Milflores: A Story of Two Publishers
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Milflores was founded by the writer Antonio Hidalgo in November 1999 with the vision "to pioneer in mass education through the commercial production and sale of books. The best writers in the country are encouraged to surmount class barriers by sharing as much of their knowledge and insight as they can through information and literary books that meet the needs and wants of the Filipino masses." He had grand ideas on publishing and books. You can still find them in his blog Milflores Online. For almost a decade, Milflores published 80 titles with this goal in mind, one man steadfastly pushing the envelope to bring books to many.
However, in 2011, Tony Hidalgo passed away. The management of Milflores was taken on by his wife, the writer Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, who carried on the distribution of existing titles of the company.
In 2020, after her stint as general manager of a large trade publisher in the Philippines, in the midst of a pandemic, Andrea Pasion-Flores, acquired the company from Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo or Jing to friends. Andrea is a writer, former literary agent, and past Executive Director of the National Book Development Board of the Philippines. She's good friends with Jing Hidalgo, who had been a mentor from Andrea's days as an MA student in the Creative Writing program of the University of the Philippines. Aside from ironing out the transfer, the real work of finding titles and authors to fill the list began. In 2021, it's hoped that titles from Milflores will begin finding their way to readers again.
Like Tony, Andrea hopes that the reading of books is an enjoyment that can reach as many people as possible. Each book Milflores publishes hopes to hit at least one of its three goals: promote learning, spark conversation, and fuel the imagination.
Tony Hidalgo was inspired by the famous saying of Mao Zedong, "Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred thoughts contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and sciences." These ideals inspired Tony Hidalgo to name the publishing company Milflores, a thousand flowers in Spanish, the local name for the hydrangea flower, while alluding to the importance of expression and diversity. The new Milflores hopes to stay true to this spirit and bring a slew of diverse voices and ideas to new readers of Milflores.