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 XLIII, 1670–1700
The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio



Contents of Volume XLIII




This volume carries forward the history of the Dominican order in the Philippines, and, like the other instalments of Dominican history, or, to speak more broadly, of the history of the orders, contains many interesting sidelights. The increasing power of the order is well seen in the new arrivals of missionaries from Spain, and their pushing out into the territory regarded by the Recollects as their own, to the detriment of the latter, which the Dominicans are able to do through the great influence of Felipe Pardo, the archbishop. The tone of the history is one of ecclesiastical jealousy and aggrandizement. In the appendix which treats in great part of the Moros and peoples of Mindanao, the chief things to note are the similarity of these latter-day Malay peoples in many of their customs and characteristics with the early Filipinos as described by the early writers. The persistence of the old superstitious beliefs in the province of Nueva Ecija, Luzón, is interesting, and probably typical of the islands as a whole, at least in districts somewhat out of the usual line of travel. As this appendix shows, there is yet much work for the ethnologist in all parts of the Philippines.

The first portion of this volume treats of the Dominican [10]missions, in general between the years 1670–1700, the matter being translated and condensed from Salazar’s Historia. In 1671 and 1679 new contingents of religious arrive in the province from Spain, which prove of great profit to the overworked missionaries, for they have missions on the Asiatic mainland as well as in the Philippines which must be supplied. In the latter year the Zambal mission is transferred to the Dominicans, they supplanting the Recollect order, who have been in charge there for over sixty years. This is at the request of the natives themselves, but it is discovered shortly that that request is only a ruse on the part of the latter in order to escape any obligation to accept the faith, for they soon petition that they be given Jesuits in place of Dominicans. Before the transfer of the mission the Dominicans have already begun to work in the Zambal district, but desist because of the complaints of the Recollects that their territory is being invaded. When they resume their work there in 1679, they are aided considerably by the governor, Vargas y Hurtado, and his military representative in the Zambal district. These chapters show in extenso the methods used by the missionaries in advancing the faith. The soldiers are of considerable aid in escorting those who are to become reduced to a civilized life in the villages where the fathers can watch over their welfare carefully. The harshness of the soldiers is counteracted by the mildness and solicitude of the missionaries. The work of the latter also extends to the industrial training of the new converts. Natives of civilized villages are specially hired to instruct them in agriculture, but so lazy are many of the Zambals that after their [11]lands have been cultivated, sowed, and tended, they refuse to harvest them themselves and many of them take to the mountains and apostatize from the faith. Some, however, gather the harvest as they have the profit in sight. In those new missions the children, from regarding the fathers with suspicion and abhorring their very sight, soon flock about them at their appearance and will scarcely be persuaded to part from them. The children, too, are the ones whom the fathers first win over to the faith and the instruction, and these in turn bring in their parents and the other older people by taunting them with their ignorance. The astute Fray Domingo Perez, who is in charge of the Zambal field, suppresses the practice of murders by means of a trick, for by feeling the pulses of all the men of a village he is able through the natural fear of the culprit to detect the murderer. Therefore the superstitious Zambals imagine that he can detect any wrongdoing by simply feeling the pulse, and look upon him with awe. But still notwithstanding the seeming success of the missions after three years the father learns through the children that the Indians have been secretly maintaining their old idol worship. Horrified, he straightway sets about destroying the worship and the idols, and after a vigorous campaign succeeds in wiping out idolatry. The balance of the missionary work of the Dominicans relates mainly to the northern province of Cagayan, where the Dominicans have many villages and peoples under their charge. Two fathers sent out from Manila in 1673 sound the Irraya district in order that they may discover whether those people are ready to embrace the faith. The field is however, not yet ripe, and hence [12]nothing further is done there until the year 1677, when Fray Pedro Jimenez is assigned to that district. Being shortly recalled, he is sent back there the following year, and the work is taken up in earnest. Many Indians are reduced, both with and without the aid of the soldiers, for Fray Pedro is a fearless worker. In seven years he has founded three permanent villages; but at the end of that time he is removed from his mission because of certain slanderous reports against him, although he returns later after being fully vindicated. The Dominicans open up a road to the province of Cagayan at their own expense in order that they may have easier access thereto. At the intermediary chapter of 1680 various new missions are accepted formally by the order and religious assigned to them. The mission of Palavig is composed of Visayans who flee thither, and of Christian apostates and heathens. Though that mission had first been founded in 1653, it had been soon abandoned because of some sudden fear, and the people had taken to the mountains. Also after its reëstablishment, the mission is of but little permanence, for the people abandon it because of annoyances received from a commandant who comes there to watch for the Acapulco ship. Early in the eighteenth century a new mission is established in that district at Bavag, which is soon moved to Dao, and then to Vangag. The work of the missions is enforced in 1684 by a band of forty-nine missionaries. That same year also, Fray Pedro Jimenez is sent to Fotol on the borders of the country of the Apayaos (incorrectly called Mandayas), a people who are especially fierce and bloodthirsty. There he manages to patch up a quarrel among [13]opposing factions by his diplomacy, and gains the hearts of the people. Accompanied by twenty-two heathens he goes to Aparri, where the alcalde-mayor bestows honors and titles upon them. Notwithstanding the rumors that the Apayaos are plotting to kill him, the father visits their mountain fastnesses, where his confidence meets its just reward. Some months later he returns thither and builds a church among them. In 1686 so greatly has the work prospered that Fray Pedro is given two associates, and in 1688 another. With the increased aid, he establishes a new village of over 500 converts, but he is soon compelled to abandon the mission because of sickness, whereupon the inhabitants of the village of Calatug, supposedly Christians, attack the mountaineers to whom they have always been hostile, and the village is consequently abandoned by the survivors, some of whom flee to the mountains and others are transferred to another mission site. The intermediary chapter of 1688 accepts certain houses in Pangasinan. In the mission of San Bartolome which is composed of Alaguetes and Igorots, many intermarriages take place and the people are knit closer together. That village exists more than twenty years, but is finally burned in 1709 or 1710 by hostile Igorots, and the father in charge and the faithful of his flock remove to San Luis Beltran which is located farther from the mountains and is safer. The latter mission is twice removed and at each time some of the Indians refuse to accompany it, because of their disinclination to abandon the locality where they have become fixed, or flee to the mountains. In 1732 another mission is established at that point. The mission of Tuga is opened by Fray Juan Iñiguez, [14]who begins his work there in 1688 with great success. That mission also experiences various removals, and in 1715, the remaining Christians are removed to the mission of Tuao. The revolt in Cagayan in 1718 finishes the mission, for its inhabitants apostatize and take to the mountain. The work is taken up later there in 1722; and in 1731, although still called the mission of Tuga it is moved nearer Tuao. As a result of the chapter of 1680 work is taken up in the Batanes Islands. Fray Mateo Gonzalez, who has been assigned to the Cagayan missions, extends his work to the Babuyanes Islands to the north of Luzón. He establishes a village on the Cagayan coast with people from those islands, but an order from the government sends those people back to their islands and the mission village is destroyed. In 1686, the first efforts are made in the Batanes, but the attempt proves abortive through the death of two of the fathers assigned to that field. In 1718 another attempt there proves successful. In 1693 the mission of Santa Cruz is established near Malaueg by Fray José Galfarroso, who working zealously through those rough mountains, gains the most influential man of the region to the Christian faith, in consequence of which many conversions are made. New mission bands reach the province in the years 1694 and 1699, and an examination of the names shows that it is difficult to obtain priests for the work for many of those sent are only brothers and acolytes. The mission of Itugug or Paniqui is flourishing and in Zifun a fine field is opened under charge of Fray Jerónimo Ulloa.

The ethnological appendix opens with a short account by Tomás Ortiz, O.S.A., of various superstitions [15]and heathen beliefs and practices that still exist among the natives, notwithstanding all the efforts of the religious to stamp them out. Many of them show a strange mingling of heathenism and Christianity. Their belief in nonos, primarily, ancestor worship, leads them to ascribe spirits or souls to everything, somewhat as did the primitive North American Indian, and they are very careful to propitiate the spirit or nono of river, field, and wood, etc. The ceremony of tibao, or awaiting the soul of the deceased, is still practiced by the natives, and they endeavor by various methods to outwit the fathers. Ashes are spread in the house where the death occurred and by the tracks made thereon, they ascertain whether the soul has returned or not. They have numerous beliefs regarding the tigbalāg, the patianac, the asuang, the last two of which are the enemies of childbirth and children. Various ridiculous conjurings are performed in order to scare off those terrible monsters of the imagination. The bongsol are certain enchantments caused in the body by a sorcerer called ganay, and in order to drive them away, one must have recourse to another sorcerer. In any sickness that is deemed natural when it first comes on, if the cure is not effected as quickly as desired, it is always referred to enchantment or bongsol, and is exorcised. Bilao is an elaborate ceremony, in which the rosary plays a conspicuous part, for the discovery of any thief. The anting-anting is carried by many of the natives. Both males and females are circumcised. There is a curious custom of spanning their weapons while reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and if the two operations end at the same time, then one may kill with impunity. Many [16]heretical beliefs and many false preachers exist, the proximity of the Mahometans having its effect. Eclipses of the moon mean that that orb is being swallowed by some awful monster, and all the people endeavor to scare away that beast with the great din that they make. Inasmuch as all these beliefs are not universal, the missionary must exercise great prudence at all times.

Another Augustinian, Joaquin Martínez de Zúñiga, also devotes a chapter of his Historia to the Peoples of the Philippines. There are only two classes of peoples in the Philippines—the Negritos and the Filipinos—and even these in last analysis are, he says, homogeneous. Most of the chapter is taken up with the attempt to prove that the Philippine Islands were peopled from the East and that they are perhaps of the same origin as the Indians of South America, who would then be the parent stock. All the peoples of the South Seas are homogeneous, according to him, and he believes that he has proved his case by the faulty philological method. His views are interesting, as he is the only person who has put forward such claims. In reply to those who claim a Malay origin for the peoples of the Philippines, he states that the method of writing might very well have been learned from the Malays, but that the people must have come from the east and not the west, as the east winds prevail throughout the torrid zone. He gives a brief description of the people, and various of their customs.

The selection from Wilkes’s narrative of his celebrated expedition may be said more properly to be a general description of the island of Joló than a special study of its people. His narration contains [17]so many interesting observations, however, both in regard to the people and their daily life and the other matters touched upon, that it is deemed not to be out of place here. Besides it is the first authentic account of that island by an American. The expedition leaves Manila, January 21, 1842, and coasting steadily to the south, with short stays at Mindoro and at a village in Panay, anchors January 31, at Caldera in Zamboanga province. At that time, in all Mindanao, there were, says Wilkes, only about 10,000 people under Spanish rule, and about one-half of those were in Zamboanga. Caldera is a convict settlement for native Filipinos, but Spanish criminals are sent to Spain. On the first of February, they leave Mindanao and in due time anchor at the village of Soung or Joló. An interview with the sultan is set by the governor, Dato Mulu, at which, when it is held, the sultan agrees to a treaty of trade with the Americans. Wilkes gives much interesting information regarding the customs and social and industrial life of the Sulus; describes their chief city which has its Chinese quarter; describes the government which is an oligarchy, the chief governing body being the Ruma Bechara or Trading Council which is presided over by the sultan to whom but scant respect is paid, for the individual datos retain as much power as possible. Trade is free, and both freemen and slaves engage in it at will, the slaves of the island often attaining to a high degree of importance. The naturalists are disappointed in their attempts to make researches on the island, as the sultan, although in order to evade the request, declares that it is unsafe, because of the hostile datos. Wilkes gives considerable sound advice in regard to [18]the navigation of this district, trading at Joló, and various other matters, besides an interesting though brief history of Joló, before and after the advent of the Spaniards. Those interesting people the sea-gypsies are described. The expedition reaches the Straits of Singapore on February 18.

The remainder of the appendix, except the last document, constitutes letters written by the Jesuit missionaries from Mindanao and Basilan, and an ethnological survey of the Mindanao peoples by a Jesuit of Manila who had formerly spent a number of years in Mindanao. They are all comparatively modern, extending through the years 1885–1889. January 20, 1885, Father Quirico Moré writes to the father superior of the missions mainly concerning the Moros about the Gulf of Dávao, where the Spaniard José Oyangúren defeated them and brought them under the dominion of Spain. Various events are related in regard to efforts to reduce these Moros who are less in number than is generally supposed, for though the Moros generally acquiesce in the Spanish proposals to assume village life, their willingness is only feigned. Those about the gulf are the “remains of powerful and warlike Moros, who in the not distant past collected tribute from the Mandayas and other heathens.” There are two classes of Moros, the datos, or aristocracy, and the common people. With the first rank must be included the panditas or priests. Though the Moros endure, they do not accept, Spanish rule, and await the time when they can throw it off. Meanwhile they also suffer from the heathens about them, who are hostile to them. To obtain the best results the officers of dato and pandita should be suppressed, and other radical measures carried out. [19]

Father Pedro Rosell writes from Caraga, April 17, 1885, in regard to a visit of inspection of the visitas of the southern part of the district made by himself and Father Pablo Pastells, in December 1884, to the Mandayas. He reports a most encouraging state of affairs there pertaining to the conversion and reduction of the Mandayas. Especially helpful has been the conversion of three bailanes or priestesses. With the occasion of that conversion, the writer describes the method of sacrifice among the Mandayas, and the effects produced on the bailanes who are believed to be the true mediators between men and gods. In describing the form of belief Father Rosell finds an analogy to the Trinity in the Mandaya divinities, and one to Satan in the two spirits of evil. Of great interest in this letter is the song sung by the bailanes while sacrificing.

A series of five letters from Father Mateo Gisbert, written from Dávao in 1886, contains much interesting material. In his letter of January 4, the Hispano-Germanic controversy over the Carolinas is mentioned, and the heathen and Christian fear in the Dávao district of a German invasion. There are many heathens in Dávao, some of whom are industrious and intelligent, but few of whom are baptized. In southwest Dávao there are about 12,000 Bagobos, and they still maintain their old heathen customs, among them that of human sacrifice. They have two feasts during the year, one before the sowing of the rice, and the other at the end of the harvest. The latter is called the feast of women, and there is nothing worse seen at it than feasting, drinking, and dancing. In the former feast, the human sacrifice figures. The Bagobos recognize two beginnings and each person has two souls. Various [20]remarks are made in regard to their legends or beliefs. At death also, the human sacrifice is performed in order to remove the mourning. One such sacrifice is described. The second letter of February 8, recites certain superstitious customs of the Bagobos. In times of sickness they invoke their gods. They always give the first fruits of the harvest to the diuata. Birds may be both good and bad omens; sneezing is always a bad omen. There are few thefts among them, for they believe that by the use of certain magic powders, they will compel the thief to inform on himself. The Bilans are the most industrious of all heathen peoples about Dávao and they number about 20,000. Although they have some of the customs of the Bagobos, their language differs from that of the latter. In his letter of February 20, Father Gisbert describes the customs of the Tagacaolos who number 12,000 or 14,000. Their language is understood by the Visayans. There are many intertribal feuds among them and they are continually at war among themselves, those of one district capturing and selling to the Moros those of another. They are more docile than are their neighbors. The Manobos are lazy and warlike and constantly on the hunt for slaves. The Moros thereabout are a race of thieves and are exceedingly treacherous. The Atás or Negritos live in the interior, and but little is known of them. Their number may reach 25,000, and they possess their own language. The letter of July 26 is written in a slightly depressed tone. Father Gisbert gives a short Bagobo genealogy. They have indulged in human sacrifice for many years. Human sacrifices prove, though it seems a paradox, a lucrative and real business, and [21]not only Bagobos, but Moros and others traffic in them. Various details of a human sacrifice are given. The fifth letter of December 24, relates the results of a visit to the island of Sámal. There the Moros of the Dávao district, afraid that the Christian conversion is about to prevail, machinate to keep control, and oppose missionary efforts. The action of the Spanish authorities in giving titles as captains and lieutenants to Christians makes such persons the real datos of the island and weakens the hereditary allegiance. The remnants of the Moros about Dávao ask for villages, but it is only pretense, in order that they may continue to live under their old customs, and so that the datos may not lose the few followers left to them. It is advised that the people be encouraged to desert their datos and panditas, and that all the Moros be assembled into one village. The many small villages of the Moros, each with its dato and pandita, are an obstacle to the reduction and conversion of the heathens.

The letter written by Father Pablo Cavalleria to Father Francisco Sanchez from Isabela de Basílan in the island of Basílan, December 31, 1886, gives a great deal of most important information regarding the Moros of that island. The native race is evidently fewer in number than the Moros (who number ten or twelve thousand), and is partially christianized. The Moros inhabit the coast and the interior, the former being known as Sámal Laút, who are fishermen, and the latter as Yacans, who are agriculturists. They are hostile to each other. With the Sámal Laút are mingled also Joloans and Malays. Personal descriptions of the Moros, their mental characteristics, their religion, marriage and [22]mortuary customs, etc., are given. Their chief feast is the celebration of the birth of Mahomet, though that date is not fixed but depends rather on when there is sufficient food for a good feast. They are superstitious, and perform various superstitious rites. They have seven heavens and seven hells, each with its distinctive signification. Their method of fighting is described. Their hatred toward the Christians is well shown in a native song quoted by Father Cavalleria.

Father Pablo Pastells, in a letter to the father provincial, written from Manila, April 20, 1887, devotes considerable space to an ethnological survey of the peoples of Mindanao. The population of that island is divided into Malays and Indonesians (although the latter has no foundation), and Negritos; and there is still another division into Old Christians, New Christians, and heathens. The first named number 186,000, and their customs are influenced to a greater or less degree by those of the heathens according as they are more or less removed from them. Father Pastells describes their social life in many details, which shows that they have become “reduced” fairly well to a half civilized life. The New Christians date from 1876 (the date when the Jesuits reëntered Mindanao) and are scarcely to be differentiated in life and customs from the heathens from whom they have proceeded. The heathens (among whom are evidently numbered the Moros) aggregate 300,000, and among them are found Chinese and Japanese crossings, says Father Pastells. In greater or less detail, is set forth information concerning the Mamanuas, Manobos, Mandayas, Manguangas, Monteses, Guiangas, Bagobos, [23]Calaganes, Tagacaolos, Tirurayes, Tagabili, Sámales, Subánon, Lutangos Moros, Calibuganes, and Moros. The worst of the last named, are the Moros of Jolo, and the Sámales Laút, while the most pacific are the Yacanes.

Father Joseph Maclotet writes to the rector of the Ateneo Municipal, from Talisayan, May 11, 1889, concerning the Buquidnons of Misamis province who are divided into three groups, numbering in all about 13,000. Socially and religiously they resemble other natives of that district. They are described and compared to the Visayans. They are intelligent and modest, and have some idea of God, heaven, and eternity. They are polytheists and have four gods. The spirit of evil is also propitiated by them. The sacrifices, consisting of products of the soil, wine, and fowls, are generally offered by the old men. Their marriage ceremonies and various other social features of their life are described. They are industrious and engage in various industries and occupations, the chief being agriculture. Their implements are described, among them being an ingenious cotton-gin. The Chinese with whom they trade take every advantage of them and cheat them on all sides. They have rude musical instruments. They punish crime according to certain traditional laws, the dato being judge. Many superstitions and omens, as in all other heathens of Mindanao, enter into their lives.

The final document of the Appendix is translated from the supplement for December 9, 1905, of El Renacimiento, of Manila, and treats of the still prevailing belief among the more ignorant people of Luzón in regard to witches. The mangkukulam, the male or female witch, cannot look another person [24]straight in the face, and has immense power of doing evil to his neighbors. He causes various aches and pains. The symptoms exhibited by the person bewitched are given, as also the modus operandi of the witch. Regular physicians are powerless because they do not believe in enchantment. Instead, a special witch doctor is employed. His treatment consists in the use of anona bark which has power over the witchcraft, and in bad cases a good caning is often administered, or, the last resort, bathing in boiling water. This last proves effective, for the patient dies under it. The belief is that these severe measures do not harm the patient, but the witch. There is another witch doctor, whose procedure differs somewhat from that of the former and does not involve the discomfort of the patient to so great a degree. A small wax figure made in human shape is put into boiling water, whereupon the witch is bound to present himself and confess his fault. The writer relates a personal experience, in which, against his will, he was made to act the part of witch doctor. The people have another name for another sort of witch, who sends his sickness, which is incurable, through the air. Every Friday, all witches suffer terribly as a sort of recompense for the power which they possess, and next day attend the witches’ frolic.

The Editors

September, 1906. [25]

Document of 1670–1700

  • Dominican missions. Vicente de Salazar, O.P. [From his Historia de el Santissimo Rosario.]

Source: This is translated and synopsized from Salazar’s Historia de el Santissimo Rosario (Manila, 1742), from a copy owned by Edward E. Ayer.

Translation: This is made by James A. Robertson. [27]


Dominican Missions, 1670–1700

[The following is translated and synopsized from Vicente Salazar’s Historia,1 from a copy belonging to Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. The first five chapters contain nothing directly on the missions.]


Chapter VI

A new reënforcement of religious arrives at this province and the [post of the] commissary of the Holy Office is given back to it.

[In 1671, a band of thirty-three missionaries, who [28]had been gathered by the definitor, Juan Polanco, arrives at Manila.2 They are as follows:]

The father lector, Fray Alonso Sandin, son of San Estevan, of Salamanca, and head of the mission.

Father Fray Alonso de Cordova, son of Santo Domingo y San Pablo, of Ezija.

Father Fray Miguel Rodrigo, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Andres Toro, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of El Campo de Zafra.

Father Fray Alonso Dominguez, of the convent of San Ildephonso, of Toro.

Father Fray Bartolome Marron, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Father Fray Domingo Mezquita, of the convent of Preachers, of Zaragoça.

Father Fray Diego Ortiz, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Diego de Villar, of the same convent.

Father Fray Domingo de Escalera, of the convent of El Rosario, of Madrid.

Father Fray Francisco de la Maza, of the convent of Nuestra Señora, of Atocha.

Father Fray Francisco Luxan, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Jacinto Samper, of the convent of Caspe, in Aragon.

Father Fray Geronimo de Ulloa, of the convent of Santiago de Galicia.

Father Fray Juan de Santa Cruz, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca. [29]

Father Fray Juan de Arjona, of the convent of San Vicente, of Plasencia.

Father Fray Joseph de la Trinidad, or Galfaroso, of the convent of Santiago, of Pamplona.

Father Fray Juan Catalan, of the same convent.

Father Fray Joseph Valdes, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Father Fray Melchor Lorenzana, of the convent of San Pablo, of Plasencia.

Father Fray Matheo Gonçalez, of the convent of Santa Cruz, of Segovia.

Father Fray Mathias Ramon, of the convent of Santo Thomas, of Avila.

Father Fray Pedro Gonzalez, of the convent of Nuestra Señora, of la Peña de Francia.

Father Fray de la Peña, of the same convent.

Father Fray Pedro Fenollar, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Mallorca.

Father Fray Pedro de la Fuente, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Victoria.

Brother Fray Juan Ybañez de Santo Domingo, of the same convent.

Brother Fray Diego de Almazan, of the convent of Preachers, of Zaragoça.

Brother Fray Dionisio Morales, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Ciudad de el Caller.

The last three were choristers, and the following were lay-brethren:

Fray Matheo Gascon, of the convent of Preachers, of Zaragoça.

Fray Joseph Garcia, of the convent of Preachers, of Magallon.

Fray Raymundo Martorel, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Graus. [30]

The last named remained in Mexico in the hospice of the order there. With the other thirty-two who reached this land, our ministries and missions in charge of the province were reënforced, and other missions which were promoted because of that new reënforcement, and were shortly after founded as will be told later in the following chapters.

[The remainder of the chapter relates to the reëstablishment of the post of commissary of the Holy Office to the Dominicans, who had always held it previous to Fray Joseph de Paternina, O. S. A. Chapters vii–xxvii contain lives of various missionaries of the Philippines and the Asiatic mainland, notices of provincial elections, and accounts of the missions of the Asiatic mainland.]


Chapter XXVIII

Arrival of a new mission of religious at the province; the province assumes the administration of the Zambals.

[In 1679 a band of Dominicans arrive at the islands in charge of Fray Francisco Villalba.3 Those religious are as follows:]

The father vicar, Fray Francisco Villalba, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Burgos.

The father presentee, Fray Manuel Trigueros, son of the convent of the Preachers, of Zaragoça.

The father presentee, Fray Francisco Matoces, son of the convent of Santa Catharina Virgen y Martir, of Barzelona.

Father Fray Magino Ventallol, doctor in the holy canons, son of the same convent. [31]

Father Fray Raymundo Berart, doctor in both laws, and professor of the university of Lerida, son of the said convent of Barzelona.

Father Fray Raphael Morert, graduate from the same branches, and son of the said convent.

Father Fray Joseph Vila, son of the said convent.

The father lector, Fray Miguel Ossorio, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

The father lector, Fray Francisco Ruiz, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

The father lector, Fray Francisco Vargas, son of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

The father lector, Fray Francisco Ximenez, son of the convent of Xerez.

Father Fray Juan Yñiguez, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Miguel de Castro, son of the same convent.

Father Fray Diego Burguillos, son of the same convent.

Father Fray Juan de Santo Thomas, son of the same convent, collegiate and now lector in the college of Santo Thomas, of the said city.

Father Fray Juan Rois, son of the convent of Lugo.

Father Fray Juan Fernandez, son of the convent of Valladolid.

Father Fray Juan de Todos Santos, son of the said convent.

Father Fray Juan Gonçalez, son of the royal convent of Nuestra Señora, of Atocha.

Father Fray Gregorio Xiraldez, son of the convent of Pontevedra.

Father Fray Francisco Nuñez Bravo, son of the convent of Santa Cruz, of Segovia. [32]

Father Fray Fernando Ortubia, son of the convent of Santiago de Galicia.

Father Fray Domingo Muta, a Sicilian, son of the convent of Turin.

Father Fray Bernardo Lopez, son of the convent of San Pedro Martir, of Toledo.

Father Fray Antonio de Santa Maria, son of the convent of Valladolid.

Father Fray Alonso de Herrera, son of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Alonso Cobelo, son of the convent of Lugo.

Fray Francisco de Frias, deacon, son of the convent of Burgos.

Fray Iñigo de San Joseph, son of the convent of San Pablo of Palencia.

Fray Thomas de el Rosario, of the convent of La Puebla de los Angeles.

And three lay-brethren, as follows:

Brother Fray Juan Calvo, of the convent of Santa Cruz, of Segovia.

Brother Fray Juan Martinez, of the convent of Nuestra Señora of Nieva.

Brother Fray Francisco de la Cruz, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

That same year, on the first of February, a student, a native of Galicia, and a relative of the archbishop of Mexico, one Antonio de Eguiar y Seijas, took the habit for this province in the hospice of San Jacinto in Mexico; and at the proper time in the following year he professed and immediately came to this his province.

That new reënforcement was very necessary because of the great amount of work to be done in [33]this province. For, besides the Christian districts in its charge, and the Chinese missions, and those of Tunking, on the eleventh of May of the said year, the governor of these islands as vice-patron of these churches, in the name of the king our lord, had entrusted us with the administration of the province of Zambales, which had thitherto been in charge of the Augustinian Recollect fathers.4 Its administration was now entrusted to our province for the following cause and reason. Those Indians were and are the rudest that are known in these environs of Manila. They are very cruel and bloodthirsty, and fond of murdering people without more cause than their liking for cutting off heads. They were always the bugaboo of the Spaniards, and the terror of the Indians of the other provinces. They could never be wholly conquered, especially those living in Buquil; for they were a people who lived in the mountains where the Spanish arms could not reach them. And less was it possible to conquer them by means of mildness, gentleness, kindness, and caresses, although the preachers of the holy gospel of the Recollects of our father St. Augustine tried to invite and lure them to the knowledge of the true God and to consider the welfare of their souls. Consequently, although those missionaries were among them for more than seventy years, they were unable to reduce them to the mild yoke of the law of Christ. And although they worked with zeal in that attempt, with great merit and profit to themselves, yet they always lived in great disconsolation, at beholding the hardness of those hearts. Not less affliction and trouble was caused to the Indians when they saw [34]fathers and Spaniards in their lands, for since they were so stiff-necked, and accustomed to liberty, they did not look with favor on the payment of tribute or submission and obedience to the fathers. Consequently, they were dissatisfied with the fathers, and discussed various plans to oust them. They did not dare to murder them for fear of the Spaniards, who had a presidio or fort in Paynaven (the center of that province), and because since they were near Manila, any action that they attempted would be avenged by the Spaniards who would send troops of soldiers there by both land and sea. Hence the final plan discussed by the inhabitants of Buquil was to have recourse to the governor, asking him to remove those fathers, and in their place give them Dominican fathers. This was not because of any greater affection that they had for us than for them, but because they imagined that by successive changes, they could better conserve their liberty. This seems clearly to be their end, for before the end of seven years after our entrance into that province, they were dissatisfied with us, and begged fathers of the Society. They are a fickle people and fond of change. Their idea was that one sort of ministers succeeding thus to others, neither the one nor the other sort could get a foothold, or be able to put the preaching or the evangelical instruction on a sound basis among them.

Chart of the harbor bar of Manila, and vicinity of river Pasig, 1757

Chart of the harbor bar of Manila, and vicinity of river Pasig, 1757

[Photographic facsimile from original MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla]

It happened, then, in the year 1676, that the alcalde-mayor of Pampanga, then Sargento-mayor Don Francisco de Texada, and Sargento-mayor Alonso Fernandez Pacheco, former chief commandant of the fort of Balas, began communication with the Zambal Indians of Buquil and having gained [37]their good will with their zeal for the welfare of their souls, persuaded them to become baptized, for as abovesaid, most of the people of Buquil were heathens. They answered that they would become baptized if they were given Dominican ministers; for they wished to be administered by them alone. Having received that petition and proposal of the Indians, the said alcalde and commandant informed the governor of these islands, then the master-of-camp, Don Manuel de Leon. He desirous of the reduction of those infidels, petitioned the father provincial of this province, then father Fray Phelipe Pardo, to send some religious to Zambales as missionaries for those mountains, in order to ascertain whether the effect of reducing those barbarians to the faith of Christ could be obtained in that way—a matter that all desired greatly. By virtue of that, the father provincial sent father Fray Pedro de Alarcon5 and father Fray Domingo de Escalera to the place called Buquil. To another place called Balacbac, which is located behind the mountains of Abucay, he sent the father vicar of the said village, namely, Father Domingo Perez. The latter immediately departed for Balacbac and having assembled some Indians there, baptized nine, and returned to [38]Abucay, bringing five Zambals with him whom he afterward catechised and baptized. One of them was the nephew of the priest of the idols, and the father taught him to read and write, for he was more clever than the others. That Indian was very useful, and afterward was of much help to the said father in the reduction of the Zimarrones of the mountains, and in telling their customs and idolatries. The two fathers who were at Buquil, assembled some Indians into a place which they called Nuestra Señora de Atocha, where they baptized some and catechised others. But the governor having died at the beginning of the following year, the former ministers of that province began to complain to the father provincial that we were entering their administration. Notwithstanding that he had a sound reply that the vice-patron of those fields of Christendom had entrusted the matter to us, the father provincial in order to avoid anger between both orders, enjoined the fathers to return. That was the end of that first entrance which our religious made in Zambales. The provincial chapter was held after that, and in it the said father Fray Domingo Perez was elected vicar of Samal. The latter, by virtue of the order which was enacted in the said provincial chapter for all the father vicars of the houses near the mountains where there were any heathens to reduce, to endeavor to make entrances among them in order to allure them to the faith of Christ, did in that part what was ordered, by making some entrances among those mountains in order to reduce some Negritos, who are called Zambals.6 Although the father worked with energy in that [39]attempt, and went to great expense in kindnesses to them, he could obtain nothing from them because of their great barbarity and other reasons which it is not the present purpose to mention.

In the year 1678, Master-of-camp Don Juan de Vargas y Hurtado, knight of the Order of Santiago, came to govern these islands. With the coming of the new governor, the Zambals of Buquil renewed their former petition that Dominican fathers be given them. In order to make surer of their demands, they presented themselves to the archbishop, saying that they would quickly be reduced and would embrace the faith of Jesus Christ, if ministers of our order were given them. The archbishop, having seen that proposal, informed the governor of it, to whom as vice-patron belonged the right of assigning one or another sort of ministers to those Indians. The governor brought with him a royal decree from his Majesty ordering him to entrust to one of the orders the administration of the island of Mindoro, which was in charge of secular priests. Upon seeing the representation of the Zambals, he offered the administration of the said island of Mindoro to the Augustinian Recollect fathers, on condition that they leave the province of Zambales, in order that our religious might assume its administration in accordance with the petition of the Indians of that province. The father provincial of the Recollects accepted the exchange, although they assert that the cession was not legal, as it was not made by the provincial chapter of their province. That annulling clause was not put forward then, and [40]the cession made by the father provincial of the administration of Zambales before the said governor having been seen, the Recollects were given that of the island of Mindoro. By virtue of that, the said governor in his Majesty’s name, conceded to the Order of St. Dominic the administration of the province of Zambales from the village of Marivelez to that of Bolinao. The father provincial of this province, namely, the father commissary Fray Balthasar de Santa Cruz, immediately sent some religious to administer the said Indians. In the intermediate congregation of the following year, the houses of the said province were accepted in due form, and ten religious were established in them for the cultivation of those fields of Christendom, and for the new reductions of the heathens....

[Chapter xxix deals with the customs of the Zambals, and is omitted here, as we shall give in a future volume the original MS., on which it is based.]


Chapter XXX

How our religious continued to soften those Zambal Indians and reduce them to civilization

[Notwithstanding that the Recollects had preached in the province of Zambales for seventy years and many of the Zambals were baptized, many of them were still wild, and refused the gospel message held out to them. This is because of their great love of liberty and hatred of restraint, and not because of lack of zeal on the part of the Recollects. Besides the Zambals lived scattered in many rancherías so that it was difficult for the fathers to visit them more than once or twice a year, and consequently, the little [41]instruction that could be given them was insufficient to leaven them with the gospel spirit throughout the year. They had been unable to reduce them to fewer settlements because the various bands were often at war with one another and could not reconcile their difficulties. Then, too, the magistrates, sunk in their self interest, did not furnish the aid that should come from them. “This is the reason, and there is no other, why there is so much infidelity in these islands; for it is clearly seen by experience that when the secular government has been in earnest, and encouraged a mission, very abundant fruits have followed therefrom.” The narrative continues:]

And this is what our religious had in their favor when they entered that province of Zambales, for the governor of these islands, Don Juan de Vargas y Hurtado, was very desirous of that reduction, and made exact measures for it. In imitation of him the chief commandant of the fort of Paynaoven, namely, Adjutant Alonso Martin Franco, tried to coöperate in this design by his continual vigilance and efforts and at the evident risk of his life, and without heeding his own interest in the many offers of gold which the Indians made him so that he might desist from his purpose and not oblige them to leave their retreats. Our religious protected by that aid, proposed to the Indians of those rancherías as soon as they reached Playahonda, to collect into one settlement in the site that they thought best, in order that they might be more easily taught and administered by the religious. Since they had promised to reduce themselves if Dominican ministers were given them, and since the governor had given them those ministers, [42]they ought also to fulfil their word. The Indians of Playahonda replied that they were not the ones who had gone to Manila with that request, but it was those of Buquil. Consequently, the latter ought to be confronted with that promise, and not they. Thereupon, the religious summoned those of Buquil and making them the proposal abovesaid, the Indians began to offer various excuses. By that our religious recognized that all their promises were feigned, and that they were very far from any intention to become reduced. Consequently, that reply having been heard by the religious, which was so contrary to what they had expected, and seeing that stronger measures were needed, the father vicar provincial returned to Manila to represent to the governor the rebellion of the Zambal Indians. The said father was welcomed by his Lordship, from whom he obtained what he wished, namely, the prohibition of trade between the Zambals and the Indians of Pampanga and other provinces, in order that, being deprived of that recourse, hunger and necessity might compel them to descend from the mountain and live in a settlement in order to exist.

But that provision proving insufficient to make the Zambals live in definite villages, the governor ordered the proclamation of an edict ordering all the Zambals to descend the mountains under penalty of being severely punished. The edict was proclaimed in Paynaoven and in other places of that province, whence the notice of it could be carried to those who were living in the mountains. More than five hundred Zambals of Buquil descended on the day and to the site assigned. There the commandant of the fort again imparted to them the edict and [43]order of the governor. Their reply to the proposal was to submit the whole matter in common to an Indian called Quiravat, who had been the chief agent in begging our ministers for religious. He said “Let him who wishes to descend to settle, do it and welcome, but as for me, I am going to live with my people where I choose.” The commandant angered at his boldness, manacled and bound the said Quiravat, and the Indians his associates seeing that, began to discharge a cloud of arrows at the commandant and his soldiers, in number twenty-two men. Thereupon, the said commandant ordered Quiravat to be beheaded, and the other Indians retired with the death of twelve of their companions, but without their having done any harm to the Spaniards. That fray and encounter inspired the Indians with fear, and some, although they were few, descended. But in the following year of 1680, three hundred soldiers having entered by way of Pampanga, and the commandant of Paynaoven and his men having made a raid in that other part, the Zambals were inspired with so great fear, that many of them descended from the mountains. Consequently, it was possible to form or increase three villages: one near the fort called Alalan; another in Balacbac, called Nuevo Toledo; and the third south of the two, called Baubuen. The Indians who descended from the mountain were gathered into those three villages, whether from fear of the Spaniards, or through the persuasions of the fathers. The latter, by the aid of the soldiers, caused the Indians to show them more respect; and with the affability and benignity of their treatment, softened the hardness of their hearts. The same effort was made in [44]other places of the said province, where there were already some villages, although they were very small and distant, and could not be administered by the religious without evident risk and danger. Consequently, they soon asked that they be placed in such condition and distance that there might be easy communication from one village to the other. All that was done at the cost of the order, which paid those who built the houses. Those houses were built by people of other villages and provinces, and they were given already built to the Zambals; for to compel them to make them was morally impossible.

This effort of causing the Indians to form their villages would have been of slight use, if at the same time they had not been obliged to work in making their fields in order that they might have the wherewithal to sustain life, so that they might not be under the necessity of abandoning their villages and returning to the mountains, where with the hunt and with various roots, the Indians are wont to sustain life at small cost, without the care and trouble of cultivation. And as they were unaccustomed to the cultivation of the soil, and did not know how to plow, or dig, and had no instruments for that, nor even seed for planting: they were provided with all this by our religious. More than fifty buffaloes or carabaos (which are their oxen), by which the plowing is done in this country, were taken there at the cost of the order. Also many plows were bought for them, and they were also given the seed so that they could allege no reasonable excuse. Inasmuch as they did not know how to plow or to plant, salaried Indians were taken from other provinces, so that they might cultivate the [45]land, and so that the Zambals might learn of them. After the land that first year had been cultivated, and the rice had headed, it was given to them at the time of harvest, so that they might reap and gather it. But so great was the laziness of those Zambals that many of them refused to accept the land because it was not reaped. But others, having the profit so plainly in sight, set to work to reap it and gather it; and since by that means they made sure of their food, they were inclined to work and the cultivation of their fields. Our religious encouraged them in this by thus forcibly setting before their eyes the profit of the harvest, that they would have afterward. The religious accompanied them to the fields to work, heartily praised those who applied themselves, and perhaps, in order to inspire them by their example, put their hands to the plow. For the religious very well understood that if the Indians did not turn husbandmen, they would not be secure in the level land, and they would easily return to the mountains under the obligation of necessity. And thus that necessary diligence was compulsory in order to reduce them to a civilized life and to a good government.

All the time the fathers continued to soften their hardness by their kindness and mildness, which they showed them not only in the gentleness of their intercourse and conversation, but also much more in the generosity and liberality which they used toward them, providing them with all that was necessary, both for the building of their houses and for the cultivation of their fields. They gave the Indians a quantity of clothing to wear, besides the other acts of kindness and the presents which they made them. [46]In that our province spent much money, a sum which, according to the accounts, exceeded ten thousand pesos. The thing that robbed still more their affection was on seeing that the fathers defended them when the soldiers wished to employ violence with them, for they took the part of the Indians, and softened the fury of the soldiers. By that means the Indians came to perceive two things: one that the fathers considered their good; and the other that they were higher than the soldiers, since the latter obeyed the religious and desisted from the attempted severity when the fathers ordered or petitioned them. Hence they came to infer that to stand well with the fathers and to obey them was of great profit to them, for so they were assured by the Spaniards, and among the religious they experienced no evil treatment, but everything was mild, gentle, and peaceful. Consequently, they moderated themselves and became so mild, within a year, that it caused great surprise to see those who had formerly been so wild and unmanageable become so conformable and domestic.

When our religious entered at the beginning, the children ran away from them when they saw them, and the women also hid; but the former later became so familiar with the religious that they would scarcely let them alone. When the religious entered any village, the children all descended from their houses and went behind him, and walked with him, and followed wherever he went. Scarcely would they let him walk, for some of the children seized him by the habit, and others placed their scapularies under his eyes [for him to bless?].

While the father was in the convent, it was not [47]empty of Indians, who were going and coming, some to beg for relief in their necessities, while others begged consolation for their troubles, some medicine for their pains, and some relief in their afflictions. All found there whatever they needed, for charity serves for everything. And since the Indians beheld that of the fathers toward them, they loved them, esteemed them, and favored, and were so well inclined to their intercourse, that, on a certain occasion, when they thought that the fathers were going to leave them, and return to Manila, the sorrow manifested by all was great until the fathers undeceived them, and released them by various means of their vain fear. Those who had previously fled from the fathers, and those with whom the above-mentioned violence had to be used in order to gain admittance in the beginning, reached this condition of sociability and mildness in little more than one year....


Chapter XXXI

Fruit of the preaching of our religious in the changing of the customs of the religious

When once our religious had gained the goodwill of the Indians they immediately began to exercise the apostolic ministry of the preaching in order to eradicate their ancient vices and customs and reduce them to the perfection of a Christian life. There was much to do and accomplish in this province, for there were yet many heathens in it, and many apostates from the faith which they had received, and some, who made use of the name of Christian, living in their rancherías or visitas, far from the intercourse with, and teaching of, their [48]ministers, were only Christians in name, but in their morals and even in their religion they were heathens, since they did not know the Christian doctrine or the mysteries of the Catholic faith, and neither prayed nor knew how to pray, nor heard mass, nor observed the feasts, nor took any account of Lent, fasting, or abstinence, and did not show any other token of a Christian. For since they lived in the mountains, in remote and distant places, where the ministers could not visit them unless by running great risks and dangers, as abovesaid, they were not sufficiently rooted in the faith which the preachers had taught them; and, living intermixed among the heathens, they easily took on their rites and customs. If, perchance, they wore the rosary at the neck it was when they were going to the villages of Christians, so that they might not be taken for heathens. But there in their rancherías among the mountains, very rarely did they wear it; for the devil had persuaded them that nothing good could happen to them if they had those beads with them. Consequently, when they went to hunt, or to commit a murder, they immediately took off the rosary, in order to obtain success in their undertaking. In short, to tell the whole thing, those Indians of Buquil were even idolaters, and although they had received baptism, they continued in their idolatries, and in their sacrifices to the demon. Only in the capitals where the fathers lived, were there a few perfect Christians; but in the rancherías and visitas, especially those of the district of Buquil, since they did not have the ministers over them, they lived in entire liberty with their ancient vices and superstitions. They killed one another without cause or reason, became intoxicated, worshiped [49]idols, and lived together as they did before, without taking any account of their Christianity.

In order to free them from all such things our religious toiled and labored earnestly arguing, exhorting, and checking them in all patience and instruction, according to the advice of the apostle. And inasmuch as all the barbarity of their customs originated from their lack of faith, the fathers began to set before them and to explain to them the immortality of the soul, the reward or punishment of the other life, and all the other mysteries of the Catholic faith. Their instruction took so fast hold once more on the apostates and on the people of Buquil, that they looked at one another in stupefaction at what they heard the fathers say. The latter seeing the surprise that those things caused in the Indians, decided that it was necessary to start that undertaking from its very beginnings, and to teach them to pray and the instruction, which they had either never understood, or they had completely forgotten. They began that effort by the children, whom they instructed excellently in the prayers, and in the explanation of the doctrine. After them the older people went to the church, in order not to be put to the blush before the children. The latter, either by the advice of the fathers or because of their own natural loquaciousness, upbraided their elders later with the little knowledge which they had had of God before and because they had lived like heathens. By that means the elders were put to shame, and submitted to the teaching. Little by little they began to open their eyes, and to see the blindness in which they had lived. Confused and ashamed of their old way of living, they applied themselves indeed with [50]all earnestness to learn what was necessary for salvation. The church was filled with people all day long who wished to learn the prayers and formulas, which the children prayed in a loud voice, so that the others learned them in that way. The religious preached to them quite frequently, explaining to them the mysteries of the faith, and threatening with the wrath and anger of God those who did not keep the holy commandments. They did that with so great spirit, and fervor, that it caused great terror to those who heard it, and thus daily they were becoming reduced to live according to the laws of Christians.

[The preaching of the religious is aided by divine miracles, and the religious also make use of stratagem to banish vice. An instance of the latter is as follows.]

Such was the one of which the father vicar provincial, Fray Domingo Perez, made use, to banish homicide. He frequently censured that vice in them, but for all that they were wont secretly to commit murders. The father would hear of the murder, although the aggressor was not known. Assembling all those of the village, he would declare that he would ascertain it by means of the pulse. Then he took the pulse of each one, and since confusion is natural in the criminal, especially in these Indians, who understand so little of dissimulation, when the father would take hold of the pulse of the aggressor, the latter trembled all over his body. Hence, by a happy conjecture, the father would deduce that he was the one, and then by censuring him or punishing him according to his deserts, the others were deterred from, and afraid of, committing that crime, which could never be hidden from the father, since he [51]learned everything from the pulse. So certain were they of that, that if any of them had had anything stolen from him, he went to the father to complain, and requested him to feel the pulse of all, in order to ascertain the thief who had stolen it. And although the father usually excused himself from doing that, they could not rid themselves of the idea, which they had formed on the first occasion, that the fathers learned all things by means of the pulse. Therefore, they managed to check many of their ancient customs and superstitions.

But not so quickly did our religious learn what can not be mentioned without tears, namely, that although the Indians were apparently Christians, and were subject to the teaching of the fathers, and had abandoned some of their ancient customs, and embraced in part the observance of the divine law, yet they desired to serve God and the demon at the same time, and they desired to embrace the matters of the faith in such a manner that they should not become separated from the ancient worship which they attributed to the demon in their false gods. That matter was kept very secret among them, for since they feared lest it should reach the ears of the fathers, they had all sworn an oath to keep close concerning that fact. They kept that oath so well that it was never revealed through them. But God revealed it in a curious manner to the religious for the welfare of those miserable people. We have related in chapter xxviii that Father Fray Domingo Perez baptized a boy in Abucay, the nephew of a priest of the idols, who having been taught to read and write, and having been given devout books to read, became a very excellent Christian. He and other lads whom the [52]father kept in the convent, asked the said religious many things concerning the faith, which he taught them and explained to them most gladly, so that daily they became more imbued in all its articles and mysteries. Three years after the entrance of our religious into that district, those lads asked the father if it was right to do such and such things, namely the idolatries which the Indians practiced, and the sacrifices which they made to the demon. The father asked them what it was that was done, and they like children went on to tell whatever they had seen their elders do, and whatever they were practicing secretly even to that time. The father’s grief at such news can well be imagined. But dissembling its effects for the time being, in order not to frighten them away from the hunt, he charged the lads to keep still about what they had told him. Summoning the schoolboys, whom he petted and treated with great kindness, he was informed by them with so great clearness on this head, that he learned who were the priests of those sacrifices, and the instruments that each one had for their diabolical functions. Also charging those children to keep still, he ordered them to tell no one what they had told him, so that their parents might not beat them. The father having learned everything very clearly, and having consulted with God concerning the matter in prayer, he resolved, when Lent came in the year 1683, to put an end to that idolatry, although he knew very well that it would be at the cost of great labor, and many troubles and dangers. For the principal priests of those sacrifices were the principal people of the village, and they were respected and venerated by all and could set afoot any treachery against him. And since [53]they had all sworn not to reveal the matter, as he had not yet proved it, it was a point in which all were interested, and in which all would be against him.

However, having placed all his confidence in God, and with the information that he possessed of the whole matter, he began to summon one after another the chiefs, and chide each one in private for the execrable evil that he was practicing by offering sacrifice to the demon. Before that one could deny the truth to him, he said to him, “You have such and such instruments, and with them you sacrificed on such and such a day, in company with such and such a person.” To another he said: “You are a priest, and consequently, you have so many instruments kept in such a place for the sacrifices, by which you give to the demon the honor that belongs to God; and as proof of it you performed that sacrifice on such and such a day with such and such a person, and this other on such and such a day, with such and such a person.” In such wise did he examine them all and censured them for so great evil. They, seeing that he was giving them so sure proofs, considered the religious as a diviner and gave him the instruments of their idolatries. He commenced by the village of Bauguen, whose church was dedicated to Santa Rosa. By the aid and favor of the saint he collected a great number of those instruments, which some gave to him willingly and some reluctantly. He called the children, and ordered them to break up those instruments, and they obeyed immediately. “Now throw them into the privies,” said the father, “and let the children perform the necessities of nature on them.” They obeyed his order instantly, and made a mockery and jest of those instruments. The Zambals were [54]astonished that the father and the children were not killed for the disrespect that they showed to their gods, for they believed that he who touched or profaned such instruments would die. The father preached to them, and taught them what they were to do in the future. Having finished that matter in Bauguen, he went to Balacbac to do the same; and although he had some difficulty, with the help of God, it was conquered. From Balacbac he went to the village of Alalan, and although he found the people there obstinate and pertinacious, by his kindness and arguments, he induced them to do the same that had been done in the preceding villages. Then he went to Buquil and did the same as in Playa-Honda, breaking and burning all the instruments of their idolatries. And although the father had many troubles on account of that, he stood it all with great patience, as he saw that he was performing the cause of God in this; for which, as we shall see later, they deprived him of life and made him a glorious martyr.

That so pernicious root having been torn out, the religious had no difficulty in sowing in the land of their hearts the good doctrine and teaching. The holy fear of God, the frequency of the holy sacraments, the devotion of the queen of the Angels, and the exercise of the holy rosary persuaded them. And since now the demon had left their souls, and he had been bereft of the right which he had to them, the instructions and inducements of the religious found no resistance in their hearts; and, consequently, they agreed thoroughly in all those things, and thereby they daily became more perfect, and became fervent Christians, anxious for their salvation, and given to the exercises of piety. Now one never heard, as [55]formerly, of violent murders; and now there was no intoxication or other disorders; now the superiors were obeyed and respected by their inferiors; now one no longer heard among them a “I do not wish,” as they were wont to answer formerly; now all were safe, each in his own house, and no one thought of taking vengeance on another. They attended mass almost every day, and went to recite the rosary in the afternoon. They all wore the rosary hanging from their necks with great devotion, and recited it in their houses every night. They observed the fasts of the Church, and the days of abstinence with punctuality, for they feared greatly lest God punish them, as He did punish some for the example of others. In fine, such was the reform in their morals, and the change of life in those Indians, that the fathers themselves were surprised to see what had been wrought by the hand of God, which had changed them in the briefest of space from ravening wolves to gentle lambs, and from fierce and savage men into faithful and obedient sons of the Church. And although our religious worked mightily in this yet all the glory is due to God, who not only gave His spirit to the ministers, but also coöperated in their preaching with many manifest miracles which will be related in the following chapter.

[Chapter xxxii recounts the miraculous occurrences above mentioned, all of which resulted in greater faith and devotion to the new precepts taught by the missionaries, and instilled fear of God into the hearts of the Indians.] [56]


Chapter XXXIII

Of another mission in the farthest villages of Yrraya in the province of Cagayan

Not only in that mission of Zambales did the province labor in that time, but also in another of not less fruit in the ends and confines of Cagayan. There were formerly four villages there, namely, Batavag, Pilitan, Bolo, and Abuatan. They comprised about two thousand houses. Those villages in the seventh year of their foundation, when although many of their inhabitants were heathens, notwithstanding that more of them were already Christians, were abandoned on the day of the Ascension of the Lord in the year 1615, by their dwellers, who retired into the interior, deceived by their aniteras or priestesses, who did not look with favor upon their Christianity, because of the profit that they lost thereby in their sacrifices and diabolical functions. And so much were those priestesses able to say to induce them to make that retirement, that at last they resolved to do it, apostatizing from the faith which they had received, as is mentioned in the first part of this history, book 2, chapter 3.7 That apostasy caused great pain, especially to the fathers of Cagayan, who had charge of those four villages which they had founded amid severe labors, drawing their inhabitants from heathenism and luring them to the faith of Christ. When they saw now that all that they had obtained by their labor in many years was lost in one single day, they were caused great pain and disconsolation, and they saw that the fruit of their labors had been ill obtained. Therefore those fathers made [57]a few efforts on various occasions to reduce those Indians to a settlement, but they obtained from them no further fruit than the obtaining of a few souls whom God had predestined for His glory. But since the zeal of the religious was directed to much more, namely, the reduction of all that people, they lost no opportunity for that enterprise, to solicit it with might and main.

In the year 1673, when the father commissary, Fray Phelipe Pardo, was elected provincial of this province, the definitory (as we remarked above) charged him straitly to strive for new missions and reductions of heathens to the faith of Christ. Consequently, the said father provincial going to visit the province of Cagayan, the religious of that province petitioned him to found that mission of Yrraya, and the prelate meeting their fervor, sent two religious to that district, namely, father Fray Pedro Sanchez and father Fray Geronimo de Ulloa,8 who played the part of explorers, in order that by talking and by treating with the apostates, they might sound their minds and good will, and ascertain whether it was the season for that harvest so that they might put therein the sickle of the preaching. The two said religious went thither, and although the apostates received them well, they could not obtain what they were after by entreaty, namely, that they should reduce themselves to their former villages. For those people were prevented beforehand by the Indians of the village of Cabagan, who induced [58]them, for their own private interests, not to return to their Christianity. In order, then, to get them to reëstablish the said villages, they were prevented from trading with the heathen, which was a source of great profit and gain to them, and at the same time those of Cabagan remained more in the interior of the province, without having so easy a place of retreat open in time of any insurrection. Just as in the wars with Portugal, some did not wish that country to be conquered, so that they might have an easy refuge in the time of any trouble, so also, those Indians of Cabagan, although Christians, induced the heathens not to become Christians, and pointed out to them the burden of the tribute, the polos, the personal services, and other penalties and troubles which the Christians feel when they are settled. What passes in this country is incredible, for on one and the same foundation, namely, greed, opposing results are built. Many Chinese heathens live here, and very rarely does one see one of them who dies without baptism, not only because of the inducements of our religious, who have charge of that mission, but also because when any of those heathens falls sick, all his relatives, even the pagans, unite in persuading him to become a Christian, not for any zeal which they have for the faith, for they remain in their paganism, but for fear lest, if they die heathens, their property might suffer some loss, as has been established in practice according to law or custom. On the contrary, it happens among the Indians, that the Christians of the villages near the heathens persuade them not to become Christians, in order that they might not lose thereby their commerce and trade, in which is placed their gain and interest. [59]And it is not to be wondered at that the Indians do so, since they are new and recent Christians; for there are Europeans who oppose the missions greatly, for their own interest. Whatever the religious effect by their efforts is destroyed easily by an alcalde or a commandant for his own private conveniences. This has always been, and is, the cause, as abovesaid, of there being so much infidelity in these islands. In fine, the two religious whom the provincial sent, returned without it having been possible for them to obtain anything of substance, as the apostates were very obstinate because of the inducements of the people of Cabagan.

In the year 1677, a provincial chapter was held in this province. Among other ordinances established in it was the one mentioned above several times, namely, that the vicars of the villages near the heathens endeavor most earnestly to reduce them. The venerable father, Fray Pedro Ximenez,9 an apostolic man, and one at home in missions, was elected vicar of Cabagan in that chapter. In addition to the said ordinance of the chapter, the recently-elected father provincial charged him with the reduction of those infidels and apostates. The father provincial going upon his visit, and consulting over the method of that reduction with the fathers of the province of Cagayan, sent the said father Fray Pedro Ximenez to the abovesaid site of Yrraya, assigning him as companion of that undertaking his own associate and secretary, then father Fray Andres Gonçalez, afterward [60]bishop of Nueva Caceres. But the said father provincial having died in a few days, the said reduction ceased for the time being.

In the following year of seventy-eight, a chapter was again held in this province, and the said father Fray Pedro Ximenez was reëlected vicar of Cabagan. While that chapter was being held, the governor of these islands, at the petition of the archbishop and the bishop of Cagayan, as well as of the recently-elected father provincial, namely, father Fray Balthasar de Santa Cruz, called a council of war in regard to that reduction. In that council it was resolved that the said father Fray Pedro Ximenez, selecting five Spaniards, five Pampangos, and sixteen Indians should proceed to the reduction of those heathens, summoning them in the name of the king, our sovereign, by pardon for all their apostasies, murders, and other crimes that they had committed, and that the apostates who became reduced, would be excused from paying tribute for three years, and the heathens for ten years if they were converted. He was ordered to inform the superior government of the result of his journey so that the measures necessary and fitting for the said reduction, might be taken. With that order the said father, Fray Pedro Ximenez, went to Cagayan. The alcalde-mayor of that province furnished him with all that was needed for that undertaking, although the father refused to take any soldiers with him but only the sixteen Indians for his protection and so that they might act as rowers in the boat. The father ascended to those paramos and desert places, and by treating those heathens with kindness and gentleness he reduced many of those of a district called Ziffun to descend to settle [61]in a place called Santa Rosa, where the village of Batavag had formerly stood. They did that immediately without any delay, and without the aid of troops or escorts. Besides them others offered themselves to the father, in number about three hundred, but since they lived farther inland, they needed escorts to accompany them and to take charge of their effects and household goods. The alcalde-mayor of that province, Admiral Don Pedro de la Peña, who was zealous for the honor of God and for the welfare of souls, was of great help with his measures. They were allowed to select a village where they wished to live. Some of them went to Cabagan, others to the said village of Santa Rosa, and others to another new village called Ytugug, which was under the advocacy of Nuestra Señora de Victoria. Besides them a hundred persons descended and founded the village of San Fernando, where the ancient village of Bolo was established. Thus of the four former villages, three have been reëstablished, namely, San Fernando, Santa Rosa, and Ytugug.

The devil was envious of that reduction, and accordingly attempted to destroy it and undo it, making use of the same instruments by which he had prevented it so many years before. He suggested then to an Indian of Cabagan to stir up the Indians who had descended, but the latter not daring to do it himself made use of a heathen called Baladdon. The latter treacherously killed twelve persons of those who had recently become settled, and through that deed the reduction was on the point of being undone and the Indians of returning to the mountains, seeing how little security there was in the villages. In order to quiet and calm them the alcalde-mayor [62]took a hand. By means of a troop of soldiers whom he sent, he avenged those treacherous murders, by killing some of the accomplices and capturing others, in all seventy in number; and by looting their possessions and goods, which rightly went to the troops. By that vengeance which was taken on those traitors, the new villages were calmed and quieted, and the enemies were too fearful to attempt another such thing. Father Fray Pedro remained in the said new villages, instructing and teaching the apostates, and catechising heathens, in order that they might receive holy baptism.

All this news was reported in Manila, and was gladly received there by both the governor of these islands and the ministers of the royal Audiencia. Taking action for the permanence of that reduction, they ordered the alcalde of Cagayan to establish a presidio in the province of Paniqui, which was located inland, so that the said new villages might be assured, and the disturbances from the enemies cease. The said presidio was not established, for although the alcalde-mayor of the said province went by way of Cagayan, the one sent by the governor did not arrive by way of Ytuy. But the journey of the alcalde-mayor of Cagayan was not in vain, for father Fray Pedro had formerly treated with some heathens of a place called Ambayao to descend to the new villages, and now by the aid of the alcalde and his men father Fray Pedro went down to the said Indians, with their wives, families, and household goods, and reaching the village of Ytugug with them, they were allowed to choose a site in which to live. Some hundred of them remained there, while the others went down to [63]Cabagan, Lalo, Yguig, Fotol, and to other villages.

When the matter was at the height of its success, the devil managed to put forth all his efforts in order to cause all the said reduction to cease. He so overturned affairs that the very ones charged with the movement, petitioned most earnestly that an end be put to it, relying on some opinions apparently correct, but of little profit to the mission. Hence father Fray Pedro was ordered to cease to bring heathens to settle if troops and escorts were needed for that purpose. The religious obeyed that new order and took care only to instruct those who had been reduced, and did not attempt to make further conquests with the aid of troops or escorts. But alone, without troops or noise, people kept descending those mountains, and many of them summoned him to go to get them. But since he was ordered not to take troops, with only the Indians of the new villages, some of whom were neophytes and others catechumens, he went through those deserts and collected many apostates and heathens. On one occasion, he led one hundred and fifteen persons, and one week afterward another thirty-five followed from a place called Yobat. They said to the father: “If you stay in Yobat two days more, a vast number of people will descend. Do you not hear them calling to you from afar and inviting you to go to them?” The said father did not understand it so, but thought on the contrary that they were enemies, and as he had so few people with him could not trust himself; besides those men whom he took had enough to do in carrying the children and old and sick people, and the possessions and household goods of those who descended. [64]

Amid such glorious enterprises and tasks father Fray Pedro was employed for seven years, during which he reduced very many apostates, and baptized innumerable heathens, with whom he founded the three villages above mentioned, which are still in existence today after a period of more than sixty years. The other villages of the province were increased by those who descended from the mountains to live in them. But when the hopes of reducing all those pagans were greatest, the devil laid such snares and so many witnesses rose up against the father that it became necessary for this province to remove him from that ministry, and to transfer him to another one very distant from it. There without his rivals or least of all the devil designing it, God carried him to other reductions, of which an account will be given in due time. In the meanwhile that mission was taken charge of by other fathers who were also zealous workers, who made their raids into those mountains and the districts of the heathens from time to time, and led many of them by means of their inducements to descend to live in the settlement; in order that they might be better taught and instructed in what pertained to the welfare of their souls, until after the lapse of several years and [until] all had been disabused of their error, and of the false opinion that they were laboring under against the innocence of the said religious, the province again placed him as minister of those new villages, in order that he might continue the former reduction. By his efforts the mission was rejuvenated and finally the father ended his days there, as will be related farther on when treating of his death.

During these latter years in which this account is [65]written, that mission has been reëstablished with seemingly more success than ever; for although the attempt has been made several times to reduce all that paganism, it has been impossible to obtain it until now as the said heathens live in remote places and are separated from communication with other provinces. Therefore, they seem almost unconvertible, as the missionaries could not live among them without notable discomfort, lack of health, and even not without danger to their lives. For on eight or more occasions that the religious have entered those mountains for the purpose of reducing the heathens who live in them, sometimes escorted by soldiers, and at other times without that aid, in all of them, they have experienced lack of health and death of the missionaries and even of the soldiers who accompanied them. Hence, the reduction of all that paganism was deemed impracticable. But now during these latter years, the earnest solicitude of the prelates has made that land communicable by opening through it a road from the province of Pangasinan to that of Cagayan. Although very heavy expenses have been incurred in this, this province considers those expenses as excellently employed, since from them has followed the conquering of the impenetrability of that land, the thing that rendered the said reduction most difficult. That difficulty having been thus removed, there has been no difficulty in the missionaries living and dwelling there permanently, as at present some religious are doing, occupied in the conversion of those heathens. Many of the latter are now baptized and are founding many new villages which make a good province distinct from those of Pangasinan and Cagayan; and [66]it is hoped that there will be a very plentiful harvest, according to the good condition of the crops which are now apparently ripe and only need the workers from Europa to gather the fruit of our labors.


Chapter XXXIV

An intermediary congregation is celebrated in this province; notice of the mission of Vangag and of an Indian woman of especial merit.

[An intermediary chapter is held at Manila in May, 1680, at which notice is given of the entrance of the Dominicans into Zambales. The following houses of that province are accepted: Santiago of Bolinao; San Andres of Masinloc; Nuestra Señora de el Rosario, of Marivelez; Nuestra Señora de el Sagrario, of Nuevo Toledo; Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, of Paynaven; Nuestro Padre Santo Domingo, of Alalang; Santa Rosa, of Baubuen. Ten religious are assigned to them. The house of San Thelmo, of Apparri, located at the port of the province of Cagayan, is also accepted. “The vicar of the house of Binmaley was given a vote in the provincial chapters, and the vicar of the island of the Babuyanes was given a vote in the intermediary assemblies.”]

One of the missions which flourished with great fruit in this province during that time was the mission of Palavig, which is the mission now called Vangac. This is a mission on the coast of Cagayan near the mountains of Paranàn which end at the cape called Engaño [i.e., deceit]. The land of this island becomes more lofty as it approaches nearer the north. That mission is composed of Visayan Indians of the opposite coast of that province, who [67]fleeing from the village of Paranàn and from other villages, inhabit those inaccessible mountains, where they are safe because of the inaccessibility of those ridges. Among them are some Christian apostates and many heathens who were born in the mountains. On the brow of those mountains that mission was founded in the year 1653 by the earnest and laborious efforts of the venerable father, Fray Juan Uguet, under the advocacy of St. Thomas of Aquinas. And when the mission was in a good condition, and there were many recently-baptized people in it, and others reconciled from their apostasy, they were frightened by the Indians of the village of Buguey, and they consequently returned immediately to the mountain, and the mission was abandoned and destroyed, and all the toil of the father came to nought through the persuasions of those bad citizens. It was God’s will to have them reunite at the same site of Palavig, through the inducements of some zealous missionaries, but they afterward left it again because of the annoyances which they suffered annually from a commandant who goes to that district to watch for the ship from Acapulco. Under that pretext he usually causes considerable vexation to the Indians of the village of Buguey, and much more to those of the mission as they are naturally a very pusillanimous race. Hence, that mission has suffered its ups and its downs, for however much the fathers labored in it, the inhabitants of Buguey by their persuasions, and that commandant by his bad treatment, destroyed their labors. It is now about twenty-five years since they returned to settle on a creek called Bavag under the advocacy of St. Michael, who among other saints fell to their lot. [68]Thence they moved to Vangag, in order to draw those people from the mountain whence they had gone. For the same reason, they were moved on another occasion to a site called Dao, which is the site where they still live, although still under the title of Vang̃ag.

[Salazar relates the steadfastness of a native girl at the above mission, who was of considerable use to the missionaries. Two fathers while on an expedition concerned with the mission, are carried across a river by Negritos, of which race Salazar says:]

Those blacks of those mountains are very barbarous and ferocious, above all the other inhabitants of Cagayan.... Those black men of the mountain flee from the water even more than from fire; for every night in order to go to sleep, they make a fire in the open, and sleep on the cinders or hot ashes, but they will never bathe or wash, in order not to get wet, although they stand so greatly in need of it, and bathing is a common and daily thing among the other natives of this country.10

[The Negritos’ hatred of bathing makes our author imagine that those who carried the fathers across the river are spirits sent by God to aid His chosen ones in their trouble. The chapter ends with an account of a pious Indian woman who dies in Abucay. Following this chapter, the missions of the Asiatic mainland and the Pardo troubles and controversy [69]are discussed in chapters xxxv–xlviii; and the lives and deaths of various Dominicans in chapters xlix–lxii, of which chapters l–lv treat of Fray Domingo Perez (see VOL. XXXIX, pp. 149–275).]


Chapter LXIII

A new band of religious arrives in the province, one of whom dies at sea

[More than two hundred religious went to the Philippines in 1684, as recruits for the orders of St. Francis, St. Augustine (both calced and discalced), and St. Dominic. Those for the last-named order number forty-nine, “which is the most abundant succor which has reached this province since its foundation.”11 Those missionaries are as follows:]

The said father, Fray Jacinto Jorva, son of the convent of Santa Catharina Martyr, of Barcelona.

Father Fray Francisco Miranda, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid, and collegiate of San Gregorio of the same city.

Father Fray Pedro Mexorada, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Diego Piñero, of the province of Andalucia.

Father Fray Diego Velez, of the province of España.

Father Fray Juan Truxillo, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Xerez.

Father Fray Miguel de la Villa, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Sebastian de el Castillo, of the same convent. [70]

Father Fray Francisco Marquez, of the convent of San Pablo, of Cordova.

Father Fray Thomas Croquer, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Xerez.

Father Fray Thomas de Gurruchategui, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Antonio Beriain, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Victoria.

Father Fray Joseph Beltroli.

Father Fray Jacobo de el Munt.

Father Fray Juan de Soto, of the convent of San Pablo, of Palencia.

Father Fray Pedro Martin.

Father Fray Diego Casanueva.

Father Fray Gaspar Carrasco.

Father Fray Manuel Ramos, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Miguel de San Raymundo.

Father Fray Raymundo de Santa Rosa.

Father Fray Sebastian Bordas, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Mexico.

Father Fray Juan de Abenojar.

Father Fray Diego Vilches, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Antonio de Santo Thomas, a Pole.

Father Fray Francisco de la Vega.

Father Fray Nicolas de el Olmo, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Francisco Morales, of the same convent.

Father Fray Gabriel Serrano, of the same convent.

Father Fray Santiago de Monteagudo, of the convent of Santiago, of Galicia. [71]

Father Fray Francisco Ruiz.

Father Fray Julian de la Cruz.

Father Fray Juan de la Barrera.

Father Fray Joseph Plana, of the convent of Xirona.

Father Fray Juan de la Nava, of the convent of San Pablo, of Cordova.

Father Fray Juan Romero, of the convent of San Gines, of Talavera.

Father Fray Francisco Gomez, of the convent of Santo Thomas, of Avila.

Father Fray Thomas Escat, of the convent of Santa Catharina Martyr, of Barcelona.

Father Fray Diego Arriola.

Father Fray Blas Iglesias, of the convent of San Vicente, of Plasencia.

Father Fray Miguel Matos, of the convent of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, of the Canary Islands.

Fray Fernando Ybañez, deacon.

Fray Thomas de Plasencia, acolyte.

And six lay-brethren, who are the following:

Fray Francisco Tostado, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Fray Manuel Santos, of the convent of Santa Cruz, of Segovia.

Fray Juan Ruiz, of the convent of Santa Cruz, of Villaescusa.

Fray Thomas Gomez.

Fray Manuel Gonçales.

And Fray Lucas de el Moro, of the convent of Nuestra Señora, of Atocha.

[To this band must be added the name of Fray Juan Marcort, son of the convent of Xirona, who [72]died at sea after the vessel had left the port of Acapulco.]

[Chapter lxiv treats of an English pirate (Dampier) who cruises among the Babuyanes, and defiles a church of the Dominicans. Chapter lxv, the last of the first book, reviews the life of Fray Antonio Calderon, who dies while provincial of his order. Chapter i, of the second book, records the election as provincial of Fray Bartholome Marron.]


Chapter II

Of the reduction of the Mandayas Indians to our holy faith

[Father Pedro Ximenez, who had labored for six years in the mission of Irraya, being compelled to leave that place because of slanderous reports, is sent in 1684 to the village of Fotol, on the border of the Mandaya country in the central part of Luzón. The needs that he finds there will not allow him to take the rest that he has planned after his active and laborious campaign against infidelity in Irraya, and he takes up his work in the new mission with undiminished zeal. The people of Fotol he finds in the midst of famine, for the fierce Mandayas12 of the uplands will not allow them to cultivate their fields. The father resolves upon the reduction of the Mandayas. He begins by writing letters to an influential [73]apostate who is living in the mountain region, and those letters so stir up the conscience and memory of that man that he resumes the faith which he had abandoned, and is later of great service to the father, and lives in Christian humility until his death which occurs within a short time. Not without hindrances from the evil one, however, are the efforts of the gospel worker. That enemy of mankind causes an inhabitant of the village of Nabayugan to murder another heathen, whereupon all is confusion and the breathing forth of threats. The father learning that that murder may be atoned for by two ways, namely, by fighting or by a fine, promises to pay for it himself in the interests of peace. Through his native ambassadors he sends a present of shirts, salt, needles, combs, and tibors, to the aggrieved faction. Won by such generous kindness, the ambassadors are treated most cordially, and a favorable answer sent to the father, and they promise to descend the mountain to meet him near Capinatan. The energetic priest immediately sets out, but the devil ever watchful in the interests of his evil trade, manages to upset the boat in which the father is journeying on the river at the hour of midnight. However, nothing but a wetting and considerable discomfort is the result, and next day Fray Pedro meets the heathens. After a stay with them of two days, the father returns accompanied by two chiefs and four others of the heathens, a not slight undertaking on the part of those timid people, as they are in constant fear of treachery. They return to the mountains after short visits to the villages of Capinatan and Affulug, accompanied by some of the inhabitants of the former village. Among their people they relate the [74]good treatment which they have received from the father, “as well as from the commandant of the fort, who really aided considerably in that reduction by his affability, kindness, and good treatment. If the other commandants of the forts near the heathens carried themselves in that manner, they could gather more fruit than the fathers for their conversion and reduction. But the pity is that most of them not only do not aid, but even offer opposition on this point, and think only of their profit and interests.” Once more the devil endeavors to destroy the peace which seems about to spread throughout the district. One of three heathens, who go down to the village of Malaueg, is killed by the inhabitants of that place, and the other two are seized and sent to the commandant of Nueva Segovia. To their surprise that commandant, instead of praising them for their vigilance, seizes the captors and frees the captives, the latter upon the supplication of the father, being sent to him and returned to their people. Other troubles are also satisfactorily settled through the agency of Fray Pedro. At his invitation twenty-two of the heathens accompany him to Apparri, where the alcalde-mayor confers on them titles and honors, thus increasing the favorable opinion of the Mandayas. The village of Calatug still proves an obstacle to the general peace, for they are hostile to the Mandayas, and have declared that if the latter become reduced they will attack and kill them. The Mandayas who wish to become civilized, after holding a council, resolve to ask aid of the alcalde-mayor against the village of Calatug, and that aid is promised them. Meanwhile it is reported that there is a plot to kill Fray Pedro, and that all the friendliness [75]of the Mandayas is only treachery. Refusing to believe that, the father determines, against advice from all sides, and a vigorous protest from the commandant of the fort at Capinatan, to ascend the mountains in company with only one Mandaya and his daughter, and the necessary rowers, eight in number. His confidence is well answered by the joyful reception accorded him by the Mandayas, among whom he remains for about a fortnight. The following September, in conformity with his promise he again ascends the mountains, and at that time a church is built which is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia. In 1686 that church numbers more than one thousand three hundred converts and apostates who have come back to the faith. The number of converts in that mission is opportunely increased by an epidemic of smallpox, when the mercy of God is seen in many, both those who die and those who recover. In 1687 the growth of the work causes the chapter held that year to assign Fray Pedro two associates, and in 1688 he is made an independent missionary and given one other associate. That increase enables him to found another village in a district less mountainous and hence less difficult to administer, and soon there is a Christian population of over five hundred there. But the father falling ill, and finding it necessary to retire, the people of Calatug, still hostile to the Mandayas, assault the village, and all but one hundred and forty of them are either killed or flee to the mountains. Them the alcalde-mayor of the province removes to the village of Camalayugan, and that mission comes to an end.]

[Chapters iii–ix discuss the lives of various gospel [76]workers, and Chinese affairs. Chapter x treats of certain miracles that occurred in the hospital of San Gabriel.]


Chapter XI

Of the intermediary congregation of the year eighty-eight, and the houses which were accepted by it.

[In 1688 the intermediary chapter held at Manila, accepted the ministries of San Policarpo of Tabuco and its adjacent ministries of Santo Thomas and El Rosario; and that of San Bartholome of Anno in Pangasinan. The first had been assigned to the Dominicans in 1685 by Felipe Pardo because of the lack of seculars to administer it and they keep it until the death of that archbishop, when it again passes into the control of the seculars. Much has been done there in the meanwhile by the religious entrusted with its administration, namely, Fray Juan Ybañez de Santo Domingo and two associates. The other house of San Bartolome was founded for the reduction of the Igorots and Alaguetes in its neighborhood. With the ones converted from those peoples and some oldtime Christians from Pangasinan, the village soon acquires considerable Christian population and a church and convent are built at the cost of the Dominican province. Since the location of the mission is poor, and communication with the nearest Dominican houses of Pangasinan difficult, an intermediary mission is founded midway between San Bartolome and the other missions, to which is given the name of San Luis Beltran. In the mission, many are baptized, “especially of the Alaguetes, who were more docile than the Igorots, although also many of the latter were converted.” [77]That mission lasts more than twenty years. In 1709 or 1710 “because of disputes that arose between those of the village and the Igorots, who lived in the mountain, the latter descended the mountain at night and set fire to the village, without being perceived.” Consequently the village is deserted, and the father and the inhabitants remove to San Luis Beltran, which being farther from the mountains is safer. After six years there, a government decree removes them to Maoacatoacat. Later the mission is moved to Pao, and finally to Manaoag. But since the natives dislike to leave the sites where they are settled, and also enjoy a life of freedom where they are not molested by the tribute, many of the inhabitants refuse to move at the successive transfers. Falling into relaxation in consequence, many become infidels, and their number is increased by others who flee to them to escape the tribute and the restrictions of religion. In 1732, in response to a petition by the Dominican provincial, the government again establishes a mission village in San Luis Beltran. Starting thence, a new mission is opened on almost the same site of San Bartolome under the name of San Joseph at a site called Maliongliong for the conversion of the Igorots. As a result of the efforts put forth there, a new province called Paniqui is opened up which is in charge of four Dominican religious. Much fruit is gathered for the faith in that region.]

[Chapters xii–xxi treat of the lives of various missionaries, among them that of the famous Fray Felipe Pardo.] [78]


Chapter XXII

Election as provincial of the father commissary, Fray Christoval Pedroche, and founding of the mission of Tuga.

[The above father is elected provincial in 1690, after his return from exile to Nueva España, on account of the Pardo troubles. During his term there is considerable activity among the Chinese missions, those of Batanes, and that of Tuga. This last mission is the outcome of the work of father Fray Juan Yñiguez,13 who is entrusted in 1688 “with the conversion of the Indians of Mananig and the other neighboring nations who inhabited the rough mountains near the village of Tuao in the province of Cagayan, on the western side of the said village; and extend north and south for many leguas. At the same time the said father was charged to learn the language peculiar to that country of Ytabes,14 and compile a grammar and lexicon in it.... In the short space of six months, he learned the language of the Ytabes, and reduced it to a very detailed grammar.... In the same time he founded a new village in the mission in the very lands of the heathens about six leguas south of the village of Tuao, on a plateau below the creek of Tuga, whence that mission took its name, which it keeps even in [79]our times.” The church built there is dedicated to St. Joseph, and mass said on the second of February, 1689. Notwithstanding the many oppositions offered to the new mission, it grows and prospers. At the end of eight years, the mission is moved to a more pleasant site two leagues nearer Tuao, and although it receives the name of Tuga there, it is sometimes called San Joseph de Bambang, from a mountain called Bambang. In 1710, lack of friars causes the abandonment of Tuga as an active mission, and it becomes a visita of Tuao. That epoch marks its decline, and in 1715, after many have fled to the mountains where they have resumed their pagan life, the remaining Christians are transferred to Tuao. “After the year 1718 the whole province of Cagayan rose in revolt15, and that disturbance began especially in that district of Ytabes where the said village of Tuao is located. Thereupon the new Christians of the mission who had assembled in that village, returned to their former sites and mountains, and apostatized from the faith which they had received.” At the close of that insurrection, the Dominicans attempt to regain the ground that they had lost. In 1722 a friar is assigned to that mission to regain the apostates and work for new conversions among the heathens. Both objects are largely fulfilled. In 1731, the missionary established there, Fernando de Lara, moves the site of the mission still nearer to Tuao because of the greater conveniences. The new site which is maintained is called Orac, [80]although it is still called by the former name of Tuga.]


Chapter XXIII

Foundation of the mission of Batanes; death of Fray Matheo Gonçalez, and Fray Juan Rois in those islands.

[At the chapter meeting of 1680, Father Matheo Gonçalez16 is chosen vicar of the Babuyanes Islands which lie north of the province of Cagayan. His work there is successful and he reduces many to the faith, those who are baptized moving to the chief village where the church and convent are located. Extending his labors to the farthest of the Babuyanes Islands, the father arrives there at the time when a volcano is filling its natives with terror. Taking advantage of the situation, he so adds to their terror by his preaching that both apostates (of whom many have gone to that island) and heathen resolve to leave the island and go to Cagayan with the father. Leaving en masse they are taken to Cagayan and form a new village on the seacoast between the two villages of Yguig and Nassiping. That village is however suppressed later by order of the government, and its inhabitants return to the Babuyanes. Another village called Amulung is stationed there in 1733 which is formed of Indians from other villages, and a church and convent established there. Casting their eyes to the three Batanes Islands north [81]of the Babuyanes,17 and thirty leagues from Cagayan, the Dominicans plan for their spiritual conquest; but not until the year 1686 can anything be done. In that year Fray Matheo Gonçalez is again appointed vicar of the Babuyanes, and given Fray Diego Piñero18 as associate. They visit the Batanes with the object of exploring them and learning the language. The islands appear ripe for the harvest but more laborers are needed. Consequently, as it is the time for the intermediary chapter the vicar returns to Cagayan for help, leaving Fray Diego Piñero alone. One other worker, Fray Juan de Rois [82]is assigned to the field. But scarcely have the three fathers begun their labors when sickness causes the death of the father vicar and his latest associate, whereupon Fray Diego Piñero, notwithstanding the murmurs of the natives, returns to Cagayan to seek more aid. But no more religious can be spared just then for there is a great lack of them for even the settled missions. Not for thirty years later (1718) is another attempt made in the Batanes, when Fray Juan Bel being appointed vicar of the Babuyanes, visits them. In 1720, as a consequence to his report, five religious are assigned for the mission. As the Batanes are not healthful for Europeans, the island of Calayan19 midway between the Batanes and the Babuyanes is chosen as the place of residence for the new mission. In that island as many as possible of the new converts are removed, and the church and convent are established there. The king being petitioned bears part of the expenses of the transferring of the converts to Calayan. The venture is successful, and at the time of Salazar’s writing (1742), the mission still exists.]

[Chapters xxiv–xxxiii discuss the lives and work of various missionaries, and Chinese affairs.]

[Chapter xxxiv treats of the life of Mother Sebastiana de Santa Maria, a native woman, who became a member of the tertiary branch of the Dominican order.] [83]


Chapter XXXV

Foundation of the mission of Santa Cruz in Cagayan; and the death of two most virtuous hermits in this province.

In the year 1693, the mission of Santa Cruz was established at a place called Gumpat, near a visita of Malaveg, called Santa Cruz, whence the mission took its name. It was founded by father Fray Joseph Galfaroso,20 or de la Santissima Trinidad, son of the convent of Pamplona, a man most zealous for the welfare of souls. While vicar of Malaveg, he, not being satisfied with the administration of the said village, made various entrances through the neighboring mountains in search of the heathens who lived in them, in order to lure them to the bosom of our holy faith. Those mountains are rough and broken, and the heathen who inhabit them are very brave, and give the Christian villages much to do with their continual raids and assaults with which they keep them terrified. Among those heathens of the mountain, a chief named Don Joseph Bucayu, who was the terror of all those mountains and of the neighboring villages, was prominent for his valor and courage, and was feared by all. This man God wished to take as the instrument for the foundation of that mission, for with the authority and respect that all had for him, he could attract many to his side, and [84]taking example from him whom they considered their leader, many should embrace our holy faith.

[Through the grace of God, the fierce heart of this chief is softened and he embraces the faith, and by the force of his example draws many after him. He becomes the chief pillar of the new mission that is formed at Santa Cruz. Great success attends that mission until the year of the insurrection in Cagayan (1718), when that place is also deserted and its inhabitants take to the mountains. The remainder of this chapter is concerned with the life and death of Domingo Pinto of the tertiary branch of the Dominicans, who had lived as a hermit for twenty-three years; and information concerning a man known as Diego Peccador (i.e., Sinner), a Spaniard presumably of good blood, who lived as a hermit close beside the church at San Juan del Monte, for five or six years, practicing the most austere penances and mortifications, after which he disappeared and nothing else was heard of him.]


Chapter XXXVI

Election of the father commissary, Fray Juan de Santo Domingo21 as provincial. Mention of the deceased of the records of that time. The new mission of religious which arrived at the province that year.

[The above-named father is elected provincial in 1694. At that chapter meeting mention is made of [85]two members of the order who have passed away—Fray Manuel Trigueros, who dies in China in 1693; and Sister Mariana Salzedo; of the tertiary branch of the order, a Spanish woman. In 1694 a band of thirty-eight religious arrives at the islands,22 which has been collected in Spain by Fray Francisco Villalba, who has been exiled from the islands by order of the Audiencia in consequence of the Pardo troubles. Of the original number of forty religious in this band two remain in Mexico. The names of the thirty-eight men are as follows:]

The father lector, Fray Pedro Muñoz, son of the convent of Nuestra Señora, of Atocha.

The father lector, Fray Francisco Cantero, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Ezija.

Father Fray Vicente de el Riesgo, son of the convent of Leon.

The father lector, Fray Jayme Mimbela, son of the convent of Preachers of Zaragoça, and collegiate of the college of San Vicente, of the same city, who afterward became bishop of Santa Cruz, of the port of Perù, and later of Truxillo. [86]

Father Fray Pedro de Santa Theresa, son of the very religious convent of Nuestra Señora, of Las Caldas.

Father Fray Fernando Diaz, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Palencia.

Father Fray Francisco Gonçalez de San Pedro, son of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Father Fray Juan Cavallero, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Father Fray Joseph Martin, of the convent of San Ginès, of Talavera.

Father Fray Alonso Robles, of the convent of Salamanca.

Father Fray Alonso Texedor, of the convent of Valladolid.

Father Fray Francisco Marzan, of the convent of Santo Thomas, of Avila.

Father Fray Marcos de Arroyuelo, of the convent of San Pablo, of Burgos.

Father Fray Juan Ruiz de Tovar, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Oviedo.

Father Fray Francisco Gonçalez, of the convent of Salamanca.

Father Fray Juan Gonçalez, of the same convent.

Father Fray Fernando de la Motta, of the convent of Valladolid.

Father Fray Francisco de Escalante, of the convent of San Pedro Martir, of Toledo.

Father Fray Andres Lozano, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Diego Ballesteros, son of the convent of Toledo.

Father Fray Manuel de Santa Cruz, of the convent of Avila. [87]

Father Fray Geronimo Martin, of the convent of Valladolid.

Father Fray Lorenzo Fernandez, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Father Fray Joseph de el Rosario, of the convent of San Ildephonso of Zaragoça.

Father Fray Manuel Ruiz, of the convent of Salamanca.

Father Fray Pedro Vegas, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Ocaña.

Father Fray Francisco Lopez, of the convent of Salamanca.

Father Fray Antonio Ruidiaz, of the convent of Valladolid.

All the above were already priests. Those who came as choristers are the following:

Fray Manuel de Escobedo, deacon, of the convent of Nuestra Señora, of Atocha.

Fray Juan de Astudillo, deacon, of the convent of Santo Thomas, of Madrid.

Fray Pedro Humanes, deacon, of the convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

Fray Diego Constantino, of the convent of Atocha.

Fray Martin de Oña y Ocadiz, of the convent of Burgos.

Fray Diego Liaño, of the same convent.

And Fray Francisco Novarin, an Asturian, son of Santo Domingo, of Mexico.

And two religious lay-brothers: the first, Fray Francisco de Toledo, son of the convent of Guadalaxara; and the second, Fray Vicente de el Castillo, son of the convent of Burgos. In addition there were two others, who as above said remained in Mexico with the father vicar, Fray Francisco [88]Villalba, who could not return to the province because of his sentence of exile.

[With that band also comes one Fray Domingo Mezquita, who had first gone to the Philippines in 1671, but after some years residence there had returned secretly to Spain. Moved again by the will of God, he returns to the islands where he dies after some years. Those missionaries are detained in Mexico for two years waiting for a ship. Finally a ship is bought at Acapulco in which is sent the royal situado, the Dominican religious, a mission band of sixty Recollects, and a few soldiers. After a voyage fraught with danger, for the ship is old and rotten, the harbor of Cavite is finally reached June 28, and as soon as all the cargo and passengers are safely off, it founders. The much-needed missionaries are distributed among the Philippine and Chinese missions.]

[Chapters xxxvii and xxxviii treat of the Chinese missions and the lives and work of certain fathers. Chapter xxxix notes the celebration of the intermediary chapter of 1696, and treats of members of the Dominican order who die during this period: namely, father Fray Diego Vilches, a Montañes native, who takes the habit at the Sevilla convent; and Doña Antonio de Jesus y Esguerra, a Spanish woman, and a member of the tertiary branch of the order. Chapters xl–xliii relate the foundation and progress of the beaterio of Santa Catharina, of Manila. The disputes between Archbishop Camacho and the orders (see VOL. XLII, pp. 25–116) and the questions of the friars’ estates, are taken up in chapters xliv–xlvi. The following chapter records the results of the provincial chapter of April 10, 1698, [89]and states the condition of both Philippine and Chinese missions. That chapter accepted the mission of San Luis Beltran (of which mention is made in an earlier chapter) in Pangasinan. The mission work of that district results in the intermarriage of Pangasinans and Alaguetes, and the idiom of Pangasinan becomes the common language. Chapter xlviii reviews the lives of prominent members of the order who die in this period: Fray Francisco Sanchez, Fray Francisco de Escalante, and Sister Jacinta de la Encarnacion, of the beaterio.]


Chapter XLIX

New reënforcement of religious, which arrived at this province, and the voyage of two of them to Kun-King.

[In 1699 a band of thirty-seven missionaries reaches the province. They have been collected by Fray Francisco Villalba (his third mission) who escorts them to Acapulco.23 Those missionaries are as follows:]

The father lector, Fray Thomas Tocho, son of the royal convent of Santo Domingo, of Mallorca.

The father lector, Fray Francisco de Barrera, son of the convent of Santa Maria, of Nieva.

The father preacher, Fray Juan Martinez, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Burgos.

The father lector, Fray Juan de Toro, son of the royal convent of San Pablo, of Sevilla.

The father lector, Fray Antonio Diaz, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid. [90]

Father Fray Antonio Gonçalez Laso, son of the convent of La Puebla de los Angeles.

Father Fray Phelipe Fernandez, son of the royal convent of Santa Maria, of Nieva.

Father Fray Diego Perez de Matta, son of the royal convent of Santo Domingo, of Mexico.

Father Fray Antonio de Argollanes, son of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Oviedo.

Father Fray Joseph de Rezabal, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Victoria.

Father Fray Domingo Salzedo, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Burgos.

Father Fray Balthasar de Andueza, son of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Father Fray Antonio Rodriguez, son of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Ciudad de San-Tiago.

Father Fray Juan Pinta, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Father Fray Andres Gonçalez, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of San-Tiago.

Brother Fray Francisco Petite, deacon, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Brother Fray Bartholome Sabuquilla, deacon, of the convent of Santo Thomas, of Madrid.

Brother Fray Manuel de Esqueda, deacon, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Cadiz.

Brother Fray Antonio Perez, deacon, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Zamora.

Brother Fray Mauro Falcon, deacon, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of San-Tiago.

Brother Fray Antonio Zabala, deacon, of the convent of San Pablo, of Burgos.

Brother Fray Juan Crespo, subdeacon, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid. [91]

Brother Fray Francisco Cavallero, subdeacon, of the same convent.

Brother Fray Francisco Molina, subdeacon, of the same convent.

Brother Fray Bernardino Membride, subdeacon, of the same convent.

Brother Fray Gregorio Vigil, acolyte of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Oviedo.

Brother Fray Juan Matheos, acolyte, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Brother Fray Pedro Campueñas, acolyte, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Brother Fray Andres de Lubitero, acolyte, of the convent of San Estevan, of Salamanca.

Brother Fray Miguel Velasco, acolyte, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Mexico.

Brother Fray Joseph de Palencia, acolyte, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Brother Fray Joachin de la Torre, acolyte, of the convent of Santo Domingo, of Oxaca.

Brother Fray Joseph Barba, lay-brother, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Brother Fray Joseph Barba, lay-brother, of the convent of San Ildephonso, of Zaragoça.

Brother Fray Domingo Sena, lay-brother, of the convent of San Pablo, of Valladolid.

Brother Fray Martin de San Joseph, lay-brother, of the convent of Burgos.

Brother Fray Joseph Pina, lay-brother, of the convent of Burgos.

Besides these thirty-seven religious, came another, a Genoan, who was sent by the Propaganda, one Fray Thomas Sextri, of the Dominican convent of Turin. [The remainder of the chapter is occupied [92]with the relation of the voyage to Tun-King by two of the above religious.]

[Chapter l mentions the intermediary chapter of May 1, 1700, and the state of the Philippine and other missions of the order. In Cagayan the missions of Zifun and those to the Mandayas are in a flourishing condition. Through the efforts of Fray Francisco de la Vega,24 the earnest work of Fray Pedro Ximenez is carried on, and the fierce dwellers of the village of Calatug are reduced to the faith. The assembly earnestly charges the missionary at Fotol to bend all his energies to the conversion of the Mandayas. Fray Vicente de el Riesgo25 is appointed to the mission of Ytugug, and he is charged with the reduction of Yogat and Paniqui; and well does he obey those injunctions. Not only does he reduce again the villages of Ytugug, Santa Rosa, and San Fernando, but also villages of Cagayan. “Besides that mission of Ytugug or Paniqui, another harvest field, no less abundant, had been discovered, in the very center of those mountains, on the side looking toward the east, in an extensive field called Zifun. There the venerable father, Fray Geronimo Ulloa, vicar of the village of Tuguegarao, filled with zeal for the reduction of those infidels, had [93]made various raids in those mountains. That father was very fond of missions and had labored in others with zeal and fervor, and although he was now very old, and had in his charge so large a village as Tuguegarao, and was very far from those mountains, yet he was unable to restrain his zeal, and his desire for the welfare of souls. Hence burning with the ardor of youth, as soon as he was freed from the obstacles of the necessary occupations of his ministry, he entered those mountains alone in search of those straying souls in order to lure them to the flock of Christ, without stopping to consider dangers or discomforts in order that he might gain some souls for heaven.” So great is his success, and so many the souls that he reduces that the intermediary chapter gives him an associate, in order that the father may give all of his time to the mission work of Zifun.]

[Chapters li–lvii (which complete the volume) treat of the lives of various fathers and sisters of the order. In the biographical notices of these chapters, as well as in all the other biographical chapters of this volume, there is necessarily much on the mission work of the Dominicans; but the method of treatment is almost entirely from the standpoint of the individual, and offers no view of the mission work as a whole, or at least nothing new is added to the broader aspects of the work. Consequently, we do not present anything from those chapters in this survey of Dominican missions.] [95]

1 The translation of the title-page of the above book is as follows: “History of the province of Santissimo Rosario de Philipinas [i. e., most holy rosary of the Philipinas], China, and Tunking, of the holy order of the Preachers. Third part. In which are treated the events of said province from 1669 to 1700. Composed by the Reverend Father Fray Vicente de Salazar, rector of the college of Santo Thomas of the city of Manila, and chancellor of its university. Dedicated to the sovereign queen of the angels, the most holy Mary, in her miraculous image of the rosary, which is venerated with the universal devotion of the people in the church of Santo Domingo of the said city of Manila. Printed by the press of the said college and university of Santo Tomas of the said city, in the year 1742.” The first two parts of this history (those by Aduarte and Santa Cruz) have been given in translation and synopsis in preceding volumes in this series.

Fray Vicente Salazar was born in Ocaña and professed at Valladolid. He became a professor in Spain. Arriving in Manila in 1727, he became a professor in the college of Santo Tomàs and in 1742 was its rector. Later he became prior of the Manila convent. The last years of his life were spent in the Ituy missions, his death occurring between the years of 1755–1759. See Retana’s edition of Zúñiga’s Estadismo, ii, p. 615.

2 For sketches of the members of this mission, see Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 101–194.

3 See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 194–230, for sketches of these missionaries.

4 See the Recollect account of these transactions in VOL. XLI.

5 Fray Alarcón was a native of Archidona, and professed in the convent at Madrid June 30, 1661. On arriving at the islands (1666), he was assigned to the province of Pangasinan. In 1669 he was appointed master of novitiates in Manila, but resigned the post that same year. In 1673 he went to Formosa intending to enter the Chinese missions, but finding that impossible he returned to Manila in 1674. From 1675–1678 he labored in the missions of the province of Bataán, being sent the latter year to the Chinese missions; but finding it necessary to return to Manila shortly after, his subsequent efforts to return again to China were unavailing. He died in Manila September 15, 1685, after a lingering illness. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 59–61.

6 The Zambals were not Negritos, although they may have been a mixture of Negrito blood. They were probably somewhat the same as the Igorots, and hence a race of Malay extraction.

7 i.e., in Aduarte’s Historia; see VOL. XXXII, p. 55.

8 Fray Jerónimo de Ullóa was a Galician, who professed at Coruña March 13, 1665, at the age of twenty-one. He was a zealous missionary in various Cagayan missions and in the Babuyanes. His death occurred in 1700 or 1701. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 175–179.

9 Fray Pedro Jiménez took the Dominican habit in 1658, and arrived in the Philippines in 1666. He labored principally in the province of Cagayan where he was at different times assigned to different missions. He died December 20 without being able to receive the last sacraments. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 61–77.

10 W. A. Reed says (Negritos of Zambales, pp. 40, 41): “He is repulsively dirty in his home, person, and everything he does. Nothing is ever washed except his hands and face, and those only rarely. He never takes a bath, because he thinks that if he bathes often he is more susceptible to cold, that a covering of dirt serves as clothing, although he frequently gets wet either in the rain or when fishing or crossing streams. This is probably one reason why skin diseases are so common.”

11 See sketches of these missionaries in Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 230–256.

12 This is an error, as the Mandayas are a Mindanao tribe. Probably the Apayaos, who live in the district of Ayangan in the comandancia of Quiang̃án are meant. In Bontoc and other northern provinces of Luzón the word Ĭ-fu-gao means “the people;” it is the name which the Bontoc Igorots apply to themselves. The name Apayao, in northern Luzón, is another form of the same word. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 469; Blumentritt’s List of Tribes in Philippines (Mason’s translation); and Jenks’s Bontoc Igorot, p. 33.

13 Fray Juan Iñiguez was a native of Antequera, and made his profession at Sevilla, September 21, 1671. Reaching the Philippines (1671) at the age of twenty-four, he was immediately assigned to the province of Cagayan where he labored until 1720, the year of his death. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 211–215.

14 These are not a separate tribe as one would be led to suppose by Blumentritt, but a branch of the Igorot people. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 456–459.

15 The natives of Malaoeg and Tuao revolted at the end of 1718 under their leaders Magtangaga and Tomás Sinaguingan. They were put down by Captain Don Juan Pablo de Orduña, and the rebels were punished. See Montero y Vidal, i, p. 414.

16 Fray Mateo González made his profession September 5, 1667, and arrived at the Philippines in 1671 at the age of twenty-seven. He was assigned to Cagayan, where he labored extensively. He also worked in the Babuyanes and introduced the mission work into the Batanes, his death occurring in the latter islands July 25, 1688. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 155–157.

17 A correspondent, William Edmonds, principal of schools in the Batanes Islands, says in a letter of April 9, 1906: “I have an idea that either the formation of the land [of the Batanes] is entirely changed (two islands then being one now) or that there is some serious error in Dampier’s topography [see VOL. XXXIX, pp. 96–115]. The names of many of the islands now are not those given by Dampier.” Of the later history of the Batanes Islands Mr. Edmonds says: “In 1791, Governor-general Don José Basco sent an expedition with an alcalde, two Dominican missionaries, mechanics, and artificers to establish civil government. In a short time the people were instructed in material arts, constructing tribunals, churches, convents, schools, and houses, all of stone walls, one vara thick, to resist typhoons. Five municipalities were established, the islands forming a district of the province of Cagayan. In September, 1897, these pacific islands fell an easy prey to the Revolutionary expedition which sacked the churches and convents, and carried away the priests as prisoners to Cagayan. The Katipunan government ruled until December, 1899, when the American government took possession. In October, 1903, the various towns were united into one municipality of the province of Cagayan.” As references concerning these islands, Mr. Edmonds gives El Correo Sino Anamita (Manila, 1866–1892), xxix, p. 483; and Marin’s Ensayo (Manila, 1901), ii, pp. 690, 801: both publications of the Dominicans.

18 Fray Diego Piñero was assigned upon his arrival at the islands in 1684 to the convent of Malaueg in Cagayan. His stay in the Babuyanes was short as is related in the text. His remaining missionary labors were in the province of Cagayan. His death occurred at Lallo-c at the beginning of 1712 or a trifle before. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 236, 237.

19 The island of Calayan was taken formal possession of for the United States by the government ship “Princeton,” January 10, 1900. It is one of the islands of the Babuyanes group, and is lofty and uneven. See Gazetteer of Philippine Islands, p. 418.

20 Fray José Galfarroso (or Halfarroso de la Trinidad, as his name is given in Reseña biográfica) made his profession September 10, 1664. Upon his arrival at the Philippines in 1671, he was assigned to the Cagayan field, where he held various posts, and where most if not all of his missionary labors were passed. He died, probably in Cagayan, early in 1700. See ut supra, ii, pp. 160, 161.

21 Fray Juan de Santo Domingo was born in 1640 near Calatayud, and professed in the convent of Ocaña October 22, 1661. He went to the Philippines in 1666, his first two years being occupied in duties in Manila. Assigned to the province of Pangasinan, he labored there for eighteen years, and exercised various duties. In 1682 he was chosen definitor, and in 1686 he was transferred to the Manila convent. He was the real founder of the Beaterio of Santa Catalina de Sena, and ordained its rules July 26, 1696, while provincial. During his term as provincial he also organized the tertiary branch of his order. After his term as provincial he was appointed vicar of the beatas and president of the college of San Juan de Letrán. In 1702 he was again elected prior of Manila convent, and because of the death of the provincial exercised the duties of that office, to which he was regularly elected again in 1706. At the end of his second term he again took up his duties as head of the beaterio and college. Besides the above posts and offices he was also commissary of the Holy Office and definitor in the chapters of 1682 and 1716. His death occurred at Manila, January 15, 1726. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 26–34.

22 See sketches of these missionaries in Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 363–457.

23 Sketches of these missionaries will be found in Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 457–497.

24 Fray Francisco de la Vega was assigned to Cagayan in 1686, where he labored in various missions there and in the Babuyanes. He died at Fotol in the beginning of 1710. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 249, 250.

25 Fray Vicente del Riesgo was a native of San Félix de Valdesoto. On arriving at the Philippines at the age of twenty-six, he was assigned to the Cagayan field where he spent the rest of his life (with the exception of a brief period spent in Manila as prior of that convent, and master of novitiates), and where he occupied various posts. He died in Cabagan, June 24, 1724. See Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 440–446.


Bibliographical Data

The documents contained in the present volume are from the following sources:

1. Dominican missions, 1670–1700.—From Salazar’s Historia de el Santissimo Rosario; (from a copy of original edition (Manila, 1742), in possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago).

2. Preliminary note.—Editorial.

3. Superstitions and beliefs of the Filipinos.—From Ortiz’s Práctica del Ministerio, ca., 1731, chapter i, §4, pp. 11–15 (from Retana’s edition of Zúñiga’s Estadismo, Madrid, 1893, ii, pp. *14–*21).

4. The People of the Philippines.—From Zúñiga’s Historia de las Islas Philipinas (Sampaloc, 1803), ii, chapter ii, pp. 19–38; from a copy of the original edition belonging to Edward E. Ayer, Chicago.

5. Jolo and the Sulus.—From Wilkes’s Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition (Philadelphia, 1844), v, pp. 343–390; from a copy belonging to the Wisconsin Historical Society.

6. Letter from Father Quirico More.—From Cartas de los PP. de la Compañía de Jesús (Manila, 1887), vii, pp. 76–91; from a copy belonging to Edward E. Ayer, Chicago.

7. Letter from Father Pedro Rosell.Ut supra, pp. 198–216. [96]

8. Letters from Father Mateo Gisbert.Ut supra, pp. 117–128, 137–145.

9. Letter from Father Pablo Cavalleria.Ut supra, pp. 27–35.

10. Extract from a letter from Father Pablo Pastells.Ut supra, pp. 336–349.

11. Letter from Father José María Clotet.—From Cartas de los PP. de la Compañía de Jesús (Manila, 1891), ix, pp. 170–184; from a copy in possession of the Library of Congress.

12. Present beliefs and superstitions in Luzón.—From the December 9, 1905 supplement of El Renacimiento; from a copy loaned by James A. LeRoy. [97]


Appendix: Some later ethnological features of the Philippines


Sources: The material for this appendix is obtained as follows: No. 1, editorial note. No. 2, from extracts given by W. E. Retana, in his edition of Zúñiga’s Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas (Madrid, 1893), ii, pp. *14–*21, of Tomás Ortiz’s Práctica del Ministerio (chapter i, §4, pp. 11–15), a MS. conserved in the library of Eduardo Navarro, O.S.A., at Valladolid. No. 3, from Joaquín Martinez de Zúñiga’s Historia de las Islas Philipinas (Sampaloc, 1803), ii, chapter ii, pp. 19–38, from a copy belonging to Edward E. Ayer. No. 4, from Charles Wilkes’s Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition (Philadelphia, 1844), v, pp. 343–390 (mainly verbatim), from a copy belonging to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, from Cartas de los PP. de la Compañía de Jesús (Manila, 1887), vii, pp. 76–91, 198–216, 117–128 and 137–145, 27–35, and 336–349, respectively, from a copy belonging to Edward E. Ayer. No. 10, from Cartas de los PP. de la Compañía de Jesús (Manila, 1891), ix, pp. 170–184, from a copy belonging to the Library of Congress. No. 11, from a copy of the supplement of the Manila periodical El Renacimiento, of the issue of December 9, 1905.

Translations and Compilations: These are made by James A. Robertson. [99]


Preliminary note

In this series, ethnological material will be found in the following volumes of those hitherto published: II, pp. 68–72, 109–113, 122, 125, 126, 197–199, 201, 202; III, pp. 34, 54–61, 74, 97, 141–172, 181, 197–204, 286–288, 297, 298; IV, pp. 26, 27, 67–70, 98–101, 105; V, pp. 34–187 (Loarca’s Relation); VI, pp. 140, 141, 145–147; VII, pp. 173–196 (Plasencia’s Customs of the Tagálogs); XII, pp. 212, 213, 217–220, 235–244, 249–251, 261–275, 293–296, 302–310; XIII, pp. 56–58, 200–203 (Chirino’s Relation); XIV, pp. 156–159, 304, 305, 307; XVI, pp. 69–135 (Morga’s Relation), 221–223, 235, 321–329 (Customs of the Pampangos); XXIX, pp. 281–301; XXX, pp. 190–193; XXXIII, and part of XXXIV (Pigafetta’s Relation); XXXIV, pp. 185–191, 204, 215, 225, 226, 278, 279, 292–294, 318–321, 376–380, 386–388; XL, Appendix. Ethnological material is included in the following books, which we are unable to reproduce because of the limits of space, although we have used some of them extensively for annotation. Delgado’s Historia (Manila, 1893; though written about 1754) part i, book iii, pp. 249–392, contains a portion of San Agustin’s famous letter (see VOL. XL, pp. 187–295) and whose comments on which we published in part; also in appendix added by the editor, a portion of [100]Loarca’s Relation. Le Gentil’s Voyage (Paris, 1781), as follows: chap. i, art. ix, Of the genius of the inhabitants of the Philippines, and of the peculiar punishments, which the religious inflict on women who do not attend mass on days of observance, pp. 59–63 (following in great part the account of San Antonio—see VOL. XXVIII, Appendix—); art. x, Of the language and characters used by the natives of the Philippines, pp. 63–65; art. xi, Of some manners and customs of the Indians of the Philippines and of their marriages, pp. 66–74. Concepción’s Historia (Sampaloc, 1788–1792), i, chap. i, nos. 7–21, pp. 10–32; part 2, chap. i, nos. 309–320; iii, chap. ii, nos. 5, 6, pp. 27–37, nos. 10–13, pp. 46–55; v, chap. ii, no. 1, pp. 20–23. Mas’s Informe de las islas filipinas (Madrid, 1843): i, no. 1, Origen de los habitantes de la Oceania; no. 2, Estado de los Filipinos á la llegada de los Españoles (contains nothing special); no. 5, Poblacion (containing a great portion of San Agustin’s letter, with commentary, most of which is incorporated in our VOL. XL). Mallat’s Les Philippines (Paris, 1846): i, chap. iii, pp. 43–74, Condition of the country before the discovery; ii, chap. xx, pp. 89–129, Physical characteristics and customs of the savage races; chap. xxii, pp. 131–145, Customs of the children of the country, of the mestizos and the Chinese. Jagor’s Reisen in den Philippinen (Berlin, 1873): chap. xiv, pp. 118–132, Manners and customs of the Bicols; chap. xvii, pp. 161–175, The Isarog and its inhabitants; chap. xxii, pp. 227–238, Manners and customs of the Visayans. In the Ethnological Society Transactions, new series, vol. ii, session 1869–70 (London, 1870), appears (pp. 170–175), an article by Jagor, entitled “On the natives of Naga, [101]in Luzon.” Cartas de los PP. de la Compañía de Jesús de la misión de Filipinas, eight vols. (Manila, 1879–1891). Of this series Pardo de Tavera says (Biblioteca filipina, p. 87): “It is an important publication, in which is found not only information concerning the spiritual administration of the missions, but also remarkable information concerning the geography, history, ethnography, linguistics, fauna, and flora, etc., of Mindanao, which is the chief point of the activities of the Society of Jesus.” In the following selections, we have used the volumes for 1887 and 1889. Retana’s Archivo (Madrid, 1895), i, no. x, Short notice of the origin, religion, beliefs, and superstitions of the old Indians of Bicol by Fray José Castaño (written expressly for the Archivo, 1895). Algué’s Archipiélago filipino (Washington, 1900), i, tratado ii, “Ethnography,” pp. 151–238. This is translated in Report of the Philippine Commission for 1900, iii, paper no. vii, pp. 329–412. It follows on the whole the beaten lines, and much of it is unreliable. By far the most valuable material that has yet appeared on ethnology in the Philippines are the comprehensive reports which have been issued since American occupation by the Ethnological Survey, of the Department of the Interior. These have been frequently referred to in this series, and are as follows: The Bontoc Igorot, by Albert Ernest Jenks (Manila, 1905); ii, part i, Negritos of Zambales, by William Allen Reed (Manila, 1904); ii, parts ii and iii, The Nabaloi Dialect, by Otto Scheerer, and The Bataks of Palawan, by Edward Y. Miller (Manila, 1905); Relaciones agustinianas de las razas del norte de Luzón, compiled by father Fray Angel Pérez (Manila, [102]1904; Spanish edition)—containing among other things a number of letters written by Augustinian missionaries of the eighteenth century;—iv, part i, Studies in Moro History, by Najeeb M. Saleeby, a native Moro (Manila, 1905). With these reports must be classed History of the population, in Census of Philippines, i, pp. 411–491, by Dr. David P. Barrows, at the time of its writing chief of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, but at present (1906) superintendent of education in Manila. Dr. Barrows’s article is followed by a compilation (pp. 492–531), entitled Characteristics of Christian tribes; and another (pp. 532–585), entitled Characteristics of the Non-Christian tribes. [103]


Superstitions and beliefs of the Filipinos

[The following interesting account is from the Práctica del Ministerio by Tomás Ortiz, O. S. A.,1 and is translated from W. E. Retana’s edition of Zúñiga’s Estadismo de las islas Filipinas (Madrid, 1893), ii, pp. *14–*21. Retana found a copy of this important MS. at the Augustinian convent at Valladolid in the collection of father Fray Eduardo Navarro, where it still exists and where we ourselves examined it not long since. The following selection is from chapter i, section iv, pp. 11–15.]

No. 31. Inasmuch as many natives, especially those of the provinces distant from Manila are much inclined to nonos or genii, to idolatries, maganitos, superstitions, enchantments, charms, and witchcraft, which have as great a diversity as have the witches, and therefore they call them by different names, [104]according to the various duties which they attribute to them; it is necessary for the father ministers, not only to preach to them continually, and to argue against, censure, and decry so pestilent abuses, but they must also be very skilful, solicitous, and careful in discovering persons infected with that mortal poison, and to apply to it the necessary remedy. In the confessions, for the same reason that but seldom will they accuse themselves all possible efforts ought to be made (without overstepping the boundaries of prudence) in order to see whether anything may be obtained; and he who has the good fortune to have any witch confess to him, will bear himself toward her as the authors teach. They ought also to charge the natives with their obligation to denounce to the ordinary,... etc.

No. 32. There are many abuses (or as they say ugales) which the natives practice against our holy faith and good customs, among others of which are the following. First, the above-mentioned idolatry of the nonos. In regard to this it must be noted that the word nono does not alone signify “grandfather,” but that it also is used as a term of respect to the old men and genii. The Indians comprise these under the word nono, just as the Chinese do under the word Espiritus [i. e., “spirits”], and the Romans under the word “Gods,” which other called Lares, Penates, etc. With the above-mentioned genii or nonos the Indians perform many acts of idolatry frequently, such as for example, asking permission, relief, and aid from them, and that they do the people no harm, and that they do not prove hostile to them, etc. They make such requests on many occasions, and among others are the following. When they wish to pluck any flower or fruit from the tree, [105]they ask permission from the nono or genius to pluck it. When they pass certain fields, rivers, creeks, or streamlets, large trees, sugar-cane plantations and other places, they ask permission and good passage from the genii or nonos. When they are obliged to cut any tree, or not to observe the things or ceremonies which they imagine to be pleasing to the genii or nonos, they ask pardon of them, and excuse themselves to those beings by saying, among many other things, that the father commanded them to do it, and that they are not willingly lacking in respect to the genii, or that they do not willingly oppose their will, etc. When they are taken with the sickness that they call pamave, which they attribute to the genii or nonos (although they try to conceal this by saying that the country [has not?] agreed with them) they ask them for health and offer them food. They do that both on this, and many other occasions, in the fields, sugar-cane plantations, streamlets, at the foot of any large tree, more generally some calunpan,2 and in various other places. This sort of idolatry is very deeply rooted and of long standing among the Indians. Consequently, it is very necessary for the father ministers to be very careful and make great efforts to extirpate it, and not avoid any labor or work until it is annihilated.

No. 33. Secondly, the Indians very generally believe [106]that the souls of the dead return to their houses the third day after their death, in order to visit the people of it, or to be present at the banquet, and consequently, to be present at the ceremony of the tibao. They conceal and hide that by saying that they are assembling in the house of the deceased in order to recite the rosary for him. If they are told to do their praying in the church, they refuse to comply because that is not what they wish to do. Consequently, the minister will prevent the gathering at the house of the deceased after the burial, and will not allow the people to ascend into the house under any considerations, least of all on the third day. On the fourth day, in consequence of the said ceremony of the tibao, or because of their evil inclination, they light candles in order to wait for the soul of the deceased. They spread a mat, on which they scatter ashes, so that the tracks or footsteps of the soul may be impressed thereon; and by that means they are able to ascertain whether the soul came or not. They also set a dish of water at the door, so that when the soul comes it may wash its feet there. It does not appear that it would be much to say that those matters of the nonos or genii and the deceased were taken by the Indians from the Sangleys who are reared with various things [of belief].3 It needs a strong remedy nevertheless.

No. 34. The tigbalāg which some call a ghost and others a goblin, appears to be the genius or devil, who appears to them in the shape of a black man, or [107]in the shape of an old man (or as they express it in the shape of a very small old man), or in the shape of a horse, or of a monster, etc. That being inspires them with so great fear that they come to make friendship with him, and surrender their rosaries to him, and receive from him superstitious things, such as hairs, herbs, stones, and other things, in order that they may obtain marvelous things, and that they may be aided by him in certain of their affairs.

No. 35. The patianac whom some also call a goblin (but it is only their invention, dream, or imagination) must be the genius or devil who generally plays with them as also with many others, when losing the faith, they espouse his cause, become familiar with him, or become subject to him. They attribute to this being the ill success of births, and say that in order to harm them and cause their destruction, he enters or hides in some tree or in any other place near the house of the woman who is about to give birth, and there they sing like those who wander about, etc. In order to prevent any harm from the patianac, the men take their position naked and with their privies exposed to the air; and arm themselves with shield, catan, lance, and other arms. In this condition they stand on the ridgepole of the roof, and also under the house, and in all places they slash and cut right and left with the catan and make various gestures and set movements for the same purpose. Others, in order to prevent said harm, generally move the woman who is about to give birth to another house, for they say that her house contains a patianac.

No. 36. Among other things they also attribute to the patianac the death of children, as well as to [108]the usang. They refer to them in the following manner. They assert that the bird called tictic is the pander of the sorcerer called usang. Flying ahead of that being, the bird shows it the houses where infants are to be born. That being takes its position on the roof of the neighboring house and thence extends its tongue in the form of a thread, which it inserts through the anus of the child and by that means sucks out its entrails and kills it. Sometimes they say that it appears in the form of a dog, sometimes of a cat, sometimes of the cockroach which crawls under the mat, and there accomplishes the abovesaid. In order to avoid that harm they do certain of the above things. To the patianac travelers also attribute their straying from or losing their road. In order to keep the right path, they undress and expose their privies to the air, and by that observance they say that they make sure of the right road; for then the patianac is afraid of them and cannot lead them astray.

No. 37. The bongsol they sometimes assert to be various durojones which are caused by the sorcerer ganay, and which run all through the body of the bewitched, who generally remains some moments as if dead or in a faint, and at other times as though mad or raving from the sight of the ganay who appears to them in various shapes. In order to cure this sickness or enchantment, they summon another sorcerer, and he after the incantations or efforts, which will be told later, generally leaves the patient as he was before. Sometimes they say that that sickness appears to be natural or a stomach ache caused by the obstructions or durojones which grow in the stomach or in the patient’s side or by [109]shivers which move from one place to another, and from which the women of this country generally suffer. But when they are unable to cure the pain with the promptness that they desire, they generally say, especially the physicians, that the said sickness is bongsol, that is enchantment, and that it can be cured only by the one who is of the faculty, that is by one who is a sorcerer. They then bring a sorcerer, who performs the things that pertain to his faculty, and summons the first sorcerer who they say caused that sorcery. If the sickness is not lessened, the sorcerer finishes his duty by saying that the said first witch is very far away, and could not hear him; and consequently, it has happened that he has not been able to cure the said sickness. In such wise do they leave the sick person with his pains.

No. 38. The ceremony or superstition of bilao is ordered for the discovery thereby of any thief. It is reduced to placing in a bilao, sieve, or screen, some scissors fastened at the point in the shape of the cross of St. Andrew, and in them they hang their rosary. Then they repeat the name of each one of those who are present and who are assembled for this. If, for example, when the name Pedro is mentioned, the bilao shakes, they say that Pedro is the thief. They also are accustomed to light candles to St. Anthony of Padua for the purpose of discovering the thief of anything [that is stolen]. For this they kneel down to pray (and perhaps to utter and perform indecent things) and wait until the flame leans toward any of those about, for instance, toward Juan, and then they declare that Juan is the thief. It is very usual for the Indians to carry about them various things in order that they might obtain [110]marvelous effects: for example, written formulas, prayers, vitiated or interspersed with words arranged for their evil intent, herbs, roots, bark, hairs, skin, bones, stones, etc., so that they may not be killed, or apprehended by justice, or to obtain wealth, women, or other things.4 They are also very much inclined to believe in omens and in unlucky days, in regard to which they are wont to keep various books of manuscripts which must be burned for them.

No. 39. The natives are accustomed to circumcise the boys; and although they perform the circumcision by slitting the skin of the penis lengthwise, instead of around, still it appears that that may be accounted for by the fact that it is inferred that that ceremony was introduced into Philipinas, by the Moros from Borneo, Mindanao, or Holo, as was also the word biñag, which is used for “baptize,” and to mean “Christian,” and the word simba, which appears to mean “adoration” among them. From this use they transfer it to their temples and mosques, and the Tagálogs took it not to mean “adoration,” but “church,” and afterward used it to mean “mass,” which it never could mean. Not only do they circumcise the males but also the women, girls, or dalagas, [an operation] which they call sonad. It is reduced to cutting the organ or opening it up somewhat. However, some of them, and very reasonably, affirm that that ceremony in them in itself in both males and females is rather the offspring of lust than that of Judaism. They are also accustomed to measure or compare the weapons that they make, for [111]example, measuring the catan by spans and praying at the same time the “Our Father.” If the conclusion of the measuring is reached at the same time or when they come to the word “forgive us” they say that they cannot be punished, but that they may kill people, etc. It appears that the custom has been introduced among women who have recently brought forth of not going to church until the fortieth or sixtieth day as they say of the purification of their bodies. In that not only do they fail in the precept to hear mass but they also perform a Mosaic ceremony.

No. 40. The Indians are generally corrupted by many errors, and it would take a long time to mention them. Consequently, the ministers will be very careful to uproot them, for although it does not cause any great harm in some because of their ignorance and lack of intelligence, in others they do cause great harm; for example Angel catutubo, which literally signifies “that my guardian angel was born with me or at the same time as I.” In order to avoid danger, one should say, Angel taga tanor, and the same thing in other languages.

No. 41. Finally, so many are the superstitions, omens, and errors, that are found among the Indians that it would be very difficult or impossible to mention them all. The above have been mentioned so that the father ministers may examine others by them. It is to be noted that there are sectarians and preachers of various false sects among the Indians, especially in the distant provinces, either because they had false sects formerly and have continued them, or because they took them (and this is more likely) from the Joloans, Mindanaos, Sangleys, and [112]other heathen nations with whom they are accustomed to have intercourse.

No. 42. When the moon is eclipsed, the Indians of various districts generally go out into the street or into the open fields, with bells, panastanes,5 etc. They strike them with great force and violence in order that they might thereby protect the moon which they say is being eaten or swallowed by the dragon, tiger, or crocodile. And the worst thing is that if they wish to say “the eclipse of the moon” it is very common in Philipinas to use this locution, saying “the dragon, tiger, or crocodile is swallowing the moon.” The Tagálogs also make use of it and say, Linamon laho bovan. It appears that the Indians learned all this from the Sangleys of China, where all the abovesaid is performed and executed to the letter. It is not right to allow them to retain these deceits of the Chinese, and not to teach them our customs and truths. All the above contents of this section is not universal in all parts. Consequently, although all ministers ought to be careful to ascertain whether they are or are not contained in their ministries, they ought not to go ahead to censure what they are not sure of, for that very thing would perhaps teach them what we are endeavoring to extirpate. [113]


The people of the Philippines

[Joaquin Martinez de Zúñiga, O. S. A., in his Historia (Sampaloc, 1803),6 pp. 19–38, devotes one chapter to the inhabitants of the Philippines. We translate from the copy belonging to the library of E. E. Ayer.] [114]

Chapter II

Of the inhabitants whom the Spaniards found in the Philipinas, and of their language, customs, and religion.

Our historians, always inclined to the marvelous, divide the peoples whom the Spaniards found in the Philipinas into three classes. In their histories there is not a lack of satyrs, men with tails, and mermen, and whatever else can cause wonder in human nature. But truly, only two classes of people are found, namely, those whom we know by the name of Aetas or Negritos,7 and the Indians. The Negritos [115]are small, not so black as those of Guinea, and have kinky hair and flat noses. They live naked in the mountains, and only cover themselves in front with the bark of a tree. They live on roots and the deer which they hunt with arrows in which they are very skilful. They sleep where night overtakes them. They have no idea of religion, so that they resemble wild beasts rather than men. The effort has been made to domesticate and christianize them, and they are not much opposed to it, provided that they are given food to eat. But if they are ordered to work to support their family, they return to the mountain although they have just been baptized. For that reason they are not now baptized although they agree to it, except some children whom the Indians or Spaniards generally have in their houses. Even in this case, one cannot be secure of them for when they grow up they generally return to the mountains with their fellowcountrymen. Beyond all doubt those Negritos are the first settlers of these islands, and retired to the mountains when the Indians came hither. The latter inhabit the coasts, and formerly the Negritos waged continual war with them, and would not permit them to cut wood in the mountains unless they paid tribute to them. Today they have but little power, and yet they are feared; for whenever any Negrito is killed, or when any one dies suddenly, another Negrito generally offers himself among his companions and takes an oath not to return to his own people until he kills three or four Indians. He does it by lying in ambush in their villages [116]and by treacherously killing in the mountains him who becomes separated from his companions.

Some believe the origin of these Negritos to be that they came from the negros of Angola,8 and the reason why they are not so black as their ancestors consists, they say, in the climate of these Indias which is more moderate. That might be so, for it is as easy for him who changes his climate to decrease in blackness during a long series of generations as it is for him to increase it by living in an inclement climate. But the flat nose and the use of the dialect of the same language which the Indians of these islands use, proves sufficiently that their origin is one and the same with them. The fact that they are blacker than the Indians, depends only on their having lived many centuries in the water by night and day, in wind and sun, and exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather. That and their lack of government has transferred them to their almost wild condition in which we see them.

The Indians whom the Spaniards found here were of average stature, olive color, or the color of boiled quinces, large eyes, flat noses, and straight hair. All had some form of government more or less civilized. They were distinguished by different names, but their features and customs prove that the origin of all these people is one and the same, and that they did not compose different races. They had their own petty rulers, who were generally the most valiant, or those who had inherited the kingdom from their fathers, if they could conserve it. Their dominion [117]extended over one or two rude settlements, or at most was according to the valor of him who ruled. They were continually at war with the neighboring settlements, and made one another slaves. From those wars there resulted three classes of people among them: namely, the chiefs who were the masters of the settlement; the slaves; and the freemen, who consisted of slaves or their descendants to whom their masters had given freedom. The last class are called Timavas even yet, which properly signifies “freed-man.” In some districts Indians are found who are whiter than others—descendants doubtless of some Chinese or Japanese, who were shipwrecked on these coasts, and whom the Indians naturally hospitably received and with whom they mingled. That is commonly believed in regard to the Ygorrotes of Ylocos.9 Their eyes, similar to those of the Chinese, prove that they mingled with the companions of Limahon who fled to those mountains when Juan de Salcedo had besieged them in Pangasinan.

It is not easy to prove the origin of these peoples but their language might supply some light. Although the languages spoken by the Indians are many and diverse, they resemble one another so closely that it is recognized clearly that they are all dialects of one and the same tongue, as the Spanish, French, and Italian are of the Latin. The prepositions and pronouns are almost the same in all of them, [118]the numerals differ but slightly, many words are common to all, and they have the same structure. This language, which is one single language, with different dialects, is spoken from Madagascar to Philipinas and no one can contradict this.10 I add that it is spoken in Nueva Guinea and in all the lands of the south, in the Marianas, in the islands of San Duisk, in those of Otayti,11 and in almost all the islands of the South Sea. In a collection of voyages wherein are found several dictionaries of the terms which the travelers could learn in each one of these islands I have seen with wonder that the pronouns are almost all the same; that in the Tagálogs the numerals resemble those of any other language of these islands, and most of the words are the same and have the same meaning as in the Tagálog language. But the thing which made me believe more in the identity of these languages was my examination of Don Juan Hovel, an Englishman, who spoke the dialect of San Duisk with a servant of his who was a native of those [119]islands. I found that the construction was the same as that of the languages which are spoken in Philipinas. Consequently, I had no reason to doubt that all these languages are dialects of one speech which is the most extensive in the world, and which is spoken through many thousands of leguas from Madagascar to the islands of San Duisk, Otayti, and the island of Pasquas12 which is not six hundred leguas distant from America; and the fact that the Indians of Philipinas do not understand the peoples of those islands when they pass through their lands does not offer any argument against this supposition, for neither do the Spaniards understand the French, nor in these islands do those of some provinces understand one another.

In the same collection of voyages, I found a dictionary of only five terms which the Spaniards were able to learn in the Patagonian coast. One of those terms was Baláy13 which signifies “house” in that language; and with that same word do the Pampangos and Visayans designate house. It may be a mere coincidence which does not prove that the languages of various people are identical. But, seeing that in addition to this the names of South America sound like those of Philipinas, I tried to find some dictionary of that land. Not finding one I examined carefully the few words of the language of Chile which Ercilla has in his Araucana,14 and I found them [120]sufficiently like the Tagálog language. The name “Chile” is not strange to this language where the cormorant is called “cachile.” It is also a pronoun which the Malays apply to the sons of kings. “Chilian,” which is a village of Chile, is a Tagálog composition, in which, adding an “an,” we have a word which signifies “place,” and we get “cachilian” which signifies “place where there are cormorants.” Mapocho, the site of the city of Santiago, is another Tagálog composition that signifies “place.” Thus from pocquiot, a kind of herb, we get mapocquiot, a place where that plant abounds. Apo is the name given to him who governs, and that name is applied by these Indians to him who has any authority in the village. In Chile, words and phrases are reduplicated: as Ytayta, Biobio, Lemolemo, Colocolo, etc. The same is done in the Tagálog and thus we say: Ataata, Bilobilo, Lebomlebom, and Colocolo. The other words are either Tagálog or very similar, and the connection that is found in so few words in these two languages is [too] great to say that it is accident, although it is not sufficient so that we can say that they are dialects of one language. [121]

If on a comparison of the grammar and dictions of these two languages it is found that they originate from one and the same tongue, I would be so bold as to say that the Indians of Philipinas originate from the Indians of South America, and that the language of the latter is the parent language of which all the languages of these islands are dialects. Many will consider this a paradox, for the Malays being so near it would appear that the Filipinos must have originated from them, as our authors have generally believed. I cannot deny that these islands could have been easily settled by the Malays; but how shall we account for the peopling of the islands of Palaos and Marianas which are more than three hundred leguas distant? Where shall we get at those who settled the islands of San Duisk and Otayti, which are two thousand leguas from Philipinas? All these people have the same language, the same features, the same customs, and consequently, the same origin as our Indians. It is impossible that people should go from Philipinas to people those lands, for the east wind dominates constantly throughout the torrid zone, and that wind blowing head on would not permit the ship to sail to those islands. Rather on the contrary we must believe that the inhabitants of all the islands of the South Sea came from the Orient with wind astern as we have seen happen to the Indians of Palaos,15 who have come to our Philipinas several times driven by the wind, and the east winds have not allowed them to return to their land. Let us [122]suppose that if then these islands were not peopled, those Indians would have been the first settlers. We do not know whether our Indians by a like accident, have been carried by the winds to the Oriental islands. On the contrary we believe the opposite, since at times the best pilots cannot make that navigation, and return without finding the islands whither they were sailing, as it is necessary to take a high latitude for that voyage. On this head we must seek the easiest solution, namely, that the settlers came from the east from island to island. Consequently, the most eastern land where the Tagálog language is found must be the country whence our Indians originate.

One could well hesitate to assent to this truth, moved by the fact that the use of writing in the manner employed by the Malays was found established among these Indians, but it could very well happen that they might derive their origin from other nations and learn to write from the Malays, who would learn that science from the continent of India. The method of writing was by forming the lines from top to bottom, and beginning at the left and finishing at the right as did the Hebrews and Chinese. Their characters were quite different from ours. They had no vowels, for since there are only three vowels in those languages, namely, the a, e, and u, by placing a point above or below the consonant, or by not placing any point, it is easily known what the vowel is, which corresponds to the consonant letter, and it is read very well without the necessity of vowels. Although they knew how to write these people had no written laws, and governed themselves according to their traditions, [123]and by natural law corrupted by the passions. The civil suits were sentenced by the petty rulers with the assistance of some old men. In criminal matters the relatives generally showed justice or it was settled with the aggressor on a gold basis in particular unless death followed. But in that case they did not content themselves except with the penalty of retaliation. If the murderer was of another settlement common cause was made, and the entire village fought against the settlement, from which resulted murders and wars in which slaves were made mutually. When it was suspected that one had robbed another, he was obliged to take a stone from a kettle filled with boiling water. If he did not do it (which we called the vulgar clearance from guilt), he was fined a certain sum of gold, the greater part of which went to the petty ruler. Adultery was punished by a pecuniary fine, as was also lack of respect for old people. But trickery in contracts was not considered wrong and was not punished by any penalty; and usury was common among them in all transactions.

Their customs at marriage were very peculiar. They married only one woman. The chiefs however, had several concubines, who were commonly slaves. They generally married their nearest relative, provided she were not a sister, for they could not contract marriage with sisters. When they grew tired of their wife, they returned her to her parents. It was unnecessary to give cause for the divorce, for it was sufficient to give up the dowry which he himself had given when he was married. That dowry was of two kinds and was always paid by the bridegroom. One kind was called bigay suso, and was the payment for the milk which the mother had given to [124]the damsel, by which he obtained her completely. The other was called bigay caya and was the real dowry. It was given to those recently married for their support. At times, however, the expense of the wedding was discounted from it, as well as the clothes, so that very little or nothing at all remained for the recently married couple. Besides the bridegroom giving that dowry, he had to serve the parents of the bride for some years; to feast them on certain days; to assist in the sowing of the rice and the harvest, and to carry food to the laborers. All the relatives of the bridegroom had to be obsequious to the bride, to her parents, and to all her relatives, so long as those years of service lasted. If they failed in any point, the marriage was dissolved, a thing which was very agreeable to the parents of the woman, for then a new suitor appeared, and they began to suck his blood again. In retaliation for what the bridegroom suffered before marriage, he treated his wife like a slave after marriage. She had to find the sustenance for the family, while her husband was off enjoying himself, and she considered herself fortunate if after that he did not beat her. The self-interest of the parents in their daughters in which this pernicious custom is observed, has been the reason why it has been impossible to uproot this hitherto, notwithstanding the royal cedulas and the decrees of the bishops which prohibit it. The ceremony of the marriage was performed with the sacrifice of a hog, which a priestess killed after going through a thousand gestures. She blessed the couple abundantly, and afterward the old women gave them food in a dish and gave vent to many obscenities, after which the couple were pronounced [125]married. Then followed dances according to their custom, and drunken revels for all the days that the function lasted. The number of days were regulated according to the wealth of the contracting parties. He who went to the feast gave something to the couple, and note was made of it so that they could do the same in a like case.

In regard to religion, they had neither idols nor temples, but they offered sacrifices in shady bowers that they had for that purpose. There were priestesses whom they called babailanes or catalonas. They attended to the sacrifices, and taking a lance in the hand and foaming at the mouth with ridiculous and extraordinary gestures, they prophesied on the point for which the sacrifice was offered and killed a hog with the lance. Then they immediately divided the hog among those present and the function was finished with dances and drunken revelries. Those sacrifices were offered to the demons or to the souls of their ancestors, which they thought lived in the large trees, in the crags which they met in isolated places, or in anything out of the common which was found in the fields. They thought that the nono or their forbears lived in all those places, and they never passed by them without asking permission of them—a thing which some of them do even yet. When anyone was dangerously sick they offered in those places rice, wine, and meat, and afterward gave that to the sick man to eat, so that he might be cured, a custom still observed by some of them.

They had many other superstitions such as that of the patianac, which they say hinders childbirth by its tongue which is very fine and long, and which [126]reaches even to the womb of the woman, where it restrains and whence it does not allow the infant to issue. In order that the patianac may have no effect, the husband tightly bars the portal of the house, lights the fire, and completely naked holds a sword and cuts the wind with it in a furious manner until his wife brings forth. The tigbalang is another of the things of which they are greatly afraid. It is a kind of ghost which they say appears to them in the form of an animal or of some unknown monster and forces them to do things contrary to the laws of our religion. These and other superstitions, which they held in former times, they still observe at times, when the charlatans who are maintained at the cost of simpletons persuade them that they will get better from some dangerous illness or will find the jewel that they have lost, if they will practice them. And so powerful is self-interest or the love of life that although they believe that it is evil to observe those superstitions and not give entire assent to those deceits, they carry them out, for they say that perhaps it will be so. That is a proof that they have very little root in the faith.

All their religion was rather a servile fear than true worship. They had no external adoration or any formula of prayers to God or idols; they believed in neither reward nor recompense for the good, nor punishment for the wicked. For although they knew of the immortality of the soul and believed that they could do wrong, that belief was so filled with errors that they thought that the souls had need of sustenance, and all other things that we mortals need. Consequently, at their funerals they placed clothing, weapons, and food in the coffins; and on [127]the fourth day when they generally celebrated the funeral honors, they left an unoccupied seat at table for the deceased, and they believed that he really occupied it, although they could not see him. In order to be sure of that they scattered ashes in the house, in which they at times found the impress of the tracks of the deceased, either through the deceit of the devil or of some other Indian, who left the impress of his feet there to fool the others. Persuaded of that they offered them food so that they should do no harm. Their religion was always directed to that—a circumstance quite in keeping with their natural cowardice and timorousness. [128]


Jolo and the Sulus

[The following is taken from vol. v, pp. 343–390 (mainly verbatim) of Charles Wilkes’s16 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 (Philadelphia, 1844). It is one of the earliest accounts written by an American of the island of Joló and its vicinity, and the Joloans. Although containing considerable matter that is descriptive [131]rather than ethnological in character, it has been deemed advisable not to endeavor to separate the matter, in view of its value. Wilkes writes mainly as an eyewitness.]

Plan of the bay and city of Manila; photographic facsimile of map 58 in Aprés de Mannevillette’s Le Neptune oriental (Paris, 1745)

Plan of the bay and city of Manila; photographic facsimile of map 58 in Aprés de Mannevillette’s Le Neptune oriental (Paris, 1745)

[From copy of original map in Library of Congress]


Chapter IX



On the evening of the 21st of January, the Vincennes, with the tender in company, left the bay of Manilla. I then sent for Mr. Knox, who commanded the latter, and gave him directions to keep closely in company with the Vincennes, and at the same time pointed out to him places of rendezvous where the vessels might again meet in case any unavoidable circumstance caused their separation. I was more particular in giving him instructions to avoid losing sight of the Vincennes, as I was aware that my proposed surveys might be impeded or frustrated altogether, were I deprived of the assistance of the vessel under his command.

On the 22d, we passed the entrance of the Straits of San Bernadino. It would have been my most direct route to follow these straits until I had passed Mindoro, and it is I am satisfied the safest course, unless the winds are fair, for the direct passage. My object, however, was to examine the ground for the benefit of others, and the Apo Shoal, which lies about mid-channel between Palawan and Mindoro, claimed my first attention. The tender was despatched to survey it, while I proceeded in the Vincennes to examine the more immediate entrance to the Sooloo Sea, off the southwest end of Mindoro.

Calavite Peak is the north point of Mindoro, and [132]our observations made it two thousand feet high. This peak is of the shape of a dome, and appears remarkably regular when seen from its western side. On approaching Mindoro, we, as usual, under high islands, lost the steady breeze, and the wind became light for the rest of the day. Mindoro is a beautiful island, and is evidently volcanic; it appears as if thrown up in confused masses: it is not much settled, as the more southern islands are preferred to it as a residence.

On the 23d, we ascertained the elevation of the highest peak of the island by triangulation to be three thousand one hundred and twenty-six feet. The easternmost island of the Palawan Group, Busvagan,17 was at the time just in sight from the deck, to the southwest.

It had been my intention to anchor at Ambolou Island;18 but the wind died away before we reached it, and I determined to stand off and on all night.

On the 24th, I began to experience the truth of what Captain Halcon had asserted, namely, that the existing charts were entirely worthless, and I also found that my native pilot was of no more value than they were: he had evidently passed the place before; but whether the size of the vessel, so much greater than any he had sailed in, confused him, or whether it was from his inability to understand and to make himself understood by us, he was of no use whatever, and we had the misfortune of running into shoal water, barely escaping the bottom. These [133]dangers were usually quickly passed, and we soon found ourselves again floating in thirty or forty fathoms water.

We continued beating to windward, in hopes of being joined by the Flying-Fish, and I resolved to finish the survey toward the island of Semarrara.19 We found every thing in a different position from that assigned it by any of the charts20 with which we were furnished. On this subject, however, I shall not dwell, but refer those who desire particular information to the charts and Hydrographical Memoir.

Towards evening, I again ran down to the southwest point of the island of Mindoro, and sent a letter on shore to the pueblo, with directions to have it put on board the tender, when she should arrive. We then began to beat round Semarara, in order to pass over towards Panay.

The southern part of Mindoro is much higher than the northern, but appears to be equally rough. It is, however, susceptible of cultivation, and there are many villages along its shores.

Semarara is moderately high, and about fifteen miles in circumference; it is inhabited, and like Mindoro much wooded. According to the native pilot, its shores are free from shoals. It was not until [134]the next day that we succeeded in reaching Panay. I determined to pass the night off Point Potol, the north end of Panay, as I believed the sea in its neighborhood to be free of shoals, and wished to resume our running survey early in the morning.

At daylight on the 27th we continued the survey down the coast of Panay, and succeeded in correcting many errors in the existing charts (both English and Spanish). The channel along this side is from twelve to twenty miles wide, and suitable for beating in; little current is believed to exist; and the tides, as far as our observations went, seem to be regular and of little strength.

The island of Panay is high and broken, particularly on the south end; its shores are thickly settled and well cultivated. Indigo and sugar-cane claim much of the attention of the inhabitants. The Indians are the principal cultivators. They pay to the government a capitation tax of seven rials. Its population is estimated at three hundred thousand, which I think is rather short of the actual number.21

On all the hills there are telegraphs of rude construction, to give information of the approach of piratical prahus from Sooloo, which formerly were in the habit of making attacks upon the defenceless inhabitants and carrying them off into slavery. Of late years they have ceased these depredations, for the Spaniards have resorted to a new mode of warfare. Instead of pursuing and punishing the offenders, they now intercept all their supplies, both of necessaries and luxuries; and the fear of this has had the effect to deter the pirates from their usual attacks. [135]

We remained off San Pedro for the night, in hopes of falling in with the Flying-Fish in the morning.

On the morning of the 28th, the Flying-Fish was discovered plainly in sight. I immediately stood for her, fired a gun and made signal. At seven o’clock another gun was fired, but the vessel still stood off, and was seen to make sail to the westward without paying any regard whatever to either, and being favoured by a breeze while the Vincennes was becalmed, she stole off and was soon out of sight.22

After breakfast we opened the bay of Antique, on which is situated the town of San José.23 As this bay apparently offered anchorage for vessels bound up this coast, I determined to survey it; and for this purpose the boats were hoisted out and prepared for surveying. Lieutenant Budd was despatched to visit the pueblo called San José.

On reaching the bay, the boats were sent to different points of it, and when they were in station, the ship fired guns to furnish bases by the sound, and angles were simultaneously measured. The boats made soundings on their return to the ship, and thus completed this duty, so that in an hour or two afterwards the bay was correctly represented on paper. It offers no more than a temporary anchorage for vessels, and unless the shore is closely approached, the water is almost too deep for the purpose.

At San José a Spanish governor resides, who presides over the two pueblos of San Pedro and San [136]José, and does the duty also of alcalde. Lieutenant Budd did not see him, as he was absent, but his lady did the honours. Lieutenant Budd represented the pueblo as cleanly and orderly. About fifteen soldiers were seen, who compose the governor’s guard, and more were said to be stationed at San Pedro. A small fort of eight guns commands the roadstead. The beach was found to be of fine volcanic sand, composed chiefly of oxide of iron, and comminuted shells; there is also a narrow shore-reef of coral. The plain bordering the sea is covered with a dense growth of cocoa-nut trees. In the fine season the bay is secure, but we were informed that in westerly and southwesterly gales heavy seas set in, and vessels are not able to lie at anchor. Several small vessels were lying in a small river about one and a half miles to the southward of the point on which the fort is situated. The entrance to this river is very narrow and tortuous.

Panay is one of the largest islands of the group. We had an opportunity of measuring the height of some of its western peaks or highlands, none of which exceed three thousand feet.24 The interior and eastern side have many lofty summits, which are said to reach an altitude of seven thousand five hundred feet; but these, as we passed, were enveloped in clouds, or shut out from view by the nearer highlands. The general features of the island are like those of Luzon and Mindoro. The few specimens [137]we obtained of its rocks consisted of the different varieties of talcose formation, with quartz and jasper. The specimens were of no great value, as they were much worn by lying on the beach.

The higher land was bare of trees, and had it not been for the numerous fertile valleys lying between the sharp and rugged spurs, it would have had a sterile appearance.

The bay of Antique is in latitude 10° 40′ N., longitude 121° 59′ 30″ E.

It was my intention to remain for two or three days at a convenient anchorage to enable us to make short excursions into the interior; but the vexatious mismanagement of the tender now made it incumbent that I should make every possible use of the time to complete the operations connected with the hydrography of this sea; for I perceived that the duties that I intended should be performed by her, would now devolve upon the boats, and necessarily expose both officers and men to the hazard of contracting disease. I regretted giving up this design, not only on my own account and that of the Expedition, but because of the gratification it would have afforded personally to the naturalists.

The town of San José has about thirty bamboo houses, some of which are filled in with clay or mortar, and plastered over, both inside and out. Few of them are more than a single story in height. That of the governor is of the same material, and overtops the rest; it is whitewashed, and has a neat and cleanly appearance. In the vicinity of the town are several beautiful valleys, which run into the mountains from the plain that borders the bay. The landing is on a bamboo bridge, which has been [138]erected over an extensive mud-flat, that is exposed at low water, and prevents any nearer approach of boats. This bridge is about seven hundred feet in length; and a novel plan has been adopted to preserve it from being carried away. The stems of bamboo not being sufficiently large and heavy to maintain the superstructure in the soft mud, a scaffold is constructed just under the top, which is loaded with blocks of large stone, and the outer piles are secured to anchors or rocks, with grass rope. The roadway or top is ten feet wide, covered with split bamboo, woven together, and has rails on each side, to assist the passenger. This is absolutely necessary for safety; and even with this aid, one accustomed to it must be possessed of no little bodily strength to pass over this smooth, slippery, and springy bridge without accident.

Two pirogues were at anchor in the bay, and on the shore was the frame of a vessel which had evidently been a long while on the stocks, for the weeds and bushes near the keel were six or eight feet high, and a portion of the timbers were decayed. Carts and sleds drawn by buffaloes were in use, and every thing gave it the appearance of a thriving village. Although I have mentioned the presence of soldiers, it was observed on landing that no guard was stationed about or even at the fort; but shortly afterwards a soldier was seen hurrying towards the latter, in the act of dressing himself in his regimentals, and another running by his side, with his cartridge-box and musket. In a little while one was passing up and down on his post, as though he was as permanent there as the fort itself.

After completing these duties, the light airs [139]detained us the remainder of the day under Panay, in sight of the bay. On the 29th, at noon, we had been wafted by it far enough in the offing to obtain the easterly breeze, which soon became strong, with an overcast sky, and carried us rapidly on our course; my time would not permit my heaving-to. We kept on our course for Mindanao during the whole night, and were constantly engaged in sounding, with our patent lead, with from thirty to forty fathoms cast, to prevent our passing over this part of the sea entirely unexamined.

At daybreak on the 31st, we had the island of Mindanao before us, but did not reach its western peak until 5 P. M. This island is high and broken, like those to the north of it, but, unlike them, its mountains are covered with forests to their very tops, and there were no distinct cones of minor dimensions, as we had observed on the others. If they do exist, they were hidden by the dense forest.

I had determined to anchor at Caldera, a small port on the southwest side of Mindanao, about ten miles distant from Samboangan, where the governor resides. The latter is a considerable place, but the anchorage in its roadstead is said to be bad, and the currents that run through the Straits of Basillan are represented to be strong. Caldera, on the other hand, has a good, though small anchorage, which is free from the currents of the straits. It is therefore an excellent stopping-place, in case of the tide proving unfavourable. On one of its points stands a small fort, which on our arrival hoisted Spanish colours.

At six o’clock we came to anchor at Caldera, in seven fathoms water. There were few indications of inhabitants, except at and near the fort. An officer [140]was despatched to the fort, to report the ship. It was found to be occupied by a few soldiers under the command of a lieutenant.

The fort is about seventy feet square, and is built of large blocks of red coral, which evidently have not been taken from the vicinity of the place, as was stated by the officers of the fort; for, although our parties wandered along the alluvial beach for two or three miles in each direction, no signs of coral were observed. Many fragments of red, gray, and purple basalt and porphyry were met with along the beach; talcose rock and slate, syenite, hornblend, quartz, both compact and slaty, with chalcedony, were found in pieces and large pebbles. Those who were engaged in dredging reported the bottom as being of coral, in from four to six or eight fathoms; but this was of a different kind from that of which the fort was constructed.

The fort was built in the year 1784,25 principally for protection against the Sooloo pirates, who were in the habit of visiting the settlements, and carrying off the inhabitants as slaves, to obtain ransom for them. This, and others of the same description, were therefore constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants, as well as to afford protection to vessels.

Depredations are still committed, which render it necessary to keep up a small force. One or two huts which were seen in the neighbourhood of the bay, are built on posts twenty feet from the ground, and into them they ascend by ladders, which are hauled up after the occupants have entered. [141]

These, it is said, are the sleeping-huts, and are so built for the purpose of preventing surprise at night. Before our arrival we had heard that the villages were all so constructed, but a visit to one soon showed that this was untrue. The natives seen at the village were thought to be of a decidedly lighter colour and a somewhat different expression from the Malays. They were found to be very civil, and more polished in manners than our gentlemen expected. On asking for a drink of water, it was brought on a glass tumbler on a china plate. An old woman to whom they had presented some trifles, took the trouble to meet them in another path on their return, and insisted on their accepting a basket of potatoes. Some of the houses contained several families, and many of them had no other means of entrance than a notched stick stuck on to the door.

The forests of Mindanao contain a great variety of trees, some of which are of large size, rising to the height of one hundred and one hundred and fifty feet. Some of their trunks are shaped like buttresses, similar to those before spoken of at Manilla, from which they obtain broad slabs for the tops of tables. The trunks were observed to shoot up remarkably straight. Our botanical gentlemen, though pleased with the excursion, were disappointed at not being able to procure specimens from the lofty trees; and the day was less productive in this respect than they had anticipated. Large woody vines were common, which enveloped the trunks of trees in their folds, and ascending to their tops, prevented the collection of the most desirable specimens.

The paths leading to the interior were narrow and much obstructed; one fine stream was crossed. [142]Many buffaloes were observed wallowing in the mire, and the woods swarmed with monkeys and numbers of birds, among them the horn-bills: these kept up a continued chatter, and made a variety of loud noises. The forests here are entirely different from any we had seen elsewhere; and the stories of their being the abodes of large boas and poisonous snakes, make the effect still greater on those who visit them for the first time. Our parties, however, saw nothing of these reptiles, nor any thing to warrant a belief that such exist. Yet the officer at the fort related to me many snake stories that seemed to have some foundation; and by inquiries made elsewhere, I learned that they were at least warranted by some facts, though probably not to the extent that he represented.

Traces of deer and wild hogs were seen, and many birds were obtained, as well as land and sea shells. Among the latter was the Malleus vulgaris, which is used as food by the natives. The soil on this part of the island is a stiff clay, and the plants it produces are mostly woody; those of an herbaceous character were scarce, and only a few orchideous epiphytes and ferns were seen. Around the dwellings in the villages were a variety of vegetables and fruits, consisting of sugar-cane, sweet-potato, gourds, pumpkins, peppers, rice, water and musk melons, all fine and of large size.

The officer of the fort was a lieutenant of infantry: one of that rank is stationed here for a month, after which he, with the garrison, consisting of three soldiers, are relieved, from Samboángan, where the Spaniards have three companies.

Samboangan is a convict settlement, to which the [143]native rogues, principally thieves, are sent. The Spanish criminals, as I have before stated in speaking of Manilla, are sent to Spain.

The inhabitants of the island of Mindanao who are under the subjection of Spain, are about ten thousand in number, of whom five or six thousand are at or in the neighbourhood of Samboangan. The original inhabitants, who dwell in the mountains and on the east coast, are said to be quite black, and are represented to be a very cruel and bad set; they have hitherto bid defiance to all attempts to subjugate them. When the Spaniards make excursions into the interior, which is seldom, they always go in large parties on account of the wild beasts, serpents, and hostile natives; nevertheless, the latter frequently attack and drive them back.

The little fort is considered as a sufficient protection for the fishermen and small vessels against the pirates, who inhabit the island of Basillan, which is in sight from Mindanao, and forms the southern side of the straits of the same name. It is said that about seven hundred inhabit it. The name of Moor is given by the Spaniards to all those who profess the Mohammedan religion, and by such all the islands to the west of Mindanao, and known under the name of the Sooloo Archipelago, are inhabited.

The day we spent at Caldera was employed in surveying the bay, and in obtaining observations for its geographical position, and for magnetism. The flood tide sets to the northward and westward, through the straits, and the ebb to the eastward. In the bay we found it to run two miles an hour by the log, but it must be much more rapid in the straits.

At daylight on the 1st of February, we got under [144]way to stand over for the Sangboys,26 a small island with two sharp hills on it. One and a half miles from the bay we passed over a bank, the least water on which was ten fathoms on a sandy bottom, and on which a vessel might anchor. The wind shortly after failed us, and we drifted with the tide for some hours, in full view of the island of Mindanao, which is bold and picturesque. We had thus a good opportunity of measuring some of its mountain ranges, which we made about three thousand feet high.

In the afternoon, a light breeze came from the southwest, and before sunset I found that we were again on soundings. As soon as we had a cast of twenty fathoms, I anchored for the night, judging it much better than to be drifting about without any knowledge of the locality and currents to which we were subjected.

On the morning of the 2d, we got under way to proceed to the westward. As the bottom was unequal, I determined to pass through the broadest channel, although it had the appearance of being the shoalest, and sent two boats ahead to sound. In this way we passed through, continuing our surveying operations, and at the same time made an attempt to dredge; but the ground was too uneven for the latter purpose, and little of value was obtained.

Shortly after passing the Sangboys, we had the island of Sooloo in sight, for which I now steered direct. At sunset we found ourselves within five or six miles of Soung Harbour; but there was not sufficient [145]light to risk the dangers that might be in our course, nor wind enough to command the ship; and having no bottom where we were, I determined again to run out to sea, and anchor on the first bank I should meet. At half past eight o’clock, we struck soundings in twenty-six fathoms, and anchored.

At daylight we continued our position by angles, and found it to correspond with part of the route we had passed over the day before, and that we were about fifteen miles from the large island of Sooloo. Weighing anchor, we were shortly wafted by the westerly tide and a light air toward that beautiful island, which lay in the midst of its little archipelago; and as we were brought nearer and nearer, we came to the conclusion that in our many wanderings we had seen nothing to be compared to this enchanting spot. It appeared to be well cultivated, with gentle slopes rising here and there into eminences from one to two thousand feet high. One or two of these might be dignified with the name of mountains, and were sufficiently high to arrest the passing clouds; on the afternoon of our arrival we had a singular example in the dissipation of a thunderstorm.

Although much of the island was under cultivation, yet it had all the freshness of a forest region. The many smokes on the hills, buildings of large size, cottages, and cultivated spots, together with the moving crowds on the land, the prahus, canoes, and fishing-boats on the water, gave the whole a civilized appearance. Our own vessel lay, almost without a ripple at her side, on the glassy surface of the sea, carried onwards to our destined anchorage by the flowing tide, and scarce a sound was heard except [146]the splashing of the lead as it sought the bottom. The effect of this was destroyed in part by the knowledge that this beautiful archipelago was the abode of a cruel and barbarous race of pirates. Towards sunset we had nearly reached the bay of Soung, when we were met by the opposing tide, which frustrated all our endeavors to reach it, and I was compelled to anchor, lest we should again be swept to sea.

As soon as the night set in, fishermen’s lights were seen moving along the beach in all directions, and gliding about in canoes, while the sea was filled with myriads of phosphorescent animalculæ. After watching this scene for two or three hours in the calm and still night, a storm that had been gathering reached us; but it lasted only for a short time, and cleared off after a shower, which gave the air a freshness that was delightful after the sultry heat we had experienced during the day.

The canoes of this archipelago were found to be different from any that we had hitherto seen, not only in shape but in making use of a double out-rigger, which consequently must give them additional security. The paddle also is of a different shape, and has a blade at each end, which are used alternately, thus enabling a single person to manage them with ease. These canoes are built of a single log, though some are built upon. They seldom carry more than two persons. The annexed figure will give a correct figure of one of them.27

We saw the fishermen engaged in trolling and using the line; but the manner of taking fish which has been hitherto described is chiefly practised.28 [147]In fishing, as well as in all their other employments, the kris and spear were invariably by their side.

The next morning at eight o’clock we got under way, and were towed by our boats into the bay of Soung,29 where we anchored off the town in nine fathoms water. While in the act of doing so, and after our intentions had become too evident to admit of a doubt, the Sultan graciously sent off a message giving us permission to enter his port.

Lieutenant Budd was immediately despatched with the interpreter to call upon the Datu Mulu or governor, and to learn at what hour we could see the Sultan. When that officer reached the town, all were found asleep; and after remaining four hours waiting, the only answer he could get out of the Datu Mulu was, that he supposed that the Sultan would be awake at three o’clock, when he thought I could see him.

During this time the boats had been preparing for surveying; and after landing the naturalists, they began the work.

At the appointed time, Captain Hudson and myself went on shore to wait upon the Sultan. On our approach to the town, we found that a great portion of it was built over the water on piles, and only connected with the shore by narrow bridges of bamboo. The style of building in Sooloo does not differ materially from that of the Malays. The houses are [148]rather larger, and they surpass the others in filth.30

We passed for some distance between the bridges to the landing, and on our way saw several piratical prahus apparently laid up. Twenty of these were counted, of about thirty tons burden, evidently built for sea-vessels, and capable of mounting one or two long guns. We landed at a small streamlet, and walked a short distance to the Datu’s house, which is of large dimensions and rudely built on piles, which raise it about six feet above the ground, and into which we were invited. The house of the Datu contains one room, part of which is screened off to form the apartment of his wife. Nearly in the center is a raised dais, eight or ten feet square, under which are stowed all his valuables, packed in chests and Chinese trunks. Upon this dais are placed mats for sleeping, with cushions, pillows, &c.; and over it is a sort of canopy, hung round with fine chintz or muslin.

The dais was occupied by the Datu who is, next to the Sultan, the greatest man of this island. He at once came from it to receive us, and had chairs provided for us near his sanctum. After we were seated, he again retired to his lounge. The Datu is small in person, and emaciated in form, but has a quick eye and an intelligent countenance. He lives, as he told me, with all his goods around him, and they formed a collection such as I could scarcely imagine it possible to bring together in such a place. The interior put me in mind of a barn inhabited by a company of strolling players. On one side were hung up a collection of various kinds of gay dresses, here drums [149]and gongs, there swords, lanterns, spears, muskets, and small cannon; on another side were shields, bucklers, masks, saws, and wheels, with belts, bands, and long robes. The whole was a strange mixture of tragedy and farce; and the group of natives were not far removed in appearance from the supernumeraries that a Turkish tragedy might have brought together in the green-room of a theatre.

A set of more cowardly-looking miscreants I never saw. They appeared ready either to trade with us, pick our pockets, or cut our throats, as an opportunity might offer.

The wife’s apartment was not remarkable for its comforts, although the Datu spoke of it with much consideration, and evidently held his better half in high estimation. He was also proud of his six children, the youngest of whom he brought out in its nurse’s arms, and exhibited with much pride and satisfaction. He particularly drew my attention to its little highly-wrought and splendidly-mounted kris, which was stuck through its girdle, as an emblem of his rank. It was in reality a fine-looking child. The kitchen was behind the house, and occupied but a small space, for they have little in the way of food that requires much preparation. The house of the Datu might justly be termed nasty.

We now learned the reason why the Sultan could not be seen: it was Friday, the Mahomedan Sabbath, and he had been at the mosque from an early hour.31 Lieutenant Budd had been detained, because it was not known when he would finish his prayers; and the ceremonies of the day were more important [150]than usual, on account of its peculiar sanctity in their calendar.

Word had been sent off to the ship that the Sultan was ready to receive me, but the messenger passed us while on our way to the shore. After we had been seated for a while, the Datu asked if we were ready to accompany him to see the Sultan; but intimated that no one but Captain Hudson and myself could be permitted to lay eyes on him. Being informed that we were, he at once, and in our presence, slipped on his silken trousers, and a new jacket, covered with bell-buttons; put on his slippers, strapped himself round with a long silken net sash, into which he stuck his kris, and, with umbrella in hand, said he was ready. He now led the way out of his house, leaving the motley group behind, and we took the path to the interior of the town, towards the Sultan’s. The Datu and I walked hand in hand, on a roadway about ten feet wide, with a small stream running on each side. Captain Hudson and the interpreter came next, and a guard of six trusty slaves brought up the rear.

When we reached the outskirts of the town, about half a mile from the Datu’s, we came to the Sultan’s residence, where he was prepared to receive us in state. His house is constructed in the same manner as that of the Datu, but is of larger dimensions, and the piles are rather higher. Instead of steps, we found a ladder, rudely constructed of bamboo, and very crazy. This was so steep that it was necessary to use the hands in mounting it. I understood that the ladder was always removed in the night, for the sake of security. We entered at once into the presence-chamber, where the whole divan, if such it may be called, sat in arm chairs, occupying the half of a [151]large round table, covered with a white cotton cloth. On the opposite side of the table, seats were placed for us. On our approach, the Sultan and all his council rose, and motioned us to our seats. When we had taken them, the part of the room behind us was literally crammed with well-armed men. A few minutes were passed in silence, during which time we had an opportunity of looking at each other, and around the hall in which we were seated. The latter was of very common workmanship, and exhibited no signs of oriental magnificence. Overhead hung a printed cotton cloth, forming a kind of tester, which covered about half of the apartment. In other places the roof and rafters were visible. A part of the house was roughly partitioned off, to the height of nine or ten feet, enclosing, as I was afterwards told, the Sultan’s sleeping apartment, and that appropriated to his wife and her attendants.

The Sultan is of the middle height, spare and thin; he was dressed in a white cotton shirt, loose trousers of the same material, and slippers; he had no stockings; the bottom of his trousers was worked in scollops with blue silk, and this was the only ornament I saw about him. On his head he wore a small coloured cotton handkerchief, wound into a turban, that just covered the top of his head. His eyes were bloodshot, and had an uneasy wild look, showing that he was under the effects of opium, of which they all smoke large quantities.32 His teeth were as black as ebony, which, with his bright cherry-coloured lips, contrasted with his swarthy skin, gave him anything but a pleasant look.

On the left hand of the Sultan sat his two sons, [152]while his right was occupied by his councillors; just behind him, sat the carrier of his betel-nut casket. The casket was of filigree silver, about the size of a small tea-caddy, of oblong shape, and rounded at the top. It had three divisions, one for the leaf, another for the nut, and a third for the lime.33 Next to this official was the pipe-bearer, who did not appear to be held in such estimation as the former.

I opened the conversation by desiring that the Datu would explain the nature of our visit, and tell the Sultan that I had come to make the treaty which he had some time before desired to form with the United States.34

The Sultan replied, that such was still his desire; upon which I told him, I would draw one up for him, that same day. While I was explaining to him the terms, a brass candlestick was brought in with a lighted tallow candle, of a very dark colour and rude shape, that showed but little art in the manufacture. This was placed in the center of the table, with a plate of Manilla cigars. None of them, however, were offered to us, nor any kind of refreshment.

Our visit lasted nearly an hour. When we arose to take our leave, the Sultan and his divan did the same, and we made our exit with low bows on each side.

I looked upon it as a matter of daily occurrence for all those who came to the island to visit the Sultan; [153]but the Datu Mulu took great pains to make me believe that a great favour had been granted in allowing us a sight of his ruler. On the other hand, I dwelt upon the condescension it was on my part to visit him, and I refused to admit that I was under any gratitude or obligation for the sight of His Majesty the Sultan Mohammed Damaliel Kisand, but said that he might feel grateful to me if he signed the treaty I would prepare for him.

On our return from the Sultan’s to the Datu Mulu’s house, we found even a greater crowd than before. The Datu, however, contrived to get us seats. The attraction which drew it together was to look at Mr. Agate, who was making a sketch of Mohammed Polalu, the Sultan’s son, and next heir to the throne.35 I had hoped to procure one of the Sultan, but this was declared to be impossible. The son, however, has all the characteristics of the Sooloos, and the likeness was thought an excellent one. Mohammed Polalu is about twenty-three years of age, of a tall slender figure, with a long face, heavy and dull eyes, as though he was constantly under the influence of opium.36 So much, indeed, [154]was he addicted to the use of this drug, even according to the Datu Mulu’s accounts, that his strength and constitution were very much impaired. As he is kept particularly under the guardianship of the Datu, the latter has a strong interest in preserving this influence over him, and seems on this account to afford him every opportunity of indulging in this deplorable habit.

During our visit, the effect of a pipe of this drug was seen upon him; for but a short time after he had reclined himself on the Datu’s couch and cushion, and taken a few whiffs, he was entirely overcome, stupid, and listless. I had never seen any one so young, bearing such evident marks of the effects of this deleterious drug. When but partially recovered from its effects he called for his betel-nut, to revive him by its exciting effects. This was carefully chewed by his attendant to a proper consistency, moulded in a ball about the size of a walnut, and then slipped into the mouth of the heir apparent.

One of the requests I had made of the Sultan was, that the officers might have guides to pass over the [155]island. This was at once said to be too dangerous to be attempted, as the datus of the interior and southern towns would in all probability attack the parties. I understood what this meant, and replied that I was quite willing to take the responsibility, and that the party should be well armed. To this the Sultan replied, that he would not risk his own men. This I saw was a mere evasion, but it was difficult and would be dangerous for our gentlemen to proceed alone, and I therefore said no more. On our return to the Datu’s, I gave them permission to get as far from the beach as they could, but I was afterwards informed by them that in endeavoring to penetrate into the woods, they were always stopped by armed men. This was also the case when they approached particular parts of the town, but they were not molested as long as their rambles were confined to the beach. At the Datu’s we were treated to chocolate and negus in gilt-edge tumblers, with small stale cakes, which had been brought from Manilla.

After we had sat some time I was informed that Mr. Dana missed his bowie-knife pistol, which he had for a moment laid down on a chest. I at once came to the conclusion that it had been stolen, and as the theft had occurred in the Datu’s house, I determined to hold him responsible for it, and gave him at once to understand that I should do so, informing him that the pistol must be returned before the next morning, or he must take the consequences. This threw him into some consternation, and by my manner he felt that I was serious.

Captain Hudson and myself, previous to my return on board, visited the principal parts of the town. The Chinese quarter is separated by a body of water, [156]and has a gateway that leads to a bridge. The bridge is covered by a roof, and on each side of it are small shops, which are open in front, and thus expose the goods they contain. In the rear of the shops were the dwellings of the dealers. This sort of bazaar contained but a very scanty assortment, and the goods were of inferior quality.

We visited some blacksmith-shops, where they were manufacturing krises and spears. These shops were open sheds; the fire was made upon the ground, and two wooden cylinders, whose valves were in the bottom, served for bellows; when used, they had movable pistons which were worked by a man on an elevated seat, and answered the purpose better than could have been expected.

The kris is a weapon in which this people take great pride; it is of various shapes and sizes, and is invariably worn from infancy to old age; they are generally wavy in their blades, and are worn in wooden scabbards, which are neatly made and highly polished. This weapon is represented in the tailpiece to this chapter.

The market was well stocked with fruit and fish, Among the former the durian seemed to predominate; this was the first time we had seen it. It has a very disagreeable odour, as if decayed, and appears to emit a sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which I observed blackened silver. Some have described this fruit as delicious, but if the smell is not enough, the taste in my opinion will convince any one of the contrary.

Mr. Brackenridge made the following list of their fruits: Durian, Artocarpus integrifolia, Melons, water and musk, Oranges, mandarin and bitter, Pine-apples, [157]Carica papaya, Mangosteen, Breadfruit, Cocoa and Betel-nut. The vegetables were capsicums, cucumbers, yams, sweet-potatoes, garlic, onions, edible fern-roots, and radishes of the salmon variety, but thicker and more acrid in flavour.

In walking about the streets of the town we were permitted to enter, large slabs of cut granite were seen, which were presumed to be from China, where the walls of canals or streamlets are lined with it. But Dr. Pickering in his rambles discovered pieces that had been cut as if to form a monument, and remarked a difference between it and the Chinese kind. On one or two pieces he saw the mark No. 1, in black paint; the material resembled the Chelmsford granite, and it occurred to him that the stone had been cut in Boston.37 I did not hear of this circumstance until after we had left Sooloo, and have little doubt now that the interdiction against our gentlemen visiting some parts of the town was owing to the fact of the discovery of this plunder. This may have been the reason why they so readily complied with my demands, in order to get rid of us as soon as possible, feeling themselves guilty, and being unprepared for defence; for, of the numerous guns mounted, few if any were serviceable.

The theft of the pistol was so barefaced an affair, that I made up my mind to insist on its restoration. At the setting of the watch in the evening, it had been our practice on board the Vincennes to fire a small brass howitzer. This frequently, in the calm [158]evenings, produced a great reverberation, and rolled along the water to the surrounding islands with considerable noise. Instead of it, on this evening, I ordered one of the long guns to be fired, believing that the sound and reverberation alone would suffice to intimidate such robbers. One was accordingly fired in the direction of the town, which fairly shook the island, as they said, and it was not long before we saw that the rogues were fully aroused, for the clatter of gongs and voices that came over the water, and the motion of lights, convinced me that the pistol would be forthcoming in the morning. In this I was not mistaken, for at early daylight I was awakened by a special messenger from the Datu to tell me that the pistol was found, and would be brought off without delay; that he had been searching for it all night, and had succeeded at last in finding it, as well as the thief, on whom he intended to inflict the bastinado. Accordingly, in a short time the pistol was delivered on board, and every expression of friendship and good-will given, with the strongest assurances that nothing of the kind should happen again.

As our naturalists could have no opportunity of rambling over the island of Sooloo, it was thought that one of the neighbouring islands (although not so good a field) would afford them many of the same results, and that they could examine it unmolested. Accordingly, at an early hour, they were despatched in boats for that purpose, with a sufficient guard to attend them in case of necessity. The island on which they landed is called Marongas38 on the map of the [159]group annexed to this chapter. On it are two hills of volcanic conglomerate and vesicular lava, containing angular fragments embedded. The bottom was covered with living coral, of every variety, and of different colours; but there was nothing like a regular coral shelf, and the beach was composed of bits of coral intermixed with dead shells, both entire and comminuted. The centre of the island was covered with mangrove-bushes; the hills were cones, but had no craters on them. The mangroves had grown in clusters, giving the appearance of a number of small islands. This, with the neighbouring islets, were thought to be composed in a great part of coral, but it was impossible for our gentlemen to determine the fact.

The day was exceedingly hot, and the island was suffering to such a degree from drought that the leaves in many cases were curled and appeared dry. On the face of the rocky cliff they saw many swallows (hirundo esculenta) flying in and out of the caverns facing the sea; but they were not fortunate enough to find any of the edible nests, so much esteemed by Chinese epicures.

At another part of the island they heard the crowing of a cock, and discovered a small village, almost hidden by the mangroves, and built over the water. In the neighbourhood were several fish-baskets set out to dry, as well as a quantity of fencing for weirs, all made of rattan. Their shape was somewhat peculiar. After a little while the native fishermen were seen approaching, who evidently had a knowledge of their visit from the first. They came near with great caution in their canoes; but after the first had spoken and reconnoitred, several others landed, [160]exhibiting no signs of embarrassment, and soon motioned our party off. To indicate that force would be resorted to, in case of refusal, at the same time they pointed to their arms, and drew their krises. Our gentlemen took this all in good part, and after dispensing a few trifling presents among them, began their retreat with a convenient speed, without, however, compromising their dignity.

The excursion had been profitable in the way of collections, having yielded a number of specimens of shrubs and trees, both in flower and fruit; but owing to the drought, the herbaceous plants were, for the most part, dried up. Among the latter, however, they saw a large and fine terrestrial species of Epidendrum, whose stem grew to the height of several feet, and when surmounted by its flowers reached twelve or fifteen feet high. Many of the salt-marsh plants seen in the Feejees, were also observed here. Besides the plants, some shells and a beautiful cream-coloured pigeon were obtained.

During the day we were busily engaged in the survey of the harbour, and in making astronomical and magnetical observations on the beach, while some of the officers were employed purchasing curiosities, on shore, at the town, and alongside the ship. These consisted of krises, spears, shields, and shells; and the Sooloos were not slow in comprehending the kind of articles we were in search of.

Few if any of the Sooloos39 can write or read, though many speak Spanish. Their accounts are all [161]kept by the slaves. Those who can read and write are, in consequence, highly prized. All the accounts of the Datu of Soung are kept in Dutch, by a young Malay from Ternate, who writes a good hand, and speaks English, and whom we found exceedingly useful to us. He is the slave of the Datu, who employs him for this purpose only. He told us he was captured in a brig by the pirates of Basillan, and sold here as a slave, where he is likely to remain for life, although he says the Datu has promised to give him his freedom after ten years.

Horses, cows and buffaloes are the beasts of burden, and a Sooloo may usually be seen riding either one or the other, armed cap-a-pie, with kris, spear, and target, or shield.

They use saddles cut out of solid wood, and many ride with their stirrups so short that they bring the knees very high, and the riders look more like well-grown monkeys than mounted men. The cows and buffaloes are guided by a piece of thong, through the cartilage of the nose. By law, no swine are allowed to be kept on the island, and if any are brought, they are immediately killed. The Chinese are obliged to raise and kill their pigs very secretly, when they desire that species of food; for, notwithstanding the law and the prejudices of the inhabitants, the former continue to keep swine.

The inhabitants of Sooloo are a tall, thin, and effeminate-looking race: I do not recollect to have seen one corpulent person among them. Their faces are peculiar for length, particularly in the lower jaw and chin, with high cheek-bones, sunken, lack-lustre eyes, and narrow foreheads. Their heads are thinly covered with hair, which appears to be kept closely [162]cropped. I was told that they pluck out their beards, and dye their teeth black with antimony.

Their eyebrows appear to be shaven, forming a very regular and high arch, which they esteem a great beauty.

The dress of the common people is very much like that of the Chinese, with loose and full sleeves, without buttons. The materials of which it is made are grass-cloth, silks, satins, or white cotton, from China. I should judge, from the appearance of their persons, that they ought to be termed, so far as ablutions go, a cleanly people. There is no outward respect or obeisance shown by the slave to his master, nor is the presence of the Datu, or even of the Sultan himself, held in any awe. All appear upon an equality, and there does not seem to be any controlling power; yet it may be at once perceived that they are suspicious and jealous of strangers.

The Sooloos, although they are ready to do any thing for the sake of plunder, even to the taking of life, yet are not disposed to hoard their ill-gotten wealth, and, with all their faults, cannot be termed avaricious.

They have but few qualities to redeem their treachery, cruelty, and revengeful dispositions; and one of the principal causes of their being so predominant, or even of their existence, is their inordinate lust for power. When they possess this, it is accompanied by a haughty, consequential, and ostentatious bravery. No greater affront can be offered to a Sooloo, than to underrate his dignity and official consequence. Such an insult is seldom forgiven, and never forgotten. From one who has made numerous voyages to these islands, I have obtained many of the above facts, [163]and my own observation assures me that this view of their character is a correct one. I would, however, add another trait, which is common among them, and that is cowardice, which is obvious, in spite of their boasted prowess and daring. This trait of character is universally ascribed to them among the Spaniards in the Philippines, who ought to be well acquainted with them.

The dress of the women is not unlike that of the men in appearance. They wear close jackets of various colours when they go abroad, and the same loose breeches as the men, but over them they usually have a large wrapper (sarong), not unlike the pareu of the Polynesian islanders, which is put round them like a petticoat, or thrown over the shoulders. Their hair is drawn to the back of the head, and around the forehead it is shaven in the form of a regular arch to correspond with the eyebrows. Those that I saw at the Sultan’s were like the Malays, and had light complexions with very black teeth. The Datu thought them very handsome, and on our return he asked me if I had seen the Sultan’s beauties. The females of Sooloo have the reputation of ruling their lords, and possess much weight in the government by the influence they exert over their husbands.

It may be owing to this that there is little jealousy of their wives, who are said to hold their virtues in no very great estimation. In their houses they are but scantily clothed, though women of rank have always a large number of rings on their fingers, some of which are of great value, as well as earrings of fine gold. They wear no stockings, but have on Chinese slippers, or Spanish shoes. They are as capable of governing as their husbands, and in many cases more [164]so, as they associate with the slaves, from whom they obtain some knowledge of Christendom, and of the habits and customs of other nations, which they study to imitate in every way.

The mode in which the Sooloos employ their time may be exemplified by giving that of the Datu; for all, whether free or slave, endeavor to imitate the higher rank as far as is in their power. The datus seldom rise before eleven o’clock, unless they have some particular business; and the Datu Mulu complained of being sleepy in consequence of the early hour at which we had disturbed him.

On rising, they have chocolate served in gilt glass-ware, with some light biscuit, and sweetmeats imported from China or Manilla, of which they informed me they laid in large supplies. They then lounge about their houses, transacting a little business, and playing at various games, or, in the trading season, go to the meeting of the Ruma Bechara.

At sunset they take their principal meal, consisting of stews of fish, poultry, beef, eggs, and rice, prepared somewhat after the Chinese and Spanish modes, mixed up with that of the Malay. Although Moslems, they do not forego the use of wine, and some are said to indulge in it to a great extent. After sunset, when the air has become somewhat cooled by the refreshing breezes, they sally forth attended by their retainers to take a walk, or proceed to the bazaars to purchase goods, or to sell or to barter away their articles of produce. They then pay visits to their friends, when they are in the habit of having frequent convivial parties, talking over their bargains, smoking cigars, drinking wine and liquors, tea, coffee, and chocolate, and indulging in their [165]favorite pipe of opium. At times they are entertained with music, both vocal and instrumental, by their dependants. Of this art they appear to be very fond, and there are many musical instruments among them. A datu, indeed, would be looked upon as uneducated if he could not play on some instrument.

It is considered polite that when refreshments are handed they should be partaken of. Those offered us by the Datu were such as are usual, but every thing was stale. Of fruit they are said to be very fond, and can afford to indulge themselves in some kinds. With all these articles to cloy the appetite, only one set meal a day is taken; though the poorer classes, fishermen and labourers, partake of two.

The government of the Sooloo Archipelago is a kind of oligarchy, and the supreme authority is vested in the Sultan and the Ruma Bechara or trading council. This consists of about twenty chiefs, either datus, or their next in rank, called orangs,40 who are governors of towns or detached provinces. The influence of the individual chiefs depends chiefly upon the number of their retainers or slaves, and the force they can bring into their service when they require it. These are purchased from the pirates, who bring them to Sooloo and its dependencies for sale. The slaves are employed in a variety of ways, as in trading prahus, in the pearl and biche de mar41 fisheries, and in the search after the edible birds’-nests.

A few are engaged in agriculture, and those who [166]are at all educated are employed as clerks. These slaves are not denied the right of holding property, which they enjoy during their lives, but at their death it reverts to the master. Some of them are quite rich, and what may appear strange, the slaves of Sooloo are invariably better off than the untitled freemen, who are at all times the prey of the hereditary datus, even of those who hold no official stations. By all accounts these constitute a large proportion of the population, and it being treason for any low-born freeman to injure or maltreat a datu, the latter, who are of a haughty, overbearing, and tyrannical disposition, seldom keep themselves within bounds in their treatment of their inferiors. The consequence is, the lower class of freemen are obliged to put themselves under the protection of some particular datu, which guards them from the encroachment of others. The chief to whom they thus attach themselves, is induced to treat them well, in order to retain their services, and attach them to his person, that he may, in case of need, be enabled to defend himself from depredations, and the violence of his neighbours.

Such is the absence of legal restraint, that all find it necessary to go abroad armed, and accompanied by a trusty set of followers, who are also armed. This is the case both by day and night, and according to the Datu’s account, frequent affrays take place in the open streets, which not unfrequently end in bloodshed.

Caution is never laid aside, the only law that exists being that of force; but the weak contrive to balance the power of the strong by uniting. They have not only contentions and strife among themselves, but [167]it was stated at Manilla that the mountaineers of Sooloo, who are said to be Christians, occasionally make inroads upon them. At Sooloo, however, it did not appear that they were much under apprehension of these attacks. The only fear I heard expressed was by the Sultan, in my interview with him; and the cause of this, as I have already stated, was probably a desire to find an excuse for not affording us facilities to go into the interior. Within twenty years, however, the reigning Sultan has been obliged to retire within his forts, in the town of Sooloo, which I have before adverted to.

These people are hostile to the Sooloos of the coasts and towns, who take every opportunity to rob them of their cattle and property, for which the mountaineers seek retaliation when they have an opportunity. From the manner in which the Datu spoke of them, they are not much regarded. Through another source I learned that the mountaineers were Papuans, and the original inhabitants of the islands, who pay tribute to the Sultan, and have acknowledged his authority ever since they were converted to Islamism.42 Before that time they were considered extremely ferocious, and whenever it was practicable they were destroyed. Others speak of an original race of Dyacks in the interior, but there is one circumstance to satisfy me that there is no confidence to be placed in this account, namely, that the island is not of sufficient extent to accommodate so numerous a population as some ascribe to it.

The forts consist of a double row of piles, filled in [168]with coral blocks. That situated on the east side of the small stream may be said to mount a few guns, but these are altogether inefficient; and in another, on the west side, which is rather a rude embankment than a fort, there are some twelve or fifteen pieces of large calibre; but I doubt very much if they had been fired off for years, and many of the houses built upon the water would require to be pulled down before these guns could be brought to bear upon any thing on the side of the bay, supposing them to be in a good condition; a little farther to the east of the town, I was informed they had a kind of stockade, but none of us were permitted to see it.

According to our estimates, and the information we received while at Sooloo, the island itself does not contain more than thirty thousand inhabitants, of which the town of Soung may have six or seven thousand. The whole group may number about one hundred and thirty thousand. I am aware, however, that it is difficult to estimate the population of a half-civilized people, who invariably exaggerate their own strength; and visiters are likewise prone to do the same thing. The Chinese comprise about an eighth of the population of the town, and are generally of the lower class. They are constantly busy at their trades, and intent upon making money.

At Soung, business seems active, and all, slaves as well as masters, seem to engage in it. The absence of a strong government leaves all at liberty to act for themselves, and the Ruma Bechara gives unlimited freedom to trade. These circumstances promote the industry of the community, and even that of the slave, for he too, as before observed, has a life interest in what he earns.

Soung being the residence of the Sultan, as well [169]as the grand depôt for all piratical goods, is probably more of a mart than any of the surrounding towns. In the months of March and April it is visited by several Chinese junks, who remain trading until the beginning of the month of August. If delayed after that time, they can scarcely return in safety, being unable to contend with the boisterous weather and head winds that then prevail in the Chinese seas. These junks are said to come chiefly from Amoy, where the cottons, &c., best suited for the Sooloos are made. Their cargoes consist of a variety of articles of Chinese manufacture and produce, such as silk, satin goods, cottons, red and checked, grass-cloth clothing, handkerchiefs, cutlery, guns, ammunition, opium, lumber, china and glass-ware, rice, sugar, oil, lard, and butter. In return for this merchandise they obtain camphor, birds’-nests, rattans, biche de mar, pearls and pearl-shells, cocoa, tortoise-shell, and wax; but there is no great quantity of these articles to be obtained, perhaps not more than two or three cargoes during the season. The trade requires great knowledge of the articles purchased, for the Chinese and Sooloos are both such adepts in fraud, that great caution and circumspection are necessary.

The duties on importation are not fixed, but are changed and altered from time to time by the Ruma Bechara. The following was stated to me as the necessary payments before trade could be carried on.

A large ship, with Chinese on board, pays $2,000
A large ship, without Chinese on board, pays 1,800
Small ships, 1,500
Large brig, 1,000
Small brig, 500
Schooners, from 150 to 400

This supposes them all to have full cargoes. That [170]a difference should be made in a vessel with or without Chinamen, seems singular; but this, I was told, arose from the circumstance that English vessels take them on board, in order to detect and prevent the impositions of the Sooloos.

Vessels intending to trade at Soung should arrive before the Chinese junks, and remain as long as they stay, or even a few days later. In trading with the natives, all operations ought to be carried on for cash, or if by barter, no delivery should be made until the articles to be taken in exchange are received. In short, it is necessary to deal with them as though they were undoubted rogues, and this pleases them much more than to appear unsuspicious. Vessels that trade engage a bazaar, which they hire of the Ruma Bechara, and it is advisable to secure the good-will of the leading datus in that council by presents, and paying them more for their goods than others.

There are various other precautions necessary in dealing with this people; for they will, if possible, so act as to give rise to disputes, in which case an appeal is made to their fellows, who are sure to decide against the strangers. Those who have been engaged in this trade, advise that the prices of the goods should be fixed upon before the Sultan, and the scales of the Datu of Soung employed; for although these are quite faulty, the error is compensated by the articles received being weighed in the same. This also secures the Datu’s good-will, by the fee (some fifty dollars) which he receives for the use of them. Thus it will be perceived that those who desire to trade with Sooloo, must make up their minds to encounter many impositions, and to be continually watchful of their own interests. [171]

Every possible precaution ought to be taken; and it will be found, the treatment will depend upon, or be according to the force or resolution that is displayed. In justice to this people it must be stated, there have been times when traders received every kindness and attention at the island of Sooloo, and I heard it even said, that many vessels had gone there to refit; but during the last thirty or forty years, the reigning sultans and their subjects have become hostile to Europeans, of whom they plunder and destroy as many as they can, and this they have hitherto been allowed to do with impunity.

Although I have described the trade with Sooloo as limited, yet it is capable of greater extension; and had it not been for the piratical habits of the people, the evil report of which has been so widely spread, Sooloo would now have been one of the principal marts of the East. The most fertile parts of Borneo are subject to its authority. There all the richest productions of these Eastern seas grow in immense quantities, but are now left ungarnered in consequence of there being no buyers. The cost of their cultivation would be exceedingly low, and I am disposed to believe that these articles could be produced here at a lower cost than any where else.

Besides the trade with China, there is a very considerable one with Manilla in small articles, and I found one of our countrymen engaged in this traffic, under the Spanish flag. To him I am indebted for much information that his opportunities for observation had given him.

The materials for the history of Sooloo are meagre, and great doubts seem to exist in some periods of it. That which I have been able to gather is as follows. [172]

The island of Sooloo is generally believed to have been originally inhabited by Papuans, some of whom, as I have already stated, are still supposed to inhabit the mountainous part. The first intercourse had with them was by the Chinese, who went there in search of pearls. The Orang Dampuwans were the first of the Malays to form settlements on the islands; but after building towns, and making other improvements, they abandoned the islands, in consequence, it is said, of the inhabitants being a perfidious race, having previously to their departure destroyed as many of the natives as they could.

The fame of the submarine riches of this archipelago reached Banjur, or Borneo, the people of which were induced to resort there, and finding it to equal their expectation, they sent a large colony, and made endeavours to win over the inhabitants, and obtain thereby the possession of their rich isle. In order to confirm the alliance, a female of Banjarmassing,43 of great beauty, was sent, and married to the principal chief; and from this alliance the sovereigns of Sooloo claim their descent. The treaty of marriage made Sooloo tributary to the Banjarmassing empire.

After the Banjars had thus obtained possession of the archipelago, the trade in its products attracted settlers from the surrounding islands, who soon contrived to displace the aborigines, and drive them to the inaccessible mountains for protection. [173]

When the Chinese took possession of the northern parts of Borneo, under the Emperor Songtiping, about the year 1375,44 the daughter of that prince was married to a celebrated Arabian chief named Sherif Alli, who visited the shores of Borneo in quest of commerce. The descendants of this marriage extended their conquests not only over the Sooloo Archipelago, but over the whole of the Philippines, and rendered the former tributary to Borneo. In three reigns after this event, the Sultan of Borneo proper married the daughter of a Sooloo chief, and from this union came Mirhome Bongsu, who succeeding to the throne while yet a minor, his uncle acted as regent. Sooloo now wished to throw off the yoke of Borneo, and through the intrigues of the regent succeeded in doing so, as well as in retaining possession of the eastern side of Borneo, from Maludu Bay on the north to Tulusyan on the south, which has ever since been a part of the Sooloo territory.

This event took place before Islamism became the prevailing religion; but which form of idolatry, the Sooloos pretend, is not now known. It is, however, believed the people on the coast were Bud[d]hists, while those of the interior were Pagans.

The first Sultan of Sooloo was Kamaludin, and during his reign one Sayed Alli, a merchant, arrived at Sooloo from Mecca. He was a sherif, and soon converted one-half the islanders to his own faith. He was elected sultan on the death of Kamaludin, and [174]reigned seven years, in the course of which he became celebrated throughout the archipelago. Dying at Sooloo, a tomb was erected to him there, and the island came to be looked upon by the faithful as the Mecca of the East, and continued to be resorted to as a pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards.

Sayed Alli left a son called Batua, who succeeded him. The latter had two sons, named Sabudin and Nasarudin, who, on the death of their father, made war upon each other. Nasarudin, the youngest, being defeated, sought refuge on Tawi Tawi, where he established himself, and built a fort for his protection. The difficulties were finally compromised, and they agreed to reign together over Sooloo. Nasarudin had two sons, called Amir and Bantilan, of whom the former was named as successor to the two brothers, and on their deaths ascended the throne. During his reign another sherif arrived from Mecca, who succeeded in converting the remainder of the population to Islamism. Bantilan and his brother Amir finally quarrelled, and the latter was driven from Sooloo to seek refuge in the island of Basillan, where he became sultan.45

On the arrival of the Spaniards in 1566, a kind of desultory war was waged by them upon the various islands, in the hope of conquering them and extending their religion. In these wars they succeeded in gaining temporary possession of a part of Sooloo, and destroyed the tomb of Sayed Alli. The Spaniards always looked upon the conversion of the Moslems to the true Catholic faith with great interest; [175]but in the year 1646, the sultan of Magindanao succeeded in making peace, by the terms of which the Spaniards withdrew from Sooloo, and were to receive from the sultan three cargoes of rice annually as a tribute.

In 1608, the small-pox made fearful ravages, and most of the inhabitants fled from the scourge. Among these was the heir apparent, during whose absence the throne became vacant, and another was elected in his stead. This produced contention for a short time, which ended in the elected maintaining his place.

This tribute continued to be paid until the flight of Amir to Basillan, about the year 1752, where he entered into a secret correspondence with the authorities at Samboangan, and after two years a vessel was sent from Manilla, which carried him to that capital, where he was treated as a prisoner of state.

In June, 1759, an English ship, on board of which was Dalrymple, then in the service of the East India Company, arrived at Sooloo on a trading voyage. Dalrymple remained at Sooloo for three months, engaged in making sales and purchases. The Sultan Bantilan treated him with great kindness, and sought the interest of Dalrymple to obtain the liberation of his brother, who was now held prisoner by the Spaniards at Manilla, by telling him of his brother’s wife, who had been left behind when Amir quitted the island, and had been delivered of twins, after he had been kidnapped by the Spaniards. Dalrymple entered into a pledge to restore Amir, and at the same time effected a commercial treaty between the East India Company and the Sooloo [176]chiefs. By this it was stipulated that an annual cargo should be sent to Sooloo, and sold at one hundred per cent. profit, for which a return cargo should be provided for the China market, which should realize an equal profit there, after deducting all expenses. The overplus, if any, was to be carried to the credit of the Sooloos. This appears to have been the first attempt made by the English to secure a regular commercial intercourse with this archipelago.

In the year 1760, a large fleet of Spanish vessels sailed from Manilla, with about two thousand men, having the Sultan Amir on board, to carry on a war against Sooloo.

On their arrival, they began active operations. They were repelled on all sides, and after seven days’ ineffectual attempts, they gave up their design. They returned to Manilla, it is said, with a loss of half their number, and without having done any injury to the Sooloos. Not discouraged with this failure, the Spaniards, about two years after, organized a still larger force, which is estimated by some accounts as high as ten thousand men. Although this failed in its attempts on the fort at Soung, the Spaniards obtained possession of Tanjong Matonda, one of the small ports on the island, where they erected a church and fort. Here they established a colony, and appointed a governor. The inhabitants upon this deserted their habitations in the neighbourhood, and fled to the mountains, which, it is said, excited the mountaineers, a host of whom, with their chief, whose name was Sri Kala, determined to rush upon the Spaniards, and annihilate them. Having to contend against disciplined troops, it was not an easy [177]task to succeed. But Sri Kala had a follower, named Sigalo, who offered to lead the host to battle against the Spaniards, and to exterminate them, or to die in the attempt. The chief accepted his offer, and Sigalo, with a chosen few, marched towards the fort, leaving the rest of the mountaineers in readiness to join them at an appointed signal, and rush into the fort en masse.

Sri Kala and Sigalo, in order to lull the watchfulness of the Spaniards, took with them a young woman, of exquisite beauty, named Purmassuri. The lustful Spaniards were thus thrown off their guard, the signal was given, and the host, rushing forward, entered the fort, every Spaniard within which was slain. A few only, who were on the outside, escaped to the vessels, which set sail, and after encountering various mishaps, returned to Manilla

Some time after this the Sultan Bantilan died, and his son Alimud-deen was proclaimed sultan. Dalrymple did not return until 1762, with a part of the appointed cargo; but the vessel in which the larger part had been shipped, failed to arrive, from not being able to find Sooloo, and went to China. Thence she proceeded to Manilla, and afterwards to Sooloo. The captain of the latter vessel gave a new credit to the Sooloos, before they had paid for their first cargo; and on the arrival of Dalrymple the next time, he found that the small-pox had carried off a large number of the inhabitants, from which circumstance all his hopes of profit were frustrated. He then obtained for the use of the East India Company, a grant of the island of Balambangan, which lies off the north end of Borneo, forming one side of the Straits of Balabac, the western entrance to the [178]Sooloo Sea. Here he proposed to establish a trading port, and after having visited Madras, he took possession of this island in 1763.

In October, 1763, the English took Manilla,46 where the Sultan Amir was found by Dalrymple, who engaged to reinstate him on his throne, if he would cede to the English the north end of Borneo, as well as the south end of Palawan. This he readily promised, and he was, in consequence, carried back to Sooloo, and reinstated; his nephew, Alim-ud-deen, readily giving place to him, and confirming the grant to the East India Company, in which the Ruma Bechara joined.

After various arrangements, the East India Company took possession of Balambangan, in the year 1773, and formed a settlement there with a view of making it an emporium of trade for Eastern commodities. Troops and stores were sent from India, and the population began to increase by settlers, both Chinese and Malays, who arrived in numbers. In the year 1775, the fort, notwithstanding all the treaties and engagements between Dalrymple and the Sultan, was surprised by the Sultan, and many of the garrison put to death. This virtually put an end to the plans of the English, although another attempt was made to re-establish the settlement by Colonel Farquhar, in 1803; but it was thought to be too expensive a post, and was accordingly abandoned in the next year. This act of the Sooloos fairly established their character for perfidy, and ever since that transaction they have been looked upon as treacherous in the highest degree, and, what is singular, [179]have been allowed to carry on their piracies quite unmolested. The taking of Balambangan has been generally imputed to the treacherous disposition and innate love of plunder among the Sooloos, as well as to their fear that it would destroy the trade of Sooloo by injuring all that of the archipelago. But there are strong reasons for believing that this dark deed owed its origin in part to the influence of the Spaniards and Dutch, who looked with much distrust upon the growth of the rival establishment. Such was the jealousy of the Spaniards, that the governor of the Philippines peremptorily required that Balambangan should be evacuated. The Sooloos boast of the deed, and admit that they received assistance from both Samboangan and Ternate, the two nearest Spanish and Dutch ports. These nations had great reasons to fear, the establishment of a power like that of the East India Company, in a spot so favorably situated to secure the trade of the surrounding islands, possessing fine harbours, and in every way adapted to become a great commercial depôt. Had it been held by the East India Company but for a few years, it must have become what Singapore is now.

The original planner of this settlement is said to have been Lord Pigot; but the merit of carrying it forward was undoubtedly due to Dalrymple, whose enterprising mind saw the advantage of the situation, and whose energy was capable of carrying the project successfully forward.

Since the capture of Balambangan, there has been no event in the history of Sooloo that has made any of the reigns of the Sultans memorable, although fifteen have since ascended the throne.

Sooloo has from all the accounts very much [180]changed in its character as well as population since the arrival of the Spaniards, and the establishment of their authority in the Philippines. Before that event, some accounts state that the trade with the Chinese was of great extent, and that from four to five hundred junks arrived annually from Cambojia, with which Sooloo principally traded. At that time the population is said to have equalled in density that of the thickly-settled parts of China.

The government has also undergone a change; for the sultan, who among other Malay races is usually despotic, is here a mere cipher, and the government has become an oligarchy. This change has probably been brought about by the increase of the privileged class of datus, all of whom are entitled to a seat in the Ruma Bechara until about the year 1810, when the great inconvenience of so large a council was felt, and it became impossible to control it without great difficulty and trouble on the part of the sultan. The Ruma Bechara was then reduced until it contained but six of the principal datus, who assumed the power of controlling the state. The Ruma Bechara, however, in consequence of the complaints of many powerful datus, was enlarged; but the more powerful, and those who have the largest numerical force of slaves, still rule over its deliberations. The whole power, within the last thirty years, has been usurped by one or two datus, who now have monopolized the little foreign trade that comes to these islands. The sultan has the right to appoint his successor, and generally names him while living. In default of this, the choice devolves upon the Ruma Bechara, who elect by a majority.

From a more frequent intercourse with Europeans [181]and the discovery of new routes through these seas, the opportunities of committing depredations have become less frequent, and the fear of detection greater. By this latter motive they are more swayed than by any thing else, and if the Sooloos have ever been bold and daring robbers on the high seas, they have very much changed.

Many statements have been made and published relative to the piracies committed in these seas, which in some cases exceed, and in others fall short, of the reality. Most of the piratical establishments are under the rule, or sail under the auspices of the Sultan or Ruma Bechara of Sooloo, who are more or less intimately connected with them. The share of the booty that belongs to the Sultan and Ruma Bechara, is twenty-five per cent. on all captures, whilst the datus receive a high price for the advance they make of guns and powder, and for the services of their slaves.

The following are the piratical establishments of Sooloo, obtained from the most authentic sources, published as well as verbal. The first among these is the port of Soung, at which we anchored, in the island of Sooloo; not so much from the number of men available here for this pursuit, as the facility of disposing of the goods. By the Spaniards they are denominated Illanun or Lanuns pirates.47 There [182]are other rendezvous on Pulo Toolyan, at Bohol, Tonho, Pilas, Tawi Tawi, Sumlout, Pantutaran, Parodasan, Palawan, and Basillan, and Tantoli on Celebes.48 These are the most noted, but there are many minor places, where half a dozen prahus are fitted out. Those of Sooloo, and those who go under the name of the Lanuns, have prahus of larger size, and better fitted. They are from twenty to thirty tons burden and are propelled by both sails and oars. They draw but little water, are fast sailers, and well adapted for navigating through these dangerous seas. These pirates are supposed to possess in the whole about two hundred prahus, which usually are manned with from forty to fifty pirates; the number therefore engaged in this business, may be estimated at ten thousand. They are armed with muskets, blunderbusses, krises, hatchets, and spears, and at times the vessels have one or two large guns mounted. They infest the Straits of Macassar, the Sea of Celebes, and the Sooloo Sea. Soung is the only place where they can dispose of their plunder to advantage, and obtain the necessary outfits. It may be called the principal resort of these pirates, where well directed measures would result in effectually suppressing the crime.

Besides the pirates of Sooloo, the commerce of the [183]Eastern islands is vexed with other piratical establishments. In the neighbouring seas, there are the Malay pirates, who have of late years become exceedingly troublesome. Their prahus are of much smaller size than those of Sooloo, being from ten to twelve tons burden, but in proportion they are much better manned, and thus are enabled to ply with more efficiency their oars or paddles. These prahus frequent the shores of the Straits of Malacca, Cape Romania, the Carimon Isles, and the neighbouring straits, and at times they visit the Straits of Rhio. Some of the most noted, I was informed, were fitted out from Johore, in the very neighbourhood of the English authorities at Singapore; they generally have their haunts on the small islands on the coast, from which they make short cruises.

They are noted for their arrangements for preventing themselves from receiving injury, in the desperate defences that are sometimes made against them. These small prahus have usually swivels mounted, which, although not of great calibre, are capable of throwing a shot beyond the range of small-arms. It is said that they seldom attempt an attack unless the sea is calm, which enables them to approach their victims with more assurance of success, on account of the facility with which they are enabled to manage their boats. The frequent calms which occur in these seas between the land and sea breezes, afford them many opportunities of putting their villa[i]nous plans in operation; and the many inlets and islets, with which they are well acquainted, afford places of refuge and ambush, and for concealing their booty. They are generally found in small flotillas of from six to twenty prahus, and when they [184]have succeeded in disabling a vessel at long shot, the sound of the gong is the signal for boarding, which if successful, results in a massacre more or less bloody, according to the obstinacy of the resistance they have met with.

In the winter months, the Straits of Malacca are most infected with them; and during the summer, the neighbourhood of Singapore, Point Romania, and the channels in the vicinity. In the spring, from February to May, they are engaged in procuring their supplies, in fishing, and refitting their prahus for the coming year.

I have frequently heard plans for the suppression of these pirates, particularly of those in the neighbourhood of the settlements under British rule. The European authorities are much to blame for the quiescent manner in which they have so long borne these depredations, and many complaints are made that Englishmen, on being transplanted to India, lose that feeling of horror for deeds of blood, such as are constantly occurring at their very doors, which they would experience in England. There are, however, many difficulties to overcome before operations against the pirates can be effective. The greatest of these is the desire of the English to secure the goodwill of the chiefs of the tribes by whom they are surrounded. They thus wink at their piracies on the vessels of other nations, or take no steps to alleviate the evils of slavery. Indeed the language that one hears from many intelligent men who have long resided in that part of the world is, that in no country where civilization exists does slavery exhibit so debasing a form as in her Indian possessions. Another difficulty consists in the want of minute [185]knowledge of the coasts, inlets, and hiding-places of the pirates, and this must continue to exist until proper surveys are made. This done, it would be necessary to employ vessels that could pursue the pirates every where, for which steamers naturally suggest themselves.49

What will appear most extraordinary is, that the very princes who are enjoying the stipend for the purchase of the site whereon the English authority is established, are believed to be the most active in equipping the prahus for these piratical expeditions; yet no notice is taken of them, although it would be so easy to control them by withholding payment until they had cleared themselves from suspicion, or by establishing residents in their chief towns.

Another, and a very different race of natives who frequent the Sooloo Archipelago, must not be passed by without notice. These are the Bajow50 divers or fishermen, to whom Sooloo is indebted for procuring the submarine treasures with which her seas are stored. They are also very frequently employed in the biche de mar or tripang fisheries among the islands to the south. The Bajows generally look upon Macassar as their principal place of resort. They were at one time believed to be derived from Johore, on the Malayan peninsula; at another to be Buguese; but they speak the Sooloo dialect, and are certainly derived from some of the neighbouring [186]islands. The name of Bajows, in their tongue, means fishermen. From all accounts, they are allowed to pursue their avocations in peace, and are not unfrequently employed by the piratical datus, and made to labour for them. They resort to their fishing-grounds in fleets of between one and two hundred sail, having their wives and children with them, and in consequence of the tyranny of the Sooloos, endeavour to place themselves under the protection of the flag of Holland, by which nation this useful class of people is encouraged. The Sooloo seas are comparatively little frequented by them, as they are unable to dispose of the produce of their fisheries for want of a market, and fear the exactions of the datus. Their prahus are about five tons each. The Bajows at some islands are stationary, but are for the most part constantly changing their ground. The Spanish authorities in the Philippines encourage them, it is said, to frequent their islands, as without them they would derive little benefit from the banks in the neighbouring seas, where quantities of pearl-oysters are known to exist, which produce pearls of the finest kind. The Bajows are inoffensive and very industrious, and in faith Mahomedans.

The climate of Sooloo during our short stay, though warm, was agreeable. The time of our visit was in the dry season, which lasts from October to April, and alternates with the wet one from May till September. June and July are the windy months, when strong breezes blow from the westward. In the latter part of August and September, strong gales are felt from the south, while in December and January the winds are found to come from the northward; but light winds usually prevail from the southwest during the wet season, and from the opposite [187]quarter, the dry, following closely the order of the monsoons in the China seas. As to the temperature, the climate is very equable, the thermometer seldom rising above 90° or falling below 70°.

Diseases are few, and those that prevail arise from the manner in which the natives live. They are from that cause an unhealthy-looking race. The smallpox has at various times raged with great violence throughout the group, and they speak of it with great dread. Few of the natives appear to be marked with it, which may have been owing, perhaps, to their escaping this disorder for some years. Vaccination has not yet been introduced among them, nor have they practised inoculation.

Notwithstanding Soung was once the Mecca of the East, its people have but little zeal for the Mahomedan faith. It was thought at one time that they had almost forgotten its tenets, in consequence of the neglect of all their religious observances. The precepts which they seem to regard most are that of abstaining from swine’s flesh, and that of being circumcised. Although polygamy is not interdicted, few even of the datus have more than one wife.

Soung Road offers good anchorage; and supplies of all kinds may be had in abundance. Beef is cheap, and vegetables and fruit at all seasons plenty.

Our observations placed the town in latitude 6° 10′ N., longitude 120° 55′ 51″ E.

On the 6th, having concluded the treaty (a copy of which will be found in Appendix XIII)51 and the [188]other business that had taken me to Sooloo, we took our departure for the Straits of Balabac, the western entrance into this sea, with a fine breeze to the eastward. By noon we had reached the group of Pangootaaraang,52 consisting of five small islands. All of these are low, covered with trees, and without lagoons. They presented a great contrast to Sooloo, which was seen behind us in the distance. The absence of the swell of the ocean in sailing through this sea is striking, and gives the idea of navigating an extensive bay, on whose luxuriant islands no surf breaks. There are, however, sources of danger that incite the navigator to watchfulness and constant anxiety; the hidden shoals and reefs, and the sweep [189]of the tide, which leave him no control over his vessel.

Through the night, which was exceedingly dark, we sounded every twenty minutes, but found no bottom; and at daylight on the 7th, we made the islands of Cagayan Sooloo,53 in latitude 7° 03′ 30″ N., longitude 118° 37′ E. The tide or current was passing the islands to the west-southwest, three-quarters of a mile per hour; we had soundings of seventy-five fathoms. Cagayan Sooloo has a pleasant appearance from the sea, and may be termed a high island. It is less covered with undergrowth and mangrove-bushes than the neighbouring islands, and the reefs are comparatively small. It has fallen off in importance, and by comparing former accounts with those I received, and from its present aspect, it would seem that it has decreased both in population and products. Its caves formerly supplied a large quantity of edible birds’-nests; large numbers of cattle were to be found upon it; and its cultivation was carried on to some extent. These articles of commerce are not so much attended to at the present time, and the biche de mar and tortoise-shell, formerly brought hither, are now carried to other places. There is a small anchorage on the west side, but we did not visit it. There are no dangers near these small islands that may not be guarded against. Our survey extended only to their size and situation, as I deemed it my duty to devote all the remainder of the time I had to spare to the Straits of Balabac.

[Proceeding, our author relates the stay of the vessel in, and describes, the Mangsee Islands, Balabac, [190]and Balambangan, about which various scientific observations were carried on. “Lieutenant Perry, ... near a small beach on the island of Balambangan, encountered some Sooloos, who were disposed to attack him. The natives, no doubt, were under the impression that the boats were from some shipwrecked vessel. They were all well-armed, and apparently prepared to take advantage of the party if possible; but, by the prudence and forbearance of this officer, collision was avoided, and his party saved from an attack.” The British colony established on this island in 1773, dwindled steadily until 1775 when the pirates rushed the garrison and massacred almost every man. The work of Rajah Brooke in Sarawak is mentioned, and the Dyaks described. Continuing Mr. Wilkes says:]

As the principal objects of my visit were to ascertain the disposition and resources of the Sooloos for trade, and to examine the straits leading into the Sooloo seas, in order to facilitate the communication with China, by avoiding on the one hand the eastern route, and on the other the dangers of the Palawan Passage, it may be as well to give the result of the latter inquiry, referring those who may be more particularly interested to the Hydrographical Atlas and Memoir.

The difficulties in the Palawan Passage arising from heavy seas and fresh gales do not exist in the Sooloo Sea, nor are the shoals so numerous or so dangerous. In the place of storms and rough water, smooth seas are found, and for most of the time moderate breezes, which do not subject a vessel to the wear and tear experienced in beating up against a monsoon. [191]

The Straits of Balabac may be easily reached, either from Singapore, or by beating up along the western shore to Borneo. When the straits are reached, a vessel by choosing her time, may easily pass through them by daylight, even by beating when the wind is ahead. Once through, the way is clear, with the exception of a few coral lumps; the occasional occurrence of the north wind will enable a vessel to pass directly to the shores of the island of Panay. A fair wind will ordinarily prevail along that island, and, as I have already mentioned, it may be approached closely. The passage through to the eastward of Mindoro Island may be taken in preference to that on the west side through the Mindoro Strait, and thus all the reefs and shoals will be avoided. Thence, the western coast of Luzon will be followed to the north, as in the old route.

I do not think it necessary to point out any particular route through the Sooloo Sea, as vessels must be guided chiefly as the winds blow, but I would generally avoid approaching the Sooloo Islands, as the currents are more rapid, and set rather to the southward. Wherever there is anchorage, it would be advisable to anchor at night, as much time might thus be saved, and a knowledge of the currents, or sets of the tides obtained. Perhaps it would be as well to caution those who are venturesome, that it is necessary to keep a good look-out, and those who are timid, that there does not appear to be much danger from the piratical prahus, unless a vessel gets on shore: in that case it will not be long before they will be seen collecting in the horizon in large numbers.

The treaty that I made with the Sultan, if strictly [192]enforced on the first infraction, will soon put an end to all the dangers to be apprehended from them. To conclude, I am satisfied that under ordinary circumstances, to pass through the Sooloo Sea will shorten by several days the passage to Manilla or Canton, and be a great saving of expense in the wear and tear of a ship and her canvass.

[On the eighteenth of February, the ship reaches the Straits of Singapore, where they find the other three vessels of the fleet, namely, the “Porpoise,” the “Oregon,” and “Flying-Fish.”] [193]


Letter from Father Quirico More, to the Father Superior of the Mission

Pax Christi.
My well beloved in Christ, the Father Superior:

Several times I have designed to address your Reverence in regard to the Moros of this gulf, but after the observation of your Reverence of the second of last December, I have been unwilling to postpone longer to set about this matter.

I have read some statistical works, both official and semi-official, which treat of the population54 of this gulf, and I have noticed that in general more importance is given to the Moros of this district than is theirs, and a greater number of people than in reality exists. The reason for this general error lies in the fact that the Moros quite regularly live along the coasts and at the mouths of the large rivers, while the heathens of other races live as a general rule in the interior of the island. Consequently, the Moros form, as it were, a sort of barrier or screen which prevents the heathens from being seen, and [194]worse yet, hinders us from becoming acquainted with them, and alluring and gaining them for God and the fatherland. That would be easy of attainment, if once this phantom of the Moros were laid. That can be easily attained if one remembers what the Moros of Dávao are, whom I shall endeavor to show forth in this letter.

We are making a bit of history, as one commonly says. Shortly before the conquest, which was concluded by Don José Oyangúren55 in the year 1848, the pontin56 “San Rufo,” which had been equipped by one of the commercial houses of Manila, had come to Dávao. The captain and second officer of the said boat were Spaniards, and in addition they were accompanied by an Italian who was a private trader. They had a letter of recommendation from [195]the sultan of Mindanao, for the datos of the sea of Dávao, which charged those datos to receive those of the “San Rufo” as friends. The Moros of this place pretended to respect the letter of the sultan, and engaged in trade with the men of the boat, offering them friendship and a considerable quantity of wax in exchange for their effects. But taking advantage of the opportunity, when the majority of the crew were some distance from the boat fishing with the ship’s skiff, the Moros presented themselves armed with krises, spears, and balaraos, bringing with them, in order to conceal their mischievous intentions, considerable wax for barter. The interpreter informed the captain that so many Moros, so well armed on an occasion when there were scarcely any men in the boat gave rise to suspicions regarding their intentions. The captain replied that he did not fear the Moros. The pilot remonstrated, saying that it would not do any harm to take a few precautions. To this the captain replied: “Are you afraid of the Moros?” “Although we do not fear them,” added the pilot, “that is no reason why we should scorn the advice of the interpreter.” “Well, if you wish it,” said the captain, “have a sentinel posted with musket ready.” Accordingly the sentinel was posted, and in addition one of the Europeans and the interpreter prepared their arms also. All this time more and more Moros were continually arriving. They contrived to isolate the Europeans and separate them from one another. When they were most busily engaged in examining and weighing the wax, those assassins drew their krises at a given signal. Two reports rang out and two Moros fell dead, but in a few moments, the heads of the Christians rolled [196]on the ground. The only ones left alive were two servants, that of the captain and that of the Italian, whom the Moros retained as slaves. These men after a few days, seized a baroto and escaped in it, made the crossing to Pundaguítan, whence they went to Surigao to give notice of what had occurred in the “San Rufo,” believing that the seamen who were fishing at the time of the attack, had also been assassinated. Those seamen on seeing what was occurring on the “San Rufo” escaped in a small boat to the Hijo River, whence they went overland to Línao (now Bunáuan). All of the above was told me by one of the two servants, who had been captured and had escaped. That servant returned later with Oyangúren, and acted on several occasions as my helmsman, and finally died in the shipwreck of Father Vivero.

When that crime was reported in Manila, satisfaction was demanded of the sultan of Mindanao. The latter answered that he had no subjects in Dávao, and that he did not consider the Moros of this bay as such, since they had disobeyed his orders; and accordingly that the Spanish government was to deal with them directly. By virtue of that, from that moment the Moros of Dávao must be considered as independent and separate from the rest of the Moros. Consequently, if the Spanish government has complete liberty of action anywhere in regard to the Moros, it is doubtless in this gulf of Dávao.

Thereupon the expedition of Oyangúren came, and had made the conquest of this gulf in a very short time, those Moros who had remained here after a great part of them had emigrated to the bay of Sarangani and the lake of Bulúan surrendering at discretion. [197]

When Oyangúren came, the Moros were complete masters of the island of Sámal,57 whose inhabitants had risen en masse to unite with the Spanish against their oppressors the Moros. They also dominated the Mandayas, and collected tribute from all of them even from those of the ilaya58 of Caraga, and were engaged in continual war with the Bilanes, Manobos, and Atas.59 At present the Mandayas, who are in some manner subject to the Moros, number, according to my calculation, some seven thousand. One cannot estimate or approximate to the number of the Atas who pay tribute to them. The other races are not at all subject to the Moros and do not pay any tribute to them.

It is difficult to fix exactly the number of the Moros who live on this gulf at present. Their nomadic customs and the ease with which they change their habitation, sometimes moving to a great distance, make a little less than impossible an exact list of them. However, I believe that their approximate number is 4,000. If they exceed that number, I do not believe that they reach 5,000, and as well I [198]do not believe that they are less than 3,000. The place that they generally choose for their home, as I have before suggested, is the coast or the mouth of rivers navigable for their small boats.

When any governor of this district urges them with instance to make a village, they make, as it were, an excuse for a settlement, carrying out the plan which the governor himself, or some Spaniard in the name of the governor, or some other intelligent person, gives them. They will construct, if it is desired, their so-called houses at the distances which are marked out for them, but they will never reconcile themselves with any kind of cultivation, or with cleanliness, or the repair of what gets out of order. In reality, in the short time that their villages have form, the filth, the nakedness, and the general wretchedness, cause them to present so repugnant an aspect, that no one can show a desire for their preservation; and as soon as the governor ceases to investigate them, those villages melt away like salt in water.

To the right of Dávao, several attempts have been made to form the Moro village of Daron by bringing together the small Moro rancherías of Taúmo, Baludo, and Obango, which are the only rancherías between Dávao and the point of Culáman in sight of Sarangani. That village, in the days of its greatest apogee, would lodge at most one hundred Moro families, who always tend to be split up into small rancherías.

On the other side of Point Bánus, from which one can begin to descry the islands of Sarangani there was another ranchería of Sanguil.60 Moros of about [199]one hundred families. That ranchería was settled there under the protection of an Indian, who had served his time in the navy, who fixed his residence there in the quality of agent or abonado [i.e., representative] of the traders of Dávao. At the present time that petty trader has moved his residence to Núin opposite the islands of Sarangani, and it appears that those Moros have followed him. But wherever they have fixed their residence, left to themselves, they are threatened with destruction. For that swarm of Bilanes, Manobos, and Tagacaolos61 which surrounds them, warlike races who have never been subdued by the Moros, will always consider them as enemies, and will always reckon them in the first line to give an end to their personal and racial vengeance.

In support of my assertion, I shall tell your Reverence an episode just as it was told to me a long while ago. Some years before the conquest of Dávao, the Moros, pursuing the piratical habits peculiar to their race, knifed the crew of a banca which was on its way from Pundaguítan, a Christian village at Cape San Agustin, to the tortoise-shell fisheries at the island of Olaníban, the third and smallest island of the Sarangani. It was a coincidence that the said banca was manned by members of the most influential families of both shores of this gulf from San [200]Agustin and Culáman. Vengeance in the Manobo style was not long delayed. The members of the latter race beheaded as many of the Moros as they could find alone. But later some sort of a settlement was made among them. The Moros paid the fine imposed on them by the other races, but the latter did not cease to be hostile for all that. They have reduced the few Mahometans remaining between Malálag and Sarangani to so precarious a situation that, according to my mode of thinking, their greatest and only guaranty is in the respect that those heathens profess for the Spanish banner.

It is not my design to discuss now the islands and bay, or harbor of Sarangani, places which formed my gilded dream for many years. I shall not be many months in writing to your Reverence a letter with the data which I have gathered, and other data which I am acquiring in regard to those islands and that bay.62 In that letter I will relate my opinion of those kindly heathens who left so pleasing an impression on the minds of us five missionaries who have visited them, namely Fathers Lluch, Bové, Púntas, Vivero, and the writer.

Just a few words now concerning the Moros to the left of Dávao. One legua from this capital, and along the beach, lies the Moro village of Lánang, which has passed through the same sudden changes as has the village of Daron. The said village is formed by the malcontents of the various datarías63 of this gulf, beginning with the ilayas of Dávao. Their progress and setbacks have been proportioned to the tact and vigilance of the governors. Some [201]cultivation of cocoas is seen on that coast, in part by the Moros and in part by the Christians of the vicinity. At the present time there are no more than twenty-five houses (if their huts can be so called), of which very few are finished. The greater part of them remain since a long time ago in process of construction.

Following the same coast toward the north of the gulf, and some three leguas distant, one encounters the ranchería of the river Lásan. The most remarkable thing about that ranchería is that it shelters one of the most famous of the directors of Moro politics in this gulf, namely, one Lásad. Some Christians from Cagayan in Misamis have come to their ilaya, according to report. The Moros have never even formed an excuse for a village there, but live scattered in tiny hamlets, or in miserable huts more or less contiguous to one another over a territory spread out over two or three leguas up stream.

Some two leguas farther, and following the coast, and near the Tugánay River is situated the Moro ranchería of Tágum, a name which is derived from the largest river of this bay which empties near the Tugánay. That ranchería is the most ungovernable and the most famous for the gloomy tragedies that have happened there from time immemorial even to our days. When the murders of four Christians in July of last year happened, the Moros of that ranchería had a village of about forty houses in process of construction, but it is now almost entirely abandoned.

Some two leguas farther following the same coast are found the river and ranchería of Madáum, which contains, it is reported, about one hundred families.

A very short distance from the preceding lies the [202]ranchería of the Hijo River, which is famous for having been the last bulwark of the Moros at the time of the conquest of Dávao. Señor Oyangúren and a distinguished chief of our militia went there in the steamboat “Elcano.” It is said that after the Moros had surrendered, and while Oyangúren and the datos were arranging the conditions of submission, a young Mahometan snatched the sword from the hands of the leader alluded to, and took to his heels without the balls of the sentinels being able to reach him. That was a boldness that gave the Christians much to think over. A few years ago I was told that they still preserved the hilt of the said sword. At present that ranchería is governed by Dato Nónong, one of the most highly-considered Moros of this gulf. It has scarcely one hundred families, and the attempt has been made several times to make that dato form a village.

The small rancherías of Cupiat and Lají which may be considered as small suburbs or barrios of Hijo and Matiao respectively have absolutely no importance.

Matiao, famed during these last few years for the frequent sacrifices of heathen Mandayas, is the landing-place for the small boats that ply from Liboac in the northern part of Sámal to the eastern shore of the gulf. There are about one hundred Moro families there, who have never formed a village, but live scattered along both sides of the Matiao River, and in the neighboring places of Quínquin and Canipa. Dato Lásad, of whom I have already made mention, is, as it were, lord of the lives and possessions, not only of his Moro subjects, but as well of those unfortunate Mandayas who live in the vicinity of Matiao. [203]

On the other side of the mountains called Línao, whose spurs reach the sea, is found a large plain, extending from the salt-water river called Pisó to Cuabu. Scattered through that plain and especially on the banks of the rivers there, live also about one hundred and twenty Moro families, who are under the datos Tumárus, Compao, and Patarandan.

On the beach and near the mouth of the Súmlug River, lies an excuse for a Moro village, which consists of about twenty houses which were built by order, and under the general conditions of the Moro villages of this gulf.

Your Reverence knows already that there is not a single Moro family in all the peninsula of San Agustin. It remains for me, then, to tell your Reverence of the last and most numerous Moro ranchería of this district of Dávao. It is the ranchería of Mayo, so called because it took its name from the bay of Mayo, the point where its most principal datos live. However, in appearance all those Moros owe homage to Dato Tumárus of Súmlug. Including all the Moros of the harbor of Mati, the bay of Mayo, and the Baguan River to the other side of Point Tagóbon, there are about one hundred and fifty families. They have never formed a village. Some years back a governor ordered all those Moros to form a village in Súmlug, but they had sufficient cunning to frustrate that just and wise order, in order that they might continue to live in the manner in which they had lived thitherto.

The Moros who live about this large gulf, Father, are the remains of those powerful and warlike Moros who in the not distant past collected tribute from the Mandayas and other heathens as far as those living on the Caraga River, and who extended their [204]piratical raids to the villages of the Pacific. But they were completely conquered by worthy Don José Oyangúren in the year 1848.

Two classes in the manner of two races must be distinguished among these Moros: that of the datos which is, as it were, the aristocracy; and that of the plebeians who obey the datos. The panditas (for so do they call the priests of their false religion) are included among both classes, although it is more general for them to belong to the first. They form, as it were, an hereditary priesthood.

In general, the datos and their families do not work. At the most they fish and hunt for sport, and to stifle the pangs of hunger. Their chief and most honorable receipts are from the tributes which they collect from their subjects and from the heathens whom they have subdued. That tribute is called the pagdato. Although that source of wealth is the chief, it is not the only source. Although the Moros of this gulf are conquered and subdued, they have not completely forgotten their former customs of piracy. Slavery and captivity with their awful accompaniment of murders, thefts, poisons, and violence of every sort, and further, the human sacrifices which accompany them at times, form a very productive source of wealth for the ever exhausted chests of their treasuries. I could write a very thick volume of the deeds of this particular people which are very well known to me.

All the heathens dominated by the Moros, and even many of the Moros themselves, on approaching me, through the little confidence that my person inspires, molest me by the relation of the Moro misdeeds, telling me of the troubles and injustice which [205]they suffer from the Moros, and the acts of inhumanity of which they are the victims; for they hope that I will protect them by causing that the guilty ones will be given their deserts.

As a proof of what I have said, and of the many things which I could add, I give below the relation of what happened to me about one year ago. I was on my way from Cuaba to Mati, and was accompanied by a young man of about twenty years of age of the Mandaya race. He together with his mother and two younger sisters had formerly been captured by the Moro datos of the bay of Mayo. When we reached Valete, pointing to a gagátpat tree,64 he said to me: “Father, they bound my mother by the hands and neck to that branch, and left her half hanging there while they ate and rested.” “And what was their reason for binding your mother there in so inhuman a manner,” I asked. “In order that, since she would be tired out,” he replied, “by the forced position in which they kept her, she might not have the strength to escape on the journey from this place to Súmlug.” I believe that that unfortunate woman is no longer living. The Moros took her to Daron and no more has been heard of her, in spite of the repeated efforts which her son has made to find her. The latter having escaped from that bondage and having become a Christian, has not ceased to employ all the resources that his filial love has roused in him in order to see whether he can discover the abiding-place of his dear mother. He thinks that the Moros [206]of Daron sold her to the Bagabos, and that the latter sacrificed her according to their custom.

That slave trade, sa pag sucad, as it is graphically expressed by Moros and heathen, or something to cover their necessities, is not yet the worst thing of the Moro race. More mischievous to my way of thinking is it for the progress and stability of this district, both in religious matters and in civil and political matters, that the Moros of this part have not yet lost their hope of being able to recover their ancient power. They show this openly whenever any opportunity arises. On that account they endeavor by all their efforts to maintain their own organization in the very face of our government. They call the dato of their choice Principal [i.e., Chief] and the captain or gobernadorcillo and the other agents of justice appointed among them by the governor of the district, they call Salíling, which is equivalent to our Interino [i.e., incumbent of an office ad interim]. At times they simply call the members of justice appointed by the governor for them interinos, and consider them as secondary or entrusted authorities. For as they say of themselves in their manner of speech, “We are friendly to the Castilians, through force.” Consequently, they endure our rule for the present, but do not accept it.

One of the recent occurrences which place in relief this desire of the Moros in opposing our domination and recovering their lost prestige, is found in the island of Sámal. Those islanders who on seeing the boats of Oyangúren remove the Mahometan yoke, and had passed over en masse to the Spanish camp, gradually allowed their affection toward us to cool, and again took the advice of their ancient [207]masters, and have opposed all the attempts that have been made for their formal and real reduction. Taúpan, who was, as it were, the dato or petty king of the Sámals, and who during the last year of his life, had kept at a certain distance from the Spaniards, although he did not for all that return entirely to the Moros, whom he had considered as a very bad lot, died. His eldest son, named Severo, although a heathen, showed us affection and respect, and had expressed to a Visayan in his confidence his desire to have one of his children baptized. The conversion of Severo would have been a great defeat for the party of the Moros in Sámal. Consequently, the eminent men among the Moro faction took alarm before the thought of Severo converted. No less than fourteen Moro datos of this gulf went to Sámal, and when they were all assembled, they elected as dato or chief of the Sámals not Severo to whom it belonged by hereditary right to succeed his father, according to the custom of the Sámals, but one who was thoroughly trusted by the Moros. That was one Captain Batúnun, that old man whom your Reverence saw in Sámal, and who talking as a Moro with Father Juanmartí, held that long spear in front of the governor of the district. Now then, there are two gobernadorcillos in Sámal: Severo, who besides being the legitimate successor of his father, was appointed captain or gobernadorcillo by Governor Don Joaquin Rajal; and Batúnun, elected by the Moro datos, as I have related, and that later than the official appointment of Severo. That means that they are resisting the orders of our government directly, in order to oppose our domination, and in order to recover the Moro practice of intermeddling in the [208]matters of the interior of the island of Sámal. It is to be noted that throughout the island of Sámal, and along its coasts, there does not exist any ranchería or group of Moros. Those who exercise that baleful influence over the Sámals are the Moros from other points, of which I have already made mention.

In regard to the Mandayas, whom the Moros will by no means recognize as freed [from their rule], they will neither recognize them as independent authorities, even with official titles which are sent by the governor of the district, and are stamped with the seal of the government, if the latter when appointed, do not communicate with them by means of the Moro datos. If the Mandayas show a decided desire to break that secular slavery, the Moros tell them without circumlocutions that they will disappear without knowing how; and they cause them to know underhandedly that the means which they will use to finish them, will be by the poisons which they possess—some of them feigned and named only to terrify the Mandayas, but others only too real and true.

As the crown to what I have related, and in order that your Reverence may be convinced of the resolute will of these Moros of opposing by all means the reduction of the heathens and the gathering of themselves together into formal villages, I will mention the most transcendent deed that has happened in this district since the coming of Oyangúren. This is the unfortunate killing and awful murder committed by the Moros of Tágum on the person of Governor Don José Pinzon y Purga and those who were with him.

By certain ill-informed persons, that tragic event has been ascribed to the urgency with which Pinzon, it is said, begged to wife the daughter of a dato of [209]Tágum. But being well informed by trustworthy persons contemporaneous with the event, who accompanied the governor on that sad journey, I am able to state that that idea is a calumny and destitute of every foundation of truth. The deed as is related by those persons, happened in the following manner. Señor Pinzon had proposed to establish a numerous reduction of Mandayas at the mouth of the Tágum River; and worked at it with great enthusiasm and good success. Everything was ready and the heathens were summoned for a given day, on which the said governor intended to go to inaugurate the said reduction. The Moros, seeing that the project was succeeding, and that all their plots in order to frustrate it were in vain, called in the rest of their malice, and resolved to kill the governor. In effect, they feigned that they were friendly to and desired the reduction. On the appointed day they assembled at the place where the Mandayas were to await the governor in order to plan the village. The first chief of the village arrived and the datos received him with great and feigned demonstrations of joy, and consented in all things to what the governor proposed. Then they invited him to one of their rancherías, where they said that they had prepared feasts in order to serve him and to solemnize the inauguration of the new village, with another unworthy offering, but one very suitable to the degrading customs of the Moros. There were not lacking those so bold as to advise the governor not to trust the Moros, for they were plotting some trick against him. But they say that he laughed at everything, and replied “I want to see whether what they tell me is true.” Therefore he took eight companions [210]and went with the datos to their ranchería. A feast was held there, and there was playing on culintángan, dances, etc., but not a woman, large or small, was to be seen in the whole ranchería. At the end of the ceremony, a dato invited the governor to enter an apartment, and when the latter was about to lift the curtain, at that moment the dato stabbed him violently in the back with his kris. Pinzon turned, and wounded as he was, advanced toward the murderer. Already did he have the latter at his mercy and unarmed, but before he could rise, another dato ran in, and cut off Pinzon’s head with a two-handed blow. Meanwhile the other Moros were murdering the eight companions of the unfortunate Pinzon in the lower part of the house.

Such is the blackest event registered by the annals of this gulf, which paralyzed for many years the reduction of the heathens.

In my opinion the means that will resist the evil influence of the Moros are: 1. To eliminate the offices of dato and pandita, implanting in their stead in the Moro villages the legislation in force in the Christian villages by naming municipalities with which the government will deal directly. 2. The exclusion of holding public offices to those who have been datos or panditas and their children. 3. Absolute prohibition to the datos to continue the collection of tribute from their own people and the heathens of other races. 4. The stipulation and publication of the autonomy of the heathens in regard to the Moros, prohibiting the latter absolutely from meddling in the affairs of the heathens. 5. The intimation to all the heathens and Moros of their obligation as men and as subjects of the crown of [211]España, to live in villages in a civilized manner. 6, and last. To reduce the Moros into the least possible number of groups and away from the mouths of the Tágum and Hijo rivers, where the members of the Mandaya race must construct their villages, that being the nearest location.

In my opinion the above are the means which, if faithfully followed out, will reduce the pernicious influence of the Moros to a cipher, and in a few years would cause an infinite number of villages to flourish, which could be formed from the great multitude of heathens of the various races who are scattered about the extensive gulf of Dávao. With that system, I also shelter the hope that very many Moros, who do not belong to the class of the datos and panditas, will enter, if it is not delayed, the net of Jesus Christ.

With the half company which is on duty here, together with the cuadrilleros and the marine forces who guard these waters, there is more than sufficient for the accomplishment of all that I have stated in the present letter.

I commend myself many times to the holy prayers of your Reverence.

Your Reverence’s servant in Christ,

Quiríco Moré, S. J. [212]

1 Fray Tomás Ortiz took the Augustinian habit at the age of nineteen, at the Valladolid convent in 1687. Within a short time after his arrival in Manila he became lecturer there (1695), and acted as secretary of the province. Soon however he went to China to engage in the mission work of that empire, and upon the expulsion of the missionaries in 1713, he was appointed prior of Manila, and in 1716 provincial. He filled other important posts in the mission work of the islands, and died at Manila in 1742. He composed numerous works in Spanish, Tagálog, and Chinese. See Perez’s Catálogo, pp. 167–173. A fuller account of his life is also given in vol. xxix of Revista Agustiniana.

2 The calumpang tree (Sterculia fœtida—Linn.) grows to a great size; its roots branch out half way up the trunk, and are so large that a roof could be laid over them so that they could be used as a dwelling. The fruit of this tree resembles a pomegranate, which divides when ripe into four quarters having certain kernels, from which an oil is extracted which is used for medicine, and which the natives use to anoint the hair. The wood is easy to work but is not very durable. See Delgado’s Historia, p. 457; Blanco’s Flora, p. 524; and Official Handbook of the Philippines, p. 346.

3 Many instances of ancestor worship by the peoples of the Philippines are recorded in this series. There is no evidence that suggests that the custom was borrowed from the Chinese. It had become the general rule almost in the Philippines to refer many things, the origin of which was unknown, to the Chinese.

4 This is the anting-anting. See Retana’s Aniterías, which gives examples of formulas, most of which are a meaningless conglomeration of words.

5 A Tagálog word for a sort of earthen vessel. See Noceda and Sanlucar’s Vocabulario de la lengua tagala.

6 The translation of the title-page of the Historia is as follows: “History of the Philipinas Islands, composed by the reverend father lector, Fray Joaquin Martinez de Zuñiga of the Order of St. Augustine, ex-definitor of his province, calificador of the Holy Office, and regular parish priest of the village of Parañaque. With the necessary licenses. Printed in Sampaloc, by Fray Pedro Argüelles de la Concepcion, Franciscan religious, in the year 1803.”

Joaquin Martínez de Zúñiga was one of the most illustrious men of the Augustinian order who ever labored in the Philippines. He was born in Aguilar in Navarra, February 19, 1760, and deciding to embrace the religious life professed in the Augustinian college at Valladolid January 26, 1779. Setting out for the Philippines in 1785, he remained one year in Mexico, before going to them, arriving in Manila, August 3, 1786. In the islands he learned the Tagálog language, and acted as minister-associate in Batangas and Tambobon for four years. In 1790 he was appointed lector [i. e., reader or lecturer], but was soon appointed parish priest of Hagonoy (1791). In 1792 he acted as secretary of the province, and in 1794 and 1797 administered the villages of Calumpit and Pasig respectively. Being invited by General Álava to accompany him on his tour of inspection among the islands, he did so, and the Estadismo (published in Madrid in 1893 by W. E. Retana) is the fruit of that journey. After returning to Manila, he took charge of the parish of Parañaque (1801–1806). In 1806 he was elected provincial of the order. He had also filled the office of definitor in 1794, and was a calificador of the Holy Office. After his provincialate he resumed charge of the ministry of Parañaque which he held until his death (March 7, 1818). The Historia has been translated into English by John Maver and printed in two editions. He is said also to have translated, annotated, and printed the work of Le Gentil, but which Retana (Estadismo, i, pp. xviii, xxix) says cannot now be found. Apropos of this, Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera sends a copy of the title-page of a MS. of this Spanish work which is as follows: “Voyage of M. Le Gentil, to the Philipinas Islands, translated from the French into the Spanish, by the very reverend father lector, Fray Joaquin Martinez de Zuñiga.... The translator adds some notes in which he reveals and refutes many errors of the author.” Pardo de Tavera says that this MS. is unpublished and that its existence is unsuspected and not known even by the Augustinians. See Pérez’s Catáloga, pp. 346–348, and Pardo de Tavera’s Biblioteca Filipina (Washington, 1903), p. 252.

7 Louis Lapicque, chief of the laboratory of the faculty of Medicine in Paris, was commissioned by the Minister of Public Instruction in 1892 to study the question of the distribution of the Negrito and to collect data concerning that race. He spent the months of March-December 1893 in this study, working in the Andaman Islands, the Mergui Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and the Malay Peninsula, and considering also in his report the inhabitants of other places, especially the Philippines. He brings out the interesting conclusion that the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands are perhaps the purest race in existence, and that they are closely allied to the Negritos of the Philippines. Both being brachycephalic, they are thus differentiated from the African negro, who is dolichocephalic. See Annales de Géographie, v, pp. 407–424. Wm. A. Reed (Negritos of Zambales, p. 34) gives the average of the cephalic index of the nineteen individuals whom he was able to measure as 82 for the males and 86 for the females.

8 Angola, formerly called Dongo or Ambonde, is located on the west coast of Africa. Its coast was discovered in 1486 by the Spaniards who still own it.

9 Of the Bontoc Igorot, Albert Ernest Jenks, chief of the Ethnological Survey of the Philippines, says (The Bontoc Igorot, Manila, 1905, p. 14): “He belongs to that extensive stock of primitive people of which the Malay is the most commonly named. I do not believe he has received any of his characteristics, as a group, from either the Chinese or Japanese, though this theory has frequently been presented.”

10 That the theory of the origin of the Filipino peoples here expressed is false needs no demonstration. The peoples of the Philippines show two stocks—the Malayan and the Negrito. The inhabitants of the Polynesian Islands (using the term in its restricted sense) probably migrated from the East Indies and hence are allied to the modern Malayan peoples, and the same is true of the Huvas of Madagascar, having migrated from the parent stock from which the latter peoples originated. Sec Cust’s Modern Languages of East India (London, 1878); and New International Encyclopædia; Lesson’s Les Polynésiens (Paris, 1880–84); and Ratzel’s History of Mankind (English translation, London, 1898).

11 The San Duisk Islands are the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands; and the Otayti Islands are the Society Islands, so called from their largest island O-Taiti, Taiti, or Tahiti. The group of the Society Islands, of which Tahiti is chief, is called Windward Islands.

12 Easter Island, so called because discovered by Roggeveen on Easter of 1772; called also Waihu, Teapi, and by the natives Rapanui. The inhabitants of this island are the last outpost of the Malayo-Polynesian race. It has belonged to Chile since 1888.

13 The Tagálog word for “house” is bahay, not balay.

14 A reference to La Araucana, a Spanish epic poem written by Alonso de Ercilla y Zuñiga, the first part of which (15 cantos) was published at Madrid, 1569. This is the first work of literary merit known to have been composed upon either American continent. Ercilla y Zuñiga accompanied Felipe II to England on the occasion of his marriage to Mary Tudor. Thence he went to Chile with the army to fight the rebellious Araucanians. He was accused of having plotted an insurrection, and was condemned to death but the sentence was commuted to exile to Callao. He returned to Spain in 1562 and being coldly received wandered through various European countries until 1580 when he died in Madrid poor and forgotten. The continuations of his poem consisting of 37 cantos in all, were published in 1578 and 1590. The complete poem is published in vol. 17 of Autores españoles (Madrid, 1851). See New International Encyclopædia, and Grande Encyclopédie.

15 In May, 1874, three canoes containing sixteen savages were driven by gales from the Pelew Islands, and after drifting on the ocean sixty days reached Formosa, distant 1,600 miles; and all but one survived these hardships—a striking example of endurance in both themselves and their craft (Davidson, Formosa, p. 215).

16 Charles Wilkes was born in New York City, in 1798. He entered the U. S. navy as midshipman in 1818, and sailed in the Mediterranean and Pacific. He became lieutenant in 1826, and was placed in charge of the department of charts and instruments in 1830. In 1838, he was placed in charge of the expedition authorized by Congress in 1836 for the purpose of exploring and surveying the southern ocean. This was the first scientific expedition fitted out by the United States government, and much valuable information resulted from it. Of the record of the expedition (which lasted during the years 1838–1842) consisting of nineteen volumes, Wilkes wrote the six containing the narrative and the volumes on meteorology and hydrography. In 1843 he was made a commander, and a captain in 1855. He served through most of the Civil war on the northern side and was the one who removed the Confederate commissioners Slidell and Mason from the English mail boat “Trent,” November 8, 1861. He was made a commodore in July 1862, retired in June 1864, and created a rear admiral on the retired list, in 1866. His death occurred in 1877. The names of the vessels in his fleet were the sloops of war “Vincennes” and “Peacock,” the brig “Porpoise,” the store-ship “Relief,” and the two tenders, “Sea-Gull,” and “Flying-Fish.” See Introduction to Vol. i. of Wilkes’s narrative, and New International Encyclopædia.

17 i.e., The island of Busuang̃a, the largest of the Calamianes group, which has an area of 390 square miles. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 274.

18 i.e., The island of Ambolón, south of Mindoro, of four square miles. See ut supra, i, p. 267.

19 The island of Simara, near Romblón.

20 “Although Spain had jurisdiction over these islands for more than three centuries, little topographic information had been acquired regarding them, except such as was of a very general character. The coasts were badly mapped, and in many places are now known to have been miles out of position. The coast charts, made from Spanish surveys, are so inaccurate as to be, on the whole, worse than useless to mariners, while of the interior of the larger islands, little was known except what could be seen from the sea.” Census of the Philippines, i, p. 51.

21 The population is given by the Census for 1903 (ii, p. 30) as 743,646.

22 On my arrival at Singapore, this circumstance was investigated by a court of inquiry. The result showed that Mr. Knox had no knowledge of the Vincennes having been seen; for the officer of the watch had not reported to him the fact.—Wilkes.

23 The full name of this village is San José de Buenavista. It is the capital of Antique.

24 The crest of the mountains in Panay is a few miles inland from the west coast. Among the peaks of that range, are the following: Usigan, 4,300 ft.; Agótay, 3,764 ft.; Madiaás, 7,466 ft.; Nangtud, 6,834 ft.; Maymagui, 5,667 ft.; Llorente, 4,466 ft.; Tiguran, 4,900 ft.; and Igbanig, 4,343 ft. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 69.

25 Wilkes accompanies (p. 349) this description of Caldera fort with a sketch.

26 There are two islands called Sangboy, one called the north island and the other the south island. They both belong to the Pilas group of the Sulu Archipelago, and are less than one square mile in area. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 283.

27 Wilkes presents figures of both the whole canoe and a cross section, on p. 353.

28 For the methods of fishing in the Philippines, see Official Handbook, p. 151. Wilkes also mentions (v, pp. 321, 322) various methods, namely, by weirs, hooks, and seine. The former are made of bamboo stakes in the shallow waters of the lake of Bay where it empties into the Pasig. The nets used in the bay are suspended by the four corners from hoops attached to a crane by which they are lowered into the water. The fishing-boats are little better than rafts and are called saraboas.

29 Evidently at the village of Joló.

30 On p. 354, Wilkes presents a sketch of houses at Soung—the typical Moro house.

31 A full-page engraving of the “Mosque in the town of Sooloo” faces page 354 of Wilkes’s narrative.

32 Chewing the betel-nut and pepper-leaf also produce this effect, and is carried on to a great extent among these islanders.—Wilkes.

33 Cf. the description of the betel caskets given by Morga, VOL. XVI, p. 99.

34 The Sultan, on the visit of one of our merchant-vessels, had informed the supercargo that he wished to encourage our trade, and to see the vessels of the United States coming to his port.—Wilkes.

35 An engraving made from this sketch is given by Wilkes facing p. 358.

36 Opium is known by its Arabic name “afyun” throughout the Eastern Archipelago. Crawfurd asserts that its moderate use produces no worse results than does the moderate use of wine, spirits, and perhaps smoking. Shortly after American occupation of the Philippines, the necessity for taking some action in regard to the traffic was seen. The Philippine Commission were convinced that the smoking of opium was increasing among the Filipinos. Accordingly a committee was appointed to study the conditions, and restrictions of other Oriental countries in regard to opium. There were then practically no restrictions in regard to the smoking of the drug. On August 1, 1903, there were 190 opium dens in Manila, and no license was required, as they had no authority in law. The vice was mainly restricted to the Chinese. In 1904 a considerable amount of opium was smuggled into the district of Lanao in Mindanao. “Nothing has had a more demoralizing effect upon the Moros and savage peoples than opium, and it will absolutely destroy them if its importation and use is authorized.... It is believed that a license to smoke opium, sufficiently low to escape fraud, should be issued for those hopelessly addicted to the habit, and that exceedingly severe penalties should attach to those who furnish opium to youth or those who are nonsmokers.... It is a poor policy in developing a people to count on the income of legalized vice for a large portion of the revenue, as is done in most eastern colonies.” The importation of opium has shown considerable increase during American occupation. See Crawfurd’s Dictionary, pp. 312–314; and the following reports of the Philippine Commission—for 1903, pt. i, p. 63, pt. 2, p. 96; for 1904, pt. 2, pp. 590, 591, pt. 3, p. 545.

37 Since our return, inquiries have been made by him, which resulted in proving that such was in truth their origin, and that the vessel in which they were shipped was for a long time missing. The identical stones which he saw were a part of a monument that was on its way to Canton.—Wilkes.

38 Marongas belongs to the Joló group of the Sulu Archipelago, and has an area of .4 square miles. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 284.

39 The Sulug or Sulus were the dominant people of Joló before their conversion to Mahometanism, and still maintain that position. The bulk of the Moro Sulus is on the island of Joló and the islands immediately south as far as Siassi and Pandami. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 463, 464.

40 Orang is the Malay term for man or human being. As used here it would mean “the men,” i. e., “nobles.”

41 The tripang or sea-slug (Holothuria edulis), which is esteemed as a great delicacy by the Chinese.

42 Evidently the people called Guimbajanos by the historians of the eighteenth century. From Wilkes’s description, they would appear to be at least partially Negrito.

43 Banjarmasin is a principality and river on the southern side of Borneo, the word meaning in Javanese “salt or saline garden.” The sovereignty of Banjarmasin is said in olden times to have extended over all of southeastern Borneo. See Crawfurd’s Dictionary (pp. 36, 37), where an historical sketch of the principality is given.

44 The Chinese emperor at this time was Choo Yuen Chang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, who defeated Chunti, the last of the Mongol dynasty, in 1367, and ruled from then until the year 1398. He adopted as emperor the name of Hongwon. The statements in the text may be only common report. See Boulger’s Short History of China, pp. 79–87.

45 See Montero y Vidal’s account of Joloan affairs during this period, in his Historia, i, pp. 475–548, 561–581, ii, pp. 6–77, 575, 576.

46 Manila was captured by the English October 6 (or, October 5, according to Spanish reckoning), 1762 (not 1763). See A plain Narrative (London, 1565?), p. 4.

47 This name is derived from the large bay that makes in on the south side of the island of Mindanao, and on which a set of free-booters reside.—Wilkes.

This is the bay of Illana. Illano or Illanum means “people of the lake.” At present they inhabit the south coast of Mindanao from Punta [de] Flechas to Polloc. They are but few in number, but in the past have been bold pirates. They are probably closely connected with the Malanao or Moros dwelling in the valley of Lake Lanao. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 466, 472.

48 Pulo Toolyan is Tulaian of the Jolo group of the Sulu Archipelago, with an area of .5 sq. mi.; Tonho may be Tang̃o or Tangu of the Tawi Tawi group; Pilas is the chief island of its group, with an area of 8.2 sq. mi.; Tawi Tawi is the chief island of its group, with an area of 232 sq. mi.; Sumlout is perhaps Simaluc, of the Tawi Tawi group, with an area of 1.3 sq. mi.; Pantutaran is perhaps Pantocunan, of the Joló group, with an area of .6 sq. mi.; Parodasan is perhaps Parangaan of the Tawi Tawi group, or Parang̃an of the Tapul group; Basilan is the chief island of its group, with an area of 478 sq. mi. See Census of Philippines, i.

49 In 1861 a number of light steam gunboats with steel hulls and of twenty or thirty horsepower were constructed in England for the Spaniards for use against the Moro pirates; and they were very effective in reducing piracy, both in the Lake Lanao district and that of Mindanao and the adjacent islands. See Montero y Vidal’s Historia, iii, pp. 327, 328, and elsewhere; and Historia de la piratería, ii.

50 The sea-gypsies. See VOL. XXXVI, p. 199, note 38.

51 This treaty is as follows:

[Preceding the text of the treaty are some Arabic characters.]

I, Mohamed, Sultan of Sooloo, for the purpose of encouraging trade with the people of the United States of America, do promise hereby and bind myself that I will afford full protection to all vessels of the United States, and their commanders and crews visiting any of the islands of my dominions, and they shall be allowed to trade on the terms of the most favoured nation, and receive such provisions and necessaries as they may be in want of.

2dly. In case of shipwreck or accident to any vessel, I will afford them all the assistance in my power, and protect the persons and property of those wrecked, and afford them all the assistance in my power for its preservation and safe-keeping, and for the return of the officers and crews of said vessels to the Spanish settlements, or wherever they may wish to proceed.

3dly. That any one of my subjects who shall do any injury or harm to the commanders or crews belonging to American vessels, shall receive such punishment as his crime merits.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, in presence of the datus and chiefs at Soung, island of Sooloo.

February 5th, 1842.

[Here follows a signature in Arabic characters.]


Charles Wilkes,
Commanding Exploring Expedition.

William L. Hudson,
Late Commanding U. S. Ship Peacock.

R. R. Waldron,
Purser, U. S. Exploring Expedition.

52 Pang̃utárang is the largest island of the numerous group of the same name belonging to the Sulu Archipelago, and has an area of 42 square miles. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 284.

53 Cagayan Sulu has an area of 27 square miles. It is located in a group of 31 islands. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 286.

54 According to Census of Philippines (i, p. 28, ii, p. 123), the area of the Davao district is 9,707 square miles, and the total population 65,496, of whom 45,272 are uncivilized.

55 José Oyangúren was a native of Guipúzcoa who went to the Philippines in 1825, leaving Spain for political reasons. He passed several years in the province of Caraga (now Surigao), engaged in business, and in the Calamianes. For a number of years also he occupied the judicial post in Tondo. In 1846 he was deprived of that post because such officials were thereafter appointed in Madrid. On hearing of the cession of the gulf of Davao by the sultan to the Spaniards, he visited that region. On his return he proposed to Governor Clavería to conquer and subdue the entire gulf district, expel or pacify the Moros there, and establish the Christian religion, if he were given supplies and equipment, the command of the district, and exclusive rights of trade therein. A decree issued by Clavería February 27, 1847, gave him the command for ten years and exclusive rights of trade for the first six years. He was also given artillery, muskets, and ammunition, and permission to raise a company. By the beginning of 1849 he was in peaceful possession of the entire coast-line of the gulf and then turned his attention into the interior. The government, however, did not live up to its promises, and Oyangúren after the death of Clavería was removed from his command. The last years of his life (1852–1859) were spent in the fruitless endeavor to obtain what had been promised him. See Montero y Vidal’s Hist. piratería, i, pp. 382–403.

56 A vessel for the coasting trade in the Philippines. See New Velázquez Dictionary.

57 The island of Sámal is located in the Gulf of Davao, and has an area of 147 square miles. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 282.

58 This is the Tagálog word for the upper part of a village. It seems here to mean the eastern mountainous district of Surigao.

59 Of the tribes of Mindanao, Census of Philippines, i, p. 462, says: “Going eastward in Mindanao and passing by the central lake region, which is inhabited entirely by Lanao Moros, we come to other tribes, which, so far as I have seen, differ in no essential from the Subanon.... Around the headwaters of the Rio Grande de Mindanao they are called Manobo. South of the Rio Grande they are called Tiruray, Bilan, Manobo, and other names. The reason for the use of these different terms is not satisfactorily explained. There are doubtless changes of dialect between them comparable to the changes we find among the Igorots in northern Luzón, but I believe it is hardly justifiable to break up into separate tribes or divisions a population so thoroughly homogeneous as these pagans of Mindanao appear to be.”

60 Sangil is a local term apparently derived from the volcano of the same name. It is sometimes applied as a collective title for pagan tribes of that region and sometimes to the Maguindanao Moros, who have settled between Craan and Makar. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 476.

61 The Tagacaolos are closely related to the Bagobos. The word is probably derived from “olo,” meaning “head,” and thus “source” (of a river), the particle ka, “toward,” and the prefix taga. The entire word thus means “people who go up toward the source of the river,” to distinguish them from the “Tagabawa,” people who live in the lowlands, bawa meaning “down,” the “region low down.” See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 462, 476.

62 This promise was fulfilled June 21 of the same year, and the letter is given in the Cartas, pp. 93–111.

63 i. e., The district ruled over by a dato.

64 The pagatpat (Sonneratia), called also palapad and palatpat, is frequently found along the beaches. It grows to the height of twenty feet or so. Its wood is strong and is used in ordinary construction. The fruit is very sour and a vinegar is made from it. See Blanco, pp. 296, 297.


Letter from Father Pedro Rosell1 to the Father Superior of the Mission2

My dearly beloved Father Superior in Christ:

Although it is scarcely three weeks since my arrival from the visit which Father Pastells and I made to the villages of the southern part of this mission, I received your Reverence’s both affectionate and short letter of December 30 of last year, together with the authorizations which you were pleased to send me under separate covers. Ex intimo corde3 I acknowledge to your Reverence both letter and authorizations, and give you a thousand thanks for them. And now desiring to pay so pleasing a favor with something more [than thanks], I am going to write you a minute relation of the last two excursions that we two fathers made together, for I know the great consolation that your Reverence receives by the reading of such relations, for besides the fact that you learn from them of the condition and progress [213]of your dear missions and of the fathers and brothers who work in them, whom your Reverence loves with the true love of a father, there is also seen in the same relations the not small fruit that is obtained in souls by the mercy of God. Almost never is there lacking the relation of some remarkable event or edifying deed in the conquest of the heathens to our holy faith, which recreates the spirit and invites one to praise the goodness of our sweet Jesus. Some events of such a nature have occurred during the last two excursions which I have carefully noted in order to relate them to your Reverence.

We made our first excursion in December of last year, after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the most holy Virgin to the visita of Santa Fe, which is distant two hours’ journey from this capital, and which is located at the end of the small bay which is the terminal of Points Alisud de Caraga, and Sancol de Manurigao. About five hundred and sixty-nine Christians who have been reduced from the beliefs of the Mandayas in the space of the eight years since it was founded by our fathers, form its population. This village is one of the three which have been for a considerable time the aim of the repeated attacks of the Baganís or assassins of the mountains of Bungádon and Manlubúan. During the same days that we stayed there, the murder of three Mandayas, sácopes of Captain Ciriaco Lanquibo, who was recently converted to Christianity, happened in the fields which are located between that village and that of Manurígao. A week after we had returned to Caraga, we were informed that another like murder had been committed on another unfortunate friendly Mandaya near the said village [214]of San Luis. So bold do those barbarians show themselves, because there is no force with which to pursue them, and they feel so secure in the places where they reside!

At the date on which we went to Santa Fe, it had been quite a long time since the said village had experienced any aggression from the baganis. Consequently, the people were living somewhat free from their past misery, and relieved of the frequent alarms and consequent frights. However, they were suffering great famine on account of the said aggressions, and because they had lost almost all the crops of maize and sweet potatoes (the only things which they cultivate), during that time because of the great and prolonged heat and the lack of rain. They were supporting themselves on the few sweet potatoes that had been saved, thanks to the humidity of the ground, and the shade of the trees, and on the soft parts of convolvulus and palms which grow along the shores of the rivers. In spite of so many and so severe troubles, thanks be to God, there has not been hitherto, but two families of San Luis who have become fugitives. That action has not at all been because they repent of having become Christians, but for other very different reasons. Those families have, however, now established relations with the father and promised him to abandon the Dacungbanua or lands of Magdagasang, where they are living at present, as soon as they shall have harvested the palay of their fields, and settle in a village other than the one in which they lived formerly. What a fine example, then, Father Superior, of Christian fidelity and resignation have those newly-reduced people given us in general, and how evident a proof [215]of their true conversion to Christianity! In my opinion, these are results that ought to be attributed, after divine Grace (without which no good thing can be done), especially to the plan which Father Pastells has always followed in so far as it has been allowed him, in the reduction of heathens. It is exclusively a system of attraction by means of great charity, great mildness, continual patience, and solid foundations upon which the village recently established rests; namely, the foundations of a good inspector who continues to form gradually in the village the good customs of the Christians, of good authorities who rule and govern the people without exactions and injustice, or excessive rigor, of good masters who instruct and educate the children, with the visit of the father, as often as possible in order further to exercise his spiritual ministries, and to ascertain how they all observe their important obligations.

Coming back, now, from this long digression, your Reverence, Father Superior, could not imagine with what pleasure and blessings the Christians of those three visitas above mentioned, of Santa Fe, Manurígao, and San Luis, received the palay which your Reverence gave as an alms for the relief of those places because of that great scarcity of food of which I have spoken above. The heads of the families could not restrain their joy when they found themselves with palay which could be distributed to each one, although it was, it is true, very little compared to their great necessity. “How troublesome we are to you, Fathers,” they said, “and how much patience you must have with us. But God will be able to repay you superabundantly for the good that [216]you are doing us. Had we not received help, of a truth, our sick and stricken would have died of hunger and poor food. But now with this palay, we shall have enough to put new life into us, and we shall keep some of it for a small field, which will give us hopes of enduring the famine better later on.” So did the poor wretches express themselves. They really planted their fields with the little palay which they could set aside for it; and at the date of the writing of this letter, some fields are seen so luxuriant and with so fine a heading of grain that within one month they are promised a moderate harvest. May God in His goodness preserve those fields and cause them to bear one hundred per cent.

The day following our arrival at Santa Fe, and the succeeding days, we managed to assemble in the convent all the Mandayas who appeared in the village. Father Pastells exhorted them to receive the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and many of them were baptized. Some of them obstinately refused, giving no other reason for their refusal, if reason it can be called, than Ualay gusto co, “I do not wish it.” And they could not be changed from that decision, notwithstanding all our arguments and eloquence. That happens to us at various times so that we missionaries may learn that the faith and baptism are gifts of his divine generosity, and that if God do not illumine and impel them with His powerful grace, in vanum laboravimus.4 But if some of them resisted divine Grace, others, God be thanked, yielded to it, and gladly received holy baptism. All together, adults and children, we baptized forty. Among that number three women whom we call bailanas are [217]worthy of special mention. Those women were clad in their baro or doublet, of a deep-red color throughout, a dress which is peculiar to their profession, and which differentiates them from other women. Since I have mentioned these important persons of Mandaya society, it will not be outside of my design, nor will it be without interest for your Reverence, to say something about the same. The bailanas are, as it were, the priestesses of the Mandayas. They exercise the functions of priestesses, for they offer sacrifices and other offerings to their false gods, invoke them for the cure of their sick, consult them in cases of necessity, etc., etc. Consequently, they possess considerable authority and influence among the Mandayas, since the latter look upon them as mediators between them and their gods, the instruments through whom is transmitted the will and mysterious orders of the gods, and, finally, as persons superior to themselves, although they may be baganis or petty kings, inasmuch as they believe them to be in direct communication with their gods or invisible spirits. This class of sharpers are not few among the Mandayas, both because those people are very superstitious and believe that their persons and whatever surrounds them are under the influence of good and evil spirits, and because the profession of bailan is a lucrative trade. For, for every religious act that the bailanas perform at the request of another, they receive their fee or at least they have a share of the sacrifice or offering that is made to the gods. Hence those women are the most difficult to attract to our holy faith, and even to enter the presence of the father missionary. For they fear that they will lose their influence, their repute, and their [218]easy living, if they become Christians. Poor creatures, how mistaken they are!

And now your Reverence may behold one of their pagdiuatas or sacrifices which they perform in honor of their gods, Mansilátan and Badla. Several bailanas assemble in the place assigned for the purpose, together with those persons interested and invited to take part in it. They erect a sort of small altar on which they place the manáugs or images of the said gods which are made of the special wood of the báyog tree,5 which they destine exclusively for this use. When the unfortunate hog which is to serve for the sacrifice is placed above the said altar, the chief bailana approaches with balarao or dagger in hand, which she brandishes and drives into the poor animal, which will surely be grunting in spite of the gods and of the religious solemnity, as it is fearful of what is going to happen to it; and leaves the victim sweltering in its blood. Then immediately all the bailanas drink of the blood in order to attract the prophetic spirit to themselves and to give their auguries or the supposed inspirations of their gods. Scarcely have they drunk the blood, when they become as though possessed by an infernal spirit which agitates them and makes them tremble as does the body of a person with the ague or like one who shivers with the cold. They seize in their hands a gong to which they give repeated blows with the third finger, snapping it with the thumb, thus making a kind of toccata with it. While they are doing this, after having belched forth a few dozen of times, [219]they invoke the above-mentioned gods Mansilátan and Badla, to whom they chant the following Mandayan song:

Miminsad, miminsad si Mansilátan

Opod si Badla nga magadayao nang dunia.

Bailan, managunsáyao,

Bailan, managunlíguit.6

This means in Spanish: “Mansilátan has come down, has come down. Later [will come] Badla, who will preserve the earth. Bailanas, dance; bailanas, turn ye round about.” As soon as the invocation has concluded bailanas and non-bailanas, that is to say, all the people who have gathered, dance and cry out like disorderly persons, devour the hog, and end by getting drunk. Such is the conclusion and end of the demoniacal bucolic feast to the gods Mansilátan and Badla.

And although these things are so, the Catholic apologist will not fail to comprehend the most important teachings which he could utilize as a confirmation of the most transcendental questions of our true religion. For leaving aside the action of the sacrifice and the ceremonies that accompany it, is there not some glimpse in that song, Miminsad, miminsad si Mansilátan, etc., although an imperfect one, of the dogmas of the plurality of persons in God, and of the creation and redemption of the world? Indeed, it is so, and more if one keep in mind the signification in which the Mandayas understand it, according to the ancient and constant oral tradition received from their ancestors. That tradition which [220]gives the true meaning to those verses has been taken down by Father Pastells from the mouth of many tigúlang or old men who have been converted to Christianity. It is as follows. Mansilátan, the principal god and father of Badla, descended from the heavens where he dwells in order to create the world. Afterward his only son Badla came down also to preserve and protect the world—that is men and things—against the power and trickery of the evil spirits, Pudaúgnon and Malímbung, the latter a woman and the former a man, who are trying by continual artifices to harm and injure them. Those evil spirits did not obtain nor will they ever obtain their most evil intents to destroy the earth and mankind, for they are under the power and protection of the powerful and invisible god Badla. Consequently, and in view of so great love and mercy on the part of the latter and because of so much goodness on the part of his father Mansilátan, the bailanas who are the priestesses of the same, can never do less than be joyful, and in the transports of their joy invite one another to dance and circle about their revered images as an act of reverence to so great benefactors. Also there is not wanting among the beliefs of the Mandayas one which gives, although in a confused and corrupted manner, the idea of the Holy Spirit, thereby completing the mystery of the holy Trinity. For they say that, from Mansilátan, the father of Badla his only son, also proceeds the god Búsao, who is nothing else than the omnipotent virtue of the former. This last is communicated to some men preeminent in valor and skill for their combats, so that it makes them strong and valiant above other men. Those privileged men who are animated by the spirit [221]of Búsao are called in the Mandaya language baganis, which means valiant.

And now I desire to call your Reverence’s attention to those two spirits, Pudaúgnon and Malímbung, of whom I made mention above. Does it not seem to you, Father Superior, that they are an image, although disfigured, of that malign spirit and chief of all tempters, Lucifer, who caused Eve to fall by his lies and deceit, and by means of the latter, conquered and overthrew Adam, from which originated the ruin of all the human race and the innumerable ills that inundate the earth? It is quite apparent that there is something in that, and that opinion does not seem ill founded if we consider the etymology of the words Pudaúgnon and Malímbung, and the explanation which the Mandayas give of the said spirits. For, first, the word Pudaúgnon is derived from the root daug, which means “to conquer,” “to tempt,” and from the particles pu or pa, and non or on, which make the root a substantive adjective, and the resultant meaning is, if the person is a man, as in this case, “he who tempts” or “the tempter.” So also Malímbung is composed of the root límbung, which means “to deceive,” and the particle ma which makes it a substantive adjective. Thus it means, the subject being a woman, “she who deceives” or “the deceiver.” The Mandayas say, then, of those evil spirits that Pudaúgnon, the wicked and mortal enemy of mankind, strong as a man (which he is) and powerful as a spirit, pursues, attacks, and injures poor mortals as much as he is allowed; and that Malímbung, cunning and artful as a wicked woman, and endowed with an irresistible force of seduction like a spirit (which she is also) seduces by [222]her deceits, and causes the strongest men, who do not guard against her wiles, to fall. In this woman, is there not a picture of Eve, the unhappy Eve, possessed for her sin, by the spirit of her tempter Lucifer, seduced and seductive, with whose golden cords, Adam, the most lofty cedar of Lebanon in this world, was bound and was dashed into the deepest depths of evil?7

But let us return to those three bailanas of whom I spoke above, and who have given rise to this digression. One of them, an old woman, indeed very old, since she was about seventy years old, at the exhortation of Father Pastells to become a Christian and abandon the foolishness of the Mandayas, which are no other than the deceits of the devil, became possessed or rather seemed to become possessed with that bailan spirit of which I spoke above, and began to tremble from head to foot. Did that knavish bailan divinity know beforehand what was about to happen to him, and that he had to leave the house in which he had lived for so long a time? But his apparent possession of the foolish old woman, and the trembling of her body did not last long, when he saw and heard the derisive guffaws of laughter from all the Christians who were present. Ah! this was without doubt the reason which made that invisible spirit, in shame at having been so illtreated by the fathers and by the Christians present, hasten to issue forth, and escape with all speed toward hell, [223]or to the body of another bailana of the mountain who would treat him better. Finally the poor old woman, like her associates in the profession, surrendered to the exhortations of the father, or rather, to the grace of the Holy Spirit, and they consented to receive holy baptism. How beautiful and how consoling it was to hear from those lips which had invoked more than a thousand times perhaps, the infernal spirits hidden under the names of Mansilátan, Badla, Búsao, Tagabánua, etc., respond affirmatively and with deep conviction of spirit to the following questions of Father Pastells. “Do you believe,” he asked each one, “all that God has revealed and what the holy Catholic Church teaches us?” “Yes, I believe.” “Do you renounce the beliefs of the Mandayas, and all their lies and works of iniquity?” “Yes, I renounce.” “Do you give your heart wholly and without reserve to God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and to Jesus Christ his only son, the Redeemer of the world?” “Yes, in truth, I do give it entirely.” “Do you desire in good faith to receive holy baptism?” “I wish it right gladly.” After that so express profession of faith, the three bailanas, together with the other baptized adults, were fittingly instructed in the mysteries of our holy religion and in their duties as Christians. Then, according to the custom introduced by our fathers, they were stript of the garments of their heathenism, and they were clothed in the garments of the Christians, which were lent for the occasion, as the new clothes which were given to them as a present were not yet made; and holy baptism was conferred on them to the great joy of all.

On the thirteenth of the same month of December, [224]when we had concluded our occupation in the holy faith, we returned to Caraga, postponing for a later time, although we regretted it keenly, the visit to the small villages near Manurígao and San Luis; for we were compelled to return as I had not yet performed the holy exercises of the year, and it was near the feast of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That fine feast came, and I saw for the first time how the good inhabitants of Caraga celebrated it. I noted no rich jewels and refined music in the church. All was simplicity and poverty, like a new parish recently separated from its metropolitan, and given over to its own life with few resources, in a most wretched country. Neither did I observe in the village anything of that excessive luxury, and the annoying diversions with which in other parts, the Christians of divided heart try falsely to honor God. Caraga, in spite of its antiquity of two centuries, with its excellent lands, and its established reputation of producing excellent cacao, coffee,8 and [225]tobacco, is a small, poor, and simple village. The chief causes of that are that it has been deserted by several old families who have settled in the small villages recently established, and although it has increased somewhat with the new Christians, who have been converted from the beliefs of the Mandayas, the latter are as a rule, both simple and indolent and but little accustomed to work, and they need rather to be aided, instead of being able to give aid to the others. But the reason which has had, and has, most influence in the above is their isolation which is caused by the very poor sea and land communication which make that region the most remote and forgotten one of these islands and (if I may use the word), as it were, the finis terræ.9 Hence, it receives but little life from without, and is forced to live on its narrow resources and few means of subsistence.

Consequently, wholly and precisely for the above reasons, its method of existence and of celebrating its feasts has, I know not what, which attracts and satisfies. This is born of the characteristic simplicity and open and jovial nature of these people of Caraga, from the fraternal union with which all, both great and small, those who have something and those who have nothing, unite to take part in the feasts and common joy, and finally from the expansive communication, without an admixture of any sort of fear, which they have with the father missionaries whom they regard and love as their dear fathers.

And now you shall see, Father Superior, the religious ceremonies with which we managed to honor [226]the birth of our Blessing, Jesus. As a preparation for the feast [of Christmas] the [feast of the] expectation of the delivery of our Lady was celebrated one week beforehand, and a daily mass of the Queen [i.e., of the Virgin] which a moderate number of persons attended. On the last day or the vigil of the feast, a pleasing, although simple Belen10 was made at one side of the presbytery in which were placed the images of the Child, Mary, and Joseph. Christmas eve came, and at eleven o’clock the bells were rung loudly, and from half past eleven until twelve, a continual ringing of bells two at a time announced to the people that the mass called Gallo11 was to be celebrated in memory of that holy hour in which the eternal Son of God the Father, made man in the most pure entrails of the Virgin Mary willed to be born on that poor and abandoned manger threshold [portal de Belen]. Hence when twelve o’clock had struck, the missa-cantata12 was said, which was followed by the adoration of the holy Child. That was made enjoyable by the singing of some fine Christmas carols. The twenty-fifth dawned bright and joyful. At eight o’clock in the morning solemn mass13 was celebrated, which was chanted according to custom by the choir of singers of the [227]church, with the accompaniment of two flutes and a tambourine. About one hundred persons took communion at it. There was a sermon, and at the end of the mass, there was another adoration of the Child Jesus. At the end of the function, the authorities and chiefs of the village came to visit us as they are wont to do during all the great feasts of the year. After that the musicians and singers congratulated us for the good Christmas from the hall of the convent, with toccatas according to the custom of this country, and Christmas carols. After them followed a crowd of people of all classes. What arrested my attention most was the liberty with which they went up and down stairs, hither and thither, and addressed the fathers and begged for what they needed. I will say it: the convent appeared nothing more nor less than a Casa-Pairal.14 Since the ceremonies of the morning were so long, nothing was done in the afternoon except to have the adoration of the holy Child, a thing which those excellent and simple people enjoy greatly and never tire of doing. With that the feast of the nativity of our Lord ended.

Father Pastells and I passed that feast excellently, as also those of the new year and twelfth night. So far as I am concerned, the three days exercise for the renewal of the holy vows which I made on the last named day, according to the custom of the Society, contributed much to it. One thing only was lacking to us in order to complete in some manner the joy of Christmas, namely, the traditional nougat which had not reached us from Surigao. But the good Jesus did not neglect to have it reach us, although late, in order that we might be regaled with it on His [228]glorious day of the feast of the Resurrection. May He be forever blessed and may He give us His holy grace in order that we may love and serve Him until death, et ultra.15

We two fathers stayed here in Caraga until Ash Wednesday. After that we undertook the second journey of which I spoke at the beginning of my letter. But, since I see that this letter is growing too long, I shall keep the relation of the events of that journey for another letter, which I shall endeavor to send by next post.

I commend myself to the holy prayers and sacrifices of your Reverence.

Your servant in Christ,

Pedro Rosell, S. J. [229]

1 Pedro Rosell, S. J., was born at Lérida September 4, 1849, and entered his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, October 2, 1878, being already a priest. He went to the Philippines in 1880, and died in Caraga, January 4, 1888. See Sommervogel’s Bibliothèque.

2 This mission belongs to the district of Misámis.

3 i.e., From my inmost heart.

4 i.e., We have labored in vain.

5 The bayog (Pterospermum hastatum) is often found along the Batangas beach and in other places. Oars are made of the wood which is soft and light. See Blanco, pp. 367, 368.

6 See citation of these verses and brief description of the sacrifice by Pablo Pastells, in VOL. XII, p. 270, note 83.

7 It is difficult to believe that this eloquent passage was written so recently as 1885. It furnishes a striking proof of the medievalism of thought that persevered even among the Jesuits—a medievalism that is not yet, unfortunately, entirely eliminated from the Christian sects, both Catholic and Protestant. This same thought prevails throughout the document.

8 The coffee of the Philippines has a fine aroma and excellent flavor, and will compare favorably with either Java or Mocha coffee. It is said to have been brought to the islands by Spanish missionaries during the latter part of the eighteenth century and its systematic cultivation to have commenced early in the nineteenth century, although it was neglected considerably and did not in consequence attain the advanced state to which it should have attained. It was first cultivated in the province of Laguna, and subsequently in other provinces, notably Batangas and Cavite, coffee becoming quite an extensive industry. Most of the coffee was produced in the provinces named and in Tayabas, in Luzón and in Misamis and the district of Cottabatto, in Mindanao, though appreciable quantities were grown in other provinces. The highest grades of the berry were grown in Batangas Province and the most inferior in Mindanao. In 1890 and for several preceding years coffee ranked fourth in exports, falling not far short of tobacco. See Census of Philippines, iv, pp. 76–78; and Official Handbook, pp. 106, 107.

9 i.e., The end of the earth.

10 Beléno: Birth, in the sense of representing that of our Lord Jesus Christ (Echegaray’s Diccionario etimológico). Hence it was the representation of a manger.

11 Literally the “mass of the cock;” the mass that is said at midnight on Christmas Eve, and hence equivalent to midnight mass.

12 This mass is also called media. It is a mass sung, but without deacon and sub-deacon and the ceremonies proper to High Mass. In some American dioceses the use of incense is permitted at such masses. See Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary, p. 565.

13 Or Missa solemnis, the high mass. See Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary, p. 565.

14 Possibly a “house with festal decorations.”

15 i.e., And beyond.


Letters from Father Mateo Gisbert to the Reverend Fathers and Brothers of Veruela

Pax Christi.

My most beloved Fathers and Brothers in Christ:

Now I have to answer your fine letter, by telling you something of these missions, which I do not doubt will interest you greatly. In this and in the other letters which I plan to write you, I shall limit myself to mentioning things which I have either seen myself or have heard from eyewitnesses.

The matter of the Carolinas1 has alarmed us a [230]trifle hereabout; for as those islands are so near these coasts, and these peoples are so fearful, Christians and heathens have more than once believed themselves enslaved by the Germans. Even yet they do not have all the confidence that would be advisable to make them settle down and quietly build their villages; for any evil information although without foundation and improbable is enough to make them take to the mountains. The reverend father superior of the mission sent us some Spanish banners from Manila for the reductions of these coasts, and we told them all that if they flung the Spanish banners, although a foreign boat should approach, they ought not to fear anything.

Map of the Coraline Islands; photographic facsimile of map in Lettres édifantes (Paris, 1728)

Map of the Coraline Islands; photographic facsimile of map in Lettres édifantes (Paris, 1728)

[From copy in library of Harvard University]

You must already have had news of the numerous races of heathens that people the mission of Dávao. The heathens nearest to this capital are the Guiangas, who are scattered among the rivers and rancherías of Dulían; Guimálan, Tamúgan, Ceril, and Biao, and number in all six thousand four hundred souls. They talk a language difficult to understand, for it does not resemble the languages of other races. Those heathens sow rice, maize, sweet potatoes, bananas, and sugarcane. In addition they gather a considerable quantity of wax in their forests. There are some excellent smiths among them, and in general they reveal a sufficient amount of intelligence. But since they are still in a savage state, they commit many acts of barbarism, among which are human sacrifices. As yet they have not heard a father missionary who can talk to them in their language, [233]and only a few of those who come to Dávao have been baptized. I have had something to do at times with the nearest who understand and talk the language of the Bagobos, their neighbors. This very week I am to visit those of the Malá River where there are some Christians and catechumens who are constructing a chapel for me when I go.

The Bagobos are another race of heathens, who, occupying the folds of the volcano of Apo,2 extend along the southwest part of Dávao between the Taomo and Bolotúcan rivers. They number approximately ten or twelve thousand souls. About eight hundred have as yet been reduced, and only about four hundred have been baptized in the new reductions of Santa Cruz, Astorga, Daliao, Bagó, and Taomo. The Bagobos differ scarcely from the Guiangas, except in the language that is peculiar to the latter. They are reported, nevertheless, to be great sacrificers [of human flesh], and are very much set in the customs of their ancestors. They have two feasts annually: one before the sowing of the rice, and the other after its harvest. This last is of an innocent enough character and is called the feast of women. At that feast all the people gather at the house of their chief or the master of the feast, at the decline of the afternoon. That day they feast like nobles, and drink until it is finished the sugarcane wine which has been prepared for that purpose. There is music, singing, and dancing almost all the night, and the party breaks up at dawn of the following [234]day. The feast which they hold before the sowing is a criminal and repugnant trago-comedy. The tragical part is the first thing that is done. When they have assembled in the middle of the woods, after taking all the precautions necessary, so that the matter may not reach the ears of the authority of the district or of the father missionary, they tightly bind the slave whom they are going to sacrifice. When once assured that they will not be discovered, all armed with sharp knives, they leap and jump about the victim striking him one after the other, or several at one time amid infernal cries and shouts, until the body of the victim sacrificed has been cut into bits. From the place of the sacrifice they then go to the house of their chief or the master of the feast, holding branches in their hands which they place in a large bamboo, which is not only the chief adornment but the altar of the house in which they meet. Here comes the comical part, for like one who has done nothing, they all eat and drink, and some of the most joyful play on musical instruments, and dance. The principal part is reserved for the old man or master of the feast. He standing near the bamboo which I have mentioned above, holding the vessel of wine in his hand, and talking with his comrades, addresses the great demon called Daragó, whose feast they are celebrating, in the following words: “Daragó, we are making you this feast, with great good will and gladness, offering you the blood of the sacrifice which we have made and this wine which we drink so that you may be our friend, accompany us, and be propitious in our wars.” Afterward and as a continuation of what I have said, he begins a kind of litany in which all the [235]most celebrated Daragós whom they know or believe that they know, and whose names are repeated by all at the same time, enter.

The Bagobos recognize two beginnings: and say that they have each two souls. God, or Tiquiama is very good they say and has created all things, although he has been aided by other small gods who are under his orders: such as Mamale, who made the earth; Macacóret, the air; Domacólen, the mountains; and Macaponguis, the water. Of the two souls, one goes to heaven and the other to hell. For they believe that both in this life and in the other, they belong to the devil, to whom they concede the same rights and almost the same power as to God, only with the difference that the devil is very bad, and fond of blood, and the beginning of all evil and confusion. On that account, quite neglectful of God, the being whom they serve and adore in all things is the devil. When they marry, if the lovers think that it will be of any use, they make a human sacrifice so that they may have a good marriage, so that the weather may be good, so that they may have no storm, sickness, etc.: all, things which they attribute to the devil. In the same way also when they learn that there is any contagious disease, or fear death, several of them assemble and make a human sacrifice, asking the devil to let them live, since they generously offer him that victim. They also believe that the disease can be conjured. But the time that it appears that it is necessary to make a sacrifice according to the law of the Bagobos is at the death of any one of the family, before they can remove the laláoan or mourning. In that case the sacrifice announced among them as a feria or a pilgrimage is [236]usually announced among the Christians. At the point and on the day assigned, all the sacrificers assemble, or possibly one member of each of the families who are in mourning, at times fifty or more. The value of the slave sacrificed is paid among them all, and he who pays most has the right to sacrifice first. The victims cry out at such times as long as they can and ask pity of all; but instead of pitying them, they drown the pitiful cries with the most horrible and terrifying shouts that can be imagined. If they perform the sacrifice near the Christians, then they strike without any shouts, and even gag the mouth of the victim.

But let us leave for another letter the relation of not less horrible barbarities. O Fathers and Brothers of my soul, pray for the conversion of these wretched beings, and do not be forgetful of me in your holy sacrifices and prayers.

The servant in Christ of you all,

Mateo Gisbert, S. J.

My dearly beloved Fathers and Brothers in Christ:

On reading the horrible sacrifices that I described in my last letter, you will have asked: “How has the father been able to learn so minutely the inhuman customs which the savages conceal so carefully in the midst of their forests?” Your Reverences will understand indeed that I have not been able to be present at those sacrifices, but they have been explained to me by the Bagobos, who, having been baptized, recount those and other barbarities of heathenism. I have learned it also from the mouth of some victims who, being at the very point of being [237]sacrificed, managed to escape by the aid and management of the father missionary.

I am going to mention some of the customs of the Bagobos to you which must, I believe, arrest the attention because of their ridiculousness and superstition. When the Bagobos have an evil presentiment, for which it is enough for them to see a snake in the house, or that the jar breaks in the fire, etc., they hasten to their matánom, in order to have him conjure the misfortune by means of his great wisdom. The matánom, who preserves the customs and religions of their ancestors, makes a doll with his knife, giving it the face of a man, and then addressing God, says the following words: “O God, Thou Who hast created men and trees, and all things, do not deprive us of life, and receive in exchange this bit of wood, which has our face.” After that ceremony with or without the doll, they set in the water a small bag containing a little morisqueta or rice, to which they at times add a cock. By this means they think that they have rid themselves of the disease. When they are sick, they perform the diuata in their tambaro. That consists in a dish on top of a bamboo which is fixed in the ground, on which they place buyo, bonga, lime, and tobacco, while they say to their god: “We offer thee this. Give us health.” When they visit a sick person, they have the custom of placing copper rings on their wrists or on their legs, in order that the soul which they call limócod may not leave. When anyone dies, they never bury him without placing for him his share of rice to be eaten on the journey. When they harvest their rice or maize, they give the first fruits to the diuata, and do not eat them, or sell a grain without first having [238]made their hatchets, bolos, and other tools which they use in clearing their fields eat first. The song of the limócon is for them the message from God. It is of good or evil augury according to circumstances. Accordingly, when the limócon sings, every Bagobo stops and looks about him. If he sees for instance, a fallen tree, the limócon advises him not to advance farther for the fate of that tree awaits him, and he turns back. If he sees no particular thing which indicates or prognosticates any ill, he continues, for then the song of the limócon is good. Sneezing is always a bad omen for them, and accordingly if anyone sneezes by chance when they are about to set out on a journey, the departure is deferred until next day.

There are not as a rule many thefts among the Bagobos, for they believe that the thief can be discovered easily by means of their famous bongat. That consists of two small joints of bamboo, which contain certain mysterious powders. He who has been robbed and wishes to determine the robber, takes a hen’s egg, makes a hole in it, puts a pinch of the abovesaid powder in it, and leaves it in the fire. If he wish the robber to die he has nothing else to do than to break the egg; but since the thief may sometimes be a relative or a beloved person the egg is not usually broken, so that there may be or may be able to be a remedy. For under all circumstances, when this operation is performed, if the robber lives, wherever he may be, he himself must inform on himself by crying out, “I am the thief; I am the thief;” as he is compelled to do (they say) by the sharp pain which he feels all through his body. When he is discovered, he may be cured by putting powder [239]from the other joint into the water and bathing his body with it. This practice is very common here among heathens and Moros. A Bagobo, named Anas, who was converted, gave me the bongat, with which he had frightened many people when a heathen.

This would be the place to write you some very interesting Bagobo stories and legends; but in order to be understood, I should have to precede it by a long preamble, for which I have no time at present; and hence I shall leave it for another time. I should like to tell you something about the other races of heathens whom we have in this mission. The Bilanes,3 are beyond doubt, the most industrious of all the heathens that inhabit these mountains. This race numbers approximately about twenty thousand souls, who are divided among a considerable number of rancherías between the Bulatúcan River and the bay of Sarangáni, and occupying the beautiful plains of the interior where they grow considerable rice. They have some of the customs of the Bagobos their neighbors, but their language which is very different separates them as does also the natural hostility that always arms the heathen savage against the savage, and one race against the other. The [240]Bilanes are very intelligent, and some who have been baptized, give good proof of themselves. But although it causes me the greatest pain to say it, as they are a race which deserves that we all interest ourselves in them, as they are very numerous, and capable of receiving the evangelical light and civilization, I must tell you that there is no reduction as yet among that race of heathens.

Enough for today. Another time I shall speak of the Tagacaolos, Manobos, and Atás. Meanwhile, will you pray the sacred heart of Jesus for them all and for your most affectionate brother and servant in Christ.

Mateo Gisbert, S. J.

My dearly beloved Fathers and Brothers in Christ:

In order that you may all be encouraged more and more to aid us with your prayers in the great undertaking that we are engaged upon, I am going to mention, as I promised, a few of the customs of several races of this mission. The Tagacaolos belong to a numerous race of heathens, who inhabit the mountains of Culáman from Sarangani to Malálag. The whole mission contains approximately about twelve or fourteen thousand. Their language is easy to understand to him who knows Visayan. They are much divided among themselves and are continually at war, the weak being the slave of the stronger, and being frequently sold to the Moros. The Bagobos almost always supply themselves from this race for their human sacrifices. Do not believe, however, that they are a people inferior to those of other races. The Tagacaolos are lighter complexioned and more [241]docile than the other known heathens. They also have human sacrifices at times, but they easily abandon their barbarous customs.

The Manobos4 are another numerous and savage race of heathens, who live along various points of the coast, from Malálag to Sarangani. These Manobos have little liking for work, and are warlike and valiant, being usually on the hunt for slaves. They possess firearms, which the Moros sell them in exchange for slaves. This is a misfortune which we regret, but which has no remedy, until with the progress of the reduction the action of authority may be more effectual. The Moros hereabout are a race of thieves, the most shameful that are known. They do not work and live ordinarily on the slave trade which they are always able to procure. I know some Moros in this mission who pass themselves off as friends, but are very evil. There is a pandita named Gúbat, who asserts that he likes me and respects me more than he does his own father, and comes into my presence as if he were the most friendly and obedient person in all the reductions of the coast, telling me always that he is going to collect what they owe him. As it will not take long, I shall recount one of [242]his evil deeds. Two years ago he went to Tubálan, where, uniting with Basíno, Alivao, Mínquil, Batuga, Joac, and Agbay, he went to a ranchería of Tagacaolos and enslaved them to the number of seven, namely, Bayó, Eloy, Salió, Arac, Agueda, Cáoy, and Dila, and brought them to the coast. There they were apportioned as slaves, after the one called Eloy had been knifed, because they feared that they would be exposed by him if opportunity offered. Along the Culáman coast, when they knife one or many, they generally set the head on a pole and keep them for days and months. With that object in view they cut off the head of Eloy, which Batuga carried, while the pandita Gúbat, my friend, carried an arm. But a short time ago, I have been able to rescue and baptize Bayó and Dila, and the latter’s wife and two daughters. From the last named, I learned the history which I have briefly recounted. It is a sample of many others which I could relate to you. Consequently, they are wont to make slaves here treacherously and by violence. Although these Manobos, as I have said, are savage and warlike, there are some rancherías of them, which, having been reduced by the father missionary, have abandoned their evil customs. In Piapi we have already one hundred and ninety baptized persons, almost all Manobos. Their language is somewhat difficult to understand, but one can conquer that difficulty by living among them for a short time. The number of Manobos in this mission is not less than one thousand two hundred.

The Atás are another race of wild and savage heathens who live in the interior. Only the ranchería of Dato Lasiá, which is the nearest, has been [243]visited as yet. It is the least known race, but it is believed with foundation, to be the most numerous, aggregating not less than twenty-five thousand souls. They speak their own tongue. I have baptized a few Atás, by making myself understood in Visayan or Bagobo. On that day that the Atás hear a father missionary speak their language, I have no doubt of their conversion. The difficulty, even supposing that there were father missionaries who could give their work to the mission, will always be very great, because it is in the interior, through mountains, rivers, and woods remote from the coast, where there are no roads or any human aid. Nevertheless, one must pray for them, confident that God will open the way through His infinite mercy.

In the island of Sámal I have also a Christian village, where the heathen Sámals are gradually becoming reduced and baptized. There are now some hundred and thirty-seven baptized.

The other reductions in my care are all on the southern part of this coast, extending from Dávao to Malálag, inclusive. They are Malálag, Piapi, Dígos, Santa Cruz, Astorga, Daliao, Bagó, and Taumo. Among them all there are nine hundred who have been baptized. In general they follow the instructions of the father missionary docilely. Almost all of them possess their little homes on the suitable street, and many of them are beginning to cultivate cacao and other plants which are given to them here, and are highly esteemed. The majority of those baptized as yet in these reductions belong to the Tagacaolo and Bagobo races. Then follow successively the Manobos, Sámals, and Calágars. I shall also endeavor to open the door quite soon to the [244]Guiangas, Bilanes, and Atás. In order to begin, nevertheless, as is fitting, and to carry on this work, some father missionaries are needed, not only because of the great number of the heathens to be administered, but also because they talk several languages, and have habits and customs that differ considerably among themselves.

I conclude this letter by commending myself to the holy prayers and sacrifices of all the Fathers and Brothers of that holy house. From your most affectionate servant in Christ,

Mateo Gisbert, S. J.

Pax Christi.
My dearly beloved Father Superior in Christ:5

I have just received your favor of the fourteenth inst. I am very glad that you have returned from your long journey without having experienced any misfortune. Welcome to the Fathers and Brothers of the new mission! A fraternal embrace to them all!

I desired to write your Reverence a long letter, but since the post has found me alone, in Dávao, for Fathers Perelló and Moré have not returned from their excursion to Libuac, I shall not be able to write at great length, as I must attend to the other duties necessary here during the days for the steamboat. May God repay your Reverence for the charity which you extend me in the good news that you give me. What shall I tell you on this occasion? The circumstances of this mission offer me some material, especially the consideration of the condition [245]of the various races of heathens who inhabit it, and especially the race of the Bagobos. To what extremities do their ignorance and the malice of the common enemy reduce them! This latter, being the prince of darkness, rules them thoroughly, no longer by insinuating himself and presenting himself under the forms of apparent goodness, in order to take possession of their hearts and souls without intimidating them, acting as a seductive deceiver, but in the midst of the shadows of this heathenism, he does not fear to appear so frightfully horrible and cruel as he is in reality.

I have considered, at times, as did our holy Father, Ignacio, Satan on his throne of smoke and fire, with horrible and frightful face, in the great field of Babilonia, and this formula, which is feigned by means of the imagination to aid the understanding in consideration of the truth that it claims, is here a reality. What is it but that large field inhabited by so many heathen races, whose confusion of tongues forms the labyrinth of the mission in which we work! What signifies this volcanic mountain Apo, in which the great Mandarángan lives as in his throne of smoke and fire, as is believed and related by the Bagobos, who bathe themselves in the blood of thousands upon thousands of human victims! Is not this truly the field of Babilonia, where the prince of darkness reigns? And who can tell the years of his dominion here? The Bagobos of Sibúlan usually show their antiquity by the following genealogies. Mánip, the present dato, had for father Panguílan; Panguílan was the son of Taópan; Taópan, son of Maliadí; Maliadí, son of Banga; Banga, son of Lúmbay; Lúmbay, son of Basian; [246]Basian, son of Bóas; Bóas, son of Bató; Bató, son of Salingólop. They say that of all their ancestors, Salingólop was the most powerful, and his name was always preserved among all his descendants. Before him there were already Bagobos with the same customs as those of today, that is, they were heathens and slaves of the great Mandarángan or Satan, to whom it appears that they always sacrificed human victims. The father of Mánip was the dato of Sibúlan, who died a few months ago at a very old age (perhaps he was as much as a hundred), and whom they say had already attained to the condition of immortality, which was due to the matuga guinaua, or good heart of Mandarángan, because of the many victims that he had offered that being. It is said that when he was yet a youth, he sought a wife, but did not obtain her until he had cut off fifty human heads, as was attested by the hundred ears which he carried in a sack from the river Libagánon to Sibúlan. How many victims must that single Bagobo have offered up! Even after his death it was necessary to seal his sepulcher with the blood of human victims. For his son Mánip and his other relatives did not remove the mourning or lalaoan, as they call it, until after they had barbarously sacrificed seven slaves, according to the relation of Itang. That man fearing to be one of the victims, presented himself to the father missionary in order to place his temporal and eternal life in safety, and that was quickly done for he was baptized a while ago under the name of Juan.

Quite patent is the barbarity of these people and the complete dominion of the prince of darkness in the field of the Bagobo heathenism. But perhaps one will ask: “How can so paradoxical a barbarity [247]exist, since by sacrificing their slaves,6 those people lose slave and money? Leaving to one side even the inhumanity revealed by so barbarous a custom, only by not attacking so directly their own interests by depriving themselves of arms for their work, etc., it appears that they would have to refrain from sacrificing their slaves; but necessarily they are very much given to human sacrifices, not only in order to preserve a custom of their ancestors, but also in order not to lose a kind of trade that is sufficiently lucrative, and of which I made mention in one of my former letters.

Nevertheless, it will not be too much to relate the following case in support of my assertion. Maglándao, a good lad, and yet single, was the name of the victim. His master was not a Bagobo, but he was married to a Bagobo woman, and far from following the customs of his country which are more humane and civilized, he immediately committed so evil a deed that he could well have been graduated as master from the Bagobo school. Maglándao was the son of Apat, a Bagobo, and from childhood had never been the slave of any person. But in order to obtain some pamáran or pendents of ivory which were worth eight or ten pesos, he gave his word to work for a certain length of time for the owner of the pamáran. The latter, considering him as his slave, or rather, as if he were a wild boar of the woods, having grown angry at him one day because [248]he did not do as he was ordered, fired his gun point blank at him so that the ball entered his back and came out in front just below the right breast, also going through his arm. The wound was mortal, especially as he was left, just as his master left him, totally abandoned. But, since in spite of all, two days had passed, and Maglándao had not died, his master bethought him that he could make use of him for the sacrifice which the Bagobos of Cáuit were about to make on the occasion of the death of the old Balolo. The sacrificers, in number about twenty heathens, agreed to kill or sacrifice the wounded youth, giving his master seventy paves,7 or about fourteen cavans of palay. That was a stroke of business that was considered as profitable by both parties to the contract. The sacrifices believed that they were the gainers in it, for since the victim was nearly dead when he came into their hands, they obtained him ipso facto at a lower price, and thus saved money and stabbing. He who sold the victim also thought himself the gainer, because by handing him over for the sacrifice, he saved the labor and expenses of burial, and had enough palay to eat throughout the year.

I have been able to ascertain the facts about this and other horrible sacrifices through the sacrificers themselves who have been converted to the Catholic faith, who have not hesitated to relate them to me with the above details and others which I omit. The above will suffice for your Reverence to understand that human sacrifices are a real business here, and are maintained not only by Bagobos, but also by [249]Moros and other heathen races. It is an infamous traffic which can only be wiped out by means of the civilizing action which España is exercising over Mindanao. Some heathens having been reprimanded on a certain occasion by the governor of this district in regard to so barbarous a custom, had the audacity to reply to him in the following manner: “Sir, is not every one allowed to spend his money as he pleases? Slaves answer the purposes of money among us, and we spend that money according to our pleasure and custom.”

Much more barbarous are they than the Ammonites, who sacrificed their sons to Moloch, and those other idolaters who sacrificed to Saturn, for both of them did it only several times a year, for the Bagobos sacrifice very frequently. There is no ranchería in which they do not annually make their feasts to the demon—Búsao, Mandarángan, or Daragó, for they are wont to give him these and many other names. On the day of the great assembly at the house of the dato or chief of the ranchería, they only eat and drink, sing and dance with joy, and there is no appearance of anything evil, except the scandals which reveling and the worship of Daragó generally occasion. There with cup of wine in hand, they mutually pledge one another, and yielding the word to the old man or chief of the feast, they drink toasts with him in honor of the great Daragó, whom they promise to follow and honor forever, offering to him, as did their ancestors, the blood of many human victims, so that he may be their friend and aid them in their wars. Curious persons who are present at those feasts, do not understand the language of the old men nor see anything that hints of a human sacrifice, [250]but those who are fully initiated in the Bagabo customs, will note immediately the token of the human sacrifice which was made in the woods on the preceding day among the branches placed in the bamboo or drum, before which the old men above mentioned make their invocation to Daragó.

When any contagious disease appears, or whenever any of their relatives die, the Bagobos believe that the demon is asking them for victims, and they immediately hasten to offer them to him so that he may not kill them. They are accustomed generally to show their goodwill in the act of sacrifice in the following words: Aoaton no ian dipánoc ini manobo, tímbac dipánoc co, so canac man sapi, [that is] “Receive the blood of this slave, as if it were my blood, for I have paid for it to offer it to thee.” These words which they address to Búsao, when they wound and slash the victim, show clearly that they believe in and expect to have the demon as their friend by killing people for him. For they hope to assure their life in proportion to the number of their neighbors they deliver to death, which they believe is always inflicted by Búsao or the demon who is devoured continually by hunger for human victims.

Now it is seen, your Reverence, my Father, whether I said with reason that this place appears the kingdom of the prince of darkness as horrible and cruel as it is in reality. His subjects, or better, his slaves, although they easily comprehend the existence of a god, creator and omnipotent, since they believe as they do, that sickness and death come from Búsao, and that the latter is only fond of blood and revolution, dedicate their altars and sacrifices to him, consenting to the impious and iniquitous pact [251]of eternal servitude, which their ancestors, deceived and reduced by the great Mandarángan, made at the foot of the Apo Volcano. Let us beseech the intercession of the angels and the saints, and especially that of the Queen and Lady, our Mother, the most holy Virgin, before God our Lord, so that by His grace, He may unite the hearts of all those who can aid us in the material and spiritual conquest of these peoples.

Here I take leave of your Reverence, saluting all the Fathers and Brothers of those colleges, to whose holy prayers and sacrifices I commend myself.

Your Reverence’s servant in Christ,

Mateo Gisbert, S. J.

Pax Christi.
My dearly beloved Father Superior in Christ:

[Once] since the seven months in which I have been able to visit San José of Sámal, I went there lately to say mass and preach to those poor people, at that time solemnizing eight baptisms and one marriage. It is fitting for the Sámals who were always visited and cared for by the father missionaries of Dávao, to be specially visited and cared for now when some of those who formerly showed most opposition, offer themselves for baptism. During this last visit I baptized Mal-lúyan, the headman, a son-in-law of Captain Baguísan. The latter has become a fury, and refuses to allow any of those whom he calls his sácopes to be baptized, and he threatens with his gun the one who does not conform to him, and commits real outrages. He is a madman of a bad kind, worse than Búsao himself. For if the [252]demon looses the chains of heathenism on anyone and that person becomes baptized through the mercy of God, Baguísan hastens to fasten them on again. That happened lately to Cabáis, who, one day going to get his wife in order that they two might be baptized and live in San José with two daughters already Christians, has been detained and rigorously forbidden to present himself before the father.

On account of this war against baptism by Baguísan, which is both obligatory and of long standing in Sámal, it is advisable to pay heed to that field of Christendom, so that it may increase, although that increase be but gradual, and so that the entire island may finally be converted. The appointment, by the governor, of the Christians of San José as captain, lieutenant, etc., has produced an excellent result. It might be said that those Christians are the real datos of the island, and the only ones who obey the orders that they receive, who cultivate cacao, and form a true village.

The village which your Reverence saw in the old Casalúcan has remained talis qualis.8 These people if they are not baptized, live in the manner of Baguísan. “A village—and on the beach—in order to live under guard and subject—bah!” they say. “We don’t want it! We don’t want it!” There is a race, however, or to speak more accurately, the remnant of what was the Moro race, which was formerly predominant on these coasts, whose datos and captains, for fear of being abandoned by the few sácopes whom they still have, are the first ones to present themselves and beg for a village. And since they know that that petition is generally heeded by [253]all the governors who succeed to the district, they easily obtain the support that they ask, and form something that resembles a village, if it be looked at especially from the sea. Thus do they oblige the scattered sácopes to reunite under their datos and panditas, and that is the very thing that they desire, in order that they might maintain their customs and mode of living.

Since the Moros do not agree in any part, and much less here, where we have so many other good and numerous races, it would be very politic, in my opinion, to encourage the spirit of the Moros who are attempting to separate from their datos and panditas, so that the latter may become isolated and without any authority. If it is thought advisable to assemble them into a settlement, since, counting all the Moros of the gulf, their number does not reach five thousand, it would be an excellent thing to assemble them in one village, at a point where they can be better watched and governed. But if they were ordered to assemble in one single village, it would always be necessary to permit those Moros who wished, to separate from their datos and panditas in order that they might take root in the villages and reductions as do the other heathens. Being baptized like them, if they wish, they may do it freely without the obstacle of datos and panditas. As they are now, although there are but few here, they fill and dirty the whole thing; for scarcely is there a river or a valley whose mouth has not its dato and pandita, who, together with their sácopes, the latter of whom do not number ten at times, say that they are making a village by order of the governor. But what they are really doing is to prevent other heathens from [254]being reduced and making a village, which would actually be of real advantage for the future.

I will close by asking your Reverence to commend me to God in your holy prayers and sacrifices.

Mateo Gisbert, S. J. [255]


Letter from Father Pablo Cavalleria to Father Francisco Sanchez

Pax Christi.

My very dearly beloved in Christ, Father Sánchez:

Replying to your favor, in which your Reverence asks for information concerning the inhabitants of this island of Basílan, I have deemed it best to write the following.


The races of this island are the indigenous race and the Moros. The indigenous is Christian and there is little or nothing to say of them, since they are well known to your Reverence.

The Moro9 race is infidel, and lives on the coast and in the interior.

The indigenous race forms the settlement of Isabela de Basílan, consisting of some eight hundred souls.

Further sixteen families of Christian Indians reside in the visita called San Pedro de Guibáuan distant six leguas from Isabela. Their absolute lieutenant in chief is Pedro Cuévas. [256]

The Moro race is now greatly degenerated, for many are coming down from the Bisayas who were formerly captives.

The Moros of the interior of the island are called Yácanes,10 and are employed, although but little, in the cultivation of palay, sweet-potatoes, cacao, etc.

The Moros of the coast are called Sámales Laút. They are employed, although little, in fishing. They are pirates, and whenever they can do so with impunity, they capture the Christians, or the Moros of the interior themselves, or those of distant Sámal rancherías, or those of other islands. On that account there is a certain hostility between the Sámales and the Yácanes. At present, Pedro Cuévas, so far as he is able, executes justice upon those who exercise such boldness, and applies the law to them.

Among the Sámales Laút, there are Joloan Moros, and Malays.

The total number of the Moros of this island is ten or twelve thousand.11 Their skin is of a deep bronze color, and they have black eyes, rather meager eyebrows, thin beard and their cranium is flattened on the occipital part.


They are not very observant in their ceremonies. [257]

They omit many of the rules of their false prophet Mahomet, add others which are not prescribed, and observe some, but in the time and manner that appears best to them. For example, they do not pray even at least once a day, almost never observe Friday, and it is never seen that any of them has gone to Meca.12

They practice baptism or gúnting, which they have learned, although badly, from the Christian captives.

For the administration of baptism, they prepare cocoanut oil, rice flour, water from the cocoanut and natural water. When the child is four or six months old, on that day that they think best, the imam takes a little of each of those ingredients abovesaid, and places them on the forehead of the child, at the same time uttering certain words from the Koran. At the end of the ceremony the feast follows, and the imam is the first to whom the large tray of food must be presented.


The fathers or owners of the young girls rather sell than give them for wives. Fees are assigned for the petitions made by the young men to the fathers or masters of their sweethearts. Consequently, it is seldom that the young woman is given to the suitor at his first or second petition. The young woman is granted to the suitor, who pays greater or less fees, [258]according as the family is more or less principal and as the young woman is more or less good-looking. Consequently, thirty, fifty, or more pesos are demanded for her delivery, besides the marriage feast.

The ceremonies observed by them, as I have seen them, are as follows. The groom chews his buyo as he is required, then goes into the midst of the guests, makes some wry faces, and passes his hands along his face. By that means they say that he is asking pardon of God by confessing his sins. This is called magtanbat. Then if the groom has not paid because of poverty, for a suitable banquet, some of the chiefs present strike him several blows on the back with a rattan formed like a hand, more or less numerous, according to what he has neglected to prepare for the banquet.

Then the groom goes to wash his feet and clothe himself in white garments. On coming out he seats himself on a mat, and places his right hand between the two hands of one chief, and his left upon the right hands of the other chiefs. Then the imam covers his right hand and that of the groom with a white handkerchief, and thus being united, they utter some words from the Koran. The imam lifts his hands, and extends them so that his palms are turned outwards and at a distance of two cuartas,13 and lifts them to his head. The groom does the same, but the palms of his hands are turned toward his face. They clasp hands again with the chiefs in the manner abovesaid, and then the feast immediately follows. At the end of the feast, they go to the home of the bride, and the same ceremonies are there repeated with her as with the groom. [259]

At intervals they play the culintíngan, and if the groom is an influential person, there is a discharge of musketry, and a cow or carabao is killed, and innumerable Moros invited in. The richer one is the more guests there are; and at intervals there is generally a war dance.


When the sickness is severe, the imam performs the magtaual, by sprinkling a little water on the sick person, and reciting some prayers to their false prophet. They clothe the deceased in a white garment which covers them from top to toe. Those who are present or who visit the deceased, are invited to a feast. The grave that is made is deep or shallow according to the rank of the person who is to be buried, but it is always one and one-half or two varas deep, and in the shape of a crescent. In one side of it they open a kind of cave, where the body is to be buried. Once the body is deposited there, they set upright stakes in the cave and then make a platform over the hole while two persons scare away the flies with a white cloth so that they may not come near. At the ends of the grave they place a tabo14 of water and food. The imam comes, recites some Mahometan prayers, approaches the dish of food which they have placed there for him, and there at the very grave, he stuffs himself with dexterity, and retires. At the termination of that gastronomic operation, the death-guards (or tunguquibul) who watch the dead for the space of a few days and nights, enter. This is [260]done by various families in turn, according to the wealth or property of the family of the deceased, for they are paid in food and cloth whenever they stand guard. When the deceased, or rather his relatives have nothing more with which to recompense them, the guards cease to watch the dead.

If any of the family of the deceased do not wish that guard to be made, the imams and some others circulate the rumor that the dead person has escaped and is running through the hills terrifying the passers-by. That ghost they call pañata, and until the guard has been made, that rumor does not cease to be circulated.

Religious feasts

When they unite for public worship, which is when it pleases them, the people are summoned by loud sounds produced by the blows of a stick upon a sort of drum. The imam begins an invocation in a sad tone to their impostor and reads a bit of the Koran. In the meantime the people chew buyo, talk, lie down, laugh, scream, and then they retire without either the imam or the people having understood what has been read.

The principal feast, and almost the only one that they celebrate is the maúlut or birth of Mahomet. Each ranchería, and at times each family even, celebrates it on whatever day they choose. They ought to hold it on the tenth night of the month called Rabié aual, which corresponds to the month of September. But they generally celebrate it after the harvest. This year the Moros of this place have celebrated it in December. I asked them once why they did not celebrate it on a fixed day. They replied [261]that they celebrated it when they had food for a good feast. On the said occasions several chiefs are accustomed to meet with the imam and sing in so doleful a voice that the song appears to come from a cavern, the while the women prepare the feast. This year I have noted that the imam of Panigáyan has gone on separate days to celebrate the feast at different rancherías.

They are very superstitious, and greatly fear Saítan (the devil) whom they endeavor to placate. When the epidemic of 1882 was here, the Moros of Panigáyan, among whom the cholera made especially severe ravages (for one-half of them died), threw boatloads of food into the sea, so that on encountering them, the devil might be satisfied with the food and leave them in peace. They also hung food to the trees with the same end in view.

On that occasion, the sherif reaped a fine harvest by selling clear water, which had curative properties, as he asserted. In return for the cure they had to recite some Moro prayers. If they were cured, it was by the water; but if they were not cured, it was because they had not recited well the prayers of Mahomet. The affair did not result ill for him.

In January 1883, I had occasion to observe another superstition in Lucbútun, a Moro ranchería one legua distant from this place by sea. A sailing fragata, which they called an enchantress, because they did not descry at a distance more than its sails passed not far from the said ranchería. Then because they did not salute it, they believed that they had irritated the devil, and in order to repair the fault they made two closets, and placed in the midst of them burning brasiers and lamps. [262]

Some Moros believe also that the sherif can by his mere will send a sickness on whom he pleases. All is for the purpose of terrifying them and so that the sherif can get whatever he wishes from them. Whenever I have opposed this error, I have asked them why, if the sherif had this power, he did not send diseases upon the Christian village, since he is hostile to the Christians, but they do not reply to the question, but remain in their obstinacy.

Once when there was an eclipse of the moon, the Moros of Pasanjan began to make a great racket with their culintíngans and other things. When they were asked why they made so much noise, they answered that it was in order to scare the serpent which was eating the moon.15

For their long voyages they look at the cuticáan, which is a book containing certain figures. By means of that they try to discover whether they have fortunate voyages or not.


He who knows most among them is the sherif yet his learning does not go beyond the ability to write a few words in Arabian characters. In regard to heaven and hell they know nothing more than their existence. In regard to the soul they know almost nothing.

The following is what a sherif asserted regarding heaven and hell. There are seven heavens and seven hells to express the various rewards or punishments:

1. A heaven called Yattu Atúan. Here there is only rest. [263]

2. A heaven, [called] Firdéos. Here there are good things to eat.

3. A heaven [called] Naím. If one wishes to eat, there is plenty of food [here].

4. A heaven [called] Nauá. The water [here] has the taste that one desires.

5. Aínum naím. Here [there is] great wealth.

6. Salsabila. Here [there are] golden vessels from which to drink.

7. Jatard al Cots. Here [there are] pearls and diamonds.


1. Naruk Yahanna. Here [there is] confusion.

2. Naruk Sacar. [Here there are] contrivances and animals for inflicting torture.

3. Naruk Sigmilti. [Here there are] tortures in language.

4. Naruk abus. [Here there are] most ugly things.

5. Naruk Jauya. Here one is run through with spears.

6. Naruk Zaalt. Here one suffers thirst.

7. Naruk Jamia. Here one is tortured with fire.

So did one Tuan Sarib describe heaven and hell. On a certain occasion several chiefs and imams gathered together; and when speaking of Adam and Eve, they did not succeed in telling who were their parents, and they had recourse to the missionary in order that he might instruct them on that point. They do not know either, the day on which their Mahomet was born, or much less any of his history.

They scarcely know their era, nor do they know how old they are. Once a man asked me to tell him how old he was. They count by moons, saying [264]“Only two moons have passed;” “Three moons from now we shall do this;” etc., etc.

Much more might be said of their errors and foolishness, but I consider this sufficient, and it would be a prolixity to adduce more facts to prove those errors and follies.


The dress consists of pantaloons narrow at the bottom and wide at the top and a tight shirt. The women dress like the men except that they cover themselves with a loosely sewed mantle (jábul) which covers them from top to toe and is fastened under the armpit thus forming folds.

They cut their hair to a little fringe on the forehead, and shave themselves. Their teeth are dyed black in order to distinguish them from the Christians.

The Sámal Moros dress in pantaloons that are tight from top to bottom.

The Moro will not eat flesh,16 unless the imam sacrifices the animal, and performs the Sumbálig.

The Moros are dirty, lazy, fickle, importunate, stingy in giving, and fond of conversation and amusements.

They fight without giving quarter, and in the attack, advance, stop, give ground, leap, creep among the cógon,17 cover themselves with their shields, etc. [265]

In their wars against the Spaniards or Christians, they build forts defended by ditches, and invested with thick earthen walls. They are fierce and bold, and when dripping with blood they fight until death on the field of battle, impelled by their hatred toward the Christian or Spaniard.

Below are some verses of a song of theirs which was dictated to me by a Moro chief, so that your Reverence may better see the hatred with which they fight.18

Pagcalanta acó isá

Saliban Sáuan da sa

Sábab aun súcut dasa.

Tumulak acó salasa.

Maluag can sanchata

Bacucús in sacay in sa

Bisan uay bantata

Marayao pañab quita.

Yari Saliban Sauan

Mallo pa Zamboangan

Bisan uay dangat

Midda pa subangan.

Castila piañgayu

Simacat na tinuyo

Catacus niangayu

Ynacujan sa nag buno.

Aco catcal magbuno na

Ampa lasa aun co na

Bauk aco dumungu na

Sagui na Bismil-lá.


Jida manung lasap

Magcalis samsil dasak

Minsan co dugu nasak

Limagut parrán lisak.

Un canto entonaré

Que es del Saliban Sauan

Para tener suerte

Al embarcarme el mártes.

Busca las lantacas

Las armas en la embarcacion

Y aunque no haya enemigos

Bueno es èstar prevenidos.

Este Saliban Sauan

Vá para Zamboanga

Aunque no haya comercio

Volverá pronto.

Al castila pidió

Subió con traicion

Sus armas pidió

Se las cogió con la muerte.

Yo siempre pelearé

Y hasta gusto tendré si caigo

Arrostraré el peligro

En nombre de Dios.

Tengo gusto en hablar

Esgrimiré con valor el cris afilado

Y aunque mi sangre corra por el suelo

Tajearé al oir tocar.

A song I will chant,

Which is that of the Saliban19 Sauan,

In order that I may have luck

At my sailing on Tuesday.

Look after the lantacas,

The weapons at embarking;

And though there are no enemies

It is wise to be prepared.

This Saliban Sauan

Is going to Zamboanga;

Although there is no trade,

He will return quickly.

He begged from the Castilian;

He mounted treacherously;

The Castilian demanded his arms;

He got them with his death.

Ever will I fight,

And even glad will I be if I fall;

I will encounter danger

In the name of God.

I take pleasure in talking;

I will fight valiantly with my keen kris;

And although my blood is poured on the ground,

I will slash on hearing it fall.


The language that they speak consists of Tagálog, Visayan, and Malayan words. But they make no difficulty about changing, omitting, and adding letters and syllables.

This is as much as I have to tell your Reverence. Pray excuse me for not having written before, for I have already stated the reason. I beg you to overlook the faults of this document.

I have no time to copy it, for I have to go to Joló.

Your Reverence’s most affectionate servant in Christ,

Pablo Cavalleria, S. J. [268]


Extract from a Letter written by Father Pablo Pastells to the Father Provincial, Juan Capell, S. J.20

... Now considering Mindanao under its social and political aspect, its population is divided into Christians, heathens, and Moros, all of whom proceed in general from the Malay, Indonesian races,21 and the indigenous or Negrito race, and from crosses of the same races among themselves and with other superior races, especially the Chinese and Spaniards. The Christians are divided into old and new. The old Christians number about [269]186,000, and occupy in the ethnographical map accompanying our letters, the place represented by color no. 1. Their customs smell of the greater or less familiarity that they have or have had with the heathens from whose races they proceed. Without the powerful and efficacious influence of religion one would note in them a marked tendency to idleness, drunkenness, gambling, and lust. On the other side they are naturally hospitable, docile, and generous. They are pious in the performance of their religion. In their family and married life considerable morality is observed when there exist no rocks of scandal in the villages. I have observed in certain parish books which register more than two hundred baptisms per year, that two or three years pass without the notice of a single natural child.22 They are given to the cultivation of rice, abacá, sugar-cane, coffee, tobacco, bananas, lumbias, cocoa-palms, and other fruit trees, and to that of tubers such as sweet potatoes, gabe, and arorú, which are an article of prime necessity for them in times of famine. They extract mastic and other resins, as for example piao and guísog, and refine the oil of cocoanuts, biao, and balao, but do not extract castor or peanut oil as they are ignorant of their use.23 Wax and honey are very abundant. From the latter, and from sugar-cane, [270]nipa, cocoanuts, rice and cabo negro they prepare their drinks, and their vinegars from the last named and from camagon.24 They also get salt from sea-water by means of rapid evaporation.25 In general, the men are farmers, but among them there are carpenters, smiths, metal workers, masons, tailors, and even some who devote themselves to the making of weapons. The women weave the filaments of piña, tindog,26 abacá, cotton, and silk. They embroider and sew most delicately and tastefully. In certain seasons of the year, many Indians of the coasts, travel and fish especially for sea-turtles, whether they have any shell or not.27

The Philippine barangay

The Philippine barangay

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

They live in humble houses of nipa, bamboo, and even of wood, which are quite luxurious among the most powerful. The animals that they use for their work, conveyance, and travel are the carabao, the ox, and the horse. Their implements for farming are reduced to the plow and the bolo. Their domestic animals are the dog, cat, cock, and swine. Their games are cockfighting, cards, and sipa, a hollow ball of split bamboo, which they move with [273]the feet. They also use dancing as a means of diversion, especially the moro-moro dance and the tapáiron. During their principal feasts, they adorn their houses with hangings and hold modest banquets. They are very fond of excitement and noise, especially that caused by fireworks. Their usual cutting weapons are the hatchet, súndan, lígdao, kris, campilan, tabas, and the badí for the women. The missile weapons are the spear which may be of four kinds, namely, púyus, búdiac, lináyas, and pinuipui; arrows of bamboo, palma brava,28 iron, and steel. Those weapons used both for cutting and thrusting are balaraos or two edged daggers, whose hilts and scabbards are usually adorned with various designs in silver engraved by themselves. The boats used by them are vintas, barotos, bancas, bilus, pancos, falúas, paraos, and lancanes. For fishing they make use of the harpoon, arrows, bolos, corrals, and nets. For the same object they also use the bark of the tree called tuble and the fruits of the tuba-tuba, and lagtan.29 There trade is, as a rule, reduced to the articles of prime necessity in food, drink, clothing, and work utensils. Among the old Christians of Mindanao, tulisanes by profession are not known, and if there are any in the south, they are deported. [274]

The new Christians, from 1876 to the present time, reach some 25,000. In their general characteristics and customs, they are not distinguished from the races to which they owe their origin. Nevertheless, after they receive holy baptism, and while they live as Christians under the civil and religious organization to which they are subjected by the father missionaries, a very marked difference is noted, for by the habit of subjection to law which they acquire by means of the mild means of Christian education which the missionary who has been able to merit their confidence, strikes, the change of their customs is facilitated in a remarkable manner, and in a short time the moral condition of their families and individuals is changed. I mean [that the above is true] when they persevere [in the Christian life] for in regard to this, there are some tribes who are more fickle than others. Thus for example, the converted Mandaya is much less inconstant than the Manobo, for the importance of being subject to a beginning of authority is more impressed on his mind.

The heathen to the number of about 300,000, are divided into different nations or families of three races properly so called: the Malay, the Indonesian, and the Negrito. They have many crosses with other superior races, as the Chinese, Japanese, and even according to some, the European.30

The Mamanuas (man-banua, “inhabitant of the country”) are the true indigenous aborigines of the country.31 Their color is dark, and their hair is oily, [275]woolly, and curly. They are nomadic and go naked. They pass the night where it overtakes them, taking shelter under an improvised hut of palásan32 or of any tree branch. Their food is the fruit and the roots of the forest and the flesh of deer, boars, monkeys, snakes, and reptiles. Their weapons are the bow and arrow, spear, and knife. They have an idea of God and of a worship, as well as some maxims of natural law. They are timid, and miserable creatures, moved by necessity, and loving of ease. They inhabit the small peninsula of Surigao and extend to Tago through the mountains. Their chiefs generally contract marriage with the Manobo women. This race is almost extinct in consequence of the privations incident to their wandering life. Four small villages of Mamanuas exist in the parish of Mainit and another in that of Gigáquit. The total number of this tribe does not exceed two or three thousand. Those baptized number about five hundred. In the map they occupy color number 2.

The Manobos or Manuba (man-subá,33 “river dweller”) as is indicated by their name itself live near the rivers. They inhabit the valley of the Agúsan, which extends from Butúan to Oloagúsan. They live besides on the point of San Agustin on the southern shore of the bay of Malálag, and in the district of Cottabato, as may be seen in the ethnographical map, accompanying these letters, color no. 3.

This tribe is numerous, wild, fickle, easy to reduce,34 somewhat difficult to preserve, and suspicious [276]and treacherous in their attacks. They build their houses near the rivers and often in the forks of trees. Their religion is very like that of the Mandayas. They annually change their abode in order to make new fields, being compelled to do so because of the grass and briars which spring up. As they have no means for the deep working of the soil, consequently permanent possession has no charm for them. They abandon their houses as soon as anyone dies in them, and if the deceased is an outsider, they demand the worth of the abandoned house from his relatives. Their system of life is the patriarchal, under the protection of their respective bagani. The Manobo, according to Dr. Montano,35 presents two extreme types: one athletic, and of much slighter build than the other. Those two types combined in the majority of the individuals constitute another medium type whose characters are more plainly marked in the Manobos of Dávao, than in those of the Agúsan. Their clothing, weapons, and ornaments closely resemble those of the [277]Mandayas, with the exception of the strings of glass beads, which are black rather than red among the Manobos. Tattooing is practiced among the Manobos, and is done by means of a needle and powdered charcoal. The number of the Manobos in the valley of Agúsan is about 20,000, half of whom are now reduced. The number of those of the district of Dávao and Cottabato is unknown.

The Mandayas (man-daya, “people of the upland”—ilaya) is a tribe extending from Tago to Mati, and from Gandía to the source of the Agúsan, and in the district below the Sálug, as may be seen at color no. 34, of the adjoined ethnographical map. The manners and customs of the Mandayas are described in a letter written by Father Héras, June 8, 1878. The Mandayas number about 30,000 of whom 8,000 are already reduced and baptized.

The Manguangas36 (man-gulangas, “people of the woods”) live on the upper part of the Sálug. They are warlike and have continual quarrels with the Manobos and Mandayas of the Agúsan, the Moros of the Hijo, and the Atás. They are easy to reduce. In the map, they occupy the place corresponding to color no. 5.

The Monteses (Buquid-non)37 of the second district of Mindanao are divided into two groups: those adjacent to the Manobos of the Agúsan between Gingóog and Nasípit, who approach to the habits, and the social and religious life of the latter; [278]and those who people the mountains and valleys of the Tagalóan River. Comprehended in the parish of Balingasag, there are several reductions of them. Their number is about 4,000. They are shown in the map at color no. 6.

The Atás (from itaas, ataas, atás, “those who live on the heights”) are the indigenous natives who generally live about the western districts of Mount Apo.38 They are warlike and fight against the Moros and the Bagobos. The Atás extend to the northwest of Dávao, and in their ramifications finally reach to the borders of the Bagobos, Guiangas, Mandayas, and even to the Subanos and the Monteses of Cagayan and Maguindánao. The number of this tribe is unknown, even approximately, but it is conjectured with foundation that it must be very numerous. In the map they occupy the place corresponding to color no. 7.

The Guiangas39 (guanga, gulanga “inhabitant of the woods”) live, according to Father Gisbert, scattered between the rivers and rancherías of Dulían, Guimálan, Tamúgan, Ceril, and Biao near Dávao, and they number about 6,400. Their dialect is entirely different from those of the others, and they show sufficient intelligence, but they are very barbarous, and human sacrifices are still held among them. In the map they occupy color no. 8. [279]

The Bagobos40 inhabit the eastern slopes of the Apo. They are of moderate stature, and well built, for the deformed children are smothered at birth. They are fond of work. They perform human sacrifices in order to placate Daragó (Da-dagó, Du-dugó, Mu-dugó, “he who sheds blood,” or “the shedder of blood”) or Mandarangan. They believe in two beginnings, are difficult to reduce, and easy to keep after reduction. They are warlike and cruel, excellent horsemen, and daring fishermen. They dress luxuriantly, and at times wear shirts which cost them two or three slaves. They drink íntus (the sap of the fermented sugar-cane) and offer it when they make visits to all those in the assembly beginning with the most worthy. The number of the Bagobos, according to Father Gisbert, is about 12,000, of whom 800 have been reduced and baptized. In the map they are found at color no. 9.

The Caláganes41 are not Moros. Their captain and all his family have been baptized, and, in consequence of that, a new reduction has been formed from the individuals of this tribe in Dígos, between Píapi and Santa Cruz. They are fine fellows and very tractable. In the map they occupy the color corresponding to no. 10.

The Tagacaolos42 (taga-ca-olo, “inhabitant of the head,” or “source of rivers”) are as capable as the Bagobos, without being as cruel and superstitious [280]as they. In their contests they are generally very valiant especially those who are widowed; for to become a murderer is a good recommendation for the contraction of second nuptials. The Tagacaolos are of good figure and of a somewhat clearer complexion than those of the other tribes with the exception of the Mandayas. The Tagacaolos occupy the mountains of Haguimítan in the small peninsula or the cape of San Agustin. Between Malálag, Malita, and Lais, are found 7,000 and about 2,000 in the peninsula of San Agustin. There is a small village of this tribe in Malálag of those newly reduced, which has already 186 Christians. The Loac are wild Tagacaolos still more degraded than the Mamanuas who live on the heights of Haguimítan. In the map they will be found at color no. 11.

The Dulanganes (Gulanganes) called also Bangal-bangal, like the Manguangas, are people of the woods, and live in the mountains, about fifteen leguas from the Rio Grande, toward the southern coast. They are savage and fierce, and the Moros themselves who do not dare to meddle with them call them a bad race. It could be that the so cried-up ferocity of the Dulanganes bugaboo was invented by the Moros for their own ends, according to a note in one of the letters of Father Moré. Their number is unknown. They go completely naked, and for the most indispensable covering they use a kind of small apron made of bark or the leaves of trees. Their food is the same as that of the Mamanuas. They do not have houses either, and live in caves or inside the trunks of trees, or like the Mamanuas. Their weapons are usually arrows poisoned as I have heard with the curare. Is this perchance the same curare that [281]is discussed by Father Gumilla in his Orinoco ilustrado?43 They will be found at color no. 12 in the map.

The Tedurayes or Tirurayes44 live on the slopes at the left of the lower Pulangui. They number from 8,000 to 10,000 at the most. They occupy on the map the place corresponding to color no. 13. They are amiable, friendly to the Spaniards, but oppressed by the Moros. Their fear of molestation from the Moros together with their nomadic tendencies, due to the lack of carabaos and farm implements, make their complete reduction difficult at present. Their system of government is patriarchal, and the chief of the tribe is called bandarra. They pay their tributes to the Moro datos as an annual rent for the lands which they cultivate. The women adorn their hands and legs in an insupportable manner, with huge brass rings; and they pierce their ears in which they place pendants more than one centimeter in diameter. The men allow their hair to grow like the heathens of other tribes, but do not tie it up like those tribes. Their weapons and industry show the influence that they have received from the Moros. They gird the body with belts interwoven [282]from brass wire a decimeter or so in width. Their religion is a shapeless aggregation of superstitious ideas. It is not accurate to say that the Tirurayes have so low an idea of their self respect that they believe themselves to be honored in prostituting their wives and daughters with the Spaniards. Given the supposition of some isolated deed which might seem to prove the abovesaid, a general rule could not be deduced therefrom against the integrity of the customs of the Tirurayes in this matter, against which the nature itself, not only of man but also of the brute animals themselves, cries out with a loud voice.

The Tagabili or Taga-bulú are, together with the Bilanes, the owners of the lake of Bulú-an, and live on the southern shore of that lake. This tribe is warlike and friendly to the Moros, Tirurayes, and Manobos, who live near them. The Moros of Sarangani are wont to ally themselves with the Bilanes of Bálud and Tumánao in order to fight against the Tagabilíes. I believe that their reduction will be as easy as is that of the Bilanes. In the map they occupy the place corresponding to no. 14.

The Sámales45 of the island of Sámal near Dávao are Moro and Mandaya mestizos. They are brave and well inclined to the Spaniards. Their population reaches about 2,000. There is a new reduction of Christians in Sámal. They are not so [283]difficult to reduce as are the Moros. They occupy color no. 15 in the map.

The Bilanes or Buluanes (Bil-an, Bul-u-an, Bulú-an)46 reside in the vicinity about the lake of Bulúan and in the mountains between the said lake and the bay of Sarangani. They are the most exploited tribe and the most degraded physically except the Mamanuas. They are fugitive, timid, docile, amiable, and easy to reduce. In two of the islands of Sarangani, Bálud and Tumánao, live also about 1,500 Bilanes who maintain good relations with those of their race in Mindanao, and with the Manobos of Culáman. They occupy color no. 16 on the map.

The Subánon (“people of the river”)47 are a tribe that has become degenerate because of the persecutions which they have had to endure from the Moros who collect large tributes from them. They are husbandmen, but the Moros gain the benefit of their sweat. They are long-suffering and pacific for they are not accustomed to the handling of arms; and they are superstitious and ignorant. Their docility would render their complete reduction very easy. They occupy almost all the peninsula of Sibuguey, and are contiguous to the Moros of Lánao and of the bay of Illana. The latter make use of them, for they enslave them in order to make them work their fields. The military road from Tucúran [284]to Maránding which has been ordered to be built by his Excellency, Captain-general Terrero,48 will destroy the dominion exercised by the Illanos Moros and those of Lánao over the Subanos, for it will destroy the piracy and captivity because of the impossibility of communication. At the same time it will facilitate the action of the missionaries in the reduction of the said heathens. At the present time there are five reductions of Subanos in the Dapitan district, which have about 2,000 new Christians; another in the Zamboanga district in the jurisdiction of Ayala; while three reductions have already been begun successfully on the bay of Sibuguey, namely, Tupilak, Bulúan, and Bancálan. The Subanos are designated on the map at color no. 17.

The Lutangos Moros are Calibuganes. They are of a timid and peaceful nature and live in Silanga de la Olutanga. They engage in fishing, and have no other dwelling, according to Figueroa, than their vintas in which they live. Each family carries with it its miserable possessions, and they pass years without setting foot on the land for even the fuel that they need is furnished by the mangrove trees. They [285]generally go naked. Their number does not exceed three or four hundred. On the map they occupy color no. 20.

The Calibuganes are Moro and Subano mestizos, who are peaceful and but little warlike. They share in the religion of the Moros which is altered by the superstitions of the Subanos. They are considered by the Moros as a free people, and hence the latter only exact from them personal service with their vintas. That runs at the account of the datos, on whom depend the maintenance of the same people. They live in small groups on the coasts of the peninsula of Sibuguey and occupy color number 21 on the map.

Moros. The Moros compared to the Christians of Filipinas, are what the Jebusites are to the village of God. Consecrated to piracy and the taking of captives since the beginning of their installation in Joló and Mindanao that profession has always been for them the most solid support of their formidable power. Until 1860 when eighteen steamboats came to this archipelago it was impossible to break their indomitable pride, and assure communication with the sea of Mindoro. Later with the increase of the navy and the installation of the steamship post it has become impossible for those people to leave their lurking places in order to practice their infamous raids. The expeditions of General Claveria against the Moros of Balanguingui; those of Urbistondo and Malcampo, against the Moros of Joló;49 and the [286]definitive establishment of our forts in Dávao, Rio Grande, and Joló, have given the deathblow to Mahometanism in the archipelago,50 and it is now become shrunken to the reducible circle of the territory that they overlook, and in that of the heathen rancherías which surround them, where the beneficent influence of the Spanish domination has not yet been able to penetrate in an efficacious and immediate manner. Nevertheless the Moros will be from today and forever under the vigilant eye of the victorious Lion of Castilla, so that they may not commit any offenses outside. The day on which the missionaries shall have succeeded in planting the cross among the heathens who surround the Moros, then the latter deprived of the slaves who cultivate the earth for them and clothe them, erect their houses, and serve them as an object of luxury and trade, will [287]on that day see their necessity to change the campilan and the kris for the ploughshare and the plough, the fierce arrogance of the warrior or pirate, for the pacific gentleness of the man who is forced to gain his bread by the sweat of his brow.

The worst Moros are those of Joló and some rancherías of the coasts of Basílan called Sámal Laut (see color no. 23); the Illanos (no. 18), who occupy the bay of Illana which gives them their name, and who form a few groups on the coasts of Sibuguey; those of the lake of Lánao; those of the valley of the Rio Grande; and those of the coast between Cottabato and the gulf of Sarangani.

The most pacific are the Yácanes Moros (no. 22) of the interior of Basílan; the Sánguiles (number 19); and those of Sarangani, except some who have come from the Rio Grande. The Moros of the gulf of Dávao and Mayo are not feared both because of their isolation and their small number.

[Continuing Father Pastells speaks of the ethnographical map that accompanies this volume of the Letters. He mentions the fact that Blumentritt published a map of like character in 1884. The present map is made from information obtained directly by the Jesuit missionaries. Concrete information as to the various dialects is still in so incipient a condition that nothing can as yet be written definitely on the subject, but Father Pastells holds out the hope that such information may be given in the near future.] [288]

1 The Carolinas were discovered first by the Portuguese navigator, Diogo da Rocha, in 1525, and different groups of them were seen by early Spanish navigators. In 1686, one of them was discovered by the Spanish admiral, Francisco Lezcano, who named it Carolina, in honor of Cárlos II, and the whole archipelago finally took its name from it. They number about 525 islands counting reefs and uninhabited rocks, and contain about 525 square miles. In the beginning of the eighteenth century they were entirely abandoned by Spain, and were only brought back to public notice in the beginning of the nineteenth century through several scientific expeditions. Gradually German commercial interests became paramount, and in 1885 the German flag was hoisted in the island of Yap in the presence of two Spanish gunboats. The pope arbitrating on the matter declared that the islands belonged to Spain, but gave special privileges to Germany. In 1899, the Carolinas, Palaos, and all of the Ladrones except Guam were ceded to Germany in payment of 16,750,000 marks. See Montero y Vidal’s Archipiélago, pp. 483–505 (who gives the propositions submitted by the pope); Gregorio Miguel’s Estudio sobre las islas Carolinas; and New International Encyclopædia.

2 The volcano of Apo is located on the highest summit of the Philippines, which is 10,311 ft. high. The first to attempt its ascent was José Oyangúren in 1859, but he failed. It was first ascended in 1880 by Montano, Joaquin Rajal, and Mateo Gisbert, S. J. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 202–204.

3 The Bilans are an exceedingly timid and wild people, fleeing, it is said, even from Moros with whom they are unacquainted. They inhabit the mountains south and west of Lake Bulúan, in South Mindanao, their range being southeast of that of the Tirurayes. Their religion is a sort of demon worship and they are very superstitious. They do not live in communities but each family by itself in a house at least one-half mile from any other house. The brief examination of those houses by Lieutenant H. Rodgers of the Philippine scouts, leads to the belief that the Bilans are a race superior to the Moro, being more cleanly, industrious, and more wealthy. The Moros do not allow them to trade direct with the Chinese merchants. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 560, 561.

4 Dr. Barrows says (Census of Philippines, i, p. 461): “Manobo is a native word which, in the Bagobo language on the Gulf of Dávao, means ‘man.’ It is so given in Padre Gisbert’s vocabulary and also in a special vocabulary taken for the ethnological survey. Blumentritt, however, suggests—and I believe with merit—that Manobo here in Northern Mindanao is a derivation of Manubo, which is itself derived from Masuba, meaning ‘people of the river.’ This term Manobo should be retained for all of this great group living along the affluents and tributary streams of the river Agusan, and the term might, with propriety, I believe, be extended to the Montes farther west and back of Misamis. If there are objections to applying the term Manobo to these pagans of Misamis, I would suggest the application of our general term Bukidnon.”

5 This letter is addressed directly to the superior of the mission.

6 On the prevailing custom of making slaves among the peoples in Mindanao, Father Gisbert says in a letter written May 20, 1886 (Cartas, Manila, 1887): “The slavehunt is not always easy. By availing themselves of tricks and surprises, they can generally capture the old people, women, and the children easily. They first kill those who can make any resistance.”

7 Literally “shields.” That is, the rice was measured into the shield.

8 i.e., So so, or, just as it was.

9 On the Moros, see Census of Philippines, i, pp. 465–467, 561–585.

10 The Yakan are a primitive Malayan tribe of the same type and general culture as the Subanon of the Mindanao mainland, who live in Basilan, and who, some generations ago, accepted the Mahometan faith and are fanatical adherents thereof. They live scattered over the island cultivating a little maize, rice, and tapioca, bringing out some jungle product, but living as a whole miserably and in poverty. Some of them have migrated to the peninsula of Zamboanga and the islands adjacent to this coast. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 465, 466.

11 According to Census of Philippines, the population of the comandancia of Basilan is 30,179, of whom 28,848 are uncivilized.

12 Among the Sámal Laút boys are trained for the priesthood by making their homes with priests, where they remain for several years in the capacity of servant and pupil. Occasionally, when grown they are sent to Singapore for continuous study, but such cases are rare. If a man goes to Mekka he is given the honorable title of pilgrim and is held in high consideration. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 571.

13 i.e., A distance of two palm-lengths.

14 A dish made in the Philippines from the inner and harder shell of the cocoanut.—See Echegaray’s Diccionario etimológico, and Noceda and Sanlucar’s Vocabulario de la lengua tagala.

15 See beliefs and superstitions of the North American Indians in regard to eclipses in Jesuit Relations (Cleveland reissue), vi, p. 223, xii, pp. 31, 73, xxii, p. 295.

16 The principal articles of food are rice, for which corn is sometimes substituted, fish, chickens, vegetables, wild fruits, and cocoanut oil. The natives are fond of chickens and eggs, and most families raise poultry for the table. Pork is forbidden by their faith, and the use of venison, or the flesh of the carabao, ox, sheep, or goat, is limited, the Moros being apparently not fond of meat. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 564.

17 Cogon (Imperata koenigii) is a species of grass of general natural growth, the young shoots of which afford excellent food for cattle. The grass is used in some localities as a substitute for nipa, where the latter does not grow, in thatching roofs. The name “cogon” is applied to many coarse, rank-growing grasses. See Census of Philippines, iv, p. 118.

18 We give the verses in the original language with the Spanish translation of Father Pablo Cavallería, and add the English translation of the latter, which is necessarily crude.

19 An authority among the Moros, after the panglima, and as well a name denoting nobility of race and blood. See Cartas de ... la mision de Filipinas (Manila, 1887), p. 34, note.

20 The letter occupies pp. 326–349, and is accompanied by an ethnographical map (which we do not reproduce) made by the fathers of the Society of Jesuits. Our extract relates to the ethnology of Mindanao, and occupies pp. 336–349.

21 Dr. Barrows (Census of Philippines, i, pp. 462, 463), says in speaking of the tribes of Mindanao that the term Indonesian has been applied to some of them to explain their higher stature and finer physique, which means that they are connected with people of mixed Caucasian blood, who were in primitive times distributed across the Malay Archipelago, and who find their purest living type in the Polynesians. He does not accept the evidence, as the perceptible gain in height among such peoples is not apparently accompanied by the other distinguishing marks of the Caucasian or Polynesian, and consequently regards them as Malayan. See also Le Roy’s Philippine Life (New York, 1905), p. 20.

22 See laws of the Sámal Laút in regard to family and social life in Census of Philippines, i, p. 569.

23 The root of the plant gabe (Colocasia antiquorum variety) is highly prized and extensively cultivated, the leaves also being used as food. Of the resins and oils mentioned, piayo, also called conferal and galagala (Agathis orantifolia—Salisb.) is used for burning and lighting, and the manufacture of varnish; and balao or malapaho (Dipterocarpus velulinno—Bl.) is used for calking. See Census of Philippines, iv, pp. 121, 202, 221; and Philippine Gazetteer, p. 78.

24 Cabo Negro (Caryota urens) is a palm from which a kind of starch or sago is extracted. The camagon (Diospyros discolor) is a native persimmon tree 30 to 45 ft. high growing in Luzón and some of the other islands. See Census of Philippines, iv, pp. 139, 143.

25 Salt is produced by evaporation, from a method taught prior to the coming of the Spaniards by the Chinese. Sea-water, enclosed in a depression surrounded by dykes, is evaporated by the sun’s rays; when the water has disappeared, the salt deposited on the floor of the basin is gathered up and cleaned by filtration. See Census of Philippines, iv, p. 469.

26 This is the Musa sapientum, which is a variety of banana. This fiber is inferior to abacá. See Census of Philippines, iv, p. 167.

27 See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 566, 567, for the industrial life of the Moros. The occupation of smith is especially honorable.

28 The Coripha minor. Its trunk is black and very straight, and the wood is very hard. It is also used for making stockades and for conducting water. See Blanco, p. 161.

29 Blanco describes a shrub called tubli, the fruit of which is very small, and which he does not believe to belong to the species Galactia under which he describes it. The lagtan or lactang (Anamirta cocculus) is a coarse woody plant whose stems are used for tying and binding. The wood is of a yellow color. It like the preceding plant makes the fish that eat mixtures containing it exhibit the appearance of intoxication so that they can be caught by the hand. The fruit is called bayati by the natives. See Census of Philippines, iv, p. 155; Blanco, pp. 411, 557, 558.

30 The claims often put forward by many writers that some of the peoples of the Philippines arise from a mixture of Chinese and Japanese blood with the Malay have no foundation. The Chinese have, it is true, mingled with almost every tribe in the archipelago, but they have not given rise to a new tribe or race.

31 i.e., They are a Negrito tribe.

32 This is the Calamus maximus, a very large species of rattan. See Blanco, pp. 185, 186; and Census of Philippines, iv, p. 159.

33 See ante, p. 241, note 106.

34 Throughout the friar chronicles and accounts the words “reduce” and “reduction” are frequently employed. As used the words have a rather wide application. The primary meaning is of course “conversion” to the Christian faith, but along with this idea must be understood the settlement of the converts in villages in a civilized manner, where they could be under the immediate eye of their spiritual directors. Hence the words bear in a sense a two-fold meaning—the one religious, and the other civil.

35 An allusion to Joseph Montano’s Rapport à M. le ministre de l’instruction publique sur une Mission aux Îles Philippines et en Malaise (Paris, 1885). Of him Pardo de Tavera says (Biblioteca filipino, p. 270): “Doctor Montano is a French anthropologist and physician.... This book is very important and the author divides it into five parts, namely, geology, meteorology, anthropology, pathology, and dialects and political geography, with a few notices regarding agriculture and commerce. The most important chapters are those relating to anthropology and linguistics.”

36 Census of Philippines, i, p. 473, calls these people a branch of the Mandayas.

37 Dr. Barrows (Census of Philippines, i, p. 460) restricts the term “Buquidnon” to mountain-dwellers in Luzón and the Visayas, who escaped reduction when those islands were christianized. The term “Buquidnon” means “people of the mountain forest.”

38 These are the Negritos. Aetas is the oldest known name for that people. It is probably derived from the Tagálog word itim, “black.” In many places the Negrito seems to have disappeared by absorption into the conquering Malay race. There are about 23,000 of them still in the islands. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 468, 478, 532, 533.

39 Dr. Barrows (Census, i, p. 471) calls this people a division of the Bagobos.

40 The Bagobos, together with the Moros and Mandayas, are migratory in habit, though they do not leave the province. They are said to be fire worshipers. The blood feud prevails. The Ocacola Bagobos have discontinued their annual sacrifice which they would eat. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 462, 463, 531.

41 Called by Barrows (Census, i, p. 470) a Bagobo tribe.

42 See ante, p. 199, note 84.

43 A more complete title of this book by Jose Gumilla, S. J., is, El Orinoco ilustrado, historia natural, civil, y geographica, de este gran rio ... govierno, usos y costumbres de los Indios sus habitadores (Madrid, 1741).

44 See ante, p. 197, note 82. Pardo de Tavera derives Tiruray from atew rooter, “people living above,” that is, “up the river.” This branch of the Manobos are described by First Lieut. G. S. Turner, Tenth U. S. Infantry, who collected information for the Census among them, “as ignorant, shiftless savages ruled by superstitions and fear, with little moral or legal restraint upon their desires or passions. They were formerly much preyed upon by Moros and Manobos, but they are troubled no longer in this respect.” See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 462, 549–552.

45 The Sámal are an exceedingly important element in the Sulu Archipelago. Their former locus, where the pure Sámal dialect was spoken, is in the islands between Basilan and Joló, especially Tonguil and Balanguingui. These were the very latest pirate haunts to be broken up by the Spaniards. The Sámal are now scattered along the coast of Zamboanga and nearly everywhere in the archipelago of Sulu. See Census of Philippines, i, p. 475.

46 It is the custom among the heathen to change, suppress, and add vowels. For example: biñag for buñag, “baptism;” bidi for budi, “girl;” isug for usug, “man;” buhay for bahay, “woman;” guianga for guanga, “forest;” inay for ina, “mother;” budiay for budi; di for dili, “no;” etc.—Pablo Pastells, S. J.

47 An important pagan tribe whose habitat is about the bay of Sibuguey and the bay of Dumanquilas. See Census of Philippines, i, pp. 461, 462, 476.

48 “The campaign of General Terrero in 1887 against the Sultanates of Buhayen, Bacat, and Kuduranga in the ‘cuenca’ of the Pulangui resulted in the occupation of Liong, Bacat, and Kuduranga, taking possession likewise at this time of the cove of Pujaga (east coast) of the bay of Sarangani, the port of Lebak, and that of Santa Maria, commencing work on the trocha of Tukuran.” Memoria de Mindanao by Julian Gonzales Parrado.

In 1902 two military roads were planned by General George W. Davis through Mindanao, one passing from the south and one from the north coast of Mindanao into the very heart of the Moro country, and meeting on the waters of Lake Lanao. See the story of the building of the roads by Major R. L. Bullard of the 28th U.S. Infantry, who is stationed at Iligan, Mindanao, in the Atlantic Monthly for December, 1903.

49 Governor Narciso Clavería personally conducted an expedition against the Moros in 1848. The three vessels were under command of José Ruiz de Apodaca, of the royal navy. He administered heavy defeats on the Moros at several points. The expedition of Antonio de Urbistondo against Joló was made in 1850–1851. The expedition of Jose Malcampo y Monje was made in 1875. By these three expeditions the Moro power was badly crippled. See Montero y Vidal, Historia de la piratería, and Historia general, iii.

50 Speaking of the efforts of the Jesuits in Mindanao in his Memoria de Mindanao, Julian Gonzales Parrado says: “This proper zeal causes them, nevertheless, not to see this question clearly and leads them to an excusable optimism, but which gives them credit for the success obtained in so many years of preaching and teaching as to what relates to the Moros. In spite of their efforts, sacrifices, and infinite constancy, neither in Joló nor in Mindanao have they succeeded during the three centuries in causing to be admitted into the labarum of the Evangelist more than an insignificant number of Mahometans, and even of this small contingent of converts and baptized, nearly all have been observed to have abjured their new religion and returned to their former practices as soon as possible; or the interest or the danger that impelled them at receiving the baptism more than anything else, has ceased.” He concludes by saying that this is not to the discredit of the Jesuits, but due to the peculiarities of the Moros, and to their fanatic religion. It is advised that no forcible attempt be made to convert them, but that they adopt Christianity only if they so desire.


Letter from Father José Maria Clotet to the Reverend Father Rector of the Ateneo Municipal

Pax Christi.

My dearly beloved Father Rector in Christ:

In my last letter to your Reverence, I indicated to you that I was gathering some data in regard to the religion, manners, and customs of the mountain race. Now during the days of our stay in Talisayan, I shall make use of my spare moments to write your Reverence what I have been able to learn in the various reductions and visitas of said heathens. In the present letter, however, I shall only give information of some interesting matters which are worth knowing, and are not unsuitable for a familiar letter.

In order to give the fullest information of the mountain race, I shall take in general the water farthest up, beginning with their name and with the territory which they occupy. I shall tell something of their religion, false beliefs, and peculiar customs, and, not forgetting their progress and their industries, I shall end by setting down, although in passing, the fruit which our missionaries have gathered in a short time among those heathens. I shall not [289]bind myself, however, to tell everything, but only some of the most remarkable things which have come to my notice.

The Monteses, recognized in Mindanao under the name of Buquidnons (inhabitants of the thicket), are found in the district of Misamis, and can be considered as divided into three main groups. The first embraces those who extend through the mountains and fertile plains bathed by the Tagoloan, Cagayán, and Iponan rivers. The second comprises the Colindantes with the Manobos of the Agusan between Gingóog and Nasípit. Those living on the right bank of the Pulangui River and along some of its affluents form the third group. They are shown at number 6 on the ethnographical map.1 From what I have just explained, it can be easily seen that, although the Buquidnons have some peculiarities which distinguish them from the other races, as is natural, yet they approach in the manner of their habitual social and religious existence, to the other races of this territory, as I shall note in the course of this brief relation. Their exact number is not known, but it can be calculated that they at present exceed 13,000. They are of good stature and graceful build, and even handsome. Their character is affable and frank, and some of them seem to me so clever and polished that they are not one whit behind the most civilized Visayans, and to judge by the frankness with which they speak to the father missionary, and by the naturalness with which they handle their affairs with the old Christians, no one would say that they were heathens. By the capacity [290]of their minds (as Father Urios very well remarked) they would be elevated as the kings of all the Manobos, since they surpass the latter so greatly. However, to tell the truth, one always recognized in heathens, whoever they may be, that their understanding is obscured and confused by false ideas which penetrate into all the acts of their life. In the race of which I am treating they are shown to be heathens by certain vices of egoism, their self-interest, and the satisfaction that they take. Blessed forever be the light of our holy faith which enlightens us with the true knowledge of God and of ourselves, and infuses us with self-abnegation and supernatural love for God and our neighbors!

From what I have seen and heard I can assert that the dress of the Monteses is better than that of all the rest of the races of Mindanao in point of decorum and modesty, and in affirming this, I refer, not only to the men but also to the women. The skirts which the latter wear down to the ankles fasten securely at the waist their white shirt. Above this they wear another very short and well-fitting shirt on which they sew little bits of cloth of many different colors in the manner of fine patchwork. The sleeves are short and full and are ornamented in the same manner. They take pleasure in choosing the colors and designs with which to adorn their dress. On the left side of the girdle they hang rings and bundles of sweet-scented herbs mixed with glass beads and hawk’s-bells. Fine rings of copper, brass or silver on their legs hanging quite loosely, produce a certain sound when they walk, which invites the attention of him who is ignorant of such a custom. Their manner of dressing the hair is also peculiar and [291]characteristic, for they twist and knot the chief lock of the hair, without braiding it, in the form of a large high crown. All about the head hang very short locks of hair of equal length, which take the form of a small circle on the forehead, and sometimes almost cover the eyebrows. They allow the forelocks to grow to a great length, although that gives them an especial grace. A beautiful comb very well made from metal, more or less precious, according to the wealth of the one who wears it, crowns the said headdress. Many are the women who are materially laden with bracelets from the wrists almost to the elbows, some of metal, others of tortoise-shell, others of taclobo,2 etc., etc. As an ornament for their ears they generally wear some wide eardrops (balaring) formed by a cylinder of wood, generally soft, at the bases of which are fixed two round and unequal plates of engraved brass, silver, gold, or copper. In order to insert these eardrops, they make very large holes in the lobes of the ears until the smaller sheet of metal can pass through the said orifice, so that the cylinder may rest on the inner edges of the said orifice. They have necklaces and rings of several kinds, some of them of great value. They are often made of strings of beads interwoven in different colors. Not seldom do they have clusters of hawk’s-bells and shells, or bundles of blue or red silk hanging from the necklaces. They have other necklaces which they call balucag, which are made from the hairs of the wild boar, and which they weave in the manner of small hoops and unite in the manner of a net, which are [292]ornamented bits of shells, glass beads, and other trifles of the same kind. My attention was peculiarly struck by a necklace made of silver coins which were quite old, and which diminished in size successively from the center to the ends. The center was a duro of Carlos III, somewhat flattened out, which formed as it were the medallion of the necklace. The latter, besides being original, was quite valuable, for the thirty odd pesos which it must have been worth are a capital for a mountaineer of that small ranchería. Such jewels are seldom parted with however much necessity presses them, and thus it is explained how they pass from father to son for many generations. The rings that I saw among the individuals of that race were all of brass; but I am assured that those of gold and silver are not scarce. It is to be noted that not only do they adorn the fingers with them but also their toes. Of all these vain ornaments of eardrops, necklaces, and rings, they are despoiled when they receive the health-giving waters of baptism, like one who renounces the world and its pomp and vanity. Those objects are taken from them for they are wont to use them as amulets against this or that sickness, against such or such an injury which they fear, or, to obtain more easily their desires, etc., etc. In exchange, the father missionary gives them medals, rosaries, and scapularies, which they take great pleasure in showing, and wear hanging from the neck.

The dress of the men is simple and usually like that of the Indians. But they are very valuable when they have on their court apparel, for then they wear long breeches of European cloth, and many wear jackets of the same material, and fine beaver [293]hats while they are not without shoes and shirts of much value. The shirts are not worn outside as the other Indians wear them, but they hide them as much as possible except the bosom, especially if they are well embroidered. Those who dress in the most beautiful gala attire, cut the hair and take care of it, but most of them who are fugitives and have but little intercourse with the Christians let the hair grow without taking any care of it. They twist it in order to make the crown which they hide under a handkerchief, usually a red one, which they wear tied about the head in the manner of the swains of Aragón. Some consider it an important ornament for their person to dye the teeth black and file them by means of flints, which take the place of a file with them. Although I have not seen it, I have been assured that the very rich cover their teeth with sheets of very thin gold, which they only take out when they eat. It is amusing to see the Monteses, who have recently come down from the woods, among the old Christians. In order not to be taken for Buquidnons, they present themselves so prinked out and walk along the streets so carefully, that one would think that they do not set their feet on the ground, and being so unnatural in their movements, they move the others to laughter in that very thing by which they are trying to please them. There is no better grace than naturalness.

In the brief examination that we made of what passes among the individuals of this race, in the deities whom they adorn, their sacrifices, and their songs and traditions, we shall see that they have some ideas of God, of heaven, of eternity, and of the first man. But they are so material, small, and disfigured, [294]that by transverse light alone can the greatness of the primitive creeds be divined. Like the polytheists that they are, they have four gods at the four cardinal points: at the north, Domalóngdong; at the south, Ongli; at the east, Tagolámbong; and at the west, Magbabaya. Those gods, with their wisdom and power rule and govern this great mass of the world which we inhabit. Who does not see in these four deities a perfect resemblance to the Vazus, of the worshipers of Brahma? Now then, if those gods, according to the Buquidnons, govern this great fabric of the world with so great acumen from the four cardinal points, in the same manner, according to the Brahmans, Vazu-Pulastia governs the nations of the north; Vazu-Yama those of the south; those of the east, Vazu-Indra; and those of the west Vazu-Varuna. And so great is the order and concert of those regions that therefrom results the harmony of the whole universe, and, consequently, the so extensive worship which the inhabitants of India attribute to their Vazus, so that offended by men the order of this world might not be overturned. The god Magbabaya, that is to say, “the all-powerful one,” has as equals in rank the god Ibabásug, and Ipamahandi. The former is invoked for the fortunate delivery of women; the latter takes care of carabaos, horses, and other larger and smaller cattle, and since a Buquidnon is rarely seen, who does not possess some of these animals for his ordinary work, hence, they invoke that divinity with so great frequency and in any disagreeable mischance that may happen to the said animals. From Tagumbanua, or the god of the fields, they hope for a good harvest, and dedicate the feast called caliga to him after the harvesting of the fruits. [295]They invoke the Tao sa súlup or “men of the woods” (who resemble the Anitos of the Ilocan heathens) in their wars, diseases, journeys, etc. Those divinities according to them, are genii, who live within the trunks of the large trees, or on huge crags. They intervene in the affairs of mortals, harming them or protecting them, according as they are contrary or propitious. I noted on a certain occasion that, on passing before a leafy tree called balite, the mountaineer who accompanied me lowered his voice and was very much frightened. I asked him the reason for it, and after many urgings he considered it advisable to give me the explanation of his fright in these words: “The Buquidnons affirm that the balite is the habitation of Magtitima, or an invisible being of the woods, who, if he does not receive a sacrifice of white fowls, grows angry at mortals and does not allow them to cut the wood, and sends them sickness. Although I do not believe those things, I have a certain fear in passing near these trees.” I urged him to cast off so superstitious belief and to trust in God, who is the only one who can deliver us from all sicknesses and danger of soul and body. The idol called Tigbas figures among the Buquidnons as a very highly respected god. They look upon him with great reverence, for they believe that he descended from the sky. Only the chief datos among them possess that idol. The said idol is made of stone, as is also the pedestal that supports it. The people guard it with the greatest care among the most esteemed objects of their ancestors, and only show it to those whom they consider as very closely allied to themselves, either by reason of friendship or kinship. Talián is another little idol represented [296]by the figure of a monkey seated on its haunches. They make it from the root of the alder tree. Generally they carry it hanging from the breast by means of a cord which the unhappy Talián has tied about his neck. When they go on a journey and fear an ambush, they take that little idol by the string and let it hang in the air free in the manner of a plumb-line, and toward the direction where its gaze rests, they say that the enemies are preparing an ambush for them there. In order to free themselves from those enemies they leave the road which they had taken and follow one entirely different. If they suffer from any sickness, they submerge the idol in a basin of water and then drink the water immediately, for they believe that by so doing they will recover their lost health. Sometimes they say that it is sufficient to touch with the idol the ailing member, or the painful part, in order to find relief and even a total cure. Finally, they make use of it in order to divine where the objects or jewels which they have lost by chance are. They always try to keep the Búsao or evil spirit well dispositioned. For that purpose they offer him food and drink, singing and dancing, according to their custom. At the same time they recite certain prayers, asking him to free them from such or such a calamity which they fear. The old men are generally the ones who offer the sacrifices, which usually consist only of the offering of fruits of the soil, and in the sacrifice of some swine and fowls, in order to court or make amends to one of their deities. One of their most common altars consists of a column with a dish on the upper part which contains some offering. The two cross timbers which are seen in the middle part are for the purpose of holding their little idols. [297]

Leaving aside many other superstitious things in regard to their gods, which no less than the preceding give an idea of the sad condition of these poor wretches, I shall pass on to speak briefly of their marriages, which are agreed upon by the sole authority of the ancients or Maslicampo.3 The latter who is also the one who directs all the chief affairs, determines by his own opinion that the alliance between such a youth and such a maiden shall take place, whether it be at the insinuation of the sweethearts or at the entreaty of their parents. Some promises then being made between the parents of the bride and the father of the young man, the relatives of each party having been summoned assemble in the house that has been previously prepared, where everything must be in abundance, but especially a liquor called pangasi, which they keep in certain large jars. When the hour for the marriage has arrived, the bridal couple having exchanged some words between themselves, receive from their respective parents a ball of morisqueta. They hold it for some minutes in the palm of the hand, and then the groom gives the ball of morisqueta to his wife and with that ceremony the marriage is effected. By that means, as is obvious, is indicated the duty which they have and recognize of mutually supporting one another and trying to procure the support of the family. A fine bichara is prepared among the guests while the feast lasts. There is abundance of food, sauces, and beverages, which are arranged with [298]great anticipation. A solemn drunken revel follows this kind of banquet, the effect of that beverage, which they suck up through long reeds, placed in the jars which hold it. Unless they are datos or chief men, there are but few of them who have two or three wives, which, unhappily, is more common among other heathen races.

Father Eusebio Barrado, a missionary among those people, told me on a certain occasion that they exhibit great repugnance when they have to pass through the territory of other datos to whom they are not subject. In order that the traveler may make such passage without any danger, the chiefs have a spear called quiap, much larger than ordinary spears with incrustations of silver along the shaft, and the lower end of metal. They give it for a trifling recompense as a safe conduct to the travelers who have to cross through the territories of other datos, and the latter on recognizing the spear of the chief dato allow such persons to pass freely without harming them in the least, but on the contrary showing them consideration and deference. This takes place as I have been informed by a person worthy of all credit, even when there is war between the different factions.

The principal datos show their greatness by the use of enormous vases, where they keep rare and curious articles. Those vases are used at the same time for the storing of food. The águnes are not less esteemed by them, but the things held in highest estimation both by rulers and by subjects are certain quadrangular prismatic boxes like small coffers, which are ornamented on the outer part and on all their sides with two cuarto coins, in the form of very symmetrical [299]and harmonious designs. In those boxes they keep their clothes and weapons. The weapons which they use most are balaraos of greater or less value, which they acquire from the Manobos of Agusan, in exchange for cloth, maize, camotes, salt, etc., etc.; the bangcao, or spear that they use both for hunting and for fighting with their enemies and for their exploits, one of which is the capturing and enslaving of children, after they have assassinated their parents. The said spears are generally of an excellent temper, as are also their bolos, and a certain other weapon called kris, which has been seen at times in the possession of the Buquidnons and is without doubt acquired from the Moros. For besides it being well-known that the Buquidnons have communication with the Moros by means of the river Pulangui, the said krises have Moro inscriptions and seals. I had a bolo in my hands whose handle or hilt surpassed many krises in value, for since it was of a dark, very hard and heavy wood, which I thought to be manconó4 it had many large incrustations of silver, and from some of the silver which had been lost I discovered that they were not merely thin plates but pieces of quite a large size. The corresponding scabbard was of baticulin5 and was worked with great skill. [300]

Father Barrado of whom I have made mention a while ago assured me that he had seen among these heathens one who had a coat-of-mail made of brass plates, of very thick wire of the same metal and ornaments of silver, which was made to cover all the breast and the back. It would be difficult to say from whom and in what manner they obtained them, but according to the method in which they are constructed and by what I have been able to ascertain they appear to be very ancient, and, consequently, worthy of being exhibited in any museum of arms or antiquities. They have other more common ones which they make themselves, and which consist of certain bolsters about three fingers thick, well quilted, which cover their breast and back, not only from the darts but also from the spears of their enemies. The petty rulers of this race bind their temples with the pinditón which is a crown of cloth with three points, that of the center being the largest, and all of them ornamented in the style of the mountain. I shall tell on what occasions they make use of this crown.

Various are the said objects in my possession, as well as a curious sacafuegos [firemaker] of which I am going to say a few words, which are due to the kindness and generosity of Don Procopio de Alcántara, judge of the village of Tagoloan. The sacafuegos consists of two cylinders of wood of great resisting power, and not very porous. One of them is hollow and the other solid. The latter, which is fitted very perfectly to the interior part of the [301]former, has at one end a little tinder with very fine powdered sulphur. Having been prepared in this manner it is inserted a trifle at the said end into the hollow cylinder, and a smart blow is struck on it in order to send it all at once [into the hollow cylinder], and then by drawing it out quickly, the tinder is found to be alight and is immediately applied to the tobacco. That is no other than a small pneumatic flint and steel, such as is usually represented by the authors of books on physics.

They smoke the tobacco which they grow themselves, which is considered to be of the most excellent quality. They sell it in not small quantities in Cagayán in exchange for clothes or other objects that they need. Since the people of this race have been somewhat more civilized than those of others, they smoke the tobacco in small clay, wood, or horn pipes, which they make themselves, adding a small bamboo joint for a mouthpiece. They chew tobacco without swallowing it, as well as buyo. Instead of keeping the lime [for the buyo] in bamboo tubes beautifully worked, as do the Manobos and Mandayas, they keep it in small brass boxes, which are beautified with cunningly-made adornments, each one of which has its fitting ladle of the same metal, fashioned by means of a small chain.

In order to be more unembarrassed in their voyages, they use what they call salapa, which is a brass box in the form of a crescent which they fasten to the front of their girdle by cords. The lotoan or pouch which is adorned with rich and vari-colored embroidery, is also used by them in their excursions. In it they keep their money, tobacco, buyo, rice, etc., etc. Although they can undertake [302]long voyages afoot, without giving out, and can well endure the discomforts of the road through mountains and woods, they are such good horsemen that however steep may be the ascents they never alight from their horses. The horse is generally caparisoned with one or two strings of hawk’s-bells, in the manner of the mule teams conducted by the muleteers of Cataluña, and they make as do the latter such a racket that they advise the traveler of their passing from a long distance.

They engage in the cultivation of the soil, and make extensive plantations of maize, which supply them not only with their ordinary food but also with goodly profits by selling it to the beach villages, thus obtaining in exchange many articles which they do not possess in the woods, salt being the chief. Since they do not count by months or by years, but by harvests, in order to know the time for their sowing they pay attention to the aspect of the sky. Accordingly, when they see certain constellations in the firmament which they designate by very curious and completely arbitrary names, since they know that they are, for example, those which precede the rainy season, they hasten to burn their trees and prepare the ground for sowing. I have seen the plow used for the cultivation of the soil, one somewhat different from those of España. He who guides it is never without his adze with which to cut the roots which he finds as the plow passes. For the finer labor, they use a small hoe with a short curved handle. Scarcely will one find a house of Buquidnons where there are not one or at times more small mills for grinding maize. They are made of two very hard stone cylinders. The inner is fixed on a wooden upright, while the [303]upper is movable, and has an orifice in its center through which the maize is poured. The circular movement by which the grain is crushed is produced by a handle securely fastened to one side of the movable cylinder. An apparatus which I saw in Jasaán for removing cotton seed appeared very ingenious to me. It consists in the special gearing of the screws [engrenaje particular de las roscas] of two cylinders. Those cylinders being very close together allow the filaments of cotton to pass but not the seeds, which are as large as small peas. The motion is produced by means of a crank which is the continuation of the upper cylinder. The whole apparatus is wooden, but is operated with sufficient regularity although with some discomfort to the one operating it. Not a little time is given by the Monteses to the harvesting of abacá for they are not ignorant of the high price of that filament, in commerce. But to many of them their dream proves very contrary, for they often meet with Chinese traders, cunning as are no others, who exploit them by deceiving them in the price and weight, and what is worse, fill them with alcohol, by enticing them to drink deeply. In fact after the unfortunate fellows have used all the week in transacting the business they again return to their woods with the after effects of their intoxication, without abacá, without money, with some miserable gewgaws perhaps and a mind irritated by the deceit of which they were the victims. It would be advisable to impose an efficacious corrective on those exploiters of an evil class, and worse tricks, in favor of the poor Monteses. When the palay is harvested, on rising and before undertaking the ordinary labors, until daybreak, [304]they generally sing popular songs, men and women alternating, either the history of their ancestors, or the prowess of one of their heroes, or some events of our first parents, Adam and Eve, corrupted and mixed as is supposed by their false beliefs. The airs of those songs are in general gloomy and monotonous. Their musical instruments are few and rudimentary, among them being the pulala, or bamboo clarinet, which has a very shrill sound, but which is the most appreciated; and instruments of bamboo resembling a flute; an imitation of a guitar (tiape) with only three strings; and the dayuray, or a very small drum whose box is made of the shell of the cocoanut or a bamboo tube.

Although they are so sunk in the darkness of heathenism they have some glimmerings of civilization among themselves, without doubt the vestige of the past Spanish domination, for they have their laws and courts for the punishment of theft and other crimes, laws which, transmitted from father to son, are reformed according to the greater or less discretion of the superior dato, to whom those who have been offended in a serious matter have recourse to demand justice. The dato, seated, and with his temples bound with his flaming pinditón and grasping in his right hand the famous quiap, has two subordinate datos sit near him, and then the criminal is immediately brought to his presence. Those who conduct him leave their spears thrust into the ground near the steps of that tribunal, so that no one in view of the crime of which the criminal is convicted dares to take the justice of the criminal into his own hands. The arguments for each side having been heard, after deliberation, the superior dato administers justice, [305]together with the subordinate datos present at the act. The penalty decreed is executed without delay for the satisfaction of the aggrieved parties, the punishment of the offender, and the public warning of all. When the crime is not very serious, the offender is condemned to pay a certain number of large and small plates, to which a China jar is sometimes added, if the crime is somewhat greater. After the fine has been paid the one offended and the offender have to cleave with one single blow of the bolo, and at the same time a rattan which is held by the judges. If by accident the rattan should not be cut at one time, it is an evident sign that the opposing parties are still enemies, and, consequently, they yet look upon one another with care and dread.

It is a well-established fact among these heathens that he who kills a dato has committed so great a crime that it can never be erased, and the author and all his descendants are considered as slaves, and all have the right to reduce them to slavery whenever they wish.

I will mention here certain peculiar apprehensions and some of the superstitions of this race.

Whenever they offer any food or drink to guests, they first taste it in order to remove all suspicion of deceit or poison from their guests. Among the Monteses it is a lack of education and good breeding to mention their names in conversation. If any of them is asked “What is your name?” the one interrogated does not answer, but some other person of the group will say “His name is Colás.” In regard to the rest which man ought to take they say that it is better for him to imitate the birds, which go to bed at the setting of the sun and wake up at the reddening [306]of the dawn. They say that the rainbow is the red girdle of two famous men, Banlac and Aguio, who mounted up to heaven by a great leap from the hill called Balábag, without any more being known of them. These heathens reckon by nights and not by days, so that their method of expression is as follows: “That voyage will last about six nights;” “After four nights we shall begin to build the house.” I mind me that the ancient Germans did the same thing, and I believe that some peoples of Oceanica had the same custom in remote times. When they are outside of their houses and away from their village or ranchería, when they see that the moon has a halo, they are persuaded that somebody is being judged in their village, and for fear that it may be one of their partisans they immediately return home, to see whether they can save the defendant. They are convinced that if it rains and the rays of the sun illumine, at the same time, such or such a distant wood, it is because the Buquidnons are at war in the said point, and the sun does not wish to hide its light so that they may fight with greater valor. If they hear the song of the bird limocon under certain circumstances, they do not leave their houses, for as they say some danger or ambush awaits them on the way. If the song surprises them on the road itself, in this or that position which they ascertain, they immediately return to their houses and refuse to continue for certain reasons. When they find the worm called lábud in the middle of the road they go back, for they assert that some sickness or misfortune would overtake them, if they did not do so. If they enter any house to visit those who live there, and during the conversation any cock or hen flies and passes in front of the stranger, the owners of the house immediately [307]kill the bold bird, and it is eaten in friendly intercourse with the guest, in order to remove his fright and bring his soul back, which they believe has been separated from the body through fright and returns again to the same body joyfully. I could mention other interesting things of the same kind, but I leave them in order not to tire your Reverence.

When speaking of the dwellings of these heathens, one must distinguish between those who live in settlements and those who live in the woods. The former build their houses well spread out and comfortably, it being indispensable for them to have a projecting wing joined to the house itself in the manner of a gallery, open to the air on all sides except that by which it communicates with the interior. To this gallery is fitted the stairway, generally of wood, very simple in form and generally without balustrades. The materials employed are not always bamboo and nipa. I have seen the houses of Buquidnons which have board walls excellently constructed, very strong, but needing no nails, hammers, or saws. How is that? I will tell something about it. Here is the crucial point, as one generally says; for some boards are simply sewn to others. And I must tell another marvel so that with one surprise we are relieved of another. All the boards have six holes along their length three on one side and three on the other, and joining the boards by the edges they pass a bit of very fine and tough rattan through the said holes, and they are so tightly bound together that nails are not missed at all. Those who live scattered in the interior of the woods build their houses low, but raised very far above the ground through their fear of the spears of their enemies.

Very great is the respect that all these heathens [308]show for their deceased. Accordingly, they generally bury them in their fields and with them the spear, bolo, and other precious things which they especially used during their lifetime. Along the place that the corpse occupies they heap up the earth, and form a small mound, and at short intervals in the ground they fasten certain tree trunks in the form of an X, on top of which they place the bark of a tree, which serves as a roof for the earth mound, which they consider as sacred. Never do they forget to suspend from the upper end of a large pole, a small sack of rice, on which the deceased supports himself until his soul takes according to them the long road to Mount Bolotucan. Bolotucan is the highest peak which dominates all the region comprehended between Jasaán and Lagónlong. When the deceased reaches the summit of the same he gets into heaven by jumping up, reaching a higher or lesser point according to the probity of his life, and there he will remain forever. All the relatives of the deceased, both men and women, make great demonstrations of grief when death occurs. They let their hair hang loose as a sign of mourning, and do not bind it up again until after a greater or less period, according to the love which they professed for the deceased.

I have recounted all these things so minutely in order that the obscurity and darkness in which all those of this race were before they were visited by the father ministers, may be understood. Reverend Father, the consolation which I have had, on seeing the zeal and activity with which these fathers procure the spiritual and material welfare of so many poor creatures, is unspeakable. In honor of truth I must tell your Reverence that their hopes and labors [309]have not been in vain, for in less than four years, more than 6,600 heathens who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, have been illumined by the torch of the faith, have denied their false beliefs and ridiculous superstitions, and have been regenerated in the waters of baptism. Fortunate missionaries who are occupied in such ministries, and happy converts who have passed from so great vileness to so great dignity by the labors of those missionaries!

The objects described in the present letter which are not in my possession, I have sketched from the natural. When I shall return there I shall be glad to hand them to your Reverence.

I beg that you will not forget me in your holy sacrifices and prayers.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

José María Clotet, S. J. [310]

1 This volume of the Cartas is accompanied by a large map of Mindanao.

2 Taclobo is the Tagálog name of a large snail; here used for the shell.

3 Masalicampo, or Maestre de campo is a title which was formerly given to the Monteses, who had distinguished themselves in any service for Spain or its government, by the superior authorities; for instance, by fighting against the Moros in favor of our banner, as is seen by the title despatched at the petition of Father Ducós, S. J. (note to this letter, p. 176).

4 The Xanthostemon verdugonianus—Naves, of the family of Myrtaceæ, allied to the Iron wood of Java. It is found in Luzón and Mindanao, and is a hard, heavy wood, exceedingly difficult to work. See Important Philippine Woods (Manila, 1901), pp. 65, 66.

5 There is a species of tree called baticulin, which is the Litsea obtusata of Villar, and the Olax baticulin of Blanco, belonging to the family Laurineæ. It is extensively used for cabinet making and carving, and is not readily attacked by the white ant. Blanco (pp. 351, 352) describes a wood Millingtonia quadripinnata, which he also calls baticulin, and which is easily worked and extensively used for carving. It is called Ansohan in the Visayas Islands. The latter is probably the wood meant in the text. See Blanco, and Important Philippine Woods, pp. 31–33.


Present beliefs and superstitions in Luzon

[The following we translate from the supplement to the Manila newspaper El Renacimiento, of the date of December 9, 1905, which was called to our attention by James A. LeRoy. It is deserving of a place in this series, as showing what is actually believed at the present time among some of the ignorant Filipinos.]


The mangkukulam

Here, as in Europe, and in almost all parts, the people believe in witches.

The mangkukulam1 is the male or female witch [311]of Filipinas. To that one is attributed a certain power of witchcraft by the common people which makes him full of terror to many. He has the custom of not looking straight at his interlocutors, I do not know whether it is because he fears the open or searching glance of them or not. He always keeps his eyes lowered, and whenever it is necessary to direct his gaze toward the person with whom he is talking, he does it on all occasions by glancing up sideways, and he has never dared to meet directly the gaze of the others.

It is a general belief that the mangkukulam is almost omnipotent in matters pertaining to doing evil to his neighbor. By the mere wish alone, he can produce sickness in any person who has secured his ill-will. In general, the sicknesses that he usually deals out are most intense headaches, or aches in other parts of the body, boils or internal tumors, swellings on the head or in any other place, such ailments being all inexplicable to the immense majority of the crowd, of the ignorant masses, who do not give credit, understand, or have faith in the power, capacity, or secrets of science.

He who gains the ill-will or enmity of these witches of Filipinas, can rest assured that if he goes [312]out for a walk in the street, when he is about to re-enter his house he will perceive himself to be stricken with some sort of ailment, through the means and influence of the angered mangkukulam, who has already taken it upon himself to make him a present of the illness which suits him best—pains in the stomach, swellings in any part of the body, swellings on the head, deformity in the genital parts, etc., etc.

It happens as a rule that when any person is attacked by any of the above ailments, he begins to talk of certain deeds as if he had done them in company with some person there present, at the very moment when he feels himself stricken by the ailment. At the same time he cites names that are unknown, and localities more or less distant. That is an assurance that during such moments, the patient is completely bewitched by the mangkukulam, who has penetrated into his body, and that the latter is the one who causes the patient to talk. It cannot be said that the patient is delirious during those moments, for rarely is he accustomed to have a fever, and in general has none. Besides, every day, and whenever the ailment attacks him, he repeats the words, deeds, and citations that he mentioned the first time—all of this preceded by the exclamation “Oh! oh! now you are here again!” This exclamation forces the members of the family of the one attacked to believe more and more strongly that the sick man has been effectively bewitched by the mangkukulam, that the latter had entered the body of the one attacked at that time, and that physicians and medicines are powerless to cure those evils which are produced by those witches of Filipinas, for the simple reason that the physicians do not believe in the existence of the mangkukulam or in their witchcraft. [313]

In these cases, the herbalists themselves, who are frequently called in to aid all kinds of sickness are useless.

Nothing remains except to mention here certain details which complete the picture of the mangkukulam or give an exact idea of what they are, according to the popular belief.

Every mangkukulam has his abubut.2 The abubut consists of a small tampipi which does not contain more than a small rag doll similar to those that, are sold in front of the doors of our churches in order to amuse our children with them, and a small cushion stuck full of innumerable pins.

In the abubut lies, according to popular belief, all the power of the mangkukulam. Without it, the mangkukulam is powerless, and even inoffensive, if one wishes.

When the mangkukulam plans to do any harm to any person whomever, he goes to the quarter of his house where he always keeps his abubut, and takes out the doll and a pin. Then he sticks the latter in whatever part of the body of the doll that he wishes. By that means, accompanied by the desire of producing or causing evil to the person at whom he has been angered, that person will be found to be stricken with some sort of sickness in the part of the body where the doll has been pricked. And since in general, no success is had in applying the appropriate remedy for the sickness suffered by those who are made ill by the means and influence of the mangkukulam, the family decide to call a physician.

But the physician in those cases, is not the real [314]physician who has been for a long time singeing his eyebrows and devouring countless text books in the universities, and who has not few years of experience in the hospitals. Neither is he the mediquillo,3 who is, in many cases, a simple practitioner with some notions of medical science in his head. Neither is he the poor herbalist, who knows and is acquainted with the curative virtues of some plants, aided by the famous book of Father Santa Maria.4 No, not one of these serves for the case. The physician whose services are needed, is he who expressly devotes himself to the cure of those bewitched by the mangkukulam.

These physicians of the kulam, after looking at the patient attentively, who equally with the mangkukulam cannot resist the glance of any other person in the moments when he is attacked by the sickness; and after hearing what things the sick one says, approaches any member of the family to tell him that the sick one is really possessed by the mangkukulam; and at the same time to ask whether the family cares to have him cured.

If the reply is in the affirmative, preparations are made and the sick man is submitted to the following practices.

All the toes of his feet, and the fingers of his hands are tied up in anona bark. If the sick one continues to cry out and to utter all the things that he has been accustomed to say, adding thereto the petition for [315]pardon with the promise of not doing it again, it is a sign that the mangkukulam has not had time to escape or leave the body of the patient. Then the physician takes a well-dried ray’s tail, such as is often used as a cane, and prescribes for the sick person a good stiff caning [paliza de padre y señor mio] from his head to his feet. This operation is repeated for three or four consecutive days, longer, if contrary to what the mangkukulam promises by word of mouth, he again takes up his lodging in the body of the sick person. Lastly, it is decided whether or not to go on with the operation completely to the end. That consists in bathing the sick person in boiling water, and in the result thereof the patient finds a true remedy for his ills, for when the bath is finished, he ceases to suffer forever.

These practices obey their long-established conviction that it is not the sick person who suffers from the great acts of nonsense committed on him. Many affirm that they have found the mangkukulam who had bewitched the sick person dead on different occasions after such practices had been finished.

Since I have been in the province of Nueva Écija, I have had the opportunity to prove one thing; namely, that the mangkukulam fears or flees from anonas. The fact by which I have been able to prove it is as follows.

A poor woman was found some weeks ago suffering from severe pains in the stomach, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The family which was composed of several brothers, was thoroughly convinced that their sister had been bewitched by a mangkukulam. As they did not know any physicians for the kulam, they summoned me to please visit and [316]treat the sick woman. I held off as much as possible, by saying that inasmuch as I did not believe in any of those superstitions, it was impossible to cure her; aside from the fact that I was not even a physician. My excuses availed nothing. They begged and entreated me so hard that there was no other remedy than to comply with their wishes. When I reached the house of the sick person, she was, as the saying is, throwing up her guts, so great was the violence of the vomiting. As soon as she had fallen sick she had lost her sight so completely that she could see absolutely nothing, as long as she was attacked by the sickness, and very little (indeed, very little), when the attack left her. Consequently, she was told nothing of my arrival until she heard me speak. She asked her brothers who was there, and they told her, adding that they had summoned me to cure her.

As soon as it was understood that I was there for that purpose, the vomiting ceased for a moment, and the woman was quite calm. After a quarter of an hour, and feeling vexed because of the false light in which they were trying to make me appear, I took my leave, saying that since the ailment of the sick woman had passed, I had nothing to do there. But scarcely had I crossed the threshold of the street door when the vomiting was repeated and one of the brothers called me again in a low voice, asking me to please have the kindness to return since the sick woman was once more attacked by the mangkukulam. I armed myself with patience, and went back until I again found myself face to face with the sick woman. At a certain moment in which the patient was making great efforts to expel what she had in her stomach, I asked one of those present in a loud [317]voice to please get me some anonas branches. The vomiting of the sick woman ceased suddenly as soon as she heard such a request, and did not return to rack her all that day and until the following day. At that time the same scenes were reproduced as on the preceding day. For three days they continued to call me to the said house, and I perceived that the attack disappeared as soon as I spoke of, or mentioned, the anonas. For the rest, I declare that in spite of these observations, I have not come to believe in, or to be convinced of, the existence of witches in Filipinas. However, such beliefs continue to exist in the popular mind.

There are two kinds of physicians of the kulam. Those belonging to the first class are the ones of whom I have just spoken. Those of the second class are inoffensive and very worthy, therefore, of being mentioned.

Several persons have informed me of the following fact of which they were eyewitnesses. On a certain occasion a physician of the kulam was summoned to treat a swelling. That physician after having examined the sick person carefully, and proved that there really was a swelling, asked for a bit of wax, of which he made a small figure of human shape. While he was moulding the small figure, he ordered hot water prepared in a carahay, and when it began to boil, he put the figure upright on it. When all the people expected to see it dissolved in the boiling water (tremble, my readers!) they saw the figure begin to jump about on the water without being submerged or being melted. Ten or fifteen minutes after the small figure had been hopping about on the surface of the water, a person [318]came to the door of the house, calling out with vehemence. He was beating his feet quite openly with a handkerchief which he carried in his hand. He could not remain quiet or keep any position for five seconds, so restless was he. He was making so many contortions and grimaces with his face that one could not at all doubt that he was suffering terribly. He appeared to be walking on thorns. When that man reached the inside of the house, he began to beg pardon over and over again, promising never again to do “what he had done. The physician of the kulam took the small wax figure from the water and approached the new arrival, whom he ordered to undo the charm with which he had troubled the patient. The new arrival replied immediately that it was undone. Thereupon the physician told him never again to repeat what he had just done, and threatened him that it be relapsed, he would have to cut off his ears, so that all people might recognize him as such mag̃kukulam. The mag̃kukulam, who was the same man who had just arrived, promised never again to do what he had done, for fear of being exposed to the wrath of the populace.

When this was finished, the physician sent him away, and from that moment, the sick person was completely well.

Besides these, it is said that there is another kind of mag̃kukulam who are known under the name of kusim or palipád hag̃in. But I believe that it is the same dog with a different collar; for I consider that the kusim or the palipád hag̃in is nothing else than a variety of the power of witchcraft possessed by these beings.

In the mind of the masses, it is held that the ailment [319]or sickness which these latter beings bring about are sent through the air, whence they have taken their name. Those ailments are, moreover, incurable, for they say (walang pasaulî) that they do not return to the place whence they have come.

Both these and the first, that is the simple mag̃kukulam dash themselves face downward every Friday in their respective quarters, well wrapped up and uttering doleful exclamations. When this occurs, it is said that they suffer terribly the consequences of their power. That condition of depression is called nagbabatá by the masses. On the following day these beings are found all sound and well, and hurrying to the witches’ sabbath, or unlawful assembly which is held at a determined spot, where on midnight of Saturday meet the asuang, mananangal, and mangkukulam, in order that they may all together enjoy the delicious feast of human flesh.

José Nuñez

1 Vicente Fragante, one of the Philippine government students in the University of Wisconsin (1906), an Ilocano, says that the term mangkukulam is used in Ilocos to signify an invisible being. Whenever anything is lost or disappears, it is supposed that the mangkukulam has stolen it. The term pogot is used to signify a big black man. It is the bugaboo of the Filipino mothers with which they threaten refractory children. In some families an image to represent the pogot is shown to the children to cause them to be good. The pogot is said to inhabit unfinished or deserted houses, and to sit on the window-sill at night where he smokes a large pipe. In sparsely-settled districts the pogot also inhabits santol, tamarind, and lomboy trees. It is the custom of the small Ilocano boys, who partly live the belief, and who also wish to frighten their more timid playmates of the other sex, to make a great racket about the supposed abodes of the pogot, with tin cans and other instruments in order to scare him away. At night when the pogot is frightened or angered, he throws stones at the houses. These stones have the power of passing completely through the walls of the house, and strike against the dishes in the place where they are kept. The dishes are, however, unharmed, as neither are the people who may be struck by those stones. Ansisit is an Ilocan term for a sort of scarecrow, which is used to scare the children into goodness. It consists of an old coat through the arms of which is thrust a stick, while another stick is placed at right angles to it, thus enabling the coat to be set up or moved.

The Manila newspaper La Democracia, of August 29, 1903, contains an item in regard to some men who were hanged for killing a “witch.”

2 Noceda and Sanlucar’s Vocabulario de la lengua tagala defines abobót, the same word as abubut, as a basket woven from rattan, which has a lid.

3 Native of the Philippines, with medical experience, but no title. See Appleton’s New Velázquez Dictionary. Mediquillo is literally “little, or petty physician.”

4 Probably the Dissertation sur les maladies convulso-clenico-toniques en général ([Montpellier], 1806), by Joseph Boy y Santa Maria.

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