Alvarez, Kerby C. 2023. “Observing Heavens, Marking Time: The Astronomical Work of the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila (OMM), later reorganized as the Philippine Weather Bureau (PWB), 1891-1945.” Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 26(1): 9-30.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, several colonial nations used meteorology to pursue their colonial interests and to also serve the public. Colonial powers used science for two main reasons: to enhance control of colonial resources, and to encourage local development. Nineteenth-century scientific developments in the Philippines can be viewed as both a process and a product of imperial and local dynamics. This study surveys the initiatives and programs of the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila, later reorganized as the Philippine Weather Bureau, concerning the field of astronomy in the Philippines from 1891 to 1945. It also discusses Jesuit collaboration with the colonial nations, pioneering astronomical observations and research, and a time service that was maintained from 1892 to 1945.
Keywords: Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila, Philippine Weather Bureau, astronomy, meteorology, Jesuits