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Military museums display replicas of oldest Philippine map

Photo shows one of the replicas of the old Philippine map.

MANILA, Philippines — Two replicas of the oldest Philippine map showing clearly the territorial boundaries of the country and disputing China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea are now on display in two military museums.

The Mother of All Philippine Maps replicas were donated to the Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City by Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication chairman Mel Velarde. 

“These are old maps that historically indicate our rightful ownership of these areas, particularly Bajo de Masinloc,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said. 

The first replica of the 1734 Murillo-Velarde map of the Philippines was turned over to the Air Force last week. 

Yesterday, the Army announced that a second replica has been given to them also by the same donor.

Velarde, who donated the large-format map replica to the PAF through the Office of Historical and Cultural Activities, said it serves as his gift to every Filipino as he believes that “ownership of the map is every Filipino’s birthright.”

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The PAF said such initiative is also part of a public awareness campaign on the map and its significance to the country’s cultural and historical heritage.

The replica maps are now on display at the Army Museum and the PAF Aerospace Museum and will be open for public viewing.

Jesuit priest Pedro Murillo Velarde had the map published in Manila in 1734. It surfaced in 2012 among the possessions of a British lord, who put it up for auction at Sotheby’s in London, where Velarde, a businessman, bid and got it for £170,500 ($266,869.46 or P12,014,463.09).       

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