The Mabini Academy of Lipa City, was founded as a non-stock, non-profit corporation on June 10, 1922 by Professor Randall A. Rowley, Dean Francisco Benitez, Mrs. Paz M. Benitez, Dr. Jose M. Katigbak, Mrs. Tarcila M. Katigbak, and Miss Emilia Malabanan. This school, which opened on June 12, 1922, started with an enrolment of more than one hundred students, two first year classes and one second year class. In June, 1923, a third year class was added, and in June, 1924, the complete high school course was given. On March 25, 1925, it received government recognition. It continued functioning as a secondary school, giving the complete general course (day) until December 9, 1941, when all schools closed because of the Second World War. It remained closed during the Japanese occupation. It reopened in June, 1945 and has been functioning since then.
Before the war, the school occupied a large three-storey building which commodiously housed the students. It had a large library and complete laboratory equipment. That building was burned, the apparatus and library was looted and burned during the war. By March, 1947, the library had been considerably replenished and the laboratories satisfactorily equipped. In that same year the school transferred to its present site.
This site has been enlarged by buying adjoining lots. Its present area is 25, 610 square meters – one of the largest school sites among private schools in Batangas. In this site, the Academy has seven buildings, a basketball court, and an open stage. In 1948 a Junior College with Liberal Arts and Normal Courses was added together with a complete elementary department. The College Department, however, was short-lived. It closed in 1961. While 1961 saw the end of the College Department, 1963 marked the start of the improvement in the buildings. The administration building was the first to be demolished and replaced by a modern concrete edifice. In 1964, the two wings of this building, housing eight classrooms, were constructed. This was followed by the remodeling of the grandstand in 1965, by the construction of the first wing of the two-storey Science Building in 1966, by the construction of a 3-room Vocational Building in 1967, and by the erection of a semi-concrete fence along the southern boundary of the school. And in 1971, the two-storey Science Building was finally completed. Happily this improvement of the buildings was matched by a corresponding increase in enrolment until in 1982 an all time high of 3,100 students were registered in the high school department alone.
Prior to the establishment of this school, Lipa students went to Batangas or to Manila for their secondary education. This of course, proved very expensive for the parents. Its establishment, therefore, was a great financial help to them. For many years, it was the only secondary school in Lipa City and the neighboring towns, thus satisfying a great need of the community.
Despite the fact that now there are around 14 high schools in Lipa City alone, the population of the school continues to grow every year. This is perhaps due to the fact that it offers a good education (a reputation it gained when its very first valedictorian, Mrs. Lourdes Luz Samaniego, graduated Summa Cum Laude at the University of Santo Tomas) at a comparatively low cost. Thus it is able to help a great portion of the middle-income group of the city population. Through the training it gives, many poor but highly talented students were able to get scholarships in well-known colleges and universities. The most notable performance of The Mabini Academy graduates were those under a recently-approves law on state and local scholars where out of a possible eight scholarships, six have been won by them.
Among its graduates are well known personalities such as former Ambassador to the Court of St. James Alberto Katigbak, former Constitutional Convention Delegate Artemio Lobrin, Drs. Jose R. Silva and Porfirio Recio, Atty. Jose L. Africa, Miss Republic of the Philippines (1973) Eva R. Reyes, Ateneo Graduate School Professor Bienvenido Lumbera, playwright Jose Lardizabal, and former Bureau of Plant Industry Region IV Director Domingo Altamirano.
Former Mayor of Lipa City, Atty. Carlos Solis is also an alumus. So are former Vice-mayors Cesar Kison and Felino Magaling, former City Superintendent of Public Schools Isidoro Laygo, former Municipal Judge Calixto Luna, former Treasurer Felix Magpantay, former Assistant Treasurer Jose Estrella, former City Engineer Isidro Reyes, former Batangas Provincial Board Member Jacinto Castillo, former Mayor Baldomero Reyes, educators Ramon L. Recio and Mother Agnes of the Good Shepherd Sisters (nee Luz Katigbak), newspapermen Arturo Dimayuga, Aristedes Africa, and Amado Macasaet, engineers Isabelo Tapia, Miguel Paala, Maximo Abaca, and Alfredo Roxas, businessmen Rodolfo Silva, Benedicto Katigbak, Jose Lirag, and Alfredo Lipat, hospital owners and administrators Drs. Pedro Lasig, Amado Luz, Cesar Reyes, and Nemesio Villa, Jr. These are but a few of the successful alumni of the school. Many others occupy positions of great influence in the community such as priests, nuns, school supervisors and principals, all attesting to the fact that the school has done its share in preparing them well for community service