Friday, November 9, 2018

Rare Philippine Maps at Insulae Indiae Orientalis: The 36th IMCoS Symposium

Ayala Museum and Gallery of Prints, with the support of The International Map Collectors Society (IMCoS) and the Philippine Map Collectors Society (PHIMCOS), present the 36th International Map Collectors Society (IMCoS) Symposium on October 15-17, 2018 at the Ayala Museum, Makati City.

For the first time in Southeast Asia, foreign antique map collectors and collectors with their Philippine counterparts will gather in Manila to attend in a series of lectures centered on the role and importance of historical cartography of the Insulae Indiae Orientalis or the East Indies Islands, which reveal the European knowledge of the region as early as the 16th century. Focused on historical issues and unexplored accounts reflected in the antique maps and prints, the symposium will present papers that will deepen appreciation for these significant documents.

International speakers include Mrs. Martine Chomel Harent, former curator of the Mexico National History Museum, who will talk about the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco from the Mexican perspective, supported by antique maps that outline the historical trade route.

Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo will discuss about the emergence of the Filipino Nation through displayed ancient and manuscript maps, while Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio will share his knowledge about the pivotal role of antique maps in the controversial South China and West Philippine Sea dispute.

The symposium includes afternoon visits and special viewing of numerous collections of theOrtigas Foundation, Lopez Museum, and the University of Santo Tomas Heritage Library (curated for the Symposium).

Finally, a special exhibit at the Ayala Museum will showcase antique originals of the maps presented in the lectures, some of which have never been seen in the Philippines. A significant feature of the exhibit is the "MURILLO ROOM", which will display the largest number of Murillo maps, regarded as the Mother of all Philippine Maps, together in one room, including the famous acquisition of Filipino technology entrepreneur Mel Velasco Velarde.  The Murillo Velarde map of 1734 was drawn by the Jesuit Father Pedro Murillo Velarde with the help of two Filipinos: Francisco Suárez and engraver Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay. 

The exhibit will be open to the public ahead of the event from October 9, 2018 until October 14, 2018. It will be temporarily closed during the symposium and will resume on the 18th until the 28thof October.

IMCoS Philippine representative and 2018 symposium organiser, Mr. Rudolf J. H. Lietz of the Gallery of Prints, who is also the curator of the exhibit states that “I am very happy to present an exhibition of over 150 original maps and prints assembled from the collections lent by presenters from the Philippines and overseas, my personal collection, fellow members of PHIMCOS, the Gallery of Prints.

The 36th IMCoS Symposium 2018 is a two-part event in Manila and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong part is organized by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library and runs on Oct 19 to 20. 

For more information on The 36th IMCoS Symposium – Manila, please contact us via email: via telephone: (+632) 821-7181 | press 5 on voice prompt. You may also visit the website dedicated for this event at:, or the official website for IMCoS at and PHIMCOS at

Gold sponsors for this event are Aboitiz Foundation and Unionbank. Bronze Sponsors are Mapfre Insular and Alsons Insurance Brokers Corporations, with ANC as official media partner.

Located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District, Ayala Museum boasts a notable collection of archeological artifacts; impressive selection of trade ceramics from Southeast Asia; and contemporary art. Ayala Museum also initiates partnerships with schools, government offices, malls, and cultural sites in Metro Manila and other regions for its traveling exhibition program on Philippine arts and history.

Established in 1996, The Gallery of Prints is the first and only remaining gallery in the Philippines exclusively dedicated to antique printed material. For more than two decades, GoP has become an internationally renowned specialist in original historical printed material in the Philippines with emphasis on Filipiniana selections that would date back to the 16th century.

The International Map Collectors Society (IMCoS) with its headquarters in London, UK holds an annual symposium in major international cities on alternating continents, which serves as an opportunity for map collectors and enthusiasts across the globe to gather in one venue, further broadening their perspectives on the significance and impact of historic and important maps from all over the world.

Founded in 2007, the Philippine Map Collectors Society (PHIMCOS) is committed to educating the public about the importance of cartography. PHIMCOS also collaborates with museums, libraries, and universities in the Philippines to provide cartographic education along with information on proper restoration and storage of antique maps and prints.

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