Philippines
units of mass

At an early date the Philippines acquired units of mass (as well as traders) from its various trading partners across the seas, including China and Malaysia. What was probably the first attempt to impose strictly Spanish units occurred in the middle 1720's, the work of Don Jose Antonio Nuno de Villavicencio, a Regidor of Manila. The reform process is described by Maldonado, optimistically, since later use of Malay- and Chinese-derived units is amply documented. See for example pico.

             

tonelada

           

pecul or pico

16

         

lachsa

2 1/12

33 1/3

     

chinanta

4 4/5

10

160

     

catty

10

48

100

1600

   

punto

2 4/9

24 4/9

117 1/3

244 4/9

~3911

 

tael

6 6/11

16

160

768

1600

25,600

Manila, in Spanish onza

1 3/8

9

22

220

1056

2200

converted to gramsĀ¹

39.53

258.76

632.52

6325.2

30,361.0

63,252.2

converted to gramsĀ²

37.22

243.6

595.5

5954.7

28,582.6

59,547.2

Doursther (1840)

243.55 g

632.5 g

30.24 kg

63.25 kg

Martini (1883)

39.54

632.6 g

6.32627 kg

63.26 kg

               
Mindinao, Doursther  


1 1/3 lb av
or 604.7 g



60.47
kg

 

1. At 1 onza = 28.751 grams.

2. Taking as the basis the weight of the Mexican peso (27.0669 grams, according to Doursther), instead of the Spanish onza. Kelly and Nelkenbrecher state that the peso was the standard in Manila. Apparently that is the case only for the punto.

The chart above demonstrates the collision of the Chinese and Spanish systems of weights. The chart below represents the official point of view around 1900. Even in Manila, this is not a realistic description of the weights in trade at the time. The source itself states that the non-Spanish units in use have been omitted.

           

tonelada

         

quintal

20

       

arroba

4

80

     

libra

25

100

2000

   

onza

16

400

1600

32,000

 

adarme

16

256

6400

25,600

512,000

grano

36

576

9216

230,400

921,600

18,432,000

49.914
mg

1.7969
g

28.751
g

460.093
g

11.500
kg

46.0009302
kg

920.186
kg

             

S. Martin.
Tablas de las pesas y medidas que se usan en Filipinas.
Manila: Philippine Publishing Co., 1901.
Page 37. The equivalents are calculated from the official Spanish determination for the quintal.

           

pecul

         

caban

~1.031

       

lachsa

~2.021

2 1/12

   

chinanta

4 4/5

9.7

10

   

catty

10

48

97

100

 

punto

3

30

144

291

300

after metrication

200
g

600
g

6
kg

28.8
kg

58.2
kg

60
kg

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