Povedano Calendar

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The surviving copy of the Povedano Map from the Robertson Collection of Duke University library

The Povedano Calendar is a manuscript dated 1572 which shows a wheel composed of twelve-month year, and seven-day week time calculation in baybayin. It was said to be “discovered” by Jose E. Marco which he then surrendered to the National Library in 1914. The parchment, where the calendar was drawn, bears the title “The Island of Negros and the Customs of the Visayans and Negritos” (originallly, La Isla de Negros y las Costumbres de los Visayos y Negritos) believed to be scribbled by Diegus Lope Povedano. Like other Povedano documents, the calendar was destroyed during World War II but a copy survived in the Duke University library's Robertson Collection.

Contents

Fraudulence and Inconsistencies

The calendar was supposed to be a replica of the calendar used by the precolonized inhabitants of the Philippines, and Povedano himself believed that he had accurately copied the original. Aside from being poorly written and overly crowded, the characters missed the kudlit that should have been placed above the letters of the baybayin, as well as the nga characters of the old Filipino alphabet. Instead of being spelled syllabically, the words in the Povedano Map were written alphabetically or per character, meaning, it is a letter per letter transcription of words based on Spanish conventions. This improper way of writing baybayin exposed the author's unfamiliarity of the said alphabet.

The calendar, composed of a twelve-month year and seven-day week, was very unlikely as well. According to early Spanish accounts, the ancient Filipinos have a different way of marking the passage of time. The months' names were also spelled differently from that recorded in the baybayin script.

As a Hoax

Based on the anomalies and inconsistencies presented above, historians now consider Povedano Map as one of frauds in Philippine history.

References

  • Scott, William Henry. Prehispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila, 1968.

Citation

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