Through the Years
Six decades of publishing innovation and excellence
Vibal Publishing House, Inc., the Philippines' leading publisher of educational materials for basic education, was founded in 1953 by the late veteran newspaperman Hilarion Vibal, and his wife, Esther Asuncion-Vibal.
The company's precursor, Insurance and Finance Publishing Co., initially published the Insurance and Finance Magazine, which helped jumpstart the growth of local businesses in the aftermath of World War II.
Spurred by the rapid growth of the textbook publishing industry in the '50s and '60s, Mrs. Vibal sought entry into the field in 1961 with the launch of Science in Schools, a supplementary school magazine.
The succeeding years saw Vibal's emergence as a key player in the textbook industry. From science to mathematics and well into English and social studies, Vibal made a lasting imprint in the minds of young students as it released several titles across major subject areas, bucking the prevailing trend in an industry dominated by American publishers.
Textbooks as crux of the business
Over half a decade since its founding, Vibal has produced more than 2,500 titles, with 425 titles currently in use in over 3,000 private schools across the country. It is also estimated that Vibal textbooks account for more than half of those used by over 23 million Filipino students in public schools across the country.
In 1963, Vibal churned out one of its early textbooks in science called Science and Health for Everyone and Science and Health for Better Living. The following year saw the publication of New Adventures in Arithmetic and School Time as Vibal continued branching out to other subject areas like mathematics and social studies.
In 1977, Vibal's pioneering initiatives in textbook publishing were underscored in its release of English Reader. The original title in its pioneer English series, English Reader integrated mathematics, science, and values education content in one book.
Textbooks produced by Vibal are products of a rigorous editorial process, which is precisely the reason why a handful of Vibal titles have been acknowledged both by public and private institutions as the best in their subject area.
In 2007, Vibal bagged the first National Book Development Board (NBDB) Quality Seal Award for its Experiencing Mathematics – Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry and Statistics. Two years later, the same board handed yet again the Quality Seal Award for two of Vibal's textbooks: Rainbows in English Grade 5 and Excelling in Mathematics Grade 3. This was to be followed a year hence when another title, Language and Literature IV, was accorded the same seal.
Supplementary to Vibal's portfolio of textbook titles are releases from Chikiting Books, the company's popular and well-loved line of children's storybooks published by Vibal affiliate LG&M Corporation.
|Vibal's four storey complex in a 1.2-hectare compound at the corner of Gregorio Araneta Avenue and Maria Clara Street in Quezon City.|
Two years hence the company would establish its foremost branch office in Cebu, coinciding with the launch of a supplementary periodical in social studies called Student's Digest.
In 1981, complementary to its commitment in raising the standards of education in the country, the company launched the Educational Service Program, which aims to assist schools in the development and training of their faculty members.
At the turn of the century, Vibal strengthened its foothold in the industry with the establishment of its second regional office in Davao. This was to be followed two years later with the company's move to its new headquarters – a four-storey complex in a 1.2-hectare compound at the corner of Gregorio Araneta Avenue and Maria Clara Street in Quezon City.
At the heart of this complex is a 10,000 square-meter plant fully equipped with pre-press, press, and post-press machinery – the product of massive multimillion dollar investments in heavy and high-speed German and American printing and bindery machinery between 1991 and 2011.
Vibal in the Digital Age
Vibal jumpstarted its attempts at digitizing its operations in 1986 when its Book Development Department received its first batch of Apple Macintosh computers. At present, the company poses a significant headway among other players within the educational publishing industry with its advanced computer technologies and state-of-the-art production facilities.
In 2000, the company initiated moves to diversify its product line to include innovative multimedia educational materials in VHS and CD formats. Four years later, Vibal made history when it published the first full-color textbook in the country, the Science & Technology Modular Approach I-IV. Thereafter the company highlighted its thrust for a more interactive and enriching learning and teaching experience by complementing its Civics and Culture textbooks with Filipinism Interactive CD-ROM.
With the advent of modern technology and in keeping with the changing lifestyle of the Filipino youth, Vibal has been leading the way in the creation of educational content on multiple digital platforms, including its pioneering line of e-textbooks, CD-ROMs, web-based modules, social networking apps, games, and other curriculum support materials, all while boosting its existing portfolio of pedagogical and instructional materials in the traditional print format.
Over the years, Vibal has indeed been at the forefront of innovation and change, guided in large measure by its enduring mission to bolster the state of local pedagogy. In the middle of sweeping changes in both the technological and social milieus, Vibal Publishing remains committed in revolutionizing the state of education in the country today.
About the Founders
Vibal Publishing was founded by the husband-and-wife tandem of the late Hilarion P. Vibal and Esther Asuncion-Vibal. The two met in 1949 as practicing journalists, and tied the knot a year later.
A veteran newspaperman, Mr. Vibal has worked in various capacities for publications like the Philippine Herald, The Evening News, and Daily Mail. He was also a noted fictionist whose work, “The Waves” – a play about José Rizal which he wrote while a student at the University of the Philippines – was included in the anthology Philippine Prose and Poetry, which for a time was required reading for high school students.
In 1953, he quit his newspaper job and established Insurance and Finance Publishing Co., which was to become the precursor of the modern-day Vibal Publishing House, Inc. The company's initial output was the Insurance and Finance Magazine, originally a quarterly publication turned monthly.
He was ably supported by his wife, Mrs. Vibal, who herself was a journalist for the Manila Times, a career she started while still a student at the University of the Philippines. In 1957, she assumed the role of part-time publisher with the launch of Science in Schools, a supplementary school magazine. Four years later, she quit her job as a journalist to focus on strengthening the operations of Vibal
Mrs. Vibal has taken full control of the company since 1971 when her husband was unfortunately rendered incapacitated by a massive stroke. Upon his death in 1988, she continued to carry on her husband's legacy, pushing Vibal to become the educational giant it is today.
Over the years, Mrs. Vibal has been actively involved in various socio-civic organizations with particular focus on education and women welfare. Most notably, she has served as president of both the International Inner Wheel Club from 1978-1982 and the National Council of Women of the Philippines in 1990. In 2006, Mrs. Vibal established the Vibal Foundation as part of her advocacy of promoting literacy, women empowerment, and community outreach.
Her rigorous efforts to beef up the company's hold in the market and her tireless campaign to promote her causes have been recognized over time by various sectors. Last year alone she was conferred the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award by SGV Foundation and international accounting firm Ernst & Young, as well as the Lifetime Volunteerism Award by the National Volunteer Service Company.