The galleon San Diego was built as the trading ship San Antonio before hastily being converted into a warship. On December 14, 1600, the fully laden San Diego was engaged by the Dutch warship Mauritius under the command of Admiral Olivier van Noort a short distance away from Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Philippines. Since San Diego couldn’t handle the extra weight of her cannons, which led to a permanent list and put the cannon portholes below sea level, she was sunk without firing a single shot in response. The Dutch were later reported firing upon and hurling lances at the survivors attempting to climb aboard the Mauritius.
Nearly 400 years later, in 1992, the wreck was discovered by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and a total of 34,407 artifacts and ecofacts were recovered from the shipwreck, including Chinese porcelain, Japanese katanas, Portuguese cannon and Mexican coin. The San Diego exhibition has been on tour around the globe before it started to permanently be displayed at the new Museum of the Filipino People.