UST Library launches bilingual edition of historic book on Spanish religious corporations

First published in 1901, the book “Ensayo de una síntesis de los trabajos realizados por las Corporaciones Religiosas Españolas” (Essay of a synthesis of the works accomplished by the Spanish religious corporations in the Philippines) by Spanish priest Fr. Valentin Morales Marin, O.P., was launched in a Spanish-English bilingual edition on September 7, 2022, at the UST Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Building Senior High School Library.


The two-volume book, edited by the UST Prefect of Libraries, Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P., describes the contributions of the Spanish religious corporations in the country and what transpired during the Spanish period of 1521 to 1898.

Volume I of Ensayo discusses the pre-Spanish Civilization and the Spanish colonization and evangelization of the archipelago, while Volume II details the works of four religious missionary congregations in the Philippines – Augustinians, Franciscans, Recollects, and Dominicans.

The new edition is a joint endeavor among the University of Santo Tomas Miguel de Benavides Library, the Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomás, and the Union Bank of the Philippines. The University offers it as a contribution to the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.

Fr. Aparicio, in his message, said “[Ensayo] has helped me not only to appreciate our heritage, but to better understand this country and its people, because the past is intelligible to us only in the light of the present, and we can fully understand the present only in the light of the past.”

The editor intends not just to contextualize what was written then, but to expose the understandable truth and history from the writings of its original author, Fr. Valentin Morales Marin, O.P.

He further quoted the original author, Fr. Marin, saying “’The Dominican Fathers reached this country in the year 1587 and very soon commenced their labors of evangelizing through preaching and teaching, which they did with so much zeal and such happy results that one might feel honored to belong to one of the religious corporations which has contributed most to – and has, with great glory, taken part in – the material and moral progress of the archipelago.’ I feel proud to belong to the Dominicans.”

UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., congratulated the launch of Ensayo, saying that “It is noteworthy to mention that this book launch is the culminating activity of the second Lumina Pandit Project with the Union Bank of the Philippines, and we are all happy to celebrate this event.”

Fr. Ang further mentioned that the UST Library is blessed to have such an impressive collection, possessing priceless materials. He added that this two-volume set will be added to the Library’s treasure trove of scholarly works, which will be accessible to scholars and non-Spanish speaking audiences, and that students and academic staff are privileged to take advantage of this rare opportunity to gain insights and to establish a personal connection with the legacy of the author.

UST’s former Archivist, Prof. Regalado Trota Jose, delivered the book review. He stated that the Ensayo was written to counteract the negative propaganda about the friars during the transition of Spanish and American rule.

The event was graced by the presence of Consul General of the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines Mr. Javier Martín García, Instituto Cervantes Director Mr. Javier Galvan, former Union Bank Executive Director for Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility Maria Gonzalez Goolsby, Union Bank Talent Acquisition Head Ms. Abeegail Caberte, National Library of the Philippines Chief Librarian of the Collection Development Division Ms. Melody Madrid, National Museum Archivist Ms. Angeline Lasalita, National Historical Commission of the Philippines representative Ms. Diana Galang, National Commission for Culture and the Arts Section Head for Cultural Heritage Mr. Lawrence Salazar, Fr. Emilio Edgardo Quilatan, OAR, UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., EHL, Rev. Fr. Wenifredo Padilla III, O.P., UST History Society Adviser Assoc. Prof. Melanie D. Turingan, Ph.D., who all received boxed copies from Acting Archivist Rev. Fr. Gaspar Sigaya, O.P., and UST Miguel de Benavides Library Chief Librarian Ms. Ma. Cecilia Lobo.

Copies of Ensayo remain available for purchase at the Miguel de Benavides Library.

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