First Printed Book in the Philippines
The Doctrina Christiana is considered the first printed book in the Philippines written by Fray Juan de Plasencia in 1593.
Consisting of 38 leaves and 74 pages of text in Spanish, Tagalog transliterated into Roman letters, and Tagalog in original Baybayin script, the Doctrina Christiana means “ The Teachings of Christianity” and was printed as part of the effort to introduce Christianity. It contains basic biblical texts, including the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Salve Regina, as well as the Ten Commandments, and the Sacraments of the Holy Church. The cover shows the image of St. Dominic.
The book is printed on delicate paper made from mulberry trees using wood blocks with intricately carved Roman text and uniquely indigenous Baybayin scripts. Wood inked with burnt wood and lacquered glue is pressed by hand to transfer the relief impression. The process was notably used by missionaries.
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