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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 by Emma Helen Blair

Part 2 out of 5

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king, Don Felipe, our lord, was in charge of the government of the
kingdom of Mexico, his Majesty ordered him to fit out a large fleet in
the Southern Sea, to levy the soldiers necessary for it, and to send
it on a voyage of discovery to the islands of the West. The renowned
captain Magallanes (when he circumnavigated the globe in the ship
"Victoria") had already given information about these islands. The
viceroy obeyed most carefully and assiduously his Majesty's orders. He
fitted out the fleet at great cost, and despatched it from Puerto de
la Navidad in the year sixty-four. As general of it, and governor
of the land to be discovered, he appointed the honorable Miguel
Lopez de Legaspi, who died afterward in the same islands with the
title of adelantado, one year previous to the entrance into China of
Fathers Fray Martin de Herrada, Fray Geronymo Marin, [23] and their
associates. The Spaniards explored the said islands, and colonized
some of them for his Majesty, especially that of Manila. This island
has a circumference of five hundred leagues. The city of Lucon (also
called Manila) was settled there. It is, as it were, the metropolis
of the island. In this city the governors who have gone to the
Felipinas since their discovery have, as a rule, resided. There
also a cathedral church has been founded, and a bishopric erected,
his Majesty appointing to this office the very reverend Don Fray
Domingo de Salazar of the order of Preachers, in whom are found the
qualities of holiness, upright conduct, and learning requisite in that
province. He was consecrated in Madrid in the year one thousand five
hundred and seventy-nine. There are also, at present, three monasteries
of religious--one of Augustinians, who were the first to enter these
islands in obedience to his Majesty's orders, and have preached
the evangelical law to the great gain of souls, and with no little
suffering, many of them having lost their lives in this occupation;
the second, of descalced friars of the order of St. Francis, of the
province of San Joseph, who have approved themselves by their good
example, and have been very useful in those regions; and the third,
of Dominicans or Predicants, who have been of no less service. All
of these have passed a certain time in these islands. Afterward the
Jesuit fathers came to these regions; they have been of great help
to the above-mentioned religious.

On their arrival at these islands, the Spaniards at once heard
many things concerning the great kingdom of China, both through
the relations of the islanders, who told of that country's wonders;
and through what they themselves saw and heard, after a few days,
from the crews of certain vessels entering that port with merchandise
and very curious articles from that kingdom. These latter told them
in detail of the greatness and wealth of that country, and the many
things related in the first three books of this history. As soon as
the Augustinian religious (then the only religious in those islands),
and especially their provincial, Fray Martin de Herrada--a man of
great worth, and most erudite in all branches of learning--were
aware of the greater advantages possessed by the Chinese, who come
to trade among those islands, in comparison with these islanders,
and especially in the matters of civilization and ability, they
immediately conceived a great desire to go to preach the gospel
to those people, so capable of receiving it. With this object in
view, they began most carefully and studiously to learn the Chinese
language, which the above-mentioned provincial mastered in a short
time, making also of the same a grammar and dictionary. Besides this,
they gave many gifts and presents to the Chinese merchants, in order
to be conveyed to their country. They did many other things, which
are illustrative of their holy zeal--even to offering themselves as
slaves to the merchants, in order that, in this manner, they might
enter the country for the purpose of preaching. But all these efforts
were of no avail, until the divine will showed another and better
method, which will be related in the following chapter.

The sea-power of the pirate Limahon from the Kingdom of China, and
his defeat of Vintoquiam, a pirate from the same Kingdom. Chapter II.

The Spaniards were enjoying in peace and quiet their new settlement of
Manila, without apprehension of any accident that might disturb their
peace, and ignorant of any hostile treachery that might harm them; for
the islands were quite pacified, and submissive to the Catholic King
Felipe, our lord, and the trade with the Chinese was continuing. This
last seemed sufficient guarantee to ensure their present quiet; and
likewise, because they knew of the law among these people (as has been
related in the history) that prohibited them from warring with anyone
outside of their own kingdom. [24] They were enjoying this peace when
Limahon, a pirate from the kingdom of China--of pirates there is, as a
rule, no lack along this coast, both because of the dense population of
the kingdom, so that necessarily, vagabonds are by no means uncommon;
and (the principal reason) because of the tyranny exercised by the
rulers toward their subjects--came to these islands with an immense
fleet, as will be related hereafter, with the intention of working them
harm. This pirate was born in the city of Trucheo in the province of
Cuytan, called by the Portuguese Catim. He was the son of parents in
moderate circumstances, who, while he was a child, reared him in the
midst of vice and license. On this account, and by his own nature,
he was quarrelsome and evilly disposed. He would learn no trade,
except to commit robberies along the highway, in which he became so
proficient, that very soon he had a large following--more than two
thousand--of whom he was the acknowledged chief, and came to be feared
throughout the whole province where he committed his depredations.

When the king and his council learned of this, the former ordered
the viceroy of the province where the pirate was, to assemble all the
garrisons of his frontiers, and to try to capture him, and carry or
send him alive to the city of Taybin, or if that were impossible, to
secure his head. The viceroy ordered the necessary forces to assemble
for this pursuit, with all haste. When the pirate Limahon was aware
of this this--seeing that he was not sufficiently strong with the men
at his command to defend himself against the forces coming against
him, and that he was in great danger if he waited--he collected his
companions, and led them to a seaport a few leagues from that place,
going thither with so great rapidity and so secretly, that before the
inhabitants of this place, accustomed to live quite without fear of
such assaults, were aware of it, he was master of the port and all its
vessels. In these vessels he and all his men embarked immediately,
weighed anchor, and made for the open sea, thinking (and with good
reason) themselves safer there than on land.

Perceiving now that he was master of that whole sea, he began to
plunder as many vessels as he could, both foreign and native, so that,
within a short time, he was well provided with seamen and the other
necessities demanded in his new calling. He pillaged and despoiled
all the coast towns, and committed many other atrocities. He became
powerful, having collected a fleet of forty vessels, composed of
both those that he had seized in the first port, and those that he
had appropriated at sea, and a large following of shameless men,
quite satiated with their robberies and murders. He bethought
himself of undertaking things of greater import, and set about it,
having the boldness to attack large towns, and committing numberless
atrocities--so that throughout that entire coast where he was known he
was greatly feared; and even in coasts very far from there the report
of his cruelties was spread abroad. While engaged in these practices he
happened to meet with another pirate like himself, named Vintoquiam,
also a native of China, who was resting at anchor in the port, not
apprehending any danger. Here, gaining the advantage through his
great daring, he fought with the latter's fleet, and conquered him,
although Vintoquiam had sixty vessels, large and small, and a strong
force of men, capturing fifty-five of his vessels; Vintoquiam escaped
with the other five. Limahon, now finding himself with a fleet of
ninety-five vessels, manned by a numerous and bold following (all of
whom knew that execution awaited them if taken), grew bolder and lost
every atom of fear, devising new atrocities; and he not only attacked
and plundered large cities, but seized and destroyed them.

A fleet is prepared in China against the pirate Limahon, and
he retires to Tonzuacaotican, where he hears of affairs in the
Felipinas. Chapter III.

Each day saw an increase of the complaints made to the king and his
council by the Chinese who suffered at the hands of Limahon. For this
reason, the king once more ordered the viceroy of that province in
which the pirate was committing his depredations, to hasten to have
this man intercepted. Within a short time, the viceroy prepared one
hundred and thirty large vessels, manned by forty thousand men, all
under command of a gentleman named Omoncon. This man was ordered to
seek and pursue the pirate, being expressly commanded to capture or
kill him, even if he should endanger his ships and men while doing
it. Limahon was at once informed of all this, through certain secret
friends. As he saw that the plan to pursue him was being pushed forward
in all earnestness, and that he was inferior to his enemy in point of
ships and men, he determined not to await the latter, but to withdraw
from that coast. In his flight he betook himself to a remote island,
Tonzuacaotican by name, forty leagues from the mainland, and lying
in the pathway to the Felipinas. Limahon remained in this retired
island with his fleet for some days, without daring to return to the
mainland, for he knew that the king's fleet was guarding the coast;
and although he despatched a few vessels on marauding expeditions,
they did nothing of importance--returning, on the contrary, pursued
by the king's powerful fleet. He made some sallies with part of his
vessels from this island, robbing all the vessels that he encountered,
which, with their cargoes of merchandise and other articles, were
sailing between the different islands, or between the islands and the
mainland. Among them he happened to meet two Chinese merchant vessels
plying from Manila to China. Immediately he had the holds of these
vessels searched, finding the rich cargoes that they carried, which
consisted of articles of gold and Spanish reals of four to the peso,
given to them in exchange for the merchandise carried by them to the
islands. Limahon informed himself thoroughly of the characteristics
and wealth of the land, and especially of the Spaniards in the
city of Manila--who in all did not exceed seventy, because the
others had left Luzon for the exploration and colonization of new
islands. Then--ascertaining that these few were living without any
fear of enemies, and therefore had no fort; and that their artillery,
although good, was not in position, either for defense or offense--he
determined to go thither with his entire fleet and following, in order
to kill them; and to make himself master of the island of Manila and
its environs, where he thought to be safe from the power of the king,
who was trying to capture him. In accordance with this idea, he set
about this enterprise with the utmost possible despatch.

Departure of the pirate Limahon for the Felipinas, and arrival at
the city of Manila. Chapter IIII.

The pirate resolved to go to capture the Felipinas Islands, and to make
himself master and king of them all, first killing the Spaniards--a
thing that seemed easy of accomplishment, because of their small
number. He was convinced that he could live here quite free from
anxiety, and without his present fear of the great power of the king,
because these islands were so far from the mainland. Leaving those
islands where he had sought shelter, he set sail toward those of
the Felipinas, passing those islands called Illocos, [25] near to a
town called Fernandina, founded recently by Captain Juan de Salzedo,
who at that time was lieutenant-governor there. Four leagues from
this place, Limahon met a small galley sent out by the said Juan
de Salzedo after provisions, with but twenty-five soldiers aboard,
not counting the rowers--both soldiers and rowers being in very
small numbers, for they felt quite secure in this region, and had
no suspicion of meeting enemies. When the pirate Limahon's fleet
discovered the galley, they came down upon it, invested it, and
taking it easily, burned it, and killed its crew, without excepting
a single person. After this capture, Limahon continued his voyage,
according to his plan, and passed by the town of Fernandina, but
not so secretly that he escaped being seen by its inhabitants. The
latter informed the above-named lieutenant-governor of it, expressing
their astonishment at seeing so large an assemblage of vessels,
a sight never before witnessed in those islands. To him also, this
was a cause for wonder, and he was not a little troubled at what it
might mean. Seeing that these vessels were directed toward the city
of Manila, and thinking that so great a fleet, coming from such a
direction, could portend no good to the inhabitants of the city (who
were living in security and were but few in number, as we have said
above), he resolved to set out immediately with the greatest despatch
possible, and with the greatest number of men he could muster--about
fifty-four Spaniards--to endeavor, although at the risk of much
labor, to get the start of them, and warn the people of Manila,
and help them place the artillery in position, and do other things
needful for the defense of the city. The captain set out to carry this
determination into effect with all haste, from which it resulted that
the city and all its inhabitants were not completely pillaged and
destroyed. However, it was not possible to avoid all damage; for,
as their vessels were small, and the rowers few in number and not
picked men (since their hasty departure did not allow a choice), and
as they were going from one region to another to get food--all these
things combined prevented them from arriving as soon as they wished,
or as was desirable. Limahon, being well provided with provisions and
all other necessities, and favored with good winds, kept the lead
of them, arriving at the bay of the city of Manila on St. Andrew's
eve in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-four. Here he
cast anchor that night with his fleet. As he knew that the success of
his undertaking lay in his quickness, and in action before he should
be seen by the inhabitants of the city, or perceived by those in its
neighborhood, he embarked--being aided in this by the darkness of the
night--four hundred picked soldiers, of whose courage he was thoroughly
assured and satisfied, in small boats, commanding their captains to
exercise all diligence in arriving at the city before daybreak. He
despatched this detachment with orders to fire the city first of all,
and not to leave a single man living in it. He promised to join them
at the first light, in order to help them should it prove necessary,
as was the case. But, since nothing is done contrary to God's will or
permission, it was not possible for the pirate Limahon to attain his
end with the four hundred soldiers, as he thought to do; for all that
night the land-breeze blew, becoming ever stronger as night deepened,
and proving contrary to their desires. Consequently they were unable to
disembark that night, although they tried to do so, striving with all
their strength and cunning to sail against and overcome the wind. Had
it not been for this, without any doubt they would have attained their
evil purpose quite easily, and the city and its inhabitants would
have been destroyed; for Limahon's plan and desire, as was manifest
in the order given to his captains, was to raze and destroy the city.

Limahon sends four hundred soldiers as a vanguard to burn the city
of Manila, who are resisted by our men. Chapter V.

Notwithstanding all the trouble caused them by the wind, the four
hundred Chinese succeeded in reaching land a league away from the
city at eight o'clock on the morning of St. Andrew's day. Leaving
their boats at this point, they disembarked and immediately began
their march in battle-array with the utmost rapidity, placing in the
fore part two hundred arquebusiers, and immediately behind these the
other two hundred, who were pikemen. But being espied by some of the
inhabitants--as could not be otherwise, because of the level and open
nature of the ground, and the great number of soldiers--these hastened
to give immediate notice of the invasion. Coming into the city, they
cried: "To arms! to arms! the enemy is upon us!" But their warning
availed little, for no one believed it. On the contrary, they imagined
it a rumor that had arisen among the natives themselves, or some jest
that they were trying to practice. At last the enemy had reached the
house of the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti--his house being the
first in the city in the direction taken by the enemy--before the
Spaniards and soldiers within the city caught sight of them, and even
before they would put any confidence in the noise and rumor. The enemy
immediately fired the house of the said master-of-camp, killing him and
all the inmates, so that no one escaped except the wife, and her they
left grievously wounded and stark naked, believing her to be dead,
although she was afterward cured of her wounds. During this time of
this their first act of cruelty, the citizens were assured of the
truth; and although none of them had ever imagined so unlooked-for
an event, finally they sounded the call to arms and began to try to
save their lives. Some soldiers made an immediate sally to the shore,
in the lack of order usual in events of this nature. In consequence,
the Chinese killed them all, not even one of them escaping. Therefore
the rest of the Spaniards formed into one organized body, and showed
some resistance to the enemy, now entering the city and firing it,
the while uttering their shouts of victory. This resistance was
characteristic of Spaniards upon finding themselves in such dangers;
and it was so stubborn and courageous that it sufficed to restrain
the fury of those who hitherto had been victors, and even to make
them retire, notwithstanding the very great disproportion between
the two forces. In retiring, the Chinese lost some soldiers without
inflicting any serious loss on the Spaniards, who performed many
remarkable deeds in this defense. Thereupon the Chinese, inasmuch as
they had left their boats at some distance, because they had no time
to bring them nearer, resolved to abandon the assault begun by them,
in its present condition; and to seek shelter and refresh themselves
from their past toil, in order that they might return later with their
captain-general Limahon (whom they were awaiting), to bring their plan
to completion, a thing that they considered to be, by this means,
very easy of accomplishment. When they reached their boats, as they
feared some danger, they began a return to the fleet, steering directly
toward the place where they had left it; they caught sight of it not
long afterward, past a point in sight of the city of Manila. Taking
their course toward the fleet, they came to the flagship, in which was
the pirate Limahon. They related to him the affair in all its details,
and how, on account of the contrary winds, they had been unable to
reach land in the time set by him, and which they wished. Therefore
they had not completed the undertaking and had deferred it, because
of his absence, until a better opportunity. He consoled them, and
thanked them for what they had done until then. He promised them to
make a very speedy end to his damnable purpose, and at once commanded
that the bow of his flagship be directed toward a port called Cabite,
situated two leagues from the city of Manila. From this latter place
the said fleet could be easily seen passing on its way.

The governor of Manila fortifies himself in order to await the
onslaught of the Chinese, and drives them back. Limahon having returned
occupies the land along the Pangasinan River. Chapter VI.

The governor, Guido de Labacares, who, by the order of his Majesty,
had succeeded to the governorship at the death of Miguel Lopez de
Legaspi, was then in those islands, and in that of Manila. He, taking
into consideration the pirate's great fleet and large following,
and the few defenses and means of resistance in the city, assembled
the captains and citizens with the utmost despatch, and with their
unanimous approbation set about making some defenses, while the
enemy was in the port aforesaid, that the Spaniards might defend
themselves to the best of their ability. For the Spaniards could not
abandon the city, while life remained, without loss of their credit;
for in only this one of all the islands thereabout could they feel
secure. This determination was speedily put into execution, the work
lasting during the two days and nights while the pirate delayed; and no
opportunity was neglected, nor was any person excused from the work,
notwithstanding his rank, for the courageous soldiers well knew that,
if they remained alive, the fatigue and weariness would soon pass
away. With this incessant work, they were enabled to make a fort out of
planks, and casks filled with sand, with such other means of defense
as these few hours permitted. They brought out four pieces of very
excellent artillery that were in the city. These were placed in good
position, and all the people were gathered in the little fort thus
made. This occurred, as we believe, through the providence of God,
our Lord, who did not choose that the many souls baptized in those
islands, and sealed with the light of the knowledge of His most holy
faith, should return into the power of the devil, from whose grasp He
had drawn them by His infinite mercy. Neither did He wish that the
convenient proximity of those islands to the great kingdom of China
be lost, by which means, perhaps, his divine Majesty has ordained
the salvation and rescue of all that country. The night before the
assault, Captain Juan de Salcedo, lieutenant-governor of the town of
Fernandina, arrived--who, as we said, was coming for the purpose of
aiding the Spaniards of Manila. His coming and that of his companions
was clearly the chief remedy for both the city and its inhabitants;
for, besides being few, the work of the late resistance and that of
preparing the defenses for the coming assault, together with the fear
left in their hearts by the danger in which they beheld themselves,
had rendered them feeble and in great need of help such as this; and
he seemed to all of them to have been sent miraculously by God. With
this arrival, all recovered courage and the assured hope of making a
courageous resistance. They prepared themselves for this immediately,
because the pirate, before dawn of the morning following--two days
after the assault, as above related, by the four hundred soldiers at
his orders--appeared with his entire fleet in front of the port. He
disembarked about six hundred soldiers, who without delay fell upon
the city, which they were able to sack and burn at will, as indeed
they did; for the inhabitants had abandoned it, as above stated,
at the order and command of the governor, gathering at the fort for
greater security.

Having set fire to the city, they attacked the fort, flushed with
their past murders, and fully persuaded that the inmates would offer
little resistance. But the outcome was not so certain as they thought,
because of the great valor and courage of those inside, through which
all the pirates who had the daring to enter the fort paid for their
boldness with their lives. Upon seeing this, the Chinese withdrew,
after fighting almost all that day, and losing two hundred men (who
were killed in the assault), besides many wounded. Of the Spaniards
but two were killed, namely, the ensign Sancho Ortiz, and the alcalde
of the same city, Francisco de Leon.

The pirate Limahon, who was a man of astuteness and ability, in
consequence of all this--and as it seemed to him that to persist
further in his design against the steadfastness of the Spaniards,
which was different from what he had experienced hitherto, was to lose
time and people--resolved to embark and sail to the port of Cabite,
whence he had come. First he collected very carefully his dead, whom he
buried afterward in the above-named island, remaining there for this
purpose two days. Then leaving this place, he returned by the same
route that he had followed in his assault upon the city of Manila,
until he arrived at a large river forty leagues away, Pangasinan by
name. Thinking this to be a rich country, and that he could remain
there safe from those who, by the king's orders, were looking for
him, he resolved to stay there, and to make himself master of that
place. This he did with very little trouble, and by means of a fort
which he built, one league up the river; he remained there for some
time, collecting tribute from the natives, as their true lord. He sent
out his vessels to rob all who should be found along those coasts;
and the report spread abroad that he had seized the Felipinas Islands,
and that all the Spaniards there had been killed or had fled. Thereupon
great terror and fright filled all the neighboring villages settled
upon this great river Pangasinan; and all of them, with no exception,
received Limahon as lord, and as such obeyed him and paid him tribute.

The master-of-camp, Salzedo, attacks Limahon, burns his fleet, and
besieges him for three months in a fort; whence the pirate escapes
by dint of great effort. Chapter VII.

When the governor of the islands and the citizens of Manila heard
that the pirate Limahon was asserting, wherever he went, that he had
killed and defeated the Spaniards; considering that if this were not
checked speedily, great harm might result from it, which could not
be remedied so easily afterward as it could at the present time;
and that their allies and vassals throughout all those islands,
placing credence in the pirate's assertion, might rise against them,
and kill them with ease, because of the great number of the natives
and the fewness of the Spaniards, who until the present had sustained
themselves solely by the report of their invincibility--they took
counsel together, and determined that as large a force as possible
should be raised, and sent in military array in pursuit of the
pirate. They knew that he must, of necessity, have stationed himself
near Manila; and that he would not dare return to China, because he
was afraid. They thought that, by the use of the same artifice and
strategy employed by Limahon, they might come upon him unawares,
as he had caught them. They believed that, although they could not
destroy him totally, they could, at the very least, take vengeance
for the damage wrought by him, so that the lie would be given to
the report spread abroad by the said pirate. Thus the Spaniards' old
security would remain, and they would be held in greater estimation
by the natives near them, who knew them; and would even attain the
friendship of the king of China, against whom Limahon was a traitor,
and whom he had offended. This resolve they set about executing
immediately, as such an undertaking required. Meanwhile they heard,
as certain, that the pirate was stationed on the Pangasinan River,
where he had made a strong settlement. Upon obtaining this news--which
was most agreeable to the Spaniards--the governor summoned all the
people dwelling thereabout, ordering them to come to the city where
he resided. At this same time, he sent word to all the encomenderos
or seigniors of the villages of those islands called Pintados,
ordering them to assemble at the same place with as many ships and
men as possible, both Spaniards and natives. All this was done and
completed quickly and gladly; and the natives, especially those of
the said Pintados Islands, came willingly. All these, together with
the other people who lived in the city, set out under command of
Captain Juan de Salzedo, whom the governor, in his Majesty's name,
had appointed to the office of master-of-camp (rendered vacant,
as has been related above, by the death of Martin de Goyti at the
first assault of the city of Manila). The governor remained behind
with only a force sufficient to guard the city and the fort, which
had been built again, and the well. The master-of-camp took in his
detachment two hundred and fifty soldiers and five hundred friendly
Indians, all unanimous in their intention to avenge the mischief that
they had suffered, or to die in the attempt.

This entire force embarked in small boats, and in two fragatas brought
from nearby islands, as no time had been given, in the haste necessary
for this expedition, to wait until larger ships could be found. And,
even had they waited, they would have found but a poor supply of
vessels; for the inhabitants of this region, as soon as they saw the
city attacked by the pirate, had risen against the Spaniards--believing
that the latter could not escape so great a force, although from the
Spaniards' first entrance into the said islands, they had been very
submissive--and burned a small galley anchored at Manila, together
with two other large vessels.

The master-of-camp, with the force above mentioned, left Manila on
the twenty-third of March, in the year one thousand five hundred
and seventy-five, and arrived at the mouth of the Pangasinan River
at dawn on Holy Wednesday following, without being espied by anyone;
for, as was important, they observed great care. The master-of-camp
disembarked his entire force immediately, together with four pieces
of artillery, leaving the mouth of the river blockaded with all his
vessels, some of which he had ordered to extend themselves so that no
one might enter or go out, or warn the pirate of their arrival. He
ordered others of the vessels to reconnoiter the enemy's fleet and
his fortifications. He charged them especially to endeavor not to be
seen, for this was essential to the success of the undertaking. The
captains did as they were ordered, finding the pirate as free from
anxiety of any danger there, as the city of Manila had been at his
attack. This security resulted from his having heard that, although
they were discussing in China the question of attacking him, this
could not be done soon, for they could not know or be perfectly sure
of his whereabouts; and from his certain knowledge that the Spaniards
of the Felipinas had no vessels, for, as we have said above, they had
been burned, and they had received so much damage that they would
endeavor rather to recover from their past ill-treatment, than to
avenge injuries. The master-of-camp having ascertained thoroughly this
great lack of care, and the most retired path to the pirate's fort,
ordered Captain Gabriel de Ribera and his men to march immediately by
land, and as suddenly as possible to assault the enemy, making as much
noise and confusion as he could. The captains, Pedro de Chaves and
Lorenco Chacon, with forty soldiers apiece, he ordered to ascend the
river in the swiftest vessels. The time was to be appointed so that
both the land and sea forces would arrive at the fort at the same
instant, and make the assault at the same time, so that they might
the better succeed in their purpose. He himself remained behind with
all the rest of the forces to await the opportunity and to furnish
aid in any emergency. This plan succeeded very well, and each party
gave the best account of itself--the water force firing the enemy's
fleet, while the land force, aided by those who had set the fire,
entered the palisade constructed by Limahon for his defense, and as
a protection for his men. They entered the fort also and killed more
than one hundred Chinese, besides capturing more than seventy women,
whom they found within the palisade.

When Limahon heard the noise, he hastened to the fort,
which--notwithstanding that it had been made as a defense, in case
the fleet of the Chinese king, which he knew had been prepared to go
in search of him, should chance upon him there--served to save his
life on this occasion. He ordered some soldiers to skirmish with the
Spaniards, now quite worn out by that day's work and the oppression
caused by the intolerable heat of the burning vessels and the houses
within the palisade, all of which were ablaze at the same time. The
captains, on perceiving this, and the lack of order among their men,
which they might not remedy, because they themselves were almost worn
out (although the aid sent them very opportunely by the master-of-camp
had given them a moment's respite and added new courage), gave the
signal for retreat, with the loss of five Spaniards and more than
thirty of their Indian allies, whom the pirate's soldiers killed,
besides some others that had been wounded. Upon the following day,
the master-of-camp arrayed all his forces in line of battle, and set
out for the fort with the intention of giving battle if he could find
an opportunity. Arriving there, he established his camp at a distance
of less than two hundred paces from it, but he found that during that
night the pirate had fortified himself strongly, and in such wise
that it was considered dangerous to attack the fort; in it had been
mounted three large pieces of artillery, and many small culverins,
besides other contrivances for discharging fire. Upon observing this,
the master-of-camp--recognizing that his artillery consisted only of
small pieces and was insufficient for assaulting the fort; and that
the supply of ammunition was inadequate, because it had been spent
in defending themselves against the assaults made by the pirate on
Manila--in accordance with the advice of his captains, determined that
(since the enemy had no vessels, by which he might escape by water,
nor any resources or material with which to build them, and very little
food, because the latter had been burned with the vessels) it would be
better and conduce more to his own safety to besiege the fort and to
settle down there until hunger should wear out the enemy, in order
that they might thus be forced to surrender, or capitulate under
certain conditions. Notwithstanding the nature of these conditions,
the enemy would consider them better than death by hunger. This
resolve seemed good to all of them, although quite the contrary of
their expectation happened; for during the blockade by land and water,
which lasted for three months, the pirate was so clever, and planned
so well, that he made some boats inside the fort, trimming them in
the best manner possible. In these he and his men escaped one night,
as will be told--a thing that seemed impossible and caused great
surprise to the Spaniards, a surprise which was heightened on finding
that he had gone with so great cunning, without either the land or sea
force hearing it. I shall not relate the events of these three months,
although some were most notable, for my purpose is to show the events
that gave occasion for the entrance of the Augustinian religious and
their companions into the Chinese kingdom, and to tell those things
which, they declared, were seen there by them. For this reason I have
given the coming of Limahon, and all the rest of the above relation.

Omoncon, captain of the Chinese king, coming in search of the pirate
Limahon, encounters our Spaniards. Chapter VIII.

During the period of the siege, as related in the preceding
chapter, certain boats were going to and coming from the city of
Manila--distant, as I have said, but forty leagues from the mouth
of the Pangasinan River--for the purpose of bringing provisions and
other necessities for the support of the army.

It happened one day that a vessel under command of Miguel de Loarcha,
[26] having on board father Fray Martin de Herrada, provincial of the
Augustinians (who had come to Pangasinan to see the master-of-camp,
and was returning to Manila to hold a meeting of his order), met in the
island and port of Buliano, seven leagues from the Pagasinan River,
as they were going out of the port, a Sangley ship, which was about
to enter the port. Thinking it to be a hostile vessel, they bore down
upon it, together with another ship in their company. Those aboard
the ship were only the said father provincial and five other Spaniards
and the sailors. The Sangley ship, seeing them bearing down upon it,
tried to take flight; but, the contrary wind not permitting this,
as a consequence, the Spanish ships, by means of sail and oar, came
within cannon range, and even nearer, in a few moments. On one of
the Spanish ships was a Chinese named Sinsay, who had been in Manila
many times with merchants, and was very friendly and well known to the
Spaniards, and understood their language. When this man saw that the
ship was Chinese, and that, from its appearance, it was not a pirate,
he requested our men not to fire or do any damage until it was known
clearly who its occupants were. He went to the bow of the vessel and
hailed them, thus ascertaining that theirs was one of the ships of the
fleet sent by their king in search of the pirate Limahon. They had left
the fleet behind and put out to sea in order to explore those islands,
to ascertain whether the pirate were in any of them. In order to gain
this information, they were about to put in to the port of Buliano,
whence the Spaniards were coming out with two ships, and from whom
they tried to flee, fearful lest they should prove to belong to the
pirate. Thus assured on each side, the two parties joined together
in all peace and friendship. The Spaniards immediately entered a
small boat, and went over to the Chinese ship, taking with them the
said Synsay as interpreter, in order that he might talk with the
Chinese. In the ship of the latter was a man of much influence named
Homoncon, who bore a decree from his king, which he showed to the
Spaniards and to the father provincial, in which the king and his
council pardoned all of Limahon's soldiers, on condition that they
immediately left the latter and enrolled themselves under the royal
banners; and it bestowed great reward upon whomsoever should capture
or kill the said pirate. Thereupon Sinsay told him of the coming of
the pirate to the island, and all the story of the siege, as related
above; and that the pirates were shut up on the Pangasinan River,
whence escape was impossible. The captain Omoncon was overjoyed at
hearing this news, and gave expression to a thousand demonstrations
of his joy. He embraced the Spaniards many times, and by other signs
indicated his great pleasure. Then he wished to return to the fleet,
but to have more certain information, as he was assured that the death
or capture of the pirate was expected daily, he resolved to go to
Pangasinan, since it was so near, to converse with the master-of-camp,
together with Sinsay--a man well known on both sides--through whose
medium they could discuss the best methods for the confirmation
of peace and friendship between the Chinese and Spaniards, and for
the capture or death of the pirate. With this resolution, they set
out--the Chinese for Pangasinan, where they arrived that same day;
and the Spaniards for Manila, whither they were going for provisions.

Omoncon is cordially received by the master-of-camp, and entertained
in Manila by the governor, with whom it is agreed that the Augustinian
fathers shall go to China. Chapter IX.

When the master-of-camp heard of the purpose of Omoncon, he
received him cordially and courteously. And having recounted to
him the extremity to which he had brought the pirate (for it seemed
impossible for the latter to escape from it, except by taking wings,
like a bird), he advised Omoncon that, until the consummation of their
hopes, which could not be long, he should go to Manila, which was
quite near, and pass the time with the governor and the other Spaniards
there--because he [the master-of-camp] himself was quite sufficient to
accomplish his purpose, and it was unnecessary that the king's fleet
should come thither, or sail out of the safe port where it had cast
anchor. For this purpose he offered to give Omoncon a vessel with
oars (one of those that he used to bring provisions), under command
of Pedro de Chaves, who was about to go to Manila--assuring him that
he would deliver the pirate to him, dead or alive, within the few
days that all thought sufficient to end the undertaking. Omoncon,
considering this suggestion reasonable, acted upon it at once, and
embarked with the above-named captain, sending through the high seas
the ship in which he had come thither, because of its great size and
draught. This ship returned to anchor at the river whence they had
set out, because of the strong winds that prevailed; these proved
but little hindrance to the oared vessel, because it went along the
land, sheltered thereby from the winds. In a few days they arrived
at the port of the city of Manila, where they were well received and
feasted by the governor. Omoncon remained there several days, after
which, seeing that the siege was continuing, and that his delay there
might cause some suspicion of his death--and knowing, too, that the
fleet was waiting for him, and was quite ready to proceed to attack
the pirate, who he was assured would not escape from the Spaniards
who were besieging him; and that the Spaniards would, without any
doubt, send Limahon, either dead or alive, to the king, as they
had promised--he resolved to return to China, with this good news,
purposing to come hither again, in order to get the pirate after he
should be captured. Having resolved upon this, at the end of several
days he went to the governor, to whom he communicated all his plans,
so that the latter should permit him to put them into execution. The
governor approved his determination, and made the same promise as the
master-of-camp--namely, that as soon as the pirate was captured or
dead, he should be taken to the king without delay; or that he should
be put in safe keeping, and word despatched that he should be sent for,
or that Omoncon himself should come. Moreover, the governor promised
to provide the latter immediately with everything necessary for the
voyage without any lack whatever. Omoncon was very grateful for this
offer, and in payment therefor promised the governor that he would
take with him to China the fathers that his Excellency should send,
and a few soldiers, if the latter wished to accompany them. He was
confident in the good news he carried, by virtue of which he hoped
that he would run no risk by doing this, and that the viceroy of
Aucheo would not take it ill; for he had learned and heard from
the Augustinian fathers, that his Excellency, and the governor's
predecessor in office, Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, had desired
many times to send some religious to the Chinese kingdom, to engage
in the preaching of the gospel, and to study the affairs of that
kingdom. They had, however, never been able to attain their desire,
because of the unwillingness of the Chinese merchants trading at that
port to take anyone--although whatever sum they should ask would have
been given them--as they feared the punishment that would be inflicted
upon them, according to the law of the kingdom. For security that no
ill-treatment would be showed to these men, he offered to leave pledges
to their satisfaction. The governor was very glad at this offer,
for this was what he and all the inhabitants of the islands had been
eagerly desiring for a long time. Therefore he accepted it immediately,
telling Omoncon that he absolved him from his promise and pledges, for
he was quite well satisfied as to his worthiness, and that he would
commit no act unbecoming his person or office. The governor, very
joyful over this news, at once summoned the Augustinian provincial,
Fray Alonso de Alvarado, [27] who had been elected to this office
but a few days previously. The latter was a man of very holy life,
and one of those despatched by the emperor, our master, in search of
Nueva Guinea. The governor informed him of the offer of the captain
Omocon, whereat he greatly rejoiced, exclaiming that, notwithstanding
his age, he himself would go. To this the governor wonld not consent,
because of his age, and for other personal reasons. They consulted
together as to who should go and who was most suitable for the
matter in hand--namely, as we have said, to effect the entrance of
our holy Catholic faith into that kingdom. They resolved to send
only two religious, for there were but few of them in the islands,
together with two soldiers. The two religious selected were father
Fray Martin de Herrada, a native of Pamplona, who had but lately
been provincial, and was moreover a most erudite and holy man, who,
with this very desire, had learned the language of the said kingdom,
and who, to attain his desires, had offered himself many times as a
slave to the Chinese merchants, in order to be taken to China; and
as his companion father Fray Geronymo Marin, likewise a very erudite
religious, and a native of the City of Mexico. The soldiers selected
to accompany them were named Pedro Sarmiento, chief constable of the
city of Manila, a native of Vilorado, and Miguel de Loarcha, [28]
both of as high rank and of as good Christian life as were requisite
for this matter. These latter the religious intended to take so that,
if they themselves should stay with the king in order to preach the
gospel to him, they might return with news of their success, and of
what had been seen, in order to inform the governor thereof, and, if
necessary, the king, our master. The offer of the captain Omoncon,
and the choice of the governor and the said provincial immediately
spread through the city, and, amid great rejoicings, was approved
by all; because those appointed were, as has been said, of so high
station. All were assured that these men would fail in no point in what
was charged to them, and would lose no opportunity. Much more envy
than pity was expressed, as this was a matter that everyone desired,
especially for the service and honor of God--and secondarily for the
advantage that would accrue to all of them, through the great trade
that would ensue, and the despatch of so good news to the king. Then
the governor summoned those who had been appointed, to the presence
of the captain Omoncon, and told them what had been resolved upon,
whereat they accepted their commission with much joy and expressed
their thanks. As a mark of gratitude, the governor, in the presence
of all, gave to Omoncon himself a gold chain of excellent quality,
and a most magnificent and well-made garment of scarlet cloth [_grana
colorada_], which the latter held in high estimation, and which
is esteemed much more in China, as they do not possess it in that
country. In addition to this, he gave a suitable present to send to
the governor of Chincheo, who, at the king's command, had despatched
Omoncon in pursuit of the pirate; and another present for the viceroy
of the province of Ochia, who resided in the city of Aucheo. And in
order that Sinsay (who, as I said above, was a well-known merchant)
should not take it ill or feel aggrieved, and that he might not be the
cause of the undertaking receiving any injury, the governor presented
to him another gold chain; for he had, moreover, well merited this,
as he had ever been a faithful friend to the Spaniards. Then, at the
command and order of the governor, all the Chinese slaves whom Limahon
had in his possession and who were captured in the fort of Pangasinan
as aforesaid, were collected. These the governor gave to Omoncon,
allowing him to take them freely. Likewise the governor ordered that
the master-of-camp, and the soldiers and captains who were engaged
at the siege, should deliver all those who remained there, binding
himself to pay to the soldiers to whom such belonged, the appraised
value of the captives. This done, he ordered everything necessary for
the voyage to be fully prepared, which was done within a very few days.

Omoncon sets out with news of the pirate Limahon's extremity, taking
with him to China the Augustinian fathers. Chapter X.

On Sunday morning, June twelfth, in the year of our Lord one
thousand five hundred and seventy-five, the aforesaid governor
and all the citizens assembled to go in a body to the monastery of
St. Augustine. Here a most solemn mass of the Holy Spirit was said. At
its conclusion and after all had entreated God to direct that voyage
for the honor and glory of his divine Majesty, and for the salvation of
the souls of that great kingdom, which Lucifer had so long possessed,
Omoncon and Sinsay took leave of the governor, and of the others,
thanking them for the kind treatment and the presents that they had
received. In return for this, Omoncon promised to remain their loyal
friend for all time, as they would see by his deeds, and to take with
him those whom he had of his own volition requested, and accepted with
the security of himself; and said that he would suffer death rather
than that any harm should come upon those in his charge. The governor
and the others returned thanks for this new offer, giving Omoncon to
understand that they had the utmost confidence in his promises. With
this they took leave of him, and at the same time of the religious
and their two soldier companions, at which parting tears were not
lacking on either side.

They all embarked immediately on a ship belonging to the islands,
one which had been prepared for this purpose; and left the port,
accompanied by another Chinese merchantman, which was at Manila. In
this ship Sinsay embarked with all the ship supplies, in order to take
them to the port of Buliano, where Omoncon's large ship was stationed,
and in which the voyage was to be made. This vessel, as we have said
above, had put into port because of the stormy weather. They arrived
at the said port on the following Sunday, for the weather had proved
exceedingly contrary, and they lost sight of the said vessel that
was in their company and carried the provisions. They found this
ship anchored at the port, for, because of its deeper draught,
it had sailed better and faster. They found in it, likewise, two
Spanish soldiers, whom the master-of-camp had sent from Pangasinan
(for he had seen, from that place, the aforesaid ship enter the port),
with the order that the fathers should proceed thither. This order
made the religious and soldiers fearful least the master-of-camp
should try to detain them until the end of the siege of the fort
should be seen (which was expected daily), in order that they might
carry the pirate Limahon with them, dead or alive. Consequently,
it was almost unanimously decided not to obey the order, and not
to discontinue the prosecution of their voyage, so much desired by
all, when each hour seemed a year; and as they feared lest something
might prove an obstacle or hindrance to their purpose. But coming to
a better conclusion, inasmuch as they were mindful of the excellent
disposition and Christian spirit of the master-of-camp--whom father
Fray Martin had considered as a son; for he was the grandson of the
adelantado Legaspi, the first governor, colonizer, and discoverer
of the Filipinas, whom the father had accompanied from Mexico,
and had brought with him the said master-of-camp when he was still
a child--they resolved to obey the order and go to take leave of
him and their other friends in the army. For this purpose they
left the port and directed their course to Pangasinan, a distance
of but seven leagues from the said port. And after they had sailed
three leagues, so violent and contrary a wind struck them that they
were unable to proceed, and were forced to return to the port of
departure. They sent their unanimous decision with Pedro Sarmiento,
by means of the vessel in which the above-mentioned two soldiers
had come thither--inasmuch as, being small and furnished with oars,
it could, without so great danger, and sheltered by the land, reach
Pangasinan more easily--in order that he might, in the name of all,
give their compliments to the master-of-camp and take leave of him,
and of their other friends. He was commissioned to request these not
to forget in their prayers to commend them to God, and to ask that He
would protect and aid them, that they might attain the consummation
so greatly desired by all. He was enjoined to bring back with him the
interpreter whom they were to take with them, namely, a Chinese lad,
baptized in Manila and named Hernando, who was thoroughly acquainted
with the Spanish language. Pedro Sarmiento arrived at Pangasinan and
carried out his orders to the letter. But the master-of-camp was
dissatisfied with this, as well as the captains and soldiers with
him, by whom the fathers and soldiers were greatly and deservedly
loved. These determined to send a summons to the fathers, asking
the latter to come to see them, since they were so near. When the
fathers heard this message, they were not without the suspicion above
mentioned. But inasmuch as they could not refuse to obey his order
and civil request, they left Buliano under a favoring wind--for the
storm had abated by this time, leaving the sea somewhat rough--and
arrived on the same day at Pangasinan, where they were received with
the utmost rejoicing by the master-of-camp and the others. Their
suspicion proved to be quite contrary to the others' thought; for the
master-of-camp not only did not detain them, but sent them on their
way with all haste, delivering to them immediately, according to
the governor's order, all the slaves--whom the soldiers to whom they
belonged surrendered willingly, when they understood the purport of
the order. He also gave them the interpreter for whom they asked, and
everything else necessary for the voyage. The master-of-camp begged
Omoncon by letter, for the latter had remained at Buliano, to care
for and protect them as was expected from him, and promised him the
same thing as the governor in respect to sending the pirate, dead or
alive, as soon as either end should be attained. He also petitioned
father Fray Martin de Herrada to take with him Nicolas de Cuenca,
a soldier of his company, so that the latter might purchase for him
certain articles in China. The father accepted this man willingly,
promising to treat him as one of his own men, and to regard him as
such. Thereupon they set sail for the port of Buliano, whence they
had come hither, taking leave of the master-of-camp and the rest of
the army, not without the shedding of tears, no less than by those at
Manila. The master-of-camp sent with them, to accompany the fathers
and their companions, as far as the said port, the sargento-mayor,
[29] who bore the letter to Omoncon and a present to the same of
provisions and other articles. Furthermore, he sent by him two letters,
one for the governor of Chincheo, and the other for the viceroy of
the province of Ochian. In these letters he related the burning of
Limahon's fleet and the killing of many of his followers; and said that
he held the pirate so closely besieged that escape was impossible, and
that before long he must surrender; and that after taking him, either
dead or alive, he would send him, as the governor of Manila had written
and promised them. Two presents accompanied these two letters, namely,
a silver vessel and certain garments made of Castilian cloth--which the
Chinese value highly--besides other rare articles which the Chinese do
not possess. He made most courteous apologies for not sending more,
because of being in his present situation, and all his belongings
at Manila. That same day they arrived, under a favoring wind, at the
port of Buliano, where they found Captain Omoncon awaiting them. The
latter received the message delivered to him by the sargento-mayor in
the name of the master-of-camp, for which he returned hearty thanks,
and renewed the promises that he had made to the governor.

[Chapters XI-XXIX inclusive treat of the departure of Omoncon and
the Spanish priests and soldiers from Buliano for China, and the
experiences of the latter in that country. Landing at the port of
Tansuso, in the province of Chincheo, they receive a hospitable
reception. From this port they journey to Chincheo, the residence
of the governor, by whom they are well entertained, and to whom they
deliver the letters sent by the governor of the Philippines. Their next
destination is Aucheo, where the viceroy of the province resides. Here
also a cordial reception is accorded them, but they are regarded
somewhat in the light of prisoners, the viceroy forbidding them to
leave their lodgings, being fearful lest they discover some things
in the city that might occasion future injury to the Chinese. The
present sent to the viceroy by the Spanish governor is despatched
to the king, because of a Chinese law that "prohibits those holding
a government office from accepting any present without the king's
permission, or that of his council." The delays in obtaining a
satisfactory audience with the viceroy become permanent upon rumors
that circulate regarding new piratical depredations from one who
is suspected to be Limahon. The viceroy, suspecting that Omoncon,
Sinsay, and the Spaniards have lied to him regarding the pirate,
determines, after closely questioning the fathers, to send them and
the soldiers back to Manila. Accordingly these set out for Tansuso,
with a promise of better results after exact news of the capture or
death of Limahon. These chapters abound in interesting observations
of Chinese life, descriptions of cities, ceremonies, etc., and show
the great liberality of the Chinese in their gifts. Several Chinese
plays are witnessed, one of which is described. All things interest
these first Spaniards in China, even the Chinese compass "divided
into twelve parts, and their navigation without sea-charts." They
observe carefully, "delighting their vision with new things, that
had never been seen before." Chapter XXX relates their departure from
Tansuso and their journey toward Manila, stopping at various islands
on the way. At the island of Plon, definite news of Limahon's escape
from Pangasinan is obtained. Chapter XXXI deals with the escape of
Limahon. This resourceful man constructs a few clumsy boats out of
the half-burnt remnants of his fleet, which his men had brought into
the fort at night, without being detected by the Spaniards. With these
he escapes to the island of Tocaotican. "This news greatly distressed
them all, especially Omoncon and Sinsay. These turned against our men,
alleging that that occurrence and the pirate's flight smelt of mystery,
and must have happened with the Spaniards' consent, or because the
pirate had given gifts to the master-of-camp, so that the latter would
allow him to depart; and that it was impossible for him to escape
from such a plight in any other manner, even had the Spaniards been
asleep." These suspicions are dissipated on their arrival at Manila,
forty-five days after the departure from Tansuso, a run that should
have been made in ten days. In chapter XXXII is told the return of the
Chinese to their own land. While in Manila, certain of the Chinese
inquire into the tenets of Christianity. They advise correspondence
between the Spanish governor and the Chinese king with the object of
allowing an entrance for the gospel into China. The chief officer of
the convoy fleet is prevented from becoming a Christian only through
fear of exile and the confiscation of his property; for there is a
"law in his kingdom which is adhered to strictly, and which forbids
any one from embracing a religion at all contrary to that of the
country, without the consent of the king and his council, under
penalty of death." This law has caused certain Chinese merchants to
settle in Manila. Limahon ends his career on a distant island where
he had sought refuge, dying of melancholy because of his reverses. A
relation of the expedition to China was despatched to Felipe II.]

Second Book of the Second Part of the History of the Great Kingdom
of China

In which is contained the voyage made to this great kingdom in
the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-nine by father Fray
Pedro de Alfaro, custodian in the Filipinas Islands of the order of
the blessed St. Francis, of the province of San Joseph; and three
other religious of the same order. The miraculous entrance into that
kingdom, and all that happened to them during their seven months'
residence there, and all they discovered and saw--all of which are
most notable and interesting.

The Franciscan fathers arrive at the Filipinas Islands, and try to
gain entrance to the mainland of the kingdom of China, with great
desire to preach the holy gospel. Chapter I.

On the day of the Visitation of our Lady, in the year one thousand
five hundred and seventy-eight, there arrived from Espana at the city
of Manila, in the Filipinas Islands, father Fray Pedro de Alfaro, [30]
appointed custodian of that province, with fourteen religious of the
same order. They were sent by his Catholic Majesty, King Don Felipe,
our sovereign, and his royal Council of the Indies, as helpers to
the Augustinian fathers--who, until then, had been occupied alone in
the islands in the conversion of the natives, and had been the first
preachers of the gospel therein, which they had preached with much zeal
and to the great good of the natives. The said fathers had baptized,
when the Franciscans arrived, more than one hundred thousand of the
natives, besides preparing and catechizing the others for baptism;
and, in addition, preparing themselves so that at the first opportunity
they might enter the kingdom of China to preach the holy gospel. After
the Franciscans had lived in the islands for the space of one year,
busying themselves in helping the Augustinians, and in the conversion
and instruction of the natives, learning during this time through
the reports of the Augustinian fathers themselves, and from many
Chinese merchants who were constantly coming to the islands with
merchandise, of the many wonderful things of that great kingdom and
the countless number of souls, whom the devil held in his service,
deceived with false idolatry--they were filled with great zeal and
longing for the salvation of these people, and with the desire to
go thither to preach the holy gospel, although it should be at the
risk and peril of their lives. They made known this desire several
times to the governor then in those islands for his Majesty, namely,
Doctor Francisco de Sande, entreating his favor and permission to go
to the said China, with certain Chinese merchants then at that port
with their vessels; and offered, of their own accord, to gain the
consent of the latter, even at the price of becoming their slaves,
or in any other manner possible. But as often as they discussed
the matter with the governor, it was evident that he looked upon
the idea coldly, and put them off with hopes. Mindful of the fact
that their chief purpose in coming from Espana had been, to attempt
to effect an entrance into that kingdom to preach the gospel, and
having their desires heightened by their intercourse with the Chinese
themselves, since they were a nation of ability and discretion,
and of excellent understanding--which quickened their desire, and
persuaded them that it would be easy to make them understand the
things pertaining to God--they determined to employ other methods,
since that which they were trying to attain with the good will of
the governor was so uncertain. It happened that, after several days,
when they had discussed the matter, and had petitioned God with great
urgency to guide and direct it as should be most to His service, and
for the gain of those souls, a Chinese came to the Filipinas, who was,
as they heard, one of the priests and religious of that kingdom, of
whom a great number exist in all the towns of China. This man went to
the monastery of the said fathers several times, and discussed with
them the creation of the world, and other things which opened the
way for the latter to declare to him matters pertaining to God, which
he was much pleased to hear. After having told them in great detail
of the magnificence and secret things of the great kingdom of China,
for whose conversion the fathers had so great a desire; and after he
had asked many careful and keen questions about the Christian faith,
he begged them urgently, at the end of several days, to baptize him,
as he wished to become a Christian. Inasmuch as he had instruction
in the tenets of our Catholic faith, they granted his pious desire,
to the incredible joy of all the inhabitants of the city, and to his
own joy also. After becoming a Christian, he became an inmate of the
monastery, and would never eat anything but uncooked herbs; and when
he discovered that all the religious arose at midnight for matins,
and that they disciplined themselves, and spent much of the night
in prayer before the holy sacrament, he failed no whit in imitating
them, and in doing all he saw them do, and with proofs of very great
devotion. All this aroused in the father custodian and all of his
associates the longing to attain what they so greatly desired, as
stated above. Therefore they had recourse once more to the governor,
and once more was explained, in most urgent terms, what had been
already asked him so often; namely, in regard to his effecting some
arrangement whereby the religious might go to the kingdom of China to
preach the law of God, the father custodian offering himself as one
of these. They stated that, if leave were not given them, they would
go without it, on the first occasion that offered, relying on that
given them by their superiors and by God to work for the salvation
of their neighbors. Neither all this argument, nor the example of the
excellent spirit of the recently-christianized Chinese, was sufficient
to persuade the governor; on the contrary he clung obstinately to his
former opinion, answering them that it was still too early, because
our friendship with the Chinese was but slight; and that already the
Augustinians had tried to effect an entrance to China many times,
but had been unable to attain their desire--on the contrary, the
Chinese who took the latter with them had left them deceitfully on
some islands--until the opportunity afforded by the pirate Limahon and
the coming of the captain Omoncon. Then the latter had conveyed them,
with the good news of the straits to which the pirate was come; and
notwithstanding this they were ordered to return from Aucheo without
being allowed to remain in the country to preach the holy gospel. And
now to make this attempt would give the Chinese opportunity to make
daily jests of the Spaniards. Therefore they should wait until God
should open the door for this entrance, at such time as His holy
will should determine, which could not be much delayed. The father
custodian having received the governor's reply, and seeing that he
persevered in his obstinacy in not seeking means whereby they could
effect their desired entrance upon the mainland, commenced secret
negotiations, with the object of procuring, by all available means,
some way of making the journey--even without the said governor's order,
if no other way were possible. They set about this at once, for the
father custodian and father Fray Estevan Ortiz Ortiz--religious, who
with this intention had learned the Chinese language, and could now
speak it reasonably well--communicated their desires to a soldier,
very devout in his worship, and especially well inclined toward them,
namely, Juan Diaz Pardo. This man had several times manifested and
declared to them his great desire to perform some service for God,
even at the risk of his life. He approved their desire, promising
to accompany them until death. Being thus agreed, they all went to
discuss the matter with a Chinese captain, then at the port with
a vessel, who had come to their convent many times to question
them about God and heaven, and who showed signs of an excellent
understanding, seemingly consenting to everything with expressions
of great pleasure and delight. They imparted their desire to him,
beseeching him to lend his aid for its successful issue. He offered his
aid, and promised to take them to China, on condition that they would
give him some presents for his sailors. The soldier, Juan Diaz Pardo,
promised him everything that he wanted, giving him a few reals then
and there as a token of good earnest. In order that this might be done
without the governor or anyone else perceiving it, it was agreed that
the captain should take his departure hastily, going to the port of
Bindoro, twenty leagues distant from Manila, and there he should await
them. He was to take with him the above-mentioned baptized Chinese. The
captain used all haste, and left for the port agreed upon. Within a
few days he was followed by the father custodian and his associate,
and their friend the soldier. But, at their arrival, they found the
Chinese captain had reached a new determination, and neither gifts
nor petitions could persuade him to fulfil his promises in Manila. On
the contrary, he returned them the earnest-money that he had received,
and absolutely refused to take them; for he knew that, if he did, he
would lose his life and property. Seeing this, the recently-baptized
Chinese religious wept bitterly in his indignation and sorrow, because
the devil had changed that captain's heart, so that the holy gospel
might not be preached in that kingdom. The father custodian consoled
him, and resolved to return to Manila and to await another occasion,
which they did. After they had spent several days there, it happened
that the governor summoned the father custodian one day, and asked
him for a friar to send to the Cagayan River, whither he had but a few
days before sent certain Spaniards to form a colony. The custodian said
that he would give him a friar, and that he himself would accompany the
latter as far as the province of Illocos whither he was going to visit
the missions; thence he would despatch him to the Cagayan River, as
his Excellency ordered. The father custodian asked as companions, for a
guard during the journey, Sergeant Francisco de Duenas and the soldier
Juan Diaz Pardo (their friend, as above said), intending to go from
there to China, as was done, and as will be told in the following. The
governor, wishing to please him, granted this request, and the father
custodian set out in haste, taking with him the above-named soldiers
and one religious as associate, by name Fray Augustin de Tordesillas
[31]--he who afterward related from memory what had happened to them
in China, whence has been taken this little relation.

They arrived at Illocos, where father Fray Juan Baptista [32]
and father Fray Sebastian de San Fracisco, of their own order, were
busied in instructing the natives. This was on the fourth of June. The
next day they held a council, at which it was unanimously resolved
that all there should venture themselves to go to China to convert
those pagans, or else die in the attempt. Therefore it was decided
to approach another soldier likewise of their company, named Pedro
de Villaroel. They told him--without declaring their own intention,
so that he might not disclose it--that, if he wished to accompany them
and the two other soldiers, who were about to go together upon a matter
of great service to God, and the gain of many souls, he should say so,
and without asking whither, or to what end, because this could not be
told until due time. He answered immediately that he would accompany
them willingly, and would not abandon them until death. Thereupon they
all, with peculiar gladness, betook themselves to the vessel in which
the father custodian and his associate, and the two other soldiers,
had come thither from Manila. This was a fairly good fragata, although
supplied with but few and indifferent sailors. After all had embarked
and had stowed away what could be collected in the short time at their
disposal, for sustenance while on the way, they set sail on that
very day, the twelfth of the same month of June, after saying mass
and beseeching God to direct their voyage for His holy service. They
set sail Friday morning, and, although they attempted to leave the
port, this was impossible, for the sea was running high and pounding
so furiously upon the shoals, that they, persisting in the effort to
offset it, were in danger of being wrecked. Therefore they returned,
very sad at heart, to the harbor, and there they remained that day.

[The remainder of the second book (chaps. ii-xv) treats of the voyage
of the Franciscans to China, their stay in that country, and their
return to Manila. They are forced to return to the harbor for the
second time on account of contrary weather, which so affects one of the
priests, Estevan Ortiz, "that no entreaties availed to persuade him
to finish the voyage they had undertaken. On the contrary he answers
that he will tempt God no further, since these signs that they have
seen are sufficient to prove that it is His holy will that they shall
not make the journey at that time." On the fifteenth of June, however,
the little band of three priests, three soldiers, and a Chinese lad
(as interpreter) taken in the siege of Limahon, set sail from llocos,
fearful of pursuit by the governor. Reaching the Chinese coast, they
go ashore near Canton, kneel down, and "with great devotion, chanted
the _Te Deum laudamus_, giving thanks to God who had brought them so
miraculously to the kingdom of China." They receive the freedom of the
city after various investigations, the Chinese officials believing the
false stories of shipwreck that the interpreters tell for their own
benefit. The Portuguese at Macao fail in their attempt to turn the
Chinese against the Spaniards. Hunger forces them to beg their food
in the streets of Canton; but the officials, on hearing this, order
that provision be made for them from the royal revenues. By order
of the viceroy, they journey to Aucheo, but are speedily ordered to
return to Canton, to await a Portuguese vessel, that they may be sent
from the kingdom. On leaving China the little party separate into
two divisions, the father custodian and one other going to Macao,
that they may there learn the Chinese language thoroughly, while the
other two return to Manila, which is reached February 2, 1580 "where
they were received by the governor and the rest with great joy, and
their fault in having departed without leave was pardoned." The father
custodian reports from Macao a rich harvest field in Cochin China.]

[The first ten chapters of the "Itinerary" [33] treat of the departure
from Spain of the Franciscans (among whom was Father Martin Ignacio),
in 1580, their arrival in New Spain, and matters relating to the
New World. The voyage is by way of the Canaries, of which a brief
description is given; thence to San Domingo or Espanola, passing on
the way the island Desseada, or "land desired," and its neighboring
islands--among the latter La Dominica, inhabited by the cannibal
Caribs--and later Puerto Rico. The island of Espanola is described,
according to the knowledge of that day; and it is stated that therein
"were, on the landing of the [first] Spaniards, three millions of
native Indians, of whom only two hundred remain; and most of these
are the half-breed children of Spaniards and Indian women, or of
negroes and Indian women." The journey continues by way of the
intervening islands to Cuba, and thence to Mexico. This wonderful
country is described briefly, with allusions to its history, social
and economic conditions, etc. A digression is made to relate the
discovery and first exploration of the province called New Mexico,
one of the fifteen new provinces discovered from Mexico. The account
of the voyage to the Philippines follows.]

Departure from the city of Mexico, and journey to the port of Acapulco
on the Southern Sea, whence they embark for the Filipinas Islands. The
island of the Ladrones is passed, and the condition and rites of the
people there are noted. Chapter XI.

From the City of Mexico they set out to embark at the port of Acapulco,
a place located on the Southern Sea, in nineteen degrees of elevation
of the pole, and lying ninety leagues from the City of Mexico,
this entire distance being settled with many villages of Indians and
Spaniards. At this port they embarked, taking a southeast course until
they reached an altitude of twelve and one-half degrees. They did this
in order to find the favorable winds (which in truth they found there),
those called by sailors _brizas_--which are so favorable and steady,
that, even in the months of November, December, and January, there
is seldom any necessity for touching their sails. From this arises
the so easy navigation through this sea. From this fact, and from
the few storms here, this sea has been called the _Mar de Damas_
["Sea of Ladies"]. A westerly course is taken, following the sun
always, upon setting out from our hemisphere. Journeying through this
Southern Sea for forty days more or less, without seeing land, at the
end of that time, the islands of Velas ["Sails"], otherwise called the
Ladrones, are sighted, which, seven or eight in number, extend north
and south. They are inhabited by many people, as we shall now relate.

_Islands of Velas, or Ladrones._ These islands lie in twelve degrees
of latitude. Opinions differ as to the distance in leagues between
them and the port of Acapulco, for up to the present no one has been
enabled to ascertain it with certainty, by navigation from east to
west, and no one has been able to measure the degrees. Some assert
the distance of this voyage to be one thousand seven hundred leagues,
others one thousand eight hundred. The opinion of the former is held
to be more nearly correct. All of these islands are inhabited by
light-complexioned people, of pleasing and regular features, like
those of Europe; although in their bodies they do not resemble the
latter--for they are as large as giants, and of so great strength,
that it has actually happened that one of them, while standing on the
ground, has laid hold of two Spaniards of good stature, seizing each of
them by one foot with his hands, and lifting them thus as easily as if
they were two children. Both men and women are naked from head to foot,
although some of the women wear bits of deerskin of about one-half a
vara in length, tied about the waist, for decency's sake; but those
who wear them are very few compared with those who do not. The weapons
used by them consist of slings, and darts hardened by fire, both of
which they throw very deftly. They live on fish, which they catch
alongshore, and on wild beasts, which they kill in the mountains,
pursuing them afoot. There is in these islands the strangest custom
ever seen or heard of anywhere. A time-limit is imposed for the youth
to marry, in accordance with their custom; and during all this period
they are allowed to enter freely into the houses of the married, and
to remain with the women, without receiving any punishment therefor,
even if the very husbands of the women should see it. These youths
carry a club in the hand, and when one enters the house of married
people, he leaves this club at the door, in such a position that
those arriving may easily see it. This is a sign that no one may enter
until the club is taken away, although it be the husband himself. They
observe this custom with so great strictness, that if any one should
violate it, all the others would immediately put him to death. None
of these islands has a king, or recognized ruler, to whom the rest
are subject; therefore each person lives to suit himself. Between the
inhabitants of certain of the islands a state of hostility prevails,
whenever occasion offers, as happened while Spaniards were in the port
of the said island. At the point where the Spaniards anchored, as many
as two hundred small boats filled with natives came to the ships to
sell fowls, cocoa-nuts, potatoes, and other products of those islands,
and to buy in exchange things carried by our men--especially iron,
of which they were particularly fond, and glass articles, and other
trifles. There was a great contest to see which of the canoes would
reach the ship first, and their occupants came to blows, wounding each
other as savagely as wild beasts, so that many died in the presence
of our men. The matter was not settled until, for the sake of peace,
an agreement was made among them, with many outcries that those from
one island should do their buying on the port side of the vessel,
and those from another island, on the starboard side. Thereupon
they subsided, and bought and sold to their hearts' content. Then in
payment for this good treatment, when they took their departure from
us, they hurled their darts at the ship, wounding a number of men who
were on deck. But they did not boast of this, for our men instantly
repaid their daring with some shots from their arquebuses.

These people esteem iron more highly than silver or gold. They
give in exchange for it, fruits, yams, sweet potatoes, fish, rice,
ginger, fowls, and many fine and well-woven mats, and all for almost
nothing. These islands are extremely healthful and fertile, and will
be very easy to win over to the faith of Christ, if, on the passage
of the vessels to Manila a few religious, together with some soldiers
for protection, should be left there until the next year. [34] This
would cost but a moderate sum.

Their rites and ceremonies are not known yet, because no one
understands their speech; and it has not been possible to learn
it, since no one has been in these islands longer than while
passing. According to all appearances, their language is easy
to understand, for it is pronounced very distinctly. Their word
for ginger is _asno_; and for "Take away that arquebus," they say,
_arrepeque_. They have no nasal or guttural words. It is understood,
from some signs that we saw them make, that they are all pagans;
and that they worship idols and the devil, to whom they sacrifice the
booty obtained from their neighbors in war. It is believed that they
originated from the Tartars, from certain peculiarities found among
them which correspond to those found in that people.

These islands extend north and south with the land of Labrador,
which lies near Terra-nova [Newfoundland], and are not a great
distance from Japon. [35] It is quite safe to say that they have
intercourse with the Tartars, and that they buy iron to sell it to
the latter. The Spaniards who passed these islands called them the
islands of Ladrones ["Thieves"]; for in sober truth all these people
are thieves, and very bold ones, very deft in stealing; and in this
science they might instruct the Gitanos [gypsies], who wander through
Europe. In verification of this, I will recount an occurrence witnessed
by many Spaniards, one which caused much wonder. While a sailor was
stationed, by the order of the captain, on the port side of the ship,
with orders to allow none to come aboard, and while he, sword in hand,
was absent-mindedly looking at some of the canoes of the islanders--a
sort of little boat all made of one piece, in which they sail--one
of the natives plunged under the water and swam to where he was,
quite unconscious of anything of the sort, and without his seeing it,
snatched the sword from his hand and swam back with it. At the cry of
the sailor, proclaiming the trick practiced on him by the islander,
several soldiers with their arquebuses were stationed to shoot the
native when he should emerge from the water. The islander on seeing
this emerged from the water, holding up his hands, and making signs
that he had nothing in them. For this reason those who were on the
point of shooting him refrained. After a few moments of rest, the
native dived once more, and swam under water, until out of range of the
arquebuses--where, assured of safety, he took the sword from between
his legs where he had hidden it, and commenced to make passes with
it, jeering the while at our men whom he had deceived so easily. This
theft, as well as many very adroit ones that they committed, has given
these people the name of Ladrones, and is the reason for calling all
the islands inhabited by them by the same name. This appellation is
easily pardoned as long as they find opportunity to exercise their
evil inclinations.

Departure from the Ladrones Islands and arrival at those of Luzon,
or, as they are called also, Filipinas; and the relation of some
peculiarities of those islands. Chapter XII.

_Island of Luzon, and city of Manila._ Navigating almost two hundred
leagues west of the Ladrones Islands, to the channel called Espiritu
Santo, one enters the archipelago, which consists of innumerable
islands, [36] almost all inhabited by natives, and many of them
conquered by the Spaniards, through either war or friendship. After
sailing for eighty leagues, one reaches the city of Manila, located
on the island of Luzon. Here the governor of all the said islands,
and his Majesty's officials, reside generally; and here is the bishop
and the cathedral church. This city lies in fourteen and one-fourth
degrees. About it lie many islands, which no one has yet succeeded
in numbering. They all extend northwest and southwest [sic] and
north and south, so that in one direction they reach to the strait
of Sincapura [Singapore], twenty-five leagues' distance from Malaca,
and at the other almost to the Malucos and other islands, where a
fabulous amount of cloves, pepper, and ginger is gathered, for there
are whole mountains of these spices. The first to discover these
islands were Spaniards, who went thither with the famous Magallanes,
but did not conquer them, for they were more experienced in navigation
than in conquest. Therefore after passing the strait (which to this
day bears his [Magallanes's] surname), they arrived at the island
of Zubu, where they baptized a number of the natives. Afterward
at a banquet, those same islanders killed Magallanes and forty of
his companions. On account of this Sebastian de Guetaria [Elcano],
a native of Vizcaya, in order to escape with his life, embarked in
one of the vessels remaining from the voyage--afterward known as the
"Vitoria"--and with it and a very few of the crew who aided him,
arrived, with God's help, at Sevilla. Thus they circumnavigated the
world, from east to west, an event which caused universal wonder,
and especially to the Emperor Carlos the Fifth, our sovereign. After
the latter had bestowed great favors upon Sebastian de Guetaria,
he ordered a new fleet to be prepared, to seek those islands anew,
and to explore that new world. As soon as this fleet was in readiness
to sail, which was very soon, a certain Villalobos was appointed
as general of the entire fleet, and was ordered to sail by way of
Nueva Espana. This Villalobos reached the Malucos Islands, those of
Terrenate, and others near by, which had been sold by the above-named
emperor to the crown of Portugal.

In these islands they had many wars, because of the Portuguese;
and seeing their feeble means of resistance, and how ill-prepared
they were to prosecute the conquest, they gave it up. Most of them
accompanied the above-mentioned Portuguese to Portuguese India,
whence they were sent, half prisoners, to the king of Portugal
himself, as men who had committed crimes, and had entered his islands
without his permission. He not only did them no harm, but gave them
excellent treatment, sending them to their native country, Castilla,
besides providing them fully with the things necessary for their
journey. Some years after that, King Don Felipe, our sovereign,
with the desire to prosecute this discovery, attempted so earnestly
by the emperor his father, sent an order to Don Luys de Velasco,
his viceroy in Nueva Espana, to prepare a fleet and crew for the
rediscovery of the above-named islands. He was ordered to despatch
in this fleet, as governor of everything discovered, Miguel Lopez de
Legaspi. All was carried out in obedience to his Majesty's orders,
and the discovery was made in the manner recounted at length in the
first relation of the entrance of the Augustinian fathers into China.

These islands were formerly subject to the king of China, until he
relinquished them all voluntarily, for the reasons expressed above in
the first part of this history. The Spaniards, therefore, at their
arrival found them without ruler or seignior to whom they might
render obedience. In each one of the islands, he who had most power
and followers acted as ruler. And because there were many equally
powerful, there was occasion for continual civil wars, without any
heed to nature, or to kindred, or to any other obligation, just as
if they were unreasoning animals--destroying, killing, and capturing
one another. This aided and favored our Spaniards to conquer the land
so easily for his Majesty.

_The reason for calling the islands Western Filipinas._ The name
Filipinas Islands was given them in honor of his name. The natives
were wont to make captives and slaves with great readiness in illegal
warfare, and for very slight causes. This God remedied with the
coming of our Spaniards. It was usual for a man, with forty or fifty
associates, or servants, to attack a village of poor people suddenly,
when totally unprepared for such an assault, and, capturing them all,
to make them slaves, without other cause or right; these they would
keep as slaves for life, or sell them in other islands. And should
one loan one or two baskets of rice to another, of the value of
one real, stipulating that it should be returned within ten days,
should the debtor fail to pay it on the day set, on the next day he
had to pay double, and the debt continued to double from day to day,
until it grew so large that the debtor was forced to become a slave
in order to pay it. The Catholic Majesty, the king our sovereign,
has ordered all those enslaved by this and similar means to be freed;
but this just order has not been obeyed entirely, for those who should
execute it have some interest therein.

All these islands were pagan and idolatrous. They now contain many
thousands of baptized persons, upon whom our Lord has had great mercy,
sending them the remedy for their souls in so good season; for, had
the Spaniards delayed a few years more, all the natives would now
be Moors, for already some of that sect in the island of Burneo had
gone to these islands to preach their faith, and already many were not
far from the worship of the false prophet Mahoma. But his perfidious
memory was extirpated easily by the holy gospel of Christ. In all these
islands they worshiped the sun, moon, and other secondary causes,
certain images of men and women called in their tongue _Maganitos_,
feasts to whom--very sumptuous and abounding in great ceremonies and
superstitions--were called _Magaduras_. Among all of these idols they
held one, by name _Batala_, in most veneration. This reverence they
held as a tradition; but they knew not why he was greater than the
others, or why he merited more esteem. In certain adjacent islands,
called the Illocos, they worshiped the devil, offering him many
sacrifices in payment and gratitude for the quantities of gold that he
gave them. Now, by the goodness of God, and by the great industry of
the Augustinian fathers--the first to go to those districts, and who
have toiled and lived in a praiseworthy manner--and by the Franciscan
fathers, who went thither ten years after, all these islands, or the
majority of them, have received baptism, and are enrolled under the
banner of Jesus Christ. Those yet outside the faith are so rather for
lack of religious instruction and preachers, than by any repugnance of
their own. Last year the Jesuit fathers went thither, and they helped
in the work with their wonted labor and zeal. Now many more religious
are going, very learned and apostolic men, of the Dominican order,
who will work in that vineyard of the Lord with as great earnestness
as they display wherever they go.

Account of certain remarkable things seen in these Filipinas
Islands. Chapter XIII.

The inhabitants of these islands were accustomed to celebrate their
feasts above mentioned, and to sacrifice to their idols, at the
order of certain witches, called in their own speech _Holgoi_. These
witches were held in as great esteem among them as are priests among
Christians. They talked quite commonly with the devil, and many
times publicly; and they worked many devilish witcheries, by word
and deed. The devil himself, beyond any doubt, took possession of
them, and then they answered to all questions, although often they
lied, or told things capable of many interpretations and different
meanings. Likewise they were wont to cast lots, as has been related
in the first part of this history. They were so superstitious that
if they commenced any voyage, and at its beginning happened to see a
crocodile, lizard, or any other reptile, which they recognized as an
ill omen, they discontinued their journey, whatever its importance,
and returned home, saying that the sky was not propitious to that
journey. The evangelical law, as above stated, has driven away all
these falsities, to which the devil had persuaded them. Now there
are many monasteries of religious established in their midst, of the
orders of St. Augustine, St. Francis, and the Society of Jesus. Current
report declares that the number of souls converted and baptized in
these islands exceeds four hundred thousand--which, although a great
number, is but little in comparison with those still remaining. The
rest fail to become Christians, as I have declared, through lack of
religious workers; for although his Majesty continues to send them,
taking no account of the great expense incurred therein, the islands
are so many (and more are being discovered daily) and so distant that
it has been impossible to send the necessary aid to all of them. The
natives who are baptized receive the faith with avidity and are
excellent Christians; and they will be even better, if aided with
good examples, as is incumbent upon those who have been Christians
for so long. But the actions of some of them make them so hated by
the natives that the latter do not wish even to see their pictures.

_A remarkable thing._ For proof of this assertion, and in order
to induce those in authority to remedy this condition of affairs,
I will relate here a strange but well authenticated occurrence in
these islands, and a thing thoroughly well known in them all. In this
particular island one of the chief inhabitants died a few days after
his baptism. At his death he was very contrite for the sins that he
had committed against God before and after his baptism. Afterward he
appeared, by divine permission, to many persons of that island, whom
he persuaded by forcible reasoning to receive baptism immediately,
declaring to them, as one who had experienced it, the reward of
celestial bliss, which, without any doubt, would be granted through
baptism, and by living thereafter in conformity to the commandments
of Christ. For this purpose he declared and asserted to them that,
as soon as he had died, angels had carried him to glory, where only
delight and happiness reigned, which arose solely from the sight of
God. No one entered, or could enter that place, unless he were baptized
according to the preaching of the Castilians. Of these latter, and of
others like them, there was an infinite number there. Therefore, if
they wished to share in the enjoyment of those blessings and delights,
they must be baptized first, and afterward observe the commandments
preached by the fathers among the Castilians. Thereupon he vanished
instantly, and they began to discuss what they had heard. On account
of it, some were baptized immediately, but others delayed, saying that
because there were Castilian soldiers in glory, they did not care to
go there, for they did not wish their company. All this injury can
arise from one impious man, who presents one bad example. Such a man,
wheresoever he might be, and especially in those islands, should be
reprimanded and punished severely by good people.

When first discovered, these islands were reported as unhealthful,
but later experience has shown the contrary. The land is exceedingly
fertile, producing rice and grain in abundance, and goats, fowls,
deer, buffaloes, and cows, with many swine, whose flesh is as good
and savory as is the mutton of Espana. There are many civet-cats. An
infinite number of fruits are found, all very good and well flavored;
and honey and fish in abundance. Everything is sold so cheaply,
that it is all but given away. The islands yield much cinnamon; and
although there is no olive oil but that brought from Nueva Espana,
much oil is made from ajonjoli [_Sesamum orientale_] and flaxseed
which is commonly used in that country, so that the olive oil is not
missed. Saffron, cloves, pepper, nutmegs, and many drugs are produced,
besides abundance of cotton and silk of all colors, great quantities
of which are carried thither annually by Chinese merchants. More than
twenty ships arrive in those ports, laden with the above-mentioned
cloths of various colors; with earthenware, powder, saltpeter, iron,
steel, quantities of quicksilver, bronze, and copper; wheat-flour,
nuts, chestnuts, biscuits, and dates; linen cloth; escritoires worked
in many colors, head-dresses, and thin cloths for veils [_buratos,
espumillas_]; water-jugs, made of tin; lace edging, silk fringe,
and gold thread, drawn in a manner never seen in Christendom; and
many other rare articles--and all, as I have said, very cheap. The
products of the islands themselves are sold also quite cheaply;
for four arrobas of palm wine--which, in the absence of grape wine,
is found to be of excellent quality--can be obtained for four reals;
twelve fanegas of rice for eight reals; three hens for one; one whole
hog for eight; one buffalo for four; one deer for two, but it must be
very fat and large; four arrobas of sugar for six; one jar of ajonjoli
oil for three; two baskets of saffron for two; six libras of pepper or
of cloves for one; two hundred nutmegs for one; one arroba of cinnamon
for six; one quintal of iron or steel for ten; thirty fine porcelain
dishes for four; and everything else may be bought at like prices.

_A remarkable and exceedingly useful tree._ Among the remarkable
things seen by our people in those islands, and in the kingdom of
China, and in other districts where Spaniards have gone--one that has
most caused wonder and fixed itself in the memory--is a tree called
commonly the cocoa-palm. It is different from the date-palm, and
with great reason, for it is a plant so useful and mysterious, that
for instance, a ship has come to these islands, and not only the ship
but everything in it--the merchandise, and the ropes, cordage, sails,
masts, and nails--was made of this wood; its merchandise consisted
of cloth, made from the bark with great dexterity and cunning. Even
the food for the crew of thirty men, and their water, came from this
tree. The merchants in the ship testified that throughout the entire
island of Maldivia, whence they had come, no other food was gathered,
nor is there any other food there, except that furnished by this
tree. Houses with their roofs are made also from it. The fruit yields
a very palatable and wholesome kernel, whose taste resembles green
hazelnuts. By cutting the branch where the cocoa-nut grows--this nut is
the principal fruit, and each one contains, as a rule, one cuartillo of
the sweetest and most delicious water--all that substance flows down
into the trunk of the tree. This is tapped with an auger, and all the
liquid is collected from the hole. A great quantity is obtained, which,
mixed with other ingredients, makes an excellent wine. This wine is
drunk throughout the islands, and in the kingdom of China. From the
water alone, vinegar is made, and from the kernel, as I have said,
a very healing oil, and a milk resembling that of almonds, and very
palatable honey and sugar. The palm possesses the above qualities,
together with many other virtues. I have told them in part, because
it is so remarkable a thing, and a cause of wonder to all who go to
those districts. I leave the rest unsaid, not to be prolix.

Near the city of Manila, on the other side of the river, is a town
of baptized Chinese who have taken up residence there to enjoy the
liberty of the gospel. There are many mechanics among them, such as
cobblers, tailors, silversmiths, blacksmiths, and other artisans,
besides a number of merchants.

[The remaining chapters (XIV-XXVII) of the "Itinerary" treat of the
departure from Cavite for China of seven descalced Franciscans,
three other Spaniards and six natives, on June 21, 1582; their
reception in China; their journeys in that land; their imprisonment,
the passing of the death sentence upon them, and their deliverance
through the agency of a Portuguese. A further description of China
follows, including observations on "the famous wall of the kingdom of
China, which is five hundred leagues long," counting in the mountain
between China proper and Tartary. "The sea-coast of this kingdom is the
longest and best in the world." Its fauna, land products, and means of
defense and offense receive attention. Certain rites and ceremonies,
social and economic conditions, and characteristics of the people,
are mentioned briefly. The islands of Japan are also described,
and the origin of the Japanese touched upon: as well as portions of
the history of the people, their religion, and missionary efforts
among them. Mention is made of an island of Amazons, the existence
of which Mendoza doubts. En route to Lisbon, Father Ignacio and his
companions pass from Macao to Malaca, the famous trading port of the
East Indies. Slight descriptions of the various kingdoms of the East
India district are given, including Cochinchina, Cambodia, and Siam,
"the mother of idolatry." Thence the return is made via the Cape of
Good Hope, the distance comprehended in the circumnavigation being
reckoned by Father Ignacio at nine thousand and forty leagues.]

Documents of 1586

Memorial to the Council, by citizens of the Filipinas Islands. Santiago
de Vera, and others; [July 26].

Letter to Felipe II. Alfonso de Chaves, and others; June 24.

Letter from the Manila cabildo to Felipe II. Andres de Villanueva,
and others; June 25.

Letter to Felipe II. Antonio Sedeno; June 25.

Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; June 26.

Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera, and others;
June 26.

Letter to Felipe II. Pedro de Rojas; June 30.

Letter to Felipe II. Juan de Moron; June 30.

Measures regarding trade with China. Felipe II, and others; June
17-November 15.

Brief erecting Franciscan province of the Philippines. Sixtus V;
November 15.

Sources: All these documents, except in two cases, are obtained from
the original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla. The
first document is taken in part from another copy which is preserved
in the Real Academia de Historia, Madrid; and the papal brief is
translated from the text given in Hernaez's _Coleccion de Bulas_.

Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson,
Emma Helen Blair, and Robert W. Haight (of the University of
Wisconsin); the second, sixth and ninth, by Arthur B. Myrick, of
Harvard University; the seventh, by Robert W. Haight; the papal brief,
by Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A., of Villanova College; the remainder,
by James A. Robertson.

Memorial to the Council

Memorandum of the Various Points Presented by the General Junta of
Manila to the Council, So That in Regard to Each the Most Advisable
Reform May Be Instituted

(In the first general junta ["assembly"], held in the royal buildings,
three conclusions were reached: First, the requirements of the
country and the necessity for this journey; second, the person who
should make the journey; third, the necessity for convening other
assemblies in order to treat more clearly and more specifically
the matters which needed attention in detail. As the president and
auditors could not be absent from their regular occupations, it was
decided that thereafter should assemble for this purpose the bishop
of the islands with one or two prebends to represent the cabildo of
the church; one of the officials of the royal exchequer; the mariscal
of Bonbon; the master-of-camp, with two other captains, in behalf of
the military; two regidors with two other citizens, representing the
cabildo and city, and some procuradors from other towns of the island;
the three superiors of the religious communities; and other religious
men therefrom, who are learned, seniors in their houses, and men of
experience in the affairs of the country. The president, auditors,
and fiscal should be present at those times and hours when, as often
happened, they were free from official duties. With the persons thus
chosen, these assemblies and conferences were held for many days, and
the proceedings were conducted with great care and deliberation. The
following brief summaries of their conclusions were made, furnishing
a more clear and intelligible review of these to the father [Alonso
Sanchez] already mentioned and appointed, that he might carry these
notes with him and thus give further information to his Majesty.) [37]

Chapter first. Of what concerns the spiritual affairs of Manila and
the Filipinas

1. _That the cathedral of Manila is constructed of wood and straw,
and has nothing for other buildings or for ornaments._ [38] First:
It was declared and resolved that his Majesty should be informed
that the cathedral of these islands has no buildings, ornaments,
or suitable equipment for divine worship; nor has it any income or
contributions for these purposes, or for sacristan, verger, or other
necessary assistants. And being built of wood and straw, as it is,
and so poor, weatherbeaten, and deprived of necessities, it is a
reproach and a cause of loss to our faith and Christian religion,
and to our state and the men who rule the state, and even to the
majesty and greatness of its king and sovereign--since we are in the
gaze of so many pagans (both natives and foreigners), who come here
from many regions, especially China, and who see and take note of this.

2. _That nothing is paid to the bishop and prebendaries from the
royal treasury, or from tithes._ Second: Inasmuch as, on the one hand,
the tithes are not paid, nor, on the other, has the royal treasury at
Manila the wherewithal to pay the bishop or prebendaries, or provide
for curates or the said helpers, they cannot exist and live as their
station demands; and neither in their houses and persons, nor in the
service of the church and the methodical arrangements of the hours,
[39] do they or can they observe, nor do they feel obliged to observe,
the decorum due in all these matters--from which results the said
diminution and loss of souls. The person who goes for this purpose will
relate what he knows of this matter, besides what is here set down.

3. _That the prebendaries be supplied with the necessaries of life,
or be exchanged for curates._ Third: It was resolved that, if the
tithes were not paid, whether his Majesty ordered it or not, this
evil should be remedied--as can be done, and is necessary--by another
method. His Majesty should order that the prebendaries be removed,
or that no more be appointed; for they cannot live decently, or meet
their obligations. If this shall be done, they can be exchanged for
one curate and two or three beneficed priests, all with obligation
to look after the souls of the Spaniards and soldiers of this city,
as well as of the many Indian servants, workmen, and laborers who
serve them, as now very little attention is paid to all these.

4. _The Spanish hospital is very poor, and there are many sick._
Fourth: His Majesty should be informed that the hospital, established
here in his name, has no money with which to help the many soldiers,
sailors, and other poor persons who, engaged in service and labors
for the king and those usual in this country, fall sick, and die
in sadness and affliction. His Majesty should provide money for a
building, beds, food, medicine, attendants, and other necessities,
bringing from Nueva Espana medicines and clothing; and in the
islands be granted, for its income and expenses, another additional
encomienda of one thousand Indians--which, with the one it has now,
will be worth six hundred pesos of eight reals each.

5. _That some income be granted to the hospital for the Indians._
Fifth: His Majesty is to be informed that there is another hospital
for the Indians, which is in the same or greater poverty, and that
there is no less necessity and obligation for aiding it--both because
the Indians are the ones who sustain it entirely by their products,
toils, and tributes; and because many or all of those who go to the
hospital fall sick from the hardships that they undergo in the service
of the royal affairs, and for the establishment and conservation of
these islands.

6. _That there is great need of religious; and that no new religious
order come._ Sixth: This declares to his Majesty the great need for
instruction, and that his royal conscience is not lightened, for our
lack of ministers, and on account of the many people who are dying
without baptism, and the many without conversion, and the many islands
and provinces that cannot be pacified because of this lack. We ask
that his Majesty give imperative orders that religious be sent who
belong to the three orders now here, and that no other new orders
come here; and that they should come appointed for these islands,
and for no other district.

7. _That, in order that instruction may be furnished, something
be added to the tributes._ Seventh: In order that instruction may
be provided--not only where there is none, but also where there is
some, but not sufficient--his Majesty should cause something to be
added to the tributes, and the rates of taxation to be cleared up;
for now they are very much confused, and give rise to many quite
serious scruples. And the tributes should be assigned in terms of
Castilian reals, for hitherto they have generally been collected by
the standard of eight reals, and they could be raised to ten reals,
provided that it be not permitted to compel the Indians to pay in any
assigned article; but that they be allowed to pay in money, if they
have it, or if they wish to give it, or in any other sort of their
products or means of gain, or as these shall have value.

8. _That tithes be paid, as is the custom in Mejico._ Eighth:
In order that this increase of tributes may be more justifiable,
it should be announced that the encomenderos shall pay the tithes;
and therefore they desire, and request his Majesty to have these paid
according to the custom and manner of Mexico--for, as until now there
have been no bishop, curates, or system in government, and no church,
these have not been paid. And now, although to many it appears just,
and they would do it, many more refuse to do it; and thus, between
them both, nothing is done.

Chapter second. Of matters pertaining to the city of Manila

1. _That public property be given to the city of Manila._ First: It
should be suggested to his Majesty that he cause some public property
to be granted to this city, for all its affairs, of peace and of war,
of government, conservation, and defense, and for suits that may arise
in defense of it and its increase; and that, for this purpose, he
cause that some Indians be given to it, or something from the duties,
or the warehouses or shops, which, on account of the Chinese and other
traders, could be applied to the public property of the said city.

2. _That the three per cent duty imposed by Don Rronquillo, be not
paid._ Second: His Majesty should order that the three per cent duty,
imposed by Don Goncalo Ronquillo, be not paid in this city, because
of the extreme newness and poverty of this country; and because
the citizens assist in many other matters that its newness demands,
and these duties cannot assist at all in increasing and enriching
the settlement and country.

3. _That no duties, especially on food and supplies, be paid at any
port in these islands._ Third: We ask that none of those coming
from outside to the port or ports of these islands--as Chinese,
Portuguese, Japanese, Siamese, Burneans, or any others--shall pay
any duties, especially on food, supplies, and materials therefor,
so that the country may be advantaged and enriched; and because on
account of these duties, the Chinese experience many annoyances, and
the frequency of their coming is hindered; and since thus result the
inconveniences which, as his Majesty orders by a decree, should not
be allowed to occur. Of everything else connected with this matter,
the person who is going on this business will give information in
detail, and as is required.

4. _That the inhabitants of the Filipinas pay no duty in Acapulco or
anywhere else; and that no freight duty be paid._ Fourth: His Majesty
should order that, just as, on all the goods sent to Mexico from that
city (Sevilla--_Madrid MS._), no duty is paid on the first sale, so
on goods sent to Acapulco or other places from these islands, none
be paid; for there are more reasons and causes for such exemption in
this country than there. We ask that, likewise, the freight duty of
twelve pesos per tonelada, imposed by Don Goncalo Ronquillo on the
goods of citizens of these islands, be not collected at Acapulco.

5. _That the concession of paying the tenth only, instead of the fifth,
on gold, be continued._ Fifth: The tenth now paid by Spaniards on
gold instead of the fifth, conceded to them by his Majesty, should be
perpetual, or continued as long as possible, for the same reason--the
increase and augmentation of the country and the Christian religion.

6. _That the offices and encomiendas assigned be to the old citizens
and soldiers._ Sixth: The offices assigned by the governor of these
islands should be given to the old citizens of these islands who
merit it, who shall have been resident therein at least three years
and are citizens of them. The same should be understood in regard to
the encomiendas that his Majesty orders to be given to the soldiers,
and they should have resided here in actual military service and
duty--for they suffer great hardships in gaining and pacifying
the land, and afterward support it in its greater necessities and
advancement; and always the encomiendas should be given to those
among them who have most deserved these grants, paying attention
to their length of service, along with the other considerations of
greater or less services or benefits to the country. Nor should they
be given to the servants, brothers, relatives, followers, or persons
recommended, whom the governors bring hither with them of late--who
have not rendered any service to the country, and do no more than to
enjoy the sweat of the natives--but to the old Spanish inhabitants,
who have suffered the toil, and now should reap the reward. We urge
that his Majesty rigorously enforce this upon the governors; for it
is this which has most afflicted and ruined this country--because, as
(those who have done nothing for it enjoy the reward--_Madrid MS._)
those who have served it are dissatisfied and desperate, neither they
nor any one else who could do much will exert themselves, because
they are without hope.

7. _That commissions and means of advancement be assigned to those
have worked in this country._ Seventh: The same course should be
observed in all the commissions and means of gain on land and sea,
and especially in the appointments of masters and officers of vessels,
and in everything else--since, besides preserving equity and avoiding
wrongs, this recompenses those who have toiled, gives hope to those
present, allures the absent, and peoples, conserves, and betters the
country. They [the Council] should endeavor to be thus generous and
conciliatory in this matter, as it is the thing in which there is
most injustice, which is most keenly felt, and which causes most harm.

8. _That workmen and mechanics in Manila be paid their wages here and
not in Mexico._ Eighth: His Majesty should order that all workmen
and mechanics who serve for pay or wages in this country--such
as sailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, and any others (who remain
and are needed here--_Madrid MS._)--be paid their wages here, [40]
according to contract; that the money for this be provided from the
royal treasury of Mexico, since the treasury here has but little;
that what is to be given them there be paid here, as it will be of
much more value to them, and will be the occasion of increasing the
population of this country by those who will have trades, and will
remain with hope, and do more and better work in every way.

9. _That there should be a ship-purveyor in Manila._ Ninth: That in
place of the other third royal official of former days, his Majesty
appoint a ship-purveyor (who should not be a royal official), because
the two officials of the royal exchequer cannot at present attend
to this matter, which entails much work, along with the other things
to which they generally attend. With this appointment the ships will
be despatched better, and more punctually, and at less expense; for
they can be kept in better equipment, and their condition known with
exactness--and not as now, when this is not known, nor are they able
to attend to all things.

10. _That there should be no commissary of the Inquisition._ Tenth:
We ask that at present there be no commissary of the Inquisition
in this city or these islands, as they are so new, and have so few
inhabitants, and are so far from Mexico. For a commissary so far
away, and in a matter of so great import and weight for the honor,
property, and lives of men might cause so many wrongs; and many times
it might happen in cases that, after all this expense, they will be
set free in Mexico. The person who is going [for us to Spain] should
give information on all these points. We recommend that this matter
be left with the bishop for the present; or, at least, that one of
the dignitaries with the bishop act as inquisitor, and that there be
no commissary.

Chapter third. Of the traffic of these islands, on which likewise
depends their increase and conservation

1. _That no consignments of money be sent to the Filipinas from
Mexico._ First: It should be related to his Majesty that one of the
things that has ruined this country is the great consignments of money
that wealthy persons resident in Mexico send here. These give rise to
two wrongs: the first, that they advance the price on all Chinese
merchandise, so that the poor and common people of the islands
cannot buy those goods, or only at very high prices; the second,
that, since the shipments of goods [to Mexico] are many and large,
and the vessels few--at times (nearly always, in fact) not more than
one--and, because of the great amount of ship stores required for
so long a course, and the difficulty of the voyage, these vessels
go but lightly laden, the citizens and common people cannot export
any goods. We ask that his Majesty ordain and confirm what has been
ordained here by his royal Audiencia--namely, that neither shall such
consignments be sent from Mexico, nor shall Mexican factors or trading
companies come hither from that country; but that only the citizens of
these islands be allowed to buy and export to Mexico the products of
this land and foreign products. If any other person wish to do this,
he should be obliged to become a citizen and reside here at least
for three years; and he should trade with none but his own property,
under severe penalties. These should include the confiscation of both
such goods and his personal property, in addition to which he should
not be allowed to carry any wealth to Mexico; nor from there shall
the money be brought which now the Chinese take, so that their goods
may be bought more cheaply, and with the products of this land.

2. _That purchases be not made from the Chinese, at retail, but by
wholesale._ Second: We desire that, now and henceforth, neither the
Chinese nor other foreign vessels shall sell at retail, as is the
custom at present, nor shall the inhabitants of this city be allowed
to purchase in public or in secret, under severe penalties. We ask
that, for the purchase of these goods at wholesale, there be appointed
and chosen persons, so many and such as the affair requires, so that
they alone may buy at wholesale all the goods brought by the Chinese
vessels, and afterward apportion them to the Spanish citizens, the
Chinese, and the Indians, by a just and fair distribution, at the
rate of the prices paid for them, plus the other incidental expenses
required. If his Majesty order and confirm this, the prices shall
be determined and established by the governor and persons whom his
Lordship shall appoint.

3. _That there be no Chinese hucksters in Manila._ Third: From the
above follows another very important matter--namely, that all the
Chinese merchants and hucksters should not remain here to hoard and
retail the goods, as well as for the many other losses, and the lack of
supplies that they cause in the city and land, and the secret sins and
witchcrafts that they teach, of which the father will give a detailed
account. Moreover, the shops which they had and which are necessary
for retail articles should, in the course of the year, be taken by the
Spaniards, so that the advantage may remain on our side, and so that
there maybe opportunity for Spanish citizenship and settlement. This
cannot increase without such action, since there are so many Chinese
here; and it is desirable for many other advantages which will be
attained here. Outside the city there should remain, of the Chinese,
only the Christians and certain other old inhabitants, who do not
come and go, and are not wholly hucksters, but workmen--mechanics,
carpenters, gardeners, and farmers--and others who trade in food
supplies, who, collecting the food in the villages of the Indians,
bring it to this city.

4. _That the Portuguese shall not trade with Mexico or Peru._ Fourth:
The Portuguese should be forbidden, for the present, to make a voyage
to or traffic with Peru or Nueba Espana; for this country will be
ruined, while that city (Sevilla--_Madrid MS._) will lose the duties
on the voyages and goods, and the Portuguese will take the silver to
China, East India (Cion, and Sunda--_Madrid MS._) and other foreign

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