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Home NEWS Events FHL launches The Printed Word with maiden lecture, “Revelations of the Book”

FHL launches The Printed Word with maiden lecture, “Revelations of the Book”

Filipinas Heritage Library’s newest offering, The Printed Word is a lecture series revolving around the history of the book and other facets related to it. It aims to contribute to the promotion of reading and appreciation of the publishing industry and of Filipiniana publications.

On 22 March 2014, FHL launched the maiden lecture of the series entitled, “Revelations of the Book”, at the Ayala Museum.  The lecturer, Ms. Patricia May Jurilla, Ph.D., discussed the history of book, printing, and publishing in the Philippines as revealed by the treasures and curiosities of the Rare Books Collection of FHL. Almost a hundred educators, cultural workers, librarians, and book lovers were in attendance. An exhibition of 18 titles chosen and curated by Dr. May was launched on the same day and was opened to the public until 29 March 2014. The lecture and exhibition revealed the different periods of publishing in the Philippines, from the 17th century until the 20th century, in connection to the social and cultural context of the time.


Ninety-five educators, cultural workers, librarians, and book lovers attended the event


“The printed book is more than a triumph of technical ingenuity. It is a potent agent of civilisation,” Dr. May at the beginning of the lecture quotes French historians Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin who wrote about the social impact of the coming of printing and the culture of the book.

Dr. May’s book entitled, Story book : essays on the history of book in the Philippines, was sold by publisher ANVIL at a 20% discount.


The exhibition of rare materials was open to the public from March 22 to 29


Ms. Patricia May B. Jurilla, Ph.D. is Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, where she teaches book history and literature. She earned her BA in Journalism from UP Diliman, MA in Engilsh from Boston College, and MA in the History of the Book and PhD on Philippine Book History from the University of London. She has published various books and articles on printing and publishing in the Philippines.


Revelations of the Book lecturer, Dr. May Jurilla


Following are the titles featured during the lecture:

  1. Proceso de la demanda de nulidad de matrimonio.  MS.  Visayas, 1647.  Proceedings of a divorce case filed by a woman against her abusive alcoholic husband.  With signatures in pre-Hispanic Philippine script.
  2. Colonel Draper’s answer to the Spanish arguments, by William Draper. London, 1764.  An argument by a British officer on unsettled matters with Spain in relation to the British Occupation of Manila (1762–1764).
  3. Historia general de Philipinas, by Juan de la Concepcion.  14 volumes.  Manila, 1788–1792.  An early comprehensive history of the Philippines, written by a Franciscan friar.  In vellum binding.
  4. Flora de Filipinas, by Manuel Blanco.  Gran edición.  10 volumes.  Manila, 1877–1880.   A study on the flowers of the Philippines by an Augustinian friar.  With numerous illustrations in color.
  5. Nínay (Costumbres Filipinas), by Pedro Alejandro Paterno.  Madrid, 1885.  First edition of the first Filipino novel, written in Spanish.
  6. Various editions of Jose Rizal’s novels.
    (a) Noli me tángere.  Valencia, 1886(?).
    (b) An Eagle Flight.  New York, 1900.  Adaptation in English.
    (c) Noli me tangere.  Barcelona, 1903.
    (d) Noli me tángere and El filibusterismo.  Manila Filatélica, 1908.  Tagalog translations.  Bound in one volume.
    (e) Noli me tangere.  Manila, 1923.  Tagalog translation.
    (a) The Baldwin primer, by May Kirk.  New York, 1902.  Tagalog edition.  The first schoolbook used by American teachers under the public education system established in the Philippines by the American administration.
    (b) The Philippine readers, BOOK TWO, by Camilo Osias.  Boston, 1932.  Second volume in the series of schoolbooks also known as ‘Osias Readers’, the first Filipino-authored textbooks for Filipino students.
  8. Awit and corido books.  Early twentieth-century reprints of literary works in verse. The awit and corido forms were hugely popular during the Spanish colonial period.
    (a) Cahimahimalang búhay ni S. Francisco de Sales, by Cleto R. Ignacio.  Manila, 1915.
    (b) Manga Kahanga-hangang ualong pu at ualong himala ni S. Vicente Ferer, by Cleto R. Ygnacio.  Manila, [19--?].
    (c) Casaysayan ng catotohanang buhay ng haring Clodoveo at Reyna Clotilde, by Cleto R. Ignacio.  Manila, 1917.
    (d) Salita at búhay na piangdaanan nang dalauang mag-amá.   Manila, 1918.
  9. Local publications during the Japanese Occupation.
    (a) Japanese Made Easy.  Manila, 1942.
    (b) Pamphlets prepared by the Propaganda Corps of the Imperial Japanese Forces.  Manila, [early 1940s].
    • Ideals of the new Philippines
    • Japan today
    • Fundamental Japanese for Filipinos

  10. (a) Doctrina Christiana.  Washington, DC, 1947.  Facsimile of the first book printed in the Philippines, the Doctrina Christiana en lengua española y tagala (1593).  With a bibliographical study by Edwin Wolf II.  
    (b) Doctrina Christiana.  Manila, 1951.  Facsimile of Doctrina Christiana en letra y lengua China, an early Philippine book printed between 1605–1607.  With scholarly essays by J. Gayo Aragon and Antonio Dominguez.


Watch out for the next lecture of The Printed Word series coming in June! Join the Filipinas Heritage Library and Ayala Museum once again, together with Dr. May Jurilla, as we discover a new way of “Romancing the Book”.