Patricia May Bantug Jurilla | Center for Southeast Asian Studies Kyoto University

Patricia May Bantug Jurilla

Patricia May Bantug Jurilla
Research Departments・Position
Social Coexistence
Visiting Research Scholar
The History of the Book
Research Interests / Keywords
Philippine printing and publishing, the colonial book, incunabula

Patricia May Bantug Jurilla

A study on the survival of the early printed books of the Philippines

Books in the Philippines have an almost ephemeral quality to them due to the conditions they are subjected to—the humid tropical climate, typhoons, floods, fires, earthquakes, and termites—and, generally, the inferior materials used in their manufacture. That the book has to contend with these multiple forces in order to survive is often raised in studies on Philippine book history, but how and why the book survives in spite of these forces have not been pursued at length or in depth. No single work concentrating on the collection, destruction, and preservation of the Philippine book has yet been done.

My project seeks to address this lack in Philippine book history. It is envisaged as a book-length study on the survival of the early printed books of the Philippines with the general objective of understanding, following Adams and Barker’s model, the three stages of survival in the life of Philippine incunabula (books printed from 1593 to 1640): their initial creation and reception, their resting period after such, and finally their entrance into the world of book collecting. To this end, the project will undertake case studies on five books: Ordinationes generales prouintiae Sanctissimi Rosarij Philippinarum (1604) by Juan de Castro; Relacion verdadera, y breve de la persecucion, y Martyrios (1625) by Diego de San Francisco Pardo de la Membrilla; Arte de lengva iloca (1627) by Francisco Lopez; Vocabulario de Iapon declarado primero en portvgves (1630) translated by Jacinto Esquivel; and Historia de la provincia del Sancto Rosario (1640) by Diego Aduarte.

Understanding the survival of these specific volumes, and Philippine incunabula in general, would hopefully contribute to their preservation, whether in physical or electronic form, and foster further scholarship on the books themselves, on their texts and contexts.