The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700
Author: Various
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Sec. III

Arrival of the Manila fleet which was aided by our religious. Destruction of the rebels.

21. Having now related what happened in the villages of Zambales, and the dangers which our religious suffered, let us turn our eyes toward Manila, and see what preparations the government was taking in order to meet so many depredations. Scarcely had father Fray Bernardino de la Concepcion delivered his messages, when Don Sabiniano Manriquez de Lara, governor of the islands, with extraordinary quickness mustered an army of two hundred Spaniards, besides four hundred other soldiers, consisting of Pampangos, negroes, mulattoes, and mestizos. As general he appointed the master-of-camp, Francisco de Esteybar, a Visayan noble, who in addition to his credit as so fine a soldier, appeared a most observant religious in his habits. He was ordered to march overland to Pangasinan without loss of time. A fleet consisting of four champans, two galleys, and six medium-sized vessels, which were manned with many good soldiers, and a goodly supply of all sorts of firearms were also prepared. This fleet was put in command of General Don Phelipe de Ugalde, who was ordered to set out on the voyage at once, and go to the port of Bolinao, where he was to confer with the father prior, Fray Juan de la Madre de Dios, whose counsel he was to prize greatly. He was advised that he was not to attempt anything ashore, until the arrival of Esteybar, and their forces were united.

22. Everything was done in so short a time (to the contrary of what is generally written of Spanish aid), that the father prior was advised by the bantayes or sentinels at dawn of January 5, that several vessels were seen to be headed to the port, which as was judged from their direction appeared to be from Manila. At nine in the morning the fleet anchored in the port of Bolinao, which is about one-quarter legua from the village. The father prior flew thither, with the rapidity of one who is in search of consolation, for he was most afflicted. Scarcely was he descried on the beach, when the general sent a skiff for him. He was taken by the skiff to the flagship, where he was received with repeated salvos of artillery. All the men expressed mutual joy, which sprung from the bottom of the heart, and were not superficial and born from the habit of deceit. Father Fray Bernardino de la Concepcion returned as chaplain of the fleet, because he urged the father provincial that he might do so, for he considered his absence from the field of battle, where his comrades were accomplishing so much for the crown, dishonorable to his valor in the spiritual militia. When the mutual congratulations which were exchanged between the father prior and those who composed the relief were exhausted, the general gave the former a letter from the governor. It read as follows:

"My Dear Father Fray Juan: Very sad has been the news that we have had here of your Reverence and of the other fathers, and we were even assured that you had all been killed. Consequently, the news from your Reverence served me as a special source of joy, notwithstanding the melancholy information contained therein of those insurrections. I trust implicitly through God that your person will be kept safe for the service of both Majesties. And I hope that that fleet which I have been able to assemble quickly will keep you safe and that it will have your Reverence's advice which I have ordered the general to receive as you are a person of experience in that district. The army in charge of General Esteybar is ordered to make forced marches. And next to God, I look for success in all things to your Reverence because you are there. May God preserve you, etc. Manila, January 2, 1661.

Don Sabiniano"

23. The general and the prior then discussed many points in regard to the order that was to be followed in the war. It was known that the weapons of the insurgents were poisoned arrows which caused death irremediably no matter how small a wound they made. And although there is not wanting an antidote to counteract that danger, yet that secret is known only by certain Indians who refused to disclose it because they desired the insolent multitude to conquer. But the vigilance of our religious had already shown its foresight in a matter of so great weight, and availing himself of a chief of Bolinao, one Don Antonio Dacap, he had obtained from him the recipe for making the antidote; and he had even prepared a large quantity of it, which he gave to the general, in order that the latter might distribute it among the men of the fleet, so that they might suffer no harm from the arrows. Ugalde asked for some things which could not be prepared in Manila on account of the haste [of their departure]: namely, bamboo and cowhide for making parapets, small boats for use in shallow water; rice for the crew; spears such as the Indians use, and certain shields or bucklers which are called carazas, in order to make use of them in default of the firearms. He was provided with all that he asked immediately. After these arrangements were made, the father prior advised the general, notwithstanding the forced delay of the army as it was coming overland, to go immediately with his fleet to the port of Sual; for although he could not begin operations until the arrival of Esteybar, yet his appearance with his vessels in Pangasinan in sight of Lingayen, would be of great use in terrifying the rebels, and in encouraging the loyal.

24. The general did so, and although the prior desired to accompany the fleet, the former would not consent, alleging as a reason therefor that since Bolinao was so important a post, its conservation was considered necessary, and the presence of the father religious was inevitable for that, and also to provide the fleet with necessities in the accidents of war. On that ever propitious and sacred day of the Epiphany, after mass had been said, which was celebrated in the flagship by the father prior, the fleet left the port of Bolinao. At five in the afternoon it came within sight of Lingayen, to the joy of the religious of St. Dominic, who had retired there from almost all of Pangasinan, as it was the least exposed place. Until that moment they had been besieged by constant frights. The general did not dare to go ashore, as many crowds of people were seen on the beach, who appeared to be hostile; as well as because he had yet no news of the army, without which he had orders not to do anything, and he had no forces for that. On that account the fleet kept tacking to windward on one tack and another for the space of three days. But at the end of that time, a felucca was seen to cross the bar of Lingayen headed toward the flagship. The father vicar of the said village came aboard and informed the general that the Indians of that district, although they had risen, were maintained in their insurrection with great difficulty, and that without making pacts or contracts, desired to surrender to the piety of the king, according to the arrangements that he had already discussed with the chiefs. Consequently, in his opinion, the men could disembark without the slightest fear.

25. A council of war was called to discuss the matter. The said father vicar, and the father chaplain, Fray Bernardino de la Concepcion, were given a vote with the others, as was right. All were of the opinion that the general should land with all his soldiers in order that he might place himself in a position of defense for whatever might happen. But that was unnecessary, for the Indians received him with the greatest proofs of surrender, and from that time the village of Lingayen, which is the capital of the province, was one of the most safe villages. The rebels who were there fled, as they were fearful of punishment. But at that same time, the sedition was very much alive in the rest of the province; for Malong treated those who refused obedience to him with the utmost rigor unless they had forces with which to resist him. This rigor was seen in his native place Binalatongan, which he reduced to ashes, and allowed his soldiers to sack, as the Indians fearful of the Spaniards opposed his purposes. In Ilocos and Cagayan, the provinces lying next to Pangasinan, was another Indian Don Juan Manzano, who acted as Malong's agent, and who was general of his armies. He burned villages, killed Indians, and reduced everything to the most fatal pass, because he claimed that they denied obedience to our king.

26. On that account, Ugalde knew that the sword would be necessary in order to cut the gordian knot of so obstinate an insurrection. He, believing that since the Zambals were so valiant and were especially experienced in the mountains, where the rebels had their haunts, they could be of great use to the army, wrote the father prior of Bolinao to procure a goodly levy of them, and send them out as soldiers, with the assurance that he would give them help. That famous hero went through the villages of Zambales with the greatest diligence, and collected about three hundred of the most faithful, valiant, and well-intentioned Indians. They, furnished with their accustomed arms, and the above-mentioned Don Antonio Dacap, being appointed master-of-camp with the necessary captains (whose titles the general confirmed, as did afterward the governor, as a payment for their good services) were despatched to Lingayen, where they arrived on the eighteenth of January. And in order that the joy of the fleet might be complete, on the afternoon of that same day, the desired news was received that the army of Esteybar had entered the district of Pangasinan without having met any considerable disaster in its difficult march. Thereupon, Ugalde arranged his troops, in order to go to join him. When the two armies were united they began to work together. They attacked Malong first, and after several engagements, the traitor was obliged to retire together with those who remained of his men, to certain inaccessible mountains, where they imagined that they would be safe. But here the valor of the Zambals shone forth, for directed by father Fray Bernardino who never deserted them, they pursued the rebels through crag and thicket, so that they compelled them, defiling gradually one after the other, to surrender. Finally Malong himself fell into an ambush which was boldly set for him, and he was seized on February 6 whereupon the Pangasinan war ended.

27. But in order not to leave this matter without conclusion, we must add that our army, immediately increased by some companies of Pangasinans (a nation that declared itself entirely favorable to the Spaniards as soon as Malong was defeated), resolved after holding a council of war to go immediately to Ilocos for the purpose of destroying Manzano. But he with few men because many had been lost in several frays, retired to some desolate places where he built a fort. Our captains attacked him, however, full in front, and inspired by their example the soldiers and Indians, and conquered him. Many of the enemy were slaughtered, and we on our side did not fail to lose many, because the resistance was especially obstinate. Manzano escaped thence with some few of his men, and hid in certain mountains, but the Zambals, Pangasinans, and Cagayans pursued him, and finally, the justice of our arms prevailed. For, in order that no spark might be left which might kindle a new fire, he was also seized on March 22. Thus was that difficult war ended, which had caused Manila many terrors, for it caused not a few fears to the Spaniards. Thereupon, the provinces continued to become pacified. The governor Don Sabiniano, in obedience to the action of the royal Audiencia, despatched a commissary-general of causes, so that, forming a tribunal together with Esteybar, Ugalde, and other necessary ministers, he might make a process in regard to those who had been most active among the rebels; and after giving such persons the necessary punishment, publish a general pardon, which would comprehend the remainder. It was reported then that the judges proceeded with too great rigor, but I should not be so bold as to impute that guilt to them, for they aimed to spread a warning, without it ceasing to be very necessary.

28. The least thing that was seen in the disorders of so unjust a rebellion was the deaths that were caused, notwithstanding that they were numerous. There was seen vengeance clothed with zeal; ambition usurping the staff of justice; tyranny proclaiming liberty; treason applauded with adoration; and he who never knew the law of reason, making laws. There were seen thefts, conflagrations, profanations of the temples, persecutions, scorn, and the evangelical ministers killed sacrilegiously; the Catholic religion abandoned in great part; and the door opened to apostasy and infidelity. For what time, then, is the purpose of inexorable justice, if it is not applied at such a time? That was no sickness that could be cured by mild means when only iron and fire were found capable of reestablishing that vast body in health, rigor exercised there being a preservative medicine for the rest. And if, perchance, any innocent one paid what he did not owe, one must reflect that public vengeance was inflicted by the hands of men, who, although they try to work with equity, are after all only men, and that they would cease to be men, if they proceeded without the least defect in all things. At last among many others who suffered the last punishment, Malong was shot in Lingayen, Caucao hanged in Binalatongan, Sumulay in Bolinao, Sirray in Masingloc, Durrey in Agno, and Manzano, in the village of Bacarra, killed himself in order to escape the hand of the hangman. But if some of them left the marks of treason in the Zambal nation, which is ever valiant and loyal to the king, most of them in number and rank, washed away that stain more than clean. Everything yielded the great praise to the discalced Augustinians, who were able, by their exhortations, to restrain and maintain the loyalty of so many Indians of their districts, despising for that purpose many perils.

Sec. IV

Relation of the insurrection of the Sangleys or Chinese and how our religious aided in bringing about peace and victory.

29. Outside the walls of the city of Manila, under the cannon of the plaza, there is a very thickly populated settlement called the Parien, where a large number of Chinese live. Those people are known there under the name of Sangleys. Although heathen they have been allowed to reside there for the sake of commerce and because they are employed in almost all the mechanical trades. It cannot be denied that that nation fomented and maintained with aid and cunning the rebellions of the Indians which we have just related. That is apparent, because, when the alcalde-mayor Don Francisco Pulido was killed in Pangasinan, some Sangleys were found among the rebels, who contrived that under cover of the small boats they might capture the large vessel where the alcalde-mayor was defending his life very gallantly; and on the arrival of our naval fleet to explore the beach of Lingayen, there were seen there many armed men, consisting of Sangleys and Indians, as is affirmed by Father Santa Cruz, in volume 2 of his Dominican history of the Philipinas. [10] But it is still more fully shown by the many bodies of Sangleys which were found in the field whenever there was an engagement with the rebels, for on all occasions they served the Indians as auxiliaries. Let us examine the motive for the Chinese taking part in a war that concerned them so little.

[Here follows a brief description of China and an account of the victories of the Tartars about this time, the alliance of the pirate Kuesing with the legitimate Chinese king Junglie, and following the latter's death, the retreat of the pirate to Formosa whence he expels the Dutch. His design to make the conquest is also related, and his embassy by Father Victorio Riccio to Manila, demanding "prompt vassalage, and a huge tribute from the islands, and threatening the most bloody war if Spaniards and Indians did not obey this obligation and recognize him as king." The Chinese in Manila, hating the Tartars and favorable to Kuesing, begin to raise disturbances. Their anger is also further aroused by a commercial treaty between the Spaniards and the Tartar emperor of China. But little attention is paid to the Chinese of the Parian, however, but both interior and exterior fortifications are strengthened and constructed in case of an attack by Kuesing. The narrative continues:]

34. For this purpose some scaffolds were built outside the wall so that the pioneers might work comfortably. This, which was a means for fortification, might, had not the divine aid intervened, have been the cause of the loss of the city, the center of the faith in Assia and a firm column of the Catholic religion. For the Sangleys determined with the utmost secrecy not to let the opportunity slip, but, on the contrary, to seize time by the forelock, and to climb in great numbers by night by means of those scaffolds which were not guarded in proportion to the danger. They thought that if they did so, and first gained the wall by an unexpected and furtive rush they could obtain the mastery of the city immediately without any opposition. In fact they would have planned well had it not been that God tied their hands. It happened, then, that the father sacristan of our convent going down one morning to arrange the altar of the Santo Ecce Homo (an image of which mention was made in volume iii, [11] as well as the great devotion that Governor Don Sabiniano had for it), found at its divine feet a message reading as follows: "Governor, guard thy city, for they are trying to take thee by surprise." The sacristan immediately put that message into the hands of the father prior. The latter, considering that no one had to hide himself in order to give such advice, (for, if it were true, any person would be assured of a not small reward), he formed the concept that that notice came from the hand of God; and above all that it would be well to inform the governor of it. For where there are so many enemies, the most careful watch is none too much.

35. Consequently, he took the message to the governor, to whom he told the manner in which he had found it. The prudent superior not only esteemed the caution, but he doubled his care and vigilance by visiting the walls and sentinels hourly. But on the morning of the following day, another more detailed paper was found in the same place, which read as follows: "Governor, guard thy city. Remove the scaffoldings from the walls, and do not trust anyone, for the enemy are very near thee." The father prior also took that message to the governor, alleging that because of his quality as a good vassal, he could not avoid giving him that annoyance. But the governor was not annoyed but instead thanked him again and again, and in his presence had an adjutant, one Don Joseph Zamora, summoned, and ordered the latter to remove the scaffolding of the walls, and double the guards in all the posts. It was afterwards learned how important the arrangement that has been practiced had been, for it was discovered when the deserved punishment was meted out to the insurgents that the surprise of the city was to have been attempted on the night following that day, but that they had not succeeded because what was to have served them as a ladder had been removed.

36. The Sangleys seeing the destruction of their designs, resolved, at the beginning of the year 1662, to arm suddenly one day, with the weapons which came first to hand, and to take the city openly, for they trusted too much to their valor. There is a gate in the city called the gate of the Parian, which gives on the Sangley settlement, and innumerable numbers of that nation enter the city through it hourly. They would find it easy if some of them were to make themselves masters of this gate, for the others to enter the city armed. By a special Providence of God, as brother Fray Diego de Santa Ana, one of our religious lay-brothers, went to adjust an account with a certain Sangley, on the morning of the day on which they had resolved to make the attack, he observed that the Chinese were in great disorder, and he even heard some words indicative of arrogance, and that they were premeditating some sedition. The brother understood the Chinese language somewhat, and having conceived the said suspicion, he went about the Parian carefully and joined in conversation cunningly with several Sangley acquaintances. By that means originated the confirmation of his fears. He advised a captain of everything, who took him into the presence of the governor so that he might inform the latter. Upon receiving that information, the guards of the gates and of the walls were doubled without any confusion, and most opportune orders were given secretly for the artillerymen and soldiers to be prepared to resist any attack.

37. Scarce six o'clock could have struck, when the Sangleys advanced to the gate of the city in a confused mass, with such violence that doubtless they would have gained it, had our men not been so prepared for its defense. With the regular discharge of the artillery, and with the muskets of the guards, many of them were killed. At that misfortune the others retired as furiously as they had begun the attack. But honoring our discalced religious greatly the governor was wont to say whenever he saw brother Fray Diego, that next to the patronage of the Santo Ecce Homo, the defense of the city was due to his opportune advice. The enemy having been repulsed in this manner, a portion of them, about two thousand, threw themselves into the river in order to cross it. About three hundred of them having perished there, the others fled to the mountains. As they passed it, they left our convent and church of San Sebastian reduced to ashes. Its building had been finished but a short time before, as it had been burned during another insurrection. It could not but cause time and trouble to reduce those rebels, but it was accomplished at last although accompanied with the shedding of much blood. They were pursued on one side by the Pampango Indians and on the other by the Zambals, who were led and captained by our religious. The remaining Sangleys, who reached the number of ten thousand, took their stand on the field in front of the walls, thus causing not a little anxiety to Manila. But they were so disposed that, anticipating a general pardon, conceded by the governor, with the exception of some few leaders, before nightfall they were all subdued, and that troubled sea was totally calm.

38. Father Palanco, [12] a Dominican, declared very truly in the memorial which he presented to the king, on that rebellion of the Sangleys, "that all the Orders worked and aided with singular vigilance on that occasion exposing their lives to the service of both Majesties." For the individuals of all the orders endeavored to excel, as ever, in their zeal and deeds, now by taking arms to go to the defense of the walls, just as the most ordinary soldier might do; now imploring divine clemency with supplications and prayers; and anon assisting with advice and information. But there is no doubt that, as is inferred from the abovesaid, our Recollects had a great share in that victory, and that they shared considerably in the dangers of the war. Thus are they able without failing in their obligations as evangelical ministers, to serve their earthly king on all occasions, as professors of both militias.

[Sections v-vii relate the lives of various Recollects, both priests and lay-brothers, who died in Spanish convents at this time. No one of them had been in the Philippine missions.]


Our province of Philipinas extends its apostolic preaching to the districts called Contracosta [i.e., the opposite coast]. FatherFray Agustin de San Ildephonso, a learned and holy religious, dies in Toboso.

The Year 1662

Sec. I

The missions of the Contracosta, whither the preaching has spread, are received into our province of Philipinas, and four convents are founded.

64. [The Philippines, says our author, may be regarded as the limits of the earth, and hence the text of Isaias xviii, 2, may be regarded as spoken of the Philippines, in which the gospel is to be published.]

65. In obedience to the insinuation of that text, even before the roots necessary for its subsistence had been fixed our discalced congregation despatched apostolic missionaries to the above-mentioned islands, in order that they might be illumined by the splendors of the evangelical doctrine, and enriched by the examples of its angelic perfection. It was not content with that first squadron, for the undertaking commenced has been prosecuted at various times, and a great number of its sons have been sacrificed to an undertaking as arduous as useful. We have already seen in the preceding volumes, the greatness of their actions in the conversion of the most terrible peoples of that archipelago, in Zambales, Carahaga, Calamianes, and the islands of Romblon. In this volume we shall treat of the spread of the faith, which was extended into other villages, a proof that new zeal has ever been gathered, also born of the salvation of their neighbors. But at present we shall speak of a new field, which was handed over to the cultivation of our ever sure workers in the island of Luzon and the Contracosta of Manila. And although that field was abandoned afterwards for lack of evangelical ministers, there is no reason why endeavors so meritorious should be forgotten. Let our pen, therefore, be busied in the relation of these labors.

66. The island of Luzon, which is the largest and chiefest of the Philipinas, has the appearance of an arm somewhat bent, according to the description of father Fray Juan Francisco de San Antonio. [13] It has a circumference of more than four hundred Spanish leguas, and lies between twelve and nineteen degrees of latitude. Not far from the point of San Tiago, which we shall pretend to be the elbow of this arm, journeying thence toward cape Bogeador, lies the great bay of Manila, in the center of which this city is located. It is the capital of all the possessions of the Spanish scepter in these islands. Lapping the walls of Manila is a large river which empties at that place into the sea. By it one ascends to the Lake of Bay, and on the opposite shore of that lake one finds the village of Siniloan. Thence to the port of Lampon, which is located on the Contracosta of Manila, and comes to be as it were, inside of the arm, one need only pass the mountains of Daraetan, and Caboan, which is a crossing of five or six leguas. Consequently, in order to go by sea from Manila to the port of Lampon, one must sail about one hundred and forty leguas; but by ascending the river and crossing over the lake to Siniloan, and crossing the mountains of Daraetan and Caboan there is scarce twenty leguas of distance.

67. In the environs, then, of the port of Lampon, following the coast opposite the bay of Manila, are the districts of Binangonan, Baler, Casiguran, and Palanan composed of various villages and collections of huts. The first three belonged at first to the alcaldeship or province of Mindoro. Since in the year 1588, the discalced Franciscan fathers Fray Estevan Ortiz and Fray Juan de Porras were destined to that jurisdiction, they gathered most seasonable fruits in the above-mentioned districts, having sown there the seed of the Catholic name. However, having been called to other parts by their obedience, they could not further the Church in those districts, much as they desired it. The venerable martyr, Fray Francisco de Santa Maria, completed the perfection of the work, by forming the three above-mentioned missions with a sufficient number of the faithful who were withdrawn from the darkness of paganism by the influences of a zeal so seraphic. Afterwards other workers of the same family extended their missions down the beach toward the province of Cagayan or Nueva Segovia, and founded the village and district of Palanan. With that there were four missions situated on that Contracosta, and the Franciscan province kept the administration of them in their own hands for many years. They hoped that, although there were but few people and conveniences, as the mountains which were peopled by pagans were near by, they could continue ever to increase the flock of Christ, as they did do without ceasing, the sword of the evangelical preaching fencing with the advantage gained by repeated triumphs. [14]

68. But since in this time with which the history is concerned, the boat of the above-mentioned province found itself with a great quantity of fish in its nets, and with few fishers in its number for the support of the work, they called to their aid the individuals of our holy province. Nothing more than a sign was necessary to make them hasten thither, expressing their thanks for the opportunity. Although I have been unable to ascertain the year with certainty, I have foundation for the conjecture that in the chapter celebrated in the year 1662, the Franciscan fathers invited our Recollect family to take the above-mentioned missions of the Contracosta. They alleged that they were unable to attend to so many villages, whose care devolved upon them, because of the lack of religious. They promised to cede those missions to the Recollects, and not to retain any right of reversion. Those missions were not very desirable, both because of the wretchedness of the earth, and because of the small number of tributes that they contained. For, although they had increased greatly with the new conversions, they only contained 4,800 Christian souls in the year 1738, as was asserted by the historian of that seraphic province. [15] But our Recollect order has obtained a writ which was gained in Philipinas to occupy the least profitable posts so far as earth is concerned, but the most meritorious in the heavens. Consequently, those zealous fathers received that work immediately, and forthwith assigned evangelical ministers to cultivate the new vineyard, increasing the rational vines in it with the care and zeal which the seraphic workers had managed to exert thitherto.

69. In consequence of this, the province chose father Fray Benito de San Joseph, Fray Francisco de San Joseph, and Fray Clemente de San Nicolas, with three others whose names we have been unable to discover. They took formal charge of the districts and founded the following convents. Near the bay and port of Lampon, somewhat inland toward the mountain, is located the village of Binangonan, and there the first house and church was established with the title of San Guillermo. Two religious were left there. The Tagalog language is spoken in that territory, although it belongs to the province of Tayabas and to the bishopric of Camarines, or as it is called, Nueva Caceres. The ministers assigned to that village attended to various scattered collections of huts along the bays of Lampon and Umirey, as well as to the reduction of the infidels which extends along the neighboring mountains for the distance of twelve or fourteen leguas. Going thence following the coast to the north, one meets the river and village of Valer. Another convent was founded there, titular and patron of which was St. Nicholas of Tolentino. It belongs to the same language, province, and bishopric, as the other. Only one religious was stationed there, although afterward, according to the times, two lived there. They tended to the mission which was very laborious because of its size, and labored in the conversion of the Aetas, heathen of the neighboring mountains, which allow passage from Valer to the province of Pampanga through the territory of Patabangan and Santor, by a not long, but very rough road.

70. Sailing along the same coast toward Cape Engano one comes to the bay of Casiguran, which has a circumference of twelve leguas. On its shore is located the village of the same name. The third convent was erected there and was given the title of our father St. Augustine. It belongs also to the Tagalog language, the province of Tayabas, and the bishopric of Camarines. Two religious resided there generally, and sometimes three, for they extended their administration to many leguas of coast, and their zeal for the spread of the faith to the extensive mountains near by, which being filled with Aetas, blacks, and Calingas heathen gave worthy although most toilsome occupation to the messengers of the law of grace. From one extremity of the bay of Casiguran, the point called San Ildephonso protrudes three leguas seaward. At its head end the province of Tayabas and the bishopric of Camarines. Having doubled that point, and after one has navigated ten or twelve leguas northward one comes to the village and district of Palanan, which belongs to the bishopric and province of Cagayan or Nueva Segovia. The fourth convent is founded there, and bears the title of Santa Maria Magdalena. And although all the religious who could be assigned to that mission illumined it, considering the lack of them from which this holy province usually suffers, yet notwithstanding this, it could always be said that the harvest was great and the laborers few. For besides the Christians already reduced, the fathers had to contend with an innumerable number of heathen who overran the neighboring mountains for a distance of more than thirty leguas from the point of San Ildephonso to Cape Engano.

71. I assert that I have several times heard from fathers Fray Valero de San Salvador and Fray Silvestre de la Purificacion (who passed a considerable portion of their well-employed lives in those missions, and whom I knew in Manila, and who attained a venerable and exemplary age) that from the admission of that territory by our province to the year 1704, the multitude of infidels who were turned by the preaching of our brothers from the unhappy liberty of paganism to the mild yoke of the Catholic faith, was vast. For, notwithstanding that there were three or four epidemics in all those villages in the above-named period, which occasioned the death of an excessive portion of the old Christians, the settlements were replaced by those newly converted. Consequently, the lack was not observed, for the same number of tributes were collected for the king during the latter years as during the first. This same thing is attested by the documents and depositions that I have before me, which designate the Recollect religious who lived on the Contracosta with the character of laborers in the living missions because of the many souls that their apostolic zeal drew to the sheepfold of the Church.

72. But notwithstanding that, the fruit must have caused entire consolation as it was so visible, and given greater earnestness to continue. That fatal interruption of missions in which no workers of our Recollect family passed to Philipinas from Espana from the year 1692 to that of 1710, having occurred, the province found it impossible to give, as it had done hitherto six or eight religious for those missions because their exhaustion made them needed for other missions. Although our brothers were more than men in their zeal, in material work they could do nothing more than men. Therefore, it was impossible to look after so great an employ as they had in their charge, since they had so few subjects. And already it is seen that if necessity obliged them to abandon any district, it must be that of the Contracosta. They did not regard that as a conquest proper, but as received in trust. It was so, for in the provincial chapter held in the year 1704, after that apostolic province had possessed those doctrinas and convents for more than forty years, it was resolved to abandon them all, and return them to their first masters, the religious of St. Francis, as they could not attend to their administration. Those seraphic workers, learning the reason; took new charge of those souls in order to attend to them with the bread of the instruction. On this account, the above-mentioned convents do not now belong to the order, and the villages of the Contracosta are not in our charge. But the narration of the so plausible readinesss practiced by our oldtime heroes has been deemed indispensable. In due time, namely, the year 1703, when the prodigious life of the venerable mantelata [16] Juana de Jesus, whose virtue sprang from the teaching of our religious, is related, one will see that with that fruit alone all their evangelical attempts can be considered as well employed.

[The second and last section of this chapter deals with the life of Fray Agustin de San Ildephonso, who died in the convent of Toboso, Spain, during this year 1662. He was never in the Philippines.]

[Section i of chapter iii treats of the seventh general chapter of the order, which was held in Alcala de Henares in 1663. Sections ii and iii narrate the life of Fray Juan de San Antonio, an ex-provincial of the Philippines. Born of a noble family in Granada, he early showed great precocity and attained proficiency in his studies while very young. Being strongly called to the religious life he entered the Recollect convent at Granada, September 13, 1617, at the age of twenty and professed the following year. After a short course in theology he went to Mexico in 1619, whence after another course in theology in that city he was sent to Manila, where he was ordained priest after a third theological course, in 1621. The following year found him master of novitiates in Manila convent. Although his parents obtained permission for him to return to Spain, in 1624, he preferred to remain in the field which he had chosen. That same year he was prior of the convent of Igaquet and was later occupied in many missions, especially in Calamianes. In 1635 he was elected definitor, and desirous of preaching the gospel in Japan, made two attempts to penetrate that empire, both of which were failures, the second time sickness not even allowing him to leave the Philippines. He was elected prior of Manila convent in 1638 and after his three years' term worked again in the missions of Calamianes and composed two hooks in the language of that district, one of moral sermons and the other an explanation of the catechism. In 1644 he was elected provincial almost by acclamation. His term was a busy one, and a number of churches and convents were erected during it. During the disastrous earthquake of 1645, he rendered distinct service. He began the repair of the Recollect church and convent of Manila, which had been partially destroyed by the earthquake. At the end of his term he retired to his cell in Manila, but became implicated in some way with the civil-religious troubles that rose during the governorship of Diego Faxardo, and he was arrested in 1651 and sent to Marivelez. With the change of government, he returned to Manila, and then retired to the Cavite convent, where he died from an illness in January 1663. He was pure minded and austere in his devotions. The fourth and last section of this chapter narrates the life of a Recollect who died in 1663 at the convent of Zaragoza, Spain.]

[Chapter iii recounts the lives of three Recollect religious who died in the year 1664, only the first of whom was in the Philippines. This was Fray Joseph de la Anunciacion, and his life is discussed in the first two sections. He was born in Madrid and took the Recollect habit in that city, October 8, 1615. He was chosen for the Philippine missions and arrived at Manila in 1623. Most of his work in the islands was as Spanish preacher, and his work lay principally in the convents of Manila, San Juan, San Sebastian, Cavite, and Cebu. He did considerable work among the native Filipinos, the Chinese, mestizos, negroes, and mulattoes, ever in the Spanish language, but he was able to adapt himself well to their degree of intelligence. His preaching was especially effective in the city of Cebu which was more densely populated in his time than a century later. His influence was far reaching among all classes. Twice he was elected provincial of his order—April 8, 1635, and May 7, 1650. His terms were active and productive of good work. Recollects began their work in the island of Romblon under his directions, and he attempted to send missionaries to Japan. During his term also Recollects were successful in pacifying many disaffected districts. His death occurred in the Cebu convent of which he was prior at the time.]


Treating of the hardships endured by our religious in Philipinas, because of various persecutions that occurred in our fields of Christendom.

The year 1668

Sec. I

Abridged relation of the persecutions of our holy faith in Philipinas, from the year 1640 to the year under consideration, 1668, and which are not mentioned in the preceding volumes.

307. He who would like to know what manner of province is ours in Philipinas and its height of love to God and its neighbor, which that Lord has given to it, who is so well able to inculcate charity, must not be governed only by the immense zeal of its individuals in alluring souls into the sheepfold of the Church but as well by the continual persecutions which they have suffered in order that they might maintain that field of Christendom in the purity of the faith, despising their lives at each step in order to preserve it. The lack of fear of death, by which those valiant soldiers of the God of armies have sustained the field of battle against all the power of the gates of hell, is doubtless one of the greatest of miracles which divine Providence has hung in its temple in this world, to the no small glory of these provinces of Espana, that have become such marvels of charity through so good milk, that they consider and have considered it an honor to suffer and even to die, in order to defend that harassed church. Many events in confirmation of this truth are drawn With most accurate brush in the preceding volumes of this history. By them one may see that our brothers have left us examples worthy of imitation by incessantly placing in practice the highest perfection of exposing their lives to death for the assistance and consolation of certain poor Indians, that they might encourage them in the continual invasions of the Moros. But notwithstanding the great skill that accompanied the painters of so idealistic canvasses, I find in a lower degree not a few pictures worthy of immortality, for without doubt the colors of the notices were lacking, which are so indispensable to form the pictures in the painting of history. I having obtained trustworthy relations of the many misfortunes that assaulted our fields of Christendom and their directors from the year 1640 until the present of 1668, which is under consideration, it would not be laudable to leave such trophies buried in forgetfulness, although the copy, which would have been most accurate if done by the brushes of the other writers, be disfigured.

308. To continue; Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor of Philipinas, thought that by building and garrisoning some strongholds in Tolo [i.e., Jolo], an island which is given over to the perfidy of Mahomet and is the nesting place of the robbers of the whole archipelago, he could restrain its inhabitants by preventing them from going to our villages with their fleets as they had done until that time, with the sequel of innumerable depredations. He put that idea into practice in the year 1638, after the conclusion of the war with the koran, in the beginning of which when the sword was drawn the scabbard was thrown away. But neither his valor nor that diligence were sufficient for the attainment of his end. For in the year 1640, now by the Joloans themselves, and now by means of the Borneans their allies, and now by making use of their vassals who inhabited the adjacent islands, they tried to find in sea surprises some betterment of their fortune or some havoc by which to temper it. With that object they attacked missions belonging to our reformed order both boldly and treacherously in the districts of Calamianes, Butuan, and Cagayang; and it is a fact that we always had the worst of it in those wars. They committed depredations very much to their liking, with the boldness that their greed gave them and with the severity which their hatred to the evangelical law inspired in them. The captives who were taken in our villages on that occasion numbered three hundred and more. The churches were ruined, the holy images profaned, the evangelical ministers became fugitives in the mountains, the sheep were scattered as their shepherds could not attend to them with their watchful eye, the villages were reduced to ashes, and all of those fields of Christendom became the necessary object of the most bitter lamentation.

309. They did almost the same thing in the three following years, and there was no means of taking worthy satisfaction from enemies so inhuman who, like wild and hellish beasts, destroyed a great portion of the rich patrimony of Christ which had flourished in that country under the care of our discalced order. The devastation was so general that it appears to have been presaged by heaven with very extraordinary portents. For on the fourth day of January, 1640, a volcano suddenly burst forth in the island of Sanguiz, not far from the cape of San Agustin in the island of Mindanao, which showed very rare and unusual results. For the ashes, rocks, and burning material which it cast up traveled for many leguas as far as Zebu. Noises like artillery were heard, which caused the Spanish garrisons to get under arms, and the day grew dark from ten in the morning, so that it seemed pitch black night. The same thing happened in another volcano in an islet opposite the bar of the river of Jolo. There was a furious hurricane in the island of Luzon up toward the province of Ilocos in the part where the Igolotes live. That hurricane was followed by the most frightful earthquake, and the earth swallowed up three inaccessible mountains with as many settlements which were located at the foot of the mountains, and in the space left a large lake was formed. Such was the noise at the dislocation of the huge mass of those mountains, that it was heard not only in all the Philipinas Islands and in Maluco but also in the kingdoms of Cochinchina, China, and Camboja, throughout a circumference of more than nine hundred leguas. So great was the persecution that it was believed to have been announced by the so great heaping together of surprises and misfortunes. [17]

310. But the time when the Moros gave full rein to their barbaric fury, was from the beginning of the year 1645, for then they were freed from the terror that had been caused them by Corcuera who had just been succeeded in the government of the islands by the master-of-camp Don Diego Fajardo. The arrival also of two ships well manned with Dutchmen at Jolo and which had been asked for by Prince Salicala, the heir to the scepter, for the purpose of destroying the strongholds which the Spaniards held in the said island, gave them at that time a motive for employing greater power in their piracies. Although the commandant of those strongholds, Don Estevan de Orella Hugalde, caused the enemy to return to their factories badly the losers, and without having obtained the end of their attempt, the Joloans were able, through their protection, to launch three squadrons which filled our villages with fear and confusion. It is no new thing in that continent for the heretics to lend arms to the pagans and to the Mahometans in order to put down the Christian name. A savage end it is to pit themselves for the private ends of trade and in a religious war, on the side of the koran and of idolatry, which they themselves condemn, against the gospel, which they persecute with fury. The three fleets went out then, for their campaign, and not having anyone to oppose them, the enemy filled their boats with what they called spoils, took about two hundred captives, persecuted our religious as ever, with mortal hate, and destroyed fifteen villages, almost all of them of our spiritual administration, and they filled Calamianes especially with bitterness and grief.

311. The Dutch were not content with protecting the Moros, in order that they might persecute the name of Christ, but they themselves tried to drive that name from all that archipelago. Among all the disunited members of the Spanish monarchy, which the Dutch have endeavored to cut off from it, (in order that their power might wax more formidable at the expense of another) they have ever cast their eyes on the honorable and wealthy dominion of the Philipinas Islands. That country is such for their designs and trade, that better could not be desired: both because from there they were assured of all the trade of China, Japon, Cochinchina, Camboja, and the Malucas; and because they were guaranteed the best woods for the building of their ships that can be found on the whole round earth. For that reason, the Dutch have left no stone unturned in all times if it pertained to the maxim of their desire, as can be deduced from several passages which are to be found in the previous decades and are necessary for the intelligence of the history that is treated in them. [18] The year, then, of 1646, they were seen with fifteen warships. With five of them they besieged the district of Playahonda, while seven of them were stationed in the Embocadero or strait of San Bernardino, and the remaining three filled the islands of the Pintados with fear. Our villages of Masinloc, Iba, Marivelez, Romblon, Banton, and Surigao, suffered more harm and vexation than usual, of which the greater part touched the religious ministers.

312. Two galleons left Cavite and fought first with five ships and twice afterwards with seven, and obtained three victories which were clearly miraculous. For they destroyed the enemy, without receiving any special damage, and the enemy were compelled to abandon their attempts for the nonce. Although father Fray Balthassar de Santa Cruz attributes all of the prodigy to Our Lady of the Rosary with sufficient foundation, [19] we, while confessing the might of so holy a warrior, must suggest that St. Nicholas of Tolentino had no small part in it, whom the soldiers, persuaded by two Recollects, as is mentioned in volume 3 of this history, who served as chaplains in our small fleet, also invoked as the sworn patron of those seas. [20] But under shelter of the Dutch enemy, who continued their attempts with no more success the two following years, the Moros, always emboldened, transgressed all bounds, attacking ceaselessly the villages of the Spanish dominion. For, although Corralat, king of Mindanao, kept quiet during so dangerous a season for reasons of his own convenience, and had even acted as mediator so that Butria Bongso, king of Jolo should make peace with our arms, which was done April 14, 1646, none of all that was sufficient to give quiet to that field of Christendom. Mahometan perfidy took the pretext that the Joloan Prince Salicala and Paguyan Cachile, prince of the Guinbanos, [21] and seignior of Tuptup in Borney, should refuse to sign the peace. With that excuse those princes, aided in secret by those kings, peopled the sea with boats and caused unspeakable damage to Calamianes, Camiguin, and Romblon.

313. That was not the only fatal consequence that followed from those inhuman premises which were set by the Dutch. For if we had thitherto seen the aliens fighting against the faith, from the year 1649 the very sons of the Church worked for its destruction. The Dutch incited the Indians, already Christian and subject, to withdraw themselves from the mild yoke of Spain, the country which had drawn them from the darkness of paganism, and kept them on the road to salvation. Nor were they deaf to the voices filled with the fraud most difficult to recognize, for since they carried the agreeable sound of liberty, they secretly induced them to undergo the most tyrannical subjection; and God permitting by His secret judgments excessive flights to audacity and shamelessness for the credit of the virtuous and the crown of the just; the most cowardly of nations were seen with surprise and the nakedness of the Indians was armed against the invincible sword of the Spaniards. The insurrection began in the village of Palapag in the province of Hibabao in the island of Samar, whence the good outcome of the first action traveling on the wings of unsteady report, found minds so ready throughout the islands of Pintados, that (just as if the counsel were common, and they were only awaiting the signal in order to do it), the temples were burned in many places, and sacred things profaned. The evangelical ministers fled, and the rebels retiring to the loftiest mountains, imagined that they could defend their former barbarity there.

314. Our reformed order had enough things to bewail in those revolutions; for in addition to the tragedies of Linao, which are related in volume 3, [22] the villages of Cagayang, Camiguin, Hingoog, Romblon, Banton, and Cibuyan added wood to the fire of the sedition. If the promised help of the Dutch had come over and above the boldness of the Indians, it is inferred that what had taken so many years to conquer would have been lost in a few days. But God who always punishes as a father those who try to serve Him, measured the times so accurately, that amid the echoes of the insurrection, the proclamations of the peace which had been arranged between Espana and Olanda resounded in Manila. With that the Catholic arms were freed from their chastisement, and all things returned to their pristine quiet. That was not the case with the Moros, who were then and for many years after, the perennial enemies of that afflicted field of Christianity. Barbarously blinded in their treacherous gains as if it were a thing done, they made a practice of going every year to take captives in the islands of our administration, often outraging the temples sacrilegiously and not a single one that was near the beach escaped profanation and they utterly abused everything intended for religious worship, with great scorn to the name of Christian. They cut the sacred vestments, into robes and other garments [capisayos], and they destined the ciboriums and sacred chalices to the dirty use of their wine, tobacco, and buyo.

315. But it did not so happen, I return to say. For notwithstanding that they were a terror every year from that of 1649 to 1655 because of their piracies, now in some and now in other parts, they remained without the due punishment although so sacrilegious insults demanded it so justifiably. Without fear of our arms, they overran those seas at will, trusting their security to their swiftness; for their boats were built on purpose for piracy, and ours compared to theirs of lead. It happened not once only that they were taken because of carelessness between the bars of the rivers with forces sufficient to make one consider their destruction sure; but they got out laughing on one side or the other, amid the discharge of their artillery. And the forces of Manila, Zebu, Zamboangan, and Carhaga, which were not despicable squadrons, served no other purpose than to scare off the evil, so that the persecution might be enormously expanded. They carried their insolence so far that two small vessels with but small crews, dashed into the bay of Manila one of the above years, and almost in sight of that capital, seized a caracoa from Iloilo with the rich cargo aboard it. Then they went out haughtily, and no one could take their prize from them, or punish their arrogance. In view of this one may infer how harassed were the distant villages, and how filled with tribulations were our religious ministers, who ever occupied the most advanced and dangerous posts.

316. It even transcended the tragic representation of so doleful misfortunes, when in the year 1655 Corralat, king of Mindanao, proclaimed war against the Christian name. He began his treachery by the inhuman murders of two fathers of the Society whom their rank as ambassadors, which is so greatly respected by the law of nations, did not aid. That prince was in Philipinas what Gustavus Adolphus, king of Suecia, was in Alemania, namely, the thunderbolt of Lucifer, the scourge of Catholicism, and the Attila of the evangelical ministers, who never practiced courtesy toward them except when force or some reason of state compelled him so to do. For his private convenience he had pretended that he was peaceful in public during the preceding years. But now with no other reason than his fury, he gave license to his vassals to infest the Christian villages; and they did it like a river which overflows its bed, after having rid itself of the embarrassment of its dikes. He was not content with that, but in order to give greater flights to his impiety, he excused it among the neighboring Moros under the name of a religious war; and under that title he invited to it the Borneans, Tidorans, and Joloans, so that confederated with him into one body they might unfurl the banners of the perfidious Mahomet, without stopping until they utterly destroyed the law of grace.

317. He incited so great an uprising against that straitened field of Christendom that, although the previous persecutions that the Moros had practiced against it were so inhuman, (as may be seen in the places of this history cited in the margin) [23] they were all assuredly less intolerable than those which were now incited; for now fury and barbarity were carried to the extreme. That was so fierce that disinterested pens did not hesitate to compare it with the last of antichrist; so persevering, that until the year 1668, of which this history is treating, and the year when the relations which we follow end, there was not a single instant of rest; so shameless that ruin was seen almost at the very gates of Manila; and so universal that but few villages of our administration escaped being the theater of war and the lamentable object of its misfortunes. This is a brief compendium of the tragic events which happened in the Philippine church, which was surrounded on all sides by the waters of contradiction, as is the territory of those islands by the salt waves of the sea. This is a sketch of the cold winds, which, notwithstanding the heat of its climate, parched in great part the wavy exuberance of that leafy garden, so abounding in the flowers of Christianity and the mature fruits of virtue. Let us now consider with the most possible brevity, a concise sketch of the glory which was obtained by our discalced order in return for the hardships which overwhelmed its evangelical workers at so calamitous a time. We warn the reader that we shall follow no other chronological order than chance offers.

Sec. II

Of the hardships of our religious during these persecutions. The venerable father, Fray Antonio de San Agustin, dies at the hands of the Moros, in glorious martyrdom.

318. In the above-mentioned pillaging, [24] which God permitted for so many years, the Moros were triumphant, the Catholic arms rebuffed, the Christian villages without other defense than that of heaven, and the Indians drowned in the sea of tribulations. Moreover, as the sword of the persecutor, also that of greed and vengeance, was moved by the hatred of our holy faith, the direction of its greatest force was toward the sowers of the gospel. Daily did religious who had been driven from their ministries and missions bring to Manila news of entire villages ruined, the outcries of priests who had been captured, and letters which announced the death of others. All was confusion, all lamentation, all chaos, where the enemies of God were trying to elevate their throne in the darkness upon so bloody and confused injustice. It has already been seen that our Recollects had to suffer greatly, since they occupy the vanguard of the army of God in Carhaga and Calamianes; but that was irremediable in so disastrous a storm. The ship was seen to be buffeted hither and yon by the waves; and it was impossible that the sailors should not suffer from the buffeting. The winds were both violent and hostile; the ship could not but be dashed from one side to another. The hurricane was both furious and fierce; necessarily the pilots had to suffer greatly.

319. Our provincials called out for relief, exciting pity by the relation of their churches which had been burned and profaned; of their sheep that had been scattered, and many of them lost; and by their subjects who had been killed or captured, or at the least obliged to hide in the mountains, where deprived of all necessity, they suffered indescribable misery, traveling in the inconveniences and darkness of the night in order to fulfil their obligation as missionaries. But Manila is, as a rule, the place where least attention is paid to the wretchedness of the poor Indians and to the misfortunes of the gospel workers; for, since the citizens are busied in their Asiatic and American trade, the only thing that troubles them is any opposition to their profits. Very few are the Spaniards who risk themselves in small boats to seek profit from island to island; and consequently, they hear of misfortunes, which ought to cause the greatest horror, quietly and without any special disturbance. The passages from some islands to others being occupied and even embarrassed by Moro craft, the latter cause those who sail thither innumerable ruin; but many of the inhabitants of Manila have very little or, perhaps, no feeling. If news arrives that a religious has been killed or captured, some insolent tongue is not wanting to break out with the ballad as infamous as ancient, that the king brings us for this, namely, to suffer and die in defense of the law of God; as if it were compatible with the royal piety to abandon the defenseless ministers of Christ, however much they may expose themselves with heroic mind to endure a thousand martyrdoms. Nothing in short, matters to those people, if it do not touch their persons or interests: neither the misfortunes nor the violent deaths of their neighbors, nor the outrages of his Majesty's vassals, nor the losses of his royal treasury in the tributes which are lessened by such confusions, because the Indians are lost by the thousand.

320. Although the captain-general tries, as a good minister, to attend to such wrongs, it is quite common that he is unable to do all that he tries; now because of the depletion of the royal treasury, whose funds do not suffice to meet the calls upon it; and now since he must proceed with the advice of the council of war in which those have many votes who understand only what pertains to the exercise of merchants, although they sign their names with military titles. If the vessels in which they are interested are in danger, all difficulties are conquered, for there is no one who does not hasten with vote and money to fit out fleets to oppose the enemy. But if not then each proposition is a labyrinth, whence he who makes it cannot unravel himself, although Ariadne gives him a thread to guide him. Hence it follows, either that squadrons are not prepared of size sufficient to warn the aggressors, or if they are prepared, they set sail when it would be better for them not to, for they only occasion the vassals new trouble. Let no one imagine that the matter of these two numbers includes imagination or lack of truth. This is proved by authentic documents in what touches the past; while so far as the present century is concerned (during which the same persecutions have been repeatedly shown), experience has given me knowledge of such injuries, when I, as procurator-general and secretary of the province of Philipinas, found that I had to solicit relief for the persecuted Indians and for the afflicted religious. It is also certain that the same thing happened in almost all the wars of which we are speaking, so that our oppressed missionaries had no other consolation than that of God, in the pains that it was indispensable for them to suffer, and which we shall now begin to relate.

321. We have already mentioned in various parts of this history, that when our Recollects arrived at the Philipinas Islands, in order to illumine them with the splendors of the faith, and to fight like well-ordained astral bodies against the sissara of the abyss, they chose with apostolic strength the most difficult districts, the islands of the most barbaric people, and the places where, if the light of the gospel had shone, it had allowed itself to be seen only in fitful gleams. Hence it is that our ministers are the most exposed to peril and danger among all those of the archipelago; for they are very distant, not only from Manila, but also among themselves from one another, and surrounded by enemies to the Christian name. Each district consists of many villages and even of distinct islands. Since all of them have a right to the bread of the doctrine, which is the only food for souls, the religious, in order to attend to that obligation, has to be in continual movement. He must travel by sea threatened by so many dangers to his life, among frights and chance; and he who considers it of value to endure them and despise them, can only form a just opinion of them. They do this without other profit than the spiritual, enduring to the uttermost penury, and the lack of necessities, in order to teach and instruct certain poor peoples whom they are alluring from the most wild barbarism in order to get them to live like men in a civilized Christian society.

321. Let one add to all the above bodily hardships the lack of one to employ himself in so great charity, to whatever serves in this life as a consolation to the spirit. For there our religious is properly a hermit, although he may live among many people. Now, it is because he is deprived of the company of his brothers, for he is almost always alone in villages that are too large, and the nearest minister is fifteen or twenty leguas away and separated by rough seas, or inaccessible mountains, which render it impossible most of the year for them to have the comfort of seeing one another, or even to have communication with one another by means of letters, in order that they might console one another in their mutual troubles. Now, it is because the Indians make them no company for the blessings that human association brings with it, but serve only for an insupportable martyrdom; for, in addition to the fatigues incumbent on them as missionaries, they must attend to all their quarrels, grudges, necessities, and troubles. For these reasons and others that cannot be expressed at present, the governor of Philipinas, Don Fausto Cruzat y Gongora, when addressing the king in a report, did not hesitate to affirm that the discalced Augustinians, even in times of peace, and after the subjection of the villages of their administration, suffer the same hardships as do missionaries in the lands of the infidels. His Excellency, the bishop of Zebu, Don Manuel Antonio de Ocio y Ocampo, was wont to say, as I have heard from his own mouth, and not only once, that if he had authority for it he would not hesitate to canonize any Recollect, who happens to lose his life among the fatigues of his calling, while completely fulfilling his obligation in the missions of those islands, as is the case with many.

323. And if this is endured in only the hardships annexed to the spiritual administration, what must it not be when the destructive tempests of the persecutions of the Moros, the greatest part of which assail our laborers, happen to come? Then there is no other relief than to flee to the mountains in order to live in passes and caves, seeking their preservation, not so much for their self-love, but because of that for others. There, through lack of food, too much heat, continual rains, and many other discomforts, they are generally so disfigured and so weak that rivaling Job, they only live because of a skin loosely stretched over their bones. How many contract incurable diseases there, who dragging along all their life with them prove themselves to be stages of the greatest pity! How many by trampling under foot evident dangers, in hastening to the consolation of their sheep, to confess the sick, to aid the dying, either gave themselves into the hands of the enemy to be the victims of their cruelty, or offered themselves a willing sacrifice to the precipices of the mountains and to the shipwrecks of the seas! How many, since the world is unworthy of their noble and Christian intercourse, and, it seems, tried to cast from itself, wander for months at a time, naked, an hungered, persecuted, followed on all sides by the shadow of death, without other consolation than that of God, in whose hands they desire to finish their lives, delivering to Him their wearied souls! And how many, finally, obtained the precious crown of martyrdom, after having coursed the sands of so many hardships, which were ended either by the edge of the sword, or by a spear-thrust, or at the spindle of hardships, or at grief at seeing holy things so outraged, or by the inundations of penalties in atrocious captivities! Mention has been made of many in the preceding volumes, but some who will serve to ornament this volume were omitted.

[In the remainder of this section are contained accounts of several who suffered the martyrdoms above mentioned in their war of the faith, and all of whom are mentioned by Combes in his Historia de Mindanao, who is cited at length by our author. [25] The first martyr (see Combes, book vi, chapter xiv) is not even named by Combes, nor can Assis give anything more definite of him. He was captured by the Moro pirates (presumably in 1645) and taken to their home. Induced by desire for a good ransom, his captors took the father to the Jolo fort, but no agreement could be reached. Father Juan Contreras, then chaplain of the fort, tried to aid him in effecting his escape, but in vain. The captive was thereafter treated so harshly that he became ill, and in spite of a pitiable letter, which aroused great sympathy for him in the Spanish Joloan fort, and spurred on the soldiers to beg that he be ransomed at their expense, he remained in captivity until Alejandro Lopez of the Society went to Jolo from Zamboanga and ransomed him for 300 pesos. In 1649 (see Combes, book vii, chapter xii; and Santa Theresa, no. 271 ff.), the father prior of Linao in Caraga, Fray Agustin de Santa Maria, was killed by the insurgents; and in the same troubles the father prior of Camiguin, whose name is not given, was captured and maltreated. In 1658, (see Combes, book viii, chapter viii), the Moros caused Fray Cristobal de Santa Monica to flee, and killed Fray Antonio de las Missas, or de San Agustin (his religious name). This latter happened while San Agustin was returning from a trip to Cuyo and Calamianes as visitor. San Agustin was born in Manila, his father being Captain Francisco de las Missas, and his mother Fabiana de Villafanne, both Spaniards. He took the Recollect habit July 14, 1612. He served in several important posts, having as early as 1624 been prior of Bolinao and of Cebu. He was sixty-six years old at the time of his death.]

[The remaining two sections of this chapter continue with the persecutions of the Moros and the deaths of various Recollects. The first, Francisco de San Joseph, was born in Jaca, Aragon, and shortly after professing (June 12, 1632) he went to the Philippines. He was soon sent to the Visayans, where he held several important posts. He suffered greatly from the Moro raids for he was compelled more than once to hide in the mountains from that fierce folk. He was elected provincial in 1653 and during his term was a vigilant worker. At the completion of his term he was sent to the village of Cuyo as associate to the prior. His death occurred in the island of Romblon, where he was mortally wounded by the Moros, while endeavoring to repel an attack in the fort built by the famous Padre Capitan. He published an explanation of the catechism in 1654 in Manila, and left numerous manuscript works in both Spanish and Visayan. The father reader, Fray Francisco de San Juan Bautista, was born in Alagon of rich and noble parentage. He professed in the Zaragoza convent, October 8, 1614, and went to the Philippines in 1619. He read philosophy and theology in Manila, and after the completion of a course in the arts was appointed secretary to Fray Onofre de la Madre de Dios. He served as prior of the villages of Marivelez, Cuyo, Bolinao, Calamianes, and Tandag, during his mission work there learning three languages thoroughly. He was essentially a worker and did not care to remain in either Manila or Cavite, but desired the mission fields where danger was thickest. He did not seek office, and it is related of him that he once delayed his return to the chapter meeting because he heard that there was talk of electing him provincial. Though he was twice definitor, he still sought the hardest work, laboring among both infidels and Christians. The Moros were especially vindictive to him and gave him many chances to acquire merit. Finally he fell sick on the desolate island of Paragua, and after reaching Manila through the efforts of some natives who braved the risks of the Moros, he died in that city. Another active worker was Fray Domingo de San Nicolas, who was born at Alcala de Henares. The place of his profession is unknown, but he is first met in the Philippines. He labored in the provinces of Calamianes and Visayas, performing marvels until his feet having swollen on account of the damp, he was ordered to retire to Cebu convent. There, however, instead of resting he engaged in the work of the missions, for the laborers were few. He worked in many villages, and finally met his death in consequence of exposure from a shipwreck on the coast of Bohol, whither he had accompanied a vessel hastily fitted out to secure information concerning a recent raid by the Malanao Moros in Cagayan village. Although some of the other occupants of the boat were drowned, the friar with others was saved by the natives of Bohol, and sent back to Cebu, where he died in a few days. Fray Bernardino de la Concepcion (whose family name was Duran) was born in Madrid, and took the habit in the same city, December 8, 1636. He went to the Philippines in 1651 with Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio. His mission field was principally in the south, and he served in the villages of Bislig, Cagayan, and Caraga. His work and the necessity of opposing the Moro Mahometans so wore upon him that he became unwell, but still he persevered in his labors for lost souls. The treacherous Mindanaos won over his servant one day in Caraga, and poison was administered through the agency of the latter, who also apostatized. The attempt failed, however, but Fray Bernardino was sent to the province of Zambales for a season. There he was of great use in aiding to quell the insurrection. The quiet that ensued after their pacification not proving to the liking of this intrepid warrior of the faith he begged and obtained leave to go again to the province of Caraga. Resuming his former vigils and labors there, he again fell sick and this time died, being at the time prior of Cagayan. He could speak the Visayan, Tagalog, and Zambal languages. Fray Carlos de Jesus, son of Nicolas Leconte, was born of Flemish parents. After various fortunes he went to Madrid, and although a brilliant life was offered him, for he was a scholar and fine mathematician, he took the Recollect habit in the convent of that city, January 2, 1648, being already at middle age. He also accompanied Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio to the Philippines in 1651. He worked in Calamianes and Caraga, where his military genius as well as his missionary traits shone out. He recalls the famous Padre Capitan by his exploits, for he drilled and led the Indians as well as looked after their souls, and his name became a terror to the Moros. In the village of Busuagan, however, his native followers fled when attacked by the Moros, and Fray Carlos was forced also to take refuge in a swamp filled with brambles and thorns. For five days (the length of time that the victorious Moros stayed in Busuagan) he remained in the swamp up to his middle in water, and wounded by thorns and molested by swarms of mosquitoes. Having retired to Manila because of illness brought on by such events, his recovery found him anxious to return to his mission field. The prudence, however, of the superiors, dictated his remaining in Manila as prior of the convent of that city which was then vacant. With his old-time ardor he threw himself into the work there, but the effort was too great for one in his weakened state and another illness seizing him he passed away. The lay-brother, Fray Francisco de San Fulgencio, the son of Diego de Covarrubias, was born at Simancas. He adopted the life of a soldier, and after serving in Spain went to Nueva Espana in the same capacity. Thence he went to Manila as alferez of one of the companies raised for the islands. A religious life appealing to him he adopted the Recollect habit (December 17, 1620), and shortly after his arrival in Manila, he was sent to Caraga to aid the fathers who were laboring in the missions there. At the time of the insurrection, he was captured in the village of Bacoag, but after four months of almost unendurable captivity, was ransomed. After this he remained several years in Caraga, but was finally recalled to Manila. His life was most active, for he made five trips to Caraga, and three to Calamianes, with despatches or to accompany the fathers going to those posts, and often meeting with Moros on the way, was in continual danger. He was twice wounded and twice shipwrecked. His death occurred in the convent of Bagungbagan.]


Our religious propagate the Catholic faith in Zambales, a province of Philipinas. Two religious die in Espana, with great marks of holiness.

The year 1670

Sec. I

Information is given of the preaching of Ours in Zambales; and that many Indians came newly to the Church.

396. ...Some people here in Espana imagine that the first illustrious champions of our reformed order who went to those countries [i.e., the Philippines], reared and finished the sightly structure of that Church, and that the missionaries, their successors, have been and are quite comfortable, and have no other occupation than to maintain what the first ones built. It is a fact that, according to the philosophic axiom that the conservation is equivalent to a second production, that would not be doing little even did they do no more. But as a matter of truth it must be said that if so holy a province rests in the conservation of the conquests acquired, it also labors without end in the building and planting of other new conquests. To this point the history has shown many of them, [26] and I shall narrate others below. But this year we have the profitable and difficult expedition which our ever tireless and laborious province made into the Zambales Mountains, for the sake of obtaining not little growth for the Christian faith.

397. The mountains called Zambales extend a distance of fifty leguas from Mount Batan to the plains of Pangasinan in the island of Luzon. They are peopled by an innumerable race, who defend themselves from the Spanish arms almost within sight of Manila, because of the roughness of the ground, and maintain along with their heathenism, their barbarous customs. Who these people are can be seen in volume i, to which we refer the reader, [27] We only warn him that the Indians of whom that volume talks, inasmuch as they live in the beaches and plains extending from Marivelez to Bolinao, and being, consequently, needed in the trade with Spaniards and civilized Indians, are not so ferocious as those who without these mitigating circumstances, inhabit the rough mountains of which we speak. Not a few natives of several nations are found in that place. Some of them are born in the dense thickets and are reared in the most barbaric infidelity. Others are called Zimarrones, and have apostatized from the Catholic faith, after having fled from the nearby Christian villages. There is also an incredible number of blacks who, without God, without king, without law, without civilization, without settlement, live as though they had no rational soul. All of those Indians, notwithstanding that they wage most bloody wars among themselves, generally unite to oppose the Spanish arms, when the Spaniards have attempted their conquest, and stake their greatest reputation in shedding human blood.

398. The evangelical ministers have always fought with the sword of the divine word against that wild forest of men almost unreasoning, and with all the means dictated by charitable prudence, in order to convert it into a pleasant garden by means of the Catholic faith. The Dominican fathers stationed in the district of Pangasinan, and in the villages called El Partido, which are located on the opposite side of Manila Bay, have always cast their net, and obtained not few hauls of good fish. The Observantine Augustinian fathers have also done the same from their missions in Pampanga, which border the above-mentioned mountains. The fathers of the Society have done the same from the village of San Matheo, which is situated almost on the brow of the said mountains on the Manila side. And our discalced Recollects, equally with those who have done most, have labored in this undertaking at all times, without despising occasions. They have great opportunity for doing that, for, as a general thing, ten or twelve laborers live in the fifteen reduced villages of the Zambals, who occupy all the coast for a distance of forty leguas from Bolinao to Marivelez, and surround all the above-mentioned mountains by the sea side.

399. Thence, then, did the illustrious champions of our holy reformed order generally issue in order to overrun the rough territory of the mountains so that they might seize multiple spoils from the enemy of souls, and direct them to eternal life. As those people are very ferocious and difficult to convert, it was necessary to use gentle methods there, making use of caresses rather than of noise and din. Notwithstanding, on several occasions very many conversions of Indians, Zimarrones and heathen, who were reduced to villages formed by the indefatigable solicitation of our religious, were obtained. Then, as appears from four letters of the definitory of that holy province, which were written to our respective fathers vicars-general—the first, June 20, 1646; the second, July 2, 1655; the third, June 14, 1658; and the fourth, July 4, 1668—more than one thousand five hundred souls (at the date of the last letter) had been drawn from the mountains, freed from the darkness of the heathen, and illumined with the splendors of the Catholic faith. And it has been impossible to discover who were the illustrious laborers who obtained so wonderful trophies, in order to enrich history with their names.

400. But the most abundant season of those fruits was seen to be during the triennium of April 21, 1668, to 1671. Our father, Fray Christoval de Santa Monica, governed the province during those three years. He having heightened and ennobled the missions of Zambales, when other superior employments gave him the opportunity, had placed there the whole of his affections. On that account, in addition to the great zeal that he had for the salvation of souls, from the very chapter, he made up his mind that during the term of his government, the utmost effort should be made to unfurl the standard of the faith in the Zambales Mountains, and to have salvation carried to its inhabitants on the wings of charity. For that purpose he managed to have father Fray Joseph de la Trinidad, a native of Zaragoza, a religious born, one would say, for the missions, elected prior of Bolinao. Later he appointed him vicar-provincial of the jurisdiction of Zambales. That man, then, together with fathers Fray Martin de San Pablo, prior of Masinloc, Fray Agustin de San Nicolas, prior of Marivelez, and six other religious, who were appointed as helpers, fought against idolatry so tenaciously, that our holy faith was incredibly advanced.

401. He arranged the attack upon that proud Jericho (more impregnable because of the obstinacy of its inhabitants, than by the wall of its inaccessible mountains) by ordering that it be assaulted at the same time by several parts by different soldiers of so holy a militia with the bugles of the divine word. One began the conquest by the side of Bolinao, another at Masinloc, two by Playahonda, and two others by Subig and Bagac. The father vicar-provincial went to all parts in order to direct actions, and to fight in person with his accustomed success. The father provincial also, with his secretary, then father Fray Diego de la Madre de Dios, made it a point of honor to take part in so dangerous a field, whenever the tasks of his office permitted, and they both fought as valiant soldiers. For the expenses which were heavy for the maintenance of many missions and for the other things which accompany like expeditions, the province acted as proxy, for they did not wish to have recourse to the royal treasury which generally supports such undertakings. And to the labors which are indispensable in wars of that quality, and which were excessive there, those illustrious warriors set their shoulders, well armed with endurance, for they had already been exercised in other conquests and had always been victorious.

402. Thus did they work constantly until the end of the year 1670, and with so good result, that they converted that bitter sea of idolatries and superstitions in great part into a leafy land of virtues. On account of the insurrections which so great acts of wickedness caused in Pangasinan, Zambales, and Pampanga, as I have already written in chapter i of this decade, many whole families had fled from the Christian villages to the mountains, together with a very great number of Indians, who having abandoned the faith and subjection, lived there as the declared enemies of God and of the king. Of those it appears that more than two thousand souls were reduced, and another great number, which is not specified by the relations, of other people of several nations, who had either been born in heathendom, or had formerly deserted the Catholic camp. The evangelical workers were greatly elated with that fruit and rewarded for their unspeakable labors, and were encouraged beyond all manner to follow up such conquests and even to undertake other new ones. For, it is a fact that when the fruit of one's preaching can be seen, it causes such joy in the missionaries, and gives them so great courage for other undertakings that that alone can serve as a worthy reward in this life and infuses valor for other more difficult enterprises.

403. Those zealous laborers formed anew from the people whom they allured from the mountains, the villages of Iba, or as they are also called, Paynaven, Cavangaan, Subig, and Morong. In addition to this the ancient villages increased in population. Until the present time, there was not along all that coast, that belonged to our administration, more than three convents or ministries—one even in Bolinao, another in Masinloc, and the third in Marivelez—with the exception of that of Cigayan, which was destroyed. But now two new convents were established, which were necessary for the greater convenience of the spiritual administration—one in Paynaven, under the title of Nuestro Padre San Agustin, to which were assigned three annexes or visitas; a second in Bagac with the advocacy of Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza (which was moved to Morong some years later under the same title), and to it were assigned three other villages as visitas. All the above was completely accomplished in the year 1670, with which this history is concerned. That year can be marked by a white stone by that holy province and indeed by our whole Recollect congregation, because of the so great progress that was obtained in the propagation of the faith, the only aim to which their desires were expended. Next to God, successes so happy are due to the tenacity with which these zealous missionaries worked, for they trampled all dangers under foot, and to the good arrangements and holy wisdom of the father provincial, Fray Christoval de Santa Monica, as well as to the zeal, courage, and care of his vicar, father Fray Joseph de la Trinidad.

404. In order to conclude this matter we must add that the same activity proceeded in the immediate years with equal fruit. For, as in the chapter of 1671, father Fray Joseph de la Trinidad was elected definitor, he besought the father provincial, Fray Juan de San Phelipe, very urgently, to allow him to make a mission to the Zambales Mountains. Permission having been obtained, he went to the convent of Paynaven and gave a new beginning to the conquest on the side toward Babayan with results so favorable that he tamed the wild and inhuman hearts of many Zimarrones and heathens. Hence, during the three years of his definitorship the recently-created villages were greatly increased by a considerable number of souls who were allured from the mountains and brought into the Church. As payment for this service, and in consideration of his many merits, he was elected provincial in the chapter celebrated in the year 1674. The first care of his successful government was to see that those missions should be kept up. He sent two of the best religious to continue that undertaking and finished the leveling of so impenetrable and rough thickets.

405. Those laborers (whose names will be written in the book of life, since, due to the omissions of the relations, they are lacking in the book of history) penetrated into the mountains of Zambales in such manner, that they arrived within a short time at the contrary part of them toward Manila Bay. By so doing their approach to the villages of the district of Batan, the administration of which, as we have already stated, belongs to the Dominican fathers, was indispensable. The latter, reasonably, as they thought, took what had been done ill, saying that Ours were sowing the seed in a field whose territory did not belong to them; for, in these bodies of militia, more than in any other, it is easily perceived that triumphs are taken from the hands of the one to advance others in their obligations. Their father provincial, Fray Phelipe Pardo (later archbishop of Manila), assumed charge of that litigation, alleging before the royal Audiencia, that the conquest of that part of the mountains belonged to his province, as it was contiguous to their ministries. He petitioned that our discalced religious be ordered to retire. But our father, Fray Joseph de la Trinidad, opposed that demand so energetically that justice was compelled to decide that if the extension of the Catholic flock followed, it mattered very little which instruments were used, whether these or those ministers.

406. Divine Providence usually permits such rivalry, certainly holy in itself in the holy squadrons that serve the God of armies for the spiritual conquest of the world. Whenever judicial authority has determined in this way, experience has demonstrated that great progress follows in favor of the Catholic faith. For each side with the incentive of the other, dares to undertake greater enterprises, and repeated triumphs are obtained. So was it now; for seeing the door locked to their demand in the above-said court, the father provincial, Fray Phelipe Pardo, resolved to assign two religious of his order, so that they might, with the zeal that he infuses in all of his holy institute, make a mission thither by way of Mount Batan. They began that mission in the month of October, 1675, as is affirmed in his history of Philipinas by father Fray Balthassar de Santa Cruz, although he says nothing as to the reason for the expedition. [28] Accordingly Ours went to another part, thus leaving a sufficient field for the Dominican fathers, for truly, there is room enough for all. This strife being the origin of the obstinate work of the missionaries of both families, who labored with all their might, they reduced many Zambals to the bosom of our holy faith, and filled their respective villages with new converts. Had so laudable a rivalry continued, excellently founded hopes that so glorious a conquest would be ended would have been conceived. But it was God's will to have all the territory of Zambales shortly after left for several years in charge of the fathers of St. Dominic, while our laborers went to the territory of Mindoro, as we shall relate in chapter ix of the following decade. Thereupon the strife entirely ceased, and even the fruit, so far as our reformed order is concerned.

407. Father Fray Joseph de la Trinidad finished his provincialate in April, 1677, and then immediately went in person to continue the expedition that cost him so great anxiety. He penetrated the mountains on foot in various places in order to seek sheep there whom he might convey into the flock of Christ. Exposing himself to the will of their barbaric natures, without any fear of the perils or caring for the dangers to himself, he persevered there until he had to retire two years later for the reasons given above. As we do not possess the necessary manuscripts, we cannot state the number of souls that were drawn down from the mountains from the year 1671 to that of 1679. The relations which we follow only assure us that as it was not considered advisable at that time to form settlements in the wildnesses of the mountains many reduced families were withdrawn thence, in order to live in the coast villages. Those villages have been augmented in tributes and inhabitants, to such a degree that those ministries were constituted with a great abundance of people and were the most flourishing of the province, as they were so thickly populated by souls who embraced the Catholic faith with fervor. In due time (decade 13, in the year 1741) this history will show forth another most fruitful expedition, which was made into the same mountains by our Recollect family, founding there villages and convents in order to attend to whatever pertained to them in the conversion of those Indians. Now we shall end this relation by giving due thanks to God, for He has in all times infused into our brothers a spirit fervent in undertaking, and in proceeding in such obligations.

[The second and last section of this chapter deals entirely with Recollect affairs in Spain.]


[The first four sections of the first chapter which covers the year 1671 deal with the life of the father lector, Fray Miguel de Santo Thomas. Nothing is known of his early life, not even his birthplace or his family name, nor the date or convent of his profession. By some he is called Miguel de San Agustin. His life in the Philippines was almost all spent in the province of Caraga. He shunned publicity, although he did fill several priorates. He worked in the villages of Bislig, Tandag, Siargao, and Butuan where he accomplished much, and where he was greatly beloved by the natives. He endeavored to induce industrious habits in the natives, and reclaimed many of them from the apostasy into which they had fallen, besides strengthening old Christians and converting heathen. He was especially devoted to the Virgin, to St. Augustine, and to St. Nicholas of Tolentino. He is said to have been the object of several marvelous occurrences which can be traced to his devotion. To him also was vouchsafed at times the gift of prophecy. He labored fearlessly in the insurrection of Linao and surrounding districts, braving death more than once in his endeavors to pacify the Indians. The sexual sin which was offered him failed to move him as did all other dangers. His death occurred in Butuan and he was buried in the church there. The remainder of this chapter does not concern Philippine affairs. The first section of chapter ii contains a notice of the eleventh general chapter of the order held in Calatayud convent in 1672. Fathers Fray Alonso de la Concepcion and Fray Joseph de la Circuncision were elected definitors for the Philippines; and fathers Fray Manuel de San Agustin, and Fray Lucas de San Bernardo, discreets. The remainder of chapter ii and the following chapter do not contain Philippine matter.]

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