History of Rex Book Store

History of REX Book Store


As we proceed to the 65th year of business existence allow me to give retrospect on the history of Rex Book Store which is now the Rex Group leading to the present-day situation.


It is essentially divided into three (3) parts from my perspective:


• Dominador M. Buhain from Calumpit, Bulacan (who took up law but failed to pass the bar) and Jovita Dungca from Lapaz, Tarlac who graduated from the Centro Escolar University with a pharmaceutical course were the original founders of Rex Book Store ;


A.1 Rex Book Store which was then situated at the Claro M. Recto (formerly Azcarraga) fronting Cinerama leased the rental space owned by Mercy from Pangasinan;


A.2 Domindor Senior from Calumpit presumptively grew from a well to do family as he reportedly indulged in gambling like poker and likewise sported a roundabout the brand car during that time;


A.3 During the marital existence of Jovita and Dominador Senior they would frequent Baguio with Mechanic Pepe;


A.4 Dominador Senior would later on form the Central Book Supply with Soc Rodrigo the godfather of Dominador Junior and who would later become Senator of the Republic of the Philippines with Antonio Aragon as one of the staff;


A.5 Presumptively due to conflict that could possibly arise from a partnership Dominador Senior put up the Rex Book Store;


A.5.1 Dominador Sr. and Jovita were able to purchase a lot in Cordillera fronting the St. Theresa’s College where they put a small house thereto;


A.5.2 They were originally staying at the house of the mother of Dominador Senior;


A.6 Dominador, however, contracted liver ailment, became sickly and eventually died with Jovita assuming the management of the business;


A.7 During interment, neighbor broadcaster Luz Mat Castro said “Ano kaya ang mangyayari dito sa mga batang ito?”


A.8 Jovita accepted challenge of rearing three (3) children Jose, Dominador and Mario and courageously enrolled the children to San Beda College;


A.9 Between the two storeowners sandwiching the Rex Book Store, New Republic Book Store Owner Juanito Fontelera an Ilocano from Zambales won the heart of Jovita over that of Popular Book Store Owner Jess Sibal of Chinese descent;


A.10 Juanito and Jovita eventually got married on January 15, 1955 at St. Joseph Church along Espana Extension;
A.10.11 Juanito prior to this marriage is blessed with a son Rogelio who would have marital relationship Ochie Yatco;


A.11 One of classmates of Dominador however said when he saw the humbly built house “Akala namin mayaman kayo dahil maganda ung kotse Buick pero mahirap pala kayo an liit bahay ninyo”;


A.12 Juanito and Jovita were both time conscious as being always arriving on time to attend parties and other events which were not well accepted by the socialites who normally arrived late to gain dramatic entry;


A.13 They woke up at 0400 to attend to household chores and pursue physical exercises;


A.13.1 Juanito was able to convince Sulpicio Guevara to come up with the first Rex Book Store legal publication Legal Forms;


A.13.2 Juanito likewise was able to secure the approval of Department of Education for the approval for public school use the books entitled World History by Zaide, Effective English for Every Use 3, 4 by Bucu, Nations of the World, Philippines and Her Neighbors, English In My Little World 3and 4, Exploring Our World Through English 5 and 6 by Tayao, Menez, e.al;


A.14 While Jovita is conservative in holding the company funds, Juanito would use other peoples’ money through loans and invest in machines;


A.14.1 Jovita at times would have sleepless nights thinking of the loans while Juanito would sleep soundly;


B. During 1970 the store was razed to the ground by fire which was not fully covered by insurance;


B.1 Every object was burned down except for a prayer book “God Saved Me” which was used by Dominador Jr. to promote the publications throughout the entire archipelago and later on was assisted by Chino Febre;


B.2 While Jovita would manage the new place where the Rex Book Store would be transferred at the Padilla Building Dominador together with Chino Febre promoted books to the private schools and Juanito would promoted to the government;


B.3 The combined efforts of triumvirate enabled them to raise money to finance the purchase of lots for the construction of Rex Book Store- Morayta and Rex Printing Company, Incorporated;


B.4 It likewise enabled the Rex Book Store to cause the release of more publications for private school adoption and for approval by the government for public school purchase ;


B.4.1 Juanito would move heaven and earth to bring to the fold of Rex luminaries like Paras, De Leon, Reyes, Bernas and other known writers;


B.4.2 He gave would-be textbook for the elementary,secondary and tertiary writers for opportunities to grow like Banlaygas,Dagoon,etc.;


B.4.3 In effect,he never refused accepting manuscripts from anybody as he would immediately commiserate the difficulty of coming up with the same thus completion of the promised dates could be a concern likwise ;


B.4.4 The same would nevertheless explain why Rex has the most number of Filipino-authored titles;


B.5 The suggestion of Sister Pupe from St. Theresa Cebu to comply with the policy statement and directive of government to use Filipino authored publications gave a big boost for publishers of Filipino authored textbooks;


B.5.1 The specific mention of Rex’s English In My Little World 3 / 4and Exploring Our World Through English 5 /6 by Tayao,et.al. by Sister Pupe as effective replacement of foreign authored elementary English textbooks uplifted the Rex Book Store from a never heard status to being heard;


B.6 Dominador Jr. capitalized his status of being a son of the owner to promote books over that of a mere sales agent thus the reputation of Rex Book Store continues to be uplifted;


B.7 After the promotion period and during start of classes while Dominador Jr. would act as cashier at the Rex Recto or assist in wrapping purchased materials while Juanito Jovita and Peaches would help Rex Morayta and Cynthia and Danda would be actively present at the Rex Makati;


B.7.1 The strategy was for the family to give personalized attention if possible to all facets of the business to survive;


B.8 Everything was turning out alright when relatives spearheaded the formation of militant unions;


B.8.1 Dominador ‘s little knowledge of law proved helpful in negotiations which led to the election of Domeng as President of Alyansa which is a moderate union in place of a militant union which would kill the business;


C. On blank date Don Timothy graduated with superior honors at the Asian Institute Management with Professor Ed Morato as the guru who espoused”in the beginning there is cash and in the end there is more cash”;


C.1 It was also at the AIM where Juanito,Dominador,Mario and Don attended the Seminar on Family Succession where we were able to put into black and white the lifestyle of Juanito and Jovita to form the family values;


C.1.1 Love of God;


C.1.2 Love of Country;


C.1.3 Good Morals;


C.1.4 Leadership by Example;


C.1.5 Maximizing Time and Resources;


C.1.6 Cleanliness;


C.1.7 Orderliness;


C.1.8 Hard Work/ Diligence;


C.1.9 Palabra de Honor/ Word of Honor;


C.1.10 Entrepreneurial Spirit;


C.1.11 Lofty Ambition;


C.1.12 Habit of Savings;


C.1.13 Education;


C.1.14 Humility;


C.1.15 Dignity of Labor;


C.1.16 Industry;


C.1.17 Promptness;


C.2 Under Don’s watch as COO with CPAG Manager Sunday Fontelera,Marketing Manager Jeanne Marie Fontelera and Publishing Manager Danda Crimelda Buhain numerous breakthroughs through professionalization of managers have been achieved in tandem with the Pilot Consulting Group;


C.2.1 The sales organization were structured;


C.2.2 The financial set up were given sophistications;


C.2.3 Budgetary systems were allocated;


C.2.4 Publishing ,Printing and Retail were given separate entities and accountability and many others thus sales and collections have improved;


C.2.5 Not only that we became top of mind there was corresponding improvement in financiall situations;


C.2.6 My only concern as the Chairman and President is while breakthroughs are being met there should be likewise be an opportunity to nurture and preserve the past to serve as afoundation of the present and the future;


C.2.7 Rex Book Store necessarily must have a historical precedent,soul and its peculiar culture;


C.2.7 Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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