The Karakoa was a sleek Philippine warship that was smooth and swift in compariason to the Spanish galleons. Father Combes, one of the first Spanish Fryars to document early Philippine history (1667-70) wrote "The care and technique with which they build them makes their ships sail like birds, while ours are like lead in comparison."
From the book Barangay
by William Henry Scott

Fig 6. Classic Philippine karakoa (Artist's reconstruction by Raoul Castro, under the supervision of W. H. Scott; from Philippine studies vol.30, 3d quarter)

Since most documented history was written through the eyes of the western colonizers I often wondered what first contact was really like between the Spanish and the indigenous people of the Philippines, especially the Visayan clans. I read that the Cebuanos welcomed them with hospitality and were easily converted to Christianity and pledged allegiance, without bloodshed, to the king of Spain.  With the exception of chief Lapu-Lapu from Mactan island who sent Magellan to his demise but that's something I'll talk about in another section, my focus here is the karakoa warship.
To the right is a CAD model I created of the VISAYAN Karakoa warship the Spanish used to navigate around the Philippines. I created the model from the sketch depicted in the book Barangay by William Henry Scott.

The more I model the karakoa warship in CAD the more I realize just how sophisticated the building of this ship must have been. The meticulous engineering and craftsmanship was surely something to take pride in and acknowledge that our ancestors were not as primitive as first led to believe.

Being raised in western culture in the 70s and 80s there wasn't a lot of history being taught about Philippine history or for that matter any other culture besides American history, which is understandable. You live in America you learn American history first. Anything else you need to learn on your own.

When I first read the book Barangay by William Henry Scott I was fascinated with the photo of the karakoa. Studying it at first examining the detail made me wonder about the tools and engineering that went into building such a sea craft.