HomeManilavol. 9 no. 1 (2013)

Where Is Sampaloc? Cartographic Reflections at the Edges Of Spanish and American Colonial Manila

Martin R. Gaerlan

Discipline: Philippine History



“Where is Sampaloc?” This paper attempts to answer this question primarily through the use of selected cartographic details taken from historical maps produced during the Spanish and early American colonial periods (dated from 1779 to 1903). Specifically, this paper explores the possible reasons why the Franciscan friars chose a particular spot in Sampaloc to build their convent in 1613 and how this area developed as a center of Filipino Franciscan lay spirituality and grew as a parish at the edge or outskirts of Manila. The change in Sampaloc’s boundary brought about by the armed collision of the Spanish and American colonial powers (1898-1903) will be discussed, especially in terms of Sampaloc’s role in the Spanish defensive plan for the city of Manila. Finally, this paper will show how the “Primo de Rivera Line” was used by the Americans to change the boundary of Sampaloc and Manila.