Philippine Ancestral Gold by Florina H. Capistrano-Baker

The book ‘Philippine Ancestral Gold’ situates more than 1,000 gold objects recovered in the Philippines from the 1960s to 1981 within the context of early Southeast Asia. Many of these treasures were found in association with tenth-to-twelfth century Chinese export ceramics. Formal similarities with objects from other Southeast Asian cultures affirm regional affinities and inter-island trade networks that flourished in the region before regular contact with the Western world.

Chapter 1 presents the history of the collection and an overview of the objects according to overlapping categories of form, function, technology, and geographic provenance. Chapter 2 reassesses the prehistory of Southeast Asia in light of the material evidence provided by this spectacular collection. Chapter 3 examines the meaning and metamorphosis of forms in comparison with related material recovered in the region. Chapter 4 situates related finds from the Butuan-Surigao-Agusan region in light of the rise and fall of different polities in Southeast Asia.

This extraordinary collection would not exist without the passion and dedication of Leandro and Cecilia Locsin, whose vision of preserving for future generations these marvelous objects provides valuable glimpses into the Philippine pre-colonial past.

Philippine Ancestral Gold is edited and authored by Dr. Florina Capistrano-Baker, former Ayala Museum director, co-written by John Miksic and John Guy, curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The book also features stunning images by renowned photographer Neal Oshima and designed by Ige Ramos, making the reading of Philippine Ancestral Gold both academically enriching and visually entertaining.

Where to buy the book:

The Ayala Museum Shop
Arkipelago, The Filipino Bookstore
NUS Press Singapore (ships mainly to countries in Southeast Asia except the Philippines)

About The Author

Executive Editor & Founder

Ligaya is the Executive Editor & Writer at She lives in NYC with her two dogs and spends her time reading, writing, collecting and buying books online and in safe haven, Strand Bookstore, watching her guilty tv show pleasure Vikings, and overdosing herself in coffee as a certified caffeine addict. Her book, Diwatahan: A Look Into the Precolonial Beliefs, Practices, Myths, & Folklore of the Philippines, is currently in progress and is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2017.

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