Jan. 25, 5:28 p.m. – THE UST Publishing House last night concluded its decade-long “400 Books” project, launching three new volumes to complete the list.

The three new books are Marlon James Sales’s English translation of “Nuestro Padre San Daniel” (“Our Father San Daniel”) by Spanish writer Garbriel Mirós, published in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes; and the two-volume “A History of Santo Tomas: Four Centuries of Higher Education in the Philippines (1611-2011)” by Spanish Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P.

The launching of new books was one of the activities lined up for the closing week of the University’s year-long Quadricentennial celebrations.

In her opening remarks, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, director of UST Publishing House, highlighted the role of the publishing house in the academic life of the University.

“This recognition greatly encourages writers and scholars to proceed with the enlightened exchange of ideas and the inspired production of creative work and to share the results of these exchanges and efforts of the general public,” Hidalgo said.

The production of “400 Books” also showed that books are far from being dead, and have been alive and thriving throughout the centuries, she said.

Though UST Publishing House is considered the country’s oldest publishing house, Hidalgo said she and her staff strongly feel that it needs to keep up with the times.

“Aside from encouraging experimental work, we have also gone into partnership with [a] digital content company to convert two of our titles into e-books,” she said. “[They are] now available through Amazon.”

The 400-book collection includes not only works by distinguished scholars and multi-awarded writers, but also experimental work by young writers.

“We are grateful to many authors who offered their works to us especially those who, though they are not part of this University, trusted that we would handle their work with the attentiveness and the tenderness that they deserve,” she said.

Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of UST, said the “400 books” project showed the writers’ struggles to rise above mediocrity.

“I hope readers of our ‘400 Books’ will see that the books that we are launching today are a proof that our writers have wrestled against the temptation to settle for the easy work,” he said. “[T]hey fought the tendency of some writers to compose sentence[s] without really meaning them and to use decorative phases and adjectives that confuse more than clarify.” Azer N. Parrocha


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