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 XXXV, 1640–1649
The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio










In the present volume, which covers the period 1629–49, the principal topics are the missions of the religious orders and the hostilities between the Spaniards and the Dutch in the eastern seas. The final chapters in this conflict are the capture of Formosa by the Dutch, and the successive defeats of their armed squadrons in contests with the Spanish ships sent against them from Manila. In the loss of Formosa the Dominicans are deprived of their flourishing missions there; but this is compensated by the suppression of Collado’s faction in their order. The Recollect missions in Mindanao sustain some losses; but one of the laborers therein, “Father Captain,” sheds glory on them by his bravery, skill, and devotion. The Franciscan missions are in satisfactory condition; to their strictly religious work they add the care of the hospitals and the lepers. The prosperity of the islands has been greatly injured by the losses of galleons, insufficient crops, the oppressive taxes laid on the Chinese traders, and the great earthquake of 1645.

For the leading events in the history of the Dominican order in the islands at this period, we resort to the pages of Santa Cruz’s Historia de la provincia del Santo Rosario (Zaragoça, 1693), a continuation [10]of Aduarte’s Historia, already presented in this series. Beginning with 1635, Santa Cruz gives an account, more detailed than Aduarte’s, of the coming of Collado and the “Barbones” friars; and he adds the punishment and tragic death of Fray Collado. In 1637, Fray Carlos Gant is chosen provincial. Santa Cruz describes the island of Formosa, its people, and the Dominican mission established among them. He enumerates some of the mistakes and faults of Governor Corcuera, with their evil results to the islands; of these, the event most deplored by the Dominicans is the loss of Formosa (1642). The lives and achievements of various missionaries of the order are related. In 1639 occurs an insurrection among the Cagayán natives, caused by ill-treatment from the Spaniards: the latter are unable to subdue these people, who take refuge in their mountains. In the same year, both the galleons from Acapulco are wrecked, which inflicts heavy losses on the islands. Santa Cruz copies the royal decrees relating to Collado and the suppression of the congregation of San Pablo.

An account of the Recollect missions for the period 1625–38 is furnished by Luis de Jesús, in his Historia de los religiosos descalzos de San Augustin (Madrid, 1681). In 1625, Recollect missionaries extend their work in northern Mindanao, Fray Juan de San Nicolás and a companion. In the following year, the Moros, instigated by the noted Corralat, attack the village of Cagaiang; but it is fortified, and its people trained in military exercises, by the “fighting parson” of those missions, Fray Agustin de San Pedro, who defeats the enemy. In 1631 the Indians of Caraga, ill-treated by the Spanish commandant [11]there, rebel; they kill him and some of the soldiers, and several of the Recollect missionaries in Caraga; some others are saved by friendly Indians. The natives of Butuan remain faithful to the missionaries, notwithstanding the efforts of the insurgents to seduce them. One of the fathers sails to Cebu to procure relief for the endangered garrison at Tandag; this is promptly sent, and soon quells the insurrection. Much consolation is afforded to the fathers in this distressful period by the conversion of an outlaw Indian chief and his hundred followers. Some mention is made of the persecutions in Japan, and of the Spanish occupation and subsequent loss of Formosa. In 1635 the Recollects enter Romblón and its dependent islands, where they labor bravely, but exposed to continual danger by the piratical raids of the Moros. Several of those who occupy Cuyo and Calamianes Islands are captured by those enemies, and become martyrs for the faith. This account is supplemented by that presented by Juan de la Concepción in his Historia general de Philipinas (Manila, 1788). He follows Luis de Jesús somewhat closely, but adds an interesting account of the missions begun by the Recollects in northern Mindanao, which they are afterward obliged to abandon. Their “Father Captain” (Fray Agustín de San Pedro) aids the Spaniards in the invasion (1639) of the Lake Lanao district, which is fully described. After the Moros are conquered for the time by the Spaniards, the Jesuits claim the Lanao district as being their field, and the Recollects are excluded from it. Another expedition is sent thither to build a fort on Lake Lanao; when this is but half done, the Moros—naturally treacherous, and further [12]instigated by Corralat—attack it. The Jesuit priest at Lanao sends to the Recollect “Father Captain” an entreaty for aid to the besieged Spaniards; he responds quickly, and soon liberates them, also conducting the troops safely to the seashore. The district, however, is not restored to the Recollects—a result due, according to Concepción, to the machinations of the Jesuits.

The notable events in the year ending July, 1641, are narrated by a Franciscan at Manila. The Portuguese of Macao have been expelled from Japan, many being burned at the stake; and thus is closed the traffic which Macao had with Japan, to which that city owed its existence. A terrible noise in the air has been heard throughout the islands (afterward known to be caused by volcanic eruptions), which occasions much fear among the people—especially since the Dutch have seized the city of Malacca. News is sent to Manila of increased strength and hostile plans on the part of the Dutch, who talk of capturing that city; and they are even lying in wait near the Embocadero for the Acapulco galleons. The bloody persecutions in Japan have left few missionaries alive there; rumors regarding some have reached Manila, and the writer mentions the martyrdoms of several others. He also cites a letter from the Spanish governor of Ternate, asking for more religious to carry on the mission recently begun in Celebes.

A short unsigned letter, dated July 25, 1642, states that the islands are suffering from extreme drouth. The ship from Acapulco has come safely, but narrowly escaping the Dutch who lay in wait for it. The Portuguese from Macao profess loyalty to [13]Castilla. The islands have not suffered from the usual Moro raids; negotiations for peace are being carried on in Mindanao, and Jolo is nominally at peace. A royal decree (October 24, 1642) orders Corcuera to thank the Filipino natives for their loyalty and zeal in the Spanish service.

A Dominican missionary who has labored in Formosa writes (March, 1643) a detailed account of the seizure of that island by the Dutch. After a five days’ siege, the Spaniards surrender with their forts there. The prisoners are sent to Jacatra (now Batavia), and afterward to Manila; and the Dutch make strong establishments in Formosa. They also search, but unsuccessfully, for gold mines there; and they treat the natives harshly, so that the latter long for the Spaniards to return. The writer proceeds to describe the great increase of power which the Dutch have attained in the East; he enumerates the armed fleet with which they are scouring the seas and securing control of the rich trade of that region. All these, as well as their forts, are furnished with abundance of supplies, of all kinds; and their soldiers and sailors are well trained and disciplined. The value of their commerce is almost incredible, and supplies Holland with wealth to carry on the war in Europe against the Spanish power. The Dutch aim to be masters of the entire Eastern archipelago, and are planning to expel the Spaniards from the Philippines. To this letter are appended extracts from Ferrando’s Historia de los PP. Dominicos and Concepción’s Historia de Philipinas, which present additional information. The former blames Corcuera, and the latter the Jesuits and their schemes, for the loss of Formosa. [14]

A letter from the king to Corcuera (August 4, 1643), reproves him for saving money to the treasury by accepting “donations” of part of their pay from persons in the royal service, orders him to favor and protect the Indians, and asks for information as to ways and means by which money may be raised for the buildings needed for the use of the archbishop of Manila—for which contributions from private persons may be received, provided these are strictly voluntary. Other paragraphs of the letter approve Corcuera’s course in certain minor matters, and give him directions in others. In 1644, the Jesuit procurator for Filipinas asks the king to confirm certain grants made by Corcuera to the Jesuits at Manila; this petition is accompanied by a map, and a copy of Corcuera’s decree (September 1, 1640) granting the Jesuits a certain piece of land.

A document unsigned and undated, but apparently the usual record of the year’s events sent from the Jesuit house at Manila, relates the news for the year 1643–44. One of the Acapulco ships has reached the islands in safety, bringing the new governor, Diego Fajardo. The Dutch enemy have learned how incomplete are the defenses of Manila; but Ternate has been strongly reënforced, which will curb their arrogance. They have captured some of the Chinese trading vessels, and Manila has therefore suffered great loss this year. There is a serious rebellion in China; the king of that country is favorable to the Jesuit missionaries, and permits them to preach and build churches throughout China; and has entrusted to them the reform of the Chinese calendar. Japan is closed to the Christian religion and to European trade, excepting with the Dutch; [15]and several martyrdoms of missionaries have occurred there. The Portuguese at Macao have seized the Spanish envoy from Manila, and all the other Castilians, imprisoning and abusing them. Having sent the envoy to Goa, the ship which carries him is captured by the Dutch, who treat him with great kindness and courtesy. The Spaniards at Macao are finally sent to Manila, but all their property is seized by the Portuguese. The Dutch have seized Malacca, and made an unsuccessful attempt on Ceylon. The Moros of Mindanao and Jolo profess to desire peace, but their promises are considered unreliable. Drouth and a plague of locusts have almost ruined the rice crop in the Philippines, and the Indians are suffering from famine.

A very rare and possibly unique pamphlet (Manila, 1644) presents the report of the royal fiscal at Manila on the licenses issued to the Chinese to reside in the islands. The amount paid for these has been increased by Corcuera, on his own responsibility, partly to raise money for the fortifications of the city, partly to punish the Chinese for revolting (as they did in 1639). The fiscal discusses this measure from a legal standpoint, and shows that it is illegal. Corcuera had no authority to increase the tax on the Chinese; there was no pressing necessity to justify it; he should have obtained permission from the king to do so; and he had already a sufficient fund for repairing the fortifications, in the proceeds of the monopoly on playing-cards. If more funds are necessary, they should be furnished by only the citizens and permanent residents of Manila, not by foreigners and transients, as are the Sangleys. Even had the new tax been justified, it was highly impolitic; [16]and in any case its proceeds should have been placed in the general funds of the royal treasury, and subject to the orders of the royal officials instead of the governor’s—and for the sums spent therefrom by Corcuera he should be held responsible. These new taxes on the Chinese have injured and damaged the entire colony, since they have prevented the Chinese from leaving the Parián to cultivate the rice-fields and engage in fishing and other occupations; and those who really pay the money received for these taxes are the seventy citizens of Manila. In evidence of this, the fiscal cites the great increase in prices of both commodities and labor, due to this new tax on the Chinese.

A royal decree (September 18, 1645) orders the viceroy of Mexico to send larger reënforcements of troops, to be levied among the vagabonds and criminals of Nueva España. Letters from Felipe IV to his ambassador at Rome and Pope Innocent X (December 20, 1644) secure a papal brief (dated November 20, 1645) for the erection of the Dominican college at Manila, Santo Tomás, into a university. A report of the royal Council of State (January 30, 1647) relates to the attempt of the East India Company of England to open trade with the Philippines, which the Spanish government will not allow.

An interesting account of affairs in the islands from 1644 to 1647 is presented in two rare pamphlets printed at Manila in 1647, written by a royal chaplain in that city. After brief mention of the leading events during the period of ten years preceding, he begins with the arrival of Governor Fajardo (June, 1644) and the more important occurrences of that [17]year. In April, 1645, Dutch vessels off the Ilocos coast are defeated by a few small Spanish ships. Soon afterward, the Acapulco galleons bring goodly succor to the islands. With them comes the new archbishop, who dies of sickness before reaching Manila. On November 30 of that year occurs the most destructive earthquake that has been known in the islands since the Spanish conquest; Fayol describes this in considerable detail. Manila is laid waste by it; and all the clergy and religious immediately go about the city, to recover the bodies of the dead and console the dying who are buried under the ruins. The main buildings injured, and the extent of the damage done to each, are enumerated. The prompt and vigilant measures of the governor prevent any lawless acts, and afford security to the homeless refugees. Most of the people leave the city, and encamp in the fields or on the beach, where the priests follow them, hearing their confessions and exhorting them to repent of their sins. Much havoc is wrought by the earthquake in various other places in the islands, and the shocks and disturbances continue for some time afterward, although much lessened in force. Unfortunate Manila is next harassed by the Dutch, who equip a fleet to attack it. Their first squadron is repulsed and defeated near Mariveles by the Spanish force, which consists of the two Acapulco galleons, manned with Manila’s bravest men. These vessels are then sent to San Bernardino Strait to protect the Acapulco galleons; there they encounter another Dutch squadron, and, after guarding the strait for a month, oblige the enemy to depart. The Spaniards go in pursuit, and, overtaking the enemy near Marinduque, defeat [18]them, with very slight loss on the Spanish side; and two days later, near Mindoro, they again rout the Dutch, afterward returning to Manila. Not long afterward the Acapulco galleon is attacked by other Dutch ships, not far from Manila Bay, but retreats to Cavite in safety; it is then sent out again but this time escorted by an armada of all the vessels obtainable in Manila Bay. Near Mindoro they defeat another Dutch squadron; but as the winds have now become unfavorable for the voyage across the Pacific, the “San Diego” puts back to Mariveles for further orders. The Spanish flagship, again attacked by the Dutch, repulses them; and this series of brilliant victories is celebrated by a brilliant fiesta. A later galleon is lost in the port of Cagayan, but the men and the silver are saved. Dutch vessels capture a Chinese junk, and place aboard a prize crew; but the Chinese mutiny, and kill all the Dutchmen. The trade with China still continues, but considerably diminished by the Manchu invasion of that country.

The second relation by Father Fayol relates the incursions by the Dutch in the summer of 1647. Early in June the enemy enter Manila Bay with a large squadron, and finally bombard the city; but they are repulsed and much damaged by the Spaniards, with but little loss to the latter. The Dutch then commit some depredations along the bay shore; and later assault the Pampango village of Abucay, where a large sum of money belonging to some Chinese traders had been concealed. The Pampangos resist bravely, but are finally defeated with much loss, owing to the cowardice and inefficiency of the Spanish alcalde-mayor. The Dutch again [19]attack Abucay, but are repulsed by another Spanish officer, and lose many men in the encounter. Two prisoners taken from the Dutch give the Spaniards much useful information. The pamphlet closes with a long eulogy of Venegas, the Spanish military commander.

A royal decree (September 17, 1647) gives Fajardo nominal instructions regarding the missionaries, but sufficiently vague and ambiguous to leave the governor at fault if affairs go wrong.

In an anonymous manuscript of 1649 is presented an account of the Franciscan missions in the islands. This begins with a list of the fifty-two convents of this order, with the number of natives and of religious attached to each; most of these have buildings of stone. The hospitals conducted by the Franciscans are enumerated, with various details regarding the resources and management of each one. Brief accounts follow of deaths of missionaries who have been slain by Dutchmen or by various heathens. The establishment of Poor Clares (nuns who form a branch of the Franciscan order) at Manila is described; this convent is exceedingly poor since the earthquake. It had sent some of its members to Macao to found a convent there; but after the Portuguese rebellion these nuns are obliged to return to Manila. Another section of this document relates various facts regarding the islands and their natural features and products, and the people. Then follows mention of the introduction of the Franciscan order in the Philippines, the royal aid and patronage bestowed on it, and its missions in Ternate, Macasar, and other remote islands; also an account of some martyrdoms among its missionaries. It was the [20]Franciscans who took charge of the Christian lepers sent to Manila from Japan. The notable linguists among the Philippine missionaries, and their leading works, are enumerated. The writer ends by describing some heroic deaths of missionaries, and some instances of baptism conferred in unusual circumstances. Some additional information from Concepción’s Historia concerns the controversy of the Franciscans with the bishop of Camarines.

The Editors

DOCUMENTS OF 1640–1644

Sources: The first document is taken from Santa Cruz’s Historia del Santo Rosario (Zaragoça, 1693), pp. 1–23 (from a copy owned by Edward E. Ayer). The second, from Luis de Jesús’s Historia de los religiosos descalzos de San Augustin (Madrid, 1681), pp. 69–71, 163–173, 184, 282–287, 294–298 (from a copy owned by Edward E. Ayer); and Juan de la Concepción’s Historia de Philipinas, v, pp. 163–179, 360–391 (from a copy in the possession of the Editors). The third, from a MS. in the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid. The fourth, from a MS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla. The fifth, from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), ii, pp. 251–288; Ferrando’s Historia de los PP. Dominicos, ii, pp. 440–447; and Concepción’s Historia, vi, pp. 89–113. The sixth, from the “Cedulario Indico,” in the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid.

Translations: The first three documents are translated by James A. Robertson; the fourth, by Victoria Peacock; the remainder, by Emma Helen Blair. [23]




Book one of Part two of the “History of the province of Santissimo Rosario of Filipinas, Japon, and China, of the Order of Preachers.”1



Of the condition of the province in the year 1637, which is the first year of this history

The time of a successive history, although it is continuous, is not an indivisible unit. Consequently, [26]it is necessary in this history to take our course from two years previous, namely, that of 1635. That year was the third of the first provincialate of the father-commissary, Fray Domingo Gonçales. The intermediary chapter having been held on April 6 of the said year, on St. John’s day arrived two ships from Nueva2 España, the “Concepción,” and “San Luis” with the situado. In them came to govern these islands, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara; the new governor brought much succor, and many soldiers from Perù; for he had made his voyage by way of those kingdoms. A band of twenty-two religious came to our province, under the vicarship of father Fray Diego Collado. Their names are as follows: the said father-vicar, Fray Diego Collado; father Fray Guillelmo Cortet de Visiers, of Francia, afterward [27]a glorious martyr in Japon (treated in the first part,3 book 2, chapter 61); father Fray Juan del Moral, son of [the convent of] San Pablo at Cordova; father Fray Miguel de Ozaraza, son of [the convent at] Victoria, a glorious martyr in Japon, and of whom the same history treats at the same place; father Fray Juan Mallen, son of [the convent of] Santa Cruz el Real at Granada, a collegiate of Santo Tomas in Sevilla, whence he sailed; father Fray Antonio de Montesa, of the Canaria Islands; father Fray Juan de los Angeles, son of [the convent of] Santo Domingo del Campo at Zafra; father Fray Manuel de Berrio, son of [the convent of] Santa Cruz at Segovia; father Fray Pedro de Messa, son of [the convent at] Cordova, collegiate of Santo Tomas in Sevilla, whence he sailed; father Fray Gabriel de Montenegro, son of [the convent of] San Pablo at Cordova; father Fray Pedro de Chaves, son of [the convent of] San Estevan at Salamanca; father Fray Juan Uguet, son of [the convent of] Preachers at Valencia; father Fray Ignacio Muñoz, son of [the convent of] San Pablo at Valladolid; father Fray Juan Cazor, a Frenchman; father Fray Francisco de Hoyos, son of [the convent of] San Pablo at Valladolid; father Fray Antonio de la Torre, son of [the convent of] Regina Angelorum [i.e., Queen of Angels] at Sevilla; Fray Francisco de Armella, an acolyte, from the province of Aragon; Fray Tomas Ramas, an acolyte, son of [the convent of] San Vicente at Plasencia; Fray Placido de Angulo, an acolyte, son of [the convent at] [28]Xerez de la Frontera; Fray Juan del Villar, an acolyte, from [the convent of] San Pablo at Cordova; Fray Alonso de Villegas, a lay-brother, son [of the convent of] San Pablo at Sevilla; Fray Francisco Gomez, a lay-brother, son of [the convent of] San Domingo at Xerez. The above are the ones who arrived, while father Fray Juan Tellez, a son of [the convent at] San Lucar, was left in Mexico because of illness, and came the following year. Father Fray Marco Nuñez, a son of [the convent of] San Estevan at Salamanca, died at sea. Under the shelter of this mission came a student, who took the habit here, professed, and was ordained; his name was father Fray Diego Rodriguez.

The band was received with as joyful demonstrations of consolation as were the others. But considering the appearance of those who came in that band, which was so strange to this province, the joy was changed into wonder; for all of them wore long beards, a fact which was an immediate portent of some great trouble as it was the superscription of peculiarity. The first part, book 2, chapter 56 treats of this sufficiently; but, as it is so serious a matter, we have thought best to repeat considerable and to add somewhat. Father Fray Diego Collado, a native of Meazadas in Estremadura, and son of [the convent of] San Estevan at Salamanca, a truly exemplary religious, energetic in his ministry, and very zealous for the conversion of Japon and China, was a minister of this province for some years in Cagayan. But the devil—who, like an asp, converts the most medicinal flowers into poison—availed himself of the zeal of this father to divide the seamless and scanty garment of this holy province; and, [29]beginning to deface his government with less humility, created in his breast thoughts of being the reformer of the province (a self-love, at bottom, which was given shelter under the holy name of Virtue, in order that it might become more pernicious and incurable), by separating the congregation so that it should only be employed in the missions of other kingdoms, without paying any heed to the ministries to the Indians. He so arranged matters here, that from Japon (where he was a minister for four years) serious difficulties excluded him from that field of Christendom. Here also the superiors sent him for religious to España. He went there and to Roma, where he proposed to our most reverend father-general, Fray Serafino Sico, that, inasmuch as this province was embarrassed with ministries to Indians and assistance to Spaniards; and inasmuch as the missions of China and Japon and other kingdoms were an employment which ought to be their sole one: it would be a great service to God to have them separate, by that most reverend father instituting a new congregation, to apply themselves to this purpose, and this alone. They were to have houses of their own, from among those which the order possesses in these islands, where the languages could be learned without other exercise than that of the said missions. The most reverend father having examined and consulted regarding the new pretension, resolved to demolish it; and, even angered at such a proposal, he deprived the said father of his powers, ordered him to quit Roma, and not to return again to discuss the matter further. The father obeyed, but it happened that the father-general died in the year 28. In the year 29, our [30]most reverend father, Fray Nicolas Rodulfo was elected. Father Collado sought an interview with him, and painted his scheme in such colors that he obtained whatever he wished from him: the erection of a new congregation, under the title of St. Paul the apostle; the appointment of himself as the first vicar-general; and all things for that necessary end, with great amplitude of power and authority. The father went to España, and, first seeking the indispensable permission of the royal Council of the Indias, and finding that innovations were not resolved upon in those royal and most prudent courts, without first hearing a report from the governors and their audiencias, and that he was demanding an impossible thing, he concealed the facts of the division, and only made public the mission to Filipinas and his appointment as vicar. There was no difficulty in his obtaining the favor, orders, and help of the king our sovereign, and despatches from his royal Council, in order that he might conduct his band by the usual way. The father came to terms with the twenty-four said religious, and embarked with them. He always said, whenever any necessity arose to say it, that the letters of the most reverend father were so weighty and were so vigorously expressed that their execution in the province would be accomplished without the slightest difficulty. Father Fray Mateo de la Villa, procurator-general of this province, resident at the court, sent private information of whatever he could discover in regard to the business, proceedings, and efforts, and of Father Collado, in the same vessel. The latter, as a man of authority, of example and weight, and of experience, had sufficient time in the course of two so long voyages to infuse [31]his opinions into the religious. That was an easy matter, because of the lack of events contrary to the faith which they must give him; and more so if, fearful of the dangers so often exaggerated, of a ministry among the Indians, representations were made to them of the glory of a martyrdom, truly fantastic without great exercise of virtues, tears, and prayer. In this manner did he so bind them to himself in this holy province, and under the disguise above mentioned.

He presented his letters, in which the lack of so essential a part was immediately discovered. The matter was disputed, and the father-provincial, then the reverend father-commissary Fray Domingo Gonçalez, having briefly considered the matter, resolved upon a severe remedy. Before considering other orders, his first was that no permission was to be given the newcomers to say mass, unless they shaved as did the others. Thereupon, taking better counsel, they obeyed, and desisted from their attempts; and in a short time were scattered throughout the province in order to study the languages there, while the said Father Collado remained behind in the convent.

The new governor assumed his duties, and discharged them with close circumspection, and was well obeyed and esteemed by all the inhabitants of Manila, as well as those outside that city; for he was a man of great capacity. But he began to advance new opinions, which are not so safe a thing in these so remote lands, and are generally too arrogant. The matter that caused greatest mischief, and even scandal, was the violence with which he treated the archbishop of this city that holy prelate, Don Fray Fernando Guerrero whose lamentable tragedy, exile, [32]and attending circumstances were heard in Europa not without astonishment; and left this land so desolate that today it still suffers, and has not yet dried its tears. Reason of state calls the two opposite arms, the ecclesiastical and the secular, difficult to adjust [to each other], and this is true; yet in the last analysis they are arms of one body, and in order that they may live in peace, they must aid and supplement [each other’s] actions. If the secular arm, which boasts itself a faithful vassal, has to move as our most Catholic kings decree, it ought to make the ecclesiastical not its feet but its crown, such as the Constantines and the Honorios made it. And although there may be dangerous accidents, the science of the physician who relies on one medicine, and that a desperate one, is not very great. Such was the medicine of that time, and the Preachers, having caused notable disturbances in those districts, were obliged to perform their duties. Much more heavily did the hostility of the governor weigh down upon Ours, for he, scenting or discovering at this time the commission that our father Fray Diego Collado had brought (which had been forgotten for nine months), summoned him, and awakened him, so that he should again take up that commission. The governor encouraged him to present himself to the royal Audiencia (not paying any heed to the fact that it had not been passed by the Council), as his Lordship was well inclined toward it and had authority to pass it. Much persuasion was not necessary to obtain this result, with such a father. Although affairs were in the greatest harmony, still the spirit of the father was still rankling with the wound. Accordingly he immediately made his presentation, and his Lordship [33]decreed that those letters should be obeyed; and assigning the houses of his choice to Father Collado, declared that he would be protected in them. The father named the best, and those best prepared for his purpose, notwithstanding that some of them were ministries. Under military protection he was given possession of the house at Binondoc, the Chinese hospital, the Parián, Cassite [sc. Cavite], the house of Lalo in Cagayan, and that of Todos Santos [i.e., All Saints] of the island of Hermosa. Consequently, the province was violently despoiled, as well as the religious who were in those houses; and there was a new and never before seen confusion in that community, the Indians were angered, and the heathen were scandalized. The new congregation of San Pablo, victorious in its contention, rejoiced. Some of them, although few, made no disturbance. There were also two of the old fathers who went to profess in the new congregation (for the most healthy body has four distinct humors4). A distinct set of rules were made. Although it was ordained for an honorable purpose, yet truly, the observation of the rules of the province would perhaps aid that purpose more. Some very holy and venerated rules were broken; and at the end they did not pass one step in advance, but were on the contrary given a great setback. But the true and affectionate mother, who had given birth so gloriously amid so great travail, bewailed inconsolably the division of her offspring, seeing that it was caused by plots of the devil, so that the apostolic missions of those kingdoms should be neither of the one nor of the other congregation. She [34]had recourse to the only refuge for her sorrows, namely, the most holy image of the rosary, with continual prayer and litanies—an empirical remedy whose virtue had been so proved by the Order (especially in the protection from authorities ruled by passion). So was its efficacy experienced in this instance; for after sixteen months, during which time the pretended congregation of San Pablo lasted, the Lord worked his miracles by the following means. Among the many who were grieved at the archbishop’s case, and its consequences—which succeeded one another daily, with new causes for anxiety—one was our Fray Diego Collado; for although he was protected by the governor, yet being a religious full of zeal, necessarily such lawlessness struck him full in the face. After warnings and sermons, seeing that nothing was of avail, he was determined to write most fully to the king of España, or to his Council, of these occurrences and significant considerations. He sent his letter by the ship that sailed that year; he must afterward have told what he had done, so that it came to the ears of the governor. The latter summoned the said father, and, talking to him in friendly manner, and excusing himself for what he had done, said to him when he thought that the father was pliable: “I am a friend to your Reverence, Father-vicar, and indeed you know how I esteem you and how I have labored in your demand. I have learned that your Reverence has written against me, and I am not surprised, for your Reverence would not have been so excellent a religious had you not done it. The letter is now on its way to España, but you will do me the favor to give me the rough draft of it, in order that I [35]may clear up a doubt that I have, and for the satisfaction of your Reverence, for you are charged with writing false things, that are unworthy of a person of so great virtue.” Father Collado seeing that he was persuaded with so much affability, promised to do it. He took him the rough draft, and his Lordship on seeing it was so indignant that, after dismissing the father, he conjured up the greatest revenge that he could. He had the father provincial immediately summoned (at that time father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant), and restored to him all the houses of the new congregation, which he held to be dissolved from that time, since it lacked the previous authority of the royal patronage and his consent. Thereupon, the order was executed on the instant, namely, on September 6, 1637. The clouds cleared away, and the face of the sun shone forth, glad and resplendent with peace. Therefore thanks were offered to our Lord again and again; and to the most holy Virgin of the Rosary (ever Mary of victory), they gave joyful worship and a solemn and festival week. With this, when the royal decree arrived in the following year (which will be found on the last leaf of the first part), no further restoration was to be made, for it was already made. The father provincial ordered Father Collado to undergo penance then, and he observed, with example and humility, the laws of perfect obedience. In order to remove the scruples that might arise, he was retired to Cagayan, where he was to perform his penance. Having remained there until the following year, 1638, when an order came from his Majesty in the above mentioned decree to send him back to España, on his return to Manila, in order to prepare [36]for his journey thence, he embarked in a dilapidated champan in company with some men of the household of the alcalde-mayor of that province. They left under a good wind, but they were struck by a heavy northwester next day, before they doubled the cape of Boxeador, and the storm continued to increase with such fury that they were unable to withstand it, and the craft was driven upon a rocky reef. A lay-brother, one Fray Francisco Luque, who had accompanied the father, leaped into the water, together with an Indian, and got ashore. Father Collado was about to follow him, for he was an excellent swimmer; but such were the sufferings of the women and crew, who detained him that he might confess them, that he resolved to die with them. But a few moments after that, the boat yielded to another shock of the sea, and was broken into splinters, and all perished. Of the two who reached the shore, the lay-brother was killed, before he had gone far, by the attack of a band of heathen Negritos, who inhabit those mountains and whose solemn feasts are the killing of men. The lay-brother gave up his life because of the innumerable arrows [shot at him]. It was God’s pleasure to let the Indian escape, and he related all the tragic event. Such was the end of father Fray Diego Collado. [It is one of] the secrets of God that he, after so many years of voyages—twice to Filipinas, to España, and to Roma—should die at last within four brazas of land, in a very small boat. But he was already freed from his errors, and rendered obedient to his province; and he [died] in so honorable occupation as that of the last consolation of so many souls, for whose spiritual welfare he gave his life as a true brother. [37]



Election of provincial in the person of father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant, and events of that time.

The capitular fathers assembled in the convent of St. Dominic, May 2, 1637, and elected as provincial the reverend father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant, an Aragonese, and son of the Preachers of Zaragoça. He was an oldtime minister of Cagayan, had been definitor in the year 1633, and was elected provincial for the second time in 1648, of which we shall treat hereafter. Honorable mention was made in that chapter of some glorious martyrs whose lives and precious deaths were treated in the first part of this history [i.e., Aduarte’s Historia.]

Great deeds were performed at that time in the island of Hermosa, and abundant harvests were gathered, as the field was white for the harvest of the gospel. But it will be advisable for us to describe first the characteristics of that island, which was not touched upon in the first part. It deserves not to be passed by in silence, for it was for sixteen years the glorious theater of our Spanish arms and the greatest credit of these missions. [A description of the island and its products follows. Of the inhabitants Santa Cruz says:] As to the men they are tolerably clever; they are well-built and light-complexioned, although ruddy in some districts. They are valiant and strong, and greatly inclined to cutting off the heads of their enemies, with which they make merry in their celebrations, dances, and feasts.5 They have [38]no king, nor does their little ability allow such a thing. They get along better by families, where the father is the king. They have no idols or any other images which they adore with outward reverence. The devil only holds them deceived by many superstitions of chance, and of songs and flights of birds, which are consulted in their difficulties. They sacrifice the first fruits of everything6 to their Berroas, which are certain imaginary spirits there—to such an extent that, whenever they are about to commence a new jar of wine, they first take out a few drops and throw them outside, which constitutes their reverence. They throw some grains of their morisqueta (which is their rice bread) on the ground, and that is their grace. They do the same with the rest of their food and drink. They have good characteristics; they abominate theft and unchaste acts and accordingly watch out for such very rigorously. They immediately kill the illegitimate child and punish the parents severely.7 Their provinces, [39]languages, and settlements are numerous. We found those people who came to us in the city of San Salvador, which we founded, to be very sociable, accommodating, and simple. Had God preserved us in that post, they would have constituted a good work for us and a great company for the advancement of empires so extensive as those which are near it. China is less than thirty leguas away from it; Japon is eighty; Camboja, Cochinchina, and Tunquin are one hundred and fifty leguas or two hundred or somewhat more. But our Lord ordained that the Dutch enemy should drive us out of so important a Plaza de Armas. Accordingly, what pertains to us is to yield ourselves with humility, and to see whether we can again open so suitable a door by making our lives better.

During those five years five fathers of our order lived in the convent of Todos Santos [i.e., All Saints], which was the church of that city, and their superior was father Fray Lucas Garcia. They were attending with all fervor to their ministries—some of Spaniards, some of Indians, and some of both—[40]when Father Collado, vicar of the new and lately-formed congregation, despatched father Fray Juan de los Angeles8 to take possession of that house for that congregation in the year 1636. As associate he assigned to him father Fray Miguel de Corena,9 who had gone over to the congregation from the province [of Santo Rosario]. Those fathers, arriving there with their appointments and the orders of the governor for the governor of that island, deposed the vicar—although everything was adjusted amid great peace, and, until the first despatch, they all lived together as the closest of brothers. When opportunity offered, the former father-vicar, father Fray Lorenço Arnedo, and father Fray Felipe del Espiritu Santo, a Japanese, and Father Corena himself, who was unwell, went to Manila, leaving the said father-vicar, father Juan de los Angeles, father Fray Teodoro de la Madre de Dios, and father Fray Juan Garcia, for it was not advisable to leave the land without ministers who had been there some time. Father Fray Francisco Diaz (of whom a more detailed relation will be given later) also did his work, and it was great. He was an accomplished minister for China, and was detained in the island of Hermosa at that time, for [41]the following reason. He had left his missions in the above kingdom to attend to the solution of certain serious doubts, in company with father Fray Antonio de Santa Maria of [the Order of] our father St. Francis. Going to the island of Hermosa, it was determined that father Fray Antonio should go to Manila, and that Father Diaz should await him there, which he did. Therefore, as the latter could not remain idle, he employed himself during that time in aiding his brothers, paying his score for lodging in works of example and virtue.

Before going farther, it will be advisable for us to present a brief summary of the incidents that concern the new governor of these islands, in order that we may get through with him. It cannot be doubted that a person of so many good qualities and one so noble had a strong desire to do well, and, above all, since he was selected by our Catholic monarch who confided to him in these islands the most precious gem of his crown—a jewel that his most prudent grandfather had given him, when in standing god-father to them in sacred baptism, in the time of his monarchy, he was pleased that they should give his name to the islands. That was a very well founded reasoning, for considering their land, their climate, their location, and their distances, proportions and neighbors, Alexander the Great did not dream of placing his banners over an empire of greater reputation [than these constitute]. Notwithstanding, then, the good intentions of that knight [i.e., Corcuera], from that time they were obstructed by so many untoward events that, although he governed nine whole years, and had the good luck to return to España (a thing that no other governor had done [42]before him), and was there afterward governor of Cordova, and governor of Canarias, where he died, still he left few expressions of regret here for his departure—and, as says a Stoic, posts and dignities bear the letter of recommendation on their backs only. Few grieved over his absence, for he left the name of governor truly disgraced. The year after his arrival (namely, 1636), for reasons of state he sent no ship to España, although he should have considered the common good and the only consolation of these islands, which depends solely on the delicate thread of one poor ship of commerce and relief. The next year he did send it, and it happened to be received at Acapulco by a visitor, Quiroga, who ruined these islands by his rigor, although they ought to be treated with greater charity, for so many reasons. Our governor was over-zealous in the suit with the archbishop and in his exile, and was merciless in his decision—although the venerable prelate mounted to heaven, and protected himself with a sacred monstrance in which was present the person of God himself. But that did not avail the archbishop, for His [Divine] Majesty allowed human power to achieve its end. The governor proceeded with such passion in this holy province of ours that he gave it the stroke most keenly felt, by dividing it, without awaiting any order or authority. And although the Lord derived great glory from it, still that knight manifested his own character in dividing so holy a family, and again uniting it when that seemed fitting to him; and by such actions he showed his scant appreciation of persons so estimable, and whose profession is so sacred. In the wars that he waged in Samboangan and Jolo, in which he participated personally, it is [43]certain that he did his duty as a brave soldier; and God gave him honorable victories, which were of great consequence for humbling those enemies. But they were very dear to us, for the best people of these islands perished there, but rather as the result of their own disorder than from the valor of others. In order that those sorties might be made, presidios were dismantled, and others were weakened, so that even at the present time [i.e., 1693] the islands have not reached the period of convalescence. The thing that must grieve us most is, that although our arms had possessed the greater part of the island of Hermosa, as above stated, with so great reputation for sixteen years—a possession which all the nations of the world might well envy—command was given, in order to carry on these wars [i.e., in Mindanao and Jolo], for three of the military companies in its garrison to retire to Manila, leaving only one, composed of boys and cripples, under the immediate control of the chief governor. On that account it was necessary for our religious to abandon the place where they lived outside (which was a village of considerable size), and to live in the fort, crowded with the men. When the Dutch, who were settled at the other point of the island, called Tayguan, discovered that, they attacked us once; and, having better equipped themselves, [attacked us] in the following year of 1642, and besieged and defeated us with the loss of credit that can be understood (although the conditions were honorable), after seven days of brave resistance, and took our people in their ships to Manila. But this caused the ruin of large Christian communities of Indians, and the total downfall of the increased hopes which, in so advantageous [44]a post [as Hermosa], were continuing to grow, with greater effects in the service of both Majesties. Later, in the year 1660, the Chinese won that fort of ours and the land from the Dutch, so that that nation possesses it in peace today. The misfortunes of the governor went farther; and one of those years he despatched to our España the galleon “Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion”—the richest one that has ever been seen on that route and owned by citizens of this land (for then they had not invented the pernicious art of sending [agents] to buy here). It was in command of Don Juan Francisco de Corcuera, the governor’s nephew. Unfortunately it was wrecked during a storm, at an island of the Ladrones, and the cargo was lost, as well as the people—except some few who escaped by swimming, and afterward ventured themselves in the open sea, in a small boat made in those parts; and it was God’s will to allow them to reach Manila. At that time there was an insurrection of Sangleys—who hold in their grasp all the manufactures and trades of this community, and through whose hands passes all the bulk of the commerce. Consequently by the means of one lash they all perished, while we ourselves were badly wounded. Clearly our sins were the cause of all those calamities; but since the superior officer derives the greater part of the glory in prosperous affairs, there is sufficient foundation in adverse affairs for him to shoulder a great part of the misfortunes—and more so when, rendering himself inaccessible to counsel, he carries out his own resolution. Now his residencia has been obtained by his death, and the residencia which was taken here from [45]him was not so mild that it did not cost him five years of close imprisonment.

[The chapter closes with the narration of the happy death at the island of Hermosa of the Portuguese lay-brother Fray Antonio de Viana, who had taken the Dominican habit at Manila. He had labored five years in the island.]



Of the intermediary chapter; and of some religious who are mentioned in it as having died, leaving behind the reputation of virtue.

The intermediary chapter of the provincialate of father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant was held in the convent of St. Dominic in Manila, May 15, 1639. [The deceased missionaries given mention in that chapter are as follows: Jacinto de San Geronimo, who professed in the convent of Santa Cruz at Carboneras in the province of España, and died in the province of Itui, after a glorious life of labor. Geronimo Morer, of the province of Aragon, who professed in the convent at Valencia, and died at an advanced age in the missions of the Babuyanes; he had charge there of about one thousand tributes in two villages. Juan de Santo Tomas, who died September 5, 1638, one of the founders of the province. Next morning early also died the lay-brother Juan de San Dionisio, a native of Aguilar, who took the habit at the convent of Escala Cœli (i.e., the Ladder of Heaven) at Cordova; he was known, before his arrival at the Philippine province, as Juan de Heredia. He joined the Philippine mission in 1590, and on reaching that land was employed in various duties, [46]among them that of nurse in the Chinese hospital of San Gabriel.]

[Chapters iv and v deal with the life of Juan de Santo Tomas (alias de Ormaza), one of the founders of the province of Santo Rosario, and its fourth provincial. He was a native of Medina del Campo, and his father was a noted jurist. The latter desiring his son to follow in his footsteps, he was sent to the university of Salamanca; but the youthful student, developing a taste for the religious life, prevailed upon his parents to allow him to devote himself to religion. He entered the Dominican convent at Valladolid, where he professed. The first mission to the Philippines, which arrived there in 1587, found him among its ranks. Arrived at the islands he was assigned to the missions at Bataan, where he labored assiduously until the year 1600, when he became provincial by unanimous vote. Shortly after the completion of his term of office he was sent to Japan as vicar-general of the Dominican missions there, and after several years there he returned to Manila and resumed his old vicariate of Bataan. As old age came on he retired to the convent of Manila, where he died at the age of nearly ninety, on December 7, 1638. In the general chapter held in Rome in 1644, he received mention for his good life and works.] [47]



Of the intermediary meeting of the year 1639, and events of that time

In the year 1639 was held the intermediary meeting in the convent of St. Dominic in Manila, where besides the ordinary arrangements some rules were enacted, although only a few. One of those rules was much to the credit of holy Poverty: namely that no one could ask permission to spend any money, even to the extent of a small sum, unless he first declare the purpose of it to the superior. It was a very happily conceived rule; for supposing that to each religious is given whatever is religiously necessary for him in health and in sickness, it is right and proper, if the alms of any mass come into his hands—even though it be to give alms, or to aid religious friends who are in other villages with some trifles, which they do not possess—to tell it to the superior, and not to give any occasion for Poverty to complain, even in slight matters.

In March of that year a very disastrous insurrection occurred in the province of Cagayan, in some villages retired among some mountains, called Mandayas (whose discovery and reduction to our holy faith is treated in the first part, book 2, chapter 48; and which was due to our Order, at the hands of father Fray Lorenço de Zamora, who accomplished it all). The affair was so disastrous that it cost considerable blood and not a few scandals (which are yet bewailed). The alcalde-mayor of that province was Sargento-mayor Don Marcos Zapata, the son of an auditor of this royal Audiencia. The alcalde, not paying much attention to so noble a trust, or [48]deceived by his own shadow—and, what is more, by the example of the governor (who was, as we have said, very decided in his opinions)—conducted his official duties by the method which he calls “the short cut” (which only shows little cleverness) namely, that of severity. (But this is an expedient which carries with it innumerable inconveniences. We know that the heathen, who drew gods out of the center of the earth, made Love a god, but it is not stated that they made Cruelty a god. The reason is, that, although it seems to one that he can do much by cruelty, he cannot do everything, as can love. Consequently, cruelty lacks qualifications for being called a god.) Following this his line of reasoning, the rigor of the said alcalde was great. Although by order of the central government he had made a fort with a new sentry-post, in the said Mandaya villages, and had a suitable garrison of soldiers, yet so many were the burdens that they put upon the shoulders of the wearied Indians for their support that the latter considered themselves as conquered, especially because of the ill-treatment that they experienced from the commandant of the said fort. The mine of anger exploded, because the said commandant punished one of the principal women, because she had displeased him, by forcing her to pound rice for a whole day; she and her husband were so angry thereat that they became the chief promoters of the insurrection. The nearby villages, which were tormented by the burden of the fort and the oppressions practiced by the soldiers, were invited [to aid in the conspiracy]. They entered the sentry-post at ten on the morning of March 6 with their arms, and killed the sentinel and others who [51]offered them some resistance. They went thence to the fort, and breaking down the doors, or having them opened by the spies inside, they killed about twenty unarmed and naked soldiers, who formed the garrison; only five soldiers escaped, by hiding; but later, the fire increasing, these perished. The Indians entered the convent, and killed a Sangley, at the door of the cell of the father-vicar, who had just been baptized that day (whose death, we must believe, would be most fortunate for his soul). They showed respect to the father-vicar and, all of them weeping with him on account of the bold undertaking in which they found themselves involved, they embarked him together with his clothes, the ornaments from the sacristy, images, crosses, and books, and carried them down to a secure place, from whence he went to the first convent. It was learned afterward that they proceeded with their frenzied sacrilege, and burned the church and the convent. Although the attempt has been made more than once to obtain satisfaction, yet those people are so favored by their inaccessible mountains that this effort has been abandoned, as it is impossible to subdue them.

[A short description of the revolt of the Chinese follows (see Vol. XXIX, pp. 208–258).]

Native women pounding rice in the province of Cagayán

Native women pounding rice in the province of Cagayán

[From photograph taken by Otto Fischer, 1888; procured in Madrid]




Continuation of the events of that year of 1639

On the seventh of August of that year, the desired news of two galleons which were coming from Nueva España, with the situado of these islands, arrived at Manila, which was decked in festival gladness [because of the termination of the Sangley insurrection]. One cannot easily imagine the general acclamation with which the news was received, and the festive demonstrations which were made [tokens of joy] in the hearts that were so full of mourning for the troubles of the above related insurrection, and other incidents which still kept the copious tears dropping from the eyes. Those were the results, doubtless, of our great sins, which to this very day have converted our joy into a tragedy, and a very painful one. For on the very day in which so famous news arrived at Manila—namely, that the said two ships were in Cagayan—because they had made a port badly sheltered, and had not been able to better it in so many days, at that unseasonable time so furious a tempest struck the same moorings, that all their skill was of no avail to them, and the tempest drove them upon some rocks, where both were miserably lost. Although it was God’s will that the money of the situado should be saved, and that registered as belonging to private persons, as it was already ashore, all the other things were lost—most of the infantry aboard, and all their goods, silver, and merchandise. That amounted to a great treasure and was the blood of this land gathered in those two hulks, and was so sadly shed in our very sight. Patience, hardly cured from the past blows, was much exhausted, when that [53]misfortune became known. Its causes were differently construed, for in such strokes grief has license to arouse opinions, however little foundation they may have. But the truth is that alleged above, namely, our sins, and no other—which, in order to double their strength, are trying to leave us querulous of others, the good abandoned, and the detection of our errors left in uncertainty. He who would know what kind of a city Manila is, the latitude in which our Lord located it, and its characteristics and its strength, must not be governed by degrees, elevations, or charts, nor by its gains (although these have been so great), but by its losses, which are much greater and more continual; its site, looked on with envy by all the nations of the world, especially by those surrounding it who are as haughty as populous; its nourishment, which, as this is the most remote part of the body of our España, when it arrives is at least cold, however great the warmth displayed by the royal heart of the Council of the Indias. Its governors are and have been excellent Christians, and brave, for in this regard it has had good fortune. But since the express from Madrid, even when it is swiftest, takes three years, it is necessary that the government change its nature. Although it is monarchical in its form, it lacks the quickness in its relation to the heart and to the head which is the better life of its members, so that without doubt it is most difficult to administer. Whence we infer that this city, with its remote provinces, is one of the greatest miracles that the providence of God has gathered in His temple, who is preserving it supernaturally for His predestined ones, dispensing with the order of secondary causes, to the no little glory [54]of our mother España. The latter is the instrument happily chosen for so lofty an end. España, with so Christian generosity, spends annually in its support a half million. That is the least thing, when one considers the so many and so competent sons in both estates [i.e., secular and religious] as are those of whom España is continually dispossessed, without hope of seeing them again. That does not happen in any other part of America. Fortunate is the Catholic spirit of the kings our sovereigns, who, following that honorable obligation, so free from temporal interests, have advanced this royal proof of the most Catholic zeal, and of a liberality without imitation among all the monarchs of the world! And happy a thousand times those who coöperate with their lives or their energy to so glorious an end!

Although the above-mentioned misfortune caused the loss of goods and lives of so much value, the royal despatches of his Majesty were saved, and the waves did not dare to profane their immunity. In the despatches was a decree for the father provincial of this province in regard to the division [of the province]—now buried in silence, but which disturbed it so greatly. As that decree seems highly significant of the care of our Catholic monarch, and of the warm place that his humble province has in his royal breast, we have thought best to insert it here. It is as follows:

“The King. To the venerable and devout father provincial of the Order of St. Dominic of my Filipinas Islands: I have been informed, by various relations which I have received, of the lack of peace and quiet enjoyed by the religious of that province, [55]because of the division made in it, by virtue of letters which Fray Diego de Collado bore from his general, and aid given him for it by my governor and captain-general of those islands, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera. However the said briefs ought not to have been executed, as they were not passed upon by my royal Council of the Indias. Regarding rather the harmony of the orders and the quiet of that province, and believing that the said division will be the occasion for laxity in the order, I have ordered my said governor and captain-general of those islands, and my royal Audiencia resident therein, to suspend the said brief and all others that the said Fray Diego Collado may have carried, and not allow them to be executed; and that the division that has been made in the provinces be annulled, and conditions remain as they were before the said division. Therefore, I ask and charge you that you on your part cause those provinces to assume the condition that they had before the said division, and you shall immediately send the said Fray Diego Collado to España. In order that this may have effect, I am ordering my governor in a letter of this same date to have transportation furnished to him for his return. You shall advise me of what you shall do in execution of what I ask you, on the first opportunity. Given at Madrid, February twenty-one, one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign: Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon[56]

This is the letter or decree written to the father provincial. In the one which follows, although it contains so many things worth considering, the clause rendering this province equal to the most observant one of the order is the most noteworthy; so that those who merit the possession of a mother who employs herself in the service of God, and who is so well accredited with her prince, may console themselves. In order that we may get through with this matter once for all (which is not very savory), we shall insert here the other decree of his Majesty written in regard to the same matter to the royal Audiencia of Manila. The king our sovereign well shows in it the care that we owe to him, for he expresses in that decree not only his royal providence, but the anger that such innovations caused him. It is as follows:

“The King. To the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia of Manila of the Filipinas Islands: In one section of a letter written to me by you on June 12, 1636, you say that father Fray Diego Collado of the Order of St. Dominic went to those islands in the former year of 35, bearing letters from his general allowing him to take over some of the houses owned by that order and found a new and distinct province, the sole business of which is to send ministers for the conversion of Japon. All of that carried with it great inconvenience, both because of the injury that that order would receive by a division of the province (which will bring about laxity in it, although that province has hitherto been one of those in which the rules of their order have been observed with the greatest strictness and punctuality), [57]and in sending ministers to Japon the said order has displayed so much solicitude that rather has it been necessary to restrain it because of the umbrage received thereby by that kingdom. That annoyance has been the occasion for cutting off the trade with those islands; and it was in great danger of being shut to the Portuguese of Macan, whom the Japanese have threatened severely if it be found that religious have gone to that kingdom from those islands, or from any other part. Consequently, it was certain that father Fray Diego Collado gave an inaccurate report to his general, and it was not advisable to carry out the terms of his letters—of which you gave me an account, so that I might have the evil corrected. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, by a letter of this date I have ordered and charged you, my president—inasmuch as you did wrong in giving aid to that father because the brief which he held had not been passed upon by the said my Council—to cause this and all briefs which he had, that had not been passed upon by the Council, to be suspended, and not to allow them to be carried into effect. In regard to the division of the provinces, they shall return to their former condition. In order that my commands may have the due effect, I order you and my Audiencia to assist in the fulfilment of the aforesaid decree, so that it may be executed without any omission. When that is done, you shall advise me of it at the first opportunity. Given in Madrid, February 21, 1638.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign: Don Gabriel Ocaña y Alarcon[58]

One can see in this not only his Majesty’s favor toward us, directed to the ends of the providence of God (who holds the hearts of kings in His hands), but also the evil (which the Audiencia here regretted) of the separation which was made, and the official report which was made to the credit of this holy providence. And since at last they see us near at hand, and the good reputation that our Lord has given us here in His infinite goodness, those gentlemen are grieved at seeing us suffer—since at that time we were in so great danger of the destruction of this holy province; for giving it such a division amounted to the same thing. But God returned to His cause later; and as His divine mercies have been so abundantly revealed, greater troubles can well be reckoned as well past.

[The following six chapters are comprised mainly of accounts of the Chinese missions, and the lives of certain Dominicans.] [59]

1 The title-page of Baltasar de Santa Cruz’s history reads as follows:

“Volume second of the History of the province of Santo Rosario of Filipinas, Japon, and China, of the holy Order of Preachers. Written by the very reverend father, Fray Baltasar de Santa Cruz, professor of morning studies in the university and college of Santo Tomas de Manila, prior of the convent of the said city, rector of the college, provincial of the province, and commissary of the Holy Office. Dedicated to the very illustrious and reverend Don Fray Miguel Geronimo de Fuenbuena, member of his Majesty’s Council, and bishop of the holy church of Albarracin. Published by order of our most reverend father, Master-general Fray Antonio Cloche, and the very reverend Father-master Fray Pedro Martir de Buenacosa, prior of the royal convent of Preachers at Zaragoça, synodal examiner of his archbishopric, and of the nunciature of España, and preacher to his Catholic Majesty. The year 1693. With permission: printed at Zaragoça, by Pasqual Bueno, royal printer.”

Baltasar de Santa Cruz, one of the most eminent of the Dominicans of the Philippines, was born at Granada, December, 1627, and professed at the convent of Santa Cruz la Real in the same city, December 4, 1643, after three years as a novice. After studies in that convent and at San Pablo in Sevilla, he taught philosophy at the former convent. In 1666, he was in the convent at San Lucar de Barrameda, whence he departed that same year for the islands. Arrived there he learned the Tagálog language in six months, but was speedily sought for high offices. In 1667, he was appointed lecturer in theology in the college of Santo Tomás in Manila; and in 1669 he was elected prior of the Manila convent, although he resigned that post the following year. He was elected definitor in the chapter of 1669, and in 1671 vicar of Abucay, in the province of Bataan. He was rector of the college of Santo Tomás in 1673–1675, and preacher-general at the same time; vicar of Binondoc, 1677 (still retaining his title of preacher-general); he was elected provincial, April 30, 1678, and at the expiration of his term was elected commissary of the Holy Office; vicar for the second time of Binondoc, 1684; president of the hospital of San Gabriel, 1686–1698, when he was again assigned to the Manila convent; was elected definitor in the chapter of 1690; was vicar-general in the province of Manila, 1684–1694. His death occurred January 12, 1699, at Binondoc, and he was buried in the convent at Manila. His history of the Dominican province in the Philippines was composed in only ten months. See Reseña biográfica, part ii, pp. 17–19.

2 In the text, nuestra, apparently a typographical error for Nueva, since these ships carried the situado, which was supplied from Mexico.

3 “The first part” of the history of the Dominican province—meaning Aduarte’s work (presented in Vols. XXX–XXXII of this series), of which Santa Cruz’s is a continuation.

4 According to Hippocrates, the human body contained four humors—blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.

5 The custom of cutting off the heads of enemies probably arose from the desire to furnish unquestionable proofs of victory. The sight of these skulls would also intimidate the conquered, and restrain insubordination. The heads were offered in propitiation of the dead, thus entering into a quasi-worship; and the possession of these trophies is considered a mark of bravery and social distinction. See Herbert Spencer’s Ceremonial Institutions (New York, 1880), pp. 38–40.

6 Primitive peoples often partake of the new corn sacramentally, because they suppose it to be instinct with a divine spirit or life. At a later age, with a different conception of natural processes, a portion of the fruits is presented as a thank-offering to the divine beings who are believed to have produced them; sometimes the first fruits are presented to the king, probably in his character as a god. For full descriptions of this custom, its observance, and meaning, see Frazer’s Golden Bough (2d ed., London, 1900), ii, pp. 318–340, 459–471.

7 For detailed account of the natives of Formosa, their customs, mode of life, and religious beliefs, see Valentyn’s Oud en nieuw Oost-Indien, deel iv, stuk ii, pp. 37 et seq. of the section entitled “Beschryvinge van Tayouan of Formosa.” This matter is doubtless obtained from the writings of George Candidius, the first Dutch preacher in Tai-wan, and a missionary among the natives. He was preacher at Tai-wan during 1627–31, and 1633–37. See also the English version of his account of the Formosan natives, in Churchill’s Collection of Voyages (London, 1704), i, pp. 526–533 (see our Vol. XXII, p. 99, note). See relation of religious affairs in the island during the Dutch occupation, with list of ministers, in Valentyn, ut supra, pp. 83–93. The latest, and apparently the most full and thorough account of the island is J. W. Davidson’s Formosa Past and Present (London and New York, 1903). He describes the island, its resources, and its native tribes, and relates its history—for all which he has had access to the best material available, and the aid of scholars acquainted with the subject, besides his own long residence there; and presents the best map of Formosa yet published.

8 Juan de los Angeles made his profession in the Dominican convent at Zafra, in 1626, and came to the Philippines with Collado in 1635. He was sent to Formosa and remained there until its capture by the Dutch. Returning to Manila (1643), he labored many years, sometimes among the natives, but mainly in high offices of his order—among them, the priorate of his convent, and the provincialship of Filipinas; he was also rector of Santo Tomás college, and for many years president of San Juan de Letran college. He died at Manila in 1682, aged eighty years.

9 “Father Fray Miguel Lorena (or Corena), from Aragón, a son of one of the two convents at Zaragoza, was assigned to Formosa; but after the chapter of 1635 no more is known of him.” (Reseña biográfica, i, p. 418).



[In Vol. XXI (pp. 191–259) the history of the Recollect missions in the Philippines, as related by Luis de Jesús (Historia general de los religiosos descalzos del orden de los Hermitaños del gran Padre, ... San Augustin; Madrid, 1681) was presented for 1621–24. Below follows the history of that author for 1625–38.]



Year 1625



The founding of the convent of Sevilla. Ours begin to preach the gospel in Baiug and Malanao in the Filipinas. Father Fray Diego de la Anunciation dies in a holy manner in Madrid.

[The first three sections of this chapter relate to Spanish affairs entirely.]



Preaching of our religious in Bayug and Malanao

It had been decided by an intermediary chapter of that province of Filipinas that our laborers should go to the district of Bayug and the vicinity of Lake Malanao [i.e., Lanao], as there were many people there, and hopes were entertained of gathering abundant fruit for the Church. Since the minister of Cagaiang, to whom the visitas of Bayug and the other villages belonged, could not go there, father [60]Fray Juan de San Nicolas was appointed, a man well known for his invincible spirit, and his excellent procedure (howbeit at the cost of many hardships) in reducing obstinate ones, as was proved in the conquest of Cagaiang. Armed, then, with spiritual weapons, he went to the village of Bayug, where he was known and where there were a few Christians. He began to make much of the chief people, for if they are once subdued, the conversion of the common people is not so difficult.

Dolomayor,1 a man well affected toward the religious, was as it were, the ruler of those people. He immediately surrendered his children to baptism, although he remained in his blindness. For all that, however, he did not fail to help Ours greatly. With this good beginning, father Fray Juan endured his hardships with equanimity; and he had much to endure, for the Indians do not give alms. Consequently, it was necessary for the ministers to seek their food in the mountains, with the trouble that can be imagined. They continued to gain souls for God; but the heart of the zealous father was pierced because the inhabitants of the other river near by, called Lavayan, clung obstinately to their heathen rites, and refused to receive the evangelical law. On that account the father resolved to make a settlement in that district, in order that they might be subdued by perseverance. He did so, and left his associate in Bayug.

We have already mentioned, [when speaking] of the foundation in Cagaiang,2 the great hostility that [61]those of that village had incurred, and the Mindanao Moros. The latter could not endure to have our religious remain there, as they thought that it was the gateway by which an entrance would be made into their lands. Because of them the people of Cagaiang were so harassed continually that they could not go out to cultivate their fields. Father Fray Augustin de San Pedro3 was prior of Cagaiang in the year 1626. He was so valiant a man that, although he had been reared in the austerity and shelter of religion from childhood, he knew how to make himself so feared by those Mahometans that they called him “the Father Captain.”

He surrounded the village with a high stockade, with its sentry-boxes and towers for the sentinels who stood watch at night, by means of which they were safe from the continual ambushes of the enemy. He taught the Indians how to make sallies, to shoot, and to spy out those who were in ambush, and in fine carried himself as the most skilful captain. The [62]tyrant Cachil Corralat was very angry that a small village like Cagaiang should resist his power, and desired to finish it once for all. He launched his fleet of more than thirty caracoas manned by the best of his men and equipped with military supplies. The preparation of the enemy was learned, and the father prior sent to Caragha for some soldiers. Six soldiers and one hundred Indians came. A sudden alarm was sounded, to call in those who were distant in their fields. The enemy disembarked more than two thousand Moros in order to attack the village; but they found so stout resistance that they returned, fleeing in disgrace. All that gave great annoyance to Corralat, and he was grieved to his very soul that the [Father] Captain should be the one to check his boldness. Therefore, desirous of seizing him, Corralat ordered ambushes to be set, and took other means to secure his end.

That action was not kept hidden from the prudent father, who, caring for the guard of the village, also forbade the people at times to make sallies, that they might not fall into any of the many stratagems arranged by the enemy, notwithstanding that he had frightened them from the vicinity. Sometimes he sallied out on horseback, with unsheathed sword, trampling many under foot, and causing the rest to flee in terror. That military valor of father Fray Augustin is not to be wondered at; for there are many examples of priests in Holy Writ who fought like captains; and, in our España, many archbishops and bishops have performed great exploits, opposing themselves, clad in steel armor, in the field of battle to the barbarity of the enemies of the faith; and our religious opposed the Mahometans, because he was [63]defending those whom he had converted to the law of God.

The misfortune was, that the said father having gone out to visit his parishioners, the enemy—who were keeping close watch, and seeking the manner in which they might enter the village—obtained their opportunity in a certain part where the sentinels were careless; and, attacking the convent, they pillaged it of what they found. Father Fray Jacinto de Jesus Maria escaped, as by a miracle, through the midst of the swords which the barbarians raised against him, even he being quite careless inside his cell. The father prior grieved greatly over that blow; but, like the courageous man he was, he supplied the convent with furnishings and with what was most necessary for the fortification of the place.

At that time the father prior of Bayug, Fray Juan de San Nicolàs, was in Lavayan, whose inhabitants he was subduing with incredible labors; for they refused to build him a church or a house, or to supply him with food. He was supported by the fish caught by two Tagálog Indians, servants of his, while he himself was obliged to pound his rice and carry his wood. It was God’s pleasure to soften the hardness of those people, in a manner that appears ridiculous. I shall not hesitate to refer to it, so that the divine Providence may be seen even in what appears accidental.

Father Fray Juan de San Nicolàs fell sick of the fever, and found that he must be bled. That took place upon the occasion of a visit from an Indian chief. The latter was greatly surprised that the father allowed himself to be bled. He asked the cause for it, and the father told him that that was a [64]good medicine for fevers, and that the Spaniards were accustomed to its use. The Indian became quiet at that, but returned the next day to see the second bleeding. Then after several days he came with his hands to his head, and asked to be bled, as he felt sick. The father endeavored to dissuade him, but he insisted so much that the father had to order that he be bled. The barber, since the chief had refused to sell him a fowl for food, or anything else, thought to be revenged, and said that he would not bleed him unless he gave him a fowl or two pullets. The Indian had to give it to him, and although father Fray Juan laughed at the bargain, he was silent and overlooked it all, as he got some food. Other Indians fell sick, and were bled, paying for the bleeding in fowls. By that means the fathers, who were suffering from severe fevers, were able to cure themselves, God taking that means for the relief of his ministers, who had no relief in any other way. Thus the Indians became fond of them and many were baptized. Let us praise God in His infinite wisdom, since He can bring about the salvation of souls by so homely opportunities. Some curious things happened among those barbarous people, but we shall omit them in order not to enlarge this narration, and because those ministries were lost through the hidden judgments of God, and with them the fruit that could be expected.

[The remainder of the chapter does not touch Philippine matters. The sixth chapter is concerned with the life of Rodrigo de San Miguel or Rodrigo de Aganduru Moriz (see Vol. XXI, p. 116, note 29, and p. 317, note 79). The four following chapters of the fourth decade treat of matters in Spain, [65]Spanish America, and Japan (where the Recollects also have their martyrs).]




The venerable father master, Fray Mateo Delgado, dies in a holy manner in the convent of Candelaria. Four religious suffer for the faith of Christ in the province of Caraghas. The venerable father, Fray Geronimo de la Resurreccion, the first vicar general, ended his exemplary life at the convent of Toledo.

[The first three sections of this chapter are taken up with the life and work of Mateo Delgado, who labored in the American missions.]


Four of our religious suffer from the violence of the rebellious Indians of Caragha

It has been said that the Caraghas Indians are fierce and warlike, and can ill endure to be subject to the Spaniards. Having seen the little or no reputation that had been gained with the Indians of the island of Jolo—who, although they were paying tribute, rebelled; and whose many depredations our soldiers could not check—the Caraghas were emboldened to rise because of that rebellion and they did so. That insurrection was begun in the year 1629, in which occurred many murders, thefts, and insolences. It is not our purpose to enumerate them in detail; but it does concern us to touch upon the many calamities that some of our convents suffered, and the religious who governed them. [66]

Captain Pedro Bautista went to the fort of Caragha, and, the land being in great revolt, thought only of attending to his business and of making raids. In the first raid he comported himself so badly toward the Indians that they were very dissatisfied. Having arranged a second raid in the year 1631, he left the fort on the fourth of July, taking with him ten soldiers, the best that he had. The names of the latter were Alferez Maldonado, Sergeant Gandaya, Sergeant Juan Rodriguez, Sergeant Reyes, Sergeant Negrete, Luis de Alarcòn, Juan de Aguirre, Juan Dominguez, Francisco de la Paz, and one other. Father Fray Jacinto de Jesus Maria, prior vicar of the convent of Tago (whom the rebellious Indians tried to kill in his cell at the convent of Cagaiang, as has been related) went as chaplain of that fleet. One Spaniard having been stationed in each ship, they reached Bapangano, accompanied by all the chief people of that coast. They captured sixteen slaves, and Dumblag, one of the Indian chiefs, seeing the little advantage that could fall to him from that prize, freed seven of them.4 The fleet returned and, on arriving at Cheta, Captain Pedro Bautista and father Fray Jacinto disembarked. It was [67]learned there that Dumblag had freed the seven slaves, whereupon the captain resolved to arrest him. The chief resisted, and laid his hand on his varalao to oppose the captain. The latter, angered, struck Dumblag (who was a very great rogue, and had done many things for which he deserved punishment) with his lance; the chief was placed in irons, and his cause was put in writing. On the arrival of the other boats, his relative Valintos landed, and went to visit the prisoner, who complained because the former did not avenge him. Valintos was ashamed, and resolved to kill the captain and father Fray Jacinto.

At that time the Spaniards were without their arms. Valintos went up to the captain deceitfully, and treacherously stabbed him twice so that he died. He asked for confession, and father Fray Jacinto set about confessing him; but scarcely had he absolved him, when many Indians, coming up, found father Fray Jacinto—who was now on his knees with hands raised and eyes lifted toward the heavens, praying and asking pardon of God for their sins, in payment of which he offered his life; and he asked pardon for the aggressors of so many misdeeds. The Indians gave him a lance thrust that passed through [68]his body. He never moved, and when the barbarians saw that, they wounded him again and again, in the belief that he was not dead. But when they became aware that he was no more, and saw that his eyes were opened and his hands raised, they conceived so great fear that they did not dare go up to him. Thus remained that blessed body until the tide came in and carried it away, the sea giving him a more pious burial than those inhuman wretches had given him death. It was God’s plan to make the venerable father terrible to the Indians at his death, so that they should not ill-treat his remains. It is an indication that he enjoys reward in heaven for having bravely given his life for God on the earth.

Then the Indians killed the Spaniards there. Father Fray Jacinto could have escaped, but in order not to fail in charity he did not care to preserve his life, and offered it to God, for whom he gave it willingly—an action wondered at by the Indians, and still recounted today with the same wonder. Father Fray Jacinto was a native of the port of Cadiz in Andaluzia, his parents being Pedro de Molino and Doña Isabel Lopez. He took the habit and professed in the convent of San Nicolàs of Manila.5 Having been ordained a priest, obedience employed him in the instruction of the coast of Caragha. Giving an excellent account of what was in his charge, he was appointed prior vicar of the convent of Tago, where he comported himself to the great satisfaction of all, until he gave his life for the service of God, as has been related. His happy death occurred on the thirteenth of July of that year. [69]

Next day the rebels went to the river of Tago, in high spirits because they had killed all the Spaniards in the fleet, and spent three days in carousing. Mangabo ordered them to ring for a mass that he desired to say. “Come,” he said in derision, “to the mass of Father Mangabo.” The people assembled in the church of our convent. An Indian woman, called Maria Campan, esteemed as one of good life dressed herself and went through the aspersion, saying, when she sprinkled the water, “I am Father Jacinto.” Mangabo took a holy crucifix, and, breaking off the arms, said: “God of the Castilians, fight with me; come let us see whether you are as brave as I.” And drawing his varalao or cris,6 he struck it crosswise through the face, and cleft it. “That holy image,” says father Fray Lorenço de San Facundo, whose relation this is, and who passed through that insurrection, in which he suffered many hardships and dangers, as we shall see hereafter, “is in my possession.” Then he threw down another holy crucifix of greater stature, and cut it into bits with an ax, defying it to fight. O Lord! what things dost Thou endure from men! Then the convent and church were given over to pillage, and a servant of the convent, named Diego Salingat, was killed.

Mangabo went to Tanda, and, reaching the convent on the nineteenth of the same month, attacked it at midnight. Dacxa, an Indian chief, who had refused to take part in that insurrection, hastened to the defense of the fathers who were in the convent; [70]but he was unable to defend them, for father Fray Alonso de San Joseph, the prior’s associate, was attacked by the Indians and his head split by a blow of the campilan. It was discovered afterward that Dacxa was treacherous, and was taking part with Mangabo in the pillage. The blessed father was a native of Villa-Cañas, although some make him a native of Villa-Tobas, in La Mancha the land of Toledo. He professed in the convent of Valencia, and went to Filipinas in the year 1622 with father Fray Andrès del Espiritu Santo. He was a religious of great humility and very observant, on account of which he was appointed by the superiors prior of the convent of Baldag in the province of Calamianes, where he gathered abundant fruit in the conversion of those people. But as he was very near sighted, he had scruples lest he could not perform his duty well, and finally conceived that he was incapable of administering it or any other office with the care of souls. Therefore he petitioned that he be allowed to resign, and did so. He was permitted to resign, but rather for his consolation than because he was judged incapable. He went to Manila, where he gave himself up to the exercise of virtue, without any hindrance. His superiors seeing that it was not expedient that so excellent a worker should be idle, sent him to the convent of Tanda, so that he might as an experienced associate, aid the prior.

The father teacher, Fray Juan de Santo Tomàs, was prior. Hearing the attack of the barbarians from his retreat, and going outside, he saw Dacxa, to whom he went and whom he asked for protection. The latter in pity embraced the father and endeavored to save his life, but an Indian came up and [71]thrust the father through the body with a lance, and he died on his knees. Then the Indians went to the convent and sacked and profaned it as they had done to that of Tago, and finally burned it.

[The above father was born in San Pablo de los Montes in the archbishopric of Toledo. He took the Recollect habit in the convent of Valladolid, where he became a close student. He went to the Philippines in 1620 with Onofre de la Madre de Dios and other religious, where he was appointed to found the convent of Cuyo, of which he was made prior, being also made vicar-provincial of the other convents in the islands. He was later appointed prior of the convent of Tanda, where he was killed. His body, which was buried at some little distance from the church, was given decent burial after seven years—when it was disinterred for that purpose, being found to be wholly preserved except at the tip of the nose.]

On the twenty-first of the same month of July, father Fray Pedro de San Antonio, former prior of the convent of Bacoag, had left that convent. The rebellious Indians, having heard that he was in Surigao, a visita of the priorate, despatched Mañan Galan and other Indians to kill him. They found him at the landing-place of Don Diego Amian, reciting the canonical hours. One of them went to father Fray Pedro dissemblingly, and told him that there were many enemies in the land and that he had come to advise him of it. The blessed father asked him certain questions in regard to it, to which the Indian replied maliciously and with lies; and, at the instant when father Fray Pedro turned his back, thrust him through with a lance. The father fell to [72]the ground, invoking the names of Jesus and Mary, with the utterance of which he yielded up his spirit. Many Indians who were hidden came up, took the blessed body, and dragging it thither threw it into the river, with great joy and gladness.

That venerable father was a native of Granada in Andaluzia and went to Filipinas with father Fray Rodrigo de San Miguel (of whom we have already written at length). He greatly admired the exemplary conduct of our religious, and asked for the habit in the convent of Manila, where he professed. Behaving in a religious manner, he was assigned to some missions, and enlightened the Bisayas with the light of the evangelical word. He had assumed the dignity of the priorate of Bacoag, at the time of the insurrection of the Caraghas, and at the time of the events which we have related.

Year 1631


Mention of some dangers suffered by Ours in the insurrection of the Caraghas Indians

The above were not the only dangers suffered by Ours in that insurrection of Caragha; for the Indian chiefs, dividing into different bands, went to various districts, not only to make those who were quiet revolt, but to wipe out the Spaniards, to kill the religious, and to destroy the convents, in their hatred for our holy faith.

July 22, the day of the Magdalene, the father teacher, Fray Lorenço de San Facundo, was saying mass in the convent of Bacoag, which was attended by the Spaniards, and the traitor Zancalàn (one of the leaders of the revolt), and his wife Doña [73]Geronima Moag, and a dozen Indians. The father was disturbed at seeing them, and having asked who those Indians were, and being answered that they were the son and daughter-in-law of Mangabo, he calmed himself. In their carousals the Indians had determined upon the murder, one after another, of the three Spaniards there, and the two religious, father Fray Lorenço de San Facundo, and his associate, a brother, Fray Francisco de San Fulgencio; for these seemed many to them. They killed the three Spaniards treacherously; and at the hour of vespers, Zancalàn put in an appearance with seven Indians. Zancalàn went to kiss the hand of father Fray Lorenço, who was just finishing the burial of a dead woman. With other like courtesies the Indians went up to see the convent, accompanied by the father teacher, when one Indian seized him by the shoulders crying out to another: “Strike him!” The father boldly wrenched himself loose, and shoved the Indian against a post. Then he ran to jump through a window, where they pushed him so that he fell on his back upon a piece of timber, from which he sustained severe injuries. The house was in confusion; various weapons were seized; father Fray Lorenço arose as well as he was able, and fled to the landing-place. Three Indians followed him with lances. An Indian went to him and said: “Father, take this machete, that they may not kill thee.” One of the three threw his lance at the father. The lance passed through his tunic near his right thigh, the father escaping that blow by jumping aside. He seized the lance, and, with it and the machete, retired to the convent. When he arrived, Zancalàn went out with lance and cuirass to kill [74]father Fray Lorenço. The latter defended himself skilfully, and entered the convent, where brother Fray Francisco was defending himself with a musket from the multitude who were attacking him.

Some feats of arms were performed, but we shall omit mention of them for the sake of brevity. The two religious were taken prisoners, and expected instant death in their captivity. Zancalàn gave them a pledge to take them to his father Mangabo, although other Indians wrangled with him demanding that he surrender to them the fathers, in order that they might be sacrificed to their idols. The religious heard all that with great fear, the peculiar effect of our natural weakness. But after commending themselves very earnestly to God, they became so brave that (as the said father teacher testifies in his relation) already they were sorry that Zancalàn was defending them, for they wished to offer their lives for our holy faith.

Thus imprisoned, they reached Tago on Monday, the twenty-eighth of the same month of July, where they expected to be sacrificed—joyful, for they were preparing to go to enjoy God. But (as father Fray Lorenço remarks) the fruit could not have been ripe enough to present it at the table of heaven. Mangabo was a huge man, of enormous strength, and of a terrible temper—on account of which he was called “the Crocodile of Tago.” The fathers were quite sure that, as soon as they reached his presence, they would be killed; but our good God, who can draw water from the hard rock, changed the heart of the barbarian so that he threw himself at the feet of father Fray Lorenço, kissing them and his hands with great show of affection. He gave various excuses [75]for the murders of the fathers and the Spaniards which he had committed, although all of them were frivolous, and said that the fathers should have no fear, for they were under his protection, and that he would defend them with his life. As assurance of that promise, he took an oath in the following manner.

He asked for a varalao, and clutching it in his hands, he loosened some breeches which he had made from an embroidered crimson damask altar-cloth that he had stolen from the convent of Tanda. He wounded himself twice below the stomach, drawing blood, which he ordered his son Zancalàn to catch in a dish which contained wine.7 He began to swear and to invoke his divatas, with howlings so extravagant that he was terrifying. He cursed himself in all ways8 if he should be found wanting in friendship to us, or in our defense, even did he die for it. He drank some of the wine, and then put the dish on [76]his head, crying out in a terrible voice. He embraced father Fray Lorenço, and placed his own turban on his head. Thus did he finish his execrable and ridiculous oath, which they call sandugo, and which they consider as inviolable. That oath was of no little use in defending the religious, for when some of the other Indians once asked Mangabo to sacrifice them, he replied that he would not discuss the matter, that he would first fight anyone who tried to offend them. And he did so, even driving the other chiefs from the place.

He took father Fray Lorenço to his house, and brought out Castilian wine so that he and his associate might drink it, and two chalices, one from the convent of Tanda, and the other from that of Bacoag. When father Fray Lorenço saw these, much affected and weeping, he covered them with the cloth wrapped about them, and said: “Father Mangabo, since you have given me life, I beseech you not to use those chalices, and that neither you nor any woman go near them, for I shall burst with grief.” Mangabo replied: “As you say, son,” and ordered that they be not uncovered, but that they be kept with veneration.

Then Mangabo arose and took a holy bronze crucifix which Zangalàn had taken from father Fray Lorenço, under the impression that it was gold, saying, “I am keeping this your God until the time when we two go to Manila.” “Keep it,” the father said to him, “for He will preserve you if you respect Him; but if you do not respect Him He will confound you, for He is God of Heaven and earth.” Then Mangabo brought out another holy crucifix, with its arms cut off and its head split in twain, as [77]above said, and father Fray Lorenço, falling on his knees before it, kissed it, weeping and sighing, and kept it for his own consolation.

Then Maria Campan (mentioned above) went out and brought back in a small casket the chrismatories of the convent of Tago; and father Fray Lorenço, opening it, saw that nothing was lacking. He wrapped them in a cloth and charged her to keep them and not to open them, saying that he would give her six pesos for them, although they did not have so much money. Father Fray Lorenço could ransom none of it, for he was without money.

[The holy chrismatories finally render Maria contrite; for, fleeing from the Spaniards up a river, and having the phials with her, a huge crocodile thrusts its head into the boat, seizes the phials and makes off without committing other damage, which so works upon the mind of the woman that she lives afterward as a good Christian.]

Finally, Mangabo said to father Fray Lorenço: “Son, I see that you are sick” (he had been seriously injured by the fall of which we have made mention above). “If you wish to go to be treated at the fort of the Spaniards, I will have you taken there, and you shall leave Brother Francisco here, so that he may protect us, if the Castillas (so they call the Spaniards) come. Remember your father, and aid him when you are able.” Father Fray Lorenço thanked him, and was taken in a boat to the fort of Caragha. Thus did God preserve the life of that religious, to whom, if the crown of martyrdom was not conceded, at least he was quick to suffer for the faith; and in fact he endured great hardships for the love of the Lord. His associate, Fray Francisco, was ransomed [78]afterward. He rendered excellent service while he was a prisoner, in the pacification of the rebellious Indians.

Year 1631


Continuation of the matter of the last chapter, with some cases by way of example

Valintos (the same one who had killed Captain Pedro Bautista) went to the river of Butuan with an order to kill father Fray Juan de San Augustin, prior of the convent of Ilaya in the village of Linao. He carried many letters to the chiefs, urging them in the name of Corralat (of whom we have spoken before, and of whom there will be more to say) to have the fathers killed. An influential Indian woman heard of the matter, and since she was the petty queen of that river and very devoted to father Fray Juan de San Augustin, who was a holy religious, she had so much authority that it sufficed to keep those of the village faithful, and they resisted the letters brought by Valintos. In order to assure the life of the said father prior, Fray Juan de San Augustin, she made him take boat and go to Butuan to join the fathers in the convent there. Thus was he delivered from the danger of losing his life.

Almost the same thing happened in the village of Butuan, where the letters of Valintos were received urging the inhabitants to rise and kill the religious. But the Butuans were so faithful that they would not consent to the evil. On the contrary, reading the letters in public, they cried with one voice that they would die before they would permit one hair of the fathers to be harmed. Then forming in a procession, [79]men, women, and children went to the convent in tears, and bewailing the troubles that they were all suffering. The religious said: “Children, here we are at your disposition. Do what you will with us, for God our Lord so orders it.” At this all the people cried out and said with tears in their eyes: “Fathers, be of good cheer, for we will all die before anyone offends you.” They said that with emphatic oaths, whereby they showed the great love and respect that they held for the fathers. The chiefs remained in the convent with their families and possessions. Endeavor was made to advise Zibù, so that help might be brought; and the father prior, Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio, went [for that purpose].

Valintos, having seen the bad outcome to his treacherous plans in Butuan, returned in a rage, and the religious were safe. However, although so many of them were good, some restless Indians (especially the fiscal of the village) rebelled, and without having any occasion therefor, killed the porter of the convent and another Indian. Had not the chiefs hastened to their defense, father Fray Diego de Santa Ana, the associate of the father prior, would have been in danger.

The other revolted villages, taking umbrage at the faithfulness of the Butuans, tried to find means to kill the religious, so that thus the Butuans might be obliged to conform to their rebellion. He who tried hardest was Manàn Galàn, an Indian chief of the village of Albucay, who went to Sampongan to discuss the matter with the Samponganos. An Indian, who was intimate with the fathers, one Sumulay, was chosen [for that mission]. He was well instructed, but, his wiles having been perceived, the [80]Butuans quickly seized their arms to fight any and all enemies who should appear. The fathers were taken to the mountains for greater security, and the traitor Sumulay tried to finish the affair personally. He went, under pretense of friendship, to seek the fathers in the mountains; but, his evil design being recognized, he was seized, and confessing his guilt was placed under surveillance, and finally deprived of life. Following the example of the Butuans, other villages maintained the faith, and defended their fathers who sowed the seed of the gospel in so rude a land, amid so many dangers to their quiet and life, opposing themselves to the sowing of tares that the common enemy always endeavors to introduce into the harvests of the Church.

The father prior of Butuan, Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio, when sailing to Zibù to solicit aid, passed by the island of Camigi, a visita of the district of Cagaiang. He stopped there and was in great danger of being murdered by the insurgents, who were going about in bands committing piracies and watching the sea, so that the fort of Tanda might not be aided. Although that fort was in great danger, the valor of its garrison defended it. The father prior advised the fathers of Cagaiang and Baiug so that they might take precautions, and [told them] that he was going to get aid. That advice was very important for the restraining of the Indians of Baiug and Cagaiang, since they knew that the negotiations which they had with the Caraghas and Mindanaos were known.

The said father prior having arrived at Zibù, the aid was prepared, and was sent under Captain Juan de Chaves as commander of the fleet, who was accompanied [81]by good infantry. The father prior also went with that fleet. They reached Bacoag, where the convent above mentioned was situated, which was one of the best on that coast. Their hearts were pierced to see so many dead and half-decayed bodies, and they buried them. Entering the church, they saw the images profaned and cut into bits. The latter were gathered together by father Fray Jacinto.

The fleet proceeded on its way, and reached the fort of Tanda, whose occupants congratulated themselves again and again at being freed from danger. The pacification of the insurgents was negotiated, in which father Fray Jacinto worked mightily. The latter was overjoyed at having aided the land which was so afflicted. That was a great service which he rendered to God and to our Catholic monarch, who have been able to employ our Recollects in this to advantage. With that aid and some more which was sent from Manila, the insurrection which had caused so much noise and wrought so much ruin was put down. Our convents were restored and other religious no less zealous and earnest succeeded those who had died so gloriously for the faith.

[The Recollects, worthy of their great master St. Augustine, do not waver in their spiritual conflict, but ever keep the sword of the faith turned toward the enemy. “Various incidents occur during that insurrection,” one of them being that the Indian who had killed father Fray Alonso de San Joseph has the arm that had struck that fatal blow bitten off by a crocodile; but he afterward repents and becomes a good Christian. Likewise the Indian who had killed father Fray Pedro de San Antonio dies repentant, having given himself up to justice. A chief [82]in Bacoag orders his rice to be cooked with portions of a demolished crucifix, which in burning emits a different colored flame than ordinary wood, without being consumed. “Four Indians ate of the rice,” but immediately burst. Another crucifix thrown into the fire does not burn, and is rescued by a devout Indian woman after one of the arms has been broken off, and is preserved as a precious relic by the father to whom she gives it.]

There were many wild and barbarous people in the mountains of Bacoag and Bolor, who lived by theft and murder. Many efforts had been made to reach those Indians in order to reduce and punish them, but all failed. They were ruled by an Indian named Salimbong, a man of considerable wisdom, prudence, and understanding, who kept them very well in hand. The insurrection occurred, and while the ministers of the gospel were wandering about abandoned and afflicted, God consoled them with the conversion of that Indian. It happened as follows: the father teacher, father Fray Lorenço de San Facundo—freed now, as above related, from his prison—left Bacoag in order to bury the dead, and get together the possessions that had remained in the convent. On the following day when the father reached the convent, the Indian Salimbong appeared to him with one hundred companions, and said that he was disabused of his errors and wished to become a Christian. The religious, who knew his good understanding and wisdom, was surprised. He asked him many different questions in order to prove his spirit. He found Salimbong ready, and baptized him and all his men. That conversion was cried far [83]and wide and was of great use in the pacification of many villages, which with the protection of that Indian will furnish much room for further work.

[On June 22, 1632, a report is made before the archbishop ad interim, Pedro de Arce, of the murders of the Recollect missionaries, and their other trials. Two authorized copies are made of the report “one of which was presented to the royal Council of the Indias in the year 1635, and the other is preserved in the archives of the congregation of our convent at Madrid.”]

[The following section (vii) is an account of the life and death of the first vicar-general of the order, Geronimo de la Resurreccion. Chapter second is concerned with the order in Japan and the martyrdoms of some of the workers there. In section ii occurs the following:]

The blessed father Fray Francisco [de Jesus] was not satisfied with giving spiritual life to those whom he was converting and baptizing [in Japon], but he also gave them the girdle of our father St. Augustine, making them confriars and religious of the fourth order (as the confriars of the said girdle are),9 so that enlisted under the banner of so great a captain and doctor they might be armed to fight and to suffer even to the point of giving their lives to the Lord who gave them rebirth in baptism. And from this circumstance it happened that the blessed father could write from the prison of Bomurà in a letter to the father provincial of Filipinas under date of [84]October six, 1630, that more than three hundred confriars of the girdle had suffered, besides many others whom the Observantine fathers have.

The venerable father Fray Francisco de Jesus also makes mention, in his letter written from Nagay, of the island of Hermosa, urging and entreating the father provincial to send religious there to found a convent in the island, by which to facilitate the road to Japon, and help to those [missionaries] in that country. He was moved to ask that, because he had heard that the governor had gained possession of the island.

We shall relate what happened in that particular now that we have the opportunity. The governor of Filipinas, Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença, was considering that the Dutch were infesting those seas and hindering the trade and commerce of Manila and China. He thought that it would be expedient to seize the island of Hermosa and fortify it, in order to check the depredations that the enemy were committing; for one can reach China from that island in one night. It was a good resolution, but Don Alonso Faxardo died soon afterward, and the whole plan came to naught.

The following year Don Fernando de Silva went to govern the Filipinas Islands. He knew and approved the design of his predecessor, and prepared a fleet. In short, tracing out a plan on the ground, he established a city and a fort, with a garrison of three hundred Spaniards. Sites were assigned to the orders in Manila, so that they could found convents. Captain Carreño took possession of ours. Afterward, Don Juan Niño de Tabora began to govern, and as he considered the enterprise a good one, he [85]tried to complete it. He prepared a fleet, and took religious so that they might establish their houses. Two of Ours went in company with Admiral Don Andrès Esqueta, namely, father Fray Antonio de la Madre de Dios, and his associate. But God did not choose that the enterprise should be carried out; for on the cape of Boxeador a norther scattered the fleet, and the voyage ceased. Then the Dutch took the said island, to the sorrow of all, both as it was so important and because it was the first island of that archipelago that the Spaniards have lost.

[Chapters iii, iv, and a portion of v, treat of Recollect affairs in Spain and America. Chapter v contains the following in regard to the Philippines:]


Our religious enter the islands of Romblòn to preach the holy gospel. Some of our rules are reformed by apostolic authority.

This year [1635] our religious entered the islands of Romblòn—or, as they are called, “Las Isletas” [i.e., “the Islets”]. That district belonged to the seculars who were subject to the bishopric of Zibù, and their beneficed incumbent was at that time Francisco Rodriguez the relator.10 He, becoming weary of going about daily with his possessions on his back; and fleeing from the enemy, entered into negotiations with the father provincial of Filipinas, Fray Joseph de la Anunciacion, saying that he would give him that district in exchange for a suitable chaplaincy. [86]Those islands were a station and gateway, so to speak, for the visitas of the Bisayas which were in our charge, and also in the path of the navigation from Manila to Zibù. The documents having been made ready, the father provincial sent father Fray Pedro de San Joseph, alias de Roxas. The island of Romblòn is the chief place of that district, and as visitas it has the islands of Zubuyàn, Tablas, Simara, Bantòn and Bantoncillo. The people are honest, pacific, docile, and very intelligent. They trade in the products of the land—oil, goats, swine, wine, and bonete [i.e., bonote]. They have a great abundance of domestic animals. They construct ships, build houses, and make other things of wood with great skill, all of which they take to Manila, as well as to other places, to sell. Consequently, as a rule, those who apply themselves to work are prosperous. All these things have a serious counterweight, namely, the enemy; for there is scarcely a year in which the enemy are not seen in that district, where they commit many depredations, burn villages and churches, and capture a great number of Indians.

That was experienced by the said father prior, Fray Pedro de San Joseph, as soon as he took possession; for hearing that the enemy were coming, he had barely time to escape to the mountains, saving his person, but without time to save anything else. The enemy entered Romblòn, sacked the village, burned the church and convent, captured a few persons, and then returned. Those disasters are experienced nearly every year. Amid such hardships do our religious administer the sacraments to the faithful, and subdue the infidels to the faith, exposing their lives valiantly for that purpose. [The remainder [87]of this section concerns the change of rules allowed by Pope Urban VIII (December 15, 1635).]

[Chapters vi and vii are occupied with the captivity and deaths of the Recollect missionaries captured in 1636 by the Moros, who attack the islands of Cuyo and Calamianes—which has been already related in previous volumes. A few extracts from Luis de Jesús’s account are added here, as containing further information.]

[Pages 285–286:] The enemy, delighted at the capture of the fathers (which was their principal aim), tried to capture the religious of Dinay under the pretense of peace, even commencing to treat for it. But their design having been discovered, the fathers retired to the mountain, and consequently, the enemy could capture no more than the things that could not be taken to the mountain with the fathers—a quantity of wax, a tribute paid by the natives to the encomenderos. They captured seven women and one man, and killed another from whom they learned that the fathers had retired. They went to look for them but did not find them. Thence they went to other islands where they did what damage they could.

At the end of six months, during which they were employed in pillaging considerable property, and in capturing more than six hundred and fifty persons, besides the old whom they killed because they were useless, the fleet returned quite at its leisure, committing all the depredations possible. The barbarians took the religious along naked and fed them on a trifle of dirty rice. Their bed was a wretched mat without any other shelter, and they were exposed to [88]the inclemencies of the weather, and ill-treated by word and deed. Sometimes they were offered wealth and beautiful women to abandon the faith. Those were attacks by which the valor of the blessed fathers was proved, for their life was a continual martyrdom. But the soldiers of Christ were happy, for they employed their lives in suffering for love of Him. They preached the evangelical law to the barbarians and censured their vices and blindness. All that was the same as throwing wood on the fire of their fury, to make them devise means to conquer the strength of the invincible religious.

[In chapter eighth are recounted the holy deaths of the three Recollect fathers, Fray Juan de San Antonio, Fray Francisco de Santa Monica, and brother Fray Francisco de la Madre de Dios, which occur in the year 1638. The first, a native of Mexico who had professed in the Manila convent, had been seized by one Dato Achen, of Jolo, an adherent of Corralat. After four years of cruel captivity, during which temptations of the flesh are offered him in order to make him deny the faith and he is subjected to all sorts of abuse, the father dies triumphant. The second father is killed by the Moros in his convent of Divail of which he was prior. The third Recollect meets death from the Sangleys whom he has severely censured in the island of Cuyo.]

[The ninth chapter is devoted to the conversion and Christian life of Clara Calimàn, a native woman of the village of Butuàn, who is given the rank of beata (beatas being women who live in religious retirement, although not known as nuns), by the Recollects.]

[The Recollect Juan de la Concepción relates the [89]uprising of the Caragas (Hist. de Philipinas, v, pp. 163–179); but he follows Luis de Jesús very closely, doing little more than rewrite the latter’s account. A few paragraphs from La Concepción are here added.]

10. Various councils were held in the fort of Tandag, in order to decide upon the means and method of subduing and pacifying these insurgents; it was decided that it was necessary to take arms and to punish them. But they did not have sufficient forces for it, for the province was so thoroughly in rebellion, and so committed thereto by the murders of the fathers and Spaniards. It was determined by unanimous vote to call on Zebu for help, and father Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio went to obtain it. He informed the alcalde-mayor and commander of the fleet of Pintados of the condition of the province of Caraga—namely, that there were various squadrons of boats along the coasts to prevent help from being taken into the fort; and that the fort was now in the last extremity, and in danger of having to surrender because of hunger. The commander prepared a suitable fleet in quick order; he sent some excellent infantry, and gave the command of it to Captain Don Juan de Chaves. The above-mentioned father Fray Jazinto also embarked in the fleet. This armada was to keep the insurgents busy until more forces could be sent from Manila, and the matter was reported to the captain-general there.

11. That fleet reached Basuag, then a prominent coast village. The Spaniards experienced the keenest sorrow at seeing so many corpses, already half decomposed; they stopped there to bury these, and then proceeded on their voyage and arrived at [90]Tandag. There they freed the presidio from its danger and those who were in it. Then for a time they tried to pacify the people by mild means; but as soon as a suitable reënforcement arrived from Manila, they immediately meditated punishment—especially on the principal leaders of the revolt, but pardoning in his Majesty’s name all those of the common people who presented themselves in submission. Mangabo was included in that list and number; but the religious, bound to his cause, defended him with ardor, and interested themselves, as his children, so that their father should not be punished. The Spaniards consented to it and pardoned him, and that pardon was of great service to the province of Caraga. Mangabo, dissuaded from his errors, and thankful for such benefits, was converted to our holy faith and received baptism. As he was so greatly feared throughout the country, that was quite sufficient to pacify the entire province, and the fugitives returned to their respective villages, which they formed as before.

12. Noteworthy conversions followed at this juncture, the noise of arms. Most exemplary punishments were seen and experienced from heaven on the aggressors, and singular portents in the profaned and destroyed images. An idolatrous Indian, in sport of an image of the crucified Christ, threw it into the fire; he observed with wonder that the fire, respecting the image, did not burn it. The barbarian took it from the fire and, buffeting it about, threw it down with great violence so that one of its arms was broken. A devout Christian Indian woman took the holy image, and kept it with great care. After the pacification she gave it to father [91]Fray Jacinto to whom she gave a minute description of the affair. The father made a solemn investigation of it and many witnesses confirmed it and confessed her declaration to be true. The father took that holy Christ to Manila, the following year, and presented it to Governor Don Juan Niño de Tavora. He received it with singular devotion and tenderness, and determined to replace it in its oratory with great ceremonies. Father Fray Jazinto tried to get the governor first to repair the image and supply the missing arm by another. That most Christian gentleman replied: “No, Father, it must remain as it is for my confusion, since my sins treated Him thus.” With such pious and kind reflections did he excuse the impiety of the barbarians in actions so sacrilegious. Presidios were erected and fortified, in order to keep the country pacified. Thus through their fear of the soldiers, and with the punishments so present before their eyes, those villages were kept, and remain even to the present, in entire quiet. However, they have become much diminished because of the many natives who have withdrawn because of the severities and persecutions practiced by the Moros, from which that province has suffered so much.

[La Concepción recounts (ut supra, pp. 360–391) the fortunes of the Recollect missions in northern Mindanao, especially in the region of Lake Lanao. His narrative is sufficiently different from that of Luis de Jesús to be given in full.] [92]


Wars and conquests in the lake of Malanao

1. Inland from the coast which faces Bohol on the north of Mindanao, and in the latter island, is located the lake of Malanao.11 Its shape is triangular; one of its angles extends about four leguas eastward, another southward for three, and the third and longest of all, westward. Its shores contain many small villages, where live about six thousand inhabitants, although united to them is the district of Butig, with about two thousand warriors. Through this route they communicate with the Mindanaos, a circumstance which renders them formidable. The land is sterile, and yields no other products than rice and a few edible roots. Their clothing is wretched, for cotton is scarce. All their textiles are of lanote, a sort of wild hemp—not that it is that plant, but it resembles it because of the fibers, which they obtain from a wild banana [i.e., abacá], to which they impart a blue color. This constitutes their greatest gala attire. Heavy storms of wind and water are experienced on this lake, and are called mangas by sailors.12 [Here follows a description of this peculiar form of storm—the waterspout—which was much dreaded because of its fury and ravages.] This lake furnished much convenience to the Mindanaos for their incursions, as the ports nearest to our islands were easily reached [93]by it. For since the deep bay of Panguil penetrates far inland, and is quite near their lands, they thus save many leguas of navigation—about one hundred—and a rough coast. With such activity do they make a jest of the efforts that were assured by the presidio of Zamboangan, with their resort to more easy piratical raids. Since the said presidio was of no use for this, it became necessary to devise another remedy.

2. For a complete understanding of the matter, we must make a considerable step backward. The Augustinian Recollects had been governed by vicar-provincials, who either selected certain appointed individuals, if the nominations did not arrive in time from España, or had the latter put into execution when they came sufficiently beforehand. It was not a very stable government, nor the most suitable for their administrations, as it was not constituted in regular form as a province. This reform was obtained with the aid of his Catholic Majesty, and the Recollects were erected into a congregation, having or being assigned a vicar-general as superior prelate. At that time the provinces were divided, and this province of Philipinas was one of those which obtained the indult. They received their formal despatches and met in chapter, in which the first provincial elected was father Fray Onofre de la Madre de Dios, his election occurring February six, one thousand six hundred and twenty-four. This religious was a native of Perpiñan in the county of Rosellon, and a son of the convent of Zaragoza. The Recollects drew up their triennial acts or constitutions: namely, that the religious living in the missions should observe the regular rules of the [94]convents, with matins at midnight, even should there be but one priest, that they should learn within one year the language of the natives to whom they minister; and that they may not receive guests into their convents, unless it be the governors, bishops, religious, and alcaldes-mayor. It was resolved that ministers should go to the district of Bayug, and that they should extend their labors to the lake of Malanao, which was a stronghold of heathendom, but great were the hopes inspired by their excellent arrangements. Father Fray Juan de San Nicolas, an invincible man and one accustomed to such labors, was chosen to forward the gospel there. He went to the village of Bayug, where, gaining the good-will of the influential people, he was well received and treated with respect. One Dolomoyon was, as it were, superior of all those natives. He was a man of excellent qualities, and immediately sent his children to learn the catechism. Although he remained a heathen, he favored Christianity greatly. The father went from that village to Layavan, another settlement on the shore of another river that was located near by. There he did not find the same response, but the people were more obstinate in their heathen rites. That forced him to put forth greater efforts, in order to effect an establishment in that district. Leaving the care of Bayug to his companion, he went on to Langaràn, a move that facilitated the conquest of the lake.

3. This aroused animosity in Corralat, the prince of Mindanao; for if that district were to be converted, he would be greatly hindered in his piratical raids. He began to harass the village of Cagayan, so that the inhabitants could not go out freely to till [95]their fields and care for their crops. Consequently, the province of San Nicolas established father Fray Pedro de San Agustin13 as missionary in that district. He was a person born for military undertakings. His native place was the city of Valladolid and he was the son of Portuguese parents. He had studied philosophy and theology at Salamanca, but his inclination led him to read books of military deeds, in which his taste found a particular pleasure; and he became very expert in architecture, gunnery, and a great part of what is taught in military practice. He made use of these qualifications and talents by establishing and erecting the fort of Linao in the province of Caraga, an advanced outpost among the heathen and Moros. Its structure was well tested, for it resisted many assaults. He excellently instructed the Indians whom he converted, in this natural method of defense, and its utility has been proved in its always having been preserved. Then this father went, after the new election, to Cagayan. That district had before been tributary to Corralat, and the latter keenly resented its change of religion from that of its prince; therefore, he was always harassing them with wars and hostilities, in order to recover his power over them. As soon as father Fray Agustin assumed that charge, he exercised his skill in fortifying the village. He surrounded it with a stout stockade, well proportioned in its outlines, defending its curtains by communications of bulwarks. In the middle he raised another small redoubt, as a place of retreat in case of a sudden invasion. He disciplined the natives in the management of arms, [96]and inspired them with courage, so that they should not turn coward in time of danger, or be intimidated by a multitude, which could not overcome them if they were thoroughly accustomed to firearms. In fact, they resisted excellently the surprises attempted by Corralat, who attacked them often with many men, and obliged him to retire with heavy loss.

4. Corralat in his pride keenly resented the stout resistance of so small a village, and resolved to invade it with superior forces. He sent a squadron of thirty large boats to attack it, with a force of two thousand Moros who were to land; and he ordered that all the people of Cagayan should be put to the sword. Father Fray Agustin heard of that order through his spies, and he made extensive preparations for defense. He sent to Caraga for aid, and they gave him six soldiers and one hundred Indians. He drilled the Indians in making sallies and in handling their arquebuses. The hostile fleet arrived in sight of the village, which awaited them very confidently and under arms. The Moros disembarked, and attacked the village, but experienced resistance that they had not expected. They attempted to make assaults by various places, but everywhere found the same vigilance and defense. Seeing the impossibility [of taking the village], and that they had lost a considerable number of men in the assaults, they resolved to retire in order. As soon as father Fray Agustin perceived that, he sallied forth with his Indians, sword in hand. He attacked them, courageously and caused the retreat to become a disorganized rout, in which but very few escaped. Thus the father gained a complete victory out of almost universal ruin. Corralat could not contain [97]himself when he heard of the loss. His wrath was all concentrated against the father, and he planned to seize him by means of ambushes. The brave minister was not unaware of this, and well did he look after the safety of the village, and especially that of his own person, inasmuch as he was beset with so many snares, and as he had to do generally with a treacherous race. His duties obliged him to go to visit his parishioners who were scattered in various adjoining villages. The Malanaos, who were vassals of Corralat, and whom the latter had prepared to attack the village, improved their opportunity. They succeeded in entering the village at a point where the sentinels were careless. Many Indians were killed in the surprise, the sacristy was profaned, and the enemy pillaged as much as possible, until the invaded villagers, aroused, were able, by rallying their men, to repel the foe with arms. Father Fray Agustin grieved greatly over that reverse. At his return he hastened to repair the havoc committed against divine worship, and to render the village still more strongly fortified, so that it might remain free from such surprises. The people themselves desired to obtain satisfaction from those of the lake. Indians of courage were selected, and they went to invade the enemy in their own land, in order to take vengeance on them for their treacherous insults. They found no opposition on their march. One village was sacked and burned, and sufficient booty was found there to recompense the losses of Cagayan. They returned to the latter village without having received any hurt, and the lake of Malanao was left so intimidated that that enemy never returned to Cagayan during the rule of father Fray Agustin. [98]

5. Those raids could not be very much to the liking of the Jesuit fathers, in whose district was comprehended the lake of Malanao. Their affairs in Dapitan and Zamboangan having been made safe by this time, they set their hearts on the possession of that lake. They could not complain of the introduction of the Recollect fathers, since they themselves had abandoned all that lake and left it without ministers. To this end they inspired Governor Corcuera with the idea of one adequate expedition, in order to finish once for all, if possible, with the Moros—or at least to check their pride, which was occasioning so much trouble to the islands. He charged the commander Almonte, for that purpose, to withdraw all his operations from Corralat and from the king of Bubayen with his fleet, in order to undertake the invasion of the lake. The jurisdiction at Iligan and Dapitan was in charge of Captain Don Francisco de Atienza y Vañez, a gentleman from Toledo, and one very useful for such enterprises as he was a tried warrior. The expedition of Malanao was entrusted to him. He was to make it by means of soldiers from his presidios and Indians from his province. By virtue of those orders, he chose fifty good soldiers and eight hundred volunteer Caragas of courage. As father Fray Agustin (whom his military prowess had gained the sobriquet of “Padre Capitan”) was famous because of his deeds, the alcalde-mayor, in order to ensure the success of his measures, decided to take the father in his company, that he might avail himself of all his experience. The father had gone to Butuan, where he was in charge when these orders arrived with Don Francisco de Atienza. The latter broached his plans to the father, to which the father [99]immediately agreed, as it fitted so well his martial spirit.

6. Between the two, the means most suitable for the expedition were discussed; and they agreed that the force prepared was sufficient to subdue all the lake. Since it is navigable, and its banks are swampy and cut up by more than fifty rivers, the undertaking would have to be conducted on the water. Consequently, it was determined to construct six boats, [each] capable of holding fifty or one hundred men, which were to be carried in sections on the shoulders of the men, until they reached a point where they could be made effective, where they could be put together easily and quickly. They made haste in this mode of construction, and went with all that equipment to the village of Bayog. They resolved to follow the way to Balooy—a path indeed more severe and more tedious; however, that seemed more suitable to them, for the way by that route led through the villages of friends. Although they were only neutrals, their own advantage did not fail to concur in this expedition. Dato Dolo Moyon, filled with passion to revenge an intended marriage which had been repelled with contempt by the inhabitants of the lake, joined them. That union was very pleasing to our people, for it brought them additional arms and men, and gave them a retreat and sufficient aid in that dato’s village. At that place their march was retarded by showers of rain. The Malanaos abandoned their individual interests, and united for the common defense to the number of about six thousand armed men. They were not without some few firearms. The stay of our men in Balooy caused many of the Malanaos to abandon the camp, as being [100]a people suddenly collected without any preparation for their maintenance; and without pay it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep those people a considerable time in the field and under military discipline. Noting that desertion, the chiefs of the lake sent their ambassadors to our camps, who offered the captain some wretched presents in the name of the assembly of their chiefs. The ambassadors, treating in order the matters with which they were charged, asked the Spaniards to go back, and said that they were proposing those expedients quietly and in a friendly spirit, in order to avoid greater damages; for, should the Spaniards try to tempt fortune by pressing forward, only a remnant of their men would escape death, and the undertaking would be costly and disgraceful. The captain answered them frankly and discreetly that it was better to die at their hands, for that would be an honored death, than dishonorably to retain life by retreating like cowards. He advised them to look closer to their own interests, in time, and to decide whether it was more useful to them to secure these in a friendly way, or to sacrifice them for their liberty. By this reply the Malanaos understood the firm resolution of the Spaniards, and that it meant their ultimate destruction. They discussed the matter in council; and the opinions were various; some believed in submission, others in liberty. The former urged a compliant submission until such time as, the danger having been removed, they could throw off their subjection without so much risk. Others did not approve such astute schemes; for, if the Spaniards were to gain control of the lake, they would establish and build presidios there, and would have war craft on it, with which they would entirely [101]rule the natives, at their own pleasure. They said that it was more important to resist than to allow their entrance. That dilatory resolution gave our troops time, so that they came in sight of the lake on April four, one thousand six hundred and thirty-nine, avoiding the passes which the enemy had fortified. The latter did not dare to lose sight of the lake, in order that they might have a safe retreat with their boats when assaulted. That precaution was of use to our people; for, when the Moros were discovered by our men, and attacked, they abandoned their camp and many arms, and fled in their boats.

7. Thereupon our Captain Atienza put his portable fleet together, which he made navigable in twenty-four hours. He went to attack several boats, which were keeping to leeward under the shelter of a fort; but scarcely did they perceive themselves to be attacked, when they fled to the shore and abandoned their canoes. Our men burned the only village on that coast, by name Vato. The night caused them to retire; but on the following day, making use of the abandoned boats, to about the number of forty, they turned their prows toward the most populous shores. Peaceful ambassadors went out to meet them, and offered submission in tribute and vassalage. Our captain accepted that surrender, and suspended the rigors of war. In execution of it, the registration of the inhabitants was immediately undertaken; and fifty villages, governed by four datos or chiefs, subject to Corralat were listed. They all rendered obedience to the king of España, and there was declared in the list to be two thousand and nine families. The number of families was much greater, but the registration was not carried on with exact [102]rigor, our commander purposely displaying mildness with a cloak of tolerance, to those who hid their numbers. The agreement regarding the tribute was made, leaving to the supreme governor the decision of the amount and kind. They were not to receive preachers, masters, or pundits of the Mahometan religion; but were to receive preachers of the evangelical law, and to erect churches for the ceremonies of the Christians and the true worship. As surety for all the above, they gave as hostages their brothers and children, who were to be sent to Manila.

8. In consequence of these treaties, holy baptism was administered by the Recollect fathers (who were the only chaplains) to more than two hundred persons. Their administration—together with that of other old-time Christians, who had been made about the said lake through the zeal of those religious—was taken charge of by the minister of Bayug. Father Fray Agustin was of the opinion that a fort ought to be constructed at a suitable site on that lake, in order to obviate the easy danger of an insurrection from people so perfidious, and that it should be well supplied with the necessities; but that, if that was not done, the expedition was without any result. For, as soon as the Spaniards retired, Corralat would immediately hasten up to their relief, and stir up the Malanaos; and, as they were defenseless and inclined to revolt, that would be obtained without much resistance. It was most important [said the father] to have there an established force and ministers. Such delay was not pleasing to the Spaniards; and accordingly, as superior orders were lacking, they excused themselves. Thereupon, the fleet resolved to retire, taking with them seventeen Christian [103]captives, and redeeming some sacred ornaments. They took from the people their firearms—five versos and thirty-seven arquebuses and muskets—thinking that by that means peace was a settled thing.

9. Before leaving the lake, Captain Atienza sent a despatch to General Almonte, who was commanding officer of all the conquest, informing him of his successful enterprise. Almonte, in order to take possession of the new jurisdiction, and to assure more completely the submission of the natives, sent a troop of seventy Spaniards and five hundred Visayans under charge of Sargento-mayor Don Pedro Fernandez de el Rio, and, under the latter’s orders, Captain Juan de Heredia Hermastegui. That commandant crossed the lands of Corralat, being opposed by the fierce nation of Butig, and forcing a passage with his arms at the cost of many lives of the enemy. Captain Atienza met him with his whole squadron, whereupon the Malanaos, seeing so many Spaniards upon them, were even more intimidated; they gave more security for their agreements, and the registration proceeded more effectively. Father Pedro Gutierrez came with the troop of Sargento-mayor Don Pedro; and he gave notice that that conquest belonged to the Society, and that the Recollect fathers had meddled in it. But the latter had been given sufficient title for their introduction into that conquest by the inattention of the Jesuits, besides the fact that for that same reason, they had been given spiritual jurisdiction by the bishop of Zebu. If the Jesuits were occupied in greater undertakings, they ought to have abandoned those which they considered less profitable to the care of those religious [i.e., the Recollects] who did not pay so much attention [104]to these considerations of advantage. The fact that such territories were without ministers would influence the bishop of Zebu, Don Fray Pedro de Arze; and he would give them rightly to those who would occupy them, notwithstanding the great anxiety of the Society for the absolute possession of Mindanao. That desire does not give them the right, nor the fact that St. Francis Xavier had been in the island—although this latter is not made sufficiently clear, for the time when [he was there] does not appear from his voyages, nor does the reason appear from his letters. The same reasons would lead the royal Audiencia to give the possession when it was governing. Why, if they were so importunate to govern the island and declared such to be their right, did they not fill it with ministers? Now, indeed, Father Gutierrez came forward, and asked the sargento-mayor for the possession of the lake, and the latter gave it to him in the name of his governor. Thereupon, the father having taken possession of it, returned to Mindanao on the third day with the sargento-mayor, who also went back to his general quarters. Captain Don Francisco de Atienza fortified the village of Bayug with stockades, left his adjutant to defend it, and retired to his province of Caraga.

10. Father Fray Agustin greatly regretted that the result of a so fortunate expedition should be solely entrusted to the heathenism of those barbarians, who upon seeing themselves free from subjection to the presidio that was planned and proposed, would undoubtedly reclaim their liberty; and would strongly arm themselves to defend it, and the conquest would be more serious and difficult. He would [105]be no less influenced by the way in which he had been despoiled of that administration by the hurried possession taken by Father Gutierrez, who uselessly fatigued his Majesty’s troops for this purpose. These interests moved him to undertake a trip to Manila, accompanied by several Malanao chiefs. They presented themselves to the governor, and requested aid against the forces and approaches of Corralat, saying that these could only be restrained by a well-garrisoned fort, which could protect those who should submit and render obedience; but that without this provision all things were in danger. The reports of Captain Atienza, who desired to assure his glorious results, confirmed these representations. The governor was delighted at prostrating so hostile enemies, and did not delay in the provision for all that looked toward such an end. He immediately agreed to the establishment of the presidio, and determined to send troops for its garrison and defense. The representations of the Jesuits prevented that expedition, for they alleged that the spiritual administration of Malanao belonged to them, as it was included in the territory granted to them with sufficient formalities; that the introduction of the Recollect fathers therein was an intrusion to be condemned; that no right was conceded to the latter because Malanao, as well as the villages of its immediate neighborhood, had been deserted by its ministers, as they [i.e., the Jesuits] had been occupied in greater undertakings; and that they would attend to it at present, as they had a supply of ministers. A formal verbal process proceeded, and the Jesuits obtained a favorable decision. Thereupon, the province of San Nicolas was excluded from the [106]lake, from Bayug, Layavan, and Langaran. Consequently, father Fray Agustin betook himself again to his mission of Butuan, and the chiefs his companions to the lake—sad and furious at not having obtained the concession of those fathers, for whom they had (and even to our times) preserved a great affection and love. The last representation in which they begged the same thing from the superior government was in the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty; but it was not conceded to them, as it was territory granted to the Society; and the latter always resisted such a change, notwithstanding that the demarcation was very doubtful.

11. Corcuera determined, after the hostilities had been quieted, that the infantry captain Don Pedro Bermudez de Castro should go with fifty Spaniards and five hundred Indians from Bohol, to fortify the lake, and preserve what had been gained; or to employ themselves in its recovery, if it had suffered any disturbances. The governor gave the captain the hostages who had been detained to assure confidence, after having treated them kindly and given them presents, in order that the surrender might be more voluntary. The Jesuit fathers went with that contingent of troops, the superior being Father Diego Patiño, and his associate Father Gregorio Belin. They accompanied Captain Vermudez to the lake to make the fortification that had been determined, and the permanent presidio wherever it should prove most suitable. They did not find the lake so peaceful as Captain Atienza had left it. The natives thought of nothing less than the subjection and the tribute paying of vassalage; and as soon as they had recovered from the fright into which that [107]invasion had thrown them, then they overthrew all the crosses and burned the small buildings that had served as churches. Their fury was still more excited when the chiefs returned without the beloved pledges of the hostages who had been given up; for, considering these already dead or captive, they burned to avenge them. That fury was somewhat assuaged when the new troop gave them their brothers and children, who spread abroad the kindness of the governor. But that was not sufficient to overcome the course of their mistrust; they were somewhat appeased, but all was only pretense, in order to conceal their hostile minds. They tried to quiet our suspicions, and showed themselves repentant for what had happened. They aided with their labor as far as necessary in the building of the fort, but their falsity was soon apparent. Suddenly they suspended their aid and failed in their intercourse as friends, and busied themselves in the preparation of obstacles and injury [to our people]. Their former decision had been rebuked by Corralat; and he, being an astute man, told them that such submission was arrant nonsense, and he brought forward cogent arguments, which excited their fears and distrust. He told them that they did not know to what that surrender bound them, and that it was nothing else than a toilsome slavery under the domination of the Spaniards. He bid them look at the nations subjected to us, and these would be seen to be reduced to extreme misery. Let them contemplate the Tagálogs and the Visayans, whom any Spaniard whatever could trample under foot; and if they were not of better stuff than these, they must not expect better treatment. They would be obliged to row, to toil [108]at the shipbuilding, and on other public works, and would only experience severe treatment in doing these. With these commonplace arguments, and without reflecting on the tyrannical dominion of Corralat, the latter reduced those unhappy creatures to the last stage of desperation. He offered to give them his aid, and to employ the strength of his kingdom in their defense—[saying that] even if the Spaniards were successful, it meant only the loss of harvests for one year, but that they would obtain their liberty at that small cost. All found it advisable. Manindin, the petty king of Butig, recognized that, if the Spaniards were masters of the lake, his authority was in danger. Corralat, surrounded in all parts, and pressed by our arms, beheld his greatness very much reduced to a very few leguas of coast. It was important to him that the diverted undertakings should have no effect in any part, so that time and expenses should cause them to desist. Consequently, these chiefs so stirred up those of the lake that they agreed to resist with all their power.

12. They carried their agreement into execution, and attacked the fort with so great fury that they imagined that they were going to defeat the Spaniards completely. They besieged the fort with all the severity of war. They made their circumvallation, which they set with stakes and ravelins at intervals, for the defense of their precincts. The fort was then half-finished, and the captain rallied as well as he could to its defense. He met the necessity as a prudent and valiant man, so that he obliged the natives to try other artifices. They built upon the lake some high towers on rafts, which they moored with a rattan cable, which held an anchor that was fastened [109]to the ground, which they were able to do easily under cover of the night. They had another cable, arranged similarly, across the lake. With the first one, without any possibility of their being discovered, they hauled or pulled until they reached the proper position, whence they could discharge their firearms with effect. That being done, they retired beyond the range of the fort to load their pieces, and then returned to the combat with the same industry. The operation of bomb-vessels in the bombardment of any city or castle is no different. It is an ingenious invention, but not without great risk. Although truly those small castles built upon the rafts were very ingenious, they could not be of great resistance. Neither can we persuade ourselves that our artillery would remain quiet; and even if it did, the Moro scheme was very imperfect, because they accomplished nothing by such artifice. The captain and his men resisted valiantly, and unceasingly. But they were afflicted by another most invincible enemy, namely, the lack of provisions. If the Malanaos were to continue in their obstinacy, they would at last conquer the Spaniards through hunger. However, the continual fatigue by day and night was not inconsiderable, and must necessarily at the last sap their forces, and even first finish them all; for the bombardment was killing some of them.

13. Such reflections forced the Spaniards to have recourse to other avenues. They sent a despatch to Caraga to the alcalde-mayor, and another to Butuan to father Fray Agustin, asking them to aid them in that conflict without delay. The more significant despatch was that from Father Belin to the father at Butuan. In it he declared that it was impossible [110]to endure, and that those at that lake would all perish. He begged the father for God’s sake, for whom he had sacrificed himself to reduce and conquer it, to aid them with the greatest force of that district; for their remedy consisted in his Reverence. He said that the enemy had captured three boats from them, and, all the roads to the beach being cut off, it was impossible to get help in. One who attempted to bring help had been cut off by so great a force of Butig and of the men of Corralat, in an ambush of more than four thousand Moros, who threw the rearguard and the vanguard into disorder; and that the father himself had gone out when they heard the shots, with men to protect the convoy. With his aid the Moros were put to flight after having killed some Spaniards and men of Bojol. By that means they succeeded in getting some loads of rice into the fort, enough to supply them for a month if they only had one meal per day. But so great a multitude of Moros were coming to take part in the blockade that, if he did [not] succor them, it was impossible for them not to perish. “Father,” said he, “let your Reverence forget your grievances; and I give you my word, on my profession [i.e., as a priest], to so influence the governor and my order that your Reverence and your holy associates will obtain what you have so labored for. Consider the honor of the king of España, the obligations with which you were born, and the charity which obliges you on this occasion to come to the succor of this troop, unfortunate in not having merited your Reverence’s company. Without it, surely, Captain Don Francisco would not have had the good fortune that he had and obtained, although he opposed leaving [111]a presidio here. Father, there is danger in delay. I petition your Reverence, for the love of God and that of His Mother, and I hope for a great aid from all, etc. March nine, one thousand six hundred and forty. Your Reverence’s servant,

Gregorio Belin

14. This despatch reached Butuan at a time when the alcalde-mayor, Atienza, was there. Each one received his letter. Attentive to the urgency of the danger, they arranged a speedy relief expedition. The “Padre Capitan,” Fray Agustin, and the alcalde-mayor set out in that expedition with what men they could gather on the spur of the moment, marching across mountains and conquering innumerable difficulties, at the cost of immense hardships. Finally, they reached their destination, making a jest of the passes filled with the enemy when they came within sight of the besieged presidio. The fort was so beset that its occupants no longer had any hopes of relief; for the Moros, seeing their inventions of the rafts frustrated, arranged on land some strong carts mounted on four wheels, which they filled with straw and dry grass. They pushed these carts near the fort, and setting fire to that combustible material, continued their bombarding under cover of that heavy smoke. That would have proved so offensive to the besieged, and much worse had the fire caught the fort, that they would have been obliged to burn or surrender. But before those contrivances were finished, the universal hunger which was weakening their stomachs was proving more cruel than they; for the magazines contained only wine for the masses, and hosts. They determined to take the last communion, and to give up their lives to such ravage, [112]on the twenty-ninth day of so desperate a siege. The sight of the two captains rejoiced the fort. They undertook to break up the siege. Arranging their troops in order and drawing them up in military array, they attacked sword in hand, and with so great valor and spirit that they caused the position to be evacuated in less than two hours, and freed that presidio, which was well near its ruin, from all the enemy.

15. Once masters of themselves, the Spaniards discussed a bloody vengeance. They fitted up a boat, together with the other one that they had captured. Then sailing out on the lake, they were joined by some large boats, so that they formed a considerable squadron, with which they attacked the settlements. Those settlements were deserted, because all had taken to the mountains, after ruining their houses and destroying their fields. It was a warning, to all, of the little advance that the war made when they thus yielded the field to the soldiers. Captain Vermudez, having been despatched, finished burning and destroying the little that had remained. In order not to expose the troops to another and more severe siege, he considered that expense and fatigue as a useless thing, and determined to retreat, and with those arms and stores to fortify Bayug. He left the arrangement of it to the skill of father Fray Agustin, who so conducted the retreat in the marches of the men and in the transportation of the artillery, that he did not lose a single man, although there were ambushes and dangerous passes. For so brilliant a feat, Father Belin and Captains Atienza and Vermudez compared him in their letters to the heroes most renowned in valor and military skill, so much did they [113]accredit his conduct. Had it not been a scheme of the Jesuits, these achievements would have led to his remaining with Captain Vermudez; and the fort would have been completed, and his fame alone would have subdued these Moros. But the Jesuits caused such troubles that the well-planned and extensive arrangements of the superior government were of none effect. Therefore he descended to the seashore with all the men, and they erected a fort upon the bar of the river of Iligan. The men of the garrison were left in charge of Adjutant Francisco Alfaro, a man of valor and experience, who was accustomed to fighting with the Moros. Captain Vermudez returned to Manila to make a full report of occurrences to the governor, and the necessity of the final decision. The matter rested at this point for the time being. [114]

1 Dolomoyon, according to La Concepción (Hist. de Philipinas, v, p. 364).

2 See account of this mission in Vol. XXI, pp. 231–236.

3 Agustin de San Pedro (whose family name was Rodriguez) was born in Braganza, Portugal, in 1599; he studied in the university of Salamanca, afterward entering the Recollect convent at Valladolid, making his profession in 1619. At Portillo, he devoted himself to the study of mathematics, and especially of military science—to such an extent that “his superiors commanded him to desist from these, as unsuited to the religious profession.” In 1623 he departed for the Philippines, where he was assigned to the Mindanao field, spending therein many years; his military studies were here made useful in defending the missions against Moro raids, and training the Christian Indians to fight their enemies successfully; and he was known throughout the Philippines as “Padre Capitan”—which name is also applied to a village on the northern coast of Mindanao, southwest of Iligan. Fray Agustin was sent to Romblón soon after the Lanao expeditions here related to fortify the villages there and instruct the natives in the art of war, that island being one of those subject to Moro incursions. He died in 1653. (See Prov. de S. Nicolas de Tolentino, pp. 290–292).

4 The taking of slaves in Mindanao by the Spaniards (which had often been urged as one of the best methods of subduing those fierce people) was legalized by the following law: “The islands of Mindanao are adjacent to those of the district of the Filipinas. Their natives, who have adopted the religion of Mahomet, have rebelled; and since then, in alliance with the enemies of this crown, they have done great harm to our vassals. In order to facilitate their punishment, it has been deemed an efficacious corrective to declare that those who should be captured in war be made slaves. We order that such be done; but that this distinction be observed, namely, that if the said Mindanaos be simply heathen, they be not regarded as slaves; but if they be Moors by nation and birth, and shall go to other islands to introduce their dogmas or teach their Mahometan religion, or make war on the Spaniards or Indians who are subject to us, or hinder our royal service, then in that case they may be made slaves. But those who are Indians and shall have become Mahometans shall not be made slaves. Such will be persuaded by lawful and kind methods to be converted to our holy Catholic faith.” [Felipe II, July 4, 1570; Felipe III, May 29, 1620; Recopilación, lib. vi, tit. ii, ley xii.

This law was quite at variance with the general law that prohibited slavery of Indians, which was extended expressly to the Moluccas by a special law promulgated by Felipe III, Madrid, October 10, 1618, (lib. vi, tit. ii, ley viii).

5 In the year 1621 (Prov. de San Nicolas de Tolentino, p. 311).

6 Varalao is but a phonetic variant of bararao or balarao. Luis de Jesús here supplies the “missing link” to Rizal’s statement regarding this weapon (Vol. XVI, p. 81, note), and identifies the balarao as the well-known kris of the Malays.

7 In regard to this ceremony—the blood-covenant, or “blood-friendship”—see H. C. Trumbull’s Blood Covenant (3rd ed., Philadelphia, 1898); he describes it as performed in many countries and in all ages, in various forms; its purposes, methods, and symbolism; and its meaning in the Bible. In brief, it appears to be a primitive form of expressing personal union and friendship in the closest bonds, which may not be broken without dishonor.

8 The character of these curses is indicated by the statement of the Dominican Juan Ferrando (Hist. de los PP. Dominicos, i, p. 41): “In the elections of [local] magistrates which the alcalde of Ilocos Sur held in 1844, I had the good-fortune to be present at some of them; and I noticed that the gobernadorcillos of those infidels, on receiving the rod of office from the hands of that chief, offered, in place of the oath which the Christians swear to administer justice, the following imprecation: ‘May a baneful wind strike me, the sun’s rays slay me, and the crocodile catch me sleeping, if I do not fulfil my duty.’ All their oaths are in the form of imprecations, and they usually observe these obligations faithfully.”

9 Cf. note in Vol. XXI, p. 165; these confriars are mentioned in the Catholic Dictionary as the third order rather than the fourth.

10 Thus in the Spanish text; apparently an ancient use of the word relator for refrendario, meaning an official appointed to countersign edicts and other public acts. As here used of a priest, it probably refers to his having such an appointment in the diocesan court.

11 This account of Lake Lanao and its region is evidently compiled from Combés’s description (Hist. Mindanao, book iii, chap. i).

12 Combés adds, “and bohaui by the natives” (ut supra, col. 146).

13 Thus in text; an obvious error of transposition, the correct form of the name being Agustin de San Pedro.



A true account by the discalced religious of the convent of St. Francis of Filipinas, to be sent to the reverend fathers and superiors of the order; containing in substance all that happened in those parts and in Japon from the month of June, 1640 to the twenty-sixth of July in 1641. Notable miracles; glorious martyrdoms; discoveries of new provinces, rich and fertile; likewise news from the governor of Terrenate, and other matters.

The Japanese have expelled from their kingdom all the Portuguese of Macan who were there trading, notifying them that they were not to return, under pain of death and loss of property. It seemed to the Portuguese of Macan that Japon would change its decree if they carried assurance from Filipinas that no religious would be sent to Japon. With this embassy prominent persons came to Manila, in the name of the city of Macan, to whom the archbishop, the governor, and all the authorities and religious orders conceded, if not all that was asked, at least what seemed to them sufficient for the purpose. This probably would have been satisfactory, had the disposition of the people of Macan been consistent; but while the question of what ought to be done was still being debated in Manila, they, without waiting for the final decision, departed for Japon (so the fullest account says). Upon arriving in that country, the Japanese inflicted death, which is regarded as [115]that of martyrs, upon sixty or more persons who sailed the ship of the embassy, burning them and the goods that they carried. Thirteen or fourteen persons of the most ordinary class were spared, that they might carry the news to Macan. Thus was closed the traffic which that city had with Japon, which kept Macan alive and to which it owed its existence.

In the year 41 on the fourth of January, at nine o’clock in the morning, in all parts of these islands, the noise in the air of musketry, artillery, and war drums was very distinctly and clearly heard; and in whatever town or place it was heard, it seemed to be about half a legua distant. This has given much cause for reflection, because, although they say there has been a loud noise from a volcano which was in a state of eruption in the kingdom of Mindanao,1 that does not seem to be a satisfactory explanation. Since the various parts of the islands are so distant and separated, and the wind must necessarily carry the sound to some parts, and drive it away from others, it does not seem possible for the sound to be alike everywhere. Among the common people it is considered a prodigy, and causes not a little dread—especially on account of the Sangley still being exasperated at the deaths and punishment of his people in the insurrection of last year; and because the said Sangleys have made friends with the Dutch, who are powerful in these parts by the seizure of Malaca.2 [116]

During the month of May of this year, news arrived from reliable source that the said city of Malaca had been taken—some say through famine [of the besieged]; while others say it would not have been taken had there not been traitors within the city, who delivered it up. This was a great loss; and in writing of it the governor of Terrenate, Don Francisco Suarez de Figueroa says:


Paragraph from the letter of the governor of Terrenate

“The latest news is that the enemy, the Dutch, have conquered Malaca with twenty-five ships, with which they surrounded it. Some slanderers say that the enemy could not have taken it had there not been traitors within who delivered it up—and I understand that it was known who they were, through letters by certain persons from Macazar who went to that city. This is the greatest loss that has been suffered in these parts. It is also said that by August next twenty-five ships will come here, and that they are to go to Manila; of this I am notifying the governor, that he may exercise vigilance. It is very necessary to strengthen the defenses of the fort at Hilohilo, and to garrison it with a hundred men, as it is there that the enemy goes first before sailing to Manila.” Thus writes the Governor of Terrenate. [117]


Paragraph from the letter of father Fray Antonio de Santa Maria

In regard to the fears that were prevalent, Father Antonio de Santa Maria, lecturer in theology and a trustworthy religious, wrote from Macan the following paragraph:

“During the month of August last it was said in M [blank space in original; probably “Macao that a”] grand mandarin of war, Yguan by name, intended to go to Manila to avenge the deaths of his countrymen. He was a notable pirate, but is now said to be a friend of the Dutch, though he formerly gave battle to them and sometimes burned their ships. He has with him a number of negroes, fugitives from Macan, who understand very well the management of firearms. It would not be a mistake to be on the lookout for them, and be supplied with provisions and munition, because the Dutch are very arrogant. In China they have lost their fear of the Spaniards; and Filipinas, when I left there, were without men or vessels. Thus it would be seen that this colony is actively threatened from all parts and has great reason for fear. With the insurrection and war of the Sangleys, and with the previous wars in Mindanao and Joló, the largest and best part of the troops were destroyed; and those who were left are occupied in many garrisons.” Here ends the quotation from the letter of Fray Antonio.

The three Dutch ships which, the governor of Terrenate wrote, had started for these islands about the eighth of April, arrived at the Embocadero and cape of Espiritu Santo on the twenty-seventh of said month; and thus far we know not whether they have [118]set out from there. On the other hand, daily advices come of the great vigilance with which they scour those waters in various parts, in order to seize the ships that are going or coming from Nueva España—for which purpose they have a patache which goes ten leguas to sea in the direction of the parallel of eleven and one-half degrees, which is the route by which the ships [from Nueva España] must come. They also have others, five or six lanchas or small boats, with which they run from place to place in order to give warning to the galleons that are in port. While this colony was in the distress that this emergency must cause, our Lord was pleased to bring the ship from Nueva España this year, miraculously, from among its enemies without their seeing it. It made port outside the Embocadero, at a place called Borongan, on the second of July this year; and on the nineteenth of the said month a Spaniard arrived in this city with a letter from a father of the Society, in which he announced that the ship had arrived that day. He said that it came with Don N. Pacheco as commander and that the commander who went from here had died; and that many of our religious were coming, and others of St. Augustine. Thus and thus writes the said father of the Society, because another had written it to him; it is now one week that we have been waiting for the packets and advices, and today, the twenty-sixth of July, we have no news of a soul that had been aboard the ship, nor even a letter from that place. Our perplexity begins anew, and some even doubt whether the ship has reached land. If it has arrived, God brings this city help, which will be a great defense for the future. And if on account of our sins it may not arrive, little [119]hope is entertained for aid if the enemy come; and much more is he to be feared should he ally himself with the Sangleys. May God prevent this, as He can.


Another paragraph from the letter of father Fray Antonio de Santa Maria

“They say also that the following prodigies have occurred in the kingdom of China. In Pequin, where the court is, they say there was a dense darkness for the space of three days; cinders rained in other parts. The earth gushed forth blood, and a quantity of it was caught in vases. A bell in one of their temples rang of its own accord; and the rocks, when struck with blows, sounded like the beat of drums. Two or three towns, not many days’ journey from Macan, were swallowed up by the earth with their people and buildings. And even now in another town, not far from there, they say that serpents are coming out of the sea—very large and hideous, with horns—and with their assault they overthrow the buildings and houses, and slay the people; and that returning to the water they again come out, make a capture, and immediately return to the sea.”

Besides the above-mentioned news from Japon concerning our religious, the said father Fray Antonio, while drawing up authentic information on behalf of our order, writes in his letter the following paragraph:

“In the year 1637, they also say, there were in Japon some three or four religious of the Order of St. Francis who traveled through that country to the remotest regions of the kingdom on the far north, to a province of the said kingdom of Japan called [120]Canga.3 It is said that the emperor commanded that the tono, or petty king, of that province be notified that he should be most vigilant and careful that no Christian whatever should enter his lands; and that he responded to the emperor that quiet reigned in his territory, and that there was no necessity to treat his vassals harshly. This petty king, they say, is an uncle or relative of the true king of Japon, who has disappeared.4 This I saw in one of the relations written by the Portuguese there in Japon.”

I have just completed the official statements regarding our martyrs, and have finished transcribing them; two copies of them I send now, the other I will carry or send to your Lordship. The martyrs of whom this report is made are: Fray Luys Gomez, Fray Gabriel, Fray Juan Torrilla, Fray Gines de Quesada, and Fray Geronimo de la Cruz—who is that Japanese priest who, when I came from Spain, was in that church of the Japanese (in our war of Dilao5) at the side of, or a little behind the well. The holy Fray Luys Gomez is one of those who in former years were summoned by the emperor in order to question them about our holy faith; he was eighty-four years of age and had spent forty in Japon. [121]He died hanged in a cave, head down, with two Japanese helpers [dogicos], in company with Father Sebastian Viera, and four other native helpers of theirs. In the official account which the Society drew up about their father, our Fray Luys is also included. The holy Fray Gabriel de la Madalena, or Fonseca, after having suffered the torture of hot water was burned alive, in company with Fray Geronimo, a Japanese, in the little cottage of the latter, on the third of September, 1632; Fray Luis, on the sixth of June, 1634. Marvelous things, enough to fill a large book are related of Fray Gabriel. It is common knowledge that when he prayed he was many times raised above the ground, and that he often disappeared for a time from the eyes of those present. From various small herbs that he gathered he made medicines, with which he wrought miraculous cures. While he was being burned, they say, he rose in the air two cubits [codos], and while praying in the mountains this was an ordinary occurrence.

Besides the conversions in China and Japon, the Lord has revealed, through the medium of his servants the sons of our father Saint Francis, another and by no means small multitude of people who desire with all sincerity to receive holy baptism, and to attain the knowledge of the truth—regarding whom the governor of Terrenate already mentioned says, in the following paragraph taken from one of his letters: [122]


Paragraph from the letter of the governor of Terrenate

“Father Fray Juan Iranço,6 who is in Manados,7 states, in a letter which he has written to me, that there have been discovered more than fifty villages, large and small; that the people are numerous, for, counting men, women, and children, they number more than fifteen thousand. In this estimate he falls short, for the Spaniards who are there have told me that there are more than a hundred thousand souls, who desire to be Christians. In this connection I wrote to the governor last year, but his Lordship did not answer me in regard to this, nor about many things which I have written concerning the government. Reverend Father, for the love of God, agitate this with the governor, and send religious. The soil is fertile, the people are extremely industrious, of stout build, and white. Rice and other grains abound. I am now sending a champan with twelve Spaniards, and a religious of the order to accompany and aid Father Juan Iranço. The latter sent thirteen or fourteen Indian chiefs of Manados, in order that they might return to him as Christians; they were baptized in this convent of San Antonio, and are now returning in this champan. They made a great feast on the day when they were baptized, dressing [123]themselves with their shirts arranged after the Spanish fashion. All this, and the conversion of Manados and Tabuca, have been very fully described by father Fray Francisco Chavarria and the other religious who are here and in Manados and Tacuba, to whom I refer as being religious of exemplary life.”

This is a summary of the information from here, concerning the conversions as well as the state of these islands. May God our Lord dispose all things as best pleases Him, for His greater glory and for the good of all Christianity.

(Transcribed from the original letter in Ciudad de los Angeles [i.e., Puebla de los Angeles, in Mexico].)

All this country has been afflicted, not only by the great drouth that prevails—for there has been no rain for eight months, which occasions excessive heat; and the rice, the usual food in this country, cannot be sown, and a great famine is feared—but because four Dutch ships are in the passage through which comes the succor from Mexico, the soldiers, silver, and other supplies; and as news [of the galleon] did not come, some misfortune was feared. But on the thirteenth of July God was pleased that it should make port in safety, leaving the Dutchmen hoaxed; it did not arrive at the port of Cavite, but at another, at a distance of three days’ journey by land, and it could not reach Cavite until September. With the ship came the news of the revolutions in Portugal and Cataluña, a very unfortunate and dangerous affair. The Portuguese who were here from Macan went to the governor, and on the part of that city rendered anew obedience to King Filipo [124]Fourth (whom may God preserve). They declared that in no event would they accept the Portuguese revolt, and that, in case India joined the said rebellion, they would always desire to remain under the protection of Castilla; and documents to this effect were drawn up in due form. May God be pleased to quiet those great tumults, and give peace to Christian people!

The usual enemy from Mindanao, Burney, Jolo, and Camucon, did not inflict any damage on the islands this year, because they did not sally out in force; but much trouble is feared for the coming year, on which account negotiations for peace are being conducted with the Mindanaos. For, although we have four forts in that island, it is so large that its people go out to plunder without our being able to stop them entirely. Joló is now at peace, for which much aid was rendered by Father Francisco Colin, provincial of the Society, who went to visit those islands; but I do not know whether the peace will last. The Christian villages of Mindanao and Jolo are very gradually being brought to a peaceable condition; and as those people are devoted Moors [i.e., Mahometans], the gospel makes little headway among them. Nevertheless, there are some conversions all the time; and at least the children will be good Christians. [Here follow reports of the news from the other countries named in the title.] This is a summary of the matters of which I have present information. Manila, July 25, 1642.8 [125]

1 On the day here mentioned, there were two fiery volcanic eruptions, one in Joló, the other in Pañgil, an island not far from Joló. At the same time, an eruption occurred in northern Luzón, but of water instead of fire; and this was accompanied with other destructive phenomena.

2 For accounts of this seizure of Malacca by the Dutch, see Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 455, 456; Concepción’s Hist. de Philipinas, vi, pp. 85, 86; and Ferrando’s Hist. de los PP. Dominicos, ii, pp. 514–516.

3 Probably meaning Kaga, a small province lying on the northern coast of Hondo, nearly north from the city of Kioto; its chief town is Kanazawa, with over one hundred thousand inhabitants.

4 Apparently referring to the mikado and his seclusion from active life—a condition which had existed for many years, but which Iyeyasu especially intensified in order to strengthen his own power and that of his house. The mikado at the time mentioned in our text was Meishō—a woman, according to B. H. Chamberlain (Murray’s Handbook of Japan, 4th ed., pp. 65, 67). The reference may possibly be to Hideyori; but he died much earlier, in 1621.

5 Probably a reference to the late Chinese insurrection.

6 It is not known in what year the Franciscan Juan Iranzo came to the Philippines; his name first appears in the lists of that order in 1632. He served in Luzón until 1639, when he went to the Moluccas and other neighboring islands. Returning to Luzón six years later, he remained in that island, in various responsible positions, until late in 1653, when he embarked for a voyage to Europe, but died while at sea. (Huerta’s Estado, p. 510.)

7 Part of Celebes; see Vol. XXII, p. 146.

8 This is an extract from a pamphlet entitled, “General relation of the news from Philippinas that has arrived in this year of 1643, regarding Manila, India, Camboja, Japon, China, Macan, Terrenate, and Ambueno.” It has no signature, and is printed “at Mexico, by the widow of Bernardo Calderon, in the street of San Augustin.”



The King. To Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein: I commanded the issue of a decree of the following tenor:

“The King. To Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera [here follow his titles as above], or to the person or persons in whose charge the government may be: it has been noticed in my royal Council of the Yndias that the Indian natives of the province of Pampanga, those of Camarines, and the Tagálogs have rendered service, and still do so, with much affection and loyalty, ever since they were first conquered, without any of them having rebelled; that they serve in war together with the Spaniards, with extraordinary vigilance; and that they likewise serve in that city [i.e., Manila] as oarsmen and pioneers, on all occasions when armed fleets are equipped, with both their persons and their property—especially the Pampangos and the Tagálogs. And because it is just that they should know how much I value their fidelity and watchfulness, I have thought best to ordain and command to you (as I do) that, since these things are so, you shall be especially mindful of the said Indians of the three provinces above mentioned, and give them much encouragement, for this purpose summoning their chief men—in order that they may always continue to serve me with the same [126]zeal, fidelity, and affection as they have hitherto displayed. Dated at Madrid on the fifteenth of July in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six.

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign: Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon

And now on the part of Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, permanent procurator-general for that city of Manila, he has reminded me that by the decree here inserted I commanded that you should summon the headmen of the Indian natives of those islands, and in my royal name thank them for the willingness with which they have always aided my royal service, as is more fully set forth in the said decree; and that more than ten thousand of them served me on the occasion of the Sangley insurrection, with much valor and good-will, seconding the citizens of that city. He declares that they deserve that I should reward them, in order to encourage them to continue their service when occasion shall offer; and entreats that I will be pleased to command the issue of a decree giving them much praise, since it is very desirable to give them prompt encouragement, that they may also serve and conduct themselves with so great loyalty and faithfulness in other so pressing emergencies. He asks that you will relieve them, and exempt them from some of the many burdens that they carry; for thus they will be encouraged to render me service. The matter having been discussed in my royal Council of the Yndias, considering how just it is to honor, favor, and reward them, in order that they may render greater and more willing obedience to all that shall be ordered to them [127]for my service, I command that you immediately summon the headmen of the Indians, and make known to them in my behalf the esteem that I have for them personally for the courage, affection, and good-will with which they have rendered assistance when emergencies have arisen, and especially in the Sangley insurrection, by which I consider myself well served. You shall give them thanks for this, and favor and reward them in all possible ways, endeavoring to secure their relief, convenience, and comfort. Such is my will; and I shall especially appreciate all that you shall accomplish for their relief and honor. Dated at Çaragoça, on the twenty-fourth of October in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-two.

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign: Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon Signed by the Council. [128]



Brief relation of the loss of the island of Hermosa; of the strength and puissance which the Dutch enemy now has in those parts of Yndia; and of his designs and intentions after having made peace with the Portuguese, and having therefore ceased to wage war against them in those regions of Yndia.

It is well known that it is the great desire of the Dutch enemy, which he has always had, to make himself master of Yndia and its riches, in order with these to continue and push forward his revolt [against Spain], and to encourage attacks against the armies of the king our sovereign—who so justly wages war against the Dutch, in order to bring down their arrogance and destroy their wild heresies. These desires have been very evident, since they have set themselves to the task, and—God permitting this for our sins—have already seized much territory in Yndia; and hardly is there a coast in that country where they have not settled and fortified themselves, enjoying its riches. In especial, they have now, in recent years, seized the city of Malaca, a port and passage that is necessary and very useful for going from Yndia to Great China and Japon; and in Ceilan [i.e., Ceylon] they captured a stronghold called Punta de Gali, and, near the bar of Goa, a carrack (a large galleon) which was coming from the kingdom of Portugal, despatched after the insurrection. Besides this, they seized near the same [129]bar a patache which was coming from Macao with ivory, and two hundred cates of gold, and other rich goods; and now they actually occupy a post near Goa, and are expecting to make themselves masters of all Yndia (unless our Lord shall intercept their designs), by means of this unstable peace which they have now made with the Portuguese. It is very plain that such is the case; for when the order came from Holanda to the Dutch to establish peace with the Portuguese, the former replied to the captain-general and those of his council to the Prince of Orange, and to the Company, saying that peace was not expedient for them in Yndia, because affairs were in such condition that they were confident that Yndia could be conquered within four years. Thereupon, reply was sent to them that, notwithstanding this argument, they should negotiate the said peace, because that was expedient at this time for the liberty of their native land—since, the king of España having his attention thus diverted in Portugal, the Dutch could find therein the opportunity to set their country free.

And not only has this their insatiable and lawless desire extended to making themselves masters of Yndia, as has been already stated, but they are eager to gain possession of what belongs to the crown of Castilla—the city of Manila, Terrenate, Hermosa Island, and other places—in order that thus they may remain alone and more free to enjoy the produce and benefit of all the islands and kingdoms of those regions. The truth of this is made evident by their frequently coming to Manila with many galleons—twenty-two, twenty-four, or twenty-five; but they did not succeed very well there. On that account, [130]and because they recognized that our strength was considerable, and since they were occupied in Yndia against the Portuguese, they withdrew for several years, and returned no more to Manila until now. At present they have become fat on the labor of others, and are disengaged in Yndia; and, knowing well that Manila has not much strength, they intend to wage a very grievous war, carrying it on by weakening our forces, in order thus more safely to make themselves masters of the city and possess its wealth—which, they say with much glee, is very great. With this object, they have come to the Embocadero, during the last two years of 41 and 42, to await the ships which come from Nueva España. In this year of 43 they were going again to the same place, with more ships and forces, and with much caution; but, if they are not able to capture the galleons, they will try to burn them with their own old ships, which they take with them for this purpose. Moreover, this year they are going to try to intercept the succor to Terrenate; and last year they seized the island of Hermosa with a strong force, almost all [the posts] at one time. This was something almost incredible to those who have seen their strength and power in recent times; and it was all done with the object of afterward attacking Manila with the aid of the Sangleys—with whom, as I was told by a trustworthy person in Jacatra, the Dutch had secret negotiations for an assault on Manila. This is so certain that afterward, while I was in the kingdom of Malaca, visiting the king, a letter came to him from the Dutch. It was written in the Portuguese language, and he caused it to be read in my presence and that of some Castilians and Portuguese [135]who were there. After complaining of the king because he had aided the people of Amboino, the Dutch said in this letter that they had already taken the island of Hermosa from the Castilians; and that in a short time they would drive the latter from Maluco and the Manilas ([their name] for the Filipinas Islands).

Chart of part of the Philippines; from map taken from a Dutch MS. of 1662 in Dalrymple’s Charts ([London], 1778)

Chart of part of the Philippines; from map taken from a Dutch MS. of 1662 in Dalrymple’s Charts ([London], 1778)

[From copy in Library of Congress]

Commencing, then, our relation, and first as regards the loss of Hermosa Island, I say that it was and is a certain and notorious fact that the Dutch enemy, carried away by his evil desire and damnable intentions (as at the beginning has been stated), attacked Hermosa Island about September in the past year of 1641;1 and, not being able to capture it, since God had blinded and hindered him, remained more obstinate and hardened in his first object and pretension. Accordingly, he desisted only until the following year, 1642, and about August he returned with a stronger force—so large a one that with it he could overcome ours; and so he seized the island, and made himself master of it, which occurred thus.

Having obtained a foothold, the said Dutch enemy spent part of April and almost all of May in that year, with two champans and a round sailing vessel called “filipote” [i.e., flyboat], near the headland which they call Punta del Diablo, in sight of our [136]forts,2 awaiting the succor which about that time was to come from Manila. They retired to the river of Tan-Chuy, with a prize which they made there, a small champan from China, which came from that kingdom to Hermosa Island to carry supplies and merchandise; in it was traveling a religious of St. Dominic, in the garb of a Sangley. With this prize, and for another reason, that a sharp north wind suddenly arose, they retired, as I have said, to Tan-Chuy. Just at this time came the succor which the governor of Manila was sending; this ship, arriving at the cape called Santa Catalina, received news that the enemy was expecting it. On this account, our people took refuge in the port of San Lorenzo, as they carried orders from Manila to do so, in case they encountered enemies. They remained there seven or eight days, until, having received information from the island that the enemy had gone away, they left that port, and pursuing their voyage, entered our harbor and fort.

Afterward (but not until the thirteenth of the month of August), one afternoon at nightfall there arrived at our port a little champan, so small that it made the Spaniards wonder at it when they saw it [137]approach. This vessel came, despatched in all haste, from the island that they call Isla de Pescadores, which is twelve leguas from the Dutch fort. In that island is an excellent harbor, in which the great galleons of the Dutch anchor, because they cannot make an entrance at their forts on account of the shallow water there. The little champan came for the sole purpose of warning an infidel Sangley named Gui-nu—who was captain of a champan that had arrived not long before from Manila, to get wheat and cloth to carry to that city—that the Dutch were ready to attack Hermosa Island within four or five days. For this they had five ships, with five hundred Dutchmen, and large supplies of provisions, besides other ships which had not yet arrived; accordingly, word was sent to Gui-nu to leave our port at once. He who wrote and sent the despatch, who was a friend of the said Sangley, told him further to go away at all events, since the enemy was coming, not as in the previous year, but with a much greater force; and therefore it seemed to the writer that the Dutch would seize the island without fail.

With news so reliable as this, and with the information obtained from the Indians, the governor was persuaded of its truth, and that the enemy was returning with the strength and force that was stated; besides, he had heard of it in letters from Manila. Accordingly he immediately took measures to put himself in as good a state of defense as possible. As he was warned by Indians from the river of Tan-Chuy that this year the enemy would come from the east side, where there is a low sand-bank which extends from the sea to the harbor, and on it is a fort or small tower, not very strong, he ordered two [138]pieces of artillery to be placed on an eminence which commands the said tower. While they were finishing this fortification, on the nineteenth of the month of August, the armada of the enemy appeared in sight. This was composed of four large ships, a patache, a large champan, and a flyboat; and besides all these vessels there were four other ships which had not arrived. Each vessel trailed two faluas astern, besides other and smaller boats which they carried for landing their men. On that day when the enemy appeared, about twelve or one o’clock, they stood inshore with the largest ship and the patache, making for the eminence to which our men had retired; but they tried to protect themselves from our artillery behind a small hill that stood there, in order thus to land their men more easily and safely. But as they could not shelter themselves as fully as they wished, on account of the currents which drove the ships beyond the hill, the artillery of our stronghold (the commander of which was Don Martin de Arechaga) compelled the enemy to retire to the sea—the chief pilot of their ship and other men having been killed, as the Dutch afterward told us. The ship being pierced with three or four cannon-balls, they retreated; on seeing this, the governor sent what men he could spare to the lookout station.

That night the enemy remained at anchor in the place to which they had retreated, until the morning of the next day. Then, having held a council, they set sail, and all five of their sailing-vessels directed their course toward the low sand-bank I have mentioned, which is at the eastern side of the island, in order to attempt a landing there, as we had already [139]been informed. But the flagship, on approaching and reconnoitering the narrow entrance, saw that it had a new defense and guard in the tower below. The commander of this tower, who was Alférez Diego Felipe, commanded that a cannon-shot be fired; the enemy, seeing by this that they were recognized and their designs forestalled, and that now they could not gain any advantage there, turned the flagship back toward the sea, where the rest of the ships were waiting for it. Having reached their station, the Dutch commander called another council of the leaders and captains; the upshot of this was, that, considering that their antagonists there were already on the defensive, they should make an attack at once, come what might, as they knew very well, through the Sangleys, how many men we had. For even if they lost many of their own men they were not in absolute need of so many [as they had], and they might kill our men with but little loss; and, the lookout once gained, all would be theirs, for they would have such an advantage over us that they could always injure us, without our being able to harm them.

Their consultation being concluded about one o’clock, they forthwith proceeded to take men with the faluas from two of the ships, which remained with a few men, and with the champan and the flyboat, to guard the entrances to the harbor; and the three other ships, with many small boats which they carried for this purpose, approached near the land, behind the shelter of the hill, where they would be entirely out of the range of the artillery in our stronghold. Having cast anchor there, they proceeded to send ashore their soldiers with the faluas [140]and small boats, landing them at the edge of the sea, because they feared some of our musketeers who were on land. On this account, having embarked the men [in the boats], they rowed rapidly toward the shore, and meanwhile kept the field clear, from the ships, with their artillery and musketry, while their trumpets sounded the attack. Thus they came to land, where our men awaited them—twelve of our Spanish soldiers, eight Pampangos, and thirty or forty Indian natives [i.e., of Formosa] who were bowmen. The governor had resolved to send this number of men into the field, and no more, for he suspected that the enemy would attempt to land more troops in another place. Our men made a brave stand, and went down to the shore, and killed many of the enemy as they landed, on account of the latter coming, as they did, so crowded together in their boats. Thus our men fired their guns at a crowd, and some used three balls at one shot; and the Indian bowmen, who were very skilful, also inflicted much damage on the Dutch, all the more as they came boldly on. They followed out their design until they landed their men; and then, as they were numerous and our men few, they steadily gained the upper hand and wounded some of our soldiers. Thereupon the latter began to retreat slowly, three of their men being seriously wounded—one of whom remained on the field, where he soon died; the two others made their way as best they could to the fort, where one died and the other recovered.

Thus the enemy proceeded to ascend the slope until they succeeded in obtaining possession of the lookout and the height, where they immediately stationed more than three hundred white men; this [141]gave opportunity for the rest of their men, five hundred more, to disembark and come to land. Then they set up their tents, in a place where they could store much food, and immediately sent ashore all their supplies, on the side from which it could not be seen from our forts. Afterward they also sent ashore much artillery and a mortar; of these pieces they carried two to the lookout station—cannons of eight and ten pound balls—and with other small pieces with which they bombarded us, not only in the stronghold, but in the great fort below. Their balls reached everything, on all sides, and everything was visible and uncovered from the lookout station; this was very evident, since a cannon-ball [struck] the parapet of the fosse belonging to the great fort, and passed on, carrying away a stone from the cavalier of San Sebastian in the same fort.

Affairs being now in the said condition, we continued to make ready our retirade,3 and were expecting that the enemy would begin with baskets [i.e., filled with earth] or would be fortified in some other manner in order to make an assault; but this did not occur, as they made no fort at the lookout, which would rise above the land about. However, on the side next the sea they made on the mountain a large esplanade, from which they fired the cannons; and, this done, they opened in the mountain itself two mouths, as it were, in the shape of trenches, through which they brought the cannons to bear, and bombarded us openly, while from our retirade [142]we could not discover their men or more than barely see the mouths of the cannon in their artillery.

After this manner the war lasted five days, until the day of the glorious apostle St. Bartholomew, the twenty-fourth of August, when they bombarded and overthrew the wall of our retirade—which we had finished building, but it was not finished inside, nor did it contain any lodgings. As the Dutchmen afterward said, they fired that day, with the two cannon and from the fleet, one hundred and eight times; it was so arranged that while the cannon were being loaded there was no cessation of firing from all the musketry—which they had stationed at the top of the lookout, in files, directing the men to shelter themselves behind the hill, and to load their muskets while the artillery was at work. This they did so incessantly that it seemed to be the Judgment Day; and they gave no respite to our men, who were few in number and worn out with fatigue.

The wall being now thrown down, and many men being slain—among them Alférez Juan de Valdes, a very valiant soldier—and many others wounded, and the rest of the troops being exhausted with the incessant fighting for five days and nights, and a palisade which we occupied having been broken into with iron bars: the enemy formed four troops for assaulting the retirade. This they did, and entered without ladders, since the walls were thrown down, as I said. This being perceived from above by our men, some of these, of the baser sort, fled through the gate; while others leaped over the wall, on the side next our fort, which they succeeded in reaching. Others who were above with Captain Valentin de Arechaga, fighting with the enemies, and, as they [143]say, retreating, drove the enemy back on their haunches; and thence they retreated to the fort below. Two others, Spanish boys, hid themselves—one in the powder-house, the other in a water-tank; the enemy slew the former, thinking that he intended to set fire to the powder, and the other they took captive.

Being now masters of the retirade, they trained a cannon from it (for they had no other left), mounted, against our men; and at the same time they sent a white flag with one of their men, demanding that, since they now held all the place as their own, we should surrender, since there was still opportunity to escape with our lives. He said that if we did not yield there would be no advantage for us in doing so, and there would be nothing to expect but death. The governor received this envoy, for he saw that what they said was true, and that we had no hope or refuge in the world, nor could even hope to delay the catastrophe; and he considered that by not accepting their proposal he was exposing to death more than four hundred innocent souls—children, women, servants, roadmakers, and soldiers—and that the soldiers did not amount to forty effective men. He saw that there was no hope of doing more than to die for the sake of dying; but if relief could be hoped for by any means, or he could see any indication that they could resist the enemy, he and his men were all determined to die rather than yield up anything of their rights. But he concluded that they were able to resist no longer, as I have said; and considered that any one who understood the occasion well, and who knew the opportunity and advantage and superior strength that the enemy had, and what our [144]men had done in every way, would not rashly condemn his course. For in order to form a proper judgment of anything, to see it and be on the spot is very different from hearing it afar, and, as they say, talking from behind the palings. The governor replied to him who came to offer this settlement that he would consult his officers as to what ought to be done and what should seem most expedient; and that afterward he would return answer in accordance with such decision. Thereupon the bearer of the white flag went away, and the governor placed the matter before his followers and the religious who were there. It seemed to all that, considering that the enemy had now demolished and gained the retirade and the eminence, which was the mainstay and guard of the fort below, and that now without any doubt the fort was practically in their possession—[which they could accomplish] without the loss of a single man, but with the death of all our people; without need for attacking us, but simply by driving us out—the best possible terms ought to be secured, and that accordingly we should surrender. For [they considered that, to justify] exposing all those people to death there must be some hope [of success or relief], of which there was none at that time. Nor were they ignorant of the requirements of military honor and usage, but these passed sentence [upon surrender] when the enemy were not so sure of victory, and when they themselves had some grounds for hope; but without such hope neither did God, nor consequently human law, hold them under such rigorous obligation; and one law states that no one is obliged to do what is impossible.

The conference being concluded, answer was [145]made to the enemy in conformity with the above decision. When they came to the terms of surrender, our men stipulated that they should leave the fort with their arms, flags flying, drums [beating], guns loaded, and matches lighted. At first the enemy refused this, being willing only to spare our lives; for they saw very plainly that everything was in their power, and that what they were giving was only a favor. They were not willing to give us the vessels that we asked from them, but said that we all must go to Tay-Chuan, their fort; and that if the governor of that place had orders he would give us boats. If he did not, they said that we must voyage to Jacatra, to see the commander-in-chief,4 and that he would give us transportation; for they themselves carried no orders for anything else [than the seizure of the island]. With this the affair was ended—which is the truth of the matter, without any pretense or cloak.

Having departed from the fort with the said terms they placed us all in the convents of St. Domingo and St. Francis, with guards, while they arranged their affairs; then they sent us to Tay-quan, a fort of theirs on the other side. At the convents, the Dutch proceeded to take from all our men their weapons and flags, on the pretext that they must embark the Spaniards without these, for fear of some mutiny or uprising. This was afterward told to the commander-in-chief at Jacatra [now Batavia], and he replied that the guns and flags had been left at Tay-quan; [146]but that if the governor of that place, who was coming by March or April, should bring them [to Jacatra], he would give them up. On this account the [Spanish] governor remained at Jacatra to await them, and to send away his men, and to be the last one. There was great danger that some men would remain there, by their own choice; or that, urged by the Dutch, they would say that they preferred to remain. The Pampangos and Cagayans remained with the Dutch, who refused to give them to us, although they had granted liberty to all [of our men]. Although many remonstrances were made to them on this point, they replied that they would pay those Indians as the Spaniards had done, and that the former should serve them. Accordingly, some of the Indians remained in Tay-quan, and the rest were taken by the Dutch in their ships that were going against Amboino and Terrenate. Some free servants were seized by certain Dutchmen in Tay-quan and in Hermosa Island, who refused to give them back; and afterward we learned that they had sold these servants to some of their countrymen. When this was told to the commander-in-chief, he said that it could not be true, and that he would make them give back all who remained in Tay-quan, twelve in number. The affair remained thus, unsettled, a matter which is certainly worthy of consideration; and it is sufficient cause for keeping back, whenever opportunity offers, some of their men until they return to us all those free and Christian people, who remain with them at the risk of losing the faith.

From the convents where they had kept us, they embarked us in four ships to convey us to the fortress [147]of Tay-quan; and at the same time six companies of the Dutch who remained in our forts set out by land to go to the province of Torboan, in the eastern part of the island, to find the gold mines that the natives possess there. The latter obtain some gold from the sands of a river, of which fact the Dutch were informed; and this was a powerful motive for their seizing our forts. In order to carry out their purpose to search for gold mines, they came provided with men who were skilled in such work. This expedition marched until they reached the village of Santiago, eight leguas of the journey, [where they were stopped] by some precipices; they turned back, as they were not able to go any farther on account of the bad weather and roads, and as their provisions gave out—difficulties which, it seemed, they could ill overcome. But, although they could make no farther progress, they sent men with a champan to examine and reconnoitre the port of San Lorenzo, of which some inconsiderate person, or the Indians, had informed them; and they explored it very thoroughly.

The commander returned to the island with the said six companies, and hanged six Indians of the natives of Hermosa Island, from the three villages friendly to us—Santiago, Guimarri, and Taparri—because they had not supplied the Dutch with food, nor gone with them, nor guided them as the Dutch wished, the natives having promised to do so, although through fear. The enemy were unmindful that, since the Indians were our friends, they usually act thus, as it is their nature. The Dutch also hanged another, a Tagálog boy, who served their commander, because he ran away to the natives of that country; [148]and two Dutchmen whom they found in our garrison, in the pay of his Majesty. These things, and the knowledge that the Indians have of them, have had such an effect on the latter that whenever they can they will break the heads of the Dutchmen, and will not accept their friendship. On the contrary, they now deplore our absence, and in the shadow of the Dutchmen the Spaniards are now almost saints; and the natives only ask when the Spaniards will return.

They immediately fortified themselves on the river of Tanchuy, where they erected a fort of logs, in the same place where our fort was first built, and left their artillery and sixty soldiers—as afterward we were told by some of our roadmakers whom they carried there to work. All this was to make them masters of the trade—in sulphur, rattan, pelts, and many other products that are found along that river and in its vicinity. They also built at once a fort of stone, although without lime, on the highest point of the island where our forts were, the lookout station by which they won the retirade from us.

Finally, while our men were voyaging to their forts of Tay-quan, we encountered the four other ships that were going to them with succor, and with these came the general and leader of them all, who had been unable to arrive before.5 He went to our island, and began to govern it and direct its affairs; and it was he who went to look for gold, and who hanged the said Indians, and built a fort at Tanchuy. He despatched four ships to the coasts and routes of Japon, in order that they might attack the [149]champans of the Sangleys who might go to trade in that empire; for the Dutch say that those traders go without chapa (or license) from their king. In Tay-quan they detained some of our men a month and a half, or more; others they immediately sent away, with our governor, in the first ship that sailed to Jacatra; and afterward, at the end of October, those who remained in Tay-quan went in four other ships.6 Having thus sent all our men to Jacatra, the Dutch again undertook an expedition to discover the gold mines at Torboan; and they actually set out with a large force of men in November, which is a rainy season in the Tay-quan region. On this account, and because it is nearer, they crossed by land the middle ridge which Hermosa Island has, from Tay-quan to Torboan; but, as we afterward learned in Jacatra from the people on the other ship (which sailed later from Tay-quan), they did not reach the river of gold, on account of the great ruggedness of the mountains, and the bad weather which through November and December prevails in the Torboan region. Therefore they only punished some villages which lay nearer; and they burned these because, years before, the natives had killed a [Dutch] factor. With this they returned, leaving that expedition for the spring-time; this will cost them much hardship and perhaps many lives, for there is great difficulty in both the entrance and the ascent; and the Indians who are now among them will have changed their [150]settlements, and will make great resistance to them—and will do so quite safely—since in the mountains they are very dextrous and experienced, and the Dutch clumsy.

It is certain that if they do not succeed in the search for gold they will abandon our forts, retaining only that of Tan-chuy on account of that river and its trade, as some of them said—since for their trade with the Chinese and Japanese they occupy Tay-quan. That region is a very pleasant one, with a good climate; and they have very good fortifications, dwellings, and storehouses for their goods. They have spent there more than one hundred thousand pesos, as one of them told me; and there they possess a considerable trade and commerce with the Chinese. Through this, they learn by means of the Chinese all that passes in Manila and its provinces; for after the latter have sold to the Dutchmen, at the proper time, what they need and what they have to send to Jacatra, the Sangleys are occupied during the rest of the year in bringing from China cloth and other commodities which find a market in Manila and Pangasinan; [they bring these to Tay-quan] in small champans, and immediately lade some large ones which they keep at Tay-quan, and sail for Manila. Besides this, the reason why the Dutch have made so great efforts to capture Hermosa Island, going to attack it year after year, was that they had promised the Japanese that they would do so, and would expel the Spaniards from it. I was told this by a religious who was in the kingdom of Tonquin—where, he said, this was related to him by a Christian from Antuerpia, who was in the service of the [151]Society [of Jesus]; and this occurred even before the island was taken.

As for the second [topic], the power which the Dutch enemy possess in those regions, which is greater than we could imagine of them: According to what I myself have seen, and what trustworthy and reliable persons who have traded have told me, the Dutch have at this time more than one hundred and fifty ships and pataches, at a moderate estimate—all equipped and provided with seamen, soldiers, artillery, and other necessary supplies. And they are under such discipline that even when they are in the port of Jacatra—as I saw, and was well informed thereon—every ship keeps its people on board, so that no one may go ashore without special permission; and when they come from any voyage, before entering the port, all engage in repairing and cleaning and calking their ships. As a result, when they reach their anchorage in the port they can immediately, without delay, again go forth and make a voyage, save when some ship needs unusual repairing; in short, all their men serve as if they were servants receiving wages.

In Tay-quan, during the months of September and October, 1642, there were seventeen ships and a patache, all belonging to the enemy. Of these, nine had come to Jacatra for the capture of Hermosa Island, four of them having first remained in the Embocadero of Manila, waiting for our ships from Castilla. Four others had come from Japon, and the rest were held in reserve at Tay-quan. Of these seventeen ships, five went to carry our people to Jacatra, and were laden with sugar and preserved ginger for Holanda; iron or steel from Japan; [152]loaves of sulphur; and stuffs, silver, and other merchandise. Four other ships departed to seize the champans of Chinese who were coming from Japon; and the eight vessels that were left remained in Tay-quan, in order that their men might go to search for the gold that was reported to exist in Torboan. This last-named fleet was to sail afterward (by February of 1643) from Tay-quan, with the governor of that place, to Jacatra; and on the way they were to inflict punishment on the king of Cochinchina for the death of some Dutchmen who were wrecked on that coast, in two ships.

Besides the said ships, we found when we arrived at Jacatra more than twenty others, very well equipped with supplies and artillery; and more than thirty or forty cannon, which I myself counted there. Besides all these vessels another was there, the great three-decked carrack or galleon from Yndia, which the Dutch had captured from the Portuguese at the bar of Goa. Five other ships had sailed a few days before for Malaca, and these were met by the vessels that were carrying our people from Tay-quan. Six others were then blockading the bar of Goa; but on account of the treaty of peace, the Dutch have ordered these to withdraw, and as yet these have not come back. [Still another squadron of] five vessels well equipped was sent at the beginning of November, 1642, to Terrenate, to await the relief ship from Manila; and with them was another ship, which they keep in reserve at the fort of Malayo. They will wait there until the end of April, or May, until the arrival of thirty-two other ships, which were besieging Amboino, with more than fifteen hundred men; and all together will go to attack Terrenate. [153]For this purpose they took from Jacatra, in December, 1642, great quantities of supplies, as was seen by myself and by our men who came hither; and when they go to Terrenate, after making the Amboino expedition, it will be a question whether they seize the relief ship for Terrenate—although, perhaps, they will not capture it at all, confident in their own power.

Besides the said ships, I was told by a sub-factor of the English that the Dutch have seventeen more ships on the coasts of Yndia, Ceilan, and Persia, and all of these are supplied from Jacatra. In this number are not included the vessels that they send to their factories, to each of which sail one, two, or more, according to the amount of trade there; and their factories are so numerous that there is not any kingdom, whether of infidels or Moors, in those regions where they have not an establishment—Japon, Tonquin, Camboja, Siam, the kingdom of Achen, Bantan Xambi, Mazarmasin,7 Macasar, Solor, and Amboino (which is entirely in their power, and where there is a great quantity of cloves, so that it is exceedingly valuable). In other regions also they have factories and much trade; I would never end if I were to enumerate all. Moreover, there went to Holanda this year, in December and January, eleven large ships, which I saw, and almost every month fresh ships arrive from that country; so that there are always ships coming and going between Holanda and these islands.

Then as for the men that they have here, there is a [154]large force. For, besides those who are engaged or sail in all the ships that I have mentioned, those in the garrisons of their forts and presidios, and the men in the six ships that were blockading Goa, who have not yet come back, they are now sending a large armada against Amboino and Terrenate—all the men in which are experienced and trained soldiers, as I saw in Jacatra. Not only this, but all the men who were engaged in the capture of Hermosa Island remained there (where they now are), to support the pretensions of the Dutch which I recounted above, to discover the gold mines in Torboan, and for the punishment of Cochinchina. Besides all the said troops, another ship arrived at Jacatra from Holanda in January, which carried more than one hundred and fifty fresh soldiers; and this year these Dutch have urgently requested more men from Holanda, for the purpose of attacking Manila, now that they see an opportunity for it and that the affairs [of Spain] are in a disturbed condition.

As for provisions from Holanda—biscuit, pork, beef, wine, oil, vinegar, etc.—the amount that they have cannot be told or imagined; for of these articles alone they have enough for two or three years. I mention only the Castilian wine, of delicious quality, which they consume more freely than if they were in España; and when they go to draw it [from the keg], they rinse the glasses with it, and waste it; and yet this goes on without causing a scarcity of it. Then they have storehouses full of ammunition and military supplies, an enormous number of anchors, and stables that contain fifty war-horses, to handle which they are well trained.

As for the great wealth that they have acquired: [155]In December of this year, 1642, when I was in Jacatra, they sent ten large galleons, and another in January of 1643, all the eleven ships laden with drugs of the highest value in Europe—such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon—sugar, silks, precious stones, gold, and many other rich articles. According to what they said, these ships carried goods to the value of thirteen millions here—which, delivered in Holanda, would amount to an incredible sum. With this wealth they wage war on us in Flandes, in these regions, and throughout the world. On this account we might expect that if his Majesty the king of España would wage war against them in this quarter, he would certainly subdue them very soon in Flandes. For he who would cut off a great river, and stop its flow, does not undertake to do this near the sea, where its current is broad and deep, and it already seems like [a part of] the sea, where such attempt will be exceedingly difficult, or even impossible; but he goes to the beginning or origin of the stream, where the task will be very easy for him. And so, to wage war against the Dutch in Flandes alone is to try to cut off a river near the sea, where it has a great flow; it is therefore almost impossible to do so by sending there more troops and money. But if vigorous measures were taken to send four thousand men to Filipinas, it would be very easy thus to destroy them here, where they are so successful, and make an end of their power.

As for the third and last topic that I mentioned—the designs and intentions of the Dutch enemy, now that they have made peace in Yndia with the Portuguese: It is very important to consider this, since they have always been eager, as I have related, to [156]get possession of Manila and its fortified places, and to drive out the Spaniards from these regions. This was doubtful until now, when they find themselves puissant, and disengaged from other wars; and, on the other hand, they know that Manila has not very strong defenses, and that it will not receive abundant aid because the affairs of España are so disturbed. Accordingly they will exert all their strength to carry out these desires of theirs, as greedy as of long standing; and this is so much the fact that, as I know perfectly well, they talk among themselves of nothing else than how they will gain Manila, and load themselves with silver. Therefore they have urgently demanded troops from Holanda; and until these shall come they are making every effort to capture the ships from Castilla, and are actually undertaking this with a large and powerful fleet. If they cannot capture the Spanish ships, they will try to burn them, even if it be by burning two or more of their own; and they will take with them some old ships for this purpose.

Besides this, they intend, as I have related, to take Terrenate; and they have actually gone to those forts to deprive them of the relief sent, with as large a force as they can send. Likewise, they will be continually infesting and harassing the coasts of Manila and its environs, and will not allow any ships worth mention to enter or leave that port, and will do this, even if it causes them great expense; and for this purpose they will be continually receiving succor—either by way of Terrenate, in May, June, and July; or else from Hermosa Island, from September until April—since for all this they have extra ships, much wealth, and great energy. [157]

They intend, also, to seize or to obstruct the champans from China which may go to trade at Manila; and to avail themselves secretly of the Sangleys to cause a diversion [of the Spanish forces] in Manila at the time when the Dutch shall attack it. All this was fully explained to me by a religious person who was in Jacatra, and was on very intimate terms with some of the Dutchmen, as he understood their language and customs. The expedition against Manila would be, as they thought, in May or in October of the year 1644; and, if at the latter time, it would go by way of Tay-quan.

Among the injuries which they will meanwhile try to inflict upon us, not the least will be an attempt to burn the galleons and our vessels that may be in Cavite, or in other places; or corrupting through clandestine spies whomsoever they can among our men, or effecting an entrance at night, and by stratagem—both of which they did at Goa. Recently they burned the galleons of the Portuguese, which lay within the port, at anchor, and with the usual guard. With this they tied the hands of the Portuguese, and rendered it impossible for them to sally out and resist the Dutch. There is no doubt that they will, if they have the opportunity, do much worse than what I have told; for this is an astute and cautious enemy, who knows whatever occurs among our people; and we live in anxieties. Dated in the kingdom of Macasar, in March, 1643.

Fray Juan de los Angeles
of the Order of St. Dominic.

[To this document we append the following additional information, obtained from Ferrando and [158]Fonseca’s Historia de los PP. Dominicos en las Islas Filipinas (Madrid, 1870), ii, pp. 440–447:]

Governor Corcuera, who regarded with much indifference that goodly conquest,8 failed to recognize its importance as an advanced and strategic point for checking the aggressions of the Dutch; and, engaged in making new conquests which he could not preserve, he had entirely abandoned it [i.e., Formosa]. A wretched company of invalids and raw recruits was the only force allotted for the defense of that island against a victorious enemy, who, flushed with the triumphs that they had obtained over the Portuguese possessions, believed (and with some reason) that everything must give way to their triumphal progress through these seas, [Their first attack on Tanchuy, in 1641, is “almost miraculously repulsed by its feeble garrison;” but in this expedition the Dutch learn the topography of that region, the condition of the Spanish forts, etc., and plan anew its conquest.] Their plans were not hidden from the commandant of the fort, nor from our good religious, who mingled their counsels with those of the men who were defending the cause of religion and native land. All quickly saw the urgent necessity of reënforcing the garrison, and of demanding fresh troops from the government at Manila.

With this honorable commission finally departed from Formosa, surrounded with a thousand perils, Father Juan de los Angeles, vicar and superior of the Dominican fathers who had in charge the spiritual [159]administration of that island.... He gave to the governor an account of the recent conflict; explained with deep feeling the melancholy and precarious situation of the colony; and declared how certainly the honor of the Spanish flag in Formosa was greatly compromised unless effort was made as soon as possible to reënforce its garrison. This demand was received at the time with some appearance of interest, but it did not receive the prompt attention which the importance of the matter demanded. The preservation of Formosa did not interest Corcuera or his private counselors; but he was finally forced to save appearances to some extent, in order not to take upon himself, at all events, the scandalous responsibility of what must unavoidably occur in such an extreme case. He actually despatched the messenger, with a weak reënforcement, in a wretched hulk—which, without any provision for its safety or good condition, was miserably shipwrecked on the northern coast of Luzon, at the first attack of a slight storm. It was possible to save, nevertheless, the men and the outfit of the ship; and Father Angeles was able to fit out another and safer vessel, which carried them safely to Formosa, with the little aid sent from Manila. This consisted of some food and military supplies, eight Spanish soldiers, and the ship’s crew, undisciplined and unarmed, who could only serve as a hindrance, in any case.

[Tanchuy is taken from the Spaniards by the Dutch, as is related by Father Angeles; Ferrando adds:] Forty pieces of heavy artillery fell into their hands, with large quantities of gunpowder and military supplies, twenty-five thousand duros from the treasury, and a great deal of merchandise owned [160]by private persons, which might amount to nearly a million in value. This was the first disgraceful victory which the Dutch could obtain over the Spanish arms in that great Oceania, [and that] because the island was neglected and abandoned by an unlucky governor—a victory that was a thousand times more unfortunate, since it inflated their arrogance to the extreme of believing themselves powerful enough to dispute with us at last the envied possession of the Filipinas Islands.

It was the province of the most holy Rosary which felt the deepest pain at this lamentable result; for besides [being compelled to] abandon their beloved flocks, they lost various churches and convents, with their precious images and sacred ornaments; the provisions destined for the missionaries at Fo-gan; three priests and two lay brethren, who were sent prisoners to Jacatra (now Nueva Batavia); and, finally, their hopes of seeing in the bosom of religion and of the Church all the inhabitants of that island, whose conversion to Christianity had already made considerable progress. [These converts, however, long retain the faith that they had received from the missionaries, and shun both heathen observances and the heresies of their Dutch conquerors.]

The Dutch, now masters of that Spanish island, celebrated during eight days the signal triumph of their arms, carrying away to the fort of Tay-quan all the Spanish soldiers and religious. From that place they transferred these prisoners to the capital of Java, now adding to their number the zealous Father Cháves,9 who since the preceding year had remained [161]a prisoner in their hands. They were not so ill received or treated in the Netherlandish colony as they would have feared. The governor of Java was a very generous man, and showed consideration and respect in every way to the Spanish prisoners—our religious securing the fullest liberty to exercise their apostolic labors, not only among the Catholics, but even among the infidels and sectaries of those foreign possessions. At last, all the difficulties were overcome which would naturally arise in the way of restoring them all to Manila without exchange or ransom, or compensation of any kind—thanks to the influence and great prestige which our excellent missionaries were able to acquire among even the enemies of the Catholic religion. Only the governor of Formosa remained among the Dutch, because he feared the results of the rigorous residencia which would be required from him in Manila for the loss of that island, and more especially of the fortress of Tanchuy—notwithstanding that his responsibility was freed from blame in the consciences of all; and the most skilful leader would have yielded, without fail, with the small and wretched garrison of that fort. He had done quite enough; and the responsibility, in any case, must be sought higher up....

The Spanish soldiers were greatly disturbed by the desertion of the governor of Formosa. Destitute of a chief and leader to govern them, and unable to agree on the nomination of another, they almost resolved [162]to abandon the voyage; but the religious, to whom they owed their liberty, and whose opinion they still respected, gained their good-will anew, and induced them to consent to a reasonable agreement—which they accepted only on condition that father Fray Juan de los Angeles would accept the office of their leader, which they conferred upon him by acclamation. At the command and under the direction of the said father, they were immediately shipped to Macasar, where the ruler of the island sent them their rations on account, until an officer arrived from Manila with orders to pay all their just expenses, and to conduct them at last to the capital of Filipinas, where they arrived safe and sound on the twenty-ninth of June in 1643. Thus the province of the most holy Rosary obtained some consolation for that great misfortune, by receiving to its bosom four excellent religious whom it already regarded as lost to it.

[La Concepción (Hist. de Philipinas, vi, pp. 89–113) blames the Jesuits for the loss of Formosa—alleging, as grounds for this, their desire to monopolize the missions to China, to which Formosa was a stepping-stone for other orders; and their resentment against the friars (especially the Dominican Morales) for accusing them at Rome of undue laxity and conformity to heathen observances (in the noted controversy over the “Chinese rites”). To this end, he thinks, they exerted their influence with Corcuera, inducing him to neglect Formosa and to send his troops to Mindanao, where the missions were in charge of the Jesuits.] [163]

1 The Dutch governor in Formosa at this time was Paulus Traudenius; his letter (dated August 26, 1641) to the Spanish governor Portillo, demanding the surrender of the Spanish forts, and Portillo’s answer thereto, are given in Valentyn’s Oud en nieuw Oost Indien, deel iv, stuk ii, on pp. 72, 73 of a section entitled “Beschryvinge van Tayouan, of Formosa,” which covers 93 pages. Both are given in English translation in Davidson’s Formosa, p. 21.

2 This Spanish establishment was at Kelung, on the northern coast of Formosa; the fort seems to have been located on an island in Kelung Bay (now called Palm Island by the Europeans resident there). The shores of the bay are precipitous, formed by a mountain range; and the lookout station (la Mira) seems to have been placed on one of these heights. (See Reseña biográfica, i, p. 421, note; Murray’s Handbook of Japan, p. 538.)

Tan-chuy is now Tamsui. “‘The old Dutch fort’ with its walls of nearly eight feet of masonry and lime still commands the port of Tamsui, as firm and solid and as imposing as when built two hundred and fifty years ago.” In the French bombardment of 1884 “the shells did no damage and scarcely left a mark on the noble structure.” (Davidson, Formosa, p. 23.)

3 Spanish retirada; a part of the fort which is made especially strong, and well supplied with provisions, into which the garrison may retreat for their final stand; it may be translated also “stronghold” or “citadel.”

4 The governor-general at this time of the Dutch possessions in the Orient was Antonio Van Diemen; his term of office was from January 1, 1636, to his death, April 19, 1645. A sketch of his life, with portrait, is found in Valentyn’s Oud en nieuw Oost-Indien, deel iv, pp. 293–295.

5 This man, the successor of Traudenius, was Maximilian le Maire; he remained in the post of governor of Formosa only one year, 1643–44.

6 The Dominicans sent to Batavia were: Fray Teodoro Quirós de la Madre de Dios, Fray Pedro de Chaves, Fray Juan de los Angeles, and two lay brethren (one of whom, Pedro Ruiz del Rosario, died at Batavia). With them were sent also some Franciscans who had a house at Tai-wan. (Reseña biográfica, i, p. 421.)

7 Banjarmasin is a principality and river on the southern side of Borneo, under the rule of the Dutch; the inhabitants are Malays (who are Mahometans) and Dyaks.

8 Spanish, aquella hermosa conquista; a play of words, Hermosa being the old Spanish name of the island. Formosa, its modern name, is the Portuguese form, both names meaning “beautiful.”

9 Pedro de Chaves made his profession in the Dominican convent at Salamanca, in 1628. He came to the Philippines in 1635, and was sent to Formosa; but soon afterward went to China. Later, the Dominican missionaries in that empire were banished; and Chaves, attempting to return to Formosa, was captured by the Dutch. Reaching Manila in 1643, he spent the rest of his life there, mainly in labors among the Chinese; and died on January 16, 1660. (Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 425, 426.)



The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands: In my royal Council of the Indias, and in the military conference for those regions, some letters have been considered which you wrote to me about various matters of government, war, and revenue; and reply is here made to the points therein on which a decision has been reached.

By a certificate which you send it appears that there has been a saving to my royal exchequer of certain amounts of money, the proceeds of donations that have been made of two-thirds of the year[ly dues to persons in my service], for which satisfaction should be made to the creditors of pay-warrants in arrears, giving them what is due them; because my royal intention is, that what is justly due them should be paid to them in full, without giving any opportunity for such remissions [of debt as these]. You are duly notified that for the future this innovation shall not be put into practice in any way, but that every person shall be paid that which is clearly his due; and this mode of saving has been severely censured, because it is to the injury of the parties concerned.

You know how much I regard and cherish all the Indian natives of my western Indias, and that the preservation of those provinces is dependent on their prosperity and kind treatment. Accordingly it has [164]seemed fitting to me to charge you anew with this; and I command that you, attentive to the decrees which declare in their favor, be very heedful of the kind treatment of those natives, and not allow them to receive any wrong from the officials or from other persons.

You say that you have appointed the chief notary of the government to the office of judge for the usual licenses of the Sangleys, in order that that office may by this combination not only increase in money value, but be held in greater repute; I have approved your arrangement to this end.

The archbishop of those islands has reported to me how expedient it is that some archiepiscopal buildings should be erected in that city; and in order to the execution of this plan I have decreed that you shall inform me what measures and means can be employed for the accomplishment of this work without causing expense to my royal exchequer. You say that some donations could be accepted from the employed seamen and mariners who sail in the ships, and that the archbishop himself could aid by some contributions which he could solicit in the city, since these cause no loss to me or to the vassals who serve me in those islands. In my opinion, these measures cannot be approved; but those who hold maritime offices should go gratuitously, without its costing them anything; but if, after they return from Nueva España, they should choose to make some voluntary contributions for the erection of the archiepiscopal buildings, it may be proposed to them. It is best to proceed in this manner, gathering together what can be obtained, and not to solicit any donations, in order that this fund may be placed in my royal treasury. In [165]every case, effort should be made that the mates of ships, the boatswains, and other maritime officials who go to Nueva España be the most meritorious, and be selected from the most capable men, without asking from them any donations. Then with the money from voluntary contributions, or in other ways which do not cause expense to my royal treasury, let the work of building these houses be undertaken, avoiding all other measures which may cause embarrassment or annoyance; and you shall act according to this plan and counsel, making such arrangements as shall be most suitable. You shall wholly exclude donations that shall not be voluntary, and shall not allow them to be bargained for at any time.

You state that you have commanded a gallery to be made in the royal buildings, facing the Plaza de Armas; and that by this arrangement all the offices were accommodated, so that it was not necessary to look for any official outside of the palace. As it has been considered that this gallery and extension will be an advantage to the said buildings, what you have accomplished in this is approved.

By a special commission from me is entrusted to Juan Bautista Zubiaga, auditor of accounts for those islands, the collection of the results of accounts which Don Francisco de Rozas y Oñate, late visitador of that Audiencia, left unsettled. And since the death of that auditor might cause some failure in these collections, and they might not proceed as they should, I command that you take such precautions in this matter as I may expect from you.

A relief ship having sailed from those islands for Terrenate in the year 1639 was, as you have learned, [166]assailed by a tempest, and it returned to that port, where the artillery that it carried was lost. This occurred, as you say, in water one and a half to two brazas in depth; and as it is certain that this artillery will be greatly needed, you shall endeavor to have it drawn out of the water, making every effort possible to accomplish this. I charge you to be heedful of this matter.

As for what you say in regard to the purchase that Don Fray Hernando Guerrero, the late archbishop of those islands, made of some houses from Pedro de Heredia, to the amount of one hundred and forty pesos, and that the fiscal of the Audiencia there demands that these houses be added to the property of my royal crown for the same sum, and as you judge that from the property left by that prelate the debts which he left can be paid: it has appeared best to charge you, as I do, that you allow the property thus left by this archbishop to follow the natural course [of law], without making any innovation in this case. Zaragoza, August 4, 1643.

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign:
Don Juan Bautista Saenz Navarrete [167]

DOCUMENTS OF 1644–1649

Sources: The first and eighth documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the second and seventh, from MSS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid; the fourth (its original from the same source), from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), ii, pp. 353–355; the third, from a rare and perhaps unique pamphlet (Manila, 1644), in the possession of Edward E. Ayer; the fifth, from Documentos relativos á la Universidad de Manila, pp. 23–30 (but the letter to Siruela, from a MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid); the sixth, from a MS. in the Archivo general of Simancas; the ninth, from Retana’s Archivo, i, pp. [15–71].

Translations: The first, second, fourth and eighth are made by Emma Helen Blair; the third, fifth, sixth, and ninth, by James A. Robertson; the seventh, by Mary F. Foster and Emma Helen Blair. [169]




Balthasar de Lagunilla, procurator of the Society of Jesus for the provinces of the Western Yndias, states that Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor of the Filipinas Islands—in consideration of the fact that in the old Parian of Manila, which the Chinese burned in the late insurrection, the Manila college of the Society of Jesus owned a certain piece of land with some houses, the rent of which aided in the support of the college, and considering the great poverty of the Society—allotted to the said college a piece of land in the new Parian, one hundred brazas long and fifty wide, in order that the fathers might build some houses thereon, and be aided by the little rent that they could obtain from them. The said governor also granted that a ferry-boat which they had in the old Parian should be retained by them in the new one, in consideration of their having lost nearly all their property in the said insurrection; and, besides this, that the Sangleys who might reside in the village of Santa Cruz—the instruction and spiritual cultivation of which is in charge of the Society—should be exempted from tribute for a certain time. All this was granted on condition that your Majesty should be pleased to confirm it. The matter having been discussed in the royal Council of the Indias, they commanded the governor to send information again regarding the favors he had done in conferring the lot in the Parian [170]and the ferry-boat. On account of the facts that these are not new favors, but the continuation of old ones (as the only change is in the location of the land), and that nothing therein causes the least accident or loss to the royal exchequer, nor to the ferry-boat belonging to the hospital of Manila, since the two ferries are quite far apart, and the bridge is midway between them—as will be seen by the original map which the fathers have sent from Manila [to the said procurator]; and since the poverty and need of the Society there are so great that if these favors and grants from your Majesty cease it is impossible to support that college; and as it is paying out much of the income from the little property that it possesses, since it is indebted to the amount of 24,440 pesos of principal at interest, and 13,623½ pesos of scattered debts—an amount which in the poverty of that country is enormous, and causes much anxiety (and the said procurator presents the original memorandum of these debts as it was sent to him by the procurator-general of that province, and attests it with the necessary solemnity); and since the Society there is rendering so continual services to God and to your Majesty in working for the welfare of those around it, both Christians and infidels: the Society ought to be favored and protected by your Majesty. Therefore, the said procurator humbly entreats that your Majesty will deign to confirm these two favors, the site in the new Parian and the ferry-boat to the village of Santa Cruz, and the exemption of the Sangleys from tribute. [He asks] that an absolute refusal be not given before the new governor sends a report, since the motives of Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera for exempting the [173]young men resident in the village of Santa Cruz who cut their hair were apparently sufficient reason for making this concession; and that this report be awaited, and an unfavorable decree be not despatched. This he will consider a grace and favor. He also entreats that your Majesty will be pleased to command that no change be made until reports on the matter be received, and a decision be made as to what shall be most to your Majesty’s service.

[Endorsed: “Let the decrees of the Council in regard to this be brought.” “In the Council, on October 3, 1644.” “A decree has been issued.”]

Rough sketch of Manila and its environs, ca. 1641

Rough sketch of Manila and its environs, ca. 1641

[From original MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla]

Decree by the governor

Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, member of his Majesty’s Council of War, and his governor and captain-general of these Philipinas Islands, and president of the royal Audiencia therein. On account of the many losses which the Order of the Society of Jesus in this city sustained in the general insurrection which the Sangleys undertook against it—not only because the possessions of the Society in the first Parián of the Sangleys and in other places were burned, but because they lost other property—they now experience great poverty and want. Therefore, inasmuch as it is proper that the Society be aided, in order that it may support the religious who by their praiseworthy ministries are serving the public welfare, for the present I grant, in the name of his Majesty, to the said order of the Society of Jesus the concession of a piece of land, one hundred brazas long and fifty wide, in the new Parian of the said Sangleys, in whatever place the said order shall select, provided [174]that it be not in that part which has been granted to the orphan boys,1 in the old powder-house, in the precincts of the royal chapel, or where other parties who are private persons hold concessions made before the Parian was established there. And this grant shall be free from obligation to pay to the city or to any person the land-tax which others pay to the city, for the grant which the Society has of the land which has been assigned to it and which it occupies in the said Parian, since it is with the same conditions and in the same form as the grant to the said orphan boys, whom the Order of St. Dominic has in charge; provided that within four years from the day on which this is dated, confirmation of this grant from his Majesty be furnished. But if by any mishap it shall occur that the confirmation cannot be obtained in the said time, it may be extended for two years more—in all, a term of six years being allowed. This is in consideration of the fact that the judge-commissary has declared, by his act of the twenty-first of August last in this year, that the half-annat ought not to be paid, because the said concession is not equivalent to the said losses which the said order has sustained in its houses and property. Given in Manila, on the first day of September in the year one thousand six hundred and forty.

Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera

By command of the governor: Geronimo Nuñez de Quiros

This copy agrees with its original, which is returned to the possession of Father Magino Sola of [175]the Society of Jesus, its procurator-general in these islands, at whose request I give this present. At Manila, on the twenty-sixth of April in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-one; the witnesses are: Nicolas de Herrera, the alférez Juan de Baldivieso, and Andres Ronquillo. In attestation thereof I have placed my signature and seal.

Geronimo Nuñez de Quiros
chief clerk of the governor.

[Here follows the attestation by the royal notaries that Quiros is duly qualified and responsible for this act.] [176]

1 Referring to the seminary of San Juan de Letran (Vol. XXII, pp. 108–111), in charge of the Dominicans; a similar grant had been made to this institution.



Relation of the news and notable occurrences in these Philipinas Islands, in the years of 43 and 44

Of the two galleons which set out in the past year of 643 for Nueba España, two months later the flagship returned, dismasted, and entered the new port of Lapon,1 where it was made ready for sailing again this year. The almiranta, which made the voyage successfully, has already arrived from its return trip; and the news came today that it is remaining at Cagayan, and that the [new] governor, Don Diego Faxardo, was coming as fast as he could by land.

A Portuguese pilot belonging to a royal champan, one of the most competent pilots in the ports, and well acquainted with these islands, ran away with some men to Malaca, to inform the Dutch of our lack of military supplies; and how the stockade, moat, and outer ditch, with their towers at intervals (with which this city will be impregnable), were incomplete; and that even the bells, and the iron grates of the houses, had been cast [into cannon] for lack of metal; and how this was true, since the deficiency arose through the cessation of the trade with Japon and Macan, from which places the metal [177]came. But all this information was rendered useless by placing in Terrenate, in sight of the enemy, a large force of excellent Spanish infantry, whom Don Lorenzo de Achotigui y Olaso, master-of-camp for these islands, and second in authority therein in the absence of the governor, carried with him [to Terrenate], himself remaining there to govern those fortresses.


From China little cloth has come this year, and of that almost half was carried away by the Dutch; for, sailing out to plunder with four champans, they seized two others which were coming from China well laden. The Chinese defended themselves during a day and a night, but the only result of this was, that two hundred of their men were slain, and hardly any one of the Dutchmen. The latter, seizing their prize, set the rest of the Chinese ashore. A ship which came after this encounter made port in Ilocos, and the cloth has been brought [to Manila] in champans. Counting this one, only three ships have arrived here this year; that is very little, compared with the coming of forty ships. It is said that a mandarin, with two or three provinces, has rebelled against the king of China,2 and is giving him much to do. He has [to deal with] many pirates; of one of these, named Inloan, it is said that he has this year gained two millions on the merchandise that he has carried to Japon.

Christianity is making great gains in China; the king has granted a chapa, or royal decree, allowing [178]all the religious to preach freely and erect churches throughout his kingdom. This chapa is placed at the entrances of the churches, and whenever the mandarins come in sight of it they make the same obeisance to it as to their king, venerating in it what he commands. It was granted at the instance of the fathers of the Society of Jesus, and has been translated from Chinese into our Castilian tongue by some of them. Its words mean that the doctrine which the fathers teach is the doctrine from Heaven; and states that inasmuch as they are so learned—for a very old clock, which had rendered many years of service, and was out of order, could not be regulated by any one until the fathers came; and they not only put it in order, but made many other new ones, furnishing the pattern to many cities—the king for this gave them permission to preach the doctrine from Heaven. He also promised to grant them many favors when they should complete a book for computing the Chinese years, which run, by twelve moons [to the year], from the beginning of the world; for a long time the mathematical fathers have been engaged in preparing this book.3 In this condition are the affairs of China.


The persecution against the Christians in Japon is as sharp as ever. That country now has trade only with the Chinese and the Dutch; and from seven [179]Dutch ships, which went this year to Japon, they took three of the most prominent persons on each ship, and will detain them as hostages until the Dutch pay them a large sum of money which they owe in Japon. As for the fathers who went from these islands, little can be learned about them; what we do know is obtained through letters from Macan, written by very trustworthy persons. They say that the fathers who first sailed thither died gloriously in the martyrdom of the pits [cuevas];4 these are the fathers Antonio Rubino, visitor for Japon; Alberto Polaco, a cousin of the king of Poland; Diego de Morales, a native of Soria; Antonio Capeche, an Italian; and Father Marquez, a native of Macan. Those of the second shipment were summoned and carried as prisoners to the court; it is not known what their end will be. God grant them the strength and courage necessary for an achievement so heroic. As soon as the news of the martyrdoms reached Macan, there was a solemn tolling of bells; here, however, we have not made any demonstration, until the truth of this report shall be confirmed by new letters.


The dissensions in that city have been so great that it is a wonder that it has not been ruined by this time. The people have been divided into two factions: one of them, which was the party of certain honorable [180]citizens, demanded that the Castilians, with their commander Don Juan Claudio (who had gone there as envoy from the governor of these islands), should be well treated, and sent with their goods to Manila. But the other faction had more power, as they had the arms, and the chief captain was on their side; accordingly, the treatment that they accorded the Castilians has been so bad that the letters which these have written come filled with a thousand grievances. Their commander narrowly escaped being beheaded, and votes for this were given in a conference held for this purpose. Finally they sent him with two or three other persons, the most prominent [among the Castilians], to Goa, placing on each two pairs of fetters, or tobas, which is the way they shackle negroes. But it pleased our Lord that the Dutch should seize this ship near India; and the kind treatment and exemption from injury which are due to ambassadors, and was not found among the Portuguese, was cause for admiration among those Dutch heretics; for they received him with so much courtesy that they drank his health, and told him that he was not considered as a captive. As soon as the king of Macazar—who is our great friend, and calls the king of España his heir—knew of this he asked for Don Juan and the rest of the Spaniards; and it is expected that they will come soon. Nothing can be denied to this king, especially by the Dutch, who have so great an interest in his trade.

All the Castilians who went from this city to Macan were arrested on the pretext that they were rioters and disturbers of the peace in Macan, [a city] always loyal to Don Juan the Fourth. They imposed the penalty of death on any Castilians who [181]should carry arms at night, and shut them up in dungeons to sleep, so as to be sure of holding them. One night the patrol chanced to encounter one of the Castilians, who had been hidden in the houses of some friendly citizens; and on the next day, for this offense alone, they held him down and drove nails into his hand and his private parts. In fine, things have occurred [there] which would not be seen in Negro-land. The Dutch, by the aid of the kings of Tunquin and Cochinchina, sallied out with three ships; one of these was wrecked while defending itself, and, the two others retreating, a tempest suddenly came upon them, and broke their masts. [In the margin: “They took refuge in Macan, where those heretics showed much kindness to the Castilians, who had been so badly treated by the Portuguese”] although the latter were Catholic Christians. These Dutchmen did not know what was going on in Yndia. Having repaired their masts, they went away with much wealth of the Portuguese, which the latter had entrusted to them thinking that there would be peace between them; and it is not so, but a very bloody war. This, however, is but turning their own tricks against them of the [Canton] River.

In one ship which the Dutch seized were the despatches from Goa to Macan; these coming into the hands of the king of Macazar, he sent them to the governor of these islands. Among these letters was one from the intruding king Juan, in which he encouraged his vassals and those of Macan, giving them an account of his successes; another from the viceroy of Yndia, in which he rebuked the injurious and discourteous language which they use when they mention our king Filipo Fourth, and praised their [182]loyalty. He also gave orders regarding the Castilians, that their property—which must be more than three hundred thousand pesos—should be taken from them, and they themselves sent to Manila.

Therrenate and Macazar

As for the relief expedition which goes every year to Therrenate, the one which went this year of 43 comprised two galleys, a galleon, and a patache. One of the galleys was sent with an embassy to the king of Macazar, to ask for iron and gunpowder, and other military supplies. This galley was wrecked not far from here on a shoal; all the men were saved, and were distributed among the other ships, which arrived at Therrenate without hindrance from the enemy. Although the Dutch were sailing in sight of us, with four ships, they did not dare to obstruct our passage. The Spaniards supplied [the Therrenate forts], and the other galley went on to Macazar with the envoy; the king promised to supply soon what we asked for. Two small ships came with succor for the Dutch; and when the fort fired the cannon at them they did not answer—a sign that at least they did not have very good news. They have not received aid from Olanda this year. At Therrenate the most courageous captains and soldiers have remained, for the Dutch enemy is feared, since last year he tried to attack that post.

Eastern Yndia

Yndia is in a very low condition. It is certain that Malaca has not been recovered, and that the Dutch are keeping it as their own. The viceroy asked them to comply with the peace or truce that [183]is said to have been effected in Europa; but they replied they would do so if he would give them the island of Zeilan [i.e., Ceylon], which is exceedingly valuable on account of its cinnamon, pearls, and crystal. He answered that he had no authority to do this; and the Dutch, collecting some twenty ships, said that they would settle the matter, and would reduce the whole island on their own account. They held in that island some territory and a fortified post. But affairs did not go as they intended, for their attack was repulsed, and they accomplished nothing. With this armada they planned, as is known, to go to Therrenate—but that plan was checked by the above mishap. Of the ships of this armada, six undertook to attack the king of Camboxa; but he defeated them, killing as many as five hundred persons, and capturing three ships and some men. What ships he has, he has promised to these islands, in exchange for money, since there is a lack of iron here for building them.

Mindanao and Jolo

Cachil Corralat still lives, but is so harassed by the Spanish soldiers that they hardly let him breathe. He has entreated peace, but no importance is attached to his promises. The Spaniards say that they will accept these on condition that he and his son come to Manila; that he will allow the fathers to preach the Christian religion freely; and aid them therein; and that he surrender his arms, and captives if he has any. The prince of Jolo is making the same request, and in order to obtain it he has written to the fathers of the Society who reside in the forts of Jolo with the Spaniards, asking that they [184]will mediate in his favor with the governor. [He states] that the people can hardly secure food, since all their grain-fields are laid waste, and most of their men were captured or slain in their many battles, and so they desire peace—although no confidence can be placed in Moors, who never fulfil any promise. Wherever the Spanish arms go, they also bring the people under the yoke of the gospel. In Mindanao, more than six hundred souls were baptized in two weeks, and that they did not baptize more is only because they feared that they could not be sure of so many; since most of these asked for baptism mainly to escape from danger, the fathers did not grant it to all. This year there has been much famine among the Indians, because the rice harvest was a poor one, on account of the drouth, and because there came a multitude of locusts, which covered the fields. In less than half an hour they destroyed the grain in a [square] legua where they settled down; and when they flew they formed so thick a mass that it seemed as if they would hide the sun. Never has the like plague been seen here. At the port of Cavite, an English ship—which is something new, as no English have traded or been seen in these islands for many years—brought commodities which the country needed, in abundance; and thus was supplied the deficiency of cloth (of which very little has come from China), and other articles which we do not get from Spain.

Finis [185]

1 Apparently referring to the port of Lampón (or Real de Lampon), known as “the royal port;” it lies on the Pacific coast of Infanta, Luzón. In the seventeenth century it was a harbor for the Acapulco galleons. See U. S. Gazetteer of Philippines, pp. 553, 578.

2 This was Tsongching, and the rebellious mandarin was Li Tseching.

3 The Chinese government entrusted to Jesuit missionaries the task of reforming the Chinese calendar; the chief of these were Johannes Adam Schall von Bell (in China during 1622–69), Giacomo Rho (or Ro; at Pekin, 1631–38), and Ferdinand Verbiest (in China, 1659–88)—all men of renowned ability as astrologers and mathematicians.

4 This mode of torture is described by La Concepción (Hist. de Philipinas, vi, p. 51). The victim was suspended by his feet, the upper half of the body hanging, head down, in a pit beneath. Two heavy planks were then placed so that they pressed heavily upon the body, and held it motionless, covering the pit. The victim was finally suffocated in the blood which gushed from nostrils, mouth, etc.



Report of Licentiate Don Sebastian Cavallero, his Majesty’s fiscal in this royal Audiencia of Manila, recommending that the issue of the licenses called “fortification licenses,” an increase of eleven reals which was added to the general licenses, be suspended; and that all that has been collected on the said fortification licenses and as increase of the general licenses, be restored and be actually deposited in his Majesty’s royal coffers. With license, at Manila, in the year 1644.

For the clear understanding of this report, it is necessary to begin by stating that all the Sangleys who come from China to these islands, both for the purpose of selling their merchandise and to work in all the trades needed by a community, have paid since the year 610 eight pesos five reals by way of tribute (confirmed by decree of his Majesty) for the license, which is called “the general license,” in order that they may remain in the country. Immediately upon the arrival of Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, member of his Majesty’s Council of War, in the year 635 to govern these islands, a new imposition was made (shortly after he began to govern) of some specious licenses for those Sangleys who desired to leave this city of Manila for other parts and provinces of its jurisdiction. They had to pay for that privilege an annual sum of ten pesos, [186]although the obligation was only eight pesos five reals, so that he burdened them with eleven reals. That increase amounted annually to a very considerable sum; for those who generally go out to buy and sell, and to work and cultivate the land, and engage in the most servile offices of the country, are numerous. After the insurrection and revolt of those Sangleys in 1639, the said Don Sebastian ordered that from all the Sangleys should be collected, in place of the eight pesos and five reals that they were paying yearly, ten pesos (thus adding eleven reals to the tribute imposed and confirmed by his Majesty), in order to punish them, to keep them under surveillance and subject, and [to obtain a fund for] the fortifications; and that the Sangleys who desired to leave the Parián for other places, must pay another ten pesos in addition to the ten pesos of the license and general contribution. Consequently, each Sangley who leaves their Parián comes to pay twenty pesos annually—ten for the old and general license and ten for the new, which is called the “government” or “fortification” license. Last year, 643, another contribution (called the “little” license) of six reals from each Sangley was imposed, to build the fortifications which are being constructed on the side of Bagunbaya. It was all executed and collected with the utmost exactness and punctuality by the judges of the licenses, the constables-in-chief, and other officials who were appointed and delegated for that purpose; and although all the proceeds from that new assessment, and the contribution of the fortification licenses, were given in a lump into the keeping of the royal officials, this fund was not deposited at the account of and for the royal estate of [187]his Majesty, but was entered separately, and was placed at the disposal and will of Don Sebastian.

[Continuing from this point, Cavallero discusses the matter of the imposition levied by Corcuera, in twenty-two sections, citing many laws and authorities in support of his reasoning. The document seems to be a portion of the evidence used in the residencia of Corcuera before his successor, Diego Fajardo. The arguments adduced by Cavallero (here mainly synopsized) are briefly as follows:

1. “The imposition of gabels, tolls, vectigals,1 tributes, and other assessments and personal contributions, whether patrimonial or mixed,2 belongs by natural, divine, and human right only to the sovereign and absolute majesty of princes, who do not recognize any superior.”

2. The new imposition made on the Sangleys by Corcuera is included under the name of gabel and tribute.

3. Corcuera had no authority to make the new imposition; moreover, the imposition of a new gabel is justified only when an urgent and pressing necessity arises, and the sovereign cannot maintain himself or carry on his military operations with his usual income.

4. If the tribute or new imposition is not justified by urgent necessity, it is illegal.

5. The imposition made by Corcuera is illegal, as it was made without any compelling necessity. It [188]is also disproportionate, because it is equal for both the rich and the poor Sangley, discriminating not one whit between them.

6. Corcuera’s reason for making the new imposition was to punish the Sangleys for their insurrection. He should first have consulted with his Majesty in regard to it.

7. It is not a sufficient justification for the new imposition to say that it was for the purpose of fortification; for those fortifications built across the river near Tondo by virtue of that imposition have been torn down, because they would prove a menace to the Spaniards in case of hostile attack, for the enemy might find them a base whence to carry on operations against Manila. The king’s permission is expressly necessary for the erection of new fortifications and public works, and Corcuera did not have that permission.

8. It is true, however, that a governor may repair the existing fortifications without express permission of the king, although he is forbidden to construct new fortifications.

9. It is also true that all persons must contribute to the expense of repairing the fortifications; and consequently the new imposition might be tolerated for that reason. “Therefore his Majesty (whom may God preserve) had assigned three thousand pesos for the fortification and repair of the walls of this city, from the monopoly of the playing-cards3—which is paid every year, according to the tenor of its establishment. Therefore, his Majesty having succored that necessity and made preparations for [189]that expense, with a sufficient and sure sum of money, the little justification for that new imposition can be seen.”

10 and 11. “Again, supposing that his Majesty had not prepared for that necessity, which is a compelling one, and it became necessary to impose a tax and contribution for the repair and equipment of the walls: it ought to be imposed solely on the citizens and inhabitants of this city, according to the means and power of each one, and not among the foreigners and transients like the Sangleys, who, coming to trade this year, return the following year to China, where they have their houses, families, and children.” That imposition is therefore a burden on the Sangleys.

12. “It is clear, then, that as that imposition, so grievous to the Sangleys, for the fortification and repair of the walls of this city of Manila is not of advantage to them, as they are foreigners, but on the contrary is very injurious to them, and introduced as a mark of hatred toward them, they should not be obliged to pay that contribution and assessment; but [this obligation would fall on] only the citizens and those interested, for the repair, shelter, and defense of their persons and patrimonies, in case that his Majesty had not provided the said three thousand pesos from the monopoly of the playing-cards for that purpose. Besides, that contribution for the repair of the walls demands consideration of the means and ability of those making it and should be in proportion thereto.” Since the new imposition is equal for all the Sangleys, rich and poor, that just proportion is destroyed.

13. Even if those newly-imposed licenses had all [190]the justification and security that law can give, and his Majesty (may God preserve him) had ordered them to be imposed, so zealous a minister as Don Sebastian ought to have represented to his royal Council of the Indias that these Sangleys have been made to pay for the privilege of remaining in these islands the annual sum of eight pesos five reals since the year 610. That brings his Majesty, according to the number of the Sangleys now, 120,000 pesos annually. In the years 638 and 39, when there were twenty-five or thirty thousand Sangleys (which was the time of the insurrection), those licenses amounted to more than 230,000 pesos. Since that sum is so considerable, a risk was being incurred if they were burdened with another imposition; for they might, oppressed by so many exactions and assessments, abandon the commerce of those islands, even though they perceived so much gain in them, and his Majesty would because of these licenses lose that established commerce.... Representing those reasons and inconveniences to his Majesty, he ought to have suspended the execution of this measure until, the matter having been conferred over in the royal Council of the Indias, his Majesty should decree according to his pleasure. All the more [should this be done] in lands and kingdoms recently acquired, as are the Indias—where for many years after the conquest no alcabala, gabel, or other contribution was imposed or asked until the year 574, when general decrees were promulgated ordering that the payment of the alcabala be introduced into the kingdoms of Piru and Nueva España, and that with great moderation and mildness. Don Francisco de Toledo, [191]viceroy of Piru,4 suspended the execution of the decree for many years, until the Marques de Cañete5 ordered, in the time of his government, the collection of that duty, by virtue of a new decree which he held. Although, as is a fact, the excise duties are a royal right, so ancient and accepted, and neither the Indians nor the Spaniards, their colonists and conquistadors, paid his Majesty anything, the suspension of [their collection by] Don Francisco de Toledo was regarded as advisable, until pressing necessities compelled more severe exactions.

14. It is to be presumed that whenever a king or ruler imposes a new gabel on a province already burdened with one gabel, he does not know that the first one is imposed, and that on learning it, he would not add a new one to the old burden; “and the greatest service to him will be to suspend such imposition until [the governor] can inform the king, laying the matter before him, and awaiting a new order.”

15. But Corcuera may apparently take refuge in the royal decree of June 19, 1614, if the governor of [192]the Philippines is entitled by that decree to use all the authority granted to the viceroys of Peru and Nueva España, and hence may make the imposition.

16. It must be supposed then, that the governor has the same power and authority as a viceroy in some matters.

17. But certain things are prohibited, forbidden, and excepted to governors, viceroys, and proconsuls, and authority for these does not extend to them, being reserved for the king or ruler.

18. Among these is the right to impose gabels and taxes, or the increasing of such, without consulting the ruler.

19. Since the case stands thus, in order to give color of justification to this tribute and new imposition of licenses the said Don Sebastian ought, since he is so zealous for the increase of the royal treasury, to have deposited its proceeds as a royal tax in the royal coffers and treasury, just as the other incomes and tributes of his Majesty are deposited, so that the money arising from it might be paid in the salaries and other fixed expenses which his Majesty orders to be paid by decrees and treasury and government ordinances, and by no others, except by a special meeting of the treasury officials who decide and resolve on such payment because of necessity or expediency. What is worse is that, although the money received from the licenses and impositions has been deposited in the royal coffers, it has not been considered as belonging to his Majesty. Consequently, the said Don Sebastian has expended it according to his own authority and inclination, in the manner that he has judged to be best. He claims obstinately that he can spend that [193]royal income without observing the form and order commanded by his Majesty in ordinance number 18, because he put down the Sangley insurrection by conquering the Sangleys, and imposed this burden and contribution on them without your [sic; sc., his] Majesty’s order—endeavoring thereby to get free power to dispose of the royal dues by the same authority on which he trespassed in imposing gabels on the Chinese. However, the greatest service that can be done to kings is to observe and obey to the letter their royal commands and ordinances directed to the efficient reckoning, administration, and disbursement of their royal treasure. It is the king’s will that there be no extraordinary outlay, of a single real, without first calling a meeting of the royal Audiencia and the royal officials, by whose decision the extraordinary expense is justified. And if the outlay and disbursement of so great sums of money as have proceeded from the new imposition of fortification licenses and the “little” licenses, has not been in this form, then he ought, first and foremost, to deposit and deliver into the royal coffers all the proceeds from those impositions, according to the certification of the royal officials, from the time of their institution until the present.

20 and 21. The fiscal states, first, that the proceeds of the new imposition and the increase upon the old must be actually deposited in the royal coffers, before all else.

Second, he declares “that this new imposition of licenses has caused universal harm and injury to the general welfare and the public good, in whose conservation and advancement his Majesty is so much interested, as one who is the father and shepherd of [194]these poor sheep, so distant from the care of their master. For although it was a fact that fifty almudes of rice (the equivalent of two fanegas) were furnished for four reals in the year 639, now one fanega is worth two pesos, and at retail much more. The reason for that is, that since the principal farmers of these islands are the Sangleys, and the latter cannot go out freely to work and cultivate the land without paying a contribution so great as ten pesos for their license, it proves impossible for them to go out [for this work], as the mass of the farmers are always a poor and humble people. On that account the land is deprived of its principal and universal support, namely, that of rice—although the laws so liberally dispense benefits and privileges to the farmers, so that they may be contented, and be encouraged to serve the community with the provisions and abundance that the land, grateful for its working and cultivation, offers. The same is true in the fisheries and in other necessary occupations, for the Sangleys are the feet and hands of this land, as far as its sustenance is concerned, and this new imposition has cut them off.”

22. It is clearly inferred from the above that although the Sangleys are burdened by this new kind of license, that for fortification, those who in reality and in fact have to pay it are the seventy citizens who, according to the appraisement, live in this city of Manila. For if the Sangley who comes from China to these islands to work does not bring a single real from that country, and has to pay ten pesos for the general license and ten for that of fortification, besides the secretary’s fees, it is necessary that his labor and the fruits of it be sold for a double [195]price. Thus it is being experienced that, although the ordinary pay of a workman—a carpenter, or mason, or others—was formerly two reals, they are now paid four or five, and the workmen are not willing to work for that. It is necessary to beg them, and to pay them what they ask, for there are no others who can perform these services. Where shoes were worth two reals before, they are now worth four. It now costs four or five pesos to have a garment made where before it cost two. The same thing is true in everything else, and it all originated and proceeded from the year of 639, with the increase of their burden for the general license and the new imposition of the fortification license of ten pesos apiece. That is so heavy a burden that I believe that no equally grievous a personal assessment has ever been imposed throughout the kingdoms subject to the monarchy of España.

All these matters are very serious, hard to decide aright, and worthy of being considered very closely and attentively. They concern the discharge of the king’s conscience, the royal authority, the conservation and increase of the king’s treasury and the royal patrimony, and the public welfare and conservation of these islands. For all of them, I beseech your Lordship to be pleased to provide and order what shall be most to the service of his Majesty and the public convenience. In that I shall receive grace and justice.] [196]

1 A word little used, meaning taxes or duties on goods which are carried from one place to another.

2 “Patrimonial” apparently refers to imposts for the benefit of the royal estate (patrimonio real); “mixed,” to those which are levied for both secular and civil expenses.

3 This was done in the time of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas; see Vol. VIII, p. 169.

4 Francisco de Toledo was viceroy of Peru from November 26, 1569 to September 28, 1581; he was a man of ability, but hard and cruel. He is principally known by his cruel persecution of the Incas and the native religion—putting to death the young and innocent Inca, Tupac Ameru, and many other nobles; and by the code which he issued for the government of the country, called Libro de Tasas (“Book of Rules”). See account of his government in Markham’s History of Peru, pp. 148–159.

5 Cañete was viceroy of Peru from January 6, 1590 to July 24, 1596. So great was the demand from the Spanish government for money that Cañete exerted all his efforts to satisfy this claim; and so oppressive were these exactions that rebellions arose, many natives died, and the country was almost ruined. Markham (History of Peru, pp. 161, 162) says that Cañete asked to be relieved, owing to the cares of his office and his broken health; and that Felipe II treated him with shameful ingratitude.



To the Conde de Salvatierra, my relative, and viceroy, governor and captain-general of Nueva España, and president of my royal Audiencia which there resides: Captain Melchor de Barrasa Enrriquez, procurator-general of the Filipinas Islands, has reported to me that the condition in which those islands are exposes them to danger; that the colony is held together only by the few troops who remain in it since the wars in Mindanao and the insurrection of the Sangleys; and that, since this is the case, considering also the Portuguese rebellion and the power which the Dutch possess, it is necessary for that colony to stand continually on the defensive. For this reason, it is desirable that you, and those who shall succeed you in those offices, hasten the usual reënforcements [that are sent there], and that these be considerable, both of men and of military supplies—since those provinces [of Nueva España] now contain more idle people than ever before; and the Filipinas Islands have a much smaller number of men than they always have had, on account of losing so many in the military expedition above mentioned. In order that these reënforcements may be sent in time, and may be sufficiently large, it is decreed that you commence them early in December, making repartimientos of men1 in all the provinces, [197]according to the population of each one. You shall also command that the alcaldes-mayor and the corregidors shall fill the respective quotas allotted to them, from the vagabonds and criminals; for otherwise it will be impossible to collect a sufficient number, or to further [the needs of] my service. Unless there can be sent each year five hundred soldiers, and as many seamen as possible, the relief will not be sufficient to meet the needs of those islands. The amount of money sent should also be in accordance with what has been decreed, and with it should go the supplies that shall be required [for the islands. The said procurator-general] entreats that I be pleased to command that an urgent decree of mine be despatched, requiring you to send this relief promptly and efficiently, of all the above kinds; and to report annually what you sent during the year. This matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, together with a letter to me from Don Diego Fajardo, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, written on February 29, 1644, I command you—notwithstanding that I have charged you, by other orders of mine, to reënforce and aid those islands, for the sake of their preservation—that, in view of all the representations that have been made to me in behalf of the city of Manila, and the measures that have been proposed here, and the orders that you have from me, you shall succor the said islands, endeavoring to secure their preservation and prosperity by all the means in your power. You shall be vigilant in doing this with the attention and diligence that the matter demands, considering the frequency with which the enemies attempt to invade those islands; and I shall [198]consider myself well served by the care and watchfulness which you shall employ in their aid and defense. Dated at Zaragoza, September 18, 1645.

I the King

By command of our sovereign: Juan Bautista Saenz Nav[arrete]

[Endorsed: “To the viceroy of Nueva España, regarding aid to Filipinas.”] [199]

1 That is, assigning to each province its quota of men to be levied for this purpose.



Letter from Felipe IV to Innocent X

Very Holy Father:

I am writing to the Count of Sirvela,1 my ambassador at that court, to supplicate your Holiness, in my name, to concede a bull, so that a college of the Order of Preachers in the city of Manila of the Filipinas Islands, located in my West Indias, may become a university, with the same qualifications and perpetuity as [are possessed by] the other universities of this order in Avila and Pamplona, in these my kingdoms, and those of Lima and Méjico; and that, since they wish to found a separate university in the said city of Manila, it may be done, because that city is more than three thousand leguas distant from the nearest universities—namely, those of Lima and Méjico. I supplicate your Holiness to hear him and give entire credit to what he shall say and represent about this matter in my behalf, and to have his business despatched with all promptness and thoroughness. I shall thereby receive a special favor from your Holiness, whose very sacred person may our Lord preserve; and may He lengthen your days for the good and prosperous administration of His universal Church. Madrid, December 20, 1644. Your [200]Holiness’s very humble and devout son, Don Felipe, by the grace of God, etc., who kisses your holy feet and hands.

The King
Eugenio Bautista
Saena Navarrete [201]

1 Apparently a variant of the modern Silvela (name of the late premier of Spain).



To the Conde de Sirvela, my relative and member of my Council, and my ambassador at Roma: The bearer of this, Fray Mateo de Villa, of the Order of Preachers, procurator of the province of Sancto Rosario of the Filipinas Islands, a part of my western Indias, has informed me that his province possesses a college, that of Sancto Thomas, in the city of Manila, of which I am patron, and which contains thirty secular students. He says that this college has been a university for several years by royal license; that bulls have been conceded twice for its preservation; and that at the present time grammar, rhetoric, the arts, and moral and scholastic philosophy are taught there, to the special profit of the children of that community. He begs me to have royal license given, so that the said college may be a university, with the same qualifications and perpetuity as are possessed by the other universities of his order in the convent of Sancto Thomas at Avila, and in Sanctiago at Pamplona, in these my kingdoms. His petition having been examined by the members of my royal Council of the Indias; and having taken into consideration that the city of Manila, of the Filipinas Islands, is situated more than three thousand leguas from the nearest universities—namely, those of Lima and Mexico—and that the said university experiences some restriction; I have considered it fitting to lend my royal consent in this matter, [202]and to permit this concession to endure for the present: provided that, if in future there should be any disposition to found a separate university, that may be done, as in the cities of Lima and Mexico, so that it may be a general university, in order that students may be graduated from all branches of learning, and that all its degrees may be valid everywhere. Therefore I charge and order you, in my name, and by virtue of the letter of authority that I am writing, to entreat his Holiness to be pleased to concede a bull, so that the said college may become a university with the same qualifications and perpetuity as those of Airla, Sanctiago de Pamplona, Lima, and Mexico—as those islands and provinces have no university of this rank. For this is advantageous to my service and to the public welfare of those districts. You shall act as diligently in this matter, as I expect you to do, so that the said bull be given immediately, and in this wise will you serve me. Madrid, December 20, 1644.

I the King

By order of the king, our sovereign: Juan Baptista Saenz Nav[arrete]

[Endorsed: “To the ambassador in Roma. He is to beg his Holiness to concede a bull granting that the college of Sancto Thomas of Manila, of the Order of Preachers, become a university.”

“Felipe IV. Original letter written by his Majesty to the count of Sirvela, in respect to the latter begging his Holiness in the king’s name, to concede his bull so that the college of Sancto Thomas of Manila of the Order of Preachers become a university.”

“Given in Madrid, December 20, 1644.”

“644. Roma, February 28, 45.” [203]

“In order that a brief may be given by his Holiness so that the college of Sancto Thomas of Manila become a university.”

“Bought June 17, 1891 for twenty-five pesetas from Don José Maria Rocamora

J. Vigil.”]

Bull issued by Innocent X

Pope Innocent X, for the memory of this in the future.

Established by the divine order in the supereminent watch tower of the apostolic see, although with inadequate merits, and reviewing in the privacy of our consideration the extent to which the holy Catholic faith is increased by the study of letters, and the worship of the true God diffused, truth recognized and justice revered and observed, we are gladly making efforts to have the said studies promoted, so that even humble persons who desire to train themselves in those studies may attain their desire. Applying for this purpose with more particular inclination the vigilance of our solicitude, while at the same time the desires of the faithful ones of Christ, and signally of those who are conspicuous with royal dignity, entreat this: accordingly, having considered the condition of those places, we judge, in the spirit of God, that the following is beneficial and expedient.

Since there is in the city of Manila, of the Filipinas Islands in the western Indias, a college called Sancto Tomás, of the order of the friars of St. Dominic, as has been lately told us in the name of our very beloved son in Christ, Felipe, Catholic king of the Españas, wherein thirty collegiates are [204]being educated, and grammar, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, and scholastic and moral theology are studied and taught, to the great profit of the inhabitants of those districts; and considering that the city of Manila is more than three thousand leguas from the two nearest universities with general curricula—namely, Lima and México—for which reason the said King Felipe is especially desirous that a university be erected and instituted by us in the said college (thus it was that we were humbly petitioned in the name of the said Felipe that, in consideration of its utility to the inhabitants of the said city, and to their instruction or education in letters, we would, with apostolic authority, deign to erect and institute a university in the above-mentioned city and in the buildings of the aforesaid college, in which the religious of the said order may publicly give instruction to and teach any youth grammar, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, and scholastic and moral theology, and also make seasonable provision in the other things above mentioned, in accordance with apostolic graciousness):

We therefore, desiring to show gracious compliance, and ourselves being effectually inclined to the pious desires and petitions of King Felipe, after invoking the opinion and advice of some of our beloved sons—cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and other prelates of this court, whom we assign to this duty—by the tenor of the present, and without prejudice to any other, erect and institute, by virtue of apostolic authority, a university in the said city of Manila, in the buildings of the said college where the schools are at present, or wherever they may be built hereafter in more ample form. In it the religious [205]of the said order may publicly give instruction to and teach any youth grammar, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, and scholastic and moral theology. This shall have force only until some public university with a general curriculum be erected by apostolic authority in the said city of Manila, or in its province. We submit and subject this said university, thus founded and instituted, by the aforesaid authority and perpetually to the supervision, management, and administration of the said order, and that of its master-general, now and forever, or of the person whom he shall assign, who shall be the rector of the whole university.

Item: By the authority and tenor of these presents, we concede and grant to the said university, its rector, masters, students, and to all and each one of the aforesaid, power to obtain, employ, and enjoy, all and singular, the privileges, indults, liberties, immunities, exemptions, favors, concessions, prerogatives, honors, and preëminences conceded to like universities, and to their successive rectors, masters, lecturers, doctors, teachers, students, procurators, beadles, envoys, officials, and helpers, and all other persons, however these may be conceded to them, whether in general or in special—not only in their similitude, but in like form and with complete and equal excellence. And besides this, we concede to the rector of the said university and college, henceforth and forever, as long as the said university endure, as above stated, power to promote and graduate those who shall have studied their due time in this university thus founded, and whom he shall consider as qualified in learning and morals, as bachelors, licentiates, doctors, and masters in those [206]branches which are taught and studied in the said college, observing in all and through all the form of the decrees of the councils of Vienne and of Trent1—whose decrees we are not minded to violate in any respect—and also the praiseworthy customs of the other universities, and to give to such graduates the insignia of such degrees. Those thus promoted and graduated by the rector may afterward, publicly and privately, even though it be in all the other academies and universities with general curricula, expound the above-mentioned studies, and teach others, may dispute concerning them, and perform the acts suitable to the degree or degrees that they may possess. They shall also be enabled to exercise and enjoy all the rights, privileges, favors, concessions, prerogatives, and indults, that are exercised, and enjoyed, and that may be exercised and enjoyed hereafter, by right or custom, by those legitimately graduated from the said schools, either in other academies or universities, or in any other place, in all respects, as if they had received their degrees in the said academies or universities, in accordance with the usages and customs of those institutions.

By virtue of the aforesaid authority and tenor, we also concede and grant authority to the master-general of the said order, now and forever, that any statute and ordinance—so long as it be legal and proper, and not contrary to the sacred canons and decrees of the Council of Trent and apostolic constitutions—may be published and promulgated by himself, by the rector of the college and university [207]thus founded, or any other person or persons, according to what is thus advisable for the wholesome and successful administration of the university, and proper to the duties and obligations of rector, master, procurators, beadles, envoys, and all other assistants and officials. In respect to the manner and form of instruction, the employment of each one in his duties, and the maintenance of the students, the said officer may publish and promulgate any statutes or ordinances—provided they be lawful and reasonable, and not contrary to the sacred canons, or the decrees of the Council of Trent, or the apostolic constitutions; and these statutes and ordinances may be changed, corrected, and recast, or repealed and annulled and others established anew, according to the character of the times, affairs, and persons; and he may impose what penalties seem best to him for their observation and fulfilment. He may freely appoint and remove the doctors, lecturers, students, procurators, beadles, and all other assistants and officials of the university, or confirm the appointments made of them.

Item: We decree that these present letters must and shall be valid, firm, and efficacious; that they shall have and obtain their plenary and complete effects; and that thus and in no other manner ought they be judged and defined by any judges, ordinary or delegated, even though such be the auditors of the causes of the apostolic palace, and cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. And further, if any person, of whatsoever rank he be, should perchance attempt to contravene the decree herein contained, whether knowingly or ignorantly, his opposition shall be void and invalid, notwithstanding the apostolic [208]constitutions and ordinances, or in any necessary rules of the said order—statutes, customs, and any other contrary things—even if accompanied with oath, apostolic confirmation, or any other validity, corroboration, or authorization. Given at Rome, in Santa Maria la Maggiore, under the Fisherman’s seal, November twenty, one thousand six hundred and forty-five, in the second year of our pontificate.

Marcos Aurelio Maraldo [209]

1 Two of the general or œcumenical councils of the Church; that of Vienne was convened in 1311, and that of Trent in 1545.




Don Alonso de Cardenas, in a letter to your Majesty of November 23 of last year, states that your Majesty was pleased to have him informed in a letter of September 14, that, inasmuch as the proposition of the East-Indian merchants of that kingdom regarding permission to trade in Manila and other ports of Philipinas, has not been thought advisable, he may close the discussion as civilly as possible. He should try to ascertain whether the said company1 of English merchants is introducing any regular navigation from that kingdom to the Philipinas, in what form, whether it may be expected that it will continue to acquire strength, and any other information that he may be able to obtain, and advise you of what he may discover. Conforming to these instructions he has begun to mistrust that the [210]merchants cannot accomplish what they have proposed, and has learned that the said Company of India is not sending any vessel directly to the Philipinas; but that two or three vessels that they despatch annually to the city of Bantan, in the kingdom or province of Simatria2—which is subject to the king of Surat, called Magol—proceed yearly to Manila and return to Bantan where the English of this company have commerce and settled communication, and where one of them lives, with the title of president of the company. This company is not confirmed by the parliament, nor does it enjoy the privileges that they wish for its establishment. However, they expect both these shortly in reference to which a merchant of the said company told him [i.e., Alonso de Cardenas] that the commerce of India would increase, and that six or seven vessels would be sent annually to Bantan, whence two or three would go to Manila and other ports of the Philipinas. The above is the extent of his knowledge acquired in order to inform your Majesty. The Council having examined it, and Don Francisco de Melo and the marquis of Valparayso concurring in their opinion, it is fitting that Don Alonso be advised that we have received his communication, and approve his care in acquiring and sending this information; and that a copy of this letter be sent to the Council of the Indias—although in the condition of affairs, no difficulty is looked for in the course of this matter. Your Majesty will order what is most pleasing to you? At Madrid, January 30, 1647.

[Signed in paraph] [211]

[Endorsed: “+ In Madrid, January 30, 1647.” “The Council of State, in which Don Francisco de Melo and the Marquis de Valparayso concur in regard to the response of Don Alonso de Cardenas, respecting his orders as to declining the proposition that was made by English merchants of Eastern India for trade in the port of Manila and other ports in the Philipinas.”

“Let it be so.”—Evidently the instruction of the king, which is signed in paraph.] [212]

1 The East India Company of England (formed in 1600) encountered great opposition and hindrances in its early history; they had to compete with the long-established Portuguese and Dutch trade, and could obtain little aid from the English government. In 1619 they formed an alliance with the Dutch company of the same name, but this soon proved ineffective. They had obtained control of Surat in 1612, but were thus involved in continual quarrels with the Portuguese. This company did not secure recognition from the English parliament until 1657; this brought them much prosperity for a time, but they afterward lost much of what they had gained, and in 1680 were expelled by the Dutch from Bantam. See Raynal’s account of early English trade in the East Indies, in his History of European Settlements and Trade (Justamond’s translation), ii, pp. 1–40.

2 An oversight of the writer; Bantam is in Java, not Sumatra.



Relation of the events on sea and land in the Filipinas Islands during the recent years, until the earthquake and destruction on the feast of St. Andrews in 645; and the battles and naval victories over the Dutch in 646.

By the presentado1 father Fray Joseph Fayol, of the Order of Mercy for the redemption of captives,2 chief chaplain of the royal chapel of the Incarnation, and a tertiary [tercio] of Manila.

Fortune was not born to endure. The ancients depicted her without feet upon which to stand, but with wings and hands—without feet, because she never was willing or able to remain in any event, whether fortunate or unfortunate; with wings, that she might fly, like the wind, at her own inconstant will; and with two hands, because if with one she caresses and elevates, with the other she smites and beats down—as far down as she had before upraised. She supports, it is true, with one hand the earth and with the other the sea; but she shows herself, by turns, favorable and adverse to both elements. Now [213]she caresses the earth, and now is harsh and stern to the sea; and when Fortune pleases she crosses her hands, so that no one may trust to her favors or despair at the injuries that she inflicts. This is a fable and an ancient picture, but it also contains a moral, to teach the uncertainty of human affairs.

The [Christian] faith recognizes no Fortune but that of the divine will and providence, from whose hand depends the structure of the globe, and from whom all events, whether prosperous or adverse, proceed. With one hand He dispenses troubles, misfortunes, and calamities to states, to correct and curb their excesses; and with the other (which still remains full, from His natural beneficence) He gives them prosperity and happiness—tempering the sharpness of the one with the sweetness of the other. And if, at times, He seems to be severe to Earth, afflicting her with earthquakes, disasters, and other calamities, it is that she may acknowledge herself subject to His will, and not rely upon her own stability. At the same time, He may be benignant and favorable to the sea, rendering it glorious in events, triumphant in battle, fortunate and renowned in victory.


1. Condition of the Islands

This is properly a picture or hieroglyph of the events in Manila, the chief city and court of the Filipinas Islands, in the course of the years which have elapsed since that of 33, when ashes rained upon and hunger tormented that city; since 38–39, when occurred the losses and wrecks of the vessels which sailed to and from Nueva España, and the insurrection of the Sangleys in Manila and its environs; [214]since 40, when there were eruptions of volcanoes, and thunders were heard in the air, with the sounds of cannon and instruments of war, as at the time was stated; since 41, when the Dutch enemy, having been disengaged from the capture of Malaca (in Eastern India) appeared with a powerful fleet off the cape of Espiritu Santo3 and the coasts of these islands; since 42, when they seized the island of Hermosa; and since 43–44, when they were continually sending out squadrons of vessels, both large and small—the former going to the Embocadero and Cape Espiritu Santo to await the ships that carried our relief, and the latter stationed on the coasts of Ilocos and Pangasinán to intercept the passage, and pillage the vessels which were wont to come from China to trade with these islands.


2. Battle of the champans

Such was the condition of the islands at the end of June in 44, when Señor Don Diego Faxardo, knight of the Order of Santiago and member of his Majesty’s Council of War, who had been sent as their proprietary governor landed on the extreme point of this island of Manila after a difficult and long voyage, due either to the early beginning of the vendavals, or to having sailed late from Acapulco. He found the islands deficient in naval strength, since the few ships there were had been sent to Terrenate to oppose the threatened invasion of the enemy that [215]year. About the middle of August his Lordship made his entrance into Manila and took possession of the government; and early in September he despatched the galleons “Encarnacion” and “Rosario,”—which were waiting equipped and ready to sail—to Nueva España. At the end of October, reënforcements were sent to Terrenate and other provinces. As early as April, 45, the Dutch enemy had three small round vessels and as many others (or rather champans) off the coasts of Ilocos and Pangasinan for the aforesaid purpose. At that time there was neither a ship nor a galley in Cavite which could be armed to oppose the enemy, and therefore only champans and oared vessels were sent out, under command of Captain Sebastian Lopez (a man whose valor, spirit, and ability will be hereafter related; he had come with the governor as captain of infantry), and of other captains and leaders—all picked officers of this camp, and men so courageous that, although their fleet was so inferior to that of the enemy, they were enabled to frustrate the designs of the Dutch and save the Chinese merchantmen. On two different occasions they engaged the champans of the enemy, three to three, with such valor and good fortune that both times the enemy was ignominiously routed with great loss of men; one of their champans being burnt and the others destroyed, while our losses were but few. This was a happy beginning and augury of the victories and brilliant successes of our arms on the sea, although an expensive and dangerous expedition, as it obliged the enemy, on the following year, to bring all his forces against the islands, as will be hereafter related, at the proper [216]time, when an account is given of the melancholy and disastrous calamities with which it pleased our Lord to visit us on land.


3. Death of the archbishop

In July the two galleons, “Encarnacion” and “Rosario,” arrived at the port of Lampon, on the coast opposite Manila, with abundance of aid from Nueva España, carefully provided by his Majesty (whom God preserve) on account of the information received by his royal Council regarding the reënforcements that were going from Olanda against these islands. With these galleons came his Lordship Don Fernando Montero de Espinosa, bishop of Nueva Segovia and archbishop-elect of Manila; he was a prelate of promise and ability, as is known to the [Spanish] court. Heaven did not will that Manila should enjoy his presence, or merit seeing him alive, but only when he was dead; for even while all the people were preparing a magnificent reception for him, with suitable festivities and rejoicings, they were called upon for tears and mourning in solemnizing his funeral rites. His illustrious Lordship reached the port with poor health. The land-routes which they had to take in traveling from Lampon to the lake [of Bay] and the river of Manila are very rough and steep, without any convenience or comfort of inns. His illustrious Lordship, by making the journey easier for others through his charity, traveled through those mountains so destitute of comforts that on the same day when he reached the lake he became seriously ill. He would not allow them to bleed him, and on that very night he was attacked by a hemorrhage of blood, so abundant that it caused [217]his death. On the morning of the next day, a crowd of handsomely adorned boats awaited him at the mouth of the Manila [i.e., Pasig] River; they looked like a garden of flowers, and contained musicians who played their instruments together. But they received his venerated body, with the trappings of grief, and with mournful lamentations.


4. Earthquakes

This event was for Manila an omen of punishments, which were not long delayed. On the thirtieth of November, the day of St. Andrew, the patron of this city, there occurred the most lamentable and disastrous earthquake that has been known on these islands since the Spanish conquest and occupation. Manila, when it was first founded, was composed of wooden houses covered with thatch of palm leaves, which are used by the natives in their buildings; this [inflammable material] had resulted in many fires which in several years and on various occasions had burned and consumed the wealth of Manila. In order to provide against these disasters from fire, the Spaniards commenced to build their houses of stone and tiles, without any pressing fear of the earthquakes—which, although they usually occur here every year, have not [before] caused destruction [which could arouse much] apprehension. Accordingly, during the forty years, more or less, that have elapsed since the last fire, beautiful edifices were erected, and dwellings were built so high and spacious that they seemed like palaces. Magnificent temples, with stately and beautiful towers were erected within and without the walls of Manila, rendering it very handsome and distinguished; and [218]it was not less suitable for health and enjoyment. But the result has proved that the inhabitants of Manila, while avoiding in their buildings the activity of fire, fell into the terrible power of the earth.

On the aforementioned day of the apostle St. Andrew, patron of this city—[chosen] on account of the victory gained on that day by the early conquerors and settlers over the pirate Limahon, who with sixty Chinese vessels had attacked Manila, and would have gained possession of the city if, through the intercession of the holy apostle, a few Spaniards who had retired to the fort had not returned to the defense of the city—on the anniversary of this day, then, it pleased God again to deprive us of the city, on account of our sins. The banner had been brought forth4 in the morning, and the divine services celebrated with the customary pomp, and attendance and presence of the governor, Audiencia, and regidors. In the evening, at eight o’clock, they had just finished ringing the animas in the cathedral, the parish churches, and the convents; the sky was clear, the moon bright, and the air calm and still, after a long period, even months, of clear and dry weather. Suddenly a frightful crash was heard, and the earth began to quake so violently that it seemed as if it would become a sepulchre for all the inhabitants. As a result, during the space of four Credos—the time during which the first shock lasted, the earthquake passing from north to south, and then from east to west, with a rapid movement—in that brief time it flung to the ground the most beautiful [219]and magnificent buildings in this city. The stone walls were shaken and bent like sheets of paper or parchment fluttered by the wind; the towers swayed and bent like trees; and the largest trees [broke] like the masts of a ship in the midst of a fierce hurricane. Nothing was heard but the crash of buildings mingled with the clamor of voices entreating Heaven for mercy, the cries of the terrified animals adding to the horror. In the streets could only be seen the heaps of stone from the ruined houses, which hindered the flight of those who in frightened haste were leaving their homes. At the first shock of the earthquake, which filled all with fear, some tried to save their lives in the open spaces of their doors and windows; but this effort availed nothing to many, for the houses falling flat, buried them under the stones and timbers. Others sought to take refuge in the churches; but as many of these had fallen, and others were in a dangerous condition, they could not find a refuge there. Accordingly, all who could directed their flight to the plazas, and, the gates of the city being at once opened, they fled to the beach and the fields, where they whom the earth cast out might look toward the heavens.

Charity animated by religious zeal was at once displayed by the prebends, canons, and members of the [cathedral] chapter, and, following their example, by all the clergy; and by the religious of the four orders—Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans (those of the Society of Jesus), and the Augustinian Recollects—who flourish in these islands in holiness and in zeal for the saving of souls. All, vying with each other in good works, went about amid the greatest danger, risking their lives in the [220]ruins of the fallen houses, which were left broken and torn apart from each other, to disinter the dead, and to save the lives of those who were holding off death for a little time or lengthening their span of life in the clear space made by some timbers—which now were their defense, but soon would be the coffin or tomb of the very bodies which before they protected. Had this religious solicitude been wanting, the injured would also have failed to receive the last absolution, the remedy for the greatest sinners, since contrition is so uncertain, and in such dangers so difficult.

While engaged in this labor the religious experienced no little pain, although mingled with consolation, in hearing from the ruins voices entreating them to hear confessions. The sufferers were consoled by the religious, who exhorted them to [show their] sorrow for their sins by fervent acts of contrition; for these absolution was given to them, as is done on the battle-field or in a storm at sea. Thus all the religious incurred so great danger that no one felt himself secure; for the shocks did not cease, although they were less severe than at first. They were accompanied by so loud a crash that its noise could be heard, even before the quaking of the earth, far away—as when, in Spain, there is a hail-storm.

The night was everywhere very clear, as the moon was full; and for the sufferers night shone brighter than the day, for God greatly illumined their souls, and revealed the sins that had brought upon them this punishment. Even the children incapable of sin fell on their knees and begged to confess; nor was there any person so stony-hearted, although so many were made homeless by God, that he was not softened [221]and turned to Him. A Franciscan-religious carried the blessed sacrament from the convent of Santa Clara to the main plaza, where a great many people had gathered; so loud were the sobs, cries, and groans of the people that it seemed like a day of judgment. Some bemoaned their children who remained buried in the ruins; others, their parents and relatives. For some, there was no one to weep, since the entire family had perished. We all lamented our sins, as a punishment for which this calamity had befallen us.

In the first shock one hundred and fifty of the finest buildings, which in other cities would be called palaces, were totally destroyed; all the other houses were so damaged and dangerous that it has been necessary to demolish them completely. It may be said with truth that only a semblance of Manila remains. There has been no means of ascertaining the actual number of the dead; those known to be missing are four hundred and fifty, and the number would have been greater if the earthquake had occurred two hours later when all would have been sleeping.

This is a general account; and we will now proceed to make some special mention of the ruins.


5. Ruins of the City

The building of the palace and royal Audiencia was mostly overthrown; and the governor, Don Diego Faxardo, who at the time had retired to his apartments, was in danger of being buried in the ruins. But it pleased the Lord that he escaped, without injury, to the Plaza de Armas, where a field-tent was set up for him, in which he lived for several [222]months, until a suitable dwelling of wood was built for him. The greater part of the royal chapel also fell, and what remained was in so bad condition that it will be necessary to build it practically anew. The cathedral was totally destroyed; tower, roofs, chapels, and even the foundations, were overthrown. The hospital for the Spaniards was ruined, but no one was killed; for to those who were very ill, and unable to move their bodies, necessity gave swift feet to carry them to a place of safety. The seminary of Santa Potenciana, which is a refuge for orphan girls and the wives of deserving men who are absent, was greatly damaged; one wing fell, and carried down many girls, eight being killed, and thirty wounded. At the seminary of La Misericordia, which also is a refuge for girls, the house was not much damaged; but the church, which was handsome and elegant, was so injured that a great part of it has been pulled down, in order to rebuild it. Outside of the city walls, the parish church of Santiago and its tower were overthrown; and an Indian, who was ringing the animas, said that a cavalier told him that he would save him; and the Indian was actually found lying on the ground, without any injury. It seems a miracle, although it can be easily understood that the great St. James, whose church that was, rewarded the good deed of ringing the animas by saving the Indian. The churches of Nuestra Señora de Guia and San Antonio were rendered unserviceable. The Order of St. Dominic lost its convent and church, and a great part of the college of Santo Tomas; but neither the religious nor the students were injured. Another building, that of the seminary called San Juan de Letran—for orphan boys, [223]who are under instruction by the fathers of that order—fell to the ground; and it was through the providence of the Lord that all the boys, more than one hundred and twenty in number, escaped alive. The church of the fathers of St. Francis was badly shaken, and the walls surrounding the convent were ruined, as well as a hospital for the mulattoes, in which some perished. It was necessary to remove the nuns from the convent of Santa Clara and shelter them in the orchards belonging to the house of a gentleman, who piously lent that place so that they might sojourn there with the satisfaction and propriety of their own cloister. The order that suffered least was that of the fathers of St. Augustine, although their convent was considerably shaken, and the church tower fell. The Recollect fathers of the same saint were not so fortunate; a great portion of their convent and church fell, killing a religious who was a faithful servant of God and thus regarded by all. The Society of Jesus did not fare the worst: the class-rooms for arts and theology (which was an old building) fell, and a part of the main structure in the new building, which is very handsome and costly. The church, although it is the tallest in Manila, stood firm—except that the tiles fell from the cupola. At the college of San Joseph (which is in charge of the same order) one wing fell down, and was entirely demolished; and the rest of the building was badly shaken, especially an elegant chapel which was adorned by pictures of the twelve apostles. Not one of these pictures was thrown down by the earthquake, except that of St. Andrew, in token that on his day his church and even the city were destroyed.

Outside of Manila and within its district many [224]churches, and convents of different orders which ministered to the natives, were ruined. Notable among these was the church in the village of San Miguel, administered by the fathers of the Society; both church and house were totally ruined. In the house, at the time, were Father Francisco de Roa, the provincial, and Father Juan de Salazar, who had been provincial six years before. Father Francisco de Roa was buried up to his shoulders in the ruins, from which he was rescued badly injured. Father Juan de Salazar lost this earthly life, but gained the divine life of heaven, which he had already imitated on earth; he was removed, mortally injured, from the ruins, but there was time to absolve him and administer the sacrament of extreme unction; he expired shortly afterward, with the peace of spirit which his great purity of conscience had secured him. Also near Manila, in the village of Minondoc, in charge of the fathers of St. Dominic, their magnificent church, the erection of which had been completed a few years before, was overthrown; the convent of San Francisco del Monte, and its church, which belongs to the religious of St. Francis, were destroyed; and the convent of Santa Ana was so much damaged as to be uninhabitable. A great many handsome and delightful houses for recreation, on the banks of the river, were also destroyed. It may be said, in a word, that the whole of Manila was destroyed; for neither within nor without the city was there a building which did not need a great deal of repair to make it habitable. [225]


6. Other damages and effects of the earthquake in the islands

All this occurred in that night; at dawn on the following morning, most of the people left the city and took shelter in the suburbs, [even] in the humblest huts of the Indians, which are built of bamboo and nipa. Others built huts in the plazas and on the beach, to which they came as exiles from their own houses and native land, yet in sight of it.

Surrounded, as we are, by so many thousands of infidels, the fact that no lawless acts occurred was due to the foresight and care of Don Diego Faxardo, governor of the islands. He ordered the sargento-mayor and commander of the troops, Manuel Estacio Venegas (who is at present the officer nearest to the government, and with faithfulness and care puts into execution its official acts and those belonging to the military department), to man the walls; and that the cavaliers should be occupied by the infantry companies and the inhabitants, which was done. Troops were also sent outside of the city, and detachments were formed to protect those who had left it and taken shelter in the suburbs.

Processions and public prayers then followed, and all were accompanied with as many acts of penitence as in Holy Week; many confessed, and few contented themselves with what had occurred since their last confession, but confessed the sins of a lifetime. To this end the religious hastened through the fields, the beach and the plazas, and were untiring in the labors of their ministries; they preached penitence to those who did not need many arguments to move them to comply. The dead were buried by the [226]dozen; every one prayed to God for mercy, and entreated that He would withhold His scourge.

On the fifth of December, five days after the first shock of earthquake, another one occurred as violent as the first, at eleven o’clock at night, but no fatality occurred, as all were prepared; the destruction of many other buildings was completed; and the city was left in such condition that one could not walk through it. The effects of these shocks were terrible, also, in other provinces of these islands. Whole Indian villages were overthrown, as their huts are built of so light materials, bamboos and palm-leaves; and hills were leveled. Rivers were dried, which afterward flowed again; others, leaving their beds, inundated the villages; great fissures, and even chasms, appeared in the open fields. In the Manila River the disturbance and commotion in its waves was so great that it seemed as if they would flood all the country; for their fury urged the river from its bed, and its waters flowed over the bridge.5

The anxiety and disquiet in the country continued throughout the year, until the corresponding moon,6 which was in December, 1646; in that month, and in the forty days, succeeding, the shocks, disturbance, and quaking were lessened, giving to philosophers abundant material for discussing natural causes, and to theologians and preachers cause for revering the divine judgments and exhorting sinners to contrition [227]and repentance. Great changes have taken place in lives and morals; the important thing is, that these shall endure.7


7. Dutch fleet against Manila

In this unfortunate condition had God placed Manila, when the infernal dragon again brought his power to bear against her from the direction of the sea. The heretic Dutchman was piqued and even enraged that, after so many years and so much expenditure, he had not secured any of the relief ships from Nueva España. He was also angry at the little reputation that he had gained in the battle between the champans in the preceding year; and at the little advantage that he had obtained from the attempt against the fort of Jolo, as will soon be told. Accordingly, to obtain satisfaction for these debts, they determined, in the great council of their Nueva Batavia (which we call Jacatrâ) to make, this year, a last attack upon these islands. For this purpose (according to advices from Macaçar) they equipped eighteen vessels and divided them into several squadrons. The first, of five ships, was for the coasts of Pangasinan and Ilocos, against Chinese vessels; the second, of seven vessels (their most powerful ships, the sinews of their [naval] power), went to the Embocadero, to seize the money and supplies [228]that were expected from Nueva España; the other six were despatched to cut off our relief ships to Terrenate and Macaçar, and finally they were to go, after the monsoon, to rejoin the twelve ships in this bay of Manila, in an attack upon the city. This, according to report, was their plan, and therein Manila has much for which to thank God; for it was a scheme of Heaven for our benefit, that these squadrons should come to us separately.


8. Our first squadron of defense

The news of the first squadron arrived on the first day of February. The two galleons, “Encarnacion” and “Rosario,” which had brought the succor from Nueva España, were already at Cabite; for with especial forethought and vigilance orders had been given them to stop unlading the silver that they carried, and to come to that port. Although it seemed an act of temerity for two ships to oppose so many, his Lordship—urged on by his great valor and resolution in these matters of war—after a conference and council which he summoned for this purpose, decided that the two galleons should make ready for battle. In the flagship (which was the “Encarnacion”) were mounted thirty-four pieces of artillery, all of bronze and of the reënforced8 class, which variously carried balls of thirty, twenty-five, and eighteen pounds. The almiranta (which was the “Rosario”) was equipped with as many as thirty pieces, of the same capacity—although, on account of the deficiency in this sort of artillery, it was necessary to dismantle some posts in the fortifications of [229]this city and of Cavite. Munitions and supplies of every kind with devices for carrying fire, and other necessary articles, were furnished to them in abundance. These two ships were supplied with men—in each, two companies of a hundred soldiers (all picked men, of the nobility and youth of Manila), eighty mariners, artillerists according to the number of cannon, and a suitable number of deck-hands and other servants, making, in all, over four hundred persons on each galleon. As commander-in-chief his Lordship appointed General Lorenzo de Orella y Ugalde, a Biscayan, under whose charge the vessels had sailed from Acapulco; this choice was made, not only because of his proved bravery, his experience in the art of war, and his services and commands in both the Northern and the Southern Seas, as well as in these islands (particularly in Mindanao, where he fought hand to hand with a gigantic Moro and killed him), but because of his well-known Christian spirit and modesty—which, for success, are no less important than valor. Captain Sebastian Lopez, an Andalusian, was appointed admiral, with the right of succession to the commander. This post was due him because he had distinguished himself, the previous year, in the fight with champans, against these same Dutch, of which I have already spoken. The post of sargento-mayor was given to Don Agustin de Cepeda, a cavalier of nobility and acknowledged courage—displayed in the most difficult and honorable posts of these islands. The heads of the infantry companies were: on the flagships, Captains Juan Henriquez de Miranda and Gaspar Cordoso; on the almiranta, Captains Juan Martinez Capelo, and Don Gabriel Miño [230]de Guzman. The chief pilots were Captains Domingo Machado and Estevan Ramos; their associates were Francisco Romero and Andres Cordero—all persons of courage, bravery, experience in their craft, and resolution, as the result will show.

For spiritual aid and ministry to all this armada—which, since the galleons were named “Encarnacion” and “Rosario,” went forth under the protection of our Lady the Virgin Mary—his Lordship accepted on this occasion the offer of chaplains and ministers which was made to him by the order of the glorious patriarch St. Dominic. Accordingly four religious (who were priests) were assigned to this post and embarked on the ships, two in the flagship and two in the almiranta. As a result of the excellent teaching and the fervor of these fathers, arrangements were made that all the men should, in the first place, purify their consciences with the holy sacraments of penance and communion; that they should take as their special patron saint the Virgin of the Rosary; that, in order to bind her further, they should vow to her a feast-day in thanksgiving for the victories which they expected to receive through her agency; and that every day all should recite prayers aloud, on their knees, and in two choirs—the prayers of the rosary before our Lady’s image, the litanies of the most holy name of Mary, and finally an act of contrition. All this was done, accordingly, throughout the period of six months while this expedition lasted—especially on the days and occasions when they had to fight.

Matters thus arranged, and all preparations made that were required for both their spiritual and corporal needs, on the third of March in the year 646, [231]before the galleons raised the last anchor, the governor, Don Diego Faxardo, came in a falua to the ships. He made a set speech to the men, reminding them of their obligations and the reputation of the Spanish arms; and he promised them, beforehand, the reward of their deeds which in the name of his Majesty (whom God protect) he had recently offered them. He expressed his regret that he could not embark with them, and courteously took his leave; and acknowledged the “Pleasant voyage!” with which he was saluted, according to marine usage. Then the ships immediately weighed their anchors and set sail. At the same time, by a special order which his Lordship had left behind, the blessed sacrament was exposed in the royal military chapel, and in other churches of this city—a devotion which was continued during the entire period while the galleons were out.


9. The first battle

On arriving at the entrances of Mariveles, the ships were placed in battle array, the artillery loaded, the matches lighted and the linstocks ready, the rigging free, and other preparations made. This was done because the sentinels [on Mariveles Island] warned our men that the enemy were, with their squadron, not far from that place, in the port of Anus; and that they might expect at any moment to encounter the Dutch—although in fact the latter were not descried until the fifteenth of the said month of March. At nine o’clock in the morning of that day, our almiranta—which had pushed ahead of the flagship perhaps half a legua, and was sailing with a northwest wind—fired two cannon-shots and [232]lowered the maintop-sail as a signal that it descried the enemy. The flagship put about, and followed her, and from the maintop they soon saw a sail in the distance, but it was impossible to overtake it; and it soon disappeared, because it was favored by a fresher wind than our ships had. After that, our galleons were left becalmed until one o’clock; and at that hour were descried from the flagship four hostile sails, which were sailing toward her aft, with an east wind. It was two hours before they reached the flagship, and in that space of time the men were stationed, the ships cleared, the posts reconnoitered, and all other arrangements made, both spiritual and temporal, required by the occasion. The almiranta fell two ship-lengths astern of the flagship, and in this position the ships awaited the enemy, in order to fight them. As soon as the enemy came near, they extended all their ships, and, without attempting to give a broadside to our flagship, passed, in line, to larboard, and the enemy’s flagship began the battle by firing a cannon. Our commander immediately commanded that response be made with two shots—one with a thirty-pound ball and a cylinder of the same weight, which tore open all their cutwater at the bow; the enemy’s ship went on in this condition, and the others continued to exchange shots with our flagship. Recognizing their own strength, the enemy tried to approach the almiranta, which they supposed was not so well armed, being a smaller ship. But they were received with equal valor and spirit on our side, our vessels firing so often and throwing so many balls that they could not be counted. The fight lasted about five hours, and the mortality and damage were so great that all the [233]anxiety that the heretics had felt to reach our ships when they thought to conquer us was now directed to separating themselves from us. They anxiously awaited the night, which was now approaching, to make their cowardly escape, which they did with lights extinguished. But the enemy’s almiranta did not succeed in doing this in safety. It had been the most persistent in the attack upon our flagship, and remained to our leeward; it was so badly damaged that its cannon could not be fired, and hardly could it flee. Our ship was so near it that our commander had the men ready at the bow to board the Dutch ship; but the darkness of night forced us to abandon the chase, on account of the danger from the shoals which the pilots declared were in that place.

It was noticed that the enemy did not use lanterns as they had formerly done, seeking protection for their armada. Our commander ordered that they be used in our ships, and that the lights be allowed to shine very brightly, in order that the enemy might come to look for us. Our people fully intended to renew the pursuit at daybreak, to finish their defeat; but when day came our two galleons found themselves alone, and did not know what course the enemy had taken. They followed the Dutch, in the direction which they thought most probable, as far as Cape Bojeador, which is at the farthest end of this island of Manila. From there our ships returned, as the coasts were now secure, to the port of Bolinao, in order to send to this city despatches announcing the result of the battle. This was regarded as a brilliant victory, not only because of the disparity in the number of ships, but because of the little damage our side had sustained. In that battle not a man was [234]killed, and comparatively few were wounded. It was evident that the enemy’s loss was great, although we could not then ascertain it correctly; but afterwards we learned that many had been killed and wounded, and that two of their vessels were rendered useless.


10. Second and Third Battles

Our squadron took some rest at the port of Bolinao, and while there it received orders to sail to the Embocadero and there await and escort the galleon “San Luis,” which was expected from Nueva España. Our ships set sail, and, after encountering many calms and head-winds, made port on the first of June, in the island of Ticao,9 within sight of the Embocadero.

About this time news came to this city from the forts at Samboanga, that the enemy with ten vessels, was at that place, and it was known that they came intending to attack again the fort at Jolò, which, the previous year, they had attacked with three vessels, at the instigation and with the aid of some native insurgents. It was gallantly defended by its governor, Captain and Sargento-mayor Estevan de Ugalde y Orella (a brother of our commander-in-chief), who with the aid and succor that came to him from the forts of Samboanga under command of the governor there, Don Francisco de Atienza y Ibañes, compelled the Dutch to raise the siege, and to retreat as fugitives to their ships—our people pursuing them until they drove out the Dutch from that country [235]and sea. For that reason the enemy returned this year with three times as great a force; but their plans were frustrated, because at that very time orders had been sent to withdraw honorably that garrison, for pressing reasons of convenience which existed therefor, in regard to his Majesty’s service. Seeing, therefore, that they had nothing to do in Jolo, and that in Samboanga our forces gave them as little opportunity to accomplish anything of importance, they undertook to push forward the completion of the other projects which they were engaged in by orders from Jacatra. As the chief of these was the one regarding the Embocadero, they made their appearance there on the twenty-second of June, when one of our sentinels reported seven ships, which were heading toward the port in which our two galleons were anchored. With gallant resolution, our commander immediately gave orders to weigh anchor and go out to meet them; but afterward, when he complied with the obligation resting on the general commanders of fleets and armies, which is on such occasions to hold a council, it was decided therein that it would be more proper to let the enemy waste [their powder], and not to engage in battle with them until the galleon should arrive from Nueva España with succor, for which they were waiting, or until it should make some other port in safety. The port in which the ships were anchored lies open to the sea, in the form of a semicircle, and is entered by a passage through which vessels can go only one after another; and this entrance was guarded by our two galleons, to prevent the heretics from entering. On the twenty-third of the said month of June, the enemy descried us with [236]two of their ships, and fired a gun to summon the others. Our ships returned the fire with two guns, to show that it was not cowardice, but design and strategy, which made our galleons remain at anchor. On the following day, the arrogance of the enemy brought them nearer, and they very haughtily sailed in view of our two ships. The squadron was composed of seven vessels, and sixteen lanchas with their crews; they sailed down the coast of the Embocadero, and then, returning, anchored at the very mouth of our port, blockading it with their ships, stationed at convenient intervals along the entire bar, so that we could not leave the harbor. On one side of it the land formed an eminence, which, if seized by the enemy, might cause great damage to our vessels. This fact was not overlooked by the attention and vigilance of our commander; and he immediately sent ashore a hundred and fifty infantrymen, under command of Sargento-mayor Don Agustin de Zepeda, and Captain Gaspar Cardoso as his subordinate, to fortify that point. This was done at once, and was a very important measure; for at ten o’clock at night the enemy sent four armed lanchas to that point to reconnoiter the port. Our soldiers, who were cautious, but vigilant, allowed them to approach within gun-shot, until they were embarrassed by [the approach to] land, and gave them a volley, which caused them to retreat hurriedly, with the loss of several men who were killed. Every day, not once but often, these lanchas sallied out to reconnoiter us—their ten challenging our two vessels, which always went out against them, and always remained victorious, because, as soon as they saw our vessels approach, they always retreated [237]toward their own ships. If our vessels pursued them, one of their ships would come forward to protect the lanchas. Thirty-one days passed in these manœuvers. One day, our lanchas having sailed out, as usual, to reconnoiter, our people saw the heads of some men who were swimming from the enemy’s ships to ours. At first it was feared that they were daring Dutchmen bent upon burning our galleons; but soon all doubt was over, for it was found that they were a negro and four of our Indians whom the enemy had captured and who were coming as fugitives to gain their freedom. They were taken aboard the flagship, where the negro was known; he gave a very clear account of the plans of Antonio Camb, who, as he said, was the commander of the Dutch fleet. He also said that other squadrons were coming to join this one in raids on these islands; that this one had brought from Jacatrá eight hundred Dutch soldiers; and that the said Dutch commander had promised to carry back to his governor the relief ship which was coming from Nueva España. He said that among the seven vessels two, which were the smallest, were fireships; that the flagship was as large as ours, or larger; that it carried forty-six pieces of excellent artillery; and, as for the other vessels, the smallest carried thirty cannon, and already they considered us as their booty.

This information was of no little importance, and threw light upon what should be done. On the twenty-first of July our commander, considering that it was now time for the ship “San Luis,” which was expected from Nueva España, to have made port in some one of the many harbors that these islands contain, decided to set sail at dawn on the [238]twenty-fifth, the day of the glorious apostle Santiago [i.e., St. James], to cannonade the enemy in the midst of his fleet, and to challenge him to battle. In order to do this without the enemy knowing his intention beforehand, he gave orders two days previously that the anchors should be gradually raised, so that on the eve of St. James’s day each galleon should remain held by one anchor only. These arrangements having been made, the enemy, who also must have thought that it was getting late, fired a salute on the same day of St. James’s eve—the flagship firing five cannon, and the almiranta, and the vice-admiral’s ship, each two guns. The squadron weighed anchor and took the route for Manila.

Our commander was much grieved that his plans should be frustrated by the enemy, and gallantly set out in pursuit of them, determined to force them to fight, wherever he might encounter them. He regarded himself as fortunate when, on the twenty-eighth of July, he sighted two of the seven [Dutch] vessels above mentioned. When they recognized our galleons, like cowards they backed toward the land, in search of the five ships which were out of sight. During the rest of the day, and all night, our ships continued to approach them; and at daybreak on the twenty-ninth we discovered all seven of their ships together, who were coming from the windward side to look for us. At midday they halted, and again they tacked in another direction, until five o’clock in the afternoon—when our commander, unable to endure such delay, challenged them to battle by firing a cannon.

Apparently they did not wish to fight by day, but thought the night more suitable for their design, [239]which was to send their two fireships against our galleons. At that time, the nights were very clear and calm, and the moon shone brightly. They waited, then, until sunset; and about seven o’clock, between Banton and Marinduque, they came down with an east wind ahead of our flagship, and surrounded it, the fearful multitude of their artillery filling it [with balls]. Our flagship also did its duty, responding to them as they deserved. Our almiranta followed in its wake firing the artillery at its prow, and inflicting much damage on the ships that were fighting astern of our flagship. The enemy’s flagship came up with ours, to the sound of loud clarions and trumpets, and well garnished with lanterns of various sizes, all lighted. Its sails were so trimmed as to let it go no faster than our flagship, as arrogantly as if they had already conquered us. It came so near that our men heard distinctly the noise made when our ball hit the side of the enemy’s ship. From both sides there was an incessant fire of both artillery and musketry, from the maintops, forecastles, and poops. In both the Dutch and the Spanish ships were seen heaps of cannon-balls, cylinders, and palanquins,10 which caused great destruction of masts, yards, and rigging, and even damaged the sides of the vessels. The battle went on, as keenly and fiercely as might be expected from our persistent valor and the great strength of the enemy. At the height of the battle our flagship, undertaking to bear down upon two ships that were hard pressed, found itself entangled with their almiranta, and this was the greatest danger that had arisen, on account of the ease with which the enemy could then work [240]havoc among our men. The brave mariners came to the rescue, cutting the ropes and separating the galleons, with great courage and promptness. Meanwhile, our artillery and musketry kept up an incessant fire on the enemy’s sides, which were unprotected—displaying as much dexterity and order in their firing as they could have done if the galleons were apart. It pleased God, through the agency of His glorious mother, that the ships should quickly separate. Then one of their fireships approached our flagship; but our artillery checked this rash boldness, hurling at the fireship terrible volleys on the starboard quarter until it came under the stern-gallery of our flagship. Then our commander gave orders to attack it with the stern-chasers, which pierced the enemy from side to side, and with such volleys of musketry that the heretics became demoralized and retired toward our almiranta, which received the fireship with a volley from ten guns at once, so opportunely that its destruction was completed; for its fireworks being thus kindled, it was sent to the bottom. Soon came the lancha from our flagship—which our commander, with military foresight, had equipped with musketeers and seamen, to hinder the fireships—and picked up a Dutchman, the only one left alive. This man informed us of the enemy’s plans, and of their signals, and said that they had another fireship—his statements entirely agreeing with those of the captives already mentioned. This fierce and stubborn battle lasted from seven o’clock in the evening until daybreak, without the loss of a single man on our flagship, and only two wounded; the almiranta did not lose over five men killed. This must be one [241]of the most unusual records known in naval warfare; it was a favor, evident beyond doubt, from God and His mother, who protect the Catholic power in these islands, on account of its importance to the propagation of His holy faith. The damage sustained by the heretics was well understood from the care with which they began to retreat as soon as daylight came. The whole day was spent by both sides in cleaning and repairing their vessels; but the enemy continued to retreat. Although our commander gave orders to summon them again to battle, by discharging a gun, and began to bear down upon them, they made no reply.

Two days afterwards, on July 31—a day consecrated to the glorious patriarch St. Ignatius de Loyala, founder of the Society of Jesus—our commander trusting to the fact that the saint was his countryman and patron, besought him, with ardent faith, to further, as a matter of justice, the accomplishment of the hopes which we based upon his patronage. Finding that he was sailing with a north wind, to windward of the enemy, our commander, with eager courage, ordered all sails to be spread, and started in pursuit of the enemy; he soon overtook the Dutch ships between the island of Maesse de Campo11 and Mindoro, At two o’clock on the same day, he courageously forced our two galleons among the six vessels of the enemy, and another horrible battle was fought. The artillery was all fired as often and as skilfully as musketry could have been used. The enemy attacked our [242]almiranta, but it defended itself and assailed the enemy so bravely that it inspired fear and astonishment. Our flagship was so veritable a volcano that no vessel dared to give her a broadside. The enemy’s flagship attempted to do so, but was so badly damaged that it had to retreat, setting more than twenty men to work the pumps; but, finding it impossible to keep afloat, they raised a piece of canvas in our sight, a sign that she was in great danger of sinking. Throughout the afternoon the fight continued with the same obstinacy and vigor, with the determination on our part not to stop until we should reduce the enemy’s ships to splinters, or send them to the bottom. The heretics made their last effort by attempting to send close to our flagship their second fireship, which was large enough to carry thirty cannon; it was escorted by two other ships and towed by some lanchas. Our commander, as one so experienced in military affairs, ordered the musketeers to fire on the men who were directing the lanchas, and at the same time, the artillery on the starboard from which the fireship was coming, to fire at its sides; the guns on the lookout and the poop were fired with such effect that the vessel quickly sank in sight of all, listing to port and going down bow first. The heretics were so badly beaten and cowed that, spreading all their canvas, they basely fled toward the land. Our squadron followed in pursuit, but as night was approaching, and there was a squally wind from the northwest, accompanied by thunder and lightning, the enemy escaped by spreading their canvas aft and extinguishing their lights.

This signal and miraculous event was attributed by our commander and by the entire armada to the [243]special patronage of the blessed Virgin of the Rosary and to the glorious Viscayan St. Ignatius, in whose names the cannon-shots on our side piously succeeded one another, that day. The disastrous rout of the enemy was publicly known, and our victory was proclaimed all the more by their cowardly flight. The losses on our side were as insignificant in this as in the previous battle; and, in both, the courage, spirit, and skill of our men—leaders, captains, pilots, and private persons—was very great, as was evident in the result. By their ignominious flight the insolent heretics left our coasts free, and departed from the islands well sheared by the Embocadero, where they had come for wool, or for the money brought from Nueva España for our relief.

The governor and captain-general, Don Diego Faxardo, was informed of all this; and by his orders our armada retired to the port of Cabite in the latter part of August, after a six months’ voyage, in such need of repairs as can well be imagined from the foregoing account of the three battles. As soon as they landed, all our men marched with their commander to the church of the glorious patriarch St. Dominic, to return humble and tender thanks to the blessed Virgin of the Rosary for victories so signal.


11. Second armada, and its battles

About this time the galleon “San Diego,” recently built, sailed from this port for Nueva España. Regarding it as certain that the coasts were clear of enemies, the authorities did not carry out their first intention of sending our armada to escort the “San Diego” as far as the Embocadero. But, as the enemy had so many squadrons (as I mentioned at the outset), [244]it happened, a few days later, that our galleon, having left the port, found itself, while still in sight of Mariveles near an islet called Fortun, at nightfall near a Dutch ship, one of three that were in that quarter; these were part of the third squadron, which had come to join the twelve ships of the two squadrons before mentioned. As the commanders of these ships did not know what had happened to the others, they dared to await the fleet thus near Manila. Our galleon carried her guns on the ballast and the various decks were littered with boxes and utensils, as is usually the case when one of those ships sails on so long a voyage. The enemy recognized, at once, that our vessel was not a warship and attacked it furiously. They approached so close that the conversation of various persons could be heard, but they did not venture to board the galleon; for General Christoval Marquez de Valençuela, commander of the galleon, a brave and experienced soldier, hurriedly disencumbered five iron cannon, and, bringing them to bear on the enemy, stood on the defensive. That action was sufficient to secure his retreat toward Mariveles; entering the bay, with the loss of a few killed, he arrived at the port of Cavite and made a report of the occurrence.

This new accident did not depress the brave heart of his Lordship [the governor]; he ordered that the two strong galleons should be immediately prepared to go out again, in convoy of this third one. As promptness was so important in this matter, his Lordship, recognizing the energy and ability of his sargento-mayor and commander of infantry, Manuel Estacio Venegas, ordered him to proceed in person to the port of Cavite to despatch the galleons. This [245]task he performed admirably, for by his efforts there was accomplished in one week what by other methods would have seemed much to do in a month.

His Lordship had previously rewarded General Lorenzo de Orella y Ugalde with one of the best encomiendas in these islands and he therefore, on this second occasion, appointed Admiral Sebastian Lopez commander-in-chief of the armada, and Sargento-mayor Don Agustin de Zepeda admiral—thus rewarding these officers for their achievements in the first fight by giving them the highest rank in the second one. To Captain Don Francisco Roxo was given the post of sargento-mayor, and Captains Salvador Perez and Felipe Camino were placed in command of the infantry companies on the flagship, and Juan de Mora and Francisco Lopez Ynoso on the almiranta. An excellent galley was also equipped with a cannon amidships, carrying a thirty-five pound ball, and small culverins [moyanas] carrying fourteen-pound balls; it contained also an infantry company of one hundred picked men. Admiral Francisco de Esteyvar, commander of his Lordship’s company of arquebusiers, was made commander of this galley. He was a soldier of well known bravery and experience, and as admiral, a post which he held in these islands, he showed himself a match for the Dutch, in carrying the relief to the forts of Terrenate. The galley was also accompanied by four brigantines of good capacity, well equipped with musketry, and each carrying a cannon at the prow; Captains Don Juan de Valderrama, Juan Martinez Capelo, Don Gabriel Miño de Guzman, and Francisco de Bargas Machuca were respectively in command of these vessels. [246]The chaplains of the fleet were: on the flagship, two friars of the Order of St. Dominic; on the almiranta, two of the Order of St. Francis; and on the galley, one of the order of the glorious St. Augustine. By order of his Lordship the vow which had been made in the first expedition, of a magnificent festival to the Virgin of the Rosary, was renewed; and the devotion was continued of reciting aloud prayers every day, in concert, all kneeling before the image of that sovereign lady.

On the fifteenth of September the three galleons, “Encarnacion,” “Rosario,” and “San Diego,” sailed from the harbor of Cabite, accompanied by the fleet of oared vessels formed by the galley and the four brigantines aforesaid. Continuing their voyage, they arrived at Fortun and saw, toward a point called Calavite,12 on the island of Mindoro, three of the enemy’s ships under sail. Our brave commander was glad of the opportunity and at once invited them to fight by firing a few cannon. The heretics did not dare to measure their forces at close range with ours; nor was the wind favorable for our galleons to sail in among those of the enemy. This gallant war was therefore waged with the artillery of longest range, the conflict lasting from four o’clock in the afternoon until nine at night. At that hour our almiranta—either because it was swifter, or because it was carried on by some current—found itself in the midst of the enemy’s three ships, and fought with them a furious battle, lasting four long hours—doing considerable damage to the enemy and [247]being itself not a little injured as to masts, rigging, and sails. Admiral Don Agustin de Cepeda showed himself, on this occasion, as brave in sustaining the combat as he was skilful in engaging the enemy. In the thick of the fight he ordered the artillery to stop firing. The enemy taking this for a sign of weakness, their vessels came very close to our ship on both sides, in order to vanquish it; then our almiranta reopened fire with her artillery on both sides, so vigorously that the enemy, unable to endure it, basely retreated. As soon as the sun rose, our flagship bore down upon the enemy and offered fight. But the foe, who had more need for repairs than desire to fight again, put in at a place near Calavite point whence he had sailed, among some shoals where our galleys could not follow.

Our commander then decided to continue the voyage, to furnish an escort for the galleon “San Diego.” But, as it was a recently-built vessel, and had not yet been tested, it was soon discovered that it did not answer its helm, or carry its sails well. As, too, the vendabals had now ended, and the north winds prevailed, which are unfavorable for a voyage to Nueva España, General Sebastian Lopez, in accordance with the opinion of a council called for this purpose, decided that the galleon “San Diego” should put in at Mariveles, and remain until his Lordship could be informed of the matter and despatch new orders. The “San Diego,” then, anchored off Mariveles, and our flagship remained outside, held by one anchor, since the almiranta was carried far to leeward by the currents; and its efforts to join the flagship were unavailing, for in those places the force of the currents is irresistible. [248]

The enemy, being on the alert, knew that our vessels were far from one another; and at daybreak on October 4, the day of the seraphic patriarch [i.e., St. Francis of Assisi], they bore down on our flagship with their three ships. The commander gallantly decided not to leave his station, for, if he did so, the currents would carry him too far to leeward, as they had the almiranta, and would leave the passage open for the enemy to attack the galleon “San Diego” (which was still in sight), and thus deprive us of the glory and satisfaction of all the previous victories. For this reason he decided to await, still anchored, the three ships of the enemy, until, coming up with him, they should begin to attack us; and then, slackening the cable with a buoy, and unfurling the sails, he began at the same time to discharge his artillery. Finding himself master of the situation, in the midst of the three vessels, he fought a hot battle, which lasted during four long hours—with little damage on our side, since only four men were killed; while the enemy’s loss was so great that, as on previous occasions, they were obliged to make a dishonorable retreat.

The wind then subsided, and Admiral Francisco de Esteyvar availed himself of the opportunity to approach the enemy with his galley; and, pointing his prow against the enemy’s stern, opened fire against them with cannon and culverins, and raked the vessels so furiously that the enemy regarded themselves as lost and the men attempted to throw themselves overboard. But soon the sea-breeze arose, and the enemy lost their fears; and our hope of securing so valuable a prize vanished. Notwithstanding, the result might be considered very [249]fortunate, and the exploit so daring that it bordered on rashness—for it is well known from experience that galleys are in such encounters exposed to great risk. On this occasion, although the enemy’s flagship was supported by a ship on each side, and all of them were firing terrible volleys at once, not a single person was killed on our galley, which seems miraculous. Our commander, seeing that the enemy were retreating, followed them all that night, with lighted lanterns; but, as usual, they fled with their lights put out. In this sixth fight, our arms came out with the same reputation and splendor as in the others.

All these exploits are worthy of great praise, this last one no less than those preceding, considering the circumstances; and in all these shines brightly the favor of Heaven toward our people. According to the estimate made by well informed persons, although we fired, in these battles, over two thousand cannon-shots, and the enemy over five thousand, we had only fourteen killed, and comparatively few wounded; while the enemy, besides the vessels which we sank, arrived at their forts so damaged, and had lost so many men, that for many a year they will remember the two stout galleons of Manila. Nor will they forget the gallantry, courage, and experience, and the excellent arrangements of their generals, captains, officers and other men who took part in this fight under orders of the governor and captain-general Don Diego Faxardo y Chacon, whom God protect.

Thanksgiving [for this victory] was celebrated by a solemn fiesta—a procession, divine worship, and [a parade of] the squadron, with other demonstrations[250]—in fulfilment of the vow made to the Virgin of the Rosary, the city making a new vow to continue this anniversary every year.

These exploits are all successful, and with them we might have congratulated ourselves on having maintained our good fortune on the sea, if our success against the enemy’s guns had also marked our conflict with the elements. The galleon “San Luis,” commanded by General Fernando Lopez Perona, left Acapulco late in the season and encountered the vendavals so prevalent in these islands that before land was sighted it passed through fierce tempests, lost its masts, and finally made the unlucky port of Cagayan. There, driven by the currents, it struck on the rocks and was torn open at the keel—not before, however, the commander had placed in safety the men, and the registered silver (which is the most essential part of the succor sent), and afterward removed the artillery. Nevertheless, the loss is great, owing to the lack of vessels on these islands at present, the many failures [which it occasioned] to business men, and the lawsuits to which such disasters give rise. It cost no less than the life of the commander, who died in that same city of Cagayan a few days after his arrival—giving up his life, as a proof of his honorable devotion and of his zeal in fulfilling his duties in the service of the king and the welfare of the colony.

After this event, and after the aforesaid battles and victories, our armada retired to the port of Cavite for necessary repairs. The galleons were already in the shipyard when the heretical Corsairs again appeared on the coast with three ships. They had captured a rich Chinese vessel of large size; and they [251]thought best not to destroy it, but to send it to Jacatra intact. Twenty soldiers were placed aboard it, in charge of an officer, and fifty of the Chinese traders and mariners who came in it were left to work the ship; while the rest of the Chinese, with some Indians whom they held as captives, were set free and put ashore. The Chinese traders who were left on board managed so well that before they cleared the coast, they seized a suitable opportunity to turn against the Dutch, and killed them all; and they brought the vessel to this city, where they were received with great applause and general satisfaction. And, to crown our joy more fully, it pleased God that the pirates should depart—either driven by unfavorable winds or constrained by some other accident—and leave free passage to the Chinese. They, since December, when this occurred, until May of 647, the time of this writing, have continued their voyages to Manila as usual—although with fewer vessels and less merchandise than formerly, on account of the wars of invasion in that great monarchy, which has been almost conquered and subdued by the Eastern Tartars. According to information in letters of February and March of this year, received in this city from trustworthy persons, and the statements of the Chinese themselves, who arrive here with their hair cut in the fashion of the Tartars, the natives offer but little resistance.13

Lavs Deo

By permission: at Manila, in the printing-house of the Society of Jesus. In the year 1647. [252]

1 Presentado: a theologue who, having finished his course of study, expects soon to receive the master’s degree. Tercio was formerly sometimes used for tercero—“tertiary,” or one who professes the rule of the third order of St. Francis, St. Dominic, or the Carmelites.

2 The Order of Mercy was a military order, founded in 1212 by Jaime of Aragon; it had for its object the redemption of captives from the Moors.

3 Murillo Velarde states (Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 126 b) that in 1640 and 1641 the Dutch waited near the Embocadero to seize the Acapulco galleons, but that these vessels escaped safely to Cavite by taking a different route; this was in consequence of warnings given them, by a system of fire-signals at the Embocadero, planned by the Jesuit Francisco Colin.

4 An allusion to the solemn public procession made annually on that day, in which the banner of the city was carried; this was in celebration of the defeat of the Chinese pirate Limahon.

5 A contemporary description of this earthquake is furnished in a rare pamphlet (Manila, 1641), containing a report of this occurrence made by the order of Pedro Arce, bishop of Cebu; part of it is reprinted by Retana in his edition of Zúñiga’s Estadismo, ii, pp. 334–336.

6 That is, when the moon again occupied the position that it had at the time of the earthquake.

7 See Diaz’s detailed account of this earthquake (Conquistas, pp. 474–483). He states that the number of persons killed in this catastrophe was not positively known, but was reported to reach six hundred, only eight of whom were citizens of note, and two were religious. Corcuera was at the time a prisoner in the fortress of Santiago, and showed great courage. In the province of Cagayan, a landslide buried a Mandaya village, and the plains were deluged by the eruptions of water-volcanoes.

8 That is, having more metal at the breech, to strengthen the piece.

9 Ticao is a long and narrow strip of land, lying between San Bernardino Strait and Ticao Passage, northeast of Masbate Island. Its shores are steep, and furnish many good anchorages. The population is mainly Bícol.

10 Probably for palanquetas, meaning cross-bar shots.

11 Maestre de Campo is a mountainous island thirteen miles southeast of Mindoro, and is a conspicuous landmark for vessels in those waters.

12 A cape of this name at the northwest point of Mindoro, formed by the slope of a mountain of the same name; a noted landmark.

13 “The Manchus established themselves in that city [i.e., Nankin; ca. 1645], and reinstated all the Chinese officials, who agreed to shave their heads and recognize the Tartar authority. This was now obligatory on all, and even the great Wou Sankwei, who had invited the Manchus into China, had to submit to this operation.” (Boulger’s Short History of China, p. 123.)



Here is written what occurred at the port of Cabite, and in the province of Panpanga and other districts on the bay of Manila, with the Dutch heretics in June and July of this present year, 1647.

By the same author, the presentado father Fray Joseph Fayol, of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the redemption of captives, chief chaplain of the royal chapel of the Incarnation and a tertiary of Manila.

Neither will the reader be satisfied, nor the author fulfil his pledge, if to the relation of past events be not added the present condition of affairs. It is an inviolable law for this sort of writings (so says their rigorous censor Aristarchus the Greek) to follow the thread of the narrative from one end to the other, from the beginning to the end. The reader neither will be careful to inquire into the past, nor to ascertain what is in the present. The earlier relation, then, was necessarily an obligation to write this second one. In it are included—but briefly, on account of the necessity of haste in doing it—the aforesaid occurrences, leaving a more extensive and detailed account for some one else who shall, on another occasion, after having seen the end of these naval combats, take the pains to commit these events to writing, for the information of those who are absent. [253]


Manila and Cavite are prepared, and the Dutch arrive

As the haughty heretic had not shown himself on these coasts during the months of April and May of this year, some believed that he was so severely punished, and even weakened, by the encounters and battles of the previous year, that they declared he would not dare return this year to molest these islands. But although it may be the fixed rule of the good soldier always to suppose the worst, Don Diego Faxardo, governor and captain-general of these islands, with his caution and long experience, determined that all precautions should be taken as if it were certain that the enemy would come to Manila this year, and with a greater force than before. To this end, in the council which was called for the despatch of the relief ships from Nueva España, opinions agreed that, for this year, only one vessel should sail; and order was given that the building of another ship should be completed as speedily as possible in the shipyard in the islands of Leyte; and that in the port of Cabite the galleons, galleys, and other vessels there should be repaired. He ordered his sargento-mayor and commander of the garrison in Manila, who has in charge the fortifications, to exert every effort and spare no expense in making the walls of the city impregnable. The royal cavalier of San Diego, which commands the bay and that part of the shore which would be most dangerous [in case of attack], has been finished; it is truly a regal work, and the largest of its kind that has been seen in these parts. In like manner the ramparts are going up on both sides [i.e., sea and land], causing general surprise and admiration that so great a work [254]can be carried on, without special cost or oppression to the colony, and with economy of the royal funds. The artillery was brought from Cagayan and other places, and provisions and ammunition were continually collected and stored; and finally his Lordship appointed a general, admiral, and other officers, that he might in any emergency have ready for immediate use as large a naval force as possible, in order to go out with it against the enemy. The condition of affairs, limited means, and lack of supplies, and above all the destitution of the natives in such calamitous times, prevented his Lordship, as regards the Armada, from giving to it his close attention. It therefore resulted that at the beginning of June, although men were at work on all of the vessels, only one galleon and two galleys were ready. On the ninth of the said month, the feast of the Holy Spirit [i.e., Pentecost], the commander of a champan which had gone with an armed guard, to carry twelve thousand pesos from the royal treasury to the presidio of Oton for the relief of Terrenate, came to port, and said that he was fleeing from three vessels of high freeboard which he had sighted near Luban, and he had fought with their lanches. On the afternoon of the same day this information was verified, for several vessels were seen to enter through the channels of Mariveles. His Lordship ordered that despatches be instantly sent to the alcaldes-mayor and military officers along the coast, so that they could be on their guard, and, besides, warn those who were sailing [in those waters], especially the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guia,” which was on her way from the Leyte shipyard; and so diligently was this latter commission executed that the warning [255]thus given enabled that galleon to elude the enemy. So important is it to have an officer who is faithful and diligent in carrying out the orders of his commander-in-chief. Two hundred Spanish infantry belonging to the garrison of this city marched to the port of Cabite well supplied with gunpowder and other munitions. With them was General Don Pedro de Almonte Verastegui, who had been selected for commander of the Armada on account of his high standing and distinguished services in the highest positions in these islands; Admiral Don Andres Axcueta, heir to the valor and services of his father, Master-of-camp Christoval de Axcueta Menchaca, who went as commander of the troops who were to aid the naval force; Captain Don Lope de Colindres, commander of the galleon “San Andres;” Don Pedro de Figueroa, sargento-mayor of the armada; and others, gentlemen and half-pay officers, who arrived at the port at dawn on the second day of the festival.

After the sun rose, eleven of the enemy’s vessels were seen half-way up the bay. General Andres Lopez de Azaldiqui was castellan and chief magistrate of that military post, as also of the royal galleys. During the past year, when the general public was feeling least anxiety about enemies his solicitude and care had led him to construct several defenses which were very important. There was a palisade of heavy timbers, and a parapet, with earthworks and gabions, with their platforms, on the side next the bay, which was the most exposed and defenseless position. Other palisades and fortifications were constructed in the village of the Indians, and in other places. Additional sentinels and guards were stationed [256]along the beach and in the open country. His great prudence was made evident when, on the said day of the feast, the news arrived, and the ships of the enemy’s fleet began to come in sight. The call to arms was immediately sounded in the port; the posts and vessels were manned by Spanish infantry, and the shore, from San Roque to what is called Estançuela, by Japanese and Indians, as assistants to the Spaniards; and a patrol was formed of horsemen who were hastily summoned from the neighboring ranches.


Battle of Cabite, and other events up to the time when the armada was divided

Between nine and ten o’clock in the morning the heretics, leaving two ships to guard the entrances of Mariveles, proceeded with the nine others to the port of Cabite. Between ten and eleven o’clock they arrived within a gunshot of the land, the drums beating on the flagship, and the entire squadron making a fine display. Seeing the enemy within range, it was thought best to favor him with some shots, which were fired from the towers and platforms near by. The shots must have taken effect, for the flagship turned away, and directed its course seaward; and it fired a single cannon-shot—apparently to summon a patache which, going somewhat ahead, approached the shore, sounding the port and reconnoitering the vessels. The enemy went on to Pampanga, where they amused themselves until the following day, the last of the festival; then they returned to Cabite with ten ships. At nine o’clock in the evening, they anchored off the point called Punta del Sangley, at a legua from shore. When the moon had almost set [257]an attempt was made by the enemy to reconnoiter the coast in that quarter with three lanchas; but the sentinels and patrols, who were forewarned, did not permit this. That night the fortifications were strengthened, two platforms were added, and other desirable precautionary and defensive measures were taken.

On Wednesday morning, June 12, the ten vessels and a champan were anchored in the same place; and at eight o’clock, two others appeared, coming under full sail from Mariveles. As soon as these were close to the enemy, the flagship weighed anchor, and the entire squadron sailed after it in line, making a beautiful sight, until they came within gunshot of the port, and abreast of the tower on the new gate, where a white flag with the royal arms was displayed; the flagship lowered its flag and maintopsail to half mast, and hoisted it again to the sound of drums and fifes. The fight at once began with the discharge of artillery from this tower, which was in charge of Sargento-mayor Don Pedro de Figueroa. The enemy responded with a furious volley, and boldly venturing into the harbor, anchored their six largest vessels at a suitable distance for bombarding our vessels, forts, and settlement; the other six vessels, with their sails trimmed to the wind, sailed to and fro, briskly skirmishing. Both sides fought sharply and incessantly, for eight hours, from eleven o’clock until almost seven in the evening. According to the count of our captain of artillery, one thousand eight hundred cannon-shots were fired by our side, and by the enemy over three thousand. Our fire was effective, for two Dutch prisoners, who were on the enemy’s flagship during the battle, deposed [258]that the ship was struck by over one hundred and twenty balls, some of them piercing the hull through and through; others struck at the water-line, making so large a hole that it was necessary to get assistance from the other vessels to repair the damage. It is considered certain that if the flagship had not been anchored—and even run aground, as many say—she would have gone to the bottom. As many as thirty men were killed on that ship. If this vessel, which is the strongest in the whole squadron, and best equipped with guns—carrying twenty-four cannon, in two tiers, on each side—was so badly damaged, from this it may be inferred the loss to the other ships, as compared with this one. The champan which accompanied the enemy’s ships was a fireship, intended to set fire to our squadron. It approached very near ours, so that we heard their talk; and we noticed some unbecoming actions, with which they enraged us. But soon their insolence was repaid, one of the cannon-balls hitting their ship and kindling the fire-devices that it contained, which consumed it without doing any harm to our vessels. The balls discharged by the enemy were so numerous, that they fell like hailstones; they weighed thirty or thirty-five libras, and from that down—some were of forty libras, but the greater number of ten or twelve, besides bar-shot, cylinders, and lanternas [fireballs?]; and it seems a miracle that they caused us so little damage.

Our galleon “San Diego,” which carried the colors as flagship, and faced the enemy, received over two hundred cannon-balls, but not one penetrated her hull, and only two men were killed—one a Spaniard, on the poop; and the other an Indian, in the [259]ship’s waist. The commodore’s galley was hit more than thirty times, but only one Spanish soldier and seven galley-slaves were killed; the second galley lost two men, and the other vessel at a similar rate. Almost every roof on house and church, in the Spanish town, was damaged, and many shots took effect on the cathedral. One, an eighteen-libra ball, went through the main entrance, and hit a pillar of the large chapel, passing over the head of a child, who fortunately remained uninjured. In the convent of St. Francis over thirty balls were picked up; in that of St. Dominic, six; in the residence of the Society of Jesus, nine; in the government storehouses, seventy-four. Notwithstanding, there was not in any house, convent, or church a single person killed or wounded; and the entire number of killed and injured in all the vessels and military posts during this engagement, did not exceed five Spaniards and four Indians killed, and eight Spaniards and one Indian wounded, who all together did not equal the number of killed on the enemy’s flagship alone.1 This good fortune was due, in the first place, to the mercy and protection of heaven, besought by the prayers and supplications offered in all of the churches—in Cabite, the city of Manila, and other places all along this bay from which the battle could be seen and heard—while the blessed sacrament was exposed. In the second place, to the promptness and speed with which, by the orders of his Lordship and the energy of the sargento-mayor and garrison commander, Manuel Estacio Vanegas, reënforcements [260][and supplies] were sent from Manila. Much also was due to the excellent arrangements, the courage, and personal supervision of everything by the governor of the military post, General Andres Lopez de Azaldigui; also to the bravery, spirit, gallantry, and military experience of the chiefs and captains in charge of the different posts: General Don Pedro de Almonte, as commander of the armada—the vessels on sea, and the Arsenal on shore; Admiral Don Andres Axcueta, in command of the galleon “San Diego,” which displayed the colors as flagship; Sargento-mayor Don Pedro de Figueroa, Captain Don Lope de Colindres, and other captains and officers in charge of the ramparts, towers, and bastions. Especially [praise is due] to the commander of the principal fortress, San Felipe, over which floated the royal standard of red damask; this was the target for innumerable shots, and, although some perforated it, none were able to tear it down—a sign that the victory was to remain with us. The result was, that the enemy, who about noon had entered the harbor so daringly, were constrained to retire at midnight. The next day was begun, on our side, with six cannon-shots, but the enemy did not accept our challenge, and sailed out of the range of our forts—many lanchas carrying succor to the flagship, from which may be inferred the great injury that it had sustained. It is considered certain that the enemy would have retired within a few hours after the commencement of the battle, had the tide been favorable to the three largest vessels. During the battle, a reënforcement of one hundred and fifty infantry, a few pieces of artillery, and a large supply of powder were despatched from Manila; [261]and with these went several prominent persons who asked that they might be present at the scene of battle.

It was considered a special favor from heaven that at the height of the conflict, when all the enemy’s ships were off Cabite, one of our pataches, in command of Admiral Luis Alonso de Roa, which was coming from the kingdom of Camboja—whither Don Luis had gone as an envoy, in regard to establishing there a plant for building ships, and conveying to it provisions and other supplies—entered the bay through the smaller channel of Mariveles, and reached a place of safety.

On the day after the battle, which was Thursday, June 13, the enemy was still in the bay of Maribeles and Batan; and in the afternoon they approached the island, and landed their men. They burned the sentry-post, which is situated on the highest point, and established themselves in the corregidor’s house and in the huts of the Indians. Then, with the aid of the vendaval, they [brought up and] repaired two of their vessels which had come with most damage out of the fight.

On Friday morning three of the vessels set sail, and, landing at a place called Rio de Cañas, sent a crowd of people ashore. These proceeded to the huts of some Sangleys who were making salt, intending to seize some fresh food, and especially some of the cattle which wander about those shores. But the chief commander at Cabite, being informed of what the enemy were doing, quickly despatched a hundred Spanish infantry, in command of Don Marcos de Zapalá, alcalde-in-ordinary of this city, and seventy horsemen with Captain Christoval [262]Velazquez y Lorenzana—who, although they were not so fortunate as to encounter the enemy, compelled them to embark in haste. This they did in seven lanchas and two long-boats abandoning on the shore one of the cattle which they had killed (which were only two).

On Saturday, the boatmen on the Cabite ferry brought in a Dutch lancha of large size, and with a mast, which was dragging its anchor about the bay. On Tuesday, the eighteenth, two ships appeared at Punta del Sangley at daylight, I know not with what design; but at eight o’clock in the morning they proceeded to Bantan. On Wednesday, the nineteenth, at four o’clock in the afternoon, the entire squadron assembled at the small channel of Maribeles, and after firing a cannon at seven o’clock in the evening, when the moon rose, all the twelve vessels, four of them with lighted lanterns, weighed anchor, and sailed away through the large channel. Then they separated, six taking their course toward the shipyard of Mindoro, and the other six, returning on the very morning of Corpus Christi, entered the bay, and dropped anchor in the same place from which they had sailed.


Events which took place in Abucay and Samal, province of Pampanga

On Saturday, the twenty-second, at daybreak, the enemy appeared close in shore off Abucay, the principal village in the province of Pampanga. This village has a very costly substantial church and convent, built of stone, in sight of the sea, belonging to the fathers of St. Dominic. His Lordship the governor and captain-general, being informed of [263]this, and foreseeing the damage which might result if the enemy should land there, ordered the alcalde-mayor of the province to fortify the church and thwart the designs of the enemy, with the assistance of the resident Spaniards and natives of Pampanga, who had proved their bravery so well on all occasions. He also sent an adjutant and other men from this city to aid them, and directed that the money, which had been removed from a champan belonging to Chinese traders and placed in the church to prevent it from falling in the hands of the enemy, should be put in a safe place or be forwarded to this city.

Although the alcalde-mayor2 had come to these islands as a captain of infantry, he could not have been so good a soldier as he was a trader, nor so brave in spirit as great in stature. He replied that the place was better fortified than La Rochelle, and that if the heretics landed there none would be left to carry the tidings back to the vessels. He left that place on Friday, the twenty-first, leaving there one hundred and fifty Pampango soldiers and five Spaniards, all in command of Don Pedro Gamboa, a retired master-of-camp of the Pampanga nation. The following day, Saturday, the six Dutch ships came in sight off Abucay, with as many more lanchas, and sent ashore an officer with as many as one hundred and thirty men. They entered the village boldly, by the bridge from the landing-place, and, firing their guns, approached the gates of the church and convent; but they were repulsed by our men so successfully [264]that they took to flight. They left in the court three men dead, with some firearms; and they retreated so hastily that they jumped into the water with their clothes and shoes on. At the same time when this was occurring in Abucay, they also attacked Samal, the second village of the same province, with three other lanchas, but with no better fortune; for, when they reached the village, hardly had they set fire to the huts in the outskirts when they were repulsed, with the same courage as at Abucay. As soon as the enemy had gone, the master-of-camp destroyed the bridge across a small river, over which it is necessary to cross from the beach to the convent. He then sent a despatch to the alcalde-mayor of the province telling what had occurred, and that it was presumed that the pirates would return to the attack with a larger force. The alcalde-mayor was in another village, collecting soldiers to send to the relief of Manila; but he reached Abucay that very night, with the recruits whom he already had and some whom he had secured from other places. He held a consultation with the Pampango commanders as to the measures to be taken in case the enemy should return. All were of opinion that the convent should be fortified, and a sufficient number of men stationed therein to defend it, and that the body of the troops should await the Dutch in the field; and that at the landing, at the ford of the stream, and in other places suitable for ambuscades, they should inflict all the damage possible on the enemy. But the alcalde thought that they should avoid shutting up themselves in the convent so that they might be able to flee to the woods if pressed by the enemy; accordingly, he did not submit to their opinion, and the [265]only defense that he made was to lock the gates of the buildings.

The Dutch commander piqued at the retreat, and the loss of his men, and, it is supposed, having received information through a negro and some Sangley fishermen that the money belonging to the traders of the Chinese vessel which had escaped him, was concealed in the said church, would not entrust the exploit [of seizing the money] to any one but himself. On the following day, Sunday, he appeared at dawn on the beach, with all of his lanchas and in view of all our men who were inside the convent; and landed with as many as four hundred men, and two pieces of field artillery, displaying seven ensigns. Without meeting any opposition they marched, in order, to the stream and the little bridge which had been destroyed by the Pampangos. The water was deep; so, seizing some small boats belonging to the natives, which they easily found, they coolly transported their men and guns. Our Pampangos were burning to go forth to attack them, and were so impatient that, had they not been restrained by their innate loyalty, they would have turned against the alcalde.

After crossing the river, the general marched his troop in regular files until he came near the court [patio] of the church, which was of stone, and very suitable for defensive and even offensive warfare. Here he halted; but quickly observing how feeble was its defense, he entered the court, halted in front of the main entrance of the church, and fired his artillery against it. But as his guns were small, and the gates very strong, he could accomplish no more than to splinter off a piece, making a hole through [266]which one could hardly thrust a hand. Meanwhile, there were volleys on both sides from the muskets and arquebuses. The alcalde remained in the highest part of the convent; a Pampango fell dead near him, and when he saw the latter’s blood, his own immediately ran cold. When he was told that the powder would soon give out—which was quite true, for he had not brought for this occasion all that had been sent from Manila—he left his post, under pretext of going to consult two religious of that convent (who were in retreat in the farthest cell, praying to God for our success), and never returned to see what was going on; but he discussed with the religious the desirability of displaying a flag of truce, in order to negotiate [with the enemy] for saving our lives.

Among those in the convent were the principal men of all Pampanga, many of them veteran soldiers of long experience in Terrenate. They told the alcalde that our forces were superior in number to those of the enemy; that on various occasions they had shown themselves equal to the foe, and did not acknowledge him as their superior on land; and that when their ammunition and weapons were exhausted they would hurl themselves against him tooth and nail, and die like good soldiers, fighting in the service of God and the king. They declared that they would not consider a flag of peace, which would serve to encourage the enemy and deliver them all into his hands.

The religious (who could have prevented what was done) supported the opinion of the alcalde, and even tried to use their authority as ministers to compel the Pampangos to agree with it; and, in spite of the objections made by the Indians, they finally [267]hung out a peace-flag from one of the windows. The Dutch general was greatly delighted, and promised favorable terms. One of the religious, accompanied by the Spanish adjutant who was there, descended, and conversed for a long time with the general. While this parley was going on, the Dutchmen did not cease to try the other doors and windows of the convent, in order to effect an entrance; nor did the Pampangos discontinue their resistance, wounding and killing many of the enemy. The general, irritated at this, and noticing that one of his men had scaled the convent wall by means of a workmen’s scaffolding, and entering, had rung the bells as a signal of victory, said that this was no time for treating of peace; and seizing in the crowd the negotiators as prisoners, he commanded a renewal of hostilities, and ordered his men to enter the church and convent on all sides. The bravest and most prominent Pampangos defended themselves gallantly, refusing to hear any talk of surrender to a heretical prince, although the Dutch promised to spare their lives if they would do so. But as their weapons were inferior [to the enemy’s] and their powder had been exhausted, the Pampangos were finally defeated; nearly two hundred were barbarously put to death, and forty others together with the alcalde and the other religious3 who was in the convent, were taken prisoners. [268]

To make matters worse for us and fortunate for the heretics, there was not lacking an informer, who disclosed to the enemy the silver from the Sangley ship, which had been hidden in a deep hole; the Dutch carried it away, to the amount of twenty thousand pesos. They burned the convent, and the woodwork of the church, but the fire did not extend to the altar; and they retreated to their lanchas on the same day, without sacking the village.

At the same time, another but smaller body of their troops attacked the village of Samal; but the Pampangos who were in garrison there, under command of Sargento-mayor Don Alexo Aguas, went out against them and compelled them to retreat, as those in Abucay would have done if the religious and the alcalde had allowed them to fight.

When the news of this affair reached Manila, it aroused unspeakable resentment; and prompt measures were taken to avenge it. Large reënforcements of men and ammunition were despatched under General Juan de Chavez, a soldier of the courage and ability which the occasion demanded.

The Order of St. Augustine—which maintains all the religious ministries of Pampanga except the two at Abucay and Samal, which, however, belong to the actual ministers of the province—was charged to send thither other religious, of unexceptionable character. As such, went the father master Fray Alonso de Caravajal (who was formerly provincial), and the present prior of the Manila convent, the father preacher Fray Diego de Tamayo. These with their discretion and zeal, and the long experience and general popularity which they had in that province, undertook to give it consolation. As a [269]result, in less than four days six hundred soldiers had been recruited to oppose the enemy if they should return to make another attack—which, in fact, was made on Thursday, July 11. The enemy placed in the field two hundred and fifty men, in command of the fiscal, who in rank is third in the armada, to pillage the village of Abucay, and kill the cattle and swine which are usually kept there.

General Juan de Chavez, who was fortified in Samal, was informed of the attack, and despatched ahead a troop under Captain Francisco Gomez Pulido, while he followed with the remainder of his men. They found the enemy in the village, pillaging the houses and killing the cattle. Our General opened fire, and made the enemy retreat toward the church; Captain Francisco Gomez Pulido, with the force under his command, went across the fields by another road, and the heretics were so taken by surprise that they turned their backs and fled to their lanchas. At the same time Adjutant Francisco Palmares arrived on the beach with another detachment of troops from another post, and attacked the enemy, compelling them to return to their boats through water that reached their mouths; they left fourteen dead and two prisoners on shore. The number of killed and wounded by the time they reached their vessels is unknown, but it was doubtless great.

This good fortune, and the grants and favors conferred by the governor, in the name of his Majesty, on the widows and orphans of the Pampango chiefs, who had lost their lives, have somewhat mitigated the sorrow and suffering caused by the late disaster. In order that pious feeling should find an opportunity [270]for expression, solemn funeral rites were celebrated in the royal chapel, by his Lordship’s orders, for the dead Pampangos, at which all the Spanish and Pampango troops were present, under command of their master-of-camp, Don Sebastian de Guzman. The Order of St. Augustine, as the [religious] mother of that people, performed the same rites in the convent at Manila, and in all of the others throughout their province.


Information and statements made by the prisoners of the enemy’s fleet

Through the said two Dutch prisoners was obtained all information that we desired of the enemy’s fleet. These men declared that they had sailed from Jacatra in Batabia, early in March, having been despatched by Cornelio Fandelin,4 governor of that place, under command of General Martin Gercen [Gertzen?] a Frisian by birth; and that the fleet consisted of thirteen vessels, one of which was lost on the voyage. The voyage lasted three months, and they halted only at Pulolaor for provisions. As for the size of the ships, the flagship is a vessel of seven hundred toneladas; the ships of the admiral, fiscal, and sub-fiscal, of eight hundred; and the others from three hundred to four hundred; and the pataches from sixty to one hundred toneladas. The flagship carries forty-eight guns: eighteen of these are of bronze, carrying balls of eighteen, twenty-four, and thirty-six libras; the others are of iron, with balls of nine to fifteen libras. The almiranta, [271]and the ships of the fiscal and sub-fiscal carried forty, thirty-eight, and thirty-six guns respectively, some of bronze, with balls of twenty-four libras or less. The four other ships carried thirty-libra cannon. The guns on the pataches, some of bronze, carried balls of eighteen to twenty libras. The flagship was also supplied with many devices for using fire, with a German inventor who manufactures them, so that on occasion these could be placed in some one of their smaller vessels, in order to burn our fleet. The flagship left Batabia with two hundred and twenty men, all white, of various European nations, unmixed with men from any of the peoples in these regions; the almiranta and the fiscal’s ship carried each two hundred and ten, and the sub-fiscal’s two hundred; the other vessels seventy or eighty each. The flagship had already lost from its quota seventy men, and the other vessels proportionately, many having been killed in the fight at Cabite and in other engagements; moreover, there is a disease, known as Verber [i.e., beri-beri], which is now prevalent throughout the fleet, by which most of the men have been attacked. The orders carried by the Dutch ships are, to capture the vessels coming from Nueva España and prevent the voyage of those that must go to that kingdom for aid. They were also to ascertain, at the same time, the condition in which these fortified posts are, so that they can prepare for a larger fleet to follow in the succeeding year. It was said that he who will come in that fleet as commander is Antonio Can [i.e., Caan], former governor of Malayo, who had come last year from Olanda, and now is in Jacatra as second in command at that place. The season here will be favorable to [272]them, as the monsoon will give them time [enough], and their provisions will hold out; and within a month four of the said ships will set out for the kingdom of Japon, with merchandise which they are carrying, and will go with the proceeds to the kingdom of Siam. Such is the information which the prisoners have thus far given us regarding the Dutch armada; and it is confirmed from other sources.5

Our armada at present is composed of three large galleons and one of medium size, two pataches, and two galleys, with other oared vessels of less size. All hands are at work on it, without any cessation—with eager desires and no less assured hopes, under God’s favor, whose cause this is, of gaining success and good fortune against the heretical and rebel squadron.

Nor can my unskilful pen rightly deny the glory of such a victory, as of all the rest that has been thus far accomplished and is mentioned above, to the prime mover of all the influences and actions of this government—the sargento-mayor and governor of this garrison, Manuel Estacio Venegas, one of the old and prominent citizens of this city, and a brave son of the royal army at Granada. He was chosen by Don Diego Faxardo for these and greater undertakings on account of his honorable, successful, and extraordinary services of thirty-four years in this region in the royal armadas of galleons and galleys, on the Northern Sea and in these islands. In military service, he was sargento, alférez, and captain of [273]infantry; and in political affairs he served as regidor of this city, and as chancellor and registrar of the royal Audiencia—in which latter post his Lordship found him, filling it with approval and distinction, as is well known to all this kingdom. The victories and successes described in these relations are due to his unwearied personal efforts in sending out troops and supplies, and to his thorough understanding and excellent arrangements of all matters. His courage and dexterity in difficulties and hindrances, his subordination and military obedience, and execution of orders given by his superiors, [are all worthy of praise]; for ever since his Lordship placed in his charge the office of sargento-mayor, there have been few nights which he has not passed in the guardroom, or making the round of the city and its walls.

It fell to his lot to destroy such parts of the fortifications as appeared inadequate for the defense of this post and he strengthened the walls with new ones which, it has been said, are without doubt impregnable. I know not which to admire most, the strength of the fortification, or the rapidity with which the work was performed, without any burden or injury [to the people].

The thorough knowledge which he had of all his officers was doubtless the reason for the wise and fortunate selection that he made in naming to his Lordship, the year before, the leaders who were best qualified for positions of authority in the armadas—through which he obtained the so glorious results which we have described, providing the fleets with all that was necessary to gain success. The rapidity with which he carried on the work was sufficient to make ready [for battle] anew the two galleons [274]“Encarnacion” and “Rosario” in one single week, in order that they might convoy the galleon “San Diego;” they gained the third victory, which was the complement of the others that were gained the year before.

All this being known to his Lordship, as soon as the news came this year of the enemy’s armada he gave the sargento-mayor full and adequate commission to arrange and order everything as should appear best to him, in order not to delay sending aid, as occasion might demand, not only at the storehouses but in the provinces—to which he sent supplies with the promptness which the case required. Thus the islands have been freed, on land and sea, from the attacks of the enemy, and the vessels which have come to us from other lands have made port in safety—thoroughly frustrating the designs of the heretics. This was especially the case in the attack on Abucay, where the sargento-mayor sent very opportune aid of men and ammunition—so greatly to the satisfaction of the alcalde-mayor, Diego Antonio, that he wrote to him that all was done very promptly, and he was expecting to achieve some great exploit. If the alcalde had carried out this promise, as he could have done, or at least had allowed the brave Pampangos to fight, neither would the above-related defeat have occurred, nor would the enemy have obtained any results from their attack.

However, by promptly despatching General Juan de Chaves, his vigilance and skill were able to harass the heretics—much to their own cost, as it was not lack of foresight, but the little military exercise in the commander of that province, which occasioned that defeat. Finally, through the sargento-mayor’s vigilance [275]and care, and the valor of the generals and chiefs, much has been, and we hope will be, accomplished in these islands for the success of our arms and the reputation of this military post—which is so destitute of aid, as being remote from his Majesty, whom may God protect.

Printed with permission, at Manila, in the printing-house of the Society of Jesus, in the year 1647. [276]

1 Murillo Velarde says (Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 138 b) that the commander of the Dutch fleet was fatally wounded in this conflict, and died a few days afterward.

2 According to Murillo Velarde (Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 129) this was Captain Diego de Cabrera, who “apparently understood stamped paper better than war.”

3 Santa Cruz (Hist. de Philipinas, pp. 103–105) says that the two religious captured by the Dutch were Fray Geronimo de Sotomayor Orrato and Fray Tomas Ramos; that Governor Fajardo refused to ransom them, and they were sent to Batavia; and that, having been finally liberated, they died en route to Manila. Reseña biográfica states (i, p. 426) that they were drowned in shipwreck, late in 1647 or early in 1648.

4 This was Cornelis van der Lyn, governor-general of the Dutch possessions from April 19, 1645 to December 11, 1650. See Valentyn’s Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, deel iv, pp. 296, 368, for sketch of his life, and portrait.

5 For further accounts of these attacks by the Dutch, see Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 485–495, 505–509, 511; Santa Cruz’s Hist. de Filipinas, pp. 102–105; Murillo Velarde’s Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 126–129; Concepción’s Hist. de Philipinas, vi, pp. 113–118.



The King. To Don Diego Fajardo, knight of the Order of Santiago, member of my Council of War, and my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands: In a clause of the letter which you wrote to me on the fifteenth of August in the past year of six hundred and forty-five, you say that the bishop-elect of Caceres is bringing suit against the religious of St. Francis in regard to some mission stations which those religious have held for the past thirty years and more; that he has asked you to aid him in taking possession of them; and that you have delayed doing so until you could report to me that in those islands the Indian natives are much better instructed by the religious than by the secular priests—considering that the latter are born in the islands, and are but few in number; and that many of them are by their habit of life not fitted to set an example for others, or [to carry out] what is decreed for the other parts of the Yndias. In regard to the missions, there are in those islands especial reasons why I should order this matter to be again considered, on account of not having secular priests of more approved life for the new conversions and doctrines; for since the natives of those islands have been instructed from the beginning by religious, they are more obedient to these. This matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, together with the opinion thereon of my fiscal of the Council, I have deemed it best to tell you that, in regard to the [277]point of furnishing aid [to the bishop], it is your duty to consider what course you ought to pursue conformably to [the requirements of] justice, and whether it would be just to grant him aid according to law. You shall act accordingly in this, and in other matters that may arise in which it may be expedient to grant aid. In what concerns those missions which the religious may hold, you shall observe what has been ordained by the decrees and orders that have been issued on account of this, in all cases giving careful attention to [the requirements] of my royal patronage, without making any change in what has been commanded and decided in the matter. Dated at Madrid, on the seventeenth of September in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-seven.

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign: Juan Bauptista Saenz Navarrete Signed by the members of the Council. [278]



Entrance of the seraphic order of our father St. Francis into the Philipinas Islands

His sacred Majesty our king and sovereign Philipo Second was pleased, through his most Christian and Catholic zeal, to establish this kingdom of Philipinas and plant herein the evangelical doctrine by means of the religious of our seraphic father St. Francis. For this purpose his Majesty sent father Fray Pedro de Alfaro with seventeen religious, sons of the province of San Joseph, of the discalced religious. Thirteen of them were priests, two were choristers and two lay-brothers. Six religious died on the voyage, but they were joined by six more in México, and they entered Manila August 2, 1577. They were lodged in a bamboo house, where the marshal Gabriel de Ribera built a church of planks. Father Fray Pedro de Alfaro began his ministry immediately by assigning his associates to all the provinces of this kingdom; and they, inducing the Indians to come from the rugged mountains and reducing them to settlements, baptized them and instructed them in the mysteries of our holy faith, and erected churches and laid out villages. At present the province has charge of fifty-two villages in these islands, as follows.


Province of Tagalos

1. The convent of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria of Dilao, which the dean, Don Francisco de [279]Arellano, founded at his own cost, with a church and house of stone. It is located outside the walls of the city of Manila. It has 300 tributes, which makes a total of 1,200 persons of all ages. Japanese Christians are ministered to in that convent, and have their own Japanese minister who has charge of them. Four religious live in that convent constantly.

2. Three quarters of a legua up the river from Manila is the convent of Nuestra Señora de Loreto of San Páloc [i.e., Sampaloc], with a stone church and house. It was founded at his own cost by Master-of-camp Pedro de Gómez. It has a visita located one-half legua distant from it. Two hundred tributes are administered there, who amount in all to 800 persons of all ages. One father lives there.

3. One legua up stream from that convent is the convent of Santa Ana of Sapa, with a stone church and house, which was built by Admiral Juan Pardo de Losada at his own cost. It has 200 tributes, or 800 souls of all ages, and one religious lives there.

4. In the jurisdiction of Bulacán, the convent of San Diego of Polo, with a stone church and house. It has 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons of all ages. Some Christian Sangley farmers are ministered to there, and two religious live in that convent all the time.

5. One legua farther on is the convent of San Francisco of Micauayan, which has a visita in the mountains. It has 130 tributes or 600 persons of all ages, and one religious lives there.

6. Two leguas farther on is the convent of San Martín of Bocaui, with a stone church and a wooden house. It has two visitas, and has 150 tributes or 700 persons. One religious lives there. [280]

7. At the entrance of the lake of Bay is located the convent of Santa Ursula of Binangonan, which has 80 tributes or 150 persons. One religious lives there, and its church and house are of stone, which were built from various alms.

8. Three leguas farther on is the convent of San Gerónimo of Moron. It has 122 tributes, or 400 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it has one religious.

9. One legua farther on is the convent of San Ildefonso of Tanay, with 100 tributes, or 340 persons. Its church and house are bamboo, and one religious lives there.

10. One-half legua farther on is the convent of Santa María Magdalena of Pililla, which has 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. Its church and house are built of planks, and one religious lives there.

11. In the district of the lake is located the convent of San Antonio de Pila, with 200 tributes, or about 800 persons. Its church is of stone, and its house of wood. It has two religious, and one lay-religious who acts as a nurse; for that is the place where the sick religious of the district are treated.

12. Two leguas thence by water is the convent of Santa Cruz, with 150 tributes, or 600 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and one religious lives there.

13. One legua thence by water is the convent of our father San Francisco of Luonbang. It has 500 tributes, or 2,000 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it has three visitas. Two religious live there all the time.

14. One and one-half leguas thence is the convent [281]of Sanctiago of Payte, with three visitas. It has 448 tributes, or 1,600 persons. The church and house which are being built are of stone. Two religious live there.

15. One legua thence by sea is the convent of La Natividad of Pangil, with 460 tributes, or 1,800 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and two religious live there.

16. One legua thence by sea is the convent of San Pedro of Siniloan, with 130 tributes, or 450 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo, and one religious lives there.

17. One and one-half leguas thence is the convent of Santa María of Mabitac, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and one religious lives there.

18. Two leguas thence is the convent of Santa María of Cabooan, with 120 tributes; or 450 persons. One religious lives there.

19. Ascending to the mountains through the district of Pila, is found the convent of San Bartolomé of Nacarlán, with 700 tributes, or 2,800 persons. The convent and house are of stone, and two religious live there.

20. One legua thence is the convent of San Juan Bautista of Lillo, with 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it has two religious.

21. Two leguas thence is the convent of San Gregorio of Mahayhay, with 1,000 tributes, or 4,000 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and two religious and a few convalescents live there.

22. Four leguas up in the mountains is the convent [282]of San Salvador of Cavinte, with 120 tributes, or 450 persons. Its church and house are of planks, and two religious live there.

23. Three leguas east is the convent of San Luis of Luchán, with 400 tributes, or 1,600 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it has two religious.

24. Four leguas thence is the convent of San Miguel of Tayabas, with 500 tributes, or 2,000 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and two religious live there.

25. One legua thence is the convent of Santa Clara of Sadyaya, with 100 tributes, or 380 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it has one religious.

26. Along the seacoast is the convent of Santa Buenabéntura of Mahubán, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. Its church and house are built of bamboo, because the former ones were burned by the Dutch enemy. It has two religious.

27. Ten leguas thence by sea is the convent of San Marcos of Binangonan, with 120 tributes, or 400 persons. It has one visita, at a distance of 8 leguas by the sea and ten by land. It has one religious.

28. Thirty leguas by sea is the convent of San Luis of Baler, with 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. Its church and house are of wood, and two religious live there.

29. Twenty-four leguas by sea is the convent of Casiguran, of San Antonio, with 320 tributes, or 1,200 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo, and one religious lives there; for his associate lives at a visita called Palanan, which has 250 tributes, or 700 persons. [283]

30. On the other side of Maubán, toward the province of Camarines, and six leguas by sea, is the convent of Antimonan, with 250 tributes, or 1,000 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo, for the former ones were twice burned by the Dutch enemy. One religious lives there. [The following seems to have been added later:] Now it is all stone, and the best in the province.

31. Eight leguas by sea is the convent of San Diego of Gumaca, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo as the former ones were burned by the Dutch enemy. It has one religious.

32. Ten leguas by sea is the convent of Santa Lucía of Capalongan, with 100 tributes or 400 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo, as the former ones were burned by the Dutch. One religious lives there.

33. Twelve leguas thence is the convent of La Purificación, of Paracali, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. Its church and house are of bamboo, as the former ones were burned by the Dutch enemy.

34. The chief convent of Manila, of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles, has twenty-five religious continually—ten of whom are priests, and the others choristers and lay-brothers—for the proper administration of the convent. They are supported by alms from the city, except as regards the vestments, medicine, fowls, clothing for the sick, wine for the mass, and oil for the lamps, which is the alms given by his Majesty (may God preserve him).

35. The convent of San Diego of Cavite (a communal convent) has four religious, and one nurse who attends through charity to the sailors and natives [284]who work at shipbuilding. It has no ministry, and is supported by alms.


Province of Camarines

1. In the city of [Nueva] Cáçeres is the convent of Nuestro Padre San Francisco, which is communal and administers the part of the city called Naga. It has 150 tributes, or 600 persons. It also administers the village of Canaman and that of Milanix. The village of Canaman has 400 tributes, or 1,500 Christians. One religious lives there who is subject to Naga. The village of Milanix is two leguas thence, and has 303 tributes, or 1,200 persons. There are generally four priests and two religious lay-brothers for the hospital in the convent of Naga.

2. The convent of Indar, which is six leguas by sea from Paracali, has 400 tributes or 1,800 persons. It has a visita up stream. Its church and house are of plank, and two religious live there.

3. Two leguas [thence] by land is the convent of San Juan Bautista of Dait, which, together with a visita that it possesses, has 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. It has a church and house of plank, and one religious lives there.

4. Eight leguas [thence] by sea is the convent of Santiago of Ligmanan, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. It has a stone church and house, and one religious lives there.

5. Four leguas [thence] by sea and land is the convent of Nuestra Señora of Quipayo, which, with three visitas, has 600 tributes, or 2,400 persons. Its church and house are built of brick, and it is administered by two religious.

6. On the other side of [Nueva] Cáçeres (or [285]Naga), toward the main part of the province and three leguas up the river, is the convent of Minalana, with 360 tributes, or 1,300 persons. Its church and house are of plank, and it is administered by one religious.

7. Six leguas [thence] is the convent of Santa María Magdalena of Bula, which, with one visita, has 250 tributes, or 900 persons. Its church and house are of plank, and it is administered by one religious.

8. Three leguas [thence] is the convent of Santa Cruz of Nabua, with 600 tributes, besides some Negrillos who come down from the mountains. The tributes of the mission alone amount to more than 2,400 persons. The church and house are of wood, and it is administered by two religious.

9. One legua [thence] is the convent of San Antonio of Iraga, with 460 tributes, or 1,600 persons. Its church and house are of wood, and it is administered by one religious.

10. Three leguas [thence] is the convent of Nuestro Padre San Francisco of Buy, with 200 tributes, or 800 persons. Its church and house are of wood, and it is administered by one religious.

11. Six leguas [thence] is the convent of Santiago of Libón, with 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. Its church and house are of brick, and it is administered by one religious.

12. One legua [thence] is the convent of San Pedro of Polangui, with 300 tributes, or 1,400 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it is administered by one religious.

13. One legua [thence] is the convent of San Miguel of Oasque, with one visita. It has 600 [286]tributes, or 2,500 persons. Its church and house are of stone, and it is administered by one religious.

14. Four leguas [thence] is the convent of San Juan Bautista of Camarines, with its visita called Cagsaua. It has 700 tributes, or 3,000 persons. Its church and house are of stone. It is administered by religious who are priests, and one lay-religious who acts as a nurse for the infirmary which is in the said convent.

15. One legua [thence] is the convent of San Gregorio of Albay, with 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons, and the Spaniards who usually are in the said village are also administered. It has a church and a fortified house of stone, beside a bit of a wall and a tower for the defense of the province—as the said village is close to the sea, and a port for the champans of his Majesty which go to collect the bandalas and tributes. Last year the Dutch enemy destroyed said church and house, although two religious, having patched up a little dwelling with bamboos, are living there.

16. Eight leguas [thence] by sea is the convent of San Juan Evangelista of Tanaco, with 340 tributes, or 1,350 persons. It has a visita one and one-half leguas away. The church and house are of bamboo, as the former buildings were burned by the enemies—Dutch, Camucón, and Mindanao. A small fort or fortified house is being built to defend it from the said enemy. One religious lives there.

17. One legua [thence] by land is the convent of Santa Ana of Malinas, which, with a visita, has 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. The church and house are of wood, and it is administered by one religious.

18. Eight leguas [thence] by sea is the convent [287]of La Anunciación, of Bacon, with its visita called Solsogón. It has 400 tributes, or 1,600 persons. The churches and houses of both villages are bamboo, because they are very frequently burned by the Camucón and Mindanao enemy. One religious lives there, and he also ministers to the Spaniards who frequently go to the port of Solsogón in his Majesty’s champans.

19. Three leguas [thence] by sea is the convent of La Visitación of Casiguran, with one visita. It has 430 tributes, or 1,560 persons. Its church and house are of wood, and one religious lives there.

20. Eight leguas over very rough mountains, but twelve leguas [thence] by sea, is the convent of Bolosan, which, with three visitas, has 400 tributes, or 1,500 persons. The church and house are of bamboo, and one religious lives there.

21. Thirty leguas [thence] by sea is the convent of Quipia, and Donsol its visita, with 300 tributes, or 1,200 persons. The church and house are of bamboo, and one religious lives there.




The province, considering the great service which is performed for our Lord in the cure of the sick, and that its evangelical ministers ought to attend to the spiritual necessities of all and to the corporal needs of the poor, began to establish some hospitals in this new [field of the] conversion, entrusting so apostolic a ministry to a lay-brother of proved virtue called Fray Juan Clemente. That religious, with singular charity, collected some alms among the Spaniards, and began to treat the poor Spaniards in [288]a wretched nipa house. Since the order of our father St. Francis may not hold property and have the management of money, therefore that hospital, like the others founded by the province, was placed under the royal protection. God took to himself a Spaniard who had one of the best cattle-ranches in this kingdom. That Spaniard made confession and deposited his will with father Fray Agustín de Tordesillas, one of the first founders of this province. Father Fray Agustín counseled that Spaniard to leave his ranch to the royal hospital of the Spaniards, since he had no children and the hospital was so poor. The Spaniard did so, so that the poor had thereby the milk necessary for their sicknesses, for milk is, as a general rule, the delicacy that is prescribed to the sick in this kingdom.

This province founded another hospital, in the port of Cavite, for the relief and cure of the seamen in that port and of the natives who live there. For its support and comfort they founded another ranch, likewise of the larger cattle, the land on which that ranch was established being given by some Spaniards and some natives, by the advice and efforts of the religious.

The same Fray Juan Clemente founded another hospital outside the walls of the city of Manila, which is called “the hospital of the natives;” for there the Indian natives who go thither because they have not the wherewithal to cure themselves are treated—and they are many. The same religious founded another ranch for its support, commencing it with some calves which he begged as an alms. In the same manner was founded also the hospital of Los Baños, with two other ranches. In the city of [289][Nueva] Cáçeres, the religious have founded another hospital, with another large ranch.

Within the city of Manila, the brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia built another hospital, where poor negro slaves are treated, through their alms. Most of the negroes would doubtless die miserably if the Santa Misericordia did not piously aid them in so great need. The Misericordia entrusted their hospital to our religious, who administered it most willingly, as it was for poor creatures so orphaned and destitute.

Besides these hospitals, there is the infirmary at the principal convent of Manila, and another infirmary in the village of Pila, in the province of Laguna de Bay of Tagalos. The province of Camarines has two more infirmaries—one in the village of Camarines, and the other (which is the chief one) in the city of [Nueva] Cáçeres, the capital of that province. The religious of the order are treated in those infirmaries, as well as the religious of other orders, secular priests, and Spaniards, and not a few natives who gather there from various villages—the priests being admitted to the same infirmaries of the convents, and the laymen being accommodated in the private houses of the villages.

The service, past and present, rendered to the two Majesties and to their poor vassals by the religious in those hospitals and infirmaries is of no little importance. But since the infernal enemy of the poor does not sleep, he also found a plan to sow his seeds of discord and to entangle everything, as is his wont. When Don Sebastian governed this kingdom, he took the royal hospital away from the order, and commanded it to be administered by layman and by a [290]secular priest. He also took away the hospital of Cavite, and gave it to the religious of San Juan Bautista,1 whom he brought from México for that purpose. His Majesty (may God preserve him), having been [correctly] informed, has ordered by his royal decree that the royal hospital of Manila be returned to the order. In regard to the hospital of Cavite, the order has not informed his Majesty of anything. Without doubt the loss of the royal hospital of Manila is felt by the order, for it contained as superior and minister one of the father definitors, with another priest as associate (one of those who gave most satisfaction), and the father vicar of the nuns, with an associate. Besides these, there were four priests who were always chosen from among the best of the province. It was necessary that they be of the best, as they were in the sight of all the community. There were also four or six lay religious, chosen for the same reasons from the very best. The head-nurse was there and was chosen by the governor. The steward, then as now, gave the religious what was needful for the cure and comfort of the sick; and the religious gave out what was delivered to them by the stewards, without having the management of any property or money. And as that hospital always had a surgeon and an apothecary (both Spaniards), the religious who served and ministered to them learned medicine by experience, and by means of the books which they read in the Romance [i.e., Castilian] tongue. By that means the other hospitals and infirmaries were furnished with nurses [291]and physicians so competent that the best people of Manila preferred to be treated by them rather than by the Spanish physician. Since the province has lost that hospital, the seminary of its nurses is also lacking; and consequently only three or four of the old nurses have remained, who now take care of the other hospitals. But when they die, the province will sustain the hospitals with difficulty for lack of nurse and school where they can be trained.

[Section iii treats of the conversion of China, and section iv of the empire of Japan. Both have been treated sufficiently in preceding volumes. The former mentions the disputes of the Franciscans and Dominicans with the Jesuits over the Chinese rites. The latter narrates the early beginnings of the Franciscans’ missions in Japan (where they had ten convents and seven hospitals), their successes, and subsequent persecutions.]



Martyred in various kingdoms

In Tagolanda on the island of Maluco, the Moros of the island, after killing father Fray Sebastián de San Joseph2 with arrows for the preaching of the faith, beheaded him. His associate Fray Antonio de [292]Santa Ana,3 a lay-brother, was given to the women of the island because he refused to marry one of the chief Moro women, the daughter of the king of that island. They, dancing to the sound of a tambourine, began to stick sharp knives into all parts of his body; and then they beheaded him, and nailed his head to a pole. It is said that he preached our holy faith to those faithless Moros for many days after his death. Juridical reports of the martyrdom of those two religious were made in Manila, in Therrenate, and Macau, by order of his Holiness.

Father Fray Juan de Plasençia4 died in Burney, an island of the Mahometans, when on his way to España he stopped at that island. Father Fray Francisco de Santa Maria5 also died a martyr in [293]the same kingdom, because he had preached to the king in public three or four times and chided him for his false worship of Mahomet. While he was finishing mass in the house assigned to him by the king for his lodging, and giving thanks, a troop of men attacked him and cleft his head in twain; and when he was dead they dragged him along by his girdle, and threw him into the river. He died in the year 1583.

The holy father, Fray Blas de Palomino,6 a priest, was going to Therrenate in a Portuguese ship. On arriving at the island of Tagalonda, he asked the captain of the ship to put him ashore, and the latter did so. On reaching shore he began to preach to those islanders, but they speared him in sight of the ship. The father vicar of Therrenate got a report of that murder and martrydom from the Portuguese aboard that ship. In their report they said that father Fray Blas de Palomino wore only a habit, and under that a hair-cloth shirt which he wore quite commonly.

Brother Fray Juan de Palma,7 a lay-brother, was [294]going to España by way of India. The Dutch captured the ship in which that religious was sailing. They shot him with their arquebuses, although they did no harm to any of his companions. It is said that they shot him because he preached to the Dutch heretics; and it is a fact that the Dutch never treat a religious badly unless he begins to preach to them.

Father Fray Gerónimo de San Joseph,8 priest, embarked in the island Hermosa in a Chinese ship, with another religious, Fray Jacinto, of [the order] of our father, St. Dominic. Those religious intended to go to Japón, but the Chinese who were taking them killed them, and cut off their noses, which they salted. Thus did they carry these to Japón and presented them to the emperor, who ordered them to be given the reward that had been assigned to those who surrender and denounce evangelical ministers.



Foundation of the convent of our mother Santa Clara, of this city of Manila

This city of Manila has a cathedral, and five convents of religious. Notwithstanding that, it was alone and as if an orphan, for it had no convent of [295]religious women. Especially did it sigh for a convent of discalced nuns of our mother St. Clare. All entreated and desired it, but no one had the wherewithal to found it. God inspired the master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves and his wife, Doña Ana de Vera (who had no children or obligations), to spend their possessions in the founding of that convent. They petitioned his Majesty, who since he was so good a Catholic, immediately conceded it, and sent the religious women, who came at the expense of his royal treasury. Father Fray Joseph de Santa Maria, a venerable and perfectly satisfactory religious, was then in España, having returned to that country from this kingdom. The royal Council summoned him from his convent, where he was quietly remaining and resting after his long and troublesome journey. His Majesty ordered him to conduct these religious, and he received the commission very willingly, in consideration of the great service that he was doing to both Majesties, to this kingdom, and to the order. The said father Fray Joseph de Santa María left España with the following religious: Mother Gerónima de la Asunción, abbess, and as her associates Mother Leonor de San Francisco, Mother Ana de Cristo, Mother María Magdalena de la Cruz, Mother Magdalena de Cristo, Mother María de la Trinidad. On departing they gave the habit to Mother Juana de San Antonio and to Mother Luisa de Jesús who performed their novitiate during the voyage. The above religious were joined in México by Mother Leonor de San Buenaventura and Mother María de los Ángeles. During the second voyage [i.e., from Mexico to Manila] Mother María de la Trinidad died, and thus the [296]other nine religious arrived at Manila. On arriving they were lodged in the convent of San Páloc, owned by this province outside the walls of Manila, of which the patrons are the same master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves, and his wife, Doña Ana de Vera, as they were its founders. While the women religious were in that convent, the two novices, Juana de San Antonio and Luisa de Jesús, professed. The two patrons, husband and wife, immediately prepared their houses, which were near the palace, and arranged them in the manner of a convent, whither the religious betook themselves. A few days after their arrival, the said master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves, died, and Doña Ana his wife being widowed, her nephew Don Antonio de Vera, who married Doña Magdalena de Aybar, came from España. Doña Ana favored that gentleman as much as possible, since he was her nephew; she brought about his marriage, and made him a gift of all her property. Doña Ana de Vera died, and, the convent of Santa Clara brought a suit, because of her foundation, against the aforesaid nephew and niece, who remained as its patrons, and their heirs. The suit was concluded, and the nuns were left in possession of the houses of their founders, which had already been made into a convent, for which they were not compelled to pay anything. The said Don Antonio de Vera and his heirs were left in possession of a good ranch which the first founders and patrons had given to the convent for its support, provided that they abandoned and renounced all their right of patronage over the said convent. Therefore the convent was left to the mercy of God, without patron or property. In this way there came an end to the [297]mountains of gold that its first patrons promised to his Majesty for its foundation. The nuns began immediately to receive crowds of girls, so that the dove-cot was filled in a short time; and there are now fifty-six nuns. They do not receive fixed dowries. The convent contains the daughters of the noblest and richest men of Manila; but there are so many of them that the majority, although noble, entered poor. From the money inherited by the convent from some religious women whose fathers had property a church has been built and part of the convent—which is a tolerably good building. But it was so badly damaged by the late earthquake that it threatened to fall, so that the nuns fear, and so do we all, especially the province which has it in charge; but we cannot help it. Thus the convent now has fifty-six nuns to support—without property, without walls, and without patrons; nor do they know where they will get them, and consequently they suffer what God knows. At first they got along very well, for their parents and relatives were alive, and the inhabitants of Manila, as they had property, aided with their alms. But all that has ceased, and all Manila sees and bewails it. The superiors who governed this [Franciscan] province in the past well foresaw these times, and they accordingly ordered that the convent should have some property; and they had some, and very good it was. But the mother abbess, Gerónima de la Asunción, and other mothers who were among its founders, with the noble spirit that they brought, and as alms did not fail them then, determined to profess the first rule of our mother St. Clare, which does not allow temporal possessions or property. They wrote about that to [298]España, and thus the convent was built for them with the property that they possessed. Without doubt it suffers pressing necessities, but the mothers live consoled, for the poor gospeller is most consoled when he has least; and God, who sustains the birds, sustains and will sustain this convent if it maintains the rigor, poverty, and devotion that it professes.

News of the exceeding poverty and the religious life of this our convent of Santa Clara of Manila reached Macau. That community instantly petitioned for some religious women to found another convent there. It was conceded, and the following religious, having received their letters-patent and outfits, set sail for Macau: as abbess, Mother Leonor de San Francisco, and as her associates, Mother María Magdalena (these two being among those who came from Castilla la Vieja); and of those who had received the habit in this convent of Santa Clara of Manila, Mother Melchora de la Trinidad, Mother Clara de San Francisco, Mother Margarita de la Concepción, Mother Juana de la Concepción—six in all. The novitiate habit was given on the ship to Marta de San Bernardo, a Pampango Indian woman, whom the father provincial refused to allow to receive the habit in the convent of Manila, because of that fact. But he gave her permission to receive it on the sea, as she was so influential a woman and so moral and virtuous; and on that account all the convent had urgently requested it. Father Fray Gerónimo del Espiritu Santo, a religious who was thoroughly satisfactory to the province, accompanied those religious women to Macau; and, after they had founded the convent of Macau, Mother María Magdalena, Mother Margarita, and [299]Mother Clara returned to Manila by license of the superiors. They brought a novice with them, namely, a daughter of Captain Diego Enriquez de Losada, who came with them from Macau. The father reader, Fray Antonio de Santa María, also returned with them to this province; he had remained in Macau, because he had lost his passage to Roma with the loss of Malaca.



Some matters of special interest

There are various animals in this kingdom, as for instance, carabaos or buffaloes, dogs, domestic and wild swine, monkeys, and goats, and many deer in the mountains. The Spaniards have brought here cows and horses. The cows have multiplied remarkably. The horses are numerous, and are small. It is a land of many reptiles and serpents; for it is damp and hot. In especial is there one species known as olopong.9 There is no preservative or antidotal herb against its bite. Others [i.e., pythons] are called sauas, which are very large. One of these will hang from a tree, catch whatever living thing passes below—such as deer, man, or swine—and swallow it whole. It has a very large and excellent gall, which is a proved antidote for or preventive of [poison]. The mountain Indians eat that snake. It breeds in the mountains on the opposite coast of Valer and Palinan. The other animals above mentioned [300]are numerous throughout the kingdom. In the same manner these islands abound in large and small fish. Tunnies are caught on the opposite coast of Casiguran and in the lake of Bong-bong—although as the country is so hot, few of them are in good condition when they reach Manila. The most remarkable fish is the crocodile, which here is called buhaya. It is a fierce animal, [living in both] land and water, and thus sustains itself by hunting and fishing, although it does not go far inland. The rivers and lakes are full of those animals. In the province of Camarines there is a lake of fresh water where there are so many crocodiles that the surrounding villages collect to kill them; and they are accustomed to kill fifty, sixty, or a hundred of the creatures. Their flesh is not eaten, and hence they are good for nothing. There are also various species of birds. They multiply but little, for the serpents eat them. The principal birds are fowls like those of España; other fowls, smaller like partridges, which breed in the mountains; many turtle-doves and pigeons, and anades10 and ducks. There are but few metals. The Indians get gold from their mines. Our missions contain the mines of Paracali, and that village is supported by the gold that is obtained there, for it has no other resources. Those mines fill up immediately with water; and hence they are of no importance to the Spaniards. But the Indians who are plodding, and work little by little, get a sufficient quantity of it. A mine was discovered in that village some years ago, from which considerable gold was extracted. It filled with water and now a wonderful vein is seen there. Some Spaniards [301]have attempted to draw off the water, because of the great wealth that it shows, but they have not succeeded. Another mine, of copper, was discovered in that same village of Paracale.11 Some copper, though little, was obtained from it, and then it was abandoned because the cost was more than the profit. There is a prolific mine of rock sulphur in the province of Camarines. That province also has a very lofty and steep volcano which is constantly throwing out streams of fire. Some years ago, an eruption from it wrought damage to the neighboring villages. During these last years, the noise and din that has been heard in the interior [of that volcano] has been remarkable, and on that account the neighboring villages are full of fear.12 These islands also contain [302]many civet cats, which breed in the mountains; and many swarms of bees, from which the Indians get a quantity of wax. There are forest trees for buildings and ships. There are many excellent fruit trees. There are many kinds of bananas and oranges, most of which have been brought by the Spaniards from China. The oranges that the Indians had in their pagan state are very large, of the size of a Spanish gourd; and the taste is pleasant and resembles that of a grape. The Spaniards have also brought melons from España, China, and Japón; as well as radishes, cabbages, lettuce, onions, and garlic; also camotes or potatoes, which have resulted very well, and are a source of great support for this kingdom. The Indians also formerly had other very good and useful roots, and various kinds of kidney beans. The sugar-cane also is produced throughout this kingdom, and a quantity of sugar is manufactured from it, although, it is not so sweet as that of España. Rice is the principal product of this kingdom. It is abundant, and there are various species of it; and it is harvested and sown throughout the year. Wheat comes from China, and a quantity formerly came from Japón. A quantity is also grown in this kingdom, although it is degenerating yearly, and accordingly it is necessary to bring new seed from Therrenate every fourth year. Our friars brought some shoots of the clove in a pot for transplanting. They were transplanted in various climates, and in different villages. Two shoots took root in the village of Mahayhay and produced fruit, and the cloves were as good as those of Therrenate. The first fruit that was gathered was sent to the governor of these islands, Don Juan Zereço. Those [303]two trees were lost afterward, and consequently none have been left in the kingdom. Some grapevine shoots have been brought from China, which after being transplanted in these islands have become good vines. The arms which have been and are commonly used by the natives of the kingdom are bows and arrows, a small lance and a shield of elongated round shape, like a pavés.13 The Indians who live far from Manila are doubtless skilful in the use of the bow and arrow. The Negrillos who wander through the mountains, and support themselves by hunting, are very skilful. The latter people have no government or settlements, and consequently they are not conquered. Considerable cotton is gathered throughout the kingdom, from which the Indians weave various kinds of cloth and textiles, of which they manufactured their clothes and vestments when they were pagans. Now they generally make them of mantas and pieces brought from China; and thus they are clad very well, tastefully, and in clean garments. In the province of Camarines, near the village of Malinas, there is also a hot-water spring, which issues from the ground boiling. Consequently, it destroys every living thing that falls into it; and, if wood or bone falls into it, converts them into stone.

The tributes and the persons who confess, who were above enumerated in each mission and ministry, were drawn from the lists which we have in the government [offices]. Without doubt those of our missions are a few more or less; for the exact number at present cannot be estimated except by consulting [304]the lists which are made for confession every Lent. There are nearly seventy-six thousand among all the persons who are ministered to in our missions.



Foundation of this province of San Gregorio, and other special events concerning it

The first founders of this province were discalced religious, sons of the province of San Joseph, whose principal convent is San Gil at Madrid; and accordingly this province was governed for some years as a custodia of the said province of San Joseph, its founder. And, since this was its custodia, the province of San Joseph sent to it the orders for its government. The other discalced provinces of España also sent their religious, in order to have a share in the abundant fruits of the conversion that have always been enjoyed in this province. The province of San Joseph, considering, then, that it was now time that this province—at that time its custodia—should govern itself and have its own government, petitioned his Holiness, Gregory Thirteenth, to erect it into a province. His Holiness did so by his special bull, by which he makes it a participant in all the apostolic briefs that have been or may be hereafter conceded by the apostolic see to the said province of San Joseph. In words truly weighty, and worthy of so great a pontiff, he charged this province and its superiors with the zeal that they ought to have in attending to the conversions in their care. His Holiness especially charged the conversion of the great empire of China upon them. In accordance with that action, father Fray Pablo de [305]Jesus was elected as the first provincial of this province in the year 1590. From that time until our days it has been preserved as a province, and it has been supplied with Observantine religious. The latter in order to aid their brothers have offered, with especial spirit, their health and lives to the Lord, and have busied themselves in preaching His gospel; so that almost all the provinces of España, both of the Discalced and of the Observantine, have religious sons who have been martyrs in this province.

This province was founded in the rigor and poverty which the Discalced of España profess. In order to better preserve themselves so, they petitioned his Majesty (may God preserve him) to be pleased to aid them with his paternal alms, in order that they might avoid in that way, as much as possible, the handling of money, which is so contrary to the purity of our holy rule. His Majesty did that with so holy and paternal a zeal that he ordered his governors and viceroys by his royal decree to aid this province with what was needful to clothe and cure the sick. This has been done and is being done, so that his Majesty spends annually more than two thousand five hundred pesos from his royal treasuries in sackcloth for habits, and in medicines, for the sick in México and Manila. This province, recognizing so extraordinary an alms, and the other favors that his Majesty is doing for it, considers his Majesty as its special patron; and refused the patronage that the dukes of Medina Sidonia and Escalona asked for—who offered their alms, favor, and protection. This province sought excuse from their [306]Excellencies by saying that they could not make any innovation about that matter without an order from his Majesty, for the said reasons.

While Don Pedro de Acuña was governing these islands by the force of his valor and arms, he placed a garrison in the forts of Therrenate. The soldiers being disconsolate without a convent of our father St. Francis, the governors accordingly founded in those forts the convent of San Antonio outside the walls of the city. Its first beginning was poor and slight. Afterward, when Master-of-camp Cristoval de Ascueta was governing the forts, he bought at his own cost some good plank houses, in that same locality, which were owned by a Spaniard. Therein, at his own cost and by his energy, he founded a church and convent of planks, which had a spacious garden. That convent was burned, as well as a hospital which the religious had built near it. The religious, seeing themselves thus destitute, tried to come to Manila, but Don Juan Niño de Tavora, who was governing this kingdom at that time, would not allow them to come. Accordingly, he sent an urgent order to Admiral Don Pedro de Heredia to rebuild their house with especial care. The said admiral did so, with so singular devotion that he rebuilt it in a short time, all of stone. Thus the convent was founded and the religious sustained at the expense of his Majesty (may God preserve him).

The religious of this convent have not been content with attending to the consolation of the soldiers of those fortresses, and administration of the sacraments to them, as the chaplains of his Majesty, but they have always endeavored to plant the holy gospel in the surrounding kingdoms. Fathers Fray Cristoval [307]del Castillo, Fray Martín de San Juan, Fray Gregorio de San Esteban,14 Fray Pedro de la Concepción, and a lay-brother, Fray Benito Díaz, entered the kingdom of Manados, where at various times they tried to convert that kingdom to the holy gospel. Father Fray Diego de Roxas died there, occupied in the same preaching of the holy gospel, with so much approbation of life that the natives of the kingdom buried his body in a new sepulcher, which they inclosed and preserved with so great veneration and respect that, although our religious of Therrenate have gone there for his bones, the natives have always refused to give them up. Father Fray Bias de Palomino (of whom we made mention above) also returned from this kingdom, to Therrenate, and, since he had already learned the languages of those kingdoms, wished to preach in the kingdom of Tagalanda. He disembarked for that purpose, trusting to those islanders, who, being barbarians, killed him as above stated. Some of our religious of Therrenate have entered the kingdom of Macasar for the same purpose of preaching the gospel, and of offering the word of God on various occasions to the kings of that kingdom. Although the latter did not receive the word, they did not maltreat [308]the religious. On the contrary, some villages, called Meados, which have preserved peace with our Spaniards of Therrenate in the said kingdom of Manados, have been very favorable to our religious. They have aided the forts with what provisions they had there. In the years of the Lord, forty-three and forty-four, some Spaniards who had gone to get provisions were in those villages. The Indians rose up against them. Two religious were also in the said villages, namely, father Fray Juan Yranzo and Fray Lorenzo Garalda,15 who had gone thither to convert the people. The Indians killed some of the Spaniards. Father Juan Yranzo escaped with some Spaniards, but father Fray Lorenço was killed at that time. When father Fray Vicente Argente,16 then the provincial minister of that province, investigated the matter and how it had happened, the witnesses declared that the Indians had refused to kill father Fray Lorenço, but that the priests of their idols insisted upon it, by saying that they were very angry because priests had been admitted into their [309]kingdom who prevented their idolatry. That was the reason why he suffered so many hardships. He died seven days after. His body was found upon its knees, and the Indians hid and kept it refusing to give it up. That religious was always considered a man of excellent spirit and zeal. Father Fray Bartolomé de San Diego17 and brother Fray Miguel de San Buenaventura have been preaching to those islanders in the islands of Calonga. Our religious have been in those kingdoms and in others near Therrenate, on various occasions and at various times, ever trying to reduce people so barbarous to the knowledge of our true God, although always with but little fruit. May the will of God be done in all things! The father reader Fray Ginés de Quesada18 and father Fray Juan Yorillas,19 emulating the holy zeal of so many martyrs as Japón has had, entered that country with remarkable courage, [310]and died there in the year 1633. Although we know that their death is certain, we do not know how it happened. There are many reports, but they are alike only in saying that those fathers were killed by torture.

When Don Juan Niño de Tavora was governing these islands, the emperor of Japon sent hither as many as one hundred and fifty exiled Christian lepers. It is said that his intent was to spread that leprosy among the natives of these islands, for it is a very common disease in Japón. But whether that was the intent or no, it is a fact that they were exiled because they were Christians; and as good Christians they preferred to leave their country and their relatives rather than their Christian worship and religion. All the city of Manila was greatly edified at sight of them. But at length those who received them into their charge were our holy order, who took them to the garden or site of the hospital for the natives, built by the religious. They are and have always been in that hospital, and the religious have sought alms with which to sustain them, for they have cost no little care, and do still. The governor assigned them alms from the royal treasury in the name of his Majesty; and his Majesty, upon learning it, ordered, since he is so good a Catholic, that two hundred ducados be given them annually from his royal treasury.

Nothing can be done in the missions if the religious do not learn the language of the natives. The religious of this province have always occupied themselves in this with great assiduity, as they are so free from property and business. The first missionaries left many writings in the Tagálog and [311]Bícol languages, the best of which are those left by fathers Fray Juan de Oliver, Fray Juan de Plasençia, Fray Miguel de Talavera,20 Fray Diego de la Asunción,21 and Fray Gerónimo Monte.22 Mention is here made of the above fathers because they were the first masters of the Tagálog language, and since their writings are so common and so well received by all the orders. They have not been printed, because [312]they are voluminous, and there are no arrangements in this kingdom for printing so much. Those things that have been printed, as being urgently needed for the instruction of the natives, are the following. In the year 1613, father Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura23 printed a Tagálog vocabulary. In the year 1610, father Fray Gerónimo Monte printed in the Tagálog tongue Oraciones devotas para Comulgar y Confesar [i.e., “Devout prayers for Communion and Confession”]. Father Fray Alonso de Santa Ana24 explained and printed the Misterios de nuestra Santa fe [i.e., “Mysteries of our Holy faith”] in the same Tagálog language in the year 1628. In the year 1637, father Fray Joseph de Santa Maria translated into the same language the Doctrina of Cardinal Bellarmino. In a different style father Fray Antonio de San Gregorio tried to explain the principal mysteries of our holy faith, in the year 1648. Father Fray Andrés de San Agustín25 [313]printed a grammar of the Bícol language in the province of Camarines in the Bícol language (which is the commonest and most universal of that province), in the year 1647; and the translation that he made into that language of the Doctrina of the same Cardinal Bellarmino,26 in the same language and in the same year. Father Fray Juan del Spiritu Santo printed another Tratado de Comunión y de Confesión [i.e., “Treatise on Communion and Confession”] with which the father ministers and these natives have sufficient for study—the first, the so important barbaric languages of these kingdoms; and the second, the so necessary mysteries of our holy faith. The above is what has been printed in the Bícol language; and since the writings left by fathers Fray Marcos de Lisboa27 and Fray Diego Bermeo,28 [314]the first ministers of that province and the first masters of that language, have not been printed, we shall make no mention of them.

In the year nineteen or twenty his Majesty sent a goodly reënforcement of men and money to this kingdom by his general Don [blank space in MS.] de Huesola. That aid was lost on leaving Cádiz.29 In all of the galleons were sailing our religious, who had been assigned as chaplains. Father Fray Juan de Noves, with another priest, and a lay-brother, Fray Joseph de los Santos, took passage in the galleon San Joseph. That galleon was wrecked on the coast, as were the others. Its captain and pilot retired to the stern, which is the highest part of the vessel. They had the religious summoned who were down below, hearing confessions on the quarterdeck. Father Fray Juan de Noves answered that he could not go, for they were confessing the people, and that they could not leave all those men without consolation. The lay-brother went, since he was not a confessor, and was saved, with those who were at the stern. The two religious who were confessors were lost, on account of hearing confessions, with the others who were below decks. Most extraordinary was the zeal displayed in this by father Fray Andrés de Puertollano.30 Returning to España as custodian of this province, he embarked at Vera Cruz in the almiranta [315]of the fleet. That vessel was lost in a storm on some hidden rocks, and was beached. The admiral went in his falúa with what Spaniards he could take, and father Fray Andrés embarked with him. When the poor wretches who were left behind in the wrecked galleon saw father Fray Andrés in the falúa, they commenced to cry out, saying: “Father Fray Andrés, why do you leave us in these troubles?” The religious, overmastered by impulse, sprang into the water without saying anything; and went to the galleon to confess those poor wretches, where he perished with the others. Reverend Father Fray Juan de Prado, then commissary-general of the order in México, advised this province of that event. His most reverent Paternity adds in his letter that he also had been advised, in the report made to him of the matter, that the men aboard of the falúa saw father Fray Andrés walk upon the water when returning to the ship, just as if he were upon the land. The truth is, as we all know, that father Fray Andrés could not swim; and even had he known how, he would have swum but ill, clad in a habit of sackcloth so voluminous as that worn by the discalced religious. May His Divine Majesty be pleased by it all, and may He give us His holy Spirit so that we may all serve and praise Him!

O divine Providence! O eternal Predestination! we men work as men; but Thou, O Lord, ordainest our works to incomprehensible ends, as an omnipotent God! In the shipyard of Bagatas, which was established in the province of Camarines, the Mindanao [316]enemy (whose worship is the law of Mahomet) made a sudden attack. The galleon which was being built was burned; and among other persons captured was father Fray Domingo de los Mártires, who was the confessor of the shipyard, and a lay-brother, his associate and the nurse of the same shipyard. They offered and sacrificed the lay-brother to their god or idol, in a storm that burst upon them. They took the priest with them, he preaching to them all the time and teaching them our evangelical law whenever he saw a convenient opportunity for so doing. It happened that a woman near his apartment who was pregnant came to her time; she had a very painful labor, and bore an infant, still alive but breathing its last. The religious begged leave of the mother to baptize it. He was granted permission and baptized it, and shortly afterward it died and went to heaven. Many blows and knocks did it cost the religious to baptize it; but he afterward returned to this province where he died, and where he recounted the above. Thus did the Mindanao enemy go to Bagatas, burned the shipyard, captured two religious, sacrificed the lay-brother to their idols, and preserved the life of the priest; and for what end? Why did they not sacrifice them both? Because God had predestined that infant for His glory, and likewise that the [Moro] king should go to Bagatas, and attain his design, namely, the burning of the shipyard; and that God should also attain His, namely, to take that infant to His glory. Inasmuch as that had to be by the medium of baptism, [He ordained] that the king should take a priest from Bagatas, preserve his life, give him lodging near the pregnant mother, and that the mother [317]should have a painful birth; that the religious should learn of it, and with the mother’s permission baptize the infant; and that it should die at that instant, so that it should instantly be translated from its Mahometan kingdom to that of Glory, for so has divine Providence disposed and ordained.

Not less important was that which happened in the province of Tuy. That province has some valleys enclosed by rough mountains, which are bounded on the north by the province of Cagayán, and on the east by the village of Casiguran, (he last of our missions. Father Blas de la Madre de Dios,31 during his provincialate, heard of these people while in the province of Tagalos, and in order to reduce them to civilization and to obedience to our God and our king, sent fathers Fray Pedro de la Concepción and Fray Joseph Fonte to them, as well [318]as the brothers Fray Pedro de Sacedón and Fray Baltasar de N. to act as nurses. Those religious lived in that province for two years, and the Indians furnished them with what was necessary, with all respect and kindness. A man already aged fell sick, and, being harassed by his illness, begged to be taken to the religious, who were in another village. On arriving he begged for holy baptism, with tears in his eyes, and scarcely had he received it when he died and went to heaven. This is the fruit that was drawn from that journey, besides some small children who were baptized when in danger of death, for whose predestination divine Providence seems to have thus arranged. The same father provincial, Fray Blas de la Madre de Dios, went with other religious to visit that province. Considering how poor were the facilities for that conversion—for the people were scattered in groups of huts, and had no villages or government—and that between the said village of Casiguran and the said valleys of Tuy intervene thickets and mountains inhabited by savage Cimarrones; and that those mountains in themselves are very rough, so that no one could go to and return from Tuy without undergoing the worst kind of trouble and danger: therefore the father provincial returned to his mission at Casiguran with all the religious. The fathers of St. Dominic also went to those people by way of Cagayán, and also abandoned them for the same reasons as we. From the above examples many others can be inferred in each conversion, which are without doubt special and remarkable. In them and in all things may our God and Lord be blessed and praised; and may His Divine [319]Majesty give us His holy grace so that we may praise and serve Him in this and in the eternal life as His children! Amen.

I look at the conversion of this kingdom of Philipinas in this way: The happy day arrived on which God had determined to reduce all América to the bosom of His holy Church. The kings of Francia and Inglaterra disregard its conquest; the Catholic sovereign, although in those times poorer and less powerful, receives it. América having been conquered, reports are sent from Asia to Madrid testifying of the islands of Salomón and their wealth of gold and pearls. The fleets of España go to discover them, and although they discover other kingdoms and islands of infidels, they do not halt therein. The islands of Luzón having been discovered, they are conquered; and, having been conquered, are preserved. “Then, Sire, if the islands of Luçon do not contain the gold and pearls that one imagined, why are they preserved?” “That makes no difference,” replies his Catholic Majesty, “for I am working as an instrument of divine Providence. The gold and pearls are a very accidental object. The chief end is the conversion of the kingdom of Luçón, which God has specially predestined; and He has chosen me, His king, as the instrument. And since the principal end for the greater service of my God has been attained with so great glory to myself and to my crown, the islands of Luçón will be preserved, although my treasures are exhausted in their preservation.” O, great God! how incomprehensible by the usual means are Thy hidden purposes!—or, Altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae, Deo quam incomprehensibilia [320]sunt indicia cuis et investigabilis vid [sc., vis?] eius!32

[To this account may be added the following information regarding the Franciscan order in the Philippines, previous to 1640, from La Concepción’s Hist. de Philipinas, v, pp. 199–201:]

6. On the occasion of the conquest of the island Hermosa, and the establishments therein, the province of San Gregorio resolved to found their own convent there, in order that it might serve them as a way-station to Japon and China. For that purpose their provincial sent father Fray Gaspar de Alenda, and as his associate the lay brother Fray Juan de San Marcos. Furnished with the necessary licenses and despatches, they established in accordance with these a church and convent, which they dedicated to their glorious father St. Francis; and they maintained themselves there until the Dutch drove them thence, with the death of their founder, father Fray Gaspar. Those fathers had their troubles in Philipinas in their chief administration of Camarines. By the death of Don Fray [Pedro] Mathias, the one chosen to succeed him was the most illustrious Don Fray Pedro Godines, a Franciscan, who did not come over to that church. The most illustrious and reverend Don Fray Diego de Guevara, an Augustinian, who had been prior of their convent of Manila, the first vicar-general of Japon, was appointed. That prelate governed that church justly for three years, when he suddenly departed this life. He was succeeded [321]by the most illustrious Don Fray Luis de Cañizares, a Minim, by virtue of a royal decree of appointment and presentation; but in Mexico another decree reached him, making him bishop of Honduras. As incumbent of the vacant see in Camarines was substituted the most illustrious and most reverend Don Fray Francisco de Zamudio, an Augustinian by profession, from the province of Mechoacan. He began to govern in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-three and continued in his office until that of thirty-nine, when he died suddenly. During his government he tried to despoil the discalced Franciscans of various missions in the province of Camarines and that of Ibalon or Albay. The Franciscans defended themselves against that spoliation, and opposed the decisions of the provisors of Manila and of Zebù in degree of appeal, which were favorable to the bishop. They proceeded afterward with their suit before the archbishop, Don Fernando Guerrero, and he annulled those sentences, notwithstanding that favor [by the provisors], in order to obviate quarrels and scandals, which were inevitable in [attempting to] rectify affairs after such spoliation. As the firm nature of the most illustrious Zamudio would not permit him to comply with the archbishop’s decree, the Franciscans yielded, voluntarily and humbly, their rights declared and confirmed by sentence of that court. The bishop also claimed [the right] to subject them to the [diocesan] visitation and examination, in his execution of briefs and decrees. That knotty question was discussed in the Audiencia. The most illustrious Don Fray Diego Aduarte, bishop of Nueva Segovia, having been summoned, responded to that [322]tribunal, renouncing his favorable right—which, although it was in favor of the miter, was greatly injurious to the Indians. In order to avoid greater injuries he renounced inferior rights, setting aside all these for the good administration of his subjects.33 That response was sufficient to cause all former prejudicial litigations to cease. [323]

1 Probably the name of that religious province of the Order of St. John of God from which these brethren were obtained. See Vol. XXVIII, p. 143, note 63.

2 Sebastián de San José was born in Medina del Campo, January 19, 1566, and at an early age was sent to the university of Salamanca. At the age of nineteen (1585), he took the Franciscan habit at the convent of Zamora. He reached the Philippines in 1605, where he began to study the Tagálog and Japanese languages, in the convent of Santa Ana of Sapa. He was appointed conventual preacher of the Manila convent in 1608, and the following year was appointed commissary-provincial for the islands of Maluco, arriving at Ternate in February, 1610. In June of the same year he went to the island of Macasar where he had great success. On returning from that island to get aid for his missionary labors, he was attacked by the hostile natives of the island of Tagolanda, and killed June 18, 1610. See Huerta’s Estado, pp. 381, 382.

3 Antonio de Santa Ana was born in Garrobillas in Estremadura in 1582, and took the Franciscan habit in 1602. He arrived at the Philippines in 1609, and went in December of that same year to the missions of the Moluccas, where, having been made a prisoner by the Dutch, he was ransomed by the Spanish residents of Ternate. He was captured the following year by the natives of Tagolanda who had killed Sebastián de San José, whom he had accompanied on the mission to Macasar. He was killed by the woman as related in the text (June 28, 1610). See Huerta, ut supra, pp. 382, 383.

4 But one Franciscan of this name is recorded by Huerta—the noted Plasencia (Vol. VII, p. 185) whose writings appear in Vols. VII and XVI of this series. The reference in the text is either to some other friar of that name, or is an erroneous statement.

5 Francisco de Santa Maria came to the Philippines in June, 1577, and spent several years in missions there. In 1581 he went to China, and afterward to Malaca. Returning to Manila in 1585, he set out two years later for Spain; but his ship, fleeing from the Dutch, was obliged to make port in Borneo. There he was slain by the natives (December, 1587), the first martyr among the missionaries, of all orders, sent to the Philippines (Huerta, pp. 370, 371).

6 Blas Palomino was a native of Audújar and professed in the Franciscan province of Granada, where he became master of novitiates. Going to the Philippines in 1609, he was assigned to the province of Ituy where he established the village of Ituy. In 1617 he went to the village of Binangonan de Lampon, and in 1619 to the Moluccas; but after arriving at Ternate he went to the island of Macasar. Having been ordered to return to Ternate, he embarked in a Portuguese vessel, but being treacherously entreated by some of the natives to return, he went back to the shore (in the territory of Manados), where he was immediately killed (August 30, 1622). See Huerta, ut supra, pp. 386, 387.

7 Juan de Palma was a native of Toledo, and was a soldier in Flanders in his youth. After returning to Spain he entered the Franciscan convent of San Juan de la Ribera (March 25, 1607). He went to the Philippines in 1611, and in the following year was sent to Japan, where he labored until 1614, when he was exiled and returned to Manila. In that city he acted as procurator until 1623, when he set sail for Spain on various matters of business. Being captured, however, en route by the Dutch, he was killed in 1624, in the forty-sixth year of his age. See Huerta, ut supra, pp. 394. 395.

8 Gerónimo de San José went to the Philippines in 1628, whence he tried earnestly to go to Japan. Finally embarking for that country in 1632 with some Chinese, he was killed (July or August, 1632) by the latter, who received a reward for the deed in Japan. See Huerta, ut supra, p. 397.

9 The class of serpents called in Tagálog olopong (Trimeresurus erythrurus—Cant.?) are called aguason in the Visayas. They resemble the vipers and are very poisonous. There are a number of different species. See Delgado’s Historia, pp. 896, 897. See also Official Handbook of the Philippines (Manila, 1903), pp. 149, 150.

10 Anades: a species of duck (Anas boschas).

11 “Copper ores are reported from a great number of places in the Philippines; they are said to occur in Luzon, Mindoro, Panay, and Mindanao. It is not probable that all of these are important, but northern Luzon contains a copper region of unquestioned value. The best known portion of this region lies about Mount Data, in the province of Lepanto.... In this range copper was smelted by the natives long before Magellan discovered the Philippines. The process consists of alternate partial roasting and reductions to ‘matte,’ and eventually to block copper. It is generally believed that this process must have been introduced from China or Japan. It is practiced only by one peculiar tribe of natives, the Igorrotes. This tribe is in most respects semibarbarous and lives in great squalor, though industrially they stand on a high level, and show remarkable skill in the working of metals as well as in their extraction. They have turned out not merely implements of small dimensions, but copper kettles as large as three and a half feet in diameter.” (Official Handbook of the Philippines, p. 50. For more detailed account see Becker, ut infra, pp. 584–590.)

12 A reference to the great volcano of Mayón, in Albay. See full account of volcanoes in the Philippines, in Becker’s “Geology of the Philippine Islands,” in U. S. Geol. Survey Report, 1899–1900, pt. iii, pp. 525–542.

Sulphur can probably be obtained throughout the volcanic regions of the islands.

13 Pavés: a large oblong shield.

14 Gregorio de San Estevan is the only one of these religious mentioned by Huerta. He professed in the Franciscan province of San Pablo, whence he went to the Philippines. In November, 1609, he was appointed master of novices in the Manila convent. It is supposed that he was in the Moluccas about 1612, as he wrote a history of the martyrdom of Sebastian de San José and Antonio de Santa Ana. In March, 1622, he was appointed guardian of the convent of Cavite, and in June of that same year was elected definitor and vicar of the royal convent of Santa Clara. In 1625 he went as guardian to the Manila convent, whence he went to administer the convent of Dilao and that of Santa Ana of Sapa (January, 1632). He died at the Manila convent in 1632.

15 Lorenzo Garraldo was born at Nagore in Navarra, and professed February 4, 1633. He went to the Moluccas in 1638, where he resided at the Ternate convent for some time, going thence to the kingdom of Manados in Macasar. The heathen instigated the people against him, and he was killed February 13, 1642. See Huerta, pp. 404, 405.

16 Vicente Argent, preacher and lecturer on sacred theology, went to the Philippines in 1630, where he was appointed lecturer in the arts in 1632. He later administered the villages of Gumaca, Santa Cruz, and Mahayhay. In the chapter of January 13, 1635 he was chosen definitor, and in 1639, custodian. In 1641 he went to Nagcarlang, and was elected provincial in the chapter of January 17, 1643, returning after his term to that village. Later he administered the convents in Lilio and Mahayhay, and was commissary-visitor and president of the chapter of January 6, 1652. In 1655 he was at Pangil. He died at sea in 1657, while on his way to Nueva España. See Huerta, p. 454.

17 Bartolomé de San Diego went to the Philippines in 1628, and was assigned to the Moluccas missions. He went from Ternate to the kingdoms of Calonga and Tabuca, afterward returning to Manila, and died in the convent there in 1648. He wrote a relation of the events of his missions in Calonga and Tabuca (dated April 25, 1640). See Huerta, p. 509.

18 Ginés de Quesada, lecturer in sacred theology, was born at Mula in Murcía, and went to the Philippines in 1621, where he was the spiritual director of Mother Gerónima de la Asunción. In 1630 he taught sacred theology in the Manila convent, and in 1632 went to the Japanese missions, where he suffered martyrdom June 7, 1634. He left behind several writings. See Huerta, p. 399.

19 Juan Torrella (not Yorillas) was a native of Alcudia in Valencia, and took his vows at the convent of Gandia October 28, 1610. He went to the Philippines in 1629, and the following year went to Macao as secretary to make investigations regarding the Japanese martyrs. Returning thence to Manila, he went to the Japanese missions in 1632, where he was martyred June 8 or 9, 1634. See Huerta, pp. 399, 400.

20 Miguel de Talavera, preacher (known in the world as Salvador) was born in Nueva Granada in America, and went to the Philippines with his parents with the fleet of Legazpi while still very young. Remaining at Cebú until 1572, he then went to Manila with a good knowledge of the Visayan language. He learned Latin from Juan de Plasencia, and took the habit in 1580. In 1587 he set out for Spain with Francisco de Santa Maria; but, having taken refuge in Borneo, the latter was killed by the natives, and the former returned to Manila in 1588. In 1597 he was in the village of Siniloan and founded the villages of Guilinguiling and Marata, which were afterward formed into the village of Caboan. In 1604 he went to Nagcarlan, but returned to Siniloan the following year, which he left in 1609 for Guilinguiling. He returned to the former village in 1611 and established the village of Mabitac, going in 1616 to Santa Cruz de Potac, where he remained until his death, which occurred at Pila, July 29, 1622. He wrote a number of treatises in the Tagálog language. See Huerta, pp. 499–501.

21 Diego de la Asunción, preacher, is not mentioned in any of the lists of missions, capitular tables, or book of the deceased. He must have died before the year 1690. He is mentioned by various chronologists as having written a number of works in Tagálog. These comprise a Tagálog grammar; a dictionary; translations of the gospels, of Genesis, and of the book called Passio duorum; doctrinal discourses; a treatise on confession; and other devotional treatises. See Huerta, pp. 517, 518.

22 Gerónimo Montes y Escamilla (or de San Antonio), confessor, professed in the Spanish Franciscan province of San José, and left for the Philippines in 1580, but was detained in Mexico until 1583, when he resumed his voyage. He labored in the villages of Gumaca, Meycauayan, Santa Ana de Sapa, Morong, and Nagcarlan, and died in 1610 at Lumban. He was well versed in the Tagálog, in which he left a number of writings. See Huerta, p. 495.

23 Pedro de San Buenaventura, confessor, went to the Philippines about 1594. In 1597 he was associate at Nagcarlan, and was also employed in the missions of Paete, Maoban, Pasabango, Santa Cruz, Siniloan, and was conventual preacher at Manila. In 1611 he went to take charge of the convent of Pila, and afterward administered the missions of Meycauayan, Paete, Tayabas, Santa Cruz, and Lilio. He sailed for Mexico in 1627, but died at sea. He left a Spanish-Tagálog dictionary, which was printed in Manila by Tomás Pimpin, in 1613, and was the first dictionary printed in that language. See Huerta, pp. 501, 502.

24 Alonso de Santa Ana, preacher, was a native of Ponferrada, and took the Franciscan habit after becoming a priest. He went to the Philippines in 1594, and after a life of usefulness died at the Manila convent in 1630. He left a number of writings in the Tagalog language, some of which were printed. See Huerta, pp. 504, 505.

25 Andrés de San Agustín, confessor, went to the Philippines in 1626, where he became minister in the village of Bacon, In 1628 he went to the village of Indan and worked later in the villages of Bula, Quipayo, Daet, Naga, Oás, and Minalabag. In the chapter of January 9, 1649, he was elected definitor and minister of the village of Sampaloc, where he fell sick. He died after his retirement to the Manila convent in 1649, leaving a number of writings in the Bícol dialect. See Huerta, p. 509.

26 See Vol. XVII, p. 70, note 15.

27 Marcos de Lisboa, preacher, was born in Lisboa, Portugal, of noble parents, who sent him to engage in the Indian commerce at an early age, he taking up his residence at Malaca. He took the Franciscan habit in that city in 1582, and went to the Philippines in 1586, where he projected the foundation of the Santa Misericordia in Manila and contributed to its establishment in 1594. Later he went to Camarines where he had charge of the villages of Polangui and Oás. He was elected definitor and minister of Naga in 1602, and went to Oás in 1605. In the chapter of May 24, 1608, he was again elected definitor, and January 16, 1609, he was elected vicar-provincial, governing until October 29, 1611, during which time the missions to the province of Ituy were founded. At the end of his term he was elected guardian of Naga, and in 1616 was elected definitor for the third time and minister of Dilao. He went to Mexico in 1618, and having been appointed custodian for the general chapter of July 16, 1622, he went to Madrid and thence to Rome. At the conclusion of the chapter he retired to the convent of San Gil in Madrid, where he died at the beginning of 1628. He left a number of writings in the Bícol dialect. See Huerta, pp. 447, 448.

28 See Vol. XVI, p. 29, note 2.

29 For account of this expedition, see Vol. XIX, p. 36.

30 Andrés de Puertollano, preacher, went to the Philippines in 1616, where besides being occupied in preaching and confessing, he labored in the missions of Sampaloc and Paete, and also acted as guardian of the Cavite convent. In 1643, while on his way to Spain to get more missionaries, he was wrecked near San Domingo. His death occurred as related in the text. See Huerta, p. 406.

31 Blas de la Madre de Dios was born in Lisboa, Portugal, and was early sent by his parents to engage in the Indian trade. He settled in the city of Malaca, where, after contributing all his possessions to charity, he took the habit in 1582. In 1585 he went to the Philippines, where having learned the language, he was assigned to the village of Morong. Thence he went to the village of Pila, and helped establish the village of Guilinguiling (1600), and was later in that of Palilla. In the chapter of May 14, 1605, he was elected definitor and minister of Meycauayan, and was later assigned to the village of Paete. October 29, 1611, he was elected provincial, and during his term the villages of Daet, Bactas, and Paracale were established. He was the first provincial to visit the province of Ituy, where he suffered many hardships. At the end of his provincialate he was assigned to the village of Lumbang. In 1618 he went to Mexico whence he returned to Manila in 1621, going the same year to the village of Mabitac. March 15, 1622, he was elected vicar-provincial, but in June of that same year went to the village of Santa Cruz de Potac. He went to the village of Pangil in June, 1625, whence he retired sick to Pila, where he died September 7, 1626. He left a number of writings, among them a treatise on the flora of the Philippines, the first one to be written. See Huerta, pp. 448, 449.

32 “O height of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how incomprehensible are the tokens of the one and how unsearchable the nature of the other!”

33 A somewhat hasty and vague statement of the case as given by Gonzalez in Aduarte’s Historia (ed. 1640), p. 404. What Concepción means to say is, that Aduarte renounced the rights conferred upon him by the briefs and decrees, enabling him to compel the missionary friars to submit to diocesan visitation and examination—doing so on the ground that such supervision would be injurious to the Indians in their charge. See our Vol. XXXII, p. 283.



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

1. News from Filipinas, 1640–42.—In “Tomo 101, no. 50.” The short letter at the end is an extract from a pamphlet (see note 30, ante, p. 124) in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid; it is one of several bound together, with pressmark, “359, 20–4a.”

2. Events in the Philippines, 1643–44.—In “Tomo 120, no. 106.”

3. Affairs in Filipinas, 1644–47.—In “Tomo 71, no. 32.”

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

4. Document regarding Indians.—“Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficios y partes; reales ordenes dirigidas á los autoridades y particulares del distrito de la Audiencia; años 1605 á 1645; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 12.

5. Concessions to Jesuits.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas eclesiasticas de Filipinas; años 1609 á 1644; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 43.[324]

6. Decree regarding missionaries.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; expedientes sobre la visita de los religiosos por los ordinarios; años 1607 á 1620; est. 69, caj. 1, leg. 30.

The following documents are obtained from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), which is largely compiled from the above-named “Papeles de los Jesuitas:

7. Formosa lost to Spain.—From vol. ii, pp. 251–288.

8. Decree ordering reënforcements.—From vol. ii, pp. 353–355.

The following document is obtained from the “Cedulario Indico,” in the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid:

9. Letter to Corcuera.—In “Tomo 39, fol. 302, no. 303.”

The following document is taken from the Archivo general at Simancas:

10. Trade with English.—“2523—Estado Inglaterra.”

The following documents are taken from printed works:

11. Dominican missions.—From Baltasar de Santa Cruz’s Historia de la provincia del Santo Rosario (Zaragoça, 1693), pp. 1–23.

12. Recollect missions.—From Luis de Jesús’s Historia de los religiosos descalzos de San Augustin (Madrid, 1681), pp. 69–71, 163–173, 184, 282–287, 294–298; and Juan de la Concepción’s Historia de Philipinas, v, pp. 163–179, 360–391.

13. Report on Sangley licenses.—From a rare and perhaps unique pamphlet (Manila, 1644), in possession of Edward E. Ayer. [325]

14. Erection of Santo Tomás into university.—From Documentos relativos á la Universidad de Manila (Madrid, 1892), pp. 23–30. The letter to Siruela is obtained from a MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, with pressmark, “2780, 24—4a, caja no. 7.”

15. Franciscan missions.—From Retana’s Archivo del bibliófilo filipino, i, pp. [15–71].