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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XII, 1601-1604
Edited by Blair and Robertson
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Father Raimundo de Prado also preached with much enthusiasm and devotion; but his principal employment was in the confessional, where he exercised his calling to such advantage that there was scarcely a man or woman who confessed to another priest. He also, at the instance of the bishop, read in our house for the benefit of the clergy, the Materia de sacramentis, which lasted, several months; but after that was finished he read no longer, as he could not attend to so many things.

Father Francisco Almerique began the study of the Chinese language, in his zeal to aid in the conversion of the many Chinese who came to Manila and whom we in the Filipinas call Sangleys. He effected several conversions, in particular, that of a young man of much talent who had studied their learning, and made more than ordinary progress, and was about to be graduated in his own country. This young man, abandoning his studies and ambitions for our holy faith, was solemnly baptized in our church at Manila by the hand of the bishop, and took the name of Paul, in devotion to that most glorious apostle, the teacher of the Gentiles. I met him afterward and came to know him well, and saw in him a Christian of the primitive church. Since it enters most opportunely into this matter, let me relate how, having once seen an honorable Spaniard commit some act by no means Christianlike, he said to me: "Father, are not these Christians? and, if so, how can they do this?" I was obliged to satisfy him by making a distinction between the living and the dead faith, and the appreciation and estimation of the things of God in contrast to the inclination and affection for earthly things, which is so common among our Christians of long standing—to the great scandal of the new converts, as this incident shows.

The Japanese who came to Manila also repaired to our church; and I once saw them perform a very decorous and devout dance in a feast of the most holy sacrament. Their mode of dress is decorous, and they sing, to a slow and solemn music, marking the pauses by strokes with a small fan grasped in the palm of the left hand; they move in time with this, only stamping their feet, inclining their bodies somewhat. The effect is most striking, and invites devotion, especially in those who understand what they sing, which are all things pertaining to the divine. In the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-seven, one of them named Gabriel, a native of Miaco, reared in the Society, brought with him to Manila as converts four other companions—who, as soon as they arrived, were baptized with great solemnity in our church and confirmed by the bishop, who treated us with the same love and confidence as if he were of our religious order. On the feast of St. Michael, the twenty-ninth of September of this same year, there was a jubilee in our church, and the bishop desired to celebrate the mass; on that occasion, six hundred persons received communion; for a country and a Christian community so new as that one, this was a very large number, and gave all the more consolation and edification to all.

In this same year occurred a miraculous conversion of an infidel. This latter was crossing the river of Manila in one of those small boats so numerous in the islands, which do not extend more than two dedos [52] out of the water. As there are many caimans in this river (which in that respect is another Nile), one of them happened to cross his course, and, seizing him, dragged him to the bottom with a rapidity which is their mode, by a natural instinct, of killing and securing their prey. The infidel, like another Jonas, beneath the water called with all his heart upon the God of the Christians; and instantly beheld two persons clad in white, who snatched him from the claws of the caiman, and drew him to the bank, safe and sound; and as a result of this miracle he was baptized, with his two sons, and became a Christian. The very opposite befell another Christian, who, forgetful of God, passed every night to the other side of that river to commit evil deeds. God, wearied of waiting for him, sent his "alguazil of the water"—which is the name that we give there to the cayman—who, seizing him, executed upon his person the divine chastisement for his wickedness. All this took place in Manila, in which place Ours were not long confined; they went forth, and dispersed through the islands, the number and variety of which we shall now describe in greater detail.



Of the number and size of the Filipinas Islands. Chapter VI.

The islands properly called the Filipinas begin at the large island of Burnei, not far from Malaca, which serves as a roadstead for the Portuguese who sail for Maluco. This island extends from the first or second degree on the south of the equinoctial line to about the eighth degree on the north side. The Mahometan king of this island, although he retained his own religion, rendered obedience as a vassal of the crown of Castilla when Doctor Francisco de Sande [53] was governor of the Filipinas. The island of Siao [54] is east of Burnei and about six or eight degrees latitude toward the north; its king and his subjects are Christians, converted by the fathers of our Society who live in Maluco. To render homage to the crown of Castilla, he came to the court of Manila at the time when Gomez Perez de las Marinas, knight of the habit of Santiago, was governor of the islands. On this journey he was accompanied by Father Antonio Marta, an Italian, the superior of the Society in the islands of Maluco, and by his companion, Father Antonio Pereira, [55] a Portuguese. I had them all as guests in a house at Tigbauan, in the island of Panai, where for two years I was instructing those peoples, to their profit and my own satisfaction, as I shall later relate. I do not mean Cian, but Siao, for that is the name of the island. Cian is not an island, but the mainland between Malaca and Camboxa, contiguous with Great China and Cochin China. By journeying northward from the two islands of Siao and Burnei, one may traverse in his course from island to island the whole extent of the Filipinas; and, by going east and west, their entire width. Passing through Sarrangan, Iolo, and Taguima, which are three distinct islands, one reaches the great island of Mindanao, whence one comes to the island of Manila, the metropolitan see; as well as to Babuyanes, Hermosa Island, and the greater and lesser Lequios, which include many islands. Of the more northern islands, besides those already named, those which are known and are most populous are: Manila, Mindoro, Luban, Marinduque, Cabras, Tablas, Masbate, Capul, Ibabao, Leite, Bohol, Fuegos, Negros, Imares, Panai, Cagayan, Cuyo, Calamianes, Paravan—besides many others which are less known, although populated, all of which will reach forty or more in number. This is excluding other small uninhabited islands and some of fair size. Among those islands that I have mentioned there are some much larger than Espana, as, for example, Manila and Burnei; and others which are certainly no smaller, as Mindanao and Calamianes. Some are somewhat smaller, as Mindoro, Ibabao, and that of Negros; others very much smaller, as Leite, Sebu, and Panai, but all of them are well peopled, fertile, and rich, and not far distant from one another, and not one so small that it is not in reality large.

The island of Sebu, one of the smallest, would have, if we were to credit the statement of a certain author, a circumference of twelve leguas; but I myself have sailed along the coast of two-thirds of the island (it is triangular in shape), and assert that its circumference is more than fifty Spanish leguas.



Of the division and distribution of bishoprics and provinces in the Filipinas. Chapter VII.

At the instance of the first bishop, Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, and with the information which he gave to the Catholic king Don Felipe Second, of glorious memory, his Majesty divided those islands into four dioceses, beseeching the Holiness of our most Holy Father, Clement Eighth, to establish the aforesaid bishop as the metropolitan archbishop of the city of Manila, with three suffragan bishops. [56] Two of these were in that same island, one in the eastern part, and one in the western; one, the bishop of Nueva Segovia (which by sea is but sixty leguas distant from Great China); his bishopric extends as far as the Ilocos, more than a hundred leguas distant, being conterminous with the archbishopric of Manila. The other is the bishop of Camarines whose bishopric is but little smaller, reaching from the lagoon of Manila to the channel-mouth through which we enter the islands on the way thither from Espana. The third bishopric is even larger, for it embraces almost all the islands of the Pintados (the proper name for which is Bisayas)—beginning with the islands of Panay, Bantayan, Leite, Ibabao, and Capul, and extending to the great island of Mindanao and the more southern islands. Its cathedral and see are in the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus, so named from the discovery of [an image of] the Child Jesus which was found there, as we have related.

The people of the Bisayas are called the Pintados, because they are actually adorned with pictures [Span. pintados—i.e., painted, or tattooed]—not because this is natural to them, although they are well built, of pleasing countenance, and white; but because they adorn their bodies with figures from head to foot, when they are young and have sufficient strength and energy to suffer the torment of the tattooing; and formerly they tattooed themselves when they had performed some act of valor. They tattoo themselves by pricking the skin until the blood comes, with sharp, delicate points, according to designs and lines which are first drawn by those who practice this art; and upon this freshly-bleeding surface they apply a black powder, which is never effaced. They do not tattoo the body all at the same time, but by degrees, so that the process often lasts a long time; in ancient times, for each part which was to be tattooed the person must perform some new act of bravery or valiant deed. The tattooed designs are very ingenious, and are well adapted to those members or parts whereon they are placed. During my stay in the Filipinas, I was wont to say, in my satisfaction and admiration for the fine appearance of those natives, that if one of them were brought to Europe much money could be made by exhibiting him. Children are not tattooed, and the women tattoo all of one hand and part of the other. They do not, however, on this account go naked; they wear well-made collarless robes, which reach the ankle and are of cotton bordered with colors: when they are in mourning, these robes are white. They take off these robes in their houses, and in places where garments are unnecessary; but everywhere and always they are very attentive and watchful to cover their persons, with great care and modesty, wherein they are superior to other nations, especially to the Chinese.

The Catholic king also decreed, for the sake of peace, and to facilitate the preaching of the gospel, that the provinces of the religious orders should remain distinct, and that there should be no interference or confusion between the religious and the clergy. He left the orders of St. Francis and St. Augustine from that time in those districts of Indians which they previously occupied, which are numerous and very good. He bestowed upon the Order of St. Dominic, which had gone thither five or six years later than our Society, the remaining territory in the bishopric of Nueva Segovia. To us he granted the islands of Ibabao, Capul, Leite, Samar, Bohol, and others in that vicinity, as well as authority to found a college in the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus.



How the Society extended its labors to the villages of the Indians outside of Manila. Chapter VIII.

At this time we had again brought our number in Manila to five. In the place of Father Alonso Sanchez, who was absent in Espana, and of the late Father Hernan Suarez, two others of us had gone to the islands and had learned the language; and one of us, in holy obedience to orders given him, and at the instance of a prebendary of Manila, began to use it in his benefice, fourteen leguas from the city. The principal village of this district is called Balayan; in it and in numerous other villages of the same region there are many good Christians, converted by the discalced friars of the Order of the seraphic Father St. Francis—especially in Balayan, among whose inhabitants there are many persons of note, who are very intelligent and well disposed. During several years an apostolic man of that order preached there, named Father Juan de Oliver, whose holy teaching shone forth in the piety and devotion of that people. I dwelt in that district for more than two months, and during my stay they kept me well occupied in the baptism of children and adults, and in confessions and communions, which were so numerous that all that time seemed to me a Holy Week. All these peoples hold our holy law in the highest esteem, and therefore have the deepest respect for its priests. I shall relate in this connection an incident that befell me at this time with some of the chiefs of Balayan. There was an epidemic of small-pox (called by them Bolotong), which was killing off children and old men, although more fatal to adults than to the young. I was in the habit of walking through the principal streets twice a day, morning and night, when I would send boys on both sides of the street to discover and indicate to me those who desired confession and baptism. Whenever they sent for me (which was not seldom), I entered the house; all the living-rooms are in the upper part, the lower floor being used only for household duties. And it was no small labor to ascend and descend so often, especially by ladders of cane; which are used everywhere. One day, when busied in this my occupation, I passed by a group of their chiefs, who, upon perceiving me, formed a row on one side of the street and saluted me all together, uncovering their heads, and making a low bow. I, inclining my head, removed my cap and passed on. They appreciated my politeness, and considered themselves so favored and honored by it that, upon my return, they displayed the same courtesy, standing in line, and then they all fell upon their knees, as if they desired to excel me in politeness; for that which I had shown them when I first approached seemed to them all too much. My greatest aid to them was at Lian, three leguas from Balayan, in which place—as well as in another near by, called Manisua—I converted many to Christianity and heard many confessions. I was here on Ash Wednesday; not only did the adults receive the ashes with incredible reverence and devotion, but all the mothers brought all their children to receive the emblem, and were not willing to depart until they and all the others had received. For this journey I thank and am deeply grateful to the bishop who was most earnestly desirous that Ours should aid in so important a ministry. As it was clearly evident that the villages of Taitai, Antipolo, and others of that encomienda—which was six leguas from Manila, up the river, and in which there were already some Christians—contained many infidels who should be converted, he entrusted it to the Society. Through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord, such fruitful results were accomplished as shall be seen in the course of this narrative. I shall simply state for the present that, at the end of ten years, I was in the habit of saying (in imitation of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus) that I was most thankful to our Lord, for, when I entered the place, I found hardly forty Christians, and at the end of that time there were not four infidels. If I am not mistaken, we baptized with our own hands more than seven thousand souls; and today it is one of the most flourishing of Christian communities that Holy Church possesses, and none in those regions is superior to it.



How the village of Taitai improved its site. Chapter IX.

At that time the village of Taitai lay along the water, on the banks of a marsh or stream formed by waterfalls from the mountains of Antipolo, which emptied into the river near the same mouth by which it flows out of the lagoon. It was situated in a most beautiful and extensive valley, formed between the lagoon and the mountains; and so low that each year, when the waters of the lagoon rise on account of the floods from the many rivers which enter it, the valley is flooded and submerged as is Egypt by the Nile, and remains thus inundated from August until October or November. At this period the valley itself becomes a lagoon of more than an estado in depth, and can be traversed only by means of boats. This inundation abundantly fertilizes the rice fields and seeded lands with which the valley is covered, and, as a result, rich and abundant harvests are gathered. The water enters at the proper season when the rice stalks are hardening and are beginning to ear; consequently the copious irrigation helps it to form seed without hindering the grain from hardening, or the harvest from being gathered. On the contrary it is a convenience, as I myself have often seen, to go in boats for the reaping, and in those boats to bring the bundles of grain to the houses, where they are exposed to the sun to dry. When it is thoroughly dry they thresh and clean it, and store it in their granaries. This inundation not only flooded the village—to such an extent that the streets could be traversed only in boats, in which I went often enough—but also, although the floor of the church had been raised and repairs made to guard against the water, it flowed in over the steps, even to the main altar. On account of this inundation they had selected, not far from the church and farther back from the water, a hill, where those who died during this season were interred. For mass they repaired to Antipolo, which lies a scant three miles inland among the mountains. The first time when I saw my church flooded, and realized that I could not say mass in it, I was obliged to believe what I had never been able to credit, although I had been often told of it. It is customary for these villages, for greater convenience of government, to be divided into districts on the plan of parishes, which they call barangais. Each one of these is under the command of a chief, who governs it and appoints those who are to provide for all contingencies; the latter are called datos. At that time this village had four hundred families and was divided into four barangais; consequently there were four datos, each one of whom had charge of a hundred inhabitants who are called collectively catongohan. I summoned my four datos and from the choir I showed them the altar; they saw (and they had known it beforehand) that mass could not be celebrated. "Without celebrating mass each day," I said to them, "although I may be unworthy of it, I cannot live, for that is my sustenance which gives me strength to serve you for Christ's sake. Now I must go where I can say it—that is, to Antipolo. If you wish to see me again, you will build for me, on the hill where the dead are now buried, a little church in which I can say mass, with some little room to which I can retire; until this be done, I remain with God;" and I went away. Desiring my return, they soon began the work and finished it in such wise that I could stay and celebrate mass, and, too, serve as an attraction to any one who might pass that way. At first they did very little, and that slowly; but as it was necessary to dismantle the church and carry to the hill its materials, and with these the cross belonging to the cemetery, they soon began to show such haste in migrating to the new village that ten or twelve of them crowded into one house, until each one could build his own. Surprised at such haste, I inquired its cause, and they told me that at night they suffered from fear of the demons in the old village, because it had now no church or cross; and so no one dared to sleep there. With this change the village greatly improved its site. That they might not lack water near by for bathing (to which all those nations are much addicted), they carefully opened a ditch at the base of the hill, along the edge of the village, by which water could come in from the stream which they formerly had. Along the streets and around the village they planted their groves and palm-trees, which enrich and beautify it. They afterward constructed on the new site a very beautiful temple with the help of the king our lord, who paid a third of its cost, as his Majesty does for all the churches. Since I have mentioned the baths it is fitting to relate what I can tell about them.



Of baths in the Philippines. Chapter X.

From the time when they are born, these islanders are brought up in the water. Consequently both men and women swim like fishes, even from childhood, and have no need of bridges to pass over rivers. They bathe themselves at all hours, for cleanliness and recreation; and even the women after childbirth do not refrain from the bath, and children just born are bathed in the rivers and springs of cold water. When leaving the bath, they anoint the head with ajonjoli [i.e., oil of sesame] mixed with civet—of which, as we shall later show, there is great abundance in those regions. Even when not bathing, they are accustomed to anoint their heads for comfort and adornment, especially the women and children. Through modesty, they bathe with their bodies drawn up and almost in a sitting posture, with the water to the neck, taking the greatest care not to be seen, although no one may be near to see them. The most general hour for bathing is at the setting of the sun, because at that time they have finished their labors, and bathe in the river to rest and refresh themselves; on the way, they usually carry some vessel for bearing water to use in their domestic duties. In the island of Panay I saw all the people, at the conclusion of a burial, hasten to the river upon leaving the church and bathe there, as was the custom among the Jews—although these Indias have no knowledge of that dead law. They keep a vessel full of water before the door of every house; every person, whether belonging to the house or not, who enters it takes water from the jar with which to wash his feet before entering, especially during the season of much mud. They wash their feet with great facility, rubbing one foot with the other: the water flows down through the floor of the house, which is all of cane and fashioned like a window-grating: with bars close together.

They also employ the baths as a medicine, and God our Lord has given them for this purpose springs of hot water. In the last few years the hot springs of Bai, on the banks of the lagoon of Bai, have been most healthful and famous, and many Spaniards of both sexes as well as ecclesiastics and religious, have had recourse to them in various maladies and recovered their health. And, indeed, the ease and delightfulness of the trip almost compel one to undertake it, even though he may not need it. The [Pasig] River extends inland as much as six leguas; and from its source in the lagoon until it reaches the bay of Manila, it is dotted with houses, gardens, and stock-farms, in most delightful variety. As the trees in that climate bear leaves the whole year through, their verdure and coolness increase the charm. I noticed but two trees which shed their leaves; both of them are wild, and do not bear fruit, but both are highly useful and valued for that reason. One is the balete, [57] which grows very tall, has a round, cup-shaped head, like a moderately large walnut tree, and is of a most delightful green. Its leaves are somewhat narrow, like those of the almond tree; and are hard, compact, and glossy to the touch, like those of the orange tree. The Filipinos prize them for their use in cooking, as we do the laurel and the rosemary. This tree is very hardy, and most often flourishes in rocky places; it has a natural tendency to produce roots over almost the whole surface of its trunk so that it appears to be covered with a beard. The Chinese, who are really ingenious, are wont to plant one of these trees on a stone (so small that both the tree and stone can be held in the hand), just as if it were in a flower-pot, and then it can be carried from one place to another; and the tree, like a dwarfed orange tree, grows in proportion to its roots, hardly reaching five palmos in height. As this method of planting these trees on a stone may seem as difficult as it is curious, I shall describe how I have seen it done. They take a sprout of the tree when it is already covered with roots, and a stone which must not be too hard, or smooth, but not very solid, and somewhat porous or hollow. These stones are found there in abundance among the reefs and shoals of the sea. They tie the little tree or sprout to this stone, covering the latter so far as possible on all sides with the fibres and roots; and to make it grow, they cover the stone with water. With the water the tree clings much more readily to the stone, entwines about it, and becomes grafted into all its pores and cavities, embracing it with remarkable amity and union. A large balete stands in the patio [i.e., inner court] of our house in Manila, near the regular entrance. In the year 1602, in the month of April or May, I saw it all withered, with its leaves falling. Thinking that it was dying I was greatly grieved, for I did not wish to lose so fine a tree. My sorrow was increased when I saw it next day almost without a leaf; and I showed it to our procurator, who chanced to be with me while I was inspecting the tree. But on the third day I beheld it covered with new leaves, tender and beautiful, at which I was as rejoiced as I had previously been saddened; for it is in truth a beautiful tree. In this I saw represented, as in a picture, the truth of the resurrection.

There is another tree which they call dabdab. [58] Its leaves also have an agreeable taste and serve as a lining for the inside of the kettle in which they cook their rice, preventing the latter from adhering to the sides. This tree is very similar to the almond-tree, although its trunk and leaves are much larger. These leaves are nearly as large as the palm of the hand and shaped like a heart. It apparently dies in September and revives in January, when the flower appears, before the leaf; it is different from the balete, being larger and of a different shape, and red like a ruby.

Among other plants brought from Nueva Espana to the Filipinas is the anona, [59] which has grown larger and is more successfully raised in these islands; it yields a most delicious and delicate fruit. It also loses its leaves, but soon renews them, almost as quickly as does the balete.

But, to return to the river of Manila—over which the passage to the baths is made in boats, large or small according to the number of passengers—by going up the stream the lagoon is reached; this, with its forty leagues of circumference, is one of the most remarkable objects in the world. All that region is full of rivers, villages, and groves. The lagoon itself is of fresh water, and has many islets which render it beautiful. It abounds in fish, and in herons, ducks, and other water-fowl. Above all, it contains many crocodiles or caimans (which there are called buaya), which cause great havoc among the poor fishermen and traders who navigate the river—especially in stormy weather, when the waters become tumultuous, as often happens, and swamp their vessels.



Of the mission at Tigbauan, and what the fathers of the Society accomplished there. Chapter XI.

In January of the year fifteen hundred and ninety-two, one of us two who were employed at Taitai had to depart for the island of Panai to give instruction and continue the work of conversion in the encomienda of Tigbauan. The island of Panai, as I have already said, is in the province of the Pintados, in the diocese of Sebu. It is a little more than a hundred leguas in circumference, and, in all its extent, most temperate and fertile. Its inhabitants are the Bissayas, a white people, who have among them some blacks—the ancient inhabitants of the island, who occupied it before the Bissayas did. They are not so dark or ugly as are the natives of Guinea, but are very diminutive and weak; but in their hair and beard they closely resemble the Guineans. They are much more barbarous and untamed than are the Bissayas and most of the Filipinos, for they have not, like those peoples, houses or fixed sites for their villages. They do not sow seed, or gather harvests; but with their women and children wander, half naked, over the mountains like beasts. They capture on foot the deer and the javali, [60] and on the spot where they capture an animal they stop, and feed upon it as long as it lasts. Their only natural property is the bow and arrow. The Bissayas through natural compassion have not destroyed these blacks, who are not hostile to them, although they have little dealing with the Bissayas. While I was in Tigbauan, however, a petty war occurred between them which is worth relating for what it shows of such wars among these nations, and their triumphs and trophies. A Bissayan chief, who lived in his solitary house among the mountains, distant from the villages, had a friendship—or, for all I know, a relationship—with a leading Negrillo, who was also headman among his people. Under the cover of this friendship, the Negrillo took his opportunity, as I shall relate, to do a treacherous act. He came one day, as he had often done before, to pay a visit to his friend, who received him as such and gave him food and drink—an act which should soften the most bloodthirsty heart, even if he had been offended. But the Negrillo, without heeding the obligation imposed by kind deeds or by the good-will with which they had been conferred upon him, seized his host unawares, and took his life, also slaying all the other members of his family—men, women, and children. His crime, however, did not go unpunished. A spirited young man, son of the dead man—not daring alone to avenge himself upon the black, who had been reenforced by others of his own color—assembled his kinsmen and friends; besides these [so many joined him that] all the villages of the island were depopulated, in order to fall upon the Negrillos—all eager to enslave the women and children, this being a great source of wealth among those people; they accomplished their purpose, killing many men. This lasted until the matter became known to the royal officials in that region, who pacified them. At the entrance of some of the villages, I saw the trophies of this victory and some of the slaves. The trophies were thus made: one of the large canes, already described, very tall, was driven into the ground. At its point were two, or three, or more pendent bannerets like streamers or pennants, and on them the hair of the dead foes. These blacks have had very little to do with the Spaniards, not so much through hate as from fear and mistrust of them. It has already happened that Spaniards, unaccompanied and straying from the road, have fallen into their hands; but with a few presents and fair words they have been allowed to go free. They also fear the priests as being Spaniards, making no distinction between them. For this reason we could not undertake their conversion, although they were near to the villages of Tigbauan; on this account all our energy was directed towards the Bissayas alone.

They call the reed-grass tigbao, and, by derivation, the lands which bear this grass are called Tigbauan; and because the site of this village is close to a great expanse of reedy land on the bank of a beautiful stream, it bears the above name. The village itself was on the same shore, at the mouth of the river—which, as well as the sea, yields various kinds of fish, excellent and plentiful, which I myself have enjoyed in abundance. As they were continually fishing on the beach, usually with three or four nets, they never made a haul without devoutly regaling us with a part of it. Tigbauan has a very beautiful district, with many villages extending more than six leguas along the coast of the sea; the entire district is well supplied with game, fruits, and vegetables, and fish from the sea. The people are very industrious; consequently I always saw them occupied—the men, with their fisheries and farming; the women, with their spinning and weaving. What we accomplished in the two years spent among a people so good and well-disposed towards the Gospel could be told in less time than what we left undone; for, since we of the Society of Jesus were then so few, and had little hope of increasing our number, we did not dare to undertake more than we thought could probably be maintained; and in this we were not mistaken, for at the present day, when at least a dozen ministers are needed, there is actually but one secular priest. For that reason we did not dare to baptize adults or children, except in cases of extreme danger, outside of the chief village (which is Tigbauan) and two or three other outlying hamlets, distant two miles or less.

Nevertheless we preached the faith throughout that vicinity in the Haraya language, and even translated into the same tongue and taught the Christian doctrine and the catechism, which formerly they knew only in the Bissaya, a language different from the one they speak. [61] Many churches were erected, and some who had been baptized were confirmed in the faith. Some improper relations were dissolved and converted into Christian matrimony. In Tigbauan and its villages, besides the baptism of many children and adults, there were introduced the holy sacraments of confession, communion, and extreme unction, the last of which they neither knew nor had ever heard of. Church-feasts were celebrated with vespers and solemn masses, particularly at Easter and in Holy Week. A large school was formed, containing the children of all that region, where they learned to read, write, play musical instruments, and sing; two children from this school were sent every week to each one of the churches in the district, to take care of it and to assemble each afternoon the people of the village to repeat the doctrine in front of the church, as was done in Tigbauan. Here occurred an event regarding a boy, which gave me great satisfaction. An infidel chief living in a village called Taroc, a legua from Tigbauan, had a little son who was a Christian, a child of five or six years—of whom I knew nothing, as they had concealed him and others from me, being reluctant, through their natural barbarity and wildness, to hold intercourse with us and deliver up the objects of their affection. This child fell ill, and, realizing his condition, urged his infidel parents to summon me. They made me repair to him in great haste, for as I was told that the sick boy had called for me, I was convinced that he was not so young that he could not at least confess. In short, I went; I merely read the gospel to him, and in a few days he was cured of his sickness. As a result of the visit, which was greatly appreciated by the people, that village was won—especially his own parents, who were afterward pleased to have their son go to Tigbauan to join the school with the rest. The town of Arevalo is three leagues distant from Tigbauan; we also assisted there in the pulpit and the confessional, at the instance of the Spaniards who resided there, and of the bishop's vicar, in whose charge they were. This vicar was then the licentiate Don Francisco Gomez Arellano, archdeacon of Manila, through whose earnestness and devotion divine worship was greatly augmented in that church, and its service increased. This vicar embellished it with new ornaments, very rich and curious, such as lamps and silver candlesticks, thereby augmenting the reputation and esteem of our holy religion among those new nations.



Of our departure from Tigbauan and our entrance into Sebu, Leite, and other islands. Chapter XII.

At this time died Father Martin Henriquez, who had remained in Taitai; he gave way under the laborious task of ministering alone to so many souls, which he did with such perfection and fervor that it was impossible to maintain strength for so much. This father was so fervent and energetic that in three months he had learned the language; and, in six, composed in it a catechism and a treatise on confession. He also prepared a collection of sermons for all the Sundays and feasts, and on the four last things, [62] as well as other matters profitable to those peoples, who greatly respected his purity of life and the vigor of his preaching. I have seen him leave his food, to go to administer baptism or extreme unction to a sick man. He was most devoted to our Lady, and, whenever he sat down to study, he took out a little image of her which he always carried with him, and placed it on the table that he might have it before him. Every day I saw him, among other holy exercises, recite his rosary, and devote one half-hour to prayer in the afternoons (besides the entire hour in the morning); and every night he would scourge himself. He was an indefatigable worker, and consequently slept little, which was more than he could endure. He died a holy death, the same year when he came to the Filipinas, before twelve months had elapsed; and, when his work is considered, we wonder that he lived so long. On account of his death, Father Francisco Almerique was obliged to leave Manila—where his duties were by no means light among the Indians of that city and district, who all sought his aid. As he had abandoned these heavy labors only to undertake others as great, he soon fell ill. To lighten his burden, the two who had remained in Manila took up the double task; these two were the father rector, Antonio Sedeno, and Father Raymundo de Prado. They took turns in doing this work, one remaining a week in Manila while the other went to Taitai. This sort of life could not last long; and so our Lord, who aids the greatest necessities, inspired the good father to inform me of the difficulties in which they were, and order me to return to Manila. There we could plan our course of life in accordance with the advices which might come to us in the ships, which were expected soon—either uniting the four of us who remained, to do what we could in the city; or, if a reenforcement should come to us, extending our labors in securing conversions, according to the number of our men.

I reached Manila in May of the year fifteen hundred and ninety-five, leaving in Tigbauan and its vicinity, and in the town of Arevalo, not a few persons sorrowing at my departure. The general, Doctor Antonio de Morga, arrived in the following June, having come to serve as lieutenant of the governor and captain-general of the islands. He brought with him two fine vessels, and eight priests [63] of our Society. The joy of the communities of Manila and Sebu, and of Ours, was beyond belief upon learning that these fathers had arrived. From both places, requests came in to us for priests: from Manila, for instruction and schools, of which its sons were in great want; from Sebu, for a college which they desired in their city. On the other hand, the lieutenant governor of his Catholic Majesty urged that the Society should take charge of a province of Indians as did the other religious orders; and the Indians themselves, with several encomenderos, supported this request. Finally an effort was made to satisfy everyone, in the way which I shall relate. Four of us priests went to the island of Leite which we reached on the day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, the sixteenth of July of the same year. Two of us remained at Carigara in the house of Christoval de Trujillo, the owner of that encomienda, a man of eminent piety, and our benefactor. He straightway built for us there the first house that we possessed in that island. The other two of us went along the coast of that island and those of Ibabao and Samar, observing what peoples and posts were best adapted at that time for our settlement. We returned to Carigara at the end of July, where, thanks to the incredible haste and large number of the Indians, we found our house finished and the two fathers established in it. Early in August, I had information from the father vice-provincial, Antonio Sedeno, that he had arrived at Sebu with two other priests, and summoned me thither. Father Juan del Campo and Father Cosme de Flores remained in Carigara, and undertook the study of the Bissaya language with great fervor. Father Antonio Pereira and I, with another brother, went on to Sebu in conformity with the order of the father vice-provincial. Father Antonio Pereira had remained with Ours in these islands from the time of his arrival, as I said, with the king of Siao, waiting for the conclusion of business which the king and. Father Antonio Marta could not wait for—the latter, because he could not longer absent himself from his province and subordinates: the former, because he could not remain longer away from his kingdom and his vassals. This good father was so eager and zealous for the welfare of souls that, although a guest, he did not permit himself one moment of idleness, but always busied himself in the pulpit and confessional and in other ministries for the welfare of souls. We reached Sebu in the middle of August, where we found our good father and superior sick, in the house of a regidor of the city; and with him were Father Alonso Humanes, who had gone as superior during the journey from Nueva Espana, and Father Mateo Sanchez. He presently sent these two fathers to Leite, with orders to divide it into two stations, two fathers in each—one pair taking Carigara (where the two fathers had remained whom I have already mentioned); the other, Dulac, which is about sixty miles further on. These are both maritime villages with a situation and territory well adapted for undertaking the conversion of that new people, until then untaught. The aforementioned Father Alonso Humanes was appointed superior of both stations. In Sebu Ours had already fixed upon the site which we now possess, partly purchased with offerings from the citizens, and partly bestowed by the city and private persons. Accompanying the land was a goodly house of wood, which with little work could be made to accommodate the church and our dwelling. Father Ramon de Prado had remained in Manila as rector, with the other four fathers, two of whom were sent to Taitai to aid Father Francisco Almerique: of the two who remained in Manila, Father Tomas de Montoya [64] began to teach Latin, and Father Juan de Ribera attended to matters of conscience.



The death of Father Antonio Sedeno, first rector of the college of Manila, and first vice-provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Filipinas. Chapter XIII.

The first thing which the father vice-provincial, Antonio Sedeno, enjoined upon me on his arrival at Sebu was that I should at all events hasten the completion of the house, and carry him to it, for it was his wish to die in the house of the Society. This I did, having him conveyed on men's shoulders in a covered bed, for he was so ill that he could not go in any other way. I was greatly rejoiced at this, and he was extremely relieved at finding himself in his new home. His illness was increased by the hardships of the toilsome journey from Manila, one hundred and fifty leagues away, in the season of the vendavals and the rains, which in the bay of Manila, and as far as the entrance into the province of Pintados, is the most difficult and dangerous of the whole year. In this case, the burden of these hardships and torments fell upon a person so feeble, infirm, old, and exhausted that, although he arrived at Sebu in fair health, their effect was greatly aggravated by his immediately commencing work with two sermons, which were highly regarded in that community. But his efforts so prostrated him that he took to his bed with a fever, which so exhausted him that his holy life came to an end on the first of September of the same year, fifteen hundred and ninety-five. In life, and no less in his death, this holy man was a rare example of virtue; and so, in both, he was highly esteemed by all classes and ranks of people—especially by ecclesiastics and religious, who recognized in him an admirable virtue. When but a youth he left Espana in the service of the Duke of Feria. He was received into the Society at Loreto, studied in Padua, and had charge of the Germanic College in Rome. From this place blessed Father Francisco de Borja [65] sent him to Japon. Upon reaching Sevilla, however, he learned that the ships bound for the Indias had already left Lisboa. Waiting at this latter place for further instructions he was given the choice of embarking, at his pleasure, for either Piru or Florida. He chose Florida as a place which, in its poverty, offered greater opportunities of suffering there many hardships for the sake of Christ. In this he was not deceived; for in Florida, and later in Habana, he suffered greatly on sea and land, from hunger, cold, exhaustion, storms, hardships, exposure, and mortal perils. It often happened that he fell to the ground, while walking on the shore—sick, powerless to move, and among Indians most cruel in war, who had killed others of the Society; and yet he escaped, how, he knew not. Many a time did he eat no more than a handful of maize, planted and gathered by his own hands; for whatever else he might have must be given to poor soldiers. During a pestilence which had spread among those savages he became a physician, for he could baptize them if they should die; in this way he sent many of them to heaven. From Florida he was sent to Nueva Espana, and was the first of the Society to enter the City of Mexico, where by his virtuous life and teachings, he inspired the viceroy, the auditors of the Audiencia, and the citizens with such affection that they sought to bring over from Espana members of the Society, in order to found a college in Mexico. This was done and Father Antonio Sedeno was made rector: he laid the foundations and erected a building, which stands to this day. He went over to the Filipinas, as we have said, where his occupations were such as we have already related. While on the sea, he and his companions lived in their cabin in such modest retirement, and were so dignified in their bearing, that they spread tranquillity throughout the vessel, and accordingly their teaching was highly valued. He lived forty years in the Society, to its great edification, and preached for fifteen years in the Filipinas with admirable results. He suffered greatly from asthma, and consequently slept almost always in a chair. But he did not, on this account, allow himself any recreation, or cease to eat fish alone during Lent and fast days. It might be more accurately said that he but seldom ate at all, so great was his abstinence—which he, moreover, sought to conceal, feigning, with much dissimulation, that he ate of everything, when in reality it was a mere pretense of eating. He was very contrite; severe toward himself, but gentle to others; most exact in obedience, but very reserved and cautious in command; courteous and honorable in his dealings; liberal, generous, and devout. He gave or obtained aid for many needy persons, and all esteemed him for his labors. He was most zealous for the welfare of souls, and for the prosperity and preservation of the Filipinas, and for their settlement and aggrandizement. We have already related what he accomplished in building. He was the first to discover lime there, and made the first roof-tile, and erected the first building. He sought out Chinese artists, whom he kept in his house to paint images, not only for our churches but for others, both within and without Manila. He encouraged the encomenderos and the parish priests to provide their churches with these images, and made it most easy to procure them. Thus almost all the churches in the islands were adorned with images, nearly all of which were of the Mother of God. He took great interest in planting groves and in laying out gardens, and was anxious that silk should be produced in the islands, hoping thus to retain there for their benefit the money which was going to China, and thus to secure their prosperity. To this end he planted mulberry trees, and was active in other ways, even constructing a loom, and teaching the Indians to weave in the European fashion. He was accustomed to say that the highest form of prayer was that which most inclines one to self-mortification; and he so practiced this that his own life was a perpetual mortification. He taught this in the house and elsewhere; and in his own exercises he could not use any other method than mortification. His sermons were all on fear, judgment, and condemnation. He said that this was what the world needed; and he was not mistaken, for in truth he accomplished great results through this teaching. One of his hearers, who was once praising to me his instruction, repeated an expression which the father often used, and which had deeply impressed him: "There [i.e., "in the other world?"] you will understand it," he would say with wonderful truth and force. In our household intercourse with him, he would assert that he who aspires to perfection must be convinced that the pleasures of food, drink, the couch, idleness, and the like, are not for him. All this, however, he did not urge by force, but rather taught it in a kindly manner, and gently guiding each one according to the strength which God had given him—although he said that God gave strength to all in proportion to their courage in working and suffering for His love. He also said that one should die rather than commit the slightest venial sin; and in his own case he was so rigid in this respect that at times it seemed excess of scruple. His life was certainly most pure, and his death like unto his life. During his illness we all admired his great patience and resignation in the hands of God.

Father Antonio Pereira used to say that he often visited him in order that he might profit and be edified by so admirable an example. The day when he died, we had already noticed in the morning that extreme unction should not be any longer withheld from him; and so I prepared him to receive it, telling him that it seemed to be time. He raised his eyes and hands toward heaven with great devotion, exclaiming: "To pass to eternity!" With this he became lost in thought, spoke not another word, and, receiving with much devotion that holy sacrament, died in peace. He did not become rigid or discolored in death, but preserved his bright color, and his limbs remained soft and flexible, until he was buried. All the ecclesiastics and religious of the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus, all the regidors, and the honorable and prominent people, attended his funeral rites, which were celebrated with great solemnity, devotion and tenderness. [66] In Manila also, on account of the devotion of all classes for him, solemn funeral honors were held, and were attended not only with the tears and sorrow of all classes, but by the authority and concourse of all ranks and religious orders. This holy man was lost to us at a time when we were in great straits over the founding of that vice-province of the Society, which we had hoped would be successfully established through his energy and prudence. But there remained with us a great confidence that he would aid us no less in death than in life; and thus his influence was seen in the prosperous increase after his holy death of our ministries and other affairs, especially in the college of Sebu, which is indebted to his holy body as the foundation-stone of all its growth.



Of other and new members of the Society who went to the islands in the year fifteen hundred and ninety-six. Chapter XIV.

In the fleet of this year fifteen hundred and ninety-five, our very reverend father-general, Claudio Aquaviva, sent to the Filipinas Father Francisco de Vera, with twenty-four of the Society, at the request and expense of his Majesty the Catholic king, Don Felipe Second. With all these, he reached Nueva Espana in the same year; and, in the following, he embarked at the port of Acapulco for the Filipinas with fourteen members of the Society, with the governor, Don Francisco Tello. [67] In order that this voyage from Nueva Espana to the Filipinas may be successfully made, it should be undertaken by the middle of March, at the latest, so as to reach the Filipinas before the vendavals or southwest winds of June set in, which are very tempestuous—like the north winds in Nueva Espana which begin in September. As these vessels left the port of Acapulco so late, upon reaching the Filipinas they encountered vendavals which exposed them to great peril and hardship. It has happened that vessels, leaving late as did these, upon striking these vendavals in the Filipinas, have been obliged to turn back with these winds to the Ladrones Islands, and to return thence with the brisas from those islands to the Filipinas; then, reaching the latter, to encounter the vendavals, and again be driven by their force to the Ladrones. The hindrance and privation thus experienced can be imagined; nor can the ship land at either islands until the months of October and November when the vendavals cease.

Almost the same thing befell Ours that year. The vendavals and currents long drove them back, and, in consequence, their voyage was lengthened, and provisions ran short; the ship's stores gave out, and, that they might not lack water, they were allotted small rations, each being given but half a quartillo a day—a privation which at sea is keenly felt. Finally, relieved from all these hardships and torments, through the mercy of God they arrived safely at the college in Manila on the first day of August of the same year. This voyage is usually made in seventy days, but they, to their own greater merit, did not reach the islands before one hundred and thirty days; and afterward they journeyed more than one hundred leguas besides, by both sea and land, coasting the shore in large boats. They crossed by land the province of Camarines, all of which is occupied by the convents of the glorious father St. Francis, where they were received and cared for according to their dire necessities; even the father commissary of those provinces, heedless of entreaties or excuses, washed with his own hands the feet of six of Ours, who chanced to pass by his abode. The first words with which one of those servants of the Lord received them were the following, which he uttered with loving tears: "Would they were a thousand fathers, for they would all have a harvest in the Filipinas." The Indians, too, who had never seen Ours in this province, were greatly rejoiced at their arrival—not only those already baptized, but even the infidels; and they gave proof of their good will in the hospitality which they showed towards our fathers, in imitation of their own fathers and ministers.

This was indeed a valuable reenforcement; for, combined with that of the year before, they made a sufficient force to begin the extension of the Society throughout the islands which were assigned to it as a province, and to care for the humble souls who begged for bread and had no one to give it to them. Father Ramon de Prado, who had succeeded to the office of vice-provincial, thus obtained people to employ in this work, conformably to his great zeal for the salvation of souls. How he did this we shall see later, each subject in its proper place. First, I will say that the facility with which many ministers of the Lord in the four religious orders learned the languages used in their respective missions, even so as to preach and hear confessions in them, seems a gift from heaven. The most tardy student of them, if he apply himself moderately, spends no more than six months; and one of Ours, Father Cosme de Flores, learned and mastered this language, so that he could preach and hear confessions, in seventy-four days—to the astonishment of our people, as well as of the Indians themselves. The latter, seeing this facility, say that God, without doubt, bestows it upon us, recognizing their needs. In truth these languages are not very difficult, either to learn or to pronounce—and more especially now, since there is a grammar, a vocabulary, and many writings therein. The most difficult is the language of Manila (which they call Tagal)—which, I have already said, Father Martin Henriquez learned in three months; and in three more, he used it fluently. This was the first of the native languages that I learned, to which and to the others I shall profitably devote another chapter. [68]



Of the Languages of the Filipinas. Chapter XV.

There is no single or general language of the Filipinas extending throughout the islands; but all of them, though there are many and different tongues, are so much alike that they may be learned and spoken in a short time. Consequently if one is learned, all are almost known. They are to each other like the Tuscan, Lombard, and Sicilian dialects of Italia, or the Castilian, Portuguese, and Galician in Espana. Only the language of the Negrillos is very different from the rest, as, in Espana, is the Vizcayan [i.e., Basque]. There is not a different language for each of the islands, because some of them—as, for example, Manila, and even Panai, which is more than four hundred leguas smaller—contain several languages; and there are languages each of which prevails in several islands. In the island of Manila alone, there are six different tongues; in Panai, two; in some others, but one. The languages most used, and most widely spread, are the Tagal and the Bisayan; and in some regions of the Pintados another tongue is also prevalent, called Harayan. The Tagal embraces the greater part of the coast and interior of the islands of Manila, Mindoro, Luban, and some others. Bisaya is in use through all the islands of the Pintados, although in some of the villages therein the Harayan is spoken. Of all these languages, it was the Tagal which most pleased me and which I most admired. As I told the first bishop, and, afterwards, other persons of dignity in the islands and in Europe, I found in this language four qualities of the four greatest languages of the world, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Spanish: it has the abstruseness and obscurity of the Hebrew; the articles and distinctions in proper as well as in common nouns, of the Greek; the fulness and elegance of the Latin; and the refinement, polish, and courtesy of the Spanish. Examples of all these characteristics may be seen in the "Ave Maria" done into Tagal; and, as that is a short prayer, and more easily understood than the others, I will place it here with its explanation in our vernacular, and with word-for-word equivalents. In this way may be seen the idioms and characteristic expressions of this language which will please some readers, and furnish information, both useful and curious.

The "Ave-Maria" in the Tagal language

Aba Guinoo Maria matoa ca na. Hail Lady Mary, joyful thou now,

Napono ca nan gracia, full thou of grace;

An Panguinoon Dios na saio. the Lord God is with thee

Bucor can pinagpala sa babain lahat. especially, thou blessed among women all.

Pinagpala naman ang iong anac si Jesus. Blessed also be thy son Jesus.

Santa Maria ina nang Dios Holy Mary, mother of God,

Ipana languin mo cami macasalanan Let us be interceded for by thee, us sinners

ngayon at cum mamatai cami. Amen, Jesus. now and when shall die we.



The first word of this prayer Aba, is obscure, but apparently has the force of "salute," like the Latin Ave. Bucor expresses diversity, distinction, and singularity. The article is Si (Jesus), as Ton in Greek. The richness of the language lies in its many synonyms and phrases; consequently this prayer, which, as it stands, is very elegant, could be formed with equal elegance in various other ways, without losing its original sense and meaning. The polish and courtesy consist in not saying, as in Latin, Ave Maria (which would seem in this language abrupt and barbaric), without adding that polite word, Guinoo.

There is none or very little of this courtesy in the other two languages of the Bissayas, which are more rude and unpolished. I thought it good to present the same prayer in these languages, not only as a curiosity, but to give an idea of their similarity and differences—giving notice, however, that it is not my intention to offer an interpretation (which is unnecessary, since we all know the "Ave Maria"), but, as I said, to show the idioms of these languages. These idioms, moreover, ought not to displease or appear ignoble, for every tongue has its own beauty and elegance for those who are born in it, which the eyes of foreigners cannot discern. This point has been discussed by Jesus Sidrac in the prologue to his Ecclesiasticus, a holy and Catholic work; and it was proved at length, and with great erudition, by the most glorious doctor St. Jerome, in the hundred and first Epistle to Pamaquio.

The "Ave Maria" in the Harayan tongue

Maliag cao Maria nabota cao can gracia Rejoice thou Mary, full thou of grace.

An atun guinoon Dios dian canimo. He our Lord God is with thee,

Capin icao sa manga babai nga tanan, fortunate thou among women all;

ig capin naman ang imon bata nga si Jesus and fortunate also he thy son Jesus.

Santa Maria inang can Dios [Holy Mary], mother of God,

igampo mo cami nga macasasala let us be favored by thee, us the sinners,

caraon, ig cum mamatai cami. now and when shall die we.

Amen, Jesus.

The "Ave Maria" in the Bissayan tongue

Maghimaya ca Maria napono ca sa gracia Rejoice, thou Mary, full thou of grace;

An guinoon Dios anaa canimo. the Lord God is with thee.

Guirayeg ca uyamot sa babaihun tanan Exalted thou much among women all,

ug guirayeg man an imon anac Jesus. and exalted also he thy son Jesus.

Santa Maria inahan sa Dios, Holy Mary, mother of God,

iguiampo mo cami macasasala onia let us be interceded for by thee, us sinners, now

ug sa amun camatai. Amen, Jesus. and in our death.

It has been my object in giving this slight illustration of the difference between these three languages—aside from its singularity and novelty, which may furnish some pleasure—to make evident the ease and clearness of the languages and their words and pronunciations, which render them very easy, or at least not difficult to learn. Some of their idioms and transpositions, which are different from our own, must be accepted as they stand, as Father Joseph de Acosta says very well when writing on this matter, (De procur. sal. lib. 4, cap. 9.); but if they are once acquired, and one is accustomed to the sound of them, they do not render the language difficult, but rather make it easy and graceful. But since I have mentioned the courtesy and politeness of the Tagalos, and of their tongue, it will be well, before proceeding further, to speak more at length concerning it, for it is so noble and pleasing a moral virtue.



Of the civilities, terms of courtesy, and good breeding among the Filipinos. Chapter XVI.

The Filipinos are not so ceremonious in their actions as are the Chinese and Japonese; yet they have their politeness and good breeding, especially the Tagalos, who are very civil and courteous in word and action. Upon meeting one another, they practice our custom of uncovering the head—not that they used hats, caps, or bonnets; but they wore a piece of cloth like a towel, some three or four palmos long, which they wound around the head in becoming fashion, like the ancient crowns or diadems. This they removed, as they now do the hat [sombrero]—which they have adopted, in imitation of us, abandoning the potong, as they called the towel or diadem which they formerly wore. As among them it is not courtesy to remain standing before a person whom they respect, they seat themselves upon the ground, or rather on their heel-bones. Seated in this way, with head uncovered and the potong thrown like a towel over the left shoulder, they talk with their superiors. The mode of salutation upon entering or meeting anyone is as follows: They draw the body together and make a low reverence, raising one or both hands to the face, and placing them upon the cheeks; they next sit down waiting for the question that may be put to them, for it is considered bad manners to speak before one is spoken to. Their greatest courtesy is in their form of address; for they never speak to one as "thou," or in the second person, whether singular or plural, but always use the third person, saying for example—"Does the lord, or the chief, wish for this or that?" There are many examples of this to be found in Holy Scripture or sacred language, and particularly in the Psalms. In the relations of man with woman, woman with man, or woman with woman, they are very careful—even when they are quite equals, and, too, among the middle class—to use, after every important word, nothing but "my Lord," or "my Lady;" as, "My Lord, as I was coming up the river, I saw, my Lord," etc. This term and pronoun are used as agreeable and even affectionate, even in the languages of much greater importance, as Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, which are the three most venerable tongues. In polite and affectionate intercourse they are very extravagant, addressing letters to each other in terms of elaborate and delicate expressions of affection, and neat turns of thought. As a result of this, they are much given to musical practice; and although the guitar that they use, called cutyapi, is not very ingenious or rich in tone, it is by no means disagreeable, and to them is most pleasing. They play it with such vivacity and skill that they seem to make human voices issue from its four metallic cords. We also have it on good authority that by merely playing these instruments they can, without opening their lips, communicate with one another, and make themselves perfectly understood—a thing unknown of any other nation. The Bissayans are more rustic and less civil in manners, just as their language is harsher and less polished. They have not so many terms of courtesy, as formerly they had no letters until, a very few years ago, they borrowed theirs from the Tagalos. As we have already treated of their languages, it would be advisable to make some mention of their letters.



Of the Letters of the Filipinos. Chapter XVII.

All these islanders are much given to reading and writing, and there is hardly a man, and much less a woman, who does not read and write in the letters used in the island of Manila—which are entirely different from those of China, Japon, and India. This will be seen from its alphabet, which is as follows:

The three vowels serve as five, and are:

A I O a e i o u

The consonants are only twelve, and in writing are used with the vowels in the following form.

The letter alone with no point above or below it, is pronounced with the vowel-sound A:

BA KA DA GA HA LA MA NA PA SA TA YA Ba ca da ga ha la ma na pa sa ta ya

By placing the point above, each is pronounced with the vowel-sound E or I:

BI KI DI GI HI LI MI NI PI SI TI YI Bi qui di gui hi li mi ni pi si ti yi Be que de gue he le me ne pe se te ye

By placing the point below, they are pronounced with the vowel-sound O or U:

BO KO DO GO HO LO MO NO PO SO TO YO Bo co do go ho lo mo no po so to yo Bu cu du gu hu lu mu nu pu su tu yu

Consequently, to pronounce cama, two letters without points are sufficient: KAMA ca ma.

If a point is placed above the KA we have KIMA or que-ma.

If a point is placed below each character KOMO the word is co-mo.

Final consonants are suppressed in all forms of expression: accordingly cantar is written KATA ca ta; barba, BABA ba ba.

By means of these characters they easily make themselves understood and convey their ideas marvelously, he who reads supplying, with much skill and facility, the consonants which are lacking. From us they have adopted the habit of writing from left to right. Formerly they wrote from the top to the bottom, placing the first line on the left (if I remember aright), and continuing the rest at the right, contrary to the custom of the Chinese and Japanese—who, although they write from top to bottom, begin from the right and continue the page to the left.

They used to write on reeds and palm-leaves, using as a pen an iron point; now they write their own letters, as well as ours, with a sharpened quill, and, as we do, on paper. They have learned our language and its pronunciation, and write it even better than we do, for they are so clever that they learn anything with the greatest ease. I have had letters written by themselves in very handsome and fluent style. In Tigbauan I had in my school a very young boy, who, using as a model letters written to me in a very good handwriting, learned in three months to write even better than I; and he copied for me important documents faithfully, exactly, and without errors. Let this, however, suffice for the matter of languages and letters, and let us return to our employment for souls.



Occurrences in Manila in the year fifteen hundred and ninety-six and fifteen hundred and ninety-seven. Chapter XVIII.

In the college we had begun, as I have said, to study the Latin grammar and moral theology. Each of these branches was begun in the usual way, with public academic exercises and learned discourses. [69] As it was the first event of that kind to take place in the islands, the exercises were received with great favor, and were attended and enjoyed by all the dignitaries, and prelates, and by a great concourse of other people. Divine worship, moreover, was notably increased upon the completion of the church—which, in its construction and unusual design, proved to be very beautiful. It was constructed on the model of the church of Jesus in our house of the professed at Rome, although considerably inferior to that. This church was dedicated to the glorious St. Anne, the ceremony taking place on her feast-day in the year fifteen hundred and ninety-six, when an image of her was piously set up, and the most holy sacrament brought from the old church with great solemnity and devotion. The chapel of our Lady was placed, as in the church at Rome, on the gospel side; and in it her image was set up with an elegant reredos, in the devout presence of many Spaniards and Indians. In the other chapel, on the epistle side which is on the side next the house, and joined to the sacristy, were placed the holy relics, which at the instance of the Catholic king our lord, and the urgent request of Father Alonso Sanchez, were donated by the Apostolic See and had arrived in the previous year. The tabernacle in which these relics now repose had already been constructed and finished; it embraces the whole width of the chapel. It is of an incorruptible wood which they call in those parts molave. [70] It is adorned by eight columns, four on a side, grouped in a square, with base and pedestals which sustain, higher up, its architrave, frieze, and cornice, with finials and handsome architectural designs. Between the columns there are five distinctly-marked compartments, two small ones on each side and a large one in the center—all of them of like design and exquisite proportion, with finely carved doors and inlaid work, with cavities in which the holy relics are preserved with great propriety and honor. The color of the whole work externally is black—partly natural, on account of the quantities of ebony that it contains, which is very abundant in those regions, and partly derived from the varnish which is used to imitate that wood. The mouldings, outlines, pinas, [71] and floriations are gilded, and there are other ornaments of gold and ivory. The altar is below, with its two steps at the height of the pedestals which support the columns. In the spaces between the columns, on both sides of the altar, were placed two images or statues of the glorious apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul; these are fastened in place by strong and curious locks and are covered with two pairs of curtains—one pair of gauze striped with silk and gold, the other of finest damask with embroidery and gold lace. Whenever these holy relics are exposed at their respective feast-days, the ceremony is conducted with great solemnity; and numbers of white candles are placed not only on the altar and steps, but all over the tabernacle from top to bottom, giving it dignity and distinction. On the twelfth of January of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-seven, the holy relics were deposited there, with such rejoicings and festive show as had never been known before in the islands. In all this was seen how it was God who solicited hearts, and moved them to honor the glorious soldiers whom he had brought again for the defense and protection of the earth. They were borne in procession through the principal streets of the city, which, although handsome in themselves, were decorated so elegantly that their very elegance expressed the devotion of the people. They had erected at intervals arches (a dozen in all)—the greater number lofty, and with sculptured images; the others of silk and thin stuffs, so ingeniously knotted together and adorned with various compositions and characters that they presented a very pleasing sight. They constructed with great skill several fountains, some of which gave forth water and others wine; two, in particular, issuing from a window, gave forth milk and Castilian wine, which were highly prized at that time in the islands. The relics were borne on six platforms, no less splendid than costly, since they carried nearly all the gold, precious stones, and jewelry of the city, which had been offered with much readiness and good will. Our Lord rewarded them for this, for there was not one accident, or a single piece lacking, of which there had previously been some fear, on account of the great gathering of all classes of people. As for the decoration of the church, the edifice itself, recently completed, was so beautiful and pleasing that it sufficed for adornment, although not so elaborate as the tabernacle. Its beauty was increased by elegant hangings of tapestry, and by many inscriptions—written by Ours in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Castilian, and Tagalo—extending in three rows along the great nave, besides others, corresponding to these, in various places. As I have said, the holy relics were borne on six platforms, resting on the shoulders of men, most of whom were religious, and in fourteen reliquaries, which were carried by as many religious; and dignitaries of the cathedral, clothed in their official robes, accompanied these. Add to this the salutes from the forts, and the standards of the confraternities carried in the van, and the effect was highly imposing. The festivities lasted nine days, each order celebrating its special feast, preaching and saying mass with the greatest possible solemnity. The Augustinian fathers began the festivities, considering the occasion especially theirs on account of their long residence there. They assisted us by their good will and deeds, thereby showing themselves no less devoted to the holy relics than friendly to the Society. They conducted many kinds of music and dances, and besides these were many furnished by our Indians, and the Chinese and Japanese; all this variety produced most pleasing effects and greatly adorned and enlivened the festival. In this fashion the other religious orders celebrated their own days until the eighth, in succession, with great devotion, joy and edification on the part of the people. On the afternoon of the last day, as a conclusion to the fiesta, valuable prizes were distributed on the occasion of a literary contest, the announcement of which had been published some days before with much show and solemnity. In this contest many excellent and ingenious compositions of various kinds were delivered, to which prizes were awarded, after two exceedingly pleasing, dignified and impressive declamations had been recited in praise of the holy relics. Divine worship was also improved in the new church by the addition of some silver lamps, candlesticks, chalices, patines, wine-cruets, monstrances, and thuribles; many altar hangings and chasubles, made not only from the silk and embroideries of that country, but from damask, velvet, and brocade brought from Espana and Italia, with printed borders; hangings heavily embroidered with seed pearls and thin silver plates; and various draperies, some of velvet and damask, others of colored taffeta. Besides all these things, there was the chapel of the singers, who with voices and music of flutes and clarions, serve in the masses, vespers, and Salves, at least on the principal feast-days.

There was also begun at this time, through the devotion of Canon Diego de Leon (who was then attending the lectures in our schools), the practice of assembling in our church many men of all ranks to take the discipline, [72] three days in the week, especially during Lent—a practice which lasts to this very day. This same canon stimulated their piety on these occasions by a half hour's reading from some devout book. At the conclusion of the reading, the penance began, during which they repeated devoutly the Miserere. This holy exercise was a source of great edification to the Indians; and, in imitation of it, a great number of them took the discipline on those nights, in turn with the Spaniards.



Further proceedings at this time in Manila by the Indians and Spaniards. Chapter XIX.

At this time the Indians were very numerous, both within the city of Manila (where there are more than six thousand, scattered through the houses of the Spanish inhabitants) and in all the outlying districts. These people repair to our church for confession not only in Lent but on all other days of the year; consequently, there were not fathers enough acquainted with their language to care for them spiritually from morning to evening. I know of some who had waited for more than ten or even twelve days, without being able, for the press of people, to reach the feet of the confessor. Others remained a whole day in the church, waiting for their turn. This gives evidence of the ardor and perseverance with which they attended to the welfare of their souls. On Sundays and the afternoons of feast-days, when the sermons were preached in their own language, the church was crowded—above, below, in the choir and galleries, all which, although very spacious, were filled; and, besides, there were many of those people outside the doors (which are five in number).

In two ways they were equally enthusiastic in celebrating the deposit of the holy relics: first, in the great devotion that they displayed during the whole eight days while the festival lasted and the relics were exposed—men, women, and children attending it in such numbers, both morning and afternoon, that they could not enter the church. The Spaniards, astonished at this, said that those holy relics must have come to Manila for the Indians, judging from the way in which the latter attended and venerated them. To show appreciation of their great devotion, and to inspire them with more, a short discourse, in their own language, was delivered to them every afternoon, preceding the Salve sung by the choir, and accompanied by the music of the wind-instruments. The second thing they did in the service of the holy relics was to institute a confraternity or congregation dedicated to those relics with the title and vocation of "all saints." Their object was, each beginning with himself and his own spiritual profit, to strive with all their might for the welfare of their neighbors, by performing works of mercy, in both temporal and spiritual affairs, as their opportunities permit—in which effort they exert themselves, by the grace of our Lord, with the advantages which we shall see later.

One of the best results is the modesty and virtue of the women, which we esteem in those regions, because it is but little practiced or valued among their heathen peoples. In many—I even believe, in all—of those islands there existed a doctrine, sowed by the devil, that a woman, whether married or single, could not be saved, who did not have some lover. They said that this man, in the other world, hastened to offer the woman his hand at the passage of a very perilous stream which had no other bridge than a very narrow beam, which must be traversed to reach the repose that they call Calualhatian. [73]

Consequently virginity was not recognized or esteemed among them; rather they considered it as a misfortune and humiliation. Married women, moreover, were not constrained by honor to remain faithful to their husbands, although the latter would resent the adultery, and hold it as a just cause for repudiating the wife. To illustrate this: Upon my arrival in the Filipinas, in the latter part of May in the year fifteen hundred and ninety, I had landed at the island of Marinduque (which is about twenty-eight or thirty leguas from Manila), at the time when an ensign with a squad of soldiers was going, through curiosity, to visit the interior of the island. Night overtaking him in this place, he was obliged to seek hospitality among the natives; there, one of the hospitalities which they bestowed on him and his companions was to offer him two women. These the good ensign ordered to be sent back, and he pointed out the offense that they were committing against God, the almighty Creator of heaven and earth, whom all men should know and serve. He told them that for this purpose alone the Spaniards had come from so great a distance; and that they must not offend God by their evil example. It was thus that the good ensign conducted himself on that occasion. There have been others, who, recklessly following their own evil inclination, not only do not resist such solicitations, but, to the great scandal of this nation, seek and encourage sin. But God, who from evil produces good, has brought some of those women to fear Him; and they, esteeming purity as a heavenly thing and vice as a vile and repulsive abomination, have conquered some most fiery temptations, as will be seen from two or three incidents that occur to me. There was a Spaniard who held a mother and daughter so under his control that he was on the way to seducing the latter (who was a mere girl) by his blandishments and supplications, combined with harshness and threats. The mother, who was an infernal old hag, he gained by offerings and bribes. But the good daughter after seven whole months of such infamous and continuous attack, would not yield; and finally that wretch, wearied by so long a siege and vanquished by the constancy of a weak girl, withdrew and left her in peace. Which is indeed a good deal when we consider the following: One woman for twelve long years resisted the tempter, fortified by holy confession and communion. Another, although she resisted for a shorter time, showed even greater constancy; for the base and cruel seducer went so far as to aim a dagger against her breast twice; the third time he went beyond threats, and fear did not restrain him, but he actually stabbed her. The wounded girl, who had first been stricken by the arrow of divine love, retained sufficient strength to leap down out of the house (as I have already said the dwelling is in the upper part), and thus her soul escaped injury.

For this very reason is the seminary for girls held in so high esteem which was founded in the islands by Governor Gomez Perez de las Marinas, at the order of the Catholic king, at the instance of the first bishop, and through the zeal of Father Alonso Sanchez. It was established in the year fifteen hundred and ninety, when Captain Luis de Bivanco, factor of the royal exchequer, gave for this his houses. Later the seminary was transferred to the site which it now occupies, and a church was erected in honor of the virgin Saint Potenciana, patroness of Manila and of this holy seminary.

The good which has resulted to that colony from this institution is beyond exaggeration. Nearly a hundred young girls have retired to the protection of its walls, the greater part of them daughters of Spaniards—who, if they should go outside the seminary, would risk, and even achieve, setting the world on fire. The fathers of our college sometimes go to preach to them; and for my own part I can say that, whenever this duty fell to me, I did not fail to render praise to God at seeing there so many young women retired from the world, occupied in divine service and knowledge, and removed from the dangers and temptations without. Those among them who become established in matrimony give manifest token in their manners of the excellent education that they have received there, and the holy instruction upon which their superior has taught and reared them. This seminary for girls owes a great deal to the archdeacon of Manila, Don Francisco Gomez de Arellano—who, not content with expending his wealth in other works of great service to God, occupies himself and spends a large share of his means in the protection and maintenance of this institution. At his own expense he constructed some of the inner apartments in the seminary's house, which were greatly needed, and in the church a large and beautiful reredos, of elaborate architecture; but, even more important, he has with his ministrations and instruction carefully cultivated those souls.

But to return to the Indians: two of them were rescued at that time, for which they had reason to be thankful; for, as they were Christians, the greater would be their loss and peril. One of them, who was twenty years old, had learned with great thoroughness a certain device of witchcraft; and yet during all this time, through some special providence of our Lord, had practiced it to no profit. It is certain, too, that if he had been successful he would have ruined himself and harmed many others. But I say no more of this, to avoid prolixity. Another Indian had a book containing certain verses of poetry, which they call Golo [74]—most pernicious, because they included an express compact with the devil; this its owner freely gave up, that it might be burned, which was done. Most of the prisoners in the jail are Indians, placed there for various crimes which they committed; and they also have their own separate hospital in the city (as also the Spaniards have one), where their sick are healed. Both hospitals are royal foundations, established by order and at the expense of his Majesty the Catholic king of blessed memory. To both Spaniards and natives Ours have ministered, in both these hospitals and in the prison, in order to aid all with the offices which, in such places, the Society is wont to exercise, for both bodies and souls.

At that time we began the religious exercises which those of our Society are wont to conduct in the plazas for the benefit of those, who through hindrances, carelessness, or impiety, fail to attend the sermons. The discourses were delivered in the Castilian language, in the principal plaza of Manila, beneath some of the principal buildings, which were then occupied (while the royal edifices were being finished) by the governor, Don Francisco Tello, his Majesty's representative. So much did he enjoy hearing the discourses, and the clever answers of some Spanish boys who before the preaching were catechized, as usual, in the Christian doctrine, that he threw down, from the balcony where he stood listening, to the boys a number of stamped images to reward them. This encouraged the boys to learn thoroughly, and become adept in these exercises, and inspired Ours to continue this holy practice, thus favored with such sincerity and benevolence; and those who beheld it were edified, and held us in greater esteem. Through these discourses and exercises the children, and even some adults, obtained a knowledge and understanding of the Christian doctrine; moreover, some were induced to lead better lives, flee from temptation, and examine their own souls, and even some to enter the religious life.



What was accomplished in the villages of the encomienda of Taitai up to the year fifteen hundred and ninety-seven. Chapter XX.

We have already seen how the village called Taitai, the chief one of that encomienda, improved its location by removing from the marshes and overflow of the lagoon shore. This village had formerly dedicated its church to the glorious St. John the Baptist, and, upon its removal to the new site, in devotion to him the name San Juan del Monte ["St. John of the Mountain"] was given to it. It is a general custom, in all the mission villages in the Filipinas, for all the people to repair on Sundays and days of obligation to the church for the mass and sermon, before which the doctrine and catechism are recited. As a result of this, they not only have a thorough knowledge of the prayers, but even excel many peoples of Europe in their comprehension of the mysteries of our holy faith. To lighten the burdens of these people, that they might not weary of their constant attendance at church, for the doctrine, catechism, mass, and sermon—not to mention the frequent publication of the marriage banns, and the fact that mass is solemnly celebrated with music and the accompaniment of the organ, in which they spend many hours—we thought it best to reserve the doctrine and the catechism for Sundays in the afternoon, and even then not all the people were obliged to be present—part of them attending on one Sunday, part on another, and thus in rotation until the turn of the first ones came again. By such an arrangement this exercise is rendered easier, and is even more profitable to the people, serving them upon such days as legitimate diversion, to which they all repair with greater inclination and pleasure. To this end a bell is rung at the hour of vespers, and the children go forth through the streets of the place, bearing the cross, and singing the doctrine, and then, followed by their elders, they return to the church. The adults, in the presence of the father, recite the prayers and catechism with great devotion and satisfaction, spending in all about half an hour. This done, they return to their homes. Mondays and Saturdays are likewise solemnized with masses, respectively for the deceased and in honor of our Lady, and are always attended by a certain number of people. The young men are especially directed to attend these services that they may continue to practice Christian habits; upon these occasions some short sermon is preached them in their own language. The children and old men are those who are under the strictest obligation to come to the church each day, at a certain hour, to learn the Christian doctrine—the children, always; the old men, until they have learned the doctrine. To each old man is assigned a boy, who instructs him and is careful to report how much the old man is learning; then, if the old man gives a good account of himself, he is privileged to cease his attendance, except with the rest of the people on Sundays. The bell tolls the "Ave Maria" at dawn, at noon, and at night; and, besides this, some one is careful to go through the streets at night, sounding a little bell, and in a loud voice admonishing the people to offer prayers for the souls in purgatory and for those who are in a state of sin. These, as well as other pious and devout customs, had been introduced into those villages. Three handsome churches were erected, and adorned with images, tapestry, and beautiful ornaments. We gained the good-will of those Indians to such a degree that, their opinion of us extending to their neighbors, even the savages who were hidden among the mountains came to us; and consequently those villages received much increase, as we shall soon see. There was one of these newcomers in particular, very appropriately named Sayor, which means "robber" (and truly he was such in his deeds), who was a savage in his mode of life; without house or dwelling, he lived among the mountains and in caves—even using as food, when he found no other game, the serpents that he killed. Although somewhat advanced in years, he possessed incredible agility in running and leaping, the natural disposition and propensity of savage wild beasts. The neighboring villages held this man in so great fear that, whenever he entered one of them, all the people fled from him as from a wild beast, believing him to be a violent madman; and by such compulsion he took, without any resistance, all that he desired from the houses. I saw this man, who unexpectedly came toward me of his own accord; he was naked, his only covering being a wretched breech-cloth; he wore in his girdle a dagger, and carried in his hands his bow and arrows. I caressed him, and tried to soften him with presents and gentle treatment, and this intercourse we continued for five or six years, with increasing confidence and satisfaction on his part. Consequently he maintained with us very intimate relations until, finally, Father Diego Garcia, who as we shall later see went to those regions as visitor in the year fifteen hundred and ninety-seven, decided that it was time to grant him holy baptism. The father visitor himself bestowed this grace upon him, baptizing him with his own hands with great solemnity, and with demonstration of the grace and efficacy of this most divine sacrament. The name of Pablo was given to him, which from that time on he so highly prized that if at any time he was inadvertently called by his former nickname, he showed (although with a gracious and Christian spirit) regret and disdain equal to his pleasure and pride in the name of Christian. Accordingly he would answer to those who called him Sayor: "Not Sayor, but Pablo." After his baptism we married him; and he now dwells in his own home as the father of a family, with great discretion and tranquillity. He has become so tamed that we can say that he is one of the gentlest and most useful of all our Indians, and aids in our affairs with much fidelity and love. I spoke to him occasionally, with no small satisfaction, of his former savage life. He told me of the places in which he took refuge and spent the night, and of his hunting serpents—which, according to his statement (which was verified there), are of so great a size that they swallow men, deer, and other animals. [75] Before his baptism, when our acquaintance was but recent, he more than once offered to accompany me upon my journeys, carrying his dagger, bow, and arrows. We two journeyed alone through the mountains, he with great satisfaction in serving me, I with equal security and confidence in his good fellowship.

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