response from the editors
This book is long overdue. The talks were given in a seminar entitled “Walking through the Development of Local Churches after the Spanish Regime” with the CBCP Seminar in January 2010. So, after five years, we have seen the book. There were many factors for its delay. It is our first attempt to come up with a series — SVST Interdisciplinary Studies Series. As they say, it was difficult for us to hurdle the birth pangs of childbirth. But since it is about history, we are sure it will not be outdated. That is one good thing with history, it will sell until the Second Coming!
Well, the CBCP Seminar was also long overdue. It was intended to be a centennial celebration of Quae Mari Sinico (2002). But the bishops only thought about it in 2006. Bishop Jesus Dosado suggested it on the floor that year; that was already four years late. And the suggestion was implemented in 2010. That gives us an idea of how things work in the Church.
Since Bishop Dosado is a Vincentian, he suggested to Adamson University to sponsor and organize it for the CBCP. And Adamson passed it to us. In short, the project went into my lap and I did not know what to do with it.
It is then that the church historians here — Tony de Castro, Antolin Uy, Manny Manimtim, Albert Flores, Long Gutay — came to the rescue. I still remember that Sunday night when I went to Loyola School of Theology in order to talk with Tony about my big problem, and Tony helped me gather the Church historians in his circle. The rest is history.
One good thing happened. After the CBCP seminar, the church historians in the Philippines gathered and organized themselves as a group. Now, they call themselves CHAP — Church Historians Association of the Philippines.
With the above experience, I have one reflection on academic publication in the Philippines. Unlike our counterparts in the First World who have all the time in the world to write because they are only teaching one or two courses every semester, Third World theologians do not really have time to write. Together with teaching, we have many other preoccupations—pastoral work, counselling, formation, retreat-giving, etc. I still did not mention the inaccessibility of sources and library materials. But I think we can turn this difficulty into opportunity by joint publications like the book we have produced today. With authors contributing one article each on a specific topic, Third World historians, philosophers and theologians can also show the world our reflections in context, this time, not as academic lone-rangers producing our magnum opus but as a community of scholars, teachers and learners.
This project is not possible without the financial and technical support of institutions who make this happen. Adamson University under the leadership of its past President, Gregorio Bañaga, C.M., supported this project from the CBCP Seminar up to its publication. The CBCP Committee on the Cultural of the Church, then under Bishop Julito Cortes, sponsored this project in the CBCP floor. Jose Regalado Trota, our reviewer, was one of the facilitators to from this committee. I also thank my co-editor, Gerry Vibar who did the documentation from the CBCP Seminar up this time. But this book will never see the light of day without the editorial and technical assistance of Maricor Baytion, the former chief editor of Ateneo de Manila University Press. I never realized how difficult it is to transform an article into a readable book without Maricor and her team (Evelyn Baldemor, Arkaye Kierulf, and Karl Castro). I just realized how authors take it for granted that what they have written is understandable to the audience but it really is not because it is only understandable to themselves. To all these people, we owe them our gratitude.