The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898
Emma Helen Blair

Part 5 out of 5

very desirable that your Majesty send many religious, because there is
a great lack of instruction; and unless many of each order are sent,
the natives cannot be instructed as befits the duties imposed upon your
Majesty's and the bishop's consciences, under whose charge they are,
as the bishop will inform you in the letter that he is writing to your
Majesty. We beg your Majesty to see to this matter and provide for
it. May God preserve the Catholic person of your Majesty. At Manila,
on June 25 of the year 88.

The licentiate Santiago de Vera
The licentiate Melchor Davila
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
Don Antonio Rivera Maldonado

Bibliographical Data

_Foundation of Audiencia_.--See _Vol_. V, p. 320.

_Royal decrees of 1584_.--The first is found in Santa Ines's _Cronica_,
ii, p. 606; the original MS. is in the Archivo de San Francisco at
Manila--pressmark, "caj. n. 2 (dra.), leg. 1." The second is in
the "Cedulario Indico" of the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid;
its pressmark is "Tomo 31, fol. 161b, n. 157."

_Mendoza's History of China_.--Such part of this work as relates
to the Philippines is here presented; it is obtained from a copy of
the Madrigal edition (Madrid, 1586), in the Library of Congress. Full
details regarding this work will be given in the final bibliographical
volume of this series.

_Brief of Sixtus V_ (1586).--The text of this document is printed in
Hernaez's _Coleccion de bulas_, i, p. 530; it is also given in Santa
Ines's _Cronica_, i, pp. 524-527.

The remaining documents presented in this volume--which are translated
from either the originals or transcripts thereof--are obtained from
the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the pressmark of each is
indicated as follows:

1. _Income of royal estate_.--"Simancas--Filipinas; descubrimientos,
descripciones y poblaciones y gobierno de Filipinas; anos 1582 a 1606;
est. 1, caj. i, leg. 3|25, ramo 16."

2. _Letter by Davalos._--"Simancas--Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas;
cartas y espedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia
vistos en el Consejo; anos 1583 a 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18."

3. _Letter by Vera_ (1585).--"Simancas--Secular; Audiencia de
Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos
en el Consejo; anos 1567 a 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6."

4. _Letters by Guzman and Vascones._--"Simancas--Filipinas;
descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Yslas Filipinas;
anos 1582 a 1606; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 3|25;" this title varies
slightly, as will be seen, from that of No. 1.

5. _Memorial of 1586._--"Simancas--Eclesiastico; Audiencia de
Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del cavildo ecclesiastico de Filipinas
vistos en el Consejo ano de 1586 a 1670; est. 68, caj. 7, leg. 35." The
latter part is obtained from a MS. in the Real Academia de la Historia;
its pressmark, "Papeles de las Jesuitas, tomo 8, fol. 330-339."

6. _Letter by Chaves._--The same as No. 1, except that no ramo is

7. _Letter by the cabildo._--"Simancas--Secular; Audiencia de
Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del cavildo secular de Manila vistos
en el Consejo; anos 1570 a 1640; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 27."

8. _Letter by Sedeno._--"Simancas--Eclesiastico; Audiencia de
Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas eclesiasticos; ano de
1570 a 1608; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 42."

9. _Letter by Salazar._--"Simancas--Eclesiastico; Audiencia de
Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del Arzobispo de Filipinas vistos en
el Consejo; anos 1579 a 1679; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 32."

10. _Letter by the Audiencia_.--The same as No. 2.

11. _Letter by Rojas_.--The same as No. 9.

12. _Letter by Moron_. "Simancas--Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas;
cartas y expedientes de personas seculares de Filipinas vistos en el
Consejo; ano de 1565 a 1594; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 34."

13. _Measures regarding trade with China_.--The same as No. 10 (which
is one of the papers grouped in this document).

14. _Letter by Villamanriquez_.--Same as No. 6.

15. _Letter by Vera_ (1587).--The same as No. 12.

16. _Letter by the Audiencia_ (1588).--The same as No. 2.


[1] Something is apparently omitted here, perhaps a statement that
the Audiencia shall make the necessary ordinance, to have provisional
force (cf. section 310); but a careful examination of the original
document fails to explain the difficulty.

[2] Andres de Aguirre was one of the Augustinians who came with
Rada and Herrera to the Philippines with Legazpi's expedition. He
was a native of Vizcaya, Spain, and made his religious profession at
Salamanca in 1532. He was a missionary among the natives of Mexico from
1536 to 1564; the rest of his life was spent in connection with the
Philippine missions, largely as an envoy for their affairs to the court
of Spain. He died at Manila (where he was then prior of his order)
in September, 1593. See sketch of his life and list of his writings
in Perez's _Catalogo religiosos agustinos_ (Manila, 1901), pp. 6-7.

[3] The symbol U was used, in accounts, to designate thousands, in
the same way as the comma, or the comma with ciphers, is now used in
numerical notation.

[4] The deposition of Juan Arze de Sadornel, which is very similar to
this, contains some further items of information, summarized thus:
"Prices are especially high when ships from Nueva Espana fail to
arrive, or when a great number of people come on them. At such
times, a jar of olives may cost eleven or twelve pesos, and a quire
of Castilian paper four or five pesos. The so-called linen cloth is
really of cotton, and is very warm and quite worthless. The Sangleys do
not bring flour made of pure wheat. Three or four years ago, the pork,
fowls, rice, and other produce of the country were sold very cheaply;
now there is great scarcity (and has been for two years) of rice
in the market, and its price has advanced from four tomins for six
fanegas to a toston for one fanega. Consequently the poor inhabitants
are suffering great distress, and cannot support themselves. Formerly a
soldier could live on 15 or 20 pesos a year; now that sum will maintain
him only one month. Many of the natives have died in the expeditions
made to Maluco, Borneo, and elsewhere; and a plague of locusts has
added to the distress in the islands. Sadornel is thirty-one years
of age, and has spent thirteen years in this country."

[5] The "old style" calendar authorized by the Council of Nice
(A.D. 325) was based on erroneous conclusions, and consequently
contained an error which, steadily increasing, amounted to ten days at
the time of its correction. This was done by Gregory XIII, in a brief
issued in March, 1582; he reformed the calendar, directing that the
fifth day of October in that year be reckoned as the fifteenth. The
vernal equinox, which in the old calendar had receded to March 11, was
thus restored to its true place, March 21. The "new style" calendar is
also known as the Gregorian, from its founder; the system adopted by
Gregory was calculated by Luigi Lilio Ghiraldi, a learned astronomer
of Naples.

[6] "And he shall be a wild man; his hand will be against all men,
and all men's hands against him."

[7] Joao de Barros, an official in the India House at Lisbon, wrote a
history of Portuguese achievements in the Orient, entitled _Dos feitos
que os Portugueses fixerao no descobrimento e conquista dos mares e
terras do Oriente_ (Lisbon, 1552), _decadas i-iv_ (incomplete). The
other historian here mentioned is Jeronimo Osorio da Fonseca, bishop
of Silves in Algarve; the book referred to is _De rebus Emmanuelis
regis Lusitaniae_ (Olysippone, 1571).

[8] Afonso de Albuquerque (born in 1453, died in 1515) was perhaps the
most celebrated among the Portuguese conquerors of India; he was the
second viceroy of the Portuguese possessions there, and founded its
capital, Goa. From his letters and reports to King Manoel of Portugal a
book was compiled by his son Afonso, entitled _Commentarios do Grande
Afonso Dalbuquerque_ (Lisboa, 1557); see also W.D. Birch's English
translation, _Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque_ (Hakluyt
Society, London, nos. 53, 55, 62, 69, of first series). Therein may
be found a history of the events mentioned in our text.

[9] Apparently referring to the practice of sodomy; cf. a similar
statement in _Vol_. IV, p. 51.

[10] The archbishop of Mexico at this time was Pedro de Moya y
Contreras, who had come to Mexico in 1571 as chief inquisitor of
the Holy Office. On October 20, 1573, he assumed the duties of
archbishop; and in 1583 was appointed visitador (_i.e._, inspector)
of the courts, in which office he was engaged during three years. In
1584 he was appointed viceroy of Nueva Espana, surrendering this post,
a year later, to Villamanrique. All these offices were held by him at
one time. In June, 1586, he returned to Spain, where he died at the
close of the year 1591. In January of that year he had been appointed
president of the Council of the Indias.

[11] "The rumors of the occurrence of this metal in Panay and Leyte
have failed of verification. Accidental losses of the metal by
prospectors or surveyors sometimes lead to reports of the discovery
of deposits." (_U.S. Philippine Gazetteer_, p. 84.)

[12] The reference in the text is obscure as to the location of this
fort; but Morga says (_Sucesos_, ch. iii) that Azambuja commanded at
Tidore, and requested aid from Penalosa to conquer Ternate. "This
fleet, after reaching Maluco, did not succeed in its object. From
this time forward, succor of men and provisions continued to be sent
from the Philippines to the fortress of Tidore."

[13] Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa, who came to the islands as governor
in 1580, died in 1583, before he had completed the third year of his
service in that capacity. During his funeral, which was held at the
Augustinian convent in Manila, sparks from a lighted taper accidentally
set fire to the building, which quickly spread to others near by; and
soon all the public buildings and the greater part of the city were
destroyed in the flames. Before Penalosa's death, he had appointed
his kinsman, Diego Ronquillo, his successor _ad interim_ in the
government. See La Concepcion's _Hist. Philipinas_, ii, pp. 86-89.

[14] Apparently a reference to Fray de Vascones, whose letter to the
king follows this. This friar mentions himself as a "native religious"
(_indigeno religioso_), in which connection may appropriately
be cited Crawfurd's remark (_Dict. Ind. Islands_, p. 96): "The
[Chinese] settlers, whenever it is in their power, form connections
with the native women of the country; and hence has arisen a mixed
race, numerous in the older settlements, known to the Malays under
name of Paranakan China, literally, 'Chinese of the womb,' that is,
Chinese of native mothers; and called in the Philippines, Sangley,
a word of which the origin is unknown."

[15] Santiago de Vera had served in the audiencias of Espanola (Hayti)
and Mexico; in May, 1584 he came to the Philippines as president of
their Audiencia and governor of the islands. In that post he remained
six years, until he was replaced (May, 1590) by Gomez Perez Dasmarinas,
the Audiencia being then suppressed. All its members except Pedro de
Rojas at once returned to Mexico.

[16] Apparently a _lapsus calami_ for Miguel de Talavera, the name
given by Santa Ines (_Cronica_, i, p. 219) who states that his
commission was given by Monsenor Sega, apostolic nuncio; he went
to Mexico in 1580, whence he directed the affairs of the Philippine
mission during several years (pp. 226-229).

[17] The term "province" is here used by anticipation, as the
Franciscan custodia of San Gregorio was not actually erected into a
province until the following year (see brief to this effect by Sixtus
V. _post_). A custodia is a group of religious houses not large enough
to form a province.

[18] So in the text, and often elsewhere; sometimes (apparently with
more correctness) Macau. The discrepancy may arise from an error made
by transcribers, even those of contemporaneous date.

[19] This is evidently the Sangley friar mentioned by Santiago de Vera
in his letter of 1585 (see p. 75, _ante_). Perez says (_Catalogo_,
p. 21) that Juan de Vascones (Bascones) was minister in the following
villages: Calumpit in 1580, Bulacan in 1583, and Hagonoy in 1585;
and that he died at the last-named place in 1586.

[20] This friar was originally a soldier, but abandoned military life
to enter the Augustinian order. In 1576, he was appointed by Felipe
II, with two other friars, to go as an envoy to the emperor of China;
but various obstacles prevented them from going thither until 1584,
and the effort proved to be a failure. Mendoza thereupon collected
various narratives written by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries who
had visited China, and therefrom compiled (especially from that of
Martin de Rada) the _Historia_ here described. In 1607 Mendoza (then
bishop of Lipari) went to Nueva Espana, and was there made bishop of
Chiapa, and afterward bishop of Popayan. He died about the year 1620.

The title page reads: "History of the most notable things, the rites,
and customs of the great kingdom of China; gathered not only from
books of the Chinese themselves, but likewise from the relation of the
religious and other persons who have been in the said country. Made
and compiled by the very reverend father Maestro Fray Juan Goncalez
de Mendoca, of the order of St. Augustine, apostolic preacher,
and penitentiary of his Holiness; whom his Catholic Majesty sent,
with his royal missive and other things for the king of that country,
in the year M.D.LXXII. Now recently enlarged by the same author. To
the illustrious Lord, Fernando de Vega y Fonseca, of the Council of
his Majesty, and president of his royal Council of the Indias. With an
itinerary of the New World. With license. Madrid, at the shop of Pedro
Madrigal. M.D.LXXXVI. At the expense of Blas de Robles, bookseller."

[21] In this connection three Chinese characters are given, the first
to be printed in any European book.

[22] Jeronimo Marin was a native of Mexico, where he became an
Augustinian friar in 1556. Coming to the Philippine Islands in 1571,
he acquired the Bisayan, Tagal, and Chinese languages, and spent many
years in missionary labors among those peoples. Afterward he went to
Spain, where for a time he had charge of the Philippine missions of
his order; and finally returned to Mexico, where he died in 1606.

[23] In the text, Martin--evidently a misprint; accordingly, we have
corrected it to the proper spelling, Marin.

[24] Reference is here made to part i, book ii, chapter vii of
Mendoza's _Historia_.

[25] Either a reference to the few small islands which lie near the
coast of the province of Ilocos (Luzon), or an erroneous mention of
that province as an island.

[26] The author of the "Relation of the Filipinas Islands" which
appears in _Vol_. V.

[27] Alonso de Alvarado was one of the Augustinian friars who
accompanied (1542) the expedition of Villalobos; in 1549 he returned
to Spain. Again coming to the Philippines in 1571, he labored as a
missionary among the natives of Luzon. Appointed provincial of his
order there in 1575, he died at Manila in May, 1576. See Retana's
_Zuniga_, ii, p. 563*, and Perez's _Catalogo_, p. 11; the latter states
that Alvarado was the first Spaniard in the Philippines to learn the
mandarin dialect of the Chinese language, and that he ministered to
the Chinese converts there.

[28] As a result of this journey, Loarca wrote a memoir entitled
_Verdadera relacion de la grandeca del reyno de China_, etc. A
MS. which is evidently a copy from the original of this document
is preserved in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; its press-mark is
"J.--16, 89," and "MSS. 2902." It is possible that Mendoza, in writing
his _Historia_, had access to Loarca's work.

[29] An officer, superior to the captains, charged with the discipline
and instruction of the regiment; he exercised the functions of fiscal,
and had the right of intervention in the commissary department and
in all expenditures. (_Nov. dicc. lengua castellana_.)

[30] Pedro de Alfaro was at the head of the first band of Franciscan
missionaries who came to the Philippine Islands, and was the first
custodian and superior of that order in the ecclesiastical province
of the Philippines. In the autumn of 1579 he went to China, where he
founded a mission at Macao. While on a voyage to India, in June of
the following year, the ship was wrecked, and Alfaro perished. See
account of his life and labors in Santa Ines's _Cronica_, i, pp. 113,
120, 130-140, 160-178. As that writer distinctly states (p. 124), the
Franciscans reached Manila in June, 1577--not in 1578, as in our text.

[31] Agustin de Tordesillas was one of the Franciscans who first came
to the Philippines. At the time when he went to China with Alfaro,
Tordesillas was at the head of his convent in Manila. See account of
this mission in Santa Ines's _Cronica_, i, cap. vi-ix.

[32] Named by Santa Ines (_Cronica_, p. 108), Juan Bautista Pisaro
(_alias_ "the Italian"), and Sebastian de Baeza, this last the name
of a town in Andalusia. They left Manila on this voyage at the end
of May, 1579.

[33] The title-page of this "Itinerary," as well as some portions
of the text (notably the first chapter), are widely different in
the first edition of Mendoza's _Historia_ (1585) from the Madrigal
edition of 1586 (which we follow). See the Hakluyt Society's reprint
(London, 1853) of Parke's translation of Mendoza, vol. ii, pp. 207-209,
232. The Franciscan here mentioned was Fray Martin Ignacio de Loyola,
a relative of the Loyola who founded the Jesuit order.

The title-page reads: "Itinerary and epitome of all the notable things
that lie on the way from Espana to the kingdom of China, and from China
to Espana, returning by way of Eastern India, after having made almost
the entire circuit of the world: Wherein are recounted the rites,
ceremonies, and customs of the people of all those parts, and the
richness, fertility and strength of many realms, with a description
of them all. Compiled by the author himself, both from what he has
seen, and from the account given him by the descalced religious of
the order of St. Francis."

[34] Documents relating missionary efforts in these islands will be
published later in this series.

[35] An expression of the opinion, then current in Europe, that
the New World was either an extension of the Asiatic continent,
or separated from it only by a narrow sea.

[36] "The Philippine archipelago comprises 12 principal islands
and 3 groups, adjacent to which are 1,583 dependent islands"
(_U.S. Philippine Gazetteer_, pp. 4, 69).

[37] This paragraph, here enclosed in parentheses, is found at the
beginning of the Madrid copy of this document (see Bibliographical
Data). Other additional matter found therein will be similarly
indicated throughout.

In the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer Library), a paragraph at the
beginning of the "Memorial" states that the general junta was held
on April 20, 1586, in accordance with an edict issued (on the day
preceding that date) by the Audiencia. The assembly decided that
Sanchez should be sent to Madrid, bearing a suitable memorial to
the home government stating the needs and wishes of the colonists;
and that other conferences should be held by the various estates and
interests represented, to decide upon its contents. On May 5, the
Audiencia insisted that Sanchez should accept the office of envoy,
which he did on the same day.

[38] Here, as elsewhere in this document, we have represented by italic
side-heads the marginal notes on the original MS. They are written in
a different hand, and were probably made by some clerk of the Council.

[39] The stated times of devotion of the Catholic church.

[40] A note on the margin of the Madrid MS. at this place reads,
"or at least in Acapulco."

[41] A tax formerly paid to the government by those not belonging to
the nobility.

[42] A word used in America to signify an Indian village newly
consecrated to the Christian religion, and evidently transferred from
there to the Philippines.

[43] At this point the Sevilla MS. ends, and it lacks any signature;
there is reason to fear that the latter half of this copy--apparently,
from the marginal notes, the one sent to the Council of the Indias,
and used in their deliberations--is lost. The remainder of the
document is translated from the Madrid copy, which is fully signed
by the notables of the islands.

[44] For mention of the localities where these minerals are found in
the Philippines, see _U.S. Philippine Gazetteer_, pp. 83-85.

[45] Jesuit missionaries had already found their way into the
Chinese ports. Cretineau-Joly states--_Hist. Comp. de Jesus_ (third
edition, Paris, 1859), i, p. 402--that in 1556 Melchior Nunez visited
Macao and Canton, where he became acquainted with the mandarins;
but the repressive Chinese laws prevented him from preaching the
Christian faith. In 1563, three Jesuits visited Pekin; and in 1581-83
three missionaries of that order became established at Macao and
Canton--Michel Ruggieri, Mateo Ricci, and ---- Pazio. During 1600-10,
Ricci was a missionary at Peking, where he was greatly esteemed by the
emperor and other leading Chinese, on account of his scientific and
linguistic attainments; he is said to have been the first European to
compose works in Chinese. See sketch of his life in Yule's _Cathay_,
ii, p. 536.

[46] A somewhat blind allusion to the decline of the Portuguese power
in India, which began in the first decade of the sixteenth century,
with the conquests of Albuquerque and others (see note 8 _ante_). The
arbitrary and tyrannical rule of the Portuguese exasperated the
natives, many of whom revolted. It will be remembered that in 1580
Portugal was subjected to the dominion of Spain--including, of course,
its Oriental colonial possessions. The statement in the text evidently
means that, of the Indian states subdued by the Portuguese, many
have acquired so much strength that they have been able successfully
to resist their conquerors, and little therefore remains for the
Spaniards, who are now in possession of the Portuguese domains.

[47] The Sofi are a peculiar sect of Mahometans, organized about
820 A.D. For account of early relations and intercourse between
the Chinese, Persians, and Armenians, see Yule's _Cathay_, i,
pp. lxxxii-lxxxviii.

[48] A reference to the St. Lawrence River, then little known, but
by which, it was conjectured, might be gained a route to the Sea of
China, which was generally supposed to lie not far west of the North
American coast.

[49] This document forms part of the group "Measures regarding
trade with China;" but its subject-matter renders its location at
this point more appropriate; consequently it has been transferred
hither. The works printed in italics at the beginning of certain
paragraphs in this document are, on the original MS., written as
marginal notes--probably by a clerk of the Council of the Indias.

[50] In the original MS., section 8 does not appear--probably a
mistake in numbering the divisions of the letter.

[51] The phrase _foro_ (an old form of _fuero_) _interior_ is but
another expression for the ecclesiastical _forum conscientiae_,
or _forum poenitentiae_. The reference is to cases of conscience,
which should in this case be left entirely to the bishop's decision.

[52] This was Pedro de Moya y Contreras: see note 10, _ante_.

[53] A reference to the residencia, or judicial investigation, to
which each royal official was liable (vol. IV, p. 71, note 7).

[54] In the original, _ochenta_ only--_y cinco_ evidently omitted
by some oversight, as the date is written "1586" at the end of the

[55] Alvaro Manrique do Zuniga, Marques de Villa Manrique, was viceroy
of Nueva Espana from October 17, 1585, to February, 1590.

[56] The reformed Franciscans were commonly called Observantines,
from their stricter observance of the rules of their order.

[57] According to La Concepcion (_Hist. Philipinas_, ii, p. 92),
the plans for this fort were made by the Jesuit Sedeno; and it was
named Nuestra Senora de Guia ("Our Lady of Guidance"). He adds that
the artillery was cast (at Baluarte) under the direction of a Pampanga
Indian--whose name, Morga says, was Pandapira.

[58] Considerable copper ore is found in the Philippines, in many
localities; but these deposits are little known, and have not been
worked--except in northern Luzon, where "copper ore has been smelted by
the natives from time immemorial. The process ... consists in alternate
partial roasting and reduction to 'matte,' and eventually to black
copper. It is generally believed that this process must have been
introduced from China or Japan. It is practiced only by one peculiar
tribe of natives, the Igorrotes ... Mean assays are said to show over
16 per cent of copper." See U.S. Philippine Commission's _Report_,
1900, iii, p. 235.

[59] Sulphur deposits abound about the numerous active and extinct
volcanoes in the Philippines ... The finest deposits in the archipelago
are said to be on the little island of Biliran, which lies to the
N.W. of Leyte. See _U.S. Philippine Gazetteer_, p. 85.

[60] The ancient name of the city of Kioto, which was formerly the
capital of Japan; it lies 250 miles S.W. of Tokio.

[61] This exploit was performed by Thomas Candish, on Nov. 4, 1587,
off Cape San Lucas, the southern point of Lower California. After some
six hours' fight the "Santa Ana" surrendered; her crew and passengers,
numbering 190 persons, men and women, were set ashore, with supplies
and provisions; the rich cargo--consisting of silks, damasks, perfumes,
food, and wine, with 122,000 pesos' worth of gold--was plundered;
and the ship (a galleon carrying 500 tons of goods) was burned, with
all that the victors could not carry away. Candish then set sail for
the Philippines, which he sighted on Jan. 14, 1588; but his small
force of ships and men did not permit him to do more than cruise
through the archipelago during a fortnight, when he departed toward
Java. See Candish's account in Hakluyt's _Voyages_ (Goldsmid ed.),
xvi, pp. 30, 35-45.


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