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The Mapping the Philippine Seas exhibit comes with high praises from a lot of nerds and hipsters that we know. Unsurpising: Antique maps have a distinct charm and the exhibit, which runs until Apr 29, features 165 rare maps of our dear ol’ country. It is organized by Philippine Map Collectors Society, headed by Jaime C. Gonzalez to celebrate the org’s 10th anniversary.

The maps are from different members of PHIMCOS, the GSIS Museum, and several other private collectors, and were curated by a committee headed by Peter Geldart, who BTW wrote a masterful and fully illustrated maps catalog.


It covers the three and a half centuries of Spanish domination in our country.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s latest exhibition, on view to the public starting March 15, on antique Philippine…

Posted by Metropolitan Museum of Manila on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Names and personalities we only know from history books—like Antonio Pigafetta, remember him?—are very much part of the exhibit. The exhibit, for instance, begins with two strangely shaped islands “Zzubu” and “Mattan,” which were drawn by Pigafetta himself. He was with Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

Visitors will see the maps progress and become increasingly accurate, until they stumble upon a three-meter high map looking so accurate you’d think it was drawn from a satellite photo. This map, BTW, was annexed to the 1898 Treaty of Paris.

Other geekery that is quite relevant given today’s issues: there is a 1646 map that called the sea next to Palawan “Marre de Filippine.” This body of water is now known as the South China Sea West Philippine Sea.

Aside from the exhibit, Mapping the Philippine Seas also has lectures and seminars about ancient maps, trade routes, and other historical turning points about our current map.

Mapping the Philippine Seas runs from March 15 to April 29 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila. Opens Mon to Sat, 10am to 5:30pm. For more information about the exhibit visit Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s event page.

[Manila Bulletin]


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