Oct. 7, 2014, 8:52 p.m. – HISTORIAN and former UST
archivist  Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P.
received the Gintong Aklat Award for his two-volume history of the University
this morning at the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas.

UST Publishing House Director John Jack Wigley, who accepted
the award on behalf of Villarroel during the 2014 Gintong Aklat Awards ceremony
last Sept. 17 at the SMX Convention Center, personally gave the trophy to the
Spanish Dominican.

Villarroel was awarded for his book titled “A History
of the University of Santo Tomas: Four Centuries of Higher Education in the
Philippines.”

Two other books published by the UST Publishing House also
got awards during the Sept. 17 event.

Organized by the Book Development Association of the
Philippines and co-sponsored by the National Book Development Board, the
Gintong Aklat Awards is held every two years.

Villarroel expressed his gratitude for the award, saying he
considered it his  most valuable award.
“This is the best award I have received,” Villarroel said.

The two-volume book published in 2012 contains a
comprehensive history of the University from its foundation in 1611.

Eloisa De Castro, chief editor of Villarroel’s book, said
the book includes the list of all rectors and outstanding alumni of UST, and
bishops and archbishops produced by the Central Seminary.

“The appendices alone are terrific. It is like the veritable
encyclopedia of UST,” De Castro said in an interview.

Aside from minimal corrections in standardized grammar, De
Castro said she did not have difficulty editing Villarroel’s book as the priest
had done in depth research.

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“I don’t think there is anybody else who can claim the most
authority on the subject matter,” De Castro said.

Villarroel’s book was published by the UST Publishing House
to mark UST’s quadricentennial year.  M. K.
M. Eslava

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