Saturday, May 19, 2018

Weekend Reading

THIS WONDER OF A BOOK will save you a trip to the Archives of the Indies in Seville if you want to learn more about the Manila galleons. No other book is as comprehensive as this on the subject; professor Schurz spent two years of research in the archives to document this forgotten chapter of our history. I am particularly interested in the role of the indio Pinoy seamen--how their unsung work contributed to the profits of this Spanish colonial enterprise. I wonder if he said something about coconuts, which brought the palapa huts and the tuba to Colima and Michoacán, and the mango and the bagoong and the kinilaw (from fish hooked or jumped onboard) that sustained the crew during the long and dangerous ocean voyage. Cried Nuestra Señora del Pilar commander Ignacio Martinez de Faura upon leaving Cavite in 1750 after passengers begged him to turn back because a leak was detected: To Acapulco or Purgatory! Wreckage from the ship later washed up on the east coast of Luzon.

Parts of a galleon 

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