03 February 2006

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription from 900 A.D.!

A small, innocent-looking object found in 1989 on the southeastern shore of Laguna de Ba'y was such a find. It now threatens to upset our basic understanding of Philippine history. The object is a thin copperplate measuring less than 8x12 inches in size and is inscribed with small writing that had been hammered into its surface.

...Postma's translation provides a lot of exciting surprises. Like most other copperplate documents, it gives a very precise date from the Sanskrit calendar which corresponds to 900 A.D. in our system. It contains placenames that still exist around the Manila area today. It also lists the names of the chiefs of the places mentioned.

The date is important because a country's history is considered to begin with the first dated document recorded in it. This newly found document pushes the "starting point" of Philippine history all the way back to 900 A.D., 621 years earlier than the previously accepted date of 1521 when Antonio Pigafetta wrote his observations during his voyage with Magellan.

Bet you didn't know about this fascinating find, did you?

I'm not sure how authentic this is but it seems we have already a burgeoning civilizaton around that time. Too bad they didn't take photographs. Ack! I meant drew pictures.