Laguna Copperplate Inscription

laguna copperplate inscription
Laguna Copperplate Inscription | @museomuntinlupa via Image: Xena Cabahug

Laguna Copperplate Inscription

In 1989, Ernesto Legisma, a man from Lumban Laguna found an uncovered blackened roll of metal while he was dredging sand at the Lumbang River in Wawa Barangay near Laguna De Bay. He offered the copperplate to one of the antique dealers in the area and the dealer eventually sold it to the Philippine National Museum for 2,000 pesos in 1990.

The inscription in the copperplate was later translated by Antoon Postma, a Dutch Anthropologist expert in Philippine Scripts and Mangyan writing, the copperplate came to be known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI).

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI) is an ancient legal document with an inscription written in a mix of Old Malay language using Old Kawi Script, an ancient Javanese writing system. The translation indicates a pardon issued by the Chief of Tundun, which is now Tondo in Metro Manila, to clear a person named Namwaran, his family, and all the descendants of a debt he had incurred which is equivalent to 926.4 grams of gold.

To this day, the LCI is considered a national treasure and currently on display as part of the permanent exhibition of the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila.

Text: Denise Cerdeña

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