Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rapid Journal Donated to Univrsity of St. La Salle Library Part I: The Turnover by: James U. Sy Jr.

USLS Alumni James U. Sy Jr. (left) turning over the Rapid Journal donations to USLS College Librarian Henie S. Gonzales with Library Assistant for Acquisition Vivian Capanas and Narciso "Hansy" L. Alojado of the Center for La Sallian Ministriesa (CELAM) as witnesses.

The University of St. La Salle (USLS) College Library, now known as the Alfredo M. Montelibano, AFSC Library, under University Librarian Henie S. Gonzales received a donation of 40 issues of the Rapid Journal, the longest running and at present, the one and only martial arts resource in the Philippines, from its Editor/Publisher Daniel O. Go of Binondo through USLS alumni James U. Sy Jr. and Center for La Sallian Ministries’ Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado last July 21, 2009 at the 1st Floor of the USLS College Library, USLS, La Salle Ave., Bacolod City. Witnessing the turnover was Vivian Capanas, Library Assistant for Acquisition, and Mrs. Gonzales’ son.

Rapid is an acronym for Research and Propagation for Internal Development. It was originally the name of a section of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines (WFP) which was organized by Go to systematize the study of Chinese Martial Arts (CMA), most especially the internal health art of Tai Chi Chuan, as well as research, document , propagate, and legitimize the arts and improve its teaching methods.

When the Rapid Group separated from WFP in 1996, Mr. Go, a 2 time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Tai Chi Chuan gold medalist, started the publication of Rapid Journal, originally exclusive to Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) but later extended to cover Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Western, and other forms of martial arts (see

What made Rapid Journal different from the standard martial arts magazine in the market, such as the more popular Black Belt and Inside Kung Fu, is that its articles are well researched, scholastic, and with great depth. Subjects cover the historical, cultural, linguistic, sociological, anthropological, ethnological, hoplological, economic, and political factors that have influenced the development and evolution of the various martial arts from different countries.

The public have a distorted view of the real meaning and essence of the martial arts because its practice in early modern society was mostly associated with gangsters and troublemakers. Although the media and the film industry had helped to popularize the arts, most of these exposures were centered on the fighting aspects of the martial arts and in the certain cases, exaggerated and/or distortied representation. Thus, Rapid Journal seeks to educate the public of the cultural and wellness benefit of the martial arts as well as the foundation philosophies and principles from which they were founded upon.

Many of the contributing writers for Rapid Journal have academic backgrounds which show in their works. Some professionals from the University of the Philippines (UP), University of St. La Salle (USLS), Southwestern University (Cebu) had written for the journal.

The donated materials were composed of Vol. 1 No. 1 up to Vol. 11 No. 3. Sy and Alojado, the Co-Founders of the martial arts research and documentation group Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), inc., hope that with the donation to the USLS College Library, Negros students, particularly those from the university, will have access to academically researched and documented works on the martial arts.

Previously donations were also made by Go thru Sy to the West Visayas State University (WVSU) and University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UP-V), two prominent scholastic institutions in Panay. In Negros, the University of St. La Salle was the primary pick as recipient because of its place as the city’s and province’s leading educational institution.

The University of St. La Salle (USLS) was founded as the La Salle College in 1952. The library was originally located at the ground floor of the Science Laboratory Bldg. The library’s present location was built and occupied in April 1983. At present, the library collection includes 87,281 books and 70,861 volumes of bound periodicals, pamphlets, and monographs, one of the most extensive in the province.

USLS is also a pioneer in new library technology in the province of Negros. In 1993, the library adopted the application of automation in the circulation area and the use of CDS-ISIS for its periodical index. The following year it adopted the use of CD-ROM and microfiche and in February 1995, the use of the internet.

A second set of Rapid Journal donations for Negros is planned for the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R). The date has yet to be set but it will be before the year ends. Arrangements are being made for the transport of the journals from Manila to Bacolod and the subsequent communication with university officials.

The donated Rapid Journal will be available to researchers after the uUniversity Library finished cataloging and filing them in their assigned section.

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