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Title: The Philippine Islands

Author: John Foreman

Release Date: September 30, 2007 [EBook #22815]

Language: English

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The Author.

The Author.

The Philippine Islands

A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago

Embracing the Whole Period of Spanish Rule

With an Account of the Succeeding American Insular Government

Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged with Maps and Illustrations
London: T. Fisher Unwin
1, Adelphi Terrace.

Table of Contents

Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson and Viney, LD., London and Aylesbury. [v]

Preface to the First Edition

It would be surprising if the concerns of an interesting Colony like the Philippine Islands had not commanded the attention of literary genius.

I do not pretend, therefore, to improve upon the able productions of such eminent writers as Juan de le Concepcion, Martinez Zúñiga, Tomás de Comyn and others, nor do I aspire, through this brief composition, to detract from the merit of Jagorʼs work, which, in its day, commended itself as a valuable book of reference. But since then, and within the last twenty years, this Colony has made great strides on the path of social and material progress; its political and commercial importance is rapidly increasing, and many who know the Philippines have persuaded me to believe that my notes would be an appreciated addition to what was published years ago on this subject.

The critical opinions herein expressed are based upon personal observations made during the several years I have travelled in and about all the principal islands of the Archipelago, and are upheld by reference to the most reliable historical records.

An author should be benevolent in his judgement of men and manners and guarded against mistaking isolated cases for rules. In matters of history he should neither hide the truth nor twist it to support a private view, remembering how easy it is to criticize an act when its sequel is developed: such will be my aim in the fullest measure consistent.

By certain classes I may be thought to have taken a hypercritical view of things; I may even offend their susceptibilities—if I adulated them I should fail to chronicle the truth, and my work would be a deliberate imposture.

I would desire it to be understood, with regard to the classes and [vi]races in their collectedness, that my remarks apply only to the large majority; exceptions undoubtedly there are—these form the small minority. Moreover, I need hardly point out that the native population of the capital of the Philippines by no means represents the true native character, to comprehend which, so far as its complicacy can be fathomed, one must penetrate into and reside for years in the interior of the Colony, as I have done, in places where extraneous influences have, as yet, produced no effect.

There may appear to be some incongruity in the plan of a work which combines objects so dissimilar as those enumerated in the Contents pages, but this is not exclusively a History, or a Geography, or an Account of Travels—it is a concise review of all that may interest the reader who seeks for a general idea of the condition of affairs in this Colony in the past and in the present.

J. F. [vii]

Preface to the Third Edition

The success which has attended the publication of the Second Edition of this work has induced me to revise it carefully throughout, adding the latest facts of public interest up to the present period.

Long years of personal acquaintance with many of the prime movers in the Revolutionary Party enabled me to estimate their aspirations. My associations with Spain and Spaniards since my boyhood helped me, as an eye-witness of the outbreak of the Rebellion, to judge of the opponents of that movement. My connection with the American Peace Commission in Paris afforded me an opportunity of appreciating the noble desire of a free people to aid the lawful aspirations of millions of their fellow-creatures.

My criticism of the regular clergy applies only to the four religious confraternities in their lay capacity of government agents in these Islands and not to the Jesuit or the Paul fathers, who have justly gained the respect of both Europeans and natives: neither is it intended, in any degree, as a reflection on the sacred institution of the Church.

I take this opportunity of acknowledging, with gratitude, my indebtedness to Governor-General Luke E. Wright, Major-General Leonard Wood, Colonel Philip Reade, Major Hugh L. Scott, Captain E. N. Jones, Captain C. H. Martin, Captain Henry C. Cabell, Captain George Bennett, Captain John P. Finley, Dr. David P. Barrows, Mr. Tobias Eppstein, and many others too numerous to mention, who gave me such valuable and cordial assistance in my recent investigations throughout the Archipelago.

This book is not written to promote the interests of any person or party, and so far as is consistent with guiding the reader to a fair appreciation of the facts recorded, controversial comment has been avoided, for to pronounce a just dictum on the multifarious questions [viii]involved would demand a catholicity of judgement never concentrated in the brain of a single human being.

I am persuaded to believe that the bare truth, unvarnished by flattery, will be acceptable to the majority, amongst whom may be counted all those educated Americans whose impartiality is superior to their personal interest in the subject at issue.

It is therefore confidently hoped that the present Edition may merit that approval from readers of English which has been so graciously accorded to the previous ones.

J. F. September, 1905. [ix]

Table of Contents


Chapter I

General Description of the Archipelago

Chapter II

Discovery of the Archipelago

Chapter III

Philippine Dependencies, Up To 1898

Chapter IV

Attempted Conquest by Chinese

Chapter V

Early Relations with Japan

The Catholic Missions

Chapter VI

Conflicts with the Dutch

Chapter VII

British Occupation of Manila

Chapter VIII

The Chinese

Chapter IX

Wild Tribes and Pagans

Chapter X

Mahometans and Southern Tribes

Chapter XI

Domesticated Natives—Origin—Character

Chapter XII

The Religious Orders

Chapter XIII

Spanish Insular Government

Chapter XIV

Spanish-Philippine Finances

Chapter XV

Trade of the Islands from Early Times

Chapter XVI


Chapter XVII

Manila Hemp—Coffee—Tobacco

Chapter XVIII

Sundry Forest and Farm Produce

Chapter XIX

Mineral Products

Chapter XX

Domestic Live-stock—Ponies, Buffaloes, Etc.

Chapter XXI

Manila Under Spanish Rule

Chapter XXII

The Tagálog Rebellion of 1896–98

First Period

Chapter XXIII

The Tagálog Rebellion of 1896–98

Second Period

American Intervention

Chapter XXIV

An Outline of the War of Independence Period, 1899–1901

Chapter XXV

The Philippine Republic in the Central and Southern Islands

Chapter XXVI

The Spanish Prisoners

Chapter XXVII

End of the War of Independence and After

Chapter XXVIII

Modern Manila

Chapter XXIX

The Land of the Moros

Chapter XXX

The Spanish Friars, After 1898

Chapter XXXI

Trade and Agriculture Since the American Advent

Chronological Table of Leading Events. 651

Index. 655 [xxi]

List of Illustrations




Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice
Othello, Act V., Sc. 2.

During the three centuries and a quarter of more or less effective Spanish dominion, this Archipelago never ranked above the most primitive of colonial possessions.

That powerful nation which in centuries gone by was built up by Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Romans, and Arabs was in its zenith of glory when the conquering spirit and dauntless energy of its people led them to gallant enterprises of discovery which astonished the civilized world. Whatever may have been the incentive which impelled the Spanish monarchs to encourage the conquest of these Islands, there can, at least, be no doubt as to the earnestness of the individuals entrusted to carry out the royal will. The nerve and muscle of chivalrous Spain ploughing through a wide unknown ocean in quest of glory and adventure, the unswerving devotion of the ecclesiastics to the cause of Catholic supremacy, each bearing intense privations, cannot fail to excite the wonder of succeeding generations. But they were satisfied with conquering and leaving unimproved their conquests, for whilst only a small fraction of this Archipelago was subdued, millions of dollars and hundreds of lives were expended in futile attempts at conquest in Gamboge, Siam, Pegu, Moluccas, Borneo, Japan, etc.—and for all these toils there came no reward, not even the sterile laurels of victory. The Manila seat of government had not been founded five years when the Governor-General solicited royal permission to conquer China!

Extension of dominion seized them like a mania. Had they followed up their discoveries by progressive social enlightenment, by encouragement to commerce, by the concentration of their efforts in the development of the territory and the new resources already under their sway, half the money and energy squandered on fruitless and inglorious expeditions would have sufficed to make high roads crossing and recrossing the Islands; tenfold wealth would have accrued; civilization would [2]have followed as a natural consequence; and they would, perhaps even to this day, have preserved the loyalty of those who struggled for and obtained freer institutions. But they had elected to follow the principles of that religious age, and all we can credit them with is the conversion of millions to Christianity and the consequent civility at the expense of cherished liberty, for ever on the track of that fearless band of warriors followed the monk, ready to pass the breach opened for him by the sword, to conclude the conquest by the persuasive influence of the Holy Cross.

The civilization of the world is but the outcome of wars, and probably as long as the world lasts the ultimate appeal in all questions will be made to force, notwithstanding Peace Conferences. The hope of ever extinguishing warfare is as meagre as the advantage such a state of things would be. The idea of totally suppressing martial instinct in the whole civilized community is as hopeless as the effort to convert all the human race to one religious system. Moreover, the common good derived from war generally exceeds the losses it inflicts on individuals; nor is war an isolated instance of the few suffering for the good of the many. “Salus populi suprema lex.” “Nearly every step in the worldʼs progress has been reached by warfare. In modern times the peace of Europe is only maintained by the equality of power to coerce by force. Liberty in England, gained first by an exhibition of force, would have been lost but for bloodshed. The great American Republic owes its existence and the preservation of its unity to this inevitable means, and neither arbitration, moral persuasion, nor sentimental argument would ever have exchanged Philippine monastic oppression for freedom of thought and liberal institutions.

The right of conquest is admissible when it is exercised for the advancement of civilization, and the conqueror not only takes upon himself, but carries out, the moral obligation to improve the condition of the subjected peoples and render them happier. How far the Spaniards of each generation fulfilled that obligation may be judged from these pages, the works of Mr. W. H. Prescott, the writings of Padre de las Casas, and other chroniclers of Spanish colonial achievements. The happiest colony is that which yearns for nothing at the hands of the mother country; the most durable bonds are those engendered by gratitude and contentment. Such bonds can never be created by religious teaching alone, unaccompanied by the twofold inseparable conditions of moral and material improvement. There are colonies wherein equal justice, moral example, and constant care for the welfare of the people have riveted European dominion without the dispensable adjunct of an enforced State religion. The reader will judge the merits of that civilization which the Spaniards engrafted on the races they subdued; for as mankind has no philosophical criterion of truth, it is a matter of opinion where the unpolluted fountain of the truest [3]modern civilization is to be found. It is claimed by China and by Europe, and the whole universe is schismatic on the subject. When Japan was only known to the world as a nation of artists, Europe called her barbarous; when she had killed fifty thousand Russians in Manchuria, she was proclaimed to be highly civilized. There are even some who regard the adoption of European dress and the utterance of a few phrases in a foreign tongue as signs of civilization. And there is a Continental nation, proud of its culture, whose sense of military honour, dignity, and discipline involves inhuman brutality of the lowest degree.

Juan de la Concepcion,1 who wrote in the eighteenth century, bases the Spaniardsʼ right to conquest solely on the religious theory. He affirms that the Spanish kings inherited a divine right to these Islands, their dominion being directly prophesied in Isaiah xviii. He assures us that this title from Heaven was confirmed by apostolic authority,2 and by “the many manifest miracles with which God, the Virgin, and the Saints, as auxiliaries of our arms, demonstrated its unquestionable justice.” Saint Augustine, he states, considered it a sin to doubt the justice of war which God determines; but, let it be remembered, the same savant insisted that the world was flat, and that the sun hid every night behind a mountain!

An apology for conquest cannot be rightly based upon the sole desire to spread any particular religion, more especially when we treat of Christianity, the benign radiance of which was overshadowed by that debasing institution the Inquisition, which sought out the brightest intellects only to destroy them. But whether conversion by coercion be justifiable or not, one is bound to acknowledge that all the urbanity of the Filipinos of to-day is due to Spanish training, which has raised millions from obscurity to a relative condition of culture. The fatal defect in the Spanish system was the futile endeavour to stem the tide of modern methods and influences.

The government of the Archipelago alone was no mean task.

A group of islands inhabited by several heathen races—surrounded by a sea exposed to typhoons, pirates, and Christian-hating Mussulmans—had to be ruled by a handful of Europeans with inadequate funds, bad ships, and scant war material. For nearly two centuries the financial administration was a chaos, and military organization hardly existed. Local enterprise was disregarded and discouraged so long as abundance of silver dollars came from across the Pacific. Such a short-sighted, unstable dependence left the Colony resourceless when bold foreign traders stamped out monopoly and brought commerce to its natural [4]level by competition. In the meantime the astute ecclesiastics quietly took possession of rich arable lands in many places, the most valuable being within easy reach of the Capital and the Arsenal of Cavite. Landed property was undefined. It all nominally belonged to the State, which, however, granted no titles; “squatters” took up land where they chose without determined limits, and the embroilment continues, in a measure, to the present day.

About the year 1885 the question was brought forward of granting Government titles to all who could establish claims to land. Indeed, for about a year, there was a certain enthusiasm displayed both by the applicants and the officials in the matter of “Titulos Reales.” But the large majority of landholders—among whom the monastic element conspicuously figured—could only show their title by actual possession.3 It might have been sufficient, but the fact is that the clergy favoured neither the granting of “Titulos Reales” nor the establishment of the projected Real Estate Registration Offices.

Agrarian disputes had been the cause of so many armed risings against themselves in particular, during the nineteenth century, that they opposed an investigation of the land question, which would only have revived old animosities, without giving satisfaction to either native or friar, seeing that both parties were intransigent.4

The fundamental laws, considered as a whole, were the wisest devisable to suit the peculiar circumstances of the Colony; but whilst many of them were disregarded or treated as a dead letter, so many loopholes were invented by the dispensers of those in operation as to render the whole system a wearisome, dilatory process. Up to the last every possible impediment was placed in the way of trade expansion; and in former times, when worldly majesty and sanctity were a joint idea, the struggle with the King and his councillors for the right of legitimate traffic was fierce.

So long as the Archipelago was a dependency of Mexico (up to 1819) not one Spanish colonist in a thousand brought any cash capital to this colony with which to develop its resources. During the first two centuries and a quarter Spainʼs exclusive policy forbade the establishment of any foreigner in the Islands; but after they did settle there they were treated with such courteous consideration by the Spanish officials that they could often secure favours with greater ease than the Spanish colonists themselves.

Everywhere the white race urged activity like one who sits behind a [5]horse and goads it with the whip. But good advice without example was lost to an ignorant class more apt to learn through the eye than through the ear. The rougher class of colonist either forgot, or did not know, that, to civilize a people, every act one performs, or intelligible word one utters, carries an influence which pervades and gives a colour to the future life and thoughts of the native, and makes it felt upon the whole frame of the society in embryo. On the other hand, the value of prestige was perfectly well understood by the higher officials, and the rigid maintenance of their dignity, both in private life and in their public offices, played an important part in the moral conquest of the Filipinos. Equality of races was never dreamed of, either by the conquerors or the conquered; and the latter, up to the last days of Spanish rule, truly believed in the superiority of the white man. This belief was a moral force which considerably aided the Spaniards in their task of civilization, and has left its impression on the character of polite Philippine society to this day.

Christianity was not only the basis of education, but the symbol of civilization; and that the Government should have left education to the care of the missionaries during the proselytizing period was undoubtedly the most natural course to take. It was desirable that conversion from paganism should precede any kind of secular tuition. But the friars, to the last, held tenaciously to their old monopoly; hence the University, the High Schools, and the Colleges (except the Jesuit Schools) were in their hands, and they remained as stumbling-blocks in the intellectual advancement of the Colony. Instead of the State holding the fountains of knowledge within its direct control, it yielded them to the exclusive manipulation of those who eked out the measure as it suited their own interests.

Successful government by that sublime ethical essence called “moral philosophy” has fallen away before a more practical régime. Liberty to think, to speak, to write, to trade, to travel, was only partially and reluctantly yielded under extraneous pressure. The venality of the conquerorʼs administration, the judicial complicacy, want of public works, weak imperial government, and arrogant local rule tended to dismember the once powerful Spanish Empire. The same causes have produced the same effects in all Spainʼs distant colonies, and to-day the mother country is almost childless. Criticism, physical discovery of the age, and contact with foreigners shook the ancient belief in the fabulous and the supernatural; the rising generation began to inquire about more certain scientific theses. The immutability of Theology is inharmonious to Science—the School of Progress; and long before they had finished their course in these Islands the friars quaked at the possible consequences. The dogmatical affirmation “qui non credit anathema sit,” so indiscriminately used, had lost its power. Public opinion protested against an order of things which checked the social and material onward [6]movement of the Colony. And, strange as it may seem, Spain was absolutely impotent, even though it cost her the whole territory (as indeed happened) to remedy the evil. In these Islands what was known to the world as the Government of Spain was virtually the Executive of the Religious Corporations, who constituted the real Government, the members of which never understood patriotism as men of the world understand it. Every interest was made subservient to the welfare of the Orders. If, one day, the Colony must be lost to them, it was a matter of perfect indifference into whose hands it passed. It was their happy hunting-ground and last refuge. But the real Government could not exist without its Executive; and when that Executive was attacked and expelled by America, the real Government fell as a consequence. If the Executive had been strong enough to emancipate itself from the dominion of the friars only two decades ago, the Philippines might have remained a Spanish colony to-day. But the wealth in hard cash and the moral religious influence of the Monastic Orders were factors too powerful for any number of executive ministers, who would have fallen like ninepins if they had attempted to extricate themselves from the thraldom of sacerdotalism. Outside political circles there was, and still is in Spain, a class who shrink from the abandonment of ideas of centuriesʼ duration. Whatever the fallacy may be, not a few are beguiled into thinking that its antiquity should command respect.

The conquest of this Colony was decidedly far more a religious achievement than a military one, and to the friars of old their nationʼs gratitude is fairly due for having contributed to her glory, but that gratitude is not an inheritance.

Prosperity began to dawn upon the Philippines when restrictions on trade were gradually relaxed since the second decade of last century. As each year came round reforms were introduced, but so clumsily that no distinction was made between those who were educationally or intellectually prepared to receive them and those who were not; hence the small minority of natives, who had acquired the habits and necessities of their conquerors, sought to acquire for all an equal status, for which the masses were unprepared. The abolition of tribute in 1884 obliterated caste distinction; the university graduate and the herder were on a legal equality if they each carried a cédula personal, whilst certain Spanish legislators exercised a rare effort to persuade themselves and their partisans that the Colony was ripe for the impossible combination of liberal administration and monastic rule.

It will be shown in these pages that the government of these Islands was practically as theocratic as it was civil. Upon the principle of religious pre-eminence all its statutes were founded, and the reader will now understand whence the innumerable Church and State contentions originated. Historical facts lead one to inquire: How far was Spain ever a moral potential factor in the worldʼs progress? Spanish colonization [7]seems to have been only a colonizing mission preparatory to the attainment, by her colonists, of more congenial conditions under other régimes; for the repeated struggles for liberty, generation after generation, in all her colonies, tend to show that Spainʼs sovereignty was maintained through the inspiration of fear rather than love and sympathy, and that she entirely failed to render her colonial subjects happier than they were before.

One cannot help feeling pity for the Spanish nation, which has let the Pearl of the Orient slip out of its fingers through culpable and stubborn mismanagement, after repeated warnings and similar experiences in other quarters of the globe. Yet although Spainʼs lethargic, petrified conservatism has had to yield to the progressive spirit of the times, the loss to her is more sentimental than real, and Spaniards of the next century will probably care as little about it as Britons do about the secession of their transatlantic colonies.

Happiness is merely comparative: with a lovely climate—a continual summer—and all the absolute requirements of life at hand, there is not one-tenth of the misery in the Philippines that there is in Europe, and none of that forlorn wretchedness facing the public gaze. Beggary—that constant attribute of the highest civilization—hardly exists, and suicide is extremely rare. There are no ferocious animals, insects, or reptiles that one cannot reasonably guard against; it is essentially one of those countries where “manʼs greatest enemy is man.” There is ample room for double the population, and yet a million acres of virgin soil only awaiting the co-operation of husbandman and capitalist to turn it to lucrative account. A humdrum life is incompatible here with the constant emotion kept up by typhoons, shipwrecks, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, brigands, epidemics, devastating fires, etc.

It is a beautiful country, copiously endowed by Nature, where the effulgent morning sun contributes to a happy frame of mind—where the colonistʼs rural life passes pleasantly enough to soothe the longing for “home, sweet home.”

“And yet perhaps if countries we compare

And estimate the blessings which they share,

Though patriots flatter, yet shall wisdom find

An equal portion dealt to all mankind.”

Such is Americaʼs new possession, wherein she has assumed the moral responsibility of establishing a form of government on principles quite opposite to those of the defunct Spanish régime: whether it will be for better or for worse cannot be determined at this tentative stage. Without venturing on the prophetic, one may not only draw conclusions from accomplished facts, but also reasonably assume, in the light of past events, what might have happened under other circumstances. There is scarcely a Power which has not, in the zenith of its prosperity, [8]consciously or unconsciously felt the “divine right” impulse, and claimed that Providence has singled it out to engraft upon an unwilling people its particular conception of human progress. The venture assumes, in time, the more dignified name of “mission”; and when the consequent torrents of blood recede from memory with the ebbing tide of forgetfulness, the conqueror soothes his conscience with a profession of “moral duty,” which the conquered seldom appreciate in the first generation. No unforeseen circumstances whatever caused the United States to drift unwillingly into Philippine affairs. The war in Cuba had not the remotest connexion with these Islands. The adversaryʼs army and navy were too busy with the task of quelling the Tagálog rebellion for any one to imagine they could be sent to the Atlantic. It was hardly possible to believe that the defective Spanish-Philippine squadron could have accomplished the voyage to the Antilles, in time of war, with every neutral port en route closed against it. In any case, so far as the ostensible motive of the Spanish-American War was concerned, American operations in the Philippines might have ended with the Battle of Cavite. The Tagálog rebels were neither seeking nor desiring a change of masters, but the state of war with Spain afforded America the opportunity, internationally recognized as legitimate, to seize any of the enemyʼs possessions; hence the acquisition of the Philippines by conquest. Up to this point there is nothing to criticize, in face of the universal tacit recognition, from time immemorial, of the right of might.

American dominion has never been welcomed by the Filipinos. All the principal Christianized islands, practically representing the whole Archipelago, except Moroland, resisted it by force of arms, until, after two years of warfare, they were so far vanquished that those still remaining in the field, claiming to be warriors, were, judged by their exploits, undistinguishable from the brigand gangs which have infested the Islands for a century and a half. The general desire was, and is, for sovereign independence; and although a pro-American party now exists, it is only in the hope of gaining peacefully that which they despaired of securing by armed resistance to superior force. The question as to how much nearer they are to the goal of their ambition belongs to the future; but there is nothing to show, by a review of accomplished facts, that, without foreign intervention, the Filipinos would have prospered in their rebellion against Spain. Even if they had expelled the Spaniards their independence would have been of short duration, for they would have lost it again in the struggle with some colony-grabbing nation. A united Archipelago under the Malolos Government would have been simply untenable; for, apart from the possible secessions of one or more islands, like Negros, for instance, no Christian Philippine Government could ever have conquered Mindanao and the Sulu Sultanate; indeed, the attempt might have brought about [9]their own ruin, by exhaustion of funds, want of unity in the hopeless contest with the Moro, and foreign intervention to terminate the internecine war. Seeing that Emilio Aguinaldo had to suppress two rivals, even in the midst of the bloody struggle when union was most essential for the attainment of a common end, how many more would have risen up against him in the period of peaceful victory? The expulsion of the friars and the confiscation of their lands would have surprised no one cognizant of Philippine history. But what would have become of religion? Would the predominant religion in the Philippines, fifty years hence, have been Christian? Recent events lead one to conjecture that liberty of cult, under native rule, would have been a misnomer, and Roman Catholicism a persecuted cause, with the civilizing labours of generations ceasing to bear fruit.

No generous, high-minded man, enjoying the glorious privilege of liberty, would withhold from his fellow-men the fullest measure of independence which they were capable of maintaining. If Americaʼs intentions be as the world understands them, she is endeavouring to break down the obstacles which the Filipinos, desiring a lasting independence, would have found insuperable. America claims (as other colonizing nations have done) to have a “mission” to perform, which, in the present case, includes teaching the Filipinos the art of self-government. Did one not reflect that America, from her birth as an independent state, has never pretended to follow on the beaten tracts of the Old World, her brand-new method of colonization would surprise her older contemporaries in a similar task. She has been the first to teach Asiatics the doctrine of equality of races—a theory which the proletariat has interpreted by a self-assertion hitherto unknown, and a gradual relinquishment of that courteous deference towards the white man formerly observable by every European. This democratic doctrine, suddenly launched upon the masses, is changing their character. The polite and submissive native of yore is developing into an ill-bred, up-to-date, wrangling politician. Hence rule by coercion, instead of sentiment, is forced upon America, for up to the present she has made no progress in winning the hearts of the people. Outside the high-salaried circle of Filipinos one never hears a spontaneous utterance of gratitude for the boon of individual liberty or for the suppression of monastic tyranny. The Filipinos craving for immediate independence, regard the United States only in the light of a useful medium for its attainment, and there are indications that their future attachment to their stepmother country will be limited to an unsentimental acceptance of her protection as a material necessity.

Measures of practical utility and of immediate need have been set aside for the pursuit of costly fantastic ideals, which excite more the wonder than the enthusiasm of the people, who see left in abeyance the reforms they most desire. The system of civilizing the natives on a [10]curriculum of higher mathematics, literature, and history, without concurrent material improvement to an equal extent, is like feeding the mind at the expense of the body. No harbour improvements have been made, except at Manila; no canals have been cut; few new provincial roads have been constructed, except for military purposes; no rivers are deepened for navigation, and not a mile of railway opened. The enormous sums of money expended on such unnecessary works as the Benguet road and the creation of multifarious bureaux, with a superfluity of public servants, might have been better employed in the development of agriculture and cognate wealth-producing public works. The excessive salaries paid to high officials seem to be out of all proportion to those of the subordinate assistants. Extravagance in public expenditure necessarily brings increasing taxation to meet it; the luxuries introduced for the sake of American trade are gradually, and unfortunately, becoming necessities, whereas it would be more considerate to reduce them if it were possible. It is no blessing to create a desire in the common people for that which they can very well dispense with and feel just as happy without the knowledge of. The deliberate forcing up of the cost of living has converted a cheap country into an expensive one, and an income which was once a modest competence is now a miserable pittance. The infinite vexatious regulations and complicated restrictions affecting trade and traffic are irritating to every class of business men, whilst the Colonyʼs indebtedness is increasing, the budget shows a deficit, and agriculture—the only local source of wealth—is languishing.

Innovations, costing immense sums to introduce, are forced upon the people, not at all in harmony with their real wants, their instincts, or their character. What is good for America is not necessarily good for the Philippines. One could more readily conceive the feasibility of “assimilation” with the Japanese than with the Anglo-Saxon. To rule and to assimilate are two very different propositions: the latter requires the existence of much in common between the parties. No legislation, example, or tuition will remould a peopleʼs life in direct opposition to their natural environment. Even the descendants of whites in the Philippines tend to merge into, rather than alter, the conditions of the surrounding race, and vice versa. It is quite impossible for a race born and living in the Tropics to adopt the characteristics and thought of a Temperate Zone people. The Filipinos are not an industrious, thrifty people, or lovers of work, and no power on earth will make them so. The Colonyʼs resources are, consequently, not a quarter developed, and are not likely to be by a strict application of the theory of the “Philippines for the Filipinos.” But why worry about their lethargy, if, with it, they are on the way to “perfect contentment”?—that summit of human happiness which no one attains. Ideal government may reach a point where its exactions tend to make life a [11]burden; practical government stops this side of that point. White men will not be found willing to develop a policy which offers them no hope of bettering themselves; and as to labour—other willing Asiatics are always close at hand. Uncertainty of legislation, constantly changing laws, new regulations, the fear of a tax on capital, and general prospective insecurity make large investors pause.

Democratic principles have been too suddenly sprung upon the masses. The autonomy granted to the provinces needs more control than the civil government originally intended, and ends in an appeal on almost every conceivable question being made to one man—the Gov.-General: this excessive concentration makes efficient administration too dependent on the abilities of one person. There are many who still think, and not without reason, that ten years of military rule would have been better for the people themselves. Even now military government might be advantageously re-established in Sámar Island, where the common people are not anxious for the franchise, or care much about political rights. A reasonable amount of personal freedom, with justice, would suffice for them; whilst the trading class would welcome any effective and continuous protection, rather than have to shift for themselves with the risk of being persecuted for having given succour to the pulajanes to save their own lives and property.

Civil government, prematurely inaugurated, without sufficient preparation, has had a disastrous effect, and the present state of many provinces is that of a wilderness overrun by brigand bands too strong for the civil authority to deal with. But one cannot fail to recognize and appreciate the humane motives which urged the premature establishment of civil administration. Scores of nobodies before the rebellion became somebodies during the four or five years of social turmoil. Some of them influenced the final issue, others were mere show-figures, really not more important than the beau sabreur in comic opera. Yet one and all claimed compensation for laying aside their weapons, and in changing the play from anarchy to civil life these actors had to be included in the new cast to keep them from further mischief.

The moral conquest of the Philippines has hardly commenced. The benevolent intentions of the Washington Government, and the irreproachable character and purpose of its eminent members who wield the destiny of these islanders, are unknown to the untutored masses, who judge their new masters by the individuals with whom they come into close contact. The hearts of the people cannot be won without moral prestige, which is blighted by the presence of that undesirable class of immigrants to whom Maj.-General Leonard Wood refers so forcibly in his “First Report of the Moro Province.” In this particular region, which is ruled semi-independently of the Philippine Commission, the peculiar conditions require a special legislation. But, apart from this, the common policy of its enlightened Gov.-General would serve [12]as a pattern of what it might be, with advantage, throughout the Archipelago.

So much United States money and energy have been already expended in these Islands, and so far-reaching are the pledges made to their inhabitants, that American and Philippine interests are indissolubly associated for many a generation to come. It does not necessarily follow that the fullest measure of national liberty will create real personal liberty. Such an idea does not at all appeal to Asiatics, according to whose instinct every man dominates over, or is dominated by, another. If America should succeed in establishing a permanently peaceful independent Asiatic government on democratic principles, it will be one of the unparalleled achievements of the age. [13]

1Historia General de Philipinas,” Chap. I., Part I., Vol. I., by Juan de la Concepcion published in 14 vols., Manila, 1788.

2No es necessario calificar el derecho á tales reinos ó dominios, especialmente entre vasallos de reyes tan justos y Cathólicos y tan obedientes hijos de la suprema autoridad apostólica con cuia facultad han ocupado estas regiones.”—Ibid.

3Dominium a possessione coepisse dicitur.”—Law maxim.

4 In September, 1890, a lawsuit was still pending between the Dominican Corporation and a number of native residents in Calamba (Laguna) who disputed the Dominicansʼ claim to lands in that vicinity so long as the Corporation were unable to exhibit their title. For this implied monastic indiscriminate acquisition of real estate several of the best native families (some of them personally known to me) were banished to the Island of Mindoro.

General Description of the Archipelago

The Philippine Islands, with the Sulu Protectorate, extend a little over 16 degrees of latitude—from 4° 45′ to 21° N., and longitude from 116° 40′ to 126° 30′ E.—and number some 600 islands, many of which are mere islets, besides several hundreds of rocks jutting out of the sea. The 11 islands of primary geographical importance are Luzon, Mindanao, Sámar, Panay, Negros, Palaúan (Parágua), Mindoro, Leyte, Cebú, Masbate, and Bojol. Ancient maps show the islands and provinces under a different nomenclature. For example: (old names in parentheses) Albay (Ibalon); Batangas (Comintan); Basílan (Taguima); Bulacan (Meycauayan); Cápis (Panay); Cavite (Cauit); Cebú (Sogbu); Leyte (Baybay); Mindoro (Mait); Negros (Buglas); Rizal (Tondo; later on Manila); Surigao (Caraga); Sámar (Ibabao); Tayabas (Calilayan).

Luzon and Mindanao united would be larger in area than all the rest of the islands put together. Luzon is said to have over 40,000 square miles of land area. The northern half of Luzon is a mountainous region formed by ramifications of the great cordilleras, which run N. to S. All the islands are mountainous in the interior, the principal peaks being the following, viz.:—

Feet above sea level
Halcon (Mindoro) 8,868
Apo1 (Mindanao) 8,804
Mayon (Luzon) 8,283
San Cristóbal (Luzon) 7,375
Isarog (Luzon) 6,443
Banájao (Luzon) 6,097
Labo (Luzon) 5,090
South Caraballo (Luzon) 4,720
Caraballo del Baler (Luzon) 3,933
Maquíling (Luzon) 3,720

Most of these mountains and subordinate ranges are thickly covered with forest and light undergrowth, whilst the stately trees are gaily festooned with clustering creepers and flowering parasites of the most brilliant hues. The Mayon, which is an active volcano, is comparatively bare, whilst also the Apo, although no longer in eruption, exhibits [14]abundant traces of volcanic action in acres of lava and blackened scoriae. Between the numberless forest-clad ranges are luxuriant plains glowing in all the splendour of tropical vegetation. The valleys, generally of rich fertility, are about one-third under cultivation.

There are numerous rivers, few of which are navigable by sea-going ships. Vessels drawing up to 13 feet can enter the Pasig River, but this is due to the artificial means employed.

The principal Rivers are:—In Luzon Island the Rio Grande de Cagayán, which rises in the South Caraballo Mountain in the centre of the island, and runs in a tortuous stream to the northern coast. It has two chief affluents, the Rio Chico de Cagayán and the Rio Magat, besides a number of streams which find their way to its main course. Steamers of 11-feet draught have entered the Rio Grande, but the sand shoals at the mouth are very shifty, and frequently the entrance is closed to navigation. The river, which yearly overflows its banks, bathes the great Cagayan Valley,—the richest tobacco-growing district in the Colony. Immense trunks of trees are carried down in the torrent with great rapidity, rendering it impossible for even small craft—the barangayanes—to make their way up or down the river at that period.

The Rio Grande de la Pampanga rises in the same mountain and flows in the opposite direction—southwards,—through an extensive plain, until it empties itself by some 20 mouths into the Manila Bay. The whole of the Pampanga Valley and the course of the river present a beautiful panorama from the summit of Arayat Mountain, which has an elevation of 2,877 feet above the sea level.

The whole of this flat country is laid out into embanked rice fields and sugar-cane plantations. The towns and villages interspersed are numerous. All the primeval forest, at one time dense, has disappeared; for this being one of the first districts brought under European subjection, it supplied timber to the invaders from the earliest days of Spanish colonization.

The Rio Agno rises in a mountainous range towards the west coast about 50 miles N.N.W. of the South Caraballo—runs southwards as far as lat. 16°, where it takes a S.W. direction down to lat. 15° 48′—thence a N.W. course up to lat. 16°, whence it empties itself by two mouths into the Gulf of Lingayen. At the highest tides there is a maximum depth of 11 feet of water on the sand bank at the E. mouth, on which is situated the port of Dagupan.

The Bicol River, which flows from the Bató Lake to the Bay of San Miguel, has sufficient depth of water to admit vessels of small draught a few miles up from its mouth.

In Mindanao Island the Butuan River or Rio Agusan rises at a distance of about 25 miles from the southern coast and empties itself on the northern coast, so that it nearly divides the island, and is navigable for a few miles from the mouth. [15]

The Rio Grande de Mindanao rises in the centre of the island and empties itself on the west coast by two mouths, and is navigable for some miles by light-draught steamers. It has a great number of affluents of little importance.

The only river in Negros Island of any appreciable extent is the Danao, which rises in the mountain range running down the centre of the island, and finds its outlet on the east coast. At the mouth it is about a quarter of a mile wide, but too shallow to permit large vessels to enter, although past the mouth it has sufficient depth for any ship. I went up this river, six hoursʼ journey in a boat, and saw some fine timber near its banks in many places. Here and there it opens out very wide, the sides becoming mangrove swamps.

The most important Lakes are:—In Luzon Island the Bay Lake or Laguna de Bay, supplied by numberless small streams coming from the mountainous district around it. Its greatest length from E. to W. is 25 miles, and its greatest breadth N. to S. 21 miles. In it there is a mountainous island—Talim,—of no agricultural importance, and several islets. Its overflow forms the Pasig River, which empties itself into the Manila Bay. Each wet season—in the middle of the year—the shores of this lake are flooded. These floods recede as the dry season approaches, but only partially so from the south coast, which is gradually being incorporated into the lake bed.

Bombon Lake, in the centre of which is a volcano in constant activity, has a width E. to W. of 11 miles, and its length from N. to S. is 14 miles. The origin of this lake is apparently volcanic. According to tradition it was formed by the terrific upheaval of a mountain 7,000 or 8,000 feet high, in the year 1700. It is not supplied by any streams emptying themselves into it (further than two insignificant rivulets), and it is connected with the sea by the Pansipít River, which flows into the Gulf of Balayan at lat. 13° 52′ N.

Cagayán Lake, in the extreme N.E. of the island, is about 7 miles long by 5 miles broad.

Lake Bató, 3 miles across each way, and Lake Buhi, 3 miles N. to S. and 2½ miles wide, situated in the eastern extremity of Luzon Island, are very shallow.

In the centre of Luzon Island, in the large valley watered by the above-mentioned Pampanga and Agno Rivers, are three lakes, respectively Canarem, Mangabol, and Candava; the last two being lowland meres flooded and navigable by canoes in the rainy season only.

In Mindoro Island there is one lake called Naujan, 2½ miles from the N.E. coast. Its greatest width is 3 miles, with 4 miles in length.

In Mindanao Island there are the Lakes Maguindanao or Boayan, in the centre of the island (20 miles E. to W. by 12 N. to S.); Lanao, 18 miles distant from the north coast; Liguasan and Buluan towards the [16]south, connected with the Rio Grande de Mindanao, and a group of four small lakes on the Agusuan River.

The Lanao Lake has great historical associations with the struggles between Christians and Moslems during the period of the Spanish dominion, and is to this day a centre of strife with the Americans.

In some of the straits dividing the islands there are strong currents, rendering navigation of sailing vessels very difficult, notably in the San Bernadino Straits separating the Islands of Luzon and Sámar, the roadstead of Yloilo between Panay and Guimarrás Islands, and the passage between the south points of Cebú and Negros Islands.

Most of the islets, if not indeed the whole Archipelago, are of volcanic origin. There are many volcanoes, two of them in frequent intermittent activity, viz. the Mayon, in the extreme east of Luzon Island, and the Taal Volcano, in the centre of Bombon Lake, 34 miles due south of Manila. Also in Negros Island the Canlaúan Volcano—N. lat. 10° 24′—is occasionally in visible eruption. In 1886 a portion of its crater subsided, accompanied by a tremendous noise and a slight ejection of lava. In the picturesque Island of Camiguín a volcano mountain suddenly arose from the plain in 1872.

Taal Volcano.

Taal Volcano.

The Mayon Volcano is in the north of the Province of Albay; hence it is popularly known as the Albay Volcano. Around its base there are several towns and villages, the chief being Albay, the capital of the province; Cagsaua (called Darága) and Camáling on the one side, and Malinao, Tobaco, etc., on the side facing the east coast. The earliest eruption recorded is that of 1616, mentioned by Spilbergen. In 1769 there was a serious eruption, which destroyed the towns of Cagsaua and Malinao, besides several villages, and devastated property within a radius of 20 miles. Lava and ashes were thrown out incessantly during two months, and cataracts of water were formed. In 1811 loud subterranean noises were heard proceeding from the volcano, which caused the inhabitants around to fear an early renewal of its activity, but their misfortune was postponed. On February 1, 1814,2 it burst with terrible violence. Cagsaua, Badiao, and three other towns were totally demolished. Stones and ashes were ejected in all directions. The inhabitants fled to caves to shelter themselves. So sudden was the occurrence, that many natives were overtaken by the volcanic projectiles and a few by lava streams. In Cagsaua nearly all property was lost. Father Aragoneses estimates that 2,200 persons were killed, besides many being wounded.

Mavon Volcano.

Mavon Volcano.

Another eruption, remarkable for its duration, took place in 1881–82, and again in the spring of 1887; but only a small quantity of ashes was thrown out, and did very little or no damage to the property in the surrounding towns and villages. [17]

The eruption of July 9, 1888, severely damaged the towns of Libog and Legaspi; plantations were destroyed in the villages of Bigaá and Bonco; several houses were fired, others had the roofs crushed in; a great many domestic animals were killed; fifteen natives lost their lives, and the loss of live-stock (buffaloes and oxen) was estimated at 500. The ejection of lava and ashes and stones from the crater continued for one night, which was illuminated by a column of fire.

The last great eruption occurred in May, 1897. Showers of red-hot lava fell like rain in a radius of 20 miles from the crater. In the immediate environs about 400 persons were killed. In the village of Bacacay houses were entirely buried beneath the lava, ashes, and sand. The road to the port of Legaspi was covered out of sight. In the important town of Tobaco there was total darkness and the earth opened. Hemp plantations and a large number of cattle were destroyed. In Libog over 100 inhabitants perished in the ruins. The hamlets of San Roque, Misericordia, and Santo Niño, with over 150 inhabitants, were completely covered with burning débris. At night-time the sight of the fire column, heaving up thousands of tons of stones, accompanied by noises like the booming of cannon afar off, was indescribably grand, but it was the greatest public calamity which had befallen the province for some years past.

The mountain is remarkable for the perfection of its conic form. Owing to the perpendicular walls of lava formed on the slopes all around, it would seem impossible to reach the crater. The elevation of the peak has been computed at between 8,200 and 8,400 feet. I have been around the base on the E. and S. sides, but the grandest view is to be obtained from Cagsaua (Darága). On a clear night, when the moon is hidden, a stream of fire is distinctly seen to flow from the crest.

Taal Volcano is in the island of the Bombon Lake referred to above. The journey by the ordinary route from the capital would be about 60 miles. This volcano has been in an active state from time immemorial, and many eruptions have taken place with more or less effect. The first one of historical importance appears to have occurred in 1641; again in 1709 the crater vomited fire with a deafening noise; on September 21, 1716, it threw out burning stones and lava over the whole island from which it rises, but so far no harm had befallen the villagers in its vicinity. In 1731 from the waters of the lake three tall columns of earth and sand arose in a few days, eventually subsiding into the form of an island about a mile in circumference. In 1749 there was a famous outburst which dilacerated the coniform peak of the volcano, leaving the crater disclosed as it now is. Being only 850 feet high, it is remarkable as one of the lowest volcanoes in the world.

The last and most desolating of all the eruptions of importance occurred in the year 1754, when the stones, lava, ashes, and waves of [18]the lake, caused by volcanic action, contributed to the utter destruction of the towns of Taal, Tanaúan, Sala, and Lipa, and seriously damaged property in Balayán, 15 miles away, whilst cinders are said to have reached Manila, 34 miles distant in a straight line. One writer says in his MS.,3 compiled 36 years after the occurrence, that people in Manila dined with lighted candles at midday, and walked about the streets confounded and thunderstruck, clamouring for confession during the eight days that the calamity was visible. The author adds that the smell of the sulphur and fire lasted six months after the event, and was followed by malignant fever, to which half the inhabitants of the province fell victims. Moreover, adds the writer, the lake waters threw up dead alligators and fish, including sharks.

The best detailed account extant is that of the parish priest of Sala at the time of the event.4 He says that about 11 oʼclock at night on August 11, 1749, he saw a strong light on the top of the Volcano Island, but did not take further notice. At 3 oʼclock the next morning he heard a gradually increasing noise like artillery firing, which he supposed would proceed from the guns of the galleon expected in Manila from Mexico, saluting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Cagsaysay whilst passing. He only became anxious when the number of shots he heard far exceeded the royal salute, for he had already counted a hundred times, and still it continued. So he arose, and it occurred to him that there might be a naval engagement off the coast. He was soon undeceived, for four old natives suddenly called out, “Father, let us flee!” and on his inquiry they informed him that the island had burst, hence the noise. Daylight came and exposed to view an immense column of smoke gushing from the summit of the volcano, and here and there from its sides smaller streams rose like plumes. He was joyed at the spectacle, which interested him so profoundly that he did not heed the exhortations of the natives to escape from the grand but awful scene. It was a magnificent sight to watch mountains of sand hurled from the lake into the air in the form of erect pyramids, and then falling again like the stream from a fountain jet. Whilst contemplating this imposing phenomenon with tranquil delight, a strong earthquake came and upset everything in the convent. Then he reflected that it might be time to go; pillars of sand ascended out of the water nearer to the shore of the town, and remained erect, until, by a second earthquake, they, with the trees on the islet, were violently thrown down and submerged in the lake. The earth opened out here and there as far as the shores of the Laguna de Bay, and the lands of [19]Sala and Tanaúan shifted. Streams found new beds and took other courses, whilst in several places trees were engulfed in the fissures made in the soil. Houses, which one used to go up into, one now had to go down into, but the natives continued to inhabit them without the least concern. The volcano, on this occasion, was in activity for three weeks; the first three days ashes fell like rain. After this incident, the natives extracted sulphur from the open crater, and continued to do so until the year 1754.

In that year (1754), the same chronicler continues, between nine and ten oʼclock at night on May 15, the volcano ejected boiling lava, which ran down its sides in such quantities that only the waters of the lake saved the people on shore from being burnt. Towards the north, stones reached the shore and fell in a place called Bayoyongan, in the jurisdiction of Taal. Stones and fire incessantly came from the crater until June 2, when a volume of smoke arose which seemed to meet the skies. It was clearly seen from Bauan, which is on a low level about four leagues (14 miles) from the lake.

Matters continued so until July 10, when there fell a heavy shower of mud as black as ink. The wind changed its direction and a suburb of Sala, called Balili, was swamped with mud. This phenomenon was accompanied by a noise so great that the people of Batangas and Bauan, who that day had seen the galleon from Acapulco passing on her home voyage, conjectured that she had saluted the Shrine of Our Lady of Cagsaysay on her way. The noise ceased, but fire still continued to issue from the crater until September 25. Stones fell all that night; and the people of Taal had to abandon their homes, for the roofs were falling in with the weight upon them. The chronicler was at Taal at this date, and in the midst of the column of smoke a tempest of thunder and lightning raged and continued without intermission until December 4.

The night of All Saintsʼ day (Nov. 1) was a memorable one, for the quantity of falling fire-stones, sand, and ashes increased, gradually diminishing again towards November 15. Then, on that night, after vespers, great noises were heard. A long melancholy sound dinned in oneʼs ears; volumes of black smoke rose; an infinite number of stones fell, and great waves proceeded from the lake, beating the shores with appalling fury. This was followed by another great shower of stones, brought up amidst the black smoke, which lasted until 10 oʼclock at night. For a short while the devastation was suspended prior to the last supreme effort. All looked half dead and much exhausted after seven months of suffering in the way described.5 It was resolved to remove the image of Our Lady of Cagsaysay and put in its place the second image of the Holy Virgin. [20]

On November 29, from seven oʼclock in the evening, the volcano threw up more fire than all put together in the preceding seven months. The burning column seemed to mingle with the clouds; the whole of the island was one ignited mass. A wind blew. And as the priests and the mayor (Alcalde) were just remarking that the fire might reach the town, a mass of stones was thrown up with great violence; thunderclaps and subterranean noises were heard; everybody looked aghast, and nearly all knelt to pray. Then the waters of the lake began to encroach upon the houses, and the inhabitants took to flight, the natives carrying away whatever chattels they could. Cries and lamentations were heard all around; mothers were looking for their children in dismay; half-caste women of the Parian were calling for confession, some of them beseechingly falling on their knees in the middle of the streets. The panic was intense, and was in no way lessened by the Chinese, who took to yelling in their own jargonic syllables.

After the terrible night of November 29 they thought all was over, when again several columns of smoke appeared, and the priest went off to the Sanctuary of Cagsaysay, where the prior was. Taal was entirely abandoned, the natives having gone in all directions away from the lake. On November 29 and 30 there was complete darkness around the lake vicinity, and when light reappeared a layer of cinders about five inches thick was seen over the lands and houses, and it was still increasing. Total darkness returned, so that one could not distinguish anotherʼs face, and all were more horror-stricken than ever. In Cagsaysay the natives climbed on to the housetops and threw down the cinders, which were over-weighting the structures. On November 30 smoke and strange sounds came with greater fury than anything yet experienced, while lightning flashed in the dense obscurity. It seemed as if the end of the world was arriving. When light returned, the destruction was horribly visible; the church roof was dangerously covered with ashes and earth, and the chronicler opines that its not having fallen in might be attributed to a miracle! Then there was a day of comparative quietude, followed by a hurricane which lasted two days. All were in a state of melancholy, which was increased when they received the news that the whole of Taal had collapsed; amongst the ruins being the Government House and Stores, the Prison, State warehouses and the Royal Rope Walk, besides the Church and Convent.

The Gov.-General sent food and clothing in a vessel, which was nearly wrecked by storms, whilst the crew pumped and baled out continually to keep her afloat, until at length she broke up on the shoals at the mouth of the Pansipit River. Another craft had her mast split by a flash of lightning, but reached port.

With all this, some daft natives lingered about the site of the town of Taal till the last, and two men were sepulchred in the Government House ruins. A woman left her house just before the roof [21]fell in and was carried away by a flood, from which she escaped, and was then struck dead by a flash of lightning. A man who had escaped from Mussulman pirates, by whom he had been held in captivity for years, was killed during the eruption. He had settled in Taal, and was held to be a perfect genius, for he could mend a clock!

The road from Taal to Balayan was impassable for a while on account of the quantity of lava. Taal, once so important as a trading centre, was now gone, and Batangas, on the coast, became the future capital of the province.

The actual duration of this last eruption was 6 months and 17 days.

In 1780 the natives again extracted sulphur, but in 1790 a writer at that date6 says that he was unable to reach the crater owing to the depth of soft lava and ashes on the slopes.

There is a tradition current amongst the natives that an Englishman some years ago attempted to cut a tunnel from the base to the centre of the volcanic mountain, probably to extract some metallic product or sulphur. It is said that during the work the excavation partially fell in upon the Englishman, who perished there. The cave-like entrance is pointed out to travellers as the Cueva del Inglés.

Referring to the volcano, Fray Gaspar de San Agustin in his History7 remarks as follows:—“The volcano formerly emitted many large fire-stones which destroyed the cotton, sweet potato and other plantations belonging to the natives of Taal on the slopes of the (volcano) mountain. Also it happened that if three persons arrived on the volcanic island, one of them had infallibly to die there without being able to ascertain the cause of this circumstance. This was related to Father Albuquerque,8 who after a fervent deesis entreating compassion on the natives, went to the island, exorcised the evil spirits there and blessed the land. A religious procession was made, and Mass was celebrated with great humility. On the elevation of the Host, horrible sounds were heard, accompanied by groaning voices and sad lamentations; two craters opened out, one with sulphur in it and the other with green water (sic), which is constantly boiling. The crater on the Lipa side is about a quarter of a league wide; the other is smaller, and in time smoke began to ascend from this opening so that the natives, fearful of some new calamity, went to Father Bartholomew, who repeated the ceremonies already described. Mass was said a second time, so that since then the volcano has not thrown out any more fire or [22]smoke.9 However, whilst Fray Thomas Abresi was parish priest of Taal (about 1611), thunder and plaintive cries were again heard, therefore the priest had a cross, made of Anobing wood, borne to the top of the volcano by more than 400 natives, with the result that not only the volcano ceased to do harm, but the island has regained its original fertile condition.”

The Taal Volcano is reached with facility from the N. side of the island, the ascent on foot occupying about half an hour. Looking into the crater, which would be about 4,500 feet wide from one border to the other of the shell, one sees three distinct lakes of boiling liquid, the colours of which change from time to time. I have been up to the crater four times; the last time the liquids in the lakes were respectively of green, yellow, and chocolate colours. At the time of my last visit there was also a lava chimney in the middle, from which arose a snow-white volume of smoke.

The Philippine Islands have numberless creeks and bays forming natural harbours, but navigation on the W. coasts of Cebú, Negros and Palaúan Islands is dangerous for any but very light-draught vessels, the water being very shallow, whilst there are dangerous reefs all along the W. coast of Palaúan (Parágua) and between the south point of this island and Balábac Island.

The S.W. monsoon brings rain to most of the islands, and the wet season lasts nominally six months,—from about the end of April. The other half of the year is the dry season. However, on those coasts directly facing the Pacific Ocean, the seasons are the reverse of this.

The hottest season is from March to May inclusive, except on the coasts washed by the Pacific, where the greatest heat is felt in June, July, and August. The temperature throughout the year varies but slightly, the average heat in Luzon Island being about 81° 50′ Fahr. In the highlands of north Luzon, on an elevation above 4,000 feet, the maximum temperature is 78° Fahr. and the minimum 46° Fahr. Zamboanga, which is over 400 miles south of Manila, is cooler than the capital. The average number of rainy days in Luzon during the years 1881 to 1883 was 203.

Commencing July 11, 1904, three days of incessant rain in Rizal Province produced the greatest inundation of Manila suburbs within living memory. Human lives were lost; many cattle were washed away; barges in the river were wrenched from their moorings and dashed against the bridge piers; pirogues were used instead of vehicles in the thoroughfares; considerable damage was done in the shops and many persons had to wade through the flooded streets knee-deep in water.

The climate is a continual summer, which maintains a rich verdure throughout the year; and during nine months of the twelve an alternate [23]heat and moisture stimulates the soil to the spontaneous production of every form of vegetable life. The country generally is healthy.

The whole of the Archipelago, as far south as 10° lat., is affected by the monsoons, and periodically disturbed by terrible hurricanes, which cause great devastation to the crops and other property. The last destructive hurricane took place in September, 1905.

In Rizal Province (Near Manila). Effect of the Hurricane of September 26, 1905.

In Rizal Province (Near Manila). Effect of the Hurricane of September 26, 1905.

Earthquakes are also very frequent, the last of great importance having occurred in 1863, 1880, 1892, 1894, and 1897. In 1897 a tremendous tidal wave affected the Island of Leyte, causing great destruction of life and property. A portion of Taclóban, the capital of the island, was swept away, rendering it necessary to extend the town in another direction.

In the wet season the rivers swell considerably, and often overflow their banks; whilst the mountain torrents carry away bridges, cattle, tree trunks, etc., with terrific force, rendering travelling in some parts of the interior dangerous and difficult. In the dry season long droughts occasionally occur (about once in three years), to the great detriment of the crops and live-stock.

The southern boundary of the Archipelago is formed by a chain of some 140 islands, stretching from the large island of Mindanao as far as Borneo, and constitutes the Sulu Archipelago, the Sultanate of which was under the protection of Spain (vide Chap. xxix.). It is now being absorbed, under American rule, in the rest of the Archipelago, under the denomination of Moro Province (q.v.). [24]

1 According to the Spanish Hydrographic Map, it is 8,813 feet: the Pajal and Montano Expedition (1880) made it 10,270 feet; the Schadenberg and Koch Expedition (1882) computed it at 10,827 feet.

2 Vide pamphlet published immediately after the event by Father Francisco Aragoneses, P.P. of Cagsaua, begging alms for the victims.

3Hist. de la Prov. de Batangas,” por D. Pedro Andrés de Castro y Amadés. Inedited MS. in the Bauan Convent, Batangas.

4 MS. exhaustive report of the eruptions of Taal Volcano in 1749 and 1754, dated December 22, 1754, compiled by Fray Francisco Vencuchillo. Preserved in the archives of the Corporation of Saint Augustine in Manila.

5 Still it appears that all classes were willing to risk their lives to save their property. They were not forcibly detained in that plight.

6Hist. de la Prov. de Batangas,” por Don Pedro Andrés de Castro y Amadés. Inedited MS. in the Bauan Convent, Province of Batangas.

7 “Hist. de Filipinas,” by Dr. Gaspar de San Agustin, 2 vols. First part published in Madrid, 1698, the second part yet inedited and preserved in the archives of the Corporation of Saint Augustine in Manila.

8 P.P. of Taal from 1572 to 1575.

9 In the same archives of the Saint Augustine Corporation in Manila an eruption in 1641 is recorded.

Discovery of the Archipelago

The discoveries of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the adventures and conquests of Hernan Cortés, Blasco Nuñez de Balboa and others in the South Atlantic, had awakened an ardent desire amongst those of enterprizing spirit to seek beyond those regions which had hitherto been traversed. It is true the Pacific Ocean had been seen by Balboa, who crossed the Isthmus of Panamá, but how to arrive there with his ships was as yet a mystery.

On April 10, 1495, the Spanish Government published a general concession to all who wished to search for unknown lands. This was a direct attack upon the privileges of Columbus at the instigation of Fonseca, Bishop of Búrgos, who had the control of the Indian affairs of the realm. Rich merchants of Cadiz and Seville, whose imagination was inflamed by the reports of the abundance of pearls and gold on the American coast, fitted out ships to be manned by the roughest class of gold-hunters: so great were the abuses of this common licence that it was withdrawn by Royal Decree of June 2, 1497.

It was the age of chivalry, and the restless cavalier who had won his spurs in Europe lent a listening ear to the accounts of romantic glory and wealth attained across the seas. That an immense ocean washed the western shores of the great American continent was an established fact. That there was a passage connecting the great Southern sea—the Atlantic—with that vast ocean was an accepted hypothesis. Many had sought the passage in vain; the honour of its discovery was reserved for Hernando de Maghallanes (Portuguese, Fernão da Magalhães).

This celebrated man was a Portuguese noble who had received the most complete education in the palace of King John II. Having studied mathematics and navigation, at an early age he joined the Portuguese fleet which left for India in 1505 under the command of Almeida. He was present at the siege of Malacca under the famous Albuquerque, and accompanied another expedition to the rich Moluccas, or Spice Islands, when the Islands of Banda, Tidor, and Ternate were discovered. It was here he obtained the information which led him to contemplate the voyage which he subsequently realized. [25]

On his return to Portugal he searched the Crown Archives to see if the Moluccas were situated within the demarcation accorded to Spain.1 In the meantime he repaired to the wars in Africa, where he was wounded in the knee, with the result that he became permanently lame. He consequently retired to Portugal, and his companions in arms, jealous of his prowess, took advantage of his affliction to assail him with vile imputations. The King Emmanuel encouraged the complaints, and accused him of feigning a malady of which he was completely cured. Wounded to the quick by such an assertion, and convinced of having lost the royal favour, Maghallanes renounced for ever, by a formal and public instrument, his duties and rights as a Portuguese subject, and henceforth became a naturalized Spaniard. He then presented himself at the Spanish Court, at that time in Valladolid, where he was well received by the King Charles I., the Bishop of Búrgos, Juan Rodriguez Fonseca, Minister of Indian Affairs, and by the Kingʼs chancellor. They listened attentively to his narration, and he had the good fortune to secure the personal protection of His Majesty, himself a well-tried warrior, experienced in adventure.

The Portuguese Ambassador, Alvaro de Acosta, incensed at the success of his late countryman, and fearing that the project under discussion would lead to the conquest of the Spice Islands by the rival kingdom, made every effort to influence the Court against him. At the same time he ineffectually urged Maghallanes to return to Lisbon, alleging that his resolution to abandon Portuguese citizenship required the sovereign sanction. Others even meditated his assassination to save the interests of the King of Portugal. This powerful opposition only served to delay the expedition, for finally the King of Portugal was satisfied that his Spanish rival had no intention to authorize a violation of the Convention of Demarcation.

Between King Charles and Maghallanes a contract was signed in Saragossa by virtue of which the latter pledged himself to seek the discovery of rich spice islands within the limits of the Spanish Empire. If he should not have succeeded in the venture after ten years from the date of sailing he would thenceforth be permitted to navigate and trade without further royal assent, reserving one-twentieth of his net gains for the Crown. The King accorded to him the title of Cavalier and invested him with the habit of St. James and the hereditary government [26]in male succession of all the islands he might annex. The Crown of Castile reserved to itself the supreme authority over such government. If Maghallanes discovered so many as six islands, he was to embark merchandise in the Kingʼs own ships to the value of one thousand ducats as royal dues. If the islands numbered only two, he would pay to the Crown one-fifteenth of the net profits. The King, however, was to receive one-fifth part of the total cargo sent in the first return expedition. The King would defray the expense of fitting out and arming five ships of from 60 to 130 tons with a total crew of 234 men; he would also appoint captains and officials of the Royal Treasury to represent the State interests in the division of the spoil.

Orders to fulfil the contract were issued to the Crown officers in the port of Seville, and the expedition was slowly prepared, consisting of the following vessels, viz.: The commodore ship La Trinidad, under the immediate command of Maghallanes; the San Antonio, Captain Juan de Cartagena; the Victoria, Captain Luis de Mendoza; the Santiago, Captain Juan Rodriguez Serrano; and the Concepcion, Captain Gaspar de Quesada.

The little fleet had not yet sailed when dissensions arose.

Maghallanes wished to carry his own ensign, whilst Doctor Sancho Matienza insisted that it should be the Royal Standard.

Another, named Talero, disputed the question of who should be the standard-bearer. The King himself had to settle these quarrels by his own arbitrary authority. Talero was disembarked and the Royal Standard was formally presented to Maghallanes by injunction of the King in the Church of Santa Maria de la Victoria de la Triana, in Seville, where he and his companions swore to observe the usages and customs of Castile, and to remain faithful and loyal to His Catholic Majesty.

On August 10, 1519, the expedition left the port of San Lúcar de Barrameda in the direction of the Canary Islands.

On December 13 they arrived safely at Rio Janeiro.

Following the coast in search of the longed-for passage to the Pacific Ocean, they entered the Solis River—so called because its discoverer, João de Solis, a Portuguese, was murdered there. Its name was afterwards changed to that of Rio de la Plata (the Silver River).

Continuing their course, the intense cold determined Maghallanes to winter in the next large river, known then as San Julian.

Tumults arose; some wished to return home; others harboured a desire to separate from the fleet, but Maghallanes had sufficient tact to persuade the crews to remain with him, reminding them of the shame which would befall them if they returned only to relate their failure. He added that, so far as he was concerned, nothing but death would deter him from executing the royal commission.

As to the rebellious captains, Juan de Cartagena was already put in [27]irons and sentenced to be cast ashore with provisions, and a disaffected French priest for a companion. The sentence was carried out later on. Then Maghallanes sent a boat to each of three of the ships to inquire of the captains whom they served. The reply from all was that they were for the King and themselves. Thereupon 30 men were sent to the Victoria with a letter to Mendoza, and whilst he was reading it, they rushed on board and stabbed him to death. Quesada then brought his ship alongside of the Trinidad, and, with sword and shield in hand, called in vain upon his men to attack. Maghallanes, with great promptitude, gave orders to board Quesadaʼs vessel. The next day Quesada was executed. After these vigorous but justifiable measures, obedience was ensured.

Still bearing southwards within sight of the coast, on October 28, 1520, the expedition reached and entered the seaway thenceforth known as the Magellan Straits, dividing the Island of Tierra del Fuego from the mainland of Patagonia.2

On the way one ship had become a total wreck, and now the San Antonio deserted the expedition; her captain having been wounded and made prisoner by his mutinous officers, she was sailed in the direction of New Guinea. The three remaining vessels waited for the San Antonio several days, and then passed through the Straits. Great was the rejoicing of all when, on November 26, 1520, they found themselves on the Pacific Ocean! It was a memorable day. All doubt was now at an end as they cheerfully navigated across that broad expanse of sea.

On March 16, 1521, the Ladrone Islands were reached. There the ships were so crowded with natives that they were obliged to be expelled by force. They stole one of the shipʼs boats, and ninety men were sent on shore to recover it. After a bloody combat the boat was regained, and the fleet continued its course westward until it hove to off an islet, then called Jomonjol, now known as Malhou, situated in the channel between Sámar and Dinagat Islands (vide map). Then coasting along the north of the Island of Mindanao, they arrived at the mouth of the Butuan River, where they were supplied with provisions by the chief. It was Easter week, and on this shore the first Mass was celebrated in the Philippines. The natives showed great friendliness, in return for which Maghallanes took formal possession of their territory in the name of Charles I. The chieftain himself volunteered to pilot the ships to a fertile island, the kingdom of a relation of his, and, passing between the Islands of Bojol and Leyte, the expedition arrived on April 7 at Cebú, where, on receiving the news, over two thousand men appeared on the beach in battle array with lances and shields.

The Butuan chief went on shore and explained that the expedition brought people of peace who sought provisions. The King agreed to a [28]treaty, and proposed that it should be ratified according to the native formula—drawing blood from the breast of each party, the one drinking that of the other. This form of bond was called by the Spaniards the Pacto de sangre, or the Blood compact (q.v.).

Maghallanes accepted the conditions, and a hut was built on shore in which to say Mass. Then he disembarked with his followers, and the King, Queen, and Prince came to satisfy their natural curiosity. They appeared to take great interest in the Christian religious rites and received baptism, although it would be venturesome to suppose they understood their meaning, as subsequent events proved. The princes and headmen of the district followed their example, and swore fealty and obedience to the King of Spain.

Maghallanes espoused the cause of his new allies, who were at war with the tribes on the opposite coast, and on April 25, 1521, he passed over to Magtan Island. In the affray he was mortally wounded by an arrow, and thus ended his brief but lustrous career, which fills one of the most brilliant pages in Spanish annals.

Maghallanes called the group of islands, so far discovered, the Saint Lazarus Archipelago. In Spain they were usually referred to as the Islas del Poniente, and in Portugal as the Islas del Oriente.

On the left bank of the Pasig River, facing the City of Manila, stands a monument to Maghallanesʼ memory. Another has been erected on the spot in Magtan Island, where he is supposed to have been slain on April 27, 1521. Also in the city of Cebú, near the beach, there is an obelisk to commemorate these heroic events.

It was perhaps well for Maghallanes to have ended his days out of reach of his royal master. Had he returned to Spain he would probably have met a fate similar to that which befell Columbus after all his glories. The San Antonio, which, as already mentioned, deserted the fleet at the Magellan Straits, continued her voyage from New Guinea to Spain, arriving at San Lúcar de Barrameda in March, 1521. The captain, Alvaro Mesquita, was landed as a prisoner, accused of having seconded Maghallanes in repressing insubordination. To Maghallanes were ascribed the worst cruelties and infraction of the royal instructions. Accused and accusers were alike cast into prison, and the King, unable to lay hands on the deceased Maghallanes, sought this heroʼs wife and children. These innocent victims of royal vengeance were at once arrested and conveyed to Búrgos, where the Court happened to be, whilst the San Antonio was placed under embargo.

On the decease of Maghallanes, the supreme command of the expedition in Cebú Island was assumed by Duarte de Barbosa, who, with twenty-six of his followers, was slain at a banquet to which they had been invited by Hamabar, the King of the island. Juan Serrano had so ingratiated himself with the natives during the sojourn on shore that his life was spared for a while. Stripped of his raiment and armour, he was [29]conducted to the beach, where the natives demanded a ransom for his person of two cannons from the shipsʼ artillery. Those on board saw what was passing and understood the request, but they were loath to endanger the lives of all for the sake of one—”Melius est ut pereat unus quam ut pereat communitas” (Saint Augustine)—so they raised anchors and sailed out of the port, leaving Serrano to meet his terrible fate.

Due to sickness, murder during the revolts, and the slaughter in Cebú, the exploring party, now reduced to 100 souls all told, was deemed insufficient to conveniently manage three vessels. It was resolved therefore to burn the most dilapidated one—the Concepcion. At a general council, Juan Caraballo was chosen Commander-in-Chief of the expedition, with Gonzalo Gomez de Espinosa as Captain of the Victoria. The royal instructions were read, and it was decided to go to the Island of Borneo, already known to the Portuguese and marked on their charts. On the way they provisioned the ships off the coast of Palaúan Island (Parágua), and thence navigated to within ten miles of the capital of Borneo (probably Brunei). Here they fell in with a number of native canoes, in one of which was the Kingʼs secretary. There was a great noise with the sound of drums and trumpets, and the ships saluted the strangers with their guns.

The natives came on board, embraced the Spaniards as if they were old friends, and asked them who they were and what they came for. They replied that they were vassals of the King of Spain and wished to barter goods. Presents were exchanged, and several of the Spaniards went ashore. They were met on the way by over two thousand armed men, and safely escorted to the Kingʼs quarters. After satisfying his Majestyʼs numerous inquiries, Captain Espinosa was permitted to return with his companions. He reported to Caraballo all he had seen, and in a council it was agreed that the town was too large and the armed men too numerous to warrant the safety of a longer stay. However, being in need of certain commodities, five men were despatched to the town. As days passed by, their prolonged absence caused suspicion and anxiety, so the Spaniards took in reprisal the son of the King of Luzon Island, who had arrived there to trade, accompanied by 100 men and five women in a large prahu. The prince made a solemn vow to see that the five Spaniards returned, and left two of his women and eight chiefs as hostages. Then Caraballo sent a message to the King of Borneo, intimating that if his people were not liberated he would seize all the junks and merchandise he might fall in with and kill their crews. Thereupon two of the retained Spaniards were set free, but, in spite of the seizure of craft laden with silk and cotton, the three men remaining had to be abandoned, and the expedition set sail.

For reasons not very clear, Caraballo was deprived of the supreme command and Espinosa was appointed in his place, whilst Juan Sebastian Elcano was elected Captain of the Victoria. With a native pilot, captured [30]from a junk which they met on the way, the ships shaped their course towards the Moluccas Islands, and on November 8, 1521, they arrived at the Island of Tidor. Thus the essential object of the expedition was gained—the discovery of a western route to the Spice Islands.

Years previous the Portuguese had opened up trade and still continued to traffic with these islands, which were rich in nutmegs, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, sage, pepper, etc. It is said that Saint Francis Xavier had propagated his views amongst these islanders, some of whom professed the Christian faith.

The King, richly attired, went out with his suite to receive and welcome the Spaniards. He was anxious to barter with them, and when the Trinidad was consequently laden with valuable spices it was discovered that she had sprung a leak. Her cargo was therefore transferred to the sister ship, whilst the Trinidad remained in Tidor for repairs, and Elcano was deputed to make the voyage home with the Victoria, taking the western route of the Portuguese in violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas. Elcanoʼs crew consisted of fifty-three Europeans and a dozen natives of Tidor. The Victoria started for Spain at the beginning of the year 1522; passed through the Sunda Straits at great risk of being seized by the Portuguese; experienced violent storms in the Mozambique Channel, and was almost wrecked rounding the Cape of Good Hope. A few of the crew died—their only food was a scanty ration of rice—and in their extreme distress they put in at Santiago Island, 350 miles W. of Cape Verd, to procure provisions and beg assistance from the Portuguese Governor. It was like jumping into the lionʼs mouth. The Governor imprisoned those who went to him, in defence of his Sovereignʼs treaty rights; he seized the boat which brought them ashore; inquired of them where they had obtained the cargo; and projected the capture of the Victoria.

Captain Elcano was not slow to comprehend the situation; he raised anchor and cleared out of the harbour, and, as it had happened several times before, those who had the misfortune to be sent ashore were abandoned by their countrymen.

The Victoria made the port of San Lúcar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522, so that in a little over three years Juan Sebastian Elcano had performed the most notable voyage hitherto on record—it was the first yet accomplished round the world. It must, however, be borne in mind that the discovery of the way to the Moluccas, going westward, was due to Maghallanes—of Portuguese birth—and that the route thence to Europe, continuing westward, had long before been determined by the Portuguese traders, whose charts Elcano used.

When Elcano and his 17 companions disembarked, their appearance was most pitiable—mere skeletons of men, weather-beaten and famished. The City of Seville received them with acclamation; but their first act was to walk barefooted, in procession, holding lighted [31]candles in their hands, to the church to give thanks to the Almighty for their safe deliverance from the hundred dangers which they had encountered. Clothes, money, and all necessaries were supplied to them by royal bounty, whilst Elcano and the most intelligent of his companions were cited to appear at Court to narrate their adventures. His Majesty received them with marked deference. Elcano was rewarded with a life pension of 500 ducats (worth at that date about £112 10s.), and as a lasting remembrance of his unprecedented feat, his royal master knighted him and conceded to him the right of using on his escutcheon a globe bearing the motto, “Primus circundedit me.”

Two of Elcanoʼs officers, Miguel de Rodas and Francisco Alva, were each awarded a life pension of 50,000 maravedis (worth at that time about 14 guineas), whilst the King ordered one-fourth of that fifth part of the cargo, which by contract with Maghallanes belonged to the State Treasury, to be distributed amongst the crew, including those imprisoned in Santiago Island.

The cargo of the Victoria consisted of twenty-six and a half tons of cloves, a quantity of cinnamon, sandal wood, nutmegs, etc. Amongst the Tidor Islanders who were presented to the King, one of them was not allowed to return to his native home, because he had carefully inquired the value of the spices in the Spanish bazaars.

Meanwhile the Trinidad was repaired in Tidor and on her way to Panamá, when continued tempests and the horrible sufferings of the crew determined them to retrace their course to the Moluccas. In this interval Portuguese ships had arrived there, and a fort was being constructed to defend Portuguese interests against the Spaniards, whom they regarded as interlopers. The Trinidad was seized, and the Captain Espinosa with the survivors of his crew were granted a passage to Lisbon, which place they reached five years after they had set out with Maghallanes.

The enthusiasm of King Charles was equal to the importance of the discoveries which gave renown to his subjects and added glory to his Crown. Notwithstanding a protracted controversy with the Portuguese Court, which claimed the exclusive right of trading with the Spice Islands, he ordered another squadron of six ships to be fitted out for a voyage to the Moluccas. The supreme command was confided to Garcia Yofre de Loaisa, Knight of Saint John, whilst Sebastian Elcano was appointed captain of one of the vessels. After passing through the Magellan Straits, the Commander Loaisa succumbed to the fatigues and privations of the stormy voyage. Elcano succeeded him, but only for four days, when he too expired. The expedition, however, arrived safely at the Moluccas Islands, where they found the Portuguese in full possession and strongly established, but the long series of combats, struggles and altercations which ensued between the rival Powers, in which Captain Andrés de Urdaneta prominently figured, left no decisive advantage to either nation. [32]

But the King was in no way disheartened. A third expedition—the last under his auspices—was organized and despatched from the Pacific Coast of Mexico by the Viceroy, by royal mandate. It was composed of two ships, two transports and one galley, well manned and armed, chosen from the fleet of Pedro Alvarado, the late Governor of Guatemala. Under the leadership of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos it sailed on November 1, 1542; discovered many small islands in the Pacific; lost the galley on the way, and anchored off an island about 20 miles in circumference which was named Antonia. They found its inhabitants very hostile. A fight ensued, but the natives finally fled, leaving several Spaniards wounded, of whom six died. Villalobos then announced his intention of remaining here some time, and ordered his men to plant maize. At first they demurred, saying that they had come to fight, not to till land, but at length necessity urged them to obedience, and a small but insufficient crop was reaped in due season. Hard pressed for food, they lived principally on cats, rats, lizards, snakes, dogs, roots and wild fruit, and several died of disease. In this plight a ship was sent to Mindanao Island, commanded by Bernado de la Torre, to seek provisions. The voyage was fruitless. The party was opposed by the inhabitants, who fortified themselves, but were dislodged and slain. Then a vessel was commissioned to Mexico with news and to solicit reinforcements. On the way, Volcano Island (of the Ladrone Islands group) was discovered on August 6, 1543. A most important event followed. The island, now known as Sámar, was called the Isla Philipina, and a galiot was built and despatched to the group (it is doubtful which), named by this expedition the Philippine Islands in honour of Philip, Prince of Asturias, the son of King Charles I., heir apparent to the throne of Castile, to which he ascended in 1555 under the title of Philip II. on the abdication of his father.

The craft returned from the Philippine Islands laden with abundance of provisions, with which the ships were enabled to continue the voyage.

By the royal instructions, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos was strictly enjoined not to touch at the Moluccas Islands, peace having been concluded with Portugal. Heavy gales forced him nevertheless to take refuge at Gilolo. The Portuguese, suspicious of his intentions in view of the treaty, arrayed their forces against his, inciting the King of the island also to discard all Spanish overtures and refuse assistance to Villalobos. The discord and contentions between the Portuguese and Spaniards were increasing; nothing was being gained by either party. Villalobos personally was sorely disheartened in the struggle, fearing all the while that his opposition to the Portuguese in contravention of the royal instructions would only excite the Kingʼs displeasure and lead to his own downfall. Hence he decided to capitulate with his rival and accepted a safe conduct for himself and party to Europe in Portuguese ships. They arrived at Amboina Island, where Villalobos, already [33]crushed by grief, succumbed to disease. The survivors of the expedition, amongst whom were several priests, continued the journey home via Cochin China, Malacca and Goa, where they embarked for Lisbon, arriving there in 1549.

In 1558 King Charles was no more, but the memory of his ambition outlived him. His son Philip, equally emulous and unscrupulous, was too narrow-minded and subtly cautious to initiate an expensive enterprise encompassed by so many hazards—as materially unproductive as it was devoid of immediate political importance. Indeed the basis of the first expedition was merely to discover a Western route to the rich Spice Islands, already known to exist; the second went there to attempt to establish Spanish empire; and the third to search for, and annex to, the Spanish Crown, lands as wealthy as those claimed by, and now yielded to, the Portuguese.

But the value of the Philippine Islands, of which the possession was but recent and nominal, was thus far a matter of doubt.

One of the most brave and intrepid captains of the Loaisa expedition—Andrés de Urdaneta—returned to Spain in 1536. In former years he had fought under King Charles I., in his wars in Italy, when the study of navigation served him as a favourite pastime. Since his return from the Moluccas his constant attention was given to the project of a new expedition to the Far West, for which he unremittingly solicited the royal sanction and assistance. But the King had grown old and weary of the world, and whilst he did not openly discourage Urdanetaʼs pretensions he gave him no effective aid. At length, in 1553, two years before Charles abdicated, Urdaneta, convinced of the futility of his importunity at the Spanish Court, and equally unsuccessful with his scheme in other quarters, retired to Mexico, where he took the habit of an Augustine monk. Ten years afterwards King Philip, inspired by the religious sentiment which pervaded his whole policy, urged his Viceroy in Mexico to fit out an expedition to conquer and christianize the Philippine Islands. Urdaneta, now a priest, was not overlooked. Accompanied by five priests of his Order, he was entrusted with the spiritual care of the races to be subdued by an expedition composed of four ships and one frigate well armed, carrying 400 soldiers and sailors, commanded by a Basque navigator, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. This remarkable man was destined to acquire the fame of having established Spanish dominion in these Islands. He was of noble birth and a native of the Province of Guipúzcoa in Spain. Having settled in the City of Mexico, of which place he was elected Mayor, he there practised as a notary. Of undoubted piety, he enjoyed reputation for his justice and loyalty; hence he was appointed General of the forces equipped for the voyage.

The favourite desire to possess the valuable Spice Islands still lurked in the minds of many Spaniards. Amongst them was Urdaneta, [34]who laboured in vain to persuade the Viceroy of the superior advantages to be gained by annexing New Guinea instead of the Philippines, whence the conquest of the Moluccas would be but a facile task. However, the Viceroy was inexorable and resolved to fulfil the royal instructions to the letter, so the expedition set sail from the Mexican port of Navidad for the Philippine Islands on November 21, 1564.

The Ladrone Islands were passed on January 9, 1565, and on the 13th of the following month the Philippines were sighted. A call for provisions was made at several small islands, including Camiguín, whence the expedition sailed to Bojol Island. A boat despatched to the port of Butuan returned in a fortnight with the news that there was much gold, wax, and cinnamon in that district. A small vessel was also sent to Cebú, and on its return reported that the natives showed hostility, having decapitated one of the crew whilst he was bathing.

Nevertheless, General Legaspi resolved to put in at Cebú, which was a safe harbour; and on the way there the ships anchored off Limasana Island (to the south of Leyte). Thence, running south-west, the port of Dapítan (Mindanao Is.) was reached.

Prince Pagbuaya, who ruled there, was astonished at the sight of such formidable ships, and commissioned one of his subjects, specially chosen for his boldness, to take note of their movements, and report to him. His account was uncommonly interesting. He related that enormous men with long, pointed noses, dressed in fine robes, ate stones (hard biscuits), drank fire, and blew smoke out of their mouths and through their nostrils. Their power was such that they commanded thunder and lightning (discharge of artillery), and that at meal times they sat down at a clothed table. From their lofty port, their bearded faces, and rich attire, they might have been the very gods manifesting themselves to the natives; so the Prince thought it wise to accept the friendly overtures of such marvellous strangers. Besides obtaining ample provisions in barter for European wares, Legaspi procured from this chieftain much useful information respecting the condition of Cebú. He learnt that it was esteemed a powerful kingdom, of which the magnificence was much vaunted amongst the neighbouring states; that the roadstead was one of great safety, and the most favourably situated amongst the islands of the painted faces.3

The General resolved, therefore, to filch it from its native king and annex it to the Crown of Castile.

He landed in Cebú on April 27, 1565, and negotiations were entered into with the natives of that island. Remembering, by tradition, the pretensions of the Maghallanesʼ party, they naturally opposed this [35]renewed menace to their independence. The Spaniards occupied the town by force and sacked it, but for months were so harassed by the surrounding tribes that a council was convened to discuss the prudence of continuing the occupation. The General decided to remain; little by little the natives yielded to the new condition of things, and thus the first step towards the final conquest was achieved. The natives were declared Spanish subjects, and hopeful with the success thus far attained, Legaspi determined to send despatches to the King by the priest Andrés de Urdaneta, who safely arrived at Navidad on October 3, 1565, and proceeded thence to Spain. In a letter written by Legaspi in 1567 he alluded, for the first time, to the whole archipelago as the Islas Filipinas.

The pacification of Cebú and the adjacent islands was steadily and successfully pursued by Legaspi; the confidence of the natives was assured, and their dethroned King Tupas accepted Christian baptism, whilst his daughter married a Spaniard.

In the midst of the invadersʼ felicity the Portuguese arrived to dispute the possession, but they were compelled to retire. A fortress was constructed and plots of land were marked out for the building of the Spanish settlersʼ residences; and finally, in 1570, Cebú was declared a city, after Legaspi had received from his royal master the title of Gov.-General of all the lands which he might be able to conquer.

In May, 1570, Captain Juan Salcedo, Legaspiʼs grandson, was despatched to the Island of Luzon to reconnoitre the territory and bring it under Spanish dominion.

The history of these early times is very confused, and there are many contradictions in the authors of the Philippine chronicles, none of which seem to have been written contemporaneously with the first events. It appears, however, that Martin de Goiti and a few soldiers accompanied Salcedo to the north. They were well received by the native chiefs or petty kings Lacandola, Rajah of Tondo (known as Rajah Matandá, which means in native dialect the aged Rajah), and his nephew the young Rajah Soliman of Manila.

The sight of a body of European troops armed as was the custom in the 16th century, must have profoundly impressed and overawed these chieftains, otherwise it seems almost incredible that they should have consented, without protest, or attempt at resistance, to (for ever) give up their territory, yield their independence, pay tribute,4 and become the tools of invading foreigners for the conquest of their own race without recompense whatsoever. [36]

A treaty of peace was signed and ratified by an exchange of drops of blood between the parties thereto. Soliman, however, soon repented of his poltroonery, and roused the war-cry among some of his tribes. To save his capital (then called Maynila) falling into the hands of the invaders he set fire to it. Lacandola remained passively watching the issue. Soliman was completely routed by Salcedo, and pardoned on his again swearing fealty to the King of Spain. Goiti remained in the vicinity of Manila with his troops, whilst Salcedo fought his way to the Bombon Lake (Taal) district. The present Batangas Province was subdued by him and included in the jurisdiction of Mindoro Island. During the campaign Salcedo was severely wounded by an arrow and returned to Manila.

Legaspi was in the Island of Fanay when Salcedo (some writers say Goiti) arrived to advise him of what had occurred in Luzon. They at once proceeded together to Cavite, where Lacandola visited Legaspi on board, and, prostrating himself, averred his submission. Then Legaspi continued his journey to Manila, and was received there with acclamation. He took formal possession of the surrounding territory, declared Manila to be the capital of the Archipelago, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the King of Spain over the whole group of islands. Gaspar de San Agustin, writing of this period, says: “He (Legaspi) ordered them (the natives) to finish the building of the fort in construction at the mouth of the river (Pasig) so that His Majestyʼs artillery might be mounted therein for the defence of the fort and the town. Also he ordered them to build a large house inside the battlement walls for Legaspiʼs own residence—another large house and church for the priests, etc. ... Besides these two large houses, he told them to erect a hundred and fifty dwellings of moderate size for the remainder of the Spaniards to live in. All this they promptly promised to do, but they did not obey, for the Spaniards were themselves obliged to terminate the work of the fortifications.”

The City Council of Manila was constituted on June 24, 1571. On August 20, 1572, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi succumbed to the fatigues of his arduous life, leaving behind him a name which will always hold a prominent place in Spanish colonial history. He was buried in Manila in the Augustine Chapel of San Fausto, where hung the Royal Standard and the heroʼs armorial bearings until the British troops occupied the city in 1763. A street in Manila and others in provincial towns bear [37]his name. Near the Luneta Esplanade, Manila, there is a very beautiful Legaspi (and Urdaneta) monument, erected shortly after the Rebellion of 1896.

“Death makes no conquest of this conqueror,

For now he lives in fame, though not in life.”

Richard III., Act 3, Sc. 1.

In the meantime Salcedo continued his task of subjecting the tribes in the interior. The natives of Taytay and Cainta, in the Spanish military district of Mórong, (now Rizal Province) submitted to him on August 15, 1571. He returned to the Laguna de Bay to pacify the villagers, and penetrated as far as Camarines Norte to explore the Bicol River. Bolinao and the provinces of Pangasinán and Ilocos yielded to his prowess, and in this last province he had well established himself when the defence of the capital obliged him to return to Manila.

At the same time Martin de Goiti was actively employed in overrunning the Pampanga territory with the double object of procuring supplies for the Manila camp and coercing the inhabitants on his way to acknowledge their new liege lord. It is recorded that in this expedition Goiti was joined by the Rajahs of Tondo and Manila. Yet Lacandola appears to have been regarded more as a servant of the Spaniards nolens volens than as a free ally, for, because he absented himself from Goitiʼs camp “without licence from the Maestre de Campo,” he was suspected by some writers of having favoured opposition to the Spaniardsʼ incursions in the Marshes of Hagonoy (Pampanga coast, N. boundary of Manila Bay).

The district which constituted the ancient province of Taal y Balayan, subsequently denominated Province of Batangas, was formerly governed by a number of caciques, the most notable of whom were Gatpagil and Gatjinlintan. They were usually at war with their neighbours. Gatjinlintan, the cacique of the Batangas River (Pansipít?) at the time of the conquest, was famous for his valour. Gatsun͠gayan, who ruled on the other side of the river, was celebrated as a hunter of deer and wild boar. These men were half-castes of Borneo and Aeta extraction, who formed a distinct race called by the natives Daghagang. None of them would submit to the King of Spain or become Christians, hence their descendants were offered no privileges.

The Aetas collected tribute. Gabriel Montoya, a Spanish soldier of Legaspiʼs legion, partially conquered those races, and supported the mission of an Austin friar amongst them. This was probably Fray Diego Móxica, who undertook the mission of Batangas on its separation from the local administration of Mindoro Island in 1581. The first Governor of San Pablo or Sampaloc in the name of the King of Spain was appointed by the soldier Montoya, and was called Bartolomé Maghayin; the second was Cristóbal Soman͠galit and the third was Bernabé Pindan, all of whom had adopted Christianity. Bay, on the [38]borders of the lake of that name, and four leagues from San Pablo, was originally ruled by the cacique Agustin Maglansan͠gan. Calilayan, now called Tayabas, was founded by the woman Ladía, and subsequently administered by a native Alcalde, who gave such satisfaction that he was three times appointed the Kingʼs lieutenant and baptized as Francisco de San Juan.

San Pablo, the centre of a once independent district, is situated at the foot of the mountains of San Cristóbal and Banájao, from which over fourteen streams of fresh water flow through the villages.

The system established by Juan Salcedo was to let the conquered lands be governed by the native caciques and their male successors so long as they did so in the name of the King of Castile. Territorial possession seems to have been the chief aim of the earliest European invaders, and records of having improved the condition of the people or of having opened up means of communication and traffic as they went on conquering, or even of having explored the natural resources of the colony for their own benefit, are extremely rare. [39]

1 During the previous century jealousy had run so high between Spain and Portugal with regard to their respective colonization and trading rights, that the question of demarcation had to be settled by the Pope Alexander VI., who issued a bull dated May 4, 1493, dividing the world into two hemispheres, and decreeing that all heathen lands discovered in the Western half, from the meridian 100 leagues W. of Cape Verd Island, should belong to the Spaniards; in the Eastern half to the Portuguese. The bull was adopted by both nations in the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494). It gave rise to many passionate debates, as the Spaniards wrongly insisted that the Philippines and the Moluccas came within the division allotted to them by Pontifical donation.

2 Probably so called from the enormous number of patos (ducks) found there.

3 The Visayos, inhabiting the central group of the Archipelago, tattooed themselves; a cutaneous disease also disfigured the majority; hence for many years their islands were called by the Spaniards Islas de los pintados.

4 Legaspi and Guido Lavezares, under oath, made promises of rewards to the Lacandola family and a remission of tribute in perpetuity, but they were not fulfilled. In the following century—year 1660—it appears that the descendants of the Rajah Lacandola still upheld the Spanish authority, and having become sorely impoverished thereby, the heir of the family petitioned the Governor (Sabiniano Manrique de Lara) to make good the honour of his first predecessors. Eventually [36n]the Lacandolas were exempted from the payment of tribute and poll-tax for ever, as recompense for the filching of their domains.

In 1884, when the fiscal reforms were introduced which abolished the tribute and established in lieu thereof a document of personal identity (cedula personal), for which a tax was levied, the last vestige of privilege disappeared.

Descendants of Lacandola are still to be met with in several villages near Manila. They do not seem to have materially profited by their transcendent ancestry—one of them I found serving as a waiter in a French restaurant in the capital in 1885.

Philippine Dependencies, Up To 1898

The Ladrones, Carolines and Pelew Islands

In 1521 Maghallanes cast anchor off the Ladrone Islands (situated between 17° and 20° N. lat. by 146° E. long.) on his way to the discovery of those Islands afterwards denominated the Philippines. This group was named by him Islas de las Velas.1 Legaspi called them the Ladrones.2 Subsequently several navigators sighted or touched at these Islands, and the indistinct demarcation which comprised them acquired the name of Saint Lazarusʼ Archipelago.

In 1662 the Spanish vessel San Damian, on her course from Mexico to Luzon, anchored here. On board was a missionary, Fray Diego Luis de San Victores, who was so impressed with the dejected condition of the natives, that on reaching Manila he made it his common theme of conversation. In fact, so importunately did he pursue the subject with his superiors that he had to be constrained to silence. In the following year the Governor, Diego Salcedo, replied to his urgent appeal for a mission there in terms which permitted no further solicitation in that quarter. But the friar was persistent in his project, and petitioned the Archbishopʼs aid. The prelate submitted the matter to King Philip IV., and the friar himself wrote to his father, who presented a memorial to His Majesty and another to the Queen beseeching her influence. Consequently in 1666 a Royal Decree was received in Manila sanctioning a mission to the Ladrones.

Fray Diego took his passage in the galleon San Diego, and having arrived safely in the Viceregal Court of Mexico, he pressed his views on the Viceroy, who declared that he had no orders. Then the priest appealed to the Viceroyʼs wife, who, it is said, was entreating her husbandʼs help on bended knee, when an earthquake occurred which considerably damaged the city. It was a manifestation from heaven, the wily priest avowed, and the Viceroy, yielding to the superstition of the age, complied with the friarʼs request.

Therefore, in March, 1668, Fray Diego started from Acapulco in [40]charge of a Jesuit mission for the Ladrones, where they subsequently received a pension of ₱3,000 per annum from Queen Maria Ana, who, meanwhile, had become a widow and Regent. To commemorate this royal munificence, these Islands have since been called by the Spaniards “Islas Marianas,” although the older name—Ladrones—is better known to the world.

When the mission was fairly established, troops were sent there, consisting of twelve Spaniards and nineteen Philippine natives, with two pieces of artillery.

The acquiescence of the Ladrone natives was being steadily gained by the old policy of conquest, under the veil of Christianity, when they suddenly rebelled against the strangerʼs religion, which brought with it restraint of liberty and a social dominion practically amounting to slavery. Fortunately, Nature came again to the aid of Fray Diego, for, whilst the natives were in open revolt, a severe storm levelled their huts to the ground, and the priest having convinced them that it was a visitation from heaven, peace was concluded.

Fray Diego left the mission for Visayas, where he was killed. After his departure the natives again revolted against servile subjection, and many priests were slain from time to time—some in the exercise of their sacerdotal functions, others in open warfare.

In 1778 a Governor was sent there from Mexico with thirty soldiers, but he resigned his charge after two yearsʼ service, and others succeeded him.

The Islands are very poor. The products are Rice, Sago, Cocoanuts, and Cane-sugar to a small extent; there are also pigs and fowls in abundance. The Spaniards taught the natives the use of fire. They were a warlike people; every man had to carry arms. Their language is Chamorro, much resembling the Visayan dialect. The population, for a hundred years after the Spanish occupation, diminished. Women purposely sterilised themselves. Some threw their new born offspring into the sea, hoping to liberate them from a world of woe, and that they would regenerate in happiness. In the beginning of the 17th century the population was further diminished by an epidemic disease. During the first century of Spanish rule, the Government were never able to exact the payment of tribute. Up to the Spanish evacuation the revenue of these Islands was not nearly sufficient to cover the entire cost of administration. About twenty years ago Governor Pazos was assassinated there by a rebellious group.

There were nine towns with parish priests. All the churches were built of stone, and roofed with reed thatching, except that of the capital, which had an iron roof. Six of the towns had Town Halls made of bamboo and reed grass; one had a wooden building, and in two of them (including the capital) the Town Halls were of stone. [41]

The Seat of Government was at Agaña (called in old official documents the “City of San Ignacio de Agaña”). It is situated in the Island of Guam, in the creek called the Port of Apra. Ships have to anchor about two miles off Punta Piti, where passengers, stores, and mails are conveyed to a wooden landing-stage. Five hundred yards from here was the Harbour-masterʼs office, built of stone, with a tile roof. From Punta Piti there was a bad road of about five miles. The situation of Agaña seems to be ill-suited for communication with vessels, and proposals were ineffectually made by two Governors, since 1835, to establish the capital town elsewhere. The central Government took no heed of their recommendations. In Agaña there was a Government House, a Military Hospital and Pharmacy, an Artillery Dépôt and Infantry Barracks, a well-built Prison, a Town Hall, the Administratorʼs Office (called by the natives “the shop”), and the ruins of former public buildings. It is a rather pretty town, but there is nothing notable to be seen.

The natives are as domesticated as the Philippine Islanders, and have much better features. Spanish and a little English are spoken by many of them, as these Islands in former years were the resort of English-speaking whalemen. For the Elementary Education of the natives, there was the College of San Juan de Letran for boys, and a girlsʼ school in Agaña; and in 7 of the towns there was, in 1888, a total of 4 schools for boys, 5 schools for girls, and 9 schools for both sexes, under the direction of 20 masters and 6 mistresses.

When the Ladrone Islands (Marianas) were a dependency of the Spanish-Philippine General-Government, a subsidized mail steamer left Manila for Agaña, and two or three other ports, every three months.

An island was discovered by one of the Spanish galleon pilots in 1686, and called Carolina, in honour of Charles II. of Spain, but its bearings could not be found again for years.

In 1696 two canoes, with 29 Pelew Islanders, drifted to the coast of Sámar Island, and landed at the Town of Guivan. They were 60 days on the drift, and five of them died of privations. They were terror-stricken when they saw a man on shore making signs to them. When he went out to them in a boat, and boarded one of the canoes, they all jumped out and got into the other; then when the man got into that, they were in utter despair, considering themselves prisoners.

They were conducted to the Spanish priest of Guivan, whom they supposed would be the King of the Island, and on whom would depend their lives and liberty. They prostrated themselves, and implored his mercy and the favour of sparing their lives, whilst the priest did all he could, by signs, to reassure them.

It happened that there had been living here, for some years, two other strange men brought to this shore by currents and contrary [42]winds. These came forward to see the novelty, and served as interpreters, so that the newcomers were all lodged in native houses in twos and threes, and received the best hospitality.

They related that their Islands numbered 32, and only produced fowls and sea-birds. One man made a map, by placing stones in the relative position of the Islands. When asked about the number of the inhabitants, one took a handful of sand to demonstrate that they were countless. There was a King, they explained, who held his court in the Island of Lamurrec, to whom the chiefs were subject. They much respected and obeyed him. Among the castaways was a chief, with his wife—the daughter of the King.

The men had a leaf-fibre garment around their loins, and to it was attached a piece of stuff in front, which was thrown over the shoulders and hung loose at the back. The women were dressed the same as the men, except that their loin vestment reached to their knees. The Kingʼs daughter wore, moreover, tortoise-shell ornaments.

They were afraid when they saw a cow and a dog, their Island having no quadrupeds. Their sole occupation consisted in providing food for their families. Their mark of courtesy was to take the hand of the person whom they saluted and pass it softly over the face.

The priest gave them pieces of iron, which they prized as if they had been of gold, and slept with them under their heads. Their only arms were lances, with human bones for points. They seemed to be a pacific people, intelligent and well-proportioned physically. Both sexes wore long hair down to their shoulders.

Very content to find so much luxury in Sámar, they offered to return and bring their people to trade. The Jesuits considered this a capital pretext for subjecting their Islands, and the Government approved of it. At the instance of the Pope, the King ordered the Gov.-General, Domingo Zabálburu, to send out expeditions in quest of these Islands; and, between 1708 and 1710, several unsuccessful efforts were made to come across them. In 1710, two islands were discovered, and named San Andrés. Several canoes arrived alongside of the ship, and the occupants accepted the Commanderʼs invitation to come on board. They were much astonished to see the Spaniards smoke, and admired the iron fastenings of the vessel. When they got near shore, they all began to dance, clapping their hands to beat time. They measured the ship, and wondered where such a large piece of wood could have come from. They counted the crew, and presented them with cocoanuts, fish, and herbs from their canoes. The vessel anchored near to the shore, but there was a strong current and a fresh wind blowing, so that it was imprudent to disembark. However, two priests insisted upon erecting a cross on the shore, and were accompanied by the quarter-master and an officer of the troops. The weather compelled the master to weigh anchor, and the vessel set sail, leaving [43]on land the four Europeans, who were ultimately murdered. For a quarter of a century these Islands were lost again to the Spaniards.

In 1721 two Caroline prahus were wafted to the Ladrone Islands, where D. Luiz Sanchez was Governor. The Caroline Islanders had no idea where they had landed, and were quite surprised when they beheld the priest. He forcibly detained these unfortunate people, and handed them over to the Governor, whom they entreated, with tears—but all in vain—to be allowed to return to their homes. There they remained prisoners, until it suited the Governorʼs convenience to send a vessel with a priest to their Island. The priest went there, and thence to Manila, where a fresh expedition was fitted out. It was headed by a missionary, and included a number of soldiers whom the natives massacred soon after their arrival. All further attempt to subdue the Caroline Islands was necessarily postponed.

The natives, at that time, had no religion at all, or were, in a vague sense, polytheists. Their wise men communicated with the souls of the defunct. They were polygamists, but had a horror of adultery. Divorce was at once granted by the chiefs on proof of infidelity. They were cannibals. In each island there was a chief, regarded as a semi-spiritual being, to whom the natives were profoundly obedient. Huts were found used as astrological schools, where also the winds and currents were studied. They made cloth of plantain-fibre—hatchets with stone heads. Between sunset and sunrise they slept. When war was declared between two villages or tribes, each formed three lines of warriors, 1st, young men; 2nd, tall men; 3rd, old men; then the combatants pelted each other with stones and lances. A man hors de combat was replaced by one of the back file coming forward. When one party acknowledged themselves vanquished, it was an understood privilege of the victors to shower invectives on their retiring adversaries. They lived on fruits, roots and fish. There were no quadrupeds and no agriculture.

Many Spanish descendants were found, purely native in their habits, and it was remembered that about the year 1566, several Spaniards from an expedition went ashore on some islands, supposed to be these, and were compelled to remain there.

The Carolines (“Islas Carolinas”) and Pelews (“Islas Palaos”) comprise some 48 groups of islands and islets, making a total of about 500. Their relative position to the Ladrone Islands is—of the former, S.S.W. stretching to S.E.; of the latter, S.W. Both groups lie due E. of Mindanao Island (vide map). The principal Pelew Islands are Babel-Druap and Kosor—Yap and Ponapé (Ascencion Is.) are the most important of the Carolines. The centres of Spanish Government were respectively in Yap and Babel-Druap, with a Vice-Governor of the Eastern Carolines in Ponapé—all formerly dependent on the General-Government in Manila. The Carolines and Pelews were included in [44]the Bishopric of Cebú, and were subject, judicially, to the Supreme Court of Manila.

These Islands were subsequently many times visited by ships of other nations, and a barter trade gradually sprang up in dried cocoanut kernels (coprah) for the extraction of oil in Europe and America. Later on, when the natives were thoroughly accustomed to the foreigners, British, American, and German traders established themselves on shore, and vessels continued to arrive with European and American manufactures in exchange for coprah, trepang, ivory-nuts, tortoise-shell, etc.

Anglo-American missionaries have settled there, and a great number of natives profess Christianity in the Protestant form. Religious books in native dialect, published in Honolulu (Sandwich Is.) by the Hawaiian Evangelical Association, are distributed by the American missionaries. I have one before me now, entitled “Kapas Fel, Puk Eu,” describing incidents from the Old Testament. A few of the natives can make themselves understood in English. Besides coprah (the chief export) the Islands produce Rice, Yams, Bread-fruit (rima), Sugar-cane, etc. Until 1886 there was no Government, except that of several petty kings or chiefs, each of whom still rules over his own tribe, although the Protestant missionaries exercised a considerable social influence.

In 1885 a Spanish naval officer, named Capriles, having been appointed Governor of the Islands, arrived at Yap, ostensibly with the object of landing to hoist the Spanish flag as a signal of possession, for it was known in official quarters that the Germans were about to claim sovereignty. However, three days were squandered (perhaps intentionally) in trivial formalities, and although two Spanish men-oʼ-war—the Manila and the San Quintin—were already anchored in the Port of Yap, the German warship Iltis entered, landed marines, and hoisted their national flag, whilst the Spaniards looked on. Then the German Commander went on board the San Quintin to tell the Commander that possession of the Islands had been taken in the name of the Emperor of Germany. Neither Capriles, the appointed Governor, nor España, the Commander of the San Quintin, made any resistance; and as we can hardly attribute their inactivity to cowardice, presumably they followed their Governmentʼs instructions. Capriles and España returned to Manila, and were both rewarded for their inaction; the former being appointed to the Government of Mindoro Island. In Manila an alarming report was circulated that the Germans contemplated an attack upon the Philippines. Earthworks were thrown up outside the city wall; cannons were mounted, and the cry of invasion resounded all over the Colony. Hundreds of families fled from the capital and environs to adjacent provinces, and the personal safety of the German residents was menaced by individual patriotic enthusiasts.

In Madrid, popular riots followed the publication of the incident. The German Embassy was assaulted, and its escutcheon was burnt in [45]the streets by the indignant mob, although, probably, not five per cent. of the rioters had any idea where the Caroline Islands were situated, or anything about them. Spain acted so feebly, and Germany so vigorously, in this affair, that many asked—was it not due to a secret understanding between the respective Ministries, disrupted only by the weight of Spanish public opinion? Diplomatic notes were exchanged between Madrid and Berlin, and Germany, anxious to withdraw with apparent dignity from an affair over which it was probably never intended to waste powder and shot, referred the question to the Pope, who arbitrated in favour of Spain.

But for these events, it is probable that Spain would never have done anything to demonstrate possession of the Caroline Islands, and for 16 months after the question was solved by Pontific mediation, there was a Spanish Governor in Yap—Sr. Elisa—a few troops and officials, but no Government. No laws were promulgated, and everybody continued to do as heretofore.

In Ponapé (Ascencion Is.) Sr. Posadillo was appointed Governor. A few troops were stationed there under a sub-lieutenant, whilst some Capuchin friars—European ecclesiastics of the meanest type—were sent there to compete with the American Protestant missionaries in the salvation of nativesʼ souls. A collision naturally took place, and the Governor—well known to all of us in Manila as crack-brained and tactless—sent the chief Protestant missionary, Mr. E. T. Doane, a prisoner to Manila on June 16, 1887.3 He was sent back free to Ponapé by the Gov.-General, but, during his absence, the eccentric Posadillo exercised a most arbitrary authority over the natives. The chiefs were compelled to serve him as menials, and their subjects were formed into gangs, to work like convicts; native teachers were suspended from their duties under threat, and the Capuchins disputed the possession of land, and attempted to coerce the natives to accept their religion.

On July 1 the natives did not return to their bondage, and all the soldiers, led by the sub-lieutenant, were sent to bring them in by force. A fight ensued, and the officer and troops, to the last man, were killed or mortally wounded by clubs, stones and knives. The astonished Governor fortified his place, which was surrounded by the enemy. The tribes of the chiefs Nott and Jockets were up in arms. There was the hulk Da. Maria de Molina anchored in the roadstead, and the Capuchins fled to it on the first alarm. The Governor escaped from his house on the night of July 4 with his companions, and rushed to the sea, probably intending to swim out to the hulk. But who knows? He and all his partisans were chased and killed by the natives.

On September 21 the news of the tragedy reached Manila by the man-oʼ-war San Quintin. About six weeks afterwards, three men-oʼ-war [46]were sent to Ponapé with infantry, artillery, a mountain battery, and a section of Engineers—a total of about 558 men—but on their arrival they met an American warship—the Essex—which had hastened on to protect American interests. The Spaniards limited their operations to the seizure of a few accused individuals, whom they brought to Manila, and the garrison of Yap was increased to 100 men, under a Captain and subordinate officers. The prisoners were tried in Manila by court-martial, and I acted as interpreter. It was found that they had only been loyal to the bidding of their chiefs, and were not morally culpable, whilst the action of the late Governor of Ponapé met with general reprobation.

Again, in July, 1890, a party of 54 soldiers, under Lieutenant Porras, whilst engaged in felling timber in the forest, was attacked by the Malatana (Caroline) tribe, who killed the officer and 27 of his men. The news was telegraphed to the Home Government, and caused a great sensation in Madrid. A conference of Ministers was at once held, and the Cánovas del Castillo Ministry cabled to the Gov.-General Weyler discretionary power to punish these islanders. Within a few months troops were sent from Manila for that purpose. Instead, however, of chastising the Kanakas, the Government forces were repulsed by them with great slaughter. The commissariat arrangements were most deficient: my friend Colonel Gutierrez Soto, who commanded the expedition, was so inadequately supported by the War Department that, yielding to despair, and crestfallen by reason of the open and adverse criticism of his plan of campaign, he shot himself.

Under the Treaty of Paris (1898) the Island of Guam (Ladrone group) was ceded by Spain to the United States, together with the Philippine Islands. The remainder of the Ladrone group, the Caroline and the Pelew Islands were sold by Spain to Germany in June, 1899. [47]

1 Velas, Spanish for sails.

2 Ladrones, Spanish for thieves.

3 Mr. Doane is reported to have died in Honolulu about June, 1890

Attempted Conquest by Chinese

On the death of General Legaspi, the Government of the Colony was assumed by the Royal Treasurer, Guido de Lavezares, in conformity with the sealed instructions from the Supreme Court of Mexico, which were now opened. During this period, the possession of the Islands was unsuccessfully disputed by a rival expedition under the command of a Chinaman, Li-ma-hong, whom the Spaniards were pleased to term a pirate, forgetting, perhaps, that they themselves had only recently wrested the country from its former possessors by virtue of might against right. On the coasts of his native country he had indeed been a pirate. For the many depredations committed by him against private traders and property, the Celestial Emperor, failing to catch him by cajolery, outlawed him.

Born in the port of Tiuchiu, Li-ma-hong at an early age evinced a martial spirit and joined a band of corsairs which for a long time had been the terror of the China coasts. On the demise of his chief he was unanimously elected leader of the buccaneering cruisers. At length, pursued in all directions by the imperial ships of war, he determined to attempt the conquest of the Philippines. Presumably the same incentives which impelled the Spanish mariners to conquer lands and overthrow dynasties—the vision of wealth, glory and empire,—awakened a like ambition in the Chinese adventurer. It was the spirit of the age.1 In his sea-wanderings he happened to fall in with a Chinese trading junk returning from Manila with the proceeds of her cargo sold there. This he seized, and the captive crew were constrained to pilot his fleet towards the capital of Luzon. From them he learnt how easily the natives had been plundered by a handful of foreigners—the probable extent of the opposition he might encounter—the defences established—the wealth and resources of the district, and the nature of its inhabitants. [48]

His fleet consisted of 62 war ships or armed junks, well found, having on board 2,000 sailors, 2,000 soldiers, 1,500 women, a number of artisans, and all that could be conveniently carried with which to gain and organize his new kingdom. On its way the squadron cast anchor off the Province of Ilocos Sur, where a few troops were sent ashore to get provisions. Whilst returning to the junks, they sacked the village and set fire to the huts. The news of this outrage was hastily communicated to Juan Salcedo, who had been pacifying the Northern Provinces since July, 1572, and was at the time in Villa Fernandina (now called Vigan). Li-ma-hong continued his course until calms compelled his ships to anchor in the roads of Caoayan (Ilocos coast), where a few Spanish soldiers were stationed under the orders of Juan Salcedo, who still was in the immediate town of Vigan. Under his direction preparations were made to prevent the enemy entering the river, but such was not Li-ma-hongʼs intention. He again set sail; whilst Salcedo, naturally supposing his course would be towards Manila, also started at the same time for the capital with all the fighting men he could collect, leaving only 30 men to garrison Vigan and protect the State interests there.

On November 29, 1574, the squadron arrived in the Bay of Manila, and Li-ma-hong sent forward his Lieutenant Sioco—a Japanese—at the head of 600 fighting men to demand the surrender of the Spaniards. A strong gale, however, destroyed several of his junks, in which about 200 men perished.

With the remainder he reached the coast at Parañaque, a village seven miles south of Manila. Thence, with tow-lines, the 400 soldiers hauled their junks up to the beach of the capital.

Already at the village of Malate the alarm was raised, but the Spaniards could not give credit to the reports, and no resistance was offered until the Chinese were within the gates of the city. Martin de Goiti, the Maestre de Campo,2 second in command to the Governor, was the first victim of the attack.

The flames and smoke arising from his burning residence were the first indications which the Governor received of what was going on. The Spaniards took refuge in the Fort of Santiago, which the Chinese were on the point of taking by storm, when their attention was drawn elsewhere by the arrival of fresh troops led by a Spanish sub-lieutenant. Under the mistaken impression that these were the vanguard of a formidable corps, Sioco sounded the retreat. A bloody hand-to-hand combat followed, and with great difficulty the Chinese collected their dead and regained their junks.

In the meantime Li-ma-hong, with the reserved forces, was lying in the roadstead of Cavite, and Sioco hastened to report to him the result [49]of the attack, which had cost the invader over one hundred dead and more than that number wounded. Thereupon Li-ma-hong resolved to rest his troops and renew the conflict in two daysʼ time under his personal supervision. The next day Juan Salcedo arrived by sea with reinforcements from Vigan, and preparations were unceasingly made for the expected encounter. Salcedo having been appointed to the office of Maestre de Campo, vacant since the death of Goiti, the organization of the defence was entrusted to his immediate care.

By daybreak on December 3 the enemyʼs fleet hove-to off the capital, where Li-ma-hong harangued his troops, whilst the cornets and drums of the Spaniards were sounding the alarm for their fighting men to assemble in the fort.

Then 1,500 chosen men, well armed, were disembarked under the leadership of Sioco, who swore to take the place or die in the attempt. Sioco separated his forces into three divisions. The city was set fire to, and Sioco advanced towards the fort, into which hand-grenades were thrown, whilst Li-ma-hong supported the attack with his shipsʼ cannon.

Sioco, with his division, at length entered the fort, and a hand-to-hand fight ensued. For a while the issue was doubtful. Salcedo fought like a lion. Even the aged Governor was well to the front to encourage the deadly struggle for existence. The Spaniards finally gained the victory; the Chinese were repulsed with great slaughter, and their leader having been killed, they fled in complete disorder. Salcedo, profiting by the confusion, now took the offensive and followed up the enemy, pursuing them along the sea-shore, where they were joined by the third division, which had remained inactive. The panic of the Chinese spread rapidly, and Li-ma-hong, in despair, landed another contingent of about 500 men, whilst he still continued afloat; but even with this reinforcement the morale of his army could not be restored.

The Chinese troops therefore, harassed on all sides, made a precipitate retreat on board the fleet, and Li-ma-hong set sail again for the west coast of the island. Foiled in the attempt to possess himself of Manila, Li-ma-hong determined to set up his capital in other parts. In a few days he arrived at the mouth of the Agno River, in the province of Pangasinán, where he proclaimed to the natives that he had gained a signal victory over the Spaniards. The inhabitants there, having no particular choice between two masters, received Li-ma-hong with welcome, and he thereupon set about the foundation of his new capital some four miles from the mouth of the river. Months passed before the Spaniards came in force to dislodge the invader. Feeling themselves secure in their new abode, the Chinese had built many dwellings, a small fortress, a pagoda, etc. At length an expedition was despatched under the command of Juan Salcedo. This was composed of about 250 Spaniards and 1,600 natives well equipped with small arms, ammunition and artillery. The flower of [50]the Spanish Colony, accompanied by two priests and the Rajah of Tondo, set out to expel the formidable foe. Li-ma-hong made a bold resistance, and refused to come to terms with Salcedo. In the meantime, the Viceroy of Fokien, having heard of Li-ma-hongʼs daring exploits, had commissioned a ship of war to discover the whereabouts of his imperial masterʼs old enemy. The envoy was received with delight by the Spaniards, who invited him to accompany them to Manila to interview the Governor.

Li-ma-hong still held out, but perceiving that an irresistible onslaught was being projected against him by Salcedoʼs party, he very cunningly and quite unexpectedly slipped away, and sailed out of the river with his ships by one of the mouths unknown to his enemies.3 In order to divert the attention of the Spaniards, Li-ma-hong ingeniously feigned an assault in an opposite quarter. Of course, on his escape, he had to abandon the troops employed in this manoeuvre. These, losing all hope, and having indeed nothing but their lives to fight for, fled to the mountains. Hence it is popularly supposed that from these fugitives descends the race of people in the hill district north of that province still distinguishable by their oblique eyes and known by the name of Igorrote-Chinese.

Aide-toi et Dieu tʼaidera” is an old French maxim, but the Spaniards chose to attribute their deliverance from their Chinese rivals to the friendly intervention of Saint Andrew. This Saint was declared thenceforth to be the Patron Saint of Manila, and in his honour High Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral at 8 a.m. on the 30th of each November. In Spanish times it was a public holiday and gala-day, when all the highest civil, military and religious authorities attended the Funcion votiva de San Andrés. This opportunity to assert the supremacy of ecclesiastical power was not lost to the Church, and for many years it was the custom, after hearing Mass, to spread the Spanish national flag on the floor of the Cathedral for the metropolitan Archbishop to walk over it. However, a few years prior to the Spanish evacuation the Gov.-General refused to witness this antiquated formula and it subsequently became the practice to carry the Royal Standard before the altar. Both before and after the Mass, the bearer (Alférez Real), wearing his hat and accompanied by the Mayor of the City, stood on the altar floor, raised his hat three times, and three times dipped the flag before the Image of Christ, then, facing the public, he repeated this ceremony. On Saint Andrewʼs Eve the Royal Standard was borne in procession from the Cathedral through the principal streets of the city, escorted by civil functionaries and followed by a band of music. This ceremony was known as the Paseo del Real Pendon. [51]

According to Juan de la Concepcion, the Rajahs4 Soliman and Lacandola took advantage of these troubles to raise a rebellion against the Spaniards. The natives, too, of Mindoro Island revolted and maltreated the priests, but all these disturbances were speedily quelled by a detachment of soldiers.

The Governor willingly accepted the offer of the commander of the Chinese man-oʼ-war to convey ambassadors to his country to visit the Viceroy and make a commercial treaty. Therefore two priests, Martin Rada and Gerónimo Martin, were commissioned to carry a letter of greeting and presents to this personage, who received them with great distinction, but objected to their residing in the country.

After the defeat of Li-ma-hong, Juan Salcedo again set out to the Northern Provinces of Luzon Island, to continue his task of reducing the natives to submission. On March 11, 1576, he died of fever near Vigan (then called Villa Fernandina), capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur. A year afterwards, what could be found of his bones were placed in the ossuary of his illustrious grandfather, Legaspi, in the Augustine Chapel of Saint Fausto, Manila. His skull, however, which had been carried off by the natives of Ilocos, could not be recovered in spite of all threats and promises. In Vigan there is a small monument raised to commemorate the deeds of this famous warrior, and there is also a street bearing his name in Vigan and another in Manila.

For several years following these events, the question of prestige in the civil affairs of the Colony was acrimoniously contested by the Gov.-General, the Supreme Court, and the ecclesiastics.

The Governor was censured by his opponents for alleged undue exercise of arbitrary authority. The Supreme Court, established on the Mexican model, was reproached with seeking to overstep the limits of its functions. Every legal quibble was adjusted by a dilatory process, impracticable in a colony yet in its infancy, where summary justice was indispensable for the maintenance of order imperfectly understood by the masses. But the fault lay less with the justices than with the constitution of the Court itself. Nor was this state of affairs improved by the growing discontent and immoderate ambition of the clergy, who unremittingly urged their pretensions to immunity from State control, affirming the supramundane condition of their office.

An excellent code of laws, called the Leyes de Indias, in force in Mexico, was adopted here, but modifications in harmony with the special conditions of this Colony were urgently necessary, whilst all the branches of government called for reorganization or reform. Under these circumstances, the Bishop of Manila, Domingo Salazar,5 took the [52]initiative in commissioning an Austin friar, Alonso Sánchez, to repair firstly to the Viceroy of Mexico and afterwards to the King of Spain, to expose the grievances of his party.

Alonso Sánchez left the Philippines with his appointment as procurator-general for the Augustine Order of monks. As the execution of the proposed reforms, which he was charged to lay before His Majesty, would, if conceded, be entrusted to the control of the Government of Mexico, his first care was to seek the partisanship of the Viceroy of that Colony; and in this he succeeded. Thence he continued his journey to Seville, where the Court happened to be, arriving there in September, 1587. He was at once granted an audience of the King, to present his credentials and memorials relative to Philippine affairs in general, and ecclesiastical, judicial, military and native matters in particular. The King promised to peruse all the documents, but suffering from gout, and having so many and distinct State concerns to attend to, the negotiations were greatly delayed. Finally, Alonso Sánchez sought a minister who had easy access to the royal apartments, and this personage obtained from the King permission to examine the documents and hand to him a succinct résumé of the whole for His Majestyʼs consideration. A commission was then appointed, including Sánchez, and the deliberations lasted five months.

At this period, public opinion in the Spanish Universities was very divided with respect to Catholic missions in the Indies. Some maintained that the propaganda of the faith ought to be purely Apostolic, such as Jesus Christ taught to His disciples, inculcating doctrines of humility and poverty without arms or violence; and if, nevertheless, the heathens refused to welcome this mission of peace, the missionaries should simply abandon them in silence without further demonstration than that of shaking the dust off their feet.

Others held, and amongst them was Sánchez, that such a method was useless and impracticable, and that it was justifiable to force their religion upon primitive races at the point of the sword if necessary, using any violence to enforce its acceptance.

Much ill-feeling was aroused in the discussion of these two and distinct theories. Juan Volante, a Dominican friar of the Convent of Our Lady of Atocha, presented a petition against the views of the Sánchez faction, declaring that the idea of ingrafting religion with the aid of arms was scandalous. Juan Volante was so importunate that he had to be heard in Council, but neither party yielded. At length, the intervention of the Bishops of Manila, Macao and Malacca and several captains and governors in the Indies influenced the King to put an end to the controversy, on the ground that it would lead to no good.

The King retired to the Monastery of the Escorial, and Sánchez was cited to meet him there to learn the royal will. About the same time the news reached the King of the loss of the so-called Invincible Armada, [53]sent under the command of the incompetent Duke of Medina Sidonia to annex England. Notwithstanding this severe blow to the vain ambition of Philip, the affairs of the Philippines were delayed but a short time. On the basis of the recommendation of the junta, the Royal Assent was given to an important decree, of which the most significant articles are the following, namely:—The tribute was fixed by the King at ten reales (5s.) per annum, payable by the natives in gold, silver or grain, or part in one commodity and part in the other. Of this tribute, eight reales were to be paid to the Treasury, one-half real to the bishop and clergy (sanctorum tax), and one-and-a-half reales to be applied to the maintenance of the soldiery. Full tribute was not to be exacted from the natives still unsubjected to the Crown. Until their confidence and loyalty should be gained by friendly overtures, they were to pay a small recognition of vassalage, and subsequently the tribute in common with the rest.

Instead of one-fifth value of gold and hidden treasure due to His Majesty (real quinto), he would thenceforth receive only one-tenth of such value, excepting that of gold, which the natives would be permitted to extract free of rebate.

A customs duty of three per cent. ad valorem was to be paid on merchandise sold, and this duty was to be spent on the army.

Export duty was to be paid on goods shipped to New Spain (Mexico), and this impost was also to be exclusively spent on the armed forces. These goods were chiefly Chinese manufactures.

The number of European troops in the Colony was fixed at 400 men-at-arms, divided into six companies, each under a captain, a sublieutenant, a sergeant, and two corporals. Their pay was to be as follows, namely:—Captain ₱35, sub-lieutenant ₱20, sergeant ₱10, corporal ₱7, rank and file ₱6 per month; besides which, an annual gratuity of ₱10,000 was to be proportionately distributed to all.

Recruits from Mexico, for military service in the Islands, were not to enlist under the age of 15 years.

The Captain-General was to have a body-guard of 24 men (Halberdiers) with the pay of those of the line, under the immediate command of a Captain to be paid ₱15 per month.

Salaries due to State employees were to be punctually paid when due; and when funds were wanted for that purpose, they were to be supplied from Mexico.

The King made a donation of ₱12,000, which, with another like sum to be contributed by the Spaniards themselves, would serve to liquidate their debts incurred on their first occupation of the Islands.

The Governor and Bishop were recommended to consider the project of a refuge for young Spanish women arrived from Spain and Mexico, and to study the question of dowries for native women married to poor Spaniards. [54]

The offices of Secretaries and Notaries were no longer to be sold, but conferred on persons who merited such appointments.

The governors were instructed not to make grants of land to their relations, servants or friends, but solely to those who should have resided at least three years in the Islands, and have worked the lands so conceded. Any grants which might have already been made to the relations of the governors or magistrates were to be cancelled.

The rent paid by the Chinese for the land they occupied was to be applied to the necessities of the capital.

The Governor and Bishop were to enjoin the judges not to permit costly lawsuits, but to execute summary justice verbally, and so far as possible, fines were not to be inflicted.

The City of Manila was to be fortified in a manner to ensure it against all further attacks or risings.

Four penitentiaries were to be established in the Islands in the most convenient places, with the necessary garrisons, and six to eight galleys and frigates well armed and ready for defence against the English corsairs who might come by way of the Moluccas.

In the most remote and unexplored parts of the Islands, the Governor was to have unlimited powers to act as he should please, without consulting His Majesty; but projected enterprises of conversion, pacification, etc., at the expense of the Royal Treasury, were to be submitted to a Council comprising the Bishop, the captains, etc. The Governor was authorized to capitulate and agree with the captain and others who might care to undertake conversions and pacifications on their own account, and to concede the title of Maestre de Campo to such persons, on condition that such capitulations should be forwarded to His Majesty for ratification.

Only those persons domiciled in the Islands would be permitted to trade with them.

A sum of ₱1,000 was to be taken from the tributes paid into the Royal Treasury for the foundation of the Hospital for the Spaniards, and the annual sum of ₱600, appropriated by the Governor for its support, was confirmed. Moreover, the Royal Treasury of Mexico was to send clothing to the value of 400 ducats for the Hospital use.

The Hospital for the natives was to receive an annual donation of ₱600 for its support, and an immediate supply of clothing from Mexico to the value of ₱200.

Slaves held by the Spaniards were to be immediately set at liberty. No native was thenceforth to make slaves. All new-born natives were declared free. The bondage of all existing slaves from ten years of age was to cease on their attaining twenty years of age. Those above twenty years of age were to serve five years longer, and then become free. At any time, notwithstanding the foregoing conditions, they would be entitled to purchase their liberty, [55]the price of which was to be determined by the Governor and the Bishop.6

There being no tithes payable to the Church by Spaniards or natives, the clergy were to receive for their maintenance the half-real above mentioned in lieu thereof, from the tribute paid by each native subjected to the Crown. When the Spaniards should have crops, they were to pay tithes to the clergy (diezmos prediales).

A grant was made of 12,000 ducats for the building and ornaments of the Cathedral of Manila, and an immediate advance of 2,000 ducats on account of this grant was made from the funds to be remitted from Mexico.

Forty Austin friars were to be sent at once to the Philippines, to be followed by missionaries from other corporations. The King allowed ₱500 to be paid against the ₱1,000 passage money for each priest, the balance to be defrayed out of the common funds of the clergy, derived from their share of the tribute.

Missionaries in great numbers had already flocked to the Philippines and roamed wherever they thought fit, without licence from the Bishop, whose authority they utterly repudiated.

Affirming that they had the direct consent of His Holiness the Pope, they menaced with excommunication whosoever attempted to impede them in their free peregrination. Five years after the foundation of Manila, the city and environs were infested with niggardly mendicant friars, whose slothful habits placed their supercilious countrymen in ridicule before the natives. They were tolerated but a short time in the Islands; not altogether because of the ruin they would have brought to European moral influence on the untutored tribes, but because the Bishop was highly jealous of all competition against the Augustine Order which he assisted. Consequent on the representations of Alonso Sánchez, His Majesty ordained that all priests who went to the Philippines were, in the first place, to resolve never to quit the Islands without the Bishopʼs sanction, which was to be conceded with great circumspection and only in extreme cases, whilst the Governor was instructed not to afford them means of exit on his sole authority.

Neither did the Bishop regard with satisfaction the presence of the Commissary of the Inquisition, whose secret investigations, shrouded with mystery, curtailed the liberty of the loftiest functionary, sacred or civil. At the instigation of Alonso Sánchez, the junta recommended the King to recall the Commissary and extinguish the office, but [56]he refused to do so. In short, the chief aims of the Bishop were to enhance the power of the friars, raise the dignity of the Colonial mitre, and secure a religious monopoly for the Augustine Order.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas was the next Governor appointed to these Islands, on the recommendation of Alonso Sánchez. In the Royal Instructions which he brought with him were embodied all the above-mentioned civil, ecclesiastical and military reforms. At the same time, King Philip abolished the Supreme Court. He wished to put an end to the interminable lawsuits so prejudicial to the development of the Colony. Therefore the President and Magistrates were replaced by Justices of the Peace, and the former returned to Mexico in 1591. This measure served only to widen the breach between the Bishop and the Civil Government. Dasmariñas compelled him to keep within the sphere of his sacerdotal functions, and tolerated no rival in State concerns. There was no appeal on the spot against the Governorʼs authority. This restraint irritated and disgusted the Bishop to such a degree that, at the age of 78 years, he resolved to present himself at the Spanish Court. On his arrival there, he explained to the King the impossibility of one Bishop attending to the spiritual wants of a people dispersed over so many Islands. For seven years after the foundation of Manila as capital of the Archipelago, its principal church was simply a parish church. In 1578 it was raised to the dignity of a Cathedral, at the instance of the King. Three years after this date the Cathedral of Manila was solemnly declared to be a “Suffragan Cathedral of Mexico, under the advocation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception”; Domingo Salazár being the first Bishop consecrated. He now proposed to raise the Manila See to an Archbishopric, with three Suffragan Bishops. The King gave his consent, subject to approval from Rome, and this following in due course, Salazár was appointed first Archbishop of Manila, but he died before the Papal Bull arrived, dated August 14, 1595, officially authorizing his investiture.

In the meantime, Alonso Sánchez had proceeded to Rome in May, 1589. Amongst many other Pontifical favours conceded to him, he obtained the right for himself, or his assigns, to use a die or stamp of any form with one or more images, to be chosen by the holder, and to contain also the figure of Christ, the Very Holy Virgin, or the Saints Peter or Paul. On the reverse was to be engraven a bust portrait of His Holiness, with the following indulgences attached thereto, viz.:—“To him who should convey the word of God to the infidels, or give them notice of the holy mysteries—each time 300 yearsʼ indulgence. To him who, by industry, converted any one of these, or brought him to the bosom of the Church—full indulgence for all sins.” A number of minor indulgences were conceded for services to be rendered to the Pontificate, and for the praying so many Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. This Bull was dated in Rome July 28, 1591. [57]

Popes Gregory XIV. and Innocent IX. granted other Bulls relating to the rewards for using beads, medals, crosses, pictures, blessed images, etc., with which one could gain nine plenary indulgences every day or rescue nine souls from purgatory; and each day, twice over, all the full indulgences yet given in and out of Rome could be obtained for living and deceased persons.

Sánchez returned to Spain (where he died), bringing with him the body of Saint Policarp, relics of Saint Potenciana, and 157 Marytrs; amongst them, 27 popes, for remission to the Cathedral of Manila.

The Supreme Court was re-established with the same faculties as those of Mexico and Lima in 1598, and since then, on seven occasions, when the Governorship has been vacant, it has acted pro tem. The following interesting account of the pompous ceremonial attending the reception of the Royal Seal, restoring this Court, is given by Concepcion.7 He says:—“The Royal Seal of office was received from the ship with the accustomed solemnity. It was contained in a chest covered with purple velvet and trimmings of silver and gold, over which hung a cloth of silver and gold. It was escorted by a majestic accompaniment, marching to the sounds of clarions and cymbals and other musical instruments. The cortége passed through the noble city with rich vestments, with leg trimmings and uncovered heads. Behind these followed a horse, gorgeously caparisoned and girthed, upon whose back the President placed the coffer containing the Royal Seal. The streets were beautifully adorned with exquisite drapery. The High Bailiff, magnificently robed, took the reins in hand to lead the horse under a purple velvet pall, bordered with gold. The magistrates walked on either side; the aldermen of the city, richly clad, carried their staves of office in the august procession, which concluded with a military escort, standard bearers, etc., and proceeded to the Cathedral, where it was met by the Dean, holding a Cross. As the company entered the sacred edifice, the Te Deum was intoned by a band of music.”

In 1886 a Supreme Court, exactly similar to, and independent of, that of Manila, was established in the City of Cebú. The question of precedence in official acts having been soon after disputed between the President of the Court and the Brigadier-Governor of Visayas, it was decided in favour of the latter, on appeal to the Gov.-General. In the meantime, the advisability of abolishing the Supreme Court of Cebú, was warmly debated by the public.

For many years after the conquest, deep religious sentiment pervaded the State policy, and not a few of the Governors-General acquired fame for their demonstrations of piety. Nevertheless, the conflictive ambition [58]of the State and Church representatives was a powerful hindrance to the progress of the Colony.

The quarrel between Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera (1635–44) and the Archbishop arose from a circumstance of little concern to the Colony. The Archbishop ordered a military officer, who had a slave, either to sell or liberate her. The officer, rather than yield to either condition, wished to marry her, but failing to obtain her consent, he stabbed her to death. He thereupon took asylum in a convent, whence he was forcibly removed, and publicly executed in front of Saint Augustineʼs Church by order of the Governor. The Archbishop protested against the act, which, in those days, was qualified as a violation of sanctuary.

The churches were closed whilst the dispute lasted. The Jesuits, always opposed to the Austin friars, sided with the Governor. The Archbishop therefore prohibited them to preach outside their churches in any public place, under pain of excommunication and 4,000 ducats fine, whilst the other priests agreed to abstain from attending their religious or literary réunions. Finally, a religious council was called, but a coalition having been formed against the Archbishop, he was excommunicated—his goods distrained—his salary stopped, and he was suspended in his archiepiscopal functions under a penalty of 4,000 ducats fine. At this crisis, he implored mercy and the intervention of the Supreme Court. The magistrates decided against the prelateʼs appeal, and allowed him twelve hours to comply, under pain of continued excommunication and a further fine of 1,000 ducats. The Archbishop thereupon retired to the Convent of Saint Francis, where the Governor visited him. The Archbishop subsequently made the most abject submission in an archiepiscopal decree which fully sets forth the admission of his guilt. Such a violent settlement of disputes did not long remain undisturbed, and the Archbishop again sought the first opportunity of opposing the lay authority. In this he can only be excused—if excuse it be—as the upholder of the traditions of cordial discord between the two great factions—Church and State. The Supreme Court, under the presidency of the Governor, resolved therefore to banish the Archbishop from Manila. With this object, 50 soldiers were deputed to seize the prelate, who was secretly forewarned of their coming by his co-conspirators. On their approach he held the Host in his hand, and it is related that the sub-lieutenant sent in charge of the troops was so horrified at his mission that he placed the hilt of his sword upon the floor and fell upon the point, but as the sword bent he did not kill himself. The soldiers waited patiently until the Archbishop was tired out and compelled, by fatigue, to replace the Host on the altar. Then they immediately arrested him, conducted him to a boat under a guard of five men, and landed him on the desert Island of Corregidor. The churches were at once reopened; the Jesuits preached [59]where they chose; terms were dictated to the contumacious Archbishop, who accepted everything unconditionally, and was thereupon permitted to resume his office. The acts of Corcuera were inquired into by his successor, who caused him to be imprisoned for five years; but it is to be presumed that Corcuera was justified in what he did, for on his release and return to Spain, the King rewarded him with the Governorship of the Canary Islands.

It is chronicled that Sabiniano Manrique de Lara (1653–63), who arrived in the galleon San Francisco Xavier with the Archbishop Poblete, refused to disembark until this dignitary had blessed the earth he was going to tread. It was he too who had the privilege of witnessing the expurgation of the Islands of the excommunications and admonitions of Rome. The Archbishop brought peace and goodwill to all men, being charged by His Holiness to sanctify the Colony.

The ceremony was performed with great solemnity, from an elevation, in the presence of an immense concourse of people. Later on, the pious Governor Lara was accused of perfidy to his royal master, and was fined ₱60,000, but on being pardoned, he retired to Spain, where he took holy orders.

His successor, Diego Salcedo (1663–68), was not so fortunate in his relations with Archbishop Poblete, for during five years he warmly contested his intervention in civil affairs. Poblete found it hard to yield the exercise of veto in all matters which, by courtesy, had been conceded to him by the late Governor Lara. The Archbishop refused to obey the Royal Decrees relating to Church appointments under the Royal patronage, such preferments being in the hands of the Gov.-General as vice-royal patron. These decrees were twice notified to the Archbishop, but as he still persisted in his disobedience, Salcedo signed an order for his expulsion to Marivéles. This brought the prelate to his senses, and he remained more submissive in future. It is recorded that the relations between the Governor and the Archbishop became so strained that the latter was compelled to pay a heavy fine—to remain standing whilst awaiting an audience—to submit to contumely during the interviews—and when he died, the Governor ordered royal feasts to celebrate the joyful event, whilst he prohibited the de profundis Mass, on the ground that such would be inconsistent with the secular festivities.

The King, on being apprised of this, permitted the Inquisition to take its course. Diego Salcedo was surprised in his Palace, and imprisoned by the bloodthirsty agents of the Santo Oficio. Some years afterwards, he was shipped on board a galleon as a prisoner to the Inquisitors of Mexico, but the ship had to put back under stress of weather, and Salcedo returned to his dungeon. There he suffered the worst privations, until he was again embarked for Mexico. On this voyage [60]he died of grief and melancholy. The King espoused the cause of the ecclesiastics, and ordered Salcedoʼs goods, as well as those of his partisans, to be confiscated.

Manuel de Leon (1669–77) managed to preserve a good understanding with the clergy, and, on his decease, he bequeathed all his possessions to the Obras Pias (q.v.).

Troubles with the Archbishop and friars were revived on the Government being assumed by Juan de Nárgas (1678–84). In the last year of his rule, the Archbishop was banished from Manila. It is difficult to adequately appreciate the causes of this quarrel, and there is doubt as to which was right—the Governor or the Archbishop. On his restoration to his See, he was one of the few prelates—perhaps the only one—who personally sought to avenge himself. During the dispute, a number of friars had supported the Government, and these he caused to stand on a raised platform in front of a church, and publicly recant their former acts, declaring themselves miscreants. Juan de Nárgas had just retired from the Governorship after seven yearsʼ service, and the Archbishop called upon him likewise to abjure his past proceedings and perform the following penance:—To wear a penitentʼs garb—to place a rope around his neck, and carry a lighted candle to the doors of the cathedral and the churches of the Parian, San Gabriel and Binondo, on every feast day during four months. Nargas objected to this degradation, and claimed privilege, arguing that the Archbishop had no jurisdiction over him, as he was a Cavalier of the Military Order of St. James. But the Archbishop only desisted in his pretensions to humiliate Nárgas when the new Governor threatened to expel him again.

Fernando Bustamente Bustillo y Rueda (1717–19) adopted very stringent measures to counteract the Archbishopʼs excessive claims to immunity. Several individuals charged with heinous crimes had taken church asylum and defied the civil power and justice. The Archbishop was appealed to, to hand them over to the civil authorities, or allow them to be taken. He refused to do either, supporting the claim of immunity of sanctuary. At the same time it came to the knowledge of the Governor that a movement had been set on foot against him by those citizens who favoured the Archbishopʼs views, and that even the friars had so debased themselves as to seek the aid of the Chinese residents against the Governor. José Torralba (q.v.), the late acting-Governor, was released from confinement by the Governor, and reinstated by him as judge in the Supreme Court, although he was under an accusation of embezzlement to the extent of ₱700,000. The Archbishop energetically opposed this act. He notified to Torralba his excommunication and ecclesiastical pains, and, on his own authority, attempted to seize his person in violation of the privileges of the Supreme Court. Torralba, with his sword and shield in hand, expelled [61]the Archbishopʼs messenger by force. Then, as judge in the Supreme Court, he hastened to avenge himself of his enemies by issuing warrants against them. They fled to Church asylum, and, with the moral support of the Archbishop, laughed at the magistrates. There the refugees provided themselves with arms, and prepared for rebellion. When the Archbishop was officially informed of these facts, he still maintained that nothing could violate their immunity. The Governor then caused the Archbishop to be arrested and confined in a fortress, with all the ecclesiastics who had taken an active part in the conspiracy against the Government.

Open riot ensued, and the priests marched to the Palace, amidst hideous clamourings, collecting the mob and citizens on the way. It was one of the most revolting scenes and remarkable events in Philippine history. Priests of the Sacred Orders of Saint Francis, Saint Dominic, and Saint Augustine joined the Recoletos in shouting “Viva la Iglesia,” “Viva nuestro Rey Don Felipe Quinto.”8 The excited rabble rushed to the Palace, and the Guard having fled, they easily forced their way in. One priest who impudently dared to advance towards the Governor, was promptly ordered by him to stand back. The Governor, seeing himself encircled by an armed mob of laymen and servants of Christ clamouring for his downfall, pulled the trigger of his gun, but the flint failed to strike fire. Then the crowd took courage and attacked him, whilst he defended himself bravely with a bayonet, until he was overwhelmed by numbers. From the Palace he was dragged to the common jail, and stabbed and maltreated on the way. His son, hearing of this outrage, arrived on horseback, but was run through by one of the rebels, and fell to the ground. He got up and tried to cut his way through the infuriated rioters, but was soon surrounded and killed, and his body horribly mutilated.

The populace, urged by the clerical party, now fought for the liberty of the Archbishop. The prison doors were broken open, and the Archbishop was amongst the number of offenders liberated. The prelate came in triumph to the Palace, and assumed the Government in October, 1719. The mob, during their excesses, tore down the Royal Standard, and maltreated those whom they met of the unfortunate Governorʼs faithful friends. A mock inquiry into the circumstances of the riot was made in Manila in apparent judicial form. Another investigation was instituted in Mexico, which led to several of the minor actors in this sad drama being made the scapegoat victims of the more exalted criminals. The Archbishop held the Government for nine years, and was then transferred to the Mexican Bishopric of Mechoacan.

Pedro Manuel de Arandia (1754–59) is said to have expired of [62]melancholy, consequent, in a measure, on his futile endeavours to govern at peace with the friars, who always secured the favour of the King.

On four occasions the Supreme State authority in the Colony has been vested in the prelates. Archbishop Manuel Rojo, acting-Governor at the time of the British occupation of Manila in 1763, is said to have died of grief and shame in prison (1764) through the intrigues of the violent Simon de Anda y Salazar (q.v.).

José Raon was Gov.-General in 1768, when the expulsion of the Jesuits was decreed. After the secret determination was made known to him, he was accused of having divulged it, and of having concealed his instructions. He was thereupon placed under guard in his own residence, where he expired (vide Simon de Anda y Salazár).

Domingo Moriones y Murillo (1877–80), it is alleged, had grave altercations with the friars, and found it necessary to remind the Archbishop Payo that the supreme power in the Philippines belonged to the State—not to the Church representative.

From the earliest times of Spanish dominion, it had been the practice of the natives to expose to view the corpses of their relations and friends in the public highways and villages whilst conveying them to the parish churches, where they were again exhibited to the common gaze, pending the pleasure of the parish priest to perform the last obsequies. This outrage on public decorum was proscribed by the Director-General of Civil Administration in a circular dated October, 18, 1887, addressed to the Provincial Governors, enjoining them to prohibit such indecent scenes in future. Thereupon the parish priests simply showed their contempt for the civil authorities by simulating their inability to elucidate to the native petty governors the true intent and meaning of the order. At the same time, the Archbishop of Manila issued instructions on the subject to his subordinates in very equivocal language. The native local authorities then petitioned the Civil Governor of Manila to make the matter clear to them. The Civil Governor forthwith referred the matter back to the Director-General of Civil Administration. This functionary, in a new circular dated November 4, confirmed his previous mandate of October 18, and censured the action of the parish priests, who “in improper language and from the pulpit,” had incited the native headmen to set aside his authority. The author of the circular sarcastically added the pregnant remark, that he was penetrated with the conviction that the Archbishopʼs sense of patriotism and rectitude would deter him from subverting the law. This incident seriously aroused the jealousy of the friars holding vicarages, and did not improve the relations between Church and State. [63]

1 Guido de Lavezares deposed a Sultan in Borneo in order to aid another to the throne, and even asked permission of King Philip II. to conquer China, which of course was not conceded to him. Vide also the history of the destruction of the Aztec (Mexican) and Incas (Peruvian) dynasties by the Spaniards, in W. H. Prescottʼs “Conquest of Mexico” and “Conquest of Peru.”

2 Maestre de Campo (obsolete grade) about equivalent to the modern General of Brigade. This officer was practically the military governor.

3 According to Juan de la Concepcion, in his “Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” Vol. I., p. 431, Li-ma-hong made his escape by cutting a canal for his ships to pass through, but this would appear to be highly improbable under the circumstances.

4 Some authors assert that only Soliman rebelled.

5 Domingo Salazar, the first Bishop of Manila, took possession in 1581. He and one companion were the only Dominicans in the Islands until 1587.

6 Bondage in the Philippines was apparently not so necessary for the interests of the Church as it was in Cuba, where a commission of friars, appointed soon after the discovery of the Island, to deliberate on the policy of partially permitting slavery there, reported “that the Indians would not labour without compulsion and that, unless they laboured, they could not be brought into communication with the whites, nor be converted to Christianity.” Vide W. H. Prescottʼs Hist. of the Conquest of Mexico,” tom. II., Chap, i., p. 104, ed. 1878.

7Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” by Juan de la Concepcion, Vol. III., Chap, ix., p. 365, published at Manila, 1788.

8 “Long live the Church,” “Long live our King Philip V.”

Early Relations With Japan

Two decades of existence in the 16th century was but a short period in which to make known the conditions of this new Colony to its neighbouring States, when its only regular intercourse with them was through the Chinese who came to trade with Manila. Japanese mariners, therefore, appear to have continued to regard the north of Luzon as “no-manʼs-land”; for years after its nominal annexation by the Spaniards they assembled there, whether as merchants or buccaneers it is difficult to determine. Spanish authority had been asserted by Salcedo along the west coast about as far as lat. 18° N., but in 1591 the north coast was only known to Europeans geographically. So far, the natives there had not made the acquaintance of their new masters.

A large Spanish galley cruising in these waters met a Japanese vessel off Cape Bojeador (N.W. point), and fired a shot which carried away the strangerʼs mainmast, obliging him to heave-to. Then the galley-men, intending to board the stranger, made fast the sterns, whilst the Spaniards rushed to the bows; but the Japanese came first, boarded the galley, and drove the Spaniards aft, where they would have all perished had they not cut away the mizzenmast and let it fall with all sail set. Behind this barricade they had time to load their arquebuses and drive back the Japanese, over whom they gained a victory. The Spaniards then entered the Rio Grande de Cagayán, where they met a Japanese fleet, between which they passed peacefully. On shore they formed trenches and mounted cannons on earthworks, but the Japanese scaled the fortifications and pulled down the cannons by the mouths.

These were recovered, and the Spanish captain had the cannon mouths greased, so that the Japanese tactics should not be repeated. A battle was fought and the defeated Japanese set sail, whilst the Spaniards remained to obtain the submission of the natives by force or by persuasion.

The Japanese had also come to Manila to trade, and were located in the neighbouring village of Dilao,1 where the Franciscan friars undertook [64]their conversion to Christianity, whilst the Dominican Order considered the spiritual care of the Chinese their especial charge.

The Portuguese had been in possession of Macao since the year 1557, and traded with various Chinese ports, whilst in the Japanese town of Nagasaki there was a small colony of Portuguese merchants. These were the indirect sources whence the Emperor of Japan learnt that Europeans had founded a colony in Luzon Island; and in 1593 he sent a message to the Governor of the Philippines calling upon him to surrender and become his vassal, threatening invasion in the event of refusal. The Spanish colonies at that date were hardly in a position to treat with haughty scorn the menaces of the Japanese potentate, for they were simultaneously threatened with troubles with the Dutch in the Moluccas, for which they were preparing an armament (vide Chap. vi.). The want of men, ships, and war material obliged them to seek conciliation with dignity. The Japanese Ambassador, Farranda Kiemon, was received with great honours and treated with the utmost deference during his sojourn in Manila.

The Governor replied to the Emperor, that being but a lieger of the King of Spain—a mighty monarch of unlimited resources and power—he was unable to acknowledge the Emperorʼs suzerainty; for the most important duty imposed upon him by his Sovereign was the defence of his vast domains against foreign aggression; that, on the other hand, he was desirous of entering into amicable and mutually advantageous relations with the Emperor, and solicited his conformity to a treaty of commerce, the terms of which would be elucidated to him by an envoy.

A priest, Juan Cobo, and an infantry captain were thereupon accredited to the Japanese Court as Philippine Ambassadors. On their arrival they were, without delay, admitted in audience by the Emperor; the treaty of commerce was adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties; and the Ambassadors, with some Japanese nobles, set sail for Manila in Japanese ships, which foundered on the voyage, and all perished.

Neither the political nor the clerical party in Manila was, however, dismayed by this first disaster, and the prospect of penetrating Japan was followed up by a second expedition.

Between the friars an animated discussion arose when the Jesuits protested against members of any other Order being sent to Japan. Saint Francis Xavier had, years before, obtained a Papal Bull from Pope Gregory XIII., awarding Japan to his Order, which had been the first to establish missions in Nagasaki. Jesuits were still there in numbers, and the necessity of sending members of rival religious bodies is not made clear in the historical records. The jealous feud between those holy men was referred to the Governor, who naturally decided against the Jesuits, in support of the Kingʼs policy of grasping territory under the cloak of piety. A certain Fray Pedro Bautista was chosen as Ambassador, and in his suite were three other priests. These [65]embarked in a Spanish frigate, whilst Farranda Kiemon, who had remained in Manila the honoured guest of the Government, took his leave, and went on board his own vessel. The authorities bade farewell to the two embassies with ostentatious ceremonies, and amidst public rejoicings the two ships started on their journey on May 26, 1593. After 30 daysʼ navigation one ship arrived safely at Nagasaki, and the other at a port 35 miles further along the coast.

Pedro Bautista, introduced by Ferranda Kiemon, was presented to the Emperor Taycosama, who welcomed him as an Ambassador authorized to negotiate a treaty of commerce, and conclude an offensive and defensive alliance for mutual protection. The Protocol was agreed to and signed by both parties, and the relations between the Emperor and Pedro Bautista became more and more cordial. The latter solicited, and obtained, permission to reside indefinitely in the country and send the treaty on by messenger to the Governor of the Philippines; hence the ships in which the envoys had arrived remained about ten months in port. A concession was also granted to build a church at Meaco, near Osaka, and it was opened in 1594, when Mass was publicly celebrated.

In Nagasaki the Jesuits were allowed to reside unmolested and practise their religious rites amongst the Portuguese population of traders and others who might have voluntarily embraced Christianity. Bautista went there to consult with the chief of the Jesuit Mission, who energetically opposed what he held to be an encroachment upon the monopoly rights of his Order, conceded by Pope Gregory XIII. and confirmed by royal decrees. Bautista, however, showed a permission which he had received from the Jesuit General, by virtue of which he was suffered to continue his course pending that dignitaryʼs arrival.

The Portuguese merchants in Nagasaki were not slow to comprehend that Bautistaʼs coming with priests at his command was but a prelude to Spanish territorial conquest, which would naturally retard their hoped-for emancipation from the Spanish yoke.2 Therefore, in their own interests, they forewarned the Governor of Nagasaki, who prohibited Bautista from continuing his propaganda against the established religion of the country in contravention of the Emperorʼs commands; but as Bautista took no heed of this injunction, he was expelled from Nagasaki for contumacy.

It was now manifest to the Emperor that he had been basely deceived, and that under the pretext of concluding a commercial and political treaty, Bautista and his party had, in effect, introduced themselves into his realm with the clandestine object of seducing his subjects from their allegiance, of undermining their consciences, perverting them from the religion of their forefathers, and that all this would bring about the dismemberment of his Empire and the overthrow of his [66]dynasty. Not only had Taycosama abstained from persecuting foreigners for the exercise of their religious rites, but he freely licensed the Jesuits to continue their mission in Nagasaki and wherever Catholics happened to congregate. He had permitted the construction of their temples, but he could not tolerate a deliberate propaganda which foreshadowed his own ruin.3

Pedro Bautistaʼs designs being prematurely obstructed, he took his passage back to Manila from Nagasaki in a Japanese vessel, leaving behind him his interpreter, Fray Jerome, with the other Franciscan monks. An Imperial Decree was then issued to prohibit foreign priests from interfering with the religion of Japanese subjects; but this law having been set at naught by Bautistaʼs colleagues, one was arrested and imprisoned, and warrants were issued against the others; meanwhile the Jesuits in Nagasaki were in no way restrained.

The Governor of Nagasaki caused the Franciscan propagandists to be conducted on board a Portuguese ship and handed over to the charge of the captain, under severe penalties if he aided or allowed their escape, but they were free to go wherever they chose outside the Japanese Empire. The captain, however, permitted one to return ashore, and for some time he wandered about the country in disguise.

Pedro Bautista had reached Manila, where the ecclesiastical dignitaries prevailed upon the Governor to sanction another expedition to Japan, and Bautista arrived in that country a second time with a number of Franciscan friars. The Emperor now lost all patience, and determined not only to repress these venturesome foreigners, but to stamp out the last vestige of their revolutionary machinations. Therefore, by Imperial Decree, the arrest was ordered of all the Franciscan friars, and all natives who persisted in their adhesion to these missionariesʼ teachings. Twenty-six of those taken were tried and condemned to ignominious exhibition and death—the Spaniards, because they had come into the country and had received royal favours under false pretences, representing themselves as political ambassadors and suite—the Japanese, because they had forsworn the religion of their ancestors and bid fair to become a constant danger and source of discord in the realm. Amongst these Spaniards was Pedro Bautista. After their ears and noses had been cut off, they were promenaded from town to town in a cart, finally entering Nagasaki on horseback, each bearing the sentence of death on a breast-board.

On a high ground, near the city and the port, in front of the Jesuitsʼ church, these 26 persons were crucified and stabbed to death with lances, in expiation of their political offences. It was a sad fate for men who conscientiously believed that they were justified in violating rights and [67]laws of nations for the propagation of their particular views; but can one complain? Would Buddhist missionaries in Spain have met with milder treatment at the hands of the Inquisitors?4

Each Catholic body was supposed to designate the same road to heaven—each professed to teach the same means of obtaining the grace of God; yet, strange to say, each bore the other an implacable hatred—an inextinguishable jealousy! If conversion to Christianity were for the glory of God only, what could it have mattered whether souls of Japanese were saved by Jesuits or by others? For King Philip it was the same whether his political tools were of one denomination or the other, but many of the Jesuits in Japan happened to be Portuguese.

The Jesuits in Manila probably felt that in view of their opposition to the Franciscan missions, public opinion might hold them morally responsible for indirectly contributing to the unfortunate events related; therefore, to justify their acts, they formally declared that Pedro Bautista and his followers died excommunicated, because they had disobeyed the Bull of Pope Gregory XIII.

The general public were much excited when the news spread through the city, and a special Mass was said, followed by a religious procession through the streets. The Governor sent a commission to Japan, under the control of Luis de Navarrete, to ask for the dead bodies and chattels of the executed priests. The Emperor showed no rancour whatsoever; on the contrary, his policy was already carried out; and to welcome the Spanish lay deputies, he gave a magnificent banquet and entertained them sumptuously. Luis de Navarrete having claimed the dead bodies of the priests, the Emperor at once ordered the guards on the execution ground to retire, and told Navarrete that he could dispose as he pleased of the mortal remains. Navarrete therefore hastened to Nagasaki, but before he could reach there, devout Catholics had cut up the bodies, one carrying away a head, another a leg, and so forth. It happened, too, that Navarrete died of disease a few days after his arrival in Nagasaki. His successor, Diego de Losa, recovered the pieces of the deceased priests, which he put into a box and shipped for Manila, but the vessel and box of relics were lost on the way.

Diego de Losa returned to Manila, the bearer of a polite letter and very acceptable presents from the Emperor to the Governor of the Philippines.

The letter fully expatiated on recent events, and set forth a well-reasoned justification of the Emperorʼs decrees against the priests, in terms which proved that he was neither a tyrant nor a wanton savage, [68]but an astute politician. The letter stated, that under the pretext of being ambassadors, the priests in question had come into the country and had taught a diabolical law belonging to foreign countries, and which aimed at superseding the rites and laws of his own religion, confused his people, and destroyed his Government and kingdom; for which reason he had rigorously proscribed it. Against these prohibitions, the religious men of Luzon preached their law publicly to humble people, such as servants and slaves. Not being able to permit this persistence in law-breaking, he had ordered their death by placing them on crosses; for he was informed that in the kingdom where Spaniards dominated, this teaching of their religious doctrine was but an artifice and stratagem by means of which the civil power was deceitfully gained. He astutely asks the Gov.-General if he would consent to Japanese preaching their laws in his territory, perturbing public peace with such novelties amongst the lower classes?

Certainly it would be severely repressed, argued the Emperor, adding that in the exercise of his absolute power and for the good of his subjects, he had avoided the occurrence in his dominions of what had taken place in those regions where the Spaniards deposed the legitimate kings, and constituted themselves masters by religious fraud.

He explains that the seizure of the cargo of a Spanish ship was only a reprisal for the harm which he had suffered by the tumult raised when the edict was evaded. But as the Spanish Governor had thought fit to send another ambassador from so far, risking the perils of the sea, he was anxious for peace and mutual good-feeling, but only on the precise condition that no more individuals should be sent to teach a law foreign to his realm, and under these unalterable conditions the Governorʼs subjects were at liberty to trade freely with Japan; that by reason of his former friendship and royal clemency, he had refrained from killing all the Spaniards with the priests and their servants, and had allowed them to return to their country.

As to religion itself, Taycosama is said to have remarked that among so many professed, one more was of little consequence,—hence his toleration in the beginning, and his continued permission to the Jesuits to maintain their doctrines amongst their own sectarians. Moreover, it is said that a map was shown to Taycosama, marking the domains of the King of Spain and Portugal, and that in reply to his inquiry: “How could one man have conquered such vast territory?”—a certain Father Guzman (probably a Portuguese) answered: “By secretly sending religious men to teach their doctrine, and when a sufficient number of persons were so converted, the Spanish soldiery, with their aid, annexed their country and overthrew their kings.” Such an avowal naturally impressed Taycosama profoundly.5 [69]

In Seville there was quite a tumult when the details of the executions in Japan were published.

In the meantime, the lamentable end of the Franciscan missionaries did not deter others from making further attempts to follow their example. During the first 20 years of the 17th century, priests succeeded in entering Japan, under the pretence of trading, in spite of the extreme measures adopted to discover them and the precautions taken to uproot the new doctrine, which it was feared would become the forerunner of sedition. Indeed, many Japanese nobles professing Christianity had already taken up their residence in Manila, and were regarded by the Emperor as a constant danger to his realm, hence he was careful to avoid communication with the Philippines. During the short reigns of Dayfusama and his son Xogusama, new decrees were issued, not against foreign Christians, but against those who made apostates amongst the Japanese; and consequently two more Spanish priests were beheaded.

In September, 1622, a large number of Spanish missionaries and Christian Japanese men and children were executed in Nagasaki. Twenty-five of them were burnt and the rest beheaded, their remains being thrown into the sea to avoid the Christians following their odious custom of preserving parts of corpses as relics. Two days afterwards, four Franciscan and two Dominican friars with five Japanese were burnt in Omura. Then followed an edict stating the pains and penalties, civil deprivations, etc., against all who refused to abandon their apostasy and return to the faith of their forefathers. Another edict was issued imposing death upon those who should conduct priests to Japan, and forfeiture of the ships in which they should arrive and the merchandise with which they should come. To all informers against native apostates the culpritsʼ estates and goods were transferred as a reward.

A Spanish deputation was sent to the Emperor of Japan in 1622, alleging a desire to renew commercial relations, but the Emperor was so exasperated at the recent defiance of his decrees that he refused to accept the deputiesʼ presents from the Philippine Government, and sent them and the deputation away.

Still there were friars in Manila eager to seek martyrdom, but the Philippine traders, in view of the danger of confiscation of their ships and merchandise if they carried missionaries, resolved not to despatch vessels to Japan if ecclesiastics insisted on taking passage. The Government supported this resolution in the interests of trade, and formally prohibited the transport of priests. The Archbishop of Manila, on his part, imposed ecclesiastical penalties on those of his subordinates who should clandestinely violate this prohibition.

Supplicatory letters from Japan reached the religious communities in Manila, entreating them to send more priests to aid in the spread of Christianity; therefore the chiefs of the Orders consulted together, [70]bought a ship, and paid high wages to its officers to carry four Franciscan, four Dominican and two Recoleto priests to Japan. When the Governor, Alonso Fajardo de Tua, heard of the intended expedition, he threatened to prohibit it, affirming that he would not consent to any more victims being sent to Japan. Thereupon representatives of the religious Orders waited upon him, to state that if he persisted in his prohibition, upon his conscience would fall the enormous charge of having lost the souls which they had hoped to save. The Governor therefore retired from the discussion, remitting the question to the Archbishop, who at once permitted the ship to leave, conveying the ten priests disguised as merchants. Several times the vessel was nearly wrecked, but at length arrived safely in a Japanese port. The ten priests landed, and were shortly afterwards burnt by Imperial order.

In Rome a very disputed inquiry had been made into the circumstances of the Franciscan mission; but, in spite of the severe ordeal of the diaboli advocatus, cononization was conceded to Pedro Bautista and his companions.

In 1629 the Papal Bull of Urban VIII., dated September 14, 1627, was published in Manila, amidst public feasts and popular rejoicing. The Bull declared the missionaries of Japan to be Saints and Martyrs and Patron Saints of the second class. Increased animation in favour of missions to Japan became general in consequence. Ten thousand pesos were collected to fit out a ship to carry 12 priests from Manila, besides 24 priests who came from Pangasinán to embark privately. The ship, however, was wrecked off the Ilocos Province coast (Luzon Is.), but the crew and priests were saved.

A large junk was then secretly prepared at a distance from Manila for the purpose of conveying another party of friars to Japan; but, just as they were about to embark, the Governor sent a detachment of soldiers with orders to prevent them doing so, and he definitely prohibited further missionary expeditions.

In 1633 the final extinction of Christians was vigorously commenced by the Emperor To-Kogunsama; and in the following year 79 persons were executed. The same Emperor sent a ship to Manila with a present of 150 lepers, saying that, as he did not permit Christians in his country, and knowing that the priests had specially cared for these unfortunate beings, he remitted them to their care. The first impulse of the Spaniards was to sink the ship with cannon shots, but finally it was agreed to receive the lepers, who were conducted with great pomp through the city and lodged in a large shed at Dilao (now the suburb of Paco). This gave rise to the foundation of the Saint Lazarusʼ (Lepersʼ) Hospital, existing at the present day.6 The Governor replied [71]to the Emperor that if any more were sent he would kill them and their conductors.

The Emperor then convoked a great assembly of his vassal kings and nobles, and solemnly imposed upon them the strict obligation to fulfil all the edicts against the entry and permanence of Christians, under severe penalties, forfeiture of property, deprivation of dignities, or death. So intent was this Prince on effectually annihilating Christianity within his Empire, that he thenceforth interdicted all trade with Macao; and when in 1640 his decree was disregarded by four Portuguese traders, who, describing themselves as ambassadors, arrived with a suite of 46 Orientals, they were all executed.

In the same year the Governor of the Philippines called a Congress of local officials and ecclesiastics, amongst whom it was agreed that to send missionaries to Japan was to send them directly to death, and it was thenceforth resolved to abandon Catholic missions in that country.

Secret missions and consequent executions still continued until about the year 1642, when the Dutch took Tanchiu—in Formosa Island—from the Spaniards, and intercepted the passage to Japan of priests and merchants alike. The conquest of Japan was a feat which all the artifice of King Philip IV.ʼs favourites and their monastic agents could not compass.

In 1862, during the Pontificate of Pius IX., 620 missionaries who had met with martyrdom in Japan, in the 17th century, were canonized with great pomp and appropriate ceremony in Rome. [72]

1 Now the suburb of Paco. Between 1606 and 1608, owing to a rising of the Japanese settlers, their dwellings in Dilao were sacked and the settlement burnt.

2 Portugal was forcibly annexed to the Spanish Crown from 1581 to 1640.

3 Philip II.ʼs persecution of religious apostates during the “Wars of the Flanders” was due as much to the fact that Protestantism was becoming a political force, threatening Spainʼs dominion, as to Catholic sentiment.

4 Religious intolerance in Spain was confirmed in 1822 by the New Penal Code of that date; the text reads thus: “Todo él que conspirase directamente y de hecho á establecer otra religion en las Españas, ó á que la Nacion Española deje de profesar la religion Apostolica Romana es traidor y sufrirá la pena de muerte.” Articulo 227 del Código Penal presentado á las Cortes en 22 de Abril de 1821 y sancionado en 1822.”

5Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” by Juan de la Concepeion Vol. III., Chap. viii.

6 This hospital was rebuilt with a legacy left by the Gov.-General Don Manuel de Leon in 1677. It was afterwards subsidized by the Government, and was under the care of the Franciscan friars up to the close of the Spanish dominion.

Conflicts with the Dutch

Consequent on the union of the Crowns of Portugal and Spain (1581–1640), the feuds, as between nations, diplomatically subsided, although the individual antagonism was as rife as ever.

Spanish and Portuguese interests in the Moluccas, as elsewhere, were thenceforth officially mutual. In the Molucca group, the old contests between the once rival kingdoms had estranged the natives from their ancient compulsory alliances. Anti-Portuguese and Philo-Portuguese parties had sprung up amongst the petty sovereignties, but the Portuguese fort and factory established in Ternate Island were held for many years, despite all contentions. But another rivalry, as formidable and more detrimental than that of the Portuguese in days gone by, now menaced Spanish ascendancy.

From the close of the 16th century up to the year of the “Family Compact” Wars (1763), Holland and Spain were relentless foes. To recount the numerous combats between their respective fleets during this period, would itself require a volume. It will suffice here to show the bearing of these political conflicts upon the concerns of the Philippine Colony. The Treaty of Antwerp, which was wrung from the Spaniards in 1609, 28 years after the union of Spain and Portugal, broke the scourge of their tyranny, whilst it failed to assuage the mutual antipathy. One of the consequences of the “Wars of the Flanders,” which terminated with this treaty, was that the Dutch were obliged to seek in the Far East the merchandise which had hitherto been supplied to them from the Peninsula. The short-sighted policy of the Spaniards in closing to the Dutch the Portuguese markets, which were now theirs, brought upon themselves the destruction of the monopolies which they had gained by the Union. The Dutch were now free, and their old tyrantʼs policy induced them to establish independently their own trading headquarters in the Molucca Islands, whence they could obtain directly the produce forbidden to them in the home ports. Hence, from those islands, the ships of a powerful Netherlands Trading Company sallied forth from time to time to meet the Spanish galleons from Mexico laden with silver and manufactured [73]goods. Previous to this, and during the Wars of the Flanders, Dutch corsairs hovered about the waters of the Moluccas, to take reprisals from the Spaniards. These encounters frequently took place at the eastern entrance of the San Bernadino Straits, where the Dutch were accustomed to heave-to in anticipation of the arrival of their prizes. In this manner, constantly roving about the Philippine waters, they enriched themselves at the expense of their detested adversary, and, in a small degree, avenged themselves of the bloodshed and oppression which for over sixty years had desolated the Low Countries.

The Philippine Colony lost immense sums in the seizure of its galleons from Mexico, upon which it almost entirely depended for subsistence. Being a dependency of New Spain, its whole intercourse with the civilized world, its supplies of troops and European manufactured articles, were contingent upon the safe arrival of the galleons. Also the dollars with which they annually purchased cargoes from the Chinese for the galleons came from Mexico. Consequently, the Dutch usually took the aggressive in these sea-battles, although they were not always victorious. When there were no ships to meet, they bombarded the ports where others were being built. The Spaniards, on their part, from time to time fitted out vessels to run down to the Molucca Islands to attack the enemy in his own waters.

During the Governorship of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas (1590–93), the native King of Siao Island—one of the Molucca group—came to Manila to offer homage and vassalage to the representative of the King of Spain and Portugal, in return for protection against the incursions of the Dutch and the raids of the Ternate natives. Dasmariñas received him and the Spanish priests who accompanied him with affability, and, being satisfied with his credentials, he prepared a large expedition to go to the Moluccas to set matters in order. The fleet was composed of several frigates, 1 ship, 6 galleys, and 100 small vessels, all well armed. The fighting men numbered 100 Spaniards, 400 Pampanga and Tagálog arquebusiers, 1,000 Visaya archers and lancers, besides 100 Chinese to row the galleys. This expedition, which was calculated to be amply sufficient to subdue all the Moluccas, sailed from Cavite on October 6, 1593. The sailing ships having got far ahead of the galleys, they hove-to off Punta de Azúfre (N. of Maricaban Is.) to wait for them. The galleys arrived; and the next day they were able to start again in company. Meanwhile, a conspiracy was formed by the Chinese galleymen to murder all the Spaniards. Assuming these Chinese to be volunteers, their action would appear to be extremely vile. If, however, as is most probable, they were pressed into this military service to foreigners, it seems quite natural, that being forced to bloodshed without alternative, they should first fight for their own liberty, seeing that they had come to the Islands to trade.

All but the Chinese were asleep, and they fell upon the Spaniards in [74]a body. Eighteen of the troops and four slaves escaped by jumping into the sea. The Governor was sleeping in his cabin, but awoke on hearing the noise. He supposed the ship had grounded, and was coming up the companion en déshabille, when a Chinaman clove his head with a cutlass. The Governor reached his state-room, and taking his Missal and the Image of the Virgin in his hand, he died in six hours. The Chinese did not venture below, where the priests and armed soldiers were hidden. They cleared the decks of all their opponents, made fast the hatches and gangways, and waited three days, when, after putting ashore those who were still alive, they escaped to Cochin China, where the King and Mandarins seized the vessel and all she carried. On board were found 12,000 pesos in coin, some silver, and jewels belonging to the Governor and his suite. Thus the expedition was brought to an untimely end. The King of Siao, and the missionaries accompanying him, had started in advance for Otong (Panay Is.) to wait for the Governor, and there they received the news of the disaster.

Amongst the most notable of the successful expeditions of the Spaniards, was that of Pedro Bravo de Acuña, in 1606, which consisted of 19 frigates, 9 galleys, and 8 small craft, carrying a total of about 2,000 men, and provisions for a prolonged struggle. The result was that they subdued a petty sultan, friendly to the Dutch, and established a fortress on his island.

About the year 1607 the Supreme Court (the Governorship being vacant from 1606 to 1608), hearing that a Dutch vessel was hovering off Ternate, sent a ship against it, commanded by Pedro de Heredia. A combat ensued. The Dutch commander was taken prisoner with several of his men, and lodged in the fort at Ternate, but was ransomed on payment of ₱50,000 to the Spanish commander. Heredia returned joyfully to Manila, where, much to his surprise, he was prosecuted by the Supreme Court for exceeding his instructions, and expired of melancholy. The ransomed Dutch leader was making his way back to his headquarters in a small ship, peacefully, and without threatening the Spaniards in any way, when the Supreme Court treacherously sent a galley and a frigate after him to make him prisoner a second time. Overwhelmed by numbers and arms, and little expecting such perfidious conduct of the Spaniards, he was at once arrested and brought to Manila. The Dutch returned 22 Spanish prisoners of war to Manila to ransom him, but whilst these were retained, the Dutch commander was nevertheless imprisoned for life.

Some years afterwards a Dutch squadron anchored off the south point of Bataan Province, not far from Punta Marivéles, at the entrance to Manila Bay. Juan de Silva, the Governor (1609–16), was in great straits. Several ships had been lost by storms, others were away, and there was no adequate floating armament with which to meet the enemy. However, the Dutch lay-to for five or six [75]months, waiting to seize the Chinese and Japanese tradersʼ goods on their way to the Manila market. They secured immense booty, and were in no hurry to open hostilities. This delay gave de Silva time to prepare vessels to attack the foe. In the interval he dreamt that Saint Mark had offered to help him defeat the Dutch. On awaking, he called a priest, whom he consulted about the dream, and they agreed that the nocturnal vision was a sign from Heaven denoting a victory. The priest went (from Cavite) to Manila to procure a relic of this glorious intercessor, and returned with his portrait to the Governor, who adored it. In haste the ships and armament were prepared. On Saint Markʼs day, therefore, the Spaniards sallied forth from Cavite with six ships, carrying 70 guns, and two galleys and two launches, also well armed, besides a number of small, light vessels to assist in the formation of line of battle.

All the European fighting men in Manila and Cavite embarked—over 1,000 Spaniards—the flower of the Colony, together with a large force of natives, who were taught to believe that the Dutch were infidels. On the issue of this dayʼs events perchance depended the possession of the Colony. Manila and Cavite were garrisoned by volunteers. Orations were offered in the churches. The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of the Guide was taken in procession from the Hermitage, and exposed to public view in the Cathedral. The Saints of the different churches and sanctuaries were adored and exhibited daily. The Governor himself took the supreme command, and dispelled all wavering doubt in his subordinates by proclaiming Saint Markʼs promise of intercession. On his ship he hoisted the Royal Standard, on which was embroidered the Image of the Blessed Virgin, with the motto “Mostrate esse Matrem” and over a beautifully calm sea he led the way to battle and to victory.

A shot from the Spanish heavy artillery opened the bloody combat. The Dutch were completely vanquished, after a fierce struggle, which lasted six hours. Their three ships were destroyed, and their flags, artillery, and plundered merchandise, to the value of ₱300,000, were seized. This famous engagement was thenceforth known as the Battle of Playa Honda.

Again, in 1611, under de Silva, a squadron sailed to the Moluccas and defeated the Dutch off Gilolo Island.

In 1617 the Spaniards had a successful engagement off the Zambales coast with the Dutch, who lost three of their ships.

In July, 1620, three Mexican galleons were met by three Dutch vessels off Cape Espíritu Santo (Sámar Is.), at the entrance of the San Bernadino Straits, but managed to escape in the dark. Two ran ashore and broke up; the third reached Manila. After this, the Gov.-General, Alonso Fajardo de Tua, ordered the course of the State ships to be varied on each voyage. [76]

In 1625 the Dutch again appeared off the Zambales coast, and Gerónimo de Silva went out against them. The Spaniards, having lost one man, relinquished the pursuit of the enemy, and the Commander was brought to trial by the Supreme Court.

In 1626, at the close of the Governorship of Fernando de Silva, a Spanish Colony was founded on Formosa Island, but no supplies were sent to it, and consequently in 1642 it surrendered to the Dutch, who held it for 20 years, until they were driven out by the Chinese adventurer Koxinga. And thus for over a century and a half the strife continued, until the Dutch concentrated their attention on the development of their Eastern Colonies, which the power of Spain, growing more and more effete, was incompetent to impede.

In the middle of the 17th century the Tartars invaded China and overthrew the Min Dynasty—at that time represented by the Chinese Emperor Yunglic. He was succeeded on the throne by the Tartar Emperor Kungchi, to whose arbitrary power nearly all the Chinese Empire had submitted. Amongst the few Mongol chiefs who held out against Ta-Tsing dominion was a certain Mandarin known by the name of Koxinga, who retired to the Island of Kinmuen, where he asserted his independence and defied his nationʼs conqueror. Securely established in his stronghold, he invited the Chinese to take refuge in his island and oppose the Tartarʼs rule. Therefore the Emperor ordered that no man should inhabit China within four leagues of the coast, except in those provinces which were undoubtedly loyal to the new Government. The coast was consequently laid bare; vessels, houses, plantations, and everything useful to man, were destroyed in order to cut off effectually all communications with lands beyond the Tartar Empire. The Chinese from the coast, who for generations had earned a living by fishing, etc., crowded into the interior, and their misery was indescribable.

Koxinga, unable to communicate with the mainland of the Empire, turned his attention to the conquest of Formosa Island, at the time in the possession of the Dutch. According to Dutch accounts the European settlers numbered about 600, with a garrison of 2,200. The Dutch artillery, stores, and merchandise were valued at ₱8,000,000, and the Chinese, who attacked them under Koxinga, were about 100,000 strong. The settlement surrendered to the invadersʼ superior numbers, and Koxinga established himself as King of the Island. Koxinga had become acquainted with an Italian Dominican missionary named Vittorio Riccio, whom he created a Mandarin, and sent him as Ambassador to the Governor of the Philippines. Riccio therefore arrived in Manila in 1662, the bearer of Koxingaʼs despatches calling upon the Governor to pay tribute, under threat of the Colony being attacked by Koxinga if his demand were refused. [77]

The position of Riccio as a European friar and Ambassador of a Mongol adventurer was as awkward as it was novel. He was received with great honour in Manila, where he disembarked, and rode to the Government House in the full uniform of a Chinese envoy, through lines of troops drawn up to salute him as he passed. At the same time, letters from Formosa had also been received by the Chinese in Manila, and the Government at once accused them of conniving at rebellion. All available forces were concentrated in the capital; and to increase the garrison the Governor published a decree, dated May 6, 1662, ordering the demolition of the forts of Zamboanga, Ylígan (Mindanao Is.), Calamianes and Ternale1 (Moluccas).

The only provincial fort preserved was that of Surigao (then called Caraga), consequently in the south the Mahometans became complete masters on land and at sea for half a year.

The troops in Manila numbered 100 cavalry and 8,000 infantry. Fortifications were raised, and redoubts were constructed in which to secrete the Treasury funds. When all the armament was in readiness, the Spaniards incited the Chinese to rebel, in order to afford a pretext for their massacre.

Two junk masters were seized, and the Chinese population was menaced; therefore they prepared for their own defence, and then opened the affray, for which the Government was secretly longing, by killing a Spaniard in the market-place. Suddenly artillery fire was opened on the Parian, and many of the peaceful Chinese traders, in their terror, hanged themselves; many were drowned in the attempt to reach the canoes in which to get away to sea; some few did safely arrive in Formosa Island and joined Koxingaʼs camp, whilst others took to the mountains. Some 8,000 to 9,000 Chinese remained quiet, but ready for any event, when they were suddenly attacked by Spaniards and natives. The confusion was general, and the Chinese seemed to be gaining ground; therefore the Governor sent the Ambassador Riccio and a certain Fray Joseph de Madrid to parley with them. The Chinese accepted the terms offered by Riccio, who returned to the Governor, leaving Fray Joseph with the rebels; but when Riccio went back with a general pardon and a promise to restore the two junk masters, he found that they had beheaded the priest. A general carnage of the Mongols followed, and Juan de la Concepcion says2 that the original intention of the Spaniards was to kill every Chinaman, but that they desisted in view of the inconvenience which would have ensued from the want of tradesmen and mechanics. Therefore they made a virtue of a necessity, [78]and graciously pardoned in the name of His Catholic Majesty all who laid down their arms.

Riccio returned to Formosa Island, and found Koxinga preparing for warfare against the Philippines, but before he could carry out his intentions he died of fever. The chiefs successor, of a less bellicose spirit, sent Riccio a second time to Manila, and a treaty was agreed to, re-establishing commercial relations with the Chinese. Shortly after Koxingaʼs decease a rebellion was raised in Formosa; and the Island, falling at length into the hands of a Tartar party, became annexed to China under the new dynasty. Then Riccio was called upon to relate the part he had taken in Koxingaʼs affairs, and he was heard in council. Some present were in favour of invading the Philippines in great force because of the cruel and unwarranted general massacre of the Chinese in cold blood; but Riccio took pains to show how powerful Spain was, and how justified was the action of the Spaniards, as a measure of precaution, in view of the threatened invasion of Koxinga. The Chinese party was appeased, but had the Tartars cared to take up the cause of their conquered subjects, the fate of the Philippines would have been doubtful.

The rule of the Governors-General of the Islands was, upon the whole, benignant with respect to the natives who manifested submission. Apart from the unconcealed animosity of the monastic party, the Gov.-Generalʼs liberty of action was always very much locally restrained by the Supreme Court and by individual officials. The standing rule was, that in the event of the death or deprivation of office of the Gov.-General, the Civil Government was to be assumed by the Supreme Court, and the military administration by the senior magistrate. Latterly, in the absence of a Gov.-General, from any cause whatsoever, the sub-inspector of the forces became Acting-Gov.-General.

Up to the beginning of the last century the authority of the Kingʼs absolute will was always jealously imposed, and the Governors-General were frequently rebuked for having exercised independent action, taking the initiative in what they deemed the best policy. But Royal Decrees could not enforce honesty; the peculations and frauds on the part of the secular authorities, and increasing quarrels and jealousies amongst the several religious bodies, seemed to annihilate all prospect of social and material progress of the Colony. As early as the reign of Philip III. (1598–1621) the procurators of Manila had, during three years, been unsuccessfully soliciting from the mother country financial help for the Philippines to meet official discrepancies. The affairs of the Colony were eventually submitted to a special Royal Commission in Spain, the result being that the King was advised to abandon this possession, which was not only unproductive, but had become a costly centre of disputes and bad feeling. However, Fray Hernando de Moraga, a missionary from the [79]Philippines, happened to be in the Peninsula at the time, and successfully implored the King to withhold his ratification of the recommendation of the Commission. His Majesty avowed that even though the maintenance of this Colony should exhaust his Mexican Treasury, his conscience would not allow him to consent to the perdition of souls which had been saved, nor to relinquish the hope of rescuing yet far more in these distant regions.

During the first two centuries following the foundation of the Colony, it was the custom for a Royal Commission to be appointed to inquire into the official acts of the outgoing Governor before he could leave the Islands—Hacérle la residencia, as it was called.

Whilst on the one hand this measure effectually served as a check upon a Governor who might be inclined to adopt unjustifiable means of coercion, or commit defalcations, it was also attended with many abuses; for against an energetic ruler an antagonistic party was always raised, ready to join in the ultimate ruin of the Governor who had aroused their susceptibilities by refusing to favour their nefarious schemes. Hence when a prima facie case was made out against a Governor, his inexperienced successor was often persuaded to consent to his incarceration whilst the articles of impeachment were being investigated.

Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera (1635–44) had been Governor of Panamá before he was appointed to the Philippines. During his term of office here he had usually sided with the Jesuits on important questions taken up by the friars, and on being succeeded by Diego Fajardo, he was brought to trial, fined ₱ 25,000, and put into prison. After five yearsʼ confinement he was released by Royal Order and returned to Spain, where the King partially compensated him with the Government of the Canary Islands.

Juan Vargas (1678–84) had been in office for nearly seven years, and the Royal Commissioner who inquired into his acts took four years to draw up his report. He filled 20 large volumes of a statement of the charges made against the late Governor, some of which were grave, but the majority of them were of a very frivolous character. This is the longest inquiry of the kind on record.

Acting-Governor José Torralba (1715–17) was arrested on the termination of his Governorship and confined in the Fortress of Santiago, charged with embezzlement to the amount of ₱ 700,000. He had also to deposit the sum of ₱ 20,000 for the expenses of the inquiry commission. Several other officials were imprisoned with him as accomplices in his crimes. He is said to have sent his son with public funds on trading expeditions around the coasts, and his wife and young children to Mexico with an enormous sum of money defrauded from the Government. Figures at that date show, that when he took the Government, there was a balance in the Treasury of ₱ 238,849, and [80]when he left it in two years and a half, the balance was ₱ 33,226, leaving a deficit of ₱ 205,623, whilst the expenses of the Colony were not extraordinary during that period. Amongst other charges, he was accused of having sold ten Provincial Government licences (encomiendas), many offices of notaries, scriveners, etc., and conceded 27 monthsʼ gambling licences to the Chinese in the Parian without accounting to the Treasury. He was finally sentenced to pay a fine of ₱ 100,000, the costs of the trial, the forfeiture of the ₱ 20,000 already deposited, perpetual deprivation of public office, and banishment from the Philippine Islands and Madrid. When the Royal Order reached Manila he was so ill that his banishment was postponed. He lived for a short time nominally under arrest, and was permitted to beg alms for his subsistence within the city until he died in the Hospital of San Juan de Dios in 1736.

The defalcations of some of the Governors caused no inconsiderable anxiety to the Sovereign. Pedro de Arandia, in his dual capacity of Gov.-General and Chief Justice (1754–59), was a corrupt administrator of his countryʼs wealth. He is said to have amassed a fortune of ₱ 25,000 during his five yearsʼ term of office, and on his death he left it all to pious works (vide “Obras pias”).

Governor Berenguer y Marquina (1788–93) was accused of bribery, but the King absolved him.

In the last century a Governor of Yloilo is said to have absconded in a sailing-ship with a large sum of the public funds. A local Governor was then also ex-officio administrator; and, although the system was afterwards reformed, official extortion was rife throughout the whole Spanish administration of the Colony, up to the last.

A strange drama of the year 1622 well portrays the spirit of the times—the immunity of a Gov.-General in those days, as well as the religious sentiment which accompanied his most questionable acts. Alonso Fajardo de Tua having suspected his wife of infidelity, went to the house where she was accustomed to meet her paramour. Her attire was such as to confirm her husbandʼs surmises. He called a priest and instructed him to confess her, telling him that he intended to take her life. The priest, failing to dissuade Fajardo from inflicting such an extreme penalty, took her confession and proffered her spiritual consolation. Then Fajardo, incensed with jealousy, mortally stabbed her. No inquiry into the occurrence seems to have been made, and he continued to govern for two years after the event, when he died of melancholy. It is recorded that the paramour, who was the son of a Cádiz merchant, had formerly been the accepted fiancé of Fajardoʼs wife, and that he arrived in Manila in their company. The Governor gave him time to confess before he killed him, after which (according to one account) he caused his house to be razed to the ground, and the land on which it stood to be strewn with salt. Juan de la Concepcion, [81]however, says that the house stood for one hundred years after the event as a memorial of the punishment.

In 1640 Olivarez, King Philip IV.ʼs chief counsellor, had succeeded by his arrogance and unprecedented policy of repression in arousing the latent discontent of the Portuguese. A few years previously they had made an unsuccessful effort to regain their independent nationality under the sovereignty of the Duke of Braganza. At length, when a call was made upon their boldest warriors to support the King of Spain in his protracted struggle with the Catalonians, an insurrection broke out, which only terminated when Portugal had thrown off, for ever, the scourge of Spanish supremacy.

The Duke of Braganza was crowned King of Portugal under the title of John IV., and every Portuguese colony declared in his favour, except Ceuta, on the African coast. The news of the separation of Portugal from Spain reached Manila in the following year. The Gov.-General at that time—Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera—at once sent out an expedition of picked men under Juan Claudio with orders to take Macao,—a Portuguese settlement at the mouth of the Canton River, about 40 miles west of Hongkong. The attempt miserably failed, and the blue-and-white ensign continued to wave unscathed over the little territory. The Governor of Macao, who was willing to yield, was denounced a traitor to Portugal, and killed by the populace. Juan Claudio, who was taken prisoner, was generously liberated by favour of the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa, and returned to Manila to relate his defeat.3

The Convent of Santa Clara was founded in Manila in 1621 by Gerónima de la Asuncion, who, three years afterwards, was expelled from the management by the friars because she refused to admit reforms in the conventual regulations. The General Council subsequently restored her to the matronship for 20 years. Public opinion was at this time vividly aroused against the superiors of the convents, who, it was alleged, made serious inroads on society by inveigling the marriageable young women into taking the veil and to live unnatural lives. The public demanded that there should be a fixed limit to the number of nuns admitted. An ecclesiastic of high degree made strenuous efforts to rescue three nuns who had just been admitted, but the abbess persistently refused to surrender them until her excommunication was published on the walls of the nunnery.

In 1750 a certain Mother Cecilia, who had been in the nunnery of Santa Catalina since she was 16 years of age, fell in love with a Spaniard who lived opposite, named Francisco Antonio de Figueroa, and begged [82]to be relieved of her vows and have her liberty restored to her. The Archbishop was willing to grant her request, which was, however, stoutly opposed by the Dominican friars. On appeal being made to the Governor, as viceregal patron, he ordered her to be set at liberty. The friars nevertheless defied the Governor, who, to sustain his authority, was compelled to order the troops to be placed under arms, and the commanding officer of the artillery to hold the cannons in readiness to fire when and where necessary. In view of these preparations, the friars allowed the nun to leave her confinement, and she was lodged in the College of Santa Potenciana pending the dispute. Public excitement was intense. The Archbishop ordered the girl to be liberated, but as his subordinates were still contumacious to his bidding, the Bishop of Cebú was invited to arbitrate on the question, but he declined to interfere, therefore an appeal was remitted to the Archbishop of Mexico. In the meantime the girl was married to her lover, and long afterwards a citation arrived from Mexico for the woman to appear at that ecclesiastical court. She went there with her husband, from whom she was separated whilst the case was being tried, but in the end her liberty and marriage were confirmed.

During the Government of Niño de Tabora (1626–32), the High Host and sacred vessels were stolen from the Cathedral of Manila. The Archbishop was in consequence sorely distressed, and walked barefooted to the Jesuitsʼ convent to weep with the priests, and therein find a solace for his mental affliction. It was surmised that the wrath of God at such a crime would assuredly be avenged by calamities on the inhabitants, and confessions were made daily. The friars agreed to appease the anger of the Almighty by making public penance and by public prayer. The Archbishop subjected himself to a most rigid abstinence. He perpetually fasted, ate herbs, drank only water, slept on the floor with a stone for a pillow, and flagellated his own body. On Corpus Christi day a religious procession passed through the public thoroughfares solemnly exhorting the delinquents to restore the body of Our Saviour, but all in vain. The melancholy prelate, weak beyond recovery from his self-imposed privations, came to the window of his retreat as the cortége passed in front of it, and there he breathed his last.

As in all other Spanish colonies, the Inquisition had its secret agents or commissaries in the Philippines. Sometimes a priest would hold powers for several years to inquire into the private lives and acts of individuals, whilst no one knew who the informer was. The Holy Office ordered that its Letter of Anathema, with the names in full of all persons who had incurred pains and penalties for heresy, should be read in public places every three years, but this order was not fulfilled. The Letter of Anathema was so read in 1669, and the only time since then up to the present day was in 1718.


During the minority of the young Spanish King Charles II. the regency was held by his mother, the Queen-Dowager, who was unfortunately influenced by favourites, to the great disgust of the Court and the people. Amongst these sycophants was a man named Valenzuela, of noble birth, who, as a boy, had followed the custom of those days, and entered as page to a nobleman—the Duke del Infantado—to learn manners and Court etiquette.

The Duke went to Italy as Spanish ambassador, and took Valenzuela under his protection. He was a handsome and talented young fellow, learned for those times,—intelligent, well versed in all the generous exercises of chivalry, and a poet by nature. On his return from Italy with the Duke, his patron caused him to be created a Cavalier of the Order of Saint James. The Duke shortly afterwards died, but through the influence of the Dowager-Queenʼs confessor—the notorious Nitard, also a favourite—young Valenzuela was presented at Court, where he made love to one of the Queenʼs maids-of-honour—a German—and married her. The Prince, Don Juan de Austria, who headed the party against the Queen, expelled her favourite (Nitard) from Court, and Valenzuela became Her Majestyʼs sole confidential adviser. Nearly every night, at late hours, the Queen went to Valenzuelaʼs apartment to confer with him, whilst he daily brought her secret news gleaned from the courtiers. The Queen created him Marquis of San Bartolome and of Villa Sierra, a first-class Grandee of Spain, and Prime Minister. He was a most perfect courtier; and it is related of him that when a bull-fight took place, he used to go to the royal box richly adorned in fighting attire, and, with profound reverence, beg Her Majestyʼs leave to challenge the bull. The Queen, it is said, never refused him the solicited permission, but tenderly begged of him not to expose himself to such dangers. Sometimes he would appear in the ring as a cavalier, in a black costume embroidered with silver and with a large white-and-black plume, in imitation of the Queenʼs half mourning. It was much remarked that on one occasion he wore a device of the sun with an eagle looking down upon it, and the words, “I alone have licence.”

He composed several comedies, and allowed them to be performed at his expense for the free amusement of the people. He also much improved the city of Madrid with fine buildings, bridges, and many public works to sustain his popularity amongst the citizens.

The young King, now a youth, ordered a deer hunt to be prepared in the Escorial grounds; and during the diversion His Majesty happened to shoot Valenzuela in the muscle of his arm, whether intentionally or accidentally is not known. However, the terrified Queen-mother fainted and fell into the arms of her ladies-in-waiting. This circumstance was much commented upon, and contributed in no small degree to the public odium and final downfall of Valenzuela in 1684. At length Don Juan de Austria returned to the Court, when the young King was of an age [84]to appreciate public concerns, and he became more the Court favourite than ever Valenzuela or Nitard had been during the Dowager-Queenʼs administration. Valenzuela fell at once from the exclusive position he had held in royal circles and retired to the Escorial, where, by order of Don Juan de Austria, a party of young noblemen, including Don Juanʼs son, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Marquis of Valparaiso, and others of rank, accompanied by 200 horsemen, went to seize the disfavoured courtier. He was out walking at the time of their arrival, but he was speedily apprised of the danger by his bosom friend, the Prior of Saint Jerome Monastery. The priest hid him in the roof of the monastery, where, being nearly suffocated for want of ventilation, a surgeon was sent up to bleed him and make him sleep. The search party failed to find the refugee, and were about to return, when the surgeon treacherously betrayed the secret to them, and Valenzuela was discovered sleeping with arms by his side. He was made prisoner, confined in a castle, degraded of all his honours and rank, and finally banished by Don Juan de Austria to the furthermost Spanish possession in the world—the Philippines,—whilst his family was incarcerated in a convent at Talavera in Spain.

When the Pope heard of this violation of Church asylum in the Escorial committed by the nobles, he excommunicated all concerned in it; and in order to purge themselves of their sin and obtain absolution, they were compelled to go to church in their shirts, each with a rope around his neck. They actually performed this penance, and then the Nuncio accredited to the Spanish Court, Cardinal Mellini, relieved them of their ecclesiastical pains and penalties.

Valenzuela was permitted to establish a house within the prison of Cavite, where he lived for several years as a State prisoner and exile. When Don Juan de Austria died, the Dowager-Queen regained in a measure her influence at Court, and one of the first favours she begged of her son, the King, was the return of Valenzuela to Madrid. The King granted her request, and she at once despatched a ship to bring him to Spain, but the Secretary of State interfered and stopped it. Nevertheless, Valenzuela, pardoned and liberated, set out for the Peninsula, and reached Mexico, where he died from the kick of a horse.

In 1703 a vessel arrived in Manila Bay from India, under an Armenian captain, bringing a young man 35 years of age, a native of Turin, who styled himself Monseigneur Charles Thomas Maillard de Tournon, Visitor-General, Bishop of Savoy, Patriarch of Antioch, Apostolic Nuncio and Legate ad latere of the Pope. He was on his way to China to visit the missions, and called at Manila with eight priests and four Italian families.

Following the custom established with foreign ships, the custodian of the Fort of Cavite placed guards on board this vessel. This act seems to have aroused the indignation of the exalted stranger, who assumed a [85]very haughty tone, and arrogantly insisted upon a verbal message being taken to the Governor (Domingo Sabalburco) to announce his arrival. In Manila these circumstances were much debated, and at length the Governor instructed the custodian of Cavite Fort to accompany the stranger to the City of Manila. On his approach a salute was fired from the city battlements, and he took up his residence in the house of the Maestre de Campo. There the Governor went to visit him as the Popeʼs legate, and was received with great arrogance. However, the Governor showed no resentment; he seemed to be quite dumfounded by the Patriarchʼs dignified airs, and consulted with the Supreme Court about the irregularity of a legate arriving without exhibiting the regium exequatur. The Court decided that the stranger must be called upon to present his Papal credentials and the royal confirmation of his powers with respect to Spanish dominions, and with this object a magistrate was commissioned to wait upon him. The Patriarch treated the commissioner with undisguised contempt, expressing his indignation and surprise at his position being doubted; he absolutely refused to show any credentials, and turned out the commissioner, raving at him and causing an uproarious scandal. At each stage of the negotiations with him the Patriarch put forward the great authority of the Pope, and his unquestionable right to dispose of realms and peoples at his will, and somehow this ruse seemed to subdue everybody; the Governor, the Archbishop, and all the authorities, civil and ecclesiastical, were overawed. The Archbishop, in fact, made an unconditional surrender to the Patriarch, who now declared that all State and religious authority must be subordinate to his will. The Archbishop was ordered by him to set aside his Archiepiscopal Cross, whilst the Patriarch used his own particular cross in the religious ceremonies, and left it in the Cathedral of Manila on his departure. He went so far as to cause his master of the ceremonies to publicly divest the Archbishop of a part of his official robes and insignia, to all which the prelate meekly consented. All the chief authorities visited the Patriarch, who, however, was too dignified to return their calls. Here was, in fact, an extraordinary case of a man unknown to everybody, and refusing to prove his identity, having absolutely brought all the authority of a colony under his sway! He was, as a matter of fact, the legate of Clement XI.

The only person to whom he appears to have extended his friendship was the Maestre de Campo, at the time under ecclesiastical arrest. The Maestre de Campo was visited by the Patriarch, who so ingeniously blinded him with his patronage, that this official squandered about ₱20,000 in entertaining his strange visitor and making him presents. The Patriarch in return insisted upon the Governor and Archbishop pardoning the Maestre de Campo of all his alleged misdeeds, and when this was conceded he caused the pardon to be proclaimed in a public Act. All the Manila officials were treated by the Patriarch with open disdain, [86]but he created the Armenian captain of the vessel which brought him to Manila a knight of the “Golden Spur,” in a public ceremony in the Maestre de Campoʼs house in which the Gov.-General was ignored.

From Manila the Patriarch went to China, where his meddling with the Catholic missions met with fierce opposition. He so dogmatically asserted his unproved authority, that he caused European missionaries to be cited in the Chinese Courts and sentenced for their disobedience; but he was playing with fire, for at last the Emperor of China, wearied of his importunities, banished him from the country. Thence he went to Macao, where, much to the bewilderment of the Chinese population, he maintained constant disputes with the Catholic missionaries until he died there in 1710 in the Inquisition prison, where he was incarcerated at the instance of the Jesuits.

When King Philip V. became aware of what had occurred in Manila, he was highly incensed, and immediately ordered the Gov.-General to Mexico, declaring him disqualified for life to serve under the Crown. The senior magistrates of the Supreme Court were removed from office. Each priest who had yielded to the legateʼs authority without previously taking cognisance of the regium exequatur was ordered to pay ₱1,000 fine. The Archbishop was degraded and transferred from the Archbishopric of Manila to the Bishopric of Guadalajara in Mexico. In spite of this punishment, it came to the knowledge of the King that the ex-Archbishop of Manila, as Bishop of Guadalajara, was still conspiring with the Patriarch to subvert civil and religious authority in his dominions, with which object he had sent him ₱1,000 from Mexico, and had promised a fixed sum of ₱1,000 per annum, with whatever further support he could afford to give him. Therefore the King issued an edict to the effect that any legate who should arrive in his domains without royal confirmation of his Papal credentials should thenceforth be treated simply with the charity and courtesy due to any traveller; and in order that this edict should not be forgotten, or evaded, under pretext of its having become obsolete, it was further enacted that it should be read in full on certain days in every year before all the civil and ecclesiastical functionaries. [87]

1 From this date the Molucca Islands were definitely evacuated and abandoned by the Spaniards, although as many men and as much material and money had been employed in garrisons and conveyance of subsidies there as in the whole Philippine Colony up to that period.

2Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” by Juan de la Concepcion, Vol. VII., p. 48, published at Manila, 1788.

3 Macao is held by the Portuguese since 1557. During the Union of Spain and Portugal (1581–1640), the Dutch made two unsuccessful attempts to seize it (1622 and 1627). This colony was the great European-Chinese emporium prior to Hong-Kong (1841), and paid crown rent to China up to 1848.

British Occupation of Manila

In 1761 King George III. had just succeeded to the throne of England, and the protracted contentions with France had been suspended for a while. It was soon evident, however, that efforts were being made to extinguish the power and prestige of Great Britain, and with this object a convention had been entered into between France and Spain known as the “Family Compact.” It was so called because it was an alliance made by the three branches of the House of Bourbon, namely, Louis XV. of France, Charles III. of Spain, and his son Ferdinand, who, in accordance with the Treaty of Vienna, had ascended the throne of Naples. Spain engaged to unite her forces with those of France against England on May 1, 1762, if the war still lasted, in which case France would restore Minorca to Spain. Pitt was convinced of the necessity of meeting the coalition by force of arms, but he was unable to secure the support of his Ministry to declare war, and he therefore retired from the premiership. The succeeding Cabinet were, nevertheless, compelled to adopt his policy, and after having lost many advantages by delaying their decision, war was declared against France and Spain.

The British were successful everywhere. In the West Indies the Caribbean Islands and Havana were captured with great booty by Rodney and Monckton, whilst a British Fleet was despatched to the Philippine Islands with orders to take Manila.

On September 14, 1762, a British vessel arrived in the Bay of Manila, refused to admit Spanish officers on board, and after taking soundings she sailed again out of the harbour.

In the evening of September 22 the British squadron, composed of 13 ships, under the command of Admiral Cornish, entered the bay, and the next day two British officers were deputed to demand the surrender of the Citadel, which was refused. Brigadier-General Draper thereupon disembarked his troops, and again called upon the city to yield. This citation being defied, the bombardment commenced the next day. The fleet anchored in front of a powder-magazine, took possession of the churches of Malate, Ermita, San Juan de Bagumbayan, and Santiago. Two picket-guards made an unsuccessful sortie against them. The [88]whole force in Manila, at the time, was the Kingʼs regiment, which mustered about 600 men and 80 pieces of artillery. The British forces consisted of 1,500 European troops (one regiment of infantry and two companies of artillery), 3,000 seamen, 800 Sepoy fusileers, and 1,400 Sepoy prisoners, making a total of 6,830 men, including officers.1

There was no Gov.-General in the Philippines at the time, and the only person with whom the British Commander could treat was the acting-Governor, the Archbishop Manuel Antonio Rojo, who was willing to yield. His authority was, however, set aside by a rebellious war party, who placed themselves under the leadership of a magistrate of the Supreme Court, named Simon de Anda y Salazar. This individual, instead of leading them to battle, fled to the Province of Bulacan the day before the capture of Manila in a prahu with a few natives, carrying with him some money and half a ream of official stamped paper.2 He knew perfectly well that he was defying the legal authority of the acting-Governor, and was, in fact, in open rebellion against his mandate. It was necessary, therefore, to give an official colour to his acts by issuing his orders and proclamations on Government-stamped paper, so that their validity might be recognized if he subsequently succeeded in justifying his action at Court.

On September 24 the Spanish batteries of San Diego and San Andres opened fire, but with little effect. A richly laden galleon—the Philipino—was known to be on her way from Mexico to Manila, but the British ships which were sent in quest of her fell in with another galleon—the Trinidad—and brought their prize to Manila. Her treasure amounted to about ₱2,500,000.3

A Frenchman resident in Manila, Monsieur Faller, made an attack on the British, who forced him to retire, and he was then accused by the Spaniards of treason. Artillery fire was kept up on both sides. The Archbishopʼs nephew was taken prisoner, and an officer was sent with him to hand him over to his uncle. However, a party of natives fell upon them and murdered them. The officerʼs head having been cut off, it was demanded by General Draper. Excuses were made for not giving it up, and the General determined thenceforth to continue the warfare with vigour and punish this atrocity. The artillery was increased by another battery of three mortars, placed behind the church of Santiago, and the bombardment continued.

Five thousand native recruits arrived from the provinces, and out [89]of this number 2,000 Pampangos were selected. They were divided into three columns, in order to advance by different routes and attack respectively the churches of Santiago, Malate, and Ermita, and the troops on the beach. At each place they were driven back. The leader of the attack on Malate and Ermita—Don Santiago Orendain—was declared a traitor. The two first columns were dispersed with great confusion and loss. The third column retreated before they had sustained or inflicted any loss. The natives fled to their villages in dismay, and on October 5 the British entered the walled city. After a couple of hoursʼ bombardment, the forts of San Andrés and San Eugenio were demolished, the artillery overturned, and the defendersʼ fusileers and sappers were killed.

A council of war was now held by the Spaniards. General Draper sustained the authority of the Archbishop against the war party, composed chiefly of civilians determined to continue the defence in spite of the opinion of the military men, who argued that a capitulation was inevitable. But matters were brought to a crisis by the natives, who refused to repair the fortifications, and the Europeans were unable to perform such hard labour. Great confusion reigned in the city—the clergy fled through the Puerta del Parian, where there was still a native guard. According to Zúñiga, the British spent 20,000 cannon balls and 5,000 shells in the bombardment of the city.

Major Fell entered Manila (Oct. 6) at the head of his troops, and General Draper followed, leading his column unopposed, with two field-pieces in the van, whilst a constant musketry fire cleared the Calle Real (the central thoroughfare) as they advanced. The people fled before the enemy. The gates being closed, they scrambled up the walls and got into boats or swam off.

Colonel Monson was sent by Draper to the Archbishop-Governor to say that he expected immediate surrender. This requisition was disputed by the Archbishop, who presented a paper purporting to be terms of capitulation. The Colonel refused to take it, and demanded an unconditional surrender. Then the Archbishop, a Colonel of the Spanish troops, and Colonel Monson went to interview the General, whose quarters were in the Palace. The Archbishop, offering himself as a prisoner, presented the terms of capitulation, which provided for the free exercise of their religion; security of private property; free trade to all the inhabitants of the Islands, and the continuation of the powers of the Supreme Court to keep order amongst the ill-disposed. These terms were granted, but General Draper, on his part, stipulated for an indemnity of four millions of pesos, and it was agreed to pay one half of this sum in specie and valuables and the other half in Treasury bills on Madrid. The capitulation, with these modifications, was signed by Draper and the Archbishop-Governor. The Spanish Colonel took the document to the Fort to have it countersigned by the [90]magistrates, which was at once done; the Fort was delivered up to the British, and the magistrates repaired to the Palace to pay their respects to the conquerors.

When the British flag was seen floating over the Fort of Santiago there was great cheering from the British Fleet. The Archbishop stated that when Draper reviewed the troops, more than 1,000 men were missing, including sixteen officers. Among these officers were a Major fatally wounded by an arrow on the first day of the assault, and the Vice-Admiral, who was drowned whilst coming ashore in a boat.

The natives who had been brought from the provinces to Manila were plundering and committing excesses in the city, so Draper had them all driven out. Guards were placed at the doors of the nunneries and convents to prevent outrages on the women, and then the city was given up to the victorious troops for pillage during three hours. Zúñiga, however, remarks that the European troops were moderate, but that the Indian contingents were insatiable. They are said to have committed many atrocities, and, revelling in bloodshed, even murdered the inhabitants. They ransacked the suburbs of Santa Cruz and Binondo, and, acting like savage victorious tribes, they ravished women, and even went into the highways to murder and rob those who fled. The three hours having expired, the troops were called in, but the following day a similar scene was permitted. The Archbishop thereupon besought the General to put a stop to it, and have compassion on the city. The General complied with this request, and immediately restored order under pain of death for disobedience. Some Chinese were in consequence hanged. General Draper himself killed one whom he found in the act of stealing, and he ordered that all Church property should be restored, but only some priestsʼ vestments were recovered.

Draper demanded the surrender of Cavite, which was agreed to by the Archbishop and magistrates, but the Commanding Officer refused to comply. The Major of that garrison was sent with a message to the Commander, but on the way he talked with such freedom about the surrender to the British, that the natives quitted their posts and plundered the Arsenal. The Commander, rather than face humiliation, retired to a ship, and left all further responsibility to the Major.

Measures were now taken to pay the agreed indemnity. However, the consequent heavy contributions levied upon the inhabitants, together with the silver from the pious establishments, church ornaments, plate, the Archbishopʼs rings and breast-cross, only amounted to ₱546,000. The British then proposed to accept one million at once and draw the rest from the cargo of the galleon Philipino, should it result that she had not been seized by the British previous to the day the capitulation was signed—but the one million was not forthcoming. The day before the capture of Manila a royal messenger had been sent off with ₱111,000, [91]with orders to hide them in some place in the Laguna de Bay. The Archbishop now ordered their return to Manila, and issued a requisition to that effect, but the Franciscan friars were insubordinate, and armed the natives, whom they virtually ruled, and the treasure was secreted in Majayjay Convent (Tayabas Province). Thence, on receipt of the Archbishopʼs message, it was carried across country to a place in North Pampanga, bordering on Cagayán and Pangasinán. The British, convinced that they were being duped, insisted on their claim. Thomas Backhouse, commanding the troops stationed at Pasig, went up to the Laguna de Bay with 80 mixed troops, to intercept the bringing of the Philipino treasure. He attacked Tunasan, Vinan and Santa Rosa, and embarked for Pagsanján, which was then the capital of the Laguna Province. The inhabitants, after firing the convent and church, fled. Backhouse returned to Calamba, entered the Province of Batangas, overran it, and made several Austin friars prisoners. In Lipa he seized ₱3,000, and established his quarters there, expecting that the Philipino treasure would be carried that way; but on learning that it had been transported by sea to a Pampanga coast town, Backhouse returned to his post at Pasig.

In the capitulation, the whole of the Archipelago was surrendered to the British, but the magistrate Simon de Anda determined to appeal to arms. Draper used stratagem, and issued a proclamation commiserating the fate of the natives who paid tribute to Spaniards, and assuring them that the King of England would not exact it. The Archbishop, as Governor, became Draperʼs tool, sent messages to the Spanish families, persuading them to return, and appointed an Englishman, married in the country, to be Alderman of Tondo. Despite the strenuous opposition of the Supreme Court, the Archbishop, at the instance of Draper, convened a council of native headmen and representative families, and proposed to them the cession of all the Islands to the King of England. Draper clearly saw that the ruling powers in the Colony, judging from their energy and effective measures, were the friars, so he treated them with great respect. The Frenchman Faller, who unsuccessfully opposed the British assault, was offered troops to go and take possession of Zamboanga and assume the government there, but he refused, as did also a Spaniard named Sandoval.

Draper returned to Europe; Major Fell was left in command of the troops, whilst Drake assumed the military government of the city, with Smith and Brock as council, and Brereton in charge of Cavite. Draper, on leaving, gave orders for two frigates to go in search of the Philipino treasure. The ships got as far as Capul Island and put into harbour. They were detained there by a ruse on the part of a half-caste pilot, and in the meantime the treasure was stealthily carried away.

Simon de Anda, from his provincial retreat, proclaimed himself Gov.-General. He declared that the Archbishop and the magistrates, [92]as prisoners of war, were dead in the eye of the law; and that his assumption of authority was based upon old laws. None of his countrymen disputed his authority, and he established himself in Bacolor. The British Council then convened a meeting of the chief inhabitants, at which Anda was declared a seditious person and deserving of capital punishment, together with the Marquis of Monte Castro, who had violated his parole dʼhonneur, and the Provincial of the Austin Friars, who had joined the rebel party. All the Austin friars were declared traitors for having broken their allegiance to the Archbishopʼs authority. The British still pressed for the payment of the one million, whilst the Spaniards declared they possessed no more. The Austin friars were ordered to keep the natives peaceable if they did not wish to provoke hostilities against themselves. At length, the British, convinced of the futility of decrees, determined to sally out with their forces, and 500 men under Thomas Backhouse went up the Pasig River to secure a free passage for supplies to the camp. Whilst opposite to Maybonga, a Spaniard, named Bustos, and his Cagayán troops fired on them. The British returned the fire, and Bustos fled to Mariquina. The British passed the river, and sent an officer with a white flag of truce to demand surrender. Bustos was insolent, and threatened to hang the officer if he returned. Backhouseʼs troops then opened fire and placed two field-pieces, which completely scared the natives, who fled in such great confusion that many were drowned in the river. Thence the British drove their enemy before them like a flock of goats, and reached the Bamban River, where the Sultan of Sulu4 resided with his family. The Sultan, after a feigned resistance, surrendered to the British, who fortified his dwelling, and occupied it during the whole of the operations. There were subsequent skirmishes on the Pasig River banks with the armed insurgents, who were driven as far as the Antipolo Mountains.

Meanwhile, Anda collected troops; and Bustos, as his Lieutenant-General, vaunted the power of his chief through the Bulacan and Pampanga Provinces. A Franciscan and an Austin friar, having led troops to Masilo, about seven miles from Manila, the British went out to dislodge them, but on their approach most of the natives feigned they were dead, and the British returned without any loss in arms or men.

The British, believing that the Austin friars were conspiring against them in connivance with those inside the city, placed these friars in confinement, and subsequently shipped away eleven of them to Europe. For the same reason they at last determined to enter the Saint Augustine Convent, and on ransacking it, they found that the priests had been lying to them all the time. Six thousand pesos in coin were found hidden in the garden, and large quantities of wrought silver elsewhere. The whole premises were then searched, and all the valuables were seized. A British expedition went out to Bulacan, sailing across the Bay and up [93]the Hagonoy River, where they disembarked at Malolos on January 19, 1763. The troops, under Captain Eslay, of the Grenadiers, numbered 600 men, many of whom were Chinese volunteers. As they advanced from Malolos, the natives and Spaniards fled. On the way to Bulacan, Bustos came out to meet them, but retreated into ambush on seeing they were superior in numbers. Bulacan Convent was defended by three small cannons. As soon as the troops came in sight of the convent, a desultory fire of case-shot made great havoc in the ranks of the resident Chinese volunteers forming the British vanguard. At length the British brought their field-pieces into action, and pointing at the enemyʼs cannon, the first discharge carried off the head of their artilleryman Ybarra. The panic-stricken natives decamped; the convent was taken by assault; there was an indiscriminate fight and general slaughter. The Alcalde and a Franciscan friar fell in action; one Austin friar escaped, and another was seized and killed to avenge the death of the British soldiers. The invading forces occupied the convent, and some of the troops were shortly sent back to Manila. Bustos reappeared near the Bulacan Convent with 8,000 native troops, of whom 600 were cavalry, but they dared not attack the British. Bustos then manoeuvred in the neighbourhood and made occasional alarms. Small parties were sent out against him, with so little effect that the British Commander headed a body in person, and put the whole of Bustosʼ troops to flight like mosquitoes before a gust of wind, for Bustos feared they would be pursued into Pampanga. After clearing away the underwood, which served as a covert for the natives, the British reoccupied the convent; but Bustos returned to his position, and was a second time as disgracefully routed by the British, who then withdrew to Manila.

At this time it was alleged that a conspiracy was being organized amongst the Chinese resident in the Province of Pampanga with the object of assassinating Anda and his Spanish followers. The Chinese cut trenches and raised fortifications, avowing that their bellicose preparations were only to defend themselves against the possible attack of the British; whilst the Spaniards saw in all this a connivance with the invaders. The latter no doubt conjectured rightly. Anda, acting upon the views of his party, precipitated matters by appearing with 14 Spanish soldiers and a crowd of native bowmen to commence the slaughter in the town of Guagua. The Chinese assembled there in great numbers, and Anda endeavoured in vain to induce them to surrender to him. He then sent a Spaniard, named Miguel Garcés, with a message, offering them pardon in the name of the King of Spain if they would lay down their arms; but they killed the emissary, and Anda therefore commenced the attack. The result was favourable for Andaʼs party, and great numbers of the Chinese were slain. Many fled to the fields, where they were pursued by the troops, whilst those who were captured were hanged. Such was the inveterate hatred which [94]Anda entertained for the Chinese, that he issued a general decree declaring all the Chinese traitors to the Spanish flag, and ordered them to be hanged wherever they might be found in the provinces. Thus thousands of Chinese were executed who had taken no part whatever in the events of this little war.

Admiral Cornish having decided to return to Europe, again urged for the payment of the two millions of pesos instalment of the indemnity. The Archbishop was in great straits; he was willing to do anything, but his colleagues opposed him, and Cornish was at length obliged to content himself with a bill on the Madrid Treasury. Anda appointed Bustos Alcalde of Bulacan, and ordered him to recruit and train troops, as he still nurtured the hope of confining the British to Manila—perhaps even of driving them out of the Colony.

The British in the city were compelled to adopt the most rigorous precautions against the rising of the population within the walls, and several Spanish residents were arrested for intriguing against them in concert with those outside.

Several French prisoners from Pondicherry deserted from the British; and some Spanish regular troops, who had been taken prisoners, effected their escape. The Fiscal of the Supreme Court and a Señor Villa Corta were found conspiring. The latter was caught in the act of sending a letter to Anda, and was sentenced to be hanged and quartered—the quarters to be exhibited in public places. The Archbishop, however, obtained pardon for Villa Corta on the condition that Anda should evacuate the Pampanga Province: Villa Corta wrote to Anda, begging him to accede to this, but Anda absolutely refused to make any sacrifice to save his friendʼs life, and at the same time he wrote a disgraceful letter to the Archbishop, couched in such insulting terms that the British Commander burnt it without letting the Archbishop see it. Villa Cortaʼs life was saved by the payment of ₱3,000.

The treasure brought by the Philipino served Anda to organize a respectable force of recruits. Spaniards who were living in the provinces in misery, and a crowd of natives always ready for pay, enlisted. These forces, under Lieut.-General Bustos, encamped at Malinta, about five miles from Manila. The officers lodged in a house belonging to the Austin friars, around which the troops pitched their tents—the whole being defended by redoubts and palisades raised under the direction of a French deserter, who led a company. From this place Bustos constantly caused alarm to the British troops, who once had to retreat before a picket-guard sent to carry off the church bells of Quiapo. The British, in fact, were much molested by Bustosʼ Malinta troops, who forced the invaders to withdraw to Manila and reduce the extension of their outposts. This measure was followed up by a proclamation, dated January 23, 1763, in which the British Commander alluded to Bustosʼ troops as “canaille and robbers,” and offered a reward of ₱5,000 [95]for Andaʼs head, declaring him and his party rebels and traitors to their Majesties the Kings of Spain and England. Anda, chafing at his impotence to combat the invading party by force of arms, gave vent to his feelings of rage and disappointment by issuing a decree, dated from Bacolor (Pampanga), May 19, 1763, of which the translated text reads as follows, viz.:—

“Royal Government Tribunal of these Islands for His Catholic Majesty:—Whereas the Royal Government Tribunal, Supreme Government and Captain-Generalship of His Catholic Majesty in these Islands are gravely offended at the audacity and blindness of those men, who, forgetting all humanity, have condemned as rebellious and disobedient to both their Majesties, him, who as a faithful vassal of His Catholic Majesty, and in conformity with the law, holds the Royal Tribunal, Government and Captain-Generalship; and having suffered by a reward being offered by order of the British Governor in council to whomsoever shall deliver me alive or dead; and by their having placed the arms captured in Bulacan at the foot of the gallows—seeing that instead of their punishing and censuring such execrable proceedings, the spirit of haughtiness and pride is increasing, as shown in the proclamation published in Manila on the 17th instant, in which the troops of His Majesty are infamously calumniated—treating them as blackguards and disaffected to their service—charging them with plotting to assassinate the English officers and soldiers, and with having fled when attacked—the whole of these accusations being false: Now therefore by these presents, be it known to all Spaniards and true Englishmen, that Messrs. Drake, Smith and Brock who signed the proclamation referred to, must not be considered as vassals of His Britannic Majesty, but as tyrants and common enemies unworthy of human society, and therefore, I order that they be apprehended as such, and I offer ten thousand pesos for each one of them alive or dead. At the same time, I withdraw the order to treat the vassals of His Britannic Majesty with all the humanity which the rights of war will permit, as has been practised hitherto with respect to the prisoners and deserters.”

Anda had by this time received the consent of his King to occupy the position which he had usurped, and the British Commander was thus enabled to communicate officially with him, if occasion required it: Drake therefore replied to this proclamation, recommending Anda to carry on the war with greater moderation and humanity.

On June 27, 1763, the British made a sortie from the city to dislodge Bustos, who still occupied Malinta. The attacking party consisted of 350 fusileers, 50 horsemen, a mob of Chinese, and a number of guns and ammunition. The British took up quarters on one side of the river, whilst Bustos remained on the other. The opposing parties exchanged fire, but neither cared nor dared to cross [96]the water-way. The British forces retired in good order to Masilo, and remained there until they heard that Bustos had burnt Malinta House, belonging to the Austin friars, and removed his camp to Meycauayan. Then the British withdrew to Manila in the evening. On the Spanish side there were two killed, five mortally wounded, and two slightly wounded. The British losses were six mortally wounded and seven disabled. This was the last encounter in open warfare. Chinamen occasionally lost their lives through their love of plunder in the vicinity occupied by the British.

During these operations the priesthood taught the ignorant natives to believe that the invaders were infidels—and a holy war was preached. The friars, especially those of the Augustine Order,5 abandoned their mission of peace for that of the sword, and the British met with a slight reverse at Masilo, where a religious fanatic of the Austin friars had put himself at the head of a small band lying in ambush.

On July 23, 1763, a British frigate brought news from Europe of an armistice, and the preliminaries of peace, by virtue of which Manila was to be evacuated (Peace of Paris, February 10, 1763), were received by the British Commander on August 27 following, and communicated by him to the Archbishop-Governor for the “Commander-in-Chief” of the Spanish arms. Anda stood on his dignity, and protested that he should be addressed directly, and be styled Captain-General. On this plea he declined to receive the communication. Drake replied by a manifesto, dated September 19, to the effect that the responsibility of the blood which might be spilt in consequence of Andaʼs refusal to accept his notification would rest with him. Anda published a counter-manifesto, dated September 28, in Bacolor (Pampanga), protesting that he had not been treated with proper courtesy, and claiming the governor-generalship.

Greater latitude was allowed to the prisoners, and Villa Corta effected his escape disguised as a woman. He fled to Anda,—the co-conspirator who had refused to save his life,—and their superficial friendship was renewed. Villa Corta was left in charge of business in Bacolor during Andaʼs temporary absence. Meanwhile the Archbishop became ill; and it was discussed who should be his successor in the government in the event of his death. Villa Corta argued that it fell to him as senior magistrate. The discussion came to the knowledge of Anda, and seriously aroused his jealousy. Fearing conspiracy against [97]his ambitious projects, he left his camp at Polo, and hastened to interrogate Villa Corta, who explained that he had only made casual remarks in the course of conversation. Anda, however, was restless on the subject of the succession, and sought the opinion of all the chief priests and the bishops. Various opinions existed. Some urged that the decision be left to the Supreme Court; others were in favour of Anda, whilst many prudently abstained from expressing their views. Anda was so nervously anxious about the matter that he even begged the opinion of the British Commander, and wrote him on the subject from Bacolor (Pampanga) on November 2, 1763.

Major Fell seriously quarrelled with Drake about the Frenchman Faller, whom Admiral Cornish had left under sentence of death for having written a letter to Java accusing him of being a pirate and a robber. Drake protected Faller, whilst Fell demanded his execution, and the dispute became so heated that Fell was about to slay Drake with a bayonet, but was prevented by some soldiers. Fell then went to London to complain of Drake, hence Andaʼs letter was addressed to Backhouse, who took Fellʼs place. Anda, who months since had refused to negotiate or treat with Drake, still claimed to be styled Captain-General. Backhouse replied that he was ignorant of the Spaniardsʼ statutes or laws, but that he knew the Governor was the Archbishop. Anda thereupon spread the report that the British Commander had forged the Preliminaries of Peace because he could no longer hold out in warfare. The British necessarily had to send to the provinces to purchase provisions, and Anda caused their forage parties to be attacked, so that the war really continued, in spite of the news of peace, until January 30, 1764. On this day the Archbishop died, sorely grieved at the situation, and weighed down with cares. He had engaged to pay four millions of pesos and surrender the Islands, but could he indeed have refused any terms? The British were in possession; and these conditions were dictated at the point of the bayonet.

Immediately after the funeral of the Archbishop, Anda received despatches from the King of Spain, by way of China, confirming the news of peace to his Governor at Manila. Then the British acknowledged Anda as Governor, and proceeded to evacuate the city. But rival factions were not so easily set aside, and fierce quarrels ensued between the respective parties of Anda, Villa Corta, and Ustariz as to who should be Governor and receive the city officially from the British. Anda, being actually in command of the troops, held the strongest position. The conflict was happily terminated by the arrival at Marinduque Island of the newly-appointed Gov.-General, from Spain, Don Francisco de La Torre. A galley was sent there by Anda to bring His Excellency to Luzon, and he proceeded to Bacolor, where Anda resigned the Government to him on March 17, 1764.

La Torre sent a message to Backhouse and Brereton—the commanding [98]officers at Manila and Cavite,—stating that he was ready to take over the city in due form, and he thereupon took up his residence in Santa Cruz, placed a Spanish guard with sentinels from that ward as far as the Pontoon Bridge (Puente de Barcas, which then occupied the site of the present Puente de España), where the British advance-guard was, and friendly communication took place. Governor Drake was indignant at being ignored in all these proceedings, and ordered the Spanish Governor to withdraw his guards, under threat of appealing to force. Backhouse and Brereton resented this rudeness and ordered the troops under arms to arrest Drake, whose hostile action, due to jealousy, they declared unwarrantable. Drake, being apprised of their intentions, escaped from the city with his suite, embarked on board a frigate, and sailed off.

La Torre was said to be indisposed on the day appointed for receiving the city. Some assert that he feigned indisposition as he did not wish to arouse Andaʼs animosity, and desired to afford him an opportunity of displaying himself as a delegate, at least, of the highest local authority by receiving the city from the British, whilst he pampered his pride by allowing him to enter triumphantly into it. As the city exchanged masters, the Spanish flag was hoisted once more on the Fort of Santiago amidst the hurrahs of the populace, artillery salutes, and the ringing of the church bells.

Before embarking, Brereton offered to do justice to any claims which might legitimately be established against the British authorities. Hence a sloop lent to Drake, valued at ₱4,000, was paid for to the Jesuits, and the ₱3,000 paid to ransom Villa Cortaʼs life was returned, Brereton remarking, that if the sentence against him were valid, it should have been executed at the time, but it could not be commuted by money payment. At the instance of the British authorities, a free pardon was granted and published to the Chinese, few of whom, however, confided in it, and many left with the retiring army. Brereton, with his forces, embarked for India, after despatching a packet-boat to restore the Sultan of Sulu to his throne. In connection with this expedition, 150 British troops temporarily remained on the Island of Balambangan, near Balabac Island, and Anda sent a messenger to inquire about this. The reply came that the Moros, in return for British friendliness, invited the hundred and fifty to a feast and treacherously slew 144 of them.

During this convulsed period, great atrocities were committed. Unfortunately the common felons were released by the British from their prisons, and used their liberty to perpetrate murders and robbery in alliance with those always naturally bent that way. So great did this evil become, so bold were the marauders, that in time they formed large parties, infested highways, attacked plantations, and the poor peasantry had to flee, leaving their cattle and all their belongings in [99]their power. Several avenged themselves of the friars for old scores—others settled accounts with those Europeans who had tyrannized over them of old. The Chinese, whether so-called Christians or pagans, declared for and aided the British.

The proceedings of the choleric Simon de Anda y Salazár were approved by his Sovereign, but his impetuous disposition drove from him his best counsellors, whilst those who were bold enough to uphold their opinions against his, were accused of connivance with the British. Communications with Europe were scant indeed in those days, but Anda could not have been altogether ignorant of the causes of the war, which terminated with the Treaty of Paris.

A few months afterwards Anda returned to Spain and was received with favour by the King, who created him a Cavalier of the Order of Charles III. with a pension of 4,000 reales (about £40), and awarded him a pension of 3,000 pesos, and on November 6, 1767, appointed him a Councillor of Castile. In the course of the next three years Gov.-General José Raon, who superseded La Torre, had fallen into disgrace, and in 1770 Anda was appointed to the governor-generalship of the Islands, specially charged to carry out the royal will with respect to the expulsion of the Jesuits and the defence of Crown rights in ecclesiastical matters.

Anda at once found himself in conflict with the Jesuits, the friars, and the out-going Gov.-General Raon. As soon as Raon vacated his post, Anda, as Gov.-General, had his predecessor confined in the Fort of Santiago, where he died. At the same time he sent back to Spain two magistrates who had sided with Raon, imprisoned other judges, and banished military officers from the capital. Andaʼs position was a very peculiar one. A partisan of the friars at heart, he had undertaken the defence of Crown interests against them, but, in a measure, he was able to palliate the bitterness he thus created by expelling the Jesuits, who were an eyesore to the friars. The Jesuits might easily have promoted a native revolt against their departure, but they meekly submitted to the decree of banishment and left the Islands, taking away nothing but their clothing. Having rid himself of his rivals and the Jesuits, Anda was constantly haunted by the fear of fresh conflict with the British. He had the city walls repaired and created a fleet of ships built in the provinces of Pangasinán, Cavite, and Zambales, consisting of one frigate of war with 18 cannon, another with 32 cannon, besides 14 vessels of different types, carrying a total of 98 cannon and 12 swivel guns, all in readiness for the British who never reappeared.

Born on October 28, 1709, in the Province of Alava, Spain, Simon de Andaʼs irascible temper, his vanity, and his extravagant love of power created enmities and brought trouble upon himself at every step. Exhausted by six years of continual strife in his private and official [100]capacities, he retired to the Austin Friarsʼ Hospital of San Juan de Dios, in Cavite, where, on October 30, 1776, he expired, much to the relief of his numerous adversaries. The last resting-place of his mortal remains is behind the altar of the Cathedral, marked by a tablet; and a monument erected to his memory—107 years after his death—stands on the quayside at the end of the Paseo de Santa Lucia, near the Fort of Santiago, Manila.

Consequent on the troubled state of the Colony, a serious rebellion arose in Ylogan (Cagayán Province) amongst the Timava natives, who flogged the Commandant, and declared they would no longer pay tribute to the Spaniards. The revolt spread to Ilocos and Pangasinán; in the latter province Don Fernando Araya raised a troop of 30 Spaniards with firearms, and 400 friendly natives with bows and arrows, and after great slaughter of the rebels the ringleaders were caught, and tranquillity was restored by the gallows.

A rising far more important occurred in Ilocos Sur. The Alcalde was deposed, and escaped after he had been forced to give up his staff of office. The leader of this revolt was a cunning and wily Manila native, named Diego de Silan, who persuaded the people to cease paying tribute and declare against the Spaniards, who, he pointed out, were unable to resist the English. The City of Vigan was in great commotion. The Vicar-General parleyed in vain with the natives; then, at the head of his troops, he dispersed the rebels, some of whom were taken prisoners. But the bulk of the rioters rallied and attacked, and burnt down part of the city. The loyal natives fled before the flames. The Vicar-Generalʼs house was taken, and the arms in it were seized. All the Austin friars within a large surrounding neighbourhood had to ransom themselves by money payments. Silan was then acknowledged as chief over a large territory north and south of Vigan. He appointed his lieutenants, and issued a manifesto declaring Jesus of Nazareth to be Captain-General of the place, and that he was His Alcalde for the promotion of the Catholic religion and dominion of the King of Spain. His manifesto was wholly that of a religious fanatic. He obliged the natives to attend Mass, to confess, and to see that their children went to school. In the midst of all this pretended piety, he stole cattle and exacted ransoms for the lives of all those who could pay them; he levied a tax of ₱100 on each friar. Under the pretence of keeping out the British, he placed sentinels in all directions to prevent news reaching the terrible Simon de Anda. But Anda, though fully informed by an Austin friar of what was happening, had not sufficient troops to march north. He sent a requisition to Silan to present himself within nine days, under penalty of arrest as a traitor. Whilst this order was published, vague reports were intentionally spread that the Spaniards were coming to Ilocos in great force. Many deserted Silan, but he contrived to deceive even the clergy and others by his feigned piety. [101]Silan sent presents to Manila for the British, acknowledging the King of England to be his legitimate Sovereign. The British Governor sent, in return, a vessel bearing despatches to Silan, appointing him Alcalde. Elated with pride, Silan at once made this public. The natives were undeceived, for they had counted on him to deliver them from the British; now, to their dismay, they saw him the authorized magistrate of the invader. He gave orders to make all the Austin friars prisoners, saying that the British would send other clergy in their stead. The friars surrendered themselves without resistance and joined their Bishop near Vigan, awaiting the pleasure of Silan. The Bishop excommunicated Silan, and then he released some of the priests. The christian natives having refused to slay the friars, a secret compact was being made, with this object, with the mountain tribes, when a Spanish half-caste named Vicos obtained the Bishopʼs benediction and killed Silan; and the Ilocos rebellion, which had lasted from December 14, 1762, to May 28, 1763, ended.

Not until a score of little battles had been fought were the numerous riots in the provinces quelled. The loyal troops were divided into sections, and marched north in several directions, until peace was restored by March, 1765. Zúñiga says that the Spaniards lost in these riots about 70 Europeans and 140 natives, whilst they cost the rebels quite 10,000 men.

The submission made to the Spaniards, in the time of Legaspi, of the Manila and Tondo chiefs, was but of local importance, and by no means implied a total pacific surrender of the whole Archipelago; for each district had yet to be separately conquered. In many places a bold stand was made for independence, but the superior organization and science of the European forces invariably brought them final victory.

The numerous revolutionary protests registered in history against the Spanish dominion show that the natives, from the days of Legaspi onwards, only yielded to a force which they repeatedly, in each generation, essayed to overthrow. But it does not necessarily follow that either the motives which inspired the leaders of these social disturbances, or the acts themselves, were, in every case, laudable ones.

The Pampanga natives were among the first to submit, but a few years afterwards they were in open mutiny against their masters, who, they alleged, took their young men from their homes to form army corps, and busily employed the able-bodied men remaining in the district to cut timber for Government requirements and furnish provisions to the camp and to the Arsenal at Cavite.

In 1622 the natives of Bojol Island erected an oratory in the mountain in honour of an imaginary deity, and revolted against the tyranny of the Jesuit missionaries. They proclaimed their intention to regain their liberty, and freedom from the payment of tribute to [102]foreigners, and taxes to a Church they did not believe in. Several towns and churches were burnt, and Catholic images were desecrated, but the rebels were dispersed by the Governor of Cebú, who, with a considerable number of troops, pursued them into the interior. In the same island a more serious rising was caused in 1744 by the despotism of a Jesuit priest named Morales, who arrogated to himself governmental rights, ordering the apprehension of natives who did not attend Mass, and exercising his sacerdotal functions according to his own caprice. The natives resisted these abuses, and a certain Dagóhoy, whose brotherʼs body had been left uninterred to decompose by the priestʼs orders, organized a revenge party, and swore to pay the priest in his own coin. The Jesuit was captured and executed, and his corpse was left four days in the sun to corrupt. Great numbers of disaffected natives flocked to Dagóhoyʼs standard. Their complaint was, that whilst they risked their lives in foreign service for the sole benefit of their European masters, their homes were wrecked and their wives and families maltreated to recover the tribute. Dagóhoy, with his people, maintained his independence for the space of 35 years, during which period it was necessary to employ constantly detachments of troops to check the rebelsʼ raids on private property. On the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Colony, Recoleto friars went to Bojol, and then Dagóhoy and his partisans submitted to the Government on the condition of all receiving a full pardon.

In 1622 an insurrection was set on foot in Leyte Island against Spanish rule, and the Governor of Cebú went there with 40 vessels, carrying troops and war material, to co-operate with the local Governor against the rebels. The native leader was made prisoner, and his head placed on a high pole to strike terror into the populace. Another prisoner was garrotted, four more were publicly executed by being shot with arrows, and another was burnt.

In 1629 an attempt was made in the Province of Surigao (then called Caraga), in the east of Mindanao Island, to throw off the Spanish yoke. Several churches were burnt and four priests were killed by the rebels, and the rising was only quelled after three yearsʼ guerilla warfare.

In 1649 the Gov.-General decided to supply the want of men in the Arsenal at Cavite and the increasing necessity for troops, by pressing the natives of Sámar Island into the Kingʼs service. Thereupon a native headman named Sumoroy killed the priest of Ybabao, on the east coast of Sámar, and led the mob who sacked and burnt the churches along the coast. The Governor at Catbalogan got together a few men, and sent them into the mountains with orders to send him back the head of Sumoroy, but instead of obeying they joined the rebels and sent him a pigʼs head. The revolt increased, and General Andrés Lopez Azáldegui was despatched to the island [103]with full powers from the Gov.-General, whilst he was supported on the coast by armed vessels from Zamboanga. Sumoroy fled to the hills, but his mother was found in a hut; and the invading party wreaked their vengeance on her by literally pulling her to pieces. Sumoroy was at length betrayed by his own people, who carried his head to the Spanish Captain, and this officer had it exhibited on a pole in the village. Some years afterwards another rebel chief surrendered, under a pardon obtained for him by the priests, but the military authorities imprisoned and then hanged him.

The riots of 1649 extended to other provinces for the same cause. In Albay, the parish priest of Sorsogón had to flee for his life; in Masbate Island, a sub-lieutenant was killed; in Zamboanga, a priest was murdered; in Cebú, a Spaniard was assassinated; and in Surigao (then called Caraga) and Butuan, many Europeans fell victims to the fury of the populace. To quell these disturbances, Captain Gregorio de Castillo, stationed at Butuan, was ordered to march against the rebels with a body of infantry, but bloodshed was avoided by the Captain publishing a general pardon in the name of the King, and crowds of insurgents came to the camp in consequence. The Kingʼs name, however, was sullied, for very few of those who surrendered ever regained their liberty. They were sent prisoners to Manila, where a few were pardoned, others were executed, and the majority became galley-slaves.

In 1660 there was again a serious rising in Pampanga, the natives objecting to cut timber for the Cavite Arsenal without payment. The revolt spread to Pangasinán Province, where a certain Andrés Málong was declared king, and he in turn gave to another—Pedro Gumapos—the title of “Count.” Messages were sent to Zambales and other adjacent provinces ordering the natives to kill the Spaniards, under pain of incurring “King” Málongʼs displeasure.

Three army-corps were formed by the rebels: one of 6,000 men, under Melchor de Veras, for the conquest of Pampanga; another of 3,000 men, led by the titular count Gumapos, to annex Ilocos and Cagayán, whilst the so-called King Málong took the field against the Pangasinán people at the head of 2,000 followers. Ilocos Province declared in his favour, and furnished a body of insurgents under a chief named Juan Manzano, whilst everywhere on the march the titular kingʼs troops increased until they numbered about 40,000 men. On the way many Spaniards—priests and laymen—were killed. The Gov.-General sent by land to Pampanga 200 Spanish troops, 400 Pampangos and half-breeds, well armed and provisioned, and Mount Arayat was fortified and garrisoned by 500 men. By sea: two galleys, six small vessels, and four cargo launches—carrying 700 Spaniards and half-breeds, and 30 Pampangos—went to Bolinao, in Zambales Province. The rebels were everywhere routed, and their chiefs were hanged—some in Pampanga and others in Manila. [104]

Almost each generation has called forth the strong arm of the conqueror to extinguish the flame of rebellion in one island or another, the revolt being sometimes due to sacerdotal despotism, and at other times to official rapacity.

In the last century, prior to 1896, several vain attempts to subvert Spanish authority were made, notably in 1811 in Ilocos, where the fanatics sought to establish a new religion and set up a new god. An attempt was then made to enlist the wild tribes in a plot to murder all the Spaniards, but it was opportunely discovered by the friars and suppressed before it could be carried out.

In June, 1823, an order was received from Spain to the effect that officers commissioned in the Peninsula should have precedence of all those appointed in the Colony, so that, for instance, a lieutenant from Spain would hold local rank above a Philippine major. The Philippine officers protested against this anomaly, alleging that the commissions granted to them in the name of the Sovereign were as good as those granted in Spain. The Gov.-General refused to listen to the objections put forward, and sent Captain Andrés Novales and others on board a ship bound for Mindanao. Novales, however, escaped to shore, and, in conspiracy with a certain Ruiz, attempted to overthrow the Government. At midnight all Manila was aroused by the cry of “Long live the Emperor Novales!” Disaffected troops promenaded the city; the people sympathized with the movement; flags were waved as the rebels passed through the streets; the barrack used by Novalesʼ regiment was seized; the Cathedral and Town Hall were occupied, and at 6 oʼclock in the morning Andrés Novales marched to Fort Santiago, which was under the command of his brother Antonio. To his great surprise, the brother Antonio stoutly refused to join in the rising, and Andrésʼ expostulations and exhortations were finally met with a threat to fire on him if he did not retire. Meanwhile, the Gov.-General remained in hiding until he heard that the fort was holding out against Andrésʼ assault, when he sent troops to assist the defenders. Hemmed in between the fort and the troops outside, Andrés Novales and Ruiz made their escape, but they were soon taken prisoners. Andrés Novales was found hiding underneath the drawbridge of the Puerta Real. The Gov.-General at once ordered Andrés Novales, Ruiz, and Antonio Novales to be executed. The Town Council then went in a body to the Gov.-General to protest against the loyal defender of Fort Santiago being punished simply because he was Andrés Novalesʼ brother. The Gov.-General, however, threatened to have shot any one who should say a word in favour of the condemned.

In a garden of the episcopal palace, near the ancient Puerta del Postigo, the execution of the three condemned men was about to take place, and crowds of people assembled to witness it. At the critical moment an assessor of the Supreme Court shouted to the Gov.-General [105]that to take the life of the loyal defender of the fort, solely on the ground of his relationship to the rebel leader, would be an iniquity. His words found a sympathetic echo among the crowd, and the Gov.-General, deadly pale with rage, yielded to this demonstration of public opinion. Antonio Novales was pardoned, but the strain on his nerves weakened his brain, and he lived for many years a semi-idiot in receipt of a monthly pension of 14 pesos.

In 1827 the standard of sedition was raised in Cebú and a few towns of that island, but these disturbances were speedily quelled through the influence of the Spanish friars.

In 1828 a conspiracy of a separatist tendency was discovered, and averted without bloodshed.

In 1835 Feliciano Páran took the field against the Spaniards in Cavite Province, and held out so effectually that the Gov.-General came to terms with him and afterwards deported him to the Ladrone Islands.

In 1836 there was much commotion of a revolutionary character, the peculiar feature of it being the existence of pro-friar and anti-friar native parties, the former seeking to subject absolutely the civil government to ecclesiastical control.6

In 1841 a student for the priesthood, named Apolinario de la Cruz, affected with religious mania, placed himself at the head of a fanatical party in Tayabas, ostensibly for the purpose of establishing a religious sect. Some thousands of natives joined the movement, and troops had [106]to be sent to suppress the rising. Having assumed the title of King of the Tagálogs, he pretended to have direct heavenly support, telling the ignorant masses that he was invulnerable and that the soldiersʼ bullets would fly from them like chaff before the wind.

In 1844, during a rising at Jimamaylan, in Negros Island, the Spanish Governor was killed. The revolt is said to have been due to the Governor having compelled the State prisoners to labour for his private account.

In 1854 a Spanish half-caste, named Cuesta, came back from Spain with the rank of major, and at once broke out into open rebellion. The cry was for independence, and four Luzon provinces rose in his support; but the movement was crushed by the troops and Cuesta was hanged.

In 1870 a certain Camerino raised rebellion in Cavite province, and after many unsuccessful attempts to capture him he came to terms with the Gov.-General, who gave him a salaried employment for a couple of years and then had him executed on the allegation that he was concerned in the rising of Cavite Arsenal.

In 1871 there existed a Secret Society of reformers who used to meet in Santa Cruz (Manila) at the house of the Philippine priest, Father Mariano.7 From the house proper a narrow staircase led to a cistern about 25 feet square, in the side of which there was a door which closed perfectly. The cistern was divided into two unequal parts, the top compartment being full of water, whilst the lower part served as the reformersʼ conference room, so that if search were made, the cistern was, in fact, a cistern.

Among the members of this confraternity were Father Agustin Mendoza, the parish priest of Santa Cruz; Dr. José Búrgos, also a native priest; Máximo Paterno, the father of Pedro A. Paterno; Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista; and others still living (some personally known to me), under the presidency of José Maria Basa (now residing in Hong-Kong). This Secret Society demanded reforms, and published in Madrid their organ, Eco de Filipinas, copies of which reached the Islands. The copy for the paper was the result of the societyʼs deliberations. The monks, incensed at its publication, were, for a long time, puzzled to find out whence the information emanated. Many of the desired reforms closely affected the position of the regular clergy, the Philippine priests, led by Dr. Búrgos, urging the fulfilment of the Council of Trent decisions, which forbade the friars to hold benefices unless there were no secular priests available.

It appears that the friars, nevertheless, secured these ecclesiastical [107]preferments by virtue of Papal Bulls of Pius V. and subsequent Popes, who authorized friars to act as parish priests, not in perpetuity, but so long as secular clergymen were insufficient in number to attend to the cure of souls. The native party consequently declared that the friars retained their incumbencies illegally and by intrusion, in view of the sufficiency of Philippine secular priests. Had the Council of Trent enactments been carried out to the letter, undoubtedly the religious communities in the Philippines would have been doomed to comparative political impotence. The friars, therefore, sought to embroil Dr. Búrgos and his party in overt acts of sedition, in order to bring about their downfall and so quash the movement. To this end they contrived to draw a number of Manila and Cavite natives into a conspiracy to subvert the Spanish Government. The native soldiers of the Cavite garrison were induced to co-operate in what they believed to be a genuine endeavour to throw off the Spanish dominion. They were told that rockets fired off in Manila would be the signal for revolt. It happened, however, that they mistook the fireworks of a suburban feast for the agreed signal and precipitated the outbreak in Cavite without any support in the capital. The disaffected soldiers seized the Arsenal, whilst others attacked the influential Europeans. Colonel Sábas was sent over to Cavite to quell the riot, and after a short, but stubborn resistance, the rebels were overcome, disarmed, and then formed up in line. On Colonel Sábas asking if there were any one who would not cry, “Viva España!” one man stepped forward a few paces out of the ranks. The Colonel shot him dead, and the remainder were marched to prison.

The ruse operated effectually on the lay authorities, who yielded to the Spanish monksʼ demand that the extreme penalty of the law should be inflicted upon their opponents. Thereupon, Dr. José Búrgos (aged 30 years), Father Jacinto Zamora (aged 35 years), and Father Mariano Gomez8 (a dotard, 85 years of age) were executed (February 28, 1872) on the Luneta, the fashionable esplanade outside the walled city, facing the sea.

The friars then caused a bill of indictment to be put forward by the Public Prosecutor, in which it was alleged that a Revolutionary Government had been projected. The native clergy were terror-stricken. It was decreed that whilst the Filipinos already acting as parish priests would not be deposed, no further appointments would be made, and the most the Philippine novice could aspire to would be the position of coadjutor—practically servant—to the friar incumbent. Moreover, the opportunity was taken to banish to the Ladrone (Marianas) Islands many members of wealthy and influential families whose passive resistance was an eyesore to the friars. Among these was the late Máximo Paterno [108](q.v.), the father of Pedro A. Paterno; also Dr. Antonio M. Regidor y Jurado and José Maria Basa, who are still living.9

In 1889 I visited a penal settlement—La Colonia Agrícola de San Ramón—in Mindanao Island, and during my stay at the directorʼs house I was every day served at table by a native convict who was said to have been nominated by the Cavite rebels to the Civil Governorship of Manila. There was, however, no open trial from which the public could form an opinion of the merits of the case, and the idea of subverting the Spanish Government would appear to have been a fantastic concoction for the purposes stated. But from that date there never ceased to exist a secret revolutionary agitation which culminated in the events of 1898. [109]

1 Zúñigaʼs History, Vol II., Chap xii., English translation, published in London, 1814.

2 Crónica de los P. P. Dominicos, Vol. IV., pp. 637 to 650, edition of Rivadenayra, published in Madrid.

3 This money constituted the Manila merchantsʼ specie remittances from Acapulco, together with the Mexican subsidy to support the administration of this Colony, which was merely a dependency of Mexico up to the second decade of last century (vide Chap. xv.).

4 Vicissitudes of Sultan Mahamad Alimudin (vide Chap. x.).

5 So tenacious was the opposition of the Austin friars, both in Manila and the provinces, that the British appear to have regarded them as their special foes.

From the archives of Bauan Convent, Province of Batangas, I have taken the following notes, viz.:—The Austin friars lost ₱ 238,000 and 15 convents. Six of their estates were despoiled. The troops killed were 300 Spaniards, 500 Pampanga natives, and 300 Tagálog natives. Besides the Austin friars from the galleon Trinidad, who were made prisoners and shipped to Bombay, 10 of their Order were killed in battle and 19 were captured and exiled to India and Europe.

6 The prominent men in this movement were the brothers Palmero, maternal uncles of the well-known Spanish soldier-politician, General Marcelo Azcárraga.

Born in 1832 in Manila, General Marcelo Azcárraga was the son of José Azcárraga, a Biscayan Spaniard, and his creole wife Dr. Maria Palmero. José Azcárraga was a bookseller, established in the Escolta (Binondo), in a building (burnt down in October, 1885) on the site where stood the General Post Office up to June, 1904. In the fire of 1885 the first MS. of the first edition of this work was consumed, and had to be re-written. José Azcárraga had several sons and daughters. His second son, Marcelo, first studied law at St. Thomasʼ University, and then entered the Nautical School, where he gained the first prize in mathematics. Sent to Spain to continue his studies, he entered the Military School, and in three yearsʼ time obtained the rank of Captain. For his services against the OʼDonnell revolutionary movement (1854) in Madrid, he was promoted to Major. At the age of twenty-three he obtained the Cross of San Fernando (with pension). Having served Spain with distinction in several important missions to Mexico, Cuba, and Sto. Domingo, he returned to Cuba and espoused the daughter of the great banker, Fesser, who gave him a fortune of £20,000 on the day of his marriage. In the year of Isabella II.ʼs deposition (1868) he returned to Spain, promoted the Bourbon restoration, and became Lieut.-General on the proclamation of Alfonso XII. (1875). He then became successively M.P., Senator by election, and life Senator. He was Minister of War under Cánovas del Castillo, on whose assassination (Aug. 8, 1897) he became Prime Minister of the Interim Government specially charged to keep order until after the unpopular marriage of the Princess of Asturias. After several Ministerial changes he again took the leadership of the Government, was lately President of the Senate, and on his retirement, at the age of seventy-two, he received the Toison de Oro (Golden Fleece)—the most elevated Order in Spain. On his motherʼs side he descends from the Philippine creole family of the Conde de Lizárraga, and is uncle to the Conde de Albay, better known in Philippine society as Señor Govantes.

7 It was practically a secret branch of the Junta General de Reformas authorized to discuss reforms, and created by the Colonial Minister Becerra during the governor-generalship of General La Torre in the time of the Provisional Government in Spain which succeeded the deposed Queen Isabella II.

8 He was the grandfather of one of the most conspicuous surviving generals of the Tagálog Rebellion (1896) and the War of Independence (1899).

9 José Maria Basa was the son of Matias Basa, a builder and contractor by trade, who made a contract with the Spanish Government to fill up the stream which branched from the Pasig River and crossed the Escolta (Manila), where now stands the street called Calle de San Jacinto. In consideration of this work he was permitted to build houses on the reclaimed land, provided he made a thoroughfare where the former bed of the rivulet existed. This undertaking made his fortune. His son, José Maria, had several trading schemes, the most prosperous of which was his distillery at Trozo (Manila), which brought him large profits, and was a flourishing concern in 1872. On being amnestied, he established himself in Hong-Kong, where he is still living with his family in easy circumstances and highly respected. His unbounded hospitality to all who know him, and especially to his countrymen, has justly earned for him in Hong-Kong the title of the “Father of the Filipinos.”

Dr. Antonio Maria Regidor y Jurado, a young lawyer, was arrested and banished to the Ladrone Islands, whence he afterwards escaped to Hong-Kong in a foreign vessel, disguised as a priest. From that Colony he found his way to France, where he intended to settle, but eventually established himself in London, where he still holds a high position as a Spanish consulting lawyer. By his marriage with an Irish lady, he has a son and several charming daughters, his well-appointed home being the rendezvous of all the best class of Filipinos who visit the British metropolis.

The Chinese

Long before the foundation of Manila by Legaspi in 1571 the Chinese traded with these Islands. Their locus standi, however, was invariably a critical one, and their commercial transactions with the semi-barbarous Philippine Islanders were always conducted afloat. Often their junks were boarded and pillaged by the natives, but, in spite of the immense risk incurred, the Chinese lacked nothing in their active pursuit. Their chief home port was Canton.

Legaspi soon perceived the advantages which would accrue to his conquest by fostering the development of commerce with these Islands; and, as an inducement to the Chinese to continue their traffic, he severely punished all acts of violence committed against them.

In the course of time the Chinese had gained sufficient confidence under European protection, to come ashore with their wares. In 1588, Chinese were already paying rent for the land they occupied. Some writers assert that they propagated their religious doctrines as well as their customs, but nothing can be found to confirm this statement, and a knowledge of Chinese habits inclines one to think it most improbable. In their trading junks they frequently carried their idols, as a Romish priest carries his missal when he travels. The natives may have imitated the Chinese religious rites years before the Spaniards came. There is no evidence adduced to prove that they made any endeavour to proselytize the natives as the Spaniards did. On the other hand, there is reason to believe that some idols, lost by the Chinese in shipwreck and piratical attacks, have been, and still are, revered by the natives as authenticated miraculous images of Christian Saints (vide “Holy Child of Cebú” and “Our Lady of Cagsaysay”).

The Chinese contributed, in a large measure, to bring about a state of order and prosperity in the new Colony, by the introduction of their small trades and industries; and their traffic in the interior, and with China, was really beneficial, in those times, to the object which the conquerors had in view. So numerous, however, did they become, that it was found necessary to regulate the growing commerce and the modus vivendi of the foreign traders. [110]

In the bad weather they were unable to go to and from their junks, and, fearing lest under such circumstances the trade would fall off, the Government determined to provide them with a large building called the Alcayceria. The contract for its construction was offered to any private person or corporation willing to take it up on the following terms, viz.:—The original cost, the annual expense of maintenance, and the annual rents received from the Chinese tenants were to be equally shared by the Government and the contractor. The contract was accepted by a certain Fernando de Mier y Noriega, who was appointed bailiff of the Alcayceria for life, and the employment was to be hereditary in his family, at a salary of 50 pesos per month. However, when the plan was submitted to the Government, it was considered too extensive, and was consequently greatly reduced, the Government defraying the total cost (₱ 48,000). The bailiffʼs salary was likewise reduced to ₱ 25 per month, and only the condition of sharing rent and expense of preservation was maintained. The Alcayceria, was a square of shops, with a back store, and one apartment above each tenement. It was inaugurated in 1580, in the Calle de San Fernando, in Binondo, opposite to where is now the Harbour-Masterʼs Office, and within firing range of the forts. In the course of years this became a ruin, and on the same site Government Stores were built in 1856. These, too, were wrecked in their turn by the great earthquake of 1863. In the meantime, the Chinese had long ago spread far beyond the limits of the Alcayceria, and another centre had been provided for them within the City of Manila. This was called the Parian, which is the Mexican word for market-place. It was demolished by Government order in 1860, but the entrance to the city at that part (constructed in 1782) still retains the name of Puerta del Parian.

Hence it will be seen that from the time of the conquest, and for generations following, the Spanish authorities offered encouragement and protection to the Chinese.

Dr. Antonio Morga, in his work on the Philippines, p. 349, writes (at the close of the 16th century): “It is true the town cannot exist without the Chinese, as they are workers in all trades and business, and very industrious and work for small wages.”

Juan de la Concepcion writes1 (referring to the beginning of the 17th century); “Without the trade and commerce of the Chinese, these dominions could not have subsisted.” The same writer estimates the number of Chinese in the Colony in 1638 at 33,000.2

In 1686 the policy of fixing the statutory maximum number of Chinese at 6,000 was discussed, but commercial conveniences outweighed its adoption. Had the measure been carried out, it was [111]proposed to lodge them all in one place within easy cannon range, in view of a possible rising.

In 1755 it was resolved to expel all non-Christian Chinese, but a term was allowed for the liquidation of their affairs and withdrawal. By June 30, 1755, the day fixed for their departure from Manila, 515 Chinamen had been sharp enough to obtain baptism as Christians, in order to evade the edict, besides 1,108 who were permitted to remain because they were studying the mysteries and intricacies of Christianity. 2,070 were banished from Manila, the expulsion being rigidly enforced on those newly arriving in junks.

Except a few Europeans and a score of Western Asiatics, the Chinese who remained were the only merchants in the Archipelago. The natives had neither knowledge, tact, energy, nor desire to compete with them. The Chinese were a boon to the Colony, for, without them, living would have been far dearer—commodities and labour of all kinds more scarce, and the export and import trade much embarrassed. The Chinese and the Japanese are really the people who gave to the natives the first notions of trade, industry, and fruitful work. The Chinese taught them, amongst many other useful things, the extraction of saccharine juice from the sugar-cane, the manufacture of sugar, and the working of wrought iron. They introduced into the Colony the first sugar-mills with vertical stone crushers, and iron boiling-pans.

The history of the last 150 years shows that the Chinese, although tolerated, were always regarded by the Spanish colonists as an unwelcome race, and the natives have learnt, from example, to despise them. From time to time, especially since the year 1763, the feeling against them has run very high.

The public clamoured for restrictions on their arrival, impediments to the traffic of those already established there, intervention of the authorities with respect to their dwellings and mode of living, and not a few urged their total expulsion. Indeed, such influence was brought to bear on the Indian Council at Madrid during the temporary Governorship of Juan Arechedera, Bishop of Nueva Segovia (1745–50), that the Archbishop received orders to expel the Chinese from the Islands; but, on the ground that to have done so would have prejudiced public interests, he simply archived the decree. Even up to the close of Spanish rule, the authorities and the national trading class considered the question from very distinct points of view; for the fact is, that only the mildest action was taken—just enough to appease the wild demands of the people. Still, the Chinaman was always subject to the ebb and flow of the tide of official goodwill, and only since 1843 were Chinese shops allowed to be opened on the same terms as other foreigners. There are now streets of Chinese shops.

The Chinaman is always ready to sell at any price which will leave him a trifling nett gain, whereas the native, having earned sufficient for [112]his immediate wants, would stubbornly refuse to sell his wares except at an enormous profit.

Again, but for Chinese coolie competition,3 constant labour from the natives would have been almost unprocurable. The native day-labourer would work two or three days, and then suddenly disappear. The active Chinaman goes day after day to his task (excepting only at the time of the Chinese New Year, in January or February), and can be depended upon; thus the needy native was pushed, by alien competition, to bestir himself. In my time, in the port of Yloilo, four foreign commercial houses had to incur the expense and risk of bringing Chinese coolies for loading and discharging vessels, whilst the natives coolly lounged about and absolutely refused to work. Moreover, the exactions of the native create a serious impediment to the development of the Colony. Only a very small minority of the labouring class will put their hands to work without an advance on their wages, and will often demand it without any guarantee whatsoever. If a native is commissioned to perform any kind of service, he will refuse to stir without a sum of money beforehand, whilst the Chinese very rarely expect payment until they have given value for it. Only the direst necessity will make an unskilled native work steadily for several weeks for a wage which is only to be paid when due. There is scarcely a single agriculturist who is not compelled to sink a share of his capital in making advances to his labourers, who, nevertheless, are in no way legally bound thereby to serve the capitalist; or, whether they are or not, the fact is, that a large proportion of this capital so employed must be considered lost. There are certain lines of business quite impossible without the co-operation of Chinese, and their exclusion will be a loss to the Colony.

Taxes were first levied on the Mongol traders in 1828. In 1852 a general reform of the fiscal laws was introduced, and the classification of Chinese dealers was modified. They were then divided into four grades or classes, each paying contributions according to the new tariff.

In 1886 the universal depression, which was first manifest in this Colony in 1884, still continued. Remedies of most original character were suggested in the public organs and private circles, and a renewed spasmodic tirade was directed against the Chinese. A petition, made and signed by numbers of the retail trading class, was addressed to the Sovereign; but it appears to have found its last resting-place in the Colonial Secretaryʼs waste-paper basket. The Americans in the United States and Mexico were in open riot against the Celestials—the Governments of Australia had imposed a capitation tax on their entry4—in [113]British Columbia there was a party disposed to throw off its allegiance to Great Britain rather than forego its agitation against the Chinese. Why should not the Chinese be expelled from the Philippines, it was asked, or at least be permitted only to pursue agriculture in the Islands? In 1638, around Calamba and along the Laguna shore, they tilled the land; but the selfishness and jealousy of the natives made their permanence impossible. In 1850 the Chinese were invited to take up agriculture, but the rancorous feeling of the natives forced them to abandon the idea, and to seek greater security in the towns.

The chief accusation levelled against the Chinaman is, that he comes as an adventurer and makes money, which he carries away, without leaving any trace of civilization behind him. The Chinese immigrant is of the lowest social class. Is not the dream of the European adventurer, of the same or better class, to make his pile of dollars and be off to the land of his birth? If he spends more money in the Colony than the Chinaman does, it is because he lacks the Chinamanʼs self-abnegation and thriftiness. Is the kind of civilization taught in the colonies by low-class European settlers superior?

The Chinaman settled in the Philippines under Spanish rule was quite a different being to the obstinate, self-willed, riotous coolie in Hong-Kong or Singapore. In Manila he was drilled past docility—in six months he became even fawning, cringing, and servile, until goaded into open rebellion. Whatever position he might attain to, he was never addressed (as in the British Colonies) as “Mr.” or “Esqre,” or the equivalent, “Señor D.,” but always “Chinaman ——” (“Chino ——”).

The total expulsion of the Chinese in Spanish times would have been highly prejudicial to trade. Had it suited the State policy to check the ingress of the Chinese, nothing would have been easier than the imposition of a ₱50 poll tax. To compel them to take up agriculture was out of the question in a Colony where there was so little guarantee for their personal safety. The frugality, constant activity, and commendable ambition of the Celestial clashes with the dissipation, indolence and want of aim in life of the native. There is absolutely no harmony of thought, purpose, or habit between the Philippine Malay native and the Mongol race, and the consequence of Chinese coolies working on plantations without ample protection would be frequent assassinations and open affray. Moreover, a native planter could never manage, to his own satisfaction or interest, an estate worked with Chinese labour, but the European might. The Chinese is essentially of a commercial bent, and, in the Philippines at least, he prefers taking his chance as to the profits, in the bubble and risk of independent speculation, rather than calmly labour at a fixed wage which affords no stimulus to his efforts.

Plantations worked by Chinese owners with Chinese labour might nave succeeded, but those who arrived in the Colony brought no capital, and the Government never offered them gratuitous allotment of property. [114]A law relating to the concession of State lands existed (”Terrenos baldíos” and “Colonias agrícolas”), but it was enveloped in so many entanglements and so encompassed by tardy process and intricate conditions, that few Orientals or Europeans took advantage of it.

History records that in the year 1603 two Chinese Mandarins came to Manila as Ambassadors from their Emperor to the Gov.-General of the Philippines. They represented that a countryman of theirs had informed His Celestial Majesty of the existence of a mountain of gold in the environs of Cavite, and they desired to see it. The Gov.-General welcomed them, and they were carried ashore by their own people in ivory and gilded sedan-chairs. They wore the insignia of High Mandarins, and the Governor accorded them the reception due to their exalted station. He assured them that they were entirely misinformed respecting the mountain of gold, which could only be imaginary, but, to further convince them, he accompanied them to Cavite. The Mandarins shortly afterwards returned to their country. The greatest anxiety prevailed in Manila. Rumours circulated that a Chinese invasion was in preparation. The authorities held frequent councils, in which the opinions were very divided. A feverish consternation overcame the natives, who were armed, and ordered to carry their weapons constantly. The armoury was overhauled. A war plan was discussed and adopted, and places were singled out for each division of troops. The natives openly avowed to the Chinese that whenever they saw the first signs of the hostile fleet arriving they would murder them all. The Chinese were accused of having arms secreted; they were publicly insulted and maltreated; the cry was falsely raised that the Spaniards had fixed the day for their extermination; they daily saw weapons being cleaned and put in order, and they knew that there could be no immediate enemy but themselves. There was, in short, every circumstantial evidence that the fight for their existence would ere long be forced upon them.

In this terrible position they were constrained to act on the offensive, simply to ensure their own safety. They raised fortifications in several places outside the city, and many an unhappy Chinaman had to shoulder a weapon reluctantly with tears in his eyes. They were traders. War and revolution were quite foreign to their wishes. The Christian rulers compelled them to abandon their adopted homes and their chattels, regardless of the future. What a strange conception the Chinese must have formed of His Most Catholic Majesty! In their despair many of them committed suicide. Finally, on the eve of Saint Francisʼ Day, the Chinese openly declared hostilities—beat their war-gongs, hoisted their flags, assaulted the armed natives, and threatened the city. Houses were burnt, and Binondo was besieged. They fortified Tondo; and the next morning Luis Perez Dasmariñas, an ex-Gov.-General, led the troops against them. He was joined by 100 picked [115]Spanish soldiers under Tomás de Acuña. The nephew of the Governor and the nephew of the Archbishop rallied to the Spanish standard nearly all the flower of Castilian soldiery—and hardly one was left to tell the tale! The bloodshed was appalling. The Chinese, encouraged by this first victory, besieged the city, but after a prolonged struggle they were obliged to yield, as they could not provision themselves.

The retreating Chinese were pursued far from Manila along the Laguna de Bay shore, thousands of them being overtaken and slaughtered or disabled. Reinforcements met them on the way, and drove them as far as Batangas Province and into the Mórong district (now included in Rizal Province). The natives were in high glee at this licence to shed blood unresisted—so in harmony with their natural instincts. It is calculated that 24,000 Chinese were slain or captured in this revolt.

The priests affirm positively that during the defence of the city Saint Francis appeared in person on the walls to stimulate the Christians—thus the victory was ascribed to him.

This ruthless treatment of a harmless and necessary people—for up to this event they had proved themselves to be both—threatened to bring its own reward. They were the only industrious, thriving, skilful, wealth-producing portion of the population. There were no other artificers or tradespeople in the Colony. Moreover, the Spaniards were fearful lest their supplies from China of food for consumption in Manila,5 and manufactured articles for export to Mexico, should in future be discontinued. Consequently they hastened to despatch an envoy to China to explain matters, and to reassure the Chinese traders. Much to their surprise, they found the Viceroy of Canton little concerned about what had happened, and the junks of merchandise again arrived as heretofore.

Notwithstanding the memorable event of 1603, another struggle was made by the Chinese 36 years afterwards. In 1639, exasperated at the official robbery and oppression of a certain doctor, Luis Arias do Mora, and the Governor of the Laguna Province, they rose in open rebellion and killed these officials in the town of Calamba. So serious was the revolt that the Gov.-General went out against them in person. The rebels numbered about 30,000, and sustained, for nearly a year, a petty warfare all around. The images of the Saints were promenaded in the streets of Manila; it was a happy thought, for 6,000 Chinese coincidentally surrendered. During this conflict an edict was published ordering all the Chinese in the provinces to be slain.

In 1660 there was another rising of these people, which terminated in a great massacre.

The Spaniards now began to reflect that they had made rather a [116]bad bargain with the Mongol traders in the beginning, and that the Government would have done better had they encouraged commerce with the Peninsula. Up to this time the Spaniards had vainly reposed on their laurels as conquerors. They squandered lives and treasure on innumerable fruitless expeditions to Gamboge, Cochin China, Siam, Pegu, Japan, and the Moluccas, in quest of fresh glories, instead of concentrating their efforts in opening up this Colony and fostering a Philippine export trade, as yet almost unknown, if we exclude merchandise from China, etc., in transit to Mexico. From this period restrictions were, little by little, placed on the introduction of Chinese; they were treated with arrogance by the Europeans and Mexicans, and the jealous hatred which the native to this day feels for the Chinaman now began to be more openly manifested. The Chinaman had, for a long time past, been regarded by the European as a necessity—and henceforth an unfortunate one.

Nevertheless, the lofty Spaniard who by favour of the King had arrived in Manila to occupy an official post without an escudo too much in his pocket, did not disdain to accept the hospitality of the Chinese. It was formerly their custom to secure the goodwill and personal protection of the Spanish officials by voluntarily keeping lodging-houses ready for their reception. It is chronicled that these gratuitous residences were well furnished and provided with all the requisites procurable on the spot. For a whole century the Spaniards were lulled with this easy-going and felicitous state of things, whilst the insidious Mongol, whose clear-sighted sagacity was sufficient to pierce the thin veil of friendship proffered by his guest, was ever prepared for another opportunity of rising against the dominion of Castile, of which he had had so many sorry experiences since 1603. The occasion at last arrived during the British occupation of Manila in 1763. The Chinese voluntarily joined the invaders, but were unable to sustain the struggle, and it is estimated that some 6,000 of them were murdered in the provinces by order of the notorious Simon de Anda (vide p. 93). They menaced the town of Pasig—near Manila—and Fray Juan de Torres, the parish priest, put himself at the head of 300 natives, by order of his Prior, Fray Andrés Fuentes, to oppose them, and the Chinese were forced to retire.

On October 9, 1820, a general massacre of Chinese, British, and other foreigners took place in Manila and Cavite. Epidemic cholera had affected the capital and surrounding districts; great numbers of natives succumbed to its malignant effects, and they accused the foreigners of having poisoned the drinking-water in the streams. Foreign property was attacked and pillaged—even ships lying in the bay had to sail off and anchor out afar for safety. The outbreak attained such grave proportions that the clergy intervened to dissuade the populace from their hallucination. The High Host was carried through the [117]streets, but the rioters were only pacified when they could find no more victims.

Amongst other reforms concerning the Chinese which the Spanish colonists and Manila natives called for in 1886, through the public organs, was that they should be forced to comply with the law promulgated in 1867, which provided that the Chinese, like all other merchants, should keep their trade-books in the Spanish language. The demand had the appearance of being based on certain justifiable grounds, but in reality it was a mere ebullition of spite intended to augment the difficulties of the Chinese.

The British merchants and bankers are, by far, those who give most credit to the Chinese. The Spanish and native creditors of the Chinese are but a small minority, taking the aggregate of their credits, and instead of seeking malevolently to impose new hardships on the Chinese, they could have abstained from entering into risky transactions with them. All merchants are aware of the Chinese trading system, and none are obliged to deal with them. A foreign house would give a Chinaman credit for, say, £300 to £400 worth of European manufactured goods, knowing full well, from personal experience, or from that of others, that the whole value would probably never be recovered. It remained a standing debt on the books of the firm. The Chinaman retailed these goods, and brought a small sum of cash to the firm, on the understanding that he would get another parcel of goods, and so he went on for years.6 Thus the foreign merchants practically sunk an amount of capital to start their Chinese constituents. Sometimes the acknowledged owner and responsible man in one Chinese retail establishment would have a share in, or own, several others. If matters went wrong, he absconded abroad, and only the one shop which he openly represented could be embargoed, whilst his goods were distributed over several shops under any name but his. It was always difficult to bring legal proof of this; the books were in Chinese, and the whole business was in a state of confusion incomprehensible to any European. But these risks were well known beforehand. It was only then that the original credit had to be written off by the foreigner as a nett loss—often small when set against several years of accumulated profits made in successive operations.

The Chinese have guilds or secret societies for their mutual protection, and it is a well-ascertained fact that they had to pay the Spanish authorities very dearly for the liberty of living at peace with their fellow-men. If the wind blew against them from official quarters the affair brought on the tapis was hushed up by a gift. These peace-offerings, at times of considerable value, were procured by a tax privately levied on each Chinaman by the headmen of their guilds. [118]In 1880–83 the Gov.-General and other high functionaries used to accept Chinese hospitality, etc.

In December, 1887, the Medal of Civil Merit was awarded to a Chinaman named Sio-Sion-Tay, resident in Binondo, whilst the Government for several years had made contracts with the Chinese for the public service. Another Chinaman, christened in the name of Cárlos Palanca, was later on awarded the Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic, with the title of Excellency.

Many Chinese have adopted Christianity, either to improve their social standing, or to be enabled thereby to contract marriage with natives. Their intercessor and patron is Saint Nicholas, since the time, it is said, that a Chinaman, having fallen into the Pasig River, was in danger of being eaten by an alligator, and saved himself by praying to that saint, who caused the monster to turn into stone. The legendary stone is still to be seen near the left bank of the river.

There appears to be no perfectly reliable data respecting the number of Chinese residents in the Archipelago. In 1886 the statistics differed largely. One statistician published that there was a total of 66,740 men and 194 women, of whom 51,348 men and 191 women lived in Manila and suburbs, 1,154 men and 3 women in Yloilo, and 983 men in Cebú, the rest being dispersed over the coast villages and the interior. The most competent local authorities in two provinces proved to me that the figures relating to their districts were inexact, and all other information on the subject which I have been able to procure tends to show that the number of resident Chinese was underrated. I estimate that just before the Rebellion of 1896 there were 100,000 Chinese in the whole Colony, including upwards of 40,000 in and around the capital.

Crowds of Chinese passed to these Islands via Sulu (Joló), which, as a free port, they could enter without need of papers. Pretending to be resident colonists there, they managed to obtain passports to travel on business for a limited period in the Philippines, but they were never seen again in Sulu.

In Spanish times the Chinaman was often referred to as a Macao or a Sangley. The former term applied to those who came from Southern China (Canton, Macao, Amoy, etc.). They were usually cooks and domestic servants. The latter signified the Northern Chinaman of the trading class. The popular term for a Chinaman in general was a Suya.

In Manila and in several provincial towns where the Chinese residents were numerous, they had their own separate “Tribunals” or local courts, wherein minor affairs were managed by petty governors of their own nationality, elected bi-annually, in the same manner as the natives. In 1888 the question of admitting a Chinese Consulate in the Philippines was talked of in official circles, which proves that the Government was far from seeing the “Chinese question” in the same light as the Spanish or native merchant class. In the course of time they acquired a certain [119]consideration in the body politic, and deputations of Chinese were present in all popular ceremonies during the last few years of Spanish rule.

Wherever the Chinese settle they exhibit a disposition to hold their footing, if not to strengthen it, at all hazards, by force if need be. In Sarawak their Secret Societies threatened to undermine the prosperity of that little State, and had to be suppressed by capital punishment. Since the British occupation of Hong-Kong in 1841, there have been two serious movements against the Europeans. In 1848 the Chinese murdered Governor Amiral of Macao, and the colonists had to fight for their lives. In Singapore the attempts of the Chinese to defy the Government called for coercive measures, but the danger is small, because the immigrant Chinaman has only the courage to act in mobs.

In Australia and the United States it was found necessary to enact special laws regulating the ingress of Mongols. Under the Spanish-Philippine Government the most that could be said against them, as a class, was that, through their thrift and perseverance, they outran the shopkeeping class in the race of life.

The Insular Government “Chinese Exclusion Act,” at present in operation, permits those Chinese who are already in the Islands to remain conditionally, but rigidly debars fresh immigration. The corollary is that, in the course of a few years, there will be no Chinese in the Philippines. The working of the above Act is alluded to in Chapter xxxi.

Under a native Government their lot is not likely to be a happy one. One of the aims of the Tagálog Revolutionists was to exclude the Chinese entirely from the Islands. [120]

1Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” by Juan de la Concepcion, Vol. IV., p. 53. Published in Manila, 1788.

2 Ibid., Vol. V., p. 429.

3 About two per thousand of the resident Chinese were not originally coolies.

4 General Wong Yung Ho, accompanied by a Chinese Justice of the High Court, visited Australia in the middle of the year 1887. In a newspaper of that Colony, it was reported that after these persons had been courteously entertained and shown the local institutions and industries, they had the effrontery to protest against the State Laws, and asked for a repeal of the “poll tax”—considered there the only check upon a Chinese coolie inundation!

5 Just before the naval engagement of Playa Honda between Dutch and Spanish ships (vide p. 75) the Dutch intercepted Chinese junks on the way to Manila, bringing, amongst their cargoes of food, as many as 12,000 capons.

6 Since about the year 1885, this system, which entailed severe losses, gradually fell into disuse, and business on cash terms became more general.

Wild Tribes and Pagans

The population of the Philippines does not consist of one homogeneous race; there are Mahometans, Pagans, and Christians, the last being in the majority. The one tribe is just as much “Filipino” as the other, and, from the point of view of nationality, they are all equally fellow-countrymen.1 So far as tradition serves to elucidate the problem of their origin, it would appear that the Filipinos are a mixed people, descendants of Papuan, Arabian, Hindoo, Malay, Japanese, Chinese, and European forefathers.2

According to the last census (1903), the uncivilized population amounted to 8½ per cent. of the whole.

The chief of these tribes are the Aetas, or Negritos, the Gaddanes, Itavis, Igorrotes, Igorrote-Chinese, Tinguianes, Tagbunuas, Batacs, Manobos, etc. Also among the southern races of Mindanao Island, referred to in Chapters x. and xxix., there are several pagan tribes interspersed between the Mahometan clans.

I have used only the generic denominations, for whilst these tribes are sub-divided (for instance, the Buquils of Zambales, a section of the Negritos; the Guinaanes, a sanguinary people inhabiting the mountains of the Igorrote district, etc.), the fractions denote no material physical or moral difference, and the local names adopted by the different clans of the same race are of no interest to the general reader. The expression Bukidnon, so commonly heard, does not signify any particular caste, but, in a general sense, the people of the mountain (bukid).

Aetas, or Negritos, numbering 22,000 to 24,000, inhabit the mountain regions of Luzon, Panay, Negros, and some smaller islands. [121]They are dark, some of them being as black as African negroes. Their general appearance resembles that of the Alfoor Papuan of New Guinea. They have curly matted hair, like Astrakhan fur. The men cover only their loins, and the women dress from the waist to the knees. They are a spiritless and cowardly race. They would not deliberately face white men in anything like equal numbers with warlike intentions, although they would perhaps spend a quiverful of arrows from behind a tree at a retreating foe.

A Negrito Family.

A Negrito Family.

The Aeta carries a bamboo lance, a palm-wood bow, and poisoned arrows when out on an expedition. He is wonderfully light-footed, and runs with great speed after the deer, or climbs a tree like a monkey. Groups of fifty to sixty souls live in community. Their religion seems to be a kind of cosmolatry and spirit-worship. Anything which for the time being, in their imagination, has a supernatural appearance is deified. They have a profound respect for old age and for their dead. They are of extremely low intellect, and, although some of them have been brought up by civilized families living in the vicinity of the Negrito mountainous country, they offer little encouragement to those who would desire to train them. Even when more or less domesticated, the Negrito cannot be trusted to do anything which requires an effort of judgement. At times his mind seems to wander from all social order, and an apparently overwhelming eagerness to return to his native haunts disconcerts all oneʼs plans for his civilization.

For a long time they were the sole masters of Luzon Island, where they exercised seignorial rights over the Malay immigrants, until these arrived in such numbers, that the Negritos were forced to retire to the highlands. The taxes imposed upon primitive Malay settlers by the Negritos were levied in kind, and when payment was refused, they swooped down in a posse, and carried off the head of the defaulter. Since the arrival of the Spaniards, the terror of the white man has made them take definitely to the mountains, where they appear to be very gradually decreasing.

The Spanish Government, in vain, made strenuous efforts to implant civilized habits among this weak-brained race.

In 1881 I visited the Cápas Missions in Upper Pampanga. The authorities had established there what is called a real,—a kind of model village of bamboo and palm-leaf huts,—to each of which a family was assigned. They were supplied with food, clothing and all necessaries of life for one year, which would give them an opportunity of tilling the land and providing for themselves in future. But they followed their old habits when the year had expired and the subsidy ceased. On my second visit they had returned to their mountain homes, and I could see no possible inducement for them to do otherwise. The only attraction for them during the year was the fostering of their inbred [122]indolence; and it ought to have been evident that as soon as they had to depend on their own resources they would adopt their own way of living—free of taxes, military service, and social restraint—as being more congenial to their tastes.

Being in the Bataan Province some years ago, I rode across the mountain range to the opposite coast with a military friend. On our way we approached a Negrito real, and hearing strange noises and extraordinary calls, we stopped to consult as to the prudence of riding up to the settlement. We decided to go there, and were fortunate enough to be present at a wedding. The young bride, who might have been about thirteen years of age, was being pursued by her future spouse as she pretended to run away, and it need hardly be said that he succeeded in bringing her in by feigned force. She struggled, and again got away, and a second time she was caught. Then an old man with grey hair came forward and dragged the young man up a bamboo ladder. An old woman grasped the bride, and both followed the bridegroom. The aged sire then gave them a douche with a cocoa-nut shell full of water, and they all descended. The happy pair knelt down, and the elder having placed their heads together, they were man and wife. We endeavoured to find out which hut was allotted to the newly-married couple, but we were given to understand that until the sun had reappeared five times they would spend their honeymoon in the mountains. After the ceremony was concluded, several present began to make their usual mountain-call. In the lowlands, the same peculiar cry serves to bring home straggling domestic animals to their nocturnal resting-place.

There is something picturesque about a well-formed, healthy Negrita damsel, with jet-black piercing eyes, and her hair in one perfect ball of close curls. The men are not of a handsome type; some of them have a hale, swarthy appearance, but many of them present a sickly, emaciated aspect. A Negrita matron past thirty is perhaps one of the least attractive objects in humanity.

They live principally on fish, roots, and mountain rice, but they occasionally make a raid on the neighbouring valleys and carry off the herds. So great was their cattle-stealing propensity in Spanish times, that several semi-official expeditions were sent to punish the marauders, particularly on the Cordillera de Zambales, on the west side of Luzon Island.

The husbandry of the Negritos is the most primitive imaginable. It consists of scraping the surface of the earth—without clearance of forest—and throwing the seed. They never “take up” a piece of land, but sow in the manner described wherever they may happen temporarily to settle.

The Gaddanes occupy the extreme N.W. corner of Luzon Island, and are entirely out of the pale of civilization. I have never heard [123]that any attempt has been made to subdue them. They have a fine physical bearing; wear the hair down to the shoulders; are of a very dark colour, and feed chiefly on roots, mountain rice, game, fruits, and fish. They are considered the only really warlike and aggressively savage tribe of the north, and it is the custom of the young men about to marry to vie with each other in presenting to the sires of their future brides all the scalps they are able to take from their enemies, as proof of their manly courage. This practice prevails at the season of the year when the tree, commonly called by the Spaniards “the fire-tree,” is in bloom. The flowers of this tree are of a fire-red hue, and their appearance is the signal for this race to collect their trophies of war and celebrate certain religious rites. When I was in the extreme north, in the country of the Ibanacs,3 preparing my expedition to the Gaddanes tribe, I was cautioned not to remain in the Gaddanes country until the fire-tree blossomed. The arms used by the Gaddanes are frightful weapons—long lances with tridented tips, and arrows pointed with two rows of teeth, made out of flint or sea-shells. These weapons are used to kill both fish and foe.

The Itavis inhabit the district to the south of that territory occupied by the Gaddanes, and their mode of living and food are very similar. They are, however, not so fierce as the Gaddanes, and if assaults are occasionally made on other tribes, it may be rather attributed to a desire to retaliate than to a love of bloodshed. Their skin is not so dark as that of their northern neighbours—the Gaddanes or the partially civilized Ibanacs—and their hair is shorter.

The Igorrotes are spread over a considerable portion of Luzon, principally from N. lat. 16° 30′ to 18°. They are, in general, a fine race of people, physically considered, but semi-barbarous and living in squalor. They wear their hair long. At the back it hangs down to the shoulders, whilst in front it is cut shorter and allowed to cover the forehead half-way like a long fringe. Some of them, settled in the districts of Lepanto and El Abra, have a little hair on the chin and upper lip. Their skin is of a dark copper tinge. They have flat noses, thick lips, high cheek-bones, and their broad shoulders and limbs seem to denote great strength, but their form is not at all graceful.

Like all the wild races of the Philippines, the Igorrotes are indolent to the greatest degree. Their huts are built bee-hive fashion, and they creep into them like quadrupeds. Fields of sweet potatoes and sugar-cane are under cultivation by them. They cannot be forced or persuaded to embrace the Western system of civilization. Adultery is little known, but if it occurs, the dowry is returned and the divorce settled. Polygamy seems to be permitted, but little practised. Murders are [124]common, and if a member of one hut or family group is killed, that family avenges itself on one of the murdererʼs kinsmen, hence those who might have to “pay the piper” are interested in maintaining order. In the Province of La Isabela, the Negrito and Igorrote tribes keep a regular Dr. and Cr. account of heads. In 1896 there were about 100,000 head-hunting Igorrotes in the Benguet district. This tribe paid to the Spaniards a recognition of vassalage of one-quarter of a peso per capita in Benguet, Abra, Bontoc, and Lepanto.

Their aggressions on the coast settlers have been frequent for centuries past. From time to time they came down from their mountain retreat to steal cattle and effects belonging to the domesticated population. The first regular attempt to chastise them for these inroads, and afterwards gain their submission, was in the time of Governor Pedro de Arandia (1754–59), when a plan was concerted to attack them simultaneously from all sides with 1,080 men. Their ranches and crops were laid waste, and many Igorrotes were taken prisoners, but the ultimate idea of securing their allegiance was abandoned as an impossibility.

In 1881 General Primo de Rivera, at the head of a large armed force, invaded their district with the view of reducing them to obedience, but the apparent result of the expedition was more detrimental than advantageous to the project of bringing this tribe under Spanish dominion and of opening up their country to trade and enlightened intercourse. Whilst the expeditionary forces were not sufficiently large or in a condition to carry on a war à outrance successfully, to be immediately followed up by a military system of government, on the other hand, the feeble efforts displayed to conquer them served only to demonstrate the impotence of the Europeans. This gave the tribes courage to defend their liberty, whilst the licence indulged in by the white men at the expense of the mountaineers—and boasted of to me personally by many Spanish officers—had merely the effect of raising the veil from their protestations of goodwill towards the race they sought to subdue. The enterprise ignominiously failed; the costly undertaking was an inglorious and fruitless one, except to the General, who—being under royal favour since, at Sagunta, in 1875, he “pronounced” for King Alfonso—secured for himself the title of Count of La Union.

The Igorrotes have, since then, been less approachable by Europeans, whom they naturally regard with every feeling of distrust. Rightly or wrongly (if it can be a matter of opinion), they fail to see any manifestation of ultimate advantage to themselves in the arrival of a troop of armed strangers who demand from them food (even though it be on payment) and perturbate their most intimate family ties. They do not appreciate being “civilized” to exchange their usages, independence, and comfort for even the highest post obtainable by a native in the [125]provinces, which then was practically that of local head servant to the district authority, under the name of Municipal Captain. To roam at large in their mountain home is far more enjoyable to them than having to wear clothes; to present themselves often, if not to habitually reside, in villages; to pay taxes, for which they would get little return—not even the boon of good highroads—and to act as unsalaried tax-collectors with the chance of fine, punishment, and ruin if they did not succeed in bringing funds to the Public Treasury.

An Igorrote Type (Luzon).

An Igorrote Type (Luzon).

As to Christianity, it would be as hard a task to convince them of what Roman Catholicism deems indispensable for the salvation of the soul, as it would be to convert all England to the teachings of Buddha—although Buddhism is as logical a religion as Christianity. Just a few of them, inhabiting the lowlands in the neighbourhood of Vigan and other christian towns, received baptism and paid an annual tribute of half a peso from the year 1893 to 1896.

Being in Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayán Province, about 60 miles up the Rio Grande, I went to visit the prisons, where I saw many of the worst types of Igorrotes. I was told that a priest who had endeavoured to teach them the precepts of Christianity, and had explained to them the marvellous life of Saint Augustine, was dismayed to hear an Igorrote exclaim that no coloured man ever became a white manʼs saint. Nothing could convince him that an exception to the rule might be possible. Could experience have revealed to him the established fact—the remarkable anomaly—that the grossest forms of immorality were only to be found in the trail of the highest order of white manʼs civilization?

The Igorrotes have worked the copper mines of their region for generations past, in their own primitive way, with astonishing results. They not only annually barter several tons of copper ingots, but they possess the art of manufacturing pots, cauldrons, tobacco-pipes, and other utensils made of that metal. They also understand the extraction of gold, which they obtain in very small quantities by crushing the quartz between heavy stones.

Specimens of the different tribes and races of these Islands were on view at the Philippine Exhibition held in Madrid in 1887. Some of them consented to receive Christian baptism before returning home, but it was publicly stated that the Igorrotes were among those who positively refused to abandon their own belief.

A selection of this tribe was included in the Filipinos on show at the San Louis Exhibition (U.S.A.) in 1904, and attracted particular attention. Some of them liked the United States so much that they tried hard to break away from their keepers in order to remain there.

The Calingas are a branch of the Igorrotes, found along the Cagayán River around Ilagán. They are not only head-hunters, but cannibals. A friend of mine, an American colonel, was up there some [126]time during the war, and explained to me the difficulty he had in convincing a Calinga chief that a manʼs head is his personal property, and that to steal it is a crime.

The Igorrote-Chinese are supposed to be the descendants of the Chinese who fled to the hills on the departure of the corsair Li-ma-hong from Pangasinán Province in 1754 (vide p. 50). Their intermarriage with the Igorrote tribe has generated a caste of people quite unique in their character. Their habits are much the same as those of the pure Igorrotes, but with their fierce nature is blended the cunning and astuteness of the Mongol; and although their intelligence may be often misapplied, yet it is superior to that of the pure Igorrote. In the Province of Pangasinán there are numbers of natives of Chinese descent included in the domesticated population, and their origin is evidently due to the circumstances mentioned.

The Tingulanes inhabit principally the district of El Abra (N.W. coast, Luzon Is.). They were nominally under the control of the Spanish Government, who appointed their headmen petty governors of villages or ranches on the system adopted in the subdued districts. According to Father Ferrando (63 years ago), the form of oath taken in his presence by the newly-elected headman on receiving the staff of office was the following, viz.:—“May a pernicious wind touch me; may a flash of lightning kill me, and may the alligator catch me asleep if I fail to fulfil my duty.” The headman presented himself almost when he chose to the nearest Spanish Governor, who gave him his orders, which were only fulfilled according to the traditional custom of the tribe. Thus, the headman, on his return to the ranche, delegated his powers to the council of elders, and according to their decision he acted as the executive only. Whenever it was possible, they applied their own lex non scripta in preference to acting upon the Spanish Code.

According to their law, the crime of adultery is punished by a fine of 30 pesos value and divorce, but if the adultery has been mutual, the divorce is pronounced absolute, without the payment of a fine.

When a man is brought to justice on an accusation which he denies, a handful of straw is burnt in his presence. He is made to hold up an earthenware pot and say as follows:—“May my belly be converted into a pot like this, if I have committed the deed attributed to me.” If the transformation does not take place at once, he is declared to be innocent.

The Tinguianes are pagans, but have no temples. Their gods are hidden in the mountain cavities. Like many other religionists, they believe in the efficacy of prayer for the supply of their material wants. Hence if there be too great an abundance of rain, or too little of it, or an epidemic disease raging, or any calamity affecting the community in general, the Anitos (images representing the gods or saints) are [127]carried round and exhorted, whilst Nature continues her uninterrupted course. The minister of Anito is also appealed to when a child is to be named. The infant is carried into the woods, and the pagan priest pronounces the name, whilst he raises a bowie-knife over the newborn creatureʼs head. On lowering the knife, he strikes at a tree. If the tree emits sap, the first name uttered stands good; if not, the ceremony is repeated, and each time the name is changed until the oozing sap denotes the will of the deity.

The Tinguianes are monogamists, and generally are forced by the parents to marry before the age of puberty, but the bridegroom, or his father or elder, has to purchase the bride at a price mutually agreed upon by the relations. These people live in cabins on posts or trees 60 to 70 feet from the ground, and defend themselves from the attacks of their traditional enemies, the Guinaanes, by heaving stones upon them. Nevertheless, in the more secure vicinities of the christian villages, these people build their huts similar to those of the domesticated natives. From the doors and window-openings skulls of buffaloes and horses are hung as talismans.

Physically they are of fine form, and the nose is aquiline. They wear the hair in a tuft on the crown, like the Japanese, but their features are similar to the ordinary lowland native. They are fond of music and personal ornaments. They tattoo themselves and black their teeth; and for these, and many other reasons, it is conjectured that they descend from the Japanese shipwrecked crews who, being without means at hand with which to return to their country, took to the mountains inland from the west coast of Luzon. I spent several months with this tribe, but I have never seen a Tinguian with a bow and arrow; they carry the lance as the common weapon, and for hunting and spearing fish.

Their conversion to Christianity has proved to be an impossible task. A Royal Decree of Ferdinand VI.. dated in Aranjuez, June 18, 1758, sets forth that the infidels called Tinguianes, Igorrotes, and by other names who should accept Christian baptism, should be exempt all their lives from the payment of tribute and forced labour. Their offspring, however, born to them after receiving baptism, would lose these privileges as well as the independence enjoyed by their forefathers. This penalty to future generations for becoming Christians was afterwards extended to all the undomesticated races.

Many of these tribes did a little barter traffic with the Chinese, but—with the hope that necessity would bring them down to the christian villages to procure commodities, and thus become socialized—the Government prohibited this trade in 1886.

The Tinguianes appear to be as intelligent as the ordinary subdued natives. They are by no means savages, and they are not entirely strangers to domestic life. A great many Christian families of El Abra [128]and Ilocos Sur are of Tinguian origin, and I may mention here that the Ilocano dominated natives have the just reputation of being the most industrious Philippine people. For this reason, Ilocano servants and workmen are sought for in preference to most others.

A Tagálog Girl

A Tagálog Girl

The Basanes are a very timid people who inhabit the mountains of Mindoro Island. They have long, lank hair and whitish faces, and do not appear to be of one of the original races. They are occasionally met with (when they do not hide themselves) in the cordillera which runs north-west to south-east and then ends off in two spurs, between which, after passing Mount Halcon, there is a large valley leading to the southern shore. The Manguianes, another Mindoro wild tribe, come to the coast villages sometimes to barter, and bring pieces of gold for the purpose. They also wear gold jewellery made of the metal extracted by themselves.

There is another race of people whose source is not distinctly known, but, according to tradition, they descend from the Sepoys who formed part of the troops under British command during the military occupation of Manila in 1763 (vide p. 88). The legend is, that these Hindoos, having deserted from the British army, migrated up the Pasig River. However that may be, the sharp-featured, black-skinned settlers in the Barrio de Dayap, of Cainta Town (Mórong district), are decidedly of a different stock to the ordinary native. The notable physical differences are the fine aquiline nose, bright expression, and regular features. They are Christians—far more laborious than the Philippine natives, and are a law-abiding people. I have known many of them personally for years. They were the only class who voluntarily presented themselves to pay the taxes to the Spaniards, and yet, on the ground that generations ago they were intruders on the soil, they were more heavily laden with imposts than their fellow-neighbours until the abolition of tribute in 1884.

A Pagan Type (Mindanao).

A Pagan Type (Mindanao).

There are also to be seen in these Islands a few types of that class of tropical inhabitant, preternaturally possessed of a white skin and extremely fair hair—sometimes red—known as Albinos. I leave it to physiologists to elucidate the peculiarity of vital phenomena in these unfortunate abnormities of Nature. Amongst others, I once saw in Negros Island a hapless young Albino girl, with marble-white skin and very light pink-white hair, who was totally blind in the sunny hours of the day.

The Mahometan and other tribes, inhabiting the Sulu Sultanate, Mindanao, Palaúan (Parágua) and the adjacent islands of the South constituting “Moroland,” are described in Chapters x. and xxix. [129]

1 In old writings, laws, and documents, and in ordinary parlance up to the evacuation by the Spaniards in 1898, the inhabitants of these Islands (civilized or uncivilized) were almost invariably referred to as Indios, Indigenas, Naturales, Mestizos, Españoles-Filipinos, etc., the term “Filipino” being seldom used. The Revolution of 1896 generalized the appellation “Filipino” now in common use.

Throughout this work, “Filipino” is taken as the substantive and “Philippine” as the adjective, that being the correct English form.

The Americans, however, use “Filipino” both substantively and adjectivally.

2 For an exhaustive treatise on this subject the reader is recommended to peruse A. R. Wallaceʼs “The Malay Archipelago.” Published in London, 1869.

3 The Ibanacs are the ordinary domesticated natives inhabiting the extreme north of Luzon and the banks of the Rio Grande de Cagayán for some miles up. Some of them have almost black skins. I found them very manageable.

Mahometans and Southern Tribes

Simultaneously with the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, two Borneo chiefs, who were brothers, quarrelled about their respective possessions, and one of them had to flee. His partisans joined him, and they emigrated to the Island of Basílan,1 situated to the south of Zamboanga (Mindanao Is.). The Moros, as they are called in the Islands, are therefore supposed to be descended from the Mahometan Dyaks of Borneo. They were a valiant, warlike, piratical people, who admired bravery in others—had a deep-rooted contempt for poltroons, and lavished no mercy on the weak.

In the suite of this emigrant chief, called Paguian Tindig, catoe his cousin Adasaolan, who was so captivated by the fertility of Basílan Island that he wished to remain there; so Tindig left him in possession and withdrew to Sulu Island, where he easily reduced the natives to vassalage, for they had never yet had to encounter so powerful a foe. So famous did Paguian Tindig become that, for generations afterwards, the Sultans of Sulu were proud of their descent from such a celebrated hero. After the Spaniards had pacified the great Butuan chief on the north coast of Mindanao, Tindig consented to acknowledge the suzerainty of their king, in exchange for undisturbed possession of the realm which he had just founded.

Adasaolan espoused the Princess Paguian Goan, daughter of Dimasangcay, King of Mindanao, by his wife Imbog, a Sulu woman, and with this relationship he embraced the Mahometan faith. His ambition increased as good fortune came to him, and, stimulated by the promised support of his father-in-law, he invaded Sulu, attacked his cousin Tindig, and attempted to murder him in order to annex his kingdom. A short but fierce contest ensued. Tindigʼs fortified dwelling was besieged in vain. The posts which supported the upper storey were greased with oil, and an entrance could not be effected. Wearied of his failures, Adasaolan retired from the enterprise, and Tindig, in turn, declared war on the Basílan king after he had been to [130]Manila to solicit assistance from his Spanish suzerainʼs representative, who sent two armed boats to support him.

When Tindig, on his return from Manila, arrived within sight of Sulu, his anxious subjects rallied round him, and prepared for battle. The two armed boats furnished by the Spaniards were on the way, but, as yet, too far off to render help, so Adasaolan immediately fell upon Tindigʼs party and completely routed them. Tindig himself died bravely, fighting to the last moment, and the Spaniards, having no one to fight for when they arrived, returned to Manila with their armed boats.

Adasaolan, however, did not annex the territory of his defeated cousin. Rajah Bongso succeeded Tindig in the Government of Sulu, and when old age enfeebled him, he was wont to show with pride the scars inflicted on him during the war of independence.

Adasaolan then made alliances with Mindanao and Borneo people, and introduced the Mahometan religion into Sulu. Since then, Sulu (called “Joló,” by the Spaniards) has become the Mecca of the Southern Archipelago.2

The earliest records relating to Mindanao Island, since the Spanish annexation of the Philippines, show that about the year 1594 a rich Portuguese cavalier of noble birth, named Estevan Rodriguez, who had acquired a large fortune in the Philippines, and who had a wealthy brother in Mexico, proposed to the Governor Perez Dasmariñas the conquest of this island. For this purpose he offered his person and all his means, but having long waited in vain to obtain the royal sanction to his project, he prepared to leave for Mexico, disgusted and disappointed. He was on the point of starting for New Spain; he had his ship laden and his family on board, when the royal confirmation arrived with the new Governor, Dr. Antonio Morga (1595–96). Therefore he changed his plans, but despatched the laden ship to Mexico with the cargo, intending to employ the profits of the venture in the prosecution of his Mindanao enterprise. With the title of General, he and his family, together with three chaplain priests, started in another vessel for the south. They put in at Otong (Panay Is.) on the way, and left there in April, 1596. Having reached the great Mindanao River (Rio Grande), the ship went up it as far as Buhayen, in the territory of the chief Silongan. A party under Juan de la Jara, the Maestre de Campo, was sent ashore to reconnoitre the environs. Their delay in returning caused alarm, so the General buckled on his shield, and, with sword in hand, disembarked, accompanied by a Cebuáno servant and two Spaniards, carrying lances. On the way they met a native, who raised his campilán to deal a blow, which the General received on his shield, and cut down the foe to the waist. [131]Then they encountered another, who clove the Generalʼs head almost in two, causing his death in six hours. The Cebuáno at once ran the native through with a lance. This brave was discovered to be the youngest brother of the chief Silongan, who had sworn to Mahomet to sacrifice his life to take that of the Castilian invader.

The Generalʼs corpse was sent to Manila for interment. The expedition led by the Maestre de Campo fared badly, one of the party being killed, another seriously wounded, and the rest fleeing on board. The next day it was decided to construct trenches at the mouth of the river, where the camp was established. The command was taken by the Maestre de Campo, whose chief exploit seems to have been that he made love to the deceased Generalʼs widow and proposed marriage to her, which she indignantly rejected. Nothing was gained by the expedition, and after the last priest died, the project was abandoned and the vessel returned to Cebú.

In 1638 another expedition against the Moros was headed by the Gov.-General Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, who made the first landing of troops in Sulu Island on April 17 of that year. He also established some military posts on the coast of Mindanao Island, one of which was Sampanilla (now called Malábang) on the Illana Bay shore. Four years afterwards it was abandoned until 1891, when General Weyler went there and had a fort built, which still exists.

It would appear that all over these Islands the strong preyed on the weak, and the boldest warrior or oppressor assumed the title of Sultan, Datto, etc., over all the territory he could dominate, making the dignity hereditary. So far as can be ascertained, one of the oldest titles was that of Prince of Sibuguey, whose territory was situated on the bay of that name which washes the N.E. coast of Zamboanga Province. The title fell into disuse, and the grandson of the last prince, the present Manguiguin, or Sultan of Mindanao, resides at Dinas. The sultanate dates from the year 1640, but, in reality, there never was a sultan with effective jurisdiction over the whole island, as the title would seem to imply. The Sultanʼs heir is styled the Rajahmudah.

The alliances effected between the Sulu and Mindanao potentates gave a great stimulus to piracy, which hitherto had been confined to the waters in the locality of those islands. It now spread over the whole of the Philippine Archipelago, and was prosecuted with great vigour by regular organized fleets, carrying weapons almost equal to those of the Spaniards. In meddling with the Mahometan territories the Spaniards may be said to have unconsciously lighted on a hornetsʼ nest. Their eagerness for conquest stirred up the implacable hatred of the Mahometan for the Christian, and they unwittingly brought woe upon their own heads for many generations. Indeed, if half the consequences could have been foreseen, they surely never would have attempted to gain what, up to their last day, they [132]failed to secure, namely, the complete conquest of Mindanao and the Sulu Sultanate.

Weapons of the Moros.

Weapons of the Moros.

(Left) “Bárong”; (right) “Kris”; (centre) The Sultan of Suluʼs dress sword, presented to the author by His Excellency.

For over two and a half centuries Mahometan war-junks ravaged every coast of the Colony. Not a single peopled island was spared. Thousands of the inhabitants were murdered, whilst others were carried into slavery for years. Villages were sacked; the churches were looted; local trade was intercepted; the natives subject to Spain were driven into the highlands, and many even dared not risk their lives and goods near the coasts. The utmost desolation and havoc were perpetrated, and militated vastly against the welfare and development of the Colony. For four years the Government had to remit the payment of tribute in Negros Island, and the others lying between it and Luzon, on account of the abject poverty of the natives, due to these raids. From the time the Spaniards first interfered with the Mahometans there was continual warfare. Expeditions against the pirates were constantly being fitted out by each succeeding Governor. Piracy was indeed an incessant scourge and plague on the Colony, and it cost the Spaniards rivers of blood and millions of dollars only to keep it in check.

In the last century the Mahometans appeared even in the Bay of Manila. I was acquainted with several persons who had been in Mahometan captivity. There were then hundreds who still remembered, with anguish, the insecurity to which their lives and properties were exposed. The Spaniards were quite unable to cope with such a prodigious calamity. The coast villagers built forts for their own defence, and many an old stone watch-tower is still to be seen on the islands south of Luzon. On several occasions the Christian natives were urged, by the inducement of spoil, to equip corsairs, with which to retaliate on the indomitable marauders. The Sulu people made captive the Christian natives and Spaniards alike, whilst a Spanish priest was a choice prize. And whilst Spaniards in Philippine waters were straining every nerve to extirpate slavery, their countrymen were diligently pursuing a profitable trade in it between the West Coast of Africa and Cuba!

One must admit that, indirectly, the Mahometan attacks had the good political effect of forcing hundreds of Christians up from the coast to people and cultivate the interior of these Islands.

Due to the enterprise of a few Spanish and foreign merchants, steamers at length began to navigate the waters of the Archipelago, provided with arms for defence, and piracy by Mahometans beyond their own locality was doomed. In the time of Gov.-General Norzagaray (1857–60), 18 steam gunboats were ordered out, and arrived in 1860, putting a close for ever to this epoch of misery, bloodshed, and material loss. The end of piracy brought repose to the Colony, and in no small degree facilitated its social advancement.

During the protracted struggle with the Mahometans, Zamboanga (Mindanao Is.) was fortified, and became the headquarters of the [133]Spaniards in the south. After Cavite it was the chief naval station, and a penitentiary was also established there.3 Its maintenance was a great burden to the Treasury—its existence a great eyesore to the enemy, whose hostility was much inflamed thereby. About the year 1635 its abandonment was proposed by the military party, who described it as only a sepulchre for Spaniards. The Jesuits, however, urged its continuance, as it suited their interests to have material support close at hand, and their influence prevailed in Manila bureaucratic centres.

In 1738 the fixed annual expenses of Zamboanga fort and equipment were 17,500 pesos, and the incidental disbursements were estimated at 7,500 pesos. These sums did not include the cost of scores of armed fleets which, at enormous expense, were sent out against the Mahometans to little purpose. Each new (Zamboanga) Governor of a martial spirit, and desiring to do something to establish or confirm his fame for prowess, seemed to regard it as a kind of duty to premise the quelling of imaginary troubles in Sulu and Mindanao. Some, with less patriotism than selfishness, found a ready excuse for filling their own pockets by the proceeds of warfare, in making feigned efforts to rescue captives. It may be observed, in extenuation, that, in those days, the Spaniards believed from their birth that none but a Christian had rights, whilst some were deluded by a conscientious impression that they were executing a high mission; myth as it was, it at least served to give them courage in their perilous undertakings. Peace was made and broken over and over again. Spanish forts were at times established in Sulu, and afterwards demolished. Every decade brought new devices to control the desperate foe. Several Governors-General headed the troops in person against the Mahometans with temporary success, but without any lasting effect, and almost every new Governor made a solemn treaty with one powerful chief or another, which was respected only as long as it suited both parties. This continued campaign, the details of which are too prolix for insertion here, may be qualified as a religious war, for Roman Catholic priests took an active part in the operations with the same ardent passion as the Mahometans themselves. Among these tonsured warriors who acquired great fame out of their profession may be mentioned Father Ducos, the son of a Colonel, José Villanueva, and Pedro de San Agustin, the last being known, with dread, by the Mahometans in the beginning of the 17th century under the title of the Captain-priest. One of the most renowned kings in Mindanao was Cachil Corralat, an astute, far-seeing chieftain, who ably defended the independence of his territory, and kept the Spaniards at bay during the whole of his manhood.

An interesting event in the Spanish-Sulu history is the visit of [134]the Sultan Mahamad Alimudin to the Gov.-General in 1750, and his subsequent vicissitudes of fortune. The first royal despatch addressed by the King of Spain to the Sultan of Sulu was dated in Buen Retiro, July 12, 1744, and everything, for the time being, seemed to augur a period of peace. In 1749, however, the Sultan was violently deposed by an ambitious brother, Prince Bantilan, and the Sultan forthwith went to Manila to seek the aid of his suzerainʼs delegate, the Gov.-General of the Philippines, who chanced to be the Bishop of Nueva Segovia. In Manila the Priest-Governor cajoled his guest with presents, and accompanied him on horseback and on foot, with the design of persuading him to renounce his religion in favour of Christianity. The Sultan finally yielded, and avowed his intention to receive baptism. Among the friars an animated discussion ensued as to the propriety of this act, special opposition being raised by the Jesuits; but in the end the Sultan, with a number of his suite, outwardly embraced the Christian faith. The Sultan at his baptism received the name of Ferdinand I. of Sulu; at the same time he was invested with the insignia and grade of a Spanish Lieut.-General. Great ceremonies and magnificent feasts followed this unprecedented incident. He was visited and congratulated by all the élite of the capital. By proclamation, the festivities included four daysʼ illumination, three daysʼ procession of the giants,4 three days of bull-fighting, four nights of fireworks, and three nights of comedy, to terminate with High Mass, a Te Deum, and special sermon for the occasion.

In the meantime, the Sultan had requested the Governor to have the Crown Prince, Princesses, and retainers escorted to Manila to learn Spanish manners and customs, and on their arrival the Sultan and his male and female suite numbered 60 persons. The Bishop-Governor defrayed the cost of their maintenance out of his private purse until after the baptism, and thenceforth the Government supported them in Manila for two years. At length it was resolved, according to appearances, to restore the Sultan Ferdinand I. to his throne. With that idea, he and his retinue quitted Manila in the Spanish frigate San Fernando, which was convoyed by another frigate and a galley, until the San Fernando fell in with bad weather off Mindoro Island, and had to make the Port of Calapan. Thence he proceeded to Yloilo, where he changed vessel and set sail for Zamboanga, but contrary winds carried him to Dapítan (N.W. coast of Mindanao Is.), where he landed and put off again in a small Visayan craft for Zamboanga, arriving there on July 12, 1751. Thirteen days afterwards the San Fernando, which had been repaired, reached Zamboanga also.

Before Ferdinand I. left Manila he had (at the instance of the Spanish Gov.-General, José de Obando, 1750–54) addressed a letter to [135]Sultan Muhamad Amirubdin, of Mindanao. The original was written by Ferdinand I. in Arabic; a version in Spanish was dictated by him, and both were signed by him. These documents reached the Governor of Zamboanga by the San Fernando, but he had the original in Arabic retranslated, and found that it did not at all agree with the Sultanʼs Spanish rendering. The translation of the Arabic runs thus:—

“I shall be glad to know that the Sultan Muhamad Amirubdin and all his chiefs, male and female, are well. I do not write a lengthy letter, as I intended, because I simply wish to give you to understand, in case the Sultan or his chiefs and others should feel aggrieved at my writing this letter in this manner, that I do so under pressure, being under foreign dominion, and I am compelled to obey whatever they tell me to do, and I have to say what they tell me to say. Thus the Governor has ordered me to write to you in our style and language; therefore, do not understand that I am writing you on my own behalf, but because I am ordered to do so, and I have nothing more to add. Written in the year 1164 on the ninth day of the Rabilajer Moon, Ferdinand I., King of Sulu, who seals with his own seal.”

This letter was pronounced treasonable. Impressed with, or feigning, this idea, the Spaniards saw real or imaginary indications of a design on the part of the Sultan to throw off the foreign yoke at the first opportunity. All his acts were thus interpreted, although no positive proof was manifest, and the Governor communicated his suspicions to Manila. There is no explanation why the Spaniards detained the Sultan at Zamboanga, unless with the intention of trumping up accusations against him. The Sultan arrived there on July 12, and nothing was known of the discrepancy between the letters until after July 25. To suppose that the Sultan could ever return to reign peacefully as a Christian over Mahometan subjects was utterly absurd to any rational mind.

On August 3 the Sultan, his sons, vassals, and chiefs were all cast into prison, without opposition, and a letter was despatched, dated August 6, 1751, to the Governor in Manila, stating the cause. The Sultan was the first individual arrested, and he made no difficulty about going to the fort. Even the Prince Asin, the Sultanʼs brother, who had voluntarily come from Sulu in apparent good faith with friendly overtures to the Spaniards, was included among the prisoners. The reason assigned was, that he had failed to surrender christian captives as provided.

The prisoners, besides the Sultan, were the following, viz.:—


The political or other crime (if any) attributed to these last is not stated, nor why they were imprisoned. The few weapons brought, according to custom, by the followers of the Sultan who had come from Sulu to receive their liege-lord and escort him back to his country, were also seized.

A decree of Gov.-General José de Obando set forth the following accusations against the prisoners, viz.:—

(1) That Prince Asin had not surrendered captives. (2) That whilst the Sultan was in Manila, new captives were made by the party who expelled him from the throne. (3) That the number of arms brought to Zamboanga by Sulu chiefs was excessive. (4) That the letter to Sultan Muhamad Amirubdin insinuated help wanted against the Spaniards. (5) That several Mahometan, but no christian books were found in the Sultanʼs baggage. (6) That during the journey to Zamboanga he had refused to pray in christian form. (7) That he had only attended Mass twice. (8) That he had celebrated Mahometan rites, sacrificing a goat; and had given evidence in a hundred ways of being a Mahometan. (9) That his conversation generally denoted a want of attachment to the Spaniards, and a contempt for their treatment of him in Manila,5 and, (10) that he still cohabited with his concubines, contrary to christian usage.

The greatest stress was laid on the recovery of the captive Christians, and the Gov.-General admitted that although the mission of the fleet was to restore the Sultan to the throne (which, by the way, does not appear to have been attempted), the principal object was the rescue of christian slaves. He therefore proposed that the liberty of the imprisoned nobles and chiefs should be bartered at the rate of 500 christian slaves for each one of the chiefs and nobles, and the balance of the captives for Prince Asin and the clergy. One may surmise, from this condition, that the number of Christians in captivity was very considerable.

A subsequent decree, dated in Manila December 21, 1751, ordered the extermination of the Mahometans with fire and sword; the fitting out of Visayan corsairs, with authority to extinguish the foe, burn all that was combustible, destroy the crops, desolate their cultivated land, make captives, and recover christian slaves. One-fifth of the spoil (the Real quinto) was to belong to the King, and the natives were to be exempt from the payment of tribute whilst so engaged.

Before giving effect to such a terrible, but impracticable resolution, it was thought expedient to publish a pamphlet styled a “Historical Manifest,” in which the Gov.-General professed to justify his acts for public satisfaction. However, public opinion in Manila was averse to the intended warfare, so to make it more popular, the Governor [137]abolished the payment of one-fifth of the booty to the King. An appeal was made to the citizens of Manila for arms and provisions to carry on the campaign; they therefore lent or gave the following, viz.:—Twenty-six guns, 13 bayonets, 3 sporting guns, 15 carbines, 5 blunderbusses, 7 braces of pistols, 23 swords, 15 lances, 900 cannon balls, and 150 pesos from Spaniards, and a few lances and 188 pesos from natives.

Meanwhile, Prince Asin died of grief at his position.

Under the leadership of the Maestre de Campo of Zamboanga, hostilities commenced. With several ships he proceeded to Sulu, carrying a large armament and 1,900 men. When the squadron anchored off Sulu, a white and a red flag were hoisted from the principal fort, for the Spaniards to elect either peace or war. Several Sulus approached the fleet with white flags, to inquire for the Sultan. Evasive answers were given, followed by a sudden cannonade.

No good resulted to the Spaniards from the attack, for the Sulus defended themselves admirably. Tawi Tawi Island was next assaulted. A captain landed there with troops, but their retreat was cut off and they were all slain. The Commander of the expedition was so discouraged that he returned to Zamboanga and resigned. Pedro Gastambide then took command, but after having attacked Basílan Island fruitlessly, he retired to Zamboanga. The whole campaign was an entire fiasco. It was a great mistake to have declared a war of extermination without having the means to carry it out. The result was that the irate Sulus organized a guerilla warfare, by sea and by land, against all Christians, to which the Spaniards but feebly responded. The “tables were turned.” In fact, they were in great straits, and, wearied at the little success of their arms, endless councils and discussions were held in the capital.

Meanwhile, almost every coast of the Archipelago was energetically ravaged. Hitherto the Spaniards had only had the Sulus to contend with, but the licence given by the Gov.-General to reprisal excited the cupidity of unscrupulous officials, and, without apparent right or reason, the Maestre de Campo of Zamboanga caused a Chinese junk from Amoy, carrying goods to a friendly Sultan of Mindanao, to be seized. After tedious delay, vexation, and privation, the master and his crew were released and a part of the cargo restored, but the Maestre de Campo insisted upon retaining what he chose for his own use. This treachery to an amicable chief exasperated and undeceived the Mindanao Sultan to such a degree that he forthwith took his revenge by co-operating with the Sulus in making war on the Spaniards. Fresh fleets of armed canoes replenished the Sulu armadillas, ravaged the coasts, hunted down the Spanish priests, and made captives.

On the north coast of Mindanao several battles took place. There is a legend that over 600 Mahometans advanced to the village of Lubungan, but were repulsed by the villagers, who declared their [138]patron, Saint James, appeared on horseback to help them. Fray Roque de Santa Mónica was chased from place to place, hiding in caves and rocks. Being again met by four Mahometans, he threatened them with a blunderbuss, and was left unmolested. Eventually he was found by friendly natives, and taken by them to a wood, where he lived on roots. Thence he journeyed to Linao, became raving mad, and was sent to Manila, where he died quite frantic, in the convent of his Order.

The Sultan and his fellow-prisoners had been conveyed to Manila and lodged in the Fortress of Santiago. In 1753 he petitioned the Gov.-General to allow his daughter, the Princess Faatima, and two slaves to go to Sulu about his private affairs. A permit was granted on condition of her returning, or, in exchange for her liberty and that of her two slaves, to remit 50 captives, and, failing to do either, the Sultan and his suite were to be deprived of their dignities and treated as common slaves, to work in the galleys, and to be undistinguished among the ordinary prisoners. On these conditions, the Princess left, and forwarded 50 slaves, and one more—a Spaniard, José de Montesinos—as a present.

The Princess Faatima, nevertheless, did return to Manila, bringing with her an Ambassador from Prince Bantilan, her uncle and Governor of Sulu, who, in the meantime, had assumed the title of Sultan Mahamad Miududin. The Ambassador was Prince Mahamad Ismael Datto Marayalayla. After an audience with the Governor, he went to the fort to consult with the captive Sultan, and they proposed a treaty with the Governor, of which the chief terms were as follows, viz.:—

An offensive and defensive alliance.

All captives within the Sultanate of Sulu to be surrendered within one year.

All articles looted from the churches to be restored within one year.

On the fulfilment of these conditions, the Sultan and his people were to be set at liberty.

The treaty was dated in Manila March 3, 1754. The terms were quite impossible of accomplishment, for the Sultan, being still in prison, had no power to enforce commands on his subjects.

The war was continued at great sacrifice to the State and with little benefit to the Spaniards, whilst their operations were greatly retarded by discord between the officials of the expedition, the authorities on shore, and the priests. At the same time, dilatory proceedings were being taken against the Maestre de Campo of Zamboanga, who was charged with having appropriated to himself othersʼ share of the war booty. Siargao Island (off the N.E. point of Mindanao Is.) had been completely overrun by the Mahometans; the villages and cultivated land were laid waste, and the Spanish priest was killed.

When the Governor Pedro de Arandia arrived in 1754, the Sultan took advantage of the occasion to put his case before him. He had, indeed, experienced some of the strangest mutations of fortune, and [139]Arandia had compassion on him. By Arandiaʼs persuasion, the Archbishop visited and spiritually examined him, and then the Sultan confessed and took the Communion. In the College of Santa Potenciana there was a Mahometan woman who had been a concubine of the Sultan, but who now professed Christianity, and had taken the name of Rita Calderon. The Sultanʼs wife having died, he asked for this ex-concubine in marriage, and the favour was conceded to him. The nuptials were celebrated in the Governorʼs Palace on April 27, 1755, and the espoused couple returned to their prison with an allowance of 50 pesos per month for their maintenance.

In 1755 all the Sultanʼs relations and suite who had been incarcerated in Manila, except his son Ismael and a few chiefs, were sent back to Sulu. The Sultan and his chiefs were then allowed to live freely within the city of Manila, after having sworn before the Governor, on bended knees, to pay homage to him, and to remain peaceful during the Kingʼs pleasure. Indeed, Governor Arandia was so favourably disposed towards the Sultan Mahamad Alimudin (Ferdinand I.) that personally he was willing to restore him to his throne, but his wish only brought him in collision with the clergy, and he desisted.

The British, after the military occupation of Manila in 1763, took up the cause of the Sultan, and reinstated him in Sulu. Then he avenged himself on the Spaniards by fomenting incursions against them in Mindanao, which the Gov.-General, José Raon, was unable to oppose for want of resources. The Mahometans, however, soon proved their untrustworthiness to friend and foe alike. Their friendship lasted on the one side so long as danger could thereby be averted from the other, and a certain Datto Teng-teng attacked the British garrison one night at Balambangan and slaughtered all but six of the troops (vide pp. 92, 98).

In 1836 the sovereignty of the Sultan was distinctly recognized in a treaty made between him and Spain, whereby the Sultan had the right to collect dues on Spanish craft entering Joló, whilst Sulu vessels paid dues to the Spaniards in their ports as foreign vessels.

In 1844 Gov.-General Narciso Claveria led an expedition against the Moros and had a desperate, but victorious, struggle with them at the fort of Balanguigui (an islet 14 miles due east of Sulu Is.), for which he was rewarded with the title of Conde de Manila.

The town of Sulu (Joló) was formerly the residence of the Sultanʼs Court. This Sovereign had arrogantly refused to check the piratical cruisings made by his people against Spanish subjects in the locality and about the Islands of Calamianes; therefore, on February 11, 1851, General Antonio de Urbiztondo, Marquis de la Solana (an ex-Carlist chief), who had been appointed Gov.-General of the Philippines in the previous year, undertook to redress his nationʼs grievances by force. The Spanish flag was hoisted in several places. Sulu town, which was shelled by the gunboats, was captured and held by the [140]invaders, and the Sultan Muhamed Pulalon fled to Maybun on the south coast, to which place the Court was permanently removed. At the close of this expedition another treaty was signed (1851), which provided for the annual payment of ₱1,500 to the Sultan and ₱600 each to three dattos, on condition that they would suppress piracy and promote mutual trade. Still the Mahometans paid the Spaniards an occasional visit and massacred the garrison, which was as often replaced by fresh levies.

In 1876 the incursions of the Mahometans and the temerity of the chiefs had again attained such proportions that European dominion over the Sulu Sultanate and Mindanao, even in the nominal form in which it existed, was sorely menaced. Consequent on this, an expedition, headed by Vice-Admiral Malcampo, arrived in the waters of the Sultanate, carrying troops, with the design of enforcing submission. The chief of the land forces appears to have had no topographical plan formed. The expedition turned out to be one of discovery. The troops were marched into the interior, without their officers knowing where they were going, and they even had to depend on Sulu guides. Naturally, they were often deceived, and led to precisely where the Mahometans were awaiting them in ambush, the result being that great havoc was made in the advance column by frequent surprises. Now and again would appear a few juramentados, or sworn Mahometans, who sought their way to Allah by the sacrifice of their own blood, but causing considerable destruction to the invading party. With a kris at the waist, a javelin in one hand, and a shield supported by the other, they would advance before the enemy, dart forward and backwards, make zigzag movements, and then, with a war-whoop, rush in three or four at a time upon a body of Christians twenty times their number, giving no quarter, expecting none—to die, or to conquer! The expedition was not a failure, but it gained little. The Spanish flag was hoisted in several places, including Sulu (Joló), where it remained from February 29, 1876, until the Spanish evacuation of the Islands in 1898.

The Mahometans (called by the Spaniards Moros) now extend over nine-tenths of Mindanao Island, and the whole of the Sultanate of Sulu, which comprises Sulu Island (34 miles long from E. to W., and 12 miles in the broadest part from N. to S.) and about 140 others, 80 to 90 of which are uninhabited.

The native population of the Sulu Sultanate alone would be about 100,000, including free people, slaves, and some 20,000 men-at-arms under orders of the Dattos.6 The domains of His Highness reach westward as far as Borneo, where, up to 25 years ago, the Sultanate of [141]Brunei7 was actually tributary (and now nominally so) to that of Sulu. The Sultan of Sulu is also feudal lord of two vassal Sultanates in Mindanao Island. There is, moreover, a half-caste branch of these people in the southern half of Palauan Island (Parágua) of a very subdued and peaceful nature, compared with the Sulu, nominally under the Sulu Sultanʼs rule.

In Mindanao Island only a small coast district here and there was really under Spanish empire, although Spain (by virtue of an old treaty, which never was respected to the letter) claimed suzerainty over all the territory subject to the Sultan of Sulu. After the Sulu war of 1876 the Sultan admitted the claim more formally, and on March 11, 1877, a protocol was signed by England and Germany recognizing Spainʼs rights to the Tawi Tawi group and the chain of islands stretching from Sulu to Borneo. At the same time it was understood that Spain would give visible proof of annexation by establishing military posts, or occupying these islands in some way, but nothing was done until 1880, when Spain was stirred into action by a report that the Germans projected a settlement there. A convict corps at once took possession, military posts were established, and in 1882 the 6th Regiment of regular troops was quartered in the group at Bongao and Siassi.

Meanwhile, in 1880, a foreign colonizing company was formed in the Sultanate of Brunei, under the title of “British North Borneo Co.” (Royal Charter of November 7, 1881). The company recognized the suzerain rights of the Sultan of Sulu, and agreed to pay to him an annual sum as feudal lord. Spain protested that the territory was hers, but could show nothing to confirm the possession. There was no flag, or a detachment of troops, or anything whatsoever to indicate that the coast was under European protection or dominion. Notes were exchanged between the Cabinets of Madrid and London, and Spain relinquished for ever her claim to the Borneo fief of Brunei.

The experience of the unfortunate Sultan Alimudin (Ferdinand I.) taught the Sulu people such a sad lesson that subsequent sultans have not cared to risk their persons in the hands of the Spaniards. There was, moreover, a Nationalist Party which repudiated dependence on Spain, and hoped to be able eventually to drive out the Spaniards. Therefore, in 1885, when the heir to the throne, Mohammad Jamalul Kiram (who was then about 15 years old) was cited to Manila to receive his investiture at the hands of the Gov.-General, he refused to comply, and the Government at once offered the Sultanate to his uncle, Datto Harun Narrasid, who accepted it, and presented himself to the Gov.-General in the capital.

The ceremony of investiture took place in the Government House at Malacañan near Manila on September 24, 1886, when Datto Harun took the oath of allegiance to the King of Spain as his sovereign lord, [142]and received from the Gov.-General, Emilio Terrero, the title of His Excellency Paduca Majasari Maulana Amiril Mauminin Sultan Muhamad Harun Narrasid, with the rank of a Spanish lieut.-general. The Gov.-General was attended by his Secretary, the Official Interpreter, and several high officers. In the suite of the Sultan-elect were his Secretary, Tuan Hadji Omar, a priest, Pandita Tuan Sik Mustafá, and several dattos. For the occasion, the Sultan-elect was dressed in European costume, and wore a Turkish fez with a heavy tassel of black silk. His Secretary and Chaplain appeared in long black tunics, white trousers, light shoes, and turbans. Two of the remainder of his suite adopted the European fashion, but the others wore rich typical Moorish vestments.

The Sultan returned to his country, and in the course of three months the Nationalist Party chiefs openly took up arms against the King of Spainʼs nominee, the movement spreading to the adjacent islands of Siassi and Bongao, which form part of the Sultanate.8

The Mahometans on the Great Mindanao River, from Cottabato9 upwards, openly defied Spanish authority; and in the spring of 1886 the Government were under the necessity of organizing an expedition against them. The Spaniards had ordered that native craft should carry the Spanish flag, otherwise they would be treated as pirates or rebels. In March, 1887, the cacique of the Simonor ranche (Bongao Is.), named Pandan, refused any longer to hoist the christian ensign, and he was pursued and taken prisoner. He was conveyed on the gunboat Panay to Sulu, and on being asked by the Governor why he had ceased to use the Spanish flag, he haughtily replied that “he would only answer such a question to the Captain-General,” and refused to give any further explanation. Within a month after his arrest the garrison of Sulu (Joló) was strengthened by 377 men, in expectation of an immediate general rising, which indeed took place. The Spanish forces were led by Majors Mattos and Villa Abrille, under the command of Brig.-General Seriná. They were stoutly opposed by a cruel and despotic chief, named Utto, who advanced at the head of his subjects and slaves. With the co-operation of the gunboats up the river, the Mahometans were repulsed with great loss.

Scores of expeditions had been led against the Mindanao natives, and their temporary submission had usually been obtained by the Spaniards—on whose retirement, however, the natives always reverted to their old customs, and took their revenge on the settlers. Moreover, the petty jealousies existing between the highest officers in the south rendered every peaceful effort fruitless. [143]

Datto Utto having defiantly proclaimed that no Spaniard should ever enter his territory, an armed expedition was fitted out; and from the example of his predecessor in 1881 (vide p. 124) the Gov.-General, Emilio Terrero, perchance foresaw in a little war the vision of titles and more material reward, besides counterbalancing his increasing unpopularity in Manila, due to the influence of my late friend, the Government Secretary Felipe Canga-Argüelles. Following in the wake of those who had successfully checked the Mahometans in the previous spring, he took the chief command in person in the beginning of January, 1887, to force a recantation of Datto Uttoʼs utterances.

The petty Sultans of Bacat, Buhayen and Kudaran͠gan in vain united their fortunes with those of Utto. The stockades of cocoanut trunks, palma-bravas (q.v.) and earth (cottas) were easily destroyed by the Spanish artillery, and their defenders fled under a desultory fire. There were very few casualties on either side. Some of the Christian native infantry soldiers suffered from the bamboo spikes (Spanish, puas) set in the ground around the stockades, but the enemy had not had time to cover with brushwood the pits dug for the attacking party to fall into. In about two months the operations ended by the submission of some chiefs of minor importance and influence; and after spending so much powder and shot and Christian blood, the General had not even the satisfaction of seeing either the man he was fighting against or his enemyʼs ally, the Sultan of Kudaran͠gan. This latter sent a priest, Pandita Kalibaudang, and Datto Andig to sue for peace and cajole the General with the fairest promises. Afterwards the son and heir of this chief, Rajahmudah Tambilanang, presented himself, and he and his suite of 30 followers were conducted to the camp in the steam launch Carriedo. Utto, whose residence had been demolished, had not deigned to submit in person, but sent, as emissaries, Dattos Sirun͠gang, Buat and Dalandung, who excused only the absence of Uttoʼs prime minister. Capitulations of peace were handed to Uttoʼs subordinates, who were told to bring them back signed without delay, for despatches from the Home Government, received four or five weeks previously, were urging the General to conclude this affair as speedily as possible. They were returned signed by Utto—or by somebody else—and the same signature and another, supposed to be that of his wife, the Ranee Pudtli (a woman of great sway amongst her people) were also attached to a letter, offering complete submission.

The Spaniards destroyed a large quantity of rice-paddy, and stipulated for the subsequent payment of a war indemnity in the form of cannons (lantacas), buffaloes, and horses.

The General gave the emissaries some trifling presents, and they went their way and he his,—to Manila, which he entered in state on March 21, with flags flying, music playing, and the streets decorated with bunting of the national colours, to give welcome to the conqueror [144]of the Mahometan chief—whom he had never seen—the bearer of peace capitulations signed—by whom? As usual, a Te Deum was celebrated in the Cathedral for the victories gained over the infidels; the officers and troops who had returned were invited by the Municipality to a theatrical performance, and the Gov.-General held a reception in the Palace of Malacañan. Some of the troops were left in Mindanao, it having been resolved to establish armed outposts still farther up the river for the better protection of the port and settlement of Cottabato.

Whilst the Gov.-General headed this military parade in the Cottabato district, the ill-feeling of the Sulu natives towards the Spaniards was gradually maturing. An impending struggle was evident, and Colonel Juan Arolas, the Governor of Sulu, concentrated his forces in expectation. The Sulus, always armed, prepared for events in their cottas; Arolas demanded their surrender, which was refused, and they were attacked. Two cottas, well defended, were ultimately taken, not without serious loss to the Spaniards. In the report of the slain a captain was mentioned. Arolas then twice asked for authority to attack the Mahometans at Maybun, and was each time refused. At length, acting on his own responsibility, on April 15, 1887, he ordered a gunboat to steam round to Maybun and open fire at daybreak on the Sultanʼs capital, which was in possession of the party opposed to the Spanish nominee (Harun Narrasid). At 11 oʼclock the same night he started across country with his troops towards Maybun, and the next morning, whilst the enemy was engaged with the gunboat, he led the attack on the land side. The Mahometans, quite surprised, fought like lions, but were completely routed, and the seat of the Sultanate was razed to the ground. It was the most crushing defeat ever inflicted on the Sulu Nationalist Party. The news reached Manila on April 29, and great praise was justly accorded to Colonel Arolas, whose energetic operations contrasted so favourably with the Cottabato expedition. All manner of festivities in his honour were projected in Manila, but Arolas elected to continue the work of subduing the Moro country. Notwithstanding his well-known republican tendencies, on September 20, 1887, the Queen-Regent cabled through her Ministry her acknowledgment of Colonel Arolasʼ valuable services, and the pleasure it gave her to reward him with a Brig.-Generalʼs commission.10

In 1895 an expedition against the Mahometans was organized under the supreme command of Gov.-General Ramon Blanco. It was known as the Marahui (or Marauit) Campaign. The tribes around Lake Lanao (ancient name Malanao) and the Marahui district had, for some time past, made serious raids on the Spanish settlement at Ylígan, which is connected with Lake Lanao by a river navigable only by canoes. [145]Indeed, the lives and property of Christians in all the territory adjoining Yligan were in great jeopardy, and the Spanish authorities were set at defiance. It was therefore resolved, for the first time, to attack the tribes and destroy their cottas around the lake for the permanent tranquillity of Yligan. The Spanish and native troops alike suffered great hardships and privations. Steam launches in sections (constructed in Hong-Kong), small guns, and war material were carried up from Yligan to the lake by natives over very rugged ground. On the lake shore the launches were fitted up and operated on the lake, to the immense surprise of the tribes. From the land side their cottas were attacked and destroyed, under the command of my old friend Brig.-General Gonzalez Parrado. The operations, which lasted about three months, were a complete success, and General Gonzalez Parrado was rewarded with promotion to General of Division. Lake Lanao, with the surrounding district and the route down to Yligan, was in possession of the Spaniards, and in order to retain that possession without the expense of maintaining a large military establishment, it was determined to people the conquered territory with Christian families from Luzon and the other islands situated north of Mindanao. It was the attempt to carry out this colonizing scheme which gave significance to the Marahui Expedition and contributed to that movement which, in 1896, led to the downfall of Spanish rule in the Archipelago.

The last Spanish punitive expedition against the Mindanao Mahometans was sent in February, 1898, under the command of General Buille. The operations lasted only a few days. The enemy was driven into the interior with great loss, and one chief was slain. The small gunboats built in Hong-Kong for the Marahui Campaign—the General Blanco, Corcuera, and Lanao—again did good service.

There are three branches or tribes of the Malanao Moros around the Lake Lanao:

The other principal Mindanao tribes are as follows, viz.:—Aetas, in the regions near Mount Apo (vide p. 121).

There is a large number of smaller tribes.

A few years ago we were all alarmed on Corpus Christi Day, during the solemn procession of that feast in Cottabato, by the sudden attack of a few Mahometans on the crowd of Christians assembled. Of course the former were overwhelmed and killed, as they quite expected to be. They were of that class known as juramentados, or sworn Mahometans, who believe that if they make a solemn vow, in a form binding on their consciences, to die taking the blood of a Christian, their souls will immediately migrate to the happy hunting-ground, where they will ever live in bliss, in the presence of the Great Prophet. This is the most dangerous sect of Mahometans, for no exhibition of force can suffice to stay their ravages, and they can only be treated like mad dogs, or like a Malay who has run ámok.

The face of a Mindanao south coast Moro is generally pleasant, but a smile spoils his appearance; the parting lips disclose a filthy aperture with dyed teeth in a mahogany coloured foam of masticated betel-nut. Holes as large as sixpences are in the ears of the women, who, when they have no ear-rings, wear a piece of reed with a vermilion tip. The dress is artistically fantastic, with the sárong and the jábul and no trousers visible. Apparently the large majority (perhaps 70 per cent.) of the Párang-Párang Moros have a loathsome skin disease. Those who live on shore crop their hair, but the swamp, river, and sea people who live afloat let it grow long.

The Sulu Islanders, male and female, dress with far greater taste and ascetic originality than the christian natives. The women are fond of gay colours, the predominant ones being scarlet and green. Their nether bifurcated garment is very baggy, the bodice is extremely tight, and, with equally close-fitting sleeves, exhibits every contour of the bust and arms. They use also a strip of stuff sewn together at the ends called the jábul, which serves to protect the head from the sun-rays. The end of the jábul would reach nearly down to the feet, but is usually held retroussé under the arm. They have a passion for jewellery, and wear many finger-rings of metal and sometimes of sea-shells, whilst their ear-rings are gaudy and of large dimensions. The hair is gracefully tied in a coil on the top of the head, and [147]their features are at least as attractive as those of the generality of Philippine christian women.

The men wear breeches of bright colours, as tight as gymnastsʼ pantaloons, with a large number of buttons up the sides; a kind of waistcoat buttoning up to the throat; a jacket reaching to the hips, with close sleeves, and a turban. A chiefʼs dress has many adornments of trinkets, and is quite elegant, a necessary part of his outfit being the bárong (sword), which apparently he carries constantly.

They are robust, of medium height, often of superb physical development; of a dusky bronze colour, piercing eyes, low forehead, lank hair, which is dressed as a chignon and hangs down the back of the neck. The body is agile, the whole movement is rapid, and they have a wonderful power of holding the breath under water. They are of quick perception, audacious, haughty, resolute, zealous about their genealogies; extremely sober, ready to promise everything and do nothing, vindictive and highly suspicious of a strangerʼs intentions. Their bearing towards the Christian, whom they call the infidel, is full of contempt. They know no gratitude, and they would not cringe to the greatest Christian potentate. They are very long-suffering in adversity, hesitating in attack, and the bravest of the brave in defence. They disdain work as degrading and only a fit occupation for slaves, whilst warfare is, to their minds, an honourable calling. Every male over 16 years of age has to carry at least one fighting-weapon at all times, and consider himself enrolled in military service.

They have a certain knowledge of the Arts. They manufacture on the anvil very fine kris daggers, knives, lance-heads, etc. Many of their fighting-weapons are inlaid with silver and set in polished hardwood or ivory handles artistically carved.

In warfare they carry shields, and their usual arms on land are the campilán, a kind of short two-handed sword, wide at the tip and narrowing down to the hilt, the bárong for close combat, the straight kris for thrusting and cutting, and the waved, serpent-like kris for thrusting only. They are dexterous in the use of arms, and can most skilfully decapitate a foe at a single stroke. At sea they use a sort of assegai, called bagsacay or simbilin, about half an inch in diameter, with a sharp point. Some can throw as many as four at a time, and make them spread in the flight; they use these for boarding vessels. They make many of their own domestic utensils of metal, also coats of mail of metal wire and buffalo horn, which resist hand-weapons, but not bullets. The wire probably comes from Singapore.

The local trade is chiefly in pearls, mother-of-pearl, shells, shark fins, etc.11 The Sultan, in Spanish times, had a sovereign right to all [148]pearls found which exceeded a certain size fixed by Sulu law—hence it was very difficult to secure an extraordinary specimen. The Mahometans trade at great distances in their small craft, called vintas, for they are wonderfully expert navigators. Their largest vessels do not exceed seven tons, and they go as far as Borneo, and even down to Singapore on rare occasions.

A Scene in the Moro Country

A Scene in the Moro Country

I found that almost any coinage was useful for purchasing in the market-places. I need hardly add that the Chinese small traders have found their way to these regions; and it would be an unfavourable sign if a Chinaman were not to be seen there, for where the frugal Celestial cannot earn a living one may well assume there is little prosperity. Small Chinese coins (known as cash in the China Treaty Ports) are current money there, and I think, the most convenient of all copper coins, for, having a hole in the centre, they can be strung together. Chinese began to trade with this island in 1751.

Zamboanga Fortress (“Fuerza del Pilar”)

Zamboanga Fortress (“Fuerza del Pilar”)

The root of the Sulu language is Sanscrit, mixed with Arabic. Each Friday is dedicated to public worship, and the faithful are called to the temple by the beating of a box or hollow piece of wood. All recite the Iman with a plaintive voice in honour of the Great Prophet; a slight gesticulation is then made whilst the Pandita reads a passage from the Mustah. I observed that no young women put in an appearance at the temple on the occasion of my visit.

At the beginning of each year there is a very solemn ceremonial, and, in the event of the birth or death of a child, or the safe return from some expedition, it is repeated. It is a sort of Te Deum in conformity with Mahometan rites. During a number of days in a certain month of the year they abstain from eating, drinking, and pleasure of all kinds, and suffer many forms of voluntary penance. Strangers are never allowed, I was told, inside the Mosque of the Sultan. The higher clergy are represented by the hereditary Cherif, who has temporal power also. The title of Pandita simply means priest, and is the common word used in Mindanao as well as in Palaúan Island. He seems to be almost the chief in his district—not in a warlike sense, like the Datto; but his word has great influence. He performs all the functions of a priest, receives the vow of the juramentados, and expounds the mysteries and the glories of that better world whither they will go without delay if they die taking the blood of a Christian.

In theory, the Moros accept the Koran and the teachings of Mahomet: in practice, they omit the virtues of their religious system and follow those precepts which can be construed into favouring vice; hence they interpret guidance of the people by oppression, polygamy by licentiousness, and maintenance of the faith by bloodshed. Relays of Arabs come, from time to time, under the guise of Koran expounders, to feed on the people and whet their animosity towards the Christian.

The Panditas are doctors also. If a Datto dies, they intone a [149]dolorous chant; the family bursts into lamentations, which are finally drowned in the din of the clashing of cymbals and beating of gongs, whilst sometimes a gun is fired. In rush the neighbours, and join in the shouting, until all settle down quietly to a feast. The body is then sprinkled with salt and camphor and dressed in white, with the kris attached to the waist. There is little ceremony about placing the body in the coffin and burying it. The mortuary is marked by a wooden tablet—sometimes by a stone, on which is an inscription in Arabic. A slip of board, or bamboo, is placed around the spot, and a piece of wood, carved like the bows of a canoe, is stuck in the earth; in front of this is placed a cocoanut shell full of water.

The old native town, or cotta of Sulu (Joló) was a collection of bamboo houses built upon piles extending a few hundred yards into the sea. This was all demolished by the Spaniards when they permanently occupied the place in 1876, excepting the Military Hospital, which was re-constructed of light materials, native fashion. The sea-beach was cleared, and the native village put back inland.

The site is an extremely pretty little bay on the north of the island, formed by the points Dangapic and Candea, and exactly in front, about four or five miles off, there are several low-lying islets, well wooded, with a hill abruptly jutting out here and there, the whole forming a picturesque miniature archipelago.

Looking from the sea, in the centre stands the modern Spanish town of Sulu (Joló), built on the shore, rising about a couple of yards above sea-level, around which there is a short stone and brick sea-wall, with several bends pleasantly relieving the monotony of a straight line.

Forming a background to the European town, there are three thickly wooded hillocks almost identical in appearance, and at each extremity of the picture, lying farther back inland, there is a hill sloping down gradually towards the coast. The slope on the eastern extremity has been cleared of undergrowth to the extent of about 50 acres, giving it the appearance of a vast lawn. At the eastern and western extremities are the native suburbs, with huts of light material built a few yards into the sea. On the east side there is a big Moro bungalow, erected on small tree-trunks, quite a hundred yards from the beach seawards. To the west, one sees a long shanty-built structure running out to sea like a jetty; it is the shore market. The panorama could not be more charming and curious. Still farther west, towering above every other, stands the Bad Tumantangas peak (Mount of Tears), the last point discernible by the westward-journeying Joloano, who is said to sigh with patriotic anguish at its loss to view, with all the feeling of a Moorish Boabdil bidding adieu to his beloved Granada. [150]

The town is uniformly planned, with well-drained streets, running parallel, crossed at rectangles by lovely avenues of shading trees. Here and there are squares, pretty gardens, and a clean and orderly market-place. There is a simple edifice for a church, splendid barracks equal to those in Manila when these were built, many houses of brick and stone, others of wood, and all roofed with corrugated iron.

The neighbourhood is well provided with water from natural streams. The town is supplied with drinking-water conducted in pipes, laid for the purpose from a spring about a mile and a quarter distant, whilst other piping carries water to the end of the pier for the requirements of shipping. This improvement, the present salubrity of the town (once a fever focus), and its latest Spanish embellishments, are mainly due to the intelligent activity of its late Governors, Colonel (now General) González Parrado, and the late General Juan Arolas.

The town is encircled on the land side by a brick loop-holed wall. The outside (Spanish) defences consisted of two forts, viz:—The “Princesa de Asturias” and “Torre de la Reina” and within the town those of the “Puerta Blockaus”, “Puerta España” and the redoubt “Alfonso XII.”—this last had a Nordenfeldt gun.

The Spanish Government of Sulu was entirely under martial law, and the Europeans (mostly military men) were constantly on the alert for the ever-recurring attacks of the natives.

The general aspect of Sulu (Joló) is cheerful and attractive. The day scene, enlivened by the Moro, passing to and fro with his lithe gait, in gay attire, with the bárong in a huge sash, and every white man, soldier or civilian, carrying arms in self-defence, may well inflame the imaginative and romantic mind. One can hardly believe one is still in the Philippines. At night, the shaded avenues, bordered by stately trees, illuminated by a hundred lamps, present a beautiful, picturesque scene which carries the memory far, far away from the surrounding savage races. Yet all may change in a trice. There is a hue and cry; a Moro has run ámok—his glistening weapon within a foot of his escaping victim; the Christian native hiding away in fear, and the European off in pursuit of the common foe; there is a tramping of feet, a cracking of firearms; the Moro is biting the dust, and the memory is brought abruptly back from imaginationʼs flights to full realization of oneʼs Mahometan entourage.

By a decree dated September 24, 1877, all the natives, and other races or nationalities settled there, were exempted from all kinds of contributions or taxes for 10 years. In 1887 the term was extended for another 10 years; hence, no imposts being levied, all the Spaniards had to do was to maintain their prestige with peace.

In his relations with the Spaniards, the Sultan held the title of Excellency, and he, as well as several chiefs, received annual pensions from the Government at the following rates:— [151]

Sultan of Sulu 2,400
Sultan of Mindanao 1,000
Datto Beraduren, heir to the Sulu Sultanate 700
Paduca Datto Alimudin, of Sulu 600
Datto Amiral, of Mindanao 800
Other minor pensions 600

and an allowance of 2 pesos for each captive rescued, and 3 pesos for each pirate caught, whether in Sulu or Mindanao waters.

The Sultan is the Majasari (the stainless, the spotless)—the Pontiff-king—the chief of the State and the Church; but it is said that he acknowledges the Sultan of Turkey as the Padishah. He is the irresponsible lord and master of all life and property among his subjects, although in his decrees he is advised by a Council of Elders.

Nevertheless, in spite of his absolute authority, he does not seem to have perfect control over the acts of his nobles or chiefs, who are a privileged class, and are constantly waging some petty war among themselves, or organizing a marauding expedition along the coast. The Sultan is compelled, to a certain extent, to tolerate their excesses, as his own dignity, or at least his own tranquillity, is in a great measure dependent on their common goodwill towards him. The chiefs collect tribute in the name of the Sultan, but they probably furnish their own wants first and pay differences into the Royal Treasury, seeing that it all comes from their own feudal dependents.

The Sultan claims to be the nominal owner of all the product of Sulu waters. In the valuable Pearl Fisheries he claims to have a prior right to all pearls above a certain value, although the finder is entitled to a relative bounty from the Sultan. “Ambal,” a product found floating on the waters and much esteemed by the Chinese as medicine, is subject to royal dues. The great pearl-fishing centre is Siassi Island (in the Tapul group), lying about 20 miles south of Sulu Island.

The Sultanate is hereditary under the Salic Law. The Sultan is supported by three ministers, one of whom acts as Regent in his absence (for he might choose to go to Singapore, or have to go to Mecca, if he had not previously done so); the other is Minister of War, and the third is Minister of Justice and Master of the Ceremonies.

Slavery exists in a most ample sense. There are slaves by birth and others by conquest, such as prisoners of war, insolvent debtors, and those seized by piratical expeditions to other islands. A creole friend of mine was one of these last. He had commenced clearing an estate for cane-growing on the Negros coast, when he was seized and carried off to Sulu Island. In a few years he was ransomed and returned to Negros, where be formed one of the finest sugar haciendas and factories in the Colony. [152]

In 1884 a Mahometan was found on a desolate isle lying off the Antique coast (Panay Is.), and of course had no document of identity, so he was arrested and confined in the jail of San José de Buenavista. From prison he was eventually taken to the residence of the Spanish Governor, Don Manuel Castellon, a very humane gentleman and a personal friend of mine. In Don Manuelʼs study there was a collection of native arms which took the strangerʼs fancy; one morning he seized a kris and lance, and, bounding into the breakfast-room, capered about, gesticulated, and brandished the lance in the air, much to the amusement of the Governor and his guests. But in an instant the fellow (hitherto a mystery, but undoubtedly a juramentado) hurled the lance with great force towards the Public Prosecutor, and the missile, after severing his watch-chain, lodged in the side of the table. The Governor and the Public Prosecutor at once closed with the would-be assassin, whilst the Governorʼs wife, with great presence of mind, thrust a table-knife into the culpritʼs body between the shoulder-blade and the collar-bone. The man fell, and, when all supposed he was dead, he suddenly jumped up. No one had thought of taking the kris out of his grasp, and he rushed around the apartment and severely cut two of the servants, but was ultimately despatched by the bayonets of the guards who arrived on hearing the scuffle. The Governor showed me his wounds, which were slight, but his life was saved by the valour of his wife—Doña Justa.

It has often been remarked by old residents, that if free licence were granted to the domesticated natives, their barbarous instincts would recur to them in all vigour. Here was an instance. The body of the Moro was carried off by an excited populace, who tied a rope to it, beat it, and dragged it through the town to a few miles up the coast, where it was thrown on the sea-shore. The priests did not interfere; like the Egyptian mummies cast on the Stygian shores, the culprit was unworthy of sepulture—besides, who would pay the fees?

During my first visit to Sulu in 1881, I was dining with the Governor, when the conversation ran on the details of an expedition about to be sent to Maybun, to carry despatches received from the Gov.-General for the Sultan, anent the Protectorate. The Governor seemed rather surprised when I expressed my wish to join the party, for the journey is not unattended with risk to oneʼs life. [I may here mention that only a few days before I arrived, a young officer was sent on some mission a short distance outside the town of Joló, accompanied by a patrol of two guards. He was met by armed Mahometans, and sent back with one of his hands cut off. I remember, also, the news reaching us that several military officers were sitting outside a café in Joló Town, when a number of juramentados came behind them and cut their throats.] However, the Governor did not oppose my wish—on the contrary, he jocosely replied that he could not extend my passport so far, because the Sulus would not respect it, yet the more Europeans the better. [153]

Officials usually went by sea to Maybun, and a gunboat was now and again sent round the coast with messages to the Sultan, but there was no Government vessel in Joló at this time.

Our party, all told, including the native attendants, numbered about 30 Christians, and we started early in the morning on horseback. I carried my usual weapon—a revolver—hoping there would be no need to use it on the journey. And so it resulted; we arrived, without being molested in any way, in about three hours, across a beautiful country.

We passed two low ranges of hills, which appeared to run from S.W. to N.E., and several small streams, whilst here and there was a ranche of the Sultanʼs subjects. Each ranche was formed of a group of 10 to 20 huts, controlled by the cacique. Agriculture seemed to be pursued in a very pristine fashion, but, doubtless owing to the exuberant fertility of the soil, we saw some very nice crops of Rice, Indian Corn, Sugar Cane, and Indigo and Coffee plantations on a small scale. In the forest which we traversed there were some of the largest bamboos I have ever seen, and fine building timber, such as Teak, Narra, Molave, Mangachapuy, and Camagon (vide Woods). I was assured that Cedars also flourished on the island. We saw a great number of monkeys, wild pigeons, cranes, and parrots, whilst deer, buffaloes, and wild goats are said to abound in these parts.

On our arrival at Maybun, we went first to the bungalow of a Chinaman—the Sultanʼs brother-in-law—where we refreshed ourselves with our own provisions, and learnt the gossip of the place. On inquiry, we were told that the Sultan was sleeping, so we waited at the Chinamanʼs. I understood this man was a trader, but there were no visible signs of his doing any business. Most of our party slept the siesta, and at about four oʼclock we called at the Palace. It was a very large building, well constructed, and appeared to be built almost entirely of materials of the country. A deal of bamboo and wood were used in it, and even the roof was made of split bamboo, although I am told that this was replaced by sheet-iron when the young Sultan came to the throne. The vestibule was very spacious, and all around was pleasantly decorated with lovely shrubs and plants peculiar to most mid-tropical regions. The entrance to the Palace was always open, but well guarded, and we were received by three Dattos, who saluted us in a formal way, and, without waiting to ask us any question, invited us, with a wave of the hand, to follow them into the throne-room.12 The Sultan was seated on our entering, but when the bearer of the despatches approached with the official interpreter by his side, and we following, he rose in his place to greet us.

His Highness was dressed in very tight silk trousers, fastened partly up the sides with showy chased gold or gilt buttons, a short Eton-cut olive-green jacket with an infinity of buttons, white socks, ornamented [154]slippers, a red sash around his waist, a kind of turban, and a kris at his side. His general appearance was that of a Spanish bull-fighter with an Oriental finish off. We all bowed low, and the Sultan, surrounded by his Sultanas, put his hands to his temples, and, on lowering them, he bowed at the same time. We remained standing whilst some papers were handed to him. He looked at them—a few words were said in Spanish, to the effect that the bearer saluted His Highness in the name of the Governor of Sulu. The Sultan passed the documents to the official interpreter, who read or explained them in the Sulu language; then a brief conversation ensued, through the interpreter, and the business was really over. After a short pause, the Sultan motioned to us to be seated on floor-cushions, and we complied. The cushions, covered with rich silk, were very comfortable. Servants, in fantastic costumes, were constantly in attendance, serving betel-nut to those who cared to chew it.

One Sultana was fairly pretty, or had been so, but the others were heavy, languid, and lazy in their movements; and their teeth, dyed black, did not embellish their personal appearance. The Sultan made various inquiries, and passed many compliments on us, the Governor, Gov.-General, etc., which were conveyed to us through the interpreter. Meanwhile, the Sultanas chatted among themselves, and were apparently as much interested in looking at us as we were in their style, features, and attire. They all wore light-coloured “dual garments” of great width, and tight bodices. Their coiffure was carefully finished, but a part of the forehead was hidden by an ungraceful fringe of hair.

We had so little in common to converse on, and that little had to be said through the interpreter, that we were rather glad when we were asked to take refreshments. It at least served to relieve the awkward feeling of glancing at each other in silence. Chocolate and ornamental sweetmeats were brought to us, all very unpalatable. When we were about to take our departure, the Sultan invited us to remain all night in the Palace. The leader of our party caused to be explained to him that we were thankful for his gracious offer, but that, being so numerous, we feared to disturb His Highness by intruding so far on his hospitality. Still the Sultan politely insisted, and whilst the interpretation was being transmitted I found an opportunity to acquaint our chief of my burning curiosity to stay at the Palace. In any case, we were a large number to go anywhere, so our leader, in reply to the Sultan, said that he and four Europeans of his suite would take advantage of His Highnessʼs kindness.

We withdrew from the Sultanʼs presence, and some of us Europeans walked through the town accompanied by functionaries of the royal household and the interpreter. There was nothing striking in the place; it was like most others. There were some good bungalows of bamboo and thatching. I noticed that men, women, and children were smoking tobacco or chewing, and had no visible occupation. Many of the smaller dwellings were built on piles out to the sea. We saw a number of divers [155]preparing to go off to get pearls, mother-of-pearl, etc. They are very expert in this occupation, and dive as deep as 100 feet. Prior to the plunge they go through a grotesque performance of waving their arms in the air and twisting their bodies, in order—as they say—to frighten away the sharks; then with a whoop they leap over the edge of the prahu, and continue to throw their arms and legs about for the purpose mentioned. They often dive for the shark and rip it up with a kris.

Five of us retired to the Palace that night, and were at once conducted to our rooms. There was no door to my room; it was, strictly speaking, an alcove. During the night, at intervals of about every hour, as it seemed to me, a Palace servant or guard came to inquire how the Señor was sleeping, and if I were comfortable. “Duerme el Señor?” (“Does the gentleman sleep?”) was apparently the limit of his knowledge of Spanish. I did not clearly understand more than the fact that the man was a nuisance, and I regretted there was no door with which to shut him out. The next morning we paid our respects to His Highness, who furnished us with an escort—more as a compliment than a necessity—and we reached Joló Town again, after a very enjoyable ride through a superb country.

The Sultanʼs subjects are spread so far from the centre of government—Maybun—that in some places their allegiance is but nominal. Many of them residing near the Spanish settlements are quick at learning Castilian sufficiently well to be understood, but the Spaniards tried in vain to subject them to a European order of things.

About 20 miles up the coast, going north from Zamboanga, the Jesuits sent a missionary in 1885 to convert the Subuanos. He endeavoured to persuade the people to form a village. They cleared a way through the forest from the beach, and at the end of this opening, about three-quarters of a mile long, I found a church half built of wood, bamboo, and palm-leaves. I had ridden to the place on horseback along the beach, and my food and baggage followed in a canoe. The opening was so roughly cleared that I thought it better to dismount when I got half way. As the church was only in course of construction, and not consecrated, I took up my quarters there. I was followed by a Subuano, who was curious to know the object of my visit. I told him I wished to see the headman, so this personage arrived with one of his wives and a young girl. They sat on the floor with me, and as the cacique could make himself understood in Spanish, we chatted about the affairs of the town in posse. The visiting priest had gone to the useless trouble of baptizing a few of these people. They appeared to be as much Christian as I was Mahometan. The cacique had more than one wife—the word of the Pandita of the settlement was the local law, and the Pandita himself of course had his seraglio. I got the first man, who had followed me, to direct me to the Panditaʼs house. My guide was gaily attired in [156]bright red tight acrobat breeches, with buttons up the side, and a jacket like a waistcoat, with sleeves so close-fitting that I suppose he seldom took the trouble to undress himself. I left the cacique, promising to visit his bungalow that day, and then my guide led me through winding paths, in a wood, to the hut of the Pandita. On the way I met a man of the tribe carrying spring-water in a bamboo, which he tilted to give me a drink. To my inquiries if he were a Christian, and if he knew the Castilian Pandita (Spanish priest), he replied in the affirmative; continuing the interrogation, I asked him how many gods there were, and when he answered “four,” I closed my investigation of his Christianity. My guide was too cunning to take me by the direct path to the Panditaʼs bungalow. He led me into a half-cleared plot of land facing it, whence the inmates could see us for at least ten minutes making our approach. When we arrived, and after scrambling up the staircase, which was simply a notched trunk of a tree about nine inches diameter, I discovered that the Pandita, forewarned, had fled to the mountain close by, leaving his wives to entertain the visitor. I found them all lounging and chewing betel-nut, and when I squatted on the floor amongst them they became remarkably chatty. Then I went to the caciqueʼs bungalow. In the rear of this dwelling there was a small forge, and the most effective bellows of primitive make which I have ever seen in any country. It was a double-action apparatus, made entirely of bamboo, except the pistons, which were of feathers. These pistons, working up and down alternately by a bamboo rod in each hand, sustained perfectly a constant draught of air. One man was squatting on a bamboo bench the height of the bellowsʼ rods, whilst the smith crouched on the ground to forge his kris on the anvil.

The headmanʼs bungalow was built the same as the others, but with greater care. It was rather high up, and had the usual notched log-of-wood staircase, which is perhaps easy to ascend with naked feet. The cacique and one of his wives were seated on mats on the floor. After mutual salutations the wife threw me three cushions, on which I reclined—doing the dolce far niente whilst we talked about the affairs of the settlement. The conversation was growing rather wearisome anent the Spanish priest having ordered huts to be built without giving materials, about the scarcity of palm-leaves in the neighbourhood, and so forth, so I bade them farewell and went on to another hut. Here the inmates were numerous—four women, three or four men, and two rather pretty male children, with their heads shaven so as to leave only a tuft of hair towards the forehead about the size of a crown piece. To entertain me, six copper tom-toms were brought out, and placed in a row on pillows, whilst another large one, for the bass accompaniment, was suspended from a wooden frame. A man beat the bass with a stick, whilst the women took it in turns to kneel on the floor, with a stick in [157]each hand, to play a tune on the series of six. A few words were passed between the three men, when suddenly one of them arose and performed a war-dance, quaintly twisting his arms and legs in attitudes of advance, recoil, and exultation. The dance finished, I mounted my horse and left the settlement in embryo, called by the missionaries Reus, which is the name of a town in Catalonia.

The climate of Mindanao and Sulu Islands is healthy and delightful. The heat of Zamboanga is moderated by daily breezes, and in Sulu, in the month of June, it is not oppressive. A yearʼs temperature readings on the Illana Bay coast (Mindanao Is.) are as follows, viz.:—

Average of Inside the House, Fahrenheit. Outside in the Shade, Fahrenheit.
6 a.m. Noon. 6 p.m. 6 a.m. Noon. 6 p.m.
Jan.–March 73° 84° 83° 72° 84° 80°
April–June 74½° 83° 78½° 74½° 92½° 78°
July–Sept. 74° 84° 80° 72½° 88° 79°
Oct.–Dec. 73° 85° 80° 73° 83° 78°

The Island of Palaúan (Parágua) was anciently a dependency of the Sultanate of Brunei (Borneo), hence the dominion over this island of the Sultan of Sulu as suzerain lord of Brunei. At the beginning of the 18th century Spaniards had already settled in the north of it. It had a very sparse population, and a movement was set on foot to subjugate the natives. In order to protect the Spanish settlers from Mahometan attacks a fort was established at Labo. However, the supplies were not kept up, and many of the garrison died of misery, hunger, and nakedness, until 1720, when it was abandoned.

Some years afterwards the island was gratuitously ceded to the Spaniards by the Sultan of Sulu, at their request. Captain Antonio Fabeau was sent there with troops to take formal possession, being awarded the handsome salary of ₱50 per month for this service. On the arrival of the ships, an officer was sent ashore; the people fled inland, and the formalities of annexation were proceeded with unwitnessed. The only signs of possession left there were the corpses of the troops and sailors who died from eating rotten food, or were murdered by Mahometans who attacked the expedition. Subsequently a fortress was established at Taytay, where a number of priests and laymen in a few years succeeded in forming a small colony, which at length shared the fate of Labo. The only Spanish settlement in the island at the date of the evacuation was the colony of Puerta Princesa, on the east coast.13 [158]

Before starting on my peregrination in Palaúan Island, I sought in vain for information respecting the habits and nature of the Tagbanúas, a half-caste Malay-Aeta tribe, disseminated over a little more than the southern half of the island.14 It was only on my arrival at Puerta Princesa that I was able to procure a vague insight into the peculiarities of the people whom I intended to visit. The Governor, Don Felipe Canga-Argüelles, was highly pleased to find a traveller who could sympathize with his efforts, and help to make known, if only to the rest of the Archipelago, this island almost unexplored in the interior. He constantly wrote articles to one of the leading journals of Manila, under the title of “Echoes from Parágua” (Palaúan), partly with the view of attracting the attention of the Government to the requirements of the Colony, but also to stimulate a spirit of enterprise in favour of this island, rich in hardwoods, etc.

Puerta Princesa is a good harbour, situated on a gulf. The soil was levelled, trees were planted, and a slip for repairing vessels was constructed. There was a fixed white light visible eleven miles off. It was a naval station for two gunboats, the Commander of the station being ex-officio Governor of the Colony. It was also a Penal Settlement for convicts, and those suspected by the civil or religious authorities. To give employment to the convicts and suspects, a model sugar-estate was established by the Government. The locality supplied nearly all the raw material for working and preserving the establishment, such as lime, stone, bricks, timber, sand, firewood, straw for bags, rattans, etc.

The aspect of the town is agreeable, and the environs are pretty, but there is a great drawback in the want of drinking-water, which, in the dry season, has to be procured from a great distance.

The Governor showed me great attention, and personally took command of a gunboat, which conducted me to the mouth of the Iguajit River. This is the great river of the district, and is navigable for about three miles. I put off in a boat manned by marines, and was rowed about two miles up, as far as the mission station. The missionary received me well, and I stayed there that night, with five men, whom I had engaged to carry my luggage, for we had a journey before us of some days on foot to the opposite coast.

My luggage, besides the ordinary travelling requisites and provisions, included about 90 yards of printed stuffs of bright colours, six dozen common handkerchiefs, and some 12 poundsʼ weight of beads on strings, with a few odds and ends of trinkets; whilst my native bearers were provided with rice, dried fish, betel-nut, tobacco, etc., for a week or more. We set out on foot the next day, and in three days and a half we reached the western shore.

The greatest height above the sea-level on our route was about [159]900 metres, according to my aneroid reading, and the maximum heat at mid-day in the shade (month of January) was 82° Fahr. The nights were cold, comparatively speaking, and at midnight the thermometer once descended to 59° Fahr.

The natives proved to be a very pacific people. We found some engaged in collecting gum from the trees in the forest, and others cutting and making up bundles of rattans. They took these products down to the Iguajit River mission station, where Chinese traders bartered for them stuffs and other commodities. The value of coin was not altogether unknown in the mission village, although the difference in value between copper and silver coinage was not understood. In the interior they lived in great misery, their cabins being wretched hovels. They planted their rice without ploughing at all, and all their agricultural implements were made of wood or bamboo.

The native dress is made of the bark of trees, smashed with stones, to extract the ligneous parts. In the cool weather they make tunics of bark, and the women wear drawers of the same material. They adorn their waists with sea-shell and cocoanut shell ornaments, whilst the fibre of the palm serves for a waistband. The women pierce very large holes in their ears, in which they place shells, wood, etc. They never bathe intentionally. Their arms are bows and arrows, and darts blown through a kind of pea-shooter made of a reed resembling bojo (q.v). They are a very dirty people, and they eat their fish or flesh raw.

I had no difficulty whatever in procuring guides from one group of huts to the next on payment in goods, and my instructions were always to lead me towards the coast, the nearest point of which I knew was due west or a few points to the north.

We passed through a most fertile country the whole way. There were no rivers of any importance, but we were well supplied with drinking-water from the numerous springs and rivulets. The forests are very rich in good timber, chiefly Ipil (Eperma decandria), a very useful hardwood (vide Woods). I estimated that many of these trees, if felled, would have given clean logs of 70 to 80 feet long. I presume the felling of timber was not attempted by these natives on account of the difficulties, or rather, total want of transport means. From a plateau, within half a dayʼs journey of the opposite coast, the scenery was remarkably beautiful, with the sea to the west and an interminable grandeur of forest to the east. There were a few fishermen on the west coast, but further than that, there was not a sign of anything beyond the gifts of Nature. About half a mile from the coast, on the fringe of the forest, there was a group of native huts, two of which were vacated for our accommodation in exchange for goods.

With an abundance of fish, we were able to economize our provisions. One of my men fell ill with fever, so that we had to wait two days on the west coast, whilst I dosed him with Enoʼs fruit salt and quinine. [160]In the meantime, I studied the habits of these people. Among the many things which astonished them was the use of matches, whilst our cooking highly amused them. Such a thing as a horse I suppose had never been seen here, although I would gladly have bought or hired one, for I was very weary of our delay. We all went on the march again, on foot nearly all the way, by the same passes to the Iguajit River, where we found a canoe, which carried us back to Puerta Princesa.

The island produces many marketable articles, such as beeswax, edible birdʼs nests, fine shells, dried shell-fish, a few pearls, bush-rope or palásan (q.v.) of enormous length, wild nutmegs, ebony, logwood, etc., which the Chinese obtain in barter for knives and other small manufactures.

The first survey of the Palaúan Island coast is said to have been made by the British. A British map of Puerta Princesa, with a few miles of adjoining coast, was shown to me in the Government House of this place. It appears that the west coast is not navigable for ships within at least two miles of the shore, although there are a few channels leading to creeks. Vessels coming from the west usually pass through the Straits of Balábac, between the island of that name and the islets off the Borneo Island coast.

In the Island of Balábac there was absolutely nothing remarkable to be seen, unless it were a little animal about the size of a big cat, but in shape a perfect model of a doe.15 I took one to Manila, but it died the day we arrived. No part of the island (which is very mountainous and fertile) appeared to be cultivated, and even the officials at the station had to obtain supplies from Manila, whilst cattle were brought from the Island of Cuyo, one of the Calamianes group.

In the latter years, the Home Government made efforts to colonize Palaúan Island by offering certain advantages to emigrants. By Royal Order, dated February 25, 1885, the Islands of Palaúan and Mindanao were to be occupied in an effectual manner, and outposts established, wherever necessary, to guarantee the secure possession of these islands. The points mentioned for such occupation in Palaúan Island were Tagbusao and Malihut on the east coast, and Colasian and Malanut on the west coast. It also confirmed the Royal Decree of July 30, 1860, granting to all families emigrating to these newly established military posts, and all peaceful tribes of the Islands who might choose to settle there, exemption from the payment of tribute for six years. The families would be furnished with a free passage to these places, and each group would be supplied with seed and implements.

A subsequent Royal Order, dated January 19, 1886, was issued, to the effect:—That the Provincial Governors of the Provinces of North [161]and South Ilocos were to stimulate voluntary emigration of the natives to Palaúan Island, to the extent of 25 families from each of the two provinces per annum. That any payments due by them to the Public Treasury were to be condoned. That such families and any persons of good character who might establish themselves in Palaúan should be exempt from the payment of taxes for ten years, and receive free passage there for themselves and their cattle, and three hectares of land gratis, to be under cultivation within a stated period. That two chupas of rice (vide Rice measure) and ten cents of a peso should be given to each adult, and one chupa of rice to each minor each day during the first six months from the date of their embarking. That the Governor of Palaúan should be instructed respecting the highways to be constructed, and the convenience of opening free ports in that island. That the land and sea forces should be increased; and of the latter, a third-rate man-oʼ-war should be stationed on the west coast. That convicts should continue to be sent to Palaúan, and the Governor should be authorized to employ all those of bad conduct in public works. That schools of primary instruction should be established in the island wherever such might be considered convenient, etc., etc.16

The Spaniards (in 1898) left nearly half the Philippine Archipelago to be conquered, but only its Mahometan inhabitants ever persistently took the aggressive against them in regular continuous warfare. The attempts of the Jesuit missionaries to convert them to Christianity were entirely futile, for the Panditas and the Romish priests were equally tenacious of their respective religious beliefs. The last treaty made between Spain and Sulu especially stipulated that the Mahometans should not be persecuted for their religion.

To overturn a dynasty, to suppress an organized system of feudal laws, and to eradicate an ancient belief, the principles of which had firmly established themselves among the populace in the course of centuries, was a harder task than that of bringing under the Spanish yoke detached groups of Malay immigrants. The pliant, credulous nature [162]of the Luzon settlers—the fact that they professed no deeply-rooted religion, and—although advanced from the migratory to the settled condition—were mere nominal lieges of their puppet kinglings, were facilities for the achievement of conquest. True it is that the dynasties of the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru yielded to Spanish valour, but there was the incentive of untold wealth; here, only of military glory, and the former outweighed the latter.

If the Spaniards failed to subjugate the Mahometans, or to incorporate their territory in the general administrative system of the Colony, after three centuries of intermittent endeavour, it is difficult to conceive that the Philippine Republic (had it subsisted) would have been more successful. It would have been useless to have resolved to leave the Moros to themselves, practically ignoring their existence. Any Philippine Government must needs hold them in check for the public weal, for the fact is patent that the Moro hates the native Christian not one iota less than he does the white man. [163]

1 According to Father Pedro Murillo, the ancient name of Basílan was Taguima, so called from a river there of that name.

2 Mahometanism appears to have been introduced into the Islands of Borneo and Mindanao by Arabian missionary prophets.

3 It was called the Fuerza del Pilar, and is now the American Moro Province military headquarters and head quartermasterʼs office and dépòt. The image of Our Lady in a niche in the north wall is much revered by Catholics.

4 Paseo de los gigantes, the custom still existing in Spain of introducing giant figures into popular festivities, reminding one of Guy Fawkes.

5 The Sultan complained that he had not been treated in Manila with dignity equal to his rank and quality, and that he had constantly been under guard of soldiers in his residence (this was explained to be a guard-of-honour).

6 Cholera has considerably reduced the population. In 1902 this disease carried off about 10 per cent.

7 Brûnei signifies, in pure Malay, the whole of Borneo Island.

8 The Sultan told me years afterwards that his uncleʼs nomination by the Spaniards troubled him very little, as he was always recognized by his people as their sovereign. In the end intrigues were made against Datto Harun Narrasid, who agreed to accept his nephewʼs vassal sultanate of Parágua, where he died, and was succeeded by his son, Sultan Tattarassa, whom I met in Joló in 1904.

9 Cottabato is derived from Cotta, a fort, and Bató, stone.

10 By Royal Order of June, 1890, Brig.-General Arolas was appointed Governor of Mindanao. He died in Valencia (Spain) May, 1899.

11 According to Sonnerat, Sulu Island produced elephants!—videVoyages aux Indes et à la Chine,” Vol. III., Chap. x. I have not seen the above statement confirmed in any writing. Certainly there is no such animal in these islands at the present day.

12 This building was destroyed by Colonel Arolas, April 15, 1887 (vide p. 144).

13 A few outposts had recently been established by Royal Decree. They were all under the command of a captain, vide Chap. xiii.

14 There is another tribe in Palaúan Island called Batacs, with Papuan noses, curly hair, and very dark skin. Their origin is a mystery.

15 Alfred Marche calls this the Tragulus ranchil, and says it is also to be found in Malacca, Cochin China, and Pulo Condor (videLuçon et Palaouan,” par A. Marche. Paris, 1887).

16 By Royal Order of August 20, 1888, a concession of 12,000 to 14,000 hectares of land in Palaúan was granted to Felipe Canga-Argüelles y Villalba, ex-Governor of Puerta Princesa, for the term of 20 years.

He could work mines, cut timber, and till the land so conceded under the law called “Ley de Colonias Agrícolas,” of September 4, 1884, which was little more than an extension to the Philippines of the Peninsula forest and agricultural law of June 3, 1868 (vide Gaceta de Madrid of September 29, 1888). It appears, however, from the Colonial Ministerʼs despatch No. 515, to the Gov.-General of the Colony, dated May 24, 1890, that the concessionaire had endeavoured to associate himself with foreigners for the working of the concession. I myself had received from him several letters on the subject. The wording of the despatch shows that suspicion was entertained of an eventual intention to declare territorial independence in Palaúan. The Government, wishing to avoid the possibility of embroilment with a foreign nation, unfortunately felt constrained to impose such restrictions upon the concessionaire as to render his enterprise valueless.

Domesticated Natives—Origin—Character

The generally-accepted theory regarding the origin of the composite race which may be termed “domesticated natives,” is, that their ancestors migrated to these Islands from Malesia, or the Malay Peninsula. But so many learned dissertations have emanated from distinguished men, propounding conflicting opinions on the descent of the Malays themselves, that we are still left on the field of conjecture.

There is good reason to surmise that, at some remote period, these Islands and the Islands of Formosa and Borneo were united, and possibly also they conjointly formed a part of the Asiatic mainland. Many of the islets are mere coral reefs, and some of the larger islands are so distinctly of coral formation that, regarded together with the numerous volcanic evidences, one is induced to believe that the Philippine Archipelago is the result of a stupendous upheaval by volcanic action.1 At least it seems apparent that no autochthonous population existed on these lands in their island form. The first settlers were probably the Aetas, called also Negritos and Balugas, who may have drifted northwards from New Guinea and have been carried by the strong currents through the San Bernadino Straits and round Punta Santiago until they reached the still waters in the neighbourhood of Corregidor Island, whilst others were carried westwards to the tranquil Sulu Sea, and travelling thence northwards would have settled on the Island of Negros. It is a fact that for over a century after the Spanish conquest, Negros Island had no other inhabitants but these mountaineers and escaped criminals from other islands.

The sturdy races inhabiting the Central Luzon highlands, decidedly superior in physique and mental capacity to the Aetas, may be of Japanese origin, for shortly after the conquest by Legaspi a Spanish galley cruising off the north coast of Luzon fell in with Japanese, who probably [164]penetrated to the interior of that island up the Rio Grande de Cagayán. Tradition tells us how the Japanese used to sail down the east coast of Luzon as far as the neighbourhood of Lamon Bay, where they landed and, descending the little rivers which flowed into the Lake of Bay, settled in that region which was called by the first Spanish conquerors Pagsanján Province, and which included the Laguna Province of to-day, with a portion of the modern Tayabas Province.

A Visayan Girl

A Visayan Girl

Either the Japanese extended their sphere from the Lake of Bay shore, or, as some assert (probably erroneously), shipwrecked Japanese went up the Pansipít River to the Bómbon Lake: the fact remains that Taal, with the Bómbon Lake shore, was a Japanese settlement, and even up to now the Taaleños have characteristics differing from those of the pure Malay immigrant descendants. The Philippine patriot, Dr. José Rizal, was a good Japanese-Malay type.

A Tagálog Girl

A Tagálog Girl

The Tagálogs, who occupy a small portion of Luzon Island, chiefly the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, are believed to be the cross-breed descendants of these Japanese immigrants. At the period of the Spanish conquest the Tao ílog, that is to say, “the man who came by the river,” afterwards corrupted into the more euphonious name of Tagálog, occupied only the lands from the south shore of Laguna de Bay southwards. Some traded with the Malay settlers at Maynila (as the city on the Pasig River was then called) and, little by little, radicated themselves in the Manila suburbs of Quiapo, Sampáloc, and Santa Cruz.2

From the West, long before the Spanish conquest, there was a great influx of Malays, who settled on the shores and the lowlands and drove the first settlers (Aetas) to the mountains. Central Luzon and the Lake environs being already occupied, they spread all over the vacant lands and adjacent islands south of Luzon. These expeditions from Malesia were probably accompanied by Mahometan propagandists, who had imparted to the Malays some notions, more or less crude, of their religion and culture, for at the time of Legaspiʼs arrival in Manila we find he had to deal with two chiefs, or petty kings, both assuming the Indian title of Rajah, whilst one of them had the Mahometan Arabic name of Soliman. Hitherto the Tao ílog, or Tagálog, had not descended the Pasig River so far as Manila, and the religious rites of the Tondo-Manila people must have appeared to Legaspi similar to the Mahometan rites,3 for in several of his despatches to [165]his royal master he speaks of these people as Moros. All the dialects spoken by the Filipinos of Malay and Japanese descent have their root in the pure Malay language. After the expulsion of all the adult male Japanese Lake settlers in the 17th century, it is feasible to suppose that the language of the males who took their place in the Lake district and intermarried there, should prevail over the idiom of the primitive settlers, and possibly this amalgamation of speech accounts for the difference between the Tagálog dialect and others of these islands peopled by Malays.

The Malay immigration must have taken place several generations prior to the coming of the Spaniards, for at that period the lowland occupants were already divided into peoples speaking different dialects and distinguishing themselves by groups whose names seem to be associated with the districts they inhabited, such as Pampanga, Iloco, and Cagayán; these denominations are probably derived from some natural condition, such as Pámpang, meaning a river embankment, Ilog, a river, Cauáyan, a bamboo, etc.

In a separate chapter (x.) the reputed origin of the Mahometans of the southern islands is alluded to. They are also believed to be immigrants from the West, and at the time of the conquest recent traditions which came to the knowledge of the Spaniards, and were recorded by them, prove that commercial relations existed between Borneo and Manila. There is a tradition4 also of an attempted conquest of Luzon by a Borneo chief named Lacasama, about 250 years before the Spanish advent; but apparently the expedition came to grief near Luzon, off an island supposed by some to be Masbate.

The descendants of the Japanese and Malay immigrants were the people whom the Spanish invaders had to subdue to gain a footing. To the present day they, and the correlative Chinese and Spanish half-castes, are the only races, among the several in these Islands, subjected, in fact, to civilized methods. The expression “Filipino” neither denotes any autochthonous race, nor any nationality, but simply one born in those islands named the Philippines: it is, therefore, open to argument whether the child of a Filipino, born in a foreign country, could be correctly called a Filipino.

The christianized Filipinos, enjoying to-day the benefits of European training, are inclined to repudiate, as compatriots, the descendants of the non-christian tribes, although their concurrent existence, since the time of their immigrant forefathers, makes them all equally Filipinos. Hence many of them who were sent to the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904 were indignant because the United States Government had chosen to exhibit some types of uncivilized natives, representing about one-twelfth of the Philippine population. Without [166]these exhibits, and on seeing only the educated Filipinos who formed the Philippine Commission, the American people at home might well have asked—Is not American civilization a superfluity in those islands?

The inhabitants of these Islands were by no means savages, entirely unreclaimed from barbarism before the Spanish advent in the 16th century. They had a culture of their own, towards which the Malay settlers themselves appear to have contributed very little. In the nascent pre-Spanish civilization, Japanese immigrants were almost the only agriculturists, mine-workers, manufacturers, gold-seekers, goldsmiths, and masters of the industrial arts in general. Pagsanján (Laguna) was their great industrial centre. Malolos (Bulacan) was also an important Japanese trading base. Whilst working the mines of Ilocos their exemplary industry must undoubtedly have influenced the character of the Ilocanos. Away down in the Bicol country of Camarines, the Japanese pushed their trade, and from their great settlement in Taal their traffic must have extended over the whole province, first called by the Spaniards Taal y Balayán, but since named Batangas. From the Japanese, the Malays learnt the manufacture of arms, and the Igorrotes the art of metal-working. Along the coasts of the large inhabited islands the Chinese travelled as traders or middlemen, at great personal risk of attack by individual robbers, bartering the goods of manufacturers for native produce, which chiefly consisted of sinamay cloth, shark-fin, balate (trepang), edible birdsʼ-nests, gold in grain, and siguey-shells, for which there was a demand in Siam for use as money. Every north-east monsoon brought down the junks to barter leisurely until the south-west monsoon should waft them back, and neither Chinese nor Japanese made the least attempt, nor apparently had the least desire, to govern the Islands or to overrule the natives. Without coercion, the Malay settlers would appear to have unconsciously submitted to the influence of the superior talent or astuteness of the sedulous races with whom they became merged and whose customs they adopted, proof of which can be traced to the present day.5 Presumably the busy, industrious immigrants had neither time nor inclination for sanguinary conflicts, for those recorded appear to be confined to the raids of the migratory mountaineers and an occasional attack by some ambitious Borneo buccaneer. The reader who would wish to verify these facts is recommended to make a comparative study of native character in Vigan, Malolos, Taal, and Pagsanján.

In treating of the domesticated nativesʼ character, I wish it to be understood that my observations apply solely to the large majority of the six or seven millions of them who inhabit these Islands.

In the capital and the ports open to foreign trade, where cosmopolitan vices and virtues obtain, and in large towns, where [167]there is a constant number of domiciled Europeans and Americans, the native has become a modified being. It is not in such places that a just estimate of character can be arrived at, even during many yearsʼ sojourn. The native must be studied by often-repeated casual residence in localities where his, or her, domestication is only “by law established,” imposing little restraint upon natural inclinations, and where exotic notions have gained no influence.

Several writers have essayed to depict the Philippine native character, but with only partial success. Dealing with such an enigma, the most eminent physiognomists would surely differ in their speculations regarding the Philippine native of the present day. That Catonian figure, with placid countenance and solemn gravity of feature, would readily deceive any one as to the true mental organism within. The late parish priest of Alaminos (Batangas)—a Franciscan friar, who spent half his life in the Colony—left a brief manuscript essay on the native character. I have read it. In his opinion, the native is an incomprehensible phenomenon, the mainspring of whose line of thought and the guiding motive of whose actions have never yet been, and perhaps never will be, discovered.

The reasoning of a native and a European differs so largely that the mental impulse of the two races is ever clashing. Sometimes a native will serve a master satisfactorily for years, and then suddenly abscond, or commit some such hideous crime as conniving with a brigand band to murder the family and pillage the house.

When the hitherto faithful servant is remonstrated with for having committed a crime, he not unfrequently accounts for the fact by saying, “Señor, my head was hot.” When caught in the act on his first start on highway robbery or murder, his invariable excuse is that he is not a scoundrel himself, but that he was “invited” by a relation or compadre to join the company.

He is fond of gambling, profligate, lavish in his promises, but lâche in the extreme as to their fulfilment. He will never come frankly and openly forward to make a clean breast of a fault committed, or even a pardonable accident, but will hide it, until it is found out. In common with many other non-European races, an act of generosity or a voluntary concession of justice is regarded as a sign of weakness. Hence it is that the experienced European is often compelled to be more harsh than his real nature dictates.

If one pays a native 20 cents for a service performed, and that be exactly the customary remuneration, he will say nothing, but if a feeling of compassion impels one to pay 30 cents, the recipient will loudly protest that he ought to be paid more.6 In Luzon the native [168]is able to say “Thank you” (salámat-pô) in his mother-tongue, but in Panay and Negros there is no way of expressing thanks in native dialect to a donor (the nearest approach to it is Dios macbáyat); and although this may, at first sight, appear to be an insignificant fact, I think, nevertheless, a great deal may be deduced from it, for the deficiency of the word in the Visaya vernacular denotes a deficiency of the idea which that word should express.

If the native be in want of a trivial thing, which by plain asking he could readily obtain, he will come with a long tale, often begin by telling a lie, and whilst he invariably scratches his head, he will beat about the bush until he comes to the point, with a supplicating tone and a saintly countenance hiding a mass of falsity. But if he has nothing to gain for himself, his reticence is astonishingly inconvenient, for he may let oneʼs horse die and tell one afterwards it was for want of rice-paddy, or, just at the very moment one wants to use something, he will tell one “Uala-pô”—there is not any.

I have known natives whose mothers, according to their statement, have died several times, and each time they have tried to beg the loan of the burial expenses. The mother of my first servant died twice, according to his account.

Even the best class of natives do not appreciate, or feel grateful for, or even seem to understand a spontaneous gift. Apparently, they only comprehend the favour when one yields to their asking. The lowest classes never give to each other, unsolicited, a centʼs worth, outside the customary reciprocal feast-offerings. If a European makes voluntary gratuities to the natives, he is considered a fool—they entertain a contempt for him, which develops into intolerable impertinence. If the native comes to borrow, lend him a little less than he asks for, after a verbose preamble; if one at once lent, or gave, the full value requested, he would continue to invent a host of pressing necessities, until oneʼs patience was exhausted. He seldom restores the loan of anything voluntarily. On being remonstrated with for his remissness, after the date of repayment or return of the article has expired, he will coolly reply, “You did not ask me for it.” An amusing case of native reasoning came within my experience just recently. I lent some articles to an educated Filipino, who had frequently been my guest, and, at the end of three months, I requested their return. Instead of thanking me for their use, he wrote a letter expressing his indignation at my reminder, saying that I “ought to know they were in very good hands!” A native considers it no degradation to borrow money: it gives him no recurrent feeling of humiliation or distress of mind. Thus, he will often give a costly feast to impress his neighbours with his wealth and maintain his local prestige, whilst on all sides he has debts innumerable. At most, with his looseness of morality, he regards debt as an inconvenience, not as a calamity. [169]

Before entering another (middle- or lower-class) nativeʼs house, he is very complimentary, and sometimes three minutesʼ polite excusatory dialogue is exchanged between the visitor and the native visited before the former passes the threshold. When the same class of native enters a Europeanʼs house, he generally satisfies his curiosity by looking all around, and often pokes his head into a private room, asking permission to enter afterwards.

The lower-class native never comes at first call; among themselves it is usual to call five or six times, raising the voice each time. If a native is told to tell another to come, he seldom goes to him to deliver the message, but calls him from a distance. When a native steals (and I must say they are fairly honest), he steals only what he wants. One of the rudest acts, according to their social code, is to step over a person asleep on the floor. Sleeping is, with them, a very solemn matter; they are very averse to waking any one, the idea being, that during sleep the soul is absent from the body, and that if slumber be suddenly arrested the soul might not have time to return. When a person, knowing the habits of the native, calls upon him and is told “He is asleep,” he does not inquire further—the rest is understood: that he may have to wait an indefinite time until the sleeper wakes up—so he may as well depart. To urge a servant to rouse one, one has to give him very imperative orders to that effect: then he stands by oneʼs side and calls “Señor, señor!” repeatedly, and each time louder, until one is half awake; then he returns to the low note, and gradually raises his voice again until one is quite conscious.

In Spanish times, wherever I went in the whole Archipelago—near the capital, or 500 miles from it—I found mothers teaching their offspring to regard the European as a demoniacal being, an evil spirit, or, at least, as an enemy to be feared! If a child cried, it was hushed by the exclamation, “Castila!” (European). If a white man approached a poor hut or a fine native residence, the cry of caution, the watchword for defence was always heard—“Castila!”—and the children hastened their retreat from the dreaded object. But this is now a thing of the past since the native crossed swords with the “Castila” (q.v.) and the American on the battle-field, and, rightly or wrongly, thoroughly believes himself to be a match for either in equal numbers.

The Filipino, like most Orientals, is a good imitator, but having no initiative genius, he is not efficient in anything. He will copy a model any number of times, but one cannot get him to make two copies so much alike that the one is undistinguishable from the other. Yet he has no attachment for any occupation in particular. To-day he will be at the plough; to-morrow a coachman, a collector of accounts, a valet, a sailor, and so on; or he will suddenly renounce social trammels in pursuit of lawless vagabondage. I once travelled [170]with a Colonel Marqués, acting-Governor of Cebú, whose valet was an ex-law student. Still, many are willing to learn, and really become very expert artisans, especially machinists.

The native is indolent in the extreme, and never tires of sitting still, gazing at nothing in particular. He will do no regular work without an advance; his word cannot be depended upon; he is fertile in exculpatory devices; he is momentarily obedient, but is averse to subjection. He feigns friendship, but has no loyalty; he is calm and silent, but can keep no secret; he is daring on the spur of the moment, but fails in resolution if he reflects. He is wantonly unfeeling towards animals; cruel to a fallen foe; tyrannical over his own people when in power; rarely tempers his animosities with compassion or pity, but is devotedly fond of his children. He is shifty, erratic, void of chivalrous feeling; and if familiarity be permitted with the common-class native, he is liable to presume upon it. The Tagálog is docile and pliant, but keenly resents an injustice.

Native superstition and facile credulity are easily imposed upon. A report emitted in jest, or in earnest, travels with alarming rapidity, and the consequences have not unfrequently been serious. The native rarely sees a joke, and still more rarely makes one. He never reveals anger, but he will, with the most profound calmness, avenge himself, awaiting patiently the opportunity to use his bowie-knife with effect. Mutilation of a vanquished enemy is common among these Islanders. If a native recognizes a fault by his own conscience, he will receive a flogging without resentment or complaint; if he is not so convinced of the misdeed, he will await his chance to give vent to his rancour.

He has a profound respect only for the elders of his household, and the lash justly administered. He rarely refers to past generations in his lineage, and the lowest class do not know their own ages. The Filipino, of any class, has no memory for dates. In 1904 not one in a hundred remembered the month and year in which General Aguinaldo surrendered. During the Independence war, an esteemed friend of mine, a Philippine priest, died, presumably of old age. I went to his town to inquire all about it from his son, but neither the son nor another near relation could recollect, after two daysʼ reflection, even the year the old man passed away. Another friend of mine had his brains blown out during the Revolution. His brother was anxious to relate the tragedy to me and how he had lost 20,000 pesos in consequence, but he could not tell me in which month it happened. Families are very united, and claims for help and protection are admitted however distant the relationship may be. Sometimes the connection of a “hanger-on” with his hostʼs family will be so remote and doubtful, that he can only be recognized as “un poco pariente nada mas” (a sort of kinsman). But the house is open to all.

The native is a good father and a good husband, unreasonably [171]jealous of his wife, careless of the honour of his daughter, and will take no heed of the indiscretions of his spouse committed before marriage. Cases have been known of natives having fled from their burning huts, taking care to save their fighting-cocks, but leaving their wives and children to look after themselves.

If a question be suddenly put to a native, he apparently loses his presence of mind, and gives the reply most convenient to save himself from trouble, punishment, or reproach. It is a matter of perfect indifference to him whether the reply be true or not. Then, as the investigation proceeds, he will amend one statement after another, until, finally, he has practically admitted his first explanation to be quite false. One who knows the native character, so far as its mysteries are penetrable, would never attempt to get at the truth of a question by a direct inquiry—he would “beat about the bush,” and extract the truth bit by bit. Nor do the natives, rich or poor, of any class in life, and with very few exceptions in the whole population, appear to regard lying as a sin, but rather as a legitimate, though cunning, convenience, which should be resorted to whenever it will serve a purpose. It is my frank opinion that they do not, in their consciences, hold lying to be a fault in any degree. If the liar be discovered and faced, he rarely appears disconcerted—his countenance rather denotes surprise at the discovery, or disappointment at his being foiled in the object for which he lied. As this is one of the most remarkable characteristics of the Filipino of both sexes in all spheres of life, I have repeatedly discussed it with the priests, several of whom have assured me that the habit prevails even in the confessional.7 In the administration of justice this circumstance is inconvenient, because a witness is always procurable for a few pesos. In a law-case, in which one or both parties belong to the lowest class, it is sometimes difficult to say whether the false or the true witnesses are in majority.

Men and women alike find exaggerated enjoyment in litigation, which many keep up for years. Among themselves they are tyrannical. They have no real sentiment, nor do they practise virtue for virtueʼs sake, and, apart from their hospitality, in which they (especially the Tagálogs) far excel the European, all their actions appear to be only guided by fear, or interest, or both.

The domesticated Tagálogs of Luzon have made greater progress in civilization and good manners than the Visayos of Panay and Negros. The Tagálog differs vastly from his southern brother in his true nature, which is more pliant, whilst he is by instinct cheerfully and [172]disinterestedly hospitable. Invariably a European wayfarer in a Tagálog village is invited by one or another of the principal residents to lodge at his house as a free guest, for to offer payment would give offence. A present of some European article might be made, but it is not at all looked for. The Tagálog host lends his guest horses or vehicles to go about the neighbourhood, takes him round to the houses of his friends, accompanies him to any feast which may be celebrated at the time of his visit, and lends him his sporting-gun, if he has one. The whole time he treats him with the deference due to the superiority which he recognizes. He is remarkably inquisitive, and will ask all sorts of questions about oneʼs private affairs, but that is of no consequence—he is not intrusive, and if he be invited to return the visit in the capital, or wherever one may reside, he accepts the invitation reluctantly, but seldom pays the visit. Speaking of the Tagálog as a host, pure and simple, he is generally the most genial man one could hope to meet.

A Visayan Planter

A Visayan Planter

The Negros and Panay Visayoʼs cold hospitality is much tempered with the prospect of personal gain—quite a contrast to the Tagálog. On the first visit he might admit the white traveller into his house out of mere curiosity to know all about him—whence he comes—why he travels—how much he possesses—and where he is going. The basis of his estimation of a visitor is his worldly means; or, if the visitor be engaged in trade, his power to facilitate his hostʼs schemes would bring him a certain measure of civility and complaisance. He is fond of, and seeks the patronage of Europeans of position. In manners, the Negros and Panay Visayo is uncouth and brusque, and more conceited, arrogant, self-reliant, ostentatious, and unpolished than his northern neighbour. If remonstrated with for any fault, he is quite disposed to assume a tone of impertinent retort or sullen defiance. The Cebuáno is more congenial and hospitable.

The women, too, are less affable in Panay and Negros, and evince an almost incredible avarice. They are excessively fond of ornament, and at feasts they appear adorned with an amount of gaudy French jewellery which, compared with their means, cost them a lot of money to purchase from the swarm of Jew pedlars who, before the Revolution of 1896, periodically invaded the villages.

A Chinese Half-caste

A Chinese Half-caste

If a European calls on a well-to-do Negros or Panay Visayo, the women of the family saunter off in one direction or another, to hide themselves in other rooms, unless the visitor be well known to the family. If met by chance, perhaps they will return a salutation, perhaps not. They seldom indulge in a smile before a stranger; have no conversation; no tuition beyond music and the lives of the Saints, and altogether impress the traveller with their insipidity of character, which chimes badly with their manifest air of disdain.

The women of Luzon (and in a slightly less degree the Cebuánas) [173]are more frank, better educated, and decidedly more courteous and sociable. Their manners are comparatively lively, void of arrogance, cheerful, and buoyant in tone. However, all over the Islands the women are more parsimonious than the men; but, as a rule, they are more clever and discerning than the other sex, over whom they exercise great influence. Many of them are very dexterous business women and have made the fortunes of their families. A notable example of this was the late Doña Cornelia Laochanco, of Manila, with whom I was personally acquainted, and who, by her own talent in trading transactions, accumulated considerable wealth. Doña Cornelia (who died in 1899) was the foundress of the system of blending sugar to sample for export, known in Manila as the fardería. In her establishment at San Miguel she had a little tower erected, whence a watchman kept his eye on the weather. When threatening clouds appeared a bell was tolled and the mats were instantly picked up and carried off by her Chinese coolie staff, which she managed with great skill, due, perhaps, to the fact that her three husbands were Chinese.

The Philippine woman makes an excellent general servant in native families; in the same capacity, in European service, she is, as a rule, almost useless, but she is a good nursemaid.

The Filipino has many excellent qualities which go far to make amends for his shortcomings. He is patient and forbearing in the extreme, remarkably sober, plodding, anxious only about providing for his immediate wants, and seldom feels “the canker of ambitious thoughts.” In his person and his dwelling he may serve as a pattern of cleanliness to all other races in the tropical East. He has little thought beyond the morrow, and therefore never racks his brains about events of the far future in the political world, the world to come, or any other sphere. He indifferently leaves everything to happen as it may, with surprising resignation. The native, in general, will go without food for many hours at a time without grumbling; and fish, rice, betel-nut, and tobacco are his chief wants. Inebriety is almost unknown, although strong drink (nipa wine) is plentiful.

In common with other races whose lives are almost exclusively passed amid the ever-varying wonders of land and sea, Filipinos rarely express any spontaneous admiration for the beauties of Nature, and seem little sensible to any aspect thereof not directly associated with the human interest of their calling. Few Asiatics, indeed, go into raptures over lovely scenery as Europeans do, nor does “the gorgeous glamour of the Orient” which we speak of so ecstatically strike them as such.

When a European is travelling, he never needs to trouble about where or when his servant gets his food or where he sleeps—he looks after that. When a native travels, he drops in amongst any group [174]of his fellow-countrymen whom he finds having their meal on the roadside, and wherever he happens to be at nightfall, there he lies down to sleep. He is never long in a great dilemma. If his hut is about to fall, he makes it fast with bamboo and rattan-cane. If a vehicle breaks down, a harness snaps, or his canoe leaks or upsets, he always has his remedy at hand. He stoically bears misfortune of all kinds with the greatest indifference, and without the least apparent emotion. Under the eye of his master he is the most tractable of all beings. He never (like the Chinese) insists upon doing things his own way, but tries to do just as he is told, whether it be right or wrong. A native enters oneʼs service as a coachman, but if he be told to paddle a boat, cook a meal, fix a lock, or do any other kind of labour possible to him, he is quite agreeable. He knows the duties of no occupation with efficiency, and he is perfectly willing to be a “jack-of-all-trades.” Another good feature is that he rarely, if ever, repudiates a debt, although he may never pay it. So long as he gets his food and fair treatment, and his stipulated wages in advance, he is content to act as a general-utility man; lodging he will find for himself. If not pressed too hard, he will follow his superior like a faithful dog. If treated with kindness, according to European notions, he is lost. The native never looks ahead; if left to himself, he will do all sorts of imprudent things, from sheer want of reflection on the consequences, when, as he puts it, “his head is hot” from excitement due to any cause.

On March 15, 1886, I was coming round the coast of Zambales in a small steamer, in which I was the only saloon passenger. The captain, whom I had known for years, found that one of the cabin servants had been systematically pilfering for some time past. He ordered the steward to cane him, and then told him to go to the upper deck and remain there. He at once walked up the ladder and threw himself into the sea; but the vessel stopped, a boat was lowered, and he was soon picked up. Had he been allowed to reach the shore, he would have become what is known as a remontado and perhaps eventually a brigand, for such is the beginning of many of them.

The thorough-bred native has no idea of organization on a large scale, hence a successful revolution is not possible if confined to his own class unaided by others, such as Creoles and foreigners. He is brave, and fears no consequences when with or against his equals, or if led by his superiors; but a conviction of superiority—moral or physical—in the adversary depresses him. An excess of audacity calms and overawes him rather than irritates him.

His admiration for bravery and perilous boldness is only equalled by his contempt for cowardice and puerility, and this is really the secret of the nativeʼs disdain for the Chinese race. Under good European officers he makes an excellent soldier, and would follow a brave leader to death; however, if the leader fell, he would at once become demoralized. [175]There is nothing he delights in more than pillage, destruction, and bloodshed, and when once he becomes master of the situation in an affray, there is no limit to his greed and savage cruelty.

Yet, detesting order of any kind, military discipline is repugnant to him, and, as in other countries where conscription is the law, all kinds of tricks are resorted to to avoid it. On looking over the deeds of an estate which I had purchased, I saw that two brothers, each named Catalino Raymundo, were the owners at one time of a portion of the land. I thought there must have been some mistake, but, on close inquiry, I found that they were so named to dodge the Spanish recruiting officers, who would not readily suppose there were two Catalino Raymundos born of the same parents. As one Catalino Raymundo had served in the army and the other was dead, no further secret was made in the matter, and I was assured that this practice was common among the poorest natives.

In November, 1887, a deserter from the new recruits was pursued to Langca, a ward of Meycauáyan, Bulacan Province, where nearly all the inhabitants rose up in his defence, the result being that the Lieutenant of Cuadrilleros was killed and two of his men were wounded. When the Civil Guard appeared on the spot, the whole ward was abandoned.

According to the Spanish army regulations, a soldier cannot be on sentinel duty for more than two hours at a time under any circumstances. Cases have been known of a native sentinel having been left at his post for a little over that regulation time, and to have become phrenetic, under the impression that the two hours had long since expired, and that he had been forgotten. In one case the man had to be disarmed by force, but in another instance the sentinel simply refused to give up his rifle and bayonet, and defied all who approached him. Finally, an officer went with the colours of the regiment in hand to exhort him to surrender his arms, adding that justice would attend his complaint. The sentinel, however, threatened to kill any one who should draw near, and the officer had no other recourse open to him but to order a European soldier to climb up behind the sentry-box and blow out the insubordinate nativeʼs brains.

In the seventies, a contingent of Philippine troops was sent to assist the French in Tonquin, where they rendered very valuable service. Indeed, some officers are of opinion that they did more to quell the Tuh Duc rising than the French troops themselves. When in the fray, they throw off their boots, and, barefooted, they rarely falter. Even over mud and swamp, a native is almost as sure-footed as a goat on the brink of a quarry. I have frequently been carried for miles in a hammock by four natives and relays, through morassy districts too dangerous to travel on horseback. They are great adepts at climbing wherever it is possible for a human being to scale a height; like [176]monkeys, they hold as much with their feet as with their hands; they ride any horse barebacked without fear; they are utterly careless about jumping into the sea among the sharks, which sometimes they will intentionally attack with knives, and I never knew a native who could not swim. There are natives who dare dive for the caiman and rip it up. If they meet with an accident, they bear it with supreme resignation, simply exclaiming “desgracia pá”—it was a misfortune.

I can record with pleasure my happy recollection of many a light-hearted, genial, and patient native who accompanied me on my journeys in these Islands. Comparatively very few thorough-bred natives travel beyond their own islands, although there is a constant flow of half-castes to and from the adjacent colonies, Europe, etc.

The native is very slowly tempted to abandon the habits and traditional customs of his forefathers, and his ambitionless felicity may be envied by any true philosopher.

No one who has lived in the Colony for years could sketch the real moral portrait of such a remarkable combination of virtues and vices. The domesticated nativeʼs character is a succession of surprises. The experience of each year modifies oneʼs conclusions, and the most exact definition of such an inscrutable being is, after all, hypothetical. However, to a certain degree, the characteristic indolence of these Islanders is less dependent on themselves than on natural law, for the physical conditions surrounding them undoubtedly tend to arrest their vigour of motion, energy of life, and intellectual power.

The organic elements of the European differ widely from those of the Philippine native, and each, for his own durability, requires his own special environment. The half-breed partakes of both organisms, but has the natural environment of the one. Sometimes artificial means—the mode of life into which he is forced by his European parent—will counteract in a measure natural law, but, left to himself, the tendency will ever be towards an assimilation to the native. Original national characteristics disappear in an exotic climate, and, in the course of time, conform to the new laws of nature to which they are exposed.

It is an ascertained fact that the increase of energy introduced into the Philippine native by blood mixture from Europe lasts only to the second generation, whilst the effect remains for several generations when there is a similarity of natural surroundings in the two races crossed. Moreover, the peculiar physique of a Chinese or Japanese progenitor is preserved in succeeding generations, long after the Spanish descendant has merged into the conditions of his environment.

The Spanish Government strove in vain against natural law to counteract physical conditions by favouring mixed marriages,8 but Nature overcomes manʼs law, and climatic influence forces its conditions [177]on the half-breed. Indeed, were it not for new supplies of extraneous blood infusion, European characteristics would, in time, become indiscernible among the masses. Even on Europeans themselves, in defiance of their own volition, the new physical conditions and the influence of climate on their mental and physical organisms are perceptible after two or three decades of yearsʼ residence in the mid-tropics.

All the natives of the domesticated type have distinct Malay, or Malay-Japanese, or Mongol features—prominent cheek-bones, large and lively eyes, and flat noses with dilated nostrils. They are, on the average, of rather low stature, very rarely bearded, and of a copper colour more or less dark. Most of the women have no distinct line of hair on the forehead. Some there are with a frontal hairy down extending to within an inch of the eyes, possibly a reversion to a progenitor (the Macacus radiata) in whom the forehead had not become quite naked, leaving the limit between the scalp and the forehead undefined. The hair of both males and females stands out from the skin like bristles, and is very coarse. The coarseness of the femaleʼs hair is, however, more than compensated by its luxuriance; for, provided she be in a normal state of health, up to the prime of life the hair commonly reaches down to the waist, and occasionally to the ankles. The women are naturally proud of this mark of beauty, which they preserved by frequent washings with gogo (q.v.) and the use of cocoanut oil (q.v.). Hare-lip is common. Children, from their birth, have a spot at the base of the vertebrae, thereby supporting the theory of Professor Huxleyʼs Anthropidae sub-order—or man (vide Professor Huxleyʼs “An Introduction to the Classification of Animals,” p. 99. Published 1869).

Marriages between natives are usually arranged by the parents of the respective families. The nubile age of females is from about 11 years. The parents of the young man visit those of the maiden, to approach the subject delicately in an oratorical style of allegory. The response is in like manner shrouded with mystery, and the veil is only thrown off the negotiations when it becomes evident that both parties agree. Among the poorer classes, if the young man has no goods to offer, it is frequently stipulated that he shall serve on probation for an indefinite period in the house of his future bride,—as Jacob served Laban to make Rachel his wife,—and not a few drudge for years with this hope before them.

Sometimes, in order to secure service gratis, the elders of the young woman will suddenly dismiss the young man after a prolonged expectation, and take another Catipad. as he is called, on the same terms. The old colonial legislation—“Leyes de Indias”—in vain prohibited this barbarous ancient custom, and there was a modern Spanish law (of which few availed themselves) which permitted the intended bride to be [178]“deposited” away from parental custody, whilst the parents were called upon to show cause why the union should not take place. However, it often happens that when Cupid has already shot his arrow into the virginal breast, and the betrothed foresee a determined opposition to their mutual hopes, they anticipate the privileges of matrimony, and compel the brideʼs parents to countenance their legitimate aspirations to save the honour of the family. Honi soit qui mal y pense—they simply force the hand of a dictatorial mother-in-law. The women are notably mercenary, and if, on the part of the girl and her people, there be a hitch, it is generally on the question of dollars when both parties are native. Of course, if the suitor be European, no such question is raised—the ambition of the family and the vanity of the girl being both satisfied by the alliance itself.

When the proposed espousals are accepted, the donations propter nuptias are paid by the father of the bridegroom to defray the wedding expenses, and often a dowry settlement, called in Tagálog dialect “bigaycaya” is made in favour of the bride. Very rarely the brideʼs property is settled on the husband. I never heard of such a case. The Spanish laws relating to married personsʼ property were quaint. If the husband were poor and the wife well-off, so they might remain, notwithstanding the marriage. He, as a rule, became a simple administrator of her possessions, and, if honest, often depended on her liberality to supply his own necessities. If he became bankrupt in a business in which he employed also her capital or possessions, she ranked as a creditor of the second class under the “Commercial Code.” If she died, the poor husband, under no circumstances, by legal right (unless under a deed signed before a notary) derived any benefit from the fact of his having espoused a rich wife: her property passed to their legitimate issue, or—in default thereof—to her nearest blood relation. The children might be rich, and, but for their generosity, their father might be destitute, whilst the law compelled him to render a strict account to them of the administration of their property during their minority. This fact has given rise to many lawsuits.

A married woman often signs her maiden name, sometimes adding “de ——” (her husbandʼs surname). If she survives him, she again takes up her nomen ante nuptias amongst her old circle of friends, and only adds “widow of ——” to show who she is to the public (if she be in trade), or to those who have only known her as a married woman. The offspring use both the parental surnames, the motherʼs coming after the fatherʼs; hence it is the more prominent. Frequently, in Spanish documents requiring the mention of a personʼs name in full, the motherʼs maiden surname is revived.

Thus marriage, as I understand the spirit of the Spanish law, seems to be a simple contract to legitimize and license procreation.

Up to the year 1844, only a minority of the christian natives had [179]distinctive family names. They were, before that date, known by certain harsh ejaculations, and classification of families was uncared for among the majority of the population. Therefore, in that year, a list of Spanish surnames was sent to each parish priest, and every native family had to adopt a separate appellation, which has ever since been perpetuated. Hence one meets natives bearing illustrious names such as Juan Salcedo, Juan de Austria, Rianzares, Ramon de Cabrera, Pio Nono Lopez, and a great many Legaspis.

When a wedding among natives was determined upon, the betrothed went to the priest—not necessarily together—kissed his hand, and informed him of their intention. There was a tariff of marriage fees, but the priest usually set this aside, and fixed his charges according to the resources of the parties. This abuse of power could hardly be resisted, as the natives have a radicate aversion to being married elsewhere than in the village of the bride. The priest, too (not the bride), usually had the privilege of “naming the day.” The fees demanded were sometimes enormous, the common result being that many couples merely cohabited under mutual vows because they could not pay the wedding expenses.

The banns were verbally published after the benediction following the conclusion of the Mass. In the evening, prior to the marriage, it was compulsory on the couple to confess and obtain absolution from the priest. The nuptials almost invariably took place after the first Mass, between five and six in the morning, and those couples who were spiritually prepared first presented themselves for Communion. Then an acolyte placed over the shoulders of the bridal pair a thick mantle or pall. The priest recited a short formula of about five minutesʼ duration, put his interrogations, received the muttered responses, and all was over. To the espoused, as they left the church, was tendered a bowl of coin; the bridegroom passed a handful of the contents to the bride, who accepted it and returned it to the bowl. This act was symbolical of his giving to her his worldly goods. Then they left the church with their friends, preserving that solemn, stoical countenance common to all Malay natives. There was no visible sign of emotion as they all walked off, with the most matter-of-fact indifference, to the paternal abode. This was the custom under the Spaniards, and it still largely obtains; the Revolution decreed civil marriage, which the Americans have declared lawful, but not compulsory.

After the marriage ceremony the feast called the Catapúsan9 begins. To this the vicar and headmen of the villages, the immediate friends and relatives of the allied families, and any Europeans who may [180]happen to be resident or sojourning, are invited. The table is spread, à la Russe, with all the good things procurable served at the same time—sweetmeats predominating. Imported beer, Dutch gin, chocolate, etc., are also in abundance. After the early repast, both men and women are constantly being offered betel-nut to masticate, and cigars or cigarettes, according to choice.

Meanwhile, the company is entertained by native dancers. Two at a time—a young man and woman—stand vis-à-vis and alternately sing a love ditty, the burthen of the theme usually opening by the regret of the young man that his amorous overtures have been disregarded. Explanations follow, in the poetic dialogue, as the parties dance around each other, keeping a slow step to the plaintive strains of music. This is called the Balítao. It is most popular in Visayas.

Another dance is performed by a young woman only. If well executed it is extremely graceful. The girl begins singing a few words in an ordinary tone, when her voice gradually drops to the diminuendo, whilst her slow gesticulations and the declining vigour of the music together express her forlornness. Then a ray of joy seems momentarily to lighten her mental anguish; the spirited crescendo notes gently return; the tone of the melody swells; her measured step and action energetically quicken—until she lapses again into resigned sorrow, and so on alternately. Coy in repulse, and languid in surrender, the danseuse in the end forsakes her sentiment of melancholy for elated passion.

The native dances are numerous. Another of the most typical, is that of a girl writhing and dancing a pas seul with a glass of water on her head. This is known as the Comítan.

When Europeans are present, the bride usually retires into the kitchen or a back room, and only puts in an appearance after repeated requests. The conversation rarely turns upon the event of the meeting; there is not the slightest outward manifestation of affection between the newly-united couple, who, during the feast, are only seen together by mere accident. If there are European guests, the repast is served three times—firstly for the Europeans and headmen, secondly for the males of less social dignity, and lastly for the women. Neither at the table nor in the reception-room do the men and women mingle, except for perhaps the first quarter of an hour after the arrival, or whilst dancing continues.

About an hour after the mid-day meal, those who are not lodging at the house return to their respective residences to sleep the siesta. On an occasion like this—at a Catapúsan given for any reason—native outsiders, from anywhere, always invade the kitchen in a mob, lounge around doorways, fill up corners, and drop in for the feast uninvited, and it is usual to be liberally complaisant to all comers.

As a rule, the married couple live with the parents of one or the [181]other, at least until the family inconveniently increases. In old age, the elder members of the families come under the protection of the younger ones quite as a matter of course. In any case, a newly-married pair seldom reside alone. Relations from all parts flock in. Cousins, uncles and aunts, of more or less distant grade, hang on to the recently-established household, if it be not extremely poor. Even when a European marries a native woman, she is certain to introduce some vagabond relation—a drone to hive with the bees—a condition quite inevitable, unless the husband be a man of specially determined character.

Death at childbirth is very common, and it is said that 25 per cent. of the new-born children die within a month.

Among the lowest classes, whilst a woman is lying-in, the husband closes all the windows to prevent the evil spirit (asuan) entering; sometimes he will wave about a stick or bowie-knife at the door, or on top of the roof, for the same purpose. Even among the most enlightened, at the present day, the custom of shutting the windows is inherited from their superstitious forefathers, probably in ignorance of the origin of this usage.

In Spanish times it was considered rather an honour than otherwise to have children by a priest, and little secret was made of it.

In October, 1888, I was in a village near Manila, at the bedside of a sick friend, when the curate entered. He excused himself for not having called earlier, by explaining that “Turing” had sent him a message informing him that as the vicar (a native) had gone to Manila, he might take charge of the church and parish. “Is ‘Turing’ an assistant curate?” I inquired. My friend and the pastor were so convulsed with laughter at the idea, that it was quite five minutes before they could explain that the intimation respecting the parochial business emanated from the absent vicarʼs bonne amie.

Consanguine marriages are very common, and perhaps this accounts for the low intellect and mental debility perceptible in many families.

Poor parents offer their girls to Europeans for a loan of money, and they are admitted under the pseudonym of sempstress or housekeeper. Natives among themselves do not kiss—they smell each other, or rather, they place the nose and lip on the cheek and draw a long breath.

Marriages between Spaniards and pure native women, although less frequent than formerly, still take place. Since 1899 many Americans, too, have taken pure native wives. It is difficult to apprehend an alliance so incongruous, there being no affinity of ideas, the only condition in common being, that they are both human beings professing Christianity. The husband is either drawn towards the level of the native by this heterogeneous relationship, or, in despair of remedying the error of a passing passion, he practically ignores his wife in his own social connections. Each forms then a distinct circle of friends of his, or her, own selection, whilst the woman is but slightly raised above her [182]own class by the white manʼs influence and contact. There are some exceptions, but I have most frequently observed in the houses of Europeans married to native women in the provinces, that the wives make the kitchen their chief abode, and are only seen by the visitor when some domestic duty requires them to move about the house. Familiarity breeds contempt, and these mésalliances diminish the dignity of the superior race by reducing the birth-origin of both parents to a common level in their children.

A Tagálog Milkwoman

A Tagálog Milkwoman

The Spanish half-breeds and Creoles constitute a very influential body. A great number of them are established in trade in Manila and the provinces. Due to their European descent, more or less distant, they are of quicker perception, greater tact, and gifted with wider intellectual faculties than the pure Oriental class. Also, the Chinese half-breeds,—a caste of Chinese fathers and Philippine mothers,—who form about one-sixth of the Manila population, are shrewder than the natives of pure extraction, their striking characteristic being distrust and suspicion of anotherʼs intentions. It is a curious fact that the Chinese half-caste speaks with as much contempt of the Chinaman as the thorough-bred Filipino does, and would fain hide his paternal descent. There are numbers of Spanish half-breeds fairly well educated, and just a few of them very talented. Many of them have succeeded in making pretty considerable fortunes in their negotiations, as middlemen, between the provincial natives and the European commercial houses. Their true social position is often an equivocal one, and the complex question has constantly to be confronted whether to regard a Spanish demi-sang from a native or European standpoint. Among themselves they are continually struggling to attain the respect and consideration accorded to the superior class, whilst their connexions and purely native relations link them to the other side. In this perplexing mental condition, we find them on the one hand striving in vain to disown their affinity to the inferior races, and on the other hand, jealous of their true-born European acquaintances. A morosity of disposition is the natural outcome. Their character generally is evasive and vacillating. They are captious, fond of litigation, and constantly seeking subterfuges. They appear always dissatisfied with their lot in life, and inclined to foster grievances against whoever may be in office over them. Pretentious in the extreme, they are fond of pomp and paltry show, and it is difficult to trace any popular movement, for good or for evil, without discovering a half-breed initiator, or leader, of one caste or another. They are locally denominated Mestizos.

A Tagálog Townsman

A Tagálog Townsman

The Jesuit Father, Pedro Murillo Velarde, at p. 272 of his work on this Colony, expressed his opinion of the political-economical result of mixed marriages to the following effect:—“Now,” he says, “we have a querulous, discontented population of half-castes, who, sooner or later, will bring about a distracted state of society, and occupy the [183]whole force of the Government to stamp out the discord.” How far the prophecy was fulfilled will be seen in another chapter.

Being naturally prone to superstitious beliefs, the Islanders accepted, without doubting, all the fantastic tales which the early missionaries taught them. Miraculous crosses healed the sick, cured the plague, and scared away the locusts. Images, such as the Holy Child of Ban͠gi, relieved them of all worldly sufferings. To this day they revere many of these objects, which are still preserved.

The most ancient miraculous image in these Islands appears to be the Santo Nino de Cebú—the Holy Child of Cebú. It is recorded that on July 28, 1565, an image of the Child Jesus was found on Cebú Island shore by a Basque soldier named Juan de Camus. It was venerated and kept by the Austin friars. Irreverent persons have alleged it was a pagan idol. Against this, it may be argued that the heathen Cebúanos were not known to have been idolaters. In 1627 a fire occurred in Cebú city, when the Churches of Saint Nicholas and of the Holy Child were burnt down. The image was saved, and temporarily placed in charge of the Recoleto friars. A fire also took place on the site of the first cross erected on the island by Father Martin de Rada, the day Legaspi landed, and it is said that this cross, although made of bamboo, was not consumed. There now stands an Oratory, wherein on special occasions is exposed the original cross. Close by is the modern Church of the Holy Child.

In June, 1887, the Prior of the convent conducted me to the strong-room where the wonderful image is kept. The Saint is of wood, about fifteen inches high, and laden with silver trinkets, which have been presented on different occasions. When exposed to public view, it has the honours of field-marshal accorded to it. It is a mystic deity with ebon features—so different from the lovely Child presented to us on canvas by the great masters! During the feast held in its honour (January 20), pilgrims from the remotest districts of the island and from across the seas come to purify their souls at the shrine of “The Holy Child.” In the same room was a beautiful image of the Madonna, besides two large tin boxes containing sundry arms, legs, and heads of Saints, with their robes in readiness for adjustment on procession days. The patron of Cebú City is Saint Vidal.

The legend of the celestial protector of Manila is not less interesting. It is related that in Dilao (now called Paco), near Manila, a wooden image of Saint Francis de Assisi, which was in the house of a native named Alonso Cuyapit, was seen to weep so copiously that many cloths were moistened by its tears. The image, with its hands outspread during three hours, invoked Godʼs blessing on Manila. And then, on closing its hands, it grasped a cross and skull. Vows were made to the Saint, who was declared protector of the capital, and the same image [184]is now to be seen in the Franciscan Church, under the appellation of San Francisco de las lágrimas—“Saint Francis of Tears.”

Up to the seventies of last century, a disgusting spectacle used to be annually witnessed at the Church of San Miguel (Manila) on December 8; it was a realistic representation of the Immaculate Conception!

“Our Lady of Cagsaysay,” near Taal (Batangas), has been revered for many years both by Europeans and natives. So enthusiastic was the belief in the miraculous power of this image, that the galleons, when passing the Batangas coast on their way to and from Mexico, were accustomed to fire a salute from their guns (vide pp. 18, 19). This image was picked up by a native in his fishing-net, and he placed it in a cave, where it was discovered by other natives, who imagined they saw many extraordinary lights around it. According to the local legend, they heard sweet sonorous music proceeding from the same spot, and the image came forward and spoke to a native woman, who had brought her companions to adore the Saint.

The history of the many shrines all over the Colony would well fill a volume; however, by far the most popular one is that of the Virgin of Antipolo—Nuestra Señora de Buen Viaje y de la Paz, “Our Lady of Good Voyage and Peace.”

This image is said to have wrought many miracles. It was first brought from Acapulco (Mexico) in 1626 in the State galleon, by Juan Niño de Tabora, who was appointed Gov.-General of these Islands (1626–32) by King Philip IV. The Saint, it is alleged, had encountered numberless reverses between that time and the year 1672, since which date it has been safely lodged in the Parish Church of Antipolo—a village in the old Military District of Mórong (Rizal Province)—in the custody of the Austin friars. In the month of May, thousands of people repair to this shrine; indeed, this village of 3,800 inhabitants (diminished to 2,800 in 1903) chiefly depends upon the pilgrims for its existence, for the land within the jurisdiction of Antipolo is all mountainous and very limited in extent. The priests also do a very good trade in prints of Saints, rosaries, etc., for the sale of which, in Spanish times, they used to open a shop during the feast inside and just in front of the convent entrance. The total amount of money spent in the village by visitors during the pilgrimage has been roughly computed to be ₱30,000. They come from all parts of the Islands.

The legends of the Saint are best described in a pamphlet published in Manila,10 from which I take the following information.

The writer says that the people of Acapulco (Mexico) were loth to part with their Holy Image, but the saintly Virgin herself, desirous of succouring the inhabitants of the Spanish Indies, smoothed all difficulties. During her first voyage, in the month of March, 1626, a [185]tempest arose, which was calmed by the Virgin, and all arrived safely in the galleon at the shores of Manila. She was then carried in procession to the Cathedral, whilst the church bells tolled and the artillery thundered forth salutes of welcome. A solemn Mass was celebrated, which all the religious communities, civil authorities, and a multitude of people attended.

Six years afterwards the Gov.-General Juan Niño de Tabora died. By his will he intrusted the Virgin to the care of the Jesuits, whilst a church was being built under the direction of Father Juan Salazár for her special reception. During the erection of this church, the Virgin often descended from the altar and exhibited herself amongst the flowery branches of a tree, called by the natives Antipolo (Artocarpus incisa). The tree itself was thenceforth regarded as a precious relic by the natives, who, leaf by leaf and branch by branch, were gradually carrying it off. Then Father Salazar decreed that the tree-trunk should serve for a pedestal to the Divine Miraculous Image—hence the title “Virgin of Antipolo.”

In 1639 the Chinese rebelled against the Spanish authority (vide p. 115). In their furious march through the ruins and the blood of their victims, and amidst the wailing of the crowd, they attacked the Sanctuary wherein reposed the Virgin. Seizing the Holy Image, they cast it into the flames, and when all around was reduced to ashes, there stood the Virgin of Antipolo, resplendent, with her hair, her lace, her ribbons and adornments intact, and her beautiful body of brass without wound or blemish! Passionate at seeing frustrated their designs to destroy the deified protectress of the Christians, a wanton infidel stabbed her in the face, and all the resources of art have ever failed to heal the lasting wound. Again the Virgin was enveloped in flames, which hid the appalling sight of her burning entrails. Now the Spanish troops arrived, and fell upon the heretical marauders with great slaughter; then, glancing with trembling anxiety upon the scene of the outrage, behold! with glad astonishment they descried the Holy Image upon a smouldering pile of ashes—unhurt! With renewed enthusiasm, the Spanish warriors bore away the Virgin on their shoulders in triumph, and Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, the Gov.-General at the time, had her conveyed to Cavite to be the patroness of the faithful upon the high seas.

A galleon arrived at Cavite, and being unable to go into port, the commander anchored off at a distance. Then the new Gov.-General, Diego Fajardo (1644–53), sent the Virgin on board, and, by her help, a passage was found for the vessel to enter.

Later on, twelve Dutch warships appeared off Marivéles, the northwestern extremity of Manila Bay. They had come to attack Cavite, and in their hour of danger the Spaniards appealed to the Virgin, who gave them a complete victory over the Dutchmen, causing them to flee, [186]with their commander mortally wounded. During the affray, the Virgin had been taken away for safety on board the San Diego, commanded by Cépeda. In 1650 this vessel returned, and the pious prelate, José Millan Poblete,11 thought he perceived clear indications of an eager desire on the part of the Virgin to retire to her Sanctuary. The people, too, clamoured for the Saint, attributing the many calamities with which they were afflicted at that period to her absence from their shores. Assailed by enemies, frequently threatened by the Dutch, lamenting the loss of several galleons, and distressed by a serious earthquake, their only hope reposed in the beneficent aid of the Virgin of Antipolo.

But the galleon San Francisco Xavier feared to make the journey to Mexico without the saintly support, and for the sixth time the Virgin crossed the Pacific Ocean. In Acapulco the galleon lay at anchor until March, 1653, when the newly-appointed Gov.-General, Sabiniano Manrique de Lara, Archbishop Miguel Poblete, Father Rodrigo Cárdenas, Bishop-elect of Cagayán, and many other passengers embarked and set sail for Manila. Their sufferings during the voyage were horrible. Almost overcome by a violent storm, the ship became unmanageable. Rain poured in torrents, whilst her decks were washed by the surging waves, and all was on the point of utter destruction. In this plight the Virgin was exhorted, and not in vain, for at her command the sea lessened its fury, the wind calmed, black threatening clouds dispersed, all the terrors of the voyage ceased, and under a beautiful blue sky a fair wind wafted the galleon safely to the port of Cavite.

These circumstances gained for the Saint the title of “Virgin of Good Voyage and Peace”; and the sailors,—who gratefully acknowledged that their lives were saved by her sublime intercession,—followed by the ecclesiastical dignitaries and military chiefs, carried the image to her retreat in Antipolo (September 8, 1653), where it was intended she should permanently remain. However, deprived of the succour of the Saint, misfortunes again overtook the galleons. Three of them were lost, and the writer of the brochure to which I refer supposes (Chap. iv.) that perchance the sea, suffering from the number of furrows cut by the keels of the ships, had determined to take a fierce revenge by swallowing them up!

Once more, therefore, the Virgin condescended to accompany a galleon to Mexico, bringing her back safely to Philippine shores in 1672.

This was the Virginʼs last sea voyage. Again, and for ever, she was conveyed by the joyous multitude to her resting-place in Antipolo Church, and on her journey thither, there was not a flower, adds the chronicler, which did not greet her by opening a bud—not a mountain pigeon which remained in silence, whilst the breezes and the rivulets poured forth their silent murmurings of ecstasy. Saintly guardian of the [187]soul, dispersing mundane evils!—no colours, the chronicler tells us, can paint the animation of the faithful; no discourse can describe the consolation of the pilgrims in their adoration at the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of Antipolo.

Yet the village of Antipolo and its neighbourhood was, in Spanish times, the centre of brigandage, the resort of murderous highwaymen, the focus of crime. What a strange contrast to the sublime virtues of the immortal divinity enclosed within its Sanctuary!

On November 26, 1904, this miraculous Image was temporarily removed from Antipolo to Manila for the celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Carried by willing hands to the place of embarkation, it made the voyage to the capital, down the Pasig River, in a gorgeously decorated barge, towed by a steam launch, escorted by hundreds of floating craft and over 20,000 natives, marching along the river banks in respectful accompaniment. The next day a procession of about 35,000 persons followed the Virgin to the Cathedral of Manila, where she was enshrined, awaiting the great event of December 8. Subsequently she was restored to her shrine at Antipolo.

The most lucrative undertaking in the Colony is that of a shrine. It yields all gain, without possible loss. Among the most popular of these “Miraculous Saint Shows” was that of Gusi, belonging to the late parish priest of Ilug, in Negros Island. At Gusi, half an hourʼs walk from the Fatherʼs parish church, was enthroned San Joaquin, who, for a small consideration, consoled the faithful or relieved them of iheir sufferings. His spouse, Santa Ana, having taken up her residence in the town of Molo (Yloilo Province), was said to have been visited by San Joaquin once a year. He was absent on the journey at least a fortnight, but the waters in the neighbourhood of the Shrine being sanctified the clientèle was not dispersed. Some sceptics have dared to doubt whether San Joaquin really paid this visit to his saintly wife, and alleged that his absence was feigned, firstly to make his presence longed for, and secondly to remove the cobwebs from his hallowed brow, and give him a wash and brush up for the year. The Shrine paid well for years—every devotee leaving his mite. At the time of my pilgrimage there, the holy Fatherʼs son was the petty-governor of the same town of Ilug.

Shrine-owners are apparently no friends of free trade. In 1888 there was a great commotion amongst them when it was discovered that a would-be competitor and a gownsman had conspired, in Pampanga Province, to establish a Miraculous Saint, by concealing an image in a field in order that it should “make itself manifest to the faithful,” and thenceforth become a source of income.

It is notorious that in a church near Manila, a few years ago, an image was made to move the parts of its body as the reverend preacher [188]exhorted it in the course of his sermon. When he appealed to the Saint, it wagged its head or extended its arms, whilst the female audience wept and wailed. Such a scandalous disturbance did it provoke that the exhibition was even too monstrous for the clergy themselves, and the Archbishop prohibited it. But religion has many wealth-producing branches. In January, 1889, a friend of mine showed me an account rendered by the Superior of the Jesuitsʼ School for the education of his sons, each of whom was charged with one peso as a gratuity to the Pope, to induce him to canonize a deceased member of their Order. I have been most positively assured by friends, whose good faith I ought not to doubt, that San Pascual Bailón really has, on many occasions, had compassion on barren women (their friends) and given them offspring. Jose Rizal, in his “Noli me tangere” hints that the real Pascual was a friar.

Trading upon the credulity of devout enthusiasts by fetishism and shrine quackery is not altogether confined to the ecclesiastics. A Spanish layman in Yloilo, some few years ago, when he was an official of the prison, known as the “Cotta,” conceived the idea of declaring that the Blessed Virgin and Child Jesus had appeared in the prison well, where they took a bath and disappeared. When, at length, the belief became popular, hundreds of natives went there to get water from the well, and the official imposed a tax on the pilgrims, whereby he became possessed of a modest fortune, and owned two of the best houses in the Square of Yloilo.

The Feast of Tigbáuang (near Yloilo), which takes place in January, is also much frequented on account of the miracles performed by the patron Saint of the town. The faith in the power of this minor divinity to dispel bodily suffering is so deeply rooted that members of the most enlightened families of Yloilo and the neighbouring towns go to Tigbáuang simply to attend High Mass, and return at once. I have seen steamers entering Yloilo from this feast so crowded with passengers that there was only standing room for them.

An opprobrious form of religious imposture—perhaps the most contemptible—which frequently offended the public eye, before the American advent, was the practice of prowling about with doll-saints in the streets and public highways. A vagrant, too lazy to earn an honest subsistence, procured a licence from the monks to hawk about a wooden box containing a doll or print covered by a pane of glass. This he offered to hold before the nose of any ignorant passer-by who was willing to pay for the boon of kissing the glass!

During Holy Week, a few years ago, the captain of the Civil Guard in Tayabas Province went to the town of Atimonan, and saw natives in the streets almost in a state of nudity doing penance “for the wounds of Our Lord.” They were actually beating themselves with flails, some of which were made of iron chain, and others of rope with thongs of [189]rattan-cane. Having confiscated the flails—one of which he gave to me—he effectually assisted the fanatics in their penitent castigation. Alas! to what excesses will faith, unrestrained by reason, bring one!

The result of tuition in mystic influences is sometimes manifested in the appearance of native Santones—indolent scamps who roam about in remote villages, feigning the possession of supernatural gifts, the faculty of saving souls, and the healing art, with the object of living at the expense of the ignorant. I never happened to meet more than one of these creatures—an escaped convict named Apolonio, a native of Cabuyao (Laguna), who, assuming the character of a prophet and worker of miracles, had fled to the neighbourhood of San Pablo village. I have often heard of them in other places, notably in Cápis Province, where the Santones were vigorously pursued by the Civil Guard, and as recently as May, 1904, a notorious humbug of this class, styling himself Pope Isio, alias Nazarenong Gala, was arrested in West Negros and punished under American authority.

The Spanish clergy were justifiably zealous in guarding the Filipinos from a knowledge of other doctrines which would only lead them to immeasurable bewilderment. Hence all the civilized natives were Roman Catholics exclusively. The strict obedience to one system of Christianity, even in its grossly perverted form, had the effect desired by the State, of bringing about social unity to an advanced degree. Yet, so far as I have observed, the native seems to understand extremely little of the “inward and spiritual grace” of religion. He is so material and realistic, so devoid of all conception of things abstract, that his ideas rarely, if ever, soar beyond the contemplation of the “outward and visible signs” of christian belief. The symbols of faith and the observance of religious rites are to him religion itself. He also confounds morality with religion. Natives go to church because it is the custom. Often if a native cannot put on a clean shirt, he abstains from going to Mass. The petty-governor of a town was compelled to go to High Mass accompanied by his “ministry.” In some towns the Barangay Chiefs were fined or beaten if they were absent from church on Sundays and certain Feast Days.12

As to the women, little or no pressure was necessary to oblige them to attend Mass; many of them pass half their existence between private devotion and the confessional. [190]

The parish priest of Lipa (Batangas) related to a friend of mine that having on one occasion distributed all his stock of pictures of the Saints to those who had come to see him on parochial business, he had to content the last suppliant with an empty raisin-box, without noticing that on the lid there was a coloured print of Garibaldi. Later on Garibaldiʼs portrait was seen in a hut in one of the suburbs with candles around it, being adored as a Saint.

A curious case of native religious philosophy was reported in a Manila newspaper.13 A milkman, accused by one of his customers of having adulterated the milk, of course denied it at first, and then, yielding to more potent argument than words, he confessed that he had diluted the milk with holy water from the church fonts, for at the same time that he committed the sin he was penitent.

Undoubtedly Roman Catholicism appears to be the form of Christianity most successful in proselytizing uncivilized races, which are impressed more through their eyes than their understanding. If the grandeur of the ritual, the magnificence of the processions, the lustre of the church vessels and the images themselves have never been understood by the masses in the strictly symbolic sense in which they appeal to us, at least they have had their influence in drawing millions to civilization and to a unique uniformity of precept, the practice of which it is beyond all human power to control.

For Music the native has an inherent passion. Musicians are to be found in every village, and even among the very poorest classes. Before the Revolution there was scarcely a parish, however remote, without its orchestra, and this natural taste was laudably encouraged by the priests. Some of these bands acquired great local fame, and were sought for wherever there was a feast miles away. The players seemed to enjoy it as much as the listeners, and they would keep at it for hours at a time, as long as their bodily strength lasted. Girls from six years of age learn to play the harp almost by instinct, and college girls quickly learn the piano. There are no native composers—they are but imitators. There is an absence of sentimental feeling in the execution of set music (which is all foreign), and this is the only drawback to their becoming fine instrumentalists. For the same reason, classical music is very little in vogue among the Philippine people, who prefer dance pieces and ballad accompaniments. In fact, a native musical performance is so void of soul and true conception of harmony that at a feast it is not an uncommon thing to hear three bands playing close to each other at the same time; and the mob assembled seem to enjoy the confusion of the melody! There are no Philippine vocalists worth hearing.

Travelling through the Laguna Province in 1882 I was impressed [191]by the ingenuity of the natives in their imitation of European musical instruments. Just an hour before I had emerged from a dense forest, abundantly adorned with exquisite foliage, and where majestic trees, flourishing in gorgeous profusion, afforded a gratifying shelter from the scorching sun. Not a sound was heard but the gentle ripple of a limpid stream, breaking over the boulders on its course towards the ravine below. But it was hardly the moment to ponder on the poetic scene, for fatigue and hunger had almost overcome sentimentality, and I got as quickly as I could to the first resting-place. This I found to be a native cane-growerʼs plantation bungalow, where quite a number of persons was assembled, the occasion of the meeting being the baptism and benediction of the sugar-cane mill. Before I was near enough, however, to be seen by the party—for it was nearly sunset—I heard the sound of distant music floating through the air. Such a strange occurrence excited my curiosity immensely, and I determined to find out what it all meant. I soon discovered that it was a bamboo band returning from the feast of the “baptism of the mill.” Each instrument was made of bamboo on a semi-European model, and the players were merely farm-labourers.

Philippine musicians have won fame outside their own country. Some years ago there was a band of them in Shanghai and another in Cochin China on contract. It was reported, too, that the band of the Constabulary sent to the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904 was the delight of the people in Honolulu, where they touched en route.

Slavery was prohibited by law as far back as the reign of Philip II.;14 it nevertheless still exists in an occult form among the natives. Rarely, if ever, do its victims appeal to the law for redress, firstly, because of their ignorance, and secondly, because the untutored class have an innate horror of resisting anciently-established custom, and it would never occur to them to do so. Moreover, in the time of the Spaniards, the numberless procuradores and pica-pleitos—touting solicitors had no interest in taking up cases so profitless to themselves. Under the pretext of guaranteeing a loan, parents readily sell their children (male or female) into bondage. The child is handed over to work until the loan is repaid; but as the day of restitution of the advance never arrives, neither does the liberty of the youthful victim. Among themselves it was a law, and is still a practised custom, for the debts of the parents to pass on to the children, and, as I have said before, debts are never repudiated by them. Slavery, in an overt form, now only exists among some wild tribes and the Moros.


Education was almost exclusively under the control of the friars. Up to the year 1844 anything beyond religious tuition was reserved for the Spanish youth, the half-castes, and the children of those in office. Among the many reforms introduced in the time of Gov.-General Narciso Claveria (1844–49), that of extending Education to the provincial parishes was a failure. In the middle of the reign of Isabella II. (about 1850) it was the exclusive privilege of the classes mentioned and the native petty aristocracy, locally designated the gente ilustrada and the pudientes (Intellectuals and people of means and influence). Education, thus limited, divided the people into two separate castes, as distinct as the ancient Roman citizen and the plebeian. Residing chiefly in the ports open to foreign trade, the Intellectuals acquired wealth, possessed rich estates and fine houses artistically adorned. Blessed with all the comforts which money could procure and the refinement resulting from education, they freely associated and intermarried with the Spaniards, whose easy grace and dignified manners they gradually acquired and retain, to a great extent, to the present day. The other caste—the Illiterates—were dependents of the Intellectuals. Without mental training, with few wants, and little expenses, they were as contented, in their sphere, as the upper class were in theirs. Like their masters, they had their hopes, but they never knew what misery was, as one understands it in Europe, and in this felicitous, ambitionless condition, they never urgently demanded education, even for their children. The movement came from higher quarters, and during the OʼDonnell ministry a Royal Decree was sent from Madrid establishing schools throughout the provinces.

On the banks of the Pasig River there was a training college for schoolmasters, who were drafted off to the villages with a miserable stipend, to teach the juvenile rustics. But the governmental system of centralization fell somewhat hard on the village teacher. For instance, I knew one who received a monthly salary of 16 pesos, and every month he had to spend two of them to travel to Manila and back to receive the money—an outlay equal to 12½ per cent. of his total income. For such a wretched pittance great things were not to be expected of the teacher, even though he had had a free hand in his work. Other circumstances of greater weight contributed to keep the standard of education among the common townfolk very low; in some places to abolish it totally. The parish priests were ex-officio Inspectors of Schools for primary instruction, wherein it was their duty to see that the Spanish language was taught. The old “Laws of the Indies” provided that christian doctrine should be taught to the heathen native in Spanish.15 Several decrees confirming that law were issued from time to time, but their fulfilment did not seem to suit the policy of the friars. On June 30, 1887, the Gov.-General [193]published another decree with the same object, and sent a communication to the Archbishop to remind him of this obligation of his subordinates, and the urgency of its strict observance. But it had no effect whatever, and the poor-class villagers were only taught to gabble off the christian doctrine by rote, for it suited the friar to stimulate that peculiar mental condition in which belief precedes understanding. The school-teacher, being subordinate to the inspector, had no voice in the matter, and was compelled to follow the views of the priest. Few Spaniards took the trouble to learn native dialects (of which there are about 30), and only a small percentage of the natives can speak intelligible Spanish. There is no literature in dialect; the few odd compositions in Tagalog still extant are wanting in the first principles of literary style. There were many villages with untrained teachers who could not speak Spanish; there were other villages with no schools at all, hence no preparation whatever for municipal life.

If the friars had agreed to the instruction of the townfolk through the medium of Spanish, as a means to the attainment of higher culture, one could well have understood their reluctance to teach it to the rural labourers, because it is obvious to any one who knows the character of this class that the knowledge of a foreign language would unfit them for agricultural labour and the lower occupations, and produce a new social problem. Even this class, however, might have been mentally improved by elementary books translated into dialect. But, unfortunately, the friars were altogether opposed to the education of the masses, whether through dialect or Spanish, in order to hold them in ignorant subjection to their own will, and the result was that the majority grew up as untutored as when they were born.

Home discipline and training of manners were ignored, even in well-to-do families. Children were left without control, and by excessive indulgence allowed to do just as they pleased; hence they became ill-behaved and boorish.

Planters of means, and others who could afford it, sent their sons and daughters to private schools, or to the colleges under the direction of the priests in Manila, Jaro (Yloilo Province), or Cebú. A few—very few—sent their sons to study in Europe, or in Hong-Kong.

According to the Budget of 1888 the State contributed to the expense of Education, in that year, as follows, viz.:—

P. cts.
Schools and Colleges for high-class education in Manila, including Navigation, Drawing, Painting, Book-keeping, Languages, History, Arts and Trades, Natural History Museum and Library and general instruction. 86,450 00
School of Agriculture (including 10 schools and model farms in 10 Provinces) 113,686 64
General Expenses of Public Instruction, including National Schools in the Provinces 38,513 70
₱238,650 34


The teaching offered to students in Manila was very advanced, as will be seen from the following Syllabus of Education in the Municipal Athenæum of the Jesuits:—

Agriculture. Geometry. Philosophy.
Algebra. Greek. Physics and Chemistry.
Arithmetic. History. Rhetoric and Poetry.
Commerce. Latin. Spanish Classics.
Geography. Mechanics. Spanish Composition.
English. Natural History. Topography.
French. Painting. Trigonometry.

In the highest Girlsʼ School—the Santa Isabel College—the following was the curriculum, viz.:—

Arithmetic. Geology. Philippine History.
Drawing. Geometry. Physics.
Dress-cutting. History of Spain. Reading.
French. Music. Sacred History.
Geography. Needlework. Spanish Grammar.

There were also (for girls) the Colleges of Santa Catalina, Santa Rosa, La Concordia, the Municipal School, etc. A few were sent to the Italian Convent in Hong-Kong.

A college known as Saint Thomasʼ was founded in Manila by Fray Miguel de Benavides, third Archbishop of Manila, between the years 1603 and 1610. He contributed to it his library and ₱ 1,000, to which was added a donation by the Bishop of Nueva Segovia of ₱ 3,000 and his library. In 1620 it already had professors and masters under Government auspices. It received three Papal Briefs for 10 years each, permitting students to graduate in Philosophy and Theology. It was then raised to the status of a University in the time of Philip IV. by Papal Bull of November 20, 1645. The first rector of Saint Thomasʼ University was Fray Martin Real de la Cruz. In the meantime, the Jesuitsʼ University had been established. Until 1645 it was the only place of learning superior to primary education, and conferred degrees. The Saint Thomasʼ University (under the direction of Dominican friars) now disputed the Jesuitsʼ privilege to confer degrees, claiming for themselves exclusive right by Papal Bull. A lawsuit followed, and the Supreme Court of Manila decided in favour of Saint Thomasʼ. The Jesuits appealed to the King against this decision. The Supreme Council of the Indies was consulted, and revoked the decision of the Manila Supreme Court, so that the two Universities continued to give degrees until the Jesuits were expelled from the Colony in 1768. From 1785 Saint Thomasʼ University was styled the “Royal University,” and was declared to rank equally with the Peninsular Universities.

There were also the Dominican College of San Juan de Letran, founded in the middle of the 17th century, the Jesuit Normal School, the Convent of Mercy for Orphan Students, and the College of Saint Joseph. This last was founded in 1601, under the direction of the [195]Jesuits. King Philip V. gave it the title of “Royal College,” and allowed an escutcheon to be erected over the entrance. The same king endowed three professorial chairs with ₱ 10,000 each. Latterly it was governed by the Rector of the University, whilst the administration was confided to a licentiate in pharmacy.

At the time of the Spanish evacuation, therefore, the only university in the City of Manila was that of Saint Thomas, which was empowered to issue diplomas of licentiate in law, theology, medicine, and pharmacy to all successful candidates, and to confer degrees of LL.D. The public investiture was presided over by the Rector of the University, a Dominican friar; and the speeches preceding and following the ceremony, which was semi-religious, were made in the Spanish language.

In connection with this institution there was the modern Saint Thomasʼ College for preparing students for the University.

The Nautical School naturally stood outside the sphere of ecclesiastical control. Established in 1839 in Calle Cabildo (walled city), its purpose was to instruct youths in the science of navigation and prepare them for the merchant service within the waters of the Archipelago and the adjacent seas. During the earthquake of 1863 the school building was destroyed. It was then re-established in Calle San Juan de Letran, subsequently located in Calle del Palacio, and was finally (in 1898) removed from the walled city to the business quarter of Binondo. Special attention was given to the teaching of mathematics, and considerable sums of money were allocated, from time to time, for the equipment of this technical centre of learning.

One of the most interesting and amusing types of the native was the average college student from the provinces. After a course of two, three, up to eight years, he learnt to imitate European dress and ape Western manners; to fantastically dress his hair; to wear patent-leather shoes, jewellery, and a latest-fashioned felt hat adjusted carefully towards one side of his head. He went to the theatre, drove a “tilbury,” and attended native réunions, to deploy his abilities before the beau sexe of his class. During his residence in the capital, he was supposed to learn, amongst other subjects, Latin, Divinity, Philosophy, and sometimes Theology, preparatory, in many cases, to succeeding his father in a sugar-cane and rice plantation. The average student had barely an outline idea of either physical or political geography, whilst his notions of Spanish or universal history were very chaotic. I really think the Manila newspapers—poor as they were—contributed very largely to the education of the people in this Colony.

Still, there are cases of an ardent genius shining as an exception to his race. Amongst the few, there were two brothers named Luna—the one was a notably skilful performer on the guitar and violin, who, however, died at an early age. The other, Juan Luna, developed a natural ability for painting. A work of his own conception—the [196]“Spoliarium,” executed by him in Rome in 1884—gained the second prize at the Madrid Academy Exhibition of Oil Paintings. The Municipality of Barcelona purchased this chef dʼoeuvre for the City Hall. Other famous productions of his are “The Battle of Lepanto,” “The Death of Cleopatra,” and “The Blood Compact” (q.v). This last masterpiece was acquired by the Municipality of Manila for the City Hall, but was removed when the Tagálog Rebellion broke out, for reasons which will be understood after reading Chapter xxii. This artist, the son of poor parents, was a second mate on board a sailing ship, when his gifts were recognized, and means were furnished him with which to study in Rome. His talent was quite exceptional, for these Islanders are not an artistic people. Having little admiration for the picturesque and the beautiful in Nature, they cannot depict them: in this respect they form a decided contrast to the Japanese. Paete (La Laguna) is the only place I know of in the provinces where there are sculptors by profession. The Manila Academy was open to all comers of all nationalities, and, as an ex-student under its Professors Don Lorenzo Rocha and Don Agustin Saez, I can attest to their enthusiasm for the progress of their pupils.

Middle-class Tagálog Natives

Middle-class Tagálog Natives

In the General Post and Telegraph Office in Manila I was shown an excellent specimen of wood-carving—a bust portrait of Mr. Morse (the celebrated inventor of the Morse system of telegraphy)—the work of a native sculptor. Another promising native, Vicente Francisco, exhibited some good sculpture work in the Philippine Exhibition, held in Madrid in 1887: the jury recommended him for a State pension, to study in Madrid and Rome. The beautiful design of the present insular coinage (Philippine peso) is the work of a Filipino. The biography of the patriot martyr Dr. José Rizal (q.v.), the most brilliant of all Filipinos, is related in another chapter.

The native of cultivated intellect, on returning from Europe, found a very limited circle of friends of his own new training. If he returned a lawyer or a doctor, he was one too many, for the capital swarmed with them; if he had learnt a trade, his knowledge was useless outside Manila, and in his native village his technical acquirements were generally profitless. Usually the nativeʼs sojourn in Europe made him too self-opinionated to become a useful member of society. It remains to be seen how American training will affect them.

The (American) Insular Government has taken up the matter of Philippine education very earnestly, and at considerable outlay: the subject is referred to in Chapter xxx.

The intellectual and spiritual life, as we have it in Europe, does not exist in the Philippines. If ever a Filipino studied any subject, purely for the love of study, without the hope of material or social advantage being derived therefrom, he would be a rara avis.


The Disease most prevalent among the Filipinos is fever—especially in the spring: and although, in general, they may be considered a robust, enduring race, they are less capable than the European of withstanding acute disease. I should say that quite 50 per cent. of the native population are affected by cutaneous disease, said to be caused by eating fish daily, and especially shell-fish. It is locally known as Sarnas: natives say that monkey flesh cures it.

In 1882 Cholera morbus in epidemic form ravaged the native population, carrying off thousands of victims, the exact number of which has never been published. The preventive recommended by the priests on this occasion, viz., prayer to Saint Roque, proved quite ineffectual to stay the plague. A better remedy, found in the country, is an infusion of Niota tetrapetala (Tagálog, Manungal). From time to time this disease reappears. The returns given in the Official Gazette of March 2, 1904, Vol. II., No. 9, show the average monthly mortality due to Cholera, in the 20–1/3 months between March 20, 1902, and December 1, 1903, to be 5,360. Annually, many natives suffer from what is called Colerin—a mild form of Cholera, but not epidemic. In the spring, deaths always occur from acute indigestion, due to eating too plentifully of new rice. Many who have recovered from Cholera become victims to a disease known as Beri-Beri, said to be caused by the rice and fish diet. The first symptom of Wet Beri-Beri is a swelling of the legs, like dropsy; that of Dry Beri-Beri is a wasting away of the limbs. Smallpox makes great ravages, and Measles is a common complaint. Lung and Bronchial affections are very rare. The most fearful disease in the Colony is Leprosy.16 To my knowledge it is prevalent in the Province of Bulacan (Luzon Is.), and in the islands of Cebú and Negros. There is an asylum for lepers near Manila and at Mabolo, just outside the City of Cebú (vide Lepers), but no practical measures were ever adopted by the Spaniards to eradicate this disease. The Spanish authorities were always too indifferent about the propagation of leprosy to establish a home on one island for all male lepers and another home, on another island, for female lepers—the only effectual way to extirpate this awful malady. In Baliuag (Bulacan), leper families, personally known to me, were allowed to mix with the general public. In Cebú and Negros Islands they were permitted to roam about on the highroads and beg.

The Insular Government has taken up the question of the Lepers, and in 1904 a tract of land was purchased in the Island of Culion (Calamianes group) to provide for their hygienic isolation. [198]According to the Official Gazette of March 2, 1904, Vol. II., No. 9, the total number of lepers, of whom the Insular Government had obtained cognizance, up to December 31, 1903, was 3,343. Besides these there would naturally be an unknown number who had escaped recognition.

There is apparently little Insanity in the Islands. From the Report of the Commissioner of Public Health for February, 1904, it would appear that there were only about 1,415 insane persons in a population of over seven-and-a-half millions.

Since the American advent (1898) the Death-rate is believed to have notably decreased. The Report of the Commissioner of Public Health for 1904 states the death-rate per thousand in Manila to have been as follows, viz.:—Natives 53.72; Europeans other than Spaniards 16.11; Spaniards 15.42; and Americans 9.34. The Commissioner remarks that “over 50 per cent. of the children born in the city of Manila never live to see the first anniversary of their birthday.” The Board of Health is very active in the sanitation of Manila. Inspectors make frequent domiciliary visits. The extermination of rats in the month of December, 1903, amounted to 24,638. House-refuse bins are put into the streets at night, and an inspector goes round with a lamp about midnight to examine them. Dead animals, market-rubbish, house-refuse, rotten hemp, sweepings, etc., are all cremated at Palomar, Santa Cruz, and Paco, and in July, 1904, this enterprising department started the extermination of mosquitoes! In the suburbs of Manila there are now twelve cemeteries and one crematorium. [199]

1 We have several modern instances of similar volcanic disturbances creating and demolishing land surface, on an infinitely lesser scale—e.g., the disappearance of Krakatoa and the entire town and busy port of Anger in 1883; the eruption which swallowed up the whole inhabited Japanese island Torii Shima; the appearance of an entirely new island, Nii Shima (about lat. 25° N.), within the past twelve months; and, within the historical period, the apparition of the Kurile Islands.

2 Vide Chap. v. By way of retaliation for the expulsion of Spanish missionaries from Japan in the l7th century, all the male Japanese above ten years of age were ordered to leave their settlements up the Lake. Under this order over 20,000 of them were expelled from the Colony. There was a Japanese temple existing (though not in use as such) in the suburbs of Manila up to last century, when Gov.-General Norzagaray (1857–60) had it destroyed.

3 The Spaniards must have been quite cognisant of these rites, seeing that the Moorish invasion of Spain lasted nearly eight centuries, namely from the year 711 up to 1492—only a couple of decades before Legaspiʼs generation.

4 Based on this tradition, Don José Carvajal has written a very interesting play entitled Ligaya. It was produced at the National Theatre, Manila, in 1904.

5 Possibly the people of Tondo (Manila) learnt from the Chinese the art of preparing that canine delicacy called Cúbang-aso.

6 Consequent on the American advent, wages steadily rose proportionately to the increased cost of everything. But when, later on, wages far exceeded the nativeʼs needs, he demanded more and actually went on strike to obtain it!

7 With regard to this characteristic among the Chinese, Sir John Bowring (late Governor of Hong-Kong) affirms that the Chinese respect their writings and traditions, whilst they do not believe a lie to be a fault, and in some of their classical works it is especially recommended, in order to cheat and confuse foreign intruders (vide “A Visit to the Philippine Islands,” by Sir John Bowring, LL.D., F.R.S. Manila, 1876 Spanish edition, p. 176).

8 See the Army Regulations for the advantages granted to military men who married Philippine-born women (videalso p. 53).

9 Catapúsan signifies in native dialect the gathering of friends, which terminates the festival connected with any event or ceremony, whether it be a wedding, a funeral, a baptism, or an election of local authorities, etc. The festivities after a burial last nine days, and on the last day of wailing, drinking, praying, and eating, the meeting is called the Catapúsan.

10Historia de Nuestra Señora La Virgen de Antipolo,” by M. Romero. Published in Manila, 1886.

11 He became a prelate twenty-one years afterwards, having been ordained Bishop of Nueva Segovia in 1671.

12 A decree issued by Don Juan de Ozaeta, a magistrate of the Supreme Court, in his general visit of inspection to the provinces, dated May 26, 1696, enacts the following, viz.:—“That Chinese half-castes and headmen shall be compelled to go to church and attend Divine Service, and act according to the customs established in the villages.” The penalty for an infraction of this mandate by a male was “20 lashes in the public highway and two monthsʼ labour in the Royal Rope Walk (in Taal), or in the Galleys of Cavite.” If the delinquent was a female, the chastisement was “one month of public penance in the church.” The Alcalde or Governor of the Province who did not promptly inflict the punishment was to be mulcted in the sum of “₱200, to be paid to the Royal Treasury.”

13 Diario de Manila, Saturday, July 28, 1888.

14 Vide p. 54. According to Concepcion, there were headmen at the time of the Conquest who had as many as 300 slaves, and as a property they ranked next in value to gold (vide “Hist. Gen. de Philipinas,” by Juan de la Concepcion, published in Manila in 1788, in 14 volumes).

15 Vide “Recopilacion de las Leyes de Indias,” Ley V. xiii., lib. i.

16 Referring to Leprosy, the Charity Record, London, December 15, 1898, says:—“Reliable estimates place the number of lepers in India, China, and Japan at 1,000,000. About 500,000 probably would be a correct estimate for India only, although the official number is less, owing to the many who from being hidden, or homeless, or from other causes, escape enumeration.”

The Religious Orders

History attests that at least during the first two centuries of Spanish rule, the subjugation of the natives and their acquiescence in the new order of things were obtained more by the subtle influence of the missionaries than by the sword. As the soldiers of Castile carried war into the interior and forced its inhabitants to recognize their King, so the friars were drafted off from the mother country to mitigate the memory of bloodshed and to mould Spainʼs new subjects to social equanimity. In many cases, in fact, the whole task of gaining their submission to the Spanish Crown and obedience to the dictates of Western civilization was confided solely to the pacific medium of persuasion. The difficult mission of holding in check the natural passions and instincts of a race which knew no law but individual will, was left to the successors of Urdaneta. Indeed, it was but the general policy of Philip II. to aggrandize his vast realm under the pretence of rescuing benighted souls. The efficacy of conversion was never doubted for a moment, however suddenly it might come to pass, and the Spanish cavalier conscientiously felt that he had a high mission to fulfil under the Banner of the Cross. In every natural event which coincided with their interests, in the prosecution of their mission, the wary priests descried a providential miracle.

In their opinion the non-Catholic had no rights in this world—no prospect of gaining the next. If the Pope claimed the whole world (such as was known of it) to be in his gift—how much more so heathen lands! The obligation to convert was imposed by the Pope, and was an inseparable condition of the conceded right of conquest. It was therefore constantly paramount in the conquerorʼs mind.1 The Pope could depose and give away the realm of any sovereign prince “si vel paulum deflexerit.” The Monarch held his sceptre under the sordid condition of vassalage; hence Philip II., for the security of his Crown, could not have disobeyed the will of the Pontiff, whatever his personal [200]inclinations might have been regarding the spread of Christianity.2 If he desired it, he served his ends with advantage to himself—if he were indifferent to it, he secured by its prosecution a formidable ally in Rome. America had already drained the Peninsula of her able-bodied men to such an extent that a military occupation of these Islands would have overtaxed the resources of the mother country. The co-operation of the friars was, therefore, an almost indispensable expedient in the early days, and their power in secular concerns was recognized to the last by the Spanish-Philippine authorities, who continued to solicit the aid of the parish priests in order to secure obedience to decrees affecting their parishioners.

Up to the Rebellion of 1896 the placid word of the ecclesiastic, the superstitious veneration which he inspired in the ignorant native, had a greater law-binding effect than the commands of the civil functionary. The gownsman used those weapons appropriate to his office which best touched the sensibilities and won the adhesion of a rude audience. The priest appealed to the soul, to the unknown, to the awful and the mysterious. Go where he would, the convertʼs imagination was so pervaded with the mystic tuition that he came to regard his tutor as a being above common humanity. The feeling of dread reverence which he instilled into the hearts of the most callous secured to him even immunity from the violence of brigands, who carefully avoided the man of God. In the State official the native saw nothing but a man who strove to bend the will of the conquered race to suit his own. A Royal Decree or the sound of the cornet would not have been half so effective as the elevation of the Holy Cross before the fanatical majority, who became an easy prey to fantastic promises of eternal bliss, or the threats of everlasting perdition. Nor is this assertion by any means chimerical, for it has been proved on several occasions, notably in the raising of troops to attempt the expulsion of the British in 1763, and in the campaign against the Sultan of Sulu in 1876. But through the Cavite Conspiracy of 1872 (vide p. 106) the friars undoubtedly hastened their own downfall. Many natives, driven to emigrate, cherished a bitter hatred in exile, whilst others were emerging yearly by hundreds from their mental obscurity. Already the intellectual struggle for freedom from mystic enthralment had commenced without injury to faith in things really divine.

Each decade brought some reform in the relations between the parish priest and the people. Link by link the chain of priestcraft encompassing the development of the Colony was yielding to natural causes. The most enlightened natives were beginning to understand that their spiritual wants were not the only care of the friars, and that [201]the aim of the Religious Orders was to monopolize all within their reach, and to subordinate to their common will all beyond their mystic circle. The Romish Church owes its power to the uniformity of precept and practice of the vast majority of its members, and it is precisely because this was the reverse in political Spain—where statesmen are divided into a dozen or more groups with distinct policies—that the Church was practically unassailable. In the same way, all the members of a Religious Order are so closely united that a quarrel with one of them brings the enmity and opposition of his whole community. The Progressists, therefore, who combated ecclesiastical preponderance in the Philippines, demanded the retirement of the friars to conventual reclusion or missions, and the appointment of clérigos, or secular clergymen to the vicarages and curacies. By such a change they hoped to remedy the abuses of collective power, for a misunderstanding with a secular vicar would only have provoked a single-handed encounter.

That a priest should have been practically a Government agent in his locality would not have been contested in the abstract, had he not, as a consequence, assumed the powers of the old Roman Censors, who exercised the most dreaded function of the Regium Morum. Spanish opinion, however, was very much divided as to the political safety of strictly confining the friars to their religious duties. It was doubted by some whether any State authority could ever gain the confidence or repress the inherent inclinations of the native like the friar, who led by superstitious teaching, and held the conscience by an invisible cord through the abstract medium of the confessional. Others opined that a change in the then existing system of semi-sacerdotal Government was desirable, if only to give scope to the budding intelligence of the minority, which could not be suppressed.

Emerging from the lowest ranks of society, with no training whatever but that of the seminary, it was natural to suppose that these Spanish priests would have been more capable than ambitious political men of the world of blending their ideas with those of the native, and of forming closer associations with a rural population engaged in agricultural pursuits familiar to themselves in their own youth. Before the abolition of monasteries in Spain the priests were allowed to return there after 10 years residence in the Colony; since then they have usually entered upon their new lives for the remainder of their days, so that they naturally strove to make the best of their social surroundings.

The Civil servant, as a rule, could feel no personal interest in his temporary native neighbours, his hopes being centred only in rising in the Civil Service there or elsewhere—Cuba or Porto Rico, or where the ministerial wheel of fortune placed him.

The younger priests—narrow-minded and biased—those who had just entered into provincial curacies—were frequently the greater bigots. Enthusiastic in their calling, they pursued with ardour their mission of [202]proselytism without experience of the world. They entered the Islands with the zeal of youth, bringing with them the impression imparted to them in Spain, that they were sent to make a moral conquest of savages. In the course of years, after repeated rebuffs, and the obligation to participate in the affairs of everyday life in all its details, their rigidity of principle relaxed, and they became more tolerant towards those with whom they necessarily came in contact. They were usually taken from the peasantry and families of lowly station. As a rule they had little or no secular education, and, regarding them apart from their religious training, they might be considered a very ignorant class. Amongst them the Franciscan friars appeared to be the least—and the Austins the most—polished of all.

The Spanish parish priest was consulted by the native in all matters; he was, by force of circumstances, often compelled to become an architect,—to build the church in his adopted village—an engineer, to make or mend roads, and more frequently a doctor. His word was paramount in his parish, and in his residence he dispensed with that stern severity of conventual discipline to which he had been accustomed in the Peninsula. Hence it was really here that his mental capacity was developed, his manners improved, and that the raw sacerdotal peasant was converted into the man of thought, study, and talent—occasionally into a gentleman. In his own vicinity, when isolated from European residents, he was practically the representative of the Government and of the white race as well as of social order. His theological knowledge was brought to bear upon the most mundane subjects. His thoughts necessarily expanded as the exclusiveness of his religious vocation yielded to the realization of a social position and political importance of which he had never entertained an idea in his native country.

So large was the party opposed to the continuance of priestly influence in the Colony that a six-monthsʼ resident would not fail to hear of the many misdeeds with which the friars in general were reproached. It would be contrary to fact to pretend that the bulk of them supported their teaching by personal example. I was acquainted with a great number of the friars, and their offspring too, in spite of their vow of chastity; whilst many lived in comparative luxury, notwithstanding their vow of poverty.

There was the late parish priest of Malolos, whose son, my friend, was a prominent lawyer. Father S——, of Bugason, had a whole family living in his parish. An Archbishop who held the See in my time had a daughter frequently seen on the Paseo de Santa Lucia; and in July, 1904, two of his daughters lived in Calle Quiotan, Santa Cruz, Manila, and two others, by a different mother, in the town of O——. The late parish priest of Lipa, Father B——, whom I knew, had a son whom I saw in 1893. The late incumbent of Santa Cruz, Father M—— L——, induced his spiritual flock to petition against his being made prior of his [203]Order in Manila so that he should not have to leave his women. The late parish priest (friar) of Baliuag (Bulacan) had three daughters and two sons. I was intimately acquainted with the latter; one was a doctor of medicine and the other a planter, and they bore the surname of Gonzalez. At Cadiz Nuevo (Negros Is.) I once danced with the daughter of a friar (parish priest of a neighbouring village), whilst he took another girl as his partner. I was closely acquainted, and resided more than once, with a very mixed-up family in the south of Negros Island. My host was the son of a secular clergyman, his wife and sister-in-law were the daughters of a friar, this sister-in-law was the mistress of a friar, my host had a son who was married to another friarʼs daughter, and a daughter who was the wife of a foreigner. In short, bastards of the friars are to be found everywhere in the Islands. Regarding this merely as the natural outcome of the celibate rule, I do not criticize it, but simply wish to show that the pretended sanctity of the regular clergy in the Philippines was an absurdity, and that the monks were in no degree less frail than mankind in common.

The mysterious deaths of General Solano (August 1860) and of Zamora, the Bishop-elect of Cebú (1873), occurred so opportunely for Philippine monastic ambition that little doubt existed in the public mind as to who were the real criminals. When I first arrived in Manila, a quarter of a century ago, a fearful crime was still being commented on. Father Piernavieja, formerly parish priest of San Miguel de Mayumo, had recently committed a second murder. His first victim was a native youth, his second a native woman enceinte. The public voice could not be raised very loudly then against the priests, but the scandal was so great that the criminal friar was sent to another province—Cavite—where he still celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist. Nearly two decades afterwards—in January 1897—this rascal met with a terrible death at the hands of the rebels. He was in captivity, and having been appointed “Bishop” in a rebel diocese, to save his life he accepted the mock dignity; but, unfortunately for himself, he betrayed the confidence of his captors, and collected information concerning their movements, plans, and strongholds for remittance to his Order. In expiation of his treason he was bound to a post under the tropical sun and left there to die. See how the public in Spain are gulled! In a Málaga newspaper this individual was referred to as a “venerable figure, worthy of being placed high up on an altar, before which all Spaniards should prostrate themselves and adore him. As a religieux he was a most worthy minister of the Lord; as a patriot he was a hero.”

Within my recollection, too, a friar absconded from a Luzon Island parish with a large sum of parochial funds, and was never heard of again. The late parish priests of Mandaloyan and Iba did the same.

I well remember another interesting character of the monastic Orders. He had been parish priest in a Zambales province town, but intrigues [204]with a soi-disant cousine brought him under ecclesiastical arrest at the convent of his Order in Manila. Thence he escaped, and came over to Hong-Kong, where I made his acquaintance in 1890. He told me he had started life in an honest way as a shoemakerʼs boy, but was taken away from his trade to be placed in the seminary. His mind seemed to be a blank on any branch of study beyond shoemaking and Church ritual. He pretended that he had come over to Hong-Kong to seek work, but in reality he was awaiting his cousine, whom he rejoined on the way to Europe, where, I heard, he became a garçon de café in France.

In 1893 there was another great public scandal, when the friars were openly accused of having printed the seditious proclamations whose authorship they attributed to the natives. The plan of the friars was to start the idea of an intended revolt, in order that they might be the first in the field to quell it, and thus be able to again proclaim to the Home Government the absolute necessity of their continuance in the Islands for the security of Spanish sovereignty. But the plot was discovered; the actual printer, a friar, mysteriously disappeared, and the courageous Gov.-General Despujols, Conde de Caspe, was, through monastic influence, recalled. He was very popular, and the public manifestation of regret at his departure from the Islands was practically a protest against the Religious Orders.

In June, 1888, some cases of personal effects belonging to a friar were consigned to the care of an intimate friend of mine, whose guest I was at the time. They had become soaked with sea-water before he received them, and a neighbouring priest requested him to open the packages and do what he could to save the contents. I assisted my friend in this task, and amongst the friarʼs personal effects we were surprised to find, intermixed with prayer-books, scapularies, missals, prints of saints, etc., about a dozen most disgustingly obscene double-picture slides for a stereoscope. What an entertainment for a guide in morals! This same friar had held a vicarage before in another province, but having become an habitual drunkard, he was removed to Manila, and there appointed a confessor. From Manila he had just been again sent to take charge of the cure of souls.

I knew a money-grabbing parish priest—a friar—who publicly announced raffles from the pulpit of the church from which he preached morality and devotion. On one occasion a 200-peso watch was put up for ₱500—at another time he raffled dresses for the women. Under the pretext of being a pious institution, he established a society of women, called the Association of St. Joseph (Confradia de San José), upon whom he imposed the very secular duties of domestic service in the convent and raffle-ticket hawking. He had the audacity to dictate to a friend of mine—a planter—the value of the gifts he was to make to him, and when the planter was at length wearied of his importunities, he conspired with a Spaniard to deprive my friend of his estate, alleging [205]that he was not the real owner. Failing in this, he stirred up the petty-governor and headmen against him. The petty-governor was urged to litigation, and when he received an unfavourable sentence, the priest, enraged at the abortive result of his malicious intrigues, actually left his vicarage to accompany his litigious protégé to the chief judge of the province in quest of a reversion of the sentence.

A priest of evil propensities brought only misery to his parish and aroused a feeling of odium against the Spanish friars in general. As incumbents they held the native in contempt. He who should be the parishioner was treated despotically as the subject whose life, liberty, property, and civil rights were in his sacerdotal lordʼs power. And that power was not unfrequently exercised, for if a native refused to yield to his demands, or did not contribute with sufficient liberality to a religious feast, or failed to come to Mass, or protected the virtue of his daughter, or neglected the genuflexion and kissing of hands, or was out of the priestʼs party in the municipal affairs of the parish, or in any other trivial way became a persona non grata at the “convent,” he and his family would become the pastorʼs sheep marked for sacrifice. As Government agent it was within his arbitrary power to attach his signature to or withhold it from any municipal document. From time to time he could give full vent to his animosity by secretly denouncing to the civil authorities as “inconvenient in the town” all those whom he wished to get rid of. He had simply to send an official advice to the Governor of the province, who forwarded it to the Gov.-General, stating that he had reason to believe that the persons mentioned in the margin were disloyal, immoral, or whatever it might be, and recommend their removal from the neighbourhood. A native so named suddenly found at his door a patrol of the Civil Guard, who escorted him, with his elbows tied together, from prison to prison, up to the capital town and thence to Manila. Finally, without trial or sentence, he was banished to some distant island of the Archipelago. He might one day return to find his family ruined, or he might as often spend his last days in misery alone. Sometimes a native who had privately heard of his “denunciation” became a remontado, that is to say he fled to the mountains to lead a bandits life where the evils of a debased civilization could not reach him. Banishment in these circumstances was not a mere transportation to another place, but was attended with all the horrors of a cruel captivity, of which I have been an eye-witness. From the foregoing it may be readily understood how the conduct of the regular clergy was the primary cause of the Rebellion of 1896; it was not the monksʼ immorality which disturbed the mind of the native, but their Cæsarism which raised his ire. The ground of discord was always infinitely more material than sentimental. Among the friars, however, there were many exceptional men of charming manners and eminent virtue. If little was done to coerce the bulk of the friars to live up to the standard [206]of these exceptions, it was said to be because the general interests of Mother Church were opposed to investigation and admonition, for fear of the consequent scandal destructive of her prestige.

The Hierarchy of the Philippines consists of one Archbishop in Manila, and four Suffragan Bishoprics, respectively of Nueva Segovia, Cebú, Jaro, and Nueva Cáceres.3 The provincials, the vicars-general, and other officers of the Religious Orders were elected by the Chapters and held office for four years. The first Bishop of Manila took possession in 1581, and the first Archbishop in 1598.

The Jesuits came to these Islands in 1581, and were expelled therefrom in 1770 by virtue of an Apostolic Brief4 of Pope Clement XIV., but were permitted to return in 1859, on the understanding that they would confine their labours to scholastic education and the establishment of missions amongst uncivilized tribes. Consequently, in Manila they refounded their school—the Municipal Athenæum—a mission house, and a Meteorological Observatory, whilst in many parts of Mindanao Island they have established missions, with the vain hope of converting Mahometans to Christianity.5 The Jesuits, compared with the members of the other Orders, are very superior men, and their fraternity includes a few, and almost the only, learned ecclesiastics who came to the Colony. Since their return to the Islands (1859) in the midst of the strife with the Religious Orders, the people recognized the Jesuits as disinterested benefactors of the country.

Several Chinese have been admitted to holy orders, two of them having become Austin Friars.6 The first native friars date their admission from the year 1700, since when there have been sixteen of the Order of St. Augustine. Subsequently they were excluded from the confraternities, and only admitted to holy orders as vicars, curates to assist parish vicars, chaplains, and in other minor offices. Up to the year 1872 native priests were appointed to benefices, but in consequence of their alleged implication in the Cavite Conspiracy of that year, their [207]church livings, as they became vacant, were given to Spanish friars, whose headquarters were established in Manila.

The Austin Friars were the religious pioneers in these Islands; they came to Cebú in 1565 and to Manila in 1571; then followed the Franciscans in 1577; the Dominicans in 1587, a member of this Order having been ordained first Bishop of Manila, where he arrived in 1581. The Recoletos (unshod Augustinians), a branch of the Saint Augustine Order, came to the Islands in 1606; the Capuchins—the lowest type of European monk in the Far East, came to Manila in 1886, and were sent to the Caroline Islands (vide p. 45). The Paulists, of the Order of Saint Vincent de Paul, were employed in scholastic work in Nueva Cáceres, Jaro, and Cebú, the same as the Jesuits were in Manila. The Benedictines came to the Islands in 1895. Only the members of the first four Orders above named were parish priests, and each (except the Franciscans) possessed agricultural land; hence the animosity of the natives was directed against these four confraternities only, and not against the others, who neither monopolized incumbencies, nor held rural property, but were simply teachers, or missionaries, whose worldly interests in no way clashed with those of the people. Therefore, whenever there was a popular outcry against “the friars,” it was understood to refer solely to the Austins, the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Recoletos.7 There was no Spanish secular clergy in the Islands, except three or four military chaplains.

The Church was financially supported by the State to the extent of about three-quarters of a million pesos per annum.

The following are some of the most interesting items taken from “The Budget for 1888,” viz.:—

Sanctorum or Church tax of 18¾ cents (i.e., 1½ reales) on each Cédula personal, say on 2,760,613 Cédulas in 1888, less 4 per cent, cost of collection ₱496,910.00

The friars appointed to incumbencies received in former times tithes from the Spaniards, and a Church tax from the natives computed by the amount of tribute paid. Tithe payment (diézmos prediales) by the Spaniards became almost obsolete, and the Sanctorum tax on Cédulas was paid to the Church through the Treasury (vide p. 55).

There were priests in missions and newly-formed parishes where the domiciled inhabitants were so few that the Sanctorum tax on the aggregate of the Cédulas was insufficient for their support. These missionaries were allowed salaries, and parish priests were permitted to appropriate from their revenues, as annual stipend, amounts ranging from 500 to 800 pesos, as a rule, with a few exceptions (such as Binondo [208]parish and others), rated at 1,200 pesos, whilst one, at least (the parish priest, or missionary of Vergara, Davao Province), received 2,200 pesos a year. In practice, however, a great many parish priests spent far more than their allotted stipends.

A project was under consideration to value the incumbencies, and classify them, like the Courts of Justice (vide p. 234), with the view of apportioning to each a fixed income payable by the Treasury in lieu of accounting to the Church for the exact amount of the Sanctorum.

By decree of Gov.-General Terrero, dated November 23,1885, the State furnished free labour (by natives who did not pay poll-tax) for Church architectural works, provided it was made clear that the cost of such labour could not be covered by the surplus funds of the Sanctorum. The chief items of Church expenditure were as follows, viz.:—

State outlay for Church.

P. cts.
Archbishopʼs salary 12,000 00
Other salaries (Cathedral) 40,300 00
Other expenses (Cathedral) 3,000 00
Four Bishops, each with a salary of ₱6,000 24,000 00
Court of Arches (amount contributed by the State8) 5,000 00
Chaplain of Los Baños 120 00
Sulu Mission 1,000 00
Mission House in Manila for Capuchin friars 1,700 00
12 Capuchins (State paid) for the Caroline and Pelew Islands—6 at ₱300 and 6 at ₱500 each per annum 4,800 00
Transport of Missionaries estimated at about, per annum 10,000 00
The anticipated total State outlay for the support of the Church, Missions, Monasteries, Convents, etc., including the above and all other items for the financial year of 1888 was ₱724,634 50

Moreover, the religious Corporations possessed large private revenues. The Dominicansʼ investments in Hong-Kong, derived from capitalized income, are still considerable. The Austin, Recoleto, and Dominican friars held very valuable real estate in the provinces, which was rented to the native agriculturists on conditions which the tenants considered onerous. The native planters were discontented with the treatment they received from these landowners, and their numerous complaints formed part of the general outcry against the regular clergy. The bailiffs of these corporation lands were unordained brothers of the Order. They resided in the Estate Houses, and by courtesy were styled “fathers” by the natives. They were under certain religious vows, but not being entitled to say Mass, they were termed “legos,” or ignorant men, by their own Order.

The clergy also derived a very large portion of their incomes from [209]commissions on the sale of cédulas, sales of Papal Bulls, masses, pictures, books, chaplets and indulgences, marriage, burial and baptismal fees, benedictions, donations touted for after the crops were raised, legacies to be paid for in masses, remains of wax candles left in the church by the faithful, fees for getting souls out of purgatory, alms, etc. The surplus revenues over and above parochial requirements were supposed to augment the common Church funds in Manila. The Corporations were consequently immensely wealthy, and their power and influence were in consonance with that wealth.

Each Order had its procurator in Madrid, who took up the cudgels in defence of his Corporationʼs interest in the Philippines whenever this was menaced. On the other hand, the Church, as a body politic, dispensed no charity, but received all. It was always begging; always above civil laws and taxes; claimed immunity, proclaimed poverty, and inculcated in others charity to itself.

Most of the parish priests—Spanish or native—were very hospitable to travellers, and treated them with great kindness. Amongst them there were some few misanthropes and churlish characters who did not care to be troubled by anything outside the region of their vocation, but on the whole I found them remarkably complaisant.

In Spain there were training colleges of the three Communities, in Valladolid, Ocaña, and Monte Agudo respectively, for young novices intended to be sent to the Philippines, the last Spanish Colony where friars held vicarages.

The ecclesiastical archives of the Philippines abound with proofs of the bitter and tenacious strife sustained, not only between the civil and Church authorities, but even amongst the religious communities themselves. Each Order was so intensely jealous of the others, that one is almost led to ponder whether the final goal of all could have been identical. All voluntarily faced death with the same incentive, whilst amicable fellowship in this world seemed an impossibility. The first Bishop (vide p. 56) struggled in vain to create a religious monopoly in the Philippines for the exclusive benefit of the Augustine Order. It has been shown how ardent was the hatred which the Jesuits and the other Religious Orders mutually entertained for each other. Each sacred fraternity laboured incessantly to gain the ascendancy in the conquered territories, and their Divine calling served for nothing in palliating the acrimony of their reciprocal accusations and recriminations, which often involved the civil power.

For want of space I can only refer to a few of these disputes.

The Austin friars attributed to the Jesuits the troubles with the Mahometans of Mindanao and Sulu, and, in their turn, the Jesuits protested against what they conceived to be the bad policy of the Government, adopted under the influence of the other Orders in Manila. So [210]distinct were their interests that the Augustine chroniclers refer to the other Orders as different religions.

In 1778 the Province of Pangasinán was spiritually administered by the Dominicans, whilst that of Zambales was allotted to the Recoletos. The Dominicans, therefore, proposed to the Recoletos to cede Zambales to them, because it was repugnant to have to pass through Recoleto territory going from Manila to their own province! The Recoletos were offered Mindoro Island in exchange, which they refused, until the Archbishop compelled them to yield. Disturbances then arose in Zambales, the responsibility of which was thrown on the Dominicans by their rival Order, and the Recoletos finally succeeded in regaining their old province by intrigue.

During the Governorship of Martin de Urena, Count de Lizárraga (1709–15), the Aragonese and Castilian priests quarrelled about the ecclesiastical preferments.

At the beginning of the 18th century the Bishop-elect of Cebú, Fray Pedro Saez de la Vega Lanzaverde, refused to take possession because the nomination was in partibus. He objected also that the Bishopric was merely one in perspective and not yet a reality. The See remained vacant whilst the contumacious priest lived in Mexico. Fray Sebastian de Jorronda was subsequently appointed to administer the Bishopric, but also refused, until he was coerced into submission by the Supreme Court (1718).

In 1767 the Austin friars refused to admit the episcopal visits, and exhibited such a spirit of independence that Pope Benedict XIV. was constrained to issue a Bull to exhort them to obey, admonishing them for their insubordination.

The friars of late years were subject to a visiting priest—the Provincial—in all matters de vita et moribus, to the Bishop of the diocese in all affairs of spiritual dispensation, and to the Gov.-General as vice-royal patron in all that concerned the relations of the Church to the Civil Government.9

An observant traveller, unacquainted with the historical antecedents of the friars in the Philippines, could not fail to be impressed by the estrangement of religious men, whose sacred mission, if genuine, ought to have formed an inseverable bond of alliance and goodfellowship. [211]

1 Navarreteʼs “Coleccion de los Viajes y Descubrimientos,” tom. II., Nos. 12, 18. Madrid, 1825.

2 In the turbulent ages, centuries ago, it was not an uncommon thing for a prince or nobleman to secure his domain against seizure or conquest by transferring it nominally to the Pope, from whom he thenceforth held it as a papal fief.

3 Under the Spanish Government, the See of Manila comprised the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Cavite, La Laguna, Bataán, Island of Mindoro, and part of Tárlac. The other part of Tárlac was in the See of Nueva Segovia, which had (in 1896) ecclesiastical control over 997,629 Christians and 172,383 pagans. The See of Jaro is the one most recently created (1867).

4 The Royal Decree setting forth the execution of this Brief was printed in Madrid in 1773. This politic-religious Order was banished from Portugal and Spain in 1767. In Madrid, on the night of March 31, the Royal Edict was read to the members of the Company of Jesus, who were allowed time to pack up their most necessary chattels and leave for the coast, where they were hurriedly embarked for Rome. The same Order was suppressed for ever in France in 1764.

5 At the date of the Tagálog Rebellion (1896) the Jesuits in the Islands were as follows: In Manila, 24 priests, 25 lay brothers, and 13 teachers; in Mindanao, 62 priests and 43 lay brothers, making a total of 167 individuals. They were not allowed to possess real estate.

6 VideCatálogo de los Religiosos de N.S.P. San Agustin.” Published in Manila, 1864.

7 The Augustinian Order was founded in the 4th century; the Franciscan in 1210 and confirmed by Papal Bull in 1223; the Dominican in 1261; the Recoleto in 1602; the Benedictine in 530; the Capuchin in 1209 and the Paulist in 1625.

8 For any further expense this might incur, 3 per cent, was deducted from the parish priestsʼ emoluments.

9Recopilacion de las Leyes de Indias.”—Ley 46, tit. 14, lib. 1°, forbids priests and members of any religious body to take part in matters of Civil Government.

Spanish Insular Government

From the days of Legaspi the supreme rule in these Islands was usually confided for indefinite periods to military men: but circumstances frequently placed naval officers, magistrates, the Supreme Court, and even ecclesiastics at the head of the local government. During the last half century of Spanish rule the common practice was to appoint a Lieut.-General as Governor, with the local rank of Captain-General pending his three-yearsʼ term of office. An exception to this rule in that period was made (1883–85) when Joaquin Jovellar, a Captain-General and ex-War Minster in Spain, was specially empowered to establish some notable reforms—the good policy of which was doubtful. Again, in 1897, Fernando Primo de Rivera, Marquis de Estella, also a Captain-General in Spain, held office in Manila under the exceptional circumstances of the Tagálog Rebellion of 1896, in succession to Ramon Blanco, Marquis de Peña Plata. Considering that Primo de Rivera, during his previous Gov.-Generalship (1880–83), had won great popularity with the Filipinos, he was deemed, in Madrid, to be the man most capable of arresting the revolutionary movement. How far the confidence of the Home Government was misplaced will be seen in Chapter xxii.

Soon after the conquest the Colony was divided and sub-divided into provinces and military districts as they gradually yielded to the Spanish sway. Such districts, called Encomiendas,1 were then farmed out to Encomenderos, who exercised little scruple in their rigorous exactions from the natives. Some of the Encomenderos acquired wealth during the terms of their holdings, whilst others became victims to the revenge of their subjects. They must indeed have been bold, enterprising men who, in those days, would [212]have taken charge of districts distant from the capital. It would appear that their tenure was, in a certain sense, feudal, for they were frequently called upon to aid the Central Government with vessels, men, and arms against the attacks of common enemies. Against Mahometan incursions necessity made them warriors,—if they were not so by taste,—civil engineers to open communications with their districts, administrators, judges, and all that represented social order. Encomiendas were sometimes given to Spaniards as rewards for high services rendered to the commonwealth,2 although favouritism or (in later years) purchase-money more commonly secured the vacancies, and the holders were quite expected to make fortunes in the manner they thought fit, with due regard for the Royal Treasury (vide p. 54).

The Encomenderos were, in the course of time, superseded by Judicial Governors, called Alcaldes, who received small salaries, from £60 per annum and upwards, but were allowed to trade. The right to trade—called “indulto de comercio”—was sold to the Alcalde-Governors, except those of Tondo,3 Zamboanga, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Islas Batanes and Antique, whose trading right was included in the emoluments of office. The Governmentʼs object was economy.

In 1840 Eusebio Mazorca wrote thus4:—“The salary paid to the chiefs of provinces who enjoy the right of trade is more or less ₱300 per annum, and after deducting the amount paid for the trading right, which in some provinces amounts to five-sixths of the whole—as in Pangasinán; and in others to the whole of the salary—as in Caraga; and discounting again the taxes, it is not possible to conceive how the appointment can be so much sought after. There are candidates up to the grade of brigadier who relinquish a ₱3,000 salary to pursue their hopes and projects in governorship.”

This system obtained for many years, and the abuses went on increasing. The Alcaldes practically monopolized the trade of their districts, unduly taking advantage of their governmental position to hinder the profitable traffic of the natives and bring it all into their own hands. They tolerated no competition; they arbitrarily fixed their own purchasing prices, and sold at current rates. Due to the scarcity of silver in the interior, the natives often paid their tribute to the Royal Treasury in produce,—chiefly rice,—which was [213]received into the Royal Granaries at a ruinously low valuation, and accounted for to the State at its real value; the difference being the illicit profit made by the Alcalde. Many of these functionaries exercised their power most despotically in their own circuits, disposing of the nativesʼ labour and chattels without remuneration, and not unfrequently, for their own ends, invoking the Kingʼs name, which imbued the native with a feeling of awe, as if His Majesty were some supernatural being.

In 1810 Tomás de Comyn wrote as follows:—“In order to be a chief of a province in these Islands, no training or knowledge or special services are necessary; all persons are fit and admissible.... It is quite a common thing to see a barber or a Governorʼs lackey, a sailor or a deserter, suddenly transformed into an Alcalde, Administrator, and Captain of the forces of a populous province without any counsellor but his rude understanding, or any guide but his passions.”5

By Royal Decree of 1844 Government officials were thenceforth strictly prohibited to trade, under pain of removal from office.

In the year 1850 there were 34 Provinces, and two Political Military Commandancies. Until June, 1886, the offices of provincial Civil Governor and Chief Judge of that province were vested in the same person—the Alcalde Mayor. This created a strange anomaly, for an appeal against an edict of the Governor had to be made to himself as Judge. Then if it were taken to the central authority in Manila, it was sent back for “information” to the Judge-Governor, without independent inquiry being made in the first instance; hence protest against his acts was fruitless.

During the Regency of Queen Maria Christina, this curious arrangement was abolished by a Decree dated in Madrid, February 26, 1886, to take effect on June 1 following.

Eighteen Civil Governorships were created, and Alcaldesʼ functions were confined to their judgeships; moreover, the Civil Governor was assisted by a Secretary, so that two new official posts were created in each of these provinces.

The Archipelago, including Sulu, was divided into 19 Civil Provincial Governments, four Military General Divisions, 43 Military Provincial Districts, and four Provincial Governments under Naval Officers, forming a total of 70 Divisions and Sub-Divisions. [214]

Cost of Spanish Administration

P. cts.
The Gov.-General received a salary of 40,000 00
The Central Government Office, called “Gobierno General,” with its Staff of Officials and all expenses 43,708 00
The General Government Centre was assisted in the General Administration of the Islands by two other Governing Bodies, namely:
The General Direction of Civil Administration 29,277 34
The Administrative Council 28,502 00
The Chief of the General Direction received a salary of ₱12,000, with an allowance for official visits to the Provinces of ₱500 per annum.
The Council was composed of three Members, each at a salary of ₱4,700, besides a Secretary and officials.
Seventy divisions and sub-divisions as follows, viz.:—

Civil Governments

Manila Pce Salary of Civil Governor ₱5,000 Total Cost. 20,248 00
Alday, Batangas, Bulacan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Laguna, Pampanga, Pangasinán. Eight First-Class Govts.:
Salary of each Civil Gov. ₱4,500
Total cost of each Govt. ₱8,900
Eight First-Class Govts. cost
71,200 00
Bataán, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Mindoro, Nueva Eclia, Tayabas, Zambales. Seven Second-Class Govts.:
Salary of each Civil Gov. ₱4,000
Total cost of each Govt. ₱7,660
Seven Second-Class Govts. cost
53,620 00
Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya Three Third-Class Govts.:
Salary of each Civil Gov. ₱3,500
Total cost of each Govt. ₱6,700
Three Third-Class Govts. cost
20,100 00

Military General Governments

Under a Brig.-Gen. and Staff
Gen. Division of S. Visayas 10,975 00
Gen. Division of N. Visayas 10,975 00
Gen. Division of Mindanao 17,825 00
Gen. Division of Cavite 6,596 66

Military Provinces and Districts

Under a Colonel and Staff
Sulu 7,240 00
Yloilo 4,410 00
Cottabato 5,426 00
Under a Lieut.-Colonel and Staff
East Carolines and Pelew Islands 4,900 00
West Carolines and Pelew Islands 5,970 00
Cebú 3,500 00
Cápiz 3,500 00
Misámis 4,816 66
Ladrone Islands 4,975 00
Under a Major and Staff
Zamboanga 3,856 66
Surigao 4,356 66
Davao 4,156 66
Dapítan 2,692 00
Zucuran 2,692 00
La Union, Antique, Sámar, Leyte, El Abra, Bojol, Tárlac, Negros, Morong
Each under a Major:—
Nine Districts @ ₱3,040
27,360 00
Batanes, Calamianes, Romblun, Benguet, Lepanto, Burias, Infante, Príncipe, Bontoc, Concepcion:
Each under a Captain:—
Ten Districts @ ₱1,980
19,800 00[215]
Cagayán (Mindanao)—Biling, Nueva Vizcaya, Sasangani (Palaúan)
Each under a Captain:—
Five Districts @ ₱1,792
8,960 00
Siassi, Bongao, Tatoan
Each under a Captain:—
Three Districts @ ₱2,032
6,096 00
Escalante,6 under a Lieutenant 1,525 00
Masbate, under a Cavalry Sub-Lieutenant 1,450 00

Provincial Governments under Naval Officers, Officers in Charge of Naval Stations as ex-officio Governors

Corregidor 3,821 00
Balábac 3,960 00
Isabela de Basílan 5,276 66
Palaúan (Puerta Princesa) 6,910 00
Total cost of General Government of the Islands 500,677 96
Officersʼ Pay, etc., included in Army Estimates ₱145,179 96
Officersʼ Pay, etc., included in Navy Estimates 14,640 00
159,819 96
₱340,858 00

The Spanish Government intended, in due course, to establish Civil Government throughout the Islands. A Civil Governor was the representative of the Gov.-General, whose orders and decrees he had to publish and execute at his own discretion. He could not absent himself from his province without permission. He had to maintain order, veto petitions for armsʼ licences, hold under his orders and dispose of the Civil Guard, Carabineers, and local guards. He could suspend the pay for ten days of any subordinate official who failed to do his duty, or he could temporarily suspend him in his functions with justifiable cause, and propose to the Gov.-General his definite removal. He had to preside at all municipal elections; to bring delinquents to justice; to decree the detention on suspicion of any individual, and place him at the disposal of the chief judge within three days after his capture; to dictate orders for the government of the towns and villages; to explain to the petty-governors the true interpretation of the law and regulations affecting their districts.

The Governor was chief of police, and could impose fines up to ₱50 without the intervention of judicial authority; and in the event of the mulcted person being unable to pay, he could order his imprisonment at the rate of one dayʼs detention for each half-peso of the fine; it was provided, however, that the imprisonment could not exceed 30 days in [216]any case. He had to preside at the ballot for military conscription, but he could delegate this duty to his Secretary, or, failing him, to the Administrator. Where no harbour-master had been appointed, the Civil Governor acted as such. He had the care of the primary instruction; and it was his duty specially to see that the native scholars were taught the Spanish language. Land concessions, improvements tending to increase the wealth of the province, permits for felling timber, and the collection of excise taxes were all under his care. He had also to furnish statistics relating to the labour poll-tax; draw up the provincial budget; render provincial and municipal accounts, etc., all of which had to be counter-signed under the word Intervine by the Secretary. He was provincial postmaster-general, chief of telegraph service, prisons, charities, board of health, public works, woods and forests, mines, agriculture and industry. Under no circumstances could he dispose of the public funds, which were in the care of the Administrator and Interventor, and he was not entitled to any percentages (as Alcalde-Governors formerly were), or any emoluments whatsoever further than his fixed salary.

A Governor had to be a Spaniard over 30 years of age. It is curious to note, from its political significance, that among the many classes of persons eligible for a Civil Governorship were those who had been Members of the Spanish Parliament or Senate during one complete session.

Upon the whole, a Provincial Governor passed life very comfortably if he did not go out of his way to oppress his subjects and create discord. His tranquillity, nevertheless, was always dependent upon his maintaining a good understanding with the priesthood of his district, and his conformity with the demands of the friars. If he had the misfortune to cross their path, it brought him a world of woe, and finally his downfall. There have been Provincial Governors who in reality held their posts by clerical influence, whilst others who exercised a more independent spirit—who set aside Church interests to serve those of the State, with which they were intrusted—fell victims to sacerdotal intrigue; for the subordinates of the hierarchy had power to overthrow as well as to support those who were appointed to their districts. Few improvements appear to have been made in the provinces by the initiative of the local Governors, nor did they seem to take any special interest in commercial and agricultural advancement. This lack of interest was somewhat excusable and comprehensible, however, seeing that after they were appointed, and even though they governed well within the strict limitations of their office, they were constantly expecting that a ministerial change or the fall of a single minister might remove them from their posts, or that the undermining influence of favouritism might succeed in accomplishing their withdrawal. It was natural, therefore, that they should have been indifferent about the fostering of new agricultural enterprises, of opening tracks for bringing down timber, of [217]facilitating trade, or of in any way stimulating the development of the resources of a province when the probability existed that they would never have the personal satisfaction of seeing the result of their efforts.

Some Governors with whom I am personally acquainted have, in spite of all discouragement, studied the wants of their provinces, but to no purpose. Their estimates for road-making and mending, bridge-building, and public works generally were shelved in Manila, whilst the local funds (Fondos locales), which ought to have been expended in the localities where they were collected, were seized by the authorities in the capital and applied to other purposes.

An annual statement of one province will be sufficient, as an example, to illustrate the nature of this local tax:—

Local Funds7Albay Province

Provincial Revenue

P. cts. P. cts.
Stamps on Weights and Measures 2,490 00
Billiard Tax and Live Stock credentials 496 00
90% of fines for shirking forced labour 1,500 00
Tax in lieu of forced labour 85,209 00
Vehicle tax 4,000 00
93,695 00

Municipal Revenue

Tax paid by sellers in the public market-place 7,050 00
Tax on slaughter of animals for food 12,098 00
Tax on local sales of hemp 40 00
90% of the Municipal fines and tax on Chinese 554 00
10% on tithes paid and house-property tax 380 00
10% on Industrial licences 5,710 00
10% on Alcohol licences 2,525 00
28,357 00
₱122,052 00

In the same year this province contributed to the common funds of the Treasury a further sum of ₱133,009.

There was in each town another local tax called Caja de Comunidad, contributed to by the townspeople to provide against any urgent necessity of the community, but it found its way to Manila and was misappropriated, like the Fondos locales.

There was not a peso at the disposal of the Provincial Governor for local improvements. If a bridge broke down so it remained for years, whilst thousands of travellers had to wade through the river unless a raft were put there at the expense of the very poorest people by order of the petty-governor of the nearest village. The “Tribunal,” which served the double purpose of Town Hall and Dâk Bungalow for wayfarers, was often a hut of bamboo and palm-leaves, whilst others, [218]which had been decent buildings generations gone by, lapsed into a wretched state of dilapidation. In some villages there was no Tribunal at all, and the official business had to be transacted in the municipal Governorʼs house. I first visited Calamba (La Laguna) in 1880, and for 14 years, to my knowledge, the headmen had to meet in a sugar-store in lieu of a Tribunal. In San José de Buenavista, the capital town of Antique Province, the Town Hall was commenced in good style and left half finished during 15 years. Either some one for pityʼs sake, or the headmen for their own convenience, went to the expense of thatching over half the unfinished structure, which was therefore saved from entire ruin, whilst all but the stone walls of the other half rotted away. So it continued until 1887, when the Government authorized a partial restoration of this building.

As to the roads connecting the villages, quite 20 per cent. of them serve only for travellers on foot, on horse or on buffalo back at any time, and in the wet season certainly 60 per cent, of all the Philippine highways are in too bad a state for any kind of passenger conveyance to pass with safety. In the wet season, many times I have made a sea journey in a prahu, simply because the highroad near the coast had become a mud-track, for want of macadamized stone and drainage, and only serviceable for transport by buffalo. In the dry season the sun mended the roads, and the traffic over the baked clods reduced them more or less to dust, so that vehicles could pass. Private property-owners expended much time and money in the preservation of public roads, although a curious law existed prohibiting repairs to highways by non-official persons.

Every male adult inhabitant (with certain specified exceptions) had to give the State fifteen daysʼ labour per annum, or redeem that labour by payment. Of course thousands of the most needy class preferred to give their fifteen days. This labour and the redemption-money were only theoretically employed in local improvements. This system was reformed in 1884 (vide p. 224).

The Budget for 1888 showed the trivial sum of ₱120,000 to be used in road-making and mending in the whole Archipelago. It provided for a Chief Inspector of Public Works with a salary of ₱6,500, aided by a staff composed of 48 technical and 82 non-technical subordinates. As a matter of fact, the Provincial and District Governors often received intimation not to encourage the employment of labour for local improvements, but to press the labouring-class to pay the redemption-tax to swell the central coffers, regardless of the corresponding misery, discomfort, and loss to trade in the interior. But labour at the Governorʼs disposal was not alone sufficient. There was no fund from which to defray the cost of materials; or, if these could be found without payment, some one must pay for the transport by buffaloes and carts and find the implements for the labourersʼ use. [219]How could hands alone repair a bridge which had rotted away? To cut a log of wood for the public service would have necessitated communications with the Inspection of Woods and Forests and other centres and many monthsʼ delay.

The system of controlling the action of one public servant by appointing another under him to supervise his work has always found favour in Spain, and was adopted in this Colony. There were a great many Government employments of the kind which were merely sinecures. In many cases the pay was small, it is true, but the labour was often of proportionately smaller value than that pay. With very few exceptions, all the Government Offices in Manila were closed to the public during half the ordinary working-day,—the afternoon,—and many of the Civil Service officials made their appearance at their desks about ten oʼclock in the morning, retiring shortly after mid-day, when they had smoked their habitual number of cigarettes.

The crowd of office-seekers were indifferent to the fact that the true source of national vigour is the spirit of individual self-dependence. Constant clamour for Government employment tends only to enfeeble individual effort, and destroys the stimulus, or what is of greater worth, the necessity of acting for oneʼs self. The Spaniard (except the Basque and the Catalonian) looks to the Government for active and direct aid, as if the Public Treasury were a natural spring at the waters of which all temporal calamities could be washed away—all material wants supplied. He will tell you with pride rather than with abashment that he is an empleado—a State dependent.

National progress is but the aggregate of personal individual activity rightly directed, and a nation weakens as a whole as its component parts become dormant, or as the majority rely upon the efforts of the few. The spirit of Cæsarism—“all for the people and nothing by them”—must tend not only to political slavery, but to a reduction in commercial prosperity, national power, and international influence. The Spaniards have indeed proved this fact. The best laws were never intended to provide for the people, but to regulate the conditions on which they could provide for themselves. The consumers of public wealth in Spain are far too numerous in proportion to the producers; hence not only is the State constantly pressed for funds, but the busy bees who form the nucleus of the nationʼs vitality are heavily taxed to provide for the dependent office-seeking drones. It is the fatal delusion that liberty and national welfare depend solely upon good government, instead of good government depending upon united and co-operative individual exertion, that has brought the Spanish nation to its present state of deplorable impotence.

The Government itself is but the official counterpart of the governed. By the aid of servile speculators, a man in political circles struggles to [220]come to the front—to hold a portfolio in the ministry—if it only be for a session, when his pension for life is assured on his retirement. Merit and ability have little weight, and the proteges of the outgoing minister must make room for those of the next lucky ministerial pension-seeker, and so on successively. This Colony therefore became a lucrative hunting-ground at the disposal of the Madrid Cabinet wherein to satisfy the craving demands of their numerous partisans and friends. They were sent out with a salary and to make what they could,—at their own risk, of course,—like the country lad who was sent up to London with the injunction from his father, “Make money, honestly if you can, but make it.”

From the Conquest up to 1844, when trading by officials was abolished, it was a matter of little public concern how Government servants made fortunes. Only when the jealousy of one urged him to denounce another was any inquiry instituted so long as the official was careful not to embezzle or commit a direct fraud on the Real Haber (the Treasury funds). When the Real Haber was once covered, then all that could be got out of the Colony was for the benefit of the officials, great and small. In 1840, Eusebio Mazorca wrote as follows:8—“Each chief of a province is a real sultan, and when he has terminated his administration, all that is talked of in the capital is the thousands of pesos clear gain which he made in his Government.”

Eusebio Mazorca further states:9—“The Governor receives payment of the tribute in rice-paddy, which he credits to the native at two reales in silver per caban. Then he pays this sum into the Royal Treasury in money, and sells the rice-paddy for private account at the current rate of six, eight or more reales in silver per caban, and this simple operation brings him 200 to 300 per cent. profit.”

The same writer adds:—“Now quite recently the Interventor of Zamboanga is accused by the Governor of that place of having made some ₱15,000 to ₱16,000 solely by using false measures ... The same Interventor to whom I refer, is said to have made a fortune of ₱50,000 to ₱60,000, whilst his salary as second official in the Audit [221]Department10 is ₱540 per annum.” According to Zúñiga, the salary of a professor of law with the rank of magistrate was ₱800 per annum.

Up to June, 1886, the provincial taxes being in the custody of the Administrator, the Judicial Governor had a percentage assigned to him to induce him to control the Administratorʼs work. The Administrator himself had percentages, and the accounts of these two functionaries were checked by a third individual styled the “Interventor,” whose duties appeared to be to intervene in the casting-up of his superiorsʼ figures. He was forbidden to reside with the Administrator. After the above date the payment of all these percentages ceased.

But for the peculations by Government officials from the highest circles downwards, the inhabitants of the Colony would doubtless have been a million or so richer per annum. One frequently heard of officials leaving for Spain with sums far exceeding the total emoluments they had received during their term of office. Some provincial employees acquired a pernicious habit of annexing what was not theirs by all manner of pretexts. To cite some instances: I knew a Governor of Negros Island who seldom saw a native pass the Government House with a good horse without begging it of him; thus, under fear of his avenging a refusal, his subjects furnished him little by little with a large stud, which he sold before he left, much to their disgust.

In another provincial capital there happened to be a native headman imprudently vain enough to carry a walking-stick with a chased gold-knob handle studded with brilliants. It took the fancy of the Spanish Governor, who repeatedly expressed his admiration of it, hoping that the headman would make him a present of it. At length, when the Governor was relieved of his post, he called together the headmen to take formal leave of them, and at the close of a flattering speech, he said he would willingly hand over his official-stick as a remembrance of his command. In the hubbub of applause which followed, he added, “and I will retain a souvenir of my loyal subordinates.” Suiting the action to the word, he snatched the coveted stick out of the hand of the owner and kept it. A Gov.-General in my time enriched himself by peculation to such an extent that he was at his witsʼ end to know how to remit his ill-gotten gains clandestinely. Finally, he resolved to send an army Captain over to Hong-Kong with ₱35,000 to purchase a draft on Europe for him. The Captain went there, but he never returned.

There were about 725 towns and 23 missions in the Colony. Each town was locally governed by a native—in some cases a Spanish or Chinese half-caste—who was styled the petty-governor or Gobernadorcillo, whilst his popular title was that of Capitan. This service was compulsory. The elections of Gobernadorcillos and their subordinates [222]took place every two years, the term of office counting from the July 1 following such elections. In the few towns where the Gobernadorcillos were able to make considerable sums, the appointment was eagerly sought for, but as a rule it was considered an onerous task, and I know several who have paid bribes to the officials to rid them of it, under the pretext of ill-health, legal incapacity, and so on. The Gobernadorcillo was supported by what was pompously termed a “ministry,” composed of two lieutenants of the town, lieutenants of the wards, the chiefs of police, of plantations, and of live-stock.

The Gobernadorcillo was nominally the delegate and practically the servant of his immediate chief, the Provincial Governor. He was the arbiter of local petty questions, and endeavoured to adjust them, but when they assumed a legal aspect, they were remitted to the local Justice of the Peace, who was directly subordinate to the Provincial Chief Judge. He was also responsible to the Administrator for the collection of taxes—to the Chief of the Civil Guard for the capture of criminals, and to the priest of his parish for the interests of the Church. His responsibility for the taxes to be collected sometimes brought him imprisonment, unless he succeeded in throwing the burden on the actual collectors—the Cabezas de Barangay.

The Gobernadorcillo was often put to considerable expense in the course of his two years, in entertaining and supplying the wants of officials passing through. To cover this outlay, the loss of his own time, the salaries of writers in the Town Hall, presents to his Spanish chiefs to secure their goodwill, and other calls upon his private income, he naturally had to exact funds from the townspeople. Legally, he could receive, if he chose (but few did), the munificent salary of ₱2 per month, and an allowance for clerks equal to about one-fifth of what he had to pay them. Some of these Gobernadorcillos were well-to-do planters, and were anxious for the office, even if it cost them money, on account of the local prestige which the title of “Capitan” gave them, but others were often so poor that if they had not pilfered, this compulsory service would have ruined them. However, a smart Gobernadorcillo was rarely out of pocket by his service. One of the greatest hardships of his office was that he often had to abandon his plantation or other livelihood to go to the provincial capital at his own expense whenever he was cited there. Many of them who did not speak or understand Spanish had to pay and be at the mercy of a Secretary (Directorcillo), who was also a native.

When any question arose of general interest to the townspeople (such as a serious innovation in the existing law, or the annual feasts, or the anticipated arrival of a very big official, etc.) the headmen (principalia) were cited to the Town Hall. They were also expected to assemble there every Sunday and Great Feast Days (three-cross Saint days in the Calendar), to march thence in procession to the church to [223]hear Mass, under certain penalties if they failed to attend. Each one carried his stick of authority; and the official dress was a short Eton jacket of black cloth over the shirt, the tail of which hung outside the trousers. Some Gobernadorcillos, imbued with a sense of the importance and solemnity of office, ordered a band to play lively dance music at the head of the cortége to and from the church. After Mass they repaired to the convent, and on bended knee kissed the priestʼs hand. Town affairs were then discussed. Some present were chided, others were commended by their spiritual dictator.

In nearly every town the people were, and still are, divided into parties holding divergent views on town affairs, each group being ready to give the other a “stab in the back” when the opportunity offers, and not unfrequently these differences seriously affect the social relations of the individual members.

For the direct collection of taxes each township was sub-divided into groups of forty or fifty families called Barangays: each group had to pay taxes to its respective head, styled Cabeza de Barangay, who was responsible to the petty-governor, who in turn made the payment to the Provincial Administrator for remission to the Treasury (Intendencia) in Manila. This Barangay chiefdom system took its origin from that established by the natives themselves prior to the Spanish conquest, and in some parts of the Colony the original title of datto was still applied to the chief. This position, hereditary among themselves, continued to be so for many years under Spanish rule, and was then considered an honourable distinction because it gave the heads of certain families a birthright importance in their class. Later on they were chosen, like all the other native local authorities, every two years, but if they had anything to lose, they were invariably re-elected. In order to be ranked among the headmen of the town (the principalia), a Barangay chief had to serve for ten years in that capacity unless he were, meanwhile, elected to a higher rank, such as lieutenant or gobernadorcillo. Everybody, therefore, shirked the repugnant obligations of a chiefdom, for the Government rarely recognized any bad debts in the collection of the taxes, until the chief had been made bankrupt and his goods and chattels sold to make good the sums which he could not collect from his group, whether it arose from their poverty, death, or from their having absconded. I have been present at auction sales of live-stock seized to supply taxes to the Government, which admitted no excuses or explanations. Many Barangay chiefs went to prison through their inability or refusal to pay othersʼ debts. On the other hand, there were among them some profligate characters who misappropriated the collected taxes, but the Government had really little right to complain, for the labour of tax-gathering was a forced service without remuneration for expenses or loss of time incurred. [224]

In many towns, villages, and hamlets there were posts of the Civil Guard established for the arrest of criminals and the maintenance of public order; moreover, there was in each town a body of guards called Cuadrilleros for the defence of the town and the apprehension of bandits and criminals within the jurisdiction of the town only. The town and the wards together furnished these local guards, whose social position was one of the humblest and least enviable. There were frequent cases of Cuadrilleros passing over to a band of brigands. Some years ago the whole muster belonging to the town of Mauban (Tayabas) suddenly took to the mountains; on the other hand, many often rendered valuable aid to society, but their doubtful reliability vastly diminished their public utility.

From the time Philippine administration was first organized up to the year 1884, all the subdued natives paid tribute. Latterly it was fixed at one peso and ten cents per annum, and those who did not choose to work for the Government during forty days in the year, paid also a poll-tax (fallas) of ₱3 per annum. But, as a matter of fact, thousands were declared as workers who never did work, and whilst roads were in an abominable condition and public works abandoned, not much secret was made of the fact that a great portion of the poll-tax never reached the Treasury. These pilferings were known to the Spanish local authorities as caidas or droppings; and in a certain province I met at table a provincial chief judge, the nephew of a general, and other persons who openly discussed the value of the different Provincial Governments (before 1884) in Luzon Island, on the basis of so much for salary and so much for fees and caidas.

However, although the tribute and fallas system worked as well as any other would under the circumstances, for some reason, best known to the authorities, it was abolished. In lieu thereof a scheme was proposed, obliging every civilized inhabitant of the Philippines, excepting only public servants, the clergy, and a few others, to work for fifteen days per annum without the right of redeeming this obligation by payment. Indeed, the decree to that effect was actually received in Manila from the Home Government, but it was so palpably ludicrous that the Gov.-General did not give it effect. He had sufficient common sense to foresee in its application the extinction of all European prestige and moral influence over the natives if Spanish and foreign gentlemen of good family were seen sweeping the streets, lighting the lamps, road-mending, guiding buffalo-carts loaded with stones, and so on. This measure, therefore, regarded by some as a practical joke, by others as the conception of a lunatic theorist—was withdrawn, or at least allowed to lapse.

Nevertheless, those in power were bent on reform, and the Peninsular system of a document of identity (Cédula personal), which works well amongst Europeans, was then adopted for all civilized classes [225]and nationalities above the age of 18 years without exception, its possession being compulsory. The amount paid for this document, which was of nine classes,11 from ₱25 value downwards, varied according to the income of the holder or the cost of his trading-licences. Any person holding this document of a value under ₱3½ was subject to fifteen daysʼ forced labour per annum, or to pay 50 cents for each day he failed to work. The holder of a document of ₱3½ or over paid also ₱1½ “Municipal Tax” in lieu of labour. The “Cédula” thenceforth served as a passport for travelling within the Archipelago, to be exhibited at any time on demand by the proper authority. No legal document was valid unless the interested parties had produced their Cédulas, the details of which were inscribed in the legal instrument. No petitions would be noticed, and very few transactions could be made in the Government offices without the presentation of this identification document. The decree relating to this reform, like most ambiguous Spanish edicts, set forth that any person was at liberty to take a higher-valued Cédula than that corresponding to his position, without the right of any official to ask the reason why. This clause was prejudicial to the public welfare, because it enabled thousands of able-bodied natives to evade labour for public improvements of imperative necessity in the provinces. The public labour question was indeed altogether a farce, and simply afforded a pretext for levying a tax.

It would appear that whilst the total amount of taxation in Spanish times was not burdensome, the fiscal system was obviously defective.

The (American) Insular Government has continued the issue of the Cédula on a reasonable plan which bears hard on no one. Forced labour is abolished; government work is paid for out of the taxes; and the uniform cost of the Cédula is one peso for every male between the ages of 18 and 60 years.

In 1890 certain reforms were introduced into the townships, most of which were raised to the dignity of Municipalities. The titles of Gobernadorcillo and Directorcillo (the words themselves in Spanish bear a sound of contempt) were changed to Capitan Municipal and Secretario respectively (Municipal Captain and Secretary) with nominally extended powers. For instance, the Municipal Captains were empowered to disburse for public works, without appeal to Manila, a few hundred pesos in the year (to be drawn, in some cases, from empty public coffers, or private purses). The functions of the local Justices of the Peace were amplified and abused to such a degree that these officials became more the originators of strife than the guardians of peace. The [226]old-established obligation to supply travellers, on payment therefor, with certain necessaries of life and means of transport was abolished.

Hitherto it had been the custom for a traveller on arriving at a town without knowing any one there, or without letters of introduction, to alight (by right) at the Tribunal, or Town Hall. Each such establishment had, or ought to have had, a tariff of necessary provisions and the means of travelling to the next town (such as ponies, gigs, hammocks, sedan-chairs, etc., according to the particular conditions of the locality). Each Barangay or Cabezeria furnished one Cuadrillero (vide pp. 223, 224) for the service of the Tribunal, so that the supply of baggage-carriers, bearers, etc., which one needed could not be refused on payment. The native official in charge of this service to travellers, and in control of the Cuadrilleros, was styled the Alguacil. Hence the Tribunal served the double purpose of Town Hall and casual ward for wayfarers. There were all sorts of Tribunales, from the well-built stone and wood house to the poverty-stricken bamboo shanty where one had to pass the night on the floor or on the table.

By decree of Gov.-General Weyler (1888–91) dated October 17, 1888, which came into force on January 1, 1889, the obligation of the Tribunal officials to supply provisions to travelling civilians had been already abolished, although, under both reforms, civilians could continue to take refuge at the Tribunal as theretofore. Notwithstanding the reform of 1890, until the American advent the European traveller found it no more difficult than before to procure en route the requisite means for provincial travelling. [227]

1 In the early days of Mexican conquest, the conquered land was apportioned to the warriors under the name of Repartimentos, but such divisions included the absolute possession of the natives as slaves (videLa vida y escritos del P. Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Obispo de Chiapa,” by Antonio Maria Fabié, Colonial Minister in the Cánovas Cabinet of 1890 Madrid).

2 Juan Salcedo, Legaspiʼs grandson (vide Chaps. ii. and iv.) was rewarded with several Encomiendas in the Ilocos provinces, on the west coast of Luzon, where he levied a tribute on the natives whom he subdued.

3 Changed afterwards to Manila Province; now called Rizal Province (Mórong district incorporated therein) since the American occupation.

4 “Noticias de Filipinas,” by Don Eusebio Mazorca. Inedited MS. dated 1840, in the Archives of Bauan Convent, Province of Batangas.

5 The text reads thus:—“Para ser jefe de Provincia en estas Islas no se requiere carrera, conocimientos ni servicios determinados, todos son aptos y admisibles.... Es cosa bastante comun ver á un peluquero ó lacayo de un gobernador, á un marinero y á un desertor transformado de repente en Alcalde-Mayor, sub-delegado y Capitan á guerra de una provincia populosa, sin otro consejero que su rudo entendimiento, ni mas guia que sus pasiones.” Tomás de Comyn was an employee of the “Real Compañia de Filipinas” (q.v.), and subsequently Spanish Consul-General in Lisbon.

6 Transferred to Bais in January, 1889, in consequence of the rise of brigandage in the S.E. of Negros Island.

The brigands, under the leadership of a native named Camartin and another, who declared themselves prophets, plundered the planters along that coast, and committed such notorious crimes that troops had to be despatched there under the command of the famous Lieut.-Colonel Villa-Abrille. The Gov.-General Valeriano Weyler went to the Visayas Islands and personally directed the operations.

7 From January 1, 1889, the Government Financial year was made concurrent with the year of the Calendar.

8 The text reads thus:—“Cada Jefe de Provincia es un verdadero Sultan y cuando acaba su administracion solo se habla en la Capital de los miles de pesos que sacó limpios de su alcaldia.”—“Noticias de Filipinas,” by Don Eusebio Mazorca. Inedited MS. dated 1840. In the archives of Bauan Convent, Province of Batangas.

9 The text reads thus:—“Cobrando el Alcalde en palay el tributo, solo abona al indio dos reales plata por caban; introduce en cajas reales su importe en metalico y vende despues el palay en seis, ocho y a veces mas reales fuertes plata cada caban y le resulta con esta sencilla operacion un doscientos ó trescientos por ciento de ganancia.... Ahora recientito está acusado el Ministro Interventor de Zamboanga por el Gobernador de aquella plaza de habérse utilizado aquel de 15,000 á 16,000 pesos solo con el trocatinte de la medida.... Se cuenta al mismo interventor á que me refiero 50,000 á 60,000 pesos cuando el sueldo de su empleo—oficial 2° de la Contaduria—es de 540 pesos al año.”Ibid.

10 The Audit Office was suppressed and revived, and again suppressed on January 1, 1889.

11 There was also a tenth class gratis for the clergy, army and navy forces, and convicts, and a “privileged” class gratis for petty-governors and their wives, Barangay chiefs and their wives, and Barangay chiefsʼ assistants, called “primogénito” (primogénito means first born—perhaps it was anticipated that he Would “assist” his father in his gratuitous government service).

Spanish-Philippine Finances

The secession of Mexico from the Spanish Crown in the second decade of last century brought with it a complete revolution in Philippine affairs. Direct trade with Europe through one channel or another had necessarily to be permitted. The “Situado,” or subsidy (vide p. 244), received from Mexico became a thing of the past, and necessity urged the home authorities to relax, to a certain extent, the old restraint on the development of Philippine resources.

In 1839 the first Philippine Budget was presented in the Spanish Córtes, but so little interest did the affairs of the Colony excite that it provoked no discussion. After the amendment of only one item the Budget was adopted in silence. It was not the practice in the earliest years to publish the full Philippine Budget in the Islands, although allusion was necessarily made to items of it in the Gaceta de Manila. However, it could be seen without difficulty in Madrid. Considering that the Filipinos had no political rights, except for the very brief period alluded to in Chapter xxii. (vide Córtes de Cádiz), it is evident that popular discussion of public finance would have been undesirable, because it could have led to no practical issue.

There is apparently no record of the Philippine Islands having been at any time in a flourishing financial condition. With few exceptions, in latter years the collected revenue of the Colony was usually much less than the estimated yield of taxes. The Budget for 1888 is here given in detail as an example.

Philippine Budgets

Financial Year. Estimated Income. Income Realized. Difference.
1884–85 11,298,508.98 9,893,745.87 1,404,763.11
1885–86 11,528,178.00 9,688,029.70 1,840,148.30
1886–87 11,554,379.00 9,324,974.08 2,229,404.92
1894–95 13,280,139.40 13,579,900.00 299,760.60
1896–97 17,086,423.00 17,474,000.00 387,577.00


Anticipated Revenue, Year 1888

₱ cts.
Direct Taxes 5,206,836 93
Customs Dues 2,023,400 00
Government Monopolies (stamps, cock-fighting, opium, gambling, etc.) 1,181,239 00
Lotteries and Raffles 513,200 00
Sale of State property 153,571 00
War and Marine Department (sale of useless articles. Gain on repairs to private ships in the Government Arsenal) 15,150 00
Sundries 744,500 00
9,837,896 93
Anticipated Expenditure, year 1888 9,825,633 29
Anticipated Surplus ₱ 12,263 64

The actual deficit in the last previous Budget for which there was no provision was estimated at ₱1,376,179.56, against which the above balance would be placed. There were some remarkable inconsistencies in the 1888 Budget. The Inspection of Woods and Forests was an institution under a Chief Inspector with a salary of ₱6,500, assisted by a technical staff of 64 persons and 52 non-technical subordinates. The total cost for the year was estimated at ₱165,960, against which the expected income derived from duties on felled timber was ₱80,000; hence a loss of ₱85,960 was duly anticipated to satisfy office-seekers. Those who wished to cut timber were subjected to very complicated and vexatious regulations. The tariff of duties and mode of calculating it were capriciously modified from time to time on no commercial basis whatever. Merchants who had contracted to supply timber at so much per foot for delivery within a fixed period were never sure of their profits; for the dues might, meanwhile, be raised without any consideration for trading interests. The most urgent material want of the Colony was easy means of communication with the interior of the Islands. Yet, whilst this was so sadly neglected, the Budget provided the sum of ₱113,686.64 for a School of Agriculture in Manila and 10 model farms and Schools of Cultivation in the provinces. It was not the want of farming knowledge, but the scarcity of capital and the scandalous neglect of public highways and bridges for transport of produce which retarded agriculture. The 113,000 pesos, if disbursed on roads, bridges, town halls, and landing-jetties, would have benefited the Colony; as it was, this sum went to furnish salaries to needy Spaniards. [229]

The following are some of the most interesting items of the Budget:

Curious Items of Revenue

₱ cts.
2,760,613 Identification Documents (Cedulas personales), costing 4 per cent, to collect—gross value 4,401,629 25
Tax on the above, based on the estimated local consumption of Tobacco 222,500 00
Chinese Capitation Tax 236,250 00
Tax on the above for the estimated local consumption of Tobacco 11,250 00
Recognition of vassalage collected from the unsubdued mountain tribes 12,000 00
Industrial and Trading Licences (costing ½ per cent, to collect), gross value 1,350,000 00
Yield of the Opium Contract (farmed out) 483,400 00
Yield of the Cock-fighting Contract (farmed out) 149,039 00
Lotteries and Raffles, nett profit say 501,862 00
State Lands worked by miners 100 00
Sale of State Lands 50,000 00
Mint—Profits on the manipulation of the bullion, less expenses of the Mint (₱ 46,150), nett 330,350 00
Stamps and Stamped Paper 548,400 00
Convict labour hired out 50,000 00

Curious Items of Expenditure

₱ cts.
34 per cent, of the maintenance of Fernando Po (by Decree of August 5, 1884) 68,618 18
Share of the pension paid to the heir of Christopher Columbus, the Duke de Veragua (₱ 23,400 a year) 3,000 00
Share of the pension paid to Ferdinand Columbus, Marquis de Bárboles 1,000 00
The Marquis de Bedmar is the heir of the assayer and caster in the Mint of Potosi (Peru). The concern was taken over by the Spanish Government, in return for an annual perpetual pension, of which this Colony contributed the sum of 1,500 00
The Consular and Diplomatic Services, Philippine Share 66,000 00
Postal and Telegraph Services (staff of 550 persons) 406,547 17
The Submarine Cable Co. Subsidy (Bolinao to Hong-Kong) 48,000 00
Charitable Institutions partly supported by Government, including the “Lepersʼ Hospital” ₱500 26,887 50

The Army and Armed Land Forces

Rank and File and Non-commissioned Officers as follows:—

Infantry, Artillery, Engineer, and Carabineer Corps 9,470
Cavalry Corps 407
Disciplinary Corps (Convicts) 630
Disciplinary Corps (Non-commissioned Officers) 92
Three Civil Guard Corps (Provincial Constabulary) 3,342
Veteran Civil Guard Corps (Manila Military Police) 400
Total number of men 14,341


Army Officers in the Philippines.
Year 1888.
How Employed. Lieutenant-Generals. Brigadier-Generals. Colonels. Lieutenant-Colonels. Majors. Captains. Lieutenants. Sub-Lieutenants. Totals.
Governor-General, with local rank of Captain-General 1 1
Employed in Government Administration, Political Military Provincial Governments, Staff Officers and Officers at the Orders of the Governor-General 1 7 7 14 39 37 23 12 140
With command or attached to Army Corps and Disciplinary Corps 5 11 14 88 136 127 381
Civil Guard 3 3 9 33 54 54 156
Veteran Civil Guard 1 6 6 13
Invalid Corps 1 1
Military Academy 1 1 2 4
Prisons and Penitentiaries 1 1 4 3 9
Commissariat Department 1 1 1 14 18 35
Judicial Audit Department 1 1 2 2 6
In expectation of service 1 3 6 12 12 12 46
In excess of Active Service requirements 3 1 7 9 20
Total of Officers 2 9 19 36 73 191 262 220 812

The Archbishop, as Vicar-General of the Armed Forces, ranked in precedence as a Field-Marshal. (In the Spanish Army a Field-Marshal ranks between a Brig.-General and Lieut.-General.)

Officersʼ Pay Per Annum

Rank. Ordinary Pay. When Commanding a Corps. Extra. When in Civil Guard. When in Veteran Civil Guard.
Captain-General was paid as Governor-General of the Colony 40,0001
Lieutenant-General (local rank), Sub-Inspector of Army Corps 12,000
Brigadier-General 4,500 800
Colonel 3,450 600 4,200
Lieutenant-Colonel 2,700 400 3,288
Major 2,400 2,520 2,880
Captain 1,500 1,584
Lieutenant 1,125 1,242 1,485
Sub-Lieutenant 975 1,068 1,275


After 6 yearsʼ and up to 9 yearsʼ service, an officer could claim a free passage back to the Peninsula for himself and, if married, his family.

After 9 yearsʼ service, his retirement from the Colony for three years was compulsory. If he nevertheless wished to remain in the Colony, he must quit military service. If he left before completing six yearsʼ service, he would have to pay his own passage unless he went “on commission” or with sick-leave allowance.

Estimated Annual Disbursements for—

₱ cts
The Civil Guard (Constabulary), composed of Three Corps = 3,342 Men and 156 Officers 638,896 77
The Veteran Civil Guard (Manila Police) One Corps = 400 Men and 13 Officers 73,246 88
The Disciplinary Corps, Maintenance of 630 Convicts and Material 56,230 63
(For the Disciplinary Convict Corps) 92 Non-commissioned Officers and 23 Officers 47,909 51
104,140 14

Army Estimates

₱ cts
Estimate according to the Budget for 1888 Plus the following sums charged on other estimates, viz.:— 3,016,185 91
Disciplinary Corps, maintenance of 630 Convicts and material 56,230 63
The Civil Guard 638,896 77
The Veteran Civil Guard 73,246 88
Pensions 117,200 00
Transport and maintenance of Recruits from Provinces 6,000 00
Expeditions to be made against the Moros—Religious ceremonies to celebrate Victories gained over them—Maintenance of War Prisoners, etc. 11,000 00
Total cost of Army and Armed Land Forces 3,918,760 19

Before the walls were built around Manila, about the year 1590, each soldier and officer lived where he pleased, and, when required, the troops were assembled by the bugle call.

At the close of the 16th century barracks were constructed, but up to the middle of last century the native troops were so badly and irregularly paid that they went from house to house begging alms of the citizens (vide p. 53, King Philip II.ʼs Decree).

In the 17th century troops died of sheer want in the Fort of Ylígan (Mindanao Is.), and when this was represented to the Gov.-General he generously ordered that the Spanish soldiers were in future to be paid ₱2 per month and native soldiers ₱1 per month to hold the fort, at the risk of their lives, against attack from the Mahometans.

In the forts of Labo and Taytay (Palaúan Is.) the soldiersʼ pay was only nominal, rations were often short, and their lives altogether most wretched. Sometimes they were totally overlooked by the military [232]chiefs, and they had to seek subsistence as best they could when provisions were not sent from the capital (videp. 157).

Mexican soldiers arrived in nearly every ship, but there were no barracks for them, no regular mode of living, no regulations for their board and lodging, etc.; hence many had to subsist by serving natives and half-breeds, much to the discredit of the mother country, and consequent loss of prestige. Each time a new expedition was organized a fresh recruiting had to be made at great cost and with great delay. There was practically no regular army except those necessarily compelled to mount guard, etc., in the city. Even the officers received no regular pay until 1754, and there was some excuse for stealing when they had a chance, and for the total absence of enthusiasm in the Service. When troops were urgently called for, the Gov.-General had to bargain with the officers to fill the minor posts by promises of rewards, whilst the high commands were eagerly sought for, not for the pay or the glory, but for the plunder in perspective.

In 1739 the Armoury in Manila contained only 25 Arquebuses of native make, 120 Biscayan muskets, 40 Flint guns, 70 Hatchets, and 40 Cutlasses.

The first regular military organization in these Islands was in the time of Governor Pedro Manuel de Arandia (1754), when one regiment was formed of five companies of native soldiers, together with four companies of troops which arrived with the Governor from Mexico. This corps, afterwards known as the “Kingʼs Regiment”2 (Regimiento del Rey) was divided into two battalions, increased to 10 companies each as the troops returned from the provinces.

The 20 companies were each composed as follows:—

1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 sub-lieutenant, 4 sergeants, 2 drummers, 6 first corporals, 6 seconds corporals, and 88 rank and file.

The Gov.-Generalʼs Body Guard of Halberdiers was reformed, and thenceforth consisted of 18 men, under a captain and a corporal.

The Monthly Pay under these reforms was as follows:—

Staff Officers. P. Regimental Officers and Staff P. c. Governor-Generalʼs Body Guard P.
Chief of the Staff 40 Captain 25 00 Captain 35
Adjutant-Major. 25 Lieutenant. 18 00 Corporal 10
Adjutant. 18 Sub-Lieutenant. 14 00 Guards 5
Captain 12 Sergeant 4 00
Drummer 3 00
First Corporal 3 25
Second Corporal 3 00
Rank and File 2 62½


From October 1, 1754, the troops were quartered in barracks, Commissariat Officers were appointed, and every man and every officer was regularly paid fortnightly. The soldiers were not used to this discipline, and desertion was frequent. They much preferred the old style of roaming about to beg or steal and live where they chose until they were called out to service, and very vigorous measures had to be adopted to compel them to comply with the new regulations.

In May, 1755, four artillery brigades were formed, the commanding officer of each receiving ₱30 per month pay.

In 1757 there were 16 fortified provincial outposts, at a total estimated cost of ₱37,638 per annum (including Zamboanga, the chief centre of operations against the Mahometans, which alone cost ₱18,831 in 1757), besides the armed forces and Camp of Manila, Fort Santiago, and Cavite Arsenal and Fort, which together cost a further sum of ₱157,934 for maintenance in that year.

Spanish Vessels in Philippine Waters

Year 1898

Name. Class. Tons. H.P.
Reina Cristina Cruiser 3,500 3,950
Castilla Cruiser 3,260 4,400
Don Anto. de Ulloa Cruiser 1,200 1,523
Don Juan de Austria Cruiser 1,130 1,600
Isla de Cuba Cruiser 1,048 2,200
Isla de Luzon Cruiser 1,048 2,200
Velasco Gunboat 1,152 1,500
Elcano Gunboat 560 600
General Lezo Gunboat 520 600
Argos Gunboat 508 600
Marqués del Duero Gunboat 500 550
Manila Transport 1,900 750
General Alava Transport 1,200 1,000
Cebú Transport 532 600
Callao Gunboat, and 4 others very small, besides 3 armed steam launches built in Hong-Kong, viz.:—Lanao, Corcuera, and General Blanco.

Naval Divisions

Station. Commanderʼs Pay.
South Division 5,760
Palaúan (Pta. Princesa) 4,560
Isabel de Basílan 3,360
Balábac Island 3,360
Corregidor Island 3,360
West Caroline Islands 3,360
East Caroline Islands 4,560


Navy EstimatesJudicial Statistics Harbour-Masters

Station. Pay. Station. Pay.
Manila 3,200 Pangasinán 1,500
Yloilo 3,200 Ilocos Norte y Sur. 1,500
Cebú 1,500 Cagayán 1,500
Cápis 1,500 Ladrone Islands 1,500
Zamboanga 1,500 Laguimanoc (Civilian) 144

The Chief of the Philippine Naval Forces was a Rear-Admiral receiving ₱16,392 per annum.

There were two Brigades of Marine Infantry, composed of 376 men with 18 officers.

Cavite Arsenal

The chief Naval Station was at Cavite, six miles from Manila. The forces at this station were 90 Marines as Guards, and 244 Marines as reserves. One hundred convicts were employed for Arsenal labour.

The Officer in command of the Cavite Arsenal and Naval Station took rank after the Rear-Admiral, and received a salary of ₱8,496 per annum.

The Navy Estimates (Budget for 1888) amounted to ₱2,573,776·27.

Spanish Judicial Statistics

Civil and Criminal Law Courts

The Civil and Criminal Law Courts were as follows, viz.:—

2 Supreme Courts in Manila and Cebú, quite independent of each other.
4 First-Class Courts of Justice in Manila (called “de término.”)
8 First-Class Courts of Justice in the Provinces (called “de término.”)
10 Second-Class Courts of Justice in the Provinces (called “de ascenso.”)
19 Third-Class Courts of Justice in the Provinces (called “de entrada.”)
7 Provincial Governments with judicial powers.

Judgesʼ Salaries

President of the Supreme Court of Manila ₱7,000
President of the Supreme Court of Cebu 6,000
Judge of each of the 12 First-Class Courts 4,000
Judge of each of the 10 Second-Class Courts 3,000
Judge of each of the 19 Third-Class Courts 2,000

Law Courts Estimate for 1888

₱ cts.
Supreme Court of Manila 90,382 00
Supreme Court of Cebú 49,828 00
All the minor Courts and allowances to Provincial Governors with judicial powers 192,656 00
Estimated total cost for the year ₱332,866 00


Penitentiaries and Convict Settlements

Manila (Bilíbid Jail) containing on an average 900 Native Convicts
And in 1888 there were also 3 Spanish Convicts
Cavite Jail contained in 1888 51 Native Convicts
Zamboanga Jail contained in 1888 98 Native Convicts
Agricultural Colony of San Ramon (Zamboanga), worked by convict labour, contained in 1888 164 Native Convicts
Ladrone Island Penal Settlement contained in 1888 101 Native Convicts
Ladrone Island Penal Settlement contained in 1888 3 Spanish Convicts
In the Army and Navy Services 730 Native Convicts
2,045 Convicts
Total estimated disbursements for Penitentiaries and Convict maintenance in the Settlements for the year ₱82,672.71

Brigandage first came into prominence in Governor Arandiaʼs time (1754–59), and he used the means of “setting a thief to catch a thief,” which answered well for a short time, until the crime became more and more habitual as provincial property increased in value and capital was accumulated there. In 1888 the Budget provided an allowance of 2,000 pesos for rewards for the capture or slaughter of these ruffians. Up to the end of Spanish rule, brigandage, pillage, and murder were treated with such leniency by the judges that there was little hope for the extinction of such crimes. When a band of thieves and assassins attacked a village or a residence, murdered its inhabitants, and carried off booty, the Civil Guard at once scoured the country, and often the malefactors were arrested. The Civil Guard was an excellent institution, and performed its duty admirably well; but as soon as the villains were handed over to the legal functionaries, society lost hope. Instead of the convicted criminals being garrotted according to law, as the public had a right to demand, they were “protected”; some were let loose on the world again, whilst others were sent to prison and allowed to escape, or they were transported to a penal settlement to work without fetters, where they were just as comfortable as if they were working for a private employer. I record these facts from personal knowledge, for my wanderings in the Islands brought me into contact with all sorts and conditions of men. I have been personally acquainted with many brigands, and I gave regular employment to an ex-bandit for years.

The Philippine brigand—known in the northern islands as Tulisán and in the southern islands as Pulaján—is not merely an outlaw, such as may yet be found in Southern and Eastern Europe; his infamous work of freebooting is never done to his satisfaction without the complement of bloodshed, even though his victim yield to him all without demur. Booty or no booty, blood must flow, if he be the ordinary Tulisán of the type known to the Tagálogs as dugong-aso (blood of a dog). [236]as distinguished from the milder Tulisán pulpul (literally, the blunt brigand), who robs, uses no unnecessary violence, but runs away if he can, and only fights when he must.

At Christmas, 1884, I went to Laguimanoc in the Province of Tayabas to spend a few days with an English friend of mine.3 On the way there, at Sariaya, I stayed at the house of the Captain of the Civil Guard, when a message came to say that an attack had been made the night before on my friendʼs house, his manager, a Swede, having been killed, and many others in the village wounded. The Captain showed me the despatch, and invited me to join him as a volunteer to hunt down the murderers. I agreed, and within half an hour we were mounted and on their track all through that dark night, whilst the rain poured in torrents. Four native soldiers were following us on foot. We jumped over ditches, through rice-paddy fields and cocoanut plantations, and then forded a river, on the opposite bank of which was the next guardsʼ post in charge of a lieutenant, who joined us with eight foot-soldiers. That same night we together captured five of the wretches, who had just beached a canoe containing part of their spoils. The prisoners were bound elbows together at their backs and sent forward under escort. We rode on all night until five oʼclock the next morning, arriving at the convent of Pagbilao just as Father Jesus was going down to say Mass. I had almost lost my voice through being ten hours in the rain; but the priest was very attentive to us, and we went on in a prahu to the village where the crime had been committed. In another prahu the prisoners were sent in charge of the soldiers. In the meantime, the Chief Judge and the Government Doctor of the province had gone on before us. On the way we met a canoe going to Pagbilao, carrying the corpse of the murdered Swede for burial. When we arrived at Laguimanoc, we found one native dead and many natives and Chinese badly wounded.

My friendʼs house had the front door smashed in—an iron strong-box had been forced, and a few hundred pesos, with some rare coins, were stolen. The furniture in the dining-room was wantonly hacked about with bowie-knives, only to satisfy a savage love for mischief. His bedroom had been entered, and there the brigands began to make their harvest; the bundles of wearing-apparel, jewellery, and other valuables were already tied up, when lo! the Virgin herself appeared, casting a penetrating glance of disapproval upon the wicked revelry! Forsaking their plunder, the brigands fled in terror from the saintly apparition. And when my friend re-entered his home and crossed the bloodstained floor of the dining-room to go to his bedroom, the cardboard Virgin, with a trade advertisement on the back, was still peeping round the door-jamb to which she was nailed, with the words “Please to shut the door” printed on her spotless bust. [237]

The next day the Captain remained in the village whilst I went on with the Lieutenant and a few guards in a prahu down the coast, where we made further captures, and returned in three days. During our journey in the prahu the wind was so strong that we resolved to beach our craft on the seashore instead of attempting to get over the shoal of the San Juan River. We ran her ashore under full sail, and just at that moment a native rushed towards us with an iron bar in his hand. In the evening gloom he must have mistaken us for a party of weather-beaten native or Chinese traders whose skulls he might smash in at a stroke and rifle their baggage. He halted, however, perfectly amazed when two guards with their bayonets fixed jumped forward in front of him. Then we got out, took him prisoner, and the next day he was let off with a souvenir of the lash, as there was nothing to prove that he was a brigand by profession. The second leader of the brigand gang was shot through the lungs a week afterwards, by the guards who were on his track, as he was jumping from the window-opening of a hut, and there he died.

The Captain of the Civil Guard received an anonymous letter stating where the brigand chief was hiding. This fact came to the knowledge of the native cuadrillero officer who had hitherto supplied his friend, the brigand, with rice daily, so he hastened on before the Captain could arrive, and imposed silence for ever on the fugitive bandit by stabbing him in the back. Thus the cuadrillero avoided the disclosure of unpleasant facts which would have implicated himself. The prisoners were conducted to the provincial jail, and three years afterwards, when I made inquiries about them, I learnt that two of them had died of their wounds, whilst not a single one had been sentenced.

The most ignorant classes believe that certain persons are possessed of a mystic power called anting-anting, which preserves them from all harm, and that the body of a man so affected is even refractory to bullet or steel. Brigands are often captured wearing medallions of the Virgin Mary or the Saints as a device of the anting-anting. In Maragondón (Cavite), the son of a friend of mine was enabled to go into any remote place with impunity, because he was reputed to be possessed of this charm. Some highwaymen, too, have a curious notion that they can escape punishment for a crime committed in Easter Week, because the thief on the cross was pardoned his sins.

In 1885 I purchased a small estate, where there was some good wild-boar hunting and snipe-shooting, and I had occasion to see the man who was tenant previous to my purchase, in Manila Jail. He was accused of having been concerned in an attack upon the town of Mariquina, and was incarcerated for eighteen months without being definitely convicted or acquitted. Three months after his release from prison he was appointed petty-governor of his own town, much to the disgust of the people, who in vain petitioned against it in writing. [238]

I visited the Penal Settlement, known as the Agricultural Colony of San Ramon, situated about fifteen miles north of Zamboanga, where I remained twelve days. The director of the settlement was D. Felipe Dujiols, an army captain who had defended Oñate (in Guipuzcoa, Spain), during the Carlist war; so, as we were each able to relate our personal experiences of that stirring period, we speedily became friends. As his guest, I was able to acquire more ample information about the system of convict treatment. With the 25 convicts just arrived, there were in all 150 natives of the most desperate class—assassins, thieves, conspirators, etc., working on this penal settlement. They were well fed, fairly well lodged, and worked with almost the same freedom as independent labourers. Within a few yards of the directorʼs bungalow were the barracks, for the accommodation of a detachment of 40 soldiers—under the command of a lieutenant—who patrolled the settlement during the day and mounted guard at night. During my stay one prisoner was chained and flogged, but that was for a serious crime committed the day before. The severest hardship which these convicts had to endure under the rule of my generous host, D. Felipe, was the obligation to work as honest men in other countries would be willing to do. In this same penal settlement, some years ago, a party of convicts attacked and killed three of the European overseers, and then escaped to the Island of Basilan, which lies to the south of Zamboanga. The leader of these criminals was a native named Pedro Cuevas, whose career is referred to at length in Chap. xxix.

Within half a dayʼs journey from Manila there are several well-known maraudersʼ haunts, such as San Mateo, Imus, Silan, Indan, the mouths of the Hagonoy River (Pampanga), etc. In 1881 I was the only European amongst 20 to 25 passengers in a canoe going to Balanga on the west shore of Manila Bay, when about midday a canoe, painted black and without the usual outriggers, bore down upon us, and suddenly two gun-shots were fired, whilst we were called upon to surrender. The pirates numbered eight; they had their faces bedaubed white and their canoe ballasted with stones. There was great commotion in our craft; the men shouted and the women fell into a heap over me, reciting Ave Marias, and calling upon all the Saints to succour them. Just as I extricated myself and looked out from under the palm-leaf awning, the pirates flung a stone which severely cut our pilotʼs face. They came very close, flourishing their knives, but our crew managed to keep them from boarding us by pushing off their canoe with the paddles. When the enemy came within range of my revolver, one of their party, who was standing up brandishing a bowie-knife, suddenly collapsed into a heap. This seemed to discourage the rest, who gave up the pursuit, and we went on to Balanga.

The most famous Tulisán within living memory was a Chinese half-caste named Juan Fernandez, commonly known as Tancad (“tall,” in [239]Tagálog) because of his extraordinary stature. His sphere of operations was around Bulacan, Tárlac, Mórong, and Nueva Ecija. He took part in 21 crimes which could have been proved against him, and doubtless many more. A man of wonderful perception and great bravery, he was only 35 years old when he was captured in Bulacan Province by the Spanish Captain Villa Abrille. Brought before a court-martial on the specific charge of being the chief actor in a wholesale slaughter at Tayud, which caused a great sensation at the time, he and ten of his companions were executed on August 28, 1877, to the immense relief of the people, to whom the very name of Tancad gave a thrill of horror.

No one experienced in the Colony ever thought of privately prosecuting a captured brigand, for a criminal or civil lawsuit in the Philippines was one of the worst calamities that could befall a man. Between notaries, procurators, barristers, and the sluggish process of the courts, a litigant was fleeced of his money, often worried into a bad state of health, and kept in horrible suspense for years. It was as hard to get the judgement executed as it was to win the case. Even when the question at issue was supposed to be settled, a defect in the sentence could always be concocted to re-open the whole affair. If the case had been tried and judgement given under the Civil Code, a way was often found to convert it into a criminal case; and when apparently settled under the Criminal Code, a flaw could be discovered under the Laws of the Indies, or the Siete Partidas, or the Roman Law, or the Novisima Recopilacion, or the Antiguos fueros, Decrees, Royal Orders, Ordenanzas de buen Gobierno, and so forth, by which the case could be re-opened. It was the same in the 16th century (vide p. 56).

I knew a planter in Negros Island who was charged with homicide. The judge of his province acquitted him, but fearing that he might again be arrested on the same charge, he came up to Manila with me to procure a ratification of the sentence in the Supreme Court. The legal expenses were so enormous that he was compelled to fully mortgage his plantation. Weeks passed, and having spent all his money without getting justice, I lent his notary £40 to assist in bringing the case to an end. The planter returned to Negros apparently satisfied that he would be troubled no further, but later on, the newly-appointed judge in that Island, whilst prospecting for fees by turning up old cases, unfortunately came across this one, and my planter acquaintance was sentenced to eight yearsʼ imprisonment, although the family lawyer, proceeding on the same shifty lines, still hoped to find defects in the sentence in order to reverse it in favour of his client.

Availing oneʼs self of the dilatoriness of the Spanish law, it was possible for a man to occupy a house, pay no rent, and refuse to quit on legal grounds during a couple of years or more. A person who had not a cent to lose could persecute another of means by a trumped-up accusation until he was ruined, by an “informacion de pobreza”—a [240]declaration of poverty—which enabled the persecutor to keep the case going as long as he chose without needing money for fees.4 A case of this kind was often started at the instigation of a native lawyer. When it had gone on for a certain time, the prosecutorʼs adviser would propose an “extra-judicial arrangement,” to extort costs from the wearied and browbeaten defendant.

About the year 1886 there was a cause célèbre, the parties being the firm of Jurado & Co. versus the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The Bank had agreed to make advances on goods to be imported by the firm in exchange for the firmʼs acceptances. The agreement was subject to six monthsʼ notice from the Bank. In due course the Bank had reason to doubt the genuineness of certain documents. Mr. Jurado was imprisoned, but shortly released on bail. He was dismissed from his official post of second chief of Telegraphs, worth ₱4,000 a year. Goods, as they arrived for his firm, were stored pending litigation, and deteriorated to only a fraction of their original value. His firm was forced by these circumstances into liquidation, and Mr. Jurado sued the Bank for damages. The case was open for several years, during which time the Bank coffers were once sealed by judicial warrant, a sum of cash was actually transported from the Bank premises, and the manager was nominally arrested, but really a prisoner on parole in his house. Several sentences of the Court were given in favour of each party. Years after this they were all quashed on appeal to Madrid. Mr. Jurado went to Spain to fight his case, and in 1891 I accidentally met him and his brother (a lawyer) in the street in Madrid. The brother told me the claim against the Bank then amounted to ₱935,000, and judgement for that sum would be given within a fortnight. Still, years after that, when I was again in Manila, the case was yet pending, and another onslaught was made on the Bank. The Court called on the manager to deliver up the funds of the Bank, and on his refusal to do so a mechanic was sent there to open the safes, but he laboured in vain for a week. Then a syndicate of Philippine capitalists was formed to fleece the Bank, one of its most energetic members being a native private banker in Manila. Whilst the case was in its first stages I happened to be discussing it at a shop in the Escolta when one of the partners, a Spaniard, asked me if I would like to see with my own eyes the contending lawyers putting their heads together over the matter. “If so,” said he, “you have only to go through my shop and up the winding back staircase, from the landing of which you can see them any day you like at one oʼclock.” I accepted his invitation, and there, indeed, were the rival advocates laughing, gesticulating, and [241]presumably cogitating how they could plunder the litigant who had most money to spend. At one stage of the proceedings the Bank specially retained a Spanish lawyer of great local repute, who went to Madrid to push the case. Later on Mr. Francis, Q.C., was sent over to Manila from Hong-Kong to advise the Bank. The Prime Minister was appealed to and the good offices of our Ambassador in Madrid were solicited. For a long time the Bank was placed in a most awkward legal dilemma. The other side contended that the Bank could not be heard, or appear for itself or by proxy, on the ground that under its own charter it had no right to be established in Manila; that, in view of the terms of that charter, it had never been legally registered as a Bank in Manila, and that it had no legal existence in the Philippines. This was merely a technical quibble. Several times when the case was supposed to be finally settled, it was again re-opened. Happily it may now be regarded as closed for ever.

A great many well-to-do natives have a mania for seeing their sons launched into the “learned professions”; hence there was a mob of native doctors who made a scanty living, and a swarm of half-lawyers, popularly called “abogadillos,” who were a pest to the Colony. Up to the beginning of the 18th century the offices of solicitors and notaries were filled from Mexico, where the licences to practise in Manila were publicly sold. After that period the colleges and the university issued licences to natives, thus creating a class of native pettifogging advocates who stirred up strife to make cases, for this purpose availing themselves of the intricacies of the law.

The Spanish-Philippine Criminal Law Procedure was briefly as follows:—(1) The Judge of Instruction took the sumaria, i.e., the inquiry into whether a crime had been committed, and, if so, who was the presumptive culprit. It was his duty to find the facts and sift the case. In a light case he could order the immediate arrest of the presumptive delinquent; in a grave case he would remit it. (2) In the Court of First Instance the verbal evidence was heard and sifted, the fiscal, or prosecuting attorney, expressing his opinion to the judge. The judge would then qualify the crime, and decide who was the presumptive culprit. Then the defence began, and when this was exhausted the judge would give his opinion. This court could not acquit or condemn the accused. The opinion on the sumaria was merely advisory, and not a sentence. This inquiry was called the “vista”; it was not in reality a trial, as the defendant was not allowed to cross-examine; but, on the other hand, in theory, he was not called upon to prove his innocence before two courts, but before the sentencing court (Audiencia) only. The case would then be remitted with the sumaria, and the opinion of the Court of First Instance, to the Audiencia, or Supreme Court, for review of errors of law, but not of facts which remained. The Audiencia did not call for testimony, but, if new facts were produced, it would remit back the [242]sumaria to the lower court, with the new written testimony added to the autos (documents in the case). These new witnesses were never confronted with the accused, and might never be seen by him, and were not cross-examined. If no new facts were elicited, the record of the lower court would be accepted by the Audiencia, errors of law being the only point at issue, and this court might at once pass sentence. In practice the Audiencia usually treated the finding of the lower court as sentence (not merely opinion), and confirmed it, if no new testimony were produced and there were no errors of law. But, although the opinion of the lower court might be practically an acquittal, the Audiencia might find errors of law, thus placing the accused twice in jeopardy. If the case were remitted back, in view of new testimony, it finally returned to the Audiencia for decision, nine judges being required to give their opinion in a grave case, so that if the Court of First Instance and five judges of the Audiencia found the accused guilty, there was a majority against him. The sentencing court was always the Audiencia. If the sentence were against the accused, a final appeal could be made, by “writ of error,” to the Supreme Court of Spain, whose decision, however, rested not on facts, but on errors of law.

The (American) Insular Government tacitly admitted that the Spanish written law was excellent, notwithstanding its fulfilment being dilatory. The Spanish Penal Code has been adopted in its general application, but a new code, based on it, was in course of compilation in 1904. The application of the Spanish Code occasionally evolves some curious issues, showing its variance with fundamental American law. For instance, in September, 1905, a native adulteress having been found by her husband in flagrante delicto, he stabbed her to death. The Spanish law sustains the husbandʼs right to slay his faithless consort and her paramour, in such circumstances (vide p. 80), but provides that the lawful slayer shall be banished from the country. The principle of this law is based on Roman law, human instinctive reasoning, and the spirit of the law among the Latin nations of Europe. American law assumes this natural act of the husband to be a crime, but whilst admitting the validity of the Spanish Code in these Islands, the American bench was puzzled to decide what punishment could be inflicted if the arraigned husband committed contempt of court by thereafter returning to his native land. [243]

1 This was not included in Army Estimates, but in Civil Government. Officers from Captain (inclusive) upwards “In expectation of Service” and “In excess of Active Service requirements,” received only four-fifths of ordinary pay.

2 In 1888 the “Kingʼs Regiment” was divided into two regiments, under new denominations, viz.:—“Castillo, No. 1” (April 3), and “España, No. 1” (June 18).

3 This gentleman is at present residing in the county of Essex, England.

4 Under British law, a litigant is not allowed to bring and conduct an action in formá pauperis until it is proved that he is not worth £5 after his debts are paid; and, moreover, he must obtain a certificate from a barrister that he has good cause of action.

Trade of the Islands

Its Early History

From within a year after the foundation of the Colony up to the second decade of last century direct communication with Mexico was maintained by the State galleons, termed the Naos de Acapulco. The first sailings of the galleons were to Navidad, but for over two centuries Acapulco was the port of destination on the Mexican side, and this inter-communication with New Spain only ceased a few years before that Colony threw off its allegiance to the mother country. But it was not alone the troubled state of political affairs which brought about the discontinuance of the galleonsʼ voyages, although the subsequent secession of Mexico would have produced this effect. The expense of this means of intercourse was found to be bearing too heavily upon the scanty resources of the Exchequer, for the condition of Spainʼs finances had never, at any period, been so lamentable.

The Commander of the State Nao had the title of General, with a salary of ₱40,000 per annum. The chief officer received ₱25,000 a year. The quarter-master was remunerated with 9 per cent, on the value of the merchandise shipped, and this amounted to a very considerable sum per voyage.

The last State galleon left Manila for Mexico in 1811, and the last sailing from Acapulco for Manila was in 1815.

These ships are described as having been short fore and aft, but of great beam, light draught, and, when afloat, had a half-moon appearance, being considerably elevated at bows and stern. They were of 1,500 tons burden, had four decks, and carried guns.

A Spanish-Mexican Galleon

A Spanish-Mexican Galleon

The Gov.-General, the clergy, the civil functionaries, troops, prisoners, and occasionally private persons, took passage in these ships to and from the Philippines. It was practically the Spanish Mail.

A Canoe

A Canoe

The Colony had no coin of its own.1 It was simply a dependency [244]of Mexico; and all that it brought in tribute and taxes to its Royal Treasury belonged to the Crown, and was at the Kingʼs disposal. For many years these payments were made wholly—and afterwards partially—in kind, and were kept in the Royal Stores. As the junks from China arrived each spring, this colonial produce belonging to the Crown was bartered for Chinese wares and manufactures. These goods, packed in precisely 1,500 bales, each of exactly the same size, constituted the official cargo, and were remitted to Mexico by the annual galleon. The surplus space in the ship was at the disposal of a few chosen merchants who formed the “Consulado,”—a trading ring which required each member to have resided in the Colony a stipulated number of years, and to be possessed of at least eight thousand pesos.

A Casco (Sailing-barge)

A Casco (Sailing-barge)

For the support of the Philippine administration Mexico remitted back to Manila, on the return of the galleon, a certain percentage of the realized value of the above-mentioned official cargo, but seeing that in any case—whether the Philippine Treasury were flourishing or not—a certain sum was absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the Colony, this remittance, known as the “Real Situado,” or royal subsidy, was, from time to time, fixed.2

A Prahu (Sailing-canoe)

A Prahu (Sailing-canoe)

The Philippine Colony was therefore nominally self-supporting, and the Situado was only a guaranteed income, to be covered, as far as it could be, by shipments of foreign bartered manufactures and local produce to Mexico. But, as a matter of fact, the Mexican subsidy seldom, if ever, was so covered.

By Royal Decree of June 6, 1665, the Mexican subsidy to the Philippines was fixed at ₱2,500,000, of which ₱2,000,000 was remitted in coin and ₱500,000 in merchandise for the Royal Stores. Against this was remitted value in goods (Philippine taxes and tribute) ₱ 176,101.40 so that the net Subsidy, or donation, from Mexico was ₱ 2,323,898.60.

Hence, in the course of time, coin—Mexican dollars called pesos—found its way in large quantities to the Philippines, and thence to China.

The yearly value of the merchantsʼ shipments was first limited to ₱250,000, whilst the return trade could not exceed ₱500,000 in coin or stores, and this was on the supposition that 100 per cent. profit would be realized on the sales in Mexico.

The allotment of surplus freight-room in the galleon was regulated by the issue of boletas—documents which, during a long period, served as paper money in fact, for the holders were entitled to use them for shipping goods, or they could transfer them to others who wished to do so. The demand for freight was far greater than the carrying power provided. Shipping warrants were delivered gratis to the members of [245]the Consulado, to certain ecclesiastics, and others. Indeed, it is asserted by some writers that the Governorʼs favourites were served with preference, to the prejudice of legitimate trade.

The Spaniards were not allowed to go to China to fetch merchandise for transhipment, but they could freely buy what was brought by the Chinese. Indian and Persian goods uninterruptedly found their way to Manila. Spanish goods came exclusively viâ Mexico.

The mail galleon usually sailed in the month of July in each year, and the voyage occupied about five months. Very strict regulations were laid down regarding the course to be steered, but many calamities befell the ships, which were not unfrequently lost through the incapacity of the officers who had procured their appointments by favour. For a century and a half there was practically no competition. All was arranged beforehand as to shape, quantity, size, etc., of each bale. There was, however, a deal of trickery practised respecting the declared values, and the boletas were often quoted at high prices. Even the selling-price of the goods sent to Mexico was a preconcerted matter.

The day of the departure of the galleon or its arrival with a couple of millions of pesos or more,3 and new faces, was naturally one of rejoicing—it was almost the event of the year. A Te Deum was chanted in the churches, the bells tolled, and musicians perambulated the streets, which were illuminated and draped with bunting.

So far as commercial affairs were concerned, the Philippine merchants passed very easy lives in those palmy days. One, sometimes two, days in the week were set down in the calendar as Saint-days to be strictly observed; hence an active business life would have been incompatible with the exactions of religion. The only misadventure they had to fear was the loss of the galleon. Market fluctuations were unknown. During the absence of the galleon, there was nothing for the merchants to do but to await the arrival of the Chinese junks in the months of March, April, and May, and prepare their bales. For a century and a half this sort of trading was lucrative; it required no smartness, no spirit of enterprise or special tact. Shippers were busy for only three months in the year, and during the remaining nine months they could enjoy life as they thought fit—cut off from the rest of the world.

Some there were who, without means of their own, speculated with the Obras Piasfunds, lent at interest.4 [246]

The Philippine merchants often lost the value of their shipments in the State galleons by shipwreck or seizure by enemies. Mexico frequently lost the Philippine remittances to her, and the specie she sent to the Philippines. The State galleon made only one voyage a year there and back, if all went well; but if it were lost, the shipment had to be renewed, and it often happened that several galleons were seized in a year by Spainʼs enemies.

The abortive attempt to annex the British Isles to the Spanish Crown in 1588 brought about the collapse of Spainʼs naval supremacy, enabling English mariners to play havoc with her galleons from America. The Philippine Islands, as a colony, had at that date only just come into existence, but during the series of Anglo-Spanish wars which preceded the “Family Compact” (vide p. 87), Philippine-Mexican galleons laden with treasure became the prey of British commanders, notably Admiral Anson. The coasts were beset by Ansonʼs squadron. He was the terror of the Philippines from the year 1743. His exploits gave rise to consternation, and numerous councils were held to decide what to do to get rid of him. The captured galleon Pilar gave one-and-a-half million pesos to the enemy—the Covadonga was an immense prize. All over the Islands the Spaniards were on the alert for the dreaded foe; every provincial Governor sent look-outs to high promontories with orders to signal by beacons if the daring Britisherʼs ships were seen hovering about, whilst, in Manila, the citizens were forewarned that, at any moment, they might be called upon to repel the enemy.

Not only in fleets of gold-laden vessels did Spain and her dependencies lose immense wealth through her hostile ambition, for in view of the restrictions on Philippine trade, and the enormous profits accruing to the Spanish merchants on their shipments, British, Dutch, French, and Danish traders competed with them. Shippers of these nationalities bought goods in Canton, where they established their own factories, or collecting-stores. In 1731 over three millions of Mexican dollars (pesos) were taken there for making purchases, and these foreign ships landed the stuffs, etc., in contraband at the American ports, where [247]Spaniards themselves co-operated in the trade which their absolute King declared illicit, whilst the traders considered it a natural right.

As the Southern (Peninsula) Spanish merchants were helpless to stay this competition, which greatly affected their profits, their rancorous greed made them clamour against the Philippine trade, to which they chose to attribute their misfortunes, and the King was petitioned to curtail the commerce of this Colony with Mexico for their exclusive benefit. But it was not Spanish home trade alone which suffered: Acapulco was so beset by smugglers, whose merchandise, surreptitiously introduced, found its way to Mexico City, that, in latter days, the Philippine galleonsʼ cargoes did not always find a market. Moreover, all kinds of frauds were practised about this time in the quality of the goods baled for shipment, and the bad results revealed themselves on the Mexican side. The shippers, unwisely, thought it possible to deceive the Mexicans by sending them inferior articles at old prices; hence their disasters became partly due to “the vaulting ambition that oʼerleaps itself and falls on tʼother side.” The Governor commissioned four of the most respectable Manila traders to inspect the sorting and classification of the goods shipped. These citizens distinguished themselves so highly, to their own advantage, that the Governor had to suppress the commission and abandon the control, in despair of finding honest colleagues. Besides this fraud, contraband goods were taken to Acapulco in the galleons themselves, hidden in water-jars.

In the time of Governor Pedro de Arandia (1754–59) the 100 per cent. fixed profit was no longer possible. Merchants came down to Acapulco and forced the market, by waiting until the ships were obliged to catch the monsoon back, or lie up for another season, so that often the goods had to be sold for cost, or a little over. In 1754 returns were so reduced that the Consulado was owing to the Obras Pias over ₱300,000, and to the Casa Misericordia ₱147,000, without any hope of repayment. The Casa Misericordia lent money at 40 per cent., then at 35 per cent., and in 1755 at 20 per cent. interest, but the state of trade made capital hardly acceptable even at this last rate.

Early in the 18th century the Cadiz merchants, jealous of the Philippine shippers, protested that the home trade was much injured by the cargoes carried to Mexico in Philippine bottoms. So effectually did they influence the King in their favour that he issued a decree prohibiting the trade between China and the Philippines in all woven stuffs, skein and woven silk and clothing, except the finest linen. Manila imports from China were thereby limited to fine linen, porcelain, wax, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. At the expiration of six months after the proclamation of the decree, any remaining stocks of the proscribed articles were to be burnt! Thenceforth trade in such prohibited articles was to be considered illicit, and such goods arriving in Mexico after that date were to be confiscated. [248]

By Royal Decree dated October 27, 1720, and published in Mexico by the Viceroy on February 15, 1724, the following was enacted, viz.:—That in future there should be two galleons per annum, instead of one as heretofore, carrying merchandise to Acapulco, each to be of 500 tons. That the merchandise sent in the two was to be of the value of ₱300,000 precisely in gold, cinnamon, wax, porcelain, cloves, pepper, etc., but not silks, or stuffs of any kind containing silk, under pain of confiscation, to be allotted in three equal parts, namely, to the Fiscal officer, the Judge intervening, and the informer, and perpetual banishment from the Indies of all persons concerned in the shipment. That the number of Manila merchants was to be fixed, and any one not included in that number was to be prohibited from trading. No ecclesiastic, or professor of religion, or foreigner could be included in the elected few, whose rights to ship were non-transferable. That if the proceeds of the sale happened to exceed the fixed sum of ₱600,000, on account of market prices being higher than was anticipated, only that amount could be brought back in money, and the difference, or excess, in goods. [If it turned out to be less than that amount, the difference could not be remitted in cash by Mexican merchants for further purchases, the spirit of the decree being to curtail the supply of goods from this Colony to Mexico, for the benefit of the Spanish home traders. The infringer of this regulation was subject to the penalties of confiscation and two yearsʼ banishment from the Indies.]

By Royal Decree of the year 1726, received and published in Manila on August 9, 1727, the following regulations were made known, viz.:—That the prohibition relating to silk and all-silk goods was revoked. That only one galleon was to be sent each year (instead of two) as formerly. That the prohibition on clothing containing some silk, and a few other articles, was maintained. That for five years certain stuffs of fine linen were permitted to be shipped, to the limit of 4,000 pieces per annum, precisely in boxes containing each 500 pieces.

The Southern Spanish traders in 1729 petitioned the King against the Philippine trade in woven goods, and protested against the five-yearsʼ permission granted in the above decree of 1726, declaring that it would bring about the total ruin of the Spanish weaving industry, and that the galleons, on their return to the Philippines, instead of loading Spanish manufactures, took back specie for the continuance of their traffic to the extent of three or four millions of pesos each year. The King, however, refused to modify the decree of 1726 until the five years had expired, after which time the Governor was ordered to load the galleons according to the former decree of 1720.

The Manila merchants were in great excitement. The Governor, under pretext that the original Royal Decree ought to have been transmitted direct to the Philippines and not merely communicated by the Mexican Viceroy, agreed to “obey and not fulfil” its conditions. [249]

From the year 1720, during the period of prohibitions, the Royal Treasury lost about ₱50,000 per annum, and many of the taxes were not recovered in full. Besides this, the donations to Government by the citizens, which sometimes had amounted to ₱40,000 in one year, ceased. A double loss was also caused to Mexico, for the people there had to pay much higher prices for their stuffs supplied by Spanish (home) monopolists, whilst Mexican coffers were being drained to make good the deficits in the Philippine Treasury. The Manila merchants were terribly alarmed, and meeting after meeting was held. A Congress of Government officials and priests was convened, and each priest was asked to express his opinion on the state of trade.

Commercial depression in the Philippines had never been so marked, and the position of affairs was made known to the King in a petition, which elicited the Royal Decree dated April 8, 1734. It provided that the value of exports should thenceforth not exceed ₱500,000, and the amount permitted to return was also raised to ₱1,000,000 (always on the supposition that 100 per cent. over cost laid down would be realized). The dues and taxes paid in Acapulco on arrival, and the dues paid in Manila on starting, amounted to 17 per cent. of the million expected to return.5 This covered the whole cost of maintenance of ships, salaries, freight, and charges of all kinds which were paid by Government in the first instance, and then recovered from the Consulado.

The fixed number of merchants was to be decided by the merchants themselves without Government intervention. Licence was granted to allow those of Cavite to be of the number, and both Spaniards and natives were eligible. Military and other professional men, except ecclesiastics, could thenceforth be of the number. Foreigners were strictly excluded. The right to ship (boleta) was not to be transferable, except to poor widows. A sworn invoice of the shipment was to be sent to the royal officials and magistrate of the Supreme Court of Mexico for the value to be verified. The official in charge, or supercargo, was ordered to make a book containing a list of the goods and their respective owners, and to hand this to the commander of the fortress in Acapulco, with a copy of the same for the Viceroy. The Viceroy was to send his copy to the Audit Office to be again copied, and the last copy was to be forwarded to the Royal Indian Council. [250]

Every soldier, sailor, and officer was at liberty to disembark with a box containing goods of which the Philippine value should not exceed ₱30, in addition to his private effects. All hidden goods were to be confiscated, one-half to the Royal Treasury, one-fourth to the Judge intervening, and one-fourth to the informer; but, if such confiscated goods amounted to ₱50,000 in value, the Viceroy and Mexican Council were to determine the sum to be awarded to the Judge and the informer.

If the shipment met a good market and realized more than 1,000,000 pesos, only 1,000,000 could be remitted in money, and the excess in duty-paid Mexican merchandise. If the shipment failed to fetch 1,000,000, the difference could not be sent in money for making new purchases. (The same restriction as in the decree of 1720.)

The object of these measures was to prevent Mexicans supplying trading capital to the Philippines instead of purchasing Peninsula manufactures. It was especially enacted that all goods sent to Mexico from the Philippines should have been purchased with the capital of the Philippine shippers, and be their exclusive property without lien. If it were discovered that on the return journey of the galleon merchandise was carried to the Philippines belonging to the Mexicans, it was to be confiscated, and a fine imposed on the interested parties of three times the value, payable to the Royal Treasury, on the first conviction. The second conviction entailed confiscation of all the culpritsʼ goods and banishment from Mexico for 10 years.

The weights and measures of the goods shipped were to be Philippine, and, above all, wax was to be sent in pieces of precisely the same weight and size as by custom established.

The Council for freight allotment in Manila was to comprise the Governor, the senior Magistrate, and, failing this latter, the Minister of the Supreme Court next below him; also the Archbishop, or in his stead the Dean of the Cathedral; an ordinary Judge, a Municipal Councillor, and one merchant as Commissioner in representation of the eight who formed the Consulado of merchants.

The expulsion of the non-christian Chinese in 1755 (vide p. 111) caused a deficit in the taxes of ₱30,000 per annum. The only exports of Philippine produce at this date were cacao, sugar, wax, and sapanwood. Trade, and consequently the Treasury, were in a deplorable state. To remedy matters, and to make up the above ₱30,000, the Government proposed to levy an export duty which was to be applied to the cost of armaments fitted out against pirates. Before the tax was approved of by the King some friars loaded a vessel with export merchandise, and absolutely refused to pay the impost, alleging immunity. The Governor argued that there could be no religious immunity in trade concerns. The friars appealed to Spain, and the tax was disapproved of; meantime, most of the goods and the vessel itself rotted pending the solution of the question by the Royal Indian Council. [251]

There have been three or four periods during which no galleon arrived at the Philippines for two or three consecutive years, and coin became very scarce, giving rise to rebellion on the part of the Chinese and misery to the Filipinos. After the capture of the Covadonga by the British, six years elapsed before a galleon brought the subsidy; then the Rosario arrived with 5,000 gold ounces (nominally ₱80,000).

However, besides the subsidy, the Colony had certain other sources of public revenue, as will be seen by the following:—

Philippine Budget for the Year 1757

₱ cts.
Stamped Paper 12,199 87½
Port and Anchorage Dues 25,938 00
Sale of Offices, such as Notaries, Public Scribes, Secretaryships, etc. 5,839 12½
Offices hired out 4,718 75
Taxes farmed out 28,500 00
Excise duties 4,195 00
Sale of Encomiendas, and 22 provincial govts. hired out 263,588 00
Divers taxes, fines, pardons, etc. 18,156 00
Tribute, direct tax 4,477 00
Sudsidy from Mexico 250,000 00
Deficit 79,844 00
₱ 697,455 75

₱ cts.
Supreme Court 34,219 75
Treasury and Audit Office 12,092 00
University 800 00
Cost of the annual Galleon 23,465 00
Clergy 103,751 00
Land and sea forces all over the Philippines including offensive and defensive operations against Moros—Staff and Material 312,864 00
Salaries, Hospital and Divers Expenses 70,158 00
Remittance in Merchandise to Mexico on account of the Subsidy 140,106 00
₱ 697,455 75

When the merchant citizens of Manila were in clover, they made donations to the Government to cover the deficits, and loans were raised amongst them to defray extraordinary disbursements, such as expeditions against the Mahometans, etc. In the good years, too, the valuation of the merchandise shipped and the corresponding returns were underrated in the sworn declarations, so that an immensely profitable trade was done on a larger scale than was legally permitted. Between 1754 and 1759, in view of the reduced profits, due to the circumstances already mentioned, the Manila merchants prayed the King for a reduction of the royal dues, which had been originally fixed on the basis of the gross returns being equal to double the cost of the merchandise laid down in Acapulco. To meet the case, another Royal Decree was issued confirming the fixed rate of royal dues and disbursements, but in compensation the cargo was thenceforth permitted to include 4,000 pieces of fine linen, without restriction as to measure or value; the sworn value was abolished, and the maximum return value of the whole shipment was raised to one-and-a-half millions of pesos. Hence the total dues and disbursements became equal to 11⅓ per cent. instead of 17 per cent., as heretofore, on the anticipated return value.

In 1763 the Subsidy, together with the Consulado shippersʼ returns, [252]amounted in one voyage to two-and-a-half millions of pesos (vide p. 88). After the independence of Mexico (1819), tribute in kind (tobacco) was, until recently, shipped direct to Spain, and Peninsula coin began to circulate in these Islands (vide Currency).

Consequent on the banishment of the non-christian Chinese in 1755, trade became stagnant. The Philippines now experienced what Spain had felt since the reign of Phillip III., when the expulsion of 900,000 Moorish agriculturists and artisans crippled her home industries, which needed a century and a half to revive. The Acapulco trade was fast on the wane, and the Manila Spanish merchants were anxious to get the local trade into their own hands. Every Chinese shop was closed by Government order, and a joint-stock trading company of Spaniards and half-breeds was formed with a capital of ₱76,500, in shares of ₱500 each. Stores were opened in the business quarter, each under the control of two Spaniards or half-breeds, the total number of shopmen being 21. The object of the company was to purchase clothing and staple goods of all kinds required in the Islands, and to sell the same at 30 per cent. over cost price. Out of the 30 per cent. were to be paid an 8 per cent. tax, a dividend of 10 per cent. per annum to the shareholders, and the remainder was to cover salaries and form a reserve fund for new investments. The company found it impossible to make the same bargains with the Chinese sellers as the Chinese buyers had done, and a large portion of the capital was soon lost. The funds at that date in the Obras Pias amounted to ₱159,000, and the trustees were applied to by the company for financial support, which they refused. The Governor was petitioned; theologians and magistrates were consulted on the subject. The theological objections were overruled by the judicial arguments, and the Governor ordered that ₱130,000 of the Obras Pias funds should be loaned to the company on debentures; nevertheless, within a year the company failed.

A commercial company, known as the “Compañia Guipuzcoana de Carácas,” was then created under royal sanction, and obtained certain privileges. During the term of its existence, it almost monopolized the Philippine-American trade, which was yet carried on exclusively in the State galleons. On the expiration of its charter, about the year 1783, a petition was presented to the Home Government, praying for a renewal of monopolies and privileges in favour of a new trading corporation, to be founded on a modified basis. Consequently, a charter (Real cédula) was granted on March 10, 1785, to a company, bearing the style and title of the “Real Compañia de Filipinas.” Its capital was ₱8,000,000, in 32,000 shares of ₱250 each. King Charles III. took up 4,000 shares; another 3,000 shares were reserved for the friars and the Manila Spanish or native residents, and the balance was allotted in the Peninsula.

The defunct company had engaged solely in the American trade, [253]employing the galleons; its successor left that sphere of commerce and proposed to trade with the East and Europe.

6To the ʼReal Compañia de Filipinasʼ was conceded the exclusive privilege of trade between Spain and the Archipelago, with the exception of the traffic between Manila and Acapulco. Its ships could fly the Royal Standard, with a signal to distinguish them from war-vessels. It was allowed two years, counting from the date of charter, to acquire foreign-built vessels and register them under the Spanish flag, free of fees. It could import, duty free, any goods for the fitting out of its ships, or shipsʼ use. It could take into its service royal naval officers, and, whilst these were so employed, their seniority would continue to count, and in all respects they would enjoy the same rights as if they were serving in the navy. It could engage foreign sailors and officers, always provided that the captain and chief officer were Spaniards. All existing Royal Decrees and Orders, forbidding the importation into the Peninsula of stuffs and manufactured articles from India, China, and Japan were abrogated in favour of this company. Philippine produce, too, shipped to Spain by the company, could enter duty free. The prohibition on direct traffic with China and India was thenceforth abolished in favour of all Manila merchants, and the companyʼs ships in particular could call at Chinese ports. The company undertook to support Philippine agriculture, and to spend, with this object, 4 per cent, of its nett profits.”

In order to protect the companyʼs interests, foreign ships were not allowed to bring goods from Europe to the Philippines, although they could land Chinese and Indian wares.

By the Treaties of Tordesillas and Antwerp (q.v.), the Spaniards had agreed that to reach their Oriental possessions they would take only the Western route, which would be viá Mexico or round Cape Horn. These treaties, however, were virtually quashed by King Charles III. on the establishment of the “Real Compañia de Filipinas.” Holland only lodged a nominal protest when the companyʼs ships were authorized to sail to the Philippines viá the Cape of Good Hope, for the Spaniardsʼ ability to compete had, meanwhile, vastly diminished.

With such important immunities, and the credit which ought to have been procurable by a company with ₱8,000,000 paid-up capital, its operations might have been relatively vast. However, its balance sheet, closed to October 31, 1790 (five-and-a-half years after it started), shows the total nominal assets to be only ₱10,700,194, largely in unrecoverable advances to tillers. The working account is not set out. Although it was never, in itself, a flourishing concern, it brought immense benefit to the Philippines (at the expense of its shareholders) by opening the way for the Colonyʼs future commercial prosperity. This advantage operated in two ways. (1) It gave great impulse to agriculture, which [254]thenceforth began to make important strides. By large sums of money, distributed in anticipation of the 4 per cent, on nett profit, and expended in the rural districts, it imparted life, vigour and development to those germs of husbandry—such as the cultivation of sugar-cane, tobacco, cotton, indigo, pepper, etc.—which, for a long time had been, and to a certain extent are still, the staple dependence of many provinces. (2) It opened the road to final extinction of all those vexatious prohibitions of trade with the Eastern ports and the Peninsula which had checked the energy of the Manila merchants. It was the precursor of free trade—the stepping-stone to commercial liberty in these regions.

The causes of its decline are not difficult to trace. Established as it was on a semi-official basis, all kinds of intrigues were resorted to—all manner of favouritism was besought—to secure appointments, more or less lucrative, in the Great Company. Influential incapacity prevailed over knowledge and ability, and the men intrusted with the direction of the companyʼs operations proved themselves inexperienced and quite unfit to cope with unshackled competition from the outer world. Their very exclusiveness was an irresistible temptation to contrabandists. Manila private merchants, viewing with displeasure monopoly in any form, lost no opportunity of putting obstacles in the way of the company. Again, the willing concurrence of native labourers in an enterprise of magnitude was as impossible to secure then as it is now. The native had a high time at the expense of the company, revelling in the enjoyment of cash advances, for which some gave little, others nothing. Success could only have been achieved by forced labour, and this right was not included in the charter.

In 1825 the company was on the point of collapse, when, to support the tottering fabric, its capital was increased by ₱12,500,000 under Real Cédula of that year, dated June 22. King Charles IV. took 15,772 (₱250) shares of this new issue. But nothing could save the wreck, and finally it was decreed, by Real Cédula of May 28, 1830, that the privileges conceded to the “Real Compañia de Filipinas” had expired—and Manila was then opened to Free Trade with the whole world. It marked an epoch in Philippine affairs.

In 1820 the declared independence of Mexico, acknowledged subsequently by the European Powers, forced Spain to a decision, and direct trade between the Philippines and the mother country became a reluctant necessity. No restrictions were placed on the export to Spain of colonial produce, but value limitations were fixed with regard to Chinese goods. The export from the Philippines to Acapulco, Callao, and other South American ports was limited to ₱750,000 at that date. In the same year (1820) permission was granted for trade between Manila and the Asiatic ports. Twenty-two years afterwards one-third of all the Manila export trade was done with China.

When the galleons fell into disuse, communication was definitely [255]established with Spain by merchant sailing ships viâ the Cape of Good Hope, whilst the opening of the Suez Canal (1869) brought the Philippines within 32 daysʼ journey by steamer from Barcelona.

The voyage viâ the Cape of Good Hope occupied from three to six months; the sailings were less frequent than at the present day, and the journey was invariably attended with innumerable discomforts. It was interesting to hear the few old Spanish residents, in my time, compare their privations when they came by the Cape with the luxurious facilities of later times. What is to-day a pleasure was then a hardship, consequently the number of Spaniards in the Islands was small; their movements were always known. It was hardly possible for a Spaniard to acquire a sum of money and migrate secretly from one island to another, and still less easy was it for him to leave the Colony clandestinely.

The Spaniard of that day who settled in the Colony usually became well known during the period of the service which brought him to the Far East. If, after his retirement from public duty, on the conclusion of his tenure of office, he decided to remain in the Colony, it was often due to his being able to count on the pecuniary support and moral protection of the priests. The idea grew, so that needy Spaniards in the Philippines, in the course of time, came to entertain a kind of socialistic notion that those who had means ought to aid and set up those who had nothing, without guarantee of any kind: “Si hubiera quien me proteja!” was the common sigh—the outcome of Cæsarism nurtured by a Government which discountenanced individual effort. Later on, too, many natives seemed to think that the foreign firms, and others employing large capital, might well become philanthropic institutions, paternally assisting them with unsecured capital. The natives were bred in this moral bondage: they had seen trading companies, established under royal sanction, benefit the few and collapse; they had witnessed extensive works, undertaken por viâ de administracion miscarry in their ostensible objects but prosper in their real intent, namely, the providing of berths for those who lived by their wits.

The patriarchal system was essayed by a wealthy firm of American merchants (Russell & Sturgis) with very disastrous results to themselves. They distributed capital all over the Colony, and the natives abused their support in a most abominable manner. A native, alleging that he had opened up a plantation, would call on the firm and procure advances against future crops after scant inquiry. Having once advanced, it was necessary to continue doing so to save the first loans.

Under the auspices of the late Mr. Nicholas Loney, great impulse was given to the commerce of Yloilo, and, due to his efforts, the Island of Negros was first opened up. His memory is still revered, and he is often spoken of as the original benefactor to the trading community of that district. Russell & Sturgis subsequently extended their operations to that locality. The result was that they were deceived in [256]every direction by the natives, who, instead of bringing in produce to pay off advances, sent their sons to college, built fine houses, bought pianos, jewellery, etc., and in a hundred ways satisfied their pride and love for outward show in a manner never known before, at the expense of the American capitalists. As bankers, the firm enjoyed the unlimited confidence of those classes who had something to lose as well as to gain; hence it is said that, the original partners having withdrawn their money interest, the firm endeavoured to continue the business with a working capital chiefly derived from the funds deposited by private persons at 8 per cent, per annum. All might have gone well but for the rascality of the native agriculturists, who brought about the failure of the house in 1875 by taking loans and delivering no produce. The news amazed everybody. Trade was, for the moment, completely paralyzed. The great firm, which for years had been the mainspring of all Philippine mercantile enterprise, had failed! But whilst many individuals suffered (principally depositors at interest), fifty times as many families to-day owe their financial position to the generosity of the big firm; and I could mention the names of half a dozen real-estate owners in Yloilo Province who, having started with nothing, somehow found themselves possessing comparatively large fortunes at the time of the liquidation.

Consequent on the smash, a reaction set in which soon proved beneficial to the Colony at large. Foreign and Spanish houses of minor importance, which had laboured in the shade during the existence of the great firm, were now able to extend their operations in branches of trade which had hitherto been practically monopolized.

Before Manila was opened to foreign trade, even in a restricted form, special concessions appear to have been granted to a few traders. One writer mentions that a French mercantile house was founded in Manila many years prior to 1787, and that an English firm obtained permission to establish itself in 1809. In 1789 a foreign ship was allowed to enter the port of Manila and to discharge a cargo. This would appear to have been the first. In olden times the demand for ordinary foreign commodities was supplied by the Chinese traders and a few Americans and Persians. During the latter half of the 18th century a Spanish man-of-war occasionally arrived, bringing European manufactures for sale, and loaded a return cargo of Oriental goods.

The Philippine Islands were but little known in the foreign markets and commercial centres of Europe before the middle of the 19th century. Notwithstanding the special trading concessions granted to one foreigner and another from the beginning of last century, it was not until the port of Manila was unrestrictedly opened to resident foreign merchants in 1834 that a regular export trade with the whole mercantile world gradually came into existence. [257]

It is said that whilst the charter of the “Real Compañia de Filipinas” was still in force (1785–1830) a Mr. Butler7 solicited permission to reside in and open up a trade between Manila and foreign ports; but his petition was held to be monstrous and grievously dangerous to the political security of the Colony; hence it was rejected. The Spaniards had had very good reason to doubt foreign intercourse after their experience of 1738, when they preferred a war with England to a gross abuse of the Asiento contract entered into under the Treaty of Utrecht.8 Subsequently the American firm already mentioned, Russell & Sturgis, made a request to be allowed to trade, which, having the support of the Gov.-General of the day, was granted; and Mr. Butler, taking advantage of this recent precedent, also succeeded in founding a commercial house in Manila. To these foreigners is due the initiation of the traffic in those products which became the staple trade of the Colony and paved the way for the bulk of the business being, as it is to-day, in the hands of European and American merchants.

The distrustful sentiment of olden times (justifiable in the 18th century) pervaded the Spaniardsʼ commercial and colonial policy up to their last day. Proposed reforms and solicitations for permission to introduce modern improvements were by no means welcomed. In the provinces clerical opposition was often cast against liberal innovations, and in the Government bureaux they were encompassed with obstructive formalities, objections, and delays.9 [258]

By Royal Ordinance of 1844 strangers were excluded from the interior; in 1857 unrepealed decrees were brought forward to urge the prohibition of foreigners to establish themselves in the Colony; and, as late as 1886, their trading here was declared to be “prejudicial to the material interests of the country.”10

The support of the friars referred to in p. 255 became a thing of the past. Colonists had increased tenfold, the means of communication and of exit were too ample for the security of the lenders, who, as members of religious communities, could not seek redress at law, and, moreover, those “lucky hits” which were made by penniless Europeans in former times by pecuniary help “just in the nick of time” were no longer possible, for every known channel of lucrative transaction was in time taken up by capitalists.

It was the capital brought originally to the Philippines through foreign channels which developed the modern commerce of the Colony, and much of the present wealth of the inhabitants engaged in trade and agriculture is indirectly due to foreign enterprise. Negros Island was entirely opened up by foreign capital. In Manila, the fathers of many of the half-castes and pure natives who at this day figure as men of position and standing, commenced their careers as messengers, warehouse-keepers, clerks, etc., of the foreign houses.

There were a great many well-to-do Spaniards in trade, but few whose funds on starting were brought by them from the Peninsula. The first Spanish steamer-owner in the Colony, a baker by trade, owed his prosperity to the support of Russell & Sturgis. One of the richest Spanish merchants (who died in 1894) once kept a little grocerʼs shop, and after the failure of Russell & Sturgis he developed into a merchant and shipowner whose firm became, in time, the largest Spanish house operating in hemp and other produce.

About 14 Spanish firms of a certain importance were established in Manila, Yloilo, and Cebú, in addition to the Europeans trading here and there on the coasts of the Islands. In Manila there were (and are still) two foreign bank branches11 (one with a sub-branch in Yloilo), three bank agencies, and the Philippine private banking-house of J. M. Tuason & Co.; also the “Banco Español-Filipino,” which was [259]instituted in 1852, with a capital of ₱400,000, in 2,000 shares of ₱200 each. The capital was subsequently increased to ₱600.000.12 Authorized by charter, it issued notes payable to bearer on demand from ₱10 upwards. The legal maximum limit of note issue was ₱1,200,000, whilst the actual circulation was about ₱100,000 short of that figure. This bank did a very limited amount of very secure business, and it has paid dividends of 12 to 15 per cent.; hence the shares were always at a premium. In 1888, when 12 per cent, dividend was paid, this stock was quoted at ₱420; in 1895 it rose to ₱435. The Obras Pias funds (vide p. 245) constituted the orginal capital of the bank. The new position of this institution, under the (American) Insular Government since 1905, is explained in Chapter xxxi.

The first Philippine bank was opened in Manila by a certain Francisco Rodriguez about the year 1830.

From the conquest up to the year 1857 there was no Philippine coinage. Mexican dollars were the only currency, and in default of subsidiary money these dollars, called pesos, were cut. In 1764 cut money was prohibited, and small Spanish silver and copper coins came to the Islands. In 1799 the Gov.-General forbade the exportation of money, and fixed the peso at 8 reales fuertes and the real at 17 cuartos. Shortly afterwards gold came to the Islands, and was plentiful until 1882. In 1837 other copper coins came from Spain, and the real fuerte was fixed at 20 cuartos. In 1857 the Manila mint was established, pesetas were introduced, five being equal to one peso, and 32 cuartos being equal to one peseta. Contemporaneously the coinage in Spain was 34 cuartos to one peseta and 5 pesetas to one duro—the coin nominally equivalent to the peso—but the duro being subdivided into 20 reales vellon, the colonial real fuerte came to be equivalent to 2½ reales vellon. The evident intention was to have one common nominal basis (peso and duro), but subdivided in a manner to limit the currency of the colonial coinage to its own locality. With pesos, reales, cuartos, maravedis, and ounces of gold, bookkeeping was somewhat complicated; however, the Government accounts were rendered easy by a decree dated January 17, 1857, which fixed pesos and cents for official reckoning. Merchants then adopted this standard. Up to 1860 gold was so abundant that as much as 10 per cent, was paid to exchange an onza of gold (₱16) for silver. In 1878 gold and silver were worth their nominal relative values. Gold, however, has gradually disappeared from the Colony, large quantities having been exported to China. In 1881 the current premium for purchasing gold was 2 per cent., and at the beginning of 1885 as much as 10 per cent. premium was paid for Philippine gold of the Isabella II or any previous coinage. The gold currency of Alfonso XII. (1875–85) was always of less intrinsic value than the coin of [260]earlier date, the difference averaging about 2 per cent. At the present day gold could only be obtained in very limited quantities at about the same rate as sight drafts on Europe. Philippine gold pieces are rare.

In 1883 Mexican dollars of a later coinage than 1877 were called in, and a term was fixed after which they would cease to be legal tender. In 1885 decimal bronze coins were introduced. In July, 1886, a decree was published calling in all foreign and Chinese chop dollars13 within six months, after which date the introducer of such coin into the Colony would be subject to the penalty of a fine equal to 20 per cent. of the value imported, the obligation to immediately re-export the coin, and civil action for the misdemeanour. At the expiration of the six months the Treasury was not in a position to effect the conversion of the foreign medium in private hands prior to the publication of the decree. The term was extended, but in time the measure became practically void, so far as the legal tender was concerned. However, the importation of Mexican dollars was still prohibited; but, as they remained current in Manila at par value, whilst in Hong-Kong and Singapore they could be bought for 8 to 12 per cent, (and in 1894 25 per cent.) less than Manila dollars, large quantities were smuggled into the Colony. It is estimated that in the year 1887 the clandestine introduction of Mexican dollars into Manila averaged about ₱150,000 per month. I remember a Chinaman was caught in September, 1887, with ₱164,000, imported in cases declared to contain matches. In 1890 there was a “boom” in the silver market. Owing to the action of the American Silverites, the Washington Treasury called for a monthly supply of 4,000,000 of silver dollars; consequently sight rate on London in Hong-Kong touched 3s. 10¼d., and in Manila rose to 3s. 10½d., but a rapid reaction set in when the Treasury demand ceased. In 1895 we heard in Manila that the Government were about to coin Philippine pesos and absolutely demonetize Mexicans as a medium in the Islands. But this measure was never carried out, probably because the Government had not the necessary cash with which to effect the conversion. Some few Philippine peso pieces were, however, put into circulation concurrently with the Mexican pesos.

In June, 1903, the ss. Don Juan, owned by Francisco L. Rojas, of Manila, took on board in Hong-Kong about $400,000 Mexicans (i.e., pesos) for the purpose of smuggling them into Manila. On board there were also, as passengers, a Señor Rodoreda and a crowd of Chinese coolies. The vessel caught fire off the west coast of Luzon. The captain, the crew, and the Spanish passenger abandoned the ship in boats, leaving the Chinese to their awful fate. A steam launch was sent alongside and saved a few dollars, whilst the despairing Chinese became victims to the flames and sharks. The shipʼs burnt-out hull was towed to Manila Bay. The remaining dollars were confiscated, and the captain and chief engineer were prosecuted. [261]

The universal monetary crisis due to the depreciation of silver was experienced here, and the Government made matters still worse by coining half-pesos and 20-cent pieces, which had not the intrinsic value expressed, and exchange consequently fell still lower. In September, 1887, a Madrid periodical, Correo de España, stated that the bastard Philippine 50-cent pieces were rejected in Madrid even by money-changers. In May, 1888, the peso was quoted at 3s.2¾d. (over 19 per cent. below nominal value), and shippers to the Colony, who had already suffered considerably by the loss on exchange, had their interests still further impaired by this action of the Treasury. For Exchange Fluctuations vide Chap, xxxi., “Trade Statistics.”

A Custom-house was established and port opened in Zamboanga (Mindanao Is.) for direct communication with abroad in 1831; those of Sual (Pangasinán) and Yloilo (Panay Is.) in 1855, and that of Cebú in 1863. The Custom-house of Sual was subsequently abolished, and the port having been closed to direct foreign trade, the place has lost its former importance, and lapsed into the state of a lifeless village.

Special permission could be obtained for ships to load in and sail direct from harbours where no Custom-houses were established, on a sum of money being lodged beforehand at the Caja de Depósitos in Manila, to cover duties, dues, etc., to be assessed.

After the opening of the port of Yloilo, three years elapsed before a cargo of produce sailed thence to a foreign port. Since then it has gradually become the shipping centre for the crops (chiefly sugar and sapanwood) raised in the islands of Panay and Negros. From about the year 1882 to 1897 it attracted a portion of what was formerly the Cebú trade. Since then the importance of Yloilo has diminished. Its development as a port was entirely due to foreigners, and considerably aided agriculture in the Visayas Islands. Heretofore the small output of sugar (which had never reached 1,000 tons in any year) had to be sent up to Manila. The expense of local freight, brokerages, and double loading and discharging left so little profit to the planters that the results were then quite discouraging. None but wooden sugar-cane mills were employed at that time, but since then many small steam-power factories have been erected (vide Sugar). The produce shipped in Yloilo14 was principally carried to the United States in American sailing-ships.

For figures relating to Chief Exports from the various ports, vide Chap. xxxi., “Trade Statistics.”

Most of the carrying Import trade was in the hands of subsidized Spanish steamer-owners, whilst the larger portion of the Exports was [262]conveyed in foreign vessels, which arrived in ballast from Eastern ports where they had left cargoes.

Smuggling was carried on to a considerable extent for years, and in 1891 a fresh stimulus was given to contraband by the introduction of a Protectionist Tariff, which came into force on April 1 of that year, and under which Spanish goods brought in Spanish ships were allowed to enter free of duty.15

In order to evade the payment of the Manila Port Works Tax (q.v.), for which no value was given, large quantities of piece-goods for Manila were shipped from Europe to Yloilo, passed through the Custom-house there and re-shipped in inter-island steamers to Manila. In 1890 some two-thirds of the Yloilo foreign imports were for re-shipment.

The circumstances which directly led to the opening of Zamboanga (in 1831) as a commercial port are interesting when it is remembered that Mindanao Island is still quasi-independent in the interior—inhabited by races unconquered by the Spaniards, and where agriculture by civilized settlers is as yet nascent. It appears that the Port of Joló (Sulu Is.) had been, for a long time, frequented by foreign ships, whose owners or officers (chiefly British) unscrupulously supplied the Sulus with sundry manufactured goods, including arms of warfare, much to the detriment of Spanish interests there, in exchange for mother-of-pearl, pearls, gums, etc. The Spaniards claimed suzerain rights over the island, but were not strong enough to establish and protect a Custom-house, so they imposed the regulation that ships loading in Joló should put in at Zamboanga for clearance to foreign ports. The foreigners who carried on this illicit traffic protested against a sailing-ship being required to go out of her homeward course about one hundred and twenty miles for the mere formality of customs clearance. A British ship (and perhaps many before her) sailed straight away from Joló, in defiance of the Spaniards, and the matter was then brought to the notice of the British Government, who intimated that either Joló must be declared a free port or a Custom-house must be established there. The former alternative was chosen by the Spaniards, but Zamboanga remained an open port for foreign trade which very rarely came.

The supreme control of merchant shipping and naval forces was vested in the same high official. No foreigner was permitted to own a vessel trading between Spain and her colonies, or between one Spanish colony and another, or doing a coasting trade within the Colony. This difficulty was however readily overcome, and reduced to a mere ineffective formality, by foreigners employing Spaniards to become nominal owners of their vessels. Thus a very large portion of the inter-island steamer carrying-trade was virtually conducted by foreigners, chiefly British.

Mail-steamers, subsidized by the Government, left the capital every fortnight for the different islands, and there was a quarterly [263]Pacific Mail Service to the Ladrone Islands.16 Regular mails arrived from, and left for, Europe every fortnight, but as there were intermediate opportunities of remitting and receiving correspondence, really about three mails were received and three despatched every month. The mail-route for Europe is viâ Singapore, but there were some seven or eight sailings of steamers per month between Manila and Hong-Kong (the nearest foreign colony—640 miles), whence mails were forwarded to Europe, Australia, Japan, the United States, etc.

Between the capital and several ports in the adjacent provinces there was a daily service of passenger and light cargo-steamers.

Between Yloilo and the adjoining Province of Antique, the District of Concepcion and the Islands of Negros and Cebú, there were some half-dozen small steamers, belonging to Filipinos and Spaniards, running regularly with passengers and merchandise, whilst in the sugar-producing season—from January to May—they were fully freighted with cargoes of this staple article.

The carrying-trade in sailing craft between the Islands was chiefly in the hands of natives and half-castes. There were also a few Spanish sailing-ship owners, and in the Port of Yloilo a few schooners (called lorchas), loading from 40 to 100 tons of sugar, were the property of foreigners, under the nominal ownership of Spanish subjects, for the reasons mentioned in the preceding page.

The principal exporters employ middlemen for the collecting of produce, and usually require their guarantee for sales at credit to the provincial purchasers of imports. These middlemen are always persons of means, born in the Colony, and, understanding both the intricacies of the native character and the European mode of transacting business, they serve as very useful—almost indispensable—intermediaries.

It was only when the crisis in the Sugar trade affected the whole world, and began to be felt in the Philippines in 1884, that the majority of the natives engaged in that industry slowly began to understand that the current price of produce fluctuated according to supply and demand. Before transactions were so thoroughly in the hands of middlemen, small producers used to take their samples to the purchasers, “to see how much they cared to pay” as they expressed it—the term “market price” seldom being used or understood in the provinces, because of the belief that prices rose or fell according to the caprice or generosity of the foreign buyer. Accustomed to deal, during the first centuries of the Spanish occupation, with the Chinese, the natives, even among themselves, rarely have fixed prices in retail dealings, and nearly every quotation in small traffic is taken only as a fancy price, subject to considerable rebate before closing. The Chinese understand the native pretty well; they study his likings, and they so fix their prices that an enormous reduction can be [264]made for his satisfaction. He goes away quite contented, whilst the Chinaman chuckles over having got the best of the bargain. Even the import houses, when they advertise their goods for sale, seldom state the prices; it seems as if all regarded the question of price as a shifty one.

The system of giving credit in the retail trade of Manila, and a few provincial towns, was the ruin of many shopkeepers. There were few retailers who had fixed prices; most of them fluctuated according to the race, or nationality, of the intending customer. The Chinese dealer made no secret about his price being merely nominal. If on the first offer the hesitating purchaser were about to move away, he would call after him and politely invite him to haggle over the bargain.17

The only real basis of wealth in the Colony is the raw material obtained by Agriculture, and Forest produce. Nothing was done by the conquerors to foster the Industrial Arts, and the Manufacturing Trades were of insignificant importance. Cigars were the only manufactured export staple, whilst perfumes, a little cordage, and occasionally a parcel of straw or finely-split bamboo hats were shipped.

In the Provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, split-cane and Nito (lygodium) hats, straw mats, and cigar-cases are made. Some of the finest worked cigar-cases require so much time for making that they cost up to ₱20 each. Hats can only be obtained in quantities by shippers through native middlemen.

In Yloilo Province a rough cloth called Sinamay is woven18 from selected hemp fibre. Also in this province and that of Antique (Panay Is.), Piña muslin of pure pine-leaf fibre and Husi of mixed pine-leaf and hemp filament are made. Ilocos Province has a reputation in these Islands for its woollen and dyed cotton fabrics. Taal (Batangas) also produces a special make of cotton stuffs. Pasig, on the river of that name, and Sulípan (Pampanga), are locally known for their rough pottery, and Cápiz and Romblon for their sugar-bags.

Paete, at the extreme east of the Laguna de Bay, is the centre for white-wood furniture and wood-carving. In Mariquina, near Manila, wooden clogs and native leather shoes are made. Santa Cruz (Manila) is the gold and silver-workersʼ quarter. The native women in nearly all the civilized provinces produce some very handsome specimens of embroidery on European patterns. Mats to sleep upon (petates) straw bags (bayones), baskets (tampipes), alcohol, bamboo furniture, buffalo-hide leather, wax candles, soap, etc., have their centres of manufacture on a small scale. The first Philippine brewery was opened October 4, 1890, in San Miguel (Manila) by Don Enrique Barretto, to whom was granted a monopoly by the Spanish Government for twenty years. It is now chiefly owned by a Philippine half-caste, Don Pedro P. Rojas (resident in Paris), who formed [265]it into a company which has become a very flourishing concern. Philippine capital alone supports these manufactures. The traffic and consumption being entirely local, the consequent increase of wealth to the Colony is the economized difference between them and imported articles. These industries bring no fresh capital to the Colony, by way of profits, but they contribute to check its egress by the returns of agriculture changing hands to the local manufacturer instead of to the foreign merchant.

Want of cheap means of land-transport has, so far, been the chief drawback to Philippine manufactures, which are of small importance in the total trade of the Colony.

Philippine railways were first officially projected in 1875, when a Royal Decree of that year, dated August 6, determined the legislative basis for works of that nature. The Inspector of Public Works was instructed to form a general plan of a railway system in Luzon Island. The projected system included (1) a line running north from Manila through the Provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Pangasinán. (2) A line running south from Manila, along the Laguna de Bay shore and eastwards through Tayabas, Camarines, and Albay Provinces. (3) A branch from this line on the Laguna de Bay shore to run almost due south to Batangas. The lines to be constructed were classed under two heads, viz.:—(1) Those of general public utility to be laid down either by the State or by subsidized companies, the concession in this case being given by the Home Government; and (2) those of private interest, for the construction of which concessions could be granted by the Gov.-General.

In 1885 the Government solicited tenders for the laying of the first line of railway from Manila to Dagúpan—a port on the Gulf of Lingayen, and the only practicable outlet for produce from the Province of Pangasinán and Tárlac District. The distance by sea is 216 miles—the railway line 196 kilometres (say 120 miles). The subsidy offered by the Government amounted to about ₱7,650 per mile, but on three occasions no tender was forthcoming either from Madrid or in Manila, where it was simultaneously solicited. Subsequently a modified offer was made of a guaranteed annual interest of 8 per cent, on a maximum outlay of ₱4,964,473.65, and the news was received in Manila in October, 1886, that the contract had been taken up by a London firm of contractors. The prospectus of “The Manila Railway Co., Ltd,” was issued in February, 1888. The line was to be completed within four years from July 21, 1887, and at the end of ninety-nine years the railway and rolling-stock were to revert to the Spanish Government without compensation. The rails, locomotives (36 tons and 12 tons each), tenders, coaches, waggons, and ironwork for bridges all came from England. The first stone of the Central Station in Manila (Bilibid Road, Tondo) was laid by Gov.-General Emilio Terrero on July 31, 1887. In 1890 the original contractors failed, and only the first section of 28 miles was opened to traffic on March 24, 1891. [266]

Many other circumstances, however, contributed to delay the opening of the whole line. Compensation claims were very slowly agreed to; the Government engineers slightly altered the plans; the companyʼs engineers could not find a hard strata in the bed of the Calumpit River19 (a branch of the Rio Grande de Pampanga) on which to build the piers of the bridge; and lastly the Spanish authorities, who had direct intervention in the work, found all sorts of excuses for postponing the opening of the line. When the Civil Director was applied to, he calmly replied that he was going to the baths, and would think about it. Finally, on appeal to the highest authority, Gov.-General Despujols himself went up to Tárlac, and in an energetic speech, reflecting on the dilatoriness of his subordinates, he declared the first Philippine railway open to traffic on November 23, 1892. For about a year and a half passengers and goods were ferried across the Calumpit River in pontoons. Large caissons had to be sunk in the river in which to build the piers for the iron bridge, which cost an enormous sum of money in excess of the estimate. Later on heavy rains caused a partial inundation of the line, the embankment of which yielded to the accumulated mass of water, and traffic to Dagúpan was temporarily suspended. The total outlay on the line far exceeded the companyʼs original calculation, and to avert a financial collapse fresh capital had to be raised by the issue of 6 per cent. Prior Lien Mortgage Bonds, ranking before the debenture stock. The following official quotations on the London Stock Exchange will show the public appreciation of the Manila Railway Companyʼs shares and bonds:—

Official Quotations.

December. 7% Cum. Pref. £10 Shares. 6% Deb. £100 Stock. 6% Prior Lien Mort. Bonds, Series A., £100. 6% Prior Lien Mort. Bonds, Series B., £100.
£ £ £ £
1893 2 49 98 87
1894 1 32 104 91
1895 ½ 29 107 85
1896 ¼ 22 96 64
1897 ¼ 19 101 75
1898 45 110 98
1899 33½ 101½ 87½
1900 42 103½ 97
1901 2 55 108 102
1902 52 109 102
1903 58 108 104
1904 83 110 107
1905 117 110 106


Up to July 1, 1905, the interest has been regularly paid on the Prior Lien Bonds. No interest has been paid on the debentures (up to December, 1905) since July 1, 1891, nor on the 7 per cent. Cumulative Preference Shares since July 1, 1890. On January 26, 1895, these shares were officially quoted, for sellers, 0.

Including the termini in Manila (Tondo) and Dagúpan, there are 29 stations and 16 bridges along the main line, over which the journey occupies eight hours. There are two branch lines, viz.:—from Bigaá to Cabanatúan (Nueva Ecija), and from Angeles (Pampanga) to Camp Stotsenberg. From the Manila terminus there is a short line (about a mile) running down to the quay in Binondo for goods traffic only. The country through which this line passes is flat, and has large natural resources, the development of which—without a railway—had not been feasible owing to the ranges of mountains—chiefly the Cordillera of Zambales—which run parallel to the coast.

The railway is ably managed, but when I travelled on it in 1904 much of the rolling-stock needed renewal.

In 1890, under Royal Order No. 508, dated June 11 of that year, a 99 yearsʼ concession was granted to a British commercial firm in Manila to lay a 21-mile line of railway, without subsidy, from Manila to Antipolo, to be called the “Centre of Luzon Railway.” The work was to be commenced within one year and finished within two years. The basis of the anticipated traffic was the conveyance of pilgrims to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage and Peace (vide p. 184); but, moreover, the proposed line connected the parishes of Dilao (then 4,380 pop.), Santa Ana (then 2,115 pop.), Mariquina (then 10,000 pop.), Cainta (then 2,300 pop.), and Taytay (then 6,500 pop.)—branching to Pasig and Angono—with Antipolo (then 3,800; now 2,800 pop.). The estimated outlay was about ₱1,000,000, but the concession was abandoned. The project has since been revived under American auspices.

Under Spanish government there was a land Telegraph Service from Manila to all civilized parts of Luzon Island—also in Panay Island from Cápiz to Yloilo, and in Cebú Island from the city of Cebú across the Island and up the west coast as far north as Tuburan. There was a land-line from Manila to Bolinao (Zambales), from which point a submarine cable was laid in April, 1880, by the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, Ltd., whereby Manila was placed in direct telegraphic communication with the rest of the world. For this service the Spanish Government paid the company ₱4,000 a month for a period of 10 years, which expired in June, 1890. In April, 1898, the same company detached the cable from Bolinao and carried it on to Manila in the s.s. Sherard Osborn, 207 nautical miles having been added to the cable for the purpose. In return for this service the Spanish Government gave the company certain exclusive [268]rights and valuable concessions. In May, 1898, the American Admiral Dewey ordered the Manila-Hong-Kong cable to be cut, but the connection was made good again after the Preliminaries of Peace with Spain were signed (August 12, 1898). Cable communication was suspended, therefore, from May 2 until August 21 of that year.

In 1897 another submarine cable was laid by the above company, under contract with the Spanish Government, connecting Manila with the Southern Islands of Panay and Cebú (Tuburan). The Manila-Panay cable was also cut by order of Admiral Dewey (May 23, 1898), but after August 12, under an arrangement made between the American and Spanish Governments, it was re-opened on a neutral basis, and the companyʼs own staff worked it direct with the Manila public, instead of through the medium of Spanish officials.

Since the American occupation a new cable connecting the Islands with the United States has been laid (opened July 4, 1903), whilst a network of submarine and land-wires has been established throughout the Archipelago.

Owing to their geographical position, none of the Philippine ports are on the line of the regular mail and passenger steamers en route elsewhere; hence, unlike Hong-Kong, Singapore, and other Eastern ports, there is little profit to be derived from a cosmopolitan floating population. Due, probably, to the tedious Customs regulations—the obligation of every person to procure, and carry on his person, a document of identification—the requirement of a passport to enter the Islands, and complicated formalities to recover it on leaving—the absence of railroads and hotels in the interior and the difficulties of travelling—this Colony, during the Spanish régime, was apparently outside the region of tourists and “globe-trotters.” Indeed the Philippine Archipelago formed an isolated settlement in the Far East which traders or pleasure-seekers rarely visited en passant to explore and reveal to the world its natural wealth and beauty. It was a Colony comparatively so little known that, forty years ago, fairly educated people in England used to refer to it as “The Manillas,” whilst up to the end of Spanish rule old residents, on visiting Singapore and Hong-Kong, were often highly amused by the extravagant notions which prevailed, even there, concerning the Philippines. But the regulations above referred to were an advantage to the respectable resident, for they had the desirable effect of excluding many of those nondescript wanderers and social outcasts who invade other colonies.

Since the Revolution there has been a large influx of American tourists to the Islands, arriving in the army-transports, passage free, to see “the new possession,” as the Archipelago is popularly called in the United States. [269]

1 According to Zúñiga (“Hist. de Philipinas”), the ancient inhabitants of Luzon Island had a kind of shell-money—the Siguey shell. Siguey shells are so plentiful at the present day that they are used by children to play at Sunca.

2 Situado is not literally “Subsidy,” but it was tantamount to that.

3 The values of shipments by law established were little regarded.

4 The Obras Pias (i.e., Pious Works) funds were legacies left exclusively by Spaniards, chiefly pious persons, for separate beneficent objects. Two-thirds of the capital were to be lent at interest, to stimulate trade abroad, and one-third was to be a reserve against possible losses. When the accumulated interest on the original capital had reached a certain amount, it was to be applied to the payment of masses for the repose of the donorsʼ souls.

The peculations of the Gov.-General Pedro Manuel de Arandia (1754–59) permitted him to amass a fortune of a quarter of a million pesos in less than five yearsʼ service, which sum he left to pious works. On the secession of Mexico (in [246n]1819) the Government took over the Obras Pias funds, to control their administration. There is reason to believe that many of the donations were the fruits of the corrupt practices of high officials, the legacies being for their benefit hereafter.

The funds were severally administered by the four boards of San Francisco, Santo Domingo, the Recoletos and Santa Isabel, controlled by one general board of management. In 1850 the Spanish Government, in the exercise of its right (Real patronato) to intervene in all ecclesiastical administrative affairs, ordered these funds to be transferred to a banking establishment entitled the “Banco Español de Isabel II.,” more generally known as the “Banco Español-Filipino” (q.v.). The Obras Pias funds constituted the original capital of this bank. The board, presided over by the Archbishop, still continued to control the manipulation of these funds by the bank, the income derived from the original capital having to be paid out in accordance with the wills of the several founders of the fund. Up to the close of Spanish rule, money was lent out of this fund on mortgages in and near Manila, at six per cent. interest per annum.

5 It happened at this date that the dues, etc., equalled 17 per cent. on the anticipated 1,000,000 pesos, but they were not computed by percentage. The Royal Dues were a fixed sum since about the year 1625, so that when the legal value of the shipments was much less, the dues and other expenses represented a much higher percentage. The charges were as follows, viz.:—

Royal Dues. ₱160,000
Port Dues at Acapulco. 2,000
Disbursements paid in Manila on the shipʼs departure. 7,500
Port and Anchorage Dues on arrival in Philippines. 500

6La Libertad del comercio de Filipinas,” by Manuel Azcárraga.

7 Mr. John B. Butler, who was born in 1800, resided many years in Manila, and married a native wife. He died on October 4, 1855, in London, whence his mortal remains were brought to Manila in 1860, at the instance of his widow, and interred in Saint Augustineʼs Church, near an altar on the left side of the nave. The site is marked by a marble inscribed slab.

8 The Peace of Utrecht, signed in 1713, settled the succession of Philip, the French Dauphin, to the Spanish throne, whilst among the concessions which England gained for herself under this treaty was a convention with Spain, known as the Asiento contract. This gave the British the right to send one shipload of merchandise yearly to the Spanish colonies of America. Nevertheless, many ships went instead of one. An armed contest ensued (1739–42), and although the Spaniards lost several galleons in naval combats undertaken by Admiral Vernon and Commodore Anson, the British losses were not inconsiderable.

So prejudicial to the vital interests of Spain was the abuse of the ceded right held to be that the earliest efforts of the first new Cabinet under Ferdinand VI. were engaged in a revision of the commercial differences between that country and England. England was persuaded to relinquish the Asiento contract in exchange for advantages of greater consideration in another direction.

About a century ago England took over from Spain Nootka Sound, a station on the Pacific coast, where a nourishing fur trade was carried on by British settlers. The cession was accorded under a solemn promise not to trade thence with the Spanish colonies of South America.

9 For example: videMemoria leida por el Secretario de la Cámara de Comercio de Manila, Don F. de P. Rodoreda, en 28 de Marzo de 1890,” p. 6 (published in Manila by Diaz Puertas y Compañia).

It remarks: “Jurado Mercantil—El expediente siguió la penosa perigrinacion de nuestro pesado y complicado engranaje administrativo y llevaba ya muy cerca de dos años empleados en solo recorrer dos de los muchos Centros consultivos á que debía ser sometido, etc.”

10 The following is an extract from the text of the preamble to a Decree, dated March 19, 1886, relative to the organization of the Philippine Exhibition held in Madrid, signed by the Colonial Minister, Don German Gamazo:

“Con él se logrará que la gran masa de numerario que sale de la Metrópoli para adquirir en paises extranjeros algodon, azúcar, cacao, tabaco y otros productos vaya á nuestras posesiones de Oceania donde comerciantes extranjeros los acaparan con daño evidente de los intereses materiales del pais.”

11 (1) The “Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation,” incorporated in 1867. Position on June 30, 1905: Capital all paid up, $10,000,000 (Mex.): sterling reserve, £1,000,000; silver reserve, $8,500,000 (Mex.); reserve liability of proprietors, $10,000,000 (Mex.). (2) The “Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China,” incorporated in 1853. Position on December 31, 1904: Capital all paid up, £800,000; reserve fund, £875,000; reserve liability of proprietors, £800,000.

12 “Banco Español-Filipino.” Position on June 30, 1905: Capital, ₱1,500,000; reserve fund, ₱900,000. It has a branch in Yloilo.

13 Chop dollars are those defaced by private Chinese marks.

14 Yloilo had its “Gremio de Comerciantes” (Board of Trade), constituted by Philippine General-Government Decree of September 5, 1884, and Manila had Chamber of Commerce. Since the Revolution Yloilo has also a Chamber of Commerce, and Manila several of different nationalities.

15 Vide Board of Trade Journal (British) for February and April, 1891.

16 Manila to Yap, 1,160 miles. Yap to Ponapé, 1,270 miles. Ponapé to Apra, 880 miles.

17 “Vd cuidado de regatear,” was the invitation to haggle.

18 Weaving was taught to the natives by a Spanish priest about the year 1595.

19 The extra delay was quite a year, and the cause having become common talk among the natives in the neighbourhood, many of them suggested that an evil spirit prevented the foundations of the bridge being built. They proposed to propitiate him by throwing live children into the river; consequently many mothers migrated with their infants until they heard that the difficulty was overcome.


In years gone by, before so many colonies were opened up all over the world, the few who, in the Philippines, had the courage to face the obstacles to agriculture in a primitive country made fairly large fortunes in the main staple products—sugar and hemp. Prices were then treble what they have since been, labour was cheaper, because the needs of the labouring-class were fewer, and, owing to the limited demand and the rarity of epidemic cattle-disease, buffaloes for tilling were worth one-eighth of what they cost at the present day. Although the amount of trade was vastly less, those natives engaged in it were in sounder positions than the same class generally is now.

Within the last few years there are hundreds who have embarked in agricultural enterprises with only one-tenth of the capital necessary to make them successful. A man would start planting with only a few hundred pesos and a tract of cleared land, without title-deeds, and consequently of no negotiable value. In the first year he inevitably fell into the hands of money-lenders, who reasonably stipulated for a very high rate of interest in view of the absence of guarantees. The rates of interest on loans under such circumstances varied as a rule from 12 to 24 per cent. I know a Visayo native who, by way of interest, commission, and charges, demanded as much as 30 per cent. I need not refer to the isolated cases which have come to my knowledge of over 100 per cent. being charged. As at the present day agriculture in the Philippines does not yield 30 per cent. nett profit, it naturally follows that the money-lender at this rate has to attach the estate upon which he has made loans, and finally becomes owner of it. In the meantime, the tiller who has directed the labour of converting a tract of land into a plantation, simply gets a living out of it. Some few were able to disencumber their property by paying, year by year, not only the whole of the nett returns from the plantation, but also the profits on small traffic in which they may have speculated. It seldom happened, however, that the native planter was sufficiently loyal to his financial supporter to do this: on the contrary, although he might owe thousands of pesos, he would spend money in feasts, and undertake fresh obligations [270]of a most worthless nature. He would buy on credit, to be paid for after the next crop, a quantity of paltry jewellery from the first hawker who passed his way, or let the cash slip out of his hands at the cock-pit or the gambling-table.

Even the most provident seemed to make no reserve for a bad year, and the consequence was that in 1887 I think I may safely assert that if all the Philippine planters had had to liquidate within twelve months, certainly 50 per cent. of them would have been insolvent. One of the most hazardous businesses in the Colony is that of advancing to the native planters, unless it be done with the express intention of eventually becoming owner of an estate, which is really often the case.

The conditions of land-tenure in Luzon Island under Spanish rule stood briefly thus:—The owners either held the lands by virtue of undisturbed possession or by transferable State grant. The tenants—the actual tillers—were one degree advanced beyond the state of slave cultivators, inasmuch as they could accumulate property and were free to transfer their services. They corresponded to that class of farmers known in France as métayers and amongst the Romans of old as Coloni Partiarii, with no right in the land, but entitled to one-half of its produce. Like the ancients, they had to perform a number of services to the proprietor which were not specified in writing, but enforced by usage. Tenants of this kind recently subsisted—and perhaps still do—in Scotland (vide “Wealth of Nations,” by Adam Smith, edition of 1886, p. 160). Leases for long periods were exceptional, and I never heard of compensation being granted for improvements of Philippine estates. The conditions in Visayas are explained on p. 274.

The value of land suitable for Sugar-cane growing varies considerably, being dependent on proximity to a port, or sugar-market, and on quality, facilities for drainage, transport, site, boundaries, etc.

In the Province of Bulacan, land which in a great measure is exhausted and yields only an average of 21 tons of cane per acre, was valued (prior to the American occupation), on account of its nearness to the capital, at ₱115 per acre. In Pampanga Province, a little further north, the average value of land, yielding, say, 30 tons of cane per acre, was ₱75 per acre. Still further north, in the Province of Nueva Ecija, whence transport to the sugar-market is difficult and can only be economically effected in the wet season by river, land producing an average of 35 tons of cane per acre would hardly fetch more than ₱30 per acre. Railroads will no doubt eventually level these values.

In reality, Bulacan land is priced higher than its intrinsic value as ascertained by yield and economy of produce-transport. The natives are, everywhere in the Colony, more or less averse to alienating real estate inherited from their forefathers, and as Bulacan is one of the first provinces where lands were taken up, centuries ago, an attachment to the soil is particularly noticeable. In that province, as a rule, only [271]genuine necessity, or a fancy price far in excess of producing-worth, would induce an owner to sell his land.

Land grants were obtainable from the Spanish Government by proving priority of claim, but the concession was only given after wearisome delay, and sometimes it took years to obtain the title-deeds. Then large capital was requisite to utilize the property, the clearance often costing more than the virgin tract, whilst the eviction of squatters was a most difficult undertaking: “Jʼy suis et jʼy reste,” thought the squatter, and the grantee had no speedy redress at law. On the other hand, the soil is so wonderfully rich and fertile that the study of geoponics and artificial manuring was never thought essential.

The finest sugar-cane producing island in the Archipelago is Negros, in the Visaya district, between N. latitudes 9° and 11°. The area of the Island is about equal to that of Porto Rico, but for want of capital is only about one-half opened up. Nevertheless, it sent to the Yloilo market in 1892 over 115,000 tons of raw sugar—the largest crop it has yet produced. In 1850 the Negros sugar yield was 625 tons.

The price of uncleared land there, suitable for sugar-cane cultivation, in accessible spots, was, say, ₱35 per acre, and cleared land might be considered worth about ₱70 per acre. The yield of sugar-cane may be estimated at 40 tons per acre on the estates opened up within the last ten years, whilst the older estates produce per acre nearly 30 tons of cane, but of a quality which gives such a high-class sugar that it compensates for the decrease in quantity, taking also into account the economy of manipulating and transporting less bulk.

Otaheiti cane (yellow) is generally planted in Luzon, whilst Java cane (red) is most common in the southern islands. Tubo is the Tagálog generic name for sugar-cane.

The following equivalents of Philippine land-measures may be useful, viz.:—

1 Quiñon = 40,000 square varas = 10,000 square brazas.
= 5 cabans = 6.9444 acres = 2.795 hectares.
1 Balita = 4,000 square varas = 1,000 square brazas.
= .69444 acre = .2795 hectare.
1 Loan = 400 square varas = 100 square brazas.
= .06944 acre = .02795 hectare.
1 Square Braza = 3.3611 square English yards.
= 4,355.98 square English inches.
1 Square Vara = .8402 square English yards.
= 1,088.89 square English inches.
1 Acre = 5,760 square varas = 1.44 balitas.
= .72 caban = .404671 hectare.

The average yield of sugar per acre is about as follows, viz.:—

Pampanga Province, say @ 6½% extraction = 1.95 Tons of Sugar.
Other Northern provinces, say @ 5½% extraction = 1.65 Tons of Sugar.
Negros Island (with almost exclusively European mills), say @ 7½% extraction = 2.75 Tons of Sugar.


From Yloilo the sugar is chiefly exported to the United States, where there is a demand for raw material only from the Philippines for the purpose of refining, whilst from Manila a certain quantity of crystal-grain sugar is sent, ready for consumption, to Spain. Consequently, in the Island of Luzon, a higher class of machinery is employed. In 1890 there were five private estates, with vacuum-pans erected, and one refinery, near Manila, (at Malabón). Also in 1885 the Government acquired a sugar-machinery plant with vacuum-pan for their model estate at San Ramon in the Province of Zamboanga; the sugar turned out at the trial of the plant in my presence was equal to 21 D. S. of that year. Convict labour was employed. During the Rebellion half the machinery on this estate was destroyed or stolen.

It is a rare thing to see other than European mills in the Island of Negros, whilst in every other sugar-producing province roughly-made vertical cattle-mills of wood, or stone (wood in the south and stone in the north), as introduced by the Chinese, are still in use. With one exception (at Cabanatúan, Nueva Ecija), which was a failure, the triple-effect refining-plant is altogether unknown in this Colony.

The sugar-estates generally are small. There are not a dozen estates in the whole Colony which produce over 1,000 tons of raw sugar each per season. An estate turning out 500 tons of sugar is considered a large one. I know of one estate which yielded 1,500 tons, and another 1,900 tons in a good season. In the Island of Negros there is no port suitable for loading ships of large tonnage, and the crops have to be carried to the Yloilo market, in small schooners loading from 40 to 100 tons (vide p. 263). From the estates to the coast there are neither canals nor railroads, and the transport is by buffalo-cart.

The highest tablelands are used for cane-planting, which imperatively requires a good system of drainage. In Luzon Island the output of sugar would be far greater if more attention were paid to the seasons. The cane should be cut in December, and the milling should never last over ten weeks. The new cane-point setting should be commenced a fortnight after the milling begins, and the whole operation of manufacture and planting for the new crop should be finished by the middle of March. A deal of sugar is lost by delay in each branch of the field labour. In the West Indies the planters set the canes out widely, leaving plenty of space for the development of the roots, and the ratoons serve up to from five to twenty years. In the Philippines the setting of cane points is renewed each year, with few exceptions, and the planting is comparatively close.

Bulacan sugar-land, being more exhausted than Pampanga land, will not admit of such close planting, hence Bulacan land can only find nourishment for 14,300 points per acre, whilst Pampanga land takes 17,800 points on average computation.

In Negros, current sugar is raised from new lands (among the best) [273]and from lands which are hardly considered suitable for cane-planting. Good lands are called “new” for three crops in Negros, and during that period the planting is close, to choke the cane and prevent it becoming aqueous by too rapid development.

In the Northern Philippines “clayed” sugar (Spanish, Azúcar de pilon) is made. The massecuite, when drawn from the pans, is turned into earthenware conic pots containing about 150 lb. weight. When the mass has set, the pot is placed over a jar (Tagalog, oya) into which the molasses drains. In six months, if allowed to remain over the jar, it will drain about 20 per cent, of its original weight, but it is usually sold before that time, if prices are favourable.

The molasses is sold to the distilleries for making Alcohol,1 whilst there is a certain demand for it for mixing with the drinking-water given to Philippine ponies, although this custom is now falling into disuse, in Manila at least, because molasses is never given to the American imported horses.

From nine tests which I made with steam machinery, of small capacity, in different places in the northern provinces, without interfering with the customary system of manipulating the cane or the adjustment of the mill rolls, I found the—

Average juice extraction to be 56.37%
Average moisture in the megass on leaving the mill 23.27%
Average amount of dry megass2 20.36%

The average density of juice in the cane worked off as above was 10¾° Beaumé.

In Negros the process is very different. The juice is evaporated in the pan-battery to a higher point of concentration, so that the molasses becomes incorporated with the saccharine grain. It is then turned out into a wooden trough, about 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, and stirred about with shovels, until it has cooled so far as to be unable to form into a solid mass, or lumps. When quite cold, the few lumps visible are pounded, and the whole is packed in grass bags (bayones). Sugar packed in this way is deliverable to shippers, whereas “clayed” sugar can only be sold to the assorters and packers (farderos), who sun-dry it on mats and then bag it after making up the colour and quality to exporterʼs sample (vide p. 173).

The Labour system in the Northern Philippines is quite distinct [274]from that adopted in the South. The plantations in the North are worked on the co-operative principle (sistema de inquilinos). The landowner divides his estate into tenements (aparcerias), each tenant (aparcero) being provided with a buffalo and agricultural implements to work up the plot, plant, and attend to the cane-growth as if it were his own property. Wherever the native goes to work he carries the indispensable bowie-knife (Tagálog, guloc; Spanish, bolo). When the cutting-season arrives, one tenant at a time brings in his cane to the mill, and when the sugar is worked off, usually one-third, but often as much as one-half of the output, according to arrangement, belongs to the tenant. The tenant provides the hands required for the operations of cane-crushing and sugar-making; the cost of machinery and factory establishment is for the account of the landowner, who also has to take the entire risk of typhoons, inundations, drought, locusts,3 etc.

During the year, whilst the cane is maturing, the tenants receive advances against their estimated share, some even beyond the real value, so that, in nearly every case, the full crop remains in the hands of the estate-owner. In the general working of the plantation hired day-labour is not required, the tenants, in fact, being regarded, in every sense, as servants of the owner, who employs them for whatever service he may need. Interest at 10 to 12 per cent. per annum is charged upon the advances made in money, rice, stuffs, etc., during the year; and on taking over the tenantʼs share of output, as against these advances, a rebate on current price of the sugar is often agreed to.

In the South, plantations are worked on the daily-wages system, (sistema de jornal), and the labourer will frequently exact his pay for several weeks in advance. Great vigilance is requisite, and on estates exceeding certain dimensions it is often necessary to subdivide the management, apportioning it off to overseers, or limited partners, called “Axas.” Both on European and native ownersʼ estates these axas were often Spaniards. The axasʼ interest varies on different properties, but, generally speaking, he is either credited with one-third of the product and supplied with necessary capital, or he receives two-thirds of the yield of the land under his care and finds his own working capital for its tilth, whilst the sunk capital in land, machinery, sheds, stores, etc., is for the account of the owner.

In 1877 a British company—the “Yengarie”—was started with a large capital for the purpose of acquiring cane-juice all over the Colony and extracting from it highly-refined sugar. The works, fitted with vacuum-pans and all the latest improvements connected with this [275]class of apparatus, were established at Mandaloyan, about three miles from Manila up the Pasig River. From certain parts of Luzon Island the juice was to be conveyed to the factory in tubes, and the promoter, who visited Cebú Island, proposed to send schooners there fitted with tanks, to bring the defecated liquid to Mandaloyan. The project was an entire failure from the beginning (for the ordinary shareholders at least), and in 1880 the machinery plant was being realized and the company wound up.

A Sugar-estate House, Southern Philippines

A Sugar-estate House, Southern Philippines

The classification of sugar in the South differs from that in the North. In the former market it is ranked as Nos. 0, 1, 2, 3 Superior and Current. For the American market these qualities are blended, to make up what is called “Assorted Sugar,” in the proportion of one-eighth of No. 1, two-eighths of No. 2, and five-eighths of No. 3. In the North the quality is determined on the Dutch standard. The New York and London markets fix the prices, which are cabled daily to the foreign merchants in Manila.

From a series of estimates compiled by me I find that to produce 7,000 to 10,000 piculs, the cost laid down in Yloilo would be, say, ₱2.00 per picul (₱32.00 per ton); the smaller the output the larger is the prime cost, and vice-versa.

Fortunes have been made in this Colony in cane-sugar, and until the end of 1883 sugar-planting paid the capitalist and left something to the borrowing planter; now it pays only interest on capital. From the year 1884 the subsidized beet-root sugar manufacturers on the continent of Europe turned out such enormous quantities of this article that the total yield of sugar exceeded the worldʼs requirements. The consequence was that the cane-sugar manufacture declined almost at the same ratio as that of beet-root advanced, as will be seen from the subjoined figures:—

The worldʼs production in 1880; cane sugar 3,285,714
The worldʼs production in 1880; beet sugar 1,443,349
The worldʼs production in 1887, cane sugar 2,333,004
The worldʼs production in 1887, beet sugar 2,492,610
Beet sugar Increase 1,049,261
Cane sugar Decrease 952,710
The worldʼs output was Increased 96,551

Since the above date, however, the output of Beet Sugar has become [276]about double that of Cane Sugar, as will be seen from the following figures, viz.:—

Worldʼs Production. Season of 1899–1900. Season of 1900–1901.
Tons. Tons.
Cane sugar 2,867,041 3,425,022
Beet sugar 5,607,944 6,096,858
8,474,985 9,521,880

On estates already established at old prices, cane-sugar production pays an interest on capital, but the capitalist is not necessarily the planter and nominal owner, as has been explained. Since the American occupation the cost of labour, living, material, live-stock, and all that the planter or his estate need, has increased so enormously that the colonist should ponder well before opening up a new estate for cane-growing in world-wide competition. For figures of Sugar Shipments vide Chap, xxxi., “Trade Statistics.”

Rice (Oryza) being the staple food of the Filipinos, it is cultivated more or less largely in every province of the Colony. Its market value fluctuates considerably according to the stocks in hand and the season of the year. It appears to be the only branch of agriculture in which the lower classes of natives take a visible pleasure and which they understand thoroughly. In 1897 about 80,000 tons were raised.

The natives measure and sell rice (Tagálog, bigas) and paddy (Tagálog, palay) by the caban and its fractions; the caban dry measure is as follows, viz:—

4 Apatans = 1 Chupa; 8 Chupas = 1 Ganta; 25 Gantas = 1 Caban,

the equivalent of which in English measure is thus, viz:—

1 Atapan = .16875 of a pint.
1 Chupa = .675 of a pint.
1 Ganta = 2 quarts, 1⅖ pints.
1 Caban = 16 gallons, 3 quarts, 1 pint.

Rice of foreign importation is weighed and quoted by the picul of 133⅓ lbs. avoirdupois, subdivided as follows, viz.:—

16 Taels = 1 Catty; 10 Catties = 1 Chinanta; 10 Chinantas = 1 Picul.

Thirty years ago rice was exported from the Philippines, but now not even sufficient is produced for home consumption, hence this commodity is imported in large quantities from Siam, Lower Burmah, and Cochin China to supply the deficiency. In 1897 nearly 65,000 tons of rice were brought from those countries, and since the American occupation the annual receipts of foreign rice have increased to fivefold. Sual (Pangasinán), on the Gulf of Lingayen, was, thirty-five years ago, [277]a port of importance, whence rice was shipped to China (vide p. 261). This falling off of rice-production did not, however, imply a loss to the population in Spanish times when imported rice was sold cheaply, because, in many provinces, land formerly used for rice-growing was turned to better account for raising other crops which paid better in a fairly good market.

The natives everywhere continue to employ the primitive method of treating rice-paddy for domestic and local use. The grain is generally husked by them in a large mortar hewn from a block of molave, or other hardwood, in which it is beaten by a pestle. Sometimes two or three men or women with wooden pestles work at the same mortar. This mortar is termed, in Tagálog dialect, Luzon, the name given to the largest island of the group. However, I have seen in the towns of Candava (Pampanga), Pagsanján (La Laguna), near Calamba in the same province, in Naig (Cavite), in Camarines Province, and a few other places, an attempt to improve upon the current system by employing an ingenious wooden mechanical apparatus worked by buffaloes. It consisted of a vertical shaft on which was keyed a bevel-wheel revolving horizontally and geared into a bevel pinion fixed upon a horizontal shaft. In this shaft were adjusted pins, which, at each revolution, caught the corresponding pins in vertical sliding columns. These columns (five or six)—being thereby raised and allowed to fall of their own weight when the raising-pins had passed on—acted as pounders, or pestles, in the mortars placed below them. Subsequently, notable progress was made in Camarines Province by Spaniards, who, in 1888, employed steam power, whilst in Pagsanján (La Laguna) animal motive power was substituted by that of steam. Also, near Calamba, in the same province, water power was eventually employed to advantage. In Negros, near the village of Candaguit, there was one small rice-machinery plant worked by steam power, brought by a Spaniard from Valencia in Spain. Presumably it was not a success, as it remained only a short time in use.

Finally the Manila-Dagúpan Railway gave a great stimulus to the rice-husking and pearling industry, which was taken up by foreigners. There are now important rice steam-power mills established at Calumpit, Gerona, Moncada, Bayambang, and other places along the line from Calumpit towards Dagúpan, which supply large quantities of cleaned rice to Manila and other provinces, where it is invariably more highly appreciated than the imported article. Also, at Nueva Cáceres (Camarines), in 1896, a large steam-power rice mill was being worked by Don Manuel Pardo, who had a steamer specially constructed in Hong-Kong for the transport of his output to the provincial markets.

The average yield of cleaned rice from the paddy is 50 per cent., whilst no special use is found for the remaining 50 per cent. of coarse paddy-bran. The fine bran, almost dust (called in Tagálog Tiki Tiki), [278]serves, however, for several purposes on the farm. The rice grain which is broken in the husking is known as Pináua in Tagálog.

The customary charge for husking and winnowing a caban of paddy is 12½ cents, so that as two cabans of paddy give one caban of rice, the cost of this labour would be 25 cents per caban of rice.

The average amount of rice consumed by a working man per day is estimated at four chupas, or, say, close upon eight cabans per annum, which, on the old reckoning—that is to say in Spanish times, taking an average price of 1 peso per caban of paddy = 2 pesos per caban of rice, plus 25 cents for cleaning = 2.25 pesos per caban of clean rice—amounts to 18 pesos per annum. A nativeʼs further necessities are fish, an occasional piece of buffalo, betel-nut, tobacco, six yards of cotton print-stuff, and payment of taxes, all of which (including rice) amounted to say ₱50 in the year, so that a man earning 20 cents per day during 300 days lived well, provided he had no unforeseen misfortunes. Cock-fighting and gambling of course upset the calculation.

There are, it is said, over 20 different kinds of rice-paddy. These are comprised in two common groups—the one is called Macan rice (Spanish, Arroz de Semillero) which is raised on alluvial soil on the lowlands capable of being flooded conveniently with water, and the other has the general denomination (in Luzon Is.) of Paga or Dumali (Spanish, Arroz de Secano) and is cultivated on high lands and slopes where inundation is impracticable.

The Macan, or low-land rice, is much the finer quality, the grain being usually very white, although Macan rice is to be found containing up to 25 per cent. of red grain, known in Tagálog as Tan͠gi, or Malagcquit. The white grain is that most esteemed. The yield of grain varies according to the quality of the soil. In the north of Bulacan Province the average crop of Macan rice may be taken at 80 cabans of grain for one caban of seed. In the south of the same province the return reaches only one-half of that. In the east of Pampanga Province, in the neighbourhood of Aráyat, Magálang, and Candava villages, the yield is still higher, giving, in a good year, as much as 100 cabans for one of seed. In Negros a return of 50 cabans to one may be taken as a fair average.

Paga rice always shows a large proportion of red grain, and the return is, at the most, half that of Macan yield, but whilst rarely more than one crop per annum is obtained from low-lands (Macan rice)—taking the average throughout the Islands—in most places up to three crops of Paga rice can be obtained.

Besides the ordinary agricultural risks to which rice cultivation is exposed, a special danger often presents itself. The Paga rice is frequently attacked by flies (Tagálog, Alutan͠gia), which suck the flower just before seeding, and the person in charge of the plantation has to stroll in the evenings and mornings among the setting to whisk off these insects with a bunch of straws on the end of a stick, or [279]catch them with a net to save the grain. Both Macan and Paga are sometimes damaged by an insect, known in Ilocos Province as Talibatab, which eats through the stalk of the plant before maturity, causing the head, or flower, to droop over and wither, but this does not happen every season.

To plant Macan rice the grain or seed is sown in the month of June on a piece of land called the “seeding-plot,” where, in six weeks, it attains a height of about one foot, and, provided the rains have not failed, it is then pulled up by the roots and transplanted, stem by stem, in the flooded fields. Each field is embanked with earth (Tagálog, pilápil) so that the water shall not run off, and just before the setting is commenced, the plough is passed for the last time. Then men, women, and children go into the inundated fields with their bundles of rice-plant and stick the stalks in the soft mud one by one. It would seem a tedious operation, but the natives are so used to it that they quickly cover a large field. In four months from the transplanting the rice is ripe, but as at the end of November there is still a risk of rain falling, the harvest is usually commenced at the end of December, after the grain has hardened and the dry season has fairly set in. If, at such an abnormal period, the rains were to return (and such a thing has been known), the sheaves, which are heaped for about a month to dry, would be greatly exposed to mildew owing to the damp atmosphere. After the heaping—at the end of January—the paddy, still in the straw, is made into stacks (Tagálog, Mandalá). In six weeks more the grain is separated from the straw, and this operation has to be concluded before the next wet season begins—say about the end of April. On the Pacific coast (Camarines and Albay), where the seasons are reversed (vide p. 22), rice is planted out in September and reaped in February.

The separation of the grain is effected in several ways. Some beat it out with their feet, others flail it, whilst in Cavite Province it is a common practice to spread the sheaves in a circular enclosure within which a number of ponies and foals are trotted.

In Negros Island there is what is termed Ami rice—a small crop which spontaneously rises in succession to the regular crop after the first ploughing.

It seldom happens that a “seeding-plot” has to be allowed to run to seed for want of rain for transplanting, but in such an event it is said to yield at the most tenfold.

Nothing in Nature is more lovely than a valley of green half-ripened rice-paddy, surrounded by verdant hills. Rice harvest-time is a lively one among the poor tenants in Luzon, who, as a rule, are practically the landownerʼs partners working for half the crop, against which they receive advances during the year. Therefore, cost of labour may be taken at 50 per cent. plus 10 per cent. stolen from the ownerʼs share.

Paddy-planting is not a lucrative commercial undertaking, and few [280]take it up on a large scale. None of the large millers employing steam power are, at the same time, grain cultivators. There is this advantage about the business, that the grower is less likely to be confronted with the labour difficulty, for the work of planting out and gathering in the crop is, to the native and his family, a congenial occupation. Rice-cultivation is, indeed, such a poor business for the capitalist that perhaps a fortune has never been made in that sole occupation, but it gives a sufficient return to the actual tiller of his own land. The native woman is often quite as clever as her husband in managing the estate hands, for her tongue is usually as effective as his rattan. I venture to say there are not six white men living who, without Philippine wives, have made fortunes solely in agriculture in these Islands. [281]

1 The sale of Alcohol was a Government monopoly until 1862. Molasses is sold by the Tinaja, an earthenware jar measuring 19 inches in height and 17½ inches at the maximum diameter; it contains 16 gantas (liquid measure) = say 11 gallons.

2 British patents for paper-making from sugar-cane fibre were granted to Berry in 1838, Johnson in 1855, Jullion in 1855, Ruck and Touche (conjointly) in 1856, and Hook in 1857.

3 Since about the year 1885 a weed has been observed to germinate spontaneously around the roots of the sugar-cane in the Laguna Province. The natives have given it the name of Bulaclac n͠g tubo (Sugar-cane flower). It destroys the saccharine properties of the cane. The bitter juice of this weed has been found to be a useful palliative for certain diseases.

Manila Hemp—Coffee—Tobacco

Hemp (Musa textilis)—referred to by some scientific writers as M. troglodytarum—is a wild species of the plantain (M. paradisiaca) found growing in many parts of the Philippine Islands. It so closely resembles the M. paradisiaca, which bears the well-known and agreeable fruit—the edible banana, that only connoisseurs can perceive the difference in the density of colour and size of the green leaves—those of the hemp-plant being of a somewhat darker hue, and shorter. The fibre of a number of species of Musa is used for weaving, cordage, etc., in tropical countries.

This herbaceous plant seems to thrive best on an inclined plane, for nearly all the wild hemp which I have seen has been found on mountain slopes, even far away down the ravines. Although requiring a considerable amount of moisture, hemp will not thrive in swampy land, and to attain any great height it must be well shaded by other trees more capable of bearing the sunʼs rays. A great depth of soil is not indispensable for its development, as it is to be seen flourishing in its natural state on the slopes of volcanic formation. In Albay Province it grows on the declivities of the Mayon Volcano.

The hemp-tree in the Philippines reaches an average height of 10 feet. It is an endogenous plant, the stem of which is enclosed in layers of half-round petioles. The hemp-fibre is extracted from these petioles, which, when cut down, are separated into strips, five to six inches wide, and drawn under a knife attached at one end by a hinge to a block of wood, whilst the other end is suspended to the extremity of a flexible stick. The bow tends to raise the knife, and a cord, attached to the same end of the knife, and a treadle are so arranged that by a movement of the foot the operator can bring the knife to work on the hemp petiole with the pressure he chooses. The bast is drawn through between the knife and the block, the operator twisting the fibre, at each pull, around a stick of wood or his arm, whilst the parenchymatous pulp remains on the other side of the knife. There is no use for the pulp. The knife should be without teeth or indentations, but nearly everywhere in Capis Province I have seen it with a [282]slightly serrated edge. The fibre is then spread out to dry, and afterwards tightly packed in bales with iron or rattan hoops for shipment.

A finer fibre than the ordinary hemp is sometimes obtained in small quantities from the specially-selected edges of the petiole, and this material is used by the natives for weaving. The quantity procurable is limited, and the difficulty in obtaining it consists in the frequent breakage of the fibre whilst being drawn, due to its comparative fragility. Its commercial value is about double that of ordinary first-class cordage hemp. The stuff made from this fine fibre (in Bicol dialect, Lúpis) suits admirably for ladiesʼ dresses. Ordinary hemp fibre is used for the manufacture of coarse native stuff, known in Manila as Sinamay, much worn by the poorer classes of natives; large quantities of it come from Yloilo. In Panay Island a kind of texture called Husi is made of a mixture of fine hemp (lúpis) and pine-apple leaf fibre. Sometimes this fabric is palmed off on foreigners as pure piña stuff, but a connoisseur can easily detect the hemp filament by the touch of the material, there being in the hemp-fibre, as in horsehair, a certain amount of stiffness and a tendency to spring back which, when compressed into a ball in the hand, prevents the stuff from retaining that shape. Piña fibre is soft and yielding.

Many attempts have been made to draw the hemp fibre by machinery, but in spite of all strenuous efforts, no one has hitherto succeeded in introducing into the hemp districts a satisfactory mechanical apparatus. If the entire length of fibre in a strip of bast could bear the strain of full tension, instead of having to wind it around a cylinder (which would take the place of the operatorʼs hand and stick under the present system), then a machine could be contrived to accomplish the work. Machines with cylinders to reduce the tension have been constructed, the result being admirable so far as the extraction of the fibre is concerned, but the cylinder upon which the fibre coiled, as it came from under the knife, always discoloured the material. A trial was made with a glass cylinder, but the same inconvenience was experienced. On another occasion the cylinder was dispensed with, and a reciprocating-motion clutch drew the bast, running to and fro the whole length of the fibre frame, the fibre being gripped by a pair of steel parallel bars on its passage in one or two places, as might be necessary, to lessen the tension. These steel bars, however, always left a transversal black line on the filament, and diminished its marketable value. What is desired is a machine which could be worked by one man and turn out at least as much clean fibre as the old apparatus could with two men. Also that the whole appliance should be portable by one man.

In 1886 the most perfect mechanical contrivance hitherto brought out was tried in Manila by its Spanish inventor, Don Abelardo Cuesta; it worked to the satisfaction of those who saw it, but the saving of [283]manual labour was so inconsiderable that the greater bulk of hemp shipped is still extracted by the primitive process.

In September, 1905, Fray Mateo Atienza, of the Franciscan Order, exhibited in Manila a hemp-fibre-drawing machine of his own invention, the practical worth of which has yet to be ascertained. It is alleged that this machine, manipulated by one man, can, in a given time, turn out 104 per cent. more clean fibre than the old-fashioned apparatus worked by two men.

Musa textilis has been planted in British India as an experiment, with unsatisfactory result, evidently owing to a want of knowledge of the essential conditions of the fibre-extraction. One report1 says—

“The first trial at extracting the fibre failed on account of our having no proper machine to bruise the stems. We extemporized a two-roller mill; but as it had no cog-gearing to cause both rollers to turn together, the only one on which the handle or crank was fixed turned, with, the result of grinding the stems to pulp instead of simply bruising them.”

In the Philippines one is careful not to bruise the stems, as this would weaken the fibre and discolour it.

Another statement from British India shows that Manila hemp requires a very special treatment. It runs thus:—

“The mode of extraction was the same as practised in the locality with Ambadi (brown hemp) and sunn hemp, with the exception that the stems were, in the first place, passed through a sugar-cane mill which got rid of sap averaging 50 per cent. of the whole. The stems were next rotted in water for 10 to 12 days, and afterwards washed by hand and sun-dried. The out-turn of fibre was 1¾ lbs. per 100 lbs. of fresh stem, a percentage considerably higher than the average shown in the Saidápet experiments; it was however of bad colour and defective in strength.”

If treated in the same manner in the Philippines, a similar bad result would ensue; the pressure of mill rollers would discolour the fibre, and the soaking with 48 per cent. of pulp, before being sun-dried, would weaken it.

Dr. Ure, in his “Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines,” p. 1, thus describes Manila Hemp:—

“A species of fibre obtained in the Philippine Islands in abundance. Some authorities refer these fibres to the palm-tree known as the Abacá or Anisa textilis. There seem indeed to be several well-known varieties of fibre included under this name, some so fine that they are used in the most delicate and costly textures, mixed with fibres of the pine-apple, forming piña muslins and textures equal to the best muslins of Bengal.2 [284]

“Of the coarser fibres, mats, cordage and sail-cloth are made. M. Duchesne states that the well-known fibrous manufactures of Manila have led to the manufacture of the fibres themselves, at Paris, into many articles of furniture and dress. Their brilliancy and strength give remarkable fitness for bonnets, tapestry, carpets, network, hammocks, etc. The only manufactured articles exported from the Philippine Islands, enumerated by Thomas de Comyn, Madrid, 1820 (translated by Walton), besides a few tanned buffalo-hides and skins, are 8,000 to 12,000 pieces of light sail-cloth and 200,000 lbs. of assorted Abacá cordage.”

Manila-hemp rope is very durable; it is equally applicable to cables and to shipsʼ standing and running rigging, but wanting in flexibility.3

Hemp-growing, with ample capital, appears to be the most lucrative and least troublesome of all agricultural enterprises in staple export produce in the Colony, whilst it is quite independent of the seasons. The plant is neither affected by disease nor do insects attack it, and the only ordinary risks appear to be hurricanes, drought, insufficient weeding, and the ravages of the wild boar.

Planted in virgin soil, each shoot occupies, at first, a space of 20 English square feet. In the course of time, this regularity of distribution disappears as the original plant is felled and the suckers come up anywhere, spontaneously, from its root. The plant requires three years to arrive at cutting maturity, or four years if raised from the seed; most planters, however, transplant the six-month suckers, instead of the seed, when forming a new plantation. The stem should be cut for fibre-drawing at the flowering maturity; in no case should it be allowed to bear fruit, as the fibre is thereby weakened, and there is sometimes even a waste of material in the drawing, as the accumulation of fibre with the sap at the knife is greater.

The average weight of dry fibre extracted from one plant equals 10 ounces, or say 2 per cent, of the total weight of the stem and petioles; but as in practice there is a certain loss of petioles, by cutting out of maturity, whilst others are allowed to rot through negligence, the average output from a carefully-managed estate does not exceed 3–60 cwt. per acre, or say 4 piculs per caban of land.

The length of the bast, ready for manipulation at the knife, averages in Albay 6 feet 6 inches.

The weight of moisture in the wet fibre, immediately it is drawn from the bast, averages 56 per cent. To sun-dry the fibre thoroughly, an exposure of five hours is necessary.

The first petioles forming the outer covering, and the slender central stem itself around which they cluster, are thrown away. Due to the inefficient method of fibre-drawing, or rather the want of mechanical appliances to effect the same, the waste of fibre probably amounts to as much as 30 per cent. of the whole contained in the bast. [285]

In sugar-cane planting, the poorer the soil is the wider the cane is planted, whilst the hemp-plant is set out at greater space on virgin land than on old, worked land, the reason being that the hemp-plant in rich soil throws out a great number of shoots from the same root, which require nourishment and serve for replanting. If space were not left for their development, the main stem would flower before it had reached its full height and circumference, whereas sugar-cane is purposely choked in virgin soil to check its running too high and dispersing the saccharine matter whilst becoming ligneous.

A great advantage to the colonist, in starting hemp-growing in virgin forest-land, consists in the clearance requiring to be only partial, whilst newly opened up land is preferable, as on it the young plants will sometimes throw up as many as thirty suckers. The largest forest-trees are intentionally left to shade the plants and young shoots, so that only light rooting is imperatively necessary. In cane-planting, quite the reverse is the case, ploughing and sunshine being needful.

The great drawback to the beginner with limited capital is the impossibility of recouping himself for his labour and recovering profit on outlay before three years at least. After that period the risk is small, drought being the chief calamity to be feared. The plants being set out on high land are extremely seldom inundated, and a conflagration could not spread far amongst green leaves and sappy petioles. There is no special cropping season as there is in the case of sugar-cane, which, if neglected, brings a total loss of crop; the plants naturally do not all mature at precisely the same time, and the fibre-extraction can be performed with little precipitation, and more or less all the year round, although the dry season is preferable for the sun-bleaching. If, at times, the stage of maturity be overlooked, it only represents a percentage of loss, whilst a whole plantation of ripe sugar-cane must all be cut with the least possible delay. No ploughing is necessary, although the plant thrives better when weeding is carefully attended to; no costly machinery has to be purchased and either left to the mercy of inexperienced hands or placed under the care of highly-paid Europeans, whilst there are few agricultural implements and no live-stock to be maintained for field labour.

The hemp-fibre, when dry, runs a greater risk of fire than sugar, but upon the whole, the comparative advantages of hemp cultivation over sugar-cane planting appear to be very great.

Hemp-fibre is classified by the large provincial dealers and Manila firms as of first, second, and third qualities. The dealers, or acopiadores, in treating with the small native collectors, or their own workpeople, take delivery of hemp under two classes only, viz.:—first quality (corriente) and second quality (colorada), the former being the whiter, with a beautiful silky gloss.

The difficulties with which the European hemp-cultivator has to [286]contend all centre to the same origin—the indolence of the native; hence there is a continual struggle between capitalist and labourer in the endeavour to counterbalance the nativeʼs inconstancy and antipathy to systematic work. Left to himself, the native cuts the plant at any period of its maturity. When he is hard pressed for a peso or two he strips a few petioles, leaving them for days exposed to the rain and atmosphere to soften and render easier the drawing of the fibre, in which putrefaction has commenced. The result is prejudicial to the dealer and the plantation owner, because the fibre discolours. Then he passes the bast under a toothed knife, which is easy to work, and goes down to the village with his bundle of discoloured coarse fibre with a certain amount of dried sap on it to increase the weight. He chooses night-time for the delivery, so that the acopiador may be deceived in the colour upon which depends the selection of quality, and in order that the fibre, absorbing the dew, may weigh heavier. These are the tricks of the trade well known to the native. The large dealers and plantation owners use every effort to enforce the use of knives without teeth, so that the fibre may be fine, perfectly clean and white, to rate as first-class; the native opposes this on the ground that he loses in weight, whilst he is too dull to appreciate his gain in higher value. For instance, presuming the first quality to be quoted in Manila at a certain figure per picul and the third quality at two pesos less, even though the first-class basis price remained firm, the third-class price would fall as the percentage of third-class quality in the supplies went on increasing.

Here and there are to be found hemp-plants which give a whiter fibre than others, whilst some assert that there are three or four kinds of hemp-plant; but in general all will yield commercial first-class hemp (Abacá corriente), and if the native could be coerced to cut the plant at maturity—draw the fibre under a toothless knife during the same day of stripping the petioles—lodge the fibre as drawn on a clean place, and sun-dry it on the first opportunity, then (the proprietors and dealers positively assert) the output of third-quality need not exceed 5 to 6 per cent. of the whole produced. In short, the question of quality in Abacá has vastly less relation to the species of the plant than to the care taken in its extraction and manipulation.

The Chinese very actively collect parcels of hemp from the smallest class of native owners, but they also enter into contracts which bring discredit to the reputation of a province as a hemp-producing district. For a small sum in cash a Chinaman acquires from a native the right to work his plantation during a short period. Having no proprietary interest at stake, and looking only to his immediate gain, he indiscriminately strips plants, regardless of maturity, and the property reverts to the small owner in a sorely dilapidated condition. The market result is that, although the fibre drawn may be white, it is weak, [287]therefore dealings with the Chinese require special scrutiny. Under the native system each labourer on an “estate” (called in Albay Province laté) is remunerated by receiving one-half of all the fibre he draws; the other half belongs to the laté owner. The share corresponding to the labourer is almost invariably delivered at the same time to the employer, who purchases it at the current local value—often at much less.

In sugar-planting, as no sugar can be hoped for until the fixed grinding-season of the year, planters have to advance to their workpeople during the whole twelve months in Luzon, under the aparcero system. If, after so advancing during six or eight months, he loses half or more of his crop by natural causes, he stands a poor chance of recovering his advances of that year. There is no such risk in the case of hemp; when a man wants money he can work for it, and bring in his bundle of fibre and receive his half-share value. The few foreigners engaged in hemp-planting usually employ wage labour.

In Manila the export-houses estimate the prices of second and third qualities by a rebate from first-class quality price. These rates necessarily fluctuate. When the deliveries of second and third qualities go on increasing in their proportion to the quantity of first-class sent to the market, the rebate for lower qualities on the basis price (first-class) is consequently augmented. If the total supplies to Manila began to show an extraordinarily large proportionate increase of lower qualities, these differences of prices would be made wider, and in this manner indirect pressure is brought to bear upon the provincial shippers to send as much first-class quality as possible.

The labour of young plant-setting in Albay Province in Spanish times was calculated at 3 pesos per 1,000 plants; the cost of shoots 2 feet high, for planting out, was from 50 cents to one peso per 100. However, as proprietors were frequently cheated by natives who, having agreed to plant out the land, did not dig holes sufficiently deep, or set plants without roots, it became customary in Luzon to pay 10 pesos per 100 live plants, to be counted at the time of full growth, or say in three years, in lieu of paying for shoots and labour at the prices stated above. The contractor, of course, lived on the estate.

In virgin soil, 2,500 plants would be set in one pisoson of land (vide Albay land measure), or say 720 to each acre.

A hemp-press employing 60 men and boys should turn out 230 bales per day. Freight by mail steamer to Manila in the year 1890 from Albay ports beyond the San Bernardino Straits, was 50 cents per bale; from ports west of the Straits, 37½ cents per bale.

In the extraction of the fibre the natives work in couples; one man strips the bast, whilst his companion draws it under the knife. A fair weekʼs work for a couple, including selection of the mature plants and felling, would be about 300 lbs. However, the labourer is not able to give his entire attention to fibre-drawing, for occasionally a [288]day has to be spent in weeding and brushwood clearance, but his half-share interest covers this duty.

Shipping Hemp in the Provinces

Shipping Hemp in the Provinces

The finest quality of hemp is produced in the Islands of Leyte and Marinduque, and in the Province of Sorsogón, especially Gúbat, in Luzon Island.

Previous to the year 1825, the quantity of hemp produced in these Islands was insignificant; in 1840 it is said to have exceeded 8,500 tons. The average annual shipment of hemp during the 20 years preceding the American occupation, i.e., 1879–98, was 72,815 tons, produced (annual average over that period) approximately as follows, viz.:—in Albay and Sorsogón, 32,000 tons; in Leyte, 16,000 tons; in Sámar, 9,000 tons; in Camarines, 4,500 tons; in Mindanao, 4,000 tons; in Cebú, 2,500 tons; in all the other districts together, 4,815 tons.

Albay Province is still the leading hemp district in the Islands. A small quantity of low-quality hemp is produced in Cápis Province (Panay Is.); collections are also made along the south-east coast of Negros Island from Dumaguete northwards and in the district of Maúban4 on the Pacific coast of Tayabas Province (Luzon Is). For figures of Hemp Shipments, vide Chap. xxxi., “Trade Statistics.”

The highest Manila quotation for first-quality hemp (corriente) during the years 1882 to 1896 inclusive was ₱17.21½ per picul, and the lowest in the same period ₱6.00 per picul (16 piculs = 1 ton; 2 piculs = 1 bale), whilst specially selected lots from Sorsogón and Marinduque fetched a certain advance on these figures.

Albay Province (local) Land Measure

1 Topon = 16 square Brazas = 53.776 English square yards.
312½ Topones = 1 Pisoson = 5,000 square Brazas.
312½ Topones = ½ of Quiñon = 2½ Cabanes = 3.472 acres.

During the decade prior to the commercial depression of 1884, enormous sums of money were lent by foreign firms and wealthy hemp-staplers to the small producers against deliveries to be effected. But experience proved that lending to native producers was a bad business, for, on delivery of the produce, they expected to be again paid the full value and pass over the sums long due. Hence, capital which might have been employed to the mutual advantage of all concerned, was partially withheld, and the natives complained then, as they do now, that there is no money.

Fortunately for the Philippines, the fibre known as Manila hemp is a speciality of the Colony, and the prospect of over-production, almost annihilating profits to producers—as in the sugar colonies—is [289]at present remote, although the competition with other fibre is severe. The chief fibre-producing countries, besides this colony, are New Zealand, Mauritius, East Indies, Italy, Russia, North America (sisal) and Mexico (henequen).

In 1881 the Abacá plants presented to the Saigon Botanical Gardens were flourishing during the management of Mons. Coroy, but happily for this Colony the experiment, which was to precede the introduction of “Manila Hemp” into French Cochin China, was abandoned, the plants having been removed by that gentlemanʼs successor. In 1890 “Manila Hemp” was cultivated in British North Borneo by the Labuk Planting Company, Limited, and the fibre raised on their estates was satisfactorily reported on by the Rope Works in Hong-Kong.

In view of the present scarcity of live-stock, hemp, which needs no buffalo tillage, would seem to be the most hopeful crop of the future. It will probably advance as fast as sugar cultivation is receding, and command a good remunerative price. Moreover, as already explained, not being distinctly a season crop as sugar is, nor requiring expensive machinery to produce it, its cultivation is the most recommendable to American colonists.

Coffee (Coffea arabica) planting was commenced in the Colony early in the last century. Up to 1889 plantation-owners in the Province of Batangas assured me that the trees possessed by their grandfathers were still flourishing, whilst it is well known that in many coffee-producing colonies the tree bears profitably only up to the twenty-fifth year, and at the thirtieth year it is quite exhausted. Unless something be done to revive this branch of agriculture it seems as if coffee would soon cease to be an article of export from these Islands. In the year 1891 the crops in Luzon began to fall off very considerably, in a small measure due to the trees having lost their vigour, but chiefly owing to the ravages of a worm in the stems. In 1892–93 the best and oldest-established plantations were almost annihilated. Nothing could be done to stop the scourge, and several of the wealthiest coffee-owners around Lipa, personally known to me, ploughed up their land and started sugar-cane growing in place of coffee. In 1883 7,451 tons of coffee were shipped, whilst in 1903 the total export did not reach four tons.

The best Philippine Coffee comes from the Provinces of Batangas, La Laguna and Cavite (Luzon Is.), and includes a large proportion of caracolillo, which is the nearest shape to the Mocha bean and the most esteemed. The temperate mountain regions of Benguet, Bontoc, and Lepanto (N.W. Luzon) also yield good coffee.

The most inferior Philippine coffee is produced in Mindanao Island, and is sent up to Manila sometimes containing a quantity of rotten beans. It consequently always fetches a lower price than Manila (i.e., Luzon) coffee, which is highly prized in the market. [290]

Manila Quotations for the Two Qualities

Average Prices throughout the Years

Per Picul of 133⅓ Eng. lbs. 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1890 1891
P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts. P. cts.
Manila (Luzon) Coffee 10.25 12.00 12.68 12.00 12.17 26.14 21.47 31.00 30.50
Mindanao Coffee 9.30 10.00 12.00 9.87 9.56 19.50 nom. 20.34 25.80 24.40

Quotations later than 1891 would serve no practical purpose in the above table of comparison, as, due to the extremely small quantity produced, almost fancy prices have ruled since that date. In 1896, for instance, the market price ran up to ₱35 per picul, whilst some small parcels exchanged hands at a figure so capriciously high that it cannot be taken as a quotation. For figures of Coffee Shipments, vide Chap, xxxi., “Trade Statistics.”

I investigated the system of coffee-growing and trading in all the Luzon districts, and found it impossible to draw up a correct general estimate showing the nett cost laid down in Manila market. The manner of acquiring the produce and the conditions of purchase varied so greatly, and were subject to so many peculiar local circumstances, that only an approximate computation could be arrived at.

Some of the provincial collectors had plantations of their own; others had not, whilst none of them depended entirely upon the produce of their own trees for fulfilling the contracts in the capital.

Coffee was a much more fluctuating concern than hemp, as the purchase-rate (although perhaps low) was determined out of season several months before it was seen how the market would stand for the sale of that coffee; in hemp transactions (there being practically no season for hemp) the purchase-money need only be paid on delivery of the produce by the labourer at rates proportionate to Manila prices, unless the dealer be simply a speculator, in which case, having contracted in Manila to deliver at a price, he must advance to secure deliveries to fulfil his contract. Therefore, in coffee, a provincial collector might lose something on the total yearʼs transactions or he might make an enormous profit, if he worked with his own capital. If he borrowed the capital from Manila dealers—middlemen—as was often the case, then he might make a fortune for his Manila friends, or he might lose another yearʼs interest on the borrowed funds.

In Cavite Province districts there was another way of negotiating coffee speculations. The dealer with capital advanced at, say, 6 or 7 pesos per picul “on joint account up to Manila.” The planter then bound himself to deliver so many piculs of coffee of the next gathering, and the difference between the advance rate and the sale price in Manila was shared between the two, after the capitalist had [291]deducted the charges for transport, packing, commission in Manila, etc. All the risk was, of course, on the part of the capitalist, for if the crop failed the small planter had no means of refunding the advance.

On a carefully-managed plantation, a caban of land (8,000 square Spanish yards) was calculated to yield 10.40 piculs (= 12½ cwt.) of clean coffee, or, say, 9 cwt. per acre. The selling value of a plantation, in full growth, was about ₱250 per caban, or, say, ₱180 per acre. After 1896 this land value was merely nominal.

The trees begin to give marketable coffee in the fourth year of growth, and flourish best in hilly districts and on highlands, where the roots can be kept dry, and where the average temperature does not exceed 70° Fahr. Caracolillo is found in greater quantities on the highest declivities facing east, where the morning sun evaporates the superfluous moisture of the previous nightʼs dew.

In the Province of Cavite there appeared to be very little system in the culture of the coffee-tree. Little care was taken in the selection of shading-trees, and pruning was much neglected. Nevertheless, very fine coffee was brought from the neighbourhood of Indan, Silan, Alfonso, and Amadeo. The Batangas bean had the best reputation in Manila; hence the Indan product was sometimes brought to that market and sold as Batangas coffee.

In Batangas the coffee-plant is usually shaded by a tree called Madrecacao (Gliricidia maculata)—Tagálog, Galedupa pungam. On starting a plantation this tree is placed in rows, each trunk occupying one Spanish yard, and when it has attained two or three feet in height the coffee-shoot is planted at each angle. Between the third and eighth years of growth every alternate shading-tree and coffee-plant is removed, as more space for development becomes necessary. The coffee-plants are pruned from time to time, and on no account should the branches be allowed to hang over and meet. Around the wealthy town of Lipa some of the many coffee-estates were extremely well kept up, with avenues crossing the plantations in different directions.

At the end of eight years, more or less, according to how the quality of soil and the situation have influenced the development, there would remain, say, about 2,400 plants in each caban of land, or 1,728 plants per acre. Comparing this with the yield per acre, each tree would therefore give 9.33 ounces of marketable coffee, whilst in Peru, where the coffee-tree is planted at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea-level, each tree is said to yield one pound weight of beans.

In the Philippines the fresh ripe berries, when thoroughly sun-dried, lose an average weight of 52 per cent. moisture.

The sun-dried berries ready for pounding (husking) give an average of 33.70 of their weight in marketable coffee-beans.

It takes eight cabanes measure (vide p. 276) of fresh-picked ripe berries to turn out one picul weight of clean beans. [292]

Owing to the fact that one year in every five gives a short crop, due either to the nature of the plant or to climatic variations, it pays better to collect coffee from the very small growers rather than sink capital in large estates on the aparcero system (q.v.).

The coffee-plant imperatively requires shade and moisture, and over-pruning is prejudicial. If allowed to run to its natural height it would grow up to 15 to 25 feet high, but it is usually kept at 7 to 10 feet. The leaves are evergreen, very shining, oblong, leathery, and much resemble those of the common laurel. The flowers are small, and cluster in the axils of the leaves. They are somewhat similar to the Spanish jasmine, and being snow-white, the effect of a coffee plantation in bloom is delightful, whilst the odour is fragrant. The fruit, when ripe, is of a dark scarlet colour, and the ordinary coffee-berry contains two semi-elliptic seeds of a horny or cartilaginous nature glued together and enveloped in a coriaceous membrane; when this is removed each seed is found covered with a silver-grey pellicle.

The Caracolillo coffee-berry contains only one seed, with a furrow in the direction of the long axis, which gives it the appearance of being a geminous seed with an inclination to open out on one side.

In Arabia Felix, where coffee was first planted in the 15th century, and its cultivation is still extensive, the collection of the fruit is effected by spreading cloths under the trees, from which, on being violently shaken, the ripe berries fall, and are then placed upon mats to dry, after which the beans are pressed under a heavy roller.

In the Philippines, women and children—sometimes men—go into the plantations with baskets and pick the berries. The fruit is then heaped, and, in a few days, washed, so that a great portion of the pulp is got rid of. Then the berries are dried and pounded in a mortar to separate the inner membrane and pellicle; these are winnowed from the clean bean, which constitutes the coffee of commerce and is sent in bags to Manila for sale.

The Philippine plantations give only one crop yearly, whilst in the West Indies beans of unequal ripeness are to be found during eight months of the twelve, and in Brazil there are three annual gatherings.

The seed of the Tobacco-plant (Nicotiana tabacum) was among the many novelties introduced into the Philippines from Mexico by Spanish missionaries, soon after the possession of the Colony by the Spaniards was an accomplished fact. From this Colony it is said to have been taken in the 16th or 17th century into the south of China, where its use was so much abused that the sale of this so-called noxious article was, for a long time, prohibited under penalty of death.

During the first two centuries of Spanish dominion but little direct attention was paid to the tobacco question by the Government, who only nominally held, but did not assert, the exclusive right of traffic in [293]this article. At length, in the year 1781, during the Gov.-Generalship of José Basco y Vargas (a naval officer), the cultivation and sale of tobacco was formally decreed a State monopoly, which lasted up to the end of the year 1882. In the meantime, it became an important item of public revenue. In 1882 the profits of the Tobacco Monopoly amounted to half the Colonyʼs Budget expenditure.

A few years before that date a foreign company offered to guarantee the Budget (then about ₱15,000,000), in exchange for the Tobacco Monopoly, but the proposal was not entertained, although in the same year the Treasury deficit amounted to ₱2,000,000.

By Royal Decree of July 1, 1844, a contract was entered into with the firm of OʼShea & Co., renting to them the Monopoly, but it was suddenly rescinded. The annual profits from tobacco to the Government at that date were about ₱2,500,000.

Government Profit

1840 ₱2,123,505
1845 2,570,679
1850 3,036,611
1855 3,721,168
1859 4,932,463
1860 over 5,000,000
1869 5,230,581

A bale of tobacco contains 4,000 leaves in 40 bundles (manos), of 100 leaves each.

The classification of the deliveries depended on the districts where the crop was raised and the length of the leaf.

The tobacco trade being also a Government concern in Spain, this Colony was required to supply the Peninsula State Factories with 90,000 quintals (of 100 Span, lbs.) of tobacco-leaf per annum.

Government Monopoly was in force in Luzon Island only. The tobacco districts of that island were Cagayán Valley (which comprises La Isabela), La Union, El Abra, Ilocos Sur y Norte and Nueva Ecija. In no other part of Luzon was tobacco-planting allowed, except for a short period on the Caraballo range, inhabited by undomesticated mountain tribes, upon whom prohibition would have been difficult to enforce. In 1842 the Igorrotes were allowed to plant, and, in the year 1853, the Government collection from this source amounted to 25,000 bales of excellent quality. The total population of these districts was, in 1882 (the last year of Monopoly), about 785,000.

The Visayas Islands were never under the Monopoly system. The natives there were free to raise tobacco or other crops on their land. It was not until 1840 that tobacco-planting attracted general attention in Visayas. Government factories or collecting-centres were established there for classifying and storing such tobacco as the Visayos cared to bring in for sale to the State, but they were at liberty to sell their produce privately or in the public markets. They also disposed of large quantities by contraband to the Luzon Island Provinces.5 [294]

Antique Province never yielded more tobacco than could be consumed locally. In 1841 the Antique tobacco crop was valued at ₱80,000. But, in the hope of obtaining higher prices, the enthusiastic Provincial Governor, Manuel Iturriaga, encouraged the growers, in 1843, to send a trial parcel to the Government collectors; it was, however, unclassed and rejected.

Mindoro, Lucban, and Marinduque Islands produced tobacco about sixty years ago, and in 1846 the Government established a collecting-centre in Mindoro; but the abuses and cruelty of the officials towards the natives, to force them to bring in their crops, almost extinguished this class of husbandry.

During the period of Monopoly in the Luzon districts, the production was very carefully regulated by the Home Government, by enactments revised from time to time, called “General Instructions for the Direction, Administration and Control of the Government Monopolies.”6 Compulsory labour was authorized, and those natives in the northern provinces of Luzon Island who wished to till the land (the property of the State)—for title-deeds were almost unknown and never applied for by the natives—were compelled to give preference to tobacco. In fact, no other crops were allowed to be raised. Moreover, they were not permitted peacefully to indulge their indolent nature—to scrape up the earth and plant when and where they liked for a mere subsistence. Each family was coerced into contracting with the Government to raise 4,000 plants per annum, subject to a fine in the event of failure. The planter had to deliver into the State stores all the tobacco of his crop—not a single leaf could he reserve for his private consumption.

Lands left uncultivated could be appropriated by the Government, who put their own nominees to work them, and he who had come to consider himself owner, by mere undisturbed possession, lost the usufruct and all other rights for three years. His right to the land, in fact, was not freehold, but tenure by villein socage.

Emigrants were sent north from the west coast Provinces of North and South Ilocos. The first time I went up to Cagayán about 200 emigrant families were taken on board our vessel at North Ilocos, en route for the tobacco districts, and appeared to be as happy as other natives in general. They were well supplied with food and clothing, and comfortably lodged on their arrival at the Port of Aparri.

In the Government Regulations referred to, the old law of Charles III., which enacted that a native could not be responsible at law for a debt exceeding ₱5, was revived, and those emigrants who had debts were only required to liquidate them out of their earnings in the tobacco district up to that legal maximum value.

As soon as the native gr