TOMÁS Pinpín is the name of a Filipino from Bataan, who thrived and prospered during one of the most difficult times in Philippine history: the arrival and settlement of the Spaniards in Luzon. I do not know if there is any mention of him in Philippine textbooks, but I have no doubt he deserves a preferential place in the selected pantheon of the most honorable Filipinos. At least, there is a street carrying his name in Binondo and not far from there, in Lorenzo Ruiz Square, there is a rather modest monument in his honor, reminding the visitor he was the first Filipino printer.

Indeed, some Sangleys before him did print books in the Philippines but to be fair, he was the first to develop a professional career of more than three decades as a printer, as an engraver and as a typographer. When it comes to anything dealing with books from a Filipino perspective, he is number one. As the cover of one of his books acknowledges, he was a native Tagalog from Bataan, probably from one of the towns or surrounding villages where a Dominican friar, Father Francisco Blancas de San José, was carrying out his missionary work. This priest must have seen something special in Pinpin because he took him to Manila and hired him to work at the Dominican printing press, located at that time in the Convent of San Gabriel in Binondo.

Premium + Digital Edition

Ad-free access

P 80 per month
(billed annually at P 960)
  • Unlimited ad-free access to website articles
  • Limited offer: Subscribe today and get digital edition access for free (accessible with up to 3 devices)

See details
See details