The UST Miguel de Benavides Library launches the Spanish-English edition of the late Fr. Valentin Morales Marin, O.P.'s book, “Ensayo de una síntesis de los trabajos realizados por las Corporaciones Religiosas Españolas,” at the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, O.P. Building, on Sept. 7. (Photo by Francia Denise M. Arizabal/ The Varsitarian)

The UST Miguel de Benavides Library has launched the bilingual edition of the controversial two-volume 1901 work by Fr. Valentin Marin Morales, defending the more than four-century record of the friar missionary orders in their work of evangelization in the Philippines amid attacks on them during the early US colonial period. 

Published by the library along with the UST Publishing House and UnionBank of the Philippines, “Ensayo de una Síntesis de los Trabajo Realizados por las Corporaciones Religiosas Españolas (Essay of a synthesis of the works accomplished by the Spanish religious corporations in the Philippines)”  was launched Sept. 7 at the UST Senior High School Library at the Blessed Giorgio Frassati Bldg. on Espana Blvd. 

UST Prefect of Libraries Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P. said that Father Marin (1860-1921) gave new context and “added light” to the country’s history with the Spaniards through historical interrogation.

“A great thinker is the man who asks the questions … about new things or context,” he said. “This is precisely what Marin [did]: he asked questions about the land, the political conditions at the arrival of the Spaniards, about the social conditions, religious system.” 

“He (did) not answer all the questions, yes, but shed some light upon them,” he added.

Former UST archivist Prof. Regalado Trota Jose said that Ensayo “counteracted” the attacks against the friars when the Americans came to the country.

“[Marin’s] essay of a synthesis of the works accomplished by the Spanish religious corporations in the Philippines was written to counteract the negative propaganda about the friars during the transition from the Spanish to American rule,” he said.  

He also likened the stewardship of knowledge through archives and libraries to the Catholic doctrine of loving God and his gifts. 

“If I were a Dominican in UST, I would preach about God’s love to raise a magnanimous requital of a treasure of accumulated knowledge in the archives, museum, and the red box section of the library,” he said. 

“If you love God, then you would love his endowment through careful custodianship, study, and promotion of works—such as Valentin Marin’s Ensayo,” he added.

Those in attendance during the launch include UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., former UnionBank executive director for philanthropy Maria Gonzales Goolsby, Consul General of Spain Javier Martín García, and Instituto Cervantes de Manila director Javier Galvan.

An Andalucian who undertook medical studies but later dropped them to join the Dominicans, Father Marin finished his doctorate in philosophy and letters at the Universidad Central de Madrid.  

A journalist and social scientist, Father Marin was the director of Libertas, the daily newspaper published by UST from 1899 to 1918 to counter the anti-friar and anti-clerical propaganda of the secular press during the early American years. 

Father Marin is considered the father of sociological education in the Philippines, lecturing in sociology in 1896 when the subject was introduced in the newly founded Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. At the Faculty of Civil Law, he handled subjects on finance and political economy.

A playwright, poet and critic, Father Marin likewise wrote the first book on literary criticism in the Philippines, “Principios de Literatura General: Teoria Estetica y Teoria Literaria,” published in 1896 by the UST Press. It has an English edition in the 1930’s, “Principles of General Literature: Aesthetic Theory and Literary Theory,” also published by the UST Press. A.L. Mangasar


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