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Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume 29 of 55, 1638–40

Editor: Emma Helen Blair

Commentator: Edward Gaylord Bourne

Editor: James Alexander Robertson

Release date: February 1, 2012 [eBook #38748]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at for Project



Original Title Page.
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 XXIX, 1638–40
The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio



Contents of Volume XXIX

Preface 9
Documents of 1638 [6]
Events in the Filipinas, 1637–38. [Unsigned; probably written by Juan Lopez, S.J., at Cavite, in July, 1638.] 23
Letter to Felipe IV. Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera; Manila, August 21. 50
Letter to Felipe IV, from the treasurer at Manila. Baltasar Ruiz de Escalona; Manila, August 31. 52
Relation of the Filipinas Islands. Hieronimo de Bañuelos y Carrillo; Mexico, 1638. 66
Glorious victories against the Moros of Mindanao. Diego de Bobadilla, S.J., and others; Mexico, 1638. 86
Royal orders and decrees, 1638. Felipe IV; Madrid, March 15, and September–December. 102
Fortunate successes in Filipinas and Terrenate, 1636–37. [Unsigned; published in Madrid, 1639.] 116
Value of Corcuera’s seizures in Jolo. [Unsigned and undated; probably 1638.] 135
Documents of 1639–1640
Events in the Philipinas from the year 1638 to that of 1639. [Unsigned; probably Juan Lopez, at Cavite, 1639.] 141
Letters to the Holy Misericordia. Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera; Manila, December 4, 1637, and October 26, 1639. 172
The university of Santo Tomás. Felipe IV; Madrid, November 9, 1639. 175
Royal orders and decrees. Felipe IV; Madrid, 1639. 178
Events in the Filipinas Islands from August, 1639, to August, 1640. [Juan Lopez?]; Cavite, August, 1640. 194
Relation of the insurrection of the Chinese. [Unsigned and undated; probably in March, 1640.] 208
Ecclesiastical and Augustinian affairs, 1630–40. Casimiro Diaz; Manila [1718?]. [From his Conquistas.] 259
Relation of the Filipinas Islands. [Diego de Bobadilla, S.J.; 1640.] 277
Bibliographical Data. 313




View of city of Manila; photographic facsimile of engraving in Mallet’s Description de l’univers (Paris, 1683), ii, p. 127; from copy in the Library of Congress. 67
View of one of Ladrones Islands; photographic facsimile of engraving in Hulsius’s Eigentliche und wahrhaftige Beschreibung (Franckfurt am Mayne, M.DC.XX), p. 66; from copy in library of Harvard University. 169
Portus Acapulco (view of harbor of Acapulco, Mexico); photographic facsimile of engraving in Arnoldus Montanus’s Nieuwe en onbekende Weereld (Amsterdam, 1671), p. 246; from copy in library of Harvard University. 188
Archipelagus orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern or Asiatic archipelago); photographic facsimile of map by Joannis Blaeu (Amsterdam, 1659); from original map in Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. 279




The present volume (1638–40) is largely occupied with the annals of those years, and the hostilities of the Moro pirates. This period is a troublous one; “wars and rumors of wars,” conspiracies (among both Chinese and natives), storms, shipwrecks, and disease, disquiet the colony. The Chinese revolt of 1639 is described at length. Corcuera administers the government with a high hand, and arouses many enmities. Two interesting descriptions of the islands are furnished, by a Spanish officer and by a Jesuit.

The Jesuit annalist at Manila contributes (1638) the news of the past year—apparently the contents of his note-book or diary, as written therein at each occurrence or arrival, and free from the “improvements” of any official editor, in which fact lies its especial value. This document strongly resembles in this respect, and in its scope, the famous Journal des Jésuites of Quebec. To some extent, the same remarks are true of all the annals written, actually or presumably, by Juan Lopez; but the present document is unusually fresh and primitive in style. He relates the depredations committed by the Dutch on Spanish and Portuguese commerce, especially about the strait of Malaca. The Dominican faction of “Barbones” has been suppressed. The Chinese at [10]Manila present a large sum of money to Corcuera, with which a gift for the king is purchased. Information is given regarding several priests and other persons. The settlement at Formosa is being abandoned, and the missionaries there are going to China. The Camucones have attempted to raid the Visayas, but are repulsed by the Indians and Spaniards. The Jesuit Mastrilli has been martyred in Japan, and funeral honors are paid to him in Manila. Corcuera has gone to punish the Joloans. The Jesuit church at Cavite, and that of the Dominicans at Manila, have been entered by thieves. There are a few slight encounters with the Dutch. In China, persecutions of the Christians have begun, due largely to the imprudence of the friars. The missions in Siam and adjoining countries are endangered by the machinations of the Dutch. The Joloan stronghold is captured by Corcuera; two of his best officers are sent home to regain their health, but are slain by their Chinese crew. Jesuits are conducting a successful mission in the island of Hainan. The Japanese are growing weary of their persecutions against the Christians; only three Jesuits are left there of all the missionaries and nothing certain is known of these. Corcuera arrives at Manila on May 23; he brings back many captives, of whom a considerable number died en route, but “it is a cause of great consolation that no Moro has died without baptism.” A triumphant entry is made into Manila by the victorious army. In Mindanao Moncay is killed, and Corralat is no longer aided by the Ternatans; the Moros generally are in wholesome fear of the Spanish power. The missions in China are doing well, and are aided by the emperor. Lopez notes many [11]little items of news, of all sorts, about matters civil, ecclesiastical, and foreign, with various gossip, some of the cloister, some of his seaport.

A short letter from Corcuera to the king (August 21, 1638) states that he has appointed Luis Arias de Mora “protector of the Sangleys;” this man (a lawyer) also acts as counselor for the archbishop, exercising a wholesome restraint upon that prelate.

A letter from the royal treasurer at Manila to the king (August 31, 1638) laments the injuries and losses caused to the royal estate by Corcuera’s reckless and extravagant management. He is blamed for refusing to send the trading ships to Mexico, for establishing a force for the nightly patrol of the city, for forming several companies of Indian soldiers, for paying certain salaries which are claimed to be needless, and for building a church for the soldiers. Escalona declares that the trade of the islands with Mexico is neglected and unregulated, and thus the colonists are being financially ruined. He asserts that the expeditions against Mindanao and Jolo had cost much unnecessary expenditure of both money and lives; and that Corcuera has attempted to cover up these expenses under specious pretexts. The treasurer complains that the governor has spent too much on the royal hospital, and has interfered with the duties and rights of the royal officials; and entreats the king to see that he is restrained within due bounds.

An interesting description of the Philippine Islands is furnished (Mexico, 1638) by a Spanish admiral, Hieronimo de Bañuelos y Carrillo; it is addressed to the president of the Council of the Indias; the original is, so far as known, no longer [12]extant, and it is found only in the French version by Thevenot. Bañuelos finds life in Manila “altogether delightful,” as it has abundance of all supplies and comforts. He describes the Parián, and praises the ability of the Chinese; but he asserts that they are injuring the islands by their illicit connection with the Mexican trade. The condition and character of that trade are here presented, in a description very different from that furnished by Grau y Monfalcón. This writer objects to the silk trade between Filipinas and Nueva España, which only benefits the Chinese, the Portuguese of Macao, and the Mexicans. Moreover, “the encomiendas are ruined,” while the natives are not instructed in religion, and are hostile to the Spaniards. The Malays of Ternate and other outlying islands are in league with the Dutch, and the trade with them is going to ruin. Bañuelos proposes a new plan for the Filipinas commerce; he would (still limiting its amount) restrict it mainly to raw silk and cotton, which could be manufactured in Mexico; he enumerates the advantages that would result from this course. The Japanese trade need not be considered in this question, as it is closed to the Spaniards on account of religious persecution; of this last and its effects Bañuelos gives some account. He again urges that the trade in Chinese stuffs be suppressed; and makes recommendations as to the manner in which it should be conducted, describing various abuses and scandals which he has discovered therein.

The Jesuit Bobadilla published (Mexico, 1638) a “Relation of the glorious victories ... against the Mahometan Moros;” it contains Mastrilli’s letter of June 2, 1637 (published in VOL. XXVII of this [13]series), and other matter obtained from letters which the editor had received from Manila; we present here such part as is new. Bobadilla prefaced this compilation by a short address to Governor Corcuera’s brother Iñigo (a military officer in Mexico), in which he takes occasion to eulogize the virtues of both in glowing terms. The first section of the book is occupied by a relation (here only briefly outlined) of the miraculous cure wrought upon Father Mastrilli, and his entrance into missionary work; then follows “an account of the great island of Mindanao,” partly descriptive and partly historical. The piratical raids of the Mindanaos upon the Spanish settlements and the Visayan coasts are briefly recounted, with mention of the establishment of Spanish missions and forts in Mindanao; also the raids made by the Camucones, Joloans, and Borneans. Then follow a description of the naval battle at Punta de Flechas, Mastrilli’s letter describing the Mindanao campaign, and Lopez’s account of Corcuera’s triumph—all of which we have previously published.

Various royal orders and decrees issued in 1638 are here presented. Corcuera is warned (March 15) to proceed cautiously in regard to the free negroes whom he has removed from the city, and to obtain royal permission henceforth for any important measures that he may contemplate. A decree of September 2 imposes restrictions on the religious orders in the islands, and permits the governor to use secular priests as missionaries. The king orders him (October 2) to appoint to new missions native secular priests instead of friars; also to treat the nuns of St. Clare with more consideration, and to pay them for [14]certain inconveniences that he has caused them. He is authorized (November 8) to take such measures as are necessary to maintain the seclusion of the inmates of Santa Potenciana. The viceroy and Audiencia of Mexico are ordered (December 8) to report whether it will be best to increase the amount of trade allowed to the citizens of Filipinas with Nueva España; and other decrees of the same date give the officers of the galleons authority to punish any infractions of law committed by their men while in port, and require stricter enforcement of the regulations in regard to lading those vessels.

A printed pamphlet, “Fortunate successes in Filipinas and Terrenate” (Madrid, 1639), gives a brief outline of the Moro raids into the Philippines during several years, and Corcuera’s successful campaign against those pirates; it is evidently written by a Jesuit, or largely compiled from Mastrilli’s letter. At the end is a description of the encounter between Spanish and English ships at Malayo. We append a short document enumerating the spoils seized in the Jolo campaign by the Spanish forces, with the value assigned to each item; the expenses of the expedition are covered thereby mainly by the proceeds from the sale of Moro captives.

“Events in the Philipinas during the year 1638–39” are recorded, as before, by a Jesuit, presumably Juan Lopez. The news from Mindanao and Jolo is not encouraging; the Moros are revolting, and in Jolo a plague and epidemic is feared; besides, the commandant there has proved unfit. A letter from the Jesuit Gutierrez relates events in Mindanao; these relate mainly to the measures taken by the Spanish commandant to control and pacify the disaffected [15]Moros. Spanish friars exiled from China have arrived in Formosa, but hope to reënter China. The Jesuits of Macao also indulge the hope of gaining foothold anew in Japan. The writer gives various interesting news items about the arrival and departure of the ships at the port of Cavite; and the escape, on several occasions, of Moro captives held at Manila, and the recapture of many of them. A letter from Father Alejandro Lopez describes the attempt of the men of Jolo to recapture by treachery their stronghold from the Spaniards, and the severe punishment inflicted by Pedro de Almonte upon the rebels. Chinese pirates commit depredations on the Luzón coasts; and plots of the resident Chinese against the Spaniards are discovered and punished. A revolt by the Indians of Nueva Segovia is also quelled. Recent news from Mindanao and Jolo tells of increasing Spanish ascendency, but at a fearful cost to the Moro natives—slaughtered people, devastated lands, and consequent deaths by famine. One of the trading ships to Mexico has been wrecked, which is a great blow to the colony. A fierce hurricane causes great damage at Cavite and in its vicinity; and there have been epidemics of disease in Luzón, in which many persons have died. It is feared that both of the Acapulco galleons have been lost at sea; and all these things fill the people with sadness. The small remnant of the crew of a Spanish galleon wrecked the preceding year among the Ladrones Islands arrive at Manila.

Letters from Corcuera to the confraternity of Santa Misericordia ask (December 4, 1637) their prayers for the success of his Jolo expedition; and (October 26, 1639) that they will take into their [16]house two Moro hostages, to train them in the Christian doctrine. Letters from Felipe IV to Rome (November 9, 1639) ask that the college of Santo Tomás at Manila be erected into a university.

A group of royal decrees issued during 1639 is presented. The governor’s action in stationing religious ministers in Mindanao is approved. The municipal authorities of Manila are ordered to retain Grau y Monfalcón as their agent at the royal court. The newly-appointed governor of the islands, Diego Fajardo, is ordered to correct (but with mildness and prudence) the Augustinians in trading and in oppressing the Indians; and to restore to the secular priests Quiapo and other districts assigned to the Jesuits by Corcuera. The bishop of Camarines is ordered to return to his diocese, and the royal officials to withhold his salary until he shall do so. Directions are given to the viceroy of Nueva España regarding the inspection of Philippine vessels at Acapulco, and the necessity of sending more colonists to the islands. Answer is made to various points in a former letter from the archbishop; and the Audiencia are commanded to treat the Indians more justly.

Events in the Filipinas Islands from August to November, 1639, are recorded by the Jesuit annalist of former years (presumably Juan Lopez). The arrivals and departures of ships form the chief of these events, and the writer furnishes much interesting news in connection with them. A fierce storm delays the galleon to Nueva España, and wrecks two Chinese junks, drowning many of their men. The two Acapulco galleons arrive, about this time, at Nueva Segovia, and are wrecked in that port, with [17]much loss of life. The recent conquest of Jolo is being completed. The king of Macasar is friendly, and has sent provisions to the Portuguese colony at Malaca. A Dutch squadron sent against the city of Goa has been almost destroyed by the Portuguese. The people of Tidore and Ternate are leagued together, which causes the Spaniards to fear a revolt against their control. The Moro chiefs in Mindanao are plotting together against the Spaniards. Nearly half of this document is occupied with an account of the Chinese insurrection late in November, 1639; it is soon quelled, with the slaughter of many Sangleys. A detailed account of this episode, presumably the one mentioned in the last note on Lopez’s record, is here presented; it is a valuable if not altogether edifying document, especially for its revelations of human nature. Lopez’s statement that the revolt was soon over was premature; it lasted nearly four months, and caused great loss of property to the Spaniards, and of lives to the insurgents. Most of the Chinese population in Luzón was exterminated, thanks to their lack of cannon and firearms and “the special protection of our Lord over our army,” which lost not even fifty men. It is a sickening record of slaughter—not only in so-called battle, but in the cold-blooded, deliberate, and systematic butchery of unarmed men, taken by surprise or lured by treacherous promises. The most striking instance of this is the cruel slaughter, caused by a blind and panic fear, of the house-servants and other Chinese in Manila; another is the burning of the Parián, with all the rich merchandise stored therein; while in Cavite several hundred Chinese are deliberately taken out by tens and beheaded. In both cases, however, [18]opportunity is kindly provided for the wretched victims to receive baptisms, if they were infidels, or to make their confessions, if Christians. Peace is finally made with the small remnant of the insurgent force, who are taken to Manila and carefully guarded within a stockade. The writer describes their method of warfare; and enumerates the villages burned by them, and other damages committed, during the revolt.

The history of the Augustinian order in the Philippines, presented in VOLS. XXIII and XXIV of this series from Medina’s Historia, is here continued for the decade 1630–40 by an extract from Diaz’s Conquistas (written about 1718), partly in synopsis and partly in translation. He relates the contest over the vacant see of Manila, finally settled (1630) in favor of Fray Pedro de Arce; the election of Gerónimo de Medrano as provincial in 1632; the persecutions in Japan, the lives of martyrs there, the controversy between Corcuera and the bishop, biographies of noted Augustinians, and various secular matters (all of which we omit). There is an interesting relation of the life and labors of a useful missionary, Alonso de Mentrida, among the Indians in Panay Island; he wages unceasing war against the devil and his agents, the native priests of idols—the former often appearing in visible and hideous form. A similar account is given of the life of Juan de Medina (above cited). In 1638 Fray Martin Errasti is elected provincial. The Visayas Islands have been, of late years, harassed by the Moro pirates; but a notable expedition is undertaken (1639) against those of the Lake Lanao region, in which the Recollect missionary known as “Padre Capitan” is a prominent figure. [19]For the time, those Moros are awed and warned. Diaz recounts the main events of that time—Corcuera’s expedition to Jolo and the insurrection of the Chinese. Errasti dies in 1639, and his vacant office is assumed by Fray Juan Ramírez, the past provincial.

In 1640 the Jesuit Bobadilla writes a description of the Philippines and their people. The former is but a brief outline; most of the document is devoted to the Indian natives, and the natural products of the islands. The father writes of the custom of slavery among them; their religious beliefs, customs, and superstitions; the practices of their priests; their physical appearance, and dress; their customs of tattooing, filing the teeth, and bathing; their language, writing, and music. He describes their marriages, houses, occupations, boats, and weapons; and their medical practice and mortuary customs. Then he considers the climate of the islands, the culture and uses of rice, and the natural products—animals, minerals, and fruits, especially the palm and bamboo. He describes the buyo, so commonly used there; also various peculiar animals. Bobadilla then mentions the manner in which the Spanish colony is governed; their garrisons in the islands; and the bishoprics therein. He describes briefly the city of Manila, the trade of Filipinas, the relations of the Spaniards with the Chinese and other peoples, and the voyage between Manila and Acapulco.

The Editors

Documents of 1638

Sources: The first and seventh of these documents are obtained from MSS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid; the second and third, and two of the decrees in the sixth, from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the rest of the sixth, from the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid; the fourth, from Thevenot’s Voyages curieux, t. i, part ii—from a copy belonging to the library of Harvard University; the fifth, from a book in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid; the eighth, from Pastells’ edition of Colin’s Labor evangélica, iii, pp. 528–533.

Translations: These are made by James A. Robertson—except the second and part of the sixth, by Emma Helen Blair; and the fifth, by Arthur B. Myrick. [23]


Events in the Filipinas, 1637–38

The patache for España left here August 24. It had a propitious season [for departure], and therefore it has apparently enjoyed favoring vendaval blasts.1 A short time before that, the patache had left for the island of Hermosa; its commander was Don Alonso de Alcoçer, and the governor of that island, Sargento-mayor Pedro Palomino, sailed in it. On the fifth of September, a xalea arrived from Yndia on its way to Macan, which had been obliged to put in here on account of the weather. It left Malaca August 16, in order to advise the inhabitants of Macan to be on the lookout, for there were many Dutch in the strait. Now they are going in the galleon “San Juan Baptista” under command of Juan Lopez de Ariduin, to buy materials of importance for his Majesty’s fleets. The xalea remains here to be used for the expedition to Xolo, for which it seems well fitted. They report as news that Goa [24]was almost surrounded by Dutch vessels. Six galleons went out to attack them and sank three of the Dutch vessels. The latter retired after three days of fighting, with the intention of returning to Jacatra and getting a larger force. On the way they met eleven Portuguese fustas, which took shelter in a river. The Dutch employed strategy in fighting them, and captured seven of the fustas, while four escaped. One of the latter was an excuse for a galley. In consequence [of that victory], the enemy are now committing great depredations in the strait.

It is also reported that the Malabars with seventeen paroos [i.e., praus] attacked last year a ship from Macan with a crew of thirty Portuguese, and carrying great wealth, a thing never before seen. It is reported that the Dutch there have shown great anger at what the relief galleons did this year with their ships and the fort of Malayo; and that, for the coming year, they are intending to send out a squadron to punish the jest that was played on them.

It is reported that a Portuguese, named Antonio Carnero, has taken up arms together with others, and that they have adopted the calling of pirates, and are committing depredations on Moros and Christians.

When the king of Achen was about to go to attack Malaca with a fleet, he died. The kingdom was inherited by the king of Paon, an old-time friend of the Portuguese. He has renewed friendship with them—a great piece of news.

Fray Antonio del Rosario, the ancient of Macan, of [the Order of] St. Dominic, bishop-elect of Malaca, died on the way [to that city] before being consecrated. [25]

The fathers who accompanied Father Marçelo, who were captured last year by the Dutch, together with that famous Polish father, are now at liberty. Father Antonio Magallanes, procurator of the province of Goa, whom I saw at Roma and Madrid, was to conduct Father Marçelo and his companions; but he remained in España to finish some business, has been elected bishop of Japon, and they are awaiting him in Yndia.

Among the Portuguese of that xalea is one who is a lay-brother of St. Francis. He came last year from Lisboa as companion of a bishop, the friar Francisco Froan de Benavides, who was once in the mission of Nuevo Mexico. He died on his arrival at Goa, and this religious is trying to pass to España by way of these islands, with papers left him by the bishop. This is the principal news brought by the Portuguese.

On the morning of the seventh of this month, Fray Juan de Subelço2 came here from the province of the Rosario, to ask assistance by virtue of an order that he brought from the governor. This was given to him [by the authorities], and he entered the convent, took possession of it for his province, and sent to Manila the father rector, Fray Francisco Pinelo, who surrendered the house peaceably and quietly. The day before, with the same aid, they had taken possession at the same time of Minondo, the hospital, [26]and the Parián, and conveyed Father Collado and the other fathers to their convent. The community received them at the door of their church, amid the chiming of bells, the playing of organs, and with candles lighted on their altars; thence they took the fathers to their cells. As a thank-offering they began a novena, on November 7, of masses and Salves, accompanied by fine music, the chiming of the bells, and a goodly crowd. All the people rejoiced because they were at peace. Your Reverence will be pleased to know how this happened. Collado wrote bits of satire against the governor, calling him filius diaboli flagellum dei et alia hujus modi.3 His original letters were returned to hands that placed them in those of Don Sebastian. Finally the governor allowed the claims of the province of the Rosario to stand. That province had made Fray Andres del Santisimo judge-conservator, who summoned Collado to show his despatches that had been passed by the Council [of the Indias], but he did not answer. The judge-conservator cited him for the second time, but there was no answer. The judge-conservator proclaimed the cause at an end, and sentenced his province to be suppressed. Aid was asked for the execution of the order and was given, etc.

On Saturday, the twelfth of this month, excommunications were read here in four churches against those who had or knew of moneys, clothing, books, or other things of the bearded fathers,4 unless they [27]gave them up to those of the Rosario. Almost two thousand pesos were declared here belonging to Pinelo, who had deposited them with a friend. He came to Manila instantly, and begged protection from Don Sebastian, saying that they were his—five hundred pesos received from a berth on ship, given him by his Lordship for Mexico, and which, with his Lordship’s permission, he sold when he remained; one hundred and seventy pesos from a pay-warrant which his Lordship had ordered to be paid to him; and he had been given one thousand or more pesos, which his nephew the reader Ochoa (whom he brought with him as a witness) had given him. All this did he state, for even as he left here, he tried to go to España in this galleon by way of Macan, which was conceded to him. The governor wrote to Fray Juan de Subelço to let him have that money, which was proved to belong to Pinelo. He gave him another and very stringent letter for his provincial in Manila that declared the same thing. Father Fray Juan, who narrated the matter to me, went to talk with him, and told him that the books showed that the expense was more than eight hundred pesos ahead of the receipts; and that, besides this, he had just received two hundred pesos belonging to a deceased man, and one hundred and seventy pesos belonging to another, and that he will have to give account of this—besides which, in any event, it all belonged to the order, and nothing was his. He answered that they should have it there, and that he would write to his provincial; and that, notwithstanding [28]his letter, Fray Juan should do his duty, in conformity to the rules of his order. I have now learned that they gave up all the money to Pinelo, which he carried away. The galleon sailed September 19.

Of their own accord the Sangleys offered the governor5 a gift of six thousand pesos, giving the following reasons for so doing: first, because he had redeemed thirty-one of their people from the captivity of Corralat; second, because he had made the seas free and secure for their ordinary trade; and third, because he maintained them in peace and justice. Consequently, the expense of the war of Mindanao, taking into account the artillery, and the pillage which pertained to his Majesty, and the above-mentioned six thousand pesos, was not only covered, but there were also one thousand five hundred pesos left over, as I was told by his Majesty’s accountant. The latter also adds that the golden water-jug and plate that had belonged to Auditor Alcaraz were bought for the king our lord with those one thousand five hundred pesos; and the governor Don Sebastian added to that sum more than two hundred pesos as a gift from his own purse, in order to make up the cost of the said water-jug and plate. Dated at Cavite, September 15, 1637.

September 27, sentence was declared in favor of the Augustinian fathers of Castilla, and that sentence makes a complete end to the alternative. A sentence was also given in which the will of Espinosa el [29]Tuerto [i.e., “the one-eyed”] was declared null and void. The property has been delivered to the fund belonging to deceased persons, and those who have any right to it are to demand their justice.

I had a letter from Father Melchor de Vera,6 in which he says that the people who escaped alive from the six large Javanese ships which were at Lamitan were accommodated in one caracoa, and passing before Basilan, full of fear of the Spaniards in the fort of Sanboangan, talked with the chief men [of Basilan], and told them that they were those who had been driven from the hill, and that many more than they had thought had been killed; and that there was no one in Mindanao who did not mourn a person of very near kin—the father for his son, the son for his father, etc.

I shall add here what occurred last year in the month of September, and which I did not learn until the same month of this year 1637. The captain and commandant of Caragan was then Juan Nicolas Godino. He went with a fleet to commit depredations on the tributaries of Cachil Corralat. He met six caracoas at sea, which he attacked and conquered—although most of the enemy escaped to land, as they were near the shore. However he killed some of them and captured others. He also did much damage [30]in a village that he attacked. He returned to his fort laden with plunder and with one hundred and twenty captives. Among the dead was one Dumplac, who had formerly killed Alférez Blas Gonzalez, and had done great damage to the Christians of our missions and those of Caragan. Among the captives was a very famous chief, who was regarded as a brave man, and who killed Captain Pedro Baptista in the insurrection of Caragan.

October 24, the patache from the island of Hermosa entered the port, and it brought back most of the people in those forts. They say that the Franciscan friars are all going to China, as are all the Dominicans, except one who remained there. It is reported that they are suffering famine, and that no ships from China go there.

The day before, the twenty-third, Sargento-mayor Don Pedro de Corquera, the governor’s nephew, died at Manila. The governor had reared him from childhood in Flandes. He was well liked and respected in these islands, for his affable manners had obtained for him much popularity. Three or four days before, a galley-captain, named N. Ramos, and some other discontented Spaniards had deserted in a boat with a topmast, for their provision robbing two Sangley champans.

The master-of-camp, Pedro de Heredia, died at Manila November 5. He left all his property to charity. But the Audiencia sequestered it all immediately, until the end of his residencia. Captain Don Diego de Miranda also died from an accident, which carried him off in thirty hours.

News was received on November 15 that the enemy were passing the Mindoro coast. That same [31]day, Don Sebastian despatched some vessels to attack them. Alférez Arexica went from this place to attack them with fifty firearms in the xalea and two brigantines. He also despatched his company from Manila in champans, to pursue and punish them. Shortly after, Father Hernando de Estrada7 arrived here from Marinduque. He states that he met some champans which had been pursued by the enemy, whom they thought to have been Camucones. The two brigantines returned on the night of November 24. On account of the wind and rain they had lost the xalea, which was the flagship, the night that they had left. They went to Balayan, where they learned that the Camucones had attacked Lobo, but that they had done no damage, for the Indians resisted them; whereupon the pirates had taken their course toward their own country by way of the sea side of Mindoro. The xalea returned November 29, without having met the enemy. Then came news that one night the flagship and one other of the champans that had sailed from Manila had collided. The shock was more severe on the flagship, which sprang a leak and went down. Only one Spaniard and one Sangley were drowned.

The champan that carried Father Marçelo Mastril did not go to China, but to the Lequios, which are subject to the king of Saxuma. Some Japanese accompanied the father. Accordingly they made use of the following stratagem. Those of the champan talked with the Lequians, whom they told that those Japanese had been wrecked on an island, and [32]that they had rescued them; and that, if the Lequians would give them some provisions, they would leave the Japanese there; but, if not, that the latter would return [to Manila]. The Lequians gave them some food, and immediately despatched the father and the Japanese, as they wished, in a funea, while the champan returned here. They learned there that the Dominican fathers who had tried to go to Japon last year by way of the Lequios had been seized, and sent to the king of Saxuma by the tono of that land.

Yesterday, December 9, Don Sebastian set out from Manila for Xolo. He sailed in the galley flagship. With him went the xalea, brigantines, champans, and the two galleons for Terrenate, under the command of Geronimo Enriquez; and as admiral Don Pedro de Almonte, the same as last year. The second galley was launched yesterday, and the commander of the galleys, Nicolas Gonzalez, will leave here in it in a week, in order to follow Don Sebastian. Admiral Andres Lopez de [word partly illegible; Nozadigui?] will govern this port in his absence.

A patache arrived at Manila on December 27 from Macan, laden with five thousand arrobas of iron for Captain Juan Lopez de Ariduin. It was bought from some English, who were near Macan with three galleons and this patache. It brought news of the remarkable martyrdom of Father Francisco Marçelo Mastril, who reached Japon September 19. Having left Manila on July 10, he landed at the kingdom of Saxuma with only one companion. He immediately went inland to go to the emperor’s court. But he was seized October 4, and, having suffered most cruel tortures, he was beheaded October 17 with his aforesaid companion. Since I [33]translated the relation from Portuguese into Castilian, and enclose it herewith, I shall only add that the bells in our church and others were rung as soon as the news arrived. In the afternoon a notable Te Deum laudamus was sung. The dean again put on his clerical robes. The archbishop came, as did the royal Audiencia, and a great crowd of people, and the orders, as well as the master-of-camp, Don Lorenço de Olaso, and the flower of the soldiery. From our house they went to [the church of] St. Dominic to sing another Te Deum for three martyrs of that order. At night there was also a chiming of bells and an illumination. The entire city celebrated the glory and virtues of the holy father Marçelo, with tender tears; for he was generally loved and regarded as a saint.

Among the Dominican fathers died a mestizo of Binondo, son of a Chinese and a Tagál woman. He was prosecuted by justice, in order to hang him for his crimes; and he embarked with the fathers, in order to escape with his life. Arriving at the Lequios, and his other companions remaining in the boat, he refused to return, but wished to continue with the fathers. They tell and do not finish telling of the valor, fervor, and courage of that holy mestizo, who suffered cruel tortures with a rare constancy, ever preaching the Divine law of God.

It was learned, at the coming of that patache, that those fathers who had accompanied the holy father Marçelo who went with the captain-general of Macan had arrived safely; and that the champan which had fled hence with eighteen sailors had made port at that city. It was also reported that the Portuguese have not been well received in Japon either [34]this year or last, and all that is because of the preachers who go. It is learned also that Father Alberto de Polonia was brought to Cochinchina, and that he is now in Macan, where for some time he suffered from a most severe illness.

A champan, which had sailed from the island of Hermosa some years ago with a load of people, and had been given up as lost, made port at Sian because of the violence of the wind. That king treated them well, and gave them the means with which to return. Afterward they were driven upon the coast of the kingdom of Patani by other fierce tempests—where, having been supplied and sailing near the strait of Sincapura, the Dutch followed them. They landed, and at length made port at Macan, whence some of the men have come, while the others will come in the galleon “San Juan Baptista.” It is said by those who come in this patache, who had gone in the galleon “San Juan Baptista,” that, on discovering the English ships, lanchas came from them to reconnoiter them; and the English, having heard that it was a galleon belonging to the king of España, threw up their caps into the air joyfully, and eagerly cried out, “Hurrah for the king of España!” Then they took the news to their own ships, which fired many salutes, and by way of toasting the health of the king our sovereign, fired a hundred pieces of artillery. They told our men that the daughter of their king8 was in España for all her lifetime.

Father Fray Francisco de Pinelo and other religious who went from here to pass to España embarked in these English ships, on condition that there should be no disputes on matters of religion. [35]

News came through the fathers of St. Augustine at Panhay on January 15, 1638, that one of the champans which left Manila to attack the Camucones became separated from the others. It fell in with the Camucones, and did them great damage, sinking their flagship and almiranta. Twelve Borneans were captured, and six Christians were freed. The enemy’s loss was a hundred counting drowned and killed. Sargento-mayor Pedro de Fuerçios was commander of that champan.

Almost all the month of January and that of February was taken up with prayers in various churches, for the fortunate success of Don Sebastian. Now we are not the only ones to offer them, as we were last year; but all make them, both the secular clergy and the friars. The Sangleys have said very solemn prayers in their Parián church, of their own accord, as an expression of thanks for the peace and justice in which the governor maintains them.

Don Sebastian had sent those Borneans and Camucones from Otong to Manila, ordering them to serve the various orders and hospitals, so that they might be carefully catechized and made Christians. When they reached Maribeles, an old Morabite9 persuaded the others, and they rose against the Spaniards who were bringing them. There were two Spaniards in the champan who were wounded, but they killed the Morabite and wounded some of the others. Some of them were thrown into the sea, where they were drowned, and with this fortune they reached Manila.

On the night of February 10, robbers entered the church of this residence at Cavite, and stole two [36]silver lamps. They set a trap in the stairway, so that the first one who should descend, if the robbers were perceived, would undoubtedly be killed. It has been impossible to find any trace of the robbers. A week later, about two thousand pesos’ worth of jewels were stolen in Manila in [the church of] St. Dominic, Nuestra Señora del Rosario. But the thief (who was a Spaniard) was discovered, and most of it has been recovered.

Letters were received March 19, announcing the governor’s arrival at Sanboangan and Jolo. The news therein contained is in a separate paper.

A despatch was received from the governor in the middle of April from Jolo, from which it was learned that he was pressing as closely as possible the siege of the stronghold, which the Macasars and Joloans were defending with great obstinacy. There are things worthy of history, which will go [in a letter] by themselves.

It was learned from the same despatch that the Terrenate galleons had already returned to Sanboangan, and that they had arrived safely with their reënforcements, without the Dutch enemy having shown them any resistance, although the latter had vessels of great burden. Six Dutchmen deserted to our men; the three who were aboard the flagship, where Father Pedro Hernando de Estrada was, were converted to our holy Catholic faith by his efforts. One of them is a fine student, and very talented. He knows Latin and Greek, and had studied the whole course of arts, and some years in law, in Flandes.

A patache which left Macan some days after our galleon “San Juan Baptista,” arrived from that city on May 4, and they expected to find the galleon here; [37]however, experienced persons say that it is not late. There are six brothers in the galleon—students who are to be ordained—and Father Bartolome is coming with them as superior. That patache brings two Franciscan friars, Castilians, who have been driven from China. They say that the Chinese have driven them away through love of us, saying that Ours preach Christ risen, and those fathers Christ crucified—a reason that I do not understand. The statement of the pilot of the patache is that they have been driven out because they proceeded in the preaching with but little caution, and I regard that as true. Some nine months ago, I heard a prudent and experienced man say that a great persecution was feared in China, because of the little caution of the preachers. One week after the arrival of the patache, I received a letter from Father Antonio Cardin,10 commissary of the Holy Office for Macan and China, who gives me the following news:

Section of a letter from Father Antonio Cardin, dated Macan, April 15, 1638

“I shall relate here the news of the missions that your Reverence desires to know. Japon is a thing of the past if God do not, in His mercy, aid it. China was increasing greatly in Christianity during these years, but with the entrance of the friars, it is being thrown into confusion; for all the religious have been exiled in Chincheo, and the churches destroyed, [38]where they and we were [laboring] in a flourishing Christian church. For as the friars treat of conquests, saying openly that China can be conquered with four thousand Spaniards, such talk can have no good effect on the natives, who immediately tell it to their mandarins, and we are all lost.

“The fathers have been restored to their former liberty in Cochinchina. The old king died, but his son has given the Dutch a factory, and they are doing as much harm as possible. In Tumquin that Christian church is increasing greatly; but the Dutch are now there, and, although the king has not conceded them a factory, they say that they will do us as much harm as possible in order that we may be exiled. Father Raymundo de Govea is arranging matters in Tumquin, in order that he may go to the Laos. There is no news from Siam. They killed Father Julio Cesar there, and until now they have been at war with Malaca. They now send to ask for peace, and they also tell me that they will ask it from Manila. It is said that they are doing this through fear of the Dutch, who they fear are going to seize their kingdom. Father Lope de Andrada was ordered to retire from Camboja, on account of ill health, and Father Antonio Capechi was sent there. The sending of a large ship directly to Lisboa is being discussed here, but this is so great a blessing that I doubt whether it will be done.”

At the closing of the hour of prayer on May 13, the day of the glorious ascension of our Lord, news arrived of the capture of the [fortified] hill of Jolo. It is a matter of the greatest consolation for all nations; at least, all joined in the festival with great appearances of rejoicing. The bells of all the [39]churches were rung, and the Te Deum laudamus, so due to God, was sung in some of them as a thank-offering. There was a great illumination at night, and more ringing of bells. I refer to the history for particular.

The above news was received on the occasion of the arrival of five or six ships from Great China, laden with merchandise, which was needed in the islands. They give as news that eleven other and more powerful ships have been given chapas. That has been of the greatest consolation, for in the last two years those ships have had so little custom, because of the small amount of silver that had been sent from Mexico, that it was feared that the Chinese would not come this year.11

The commander of the galleys, Nicolas Gonçalez, and Captain Carrança, who was general of the artillery, having fallen very sick at Jolo almost at the beginning of the siege, were sent away by Don Sebastian so that they might recuperate. They arrived at Octong safely more than two months ago, and this their delay was already causing anxiety. Today, May 17, I have been told that the Chinese of the champan in which they were coming [to Manila] killed them through greed, in order to rob them, and five other Spaniards with them. One they cast into the sea badly wounded, where some Indian fishermen rescued him, to whom he related what had happened. Scarcely had they reached land before he died.

Some influential men were killed in the assaults [40]on Xolo, among whom were Sargento-mayor Melon, Captain Juan Nicolas, Alférez Aregita, etc.

Yesterday, May 16, while talking with the commandant of Macan, a very honorable Portuguese, of the Order of Santiago, I asked him some questions, the replies to which I shall state here, as they have some interest. He says that the kingdom of Tumquin is a part of Great China, but has a different king; and it differs in language from China, as does Galicia from Castilla. He asserts the same of Cochinchina, although there is a greater difference in language. Tumquin is ninety leguas from Macan, and is reached by traveling between the island of Ainao [i.e., Hainan] and the mainland of China. Cochinchina is one hundred and twenty leguas [from Macan], and is reached by going outside that island. One of four ships that sailed recently from Macan to various kingdoms, which was en route to Macasar with two hundred and fifty persons, was wrecked on this island of Ainao, but only fourteen persons were drowned. The commandant added that the Society of Jesus is now preaching in that island, and that the people are rapidly embracing Christianity. The fathers had brought six boys, sons of the most influential men, to Macau to be educated better, and they show signs of great ability. When I asked him about the exile of the preachers from Chincheo, he only replied that the Castilians, as they are prepared to hold subject all the Indians of their conquests—as Mexico, Peru, and these islands—enter into other kingdoms with great bragging and boasts, which is the occasion of their ruin.

I have learned from some fathers of St. Dominic and the cura of Nueva Segobia (which is, one hundred [41]and thirty leguas away from here) that Fray Diego Collado wrote a paper to Don Sebastian, after the reunion of the fathers of St. Dominic, which was entitled “Deceits, tricks, and plots of Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera,” in which he made disgraceful remarks to him. His Lordship sent it to his provincial, and the latter retired the father to the house of Nueva Segobia. He remained some months in prison, where he could neither hear nor say mass; and he is now locked up where he can hear it through a church gallery.

Today, May 20, at two o’clock, quite without our expecting it, and without the fires in Maribelez having announced it, the galleon “San Juan Baptista”—which had taken fifty days to come from Macan, a voyage which the patache made in nine—arrived. God delivered them from a great danger on some shoals, to which the currents were taking them swiftly during a calm. The fathers assert that they invoked the holy father Marcelo, the martyr of Jesus Christ, with great faith in the greatest danger. Thanks to the Lord, who has allowed them all to arrive safe and happy! Father Bartolome Roboredo has told us glorious things of the Christendom of Tumquin—where, this year alone, nine thousand have been baptized. He says that there are some fathers and a bishop even in Etiopa; and that the rulers do not molest the Catholics. The fathers of Jentafee, Tibet, and the kingdoms of Potente and Siranagar, have suffered various fortunes. In the court of the Megor [i.e., Mogul], the church was destroyed, and the fathers seized by those Moros, because they were confirming in the faith those Christians who had been taken captive from Bengala. [42]But now affairs have begun to brighten; they have been granted liberty, and are aiding the Christians. By that means it is to be hoped that there will be at some other time a gateway into Tibet and Siranagar, the way to which must necessarily lie through [the country of] the Megor. It has been learned from Japon, from the very ones who are in power, that they are now tired and weary of killing Christians; and that they are not well satisfied with the Dutch and their trade. He adds that, because of what the holy father Marcelo declared to them in his martyrdom—namely, that they were rendering their nation infamous and obscuring their fame by the tortures that they were inflicting upon the private parts of Christians—the Japanese are generally angry, and do not wish that to be done. All the priests in Japon at present are three of the Society of Jesus, all Japanese. It is not known where they are wandering, and no letters have been received from them, because of the severity of the persecution. There is one other father, a European, named Juan Baptista Porro. They do not say that he is alive, for, although his death is not known, it is presumed that he is dead; for he was very old and worn out with labors, and it is several years since letters have been received from him. It is also said that there are hopes that that persecution will soon cease. Would to God that it might be so!

Yesterday, May 23, the day of the Holy Ghost, Don Sebastian arrived at this port, having left Tanaguan that morning—a distance of ten mortal leguas. He came in the Terrenate galleons, which, as the weather was bad, he left at the landing at Mindoro. He, as well as Father Juan de Barrios, was fatigued, [43]which we could see was from the hardships that they have suffered; but, thanks to God, these have been well recompensed in service to God and to the general welfare of these islands. The chaplain Don Pedro de Francia died of fever in the ship, and, six days later, Captain Don Lope de Barahona, of the same sickness. Upon the arrival of Don Sebastian, the bells in our house were rung for a long time, as a mark of rejoicing. Later the bells were rung in the cathedral church, and that night there were illuminations in all the houses and convents.

Yesterday, May 27, the galleons of the Terrenate relief expedition anchored at this port. Father Hernando de Estrada says that twenty persons of various nations (for the galleons carried Joloans, Basilans, and the Bisayans who were freed from the captivity of Xolo) have died in the flagship since their departure from Sanboangan, and that sickness was caused by their close quarters; and that a goodly number have died in the almiranta and the patache; but it is a cause for great consolation that no Moro, male or female, has died without baptism.

Yesterday, May 31, Don Sebastian made his triumphant entrance into Manila, in the same manner as he had done, the year preceding, upon his arrival from Mindanao. I wrote concerning it, by the patache; and will only state here the number of pieces—namely, eleven of cast iron and one bronze culverin, these being large pieces. Among the medium-sized pieces and falcons there were fifteen. The best falcon had the arms and name of King Don Sebastian [of Portugal]. There were eleven smaller versos. The crowd of people in the windows and streets, the illuminations of the night, and the masquerades [44]of the city, were the same as I wrote last year.

June 3, Corpus Christi day, the procession of thanks for the victory was united with that of the most holy sacrament, as I wrote last year. That same day the xalea which had been left in Xolo arrived. It brings news that the king and queen, who had fled from the stronghold with the other Joloans, have sent to say that they desire to settle in whatever place may be assigned to them, and to pay tribute to his Majesty. They promise to obey the conditions imposed on them by Don Sebastian.

Monday, June 7, the honors for those killed in war were performed in the soldiers’ church with the same solemnity as those of the past year. The father rector, Francisco Colin, preached to a generally appreciative audience.

Friday, June eleven, the flagship galley entered this port with a round sail, but no bastard; for a flash of lightning, which struck it, had torn it from top to bottom and killed two men. It brought some bronze artillery of the pieces captured at Jolo, in addition to what I mentioned in the triumph—as was told me by a man who comes from there, and who is well versed regarding artillery. The pieces with ladles mounted in the stronghold numbered in all eleven of cast iron, and eleven of bronze; also eleven other large falcons, besides the ordinary versos.

He says of Dato Ache, who is the greatest pirate, and the one who has done most damage to the Christians of all those of Jolo—and who is the one who persuaded the king and the others to fortify themselves, and to refuse to surrender to the Spaniards—that a mine which exploded and killed fifty Joloans, [45]also caught him, so that he was completely buried. With only power to move one hand, he beckoned imploringly for help; his men hurried to his assistance, and got him out, much hurt. He recovered afterward, and when the others descended from the stronghold, he, with some other Malays, who were steadfastly of the opinion that they should not surrender, escaped, and left the island in great dudgeon at the king.

Sunday, June 20, when we celebrated the feast of the most holy sacrament, Father Francisco Rangel chanted his first mass in this college. He was one of the six who came from Macan to be ordained, and since his residence here has told us some remarkable things that happened four or five years ago, and, as I believe that very few there have any knowledge regarding them, I shall relate them here.

First, he says that the island of Ainao is as large as the island of Çicilia; and that it has its own natives, who are white-complexioned, and have a different aspect from that of the Chinese. The latter conquered the seacoast many years ago, and the natives retired to the mountains, whence it is their custom to descend to harry the Chinese—who are scattered, and have never subjected the natives to the payment of tribute. While Father Bento de Matos was in that island, two remarkable things occurred to him. In a city of the Chinese, where no means have yet been found whereby to make an entrance to instruct the natives—both because the language is special, and because they are always at war—it happened that the father, having no lodging, learned that there was a good unoccupied house, for, because of fear at I know not what noises that had been heard [46]in it, no one would live in it. The father determined to enter and to live in that house, although his friends dissuaded him and told him their fears. He lived there quite a number of days, at the end of which, in the darkness of the night, a dead man appeared to him in the habit of a mandarin. The dead man told the father to look well at him, and note well his marks, and to go to the mandarin So-and-so, who was his brother, and tell him to disinter his body, which was buried in such and such a place near the altar; for it was the will of God that there should not be the body of a condemned heathen in a place where the holy body of His son Jesus Christ was offered to Him in acceptable sacrifice. The father gave the marks to the mandarin, who recognized that it was his brother. They dug in the place noted, and found the body entire in a casket and preserved with precious spices, with which it had been embalmed, and carried it to a separate place.

The other circumstance is, that every day when the said father said mass there, it was heard by a devout Christian, who, after rising suddenly, appeared so joyful and happy that the other Christians came to consider and even to believe him as mad. They resolved to censure him, and to advise him to have more moderation and modesty in the presence of so great a Lord. He answered them that he could not do otherwise than he had; for, on rising from the eucharist, he saw two most beautiful youths kneeling before the most holy sacrament, amid such lights and splendors that they bathed his soul in joy so great that it overflowed in its abundance to his body, and he could not restrain himself from manifesting it.

It happened to that same father that, while on a [47]mission to Chincheo, some literati suddenly entered a chapel in which he was, to make a jest of him and of the God whom he was adoring. He kneeled down before a crucifix and said “Lord, do not abandon me among thine enemies.” The holy crucifix answered “No, son, I shall not abandon thee; but I am always with thee to aid thee.” Thereupon the literati, thunderstruck and full of fear, left the father, and went out of the chapel.

In one of these recent years, during a great baquio or typhoon, eighteen Dutch ships were wrecked on the coast of Chincheo. The Chinese beheaded some of those who escaped alive, and, having seasoned those heads with salt, took them with the other men whom they left alive to the court of Paquin, where they were all beheaded. For the aversion of the Chinese to people with blue eyes is great; and the reason is that it is said that there is an ancient prophecy that men with eyes of that color will conquer their kingdom.

About two years ago, six out of seven ships that left Olanda with reënforcements for India were sunk in the open sea, and only one arrived.

The king of China is commonly regarded by his vassals as a Christian: 1st, because he has only one wife; 2d, because he only adores the God of heaven; 3d, because he has tried to exterminate the bonzes. Among other plans [for the accomplishment of that], he employed that of having six thousand bonzes enlisted for the war against the Tartars. He sent them under the command of a great war mandarin, and all the six thousand died in the war. The captain alone escaped, and he was shortly after baptized; he is a very devout Christian, and is known as [48]Doctor Miguel. The manner in which the king12 became a Christian is said to have been that the famous Doctor Pablo (who is now dead), having free entrance into the palace, often conversed with the king, whom he converted and baptized. The king has shown Ours favor by giving them a large convent of the bonzes in Paquin, and has given them lands for their support.

July 6, Father Melchor de Vera passed by way of this college, en route from Sanboanga. He gives us some particulars which it is well to know. Cachil Moncay attacked the new village which Cachil Corralat had built. He killed or captured about one hundred of his men, but Corralat escaped. Afterward when Dato Siqui brought his customary tribute to Corralat from the island of Little Sanguil, he attacked Moncay and killed him and others, so that the number of killed and captives reached eighty.

Father Vera met on his way here a champan from Terrenate, which tells him that Corralat, seeing himself expelled [from his towns] by Don Sebastian, sent messengers to the Moros of Terrenate, to beg for aid; but that the latter had refused it to him, as they had enough of their own affairs to attend to. The men of that champan also told him that the petty king of Great Sanguil talked with them, and [49]said that he wished peace with the Spaniards, and would pay tribute to his Majesty. For greater security he gave them the young prince his son, so that they might give the boy to the governor as a token of peace. All these are the results of the two victories of Mindanao and Jolo.

Today, July 11, a large champan, which had sailed from the port of Macasar at the beginning of Lent, arrived at this port. They relate many acts of affection and favor which the king has shown to the Spaniards. Those aboard the champan assert that the king will be very glad of whatever ill-treatment Don Sebastian accords to the Macasars of Jolo, because they have taken arms against the vassals of his brother the king of Castilla.

Today, July 18, the patache sails with the reënforcements for the island of Hermosa, under the command of Don Pedro Fernandez del Rio.

Yesterday, July 23, at dawn, a Macan patache anchored in this roadstead. It comes from Camboja laden with rice, camanguian or benzoin, and other drugs. [50]

1 Spanish, buenas collas de bendabales. In August the prevailing winds at Manila are from the southwest, the vendavals. It often happens that in the months of June and July there develop in northern Luzón centers of minimum pressure so slowly that they appear to remain stationary for many days, followed, as is natural, by continuous currents and showers of rain from the third quadrant, known by the native-born residents as “collas” (Report of U. S. Philippine Commission, 1900, iv, pp. 229, 236; this chapter is furnished by the Jesuit fathers in charge of the Manila Observatory).

2 Juan Zubelzu, a native of Biscay, and a novice in the Dominican convent at Mexico, came to the Philippine Islands in the mission of 1615. After his ordination, he ministered to the Indians in Bataán, and in Cavite and Manila—where he died, December 14, 1657. He built a stone church in Samal, for which, it is remarked, he did not harass the Indians, although they were few in number. (Reseña biográfica, i, p. 350.)

3 “Son of the devil, scourge of God, and other similar things.”

4 Spanish, padres barbados; also known as Barbones, from their practice of wearing long beards; they came in 1635, with Corcuera, headed by Collado, and formed the congregation of San Pablo (for mission work only), by “warrants fraudulently obtained.” A royal decree of February 21, 1637, commanded the Dominican provincial at Manila to suppress the Barbones; it is the execution of this decree which is described in our text. See Reseña biográfica, i. pp. 338, 391, 420.

5 This statement about the Sangleys is printed by Barrantes as a postscript to Lopez’s letter of July 23, 1637 (q.v., VOL. XXVII). Internal evidence indicates Juan Lopez as the author of the present document, and that it was written at Cavite, where Lopez was in charge of the Jesuit house.

6 Melchor de Vera was born in Madrid about 1585, and entered the Jesuit order at the age of nineteen. Two years later, he departed for the Philippine mission, and after his ordination labored in the missions of Visayas and Mindanao. He was for a time minister of Manila college, and afterward rector of Carigara, and superior at Dapitan and Zamboanga. He was well versed in architecture and military defense, and several forts were built (especially that at Zamboanga) under his direction. He died at Cebú, April 13, 1646. See Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 153 verso; and Combés’s Hist. Mindanao.

7 Fernando de Estrada, a native of Ecija, Spain, was a missionary among the Bisayans and Tagáls, and at Ternate. He died at Manila in 1646, at the age of forty-five. See Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 193 verso.

8 Charles I sought at various times to play Spain against France, but his Spanish policy was, on the whole, a failure.

9 Morabites: the name of a Mahometan sect, founded by the son-in-law of Mahomet. The name was also used among Mahometans to indicate a wise man or a mystic.

10 Antonio Francisco Cardim was born at Viana, Portugal, in 1596, and entered the Jesuit order in February, 1611. Seven years later he went to India, and labored in Japan, China, and other countries until his death—which occurred at Macao, April 30, 1659. Sommervogel describes several missionary reports and other writings by Cardim.

11 That is, the small amount of their returns from Mexico prevented the Manila merchants from making their usual large purchases from the Chinese traders, and it was feared that the latter would not think it worth while to bring their goods to Manila.

12 This was Tsongching (VOL. XXII, p. 197, and note 44), the last emperor of the Ming dynasty; he was favorable to the Jesuits, but can hardly be called a convert to the Christian faith. By “Father Pablo” is probably meant Paul Siu (or Sin, according to Crétineau-Joly), a Chinese official of high standing, who was converted by Father Ricci, and served as an evangelist among his people, besides aiding the missionaries with gifts and his influence at court, and revising their writings in Chinese. See Crétineau-Joly’s Hist. Comp. de Jésus, iii, p. 172; and Williams’s Middle Kingdom, ii, pp. 302, 304.


Letter from Corcuera to Felipe IV


Last year I informed your Majesty that I had appointed Don Luis Arias de Mora as protector of the Sangleys in the Parián; he is a lawyer well known in this royal Audiencia, a man of virtue and of excellent abilities. On this account, with the salary of that office of protector (which he draws from the communal treasury of the said Sangleys), he is obliged to act as counsel for the archbishop in affairs of justice, in order to prevent the troubles that the friars brought upon him last year—inducing him to issue acts against the Order of the Society, and excommunicating the royal Audiencia and the governor of Filipinas. Since he promised that he would issue no mandates without the signed approval of this counselor, we have lived in peace, without there having been the least annoyance, or any interruption of our harmony; for the said counselor will not sign any act or document which the said archbishop causes to be drawn up if it contravenes the patronage and jurisdiction of your Majesty, or encroaches in any way upon your rights. For these reasons, and on account of the said Luis Arias de Mora’s long service as advocate in this royal Audiencia, and his excellent reputation for learning and talent, I entreat [51]that your Majesty will be pleased to grant him the favor of confirming him in the said office of protector of the Sangleys, until some greater favor be bestowed upon him; any office will be well served, if conferred upon him. May our Lord protect the Catholic person of your Majesty, as Christendom has need. Manila, August 21, 1638. Sire, your vassal kisses your Majesty’s feet.

Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera

[Endorsed: “February 26, 1639; provision is made for this.”] [52]


Letter to Felipe IV from the Treasurer at Manila


If my so great obligations to your Majesty—not only since you are my king and natural sovereign, but since you have honored me so generously in these islands by employing my person in the post of official judge-treasurer of your royal estate—necessarily and strictly did not oblige me to inform your Majesty of the manner in which the said royal estate is administered here, its condition, and the so great ruin that it has suffered and is suffering since it was your Majesty’s pleasure to have Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera come to govern these islands in the year thirty-five, I should have to arouse myself and take courage to place before the pious eyes of your Majesty this memoir of disasters; for no other title or name can be given to the calamities that have rushed pellmell both on the said royal estate, and on us afflicted ministers who have it in charge, to the so great peril and discredit of our persons. The matter, Sire, is a very long drawn out one, and hence it is impossible to compass it in a few lines; and I in my rashness will weary your Majesty’s ears. But the love and zeal which move me will perhaps avail to remove from me censure for my boldness. [53]

Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera entered this city in the latter part of June, 635, to assume this government. He showed apparent signs of an endeavor to excel, in his honest and careful attitude toward your royal estate; but we were soon undeceived by his so unexpected and inconsiderate resolution not to despatch the ships which your Majesty has ordered, by so many decrees and ordinances, to be sent annually to Nueva España with the property of the inhabitants of this city—so that the usual situado might be sent back in them to these islands from the proceeds of your royal duties, and serve as a help to the great and numerous expenses which your Majesty is incurring annually in the increase and preservation of so many of the faithful as have in these regions deserved to receive the holy water of baptism. Yet it was a fact that Don Juan Cereço de Salamanca (who was concluding his governorship, to which he had been appointed by the viceroy of Nueva España), had prepared two ships, and their cargoes were aboard—the lading-space having been allotted, in accordance with the orders given by your Majesty, among the inhabitants of this city. The losses and damage that have resulted, both to your royal estate and to the property of the merchants of these islands, are so considerable and momentous that I would not dare to name them. Your Majesty’s ministers in Mexico, in whose charge is the management of your royal estate, will have already reported them to you, for they will be able to do it with more accurate knowledge and certainty; and, consequently, I think that they will already have come to your Majesty’s ears.

A few days ago the governor introduced in this [54]royal camp of Manila a cavalry company of twenty-nine men or soldiers, with their captain, one lieutenant, one alférez, one standard-bearer, and one corporal; each soldier was to receive 168 pesos’ pay per annum, the captain 1,200, the lieutenant, 480, the alférez, 380, the corporal, 216, and one trumpler, 120—the total amounting to 7,248 pesos. It was for the sole purpose of being employed nightly in squads to close the gates of the city and to patrol it; and it was all to spare the infantry from fatigue, although the latter had until then been employed in that duty with much more security to the city, and with the correction of many lawless acts which we have been experiencing here since, and which have been committed by the very men who are deputed to obviate them. When the said governor ordered us to inscribe that new order in the royal books, and to furnish the papers to the said soldiers with pay so increased, we, seeing of how little importance and effectiveness the said company was, and that there was no order from your Majesty for its creation, warned him of that—besides giving him other reasons which will already have been seen by your Council, for we enclosed a copy of both of them in the letters that we wrote in the year 1636. Still, notwithstanding that, the governor ordered the command to be obeyed. Accordingly we did so, and the command has been, and is being, observed; and the governor refuses to recede in so pernicious a decision as is the increase of [expenses with] pay so large as this, and so unnecessary, and, moreover, when your royal treasury in these islands has so many and so great necessities.

Although there was, upon the arrival of the said [55]governor, as much infantry in this city and these presidios, as in the times of previous governors, and even more, inasmuch as he had brought in those ships a very large and fine consignment of men (for they numbered more than five hundred men)—a considerable reënforcement, and sufficient to have garrisoned and manned your Majesty’s forts—he raised two companies of ninety-six Pampango Indians apiece, on his own counsel alone, and unnecessarily, so that they might take part with the Spaniards in the guard and watch of this city. The following pay [was assigned]: the captain, 240 pesos per annum; two drummers, each 24 pesos; the alférez, 120 pesos; his standard-bearer, 24 pesos; the sergeant, 84 pesos; the four corporals, 60 pesos apiece. Hence, both companies have an annual expense of 10,728 pesos, for those two companies are paid monthly the amount of their pay. Not only are those companies still kept up, but they have also been augmented since the past year, 637, by two other companies—one for this camp, which is here at present; and the other in the new presidios of Jolo and Camboja—besides 72 other Pampango Indians, who are stationed in the fort at the port of Cavite. All together mean an expense of 25,092 pesos per year to the royal treasury. I assure your Majesty that this matter ought to be looked at with the greatest attention, in order that things might not be so managed; for it is a useless and needless expense when, as I have said, your royal treasury suffers so great losses as it does, by the so terrible and irreparable damage which the province from which those Indians are drafted has suffered, as they are all tillers of the soil, and tributaries of your Majesty. [56]Many losses to your royal estate follow, because they and their wives are exempted from paying the tribute during the time while they serve in their posts as soldiers. Besides, as this province [of Pampanga] abounds so plentifully in rice, and your Majesty needs so much of it for the rations of so great a number of persons as are employed in the building and repairing of the vessels in the port of Cavite, and for the sailors and soldiers, it is obvious that the said province will be diminished; for it is necessary to allot the vendalas and repartimientos upon the few who remain, instead of on the many, so that with a few exactions of this sort the poor Indians will be driven to the wall, and will find it necessary to desert their huts and take to the woods. That would mean the total ruin and destruction of that district, which is the support of this colony.

As the governor immediately undertook to despatch the usual reënforcement and situado to the forts of Terrenate, he appointed a chief commander with 3,000 pesos, and an admiral with 2,000—although until then there had been no such officers as commander-in-chief and admiral; but only one commandant, who received 60 ducados of eleven reals per month, while those who were placed in command of the other pataches received very moderate pay. We remonstrated, as we were bound to do, warning the governor that there was no order from your Majesty for the creation of such salaries. He referred the decision of this matter to the treasury meeting, where we found two auditors and Doctor Juan Fernandez de Ledo (who was exercising the duties of fiscal), and the factor and treasurer. All except the said Doctor Juan Fernandez de Ledo, who was of the [57]governor’s opinion, opposed the said pay, giving very powerful and cogent reasons therefor. Notwithstanding that, the governor ordered the said salaries to be made good, and said that he would report the matter to your Majesty. Hence, Sire, he will by no means listen to any proposition which is made for the benefit and use of the royal treasury, if it is contrary to his opinion.

The same thing happened in the said meeting when they were assigning the salaries to the chaplains whom he appointed in the said galleons of Terrenate, and in all the others that sailed from these islands for any place. It was an expense as avoidable as the others which he has introduced, for it is a fact that religious are always ready to serve those posts because of the accommodations that they receive in the galleons, especially in those that sail to Nueva España. For when the religious sail in them as passengers they must obtain permission, and the accommodation of a berth, and, as this costs money and trouble, it is found to be no little convenience to give them the posts as chaplains; and they have not claimed or demanded any pay, and they have been employed in this ministry in all the past. Therefore one can understand how superfluous is that expense.

There are five convents of religious within the walls of this city of Manila, and one of nuns; the church of La Misericordia, the seminary of Santa Potenciana, the cathedral church, and the hospital for the Spaniards or soldiers. That makes ten churches in all, and they are so near and close to one another that the divine offices can be heard from one to another, if one pays moderate attention. So small and narrow> is the district of the city, and so few the [58]people in the churches, that if there was no more than one convent of religious and the cathedral church, they could be sufficiently taken care of and without too great fatigue [to the priests]. Although this was the fact of the case, the governor, a very few days after his arrival, began to build a church for his soldiers, saying at the beginning that the expense for the building was to be taken from the soldiers’ own pay, and that no expense would be incurred by the royal treasury. But he did not keep his word, although the said church was fully built, together with some barracks and quarters for the said soldiers to live in. In the erection of it, more than eighty thousand pesos have been already spent, while the amount charged to the infantry is not in excess of sixteen thousand pesos. Consequently, it has been necessary that the remaining funds should be supplied from the royal treasury, although it would be more proper to expend that sum in building galleons to carry the goods of this city to Nueva España. For with galleons the royal treasury will be increased, and thereby will the governor obey the many and urgent orders which your Majesty has been pleased to issue in this regard; and the vassals and inhabitants of these islands would not be so ruined, and so hopeless of returning to their former state. It was all occasioned by the governor’s resolution not to despatch any ships during the year of 635 and that of 637; and even next year, 639, there is little assurance that he will despatch them, for there is no money with which to prepare them. If that were done, we could entertain stronger hopes; because, as I write this, the usual succor from Mexico has not yet arrived, as only one very small patache was [59]despatched last year, and there is doubt that it was able to reach port. On that account we are so perplexed and afflicted that it is even a special providence of God that we are able to breathe.

The ships which are being despatched this year are sailing without a register; for, as yet, the inhabitants have not registered a shred of cloth with which to lade them, as they do not know the condition of their property in Nueva España. As they are so ruined as regards their capital, they are, according to my way of thinking excusable. But I have been unable to find any excuse in any way for the governor, who has, by his so extraordinary and unadvised resolutions, placed this city in the last straits; and has paid no attention to those who, with foresight, have represented to him these great damages, besides those which have followed and will follow to the royal estate of your Majesty. For this year alone (and I do not speak of former years), more than one hundred and fifty thousand pesos have been spent on these ships, both for the preparation that has been necessary, and for the pay of the commanders, pilots, and other seamen and other officials who sail in them, and for the food. Your Majesty will never be reimbursed for that sum, for, as no cargo goes in the ships, there can be no duties collected; and it is from these duties that the funds for these expenses must be obtained, as your Majesty has ordered and commanded. Hence, Sire, it becomes necessary to say that it seems as if your Majesty had sent the governor to these islands to ruin and destroy your royal estate, rather than to increase and preserve it. This conclusion, if relief does not come speedily, will be seen to be verified with the great [60]loss of all, and the special sorrow of us who, as your Majesty’s faithful ministers and servants, are bound to strive for the increase of your royal estate.

In the past year, 637, because these coasts were being infested by the kings of Mindanao and Jolo, with great loss and damage to the Christian Indians and your Majesty’s vassals, the governor left this city with two fine large fleets—the first on February two, and the second on December eight. Both were despatched against the advice of all the soldiers who were experienced in this country—both because of the risk to which the governor exposed his person, and because of the so heavy expenses that it was necessary to incur; and furthermore, since there are very honorable soldiers in these islands, to whom these expeditions can be entrusted with the hope that they will give an excellent account of them. And thus he would have avoided a very large part of the expense, and even of the loss of very brave soldiers who died in both expeditions; for more than four hundred Spaniards died, among whom were many persons of high standing [in this colony]. That is a loss which ought to be wept with many tears, because of the lack that they will create when they will be most necessary. In the first expedition, 9,867 pesos were spent from your royal estate; and in the second, 47,171 pesos. He has tried and is trying to cover the expense of both expeditions by the value of the slaves, and other things of little account, which he took as booty in both expeditions; and by other communications, which will be seen in your Council, according to the relations or certifications which he has given to us. Most of it can have but little foundation, as there is nothing more than what the governor [61]has been pleased to give. But it will be well to consider that although the fifth part of any booty taken belongs to your Majesty (as is a fact), he has ordered all the artillery, and other war supplies and ammunition to be valued and adjudged as part compensation for the expense incurred. That is a thing which, according to my understanding, could not be done; for he is attempting to persuade your Majesty that he is giving you something. Since that is clearly yours by law, there is no reason for [thus] adjudging it, under any of the pretexts of which, [to judge] from appearances like these, he always avails himself to accredit his own actions.

Beside the building of the church, barracks, and quarters for the soldiers, he has constructed other buildings of not inconsiderable extent, and of the same necessity and importance as the aforesaid, at the royal hospital of this city. He has bought some houses that are near it for eight thousand pesos, in order that the chaplain, apothecary, and physician may live in them. Your Majesty has assigned them a very sufficient remuneration, and they have always been contented with it, and have not asked for houses in which to live. The governor has also added a room to the said hospital (where the religious of St. Francis had their living apartments before his arrival), without sense or reason. He has spent a great sum of pesos in its building; and a great sum has also been and is being spent in the support of the sick of the said hospital—although they were supported most abundantly in past years with two thousand five hundred or three thousand pesos at the most. Now seven thousand pesos and upward are spent, and we cannot see in what this increase consists, [62]although we are not ignorant that the sick are less carefully attended and nursed than before.

A Portuguese nobleman, an inhabitant of Macan, by name Don Diego de Miranda Enriquez, came from that city to this during the former year of 636, with a quantity of arquebuses, muskets, nails for the ships, and rough iron. Having sent for us that we might bargain and pay for it, we did so, availing ourselves for that purpose of the recent example that we had for it in the previous year, 1635, which was accredited and approved by the said governor. Nevertheless, after several months the governor fined the factor and me (for we were the ones who made the said contract and rendered payment, as the accountant was then living in the port of Cavite) without our knowing what crime we had committed, in the sum of two thousand one hundred and thirty-three pesos, five tomins; for he said that we had not observed his orders in the said contract. After he had conferred over the matter with your auditors, and they being of the opposite opinion, nevertheless, holding his own even to the end, he had us notified of the act imposing the said fine. We appealed from it to your Audiencia, where we were freed from the prosecution. The said governor was indeed very angry at that; and he even gave your auditors to so understand, and that, in matters of justice, he even was trying to tie their hands.

At the very beginning of his governorship, the said Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera tried to change the inferior employees of the tribunal of your royal officials. Among the others whom he appointed was the weigher of coins, notwithstanding that we opposed that. For your Majesty has been [63]pleased to honor us with your special decrees, in which you order that we ourselves choose our employees, so that they may be to our satisfaction; and that your governors give their titles to those whom we should thus propose to them. [We also opposed it] because the said governor ordered us to admit the said weigher to the enjoyment and exercise of his office without bonds, although all those who had thus far exercised that office had given bonds in the sum of four thousand pesos for the security of your royal estate, as it is an office that requires great faithfulness because of the many and continually-recurring opportunities that present themselves for him to make considerable thefts without your royal officials being able to put a stop to it. That has been proved to us by experience, for, notwithstanding all our efforts in watching him, at the end of a year and slightly more (for so long a time did he hold the said office) we found that he had stolen more than three thousand five hundred pesos from your royal treasury. We began a prosecution in your royal Audiencia. The said governor, seeing that the weigher was proved to be a criminal by what was enacted, and by his confession and deposition, in order that he might not be completely exposed, had a memorial presented [to the Audiencia] through a father of the Society of Jesus—in which it is stated that a man had declared in confession that he was the thief, and that the said weigher was not guilty; and had given him a certain number of pay-warrants with which to satisfy, by way of restitution, the [claim for] three thousand five hundred pesos. The said governor ordered that this reparation should be accepted; and although the pay-warrants had no [64]justification—as their owners had been dead for many years, and the papers contained no cessions or powers by virtue of which receipts should be given and signed—we had to receive them, because, as they had been examined before the auditor of accounts, and attested by him, they were [technically] entirely sufficient, and could and ought to be received. Thereupon, the said weigher went scot free from prison. The said governor immediately sent him to Macan, in order to remove him from the danger that might meet him at any time in this city. In this manner, Sire, was so serious a crime as the aforesaid punished; and in this wise does the governor protect his henchmen, for there is no human strength which can oppose his. This is a consideration that causes not a little sorrow to your Majesty’s servants and ministers; for only that name is left us, for we have been stripped, for the sole purpose of being able to depreciate and even disaccredit us, of all the power and authority which your Majesty was pleased to give us in our titles, and in the ordinances and many other decrees. However, I think and trust, God helping, that that will not be attained, however vigilant the governor may be; for we are and shall be always in your Majesty’s service, and hope that, as our pious king and sovereign, you will always examine our causes, and that you will pity us for the calamities and miseries that we are suffering for the sole reason of being so far from your royal presence, and that you will take what corrective measures are most pleasing to you. With that hope we receive new courage, although in the midst of so many perils, to fulfil our obligations, as faithful [65]and grateful vassals and ministers of your Majesty, whose royal person may our Lord preserve, with the increase of greater and more extensive empires, as is necessary to us all. Manila, August 31, 1638.

Don Baltasar Ruiz de Escalona [66]


Bañuelos y Carrillo’s Relation


Relation of the Filipinas Islands, by Admiral Don Hieronimo de Bañuelos y Carrillo1

The city of Manila is the chief city of the islands of Luçon, or the Filipinas. It lies in a latitude of fourteen degrees thirty minutes, is fortified on one side by the sea, and on its land side has a castle called Santiago, although that castle furnishes no great defense. The artillery of that castle points seaward, in order to prevent the entrance of [hostile] vessels—which can, however, enter there, without the cannon doing them any great damage. The chief port of these islands is called Cavite, and there the ships from Nueva España are anchored. That port of Cavite serves as a refuge for our sailors; it is sheltered from the heavy winds, and very secure. Manila, on the contrary, is an open bay, beaten by the north winds. The anchorage there is very poor, and the entrance very difficult; but, on the other hand, it is very well supplied with all that is necessary for commerce and for war. One may say that it serves as a magazine for the richest commerce in the world. There is abundance of bread, flesh, and wine there; [69]and although the wine is not so good as that of España, those of the country who are accustomed to it do not hesitate to prefer it to that of Goa, or that of Mexico—although those are used only for the mass, and that of España for the tables of the richest men. The Portuguese of Goa also send abundance of provisions there, so that they can be bought in Manila at a very good bargain. There are one hundred and fifty fires [i.e., households] in Manila. The houses of the city are so suitable and those of the country so charming that life in those islands is altogether delightful. At one musket-shot from the city can be seen the Parián, the lodging of the Sangleys or Chinese merchants. There are about twenty thousand of them, all merchants whom business has attracted to that place. It is a very curious place to see, because of the fine order in which they live. Every kind of merchandise has its own separate quarter, and those goods are so rare and curious that they merit the admiration of the most civilized nations.2

View of city of Manila; photographic facsimile of engraving in Mallet’s Description de l’univers (Paris, 1683)

View of city of Manila; photographic facsimile of engraving in Mallet’s Description de l’univers (Paris, 1683)

[From copy in Library of Congress]


Although that Parián is built only of wood, and the Chinese who live there have no weapons, we do not fail to keep a strong guard on that side. We even have some pieces of artillery pointed toward that city, for the Chinese are a very spirited and bold nation. We have experienced that heretofore, and are still threatened [with danger] in that hour that we are not so closely on our guard. There is no Spanish house where nine or ten of these merchants cannot be seen every morning, who take their merchandise there; for all the traffic passes through their hands, even all that is used for the sustenance of the Spaniards. There are some men who say that they mix a slow poison in our food, which works its effect chiefly on the women. It is a fact that a woman who reaches the age of twenty-six years is seldom seen. Those persons add that their intention in doing that is to prevent the Spaniards from fortifying themselves more strongly in that island, and that the Chinese would drive them out entirely. That would be very easy for them, by employing such means, if it were not for the interest that they have in the commerce of the silver of Nueva España. These people have a subtle and universal intelligence. They imitate whatever one presents to them, and they make the article as well as do those who invented it. The riches of Manila, and the felicity of existence there, are steadily decreasing. I shall relate here the causes for it, having regard only to the service of God and of the king.

The chief cause for the ruin of these islands is the great trade that the Sangleys carry on. The king has permitted the inhabitants of the Manilas to export a portion of their capital to Nueva España. [71]in the merchandise of that country. The Spanish inhabitants daily lend their names to those Sangleys and to the Portuguese of Macao, so that they may enjoy the freedom of that commerce. These people do not attempt to hide the fact that they are acting as agents for the inhabitants of Mexico; and these last years they sent such a quantity of merchandise to Peru and to Nueva España that no sale could be found for it. That is a hindrance to the voyages of the trading fleet. The king of China could build a palace with the silver bars from Peru which have been carried to his country because of that traffic, without their having been registered, and without the king of España having been paid his duties, as has been well shown by Dom Pedro de Quiroga y Moya. That silver was sent at the account of influential persons, who do not reside at the Manilas. The two vessels which left in his time paid more duties to the king than all the other ships put together which had made that voyage before; that clearly shows the neglect of the other officials commissioned to receive the duties from his Majesty. They have attempted to conceal this truth, by saying that those ships were richer than the others because Dom Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera had written, in the preceding year, that he would not send the vessels that year; and that he had even detained and caused the unlading of those that had been on the point of sailing on the voyage to Acapulco. I do not know his reason for so doing, but I know well that he wrote that resolution at the Embocadero of Manila—that is to say, eighty leguas from the city—and that without having consulted the inhabitants of the Manilas. Those of the country are agreed [72]that that delay has been their ruin; for they all know that they cannot maintain themselves against the Dutch or against the Mahometans except by means of the regular succor that is sent them from Nueva España.

The marqués de Cadereta3 came at that time to act as viceroy of Nueva España. He sent a large reënforcement to the islands very opportunely, under command of General Don Andres Cottigllo. The latter brought news that Don Pedro de Quiroga had arrived at Mexico to inform against the officials of his Majesty, and that he would go to Acapulco to inspect the ships and regulate the Chinese commerce. The inhabitants of the Manilas and the factors of the Portuguese tried to get back their merchandise that they had already laded on the vessels, being fearful of that news and that name of visitor. But having finally recovered courage, they laded the two vessels that the governor had detained the preceding year, which were worth about five millions in gold. Nevertheless those of the country affirmed that they were not so richly laden as those which had sailed before, for one of the chief merchants4 had not put a single box aboard.

They report another reason for obscuring so apparent a truth. They say that Don Pedro de [73]Quiroga had specified among the orders that he had drawn up as a remedy for the disorders of the past, that for those ships; and that it was he alone who prevented their sailing. But he himself says that that is false, and that he had heard that those who had encomiendas [Fr., commanderies], and the merchants of Mexico, had resorted to entreaties to Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera (for I cannot believe that they were in compact with him); and that they had represented to him the great quantity of Chinese merchandise then in Mexico, and declared that, if new vessels were sent there, a market could not be found for that merchandise, and that the merchants of Mexico and Nueva España would lose a great amount by it.

Don Pedro de Quiroga adds that having learned that the governor of the Filipinas had given his word not to have any new vessels sail, in order to better carry out his Majesty’s service, he had employed this expedient—namely, that if they entered the port that year, they would enjoy the benefit of the rules which had been made during that time; but that, if they came only the following year, they would not enjoy these, and that they would pay the king’s duties in all strictness. That plainly showed that he was advised of the promise which the governor of the islands had given to the merchants of Mexico, to detain the vessels and the merchandise that ought to have been sent that year. The transaction was, in truth, greatly to the interest of the inhabitants of Mexico, and of the Spaniards who have encomiendas—although to the great prejudice of the islands, which cannot get along without the reënforcement which they ought to have annually from Mexico; [74]and to the decrease of his Majesty’s duties, which are an aid in the discharge of the expense for that succor. In fine, if the marqués de Cadereta had not reënforced the islands as powerfully as he did, they would have fallen into extreme need. It would be easy for me to show here other consequences of that delay of the vessels which Don Juan Cereço y Salamanca had prepared to sail that year, as is done every year; and it will not be more difficult for me to demonstrate the other damages that we suffer in that commerce. The inhabitants of the Manilas have nothing on those vessels; their cargoes belong entirely to the Chinese, to the Portuguese of Macao, or to the Mexican merchants. If the king does not put a stop to it, the Chinese will absorb all the riches of Peru, and the subjects of the king in those islands will be forced to abandon them. I will go on to represent to your Excellency the other disorders in the government of those islands, as far as I have been able to learn them in the short time that I have spent there.

The encomiendas are ruined. Formerly the king rewarded soldiers with them, and now the islanders, who were formerly assigned under those encomiendas, have become our enemies. There has been failure to instruct those innocent people in the Catholic faith, and that is the only title under which the king of España holds that country, which does not belong to his patrimony. Instead of making them our friends and brothers, we have made them our domestic enemies. We have received the Sangleys in their place, with whom the profit of the traffic always embroils us. Let one consider what damage has been committed since by the inhabitants of the [75]island of Mindanao. They have overrun the shores of these islands with their caracoas or little boats, and the governor was forced to leave the city in the hands of the Sangleys, in order to leave the island and to go to make war on them, where he lost more than one hundred and thirty Spaniards, without being able to bring the war to a successful end. In this it cannot be said that he was not greatly to blame; for one of his officers named Nicolás Gonzales, at the first war cry, forced one of their best positions without the loss of a single man, whence the governor had been unable to drive them with all his forces.5 [76]

We have also as enemies the people of Jolo and those of Terrenate, who are also more to be feared on account of the help that they get from the Dutch. They declare themselves neutral, but they help the Dutch underhandedly on all occasions. The chiefs of those Indians take the title of kings, but they are among the kings who go quite naked and who live by their labor. True, those of Macassar, of Cochinchina, and of Cambaya, are more powerful. But for all that, it would be enough for us, for the little help that we can get out of them, to become the arbitrator of their differences, and thus to keep them favorable to our side. But since they have seen that we have made this friendship with the Sangleys, with the inhabitants of Martavan, of Borneo, and other neighboring islands, they have broken off all trade with us, and have begun to take all the products of their country to the Dutch, so that they do nothing except at their orders. If for that reason also the king does not prevent the trade with the Sangleys, the Filipinas are lost. I come now to the remedy that can be applied to this disorder. [77]

Among all those one hundred and fifty families who are settled at Manila, there are not two who are very rich. My plan would be to allow those inhabitants to export Chinese merchandise to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand escudos, the greater part of which should be raw silk and cotton bolls, so that they could be manufactured in this country [i.e., Mexico]. For there is less [chance for] trickery in that sort of merchandise than in the stuffs manufactured in China, which ought never to be allowed to be taken to Manila. The permission of trade to that sum would also be proportioned to the ability of the Manila merchants; and they would get more than five hundred thousand escudos in return for it, for the profits of that trade are exorbitant. Today even, when there is so much of this merchandise, four hundred per cent is gained on the poorest quality exported. By that means the Spaniards could be employed in manufacturing that silk, the textiles would be better, and they would secure innumerable other advantages. Accordingly, the inhabitants of the Manilas would not charge themselves with the commissions of Mexico, and they would get all the profit derived from those islands, which is now quite universally in the hands of foreigners. Further, as their affairs in the country became more prosperous, they would become more interested in its conservation; and they would be more careful to have the Indians, who have been assigned to them in encomiendas, instructed and held in subjection. They would save what they give to their agents in Mexico, who often ruin them. They keep their merchandise two or three years, and it has a poor sale in Mexico, because of the great quantity that is taken there; and trading only at Acapulco, [78]and conducting their own business, they alone would enjoy, and that every year, the profits of that traffic.

Fifty thousand escudos could be employed in white mantas, unbleached [cruës] and of excellent quality; that is a kind of merchandise very largely used among the Indians, and Mexico has great need of it. That would be the right commerce that ought to be carried on by pilots and sailors; for some of it can always be sold, and those people are obliged to sell it quickly. Care must be taken that only that quantity be carried, and that any surplus be confiscated; and the governors and other officials should be very careful in this. In order that your Excellency may see that I am not trying to weaken the commerce of those islands, as some might believe, I will state here that the inhabitants of the Manilas should be allowed to export as many shiploads as possible of the products of their country—such as wax, gold, perfumes, ivory, and lampotes. Those they would buy from the natives of the country, thus preventing them from carrying those goods to the Dutch. Thus would the people become friendly, and would supply Nueva España with that merchandise; and the silver taken to the Manilas would not be exported thence. I may be told that the king of China does not use that silver to make war on us; but even if it is used only to swell his treasury, it is as lost to us as if it were at the bottom of the sea. Your Excellency should consider that one and one-half millions in gold are sent annually to China. If what I have just said be closely observed, the merchandise of the Manilas will be sold to good advantage, and the natives of the country will become our friends; while their neighbors will leave the [79]Dutch, who are deriving heavy profits from them; for there is scarcely a place in those islands where the Dutch do not possess a factory. Thus have they become the masters, and they give arms to the natives to make war on us. Add to all these considerations that the Spaniards inhabiting the islands will not be obliged to be continually on their guard because of twenty thousand Sangleys or enemies, whom they have in a corner of the world where the Spaniards can muster scarcely eight hundred men.

Perhaps your Excellency will be told that, if we break with the Sangleys, they will go to live in the island of Formosa, or in some other place among the Dutch, and will carry to them the trade that they have with us; and that, having enjoyed the trade of Japon as conveniently as we have that of the Western Indias, they will still carry their merchandise to Nangazaki, the chief port of Japon, from which they will also obtain silver. To that I will reply that the kingdom of China is so full of merchandise, and the Sangleys are so shrewd in commerce, and so keen after gain, that they know what quantity of that merchandise is needed by the English, how much by the Dutch, and what quantity ought to be sold in all of Japon—and that with so great exactness that a tailor, after once seeing the figure of a person, decides how much goods is necessary to clothe him. They do the same in regard to us, and, knowing that only two ships sail annually to Nueva España, they generally have in the Parian the quantity necessary to lade those ships. If the inhabitants of the Manilas had trade with Japon, they would derive great profit from it; but a secret judgment of God has broken the communication that we had [80]with those islanders, and has given it into the hands of the heretics, after having permitted them to destroy our churches there, and their having put to fire and sword all the Spaniards or Japanese Christians there. Hence we do not believe that a single religious is now left in all the country; and the people are compelled, under pain of death, to come to denounce those whom they know to be Christians. Our religious go there no longer, for it means certain death to them to go to Japon. The following is the manner in which that persecution was reported.

A Vizcayan captain, named Sebastian,6 having sailed from the port of Acapulco for an island called Ricca doro,7 was blown by a heavy gale to the latitude of that island; and, not being able to anchor, put in at Japon, and with the curiosity of a seaman sounded the ports of that kingdom. That novel proceeding made the Japanese suspicious. They asked an Englishman who was then allied to them what could be the design of that Spaniard. He told them that the Spaniards were a warlike nation, who were aiming at universal monarchy; that they always commenced their conquest by means of the religious; that after the religious of that nation had been permitted [81]to preach there, and to build churches, they considered the conquest of that kingdom as secure; that that vessel had come to reconnoiter the country, and the entrance of the ports, and that it would be followed by a great army, which would complete that design. At that juncture a tono8 or prominent lord of the country died. The emperor had formerly tried to buy from him a house built for recreation; but that lord, who was fond of that place, refused to sell it. He was a Catholic, and left it at his death to the Jesuits, whereupon the latter thought it best to pay their respects to the emperor by offering it to him. That prince reflected that what an emperor could not accomplish, the Jesuits his subjects had compassed. Putting that reflection with the advice of the Englishman, he determined to exterminate the Catholics. That resolution was so executed that there are no Christians in Japon, except only the Portuguese from Macao. I am too much ashamed to name the conditions to which they submit, in order that they may be received there.

Since that time all the trade of that island has fallen into the hands of the Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Sangleys, although the king of China has forbidden the last named to have any communication with the inhabitants of Japon, under penalty of death, because the Japanese had formerly revolted against China, of which they had formed a part. But for all that, their greed for silver makes them go there as they do to the Manilas, so that Japon does not lack any of the goods that pass through the hands [82]of those peoples. As for the silver, the Dutch do not carry any more to China or to Japon, because those countries get all the amount that they can buy by means of the Sangleys who live in the Manilas. It would be very advantageous to the inhabitants of the Manilas and to his Majesty to break off that commerce with the Chinese, and it is unnecessary to say that by that means advantageous disposition may be made of the silver of Peru and the silks of the Filipinas—for in truth the king does not find there his account; the silks would come to Mexico with greater advantage, and the islanders and his Majesty would get more profit from it, and that at the admission of all informed persons. As for the governor, he should possess the following qualities: he should be discreet; his distance from Madrid, and his authority as governor, should not make him presumptuous, but should serve rather as a check than as a cause for vanity; he should be a fine seaman, and very sedulous in despatching and making the ships sail every year. All the exports should be registered. In order that the islands be better reënforced, the ships should be of five hundred toneladas, and they should have two decks, better equipped than they have as yet been; for if they are poorly equipped they take much time in making their voyage, and have been the cause of great expense to his Majesty. Besides, the viceroy of Nueva España has been unable to make them depart by the first of April, as would be necessary. Those vessels ought only to carry seamen. The offices of the ships ought not to be sold to merchants, but given as a reward to those who have served well at sea. Great disorders have happened from that, which was the former [83]custom, and because the offices of pilot, boatswain’s mate, and steward have been sold.

In the year 1637, when I was about to set out as admiral of the vessels that were to take the reënforcements to those islands, I went to the port of Acapulco. There I found the vessel “San Juan Bautista,” which had come that year from those islands, and which had lost its mast on the way. I endeavored to get Don Pedro de Quiroga to advise the marqués de Cadereta of the poor condition of the masts and other rigging of the vessel. He refused to permit it, and compelled me to embark, telling me that if we failed to embark by the first day of the month of April, we would run the risk of losing our voyage. While at sea, I asked the boatswain’s mate for an inventory of the sails and rigging. I found that there were no spare sails, but one single cable, and one other old cable, which was used to make fast the pieces of artillery that were rolling about the ship. Ordering him to bring me also the inventory of what there was when they left the islands, I found that it had been equipped with three spare sails, five cables, and a quantity of rigging. He answered me that the sea had carried away the sails and that the ship had lost its cables as they left San Bernardino. Without pressing him further, he confessed to me that he had used the money that had been given him for that purpose in buying merchandise, in order to discharge a debt of three thousand escudos that he had paid for his post of boatswain, but that he had not found his account in that merchandise. I endeavored to punish him. He appealed to the commander-in-chief, and the latter ordered me not to prosecute him until I should have arrived at the [84]Manilas. At the Manilas he was excused, because they said that he had paid three thousand escudos, although he had made the king lose more than sixty thousand. Those who furnish the provisions for the crew put in food of poor quality. The pilots cram their room at the stern with merchandise, thus endangering the vessel. Had I encountered a capful of wind during that voyage, I could scarcely have finished it. I had to take a capstan at Maribeles to lift my anchor, and to make the port of Cabite, which is three leguas from that place. Thus for the twenty thousand escudos that is drawn from the sale of those offices, thirty thousand are lost, and the fleet is in danger of being lost—which means, of losing those islands. It is not sufficient to give the offices to sailors who deserve them; it is not at all necessary to compel them to perform the functions of soldiers when they have no inclination for it, or to punish them when they gamble, as is done.

It is of great importance to have galleys on these coasts; that is the means of keeping away from them the Dutch, and the Indians from Mindanao and Jolo—who do not cease to be hostile to the Spaniards, although they have neither courage nor discipline; for one Spaniard has been seen to put twenty of their caracoas to flight with only one shot from his musket. The enemy most to be feared are the Dutch, who have taken possession of that sea. It is easy to manage the oared vessels of that country, and they have been used in several emergencies to tow the vessels, which otherwise would have been in danger of being wrecked. Besides, those boats are more suitable for a sea like that, full of islands, than vessels with high freeboard. It would also be very much to the point [85]to have work done in Camboya in the building of new vessels, as the wood of those parts, and that of Angely, resist the seaworms and decay better than other woods, and especially those of the Filipinas.

In the year 1637, when I arrived at the islands, there were no vessels ready for Nueva España. They were obliged to send a small vessel of one hundred toneladas to advise the marqués de Cadereta of their wretched condition, and to entreat him to send the usual reënforcement—notwithstanding the prohibition of the commerce with Peru, and their knowledge that there were no vessels at Acapulco. That showed how important it is to be continually building vessels for the Filipinas, and for the governor to be a seaman rather than a soldier of the Low Countries. It is also important for the governor and the archbishop to live in harmony. The spiritual government in these countries is the one thing of greater consequence than the political government, because of the scandal that the Indians receive from it. It is also important that those sent by the viceroy be men of merit and service, and that they be well treated in the islands. The observation of all the above points will be of use to us in keeping off the Dutch, who are the most terrible enemy that we have; and who will become absolute masters of the Manilas, if they can attain their ends. España, by observing those things, will triumph over its enemies. For my part, I will fulfil my duty as a subject by doing my utmost for the service of my master, and for the welfare of my country; and at the same time I shall discharge my obligation toward your Excellency of serving you. [86]

1 A marginal note reads: “Translated from the Spanish relation printed at Mexico in the year 1638; dedicated to Don Garcia de Haro y Abellaneda, count of Castilla, president of the royal Council of the Indias.”

2 Marginal note: “The rules of this traffic, which will be found at the end of the relations of the Filipinas, elucidate this point.” This evidently refers to the Spanish originals.

The “list of relations and voyages” at the beginning of Thevenot’s work contains this title: “Three relations of the Philippine Islands, with a large map of China,” etc. To correspond with this, the text contains: the “Relation” of Bañuelos y Carrillo; the “Relation and memorial” by Hernando de los Rios Coronel; and a “Memorial in behalf of the commerce of the Philipine Islands,” by Juan Grau y Monfalcon—all with consecutive pagination; and apparently abridged or paraphrased to suit the editor. These are followed by (Bobadilla’s) “Relation of the Philipine Islands,” and an “Account of the great island of Mindanao” (which contains a letter by Mastrilli)—also with their own and consecutive pagination; these, however, are not mentioned in the list above referred to. We translate from Thevenot the documents by Bañuelos and Bobadilla; but for the others we have recourse to the Spanish originals.

3 Lope Diaz de Armendariz, marquis of Cadereita, the sixteenth viceroy of Mexico, was appointed (1635) to succeed the marquis of Cerralvo (who was removed at his own request, because of poor health). His term of office was quiet, and only marked especially by his quarrel with the archbishop, with whom the royal Audiencia seem to have sided. He was removed in 1640, his successor being Diego Lopez Pacheco Cabrera y Bobadilla, duke of Escalona and marquis de Villena. See Bancroft’s Hist. Mexico, iii, pp. 93–98.

4 Marginal note: “Bartolome Tenorione.”

5 The following letter from the Sevilla archives (“Cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1629 á [1640]; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 8”), contains an interesting reference to Bañuelos’s relation, and also suggests the well-known deficiencies in Thevenot’s “translations.” It is to be feared that he has omitted much valuable matter from Bañuelos’s account; but no other source is available:

“I return the paper which your Lordship sent me, concerning the military exploit in Mindanao, which was written and sent, as appears, by Father Marcelo Mastrili. Although its contents must be true, and it is well written, yet as your Lordship knows, the Council thought it advisable not to have it printed until they could compare it with the letters that the governor had written about the same exploit, and with others written by various persons, which make it out to have been of little value and importance. They even attempt to say that we have lost rather than gained in that campaign—particularly in a discourse or treatise printed in Mexico by Don Geronimo de Bañuelos y Carrillo, and addressed to your Lordship. In it he declares that those who were conquered were not Moros, but certain poor Indians; I do not know whether [he says this] from zeal for the truth, or because he has little affection for the governor. He wounds him quite to the quick in this and in other things. I was making an abstract of them in order to report to the Council, as I was ordered; but today, on going out, Don Juan Grao Monfalcon told me that he is at present printing another report, to oppose that of Bañuelos. I do not know who has given permission for it, nor that, in the care of the relation of Father Mastrili, there is anything that is not well understood. What the Council discussed was (as I have said), only whether it is exact and faithful to what happened; and of this I have not yet been able to form a sufficient judgment or idea. I am getting new documents hourly from the secretary’s office, and I shall detain them until the one that I am now enclosing is returned, if convenient. May God preserve your Lordship, as we your servants desire. Today, Tuesday, February eight, one thousand six hundred and thirty-nine.

Don Juan de Solorzano Pereira

“The count, my master, has ordered me to send again to your Lordship the enclosed relation of his success from the governor of Filipinas, in order that there may be progress in the deliberations of the Council on this question. May God preserve your Lordship, as I desire. Buen Retiro, February 16, 639.

Antonio Carnero

“I return these papers to your Grace, so that you may continue what you were doing. May God preserve your Grace. My house, February 16, 1639.”

6 Referring to Sebastian Vizcaino (VOL. XIV, p. 183). The Englishman here referred to is doubtless Will Adams (VOL. XXII, p. 169, note 39), then high in favor with Iyéyasu. Regarding the expulsion of religious at that time, see VOL. XVIII, p. 81.

7 A marginal note reads as follows: “Ricca douro is an island which was discovered by a vessel from Macao. They landed there in order to repair their galley fireplace, and a week later they perceived that that earth had been converted into plates of gold. I suffered a violent tempest in the latitude of that island, as the maps show it; and there are few vessels that sail in that latitude, without having trouble.”

See also notes in VOL. XIV of this series, p. 183; and VOL. XVI, p. 204.

8 In the margin is the following note: “Tono in the Japanese language signifies a person who holds the rank that a duke of Cardone or a marquis of Carpio would have in España.” This means a daimio, or feudal lord (see VOL. XVIII, p. 216).


Glorious Victories against the Moros of Mindanao

To the master-of-camp, Don Iñigo Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Santiago:1

The despatch-boat which this year arrived from the Filippinas Islands at Acapulco, a port of this Nueva España, was destitute of the silks and other costly goods that the ships are accustomed to bring each year from China, for it carried nothing of that sort. Nevertheless, it came richly laden, with the news of the happy and fortunate successes of the arms of Spain in that archipelago, directed by the valor and prudence of Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor and captain-general there for his Majesty, and a worthy brother of your Grace. I received in all many different relations—although all of them agreed, for truth is always one—from different persons, well worthy of confidence, both [87]ecclesiastic and secular. Every one—not only the citizens of this great City of Mexico, the capital of this kingdom, but those of all the other cities and towns—desired to see these letters, and made urgent requests for them. To satisfy the desires of so many, and give them pleasure, it was the opinion of many that they should be printed. The truth is, that I was perplexed and in doubt as to which one to use, because, as I have said, there were several. After careful consideration I decided to print one by Father Marcelo Francisco Mastrillo, a letter written to Father Juan de Salazar, provincial of the Society of Jesus in those islands, signed by Father Marcelo himself and sent to me. It gives a detailed account of every event. No one could give a better account than the father himself, for he was a witness of everything that happened, as he always accompanied Don Sebastian with the standard of St. Francis Xavier. In the simplicity and sincerity with which he recounts these things, the truth shines more resplendent; so it seemed best not to alter his style. In order that it may be better known who this servant of God is, we will describe the miracle wrought upon him by our father St. Francis Xavier in the city of Naples, and the occasion of his journey to the Filipinas and his stay in Mindanao. We shall give some information about the latter island, of the hostility which those Mahometans have displayed for so many years to the Spaniards, and of the friendly and subject Indians. We shall also give a description of the naval battle which preceded the expedition to Mindanao. Then we shall insert the letter of Father Marcelo, and conclude this document with a description of the triumphal demonstration [88]with which Don Sebastian Hurtado was received in the city of Manila, the rejoicings in that city, the thanks rendered to our Lord, and the honors paid to those who died in the war, so that there will be a complete account of everything. Besides the aforesaid reasons, I was impelled to this on account of the obligations of our Society of Jesus to Don Sebastian Hurtado (and especially by my own); for we are always sensible of these, and our hearts will always keep them alive, with perpetual acknowledgments. Besides, it seems to me that one could not give your Grace a richer present, a more precious jewel, an ornament of greater worth, than the exploits and triumphs of such a brother, in whom one finds zeal for religion and the service of God, appearing in all he does. The prudence with which he governs his province, the unwearied solicitude with which he orders affairs, the disinterestedness with which he serves the king our lord—well worthy of the favor which his Majesty has shown him (in making him a member of his Council of War, and sending him two [appointments in] orders for his two nephews), and of those which I expect his Majesty will yet grant him; the valor with which he defends those islands, the grand courage with which he exposes himself to the greatest perils, although his person is of such importance: all these are especially praiseworthy, to say nothing of the admirable example by which he encourages his soldiers to great undertakings, and the compassion with which he watches over the Indians who were so harassed by so many enemies. In short, your Grace will see in Don Sebastian Hurtado a copy of your own holy zeal, prudence, care, disinterestedness, valor, magnanimity, [89]and many other virtues conspicuous in your Grace’s own heart. In him your Grace will see a true brother—as Tulio2 said (book 3, epistle 7), Frater quasi fere alter, “a brother is naught else than a counterpart of the other brother;” so that they are hardly two, but rather one soul divided between two bodies, as Quintilian said (Declamation 321),3 Quid est aliud fraternitas quam divisus spiritus? [i.e., “What else is brotherhood but a divided soul?”] So that your Grace’s own valor, prudence, piety, and religion and Don Sebastian Hurtado’s are one; from that which God inspired in you, may be inferred that of Don Sebastian; and in the virtues of this great cavalier and captain-general shine those of your Grace, to whom I offer a thousand congratulations on the triumphs of so glorious a brother, whose exploits I offer to your Grace, and humbly place in your illustrious hands. May our Lord watch over your Grace as this your humble chaplain and servant desires. Mexico, February [25, 1638].

Diego de Bobadilla

[Folios 1–9 of Bobadilla’s work are occupied with a long and detailed account of a miraculous cure experienced by Father Mastrilli, and its result in sending him to labor in the foreign missions. Its substance is as follows: In 1633–34, Mastrilli was [90]in Naples, and assisted, as a priest, at one of the altars erected for a solemn feast in honor of the Virgin Mary. After the ceremonies were over, Mastrilli was accidentally wounded in the head by a hammer dropped from a workman’s hand. His life was despaired of; but an image of St. Francis Xavier, miraculously endowed with speech, promised to restore his health if he would go to the Indias. Mastrilli vowed to do this, and to renounce country, friends, and all else that he held dear, for the sake of that employ; and the next morning found him cured and sound. In fulfilment of his vow he went to Spain, and set out for Japan; but (as related in previous documents) he was obliged to land at Manila, and accompanied Corcuera to Mindanao.]


An account of the great island of Mindanao, and the hostilities committed by those Mohammedans in the Filippinas Islands.

The great island of Mindanao is one of the largest in the archipelago of the Filippinas Islands, which seem to be almost innumerable; and it has even been said that there are over eleven thousand of them.4 I believe that if one counts islands large and small, inhabited and desert, the above estimate is not far from the truth. In size, Mindanao rivals the island of Manila, the chief and head of the others, for it is almost three hundred leguas in circumference. Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, one of the first leaders [91]in the conquest of those islands, and one of the most valorous soldiers who has been in them, made an agreement with his Majesty to conquer this island at his own cost and charges, and subject it to his royal crown—his Majesty awarding him as tributary vassals, ten thousand of the first Mindanaos whom he should subdue and choose for himself, and granting him other favors which he sought. His Majesty accepted the agreement; and, with the title of governor and captain-general, Don Esteban assembled at his own cost a goodly army of Spaniards, which (as I have heard) numbered about four hundred, and over four thousand Indians. They were all embarked in a fleet of caracoas, which are oared vessels much used in the Filippinas, carrying from fifty to one hundred rowers apiece. There are larger ones, which are called juangas, and carry from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and thirty rowers. They sailed from the island of Oton, where the fleet was fitted out and collected. They reached Mindanao and the army disembarked. When the enemy saw such a force, they began to flee, and a victory was declared for España; but our satisfaction was soon disturbed, for a wretched Mindanao audaciously resolved—it is said, after he had taken opium, with which these people intoxicate themselves—to assassinate our captain-general, even though he should die in the attempt. The deed was to be done with his campilan, a weapon something like a cutlass, with a lead weight at the hilt. The weight makes its blows so terrible that it will cleave a man through the middle. He hid in some bushes near the road on which our men were marching in triumph. When General Esteban Rodriguez de [92]Figueroa reached a place abreast of the bush where the Mindanao was hidden, the latter leaped out unexpectedly and struck the general so fierce a blow on his head with his campilan that it cleft his skull from ear to ear. I can account myself a witness of this, because, although I did not see that event, and did not go to the Filippinas until many years after, yet in 1632 I saw the skull, when they disinterred the bones of this famous but unfortunate captain from the old church of our college at Manila (which he founded, and where his body was brought for burial), to transfer them to the church which we have recently built. The skull shows very plainly the cruel blow of the campilan, so that even I said, as I held it in my hands, with great grief, “Our founder will not deny the blow of the campilan.” Those who accompanied our general killed the Mindanao on the spot, without much difficulty. They sounded the retreat, and abandoned their pursuit of the enemy. This was the origin and the beginning of the misfortunes and calamities which for so many years have caused us so much sorrow in the Filippinas. Our army, having lost its leader and captain-general, did nothing further. The Spaniards retreated, and fortified themselves in a place on that river, where they remained in garrison; and Father Juan del Campo, a fervent man and a great minister of the gospel, gave instruction to several villages, until he died there. Many of the Indians along this river had rendered obedience, and were paying tribute to his Majesty. Afterward the garrison moved to another place, called La Caldera, where the Spaniards remained several years. Although they made no conquest of that country, they served as [93]a check to the enemy, because the latter could not sail out with their fleets on plundering expeditions. As Don Pedro de Acuña afterward decided, when he was governor in the Filippinas, this garrison was withdrawn from La Caldera, which resulted in the utter ruin of the islands, because land and sea remained in the possession of the enemy.

At that time the island was ruled by a Moro named Buysan who claimed the entire seacoast as his. Another Moro, named Silongan, ruled the well-populated district along the river. These two Moros conspired together, and called to their aid other friends, and even in certain ways their subjects—as those of the island of Sanguil and Sarragan; and the Caragas, who inhabit the further [i.e., from Manila] shores of this same island of Mindanao, which from that side faces our islands of Pintados. They gathered great fleets of caracoas and jungas, which at times numbered over one hundred and even one hundred and fifty vessels—arming them with several large guns, many culverins, a large number of arquebuses and muskets and many other arms; and manning them so heavily, that they could land six to eight thousand soldiers. In this way masters of the land and sea, they infested the high seas, capturing all our ships that navigated those waters, robbing and burning towns, sacking churches, carrying off the ornaments and consecrated vessels, committing a thousand desecrations on the sacred images, breaking them into pieces and insulting them, and capturing Christian Indians in so great number that it would break one’s heart to tell of it; for one time those whom they carried away numbered over two thousand and five hundred. The Spaniards had no [94]better fortune; for some were killed, and others carried away as slaves. In the year 1616, they set sail with a powerful fleet, after effecting an alliance with the Dutch, who came with ten galleons, and entered the bay of Manila on All Saints’ day. They were, however, defeated and destroyed in the following April, 1617, by our fleet under the leadership of General Don Juan Ronquillo. While the Dutch aided the Mindanaos, the latter worked dreadful havoc, capturing, massacring, robbing, and burning everything there was. They came as far as Balayan, a large and rich town on the island of Manila, and not far from the city itself. They attacked the shipyards at Pantao, where a galleon and a patache were in process of construction, and indeed almost finished. These they burned, and murdered almost thirty Spaniards—among them Captain Arias Giron and Captain Don Juan Pimentel, who were in command of the yards. Others, besides many Indians, they made prisoners. They captured from us a large quantity of firearms and some artillery, and inflicted on us great damage. Even the fathers and ministers of the gospel have not been exempt; for, on the last occasion of which I have spoken, they captured and murdered two Franciscan fathers. Before that, on other occasions, they captured Father Hurtado, who was kept a long time in captivity in Mindanao, and Father Pasqual de Acuña, who was a prisoner at Caraga and still lives. Before and since the time of his captivity, he has labored gloriously for the space of almost forty years in the islands of Pintados—teaching those Indians until his great age and his failing strength obliged him to retire, and end his life in the fulness of his years, devoting himself to [95]God alone. The other fathers and ministers crossed the mountains to escape the cruelty of these Mahometans, enduring great hunger, hardship, and distress.

To King Buysan succeeded Cachil Corralat, his son, who with great sagacity and cunning set about making himself much more powerful. Several times he made peace with the Spaniards, but his word was ever a Moro’s. It was soon known that he could not be trusted, for he made and broke treaties with equal readiness. He infested the seas with his fleets, sending out his own as he did in the year 1633, when he sent out a large fleet which plundered and burned several large and wealthy cities on this very island of Manila. But where he did most harm was in our island of Pintados; for in the town of Ogmuc alone he slew or made prisoners more than two hundred people—children and women, as well as men. They captured the minister there, Father Juan del Carpio of our Society, and cut him into pieces, of which his head was the smallest. Cachil Corralat gave orders to his followers not to carry to him a single father alive, but to slay them, in fulfilment of a vow which he had made to Mahomet during a serious sickness, not to leave a father alive if his health were restored. God, in His just judgment and to punish us, chose to grant his prayer.

Other Mahometans, their neighbors, joined the Mindanaos—tribes from the island of Jolo, who at one time paid tribute and then rebelled, killing all the Spaniards. Although that island is very small, and there cannot be more than three thousand men able to bear arms, yet they are very valiant, and they have very plainly proved it to us when they have [96]sailed forth to scour the high seas—especially one chief, called Dato Achen, who can be compared with the most destructive African pirates. This man once attacked a shipyard which we had established in the province of Camarines, in which several galleons were being built. After the usual robbery and burning, he slew or made prisoners many Spaniards and Indians. He carried away artillery and firearms, with which he strengthened his defenses in his own country. He overran the Pintados Islands and did a great deal of damage there. At Cabalian he captured Father Juan Domingo Vilancio of our Society, a native of Luca—a holy man, and known as such by Indians and Spaniards, and even by the Moros themselves. As such, the latter revered him and did not ill-treat him in their own country, where they carried him. While efforts were being made for his ransom, it was our Lord’s pleasure to give him complete liberty by freeing him from the prison of this [earthly] body, and giving him in heaven his reward for his faithful labors. He toiled thirty years or more in the conversion of the pagans, to the remarkable edification of all; and he displayed heavenly sincerity, which secured him the love of God and men. The Moros buried him on their island of Jolo. Although we have asked for the body, they will not give it up, saying that they would rather keep it because it is holy (for sanctity and virtue are pleasing even to Moros and infidels). They allege other things in proof of his sanctity, which I shall not refer to, because they are not thoroughly investigated. The Lord will make them clear later, to His own glory. Returning, however, to the Joloans, they are grown insolent with their [97]fortunate successes, no less on land than on the sea; for, although we have gone there three times with powerful fleets, they have come off with credit and singing victory. In short, we have returned without accomplishing anything. There was one time, however, when Don Christobal de Lugo, lieutenant for the captain-general in the Pintados Islands, went there with a fleet, and sacked and burned the principal town, and did considerable damage; but they have always escaped, and repaid to us their losses. They put their trust in a hill very difficult of access, which they have well fortified with artillery, to which they retreat whenever they are attacked.

The evils that are suffered at the hands of these two enemies, the Mindanaos and the Joloans, never were avenged, because, although the governors sent out fleets after them, they did not encounter the pirates on account of the great multitude of islands in the archipelago; or else, if our ships did meet them, the Moros escaped, for their vessels are remarkably swift and so have a great advantage over ours. Then, to remedy so grievous injuries, Don Juan Cereço Salamanca, who was then governor of the Filippinas, in the beginning of the year 1634, overcoming remarkable difficulties which arose, with a holy zeal for the service of God and of the king our lord, ordered a position to be occupied on the island of Mindanao, at a place which they call Samboangan. There he began to raise a fort which should be a check to the Mindanaos and the Joloans, who came past that place when they sailed forth on plundering expeditions. Although they could pass us by standing out to sea, or in the darkness of the night, without being seen from our fort, they would [98]not so lightly dare to leave behind their houses and lands with the Spaniard so near a neighbor—for the latter could do them great injury by carrying off their children and wives, and all their possessions, if their towns were left unprotected when the men went away in their fleets; or at least the Spaniards could await them on their return and knock them in the head. The Moro king, Cachil Corralat, was much disturbed at the proximity of the Spaniards; since now he could not make raids in safety, as before; and he called upon the Joloans, the Borneans and the Camucones to sail from various points to plunder our island, which they did.

The Camucones are a nation inhabiting some islands subject to the king of Burney. Sometimes alone, and sometimes in company with the Borneans, they have infested our seas with their fleets, pillaging our islands, capturing many Indians, and killing all the Spaniards whom they took, because they did not wish to carry these alive to their own country; accordingly they granted no Spaniard his life. They are a base and very cruel people. These robbers began as petty thieves, with a few small vessels; but with the captures which they have been continually making, they have grown so powerful that they send out great fleets upon the sea, and do a great deal of damage. In the year 1625, while the archbishop Don Francisco Miguel Garcia Serrano was visiting the district of Bondoc, these Camucones attacked the town one morning, and the archbishop had no little trouble in escaping over the mountains; they stole whatever they could carry away, with the silver and the pontifical vestments. That same year, they captured Father Juan de las Missas [99]of our Society, who had come from Tayabas to preach and was returning to the island of Marinduque, which was in his charge. They killed the father, and captured all who were aboard his ship, except perhaps some one who escaped by swimming. They did much more damage, continuing their depredations up to the year 1636, when, as I said, they sailed with a large fleet, at the solicitation of the king Cachil Corralat. They entered so far among the islands, that from them they sailed out upon the high sea—an act of great daring. They arrived at and plundered Palapag, a mission of our Society. They rounded Cape Espiritu Santo, and captured over a hundred Christians at Baco. There they divided into two bands. One passed over to Albay, on the island of Manila, where they were met by the alcalde-mayor, Captain Mena, of the Order of St. George, with several Spaniards and six Franciscan friars. The Spaniards pressed the Camucones so hard that seven of their caracoas went ashore on the island of Capul, where many of their Christian captives were set free. The natives of the said island slew some of the Camucones. Three of their caracoas they abandoned on the sea, going aboard others to make their escape more easily. Not one of our men was killed in this encounter, except that one Franciscan father was wounded by a musket-bullet, and afterwards died of his wound. The other band went out to sea again, coasting the island of Ybabao. They entered a town called Bangahun and made prisoners there more than one hundred other Christians. This troop fought a battle with a caracoa full of soldiers from the city of Zebu, who inflicted some injury upon the Moros, killing and capturing some. [100]These Camucones, returning afterward to their own country, while they were coasting the island of Panay, were overtaken by a sudden storm, which drove three of their caracoas ashore. Those who escaped with their lives were captured by the natives, and many of them are now on galleys at the port of Cavite. Other caracoas stealthily ventured to the Calamianes Islands, where some Spaniards came out to meet them, and captured two of their ships, and set free twenty captives from the island of Mindoro who were among their prisoners. Fifteen other caracoas were coasting the island of Paragua in company; and, two days before arriving at Borney, they encountered thirty caracoas of Joloans, who had recently quarreled with the Borneans. The Joloans attacked the Camucones and Borneans, captured their fifteen caracoas, and made prisoners many Camucones and more than one hundred of the Christians carried off by the Camucones; these latter were ransomed at Samboangan, at a moderate rate.

After these pirates Cachil Corralat sent his fleet, which did considerable damage in our islands. In order to stop it and check all these enemies, the governor, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, decided to go forth in person and make an expedition to Mindanao, to begin the punishment of this enemy, because they were most powerful—as we shall soon see, describing first the naval victory given us by our Lord over the fleet despatched hither by Cachil Corralat.

[The next part of this compilation is an account of the naval victory over Tagal’s fleet in December, 1636; it is practically the same as that which we have already presented in our VOL. XXVII, although [101]rewritten and much abridged for publication. Then follows Mastrilli’s letter to his provincial (June 2, 1637) which also we have published; Bobadilla states that he reproduces it verbatim, save for the correction of “a few words which are not quite in accord with our ordinary language, as he was a native of the city of Naples.” The document ends with a description of Corcuera’s triumphal entry into Manila, evidently compiled (with some additional details) from Juan Lopez’s letter on that subject, already presented to our readers.] [102]

1 Following is a translation of the title-page of the book from which this account is taken: “Relation of the glorious victories on land and sea won by the arms of our invincible king and monarch, Felipe IIII, the Great, in the Filipinas Islands against the Mahometan Moros of the island of Mindanao and their king Cachil Corralat, under the leadership of Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara and one of his Majesty’s Council of War, and governor and captain-general of those islands: drawn from various relations sent from Manila during this year (1638). 1638. With license. Mexico; at the press of Pedro de Quiñones, opposite the Professed House.”

2 Tulio (misprinted Fulio), for Tullius (Cicero). Apparently there is some error in the reference given in the text, for this citation from Cicero is not found in the place indicated by it, in the standard editions of his Epistolæ.

3 Attached to the editions of Quintilian’s works are 164 Declamations, which remain out of a collection consisting originally of 388 of these compositions. It is supposed, however, that these were written by various persons, at different periods of time.

4 “It is believed that the number of islands exceeds 1,400, although thus far no one has stated their number with exactness.” (Archipiélago filipino, p. 6.) The latest information (Census of the Philippine Islands, Washington, 1905, i, p. 185), gives the total number of islands, however, as not less than 3,141, although the exact number is still unknown.


Royal Orders and Decrees, 1638


Removal of negroes from Manila

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia resident therein. In a letter which you wrote me on the last of June, 1636, you declare that shortly after your arrival at those islands, that city petitioned you to have the free negroes and the freedmen, who number about four hundred or five hundred, removed from it, because of the disorders that they were creating within the city, as well as the thefts that they were committing in union with the slaves—the former receiving and taking to other places to sell what these said negroes had stolen. You declare that that city demanded that the negroes should go to live nine leguas away from there, but that that measure has not seemed advisable; and the fathers of the Society gave you an islet which they possess in the middle of the river, in order that they might settle the negroes there, with the obligation to give them instruction—but there would be no obligation to give the fathers any stipend for that purpose beyond what is given them from the communal fund of the Sangleys whom they have in Santa Cruz. Those Sangleys [103]also render me aid by giving me six reals per annum, besides the general license, so that they may be allowed to live there with the fathers. They number from about eight hundred to one thousand Chinese. The fathers minister to those who have become Christians from this number, as well as to the negroes—the latter being separated from the former by an arm of the river. Also the Chinese pay all his salary to the alcalde-mayor from their communal fund, which has been a saving to my royal treasury. You declare that, in your desire to economize and avoid so heavy expenses, you have deemed it best to give the commander of artillery, who receives seven hundred pesos monthly salary for his duties, the office of alcalde-mayor of the Parián; for during the time while he should hold that office, there would be an annual saving of seven thousand two hundred pesos to my royal treasury. You also ordered the master-of-camp, Don Lorenzo de Olaso, to go to live at the port of Cavite with his company, and to serve there as castellan, chief justice, and governor of that port, with the same salary as at present, as you say that the sargento-mayor would be sufficient for you in that city. The above you reported to me, so that I might understand it; and you say that by the aforesaid measures and your method of governing, and provided that no one steals from my royal treasury, you will entirely clear my royal treasury of debt, and govern those islands from the proceeds of them. The matter having been examined in my Council, it has been judged best to tell you that it is thought that you will have given careful consideration to the removal of the free negroes and freedmen from that city and their settlement on the [104]islet which was given you by the brethren of the Society of Jesus; and the rest that you mention in the said letter touching the said matter is neither approved nor rejected here, for the present. It is to be feared, however, that those negroes, having been removed from the city, and settled with the Chinese on an uninhabited island, may commit more serious damage. Consequently, you shall watch carefully so that you may remedy what needs correction; and you are to note that in the matter of government, the best is not [always] the easiest to execute, nor its results satisfactory. Hence, for that reason, no new thing can be entered upon suddenly; and you will, therefore, not carry out the execution of these new measures until you shall have first reported to me all the things that you shall see to be for my service, so that orders as to your course of action may be issued to you. In the meanwhile, you shall not carry out your proposed change of the persons of the commander of artillery and of the master-of-camp, Don Lorenzo de Olaso; and I charge and order you, that, jointly with the session [of the Audiencia], you shall inform me, both in this regard and in others, of what changes should be made from the past government, so that in everything decision may be made as to what measures may be taken.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Restricting the religious orders

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, [105]and president of my Audiencia therein: your letter of June 30, 636, touching ecclesiastical matters, has been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, and answer is [hereby] made you.

You say that the religious of the Order of St. Augustine need to be reformed, for they pay no heed to the bulls of his Holiness, or the decrees despatched in regard to the rotation; and that it would be advisable not to give them any more religious for eight years—both because they have many, and because of the causes that you mention for such measure. I have thought best to charge you to have the rule for rotation put in force strictly, without allowing more religious in each mission station [doctrina] than, in accordance with my royal patronage, shall be necessary for it; and that the others be occupied in missions [misiones] and in preaching, for which purpose they were sent.

In regard to what you write me concerning the advanced age of the archbishop of those islands (who is so aged that his hands and head tremble), namely, that it would be best to give him an assistant; and that you are arranging to give such assistant an income of two thousand pesos in addition to the four thousand pesos enjoyed by the said archbishop, without taking that sum from my royal treasury, or from my vassals: I charge you to explain to me the method or means by which you can get that money without damage to my royal treasury and the vassals who serve me, so that, if it be worth while to allow it, you may execute it.

So that the Order of St. Dominic, and the other orders resident in those islands, may live with the regulation and good example that is proper, and so [106]that they may not increase the number of mission stations granted them by my decrees, you shall allow no new elections in them, which shall not be in harmony with my patronage. With the advice of the archbishop, you shall endeavor to unite some of the stations; and in those that shall be newly founded, you shall endeavor likewise to have secular priests introduced, if you find them intelligent and competent. Madrid. September 2, 1638.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Appointment of secular priests to missions

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein: in one of the sections of a letter which that city [of Manila] wrote to me on June 27 of 636, it is stated that there are two colleges in that city—one that of Santo Tomas, with religious of the Order of St. Dominic; and the other that of San Josef, with religious of the Society of Jesus—both of which have possessed, for several years past, authority to confer degrees in all the sciences. It is also declared that, with this opportunity, many students have excelled in those studies, and especially various sons of poor citizens, who have graduated in all the degrees; but that, since they have no beneficed curacies on which they can depend for support, their studies bring them no advantage. It is said that this is caused by certain religious orders, who have acquired from the archbishop, bishops, and governors [107]the aggrandizement of their orders with many benefices which formerly were administered by secular priests; and that this might be remedied if I would decree that all the benefices which have been annexed to the religious orders during the last twenty years should be restored to the [secular] clergy, and that edicts should be issued in the form which I have ordained. This matter having been considered in my royal Council of the Indias, I have thought it best to issue the present, by which I command you that in the new missions that shall be established, you shall—except when they are in a territory assigned to the religious—it being understood that there are virtuous secular priests, take pains to appoint them to such missions; for such is my will. [Madrid, October 2, 1638.]

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Compensation to nuns of St. Clare

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein: in a letter which the abbess and nuns of the convent of St. Clare in that city wrote me on the thirtieth of June, 636, they make the following statements: That the said convent was established so that they could live in it, with all decorum and humility, with certain alms from the citizens; and their house and church were built close to the wall of the said city that lies next the river—a place that seemed most separated from the business quarter, and so closely [108]shut in that little save the sky could be seen. That in front, on the other side of the street, is the royal hospital for the Spaniards, which from the time of its foundation has been administered by the religious of St. Francis; and that in the hospital the religious who was vicar of the said convent [of St. Clare], and administered the holy sacraments to the nuns, had a cell, and they helped to support this religious out of the alms bestowed upon them. That you, without any occasion or just cause, drove out the religious from the said hospital by force and violence, with armed soldiers—saying that the hospital should be managed by a secular priest whom you took thither with you. That the said vicar was thereby compelled to find shelter in the convent of St. Francis, which is at a great distance from that of St. Clare; and consequently, with the inconveniences of the excessive heat and the violence of the rains in the wet season, he cannot go to hear confessions and administer the holy sacraments at St. Clare, especially at night. That their greatest annoyance is, that you are constructing in the hospital a ward for convalescents, on the side that faces the said convent; and that it is so high that it looks down upon the convent, notwithstanding the enclosure of the latter, and from the windows of that ward may be seen the beds of the nuns in their infirmary and dormitory—a matter which requires thorough reparation. They say that on the other side of their house is a space between the houses and the wall (which was formerly a street), which is a passage to the convent, and is useful to it; but that you have closed this way, and are building another house, which abuts upon their own ground-plot, for barracks and stables for [109]the cavalry troops. They entreat me that I will be pleased to command that a check be placed upon this undertaking, and that, considering their poverty, I order you to pay them the amount of one hundred and twenty pesos in certified pay-warrants on the treasury there, which they hold, which sum will be a great benefit and charity to them. The complaint of these nuns has been considered in my royal Council of the Indias, and the damage which they say has been caused to them by closing up the street and by their being in sight of the ward that was built in the cells [at the hospital], and by the stables and barracks that have been placed so close to their house. I have therefore thought it best to ordain and command you, as I do, that you shall not in any way cause injury or inconvenience to the said nuns; and that the pay-warrants which they say they hold, you shall cause to be paid—provided they are duly certified—in their due value and at such time as the said nuns desire; for such is my will. [Madrid, October 2, 1638.]

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Regulating the seminary of Santa Potenciana

The King. To the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia resident in the city of Manila of the Filipinas Islands: it has been reported in my royal Council of the Yndias that there is in that city a seminary named Santa Potenciana, of which I am patron; that it was established for orphan girls, and for the reception of married women when their husbands are occupied in my service in various parts; [110]and that for some years the custom has been introduced of sheltering in the said seminary certain women who live scandalously. [I am also told] that, since this is of so great service to God our Lord, you, my president, have given orders to the mother rector of the said seminary not to receive in the seminary any woman sent by the archbishop of that church, or by his provisor; and that no one of its inmates may leave it. It has been judged best to order you (as I do hereby) to take what measures appear to you most advisable in this matter, considering all ends. Given in Madrid, November eight, one thousand six hundred and thirty-eight.

I the King

Countersigned by Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon, and signed by the members of the Council.

[Endorsed: “To the royal Audiencia of Manila, in regard to the order given by the president of the Audiencia to the mother rector of the seminary of Sancta Potenciana of that city, that she should not receive therein any woman sent by the archbishop or his provisor.” “Ordering that the president take what measures appear most fitting, considering all ends.”]


Commerce of the islands with Mexico

The King. To my viceroy, president, and auditors of my royal Audiencia resident in the City of Mexico, of Nueva España: Don Juan Grau Monfalcon, procurator-general of the Filipinas Islands, has reported to me that the permission possessed by those islands of two hundred and fifty thousand pesos of merchandise, and five hundred thousand for the returns thereon, is very small, as that was conceded thirty-four years ago, when the citizens and inhabitants [111]were fewer, the duties and expenses not so great, and the islands less infested by their foes. Because of this latter, their needs have increased so greatly that, if the said permission be not increased, it will be impossible to maintain them, or for their citizens to support themselves. He tells me that some illegal acts may have resulted from the present narrow limit of the permission, both in the lading of the merchandise, and in the returns of the silver. In order that those violations may be avoided, and those islands and their inhabitants maintained in a less straitened manner, he has petitioned me to have the goodness to concede an increase of the two hundred and fifty thousand pesos of the merchandise to four hundred thousand, and also of the five hundred thousand pesos of silver to eight hundred thousand. For, besides the above-mentioned advantages, my royal duties will thus increase, to supply the expenses of the said islands; illegalities and frauds will cease; and the inhabitants will increase in wealth. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, inasmuch as I wish to know what permission the said islands enjoy, and that of the count and duke of San Lucar, and whether it will be advisable to enlarge the permission of the said islands; and considering their needs and expenses, and other advantages: I order you to inform me very minutely in regard to it all, so that, after examination, the advisable measures may be taken. Given in Madrid, December eight, one thousand six hundred and thirty-eight.

I the King

Countersigned by Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon, and signed by the members of the Council.

[Endorsed: “Don Juan Grau Monfalcon. To [112]the viceroy, president, and auditors of the Audiencia of Mexico, ordering information as to the permission [of trade] for the Filipinas Islands, and that conceded to the count and duke; and as to the advisability of increasing the amount permitted to the islands.”]


Jurisdiction over seamen

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, or to the person or persons in whose charge that government shall be: in a letter which I wrote to you on the second of last September, on various matters, there is a section of the following tenor: “I have considered the arguments that you bring forward for its being so expedient that the commander and the admiral of the ships shall have authority and jurisdiction in the port of Acapulco, when he is not on shore, to punish his sailors and soldiers; and that the warder of the fort there shall not interfere with them by undertaking to punish them on shore (regarding them as his subordinates, as hitherto they have been) as they are persons of ability and good qualifications—since from the time when the ships cast anchor, during all the time while they remain in port, the men do not respect or obey, as it is right they should, the said commander or admiral. Desiring to avoid this difficulty, so that those officers may punish the culprits in such cases, I have decided that what you propose may be done, with the conditions that you mention; and, by a decree of the same date as this letter, I am sending to the viceroy of Nueva España advices to that effect. [113][I have told him] that as this seems to be a general complaint, to judge from the instances [reported] here, he must give the necessary orders for the execution of this decree, unless some difficulty shall arise that may oblige him to defer it; for when those men commit any disorderly acts on shore complaint can be made against them, and the matter referred to the said commander and admiral.” And now a report has been made to me, on the part of Don Juan Grao Monfalcon, procurator-general of that city of Manila, that it is very advisable that the said commander and admiral of the ships possess all necessary jurisdiction for punishing the men aboard them—as is done at Cartagena, Portovelo, and other places; and he entreats that I be pleased to command that this be accordingly done. The matter having been considered in my royal Council of the Indias, I have thought it best to issue the present, for such is my will, that the usage which I have mentioned be put in practice in the islands, as well as in Nueva España, since that is advisable for my service. [Madrid, December 8, 1638.]

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


On the lading of the galleons

The King. Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, procurator-general of the Philipinas Islands, has reported to me that certain citizens of those islands, to whom were allotted toneladas in the amount [of lading] permitted, have, for lack of means to ship the goods, sold that space—which has thus been secured by the merchants of Nueva España and [114]Peru, who for that purpose have their agents in Manila. He states that this practice is overlooked [by the officials], although, after the first distribution of the permitted lading space has been made, and the toneladas allotted, the citizens who through poverty or other causes are unable or unwilling to lade the goods which belong and are allotted to them cannot give, sell, or transfer that space to any other person, unless they again declare the toneladas before the bureau of allotment. The bureau again shares the space which was thus declared among such citizens as ask for it, or who can occupy it to better advantage; and these must pay for it, giving for each tonelada the amount appraised, according to the season and the circumstances, by the bureau itself. The proceeds from the said toneladas shall be given and paid to the owners who had declared them. Thus poor persons will obtain relief, and the citizens [of the islands] will have the benefit of the entire amount of trade permitted to them, while those of Nueva España will be excluded from it. [The said procurator] entreats me to issue a decree in accordance with these facts, including therein adequate penalties to secure its execution. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, and the above statements carefully considered, I have approved [the said procurator’s request]. I command my governor and captain-general of the said Philipinas Islands who now holds or shall in future hold that office, and the auditors of my royal Audiencia therein, and other persons who shall have in charge the allotment of the said toneladas, and the bureau for the said allotment, that they observe and fulfil, and cause to be observed and fulfilled, exactly [115]and inviolably, what is ordained in this my decree, without in any way contravening or exceeding its tenor or form. And those who disobey this decree are warned that such act will be charged to them in the visitations and their residencias, and they will be punished according to law; for such is my will. [Madrid, December 8, 1638.] [116]


Fortunate Successes in Filipinas and Terrenate, 1636–37

Fortunate successes which our Lord has given by sea and land to the Spanish arms in the Filipinas Islands against the Mindanaos, and in the islands of Terrenate against the Dutch, in the latter part of the year 1636 and the beginning of 1637.



These Filipinas Islands, subject to the Catholic king our sovereign for the past thirty years, have been so harassed and terrorized by invasions, robberies, and fires caused by the Moros (Mindanaos, Joloans, Burneyans, and Camucones), that one could not sail outside the bay of Manila without manifest danger. Not a single village was now safe, nor could an evangelical or royal minister perform his duty undisturbed. These pirates—some at one time, others at another, and sometimes all together—set out every year from their own lands, and at first attacked the islands which are called the Pintados, for these were the nearest; and afterward, becoming more impudent, they came to coast along the island of Manila itself, and once they even came to the suburbs of this city (although without making their presence known). The Christians captured by them on these raids were numberless; some were Spanish [117]but the majority were natives, who, sold afterward either among the enemies themselves, or among more distant unbelievers, either abandoned the faith, or suffered living death in a wretched slavery. The villages which they had ravaged were pitiful to see, being either burned to the ground or abandoned and deserted; for those inhabitants who were able to escape from the hands of the enemy hid themselves in the thickets of the mountains, among wild beasts and venomous serpents, without other food than a few roots and wild fruits. And what is impossible to relate without shedding tears, the gospel ministers were compelled to flee in this same way, to endure the same calamities, and suffer the inclemencies of sky and ground, in order not to fall into the hands of Mahometan cruelty. Even thus they were not always able to flee, for some, cut to pieces, fell into their hands; others were captured and ransomed at great cost, or died of ill-treatment in their captivity. Those barbarians did not spare the churches, but rather plundered them with an infernal fury; burned them, and trampled under foot the ornaments; broke the images and profaned the vessels; and impiously clothed themselves with the sacred vestments. The most unbearable thing of all was to see all those evils unchecked, our friends disheartened, the enemy unresisted, and the villages defenseless. For, although the governors sent fleets in pursuit of the enemy, nothing was effected—partly because the latter hid themselves from our men among the numerous islands, and partly because of the great speed of their boats, in which respect they had great advantage over us.

Finally, in the year 1633, the king of Mindanao, [118]named Cachil Corralat, sent out a very large fleet which did signal damage in the islands. To put an end to this, Don Juan Cerezo de Salamanca, who was governor of the islands at that time, surmounting many difficulties, commanded a certain position to be taken and a fort to be begun in Samboangan, on the island of Mindanao, and occupied by a Spanish garrison; for that point was well suited to the purpose of restraining from there the Mindanaos and Joloans, as they were forced to sight it when they went forth to pillage. Soon the enemy Corralat felt the damage done him by the new post of the Spaniards, and since he could no longer sally forth at his safety, he called upon the Burneyans, Joloans, and Camucones to set out in various directions to pillage—which they did. He himself sent out after them, in the beginning of April, 1636, a large fleet in command of a Moro chief named Tagal. This fleet, as our garrison was but recently established, was able to proceed to our islands, and attacking many places, to make many captures—among them three Recollect religious of the Order of St. Augustine, and a Spanish corregidor of the island of Cuyo; to pillage much property, and to plunder the churches. They carried away the ornaments and vessels, and destroyed the images, and especially the cloth of a sacred crucifix, from which Corralat made himself a cape. Thereupon he became arrogant, and boasted that he was carrying away the God of the Christians a prisoner, because he had taken from among the sacred vessels a monstrance and a lunette with the most holy sacrament; and he returned to his own land, where they were already mourning him as lost, because he had been absent from it for eight months. [119]

This last invasion, more than all the previous ones, afflicted Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, who at that time had been proprietary governor of the islands for a year. Inflamed with a zeal for the honor of God and his king, he determined, after surmounting the numerous difficulties and oppositions, to avenge in person the insolent acts of those barbarians. But first of all he sent out, as governor of the presidio at Sanboangan, Sargento-mayor Bartolome Diaz Barrera, and, under his orders, Sargento-mayor Nicolas Gonçalez, so that they might be making preparations and sweeping the seas of those corsairs—a very important matter, as will be seen subsequently. He then fitted out a good fleet of champans (sailing vessels of moderate size, which are used by the Chinese); and, embarking in one of them, made sail on the day of the Purification of our Lady, the second of February, of this year 1637. At Oton (which is about half-way) he received definite information that Tagal was returning to his own country with eight very well laden ships. The commander of the garrison at Sanboangan was informed of that; and, preparing in two hours a squadron of five caracoas (which are swift craft with oar and sail, which are used by these Indians) and placing in command thereof Nicolas Gonçalez, the sargento-mayor of that presidio, he set out to round a very steep cliff, in which a small mountain terminated, projecting out into the sea, and distant about thirty leguas eastward from our fort. It was necessary for the enemy to stop there, in order to discharge numerous lances and arrows at the cliff (for it was their custom to sail by that point when either outward or homeward bound)—a superstitious custom of those [120]barbarians. On account of this the place was known as “the point of arrows” [punta de flechas]. The result was that which our men desired for on the morning of the day of St. Thomas, the twenty-first of December (at the time when prayer was being offered up within the fort), the enemy was sighted; and both then and on the following night our men made such an attack upon the enemy that, in spite of a desperate defense, they surrendered. Of the eight ships only one worthy of mention escaped, and that one in such a condition that in order to escape, they cast overboard all its merchandise and slaves. The other ships, heavily laden with merchandise, fell into the hands of our soldiers and were plundered. There were not many firearms, but they contained the vases and sacred ornaments, which were declared, in order to be returned to their rightful owners. There died Tagal, the commander of the enemy, with more than three hundred other Moros—so obstinate and furious that they preferred death rather than surrender, although they were offered their lives. Better was the course of one of Tagal’s brothers, who, when badly wounded, surrendered, protesting that he had always regarded the faith of the Christians as the true one, and begging for baptism, after receiving which he died. His example was followed by fourteen other Moros, who surrendered and besought baptism. Thus also there were recovered a hundred and twenty Christian captives and among them a Recollect father, one of those whom the Moros were taking away with them; but he was so badly wounded that he soon died, although greatly consoled to have seen with his own eyes the bravery with which our captains had punished the insolence of the barbarians, [121]obtaining so signal a victory as that, to the honor of Jesus Christ and of the Spaniards, without its having cost even a single man to our side. In that we began to enjoy the benefits of the fort of Sanboangan; for if it had not been there, we could not have encountered the enemy—who were none the less frightened by a miracle which occurred on the very night on which the victory was won. For having commenced by a terrific trembling of the earth and sea, with a great noise of groans and screams, which were heard by some, and which terrified all, that cliff—which we have mentioned as an infamous place, both on account of the superstitious rite of shooting arrows at it and many other things, and because there was a tradition among the natives that the devil had been actually seen there—became loosened from the land and fell with a great crash into the sea, our Lord giving to understand thereby that the impiety so strongly intrenched in that island was to fall and give place to our holy religion, as events are constantly demonstrating. The shore has already been consecrated to God with the name of Point San Sebastian, so that the superstitions by which that place was contaminated may be transformed by His holy arrows.

The governor was highly elated with these tidings, and still more when he received the ornaments, sacred vessels, and images which had been recovered; and was moved to deep pity by the maltreated holy crucifix, which had been made into a cape.1 He ordained the latter as thenceforth a standard for [122]that expedition, as he did also with the miraculous painting of St. Francis Xavier which was carried by Father Marcelo Mastrillo, well known in the greater part of the world for the so great mark of favor shown him by the Lord through the agency of that great apostle of India. This father, while passing from Malaca to Macan, a port of China, in fulfilment of the vow which he made at Napoles, met with the Dutch corsairs, from whom the Lord delivered him by a sudden wind which, while it turned him from the course which he was pursuing, miraculously carried him, without a pilot who knew those regions, into the bay of Manila. They anchored at the port of Cavite, on the day of St. Ignatius of last year, for the signal consolation and edification of all these islands, and for the good success of this expedition (in which consisted the complete relief and remedy of all)—especially to the benefit of the sick, of whom he took charge during the entire course of the expedition. Our fleet reached the port of Sanboangan on February 22, of this year; and all the men in it having been confessed and having received communion, and having been so encouraged (as they made evident to the father) by seeing from the pulpit, the outraged image of the Crucified One, they cried out that they would attack the whole world; and that the mothers were fortunate who had employed their sons in so glorious an undertaking. Then the soldiers returned to their vessels; they were divided into three companies of Spaniards, and one of Panpango Indians. Without awaiting the Spaniards and the volunteer Bisayan Indians they began to lay their course toward Lamitan, on the fourth of March, in order not to allow the enemies time to [123]prepare themselves. At that place Corralat had his principal village. The governor preceded the entire fleet, with only four boats—both because the weather was contrary, and because he had heard that there were some Moro merchantmen on the sea from Java Major, very full of Christian slaves. Without the loss of an instant’s time, by sailing night and day, he came within sight of Lamitan, on March thirteen. There the same man, in company with only six musketeers as a guard, personally reconnoitered the coast and river, with great valor and risk. Having fully ascertained that the beach and the low grounds were safe, he disembarked with the men of his four boats, as well as those of two others, that had already come up at that time—in all, about seventy soldiers. He placed these in battle-array, and marched with them to attack the village, without knowing that it was so well fortified as was the case, as he understood that all their force was about one and one-half leguas inland on a high hill. It was an especial providence of our Lord, and a brilliant stratagem, to leave an open road along the beach (on which, as was afterward seen, the enemy had planted all their artillery), and to deceive the enemy by taking another road on the opposite side. This was very difficult and dangerous, both because of the ambuscades which the enemy had prepared in the thickets (which were quickly cleared by our men, by means of two field-pieces which were in the vanguard), and by the swamps and river—which the soldiers forded twice, with the water up to their breasts, with incredible valor. They were encouraged by the example of their captain-general, who was the first in all these hardships, as he was also later, when attacking two [124]large stockades, one after the other. Those stockades, notwithstanding the fierce resistance made by the Moros in their defense, he entered with his men, ever proving himself not less prudent in commanding than spirited in attacking—personally encountering several Moros, who set upon him with extraordinary spirit. Thereupon, they caught sight of the fort with which Corralat had defended his village. It was exceedingly well fortified with a new ditch, with eight pieces of artillery, twenty-seven versos, many muskets with rests, and other lighter arms, and with more than two thousand warrior Moros. But that was of little use, for so gallant was the assault of the Spanish, notwithstanding their small number, that they instantly gained possession of the fort, killing a goodly number of Moros—among whom was their castellan, who obstinately fought to the death—while the others fled very badly wounded. From that place a portion of our men went on ahead to a stockade which, with one piece [of artillery], defended the house of Corralat, and it soon fell into our power; for after the commander who had charge of it (and who until then had kept them in good spirits by his vain and superstitious promises) had been killed, those who accompanied him lost heart and fled, while many of them were left there dead. The other body [of the Spaniards] attacked the river at the same time, and, putting the Moros to flight, captured more than three hundred craft, great and small. Of these they sacked some large Javanese merchantmen which were heavily laden with goods, and set free their Christian slaves. Some boats which were suitable for our men were kept, and the others were burned, without a single [125]one being left. Had the fleet that left Sanboangan been all together on that day, they would have finished matters with the Moro king Corralat, who, with as many men as possible, withdrew to the hill which he had fortified, disguised and borne on the shoulders of slaves.

The governor after having given the village over to sack, having gathered all the arms of the enemy—which, as aforesaid, consisted of eight bronze pieces with ladles, one swivel-gun of cast iron, twenty-seven versos, and more than one hundred muskets and arquebuses; besides a very great number of cannon-chambers, and iron, balls, and powder; campilans (what the Indians call by this name resemble certain cutlasses), lances, javelins, and many other kinds of poisoned missile weapons; and also after having repaired the fort which the enemy had (now called San Francisco Xavier) with new and suitable fortifications, which he planned, and himself commenced with his own hands to execute; and having lodged his men without the loss of even one (for only two servants deserted): he retired to a large mosque, where he established a bodyguard. He first had the mosque blessed, and a chair and some Arabic books of the cursed Koran burned. Quite necessary was the garrison and watch set by the vigilant governor during the days of his stay there, while awaiting the rest of his fleet, in order to drive away some false and pernicious embassies, and to defend themselves from the continual surprises which the defeated Moros sprang upon them, especially at night. Our men did not receive much hurt from them; on the contrary, various bodies of troops, leaving their posts, overran the country, burning the villages, and committing [126]other damage on the enemy. Many Christian captives fled from the enemy on this account, and were immediately sent to Sanboangan.

On the sixteenth of the same month, Sargento-mayor Nicolas Gonçalez came to join the governor with the rest of the fleet, which sailed from Sanboangan. The governor immediately began to prepare his men with all temporal and spiritual equipment with which to invest the hill on the next day. There was well seen the military prudence and skill, and the zeal for the divine honor, of the captain-general, in the so well arranged and efficacious address which he made to his soldiers, and in the so definite orders that he issued. He divided his men; and, committing about one hundred and twenty Spaniards, thirty Pampango Indians, and some other Bisayans as carriers, to Sargento-mayor Nicolas Gonzalez, ordered him to surprise the enemy by the rear of the hill, first sounding his trumpets, so that he himself might attack the front at the same instant by this means dividing the enemy’s forces, and weakening their defense. In accordance with these orders, the sargento-mayor began his march. The governor, with the rest of the army (after leaving a sufficient defense of soldiers in the fort and boats), marched toward the hill at six o’clock the following morning. At its brow was a very fine deserted village, where the governor fortified a good house, and had a piece of artillery planted and a garrison of Pampangos established, to be used as a place of refuge for his men. Commencing to ascend the hill by the road which the Moro who was guiding them showed him, he stopped near where there was another road; and, having asked the guide whether that road also led to [127]the hill, and which of the two was the better, the Moro replied in the affirmative, and said that both were poor. “Then if both are poor,” said the governor in reply, “let us go by the other, and not by the one along which the Moro is guiding us.” That was the inspiration of Heaven, and very good military counsel, and so did the outcome declare it; for that first road was taking them point blank into a cavalier, garrisoned with three pieces, one of which was of bronze. It was found afterward that, besides a double charge of powder, the piece was loaded with two plain artillery balls, two crowbars, and more than three hundred musket balls—with which, no doubt, at least all the vanguard would have been swept away. Now freed from that danger, and marching with great difficulty up the hill, the governor sent some of the vanguard with orders to reconnoiter only the road, and to halt at some fitting place in order to await the signal of those who were to attack the enemy in the rear. In truth the road was so difficult that it could be ascended in some places only with great difficulty, by clambering up and laying hold of the shrubs with their hands. It was narrow and very steep, and had precipices in all parts, so that they could not mount upward except one at a time. And, above all, it was so well commanded at the top by three forts—which were inaccessible, both by the great height of their location, and by the defenses of ditches, very stout stockades, and a very large supply of weapons—that very few of the enemy, without receiving any hurt, could with the use of only stones kill a million men who might attack them in that part. Notwithstanding this, those who were sent to reconnoiter the road were so [128]blinded by their overweening valor and spirit (truly Spanish) that, thinking that they could easily gain all, they went ahead to attack one of the three forts, without heeding the order that the general had given them; thereby they encountered, for themselves and the rest of the vanguard, great damage from the three forts, without doing anything to the enemy. More than twenty [of the Spaniards] were killed and more than eighty badly wounded. Much greater would have been the destruction of our men—for, not considering those who were falling, they continued to involve themselves and the others further, with false rumors of victory—had it not been that the governor, placing himself in the greatest danger, where the balls were raining down, and where they wounded his squire (and others who were very near him fell dead), and recognizing that victory was impossible in that part, and prudently hiding the disorder which had happened, in order not to discourage his soldiers, caused them all, both whole and wounded, to retire. This he did with so great ease and gallantry on one side, while on the other he confronted the enemy with so great valor, with sword in hand; had he not done that not a single man would have remained alive, since the enemy were numerous, the road full of precipices, and our men badly impeded with the wounded and more than two hours of fighting. That night the governor passed, with those who remained unhurt, in the retreat at the brow of the hill—at the greatest risk of perishing, if the enemy had made a sally, however vigilant our men had been. But God delivered them from that danger; for the enemy did not make a sally, because they made a great feast that night over the good result of [129]having, as they imagined, killed the governor. Already by this time the sick were in the camp, in which miraculous cures of very deadly wounds occurred. One had been shot through the head from temple to temple; another was shot through the mouth by a ball that passed up through the stomach; another had several poisoned dart-points (here called sompites) left sticking in his throat; and both those and all the others, excepting two or three who did not allow themselves to be treated, are today alive and well. They, and all, attribute their miraculous health to the special favor with which God chose to repay the holy zeal with which all risked their lives for His Divine Majesty.

On the following day, the eighteenth of the same month, while the governor was hearing mass, the rattle and roar of artillery and musketry was heard on the hill, which increased his anxiety. Suspecting that Nicolas Gonzalez was fighting, he sent him, as a reënforcement, a company of soldiers under command of Captain Don Rodrigo de Guillestigui. And it was so that, the said sargento-mayor, Nicolas Gonzalez, not having been able to arrive the day before at the assigned place because of the great difficulty of the road, it was our Lord’s pleasure that, after conquering many difficulties and great obstacles, he gained possession of an eminence which dominated the enemy’s forts in the rear. Thence he started to invest them, with such intrepidity that, although the king, leading his men in person, began to resist him furiously, he could not however withstand our charges. Consequently, they were compelled to abandon their three forts, one after the other, leaving an infinite number of dead Moros, who perished [130]partly by the balls, and partly through falling over precipices in escaping, as the way was narrow. Among those who escaped by flight was Corralat; he fled, badly wounded, to some small villages that he owned, which were four leguas distant from the hill. The queen his wife, and many others of his servants threw themselves over the precipices of their own accord, in order to avoid falling into our hands. Many of the enemy were captured and the Christian captives there freed. Among the latter was found alive one of the Recollect fathers, who, as he had been badly mangled, was judged to have lived as by a miracle until the day following, when he died as a saint in the camp, after receiving all the sacraments with great consolation. The third [Recollect religious] was killed through the fury of the Moros, and it is not known where they threw his body. The three forts, then, with all their arms (namely, four pieces of artillery, and other numberless weapons of other kinds), having fallen into our hands, as well as a great quantity of food, and a quantity of wealth, and a suitable guard having been placed, the governor was advised of everything. He was waiting anxiously in camp; rejoicing over the good news, and more that no one of our soldiers had been killed, he ascended the hill. In two days’ time having taken down to the camp with very few men the pieces which it had taken the enemy six months to take up with more than two thousand Indians; collecting many sacred vases and ecclesiastical ornaments which were found; giving the house of the king over to sack, and others, very large and full of riches, by which many Spaniards were greatly advantaged; and having burned the buildings, and [131]leveled the forts: as he was no longer able to endure the stench which arose from the [dead bodies of] the enemy who had been slain and those who had fallen over the precipices, the forces returned to camp—leaving the Moro king entirely ruined, as a chastisement for the many outrages which he had impiously committed on the true God, on His priests, and other Christians. From there, after having given thanks to our Lord with a mass, and a solemn procession with the most holy sacrament on the day of the Incarnation, they set sail for Sanboangan.

When they left, the governor sent Sargento-mayor Pedro Palomino with one hundred Spaniards to Cachil Moncay (the legitimate king, although he had been oppressed by the tyranny of his uncle Corralat), in order to tell him that, if he wished to be protected by the Spanish arms of his Majesty, he must render homage and pay tribute to the Catholic king our sovereign, wage war by fire and sword on Corralat and his allies, free the Christian captives, and admit gospel ministers. The king offered in person to do all that, and afterward through his ambassador and brother-in-law, at Samboangan, to the governor. The latter having issued the fitting orders in that presidio, and having received the homage offered to our sovereign by many—especially by the inhabitants of the island of Basilan, to whom he immediately assigned gospel ministers, as they asked for them—he entrusted one hundred Spaniards and more than one thousand volunteer Indians (who had now arrived, although after the battle), with orders to coast along the island, doing all the harm possible to the enemy, and helping the Spaniards’ friends. The said captain performed all [132]the aforesaid excellently, coasting along the island from Sanboangan to Caraga. And although the Moros had retreated inland, being terrified by the news of the victory, still the captain did them considerable damage. He burned as many as sixteen villages, and many other collections of houses, laid waste the fields and gardens, destroyed more than one hundred ships (counting large and small), and seized others for the use of the fleet, whose need he abundantly supplied with many provisions which he collected. He also beheaded seventy-two spirited Moros, who defended themselves against him, whose heads he placed on pikes, in various places along the beach, in order to terrorize the others. He made prisoners some others, whom he took alive, with which the whole land became fearful. While that was being done, as has been said, the governor set sail toward Manila. He entered that city in triumph on the twenty-fourth of May, with his four companies in battle-array, with the prisoners in their midst, and with fourteen wagons heavily laden with many important arms of the enemy, together with the banners which had been captured dragging in the dust. There was general applause and rejoicing by the Spaniards and natives. That was an affair well calculated to inspire fear in the numberless infidels by whom we are surrounded.

Finally, his Lordship, having shown certain very splendid honors to those who had so gloriously perished in the war, and having ordered a great number of masses to be said for their souls, ended the celebration most happily on the seventh of June (the Sunday of the Trinity), by a very solemn procession of the most holy sacrament as an expression of [133]thanks. In front marched the ransomed Christians, very handsomely clad, carrying candles and rosaries. Four long paces behind them were many sacred vases and ecclesiastical ornaments, which were recovered from the possession of the barbarian. By that sight the hearts of Catholics were moved to great compassion; and the people gave many thanks to our Lord for the sight of that which they had desired for so many years. They entreated Him that the work might progress until, the enemies who remained in those regions having received the faith of Jesus Christ, they and the other long-time Christians might enjoy the desired peace and quiet.



The governor’s great care and vigilance in preparing and arranging the fleet of Mindanao did not cause him to forget the other enemy—infested posts that his Majesty possesses in this archipelago. At the same time, he despatched another very good fleet, consisting of two large ships, one patache, and one galley, under command of General Geronimo Henriquez, as a guard to a number of champans which were taking the succor to the forts of Terrenate. Two excellent ships of the Dutch enemy were awaiting them at the entrance. When they saw the courage of our men the enemy retired in flight to the shelter of their fort of Malayo, without daring to await them. The Spaniards were so keen for fighting that, hastily leaving in safety the aid which they were taking, they started in pursuit of the hostile galleons, and did not stop until they met these under the enemy’s fort, where they had gone. There they fired so many volleys, both at the ships and at [134]the fort and village, that (as was learned afterward from some who took refuge with our ships) very considerable damage was done, without the Dutch daring to sail out, or being able to do us any damage of importance. That was a very great cause for scoffing against the enemy, and they lost as much reputation among those Moros, as was gained by the Spaniards, especially with the king of Tidore, our friend, who very joyfully thanked the commander Henriquez and the admiral, Don Pedro de Almonte, with presents for that action of so great valor and gallantry.

One month after that fleet had returned to Manila, Don Pedro de Mendiola, governor of Terrenate, heard that two Dutch ships were becalmed not a great distance from there. He instantly despatched two galleys, which together spiritedly attacked the better of the two ships. After it had been entirely defeated, and our men were about to board it, a strong wind which suddenly arose snatched it from their hands, although it was badly crippled by the discharges from our galleys. The latter received no considerable damage. Thereupon that enemy were greatly terrified; the Moro natives received a very exalted idea of the Spaniards, while the latter were very joyful at beholding the arms of the king our sovereign, even in these most remote bounds of the earth, shine with the luster and splendor that they merit.

With license. In Madrid. Printed by Diego Diaz de la Carrera, in the year 1639. [135]

1 This is the literal translation; but it will be remembered, from previous accounts, that the figure of Christ here referred to was painted on a sheet of linen or cloth; it was this sheet which was used by the Moro as a garment.


Value of Corcuera’s Seizures in Jolo

[Under date of Manila, August 2, 1638, the city cabildo of Manila write the king a detailed account of Corcuera’s campaign in Joló, which was begun in December, 1637. Inasmuch as this letter covers ground sufficiently treated in documents already presented in this series, it is not here given. The original is conserved in the Archivo general de Indias with pressmark, “est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 32;” and it is presented by Pastells in his edition of Colin (iii, pp. 528–532). Pastells (iii, pp. 532, 533) follows this letter by a document showing the value of the artillery and other things seized from the Joloans, and the money value of the captives who were sold as slaves. This document is conserved in the same archives and has the same pressmark as the above. It is as follows:]

The relation of the expense incurred on his Majesty’s account during the expedition made to the kingdom of Joló by Don Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, in December, 1637; also the value of what was seized and gained from the enemy; and the net gain. Subtracting the one from the other, the result is as follows:

pesos tomins granos
Gained from the enemy, 28,345 7 0
Expenses of the expedition, 26,314 5 4
Net remainder of gain, 2,031 1 6


The value of what was gained from the enemy can be analyzed in the following form:

[A list, partially duplicate, of the artillery taken from the Joloans follows, of which we present only the final summary, in order to avoid such duplication. It appears that the artillery when taken to Manila was appraised by one Melchor Pérez, royal chief of artillery and artillery-founder.]

Bronze artillery, useful

Pieces Make Weight in quintals and libras Weight of ball in libras Value of one quintal in pesos Total value in pesos
1 English 11 3 30 330
1 falcon of King Don Sebastián of Portugal 11 4 28 308
2 of King Don Sebastián of Portugal 15 10 26 390
1 Manila, of the time of Tavora 26,80 10 26 670
21 cámaras1 124
Bronze artillery, useless, appraised merely at the value of the copper
1 English 11 3 12 132
1 Siamese 4 1 12½ 54
10 versos 14 12 168 [137]
Cast-iron artillery
1 English 7 35 3 12½ 91
1 Macao 12½ 4 12 156
1 English 11 4 12½ 137
1 Dutch 10 88 12½ 136
1 English 12 25 5 12½ 153
1 Dutch 12 25 5 12½ 153
1 English 10 45 5 12½ 130
1 English 14 63 7 12½ 182
1 Dutch 18 9 12½ 225
1 English 21 33 9 12½ 266
1 Dutch 24 97 11 12, and 1 tomin 312
1 iron base [roquero] 4


3 Vizcayan arquebuses 12
10½ Macao muskets 31
11 Vizcayan field muskets 66
1 Dutch arquebus 4
19 Macao arquebuses 57
16 Dutch muskets 64
1 musket de pinote of Macao 4
2 Vizcayan arquebuses 10
7 arquebuses from Macao 21
7 Japanese small guns [escopetillas] 21
2 Vizcayan field muskets 12
5 Dutch arquebuses 15
10 Dutch muskets 50
1 bit of a Vizcayan gun [escopeta] 1

Besides the above, in cloth or money, 2,866 [pesos]; in small darts and blowpipes, 50 [pesos]. [138]

Lastly, from 192 captive Indians—men, women, and children—sold as his Majesty’s slaves at royal auction, 20,815 pesos. Of this amount 10,375 pesos were in cash, in coin; and the 10,440 remaining were charged to the pay due the infantry and seamen. [139]

1 Camaras were tubes or cylinders which received the charge and were introduced into the breech of the cannon, sometimes fitted by pressure, at other times by screwing (see Diego Ufano’s Treatise on military; Brussels, 1617). Some of the ancient pieces of ordnance had these spare chambers, so that, after a charge had been fired, the chamber could be changed and operations carried on more rapidly. Thus they served as do the cartridges of modern breech-loading guns. Some camaras were used independently of the cannon, for firing salutes. See Stanley’s Vasco da Gama (Hakluyt Society publications, London, 1869) pp. 226, 227, note.

Documents of 1639–1640

Sources: The first of these documents is obtained from a MS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid; the second, from a MS. volume in the library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago; the third, and the eighth decree in the fourth, from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the fourth (except the above-mentioned decree), from the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid; the fifth and sixth, from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library); the seventh, from Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 267–444; the eighth, from Thevenot’s Voyages curieux, t. i, part ii—from a copy belonging to the library of Harvard University.

Translations: These are made by James A. Robertson—except the fifth, sixth, and seventh, and two decrees in the fourth, by Emma Helen Blair. [141]


Events in the Philipinas

From the Year 1638 to that of 1639

Today, August 14, I learned that thirteen Macasars and Basilas, of those who had been sold as slaves, had fled in a small boat, and that they had been furnished with arms. Some suspected that the Lascars aided them. A few days before, six of them had fled, but they were captured and brought to this port by the Indians of Maragondon.

At the end of September Nuestra Señora del Rosario [i.e., our Lady of the Rosary] was robbed. Only three jewels were taken from her—a diamond of the value of one thousand two hundred pesos; a cross of smaller diamonds; and a gold rosary. The holy image was found in a prostrate condition. It is said that there are some indications of the robber. A portion of the robe was found in the possession of a soldier; but he says that he found it on the ground, and it has been impossible to prove anything else.

In the beginning of October came a despatch from Sanboangan, in which it is declared that although the Spaniards tried to constrain Cachil Moncay to make his men pay the tribute, he replied that he would not do so, but that he would take arms and declare war. In fact, he retired to the mountains and took captive Father Francisco Angel; but another [142]chief, his opponent, had the boldness to take the father from him and deliver him to the Spaniards.

We are advised from Jolo that many of our men have been killed; and that the islanders who have remained there have suffered great famine, and consequently, an epidemic and plague is feared. It is also said that Panguian a cachil, together with Dato Ache, has retreated with almost all the brave men of Jolo to the island of Tabitabi,1 where they have fortified another hill, and are preparing ships to go out to pillage our tributaries. The king and queen are in Jolo without anyone paying any attention to them; and Panguian Cachil is trying to make himself king of the Joloans.

Three ships left this port for Macan: the Macan patache, on the thirteenth of October; on the fourteenth, that from Camboja; and on the sixteenth, that which came from India. It has to return here to collect its goods which it left here [for sale] on commission [fiada], and will go hence to Goa.

October 26, a champan from Sanboangan arrived, in which was Father Gregorio Belin, seeking the reformation that is especially demanded by affairs in [143]Jolo, whose commandant2 has prevented many good results and been the cause of many evils, by his bad government and scandalous conduct. Don Sebastian [Hurtado de Corcuera] removed him, as he was already well informed of what has taken place there. Father Pedro Gutierrez informs us about Mindanao in a letter which he writes to the father provincial, as follows.


Letter from Father Pedro Gutierrez

“These three posts of Sanboangan, Jolo, and Mindanao, were left so destitute, for lack of the little fleet that was here at the beginning, that I am surprised that the commandant, Don Pedro de Almonte, has been able to attend with so great promptness to the necessities that have arisen. The time when the [lack of the] fleet began to be felt was when a soldier and a Pampango were brought badly wounded from Basilan. In order to remedy the damages that might ensue from not inflicting punishment, it was necessary to equip a caracoa with Pampangos and servants of the Spaniards. The matter was entrusted to Adjutant Cristoval de las Eras, who had the two evildoers shot in Basilan. Then, seeing that the [144]Spaniards who were in Basilan were poorly accommodated, and without any defense, he advised the commandant, Don Pedro; and, by virtue of the order sent him, he built a fortified house in a very good position. After the people of the mountain (some of whom had absented themselves through fear) had calmed down, he returned to this port.

“During that time the commandant, Don Pedro, was already getting ready a small fleet among the Lutaos, in order to attack the Joloans who had gone to Tabitabi and other islands. That he might accomplish this, he requested a good juanga which was at Dapitan, whence it was brought with fifty Indians. With one that he procured from those that his Majesty had here, and those which he had made by the Lutao chiefs, he had five caracoas with four pieces of artillery, besides three other small boats called pilanes, all of them excellently equipped with infantry and ammunition.

“While the fleet was on the point of being despatched, news arrived from Mindanao of various acts of treachery which Moncay, chief of Buayen, had attempted against the Spaniards; and that he had seized Father Angel; and that after the said father had escaped from them, they fell upon the food and the household effects that the father left, thus declaring themselves. But the commandant, Don Pedro, seeing the danger in delaying help, and knowing that if Corralat and Manaquior were to unite with Moncay much damage might be done, determined to send the fleet that was prepared for Jolo to Mindanao. For greater abundance, he added a champan with food and ammunition for the said fleet, and as an aid to the fort at Buayen. He [145]charged Adjutant Cristoval de las Eras with all this, on account of his experience as a good soldier, and his knowledge of wars with the Indians. In addition he charged me to go in the fleet, so that I might see Corralat and Manaquior; and as that was my affair, and the Spaniards were not to meddle in it, it was made certain that those chiefs would not unite with Moncay. We came near to Lamitan, where Corralat was living, and I found Father Carrion, who was with Corralat, and who was coming to Sanboangan to ask for an order to make peace with Manaquior, to make war on Moncay, to talk to Corralat, in order that he should not unite with Moncay, and to request succor in some things. I told him that the commandant Don Pedro had already prepared for all that he wanted, and more; and that he was sending that fleet, collected as if by a miracle. The father was very much surprised by that, and even told me that if they saw what had been done, they would not believe it in Buayen; for, as they know the limited resources in Sanboangan, they had not dared to ask for a single soldier.

“I landed alone, and the fleet went to await me at La Zabanilla. I talked to Corralat, and he promised me all that I wanted. For greater security, he told me that he would give two caracoas to guard me. He offered me four, but I did not desire more than two, which he sent after me. It was diverting to hear the Mindanaos say that on no account must they separate from my caracoa; and when I told them, as we were returning, to stay behind and look for food, that did not avail, for they told me that they were not to leave me until I should return, and they kept their word. [146]

“We arrived at the fort. I informed Adjutant Eras of the condition of affairs. According to his orders, Manaquior was summoned; and he made a treaty of peace with Captain Marquez. For a beginning, he offered an iron piece that uses a ball weighing three libras, which he handed over to the said adjutant Eras. We continued to ascend the river to quiet the villages that the hostile Moncay had taken from Manaquior, and which he had fortified. But when they learned that the Spaniards were coming, they discarded their foolish ideas, and, as sensible men, abandoned the village, which was excellently fortified. They set fire to a part of it, but were unable to burn it all because of their haste in escaping. They went to join those who were fortified in a village higher up the same river, which was the village which prevented those who could have done so from carrying refreshment to the fort of the Spaniards. The Spaniards went up the river, and before they arrived the natives deserted that village also, and that so hastily that they were unable to burn more than one house. We went up as far as the village of Manaquior, where we were well received. We took five days to reach that place from the fort. Manaquior said that the inhabitants of the two villages had united with a third, in order to fight, and that they were on an arm of the river. The adjutant with his fleet, and with Manaquior, who had always accompanied him, descended the river; and, arriving at the entrance of the said arm, as one of the caracoas was large, the adjutant left it there (it was the one in which I was embarked), and ascended with the rest. Before his arrival, the enemy also fled and said that all those who had abandoned [147]the other villages were going to fortify themselves in another position farther up the river. Thereupon, those who accompanied Adjutant Eras tried to persuade him not go any farther, since those Moros did not await them, and the river was becoming narrower. The adjutant refused to do anything else but pursue them, and did so for two days by that arm of the sea. He reached the last site, where the enemy were fortifying themselves with an excellent stockade. There must have been a great force of men, since they had done so much in so few hours. They did not hold their ground there, either, but according to the track that they left went to the mountains in two divisions. Thereupon we returned to Samboangan, after having reënforced the fort with food and ammunition.

“Two bronze versos were found at that last site, which had been hidden in the river. The adjutant seized them, and is sending them, I believe, to Don Sebastian. I have been in various fleets, and have seen in none of them what I have seen in this one—namely, that although those people had never encountered Spaniards before, there was not a single soldier who ill-treated any Indian, while the latter came very willingly. Perhaps the cause for it was the speech that Adjutant Eras made to the Spaniards—who, as they know that he treats them with great courtesy, and that for that reason he will stand no nonsense, did not wish to give him cause for anger. As we were returning, I saw Corralat, and tried to ascertain from him his intentions. He does not wish to fight with the Spaniards; but, on the other hand, he makes impertinent demands—namely, that the country from Sibuguei to near Catel (a [148]region about two hundred leguas in circuit), and the lake of Malanao, be left to him. As my intention was not to make any agreement with him, except that he should not unite with Moncay, I told him that I was writing to Don Sebastian, as I did, whose letter I am despatching now.

“All the Mindanaos fear the Castilians, especially Don Sebastian. Corralat’s whole anxiety was lest he might come here, and he asked why he should come, when it would be sufficient to send a captain; and he said other things in this manner. May our Lord arrange matters as is most fitting to His holy service; and may He preserve your Reverence, to whose holy prayers and sacrifices I earnestly commend myself. Sanboangan, September 30, 1638.”


Section of a letter written in Manila

“Father Belin took with him about eighty Christian captives of those who have come to our soldiers—both in that entrance which was made in the villages, and of those who have been escaping from the Moros since the time of the arrival of Don Sebastian, who exceed one hundred and fifty Christians. Among them, at times, were some Moros who requested holy baptism. The eighty who arrived here were disembarked at the gate of Saint Dominic, where the sargento-mayor was awaiting them with the captains and adjutants and the company of the governor, who marched them down in their midst. When the procession or march was ended, the alcaldes and Father Belin went through the street which leads to [the house of] the master-of-camp and [the convent of] St. Augustine, to the palace. Having gone round by the parade-ground, they went [149]up to the governor, where Father Belin thanked his Lordship for the liberty that had been obtained through his mediation. His Lordship ordered them to be lodged in the city; and directed the father to bring the chiefs to the palace next day, as he intended to clothe them as he had those whom he sent to Basilan. Among them is a Moro who is a Christian, who is accompanied by more than twenty persons of his relatives and household. All of them have resolved to be baptized, and to live among Christians in Cabuyao.3 That was the chief who brought Father Angel to the fort, and withdrew him from captivity when he came to our people. The fact was that that chief captured a girl about twelve years old in that village of Cabuya, whom he has married during this time, with the intention of making her his chief wife until his death. She, having seen the love that he showed her, told him that if he wished her to live in his company willingly, not only was she to be a Christian, but he was to become one also, in order to be her true husband and live among Christians. In short, she won him so that he determined to come with her to her village. He persuaded his men to do the same, and in accordance with that they have come. In the champan, he told his Tagal wife that she should not tell the Castilians that he had captured her, lest they kill him or do him some harm; but that she could say that she was bringing him and all his people to captivity, as was a fact. Don Sebastian, influenced by reasons of expediency, orders that that family return to live in Mindanao.” [150]

October 31, the patache from the island of Hermosa entered this port. It brings as news that five or six Franciscan and Dominican friars are there, who have been exiled from China; and that they hope to be able to reënter that country. The report that the Dutch had occupied the post of Tanchui, which we had left, is said to be false. On the contrary, the inhabitants of Tanchui came to beg friendship and Spaniards, to which the only answer given was that they should come with safety to the fort with their drugs, which would furnish them a safe passage.

A champan also arrived from Terrenate at the end of October. It brought news that the sargento-mayor, Francisco Hernandez, made an important raid into the country of the enemies, with good result. He found in Macasar the Spaniards who deserted from this place last year with Captain Ramos, whom they had already killed through anger. Francisco Hernandez begged the king for permission and aid to arrest them; and, being given it, arrested them and placed them in the galleys.

A small vessel, called a cho, came from Macan November 2. It brings more authentic news of the conversion of the king of China, than what I wrote by the ships. The fathers say of him that he is earnestly considering becoming and living as a Christian. Word is also received that the fathers of the province of Macan, which is the same province as that of Japon, formed a congregation; and that, because they have strong hopes of the opening of the door for the conversion of that kingdom, in which the faith has been so severely persecuted, they have elected two procurators to go to Europa by two different [151]ways—Father Antonio Cardin, in the first place, who goes by way of Goa; and Father Reymundo de Gouca, who is about to come to Manila in order to go by way of Mexico.

At midnight on November 10, so fierce a gale of wind came from the south that it broke five of the moorings of the flagship “San Luis,” which was about to set sail to Terrenate, having been already laden and with its artillery aboard. The wind carried away its shrouds, and grounded it in the sand near Palañaque, but in such a manner that it could be floated off after five days. The wind also drove the second galley ashore, but without doing it any damage.

At dawn on the morning of the eleventh, the ship from India, which was the last to go to Macan, anchored in the bay. It lost most of its masts by the fierceness of the storm, and the others were disabled. That storm struck them after they had already anchored. Had it struck them outside, all think that no one would have escaped, to judge from the way in which the ship is disabled.

News arrived on the night of November 20 that the second patache, which was going to Octong to get a cargo of rice for Terrenate, was driven ashore some leguas from here by the gale of wind above mentioned, but that all the crew were saved.

Early on the night of November 21, the two galleons, “San Luis” as flagship and “San Juan” as almiranta, left for Terrenate. The commander-in-chief is Don Pedro de Almonte, and the admiral Don Alonso de Alcoçer, although with the title of governor of the almiranta galleon. The commander of the flagship as far as Sanboangan is Don Pedro [152]Fernandez del Rio, who is captain and sargento-mayor for the voyage.

A despatch [-boat] arrived from Sanboangan on the last of November, which carried some Joloan captives. It happened in this wise. The king of Jolo, desiring to recover his hill, and to fortify himself anew with the arms that the Spaniards had there, set a snare for them with this bit of treachery. He caused an Indian (who was a clever leader of the fishermen), called Cahapitan, and his men to become very friendly with the Spaniards and to sell them fish—a thing that our men, not knowing his intentions, valued very highly, because of the privation that they were suffering. After some days he came with a message from the king, to the effect that he wished to submit and to pay tribute, and that he was sending Indians to be registered. In the meantime the fathers4 were warned by a certain Capot, a Christian, who had escaped, that the king was beyond all question plotting treason, and they advised the commander of those forts of it. He replied that the fathers were entertaining fears, and that no attention was to be paid to it. He allowed Cahapitan, as well as those who were to be registered, to enter the fort with as much security as if they were in Old Castilla. Eight hundred Indians having registered, a day was assigned for many more to come. The Moros chose that day for the execution of their treachery. Cahapitan arrived, with the word that he was bringing three hundred more, who should be allowed to enter with him in order to be registered. By that time there were already about [153]two thousand Moros in ambush, while others were in ships on the sea, in order that they might, on seeing the signal, do their part—namely, kill the Spaniards, and seize the fort. And that would have happened just as they wished, if God in His ineffable providence had not obstructed it; for, at the time agreed upon, the commandant caught a high fever, and accordingly answer was sent them to return on another day, as he would not register them [that day]. The Moros urged strongly that they be registered, and their urging caused suspicion. Accordingly, a resolute answer was sent that he would not register them until next day. Seeing themselves frustrated in their principal intent, they went to the stone-quarry, where the force of twenty-three galley negroes and some Sangleys were getting stone, being guarded by only five Spaniards. Alleging peace, they landed; and, attacking them, killed two Spaniards, three negroes, and one Sangley, and wounded two Spaniards, who, with the other one that was unhurt, escaped; and they captured the others—to the number of thirty-eight persons, counting dead and captured. The commandant, having learned of the treachery through those who escaped, sent a despatch to Sanboangan asking for help. It was God’s pleasure (and that was another of His wonderful providences), that the commander Don Pedro de Almonte should have determined of his own accord to visit Jolo with a small fleet, which he had difficulty in collecting. He was met at sea by the despatch-boat. He made haste and arrived at so opportune a time that he met Cahapitan and all his men. Cahapitan, hiding his treason, went to meet him with a white flag. The commander Don Pedro [154]received him cordially, but told him that he should follow him to the fort, in order to be well assured that he was free from guilt. He followed the commander very securely with thirty-six persons; for he had so deceived the commandant at Jolo that he was persuaded that Cahapitan was guiltless, and thus he assured the commander Don Pedro. That deceit was brought about by his having entrusted to Cahapitan a quantity of goods in order to trade them for drugs of the country. Yet the commander, Don Pedro, although he freed Cahapitan and two old men at the persuasion of the commandant, in order that they might carry a letter to the king of Jolo (for the commandant petitioned the commander, saying that he would advise that, and the traitor [i.e., Cahapitan] desirous of performing another act of treachery, facilitated it), detained all the other men. Cahapitan went straight to a place where he had three negroes and two Sangleys, who had fallen to his share as the principal author of the deed. He ordered them to be killed, and his men killed four more of them; but one, a Sangley, attacked him, and killed him with his own dagger. The Sangley came all bloody to the fort, and disclosed the whole evil plot. Thereupon the commandant awoke as from a profound slumber, in which his self-interest had buried him. Afterward he confessed that he had done wrong in not believing the fathers; thereupon the commander, Don Pedro de Almonte, sent his boats under Captain Gaspar de Morales, to overrun the island. In that raid much harm was done to the enemy, to the profit of their allies, who secured rich pillage. Almost all the people escaped; but those people who were captured, together with those of [155]Cahapitan, were made slaves. They numbered in all fifty, besides three who were killed. That punishment made them tremble, and many have concluded to settle quietly and to give hostages. All the above I have taken, in summary, from a very long letter of Father Alexandro Lopez, who took part in the whole affair; and was in the fleet that went round the island.

At Christmas came news that the Chinese pirates were pillaging these neighboring coasts. A fleet was sent to attack them, under command of Captain Maroto, which returned on the second of January, 1639. The report he gives is, that some Chinese of the Parián of Manila fled in a champan. They attacked another champan on the sea beyond Mariveles, pillaged it, and sent it to the bottom. They attacked another anchored in a port, and pillaged and burned it. After that they put out to sea, in order to cross over to China. Our men brought in the Chinese who had escaped from both champans.

Later, at the beginning of January, news came that the same men were pillaging, although in more remote districts where they had captured some boats and killed many Spaniards and Indians, who were sailing quite unsuspicious of danger. Consequently, a few champans under command of Don Pedro Bermudez were again sent against them.

January 15, General Don Geronimo de Sumonte took possession of [the post of] castellan and other offices at this port.

On January 18, news was received that the fleet of our champans encountered the pirates in the entrance of Mindoro, eight in number. They were pursuing a boat of the Augustinian fathers. The [156]Spaniards attacked the pirate’s flagship, a champan, which, after our men had damaged it considerably, escaped, with one other vessel. The rest were either sunk entirely, or driven ashore with the loss of all their men. Of those driven ashore, some Chinese were captured alive, and they were executed by various rigorous modes of punishment.5 Our men did not follow the two other champans, as it was already night. The latter returned toward the coasts of this island of Manila, where other of our boats were sailing, and committed some depredations.

January 27, a violent north wind sunk a boatload of Joloan captives who were fleeing from Manila, six of whom were captured.

February 24, an advice-boat arrived from Macan with news that the Portuguese had done a thriving business in the fairs of Japon, but that the Japanese were very particular that no priests should go there. Accordingly they came to request that the fathers in these islands wait patiently, and that no priests go there until God gives a better opportunity.

March 4, the father provincial arrived from the visit to Pintados. Two days previous they had been attacked by two champans of Chinese pirates—who were beaten off, however, because our vessel had sufficient defense. Later however, they saw that the [157]pirates were pursuing another champan, and that of the father provincial hastened to aid the latter, with which aid that vessel escaped safely—which, had he not aided it, would infallibly have been captured.

March 20, came tidings that large pieces of planking, masts, and the ribs of a vessel which had suffered shipwreck had been found on the coast of Paracali, opposite Manila. From appearances, it is thought that it is the almiranta “San Ambrosio,” which sailed for Mexico from these islands last August, quod Deus avertat [“which may God forbid”].

In the middle of March, the ship from India set out for Goa. It was the one which had come from Goa, and after setting out for Macan had returned disabled to put in at this port. The cho from Macan returned to its city by November. The four fathers of the Society who belong to that province are going. Don Pedro Bermudez sailed once more, with three champans, to attack the Chinese pirates who were harassing the coasts of this island, and had committed depredations. They attacked the flagship champan, which was a large vessel; they killed sixty Sangleys in it, and seized and sent to Manila the others. These men have disclosed extensive treacheries that the Chinese were plotting in order to stir up the country. The authorities have been making arrests and investigations, and they are still doing so; and in the middle of April they hanged six of the Sangleys. They declared that they were building two champans on the Pangasinan coast, of the heaviest planking, and suitable for fighting. The Spaniards went for these vessels, and brought them to Manila with the carpenters who were working on them. God had great pity for these islands. [158]

On April 18 came the flagship and patache of the Terrenate relief ships; they say that the almiranta was driven to leeward of them near Macasar. The soldiers remained with the commander Don Pedro de Almonte, in order to make an expedition in Mindanao, together with other squadrons of ships that have sailed from Caragan and Bisayas. From Xolo they write that the inhabitants have attempted to plan other acts of treason like the past. The leaders have either been killed or are in the galleys. Father Melchor de Vera writes of the Moros near Sanboangan that some of them are being baptized, and that there are hopes of a great conversion.

On May 30 arrived the almiranta from Terrenate. They have suffered many hardships, especially of thirst, which was so great that some of them even drank salt water. They bring as news from Mindanao that our men are building a fort at La Zavanilla, in the country of Corralat; and that he, as well as Moncay, has retreated. Manaquior is daily becoming more friendly. With the ships of Terrenate came one hundred and fifty Siaos and fifty Terrenatan Christians, to take part in this war. They were already about to enter the lands of the enemy. The commander, Don Pedro de Almonte, also sent a portion of a fleet to coast about the island of Xolo; for a report was current that Dato Ache was getting ready to go out to pillage. To Mindanao had already come one hundred and twenty valiant Caragas, who had always accompanied Corralat from the time when they killed the priests in their land,6 and to whom Don Sebastian had sent a pardon. [159]

News of a new revolt came from Nueva Segobia. The natives killed seventeen persons, counting soldiers and their wives. They did not wish to kill the father who instructed them, as he was a mild-mannered man. Don Marcos Zapata went to attack them, and killed thirty and captured thirty others. The rest retreated to the mountains.

It is learned from a ship from Macan, that the second patache, in which were two of the recently-ordained fathers, and which sailed from here in November, has not arrived at that city. During the last few days the report has been current that both it and the vessel from India (which sailed again from here in March) have been pounded to pieces on the shoals of Paragua, and that great bits of wreckage have been washed up at Calamianes, whence they write this. These losses will be a great calamity.

News came on May 23 that, our men having arrived overland at the lake of Malanao,7 in the island of Mindanao, two thousand five hundred armed Indians were waiting for them in battle array. They could not sustain the discharge of our firearms, and retired to the lake. Our men had carried six boats in pieces, to fit them together and navigate in them. When the Malanaos saw them on the water, they gave themselves up as lost. Some five thousand of them fled, while more than one thousand remained and offered homage and tribute to the king our sovereign. They were all registered, and began immediately to render allegiance. They admitted ministers [160]of the gospel, and gave hostages and security in everything. Doubtless those who fled and hid will soon appear and submit.

The fathers write from Jolo that Dato Ache has been entirely unable to do anything since the occurrence at Lami, in which he was buried.8 It is added that since these things are so, all the Joloans are perishing from famine. They will never humiliate themselves or give signs of surrendering. In some raids that have been made, the Spaniards have killed and captured some of their chiefs. Among them was a pirate who captured the beneficed priest Francisco Vazquez, and refused to give him up for less than two thousand pesos. Now he is paying it in the galleys, where he has been put at the oar.

Father Alexandro Lopez writes from Jolo that the commandant of that island [i.e., Xines Ros] begged pardon in public from God and the fathers for the insults that he had uttered, and for the injuries that he had done them; and that he was building the church for them with much fervor, before his successor should arrive.

A champan arrived here on May 30, with fifty arrobas of nails which had been taken from the wreckage of the ship which, as I said, had run aground on the coast of Paracali. Those whose opinion is most accurate in that matter have examined it, and believe that it is all from the almiranta “San Ambrosio.” On that account the profound sadness that was general in April and May has [161]ceased; for it had been reported that indubitable signs were found that the flagship had been wrecked.

On June 17 arrived a despatch from Sanboangan. The news brought by it will be told by a letter from Father Pedro Gutierrez. “On setting out for Terrenate, the commander, Don Pedro de Almonte, left an order that, when the boats of the volunteers arrived at Samboangan, they were to skirt the coast of Jolo. Six caracoas did that, as well as six other boats from Basilan, under command of Adjutant Cristoval de las Heras, and manned by some Spaniards. Inside of a fortnight, they coasted about the island of Jolo and came to another small islet near by. They burned many boats, killed some Joloans, and brought back a goodly number of captives, without having lost any of our men. They did not delay longer because a fixed time had been assigned to them. The said commander Don Pedro came back from Terrenate on the sixth of March. As the almiranta had not arrived, he despatched Sargento-mayor Don Pedro del Rio to La Zabanilla with most of the fleet, so that he might fortify himself in La Sabanilla and reduce a village of Caragas who had formerly come to Corralat, when fleeing from the Spaniards. Thereupon, as soon as the said sargento-mayor arrived at La Zabanilla, he began to build the fort, which was finished in good shape, and he reduced the Caragas; and, when the general arrived, he was already holding them in La Zabanilla. As the almiranta did not arrive, the commander Don Pedro came with the rest of the fleet. While he was in La Zabanilla, a despatch from Captain Don Francisco de Atensa was brought. It gave advices that he had [162]arrived at the lake of Malanao,9 having entered by the gulf of Pangi [i.e., Panguil] with the Spaniards whom he had in Caraga, as well as with Caragas and Butuanes; and having fought with those of the lake, the Moros fled, and immediately, on the next day, the chiefs began to come in to submit to the Spaniards. They all did that except one, named Mancaya. In order to accomplish that, the commander sent Sargento-mayor Don Pedro del Rio, with his company and about five hundred Indians. They all reached the lake where they found it unnecessary to stop, as Captain Don Francisco de Atensa had pacified all the inhabitants of the lake, and Mancaya; and they had given hostages and firearms, and had registered themselves to pay tribute to the number of one thousand tributes. They promised to receive fathers. Thus those villages of the lake were already reduced, and had also given up some Christian captives whom they had taken. The lake of Malanao is of a cold rather than a warm temperature, and the people have plenty of rice and native fruits. Between [163]the lake of Malanao and La Zabanilla there are three chiefs who were related to Borongon; those chiefs proceeded to some very rough mountains near the lake. It is said that they have about three thousand warriors, who are devoted to Corralat; and as he was not a declared friend of the Spaniards, they gave us plenty to suffer on the return. For, as the road was in such shape that it was necessary to go single file, some of the Indians who accompanied the Spaniards were wounded. But although the enemy made several ambuscades, they could not inflict more damage, because of the care with which the march was made—until Holy Saturday, when it began to rain; when a great number of them attacked us from ambush and killed one Spaniard, who was without [fire: crossed out in MSS.] arms, as he was sick. They also killed four Indians, and wounded four others. It was our Lord’s pleasure that, notwithstanding the rain, the arquebuses of the Spaniards, who were near, were not without effect. With that, no more damage was done us; the enemy fled, dropping about thirty shields in their flight, and they received some damage. The troops of Sargento-mayor Don Pedro del Rio arrived at La Zavanilla, where Captain Pedro Navarro had been left in command of the infantry, which was in the fort. The commander, Don Pedro de Almonte, had gone to Buayen with the rest of the fleet; and, having sent a message to Moncay, the latter answered that he would fight. In order to seize the posts of the enemy, the commander, Don Pedro, sent two boats to the mouth of a creek, by which reënforcements could be taken, so that they could not reach Moncay by that way; and also to a lake which was up the [164]river of Buayen, which was not only an entrance to Buayen, but also where the enemy had their retreat in an excellent fortification. The best fortification was in a swamp. On that undertaking, the commander, Don Pedro, sent Captain Juan Lopez Luçero with his company, and our ally Manaquior and his men. That was all very necessary, because of the great number of men that the enemy had. They fought for three days, at the end of which, it was our Lord’s pleasure to let our men dislodge the enemy with heavy loss. Of our men only one Spaniard was wounded and one or two of Manaquior’s men were killed, and one or two others wounded. Our men burned all the houses and fortifications.

“At that same time the commander, Don Pedro de Rozas, marched from the Spanish fort to that of Moncay, which was very strong; for, besides being surrounded by swamps and water, and by a dike that had been made, and besides the fort (which was built long ago) of stone, there had been added ditches, terrepleins, and stockades with their bulwarks. Having reached it, our men planted two bulwarks upon fascines with which they could bombard the enemy’s fort. At the end of three days, a white flag was displayed; and there was a cessation in the hostilities, for the time being. Moncay, having declared that he wished to become a friend, abandoned the fort that night, after setting fire to some of the houses. Next day our men finished burning what was left. Not a little wonder was caused, and thanks to our Lord, at seeing that so strong a fort had been gained with the loss there of one Spaniard and two wounded, one of whom died afterward; and four wounded Indians, of whom one [165]died. Besides that, they burned many fortified houses, and destroyed palm-trees and sago plantations. Some days afterward, the commander sent Don Agustin de Çepada to reconnoiter the creeks. The latter came upon a well-fortified house, which he burned. He sent Sargento-mayor Pedro de la Mata to coast along the shores, and do all the damage possible to the enemy. He found a fortified hill also, and it was regarded as a miracle that it was taken without any loss of our men. It is thought that the chief man in the post was one who was in the bulwark; for as soon as he was laid low by a volley from the Spaniards, all the enemy fled, and the Spaniards burned all the fortifications and the neighboring houses.

“The commander, Don Pedro, also sent Captain Don Francisco del Castillo to an islet which was situated opposite the bar of Buayen. He captured some Lutaos, destroyed a great number of boats (and the same was done by Adjutant Don Albaro Galindo, who destroyed some boats); but found no people. He sent the chief Manaquior to discover whether there were any means of finding Moncay, and returned at the end of fourteen or fifteen days. As there was no way of being able to pursue Moncay, and as the season was advanced, and many were falling sick, and as he had to go to Jolo, the commander, Don Pedro Almonte, went with the rest of his fleet to La Zabanilla, after having planned that the Spaniards who remained in the fort of Buayen, and the men of Manaquior, should continue to pursue Moncay—all being under the order of Captain Juan Lopez Luçero, castellan and captain of the said post.

“The inhabitants of Basilan, who had gone to [166]Jolo to do all the damage possible to the Joloans—in company with six Spaniards, under command of Alférez Juan de Ulloa—returned with seventy-seven captives and some of our Bisayans, who had been seized by the enemy. They destroyed about two hundred boats, counting large and small, first selecting for themselves fifteen of the best. They reported that a Lutao chief of Jolo, named Lohon, had taken to the fort of Jolo fifty other captives, with which, necessarily, the [forces of the] Joloans must be exhausted.

“The commander, Don Pedro de Almonte, coming from Buayen, reached the passage of the river of Sibuguei; and Datan, the chief of the river, registered eight hundred tributes, and handed over the arms and Bisayan slaves that he had there.”

We received news here, on the twenty-fifth of June, that the sea of Camarines is continually floating ashore more fragments of the wrecked ship, which some think that they recognize as belonging to the flagship. Consequently, it has begun to be rumored again as more probable that, if only one ship has been wrecked, it is the flagship. But others are of the opinion that the wreckage shows unmistakable signs of the two ships, both flagship and almiranta. That casts a gloom over all the land. If that has happened (which may God not have permitted), it is thought that it will be impossible for these islands to recover in many years.

June 27, a destructive hurricane came down upon this port from the northwest, and veered about to almost all points of the compass. It overturned some houses, and did great damage in all the others and in the churches. It blew the tiles through the air as if they were bits of paper. The galleons along [167]the shore were a great cause for anxiety; and the commander, Don Geronimo de Sumonte, and Captain Pedro Muñoz hastened to them quickly, with the prominent men of this port, all of whom worked valiantly. That was very necessary; for the galleon “San Juan Baptista,” although held by eleven cables, came dragging upon “La Concepcion,” which was being made ready to sail to Mexico. They would infallibly have been dashed to pieces, had they not been attended to so carefully and diligently. Of the other smaller craft, some have been wrecked; and some men were drowned. It was God’s pleasure to allow the wind’s fury to last only four hours. Had it blown with the same violence during all the twenty-four hours while it lasted, no ship would have escaped, and not a house or church would have been left standing. Two hundred houses were overthrown in the village of the Indians. But what caused most fear to those natives (and the old men say that they have never seen such a thing, or heard it told by their ancestors), is that the hurricane carried into the air the small boats that they use, which are called bancas and resemble canoes. It is said that they were blown about like paper, and that when they fell again they were broken to pieces. The hurricane blew with the same violence in all the surrounding villages, and caused the same damage; it blew down one hundred and seventy houses in Palañaque.

View of one of Ladrones Islands—Levinus Hulsius (Franckfurt am Mayne, M.DC.XX)

View of one of Ladrones Islands—Levinus Hulsius (Franckfurt am Mayne, M.DC.XX)

[From original in Library of Harvard University]

Since July 7 there have been very severe storms of wind and rain. On the nineteenth the passage boat10 was wrecked in the bay and it is said that eighteen persons were drowned. Many illnesses [168]have occurred during that time, in which a great number of people of all nations have perished. Because of this, and because many have been persuaded that the two ships of the past year have been wrecked—not only because of the signs that the sea has thrown up, but because news of their arrival is so belated—there is a universal gloom and sorrow over all the country, such as it has never had before. May God in His mercy console the land.

On July 19, a letter was received from the alcalde-mayor of Nueva Segovia, which states that two English galleons had anchored in a port of that coast, and that they are coming to this port of Cavite to trade; if the weather permits them to reach this place, their intentions will be known.

In the afternoon of July 24, six of the men who had sailed in the flagship of last year, which was wrecked September 20, 1638, by the fury of a tempest in the Ladrones Islands—on an island thirty-five leguas away from the islands where our ships generally land on the voyage—arrived here. Besides those who were drowned, many were killed by lance-thrusts from the natives. Those who escaped went from island to island to those of Uan and Harpana,11 where they have been well treated. The reason alleged for that was, that the Spaniards are good men, and leave them iron when they pass there. From the island of Uan the natives despatched six Spaniards and two Indians in two boats, furnishing them with food from what they had. They commended themselves to God, crossed the open stretch [171]of more than three hundred leguas, which they did in but one fortnight—a wonderful thing, if one will but consider those small boats which are of much less burden and steadiness than pirogues and canoes, and even smaller than they. They arrived almost dead with hunger, thirst, and lack of sleep. Our fathers of the Society of Jesus received them in Palapag, and cared for them for several days; after that they recovered, and immediately set out in a champan with a good supply of food. The Indians of Uan sent those Spaniards, so that they could give the news and send a boat for the other twenty-two Spaniards who are there alive, with some Indians and negroes, and carry them iron, etc.

As soon as the tidings were told in this port of Cavite, the sobs and cries were so many that all were stunned, for there is no one who has not lost a son, a father, a brother, a brother-in-law, a father-in-law, a son-in-law, or a husband. The loss has been one of the greatest that has ever visited these islands, because of the loss of men and the poverty of the islands.12

Good news is received of the almiranta, for they say that they saw it but shortly before they were wrecked, sailing on a good tack; and that it was a swift sailer, and seaworthy. Consequently it is thought that it has arrived at Nueva España. May God grant that it has so happened. [172]

1 Tawi Tawi is the largest island of a group having the same name, in the extreme southwest of the Philippine Archipelago, nearly 700 miles distant from Manila. It contains over 100 islands, mostly very small; but five of these contain ten or more square miles of area. The island Tawi Tawi contains 187 square miles; its surface is one of fertile plains interspersed with forests, and broken by five peaks ranging from 736 to 1,941 feet in height. The islands are thinly populated (estimated at 1,815 fighting men) by Malayan tribes supposed to have migrated thither from Borneo—the Suluanos, Camucones, and Tirones. Navigation among the islands is difficult and dangerous, except for the small, light native craft; and they have been the hiding-places of pirates from the earliest times.

2 Referring to Captain Gines Ros y Aviles, who had been left by Corcuera as governor of Jolo. Combés gives a detailed account of all this affair (Hist. Mindanao, Retana’s ed., col. 369–395). Ros applied himself, after Corcuera’s departure, to the profits of trade, and was deceived by the Moros, who pretended submission but planned to surprise and kill all the Spaniards. The officer next in command, Gaspar de Morales, with the two Jesuits, finding their warnings unheeded, sent word to the governor’s lieutenant at Zamboanga, Pedro de Almonte—who immediately went to Jolo, again subdued that island, and placed Morales in Ros’s post as governor. Cf. La Concepción’s account, Hist. Philipinas, v, pp. 348–359, 412–427.

3 A village in Laguna, Luzón, on the southwest shore of Laguna de Bay.

4 The two Jesuits who remained in Jolo as missionaries, Fathers Alejandro Lopez and Francisco Martinez.

5 “Of these [Sangleys] several champan-crews armed themselves to infest the seas; and, occupying the narrow passages of Marivelez, they captured various vessels which came from Bisayas and other provinces to trade.... Armed ships were despatched against them from Manila, and, despite their resistance, several of their champans were seized; and the pirates were punished with death, as their insolence deserved—several of them being baptized, by dint of exhortations, just before their torture.” (La Concepción, Hist. Philipinas, v, pp. 429–431). One of these “rigorous modes of punishment” is mentioned post, on p. 226—that of tearing away the flesh with pincers.

6 Probably referring to the revolt of the Caragas, 1629–31, and their murder of several Recollect missionaries at Tandag.

7 Combés describes very fully this and another Spanish expedition into the region of Lake Lanao in 1639; and “a third and last one,” which was unsuccessful, and compelled the Spaniards to retreat, in 1640. See his Hist. Mindanao (Retana’s ed.), col. 145–177.

8 Referring to the injury sustained by this chief in the explosion of a mine at the siege of Jolo; it is described by Lopez in his chronicle for 1637–38 ante, pp. 44, 45.

9 See Combés’s description of Lake Lanao (Hist. Mindanao, Retana’s ed., col. 145–147); lanao means simply “lake,” and malanao, “people of the lake.” Cf. A. H. S. Landor’s description—in Gems of the East (New York and London, 1904), pp. 303–308—of the lake legion and its people. In 1902 the American military authorities constructed excellent highways from the seacoast to Lake Lanao, from Malabang on the south to Iligan on the north. A description of this work, with valuable observations on the character and habits of the Malanao Moros, appears in the Atlantic Monthly for December, 1903, from the pen of Major R. L. Bullard, U. S. A., who directed the building of one of these roads. The Malanaos were never conquered by the Spaniards or any other people. The present district of Lanao contains part of the Rangaya range of mountains, 5,000 to 8,500 feet in height; and its eastern part is traversed by the Pulangui River (Rio Grande). The lake is twenty-two miles long and sixteen miles wide, and its outlet is Iligan River.

10 Apparently referring to the boat which carried passengers from Manila to the port of Cavite.

11 Also Zarpana, the modern Rota. Uan apparently means the present Guam. The place where the ship was wrecked was, according to Diaz (Conquistas, p. 402), the island of Seypán.

12 Diaz states (Conquistas, p. 402) that this galleon (“Nuestra Señora de la Concepción”) was “the largest one built up to that time,” and that it contained the greatest wealth of the islands. The few men who escaped to land were afterward rescued by Spanish ships, and taken back to Manila—save one, a Chinese blacksmith, who spent the rest of his life there and acquired great influence over the natives.


Letters from Corcuera to the Holy Misericordia

Gentlemen of the financial board of holy Misericordia: Although we must always have recourse to God in our troubles, the necessity for so doing that offers itself to me at present, in the expedition that I shall commence on the day of our Lady of the Conception, is very urgent; and obliges me to avail myself not only of the regular and ecclesiastical communities, where we are all friends, but also of that holy house.1 Therefore, I beg your Graces, with all the persuasion in my power, that you cause God to be petitioned with all earnestness in your holy Confraternity of La Misericordia and in your residence, to give me favor and good success in this expedition; [173]for, besides its being for the common service of God and of the king our sovereign, I shall, in so far as pertains to me, if it be the will of His Divine Majesty that I return with life, demonstrate my thanks and favor to that holy house, as far as may be possible to me. And in order that this petition may carry some merit, I send to that house one hundred pesos in alms, as an aid in the many alms that it distributes among the poor. I would be very glad were I more wealthy, in order that my affection and good-will might be seen. May our Lord preserve your Graces as I desire. The palace, December 4, 637.

Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera

To the purveyor and deputies of the financial board of the holy Misericordia: Of the hostages brought from Jolo by General Don Pedro Almonte, twenty-odd Moros with their servants live here, and the others are going [back] with the conditions for the peace that they have made and the tribute which they are to pay. I have thought it best to petition your Graces to be pleased to receive two of those chiefs in the house of the holy Misericordia, in order that they may be instructed in the Christian doctrine, and be gradually converted and become Christians. This is a work that is befitting to that house, until the time when all the other inhabitants of Jolo become quiet and are reduced to obedience. Two or three will be assigned in the same manner to the orders. If any needs arise with the lapse of time, I beg your Graces to have me advised, so that I may have them supplied; and also to entrust the instruction of those chiefs to a careful person. May our [174]Lord preserve your Graces as I desire. The palace, October 26, 1639.2

Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera [175]

1 La Concepción states (Hist. Philipinas, v, p. 351) that when Corcuera returned to Manila in triumph, the Confraternity of La Misericordia gave him 100,000 pesos from its treasury, for the expenses of the Jolo campaign.

“For Governor Corcuera to secure, even in part, the successful result that he desired in this conquest, he was obliged to resort, for the necessary succor, to the treasury of Santa Misericordia; for in this emergency he found closed on all sides the gates of resource for the accomplishment of his so laudable designs. He found this aid, as prompt as liberal, in the sum of 104,609 pesos, two tomins, and one grano, which the brethren carried to him at the royal offices, as a loan, to aid his needs and enable him to push forward this conquest, which depended on such aid.” This statement is taken from the Demostración historica (MS. in Ayer library; see following note), fol. 7 verso.

2 These two letters are obtained from a MS. volume in the library of Edward E. Ayer, of Chicago, entitled: Demostración historica de cuantas depredaciones llevan cometidas las Moros desde que se incorporaron estas Yslas á la Monarquia Española; inedidas de toda especie tomadas por el Gobierno para contenerlos; y indicasiones que se presentan para hacerles la guerra con mejor fruto que hasta aquí, á fin de que las Visayas se vean libres de las continuas opresiones qe. sufren—“Historical exposition of the many depredations which the Moros have committed, from the time when these islands were incorporated with the Spanish monarchy; the measures, of all kinds, taken by the government for curbing them; and indications that suggest how war may be waged upon them with better results than have hitherto been secured, to the end that the Visayas may be freed from the continual cruelties that they suffer.” This work (evidently intended for publication) is undated; but the conjectural date “1835?” appears on the fly-leaf, which is headed “1a. Parte.” As appears by the introduction to the book, it was written by one of the members of the Sociedad Económica of the Philippines—founded by Basco y Vargas in 1780, and reëstablished by Folguera in 1819; and his “only motive in writing it was to meet his obligations to that society.” The MS. is contained in a plainly-bound volume of 291 folios (582 pages), and displays fine, round, legible, and beautiful handwriting, from several different hands. Folios 1–11 cover the period antecedent to 1750; the rest of the book, that from 1750 to 1806—more than two-thirds of this part being dated after 1788. The writer evidently had access to valuable original documents, some of which, as these letters to La Misericordia, he cites directly; and his narrative is well and carefully written.


The University of Santo Tomas


Letter to the Spanish ambassador at Roma

The King. To the illustrious Marqués de Castel Rodrigo, my cousin, member of my Council, and ambassador in Roma: the bearer, Fray Mateo de Villa, of the Order of Preachers, procurator of the province of Santo Rosario of the Filipinas Islands in my Western Yndias, has informed me that his province has a college called Santo Tomas in the city of Manila, of which I am the patron, where there are thirty secular collegiates; that for some years past that college has been a university through royal permission; that bulls have been conceded twice for its conservation; and that grammar, rhetoric, the arts, and moral and scholastic theology are studied there, with especial profit to the children of that community. He petitions me to issue a royal decree authorizing the said college to become a university, with the same qualifications and [right of] perpetuity as the others of his order in the convents of Santo Tomas in Avila and Santiago at Pamplona, in these same kingdoms. The matter having been examined by the members of my royal Council of the Yndias, in consideration that the city of Manila of the Filipinas Islands is more than three thousand leguas from the nearest universities—namely, those of Lima and Megico—and that the said university [176]suffers some restriction, I have considered it fitting to lend my royal consent for this case; and this concession shall continue, for the present. Consequently, if in the future there should be a disposition to found a separate university, it may be done, as in the cities of Lima and Megico, so that it may be a general university, in order that students may be graduated from it in all branches, and that its degrees may be recognized everywhere. Accordingly, I charge and order you in my name, and in virtue of the letter of credit that I am writing, to supplicate his Holiness to be pleased to concede a bull, so that the said college may be a university with the same qualifications and [right of] perpetuity as those of Avila, Santiago, Lima, and Megico; for there is not a university of that rank in those islands and provinces, and this is therefore expedient for my service and the general welfare of those regions. You shall give the matter the care that I expect from you, so that the said bull may be immediately drawn up; and therein you will render me a service. Madrid, November nine, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Graviel de Ocaña y Alarcon

Signed by the members of the Council.

[Endorsed: “Duplicate. College of Santo Tomas of Manila. To the ambassador at Roma, ordering him to petition his Holiness to concede a brief so that the college of Santo Tomas of Manila of the Order of Preachers may become a university.”] [177]


Letter from Felipe IV to Urban VIII

Most Holy Father:

I am writing to my ambassador, in that court, the marqués de Castel Rodrigo, to petition your Holiness in my name to concede a bull, so that a college of the Order of Preachers in the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands, in my Western Yndias, may become a university, with the qualifications and [right of] perpetuity of the others which that order possesses in Avila and Pamplona in these my kingdoms, as well as those of Lima and Megico; and so that, if there be a disposition to found a separate university in the city of Manila, it may be done, because there is a distance of three thousand leguas to the other nearest universities, which are Lima and Megico. I petition your Holiness to grant him audience, and to give entire credit to what he shall say about this matter and propose in my name; and that you order his affair to be despatched with all promptness and with entire fulfilment [of the petition]. Thereby I shall receive a special favor from your Holiness, whose very holy person may our Lord preserve, and may He increase your life for the good and prosperous government of His universal Church. Madrid, November nine, 1639.

[Endorsed: “College of Santo Tomas of Manila. To his Holiness, petitioning him to concede a brief so that the college of Santo Tomas of Manila of the Order of Preachers may become a university. Duplicate.”] [178]


Royal Orders and Decrees, 1639


Missions in Mindanao

The King. To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein: a letter of August 21, 637, has been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, in which you advise me that you have stationed ministers of the gospel in the islands of Mindanao and Bacilan—not only for the instruction of the infidels who are in those islands, but for administering the holy sacraments to the Castilian soldiers whom you leave there—and that you have assigned them such stipends as you considered necessary. I approve what you have done in this matter. Moreover, to provide for future increase [in the number of infidels converted], the necessary mission stations [doctrinas] will have to be established; but in this you must avoid unnecessary expense, and, conformably to my royal patronage, confer regarding such establishments with such persons as you should consult. I trust in you that you will carry out my intentions. [Madrid, February 3, 1639.]

I the King

By command of his Majesty:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon [179]


In behalf of Grau y Monfalcón

The King. To the council, magistracy, and municipal body of the city of Manila in the Philipinas Islands: Don Juan Grau y Monfalcón has reported to me that in the past year, one thousand six hundred and thirty, you appointed him as your procurator-general; and that during all that time he has attended to your business affairs, with the utmost intelligence, personal attention, friendly interest, and promptness (as is generally known). He states that you assigned him a salary of a thousand pesos a year, paid in that city, which was to come here, invested, at his account and risk; but that, even when it arrives in safety, he can realize very little from it that remains free from the costs. He regards a thousand pesos as a very small salary for his continual occupation [in your affairs], and on this account claims that it be increased. Moreover, besides the many negotiations that he has despatched, he has been occupied nearly two years in preparing and composing the printed memorials which he has presented, and which have been examined in my royal Council of the Indias; and has given them much labor and solicitude, since they embrace so many, so diverse, and so important considerations for the conservation of those islands and their commerce, in order that they may be presented clearly and distinctly. He has furnished from his own funds all the money that has been spent for these books, and has never received one real on account of that expense. This sum amounts to much more in times so straitened as these, and should be highly esteemed. It would be a great disappointment to him if, after he had proceeded [180]in all matters with the greatest tact and discretion possible (as is proved by the many negotiations which he has concluded for the benefit of that city), the powers which he has held from the city should be revoked—as usually happens, and as has been done with others, his predecessors, solely through interested motives and for the personal ends of some of the governors who go to that country. They, being well-affectioned to the correspondents whom they leave here, urge that city to entrust its affairs to those persons—for which no opportunity should be given, since that advice is influenced by various motives and considerations. To obviate this, and because it is not right that some other person should secure that for which he has toiled and incurred expense with so much zeal and solicitude, he has entreated me that I would be pleased to command you not to revoke, without legitimate cause, the powers that you have given him; and that you shall, before enforcing such revocation, state what reasons you have for doing so. The matter has been examined in the said my Council, where have been and are very evident the personal care, interest, and solicitude with which he has been and is attending to your affairs aforesaid—as also you will have understood by my decrees of the ninth of October in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, and the twenty-first of October in six hundred and thirty-seven, to which I refer you for all this; together with what you wrote me in regard to this in a letter of the fourteenth of June, six hundred and thirty-six. In that letter you express your satisfaction with the promptness and care with which he furthers your affairs, and ask me to confirm the salary which you [181]assign him of the said thousand pesos a year, from the funds belonging to that city. I have thought it best to issue the present, by which I approve and confirm the salary which you have assigned to the said Don Juan Grau as your procurator-general, in order that it may be paid to him from the day when it was voted to him. And it is my will that this salary be not revoked, either now or at any time, while he shall attend to your affairs at this my court, unless there be legitimate and sufficient cause for doing so; also that the said my Council be first notified of such cause, so that, having considered it in their sessions, they may declare whether or not it is legitimate; and the said salary shall always be paid to him, until some other decision be made. I also command my governor and captain-general of those Philipinas Islands, both him who now is and those who shall hereafter be in that office, and the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia which resides there, and yourselves, that you all observe and execute, and cause to be observed and executed, exactly and inviolably, the commands contained in this my decree, without contravening or exceeding its tenor and form in any manner; for such is my will. [Madrid, March 29, 1639.]

I the King

By command of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Restraining the Augustinians

The King. To Don Diego Faxardo, whom I have appointed as my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein. It has been reported in my royal [182]Council of the Yndias that the religious of the Order of St. Augustine are trading in merchandise with whomever they please; and that they make use of the natives of the regions and districts wherever they are and reside, for whatever they need, without paying the poor men who work in their service, or giving them anything else (employing violence for this), and thus obtain great wealth for [their houses in] these my kingdoms. This is all considered to merit severe correction, both because of the traffic and trading that they openly engage in, and because of the oppression that many of the said natives receive. I have thought best to tell you to be very careful in this, and to provide, by the most gentle and prudent measures, all that may be necessary for the correction of those transgressions. You shall regulate yourself by the decrees and orders that have been issued in this regard; and you shall cause those decrees and orders to be observed according to their tenor. Madrid, June 2, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon

[From another transcript made from the copy of this decree in the Archivo general de Indias—its pressmark, “Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficio; reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades del distrito de dicha Audiencia; años 1635 á 1672; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 2, libro 4, folio 122 verso” we take the following endorsement: “To Don Diego Faxardo, whom your Majesty has appointed governor of the Filipinas Islands, advising him of certain things touching the religious of the Order of St. Augustine, which require a remedy; so that he may [183]know them, and take what measures are advisable, in accordance with the orders and decrees that have been issued regarding it.” This transcript states also that the decree was signed by the members of the Council.]


Regarding ecclesiastical districts

The King. To Don Diego Faxardo, knight of the Order of Santiago, whom I have appointed as my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands: report has been made to me, on the part of the archbishop of that city of Manila, that Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, your predecessor, gave the district of Quiapo (which belonged to the seculars), and the Indians who were reserved for the service of the cathedral and of the archiepiscopal house (which was the sustenance of the cathedral), to the fathers of the Society of Jesus, because of the great pressure that they exerted on him for it, on account of the advantages that would follow to them, as they have many estates of importance near that district. One of the conditions of their removing the said archbishop’s exile, was that he must consent to have that district given to the fathers of the Society. In order to relieve himself from his distressed condition, the archbishop feigned, under compulsion, assent to this—regarding it as certain that, as such action was to the prejudice of my royal patronage, I would not consent to it. He also petitioned that I would be pleased to have my royal decree issued, ordering that the fathers of the Society be despoiled of the said district of Quiapo, and that it be restored to the seculars, together with the adjoining districts of San Anton and Santa Cathalina—which the [184]bishop of Camarines separated from the said district, in the time while he governed the archbishopric during the exile and absence of the said archbishop; and which he gave to the cura of Santiago, who was his creature; also the district of Nauhang, on the island of Mindoro, which has always belonged to seculars. By negotiations effected by the fathers of the Society, those districts have been set aside for them, to the prejudice of so many poor seculars. The matter having been examined by my royal Council of the Yndias, as well as what was written to me concerning the same matter by the said archbishop, I have considered it fitting to issue this my decree. By it, I order you, immediately upon its receipt, to place those districts, exactly, and without admitting any excuse or other reason, in the same condition that they always had and have had, notwithstanding the contract signed by the said archbishop, at the instance and petition of the said my governor and of the auditor then in my Audiencia. You shall advise me at the first opportunity that you have carried out my order. Madrid, July 8, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Acaña y Alarcon


Rebuking the bishop of Camarines

The King. To the reverend father in Christ, bishop of the church of Camarines of the Filipinas Islands, and member of my Council: I have been informed that you are not living in your bishopric,1 [185]and that you are residing in the city of Manila, where your free life is giving offense; and that you have attempted to erect a tribunal of appeals, without leave, declaring yourself to be an apostolic judge by a brief from his Holiness. Inasmuch as your residence outside of your church may occasion troubles, besides your necessary obligation to live there, I have decided to charge you (as I am doing), to leave the city of Manila or any other place where you are residing, as soon as you receive this decree, and to go to govern your church. If you do so, I shall consider myself well served by you. In order that you may not offer any excuse in this matter, I am ordering the royal officials of my royal treasury not to pay you any of your stipend from my royal treasury so long as you do not comply with what I here order you. I have been surprised that you should have attempted to hold a tribunal in the said city of Manila, under pretext or title of appeals. Madrid, July 8, 1639.

I the King

By order of his Majesty:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon

The King. To the officials of my royal treasury of the Filipinas Islands: inasmuch as it was reported in my royal Council of the Yndias that the bishop of Camarines resides in that city of Manila, where he attempts to hold his court under pretext of certain appeals, I charge him, by another decree of the date of this, to go immediately to his own church, because of the deficiency that his person may cause in its government. In order that he may offer no excuse in this matter, I order you to grant him nothing from my royal treasury on his salary, unless [186]he shall obey my orders; for so is my will. Madrid, July 8, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Inspection at Acapulco

The King. To Marqués de Cadereita, my relative, member of my Council of War, and my viceroy, governor, and captain-general of the provinces of Nueva España: in a letter written to me by the royal officials of the port of Acapulco under date of last February 24, of this year, [they stated] that you sent the auditor [contador], Christoval de Medina, to that port with a salary of twenty-three ducados which was distributed among himself, the constable, and the notary, to investigate the merchandise that came from Philipinas this year in the patache that was sent from those islands; and that my royal duties scarcely amounted to four thousand ducados. Since I have three satisfactory and trustworthy officials in the said port, they have petitioned me to have the above three men removed from that place. They say that by the going of such judges they themselves serve only as witnesses of what is public, since no other thing is permitted them; and that such an action deprives them of the authority and exercise of their offices, and they are disaccredited and left without respect and reputation, as all think and believe that you did it because of some incapacity in them. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, together with what you wrote me in regard to it, I have considered it fitting to issue the [189]present. By it I give you authority to send such ministers to Acapulco whenever any extraordinary causes shall arise; but that, if there are no such causes, this may be dispensed with, because of the expenses that are incurred by my royal estate, especially since Don Pedro de Quiroga was there so short a time ago. Inasmuch as the commerce of those islands has been reported to be in great distress, I charge and order you to try to encourage and aid it by all possible means. Since some change has been made in the amount permitted to them, you shall see what can be done for their greater relief, until the arrival at those kingdoms of Don Juan de Palafox y Mendoza,2 of my royal Council of the Yndias, to whom the settlement of those matters is committed. Madrid, September 16, 1639.

[I the King]

View of harbor of Acapulco—Arnoldus Montanus (Amsterdam, 1671)

View of harbor of Acapulco—Arnoldus Montanus (Amsterdam, 1671)

[From original in Library of Harvard University]

A. Acapulco. B. Fuerca de San Diego tiene de longitad 122 varas de latitad 80 varas. C. Boca Grande. D. El Grifo. E. Boca chica. F. Puerto del Marques.



Colonists needed in the islands

The King. To Marqués de Cadereyta, my relative, member of my Council of War, and my viceroy and governor and captain-general of Nueva España, or the person or persons vested with its government: in a letter written to me by the city of Manila, under date of August two of the past year, six hundred and thirty-eight, in regard to various matters, and which has been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, there is a section of the following tenor:

“This kingdom finds itself in great need of inhabitants at the present time, as a result of the said campaign; for they are dying off, and it is many years since people have come to live in these islands as citizens. That has been understood to arise from the loss that the citizens have experienced, both in the affairs of this commerce and in the execution of the favors and rewards that his Catholic Majesty Phelipe Second, our king and sovereign (who is in heaven), was pleased to grant to such citizens. For at present, with those of account in this community, the citizens do not number ninety. This is very pitiful, and it is fitting that your Majesty please to have it corrected by ordering the said viceroy to use all possible and effective efforts in sending as many citizens as possible every year. They should be persons of good standing and ability, both for the service of your Majesty and for the greater renown and authority of this kingdom.”

And inasmuch as it is proper that you attempt to relieve such necessity, I order you to try to procure this by all possible ways and plans, and with all the mildness and prudence that is fitting. By so doing [191]I shall consider myself well served by you. Given at Madrid, October three, one thousand six hundred and thirty-nine.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon

Signed by the members of the Council.

[Endorsed: “To the viceroy of Nueva España, ordering him to endeavor by all the means possible to send to Filipinas every year as many citizens as possible who should be of good standing and ability.”]


Directions to the archbishop

The King. To the very reverend father in Christ, archbishop of the metropolitan church of the city of Manila: your letter of July 31 of the past year, 1638, has been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, and I shall answer you in the present in regard to some points that have been decided.

You state that, although the mode of the presentations for the missions has been resolved upon and determined, the decrees are not obeyed; that there is a very great need of seculars for those missions, and those who are there are but youths who do not understand the language [of the natives]; and that hence you have deemed it advisable not to assign any mission to seculars: You state that having conferred on this point with the Audiencia, they resolved that no innovation should be made until the arrival of the governor, who had gone on the Jolo expedition. It has been deemed best to tell you that when the governor shall arrive, and shall come to a decision, you shall advise me of the results of it. In the meanwhile [192]you shall observe the decrees, unless serious troubles result from doing the contrary.

The prebends that you state are vacant in that church have been provided with incumbents, as you will have heard. My royal Council of the Yndias will take care of the names which you present to me, for the occasions that arise.

In regard to the property of Don Fray Francisco Zamudio, bishop of Nueva Caceres, who died on the twenty-seventh of last April, you shall cause the orders that have been issued to be observed, so that his creditors may be heard and paid, in accordance with justice, and upon legal proof of their claims.

I have read what you wrote about the great exhaustion and distress experienced by the natives of those islands through the many assessments that are made continually, throughout the year, on all the products of the country. I am writing to the governor and Audiencia not to make any innovation in these matters, so that this evil may be corrected; and under no consideration to load any new troubles or burdens on the Indians. Madrid, December 16, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon


Oppression of the Indians

The King. To the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia of the city of Manila: in a letter written to me by the archbishop of that church, July 31 of the past year, 638, he states that the natives of those islands are greatly exhausted and burdened by the many assessments made on them every year, in all [193]the products of the country, by my governors. The latter take the products from them at a loss, gathering and collecting them with great trouble to the natives, and no money is given them; while they are seized and beaten, and thrust into prison for many days, because they do not give what they do not possess—although the goods can be bought at a somewhat higher price in the market-place. On account of this, and by the hardships consequent on sending them to the forests to cut wood, the natives are being exterminated, and are dying off. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, I have considered it fitting to issue the present. By it I order you not to make any innovation; and you shall not, under any consideration, cause new troubles or burdens to the Indians. Madrid, December 17, 1639.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon [194]

1 This was Fray Francisco de Zamudio, who had come to Manila in 1636, and acted as provisor-general during the temporary exile of Archbishop Guerrero.

2 The great visitor-general of New Spain and the bishop of Puebla. He had a “special commission to take the residencias of Cerralvo and Cadereita, and to investigate the commercial relations with Peru and the Philippine Islands.” He was of noble family, although illegitimate, but was legitimized by his father. He was a man of great abilities, which won him speedy recognition and high offices until he decided to enter the priesthood (1629); and, after serving in various capacities in Spain, he went to Mexico in 1640. He was energetic and impartial in the exercise of his duties, and before long this embroiled him with the indolent and easily-influenced viceroy. Finally he was offered the archbishopric, and at the same time ordered to assume charge of the government. He refused the archbishopric, but accepted the latter, and in 1642 assumed that office—which he held for five months, during which he ruled well and impartially. After retiring to his bishopric he had various troubles with the Jesuits, the new viceroy, the archbishop, and others, until he was ordered to retire to Spain in 1648, where he died bishop of Osma in 1659, much regretted by the people of his bishopric. See Bancroft’s Hist. Mexico, iii, pp. 98–136.


Events in the Filipinas Islands

From August, 1639, to August, 1640

On the fourth of August, 1639, orders were given that the ship “Concepcion,” built in Camboja, should leave the port for her voyage to Nueva España; and in the afternoon of that day began a furious vendabal, which lasted three days. This compelled the ship to ask for aid by firing two cannons, as its people feared some danger; but when the storm was over, the ship began its voyage.

At that very time, five large ships had sailed from Manila, on their return to Great China; and two of these were driven ashore by the great force of the wind, four leguas from Manila. Six hundred China-men were drowned, although a still larger number escaped [to land]; for, on account of the lack of succor in these two years,1 many were returning, leaving their houses and shops deserted.

On the seventh came the unexpected news of the relief-ships; their arrival was celebrated with the utmost joy, and all the bells were rung. The people were revived by this news, all the more because these [195]ships were the almiranta of last year, and the patache of two years ago—which, with so great injustice and excessive harshness, had been detained at Acapulco—the [sort of] injury of which this country has complained to God and to the king for many years. Wives who had put on mourning for their husbands took off those garments, giving thanks to God and receiving from His hand their husbands, as it were, restored to life. The Chinese, who learned the news on board their ships, disembarked, and returned to their shops and their trading. There was also a circumstance in this coming of the ships, in which God displayed the providence that He exercises over this country; for they arrived at the port of Nueva Segovia, from which had just departed two hostile Dutch galleons, who had pretended that they were English and friendly [to us].

On the eleventh of August arrived from Maluco Father Manuel Carballo, rector [there] of the Society; he came on behalf of the governor, Don Pedro de Mendiola, to ask for aid, because the kings of Tidore and Terrenate had formed an alliance—a thing which we had never expected, because those peoples were more hostile to each other than dogs and cats. The reason which the king of Tidore gives for this unfriendly act against the Spaniards is, that the present which the governors [of Filipinas] were wont to send every year, in the name of his Majesty, to the kings of Tidore his ancestors, has not been sent to him for the last four years. The father rector of Maluco says that this may be true, and is perhaps the ostensible reason; but that the king has other and hidden reasons, which go deeper and give more cause for anxiety. Now Francisco de Figueroa is [196]going [there] as proprietary governor, and he will aid in soliciting the proper assistance for any emergency.

On the fifth of August, Captain Cristobal Marquez set out for Hermosa Island; he is going as successor to Sargento-mayor Pedro Palomino, who is governor there. The warder of this port of Cavite is Sargento-mayor Alonso Garcia Romero, of the Order of Santiago; [he fills that office] to the great satisfaction of all.

On the twenty-first of August, at daybreak, a Spaniard arrived here from Nueva Segovia; he says that the two relief ships from Mejico were wrecked at that port, and one hundred and fifty persons were drowned, which has been a severe punishment from God upon the past;2 and with this news the people have returned to their former sadness. The ships were lost on the fifth of August. It was afterward learned that the succor despatched by the king had been taken out of the ships before they were wrecked; but that the property of the citizens that has been lost will amount, in luxuries3 and money, to five hundred and fifty thousand pesos.

At the end of September, General Don Pedro de Almonte arrived from Joló, where our affairs have been steadily improving. The natives of the island remain subdued; almost all their chiefs who would undertake to defend themselves are dead; and even those who never paid tribute to the king of Joló are now registered and are our subjects. All the pirates [197]have fled, and the king is hiding in the mountains; and our men have taken more than three hundred captives during the last three months.

On the sixth of October, the cho (craft) which came last year arrived here from Macasar. It came loaded with slaves, and pepper, and various kinds of cotton cloth. Its people say that the king was sorry that he had not put to death those of his vassals who fought against the Spaniards in Jolo; and that if any of them should go there, the king would take his life. Knowing that Malaca was expecting to be blockaded by the Achenese and the Dutch, and that the city had not sufficient provisions, the king had ordered his people to collect a quantity of rice—two hundred coyos, each coyo containing thirty-two fanegas—and had sent it [to Malaca] in his galleys; it is not yet known what success they had. Those people say, moreover, that in Macasar they have heard the English and the Dutch themselves say that in the independence and strength of Holanda there are solid foundations for believing that that state will make strong efforts to extend its power from the year 1640 on.

They also relate, as news, that the Dutch were at the entrance to Goa, with fourteen ships; and the Portuguese came out in staunch galleons to fight them, sending eleven of the Dutch vessels to the bottom; while two of their own were sunk. It is also stated that the patache which was purchased at Macao from the English, and despatched from here for Yndia, was seized by the Dutch in the strait of Sincapura; its captain, one Carballo, remained in Macasar, and it was he who related this misfortune.

Ytem: [it is said] that a man named Caldeira [198]went from Malaca as an envoy to the king of Achen, regarding himself as quite safe; but that the king gave orders that his men should arrest the envoy as soon as he should enter the palace. When they tried to carry out this command, this man and the other Portuguese placed themselves on the defensive; all the men on the ship hastened to their aid with fire-balls,4 and with these they killed many Achenese; and the palace was set on fire, being entirely consumed. They estimate the losses of the king at five millions. All the Portuguese there were killed.

On the last day [of October], a ship from Terrenate arrived at Manila. Its people say that the Tidorans and Terrenatans, aided by the Dutch, had put to death Cachil Naro, the former king of Tidore—a very regrettable event. He was deposed by the master-of-camp Pedro de Heredia; and recently had come an order from his Majesty that our people should restore Naro to power, because he had given more evidence of friendship to us than had the present king. Indeed, the authorities were endeavoring to accomplish that change, even if this order had not arrived. Extensive revolts are feared there; and on this account reënforcements are being sent, together with galleys, which are very effective in those islands. It is also said that the Dutch will lie in wait for these reënforcements; so, in order to circumvent them, we shall endeavor to send the relief earlier than ever before.

By this ship comes some news from Mindanao: that Moncay had captured a brigantine from our [199]then and slain all the Spaniards (who defended themselves bravely)—except their commander, who was soon laid low by them, and remains a captive. Ytem: they say that Moncay is making great efforts to form an alliance with Corralat; who has answered Moncay that he must try to gain over Manaquior, and that, if the latter shall declare himself against the Spaniards, he [i.e., Corralat] will garrison his forts against them. Those chiefs have assailed Manaquior with their entreaties, urging him to desist from aiding the Spaniards; and it is reported that he already shows himself lukewarm in his friendship to us.

From Joló we are informed that the islanders are in such haste to be enrolled for paying tribute that now very few of them are missing from the list. The rest of the news will be told by extracts from the following letters.

In one from Father Alejandro Lopez, of the Society of Jesus, dated at Joló on August 9, 1639, sent to Father Luis de Pedraza of the same Society: “On the second of August, I baptized two women—one a Lutao, the other the slave of another Lutao,” etc.

In one from Father Andres de Zamora, of the Society of Jesus, in Mindanao, at La Sabanilla, August 13, 1639, to the same father Pedraza: “In Buhayen, thanks to our Lord, our affairs are prospering. On the occasion of an expedition which Lucero made to Taulan, the Spaniards obtained by a clever plan and stratagem a crowd of captives, both men and women. Part of them are going in this champan, and the rest will go with the brigantine—which Captain Lucero sent, in order that some reparation might be made to them; I baptized them [200]all. The Spaniards who were with Manaquior went down to the lake with the dato; and Balatamay was there with five hundred Moros, waiting for the Spaniards, to fight against them. But they did not remain there, recognizing that our troops were stronger than they. Our men killed twenty-five of the Moros, and carried five to the fort. One man, who came mortally wounded, asked for baptism, and died within twenty-four hours. On the eighth of October, Captain Don Pedro Bermudez set out with fifty Spaniards, in two champans, to be stationed in the presidio at the lake of Malanao in Mindanao; Father Gregorio Belin goes with him. At the same time, Don Pedro will pursue the Camucones, who have appeared on a piratical expedition with sixty boats. It is known that they have captured some vessels and the licentiate Raymundo de Quiñones.”

In this month of October came from Hermosa Island Sargento-mayor Pedro Palomino, who was governor there and goes with the same office to Samboangan. Of the two champans that went with Captain Cristobal Marquez, one foundered in mid-ocean, with its men and the money. On the return voyage of those who came with Palomino, one was separated from the rest by a storm, and up to this time has not arrived at Manila.

The patache “San Nicolas” is going with the relief for Terrenate; its chief pilot is Captain Machado, a pilot of long standing and great experience. This vessel has orders to go, on the return voyage from Terrenate to the Ladrones Islands, in order to carry away the Spaniards and other people from the wrecked ship who are there. [201]

On the fifth of November the relief for Terrenate left this port; it carries an abundant supply of men and provisions, and is under the command of Captain Andres de Urbina. On the same day we learned of the depredations committed by the Camucones; and it is believed that Dato Ache is coming, who was in Borney, urging the king to send a large armed fleet against these islands.

On the twenty-first of November, in the morning, confused reports reached us that the Sangleys had revolted at Calamba; and all the rest of the day they spent in strengthening their forces. They killed the alcalde-mayor and two priests, and burned the church; and destroyed other churches in neighboring villages. Don Sebastian received the news on the twentieth, at night; he had the gates of Manila opened, although keeping them under close watch, in order that the people living outside the walls might take refuge within, with their goods. That very night, he despatched by land Captain Pedro Martin de Aduna with his company of horsemen, in order to find out how the matter stood, and punish the insurgents. On the morning of the twenty-first, they encountered the Sangleys, who, they said, amounted to three thousand men, while the Spanish cavalry numbered only thirty. The captain and three others carelessly advanced into a marshy place, where they could neither extricate themselves nor be aided, and were slain. The rest, after killing some Chinese, retreated, as they were so few and their horses were tired out, to Parañaque, to await the orders of the governor; and this was the condition in which affairs remained yesterday. It is said that [202]the Sangleys attack like mad dogs, and that the weapons that they carry are the sickles with which they cut their rice, fastened to poles, and some lances.

At this port of Cavite the Chinese have remained peaceable, and with the Indians and Japanese they very willingly dragged out some pieces of artillery, with which Sargento-mayor Alonso Garcia Romero, who is in command of the port, armed two small forts, which are at the end of the village. With these and other precautions of an excellent soldier, we all consider ourselves very safe. The natives, although they have not forsaken their village, have sought shelter, as far as possible, with the religious orders. The Japanese, blacks, and Indians are full of courage, whatever be the outcome; I believe that they will rejoice, if the opportunity arise, to satiate themselves for once with killing Chinese.

In order that the origin of this disturbance may be understood, it must be noted that Don Sebastian, desirous of augmenting the estate of his Majesty, set a great number of Chinese at work in some large meadows which are watered and rendered fertile by certain rivers, and are called Calamba. Many of these men were levied by force, and entirely against their will; many of them fell sick during the past months, and it is said that more than three hundred of them died. Accordingly, they became desperate; and it is well known that the season is an unwholesome one. The time came for the Chinese to pay their license money and rent, which in all was more than twenty-five pesos for each one. The officials harassed them for the pay, and they had not the means to pay what was due; accordingly they have broken loose in this revolt. The rents from the lands, [203]too, have proved to be unprofitable, from the manner in which they have been let; while, if they belonged to individuals, they would be a source of gain.

Since the twenty-second of November, when I wrote the above, I have purposely omitted to write an account of current events, for along with the facts were reported a thousand lies; but today, the twenty-eighth of the same month, everything is now known and manifest.

After the Chinese killed Captain Martin de Aduna, they came close to Manila, rousing to revolt all the Sangleys whom they encountered. They arrived at San Pedro de Macati, the novitiate’s residence of the Society of Jesus. As the church there was strongly built, and vaulted, Father Francisco Vicente and the brothers Esteban de Oliver and Raimundo Alberto, who were the only inmates of the house at that time, went up into it. Some mulattoes and house-servants had also taken refuge there, as well as over one hundred persons from the native village. These made some resistance to the enemy, but, as they had no other weapons than tiles and bricks, finally the multitude of the Sangleys (who numbered more than three thousand) broke down the doors of the church and the house, and set fire to the buildings. Those who were in the church, tormented by the smoke and flames, within twenty-four hours came to an agreement with the insurgents, who assured them of their lives and kind treatment. Some of the mulattoes and natives came out with the father and the brethren; the Chinese treated the father well, and manacled the brethren, but they killed all the rest (fifteen in number), on the spot. At this sight, those who had not come out of the church held back, [204]and refused to leave it; and this saved their lives, for at that time the sargento-mayor, Don Juan de Arceo, arrived, with two hundred Spanish infantry and eighty horsemen. He also had a hundred Pampango and four hundred Tagal Indians, all carrying firearms; and two field-pieces. These began to do damage to the enemy, but only for a short time; for the Sangleys asked for a truce, which was granted them. The Sangleys sent Father Francisco Vicente to negotiate a peace for them with the Spaniards. By a special providence of Heaven, at that very time arrived, by way of the river, Adjutant Benavides with twenty-five men. He dashed upon them like a lion, and with his men made so fierce an attack upon the crowded Sangleys that many of the enemy were slain. The Sangleys who were engaged in discussing a peace sent Brother Alberto to tell the Spaniards who had come from the river not to do them any harm, because they were already making an agreement for peace. Arriving, he saw that some of the enemy were beginning to make some resistance, and he called aloud, “Spaniards, at those who are fleeing!” But they had no need to do so, for the enemy were already in flight; the Spaniards followed them and dislodged them from the church, and all the Sangleys, in confusion, began to disperse. In this confusion, Brother Esteban was able to make his escape, and those who were in the church could now leave it. The troops of Don Juan de Arceo seized their weapons, and also fell on the conquered ones; and the latter were quickly dispersed through the fields, leaving some three hundred Sangleys dead. The mulattoes and Indians from Manila killed many, and captured more than three hundred; most [205]of these are here in the galleys. More than a thousand Sangleys must have been killed in these encounters.

Don Juan de Arceo, thinking that most of the enemy would go back toward Calamba, went after them. At this time Don Fernando Galindo, who was then at Los Baños, assembled five hundred Indians, to fall on the Sangleys. But the sargento-mayor arrived, and learned that fifteen hundred Sangleys had fortified themselves on a lofty hill5 that is above Calamba; and they agreed that their men should ascend this hill, the Indians on one side, and the Spaniards on the other. This was accordingly done; the Spaniards reached the top first, and overcame the enemy, killing more than thirteen hundred Sangleys. The rest broke away on the side where the Indians were, and have been driven into the mountains; a company of Spaniards and some Indians have gone in pursuit of them. With this encounter, which was on Saturday, the whole affair has come to an end; and therefore on yesterday, which was Sunday, the Te Deum laudamus was sung in Manila.

Among those who distinguished themselves in this last combat were Juan de Montoya, Lezcano, and Ugalde. This last one came here this year; although he had received three lance-thrusts, he pursued the enemy, fighting valiantly. Don Fernando Galindo, moreover, did valuable service in urging forward the men to the attack.

Among those whom we mentioned above as being killed with Aduna in the marshes of Viñan was [206]Alférez Don Antonio Tornamira, who fell senseless when they attacked him with clubs, and they left him for dead. Later, he came to himself, and while he was looking for some place where he could hid himself he came upon a Sangley, who also had hidden in a thicket; he did not wish to go with the insurgents. They agreed together to seek for some way of escape, and the Sangley advised the Spaniard to dress himself in Chinese garb; he did so, and finally the two reached Manila. The governor, Don Sebastian, gave Alférez Tornamira a suit of his own garments; and to the Sangley he granted an exemption [from tributes?] for several years. The latter declared that he wished to be baptized.

Yesterday and day before yesterday, the entire revolt was regarded as suppressed and ended, without there having been any disturbance on the other side of the river. This morning, the twenty-ninth of this month, we saw many large fires toward Manila; we knew not what to think, until we received a letter in which we were informed that from the other side of the river from the river San Mateo, many new insurgents had come, who were burning everything; and the fires that we saw were Meyhaligue6 and Santa Cruz, on opposite sides of the river. From the Parián alone different troops of soldiers, both foot and horse, have sallied out against them; we are hoping for their entire success. We are informed that people are talking very earnestly of taking steps to prevent such things from ever happening again; for this purpose there was held [207]yesterday a general conference of all the civil, military, and religious.7 [208]

1 Meaning that the failure to receive the usual supplies of money from Mexico had rendered the Manila merchants unable to buy the goods brought by the Chinese traders—the latter being thus unable to maintain their shops in Manila, and obliged to return to their own country.

2 Apparently some words have been omitted in Ventura del Arco’s transcription; probably it should read, “upon us for our past sins”—or possibly, “for the past two years.”

3 Spanish, regalos; referring to the articles (mainly those of luxury) imported from Mexico by citizens of the islands.

4 Shells or hollow balls, sometimes of clay, sometimes of heavy canvas, which were filled with combustible substances; when kindled, they were shot or hurled against the enemy, either to cause injury by their explosion, or to set his works on fire.

5 “A mountain called Socol, distant from Calamba a short league” (Diaz, Conquistas, p. 406).

6 This was an estate belonging to the Jesuits (Diaz, Conquistas, p. 408).

7 Pastells’ transcript of this document (Colin’s Labor evangélica, iii, p. 129) contains a few lines of additional matter, as follows:

“Of the whole affair a full relation will, I think, be printed; so I leave it here, entreating our Lord to look with pity on these islands, which are so full of misery and poverty.”


Relation of the Insurrection of the Chinese


Its causes and beginning

Desires for the increase of the royal revenues, which Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor of those islands, always tried to carry out, with greater exactitude in intention than success in the outcome, gave occasion to the Chinese of the city of Manila and its environs to attempt an insurrection, the destruction of that country, and the complete extermination of the Spaniards there. I do not mention other causes,1 in order to reduce them to those that have existed and those which the Sangleys have tried to assign as a pretext for their insurrection. That which surpassed the others, as being the greatest in their estimation, was that many laborers saw that they were obliged to live in a new village which the governor built in the lands of Calamba,2 for [209]certain advantages to the royal service; the object was, to produce there the rice sufficient for the presidios of these islands, by which his Majesty would be spared a great expense, and the government employees the neglect and difficulty [usual] in its provision. The good intention of the one who made this arrangement was recognized, if it had also been so on the part of those on whom its fulfilment depended. Its execution was not without hardships, which occasioned all the more resentment the more the comforts experienced in their old villages, attracted them. The exemptions promised by the government, with the desire of keeping the Chinese contented, because of the advantage that accrued to his Majesty in obtaining the necessary food from those lands—by which the Chinese could gain greater profits, and the Indians, being exempted from such burdens, could make extraordinary gains—were sufficient to overcome those difficulties. Attention was given to both of those peoples in the change. But as it caused many of them to fall sick in a short time, and more than three hundred died because of the unhealthful climate, a great disturbance was caused in their minds—which was greater because they were oppressed by the alcalde-mayor with continual extortions and punishment. Consequently, desirous of lifting so heavy a yoke from their necks, they rushed on to the last risk, whether to themselves or to others; and determined to kill him who ruled them there, and to go ahead, committing [210]all the damage possible in all the Indian villages, and on the possessions of the Spaniards, until they came in sight of Manila, where they would call out the other Chinese from the Parián and the villages round about—if they did not rise before, of which it has not been possible to gain certain information; for, the cause being their own, they all would force the governor, who had but few infantrymen, to pardon their deed; and, if they did not succeed in this, confident in their multitude, they would go forward to besiege the city. Then, in conformity with the resolution adopted, they assaulted the house of the alcalde-mayor3 on November 19. He was entirely unguarded, the more for [having no] fears of so fatal an outcome. They treacherously killed him, manifesting their cruelty against him, as in revenge for the cruelties that they were shortly before lamenting as caused by him on themselves. They burned the village, ordering their wives to hide in the mountains, while they went to try their fortune—saying that, if they found a good one, and gained the victory over the Spaniards, they would return for them; or, in case of adverse fortune and their own defeat, their families would remain alive and safe in their place of retirement.


Advice is given in Manila. First assault of the enemy, and its result

News of the insurrection reached this city on the night of November 20; and warning was given to [211]the entire city and its environs by two cannon that were fired. The gates were opened, although with care and caution, so that those outside could seek shelter, and those who wished could guard their property. Inasmuch as the importance of the matter did not admit of any delay, the governor despatched Captain Martin de Aduna that same night overland, so that with his company of cavalry, he might go to see what was being done, and mete out the suitable punishment to the enemy, since people here were on the outlook because of the news with warning. The governor also sent advices to the castellan and chief magistrate of the port of Cavite, namely, Sargento-mayor Alonso Garcia Romero, so that he might be on the watch. Captain Aduna left Manila immediately, and taking thirty horsemen with him, he came within sight of the enemy on the morning of the following day, to the number of more than three thousand. All were armed with spears, or with bamboos hardened in fire, and on these were fastened the blades with which they harvest their rice. They defied the Spaniards to come on and fight. Their own guilt, the number of men, and the fortified position that they were occupying—which was certain swamps in the lands of Viñan, whose houses and churches they had burned—caused them to be bold. Our captain attacked them with greater valor than prudence, for, not heeding the danger,4 he advanced into the swamp, where, finding it impossible to manage his horse, he and three others who followed him in the same enterprise were killed. The others having [212]killed more than two hundred Chinese, and being but few in number, retreated (since the horses were tired, and they were in a position where they could not be aided) to the village of Parañaque, to await the governor’s orders to whom a father of the Society, who had accompanied the captain to confess and encourage our men, went to give advices.


The enemy advance to San Pedro. They are pursued, and are defeated in Calamba

The news of the death of Captain Martin de Aduna caused disquiet and sadness in the city, for he was well liked there. Greater damages were feared if they did not immediately summon all their forces, in order to deprive the enemy of their strength and hobble their feet. In order to do that the governor sent out his sargento-mayor, Don Juan de Arceo, with two hundred infantrymen, eighty cavalrymen, one hundred Pampangos, and four hundred Tagal Indians, all with firearms, and two pieces of cannon. They were being prepared with all possible rapidity in Manila, when the enemy began to march toward San Pedro, the house of the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, doing all the harm possible along the way. They had about four thousand men, and were joined, either through force or willingly, by those of Calamba and the farm-lands round about. That same day, November 21, they reached San Pedro, where a father and two brothers were then living. The father confessed all the people of Pasay, a village whose people had, in order to escape the danger, taken refuge in that house. The brothers, with some of the more courageous Indians, tried to put themselves in a state of defense; and, although [213]with only tiles and bricks, they wounded many Sangleys, and killed some. However, the fury of the multitude was greater than that of the resistance; and accordingly, the doors of the church having been battered down, the Sangleys entered it, whence they penetrated into the house, to which they set fire. Thereupon those above, in sore straits, surrendered after twenty-four hours with assurance of their lives and of good treatment—although, not trusting to the promises of the enemy, many remained upon the vaulted roof of the church. On account of the fire, in a short time these could not descend, nor could the insurgents climb to the roof; consequently the former escaped with their lives, which [otherwise] they would have lost through the barbarous cruelty of the infidels. This was further displayed [by the Chinese] in breaking the promise that they had given; for they put to death those who had descended with the father and the brothers, who numbered some fifteen persons. They bound the father securely, carrying him to their own camp, and manacled the brothers—the chief leaders of the Sangleys not daring to treat them more severely, as others claim, in order not to provoke further the anger of the governor and the Spaniards against themselves. By this time the Spanish forces, not only troops of infantry but horsemen, had reached the enemy’s camp, and began to skirmish with them; the Chinese lost some men on their side, but we none. An entire stop was put to this presently, by the arrival of a great number of Sangleys from Manila to treat for peace. In order to settle the terms of peace, the insurgents sent to the governor the father of the Society. The suspension of hostilities lasted [214]but a short time; for the adjutant Benavides (now captain), having no knowledge of it, or of the discussion that was going on, arrived at San Pedro by way of the river, with twenty-five Spaniards. These attacked with such fury that, suddenly falling upon the Chinese where they least expected it, the latter immediately fled; the Spaniards went in pursuit of them, and the enemy left three hundred dead [scattered] through the fields, while as many more were captured by the Indians who were scouring the country, and were taken to the galleys at the port of Cavite. On account of the Chinese being surprised by this unexpected attack, the brothers of the Society who were their prisoners had an opportunity to regain their liberty; they took refuge among the twenty-five Spaniards, and coming with them reached that same night their college at Manila, both wounded, although not dangerously. When the governor knew that the enemy were marching back to Calamba, he ordered the sargento-mayor to go there with his men in pursuit of them. By this time Admiral Don Fernando Galindo, who was at Los Baños, seeing how the country was disturbed, collected five hundred Indians to attack the Sangleys. But when the sargento-mayor arrived, and learned that two thousand of the latter had fortified themselves on a hill, in the ruggedness of which they placed their main hope of defense, [the two Spanish leaders] determined to attack them in various places [at once]—sending by some paths troops of Indians, by others Spanish infantry and Pampangos, and horsemen with both these parties. As soon as our men came in sight of the enemy, they saw how difficult was the task; but Spanish valor conquered it. [215]The Spaniards arriving first, with the Pampangos, began to climb the hill so courageously that the Chinese, although at first they thought to beat back our men with stones and lances from the ascent, finally, losing courage and judgment, rushed down from the hill, those who escaped from our infantry encountering our horsemen. Thus some one thousand five hundred of them were killed in a short time; and those who remained alive tried to escape into the most hidden ravines and passes of the mountains, but even there they did not find themselves safe from the Spaniards and the courage of the Indians. This was the first victory that was obtained over that enemy; and it was generally understood that it had put an end to the insurrection, and taken away the courage of those who had caused these first disturbances. It was proposed to sing the Te Deum at Manila, by way of thanksgiving that a fire which threatened so great destruction had been so easily extinguished, by means of the company and soldiers of Sargento-mayor Don Juan de Arceo, to whom the Lord had given so brilliant a victory without any cost. This result was greatly aided by the experience and courage of Don Fernando Galindo and of the captains who took part in the combat—Don Rodrigo de Guillestegui, Juan de Montoya, [Francisco] Lezcano, [Estéban]5 Ugalde, and Don Martin de Ocadiz. The Pampangos behaved nobly and courageously.6 [216]


The Chinese of Sagar and Santa Cruz rebel

In proportion to the satisfaction which the news of this victory caused in Manila was the resentment of the Sangleys when they heard of the death of their comrades. Eager for revenge, those on the lands of Sagar7 rose in arms, and hurried that establishment; and then they summoned [to join them] the Chinese who were scattered among the other estates, as far as Manila. A large number of them arrived at daybreak on Tuesday, November 29, at the residence of Meyhaligue, to which they set fire. At the same time when we heard of this new enemy, we learned of the arrival of Sargento-mayor Don Juan de Arceo, victorious, with all his men; and orders were immediately given to him that, without entering Manila, he should proceed to Santa Cruz, to occupy that post and check any commotions among the Sangleys who were there or those of the Parián—preventing them from joining and uniting their forces by way of the river.

In order to be ready for everything, the governor also went to Santa Cruz with Master-of-camp Don Lorenzo de Olaso, on the possibility that the enemy (who were running, not marching) would attempt an entrance by way of Santa Cruz—as they actually did, not having had warning of the arrival of our troops, or knowing how ready the city was to resist them without the soldiers. The Chinese at Santa Cruz who were friendly were told that they might go down the river, with their vessels, to the shelter and protection of the fort; and those who were not were told to do as they pleased, so that they might be [217]thoroughly aware how little importance was attached to their revolt. Many others went on board their boats, to the number of some two hundred; professing to be loyal, they asked permission to go out and fight their own countrymen, in order to drive them back. Those who had charge of them had strong suspicions of their undertaking and intentions, but the governor gave his consent; and in his very sight those Chinese approached and joined the traitors, and began with them to take possession of Santa Cruz—now declared enemies to us, although they had a little while before been pretended friends. Half the street they held as their own, the careful arrangements of the governor giving them all this space so that our men might manage their guns more safely. The Spaniards began to fire these so skilfully, and to oppose the enemy so valiantly that, many of the Chinese being killed, they found themselves compelled by the force of our resistance to turn and run, displaying no little swiftness in their flight. The governor left their punishment to General Don Juan de Esquerra and his brother, Admiral Don Francisco—the first with some horsemen, the second with his infantry company and some other footmen, who intercepted the enemy on the rear—at the same time ordering the master-of-camp to fortify himself in the church of Santa Cruz, planting in it some strong artillery, so that he might be well prepared for resisting the insurgents, and for checking the designs, suspected although not manifest, of the Chinese in the Parián. Immediately all that company [of infantry] fell apart, so as to give room for the free handling of the cannon; and, the village of Santa Cruz being set afire, the Spaniards and Indians [218]pillaged it.8 In it were the troops from Manila; and when they reached the lands of Meyhaligue the horsemen, infantry, and Japanese attacked the Sangleys; the latter fighting with barbarous desperation, were aided by the great number of their men in stations and ambuscades. They killed some of our men, among these Captain Agustin Tenorio, Captain Juan Martin[ez] de Avendaño, Adjutant Cristobal de Saldado, and Alférez Pedro de Soria; and others were wounded. Thirteen9 Japanese were killed, who could not be relieved [in time] by the valor of our horsemen—which, although great on all occasions, in this one even surpassed itself. Those who died sold their lives dearly, and those who survived risked their lives nobly. The danger was alike for all, and their courage equal; but their fate was not the same. Finally, those who remained alive thought themselves fortunate that they could retreat, considering the great number of those who attacked them, the exhausted condition of their horses, little used to such raids, and the advantage of position which the insurgents had over them. The latter, although they saw many of their men stretched on the field, held that loss as gain—since they were so numerous, and constantly saw more men joining them—on account of the decrease of the [219]Spaniards’ number by death, of which they made haughty boasts, cherishing hopes of greater successes. The governor commanded that the troops and artillery that were in Santa Cruz should that night be withdrawn to the city, in order not to leave Manila in danger from a sudden insurrection in the Parián, which was momently feared; also to leave the enemy in perplexity—having seen that fortification by day, and not being aware of the [Spanish] retreat so that they might not dare to approach the river, or attempt to pass it, in the night. He commanded that the bridge over it should be removed, and the boats that were there broken up, so that the Chinese [of Santa Cruz and the Parián] might not cross to each other; at the same time he gave orders that, if there should be any tumult in the Parián, it should be demolished by the artillery on the city walls. The whole city remained in suspense and uncertainty, which was greatly increased by seeing how numerous grew the forces of the insurgents. These, made arrogant by their recent exploit, roamed through all the [surrounding] districts, nothing escaping their cruelty. Several times they attacked the church and convent of Tondo,10 which was fortified; but our people in it were prepared for them, so that, having lost many men, they saw themselves obliged to desist for the time from their intention. They undertook to make themselves masters of the church at Binondo,11 but with the same result; [220]for the Sangley mestizos who were in the church, desirous of giving proof of their loyalty, resisted the enemy, who accordingly regarded their attempt as impracticable, or [at least] exceedingly difficult.


The Sangleys of the Parián revolt

From the twenty-sixth of November to the second of the following month the insurgent Sangleys continued to be so elated that every day we saw them from Manila, on the other side of the river, with many little banners which they proudly waved, daring the bolder of our men to fight; for they thought that even if every Spaniard cost them fifty of their own men, they would finally remain conquerors, and masters of the country, on account of the smallness of our numbers, the many men in their camp, and the accession of those who were continually joining them. Our artillery quickly made them disperse and retreat; but the decision was reached that it was not expedient to sally out against the enemy, on account of the little confidence that was felt in the Sangleys of the Parián, and because our army could not hold these in check [no les cogiesen por las espaldas] if it were engaged in a campaign. But on the second of December, the day of the great apostle of India, St. Francis Javier, between ten and eleven o’clock in the forenoon, the suspense came to an end, and our uncertainty regarding the fidelity of the Parián was cleared up. For those Sangleys, seeing that the insurgents had more troops than on former occasions, and that they were more daringly undertaking to make an attack at one side, also raised the banner of [221]revolt, and sallied out from the shops in which they were; and they killed some negroes and Indians, and a few soldiers who were stationed near the church of the Parián itself. They raised an outcry, “For the bridge!” and “To arms against the Spaniards!” desiring to join their countrymen by way of the bridge, which for this purpose had been replaced. The sargento-mayor went out against them with the infantry which were in garrison on that side, and made them turn back, retreating toward the church of the Parián; and because the greatest danger was at the bridge, the master-of-camp, Don Lorenzo de Olaso, went to defend that passage. Although his men were few, with gallant defiance he repulsed the main body of the enemy; but he saw that he was in great danger, and his very courage extricated him. Immediately they began to demolish the Parián, and to throw down their houses on the land side. The governor went to the walls, to give orders as to what must be done in view of the present necessity; and, since there was so great need of men, all the ecclesiastics and religious were obliged to go with arms to guard the walls, as it was suspected that the enemy might attempt to scale them. At that time the city was full of confusion and tumult; for as there were even in the [Spanish] houses so great a number of Sangleys, the people within these saw that they were in danger if the Sangleys escaped outside. To free themselves from this, the cry was made, I know not by whose order, that, under penalty of treason all should kill the Sangleys whom they kept,12 which [222]immediately rendered active the indignation or the hatred against them. Through all the streets the Sangleys were seen lying dead; and everywhere were heard their outcries or their weeping, causing in all natural compassion, [even] in the midst of the general danger. In the fort were many Sangleys who had been seized in various sallies, who, seeing death so near, tried to escape it, defending themselves even in the place where they were imprisoned; but they all died there, slain by arquebus-balls. The artillery continued its fire from the walls, killing thus a great number of the Sangleys. Others flung themselves into the river, but immediately fell into the hands of some of our men who were guarding it in boats, and perished miserably. Fire was set to the Parián; it immediately began to burn, and a great quantity of wealth was reduced to ashes by the flames.13 Many persons who had concealed themselves were burned to death; others, who thought it a less evil to be the object of our men’s harshness than to become the prey of the flames, rushing from the buildings, threw themselves upon the sharp swords. Thus in a few hours the costly structure of the Parián [perished], and its beautiful church alone was left14 as a memento of what had been there—the pillars of stone which remained standing being monuments, as it [223]were, which proclaimed, “Here stood Troya.” The number of those who died that day in the city and fort, in the Parián, and in the river, amounted to three thousand, according to the statement of those who make the most moderate estimates. On the morning of the following day, some two hundred traders came out from some marshes and miry places that were behind the Parián; they had buried themselves in the mud there, in order to preserve their lives in the general misfortune of their countrymen. All came with crosses in their hands, entreating mercy; this could not be denied to them by Christian charity, all the more when it was known that these men were not accomplices in the insurrection. Command was therefore given that they be conveyed to the fort, where they were kept under guard; and they were aided with their support in a time of so great need, in which they were utterly destitute. Many of those who died had time [allowed them] to become Christians first, and those who already were such, to make their confessions; others were deprived of this by their own obstinacy, or by the sudden anger of our people.


Events at the port of Cavite and other places at this time

There was anxiety at the port of Cavite when they heard the cannon from Manila, and saw the clouds of smoke from the Parián; then news of the result arrived, with an order to the warden of the fort, Sargento-mayor Alonso García Romero, to put to the sword all the Sangleys who were in that port.15 [224]Hardly was this information guessed at when all the people—Spaniards, Indians, Japanese, Sangleys, and mulattoes ran in dismay through the streets; all suspected one another, and all tried to secure their own safety. The women and the more valuable articles of property were collected in the churches; and there prayers were offered aloud, entreating God for mercy. In the present tumult, the prudence with which the warden acted was of great value; for he restored tranquillity among all, especially the Sangleys, who were most disturbed. Within half an hour he gathered about a thousand of them in the royal buildings, making it known that this was for the purpose of securing them from the public fury. They were satisfied with this, closed their houses, and proceeded to take refuge in the buildings assigned to them. While the Ave Maria was ringing, the warden went to all the religious orders, requesting that priests should go to baptize the infidels and hear the confessions of the Christians, since all of them must die. They went immediately; and the warden commanded that the Chinese should be taken out by tens, on the pretext that the governor had summoned them to Manila. In this way, they cut off the heads of as many as three hundred Sangleys, many of them receiving the sacrament of baptism, and many who were Christians that of penance. At this time a Spaniard made the mistake of cutting off the purses which the Sangleys always carry with them; this was seen by some, who immediately called out that they were taking the Chinese away to kill them, and that the rest would better put themselves on the defensive, and either save their lives or sell them dearly. The Spaniards who were inside at [225]once tried to escape, and did so, although with some wounds from stones, taking the precaution to close the gate of exit—a prudent act of great importance, because the rest of the Spaniards, running up to that place, began to fire their arquebuses wherever they could. The Sangleys then set fire to the royal building, close to the gate, in order to make an opening by which they could escape; others, climbing above, began to throw stones and tiles at the Spaniards, and broke in pieces an ivory image of the blessed Christ, with which they wounded some of our men. Many Indian women had been sheltered in these buildings the day before, thinking that they would there be safe, and seeing themselves suddenly in extreme danger. Only three of these, with one child, died on this occasion, at the hands of the Sangleys; another woman and another child flung themselves down from the windows, but, falling upon some dead Sangleys, they received no injury of importance. Nor did the rest of these women, who, seeing their danger, did the same; they threw themselves down and remained safe, although bruised by the fall. The fire was now seizing on the entire building;16 and those within, with death so near and in their sight, broke down the wall on two sides, and as many as four hundred flung themselves through this opening, the rest remaining among the flames. Here they were opposed by the Spaniards and Japanese, whom the Sangleys confronted with such mad fury that, although armed only with stones and clubs, they strove to make way for themselves, wounding some [226]of our men (among these the warden), and killing two Japanese. Finally they took the road to the beach, and, being pursued thither, many of them continued to fall until, being hindered by a fishing corral in which they were crowded together, they were a mark for the bullets of our soldiers, and for the balls from a blunderbuss which was fired from the fort of La Magdalena, and thus thirty of them died. Those who remained alive went out into the country, continually pursued by our soldiers at short range, so that few escaped; and most of those were caught next day by the ranchmen. Others hanged themselves from the trees; and, according to the best information that can be obtained, only twenty three were left who could carry the news to those in Manila. The slaughter continued on the following day, since there were many who were hidden in the houses. This success was a great mercy of God; for it was afterward known that the Sangleys of the port had agreed upon an uprising for that very night; they had planned to set fire to the village in all parts of it, which they could have executed all the more easily because their houses were very near to those of the Spaniards. In the house of a rich Chinese Christian was found the banner to which they were to rally. Many kept hidden in the fireplaces pincers with which they intended to torture certain Spaniards by tearing away their flesh piecemeal, in revenge for the Sangley pirates who were punished by that torture in Manila in the past year.17 The number of those who died in the port of Cavite reached one thousand three hundred. Immediately afterward all the Sangley laborers on the lands in that [227]district revolted, of whom some five hundred perished at the hands of the Indians and ranchmen—not to speak of others who were scattered in Maragondon and Silan, probably four hundred and fifty. Many were also killed in the neighboring jurisdictions: in Bulacan, three hundred; in Pampanga, six hundred; in Pangasinan, two hundred; in Taal and Balayan, five hundred. Besides this, the corpses of more than six hundred Sangleys have been encountered in the villages and coasts of Zambales, the coasts of Maderas, and other places.18


Encampment of the insurgents; damages which they inflict; levies of men to oppose them

The damages which the Sangleys continued to commit—which were especially seen among the [228]recent arrivals in the Parián—have been very heavy. They set fire to many houses of Spaniards and of religious; and they burned the villages, with the churches, profaning all that was sacred19—hacking the images with knives, wearing the chasubles, and making from the altar-coverings garments to cover themselves, and flags. Some of these articles were taken from them, in encounters which the Spaniards had with them. The villages which, with their churches, were burned were: Santa Cruz (although they did not entirely destroy it), Quiapo, Meyhaligue, Sampaloc, San Sebastian, San Francisco del Monte, and part of San Juan de la Penitencia. They also burned the ranches of Santiago Castelu (or Gastelu), General Asaldegui, Admiral Ezquerra, and others; and a large part of the villages of Tondo and Binondo.

They arrogantly continued these forays, and they were further confirmed in their notion that they were masters of the field by having therein more than twenty-six thousand fighting men, and knowing that the Spaniards who could be assembled hardly amounted to three hundred. Accordingly they formed their encampment opposite Manila, with fortifications at intervals, where they remained about twenty days, without our men crossing the river to attack them—the Spaniards contenting themselves with depriving the Sangleys of boats, so that the latter might not cross from the other side; and they waged war on us in two directions. It was our prudent decision, and its importance was recognized by [229]the insurgents, not to let our force of soldiers be weakened; and they exerted all their strength to overcome it, sparing no effort in order to carry out their intention, and in one case almost succeeding. Only by their great [number was it]20 possible, and their natural ingenuity; they undertook to intercept the river, although it was so broad and deep, with a causeway of stone—a work which they were able to complete in a short time, by each Sangley carrying only one stone. With this they were masters of the river as regards its passage, which they prevented to the boats which were coming down with provisions from Laguna de Bay; but they were checked in this by the diligence of those who had in charge the safety of those supplies. These were General Asaldegui and Captain Ugalde, who had various skirmishes with the Sangleys to keep them back from the passage of the river, killing many of them without serious loss of our men. By that time, recognizing the dangerous character of the war, and that it would apparently be a long one, the governor continued to make provision of all sorts of munitions and food; and raised levies of men from Pampanga21 and other jurisdictions—not only arquebusiers, but Indians armed with arrows, lances, and shields. At this summons, all showed their fidelity to the king, [230]their affection for the Spaniards, their hatred to the Chinese, and their promptness in obedience. The Pampango Indians quickly rallied, constrained not only by their ancient loyalty but by the present need; in this they were not a little encouraged by seeing the spirited conduct of their women whom they left behind, who offered to come with them to fight. As it was impracticable to accept this offer, they were ready, even at the cost of their lives, to defend their homes and villages, in case the insurgents should undertake to enter these.


The enemy are dislodged, and pursued as far as Bocaue

The new soldiers who had come to the succor of Manila, desirous of encountering the enemy—for which there was not yet opportunity, according to the arrangements of the governor—made forays through the open country, in small bands, always with good success.22 They were encouraged to these sallies by the reward which the governor offered to any one who should bring in the head of an enemy; as a result, many heads came in to the city every day. A large number of men having been collected, the governor resolved to post troops close to the very camp of the insurgents, in order to surround them; and although they tried to prevent this, they were unable to do so. Instead, they found themselves, in all the attacks that they made, compelled to retire with losses always of many men—although on one occasion, when the governor with the master-of-camp and some Spaniards undertook to reconnoiter [231]a position, the Sangleys came about them, placing them in such evident danger that they were very fortunate in being able to escape. This was secured by the coming, with succor, of Captain Sebastian de Gastelu, who was stationed at a neighboring post, with his men. Some took the governor for the master-of-camp. The sargento-mayor, Don Pedro de Jara, and Captain Gastelu peppered them well with the artillery, which caused them so great loss that even within their very camp they were not safe. Preparations were now made [on our side] for attacking them on a set day; but it seems that the enemy, guessing this plan, and the disastrous result which they might expect from it, since they were surrounded on all sides by towers and redoubts, concluded to take flight. This they did on Thursday, December 29, at night, with so much silence (since the [word in MS. missing] was so great) that there was no indication or suspicion of their resolve until, on the morning of the next day, certain knowledge of their departure was furnished by our noticing that they did not sally out into the open country. The governor, who was in our camp, immediately commanded that the enemy’s camp be delivered over to pillage; in it they found more than ten thousand fanegas of rice, by which not only the Spaniards but the negroes and Indians of the surrounding villages profited. The governor went in pursuit of them with his men, and got sight of them between the villages of Pasig and San Mateo, to which they had gone with the intention of crossing the river on rafts, for which purpose they had cut there twenty thousand bamboos. They were prevented from this, and our people prepared to give them battle on Saturday, [232]December 31; but the Chinese did not wait for them, but took to flight that night also. Our troops continued to pursue them,23 and reached them at nightfall, finding them encamped in the village of San Jose, a visita of Bocaue, which is a mission village of the fathers of St. Francis. When the governor was asked there where our men were to be lodged, he replied, “Where the enemy are.” Our soldiers were so honorably obedient that, crossing a stream that separated the two forces, they dislodged the Sangleys from their camp, compelling them to flee; the enemy left behind the supper that they had prepared, as spoils [for our men, disregarding] the opportunity, and its importance for the hungry and needy condition in which they were.24

On the first of January, 1640, in the morning, the Sangleys were attacked by our men, and forced to do as they had done the night before—although with greater loss, since many in their flight rushed head-long into the river, where they perished. The rest took the road to Pampanga, intending to secure through that province a passage to that of Pangasinan; but, after fighting their way, and receiving damage on all sides, they fell back to Bocaue. This move caused anxiety among our people, who feared that the Sangleys did this with the intention of again [233]crossing the river of Manila, in which case they would destroy, as they had already done on the side opposite [Manila], the churches and villages on the other side. Seeing, then, the danger at this time of need, and considering that the soldiers were with the governor and the citizens acting as garrison, and that in no place could the forces be divided, since everywhere they were so small, father Fray Juan Ramirez, the Augustinian provincial, offered to keep guard over the river with his religious, and asked the other religious orders to help him in this with such men as they could spare. All willingly gave their aid, and the governor also sent the commander of the galleys, Andres Lopez de Asaldegui, for the same purpose; and, aided by so many religious, he kept the river safe for our trade, and prevented the enemy from crossing it. At Bocaue the governor was confronting the enemy, and having various skirmishes with them, being sometimes the attacker, sometimes the attacked; and although usually these occasioned loss to the enemy, sometimes also our people lost—especially one day when a large troop of Indians, with a number of Spaniards, sallied out against the Sangleys. The latter resorted to the artifice of setting fire in all directions to the patches of sedge (or rather the fields of cogon25), which were a great cause for fear; and the Indians, unexpectedly surrounded by fire, took to disorderly flight. This was [234]the cause of some few Spaniards being left there dead; their firearms were seized by the Sangleys, who with these did considerable damage to our men. On this occasion the governor was in notable danger; for he, considering that the enemy’s encampment was in an advantageous location, convenient to food-supplies, and having plenty of water (which our camp lacked), determined to dislodge them from it. For this purpose, on the night of January 9 he erected a tower near the enemy’s camp, defended by ditches, spikes driven into the ground [empuyados], and a stockade, and well furnished with artillery. He appointed as its commander the chief captain of the artillery, Juan Bautista de Molina, with Captain Gastelu [as second]; and placed in it two artillerists, twenty soldiers, and a hundred Indians armed with arrows and arquebuses. When the Sangleys, in the morning, saw the new fort, so unexpected to them, they rushed with great fury to carry it by assault; but those within defended it valiantly, making great havoc among the enemy. Hearing the report of the cannon, the governor and the master-of-camp hastened to give them aid. Before they could arrive, the enemy turned their backs and fled to their camp; the governor and those who accompanied him therefore returned to their quarters. At one o’clock the Sangleys again endeavored to seize the fort; they found the same resistance and valor among our men as in the morning, and many of their people were killed, without any loss to us, except that a bullet wounded Captain Gastelu in the knee. At the time, this injury was not considered dangerous or likely to last long; but finally, at the end of five months it caused his death, to the sorrow of every one that his [235]Majesty should lose in him a valiant and energetic officer. The governor and the master-of-camp came, as in the morning, to the aid of the fort; but the enemy were now retreating, and, the governor sending four men on horseback to reconnoiter their course, God inspired such fear in those who were retreating that they began to flee in a disorderly crowd, leaving in their camp their weapons (lances and arquebuses) and a large quantity of provisions. Some of our men followed them for the distance of half a legua, and in that space killed more than one thousand five hundred of them; and when the soldiers of our force were called together, the affair could be considered by them all as concluded. It was regarded as a great victory, on account of the great fear which had filled the minds of the Sangleys, the utter disorder and confusion with which they fled, and our having gained from them an encampment so convenient, with the death of so many and the booty of so many weapons; and the news of it was sent to Manila at ten o’clock that night. It was received with general satisfaction and the ringing of bells; and on the following day in all the churches solemn masses were said before the most holy sacrament, by way of thanksgiving for so fortunate a success, and in supplication to that same Lord that He would continue that favor to our forces.


The enemy return to Sagar and San Mateo

The governor had no information of the road that the enemy took in their flight; accordingly, while he was waiting for this, he endeavored to have his army take some rest in the village of Bocaue. But little rest did the insurgents have; for, seeing the misfortunes [236]that pursued them, and so many of their men (in whose numbers they were trusting to make themselves masters of the country) dead, or wounded, or disheartened, they resolved to remove from [the vicinity of] our camp. Returning to their familiar haunts of Sagar and San Mateo—which is a visita of the village of Pasig, belonging to the fathers of St. Augustine—desirous of avenging their defeats and the loss of their dead, and feeling safe on account of our troops being so far away, they sent some bands of their people to burn the church and village of Pasig, which they did. Other Sangleys, roaming through the hills, found among them some tiny hamlets of the natives, where they had concealed their valuables, and their children and wives, to save them from the common danger; and these were in very great danger of falling into the hands of these enemies. Our Lord delivered these people, although the Sangleys took possession of what they found in the huts. Then their scattered bands being reunited with those whom they had sent to hunt for provisions, they formed their camp on a hill, and the various bands built shelters for themselves.

As soon as the governor knew where the enemy were now encamped, he went in pursuit of them, and on the twelfth [of January] he halted on the river San Mateo. The next day he went in person, with some few horsemen, to reconnoiter, and on the way encountered a troop of about a hundred Sangleys; fifty of them were armed, and the rest were laden with rice and other provisions. Our men attacked them and killed twenty or more of the Sangleys, without any loss on our side—although Captain Juan Fiallo found himself in great danger. On this [237]as on other occasions he displayed honorable proofs of his valor; for, having wounded a Sangley in the forehead with a lance-thrust, and felled him to the ground, the latter, suddenly raising himself from between the horse’s feet, slashed at him with a Japanese catana, with which at one thrust he wounded both the captain and the horse. The captain quickly turned his horse about, and securing room for using his lance, ran it entirely through the Sangley’s body, at one side; it pierced so deeply that it was impossible to pull out the weapon, so he had to leave it sticking in the body. But the Sangley, with the anguish or the desperation of death, eager to avenge it rather than endure it, with his own hands drew out the lance, and, bracing himself with it on the ground, attempted to attack the man who had wounded him. But at this moment he was himself attacked by a lay religious belonging to the Society of Jesus, who rendered good service in the war throughout its active period—and at this time with especial good fortune, since he freed the captain from danger by completing the killing of the Sangley. All the rest of the Sangleys fled, and the governor returned to his camp, to give orders for the attack on the enemy, who during all the time while they remained in the hills never ceased from inflicting damages. They burned the church of San Mateo, and that of Taytay, a house and church of the Society of Jesus, and a visita of Antipolo; also Santa Cruz and Mahayhay. According to what many of them said, their chief incentive to setting these fires was what happened to a certain Sangley. Desiring to become a Christian, he buried an idol which he had, of which they relate fables very similar [238]to those about Mars, calling it “the god of battles.” This Christian Sangley was one of the insurgents, and, desiring to appease this god, managed with others to disinter it, entreating its protection on the present occasion. They say that the idol spoke to them, saying that it considered itself appeased and satisfied for the previous injury done to it; and promising them, besides this, its favor, provided that they would burn all the churches, profane all that was sacred, and inflict on the Christians all the harm that they possibly could.


Success of our troops, and defeat of the enemy in Antipolo

The enemy, not regarding themselves as safe in the mountains where they had hidden, managed to retreat to those of Antipolo, as being more suitable for the fortified post which they built there. On account of the extent of the place, the greater part of their people had gone into it, after burning the village and the residence of the Society of Jesus; they attempted to do the same with the church, but could not accomplish this, as it was built of stone. Some remained behind, and, desirous of reconnoitering the place, and doing the enemy some damage, Captain Juan Fiallo went out with as many as thirty horsemen, and a large number of Indians with lances and bows. The roads were exceedingly rugged, and both footmen and horsemen had to trust to their own exertions for success. They commenced to make their way through the mountains, with more spirit than reflection, for at the middle of their journey they found themselves unable to go on. The enemy were on their rear, and at either side were precipices [239]and deep ravines—all the fault of ignorant guides. It was impossible either to advance or to retreat; and so they fell in death, one after another, their courage ineffectual, and without room in which to make resistance. Accordingly, they rushed to fling themselves down the precipices, abandoning some their horses and some their weapons, and all in this danger losing their presence of mind. The enemy had the opportunity to put an end to all of our men, if God had not blinded their eyes. Five or six Spaniards, with their arms and horses, returned to the camp and gave news of this disaster; and within a few days some others returned, unarmed and on foot; as for the rest, the Sangleys disposed of them as we shall see later.

The governor, grieved at this result, collected more horses from the neighboring ranches, and, sending to Manila for saddles, equipped his men anew, all eager for vengeance. This consumed much time, which gave the enemy leisure to fortify themselves in four places, in the village of Antipolo and in the mountain region thereabout; but it deprived our troops of [the opportunity of] marching against the enemy until they arrived in sight of the new fortifications. The difficulty of the attack was very evident, for the enemy held the heights, and had stones with which they had built their enclosures, by hand-work, very strong and well-arranged, as was remarked by our men. In this work, the great number of their men, and their strenuous efforts, had made up for the lack of time. No less active were our men in making ready [for the attack]; and the more difficult the undertaking, the more their courage rose. The Indians displayed great gallantry, [240]with a few Spaniards making themselves masters of the first two strongholds or intrenchments—from which the enemy retreated with the loss of some of their men; the rest, a crowd of armed men, taking refuge in the other two defences, at the highest part of the fortification, regarded these as impregnable, and accordingly kept in them provisions of all kinds, enough to last a long time. There they awaited our men, who marched in good order, and attacked the first intrenchment on three sides. They were everywhere preceded by Indian shield-bearers, in order that these might with their shields stop the stones and other missiles that the Sangleys were throwing; the Indians did this valiantly, being thus very helpful to the rest of the army; for the Spaniards, being able to use their firearms without hindrance, with them everywhere drove back the enemy. The latter, discouraged at the death of so many of their number, and seeing our soldiers ascending the hill, took to flight. This gave new energy to our victorious men, who in order to complete their conquest at once continued their march, with the same good order and precaution, to the innermost fortification, the strongest and most difficult of all, and the most skilfully built and best provided with supplies. Nothing withstood the perseverance of our men, flushed by their recent success, and stimulated by the sight of their governor, who was present throughout the action; they eagerly attacked the enemy, who valiantly resisted, replying with their firearms to the volleys from our arquebuses, and with stones to the javelins and arrows [of our Indians]—relying on these weapons alone, as they had the advantage in position. But their courage alone could not equal [241]that of our men; and, seeing that ours were now pressing them hard, and, almost on their hands and knees, steadily gaining possession of their last height, the Sangleys, having little strength to defend it, turned their backs and began to flee. Our men kept up the pursuit of the enemy for more than a legua, until they drove out the fugitives from their hiding-places, and many of the latter flung themselves over the cliffs in those mountains—where the enemy, although at the outset he had been well defended, was on this occasion thoroughly defeated.

Those [of the Spaniards] who were killed in this combat and assault were about twenty; and as the victory had been so glorious, not only by the strength of the enemy but by the valor of our soldiers, all the bells were rung in Manila, and on the following day, at the governor’s request, solemn mass was said in all the churches, and the most holy sacrament was exposed, in thanksgiving for so fortunate a success.

In the enemy’s camps were found large quantities of supplies and arms; and on the ground were many books which they had taken from the religious houses that they burned; from these they made breastplates and other defensive armor. In the cemetery of Antipolo, which was the quarters of their leaders, were found several of their proclamations, in Chinese characters; these were fastened to the trees, to serve for the proper government of their forces. There were twenty dead horses who had fallen into the ravines, with their saddles broken; and three Spaniards were found whose heads had been cut off. These were part of those who had flung themselves from the precipices; among them was a lay religious of the Augustinians, who had accompanied the soldiers [242]on that expedition. These bodies, although they were putrid, were so tightly bound that the cords had cut into the flesh, all indicating the cruelty of the Sangleys. Although this moved our men to deserved compassion and just indignation, they felt much more keenly the discovery of many fragments of holy images that lay on the ground. In especial, there was found a carved figure of the holy Christ, three palmos in height, among the embers and ashes of a house which the Sangleys had undertaken to burn; the fire had been content to blacken the image a little, in order that it might testify to the miracle—since all regarded it as such, that the image should remain unhurt in the midst of so hot a fire. The soldier who found the image presented it to the governor, who at sight of it was deeply moved, as were the army also when it was raised on high, [made] by him who had abased it more glorious than before; and all entertained hopes that the army which should fight under such a banner would annihilate the enemy by a signal victory.


Injuries which the enemy committed during their flight

It is characteristic of cowards to affect courage when they meet no opposition or do not fear resistance; the enemy did not encounter this in the ranch of Antipolo, whither he went when he emerged from the mountains and hollows in which he had taken refuge from our attacks and the slaughter which he could not make among our troops. For the latter were marching accompanied by the governor, who was desirous of catching the enemy in the flat country that he might offer them battle there, when they [243]would not be able to avail themselves of the ruggedness of the mountains or the depth of the ravines; the armies faced each other, now ready to come to blows, and the enemy were almost surrounded by our troops on all sides. Although without realizing how little they could depend upon their hands, they trusted to their feet; they now placed their main defense in flight, burning the village and church of Baras—valiant for only such acts of cowardice. Our men kept at the heels of the enemy, although it was one of the greatest hardships of this war to have to march so long through very rough roads amid the inclemencies of heat and rain. The insurgents pursued the route toward the village of Tamar, whither also our army proceeded, in order to compel them to give battle, or else to harass and disturb them by never allowing them opportunity to have any rest. Our men reached the flat top of a hill, and halted on the summit, without having any knowledge of the enemy—who were so near that even their voices could soon be heard. When our men perceived the enemy, and saw how few they were (for at that time they did not number two thousand), they began to surround the Sangleys in order to attack them; and the battle began with such fury that the enemy, in desperation, came close to the mouths of the Spanish arquebuses. Our men defended themselves valiantly, at little cost to themselves but with much loss to the enemy; since, although the battle began with great risk [to us] on account of their multitude, our weapons were well plied on both sides [of them]. When the enemy had attacked our position and would have gained the advantage, Don Rodrigo de Guillestegui arrived, whom the governor had sent [244]with a company of horsemen and five hundred Indians, sounding the alarm to them through the rearguard. At the sound of the drums, and when the enemy saw themselves attacked on both sides, and knew that the rest of our army (which had been absent) was there, they already used their weapons with less spirit; and, their hopes of gaining the victory being dashed, they began to retreat, so as not to give it to our men—but with much loss of their own—and as they were in a place where the cavalry could range freely. The damage that they received was much greater [than what they inflicted], and was sufficient to enable those of their number who had more prudence to urge more strenuously, from that time on, negotiations for peace—of which they had begun to talk a few days before, but with little, if any, effect.


Garrisons are placed in the churches, and peace is discussed

When the governor saw the destruction that the enemy had wrought in the churches, and that he could not check it because the army that was fleeing always had the start of the other, he determined to put the churches in a condition of defense, and accordingly assigned to each one a number of soldiers who should confront the Sangleys—so that, since the people of the villages could not deliver themselves from the enemy’s fury, the temples and the dwellings of the religious, which were most important, might be saved. The governor also sent them word, threatening that he would put all the Sangleys that were left in the country to the sword, if they did any more damage to the villages or the [245]churches, since it was a token of cowardice to wreak vengeance on him who was not to blame, or who made no resistance. They replied that they did no harm where they were not harmed, and that they would leave the villages in peace if the roads were left free to themselves by which they were intending to pass to Los Limbones, in order to build champans there to make ready for [their return to] China. This reply was less haughty than the tone of their earlier bravado. From that time they did not burn any church, although they burned the village of Santa Maria and that of Siniloan, with a visita of Pangil, because the Indians had been stationed there and many of the Sangleys slain. After this, they continued their march to Cainta, and the governor in pursuit of them to the post of Mahayhay—a place through which the enemy must necessarily pass if they would go to Los Limbones—in order to fight there with the enemy the battle which was impossible in the mountains which the enemy had selected for their encampment. Many from the enemy’s camp came every day to ours asking for mercy, alleging [that they had been coerced by] violent measures on the part of their leaders in the revolt. They readily found mercy, and with this and kind treatment they were sent back to Manila. The opinions of the rest were as vacillating as their courage, many of them lacking confidence in the governor. Thinking that they did not deserve pardon for their offences, they preferred to persist in these obstinately, rather than to yield to the governor’s mercy and surrender; and although there were embassies from one side to the other, this intercourse was carried on with little confidence on either side. On [246]ours, negotiations for peace were carried on by a father of the Society of Jesus,26 who was a minister to the Sangleys, and General Geronimo Enrriquez, their alcalde-mayor of the Parián, for whom they had the utmost affection; on their side, by some of their leaders, with the mandarin—although not with so much privilege,27 on account of having been created for their purpose—the lieutenant-commander of the Sangley forces. He was a boastful and audacious man, who resisted the negotiations for peace, and had with his own hand killed several men because he was suspicious of their being concerned therein. But the father of the Society, anxious that peace should be secured, in order that the shedding of so much blood might be stopped—especially for the sake of the many Sangleys who were there more because they trusted others than to carry out their own purpose—laying aside any consideration of his [247]own life, went many times, at the evident risk of death, to confer with the mandarin and the leaders, assuring them, on the part of the governor, of pardon and kind treatment to those who laid down their arms and surrendered themselves to him. He answered their complaints, the chief of these being that the governor had commanded that their comrades who were scattered through the provinces should be slain, when they had committed no offence. The answer was that the very people in their own camp who had been caught by our men had revealed that those others were accomplices in their guilt, and cognizant of the revolt; for they had confessed that it was general throughout the provinces. He said that there was therefore no wisdom in leaving some of the Sangleys free while we were fighting others in the field, since the former would take up arms against us at the first opportunity; and finally that they should avail themselves of the present opportunity, as being invited to make peace, and should not constrain the governor to an extreme demonstration of his anger, as that would result in the entire destruction of them all—as they themselves could see by the few who had been killed on our side, and the thousands that had fallen on theirs. Persuaded by these arguments, they undertook to hold another council and give an answer on the following day.


Peace is concluded, and both armies return to Manila

After thorough reflection, while those of our camp were waiting for the enemy to submit and give up their arms, the latter saw that the conditions demanded for making peace did not depend on him [248]whose strength had been broken, but on him who was able to boast of his advantage and superiority; and how, if the negotiations for peace arose more from the needs of the case and from our strength than from mercy and compassion, the governor would have closed, as it were, the gates of mercy with the determination to destroy them, if he had not checked his anger, and given to the religious in whose hands was this affair time for endeavoring to convert them to a more prudent decision. Finally, they agreed that all should surrender themselves and give up their weapons. A place was appointed at a little distance from our camp, between which and theirs was a river; at its crossing stood our men in two ranks, before whom the Sangleys passed, laying down the weapons that they carried. As soon as all of them, some eight thousand in number, had reached their station, arrangements were made for their return to Manila, the governor charging the master-of-camp to set out with the two armies. This was done, and they marched until they arrived in the parade-ground at Bagumbayan, opposite the city, on the evening of Friday, March. 15. The governor arrived that same evening, and the two armies encamped there for the night. At dawn of the following day, the drums sounded for the march, which was conducted in this order. In the vanguard went Captain Juan Fiallo with the cavalry, to the sound of trumpets; next some companies of Pampango infantry, those of the Cagayan Indians, the Zambal archers, and the Indians who carried javelins and shields in the battalion. Next came all the Sangley forces, and in the rearguard the Spanish infantry, with the master-of-camp. The halberdiers of the [249]governor followed, and in their midst was one on horseback, who carried as a standard the image of the blessed Christ from Antipolo, mounted on a staff. Last of all came the governor, accompanied by his suite, and by many volunteer horsemen who had gone to the war. In this order they proceeded along the causeway to the bridge over the river, and across it to Tondo; and there our troops left the Sangleys inside a stockade which they had built as a precaution, with soldiers guarding them on all sides. The governor went thence to his palace by water, and the master-of-camp marched with his soldiers to the city. The people received them with great joy at seeing the war ended, as it had caused them so much anxiety and lasted so long a time—for it began on November 20, 1639, and came to an end on March 15, 1640.


The slain in both armies; the enemy’s weapons and mode of warfare; and the damage committed by them.

Those who make the most careful estimate of the deaths on both sides state that the number of Spaniards who died in the war, from its beginning to its end, were about forty or forty-five, and of Indians three hundred; and it was always the main care of the governor to watch over his men. On the side of the enemy, they make the number of deaths approximate twenty-two thousand to twenty-four thousand—including therein those who died in the provinces.28 Thus is made very evident, by the unequal and disproportionate number [of deaths] on both sides, the [250]special protection of our Lord over our army—a fact acknowledged even by the very infidels.

The weapons that the Sangleys collected, besides some few firearms, were: javelins and Japanese catanas, fastened to poles (and some were made in Manila), some of these weighing more than an arroba, which will indicate the force with which they could be used; sickles and pruning-hooks, also fastened to poles; iron tridents; and bamboos with sharp points hardened in fire, four or five brazas in length. They also carried away the iron from the houses and churches that they burned, and whenever they were left undisturbed in any encampment, they set up their forges and made weapons, in order that no one might he unprovided with them. The men were divided into tens, like [the Roman] decurias, so that the exact number of their men was known; and, of each ten, six fought, and four were responsible for their food, in order that the fighting men might be entirely relieved from that work.29 They did not fight all at one time, but only three from each decuria, in order that while these were fighting the others might rest, and thus always they could have men who could enter the battle in fresh condition. They employed stratagems in fighting—in the beginning, when they had not so many arms, they [251]made sham weapons, covering these with cloth, so that they looked like steel. In their camp near Sanpaloc,30 in some towers that they built they placed straw figures of Sangleys, so that our infantry might fire at these and use up their bullets, and then the Sangleys could, without risk of being hit, rush to attack our men.

The damages which they committed throughout the period of the insurrection are very great. They made havoc among the sacred images and utensils, besides which they burned the village of Calamba and its church; the village of Taluco,31 in charge of secular priests, with a wooden church and a stone clergy-house; houses and property in Viñan; the house of San Pedro, belonging to the Society of Jesus; the house and church at Meyhaligue and Santa Cruz; the village and church of Quiapo, belonging to the Society of Jesus; many houses in the villages of Tondo and Binondoc; the village of Sanpaloc, with a house and church of stone belonging to the fathers of St. Francis; the village of Taytay, with house and church of stone belonging to the Society of Jesus; the villages of Mahayhay, Santa Cruz, Antipolo, and Baras, belonging to the Society of Jesus; the villages and churches of San Mateo and Pasig, belonging to the fathers of St. Augustine; the villages of Santa Maria and Siniloan, and some visitas, belonging to the fathers of St. Francis. They also burned ranches and country houses belonging to [the fathers of] St. Augustine, the Society of Jesus, Captain Gastelu, General Don Juan Claudio, [252]Alférez Medrano, General Azaldegui, Admiral Ezquerra, and Admiral Juan Alonso; besides other stone houses and property belonging to private persons.


The persons who most distinguished themselves in our army

From the very outset of the war the governor was active in it, not sparing himself from any of its dangers, which were very great. If any proof were needed of his energy, valor, executive ability, and military circumspection, the present emergency would have furnished it. Distinction was honorably gained by the master-of-camp, Don Lorenzo de Olaso; he was always the first in dangers—none of which he shunned, although he experienced several attacks of illness, and even lay stretched at the foot of a papaw tree—escaping from them, or being drawn out of them by his brave heart and valiant spirit. Many personages of Manila in private life displayed their courage, adding merits to their former ones by their service in the army, and causing the enemy to recognize their bravery in the skirmishes and assaults, that they might relate how they had conducted themselves in these; it is sufficient to mention who they are. The commanding officer of the artillery, Juan Bautista de Molina, was present in some of the engagements, and the rest of the time he was directing his artillery in the city. General Geronimo Enrriquez, lieutenant of the master-of-camp, and general in the army, having been appointed on New Year’s day alcalde-in-ordinary, preferred to fight in the campaign rather than to remain in Manila in the quiet and repose of his house, although [253]opportunity to do so was given him by so honorable a title. General Don Juan Claudio de Verastegui, who fulfilled the obligations that he had inherited by birth and acquired by military service. Admiral Don Francisco Ezquerra, who, sometimes accompanying his brother, General Ezquerra, and sometimes following the army, everywhere gave proof of his valor. Captain Don Rodrigo de Guillestegui, his deeds making him appear like a veteran soldier, although he was so young. All the encomenderos and citizens of Manila also played the part of veterans, either guarding the city by day and by night, or serving in the camp, being present in various notable encounters, wherein the cavalry distinguished themselves. The company of Captain Juan Fiallo, who with his men was the terror of the enemy; Captain Juan de Montoya, and Alférez Alfonso Gomez. The ranchmen and mulattoes, as being accustomed to the management of horses and skilful in hurling javelins, caused the greatest losses to the enemy on all occasions. The Spanish infantry, with their captains Don Manuel de Rivera and N. [sic] de Ugalde (who are worthy of the highest praise), always fulfilled their duties with good results. The Pampango infantry was not without glory—the archers and shield-bearers from Pampanga, whose leader besides their captains was father Fray Juan de Sosa, prior of the convent of Betis, always as thorough a religious as he was, on occasion, valiant and courageous; they never returned to our camp without leaving tokens of their presence in that of the enemy. The Zambal archers, who went under the orders of Fray Antonio de las Misas—a Recollect religious, and a person who was in all respects such [254]as the emergency required—always endeavored to win a reputation; and if they were previously known by report, they were now by their deeds. The companies of Cagayans and Terrenatans, as war was not a new thing to them since they were born and trained in it, did not hesitate to risk their lives, at the cost of a great number of enemies whom they left dead behind them. The Tagal Indians of all this province accompanied their valor with their loyalty, which was so great that, although their losses had been so considerable in villages, houses, and possessions, forgetful of all these, and remembering only the treason plotted, the sacrilege committed, and the design of the Sangleys to make themselves masters of the country,32 these Indians took up arms against them most of the villages serving in their companies, and by so honorable an act giving proof of their fidelity toward God, and of their affection for the Spaniards, tokens also of their loyalty, subjection, and obedience to the king our lord and his officials.


The activities in Manila during the time of the war, not only in defense of the city, but in prayers

In proportion to the anxiety which the war occasioned was the solicitude that was felt in the city for its protection; no citizen shunned the performance of [255]the duty that was allotted to him, and all were [in turn] continually serving on the walls. The direction of the fort33 was in charge of the commander and castellan, Don Fernando de Ayala; the cavalier [i.e., tower] of San Gabriel was in the keeping of General Don Juan de Ezquerra; and the gate of the Parián, in that of Sargento-mayor Don Pedro Jara, until he had to take his station and plant artillery against the enemy at Sanpaloc. At the new gate, Captain Don Gregorio Mujica commanded; at that of Dilao, Sargento-mayor Palomino—and afterward Captain Mena of the cavalier, whom they call De Carranza; in charge of San Pedro, Captain Lorenzo Lopez. Admiral Luis Alonso de Roa attended to the foundry [for artillery]; and Captain Aumada, to emergencies [del inmediato]. Alférez Orgaz was in charge of the gate of Santa Lucia; and Alférez Bernave Martinez and Sargento-mayor Don Marcos Zapata of that of Santo Domingo. But, as the Spaniards were few in number, it was necessary that they should be aided by the ecclesiastics and the students. The clerics were placed in charge of a cavalier; the students or collegians of Santo Tomas were under the orders of the fathers of St. Dominic; those of the other, San Jose, under the [fathers of the] Society of Jesus. They wore the clerical garb all the time while the war lasted, with that of the military. The religious hastened to take arms and defend the walls on the day of the attack; and, every night when there was cause to suspect another, they were found at the posts assigned them. [256]

The city was provided with a new moat, which continuing with the old one by the side of the foundry, extended almost to the sea—a celebrated work which was completed in a very short time, all due to the assiduity and personal attention of the master-of-camp of the artillery. Its commander, General Don Juan Zapata de Molina, gave much attention to this work; it was greatly aided, and new inventions and devices for [the use of] fire were furnished, by the solicitude and experience of Captain Geronimo de Fuentes [Cortes]. There was no one who did not, on occasion, render all kinds of service. A company of free negroes34 was formed, who were very useful within the city, being distributed through the cavaliers for the effective management of the artillery. Duties were assigned to the slaves, but with discreet caution, on account of rumors which had been current (although without foundation) that they were making great plans when they saw the Sangleys in revolt; this was done partly [to give them] occupation, and to deprive them of any notions of undertaking another insurrection to the injury of the colony. But as its citizens recognized that its main defense must come from the Supreme Power, they did not neglect to raise their hands toward heaven, everywhere offering continual petitions to our Lord for the fortunate result of the war, and for the repose and pacification of these islands. In the cathedral was begun a novenary [i.e., nine days’ prayer] to the glorious St. Joseph, all the [religious] communities repairing thither, each on its own day, to recite solemn [257]mass to him. The fathers of St. Dominic, at the request of the city, celebrated another mass to our Lady of the Rosary, all the religious orders also going thither to say mass before her image. On the last day, [the image of] the glorious patriarch St. Francis, who so loved this city, was carried in procession to the cathedral, with supplication for favors through his agency—which have been received heretofore, as is acknowledged, in the first insurrection; and finally a procession was made in honor of the immaculate conception of the Virgin, and other prayers were offered.

[The following additional points regarding the Chinese insurrection are taken from a pamphlet entitled Relacion verdadera del levantamiento de los Sangleyes (i.e., True relation of the Sangley insurrection), which was printed in Madrid, by Catalina de Barrio y Angulo, in 1642 (our transcript of the same having been made from the original existing in Biblioteca y Museo de Ultramar, Madrid): “Calamba is twelve leguas from Manila. The Chinese corresponded with a Chinese pirate named Yquan Sanglus; it was arranged that he should come to aid them on Christmas Eve, 1639 (the day set for the treason), and to capture the galleons from New Spain. There were 35,000 licensed Sangleys in Manila and its vicinity, besides 10,000 more in remote provinces. In Manila at this time there were thirty foot-soldiers, thirty horsemen, fifty Japanese, and seventy Siyaos. The value of the goods destroyed in the Parián was 5,000,000 pesos; and the houses (built of molave wood), with the church and the stone houses, all together were worth 2,000,000. Twenty champans brought to Mariveles the Sangleys from [258]neighboring provinces, to join the Manila insurgents; but a Spanish and Pampango force went out against than, who sank eleven of the champans and killed six hundred and fifty men. Among the troops levied by the governor were a company of Japanese, and two of Sangley mestizos. Chinese prisoners confessed that their general had offered, to each Sangley who should bring in a Spanish head, a large reward, including a Spanish woman to be his wife. A body of religious from all the orders, aided by some Indians and ten soldiers, undertook to defend the passage across the river, and killed many of the enemy. On February 24, 1640, the starving Sangleys surrendered, to the number of 7,793.”] [259]

1 In passing through Mexico Señor Corcuera found so much cloth from this [Chinese] commerce stored in the warehouses that, in consideration for the interests of the merchants, he thought it best not to send a ship [to Acapulco] that year; as a result, in this year of 1638 the Chinese found less silver [in the Philippines] than their business required. It also contributed [to their discontent] that, since the royal treasury was unable to meet the great expenses of so many armed fleets and wars, the contributions [levied] on the Chinese were greater and more exacting—not only in actual money, but in other necessary supplies.” (La Concepción, Hist. Philipinas, v, p. 429).

2 Diaz states (Conquistas, p. 403) that besides the Chinese of the Parián, who were chiefly traders, there were at the time of this revolt more than 20,000 others scattered through the islands, who were occupied in tilling the soil, and that of these more than 6,000 were at work on the rich lands of Calamba. La Concepción says (ut supra) that there were 33,000 Chinese living in the islands—too large a number for safety, after the warning furnished by the insurrection of 1604.

3 This was Luis Arias de Mora, an advocate belonging to the Manila Audiencia; according to Diaz (p. 404) he was even more avaricious and extortionate than his predecessors in the alcaldía of La Lacuna, and so oppressed those Chinese that in desperation they decided, to kill him—which they did with much and barbarous cruelty.

4 Diaz says (p. 404) that the Jesuit Villamayor, who accompanied the Spaniards, tried to persuade Aduna not to pursue the Chinese; but the captain refused to listen to him, and went on to his death.

5 The names in brackets are obtained from Diaz (p. 406); and some names occurring later in this document are similarly filled out, from the same source.

6 Diaz states (p. 406) that the Augustinian friars of Comintan (the ancient name of Batangas province) after this battle assembled a large troop of Indians, and with them scoured the surrounding country, killing the scattered Sangley fugitives.

7 A visita of the Augustinian mission station at Pásig.

8 According to Diaz’s account (p. 408), the Sangleys of Santa Cruz attempted to seize Corcuera’s person; but he escaped their hands, ordered the village to be set afire, and then attacked the Chinese, who numbered some 6,000 men. To check their advance, a detachment of Spaniards was sent to a certain spot with a troop of Moros, “aimed with campilans, who had come with the ambassador from Sanguyl.” Olaso was soon recalled to Manila, leaving Santa Cruz defenseless—an imprudent step, which resulted in loss, “since that post was most necessary and convenient for guarding the river and the Parián.”

9 Diaz (p. 409) makes this twenty-three, besides a Japanese priest who accompanied and encouraged his countrymen.

10 Diaz (p. 408) says that the friars at Tondo gathered the natives within the convent, “which, as it was very strong and spacious, was capable of being a sufficient fortification for 6,000 Indians.”

11 “In Binondoc father Fray Francisco de Herrera was fortified, with the Sangley mestizos, and kept within the walls more than 160 Christian Sangleys; the governor commanded that these should be taken from that place, because they were continually making signs and writing notes [to their countrymen?], and they were conveyed to Manila, to the public prison, in order to make sure of them.” (Diaz, p. 413.)

12 Diaz states (p. 412) that the governor issued this command, which was executed by one of the auditors of the Audiencia and the two alcaldes of the city; “they killed a great many Chinese, although there were many whom the religious and the citizens concealed.”

13 “By the fire were destroyed more than 3,000 pesos of rents from the municipal property of the city, and more than 80,000 pesos of those belonging to private persons, for the houses in which the Sangleys lived; the riches lost in the property of the Sangleys were immense, because the looting of these could not be enjoyed on account of the fire, and because the [military] authorities would not allow the Spaniards to be diverted from their attention to the defense of the city.” (Diaz, p. 412).

14 Diaz says that the church was burned; but this probably refers to its woodwork only.

15 “On December 5 orders were despatched to the provinces to put to death all the Sangleys in them—although the opinions of the jurists [regarding this step] differed.” (Diaz, p. 412).

16 “They burned the magazines, where there were large quantities of the supplies necessary for the equipment of the galleons” (Diaz, p. 413).

17 See p. 156 and note 31, ante.

18 Diaz’s figures are somewhat different, and more extensive (p. 413). “In Cavite as many as 1,100 were slain, and more than 600 were seized. In Pampanga, where Santiago Gastelu was alcalde-mayor, few escaped; for the said alcalde exercised such care and so vigilant guard that as soon as the order arrived he caused it to be executed in all places at the same time, so unexpectedly that he gave them no opportunity to take the defensive; accordingly he beheaded them all, 1,800 in number, including infidels and those baptised. In the province of Bulacan, where there were more Sangleys, the slain did not exceed 500; for as they were farm laborers, and were scattered, they went away, deserting their houses, and joined the rebels, without Captain Juan Diaz, the alcalde-mayor of that province, being able to hinder them.... In the province of Tondo, as many as 300 were beheaded, because, as the insurrection was going on therein, only those were put to death who could not easily join the rebels. In the province of Bay were beheaded 200, of those who had been sheltered in the convents, and of those who were seized as accomplices of the uprising in Calamba. In the province of Taal they slew others.... In Pangasinan they beheaded 500 Sangleys, through the energy of the alcalde-mayor, Captain Don Fernando Suarez Deza; and in that of Ilocos, which was governed by Sargento-mayor Pedro de Tursis, as many as 100 were slain. The same was done in the other provinces, by which the forces of the enemy were diminished, and the revolution checked.”

19 “The leaders in these sacrilegious acts were the Christian Sangleys, who showed that they were renegades from the faith which they had pretended to profess.” (Diaz, p. 412).

20 The bracketed words are conjectural, to replace some that are illegible or worn in the original MS.

21 “On December 7 Captain Santiago Gastelu arrived from Pampanga with a large reënforcement of men, and in his company was father Fray Juan de Sosa, a religious of our father St. Augustine, and minister of the village of Porac, who came with 800 Zambal archers whose leader he was in all the fights that occurred, ... urging on the Pampangos, who were a terror to the enemy; a thousand of them were arquebusiers, and the [above] 800 were archers.” (Diaz, p. 415.)

22 Some of these are described by Diaz, whose account throughout is more full and detailed.

23 “On the way, our people heard how the Aetas from the hills had gone out to lie in ambush against the Sangleys, and had done them much damage; for in one place seven Aetas, naked and armed with some bamboo darts, had rushed in among more than 6,000 Sangleys—of whom they slew seventy, the Aeta band losing only one of their seven men.” (Diaz, p. 418).

24 Diaz (p. 418) gives the main credit for this achievement to the Augustinian friar Juan de Sosa, who offered to dislodge the Chinese from their camp with his Indian archers—the Spanish troops seconding the attack of the Indians.

25 “Cogon (Saccharum koenigii): a rapidly growing plant reaching three meters (about 10 ft.) in height, and forming a tangled mass only penetrable by fire or knife. The areas are burned over during the dry season, the young shoots being cut for cattle fodder when 18 inches high. Where nipa does not grow cogon is used for thatching.” (U. S. Gazetteer of Philippines, p. 71.) E. D. Merrill’s Dictionary of Plant Names (Manila, 1903), p. 52, gives the botanical name as Imperata arundinacea.

26 This was Onofre Esbry (Esvri—incorrectly made Esbín by Diaz’s editor); he was a native of Tortosa, and entered the Jesuit order at the age of fifteen. At the time of this insurrection, Esbry was but twenty eight years old. In 1647, while sailing to Macao, he was slain by Chinese pirates, near Sanchon Island. See Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 108 verso, and 154 verso.

27 The statement in this sentence is not very clearly expressed; but the apparent meaning is that the Chinese commander was not officially entitled to the designation of “mandarin,” which had been conferred upon him by the insurgents without due right to make such appointment. S. Wells Williams says (Middle Kingdom, i, p. 326): “The word mandarin, derived from the Portuguese mandar, to command, and indiscriminately applied by foreigners to every grade from a premier to a tide-waiter; it is not needed in English as a general term for officers, and ought to be disused, moreover, from its tendency to convey the impression that they are in some way unlike their compeers elsewhere.” See his account of the Chinese government, general, provincial, and local, and the classes of the Chinese people (pp. 322–352); also Winterbotham’s description of the “mandarins of arms,” or military officers, in his Chinese Empire, ii, pp. 8–10. Cf. note on civil mandarins, in VOL. XIX of this series, p. 44.

28 “For more than six months, it was impossible to drink the water in the rivers, they were so corrupted by the dead bodies; nor did the people eat fish in a circuit of many leguas, since all these were fattened on human flesh.” (Diaz, p. 427).

29 “Every day those people knew what their losses were, through the regular plan that they followed. This was as follows: every ten men formed a mess; of these, two went out to procure food, six to fight, and two to guard and attend to their lodging. Every ten troops of these were under a captain; and a field officer commanded ten captains, with a thousand men each. Each soldier had a chapa (a bronze coin that is current among them), and at night each one handed this to his captain; then all these were counted, and the soldiers knew, by the number of coins that were lacking, how many men they lost each day.” (Diaz, p. 423.)

30 In the MS. here and elsewhere, “S. Paloc”—evidently supposed by the transcriber to be the name of some saint.

31 In Diaz, “Tabuco, a visita of Quingua.”

32 Diaz relates (p. 414) the plots concocted by the Sangleys for this insurrection, which was set for Christmas; they were to carry gifts of fowls on that day, as was their custom, to the Spaniards of their acquaintance; and were to perform a comedy near one of the gates, to divert the attention of the citizens from any suspicion of their designs. Then at an appointed hour they were to kill all the Spaniards, and take possession of the city. This was frustrated by the premature rising at Calamba; sixty of those concerned therein were slain by their own countrymen, because they had not waited till the appointed day.

33 In the MS., guerra; probably a transcriber’s conjecture for a word poorly written, since the context requires fuerza—referring to the fort of Santiago at the mouth of Pásig River.

34 According to Diaz (p. 414), two negroes (slaves), who under torture confessed that they had aided the insurgents, were hanged.


Ecclesiastical and Augustinian Affairs, 1630–40

[In VOLS. XXIII and XXIV of this series was presented the history of the Augustinian order to the year 1630, as written by Fray Juan de Medina. Continuing that history to 1640, we give (mainly in synopsis) the most important matter on this subject in the Conquistas of Fray Casimiro Diaz (Valladolid, 1890), book ii, pp. 267–444. As usual, the parts synopsized or merely referred to are printed within brackets; these will be readily distinguished from words or phrases supplied in translation, which are printed in the same manner.]


Chapter VI

After the death of the lord archbishop Don Fray Miguel García Serrano, the ecclesiastical cabildo of Manila attempted to interfere in the government of the vacant see—alleging for this purpose that the brief of Paul V, and the royal decree, had been obtained by underhand means and misrepresentations. The bishop of Cagayán, Don Fray Hernando Guerrero, also brought forward his claim to the vacant post; accordingly, both parties presented the arguments in behalf of their respective claims. The decision thereon was deferred for some time, [260]the cabildo always resisting Don Fray Hernando Guerrero’s efforts to take possession of the see, and denying not only the claim which he preferred, but also the right which the bishop of Cebú, Don Fray Pedro de Arce, had—which he, moreover, had yielded to Señor Guerrero. This contest lasted two years in the royal Audiencia; then, the auditors having declared that the government of the archbishopric belonged to Don Fray Pedro de Arce, the cabildo appealed to the Council of the Indias. Nevertheless, the royal Audiencia and the governor sent for the bishop of Cebú, who reached Manila on the twenty-second of January, 1630. The cabildo having been commanded, by a royal decree, to hold a session, Don Fray Pedro de Arce presented himself at that meeting, and made the following proposition: “Sirs, it is well understood, as you will satisfy yourselves, that my coming to this city, and just now to this cabildo, is quite contrary to my own inclinations; for I desire and love a quiet life, and I hold very dear the sheep of my bishopric. The example [of this that I have given] is very evident; for Fray Hernando Guerrero having gone to my diocese so that I might confer upon him the orders for which he had been consecrated, I also transferred to him the right to the government of this archbishopric that I hold in virtue of a brief from his Holiness Paul V, issued by him on January 7, 1612. But the claim of the said bishop of Nueva Segovia was not allowed, for reasons which you know. After that, Don Juan Niño de Tavora, governor and captain-general of these islands, wrote to me so urgently in the name of the gentlemen of the royal Audiencia, sending me his Majesty’s royal decree, and laying a [261]burden upon my conscience if I did not accept this duty, that I could not refuse it; accordingly, I come to this city, certainly against my own wishes, and to the injury of my health in my advanced years. But, sirs, it has seemed to me expedient to come, as a measure of peace and love, to expostulate with you, and ask that you carefully consider all these motives and reasons. I ask that, without delay or opposition, you at once admit me to the government of this archbishopric, to which his Holiness and his Majesty call me, considering that my earnest desire and intention is to strive to labor in the service of both Majesties, and to promote, for yourselves and all this commonwealth, the welfare and harmony which should prevail, and which are right.” Thus spoke Don Fray Pedro de Arce; and answer was made to him by the dean, Don Miguel Garcetas, in behalf of the cabildo. He said that they all fully appreciated the bishop’s kindness, and that all were entirely satisfied of his good intentions in this matter, and of his great virtue, prudence, and learning; but that, in order that they might proceed in this matter with all harmony, certainty, and deliberation, it was necessary that all the members of the cabildo should assemble (for some were not present at this meeting). The dean added that in all their acts they would follow the rulings of the sacred canons and the constitutions of the cathedral church, and that his Lordship might be certain that all of them confessed themselves to be his affectionate children, and desired to render him service; and that they entreated him to show them the bulls and other documents that he possessed, in order that all these might be duly fulfilled. To this the bishop replied that the [262]bulls were already before the cabildo, and by virtue of them he had been admitted to the government of the archbishopric by the death of Don Diego Vazquez Mercado; accordingly, they must settle the matter without delay because, if they did this amicably, they would find in him a father and protector; but if not, he would enforce his claims by the severe measures which he could by law employ.

The cabildo met on the twenty-ninth of January, and decided that, after having consulted learned persons, they were of opinion that the cabildo ought not to surrender the government; but that, on account of the many and serious difficulties [that might arise from this], they would yield under protest. Accordingly, they received Don Fray Pedro de Arce on the same day as ruler of the vacant see, although the cabildo took much umbrage at it; and from this affair originated continual strife and dissensions. At the outset, they denied to Don Fray Pedro the seat in the choir, the cabildo asserting that the bishop was not competent to possess it because he was not a proprietary bishop; and that, although he had been consecrated, it was in another diocese, and one suffragan to that of Manila. The prudent bishop felt this slight keenly, for they had given him this seat when he first administered the vacant see; but finally they gave him the seat (to which he was legally entitled), as they had done before. Don Fray Pedro de Arce ruled with the prudence and uprightness which in him were so eminent, which together with his virtue and piety, made him a most accomplished prelate, and truly a father to all. In the course of his government he made enactments very important for the conduct of the church; in especial, [263]he imposed the cuadrante1 for the choir in the cathedral of Manila with great exactness—aiding the prebends with great readiness in their choir, the subsidy that they receive being still so small that some of them have hardly enough for their support.

[The rest of this chapter is mainly occupied with secular occurrences, which we omit here because they have already been fully related in other documents for that time—the fruitless expedition against Jolo under Lorenzo de Olaso, shipbuilding in Cambodia attempted, the despatch of an envoy to India to secure Portuguese coöperation against the Dutch, the coming of the royal visitor Don Francisco de Rojas, and the death of the governor Niño de Tavora—and the relation of various miraculous cures and deliverances performed through the Santo Niño (or image of Christ) in the church of Cebú. The following paragraph states the proceedings at the meeting of the Augustinian provincial chapter of 1632:]

The year 1632 having arrived, the provincial chapter was convened in the convent at Manila, on the first day of May; the president at this session was father Fray Juan de Tapia, and the election [for provincial] resulted, with the general consent of the entire province, in the choice of father Fray Gerónimo de Medrano—a very courteous and discreet religious, who governed this province well. As [264]definitors were chosen the fathers Fray Juan de Montemayor, Fray Francisco de Mercado, Fray Luis Ronquillo, and Fray Juan Ramirez; and as visitors, the fathers Fray Alonso Carbajal and Fray Antonio de Porras. They made regulations very useful for the proper government of the province; and as its procurator for España was appointed father Fray Diego de Ordás, at that time prior of the convent of Santo Niño at Cebú. He made the journey that year, and, having performed it very successfully, returned [to the islands] in the year 1635.


Chapters VII–XIV

[These chapters are occupied with accounts of the persecutions in Japan, and the biographies of Augustinian priests who were martyred therein.]


Chapters XV–XXXIV

[These chapters relate the coming of Corcuera as governor, his controversies with the bishop, and the exile of the latter; biographical accounts of various noted Augustinian missionaries, some of whom were martyrs in Japan; and the final incidents of the persecution in that country, so far as Diaz could learn of them, up to about 1715. Nearly all of this matter is either a repetition of what we have already presented in previous volumes, or irrelevant to our purpose; but we select occasional passages which properly belong to the history of the islands, especially its ecclesiastical aspects. In our VOL. XXV may be found extracts from Diaz’s work regarding the contest between Corcuera and Guerrero (chapters xv–xviii). Chapter xix is devoted to the opinion of [265]“a learned auditor of Manila” on the banishment of the archbishop; the editor of Diaz, Father Tirso López, prints this opinion, in order to reproduce all of Diaz’s history, which is his only reason for not suppressing “this conceited, most tedious, and ill-digested document.” Chapters xx and xxi are devoted to the biographies of two Augustinian missionaries, Fray Alonso de Mentrida and Fray Juan de Medina respectively. The former excelled as a linguist.]

[Pp. 353–355:] He composed a curious and ingenious grammar [arte], by which the main difficulty in [learning] those languages was surmounted in a short time. He also composed a copious vocabulary of the languages of the two islands, Panay and Cebú, which are quite distinct. In the mountain region of Ogtón a very harsh language is spoken, which they call Halaya; and along the coast another, more polished and elegant, which is called Hileygueina. This work [i.e., the vocabulary] cost him much labor, and is very useful to the ministers. He left it complete, and after his death it was published by father Fray Martín Claver.2 He [Fray Alonso] composed a brief catechism, accurately written, in the Bisayan language, which is very useful for instructing those natives in the mysteries of our holy faith; this was printed twice, in order that there [266]might be an abundant supply of a work so important for the welfare of souls. He also published the ritual by which the holy sacraments are usually administered in these islands; and this work is deserving of esteem, since one finds therein a compilation of what is strictly necessary for the more safe administration [of the sacraments]. It is so highly regarded by the other religious orders that, although two large editions of the work have been printed, it is now necessary to issue a third, since all are trying to obtain this book.3

Father Fray Alonso de Mentrida spent many years in the provinces of Ogtón and Panay,4 where he [267]gathered much fruit in the conversion of those souls, especially in the district of Ogtón—which in those times was, in the greater part of its mountain region, shrouded in the darkness of error. There the devil was well entrenched in those rugged mountains, having solidly established his kingdom and worship among those simple natives—who, influenced more by fear than by any other consideration, prostrated themselves before that demon, and gave him their worship and adoration. His crafty designs were successful among them through the agency of many priests and priestesses (in the Bisayan idiom called babaylanes), who, being especially assisted by that infernal spirit, concoct certain frauds and delusions, with which they deceive the simple Bisayans. These priests, moreover, secure much advantage from this mode of life, since by it they make their living, and are feared and looked up to; for most of them have a compact with the devil, by means of which they wreak such evil as they can on those persons on whom they try to be revenged, or whom they wish to injure because some one else has done them harm. Against this infernal horde father Fray Alonso de Mentrida waged continual battle, roaming through those mountains on foot, and accompanied only by one servant, a very good Christian, who aided him much in his work. This man died at a great age (more than one hundred and ten years); he lived in the village of Guimbal, of which he was a native, and his name was Vilango. They journeyed so destitute of human aid that they carried in their pouches only some roots, cooked, which in that country are very common, called camotes, with a little rice, eaten cold and half-cooked. This sort of abstinence was so [268]continual in Father Mentrida that he ate nothing else than the vegetables and pottages of the country, with a little fish when he wished to appease his more pressing hunger; and it is not known that he ate meat until, in his old age and in several attacks of illness that he suffered, the duty of obedience compelled him to moderate so austere a diet. In such a mode of life this apostolic man wandered through those mountains, preaching to the infidels the word of God, and persuading them to leave their straggling hamlets [rancherías] and settle in some small villages, that he might more advantageously call them together and instruct them, separating them from their errors and blindness. With great benefit to their souls the simple mountaineers of Ogtón received the gospel preaching, as they all are gentle and well-inclined people; the father’s only opponents were those ministers of Satan and children of perdition, the babaylanes, who with their lies sowed their diabolical tares upon the grain of heaven, and easily smothered the seed that took root in piously-inclined hearts. Those priests artfully suggested to the natives the anger which their divatas (thus they name the spirits to whom they give adoration) felt against them, and on their own part uttered threats against them, menacing either their lives or their poor property—which is a scanty grain-field of rice; and by these shameless acts they terrorized the people, and caused some of them to lose their solicitude for attending church. Father Fray Alonso de Mentrida spared neither hardship nor effort to bring back to the fold of the Church those whom these malicious ministers had, through their crafty methods, caused to backslide; and he held with those priests extraordinary [269]discussions, from which, in place of gaining good results, he obtained only their plots. With these they tried, on several occasions, to deprive him of life by their arts and witchcraft; but the Lord, who watched over His servant, did not permit them to succeed in their damnable attempts, and, for the greater humiliation of the common enemy [i.e., the devil], held back the father from the greatest dangers.

During the time when this apostolic minister was preaching in the mountains of Ogtón, there were visible apparitions of the devil, standing upon a rock and teaching superstitions and giving laws to a great multitude of Indians, who, deceived by him, followed him. Moreover, in those mountains are many demons, who appear to the natives in horrible forms—as hideous savages, covered with bristles, having very long claws, with terrifying eyes and features, who attack and maltreat those whom they encounter. These being are called by the Indians Banuanhon, who are equivalent to the satyrs and fauns of ancient times. Even at this day these hideous monsters are wont to appear to the Indians, some of whom remain in a demented condition for months from the mere sight of them; others go away with these demons, and are lost for a long time, and then will return in a terrified and fainting condition, few of them failing to die soon afterward. I would have much to tell and relate if I should stop to mention what has occurred with such monsters, who have been seen not only in the mountains of Ogtón and Panay, but very frequently in the province of Taal. They are called in the Tagal language Tigbalang; and many persons who have seen them have described to me, in the [270]same terms, the aspect of the monster. They say that he has a face like a cat’s, with a head that is flattened above, not round, with thick beard, and covered with long hair; his legs are so long that, when he squats on his buttocks, his knees stand a vara above his head; and he is so swift in running that there is no quadruped that can be compared with him.

[Diaz proceeds to relate several incidents connected with these demons, and the difficulties encountered by Mentrida, caused by the hostility of the native priests—who much resembled the “medicine-men” of the North American Indians; and adds (p. 356): “In these holy occupations he passed much time in that mountain wilderness, as his companion Vilango has told me; and gradually those hearts, hard as diamonds, were softened, and they were converted to our holy faith. He proceeded to gather those people into villages, founding those of Agra (with the advocacy of St. Nicholas), Baong, Santiago, Limao, San Pedro, Taytay, and Catingpan—which remain to this very day, and in my time preserve the memory of this apostolic man, to whom, as they recognize, they owe the knowledge of the truth.” Mentrida remained in the missions until 1618, when he was summoned to Manila, to become prior of the Augustinian convent there; and in 1623, he was elected provincial. The rest of his life he was afflicted by age and broken health; and he died at Manila, March 22, 1637.]

[Diaz sketches the life and labors of Juan de Medina (whose history of his order in Filipinas we publish in VOLS. XXIII and XXIV of this series), giving the following summary of his achievements: “It is not easy to relate in full the great labors of this [271]religious in the conversion of the Indians in the province of Ogtón, when they all, on account of the coming of the Dutch the first time to the point of Iloilo, took refuge in the mountains, forsaking their villages, so that it was difficult for several years to bring them back to a sedentary life. During that time, this religious traveled, carrying little more than his staff, through all the mountains of Ogtón, preaching to the people that they might be converted, and maintaining a continual battle with the devil—who had, through the agency of his ministers the babaylanes, persuaded the people that the Spaniards could not deliver them from the Dutch. During that time he suffered many dangers through the plots of those infernal ministers, who at various times tried to take his life—divine Providence delivering him from them all, for the greater gain of those Christian communities. Amid those dangers did this religious convert most of the peoples in Ogtón, Xaro, Baong, and Pasig. In all places where this minister went, he left an especial reputation for his virtue and apostolic teaching. He visited some nine times the entire province of Bisayas, and usually held the office of vicar-provincial—obedience obliging him to accept it, on account of the great importance of his direction for the greater glory of the order.” After twenty years spent in these labors, he obtained permission (1631) to go to Spain, and miraculously escaped from the wreck of his ship in the very port of Cavite. He then returned to the Visayan missions, but again set out for Spain in 1635; while crossing the Pacific, he was carried away by disease. Chapters xxii–xxv are devoted to the persecutions and martyrdoms of Christians in Japan; [272]chapter xxvi treats mainly of the controversy within the Augustinian order regarding the “alternation” of offices between the friars sent from Spain and those who had taken the habit in the Indias (already related in our VOL. XXVIII). The following paragraphs are of interest here.]

[Pp. 386–388:] After the father provincial Fray Juan Ramirez (who was one of the best superiors of that time) had governed this province very successfully and judiciously, the time arrived for the provincial chapter; it was held at the convent of San Pablo in Manila, on the twenty-fourth of the month of April, 1638. Father Fray Jerónimo Cornuetano, the general of the entire order, presided over the meeting; and it resulted in the election, by unanimous consent, of father Fray Martín Errasti, a religious who was much endeared to all the rest by his many fine qualities. The definitors elected were fathers Fray Juan de Trexo, Fray Jerónimo Venasque, Fray Francisco de Madrid, and Fray Francisco de Villalón; and the visitors, father Fray Juan de Boan and Fray Jerónimo de Paredes—all being religious of recognized abilities, and men to whose care the interests of this province could be confided. It was decided to send to España a procurator to conduct a party of religious to this province, although the choice of one was not effected until the following year; this fell upon father Fray Pedro de Quesada, prior of the convent of Bulacán, who had recently arrived, driven back by stress of weather, from [a voyage to] the kingdom of Japón—whither he went with some religious of St. Dominic; but stormy head-winds obliged them to return to Manila, [273]divine Providence keeping them in reserve for another ministry.

The Moro pirates of Mindanao and Joló did not cease to infest the Pintados Islands every year with their armed fleets—capturing the natives, burning the villages, plundering the churches of the consecrated vessels, and then destroying those temples by fire. So far had gone the boldness of Corralat—who came to those islands, subjected to his anger, without the Spaniards displaying any purpose to defend them, or going out to hinder those injuries—that he soon attributed this negligence to cowardice, and to the fear of him which the Spaniards felt. This so increased his boldness that his little fleets were daring enough to approach even the bay of Manila. They experienced no resistance, save only in the province of Caraga—[whose natives are] a warlike people—and this was due to the valor of its alcalde-mayor, Captain Don Francisco de Atienza y Bañes, a native of Toledo; and to the great courage of a discalced Augustinian religious named Fray Agustín de San Pedro, who was very celebrated in those times, and feared by the pirates, [who was known] by the name of “Father Captain” [Padre Capitán].5 The exploits of this religious in defending [274]the villages where he was a minister of religious instruction, and in going out to find the enemy in their own country, would be material for many chapters of history. He was a religious of great virtue, and of zeal for the welfare of souls; and, besides this, God had given him extraordinary courage, and a genius worthy of Scipio and Hannibal. Accordingly, seeing that those who ought to conduct military operations remained with folded hands, without going out to the defense of those harassed peoples, he determined to do so himself. On one occasion he went out from Butuan, where he was prior, with some Spanish soldiers, and men whom he gathered in Caraga; and with them he faced and put to flight an armed fleet of Corralat. When Don Francisco de Atienza saw what aid he had in the valor and experience of father Fray Agustín, the two laid their plans to perform an exploit that should do them credit; and, manning some caracoas with the best soldiers from the presidio of Tanda, both Spaniards and Caragas, and providing two boats which could be taken to pieces and carried overland in sections, and afterward be again put together and framed, Don Francisco, accompanied by father Fray Agustín, took the route to the lake of [275]Malanao,6 which was under the jurisdiction of Corralat. This lake is in the island of Mindanao, opposite the island of Bohol; from north to south it is eight leguas long, and it is four leguas wide. Its shores are thickly settled by several tribes, some Mahometan and others heathen (although all of them are vassals of Corralat); but they are people who are very poor in all except foodstuffs, of which they have a great abundance. Don Francisco de Atienza and father Fray Agustín de San Pedro arrived at this lake; and, as the water at its entrance was very low and there were many miry places, they took the four [sic] vessels to pieces and placed them on the lake, where they again [put them together and] manned them. By this means the Spaniards went through that region, carrying on hostilities among those tribes, and leaving them subjected to the crown of España—although this submission did not last long, for Corralat again reduced them, because the Spaniards had not left behind a fortified post. This conquest was not one of much profit; but it was enough to leave the Moros warned for some time by this punishment.

[Chapters xxvii and xxviii are occupied with the [276]expedition of Corcuera against Joló, already described in our VOL. XXVIII. Chapters xxix–xxxiv are devoted almost entirely to the Chinese insurrection in Manila and its environs in 1639, and to an historical account of former disturbances caused by them in the islands, from the time of the pirate Limahon down. A brief paragraph mentions the death of the provincial of the Augustinians, and his temporary successor: “In the middle of the year 1639 occurred the death of the father provincial Fray Martín de Herrasti, a loss which was keenly felt by all the province on account of his many endowments and lovable qualities. He was a native of Guipúzcoa, and a son of the convent at Burgos. Having come to this province in the year 1617, he was assigned, by his obedience, to the ministry in Pampanga, where he remained, an excellent missionary, for a period of twenty years—until the province, satisfied as to his virtue and discretion, chose to employ so worthy a minister to govern it, and elected him provincial, although it enjoyed but little of the direction of so excellent a superior. The government of the province was assumed by father Fray Juan Ramírez, as the most recent past provincial; and thus was somewhat lessened the general grief caused by the loss of the deceased provincial.”] [277]

1 The name of the smallest coin current in former times, the word meaning literally “one-fourth.” Apparently, the bishop imposed a slight tax on all who attended mass, for the benefit of the poor prebendaries. It will be noticed that the word coro has several different meanings. In this sentence, it means the body of clergy in the church who chant the sacred offices; above, referring to the bishop’s seat, it meant the place which the clergy occupied during the church services.

2 The title-page of the Bocabulario states that additions were made to it by Claver before sending the work to the press. This friar came to the Philippines in 1624, and was assigned to the Visayan missions, where he labored until 1639, when he was sent as procurator to Madrid and Rome; he died at Madrid, in 1646. Claver wrote several books, the most important being a history of the Augustinian province of Philipinas, which has been lost. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 105, and T. H. Pardo de Tavera’s Biblioteca Filipina, pp. 262, 263.

3 For bibliographical account of Mentrida’s works, see Pardo de Tavera’s Biblioteca Filipina (Washington, 1903), pp. 262, 263. They are as follows: Bocabulario de la lengva Bisaia Hiligvoyna y Haraia (Manila, 1637), and another edition (Manila, 1841); Arte de la lengua Bisaya Hiliguayna (Manila, 1818), possibly this was a second edition; and Ritual para administrar los Santos Sacramentos (Manila, 1630), reprinted in 1669. Pardo de Tavera says: “He died in 1637, leaving various works which have since been lost, not having been printed; Father Agustín María says that he had an opportunity to see these in Panay, about 1770 to 1780.”

4 Colin says (Labor evangélica, Pastells’ ed., i, p. 31): “For greater convenience in governing it, this island of Panay is divided into two jurisdictions: the territory belonging to that of Panay is all of the northern coast, from the point of Potol to Bulacabi; the rest of the island belongs to the jurisdiction of Otón, the principal [Spanish] post in which, at this time, is at Iloílo—a point which projects into the sea on the southern coast, between the two rivers of Tigbauan and Jaro; and makes, with the island of Imaras, a strait half a legua wide and an open harbor.” This would make the jurisdiction of Fanay correspond to the present province of Cápiz; and that of Otón to the provinces of Antique and Iloílo. The boundaries between these present divisions are the rugged mountain chains which fill a great part of the interior of the island, their peaks ranging in height from 3,500 to 7,200 feet; they render traffic between the provinces almost impossible, except as it is carried on by way of the sea. The island of Guimarás is 26½ miles long by 12 miles wide, and has important fishing and agricultural industries.

5 One of the most notable names in Philippine missionary annals is that of Agustín de San Pedro (his family name Rodriguez), born in Portugal in 1599. He was a student in the university of Salamanca, but, desiring to enter the religious life, he assumed the habit of a Recollect Augustinian at Valladolid, and made his profession at the age of twenty. Three years later, he set out for the Philippine mission, and soon after reaching Manila was sent to Mindanao. There he labored with the Indians in the districts of Butuan, Habongan, Linao, Cagayan, Tandag, and Romblon; and accompanied the expedition of Atienza Ibáñez (1639) to Lake Malanao. Retana and Pastells (in their edition of Combés’s Hist. Mindanao, col. 725) state that this missionary converted some 10,000 natives to Catholicism. More than that, he aided in the defense of his converts, several times fighting at their head against their heathen and piratical enemies; and, having been as a student proficient in mathematics and military science, he constructed forts in the Christian villages which enabled them to repel their invaders, and taught the natives the art of fortification. Fray Agustín died in Romblon, in 1653. See accounts of his life and exploits in Prov. S. Nicolas de Tolentino, pp. 290–292; and La Concepción’s Hist. Philipinas, v, pp. 362–391 (which will appear in a later volume of this series).

6 This expedition, departing from Tandag (on the north-eastern coast of Surigao, the easternmost province of Mindanao), sailed northwest to the point near the town of Surigao, then, passing through the strait of that name, southwest into Iligan Bay on the north shore of the island. Ascending the Iligan River (which is the outlet of Lake Lanao), they reached the lake, after a journey of sixteen and one-half miles. Now, as then, the valley of the river and the vicinity of the lake are thickly settled, and the Moro inhabitants carry on extensive industries in agriculture and commerce. On the Jesuit Atlas de Filipinas (Washington, 1900), map no. 27, appears a village named P. Capitan—evidently in memory of the soldier-missionary Fray Agustín; but no such name is given in the U. S. Gazetteer of the islands.


Relation of the Filipinas Islands

By a religious who lived there for eighteen years1

Archipelagus orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern or Asiatic archipelago); photographic facsimile of map by Joannis Blaeu (Amsterdam, 1659)

Archipelagus orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern or Asiatic archipelago); photographic facsimile of map by Joannis Blaeu (Amsterdam, 1659)

[From original map in Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris]

The islands called Filipinas, because of having been conquered during the reign of Felipe II, were discovered in the year 1521, by Hernando Magallanes, a famous Portuguese, who gave his name to the strait. That great pilot, after having forever perpetuated his name by a navigation so new and so difficult, landed on one of the Filipinas Islands—a very small one, named Matan—where he was treacherously killed by the Indians. Ruy Lopez de Villalobos sighted the islands again after him in the year 1539.2 Finally they were pacified in the year 1571 by the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. It is a cause for surprise that the Portuguese, who had [278]discovered the Malucas, China, and Japon, some years before, and had made their homes there, did not know anything about those islands until long afterward, although they are, as it were, the very center and middle part of their other discoveries. They knew well the island of Borneo, which is the last of those islands toward the south, but they had never stopped there while en route to the Malucas—urged, perhaps, by their too great greed for the spices and drugs which are produced so abundantly in those islands.

The geographies say that there are eleven thousand islands in that great archipelago of which the Filipinas are a part, and that they are adjacent to Asia as are the Canaries and the Terceras to Africa. They cross into the torrid zone and extend along the coasts of China and India. South of them lie the Malucas, and on their northern coast, Japon. More than forty of them are subject to the king of España, the largest and most important being Manila and Mindanao. Manila is the capital of all the others, the residence of the governor and the archbishop, and the seat of the royal Audiencia. Those two islands are each six hundred miles in circuit; they are full of mountains, have rivers and dense forests, and lie in thirteen and one-half degrees north latitude. The other islands are not so large, some being one hundred miles in circuit, some fifty, and some even less. Almost all of them are inhabited by Indians, and those which are not are used by the Indians for their crops, and for the chase of deer and wild boars, and for the gathering of wax, with which the islands most abound.

The islands not yet under the dominion of the [281]king of España have their own kings, who are Mahometans. The island of Borneo, three times greater than the whole of Italia, is the largest of all the islands. Those subject to the king of España are Manila, Zebu, Oton, Mindanao, Bohol, Leite, Samar, Mindoro, Marinduque, the island of Negros, the island of Fuegos, Calamianes, Masbat, Jolo, Taquima, Capul, La Paragua, the island of Tablas, Verde Island, Burias, Tiago, Maripipe, Panama, Panaon, Sibuian, Luban, Bantajan, Panglao, Siquior, Catanduan, Imaras, Tagapolo, Banton, Romblon, Similara, Cuio, Cagaianes, Marivelez, Poro, Babuianes, the island of Cabras (which is distant from the others), and other smaller ones.

In the islands subject to the king of España, every married man pays ten reals of tribute, and he who is unmarried five. Nearly all of them have received the gospel, and hence there are few heathen. However, in the islands of Mindanao, Taquima, and Jolo, conquered but recently, most of the people are Moros or heathen; but it is hoped that the zeal of the missionaries will convert them very soon to Jesus Christ.

Before the conquest of those islands by the Spaniards, the natives of the country were subject to the chiefs among them, who were recognized as nobles, and all the others obeyed them. Those chiefs possessed a great amount of gold, and slaves in proportion to their nobility. I knew two chiefs, one in Bohol, and the other at Dapitan, a village of Mindanao, who had more than one hundred slaves apiece. They are not foreign slaves, as those of Angola who are in Europa, but of the same nation. It was a lamentable thing to see with what violence [282]and for how little a thing, these chiefs made slaves. For, however small a sum one owed to another, the interest, for lack of payment, amounted to so great a sum that it was impossible to pay it; and consequently, the person of the debtor being pledged for the debt, he became the slave of his creditor, together with all his posterity. They also made slaves, with unusual tyranny and cruelty, for crimes of slight importance, such as not keeping silent at the graves of the dead, and for passing in front of the chief’s wife when she was in her bath. Those captured in war were also all made slaves. Now with baptism, all those acts of violence and tyranny have been suppressed—although there still remains one very peculiar custom among them, which does not follow that general rule, namely, Partus sequitur ventrem;3 for there are some who are wholly slaves, and others who are only half slaves. The former are those born of a slave father and mother; the others who are born of a slave father and a free mother, or vice versa. In some villages it is the custom that, if the father is slave and the mother free, one of the children is free and the other slave. The privilege of those half slaves is that if they pay a certain sum of money to their master, they may oblige him to grant them their liberty—an advantage that is not possessed by those who are wholly slaves.

All the religion of those Indians is founded on tradition, and on a custom introduced by the devil himself, who formerly spoke to them by the mouth of their idols and of their priests. That tradition is preserved by the songs that they learn by heart in their childhood, by hearing them sung in their sailing, [283]in their work, in their amusements, and in their festivals, and, better yet, when they bewail their dead. In those barbarous songs, they recount the fabulous genealogies and deeds of their gods, of whom they have one who is chief and head of all the others. The Tagáls call that god Bathala mei Capal, which signifies “God the Creator.” The Bisayans call him Laon, which signifies “Time.” They are not far from our belief on the point of the creation of the world. They believe in a first man, the flood, and paradise, and the punishments of the future life.

They say that the first man and the first woman came out of a reed stalk which burst in Sumatra, and that there were some quarrels between them at their marriage. They believed that when the soul left the body, it went to an island, where the trees, birds, waters, and all other things were black; that it passed thence to another island, where all things were of different colors; and finally that it arrived at one, where everything was white. They recognized invisible spirits, another life, and devils hostile to men, of whom they had great fear. Their chief idolatry was in adoring and regarding as gods those of their ancestors who were most remarkable for their courage, or for their intelligence. Such they called humalagar, or, as is said in Latin, manes. Each one, as far as possible, ascribed divinity to his father at death. The old men even died with that conceit, and that is why they chose a remarkable place—as did one in the island of Leite, who had himself placed on the seashore, so that those who went sailing should recognize him as a god, and commend themselves to him. They also worshiped animals and birds. They regarded the rainbow as [284]a sort of divinity. The Tagáls worshiped a totally blue bird, of the size of a thrush, which they called bathala, which was a name of the divinity. They worshiped the raven, which they called meilupa, meaning “the master of the earth.” They had a great veneration for the crocodile. [When] they saw it in the water, they called it nono, or “grandfather.” They offered to it prayers regularly, with great devotion, and offerings of what they carried in their boats, in order that it might not harm them. There was no old tree of which they did not make a god, and it was a sacrilege to cut it. I have seen a very large one called nonog,4 in the island of Samar, which a religious ordered to be felled, in order to destroy all those superstitions. He was unable to find an Indian who would undertake it for him; and it was necessary for some Spaniards to go to fell it. They also worshiped the stones, rocks, reefs, and promontories of land which jut into the sea; and made offerings to these of rice, fish, and other like things, or fired their arrows at them in passing.

Between La Caldera and the river in the island of Mindanao, a great point of land runs into the sea, which makes the coast dangerous and very high. The sea beats violently against that cape, which is very difficult to double. The Indians in passing offered it their arrows as a sacrifice, praying it to allow them to pass. They shot them with so great force that they made them enter the rock, and hence it is called the Punta de Flechas. One day the Spaniards burned a number of those arrows to show their hatred of so vain a superstition; and in less than one year more than four thousand were found there. [285]When Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera conquered the island of Mindanao three years ago,5 he ordered that that point be called no more Punta de Flechas, but San Sebastian. They had innumerable other superstitions. If they saw a snake or a lizard, or if they heard a bird that they called corocoro6 sneeze or sing, they took it as a bad sign, and did not go farther. They had no remarkable temples, and no festivals of days of public sacrifices; but each one made his offerings to the humalagar or divata (which was the name of their god) in private, according to their purpose or need. Although they had no temples, they had men and women who acted as priests, who were called catolonan by some and babailan by others. Those priests were most inclined to allow themselves to be deceived by the devil, and to deceive the people afterward by a thousand tricks and inventions—chiefly at the time of their sicknesses, when they are depressed, lose courage, and crave a prompt remedy; and give all their possessions to him who promises it to them.

There are some priests who have special communication with the devil. He speaks to them through the mouths of their little idols, and makes them believe that these are the voices of their ancestors, whom they worship. Sometimes the devil passes into the bodies of their sacrificers, and, during the short time of the sacrifice, he makes them say [286]and do things that fill the bystanders with fear. They take that order of sacrificers from among their friends or their relatives, who wish to learn the mystery of it from them. Their blindness causes them to esteem that rank greatly, for besides the reputation and respect that that employment brings them, they also receive large offerings. All who have been present at the sacrifice make them gifts, one cotton, one gold, and one a fowl. The sacrifice takes place in their houses. The victim is now a hog, now a fowl, now some fish or rice; and the sacrifice is differently named according to the various victims. It is performed by the sacrificer stabbing the victim amid certain ceremonies, which he performs to a cadence marked by a drum or a bell. That is the time in which the devil takes possession of them. He causes them to make innumerable contortions and grimaces, after the end of which they tell what they believe they have seen or heard.

As for their persons, those people are well built, have handsome features, and are light-complexioned. They are clad in a garment that falls to the ankles, which is made of striped cotton of various colors. When in mourning, they wear white; however, that mode of dress is not so general. Those called Pintados, and those of the island of Mindanao, wear short white, yellow, or red tunics, which hang to the knees, bound in by a girdle one vara wide and two and one-half brazas long; this is, as a general rule, white or red, and always falls to the knees. They wear neither stockings nor shoes; and instead of a hat they use a bit of cloth, which they wind twice or thrice around the head. Their whole adornment consists in having very rich and beautiful necklaces, [287]earrings, and gold rings or bracelets. They wear those bracelets above the ankle; some wear these of ivory, and others of brass. They also have little round plates three fingers in diameter, which they pass through a hole that they make in the ear. In some of those islands, the men formerly marked all the body with figures, whence comes the Spanish name “Pintados” [“pictured,” i.e., tattooed]. That operation was performed in the flower of their age, and at the period when they had most strength to suffer that torture. They had themselves adorned in that way after they had performed some illustrious deed. The masters of that art first trace on their bodies the design of the picture, which they next follow up with pricks from very sharp points, and throw on the blood which comes out a powder which never fades away. The whole of the body is not pricked at once, but bit by bit; and formerly, in order that one might have the right of making it for each part, it was necessary to perform an illustrious deed, and to show new prowess. Those pictures are pretty, and well proportioned to the portions of the body on which they are made; and, although they are of an ashen color, they are nevertheless agreeable to the sight. The children are not tattooed at all. The women do not bear the marks of that adornment except on one hand and on some part of the other. In regard to their teeth, they imitate the men in everything. They file them from their earliest childhood; some making them even in this way, others filing them into points, thus giving them the appearance of a saw. They cover the teeth with a black, glossy polish, or one that is flame-colored; and thus their teeth become black, or as red as vermilion. In [288]the upper row, they make a little covering which they fill with gold, which shows off to advantage on the black or red background of that polish.

The women as well as the men are continually in the water, and they also swim like fish. They need no bridge to get over rivers. They bathe at all times of the day, as much for pleasure as for cleanliness. Women who have but recently given birth cannot be prevented from bathing, and bathe in the waters of the coldest springs. As soon as the child has issued from its mother’s womb, it is placed in the water; and on taking it from the bath its head is rubbed with ajonjoli [i.e., sesame] oil mixed with civet. They do that also on other occasions, and to show politeness, especially the women and little boys. They bathe also during their sicknesses, and have for that purpose springs of hot water, especially at the shore of Laguna de Bay, which is in the island of Manila.7

There is no one language that is general for all the islands, but each district has a special one. True, they have some relation between one another, such as exists between the Lombard, Sicilian, and Tuscan. There are six dialects in the island of Manila, and two in the island of Oton; while there are some languages which are spoken in several islands. The most general are the Tagál and Bisayan. The latter is very rude, but the former is very polished, and most remarkable. Thus a religious, who was well versed in those islands, was in the habit of saying that the Tagál language had the advantages of the [289]four chief languages of the world: that it was mysterious, like Hebrew; that it had the articles of the Greek, both for appellatives and for proper names; that it had elegance and abundance, like the Latin; and that it was not less suitable than the Italian for compliments and business.8 They have only three vowels, but these serve as five. They have only a dozen consonants, which they express differently by placing a little dot above or below, as can be seen in the following figure.

Marginal note: “The consonants not marked with any point are pronounced with ‘a;’ if they have a point above, they are pronounced with ‘e,’ or ‘i;’ if the point is below, they are pronounced with ‘o’ or ‘u.’”

They have learned to write from us9 by making their lines from left to right, instead of their former way of writing from top to bottom. Reeds or palm-leaves serve them as paper, and the point of an iron style is used instead of a pen. They use their writing only to letters from one to another, for they have no histories or books of any learning. Our religious have printed books in the languages of the islands, concerning the matters of our religion. In the Malucas, they have a very pretty method of writing [290]to their friends. They collect flowers of various colors, and make a bouquet of them; and he who receives the bouquet understands, on beholding the varieties of flowers and their colors, as if they were so many different characters, the thoughts of his friend. They have not sufficient capacity to apply themselves to learning, and they content themselves with being good carpenters, and with working gold and iron well. They have been employed during these last few years in making silk and cotton stockings; in writing and reading our characters; in singing and dancing; and in playing the flute, the guitar, and the harp. The strings used for those last instruments are made from twisted silk, and produce as agreeable a sound as ours, although quite different in quality. They formerly had an instrument called cutiape, which some of them still use. It bears a close resemblance to a hurdy-gurdy, and has four copper cords. They play it so cleverly, that they make it express whatever they wish; and it is asserted as a truth that they speak, and tell one another whatever they wish, by means of that instrument, a special skill in those of that nation.

Most of those islanders have only one wife, but it is not true that there are not some places in the country where they have several, especially in the island of Mindanao. It may be said that the husbands buy their wives there, since they generally make some present to their parents according to their rank: that of dato, for instance, which signifies “a man of rank;” of tinaua, which signifies “free;” or oripuen, which signifies “a slave.” The women in the islands of the Pintados are called binocot, or “woman who is in the room;” for bocot signifies [291]“a room,” and the women go outside but rarely, and even are carried then on the shoulders of their slaves. I have seen one woman of Dapitan, a settlement of the island of Mindanao, so delicate and so fine, that she always had herself carried to church on the shoulders of her slaves whom she best liked. It is a mark of politeness among those women always to keep the right hand in front of the mouth when they talk to a man.10

Those people live in houses thatched with straw, with the leaves of trees, or with large reeds which, divided into two, serve them as a tiling. There is but little furniture to be seen in their houses. But rarely are chairs seen there, for they always sit on the ground, or on carpets made from reeds. They have neither beds nor mattresses, as their reed mats serve as both. They eat on the ground or on very small low tables, but the tables are used only among the chiefs. Banana leaves, which are one braza long and one-half braza wide, serve them as napkins. Their employment consists of agriculture, the very abundant fishing along their coasts and in their rivers, and hunting wild boars and deer with dog and spear—an employment to which their agility and their skill renders them very suitable. They also go to gather honey and wax in the mountains or in the trees, where nature has taught the bees to make both those substances.

The arms of some are spears, of others arrows; the campilan, which is a large cutlass; the kris, or poniard; the zompites or blow-guns, through which they blow little poisoned arrows; and bacacaies, or little reeds hardened by fire at the end. To defend [292]their grain from animals and from men who could harm it, they scatter caltrops, which the old men call tribulos,11 made so that one of the four points of which they are composed is always up, and those who pass there get caught without perceiving the traps. But now the Spaniards have taught them how to use firearms, and they get along very well—especially a nation called the Pampangos, many of whom are enrolled in the Spanish troops. These men serve with great fidelity, and well second the courage of which the Spaniards set them an example in their combats by sea and land.

They are very fertile, and I have seen but few married people without children. When these are born, they name them according to the incidents that happen at the time of their birth. One will be called Maglente, because of the thunder that sounded at the time of his birth; for lente signifies a clap of thunder. Another will be named Gubaton, because the foes appeared on the coast at that same time; for gubat signifies enemy. They esteem nobility; and I have known a woman called Vray—that is to say, “fine gold”—who had been given that name because of the nobility of her lineage. In some of the islands they were accustomed to put the head of a new-born child between two boards, and thus pressed it so that it would not be round, but long; and they also flattened the forehead, in their belief that it was a mark [293]of beauty to have it thus.12 At the birth of a child to one among them who is of the highest rank, they hold a festival of a week, during which very joyful songs are sung by the women.

They lose courage when they are sick. They do not use either bleeding or other remedies, except certain medicinal herbs, of which there is abundance in these islands. They use the cupping-glass; but it is not made of glass, for there is no glass in that country, but of small shells or the small horns of deer. They drink the liquor of cocoanuts after it has been kept some time in the evening damp; and that liquor is so healthful that their continual use of it keeps them from gravel, a disease of which the name is unknown among those peoples.

When anyone dies, the music of the mourning and lamentation begins immediately. Some weep because they are truly touched by their loss; others are hired by the day to weep. Women are usually chosen, as they are most apt for that music. They wash the body of the deceased to that sad cadence, and perfume it with storax, and other perfumes which are used among them. After bewailing the body for three days, they bury it. They do not place it in the earth, but in coffins of very hard and incorruptible wood, which they kept in their houses. The boards of the coffins are so well joined that the air cannot enter. They placed a piece of gold in the mouths of some, and adorned their coffins with precious gems. Moreover they were careful to carry [294]all sorts of food to their grave, and to leave it there as if it were to be used by the deceased. Some they would not allow to go alone, and it was necessary to give them some male and female slaves to keep them company. They killed the latter after having given them a fine repast, so that they might go with the deceased. With one of their chiefs of the country they once encased a galley equipped with rowers, so that they could serve him in the other world. The most usual place of burial was the house of the deceased, in the lowest story, where they dug a hole to place the coffin. Sometimes the burial was in the open field; and in such case great fires were made below the house, and sentinels were posted there, for fear lest the deceased should come to take away those who were yet alive. The tears and lamentations were finished with the burial; but the feasts and orgies lasted a greater or less time, according to the station of the deceased. The Tagáls wore black as a sign of mourning; the Bisayans wore white, and shaved the head and eyebrows. When a person of rank happened to die, silence was observed throughout the village, until that the interdict should have been removed—which lasted a greater or less time, according to the quality of the deceased. During that time not the least noise could be made. But the mourning of those who had been killed in war or by treachery lasted a longer time, and did not end until their children and relations had killed many others—not only those who were known as enemies, but even strangers or unknown men; for their fury having thus been assuaged, they thought that they could put an end to their mourning, [295]and solemnize it by great festivities and prolonged feasting.

They are for the most part good sailors—I mean for the navigation among the islands; for, as they do not use the compass, they do not get along so well on the open sea. They use various kinds of craft, which are propelled by sail and oar. The largest craft of the second class are called caracoas. Although these are not very large, they do not hesitate to put one hundred Indians in them; for there are three banks of rowers on each side. They make use of those craft for trading among those islands; and they lade them with dried fish, wine, salt, wax, cotton, cocoanuts, and other like merchandise.

They are cowards naturally, and more apt to make an ambuscade than to face their enemies. Upon that is chiefly founded their submission to the Spaniards, for they do not serve them out of affection.

They readily received our religion. Their meager intelligence does not permit them to sound the depths of its mysteries. They also have little care in the fulfilment of their duties to the Christianity which they have adopted; and it is necessary to constrain them by fear of punishment, and to govern them like schoolchildren. Intoxication and usury are the two vices to which they are most addicted. The piety and care of our religious have not as yet been able to make them lose those habits altogether.

The climate of Manila and most of the other Filipinas Islands is very warm. The difference between the seasons is not perceived, for the heat is equally great all the year. The rains commence at the end of the month of May and last for three or four [296]months without interruption; but beyond that time it rains but rarely. In the months of October, November, and December, the country is subject to hurricanes, which the natives of the country call vaguios. They are furious winds which make the entire round of the compass in twenty-four hours, commencing at the north. They break the palm-trees, uproot the largest trees, overthrow the houses, and sometimes carry persons into the air; and some have been seen which have hurled vessels a musket-shot inland.

At the extremity of the island of Manila, near the Embocadero, where the vessels en route from Nueva España enter, there is a volcano or mountain whence often issue flames, and always smoke.13 In those islands there is neither grain, wine, nor olive-oil, nor one of the fruits which we have in Europa, except the oranges, of which I shall speak later. Rice grows there in great abundance, and serves instead of bread. They have two kinds of it. One kind is sown in places always under water, and the other on the mountains, where it is moistened only by the water from the sky. Their drink also is made from rice, by soaking it in water; or it is taken from palm-trees, or cocoanuts, or from another variety of small palm called nipa. They keep those liquors in large crocks, and draw from them only on holidays and days of rejoicing. Those liquors mount to the head and intoxicate, as much as does the wine of Europa.

The horses and cows in those islands have been carried thither from Mexico and China, for there [297]were none there formerly. The flesh of swine is their most usual food, and there is a great abundance of it; it is very healthful and savory. There are also innumerable fowl, deer, wild boars, goats, and civet-cats; also plenty of beans, cotton, strawberries, and even cinnamon—which is found only in the island of Mindanao, and which does not begin to be as good as that of Ceilan. They have no silver mines in those islands, and the little silver seen there has been carried from Mexico, in return for the merchandise exported there annually. There are gold mines in the island of Manila, and on the river of Butuan in the island of Mindanao. There is truly not sufficient to satisfy the desires of the Spaniards; but the little that there is of it sufficed the Indians, who value it only for the little use that they make of it, since it does not enter at all into trade. There is a quantity of honey and wax in their mountains; and since the Spanish have lived there they have built many sugar mills; and sugar is so common there that one may buy twenty-five libras of sixteen onzas apiece for one teston. They have three varieties of fruit that are most common: bananas, santors, and birinbines.14 There are fifteen or sixteen kinds of bananas, some of them are sweet, but that sweetness has an admixture of bitter in others. Some of them smell good, but all of those varieties are very agreeable to the taste. I know of no fruit in Europa to which to compare them, unless it be the musas which grow in Sicilia. The birinbines and santors are [298]eaten preserved more often than in any other way, because of their tartness; when prepared in preserves, they taste like plums. If they are allowed to ripen on the tree, they smell like quinces, although they have no other resemblance to quinces at all. Those islands have many other trees which grow wild. Their mountains furnish them with roots, from which they draw their most usual nourishment; these are called pugaian and corot.15 They have other roots which they cultivate, such as the apari, the ubi, the laquei, and others which they call camotes, which are the potatoes16 of España. The Spaniards use the last named, as also do the Indians.

But the most useful tree of all is the palm—not that which bears the date, for they do not have that [299]species, but those which bear cocoanuts, of the size of an orange. Those nuts are filled with a very sweet liquor, which is very good to drink. They make wine, vinegar, and honey of it; and when that fruit becomes dry as it ripens, that liquor changes into white meat harder than an almond. It is from that meat that oil is extracted and a milk resembling that extracted from almonds. The cocoanut has two coverings. The first, which is less hard, is used for tinder when dried; also for the rigging and smaller cordage of the ships, or as tow for calking them. The other covering is harder, and is used for drinking vessels, or as dishes in which to prepare their food. The palm-leaves are the tiles with which their houses are thatched. The trunks of the same trees are used to support the houses, and in making the pillars. They have one other tree which is no less useful to them, for it serves them as a perpetual spring, and furnishes water to an entire village—which, being located on a very high and dry site, has no other water than what they get from that tree by making incisions in its trunk, and in its largest branches; for a clear sweet water flows out of it. The trees of those islands are always green, and there are only two species that shed their leaves, one called batelan,17 and the other dabdas.

The reeds [i.e., bamboos] of those islands have the following peculiarity, namely, that they are as much as three palmos in circumference and eight brazas in length. They are used as the materials out of which to build a whole house. The pillars, the lintels, the stairs, the floors, and the walls are [300]made from them. They are used as rafters for the roof, and split into several parts, as tiles for covering the roof. They have no other saucepans in which to cook their food than those reeds, and no other wood to burn; for the trees serve them as material with which to build their little boats—or rather, rafts—with which they carry for traffic their rice, cocoanuts, and abacá, the hemp of that country.

Those islands have a great abundance of various kinds of oranges, peculiar to those countries for their good taste. I have seen them so large that they were four palmos in circumference. Some were red as scarlet inside, and very sweet. There are some which contain another little orange in the place of the seeds; and these are called on that account “oranges which have children.”18

I will place in the list of vegetables a sort of leaf which serves them for nourishment, or rather for refreshment. It is used very commonly among the Indians, both Christians and Mahometans, and even among the Spaniards. A mixture is made of it which is called mamuen, into which three things enter: one is this leaf, which is called buio, which is smooth, and resembles in color and size a large ivy leaf, but it is not so thick. It smells very good, and is aromatic. It is planted under some dry tree, on which it climbs. The other fruit that enters into that mixture is called bonga, and it is as large as an olive. Lastly, they mix in a small quantity of quicklime. A little cornucopia is made of the leaf, the bonga and lime are placed inside, and it is all chewed together. That mixture colors the saliva as red as [301]blood, and the lips the most beautiful vermilion ever seen. It preserves the teeth, strengthens the stomach, and produces a very good breath. Eighty of those leaves can be bought at Manila for one real. Nevertheless, so great a quantity is consumed that it has been ascertained that it was sold in one year to the amount of ninety thousand reals, of seven and one-half sols apiece.

There are many snakes in those islands, which are very dangerous; some of them, when they have young, attack people.19 The bite of those called omodro is very dangerous, and those who are bitten by it do not live one-half day. It is from that effect that it derives its name, for odro signifies one-half day. There is another very large snake called saua. I have killed one of that species which was two and one-half brazas long. The skin of another, which measured thirty-two [Spanish] feet in length, was brought to our residence at Manila. The sauas hang to the branches of trees along the roads, whence they dart down upon people, or deer, or on any other prey. They wind themselves three or four times around the body, and after having broken the creature’s bones devour it. But God has provided a number of herbs in those islands which are used as antidotes to all kinds of poisons. Roots and herbs are found in the mountains, which are so many specific remedies against snake-bites; the chief ones [302]are manongal, manambo, logab, boroctongon, maglingab, ordag, balucas, bonas, bahay, igluhat, dalogdogan, mantala.

There are also animals in those islands of which I ought to give a description. The civet-cat is found in the mountains. Its skin resembles that of a tiger, and it is no less savage than the tiger, although much smaller. It is captured and bound, and, after its civet is obtained, which is contained in a little pouch under its tail, it is set at liberty to be caught once more. The crocodiles, of which their rivers are full, are so huge that when their jaws are open, a man of the largest size could stand upright between the two jaws. The crocodile is quite covered with scales; has scarcely any tongue; and its teeth are set closely together, and are very sharp, and arranged in several rows. The teeth of the middle lower row fit into holes or breaks in the others which correspond to them in the upper jaw; and consequently, when it seizes its prey, there is no force that can make it let go. It lays a great number of eggs. In the water it is furious, and attacks boats. It is not so greatly feared when ashore—where it goes sometimes to seize some prey, or to sun itself.

The woman-fish20 is so called because its face and breast are quite like those of women, whom it also resembles in its manner of copulation with the male. That fish is as large as a calf, and its flesh, of which [303]I have eaten, tastes like beef. It is caught with lines as thick around as the finger, and when the line becomes fast within [its mouth] it is killed by javelin-thrusts. Its bones and teeth have great virtue against all sorts of dysentery, especially against bloody discharges. Some have tried to assert that those fish were the sirens of the sea, so celebrated among the poets; but they have nothing of the beauty of face and of the voice that is attributed to sirens.

I will end [this account], finally by a description of the tabon, an ashen-colored bird as large as a hen, which lays eggs three times as large as those of hens, but which lays them in a peculiar manner. It chooses desert islands and those full of sand, where it first makes a hole one or one and one-half brazas deep; and after having laid its eggs, it covers them over with sand. The chicks break the shell, and gradually turn up the sand that covers them with their feet. If any of those chicks is so unfortunate as to break the egg at the lower end, it does not succeed so well, and dies for lack of strength to overturn the sand. Sometimes one hundred and fifty of the eggs are found in the same hole. I have eaten those eggs often when I have had occasion to stop at those islands during my voyages.

There is cinnamon in the island of Mindanao; and pepper at Patani, and at Champan, a country lying on the mainland of China.

The political government of those islands is the same as that of other provinces subject to the crown of Castilla. The governor resides at Manila, and is president of the Audiencia; while, as captain-general, he has charge of all the posts of peace and war, as well as of the encomiendas of one or two [304]thousand Indians [each], who pay their encomendero the tribute that the other Indians pay to the king. But the encomendero who has been appointed by the captain-general is obliged to get the confirmation of his grant from Madrid within three years.

The governor establishes the corregidors and alcaldes-mayor, or governors of the provinces into which these islands are divided. He appoints the captains and the admirals of the fleets which sail to Acapulco and Terrenate annually. He takes cognizance of civil affairs, on which the royal Audiencia pronounces the decisions or decrees. That Audiencia is composed of a president (who is always the governor), four oidores or auditors, and one procurator-fiscal. There are four cities in the Filipinas—Manila, Zebu, [Nueva] Caçares, and Nueba Segovia; and one town, called Arevalo. There is a garrison at Manila and at Cabite, which is the port where the warships enter, six miles from Manila. There are also garrisons at Zebu, Otong, Carouga, Lanbuangang [sc. Zamboanga], Jolo, Nueva Segobia, the island of Hermosa, and the Malucas. All those ports are fortified, and have their redoubts mounted with artillery. Whatever is necessary for those garrisons is sent from Manila. It would be a very difficult task to mention the names of all the different peoples among the Indians, and in those islands, who are subject to the king of España. There are fully three hundred thousand families, who might count one million souls.

The archbishop of Manila has three suffragans, those of Zebu, [Nueva] Caçares, and Nueva Segovia. They have no other income than what the king gives them; that of the archbishop is three [305]thousand ducados, while each of his suffragans receives one thousand five hundred. The city of Manila is small, but it is beautiful and well fortified. Its houses are all built of stone, and are spacious, and very airy. Its streets are long and straight, and one may walk in the shade all hours of the day. The churches are beautiful. There are five convents: that of the Augustinians (which is the oldest); that of the Franciscans, that of the Dominicans,21 and that of the discalced Augustinians. There are two universities, one in charge of the fathers of St. Dominic, and the other in that of the Society. Those religious are also distributed among the islands, where they have charge of the instruction of the Indians. The city is enclosed by a fine wall and moat; and its redoubt and its ramparts are well garrisoned with artillery. At the foot of its wall flows a river, which is navigable; over this is a wooden bridge, with stone pillars. There are two thousand Spaniards in Manila (counting soldiers and inhabitants), and twice as many Indians. There are also twenty thousand Sangleys or Chinese, who practice all the arts needed in a community; and every year they pay nine escudos and six reals of tribute. Galleons much larger than those which sail the Mediterranean [306]are built at Manila; for there is a great abundance of wood, pitch, and abacá—which resembles European hemp, and of which good rigging is made for the ships. The anchors are imported from Goa; and the iron for the nails comes from China in little bars, and is very serviceable.

The Spaniards of the Manilas trade throughout the islands of that archipelago, at Borney and Camboa, whence they carry wax, butter, camanguien or storax, ivory, and bezoar. They formerly traded in Japon, before the persecution of the Christians was begun. Thence were carried iron, flour, all sorts of fruit, and little boxes, and cabinets, varnished [i.e., lacquered] and very well made. Nangoza [sc. Nagasaki], which was the port where that trading took place—and for which it was very suitable, because it is not distant from Manila—is now closed to us; for the emperor of Japon believes that people are entering his country, under pretext of that trade, to preach the gospel, the thing that he fears most of all. We trade also with the Portuguese of Macao, who come to the Manilas every year with two or three ships, and bring here silks, musk, precious stones, and eagle and calambac wood—which is a sweet-scented wood that is very valuable. The inhabitants of the Manilas also go to Macao sometimes, to carry their merchandise there; but their chief trade is with the Chinese, who come annually, at the end of the month of December and the beginning of January, with twenty or thirty vessels, laden with products and valuable merchandise. They sail usually from Ocho and Chincheo, ports of Anay, a province of China which faces the Filipinas. They carry small oranges, nuts, chestnuts, plums, raisins, [307]and chicuei—a fruit resembling an apple, very round, transparent, and, when it is ripe, having the color of yellow amber; its peel is very loose, and its flesh very sweet and very pleasant to the taste.22 They also bring all sorts of cloth stuffs, and some of these are as fine as those which come from France and the Low Countries; and many black stuffs of which the Indians make their clothes. They bring silk, plain and twisted, of all colors; damasks, velvets, tabbies, and double taffetas; cloths of gold and silver, galoons, and laces; coverlets, and cushions; and porcelain—although not the finest variety, as the trade in that is prohibited. They bring pearls and gold; iron, in little bars; thread, musk, and fine parasols; paste gems, but very beautiful to look at; saltpetre, and flour; white and various-colored paper; and many little fancy articles, covered with varnish, and gold in relief, made in an inimitable manner. Among all the silk stuffs brought by the Chinese, none is more esteemed than the white—the snow is not whiter; and there is no silk stuff in Europa that can approach it.

The Chinese return in the month of March, and carry to China silver in return for their merchandise. They also take a wood called sibueno23—that is, brazil-wood, which is used in making their ink. Those Chinese merchants are so keen after gain that if one sort of merchandise has succeeded well one year, they take a great deal of it the following year. A Spaniard who had lost his nose through a certain illness, sent for a Chinese to make him one of wood, in order to hide the deformity. The workman made [308]him so good a nose that the Spaniard, in great delight, paid him munificently, giving him twenty escudos. The Chinese, attracted by the ease with which he had made that gain, laded a fine boatload of wooden noses the following year, and returned to Manila. But he found himself very far from his hopes, and quite left out in the cold;24 for in order to have a sale for that new merchandise, he found that he would have to cut off the noses of all the Spaniards in the country.

Besides the Chinese merchandise that is brought into the islands, there is wax, cinnamon, civet, and a sort of very strong cotton cloth which is called campotes [misprint for lampotes]. All those goods are exported to Mexico, where they are sold at great profit, and on the spot. I do not believe there is a richer traffic in the world than that. The duties that the king gets out of it are large, and, with what he gets from the islands, amount to fully five hundred thousand escudos. But he spends eight hundred thousand in the maintenance of his governor, the counselors, the archbishop, the bishops, the canons, those who possess the prebends, and the other ecclesiastics. The greater part of that sum is employed in the equipment of the galleons that are sent to Mexico and to the Malucas, and of those which are kept in those seas to resist the Dutch. A considerable sum is spent on the maintenance of alliance with the kings of those districts—especially with the king of one of [309]the Malucas, called Tidore. Consequently, the king of España rather holds those islands for the conservation there of the faith, as was stated by Felipe the Second in a certain council-meeting, than for the profit that is derived from them to this hour. The Dutch have been unable to get a footing on those islands, although they have attacked them many times. They have a considerable city [i.e., Batavia] on the island of Java Major, whence they send what their garrisons at the island of Hermosa, Amboina, and Terrenate need. They have made an alliance with the inhabitants of that island, and they secure the greater part of the cloves of the Malucas. They trade in Japon, in a port called Firando. The Chinese have refused to have trade with them, because of a tradition current in China, that blue-eyed men will some day conquer them.

The voyage from Manila to Mexico lasts four, five, six, or seven months. Manila, which lies in thirteen and one-half degrees, is left in the month of July, during the vendavals. The course is taken to the north, until the ship reaches thirty-eight or forty degrees. The pilots take that course because they are more certain of finding winds; for otherwise they would run the risk of encountering calms, which are more to be dreaded in long voyages than are the most furious gales. From the time that the Filipinas are left until almost the coast of Nueva España is reached, no land is seen, except a chain of islands called the Ladrones, or La Sapana,25 which lie three hundred leguas from the Embocadero of the Filipinas. The people who [310]inhabit those islands are barbarians, who go quite naked. When our vessels pass there, those people carry to them fish, rice, and fresh water, which they exchange for neither gold nor silver, but only for iron, which they value much more, because of the use to which they put it in the manufacture of their tools, and for the building of their little boats. The first land sighted after that is the island of Cedros, quite near the Mexican coast. The open expanse between that island and those of the Ladrones is subject to great storms, which are to be feared especially near the Japanese Islands—which are passed, however, without being sighted. During the whole course of so long a voyage, scarcely a day passes without seeing a bird. There are usually some birds that live in the sea, and many large whales and porpoises are seen.

As the [American] coast is neared, at a distance of sixty, eighty, or one hundred leguas signs are to be seen in the sea by which it is recognized that the ship is within that distance. Those signs consist of long reeds, brought down by the rivers of Nueva España, which being massed together resemble a kind of raft; and on those reeds are to be seen monkeys—another sign that they are approaching the coast. When the pilot discovers those signs, he immediately changes his course, and instead of continuing east he puts the nose of the ship south, in order to avoid getting caught in the land, or in some gulf whence he would have a hard time to get out; but, when he has sighted the coast of Nueva España, he follows it to the port of Acapulco, which lies in eighteen degrees.

Acapulco is a fine port, well sheltered from all the winds, and defended by a celebrated redoubt. There the passengers and goods are disembarked, [311]and are afterward carried by mules to the City of Mexico, which is eighty leguas distant thence. The way is desert and bestrewn with mountains; and the pest of mosquitoes is suffered, as well as the extreme heat. In order to go to España from Mexico one goes to the port of Vera Cruz, a journey of eighty-five leguas; en route is passed the city of Los Angeles, which has about six thousand inhabitants, and whose bishop gets a salary of sixty thousand escudos. The reefs and rocks at the mouth of the port of Vera Cruz defend the entrance better than the fortress that commands it, although that fort is an excellent one. At that port anchor the trading fleets that come from España, laden with wine, olive-oil, cloths, wax, cinnamon, paper, and other European merchandise. Those trading fleets formerly passed the winter there, as they arrived [formerly] in the month of June, and remained there until the same month of the following year. Now they reach that port in the month of May, and leave about the month of August. They take as a rule three months to go to España. For my part, I took one hundred days in making that voyage. The port of Havana in Cuba, which is the best port of the Western Indias—and which is very safe, and defended by three redoubts—is touched at. There the two trading fleets—that of Mexico and that of Tierrafirme—are united with the galleons. Thence, after having coasted along the shores of Florida, and of Nueva Francia, they make the cape of Fineterre [Finisterre] or San Vincent, in order to lay their course toward Cadiz, which is the end of their voyage. That will also be the end of this relation, which I have written in order to be obedient to a person to whom I earnestly desire that it may prove agreeable. [313]

1 Marginal note: “This relation has been translated from a Spanish manuscript existing in the library of Don Carlo del Pezzo.”

This relation is unsigned, and undated, but Rev. Pablo Pastells, S.J., said during the course of a conversation with one of the Editors, in 1903, that the author was undoubtedly Father Diego de Bobadilla; and in his edition of Colin’s Labor evangélica (Barcelona, 1904), he says (iii, p. 798, note): “This father [i.e., Father Bobadilla] was the author in 1640 of the famous relation which was translated by Melquisedec Thévenot.”

2 See our VOLS. I and II for the history of these early expeditions. It will be noticed that the author of the present relation is inaccurate in regard to the date of the voyage of Villalobos, and that he omits mention of some of the early voyages.

3 That is “Birth follows the womb.”

4 See VOL. XXII, p. 300, note 61.

5 For this expedition to Mindanao by Hurtado de Corcuera, see previous documents. This reference proves the present relation to have been written in 1640, as the expedition above mentioned occurred in 1637.

6 Visayan name (also colocolo, elsewhere) of the fishing gannet (Sula piscatrix). Delgado says (Historia, p. 820) that he had a tame one in his house, which would bring home fish that it had caught, and carry them to the kitchen.

7 French, Estang du Roy (“the King’s Pool”); evidently referring to the hot springs near Laguna de Bay (see VOL. XIV, p. 211), and the word Roy is probably a misprint for Bay.

8 It is Chirino who is here (although inexactly) cited; see VOL. XII, p. 236.

9 See Chirino’s account, in VOL. XII, p. 241; he says that the art of writing was imparted to the Visayans by the Tagals.

10 Marginal note: “Prudish” (melindrosa).

11 That is, “star-thistles”—the common name of a genus (Tribulus) of plants, which bears prickly fruits, very injurious to the feet of animals or men. The military instrument called “caltrop” resembles that fruit, from which it may have been evolved; and the appellation tribolo is one of the etymological elements in “caltrop.”

12 See the Cleveland reissue of the Jesuit Relations, lxv, p. 131, for a description of head-compression by the North American Indians.

13 Mt. Bulusan, near the center of the province of Sorsogón, Luzón; at present “almost extinct, but at times emits an abundance of watery vapor and sulphurous fumes” (Report of U. S. Philippine Commission, 1900, iii, p. 149).

14 Also called balimbín; the fruit of Averrhoa carambola; used for food and sweetmeats, and also has medicinal qualities. See Blanco’s description, Flora, p. 274; and Delgado’s Historia, pp. 505, 506. For note on santor, see VOL. XVI, p. 87; on banana (Musa), VOL. V, p. 169.

15 The corot (Dioscorea triphylla) is very common, with leaves one palmo long, and very small flowers. Its sap is yellow and very poisonous, and has cleansing power which is utilized to whiten abacá. The root is very large and is eaten cooked by the Indians, after having soaked it in the water for three or four days.

The ubi is the Dioscorea alata, and the plant grows rather high and is widely disseminated. The root is violet in color, and often attains a great size; it is eaten cooked. The best variety is that known as the Cebú ubi or ube, which comes from Bohol, and which makes a delicious jelly. The ubi and analogous roots must be carefully prepared, or else they prove poisonous. See Blanco’s Flora, and U. S. Gazetteer of the Philippine Islands. Delgado (p. 763) enumerates eight varieties of this root.

The apari is perhaps the apalia or paria (Montordica balsamina), a climbing plant, which bears a fruit which is rather bitter to the taste, and eaten in salads. The juice of its leaves is used instead of soap. The ripe fruit soaked in olive, cocoa, or beneseed oil makes an excellent balsam that is used for medicinal purposes.

16 French, patanes, apparently a misprint for patatas. The camote or sweet potato (Convolvulus batatas, Linn.; now named Batatas edulis) is extensively cultivated in the islands. Blanco (Flora, p. 69) cites Mozo as saying that this plant was carried to the islands from Nueva España; but Blanco regards it as indigenous in the Philippines. Delgado (pp. 766–768) enumerates twenty-nine varieties of camote.

17 The Batelan is perhaps the balete; see VOL. XII, p. 214, note 56. For note on dabdab, see ibid., p. 215, note 57.

18 Apparently a reference to the variety of orange known at the present day as navel oranges.

19 For a treatise on the snakes and poisonous animals of the Philippines, see Delgado’s Historia, pp. 889–907. He describes the omodro as the odto (Hemibungarus collaris)—from the word meaning “half-day” or “noon,” and given to it because the bite proves fatal if given at noon, but at no other time. It is of various colors and very furious at the hour of noon. The saua (Python reticulatus) is the largest snake of the islands and is often domesticated, and is not poisonous to man.

20 The dugong (a word corrupted from the Malay name duyong); not a fish, but a marine mammal (Helicore australis). Crawfurd says (Dict. Indian Islands, p. 125) that it is found in the shallow seas of the Malayan archipelago, but is not often captured; and that its flesh is greatly superior to that of the green turtle. This creature is one of those from which originated the fable of the mermaids.

21 Thevenot has translated the Spanish term for Franciscans (padres de San Francisco or padres franciscanos) into the popular French term cordeliers, so called because of their girdle. Similarly he has translated the term for Dominicans (padres de San Domingo or padres dominicanos) as Jacobins, also the popular French appellation, so called from the name of the church of St. Jacques, which was given them in Paris. See Addis and Arnold’s Cath. Dict., article “Franciscans,” p. 356; and Chevin’s Dict. Latin-Français, p. 353.

Either Thevenot the translator, or the author, omits mention of the convent of the Society of Jesus, only the four above mentioned being given.

22 The persimmon; see VOL. XVI, p. 180.

23 A misprint for sibucao (VOL. III, p. 196; XV, p. 256).

24 There is evidently a play of words in this passage. The French reads Mais il se trouua bie loing de ses esperances, & auec vn pied de nez. Pied de nez (literally “a foot of nose”) is an exact equivalent of the Spanish phrase palmo de narices, and the French expression demeurer avec un pied de nez is equivalent to the Spanish idiom quedar con un palmo de narices, which signifies “the frustration of one’s hopes,” or “to be left out in the cold.”

25 Apparently a corruption of Zarpana, the name given by its inhabitants to the island of Rota, one of the Mariannes or Ladrones Islands.


Bibliographical Data

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

1. Events in Filipinas, 1637–38.—In tomo 84, no. 35.

2. Fortunate successes, 1636–37.—In tomo 32, no. 17.

3. Events in Filipinas, 1638–39.—In tomo 4, no. 34, fol. 268.

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

4. Letter from Corcuera.—”Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1629 á 1640; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 8.

5. Letter from treasurer.—The same as No. 4.

6. The university of Santo Tomás.—”Audiencia de Filipinas; registro de oficio; reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades y particulares del distrito de la Audiencia; años 1605 á 1645; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 12.” (In this same legajo may be found two of the decrees of 1638, those of November 8 and December 8; and that of October 3, 1639, has the same pressmark, save “leg. 2, lib. 4.”) [314]

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

7. Decrees, 1638.—The first four, in “tomo 39, fol. 235b, 225b, 262, and 267,” respectively; (the fifth and sixth, see No. 6, ante;) the seventh, in “tomo xxxi, fol. 144b;” the eighth, in “tomo 7, fol. 352b.”

8. Decrees, 1639.—In the same order as printed, these are found as follows: In “tomo 39, fol. 276b; tomo xviii, fol. 55; tomo 39, fol. 281; tomo 31, fol. 142b; tomo 39, fol. 285b and 285; tomo 2, fol. 315b;” (for October 3, see No. 6, ante;) “tomo 39, fol. 290b and 290.”

The following documents are obtained from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), vol. ii:

9. Events in the Filipinas, 1639–40.—Pp. 167–184.

10. Relation of the Chinese insurrection.—Pp. 185–250.

The following document is obtained from a rare printed pamphlet in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid:

11. Glorious victories against Moros.—Part of this is synopsized in translation. The pamphlet is designated in the Museo-Biblioteca by the number “111, 21-2a.”

The following document is obtained from a MS. volume in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago; the volume is undated, but is supposed to be written in 1835, and is entitled, Demostración historica de cuantas depredaciones llevan cometidas las Moros, etc.: [315]

12. Letters to Misericordia.—In fol. 6b, 7, and 8.

The following documents are taken from printed works:

13. Relation by Bañuelos y Carrillo.—From Thevenot’s Relations de divers voyages curieux (Paris, M.DC.XCVI), tomo i, part ii; from a copy belonging to the Prescott Collection in the library of Harvard University. (The original printed pamphlet by Bañuelos y Carrillo is supposed to be no longer extant.)

14. Value of Corcuera’s seizures.—From Pastells’ edition of Colin’s Labor evangélica, iii, pp. 528–533.

15. Ecclesiastical and Augustinian affairs.—From Casimiro Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 267–444.

16. Relation of the Filipinas Islands, by a religious.—The same as No. 13.

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The following corrections have been applied to the text:

Page Source Correction
7 uund und
16 Espana España
21, 207, 266, 315 Pastells’s Pastells’
66 Banuelos Bañuelos
72 had had had
134 Almontes Almonte
138 1,375 10,375
159 Parágua Paragua
228, 232, 249 [Not in source] .