Vibal Group, Inc. (or Vibal) is a group of companies with core businesses in publishing, printing, systems integration, and technology solutions specialized for education, government, and private enterprise. Starting as a small publishing company specializing in business magazine and, later, textbook publication in the 1950s, Vibal has grown to become one of the Philippines' leading players in education dedicated to “making Filipinos intelligent through books and technology.” It has produced millions of textbooks and other reference materials, and is one of the pioneers in introducing digital classrooms and low-cost digital education tablets for the digitization of education in the Philippines.
Insurance and Finance Magazine
Vibal was founded in 1953 by Hilarion P. Vibal, a veteran journalist who had served as business and finance editor of the Philippines Herald and the Evening News, and by his wife, Esther A. Vibal, who was then a budding journalist from the Manila Times. Both left their newspaper job and started Insurance and Finance Publishing Co. at Room 323 in the Samanillo Building on Escolta, then the prime business district. Its maiden publication, the ‘’Insurance and Finance Magazine’’ pioneered in the field of business reporting. As editor and publisher of the magazine, Mr. Vibal was the prime mover in helping jump-start the local business community that was devastated by World War II. One of his key employees then was Renato Esquerra, who would later become a De La Salle University professor and president of Philippine Marketing Association.
Although the magazine started out as a quarterly publication, it quickly gained wide acceptance, renaming itself Insurance and Finance Journal in the late 50s and publishing on a monthly basis. In April 1956, Mr. Vibal hired one of its pioneer employees, Murine Distor, as a utility man. Distor would eventually become the office and circulation manager of the two twin companies, Insurance and Finance and Philippine Trade and Commerce Publishing Co.
In 1957, its editorial offices were transferred to a new office-printing plant at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Vibal Printing Co. was then established to print commercial magazines and labels. Also in the same year, Mr. Vibal's wife Esther would come in as a part-time publisher with the launch of the supplementary school magazine Science and School Publication, which would later become one of the pioneer science magazines of the country. In 1959, Distor was promoted as production manager of Vibal Printing Co., having full control of the new printing presses, personnel, materials and properties. In 1960 another key employee Jean Fernandez joined the company as company secretary. She would rise through the ranks to eventually become its national sales manager.
In 1961, Esther A. Vibal started the textbook publishing division of the company, which by then became Vibal Publishing House, Inc (VPHI). In 1963, it would publish one of its first texbooks in science called Science and Health for Everyone, Grade IV and Science and Health for Better Living, Grade V, both authored by Trinidad Mariño. In 1964 Vibal branched out to mathematics and social studies with the publication of New Adventures in Arithmetic and School Time. In 1977, it published English Reader, the initial textbook in its first English series to integrate math, science, and values content in one book.
Venturing into Private School Market
In 1978, VPHI on its 25th year, inaugurated its brand new four-storey complex at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue. The following year, it entered the private school market. By 1980 it established its first branch office in Cebu. In the same year it launched Student's Digest, a supplementary social studies periodical. To better reach its private school customers, the Educational Service Program (ESP) was launched in 1981 to assist schools in the development and training of faculty members.
In 1986, VPHI began computerizing its operations to keep up with its growing operation, starting with its book development department which received its first batch of high-end desktop computers.
In 1991 Vibal established a sister company, SD Publications, Inc. to undertake the publication of supplementary magazines and handle the public school textbook requirements. Eight years later VPHI further expanded its sales reach with the establishment of its second regional office in Davao. In 2000 it expanded its product line to include innovative multimedia educational materials in VHS and CD format. The following year Esther A. Vibal received the Book Development Leadership Award from the National Book Development Board.
To further address its expansion requirements, VPHI moved in 2002 to its new headquarters—a four-storey complex at the corner of Gregorio Araneta Ave. and Maria Clara St. in Quezon City.
In 2003, VPHI marked its 50 years in the publishing industry. Since then it has concentrated on educational publishing and has grown to be the biggest educational publisher in the country. In 2006, the company ventured into online publishing with the launch of Filipiniana.net, the Philippines' premiere digital library and research portal that offers free, 24/7 internet access to rare books, images and other artifacts of Philippine studies. In the same year, on the occasion of the Manila International Book Fair, Vibal launched WikiPilipinas, an online, free content, collaborative website that gathers popular and informal knowledge on the Philippines. WikiPilipinas would eventually become the world's largest online Philippine encyclopedia.
To streamline its operations, VPHI consolidated its other sister companies to form the Vibal Group, Inc.
Vibal has employed professionals with extensive experience and background in the fields of education and journalism, including highly respected editors, consultants, and authors: Lilia Rabago, as Vibal's science and technology education consultant and who has been one of the country's consultants in environmental education-related undertakings; Pilar Romero, as editor for Vibal's Christian Living Education series and who was former assistant to the vice rector and currently dean of the College of Education of the University of Santo Tomas; Jose Lloyd Espiritu, as author-editor of of Vibal's ICT/Computer Education series, and who is a professor and former dean of the College of Computer Studies of De La Salle University and curriculum consultant of the Commission on ICT; and the late Grace Estela Mateo, who was a highly respected historian and a former associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of the Philippines Manila.
The Vibal bookshelf is stacked with curriculum materials that are Complete Teaching-Learning Packages (CTLP). Each CTLP includes a series of textbooks or worktexts, teacher's manuals, a scope and a sequence chart and when necessary, skill books or laboratory manuals and multimedia component.
- The lessons in the textbooks or worktexts are in consonance with but not limited to the Learning Competencies prescribed by the Department of Education (DepEd).
- The Teacher's Manuals (TMs) are designed to help the teacher chart the course of study. A TM contains suggested strategies for developing cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills. Unit tests check the student's mastery of the skills and lessons taken while follow-up activities serve as reinforcement.
- An integral part of the CTLP is the scope and sequence chart which presents a hierarchical listing of the skills to be developed, vis-a-vis concepts and values. This easy-to-follow listing provides the teacher with the necessary information on the skills, concepts and values to be developed at each level.
- Skill books and laboratory manuals are designed to test student's knowledge of the covered lessons. A skill book or lab manual contains enrichment activities and exercises that help students understand the lessons better and help them apply the concepts that they have learned from their textbooks.
Vibal’s textbooks, workbooks, and supplementary materials covering the complete K-12 curriculum are published in print and digital formats. They are integrated with LearnLive AR, an augmented reality technology to enhance users’ learning through experiential walkthroughs that integrate graphics, sounds, and sensory experiences.
- K-12 Basic Education- anchored on the three pillars of K to 12: letting a child construct his or her own knowledge (constructivism), guiding each child in learning how to learn (metacognition), and providing for differentiated instruction and multiple intelligences.
- Higher Education- adheres to the revised General Education Curriculum (GEC). Written by distinguished authors, each textbook is carefully designed to match both national and international standards through the comprehensive coverage of relevant theories and applications.
- LearnLive AR- uses augmented reality (AR) technology to enhance learning with experiential walkthroughs that integrate graphics, sounds, and sensory experiences. Now with Vibal textbooks and a smartphone or tablet, students can experience engaging AR-enabled learning.
- Trade and Reference Books- Vibal also specializes in publishing children's books, art books, and reference books for readers of various ages and inclination. The company is passionate about Philippine art, history, and culture and this is reflected in the scope and breadth of its publishing program.
- Chikiting Books- children’s book imprint for children from ages three to twelve years old. These books help children address real life questions, concerns, and values in a form with which they can easily identify. Young readers can easily follow the stories in English and Filipino and develop their language skills, fostering a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
Vibal has also integrated publishing with multimedia to create quality products that offer exciting innovations to its target market. It has created Interactive DVDs, Audio CDs, and VCDs that serve as curriculum support materials (CSM), reinventing the way the teaching-learning process is done. Some of these products include:
- Regions of the Philippines/Mga Rehiyon ng Pilipinas is a 10-DVD set designed as a curriculum support material for Civics/Social Studies as it features the 17 regions of the Philippines. Produced by Vibal Multimedia, this product was the national finalist and the official Philippine entry to the 2005 World Summit Awards’ E-learning category.
- Makabayan Audio package (3 Audio CDs and a Videoke CD) presents a collection of songs on Philippine culture and history and serves as a support material for the study of Makabayan in grade school.
- Sing and Learn CDs Children’s Album Series (4 audio CDs by Vibal Multimedia) features catchy melodies and easy-to-learn lyrics for toddlers and preschoolers.
Pre-press and Printing Innovations
Vibal has one of the most advanced computer technologies in the educational publishing industry. Its Creative/Arts Department uses state-of-the-art desktop publishing and pre-press equipment and the latest printing machines to fast-track production operations. All graphic and layout artists use high-end computers and latest desktop publishing software applications to deliver more efficiency in publishing and commercial printing.
The company has invested in state-of-the art equipment and technologies to increase production capacity as well as to cope with the needs and requirements of its customers. It has acquired digital, four-color, and multi-color presses to improve its products. Its latest acquisition, the Cromoman 45 printing system, improved and doubled the production capacity because of its high speed and flexibility. This machine is able to produce more than 100,000 copies in a day. It is the only one in the Philippines and one of five in Southeast Asia.
In 2007, the company established its corporate social arm, Vibal Foundation. The foundation strengthens the core of Vibal's corporate social responsibility of giving Filipinos access to quality educational materials at the least possible cost.
Vibal Foundation imprints include:
- Filipiniana Clasica- culturally and educationally significant books continuously in print with illustrations and expanded new editions
- Academica Filipina- an interdisciplinary series that explores the Philippine past, present, and future
- Arte Filipino- features the lives and works of Filipino artists from an art historical perspective
- Fifty Shades of Philippine Art- a series of affordable and concise art books
- Voyager- book voyages that explores intriguing topics that often elude academic discussion
Vibal Foundation has also developed four knowledge portals:
- Filipiniana.net, is the premier Philippine digital library and online research portal. It gathers and disseminates rare, unpublished, and out-of-print materials on Philippine studies and publishes them (full-text documents and books) online for free. Filnet is also a Filipiniana book publisher. Among its published works are Ciudad Murada, 81 Years of Premio Zobel, Fabian de la Rosa and His Times, Philippine Church Facades, Occupation: The Later Years and Rizal According to Retana.
- WikiPilipinas.org, the encyclopedia for and by the Filipinos, is a hip, popular and free-content, web-based encyclopedia. It encourages a myriad of volunteers to take part in its "knowledge revolution"-a national campaign to foster nationalism, gain cultural recognition of the Philippines, and help the country make an international mark.
- The Philippine Online Chronicles (POC) is a weekly online publication that presents news articles with multiplicity of perspectives. Aside from actual facts of events, POC gathers and reports different viewpoints that relate to it. It digs information from both mainstream and alternative news sources such as blogs, student newspapers, and other alternative publications.
- E-turo is the country's first and biggest online repository of teaching and learning tools covering the five basic subject areas of English, Filipino, Science, Math, and Social Studies. For teachers, there will be downloadable lesson plans, learning competencies, assignments and quizzes; while for students, there will be interactive lessons, exercises, workshops, and journals.
Vibal also offers other technology solutions to help turning digital education into reality. One of these is Vsmart, an end-to-end school management and learning records system. It assists teachers in facilitating student learning. It also helps track students’ learning achievement even when students are learning at home. Vsmart is packed with Vibal’s complete K-12 contents, analytics, and learners’ progress reporting.
- VSmart Enroll- covers all processes in the enrollment cycle including set up and scheduling, student enrollment, student data and document management, and payment verification.
- VSmart School- provides access to Vibal’s complete K-12 and GEC courses based on DepEd's budgeted calendar for out-of-the-box teaching and learning. Teachers can also livestream classes.
- VSmart LMS (Learning Management System)- contains a massive test bank, a library of and interactive resources plus a web-based reader of Vibal e-textbooks.
- VSmart HMS (Homeschool Management System)- a system where parents and teachers can work seamlessly to manage home-based learners. Teachers can assign lessons and, with parents, can track student activities.
- VSmart Mobile- an app where students can stream classes and courses online or download them along with learning resources for offline access. Teachers can deploy mobile-only content and chat with students, all within the privacy of the app.
- VSmart Courseware- a tool to run one’s training platform, which comes with a powerful content engine that enables course creators to create modules, embed videos and external links, and automatically generates certificates.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed Vibal to accelerate its Learn at Home, which features homeschool or home-based learning and teaching programs that are customizable, modular, and come in print or digital formats, depending on the homeschooler's level of online access. Homeschool kits contain modular academic books, workbooks, daily lesson planners, supplements, activity sheets, and test booklets. They are also integrated with VSmart Homeschool Management System (HMS) for efficient and collaborative teacher-driven, parent-facilitated learning.
- Smart Homeschool Kit- custom homeschool kit from preschool to Grade 10 that is packaged with Smart Wizard workbooks, Smart Class daily lesson planner, opt-in modular Academic Books, and integrated with VSmart Homeschool Management System (HMS).
- Learn@Home- a variety of home-based learning programs managed and facilitated directly by Vibal for learners aged 3 to 18 years old.
- Learn at Home Kits- free Learn at Home Kits for primary, intermediate, and secondary contain engaging educational materials for ten weeks of learning.
- Smart Wizard
- Smart Class
- Academic Books
- Smart Homeschool Kit
Vibal Publishing's main office is located at 1253 G. Araneta Ave., cor Ma. Clara St. Quezon City. The Vibal compund is a two-hectare property which houses the main office building and the printing plant. It also has regional offices in Cebu and Davao.
- Manila Office: G. Araneta Ave., cor. Ma. Clara St., Quezon City
- (632) 712-2722; 712-9156 to 59; Fax: (632) 711-8852
- Cebu Office: 0290 Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City
- (032) 233-0173; 233-0176; 233-2568 Fax: (032) 233-2983
- Davao Office: 1st St., cor. Calamansi, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City
- (082) 297-5226 Fax: (082) 297-8550
- Cagayan de Oro Office:
- Bldg. A,Unit 4, Pride Rock Business Park Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City
- (0882) 273-3630
- "About Vibal Group, Inc.". Vibal.Accessed on 8 January 2020.