Don Vicente Gullas' book re-launched
() - March 13, 2007 - 12:00am
The Freeman chairman Jose "Dodong" Gullas yesterday re-launched "The Art Of Living Well," the book written by his father, Don Vicente, who founded the University of the Visayas.

First published in 1950, Don Vicente's book talks on the importance of good ethics, sound values and respect for elders and authorities, which are lacking in many of the youth nowadays. The book has 176 pages and 24 chapters.

Dodong, the second child of Vicente, said: "The book that we are launching today is a must reading for everyone. It is a guide to a quality of life and to success in living, of vision and perseverance to suffering."

The re-launch of the book was attended by Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, who was the guest speaker. Also in attendance were Dodong's elder brother, UV president and Cebu 1st district Rep. Eduardo Gullas, UV assistant vice presidents Gerald Anthony Gullas and Joselito Gullas, and the third and fourth generations of the Gullases.

In writing his masterpiece, Don Vicente, who was also an educator, tried to convince the reader of the importance of patience and determination to do what is right, and to work hard and endure suffering as a strategy for success, citing such personalities as Abraham Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, and Manuel L. Quezon.

He pointed out the importance of good health as a means to a successful life, reminding the reader of Lapu-Lapu, Peter the Great and George Washington.

Don Vicente also cited one more characteristic of the book - it being an inspirational material. This is not surprising because inspiration was the recurrent theme of Don Vicente in his talks to students, teachers and lay people during his watch as UV president.

Faith in God is therefore one type of inspiration the author imparts to his reader. He assures them of God's love and care.

In the middle part of his book, the author shifts his concern from philosophical to practical, from great achievements to simple accomplishments, the kind expected of ordinary people. On character education, he stresses the different traits that should be developed in students to make them successful in their endeavors.

Vicente also authored several books - "The Cebuano, English and Spanish Dictionary;" "Lapu-Lapu," "Character Education," "Some of the Sweetest Stories Ever Told," "Deep Thinkers," and "Great Doers."

Dodong said the "Art Of Living Well" was a major work of his father. Basically, the character-building book contains precepts and ideas on how to become successful in life through positive thinking and proper behavior driven by strong determination and willingness for self-sacrifice.

"Today, we all live in the giant shadow that he cast. May we be worthy of the glory and honor of his name," Dodong said during the book launching.

Dodong, who helps shape public views through publishing and reviving The Freeman in 1965, said the book is intended for students in fourth year high school and in College of Arts and Sciences.

Born in Maasin, Leyte on January 12, 1898, Don Vicente studied at the Cebu Provincial High School, and later transferred to the Manila High School where he finished his secondary course in 1913.

Working his way to college as a newspaperman attached to Cable News American and later as a sports writer of the Manila Bulletin, he took up law and three years later, on his third year in college, he took and passed the bar examination.

In 1919, the young lawyer with the support of his brother, Paul, also a lawyer and a member of the Philippine Assembly, founded the Visayan Institute, which became a university in the 1940s.

Vicente died at the age of 72 on December 22, 1970. - Garry B. Lao/LPM

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