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The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898

Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century,

Volume XXIV, 1630–34



Contents of Volume XXIV




  • Augustinian convent at Manila; photographic view from a plate in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. Frontispiece.
  • Interior of Augustinian church, Manila; photographic view from plate in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. 61
  • Map of the island of Hermosa or Formosa, a portion of China, and of the island of Manila or Luzón; photographic facsimile of engraving in Boletín de la Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, for February, 1882 (Madrid, 1882), xii, no. 2; from copy in the Library of Congress. 151
  • View of volcano and town of Ternate (with inset showing fortress of Gamma-Lamma); photographic facsimile of engraving in Valentyn’s Beschryving der Moluccos (contained in vol. i, Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien, Dordrecht and Amsterdam, 1724), first part, p. 4; from copy in library of Wisconsin State Historical Society. 281



More than half of this volume is occupied with the concluding installment of Juan de Medina’s early Augustinian history. He recounts the leading events therein, from one provincialship to another, and furnishes biographical sketches of the more prominent members of the order: and he relates various important secular events, especially those bearing on the work of the missionaries. The most striking occurrences in this period (1602–30) are the coming to the islands of missionaries from the Recollect branch of Augustinians, the assassination of the provincial Sepúlveda, the frequent attacks on the colony by the Dutch, and certain revolts among the natives. Miscellaneous documents, dated 1630–34, comprise the rest of the volume. Affairs in the islands are in fairly prosperous condition, in the main; the insurgent natives have been pacified, the religious orders are at peace, the Dutch have been quiet of late, and the Japanese trade shows some signs of revival. More missionaries are needed, as also more care in selecting them. The treasury is heavily indebted, and has not sufficient income; and trade restrictions and Portuguese competition have greatly injured the commerce of the islands. Of painful interest to the Philippines are the cruel persecutions that still rage in Japan. [12]

Medina, continuing his history, recounts the choice of Lorenzo de León as provincial of the Augustinian order, and his subsequent deposition; but this is stated in brief and cautious terms. In 1602 Pedro de Arce (later bishop of Cebú) is elected to that high post; Medina extols the virtues and ability of this noted prelate, and relates many things to show these. He then proceeds to give another version of the difficulties connected with the second election of Lorenzo de León, one side of which was told in vol. xiii; Medina takes sides with that provincial, and regrets his deposition from office, but contents himself with a statement of the bare facts, and some general comments.

In 1606, missionaries of the discalced (or Recollect) Augustinians arrive in the Philippines. The missions established by them are enumerated, many being ceded to them by the regular Augustinians; their labors extend even to Cuyo and Calamianes, and eastern Mindanao, among the Moro peoples. León’s unexpired term as provincial is most worthily filled by Pedro de Arce. In 1608 he is succeeded by Fray Pedro de Solier, a man of great ability and zeal, who conducts the affairs of the province well, and brings the religious therein under stricter discipline. Certain differences arise between the two Augustinian orders, and an inspection of their houses and affairs is ordered from Rome. For those in Filipinas is appointed (1609) Fray Diego de Guevara, who had been sent to Europe some years before as an envoy from the city of Manila and from his order there. He sets out for the Philippines with a large reënforcement of missionaries; but not all of these are permitted to embark at Acapulco. Medina [13]gives brief sketches of the characters and lives of these men, and some account of Guevara’s proceedings as visitor of the province. The provincial Solier is exonerated from blame, incurred through erroneous reports of his conduct, but is obliged to go to Spain to render an account of it; he does this so well that he is made bishop of Porto Rico. In 1611 Fray Miguel García is elected provincial of Filipinas, and administers his office very acceptably. Another reënforcement of missionaries arrives in 1613; their outfit for the journey is so meager that they barely survive its hardships. By vote of the chapter of 1611, the interval between its meetings was extended to four years. Much discontent arises at this, and the act is revoked, the next chapter meeting in 1614. An attempt is made to reduce the number entitled to vote therein; this is done, although in the face of strong opposition. At the chapter of 1614, Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda is made provincial; his severity of rule is onerous to his subordinates. The Dutch send a fleet to Arévalo; the Spanish commandant there takes to cowardly flight, as do all his forces, and the enemy burn the town. The missionaries seek refuge in other places; and their convents shelter and feed homeless refugees and hungry soldiers, to the extent of their resources. After the enemy’s retreat, the fathers return to their missions, and encourage the Indians to resume their former homes and labors. Another attack by the Dutch, on Otón, is repulsed by the Spaniards, after a desperate resistance; and the latter build an excellent fort there, to defend themselves from such raids.

Fray Jerónimo de Salas is elected provincial in 1617, but dies within three weeks’ time, and Sepúlveda [14]succeeds to his post. His rigorous rule arouses much resentment; and he obstinately refuses, even when advised and warned, to give up his office. Finally, in August of that same year, Sepúlveda is murdered by three religious of his own order. One of these escapes from the islands; the other two are hanged. Another meeting of the chapter is held (October 31, 1617) and Fray Alonso Baraona is made provincial.

Archbishop Vazquez de Mercado dies, and is succeeded by the Augustinian Pedro de Arce. The Dutch make an attempt (1618) on Luzón, but are defeated by Ronquillo at Playa Honda. Juan de Silva’s death is followed by the loss of the galleons that he had taken to Malaca. The Moro pirates of Mindanao ravage the islands; a Spanish fleet is sent against them, and destroys many of their craft. An Augustinian friar persuades the survivors to surrender; these are afterward enslaved. Medina gives some account of Baraona’s management of affairs as provincial.

In the chapter of 1620 Juan Enríquez is elected provincial; he administers his office with discretion and faithfulness. Various events in his term are recorded by Medina. In that period the Recollect Augustinians establish themselves in Cebú and Mindanao. An insurrection arises in Bohol, originating among the native sorcerers or priests; the Jesuit missionaries there induce the Spanish authorities at Cebú to send troops against the rebels, who are subdued by the aid of the Holy Child in Cebú. Another rising in Leyte is also put down, and the islands are saved for Spain. A severe earthquake is felt in all the islands, and does much damage. The constant [15]danger of attack by the Dutch greatly hinders the coming of missionaries to the islands. The hardships and dangers experienced by a band of these gospelers are depicted by our writer.

In 1623 Fray Alonso de Méntrida becomes provincial, attaining in that office great renown, and displaying much ability and zeal. Medina enumerates, here as elsewhere, the missionaries received by this province from Spain. The next election raises to this dignity Fray Hernando Becerra; but his health is very poor, and he dies soon after becoming provincial. His temporary successor, Méntrida, is opposed by many, and is finally obliged to resign, the intervention of Governor Niño de Tavora being required to settle the affair. The government of the order is now taken by Fray Francisco Bonifacio, “the most pacific creature that has been in Filipinas.” Medina relates some of the hardships and dangers that the missionaries in that country must encounter; the hostilities between the Joloans and the Spaniards, under Tavora; and the burning of the Recollect convent at Cebú, soon followed by the like destruction of the Augustinian convent there. Medina goes to Manila, and obtains for his Cebú convent enough aid to rebuild its house and church, and supply all their necessary equipment, even better than before. He describes the expeditions to Formosa under Silva and Tavora, the latter (a futile attempt) being accompanied by an Augustinian religious; and the burning of the Parián. The Augustinian missions at Maluco and Cavite are abandoned.

In 1629 Fray Juan de Henao becomes provincial, at which time arise various controversies in the [16]order. To settle one of these, an envoy is sent to Rome, Fray Pedro García; but he dies before reaching Nueva España. The archbishop of Manila is carried away by a fever; Medina eulogizes his virtues and ability. He gives an account of the unsuccessful expedition against the Joloans, led by Olaso; it “returned to Manila the laughing-stock of all the islands.” The burdens imposed on the Indians for its equipment have occasioned much distress and many deaths among them; and its failure causes those of Cagayan to talk of revolt. The year 1630 is unusually stormy, and all the ships on the Acapulco route suffer disasters and loss of life. Religious are unwilling to risk their lives in crossing the Pacific, and the missions in the islands suffer accordingly. A ship built at Cavite is so poorly constructed that it partially capsizes at the time of setting sail, by which great loss of property and life ensues. Medina is so fortunate as to escape to shore—one of many like deliverances, which he proceeds to recount, as also a miracle performed by the “Santo Niño” at Cebú.

The persecutions in Japan still continue, yet religious go thither in disguise, at the risk of death. An expedition is sent out from Manila to capture any Dutch vessels that may be encountered on the coasts of Siam and Camboja. Their destruction of a Japanese junk occasions various embassies between the Philippines and Japan—the last of these in 1631, desiring to resume trade between those countries. This and some other occurrences in that year seem to have been added later by Medina to his manuscript, which purports to have been written in 1630. In 1629 an expedition is fitted out by the religious [17]orders to send missionaries to Japan, but it proves a failure. The canonization of Japanese martyrs is the occasion for magnificent spectacles in Manila—processions, dances, comedies, etc. Irritated by harsh treatment from an arrogant Spanish officer, the Indians of Caragán revolt, killing the Spaniards, among whom are several missionaries; but troops from Cebú are sent there, and quell the rising.

Resuming the miscellaneous documents of that period, letters are sent to Manila (December, 1630) by the king regarding various matters that have been referred to him. Felipe orders that certain offices shall be sold; that the natives must pay at least part of their tributes in kind; and that the salaries of the auditors be more promptly paid. Command is given that war-ships in the islands be no longer built so large as hitherto, as they are expensive, unwieldy, and in some circumstances useless. A letter to the auditors gives directions for the method of procedure in trying certain cases of appeal; and answers some questions which the auditors had asked. Bishop Arce, of Cebú, writes to the king (July 31, 1631). He congratulates Felipe on the birth of a son; comments on some royal decrees just received; recommends a person as schoolmaster in the Manila church; and advises the appointment of the royal fiscal as protector of the Sangleys.

Early in 1632 several royal orders are despatched to the colony. In a letter of January 27, the king writes to Tavora on several matters: the monopoly of the sale of playing-cards, the sale of offices, and the salary of the acting archbishop. A decree of March 25, addressed to the municipal authorities of Manila, warns them to enforce the royal decrees as [18]to the proper consignment and registration of goods sent to Mexico; and another, issued on the following day, orders that secular priests from India be not allowed to go to the Philippines.

The usual report of Governor Tavora (July 8, 1632) is in three sections, the first devoted to general affairs of government. He complains that the remittances from Nueva España are painfully inadequate for the needs of the colony and its troops; and that he needs more soldiers than are sent to the islands. The royal visitor, Rojas, is doing very careful and thorough work in inspecting the administration of the colony, but is arrogating to himself too much authority in regard to the expenditure of public moneys; accordingly, Tavora appeals to the king against some of Rojas’s decisions, and argues for allowing a reasonable amount of liberty in this matter to the governor and Audiencia. This is especially necessary because the colony has so many enemies that it must always be in a state of defense, and its people cannot wait to receive royal orders when an enemy is at their gates. A controversy between the royal and the municipal officials regarding their respective rights of precedence has been duly settled. The relations between Manila and Japan, lately strained by the capture of a Japanese junk by Spaniards, are now more friendly, and some trade between the two countries is being carried on. The Japanese have shipped a number of lepers who are Christians from that country to Manila; the Spaniards accept this charge, and make room for the lepers in the hospital for natives. The king is asked to aid in the expenses of their care. Tavora describes his relations with the peoples on the opposite mainland; [19]makes recommendations regarding certain offices; explains the condition of the vessel which sank at Manila in the preceding year; and defends himself from accusations of illegal participation in the Mexican trade.

Another section treats of military affairs. Tavora (who writes but a fortnight before his death) thanks the king for preferment bestowed upon him, but fears that he will not live to enjoy it; and informs Felipe of the heavy losses that he has incurred in coming to Filipinas and acting as governor, asking that some arrangement may be made for the settlement of his more pressing debts. Trade with the Japanese is being resumed. The post of general of artillery is superfluous, and should be abolished. Affairs in Hermosa are prospering; the province of Cagayán is pacified, and severe punishment has been inflicted on the rebellious natives of Caraga. The relief expedition to Ternate has been successful, and the Dutch power seems to be waning in those seas. But the only effective check upon the Dutch enemy is found in the Spanish establishments in the Philippines and Moluccas, for which Tavora urges more systematic and reliable aid from the home government—not only for the sake of the Philippine colony, but even more for that of all India, which is in danger of ruin if the heretics be not held back. The governor has made a successful beginning of shipbuilding for the islands, in the country of Camboja. Certain disputed matters connected with the military service are referred to the king.

Some ecclesiastical affairs are also mentioned. The archbishop-elect has had some difficulties in securing possession of his see, and the Audiencia has [20]decided against him. The religious orders refuse to obey the royal decree as to changes and appointments of missionaries. The see of Camarines has long been vacant; Tavora suggests that this diocese be abolished, annexing its territory to those of Cebú and Manila. The religious orders are in peaceable condition. More missionaries are needed in the islands but Tavora urges that more care be exercised in selecting them. He asserts that his solicitude in this respect has incurred the ill-will of the friars toward him.

The usual Jesuit chronicle is furnished for the years 1630–32. The writer notes the general peace enjoyed by the Philippine colony, who have not been molested of late by the Dutch; also the rebellion (now being quelled) of the Indians in Caraga. The Japanese offer to reopen trade with Manila; but this writer regards all their friendly proposals as a veil for intended treachery toward the Spaniards. The persecution of Christian teachers and converts in Japan is still furious; and this subject occupies most of the document, in a letter from a Jesuit in that country, Father Christoval Ferreira, to the Manila provincial. This relates the tortures inflicted on five priests and two women, but without avail, to induce them to give up the Christian faith; also the martyrdoms of many others. This account is of peculiar and pathetic interest because its writer, Ferreira, was the only one of the Jesuits arrested in Japan who became, under the strain of torture, an apostate; this occurred a year after he wrote the letter.

The ecclesiastical cabildo of Manila write to the king (1632), urging that royal aid be given to the cathedral, in consideration of its poverty and needs. [21]They complain that the highest positions in the diocese are filled by friars, to the neglect and discouragement of the native-born seculars who are being educated in the two universities at Manila. The cathedral needs a permanent subsidy for its current provision of wine, etc., and a special grant to finish its sacristy. Its service is painfully inadequate; to save the expense of salaries for additional canons, the cabildo recommend that some of the missions and benefices now held by the religious orders be turned over to the cathedral. They recommend royal favor for certain priests in Manila, and especially praise the labors of the Augustinian order in the islands; more missionaries are needed there, especially for the Augustinian Recollects. The writers commend also certain military officials; but they denounce the treasury officials for having permitted contraband trade of enormous extent with Mexico. They remonstrate against the appointment of Fray Guerrero to the archbishopric; and highly commend the character, abilities, and work of the royal visitor Rojas.

A papal bull concerning missions is issued (June 28, 1633) by Urban VIII. After citing previous decrees of the Holy See respecting the despatch of missionaries to Japan and the Philippines, and their journeys between those countries, Urban grants permission to the heads of religious orders to send missionaries to the countries and islands of Eastern India by other routes than that of Portugal. He also warns the religious thus sent to observe uniformity of instructions to the newly-converted heathen, “especially in matters relating to morals,” and “to restrict their teaching to general principles. [22]They must base their instruction on the Roman Catechism and Bellarmino’s “Christian Doctrine.” They are empowered to administer the sacraments to the Christians in Japan; and are strictly forbidden to engage in any form of trade, directly or indirectly. The superiors of orders are directed to enforce the penalties herein imposed on religious who may violate this prohibition; and disputes arising between orders are to be settled by the bishops of the respective countries, who are also directed to enforce the observance of these decrees.

A Dominican at Manila, Juan García, sends (1632) to Sevilla such news as he can gather soon after his arrival in the islands. In Japan, it is said, the emperor has imprisoned many Dutchmen; and, with the decline of their influence, he has become more lenient to the Christians, sending them into exile instead of putting them to death. But any friars or preachers captured there are horribly tortured. The Dominican mission to Camboja has been unsuccessful. Formosa is being conquered by soldiers, and Dominican friars are making some conversions there. Some of these preachers have gone to China, where the field is enormous, but full of promise.

Juan Cerezo de Salamanca, governor ad interim between Tavora and Corcuera, sends a report to the king (August 14, 1633). The first section relates to military affairs. The forts and troops in the islands are enumerated. It is somewhat doubtful whether the occupation of Formosa should be maintained. More care should be taken in sending reënforcements to Ternate, and Heredia should be superseded as governor. The galleys belonging to the government [23]are useless, and Cerezo will dispense with all save that at Ternate. There is quarreling over the legal status of the army men in the courts, which should be defined.

Another section relates to general affairs of government. Cerezo again points out the importance of the trade with China and Japan. The relations of Manila, however, with Japan are no longer friendly—a condition of affairs for which the governor blames the “zeal without discretion” of certain religious who, disobeying the royal decrees, go to Japan as preachers. He asks the king to command the religious orders to send no more friars to that country. The trade with China is falling off, mainly because the Portuguese of Macao have absorbed much of it. Cerezo recommends that their trade with Manila be prohibited. He comments on the scantiness of the male population; commends the administration of Rojas, the royal inspector; and makes some minor recommendations to the king.

In regard to the public revenues, Cerezo states that the treasury is burdened with debts; the shipyards are bare of supplies; and the contraband trade with Mexico has attained large proportions. To check this latter evil, the governor recommends that all money sent to Manila be openly registered at Acapulco, imposing on it a duty of five per cent; and a different system of inspecting the Philippine cargoes there be adopted.

In compliance with royal command, the archbishop of Manila reports (August 3, 1634) on the public bakery at Manila. He finds it well built and managed, and recommends that all ovens in the city should be merged in this bakery. [24]

A Jesuit letter from Manila (August 20, 1634) gives interesting news from Japan. The persecution there is still very cruel, and many missionaries have been arrested lately; but the emperor is becoming for the time more lenient, through the influence of certain omens and of his cure from an illness through the prayers of the captive missionaries. The writer hopes, therefore, that Iyemidzu “may be the Constantine of the church” in Japan.

The annual report of Governor Cerezo for 1634 begins with affairs of the revenue. The treasury officials refuse to obey the orders left for them by Rojas; the governor therefore arrests them, which soon brings them to terms. Nevertheless, he excuses their disobedience to some extent, on account of the rigorous and difficult nature of Rojas’s orders; he instances some of these which embarrass both himself and the royal officials. The king has ordered an additional duty to be levied on goods exported to Nueva España; the citizens object to paying this, and finally the matter is temporarily settled by a council of the authorities, both civil and religious, until the home government can take action. The governor reports that the royal visitor Rojas did not really accomplish much for the treasury; but exaggerated his own services. He also reminds the king of his former suggestion for checking the illegal despatch of money to Filipinas.

As for affairs of government, there is the usual conflict between the Audiencia and the governor, which hinders the latter in the discharge of his duties. They interfere with his authority, try to secure the trial of the Chinese lawsuits, acquit delinquents, and meddle in municipal affairs; and he [25]intimates his desire that they be despatched to other branches of his Majesty’s service. Cerezo asks for enlightenment in several difficult matters connected with the respective jurisdictions of himself and the Audiencia. This year the Portuguese of Macao have failed to trade at Manila, and the Chinese, although they have brought considerable merchandise, furnish but little cloth. The expedition sent to Formosa is badly treated by the Portuguese at Macao, of which Cerezo complains to the king. He describes the island of Formosa, the Spanish settlement there, the nature of the people, and the reasons why a Spanish post was established there; he regards this enterprise as useless and undesirable, and states that the soldiers in that island are needed at Manila. The persecution of Christians in Japan still continues; Cerezo doubts the supposed improvement in the shôgun’s attitude toward them, and recommends that no more religious be allowed to go to that country. He describes his method of procedure toward the Chinese, both resident and non-resident; he endeavors to treat them with justice and kindness, and recommends a suitable person for the post of their protector. Liberal aid has been sent to the islands this year from Mexico.

In military affairs, Cerezo recommends the abandonment of Formosa and other unnecessary forts, and the concentration of the Spanish forces at Manila. The fort there is in fair state of defense, but the wall of the city is in ruinous condition, and the governor is having it repaired and strengthened. He recommends that some galleys be maintained at Otón or Cebú, to keep the Moro pirates in awe: and that a new commandant be sent to Ternate in place [26]of Heredia, who has shown himself unfitted to hold that office. A mutiny has occurred there, which he has cruelly punished; and he is blamed for an insurrection in Tidore which has replaced its king with another who is friendly to the Dutch. The port of Cavite must be well maintained and provided with supplies. No ships from India have arrived, probably because the Strait of Malacca and the neighboring waters have been infested by the Dutch.

Little is said about ecclesiastical affairs. “The orders are conducting themselves in an exemplary manner, except that they often usurp the royal jurisdiction, under pretext of defending the natives, and take away the authority from the alcaldes-mayor.” The acting archbishop is commended, and recent appointments are mentioned. The Editors

March, 1905.


Historia de la Orden de S. Agustin de Estas Islas Filipinas


By Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A., Manila, 1893 [but written in 1630].

Source: Translated from a copy of the above work, in the possession of the Editors.

Translation: This document is translated (and in part synopsized) by James A. Robertson. [29]


History of the Augustinian Order in the Filipinas Islands

By Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A.


Chapter XXX

Of the first election of our father Fray Lorenzo de León

With the fourth of May, 1596, all the capitular religious of this province of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús of Filipinas assembled, and without much debate cast their votes for father Fray Lorenzo de León,1 a native of the city of Granada, and son of the house at Méjico, whose learning, ability to preach, and other good qualities made him very well known, and caused him to be elected without opposition. Accordingly he won the contest as provincial, to the general liking of all the religious of the province, both those voting and those who had no vote. All were assured that he would govern rightly because of his prudence, and beyond doubt his government was all that. The province during his term had the honor and repute that was proper. Since his method of procedure was alike for all the religious, it was necessary in the following chapter to [30]retire the provincial to his devotion; and one may infer that in that it acted more for the common welfare than its own.

Thereupon, the voting religious being assembled, cast their votes, without any opposition, for Fray Juan de Montesdoza,2 son of the house at Méjico, a native of the city of Utrera, near Sevilla in Andalucia. He was a most excellent provincial, for one always recognized in him a remarkable integrity of morals, and he was much given to prayer and divine worship. He endeavored as earnestly as possible to give his whole being to the order, and not to be found lacking in his ministry. He visited his entire province whenever possible; and that which has always been most annoying to the provincials in respect to its visitation—namely, the province of Bisayas—was not troublesome to him, for he visited it. He did not hesitate at the suffering or the dangers of navigation, which at times is wont to be especially perilous, because of the many storms that generally invade the islands, and the not few enemies. He was considered lost, for he was not heard of for more than four months; for they wrote from the Bisayas that he had already embarked for Manila, and he had not arrived. Finally, the Lord was pleased to bring him to our doors when he was least [31]expected. God is a Father of pity, and attends to His children (and more to His servants) when they find themselves most in need of Him. He was received in the convent of Manila by many people, for all revered him as a servant of God, loved him as a father, and respected him as a true prelate.

On the twenty-second of April, 1602, the chapter was convened in the house at Manila. Father Fray Pedro Arce, who is now bishop of the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesús, and who has twice governed the archbishopric of Manila, was elected in it. Father Fray Mateo de Mendoza presided at that election, while father Fray Juan de Montesdoza was the absolute provincial, as we call it, or the freed one, since now he is no longer provincial. The first definitor was Fray Agustín de Tapía, the second, Fray Bernabé de Villalobos, the third, Fray Diego de Zerrabe, and the fourth, Fray Diego de Salcedo. As visitors were elected Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya and Fray Francisco Serrano.3 All, having assembled, as our rules ordered, enacted very wholesome regulations, and provided for the province with those mandates, which were seen to be more [32]necessary at that time, in order to check thereby the boldness of certain men, who were giving room for the decay of the province, which in nothing loses more than by permitting it to relax in its rigor. For even there it is said that the bow must sometimes loose the string which holds it bent, in order to give it rest and so that it may not break. I grieve over this, that it is said in the order, so that at times some [33]reasonable recreation may be allowed; but in that which touches the essential aspects of it, it does not seem right that it be lost, for never have I seen that what is once lost in point of religion is regained. It appeared, therefore, easier to our father St. Ignatius to found a new order than to reform an old one, where its members were already used to such and such a manner of life. It is a hard thing, when established, to reduce them to a greater degree of virtue. And since those men must remain in the same order, it is always an impossible thing to reduce them to that which they have never observed....

Father Fray Pedro de Arce, who was chosen at this elevation, was such a person that, were I to praise him, I think, that my tongue would do him an injury, for another pen and another language must tell his virtues. He came to this province as a lay brother. He was ordained here and completed his studies, and always gave signs of what he was to become; for his modesty, his charity, his devotion, even while a brother, appeared so conspicuous, and were increasing in such a manner, that not only were the islands full of his good name and great virtues, but they even came to the ears of Felipe III, who presented him for the bishopric of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús. While in this country, the decree of the year 1610 was sent him, which caused the holy man considerable vexation, so that he did not know what to do; for it seemed a grievous thing for him to abandon the quietness of his cell, and to exchange it for the majesty of a bishop, to which he was not inclined. Accordingly, he resigned the bishopric into the hands of the father master Fray Pedro [34]Solier,4 who was provincial at that time. The latter considered that if he [i.e., Fray Pedro] were to accept it honor would come to the order, advantage to the city of Santísimo Nombre de Jesus, and service to his Majesty, the king our sovereign, who having heard of the holiness of the person in question, was considering himself as very well served in that the father should accept it. Consequently, when he returned to the holy superior—whom he supplicated on his knees, with the decree in his hand, to allow him not to accept it—the provincial ordered Fray Pedro, by his obedience, to comply with his Majesty’s commands, and to render him thanks for it, and that he would do the same for what pertained to the order; thereupon the former accepted, and gave up his cell, in which there was nothing of importance. Although he was prior, and exercised the highest duties of the province, he was ever the keenest advocate of poverty, and so great a giver of alms that even now, although a bishop, he must be restrained; for he gives everything away, and he has no greater happiness than when some needy person begs from him and enters his gates.

What then would this holy provincial do? One [35]sees with how much care he would watch over his flock, striving to maintain them without quarreling, and observing in everything the entirety of the rules. With the obstinate, he was rigid and severe; with the humble, most humble; with the afflicted, he held himself as a pious father who desires their good, and consoled them. As far as was possible, he followed the advice of Fray Pedro de Agurto, his successor in the bishopric, as he was so holy and learned a man. For since the affairs of the province had somewhat declined, and in visiting he found some religious who were prohibited by the rules—and, in fact, trying to remove them—the holy prelate counseled him that such religious were men of weight, and that he should receive their renunciations secretly; and that when the intermediate chapter should be assembled, then he should show them and provide those convents. Thereby would he be fulfilling his obligation, and would also be considering the honor of those religious, who if they were removed before, would be injured, as it would be understood that it had been because of their demerits; but it was a customary thing to do that in chapter, for it was apparent to all that religious were changed at that time. He did this as the bishop had counseled him, and thus the matter was remedied as far as possible without any scandal.

He visited the entire province, and went to that of the Pintados—which was his own, where he was reared, and where he had been prior of Panay, Octóng, and Santísimo Nombre de Jesús. While he was making the visitation there, it happened that news was brought that the inhabitants of Mindanao were coming with a large fleet to destroy the islands. [36]This tidings was certain; and another fleet was prepared with all possible despatch in Sugbú, in order that the Spaniards might defend themselves, and if possible, drive the enemy from the islands. Although diligent efforts were made in this, when our fleet set sail already had the enemy rounded the island of Panay. Our fleet, which consisted of seven caracoas and four or five barangays, followed the enemy. They reached the islets of Asur, where they heard that the enemy had passed there, with the intention of burning the city of Arévalo and the village of Octóng, with all their provisions. The captain and commander of our fleet was Captain Salgado, then alcalde-mayor of Sugbú. The two fleets met near Pan de Azúcar [i.e., “Sugar Loaf”]. The Spaniards were very resolute. The enemy formed themselves in a crescent with sixty caracoas. So senseless were they that they untied their captives, threw them overboard, and came to attack our boats. I know not the captain’s design or purpose, that made him dally with the enemy, so that the latter were shouting out spiritedly and imagining that they were feared. The father provincial and his companion, Fray Hernando Guerrero,5 talked encouragingly to the petty leaders, and encouraged and even shamed them so [37]much that, already late, they gave the signal to attack. Thereupon, the enemy sought shelter, and after steering their caracoas to where they thought that they had more safety, they divided. The captain did not pursue them nor do more than to go to Arévalo. On that account he lost a good opportunity and much credit. He should have continued to pursue them; for, when night fell, the caracoas of the frightened enemy remained along those coasts. The commander could easily have overhauled them with our caracoas, and could have given the enemy a blow that would have done much to finish them; but he failed to do so. The efforts that he finally put forth, and the attack, are owing to the resolution and bravery of our father Fray Pedro de Arce, in which one may consider his desire for the common good. For, although he might have sent other religious, he went in person, and put no value on his own life.6 He returned to Manila, where he finished his term, creating the desire in the fathers to see him provincial forever. [38]

In the chapter that elected our father Montesdoza, procurators were sent to España and to the Roman court. The papers and title of definitor of the chapter were given to our father Fray Lorenzo de León, who has just finished his provincialate. He embarked at the port of Cavite, made the trip to Nueva España safely, and likewise to the court of King Felipe III, of blessed memory. He did not go to Roma, but sent his papers from España. He was very well received at court, for the papers that he carried from the islands were excellent, and in his person he merited everything. They were very desirous to appoint him archbishop of Manila, and it is even said that they begged him to accept rewards, and congratulated him. But that shadow was dissipated instantly, as there was not wanting an evil-minded person to spoil it all by a malicious tale. For father Fray Lorenzo de León had ever the name of a most devout religious; and as such the province of Filipinas, which at that time was most noted for its religious devotion, elected him as its superior and provincial. But who can free himself from an evil tongue, and an ill will? For the loyal man lives no longer than the traitor desires. His hopes were frustrated, a matter that troubled him little, as he was a humble religious. He undertook to return [to Filipinas], and our king gave him commission to bring over a ship-load of religious. He received letters as vicar-general of the islands from Roma, so that he might always preside at the chapters held there. He had letters as master, and his academic degree; and brought a dispensation from our most reverend [general], so that, if elected as provincial the second time, he might serve; for the rules prohibit [39]him who presides from becoming provincial. He reached Méjico, although without that so notable ship-load, which he failed to bring, because of various casualties; with him came, however, one who was sufficient to render that vessel glorious, and even the entire province. This was the holy martyr, Fray Hernando de San José.7 Together with him came father Fray Hernando de Morales, father Fray Felipe Gallada, father Fray Pedro del Castillo, father Fray Martín de San Nicolás,8 all from [40]Méjico, and brother Fray Andrés García. The heads of the Inquisition in Méjico appointed him [i.e., Lorenzo de León] commissary for the islands. With these honorable titles and honors he came to Manila, one year before the chapter was held. He gladdened by his coming all the sons [of the order], and all the others, for the order knows no distinction, but embraces us all with the same love and charity. His prudence, his good government, and his great devotion were remembered; and since he bore letters ordering him to be obeyed as vicar-general, therefore the number of prelates was increased. Thus presiding in the following chapter, in 1605, he received votes as provincial, in rivalry with father Fray Estéban Carrillo9—one of the most eloquent preachers in the islands; and the best loved by all, both great and small, who has ever been known. Finally the astuteness, or rather, the diligence of certain ones prevailed, and father Fray Lorenzo de León became provincial pro secunda vice [i.e., “for the second time”]. [41]

Chapter XXXI

Of the second election as provincial of master Father Lorenzo de León

With the advent, then, of the year 1605, in the latter days of April, our fathers assembled in the islands, as is the custom. On the Friday before the third Sunday after Easter, our father Fray Lorenzo de León went to take over the presidency by virtue of his letters-patent, and they were found to be such as were required. In consequence, he was received as president of that chapter, over which he presided, not only as president, but as vicar-general. The election resulted in [the choice of] his person, as above stated. In it, the first definitor was father Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya; the second, father Fray Estéban Carrillo; the third, father Fray Pedro de Aguirre; and the fourth, father Fray Roque de Barrionuevo. Father Fray Miguel de Sigüenza had the vote for president in this definitorio, and as visitors were elected father Fray Mateo de Peralta10 and father Fray Francisco Serrano. All assembled, [42]they ordained and enacted the acts that they judged advisable in accordance with that time. All those acts show the sincerity of those who enacted them, and they provided not only for the welfare of the order, but for that of the native fathers under our charge; for surely, under our shadow they increase and are sheltered. And if religious were lacking, what would become of them? Beyond doubt they would be like the wretched boat exposed to the fury of the winds, which has no greater security upon the waters than where the winds choose to carry it. For this one orders them, that one petitions them, and another one seizes and knocks them about; but with the protection of the religious they are free from all these annoyances. Very conformably with this, religious were established in the missions in order to teach them and often to protect them.

Our father provincial entered upon the exercise of his office with the same wisdom and prudence as in his first term, attending to it with all his might. However, his second term was not apparently so successful as the first—caused perhaps by various casualties, which have no place here, and do not affect the matter at all. In short, the affair was running badly and the body of the province was becoming laden with humors. I well believe that our father knew it all, and that he could have been less rigid, and that without dividing the forces that [43]were forming. He thought that they were religious, and he the superior; and that all dissent, however violent, would be only murmur—just like certain huge clouds that predict great storms, but finally and at the end, the entire storm is expended in clouds of dust, thunders, and lightnings, so that that storm ends with only noise. But such did not happen here, but the matter went farther; and the father definitors, within one and one-half years, after meeting, deposed our father Fray Lorenzo de León. They sent him to España; but he remained in the province of Méjico, without wishing more than to serve our Lord, and ended his days there, as one may understand of so renowned a religious, leaving his cause in the hands of God. I leave it likewise; for, if we glance at the definitorio which assembled there, there is no doubt that it was one of the most sober-minded councils ever assembled in the province. And even were there none other in it than our father Fray Pedro de Arce, who presided in it, he was sufficient to ensure that; but it was much more creditable, for the others were very erudite. Father Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya was the most notable man in laws and moral causes that has been in the islands, and was no less a very great theologue. Father Fray Estéban Carrillo, as we have said already, was a great orator, and the other fathers were very learned. On the part of our father provincial, it was known that he was very devout, very punctual in attending to his obligations and that his first term was considered as most successful. Hence, without taking from anyone what belongs to him, we leave this matter with God, who has already judged it, and He has been pleased to take all those concerned in it. Bishop [44]Fray Pedro de Agurto was at his bishopric in Sugbú at this time. He was desirous of remedying what was already becoming established, and even left his city for that purpose. But when he reached Manila, he found that there was no remedy. He sorrowed greatly over this blow at the order, for, as the true religious that he was, he felt, as keenly as death, whatever misfortune came upon the order. In the world this proceeding was discussed with the charity that is exercised in other things; but, when everything was over, it was also erased from memory—and more, as the government of our father Fray Pedro de Arce followed immediately, who exercised the office of rector-provincial for that one and one-half years, and his fame and well-known virtue filled everything with fragrance and good-will.

[The order of discalced Augustinians in Spain petition for leave to go to the islands in 1605. The petition granted, a number of them set out; and, after waiting at Sevilla for some time for vessels, reach Mexico, where they are entreated to found a convent. Refusing this request, however, they continue on their journey, reaching the Philippines, in 1606, under the leadership of Juan de San Jerónimo. “They were given a house outside the city in a garden11 that had belonged to Don Pedro de Acuña, who governed these islands.... But those who treated the said fathers most generously were Ours, for we gave them our best and brightest jewel, namely, San Nicolás, allowing them to found their convent in his name. This meant wholly to enrich [45]them and to leave us poor.” Further, a layman named Don Bernardino, captain and castellan of the port of Manila, builds a convent for the new order “sufficient for forty religious.” At death he and his wife also leave money to continue the work, and the new order begins to multiply.]

Since then those fathers have continued to establish convents here. For as they were the last, and the islands are in the conditions under which Miguel López de Legazpi left them, there was not before any place where they could settle. However, outside Manila, they possess a small house called Sampaloc, because it has many tamarind trees. There they minister to a few Tagáls, and one religious lives there generally.12 It has a stone church and house. They have a garden with a stone house and its chapel (where one religious lives), near the walls of Manila, in the suburbs. Opposite the island of Mariveles, in the same district of Manila, they have a Tagál mission. It is but small, and, with its visitas, does not amount to four hundred Indians. But farther along the coast, they have two Zambal missions of settled Indians, which are situated nearer here than Ilocos. One is called Masinloc and the other Bolinao.13 Each one must have more than five hundred Indians. They have also extended from here to other islands. They must have three convents in the islands of Cuyo and Calamianes, more than sixty leguas from Manila. Those islands are full of people, so that, if they would come down from the mountains, many missions might be established; [46]for in that region the islands are innumerable. There is the large island of Paragua, and thence succeed islands and islets even to Burney, the largest island known in all this archipelago. But there is little hope of entering it, for the king and all the coast Indians are Mahometans. But those living in the upland and mountains are even pagans. By the above, the ease with which this damnable poison has extended will be apparent. Had God’s mercy been retarded a trifle longer in hastening the steps of the Spaniards, the latter would have found no place to settle; for as I have remarked, long experience shows that the Mahometan will not receive the Christian law which is so contrary to his hellish customs. The religious suffered many things in those islands as they were exposed to a thousand temporal dangers, and to enemies, with whom the whole region swarms. Those missions had seculars; and although they did their best, yet at present that region has another luster, for it appears that the religious, being more in number, are more suitable for this work.

Bishop Don Fray Pedro de Arce gave the fathers another mission in the island of Negros, opposite the island of Panay. I think it their best mission, as it is located nearer us. It has two religious, who do very good work. The bishop gave them also many missions in Caraga, where they will be able to spread. Later, we shall conclude this subject with what the fathers have built in Cavite, the port of Manila, in honor of San Nicolás—namely, a house and church, which is the best there.

[About the time that the Recollects sail Father Master Solier is preparing also to go to the Philippines. [47]He has been given “equal power with him whom the province sent as procurator, in case of the latter’s death.” The procurator dies at sea, whereupon Father Solier assumes his office. He sails with twenty-six Augustinian religious, eight of whom remain in New Spain—where they suffer many things, for the government of affairs there falls into the hands of the creole fathers.]

Those who remained were well received in Filipinas, where they were desired. They were distributed among the convents, as seemed best to our father Fray Lorenzo de León. But as soon as this contingent arrived, the discussions that had been aroused increased; so that, as we have seen, the intermediary chapter deprived him [of his office] as above stated.

Chapter XXXII

Of the election of our father Fray Pedro de Solier

Our father Fray Pedro de Arce, acting with that uprightness that always characterized him, for the period that remained to govern, assembled his chapter, in pursuance of the orders of our rules, namely, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of April, 1608. In this chapter, there did not fail to be its little animosities, occasioned, in my opinion, by the fact that the province found itself so far out of swaddling-clothes, that it had enough people and workers to give and to found another province. For, as we have seen, men of grand abilities had gone from España and from Nueva España, while habits had been given to many good men in Manila. Consequently, there were many men on whom to set the [48]eyes. Father Fray Estéban Carrillo was a man of the talents which we have already mentioned, and received votes. The father president also received them, and so grand a man was he, and so admired, that opinions were not lacking that he might become provincial. But the father Master Solier, although he was youngest of all in years, was apparently well liked for his character, and his labors in navigations, and the service which he had rendered to this province in bringing it so glorious men. Finally, God was pleased that he should win in the contest, and become provincial. The father president had to confirm this action, giving him a dispensation for the years that he lacked. Then, proceeding to the other elections, the following definitors were elected: first, Fray Francisco Serrano; second, Fray Pedro de Salcedo; third, Fray Jerónimo de Salas; and fourth, Fray Hernando de Trujillo.14 The visitors who were elected were father Fray Juan de Villalobos and father Fray Miguel Garcia. In council with the president, provincial-elect, and the rector provincial, they arranged [the affairs of] the province, both in order to provide the convents with heads, and to-adjust other things pertaining to the spiritual welfare. And in fact, considering the [49]enactments of other chapters, it seems that they attained so much excellence in this chapter, that if it did not surpass them, at least it shone out strongly—especially a letter which our father Master Solier sent to the provinces, so learned, spiritual, and so suitable to the times that it could not be more so. Its warnings were so necessary, not only for that time, but for any most important thing. I cannot excuse myself from writing here the chief thing, so that one may see the desires for the increase of their order, and the love with which they discussed matters touching the natives, which shone forth in those fathers. In the time of our father Solier, the province had a very good reputation, for it made itself feared and respected. Consequently, there was no difficulty in receiving his mandates and enforcing them, so that the province was greatly reformed. The great devotion of our father Fray Miguel García, who was then chosen as prior of the convent of Manila, aided him. He was later provincial, and after that he went to España, where his Majesty presented him as bishop of Cagayán. He returned to these islands with a fine company [of religious], and in the islands was appointed archbishop of Manila....

Thus, then, as I have said, the convent of Manila did not differ at all in divine worship from the most devout house in España; for the exercise in the choir was continuous, both day and night, and there was no cessation, unless necessity demanded it, when some of it could be dispensed with; for so did our rules decree for that. The infirmary was so full of all comforts, and so well cared for, that truly there was nothing lacking of anything which the sick asked, [50]or that the physician demanded. I being attacked by a sudden illness when I arrived at these islands, because of the change in climate, so great was the attention with which I was cared for that it could not have been more in the house of my parents, although they were very wealthy. Consequently, I became better very soon, and was well enough to go to the province of Bisayas; and, although I was unworthy, it must have been the will of the Lord that I should come. The fathers made strenuous efforts to have me remain there, and even our father prior himself, Fray Miguel García, would have liked me to remain as master of novitiates. That which grieves me is that I have served the Lord so very little, although I have been offered enough opportunities in which to serve Him.

Two years after the provincialate of our father Solier began, a visitor-general arrived, to visit this province in behalf of his Holiness and our most reverend father-general, and to reform it. For that purpose he was given permission to bring twenty-four religious. He who came as visitor was father Master Fray Diego de Guevara, who died afterward as bishop of Camarines. He was most religious, and devout beyond belief. While living in the convent at Madrid, he was there an example and model to all those excellent men who are never lacking in the convents of the capital; and, as that place is the non plus ultra of the world, one would think that all were keeping the best men for that place.

[A professed religious of Salamanca, Guevara, after his arrival at Manila, serves in several capacities—as reader in the Manila convent, prior of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, and prior of Manila. [51]He lives an austere life. While prior of Manila occurs “the rising of the Sangleys, which was ended with so great glory to the Spanish nation. For the Spaniards were so few, while the Chinese were so many that those who assert the smallest number say that they exceeded four thousand. Finally they were killed and destroyed throughout those districts, and their possessions and houses were ruined and burned, a thing regarded as marvelous. For they might have killed the Spaniards with great ease, as the latter were quite unprepared, not expecting any such thing. The city desired to advise his Majesty of the fortunate outcome of the matter; and that in regard to those who have entered Manila through the gates, it has always been extremely fortunate, and has always triumphed over its enemies, but never been conquered. Our father Fray Diego Guevara was chosen, and he accepted very willingly what the city requested, in all having the approbation of our father provincial. It was learned that a galleon was to be despatched from Malaca to India, while it was not the season here for despatches. He took as companion a choir-brother named Fray Diego de Urive,15 a native of the town of Consuegra in Mancha.” Arrived at Malaca, they find the galleon gone. They go to Goa, thence to Ormuz, and accomplish the journey to Rome overland. “Clemente VIII rejoiced greatly at receiving him, and much more at the good news from the islands of the West.” The general of the order gives Guevara a [52]warm reception, and allows him to depart for Spain. “At that time some differences arose between Ours and the Recollect fathers of our order, who were now commencing to settle. Thereupon an ordinance from Roma ordered an inspection. On petition of the royal Council, the visitation was entrusted to father Fray Martín de Perea, an illustrious member of the province of Castilla, who had been assistant of España. Our father Fray Diego de Guevara was chosen as his associate. The father-visitor entrusted to him, because he himself was busy, the visitation of several convents of the discalced fathers, in which he acquitted himself with great discretion. While engaged in the said occupation, Filipinas affairs must have made some stir—and so great, that news thereof came to the royal Council of the Indias. I think that the great devotion of the fathers then in chief authority, did not appear so well to those to whom time had given more license than was fitting. Therefore they wrote imputing to their prelates what it was very fitting should be punished.” The president of the Council, Count de Lemos, after consultation with Father Juan de Castro, of the Augustinian order, secures the necessary papers from Rome and sends Father Guevara to the Philippines with authority to make a general inspection of the order. He sails from Sanlúcar, June 22, 1609, taking with him a company of religious, among them Medina. The voyage to New Spain is made without incident.] [53]

Chapter XXXIII

Continuation of the preceding chapter

[The missionaries are well received by their brethren in Mexico. But they despair of getting vessels for the islands, “for already they were long overdue”—that is, the vessels from the Philippines, which are to return thither again. However, within a short time the “San Andrés,” bearing two Augustinians, Fathers Carrillo and Plaza, arrives in port. They bring a tale of storms and almost shipwrecks. “The almiranta suffered eleven hurricanes, and all had already lost hope of life. The vessel miraculously made the voyage through the courage of the pilot Toral, and that of father Fray Estéban Carrillo—who, lashed to the mizzen-mast, with a crucifix in his hands, consoled the crew, and animated and encouraged them. He always shared his food with the sick.” Of the other two vessels of the fleet, the flagship runs aground in Japan, but the crew are saved. “It was one of the greatest losses sustained by these islands. Don Rodrigo de Vivero was returning in the vessel. He had governed the islands for one year, in behalf of his uncle Don Luis de Velasco. The latter sent him for that purpose until the governor should be nominated in España.” The vessel “Santa Ana” is repaired and makes the voyage the succeeding year. “The arrival of the almiranta gave great comfort to Nueva España; for, as these vessels are of great profit, their loss is felt more than that of those coming from España. All together the latter do not in any way compete with those coming from Filipinas.” The almiranta and another vessel, the “San Francisco” of Peru, return that year to the islands. The viceroy refuses [54]to allow all the religious who have come for that purpose to embark. The following religious embark in the “San Francisco.”]

1. Father Master Fray Diego de Guevara, visitor-general.

2. Fray Diego de Uribe, his associate, who afterward studied and preached in the Ilocan language. He died as prior of one of the Ilocan convents.

3. Fray Agustín de los Ríos, native of Extremadura, a zealous servant of God and an eloquent preacher. He returned to Nueva España, in search of health, and afterward lived for some years there without it, in the hope of returning; but he died in that country, from epilepsy. But it is always thought that he, who was so spiritual, must have died to enjoy God.

4. Father Fray Hernando Becerra, one of the most learned and substantial men who have gone to the islands. In but little time he had filled all the principal offices of the order, such as reader of theology, chief preacher at Manila, associate of the provincial and of the visitor-general, prior of many convents, visitor, definitor, provincial with visitor (which he had been before), and prior of Manila. But he exercised the office of provincial scarcely two months. He was very judicious, and therefore acquired the above offices. God took him to Himself; for he left all envious of his death.

5. Fray Pedro de Herrera, of excellent mind. Although he could have been great if he had wished, like his pupil, our Father Becerra (both of them from Valladolid), yet all do not have equal fortune. This father was unfortunate. Our father general, before whom he presented himself, deprived him of [55]his habit, but after seeing that he did so unjustly, returned it to him; but Father Herrera was much broken because of so many troubles. He was the best Tagál linguist known.

6. Fray Andrés de Ocampo, of Córdoba, an excellent religious. He ministered in the Pampanga speech, and enjoyed good priorates. He died while returning to España.

7. Fray Silvestre de Torres, of the same company, came the next year. He was a native of Granada. He went to Japón and learned from the sanctity of the holy martyr Fray Hernando de San José. Later, when the religious were expelled from Japón, he came to Manila. He was chief preacher of Sugbú, and later of Manila; and had a mission among the Tagáls. He died by falling from a window. And since the Lord took him in such fashion, from his piety one will understand that that was the most appropriate hour for his salvation, as he had labored so assiduously.

8. Fray Andrés Jiménez, of Murcia. He came the same year as the above. He returned to Nueva España, but, not finding any refuge there, he came back to the shelter of Filipinas—where, partly in the province of Ilocos, and partly in that of Pampanga, he has done his utmost, according to the talent that God gave him.

9. Father Fray Juan Boan came four years ago. He has been very fortunate; for one would believe that they went to meet him with honorable duties, in which he has ever carried himself to the honor of the habit and the esteem of the natives, who have always loved him. He has made material advances for the province, acting with great mildness, and it [56]is hoped that he will continue to do so more and more.

10. Father Fray Pedro de la Peña, a native of Burgos, and an excellent religious. He read theology in Manila, with great credit. He held excellent priorates in Pampanga, and before these held some in Ilocos, where he was vicar-general. He was elected definitor of Roma and procurator of the province at the Spanish court. He died at sea in 1631.

11. Fray Pedro de Zuñiga, one of those whom we can honor most, since he obtained glorious martyrdom in Japon. I refer to his life.

12. Fray Juan de Medina, of Sevilla, missionary to the Bisayans. This is he who writes this history. I confess that the province has honored me beyond my deserts with offices and honors.

13. Fray José de Vides, a creole of Nueva España. Unfortunately he was deprived of the habit with father Fray Pedro de Herrera. He went to Roma by way of India, and it is not known where he stopped.

14. Fray Pedro de Mendoza, of Mechoacán, missionary to the Ilocos. He always refused a priorate (although he could have obtained many, had he wished), and also the office of provincial. But he is humility itself, and I think that he will give us an opportunity.

15. Father Fray Juan de Sahagun, of Salamanca. He has held priorates, and has lived up to the measure of his strength.

16. Fray Francisco Figueroa, of Córdoba, a Pampanga missionary. He has carried himself well, and is esteemed and loved by all. [57]

17. Father Fray Juan Ruiz, Bisayan missionary in the Bisayas for several years; and then our God took him to Himself.

18. This was father Fray Juan de Ocadiz, who was hanged for the murder of our father Fray Vicente. It would appear that that murder was needful to him for his salvation, for his penance during the entire time of his imprisonment was incredible. And his preparation for death was remarkable. It has been the Lord’s will to have given him His glory, since, to pardon one, He wishes repentance alone. Si autem impius egeret pænitentiam ab omnibus peccatis suis, quæ operatus est ... omnium iniquitatum ejus, quæ operatus est, non recordabor.16

When the violent murder of the provincial was divulged, an auditor went to [the fathers of] St. Augustine, by order of the royal Audiencia, to inquire into it. All the religious were assembled, and when all were in the hall of his Paternity, the auditor ordered all of them to kiss the hand of the dead provincial. On kissing it, father Fray Juan de Ocadiz began to tremble, etc., and confessed his guilt.

19. This was brother Fray Juan Bautista, a native of Genova, but a devoted servant of God, as he has proved in the time while he has lived in the Filipinas Islands, in the confidential offices that the order has entrusted to him.17

Our father visitor-general, seeing that many religious were necessary, and that very few were going to Manila, resolved to bestow some habits in [58]the port of Acapulco. It served no other purpose than to bring to the table those who had to leave it next day, and to give a better passage to those who would have come exposed to the wretched lot endured by the soldiers; and, when they wish to give habits, there is no lack [of men] here in Manila. Therefore, scarcely were they come to Manila when they left. That year the first archbishop who has belonged to the islands sailed, namely, Don Pedro Vazquez de Mercado, a secular. He had been bishop in Nueva España, and, although any office there is better, accepted this office, as he had been reared in Filipinas (where he had enjoyed prebends and health), and because his Majesty ordered it.

No other order came then. The voyage was fortunate, for, without furling our sails, day or night, we reached Manila, June 6, 1610; and no voyage like ours has been made here since, as we sailed on March 25. Both vessels were very swift, the winds strong, and the rain-showers must have been a help.

We were welcomed cordially in Manila, as they were not expecting a company, for the procurator sent by the province—namely, the father reader Fray Juan de Pineda18—was detained in Nueva España. When we arrived, already the favor bestowed upon the province by his Majesty (in a time when, as ran the news, little was expected) was already being extended; for the news that circulated [59]through the court was not very reliable. But his Majesty, better informed, attended to everything as a pious king. He sent religious to the province, and gave the bishopric to Don Fray Pedro de Arce, as above stated. He gave also an alms of two thousand pesos to the Manila house, and joined to it a visitor-general, with orders to attend to whatever needed remedy. His Majesty should be considered as a most kind benefactor of the orders, and very thankful for the services that our order has performed in these regions for him.

The first thing given attention was the examination of the papers of our father master Fray Diego de Guevara. When they had been examined in the definitorio, there were no objections possible. Therefore, with humble mien, the venerable father definitors were very obedient, and complied with the letters of our most reverend father. They were much beholden for the favors received from our pious king, and served him likewise in this thing that he ordered. Thus was our father visitor-general received by the definitorio. He was visitor-general for the entire province, since necessarily the body must obey the movements of its head.

Our father visitor was especially charged by the court to inquire into our Father Solier’s acts; and, if necessary, he was to deprive him of his office and declare it forfeited. But he found matters quite different from those reported there, for he found Father Solier’s province under his government very much reformed, and his devotion admirable. For our Father Solier was in all things a remarkable man; and by his letter to the province and his systematic conduct of it, and the manner in which he [60]conserved it, one can see how well he played his part. Thus if he had lost any of his luster in his dispute with the chapter of the past intermedium, he more than made it up. And this being so understood by our father visitor-general, he congratulated Father Solier highly, and honored him to the utmost.

It appears that our Father Solier was obliged to give account of himself. Therefore leaving the province so well conducted with a so honored superior, who came to it to honor and to investigate it, he determined to go to the kingdoms of España. Accordingly, having obtained leave for this from the father visitor, he set sail that year, with authorization from the province to take care of its causes and plead them in the court. Then, accompanied by father Fray Lúcas de Atienza,19 an aged religious, and at that time prior of the convent of Ibabay in the Pintados, he set sail in the vessels which left that year, in the first part of August. The galleon “San Juan” was to sail; it had been built to fight the Dutch enemy. Gaining the victory on St. Mark’s day, April 24 of the same year, it had been repaired again and was to make the voyage. One of the Dutch vessels captured was to go as almiranta; but it did not make the voyage, as it was unseaworthy. The trip was prosperous and the father reached España, attended by the same fortune. There he gave so satisfactory an account of himself that not only did they not find him deserving of reprimand, but honored [63]him, by making him bishop of Puerto Rico. Later he was promoted to the archbishopric of Santo Domingo. He gave the proofs that all the order promised itself from his great goodness and fervor. His zeal in conducting the affairs of this province of Filipinas was very great. He always recognized this province as his mother, and as that from which his higher station had originated. Therefore, although now a bishop, he looked after the interests most important to him, namely, the sending of ministers and missionaries. And indeed he did this by securing a fine company, whom he sent in charge of father Fray Juan de Montemayor, a most illustrious preacher, who was living in Andalucía, and wished to come to these regions. He considered the offer made to him, to be prior of that company, as not bad; and conducted it to the Filipinas, as we shall see later.

The father master Solier appointed our father Fray Miguel García (then prior of Manila) his vicar in the province of Filipinas; and left for him letters-patent, and all the authority that he could. As we have said, he could not have left anyone more suitable, nor one who more completely filled the vacancy made by Father Solier’s departure. Father Garcia governed during the one remaining year [of Father Solier’s provincialate], with great prudence, and proved what an excellent provincial he would have made. Yet he was not, on that account, neglectful of his house of Manila, but governed it with strictness, which even became greater. He enriched the choir with beautiful stalls of inlaid work and wood, which, after many years, are still in excellent condition. He built the largest room in Manila, [64]namely, the porter’s room. Afterward, while provincial, he aided in the further progress of the work. That house owes more to him than to any other. Our father visitor chose as his associate father Fray Estacio Ortíz,20 who had also been his associate when he went to begin the [work of the] order in Japón. As he knew his talents and prudence through that long association, the father visitor thought that he could make no better choice of one to whom to entrust an office of so great secrecy than this man whom he considered so good. Therefore as soon as he reached Manila, he appointed Father Ortíz as such, and therein he did exceeding well. For, as has been proved, he is the most prudent man who has come to the Filipinas, very silent, very long-suffering, and above all, a most devout religious. The province, aware of this, has never allowed him any rest, but has always entrusted to him the offices of greatest weight and honor; and he has given most strict account of them, to the very signal interest of the order. He has twice been prior of Manila, which place is the rock of experience, and where each one shows his talents. Both times he labored hard, performed much, and ruled that convent in all strictness. He was prior of Sugbú, as well as visitor [65]and definitor of the province at the same time, and prior of many convents. He ever bore the name of provincial, to which office he was not elected—not for lack of merit, but of fortune, which is not always equal; and the lots go by pairs.

Our father visitor-general began, then, his visit through the Tagál province Pampanga, and Ilocos, and kept for the following triennium what remained in the Pintados. He was not limited in time, and therefore, went slowly. Everywhere he exhibited great prudence and wisdom, as the religious recognized, and he knew how to carry himself with them. He provided what he saw was most essential to the perfection of the province, which he thought to establish with the earnestness demanded by his care and devotion, and by disposing their minds to observe what he was teaching them by word and precept.

When he was in Manila he was an excellent chorister, and in the other convents he assisted in the same manner. When he saw what was advisable, he approached Manila to arrange what was needful in the chapter affairs, for the true reformation is, that the superior be such. If the superior be perfect, then he must try to see that all whom he rules be perfect also. Qualis rector est civitatis, tales et inhabitantes in ea.21

Chapter XXXIV

Of the election of our father Fray Miguel García

Since the province, as we have seen, was so extensive, and all the houses had a vote, except that there [66]were some few convents which were vicariates, the men who collected for the chapter were numerous; and if I do not deceive myself, they were difficult to count—that is, they were more than sixty. And among so many men (although it is true that it was always thought that the province was to be for our father Fray Miguel García), there are different tempers, and factions, and they say those things which afterward it were well that they had not said. They found the president inclined not to make our father Fray Miguel García provincial—not because there were demerits in his person, but because he had already governed, and he considered that enough. Such discussions, although they were in good point, did not have any effect; for the waters flowed in their usual channels, and this talk served only to disquiet some. In short, our father Fray Miguel García was declared elected on the twenty-third of April, of the year 1611, all votes concurring in his election with great good-will; for they saw that he was the one of whom the province had need for those times. Thereupon, our father Fray Miguel García performed an action most worthy of his devout heart, namely, to kneel down before our president, and with tears to resign his office, confessing himself as unworthy and insufficient for it, while he did not have the grace or rather the age for it. This he did with so many tears that his devotion made many others weep. The bishop-elect of Sugbú, who was present, caused our father visitor to dispense him in whatever obstruction he had by reason of his age, and to confirm him in the election. The bishop coöperated, and considered it good that the province had elected him; and the province itself insisted on it by universal acclaim. [67]Consequently, our father visitor confirmed our father provincial Fray Miguel García, first dispensing him for the impediment of the lack of age, which was but little. That lack was more than supplied by his excess of prudence.

The definitors elected at this chapter were the reverend fathers: first, Fray Francisco Bonifacio; second, Fray Juan de Tapia; third, Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda; and fourth, Fray Estacio Ortíz. The absolute provincial, father Fray Diego Gutiérrez, received a vote. The visitors who were elected in this definitorio were father Fray Bernabé de Villalobos and father Fray Antonio de Porras22, the latter [68]being adito.23 All the above in assembly made excellent regulations, and established for that time very good acts and laws; and they charged our father provincial with the execution of them, since on that depended the universal good of all the province.

It was proposed in this chapter, and, in fact, it was so ordered, for reasons that were very apparent there, that the chapters in the future should be held every four years, and the intermediary chapters every two years. The main consideration that influenced them was the great deficiency that the fathers create in their convents during the time when they come to the election, and they deemed it advisable to obviate this injury as much as possible, since it could not be entirely remedied—concluding that the expenses, if they could not be avoided, at least would be delayed as late as possible. This was agreed upon at that time, but later it was considered unadvisable, and consequently the enactment in this matter was repealed.

After the election, and the departure of the vessels to Castilla, our father visitor undertook to go to visit the province of Bisayas, which he did very slowly. He took as his associate our father Fray Hernando Becerra,24 then a recent arrival. He visited the [69]island of Panay very leisurely. When about to go to the convent of Sugbú, he took as associate our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida,25 then without office, as he had refused any. He established an excellent system in that convent, of which he had great care. He caused its annuities to be raised, for it was very poor and overburdened. Father Fray Hernando Becerra went to Manila to read theology. Although he did this only for a short time, yet he became very renowned throughout the islands, and in consequence was cordially received by the other orders. Thence the father visitor came to Manila to assist in the superior government of the province, although the government of our father, Fray Miguel García, was such that, when he was there, no one else was needed.

In the year 1613, the ships with the reënforcements arrived in good shape from Nueva España. In them came that company of religious above mentioned as being sent by Bishop Solier. Father Fray Juan de Montemayor, their leader, who brought them from Nueva España, did it as well as he could; but there most of the religious, finding themselves tired out by the severe voyage, and the breadth of [70]the land and its mildness and beauty inviting them, and that first courage having been lost with which they had left their native land and country, separated in a thousand directions, so that very few of that flock were left. These embarked and set sail in the port of Acapulco, March 25, 1613, without enough provisions; and even in what provision they had so little judgment was shown that they arrived as if by a miracle. Such was their need that when they arrived at the Embocadero, which is about eighty leguas from Manila, they had to disembark, and go from island to island, selling what few clothes they had left. There the fathers of the Society, who have charge of those missions, performed toward them a thousand acts of charity, by means of which they sustained life until, thus broken and with innumerable necessities, they reached Sugbú. Of a truth, they were ill advised; for, since they were already in the islands, they would have been delayed much less in the ships, which were retarded because of the route that they took, which was full of dangers and not a little troublesome. But the government does not learn. It is a gift given by God to those who please Him. Two fathers who remained in the ships arrived promptly and many months before their associates.

The religious in that company were as follows:

1. The father master, Fray Pedro García, own brother of our father Fray Miguel García. He did not come as master, but his brother negotiated that for him upon going to España.

2. Father Fray Juan de Montemayor, one of the greatest preachers who have been in the islands.

3. Fray Jerónimo Medrano. [71]

4. Fray Nicolás de Herrera, a preacher, and a prominent religious.

5. Fray Cristóbal de Miranda. He was the one who, together with the master, Fray Pedro García, refused to disembark. That religious has been very useful.

6. Father Fray Hernando de Aguilar, a very honored religious.

7. Father Fray Bartolomé de Salcedo.

8. Father Fray Jerónimo de Oro.

9. Father Fray Antonio de los Santos.

10. Father Fray Juan Cabello.

11. Father Fray Juan de Pareja Mejía, very skilled in the Ilocan tongue. I mean that the following year, when the father master went, he again sent his associate, Fray Lúcas de Atienza, with some religious whom he found from the other companies whom I have already named, some of them being in my company.

Others were Fray Juan de Mena and Fray Lúcas de Rivera.26

With this the government of our father Fray Miguel García was, we might say, fortunate; for he found himself with two companies, all of whom, with the half company, numbered more than forty religious. With that number he was able to supply the missions which now were suffering for the need of workers. He was able to add new strength to the house at Manila, so that the choir could be assured—which is, as one might say, the fort of the province, where prayer is offered to God day and night for the needs of the province. There they gather those who find that they have but little strength in the ministry, [72]where with some more rest they can attend to the profit of their own souls. Our father Fray Miguel García, considering that our father Fray Diego de Guevara had visited the provinces so slowly, did not choose to cause more trouble to the convents, or to spend more on his visits. Consequently, he was not excessive in this matter, but very mild.

In the intermediary chapter held in Manila within two years, as had been determined in the full chapter, it appeared that the province complained about the [term of the] chapter being lengthened one year. They advanced not a few reasons in support of this complaint, and so many that it was ordered that that measure be revoked, and the chapter meeting be assigned for the next year of 1614. It was to be held in the house of Guadalupe, a place very suitable, in their opinion, for the chapter meetings, as it was not very far from Manila, so that they could supply their needs; and it allowed them to escape annoyances and importunities of the laymen.

This [intermediary] chapter considered that many religious were dying, and that, since the father priors always came to vote, some house must necessarily remain empty, and be entrusted to the fiscals of the villages. This appeared full of inconveniences, both temporally and spiritually, which it is not right to express, since they are so apparent. And even were there nothing else than the great danger of many persons dying without holy baptism, and others without confession, that was sufficient. But there were many other reasons, which, although not so serious, aided not a little. The expenses that would be saved were many; and this reason, that the priorates would have such persons, for the best ones [73]would always be chosen for them. This was opposed very strongly, and the opposition alleged what, in their opinion, were not a few reasons. They asserted that this was a kind of tyranny, and that their opponents were trying to reduce the province to fewer votes in order to perpetuate themselves in the government; and that it was less easy to make sixty votes agree than twenty. The province had commenced thus and should continue thus, and it was a manifest grievance to deprive those elected by the intermediary (or rather, the full) chapter of their votes. They said that that matter was very serious, and should be carried over to the ipso pleno [i.e., the full chapter], in which, after being considered by so many, it could be determined. The whole question was put to vote by our father provincial, Fray Miguel García, who held the affirmative side. With his Paternity were our father Fray Diego de Guevara (who presided as visitor-general), the father definitor, Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda, and the father definitor Fray Francisco Bonifacio. On the other or negative side were father Fray Estacio Ortíz, the father definitor Fray Juan de Tapia, the father visitor Fray Juan Enríquez,27 and the father visitor Fray Juan Villalobos.28

They were equally opposed. One adito, father [74]Fray Antonio de Porras, was not there. Each side put forth its efforts, working for our Lord’s service, at which all aimed, doubtless, but by different paths. The father commissary took sides with the party of our father master, Fray Diego de Guevara, as he thought that the better and more justifiable. And thus this chapter disposed of all that it had proposed. Five houses in Bisayas were left with votes, namely, Santísimo Nombre do Jesús, Panay, Barbarán, Passi, and Octóng. Another five votes were left in Ilocos, namely, Bantay, Ilagua, Batac, Nalbacán, and Bauang. Thus twelve votes were taken away from the province of Bisayas, which has sixteen large convents, leaving the vicars, immediate to the chapter, with the authority and power in temporal and spiritual matters, as if they were priors. Only their vote in the chapter was taken away. Of the thirteen convents in the province of Ilocos, eight were deprived of vote. In the province of Tagalos, votes were assigned to the house of Manila, that of Guadalupe, the father sub-prior, the father preacher-general, the convent of Taal, that of San Pablo de los Montes, the convent of Bay, that of Pasíg, those of Parañaque, Tondo, Bulacán, Malolos, Agonoy, and Calumpit—in all, fourteen votes. Many houses—about ten—were deprived of votes; and of these sometimes they make priorates (or rather, vicariates) and sometimes visitas. Six votes were given to Pampanga, namely, Bacolor, México, Guagua, Macabebe, Lubao, and Candaba. Six other convents were left as vicariates. Thus the houses having vote numbered twenty-eight. The subprior and procurator-general, four definitors, two visitors, the discreto of Manila, the provincia and his associate [75]bring the number up by ten [sic], and make thirty-nine; and the absolute provincial bring it up to forty.

It was declared that when, through the privations of the time, any convent should decrease notably, the definitorio could transfer its vote in that chapter to another convent, as might then seem advisable, as was seen in the convent of Aclán. When this convent passed from the order its vote was transferred to the convent of Barbarán.

Some acts were passed afterward, which, translated into Latin and printed, are observed in the province. I do not place them here, as I think that they do not further our purpose in any way. Their annulment was asked for, for experience has shown that they have been productive of little good, and that the province had not need of so great rigor as they contain.

Chapter XXXV

Of the election of our father Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda

Our father visitor-general thought that he had complied with his obligation, and that the affairs of the province were in good condition. He set about returning to España with the results of his labor, although for the completion of the visit there was no time allotted; for he had ample license to remain in the province as long as he judged it advisable for its advantage and greater good. He did not have good fortune on that voyage, for, either the poor equipment or the late departure caused both the almiranta and the flagship to put back in distress. Our father visitor also came back and resumed his office, as it [76]was one of which he had made no resignation. Now came the time for the chapter which was to be held in Guadalupe, according to the decision made. In this chapter the number of votes was very much less, in obedience to the acts of the intermediary chapter, and the father visitor was to be the president as was necessary in that chapter also, for thus was it ordered in his letters-patent. Some must have been sorry for it. Finally, the matter arranged itself in such a way that our father master Fray Diego de Guevara resigned any right that he might have to that presidency and to the visitation of those islands, and for greater assurance broke the seal of it when he entered the chapter. As the only received master in that province, it was understood that he would be provincial; but I think that the fathers were very far from thinking of it, for they inclined to our father Fray Miguel García, who was most keen and very accurate in matters of government. Being, moreover, a prince of the Church, the latter was more conspicuous, as all thought; and I have even heard very influential persons and even governors say of the archbishop, “He is very wise! He is very wise!”

Upon the arrival, then, of the nineteenth of the month of May, 1614, the date upon which our chapter fell, our father Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda, a person who, one would think, had entered these islands for eminence in everything, was elected. For coming in the company of the bishop Solier (I mean the company which he himself brought to this land), in the year 1606, as soon as the said Solier was elected provincial, he made him [i.e., Sepúlveda] prior of the convent of Macabebe in Pampanga, one of the best of all the convents. Later, while our father [77]Fray Miguel García was provincial, he was elected definitor, and now we see him provincial; and in the succeeding triennium we shall see him return to the office because of the death of the holder of it, which is in accordance with the rules. Within a little more than a month after he had taken the office, we shall see him choked to death. Thus he served as an official in the province for scarcely one and one-half years before he was at the head of it. But so great fortune in temporal affairs announced such a misfortune.

At that chapter presided the definitor, namely, our father, Fray Francisco Bonifacio; for, by the resignation of our father visitor-general, the rules summoned him for it. As definitors were elected in the chapter: our father Fray Juan Enríquez, father Fray Pedro García;29 second, our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida; third, father Fray Alonso Ruiz;30 and [78]fourth, Fray Juan Cabero.31 The visitors were Fray Jerónimo de Salas and Fray Nicolás de Alreybar. All of them assembled, they enacted carefully what they deemed most suitable for the province.

As prior of the province and definitor of Roma was elected our father Fray Miguel García; and, as discreto of the general chapter, father Fray Hernando Guerrero, with sufficient authority so that in case our father [i.e., García] should die he should enter upon his duties.

Leave was also given to our father visitor-general to go to España. They made him prior of Manila. His voyages were fortunate, although in the following year, when they went to España, the fleet was overtaken by great danger and obliged to put in at Lisboa. But affairs went so well in the court of España, that after only a short wait his Majesty appointed them as bishops—our father Fray Miguel García, of Cagayán; and our father visitor, of Camarines. They arrived at their bishoprics, and died in the islands, where they furnished an excellent example.

Our father Fray Vicente, as one who found himself with the province in charge, and who took especial care of its increase, managed its affairs with great assiduity. He visited all the provinces personally. He went to that of the Bisayas, which even yet bewails the cost to them of that visit. And if we must confess that the prelate’s zeal was proper, we have not to confess that the province which has [79]ever enjoyed an austere reputation had grown so careless as to need so bitter medicine. And since those who were removed from their priorates were given others, this rigor could well have been avoided, in my opinion, although perhaps it ought to be considered proper, as the government of the prelates is paramount. The provincial returned to Manila, leaving Fray Alonso de Baraona as his vicar-provincial.

During this period the islands were passing through very great dangers; for the Dutch from Maluco were vaunting themselves more than was proper, and every day brought news that the Mindanaos were assembling to destroy the islands—fears that made the people timorous and too anxious. Finally their fears came to a head with the arrival in great force of the Dutch off the coast of the town of Arévalo, whose purpose was to prevent the aid which was to be sent from that port to the forts of Térnate. The enemy had ten galleons, of varying capacity; and it was even told as truth that they were bringing lime and the other supplies for settling in Ilong-ilong. But later, when the matter was better considered, it must have been seen that their residence there would not be productive of any profit, but rather of a very great expense. Besides, it would be very difficult to send them aid; while our troops could easily oust them, as the island is ours. The commandant of the town of Arévalo, also its alcalde-mayor and overseer-general, without mincing words, was no more a man than is a hen. Even in bravery, a hen is more than he; since the hen, upon seeing the approach of the kite, is aroused, and becomes a lioness in order to guard her chicks. But this person, [80]by name Antonio de Jaréz de Montero, did no more than to run away, although he had troops to meet the enemy face to face. He had assembled more than two thousand Indians from those encomiendas; he had more than two hundred Spaniards. And so when the Indians saw, the night before, the signal which had been made from the island of Imalus,32 they fled, and not one was to be seen next day; and all of the Spaniards who could, went also. In the morning, Monday, on such and such a day of October, the enemy appeared, and came straight to the port of Ilong-ilong, as if they had frequented it for many years. Thereupon, the alcalde-mayor fled inland, without taking thought for anything. Thus the field—where had four Spaniards remained, they would have performed great deeds—was left to the enemy. I was living at that time in Otóng, where father Fray Juan de Lecea33 was prior, a most exemplary religious. Father Fray Silvestre de Torres,34 who had come from Japón, was likewise a conventual of that place. We did the same as the others. We stored aboard a caracoa the most valuable things of the convent, and buried the rest. We ordered the Indians to remain with the caracoa among those creeks, of which there are many. They [81]did so, and hence all the things aboard the caracoa and those buried were found afterward. The enemy, not meeting any opposition, landed, came to the town of Arévalo, and set fire to it all. They burned our convent, which was quite fine and built of wood They burned that of Salog also, an excellent convent, which even yet has not been rebuilt. The enemy suffered greatly on the road, for that season in the islands is the rainy season. We went to the convent of Baong, one day’s journey inland from the town, although we spent more than two in reaching it. I, although sick, was first to arrive. The prior of that convent was Father Diego Oseguera.35 Although the convent was poor, yet they acted as if they were wealthy. They shared all the rice and beef of the convent with all [the fugitives] who kept coming every moment, without taking account of anything. The convent of Otong, besides its building, lost a ranch of cattle which it owned then of more than five hundred head and others of mares of more than one hundred head. For as the cattle were tame and came to their usual resorts, the enemy caught some and shot others. The fathers of the Society lost much also. The rector of their college there was, at that time, Father Encinas,36 a man of uncommon holiness. He also came to Baong, by [82]short relays, and lived in our convents until his order summoned him.

The commandant and lieutenant-governor of the Pintados, Don Juan de la Vega, was in Sugbú with two companies of infantry. The news of the enemy’s coming was told to him; accordingly he embarked his men and brought them thither, but, when he had arrived, the enemy had burned everything, and were away up the point. Thus the troops, went to the convent of Passi—one-half day’s journey by land—by the river of Alacaygan. That same day I arrived at Passi, for I went from Baong to Laglag, and from Laglag to Passi. The Indians were already vaunting themselves very insolently, and refused to render any aid; but it appears that with the arrival of those two companies, whom they had in the heart of the country, they began to become calm. Who can tell what these convents did, and what they gave and supplied? It is incredible, for almost from their shoulders hung all those troops, yet without curtailing anything [of the convent’s usual bounty]. The convents were hostelries for those soldiers and captains, until their substance was gone. But when that commandant could have collected more than three hundred Indians (or rather, soldiers), and gone to meet the enemy and could have inflicted great damage upon him, he spent the time in scandalous feasting. Afterward he went to Dumangas where all the people of the town of Otóng and the other soldiers were gathered; and there, by surfeiting themselves with cocoa-nuts and sugar-cane, and committing other acts of hoggish greed, more of them died than if they had fought with the enemy. That commandant was the son of an auditor, and must [83]have been a brave man, although he caused grief to everyone; and his blunders must have been fine bits of prudence. He also lost for the king a galleon named “San Márcos,” one of the best and stoutest vessels built in the islands. Another auditor’s son, Don Pedro de Almazán, when general of the galleys, had the Mindanaos blockaded in the river Baco, and when already the enemy were thinking of surrendering, he left the port, whereupon the enemy regained courage and went away. The sons of auditors have done many things like these, but I do not write them, as I am not the historian of their acts of prowess. I have merely remarked this in passing, as it was necessary to speak of it. Finally, Don Juan de la Vega died suddenly. There he will have given account to God. Perhaps his intention in something may save him.

It will be apparent from what I have written, that there has been scarcely any event in these islands, either of war or peace, where those of my order have not distinguished themselves. In the above they did so no less than in others, for they were fathers to so many poor, and hosts and support to so many soldiers. They relieved, if not wholly, at least partially, the needs of so many, which one can easily believe would be many, since they were abandoning their houses, burned with what little they contained, and fleeing from the enemy who were burning their possessions.

The enemy left the islands after that, whereupon father Fray Juan de Lecea, as a true father to the end—and what he grieved over, was, in truth, the leading astray of his flock—went down from the mountains, as soon as he learned that the enemy were [84]not in Otóng, and reached (although not without many tears), those sites where had been the convent, and where the true God had been worshiped. He began to gather together those dear wretched beings, and gave them alms of the little that he had. Finally, with God’s help, those natives gradually came down from the mountains and assembled in their village, where they began to build their houses anew. Father Fray Juan de Lecea showed so excellent management that he soon had a habitation. I left the upland then and went to the visita of Guimbal, where the enemy had not been. From that place I sent Father Lecea men, and what [supplies] I could, so that the work might progress. There by the Lord’s pleasure, the Tinguianes of that visita, who had never consented to build a church, nor have the father visit them, at length, through the Lord’s mercy, ceased their obduracy. They built me a church, and I baptized many of them, both children at the breast and those somewhat older, and adults. If I have done any service to the Lord in that place, I pray His Majesty to receive it as a partial payment for my many acts of disservice.

On my departure from all those mountains, and my return to Otóng, I found already a church and small dwelling-house built, and another under way, larger and more commodious, which was soon finished, until it finally became a very handsome edifice.

The convent of Salóg was being rebuilt in better style; and the Indians were again settling in the village, although not as in the beginning.

From that place I was exchanged to the convent of Dumalag, by order of the vicar-provincial of the [85]island, the father commissary, Fray Antonio de Torres. While I was there the father provincial came to visit, and there happened the above. The result of his visit was to send me as prior to Dumangas, which I opposed to my utmost, as I had left two other priorates because of my ill-health. But obedience had to force my will. When I arrived there, even yet the Spaniards were in that river. At last, seeing that they could go, they retired, and my parishioners were more free to attend to their souls, to their houses, to their villages, and to their church, which had been destroyed. Finally, it was the Lord’s will that I built there a church and house of wood, and larger in size [than the former one].

The government remained in the hands of the Audiencia, because of the death of Don Juan de Silva, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of these islands. He sailed for Malaca with ten galleons, accompanied by two of our religious, father Fray Juan de Montemayor,37 and father Fray Lúcas de Atienza. The Audiencia governed most carefully and successfully, for it had very good results in whatever it attempted. It was rumored that the Dutch enemy were returning to the islands with a greater force, as they had heard of the death of that man—who must be immortal, and for fear of whom they were lost; for daily they were indicating this in their conduct. For as he [86]routed them at Playa Honda, in 1610, they had no wish to fall into his power a second time. But now, without any fear, they were about to return to retrieve their loss and past reputation. The Audiencia appointed as commander-in-chief of the Pintados Don Diego de Quiñones, one of the most valiant and courageous gentlemen ever in this land. His first act was to strengthen the fort of Sugbú, in case the enemy should attack at that point. While he was busy in that occupation, news came from Otóng of the approach of the Dutch with ten galleons, and of their intention to colonize the point of Ilong-ylong. Instantly, he ordered a boat, loaded it with bread and cheese, and went to Otóng. In the nine days’ interval until the Dutch arrived, he built a redoubt of wood and fascines, where he awaited the enemy, who arrived September 29. Don Diego had but few men, although a company from Ternate was there, who happened to come there in a wrecked fragata. They were of no little service. His artillery consisted of small pieces which shot a ball no larger than a very small orange. He had about one hundred men. Lázaro de Torres was their captain, a man of great courage, and than whom no one, in such opportunities, has been more fortunate. His alférez was Don Pedro Zara, a very courageous soldier. In short, they fought so that it appeared rather rashness than bravery. Two of our religious were there, father Fray Jerónimo de Alvarado and Fray Juan de Morales, besides the parish priest of the town, Bartolomé Martes. They confessed the troops, and encouraged them. The balls rained down, and thus they penetrated throughout the fort, as if it had been paper. No place was safe, for the enemy commanded [87]the entire fort from their topmasts; and no sooner did any one mount the parapet than he was shot. The commander was wounded, as was Don Pedro Zara. Within that redoubt all were heaped sweltering in their own blood, awaiting death. For, as often as the enemy invested that small fort or redoubt, the Spaniards resisted bravely and killed many of them. But finally, at the end, the victory had to remain with the conqueror, who could be none other than the Dutch as they had so strong forces. But our Lord in such a conflict aided His own, who were fighting there for His honor under so great odds; and willed that the enemy should abandon the undertaking, and depart—to the wonder of all, after they had been firing at that rampart for nearly two days. In that time they must have used more than five hundred large balls, the reverberations of which sounded on the heights of that island like thunder. On the departure of the enemy, our men must have found themselves in great need of everything, for whatever houses and stores were there were all burned; for the Dutch have done this three times on that point. Help came then from Baong, and father Fray Hernando de Morales came overland with two hundred Indians. He was an angel to the people, and, with the Indians, aided them in their greatest necessity. By this means they had one who served and accommodated them, which was no small achievement. He brought them as much food as he could, and remained with them until the natives began to aid; for all had been frightened greatly at the uproar that they had seen. This was a great matter for the natives, for they all said, “The Dutch have been beaten.” [88]

Captain Don Diego, seeing that the enemy would go there constantly, began, with the consent of the Audiencia, to build a fort, and constructed a rampart, furnished with some excellent pieces, which arrived the same day when the enemy left, and were almost captured by them. Afterward the fort was completed. It consists of four ramparts, and is the best in the Filipinas. I have related the above, because it shows how our religious attend to the service of our Lord.

Chapter XXXVI

Of the election of our father, Fray Jerónimo de Salas; and of other events in this province at that time.

The [time for the] chapter arrived in which our father Fray Vicente left his office, at which he would rejoice; for this matter of command, although it appears to be all honey, certainly contains much more of gall and confusion than rest. The father visitor, Fray Juan de Enríquez, received votes, and he was well liked in Pampanga. The father-provincial thought that father Fray Agustín de Mejía38 was needed for the government of the province, for he was of Manila, and had maintained that convent with great devotion and punctuality, and no one had been lacking in anything—and that in times so calamitous as his own. During that time the ships [89]from España failed us for two years, and during all that period he had so great courage that he did splendid things in the convent of Manila, both for the church and for the house. The monument placed in our house is the best of all those belonging to the orders; it and many others are his work. Notwithstanding this, the religious did not consider him favorably. Consequently, our father provincial, seeing the difficulty, did not wish, as a prudent man, to venture upon a thing which would make face against him. For the religious alone are of this condition, that they play openly; as they look rather at the common good than that of their own particular interest. Consequently, he cast his eyes on father Fray Jerónimo de Salas, a man so well received that the other fathers agreed on him immediately, and he was elected without much difficulty on the twenty-ninth of April, 1617. That election was very pleasing to the province, for all were very sure that they would receive very great consolations at his hands. They were quite right too, for I could treat of that point, as a very large share of it fell to me, when I was in Bisayas acting as prior of Dumangas; for he sent me leave to come to Manila, as he wished me to become subprior.

Father Fray Jerónimo de Cabero presided at that chapter, as we had no letters-patent from our father general. As definitors, father Fray Juan Enríquez, father Fray Pedro de Lesarte,39 father Fray Alonso [90]de Baraona, and father Fray Felipe de Tallada were elected. The visitors were father Fray Estacio Ortíz and father Fray Agustín de Mejía. All together assembled, they annulled preceding orders and enacted others for the good management of the province.

But little life was left for our father provincial, for a very slight accident occasioned his death, so that, without any medicine sufficing, he went away and left us on the seventeenth of May, leaving us disconsolate and very desirous of him.

Our rules, in such an event, summon the preceding provincial, who immediately took the seal. Persons were not lacking to advise him to leave the government of the province, saying that the province was not well affected toward him. And even persons outside of the order who were viewing things with some interest, said the same to him. But we are not to understand that any ambition guided him, but that since he had had experience in the government, which is not the least thing, he thought that he could govern better than another. He commenced to burden the province with mandates, for in his term there was too much of that. Thereupon, the fathers began to regard him less favorably than before, and to represent to themselves the evil of his having the command. There were meetings and discussions in which the coming evil was clearly presaged and announced. One old religious, who was such in all things, in order to avoid cavilings and inquisitions went to confess to him; and told him that he knew most positively that they wished to kill him, and that he should relinquish his office. He assented to nothing, carried away, doubtless, by his good zeal. [91]A brother served him in his cell, a creole whom he wished well and whom he treated with affection. The latter, in return for the benefits which he received, gave him pounded glass in his chocolate, for he had been told that that was the most virulent poison which could be administered. But the provincial’s natural force resisted everything, for he was robust, though small of body.

During this time, which was June of the same year, 1617, as the ships which had been despatched the year before had put back in distress, the viceroy of Nueva España, in order not to leave the islands without succor, bought a small Peruvian ship called “San Jerónimo,” little but very staunch. Although they had but little comfort, the bishop, Don Fray Miguel García, embarked with his fine company of religious; and he brought them in safety to the port of Cavite, although they were almost wrecked among the islands, because the vendavals had set in early and with violent force. At last freed from this and other dangers by the mercy of God, and as they were laborers chosen by God for this His vineyard, He did not wish them to lack work in it; and so He placed them at the doors of the convent of Manila, poor from the lack of comfort in the voyage, but rich with their hopes and virtues. Their names were:

Father Fray Hernando Guerrero, who came as prior of them all.

Father Fray Antonio de Ocampo, a very eloquent preacher, and a Castilian.

Father Fray Juan de Trejo, a very eloquent preacher, and from Estremadura.

Father Fray Juan Ramírez, a preacher, from Burgos. [92]

Father Fray Pedro Ramírez, a preacher, from Burgos.

Father Fray Diego de Robles, a Castilian.

Father Fray Diego de Avalos, from Toledo.

Father Fray Agustín Carreño, from Asturia, a Tagál.

Father Fray Francisco de Madrid, a preacher, and a Castilian.

Father Fray Lúcas de Aguilar, a Castilian.

Father Fray Juan de las Cuevas, from Madrid.

Father Fray Andrés de Prada, from Burgos.

Father Fray Antonio de Ulloa, a preacher, and a Castilian.

Father Fray Alonso Delgado, from Estremadura.

Father Fray Alonso Rodríguez, a fine organist, and a Castilian.

Father Fray Juan de Orasco, a Castilian.

Father Fray Martín de Arastí, a Biscayan.

Father Fray Félix de Villafuerte.

Father Fray Antonio Quintano, a preacher, from Burgos.

Father Fray Juan Gallegos, a preacher, from Mancha.

Father Fray Jacinto de Herrera; this was the second time that he has sailed for this land. He is a preacher and a Castilian.

Father Fray Pedro Mejía, a preacher, from Mancha.

Father Fray Jerónimo de Paredes, a preacher, and a Castilian.

Father Fray Martín Vázquez, a Castilian.

Father Fray Tomás de Villanueva, from Mancha.

Father Fray Alonso de Carabasal, reader, and [93]who came the following year. He remained behind because of his poor health.

Father Fray Antonio de Mójica, a Castilian.

Father Fray Cristóbal Enríquez, a preacher, from Estremadura.

Father Fray Juan de Espinosa, a Castilian.

Father Fray Gaspar de Lorenzana, a Castilian.40

All those fathers who came here were from the province of Castilla. Their arrival was of great consequence, and with them the death of the father provincial, Fray Jerónimo de Salas, was, in some measure, corrected; for, in return for a person whom the Lord took from the province by that action, He gave it many workers in whom there were very great hopes.

Our father rector-provincial, as the matter devolved on him, divided the fathers among the four provinces of Tagalos, Pampanga, Ilocos, and Bisayas. He had ordered that father Fray Alonso Baraona, at that time definitor of the province, should take the religious who fell to its share to the Pintados; and that he should come to the province to govern it, since he was his vicar-provincial and visitor. The religious embarked, therefore, and with them, the father prior of Sugbú, Fray Luis de Brito,41 and the prior of Panay, Fray Miguel de Suaren.42 As the winds were adverse, because the [94]vendavals were raging obstinately, they were unable to get away from the island of Manila for a long time.

Two ships were sent to Nueva España. One put back and the other, which was a Portuguese caravel, went to India and was wrecked. The ships for Castilla were being prepared, and were to sail by the first of August. Our father provincial tried to have father Fray Juan de Ocadiz sail in them, as he considered his return to España necessary for his own quiet; and since he was able to do so, he ordered that Fray Juan should go immediately to Cavite, for he suspected that, if anything evil was to occur, it would be perpetrated by that man. Finally, the religious left, after putting off his departure as long as possible. He said “goodby,” in order to go to embark in the morning, and permission was given him. That night, the first of August, 1617, one of the most tragic events that has ever happened in these islands occurred in our province—namely, that that same night our father rector-provincial, Fray Vicente de Sepúlveda, was choked to death, and was found dead in his bed at two o’clock in the morning, with clear signs of a violent death. In that most horrible crime were implicated three religious—one a priest, one a chorister, and one a lay-brother, namely, the creole who gave the poison to the father, and whom his relatives hid; and, as he had money, they helped him to escape out of these islands. The lay-brother was a European, and the father priest, Fray Juan de Ocadiz, an American. They [i.e., the [95]last two] were hanged near the atrium of our church, in front of the well, after we had first unfrocked, expelled, and disgraced them. The two said men were buried beneath the cloister of our convent, near the porter’s lodge, before the altar of St. Nicolás de Tolentino.43

In the interval from the death of our father provincial, Fray Jerónimo de Salas, which occurred on May 17, until our father rector-provincial Sepúlveda was killed, a singular case happened in our convent, which was apparently a presage of the said fatality. It happened that in the fine infirmary of the said convent, which looks toward the sea, a white cat was found which was rearing three rats at its breasts, feeding them as if they were its own kind of offspring, and giving a complete truce to the natural antipathy of such animals. But after it had reared and fattened them well, it ate them, ceasing the unwonted truces in its natural opposition. Almost all the people of the community of Manila and its environs came to see such a thing, for scarcely would [96]they credit the truth of it, and all affirmed that it must be the presage of some great fatality.

By the death of the said our father Sepúlveda (which was very keenly felt by our province, and which grieved the hearts of all the members individually), although the father definitors ought to have taken up the government, yet they made a renunciation of the right which pertained to every one of them. Accordingly, announcements were sent through the provinces to the effect that the provincial chapter should be held on the last day of October, the thirty-first, of the year 17.

About this time the very illustrious Don Diego Vázquez de Marcado, archbishop of Manila, a most worthy prelate, died. He was the embodiment of learning, virtue, and prudence, and all grieved sorely at his death. Our bishop of Cebú, Don Fray Pedro de Arce, entered upon the government of the archbishopric, by a special bull of Paul V, and he was assigned one talega44 more salary than he received in his bishopric.

During this period occurred the persecution of Christians in Japón by the emperor Dayfusama, and the martyrdom of our blessed martyrs in that kingdom.45

Our enemy the Dutch also came with seventy [sic] vessels to Playa Honda in Zambales, seeing that they were unable to attain their designs—namely, to capture the port of Cavite, and change the minds of the natives, turn them from the service and homage of our Catholic monarch, and render [97]them allies to themselves. But on Saturday, April 7, 1617, our fleet left Cavite under command of Master-of-camp Don Juan Ronquillo, who had the happiness and good luck to sink several of their vessels, burn another, and put the rest to flight amid the islands. Our fleet remained intact, except for two vessels which were roughly handled. May 8, 1618, the fleet returning to the port of Cavite, was received with great pomp and joy because of their happy victory, which they had obtained by the Divine favor. Salutes were fired in honor of Nuestra Señora de Guía [i.e., “our Lady of Guidance”], and Don Juan Ronquillo was acclaimed as the father of this land and its savior from the Dutch enemy, who were trying to conquer this archipelago.

Our religious who were assigned to the Bisayan provinces went to their respective destinations, and arrived safely, thanks to the Lord, notwithstanding the dangerous seas among the islands in the season of báguios and hurricanes. But they were courageous, and confided in the obedience that conquers all things.

In the beginning of the month of September, father Fray Juan de Rivera, prior of Octóng, and father Fray Francisco Bonifacio, prior of Passi, set forth in an excellent caracoa, and a good crew of sailor folk. As they were crossing from the island of Tablas to Dumalor, or the island of Mindoro, they encountered a large boat of Camucones and a little vessel. The Vizcayan prior of Octóng did not lose his head, but encouraged their men, and made them attack the enemy’s bark. They did it with great resolution, so that the pirate, imagining that they were a caracoa belonging to a fleet, began to flee. [98]To do this more quickly, they abandoned the small boat, after taking off all its crew. Thus they rowed so quickly that our men could not overtake them. Ours took the little boat, which proved of no little use; for as they came near the island of Mindoro, they saw that the weather was growing very bad, that the clouds were moving more quickly, and that the wild waves of the swollen sea were running high. They took good counsel—namely, that of father Fray Juan de Lecea—to place themselves in a little house, and put ashore all their belongings, and beach the boat, which they could have done. But the Indians refused to work, a vice quite peculiar to them, and everything was lost. The elements began to rouse themselves, and the winds to blow with so great fury that no greater tempest has been witnessed in the islands. Our caracoa went to pieces and all its cargo was lost, except what was later cast ashore. During that same storm six galleons were wrecked in the islands; they were the best that the king has launched. Among them was that so famous galleon “La Salvadora.” When the fleet returned from Malaca, Don Jerónimo de Silva, who was in charge of the department of war, ordered those vessels to be taken out for repairs; and they were taken out, to their loss. Some sank, others were driven aground. Many men perished, both Spaniards and Indians, as well as Japanese, Sangleys, and workmen. It is a loss that Manila will ever bemoan. Therefore they say there: “In truth thou art welcome, Misfortune, when thou comest alone.”46 Manila had had a loss as great as that of the governor, Don Juan de Silva; [99]and now that was followed by the loss of the galleons, with so many souls. I know, not how a babe at the breast was saved on the deck of a galleon, or rather in its hatchway. She was found by Admiral Heredia (who was going to the Pintados), on a beach, and he reared her as his own daughter. It was the mercy of God, and when it pleases Him to employ that mercy toward any of His creatures, there is no power to contradict it, nor any danger from which it does not issue safe and sound.

The little boat which the father vicar-provincial, Fray Juan de Lecea, captured from the Camucon enemy was useful to him. He embarked in it alone, and coasted along that island as far as Baco, a distance of more than twenty leguas. Thence he crossed to Manila, after having bargained with a champan of Baco to go for father Fray Francisco Bonifacio. But this diligence was not sufficient for him to arrive in time for the election, because of the weather. The Indians suffered more, for they returned to their villages singly, and some of them even were lost, as they did not know the way. The father prior of Aclán sought shelter in a port of the island of Hambil during the storm; and although he did his utmost to arrive in time, he was unable. But he arrived just after the chapter was concluded, and served for nothing else than to give it obedience and to return with the others. However, father Fray Francisco Bonifacio remained as prior of Tondo; although he had wished to go to Bisayas, the sea so frightened him that he was very fortunate to remain. [100]

Chapter XXXVII

Of the election of our father, Fray Alonso Baraona

Upon the arrival of the time set by the province, namely, the last day of October of the said year 1617, all the fathers who had a vote assembled, and discussed, as if in conflict, the question of electing such a head to the province; that he could settle, as far as he was able, the past quarrel, which had so upset the reputation of the order, by his authority, example of life, and morals. For in no time had it been more important for us to cut loose from our self-love and to fix our eyes on our mother, the order, which was suffering for her sons; and so that it might be understood that where there had been religious who had caused so evil an example, there were also those who could, by their example, edify a great community. According to this, father Fray Estacio Ortíz seemed very suitable to those who were present. He was the founder of the missions in Japon, and had always been known to be of a very religious life and had been highly esteemed by the civil government. Others declared that father Fray Alonso Ruiz, who was known to be a person of singular virtue, was the man who ought to fill that vacancy. Others, who had reasons therefor, sought another, as they had present father Fray Francisco Bonifacio. In order to know who he was, it sufficed to say that he had been prior of the convent of San Nicolás de Sugbú, which is for the natives, without anything ever being said in depreciation of his person. That, as was proper, was regarded as a singular case, and not less that he went free as did the children of Babilonia from the fire. He was a person who was always the model for all the Pintados. [101]

The one who was discussed least was our father Baraona, for he was always humble by nature, and very free from pretensions, as he always thought of himself with great humility. But, as our Lord regarded him as provincial, He so managed affairs that votes were cast in his favor without special effort, and he was elected as provincial. On the last of October, then, endeavor was made, since there was nothing to do, to have the voting fathers return to their provinces and that the good of the province should be attempted, after deciding on a far-reaching reformation; for our father Baraona had excellent intentions, and to judge from these, it is to be believed that he would direct all things in the sight of God. In his own person he visited the province of Bisayas, which, as it was his own, he regarded with especial love. That visit was not a small exploit, when one considers the voyage. He always traveled at small expense, going in a champan, like any other and very ordinary religious. He was the one who sent most religious to España. Among them were the father visitor, Fray Agustín Mejía, who, arriving afterward at Perú, was there adopted and esteemed as his zeal and devotion deserved; the father definitor, father Fray Felipe Tallada; father Fray Andrés de Ocampo, prior of Macabebe; father Fray Baltasar Andrés; and father Fray Francisco de Cuéllar. All died except father Fray Felipe Tallada, who afterward returned to the province of Pampanga, where he was a fine linguist.

In the following year of 1618, with these religious he sent father Fray Alonso del Rincón (then prior of the convent of Manila) to España as procurator, in order to give account of the affair in España; and [102]to bring back religious, for death was rapidly thinning the ranks of those who remained. He had good success, as we shall see.

After the good result with the Dutch at Octóng, which we have described above, it happened that the Mindanaos conspired with their neighbors, and came to plunder the islands, with a goodly number of caracoas and vessels of all burden. They robbed much, captured, seized, and burned, more than what can well be told; and, as fast as they filled their boats, they sent them home. The commander of the Pintados, Don Diego de Quiñones, was notified. He happened to be in Octóng, where he immediately had seven very well equipped caracoas prepared, with Indians to row and Spaniards to fight. He appointed creditable men as commanders of them, and, as commander-in-chief of them all, Captain Lázaro de Torres, the man who was with him in the affair with the Dutch. The fleet set sail in stormy weather, and coasted the island of Panay in search of the point of Potol, because the enemy had to pass by there in order to return home. This occasioned much toil because of the fury of the wind. Finally they reached the river, four leguas from Potol. There they anchored, for the brisas, which there are side winds, were breaking the counterbalances of the caracoas. At that place the Indians told him that the enemy had arrived at Hambil, an islet which, stretching between Potol and the island of Tablas, forms channels between them. Thereupon he left, notwithstanding the severe weather. Father Fray Martín de San Nicolás, associate in that priorate, accompanied him from here, in a suitable boat. At length, by dint of rowing, they reached the island, [103]and when in shelter of it, they learned that the enemy had anchored near by, behind a point that served them as a harbor. Then order was given to the caracoas to follow and do their duty, and at daybreak sail was set, in order to take the enemy before they could perceive him. I have no wish to cast blame upon the commanders of the caracoas, for they were men of great courage and punctilious honor. Hence, they did not remain behind purposely, but because they could sail no faster, for all boats are not equal. To conclude, when the enemy were sighted, Captain Lázaro de Torres found himself alone with three caracoas—his own, that of Alférez Patiño, and that of Alférez Francisco de Mendoza, a creole from Sugbú. Our flagship went straight toward the enemy. The others stationed themselves in between, where they played havoc with the smaller craft. The small boats of the enemy perceiving themselves attacked so suddenly, without further counsel than that of fear, took to the open, which is there of great extent, and scattered. It is reported that their loss was heavy, and that only such and such a number arrived at Mindanao; and that their captain-general was drowned. He was the son of Silongan, king of Mindanao. Those who stayed behind to fight fought so bravely that the outcome was doubtful; for the captain told me that they fought like lions. Thus had the company [of the three caracoas] been destroyed, and our men would have been in danger, for even yet the other four caracoas had not arrived. Finally, the enemy’s flagship was sunk, and others foundered, while other boats took to flight through fear of the firing, or allowed themselves to fall aside. Our men killed [104]many, and those who escaped, defended themselves cutlass in hand, while swimming. Then approaching the island, our boats ceased firing, in order to capture the enemy alive, so that they might have rowers for their galleys. On this account about eighty landed. The Indians seized a small height in order to defend themselves, whereat our men were about to open fire on them. As soon as our men were ashore, father Fray Martín de San Nicolás—who, more courageous than those who did not come, was in the midst of the whole action, encouraging our men—went to the Indians, and talked to and assured them so that they gave up their arms and surrendered. I think that the captain gave two of those slaves to the order to serve in whatever convent the superior should think best. The remainder were taken to Octóng, some of whom were sold, and others placed in the galleys, and those were the most secure. Since that fleet, although innumerable fleets have gone to attack the enemy who infest the islands, they have never had good success, or closed with them while the enemy have gone in and out from the islands every year, to the great loss of the country—doubtless a chastisement on us.

[Several miraculous occurrences in various places are recounted, all of which caused wonder. Medina continues:]

Our father Baraona, as he loved the province of Bisayas so dearly, went through it, abandoning some houses and occupying others, and exchanging and returning still others. And, in fact, although he did it for the best, experience has proved that it has been bad for us. He exchanged Aclán for Barbarán; and although the latter is on the river Panay, it is a [105]convent needy of all things, and has the most perverse people, whom even yet we have been unable to subdue. The former was very fine in all ways, and convenient for us; and within its gates it is well supplied with all necessaries, both for itself and for other convents. And although it is true that it could have been returned to the order, because at the death of its first secular priest, the bishop gave it. But the order made so little effort that it was lost; for for what any other order would give a thousand flights, we let slip for the sake of two steps of work.

Our order owes the district of Dumalag to the care of our father Baraona, for he obtained it by entreaty from Don Juan de Silva—and that while he was merely prior, and not provincial. It cost him considerable labor, and was like to have cost his life, for he made many trips to Manila and to Sugbú, and, in his labors in 1612, he encountered death many times, embarking on the sea in only a cockle-shell of a boat, and ploughing it for more than thirty hours, when not a champán or caracoa was to be seen on the sea that was not knocked to pieces by this storm, and those well equipped were driven aground on some islands. The storms past, the father found himself on the island of Mindanao, without food. He had some dogs, for he was very fond of hunting. He ordered his men to go up the mountain, and perhaps they would find some game which they could take, for all were perishing from hunger. All went but himself, and he remained or the shore. But by and by a deer of unusually large size came bounding down toward him, to seek the protection of the water in order to escape from the dogs. Our father, who saw it pass, eager for the [106]chase, went behind the deer, and seized it, so that had not his men arrived so promptly after the dogs, he had drowned there. For the deer had already taken to the deep water; and the father, weighed down by his thoroughly soaked garments, was almost drowned. But his men saved him from this danger, and killed the deer.

After they had embarked and had reached the harbor-bar of Aclán, the little boat was overturned, so that the father lost everything, and was able to save only the clothes on his back. Thus that boat, which withstood so many buffetings of the sea without any harm, happened to overturn four brazas from shore, through the carelessness of its steersman.

After he became provincial, he left the islands with the priorate of Ibabay for that of Tigbauan. This was not a bad thing, for the latter was very far from intercourse and people, and in great danger. There was necessity for religious, and permission was sent to India so that some could come. They began to come, but experience has proved that this measure is not effective; for when it is desired to bestow habits they can be given to youth in Manila, who have come from España, many clever ones of whom are in the colleges.

As soon as he could, he made father Fray Alonso de Méntrida—who was without an appointment in this province of Bisayas, and was a pattern for the order, as we shall see later—prior of Manila.

In all other things, he did his utmost in the service of the province, as the great religious that he ever was. As he busied himself in going at times to the country, he happened to discover some remarkable things. Among others, he discovered in Dumalag [107]a vast cave, which must have extended more than one or two leguas. The father walked a great distance in it, but never found its end, for his lights went out. Another time he found a cedar-tree in the mountains of this district, which some wind had laid low. He had a boat made of it, the largest one ever seen in these islands that was made from one log. I embarked in it; it must have been more than one braza long. It was laden with more than one hundred baskets of winnowed rice, and it carried many planks of remarkable size before the log was destroyed. A man on one side of it was unable to see the person on the other side. To conclude, the tree had the largest diameter that I have ever seen. I have traveled widely and seen many trees, but none of equal size.

While Father Baraona was prior of Salog, he had come from Dumangas, and was returning to his convent. He did not cross in the open, but went slowly along the coast. When they reached a beach, his crew stopped to eat, but he meanwhile walked inland. He had a dog which went before, and, following it, the father found that it had laid hold of a boar, which had tusks one palmo long, and which was as large as a yearling heifer. It was so furious that it had beaten down the reeds as a number of mares thresh out the corn. No sooner did it see the father than it attacked him. The father gave it a slight lance-thrust in the skin, but the point, turning, entered no farther than the very outside. The dog remained true, and held the boar by one leg; but the boar did not discontinue to strike at the father with great fury. But the blows that it thus gave him were received in his habit, which he endured until the [108]arrival of the Indians, with whose aid they killed that savage animal. Brother Fray Andrés Garcia assured me that he had never seen anything so terrible looking in España, Italia, or any place. Many other things happened to the father, which might make a long history, but do not apply to the matter in hand.

He was much loved by the Indians, for he rendered free and open aid to them, so far as he was able.


Of the election of our father Fray Juan Enríquez

Our father Fray Alonso de Baraona, in the course of his government, as a person who so well understood the province and its members, thought that no one was better fitted to govern it than our father Fray Juan Enríquez, then the senior definitor. Concerning him, I have not said much of what was seen, and the troubles which he suffered, on the occasion of the unhappy death of our father Fray Vicente. We were made to see how unjust that was, for our Lord freed him from those annoyances with so much honor, by making him provincial, to the applause and pleasure of all; and he was elected May 7, 1620. The father master, Fray Pedro García, presided over this chapter, as he had letters-patent for that from our most reverend father-general, which the archbishop brought, together with his title as master, when he came from España to these islands. He was received in the province although it has not been the custom to have masters in it. May God arrange matters in the future, for in this [capacity the archbishop] shows his devotion not a little. As definitors [109]were elected, in this chapter: father Fray Hernando Guerrero; the second, father Fray Antonio de Ocampo;47 the third, father Fray Juan de Henao;48 and the fourth, father Fray Hernando Becerra. The visitors were our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida and father Fray Juan de Tapia.

The chief proceeding in this chapter after the regular business—that is, what is here regarded as most important—the provision for offices, was the appointment of father Fray Juan de Tapia as definitor for Roma, and also to the procuratorship for the court of España. He is a man of great worth, and has been very useful in the islands and labored not a little, to the approbation of all. For he was with Don Pedro de Acuña in the taking of Maluco, and founded there a house in the name of the order; and there he was not only the father and consolation of all, but a very valiant soldier, who strove for the service of his king as well as the best. While definitor, he was also prior of Manila, increasing that convent with many works—as he did afterward in the convents among the natives where he was prelate, which he left notably increased. During that triennium, while going out as visitor, he went [110]also as prior of Manila, and on making the voyage to España, was very well received there. Beyond doubt he would have secured the bishopric had he been a trifle more active, but he was always slow when his own affairs were concerned, and did not consider them as the affairs of the order, which he always managed with the greatest diligence and care. Consequently, he brought back a fine company [of religious] as we shall see in due time.

Our father Juan Enríquez was unwilling that there should he any failure in the growth of the province during his term. Accordingly, although it was said that it was of little advantage to have a convent in Maluco, yet the provincial kept it, sending a father there. He also maintained the other convents, notwithstanding that he suppressed that of Cavite—as if it were not the most important, for that place is growing daily; and although it be not for the gain, at least it may serve as a hospitium for those journeying to and fro between here and España. All the orders are doing the same thing, although they can not support themselves there.

He visited all his province, although he did not come to that of Bisayas, for the sea was very much infested with enemies, and his predecessor had gone through it more than any of the other prelates had done. At that time the province enjoyed great peace and quiet, which was due to the prudence of our father, who ever carried himself as the admirable religious that he was.

During that triennium I acted as prior of Panay for the second time; for during the intermediary chapter of our father Baraona I went as prior to Aclán, which was a house with a vote. Soon after [111]the arrival of the said visitor, that priorate falling vacant, he appointed me to it, and for the sake of the vote. And on returning, that triennium, together with the office of vicar-provincial, while in that convent, and having in my company father Fray Martín de San Nicolás (who I have already said was with Captain Lázaro de Torres at the rout of Mindanao), we were eating one fast day [dia de pescado], when a large fishbone, which must have been as long as a sewing-needle and was thick and bent, and had a very sharp point, lodged in the father’s throat. Although he said nothing to me for a moment, he stopped, ceased eating and commenced to groan, as one who feels a very great pain. Afterward he kept changing color, but without saying a word. I was about to ask him what was the accident that caused his pain. I saw him rise, for already his breath was failing, and with a loud voice he cried, “Ah! blessed St. Nicholas! help me, for I am choking!” And, upon saying that, he threw from his throat a fishbone of the size above mentioned. It had been so securely fastened there that it seemed as if that fishbone could not have been dislodged without divine aid, as was proved by the mark of the blood on it. It was considered as a wonderful thing, and the said father, in token and proof of gratitude, is keeping the fishbone, and tells the circumstance to everyone, while he always celebrates as best he can the feast of that saint. Of a surety, he shows himself very devout.

I cannot refrain from telling here, although out of place, that in the year in which our father Baraona was elected, when the latter came to visit the Bisayas in the year 1617, Admiral Pedro de [112]Heredia had come, with the governor’s permission, to the district of Aclán, his encomienda, to build a ship. And although he claimed to do it with only his encomienda, the affair went so well with him that he finished a vessel of greater burden than was reported or believed. No Indian ran away from him. On the contrary, the Indians were rich, for he paid them liberally; and Indians even came from other districts to work there, because of his fair treatment of them. Father Fray Lúcas de la Peña,49 a very devout and zealous religious, as we have written before, was prior of that convent then. He had encounters with the admiral, for rarely do these fail between the encomenderos and missionaries. These happened because the Indians were carrying and bringing, and sowing discord, as they can. The admiral was very indignant, blustered against the missionary, and said that he would oust him from that place, if it cost him his estate. When the provincial came, the admiral found a good opportunity; he went to the provincial, and told him resolutely that the father must leave there. The father provincial understood thoroughly that there was no cause for such a proceeding; but he knew that influential man’s obstinacy, and that, if carried away by his wrath or anger, he might commit some extravagant act. Accordingly, in order to remove the religious from a dangerous situation,50 the father provincial made him resign his mission. This the [113]religious did very willingly, as it was by the order of the superior. The good religious has no other desire than to do the will of his superior, as our father Fulgencio tells us: Illos veros monarchos esse dicebat qui, mortificatis voluntatibus suis, nihil velle, nihil nolle, sed tantum-modo abbatis precepta, servare.51 Our father provincial thereupon changed the said father, thus giving a very admirable example of humility, patience, and self-mortification; for, being a prior elected by the chapter, he might well demand, without being disobedient, that charges should be made against him, and that according to the result thereof he should be punished. But he refused to do that, and left his cause to God, who is the most righteous of judges, and who knows naught by hearsay but by sight, for all things are plain to Him. Another religious was sent there, with whom the admiral had a more familiar acquaintance. The ship was finished and launched. It cost sixteen thousand pesos, for it was the reproach of [other] ships. But it cost his Majesty much more, without paying the Indians—many of whom died, for there are no mines so severe as are the shipyards. It was launched and sails bent, for the Audiencia had sent for the vessel to make a trip to España. At that time there are no winds of the sea along that coast; therefore the moorings of the vessel were all ashore. While in this condition, and with a cargo of lumber, unexpectedly so furious a wind sprang up on the sea, that the ship ran aground without being able to make any resistance. As the vessel was laden [114]with lumber, there was no remedy. The wind was for no other purpose than the above-mentioned [destruction], since it ceased its fury with the loss of the ship. The admiral suffered this blow patiently, for he understood that the Lord had no other reason in it than to avenge the wrong done to His religious. Mihi vindicta, et ego retribuam.52 For the Lord esteems the honor of His ministers as His own, and thus charged them, saying: Nolite tangere Christos Meos, et in Prophetis meis nolite malignari.53 All the others understood this and were warned. Often since that have I heard him say to an encomendero, that even though the missionary should destroy his encomienda, he would neither enter suit against him, nor do anything to him that he should not do. For the judgment of men is deceptive, and their passion generally leads them astray and casts them headlong.

Our father Fray Alonso de Baraona was very sensitive regarding this occurrence, and set it right by advancing the father and making him prior of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, and visitor for those convents. Thus he voted in this chapter which elected father Fray Juan Enríquez, and himself obtained therefrom the convent of Octóng, the chief one of the island.

During this triennium of our father Fray Juan Enríquez, our Recollect fathers founded a convent in Sugbú, as Bishop Don Fray Pedro de Arce was pleased to give them a chapel which is in that city, between the native and the Spanish towns, and called Nuestra Señora de la Concepción [i.e., “Our Lady [115]of the Conception”]. The city agreed to it in the vote that was taken—although the city was not sufficiently large for such a convent, for it contained that of the fathers of the Society, ours, and the cathedral church; and the Parián, a short distance from there. However, beyond doubt it suited the fathers; for the bishop seeing that there were no seculars who would go to the island of Mindanao, and that, with the fort built by Don Juan de Silva in Caraga, excellent results might be expected, therefore gave that district to the Recollect fathers, together with the river of Butuán, situated in the same island. The Recollects accepted it, and began to establish priorates. Thus they had already seven priorates, in which more than fourteen religious resided. The convent of Sugbú served them as a hospitium, asylum, infirmary, and place to rest—to which purposes more than to anything else it was devoted. Further, not only are the convents there not supported by the alms of the city, but also one can say that they support the city; for most of the inhabitants are poor soldiers, and many now are married there, and receive the king’s ration, which is very meager. Besides these are others who have ceased to receive the ration; who are so poor that, were it not for the aid of the religious, they would doubtless perish. Those who have the most wealth use it up during the year, being limited to what comes to them from their encomiendas, in order not to run into debt; but they borrow the rice in the convents. Thus laymen and religious form a very friendly village and neighborhood.

At this time the alcalde-mayor of Sugbú was Don Juan Alcarazo, a gentleman so deserving of praises, [116]that the sum of his many good qualities cannot be told in few words. He was endowed with the courage of a good soldier, and had served thus for many years in the galleons of España with his brothers and father, whence his Majesty had derived honors and advantages. He was a Viscayan by birth. During this time, the island of Bohol rebelled. This island lies, as above stated, opposite Sugbú, on the side whence blows the vendaval. It was in charge of the fathers of the Society, who had more than two thousand Indians, the tallest, handsomest, and stoutest in the island. A babaylán or priest called Tamblot had deceived them, by telling them that the time was come when they could throw off the oppression of the Castilians; for they were assured of the aid of their ancestors and divatas, or gods. And in order that they might know this, it was proved by certain signs. The priest went with some of the more trusty among them, cut a bamboo with a small knife, and wine gushed forth. He cut another, and rice came out. These articles he had hidden there cunningly and adroitly. Consequently those men were convinced, and became preachers of those lies, which the Indians love and believe so readily; while we have no power to enable us to persuade them of the certainty of our faith so readily as this sort of trickery can influence their natural disposition. In such manner spread the spark that there was no island where it did not catch little or much; although they did not dare to show their faces, but awaited the result in Bohol. The fathers warned the city of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, and came to solicit aid from the alcalde-mayor. Here there were no evil-doers among those [natives] who lived in the city. [117]Don Juan de Alcarazo did not dare [to send out troops], as he had no order from the governor, Don Alonso Fajardo, and it might be imputed to him as a blameworthy act. But the fathers, seeing that whatever delay occurred was to make the wound incurable, surmounted all difficulties. Consequently, they were able to negotiate with potent arguments, saying that it was especially important to check the evil in its first stages, so that it should not spread. The alcalde-mayor was persuaded, and assembled the soldiers and adventurers who appeared most suitable to him, besides a number of Sugbú Indians, armed with sword and buckler. With these he landed in Bohol, and went to look for the enemy—who, courageous in their mountains and supplied with rice, thought that they were most safe, and that victory was sure.

But the most diligent effort made by this gentleman was to go to our convent to have a mass said to the Holy Child, before whom many candles were burned; to promise to take Him as patron; and to perform no action in that war which should not be done in His name. Since His [Divine] Majesty, he said, had, by His favor, given those islands to the Spaniards, he prayed that He would not permit them to lose, for his sins, those that they already possessed. For the Christianity founded therein with so great toil would be wholly lost, and the victorious enemies of His name would leave no kind of evil undone to the conquered, to the contempt of His name. The most Holy Child showed Himself very gracious, as is His custom in events [that are to be] prosperous, whereupon victory was regarded as sure. Encouraged by such omens, they did not hesitate to attack [118]the enemy, who were entrenched in their fields. The latter were insolent, and reënforced with allies and supporters. During the battle, the rain was so heavy that they could not use the arquebuses, so that the enemy were beginning to prevail. Thereupon, the shields of the Sugbú Indians were brought into service, and the latter aided excellently, by guarding with them the powder-flasks and powder-pans of the arquebuses, so that they were fired with heavy loss [to the enemy]. When the shower of rain came, the enemy’s babaylán encouraged them by saying that there they could see how their divatas had told them true; for what could be of greater use to them at that time than the rain, so that the arms of the Castilians would be useless. Consequently, they became like mad dogs; and they preferred death to enduring the conditions of the conqueror. But so many fell that death had to fulfil its duty, namely, to inspire them with fear. They wounded Don Juan with a stone, but not very dangerously, as his morion received the blow. Although he fell, he arose cured, and with renewed courage, by calling on the Holy Child, who gave the Spaniards the victory, and, with it, the islands for a second time. Truly, had so good an outcome not befallen the Spaniards in Bohol, there would not have been a single one of the Pintados—and these form the bulk of the islands—which would not have risen against them. After this victory, those who had desired to raise the yoke placed their necks once more under it. However, it was not sufficient to deter the natives of Leyte from likewise trying their fortune, which resulted as ill to them as to the natives of Bohol. Then the islands became quiet, and the Indians more humble. However, [119]whenever they see their chance, they will not lose it, as they are a people who wish to live free. The captured Indians were made slaves for the space of ten years. Upon learning of this affair, the governor approved the enterprise, praised it, and promised to reward it. This victory was recognized as the doing of the most Holy Child. Consequently, Don Juan de Alcarazo gave Him thanks, and shared the booty with Him.

There was a terrible earthquake in the islands at this time, which none of them escaped. In the island of Panay, where I was stationed then, it lasted more than a fortnight. But none of the succeeding shocks were equal in violence to the first, which was so severe that all expected everything to be overthrown. The columns of the church and house, colliding against one another, strewed the ground on all sides, so that a thick club could easily be thrust around the columns. The same thing happened in the other convents, where the images fell and were broken into bits. In the church of Passi, which is of stone, and was then just roofed, all the upper part fell, and it sank in many places. Many rivers changed their course, as that of Aclán, which abandoned its former bed. Mountains were opened, and there were innumerable other terrible occurrences during that awful earthquake. At last it was the Lord’s will that it should cease, and with it the fears of all. In Ilocos the shocks were also exceeding great, but not so severe in Manila. The Lord allows all this, so that we may recognize His power; and, recognizing it, love Him; and, loving Him, not offend Him.

During these years, the Dutch enemy did not discontinue [120]coming to the coasts of Manila, where they robbed the Chinese and did all the harm possible. They tried to capture the ships carrying aid [from Mexico], so that without war they were growing rich, and disabling the people of Manila. In this emergency the pilots carried sealed orders, which they were to open on the return voyage and learn the port where they had to go, thus defeating the designs of the Dutch enemy, and freeing themselves from the secret spies who were in Manila—who, as it was said, were not lacking. Consequently, in many years no company [of religious] entered Manila directly, so that whatever missionaries the ships carried were scattered, and, not reaching Manila, no benefit was derived from them. Father Fray Alonso del Rincón54 was coming from España with a fine company of religious. He reached the port of Acapulco, where that year the flagship from these islands did not arrive. After it left Manila and rounded the shoals, it had been wrecked near Verde Island, for the tides drove it upon some reefs. The almiranta passed on, and immediately another despatch followed it which the governor made, when advised of the event. In the latter the pilot and commander was the overseer Gaspar Nuñez. This boat sailed September 16, and our Lord was pleased to let it arrive, but both vessels were very small. [121]The governor of Terrenate, Pedro de Heredia, was coming. At last a vessel happened to arrive from Perú, and was immediately laden. Our religious embarked in it, as also did the fathers of the Society. Although the other two small boats had sailed a fortnight before, this vessel overtook them, and all entered the port of Casiguran, opposite Manila, about the same time. This small boat bore religious of our father St. Francis, and all the vessels suffered from a plague that was like to finish them. All the Franciscans died, although only one of Ours died, father Fray Nicolás Goyas, a Viscayan by birth, of the province of Castilla. He was an excellent Latin scholar, a fine poet, a very good theologian, and an eloquent preacher—all qualities useful here. But if the Lord chose to take him, who doubts that it was fitting?

The rest recovered and reached the said port on June 25, of the year 1622. There are many convents belonging to our father St. Francis in that district, and they assisted generously the needs of all, and especially of the religious, who were in need of everything. But for Ours, while going to Manila, the route which they took overland was so dangerous and so full of difficulties that daily they braved death a thousand times at the passage of the rivers. For the rainy season was at its height, and consequently the rivers were swollen outside their beds, and had very swift currents. They came afoot and shoeless, for the mud unshod them in two steps. Their food was morisqueta.55 They suffered so great need of all things, although not through the fault of the father commissary, who ever treated them with great liberality [122]and no less charity; but on the roads they met no people, but only buffaloes, and in the rainy season they experienced all these inconveniences. Finally they came to the confines of Pampanga, where, forgetful of their hardships, they began to receive innumerable welcomes from those most devout fathers, who know how to show kindness to strangers, and all the more to their own who came to aid them, when they had suffered so much and were in need of all things. Thence they went to Manila, where they were received heartily by our father Fray Juan Enríquez—who had them rest, so that they should begin their labor in the Lord’s vineyard, for which they had been chosen, with greater courage. Those who entered Manila in the company of father Fray Alonso Rincón, their commissary, were the following:

1. Father Fray Francisco Bibero, a Castilian, an eloquent preacher.

2. Father Fray Diego Martínez, a preacher, from Mancha.

3. Father Fray Antonio Portes, a preacher, and a Castilian.

4. Father Fray Juan de Silva, a preacher, from Andalucía.

5. Father Fray Juan Venegas, a preacher, from Andalucía.

6. Father Fray Pedro de Torres, a preacher, from Andalucía.

7. Father Fray Andrés Verdugo, a reader, from Mancha.

8. Father Fray Martín de Paz, a reader, and a Castilian. [123]

9. Father Fray Baltasar Salcedo, a preacher, and a Vizcayan.

10. Father Fray Juan Basán, a priest, from Andalucía.

11. Father Fray Juan Velasco, a preacher, and a Castilian.

12. Father Fray Juan de Aguirre, a priest, and a Castilian.

13. Father Fray Estéban de Peralta, a preacher, and a Castilian.

14. Father Fray Pedro del Castillo, a preacher, from Andalucía.

15. Father Fray Pedro Valenzuela, a preacher, and a Castilian.

16. Father Fray Baltasar Jiménez, a priest, from Andalucía, who returned to the province.

17. Father Fray Felipe Tallada, a preacher, from Andalucía, who returned to the province.

18. Father Fray Rodrigo de Quiñones, a priest, from Andalucía.

19. Father Fray Juan de Ugarte, a priest from Perú, and a Vizcayan.56

20. Father Fray Francisco Rubio, a priest, and a Castilian.

Three religious died, in Méjico and San Juan de Ulua, of whom very good hopes were entertained. This has caused a great lack here as is the case when any sound religious is taken away. For since so many die, if there is no one to hold the fortification, what has been gained must necessarily be lost. For, if the devil learns that there are no soldiers, who doubts that he will return to gain the mastery of what was [124]taken from him? Those religious have labored exceedingly well, and some of them have become eminent linguists; and, God willing, we shall have to say much about them. Our father provincial immediately distributed them through the four provinces, very wisely, according to the need of each.

At this time one of the Recollect religious, a doctor and scholar, named Fray Diego Rodrigo, was head of that order here. He bore the title of father vicar-provincial, for the province had as yet no authority to elect a provincial. He had some disputes with a beneficed secular, whereupon the said beneficiary complained to the archbishop, Don Fray Miguel García. The latter sought advice as to whether he could try that cause, and, I know not why, kept the priest secluded in our convent. The cause was continued, and afterward the said vicar-provincial, Fray Rodrigo, went to España by way of India. Through that journey he accomplished matters of no little importance; for he suffered much and served the Catholic church greatly. He converted and reduced many schismatic Russians57 to the Catholic church, and bore a solemn message from them to his [125]Holiness. For this religious had excellent qualifications for distinction; he was a fine Latin scholar and an excellent preacher, and was no less a theologian. In the Roman court he was of great aid to the religious of the Filipinas against the pretensions of the seculars, so that his arrival there was very important. He was very well received in that court, and in that of España; and he would have obtained his desires, had not the Lord been pleased to cut him off, taking him from this life to enjoy that which is eternal. He had written a book on the affairs of this country, but it is not known into whose hands it has fallen. May it bring to the light achievements so eminent and honorable. Without doubt they would be of much importance for a knowledge of what there is in these lands so remote from our own.

Chapter XXXIX

Of the election of our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida

This chapter-meeting which follows was somewhat stormy, for the opposition made it more conspicuous than was right. Our father provincial, Fray Juan Enríquez, had had a most happy triennium. The time coming to appoint a successor in his place, he considered our father Fray Juan de Henao—a man who was well liked in the province and who had many influential persons who were affectioned unto him—a suitable man. Others, although few, resented this choice, and therefore tried to block its accomplishment. Those men were few in number, but they had great authority. The affair went so far that it came to the ears of Don Alonso Fajardo, who was governor of the Filipinas. He [126]tried by means of his authority to mediate, so that there should be no scandal; for he was well inclined to the order, and grieved over the matter. Finally, our father Fray Juan Enríquez preferred to set aside his own pleasure rather than that of the order; and, consequently, did not attempt to elect a provincial by force, although he could have done it, for he had many followers. Our father, Fray Juan de Henao, performed a truly religious action; he stated publicly that he renounced any claim that he might have on the provincialate, and signed the same. He declared that those who had hitherto been his partisans he authorized to support any other man who should be of greater account to the province. He said that he was not considering his own welfare, but that of the province, which he recognized as his mother; and, as such, he would always place its good in the foreground.

All were highly edified by this, especially the governor and the archbishop, who were there. Father Fray Alonso del Rincón, who bore letters-patent to preside, made the same renunciation. Consequently, without any opposition, our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida was immediately elected, viva voce, on Sunday, May 20, 1623. Father Fray Hernando Guerrero, senior definitor, presided at this election. The definitors elected were: our father master, Fray Diego del Aguila;58 the second, Fray [127]Alonso del Rincón; the third, Fray Hernando Cabrera;59 and the fourth, Fray Francisco Coronel.60 The visitors were Fray Juan de Henao and father Fray Hernando Becerra. In assembly with the outgoing provincial and the father president, they enacted regulations for the province with the devotion that could be expected from fathers so venerable.

[After relating several remarkable and miraculous occurrences connected with the ministry of certain Augustinians, Medina continues:]

During this term, although our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida was so great a religious—for which reason the priorate of the whole province was given to him, and he was made provincial, with the greatest renown that any one has ever had in this province—some trouble occurred in the province of Bisayas. This was occasioned, no doubt, by our father provincial, who was oppressed with ill-health, not visiting it, although he was a son of the said province. Although this province is less desired, as it is so far from Manila, yet the Lord seems to care more for it, sending to it the most illustrious of our religious; and [128]taking therefrom the most devout of the province—as at that time our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida—for its credit and reputation. He was very zealous, and obtained an increase of income for the house at Manila, so that it was able to attend better to its many obligations of choir, study, and infirmary, and those of so important a community. Our father had the good fortune also to receive a very distinguished contingent of religious in the second year of his term. They were brought by father Fray Juan de Tapia, who, as we have said above, was sent by our father Fray Juan Enríquez as procurator of the province. The religious were received with open arms; for the province was now in need of laborers, as the country was but little suitable to sustain life—especially among young men, who, as the blood boils in so warm a land, fall sick easily and die.

The religious who came in that year of 1624 are as follows:

1. Father Fray Juan de Tapia, their superior and commissary.

2. Father Fray Francisco Villalón, a reader, a Castilian.

3. Father Fray Sebastián del Rio, a preacher, a Castilian.

4. Father Fray Diego de Ordás, a preacher, a Castilian.

5. Father Fray Martín Claver, an Arragonese, a preacher, and apostolic notary.

6. Father Fray Francisco Barela, a reader, a Castilian.

7. Father Fray Juan de Guevara, a priest, from Andalucía. [129]

8. Father Fray Francisco de Portillo, a preacher, from Andalucía.

9. Father Fray Miguel de Peñafiel, a priest, a Castilian.

10. Father Fray Fulgencio García, a preacher, a Castilian.

11. Father Fray Diego Solís, a preacher, a Castilian.

12. Father Fray Rodrigo Angel, a priest, a Castilian, and apostolic preacher.

13. Father Fray Alonso de Salazar, a preacher, a Castilian.

14. Father Fray Pedro de Herrera, a reader, who returned with the habit.

15. The father master, Fray Teófilo Mascarós, from Valencia, a professor, and vicar-provincial for Mallorca.

16. Father Fray Juan Bautista, a preacher, from Valencia.

17. Father Fray Luis Ronquillo, an eloquent preacher, a Castilian, and procurator at that time of Arenas.

18. Father Fray Andrés de Fuentes, a preacher, a Castilian.

19. Father Fray Juan de Loza, a preacher, from Andalucía.

20. Father Fray Pedro de las Mariñas, a priest and a preacher, a Castilian.

21. Father Fray Cristóbal de Tapia, a brother, a creole.

22. Father Fray Melchor de Mosabel, a preacher, a Castilian.61 [130]

The father provincial, well-pleased with so fine a company [of religious], divided them among the provinces. He sent the father reader, Fray Francisco de Villalón,62 to read in Manila, and the father did that very satisfactorily; for there were many religious who needed it. He sent excellent missionaries to the province of Bisayas; and it seems that great pains were taken in this, and he did in this what the province wished. For he sent it the best of the company, and no error was made in the selection, since all of them have become very devout religious and careful of their ministry.

He sent a procurator to España in the first year of his provincialate; namely, father Fray Antonio de Ocampo, a very eloquent preacher, and who was accordingly esteemed in the province for that, as well as for the other offices which he had held. But he had little good fortune on the voyage, for the flagship did not make the voyage that year, because of having been detained in necessary repairing, and when it reached the Embocadero there was no wind to carry it outside, and it returned at the end of October. The almiranta had time in which to leave, and made the voyage, although at great risk, reaching Nueva España in a mastless condition.

After the second year of his triennium, the provincial sent another procurator; for the first one, warned by the voyage, thought that he ought not to embark again. This was father Fray Hernando [131]Guerrero, whom we have already seen, as he brought the finest company that has been in or has entered these islands for many years. Making the second voyage, he brought another company, that would have been no less excellent if death had not snatched away its best members near Manila. It seems as if death selected, among all, those of most renown, although those who were left were distinguished. Let us conclude this triennium with the fact that our father provincial—although it seemed from his goodness that he would not try to declare himself too fully, nor to influence the province against his will—at last, thinking that he, because of his greater experience in its affairs than others had, could arbitrate in a so important matter, accordingly set his eyes on father Fray Antonio de Ocampo, whom we have already mentioned above—a person certainly worthy of greater things, and a calificador of the Holy Office. Our father thought it easy to accomplish his intentions, for he found many who thought the same. But the one who opposed him was of great account and a great giant, namely, the father master, Fray Pedro García, the brother of the archbishop, who did not lack followers and partisans. The contention, if I do not say that it was greater than the former one, was not less. It is a remarkable thing, and certain to befall a monarchy, that when it is about to come to an end it slips and totters. Consequently, it was always suspected that those appointed by the province were announcing some new method of governing. The governor also—who was then Don Fernando de Silva, of the habit of Santiago, and who had been sent by the viceroy of Nueva España—took a part in it, so that the affairs of the order should not go [132]outside of its limits. Finally, it was our Lord’s pleasure that they should settle upon a third person, namely, our father Fray Hernando Becerra, a person very deserving of what the order has given him.

Chapter XL

Of the election of our father Becerra

We have already related that our father, Fray Hernando Becerra, from the time that he set foot in Filipinas, was always climbing the rungs and going from good to better. He came to the islands in the company brought by our father visitor, Fray Diego de Guevara; and as soon as he was ordained, that same year of 1610, he was sent to Ilocos to be minister in that province. Beyond any doubt at the time of his arrival, he made so good an impression on those in authority, and they regarded him as so worthy of eminence, that almost immediately he was given the chief priorate of that province, called Bantay. He came to vote, therefore, at the following chapter, and remained in the province of Tagalos, with the title of reader of theology. Soon after that the bishop of Camarines, then visitor, selected him as his associate in the general visitation.

He afterwards came to read at Manila, and also voted in that chapter with the title of associate to our father Fray Miguel García. Our father Fray Vicente chose him as his associate, and immediately gave him the priorate of Agonoy. During the provincialate of our father Baraona, he was prior of Bulacán. During that of our father Fray Juan Enríquez he was definitor; and also, for a year and a half, prior of Manila. During the triennium of [133]our father Méntrida, he was visitor and prior of Pasig. After that, in the contest for provincial he fell a trifle short of the required age, but was dispensed by the father master, Fray Diego del Aguila—who presided as provincial, or rather, as senior definitor. The definitors elected in that chapter were: Fray Francisco Bonifacio (the second time that he had held that office); the second, Fray Estéban de Peralta;63 the third, Fray Jerónimo de Medrano;64 and the fourth, Fray Alonso de Carvajal.65 Those elected as visitors were father Fray Alonso del Rincón, and father Fray Alonso Ruiz. They made regulations for the province, and fortified it with good laws.

Our father Fray Hernando Becerra doubtless forced himself to take upon his shoulders the weight of the province on account of his love for it, and in [134]order that it might not go into a decline—although he would have preferred to rest and to take care of his health; for he had been ailing for two years, so that he appeared to be rather the statue of death than a man. The fact that he was still young kept him alive, for that is a very important point. Although all told him that his illness was serious, and that it unfitted him for the burden of government, still he had the greatest courage that one can imagine, and accordingly was elected prior provincial, on May 2, 1626.

However, he felt better immediately after assuming his new duties, but this improvement did not last long; for he was like the candle, which does not fail to flare up when about to be extinguished. He received very good treatment, and all were diligently striving to secure his health, for it was recognized that he was the one of whom the province had need. It was feared that he would be harsh, and that he would exercise severity; for he showed that disposition, and all trembled before him—all that harshness being occasioned, perhaps, by his severe illness. But in the end those fears lasted but a little while, for on the day of our father St. Ignatius, the last of July, God took him to himself by a most comfortable death, which left all the religious envious and full of tears, so that there was no one who did not shed them at that spectacle. Two years before he had prepared himself [for death]; and, although he was always a most observant religious, he renewed that care upon seeing the pass to which he had come. The deposit which he held by permission in our order he proceeded to give to the church, dispossessing himself of everything which could prevent him [135]from dying as a very poor religious. And when death was about to seize him he left the government to our father Méntrida, and went to discuss everything with God, and to arrange his affairs with His [Divine] Majesty-which, as he was a person of great ability and [spiritual] wealth was less necessary to him than to others. Knowing the state in which the province was, he most earnestly begged the religious to give him their word to call a chapter; for he was of the opinion that that was necessary for the peace and advancement of the province. He insisted on the same thing with our father Méntrida, who was the one on whom the government devolved by right. Thereupon, he very calmly gave up his soul to his Creator, leaving behind sure token that he was going straight to His presence.

Thereupon followed a period of distress in the province, not a little difficult to settle. The government fell to our father, Méntrida. The definitors were at variance. Our father Méntrida had a most severe mandate from our most reverend father [general] that acted against him, namely, that the provincial who did not visit the province of Bisayas, at least once during his term was ipso facto deprived of the rights of voting and election, and the religious were ordered to obey him no longer. Our father Méntrida had not made that visit, giving as a pretext his ill-health. The religious argued from this that, according to that mandate, he could not govern. To his reply that his illness was the cause of his not obeying the order, and that if God granted him health he would go, they answered that that illness, which was asthma, was always in evidence. His adherents wished him to have the command a second [136]time, but the others would not consent to it. Finally the governor, Don Juan Niño de Tábora, had to intervene. Thanks to him, the matter was adjusted, so that our father Méntrida resigned the government, which was assumed by father Fray Francisco Bonifacio, the most pacific creature that has been in Filipinas. He has never been known directe or indirecte to have any altercation with any religious. He has ever been unwilling to cause trouble to any one, and therefore has avoided giving it, and I believe he caused trouble to no one during his term. The Lord coöperated with this holy intention, giving him a triennium of great quiet. We might say of him what Solomon said of himself: nunc autem requiem dedit Dominus Deus meus mihi per circuitum: et non est satan, neque occursus malus.66

[Here follows the relation of the awful calamities that befell certain persons, both Spaniards and natives, in consequence of their neglect and scorn of the Holy Child. The narration is continued:]

In this triennium I became prior of the convent of Santísimo Niño de Jesús, which has in the city of Manila some six hundred pesos of annuity, which is the source of that house’s growth in the sixty-eight years of the Spaniards’ occupation. In the year 1628 I sent a religious to collect that money. He was a conventual in that convent, virtuous, an excellent preacher, and very zealous for that convent; he was a native of Sevilla. He was empowered sufficiently to attend to what might arise for the good of that convent. He made his trip to Manila successfully, and returned to his convent after concluding what [137]had been entrusted to him. On August 29 of the same year, he left Manila aboard a champan, the “San Nicolás,” belonging to the alcalde-mayor of Panay, for he had to make in the island some collections of rice that were given to the said convent. He took two Spaniards with him—one Jacinto de Lanzacorta, who had married there; the other Alférez Peña—both devotees of San Nicolás de Tolentino as no less was the owner of the champan, which he had commended to that saint. As they were coming in the boat one night, aided by the vendaval, and as they neared Ilagán (one of the longest crossings that voyagers have to make there), the wind strengthened so that the waves rolled sky-high. Either through the carelessness of the steersman, or because the rudder was out of order, or the sea too heavy, the rudder parted atwain, and the boat was without other help than that of heaven. For these Sangley boats are flat bottomed, and the mast is very high; accordingly, all the strength lies in the rudder by which they are directed—better than the best bitted horse is governed. The champan tossed fearfully, so that it was regarded as a good plan to cut down the mast. That was a precaution that the Sangleys do not practice, and hence the sea easily swallows them. This being done, the champan was very quiet; and, although they were in evident danger of death, they did not lose the hopes which they placed in the glorious saint, confident, by his intercession, of life and arrival at Panay. For three days they were the sport of wind and weather, awaiting what the Lord would do with them, until on Saturday afternoon the same champan entered the port of an islet two leguas from Burías. It was a [138]miraculous thing, for when they were rowing the champan and that but slowly, they were not able to know the route, and hit upon it without any guidance, for already they had left it. It was God’s mercy which was extended to that religious; for, had not the champan made port, they had fallen into the hands of the men of Joló, who were sailing about those islands of Burías and Masbate. They remained there a fortnight, without being able to repair the champan in order to make their journey until our Lord was pleased to have the same mast that they cut down in the champan drift into the port, for the islet contained no suitable trees. They repaired the champan with that mast, made a half-way rudder and a jury-mast, and set sail on the sea for Panay, from which they were not very far. But, after sighting the land of Panay, so furious a storm struck them that they were unable to contend with it, as the champan lacked strength in the rudder. They ran aground stern first on the coast of Camarines, which was very near by, and which they had been prevented from reaching by a calm, and had been awaiting a slight breeze. It was our Lord’s pleasure that they should be espied by a fleet of Camucones, who were going through that region, plundering whatever they might encounter in their raids. These are a very warlike people, and so cruel that, whenever they capture a Spaniard, they will not let him escape alive under any consideration; for after they have tied him to the mast of the boat, they cut off his head and drink from the skull. They slit the religious up the back and roast them, or set them in the sun, for they say, just as we do, “So many enemies the less.” Then indeed did they re-commend themselves [139]to St. Nicholas; as they believed (and rightly) that this was a greater danger than the past one, because of the less mercy that they could find in the bowels of those utter barbarians. At length, they boarded the tender of the champan and rowed ashore. The glorious saint whom they were taking as patron hid their route from the Camucones in such wise that they were not followed, for they could have easily been overtaken in two strokes of the oar. They betook themselves inland to the mountains, where their sufferings were not abated, for they were barefoot and naked, until they reached the convents of our father St. Francis, where they found hospitable welcome, aid, care, and provision. In their journeyings they reached the shipyard, where a vessel was being built; for it was necessary to get a champan there to go to Panay, and they found one. They left the shipyard November 21, and reached Panay next day. After a few days the enemy from Joló went to the shipyard, burned it, killed many people, captured others, took away the artillery, and committed great damage, although there were sufficient men in the shipyard to defend it from a greater force. But the Spaniard can never be persuaded of any danger, until it is upon him. Juan Martín, the best and most reliable shipmaster in the Filipinas, was killed there. It was a great loss, for there was no other who could fill the position like him. But the Lord did not choose that the champan should be lost; for the Camucones did not break it up, as is their wont, but abandoned it after having plundered its articles of value—which were considerable, and which caused great loss to the province. The Sangleys, after seeing that the enemy had gone, went out to the champan, [140]righted it, and returned it to its owner—who never lost hope of obtaining it, for he believed thoroughly in the saint. Sargento Jacinto de Lanzacorta, very thankful for this, celebrates a feast to St. Nicholas every year. Father Fray Pedro de Torres67 says that he arrived at Sugbú in the first part of February, where he had been regarded as lost, for he was more than five months in making the trip from Manila to Sugbú. During the whole time he suffered very many hardships, from which St. Nicholas freed him. The most Holy Child returned to His house, so that He might be served therein.

In the beginning of this triennium, as the fathers of Ilocos were going to their province, two or three of them feared the horror of the journey by land, which is terrible. Accordingly, as they found a suitable boat, father Fray Diego Abalos prior of Narbacán, father Fray Juan Gallegos,68 prior of Laguag, and father Fray Francisco del Portillo,69 prior of Purao, taking the provision for their convents, went along the coast to Ilocos. But so furious [141]a storm struck them, that they gave themselves up as lost. Accordingly, as servants of God, they had recourse to Him, sincerely confessing themselves and praying earnestly—as well as their terror allowed—to God to beg pardon for their sins. The Sangleys already, with loosened hair (which means their last hope gone), did not attempt to do a thing in the champan, for they thought that they could not escape from it. At last, encouraged by the fathers, after setting a scrap of sail, they yielded to the force of the stern-wind, and in less than thirty hours reached the Chinese coasts. They made more than three hundred leguas in that short time and route, which, even in fine weather, would take fifteen or twenty days, or one or two months. They landed, where no little danger awaited them, as the people tried to kill them. But at last the Lord’s mercy was not found wanting in that country, for through it they went from land to land, until they reached Macán, a city held by the Portuguese in the country of China. They were succored there with great generosity, for in works of charity the Portuguese are most generous. In Manila, they were thought to have been drowned. As such, the masses and suffrages that are wont to be said in this province of the order, for the religious who die in it, were said for them in all the convents. Afterward, the Portuguese who came to Manila informed Ours of the [above] event, whereat all rejoiced greatly; for those regarded as lost were religious who were held in much esteem. Two of them soon came, namely, father Fray Diego de Abalos and father Fray Juan Gallegos The third, father Fray Francisco del Portillo, went to the island of Hermosa, which belonged then [142]to our Spaniards, and took possession of a convent with the solemnity decreed by law. Then he came back, and all three returned to their priorates, to which others had already been appointed by our father provincial.

The enemy from Joló had often made incursions, to the great loss of the islands; for they caused many deaths, made many captives, and occasioned not few expenses, which had been incurred for his Majesty in opposing them, but all to no purpose. For either the Spaniards did not try to look for them, or did not find them, or indeed, when they met them, the enemy took to their heels; for on the one hand their boats are swifter, and on the other they come more as soldiers than our men, who seem to have inherited the carelessness and phlegm of the country. And truly, I think injustice has been done to the Joloans, and injustice should be done to no one, even one’s enemy. But we shall consider how God avenged the injuries committed by Saul on the Ammonites, who did not stop until these were atoned for—which was ended by David, who delivered to them all of Saul’s descendants, all of whom they hanged. And the scriptures say: Suspenderunt eos in patibulis in conspectu solis.70 For a criminal punished shines like the sun in the sight of God. These Joloans were going to and returning from Manila in the character of friends, taking and carrying away necessaries to both parties. Once, when returning from Manila, they were charged with robbing and making captives. The governor sent Alférez Don Fernando de Figueroa after them. After meeting them, he brought them back, after taking away their cargo, which is [143]reported to have amounted to more than four thousand pesos. They remained idle in Manila, until they were freely dismissed, as no crime appeared against them. Governor Don Alonso Fajardo died, and the Ioloans returned to their own country, with the intention of asking the new governor, on his arrival, for what was taken from them; since nothing was proved against them for which they merited the punishment of the confiscation of their property. They acted accordingly, and returned to the presence of Don Fernando de Silva and of his successor, Don Juan Niño de Tábora. Those barbarians endured very great delay, until, finding themselves in a desperate condition and poorly equipped, they returned, committing signal depredations on the way; and since then they have continued their incursions, to the very great injury of all the country. And although expeditions have been made against them from Sugbú and Panay, nothing of importance has been accomplished. It was resolved to build a good fleet and invade their country. This was done very secretly, but I am surprised that they did not hear of it. Its chief officer was Don Cristóbal de Lugo, who filled the position of lieutenant-governor and captain-general of those provinces. He assembled a goodly force, both soldiers and Indians, who would willingly go to avenge themselves, as they said. For the act of vengeance among the Indians is a terrible thing; and, if possible, they do not miss it.

While awaiting the time to go in Sugbú, where the forces were gathered—who, as they were many, occupied all the houses, even the smallest ones—some soldiers were cleaning their weapons in one near the residence of the Recollect fathers. One fired his [144]arquebus, which, unknown to him, was loaded. It caught in the thatch which formed the roof of that little house; and, as the sun was hot, and the wind the greater brisa, the house quickly caught fire. The father prior, Fray Pedro de San Nicolás, was very much annoyed; and he came out, and with reason rebuked the soldiers, who lost all their effects. The father returned to his house, where he learned that more had happened than he thought; for, as he was going up stairs, he saw that the greater part of his house was burned. By dint of ringing the bells, a number of people came in, but they could not prevent the burning of the house. This happened March 9, 1628, at one o’clock in the afternoon. It was a great pity, and cause for compassion; for the convent, by the efforts of father Fray Pedro de San Nicolás, was very well finished. He had been most diligent in both the building and the furnishing and adornment of it; and his province lost more than five thousand pesos by the fire.

Everything was well advanced for the expedition. Accordingly, all the forces embarked, being accompanied by a father of the Society, an Italian named Fabricio de Sorsale. The commander was a devotee of the most Holy Child, although he did not take Him as patron this time, a thing he was wont to do. Yet he would not go without bidding Him farewell, which he did with great devotion, a ceremony which did not lack many candles. The Child showed Himself so pleased, that I was obliged to tell the commander that he should take comfort, and that I promised him in the Child’s name a very fortunate expedition, as happened—and it would have been better, had they known how to use their victory. The [145]fleet left Sugbú on the fourth of the same month, with more than one hundred Spaniards and three hundred Indians. There were two captains of infantry, subordinate to the commander—one Francisco Benítez, the other Juan del Rio. Other volunteers accompanied them. They reached Joló, found it unprepared, and burned the town, the king’s houses, the ships, and whatever they found. Had they followed the people, they would have found them in confusion and hiding in the grass; for on account of the long peace, the Joloans had not provisioned their stronghold, which was impregnable. The soldiers contented themselves with this, and let slip the best opportunity that could have been desired.

Upon the day that this occurred, some Spaniards happened to be in our church with father Fray Pedro de Torres, and they saw that the Child was laughing. This was the church that had been built by the said father Fray Pedro de Torres—a fatal one, I call it. For four days after the fleet had left, on the eighth of the same month, while I was in the refectory dining with the Recollect fathers, whom I had brought to our convent, another Recollect came from Manila, who was coming to be ordained. While recounting to him the misfortune that had occurred, the prior said: “Tell me, brother, if you saw this convent ablaze, would you not feel compassion?” We went up stairs, and at one o’clock the fire began in the middle of the city, to the windward. It originated from some tobacco; cursed be it, and the harm that that infernal plant has brought, which must have come from hell. The wind was brisk, and blowing toward the convent. In short, everything [146]was burned, though we saved the silver and whatever was possible. The Holy Child willed to allow His house and most of the city to be burned, although no two houses had ever before been burned in that city at the same time. This happened on Saturday, the eve of Passion Sunday. I gathered together all that escaped from the convent of San Nicolás, and set about going to Manila, to repair that loss as far as possible.

While on the way to the island of Panay, my boat was overturned by a heavy storm, and it was a miracle that I escaped with my life—which happened, through God’s mercy, by the efforts of my Sugbú Indians. Finally when the storm was appeased, I reached the convent of Salog, without shoes, naked, and perishing of hunger, on the fifteenth of the said month of April. The father of that convent, called father Fray Francisco de Oliva,71 and all the others of that island, aided both the convent, and me especially, with the greatest charity. Thus I obtained there two very large contributions of all necessary for the convent. I found father Fray Estéban de Peralta, definitor of the province, there visiting the island. I went to Manila with him, where I tried to go from Manila to España. The superior did not impose obedience in regard to it, so that I turned all my efforts to caring for my house, for which many religious aided from their stores with great charity.

At this juncture the ships came from España. They brought the governor’s wife, Doña Magdalena [147]de Oñate. They had been four whole months in making the port of Cavite and had suffered very severe weather. Those two ships were very staunch ones, and had better accommodations for cargo than any that have been seen in the islands. They were called the “San Luis” and the “San Raimundo.” As commander of the flagship came Don Juan de Quiñones, in whose ship sailed the governor’s wife. It also bore the religious of our father St. Dominic; while in the almiranta sailed Don Diego Muñoz, Bishop Don Fray Hernando Guerrero, the latter of whom was at the point of death, so that his escape was a marvel. We saw above how our father Méntrida sent him to España as procurator. He made a prosperous trip [to España], and when he reached España found himself a bishop, a negotiation effected by heaven rather than his own efforts. For one always recognized very great grace (I mean humility) in his Lordship, like the grand religious that he always was. But his many hardships, journeys, and services in the islands made him worthy of this and of other greater honors. He went and returned in three years, bringing an unusually fine company [of religious]. But the plague decimated them, taking the best of the men, as follows:

1. Father Fray Francisco Osorio, reader of theology in España, and an eloquent preacher; and, above all, of most noble temper and blood.

2. Father Fray Juan Bermans, a preacher from Flanders. He died chaste; and was a brother of Father Bermans of the Society, who is to be canonized, and who serves as a model.

3. Father Fray Diego Bonifáz, a very virtuous religious. [148]

4. Father Fray Bartolomé de Eraso, a preacher and quite indispensable.

5. Brother Fray Francisco González, chorister.

6. Brother Fray Francisco Diego, chorister.

7. Brother Fray Antonio de Salazar, chorister.

Those who entered [port] alive were:

1. Father Fray Francisco de Azuara, from Valencia, lecturer in theology.

2. Father Fray Pedro de Quesada, lecturer in arts, from Castilla.

3. Father Fray Luis de Villerías, a creole, a debater in the university.72

4. Father Fray Bartolomé de Esterlik, a preacher, an Irishman.73

5. Father Fray Dionisio Suarez, chorister.

6. Father Fray Juan de Prado, from Castilla, a preacher.

7. Father Fray Justo Úbeda, from Castilla, a priest.

8. Father Fray Alonso Ramos, from Castilla, a priest.

9. Father Fray Francisco de Abendaño, from Castilla, a priest.

10. Brother Fray Alonso Quijano, from Castilla, chorister.

11. Brother Fray Diego Tamayo, from Andalucía, chorister.

12. Father Fray Gonzalo de la Palma, from Castilla, chorister. [149]

13. Brother Fray Juan Lozano, from Castilla, chorister.

14. Brother Fray Miguel Dicastís.

15. Father Fray Gaspar de Castilla, a preacher.

16. Brother Fray Agustín de Chauru, from Castilla, chorister.74

They were welcomed gladly, although with grief for the great loss that they had sustained. Those religious suffered greatly; for the storms compelled them to disembark between Bacón and Verde Island, which must have cost them dear. Afterward they suffered not a little on land until they reached Manila, where they were well received and feasted. The priests began to labor, and the brothers, after ordination, did the same, since they had come for that purpose.

I, who had obtained by entreaty what I could to buy two ornaments and all that was necessary, returned to my field of labor; so that I left the convent with a house, church, sacristy, and ornaments, better than before; and all that was necessary for the house, more abundantly and fully than before. I also increased its annual income by more than three hundred pesos.

Chapter XLI

Continuation of the preceding

Governor Don Fernando de Silva thought that the trade of this country with China was annually decreasing, because of the Chinese pirates, who were now very bold, so that the traders could not leave port without manifest danger to their property and lives. And indeed, if any came, it was to bring [150]rather people than cloth and the other things that the country needed. Besides this, since the Chinese had Portuguese in their country, they could transport their cloth without so much danger and sell it to the Portuguese. The latter brought it from Macán to Manila, and sold it there at whatever price they pleased; for the Spaniards had to export something, as otherwise they could not live. For their other incomes, acquired through encomiendas—I know not how they are valued—do not suffice or enrich, and least of all satisfy. Perhaps the reason is that in collecting them no attention is paid to what is produced. Besides that, the governor knew that the Dutch were settled in Hermosa Island, a very large island, which lies more than two hundred leguas north of Manila. It is called Hermosa [i.e., “Beautiful”] Island because of its fertility. It is quite near China, although it is inhabited by Indians, like the rest of the islands. The governor thought that, from that place, the Dutch were depriving us of the trade; this would mean the destruction of Manila, which only a lucrative trade could sustain. To remedy all this, he thought to capture Hermosa Island, and he discussed and conferred about this plan. The Dominican fathers, influenced by the gain of souls, encouraged this affair, because of the nearness of the island to China. As all are dependent on the governor in these regions, no one dares to contradict him in whatever pleases him; for they fear his anger upon them, which often deprives them of sustenance. But, I think time has proved what an unwise thing was done; for none of those injuries have been remedied, but have remained. The forces, which are daily becoming fewer in the [153]islands, were divided, and there were innumerable other inconveniences. Finally, the governor sent troops to the island, and possession of it was taken, more than forty or sixty leguas from the Dutch fort. Only Dominican religious went on this occasion. Then it befell that many of the troops died, for the island is very cold. Most of the fruits of Castilla are raised there. Its inhabitants are fierce, and live without law or reason, but more as their chiefs dictate. Ours have suffered signal hardships there. Sargento-mayor N. Careño was governor of that fort and the troops; and he did his utmost. The Chinese came and offered many things when the soldiers had money; but, when money failed, all was about to perish. That year, 1626, Don Juan Niño de Tábora came as governor. He was told of Hermosa Island and its great importance. Accordingly, he resolved to make an expedition thither, with as many of the remaining soldiers as possible. They filled three large galleons and other smaller ones. Captain Lázaro de Torres, of whom we have made so much mention, sailed in the “Trinidad,” the smallest of all the ships. They left in August, after the despatch [for New Spain] of the vessels of 1627. The weather was rough, so that the governor grew afraid. After incurring so great expenses for his Majesty, and sailing in galleons which carried fifty or sixty pieces of artillery, a return was made to Cavite. Only Lázaro de Torres went ahead, with whom sailed father Fray Lúcas de Atienza, of our order, as prior and vicar-provincial. They suffered terrible storms, and ran manifest dangers; especially when, running with the lower sail on the foremast, they ran aground on an island, which they had not [154]seen because of a dense fog. At last they all got away. They flung out, or rather raised, the greater yard (which they were carrying down), shook out the sails full, and then were able to make land with the sides under water, and the sea running sky-high. They just missed scraping the sunken rocks about the island. The most courageous man among them was our religious, for no one, neither soldier nor sailor, met the danger with greater courage or resolution. At length they reached Hermosa Island at a time that proved the redemption of those men, for already were they eating rats. They were in the extreme of necessity; for neither did any Chinese come, nor had the Spaniards any silver to attract them, for that is the most efficacious allurement. Captain Don Antonio de Vera had gone out with twenty men; but some Indian chiefs daringly killed him and his men. Captain Lázaro de Torres rallied to this necessity. He went outside, relieved the fort, gave what food he had, and then—having nothing to do, and suspecting that the governor had put back into port—he returned with our religious. The latter came near dying on account of his great hardships; and indeed death overcame him after he returned to the land of Manila—where because of those sufferings he never again raised his head in health.

During this same time, I mean in 1628, the house of our convent of Bisayas was burned—the one which I had built with so much trouble. It was the best in the province. It is suspected that the rebellious Indians burned it, as it was not the time when fires are wont to happen, for it was Christmas, when it is always rainy. [155]

During the triennium of our father Fray Juan Enríquez, the church and house of Dumangas were burned. They were fine edifices. Both fires occurred during the night, so that it was a miracle that the religious escaped; for they were asleep, a sign that the fire was set on purpose.

During this triennium the Manila Parián was burned. It was a miracle that the city was not burned; and the interests that were ruined were very large. Although the church of the Parián was so near to the houses, and entirely of wood, it did not burn, whereat all the Sangleys were much surprised. They said afterward in their broken language, “Here St. Mary great” [aqui Sta. Maria grande]. The walls and supports were aglow with the fire and brightness, or rather, were ablaze, as they were so hot that the hand could not be placed upon them. This made the wonder all the greater, and the Sangleys became more attentive to the consideration of our truths. The Parián was rebuilt better; its houses were roofed with tile, so that it is very sightly; and, with the point adjoining it on the river, which has been finished, it has added glory and honor to the city. All was done, as I have said, at the cost of the Sangleys. But they cause the Castilian to pay it, by raising prices universally.

[The chapter closes with several miraculous occurrences and pious observations that emphasize the grandeur of the Christian religion. These marvels are interspersed with other matter as follows:]

During the triennium of our father Fray Alonso de Méntrida, the sending of a religious to Maluco was discontinued, and the convent of Cavite was completely abandoned. It must have been the opinion [156]of grave fathers that that was not of importance. Many things are kept, which although they are of no use at the present time, are at least preserved for the hopes which are entertained that they will be useful in the future, and that they will prove of advantage. No notice was taken of that, for four eyes are worth more than two; and what has appeared in one way to me may appear to others in an entirely different light. Hence I shall leave the discussion of this matter.

In the first part of the year 1629, the most holy sacrament was found missing from the altar of the cathedral of Manila.

It was a thing that troubled all greatly; but it most troubled the archbishop of Manila. The greatest and most painstaking efforts imaginable were made. Many were arrested, and put to severe torture; and, for many months, no other efforts were made than to ascertain whether the aggressor could be discovered by any manner or means. But that one was never found, nor could they discover who stole it, nor what was done with it. The archbishop retired to San Francisco del Monte, which is a convent of the religious of our father St. Francis, who spend their lives there in the contemplative life with notable perfection and spirituality. There then our archbishop took refuge, and spent many days in other similar works, furnishing an example to all the country; and although it is true that he was always an example during all his life, he seems on this occasion to have redoubled his acts of penitence—praying God, as a truly contrite man, that, if that lamentable case and one so worthy of sorrow throughout the islands had happened through his omissions. [157]He would pardon him and regard those sheep which had been committed to him with eyes of pity and kindness; and that he might not be the cause that their punishments be multiplied. He caused prayers to be said by the convents and parishes, noting that beyond doubt the sins of the people were great, since the Lord was working against them and permitted that the sacrament be taken from its place and dwelling in so sacrilegious a manner. For no less in the present desecration than in that which these sacrilegious Jews practiced toward our Lord in the garden, the gravity of the sin is recognized, since He allows such treatment. And no less is the love recognized which He has for us, accepting and receiving to Himself the insults which He does not wish to fall upon His people—like the pious mother who shielded the dear body of her son, whom she loved, with her own, so that the tyrant might not wound him, preferring the welfare of her son to her own.

Chapter XLII

Of the election of our father Fray Juan de Henao

Our father Fray Francisco Bonifacio, with the mildness which we have seen, with which he began and divided his government, ended it with the same, not leaving any religious any ground for complaint. For he loved them all equally, and equally strove for their spiritual welfare, acting toward them in every respect as a true father and shepherd. He had cast his eyes on father Fray Jerónimo de Medrano as his successor. The latter was then definitor, and he was a person of great talent for what the office requires, and had preached at Manila in a very satisfactory [158]manner. But since there are so many different understandings in a province, all men cannot judge of a thing by the same method, for every one feels regarding it as his own judgment dictates. Consequently, there was a following which tried to elect father Fray Francisco Coronel, a man of vast learning, and of whom very great hopes were entertained for the future. But that following never could gain the full game, nor even check the other faction. Thereupon they settled on a scheme which did not succeed badly, and that was to cast their votes for our father Fray Juan de Henao, who belonged to the other faction, and had the father president on his side. By this means, the election was conferred upon the man who was least expected [to gain it]. One would believe that the Lord chose to give him therein the dignity which He had taken from him six years before—the reader will remember what we have said about that.

At this time the fathers born in the Indias, although they were few, had obtained a bull from his Holiness, so that between them and the fathers from Castilla there should be alternation [in the celebration of Corpus Christi]. Its execution was committed to the archdean of Manila, Alonso García, a creole, who was much inclined to it. Accordingly he proceeded without allowing any appeal or argument, although those presented by the Castilian fathers were very cogent. Finally he proceeded to extreme measures, by declaring the fathers excommunicated. Here the province refused to admit the letters of excommunication. Finally, our father Henao was elected in this contention, with father Fray Estéban de Peralta acting as presiding officer [159]of the chapter. The definitors elected were: father Fray Juan de Tapia; the second, Fray Juan de Medina; the third, Fray Nicolás de Herrera;75 and the fourth, Fray Martín de Errasti.76 The visitors were father Fray Jerónimo Medrano and father Fray Cristóbal de Miranda.77

The father provincial and the other father definitors looked after the affairs of the province with great prudence, and discussed the most important matter of that time—namely, the choice of a person to go to the court of Roma to represent the causes which had moved them not to accept the alternation, giving him the money for expenses which the other fathers are accustomed to carry, with additional pay, and as the case required. The father master, Fray Pedro García, was selected for that purpose. He was the brother of the archbishop and a person of great talent and resources, who would be well received anywhere because of his person, learning, and excellent mode of procedure. But the Lord was pleased not to allow him to reach Nueva España. The creole fathers also requested that permission be granted to them, for they wished to send a procurator [160]on their own account; and their request was granted. Accordingly they sent father Fray Alonso de Figueroa,78 a person of much ability, and the most suitable that could be selected among the men of his following.

Father Fray Hernando de Cabrera, an admirable minister of the Tagalos, of whom we have already spoken, asked for leave to go to España. Together with the father master, Fray Pedro García, he took passage on the flagship “San Juan,” a new ship whose first voyage this was. Aboard it was Don Fernando de Silva, who had governed these islands, four procurators for the city of Manila, who were being sent to look after the property of the citizens, on account of unfair dealings by those of Nueva España in the returns made for it [i.e., for goods exported thither from Manila]. Further, two fathers and a brother named Fray Juan de Peña took passage with them. Two of our religious embarked aboard the almiranta—father Fray Lorenzo [sic] de Figueroa as procurator of the creole fathers, and a brother named Fray Francisco de San Nicolás. They left the port of Cavite, August 4; they experienced considerable suffering, for the vendavals were blowing vigorously, and those winds make it difficult to get out of the bay. At last it was God’s good pleasure to give them weather which enabled them to make their voyage. In this line, on the return trip to Méjico, the ships do not sail in company, [161]but each one takes the direction which is most expedient for it, relying on God, who will aid them. The storms were frightful. The almiranta suffered the most terrible voyage that ever ship has suffered. For after a few blasts they had to cut down the mast, and, when they reached thirty-six degrees, they lost their rudder. In such plight they agreed to return, suffering destructive hurricanes, so that, had not the ship been so staunch, it would have been swallowed up in the sea a thousand times. Finally God was pleased to have it return, as if by a miracle; and as such was it considered by all the inhabitants of Manila. The other vessel, being a new and larger ship, on perceiving the storm, went to a lower latitude. It continued to plow the sea, to the great discomfort of all, for it was six months on the voyage. The father master, Fray Pedro, died on that voyage, with so excellent an example that there was no one aboard the ship who was not edified. Father Cabrera also died with great piety, and like a devoted religious, as he was. The brother lived. Even the chaplain aboard the ship died. In all the dead numbered ninety-nine persons, who could have peopled a world. Those who arrived were in such condition that it was necessary to let them regain their strength in the port of Valdebanderas. The procurators on both sides had this lot, which was plainly that which occurred to all. But against the will of God there is no one who can go; what is important is, that His will be always done.

Archbishop Don Fray Miguel Garcia saw that the time was approaching for the provincial chapter. He hastened and left Manila to visit and confirm those of his jurisdiction. It is certain that, had Ours [162]detained him, affairs would have come out better. Finally, being constrained, they had to summon him; and his coming adjusted affairs. He returned to his confirmation, being desirous of concluding it in order to return for the feast of Corpus Christi in the city, which was his greatest devotion. But his haste cost him his life. He was corpulent, and had been ailing many days; his blood became heated, and gave him a fever. He was not attended to in time, and when they took care of him he was a dead man. His death occurred on that same day of the most holy sacrament, at nine o’clock at night. He died as an apostle, after having done his whole duty as religious and bishop. Great was the concourse of people, for his great sagacity and prudence made him not only liked but loved by all. He was buried in our convent, at the foot of the high altar, among the religious. Beyond doubt our Lord chose to snatch him from this life on that day which he so much venerated, so that he should see the reward which the Lord gave him for so great devotion. He was a liberal almsgiver, and at the time of his death had nothing that was his own. All his possessions had been expended in charitable works many days before. The city grieved much over his death, but his church grieved more; for, besides remaining orphaned, there was no other who would thus look after it. The bishop of Sugbú came to govern it, by indult of his Holiness, with which he has governed twice at Manila.

[After dwelling at some length on the virtue of a Bengal slave woman and her miraculous escape from death, she having been dangerously wounded by her would-be seducer, Medina continues:] [163]

In our father Fray Juan Henao’s first year, when we had already entered upon the year 1630, the orders considered the little security that they had from the Moros, for the latter were becoming insolent with their successful forays; and thus, without giving our people any breathing-space, were destroying the villages and missions in charge of the orders—and more especially they were pressing the Jesuits, as those fathers were established in places more exposed to the insolence and violence of the enemies. The governor, in an endeavor to uproot so great an evil at one blow, had a fleet built in the islands—the largest ever made by Indians—at the expense of the king our sovereign, and of the Indians and encomenderos. A great sum of money was expended upon it. Command of it was entrusted to the master-of-camp of the forces at Manila, Don Lorenzo de Olazu, a soldier, and one of those of highest reputation in those regions. The fleet bore more than four thousand Indians, taken from all districts at great expense, and more than five hundred Spaniards, picked men, commanded by captains of note. The fleet was composed of two galleys, three brigantines, a number of caracoas, and champans to carry food. With this fleet it was confidently expected to subdue not only Joló, but all the hostile islands.

The Jolog group consists of many islands, but the principal one, where the king lives, has a hill in the middle of it like a volcano. It has only one very steep ascent, and is an impregnable point, and as such it is regarded by all. Accordingly, when the Indians are visited by enemies, they fortify the hill, and then imagine themselves secure against any force. But when, about two years ago, Admiral Don [164]Cristóbal de Lugo had burned their villages, and they knew that the Castilians were about to attack them, they had fortified the hill strongly, mounting thereon the guns that they had taken from the [Spanish] shipyard. The master-of-camp believed himself sufficient to take that hill alone. Accordingly as soon as he arrived, he landed, and heading them, led his men up the hill without delay. That fleet was accompanied by one of our religious, father Fray Fulgencio, an excellent preacher, and a very good worker, who was preëminent among the others who went. There was also a Recollect father named Fray Miguel, who did not move from the side of the master-of-camp. The latter, finding himself almost alone on the height and near the stockade, many sharpened stakes and bamboos hardened in the fire were hurled at him, so that the master-of-camp fell, while others of the more courageous were wounded, and some killed. Thereupon, had the others ascended and entered, as the attack would have been less difficult after that first fury, they would have gained the fort, which had but few men, as was afterward learned; but they remained inactive. The master-of-camp arose, and retired without doing more than this; and with this result, that that fleet, that had made every one afraid, returned. My opinion is, that the Spaniards were punished for the arrogance that they must have displayed there; and that along those coasts, and at the expense of the wretched subjects, they tried to find the pearls of the king of Joló, which were said to be most beautiful. And accordingly this was proclaimed, to the sound of drum, in the port of Ilong-ilong and in Sugbú, and [165]a reward promised to whoever would seize them; for they considered the victory their own already, and shouted it forth before obtaining it. If they, as Christians, had gone with good intent to punish those Mahometan enemies for the desecrations that they had committed against the churches and sacred images, who doubts that the Lord, whose cause that was, would have aided them? But they were greedy for their own interests, and had their eyes on their own convenience. Thus they lost both the moneys expended and their reputation; and to save reputation one should expend much toil, for by it are conserved monarchies and kingdoms. They returned to Manila the laughing-stock of all the islands. From that time the Indians of Cagayán began to talk among themselves of lifting the yoke, placed on their necks by the Castilians; for as has been seen, all is not gold that glitters. Many deaths occurred among the Indians of different districts. The expenses of the natives, as above stated, were great, for although no one goes from his village except with very liberal aid, in this case that aid was unusually generous. Thus there was no encomienda that had a thousand Indians that did not expend more than a thousand pesos, besides rice—in addition to their tribute, personal services, and other taxes. It should be considered and recognized how these poor wretches were continually harassed; hence, why should one wonder that events do not succeed as one would desire?

In the present year the vessel “San Juan” returned, the ill-fortune of which was feared, because the almiranta had put back to port. It gave report of its voyage, whereupon the order voted what was [166]important.79 They appointed a procurator who went to España. This was the father reader, Fray Pedro de la Peña,80 who was prior of Macabebe in Pampanga. He took passage on the flagship “San Luis.” In the almiranta embarked another father, from Valencia, named father Fray Vicente Lidón. These vessels left the port of Cavite on August 4. They put back to the same port to lighten, and set sail again as heavily laden as before. They experienced no better voyage than the last ones had; for, besides putting back, they did not lack misfortunes. The flagship cut down its mast on the high sea, and was all but lost. The other vessel also suffered greatly, and between them both they threw overboard more than one hundred and forty [dead] people, while the others were like to die of hunger, for the voyage lasted seven and one-half months. Nueva España no longer expected them, and therefore despatched [to the islands] two small vessels from Perú, in which came the visitor of the islands, Don Francisco de Rojas. Both vessels suffered greatly. They lost their rudders, and their arrival was a miracle. It is quite apparent that the Lord is very merciful toward the islands. We surmise that these vessels arrived, one in July and the other in August of 1631. The worst thing resulting to the order in what happened to the vessels was, that no one would take passage on the ships, so that the province came to a condition [167]of the utmost peril. For, if procurators are lacking in España, there is no hope of getting religious; and the religious who are here now are dying daily. For never have I seen a triennium when there were not more than twenty deaths, and sometimes even thirty; while few are invested with the habit. Thus, perforce, the province is always in need of men.

Nevertheless, I, who had always been desiring to go to España, at last obtained my wish this year of 1631, under the greatest strife and oppositions that can be told; but I will not speak of them, as they are personal, although a not small history might be made of them. Finally I embarked in the flagship (where I went as vicar), in which no other priest embarked. The ship was a new one, and had been built in Cavite, during the residence of Governor Don Juan Niño de Tábora, who named it “La Magdalena” for his wife. It was always said that the ship had no strength and ought not to make the trip. The people said this among themselves; but, when they spoke of it to the governor, they praised it, and said that it was the best vessel in the world, for the contrary grieved him greatly. It was laden, and then its weakness was evident, so that they had to change their tune to that very governor. It was said that it would be made all right by putting in some stiffening—namely, three planks on each side, very thick and heavy—whereby it seemed that the vessel would be strengthened. Accordingly, the people embarked, a thing that ought not to have been done. On Thursday, at dawn, we were about to set sail; and when they weighed the anchor that held the ship, it listed to starboard so rapidly that, had not the point of the largest yard caught on the shore, the ship would [168]doubtless have turned keel up. To see so many men perish there and so much property lost, was a day of judgment—an event such as no one remembers to have heard told before. The artillery was fired at intervals from the fort of Cavite, whereat the governor and many vessels came up. I was the first to escape from the ship, but as by a miracle; for I jumped into the water from the lantern, clothed as I was with my black habit. By God’s help I was enabled to reach a small boat, in which I escaped, as above described. May the Lord’s will be fulfilled. With this I have been in danger of death seven times from the water while in the islands, whence the Lord by His mercy has miraculously drawn and freed me. The first was shortly after my arrival in the country, at Aclán. While bathing in the river, suddenly a current came whose rapidity seized me and bore me beyond my depth. I was already lost and surrendered myself to the mercy of the water, for I could not swim. God inspired a sacristan who was there, who dived quickly into the water, followed me, and, catching hold of me, drew me ashore. The second was while prior of Ibahay, and when I was visiting the islands. While crossing to one, so fierce a storm struck me that the Indians gave up hope, and thought only of dying. The little boat was a poor one, without helm or sail. All human aid being exhausted, I had recourse to the [departed] souls, who obtained a change of wind from the Lord; thus, with a powerful north wind, and the anchor thrown astern from a cable to aid as a rudder, we reached a little islet at two o’clock at night. There we moored, that stormy night. As soon as we reached the islet, the vendaval began to [169]blow again, so that it would seem that the north wind had blown only for that. The third was in the same river of Ibahay. While ascending it when it had a very large strong current (for it is a furious river), it overturned my little boat, and drew me under; but, although I did not know how to swim, the water was drawn from under me, and I remained on the surface of the water, in such manner that I did not sink beyond my girdle. And thus, with half my body out of the water, the current carried me a long distance. The Indians were following me in all haste with the little boat, supporting it with their hands; and, when it overtook me, I climbed on top of it, overturned as it was, and in that manner they dragged me ashore. From there I went to the village, passing through streams as deep as my waist, or even to the shoulders, and many times even up to the throat, at the imminent risk of attack by crocodiles, and of life, and health; for I did not dare enter the boat again. The fourth was in Laglag, when I was going on horseback to the visitas of that district. The road was so close to the edge of the river that it could not be followed without risk. The rest of the country was so rough that it could not be penetrated. I was going carefully, but the horse knew little of the reins, and made a misstep and fell into the river—from so high a precipice that surely, had there not been much water in the river at that time, we had broken all our bones. But it was deep and had a strong current, so that when we fell into it we sank. The horse reached the shore immediately by swimming. The current carried me above water for a very great distance, until I seized some reed-grass by which I was able to reach the shore, where I [170]thanked God for so many mercies. The fifth was by falling into the Dumangas River from a little boat. The above one of the ship is the sixth. I have left untold countless other dangers, while on the sea so many times—now from enemies, now from the weather. The seventh time is the loss of Sugbú, after the burning of that city and convent. It is not little to tell what the missionaries suffer here; but, as they are caused by works for God, His [Divine] Majesty aids us with His help and protection, when by any other means it seems impossible to save one’s life on account of the enemies and hardships that surround a religious on all sides. May thanks be given to His [Divine] Majesty for all. Amen.

In 1631 there happened a wonderful thing in Sugbú. On account of the ill-success achieved at Joló, the governor sent Sargento-mayor Tufino to Sugbú, so that, being posted in Dapitan (situated in Mindanao), he might prove an obstacle to the Joloans, so that they should not infest the islands. He reached the city of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, and was lodged in a house belonging to the convent, opposite the prison; the two houses are separated only by a very wide street. The sargento-mayor stored his powder, amounting to sixteen barrels, in his house. The prison caught afire. All the people ran thither, since if the fire leaped to the house opposite, and caught in the powder, the city would surely be blown to pieces. The most Holy Child was immediately taken out, at sight of whom the fire was checked, and burned only the nipas of that piece, and left the supports on which it rests intact. This is the latest thing [of this sort] that has been seen. It was a solemn miracle; but that Lord who is omnipotent in all things can do this. [171]

Chapter XLIII

Continuation of the preceding

The trade and commerce of the Japanese Islands has always been considered of great importance in these islands; for, as the former are rich in metals and foods, what is needed here can be brought thence at moderate prices. Formerly the Manila traders made much more profit by sending their goods to Japón than to España, for they saw the returns from them more quickly and at less risk. The governors have sought this trade very earnestly. Don Alfonso Fajardo sent two ambassadors, namely, Don Juan de Arceo and Don Fernando de Ayala, who were very influential men of Manila; they carried a goodly present with them. But that barbarian refused to admit them, whereupon they returned abashed, without effecting anything. All this rancor has arisen through his expulsion of the orders [from Japan], and his prohibition against preaching any new religion in his country. Although the emperors have done this in their zeal for their idolatries, the credence given to a falsehood told them by the Dutch has aided greatly in it. The Dutch told the emperor, in short, that he should beware of the European religious, for that by their means the king of Castilla made himself sovereign of foreign kingdoms; for after they had entered the country and reduced it to their religion, the rest was easy. It is not necessary to prove the falsity of this, so apparent is it. Disguised religious have not on that account discontinued going to Japón, but continue that work, although the severity of the persecution is ever increasing.

In the year 30, the governor sent out two large [172]galleons, with five hundred soldiers, besides the sailors; they were ordered to capture and bring to Manila any Dutch vessel found on the coasts of Siam and Camboja. Don Juan de Alcarazo was commander of the galleons, and Don Pedro de Mendiola was admiral. They sailed the seas at signal risk, as they were not extra large ships, and the city was very anxious. For should those galleons be lost, then was lost the strength of the islands. But, finally, the Lord brought them safely home, which was not a little fortunate. In the course of their wanderings they seized two ships or junks, one belonging to Siamese, the other to Japanese. They sent the Siamese vessel to Manila, but sacked and even burned the Japanese vessel. It is said they found great riches on it. Who could know the truth? This was learned in Japón, whereupon the hate and ill-will of that people toward us redoubled. They tried to collect the value of the junk from the Portuguese, who trade with Japón. They said that, since the Castilians and Portuguese had the same king, it made no difference which one of them paid. They seized the goods of the Portuguese from them, and then the latter found their business quickly despatched. They sent their ambassadors to Manila, and a most dignified father of the Society came to manage the affair, namely, Father Moregón—a Castilian, but so changed into a Portuguese by his long intercourse with them, that he did nothing without them. Nothing was concluded upon this occasion. Later, in the year 1631, two junks came from Japón, one Portuguese, the other Japanese, with an embassy. The governor granted them audience in very circumspect fashion. On that occasion he assembled [173]all the infantry in two columns, and had them escort the Japanese who acted as ambassadors, to whom he gave horses and trappings and a fine carriage. In short, they had come, in behalf of the governor of Nangasaqui, to confer about the junk, and the means by which trade could be opened. But it was straitly stipulated that no religious should go, for the Japanese had no liking for them. Two of our Japanese friars were the translators of all the matter contained in the letters. The governor satisfied them in everything, and treated them very well in Manila. The religious took the greatest pleasure from the embassy, considering the power of God. For when that gate was, in man’s judgment, most tightly locked, the Lord opened it. For naught is impossible to Him. Non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum.81 He who brought the Magian kings to the feet of One newly-born, by following a star, that same One brings the other nations to His bosom, when He wills, and opens the door to them so that they may enter into the bosom of His Church. The religious had the greatest hope of seeing the doors of Japón opened widely, so that those harvests might be gathered. The Lord, then, has been well pleased in those kingdoms with so much blood as has been shed there by His faithful ones, in testimony of His holy law. May He act as He shall see best in this matter.

It appears that in the year 1629 the orders were moved to send religious to Japón at their own cost. These were the Dominican fathers, the Franciscans, our Recollects, and those of our own order. They furnished the expenses on shares, built a champan, hired sailors, and paid a pilot. But that expedition [174]could not have been for the best, for the Lord proceeded to defeat it, by allowing their champan to be wrecked. Afterward, although they bought another in China (or rather in Ilocos), it had no better success. Ours spent more than five hundred pesos. The father reader, Fray Pedro de Quesada,82 and father Fray Agustín de Chauru went. The sufferings of the religious from storms, rains, roads, and famines would not be believed. It seems that they can say with St. Paul: Omnia superamus propter eum qui dilexit nos.83 They had to return because their superiors thus ordered, for in any other way they would not have done it; as they know very well how to suffer with Christ and for Christ, whose hardships were sweet to them, as to another St. Paul: Mihi autem absit gloriari nisi in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi.84

That same year certain splendid feasts were celebrated in Manila for the holy martyrs of Japón who were canonized by his Holiness Pope Urban VII. There were twenty-one of them. Three were dogicos of the Society; the others belonged to the order of our father St. Francis. The religious marched in glittering vestments, all at the cost of the pious and religious inhabitants of Manila. The orders invited [175]one another. There was a general procession in which the altars were excellent. As for that of our house, if it were not the best one, none of the others were ahead of it. It is certain that the dances, comedies, and the other things which made the festival magnificent, could have been envied by the best cities of España, to the honor and glory of its sons; for they have so pacified this earth that even at the limits of the world may be seen so many grandeurs to the honor and glory of the Author of all. Of this not a little redounds to the Catholic sovereigns of España; for by their expenses of men and money the banners of the Church have floated over the most remote and unknown parts of the world. Our kings of España deserve much, no doubt, since God has made use of them for so great affairs in His service.

Governor Don Juan Niño de Tabora sent Captain Juan Bautista, who had married one of his servants, to the fort and presidio of Caragán. He was a very energetic and courageous youth, as he had proved on all opportunities that arose—both in that presidio, where he made many successful expeditions, and in other places where he had been sent. He had been badly wounded in Joló. When he beheld himself head of that fort, he resolved to make an entrance among the Tagabaloes.85 He assembled many men [176]from the friendly villages; as is the custom—although I know not with what justice they have taken to make forays on them, capturing them, carrying them away, and selling them, for those Indians where they go are not Moros, nor even have they done any harm to the Spaniards, but remaining quiet in their own lands, they eke out a miserable existence. But this [custom] is inherited from one [generation] to another. While about to make a foray in this manner, Captain Bautista quarreled with a chief of Caragán, the chief of all that district; and, not satisfied with treating him badly with words, the captain attacked him, threw him to the ground, and gave him many blows and kicks. Captain Bautista was unarmed, as were also the Spaniards with him, who are very self-reliant in all things. Then the chief returned to his own people and asked them if they were not ashamed of what had happened. “Then,” said he, “how do you consent that the Castilians and captain treat me thus in your presence, when you could easily kill them?” As they were few and unarmed, the natives killed the captain and twelve soldiers, and Father Jacinto Cor, a Recollect father, who was going with them. After this first misfortune, resulting from the anger of an imprudent captain, the natives went about warning and killing all the Spaniards whom they found on their coasts, and tried to take the fort by strategy. But already the matter was known, and on that account they did not take the fort, which was the only means of recovering that post. They killed four more religious, among whom was father Fray Juan de Santo Tomás, prior in Tangda, who was near the same fort. He was a holy man, as he showed at his death; for, seeing them [177]resolved to kill him, he asked permission to commend himself to God. He knelt down, and while he was commending his soul to God, they thrust him through with a lance. This religious was very learned and devout, and took especial care of his soul. Therefore it is believed that by that title of martyr our Lord chose to take him to His glory and crown him there. They wounded brother Fray Francisco, a layman, severely, as well as the father reader, Fray Lorenzo; but they did not die, and were afterward ransomed. The other religious were very devoted to God. How fortunate they, since they died so happily and in so heroic a quest; for those idolators killed them for hatred of their teachings. As much help was taken there as possible from Sugbú. The chief commander in this was Captain Chaves, encomendero of Caragán, who was living in Sugbú. He performed good services, repairing as much as possible the evil and harm that had been begun. Afterward, the commander-in-chief, Martin Larios, went with more soldiers to punish those Indians.

It was reported as certain that those Indians, desirous of throwing off the yoke from themselves, revolted because of the result in Solog, aroused by what they saw in Joló, among a people less resolute than themselves, as well as by the lack of bravery that they had witnessed in the Spaniards. The natives gathered, and held assemblies and tried to ally themselves with the Joloans, Mindanaos, and all the other neighboring natives that could help them. Things were not in the condition that they wished; so they were gathering, and biding their time. The above opportunity was presented, and they hurled themselves to their own greater loss, since they began [178]what they could not finish. It was permitted by God, so that the many souls whom the fathers have baptized and hope to baptize there may not apostatize; for thereabout are multitudes of heathen Indians, among whom the worship of Mahomet has not yet entered, and with the care of the fathers the harvest, without doubt, will be very plentiful.

The Recollect fathers returned to visit, or rather, to rebuild their house burned in Sugbú. They built it better, and roofed it with tile, whereby it will be safer than a roofing of nipa, which is so exposed to fire and flames.

In August, 1629, the governor sent Captain Don Sebastián de Libite—a very noble Navarrese knight, who had been a very good soldier in Flandes—to the Pintados as commander-in-chief. He went with his wife and household to the city of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús. The weather was very stormy, and they were often menaced by death. This lady, Doña Catalina de Aguilar, and her whole household were very devoted to the most Holy Child, and called upon Him with great anxiety. Finally, in a disastrous storm that struck them, where death was facing them, this lady said to her husband: “Listen, Don Sebastián, promise something to the Holy Child, so that He may help us, and may allow us to see Him.” He promised one hundred pesos. “What, no more than that?” replied Doña Catalina; “If we are drowning, for what do we love Him?” Finally, he promised five hundred pesos. The most Holy Child beheld their devotion, and miraculously saved them from their danger and conveyed them safe to Sugbú, where they fulfilled their vow. And it is a fact that although they were persons of great wealth of spirit [179]and nobility, they are people who have less of the temporal. But what they possess is greater, which, at the end, will be a pledge of their reaching heaven.

[Father Medina’s editor, Father Coco, follows the narrative with a list of the Augustinian provincials in the Philippines from 1632–1893—eighty-two in all.] [181]

1 See Vol. VIII, p. 217, note 32; also Vol. XIII, p. 292, note 39.

2 Fray Juan de Montesdoça went to Mexico with his parents who gave him a good education. He professed in the Augustinian convent in 1575, and went to the Philippines in 1582. He quickly mastered the Pampanga dialect, and ministered in the villages of Bacolór (1590), Mexico (1593), and Macabebe (1596). He was elected subprior and procurator of the Manila convent in 1594, provincial secretary in 1597, and prior provincial in 1599. He was missionary at Apálit in 1602, and prior of Guadalupe in 1605. He died at Malate in 1612, having gone thither in 1608. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 30, 31.

3 Fray Mateo Mendoza, born of noble stock, was intended for the profession of arms. Having gone to the Philippines, he was received into the Augustinian order at Manila in 1575. He was sent to Mexico to receive holy orders, as there was then no bishop in the islands. He was missionary at Malolos in 1580, Arévalo (in 1584), San Pablos de los Montes (in 1586), and Pórac (in 1594). Although elected definitor-general in 1596, he resigned that office to go to Japan. Returning to Manila in 1598, he became first definitor in 1599, and presided at the provincial chapter in 1602; and labored at Parañaque in 1603, and Tondo in 1605, dying that same year.

Fray Agustín de Tapia was a native of Burgos, and professed in the convent at the same city. He had charge of the mission which arrived at Manila in June, 1595; was preacher and confessor in September of the same year; preacher-general in 1597; [24n]missionary in Panay in 1599; at Guagua in 1601; definitor and prior of Cavite in 1602. He died in 1604.

For brief sketch of Fray Bernabé Villalobos see vol. xxiii, note 32.

Fray Diego Cerrabe was a native of Burgos, professing in the convent of that city in 1584. On going to the islands he became confessor and preacher in 1595, examiner in 1596, and lecturer and minister at Pásig in 1600–1602, going to Europe as definitor of the general chapter in the last year, and probably remaining in Spain.

Fray Pedro(not Diego) Salcedo was born of an illustrious family in Mexico, and took his vows at that city in 1583 at the age of twenty-five. He went to the Philippines in 1598, where he exercised the care of souls in Bay in 1600, in Hagonoy in 1607 and 1617, in Bulacán in 1614, and in Malolos in 1618. He was definitor in 1602 and 1608, and prior of Manila in 1605 and 1611. His death occurred at Malolos in 1619.

Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya was a native of Castilla, and after professing at the convent in Burgos went to the Philippines, where he was subprior and master of novitiates in the Manila convent (1581–1583), and missionary in Cagayán (1583–1586), after which he returned to Manila, but the same year went to Macao, where he remained until 1591. He acted as definitor that same year, and afterward was missionary at a number of villages, where he lived a busy life, his death occurring in 1632. He wrote sermons in Tagál, and translated the catechism into the same language, and wrote a history of the Augustinian order in the Philippines.

Fray Francisco Serrano professed at San Felipe el Real in 1574. After going to the islands he labored at Macabebe, Lubao, Candaba, and Guagua until 1596, when he was appointed provincial secretary. At the end of his term in that office, he was chosen subprior of the Manila convent, visitor, and finally definitor. He died in 1613.

The above notices are taken from Pérez’s Catálogo.

4 Fray Pedro Solier was born in the town of Barajas in 1578, and began his studies in Toledo. Me entered the Augustinian convent at Salamanca in 1593, where he remained until 1598, when he went to the Philippines. He was appointed provincial reader, and retained that office until 1603, when he returned to Spain as commissary procurator. After three years he went again to the islands, laden with honors; and after ministering for two years at Bacolór, was elected provincial in 1608, governing until 1610, when on account of the deposition of Fray Lorenzo de León, he went to Spain to give a report of that matter. He was appointed bishop of Puerto Rico in 1614 and took possession of his see in 1615. In 1619 he became archbishop of Santo Domingo. He died in 1620. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 57.

5 Fray Hernando Guerrero, a native of Alcaráz, professed in the convent of San Felipe el Real in 1588. After his arrival at the Philippines, he labored in various Bisayan villages (1599–1613). In 1613, he went to Spain, whence he returned in 1617. He went again to Spain and Rome in 1625. In 1628 he was appointed bishop of Nueva Segovia, and, in 1635, archbishop of Manila. His term in the latter office was marked by contests with the Jesuits, and he was finally excommunicated by a secular priest, and then exiled to Mariveles by the governor, Corcuera—only leaving that island on signing certain conditions. He died July 1, 1641, at seventy-five years of age. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 48, 49; and Buzeta and Bravo’s Diccionario, ii, p. 275.

6 Innumerable are the names which might be cited here of religious who have given proofs of the keenest patriotism, defending the islands with the cross in one hand and the sword in the other: Father Agustín de San Pedro, a discalced Augustinian, called “Father Captain” for his prowess against the Mindanao Moros; the no less famous Father Pascual Ibañez de Santa Filomena, Augustinian Recollect, who died while bravely assaulting the fort of Abisi, Jolo, in 1857; the Jesuit, Father Ducos; the fathers of all the orders, especially the Augustinians in the war with the English; the Augustinian fathers who accompanied General Malcampo on his expedition to Jolo in 1875; Father Ramón Zueco, Recollect, of imperishable memory, besides innumerable others.—Coco.

Continuing his note, Father Coco quotes from Father Fabián Rodriguez in Revista Agustiniana for January 5, 1886, the remarkable defense and military record of the Augustinian Father Julián Bermejo in Cebú, from the latter part of the eighteenth century until his death in 1851.

7 Fray Hernando de San José, the Japanese martyr, whose family name was Ayala, was born at Vallesteros, in 1575, and took his vows in the Augustinian convent of Montilla, May 19, 1593. He arrived in the Philippines in August, 1604, and was soon sent to Japan, whence he returned in 1607 to Manila as procurator. On his return to Japan, he labored in various places, and founded the convent at Nagasaki, of which he was made prior in 1613. He was martyred June 1, 1617. See Diaz’s Conquistas (Valladolid, 1890), pp. 76–103.

8 Fray Hernando Morales, a native of Montilla, in the province of Córdoba, professed in the Córdoba convent, and on his arrival at the Philippines was sent to labor among the Aetas in Panay. He was minister of Sibucao in 1611, and of Laglag in 1618, in which year he took charge of San Nicolás de Cebú, going later to Dumalag. He died in the last place in 1647.

Fray Felipe Tallada was born in Estepa, in the province of Sevilla. Professing in the city of Sevilla, he was sent to the Philippines, where he labored in the province of Pampanga at various periods from 1605 to 1645. He was definitor and examiner in 1617, and procurator to Spain and Rome in 1618. His death occurred in Betis in 1645. He wrote a life of St. Nicholas of Tolentino in the Pampanga dialect.

Fray Pedro del Castillo became a conventual of Pototan in 1605, and was minister of Dingle in 1611 and 1633, of Jaro in 1614, of Laglag in 1617, and of San Nicolás de Cebú in 1621. He was also subprior of the convent of San Pablo in Manila in 1623, and minister of Santa Cruz in Ilocos the same year; was procurator-general; and exercised the care of souls in Bacarra in 1626, and in Purao in 1629, dying in 1642.

Fray Martín de San Nicolás was a native of Osma, and made his profession in the convent of Puebla de los Angeles. He was a missionary in Maluco and Japan for some years. While vicar at [32n]Guimbal in 1617, he accompanied the troops on an expedition against the Moros of Mindanao. He died at Manila in 1630.

See Perez’s Catálogo.

9 Fray Estéban Carrillo was a native of the city of Écija and made his profession in the Córdoba convent, where he obtained a professorship. On going to the Philippines he spent four years among the highlands of Ilocos. He was preacher-general (1602–1609), provincial secretary (October 31, 1603), prior of Manila (December 24, 1603), definitor (1605), and procurator-commissary to Madrid (1607). He was one of the foremost orators in Manila, which city he left in 1609 for Spain, where he died in 1617. See Perez’s Catálogo, p. 52.

10 Fray Pedro de Aguirre took his vows in the convent at Mexico. He was, after his arrival at the islands, a conventual in Pásig and Bombón until 1600, in which year he went to Taguig, whence he passed to Calumpit in 1602. He was prior of Santo Niño in 1603, and commissary-procurator to Spain and Rome in 1607, dying in 1631.

Fray Roque de Barrionuevo, a native of Lubia, took his vows in the convent of Agreda in 1589. In 1597 he was laboring in Tanauan, and in Malolos in 1600. In 1606, while in Hagonoy, he went to Ternate at the request of Pedro de Acuña, whence he returned in 1608. He was definitor and minister of Malolos in 1609, of Tondo in 1612. He died in 1649. He wrote a grammar and dictionary of the Márdica dialect.

Fray Miguel de Sigüenza professed at the Burgos convent in 1579. From 1581 to 1599 he labored at various missions in the Visayas and in Luzon. He was provincial secretary in 1602 and visitor to the Tagáls the same year, after which (1605) he exercised [34n]the care of souls in Hagonoy and in Calumpit until 1607, in which year he died.

Fray Mateo de Peralta was a conventual at Lubao in 1584, of Pangasinan in 1587, of Calumpit in 1590; after which he was at the missions in Mexico (1591 and 1607), Pórac (in 1594), Candaba (in 1597), Lubao (in 1602), Betis (in 1608), and Apálit in 1609, where he died in the same year.

See Pérez’s Catálogo.

11 The text reads puerta, “gate,” which is probably an error for huerta, “garden.” See account of their establishment, in Vol. xxi, p. 269.

12 The Franciscans now (1893) have charge of Sampaloc.—Coco.

13 Ceded to them by the Augustinians.—Coco.

14 Fray Jerónimo de Salas was born in Olias and professed in the convent at Madrid in 1590. He was missionary in the Philippine villages of Guagua (1602–1611) and Macabebe (1605). He served as definitor and visitor, and in 1617 was elected provincial, but died May 17 of the same year.

Fray Fernando de Santa Maria Trujillo was conventual at Calumtian in 1596, prior at Barutao in 1598, missionary at Bacarra in 1599 and 1605, at Lingayén and Laoag in 1600, at Bantay in 1602, and at Candón 1605–1611, when he was appointed definitor. After his term, he labored in Tagál villages, and died in 1618.

See Perez’s Catálogo.

15 Fray Diego Uribe del Castillo was missionary in the Ilocan villages of Purao (1613), Santa Cruz (1614), Tagudín (1612), and Agoó (1621). He was examiner in the native language and reader of the province for some time. He died in 1622. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 79.

16 Ezekiel xviii, 21, 22.—Coco.

17 See Pérez’s Catálogo for sketches of these religious.

18 Fray Juan Pineda was preacher and confessor in 1598, missionary at Apálit in 1602, of México in 1603, of Hagonoy in 1605, and vicar-prior of Cebú the same year. Later he returned to Manila, where he became reader, and afterward procurator until 1609. He then went to Rome to take part in the general chapter, where he obtained the degree of master of sacred theology. He died probably in 1611. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 64.

19 Fray Lucas Atienza was missionary in Ibahay in 1608, of Dumalag in 1614, and prior of the convent of Ternate 1615–1617. Returning in the latter year to the islands, he was in charge of the mission of Parañaque in 1623 and of Tayabas in 1624. He was assigned to the island of Formosa, but did not go. He died at Tiaong (Tayabas) in 1631. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 188.

20 Fray Eustaquio Ortíz was born in Alpechín in Mexico, making his profession in the City of Mexico. On arriving at the Philippines he was given the office of conventual procurator; and later was missionary among the Zambales. In 1602, when prior of Bolinao, he went to Japón with Father Guevara, remaining there six years. On returning to the islands he became provincial secretary (1609), prior of Santo Niño of Cebú (1614) and of Manila (1623), minister of Tondo (1626), and lastly prior of Guadalupe, where he completed the convent in 1629. He died May 4, 1636. He wrote two books or treatises in the Japanese language. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 45, 46.

21 Ecclesiasticus x, 2.—Coco.

22 Fray Francisco de Bonifacio, a native of Sevilla, took his vows in the Salamanca convent in 1586. He was fluent in the language of Cebú, and labored in various missions among the Bisayas (1596–1611). The latter year he was chosen definitor, and in 1614 presided over the chapter. He was minister at Pásig in 1617, at Tondo in 1618, and at Bulacán in 1620. In 1621 he went to Otón, as his presence there was necessary. In 1626, while definitor, he acted as provincial because of the death of Father Becerra, after which period he had care of missions in Luzón, until his death in Manila in 1645. Two manuscripts written by him were conserved in the convent at Cebú.

Fray Vicente Sepúlveda was a native of Castilla, and professed in that province. In the Philippines he became chief sacristan of the Manila convent, and learned thoroughly the Pampanga dialect, ministering in that province for five years. He was definitor in 1611, and provincial in 1614. His term was one of discord because of his rigorous enforcement of the laws passed by the father visitor. In 1617, he was chosen to fill out the term of provincial, that office becoming vacant by the death of Jerónimo de Salas. He was killed August 21, 1617, as the result of a conspiracy of brother Augustinians who were opposed to him.

Fray Diego Gutiérrez was a native of Sigüenza in the province of Guadalajara, and professed in the convent of Agreda in 1574. He went to the Philippines in 1578, where he had charge of various missions in Luzón. He served as definitor during the chapters of 1578 and 1590. His death occurred at Lubao in 1613.

Fray Antonio de Porras was born in Sevilla and professed in the convent of that city. He arrived at Manila in 1598, where he exercised the duty of master of novitiates in the convent. He [58n]went to Bisayas instead of Japan which was his chosen field, working there from 1600 to 1639 (the year of his death). He held several important ecclesiastical offices in the Bisayas.

See Pérez’s Catálogo.

23 Definitors are the fathers who compose the council of the provincial. Aditos are those who are to be substituted for any definitor because of his death.—Coco.

24 Fray Fernando Becerra was born in Valladolid and took his vows in the convent of Salamanca, where he read sacred theology. On going to the Philippines he was missionary in Bantay in 1611, preacher and reader in 1613, provincial secretary in 1614, missionary [59n]at Hagonoy in 1615, at Pásig, 1617, 1620, and 1623, after having served as visitor and definitor. He was elected provincial by acclamation in 1626, but died July 31 of the same year. He left several writings. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 81, 82.

25 Fray Alonso Méntrida, an illustrious Bisayan missionary and a noted writer, was born in the city of Méntrida, and took his vows in the convent of Casarrubios in 1590, where he became reader for some time, later exercising the same duty at Manila and Lubao until he went to the Bisayas, where most of his work thereafter lay, although he ministered in some of the Luzón missions. He served as definitor in 1614, as prior of Manila in 1618, and as provincial in 1623. He died at the age of seventy-eight, on March 22, 1637. He compiled a grammar and dictionary in Bisayan dialects. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 53–55.

26 For sketches of these religious, see Pérez’s Catálogo.

27 Juan Enriquez was a professed religious of the Toledo convent. After going to the Philippines he labored in San Pablo de los Montes in 1607, in Taal in 1608, and in Malate in 1611. He was definitor in 1617, and visitor and provincial in 1620. In 1625 he went to Spain as procurator, and died there in 1631. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 77.

28 Fray Juan de Villalobos was a conventual in Panay in 1593, prior of Santo Niño de Cebú in 1599, first prior of the convent of Guadalupe in 1602 and 1605, and later visitor and definitor. He died in 1620. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 45.

29 Fray Pedro García Serrano, a native of the town of Chinchón, in the province of Madrid, took his vows in the province of Castilla. He had considerable reputation as an orator, and was given the title of master in sacred theology some time after his arrival at the islands in 1613. He filled many posts in the order, among them that of vicar-provincial, definitor (1629), and prior of Guadalupe (1624–1629), as well as that of commissary of the Inquisition and calificador of the Holy Office in the archbishopric of Manila. He died in Mexico in 1631, while on a voyage to Spain, having been appointed definitor of the general chapter and commissary-procurator. He wrote some moral sermons in the Pampanga dialect, while exercising the care of missions in that province. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 90.

30 Fray Alonso Ruiz was a native of Coimbra, Portugal, and professed in the Salamanca convent in 1574. He was minister of the village of Aclán in 1602, and of San Nicolás de Cebú in 1607, sub-prior of the convent of Manila and master of novitiates in 1611, definitor and prior of Guadalupe in 1617, and prior of Taal in 1620. He afterward served in a number of Pampanga villages, and died in that of Minalin in 1640. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 70.

31 Possibly an error for Jerónimo Cavero, who ministered in certain Luzon villages from 1596 to 1611, and attained great fluency in the Ilocan language. He became definitor, and examiner and president of the provincial chapter of 1617. He died in 1622. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 51.

32 Guimarás, opposite Iloilo.—Coco.

33 Fray Juan de Lecea was a native of Mondragón in the province of Vizcaya, and took his vows in the convent of Burgos. Arriving at the Philippines he was destined for the Bisayas, laboring in various missions in that district from 1600 to 1618, during which time he filled several ecclesiastical offices. He died in 1618 at Otón. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 56.

34 Fray Silvestre Torres, a native of Córdoba, was missionary in Japan in 1616, subprior of the convent of San Pablo in Manila in 1617, minister of Malate in 1618, and prior of Ternate 1620–1623. On returning to Manila he had charge of the convent of Batangas, and died in the Manila convent in 1626. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 86.

35 Fray Diego Oseguera was a choir student in 1607, minister of Mambúsao in 1611 and of Baong in 1614. He was especially useful in quieting the Indians who were in rebellion in the Bisayas. He died in 1615. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 187, 188.

36 Francisco Encinas, S.J., was born at Avila in 1570, and took his vows in 1596. After going to the Philippines, he taught grammar for some time, and then spent more than thirty years in the Bisayas. Having been sent to Rome as procurator for his order, in 1626, he was captured by the Dutch; but, after ransom, returned to the Philippines in 1632, and died at Manila, January 11, 1633. He was equally versed in Tagál and the Bisayan speech. See Sommervogel’s Bibliothèque.

37 Fray Juan de Montemayor was confessor to Governor Juan de Silva and a prominent orator. He was stationed at Malate 1614–1620, being appointed provincial secretary in the latter year. He was procurator-general in 1621, prior of Santo Niño de Cebú in 1623, missionary at Pásig, 1625–1629, of Parañaque in 1626, provincial chronicler in 1630, and prior of Guadalupe in 1635. He died at Manila in 1638. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 88.

38 Fray Agustín Mejía was a Mexican missionary, and after going to the Philippines served in mission work in México in 1608, in Bacolór in 1611, in Guagua in 1614, and in México in 1617. He was prior of Manila in 1615, definitor, visitor, and vicar-provincial; and died in 1630, leaving a volume of Ilocan verses, the “Life of San Barlám y Jósaphat,” which remained many years in the convent of Bantay. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 79.

39 Fray Pedro Lasarte (not Lesarte) professed in the convent of Toledo in 1572. He was missionary in Purao in 1600, in Bacarra in 1602, in Bauang in 1605, 1611, 1614, and 1620, and in Bantay in 1608 and 1611. He was definitor in 1617, prior of Manila in 1626, and again missionary of Bantay in 1629, dying in that place in 1636. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 50.

40 For sketches of these Augustinians, see Pérez’s Catálogo.

41 Pérez mentions no missionary by this name.

42 Evidently an error for Fray Miguel de Suárez. He was from the branch of the order in India. In the Philippines, he served as a Tagál and Visayan missionary, laboring in Batan in 1605, in Masbate in 1607, in Ibahay in 1611, in Aclán in 1614, in Panay in 1617, in Batangas in 1621 and 1633, in Tanauan in 1623, in Tambobong in 1626, in Taal in 1629, in Bugason in [84n]Bisayas in 1630, in Guiguinto in 1632 and 1639, in San Pablo de los Montes in 1636, and in Caruyan in 1641. He was also procurator-general in 1620, and prior of the convent of Cebú in 1638, dying in 1642. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 186.

43 In the unfortunate event which Father Medina mentions with as much minuteness as candor, two important points must not be overlooked by the judicious reader, which were the cause of this unfortunate deed. One was the extreme harshness of the provincial in his government, which must have been very excessive.... The imposition of new commands must have been very heavy for the religious, since even laymen intervened with the provincial, either for him to moderate unnecessary harshness or to renounce the provincialate. The second fact which also enters strongly into this case, is human passion exasperated even to obscuring the intelligence, and personified in Father Juan de Ocadiz, ... a man peevish and melancholy.... Hard beyond measure must he have thought the measures taken against him. He saw in the distance his perpetual dishonor, yet did not have the virtue sufficient to resign himself; and, instigated by the spirit of evil, perpetrated the crime which he expiated with his own life.—Coco.

44 Literally, a sack containing one thousand pesos in silver.

45 There were eleven Augustinians martyred, and they received beatification from Pius X in 1867.—Coco.

46 Equivalent to the English proverb, “Misfortunes never come singly.”

47 Fray Antonio Ocampo was of the province of Castilla, and was a religious of great activity. He was missionary to Bulacán in 1618, to Tondo and Hagonoy in 1626, and definitor in 1620. He was sent to Spain as procurator in 1632, but died at Acapulco on the way thither. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 91.

48 Fray Juan Ennao took his vows in the Toledo convent, and became an excellent preacher. He was stationed at San Pablo de los Montes in 1609; at Bulacán in 1611 and 1613; at Bay in 1613 and 1617; and at Taal in 1614. He was provincial in 1615, and prior of Guadalupe the same year, definitor in 1620, visitor and provincial in 1629, returning for the third time after his provincialate to the village of Bulacán (1635), where he died in 1636. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 77.

49 Fray Lúcas de la Peña was very fluent in the Bisayan language, and labored in the missions of the Bisayan group from 1600 to 1630, probably dying soon after the last named year. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 184, 185.

50 Spanish, del tropel de los caballos—literally, “from the trampling of the horses.”

51 “He said that those were true monks who, stifling their own wills, wished or refused nothing, but desired only to obey the commands of the abbot.”

52 Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, x, 30.—Coco.

53 Psalms civ, 15.—Coco.

54 Fray Alonso Rincón professed in the convent of San Felipe el Real, and after going to the Philippines became preacher at Arévalo in 1607, and was minister in Betis in 1609 and 1626. After administering the villages of Pórac in 1611, Macabebe in 1614, and Guagua in 1615, he was appointed definitor, visitor, and prior of the convent of Manila in 1617. He was commissary-procurator to Spain and Rome in 1618, and returned to Manila in 1622. He was elected definitor for the second time in 1629, and died at Manila in 1631. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 77.

55 The native dish of rice.

56 See Pérez’s Catálogo for sketches of these friars.

57 Spanish, Rutenos—a now obsolete name for Ruso (“Russians”). The term Ruthenians is applied to the people of Little Russia (also known as Ukrania and Ruthenia), dwelling in the steppes of Southern Russia, mainly in the valley of the Dnieper River; they have also extended into Hungary and Galicia. The reference in the text to “Russians” probably indicates only somewhat vague or erroneous notions as to the geography and political condition of Western Asia at that time: for it was not until 1722 that the Russians advanced beyond the Black Sea into Asia, conquering the province of Caucasus. Medina’s “Diego Rodrigo” apparently means Fray Rodrigo de San Miguel (Vol. XXI, p. 116), who spent some time in Persia and Chaldea, and converted many “schismatic Christians” there to the Roman Catholic Church. On his return to Rome, he carried a letter addressed to the pope, from “the Chaldean Christians of Bassora.” See Vol. XXI, note 62.

58 Fray Diego del Aguila, a master of the number in the ecclesiastical province of Andalucía, was, in spite of his protests, elected superior of the province of Mechoacán in Mexico while en route for the Philippines; but he finally followed his first determination, and sailed for the islands in 1618. He there became visitor, definitor (1623), vicar-provincial, prior of Guadalupe (1620), and president of the provincial chapter in 1626. He died at [117n]Manila in 1628. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 98. Pérez has evidently confused Diego del Aguila with Lúcas de Aguilar, who was definitor in 1650. See Diaz’s Conquistas (Valladolid, 1890), p. 516.

59 Fray Hernando Cabrero professed at the Córdoba convent in 1601. He became sub-prior of Manila in 1609, and of San Pablo de los Montes in 1618, 1626, and 1629. He also acted as definitor, examiner, and definitor-general, and died at sea while en route to Nueva España. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 78, 79.

60 Fray Francisco Coronel was a native of Torija in the province of Guadalajara, and took the habit in Mexico. He went to the Philippines in 1606 as deacon. He had charge of the parish mission of México in 1611, and officiated later in Lubao (1613), Bacolór (1617, 1629), and Macabebe (1620, 1626). He was definitor twice, and also visitor and prior of the convent of Guadalupe in 1619. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 80.

61 For sketches of these friars, see Pérez’s Catálogo.

62 Fray Francisco Villalón was minister at Tondo in 1630, and labored later in the villages of Tambolong, Tanauan, Caruyan, Bay, Hagonoy, and Guiguinto, until 1653. He was twice definitor (1638, 1653), and prior of the convent of Santo Niño (1645). He died in Guiguinto in 1655. He was well versed in the Tagál language. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 104.

63 Fray Estéban Peralta held various charges in the province of Castilla before going to the Philippines. He was stationed in the islands at the mission in Cebu, being proposed several times as provincial. In 1623 he was procurator-general, in 1626 definitor, and was at the missions at Tondo (1629) and Hagonoy (1632), where he died. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 98.

64 Fray Jerónimo Medrano was a native of Estella, and took his vows at the convent of Soría in 1604. He labored in the missions of Caruyan (1615), Quingua (1617), Malolos (1620), Taal (1621), Hagonoy (1623), Parañaque (1629), and Tondo (1638 and 1647). He was definitor and visitor, and three times provincial (1632, 1641, and 1650). His death occurred in 1656. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 88.

65 Fray Alonso Carbajal was a native of Salamanca, and professed in the province of Castilla, where he read sacred theology and obtained the degree of master. Dates regarding his life are meager. He was prior of Manila in 1623 and 1653; of Guadalupe, 1638; definitor, 1626 and 1653; visitor and provincial, 1644; while he renounced several bishoprics. Besides this he had charge of mission work in Guagua in 1620, Macabebe in 1632, and Bacolór in 1650, after which he served in the Bisayas until his death. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 96, 97.

66 Kings III [i.e., Kings I of the Protestant version], v, 4.—Coco.

67 Fray Pedro de Torres was born in Andalucía. He ministered in the Philippines in Mambúsao in 1629, and at Oton in 1632, dying in Manila about 1633. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 100.

68 Fray Juan Gallegos was a native of Mancha, and took his vows in the convent at Burgos. He was Ilocan minister at the town of Narvacán (1620) and Laoag (1623). He refused an appointment (1625) as procurator to Spain and Rome, preferring to devote himself to his ministry. He was at Bantay in 1626 and 1630; at the villages of Candón in 1629, 1635, and 1644; and Bauang in 1633. He was subprior in 1617, and twice definitor and visitor, dying in 1648 at Candón. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 94. He is to be distinguished from the other Augustinian religious of the same name who died while definitor in 1581.

69 Fray Francisco del Portillo was one of the best orators of his time. He died in 1628 after exercising the care of souls in Purao in 1626, and taking possession of the land necessary to found a convent in Formosa. See Pérez’s Catálogo, pp. 103, 104.

70 “They hanged them on gibbets in the sight of the sun.”

71 Fray Francisco de Santa Maria Oliva took his vows in the Toledo convent in 1581. He was minister of Dumaguete in 1599, and later of Potól, Ibabay, Mambusao, and Jaro, until 1628, when he died. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 38.

72 In the text, actuanse, which is apparently a misprint for actuante.

73 Pérez (Catálogo, p. 107) says that this friar, whom he calls Bartolomé Blas Esterlich, was from Flanders. He was a confessor and preacher in Manila, and ministered in the Ilocan villages of Bangui (1633) and Agoó (1635), dying in 1640.

74 For sketches of these friars, see Pérez’s Catálogo.

75 Fray Nicolás de Herrera was a missionary in Sesmoan (1618), Lubao (1623 and 1626), and Bacolór (1632). He was definitor in 1629, prior of Manila in 1635, and president of the provincial chapter in 1638, dying in 1647. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 89.

76 Fray Martín de Errasti was a native of Vizcaya, and professed in the convent of Burgos. After going to the Philippines, he became missionary in Pórac, Apálit, and Bacolór (1635). He acted as definitor and prior of Manila. He was elected provincial in 1638, but died in 1639. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 93.

77 Cristóbal de Miranda was a missionary in the villages of México in 1614, and of Apálit, Betis, Sesmoan, Guagua, Minalin, Candaba, Macabebe, and Bacolór until 1641. He was definitor in 1632 and died in 1646. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 88.

78 Fray Lorenzo (not Alonso) Figueroa labored in the villages of Caruyan, Parañaque (1620), Santa Cruz (1626), and Agoó (1626). He was elected prior of the convent of Santo Niño de Cebú in 1629, after which he was sent to the villages of Lipa, Bigaá, Malate, Sala, Malalos, and San Pablo de los Montes (1653). His death is not recorded. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 96.

79 Doubtless masses for the deaths of Father Pedro García and Father Cabrera.

80 Fray Pedro de la Peña was born in Burgos, and professed in the convent of Badaya in 1599. He worked in the Ilocan villages of Bantay, and Narvacán (1617). After laboring also in the villages of Apálit and Macabebe (1626), he was chosen commissary-procurator to Madrid (1630), dying in the following year, aboard ship. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 86.

81 St. Luke, i, 37.—Coco.

82 Fray Pedro de Quesada, a native of Jaen, took his vows in the province of Castilla. He was appointed preacher-general and reader of theology in 1630, and labored afterward in the villages of Malolos (1632), Lipa (1636), and Bulacán (1638). In 1639 he went to Spain as procurator-commissary of Madrid and definitor-general; but the intermediary chapter having annulled his appointment, he set out again for the islands as president of a mission of religious, dying in Mexico in 1645. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 107.

83 Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, viii, 37.—Coco.

84 Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, vi, 14.—Coco.

85 Blumentritt in his List of Native Tribes of the Philippines (Mason’s translation, Washington, 1901), says of the people of this name: “In a chart of the Philippines for 1744, by P. Murillo Velarde, S. J., this name is to be seen west of Caraga and Bislig (Mindanao). English authors speak of the Tagaboloyes, Waitz mentions their clear color, and Mas calls them Igorrotes. Others add that they were Mestizos of Indians, and more fables to the same effect. Their region has been well explored, but only Manabos and Mandayas have been found there. The last named are clear colored, so Tagaboloyes seems to be another name for Mandayas. The name sounds temptingly like Tagabalíes.”

Documents of 1630–1633

Sources: The first and third documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid; the second, fourth, and sixth, from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the fifth, from a MS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid.

Translations: The fifth document, and the first letter each in the first and the third, are translated by Robert W. Haight; the remainder, by James A. Robertson. [183]


Royal Letters and Decree

Letter to Tavora

The King. To Don Juan Niño de Tavora, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia which sits there. Your letter of August 4, 628, which treats of matters concerning the exchequer, has been received and examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, and this will be your answer.

As to what you say that it is not expedient to continue the custom introduced under the governorship of Don Juan de Silva, namely, that the officials of my royal exchequer in those islands should not make payments without your order—considering that they have not half the money which is needed, and that it will be necessary to set limits to the payments, so that they may be made only in the most necessary cases—you will observe the order which you have for this matter, taking care that the payments made be entirely justified.

I have looked into the difficulties which you mentioned as resulting from the sale of offices of notaries in the provinces of the islands; but as it seems that the considerations in favor of it are the weightiest, you will order that they be immediately sold, or at [184]least one in the chief town of each province, and will advise me when this is put into execution, and the amount for which each one is sold.

It will be well, as you say, that with the approval of another council like that which was held in the time of Don Pedro Acuña, decisions should be made whether it would be best to make a new valuation of the produce in which the Indians are obliged to pay the tribute. Granting the arguments which you bring forward, you will take care that they pay some of their taxes in kind; because otherwise they would not take the care that is desirable in stock-raising and farming.

You will see to it that the payment of salaries to the auditors of that Audiencia be not postponed; but on the other hand you shall prefer them to all others, whereby the complaint which they make of you on that score will be avoided. [Madrid, December 4, 1630]

I the King
Countersigned by Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras.

Royal decree to regulate shipbuilding

The King. To Don Juan Niño de Tavora, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein, or the person or persons in whose charge their government may be. It has been learned by my royal Council of the Indias that the warships which are built in those islands are so large that they can be used only to fight in a stationary position in any battle; and that they cannot avail for navigation, to make or leave port when desired, to sail to windward, [185]to pursue, or for any other purpose; and that there are not sailors or soldiers or artillerymen in sufficient numbers with whom to man them, as the smallest ship is of a thousand toneladas’ burden. In order to equip them many war supplies are needed, also huge cables and heavy anchors, of which there is a great scarcity in that country. We have been informed that, now and henceforth, it would be advisable that no ships of greater burden than five or six hundred toneladas be built which will be suitable for the commerce and trade with Nueva España, and for the war fleet. And inasmuch as it is advisable that the best plan be adopted in this matter, you shall assemble the persons of that city most experienced in shipbuilding and in navigation, and in accordance with their opinion you shall proceed in building the ships. You shall endeavor to consider in their construction what regards both strength and capacity, and the other matters above mentioned. You shall advise me of what resolution you shall adopt. Given in Madrid, December fourteen, one thousand six hundred and thirty.

I the King

Countersigned by Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras, and signed by the members of the Council.

[Endorsed: “To the governor of Philipinas, ordering him to assemble the persons of that city most experienced in shipbuilding and navigation, and in accordance with their opinion to regulate the building of ships.”]

Letter to the Manila Audiencia

The King. To the auditors of my royal Audiencia of the city of Manila in the Filipinas Islands. Your [186]letter of the first of [month omitted] 628 has been received and considered in my royal Council of the Indias, and I hereby give you answer to it.

In regard to what you say touching the fact that the officials of my royal treasury of those islands do not pay you your salaries promptly when due, saying that the governor has ordered them not to pay it without his decree, I am having the said governor ordered to endeavor not to delay the payment of your salaries; but that, on the contrary, you be preferred to all others in the payment of them.

You say that, in accordance with what was ordained by laws of the kingdom and ordinances of the Audiencia there, appeals have been admitted in it, from the decisions of the alcaldes-in-ordinary, [and] edicts of the governor; [but] that he has imposed a standard and measure, in matters of the political government, with certain penalties, on the Sangleys regarding the manner in which they have to make timber, tiling, and other like articles; and that the governor has prevented these causes from being appealed to that Audiencia, declaring his purpose to give me an account of it. As he has done this, and has asked for a declaration of what he ought to do, I have ordered him to observe, in the method of reporting these contentions to me, and in the form on which they must be grounded, the order that is given by various decrees; and in the meanwhile he shall observe the custom in similar cases. And if there are no similar cases, then no innovation shall be introduced in the trial of the said appeals.

The said governor also writes me in regard to what you say about his prohibiting disputes from going to that Audiencia, or to any of the auditors, as [187]alcaldes of court, as he believes that the parties can go to place the disputes before the ordinary judges; so that, if there should be any act of injustice, the case may go on appeal to that Audiencia. In that regard, he has been answered to observe the existing laws on that matter.

What you say about ceasing to maintain a room, separate from the other collegiates, in the college of San Josef (which is under charge of the fathers of the Society), for the instruction of the Japanese in our holy faith, is approved for the present, as communication with that kingdom has ceased.

The other sections of the said letter were examined, but there is nothing to answer to them at present. Madrid, December 31, 1630.

I the King
By order of the king our sovereign:
Don Francisco Ruiz de Contreras [188]


Letter to Felipe IV from the Bishop of Cebu


July 26, 1631, I received three decrees from your Majesty, in which your Majesty granted me the favor to advise me of the birth of the prince,1 our sovereign, whom may God preserve. I feel especial joy and satisfaction at the favor that our Lord has shown toward España, in giving us a successor to your Majesty. In regard to the thanks that your Majesty orders me to give to God, I shall take especial pains to do as your Majesty orders.

In the second decree of your Majesty, your Majesty orders that the natives of these islands be treated gently, and that they be relieved as far as possible from injuries and too heavy burdens. I have always done my utmost, so far as I am concerned, in regard to this; and now and henceforth, I shall do it more carefully, since your Majesty has ordered it.

In your third decree, your Majesty orders that the governor appoint an ecclesiastical person to assist him in the examinations in what concerns the royal patronage, because of the troubles that have occurred [189]in the vacant see. What I can tell your Majesty in perfect truth is, that I have always tried to have benefices given to the most praiseworthy, and to those most suitable to minister to the Indians; but if your Majesty judges an agent advisable, I shall willingly obey what your Majesty orders.

Your Majesty has appointed the archdean of the church of Cebu, Don Alonso de Campos, to the dignity of schoolmaster in this church of Manila. He has not been graduated in any science, and in this regard he is not possessed of the qualities that the council of Trent demands, nor those which the dignity of this church demands, for he is not a bachelor of arts. He who now exercises that office ad interim is Don Alonso Ramirez Bravo. He has been graduated in both kinds of law, and is a man of good qualities, who is at present provisor and vicar-general of this archbishopric. He has had in charge the bishoprics of Çubu and Camarines. He is a most praiseworthy person, in whom are found the necessary qualifications. Will your Majesty grant him the favor of this dignity? for he merits it, and is serving in it by appointment of the governor of these islands.

Your Majesty orders me by a decree of your Majesty, under date of March twenty-seven of the year twenty-nine, directed to the archbishop of this city of Manila—which I received, as I have in charge this church in the said vacancy—to make investigation regarding the claims of Doctor Don Juan de Quesada Hurtado de Mendoça, fiscal of this royal Audiencia, that he has been given a royal decree to act as protector of the Sangleys, as his predecessors have been. Your Majesty orders me to ascertain whether a protector is necessary, whether [190]the Sangleys ask for one, and whether it be advisable that he should be the fiscal. The relation made in the royal decree, Sire, by the said Doctor Don Juan de Quesada, is the truth, without adding one jot to it. What I can say to your Majesty is that the Sangleys need a protector to defend them; and that they have no defense, as has been experienced, except when they have had the fiscals as protectors. This is the reason why they have always been appointed. Often many injuries and annoyances inflicted on the Sangleys are remedied by the sole authority of the fiscal, without commencing suit. The Sangleys, Sire, ask a protector, and ask that he be the fiscal. I have seen a petition which was presented to the governor of these islands, Don Juan Niño de Tabora, signed by very many Sangleys, in which they petition him to give them the said Don Juan de Quesada, the fiscal, as protector. He has not determined to appoint the latter, because of the decree that he has received from your Majesty. However, I am fully persuaded of the great advantage to the Sangleys in having the fiscal as protector. This is the reason why no other has been appointed; for the governor says that, in conscience, he finds it very desirable for the Sangleys that the fiscal be their protector. The Sangleys have always petitioned for a protector. They are the ones who pay him his salary, and not your Majesty; consequently I cannot see that there should be any inconvenience in your Majesty giving them the one whom they desire and whom they pay, especially when it does not militate against your Majesty or your royal treasury. The Sangleys are very unprotected since your Majesty ordered that the fiscal should not be their protector. They are much [191]better off, as they have experienced (as we all experience) the Christian spirit and honesty with which the fiscal, Don Juan de Quesada, has served and serves your Majesty. Consequently, it seems to me advisable that the present fiscal, and those who shall fill that office hereafter, be the protectors of the Sangleys. The contrary, I believe, would result in harm to the Sangleys. No protector can have less trading and business relations with the Sangleys than the fiscal, to whom your Majesty has prohibited trade and traffic; and he has forsworn it. May our Lord preserve the Catholic person of your Majesty for many years for the welfare of His kingdoms. Manila, July last, 1631.

Fray Pedro,
bishop of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus. [192]

1 This was Balthasar Carlos, born in 1630; he died in 1646. He was betrothed to Mariana of Austria, but his father, Felipe IV, married her in 1649.


Royal Orders, 1632–33

Letter to Tavora

The King. To Don Juan Niño de Tavora of my Council of War, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia there. Your letter of June 20 of the past year 630, concerning the exchequer, has been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, and an answer is given you in this concerning the matters thereof in which decision has been made, and those which require reply.

I have considered what you say in regard to the inexpediency of including these islands in the monopoly of playing-cards established in Mexico;1 also the act which you issued to the effect that the [monopoly] contracted for with Don Francisco de la Torre, a citizen of that city, should be put into [193]execution. You will order this to be observed and complied with, during the time that it shall last; for it is already agreed to, with this stipulation, and I have confirmed it. As for the future I wish to know the advantages or difficulties which may result to my royal exchequer from doing away with this income, and not including those islands in it, and whatever else in this matter may occur to you, you will inform me in regard to it very fully on the first occasion; and I likewise command, by a decree of this day, that the said Audiencia do this.

You say that the office of secretary of the cabildo of that city was sold for twelve thousand five hundred pesos in coin, with the condition of having a voice and vote in the cabildo—which you conceded because the greater part of the offices of regidor there of were vacant, as there was no one to buy them; and that the price of the said office should rise, as otherwise it would not pass six or eight thousand pesos. You also stated that it was sold under condition that, if I should find it inexpedient and for this reason should not confirm it, nothing should be returned to the buyer; and as the said condition of his having a voice and vote in the cabildo has appeared prejudicial and illegal, you will correct this immediately—supposing, as you say, that the contract need not be altered for this reason, or anything given back to the person concerned.

For repairing of the losses which result from the fact that the royal officials make the winning bids for the offices which are sold in those islands, without notifying you of the amount and the person to whom they are sold, I am sending a decree of this date to command them to comply with and execute, on all [194]occasions which may arise, the act which you have issued to this effect, which I approve.

That the said royal officials may always be at peace with you and well disposed, letters are being written to them as to how they should conduct themselves; and you, on your part, will maintain friendly relations with them.

The additional pay of a thousand pesos which you set aside for the bishop of Cebú, during the time while he governs that archbishopric, has been approved, since the reasons which oblige you to it are so justifiable. [Madrid, January 27, 1632.]

I the King

By command of the king our lord:
Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras

Decree forbidding secular priests from Eastern India in the Philippines

The King. To Don Juan Niño de Tavora, knight of the Order of Calatrava, member of my Council of War, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein, or the person or persons in whose charge their government may be. I have been informed that the secular priests who go to those islands from Eastern India with their trading-ships generally are those expelled and exiled; that they remain there, and are often employed in vicariates, curacies, and benefices, to the injury of the natives, and the patrimonial rights of the country. After examination of the matter by my royal Council of the Indias, I have considered it proper to issue the present, by which I order you not to permit any of the secular priests from those districts [of Eastern India] [195]to enter those islands; nor shall you admit them to any exercise of office, for this is my will. [Given in Madrid, March twenty-six, one thousand six hundred and thirty-two.]

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:
Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras

Signed by the Council.

[Endorsed: “To the governor of Philipinas, ordering him not to allow any of the secular priests who might go from Eastern India to the islands to enter therein or admit them to any exercise of office.”]

Order to the city of Manila regarding the Mexican trade

The King. To the council, justices, and magistracy of the city of Manila, of the Philipinas Islands. In response to what Don Juan Niño de Tavora, my governor and captain-general of those islands, wrote me, in the former year of 1629, about your petition for the fulfilment of the decree of 1593 which permits the inhabitants of that island to go to sell their goods in Mexico, or to send them under charge of a satisfactory person—and not to send or consign them, except it be in the second place—in a section of a letter which I wrote on December 4 of the former year of 630 to the said my governor, I charged him that, if the encomenderos living in that city who had sent persons with their possessions to Mexico proceeded dishonestly, or formed trusts [ligas], or monopolies among themselves, they should be punished according to law; and that if, in addition to the inconveniences that should arise in the observance of the said decree, others should be discovered, he [196]should advise me thereof, so that suitable measures might be enacted. I also had my viceroy of Nueva España ordered to watch carefully what the inhabitants of Mexico did, so that he might apply the advisable remedy. Now, Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, your procurator, has informed me that the decree given in the said year of 593, ordering that the inhabitants of those islands might send persons to Nueva España to sell or take care of their merchandise; and that no one might consign them, except to one of the persons appointed for that purpose, who would reside in Mexico, was put into execution; but that, in violation of it, many of the inhabitants secretly send large quantities of merchandise to Mexico, entrusting those goods to the passengers and sailors without registering them, although that city has persons of credit and trust in Mexico. Thus result many embarrassments and frauds to my royal duties. He petitioned me to be pleased to have my royal decree issued, ordering that such unlawful acts be not permitted. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, bearing in mind what my fiscal said there, I have considered it fitting to advise you of the aforesaid, so that you may understand it, and I order you, in so far as it pertains to you, to keep, obey, and execute, and cause to be kept, obeyed, and executed, what has been enacted in this respect. Madrid, March 25, 1633.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:
Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras [197]

1 In 1552 Felipe II ordered a royal monopoly on playing-cards to be established throughout his western dominions. All cards were to be stamped with the royal arms. The manufacture and sale of them was sold in 1578 to Hernando de Caseres, who paid a royalty of one real for each pack. The value of the privilege gradually increased as well as the price of cards paid by the public. (Bancroft’s History of Mexico, iii, pp. 663, 664.)

This monopoly was established in the Philippines in 1591, by Gomez Perez Dasmariñas; see Vol. VIII, pp. 169, 271; and IX, p. 62.


Letters from Tavora to Felipe IV


Government affairs


I sent a despatch by way of India in the month of November of the past year 631, because the flagship which sailed for Nueva España sank here in port, and the almiranta put back. A copy of the despatch which they carried goes in the first mail, with this, and I refer to it. Accordingly I shall now begin to give an account to your Majesty of what has happened since then.

The ships which had remained in Nueva España last year, reached here during the last part of May after a favorable trip. Therefore I trust that they will depart earlier than in previous years, and that the voyages may become regular. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

The ships brought as a subsidy two hundred and thirty-four thousand pesos for the royal treasury. Two hundred thousand came last year. The viceroy writes that he can do no more. The visitor here will not, I believe, consider it little, since he does not have it in his charge. Certain it is that the last six remittances which the viceroy has made to these islands have all been smaller than those made by the other [198]viceroys. I confess that the times have become hard; but one can but ill sustain a number of men, or take care of the expenses of war, on less than what their pay and salaries amount to. The accounts for the five years which were asked are enclosed, and have been made out with all clearness. For the last three, it will be seen how much smaller have been the receipts and expenses than those of my predecessors. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

Neither have the men come who are needed; for the past year came eighty-odd soldiers, and this year ninety. That is but a scant number for the many men who die here, for our forces are steadily diminishing. I can do no more, for money has not been coined here, nor do the people multiply. I ask, Sire, for what is needed to fulfil my obligations. The viceroy does not send the orders which are given him from there; they can not be so illiberal. As this is a case of need, I give notice of it, in order that blame may not be cast on me at any time. [In the margin: “Have letters to the viceroy written, charging him with this.” “The viceroy has been charged with this by a decree which was despatched at the petition of the city.”]

The visitor, Don Francisco de Rojas, is proceeding with his visit with excellent judgment, and with his personal efforts and close occupation. This community grieves over the results, for they are many. I trust that he may administer justice so fully in all things that only the liquidations and the balances should be those which are collected. He has attempted (as he thinks that he bears authority for it) to make the final decision of what may be spent by councils of the treasury, and in fact has begun it with [199]this royal Audiencia and with me. That has appeared a strong course to us, for his commission does not extend to that. Neither would it be right for only one judge to declare as improper any expense which the governor, auditors, and royal officials had approved by their opinions. The councils of the treasury were established for expenses of government and war. If there were no authority for those expenses, it would be an evil, and nothing could be accomplished. That will be the case on the day when we shall be subject to have one accountant proceed, in the visitation, against those who gave their opinion as to the expenses which may have been incurred. Who would dare give his opinion freely, if he had to fear that it might be amplified or not? Your Majesty already does not trust your governor alone for this responsibility, and orders him to meet in council with the Audiencia and the royal officials, and that the majority of votes shall rule. That has so many inconveniences that the service of your Majesty comes to suffer greatly from them. If the more important things are entrusted to your governor, why not the lesser? When the archbishop died here, as your Majesty was advised, the bishop of Zibu, who entered into his place, petitioned that he be given some gratuity from the salary enjoyed by the archbishop, because of the many expenses of living in this city—taking a precedent from the vacant see of the other archbishop, in which the treasury council assigned him one thousand two hundred pesos. On this occasion it seemed necessary, so that the bishop might be able to support himself, to assign him one thousand pesos annually; and it was ordered that your Majesty be advised thereof, as was done, [200]so that you might consider it a proper expense. It was necessary and unavoidable, for in any other way the bishop could not live three years—the time during which we have to wait for a reply, if we first had to advise your Majesty. The visitor, Don Francisco de Rojas, has added this item, and formed an opinion unfavorable to the auditors who gave their votes to it, and has ordered that they make satisfaction for it. His commission does not announce this; accordingly, as a matter inferred from good government, he has no right to inspect this affair. He has also taken issue against the auditors of the last Audiencia, who were the ones who assigned the one thousand two hundred pesos during the other vacancy. Your Majesty, by decrees received here this year, grants concession to the archbishop-elect of a third part of the salary which the dead archbishop would have received. Your Majesty orders that another third be given to the cathedral. In accordance with this, there is much more justice and reason in giving suitable maintenance to him who is serving the cathedral. I petition your Majesty in all humility to be pleased to confirm what was done with so great a desire of serving you well—acts which were so thoroughly grounded on justice and right. I assure you that we desire to economize your royal revenues, and that economy is the very thing which is necessary. I have written to the visitor, Don Francisco de Rojas, a document (a copy of which I enclose herewith) in regard to the matter of the proceedings which he is attempting to obtain from the treasury councils, after having first consulted with the Audiencia in regard to it. He replies as will also be seen by the same copy. I have thought best to inform your Majesty [201]of everything, so that you may be advised of the matter. What he appears to take as his basis of action, and on which he places more stress, according to what he has told me, is a section of a decree of your Majesty sent to Don Alonso Fajardo, dated Madrid, December 10, 1618, in which your Majesty uses the following language:

“We have also learned that, through the opportunity furnished by fulfilling an order which my officials of my royal treasury of those islands had—that, if a necessary and unavoidable case arose in which some new expense would have to be incurred, the governor, Audiencia, and the royal officials should assemble and discuss it, and what should have the majority of votes should be executed, giving me advice thereof—on this account many expenses, salaries, and wages have been incurred and increased without any necessity, for the private ends of each one. Consequently, I order you not to make these expenses, except in sudden cases of invasion by enemies; for by doing the contrary so much injury to my royal treasury results.”

There are two chief points in this section which can be discussed. The first is that your Majesty says that you have heard that the expenses have been incurred for private ends, and not because they are justified. He who told your Majesty that the wills of the governor, auditors, and royal officials in Filipinas could be unanimous, even for their private interests, has deceived you; for experience shows the contrary. Neither should your Majesty believe that we are all so vile that we would be making unlawful expenditures of your revenues in order to pleasure one another. Well assured can you be of this by the [202]limitation and restriction that would have to be because of the majority of votes; and because the governor, in whom your Majesty trusts most fully, does not have the final decision. Scarcely any authority is given him in this, and a great deal is taken away from him.

In regard to the second point, what occurs to me to say is that, if we are to understand that we must wait for sudden emergencies, and until the enemy is at our gates, in order that we may make any expenses in defense of it; I, Sire, as a soldier (which is my profession), declare that in the Filipinas Islands there is a continual invasion of enemies. Accordingly, since we are confronting so many, it is necessary that we be always in a state of defense. Consequently, we must not wait until they arrive before we make the expenses for the necessary precautions—especially since Manila is surrounded by Chinese and Japanese, and full of slaves, all of whom need no more than to see us without preparation, in order to revolt. All these are so cogent reasons, in my poor judgment, that I consider it beyond doubt that it will be for your Majesty’s service to have a new order issued giving your governor and captain-general authority. In order that he may fill those offices effectively in your Majesty’s service, it is necessary for him to have that authority in the royal treasury, for extraordinary expenses which result from government and war—as your captains-general have in Flandes, in Milan, in Napoles, and in Sicilia, where there is war, and state affairs arise which render that necessary. It is the same in the Filipinas, because of so many enemies who are within its gates, and so many negroes roundabout, with whom it is necessary [203]to have intercourse and against whom it is necessary to be on our guard. I do not say that there should not be a council in the form ordered by your Majesty, but after the council the governor should have the power to take such measures as he deems best. I do not petition this for myself; for, when a reply to this shall come, already the term of my government will be finished. Your Majesty’s service moved me, through my zeal for it. I shall exercise the opposition to the visitor which seems advisable in this matter of the treasury tribunal, your Majesty always retaining the right to order what shall be your pleasure. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

In the letters which I am writing by way of Yndia, I discuss the controversy which the royal officials had with the city, before the visitor, in regard to the seats. That contention ceased after the visitor had pronounced judgment against the city, to which I did not assent, affairs having been adjusted in this regard until your Majesty should order what should be most to your pleasure. After many excommunications which had been issued, search was made for the decree in which your Majesty mentions the form which must be observed in this, and in which you order that they be seated in the places which they occupied while regidors; finally, the decree appeared among the others that the royal officials had in their office. The same Don Francisco de Rojas found it by chance, while looking for other decrees in the books which he had demanded from them for the inspection, and after they had, under oath, denied having it. The excommunications which intervened in the matter having been annulled (for in this way do we live in the Yndias), the visitor [204]was at last convinced of what I always told him; and this point is settled, that the royal officials are to use the seats which they had when regidors. [In the margin: “File it with what has been petitioned in this matter.”]

It might be that the said visitor will write to your Majesty in regard to certain points of government and war, of which he has been accustomed to advise me by notes, of which authentic copies are taken. It seems to him that, as a minister so superior, this duty can devolve on him. I have respected it, for what these acts may indicate of friendship; but I cannot help mistrusting it, because of the caution with which it is done. Consequently, I have the authentic replies also, so that at any time what he wrote and what I replied may be evident. I desire his friendship and am striving for it, since there will always result a greater service for your Majesty—an intercourse which I would swear that he ought not to remember in the visitation; for soldiers (and more, soldiers of my rank) do not profess to be witnesses, nor can we be. I do not believe that he will have appeared careless, yet I take this precaution on general grounds, so that, if perchance he may have written something, a hearing may be kept for me, and that new decisions may not be sent from there in matters pertaining to government and war, simply on his report; for he is a lawyer, and new in the country, and the most that he will set forth in this matter will be what was told him. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

The decrees which I received last year from your Majesty were obeyed and carried out. The same will be done with those which come this year. I [205]humbly kiss your Majesty’s hand for the honor and reward which you have conferred upon me in having an answer written to me with so great promptness to the despatches of the years 28 and 29. In what you charge me, namely, that I preserve friendship with Japon, I have had very great care; for after the events of the year 27, I have managed to give that king to understand the irregularity of the case,1 and your Majesty’s desire for friendship with his kingdoms. My efforts have already succeeded so well that this matter is already settled with the inhabitants of Macan, and the embargo has been removed from their ships. Having invited the same Japanese to come to trade with this city of Manila, two ships came last year, as I wrote in the last despatches. The answers which we gave to their propositions and letters seemed somewhat satisfactory to them; for this year they have again sent two ships, with letters from the governor of Nagansaqui. In these he tells me that the trade is open as before, and that ships may go there from here, and that others will come here from there. That nation is very cautious, and there is little confidence to be put in them. If a person should come here whom they wished to go there to trade, I would not dare for the present to permit it, until matters are on a more firm basis; for it is certain that their hearts are not quiet, nor will they easily become so. They take vengeance at a fitting time. May they bring us bread and ammunition, as they are doing. I gave them good treatment here, so that it is now procured that the gains which they make on their merchandise and the lapse of [206]time will accommodate all things. Their king died, leaving his son as heir. There are fears of war, that Christianity may not be so persecuted. I do not think that it would be a bad thing to have a bit of a revolution because of their contempt and selfishness. In these ships were sent one hundred and thirty poor lepers exiled to these islands, whom the heathen had tried to make renegades to the faith of Christ (as many others have become); but their entreaties had no effect on these people. I called a council of state to determine whether those lepers should be received, and in what manner they should be received. It was not because I hesitated to receive them; for, even though they might fasten the disease on me, I would not dare to leave an apparent Christian in the sight of so many opposed to the faith, and in the face of the persecution which has been raging in that kingdom. It was determined that they should be received immediately, and taken straight to the church; and that they should be welcomed, entertained, and supported with the alms which this community desired to apportion. A beginning has been made in collecting alms, and a room has been arranged in the hospital of the natives where they are to be put. Your Majesty gives that hospital a yearly alms of five hundred pesos and a quantity of fowls and rice, with which aid it has now so increased the number of sick [who are cared for]. For a work so pious, and so worthy that your Majesty accept it as your own, I do not doubt that you will have its alms increased somewhat, in case that the fervor that is now beginning in the charity of the inhabitants should become somewhat cooled. [In the margin: “An order was sent to the governor ordering him to give a certain [207]alms for six years. Consult with his Majesty. Let two hundred ducados more be given to him in the same way, for a limited time and while it lasts.”]

I am awaiting a ship from Camboja which has been built there at your Majesty’s account. I am informed that it is already about to be launched in the sea. If it arrives before the sailing of this despatch, I shall advise you. We have friendly relations with that king, and he has maintained the same until now with the vassals of your Majesty. If this matter of the shipbuilding be established, it will be a negotiation of considerable importance. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

Trade with the kingdom of Cochinchina is of no importance to us; for the products of the country are of little value here, while the products taken there from Japon are brought to us here. Shipbuilding cannot be effected in the said kingdom, as I wrote you in the year of 30. May God have allowed you to have received the letters. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

There is little to hope from the kingdom of Sian, as those people are very treacherous, and are hand in glove with the Dutch. No injury will be inflicted upon them, but, if I had sufficient force, it is certain that it would be to your Majesty’s service that it be used in restraining them; for the evil course which they have pursued toward these islands, as well as the same so far as India is concerned, deserves that. I thoroughly believe that if those of India are able, they should make head against the Siamese from Malaca. In the year 30 they seized a patache that had been sent there on an embassy from Macan, and aboard which was a messenger whom I sent to them. [208]And although they declared that it was because they did not like my letter, the truth (as was written to me by the messenger) is, that their act was induced by their coveting the goods aboard the patache, which they thought to be considerable. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

A ship has arrived from Macan, and several from China. With the goods which they brought, those from the ship that put back, what came late from Macan last year, and others which were recovered from the ship that sank, this community has enough to make a shipment. It has a good return from the merchandise sent to Nueva España in the year of 30, with which I hope that the inhabitants will be somewhat encouraged. May God look upon us favorably, so that these islands may prosper for your Majesty, by my means; for as a faithful vassal I surely desire that. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

By a decree of December of the year 30, your Majesty orders me to inform you whether it would be advisable to abolish the posts of commander of the galleys, and of the lieutenant and accountant for them: That of lieutenant is abolished. That of accountant, was abolished from the past year. I wrote that I had cut off the pay for it. Later, this year, the papers have been given into the possession of the royal officials here. That is a very great burden, in addition to the many that they have, as the visitor, Don Francisco de Rojas, thought; and I assented to it. It is not advisable that the post of commander of the galleys be abolished, for there is no security here that they may not have to fight many times with the galleys. Consequently, it is proper for them to have a commander who may do it, and [209]who knows how to do it. The saving would be very little. The office is now held by Antonio Carreño de Valdes, with whom your Majesty was saved six hundred pesos, which he received as an allowance; and not more than two hundred are spent, as the galleys have only eight hundred for wages. [In the margin: “File it with those papers which led him to make this report.”]

Your Majesty orders by another decree of the same date that I inform you as to whether it will be advisable to abolish the post of lieutenant-general of Pintados. In reply to that, I say that the pay was cut off as soon as I reached this government, but the title is now allowed; for it is advisable to have one who holds that authority in those provinces, as they are very far from here. Hence it is given to the alcalde-mayor and infantry captain who resides in Zibu, and who does not enjoy more pay than that for the post captain. This is the officer who goes out in the fleets against the Joloans, Camucones, and Mindanaos. He orders in detail what is here decided upon in general. He is on the watch in present emergencies, and if he did not have power and authority to command the chief men of all those provinces, a great part of the service of your Majesty would cease. Consequently, it is not advisable that this office be abolished, and it is enough to have cut off the pay of it. He who holds the office at present is occupied in the pacification of the province of Caraga, of whose revolt I informed you in my last despatch, and which I now communicate in my letter treating of military affairs. He has twice entered that province with a fleet; the first time, he inflicted a very severe punishment, and from the second, which [210]was made this month of May, I hope that no less a result will ensue. [In the margin: “The same.”]

The construction of galleys at Cavite has been changed; for one unfavorable result changes the opinions of men which are of but little stability. Certain workmen declared that the woods of which the ship “Santa Maria Magdalena” was made (which was the one which sank last year) were heavy; and that for that reason it had become worthless—and not because its sides were defective. That was a lie, for having drawn it ashore, as I wrote, laden (which was a heroic task, and which could only have been done where there was so much apparatus for it) the ship was then repaired with a lining of knees. It has been tested in this bay, and it is very staunch, and carries all the sail that can be spread. Hence it was a lie to cast the blame on the lumber; but, as the common people and the friars (who desire that there should be a shipyard near here) urged it earnestly on account of this rumor, it was necessary to order that a shipyard be sought in another place. Consequently, the master-workmen have been sent to the Embocadero to build a ship for the coming year; for those ships which came from Acapulco this year are not to return there. They have well gained their cost. I sent the measures for a galleon, of the burden that we need here, to Cochin, and I trust that some agreement which will prove very advantageous to these islands will be made; for scarcely is there anything that will be more important than to suspend shipbuilding here for some time. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

I am glad of the decree for Don Felipe Mascareñas, and that the Council of Portugal has ordered [211]that thanks be extended to him because he assisted these islands with ammunition and the other things which were asked from him.

The galleons have been repaired this year, and were completely overhauled so that they will last another four years. That is the best that can be done, because of the poor quality of the woods. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

In the year of 28, the ships left here without register. I have had no answer from your Majesty to the causes which, as I wrote to you, existed for that. I have heard that some reports have been made in that royal Council against me, in regard to it, by persons who did not understand or know the matter thoroughly. They used up much time in writing treatises to your Majesty; and lest, perchance, I did not give entire satisfaction by what I lately wrote, the acts and messages which were despatched in regard to the matter are herewith enclosed, in order that the reason which caused the ships to go without register may be seen. The goods which the officers of the ships carried were in their own boxes, and not in a collection of boxes or bales, for they were not allowed to embark them in that way. If any official embarked anything, it was secretly. The penalty which was impeded (which will be seen by the records) could have been executed in Nueva España. The viceroy knew that I made strenuous efforts so that everything might be declared. He found but a little quantity [of contraband goods], as I understand; and matters cannot be so well regulated, that with their risk there should not be some who venture to disobey the orders and edicts. What is certain, Sire, is that none of my goods were found, as certain [212]persons tried to intimate in regard to me, for I do not engage in such pursuits. And that is plainly seen to be so, for I have less property than when I came to Filipinas. The viceroy of Nueva España wrote me in regard to the matter with some haughtiness; I answered him that I thought that, if perchance he had been informed about it to my disfavor, my precautions should be seen, and my efforts ascertained—which he did, as he will have written to you—and finally our purpose would have been recognized, which was your Majesty’s service and the welfare of this community. May God preserve the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, as Christendom needs. Manila, July 8, 1632. Sire, your Majesty’s humble vassal,

Don Juan Niño de Tavora

[In the margin: “This matter is reserved for the inspection or residencia of the marquis of Cerralbo. The decree.”]

[Endorsed: “Read and decreed September 15, 1633.”]


Military affairs


I am duly grateful that your Majesty ordered the letters which I wrote from here in the years 28 and 29 to be examined in that your Council of War of the Yndias. Your Majesty has answered them, and has done me honor in accordance with your usual custom toward those who serve you. And thus with new courage I pray God that He may give me life and better health in order to serve you. I have for a year back been in so poor health, by reason of great [213]exhaustion and weakness, that I greatly fear that I shall not be able to leave this place. If I shall not do that, I shall have fulfilled my duty by giving my life in the service of your Majesty. Your Majesty knows that I am not fit for the burden of government since the death of Doña Magdalena, who is in heaven. Everything has been hardship for me; and I have become so exhausted that I can scarce rise from my bed, and I have been very near my end twice or thrice. May God fulfil His will, and may your Majesty be pleased to give orders that I be relieved, if you wish affairs to be safe here; for surely the country will be very quickly in the power of the auditors, if some person does not come from there who will not let it be lost. If God give me life, I shall be contented even with retiring to the post with which your Majesty has favored me, as your commissary of war. Notwithstanding that I assure your Majesty as your faithful vassal, and as a person who would prefer to lose a thousand lives than to utter one falsehood to his king, that the Filipinas have been worth nothing to me, during the six years of my residence herein; but rather I have lost the twenty thousand pesos which I have spent from the dowry that Doña Magdalena brought me. And had not our Lord been pleased to give me a son (at whose birth she died), she would not have had enough whereby to have returned safely home to her parents. I confess that it must seem to politicians that one does not come so far not to gain a bit of bread; but it is certain that if one is to serve your Majesty to the letter, and live as a Christian, it is difficult to acquire much property. I arrived at these islands very deeply pledged, for the expenses [214]of the Indias are heavy. I brought many men, so that they might serve your Majesty here. I have carried myself in accordance with the honor which your Majesty bestowed upon me; and, consequently, I have not been able to save enough from my salary to pay the expenses of the return (if God grants me life). I am anxious; for it is not right to spend the possessions of this child. If some accommodation, in some of the ways that my agents will represent there, were to be allowed me for this purpose, I would appreciate it; for that would enable me to take from here something with which to serve your Majesty in Europa.

I wrote about affairs pertaining to Japon last year, by way of India. In this despatch I enclose a copy of it in the first mail. May God bear it in safety; for, judging by what the fleets of the Northern Sea encounter, we are always in fear. This year those of Japon have come with their ships; and the governor of Nangasaqui says in answer to my letters that the trade may be considered as open, and that the ships from both sides may go and come, and that they will be well received. In regard to the passport [chapa] of the emperor, which is the license that they usually give for trade with their kingdoms, he says that he will arrange that. They send one hundred and thirty lepers in these ships, who were exiled for the faith. We believe, through the assurance that we have of the bad disposition of that race, that this action has been a sort of vengeance or contempt; but it is quite certain that, although they may have done it for that purpose, it has resulted very well for us; for we have exercised an act of charity, which I hope, God helping, will confound [215]them. For we received the lepers with great pomp and display of charity; and this city, aided by the religious orders, is striving to collect liberal alms for them. Those ships have brought a quantity of bronze for the founding of artillery, besides an abundance of flour. Since they are doing this, and we are not for the present going there securely, the matter is to be considered as more evil-intentioned than they may regard it. I shall endeavor, as heretofore, to promote peace and cordial intercourse, and that they may obtain all satisfaction for the affair in Sian. If they come to ask for it rightly, satisfaction will be given them, and the guilt of the commander who had charge of the galleons will be settled.

The viceroy of Nueva España asks me to cast him some artillery, of the calibers ordered, and it will be sent him promptly.

I wrote your Majesty, in the year that Don Geronimo de Silva died here, how superfluous was the post of general of artillery; for he does not take the field, nor is there any artillery train [to be transported], or more than a few artillerymen scattered through the ordinary presidios. For as many as there are, it would be sufficient to have one captain of artillery; for it requires nothing else than to order a ship to be equipped, and that is done with the order of the captain-general; and with greater ease and less red-tape, orders can be given to the captain of artillery, who is the one who has to execute it, than to a general of artillery, who has to order another to do it. Juan Bautista de Molina has served your Majesty many years, but the Filipinas do not need so many heads, nor so many to draw pay from its treasury. I, Sire, shall not appoint anyone to the post (although [216]it is vacant), as your Majesty orders me, for I do not desire to do a thing in which I believe that I would be doing you a disservice; and since your Majesty orders me to abolish other posts, I do not believe that it will be disservice to add this post to them. In the meantime, will your Majesty please inform us whether the master-of-camp of these islands or the general of artillery is to govern at the death of the governor and captain-general, or during his absence. Certain it is that he who has more authority and power is the master-of-camp, and he ought to be second in command. For there is not any general master-of-camp here, nor is it necessary; nor is there more than one regiment that he governs. Juan Bautista de Molina is exercising his charge in accordance with your Majesty’s letters-patent, which will be observed to the letter.

I wrote, with the ship that sailed to India, the good news that was had from the island of Hermosa. We have not received later news. The disobedient Indians have been punished, and affairs have been better regulated. May God in His mercy bring them to a knowledge of His holy faith. I am sending two ships there, so that more abundant relief may be sent to our men. They will bring back the general, Don Juan de Alcaraso, who is there. The sargento-mayor will remain in his place until another person is sent, as he is a person of trust and worth.

The province of Cagayan is more quiet than before. A company there was abolished, for the war has ceased; and hopes are daily entertained that more peaceful Indians will come down [from the hills].

The inhabitants of Caraga revolted, as I stated in my last despatch, after killing the captain and commander, [217]with twenty soldiers, in an expedition that he made. Thinking that they could gain the fort with that force, they came to it, but it did not fall out as they imagined. The greater part of the province rose, and killed four discalced Recollect religious. A severe punishment was inflicted on them in the month of September; and recently, in the month of May just passed, another fleet went there to punish and to reduce them. I trust, our Lord helping, that they will remain quiet, although they are not Christians; for there is little confidence to be placed in them.

The four pataches which were sent to Terrenate arrived there safely; and the enemy were unable to overtake them, although they came with hopes of doing much more here than usual, and searched for the ships from dawn until four o’clock in the afternoon. Pedro de Heredia is somewhat disconsolate at seeing that your Majesty does not withdraw him. He sent no news of importance, except that the enemy is not so powerful as formerly. During the coming year I intend to send a greater reënforcement than usual, in order to see whether we can capture the enemy’s ship which prowls thereabout. There will be considerable opposition, and there are very few men for what is necessary, but I shall do what is possible.

Nueva España aids me with very little money; for this year not more than two hundred and thirty-four thousand pesos has come for the expenses of the treasury, and during all the past years aid came in almost the same way. The viceroy thinks that he is doing his duty in not sending more. I would like him to have charge of affairs here, to see whether he [218]could maintain armed fleets, infantry, friars, ministers of justice, the extraordinary expenses of presidios, and many other expenses—which will be seen there from the reports which your Majesty asked, and which are sent this year—with so little cloth. He also sent me only ninety soldiers as a reënforcement, for whom, I am assured, twenty warrants were given. The best of all is that I am told very positively that the levy will begin very early, just as if that had the tune that was to attract many men. If the captains who raise the men were the ones who had to bring them, they would make men. But as they are not the ones to bring them, and as the matter is reduced to three companies who have to come here, and the captains of these come to obtain the men on the wing—that is, on the road or at the very port of Acapulco—they find that already the men have deserted to the other captains. Many of them die here, and there is but a low birth rate in this country. Thus the garrisons at Terrenate and the other presidios lack men, although the visitor thinks it all too much. I am not surprised at that, for his desire is the same as mine, namely, to cut short your Majesty’s expenses. But it is certain that some economies come to be wasteful. He told me that I should reduce the soldiery in these islands to the number that was established by Gomez Perez Dasmariñas. As he does not know what it means to have Dutch enemies about us, he thinks that we could get along with fewer men [than we have here]. I find, Sire, that your Majesty does not have another military establishment more important in the Yndias than the Filipinas Islands. And, that it may be evident whether I make a wrong assertion, consider [219]what part of the Yndias the enemy have made their own—except Xava, where they hold Xacatra, three hundred leguas from here. There they have their principal fort, and have their ammunition and magazines. Here, Sire, here, is where your Majesty, joining Malaca and Macan to this government, must maintain your forces and oppose them to those of the enemy. If that is not done, there is but little to hope from these Yndias, which will be ruined in a short time; or, at the least, will incur so many expenses that they will be of no use. May God take me to that court, where I hope to make the affairs of these regions understood as they are, and not as people imagine there. Neither heavy expenses nor large fleets are necessary for this. The continual plying of four galleons and two pataches, and four galleons in the strait of Malaca, will keep the enemy so hemmed in that they will make no captures or have any trade; and they would have to go in company and armed, and thus incur expenses. Castilla has no trading company for the expenses of war. Without prizes or trade they would be able to inflict the first injury on the Dutch; for the strait of Malaca, which is the place where the Dutch conduct the greater part of their trade, would be secure with the galleys, for there are no winds there, as a rule. The tide allows the ships to enter and leave by three straits, the broadest of which is very narrow, for only one ship can tack in it. That strait is not the one generally used, but the other two. I am assured that in both the ends of the yards of the galleons brush through the trees ashore. I wrote in regard to this matter, in the year of 30, by Admiral Diego Lopez Lobo, whom I was sending to that court to treat of [220]that matter alone; but God was pleased to let him drown in the flagship of the trading-fleet which was lost in the past year of 31. I wish that at least one of the three mails which I have always despatched since my arrival at these islands had reached you. On my part I have not failed to advise you of everything, nor shall I fail to desire and to propose what shall seem best to me for the increase of the service of your Majesty.

It will not be difficult to unite these camps under one head, even though they are of two crowns. If they do not unite of themselves, they will have no strength. Portugal and Castilla belong to your Majesty, and that is a reason why their arms should be united; for the forces of Francia, Olanda, Ynglaterra, and Dinamarca2 are united in these districts. If those of your Majesty were combined, not only would we defend what has been gained, but we would steadily extend farther. Your Majesty sees them united against you, although they are of so many different sovereigns, religions, and nationalities. [221]Then why do not Portugal and Castilla unite in this South Sea and the coasts of Asia, where the enemy acquires so much wealth? I do not attempt this so that I may remain here longer, nor so that everything may be placed in my charge; for I have no health, nor is it just to exile me so many years in regions so remote. I express my feelings, and I desire to express them more in detail in that Council, as experience has shown things to me.

I sent a galliot to Yndia in November of last year, 631, in order to continue my negotiations with that viceroy in regard to this matter of joining hands in order better to attack the enemy. Particularly did I inform him of the order sent me by your Majesty about making an expedition to the island of Hermosa, asking him for the aid which I considered necessary. I wrote the same to Macan, so that it might for its part make other necessary preparations. I am advised that the said galliot, because it was well equipped, escaped from the enemy who were stationed in the above-mentioned strait of Malaca awaiting the galliots from China—which latter they captured, together with another ship belonging to a merchant of this city. May God remedy this loss.

I am advised from Camboja that a galleon which I am having built there at your Majesty’s account has been already launched. No one thought that this would be accomplished; but it has been God’s will that the difficulties should be conquered at last, and that this shipbuilding should be established in a place where this ship has been built at much less cost, and from more durable woods, than [it could have been] in these islands. As this one has been built, so can many others be constructed; and these [222]provinces can be relieved from the great burden of their shipyards. I also have under discussion another negotiation with the city of Cochin in regard to this same matter; and, if it succeeds, it will be of great service to your Majesty.

Some difficulties have arisen in military matters, which it is necessary for your Majesty to have determined in your Council of the Yndias. Since your Majesty has had armed forces in these islands, the ships which enter this port and that of Cabite have been inspected by the military department. The governor does not go in person, both because of his many duties and also because every year he gives commission, by his authority, to one of the persons in whom he trusts, for that person to go in his name. This appointee goes in company with a notary, and inspects the number of the people, and the arms, ammunition, and the amount of property, to see if everything is in accordance with the orders given from the time of Governor Don Juan de Silva to the Chinese, so that they might not burden these islands with useless ships and people (as will be seen by the copy of the commission, which is sent to your Majesty in your royal Council of the Indias). Several discontented regidors—thinking to annoy me, and incited perhaps by some of this royal Audiencia who is but little inclined to my course of action—presented a decree of your Majesty (of which a copy is also enclosed to your said royal Council), under date of the year 20, in which it is ordained that, in order to give this commission, the governor must meet with the auditors, and that all in assembly choose the person to whom it shall be given. This detracts authority from the office of the captain-general, [223]to maintain which efforts should be made in that royal Council of the Yndias. I am now with spurs on my heels, as they say, [ready] either for the other world, or to finish this government. Consequently, I cannot negotiate this matter with the intention of enjoying it; I am doing this for the service of your Majesty and for the authority of the office—considering that, although it would be very proper to have this commission granted by the votes of four, never would those votes conform, for each one would try to have it given to his friend. For the commission entails but little work; and, if many ships come, it is worth quite one thousand or one thousand five hundred pesos. The tariff of fees is appraised by the Audiencia, of which I also send a copy to that said royal Council. I petition your Majesty that it be examined in that royal Council, so that the military department may have a defense on its part, and so that its rights of preëminence may be kept.

There has also arisen a quarrel this year over criminal jurisdiction between the master-of-camp of these islands and the castellan of the fort of Santiago of Manila, in regard to the imprisonment of a soldier of the fort whom the master-of-camp arrested for offenses committed outside of the fort. The castellan demanded the soldier, saying that the jurisdiction over the men of his fort belongs to him, wherever they may commit their offenses. On the other hand, your Majesty makes the master-of-camp of this camp judge in the first instance of all the soldiers in the Filipinas Islands (Terrenate excepted). Therefore the latter declares that he must be judge in the first instance of all the causes which are prosecuted in the island of Hermosa, and in the [224]presidios of Caraga, Cagayan, Zibu, and Oton; and that the commandants there can do no more than to conduct the cause to the point of giving sentence therein, sending it to him so that he may do this. The same is declared by the castellan of the fort of Santiago of this city; but, although it seems that he cites warrant for it, his predecessors have not been wont to exercise it. On the other hand, the castellan alleges that his predecessors have always exercised separate jurisdiction. In regard to the governor of the island of Hermosa and the commandants in the remote provinces, it cannot fail to be a hindrance that they cannot give sentence. Accordingly, I petition your Majesty to have this made clear; and at the same time to decide who is to try in the first instance the illegal acts that the castellan of the fort, the master-of-camp himself, the general of the artillery, and the commander of the galleys may commit. This is not clear, and there may be cases in which such action may be necessary. May God preserve the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, as is necessary to Christendom. Manila, July 8, 1632. Sire, your Majesty’s humble vassal,

Don Juan Niño de Tavora


Ecclesiastical affairs


It is three years since the death of the archbishop (who is in glory), and during those years the land has enjoyed peace and harmony between the two jurisdictions—ecclesiastical and secular; for the provisors who have governed in this vacant see have been more learned and more peaceable than was the [225]archbishop. May it please God that it may be the same in the time of Don Fray Hernando Guerrero, to whom your Majesty has granted the favor of this archbishopric.

The latter presented before the cabildo of this cathedral a decree from your Majesty, despatched in the ordinary form, so that the government should be given to him while waiting for the bulls from his Holiness. It is not the said cabildo who governs, but Don Fray Pedro Arce, bishop of Zibu, by virtue of a brief of his Holiness and a decree of your Majesty. They order that during the first three vacancies of this archbishopric (which began to be reckoned from the date of the brief), the cabildo should not govern, but the senior bishop of the islands (who is at present the bishop of Zibu); for it was considered unadvisable for the government to be entrusted to the cabildo for the space of three years—the least time that a vacancy can last here. Upon this occasion the cabildo responded that it could not give to the archbishop-elect the government that it did not possess. The bishop of Zibu says that he cannot leave the government without a special order from your Majesty and from his Holiness, who are the persons who have given it to him. After receiving this reply, the archbishop-elect came on appeal from fuerza to the Audiencia. They, after having thoroughly aired the matter, judged that there was no occasion [for this plea], because the documents lacked some clauses requisite to make them effective, and the cabildo had not committed fuerza. They told the archbishop to prefer his claims before him who had the right [to judge his case]. The good archbishop was desirous of governing, [226]and accordingly, took hold of the affair with too much energy, aided by his natural disposition, which is not so moderate as his dignity demands. He thinks that we are all to blame, and I in particular; accordingly, he shows me little favor. I mention this so that in case that he should write anything against me, your Majesty may be warned, and give no credit to his relation until the proof of it be adduced.

The decree in which your Majesty lays down the order that must be observed in the changing of missions and in the appointment of the ministers thereof on account of the death of their predecessors, was obeyed, and notice of it given to the bishops and to the superiors of the orders. The latter oppose it stoutly, and say that in no event can they be ruled by it without the order of their generals, and that they will abandon their missions first. In the year of 29 I wrote to your Majesty at length upon this matter, in regard to which no particular answer was given to me besides the sending of this decree—which, as I judge, is general for all the Yndias. The point is very serious, and is one of peculiar difficulty in these islands. Although we here are sufficiently ministers of your Majesty to be able to decide it in case that the religious leave their missions, yet we desire to have some clearer light on the matter from there, in order that we may better succeed in your Majesty’s service. [In the margin: “File it with, the letter of the bishop of Zibu, who writes concerning this matter, which is submitted to the fiscal.”]

For many years the bishopric of Camarines has had no prelate; for, although your Majesty has appointed many, no one comes here. That must be [227]because they hear how wretched a post it is. Your Majesty could abolish that bishopric by adding the half of it to that of Cebu, which is very conveniently located for this purpose, and the other half to this archbishopric of Manila, which does not have too great a district; and by that means would save that salary, and avoid many animosities that he who shall arrive from España to occupy that bishopric must surely encounter. [In the margin: “To be considered by all the Council, together with what the viceroy wrote.” “A bishop has already gone to Camarines.”]

The religious orders are at peace, and are attending to the welfare of the natives and your Majesty’s service. Three of them held chapter-meetings this year, and all quietly. That of St. Francis, and that of the Augustinian Recollects were exemplary, and they made their elections immediately. The calced Augustinians also made their elections—but not so quickly that we could avoid sending to them to remind them not to allow the disturbances of other times to occur in their chapter—by having made them beforehand through their devotion to the outgoing provincial, who managed the succession for another as worthy as he.3 May God grant that the elections be canonical.

A procurator is sent to ask your Majesty for more religious. On other occasions, your Majesty has been informed of the existing need for exemplary religious who may assist in the reformation of the province. As for him who is not so, it were better that he do not come. I cannot hide these things, nor [228]hesitate to tell the truth about them when opportunity offers. For that reason I am not liked; and I have heard that reports against me have gone to that court from several of the orders. I am very sure that your Majesty will not give them ear without reserving another ear for me. The religious in this country wish to govern; and, if the governor does not allow them to do so, they regard him as an evil-conditioned man, and easily lend ear to the malcontents. May God preserve the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, as is necessary to Christendom. Manila, July 8, 1632. Sire, your Majesty’s humble vassal,

Don Juan Niño de Tavora [229]

1 Apparently a reference to the capture of the Japanese junk by Spaniards, frequently referred to in previous documents.

2 The Oriental commerce of Denmark began with the despatch of an expedition in 1618 to open trade with Ceylon. Being unfavorably received there, the Danes went to the Coromandel coast of India, and founded a trading-post at Tranquebar, one hundred and forty miles southwest of Madras, defended by the fortress of Dansbourg. For some time this post and its trade had considerable prosperity, but European wars prevented its fitting support and the commercial company was unable to maintain it. In 1670 a new company resumed this enterprise, but was even more unfortunate than the other, and finally expired in 1730. Two years later a third company was formed, which was liberally endowed with privileges and subsidies, and was highly successful. Tranquebar remained in possession of Denmark until 1846, when it was purchased by England.

See account of this colony and the Danish trade in the East, in Establecimientos ultramarinos de las naciones Europeas, by Malo de Luque (Madrid, 1784–90), iv, pp. 9–31. See map of “District of Tranquebar,” in Bellin’s Atlas maritime, iii, fol. 36.

3 This was Father Jerónimo Medrano; he was again elected to the dignity of provincial in 1641 and in 1650.


Events in Filipinas, 1630–32

Relation of what has occurred in the Filipinas Islands and other regions adjacent, from July, 1630, to July, 1632.

Great has been the peace which we have enjoyed in these Philipinas Islands for the last two years; for the forces of the Dutch have been scanty, owing to the failure of reënforcements; from Holland, and hence there has been peace in the Malucas Islands as well. Nevertheless, there have not been wanting here some disturbances from domestic enemies. The Indians of the province of Caraga, which is in one of these Philipinas Islands, rebelled and killed the Spaniards and the religious, their ministers (although not for any cause connected with the faith); these are discalced Augustinian friars. This uprising gave us anxiety enough, as it seemed to be the beginning of a universal mutiny; and it was particularly disturbing to us, as all our missions are in the neighborhood of the said province of Caraga, which is gradually being subdued and the leaders of the mutiny punished.

In Japon they are still pricked with the thorn of the ship which some years ago our galleons captured and burned on the bar of Sian. To avenge this, notable [230]councils have been held in Japon, in order to come and wage war against this land; in order beforehand to have it well explored, they sent last year in January two merchant ships, under cloak of trade and traffic. Although in Manilla warning of this double object had been received, this was not made known; and they were received and regaled as ambassadors from the Tono of Arima and Bungo. A ceremonious reception and very handsome present were given to them; but the city was put in readiness for whatever might happen. This year they have begun again to send ships to trade and traffic, and asked that our ships should go to Japon. But we are holding back here, because what they wish to do is to seize the property which might be in the vessels, and put the Castilians to the sword. They sent in these ships a hundred or more Christian lepers, who, whatever they did with them, would not abandon the faith; and in order not to stain their catans, as they said, with such people, they left them alive and exiled them to the Philipinas. Here they were very kindly received—as was required by Christian piety, and by the cause for which they had been exiled—without considering the affront which the Japanese thought to put upon us by sending the dregs of that kingdom.

The persecution there was very severe, as will be seen by a letter which Father Christoval Ferreyra1 [231]writes from Nangasaqui to the father provincial of this province—which, being translated from the Portuguese into Castilian, reads as follows:

“By the last ship, I wrote to your Reverence the state of the Christian church here. I shall now continue with what has happened since then; and it may all be summed up as new persecutions, labors, and hardships. I will commence with the five religious who, in the year twenty-nine, were taken prisoners on account of the faith. These are fathers Fray Bartolome Gutierrez, Fray Francisco de Jesus, Fray Vicente de San Antonio, all three Augustinians; Father Antonio Yxida, of our Society; and brother Fray Gabriel de Magdalena, a Franciscan. The governor of Nangasaqui, named Uneme, attempted to make them deny the faith, and in this way to discredit our holy faith and its ministers, and to break the spirit of the Christians, so that with the example of these they might more easily leave the faith, and thus he would gain credit and honor before Xongun [i.e., the Shogun], emperor of Japon.

“With this diabolical intention—which, it appears, he had already discussed in the court—he ordered them to be taken from the prison of Omura and brought to Nangasaqui, on the twenty-fifth of November last. As he did not say for what purpose, [232]they were persuaded that it was to burn them alive for the faith which they professed and taught; therefore they all went very joyfully, as men who were sighing for such a happy death. But contrary to what they expected, they were put in the prison of that city, where they remained until the third of December, without knowing in the meantime what the governor intended to do.

“Twice during this time the governor ordered our Father Antonio Yxida to be brought to his house, and although he did not find him the first time, he, with a servant of his named Saitogonnay (who was considered an unusually learned man in the Juto2 sect), asked him very affectionately that at any rate he would abandon the faith of Christ and adopt one of the religions of Japon; and if for any reason he did not wish to abandon at present the one which he followed, at least he should show himself neutral, neither abandoning nor following it. And, in order that the father might deliberate over all this, he would give him one more year of hope; and when this was passed, he should make known to the governor his final decision. The father answered him that his decision was, as it had been and always would be, to follow and confess always the faith of God, and for this no time was necessary to deliberate [233]in this affair; for he would always find in him the same resolution and the same response, howsoever much time be should give him for respite. The father added that the governor might immediately do that which he had determined to do at the end of the said year; for the response which he would then have to give was the same as what he gave at present, nor would he ever accept the alternative proposed.

“This counsel being refused, the learned man set about convincing him by argument, attempting to prove that the Tayquio was the same, and that the Juto sect was based upon, and regarded as the beginning of all things, the God which we Christians adore. Wherefore, as the question was one of names, and not of substance, the two faiths were in accord, and that he should conform to the words also of the Juto sect. Easily and clearly the father showed him the difference between the one sect and he other, and in what each consisted; and convinced him in such wise that the ignorant learned man had no other refuge but to fall back on his reason—saying that it was indeed as the father declared, but that reason dictated that he should follow and obey the mandate of the emperor, whose vassal he was, and abandon the faith of God, at least outwardly, following in his heart whatever he pleased. ‘Neither the faith which I profess,’ answered the father, ‘nor pure reason itself, will consent to these deceits and maskings. The faith of God which I follow in my heart I shall follow and confess outwardly still; nor can the mandate of the emperor have force or strength against that of God, the universal Lord of all things.’ [234]

“This dispute and combat lasted a day and a night, during which time the father maintained such resolution and firmness that when the governor tried to be stern, in order to make him change his opinion of that idolatry, the father told him, undeceiving him, that he was striving in vain, for in no way could he win him over. On this account, the next day he was sent back to the prison. But as the governor’s servants knew that he desired to succeed in his endeavor, one of them asked that the father be called out again and delivered to him, for he hoped to subdue him. Accordingly the father himself, as well as the others, was persuaded that this second time he was called out to be tortured, that he might deny his faith and reveal the other religious and their households, for this had been the practice in the city for some time past. With astonishing courage the father went out, resolved to suffer any torment whatever before he would deny Christ or reveal his brothers.

“When he arrived at the house of the governor there came out to meet him the servant who had sought to see him, who had been present at the late dispute, and at one which the father had formerly had with the governor, when they arrested him. Although now the same means of controversy were attempted, finding that, nevertheless, the more they argued the more convinced he was, the principal means which they used was to explain to the father how much the governor desired to grant him life and to favor him, as he could have seen every time he discussed this matter. He was promised in behalf of the same governor great riches and position; and they strongly insisted that not only on account of [235]what he owed to the friendship which the governor showed him, but for what concerned his own welfare and interest, he ought to abandon the faith of God, outwardly only, and to follow it in his heart, as any man of good judgment would do—saying that he would show himself to be such by using this expedient, for he would not abandon the faith which he followed, and would attain riches and repose. The answer was that even if the governor should give him all the riches that he possessed and all that there are in the world, and should make him lord of all, by no means would he turn his back to God or abandon His most holy faith—no, not even outwardly.

“The governor, finding then that he could not win the father over by arguments, advice, or promises, ordered him to be taken back to the prison, determined to use other more rigorous measures, with which he considered it certain that he would overcome him and the other religious who were in prison. This was by ordering them to be tortured in a spring of exceedingly hot water, at the mountain Unjen;3 for although some told him that this also would not win over either Father Antonio or the others, it appeared impossible that they should not yield under this most extreme torture—as experience had shown him in the year 1629, when he ordered the Christians [236]of Nangasaqui to be tortured in this way. Accordingly, he ordered the aforesaid five religious to be conveyed to that mountain, there to be tortured with hot water until they should deny the faith, but in such wise that they should not die. By the same order he sent likewise in their company Beatriz de Acosta, the wife of Antonio de Silva, and Maria her daughter; for they would not deny their faith, although they had long been labored with—and this notwithstanding the fact that Beatriz de Acosta was Japanese only on the side of her mother, and the daughter much less so, as her father was a Portuguese, and her mother a half-Portuguese; and they do not proceed in this persecution [except] against Japanese and ministers of the gospel.

“On the third of December they left Nangasaqui alone, and started for Unjen. The two women rode in a litter, and the five religious on horseback, each one in the habit of his order, accompanied by many people as a guard; they were very joyful as they took leave of a multitude of people who came out to see this spectacle, in spite of the fact that the governor had rigorously prohibited it. When they arrived at the point of Fimi, a league distant from there, their arms were tied, fetters were put upon their feet, and each one was put on board separately, being tied to the boat. On this same afternoon they arrived at the point of Oharna, which is within the boundaries of Tacacu, and at the foot of the mountain Unjen. The next day they ascended the mountain, where they immediately erected a number of huts; then they placed the seven prisoners therein, each in a separate one, without allowing them to see each other again so long as they were there, so that they might not [237]encourage one another. They kept them day and night with fetters on their feet, and manacles upon their hands, watched by guards.

“Besides the men of the governor of Nangasaqui, the governors of Tacacu sent theirs likewise to be present at this act, as well as to aid whenever necessary. Beside these, there were a number of others as sentinels on all the roads through which this mountain could be approached, who let no person pass by without a written permission from the officials who were assigned to this duty.

“On the next day, the fourth of the same month, the torture commenced in the following manner: They took each one of the seven by himself to the most furious pool there, and, showing him the boiling water, tried to persuade him to leave the faith of Christ before undergoing that most horrible torture, which certainly they would not be able to endure. Father Antonio writes that, notwithstanding the severity of the cold that then prevailed, the water in the ponds did [not] cease boiling, with such fury that the sight of it alone would strike dismay to any one who was not greatly comforted by the grace of God; but they were comforted in such manner that all, with extraordinary courage, answered without delay that they would be tortured, for in no wise would they abandon the faith which they profess. When this steadfast answer was heard, they were stripped naked and, tied hand and foot with four cords, were borne each by four men. They took some of the water which was boiling most furiously, in a wooden dish which held about a half-arroba; this water they poured upon each one from the dish thrice filled—not all at once, but little by little, opening [238]a minute hole in the bottom so that it would last longer. The constancy, courage, and valor with which the confessors of Christ suffered that most horrible torment was such that they never made the slightest movement of their bodies, to the great fright of those who saw and heard them. Maria alone, as she was young and delicate, was dismayed by the severity of the torture, and fell to the ground and the torturers, who only desired some pretext whereby they could say that she had recanted, and misrepresenting this fall, cried out, saying, ‘She has yielded, she has yielded!’ Thereupon they took her back to her hut, and the next day to Nangasaqui—although she opposed them violently and protested that she had not given up the faith, and that they had no reason for torturing her, or for tormenting and killing her mother and the rest.

“The other six remained on that mountain, where they spent twenty-three days, during which Father Antonio, father Fray Francisco, and Beatriz de Acosta were tortured, each one six times, with hot water in the manner that I have described. Father Fray Vicente was tortured four times, father Fray Bartolome and brother Fray Gabriel twice, without any one of them having made the least movement during the whole time; or shown any sign of feeling the torture. On the contrary, with wonderful cheerfulness and courage they gave thanks to their torturers, and sometimes told them that the torture had been slight; at others, that they should find some other and more cruel torment, so that their desire to suffer for Christ might be further fulfilled. As a result, the infidels were as if astounded, for they found them each time more constant, cheerful, and [239]desirous of suffering; and in Nangasaqui and Tacacu nothing was talked of but the invincible courage and valor with which they suffered the torture, whereupon the Christians were full of joy and remained firmer in the faith. Several of the heathen began to complain and sneer at the governor of Nangasaqui, who had tried to make them deny their faith. Accordingly Father Antonio writes4 that, during the time while he was on that mountain, several were brought to the faith; and among the heathen who saw him and listened to the continual sermons which he preached to them, many gave him their word to receive the faith, and all conceived the highest opinion of the faith of God.

“The reason for torturing some oftener than others was that Father Antonio, being a Japanese, had disobeyed the mandate of the emperor, and would not follow the counsels and persuasions of the governor of Nangasaqui and his ministers, nor be affected by the tortures. Father Fray Francisco suffered because he spoke to them with much Christian freedom, sang, and prayed in a loud voice, contrary to their prohibition; and Beatriz de Acosta because, although a woman, she showed more than a man’s courage, both in the tortures and in resisting the advice which they gave her—for which reason, beside the torture of boiling water, they inflicted others upon her. They made her stand upright a long time upon a small rock, threatening her with insults and affronts; but the more they insisted, the stronger they found her. The others, being weak and infirm, were not tortured so long, because the tyrant did not intend [240]to kill them, but only to conquer them; and for this reason they had, during the whole time, a physician upon the mountain to cure their hurts.

“Finally the governor saw that he could by no means conquer them; but, on the contrary, his men informed him that, judging by the courage and valor which they showed, they would suffer till all the pools and wells in Unjen were drained, rather than give in. He therefore lost all hope of a victory over them, and decided to order that they be taken to Nangasaqui, although he would not do so before his departure for the court at Meaco; for he thought that it would diminish his prestige to have them enter as victors into that city while he was there. After his departure, therefore, he sent on the way advice to his deputy whom he left there, to bring them to Nangasaqui. This he accordingly did on the fifth of January, placing Beatriz de Acosta in a certain house, and putting the five religious into the public prison, where they still remain. Such was the victorious end of this battle, wherein our holy faith was nobly vindicated, the Christians encouraged, and the tyrant overcome and confounded, quite the contrary of what he had expected and promised.

“During the same time this governor seized and sent to Sendo5 the wives and daughters of the holy martyrs who have perished in Nangasaqui from the year 1617 to the present one, one thousand six hundred and thirty-two—separating many of them, who were already married, from their husbands and sons. They all accepted captivity for so holy a cause with a good will, and before leaving protested before the governor that they were and always would be Christians. [241]Three Christians were taken prisoners for the faith in Fingo at the beginning of the year 631. One of them died most happily in the prison, a short time ago; and the other two, father and son, remain in captivity. In Xiqui there were thrown alive into the sea for the faith, on the twelfth of February past, Thome and Ynes, his wife; likewise in Firando, a short time ago, another man was thrown into the sea for the same cause.

“In Oxu6 a man became a Christian fraudulently; and, after learning about the principal Christians of Vacamatzu and Ayzu from one of our household of Ojaca, called Paulo, he went and gave a list thereof to the governors of Tenca. These immediately advised the governors of the first two places, and there those whom the talebearer had given in the list were taken prisoners—among them Brother Juan Yama, of our Society, who was one whom I had catechized and baptized. Thus far we have not learned whether they have been martyred or not.

“The governors of Tacacu sent the same information regarding Paulo, who, although he was not in that city, was so diligently sought after that they succeeded in arresting him; and some time afterward he, with his wife Maria and four sons, suffered martyrdom. This led to a furious persecution, not only in Oxu, but likewise in other parts of the country, and in the cities of Cami, Meaco, Fugimi, Ojaca, and Sacay. The cruelty of the tyrant reached such a point that he sent this year, as exiles to Manilla, even the infirm and leprous Christians of the before-mentioned cities of Cami; and already more than ninety [242]of them are at Nangasaqui, awaiting the monsoon, and others are expected to go. With this, under the holy benediction of your Reverence, etc. March 22, 1632.

Christoval Ferreyra

From Japon we pass on to China, where the state of Christianity has been more quiet, and where it is very prosperous. The Society is established in eight provinces and eleven cities, and, if it were not for the lack of workers, it would he extended much farther, and with great results. At present there are in the whole of China seventeen priests and a few brothers-coadjutor, who are all laboring with praiseworthy zeal for the conversion of this great kingdom of China. May the Lord prosper and protect your Reverence as I desire. Manila, July 2, 1632.

[Another copy of this document, in the same collection (to. 114, no. 401), adds the following matter as a postscript, dated July 6, 1632:]

The emperor of Japan is dead;7 so is the king of [243]Arima, who had intended to come to attack Manila. It is said that his death was most horrible, and that he caused his servants to put him to death with clubs, after having scalded him with the water with which he had tormented the martyrs. All say that this was plainly a punishment for his tyrannous acts; and that he is paying for them in hell—whence issued demons in the form of foxes, who went dancing before his carriage or litter when he returned from Nangasaqui [words illegible] ambassadors, spies sent to Manila, Father Miguel Matruda, of the Society. These ambassadors—who came as envoys in behalf of Uni Nudino, governor of Nangasaqui, and of the tono of Arima, called Asimadoro or Bungodon—were received with the pomp and courtesy which such an embassy demanded. On that occasion much caution was displayed by this colony through its chief, who is governor and captain-general of these islands. For, on the one hand, he exhibited before those ambassadors the strength of this [word illegible] with its officers and infantry, which was drawn up in martial array along the streets—almost all the way from the street nearest the beach where the Japanese disembarked, up to the palace; and, on the other, he paid them honor with a splendid and friendly reception. He also offered them presents [244]and entertainments as if they were envoys sent by Christian princes and our best friends. This has been cordially remembered, to judge from what has since then been learned of their designs—at least, that of one of those lords, the ruler of Arima. This was, that the envoys should carefully ascertain what were the forces in Manila, in order to see whether the former plans were adequate. [Our transcriber in Madrid here adds: “This letter (dated March 30, 1632) goes on to describe the martyrdoms, and ends thus: ‘After these torments, we were again conveyed to the prison from which they had taken us, where we now are. There are five of us religious, besides other servants of God who are also prisoners for His sake. I think that this autumn, when the governor comes, he will pronounce final sentence upon us.’” It is most probable that this is part of the letter by Father Antonio Yxida, mentioned in the text.] [245]

1 Christoval Ferreira was born in Portugal, in 1580. At the age of sixteen he entered the Jesuit order, and in 1609 was sent to the Japan mission; he remained there through many years of persecution, and was long the provincial of his order in Japan. In 1633 he was seized and imprisoned, and finally, under the strain of cruel tortures, recanted his faith—being, it is claimed, the only Jesuit who in all those fierce persecutions, became an [271n]apostate. His life was spared, but he was compelled by the Japanese to witness the martyrdom of his brethren, and even to decree their fate. At last Ferreira, tormented by remorse and shame, surrendered himself to the authorities as being still a Christian, and died (1652) as a martyr, suffering long and extreme torments. See Crétineau-Joly’s account of his career, in Hist. Comp. de Jésus, iii, pp. 161–164.

Murdoch and Yamagata say of this Jesuit (Hist. Japan, p. 633): “As to the story that Ferreyra repented and was fossed at Nagasaki in 1653 (at the age of seventy-four), there seems to be no foundation for it.”

2 Apparently a corrupt Spanish pronunciation of the Japanese Jōdō (also written Jíôdo, and Jodo), the name of one of the Buddhist sects which flourish in Japan. It was founded in 1174 A.D.—by one Hōnen, according to Griffis; by Genku, according to Rein. Iyeyasu and his successors were adherents and benefactors of this sect. “Its priests strictly insisted upon celibacy, and abhorred the eating of flesh. They taught that the health of the soul depends less upon virtue and moral perfection than upon the strict observance of pious practices” (Rein). See Griffis’s account of Buddhism in Japan, in his Mikado’s Empire, pp. 158–175; and the chapter on religious systems in Rein’s Japan, pp. 442–464.

3 This is the volcanic mountain called Onzenga-take, situated in the northern part of Shimábara peninsula—noted for the terrible massacre of Christians, in 1637, at Arima, a town in the south of the peninsula—and east of Nagasaki. The last great eruption of this volcano took place in 1791–93, in which, it is said, fifty-three thousand people lost their lives. Its height is estimated at one thousand meters, and at its base are numerous hot springs. See Rein’s Japan, pp. 17, 43, 54, 86.

4 Regarding this letter, see note in brackets at end of this document.

5 Probably Sendai, in the province of Satsuma.

6 This would seem to be Otsu, the chief town of the province of Omi; it lies northeast of Ozaka (the Ojaca of the text).

7 This must have been some gossip or canard cited by the writer; for Iyemidzu (grandson of Iyeyasu), who was then shogun, reigned from 1623 to 1651. The death of the “King” (i.e., tono or daimio) of Arima is also related, in more detail, by La Concepción (Hist. de Philipinas, v, pp. 160, 161); he says that a multitude of foxes surrounded Bugandono on the road from Nangasaqui, accompanying him, leaping and barking about his litter “until he reached Ximabara, where they suddenly disappeared. Immediately that wretched man was overpowered by a fury against himself, so great that, sword in hand, he compelled his servants to beat him soundly with bamboos. They dealt him so many blows that they inflicted upon him a wretched death”—a punishment for his cruelties against the Christians.

“The great Shinto temple of Inari [the goddess of rice] at Kyoto is the model of all other shrines dedicated to this popular divinity, for on this lonely hillside twelve hundred years ago Inari [229n]was supposed to manifest herself to mortals. A colossal red gateway and a flight of moss-grown steps lead to the main entrance flanked by the great stone foxes which guard every temple of Inari, and symbolize the goddess worshipped under their form. Japanese superstition regards the fox with abject terror; his craft and cunning are celebrated in legendary ballads; and a condition of mental disorder, known as ‘possession by the fox,’ is a common belief, bringing crowds of devotees to Inari’s temples, either to pray for the exorcism of the demoniac influence, or to avert the danger of falling under the dreadful spell.” (Macmillan’s Magazine, December, 1904, p. 117.)


Letter from the Ecclesiastical Cabildo to Felipe IV

In all the most opulent kingdoms, provinces, and cities of the Catholic monarchy of your Majesty, the most remote, the most separated, and the most distant from the royal presence of its king and sovereign is the metropolitan cathedral church of this archipelago of islands without number. Consequently, its cabildo is poorer, more needy, and more liable to be forgotten than any other; for in order to set forth its afflictions and poverty, it even has neither feet, whereby it may go to cast itself at the feet of your Majesty, nor hands for the solicitude and works that the demand alone would require. One effort only we can make easily, and that has been made for many years; that is, to write, petitioning, importuning, urging, and informing your Majesty of the most important things, not to our especial advantage. And well do we know that your Majesty is not so wealthy that you can be liberal in proportion to your greatness; but only in the points most necessary and important to the Divine service and worship, and to your Majesty’s honor and glory, at whose expense it flourishes throughout Christendom—especially in this city, fortified post, and empire of almost all the [246]nations discovered and known; for in that it equals Roma, and the cities of most commerce in the whole world. That is the reason that has always moved us to urge and petition your Majesty, representing the following points. [In the margin: “July 30, 1625.1 Reply to the cabildo, encouraging them; and tell them that what they say in their letter will receive care and attention, without particularizing the paragraphs or the things that they say.”]

One of the things which this cathedral has considered, and considers, intolerable, is that it always has to be governed by friars. That is a matter that has in itself many grave inconveniences, that would take long to relate in a letter which demands brevity. We wish only for your Majesty to understand and to be assured that the seculars can be better governed than any other clergy; and that they live with greater quietness and peace, not only in their souls and spiritual government, but in what concerns the temporal. Not only do the seculars recognize this, but the religious themselves; for the secular is always in the midst of affairs, while the friar must necessarily incline himself to his order and to those with whom he has been reared. It would be worse if such a person had not been, in his order, of much learning and of known virtues, but rather the contrary. Your Majesty will consider the estimation that all will have for such a man who knew him before. When this is so, it does not result to edification, which is your Majesty’s intent, but to depreciation of and contempt for the episcopal dignity, which requires [247]the highest perfection. God our Lord would be greatly pleased if the honors, dignities, and prelacies of this country be given to those who have served and labored in it. From that three blessings of high importance will follow. The first, that your Majesty will have fulfilled your obligation in accordance with the excellent principle of distributive justice. Thus have our sovereigns Kings Philipo Second and Third, of glorious memory, your Majesty’s grand-father and father, ruled, ordered, and commanded in their royal patronage. And most certain can your Majesty be that there have always been and there are now men worthy, capable, and of great talents, from whom much may be expected, both in this cabildo and in the orders—especially that of St. Dominic and that of St. Francis; but, since they do not try to obtain the prebendaries of this church, never will their affairs be known, nor will any of them ever be seen in that royal court, for neither can they go, nor do they possess the wherewithal to send. These arguments will have greater force and power in the future, because of the two universities which your Majesty has permitted in this city—one in the residence of the Society of Jesus, and the other in that of Santo Tomas of the Dominican friars, where students are being trained and many graduated. Thus this city is today full of poverty-stricken seculars, and one must fear that there will be so many within a few years that they will die of hunger, because we have not any benefices to give them in this archbishopric or throughout the islands; for these are held by friars, who cost your Majesty so dearly. It is very desirable to refrain from sending many of the religious who come from España, which is an argument [248]worthy of much consideration. [In the margin: “That great care will be given to this point when vacancies occur in those churches.”]

The need and poverty of this metropolitan church is known and notorious, for it has no income or revenue other than the concessions of your Majesty, especially the four hundred pesos that have been given thus far, by means of which the church is kept in wine, wax, and oil. For none of those things are given from the royal warehouses, as they are to the other convents of this city. Consequently, we petition your Majesty to continue that concession, for it is not a perpetual concession, but was only for four or six years; and, when that time expired, it was conceded for another term of four or six years. If it were made perpetual, your Majesty would be making it a more valuable concession; for at each prolongation of the time it is necessary to spend at least one hundred pesos with the agent who is sent from here to that court. Thus that amount would be saved, and that is a matter of consideration and importance to so poor a church. [In the margin: “See what is provided in regard to this.” “The concession was made.”]

This church is also in great need of ornaments and of a sacristy. That which it now uses is borrowed; but with the sum of three or four thousand pesos the one that was commenced more than ten years ago could be finished. It has been impossible to finish it, because we had not the means to do so. In order that your Majesty need not spend anything from your royal treasury (which we most earnestly desire), this could be done by your Majesty ordering that vacant encomiendas, or pensions on those to [249]which appointments are being made, be given to the church, in accordance with the condition of the encomienda, at the will of the governor—as has been done with the house of the Society of Jesus in this city, to which your Majesty made a grant of ten thousand pesos, as an aid to the edifice that they are at present erecting, [In the margin: “See what has been ordered in this.” “The concession was made.”]

We have often represented to your Majesty the great importance of having this church well served, as this city is a place of so great trade and commerce, where so many and so different nations come, as has been said. The number of prebendaries that the church has at present is not at all sufficient; for besides the five dignidades, it has no more than four canons, two racioneros, and two medio-racioneros. And since the land is so unhealthful and sickly, most of the prebendaries are generally disabled, and for the greater portion of the year the work is loaded upon only one canon and one racionero. For that reason, we earnestly desired in the past years that your Majesty would give us an increase Of two additional canons and four racioneros; but seeing that that was not effected because of the great need in which the times have placed your Majesty, we have found an easy and feasible remedy for it—namely, to apply to this church some of the benefices and missions that the orders hold near this city. Let the governor and archbishop select those which would be most suitable; and let each of them be given to two seculars—or more, if they should be so rich. There is a mission outside the walls of this city owned by the religious of St. Augustine, by name [250]Tondo, where three seculars could be maintained. One of them could be proprietary, with the title of archdean or prior of such place and canon of this cathedral, with the obligation to serve in it, as do the other canons. By this method the prebendaries would be increased, and the number of religious whom your Majesty would have to send would be lessened; while the students who are growing up here in steadily increasing numbers would be provided for, rewarding the sons of the conquistadors and settlers, besides many other blessings and advantages which would follow by so doing. [In the margin: “See what has been provided in this regard, and have this section taken to the fiscal, together with that provision.” “It was taken.”]

One of the persons on whom this cabildo has set its eyes—and, together with all this community, we have been sure that your Majesty would show him honor—is the archdean, Don Alonso Garcia de Leon; but, only through his great modesty, he has never put forward any such claim. Consequently, we petition your Majesty to honor us all through him—assuring you, with the truth that one ought to speak in regard to such a matter, that we judge him to be worthy of any favor and honor that your Majesty might be pleased to show him, which will be for the glory of God and your Majesty’s service. [In the margin: “Consult the memorial.”]

Doctor Don Juan Briceño came to these islands twenty-three years ago with the ordination of a priest, in company with Archbishop Don Diego Vazquez de Mercado. He immediately occupied himself in learning the language and in ministering to the natives, to their great approbation and with [251]benefit to their souls. He has also served this cathedral more than nine years in the prebends of canon and precentor, the latter of which he holds at present. He is also at present exercising the office of vicar-general of this archbishopric, and has been its visitor-general. In both offices he has acted and given the account that could be expected from a good priest, learned and experienced, and publicly recognized as a man of good life and example. Ever since he came to these islands, there has been nothing contrary to this; so that he deserves to have your Majesty employ him in matters of your service, and to honor him according to the merit of his many good services. [In the margin: “Consult the memorial.”]

It is well-known that the Order of St. Augustine was the first to plant the cross of Christ in these remote islands; and it has always been foremost in continuing that work. Hence it is the one of all the orders which has most missions, and consequently, most need of ministers. Many years, no religious come to them from España; and many of those who are here die, and very quickly. Thus, if your Majesty do not show them the favor of protecting and replenishing so necessary and good ministers, they will be obliged to leave many missions, to the detriment of souls, and of the service of God and your Majesty—whom it has cost so much from your royal patrimony to set this flourishing and extensive Christian church in its present condition. The propagation of Christianity here is due, at least in its greater part, to that holy order and to its sons, as you will be more minutely informed by father Fray Diego de Robles, who is now to go as their procurator-general and definitor, to attend the general [252]chapter of his order. We are acquainted with his person, and know that he came to these islands sixteen years ago. He soon learned two languages of the natives, and has administered in the islands some of the houses, convents, and missions of greatest importance. His order has honored him, and has occupied him, now in the ministry of the pulpit for the Spaniards, now in priorates, and in other offices and dignities of his order. In all of them he has always furnished a very excellent example, and has attained fame and renown as a good religious and one worthy of all credit and honor. Consequently, this cabildo petitions your Majesty to honor him and his order, for in both things will God our Lord be greatly pleased. [In the margin: “When religious are requested, have this section brought.” “Consult the memorial.”]

The Recollect religious of St. Augustine are the last who came to labor in this field; and for that reason the most toilsome, laborious, and dangerous part has fallen to their share, as they have been unable to have their missions and houses together, or in contiguous provinces, like the other orders; but their convents are separated in different islands, very far one from another. Although they are the last, we assure your Majesty that in point of work, zeal for the propagation of the holy gospel, and the cultivation of souls, the other orders do not have any advantage over them. Well have they proved that with their blood; for about three years ago, when the province of Caraga revolted, the rebels killed seven religious. However, by the grace of God, those rebels have been reduced again, and punished by the excellent efforts of Captain Juan de Chaves, [253]one of the best soldiers, and one of the men of best judgment that your Majesty has in these islands. It will be of very great service to God and your Majesty to have religious sent to the said fathers, for many years have passed since a single religious has come to them, and it is right to encourage and aid so good workers, [In the margin: “When this order shall petition for religious, let this section be brought.”]

The master-of-camp, Don Lorenço de Olasso, who exercises the office of captain-general because of the death of Governor Don Juan Niño de Tavora this year, has carried himself with prudence, peace, and tranquillity. For in this office and in that of master-of-camp, which he holds by right of appointment, he has shown his good judgment, especially in his care and vigilance in fortifying the city and in attending to all that concerns the obligation of his office, and welfare of this city, and the service of your Majesty. [In the margin: “Consult the memorial.”]

As this noble and loyal city had so great need for sending a suitable person as its procurator to that royal court, it made choice of the person of General Don Diego de Arqueta Minchaca. It was a choice so prudent and so well considered, that in quality, services of his forbears and his own, capacity, prudence, experience, and other qualities necessary for such action, there is not his equal in this city. For besides the said qualifications and services (which will be apparent by his papers), considering the chief thing, namely, your Majesty’s service and the welfare of this community, he is a person so capable in all matters of government and war, that both [254]through experience and observation he can inform your Majesty as one who has seen both all these islands and the Malucas, and as far as Malaca; because he took part and embarked in all the fleets [sent against] the invasions of the Dutch enemy, that have been gathered in these islands since he was a young lad. We assure ourselves of great results for the increase of Christianity in these islands, the welfare of this community, and your Majesty’s service, by his going and management. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

Captain Juan Sarmiento, chancellor of this royal Audiencia, is the legitimate son of Captain Pedro Sarmiento (one of the first conquistadors and settlers of these islands), and one of the most valiant captains who has served your Majesty herein, as will appear more authoritatively by his papers. He is married to a daughter of Licentiate Tellez de Almaçan, who was an auditor who came to establish this Audiencia for the second time. And even were he not so worthy in his person, he was sufficiently so to be worthy of your Majesty showing him very great favors. For we recognize in the said auditor a judge truly upright and Christian, and so in harmony with divine and human laws, that these islands will ever cherish his memory. God our Lord has given him abundance of sons and daughters, so that this city is ennobled by such progeny and posterity. He deserves honor from your Majesty, and aid, in order that he may become more prosperous and not less. [In the margin: “Consult the memorial.”]

Since we are so loyal vassals and chaplains of your Majesty, it grieves us and rends our soul to see the damage done to your Majesty’s royal treasury, because [255]there are not any faithful officials to execute the so pious and excellent order that was decreed and determined by the royal decrees of your Majesty, and by the glorious progenitors of your Majesty; especially in regard to the money that passes annually from Nueva España to these islands. We inform your Majesty that, besides the permission of the four hundred thousand pesos that your Majesty has given for the inhabitants of this city, it is certain that two millions are brought. That sum is brought from Nueva España by companies and agents who call themselves inhabitants of Mexico; and your judges and officials [there] allow them to pass, and dis-simulate because of the great profit that falls to them in Acapulco. The efforts are not made in this city either that could be made by those who ought to make them. Accordingly, having seen this so great loss, both to your Majesty and to the inhabitants of this city, in assemblies of the orders that the reverend bishop, governor of this archbishopric, called on petition of the city, censures were issued, ordering no one to employ the money of the inhabitants of Nueva España or Piru, thinking that that would be an efficient remedy. But experience has demonstrated that it has been of no effect, for all have employed that money and no one has been denounced. This needs, a stringent remedy, and there is no other except to carry out fittingly what was ordered by your Majesty, by appointing trustworthy officials of Christian spirit and well-known zeal for your Majesty’s service. [In the margin: “Let them be advised of what decision was made in this.”]

One of the greatest services that the cabildos and corporations can perform for your Majesty is to [256]advise, inform, and report concerning the deserving persons who attend to your Majesty’s service. For, as the matter passes before so many eyes, they cannot do else than to write with great consideration and exactness of truth. One of the men who has served your Majesty in these islands with ardor, eagerness, and care, and who has occupied, since the day of his entrance into this city, posts of great importance (as will appear in detail by his papers), is General Don Andres Perez Franco. The limitations of a letter do not allow us to mention his good qualities as a skilled and successful soldier; for besides being that, God has given him good fortune in feats of war. In matters of government and of peace, he is so excellent and accomplished that he has been considered by most of the people of Cavite, where he has been chief commander most of the time, as a father rather than as a commander. God has endowed him with affability, valor, and ability to govern and command with generosity, and actions which make him loved, feared, and respected. That is apparent to this cabildo, and we know that it is public and notorious. Will your Majesty please honor him according to his many good services, so that others may imitate him, and that they may be encouraged by his example to serve your Majesty. [In the margin: “Consult the memorial.”]

Your Majesty granted this archbishopric to Don Fray Hernando de Guerrero, bishop of Nueva Segovia, an aged religious, and one well known in these islands. He presented in this cabildo the ordinary decree which the royal Council generally gives to the persons presented by your Majesty, in order that the government might be given into his charge [257]until the bulls come from his Holiness. Inasmuch as this cabildo is at present deprived of this jurisdiction—given to it by a canonical law by special brief and indult of his Holiness, obtained by your Majesty, ordering the senior bishop to govern, by virtue of which the reverend father, Fray Pedro Arce, archbishop of Zubu, is governing this church, a holy person and one of blameless life—this cabildo answered that no one can give what he does not possess; that the said bishop had the government; and that this cabildo had nothing more to answer. However the said archbishop insisted upon it as he was deceived by certain ill-informed lawyers. He even went to the royal Audiencia, who delayed undeceiving him for many days and after many meetings. All that was with the object of giving him to understand that they were doing something for him. That had the end and object that the auditors know; and it is not unknown that the archbishop wrote in their favor to the royal Council. That was almost self-evident, for the explicit manner in which Licentiate Don Francisco de Rojas y Oñate, visitor of these islands, enlightened him was not sufficient, when the visitor said that he had no right, and that neither the cabildo nor the bishop could do anything else. The same thing was declared by the religious, the lecturers, and professors, and the other learned men who examined the matter thoroughly; and lastly by that which was declared, after many meetings and delays, by the royal assembly. Hence, Sire, the said archbishop has maintained hostility and ill-will toward this cabildo, and cannot conceal it; but shows it by words unworthy his dignity, and threats against the time when the bulls come for him. We see well, [258]Sire, that all the above has no remedy now, and that your Majesty made him archbishop. We suffer for God’s sake, and He will give us patience. But for the future we humbly petition your Majesty to consider and repair this so serious damage, from which so many troubles result, by making choice of learned and holy persons, of known virtue. There are many in these islands, both seculars and religious, as we informed your Majesty on another occasion. Friars should not be consulted who only go to that court laden with money to demand bishoprics, since by the same case they make themselves unworthy. Necessarily the injuries that ensue from this are felt by the poor subordinates; and they even scandalize the faithful Christians, when they see that the holy and virtuous priests who are laboring throughout these islands are net rewarded, because they do not go or send [to that court], [In the margin: “When our bishops are sent, if there should be a number of governors, have what information there is here brought, so that the senior bishop of the islands may govern; and have this section also brought.”]

Often, Sire, have we given thanks in this cabildo to God our Lord, deliberating and considering how clearly the presence of the Holy Ghost is seen in the decisions, ordinances, and enactments in the royal decrees of your Majesty, looking toward the good government and increase of the common welfare of these islands. For, if your Majesty and every one of your counselors had lived in and seen this city and these islands for many years, they could not have better understood the matters treated and decided in the said royal decrees. Consequently, one of your opportune and fortunate measures was the excellent [259]choice that your Majesty has made in sending Licentiate Don Francisco de Rojas y Oñate as visitor; for, as long experience and the histories teach us, and even in the present times we have seen the disputes, the confusion, the unrest, and anxiety caused in a kingdom by any visitor; while in this city we have seen quite the contrary with the said visitor. And he has not been at all lacking in his duty, exercising rigor and seventy with kindness. He has calmed troubles without drawing blood, and has obtained the observance of your royal decrees so equitably that those who were most opposed to him confessed that he was just. Lastly, Sire, he is completing his visit this year, without having inflicted extortion or wrong on a single person. He has attended to the service of your Majesty with continual and incessant labor—which, although he has not had at all good health, he has not spared by day or night, on feast days, or in holiday seasons, times in which others rest. In short, he has been a father to this republic, and a person worthy of being occupied by your Majesty in things of greater importance in your service; for God has given him talent for great things, a Christian spirit, and the fear of God. That he showed because, as soon as he entered this city, he went to confession and communed often. He chose as confessor father Fray Domingo Gonçales, one of the most holy and learned men of the Order of St. Dominic. So great and so illustrious is his learning that often, when the orders have come together to argue, they have confessed that, upon asking him his opinion in very knotty questions, their problems have been solved by his tolerance, forbearance, and patience; for he did not cause disputes and scandals [260]on many occasions that people inconsiderate and bold gave him, as is seen by certain of the writings that he carries; Consequently, we greatly desire and we earnestly petition His Divine Majesty that he, may have health, and that He will bear him to your Majesty’s feet, so that he may inform you of what he has seen, accomplished, and known. From his report we hope ior the relief of these islands in every way, and increase to the service of God and your Majesty.

Don Miguel Garcetas
Don Alonso García de Leon
Doctor Don Juan Reyes
The treasurer, Don Thomas Guimarano
Don Francisco de Valdes
Don Pedro de Quesada Hurtado de Mendoza
The racionero, Pablo Rodriguez
The racionero, Ruiz de Escalona
Diego Ramirez

[Endorsed: “Manila. To his Majesty. The ecclesiastical cabildo. No date. Examined July 30, and decreed within.”] [261]

1 Thus in the transcript, but evidently should be 1633; for the reference to the ad interim government of Lorenzo de Olasso, past the middle of this document, shows that it was written in 1632.

Documents of 1633–1634

Sources: The first, third, fourth, and sixth of these documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the second and fifth, from MSS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid.

Translations: The first document is translated by Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.; the third and sixth, by James A. Robertson; the remainder, by Robert W. Haight. [263]


Papal Bull Concerning Missions

Constitution of our most holy lord, by divine Providence pope, Urban VIII, concerning the missions of religious to Japan and other regions of the Eastern Indias. Rome: from the press of the reverend Apostolic Chamber. MDCXX[X]III.

Urban VIII

To all the faithful of Christ who shall scan these present letters, health and apostolic benediction. In fulfilment of our pastoral charge in regard to the safety of souls and the spread of the Catholic faith, while readily changing those things which have been wisely, ordained by the Roman pontiffs our predecessors, wherever through the teachings of experience change seems advisable, we have made some arrangements, as the same have seemed expedient in the Lord, in regard to the spread of the Catholic faith and the health of souls.

In sooth, by his letters in form similar to a brief given on the twenty-eighth day of January, 1585, and the thirteenth year of his pontificate, Pope Gregory XIII, our predecessor of happy memory, led thereto through certain reasons known at the time, issued an interdict and prohibition to all patriarchs and [264]bishops, including even the province of China and Japan, under pain of ecclesiastical interdict and of suspension, from entering the church portals and the exercise of pontifical power, to all others besides priests, clerics, and ecclesiastical ministers, both secular and regular—of whatsoever order, standing, degree, rank, and condition they might be—under pain of major excommunication to be incurred ipso facto, to this effect: that without his express license and that of the apostolic see, no one should dare go to the aforesaid countries and provinces of Japan to preach the gospel, teach Christian doctrine, administer the sacraments, or discharge other ecclesiastical duties.

Subsequently, however, Pope Clement VIII, also our predecessor of renowned memory, having learned that the countries and provinces of China and Japan, as well as of other near-by and adjacent islands, besides the neighboring kingdoms of Eastern India, were very extensive and thickly inhabited; that, moreover, in order to bring so great a multitude of souls to the Catholic faith and strengthen them with spiritual nourishment, more workmen and ministers were needed than could be levied from the religious of the Society of Jesus, therefore to all and singular the masters or priors-general of the mendicant orders for the time being did he make the following grant, to wit: that whenever necessity required they might send—by way, however, of Portugal only, and thence by sea to the Indias and the city of Goa—to the local superiors of their orders resident in those lands, whomsoever of their subjects they might deem fitting and serviceable for the discharge of the said offices and ministries, provided the [265]same were of respectable character and learning. Again, that the religious of the said orders to be thus sent to the said countries of the Indias, as well as their fellow-members resident therein, who had been chosen and approved for the discharge of this said duty by their masters or priors-general, or other superiors, might go to the said Japan as well as its near-by and adjacent islands, and even to the said islands, countries, and provinces of China and the neighbor-kingdoms and mainland [terra firma] of Eastern India.

Moreover, under pain of major excommunication (wherefrom, unless at the point of death, absolution was not to be granted save by the Roman pontiff himself); of forfeiture besides of active and passive vote, and of all dignities, administrations, and offices whatsoever; furthermore, of disqualification to hold and exercise the same in the future—all moreover to be incurred ipso facto by all religious, no matter what privileges had been granted them by the said Clement and other Roman pontiffs his predecessors, of no matter what tenor or form, whether general or special, even though with permit attached to preach the word of God throughout the whole world—no matter, either, whether hereafter the same or like privileges should be granted, approved, and renewed as long as therein special, specific, and express mention of this prohibition and interdict should not be made with annulment of the same—thereupon he interdicted and forbade them all and singular, under no matter what pretext or color of design, to leave the islands known as the Philippines or any other part of the Western Indias or country held as part of the Western Indias and thence to [266]pass to the said Japanese Islands, provinces, and countries and other near-by, adjacent, and neighboring lands. Furthermore he ordered that should any one have gone to the said Japan or countries near by, or in the future should go thither, no matter what his reasons, on being warned he should immediately depart thence and return to the said Philippine Islands or other countries of the Western Indias, under the same penalties as above; and, moreover, under the same penalties as well as others at the option of any ecclesiastical judge whomsoever he might be constrained and compelled thereto.

While later Pope Paul V, also our predecessor of happy memory, having learned by experience that the prohibition to go to the Indias and the city of Goa otherwise than by way of Portugal was neither obeyed, nor even advantageous for the spread of the Catholic faith: in order therefore that, as he desired, he might make due provision whereby so important a work of God might be carried on without hindrance, made the following grant to all and singular the masters, ministers and priors—general of the mendicant orders—or the heads of orders for the time being, by whatever title they might be known—that whenever necessity should require them to send to Japan and other near-by, adjacent, and neighboring islands, provinces arid countries, to the superiors of their orders resident therein, any religious of their order of respectable character and learning, whomsoever they might deem fit and serviceable for the discharge of the said duties and offices, to this end they might freely and lawfully send them otherwise than by way of Portugal—in all remaining matters, however, being bound in all respects to observe the [267]said letters of his predecessor Clement, and the fuller instructions contained in those issued by the said Gregory and Clement and his predecessor Paul V the tenor whereof in these our presents we wish to be considered as expressed therein.

Since, however, the experience of many years has shown that the ordinances contained in the foregoing letters were not of avail, and that other provision was needed whereby the sacred holy gospel of the Lord Christ might be the more easily preached and spread throughout the said islands and kingdoms, therefore in the discharge of our pastoral duty, following the norm of the said Paul our predecessor, after mature counsel with our venerable brethren, cardinals of the holy Roman church, who are in care of the spread of the faith throughout the whole world, in virtue of these presents to all and singular the masters, ministers, and priors-general of any religious order, or institute, even of the Society of Jesus, or the heads of orders, by whatsoever other title they may be known, hereby through our apostolic authority, we do grant and convey the following powers, to wit: that whenever it be deemed expedient, they may freely and lawfully send to the said islands, provinces, countries, and kingdoms of Eastern India by other way than by Portugal whatever members of their orders and institutes they may deem suitable for the missions by reason of age, character, morals, and learning—provided, however, that in all other matters (and not otherwise) they follow the said instructions of our predecessor Clement. Moreover, under penalty of excommunication latae sententiae, we forbid all ecclesiastics and religious, of whatsoever order and institute, both of non-mendicants [268]and mendicants, even those of the Society of Jesus, as well as the seculars of religious, from hindering the journey of the aforesaid religious to the above-named islands, provinces, countries, and kingdoms.

At the same time we exhort most earnestly in the Lord the said religious who are to be, or even have been, sent to the said places, to observe uniformity in their instructions to the people, especially those who have been recently converted to the Christian faith, in order that such neophytes be not scandalized through conflicting teachings, especially in matters relating to morals.

Wherefore since in matters of so great concern we hold that care and watchfulness on the part of the aforesaid are of much avail, hence we again and again urge them to restrict their teachings to general principles.

Accordingly, to the end that this be the more easily carried out, in their instructions to the peoples of the said places in Eastern India, the said religious shall as far as possible use exclusively the Roman Catechism, and the “Christian Doctrine” (both small and large) of Robert Bellarmino, a cardinal of the holy Roman church of good renown, translated and printed in the dialects of the aforesaid peoples.

But since, to the no little grief of our heart, we have learned that in Japan now for many years is raging a most bitter persecution against Christians, especially against religious, we therefore grant and convey to all and singular the Christians now as well as in the future resident in Japan, the power to receive freely and lawfully the sacraments (such [269]however as require episcopal ministry being excepted) even those that appertain to parish priests, from any priests, as the above, whose services they may secure—provided, however, these have been, or shall be, sent thither by their generals.

Furthermore, since by the sacred canons, the decrees of councils and apostolic constitutions, all religious and even other ecclesiastics, especially such as are in holy orders, are forbidden strictly to engage in worldly affairs and traffickings, as gravely harmful, undignified, and unbecoming to persons consecrated to divine service, especially such as are vowed to the preaching of the sacred holy gospels of the Lord Christ, therefore following the norm of the said sacred canons, decrees, and apostolic constitutions, by our apostolic authority, in virtue of these presents, we interdict and forbid all and singular the religious in the afore-named places, or who shall go thither—no matter of what order and institute, whether non-mendicant or mendicant, even of the Society of Jesus—to devote themselves to, or engage in, any business or trafficking, no matter in what way, whether personally or through others, in their own name or that of their community, be the same directly or indirectly, no matter under what pretense or color of design; and this under penalty of excommunication latae sententiae to be incurred ipso facto, of deprival moreover of active and passive vote, and of all offices, degrees, and dignities whatsoever, of disqualification besides to hold the same, as well as of forfeiture of all merchandise and the gains accruing therefrom—the same to be set apart by the superiors of the orders whereof the delinquents were members, for the service of the missions in the said [270]Indias in charge of the said orders, now and hereafter, nor to be used for any other purpose whatsoever.

Moreover, under the same penalties we charge the same superiors, while keeping watch strictly in this regard, to proceed against delinquents with the said penalties, nor relieve them from the duty of forfeiture of the said merchandise, or the repayment of gains, no matter how small the amount involved. However should disputes (which God forfend) spring up among the religious of the said orders, let them be settled and ended by the bishops of the said places for the time being, in their capacity of delegates of the apostolic see.

But should matters of graver moment be brought to their notice, let the said bishops without delay refer them to us and the Roman pontiffs our successors, to the end that, whatever the ruling and decree, this may be provided for after mature deliberation. Such is our wish and command.

Moreover, while commanding that without fail these present letters be observed by all and singular to whom for the time being they appertain, we withdraw from all and singular the judges—no matter of what rank, whether ordinary or delegate, even though the same be auditors of cases appertaining to the apostolic palace—the power and authority to rule and interpret otherwise, any decisions to the contrary heretofore given, whether knowingly or through mistake, no matter by what authority, to be held as null and void. Therefore we command all and singular the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of churches and palaces, even those of religious, throughout the whole world, [271]without fail to have these present letters observed in their provinces, cities, dioceses, chapters, and jurisdictions, besides whenever requested by the religious of the said orders to have and see that the same be published solemnly,1 notwithstanding to the contrary any interdict, prohibitions, letters, or other premises of our said predecessors, nor any apostolic or synodal decree, be the same issued in provincial or general council, no matter whether embodied in special or general constitutions and ordinances (even in those granted to the Society of Jesus and the other said orders, provinces and regions); no matter whether confirmed by apostolic pledge or otherwise by statute, custom, privilege, or apostolic indult and letters, even those granted by the pontiffs in the fulness of their power, be the same general or special—all which, in so far as they conflict with these our present letters, prohibition, and interdict, wherefore they are to be considered as having been duly expressed and inserted therein, we hereby desire and command shall be invoked in favor of no one, no matter of what order, even though of the Society of Jesus, but be held as null and void. And since it would be difficult to have these present letters exhibited and published in all places, we desire that to all copies of them (even in print), whenever the [272]same be certified to by any public notary, or the secretary of any of the said orders, and attested with his seal by any church dignitary, or the generals of the aforesaid orders, the same respect be accorded in court, or outside, as would be given to these presents were they themselves to be exhibited or shown. Given at Rome at St. Peter’s, under the seal of the Fisherman, the twenty-second day of February, 1632, and the tenth year of our pontificate.

M. A. Maraldi

We, Cæsar Montius, by the grace of God and the apostolic see patriarch of Antioch, nuncio of our most holy lord Urban VIII, by divine Providence pope, with power of legate a latere of the same see in the kingdoms of the Spains, and collector-general for the apostolic chamber, to all and singular who shall view and see as well as hear these present letters, hereby do attest and in the word of truth do vouch that this present copy of the same agrees with the original in every respect. Wherefore we command that to it full regard be shown. In testimony whereof we have sealed these presents, signed by our own hand, and have ordered the same to be issued by our secretary. Maduti, of the diocese of Ysleta, the twenty-eighth day of June, 1633.

By order of the same most illustrious lord:

D. Francisco Gutierrez Corrilla, secretary. [273]

1 From this point to nearly the end of the bull, I have found it necessary to simplify the phraseology considerably, while carefully preserving the sense. The passage in question, while not hard to understand in Latin, would be, if translated literally, almost unintelligible in English—a long, wordy repetition of revocatory and annulling clauses, for many of which there is no precise and brief equivalent in English. Nor is the Latin itself elegant; and a few words and phrases can only be guessed at—these, however, not affecting the real sense, or involving any matter of importance.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, translator.


News from the Far East, 1632

Information which has been sent from the city of Manila of the present condition of the Catholic religion in Philipinas, Japon, and Great China; sent by father Fray Juan Garcia,1 professed religious of the Order of St. Dominic, to the royal convent of San Pablo at Sevilla. Account of how the king our lord has taken an island in Great China, called La Hermosa, with a great fortress which is there.

During the former year of 631, twenty-eight professed religious of the Order of St. Dominic, from different convents in Spaña, who voluntarily offered themselves for the service of God our Lord, the holy apostolic Roman see, and their order, left the port of San Lucar de Barameda, having embarked to cross over to the province of Nueva España in the Yndias, thence to the Philipinas Islands, Japon, and [274]the kingdom of Great China, in order to preach the faith of Jesus Christ in those said kingdoms to the barbarous and idolatrous heathen there. After a prosperous voyage of eleven months they arrived at the city of Manila, where they were well received by the other religious who reside in those islands. However there died during the said voyage father Fray Juan Quixada, a native of Xerez, and a son of that convent; father Fray Vicente Ripol, a native of Zaragoça, and a son of the same convent; father Fray Francisco Castañeda and brother Fray Jacinto Robles, both sons of Salamanca; brother Fray Vicenta Ybañes, a son of the convent of Valencia; and brother Fray Jayme Escuder, native of Mallorca. The rest arrived safe and sound, full of joy at finding themselves where they desired to be busied in the preaching of the holy gospel.

The news from Japon has it that the emperor of that country is holding a large number of Dutch in prison, on account of difficulties which they have had with the Japanese, and even worse [were their dealings] with our people; for through friendship for the Dutch has arisen the great persecution and martyrdom of so many religious, of so many different orders, who have suffered martyrdom in those regions. Having ingratiated themselves with the emperor until they stood well with him, in order that there might be no increase in the faith of Jesus Christ they counseled him that it was altogether inexpedient to consent that any friar of any order should enter his kingdom, for that they were a vile people, driven out of España, to preach the faith of a God whom they adored, who had died crucified upon a cross; and that with that humble garb they [275]were doing great harm, converting the people to their faith and straightway delivering over the country to the king of España, as they had done in other parts of the Yndias. But as God our Lord is ever mindful of his own, His Divine Majesty has permitted that these works of cunning and these heretical counsels, unfriendly to our holy Catholic faith, should have no success, and so at present they have not. For the emperor has commanded that in no way shall any Japanese be martyred for turning Christian; but that they should be exiled from the realms of Japon, and landed in a Christian country, so that, since they had accepted that faith, they might there be supported and given the necessaries of life. The reason which moved the emperor to order that they be not martyred is because he fears that through the martyrdom many heathen Japanese would be converted, if they were to see those who are martyred dying unwavering in their Christian faith. Accordingly, in the month of May in the past year of one thousand six hundred and thirty-two there arrived in this city of Manila a Japanese ship with more than a hundred Japanese, with their wives and children. They were exiled Christians who had been told in their own country that if they abandoned the faith not only would they not be exiled from their fatherland, but that they would be cared for at the expense of the emperor. They chose to set out as exiles, fathers parting from their sons, wives from their husbands, and children from their parents, to preserve the faith of Jesus Christ, trusting solely to the providence of God. They arrived at this city of Manila, having suffered ill-treatment and disease. As soon as they had landed and been received by the [276]Christians of this city, they all began—men, women, and children—to sing Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, and other psalms, so that it would have moved stones to pity. They were taken immediately to a church, at their own request, in procession. And no sooner did they find themselves in the temple of the Lord for whom they had suffered so much, than they all commenced to sing aloud Nunc dimittis, from beginning to end, so that the Christians of the primitive church could have done no more. They were then taken to a hospital, where they are being cared for at present with liberal good cheer, for on every hand they are supplied with plentiful alms. The heathen Japanese went back astonished at this charitable reception which they received; and therefore they now make martyrs no more, because they realize that this affects the people, and that more are converted in the public martyrdoms which they were inflicting in order to strike the others with fear. What they now do with the ministers of the gospel whom they can capture is as follows—as has been done lately with six religious whom they hold prisoners among them, two of these belonging to our order of St. Dominic: Within the prison they strip the fathers, and throw boiling hot water on them over their whole bodies, until they are horribly burned and wounded, and their skin is quite flayed off. Then they are cared for; and when they are recovering they are again stripped, and the same thing done, and so they have been kept for a year.

Concerning missions in the kingdom of Camboxa, we learn that four years ago, when the king sent to ask for religious in order to make himself and his kingdom Christian, six belonging to our Dominican order only, went there, and carried to him a handsome [277]present on behalf of the governor of Manila. The king received them with much kindness at first. Afterwards, when they instructed him in our faith and told him he must give up his idolatries to receive it, he began to hate them—until, after two years, he ordered them to return; and so that kingdom is without a Christian, as it was impossible to persuade a single person; for they are wild barbarians, who, like the negroes, go about attired in skins.

As for Great China, it is the chief object of our desire; for the people are intelligent, and the country great and populous. The King of España has taken an island which lies eighteen leguas from Great China, and is called Hermosa Island—a thing which was considered impossible, for it seemed that all the power in the world would not be enough to conquer it. In this island there is a great fort and a city, where many Spaniards are in garrison; and six of our religious, with none of any other order. A ship-load of provisions, and one company of soldiers, are sent to them every year from this city of Manila. Five of our friars went this year. In that island they are engaged in conquering it with soldiers, although most of it has made peace. Our friars are converting some whose conversion, through the goodness of God, is very effective. From this island two of our religious went to Great China; and eight days ago we received a letter from one of them which reads as follows:

“Your reverences may give thanks to our Lord, for the Order of St. Dominic is already within Great China. They killed my companion immediately after we landed. I am considering how the conversion of this land can be best accomplished, etc. In this city there are about six hundred Christians, [278]natives of Great China, among eleven thousand heathen, largely merchants who come to trade. It should be a matter commended to God to be pleased to open the eyes of this people to a knowledge of Him, as there are so many souls there to be damned—for (so they say) there are more people in Great China than in half of all the rest of the world. It has been revealed to a holy nun, and to one of our friars of rare virtue, that those who are now living will see the conversion of this people. I can assure you that the labor is great, and the workers few; for there are missions in these islands where, on account of the lack of religious, we can have no more than one; and he has more than two thousand souls in his charge, and four villages where he says mass every feast-day, with the permission of the superior, though one village is two leguas or more from another. It is a matter for wonder that even one religious is left, after all this labor and service in so hot and enervating a country.”

The original of this letter was addressed to the father master Fray Alonso Tamariz, formerly prior of this convent of Sevilla.

This information has been sent to the most reverend father-general of the Order of St. Dominic, that his most reverend Paternity may prepare those under his command to continue this great enterprise, and go to those regions, whence so great results are hoped and desired for the increase and propagation of the holy Catholic faith.

With the permission of the lord provisor and of the alcalde Don Pedro Pantoja de Ayala. In Sevilla: sold by Juan Gomez de Blas, close to the Correo Mayor, this year of 1633. [279]

1 Juan García (afterward named “de la Cruz”) came to the Philippines in 1632; he must therefore have sent to Sevilla almost immediately after his arrival in the islands the letter from which this document was printed. He spent four years laboring in the Formosa mission; and in 1636 went to China, where he spent most of his remaining years. Persecuted in that country as a Christian preacher, he finally was seized by Chinese soldiers, and so maltreated that his injuries caused his death December 8, 1665, at Fogan; he was then sixty years of age. See Reseña biog. Sant. Rosario, i, pp. 411–414, for sketch of his life.


Letters from Juan Cerezo de Salamanca to Felipe IV

Military affairs


By two letters of the same date as this, I have informed your Majesty of my arrival in these islands, in accordance with the orders to the incumbents of vacancies in these governments. Referring to them, I intend in this letter to give brief information of what concerns military matters.

The conservation and increase of the islands depends on the trade with China and Japon, providing that the other provinces shall steadily maintain a suitable population. This will be secured by maintaining the reputation of your Majesty’s arms and true military discipline; and by taking heed to preserve what your Majesty holds today, without attempting new enterprises. For the one your Majesty has sufficient force, but for the other there would be needed other and fresh forces.

The army of these islands is composed of nineteen companies. Six of them are in garrison in this city, and one in the fort of Cavite; six others in Terrenate; three in the island of Hermosa; one in the island of Oton; another in that of Cibú; and another [280]in that of Caraga. These companies will be frequently changed, so that they may all share alike in the work and the leisure, and so that all may become soldiers.

The castle of Manila has its usual garrison, and is in a state of defense. The forts of Cavite guard the port where the ships are anchored; while under its artillery the building and repair of the ships is carried on. That fort always has one company of the army. The fort of Zibu is important because of its distance, and because it has a port in which the reënforcements for Terrenate are made ready; while it confronts the insurgent Indians of Mindanao and Xolo. For that reason its garrison has one company of volunteers [sobresaliente], and one of the army. The other two forts of Oton and Caraga are kept up for the same purpose. As I have but recently arrived, I do not make so full a relation of them as I shall give next year.

In regard to the island of Hermosa, I shall not inform your Majesty, until I have sufficient knowledge to do so, of what I think; for I see that the expenses incurred by your Majesty are heavy, while the island is of no use. On the other hand, trustworthy persons give confident expectations of its population, growth, and utility.

The reënforcements for Terrenate are what cause most solicitude; they are made at great risk, and at a heavy cost to your Majesty. That of last year reached the fort with reputation, because it was carried by a powerful ship which could withstand the Dutch, defensively and offensively. The governor [of Terrenate], Pedro de Heredia, has advised us that it will be expedient for your Majesty’s service [283]that the first reënforcement be sent in such manner that it may not be endangered, inasmuch as the enemy is making preparations to await it with greater forces. Consequently, I am trying to have it conveyed by two war galleons, and to have them leave at the time considered advisable by men of experience. From now on, all the reënforcements will carry two entire infantry companies, so that two others may return in their place. In this way that garrison will be changed every three years, and all the companies of the army will share the work equally. It is advisable for your Majesty to order the governors to do this, absolutely; for in this there has been lack of system. Your Majesty should not allow portions of companies to be sent; but whole companies should go, so that the unprotected should not be wronged, or the privileged favored. [In the margin: “Let this be marked, and also let advice of this clause be given to the new governor.1 Portions of companies shall not be sent to Terrenate, but whole companies shall go there, as is here said, so that those companies which are changed may return entire.”]

Pedro de Heredia, who has been many years governor of Terrenate, is a good soldier; but he is old and rich, and it is advisable for your Majesty to send a successor to him. He should be one who will be content with the honor and dignity of the post of governor.

Your Majesty has sustained here a number of galleys at a great expense. They have been of very little or of no service. Some of them have fallen to pieces with the lapse of time; and others have been [284]wrecked, not so much on account of disasters, as for the lack of experienced officers for that navigation, as it is very different from that of galleons. In this port there is now but one old galley; and as I have taken a trip in it, I can assure your Majesty that it serves for nothing else than vanity. To keep it up costs considerable, and therefore, and because this treasury is so deeply in debt, I have determined to prevent so excessive a cost to your Majesty. I shall only keep up the galley of Terrenate, which is necessary and cannot be spared; for your Majesty’s revenues do not allow superfluities. And, so long as your Majesty does not resolve upon another course, I shall not venture upon more at present than to repair this galley, which is old and unmanageable, in order that there may be something in which to occupy the crew (who lie idle the whole year), until a new order comes from your Majesty. [In the margin: “Have the new governor notified, in accordance with what the last one has written, in how bad a condition is the galley of which mention is made, the great expense that would be required to repair it, of how little use it is; that it can be dispensed with; and that, if there are no other reasons that prevent, or any inconveniences, he shall do so, and, after doing it, he shall give information of what has occurred, and of his opinion.”]

Your Majesty has a captain-general of artillery here, which is a superfluous post, not only on account of the little that there is for him to do, but because there will never be a land campaign; and on all occasions the governor attends to this, as to other things. It is also proper to adjust the jurisdictions of all [the officers], for they are all at variance, as [285]some are trying to meddle in the affairs of others. That results in confusion and disorder; for the master-of-camp, in accordance with his title, claims that he can try causes in the first instance of all the men who are paid, both in and out of the army. The governor of the artillery, the castellans, the military captains, the substitutes [entretenidos], and others who are not soldiers of the army claim that they are exempt from such jurisdiction. I have thought it best to inform your Majesty, so that you may please order the measures taken that are most to your pleasure. [In the margin: “When that post falls vacant, have this section brought.”]

It is not advisable that it be known here that the governors should give so particular an account as I am giving, and as I shall always give, in accordance with the dictates of my conscience; for others, fearful of it, will not neglect to advise of many things of importance. Will your Majesty provide throughout, what is most to your pleasure. May God preserve your Majesty, etc. Manila, August 14, 1633.

Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca

Government matters


I have informed your Majesty from Mexico that, in accordance with the regulations in regard to the vacancies in this government of Filipinas, the viceroy of Nueva España entrusted me ad interim with it because of the death of Don Juan Niño de Tavora, the regularly-appointed incumbent. I left Acapulco April 5, and entered these islands with the flagship and almiranta July 8, after a prosperous voyage, although the great calms of this year have [286]obliged the ships to make port in the island of Mindoro, at a distance of twenty-five leguas from this city, where they are awaiting suitable weather to enable them to get to this city of Cavite. Accordingly, I came in an oared vessel to take possession of this government, on the second of the present month.

I am obliged to inform your Majesty of the judicial, treasury, military, and government matters, and as a new arrival I shall be able to do it quite free from interest and passion, and with the sole desire of fulfilling my duty as a vassal. I shall endeavor with all truth to give a succinct relation of all that I have found, so that, after your Majesty has read them, you may have the most advisable measures taken.

This government and the preservation of its provinces consists in that the commerce of Great China and Japon be current, and especially that of Japon. In truth this is more considerable, both as it is a powerful neighbor, and because they are wont to bring from that kingdom many products which are needed [here]—namely, iron, copper, lead, saltpeter, flour, salt pork, vegetables, drugs, and silver—and which it costs your Majesty considerable to have to supply from Nueva España.

Our relations with Japon are broken up, because the Dutch with their accustomed scheming—that king having been irritated on account of the religious who have preached the holy gospel from these provinces, and fearful of new conquest—have converted into hate the old-time friendship. The Japanese employ extraordinary harshness toward the Catholics; and although your Majesty has ordered my predecessors in so prudent and Christian a manner, [287]by your royal decrees, not to allow the religious to go to Japon until the times change, they have been unable to prevent it; for the religious have imprudently embarked in secret, thereby causing more trouble than good. They have thus left a deficiency in the missions of these provinces, where they have sufficient in which to busy themselves, since whole nations are heathens. The measure that I believe to be practical is for your Majesty to command the provincials of the orders not to allow any religious to go to Japon for the present; for they only serve to irritate one who, if placated, will some day, when undeceived in regard to the Dutch malice, grant the liberty which he now denies. Now and henceforth I shall endeavor to give Japon to understand your Majesty’s desire of good friendship and relationship. In accordance with this I shall attempt the same with the provincials, and have them concern themselves in converting the Japanese and Sangleys who live among us, until your Majesty be pleased to order otherwise, [In the margin: “This was provided for by writing to the governor to pay attention to this matter, and to arrange matters as may be most advisable.”]

The trade with Great China has also declined, because the Portuguese of Macan have become masters of it, as they are so near. Being admitted here, contrary to all good government, they come here to retail the products which the said Sangleys formerly brought directly, whereby these provinces are suffering a great scarcity. All of that results to our damage and to the advantage of China, because of the great advance in price over the [former] cheapness of their goods—[an excess] which, moreover, [288]they carry to their own land. The relief that I believe can be had, although at its beginning some privation may be felt, is for your Majesty to prohibit the trade of Macan with Manila, and decree that no Portuguese be admitted in this government. Besides the attainment of the aforesaid object, your Majesty’s duties will increase—which is a matter worth consideration; for until now all has been expense. [In the margin: “Collect the papers that we have upon this matter and those written upon it, and bring them here.”]

I have found these islands in need of men, whose numbers are decreasing because of the poor climate. The need of them requires that your Majesty provide a remedy; for the reënforcements from Nueva España are costly. Although the governors have exceeded their authority by giving licenses [to leave the country], I can not avoid representing to your Majesty that the inhabitants of Manila are worthy of the favors that your Majesty may be pleased to show them, provided it does not result in disservice to your Majesty—as I warn you by a separate letter touching revenue matters, in order that I may not confuse those matters in this letter; and in another letter touching military matters, I advise your Majesty of certain points, which also depend on the same thing. [In the margin: “Write to the governor to avoid giving licenses; and to the viceroy [of Nueva España] that he send some men there, as is ordered.”]

The governors whom your Majesty shall provide for these islands should be as experienced in nautical matters as in those of the land; and should at the [289]same time understand judicial and legislative matters. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

Licentiate Don Francisco de Rojas finished his visit, and has proceeded in it as an honest and good minister. He has done considerable in so brief a term, when one considers his poor health. He goes well informed on the affairs of these regions, in order to inform your Majesty of what he has seen. Although he has borne himself with discretion, he leaves these provinces afflicted, because he has taken away encomiendas from very poor persons who have served well, and who by virtue of these grants have become citizens. They have been condemned because they did not secure the confirmation of your Majesty within the time set. Their excuse is, not only that it is not more than two years since your Majesty’s decree requiring that the confirmation be given was proclaimed, but that, besides their living in the most remote provinces in the world, the advice-ships from Nueva España were wrecked this year. The ships sailing hence have put back to port, and their despatches have not arrived; and as they are soldiers, with careless agents who employ but little effort in soliciting their causes, will your Majesty be pleased to show them the favor that is agreeable to you. [In the margin: “It was provided.”]

Two auditors have remained in this royal Audiencia, because the visitor suspended the other two. There is a lack of officials, for I also found that the fiscal, Don Juan de Quesada, was dead. The government appointed in his place, before my arrival, Don Juan Fernandez de Ledo, until your Majesty [290]order otherwise. I am informed that he is a capable person, and that he is very learned and of praiseworthy morals. Will your Majesty be pleased to show him the favor that you may deem advisable. [In the margin: “It was provided.”]

Because of my having taken possession of this government so late, although your Majesty had ordered that the ships that sail annually to Nueva España should depart on the first of June I have found, on the second of August, their despatch so delayed that it has been impossible to make it before now, although I have not endeavored to accomplish any other thing since my arrival. I desire to have your Majesty informed that this despatch is not chargeable to me. [In the margin: “Seen.”]

May God preserve your Majesty, etc. Manila, August 14, 1633. Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca

Revenue matters


Although I informed your Majesty in two other letters, of equal date with this, of my arrival in these islands, and that this temporary government is in my hands, I intend to tell briefly in this letter only the matters that I observe concerning the revenues.

I have found your Majesty’s revenues very inadequate, and that the royal treasury owes eighty-eight thousand eight hundred pesos to the inhabitants of Manila, which have been borrowed in reals; and it is necessary to pay them from the aid that I bring.

I have found no lumber in the shipyards for the repair of the ships, and for the other needs that are wont to arise. There is a lack of rigging, of food, [291]and of all the supplies necessary. I advise your Majesty of it, in case my ability should not be sufficient to supply so great needs as there have been; although my principal endeavor shall be to strive, in these beginnings, that all shall be restored to its former condition. [In the margin: “Examined January 25, 34. Write to the new governor that we have heard of the lack of wood and of the other things that are [word illegible in MS.; necessary?] in the magazines, so that everything may be provided as is expected from his care and zeal.”]

I am obliged in conscience to inform your Majesty (in case my own efforts should prove insufficient) of all that I shall esteem worthy of correction in your royal service; and of what I saw in the port of Acapulco, where I embarked, and in the ships up to the present. In order to be able to do so, it is necessary for me to repeat in brief the favors and privileges which your Majesty has conceded to these inhabitants of Manila, in order to show them favor, with the desire that they increase in numbers, and so that they alone may enjoy the fruits of the trade and traffic of these provinces, entirely excluding from it the inhabitants of Nueva España. Surely this is an important matter, but the custom and malice of men has had so much influence that experience shows us that neither that which your Majesty orders is sufficient, nor do the citizens of Manila realize the value of the favors which they receive. The worst of all is that, to judge from the condition of affairs, there is no one from whom to obtain the fitting remedy. The principal abuse is that, although your Majesty ordered that no money pass from Nueva España here, and although you granted permission [292]to these inhabitants to receive only five hundred thousand ducados, a way has been found whereby they secretly send annually as much as they wish—and that without the said prohibition being any hindrance to any person of Nueva España, or those of any other region. The governors my predecessors have had knowledge of this abuse, but they have not dared to remedy it because of the annoyances that arise in so well-established a practice, and one in which nearly all the vassals of your Majesty are included. For this same reason, and because I have so recently arrived, I have considered it fitting to inform your Majesty, so that, in so grave a matter, you may determine what will be most fitting to your royal service. [In the margin: “Send this letter to Don Juan de Palafox, so that he may be informed of it.” “Seen by the [word illegible in MS.] J. Palafox.”]

It is my opinion that since it has been impossible to check the practice of sending every year money for these parts from Nueva España (and I suspect that two millions are sent, and that the dearness occasioned by this abundance of silver results only to the benefit of Great China, where the money stops without your Majesty having collected your duties), it will be considered as an aid to the great expenses of the galleons of this line that your Majesty allow the money that shall have to pass to be openly registered in Acapulco, at the rate of five per cent. By so doing your Majesty will enjoy what has hitherto been usurped by the officers (both the higher and the lower) of the said ships; and at a reasonable price, and with permission, no one would conceal the money that he was sending. And now since no other [293]remedy is found, it will be right for your Majesty to do this, so that you may not lose your duties. In regard to the difficulties on account of which they might at Acapulco refuse to accept this tax, which will reach so great an amount of income, I answer that the trade of these islands is not injured nor will the exchanges of the money that comes annually from Nueva España increase. Only that which has hitherto been done surreptitiously will be done openly in the future, to the benefit of the royal treasury. The higher and lower officers of the galleons will content themselves with the emoluments of their offices, which are those that they are enjoying for this. Will your Majesty have this matter considered very closely; for here, to one who has the matter before him, it is a clear case.

In the port of Acapulco, your Majesty has three royal officials, who are present from the time of the arrival of these ships until they have once more set sail. In the despatching of the vessels they look as much to their own comforts as to the service of your Majesty. They make friends among the registrars, and shut their eyes to the money that is wont to be sent on commission. The governors are powerless to remedy this from here. I think that your Majesty can dispense with all these three positions; and that, besides saving their salaries, your Majesty will be much better served if, at the arrival of the ships, your Majesty order that the castellan and the alcalde-mayor of Acapulco do not permit them to discharge their cargoes, and that an accountant-in-chief of the bureau of accounts be always sent from Mexico on the first of December to attend to the unlading; and that he be accompanied by the [294]alcalde-mayor of Acapulco, or by the castellan of that fort.

In the letters that I write pertaining to government and military affairs, I touch on some points which also touch this matter of the revenue; and I do not repeat them, in order not to become prolix. I only go back in this to represent the difficulties occasioned here by its being known that the governors give account of everything—as I am giving it and shall continue to give it as my conscience dictates to me; for others will not neglect to advise you of many things pertaining to your royal service. Will your Majesty provide in this what will be most suitable. May God preserve your Majesty. Manila, August 14, 1633.

Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca [295]

1 Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera. See vol. xvii, p. 291.


Report of Archbishop on the Bakery of Manila


On behalf of this city a royal decree has been presented to me in which your Majesty commands me to inform you in regard to the favor which Governor Don Fernando de Silva extended to the said city and to Captain Andres Fernandez de Puebla, giving them the income from the bakery of this city, which was established on the site and lot belonging to the said Andres Fernandez de Puebla, he enjoying half the rent and the said city the other half. The said Andres Fernandez de Puebla is an old citizen, who has served your Majesty with approval. Complying with the said instruction, and in order to investigate the matter with fairness and accuracy, as it should be, I personally went to the said bakery and inspected it. I found it walled entirely about with cut stone, and with doors and stout locks, so that when it is locked up at night no one can go in or come out. The site is ramparted and habitable where the ovens stand. Although there are some filling timbers lacking in the middle, it is nothing of importance, and may be easily repaired. I found in the said bakery a Spanish overseer, who serves as a faithful manager and who lives [296]there continually, as I have been informed. He does not allow the Chinese bakers to adulterate the flour, and is always present to see that they make clean bread. It seems to me that it is very useful and advantageous for this city that all the ovens be placed together in the said bakery, and in no other place. It is fitting that your Majesty should order this; for there are very great difficulties in the maintenance of ovens in private houses, as they are haunts where are committed thefts and offenses against God, which are commonly known. This is my opinion and is based on my forty years’ experience since I have been in these islands. May God protect the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, according to the needs of Christianity.

Dated at Manila, on the third of August, 1634.

Fray Hernando, archbishop of Manila. [297]


News from Felipinas, Japon, and other Parts

By the last express the following news arrived in a letter which came from Manila, dated August 20, 634: “Father Manuel Cuello writes that he is in Camboja in disguise, in order to pass on to Japon, where the persecution is so bloody that it is publicly cried that five hundred pesos will be given to any person who makes known the whereabouts of any priest. In this way during four months sixteen of our fathers have been arrested, besides the brothers and dogicos who are being seized every day. While they were awaiting death, it happened that the emperor was bedridden, suffering with the leprosy for a long time; and he could find no remedy in his medicines, nor in the sacrifices to his idols. He heard many loud cries and wails in the garden, and commanded his people to learn what it was. When they came back, they said that the sounds proceeded from a large bamboo, a plant which is very plentiful in that country. They opened it and found within a cross, red as if dipped in blood, which caused them great wonder. They took it to the emperor, who was much more astounded because the day before he had seen a very brilliant cross in the air, although he had told no one of it; but, when this portent was [298]found in his garden, he had his soothsayers called in to tell him what it meant. Some of them said one thing and some another; but the chief of them said that these crosses were from the fathers who, although blameless, had been put to death for teaching the veneration of the cross. This explanation was confirmed by a bonze, one of his favorites, who added that he believed that the leprosy which he suffered was owing to his having slain so many innocent people. When the emperor asked him [what he meant], he added: ‘The fathers and Christians whom your Majesty ordered to be killed at Nangasaqui. I believe that your Majesty has already seen that with all our efforts we cannot cure you; and you should call upon the bonzes of Nanbamcas (as they call our fathers) and perhaps they may be able to grant and perform this miracle, as they do others.’

“It is a great deal that soothsayers and bonzes, who are so much opposed to us, should speak so in our favor; but the Lord can do much greater things, and as it seems that the portent is His work, [words illegible] the interpretation. The result was that the emperor immediately sent messengers to Nangasaqui and other places to bring to him the fathers who were in prison. They brought from Nangasaqui father Fray Luis, of the Franciscan order; and the father-provincial Christobal Ferreira, and Father Sevastian de Viera, of the Society—the latter having been for a long time a laborer in that church whence he was sent to Rome as procurator. When our father invited him to remain here, as he was so old and had labored so long, he preferred to end his life with the children whom he had begotten in Christ, since they were engaged in such wars, rather [299]than enjoy the peace of Europa. Two years ago he arrived at Manila from Rome; and a little more than a half a year ago he left Manila for Japon, in the garb of a Sangley. But as he was so well known, as soon as he secured an entrance to that country, and the search for the Christians began, more than a thousand agents were sent over the whole kingdom in search of him, so great a desire had they to get hold of him. As they were so numerous, and the reward great, he was unable to escape. He finally was made a prisoner with the other Christians at Nangasaqui, who were awaiting death (it was this that made him go back to Japon); and, although they believed it to be certain when the order came to convey them to court, all were greatly encouraged to suffer it. But, in place of that, the ambassador of Macao who is at that court writes that the kindly treatment which the emperor extended to them was remarkable. He ordered them to be taken from the prisons and spoke to them with much gentleness. He told the fathers that if their faith was such truth as they said, they should obtain from their God the cure of his leprosy, so that he might recognize its truth; and see that he had done wrong in taking the lives of those who followed it. The fathers offered to ask this from our Lord, if his Majesty wished, for the cause was His; and He heard their petitions and our desires. This emperor may be the Constantine of that church, in whom the blood that he shed of so many noble laborers wrought the health which was restored to him; and this made him unwilling to shed the blood of the humble innocents. We hope that this omen has assuaged the persecution, and his health goes far to confirm this. We [300]have the same hope for China, where our Lord has made us so acceptable to the emperor that he has given us one of the study-halls at his court at Paquin. Our fathers are giving lectures to large audiences, and are highly esteemed by all the court, whence springs our hope of founding many colleges in that kingdom.1 May it please his Majesty to further this.” [301]

1 See account of the founding of the Jesuit missions in China, vol. vi, p. 208. The work begun by Ricci (see vol. xv, p. 178) was continued by Johann Adam Schall von Bell, a German Jesuit, who entered China in 1622, remaining there until his death in 1669. He was a noted astronomer and mathematician, and for his learning and talents was greatly esteemed by the Chinese, especially at the imperial court; the reformation of the Chinese calendar was entrusted to him, and rank and emoluments were conferred upon him. The missions in China were not molested by the authorities after 1622; but the conflicts between the Chinese and Tartars, which ended in the overthrow of the Ming dynasty, greatly injured the work of the missionaries from 1630 to 1660. At the time of our text, the Jesuits were on friendly terms with the authorities, and their work prospered especially in Peking. See account of Catholic missions in China, in Williams’s Middle Kingdom, ii, pp. 290–325; and in Crétineau-Joly’s Hist. Comp. de Jésus, iii, pp. 165–184.


Letters from Juan Cerezo de Salamanca to Felipe IV

Revenue affairs


I informed your Majesty by way of Yndia, on the twenty-second of October of last year, of the treasury matters, and of the resistance which these royal officials were making about accepting the new ordinances that were left them by the visitor, Don Francisco de Roxas, by having appealed from them, and having represented in the royal Council of the Yndias the impossibility of being able to comply with these in the service of your Majesty. Notwithstanding their allegations, and the resignation of their offices which they made in writing, I continued, by what methods I could avail myself of, to urge them to accept the said ordinances of the visitor. As they persevered in their disobedience, I arrested all three royal officials, and kept them together in the treasury, so that the despatch [of business] might not cease; thereupon they obeyed, and from that time on we have been following the new ordinances. Although I blamed the too great resistance which they made, ever since I have excused them somewhat, through having experienced the great inconvenience and embarrassments which some of the [302]ordinances contained; and I confess how prudent they were in the exercise of their authority before they experienced the present damage. Matters are in such condition that while I am trying to adjust myself to the new ordinances and not to depart one jot from them, I find myself more embarrassed, and the despatches that demand the greatest haste delayed—as happened to me in the stress of sending the reënforcements in a fleet which I sent to Terrenate this year, in which consisted the security of those forts, which were in danger. It was necessary for me to facilitate it by making use of the precedents of other times. Now, in order to fulfil my obligation, I assure you that what most is needed in Philipinas is the facilitation of the course of business, and the choice of [government] ministers who are entirely trustworthy; for in so remote provinces where all is invasion from the enemy, it will be most difficult to succeed in performing your Majesty’s service, if the jurisdiction and authority are so limited. In order to be able to await what your Majesty may be pleased [to order], I have adopted, in certain doubts, the expedient which has seemed most advisable, after holding meetings and consulting with persons in whom I have confidence.

One of these new ordinances directs that the governor shall deliver, whether in large or small quantity, all the goods and wares of these magazines which are used for various purposes. Those which are in danger of spoiling shall be distributed by his order; and what shall not be thus disposed of shall not be passed over, at the time, to the royal officials. That ordinance is impractical, for, besides the continual occupations of the governor in [303]affairs of greater importance and his inability to personally supervise things so minute, your Majesty had issued the necessary ordinance before the visit, and I have followed it in the preparation of fleets and reëenforcements; and I do not pay any attention to the delivery in small quantities when that is necessary. But I am endeavoring to make it understood that it is impossible to do so always, without obstructing the despatches which usually demand attention suddenly. What is of importance to the service of your Majesty is that we, the governor, royal officials, and other ministers, are attending to the best administration of the royal revenues.

In accordance with these new ordinances, the alcaldes-mayor, the assistants of the royal officials, and shipmasters must annually settle their accounts exactly. Because of the difficulty of navigation between some of the islands, it is impossible to obey this ordinance to the letter, or to cease receiving from such men at the time of [settling] the account, what their salaries allow, as the emoluments which they receive are small or nothing. Thus do we continue to proceed, according to the weather-conditions of the season, and the distance [from Manila] of the places where they live.

Whenever ships or fleets have been despatched, some advance pay has been given to the regular sailors and soldiers. It is a harsh measure that because we do not have, for all the greater and less matters that arise, a distinct decree from your Majesty which is in accord with one of the new ordinances, the royal officials should continually impugn and oppose the orders that exist in some of the same matters; and although there should be [304]nothing else to do than to obey the ordinances, the greater part of the time is passed in summons and replies. I have received in these ships a royal decree from your Majesty, under date of August 26 of the past year, in which your Majesty is pleased to order me to collect two per cent on the merchandise exported to Nueva España, in addition to the other three per cent that has been paid hitherto, in accordance with what the visitor agreed with this city by way of a gracious gift; and that on the first occasion [word illegible in MS.; I make?] decision of what must be observed, and give information whether this duty is collected here, or whether the benefit of it is obtained along with the situado of these islands. I caused it to be obeyed and executed according to its contents. And in order that these citizens might appraise their goods in accordance with this order I had the said royal decree published in the usual places, and it was communicated to the cabildo, judiciary, and magistracy of this city. Seeing that the citizens were exceedingly remiss in lading, and the time far advanced for the ships to make their voyage, I proceeded to stimulate them by edicts and orders, and finally by placing them under the penalty of losing the favors which your Majesty has granted them in allowing the five hundred thousand pesos that are brought every year from Nueva España. The city replied to that by appealing from my act and from the said royal decree to your Majesty, as the relation given by the visitor was not in harmony with the acts, and as their citizens had not made any [such] agreement. The four thousand pesos which they gave as a donation was for that time, provided that no further action should be taken regarding this [305]duty until the matter had been discussed in the royal Council of the Yndias. In proof of it, the visitor embarked without having made a beginning in this collection. After many discussions, the citizens had resolved not to lade any goods at present for Nueva España. I gave a copy of all this to the fiscal and the royal officials. I resolved [not] to despatch the ships without cargoes, and even to take the boxes and bales from where they should be found and actually put them on board the ships; but the auditors and officials believed that it would be contrary to law to force the citizens. Therefore I determined to call a meeting of the Audiencia, archbishop, fiscal, and royal officials, in order to determine what ought to be done in this matter. All were of the opinion that the ships should be laded, even though we should postpone the fulfilment of what your Majesty lately ordered, for the damage that would ensue from the ships going empty would be beyond comparison far greater than the gain of the two per cent; and that the appeal interposed by the citizens ought to be granted, as it was apparent that the report which the visitor had made was different from what had actually and truly taken place. In accordance with this, the city has given bonds for all the sum to which this duty can amount, now and henceforth, until your Majesty be pleased to provide what is most advisable. In order that this may be apparent from the investigations, I enclose herewith a testimony of the acts.

In respect to my report, Sire, I declare that the three per cent which has been collected hitherto, has entered into this royal treasury, and has never been reckoned with the situado. The same will have to be done with this two per cent, for it is all needed [306]for the ordinary support, unless that your Majesty should be better served [by ordering otherwise].

The visitor at his departure gave me an account of all that he had done during the two years while he has been occupied in his visit. According to the report which he gave me of accounts which had been settled, I learned that this treasury was clear of debt, and had much money besides. But I have found by experience since then that, although in appearance he stirred up affairs, in fact the expense was greater than the gain. For most of the settlements of which he made a parade are in litigation, and are being nullified by the acquittal of the parties [in the suit], while others in the Audiencia are even abandoned; and few reach the point of collecting [the amounts due]. Some of the new ordinances that he left suffered the same misfortune, because he did not dictate them or draw them up, but entrusted them to two clerks before his visit—for his poor health did not permit him to do more. It is not to be believed that a well-informed lawyer would try to obstruct the service of your Majesty, for nearly all his ordinances are directed to and reflect distrust of the fidelity of the royal officials, to whom your Majesty has hitherto entrusted your revenues. From the good disposition that I observe in them and the work that they do, I judge them to be your very good and faithful servants.

It is advisable that your Majesty be pleased to send an accountant for settling accounts, and that he be a person of authority, with adequate pay. He who serves in that office in the meanwhile was formerly the servant of one of these auditors; and he is more concerned in occupying his time in sustaining [307]friendships than in attending to what is necessary. On that account if some of the new ordinances were to be remade, this would be bettered.

I received some decrees in these last ships, which were despatched in the year thirty-two, and others of the year thirty-three, concerning the treasury, which are obeyed and will be carried out as is therein contained. When these ships set sail—and that has not been done before as the decrees were received late, and by way of India—I shall give an account of the condition of these matters.

The viceroy of Nueva España has sent me four companies as a reënforcement, and this camp has six others. I have reorganized five, so that there are now six companies in this city, each with more than one hundred soldiers, which is the least number that a company generally has.

Since the month of August of last year, when I began to govern these islands, the half-annats1 have been collected with the care ordered by your Majesty, in which I coöperated with the commissary for that tax. The royal officials and the auditor who was appointed commissary are doing as they should.

In the ships of last year, and by way of Yndia, I informed your Majesty how expedient it was to charge five per cent duty on the silver and reals that are sent annually from Nueva España, as no remedy has been found whereby that commerce can be adjusted to the permission of only five hundred thousand pesos, which your Majesty has conceded to [308]these islands. Past times can ill be compared with the present; and granting the accidents which oblige the viceroys of Nueva España not to practice the rigor which they themselves make the governors of Philipinas overlook, and considering the present thing, and watching out for the greater service of your Majesty, I am grieved because the royal officials of the ships enjoy this advantage—which as I have seen, amounts to more than one hundred thousand pesos per year—and, notwithstanding this new tax, the inconvenience of the quantities of money passing from those regions will increase; for it is most certain that those to whom belongs the trade of Philipinas always find a way by which to attain their objects; and because the viceroy of Mexico undertook to check it this year, by only threats, the inhabitants of these islands are ruined and left without their capital, which remained in Nueva España. May our Lord preserve and prosper the royal person of your Majesty, as we your vassals desire and need. Manila, August 10, 1634.

Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca

Government affairs


I have given your Majesty an account on all occasions of my coming to these islands, and of the condition of affairs in them, although with limitations, and with the caution of a new arrival. But now, after having governed them a year, I shall be able to discuss their affairs with experience and more freedom, so that your Majesty, having been informed, may enact what is most advisable for your royal service. [309]

The disputes which generally arise between the governor and the auditors of this royal Audiencia are usually more prejudicial in these islands than in the rest of your Majesty’s monarchy, as these are the most remote; for their preservation lies in the governor being obeyed and respected, and in his orders being executed and entirely observed, without the auditors hindering him, or casting any doubt on his supremacy, as they are often wont to do.

The jurisdiction of this Audiencia is set at rest from the ecclesiastical fuerzas and the litigations of these inhabitants—who, as is seen from the chart which I am sending under other covers, amount in all to 151 married men, 81 single men, 45 widows, and 160 children, besides fifty other men who live in other places. All the rest are paid sailors and soldiers, with whom the Audiencia has nothing to do; and from that one can infer how few affairs of justice arise. That is the cause of the disputes, and of the auditors actually deciding the affairs of government under pretext of appeals, without waiting until the governors grant or deny them, in accordance with law—to the considerable discredit, of the authority that your Majesty has conceded to the government. That results in nothing that is ordered being executed. And although your Majesty has provided a remedy for these accidents with decrees, so that, in case of doubt, the governor may declare what occurs to him, and that the auditors may pass for this purpose into Philipinas, still that has not sufficed; for they take care to give the decrees a different meaning, and will not be subdued by any means that I have used. In proof of this I cite the following examples. [310]

Your Majesty has prohibited the Audiencia from trying causes concerning the Sangleys of the Parián, and ordered that they be tried only by the alcalde-mayor and the governor, reserving only the sin against nature to the Audiencia. Nevertheless, they meddle by taking the [trial of] first instance from the alcaldes-mayor.

Your Majesty permits only four thousand Sangleys in these islands, but a greater number has been tolerated because of the advantage of the licenses that they pay, and in order not to disturb the trade with China. In respect to these and many other troubles, the former governors have endeavored very earnestly to assure that nation, charging the justices to be very attentive in their jurisdictions, and not allowing them to grant passage from one part to another without permission. Especially is it charged upon the alcalde-mayor of the jurisdiction of Vinondo—the point where the Sangleys fortified themselves during the insurrection. For this so laborious occupation, in a special meeting fees were assigned for each license, at the rate of one real and a quarter for him and his clerk. This has been the practice for many years. This Audiencia having begun to govern these islands because of the death of Don Juan Niño de Tavora, the Order2 of St. Dominic [311]endeavored to alter these licenses and the fee, by representing the injury that was done the Sangleys. But the auditors, in consideration of the above so superior reasons, confirmed to the letter the last act made concerning this matter by the deceased governor; and when I succeeded to the government in accordance with your Majesty’s order, the said religious endeavored to do the same thing. Upon becoming thoroughly familiar with the matter, I confirmed the said governmental acts, enacted by the Audiencia and by Don Juan Niño de Tavora. Nevertheless, from this they have stirred up this pretension, trying the subterfuge of having recourse to the Audiencia for an affair of justice—where they are admitted without these same auditors heeding that they have [already] cast their votes for the government measure.

In the month of September of the past year, five Sangley ships were wrecked on this coast of the province of Ilocos, with a great amount of silver. When preparing to send a person to look for it, the fiscal presented a petition in the Audiencia, although he ought to have presented it to the government. Not to confuse matters by withdrawing them from his charge, and to avoid controversy, and in order that what was to be done be accomplished quickly, I tolerated this mode of despatching the business through the Audiencia, hoping that the alcalde-mayor, to whom the matter would be committed, would make diligent efforts. But seeing that he sent to this treasury but little more than three thousand pesos, I am left with deserved pain for having allowed the jurisdiction of the government to be usurped. I have sent a new alcalde-mayor, with new ordinances for the purpose. [312]

Geronimo de Fuentes bid at auction [for the position of regidor], and the judges of the auction knocked it down to him; and after he had paid to the treasury the price and the half-annat, his title as regidor was made out in the ordinary form. When he went to take possession of his post, some regidors opposed him, appealing to the Audiencia, as is their custom, with the intention that the royal decrees and the orders of the government should never be fulfilled; and, in order not to open the door so that those alcaldes-mayor of the provinces might attempt the same thing with their successors, I had possession of his post given to him, reserving to the party concerned his right, safe and in full force.

Your Majesty has prohibited any one from sending money to Macan, and the governors order the same by their edicts under penalty of confiscation. Antonio Fiallo gave information of over thirteen thousand pesos sent him by Bartolome Tenorio, chief-constable of the court, making a gift to your Majesty of the portion which pertained to him as denouncer. And although this cause originated from the edicts of the government, the auditors tried it, acquitting the said Bartolome Tenorio—commenting on the suit in examination and review during my absence, without carrying it to the regular session.

The ordinances governing the cabildo of this city were given by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, governor of this island, with the command that none of them be altered without an order from the governors. One of them prescribes the form of the election of alcaldes-in-ordinary. Although time has somewhat vitiated it, the order that the regidors should give [313]account to the governor of all that occurred has been observed. Consequently, they send him annually two commissaries from their last cabildo meeting with the nomination of eighteen or more persons, on whom they have cast their eyes for the choice of two alcaldes. This year, while separated into factions, the regidors—finding one of them favored by an auditor who was trying for his own private ends to oust an alcalde in opposition to the community—tried to pervert the said custom of sending me the nomination. I did not allow that, because of the innovation and because of the difficulty involved therein that, in a presidio that is open to so many enemies, alcaldes may be chosen to whom the city cannot be entrusted—for the alcaldes are captains of the inhabitants when occasion arises—declaring, besides, the more than thirty years of this practice. They obeyed, and proposed eleven persons who were satisfactory in every respect. The other new regidors, who had offered the said auditor more than they could perform, opposed the nomination, appealing to the Audiencia, and refusing to make the election on the following day, the first of January. As it was vacation time, I gave one of the auditors commission to preside in the cabildo, in accordance with that fact. He excused himself on account of sickness; whereupon I gave it next to the other remaining auditor, who also excused himself. In default of both of them, I gave the same commission to him who performs the duties of fiscal, basing my reason for it on the grounds that, according to the ordinance he has a vote in a deadlock; and on the fact that one of the auditors usually presides in that act, although there are precedents of some unprofessional [314]men having presided. Don Juan Sarmiento, a creole, and Admiral Don Fernando Galindo, of España, a man of great worth, were elected.

After the vacations were past, the two auditors and the fiscal conspired together, in order to annul the said election and to make another new one. They offered the necessary support to the regidors of their party, in order to have them present themselves in the Audiencia under pretext of appeal. This they did, heaping up nullities in order to make a suit of suits for the purpose of constituting themselves judges of what my delegate did in virtue of a commission of the government, without allowing it to be returned to the delegate, who was ignorant of what had happened in the election. They carried the matter so far that they actually tried to take the cause from me. That compelled me to censure their procedure, and to tell them that the appeals would be granted according to law—but not by violence; giving boldness to the litigants so that those who remained without due punishment because of the support that they were giving them, should become disrespectful, as they had done; and that I would consult the lawyers and learned persons of this city, so that, if that suit did not belong to the government, I might refer the cause [to the other court]. The lawyers gave me their opinions, saying that that matter pertained to the government. On that I founded my declaration in virtue of royal decrees which so ordered, especially one of November 4, 1606. However they did not refrain from it on that account—as they are obliged to do, even if I should go further; and, prosecuting the matter in accordance with the dangerous argument of time, I remitted [315]the case as definitive to Doctor Arias de Mora, advocate of this Audiencia. With him I gave sentence, confirming the said election of alcalde as according to law. As such, the said Don Juan Sarmiento and the senior regidor—because of the absence of Admiral Don Fernando Galindo, who has been occupied in the service of your Majesty—are in the exercise of their offices; and this has resulted in the quiet and peace of this community and that of the appellants themselves. The latter already confess their error, although lately, and as a matter of form, they have presented themselves in appeal from the definitive act; while the other party has refused the two auditors, and there is talk of settling the cause.

[Words illegible in MS. The assembly hall?] has been shut often because of the sickness of these auditors, and more than two months have gone by without any session. Although the business that arises is but slight, it is well for the governors to know what is their obligation when there is a deficiency of auditors in a district so remote from your Majesty; and whether the progress of the suits ought to be stopped on account of death or long illness, for three or four years, until the remedy comes from España; or whether one can proceed as was done when there was no Audiencia. Also it is desirable to know whether it is exactly and legally necessary for an auditor to preside every year at the elections of alcaldes; or whether it will be sufficient, in the absence of auditors, to appoint a person from the number of the influential persons of Filipinas, since the auditor did not per se possess jurisdiction to preside, except by virtue of the commission given [316]him by the government; or whether the said election of alcaldes must cease because there is no one to preside.

By decree of June 8, 1621, your Majesty orders, under severe penalties, that those who still owe anything of the proceeds from saleable offices can neither vote nor be elected as alcaldes-in-ordinary. This has been observed; but certain persons, because of their revengeful dispositions and passions, have extended the decree to [cover] other and different debts. Especially this year has the fiscal tried to prevent the votes of some regidors by obtaining statements [of their accounts] from the accountancy department—some of which debts the visitor brought forward, although that had not been done hitherto, except when only royal officials have (and only in a few years) given a memorandum of those disqualified by evident debts; and in the three preceding years none of these same exhibits were of this sort. They were a disqualification while the visitor was present here, and the interested parties demanded a declaration as the said royal decree did not concern them, and these statements were not obtained from the visit; they have made an appeal, in regard to these points, and they are pending in the royal Council. None of those debts are regarded as evident while they are in litigation, and while the royal officials do not begin to investigate them. I referred their petitions to the said royal officials, so that they could investigate and give their opinions. Having examined it, I declared that those therein contained were able to vote and to be elected, in accordance with the aforesaid; and that, in a community so limited as this, it is not right to give permission [317]to avenge one’s passions under pretext of this royal decree. That extends, according to its terms, only to the debts for saleable offices. Few would be the former regidors and alcaldes who would not be included; and it is advisable for your Majesty to be pleased to have the proper decision made known.

During disputes in this Audiencia, it is the president’s privilege to appoint judges; and when the auditors are challenged, he alone remains unchallenged. Moreover, he has appointed them without any opposition, basing his action on the old custom of this Audiencia, and on the words of the law: “The president, the members of my Council, and the auditors who shall remain unchallenged, shall appoint lawyers.” But recently they have tried to make an innovation and to read the petitions of the recusants and to ascertain the causes that they give. That they did in opposition to the accountant, Martin Ruiz de Zalazar, in regard to a plea of appeal. As they were not in harmony, I appointed as judge an advocate of this royal Audiencia, who having been summoned to the session, and being asked whether the case had right of appeal, declared in favor of the said accountant: without allowing him to vote the auditors made him leave the session, and proceeded by act against the party. The said accountant again challenging him, because of these and other injuries, the said auditor, without allowing him to read the appeal, declared that his associate was not challenged; and the latter, as his alternate, proceeded to try the new challenge, without its being sufficient to contradict it in writing in the session. The so open enmity between the [318]Audiencia and the royal officials being evident, I have withdrawn the papers until your Majesty be pleased to provide the remedy. A similar difficulty has happened to me in regard to the appointment of a lawyer in the challenge of the said Don Juan Sarmiento; and it is necessary for the governors to know what pertains to them in such cases, since the appointment of lawyers is not a point of law, but of the direction of that Audiencia as president; and when he is not there they appoint, without considering whether or not there have been judges in the cause.

The two auditors whom Don Francisco de Rojas suspended have died. Those who are left will attend better to the service of your Majesty anywhere else than in Philipinas. That will mean the cessation of many challenges and other indignities, as well as the vengeance feared by those who have made depositions against them during the visit.

Your Majesty orders me, by a decree of August 26 of the past year, that in matters of government and expenses of the royal treasury, when at the request of part of my [word illegible], I refer them to the fiscal, so that he may advise according to his judgment. I have observed that from the commencement of my government, and I shall observe it with greater care in the future; but it will be advisable to have the fiscal ordered to defend, in the disputes with the Audiencia over jurisdiction, the royal decrees which are in favor of the jurisdiction of the government.

Your Majesty orders me by another royal decree of the same date to see that the ships which are despatched from all these islands to Nueva España [319]leave every year from this port in the beginning of June. That is advisable, but it is impossible to establish it this year; for never have these ships left without having to wait for the arrival of the others [from Nueva España], in order that [the inhabitants] answer their agents in regard to their [commercial] relations, and because no other opportunity for this arises during the year. Consequently, although the ships have been, as far as I am concerned, prepared in time with all that is necessary, the inhabitants have not begun to lade them until they have seen those which arrived safely on the twentieth of July. Since that, the fulfilment of this royal decree touching the two per cent has been discussed, as appears more in detail from the sworn statement of the acts, which I enclose. From now on I have commenced to order that the ships in the coming year are to set sail without those which are now departing; and that the royal decree of your Majesty must be inviolably kept and observed; but even with this warning in advance the early despatch has many inconveniences.

This year no ships have come from Macan, so that the Chinese have brought more merchandise than usual. Their main deficiency has been that of not coming laden with woven stuffs; but with the fair treatment that has been given them, it is hoped that a great abundance of cloth of all kinds will come in the first champans.

The loan of 60,000 [pesos] made to the royal treasury by the inhabitants of Macan, which I ordered to be paid, was opposed by the fiscal, because the Portuguese have kept a quantity of the goods of our citizens. Consequently that sum remains [320]on deposit, in a separate account, so that, when the account is adjusted, their money may be returned to them.

The reënforcements for the island of Hermosa, which left here during the last part of August of last year, sought shelter because of bad weather, and went to anchor at Macan, for there was no other place wherein to take shelter. Although the ship bore the [new] governor of the island of Hermosa, namely, the sargento-mayor Alonso Garcia Romero, with his wife and family, and the provincial of the Order of St. Dominic, Fray Domingo Gonçalez, together with other religious, the Portuguese attempted their accustomed discourtesy, endeavoring to give it color by the pretext that the ship had put in there in order to invest a quantity of money that they were carrying. And although [the said Romero] maintained his men at a great expense, only awaiting suitable weather to carry aid to the island of Hermosa, the Portuguese maliciously detained your Majesty’s ship, and did not allow it to depart until the first of April, when the said governor determined to leave the port at all hazards. He put his determination into effect with the secret permission of the captain-general [of Macan], who, as was right, assisted him; but the Portuguese render so little obedience toward him that they fired twenty-three pieces charged with balls, and it was only by good fortune that the vessel was not sunk. That is the usual practice of the Portuguese toward all the vessels that arrive there from these islands. That is the reason why the governors of Philipinas refuse to send any ships there for supplies, except in a case of extreme necessity. Will your Majesty be pleased [321]to order the inhabitants of Macan to give a different welcome to the vassals of your Majesty who belong to the crown of Castilla.

I have until the present refrained from writing about the island of Hermosa; but now, after a year of residence here, I am obliged to do so. [Word illegible in MS.] that it was settled, and some forts have been built. They are occupied by three companies of infantry, and together with the Pampango soldiers and the other men of service they number more than four hundred, counting the rations which are given them. During the year two pataches ply back and forth in August and April with the reënforcements, and carry what is necessary for the said presidio. The climate is mild, as the island lies in twenty-five degrees of latitude. The soil is fertile, but the natives so intractable that they do not allow us to avail ourselves of the fruits of it; and as yet the religious have not reduced a single reasonable person to holy baptism. They are so treacherous a race that, when we believe that they are most peaceful, they suddenly revolt, and kill whomever they meet unprepared.

On its northern side, this island is about one hundred and twenty-five leguas from the Philipinas; and so near to China that only a channel of thirty leguas separates it from the province of Ucheo. Sailing even farther north, Japon is 195 leguas away. The men are well built, and not so brown as other Indians. The island lacks ports, and only small vessels can reach our forts. The Dutch fortified themselves on the same island first, and in a better place than we; and it was as easy to drive them from it [then] as it is now difficult. From their location to [322]our settlement is a distance of fifty leguas by sea, and there is no road overland or by the other sea. There was no resistance offered to our settlement, although that is the usual thing that happens when one desires to fortify himself in these regions.

The motive for settlement was the desire to be able to enjoy the trade with China near at hand, which would redound to the advantage and profit of the surrounding islands. That has not had the desired effect, because of the difficulties that have arisen, distinct from the facilities of the first plan—to which are added new accidents, which are being continually experienced. The chief of all is that your Majesty has more than two thousand infantry-men in various presidios, while in this camp [i.e., Manila] those who remain do not exceed six hundred. From this place are sent out all the reënforcements for all parts. If it were necessary to fit out six or eight galleons, it would be very difficult to do so without the infantry now in the island of Hermosa; and yet, with that infantry, they could attempt great things. In my opinion, even if all the purposes for which the island of Hermosa had been settled had come to pass, it would result in loss to the rest of Philipinas; for it is advisable for the good of these islands, that the Chinese, Japanese, and other nations bring their merchandise from their lands to this city at their own account and risk, and never at ours; and permission should not be given to make a way-station, or to maintain anyone to buy their goods. The advantage of that will be little, and the scarcity [of goods] general. I am not bold enough to say that the forts of the island of Hermosa should be abandoned, [323]but I affirm stoutly that it would be well had they never been commenced.

In the letter touching military matters, I write at length of what has occurred in the forts of Terrenate, and I refer you to that letter. This is where we can now give the greatest care.

As for the kingdoms of Japon, I am informed that the persecution of Christians was greater than ever last year, and that more than twenty religious from all the orders were martyred, and that even those most carefully concealed were betrayed by their confidants for the reward of one thousand taes which was promised by edict for each religious. Later they write here, but with little foundation, that that fury had ceased, and that the king was proving more humane; but the fact is that it is advisable to prohibit (so that what the provincials for the present are applying as the suitable remedy may have the desired effect) all religious from passing to the said kingdom. For, besides the little or no result that they obtain, that trade is shut to these islands for that reason; and that is what we ought most to desire, and what is of greatest importance to your Majesty’s service and to the conversion of Japon itself.

By virtue of your Majesty’s decree in which you are pleased to grant authority to those governors to take the residencia of their predecessors, because of the inconvenience experienced in their going away without giving it, the decree was presented to me in behalf of Governor Don Juan Niño de Tabora, deceased. By virtue of it I have taken his residencia, and send the same to your Majesty. I have not discovered that there is any charge to make against [324]him, as he has lived honorably, and in the praiseworthy manner that his obligations demanded.

The Sangleys celebrate their festival, according to their custom, every year in the month of March, in their Parián. They are very fond of gambling, and, by the advice of all the orders, they are permitted to play during their pastimes. The money given by the winners has been distributed among the servants of the governors, because they do not have any means of livelihood, and because the obligation of the charge is so great that the pay is scarcely able to support them decently. But I have distributed this money among the retired captains, the poor, the widows, and worthy men who suffer necessity. The Order of St. Dominic is the only one that dissents from the opinions of the orders.

When the Audiencia was governing, there was a change in the method of collecting the licenses of the Sangleys; but it resulted in so much loss that, as has been found by experience, this [year’s] collection has exceeded by many thousand [pesos] the collections made last year.

They have tried to establish the same policy in the inspection of the Sangley ships, contrary to all good government; for it is fitting that those people have many to protect them, as I tell more at length in the section treating of the licenses given by the alcalde-mayor of Tondo. In no year have they been less humbled than in this.

The wheat used by the inhabitants comes from China, because these islands do not grow it. Consequently, the common sustenance is rice. Formerly, as a policy of good government, the past governors assigned a place where the bread ovens were gathered [325]together, and prohibited the baking of bread in any other place. In order to make this bread near at hand, the city made a contract with Captain Andres Fernandez de Puebla, so that it might be made on a site belonging to him—with the provision that he, spending in the building what then seemed sufficient, should enjoy half of the income of the said ovens, while the other half should remain for the city. All the governors have confirmed this, as it appeared of utility to the community. This is what I have to inform you of, according to your Majesty’s orders in your royal decree.

The post of protector of the Sangleys is vacant, as your Majesty has ordered that account be given of it, and that six suitable persons be proposed for it, who must be lawyers. It is impossible to find so many in this community, because of the few inhabitants here; and some do not care for the said post of protector on these terms. I propose to your Majesty the person of Captain Matheo de Heredia, who, besides having served for many years in various exercises, is one of the best lawyers in Philipinas. The royal Audiencia entrusts business of importance to him, and he possesses ability and merits for things of greater worth, and this favor will be well bestowed on him.

The viceroy of Nueva España has sent abundant reënforcements this year, with three hundred thousand pesos in money and the materials for the clothing of the soldiers (the best that have ever come here); this has been of great relief for the present needs.

The captain-general of the artillery claims that he can issue warrants on the treasury as well as I, [326]because of his office. The royal officials oppose that, as there is no money assigned for it, and they are not subordinate to any other but the governor, and that was not done in the time of his predecessor. It will be fitting for your Majesty to declare what is your pleasure, considering the fact that this treasury is poor, and that it is troublesome to have many giving warrants on it. May God preserve the royal person of your Majesty, as is needful to us your vassals. Manila, August 10, 1634.

Don Juan Cereso Salamanca

Military affairs


On the twenty-second of October, I informed your Majesty of military affairs. Now I shall do the same in detail, with the zeal of a true and faithful vassal; in accordance with which I say that the conservation of these islands consists in not embarking in new enterprises, but in keeping the presidios well defended which cannot be dispensed with, and to abolish those of least importance. By so doing there will be men in this camp for undertaking great things, as has been done in other times by your Majesty’s governors; while the contrary is true now, for the aforesaid reason, and the governors content themselves with not losing anything that is in their charge.

I imagine that there will be difficulty in abandoning the forts of the island of Hermosa; nevertheless, by my remarks in my letter on government affairs, to which I refer, that seems advisable. Accordingly, that can be reduced to but two posts, thus saving [327]most of the rations which are consumed; but in my opinion all that may be done is superfluous.

The fort of this city is in a state of defense, although not in the perfection that is practiced in these times; but the fortification of the city is ruinous, to the degree of which your Majesty is informed. On the other hand, the location of its settlement is admirable, for more than half of it extends along the seashore where it cannot be approached by any enemies; while another part of the wall is bathed by the river. But on the land side it has a height, and a location suitable for opening trenches up to the walls. The latter has no terreplein, and is seven palmos in height. The redoubts are smaller and have no regularity; on the contrary, the casements of three cavaliers of the said wall are in the way. The moat is filled up, and there is scarcely a sign of there having been one. This is no cause of blame to the past governors, for without doubt much was done in walling the city; for the only purpose then was to assure themselves from the domestic enemy from China and Xapon, and from the natives of the land, without imagining that Europeans would be able to cause any anxiety in parts so remote. But the governors who have successively come here, having experienced the armed wars with which the Dutch have appeared in this port, have tried to repair and improve somewhat the old wall, as is proved by three cavaliers of great importance that they had built. With slight repair the requisite completeness was given to it. Considering the great importance of this post and that building is very cheap and costs less than in any other part, I resolved, after gathering [328]up the remains of what stood there to repair the fortifications, to build a royal cavalier in the modern style at the weakest part of the wall. Without troubling the royal treasury, I began the work some four months ago, and now I hope to have it finished in two more. At the same time, we are opening a suitable moat, and we shall reduce the defense of the city to fewer posts. That it may be more strongly fortified, all the redoubts that impede communication between the cavaliers will be torn down, so that the wall will consist of only four stout bulwarks.

What most surprised me in Philipinas is the careless way in which the powder is kept; for all that there is in the islands is kept in one room in the fort at Manila, and that in a very prominent part of it, that overlooks the wall. And if that powder should explode through any accident (which may God forbid), besides the danger to the city, there would be no powder in the islands, or any material for its manufacture. In order to obviate so extremely great a danger, two towers will be built in one of the four cavaliers, in order to separate and preserve a goodly portion of it.

One of the motives which compelled me to fortify the wall is because the orders have built very near it churches so large that two of them in particular are commanding eminences; and because between one of the churches (which is called Minondo) and the church of the Parián there is generally a settlement of twenty thousand or more Sangleys during the year. They are the people who formerly rose in rebellion. By suitable measures, those of the Parián have aided me in this work, with forty thousand pesos from their communal fund. [329]

I have informed your Majesty of the little importance of the galleys, and that only that of Terrenate was suitable to be maintained; but, having considered the matter more fully, I am of a different opinion, and I say that they are necessary so that we may aid Terrenate in any perilous need. However, they are not of any use in this port of Cavite, where they are kept, as they would be if sent to the province of Pintados at Oton or Cibu, in sight of the domestic enemy, namely, the Mindanaos, Joloans, and Camucones. These people are the ones who pillage the natives; and because we have had only twenty oared vessels in those districts this year, not any of those enemies have left their lands, although they generally render the provinces disquieted and fearful.

The person whom your Majesty has in these islands of the greatest service, and fit for any important mission, is Don Lorenzo de Olaso, master-of-camp of this army, who became captain-general at the death of Don Juan Niño de Tavora. He has assisted me greatly in everything, especially in the work of the cavalier which is being built. While the Audiencia was governing, he carried himself prudently; for by their quarrels over jurisdiction they occasioned him great troubles, which with any one else might have been more embarrassing and far-reaching.

On August 14 and October 22 of the past year I wrote to your Majesty concerning a matter of importance, namely, that a governor be sent to Terrenate, for Pedro de Heredia is old and rich. I say the same now, and by what has since occurred it will be recognized that only your Majesty’s royal service [330]moved me [to advise thus], having understood the dangerous state in which those forts are found to be, on account of their [present] condition.

On August thirteen of the same year, the said Pedro de Heredia advised me that many soldiers of that presidio were about to mutiny, but that he was making the best of it, as well as he could, until the reënforcements should arrive. This, he said, had happened because Father Manuel Rinto,3 commissary of the Holy Office, had published an edict regarding the sin against nature, in which many had been included. The father had given them two months in which to seek absolution. To this was joined their understanding that the governor would make an examination of those who should be absolved, from which arose their desperation. He also said that, both on this account and because the Dutch had a galleon of great strength in Malayo and were awaiting other galleons from Chacatra, it was advisable that the usual reënforcements come, and be well guarded; for if it came in the usual manner it would infallibly be lost.

That despatch found me already preparing two galleons and one patache for that purpose, for the conjectures that occupied my mind gave me greater anxiety than did the enemy themselves. In a council that I summoned, some thought that I should not risk or weaken our forces; and that I should send that aid in light vessels, and in the usual way. But, considering the condition and danger of those forts, I resolved to reënforce them in a creditable manner by sending the said two galleons, manned with good [331]infantry and with first-class troops; taking for that purpose one company of volunteer soldiers from the camp. That was a move of importance, and one that it is advisable to make every year, so that no soldiers should be forced to go; and, knowing that they will be exchanged, many will go willingly. I appointed as commander Admiral Don Jeronimo de Tremonte. He filled this post extremely well, and observed his orders not to turn aside for other enterprises, but to place the reënforcements in Terrenate, and to defend himself from whomever tried to hinder him, but nothing more. The two [Dutch] ships that the enemy were expecting were boarded and burned by the Botunes4 Indians of the kingdom of Macassar, who found them anchored and their crews ashore; they killed those who were on land. But the ship of Malayo, confident in its strength and great swiftness, attempted to drive away the reënforcements alone—risking itself because of the great importance of this matter to the Dutch, for they knew that the soldiers of our presidio were watching the outcome [of this battle] in order to decide upon the murder of the governor and the chief officers, in accordance with the plot that they had made. It fought with our ships for eight hours, and then took flight, disabled and with great loss. Seven persons were killed in our ships, including the chief pilot. Accordingly, the reënforcements arrived in safety, when the said Pedro de Heredia had arrested one hundred and fifty persons; [of these] he had burned and garroted eleven men, while many [332]had died in prison, and [only] forty were left alive. These he sent to me by the same ships that brought, the reënforcements. At present their trial is proceeding, in the first instance, under Don Juan Lorenzo Olaso, master-of-camp of the army of Philipinas. Inasmuch as the charges against them are insufficiently substantiated, there are opinions expressed that we should overlook their acts. But, considering that if those forty soldiers are guilty, they may infect the presidios where they may be stationed; and since the matter is so public, and open to the gaze of so many barbarians—especially of the Sangleys, who are more liable [to this sin] than any other nation, this wretched affair ought to be punished with great severity and vigor. [In the margin: “His Majesty has ordered, by a decree of the past year 635, that convict soldiers be not sent to Terrenate; and that those who are there be removed every three years, so that they may serve with greater comfort and good will.”]

The volunteer soldiers remained in Terrenate, and more than one hundred and forty were changed. To these was given one installment of pay that was sent them; and it had been many years since they had received any pay. The rest were provided with materials for clothing, and with food; and, since they know that the same thing is to be done every year, that presidio remained happy and safe.

But the said governor, Pedro de Heredia, lately writes me that the natives of the island of Terrenate, who have until now recognized Cachil Varo as king of Tidore, have refused to obey him; and they have crowned another Moro in his place, a chief named Cachil Borotalo, as they say that the latter is the [333]true heir of that kingdom, and that Cachil Varo was an intruder. That makes me most anxious, because, besides that it is not my duty to disinherit kings, the new one who claims to be king has, until now, been living in Malayo under the protection of the Dutch and serving in the post of naval commander. Although he has sent ambassadors to me, and promises to be faithful, there is little trust to be placed in his word, while Cachil Varo is a very valiant Moro, and a true servant to your Majesty. Every year, hitherto, a present has been sent to him, as well as to his father before him; and besides being very much of a Spaniard, he has retired into his fort of Tidore (which is of greater importance than the forts that we ourselves hold), and the great mass of the people, with more than two thousand chiefs, obey him.

The governor [of Terrenate], Pedro de Heredia, tells me that he has not meddled in any way with these disturbances, but that he is neutral. But the said king of Tidore complains of him, and attributes to him the insurrection of his vassals and the summoning of a Dutchman to be new king. That does not change him, and he will remain faithful to your Majesty. He knows that you are ignorant of the injuries that are being done him because of the governor’s greed for the ransom of the damage.

Such is the condition of the affair at present. I do not blame the king or clear the governor, notwithstanding the many years during which affairs have been going badly. But that the latter has been found lacking in the alliance, and has neglected to aid the king, has not furnished any reason why the other allies should not take warning by this and renounce our friendship. These are schemes of [334]which the Dutch avail themselves. Those who are acquainted with the king of Tidore, and know of his services, grieve, and think that it is necessary to protect him. I am now reflecting on the way in which these matters can be settled, so that they may not fall into a worse condition, by making use of the relationship between them. But in case of need I shall not be found lacking to Cachil Varo; and because this matter demands expedition, and so much expense cannot always be incurred as in the past reënforcements, I shall send this aid in October, in galleys and pataches; for that is the time when the enemy have gone away.

Last year the Audiencia wrote that one galleon and one galley had been finished. It is a fact that more than thirty thousand pesos have been spent in their construction, having been commenced in the time of Don Juan Niño de Tavora.

There is nothing of so great importance in this government, as that the port of Cavite be well provided with the necessary naval supplies; and that this matter be charged to a competent and very intelligent person; for the other offices are bestowed as favors, but for this one we are looking for a person whom we can ask to accept it. Accordingly, we have found him, in the person of him who is commander of the fort there and river-master, namely, Captain Juan de Olaez. He has so borne himself that the port has never for many years been found so well supplied and more faithfully administered—which is quite different from the utterly destitute condition in which I found it.

The rewards of Philipinas are poor, and especially those which I have had to give, because I have had [335]no power to provide encomiendias. Consequently, on this account, and because of the events that have occurred in my time, I have promoted some worthy soldiers with the titles of infantry captains, in consideration of the fact that they are those who have toiled in what is most necessary, and who have, besides their pay, only their simple posts, as before. Some, under warrant of this honor, have become married and settled as citizens; that is a matter that ought to receive much attention. The sons of influential men have been encouraged to enlist as soldiers, and have begun to serve in the infantry, which was considerably in decline. I have taken special precautions not to appoint my servants to these posts, except in the case of my captain of the guard, as was done by all the other governors. The judicial posts have been bestowed upon the worthy and old settlers, but those who ask for them are very few, for they do not care to go far from the city; and it is at times necessary to beg them to accept those posts which are far away.

No ship has come from Yndia as yet, for they are late. That causes us to doubt whether we may expect the return of three citizens [who have gone] from this place, besides those who generally cross these seas. I think that they are detained in Malaca, and that they have not gone past that place, because they found the enemy on the sea. At least, I am assured by letters from the king of Macasar that fourteen urcas were on his coasts on the tenth of January of last year, where they remained for forty days. They asked him for refreshment, but he denied it to them. He said that the enemy had returned to the strait with another ship (with which they had succored [336]Malayo), and the one that had fought. At that same time the king of Cochinchina wrote me that twelve other urcas had left his shores, which on their way from coasting along China, brought at least six which had been lost in a storm; but that they were rich with the booty captured from the Sangley prizes they had made. All those ships took their station in the strait of Malaca, and consequently, I do not expect any from Yndia this year. May our Lord preserve and prosper the royal person of your Majesty, as we your vassals desire and need. Manila, August 10, 1634.

Don Juan Cereso Salamanca

[In the margin: “This letter is accompanied by the plans of the old and the new city of Manila.”]

Ecclesiastical affairs


There is but little for me to mention in ecclesiastical matters; for the orders are conducting themselves in an exemplary manner, except that they often usurp the royal jurisdiction, under pretext of defending the natives; and they take away the authority from the alcaldes-mayor, so that nothing that the latter order is carried out, so that sometimes a layman is obeyed better than they. It is advisable to correct this, and to order that the bishops live in their dioceses, and not in this city.5 [337]

The bishop of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus is governing this metropolitan see during the vacancy. He is an apostolic man. I have consulted with him in regard to the appointments for the prebends that have become vacant by the death of the archdean and precentor. The prebends have only been changed by promotion; and the only one to enter new is Don Juan de Olaso Aclotequi, whom—because of his great virtue, and because he is the uncle of Don Lorenzo Olasso, master-of-camp of these islands and formerly captain-general of them—I presented as treasurer. He had before been canon. With that this holy church is well administered, and has good subjects. In particular, the bachelor, Pedro Diaz de la Rivera, is considered a good ecclesiastic; and his gray hairs are worthy of whatever favor your Majesty will be pleased to show him. May our Lord preserve the royal person of your Majesty, as is necessary to us your vassals. Manila, August 10, 1634.

Don Juan Cereso Salamanca

1 Medias anatas: half of the first year’s income; a tax which was paid to the crown upon entering any office, pension, or grant. It was introduced into the Indias by a law of 1632. See Recopilación leyes de Indias, lib. viii, tit. xix.

2 Spanish, Religion. This word was first used in the sense of “monastic order” or “monastery” in the sixth century, in France. This narrower sense was used along with the broader one, until the latter was gradually crowded out (during the second half of the fourteenth century); being, however, finally recovered during the epoch of the Reformation; The term “man of religion” (homo religionis, homme de religion) was never used in Latin, French, or English to mean a pious man, but exclusively for a man belonging to a religious order. See “History of the word religio in the Middle Ages,” by. Professor Ewald Flügel, of Leland Stanford Junior University—an abstract of which is printed in Transactions of American Philological Association, 1902, pp. ci, cii.

3 Thus in our transcript; but in the king’s answer to this letter (post) the name appears as Rivero.

4 Probably referring to the people of Butung or boeton, a large island off the southeastern peninsula of Celebes; their state of civilization is similar to that of the Macassar and Bugis of that island.

5 This recommendation was thus answered by the king, in a despatch to Corcuera dated Madrid, December 1, 1636: “Inasmuch as it is proper that all the prelates take personal charge of the government of their churches, thus fulfilling their so stringent obligations for that, I have thought it best—notwithstanding that I charge them by a decree of the same date as this that, if they should be absent from their churches, they shall without fail go to reside in them—to order you, as I am doing, to see for your part [320n]by repeated urgings that they go to reside at and to serve their churches, in case that any of them should be absent.” This is found in the “Cedulario Indico,” at Madrid—pressmark, “Tomo 39, fol. 228.”



Bibliographical Data

The following documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla:

1. Letter from bishop of Cebú.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de los obispos sufragáneos de Manila; años de 1598 á 1698; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 34.”

2. Letters from Tavora.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años de 1629 á 1639; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 8.”

3. Letter from cabildo.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del cabildo eclesiastico de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años de 1568 á 1670; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 35.”

4. Papal bull.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de religiosos misioneros de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años de 1617 á 1642; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 38.”

5. Letters from Salamanca, 1633 and 1634.—The same as No. 2.

6. Report of archbishop on bakery.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de los arzobispos de Manila; años de 1579 á 1697; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 32.”

Royal letters, 1630.—The second of these is in [340]“Audiencia de Filipinas; registro de oficio, reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades del distrito de la Audiencia; años 1597 á 1634; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 1.” The others are found in the Archivo Historico Nacional, as noted below.

The following documents are obtained from the “Cedulario Indico” of the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid:

8. Royal letters, 1630.—The first and third of these are in tomo 40, fol. 71 verso and 76 verso respectively.

9. Royal orders, 1632–33.—The first is in tomo 40, fol. 86 verso, no. 99; the second is in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla, the same as No. 7; the third, in tomo 31, fol. 145 verso.

The following documents are obtained from MSS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid, in the collection “Papeles de los Jesuitas:”

10. Events in Filipinas, 1630–32.—In tomo 84, no. 15; the additional paragraph is from another copy of this document in the same collection, in tomo 114, no. 401.

11. News from Far East.—In tomo 114, no. 587 (copied from a pamphlet printed at Sevilla in 1633).

12. News from Felipinas, 1634.—In tomo 146, no. 113.

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