HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 62 no. 1 (2016)

Transcribing the UST Baybayin Documents: Shedding Light on Early 17th-Century Philippine Writing

Regalado Trota Jose



The UST Baybayin Documents were declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Archives of the Philippines on 22 August 2014. These documents consist of two deeds of sale of land. The first is concerned with the sale of tubigan (irrigated land) by Doña Catalina Baycan, a maginoo of Tondo, to Don Andres Capiit of Dilao, on 15 February 1613. The second documents the sale of irrigable land in the area of Mayhaligue (most possibly the area around the Department of Health in Santa Cruz, Manila) by Doña Maria Silang, a maginoo of Tondo, to Doña Francisca Longgad, a maginoo of Dilao, on 4 December 1625. This paper recounts the gradual recovery of the significance of the documents conserved in the Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas. Approaches to the reading of the text, and insights derived from interpreting the texts, are also presented.