The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 28 of 55)
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[Buzeta and Bravo (Diccionario, i, pp. 542-545; ii, pp. 271-275, 363-367) thus describe the ecclesiastical estate of the Philippines:]

Archbishopric of Manila

Manila is in this regard, as in all other departments, the metropolitan city of the Spanish countries in the Orient. Its see is archiepiscopal, and has as suffragans the bishoprics of Nueva Caceres, Nueva Segovia, and Cebu, descriptions of which can be found in their respective articles. The territory over which it presides, as proper to itself, includes the ten civil provinces nearest to Manila—namely, Tondo, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva-Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and Mindoro—in addition to the small island of Corregidor, which is found outside the said province, and which forms a military police commandancy. It is not so extensive, with these provinces, as are its suffragan sees; but it is the one that unites the greatest number of souls.

The territory included in it extends about 100 leguas north and south and 29 more in breadth toward the west, the villages most distant from its capital being some 40 leguas to the north, and about 60 to the south. It is bounded on the north by the diocese of Nueva Segovia, and on the south by that of Cebu. Its western boundaries are maritime. The number of parishes of this diocese, the secular and regular curas who have charge of them, and the number of villages that they contain, will be seen in chart number 8. [112]

For the more efficient ecclesiastical administration of the territory included in this archbishopric, the parish curas of certain villages also extend their jurisdiction to eighteen vicariates or outside districts, namely: in the province of Tondo, that of Mariquina; in the province of Bataan, that of Balanga; in the province of Cavite, that of Bacor; in the province of Mindoro, those of Calayan and Santa Cruz; in the province of Batangas, those of Taal, San Pablo, and Rosario; in the province of Laguna, those of Limban, Calauan, and Cabuyas; in the province of Bulacan, those of Quingua and Marilao; in the province of Zambales, that of Iba; in the province of Pampanga, those of San Fernando and Candaba; in the province of Nueva-Ecija, those of Puncan and Baler. The curas of the above-mentioned villages are the outside vicars of their respective districts. They receive orders and instructions indiscriminately from the vicar-general and from the diocesan, from each one in accordance with the attributes of his office. It must be noted that this division into districts is subject to continual variations at the will of the bishop who wears the miter—now in relation to the number, and again with respect to the village. When it is said that the outside vicars depend immediately on the vicars-general or provisors, one must not, under any consideration, understand that the latter constitute an authority or jurisdiction intermediate between the outside vicar and the archbishop; but that they are the means by which communication with the said archbishop ought to be held. The present prelate of this metropolitan church is his Excellency the most illustrious and reverend Don Fray Jose Aranguren, member of his Majesty's Council, knight of the grand cross of Isabel the Catholic, senator of the kingdom, and deputy vicar-general of the royal land and naval armies of all our eastern possessions. He was consecrated on January 31, 1847. The cabildo of this holy and metropolitan church, the only such church in Filipinas, is composed of five dignitaries, three canons, two racioneros, two medio-racioneros, and the suitable number of ministers, whose salaries may be seen in the following chart.

Chart of the revenues of the clergy of the cathedral of Manila

Personal Pesos Reals of fuertes silver

The archbishop, 5,000 The dean, 2,000 4 dignitaries, at 1,450 pesos each, 5,800 3 canons, at 1,250 pesos each, 2,690 [sic] 2 racioneros, at 1,100 pesos each, 2,200 2 medio-racioneros, at 915 pesos each, 1,830 1 master of ceremonies, 400 2 cura-rectors, at 500 pesos each, 1,000 1 sacristan, 250 Another sacristan, 150 1 verger, 190


For the archbishop's mail, 14 6 To the cabildo, for the music, church repair, wine, wax, and oil, 2,860 To the cura of the cathedral for oil and wine, 26

Total, 25,410 [sic] 6

The ecclesiastical court is composed of the most excellent and illustrious archbishop, the provisor and vicar-general, the ecclesiastical fiscal, a recording secretary, a vice-secretary, an archivist, and two notarial treasurers of the secular class. The provisorial court is formed by the provisor, who is at the same time vicar-general and judge of the chaplains. He is charged with the performance of judicial acts in ecclesiastical matters, and is accompanied by notaries. This unctionary did not formerly have the investiture as licentiate of laws, and was assisted by a matriculated lawyer of the royal Audiencia. The creation of the ecclesiastical fiscal was posterior to that of the ecclesiastical courts; and his institution is due to the authority of the pontiffs, who have especially charged said functionaries with the defense of the integrity of marriages, and other duties peculiar to their employments. The charge of provisor was at first exercised constantly by the Augustinian fathers, by virtue of the amnimodo authority granted by the popes; later, their attributes passed to the Franciscan fathers, by agreement with them. But the archbishop of Mejico, considering himself empowered to appoint ecclesiastical judges (who were to be the vicars and provisors of these dominions), sent two clerics with authorization to exercise the said offices. The governor, [113] however, with his rank as royal vice-patron, protected the regulars in their privileges, and ordered Father Alfaro to exercise the said office alone. Afterward, when the suffragan bishoprics were created, and that of Manila was erected to the dignity of a metropolitan, with the archiepiscopal hierarchy, the appointment of provisors was regulated.

The spiritual administration of any of the bishoprics that fall vacant devolves upon the metropolitan archbishop, and the latter is the one empowered to appoint a provisor or capitular vicar. In case that the archiepiscopal metropolitan see should become vacant also, the government devolves upon the nearest bishop; and if there be two bishops at equal distances, it devolves upon the senior of these. In accordance with the terms of a royal decree dated April 22, 1705, it is ordered that the expenses incurred by the prelates on their episcopal visits are to be met by the royal treasury. The manner in which the espolios, [114] are collected was determined by a royal decree, dated June 24, 1821.

The secular clergy is divided into parochial and non-parochial. In the latter class are included the persons employed in the metropolitan cathedral; to the same class belong the four provisors of the other dioceses.

The provisor or vicar-general of this diocese holds the title of judge of chaplains, but that title is not held by the provisors of the other bishoprics.

By a general rule, the provisors of the respective dioceses are directors of the conciliar seminaries; but that is not the case with the provisor of this archbishopric, who is at present dean of the cathedral. The presidents of the said establishments are, as a rule, also procurators of the same. The commissary of the crusade and the attorney-general of the ecclesiastical court are at present members of the choir of the cathedral of Manila—as are also the rector of the college of San Jose, and the secretary and the vice-secretary of the archbishop. But this circumstance does not constitute a general rule, as it is a purely personal favor. Among the employees of the ecclesiastical court of Manila are five chief notaries—of whom one is pensioned [jubilado], another despatches the business relative to the tribunal of the crusade, and the three remaining ones form part of the ecclesiastical courts suffragan to this archbishopric. There are, further, two secretaries of the diocesan courts of Manila and Cebu—the latter being a modern creation, as are also a vice-secretary of the archbishop, and a vice-secretary of the bishop of Nueva Caceres; also an archivist of the archbishop, a commissary-general of the crusade, eight royal chaplains (inclusive of the chaplain-in-chief), one supernumerary, and the father sacristan; and twelve employees in the seminaries of the four bishoprics, with the name of directors, presidents, rectors, vice-rectors, lecturers, and sacristans. To this number one must add ten more who proceed from the three colleges and the university—who bear the titles of rector, professors, readers, secretary, and master of ceremonies—and thirty chaplains. In the latter number are included those who serve in the detachments of the army; those assigned for the colleges, hospitals, and hospitiums; and those who are paid by certain corporations, such as the Audiencia, etc. In this number those of the royal chapel are not included; for their institution is to provide their divisions, and the boats of the fleet, with priests when those of the former class are lacking. Their total amounts to ninety-three.

Coming now to the seminarists, their number cannot be determined, for it varies every year. But by adopting an average for the students in the conciliar seminary of Manila in 1842 and 48 [sic; 43?]—namely, some twenty-five, counting priests, deacons, subdeacons, those who have taken the lesser orders, and those who have taken the tonsure—one may calculate that the four seminaries will contain about one hundred students; so that, adding these to the ninety-three preceding, belonging also to the secular clergy, the number increases to one hundred and ninety-three. There are also in each one of the bishoprics some secular ecclesiastics employed under the immediate orders of the diocesans, who bear the name of pages, cross-bearers, etc., whose number cannot be determined. One is also unable to calculate the number of those who have been ordained under the title of patrimony, [115] and chaplaincies [116] of blood or of class, etc. By a royal decree of June 1, 1799, order was given for the curas to pay the three per cent for the sustenance of the seminaries.

Before concluding this review, we must also show that there are some arrangements that are common to both secular and regular clergy—those which make it indifferent, for the discharge of certain duties or commissions, whether they are secular or regular priests. Such are outside vicariates, and the chaplaincies of presidios, fortresses, etc.

From the founding of Manila until it obtained its first bishop there was a space of ten years. Its first prelate was suffragan to the metropolitan see of Mejico. But seventeen years after, and twenty-seven from the foundation of the city, in the year 1596, and by means of the bull of Clement VIII, despatched at the proposal of King Don Felipe II, it was separated from that see, and was erected into a metropolitan, with the three suffragan sees which it has at present.

Bishopric of Cebu

Cebu, formerly called Sogbu, is a suffragan bishopric of the archbishopric of Manila, which bounds it on the north. This diocese was created in 1595, at the same time as those of Nueva Segovia and Nueva Caceres, at the request of the monarch, Felipe II, by brief of his Holiness Clement VIII. Its first bishop was Don Fray Pedro de Agurto, who took possession of this bishopric on October 14, 1598. He who at present occupies the see is his Excellency Don Romualdo Gimeno, who is governing the diocese worthily to the honor and glory of God, and the gain of the metropolitan see, having begun his office February 27, 1847. This diocese includes at present the civil provinces of Cebu, Negros, Leyte, Samar, Capiz, Antique, Misamis, Caraga, Nueva-Guipuzcoa, Zamboanga, Calamianes, and the Marianas. Among those provinces are counted one hundred and seventy-nine curacies, of which one hundred and twelve are held by regular missionaries, and fifty-five by seculars (either Indian or mestizo clergy), as will be seen from chart number 6. [117]

The ecclesiastical court is composed of a provisor and vicar-general, who is at present the priest Don Esteban Meneses; of a secretary of the exchequer and of government, which office is filled by Doctor Don Marcos del Rosario; and of a notary, who is Don Pedro Magno, a priest.

In the following chart can be seen the revenues assigned to the parish clergy of the cathedral of Cebu, and the expenses for worship assigned to the same.

Chart showing the revenues of the clerical cathedral of Cebu, and their distribution for the services of divine worship

Classes Pesos Reals of Maravedis fuertes silver

One reverend bishop, 4,000 0 0 Two assistant chaplains for the throne, at 100 pesos apiece, 200 0 0 Two sacristans of the cathedral and curacy, at 91 pesos, 7 reals, and 6 maravedis each, 183 6 12 One chaplain of the fort, 96 0 0


For the wine, oil, wax, etc., which are allowed to the chaplain of the fort or fortress, 52 2 0 For the alms assigned to the cathedral for divine worship, 438 4 17 Idem to the chapel del Pilar of Zamboanga for the festivities, 41 4 17

Total, 5,012 0 46

The college seminary of San Carlos, which is located in the city of Santo Nino de Cebu—the capital of the island of its name and of those called Visayas, and the residence of the most excellent and illustrious bishop, to whose authority and vigilance are submitted all matters relating to the spiritual part—has about eighteen or twenty pupils, counting seminarists and collegiates. In that institution are taught grammatical studies [minimos], syntax, philosophy, and moral theology, whose respective chairs are in charge of learned and industrious professors. The territory of the civil provinces which form this bishopric is divided into twenty-four outside districts for its better ecclesiastical administration, eighteen of which are in charge of the parish priests of the following villages: in the province of Negros, those of Jimamailan and Siquijor; in the island of Cebu, there is one in the city of that name, and the rest in Danao, Barilis, Siquijor, and Dimiao; in Caraga, that of Bacuag; in the island of Leyte, that of Jilongos or Hilongos, and that of Burauen or Buraven—the first on the western coast, and the second on the eastern; in the province of Iloilo, that of Tigbauan (which also belongs to the province of Antique), and that of Mandurreao in the province of Capiz, that of Manga or Banga, and that of Mandalay or Mandalag; in the province of Nisamis, that of Cagayan; and in the Marianas Islands, some three hundred leguas distant, those of Agana, Agat, and Rota. In this number are lacking those of the provinces of Nueva-Guipuzcoa, Calamianes, and Samar, which can all be thus calculated: at one parish in the first province, as it is of modern creation and thinly populated; three in the second, as it is composed of various islands; and some two in the last. This is a total of twenty-four vicariates or outside districts. The ecclesiastics, both secular and regular, appointed to discharge these duties, exercise, in addition to the functions peculiar to their ministry, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the villages assigned to their respective outside districts, which are immediately subordinate to the vicar-general of the diocese, who is the provisor of the same. It is to be noted, in regard to this ecclesiastical division, that it is found to be subject to continual alterations, in regard both to the number of ecclesiastical vicariates, and to the curas who discharge these duties.

The considerable extent of this bishopric, which is the largest in the Filipinas Islands—whose provinces are widely separated from one another, some of those provinces even being composed of numerous islets as its separate parts—has given occasion for various petitions proposing the division of this bishopric into two parts, as a matter of greater advantage to the Church and to the State. Apropos of this, the bishop of Cebu, Don Fray Santos Gomez Maranon, declared in a respectful representation which he addressed to his Majesty, King Don Fernando VII, under date of Cebu, August 25, 1831, the following, which we copy:


"The bishop of Cebu, in order to relieve his conscience, finds it necessary to relate to your Majesty with the greatest frankness, that it appears necessary for the greater service of God, the welfare of souls, and [the service] of your royal person, to divide into two bishoprics this so extensive and scattered diocese of Visayas—in whose innumerable islands there are, in his judgment, more than one million of Christian souls, notwithstanding that the census of the past year shows no more than 858,510 souls. In addition to this there are a multitude of infidels, whom it would not be difficult to civilize and convert, were there two bishops among them who could take care of their conversion in an efficient manner; for one bishop alone has too much to look after in the conservation of so many Christians, without other duties. There are three provinces in the island of Panay alone, in which there are 54 parishes and many annexed villages, who have at least 378,970 souls, besides the heathen. If there were a permanent bishop in that island, their number would quickly be duplicated.

"The prelate could easily visit and confirm the distant provinces of Calamianes and Zamboanga (whither no bishop has as yet gone, because of their great distance from Cebu, and because it is necessary to consume several months [in such a trip] by reason of the monsoons, thus neglecting other things which require attention) from his see, which could be established in the well-populated village of Jaro. [118] The islands of Tablas, Sibuyan, Romblon, and Banton, and the western part of the island of Negros, would belong also to this new bishopric, and Christianity would be considerably increased. The bishop of Cebu would not on that account remain with nothing to do; for besides the island of this name, those of Bojol or Bohol, Leyte, Samar, the laborious island of Surigao, Misamis, and the eastern part of the island of Negros (where a mission is already established), and various other smaller islands remain. Thus he retains charge of at least 434,846 souls, besides an infinite number of heathen.

"The bishop of Cebu is addressing his king and sovereign with all sincerity and frankness; and he can say no less to your Majesty than that it is impossible for one bishop alone to visit and confirm his people, and to discharge his other pastoral duties, in all the numerous and intricate islands of Visayas, which have been in his charge until the present—especially in the so distant Marianas Islands, which have no communication with Cebu. Those islands ought to be assigned to the archbishopric of Manila, with which capital is their only communication. Even in this case, authority ought to be conceded to their ecclesiastical superior, with chrism consecrated by the archbishop, over all the Christians who live there.

"As soon as the writer was consecrated in Manila, he set out to visit his bishopric. I visited the island of Romblon, and the three provinces of the island of Panay, confirming in those islands 102,636 persons; the island of Negros and half of Cebu, in which two districts 1 confirmed 23,800, as I inform your Majesty by a separate letter. I have employed one-half year in this first visit, without the loss of a second of time, taking advantage of the good season.

"I am intending to conclude the visit for the half of this island during the monsoon of the coming year; and to continue my visit to the islands of Bojol, Leyte, Samar, Surigao, and Misamis. But notwithstanding the efforts of the bishop, and his desire to fulfil his obligations, he cannot visit Zamboanga or Calamianes, and much less the Marianas islands—so many souls remaining without the sacrament of the confirmation and benediction of their bishop, as it is impossible to visit them.

"With what conscience, Sire, will you abandon him who dares to call out before your Majesty's throne, asking you, as so Catholic [a sovereign], and as the patron of all the churches of the Indias, to remedy this evil? The bishop of Cebu finds no other remedy than the creation of another bishopric, and the division into two parts of this most extensive diocese, as he has already declared. Consequently he proposes it, in order to lay the burden of his conscience on that of your Majesty; and so that he may not have to give account for his negligence to the Supreme Judge. If your Majesty considers it fitting to approve this so useful and even so necessary proposition, your bishop is of the opinion, as he has already intimated, that the see of the new bishopric can be determined, and that it may be entitled the bishopric of Panay or of Jaro—which is a well-populated village, as I have said above. Its foundation and administration belongs to the calced Augustinian fathers, as does that of almost all the villages of that so fierce and fertile island. Your Majesty might show it the favor to allow it to be entitled hereafter 'the Christian city.'

"Since the Augustinian fathers have been the first conquistadors and founders of the greater part of the villages of Visayas, and even of those of the island of Luzon, it appears to be the most natural thing that the first bishop be a calced Augustinian; and that he should know the language of the country, so that he can sooner establish this new bishopric in better order, civilization, and increase of Christianity, and tributes.

"Accordingly, this aged bishop expects this, Sire, from the pure Catholicity of your Majesty, and from your ardent zeal for the increase of the Christian church and of prosperity in these your so distant dominions—which have always shown themselves so loyal and constant, even in the midst of so many revolutions, to their beloved king and sovereign; and he even dares, knowing your Majesty's goodness of heart, to propose three Augustinian fathers who have accomplished much for the happiness of these Visayas Islands, so that your Majesty may choose one of the three; for any one of them would completely fulfil your royal desires.

"The proposal is sent under other covers, and I am sending it to his Excellency, the vice-patron, for his approval. But the decision of your Majesty, on whose delicate conscience your bishop of Cebu places this whole matter, and [thus] relieves his own conscience, will always be the most suitable one. May God, etc."

If the creation of a new bishopric was considered as an absolute necessity at that time, in order that the Christian church in the so numerous islands might be better attended to, with how much more reason cannot the present bishop and his successors solicit this grace from his Majesty, since the population has increased to about double what it was then—and especially since new provinces have been created, and most of their wandering tribes, scattered throughout most of the islands in the jurisdiction of this diocese, conquered for God. We believe also, with that venerable bishop, that the division of this extensive bishopric into two parts is highly advisable (for it is wellnigh impossible for any diocesan to visit his so numerous and scattered flock)—not only in the interests of religion, but also in those of the State, inasmuch as the former is preserved by their vigilance and authority purer and more incorruptible from the vices that have invaded it on more than one occasion; and the country will increase in wealth and prosperity, in proportion as the numerous nomadic tribes, who are yet wandering through the rough thickets, are reduced to the social life. [A list of the bishops of Cebu to 1847 follows.]

Nueva Caceres

Nueva Caceres, or Camarines, is one of the three of the present ecclesiastical divisions of the island of Luzon. It includes all the eastern part of that island, and the adjacent islands, as we shall presently see. It extends from the sea on the west, at the mouth of the strait of Mindoro, where it is bounded by the archbishopric of Manila—as likewise in the interior, where pass its northern limits, the only boundaries that it has within the land—to the eastern sea in the extreme southeast of the province of Caraga, [119] also the boundaries of the archbishopric. However, it has jurisdiction in the village of Baler and in that of Casiguran, in the province of Nueva Ecija; and those of Polillo and Binangonan de Lampon, in Laguna. For the rest, it is surrounded by the sea and indented with numerous bays. Beginning at the mouth of the above-mentioned strait (where it is bounded by the archbishopric), the first part of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Nueva Caceres is the bay formed by the point of Galban, belonging to the province of Batangas, and the headland of Boudol. [120] It follows the bay of Peris as far as Guinayangan, which lies in the same angle of the bay, where the province of Tayabas ends. Then follows the village of Bangsa, which belongs to the province of Camarines, next to which is found the province of Albay. The bishopric follows the coast until it meets the bay of Sorsogon. Beyond that bay is seen that of Bulsnan and then that of Albay (which is beyond the Embocadero of San Bernardino), which is formed by the islet called Baga Rey and the point of Montufar. Then follow the bay of Malinao and the point of Tigbi, where the province of Camarines begins again. This point and that of Lognoy form the mouth of the bay of Bala. Past the point of San Miguel is seen the bay of Naga, where the city of Nueva Caceres was located. That great bay is formed by the point of Siroma, and is seventy-six leguas round to the point of Talisay. Six leguas from that point is the bay of Daet, into which flows a river of great volume, which comes down from the highlands. Following this coast there is a small bay into which empties a river which flows from the mountain of Paracale, well known for its gold mines. About six leguas from that river is seen Punta del Diablo [i.e., "Devil's Point"], so called because of the shoals that run out into the sea, which are very dangerous. Past that point is the river of Capalonga, [121] where the province of Camarines ends and that of Tayabas begins again. At this point the sea runs inland and forms an isthmus only five leguas [wide] with the sea of Visayas. That small gulf is found in the sea of Gumaca; it is very rough, and along its coast are found the villages of Gumaca, Atimonan, and Mambau [sc. Mauban]. Going north, one meets the island of Polo [i.e., Polillo?], the bay of Lampon, and the villages of Baler and Casiguran, the last ones of this ecclesiastical jurisdiction—which, as we said, are situated in the province of Nueva-Ecija. Then is encountered the point of San Ildefonso, the boundary at which meet the bishoprics of Nueva Caceres and Nueva Segovia.

This bishopric was founded by a bull of Clement VIII, dated August 14, 1595. Four thousand pesos' salary was assigned to the bishopric annually, payable from the royal treasury of Mejico, as there were no tithes in Filipinas because the Indians did not pay them, and the Spaniards cared but little for the cultivation of the lands. A salary of one hundred and eighty pesos was assigned to the cura of the cathedral, and ninety-two to the sacristan. Two honorary chaplains were also created, to assist in the pontifical celebration; and they were assigned salaries of one hundred pesos apiece. The bishop resided in Nueva Caceres, in the province of Camarines, which was founded by the governor Francisco de Sande; but no other trace of that city has remained than the Indian village called Naga, which is the capital of the province and where the see is also located. It has a cathedral and episcopal palace of stone, and a conciliar seminary for the secular clergy of the country. Its jurisdiction extends throughout the provinces of Camarines (Norte and Sur), Tayabas, and Albay; the politico-military commandancy of Masbate and Ticao; the islands of Burias and Catanduanes; and the villages of Baler and Casiguran in Nueva Ecija, and Polillo and Binongonan de Lampon in Laguna. In this vast territory, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Nueva Caceres includes the following provinces, curacies, and villages. [122]

Besides the assignments which were made from the beginning, as we have said, to this bishopric, and which are at present paid from the royal treasuries of the colony, there is allowed to the miter 500 pesos for the relief of poor curas; 400 pesos to expend on the building of the cathedral and other objects; 135 pesos 2 reals for wax, oil, etc.—the total amount being equal to 5,516 pesos, 7 silver reals, and 37 maravedis.

The name of this bishopric is preserved solely in official documents, that of Camarines prevailing, as it is the name of the province where the bishop lives. [The names of the bishops of this bishopric until 1848 follow.]

The diocesan visits are to be made at the account of the royal treasury, in accordance with the royal decree of April 22, 1705. When the episcopal see becomes vacant, inasmuch as it has no cabildo its government belongs to his Excellency the metropolitan archbishop, who appoints a provisor or capitular vicar. If the archiepiscopal see should be vacant at the same time also, the government would pertain to the nearest suffragan; and if distances be equal, to the senior of these.

The form of administering and collecting the income was prescribed in a royal decree dated June 24, 1712, as has been stated elsewhere in this work.

Nueva Segovia

This is one of the three bishoprics of the island of Luzon. It includes the provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Batanes Islands. This diocese extends throughout the northern part of the island, from longitude 123 deg. 21' on the western coast, where the point called Pedregales is located, to 126 deg. 5' on the eastern or opposite coast, where the point Maamo projects; and from latitude 16 deg. 17 to 18 deg. 38'. It is bounded on the south by the archbishopric of Manila, to which belong the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga, on the extreme west and northeast. On the southeast it descends to latitude 15 deg. 30', to point of Dicapinisan and to Nueva Ecija, with that of Nueva Caceres or Camarines in the upper limits of the province of Tayabas. It is also bounded on the east by the archbishopric [of Manila] in the above-mentioned province of Nueva Ecija. Its boundaries on the west and north are maritime. Beginning where this last province ends (which may be considered as the point of Dicapinisan), the opposite coast offers nothing more noteworthy than the bays of Dibut and Baler until one reaches that of Casiguran; and there is nothing worthy of mention. When one leaves this last bay, he must double the cape of San Ildefonso, where the ancient ecclesiastical jurisdiction of this bishopric began. Continuing north for a matter of some sixteen nautical leguas, one meets the port of Tumango, the safest and most capacious of all this rough coast. A short distance from that port are found the village of Palanan and the missions of Dicalayon, and Dauilican or Divilican. Thence, until one reaches the cape of Engano, [123] one finds nothing more than some small anchoring-places, which offer but scant refuge to the vessels, as they are all exposed to the vendavals. On the northern coast as well, which begins at the said cape of Engano (so called because of the deceitfulness of its currents), one does not meet bay or port until he reaches the village of Aparri, some fifteen leguas away. This village is located a short distance from the ancient city of Nueva Segovia, which is known to the natives under the name of Laen [sc. Lal-lo]. A matter of fifteen leguas more from the above village of Aparri, is encountered the beginning of the Caraballos mountains, whose point, called Balaynacira, or Pata, projects into the northern sea and is the most northern point of the island. At this point ends the province of Cagayan, and begins that of Ilocos Norte, in the village of Pancian which is nine hours' distance from that of Bangui. Then one doubles the cape of Bojeador, where the western coast of the island begins, and passes the provinces of Ilocos (Norte and Sur), Union, and Pangasinan, which abound with many villages, until the cape of Bolinao is reached—where this bishopric is bounded by the archbishopric, to which belongs the province of Zambales.

This see suffragan to the metropolitan of Manila was erected by brief of his Holiness Clement VIII, August 14, 1595. The bishop formerly resided in Nueva Segovia, the capital of the province of Cagayan; but now he resides at Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur, where the town called Fernandina formerly stood. The endowment for this miter is four thousand pesos fuertes for the diocesan, one hundred and eighty-four pesos for the cura of the cathedral, ninety-two pesos to the sacristan, and one hundred pesos to each one of the chaplains of the choir. Its jurisdiction extends, as we have said, through the eight provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Batanes Islands. [124]...

[The name Nueva Segovia is preserved only in official documents, and it is more frequently called the bishopric of Ilocos, from the name of the province where the bishop lives. The names of the bishops until 1849 follow, and the article ends with information identical with that concluding the article on the bishopric of Nueva Caceres.]


[From Feodor Jagor's Reisen in den Philippinen (Berlin, 1873), pp. 95-100.]

Chapter Twelve

Travels in Camarines Sur. Description of the province. Spanish priests. Alcaldes and mandarins. [125]

The convents are large, magnificent buildings, whose curas at that time—for the most part, elderly men—were most hospitable and amiable. It was necessary to stop at each convent, and the father in charge of it had his horses harnessed and drove his guest to his next colleague. I wished to hire a boat at Polangui to go to the lake of Batu; [126] but there was none to be had. Only two large, eighty-foot barotos, each hollowed from a single tree-trunk and laden with rice from Camarines, lay there. In order that I might not be detained, the father bought the cargo of one of the boats, on condition that it be immediately unladed; thus I was able to proceed on my journey in the afternoon.

If the traveler is on good terms with the cura, he will seldom have any trouble. I was once about to take a little journey with a parish priest directly after lunch. All the preparations were completed at a quarter after eleven. I declared that it was too bad to wait the three-quarters of an hour for the repast. Immediately after, it struck twelve, and all work in the village ceased. We, as well as our porters, sat down to table; it was noon. The [following] message had been sent to the bellringer: "The father ordered him to be told that he must surely be sleeping again; it must have been twelve o'clock long ago, for the father is hungry." Il est l'heure que votre Majeste desire. [127]

Most of the priests in the eastern provinces of Luzon and Samar consist of Franciscan friars, [128] who are trained in special seminaries in Spain for the missions in the colonies. Formerly, they were at liberty to return to their fatherland after ten years' residence in the Philippines. But since the convents have been suppressed in Spain, [129] this is no longer allowed them; for there they would be compelled to renounce the rules of their order, and live as private persons. [130] They know that they must end their days in the colonies, and regulate themselves accordingly. At their arrival they are usually sent to a priest in the province, so that they may study the native language. Then they first receive a small and later a profitable curacy, in which they generally remain for the rest of their life. Most of these men spring from the lowest rank of the people. Numerous existing pious foundations in Spain make it possible for the poor man, who cannot pay for schooling for his son, to send him to the seminary, where he learns nothing outside of the special service for which he is trained. Were the friars of a finer culture, as are a part of the English missionaries, they would, for that reason, have but little inclination to mix with the people, and consequently would not obtain over them the influence that they generally have. The early habits of life of the Spanish friars, and their narrow horizon, quite peculiarly fit them to live among the natives. It is exactly for the above reason that they have so well established their power over those people.

When the above-mentioned young men come quite fresh from their seminaries, they are incredibly narrow, ignorant, and at times ill-mannered, full of conceit, hatred for heretics, and desire to proselyte. Gradually this rough exterior wears away; and their estimable position, and the abundant emoluments which they enjoy, make them kindly disposed. The sound insight into human nature and the self-reliance which are peculiar to the lower classes of the Spanish people, and which are so amusingly revealed by Sancho Panza as governor, have full opportunity to assert themselves in the influential and responsible post which the cura occupies. Very frequently the cura is the only white man in the place, and no other European lives for miles around. Therefore, not only is he the curator of souls, but also the representative of the government. He is the oracle of the Indians, and his special decision in anything that concerns Europe and civilization is without appeal. His advice is asked in all important affairs, and he has no one from whom he himself can seek advice. Under such circumstances all their intellectual abilities come into full play. The same man, who would have followed the plow in Spain, here [i.e., in the Philippines] carries out great undertakings. Without technical instruction and without scientific help, he constructs churches, roads, and bridges. However, although these circumstances are so favorable for the development of the ability of the priest, yet it would be better for the buildings themselves if they were executed by professionals; for the bridges collapse readily, the churches often resemble sheep-folds, the more pretentious have at times most extravagant facades, and the roads quickly deteriorate again. However, each one does as well as he can. Almost all of them have the good of their village at heart, although their zeal, and the course followed by those who pursue this aim, differ widely according to their personality. In Camarines and Albay, I have had considerable intercourse with the curas, and they have, without exception, won my esteem. As a rule, they have no self-conceit; and in the remote places they are so happy whenever they receive a visit, that they exert all their efforts to make their guest's stay as pleasant as possible. Life in a large convent very much resembles that of the lord of the manor in eastern Europe. Nothing can be more unconstrained. One lives as independently as in an inn, and many guests act just as if they were in one. I have seen a subaltern arrive, who, without waiting until the steward assigned him a room of his own accord, took one himself, ordered his dinner, and only casually asked whether the priest, with whom he was only very slightly acquainted, was at home.

Frequently the priests in the Philippines are upbraided about their gross licentiousness. [It is said that] the convent is full of beautiful girls, with whom the cura lives like a sultan. This might often be so of the native priests; but at the houses of numerous Spanish priests whose guest I have been, I have never once happened to see anything objectionable in this regard. Their servants were only men, and perhaps an old woman or two. Ribabeneyra asserts: [131] "The Indians, who observe how the discalced friars maintain their chastity, have come in their thoughts to the conclusion that they are not men ... and although the devil has endeavored to corrupt many chaste priests now deceased, and also those who still live, making use of the shamelessness of some Indian women for that purpose, yet the friars remained victorious, to the great shame of the Indian women and of Satan." However, this author is very unreliable. He says further (chapter iii, page 13), that the island of Cebu is known under another name as Luzon! At any rate, his description does not fit the present conditions. The young priest lives in his parish as did the lord of the manor in earlier times. The girls consider it an honor for themselves to associate with him. The opportunity is very favorable for him, for he is watched over by no jealous wife; and, as the father confessor and priestly adviser, he has opportunity at discretion to be alone with the women. [132] The confessional must especially be a perilous rock for them. In the appendix to a Tagal grammar (which is lacking in those copies intended for public sale), is a list of questions for the young priest who is not yet conversant with the language, which he must propound to the persons confessing. Several pages of those questions relate to sexual intercourse.

As the alcaldes are allowed to stay in a province only three years, they never understand the language of the country; for they are very much in demand because of their official business, and have no time (and usually no desire) to study the peculiarities of the province which they administer. The cura, on the other hand, lives in the midst of his parishioners, whom he knows thoroughly, and whom he also represents against the government. Consequently, it happens that he is the real authority in his district. The position of the priests, in contradistinction to that of the government officials, is bespoken also in their dwellings. The casas reales [i.e., royal buildings]—for the most part small, plain, and often dilapidated—are not in keeping with the rank of the first officials of the province. The convent, however, is usually a very large, imposing, and well-furnished building. Formerly, when the governorships were sold to adventurers, whose only thoughts were to enrich themselves from that office, the influence of the priests was even much greater than at present. [133] The following ordinances point out their former position better than long descriptions.

"Although certain outrageous offenses have given fitting reason for chapter x of the ordinances, wherein Governor Don Pedro de Arandia orders that the alcaldes and justices shall have no other communication with the missionaries than in writing, and shall not visit them except in company, it is also nevertheless ordered that they shall not do the latter ... on the assumption that the prelates of the church shall employ all their energies in restraining their subordinates within the bounds of moderation.... The alcaldes shall therefore see to it that the priests and ministers of the above order shall treat the gobernadorcillos and officers of justice with the proper respect; and they shall not permit the latter to be beaten, chastised, or illtreated by the missionaries, ... nor shall they be compelled to serve them at table." [134]

The former alcaldes who bought their posts, or obtained them through favor, and who had no previous training in official business, and often no education and intelligence, and who did not possess the necessary mental and moral qualities for so responsible and influential an office, received a nominal salary from the State, to which they paid a commission for the right to engage in trade. According to Arenas (p. 444), [135] this commission was regarded as a fine on the alcaldes for transgressing the law; "for since all kinds of trading were forbidden to them by various laws, [136] yet also his Majesty was pleased to grant a dispensation for it." [137] This irregularity was first suppressed by royal decrees of September 10 and October 30, 1844.

The alcaldes were governors and judges, commanders of the troops, and at the same time the only traders in their respective provinces. [138] They bought in Manila the goods that were needed in their provinces—usually with the money of the charities [obras pias] (see p. 14, note 17); [139] for they themselves came to the Philippines without any property. The Indians were compelled to sell their products to the alcalde, and to buy his wares at the prices which the latter established. [140] In such circumstances, the priests were the only ones who protected the Indians against these bloodsuckers, when they did not (as sometimes happened) also make common cause with the alcaldes.

At present the government sends men who know the law to act as alcaldes in the Philippines, who are somewhat better paid and are not allowed to trade.

On the whole, the government is endeavoring to lessen the influence of the curas, in order to strengthen the civil authorities; but that will be only very imperfectly accomplished, however, unless the tenure of office of the alcaldes be lengthened, and the office be so assigned that the alcaldes will have no temptation to make money on the side. [141]


[The following is translated and condensed from Provincia de San Nicolas de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos de la congregacion de Espana e Indias (Manila, 1879).]

Archbishopric of Manila

In this archbishopric the Recollect fathers have charges in the provinces of Manila, Cavite, Laguna, the district of Morong, Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales, and Mindoro.

[In the province of Manila, they have (1878) charges in the following villages: La Hermita, with 1,767 1/2 tributes, and 6,747 souls; Las-Pinas, with 1,149 1/2 tributes, and 4,771 souls; and Caloocan, with 2,166 tributes, and 7,511 souls.]

District of Morong

This district, which is governed by a political and military commander (who is at the same time administrator of the public funds), takes its name from its capital village, which is located on the shore of the lake of Bay. This district was created in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three. The villages of this district which are located on the lake are under the care of Franciscan fathers; Angono, Cainta, Jalajala, and Bosoboso of seculars; and we ourselves possess the two following. [These are the villages of Antipolo, with 1,074 tributes, and 3,547 souls; and Taytay, with 2,479 tributes, and 8,435 souls.]

Province of Bataan

This province is located in the island of Luzon, and is bounded on the north by the provinces of Pampanga and Zambales, on the east by the bay of Manila, and on the south and west by the sea of China. It is governed by an alcalde, and is in charge of the Dominican fathers, with the exception of Mariveles, Bagac, and Morong, which are in charge of the Recollect fathers.

The missionaries of our corporation performed their first labors of conquest in this territory. Here were founded the oldest villages on our list; and here took place the first persecutions of our long-suffering predecessors, who had the glory of watering with their blood the country that they were evangelizing, the one that furnished to the province of San Nicolas their protomartyr.

Fray Miguel de Santa Maria, accompanied by Father Pedro de San Jose (who, although he had been a calced Augustinian, had become a Recollect in Manila), and by brother Fray Francisco de Santa Monica, were the first to leave the convent of San Juan de Bagumbayan; and prepared by prayer and penance, and full of the spirit of God, set forth to announce His mysteries to the idolaters and heathen, sent legitimately to the mountains of Mariveles to illumine its inhabitants with the light of the Catholic faith. They found those natives enveloped in the most barbarous idolatry, adoring the sun, the moon, the cayman, and other filthy animals. These people regarded certain old men, as corrupt and as deceived as the divinities whom they were serving, as the ministers of those deceitful gods. The customs of those people were very analogous to the doctrines that directed them. Every kind of superstition was practiced; homicide was a praiseworthy and meritorious action; and their sacrifices on some occasions were human lives. In that vineyard so filled with wickedness the above-mentioned fathers announced the triune and one God, the mystery of the incarnation, and the eternal duration of the future life. The missionaries suffered more than one can tell from the inhabitants, who were opposed to and stubborn toward their teaching. In their bodies did they submit to hunger, and to the intemperance and inclemency of the elements; and in their truly apostolic spirit they suffered mortal anguish because of the blindness of their neighbors, which was in proportion to the great love of God and the zeal for His glory which glowed brightly in their hearts.

[The Recollects have charge of the villages of Mariveles, with 588 tributes, and 1,852 souls; Morong, with 870 tributes, and 3,154 souls; and Bagac, with 496 1/2 tributes, and 1,743 souls.]

Province of Zambales

This province is located in the island of Luzon, north of Manila. It is bounded on the north by the gulf of Lingayen and the province of Pangasinan, on the east by the chain of mountains called Mariveles, on the south by Bataan, and on the west by the Chinese Sea; and is more than thirty leguas long in a north and south direction, and seven wide.

The preaching of the Recollects in this territory is mingled with the beginnings of that religious family in the Filipino archipelago. One may say that this was the region where the first discalced missionaries and the parishes established by them tasted the first-fruits of their evangelizing zeal, those first-fruits being offered to the Catholic church as a testimony of the purity of their doctrine, and submitted to the crown of Espana as its most faithful and disinterested vassals, Although they arrived at these shores in the year one thousand six hundred and six, in the following year they had already overrun this province—to whose inhabitants they taught the mysteries of our religion, and gave helpful instructions in the social life, in contradistinction to their barbarous state.

The first who sowed the seed of the gospel in the province of Zambales were the calced Augustinian fathers. Because of the lack of the above religious, the captain-general of these islands and their metropolitan cabildo entreated the vicar-provincial of the Recollects to assign religious for the spiritual cultivation of that unfilled vineyard. In the year one thousand six hundred and nine, our laborers went to Zambales, although visits had been made two years previously by those who were laboring in the province of Bataan, in order to increase the gospel seed. The meekness and resignation of the fathers in the midst of so much wretchedness and hardship arrested the attention of those barbarians; and the fathers succeeded in catechizing and converting many through their gentleness and kind treatment, and reduced them to settlements.

The Recollect fathers were charged with the spiritual administration of this province until the year one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine. In that year, being obliged to go to take charge of the province of Mindoro, and to preach the holy gospel there, they were forced to hand over the missions of Zambales—eleven in number—to the Dominican fathers, who assumed charge of them.

After the lapse of some years, and without explanation of the causes which could induce the above-mentioned Dominican fathers to cease to give spiritual food to those Christian communities with their accustomed zeal, it is a fact that the discalced Augustinians again took charge of that province, by the month of October, one thousand seven hundred and twelve; and again undertook the direction and continuation of their spiritual conquests until the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, when they were compelled once more to leave it, for lack of religious. The secular priests assumed the missions, with the exception of the mission of Botolan, which was retained by the Recollects until one thousand eight hundred and fourteen. There was a residence for the missionaries in each of the villages, and even in various visitas there were suitable churches and convents of cut stone, when we left this province in the last century. On assuming it anew in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, the father provincial of the Recollects, Fray Blas de las Mercedes, attested that only ruins and desolation were found. Since that time they have labored without ceasing in the beautifying and adorning of the house of God, restoring the old ruins and building anew; until they have succeeded in making the churches worthy the majesty of the Catholic worship—already having, besides, suitable edifices for the residences of their missionaries.

[The order has the spiritual charge of the following villages: Subic, with 761 1/2 tributes, and 2,749 souls; Castillejos, with 917 1/2 tributes, and 4,013 souls; San Marcelino, with 1,165 1/2 tributes, and 4,847 souls; San Antonio, with 1,053 tributes, and 4,722 souls; San Narciso, with 1,564 1/2 tributes, and 7,597 souls; San Felipe, with 1,262 tributes, and 5,063 souls; Cabangaan, with 685 tributes, and 2,584. souls; Iba, with 1,007 tributes, and 3,896 souls; Palauig, with 761 tributes, and 3,380 souls; Botolan, with 1,374 tributes, and 5,200 souls; Masinloc, with 1,647 tributes, and 6,541 souls; Bolinao, with 1,795 tributes, and 5,971 souls; Bani, with 1,036 1/2 tributes, and 4,288 souls; Santa Cruz, with 1,753 1/2 tributes, and 7,366 souls; Balincaguin, with 1,122 1/2 tributes, and 4,138 souls; Alaminos, with 1,669 tributes, and 7,436 souls; Agno, with 1,271 tributes, and 4,971 souls; Dasol, with 781 tributes, and 2,697 souls; San Isidro, with 597 tributes, and 2,337 souls; and Anda, with 833 tributes, and 3,180 souls.]

Province of Cavite

Coincident with the time of their arrival at Manila, the discalced Augustinians began to labor in the conversion of the infidels who inhabit the provinces conterminous to the capital. They dedicated themselves with apostolic zeal to the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments, with their gaze directed to the needs of the future. They paid attention to what would be found by experience, in succeeding times, to be a convenience and a necessity—namely, to have convents of the Observance in the most important settlements of the archipelago, in order to give shelter to the religious worn out in the tasks of preaching; while at the same time those houses were to serve as the base for their premeditated plan, to establish in these islands the corporation of which they were members, in a perfectly organized condition.

They founded the convent of Cavite, by apostolic and royal authority, in the year one thousand six hundred and sixteen. It was dedicated to St. Nicholas of Tolentino, was constructed solidly, and was spacious, with a church which was suitable for the functions of worship. Cavite was a suitable point, because of its great commerce and the foreigners who go there in throngs. Thus, with their good example and indefatigable zeal, they could do much good to needy souls.

This convent was at first supported by the alms of the faithful; and afterward it acquired some incomes of its own through the gifts of various devout persons, in houses, shops, and plots of ground.

In the year one thousand seven hundred and nine, Don Pascual Bautista and other inhabitants of that port founded the brotherhood of our father Jesus in this church.

The first prior of this convent was Father Andres del Espiritu Santo, who was born in Valladolid, in January, one thousand five hundred and eighty-five, his parents being Don Hernando Fanego and Dona Elena de Toro. He studied philosophy there, and asked for the religious habit in our convent of Portillo in the year one thousand six hundred, and professed in that convent the following year. He devoted himself to the study of the Holy Scriptures in the convent of Nava until the year one thousand six hundred and five, when he determined to offer himself for the conversion of the Indians, in the mission that was about to go to Filipinas. Having been assigned to the province of Zambales, he uttered the first words of his apostolic preaching at Masinloc in the year one thousand six hundred and seven, where he succeeded in converting and baptizing two thousand people, in founding a village, and in erecting a dwelling and a church with the advocacy of St. Andrew the apostle, November eighteen, one thousand six hundred and seven. In the year one thousand six hundred and nine, without abandoning his parish, he had to aid Father Jeronimo de Cristo in the reduction of Bolinao; and when after a short time the latter died, he was appointed vicar-provincial, although continuing to care for and to increase his flock at Bolinao, where he succeeded in converting one thousand six hundred souls. He concluded his charge in the year one thousand six hundred and twelve; and in the year one thousand six hundred and fifteen he was elected vicar-provincial for the second time. In that term he finished the establishment of the convent of Cavite, constructing an edifice of stone with a dwelling to accommodate ten religious. In the year one thousand six hundred and eighteen, at the completion of his term as superior, he was chosen commissary to the court of Madrid. There he accomplished, with great success, not only the negotiations for despatches suitable for the mission, but the selection of the men whom he conducted [to Filipinas] in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two. As soon as he reached Manila he was again elected superior [and held that position] until the celebration of the first provincial chapter, on February six, one thousand six hundred and twenty-four, when he was elected first definitor. In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-six he was elected provincial; he visited the ministries during his term, and began the missions of Japon. He made great improvements and additions in the churches and convents of Manila and Calumpang; and labored greatly in repairing the church and convent of Cebu, which had suffered from a fire. He was elected provincial for the second time, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-two, and definitor in the chapter of thirty-five. In the year thirty-eight he asked to be allowed to retire to a cell, but was elected prior of Manila.

After the conclusion of that office, he was retired to the convent of Cavite and then to that of Manila, where he died holily at the beginning of one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight. He was seventy-eight years of age, and fifty-seven in the religious life, fifty-two of which he employed in the Filipinas Islands, establishing this province on a solid basis of religion.

[The villages in charge of the Recollects in this province are as follows: Cavite, with 412 1/2 tributes, and 2,319 souls; Imus, with 3,830 tributes, and 14,439 souls; Cavite-Viejo [i.e., "Old Cavite"], with 2,658 tributes, and 8,265 souls; Rosario, with 2,005 tributes, and 6,906 souls; Bacoor, with 3,959 tributes, and 13,827 souls; Perez-Dasmarinas, with 1,124 tributes, and 3,785 souls; Silang, with 2,701 1/2 tributes, and 9,369 souls; Bailen, with 931 tributes, and 3,697 souls; and Carmona, with 904 1/2 tributes, and 3,101 souls.]

Province of Batangas

In this rich province of the island of Luzon, flourishing through its products and its active trade with the capital, of extensive territory and densely populated, the discalced Augustinians were not assigned with the intention of a permanent stay, in the olden times, to preach the gospel to those natives.

However, present legislation regarding the service of parish churches in this archipelago has, at the same time while it has varied in a certain manner our traditional method of support, introduced us into some of the parishes of the province of Batangas; and at the same time when we have been obliged to cede villages in Visayas—which were our offspring, and had been converted by our predecessors, and whose history was identical with the ancient glories of our corporation—in exchange we have received parishes organized by the sweat and apostolic fatigues of ministers of the religion of Jesus Christ, who were not members of our religious family.

[The villages administered by the Recollects are as follows: Rosario, with 4,259 1/2 tributes, and 17,040 souls; Santo Tomas, with 2,832 tributes, and 9,748 souls; Lobo, with 805 1/2 tributes, and 3,200 souls; and Balayan, with 5,434 tributes, and 24,154 souls.]

Province of Laguna

The territory of this province, whose coasts enclose the great lake of Bay, had been administered by the Franciscan fathers, in most of its extent, from the times of its reduction. But in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty-two, they invited us to share in the ministries on the opposite coast, in the neighborhood of the port of Lampon; and although those missions were not very desirable, on account of the wretchedness of the country and the small number of tributes, they were received as very meritorious for heaven, although but little profitable when looked at from a worldly standpoint.

The Recollect fathers Fray Benito de San Jose, Fray Francisco de San Jose, and Fray Clemente de San Nicolas having been assigned, with three other companions, to the village of Binangonan, established the first house and church, with the title of San Guillermo; and two religious remained there. Afterward they went to the village of Baler and established a convent, under the patronage of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. The third was the village of Casiguran, with the advocacy of our father St. Augustine. The fourth was established in Palanan, with the title of Santa Maria Magdalena. The discalced Augustinians resided for forty years in those convents founded on the coasts of the Pacific, exclusively consecrated to the service of God, and the sanctification of their neighbors, and they attained both objects with great spiritual advantages.

We had religious there of pure virtue, who were imitating the virtues of the dwellers in the desert. From those missions went forth our father Fray Bartolome de la Santisima Trinidad, son of the convent of Madrid. He lived much retired from intercourse with men; and when he was elected provincial, in the year one thousand seven hundred and one—at which time all said that he was a person unknown in Manila—Archbishop Camacho uttered these words: "The election of the discalced Augustinians has been and is, properly, an election by God and by the Holy Spirit." While so great advance did the missionaries on the opposite coast make in their own sanctification, not less was the gain in the vineyard entrusted to their care. They made many Aetas and heathen children of the Catholic church, and directed those souls along the paths of eternal life. They had the special glory of numbering, among those whom they directed, some privileged women endowed with the gifts of heaven, and raised by the spirit of God to a height of Christian perfection which confounds our lukewarmness in His service. One of these was Sister Juana de Jesus, a native of the village of Binangonan de Lampon, [142] an oblate nun of our order, who elevated herself with the steps of a giant, even to the greatest and most complete purification of her spirit, by her abstraction from worldly affairs, by her heroic practice of all the virtues, by her fervent daily communion, and by the most lofty contemplation and the most clear vision that God vouchsafed her of the mysteries of our holy religion.

In the lamentable period of the missions between the years one thousand six hundred and ninety-two and one thousand seven hundred and ten, when no religious came to us from Espana, our Recollect family was obliged to abandon this territory which it had in trust, for the lack of evangelical laborers. That action was taken in the provincial chapter of one thousand seven hundred and four, and the missions above mentioned, which we had served for more than forty years, were returned to the Franciscans.

At present we have only the following village in the province of Laguna: [Calauan, with 957 1/2 tributes, and 2,734 souls.]

Province of Pampanga

This province, lying north of Manila—including the district of Tarlac, which was separated from the province in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three—is bounded on the north by Pangasinan, on the south by the bay of Manila, on the east by Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, and on the west by Zambales and Bataan. In this province, which was begun by the Augustinian Observantine fathers (who still have it in charge), permission to found missions in the mountains of its territory which are on the Zambales side was granted to the Recollect fathers, by virtue of certain acts that were drawn up in the superior government without summoning the father provincial, because of the reports of certain persons and the instance of other private individuals. By those acts the conde de Lizarraga, governor of Filipinas, charged the father provincial, Fray Jose de San Nicolas, to assign missionaries to the localities of Bamban and Mabalacat. The said father, because of his great experience of these islands and their inhabitants, explained to the vice-patron the impossibility of those missions living, and the little result that could be expected from them on account of the fierce and untamable nature of the mountaineers. His petition had no effect, and three missionaries of great merit and learning were sent. By dint of great hardships, and, by living in the same manner as the Indians, they succeeded in baptizing many; but when they learned the fickleness of the Indian nature, and that it was as easy for them to become baptized as it was to take to the mountains to continue their former mode of life, the missionaries proceeded more cautiously in giving them the benefit of the regeneration.

[In this province the Recollects minister to the following villages: Mabalacat, with 2,627 tributes, and 11,163 souls; Capas, with 564 tributes, and 1,923 souls; O'Donnel, with 308 1/2 tributes, and 1,159 souls; and Bolso, with 144 tributes, and 749 souls.]

Province of Mindoro

This province, directed by an alcalde-mayor, includes the island of the same name, that of Marinduque, that of Luban, and others less densely populated. Its boundaries are: on the north, the strait of Mindoro; on the east and south, the sea of Visayas; and on the west, the Chinese Sea.

In its extent, it is one of the foremost islands of the archipelago. Its land is mountainous, its climate hot; and during the rainy season it also exceeds other provinces in humidity, whence results the richness of the soil. There are found all the products of the country in grains and foodstuffs. However, that most fertile country fails of cultivation in its vast areas because of the scarcity of laborers, and has not been touched by the hand of man. Its conquest was begun in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy, in the district of Mamburao, by Juan de Salcedo; and it was completed the following year, along the coasts from the cape of Burruncan to that of Calavite, by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. The rest, with the exception of the mountains in its center, has been gradually subdued by the zeal of the regular missionaries. The calced Augustinian fathers began to diffuse the teaching of the gospel in this island, and founded the village of Baco, from whose convent the religious went forth to the spiritual ministry of the converted Indians, who were then very few.

By cession of the Augustinians, the Franciscan fathers entered this island. The said fathers were not satisfied with preserving that already reduced, but extended the light of the faith through the districts of Pola and Calavite, until they were transferred to Camarines and Ilocos by the orders of their superiors.

The fathers of the Society of Jesus came in to fill the breach left by the Franciscans. They founded the village of Naujan, which was governed to the great gain of those Christians by Father Luis de San Vitores, who left behind in that point a reputation for virtue and holiness which was retained for many years among the Indians. That father was withdrawn, to begin the conversion of the Marianas Islands. His associates followed him, and the Christian souls of Mindoro remained under the direction of the secular priests who were placed there by the archbishop for their direction.

When the Recollect fathers had to leave the ministries of Zambales which they had conquered and established at the cost of their blood and by heroic labors, an order came at that same time from the court of Espana, decreeing that the island of Mindoro be entrusted to a religious family chosen from those existing in this country. The governor of Filipinas, by the advice of the archbishop, thought to compensate the Recollects for the loss of their primitive religious conquests in the province of Zambales, by conferring on them the parishes of Mindoro.

The Recollects resigned themselves to this disproportionate change, since the exertions made to avoid it availed nothing. By virtue of the order issued by his Excellency, the captain-general, Don Juan de Vargas, directed to the province of San Nicolas (decreeing that it should take charge of the missions of Mindoro), the then provincial, Fray Jose de San Nicolas, assigning laborers for that new acquisition.

Father Diego de la Madre de Dios was assigned to the district of Baco, which belonged to the bachelor Don Jose de Rojas; Father Diego de la Resureccion, to the curacy of Calavite, taking the place of Licentiate Don Juan Pedrosa; Father Blas de la Concepcion, to the parish of Naujan, replacing the priest Don Martin Diaz. All the above was effected in the year one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine.

The Recollects entered upon the preaching in Mindoro, in obedience to the orders of the government. That was their reason for believing that their stay in that territory was not to be transitory, but that they could contemplate the organization of that territory upon foundations intended for its increase and the greater welfare of its inhabitants. For that purpose they planned to make the best division possible of mother missions and those annexed, assigning for each of the regular missionaries the barrios and visitas which were nearest his residence, in order that he might aid all of them in their needs.

The apostolate of the Recollects in this island continued without interruption until the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, when the scarcity of men in the province of San Nicolas forced them to renounce it. They reassumed their missions there in the year one thousand eight hundred and five, when the cause that occasioned their cession ceased to exist.

[The villages and missions in charge in this province are as follows: Calapan, with 1,335 1/2, tributes, and 4,495 souls; Naujan, with 1,687 1/2 tributes, and 5,408 souls; Puerto-Galera, with 544 tributes, and 1,655 souls; Sablayan, with 756 1/2 tributes, and 2,520 souls; Mangarin, with 366 tributes, and 859 souls; and Boac, with 3,117 tributes, and 13,562 souls.]

Bishopric of Jaro

The provinces of Romblon, Calamianes, and Negros, which are administered by the Recollect fathers, were formerly included in the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishopric of Santisimo Nino de Cebu. At present they are comprehended in the bishopric of Santa Isabel de Jaro, which was created by apostolic bull dated May twenty-seven, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five. That bull was issued by his Holiness Pius IX; it dismembered several provinces of the archipelago from the bishopric of Cebu, and constituted the fourth bishopric of Filipinas, which is suffragan to the metropolitan of Manila.

District of Romblon

This district, which is composed of a group of islands, today forms one politico-military commandancy, which includes the villages of Romblon, Banton, Badajoz, Cajidiocan, Odiongan, Looc, and Magallanes. All those villages can be called the creation of the Recollects, who, when they touched this territory, encountered a small number of Christians scattered through the mountains of what is now the chief district. By exposing their lives (and also losing them when the honor of God, or the interest of the monarchy of Espana, demanded it), they have succeeded in establishing many important villages from the wild settlements that they received.

The few Christians of those islands composed the annexed village or visita of the curacy of Ajuy in the island of Panay; and as it was very troublesome for the cura charged with their spiritual nurture to visit them, because of the risk that he ran in crossing over, and the strength of the currents, he maintained there a secular assistant who administered the sacraments.

The priest Don Francisco Rodriguez, charged with the unquiet and uncomfortable life in that benefice, being worn out, discussed with the father-provincial of the Recollects, Fray Jose de la Anunciacion, a satisfactory exchange. He also renounced his right to the proprietary curacy, whereupon the bishop of Cebu, Don Pedro de Arce, with the consent of this superior government, gave us the spiritual administration of Romblon, Sibuyan, Usigan (or the island of Tablas), Simara, Banton, and Sibali [143] (which is called Maestro de Campo by the Spaniards). The province of San Nicolas received those places, for they considered them as the entrance into the Visayas Islands, and a good stepping-stone for their religious to go to the lands of Cebu and Caraga. Consequently, the Recollects began to increase and organize what had until then been useless, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-five.

[The villages and missions in the Recollects' charge are the following: Romblon, with 1,341 tributes, and 5,858 souls; Badajoz, with 711 tributes, and 3,356 souls; Banton, with 1,181 1/2 tributes, and 4,717 souls; Cajidiocan, with 1,304 tributes, and 7,132 souls; Odiongan, with 5,705 souls; Looc, with 5,449 souls; and Magallanes, with 283 1/2 tributes, and 859 souls.]

Island and province of Negros

This island, located to the south of Manila, is bounded on the north by the Visayan Sea, on the south by the sea which separates it from Mindanao, on the east by the channel which separates it from Cebu, and on the west by the sea that separates it from Paragua. It is one hundred and twelve leguas from Manila; its length north and south is forty leguas, and its breadth from east to west eleven.

The centuries of the conquest tell us that already was the religious habit of the discalced Augustinians known in this most fertile province; for in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, brother Fray Francisco de San Nicolas, a native of Cadiz, made a voyage from Negros to Manila. During that voyage he suffered terrible storms, escaping as by a miracle. That voyage was on business for the service of the church, which proves that, in its beginnings, the Recollects had sown the seeds of the gospel in that territory. In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, father Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio founded the convent which was called Binalgaban, and which exercised spiritual care over one thousand five hundred families. The said mission passed to the Society of Jesus. The divine Goodness wrought some wonderful events for the conversion of this island of Negros. [One of these is mentioned.]

But that germ was to produce its abundant and wonderful fruits in the nineteenth century. The observation of the prodigious improvements which four religious who entered this island with the rich treasure of religion, to promote the spiritual and material welfare of their fellows, have been able to produce, was reserved, in the designs of Providence, for our epoch. By the force of their preaching the Catholic worship is receiving an increase of a hundredfold; the villages are dividing, and the parishes are multiplying; the population is assuming a new character of culture and civilization; those Indians are becoming affable, industrious, and enterprising; and they are very rapidly attaining the moral and material recompenses due to their labor.

His Excellency, the most illustrious Don Fray Romualdo Jimeno, bishop of Cebu, under date of April fifteen, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, represented to the superior government the scarcity of native priests for supplying the curacies in this province, petitioning at the same time that the spiritual administration of the said province be entrusted to one of the excellent orders in Filipinas. The governor and captain-general, Don Narciso Claveria, conde de Manila, assented to the proposition of the diocesan, and entrusted the island of Negros to the province of the Recollect fathers, by his decree of June twenty, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight. The very reverend father-provincial, Fray Joaquin Soriano, received such an arrangement with due thanks; and immediately sent the vice-patron his nominations for the curacies of Siaton, Cabancalan, and Amblan—of which those chosen assumed possession in the following year, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine.

From that date the population has increased greatly. The barrios have risen to be settled villages, and what were visitas have become canonically-erected parishes. Agriculture has received a rapid and enormous impetus; and the uncultivated lands, which were full of brambles, have been transformed into productive fields. That most fertile soil yields the rich products of sugar, abaca, and coffee, and that with an abundance unknown in other regions of this archipelago. Churches have been built, and convents for the decent housing of the Spanish priest and the holy functions of our order. Roads have been built, which have made communication easy. Solid bridges of great beauty have been constructed; the waters of the rivers have been taken to fertilize the fields; and in the neighborhood of the rivers a number of hydraulic machines and steam engines have been set up, the natural sciences being called in to adapt their most powerful aid to the work. The natives of this island, instructed and continually stimulated by their parish priests, have proved by experience the value of agriculture, when it is favored by nature and when they cooperate with their labor; and what labor can do when aided with intelligence that does not become weakened before troubles, but is directed with untiring constancy and endurance.

[The villages and missions of this province in charge of the Recollects are as follows: Cagayan, with 1,251 1/2 tributes, and 4,521 souls; Siaton, with 1,806 tributes, and 8,512 souls; Zamboanguita, with 1,060 tributes, and 4,0150 souls; Dauin, with 1,261 1/2 tributes, and 5,855 souls; Bacong, with 1,816 1/2 tributes, and 8,020 souls; Nueva-Valencia, with 1,400 1/2 tributes, and 5,387 souls; Dumaguete, with 2,806 tributes, and 12,824 souls; Sibulan, with 1,222 1/2 tributes, and 4,817 souls; Amblang, with 1,436 tributes, and 5,744 souls; Tanjay, with 1,941 1/2 tributes, and 9,698 souls; Bais, with 752 1/2 tributes, and 3,204 souls; Manjuyod, with 841 tributes, and 4,063 souls; Tayasan, with 987 1/2 tributes, and 4,009 souls; Guijulngan, with 331 tributes and 1,441 souls; Tolong, with 353 tributes; Bayauan, with 51 tributes, and 291 souls; Inayauan, with 95 1/2 tributes, and 316 souls; San Sebastian, with 148 tributes, and 436 souls; Escalante, with 2,133 1/2 tributes, and 5,429 souls; Cadiz, with 1,187 1/2 tributes, and 3,842 souls; Saravia, with 2,140 tributes, and 9,825 souls; Minuluan, with 1,854 1/2 tributes, and 9,637 souls; Bacolod, with 1,905 1/2 tributes, and 8,059 souls; Murcia, with 1,400 tributes, and 6,500 souls; Sumag, with 1,179 1/2 tributes, and 3,772 souls; Valladolid, with 2,567 1/2 tributes, and 9,430 souls; San Enrique, with 1,155 tributes, and 4,463 souls; La-Carlota, with 1,131 tributes, and 3,068 souls; Pontevedra, with 1,451 1/2 tributes, and 4,683 souls; Ginigaran, with 2,185 1/2 tributes, and 9,728 souls; Isabela, with 832 tributes, and 3,171 souls; Gimamaylan, with 1,641 tributes, and 6,402 souls; and Cabancalan, with 1,550 1/2 tributes, and 6,449 souls. The missions of Inagauan, San Sebastian, and Bayauan, were established in 1868, while that of Tolon had been established in 1855. In the twenty-eight villages above mentioned, there are about forty Recollect missionaries, who are in charge of two hundred thousand souls. The fertility of the island of Negros and the opening up of the country in modern times have caused a great increase in population from the near-by provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Antique, and Capiz. Agriculture has been greatly advanced and other improvements brought in by the Recollects.]

Province of Calamianes

These islands, located to the south of Manila, form in their multitude an archipelago. Many of them of small extent, are inhabited; others are the temporary habitation of the natives, who go thither to sow their fields, because those lands are suitable for farming; and others form a civil village and are religiously organized. The northern boundary of this archipelago is the Chinese Sea; the eastern, that of Visayas; the southern, the island of Paragua, which is included in this province; and the western, the Chinese Sea. The capital is about one hundred leguas from Manila. It has a military government and an alcalde-mayor for its judicial business. As regards religion, all the parishes existing in Calamianes belonged to the bishopric of Cebu from the time of their reduction until the bishopric of Jaro was erected, when all these parishes passed to its jurisdiction.

In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, the numbers of the discalced Augustinians were increased by the second and third missions who had come from Espana, and by certain men who had taken the habit in the convent of Manila. Consequently, they were prepared to undertake new enterprises for the increase of the faith, and to go to points distant from the metropolis in order to spread the knowledge of the Christian name to those people who were living in heathendom.

[The early details of this mission have been fully given in previous volumes. The villages and missions of this province (a number of which are islands) in charge of the Recollects are as follows: Cuyo, with 2,392 tributes, and 9,475 souls; Agutaya, with 519 1/2 tributes, and 2,258 souls; Paragua, with 618 1/2 tributes, and 3,219 souls; Dumaran, with 785 tributes, and 1,416 souls; Puerto-Princesa, with 573 souls; Culion or Calamian, with 871 1/2 tributes, and 2,438 souls; and Balabac, with 581 souls. The Recollect martyrs of the province of Calamianes are as follows: Francisco de Jesus Maria; Juan de San Nicolas, 1638; Alonso de San Agustin; Francisco de Santa Monica, 1638; Juan de San Antonio; Martin de la Ascension; Antonio de San Agustin, 1658; Manuel de Jesus y Maria, 1720; Antonio de Santa Ana, 1736. The fathers of this province held in captivity were Onofre de la Madre de Dios, Juan de San Jose, Francisco de San Juan Bautista, and Pedro Gibert de Santa Eulalia.]

Bishopric of Cebu

Province of Cebu

[The Recollects land at Cebu on their first arrival from Spain, and are later conceded a chapel by Bishop Pedro de Arce near the city, where they found a convent. We translate:]

... In later times, the edifice has been improved and modified; the most notable of these changes was that of a few years ago, which has made the convent larger and more beautiful, thus making it possible for it to attain its object—namely, the entertainment of the religious who go to Visayas, and of the sick, who are compelled to go to Cebu to be cured of their ailments. The church is also very large, and suitable for the celebration of religious functions with the solemnity and splendor of the Catholic worship. The faithful of Cebu and of the immediate village of San Nicolas attend that church, in order to fulfil the Christian precepts and receive the sacraments. As there are always religious instructed in the Visayan language, many devout persons daily frequent the church of the Recollects....

In the beginning of its foundation, this convent had in charge the spiritual administration of the souls in the island of Maripipi, by concession of the above-mentioned bishop; but later, through the force of various circumstances that occurred, the natives of the said island went to the curacy of Bantayan, and the convent remained free and without any obligation so far as they were concerned. At present the religious of the community labor as far as possible in the welfare of the souls of those near by, moved only by reasons of charity, and by the greater glory of God, which they seek in its entirety.

[The Recollect villages in this province are as follows: Danao, with 2,797 1/2 tributes, and 13,012 souls; Mandaue, with 2,408 tributes, and 11,034 souls; Liloan, with 1,385 1/2 tributes, and 6,962 souls; Consolacion, with 982 1/2 tributes, and 4,277 souls; Compostela, with 3,830 tributes, and 4,856 souls; Catmon, with 965 1/2 tributes, and 4,988 souls; Carmen, with 4,259 1/2 tributes, and 5,588 souls; Camotes Islands, with 1,158 tributes, and 5,660 souls; Pilar, with 1,145 1/2 tributes, and 5,600 souls; and San Francisco, with 1,304 tributes, and 5,831 souls.]

Island of Bohol

Situated in the center of the Visayas Islands, and bordered on its eastern part by the island of Leyte, having the great island of Mindanao on its southern side, and being very near the island of Cebu on the north, Bohol formed an integral part of the territory of that province until the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, when a royal order dated July twenty-two was received in which the creation of the new province of Bohol was decreed.

The true beliefs of our holy order were received in that territory from the first time of the preaching of the gospel in this archipelago. The people of Bohol believed in the God of the Christians as quickly as He was announced to them, and became docile sons of the Catholic church without opposing that obstinate resistance to the good news which was experienced in the other islands, and which cost the life of one of its first apostles. If they remained in their first heathendom, it had not come to take the gross forms of a corrupted idolatry, applying the great idea of the divinity to despicable objects. Free of this inconvenience, when the majesty and grandeur of our God was manifest to them, they revered His adorable perfections. Even though there were perverse inclinations in the hearts of those natives, they were not given to polygamy; and when the holy law of God was explained to them, and the respect that the sanctity of marriage (which was elevated by Jesus Christ to the dignity of a sacrament) merits among Christians, they received these doctrines without any repugnance, since they were already free from the great obstacles which perversity and corruption, elevated to their highest power—namely, to have polytheism and idolatry as their foundation and support—can present against those doctrines. In the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, the Jesuit fathers, Torres and Sanchez, [144] came to this island, and very soon established the Catholic religion in Baclayon. Later, they founded a church and convent in Loboc; and then went to a site called Talibon, and overran the rest of the island, where they were able to conquer the difficulties which presented themselves in the way of submitting to their rule—born rather of repugnance to the Spaniards than of systematic opposition to the Christian faith. When Legaspi passed by Bohol and anchored at Jagna [145] in the year one thousand five hundred and sixty-four, he already had occasion to observe that same thing; and the explanation given him by a Moro from Borneo whom he had found there trading, was, that two years before eight vessels from the Molucas had committed great outrages, and those pirates had said that they were Castilians; and since they were of the same color and bore the same arms [as the Spaniards], the people of Bohol imagined that the Spaniards would do the same thing to them as the men of the eight Portuguese boats had done. [146] When Christianity had acquired a great increase in that island, hell, angered by those spiritual improvements, availed itself of the instrumentality of certain Moros of Mindanao, in order, if possible, to choke the seed of the gospel. Knowing that the best means of attaining that object was to make them rebel against the Spaniards, who had brought to them the happiness of their souls, hell stirred up a rebellion which had the same causes, and was invested with the same forms as the insurrection of Caraga, and was of more lasting effect. The missionaries having absented themselves in order to celebrate in Cebu the beatification of St. Francis Javier, which was celebrated in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-one, two or three criminals who were wandering through the mountains seduced the tribes, as the messengers of the diguata [i.e., divinity], to refuse obedience to the Spaniards, to abandon their settlements, and to unite together on the heights in groups, to make themselves feared. Of six villages formed by the Jesuit fathers, only two remained faithful [147] to the king of Espana; while the rest took arms against the constituted authorities, and formed bands which displayed a hostile attitude in the hills and high places—so that it was necessary to employ force and violent measures, in order to make them return to the fulfilment of their duty. Exemplary punishments were inflicted, which procured a partial result. But that subversive idea was one of fatal consequences, and produced some pernicious fruits so lasting that they have come down almost to our own days.

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