Former UST seminarian Isaias Villaflores introduces his comicbook on the life of St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, at Cafe Inggo at Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City on Feb. 23.

The life of St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, is now reimagined in a new comicbook by a Thomasian poet, which was launched on Feb. 23 in Quezon City.

Talambuhay ni Sto. Domingo de Guzman” seeks to encourage readers to know and study the life of St. Dominic. It is based on the Tagalog biography of the same title, written by Isaias Villaflores, almost 500 years after the Dominicans arrived in the Philippines.

Villaflores, a former philosophy and theology professor at UST, suggested that the comicbook be read hand in hand with the textbook because the latter gave more details about St. Dominic.

“It’s just that for somebody who didn’t know the story of St. Dominic, then we can start with the comics because it’s easy reading, just one sitting and it’s done,” he told the Varsitarian

Villaflores, 76, undertook the project because the wife of the president of Filii Sancti Dominici, an association of ex-Dominicans, asked for a comics version of the biography. He took the chance to fulfill his childhood dream of drawing.

The former Dominican hopes that the comics will instill the values of study and contemplation in his readers, values that St. Dominic fulfilled by weighing the value of scriptural studies over manual labor during his tenure as a priest.

“When he met the heretics, he told himself that, during the time, the clergy didn’t know anything; they’re not educated,” Villaflores said. 

“You had to prove that you’re converted by the way you live, and they (the Dominicans and Franciscans) were really mendicant orders, begging orders. So that’s the final test for me: to be an authentic convert,” he said.

UST Central Seminary Vice Rector Fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., O.P. lauded Villaflores for being detailed in his biography of St. Dominic. 

Villaflores have reaped several awards throughout his career, such as the “Makata ng Taon” in 1974 at the Talaang Ginto (Golden List), bestowed by the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa (Institute of National Language).


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