Fr. Roque Ferriols, pioneer of philosophy in Filipino, passes away

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2021 04:07 PM

Fr. Roque Ferriols, S.J.
Fr. Roque Ferriols, S.J. Photo from the Ateneo de Manila University website

MANILA — Fr. Roque Ferriols, who pioneered the use of the Filipino language in philosophy, passed away early Sunday at the age of 96.

Ferriols' death was announced by the Ateneo de Manila University, where the Jesuit philosopher taught for more than 40 years.

"At 12:24am, August 15, 2021, on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, our dearest Fr Roque Angel Jamias Ferriols SJ passed on to eternal life," the Ateneo said in a Twitter post. It did not mention the cause of death.

Ferriols was set to celebrate his 97th birthday on Monday, August 16, the university added.

According to a profile on Ateneo's website, Ferriols "can be credited with almost single-handedly promoting the teaching of philosophy in Filipino."

Ferriols began teaching philosophy in Filipino in 1969 "as part of a greater move towards Filipinization in the university."

His efforts at promoting the study of philosophy in Filipino led Ferriols to translate, edit, and write various books.

Among Ferriols' notable works are "Mga Sinaunang Griyego," a translation of selected texts from the Pre-Socratics to Aristotle; "Magpakatao," a collection of texts exploring the theme of being human; and his original writings "Pambungad sa Metapisika" and "Pilosopiya ng Relihiyon."

Ferriols' works have earned him a National Book Awards from the Manila Critics' Circle.

In 1989, Ateneo conferred Ferriols with the Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi, which recognizes "those who have dedicated their life’s work to the pursuit of Filipinism and the Filipino identity through any of the channels of culture."