After briefly passing by the Philippines on an observation trip which took him to China in 1838, the French traveler Jean Mallat, took a serious interest in the Philippines. Mallat later returned two times and traveled more extensively. He compiled notes about his travels in the archipelago which were published in a book entitled Les Philippines. The book which was published in Paris in 1846, contains a description of the history, geography, mores, agriculture, industry and commerce of the Spanish colonies in the Oceania.
Aside from writing his notes containing detailed information about the country, Mallat also produced various drawings which provided a window to the appearance of the Filipinos during the 19th century. His drawings showed the fashion and way of life of various people of the islands such as the upper class Tagalogs, the Pampango laborers, the Chinese mestizos, Visayan peasants and the non-hispanized groups such as the Aetas, lfugaos and the Bisayans from the interior of Panay. Mallat's book was translated into English by Pura Santillan Castrence in collaboration with Lina S. Castrence and published by the National Historical institute. The Mallat drawings can be found at the Lopez Museum.