In 1593, there was printed in Manila a most remarkable xylographic
(wood-block) book, comprising Juan de Plascenia's Doctrina Christiana in Spanish, romanized Tagalog and Tagalog script.(1) While there is still some debate as to whether this was the first book to be published in the Philippines,(2) there appears little doubt that it constitutes the earliest extant printed example of any Philippine script.
Remi Chaix reminds us that the many publications to date on the Tibetan xylographic
edition in particular have until recently occupied philologists largely as part of their focus on the constitution and diffusion of texts and canonical collections, in particular the bKa' 'gyur and bsTan 'gyur (p.
'Jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po, Gsang chen rdo rje theg pa phyi 'gyur gsar ma gtso bor ston pa'i zin bris sna tshogs dang mdo rgyud lung btus bcas bzhugs so, 'Jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po'i bka' 'bum, vol.Nga, Rdzong sar xylographic
blocks, Gonpo Tseten, Gangtok 1977.
Caveats aside, this is an absolutely invaluable publication, far, far more than a mere pictorial keepsake of a glorious display of the dawn of xylographic