“Mother of all Philippine Maps” now immortalized on a postage stamp

“Mother of all Philippine Maps” now immortalized on a postage stamp


One does not need to be a stamp collector to appreciate the new postage stamp unveiled by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost), which features the “Mother of all Philippine Maps.”

The first scientific map of the Philippines, the “Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Yslas Filipinas Manila 1734,” also known as the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map was prepared by Spanish Jesuit cartographer Father Pedro Murillo Velarde together with two Filipinos–engraver Francisco Suarez and artist Nicolas dela Cruz Bagay.

It was acquired by Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the NOW Group, through a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2014. Velarde donated the map to the Philippine government through a deed of donation.

Now, citizens can get their hands on this significant artifact in the form of a stamp.

On March 16, PHLPost honored Philippine history and heritage through the launch of the stamp featuring the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map. It was held at the Philippine Postal Corporation Building in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.

Hon. Norman N. Fulgencio, Postmaster General and CEO of PHLPost, expressed his appreciation to the Velarde family: “We are honored to be given by the Velarde family the opportunity to issue this souvenir sheet.” He said the launch of the stamp was organized in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Philippines’ role in the first circumnavigation of the world.

In his message during the ceremony, Velarde thanked PHLPost for bringing the map closer to the Filipino people. He added, “Today, PHLPost is telling the world that we are one nation deserving of our self-worth and respect, for we are evolving as cultural leaders of this blossoming single global community of man.”

The Murillo Velarde 1734 Map stamp was presented to the Velarde family during the ceremony. Accepting the plaque were Velarde, Vivian F. Salinas, and their 3-month-old baby, Victor Chriscien S. Velarde.

The Murillo Velarde 1734 Map shows the entire Philippine archipelago. It is flanked by two pasted-on side-panels with 12 engravings—intricate illustrations of the early Filipino people and their way of life during the 18th century.

The map was cited as evidence in the maritime case at the UN Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It may be used as a visual representation of the country’s sovereign territorial rights.

Launch of the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp, 16 March 2021

Hon. Norman N. Fulgencio, Postmaster General and CEO of PHLPost, and his wife Cherry DC. Fulgencio present the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map stamp to the Velarde family, who gave permission to PHLPost to reprint the map into stamps. Accepting the plaque were Mel Velasco Velarde, Vivian F. Salinas, and their 3-month-old baby, Victor Chriscien S. Velarde.

(1) Presentation of the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp to the Velarde Family

 

Postage stamp featuring the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map, the “Mother of all Philippine Maps”

(2) Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp

 

Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the NOW Group

(1) Presentation of the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp to the Velarde Family
Unveiling of the postage stamp featuring the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map, March 16, 2021

(Left to right) Maximo C. Sta. Maria III, Asst. Postmaster General for Management Support Services; Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the NOW Group; Hon. Norman N. Fulgencio, Postmaster General and CEO of PHLPost; Engr. Joel L. Zamudio,Asst. Postmaster General for Operations

(1) Presentation of the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp to the Velarde Family

 

Unveiling of the postage stamp featuring the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map, March 16, 2021

(Left to right) Gilbert B. Javier, Director for Mega Manila, PHLPost; Maximo C. Sta. Maria III, Asst. Postmaster General for Management Support Services; Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the NOW Group; Hon. Norman N. Fulgencio, Postmaster General and CEO of PHLPost; Engr. Joel L. Zamudio,Asst. Postmaster General for Operations; Maura Baghari-Regis, Asst. Postmaster General for Administration and Finance

(1) Presentation of the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map Postage Stamp to the Velarde Family