SPEECH ON THE OCCASION OF 2009
CHRISTMAS PARTY ON DECEMBER 23, 2009
(Rooftop, REX Printing Complex)
Good evening to the Management and staff of the REX Group of Companies, our authors and guests who are gathered here to celebrate the 2009 Christmas Party.
Similar to my previous statements during the preceding year, I wish to acknowledge once more the Divine Providence for allowing us to hold this festivity once more amidst negative concerns like typhoon Ondoy, glob al crisis and the like.
Come January 24, 2010 we would be celebrating our 60th year of business existence and that for the year 2010, we are adopting the theme “REX Highlights Value-Laden Deeds of Great People to Help the Perceived Decline of Ethical Values Under Present-Day Setting” to serve as the tone of our Christmas celebration and presentation tonight.
As we go back to the past, we are reminded that on January 24, 1950, a widow whose husband Dominador M. Buhain died of an ailment and who would like to rear her three children Jose, Dominador Jr. and Mario put up the REX Book Store which would substantially engage in the selling and buying of second hand books.
That on the same place along C.M. Recto , the adjoining New Republic Book Store would be put up by a self-made man from San Narciso, Zambales who underwent challenges of earthly existence at a tender age.
His savings from a hard work was surreptitiously stolen by his peers. He would be abandoned; he would be advised to work harder because of his propensity to it. He even worked as a janitor to pursue his studies up to the College of Law Level.
That he was successful in capturing the heart of the former Mrs. Buhain over that of a rival Chinaman who owned the adjacent bookstore.
That later, REX Book Store absorbed the New Republic Bookstore by marital concession.
That in order to survive, the couple would borrow money even at usurious rates to finance the survival and growth of the business.
That as the REX Book Store grew they would venture into publishing firstly the lawbook entitled “Legal Forms” by Sulpicio Guevarra, later the book of Justice Edgardo L. Paras which eventually paved the way for the bookstore to become an important lawbook supplier.
They published also the government approved book Zaide’s “World History” and “Nations of the World”, Lourdes Tayao’s “English in My Little World”, etc.
Whatever little successes that were achieved was subsequently obliterated by a conflagration that razed to the ground the establishment.
The establishment’s stocks and infrastructure unfortunately were not ensured.
Your humble self who just came from the initiation rights from the Ateneo College of Law tried to salvage whatever is to be salvaged but only 1 prayer book entitled “Jesus Save Me” remained unblemished.
All the previous employees packed up their things and did not help us anymore thinking that we would not be able to pay them anymore.
As we try to survive and extricate ourselves, Mr. Fontelera got a huge government order for the approved titled and that my humble self tried to visit the school using the miraculous book as part of the sales kit.
Although it has already been repeatedly said, Mr. Febre was there to provide assistance.
Through the industry of the couple and borrowings from financial institutions and other sources, they were able to put up the printing press.
Somewhere along the way, labor militancy with the many negative consequences which included the health of Mr. Fontelera took place.
Mr. Russ Cuyugan, Ms. Letty Liwanag, Domeng Miguel, Dorie Anastacio and Nene Solapco were there to provide support.
During the critical days to bring about the passage of RA 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act, reduction of taxes thereto, your humble representation was virtually crucified, Lee Ulangca provided a helping hand to counteract the negative blows.
It is premised on such considerations that I took upon myself to honor them as they served as bridges to bring us to where we are now with the third generation predominantly playing active rules.
During the present-day situation, we are thankful to the aggressiveness and dynamism of our COO to bring us to where we are now for us to continue to celebrate this Christmas festivity.
We are thankful to the children of Ogie an Ochie – Jeanne Marie and Sunday as they are proving to be dependable pillars of this organization.
Although it maybe self-serving because I am his father, I in my capacity as President wish to acknowledge the indispensable contribution of Danda with Mr. Fontelera as the principal endorser and the breakthrough she made this year on the new education method “Understanding by Design” with the proposed and accepted collaboration with Professor Wiggins, the originator of this new education methodology.
Of course, whatever little achievements we might be enjoying would not be possible without you, the middle management or Mancom and more importantly to the suppliers of intellectual inputs, the writers and authors.
Mr. Fontelera said that they should be placed number one in the hierarchy ofimportance.
With this suggestion, it could have explained why REX Book Store has the most number of Filipino-authored titles.
Our by-line that we are “the most comprehensive educational provider in the country” has justifications.
May I also give recognition to the man who started it all – Mr. Juanito Fontelera. Let us pray that his health would continuously improve.
At his juncture, allow me to give the Presidential Award and accompanying monetary support to the Company heroes I cited.
May I request the COO Don Buhain to read the citations before I give the award and monetary support to the recipients.
We would request also the recipients to render a brief message after their award.