The Philippine Islands 1493-1898, Vol. 4 of 55
Edited by E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson

Part 1 out of 5

Prepared by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team.

The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

Explorations by early navigators,
descriptions of the islands and their peoples,
their history and records of the catholic missions,
as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts,
showing the political, economic, commercial and
religious conditions of those islands
from their earliest relations with
European nations to the beginning
of the nineteenth century

Volume IV, 1576-1582

E. H. Blair & J. A. Robertson

Contents of Volume IV


Documents of 1576-78:

Relation of the Filipinas Islands. Francisco de Sande; Manila,
June 7, 1576.

Relation and Description of the Phelipinas Islands. [Francisco
de Sande]; Manila, June 8, 1577.

Bull for erection of the diocese and cathedral church of
Manila. Gregory XIII; Rome, February 6, 1578.

Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; Manila, July 29, 1578.

Grant of a plenary indulgence to all the faithful who visit
churches of the Friars Minors. Gregory XIII; Rome, November 15,

Documents of 1579-82:

Royal decree regulating the foundation of monasteries. Felipe II;
Aranjuez, May 13, 1579.

Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; Manila, May 30, 1579.

Expeditions to Borneo, Jolo, and Mindanao. Francisco de Sande
and others; Manila, April 19, 1578, to June 10, 1579.

Appointments to vacancies in Manila cathedral. Felipe II;
[promulgated from?] Guadalupe, March 26, 1580.

Letter to Felipe II. Goncillo Ronquillo de Penalosa; Manila,
July 17, 1581.

Ordinance restricting departure from the islands. Gonzalo
Ronquillo de Penalosa; Manila, March 2, 1582.

Letter to Felipe II. Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa; Manila,
June 15, 1582.

Bibliographical Data


View of Mallaca, in _Eylffte Schiffahrt_, by Levinus Hulsius
(Franckfurt am Mayn, 1612), p. 64; enlarged photographic facsimile,
from copy in Harvard University Library.

"Indiae orientalis, insularumque adiacientium typus" (original
in colors), map in _Theatrum orbis terrarum_, by Abraham Ortelius
(Antverpiae, M. D. LXX), fol. 48; reduced photographic facsimile,
from copy in Boston Public Library.

"Incola ex Insulis Moluco" (picture of a Moluccan warrior; original
in colors), engraving in _Voyage ofte Schipvaert_, Jan Huygen van
Linschoten (Amstelredam, M. D. XCVI), p. 64; photographic facsimile,
from copy in Boston Public Library.


The first official report sent by Governor Francisco de Sande to
the home government is dated June 7, 1576. It is introduced by a
description of the winds prevalent in the Indian Archipelago. Arriving
at Manila (August 25, 1575), he finds that much of the city has
been destroyed by a Chinese pirate named Limahon; and he relates,
in a graphic manner, the circumstances of this affair. In the first
attack (September, 1574), fourteen Spaniards and more than eighty
Chinese are slain. The enemy renew the attack a few days later,
but are repulsed with much loss. The Moros of the vicinity rebel,
insulting and robbing the friars and defiling the churches. The
Chinese proceed to Pangasinan, where they erect a fort, determining
to establish themselves there. All the Spanish forces are assembled,
and an expedition is sent (March 23, 1575), under Juan de Salcedo,
to attack the marauders. In the first encounter the Spanish are
victorious; but through mismanagement they fail to follow up their
success, and finally the Chinese depart from Luzon. A Chinese officer
named Omocon comes to search for the pirate Limahon; on his return,
he carries some Augustinian friars to China, but they return in
a few months. The Chinese bring certain presents to the governor,
which he turns over to the king. He does not like that people, saying
that they are mean, impudent, importunate, and deceitful. He relates
many interesting particulars regarding the country and people of
China--derived from the various reports which have come to him from
traders, missionaries, and the Filipino natives.

Sande has a poor opinion of the trade with China; the only useful
article which the Chinese bring to the Philippines is iron. He urges
here, as in the letter preceding this report, that the king should
at once send an expedition for the conquest of China, for which four
thousand to six thousand men would be needed. He argues that this
enterprise would be an act of justice, for several curious reasons:
it would free the wretched Chinese from the oppressive tyranny and
cruelty of their rulers; it is right to punish them for their many
crimes and vices; and they ought to be compelled to admit foreigners
to their country. The governor is not troubled by any scruples of
conscience respecting the Line of Demarcation; for he affirms that
all the region from the Moluccas to the islands of Japan, inclusive,
with Borneo and all the coast of China, is "within the demarcation
of Spain." He is ready to drive the Portuguese out of the Moluccas,
if the king will consent thereto.

Sande gives further details as to the Philippines and their people. The
climate is healthful, for those who live temperately. The culture
of rice is described, and the fertility of the soil praised. Much
interesting information is given regarding the characteristics,
habits, and customs of the people; he regards most of them as drunken,
licentious, and idle, and avaricious and murderous. The governor has
rebuilt the ruined fort at Cebu; but he thinks that a settlement
there is useless and expensive. He asks for oared vessels, with
which to navigate among the islands; and he is anxious to seize
the Moluccas for Spain. He complains of the reckless manner in
which repartimientos had been assigned by Legazpi and Lavezaris,
an abuse which he is trying to reform. He has revoked many of these
allotments, and placed them under the control of the crown. He has
established two shipyards, which have done good work in building and
repairing vessels. He needs artillery, or else skilled workmen to
make it; also fifty good gunners, two master-engineers, and more
troops. Sande has founded a hospital at Manila, mainly for the
soldiers--apparently the first in the islands; and is planning to
build a house in which convalescents may be properly cared for. He
has begun to fortify Manila, and is making other preparations for its
defense. The province of Pampanga, almost the only source of supply
of food for the Spaniards, has been appropriated by Sande for the
crown; he asks the king to confirm this action. He is endeavoring
to stop various leaks in the royal treasury, and is providing for
the worthy poor. He mentions the royal order that all the Indians
should be induced to settle near the districts already pacified, in
order to render them sedentary and to convert them to the Christian
faith--a plan which he considers quite impracticable. The governor
is greatly annoyed by the careless and extravagant administration
of the royal funds by the officials at Manila; he makes various
recommendations for securing better and more economical conduct of
the public service. He reports the religious status of the land, and
calls for more priests, especially recommending the Franciscans, "since
they live among the natives, and we need not support them." Certain
concessions and exemptions should be continued, as the people are so
poor; and for that reason customs duties ought not to be levied until
the people can afford to pay them. The two friars whom the Chinese
captain Omocon had consented to convey a second time to his country,
not having means to satisfy with gifts his avaricious nature, had
been therefore abandoned on a lonely island, where they are rescued
by a passing troop of Spaniards. Sande enumerates various documents,
maps, etc., which he is sending to the king; and he again appeals for
consent to his proposal for the conquest of China. A paper containing
memoranda for reply to this letter indicates that the king declines
to entertain this scheme, and advises Sande to expend his energies
upon the preservation and development of the lands already conquered.

In another report, dated June 8, 1577, Sande furnishes some information
additional to that in the preceding document. The Moros of Luzon
are very shrewd traders, and are skilful in alloying the gold which
they obtain in that island. This practice causes the governor much
perplexity regarding the currency question. He has succeeded, during
the past two years, in putting "the affairs of the royal estate into as
good order as in Mexico;" and has reformed various abuses, small and
great. He explains the manner in which he has aided needy soldiers
and other persons in want, and reassigned encomiendas of persons
deceased. As for the natives, Sande says that they are not simple,
foolish, or timorous; "they can be dealt with only by the arquebuse,
or by gifts of gold or silver." He has maintained good discipline
among the soldiers, and reformed them from the vicious habits which
had been prevalent among them. He asks that the concessions made
regarding the customs duties and the royal fifths be continued,
on account of the poverty of the colony. He renews his request for
more religious teachers, and asks not only for secular priests,
but more friars--especially those who cannot own property, as the
Indians will have more regard for such. He explains in detail his
difficulties regarding the proper disposal of the crown funds by the
royal officials, and the heroic treatment made necessary by their
inefficiency and mismanagement. The property of Guido de Lavezaris
is confiscated, and the goods of other wrong-doers are seized. The
city is now surrounded by a palisade and rampart; and the river-bank
has been protected against the action of the waves. He has built,
or has now in the shipyards, vessels worth in New Spain one hundred
thousand ducats, which have cost him less than fifteen thousand. The
resources of the land are being developed; the rebellious natives
have been pacified; churches, and a house for the friars, have been
erected; and a residence for the governor has been built. In all
these undertakings, he finds it necessary to watch everything, and
superintend the workmen; this care and oversight has enabled him to
secure good returns from the expenditure of the public funds.

A papal bull dated February 6, 1578, erects the diocese of Manila,
and constitutes its church a cathedral; the duties and privileges
of the bishop thereof are enumerated. He shall be subordinate to
the archbishop of Mexico; and the usual tithes and other dues are
remitted. Sande writes to the king (July 29, 1578) a brief report
of his expedition to Borneo in the months of March to May preceding;
and requests rewards and promotion for himself and his brothers. By
a decree dated November 15, 1578, Pope Gregory XIII grants "plenary
indulgence to all the faithful who visit churches" of the Franciscans
in these Oriental regions. On May 13, 1579, King Felipe issues a
decree regarding the foundation of monasteries in the Philippines. Fray
Domingo de Salazar (a Dominican) has been appointed bishop of Manila,
and will soon go thither with friars. The governor is ordered to
ascertain where monasteries are needed, and there to erect buildings
for this purpose.

Sande informs the king (May 30, 1579) of the result of his efforts
to subdue other and neighboring islands. The city in Borneo which
he attacked in the preceding year has been rebuilt, and the king of
that land is ready to submit. The king of Jolo (Sulu) has become a
vassal of Spain, and peace has been made with the people dwelling on
the Rio Grande of Mindanao. Sande is still eager to set out for the
conquest of the Moluccas and of China, and is doing all that he can
to accumulate shipping and artillery for that purpose.

This letter is accompanied by a bulky document containing the official
notarial record of the expedition which Sande mentions. The governor
learns from Filipino natives of Luzon that the king of Borneo oppresses
and plunders their countrymen who visit his land--thus wronging vassals
of Spain; and that the Borneans, being Mahometans, are spreading their
heresy among the peoples of the archipelago. Sande writes a letter
to this ruler, announcing his desire to confer with him, and to make
a compact of peace and friendship. He demands from the king not only
free opportunity for Christian preachers to evangelize the Borneans,
but also the cessation of any further Mahometan propaganda by Borneans
among the Filipinos. The king must also surrender any persons whom he
has forcibly detained, with all their possessions; and must provide
the Spaniards with food--for which, however, he will receive pay. No
answer being made by the Borneans, and Sande's envoys not returning to
the fleet, he enters the port, despite the resistance of the native
vessels therein. The people thereupon flee inland, and the Spaniards
enter the town, seizing there various possessions of the king--among
them letters from the Portuguese, one of which is signed "El Rey" ("the
King"). Sande takes possession of all Borneo for Spain. He then sends
(May 23, 1578) one of his officers, Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa,
to subdue the Sulu Islands. He is instructed to reduce, as gently
as he can, the pirates of that group to peaceful agriculturists,
and secure from them the payment of tribute. Next, he is to go
on a similar errand to Mindanao; and, as many of its inhabitants
are Mahometans, he must strive to uproot "that accursed doctrine"
there. Sande returns to Manila, whence in the following year (February
28, 1579) he despatches Juan Arce de Sadornil with a fleet to Borneo,
giving him detailed instructions for his conduct on this expedition. He
is to ascertain the condition of affairs there, and gently endeavor
to gain the submission of the king as a vassal of Spain. Sadornil
goes to Borneo, and conducts various negotiations with the king, but
cannot induce the latter to confer with him in person. Finally, seeing
that he can accomplish nothing, and that his men are suffering from
confinement and illness, he decides to return to Manila; and he advises
Sande that a settlement of Spaniards in Borneo must, to be successful,
be made in the town where the Moro court resides. In June, 1578, the
king of Sulu submits to the Spanish power. From the Moluccas comes the
news that the people of Ternate have revolted against the Portuguese,
who have been compelled to abandon their fortress there and retreat
to Amboina. Their trade in spices is therefore greatly injured, for
the time; and other Malayan peoples are also hostile to the Portuguese.

Sande again sends (January, 1579) an expedition to Mindanao and
Sulu, under Captain de Ribera, to secure their submission to Spanish
authority. His instructions lay special stress on proper care for the
health of the troops. The tribute desired from Sulu consists of "two or
three tame elephants." Ribera goes to the Rio Grande of Mindanao, but
can accomplish nothing; for the natives, in terror of the Spaniards,
have abandoned their villages, fleeing to the mountains. Ribera erects
a fort at the delta of the river, and receives the submission of a few
neighboring chiefs; but, as his men are being prostrated by sickness,
he obtains from a friendly _dato_ (chief) a list of the Indian villages
and their population, with such information as he can gather, and
departs--sending a small detachment of troops to pacify the district
of Butuan. Going to Cavite, Ribera finds there a deputation from Sulu,
who bring a little tribute saying that their people have been harassed
by famine ever since Figueroa came, a year before, to demand tribute
from them. Finding upon investigation that this story is true, he
gives back their tributes, receiving instead a cannon which they had
taken from a wrecked Portuguese galley. Ribera then returns to Cebu.

A royal decree of March 26, 1580, provides for appointments to
fill vacant benefices in the cathedral at Manila The new governor,
Ronquillo de Penalosa, writes to the king (July 17, 1581), asking
whether Manila is to be regarded as his capital and head-quarters,
and giving advice in various matters. Like many such documents,
this is endorsed: "Seen; an answer is unnecessary."

As some of the Franciscan friars who have come to the Philippines
have preferred to labor in China, Penalosa orders (March 2, 1582)
that no person shall leave the islands without his permission. In a
letter dated June is of that year, he complains to the king that he
has not received the expected reenforcements of men from New Spain;
that the Audiencia of that country (in which is now Sande, superseded
by Penalosa as governor of the Philippines) meddles with his government
and threatens to make trouble for him; and that he needs a competent
assistant in his office. Ternate is now under Spanish control,
and Spain monopolizes the rich spice-trade; Panama is the best
route therefor. An "English pirate," presumably Sir Francis Drake,
has been intriguing with the Malays at Ternate, and the post there
should be more heavily fortified. The newly-appointed bishop, Salazar,
has arrived; on account of his austerity and his wish to dominate,
he is not a favorite with the people.

_The Editors_

April, 1903.

Documents of 1576-78

Relation of the Filipinas Islands. Francisco de Sande; June 7,

Relation and description of the Phelipinas Islands. [Francisco
de Sande]; June 8, 1577.

Bull for erection of the diocese of Manila. Gregory XIII;
February 6, 1578.

Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; July 29, 1578.

Indulgence to those who visit Franciscan churches;
Gregory XIII; November 15, 1578.

_Sources_: These documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo de
Indias, Sevilla, excepting the papal decrees; the first of these is
from _Doc. ined., Amer. y Oceania_, xxxiv, pp. 72-79, the second from
the _Cronica de la provincia de San Gregorio_ of Fray Francisco de
Santa Ines (Manila, 1892), i, pp. 215, 216.

_Translations_: The first document is translated by Rachel
King; the second, by Jose M. Ascensio; the third and fifth, by
Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A.; the fourth, by G.A. England.

Relation of the Filipinas Islands

Royal Catholic Majesty:

I sailed from the port of Acapulco, Nueva Espana, on the sixth of
April of the year seventy-five, as I had previously informed your
Majesty from that port. On account of setting sail during the calms,
we were delayed, so that it took us seventy-two days to reach the
Ladrones. There we filled our water-butts, and I took on board a large
anchor that I found there that had belonged formerly to the flagship
lost there by Ffelipe de Sauzedo; in the other ship we placed four
small boat-loads of ballast. All this detained us only a day and a
half. On nearing the cape of Spiritu Santo in Tandaya, one of the
Philipinas, our progress was impeded by the vendaval, and our pilots
also gave us considerable trouble, so that I arrived at Manilla on
the twenty-fifth of August of the year seventy-five. On that day I
took possession of the office of governor and captain-general.

2. Although your Majesty may know better than I the matters I am
about to relate, still, like a country-man, I wish to speak, and
to tell what I myself have experienced. I am informed here that
throughout the entire sea in these latitudes there are two general
seasons. During one, the dry season, the _brisas_, as they are called,
blow from the southeast to the north, finally blowing directly from
the north; while in the other, or wet season, the _vendavales_ blow
from northwest to south-southeast. Thus, during these two seasons, the
winds blow from every point of the compass. For this reason it will be
seen that coming from Nueva Espana, from the east toward this western
region, the brisas would help; while the vendavales, especially the
usual one, which is a south-westerly wind in the channels of these
islands, would impede the progress of the ship. These two general
seasons begin in some years somewhat earlier than in others, and in
some places before they do in others. However, it is quite clear and
evident that by the end of May and the middle of June, the vendaval
begins here from the west (and I believe that this is true of all the
southern sea), and blows strongly night and day. Now if for any reason
it should cease for a moment it would only be to burst forth again with
renewed vigor. Such a period of quietness is called here _calladas_
["silence"]. The brisa begins in November, and lasts until the end
of May. Between these two general seasons two others exist, called
_bonancas_ ["gentle winds"] which last from the middle of March to the
end of May, and comprise also part of September and October. During
that time the bonanca of April and May is the most prevalent wind,
although other winds are blowing constantly. Should the usually mild
winds prove severe, then the opposite season would develop, so that
in April a vendaval often presents itself, and in September a violent
brisa may blow. These seasons, I think, correspond to those of the
northern sea, as you may be already aware--although I do not know
whether they are at all regular, for the fleets of merchant ships
leave Nueva Spana the middle of April and somewhat later, taking
thirty, forty, and sixty days to reach Havana, a distance of three
hundred leagues. Although the pilots tell us that this is a good time
to sail in a southeast direction, they cannot deny that they endure
very great hardships from the calms caused by the bonanzas. During
this journey from Nueva Espana to Havana, many people have met their
death. Leaving in February in a few days one reaches Havana. But I,
sailing the sixth of April (that is, in the middle of the bonanca
season), did not encounter bad weather, being detained twenty days in
the calms thirty leagues from Nueva Espana. Neither did we encounter
so feeble winds that our progress might have been retarded; nor did
the vendaval of July burst forth before it was due.

3. I learned in these islands that this city had been burned by a
pirate and that there had been a war. There they asked me for lead, and
I readily complied with their requests, until I was weary of granting
petitions. I thought that we had some lead; but on summoning my men,
and searching for it, only five or six arrobas were found; and that was
in sheets, such as are used to stop leaks in ships. Arriving at Manila,
I could get no lead; and, not being able to obtain it elsewhere, we
took from the sides of the ships somewhat less than seventy arrobas,
some of which was used. With what is left we remain, hoping for the
grace of God; for should not the ship sheathed with lead arrive, I do
not know what would become of this camp of your Majesty. Your Majesty
will understand, then, the condition of affairs here; and will please
have pity and consideration for the men who are serving your Majesty
here, so far away, and with so much hardship and so much danger.

4. On my arrival, I found Manila in great part burned and
destroyed. Let me relate what occurs here. They say that the kingdom
of China is often invaded by corsairs, and that one named Limahon (or,
as the Chinese call him, Dim Mhon) had committed great depredations
in China, whereby he had amassed great wealth. He was pursued
by his king to the region near the upper point of this island of
Lucon. Near an island about forty leagues from Lucon, he captured a
Chinese merchant-ship that was en route from this city of Manila for
purposes of trade. The merchants carried with them a quantity of gold
and many reals of four Mexicans each, and other things obtained in this
island, which were highly esteemed by them. Demanding with threats,
where they had obtained this gold and silver, he robbed them of their
goods, which they said had been obtained in Lucon, in trade with the
Castilians. A pilot assisted him greatly in his negotiations here,
for he said that the people were quite secure and careless, and were
scattered through many places; and that, if he would come to the
island in a short time, he would find only old people and invalids,
as a galley was about to leave in order to take a captain to Mindanao
and perhaps had already gone, so that there would be no one with whom
to fight. The above-mentioned Limahon believed him, and thereupon came
to the city. On the way, however, at dawn of day, without himself being
seen, he met one of your Majesty's galliots. On this vessel there were
twenty-two people, counting soldiers and sailors. This ship was sent
by Captain Juan de Saucedo, who was in Ylocos, to some villages of
Cinay [Sinay], near by, for provisions. This vessel had been taken
from this city by order of Guido de Lavezares, in order to explore
the province of Cagayan, to which I sent Don Luis de Sahajossa this
last winter. When the corsair saw the galliot, he lowered his small
boats and made an assault upon it; but, although the galliot was badly
equipped, the soldiers defended themselves bravely from the attack of
the small boats. The natives on the coast, say that a bronze falcon
weighing fourteen quintals was fired five times. This falcon was called
"Vigilantib" by the soldiers, on account of this word being used as an
inscription upon it. As the corsair saw what a brave defense they made
against the small boats, he bore down upon them with his whole fleet,
consisting of sixty-two large ships, and with their great fire-bombs
they burned the galley in a very short time. The poor fellows in it
not having confidence in their oars--as they had only four oars to a
bench, the galliot having fifteen benches--those still living threw
themselves into the water. Thus they all perished, either at the hands
of the Chinese or at those of the natives, who are wont to act in this
manner. The Chinese sacked the galley, and placed the "Vigilantib"
and other arms in their ships. This falcon was the greatest loss
sustained by the galley, which was lost because it had been poorly
equipped and had an insufficient number of men; they, as a result,
could not warn Manila and other places. Had they been supplied with
ammunition, it would have been easy to escape; and even, with the
"Vigilantib" alone, to have destroyed their fleet.

5. With this prize captured from the galliot, the corsair proceeded
toward Manila. At this time a soldier, Sayavedra, sergeant of Juan
de Saucedo, who was in one of the neighboring villages, saw what had
happened, and that the galley had been burned; and he wrote a letter
to this effect to Juan de Saucedo, sending it overland by an Indian
to Vigan, where Saucedo was located with one hundred men. In a short
time Juan de Saucedo saw the ships of the corsair and his armament;
so he sent a virey to advise the people of Manila of what was taking
place. The ships in advance, on discovering the virey, deceived its
occupants, and stood out to sea, to round a promontory, through the bay
of which was coming the deceived virey. The _virey_ is a kind of vessel
used by the natives of these islands; it has but little steadiness,
and always navigates near the shore. While this little boat was going
around the bay, all the ships came upon it at once. The occupants of
the little boat had to run aground, in order to escape with their
lives, and to hide in the hills. Then they took out their weapons,
and paused to see what was taking place. The Chinese broke up the
ship, but did not completely destroy it, and then continued their
journey. The soldiers again took to their vessel, and slowly wended
their way to Manila, arriving there one day after St. Andrew's Day,
at noon, and after the corsair had made the first assault. They spread
the news that Juan de Saucedo was coming from Ylocos with all haste,
for he had found out who Limahon was. These soldiers landed in a
hostile region, that of a certain people called Zambales; they are
very much like the Chichimecos of Nueva Espana, who have no ambition
higher than that of cutting off men's heads. They are accustomed to
the use of bows and arrows. Consequently three soldiers in a rough
country could not have escaped, unless God had kept their boat from
being entirely destroyed by the Sangleyes.

6. The corsair continued his journey, and, intending to make an attack
at dawn, anchored outside the bay, and sent all his small boats ashore
in charge of some captains, in the early part of St. Andrew's Eve. They
say that the corsair remained with the ships; but that in the boats
there were seven hundred men, among whom were a few arquebusiers, and
many pikemen, besides men armed with battle-axes. [1] They were clad in
corselets which are coats lined with exceedingly thick cotton. They had
durable bamboo hats, which served as helmets; they carried cutlasses,
and several daggers in their belts; and all were barefoot. Their
manner of warfare or of fighting, was to form a squadron composed of
men with battle-axes, among whom were placed some arquebusiers, a few
of the latter going ahead as skirmishers. One of every ten men carried
a banner, fastened to his shoulders and reaching two palms above his
head. There were other and larger banners also, so that it appeared as
if some important personage was coming who served in the capacity of
master-of-camp. These, then, were the people who made the first attack.

7. The entrance to the bay of this city of Manila is southwest of
Manila. On its southern side, and to the right on entering the
bay, is the port of Cavite, two leagues from Manila. They took
the shorter route, which was safer for their small boats, and came
somewhat late within half a league of Manila without being seen;
for the slight breeze stirring from the east prevented them from
making the assault at daybreak. Manila is on a point or isthmus
running southeast and northwest; and the river encompasses it from
the east to the northwest. They did not enter by the river, in order
not to be seen by the fishermen who are constantly going and coming;
and also for the reason that the bay is very wide at this point,
and they would have to force an entrance, which they did not dare
attempt in their small boats. The pirates therefore began a hurried
march along shore toward the city, dragging their lances. They
arrived at the city somewhere between nine and ten o'clock in the
morning. The first house attacked was that of the master-of-camp,
Martin de Goite; he was sick in bed at the time. Already some natives
had come to him from the shore, shouting at the tops of their voices
that enemies were near, and that the king of Borney was coming down
upon the Castilians. Now as Martin de Goite knew that this was the
season of the brisas, and that it was impossible to come from Borney,
which lies to the southwest, because the wind was dead ahead, and not
believing in the possibility of other enemies, he laughed at the men,
telling them that they were drunken. Meanwhile, the advance-guard of
the squadron was near the house, when he arose, put on a suit of mail,
and took a sword with which to defend himself. It is believed that
the Chinese were passing straight ahead toward the governor's house
and the artillery, guided by the spy whom they brought with them, for
they were stealing along the shore forward. This would have meant the
total destruction of this city and camp; for your Majesty's houses,
being at the extreme end of the point of land made by the sea and the
river, were without any defense. The inhabitants of the city were each
in his own house, and the artillery was lying on the ground dismounted,
the pieces scattered here and there throughout the camp. The point of
the island once occupied, the Spaniards had no place wherein to gather
and fortify themselves, so that they could have a safe position back
of them. God provided this, for it is said that, when the enemies came
marching in line along the seacoast, the wife of Martin de Goite,
the master-of-camp, was looking out of a window which faced the
seacoast. She had a child's helmet on her head, and she called and
beckoned to them, telling them in Castilian that they were dogs, and
that they would all be killed. The Chinese observed this, and learned
from the guide that this was the house of the master-of-camp. They
regarded this as a very important piece of news, and, going to that
house, hurled many fire-bombs, with which they burned it in a very
short time; for it was made, like all the houses there, of wood and
straw. They killed some men who had gathered there; they also killed
the master-of-camp, who had been injured by the fire and wounded by
an arquebuse-shot in one arm, and who threw himself from a window,
on account of the cruel flames. A soldier, although the enemy struck
at him repeatedly with cutlasses and battle-axes, escaped with but
a slight wound. It is believed that if the master-of-camp had left
the house early, he would have escaped; but that he tried to defend
himself in his house, which he was unable to do, on account of his
severe illness. Several other persons were killed there with him. His
wife, who had shouted to them, they stripped, and tore off a ring
which she was slow in drawing from her finger, and a necklace; and
then they stabbed her severely in the neck. She rushed from the house
and hid in the tall grass, thus escaping with her life; and she is now
alive. Another woman and three or four men were killed. In burning that
house, and in the resistance offered there, they were detained some
time; therefore news of this affair reached the city and the house of
the governor, Guido de Lavezares. The first intimation that they had
of the approach of the enemy was the sight of the burning house of the
master-of-camp, which thus revealed it. When the affair at the house
was over, the pirates attempted to proceed once more to the beach.

The delay at the house was important, for in the meanwhile Captains
Velasquez and Chacon, with what soldiers there were, went to the
seacoast; and from the shelter of the houses facing the beach fired
well-aimed volleys from their arquebuses, whereat a number of the
advance guard fell. Thus was God pleased that with the death of
thirteen or fourteen Spaniards and more than eighty Chinese, the
latter had enough, retreated to their boats, and went away. The
Spaniards did not molest them while they were retreating, on this
day, on account of their own small number of fighting men, and for
fear that such a course might incite those fleeing to return. The
corsairs did not utter a word, nor did they complain, even when they
fell with wounds. Those in command endeavored to induce their men
to press forward, but did not succeed. Most of the Spaniards who
were killed were arquebusiers, who had drawn near in order to take
good aim. Although they did this, so many battle-axes were directed
against them that they were overthrown. Now had there been better
order in keeping the soldiers from making a sally unless commanded,
it is thought that, since there was a body of lancers who could have
met the enemy face to face, none would have been killed except those
in the house of the master-of-camp, where more damage was done them
by fire than by weapons. The corsairs went to the port of Cavite,
where they found their chief with all his fleet; for on seeing the
fire in the city, and hearing the roar of the artillery, he knew that
his men were accomplishing their purpose, and entered the bay, going
straight to the port of Cavite. Those of his men who had gone to the
city in the boats told him that they were unable to finish the affair
or to accomplish more, for the Castilians were a very brave people.

8. After the flight of the Chinese, a Chinese merchant who was in
the city, Sinsay by name, called upon the governor. He told him the
corsair's name, who he was, and his power. He also stated that he was
a pirate, and not sent by order of his king; and that without doubt
he would return in three days. He advised the Spaniards to fortify
themselves, and to remove the straw from the roofs of your Majesty's
houses, so that they could not be fired--advice which was acted upon.

9. The corsair Limahon rebuked his captains, and publicly manifested
his disgust at their defeat. Then he summoned his soldiers, paid them
all, and made them great promises. They agreed to rest one day and
to return on the morning of the third day, when he would accompany
them personally--which he did, with his entire fleet.

10. It seems that Guido Lavezares, on that day, ordered that two
of the principal Moros be arrested and imprisoned, saying that, by
means of them, the Moros would supply him with food. Thereupon the
Moros rebelled, and the prisoners were placed, bareheaded, in the
stocks. This was the occasion of a suit brought against one Osorio,
the constable, in whose house was the prison. He claims that he was
not guilty of the offense, saying that one Sancho Ortiz de Agurto,
sergeant of Captain Velasquez, killed them, or ordered certain slaves
to kill them. The suit was decided accordingly.

11. The first attack was made on the day of St. Andrew the Apostle. On
Tuesday, the last of September [2] of the year seventy-four, the
captains began the fortifications, making with boards, stakes,
and boxes and barrels filled with sand, a palisade from the river
to the sea. Although it was the best they could build, it was weak
enough. The next day, Wednesday, at noon the three soldiers came to
warn the people, as I have previously mentioned. At nightfall of this
day arrived Juan de Saucedo. As before stated, he had been stationed
in Ylocos with fifty soldiers. He came almost within sight of the
Chinese fleet, and upon entering the bay, took the left-hand side,
leaving the right side of the port to the Chinese. The people were
overjoyed to see him and his soldiers, and that night they assisted
in the work of the fortifications. Very early upon the next day
(Thursday) the Chinese advanced in martial array, as if determined
upon revenge. At four o'clock the whole fleet appeared in front of the
city, in the form of a great crescent, so that they might be there
before daybreak; and three salutes were fired from all the guns of
the whole fleet. Then at dawn they lowered the small boats, finally
disembarking near the house of the master-of-camp, which they had
burned. The chief landed, but it is reported that he did not fight,
or leave, that place, where he remained seated in a chair. He divided
his soldiers there--numbering, it is said, about one thousand men--into
two bodies. Part of them he sent through the principal street of the
city, and the others along the beach. The latter took the same route
as those who arrived on the first day. Besides these two squadrons,
other men were sent along the river-bank.

12. They were allowed to land, which has been considered a great
mistake; for all along the shore the land is covered with grass high
enough to form a fine ambuscade, where the arquebusiers could easily
have been placed under cover. The corsair might haye been easily
killed with one shot, when he landed in his chair to take command.

13. This day the pirates, as if previously determined, did not burn
any houses that seemed to be of good quality. They went straight to
the fort, and assailed it vigorously on two sides. They encountered
a strong resistance from the river side and in front, and some of
them were killed. On the side next the sea, the guard of the fort was
entrusted to a sergeant, named Sancho Hortiz de Agurto. He went down
to the shore, leaving the post, where he was stationed to find but
from what quarter the Chinese were coming. They were already so near
that, upon one of the Chinese meeting him, the lance of the latter
must have proved the longer weapon; for he wounded the soldier, who
was armed only with a halberd, in the neck. Either this wound or some
other obliged him to retire; and, upon his doing so, the Chinese shot
him in the back with an arquebuse, which caused his death. They assert
that this must have occurred as narrated, for he was seen to measure
his halbert against the lance of the Chinese. They found him wounded
with a lance-thrust, and the larger hole caused by the bullet was
in his breast, a proof that the bullet left his body there. But his
friends tried to say that while he was fighting with the Sangley,
they shot him in the back--which might have been so; for as the
enemy were forcing their way into the fort, they naturally met with
resistance from those defending that position. Thus according to his
friends, the mistake in leaving the palisade caused the harm. On this
account it happened that, when they forced that position, they found
there the least resistance. About eighty Chinese entered the fort
at that point, and all of them might have done so had they all been
of equal courage. Our soldiers attacked them immediately, with lance
and arquebuse, killing them all, according to report. This result was
aided by the resistance experienced by the assaulters in other parts
of the fort, which forced the Chinese to commence a retreat. Now when
the main division of those who had entered the fort saw the others
retreat, they too retreated and did not enter, abandoning the eighty,
all of whom the Spaniards killed whether they sought flight by land
or sea. On this day they burned the Augustinian church, the church
of the city, and a galley that was grounded near the river; and they
also destroyed an old ship. This galley was about to sail to Mindanao,
as previously stated. Three Spaniards were killed and several wounded
on this day, and mare than two hundred Chinese. The greatest damage
was caused by the fire; for a great fire-bomb fell upon some powder,
which exploded causing the death of two or three other men.

14. It is said that the corsair Limahon tried to force his men to
remain, but was unsuccessful, so he retired, embarked in his boats,
and set sail with his vessels for the port of Cavite.

15. It is thought that allowing the Chinese to embark on their retreat
without hindrance was a mistake. Some of the Spaniards did attempt
to prevent them, but the corsair, fearing that this might happen,
sent some boats by sea to the river, so that the Spaniards should
continue their guard, and not hinder the embarkation; and so that they
might believe that those in the boats were reinforcements sent to
take them in the rear. Thus it was believed, regarding it casually,
that if the corsair had had much force and had taken thought in the
beginning to attack in so many different places, he would have done
it; but that either he did not understand this, or did not dare to do
it. Therefore he collected his men, without any damage being inflicted
on him in his retreat.

16. As the natives of this place, who are Moros, saw what took
place the first day, thinking that the Chinese were victorious,
they all rebelled on the second day. In that short space of time
there gathered around the city of Manila more than ten thousand
Moros, in their little boats, ready to obey the commands of the
corsair. They say, too, that messengers were sent to Cavite, and
the news spread broadcast. Wherever friars were stationed, the Moros
captured and insulted them, threatened them with death, and robbed
them of everything. They defiled the churches, killing goats there;
and slew all the Spaniards possible, and their slaves. It is for this
reason, the soldiers say, that they did not leave the fort, in order
to prevent the departure of the corsairs, for the Moros surrounded
them on all sides. When the Moros knew that the Sangleyes had gone,
and that the Spaniards had been victorious, they set the friars free;
and, little by little, they again became submissive--apologizing for
their revolt because of the chiefs who had been slain in prison.

17. The artillery was badly mounted, and there was no gunner who knew
how to fire it. If the Spaniards had had sufficient artillery, that
would have proved very effectual; and, as the vessels neared the city,
some of them might have been sent to the bottom. No damage, however,
was done to any vessel, although they were fired upon; so that all
the resistance which they made was with lances and arquebuses.

18. The corsair went to the port of Cavite with his fleet, and did not
appear again; and not one ship could be found at the dawn of day. He
departed to Ylocos, whence he came. He determined to establish himself
in this island, settling in the province of Pangasinan, in the vicinity
of Ylocos. There he founded a settlement, consisting of a great fort,
in which dwelt all those who had accompanied him; and a counter-fort
in the middle with an excellent and well-constructed house for himself,
where he was recuperating, forty leagues from this city of Manila.

19. The wall of the fort was very high and built of palm-logs, and the
counter-fort was built of palm-wood planks. When the corsair arrived
there, he seized by treachery several chiefs of that land, through whom
he obtained supplies. He robbed them of all their substance, and, in
general treated them badly. As he had their chiefs, the common people
could not flee; and because the corsair did not kill them, as he had
done with others, they supported and served him. On this account he was
very well supplied with provisions, wood, and other necessary things.

20. The Spanish people who were not in the city during that attack
were scattered throughout the province of Camarines, one hundred
leagues from here. There were almost a hundred men with a captain in
the island of Cubu, and seventy more in Ylocos under Juan de Saucedo,
who had gone thither to form a settlement, since these men were the
encomenderos of that province. When the corsair went away, a ship
was sent to find out where he had halted; and, upon discovering this,
all the Spanish people were summoned, who came to Manila as quickly as
possible. In the meantime Guido de Lavezares appointed Juan de Saucedo
master-of-camp, and all began preparations to meet the enemy. During
the time of preparation for the expedition, in order to leave the
city in security, they constructed a fort; it is now finished, and
was made by the natives, the wood being paid for at the expense of
your Majesty. Your Majesty's carpenters here also assisted, so that
the work was completed. The master-of-camp, Juan de Saucedo, and all
the Spaniards who had gathered, and were available for the expedition,
were summoned. They numbered about two hundred and fifty-six, together
with two thousand five hundred friendly Indians; and they set out
in fifty-nine native vessels, commanded by Captains Chacon, Chaves,
Rribera, and Rramirez. These officers were instructed to consult
together in regard to whatever the said master-of-camp should freely
and voluntarily communicate to them, as it was he who was conducting
the present undertaking.

21. They say that the corsair had, in all, about three thousand men
and as many women, whom he had forcibly taken from China and Japan. The
best people that he had were natives of those countries.

22. The Spaniards left Manila on the twenty-third of March of 75, and
arrived at the river of Pangasinan on Holy Wednesday, the thirtieth
of March. They entered by the bar of the river, two hours before
daybreak; and, without being seen, landed the soldiers and four pieces
of artillery. They selected the spot where the river was narrowest, to
see whether they could obstruct the passage of the Chinese ships. They
sent out spies, who returned with the information that the Chinese
were off their guard, and were careless. Upon this the master-of-camp
sent Captains Chaves and Chacon in haste, with nine vessels, in each
of which were about eight men, with orders to approach the Chinese
boats and to try to capture one or more of them--especially the big
ones, so that he might be able with them to obstruct the bar of the
river. He also sent Captain Ribera with twenty-eight men and some
Indians by land, so that, at the same time when the captains were
examining the river in their ships the former could assault the fort,
in order to divert the people in it, and to enable those on the river
to seize the said vessels. The plan for the enterprise failed, but
success came in an unexpected manner; for it pleased God that, when
the Spanish ships discovered the Chinese, thirty-five Chinese vessels
were setting out to look for supplies for the corsair. As they were
sailing along quite free from care, they caught sight of the Spaniards,
and turned about and fled. It happened that, as the Spaniards pursued
them, firing their arquebuses, the Chinese ships almost ran aground;
whereupon all the men jumped overboard and fled to the fort, abandoning
their ships. The same thing occurred to the sailors of the other fleet,
so that in a moment the entire fleet was captured, together with all
it contained; but it was thoughtlessly fired, and was entirely burned.

23. By this time, about ten o'clock in the morning, they began fighting
in the fort under Captain Grabiel de Ribera, and had already forced
an entrance. When Captain Chaves heard them from the ships, he went
to their assistance, where he was joined immediately by Captain
Chacon. They succeeded in reaching the first fort, capturing more
than one hundred women and children after killing many of the men. At
this time they set fire to the fort, claiming afterward that it was
done by the Indians. This was a great mistake, for the wind blew the
flames in the faces of the Spaniards, hurting them very much. Some
of the soldiers remained to rob the fort. The master-of-camp did not
go to their assistance with reenforcements--although the captains
say that they notified him that, as they were doing so little on
account of the fire, the Chinese were commencing to make repairs. As
night was approaching, it was necessary for the captains to retire,
leaving the fort which they had gained. If reenforcements of those who
had remained in camp with the master-of-camp had come up then, they
would have captured all the enemy. It is said that the Chinese were
hurrying from the other side of the fort, on their way to the hills.

24. When Captains Chaves and Chacon left the ships, all were burning;
for either the soldiers or the Indians, it is not known why, set fire
to them, so that, in a moment, they were all ablaze.

25. On account of the great rejoicing over the unexpected victory,
they overlooked the matter of keeping some of the ships both to
bar up the river, and because they were large and well-equipped,
particularly the flagship of the corsair. The success requisite in
this affair failed through a lack of system in such an occurrence,
as might be expected in fighting with barbarous people. _Item_, the
master-of-camp was lacking in quickness in coming to the rescue upon
hearing the firing on shore, so that at least Captain Ribera's force,
so small, might not be swept away. _Item_, sentinels were lacking,
as well as detachments of men to serve as reenforcements for the sake
of security, and to furnish aid on occasions like the above.

26. Some of the soldiers went to the master-of-camp, accompanied
by slaves carrying some of the pieces from the fort. They reported
a victory, saying that the fort had surrendered, and that all was
finished. These men went without orders from their captains, but were
not punished; nor was any new action taken, notwithstanding that
the captains assert that they sent reports of the condition of the
war. The captains, upon seeing that the Chinese were losing all fear,
and had wounded some of the men, returned to the camp about sunset,
overcome with fatigue. Had those in camp given aid then, the rampart
would not have been abandoned; but they could have stayed in or behind
it, and victory was certain. The captains say that the soldiers were
very eager, and, as could be seen, fought from ten in the morning;
but that the country is hot, that their weapons were heavy, that the
smoke beat in their faces, and that they saw night approaching without
reenforcements or any food. They even say they would have perished had
they not found a well whence the Chinese drew water for their work;
and this water, although bad, they drank from their helmets, being
refreshed thereby. On account of these conditions they were compelled
to retire to the camp. Upon their arrival at camp, they declare that
they were met by the master-of-camp, Juan de Saucedo, who told them
that, if he were a soldier and not the master-of-camp, he would die
with them, for he was also a soldier to fight with the Chinese. The
said captains and the people generally felt that the master-of-camp
was very much troubled about what had happened--he complaining that
they, despite his order to the contrary, had burned the fleet, and
spent their time with the enemy in the fort; they responding that
he was requiting them very poorly, and that, after they had gained
the day and attained the victory at so great peril to themselves,
he spoke such words through envy, that he proved his treachery, and
refused to aid them in their necessity. From this arose many slanders,
hate, and differences of opinion among the soldiers, that God alone
can dispel. It is certain that there was a lack of persons who could
direct such a battle, and the day was certainly the luckiest, as well
as the least systematic, that could be imagined. A few of the men
were wounded and five were killed on account of their lack of order,
and because they waited until the enemy were recuperated.

27. A council was held, the following night, by the master-of-camp and
the captains. Some of the latter thought it expedient to make an attack
the next morning, before the corsair should regain his courage. As this
was the prevailing opinion, the master-of-camp went with all his men
to make an assault. On nearing the fort, they heard rumors and opinions
that the place was already being fortified. The master-of-camp retired
his forces, saying that it was not convenient to make the assault,
or to expose the few Spaniards that your Majesty had here to so much
danger. Now at this time there arose a great difference of opinion,
caused by private interposition. It certainly was a mistake not to make
the assault on that day, for the day before counted for but little;
and a captain offered to reconnoiter the weakest part, and to lead
in the assault.

28. After this retreat, they encamped near the enemy, on the islet
formed by the river, which runs north and south. The enemy were on
the northern side and the Spaniards on the southern. It was a good
thing to have located so near the enemy, if they had immediately made
a defense for the artillery, which could have been done with stakes
and earth. That should have been done before it was established there;
but they took up their position before they had made the bulwark.

29. By this time the corsair had regained his courage, and ordered
certain of his guns fired at the camp. The "Vigilantib," which had
been captured from the galley, as abovesaid, shattered the leg of a
standard-bearer of the master-of-camp, striking him in the middle of
the shin-bone. This man was healed, and is now living. This catastrophe
caused such an impression, that they resolved to move the camp from
the island to the mainland, so that the river might intervene between
them and the spot occupied by the corsair. It was a great mistake
followed by still greater ones. The affair became a long siege,
and they amused themselves in gambling freely, in levying tribute,
and in other like things.

30. The corsair was not expecting an assault by the Spaniards, so his
fort was not completed, lacking the terreplein; and his artillery was
unmounted, and no sentinels were placed. He had made no preparations
for war, beyond what a colonist might do. But now he hurried to make
preparations and to defend his cause. He sent out squadrons from time
to time with lances and arquebuses to fight--although he himself did
not leave the fort for the battle, but from within gave his signals
of retreat or attack.

31. The master-of-camp only made some ambuscades, prolonging the
siege. It is certain that the Spaniards never fought the Chinese with
all their men, force to force. Although the Chinese leader sent out
five hundred or six hundred men, who pretended to show fight, they
generally fled when fifty of the Spaniards came out. It is certain
that, force to force, the Chinese would not wait to fight; and if
by the help of God they remained they would be routed, although they
had three times as many men, for they are not a warlike race. It is
also certain, and all acknowledge it to be true, that the Spaniards
desired to fight hand to hand, and to make the assault. They always
did their duty, fighting like valiant men, although there were some
cowardly ones, as all bodies have their weak side.

32. On account of the space given to the corsair, the latter was able
to delay things and to do some damage. For instance some soldiers were
imprudently sent to form some small ambuscades; but the Chinese were
warned of them, and made a counter ambuscade. Of the seven soldiers
who left the camp, the Chinese killed and captured five, and the
other two fled. It was exceedingly foolhardy to send so few men out
in a case like this, and caused great harm, for it made the Chinese
more daring. The master-of-camp left camp with about twenty men to
form another ambuscade, contrary to the advice of the captains. This
also proved unsuccessful, although, as help came, the Chinese retired
without doing any damage.

33. As the corsair had no ships, he sent men out to cut wood, and
as all his soldiers were good workmen, they soon constructed thirty
ships within the fort. With these he set sail at noon on the fourth
of August, having been besieged within the fortifications for over
four months. He directed his ships toward his own country, but, as he
left, he committed some damage with the "Vigilantib." At this time
the Spaniards feared that, when the ships were leaving, they were
about to attack them; and that some column was about to take them in
the rear. For this reason they fortified their rear-guard strongly
when the corsair left. It was ludicrous to expect that the Chinese
were coming to attack them, when with all their squadrons they never
dared once to measure their strength with ours.

34. Before this the Spaniards had filled the river with stakes,
to retard the progress of the corsair, but the latter removed
them. He compelled some of his men to enter the water; and ropes
being tied to the shoulders of these men, they removed, although with
considerable difficulty, a sufficient number of the stakes to clear
the vessels. While he was removing the stakes, the Spaniards stationed
arquebusiers and as large a force as they were able; but in this there
was negligence in not opposing the enemy with better arquebusiers.

35. They say that the corsair sent offers of friendship to the
Spaniards, saying that he would introduce us to the kingdom of China
and assist us in conquering the same. In regard to this there was
no further discussion; because he asked as a condition that the
siege should be raised, and that the Spaniards should go to Manila,
where he would return, in order to adjust the matter. Then, too,
Omocon, a captain of the king of China, was in that city, who had
come to locate the corsair, besides Sinsay, and others, which made
the Spaniards suspicious of admitting these discussions.

36. It seems that in the kingdom of China this corsair, Limahon, had
done much damage; and the king was at a great expense and trouble in
maintaining garrisons along the frontier where he was wont to commit
his frequent depredations. The governors of the province of Hoquian
sent two ships in charge of a Chinese captain, named Omocon, sent by
the governor of Chinchiu, who bears the title there of _Yncuanton_,
to spy upon Limahon, in order to send a fleet against him. This
same Omocon also brought letters containing a pardon from the king,
in case he should fall into the hands of Limahon. He brought letters
also to the principal married men with Limahon, promising them many
things, if they would kill the corsair and return to the service of
their king. This Omocon arrived at Pangasinan after the burning of
the enemy's fleet, and after the attack made on the fort the first
day. He spoke with the master-of-camp asserting that their enemy
was a pirate; and that if the Spaniards would take him prisoner or
kill him, the king of China would recompense them by entering into
friendly and brotherly relations with them. He also said that monuments
would be set up in the king's city, and in other public places, with
inscriptions describing the heroic feats of the Castilians, who would
not come to terms with Limahon, but on the contrary had killed him
in order to do the king of China a favor. This Omocon, when he saw
that the corsair was defeated and without any hope of getting ships,
and ascertained that Limahon could not engage in a pitched battle,
and concluding that the consummation had come, said that he would go
to notify the Yncuanton of Chinchiu. Then he offered to take some of
the religious with him, saying that he would take as many as wished
to go. Accordingly the master-of-camp sent him to Manila, and Guido
de Lavezares gave him a certain present to take to China. Fathers
Fray Martin de Errada, a native of Navarra, and Fray Geronimo Martin,
a native of Mexico, went with him. A soldier named Miguel de Loarca,
and another called Pedro Sarmiento, also accompanied them. They reached
Pangasinan where they took two other soldiers with them, Nicolas de
Cuenca and Juan de Triana. They took also as interpreter a Chinese,
named Hernando, who understood Spanish. The above-mentioned Sinsay
also went with them. A large vessel belonging to Omocon was left in
Pangasinan with thirty or forty Chinese; Omocon said that he did so,
in order that they might be of service to the camp. The fathers and
soldiers went to China with Omocon, and what they saw there they have
since related. [3]

37. It is believed that it was a mistake to let Omocon go, because
with the two ships that he took, and the one that remained there, it
might have been possible to close up the passage of the river. However
at the time of the departure of the corsair minor matters should not
be classed with errors.

38. When the friars reached China, they carried letters with
them. They were there four or five months, and might have remained
there, but the governors did not agree to that. Because of their
eagerness to see Limahon, the governors despatched a fleet of ten
ships, and with it the fathers and Spaniards, on the pretext that,
if it were necessary for the Chinese to assist in the war, the latter
would lend their aid. They appointed Sinsay captain, and Omocon a
captain of higher rank. On the way, these men falsified the letters
given them by Guido de Lavecares, writing others that said that they
were at the front, and fought valiantly, encouraging the Castilians
when the latter burned the fleet and demolished the fort; as a reward
for which they gave in money, to each one, besides the captaincy,
four hundred silver taes, each tae of the value of twelve Castilian
reals. These captains had with them as captain-general another
Chinese, named Siaogo, an insignificant, mean-looking, little
old man. It is said that he had been a corsair when young. When
these people came to this island and learned that Limahon had gone,
they cried for very rage and bitterness--especially Omocon, who had
solemnly averred that the corsair could not escape. They brought a
slight present with them, of a few pieces of silk and cotton shawls,
and also letters. A part of the present was for the governor, another
for the master-of-camp, another for the captains, and the rest for
the soldiers. Their portion was given to the captains by the Chinese
and friars. That which was destined for the governor I received,
and am sending it by this same packet to your Majesty, so that you
may see their way of doing things. I am sending also some cloth, such
as they wear, five bonnets, a belt that indicates that the wearer is
a captain, and the original letters that came from China translated
into Spanish--one of them having the equivalent Spanish words under
the Chinese and the letter telling about the present. From these it
will be seen that their writing does not consist of letters, but of
syllables or symbols. They brought with them thirteen horses as a
present or as purchases. These beasts are full of bad habits, like
those of Galicia. One horse was given there and here to the governor,
and was delivered to the officials of your Majesty's royal estate,
that they may sell it, and place the proceeds in the box with the three
keys. The rest of the horses were sent to their respective owners.

39. These ten ships brought some merchandise to sell, although but
little, which they sold at very high rates. They are a mean, impudent
people, as well as very importunate. They remained in this port more
than six months, and demanded a present to carry back with them--saying
that the good will of their commanders would thus be gained; and that,
if this present were made to them, it would stand the Spaniards in good
stead in their land. Inasmuch as it was reported that Limahon had fled,
and as these people are as cowardly as Indians, they begged me to write
to China that Limahon was dead. For this purpose, they tried to procure
many human heads, which many natives of this land are wont to keep as
treasures, in order to declare that they had that of Limahon. They
made a false seal, claiming that it had belonged to Limahon, from
whom they had taken it. They endeavored to have me write to China
from here after this manner, but I always told them, whenever they
broached the subject, that the Castilians did not know how to lie,
and that we could not discuss such trivial matters. I consulted the
captains and religious concerning the present, and we agreed that it
was not convenient to send one, but that we would furnish them with
provisions. Therefore we supplied them generously, and they left this
port on the fourth of May of the year seventy-six. They took with them
two fathers, Fray Martin de Errada and Fray Augustin de Alburquerque,
and my letters, a copy of which I am sending, as well as an order
for the fathers to remain there to preach. The Chinese did not take
any Spaniards with them; however, they begged for some of our people,
later, thinking that the latter would take something to give them or
which they could seize. During their stay here I treated them very
well, but there is no way of softening their hearts, except by means
of gifts--although, to my way of thinking, weapons would avail more.

40. The kingdom of China is very large. It is a two days' journey
from the head of this island thither for Spanish ships. Sailing from
this port one day until one loses sight of land, on the next day China
is seen. They themselves call their country "the kingdom of Taibiu;"
those of the Yndias, and other peoples, call it China. This means "a
very remote land," just as in Castilla they called Nueva Espana and
Peru "Las Antillas." Thoughout these islands they call the Chinese
"Sangleyes," meaning "a people who come and go," on account of their
habit of coming annually to these islands to trade--or, as they say
there, "the regular post." Here they style the Portuguese, "Parangue,"
taking the name from _margaritas_ [pearls]. They were given this name,
because they were the first who sold pearls. The captains describe
the kingdom of Taibiu in the following manner:

It has fifteen provinces, with viceroys, while the people out-number
those of Germany. The king is now a child of thirteen. He has a mother
and tutors, and it is about three years since his father died. The
people are light complexioned, well-built, and robust. There are some
who resemble mulattoes, who are badly treated.

41. The men and women both wear long garments, like the one that I
am sending so that your Majesty may see it. All wear wide trousers
[Sp. _caragueles_], black or white felt hose, and shoes. The country
is cold like Espana, but there are some warm regions. It has a great
many people.

42. They are heathens, and do absurd things. They do not use the
rosary, and have no religious observances or ornate temples. If some
temples do exist, only mechanical rites are performed in them. They
are a vile people, and are sodomites, as is affirmed by Spaniards who
have seen young boys present themselves before the justice to ask
the amount of the fine for the crime of violation, and frankly pay
it. They are all tyrants, especially those in authority, who oppress
the poor heavily.

43. They are a cowardly people--so much so, that none ride on
horseback, although there are many horses there, because they do not
dare to mount them. They do not carry weapons, nor do they use spurs
on the horses. They use the whip and bridle, which do not have much
effect on the horse.

44. There are a great many robbers or highway-men, robbing along the
highways or off them. They are very lazy; they do not cultivate the
ground unless some one forces them to it, and they do not collect the
harvest. They sell their children, in case of poverty, for a small
sum of money with which to buy food.

45. All the land belongs to the king, and no one in all the kingdom
owns a handful of earth; accordingly each man must pay, in proportion
to the amount of land that he uses, tribute to the king.

46. They know nothing, unless it be to read and write; and those who
can do this well are made great captains by the king.

47. They talk slowly, very explosively, and arrogantly. Our manner
of writing astonishes these people, as well as our way of living,
which they think better than their own.

48. When they effect a cure by blood-letting, they scrape the skin
until the blood comes, and with lighted wicks cauterize the wounds;
they also give the patient certain potions about which they have
learned by experience.

49. They always drink hot water. They heat this on the fire, and
water their wine, which they drink hot. They pretend to a knowledge
of chiromancy, but know nothing about it.

50. They are very superstitious in casting lots. When they crossed the
bar of this port, this superstition affected the flagship in which
the fathers had embarked, and the captain had to have the lot taken
by divination, and had the friars, whom he was carrying, changed to
another ship. However, the truth is that the change was made so that
they would have more freedom to pursue their customary vices.

51. They are very submissive to authority, and patiently suffer the
punishments inflicted. For a very slight offense an ear will be cut
off, or a hundred lashes of the whip given. The land is fertile. The
horses are small and the cows are like those of Berberia. It is
reported that farther inland are horses capable of bearing armed men.

52. No sheep are found along the coast, but there are said to be some
inland. On my asking them what Castilian products were lacking in their
country, they replied, "None whatever, unless it be velvet;" and they
say that they do not have this, because they do not know how to make
it, but that if they could see that manufacture, they would learn it.

53. They say that inland there are vines from which they make wine,
and olives. At the rear, this kingdom joins Tartaria; and a great
many years ago, they do not know how many, the natives established
the king of Tartaria in Taybiu, and he and his descendants ruled it
for one hundred and seventy years, until, after four generations,
they were expelled. Now one of the descendants of the native kings
of Taybiu reigns, and wages constant war with the Tartars, of whom
they say they are not afraid. They can reckon time only by the years
of their king, and therefore lose count easily; for, as soon as one
king dies, no further mention is made of him, and they reckon time by
the first or second year of the reign of the new king, and no other
memory of the preceding king endures. In another manner they reckon
the months by moons, and have eleven months to the year. It is quite
usual for that land to change masters; but it has always had a king,
either of their own nation or a foreigner. They count as their New
Year's the first of February.

54. The king and the chief priest dress in yellow, as a mark of
distinction, no one else being allowed to use this color.

55. The smallest province has more inhabitants than Nueva Espana
and Piru together. The cities are large, but contain mean little
houses. The people are generally poor. There are no gold or silver
coins, but everything is sold by weight. There are some copper and
bronze coins for small change. There is gold and a great deal of
silver. One peso [weight] of gold is worth four pesos of silver,
according to their calculation. For so many pesos of silver so many
of silk are obtained, and so with other things.

56. Everything is sold by weight, even wood and chickens, and all
other things; they are sold very cheaply, for land is very cheap.

57. Wheat and rice are raised abundantly. There are mines of gold,
silver, quicksilver, copper, lead, tin, and all the metals.

58. It takes a week, generally, to make the voyage from Manila to
Chiunchiu [the modern Chwan-Chow-Foo], a distance of about one hundred
and forty leagues. It is said that the journey has been made in fair
weather in six days, and has never required more than ten.

59. These people never travel by water except during the months of
the bonancas, which I have explained. Their ships cannot stand the
wind astern, because both bow and stern have the same form and are
flat, like a square table; they are so made in order that either end
can be used. They navigate always, in either direction, by means of
side-winds. These vessels rock to and fro, like cradles with oars.

60. The sails of their ships are made of bamboo, like matting. They
do not use a yard on the mast, but raise the mainsail on the mast
fastened to a pole as an infantry flag is placed on a pike; and the
sheets hang down from the other side with which the sail is turned to
this or that side, according to the direction of the wind. The sail is
half the width of the ship, and the mast is large and high. The sail
is raised by means of a windlass, which contrivance is used also for a
capstan. The rigging is made of reeds and grass, which grow wild. The
mast is stepped about two-thirds of the length of the ship nearer the
prow, in order that the ship may pitch forward. The foremast is not
stationary, being moved to port or starboard, according to the weather
or other requirements. The sheets are worked in the same way. The
compass is divided for fewer directions than ours. They also use
stern-masts as mizzen-masts, which, like that at the bow, are changed
from one side to the other, so that they do not need quadrants. They
go from one side to the other with the wind which helps them. They
use two oars at the bow to turn the ship, and two others at the stern
that assist the sailing. The compass consists of a small earthenware
jar, on which the directions are marked. This jar is filled with
water and the magnetized needle placed in it. Sometimes before they
happen to strike it right, they could go to the bottom twenty times,
thus, although it is marvelous, considering that they are a barbarous
people, that they should understand the art of navigation, it is very
surprising to see how barbarous are their methods.

61. All their arms, for both sea and land, are fire-bombs. They have
quantities of gunpowder, in the shape of loaves. Their artillery,
although not large, is poor. They have also, and quite commonly
poor, culverins and arquebuses, so that they depend mainly on their
lances. I am informed that they do not fear the arquebuses very much,
because they themselves are so poor shots with them, and are amazed
at seeing a hen or a pigeon killed with an arquebuse-shot. They fear
lances more than other weapons.

62. The chief captains and the king never cut their finger-nails,
and allow one to grow as long as the finger, and longer. These go to
war seated in chairs, carried on the shoulders of other men. They
frequently become intoxicated, and are very libidinous. They
guard their women very carefully. The women also do not cut their
finger-nails. When daughters are born to people of rank, they compress
the child's feet by the toes, so that they cannot grow; and the girl
cannot stand on them, but is always carried about seated. For this
reason, these women never leave the house.

63. The men have as many wives as they can support. They wear their
hair long, gathered up on top of the head, as women dress their hair.

64. None but a few principal people ever see the face of the king,
and those only who are near him. His face is always covered when he
goes out, and he is accompanied by a numerous guard.

65. The king resides in the province of Paquian, in a city called
Quincay, mentioned by Marco Polo, the Venetian, [4] in his second
book, and sixty-fourth chapter. According to the account given by
these, people, their country must have been ruled by the Tartars
before Marco Polo made that voyage, because in his history he refers
to the master of this city, and of others in the kingdom, as "the
great Khan." I believe that the strange people and language must have
changed the names of many of the provinces in his time. Although he
writes briefly, and in such a way that it seems but nonsense, still it
is true that this city does exist; and, according to the statements
of the Chinese, the name means in their language "City of Heaven,"
as says Marco Polo. This city of Quincay, as nearly as we can learn,
seems to be somewhat less than five hundred leagues from Manila,
which is to those living here as Cales and the mainland of Espana,
and if more of our people could go in one virey, everything would be
changed. These people do not extol Quincay less than Marco Polo does.

66. Marco Polo says that there are in that city Nestorian
Christians. The people here cannot pronounce the name, but claim that
there are people in it from all over the world in great numbers. The
people there are very vicious, as are those in these islands, which
are really an archipelago of China, and their inhabitants are one
people with the Chinese--as are those of Candia and of Constantinople,
who are all Greeks.

67. There are walls in the city formed of smooth, dry stone, well
placed on the outside. The food consists mainly of fish, for which they
go out into the sea to a distance of twenty leagues. Whoever should
prove master of the sea might do with them as he wished--especially
along their coast, which extends north and south for more than five
hundred leagues, where one may work daily havoc. Their garrisons of
soldiers along the coast are worthless, for they are treated only
as the servants of the commanders, and are overburdened; the result
is that the lowest and most abused people among the Chinese are
the soldiers.

68. The people generally have no weapons, nor do they use any. A
corsair with two hundred men could rob a large town of thirty thousand
inhabitants. They are very poor marksmen, and their arquebuses are

69. The trade with China is very disadvantageous to the Spaniards,
as well as to the inhabitants of these islands; for the only useful
thing that they bring is iron, and nothing else. Their silks are of
poor quality; and they take away our gold and silver. Just so long
as their intercourse with us endures without war, just so much the
more skilful will they become; and all the less fear will they have
of those with whom they have traded.

70. Some Indians, Japanese, and Chinese told me here that the
Portuguese have taken weapons to China, especially arquebuses such as
we use; and a Chinese sold me a Portuguese broadsword. The Portuguese
could teach them the use of large artillery, how to manage the horse,
and other things equally injurious to us. As they are merchants,
it would not be surprising that they should do so. Does not your
Majesty think that it would be well to hasten this expedition, and
to do so at once? For, in truth, it is the most important thing that
could happen for the service of God and of your Majesty. We are told
that there are millions of men, and that their tribute to their king
is thirty millions or more.

71. The equipments necessary for this expedition are four or six
thousand men, armed with lances and arquebuses, and the ships,
artillery, and necessary munitions.

72. With two or three thousand men one can take whatever province he
pleases, and through its ports and fleet render himself the most
powerful on the sea. This will be very easy. In conquering one
province, the conquest of all is made.

73. The people would revolt immediately, for they are very badly
treated. They are infidels, and poor; and, finally, the kind treatment,
the evidences of power, and the religion which we shall show to them
will hold them firmly to us.

74. There is enough wood in these islands, and enough men to make a
great fleet of galleys. In all the islands a great many corsairs live,
from whom also we could obtain help for this expedition, as also from
the Japanese, who are the mortal enemies of the Chinese. All would
gladly take part in it. Some native corsairs would also join us,
and introduce us into the country.

75. The war with this nation is most just, for it gives freedom to
poor, wretched people who are killed, whose children are ravished by
strangers, and whom judges, rulers, and king treat with unheard-of
tyranny. Each speaks ill of his neighbor; and almost all of them
are pirates, when any occasion arises, so that none are faithful to
their king. Moreover, a war could be waged against them because they
prohibit people from entering their country. Besides, I do not know,
nor have I heard of, any wickedness that they do not practice; for
they are idolators, sodomites, robbers, and pirates, both by land
and sea. And in fact the sea, which ought to be free according to
the law of nations, is not so, as far as the Chinese are concerned;
for whosoever navigates within their reach is killed and robbed,
if they can do it. One day I called Captain Omocon, telling him in
confidence that I wished to send a ship to trade with China, and he
told me in friendship and all sincerity not to send that galley until
I had ten more well equipped to accompany it; for the Chinese were
so evilly inclined that, they would under some pretext try to attack
and capture it, in order to rob it of its goods, and make slaves of
the crew. It is safe to say that, no matter what good we might do
them, they will always give us daily a thousand causes for a just
war. Now my opinion is, may it please your Majesty, that it would
be an advantage to have a sufficient force of soldiers, so that,
under any circumstance whatsoever, they may find us ready.

76. Moreover, we live so near them that in five days they can
come hither in their ships, while we in two days can sail in ours
from one coast to the other; and, as we have seen, they are wont to
commit depredations (as was the case in this city). Therefore, this
course of action will quite prevent the execution of their plans,
which I know--namely, that if they are able they will kill me, and
are seeking occasion for it.

77. I offer myself to serve your Majesty in this expedition, which
I desire so much that I cannot overrate it. If for this reason
your Majesty is inclined to put less trust in me as a loyal vassal
and servant, let some one else to your liking take charge of this
expedition, even if I do not go on it, provided it is undertaken
at your Majesty's command. Since I shall have been your Majesty's
impelling motive, I shall remain satisfied; and it will be a sufficient
reward for my poor services to have recommended it so earnestly in this
manner. If it had pleased God to endow me with great wealth, I would
not hesitate to spend on this expedition my entire patrimony whenever
your Majesty should so command. In beginning a battle, the business
would be finished, for there is not a man in that whole kingdom
who has an income of one hundred ducats or a palm's length of land;
nor is there one who considers it a disgrace to be given two hundred
lashes. They are a mercenary horde, accustomed to serve foreigners.

78. The kingdom inland, from what I have learned from men who know,
is not so large, nor does it extend so far as they say--namely,
that it requires a journey of seven months to reach the place where
the king lives. There are about five hundred leagues of seacoast
running north and south. It is wonderful to see the number of
people and the eagerness that they display in their duties and
occupations. Besides the ordinary tribute, they say that the king
has a million paid soldiers to oppose the Tartars, at the wall [5]
made by both nations. With this I send a Chinese map, from which one
can learn something, although the Chinese are so barbarous, as will
be seen from their papers.

79. In a letter from China, from the Yncuanton (as they are barbarians,
and the real information that they possess of us is that our numbers
are but two hundred men), he states (I know not what the words are,
but they mean "tribute"), that a present taken by the Chinese the past
year, before my arrival, was placed in the king's treasury. As Omocon
falsified the letters that he took from here, as the friars told me on
their return, and as he even stole a large part of that present--he
must have said, that it was through his efforts that the fleet of
the corsair Limahon was burned, when he joined the Castilians; and
that the latter would send the corsair to their king. Afterward they
tried to induce us to write from here in accordance with their desires,
as I have said before. I treated them kindly, but the council decided
that the Chinese should take no present, since it might happen that
they would steal it; but that two priests should go to that land,
who should carry letters and instructions from me, and should send
back an answer, to ensure better success.

80. It is said that every three years the king changes the viceroys
in China, because of his knowledge that they have robbed the whole
country; also that those in command there resist the king's authority,
as soon as they end their terms of office, and persuade others to do
the same. In short, as no one can or does speak to the king or his
viceroys except through a third party, they never tell the truth,
and thus the whole country is in a state of infidelity and barbarism.

81. Concerning the demarcations, it is perfectly clear that the Malucos
and all the rest extending from Malaca toward this direction, including
Burney, the whole coast of China, Lequios, the Japanese islands, and
Nueva Guinea are in the demarcation of your Majesty. The Portuguese
pass the limits of their demarcation by more than five hundred leagues,
and are busied in fortifying themselves. However, it is not necessary
to take any notice of their fortifications; for, if ordered to do so,
we can go to Maluco very easily. We are only awaiting the will of your
Majesty. The Chinese bring here quantities of pepper which, as well
as cloves, they sell for four reals a libra--and one hundred nutmegs
for the same amount. This year, they told us, there are no Portuguese
in China; for they all gathered at Malaca, because of the war waged
against them by the king of Achen. Others who have come here, have told
us that they were not in Malaca either; but I did not believe it. I
believe only that the Chinese like our trade better because of the
silver from Mexico and the gold from these regions; and that business
with the Portuguese is business transacted with corsairs. Among other
reasons why your Majesty should, without hesitation, despatch troops
as soon as possible to this land, is that the king of Achen--who is a
wretched, little, naked, barefooted Moro--is treating the Portuguese
very badly. This ill-treatment arises from the fact that five or
six hundred Turkish arquebusiers have come to him from Mec[c]a,
and with their help he is conquering all the region thereabout. This
territory is about the same distance from Malaca as Berberia is from
Andalucia. Malaca is on the coast of China itself, which at that point
turns toward the north. In that region we find two more petty kings,
one of Cian [Siam] and the other of Patan [Pahang?], both Moros. They
are about three hundred leagues from us here, while about one hundred
and fifty leagues from us is the king of Borney--who is also a Moro,
and in constant communication with the first named kings; and the whole
archipelago would very willingly render obedience and pay tribute to
him, if we were not here. These Moros of Borney preach the doctrine of
Mahoma, converting all the Moros of these islands. I have investigated
the matter so that, whenever God pleases, if we have forts and troops
in this land, we might aid the Portuguese, in order that the petty
king of Achen might be subdued--who persistently continues to send
out his Mahometan preachers. As I before remarked, he has Turks in
his service; accordingly, by depriving them of that vantage-point,
the passage would be closed, and neither Turks nor Moros could travel
from Malaca to this place. These are the most dangerous people, and
know the use of all manner of arms, and of horses. Waiting for the
Portuguese to do something is a weariness to the flesh, for they are
a poor people at best. Nearly all the inhabitants here were born in
Yndia, and are children of Indians.

_Condition of the Country_

82. These Philipinas islands are numerous and very extensive. The
climate is hot and damp. There is no protection from the sun, as
the houses are built of stakes and bamboo and the roofs are made
of palm leaves. Notwithstanding all this the country is healthy. At
night there is an agreeable temperature, and during the day are the
flood-tides of the sea. There is water in abundance. The evening dew
is not harmful. If there were the same protection from the sun that
exists in Sevilla, this country would be as healthy--and some places
more so, if one lives temperately (especially as regards continence),
and does not imbibe too freely; for the penalty for immoderate living
is death. The food here is rice, which is the bread of this country. It
is cultivated in the following manner. They put a basketful of it into
the river to soak. After a few days they take it from the water; what
is bad and has not sprouted is thrown away. The rest is put on a bamboo
mat and covered with earth, and placed where it is kept moist by the
water. After the sprouting grains have germinated sufficiently, they
are transplanted one by one, as lettuce is cultivated in Espana. In
this way they have abundance of rice in a short time. There is another
crop of rice, which grows of itself, but it is not so abundant. Wine
is made from the cocoa-palm, from rice, and from millet, and they
have _ajonjoli_ [6]--but of all these only a little, because the
people are Indians. There is plenty of fish, but it is not so good
as that of Espana. The same fowl are found here as in Castilla, but
they are much better than those of Castilla. There are many swine,
deer, and buffalo, but he who wishes them must kill them himself,
because no native will kill or hunt them. Meat spoils very quickly
here on account of the heat.

83. The soil is very fertile--better than that of Nueva Espana; and
the rains come at about the same season. There is no such thing as
a bad year, unless some hurricane works damage.

84. The people here are naked, and barefoot. They wrap a cotton cloth
around their loins. Those who possess such a thing wear a little cotton
or China silk shirt. They are people capable of much toil. Some are
Moros, and they obtain much gold, which they worship as a god. All
their possessions are gold and a few slaves, the latter being worth
among them five or six pesos each. They do not let their hair hang
but wind a small turban about the head. They believe that paradise
and successful enterprises are reserved for those who submit to the
religion of the Moros of Borney, of which they make much account. They
do not eat pork, and believe many foolish notions that tend toward
superstition. These are a richer people, because they are merchants,
and, with their slaves, cultivate the land. There are other natives who
tattoo themselves, and wear long hair, as the Chinese do. They are a
poorer and fiercer race. All carry weapons, such as daggers and lances,
and possess some artillery. No reliance can ever be placed on either
of these races. They all settle on the shores of rivers, on account
of the convenience for their fields, and because they can communicate
with one another, and go in their little boats to steal. They hardly
ever travel by land. Inland in the islands, and away from the rivers,
dwells another race who resemble the Chichimecos [7] of Nueva Espana,
very savage and cruel, among whom are some negroes. All use bows and
arrows, and consider it very meritorious to kill men, in order to keep
the heads of the slain as ornaments for their houses. They are the most
despised people in these islands, and are called _Tinguianes_ [8] or
"mountaineers;" for _tingue_ means "mountain." They have quantities
of honey and wax, and trade these commodities with the lowlanders. As
these islands are so fertile, there are large groves which are called
_arcabucos_ ["thickets"]. Thus there are no open roads, for which
reason the Spaniards experience difficulty in moving rapidly on land,
while the natives can easily flee from one end to the other.

85. Most of the Indians are heathens, but have no intelligent belief,
or any ceremonies. They believe in their ancestors, and when about to
embark upon some enterprise commend themselves to these, asking them
for aid. They are greatly addicted to licentiousness and drunkenness,
and are accustomed to plunder and cheat one another. They are
all usurers, lending money for interest and go even to the point
of making slaves of their debtors, which is the usual method of
obtaining slaves. Another way is through their wars, whether just or
unjust. Those who are driven on their coast by storms are made slaves
by the inhabitants of that land. They are so mercenary that they
even make slaves of their own brothers, through usury. They do not
understand any kind of work, unless it be to do something actually
necessary--such as to build their houses, which are made of stakes
after their fashion; to fish, according to their method; to row,
and perform the duties of sailors; and to cultivate the land. The
mountaineers make iron lance-points, daggers, and certain small
tools used in transplanting rice. They are very anxious to possess
artillery, of which they cast a little, although but poorly. They
are all a miserable race. Although the Pintados behave better to
the Spaniards, yet, whenever they find one alone, they kill him,
and the Moros do the same whenever they can.

86. When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to these islands, he settled
in the island of Cubu, which is very barren and small. When he went
thence, he went to Panae, on account of the war waged against him by
the Portuguese, and the famine there, which was very severe. With
but little acuteness, he established a settlement in Cubu, with
about fifty inhabitants; and built a little fort of stakes, which
soon tumbled down. Although the country is healthful, it is so
barren that no one cares to live there; neither is it an important
place. I have established this place and rebuilt the ruined fortress;
and I have placed there an alcalde mayor and about fifty soldiers
who have pacified those natives. The latter had risen in rebellion,
at the opportunity afforded by the tyrant Limahon. That islet is next
another called Mindanao, a large and rich island--where, God willing,
we must make an expedition soon. This settlement is of no advantage,
and causes expense and no gain, beyond saying that it is near Maluco;
nor does it possess other good qualities than that it claims to have
a good climate and port.

87. The Malucos are nearer to Nueva Espana than this city is, by two
hundred leagues; so that it would be easier and shorter to reach
them from Nueva Espana. On returning, the season could be chosen
better, as there are no channels or islands to go through, as we
have here. Among these islands there are certain currents which flow
more rapidly than those of any river. One cannot believe this unless
one actually sees it. And as the archipelago is so extensive, at the
doubling of each promontory it is needful to choose a different time
for sailing. For this reason we need vessels with oars. Meanwhile,
unless your Majesty orders it, we shall not go to Maluco. If we had
to go there, it would be better to locate in that village in Mindanao,
which is well supplied with provisions and where there are people. It
is more than one hundred leagues nearer than Maluco.

88. When your Majesty was pleased to give Miguel Lopez de Legaspi
permission to divide the land into encomiendas, he did so in accordance
with the wishes of the few men whom he had, assigning two or three
thousand natives as an encomienda to four or eight men. These natives
were not pacified, conquered, or even seen, so that the people asked
and still ask for soldiers to visit and pacify them, in regard to
which there is much trouble here. It was agreed that eight thousand
tributarios should be given as an encomienda to the master-of-camp,
four thousand to the captains, three thousand to men of rank, and so
on to the different classes, according to their position. This caused
trouble immediately because the generality of people and soldiers are
not willing to acknowledge so many people superior to themselves. It
is impossible to pursue the procedure adopted. Again, complaints are
heard that fewer Indians are given to one than to another, and that
those taken from their encomienda, as is commonly asserted, swell
the encomiendas of other persons. All these were things not well
understood at that time. They were not discussed in the residencia,
[9] in order not to arouse dissension. I tell all this to your Majesty
so that you may know the condition of affairs here. If I could,
I would reform matters so that good sense should conquer.

89. He [Legazpi] was also wont to maintain a number of gentlemen, who
had nothing more to do than to act as sentinels for him alone. They
were considered as of higher rank, as above said, and even more;
and they ate with him at his table. They were ordinarily young men
recommended to him by others from Mexico. They were thus set above
their fellows, which occasioned considerable trouble--even resulting
once in the garrotting of one from Cadiz. These men always accompanied
the governor in his walks, for he went afoot, because there were no
horses; and they were supported from your Majesty's treasury. It
has seemed to me a gracious act toward the people to entrust my
person to them all; and that those appointed by the sergeant-major
in turn, from the different companies, should perform sentinel
duty at my house--in order to relieve your Majesty's royal estate
of this traffic and expense; and to obviate this envy and the too
great equality caused by seating common people at the table. Then,
too, I ride on horseback whenever I go out; and no one would wish to
attend me except my servants. Therefore this guard, as was necessary,
ceases to exist. I rely on the fidelity of the sentinels, and will
rely on any person who refrains from possessions and honor not his own,
and sets a good example.

90. For the reason above stated--that repartimientos were made by
Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, and afterward by Guido de Lavesares, of places
never pacified or even seen--there are many encomenderos who have no
food, and who, whenever any district is pacified of late, demand that
it be given to them by virtue of that encomienda, to the prejudice of
those who go to pacify and cultivate it. Consequently, notwithstanding
that I have not yet seen the river of Vindanao, as above stated, I must
send men there. They have divided it into encomiendas, and assessed
the tax according to the men; just as in districts which are not so
large as that one, they come to beg for men, in order to go to collect
their tributes and commit various excesses. In accordance with your
Majesty's order and commission, I shall grant no encomienda that is
not pacified and faithful. I think that this will settle the matter,
and that the people will come to understand it. I enclose with this
a list of the encomiendas of the country; but all that is a matter
of little importance except for the passage from the mainland of China.

91. As I have previously observed, and since all the cost of the
exploration and occupancy of these islands, has been at your Majesty's
expense, those in charge of the government have but ill attended to
apportioning Indians to the royal crown; and those allotments were
made by way of compliment, and are the worst ones. They relied only
on what had to be sent them annually from Nueva Espana, and on what
has come from there; for this land is as sterile as one who lives on
charity. Accompanying this is a list of the income that your Majesty
has here. As far as I understand it, there is no account of the number
of Indians who are apportioned to the royal crown, and whether or not
they wander through the hills, for no one has seen them. To discuss
this matter in the residencia would be to excite the people to anger. I
thought that it would be all right to do it quietly, and therefore I
have apportioned as many as possible to the royal crown. However in
regard to this there was trouble enough, for once an office-holder
stated in public that, at this rate, all the Indians would belong to
the royal crown, and it became necessary to use dissimulation.

92. When Guido de Lavesares was governor he placed to his own credit
as many Indians as he saw fit; but I revoked all this, and allotted
them to the royal crown. I am sending the records to you; and with
whatever it may please your Majesty to give your servants we shall
be well satisfied.

93. There is in these islands an abundance of wood and of men, so that
a large fleet of boats and galleys may be built. There is a quantity
of cheap iron from China, worked by the natives here, who can make
what is necessary from it--which they cannot do with Castilian iron,
for it is exceedingly hard. We have no pitch, tallow, or rigging
worth mention, because what there is is so scarce and poor that
it amounts to nothing. There is no oakum for calking. Large anchors
cannot be made; but the rest of the tackle can be obtained here in good
condition. There is good timber also; to my way of thinking, therefore,
the ship that would cost ten thousand ducats in Guatimala, and in
Nueva Espana thirty [thousand], can be made here for two or three
[thousand], should strenuous efforts be employed. When I came here
I found the city burned and razed to the ground. I erected shipyards
in two places, separating the workmen, so that they might accomplish
more if they entered into competition. The one in Manila has turned
out a galliot of sixteen or seventeen benches; and has repaired the
ship that brought me here, and also one that was made in Acapulco,
which I believe cost more than fifteen thousand ducats. They were
about to burn the latter ship for the iron that they could thus obtain;
but through promises and diligence on my part the keel and stern-post,
which were rotten were removed, as well as half the hull of the ship;
and, God willing, she will sail from here one month after this ship
departs. Almost one braza was cut off near the bow, on account of
its unsatisfactory shape; and more than two brazas will be added to
the original length. This will make a vessel capable of carrying two
hundred soldiers--which, as this ship had been condemned, means that we
have, from nothing, made twenty thousand ducats. I found that the ship
which had been repaired was destroyed during Limahon's attack. Rigging,
masts, sails, and everything else necessary have been placed in it,
and the ship is called "Sant Felipe." On finishing this, they will
begin to work on another galley; and, besides, will repair another
vessel that is rotten, and whose keel, although of a better pattern,
will require as much labor as the other. However, God willing,
it will be completed by January, so that there will be two galleys
here. In Oton, on the island of Panae I have finished another galley,
thirty-four varas long, with twenty benches. Still another will be
ready by September and I shall continue with the work.

94. I would not dare to employ rowers for this country, since I have so
few men now on the Spanish galliots; for it would be possible for them
to take flight some day, and to do mischief. All these islands are full
of robbers. Having these four galleys I shall, with God's help, man
them with friends, and seek equipment for them. It is my plan to build
a hundred galleys, and to support them in your Majesty's service from
our enemies, if your Majesty would care to provide what is necessary.

95. There is no artilleryman here who knows how to fire or cast
artillery, nor is there any artillery. I am writing to the viceroy
our needs in this matter. Having learned that the Moros of this
country had artillery, I told them that they had nothing to fear now,
since we Spaniards are here, who will defend them; and that therefore
they should give me their artillery. By very affable address, I have
obtained possession of as much as possible, without any harshness,
and without seizing any man. I have therefore in the fort, in your
Majesty's magazine, four hundred quintals of bronze that seems to
be good. It was all taken within the radius of eight leagues. For
this reason, and because often some of the pieces burst, we need
here at this camp master-workmen to cast artillery. They ought to be
sent from Espana for this purpose so that we should not be deceived
about them in Mexico, as we have been in regard to the gunners--who
have simply passed by the gunners' barracks, and have never served
in the capacity of gunner. Such men we have here, to our great risk
and harm. It will be necessary to send fifty gunners. Those who are
here must be discharged, or be sent as substitutes for sailors.

96. And because, although I might act as overseer, these things
do not form part of my duty, two master-engineers are necessary,
who understand how to fortify a town, and everything pertaining
thereto. We also need experienced troops, for we are here among
enemies and nothing is possessed unless it is held. With regard to
the artillery and master-engineers, I implore that your Majesty may
be pleased to command that this business be attended to at once;
for we are lost here without artillery, which alone can defend the
dominions of your Majesty.

97. It is necessary that two masters to build ships and galleys should
be sent from Nueva Espana--so that, if it were necessary, those here,
who are becoming lazy, might be changed. It is necessary to change them
and to keep them in two shipyards, as I have done, so that the expense
at Acapulco, in Nueva Espana, might cease. All the work done there is
thrown away; for the vessels from Nueva Espana alone detain the workmen
here in repairing them, and prevent them from building new ones. We
need commanders of galleys who know how to manage the lateen sail.

98. We have no lead here, but it abounds in Nueva Espana; it will be
necessary to order that more than five hundred quintals be brought
from that country, for this is our sustenance--besides three hundred
quintals of gunpowder, for present use. We need some weapons and
armor--some corselets, such as are used in Nueva Espana, and five
hundred lances, which should be brought from Nueva Espana. Those that
we had here were used up, through carelessness and in the encounter
with the corsair. Until now it was not understood that pikes were
necessary, because the natives are wont to flee. But now it has been
seen that the Chinese attack other men with these weapons, for fear
of their commander. Now as there are so few of us, and the country
breathes nothing but war, we have not ventured into the forests to see
if there is good wood for these lances. For the lack of these lances
here, we have no lance-practice, nor is there a squadron to train
the soldiers; although, because of the great need, I have contrived
to make some lances from poles and bamboo, with iron and steel from
China. I have made one hundred iron points. I do not dare to issue
orders for target-practice (which the young soldiers need especially),
not even for a day, in order not to use up my miserably small quantity
of powder and lead.

99. Because of the many hardships in this country, the soldier
must be ready at any moment to execute the commands of those in
authority. For this reason, we find the consignments of married men a
great inconvenience; for they are not of much use here, as they are
generally very poor and old. It seems to me that, for the present,
we do not require the services of married men, unless there might be
some one of the nobility, whose family would set a good example.

100. As the soldiers suffer so many hardships, they become sick; and
although many even die, they are all so poor that they cannot leave
anything. They have no medicines, and are always ready to beg them, as
they have no other resource. When I came, I had a hospital built; but
the corsair burned it. This served as a lodging-place for poor people;
and, for this purpose, I brought a man from Nueva Espana to attend
the sick. We who are here consider this an excellent institution,
and, because without an endowment there would be no hospital when a
soldier was dying, I apportioned about one thousand Indians to the
hospital, whom it now enjoys because of this need. For the future,
will your Majesty please order that a sum sufficient for its needs
be paid from the treasury, and that those Indians be apportioned to
the royal crown. We need also another house for convalescents where
they may be compelled to follow a certain diet, such as a bit of
fowl. When I find a little leisure from so many toils, I will build
such a house, and establish suitable rules regarding the food. Thus,
besides the service of God, many can be supplied with food, by means
of the person who conducts the house.

101. It is necessary to maintain suitable order for the conservation
of the fort and artillery; and, as an inducement for those soldiers
who perform sentinel duty there, and the gunners who serve there, to
live within the fort, it is necessary to maintain them at the separate
expense of the fort. It is necessary also that, for the same purpose,
the governor of the fort should keep it in repair; and these expenses
should not be confused with those of your Majesty's treasury of the
three keys. I have discovered by experience that each account divided
by itself is much more satisfactory.

102. I have set about fortifying this city; but this work is not yet
completed, as the site is large, and I would not leave the friars
outside, from whom we all receive our instruction; moreover, we have
had so much work and hardship, and the Indians help us but little,
and I do not wish them to neglect their fields. It will, however, soon
be completed. It will be a palisade joined with keys, all along the
shore and across the river; and a cavalier [10] for defense--where
some artillery is to be mounted when the Indians have gathered in
their harvest--will be completed very soon. Likewise twenty thousand
fanegas of rice for the support of your Majesty's camp and fleet will
be stored away.

103. The province which, in all this island of Lucon, produces most
grain is that called Pampanga. It has two rivers, one called Bitis
[Betis] and the other Lubao, along whose banks dwell three thousand
five hundred Moros, more or less, all tillers of the soil, and taxed
to the value of eight reals each. This city and all this region is
provided with food--namely, rice, which is the bread here--by this
province; so that if the rice harvest should fail there, there would
be no place where it could be obtained. Throughout the province
there are not sufficient Indians belonging to the royal crown who
could give one thousand fanegas of income to your Majesty. These two
rivers were not included in the encomiendas made by the late Miguel
Lopez de Legaspi, governor of these islands (who apportioned a part of
that province), in order that he might request them from your Majesty
for himself. After his death, Guido de Lavasares, who succeeded him,
placed them openly to his own account, and apportioned the rest;
but I revoked the decree, and apportioned them to the royal crown
of your Majesty, where they are now; and the officials of the royal
exchequer have collected their tribute from them this year. It seems
that your Majesty has been pleased to bestow this encomienda upon
the son of the defunct adelantado, Legaspi. If this should pass to
him--as it is only reasonable to expect that it should, since such
is your Majesty's pleasure, and it is a favor to the children of him
who died in your Majesty's service--it would be most serious damage
to the condition of these islands. For not only has your Majesty no
income in grain, nor any place from which to obtain it, but these
Indians, as they are near, work very well, when told that they are
tributarios of your Majesty; and they serve in cutting wood, and do
other things which are very useful and important here. If perchance
the heir of the defunct governor should come to ask for his rights,
I believe that it would be well to ask him to do us the favor of
waiting until this point in my letter can be answered. Some plan
might be arranged, if it pleased your Majesty, so that he should be
recompensed in Nueva Espana. This will prove advantageous, since this
encomienda has been already allotted to the royal crown. I entreat
your Majesty to please to have the matter examined, because it is
important. For this reason I mention here the number of Indians,
and their tributes. It is a healthful and rich land.

104. The provinces in these islands that would be profitable to
settle are those that can maintain the Spaniards and can provide
them with food. If these are not colonized by us, the Indians will
continue their old mode of life, which means attacking others. For
this reason, it would be well to grant some lands, but with discretion,
so that we shall not be separated; for each by itself would prove but
a weak community, as happened on the appearance of the corsair. For
this reason and because there have always been foreign ships here,
I have delayed effecting settlements until we have more people. I
have attempted to send leaders and men through those districts, so
that the land might be made peaceful; and for this purpose have sent
one troop to Cubu, another to Camarines, and another to Ylocos. We
are always busy.

105. According to the accounts of the royal exchequer, your Majesty
will see that Guido de Lavesares and Legazpi have been in the habit of
allowing gratuities and other free sums from the royal treasury. I
have not continued these, but have closed the door on all this,
in order not to give them. However, as the friars insist that it be
given and spent in sermons, I have, without consulting them made a
decree to the effect that only the needy poor should receive alms,
and the gift must be for their support. I ordered a list of the poor
to be made and rice to be given them, as is given to others who are
supplied with rations from the royal treasury. Thereupon some persons
came, and have received alms. Those who begged only for gaming and
other like purposes are ashamed to take that alms, and wish nothing
but encomiendas. I have stated all this to your Majesty so that you may
be pleased to send me special instructions concerning these charities
and gratuities, so that in a just case actually seen, and in certain
necessities and calamities, attested to before notary and witnesses,
I might be empowered to furnish aid of weapons and clothing--always
prohibiting the giving of money even for once, or the income from
the chest with three keys, for this is harmful.

106. When an encomendero dies in Nueva Espana, his Indians are
allotted to the royal crown of your Majesty, as being in a simple
and peaceful country, where there is no need of soldiers. In these
islands I think that this would be impossible; and I would not dare
do it until I receive an answer from your Majesty ordering me to do
so. For, as so many men die here, all the encomiendas would belong to
your Majesty in four years; and the soldiers would have an incentive
to attempt the deaths of others. I notify your Majesty concerning this
so that you may order how I am to proceed. I have planned to correct
with gentleness the harm already done in apportioning villages to
the royal crown, by taking care that they be near and convenient to
the districts where the Spaniards will reside, and where the fleets
will be stationed. Some of those situated in more remote districts I
have granted. As time passes, I understand these things better; and
whenever occasion arises I am ever watchful of your Majesty's royal
treasury. In Mexico conditions hereabout are understood so little,
that I believe none know what takes place here. Of this I am sure
because they did not tell me the truth there, nor did I understand
it. One must actually see for himself the conditions here.

107. As there are so few people here it is impossible to administer
justice, such as execution for murder, or whipping a rogue; for in
one day we all would die. It is necessary to separate enemies and
pardon offenders; for a whipped man can be a soldier no longer. It
is important that your Majesty should know this.

108. The ordinances sent me by your Majesty concerning pacified
districts, which propose to summon the Indians peaceably to settle
near those districts and to persuade them to become Christians by means
of the friars, are very holy and just, but it is quite evident that a
correct report of this matter has not been made. For the Indians are
generally like deer; whenever one wishes to find them, he must first
employ strategy to catch one of the Indians in order that this one
may summon the others who have taken to the hills. Moreover, while
they are going and coming it is necessary that God should perform
miracles in providing food, clothing, and shoes for the soldiers,
and also for the friars, who will go for this purpose. You must
know that being long in one place incites them against one another,


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