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The First Printing in the Philippines

Monday, November 10, 2008

The first printing press in the Philippines was established by the Dominican friars in Manila in the year 1953. That was 47 years before the appearance of the first printing press in the United States. The first printing press in Manila printed books by means of the old xylographic methos, that is, printing by using engraved woodblocks.

In 1602 Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose, with the help of Juan de Vera (Chinese Christian printer), improved the printing press by using the typographic method, that is, printing by means of movable types.

In 1608 Father San Jose transferred the printing press to Abucay, Bataan, where he was assigned as parish priest. In this town, he trained a young Filipino named Tomas Pinpin in the art of printing. In subsequent times the printing press was moved from place to place - from Abucay to Pila (Laguna), from Pila to Manila, from Manila to Bacolor (Pampanga), and from Bacolor back to Manila. It is still existing as the University of Santo Tomas Press. Truly, it is one of the oldest printing presses in the wolrd.


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