by Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P.


A collection as wide in its scope as it is deep in its insights, it draws on what has obviously been a life well lived. In his Preface, the author says that these essays are about “values,” a subject often disparaged as banal. Nothing in this book would fit that description. Even when it’s dealing with subjects as seemingly commonplace as “silence” or “garbage” or “wedding photographs,” we are in the presence of an original, creative mind. In language as precise as it is elegant, he ranges over realities both absurd and exalted. He alludes, not just to saints (Augustine, Aquinas, Paul) and philosophers (Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault), but to a huge panoply of poets and novelists (Emily Dickinson, Miguel de Unamuno, TS Eliot, George Orwell Marcel Proust, Nikoz Kazantzakis, Alexander Solshenitsyn), as well as pop icons (Charlie Chaplin, the Spice Girls, Sunset Boulevard). The tone is at times gentle; at others, humorous; at others, angry, even indignant. But always, it is—perhaps, surprisingly—humble. We are in the presence of a teacher whose wisdom is hard earned.

—Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Ph.D.
Renowned writer and pioneer of creative nonfiction in the Philippines


These short but brilliant column pieces—witty, lucid, and always heartfelt and insightful—written across a period of years in which Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P. juggled several positions as a Dominican religious, scholar, educator, and administrator (among them as chairman of the Commission on Higher Education and returning Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas) constitute a corpus of works that both reflect the very interesting times in which they were written as well as the robust mind that sought to make sense of the chaos and excitement of the moment and the milieu. In a way, Father De la Rosa has always remained true to the Dominican dictum of sharing the fruits of one’s prayer and contemplation with others. In this book is his contemplative pen in action. And we, the readers, are truly blessed to be the beneficiaries of his prayerful yet powerful vision.

—Lito B. Zulueta
Arts and Books subsection editor
Philippine Daily Inquirer


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