“Mapa de las Islas Filipinas”


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“Mapa de las Islas Filipinas”

Ancient Spanish maps show Scarborough shoal and North Borneo (SABAH) is part of Philippine islands.

Maps dating back to the early Spanish colonial period, which were the standard references for explorers and travelers and acknowledged by governments and regimes, clearly show Panatag Shoal, also called Panacot, just off the Philippine coast.

The maps are among 134 original maps on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibit, “Three Hundred Years of Philippine Maps,” features maps of the archipelago from 1598 to the American colonial era.

The exhibit is part of the celebration of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day on June 30.

Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde’s 18th century “Mapa de las Islas Filipinas” clearly shows Panatag Shoal lying just across Zambales.

The Jesuit Murillo was given the task by Gov. Fernando Valdes Tamon in 1732 to execute a Royal decree on the mapping of the Philippines, which was then a territory of Spain.

Two years later, a complete map of the Philippines was conceived.

The engraver was Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay, described on the bottom of the map as an “indio tagalo.”

A smaller version of the map was made in 1744 and published in Murillo’s 1749 history of the Jesuit province. Fr. Miguel Selga, SJ in his bicentennial monograph in 1934, enumerated 125 important islands found in both maps.

Both show Panatag, then called Panacot. It was also called Bajo de Masinloc.

The plates of Murillo’s map disappeared when British invaders looted Manila in 1762-1764.

The name Bajo de Masinloc was a name given to the shoal by the Spanish colonizers. -philstar


In 1658, the Sultan of Brunei gave Sabah to the Sultan of Sulu for his help in sending Tausug Warriors to stop a rebelion and civil war. Since then, Sabah became a property of Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu.

In 1878, HM Sultan Hamalul Aklam Kiram (The Sultan of Sulu and the Sultan of Sabah), leased Sabah to a British Company of Gustavus Baron de Overdeck and Alfred Dent “The North Borneo Company.”, for their used and their heirs. The leased prohibits the transfer of Sabah to any nation, company or individual without the consent of the Government of the Sultan of Sulu.

In 1946-47, the leased was illegally transferred to the British Government by Over deck and Dent when their company North Borneo ceased to exist.

On September 12,1962, the still on leased territory of North Borneo (SABAH) and the full sovereignty, the title and dominion over the territory was ceded by the then reigning Sultan of Sulu, HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I to the Republic of the Philippines. The cession effectively gave the Philippine Government the full authority to pursue their claim in international courts.

In 1963, the British illegally transferred Sabah to newly formed Federation of Malaysia. Upon the illegal inclusion of Sabah into Malaysian Federation, President Diosdado Macapagal broke diplomatic relation with Malaysia.


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