British Occupation of Manila and Cavite Exhibit at Yuchengco Museum

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byCassie Cheng

To mark the 250th anniversary of the British Occupation of Manila and Cavite, the Philippine Map Collectors Society (PHIMCOS) and the Embassy of the United Kingdom have partnered to present an exhibit that sheds more light on and draws lessons from this little known event in Philippine history. Entitled The British Occupation of Manila and Cavite 1762 – 1764, the exhibit features not only British, but Filipino, German, and Spanish maps, prints, and rare books of the Philippines dating back to the 18th century. The exhibit is curated by Jonathan Best and Maribel Ongpin and will be on view at Yuchengco Museum from October 18 to December 1, 2012.

The British invasion and two-year occupation of the capital of the Philippines from 1762 to 1764 had profound effects on our history. It brought new political ideas to the Philippines, and helped open the country to foreign commerce. After the British left in 1764, the defensive perimeter of Intramuros had to be completely redesigned. Through British, Filipino, German, and Spanish maps, prints, and rare books of Manila and the Philippines, the exhibit explores the circumstances and events behind this brief, yet significant episode in Philippine history.

“Maps not only point out where we are and where we want to go; they also tell us who we are. Maps instruct us about our identity. As tools, maps help us understand the history of our country in a visual way. They provide us with a memory and a hope; they give us a sense of self-esteem,” shares Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia, a PHIMCOS member and Philosophy professor from Ateneo de Manila University.

Essays from the members of PHIMCOS provide valuable insight into the British Occupation of 1762: the Seven Years War between the great powers of Europe, early British interests in the Philippines, and the occupation and its aftermath. The exhibit also looks into the various key players during this era, from the officers of the British Navy and the Governor-Generals of the Philippines to the Indian sepoys and Filipino soldiers who were part of the invasion.

In line with its mission to promote the collection, preservation, appreciation, and study of maps and prints of the Philippines, PHIMCOS will be offering a series of lectures on Philippine maps and historical figures. Fr. Jose Arcilla, SJ, History professor from Ateneo de Manila University, will speak on the Spanish resistance to the British Occupation and Simon de Anda on October 20; Leovino Ma. Garcia will talk on the Murillo Velarde map as the definite 18th century map on October 27; and Mia Fernando Cameron will lecture on Ilocano hero Diego Silang in November. Held on Saturdays from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., the lectures are free with museum admission.

The British Occupation of Manila and Cavite 1762 – 1764 is sponsored by Ortigas Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Banco de Oro, and Pru Life UK. The exhibit is on view at Yuchengco Museum from October 18 to December 1, 2012.

Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Yuchengco Museum at (632) 889-1234 or visit; or contact PHIMCOS through Mariros Ripoll at [email protected] or visit

About Philippine Map Collectors Society

PHIMCOS aims to promote the collection, preservation, understanding, appreciation, study, and research of maps and prints of the Philippines. It facilitates the exchange of cartographic information and ideas among its members through lectures and linkages with other map societies and organizations.

Aware that maps not only instruct us about our identity and history, but also promote our self-esteem, PHIMCOS organizes map exhibits in collaboration with educational, cultural, and diplomatic institutions such as schools, museums, and foreign embassies.

About Yuchengco Museum

The Yuchengco Museum opened its doors to the public in September 2005. Its primary goal is to foster a greater public appreciation of art through the finest international as well as local, cultural, historical, and design exhibits and programs. Located in Makati, the heart of Metro Manila’s financial district, the Museum is not only a “temple” that showcases art, but also a “forum” of exchange, debate, and education.

The Museum was created to house the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, and highlight his distinguished career as a businessman, diplomat, collector, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and advocate for education in the Philippines and beyond.


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