A Root of Knowledge for the Novice’s Indulgence

Who would have thought that in the center of a very busy business district lies a very quiet and peaceful place that sheds  knowledge rooted from the early years of our civilization. Indeed, The Filipinas Heritage Library is one of the biggest centers for research and education in the country. As such it is an integral resource base that supports the educational needs of Filipinos, strategically located at the heart of Makati where public access is guaranteed.

Old books are rare in most of the libraries here in the country. Only limited of their kind, like Filipinas Heritage Library, offer this rare storage of knowledge, and when it comes to maps, it is also a challenge for cartographers to find relics of old maps of the country. Luckily we have Filipinas Heritage which still keeps this remnant of Spanish-made maps of the Philippines.

Our class visited the Library last January 14 to document select maps from its collection. The experience was  great, aside from the fact that it was our first time in the library, and that it was also our first time as geography majors and student of cartography to encounter old maps and examine their designs and layout. If architect students have Ilocos for observing design principles as applied in structures, we might consider Filipinas library as a place for people with interest in the composition of old maps for research and study purposes.

Aside from the wonderful experience, the environment also gave us warm accommodation, welcoming us and making us comfortable in doing our tasks. The place is cozy enough for us to relax and at the same time  think carefully and critically about the old maps we chose.

Though of course, items for the collection are limited, still hopes for us are high that the library, in years from now, will expand its collection and will soon accommodate not only old maps, but relevant and useful maps created by Filipinos.

New place and new motivational experiences, and hope for better things like Filipinas Heritage Library. May this one of a kind experience with the root of knowledge linger and eventually bear a good fruit for us, future cartographers of the country.

-Alip Artates


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