Dutch anthropologist Antoon Postma dies; 87
CITY OF CALAPAN—A Dutch anthropologist, who is credited with deciphering the Philippines’ oldest document, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, has died. He was 87.
Antoon Postma, a linguist who also spent many years studying Mangyan culture, died at Maria Estrella General Hospital in Calapan City.
Emily Catapang, director of Mangyan Heritage Center (MHC) where Postma was a member of the board, confirmed to the Inquirer that Postma died past 10 a.m.
On Friday, prayers for Postma went trending on social media after his nephrologist, Dr. Dolores Reyes, said his kidneys were no longer functioning.
Postma, fondly called “Bapa” which is a Mangyan term of endearment and respect, lived for more than 50 years in the mountainous village of Panaytayan, 3 kilometers from the town center of Mansalay in Oriental Mindoro.
He left behind his Mangyan wife, Yam-ay Insik, and children Anya, Sagamsang, Yangan and Ambay, and his grandchildren.
Postma was a missionary priest of the Society of the Divine Word when he first came to Mindoro.
He was cofounder and board member of MHC and majority of its library collections were from him, Catapang said.
The provincial government of Oriental Mindoro, at the celebration of its 65th founding anniversary last year, conferred to Postma the Gawad Mahalta Award for his significant contributions in researching, documenting, promoting and preserving Mangyan history and culture.
Anya received the award on behalf of her father.
“We lost a great father,” said Resti Pitogo, board member of MHC.
Postma will be buried in Panaytayan in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, according to Pitogo.
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