The Philippine Islands 1493-1898 Vol 4, 1576-1582 by E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson

Prepared by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with
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  • 1903
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Prepared by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team.

The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

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

Volume IV, 1576-1582

E. H. Blair & J. A. Robertson

Contents of Volume IV


Documents of 1576-78:

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

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

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

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

Grant of a plenary indulgence to all the faithful who visit churches of the Friars Minors. Gregory XIII; Rome, November 15, 1578.

Documents of 1579-82:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bibliographical Data


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_The Editors_

April, 1903.

Documents of 1576-78

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relation of the Filipinas Islands

Royal Catholic Majesty:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Condition of the Country_

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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