A Philippine-published book has made it to the top of Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases.” Vibal Foundation’s Boxer Codex: A Modern Spanish Transcription and English Translation of 16th-Century Exploration Accounts of East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific entered the number-one slot in “Hot New Releases” under the historical study reference category on August 2.
Boxer Codex, transcribed and edited by Isaac Donoso and translated and annotated by National Artist for Literature Carlos Quirino, together with Ma. Luisa Garcia and Mauro Garcia is a sixteenth-century codex that was eventually named after its last owner, the British scholar Charles R. Boxer. The sumptuously bound and illustrated manuscript contained a collection of eyewitness accounts of various cultures and places in East and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. These accounts—rich with anthropological detail about pre-colonial customs and beliefs and lavishly illustrated with depictions of native peoples in their traditional costumes—were compiled into a book to convince the king of Spain to launch further expeditions in the region.
In the decades since this manuscript was discovered in 1947, a constellation of scholars has expanded our understanding of this valuable document, which gives us perhaps the clearest depiction of the lives of early Filipinos as well as the culture and politics of early modern Asia.
In addition to presenting the Spanish text and English translation side by side for comparison, Vibal’s edition contains an insightful and synthesizing introduction by Isaac Donoso that situates the codex within the global and historical context at the time it was written.
Interested readers may purchase Boxer Codex and other Vibal books at Amazon https://www.amazon.com, Lazada, and Shopee. The Boxer Codex 2nd Edition is also available for preorder at the Vibal online shop at https://shop.vibalgroup.com.