direction of a new company. In a planning session, Danny Lopez asked us “who do you think are the best programmers in San Pablo?” Of course, I pointed to Jorge Tanalega, Danny and Myself. And so Danny suggested that we establish a computer school. With two other friends from the Kiwanis Club of Lake City, Louie Perlas and Tony Celestino who believed in us, we decided to put up the MSC Computer Training Center.

Several days later, on Dec 4, 1989, on the mezzanine (above what is now LBC) of the Magcase Building on Barleta St., with a classroom with 9 chairs and a laboratory of 5 computers bought with borrowed money, or donated by family and friends, we conducted our first class with our first four students: Arnel Eneria, Christopher Catapia, Jonathan Romo and Noel Baldores – the WE WEH boys!

Our first course , Fundamentals of Computer Operations (FCO) was of course, handled by the teacher among us, Danny Lopez. But since Danny’s expertise is in teaching programming logic and COBOL, he needed help in preparing for his lessons in using the basic software – DOS, Wordstar, Lotus, dBase III.

Our software department headed by Gigi Tanalega doubled as the research department. Research then was very different from research now. Without Internet or books on the popular software, the team of Gigi spent hours, discovering tricks and short cuts using our AT 286, double diskette drive computers (without hard disk) which Danny could teach to our FCO students. This training proved beneficial to Gigi’s boys. Jonald Aguila is now a software developer based in Maryland USA and Edgar Cauyan is now president of CARD MRI Information Technology, Inc.

Anticipating the need for more instructors, we recruited Aniles Aquino (now Mrs. Duma, a professor at the Laguna State Polytechnic University and currently pursuing her doctorate in Education) and Gemma Pangilinan (now Mrs. Dimaano, the registrar of MSC).

In January 1990, a team from the Department of Education Culture and Sports came and told us that we were operating without a permit. Apparently, some not so friendly elements reported us to the DECS. After showing them our facilities which is certainly not below the minimum requirements for a school, I told them that we are awaiting our transfer to our new site before we submit our application for a school. I invited them to view a vacant space in the second floor of a nearby building, which I told them would be the future site of our new school. We also invited them to the “blessing” of our new site on April 1, 1990.