It’s Day 2 of the conference. Our party decided to skip discussions of the future to visit the past.
In less than an hour, I felt like the text I’ve memorized several years ago finally made sense. Reading about books and people is one thing. But seeing the actual or replicated copy is another. In that span of time, I believed my brain expanded – somehow.
This book of Dr. Antonio de Morga was mentioned in the history of journalism in the Philippines. To be in its presence is a privilege. I could wander in the exhibit the whole day and I doubt I’ll get tired looking at these publications. When only few were able to publish, these books, newspapers, among others existed. It’s a pity we had to leave to go back to the conference we were attending.
I could not understand most – if not all – of the text but I knew they mattered. Each word seemed valuable. The ink, the paper, and the handwriting – there’s just something about these things. It was more difficult to publish things then. Perhaps that is the reason why old books seemed to have more value.
During those times, owning a book was a status symbol. Being able to read one – usually written in a foreign language – was a great achievement.
I really could not understand any of the text but the book covers did tell me the contents are valuable. Book cover such as these do not exist in bookstores anymore.
If you can’t visit the exhibit at the University of Santo Tomas, you can go to http://library.ust.edu.ph/lumina/ for a virtual tour. It’s a great site.
How I wished our students were here. Pity, the exhibit is temporary. There is a book about the exhibited pieces. A little pricey for a state university reading room, but I do hope the book gets to be part of our humble collection.