HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 61 no. 1 (2015)

The Philippines in the Selden Map《東西洋航海圖》 and Other Ancient Chinese Maps, Records and Books

Carmelea Ang See | Teresita Ang See



The Selden Map of China in the collection of the Bodleian Library in Oxford University became an international sensation when it was re-discovered in 2008. The Philippines stands out in the entire map as the best identified with the most number of places named (16 in all). The map throws light on the significance and importance of the Philippines in the maritime silk route of China. In 2003, a project of Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran with the First National Archives in Beijing, China, collected all Qing Dynasty archival materials pertaining to the Philippines. The result was the book titled Collection of Archives on the Relations between China and Southeast Asian Countries in the Qing Dynasty, Vol. II, Philippines. The first Chinese book translated into a European language is Beng Sim Po Cam, otherwise known as Libro Chino. It was translated by the Dominican friar Juan Cobo in Manila and the book was printed in Binondo, a copy of which was sent to Spain as a gift to Prince Philip. This paper aims to share some of these sources that should serve as important references in Philippine historiography that historians should be aware of. It showcases the importance of knowing Chinese sources in the study of pre-Hispanic Philippines. These sources are vital and integral parts of Philippine studies.