Three Hundred Years of Philippine Maps from 1598 to 1898



"One of the most interesting facts about Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas map is it included the previously named Bajo de Masinloc or now called as Scarborough Shoal (often called Panatag Shoal) as part of Zambales. Since the dispute of China claiming that Scarborough Shoal is theirs is growing intense day by day, maybe we can let them go back and scan their history books and ours as well and let history be the judge. Dr. Leovino at the end said that it is sad that Spain is always and only portrayed through Rizal's novel in the 19th as always the villain and the colonizer. This is not true at all. He said."

One hundred thirty five original maps of Manila and the Philippines dating from the Spanish colonial times up to early American times are shown in the exhibit “300 Years of Philippine Maps” at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Maps for others are a tool for direction but in the field of cartography especially the antique ones are icons of beauty, vessels of knowledge and instrument of power. That is why maps are not for cartographers alone but also a vital tool of study to philosophers, anthropologists and linguists etc.


It is very interesting to know that most of the maps of our country were done in Europe: in London, Madrid and Paris. The oldest map in the exhibit is the Insulae Philippinae by Petrus Kaerus, Amsterdam 1598 which is the first individual map of the Philippines already within its established historical borders. At the back of the map written in Old Dutch is “inhabitants without laws who are cannibals”. The very first European map drawn upside down that mentioned the word “Filipina” (that is why it is called as the birth certificate of the Philippines) is the Terza Ostro Tavola by G.B. Ramasio and Giacomo Gastaldi, Italy 1563.

Robert Dudley’s Carta Particolare del Mare e Costa di Manilia took 40 years to prepare and 12 years to engrave. The very first map made by a Spanish is the Planta de las Islas Filipinas by Manuel Orozco, Madrid 1659Antonio Zatta’s Isole Filippine, Venice 1785 contains a mythical island the Isle of San JuanAllain Manesson Mallet’s Die Philippinishe Inseln, Frankfurt 1684 describes Manila having people who are well-built, handsome, fair-skinned and stay in the river the whole day! 


Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas showing the locals

The most important map of all is made by a Spanish Jesuit priest and printed by Filipino woodblock artist Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay is Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde’s Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas all done in Manila with 6 different versions the earliest was done in 1734. One of the maps is showing St. Francis Xavier approaching Mindanao and is bordered by vignettes of sangleys, Negritos, mestizos and indios. This map is referred to be the mother of all Philippine maps because the current iconography of our country is based here. 

Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas showing St. Francis Xavier
                                         
"One of the most interesting facts about Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas map is it included the previously named Bajo de Masinloc or now called as Scarborough Shoal (often called Panatag Shoal) as part of Zambales. Since the dispute of China claiming that Scarborough Shoal is theirs is growing intense day by day, maybe we can let them go back and scan their history books and ours as well and let history be the judge. Dr. Leovino at the end said that it is sad that Spain is always and only portrayed through Rizal's novel in the 19th as always the villain and the colonizer. This is not true at all. He said."

The next lecture will discuss more about this. Below are series of lectures be held all throughout in July:

July 14, 2012 - 10:30am Cartography lecture series - PART 3
From Night Stars to Rocky Shoals by John Silva, Executive Director of the Ortigas Foundation Library

July 21, 2012 - 10:30am Cartography lecture series - PART 4
Biography of Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde by Dr. Benito Legarda Jr.

July 28, 2012 - 10:30am Cartography lecture series - PART 5
Cartography in Art (Maps of the Artistic Imagination)

Note this is a review about “Cartography lecture series - PART 2 Power, Beauty and Knowledge in Philippine Antique Maps ” by Leovino Ma. Garcia, Ph.D. July 7, 2012 10:30AM I missed the part one.  Any inconsistencies of the information I noted above please let me know so we can correct it. You may click here for more information

4 comments

  1. Bob Couttie If history is the judge then Portugal owns the Philippines. It is on the Portguese side of the demarkation line established by the Pope and to which both countries agreed. And on that sort of historical basis the French should hand Calais back to England.
    Yesterday at 12:58am · Like · 1

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  2. Val Frias forget it sis! let them even own the whole archipelago but, they can never own what's really ours! our own faith in God. cause their god is different!
    Yesterday at 8:06am · Like

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  3. Maria Rona Beltran Bob Cottie : hmm i'm afraid can't comment on that further not a sold history buff but thanks for sharing
    Yesterday at 8:38am · Like

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  4. Maria Rona Beltran Val Frias : whew! well i don't know either their side too. yeah let's leave this to the proper authorities.
    Yesterday at 8:39am · Like

    ReplyDelete