The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXXVI, 1649-1666
Author: Various
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Consequently, it seems to be necessary that the spiritual affairs of those forts be placed in charge of the archbishop of Manila (although they are nearer to the bishopric of Zebu), because of the ships which continue to carry reenforcements, with a voyage of three hundred leguas or a little more or less. No other object is intended in this than the welfare of those Christians; and your Majesty will obtain no other advantage than that of maintaining our Roman faith in its purity in that most remote district of the world, among so warlike nations as are the Japanese, Chinese and Tartars, Tunquinese, Cochin-chinese, Cambojans, Siamese, Joloans, and others who almost surround it. For that alone so great a sum of money is spent as is known, not only in those forts but in all those islands. It has been proved to be very agreeable to God because of the extent to which the holy gospel has spread among them, for they are the best fields of Christian effort of all the conquests of the monarchy. It is well seen that He favors it in the continual victories that your Majesty's arms have had in those regions on sea and land, although it is so distant a member of the body of this monarchy. May God prosper this monarchy well with fortunate victories for the welfare and increase of our holy religion. [17]

Francisco Vello


Memorial of Miguel Solana, Jesuit, petitioning the king not to allow the Dominican friars to carry out their purpose of founding a university in Manila.


Miguel Solana of the Society of Jesus, and procurator-general of the province of the Philippine Islands, makes the following declaration, namely: That he has been shown a memorial presented by the father master Fray Mateo Vermudez, [18] procurator-general of the college of Santo Tomas in the city of Manila, wherein for reasons therein set forth he asks that the ambassador at Rome be authorized in writing to petition his Holiness to erect a university of general studies, and to incorporate and establish it in his college as above—so that, should there hereafter be founded separate schools and general [studies], the said university is to be transferred to them, in which may be taught three other branches of learning—namely, canon law, civil law, and medicine, as more fully set forth in the said memorial, the meaning whereof to be taken for granted. Your Majesty will be pleased to order that the same be stricken from the judicial acts, and furthermore, that no other petition of similar import be admitted, with the declaration to the opposing party that, inasmuch as the matter has already been decided [cosa juzgada] in favor of the college of San Ignacio, which the Society conducts in the said city, they are barred from further relief. All which I petition for, for reasons to be more fully described hereafter, whereon I found the necessary petitions and prayers, which, as is evident and appears, will be acknowledged throughout the whole line of reasoning and the acts of the suit that has been entered by the said college, as well as from the allegations and claims deduced therein. The claim of the college of Santo Tomas, in brief, is the establishment of a university in order to nullify the right and privileges of the Society and of the said college of San Ignacio, whereon the Audiencia of Manila has acted and delivered judgment—which acts, on being brought before the Council on appeal, were ended definitively in the trial and review of the said suit. The case, therefore, is finished and closed, and for no reason can or should it be reopened, either in whole or part. Wherefore it results that the claim now introduced is faulty with no other purpose than to burden the said Society with new suits and expenses; as the case, as stated, has been decided and closed, and the reopening of it barred, as being a matter already determined. The said memorial therefore should not be admitted, nor a hearing granted to the claim advanced therein, which should be refused further consideration. And to the end that his plea be drawn up according to the requirements of law, and for the better confutation of the reasons advanced in the said memorial, he [i.e., Solana] maintains that what was petitioned for and obtained by the opponents in the warrant (which was secured through the aid of money) was the establishment of a university like those at Avila and Pamplona. But in order to avoid raising the question of temporal privileges with the necessary expenses therefor, as well as because the paper to be sent to Rome had to be of similar tenor, it was trickily drawn up, and the petition for a university made to read as for one like Lima and Mexico, whereof the reasons advanced in the said suit were set forth in full form, whence it follows that it is not entitled to any further consideration; especially so, since the concession made by his Holiness was according to the tenor of the clear and truthful petition that had been presented to him, without taking into consideration the ulterior meaning that through deceit and malice had been introduced into the report and the subsequent decree thereon. Nor should so important a defect be glozed over with the assertion that the said paper bore the signatures of the president and the members of your Council (whereof there is no evidence) while the very contrary is evident in the acts. [Let it be noted] that considerable time has passed, while, moreover, the proceedings have taken for granted the certainty that those acts should have in similar matters—besides the facts that, in the endeavor to secure a bull, the accompanying statement was vague in that no mention was made therein of the authority possessed by the Society of conferring degrees by perpetual and lawful right; and that in the Council acknowledgment was made (with full cognizance of the case and of whatever was proposed in the said memorial and papers), that they were in favor of the college of San Ignacio and its degrees and students, and not of those of Santo Tomas. Moreover, the bulls and apostolic privileges that have been enjoyed by the Society are in legal and recognized form, and have been admitted and certified to in all the audiencias and tribunals of the Indias, as is notorious; they were passed by the Council, and were presented in the suit, and acknowledged as being of value; while what was advanced by the said father procurator whereon were issued the decisions and writs of the Audiencia of Manila and the Council, was held as gratuitously asserted and without foundation. As early as the year 26, the said bulls were presented to the president, governor, and captain-general, at that time Don Juan Nino de Tabora—from which the subreption latent in the bull which they obtained is inferrible, for in the form wherein it was granted, they would not have secured it if his Holiness had had the evidence of the right and [fact of] possession on the part of the said Society. Nevertheless, the said father procurator-general seeks and claims to have all the defects therein corrected through the issuance of new letters and bulls, in order that the said Society may thereby be deprived and despoiled of its said just privileges and legal titles. In virtue of these it is toiling to the great benefit and advantage, both spiritual and temporal, of the vassals of your Majesty who are resident in those regions and provinces, and who again and again have sought to have the Society upheld in its said right, the same having been duly acknowledged and certified, of which there cannot be the slightest doubt. In order to make plain the baselessness of the arguments that are raised against the said bulls, it suffices to say that they have been presented in legal, authentic, and unchallengeable shape, whereof the evidence is wholly undeniable; and have been recognized as such by the Council, by which they have been accepted with all needed circumstances and requirements—so that, had any further scrutiny been needed therein, the same would not have been neglected, nor, [in such case], would the audiencias of the Indias have allowed them to be cited. Moreover in the suit now pending in the Council, between the college of the Society and that of Santo Tomas in sequence of the one conducted before the royal Audiencia resident in that city [of Manila], the fiscal of Santa Fe [in Mexico?] required that those bulls should be recognized and fulfilled; and although opposition thereto was offered on the part of the college of Sante Tomas, the acts of the trial and the review show that a writ of execution was issued empowering the Society to make full and complete use of the same by conferring degrees, as it had been doing, the college of Santo Tomas being enjoined therefrom. In consideration of this it is not right to grant the father procurator a hearing. Besides, in that suit many other arguments and reasons were brought forward in favor of the Society. Wherefore, if this had not already been decided, finished, and closed, as is the case, a petition would be presented to have all the acts relative to the same brought together, or that a report should be drawn up of the proceedings in the trial. With this concurs the fact, as said, that they were passed by the Council, of which a cedula to that effect has been presented. Moreover in the said suit before the Audiencia of Manila, the cedula of November 25 of [the year 16] 45 having been offered in opposition thereto, full recognition was had of this article; and in the trial and review of the case the claim was refused consideration, since the truthfulness and promptness wherewith the Society was and is proceeding was in evidence—as also was its right use of the said bulls and its conferral of degrees, of which recognition and discussion was made before all parties in this said suit. Besides, to assert that the powers to confer degrees were revoked by Pius V and Sixtus V is contrary to established fact, inasmuch as, so far as relates, appertains, and belongs to its privileges and bulls, these not only were not withdrawn from the Society, but rather were confirmed most amply, with the grant besides of new favors and graces. Wherefore, as regards this plea all question is ended, while the revocation to which he refers concerns other parties, and other intents and purposes, which do not belong to or affect this suit relative to the firm and unalterable right of the Society of Jesus. The said father procurator-general, then, should know what is so notorious that even in Rome, where the Society has its principal university, it has been conferring degrees on its students without any opposition whatever, which would not be the case were the bulls in any way detective. But this [claim] is wholly gratuitous and censurable, as the said decrees of execution were issued by the audiencias and councils; nor should it be offered in opposition on the part of the college of Santo Tomas; nor should an attempt be made to reopen what has been resolved and decided legally with such full knowledge of the case. And the report which he files is also opposed to established fact, in his statement that the city [of Manila] petitioned for the foundation of a university in the said college; for no such paper was written, nor has one been discovered, to the best of our knowledge. Nay, the evidence on the contrary goes to show that a special petition was drawn up in both the general and the particular interest of that community wherein the said Society is established and the use and exercise of its said bulls maintained. For this reason, when the Audiencia ordered the trial to be held, the citizens displayed so much regret for this disturbance of the Society, that the cabildo and magistracy felt obliged to repair to the governor and most urgently petition him to interpose his authority to have the suit remanded to the Council. They asked that no change [in regard to the college] be made, and that he would petition your Majesty on their behalf not to sanction the finding of the said act; or, in event of this being done, to extend the same grace also to the Society of Jesus, in opposition to whose growth it was not right or within reason (with due respect) to have the question decided through the expenditure of money, and that the petty amount of two thousand pesos. Because of the harm to the public welfare and the service of your Majesty, besides other cogent reasons, any similar proposal should be regarded with disfavor and refused a hearing. Moreover, it [i.e., the Jesuit college] was sought for and granted on the fiat of the Conde de Castrillo, through whose agency this grant was secured, and confirmed by the Council. This they secured and obtained fully and sufficiently, and their warrants have been put into effect; whence it results that (even though the intent [of these] had not prevailed and been put into execution, as it has been; even though the res judicata bars further action, as it does) no recourse is open to them [i.e., the Dominicans], nor means that can be of use for introducing the said claim, nor ground for complaint—especially since in virtue of the bull they enjoy many and valuable prerogatives which were not contained in the temporal privileges which they exercised in former times. Then the archbishop gave them their degrees, which were recognized only in the Indias, while now these are recognized everywhere, being conferred by the rector of the college, which has other officials, insignia, and preeminences of special import. Nor do they [i.e., the Dominicans] refrain from nor content themselves with disparaging in every way the degrees and students of the Society of Jesus, whom they deprive and despoil of their just titles and rights. Such is the reason wherefore your Majesty should not give them a hearing were the subject one entitled to a hearing; such the reason wherefore the Council, although wrongly the contrary is maintained, has not declared the college of Santo Tomas to be a university—since what it did do, as is evident in the acts, was to order and declare that both colleges use their bulls. Thus the opposing party is deprived of nothing; nay, especially since, as is stated in the petition and prayer drawn up for that purpose, it was in order to obtain such powers as are held by the universities of Avila and Pamplona. They should not now seek, because of the illegal act of the secretary, to have those powers extended and enlarged to those [possessed by the colleges] of Lima and Mexico, even though his Holiness had not reduced them to the form, limits, and branches of knowledge, referred to in the said bull—to whose tenor and decision one must submit without therefore giving undue significance to the word academia used therein. For, without now raising any question as to the effects thereof, the burden of this treatise simply states that whether a college be a university or not depends on the will of him who is empowered to grant it after inquiry into the fundamental grounds of the matter. In the said lawsuit, the truth was established; accordingly it is neither expedient nor fitting to discuss new points, as whether the term academia, or that of university, or something else be used. Besides, as already stated, the city of Manila did not petition for a university as alleged by the opposite party. The petitioner to that effect in the paper referred to was the said college itself, which secured the grant with limitations as in the decree. Wherefore, even if the said bull had not been secured, there would have been no cause for complaint, inasmuch as they paid the said two thousand pesos with your Majesty's consent; nor could a new petition at any time be presented, one already having been granted, even though they had not obtained the bull.

But without calling in question the matter which is already settled, or his other representations which he insists on and firmly maintains—without appearance, however, of abandoning his claim in case of its rejection—the point that now may be discussed relative to a regular university and general studies is as follows: Has the college of Santo Tomas the needed requisites therefor? or are there new conditions by which their claim can be supported, and which would deprive your Majesty of all ground [for refusing it], although you do not support it? In case a new foundation should be deemed advisable, this more suitably should be established in the said college of San Ignacio, for the reasons to be gathered from the acts of the said trial, from the reports that have been made in favor of the Society, and from the excellent progress which, as is proved by experience, has resulted from their learning and teaching in those islands, with the general applause and approval of their inhabitants and citizens. All this [the writer] again brings forward in the interest of this plea; and he represents that the college of San Ignacio is one founded by your Majesty, and the earliest, and is older than that of Santo Tomas; he also asserts its precedence and other prerogatives adjudged to it in the said trial. Its teaching staff has been, as it will continue to be, adorned with the needed endowments and learning; and that the Society will, as is usual in such cases, carefully teach and train youth follows from its statutes; and the results of its labors in this direction are well known. For its teachers it has never demanded any fees, nor have they any other reward than the luster which is derived from the learning and uprightness of the scholars. They need no royal endowment for their support and maintenance, nor will they ever apply for one. From the revenues enjoyed by the college and the favor shown by your Majesty from the beginning of their earliest establishments they will maintain themselves and be gladly occupied in the fulfilment of this duty. Your Majesty will be their only patron and will give them such statutes as he shall please for their better government. Moreover, without having the royal exchequer put to the slightest expense, application will be made to his Holiness for bulls whereby this institution may win greater renown; while it will be subject in all things to the behest and commands of your Majesty and your Council, as ever has been the notable course of the Society of Jesus in those regions, in order that you may clearly see and understand its mode of procedure and how consistent are its actions. As a favor from your Majesty, it prays with the utmost earnestness and respect that you will be pleased to command that the papers and reports bearing on this matter in the secretary's office be examined and compared—not only those from the present governor, but those from his predecessor; and especially what the latter wrote in the year 49, on the occasion of his referring [to the Council] this lawsuit. Therein will appear the arguments in opposition to the college of Santo Tomas, and the decisions thereon—among others, the fact that its graduates and students have to take oath that they will uphold the teachings of Saint Thomas [of Aquino]. As a matter of fact, in the renowned universities of the world an oath is taken to defend whatever the consensus of Christian piety has decreed—as during these days was sworn to amid public demonstrations and applause, in the presence of your Majesty—relative to the mystery of the conception of the most holy Virgin our Lady. [19] Besides this, by express enactments of law they are forbidden under censures to read and teach other faculties and sciences than those of philosophy and theology. It is therefore unbecoming and in conflict with the said enactments, as well as incompatible with their institute and profession, which forbid them to conduct public universities in the form now claimed. It, moreover, is in manifest prejudice to the right conferred by bulls and privileges on the Society of Jesus, as well as to what has been decreed in its favor with so much toil and expense. And, besides, it may be remarked that the establishment of a university, with courses of medicine, and canon and civil law, in the convent of Santo Domingo would be an improper and absurd proceeding, as they have no teachers who are acquainted with the first principles of these sciences, in default of which there could be but poor instruction, whereas the law requires that the teachers thereof be very learned, besides being endowed with singular talents and qualifications. As the matter is well and generally known, it may be observed that in the Philippines and the city of Manila, where the only persons who treat the sick are Chinese, there is no graduate physician; for no one wishes to go thither from Mexico, as he would be unable to get a living. As regards canon and civil law, graduates therein might go thither every year, if only they could obtain a living and find scholars to whom they might lecture and give instruction. But the city of Manila is so small and confined that—as is evident from the paper here presented with the necessary formalities from Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corquera—it numbers no more than two hundred and seventy citizens. Behold then, your Majesty, under what conditions and in what sort of a place it is sought to establish a regular university of sciences and arts, with chancellor, rector, secretary, beadle, and other officials and teachers who make up its stall—for whose support would be needed twelve thousand ducados of income, no matter how moderate the salaries; whereas, if a portion of this were applied in increasing the number of settlers, with a consequent saving of burdens on the royal exchequer, this would redound to the greater benefit and service of your Majesty. With consideration of the same and whatever besides in fact or law may be of moment, the writer prays and beseeches your Majesty to order the said memorial to be rejected, and allow no other of similar import to be received—with the addition of the declaration, if needed, that the case has already been settled, and the claim is not entitled to a hearing. In conclusion, without prejudice, however, to his plea nor with abandonment of the same, he [i.e., Solana] prays that, should a university be established, it be founded in the college of San Ignacio of the said Society; and on each and every matter relating thereto he files all the petitions needed therefor, wherein he will receive favor with justice, etc. [20]


Although it appears by the information above that in regard to the Philipinas Islands (which belong to the district of the Inquisition of Mexico) it has not been possible to arrange the itinerary, because of the great distance thither from this kingdom; and that the inquisitor visitor, Doctor Don Pedro de Medina Rico, charged its execution by letter to the father-definitor, Fray Diego de Jesus Maria, discalced religious of St. Augustine, and calificador of the Holy Office, as he had labored more than twenty years in the said islands—the said letter being sent in duplicate in the two ships that left this kingdom in this present year of one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight—yet, because the said visitor has heard of the great knowledge of those regions that is possessed by Father Maxino Sola, a religious of the Society of Jesus (who is at present in the City of Mexico, and about to go to the kingdoms of Castilla as procurator-general of the province of Philipinas), in order that the said itinerary might be arranged with greater despatch, and so that in the interim until the coming of the person who shall settle things in those islands, there may be such relation as we are able to have in this book (which must be sent at the first opportunity to the most illustrious and most reverend inquisitor-general and the members of the Council of the general Holy Inquisition), his Lordship ordered me, Ygnacio de Paz, that, continuing the work, I should set down the information given by the said Father Maxino Sola. And, in obedience to that order, that relation which I have been able to procure with the exercise of all care and minuteness, is as follows.

Archbishopric of Manila

The city of Manila, from which the said archbishopric (as well as all the island) takes its name, occupies the same site as did the largest settlement of the natives of this island when they were heathen, who called it by the same name. It was conquered and happily united to the Spanish crown on May nineteen, one thousand five hundred and seventy-one (the same year of the establishment of the tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Mexico) by the valiant Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, native [of Guipuzcoa: blank space in MS.], and a former citizen of the said City of Mexico, whom his Majesty honored with the title of adelantado of the said islands. The city lies in fourteen degrees of north latitude. The governor lives there, who is the captain-general and president of the royal Audiencia which resides in that city, and consists of four auditors who are also alcaldes of the court, a fiscal, and the chief constable of the court. Their archbishop and the ecclesiastical cabildo live there, the latter consisting of the accustomed dignitaries—three canons (for one of the four canonries there was suppressed by his Majesty), two racioneros, two medio-racioneros, one secular cura, who has charge of the Spaniards, and another who has charge of the natives and mulattoes. They are building at the cost of his Majesty a temple for a cathedral, as that which they had before fell in the ruin caused throughout those islands by the earthquakes in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-four [sic; sc. five]. There is a royal chapel in the Plaza de Armas for the funerals and ministry of the soldiers, and it has a chief chaplain and six secular chaplains, all at his Majesty's expense. There is a commissary of the tribunal of the Holy Office, counselors, calificadors, a chief constable, and other employes. The said commissary is necessary in the said city, and he will suffice for all the jurisdiction of the archbishopric of Manila, with the exception of the port of Cavitte. Because of the vessels that anchor at the said city from foreign kingdoms, and because it is not easy to cross the bay during certain months of the year, it is advisable for that city to have its own commissary, as will be related later in the proper place. There is also need of the chief constable, four familiars, and two notaries. [There is] a house of the Misericordia with its temple and two seculars as chaplains, where marriages are provided [for girls]. There is another house, called Santta Pottenciana, with its chapel and secular chaplain, where the wives of those who travel and leave the islands in his Majesty's service are sheltered. There is a royal hospital for the treatment of Spaniards, with its chapel and secular chaplain. The convents of religious in the said city of Manila, in regard to the seniority of their establishment there, are as follows: the calced religious of St. Augustine; the discalced of St. Francisco, of the advocacy of St. James; those of the Society of Jesus; those of St. Dominic; and the discalced of St. Augustine—all with convents and churches of excellent architecture. In addition, the fathers of the Society of Jesus have a seminary with some twenty fellowships under the advocacy of St. Joseph, with a university from which students are graduated in all the faculties. The religious of St. Dominic have another seminary, with not so many fellowships, under the advocacy of St. Thomas, where they also graduate students in all the faculties. In both, lectures are given in grammar, philosophy, and theology. There is a convent with religious women of St. Clare, who are in charge of the religious of St. Francis; a hospital of the Misericordia for poor people and slaves of the Spaniards, the administration of which is in charge of the religious of St. John of God, whose convent is located at the port of Cavite. There is a cabildo and magistracy, with two alcaldes-in-ordinary, a chief constable, regidors, and a clerk of cabildo; and an accountancy of results, with its accountant and officials. There are also three royal officials, with their employes. There are about sixty Spanish citizens, not counting those who occupy military posts. The latter amount usually to about four hundred men. There are many servants, of various nations, amounting to more than four thousand men and women.

Hamlets falling in the circumference of the city of Manila

Outside and near the walls of the city lies the parish of Santiago where one beneficed secular has charge of all the Spaniards who live outside the said walls. The village of San Antonio is also near the walls, and is in charge of a beneficed secular.

The village of Quiapo, which lies on the other side of the river, is administered by the said beneficed secular.

The village called La Hermita, in whose temple is the venerated image of Nuestra Senora de Guia, is two musket-shots away from the walls of Manila, and is administered by a beneficed secular.

The village called Parian, the alcaiceria where the Chinese merchants and workmen live—most of that people being infidels, and few of them Christian—are in charge of religious of St. Dominic. This place is close to the walls.

There is a small village next the walls called San Juan, which is in charge of the discalced religious of St. Augustine.

Another village, somewhat farther from the walls than the said San Juan, and called Malatte, is in charge of the calced Augustinian fathers.

Another very near village, called Dilao, is where some Japanese Christians live, separated from the natives; and their administration, as well as that of the natives, is in charge of religious of St. Francis.

There is another small village contiguous to that of Dilao, called San Miguel, which has a house of retreat for the Japanese women who are exiled from their country because they follow our holy faith. They, as well as the natives of the said village, are in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

All of the said villages, so far as the secular affairs are concerned, belong to the jurisdiction of the alcalde-mayor of Tondo, who lives in the village of that name on the other side of the river. That village is densely populated with natives and Chinese mestizos who are in charge of calced religious of St. Augustine.

Still nearer the river is the village of Milongo [sic; sc. Binondo] which is almost wholly composed of Chinese mestizos. It is in charge of religious of St. Dominic.

The religious of St. Dominic administer and care for a Chinese hospital which is located on the bank of the said river.

On the same shore of the river is a village named Santa Cruz, composed of married Christian Chinese, who are in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

Up-stream toward the lake are various villages. One is called San Sebastian, and is in charge of discalced Augustinians.

Another is called Santa Ana and is administered by religious of St. Francis.

Another, called San Pedro, is in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

Another, called Guadalupe, is in charge of calced Augustinians.

Another, called Pasic, is in charge of calced Augustinian religious.

The village of San Matheo is in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

The village of Taitai is in charge of the said religious of the Society.

The village of Antipolo is in charge of the same religious of the Society of Jesus.

The village of San Palo [i.e., Sampaloc] is in charge of religious of St. Francis.

Coasting along from the city of Manila to the port of Cavite, where the ships that sail from this kingdom anchor, and across the said river, is the village of Paranaca, which is in charge of the calced Augustinian religious.

Port of Cabitte

The port of Cabitte is six or seven leguas distant from Manila by land, and three by sea, and the seamen live there with a Spanish garrison; they have their castellan, who is also the chief justice. There is a secular cura who ministers with the help of his assistant and sacristan. There is a college of the Society of Jesus; a convent of St. Francis, another of St. Dominic, and another of discalced Augustinians, as well as a hospital in charge of the religious of St. John of God. The cura of that port also has charge of the natives living about the walls, who are almost all workmen who work at the building of galleons. The same cura also has charge of the small villages which are located on the other side of the port. Another called Cabitte el Viexo [i.e., Old Cavite] is in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus. At a distance of four or five leguas about this port are located some cattle-ranches and some farmlands belonging to the citizens of Manila, which are in charge of a secular cura.

In the jurisdiction of the alcalde-mayor of Tondo, which is the place nearest to the city of Manila besides the aforesaid villages (which all belong to him, except the port of Cabitte), is the village of Tegui, close to the lake. It is in charge of calced Augustinian religious.

In the interior are located the villages of Silan and Ymdan which are in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus.

Up-stream and next to the jurisdiction of Tondo begins the jurisdiction of the lake of Bari [sic; sc. Bay] which lies east of Manila; this jurisdiction lies along the shore of the said lake. The chief village is called Barii (whence the name of the said lake) and it is in charge of calced Augustinian religious.

The village of San Pablo, distant six leguas inland, is in charge of the same calced Augustinian religious.

There is a hospital located on the bank of the said lake, which is in charge of religious of St. Francis. These religious have charge of most of the villages of that jurisdiction with the exception of that of Binan and its subordinate villages.

Coasting along Manila Bay, one comes first to the island of Maribeles, a small jurisdiction in charge of a Spaniard, who is corregidor and serves also as sentinel. Its villages are in charge of discalced Augustinian religious, with the exception of that of Maragondon and its subordinate villages, which are in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

Leaving the bay, and pursuing the same voyage made by the ships that go to Nueva Espana, on the left and some fourteen leguas from Cavitte is the jurisdiction of Balayan or Bombon, located on a small lake which bears that name. It has an alcalde-mayor; most of its villages are in charge of seculars, and the others, of calced religious of St. Augustine.

Opposite the said jurisdiction and to the right, lie the islands of Mindoro and Luban, which are in charge of secular priests. They have an alcalde-mayor, to whom belongs also the island of Marinduque, which is in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus.

Traveling along the other side of the land of Manila, [22] one encounters the jurisdiction of Bulacan, which is but small, and is administered by religious of the calced Augustinians—as also is the jurisdiction of Panpanga, which is large and fertile, and contains many large villages.

Fourteen or fifteen leguas past the island of Mindoro to the southwest, are the islands called Calamianes, which number about seventeen. They are small and most of them now subdued; and they lie between the island of Mindoro and that called Paragua, which is the third of the said Philipinas Islands in size. [23] A small portion of the latter island is subject to the Spaniards; it is one hundred and fifty leguas in circumference, and its greatest latitude is nineteen degrees.

In the islands called Calamianes is located an alcalde-mayor with a small presidio, as it lies opposite the Camucones enemy. The administration of all those islands, and of that called Cuio, is in charge of discalced Augustinian religious.

Bishopric of Cagayan or Nueva Segovia

The city where the seat of the bishopric is located is called Nueva Segovia. It has a Spanish presidio and its fort, whose castellan is the alcalde-mayor of that jurisdiction. It is in charge of one secular cura. The religious of St. Dominic have a convent in the said city. The jurisdiction is about eighty leguas long and forty wide. All the province of Cagayan is in charge of religious of St. Dominic except the village and port of Viga, which is in charge of a secular cura.

Next to that province on the side toward the archbishopric of Manila, lies the province called Ylocos. It is very fertile and abounds in gold and cotton, and is densely populated. It has an alcalde-mayor, and all its administration is in charge of calced Augustinian religious.

The province called Pangasinan is next to the said province of Ylocos. It is densely populated, fertile, and abounds in gold. The religious of St. Dominic have charge of it, with the exception of some small villages on the seacoast, which are in charge of discalced Augustinian religious. All those three provinces together with the islands called Babullanes belong to the said bishopric of Cagaian. They lie north of Manila. There are many people yet to be converted, some of them being rebels who have taken to the mountains, while there are others who pay their tributes although they are not Christians.

Bishopric of Camarines or Nueva Cazeres

In the part opposite the bishopric of Cagayan lies the bishopric called Camarines or Nueva Cazeres. Its city, called [Nueva] Cazeres, is the seat of the bishopric and has a secular cura and a convent of religious of St. Francis which has a hospital. All that province of Camarines, and another one called Paracale is in charge of religious of St. Francis; and they are in the jurisdiction of one alcalde-mayor.

The province called Calilaya or Taiabas, which has another alcalde-mayor, is also in the charge of religious of St. Francis, except the villages called Bondo which are in charge of seculars. The said jurisdiction has another province called Canttanduanes, which has its own corregidor; and some small islands a short distance from the mainland. Those islands, which are called Burias, Masbate, and Tican, are in charge of seculars.

The islands of Romblon and Bantton, which belong to that jurisdiction of Canttanduanes, are in charge of religious of the discalced Augustinians. Those two bishoprics of Nueva Segovia and Nueva Cazeres are located in the island of Manila. That island is about two hundred leguas or so long and runs from the east to the north, from about thirteen and one-half degrees [of latitude] to about nineteen or a trifle less. In the east it has a width of about one day's journey from one sea to the other, or a trifle more; and in the north is thirty or forty leguas wide. The total circumference of the island is about four hundred leguas.

Bishopric of Sebu or Nombre de Jesus

The see of that bishopric is located in the city called Sebu, as it took that name from that of the whole island; the Spaniards gave it the name of Nombre de Jesus. It was so called from the image of the child Jesus which was found by the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpe in the Indian settlement in the year one thousand five hundred and sixty-five. It appears that that image was left in that island in the year one thousand five hundred and twenty-one, when Hernando de Magallanes (who died there) arrived at that place. Only one secular cura lives there, for although dignitaries, consisting of a dean and the others, have been assigned to Sebu, they are so only in name; and those dignities are enjoyed by the seculars who have charge of the places nearest to the said city of Sebu. In that city is located a convent of calced Augustinian religious, which was the first convent to be founded in the said Philipinas Islands. There is a college of the Society of Jesus, and a convent of discalced Augustinian religious. As far as the secular power is concerned, there is an excellent stone fort with a Spanish presidio, which is governed by an alcalde-mayor who generally bears the title of "lieutenant of the captain-general." There is a cabildo and magistracy, with alcaldes-in-ordinary and regidors. That island is somewhat prolonged for fifteen or twenty leguas, and is eight leguas wide. It has a circumference of eighty or ninety leguas, and extends northeast and southwest in ten degrees of latitude. [24] The city has a Parian or alcaiceria of Chinese who are in charge of a beneficed secular. About it are some natives who are in charge of calced and discalced Augustinian religious.

The nearest island to the above island is that called Bohol, which runs north and south for some fifteen leguas, with a width of eight or ten leguas and a circumference of forty. It is all in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus. As regards secular affairs, it belongs to the jurisdiction of Sebu.

Next the said island of Bohol lies that called Leite. It also extends north and south, and has a length of some thirty leguas, and a width in some parts of only three leguas, while its circumference is about ninety or one hundred leguas. It is also in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus.

Next the said island of Leite lies that called Samar or Ybabao, the last of the Philipinas. Its coast is bathed by the Mexican Sea, and it makes a strait with the land of Manila which is called San Bernardino. By that strait enter and leave the ships of the Nueva Espana line. It lies between thirteen and one-half degrees and eleven degrees south latitude, in which latitude it extends for the space of two and one-half degrees. It is also in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus. That island and that of Leite have one alcalde-mayor.

North of the island of Sebu lies the island of Negros, which extends between nine and ten and one-half degrees, and has some hundred leguas of circumference. It is almost all in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus, except one mission which the discalced Augustinian religious have there.

Northeast of the same island of Sebu lies the island called Bantallan with four other islets, all of which are in charge of one secular.

Lower down and near Manila is the island called Panai, which is very fertile and densely populated. It is some hundred leguas in circumference, and runs east and west, and north and south in ten degrees of latitude. The city of Arebalo or Oton is located in that island, and an alcalde-mayor lives there—who is also the purveyor for the fleets of those islands, and of Mindanao and its presidios. The cura of the town is a secular; but the Spaniards of the presidio are in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus; they have a college in the said city, and also have charge of the district called Hilo Hilo. The balance of the said island of Panai has an alcalde-mayor, and is in charge of calced Augustinian religious.

There are two other districts in the said jurisdiction which are in charge of seculars. All the above islands belong to the bishopric of Sebu, as do also the great island of Mindanao, with Jolo, and their adjacent islands.

The island of Mindanao is the largest of all the Philipinas Islands, next to that of Manila. In its largest part that island extends from five and one-half degrees northeastward to nine degrees—a distance of some seventy leguas. Its two headlands, which are called San Augustin and that of La Caldera, bound a coast which runs east and west for some hundred and ten leguas. That island has at the port located about its middle, called Sanbuangan, an excellent Spanish presidio with a stone fort which is well equipped with artillery. That fort has its governor and castellan, who is also governor and castellan of the islands of Jolo, Bacilan, and some other smaller islands. The administration of all the islands called Mindanao, Jolo, and the others, both Spaniards and natives, is in charge of religious of the Society of Jesus.

From the cape of San Augustin northeastward in that island is the jurisdiction called Caraga and Buttuan, which has its own alcalde-mayor. Its administration is in charge of discalced Augustinian fathers.

Along the coast toward the vendaval [i.e., southwest], on that same island is the jurisdiction of Yligan, the principal part of which lies on a lake of the same name. It is in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus.

The district called Dappitan in that same island is in charge of fathers of the Society of Jesus.


The islands called Terrenate or the Clove Islands are located for the most part under the equinoctial line toward the east; and are three hundred leguas distant from Malaca in India, and slightly less from Manila, toward the southeast. The islands are five in number, extend north and south, and are quite near one another. The largest, from which the others take their name, is that of Terrenate. [25] Two leguas from it is that of Tidore, and then comes Mutiel. The fourth is called Maquien and the fifth Bachan. All of them lie opposite the land called Battachina. Those islands of Terrenate have various Spanish presidios, the principal one of which is in the same island of Terrenate where the governor lives; he is the governor of all the other presidios. The Dutch have a settlement in that island with a good fort, all for the sake of the profit [that they obtain from the] cloves and nutmeg. The number of Christians there is small, although there were many in the time of the glorious apostle of Yndia, St. Francis Xavier. It has always been administered by religious of the Society of Jesus, as well as the natives of the island of Siau, who are the most affectioned to our holy faith. The Spaniards of Terrenate are in charge of a secular cura belonging to the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Cochin in Oriental Yndia; for the administration of those islands has always been in charge of that bishopric and province of Cochin, although the ministers of the Society of Jesus have been appointed since the time of the revolt of Portugal by the superior of the said Society in the province of Philipinas. The stipends of the cura and of the other evangelical workers are paid from the royal treasury of Manila, as are also the salaries of the governor and the presidios. In the island of Terrenate is a house of the Society of Jesus, whence they go out to administer the other islands and presidios. It has also a royal hospital which is in charge of the discalced religious of St. Francis. The cura of that island and presidio was withdrawn to Manila when Portugal rebelled, and the archbishop chose a cura from his archbishopric; but it was a question whether he had any jurisdiction for it, so that the appointment of cura passed again in due course to the proprietary cura of the jurisdiction and bishopric of Cochin, which is in actual charge of the said presidio [and will remain thus] until the determination and commands of the king our sovereign are known.

The commissaries that seem necessary in the said islands, and in the places where such office will be desirable, are the following.

1. In the city of Manila, with the jurisdiction of all the archbishopric except the port of Cavitte. On account of the vessels that anchor in the latter place from foreign kingdoms, and because during some months in the year it is not easy to cross the bay, it is advisable for that port to have its own commissary.

2. In the said city of Manila, the said employes who are mentioned in its description.

3. In the fort of Sanboangan in the island of Mindanao, and the islands subordinate to it.

4. In the city of Sebu, whose commissary can serve for all the islands called Pinttados.

5. In the town of Arebalo or Oton; the same person may be commissary of its jurisdiction and of that of Panai and the island of Negros.

6. In the presidio of Yligan and Caraga.

7. There could also be one in the islands of Calamianes and the islands subordinate to them.

8. Another commissary in the jurisdiction of Cagaian, Ylocos, and Pangasinan.

9. Another in the forts of Terrenate. This is most necessary, as the Spaniards of the said forts are among Dutch and Moros, and so far from the city of Manila.

DOCUMENTS OF 1660-1666

Recollect missions, 1646-60. Luis de Jesus and Diego de Santa Theresa, O.S.A. (Recollect); [compiled from their works]. Description of Filipinas Islands. Bartholome de Letona, O.S.F.; 1662. Events in Manila, 1662-63. [Unsigned; July, 1663?]. Letter to Francisco Yzquierdo. Diego de Salcedo; July 16, 1664. Why the friars are not subjected to episcopal visitation. [Unsigned and undated; 1666?].

Sources: The first of these documents is taken from the Historia general de los religiosos descalzos ... de San Agustin: part II, by Luis de Jesus (Madrid, 1681), from a copy in the library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago; and part III, by Diego de Santa Theresa (Barcelona, 1743), from a copy in the Library of Congress. The second is from a pamphlet bound in with a copy (in the possession of Antonio Graino y Martinez, Madrid) of Letona's Perfecta religiosa (Puebla, Mexico, 1662), a rare work. The remainder are from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), ii, pp. 401-483.

Translations: The first and fifth of these are translated by James A. Robertson; the remainder, by Emma Helen Blair.



The venerable sister Isabel, a beata, dies holily in the faith in the province of Butuan

Only section: (Year 1646)

One of our Beatas, named Isabel, passed to the better life this year in the village of Butuan of Filipinas. We know nothing else about her except that she was converted to the faith by the preaching of Ours when they entered that province. The Lord illumined her so that she should leave the darkness of their idolatries, and she was baptized and given the name of Isabel. She produced great fruit in a short time, for the hand of God is not restricted to time limit. Seeing her so useful in the mysteries of the Catholic religion, our religious sent her to become a coadjutor and the spiritual mother of many souls, whom she reduced to the faith and catechized thus gaining them for the Church.

She was sent to the villages where the devil was waging his fiercest war and deceiving by his tricks, so that she might oppose herself to him by her exemplary life and the gentleness of her instruction. She established her school in a house in the village to which the young girls resorted. With wonderful eloquence she made them understand that the path of their vain superstitions would lead them astray, and explained the rudiments and principles of the Christian doctrine. At her set hours she went to the church daily, and the people gathering, she instructed the stupid ones, confirmed the converted, and enlightened the ignorant—and that with so much grace and gentleness of words that she seized the hearts of her hearers. To this she joined a modesty and bearing sweetly grave, by which she made great gain among those barbarians.

Since so copious results were experienced through the agency of Isabel, both in the reformation of morals and in the many who were converted from their blind paganism, the fathers sent her to preach in the streets and open places where the people gathered to hear her—some through curiosity, and others carried away by her wonderful grace in speaking. By that means many souls were captured and entreated baptism, for she was a zealous worker and an apostolic coadjutor in that flock of the Lord. She also entered the houses of the obstinate ones who did not go to hear her in the streets. There, with mild discourses and full of charity, she softened their hearts and inclined them to receive the faith.

After some years of employment in that kind of apostolic life her husband died. Upon being freed from the conjugal yoke she desired to subject her neck to that of religion. Father Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio, at that time vicar-provincial of that province, gave her our habit of mantelata or beata. She recognized, as she was very intelligent and experienced in the road to perfection, that her obligations to make herself useful were stricter, that she must live a better life and employ the talent which she had received from God for the benefit of her neighbor, and she did so. One cannot easily imagine the diligence with which she sought souls; the means that she contrived to draw them from the darkness of heathendom. What paths did she not take! What hardships did she not suffer! She went from one part to another discussing with the spirit and strength, not of a weak woman, but of a strong man. The Lord whose cause she was advancing aided her; for the solicitation of souls for God is a service much to His satisfaction.

She finally saw all that province of Butuan converted to the faith of Jesus Christ, for which she very joyfully gave thanks. She retired then to give herself to divine contemplation, for she thought that she ought to get ready to leave the world as she had devoted so much time to the welfare of her neighbor. She sought instruction from Sister Clara Caliman (whose life we have written above), and imitated her in her penitences, her fastings, and her mode of life, so that she became an example of virtues.

For long hours did Isabel pray devoutly; she visited the sick; she served them; she exhorted them to repentance for their sins and to bear their sorrows with patience. She devoted herself so entirely to those works of charity that it seemed best to our fathers (who governed that district) not to allow her respite from them, and that she could [not] live wholly for herself. They built a hospital for the poor and sent her to care for them. She sought the needy, whom she often carried on her shoulders, so great was her charity. She cared for their souls, causing the sacraments to be administered to them; and for their bodies, applying to them the needful medicines. She solicited presents and alms, and she had set hours for going out to beg for the sick poor. She did all that with a cheerful and calm countenance, which indicated the love of God which burned in her breast. Her hour came during those occupations and she fell grievously ill. She knew that God was summoning her and begged for the sacraments of the Catholic Church; and, having received them with joy, she surrendered her soul to her Lord—leaving, with sorrow for her loss, sure pledges that she has eternal rest.


A hospice is established in the City of Mexico for the accommodation of the religious who go to the Filipinas.

Only section: (Year 1647)

As the province of San Nicolas de Tolentino had been founded in the Filipinas Islands by our religious, and since they had many missions in various districts to which to attend—not only converting infidels, but comforting and sustaining those converted—they thought that it would be necessary for them to send repeated missions of religious and to conduct them from Espana to those districts. The usual route is by way of Mexico, a most famous city; and since our Recollects had no house there where the religious could await in comfort the opportunity to embark for the said islands, they determined to take a house or hospice in which they could live and where those who fell sick from the long and troublesome journey could be treated. The Order petitioned it from the king our sovereign, Felipe Fourth, who, exercising his wonted charity, issued his royal decree in this year of 1647 for the founding of the said hospice; and it was actually founded. It does not belong to this history to relate the conditions that were then accepted; we have only thought it best to give this notice of it here.

[The remainder of this book does not concern Philippine affairs].

[The following is translated and condensed from Diego de Santa Theresa's Historia general de los religiosos descalzos, being vol. iii in the general history of the Recollect order.] [27]



Treats of the fifth intermediary chapter; and of some events in the province of Philipinas.

[The first section treats of the fifth intermediary chapter of the order, which was held at Madrid, May 27, 1651].

Sec. II

The convent of Tandag, in the province of Caragha of the Philipinas Islands, is demolished

232. Tandag is located in the island of Mindanao, and is the capital of the district of the jurisdiction of Caragha, where the alcalde-mayor resides. In regard to ecclesiastical affairs, it belongs to the bishopric of Zibu. Our convent which is found in that settlement has charge of three thousand souls, scattered in the said capital and in five annexed villages called visitas. How much glory that convent has gained for God may be inferred from the repeated triumphs which its most zealous ministers obtained, thanks to His grace; and the words of our most reverend and illustrious Don Fray Pedro de San-Tiago, bishop of Solsona and Lerida, in the relation of the voyage made by our discalced religious to the Indias are sufficient. "There was," he says, "a powerful Indian, called Inuc, the lord of Marieta, who, waging war on the Spaniards and peaceable Indians, killed many of them in various engagements while he captured more than two thousand. The very reverend father Fray Juan de la Madre de Dios left Tandag, without other army or arms than his virtues. He went to meet Inuc and, by the force of the divine word, he alone conquered Inuc, who was accompanied by squadrons; the religious conquered the soldier, the lamb the lion, and forced him to lay aside his arms and reduce himself to the obedience of the king our sovereign, and to be baptized with all his family." Thus did he give in that one action, peace to the country, a multitude of souls to heaven, and an exceeding great number of vassals to the Spanish monarch.

233. The seasons continued to pass interwoven with various incidents, now prosperous, now adverse; although as the world is a vale of tears, it gave its pleasures with a close hand and its sorrows with prodigal liberality—especially in the years 46 and 47 when the Dutch, having become the ruler of the seas, forced or compelled all vessels to take refuge in the ports. The commerce of the Sangleys or Chinese fell off almost entirely; and according to the common opinion, the Dutch were so victorious that their invasions, painted with those rhetorical colors that fear is wont to give, filled all the islands with terror. Don Diego Faxardo, knight of the Habit of San-Tiago, was then governor and captain-general of Philipinas, and also president of that royal Audiencia. He was most vigilant in defending those wretched villages from the powerful invasions of the enemy, who, by the specious pretext that they were going to set them free, induced the chiefs to [join] a general conspiracy. Don Diego tried to ascertain the forces of the enemy with accuracy; he ordered the ports to be reconnoitered and the presidios to be fortified. He solicited truthful reports in order to obtain advice upon the best way to decide.

234. There was at that time an alcalde-mayor in the fortress of Tandag whose name is omitted for a special reason. The venerable father Fray Pedro de San Joseph Roxas, a religious of eminent qualities and excellent virtues, was prior of that convent. He, having concluded that the minister ought, as a teacher, to attend to the Indians in regard to instruction, and as a father, to watch over their protection, on seeing his parishioners persecuted with unjust vexations thought himself obliged to oppose the illegal acts of the alcalde. Father Fray Pedro saw the people of Tandag and its visitas oppressed with insupportable burdens. He saw them suffering so great sadness that their weeping did not dare to mount from the heart to the eyes, nor could the bosom trust its respiration to the lips. The father noted that, in proportion as they were sacrificed to the greed of another, just so much did they grow lukewarm in living according to the Catholic maxims. Since there was no one to speak for the Indians if that zealous minister became dumb, he resolved to defeat them efficaciously in order to make so great wrong cease, even if it were at his own risk. He asked humbly, exhorted fervently, and insisted in and out of season in proportion to the cause; but seeing his petitions unheeded in Tandag, he placed them in a Tribunal where they would receive attention.

235. The alcalde-mayor, resenting the father's demands, took occasion to send his reports to Don Diego Faxardo; accordingly he said that that fortress of Caragha was in a state of vigorous defense, although it had a dangerous neighbor in the convent, for that was a very strong work and dominated the fortress. Consequently, he thought that it was a necessary precaution to destroy it. Thereupon the governor called a meeting of auditors, judges, and officials of the royal treasury; and on the nineteenth of December, 1647, they despatched a general order to all the alcaldes-mayor commanding that the stone churches and convents built along the sea shore be demolished. The reason given was that if the Dutch succeeded in capturing them in their invasions, they would find in them forts enabling them to continue their raids with greater persistency. Already the said captain had been withdrawn from Tandag and Don Juan Garcia appointed in his place when that order from the royal Audiencia was received. He called a meeting of Captains Juan de Sabata and Don Marcos de Resines, also summoning Sargento-mayor Don Andres Curto and the same alcalde-mayor who had been at Tandag—of whom he did not yet even know that he had given the said report. They recognized that the church could be burned and pulled down in less than six hours, in case the Dutch came; for its walls were built of the weakest kind of stone and the roof of nipa, which is as combustible as straw. On the other hand, they saw the Indian natives somewhat sad and feared that they would take to the mountains in flight in order not to be forced to work at a new building. Therefore they resolved, by common consent, to suspend the execution [of the order] until those reasons could be represented in the royal Audiencia, and the most advisable measures taken for the service of both Majesties.

236. Don Diego Faxardo and the royal assembly saw that those reports were contrary; for the first said that it was very important to demolish the convent and church, as it was a very strong work; and that, since it was within musket-shot and dominated the redoubt, the Dutch could demolish it in twenty-four hours with only two ten-libra cannon: while the second report set forth the fear of the revolt and flight of the Indians, alleging that the convent and church, although built of stone, would serve as no obstacle. But, notwithstanding that contradiction, a new decree was despatched ordering the demolition of the church and convent of Tandag. That was done immediately amid great sorrow, although with great conformity of the religious and Indians to so peremptory decrees. Since malice thus triumphed, vengeance was satisfied, and a religious order so worthy was slighted; and although its members had more than enough reasons for anger, they never permitted it to pass their lips, and only employed their rhetoric in restraining the natives so that they would not take to the mountains.

Sec. III

Philipo Fourth is informed that Fray Pedro de San Joseph resisted the demolition of the convent strongly, and that he was the cause of the insurrection of the Indians in the village.

237. Nothing else was thought of in the Philipinas Islands than their defense from the fear occasioned by the Dutch with their fleets. That holy province was engaged in the reparation of the ruins of their demolished church, and the zeal of those evangelical ministers was working with the same ardor, for they were wont not to become lukewarm [even] with the repeated strokes of the most heavy troubles. In May, 1651, it was learned at the court in Madrid, that the royal mind of his Catholic Majesty had been informed of what will be explained in more vivid colors in the following letter, which the venerable father-provincial of Philipinas received in the year 53. "Venerable and devout father-provincial of the Augustinian Recollects of the Philipinas Islands: It has been learned in my royal Council of the Indias from letters of the royal Audiencia resident in the city of Manila that, in virtue of a resolution taken by the council of war and treasury of those islands, certain strong churches in the islands were ordered to be demolished, such as those of Abucay, Marinduque, and Caragha, so that they might not be seized by the enemy, as those edifices were a notorious menace and peril to the islands after the Dutch attacked Cavite. It was learned that, although the church of Caragha was demolished, it was done after the greatest opposition from the religious of your order who are settled in those missions. He who instructed the Indians there threatened that the Indians would revolt, as happened later. For the village rose in revolt, and the Indians took to the mountains—thereby occasioning the many and serious troubles that demand consideration. The matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Indias, it has been deemed best to warn you how severely those proceedings by the religious of that order have been censured—so that, being warned thereof, you may correct them and try to improve them, in order that the religious may restrain themselves in the future and not give occasion to the natives to become restless. For they are under so great obligation to do the contrary, and they ought to have taken active part in calming the Indians and restraining them if they believed that they were attempting to make any movement; since the care and watchfulness of the officials cannot suffice if the religious of the missions fail to aid them with the natives. I trust that you will be attentive to correct this matter from now on; for besides the fact that it is so in harmony with your obligation and with the example that the religious ought to give to others in respect to their rules, I shall consider myself as well served by you. Madrid, May 27, 1651.


238. It cannot be denied that the terms of that royal letter could serve the most austere man for no small exercise [in mortification]; and more on that occasion when that holy province was laboring in the service of his Catholic Majesty, so much to the satisfaction of his ministers that many praises of our discalced religious were published.... We confess that the king alleges that he received that notice through letters from the royal Audiencia, a tribunal of so great circumspection that it would not undertake to inform its monarch without sure knowledge. But we declare that the secretary of the king our sovereign might have been mistaken in the midst of so great a rush of business, in representing as a report of that most upright assembly that which proceeds from private subjects only. In order that the good opinion in which our Augustinian Recollects were held by the cabildo, city, and royal Audiencia may be thoroughly evident, I shall insert here their letters of April 29 and 30, 1648, those dates being somewhat later than the notice which was received in Manila of this entire affair.

239. The letter of the royal Audiencia runs as follows—"Sire: Your Majesty was pleased, at the instance of the discalced religious of St. Augustine, to order this royal Audiencia to report on the justification for the continuation which they ask of the alms of 250 pesos and 250 fanegas of rice for the support of four religious who administer to the Indians in this convent of Manila. We know the excellent manner in which they attend to their ministry, and their poverty—which obliges them to beg weekly alms, for the incomes of some of the chaplaincies were lost in the earthquake. They are very strictly observed in their ministries and hasten to serve his Majesty on occasions when we encounter enemies, by sea and land, where some have been killed or captured. Consequently they are today very short of laborers. These are causes which demand that your Majesty, with your accustomed liberality, should be pleased to continue the said alms and allow the Recollects to bring religious hither. May God preserve, etc. April 30, 1648."

240. I find the letter of the most illustrious cabildo to be couched in these terms—"Sire: As this see is vacant, it is incumbent upon us in obedience to your royal decree to assure your Majesty that the Augustinian Recollect religious attend to their ministry punctually. The poverty that they suffer is great, for they are obliged to beg alms from door to door as they lost the incomes of some of their chaplaincies in the earthquake and their convent was ruined. They are very observant in their rules, and in their administrations to the natives in the missions in their charge. As those missions are among the most unconquerable and fierce people in these districts, many of the religious have been killed and captured. Consequently, they suffer from a great lack of laborers; but they have not for that failed in the service of your Majesty on the occasions that have arisen by sea and land—all, motives that should impel your Majesty with your royal liberality to be pleased to continue the said alms, and to concede them a goodly number of religious for these islands. May God preserve, etc. Manila, April 29, 1648."

241. That of the city of Manila speaks of the Recollects in the following manner—"Sire: This city of Manila has informed your Majesty on various occasions of the great importance in these islands of the order of discalced Recollects of St. Augustine; of the apostolic men in that order; of the great results that they obtain by the preaching of the holy gospel; of the singular example that they have always furnished, and do now, with their strict and religious life and their so exact mode of observing their rules; and of the so considerable effects that have through their agency been attained in the service of our Lord and that of your Majesty, with the aid of your royal arms, in the great number of infidels whom they have converted to our holy Catholic faith, and how they have been brought to render to your Majesty the due vassalage and tribute, which they have generally paid, and are paying, annually. [We have also told your Majesty] that they have engaged in all this with the spiritual affection that belongs to their profession, with singular care—both in the conservation of what they have attained and in their continual desire, notwithstanding the many discomforts that they suffer, to carry on their work, steadily converting new souls to the service of our Lord and to the obedience of your Majesty. [We have also reported] the great peace and quiet which they preserve among themselves so that they have always been and are, one of the most acceptable and well-received orders in these islands—although they are the poorest, as all their missions are in districts very distant from this city, and among the most warlike people that are in all the provinces of these islands, as they are recently conquered; and the danger in which, for that reason, the lives of those fathers are. Indeed, some have already risked life, at times, when those people who appeared to be peaceful have rebelled; and others have gloriously [met death] at the hands of those who were not pacified, when the holy gospel was preached to them—besides many others who have suffered martyrdom in the kingdom of Japon, enriching with noble acts the church of God and the crown of your Majesty. [We have reported] that no fleet has gone out in which those fathers do not sail for the consolation of the infantry, and that, in the emergencies that have arisen, they have fought like valiant soldiers; and that they accommodate themselves to everything with the angelic spirit that is theirs, when it is to the service of our Lord and that of your Majesty. At the present we inform you of the extreme poverty that the convent of San Nicolas of this city is suffering; for with the earthquake which happened on November 30 of the former year 1645, their entire church fell, so that today they are living in great discomfort in cells of straw which have been built in the garden. The sick are the ones who suffer the greatest inconveniences; and they generally have sick people, since the religious of the missions in their charge come, when ill, to this convent to be treated. Consequently, this city is constrained to petition your Majesty, with all due humility, to be pleased to order that 250 pesos and 250 fanegas of rice be annually contributed to them on the account of the royal treasury of your Majesty—which amount was given them as a stipend for four ordained religious (although there are always more)—as well as 150 pesos for medicines. [We ask for] the continuation of the extension conceded by the decree of May 3, 1643, without any time-limit being set; for the great affection with which our Lord and your Majesty are thereby served merits it. This city petitions your Majesty to be pleased to grant the said order license to send as many religious as you may please from those kingdoms to these islands, in consideration of the remarkable necessity for religious in their so distant missions—where, because of the poor nourishment from the food which they use for the sustenance of human life (treating themselves like actual beggars), with the great abstinence which they observe, and where no discomforts of sun or rain keep them back (for they go through dense forests and over inaccessible mountains in order to reduce to our holy Catholic faith the thousands of souls in those districts who have no knowledge of it), many have perished in that work; for in this year alone such number more than twelve. To some of them no companions have come for this vineyard of the Lord, and the increase of the royal estate and crown of your Majesty—whose Catholic person may the divine Majesty preserve, as is needed in Christendom. Manila, April 30, 1648."

242. These letters—which are authentic, and preserved in our general archives—are those written in the year 1648 by the city, the cabildo, and the royal Audiencia. The order to demolish Tandag was given in the year 47, and it was apparent to them that the fear of the [Indians'] insurrection and flight with the other motives for suspending the execution proceeded only from that junta of the captains, and that there was no resistance on the part of the minister. Further, it was clearly proved in the year 55 that that information was not written by the royal Audiencia (nor could it be, since that is a fount whence the truth flows with so great purity); but that the secretary Was mistaken in thus ascribing to so upright a tribunal what was only signed by an inferior, who desired to dazzle by giving the first news which generally arrives very much garbled.

[Section iv is a vindication of the Recollects in regard to the demolition of the convent and church of Tandag. Juan Garcia, alcalde-mayor and captain of the fort of that place at the time of the demolition, declares (July 29, 1654) that "he proceeded with the razing of the building without the religious losing their composure, or threatening that their natives would revolt; and that neither before nor after was there any insurrection or disquiet in Tandag or throughout its districts; neither did the natives desert and flee to the mountains; neither did he see or know of any such thing while he was alcalde-mayor, or during the many months after that while he resided in the said village." The following section treats of the life of father Fray Pedro de San Joseph (whose family name was Roxas) prior of Tandag in the time of the above troubles. He was born in Manila (where he took the Recollect habit) April 21, 1621. He achieved distinction in the study of moral and mystic theology. At the completion of his studies he was sent to various villages to preach, proving himself a successful preacher. In 1635 he was sent to the island of Romblon, where he worked with good results in spite of the hostile attempts of the Moros in that district. At the completion of his term of service at Romblon he was sent to Tandag, where he had to contend against the Spaniards themselves, on account of their excesses toward the natives. After the demolition of his convent and church he returned to Manila, arriving there on May 26, 1650. That same year he was sent to Taytay in Calamianes, although he desired to remain in retreat in Manila. His death occurred in the following year at Manila, to which place he went as his last illness came on.]

Sec. VI

The insurrection in the village of Linao

257. It has been stated above that when the Dutch enemy came in the year 48 to bombard Cavite, they had treated with certain Indian chiefs, saying that they would return with a larger fleet in the year 49. They gave the Indians to understand that they only would treat them as their friends and not in the domineering manner of the Spaniards, who (as the Dutch said) treat them as slaves; and therefore they hoped to find the Indians prepared, so that, having become well-inclined toward the Dutch power, they might be able to free themselves from so heavy a bondage. That proposition continued to spread from one to another; it was agreeable to them all because of the liberty that it seemed to promise, although it was offensive to many because it incited the natives to seditious movements. At that time Don Diego Faxardo, governor of Manila, despatched a decree ordering a certain number of carpenters with their wives and children to go to that city from each one of the islands. The effects produced by that mandate were especially fatal for the village of Palapac in the island of Hibabao. For they refused to obey the governor, killed their minister, a zealous father of the Society, took their possessions to the mountains, and commenced to gather to their following a great number of rebels.

258. That decree caused a great disturbance in the island of Mindanao, for of its five divisions scarcely one is reduced to obedience; therefore those who live unsubdued in the mountains only wait for such opportunities in order to foment disturbances and restlessness. Many of the natives hid their property in the province of Caragha, and proved so unquiet that although the Butuans were the most trustworthy Indians, the father prior, Fray Miguel de Santo Thomas, had to work hard to restrain them. Those of Linao descended to the last vileness, and it is presumed that the same would have happened in the district of Tandag if the alcalde-mayor, Bernabe de la Plaza, had not concealed the decree. That was afterward approved by the auditors in Manila, as they had experienced that that decree had been a seed-bed for many troubles. All that disquiet continued to operate with the manifest disturbance of the public peace, even at the news alone of the above-mentioned decree. Even the hint of it succeeded in Linao where the insurrection took place in the following manner.

259. There are certain wild Indians in the mountains of Butuan, located in the province of Caragha, called Manobos. [28] They have kinky hair, oblique eyes, a treacherous disposition, brutish customs, and live by the hunt. They have no king to govern them nor houses to shelter them; their clothing covers only the shame of their bodies; and they sleep where night overtakes them. Finally, they are infidels, and belie in everything, by the way in which they live, that small portion that nature gives them as rational beings. Among so great a rabble, but one village is known where some people are seen far from human intercourse. They are a race much inclined to war, which they are almost always waging against the Indians of the seacoast. There lived Dabao, [29] who had become as it were a petty king, without other right than that of his great strength, or other jurisdiction than that of his great cunning. His wickedness was much bruited about, and he made use of subtle deceits by which he committed almost innumerable murders. He was often pursued by Spanish soldiers, but he knew quite well how to elude them by his cunning. For on one occasion, in order to avoid the danger, he went to the house of an evangelical minister saying that he wished baptism, and that the minister should defend him, as it would be the motive for many conversions; but he only made use of that trick to save his life. Father Fray Agustin de Santa Maria—a very affable religious, and one who labored hard to attract the infidels—was prior of the convent of Santa Clara de Monte Falco of Linao, a place forty leguas up-stream from Butuan. He visited Dabao, and won him over so well by presents and gifts to intercourse with the Spaniards, that he spent nearly all the day in the convent and entrusted father Fray Agustin with the education of one of his sons—being quite eager in that in order to work out the treachery that he had planned.

260. Dabao went by night to the houses of the chief Christians. He laid before them the harsh decree of the governor, the offers that the Dutch had made, and especially the attaining of freedom to keep up their old religion. Since they were not well rooted in our holy faith, those discussions were very agreeable to them. That faithless Indian was so contagious a cancer that he infected the greater part of the village with his poison. Therefore, almost all of them assenting to his plan, the day was set on which he resolved to kill the Spaniards and the minister. He warned the people to be ready with their arms to aid him. He had previously held a meeting with his Manobos, in which they decided that if the provincial sent a visitor and did not come personally to make the visitation, it would be a clear sign that the Dutch were infesting those coasts. When they learned with certainty that the father-provincial, Fray Bernardo de San Laurencio, had not gone out for the visitation, but that he was sending the father ex-provincial, Fray Juan de San Antonio, as visitor, they were confirmed [in the belief] that the hostile fleet was coming, and began immediately to stir up the country.

261. The father visitor had already reached the convent of Butuan, and Dabao sent his Manobo Indians to the river Humayan with obsequious appearances of readiness to receive him, but with the peremptory order to kill him. God so arranged that the father visitor, Fray Juan de San Antonio, should pass to the convent of Cagayang without stopping to visit that of Linao. He left a letter for the father prior of Linao which he sent by Juan de Guevara, one of the soldiers who was later killed in the fray. That soldier met the Manobos who were waiting at the river; they asked him for the father visitor, and he told them simply that he had left Butuan. They, without asking whether the father were to pass that way, returned to their village to inform their leader of the matter. Thus did God save the life of His minister for the second time, thereby allowing one to see even in so slight occurrences the height of His Providence.

262. At that time some hostile Indians began to harass the peaceful Indians, from whom they took a quantity of their rice and maize. Dabao offered to make a raid in order to check so insolent boldness with that punishment, and he assured them that he would immediately return with the heads of some men, from which result their accomplices would take warning. He selected, then, eight robust and muscular Indians, whose hands he bound behind their backs, but by an artifice so cunning that they could untie themselves whenever occasion demanded. Thus did he bring as captives those who were really Trojan horses; for, concealing their arms, they showed only many obsequious acts of submission. The captain ordered them to be taken to the fort where the father prior, Fray Agustin de Santa Maria, was already waiting; and when the order was given that the feigned captives should be set in the stocks, at that juncture Dabao drew a weapon which he had concealed, and broke the captain's head. The Indians untied their bonds, the rebels came with lances from the village, and a hotly-contested battle took place in which almost all our men lost their lives. Only the religious and four Spanish soldiers and a corporal were left alive. It did not occur to them, in the midst of so great confusion, to take other counsel than to drop down from the wall. We shall leave the father prior, Fray Agustin, for the present, and speak only of the soldiers who opened up a road with their invincible valor by means of their arms, in order to take refuge in the convent. But finding it already occupied by the insurgents, who had gone ahead to despoil it, they fought there like Spaniards, hurling themselves sword in hand on the mass of the rebels. However, they were unable to save the post, for the convent and the church were blazing in all parts. Thereupon it was necessary for them to hurl themselves upon a new danger in order to return to the redoubt, where they arrived safely at the cost of many wounds, although they found the fort dismantled. Thence they sent the Indians in flight to the mountains by firing their arquebuses at them.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse