The Ateneo de Naga University, through the Fr James O’Brien Library, officially opened VCA Cecilio Press: Mga Babasahong Bikolnon sa Ateneo de Naga, a special exhibit showcasing the published works of VCA Cecilio Press, the oldest printing house in Naga City. The event was held in the morning of 12 September 2014.
The event officially commenced with the blessing of the university archives, followed by an opening prayer (based on one of the press’s published novenas) given by AdNU Press Director Fr Wilmer Tria, and welcoming remarks by Fr President Primitivo Viray, Jr, SJ. After the opening ceremony, lectures were then given by Kristian Cordero (Chair of AdNU’s CAC’s Literature and Creative Writing department) and Tito Genova Valiente (Director of the Institute of Bikol History and Culture). Cordero reflected on the impact of the printed works on the lives of Bikolanos, while Valiente provided insights on the academic importance of books published by the press.
A student documentary produced by Aprile Dañez and Andrea Donacao was later screened, showcasing the press’s linotype in action and the company’s humble origins. Jose Albia, a retired veteran of the publishing house, was also given special recognition for his passion and commitment to his work at Cecilio Press. Guest of honor Manuel Cecilio formally donated one of Cecilio Press’s old linotypes, shared a brief history of the company, and gave gratitude to the people who have supported them through the years.
The exhibit venue, which spotlights an old linotype (and moveable types), sample publications, and the press’s history, is on the first floor of the James O’Brien Library.