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Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 28 of 55

Editor: Emma Helen Blair

Commentator: Edward Gaylord Bourne

Editor: James Alexander Robertson

Release date: June 29, 2008 [eBook #25930]
Most recently updated: January 3, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at


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 close of the nineteenth century,

Volume XXVIII, 1637–38


Contents of Volume XXVIII

  1. Preface. 9
  2. Documents of 1637–38
    1. Remonstrance of Augustinians against the alternativa. Juan Ramirez, O.S.A., and others; Manila, September 9, 10, 1637. 21
    2. Corcuera’s campaign in Jolo. Juan de Barrios, S.J.; Jolo, March–April, 1638. 41
  3. Appendix: Religious conditions in the Philippines during the Spanish régime
    1. Laws regarding religious in the Philippines. Felipe II, Felipe III, Felipe IV; 1585–1640. [From Recopilación de las leyes de Indias.] 67
    2. Jesuit missions in 1656. Francisco Colin; Madrid, 1663. [From his Labor evangélica.] 78
    3. The religious estate in the Philippines. Juan Francisco de San Antonio, O.S.F.; Manila, 1738. [From his Chronicas.] 104
    4. Religious condition of the islands. Juan J. Delgado, S.J.; 1751–54. [From his Historia general.] 163
    5. Ecclesiastical survey of the Philippines. Guillaume le Gentil; Paris, 1781. [From his Voyages dans les mers de l’Inde.] 192 [6]
    6. Character and influence of the friars. Sinibaldo de Mas; Madrid, 1843. [From his Informe.] 226
    7. The ecclesiastical system in the Philippines. Manuel Buzeta, O.S.A., and Felipe Bravo, O.S.A.; Madrid, 1850. [From their Diccionario de las Islas Filipinas.] 266
    8. Character and influence of the friars. Feodor Jagor; Berlin, 1873. [From his Reisen in den Philippinen.] 290
    9. The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines. [From Provincia de San Nicolás de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos (Manila, 1879).] 300
    10. Present condition of the Catholic religion in Filipinas. José Algué, S.J., and others; Washington, 1900. [From Archipiélago filipino.] 349
  4. Bibliographical Data 369


  1. Title-page of Labor evangélica, by Francisco Colin (Madrid, 1663); photographic facsimile from copy in library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago 79
  2. Title-page of vol. i of San. Antonio’s Chronicas de la apostolica provincia de S. Gregorio (Manila, 1738); photographic facsimile from copy in Harvard University Library 105
  3. View at Naga, Cebú; from photograph procured in Madrid 155
  4. Title-page of Le Gentil’s Voyages dans les mers de l’Inde (Paris, 1781); photographic facsimile of copy in library of Wisconsin Historical Society 193


The present volume is, with the exception of one document, devoted to the religious and ecclesiastical affairs of the Philippines—mainly in extracts from standard authorities on the religious history of the islands, combined in an appendix. Beginning with the laws which concern missionaries to the Philippines (1585–1640), we present accounts of the ecclesiastical machinery of that colony, the status of the various religious orders, the missions conducted by them, and other valuable information—showing the religious condition of the islands at various times, from 1656 to 1899. These are obtained from Jesuit, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Recollect chronicles, and from secular sources—the French scientist Le Gentil, the Spanish official Mas, and the German traveler Jagor—thus enabling the student to consider the subject impartially as well as intelligently.

Only two documents appear here in the usual chronological sequence; they belong to the years 1637–38. The officials of the Augustinian order in the islands inform the king (September 9, 10, 1637) that the archbishop is making trouble for them over the question of the “alternativa” in appointments to offices within the order; and ask the king not to believe all the reports that may reach him about this [10]matter. They add a memorial on the difficulties which Gregory XV’s decree establishing that alternativa have caused in the Philippines; and relate their action in regard to the faction in their order who insist that an insignificant minority shall have equal rights to offices with the better-qualified majority.

The Jesuit Juan de Barrios, who accompanied Corcuera in his expedition against Jolo, relates (March–April, 1638) the events of that campaign in letters to Manila. The Spaniards are repulsed several times in attacking the Moro stronghold, and one of their divisions is surprised by the enemy with considerable loss to the Spaniards. Corcuera then surrounds the hill with troops and fortifications, and begins a regular siege of the Moro fort; various incidents of this siege are narrated. On the day after Easter the Moros, starved and sick, send Corcuera proposals for surrender; and finally they abandon their stronghold, and take flight, leaving the Spaniards in possession of all their property as well as the fort. A letter from Zamboanga (perhaps by Barrios) adds further particulars of the surrender and flight of the Joloans, the mortality among the Spaniards, the garrison left there by Corcuera, etc.

Taking up the general religious status of the islands, we select from the Recopilación de las leyes de Indias, lib. i, tit. xiv, the laws that especially concern the religious in the Philippines, dated from 1585 to 1640. These persons may not go to China or other countries, or return to Spain or Mexico, without special permission from the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Carmelites may go to the islands from Mexico. The missions must be so [11]assigned that each order has its own territory, separate from the others. The usual supplies shall be given to such religious as obtain permission to enter China and Japan; and all royal officials are directed to aid the fathers in their journeys, and not to hinder them. Religious who lead scandalous lives, or have been expelled from their orders, may not remain in Filipinas. The papal decrees de alternativa are to be enforced in the Indias. The restrictions imposed on religious going to the Japan missions are removed; all orders may go, but are charged to set an example of harmony and fraternal behavior. The missionaries are forbidden to engage in commerce or other business; the field shall be suitably divided among the various orders; and any bishops who may be appointed in Japan shall be suffragan to the see of Manila. Clerics from Eastern India are not to be allowed to perform priestly functions in Filipinas, or even to enter the islands. The proceeds resulting from the sale of the bulls of the Crusade must be placed in the royal treasury, and not used in trade by the treasurers of the Crusade.

The Jesuit Colin places at the end of his Labor evangélica (Madrid, 1663) a statement—prepared, he says, in accordance with a command from the king—of the number of missions, houses, and laborers supported by that order in the Philippines, a survey of its field and labors in the year 1656. He describes the scope, functions, and resources of the colleges in Manila; the missions near that city; and, in their order, the residences and missions maintained by the Society in the respective islands.

An interesting account of the religious estate in the islands about 1735 is furnished by the Franciscan [12]writer Juan Francisco de San Antonio. Beginning with the cathedral of Manila, he sketches its history from its earliest foundation, and describes its building and service, with the salaries of its ecclesiastics; and adds biographical sketches (here omitted) of the archbishops down to his time, and the extent of their jurisdiction. Then follow accounts, both historical and descriptive, of the ecclesiastical tribunals, churches, colleges, and charitable institutions—especially of San Phelipe college and La Misericordia. San Antonio enumerates the curacies in the archbishopric, and the convents and missions of the calced Augustinians. He then describes the educational work of the Jesuits, giving a history of their colleges of San Ignacio and San José, and enumerates their houses and missions; another sketch furnishes similar information regarding the Dominicans, who have especial charge of the Chinese residing in Luzón. Like accounts are given of the Recollects, of the hospital brethren of St. John of God, and of the author’s own order, the discalced Franciscans. On the same plan, he surveys the religious estate in all the bishoprics suffragan to Manila; and, finally, computes the numbers of the Christian native population in the islands.

Another survey of religious matters in the islands is furnished (about 1751) by the Jesuit Juan J. Delgado. He enumerates the ministries of souls in methodical order, beginning with those held by the secular clergy in each diocese—in all, fifty-three. Those of the calced Augustinians are noted in the same manner; then those of the Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, and Augustinian Recollects; and the convents and hospitals of the hospital order of St. [13]John of God. Among these are also mentioned the schools and colleges, and the hospitals, conducted by the orders. Delgado states that the Christian population of the islands actually numbers over 900,000 persons; adding to this the children under seven years of age, who are not enumerated by the missionaries, he estimates that it must exceed a million of souls. He enumerates the numbers of villages and of their inhabitants who are in charge of each of the respective orders. He estimates the number of tributes paid annually by the natives at a quarter of a million, and describes the requirements and mode of payment, and the allotments made from the tributes for the support of religious instruction. He then relates in detail the number and remuneration of all ecclesiastical offices, from bishop to cura. Delgado then describes the ecclesiastical tribunals of the islands, the organization and good work of La Misericordia, and other charitable institutions in Manila, with the royal chapel, hospital, and college.

The French scientist Le Gentil describes (from observations made during 1766–68) the religious conditions in the islands. He enumerates the benefices connected with Manila cathedral, and the salaries and duties of their incumbents; and the ecclesiastical tribunals in that city—those of the archbishop, the Inquisition, and the Crusade. Then he relates interesting details about the churches, convents, schools, and other institutions. Among these are the royal chapel, the seminary of San Felipe, the seminary of Santa Isabela, the confraternity of La Misericordia, the universities, and the hospitals. Le Gentil describes the ecclesiastical machinery of the suffragan dioceses, and the convents therein—all [14]more extensive and costly than the population and wealth of the country justify. The rest of his account is devoted to “the power and influence enjoyed by the religious in the Philippines.” He says: “Masters of the provinces, they govern there, as one might say, as sovereigns; they are so absolute that no Spaniard dares go to establish himself there.... They are more absolute in the Philippines than is the king himself.” They ignore the royal decrees that the Indian children must be taught the Castilian language; thus the friars keep the Indians in bondage, and prevent the Spaniards from knowing the real state of affairs in the provinces. They have refused to allow the visitations of the archbishops—a matter explained at considerable length by the writer. The natives sometimes revolt, and then the friars cannot influence them, but troops must be sent to punish the rebels. Le Gentil also relates the manner in which the friars punish the natives for not attending mass, by flogging them—not only men, but women, and that in public.

Sinibaldo de Mas, a Spanish official who spent some time at Manila, gives in his Informe (Madrid, 1843) a chapter regarding the character and influence of the friars—partly from his own observations, partly cited from Comyn’s Estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1810, a valuable work, published at Madrid in 1820. He relates the difficulties encountered in the attempts so often made to subject the friars to the diocesan visit. This has been at last accomplished, but, according to Mas, with resulting lower standards of morality among the curas. He cites various decrees and instances connected with the controversies between the friars and the authorities, [15]civil and religious; and then long extracts from Comyn, which show the great extent of the priestly influence, and the causes therefor. Comyn regards the priests as the real conquerors of the islands, and as the most potent factor in their present government—at least, outside of Manila. He shows how inadequate is the power of the civil government, apart from priestly influence; recounts the beneficial achievements of the missionaries among the Indians; and deprecates the recent attempts to restrict their authority. Mas approves Comyn’s views, and proceeds to defend the friars against the various charges which have been brought against them. In support of his own opinions, he also cites Fray Manuel del Rio; and he himself praises the public spirit, disinterestedness, and devotion to the interests of the Indians, displayed by the curas, many of whom are friars. He argues that they even show too much patience and lenity toward the natives, who are lazy and indolent in the extreme; and it has been a great mistake to forbid the priests to administer corporal punishment to delinquent natives. Mas is surprised at the lack of religious in the islands, while in Spain there is an oversupply and the livings are much poorer than in the Philippines. He enumerates the various dioceses, and the number of curacies in each, whether filled by regulars or seculars; and concludes with an extract from the Jesuit writer Murillo Velarde, on the duties of the parish priest who ministers to the Indians.

A survey of the ecclesiastical system is presented (1850) in the Diccionario de las Islas Filipinas of the Augustinians Manuel Buzeta and Felipe Bravo. As in preceding writings of this sort, the different [16]sees are separately described—in each being enumerated the territories of its jurisdiction, and its mode of government and ecclesiastical courts; the number of curacies in it, and how served; and the number of other ecclesiastical officials, with professors, seminarists, etc. In the account of Cebú is inserted a letter (1831) from the bishop of that diocese, appealing for its division into two.

The German traveler Feodor Jagor presents (1873) an interesting view of the character and influence of the friars. He praises their kindly and hospitable treatment of strangers, and the ability and knowledge that they often display; and defends those whom he has known (mainly the Spaniards) from the charge of licentiousness. He discusses the relations between the curas and civil alcaldes—the former being often the protectors of the Indians against the latter.

A survey of the field and labors of the Augustinian Recollects is obtained from Provincia de San Nicolás de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos (Manila, 1879)—presented partly in translation, partly in synopsis. In it are enumerated the missions in charge of that order, with the number of souls in each; frequently occurs an historical account of a mission’s foundation and growth, and biographical mention of especially notable missionaries—including those who in early days were martyrs in Calamianes and Mindanao. It ends with tables showing the numbers of tributes, souls, and ministers in the Recollect provinces, at various times.

A sketch of the religious condition in the islands in 1896–98 is furnished by José Algué and other Jesuit fathers of Manila in their compendious work, [17]Archipiélago filipino (Washington, 1900). Statistics showing the growth of the Christianized native population from 1735 to 1898 are compiled from various sources—a remarkable increase, which the editors ascribe mainly to missionary labors. Then the various sees are enumerated, with their bishops, cathedrals, courts, seminaries, and priests; and the various houses, colleges, and other institutions possessed by the respective religious orders in the islands, besides the colleges of each in Spain. Considerable space is devoted to a characterization of the religious spirit that prevails among the Filipinos; and to the conclusion that general freedom of worship in that archipelago “would be a fatal measure to any government that rules the destinies of Filipinas,” and might result in a politico-religious war. The American government is therefore warned not to allow such freedom in the islands.

The Editors

July, 1905.


Documents of 1637–1638

  1. Remonstrance of Augustinians against the alternativa. Juan Ramirez, O.S.A., and others; September 9, 10, 1637.
  2. Corcuera’s campaign in Jolo. Juan de Barrios, S.J.; March–April, 1638.

Sources: The first of these documents is obtained from a MS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the second, from one in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid.

Translations: The first document is translated by Emma Helen Blair (except the Latin part, by Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.); the second, by James A. Robertson. [21]


Remonstrance of Augustinians against the alternativa


In fulfilment of your Majesty’s commands and of the obligation that rests upon us as your Majesty’s loyal vassals and humble chaplains, we have every year rendered account to your Majesty of the progress made by this province of Philipinas of our father St. Augustine; and [have told you] how the religious of the province—whom your Majesty has sent to these regions, at the cost of his royal estate, for the conversion of these peoples and the direction of those who are converted—are and have been occupied, with the utmost solicitude, in fulfilling their obligations and your Majesty’s command by gathering rich fruits, both spiritual and temporal.

It is now eight years,1 Sire, since this province received a brief from his Holiness Gregory Fifteenth of blessed memory, that was obtained improperly, through the efforts of the religious who are in this province who are born in these regions. In it his Holiness ordained that all the elections among the said religious, from that of provincial to that of the most petty official, should be shared between the [22]religious of these regions and those who have come from España at your Majesty’s cost. The execution of this decree was impossible, because the number of the said religious who were born in these regions was much less than that of the offices which, it was ordained, must be conferred upon them. On this account, appeal was made to his Holiness, who was more clearly informed [about the matter]. Nevertheless, these letters have caused great commotions in the order itself and in the community; for many persons in the colony, on account of being kindred of the religious of this country, and many others who, like those religious, were born here, have taken up the cause as their own—thinking that they are thus defending their native land. This is a difficulty that may give rise to many others; and these provinces have during all this time suffered many anxieties and losses, as will appear from the reports which we are sending to your Majesty with this letter. This year it pleased our Lord that another brief should come, from his Holiness Urban Eighth, which revoked the former brief of Gregory Fifteenth. It was sent to the archbishop of this city of Manila, so that he might—as the truth of the allegations made in Rome by the father-general of our holy order was evident—annul the former brief, and leave the elections of this province in the liberty which our constitutions provide, without any discrimination between nationalities. We gave many thanks to our Lord for the favor that He had granted us; for, with this second brief, we promised ourselves the peace and quiet that are necessary in order that we all may more freely occupy ourselves in our Lord’s service, and in fulfilling the purpose for which your Majesty was [23]pleased to send us to these lands. But such was not the case; for the archbishop was angry (according to what we can understand of the matter) because in the former year of 35 we followed the cathedral church, during his absence, in the observance of an interdict which he had laid on this city—a proceeding which he greatly resented because, he said when he returned to this city, the interdict had not been raised by his order or with his consent. Now, as this business has come into his hands, he is giving us many opportunities for gaining merits; and although the narration made in the brief is so accurate and truthful that there is nothing more evident, he has displayed his cognizance of it by reducing it to the terms of an ordinary litigation, and has made plain his intention, which is to exceed the commission that his Holiness gives him in the brief—to the very considerate prejudice and injury of this province and of the observance of our holy constitutions. By his conduct the opposition that we have thus far suffered from lay persons born in these regions has been continually stimulated—to such an extent that Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, the governor of these islands, saw that he had reason to fear some bad ending to such beginnings; and therefore, with the prudence and carefulness which he displays in all matters concerning his government, he suppressed the disturbances which were being stirred up.

We do not know, Sire, how this will result, although we strive in all things to possess our souls in patience; and we trust to the justice of the governor of these islands, that he will protect us in all that our just claims and rights shall permit. For we can have only this consolation in the present emergency, [24]that violence is threatened against us; and that the protection which the governor of these islands has extended to your Majesty’s vassals in such cases, and his defense of the royal patronage, have been the occasion of the commotions and troubles which have occurred in this city during these last two years. For if the archbishop had chosen to avert them he could have done so, without losing anything of his jurisdiction, or failing to meet the obligations of a vigilant prelate.

Accordingly, we entreat your Majesty not to give entire credit to all the reports about this matter that are written to your Majesty from this country; for we know how persons regard our affairs at present, and that many are ruled by prejudice, and not by the facts in the case. The same risk is run in other matters, for there never was a judge who could please all persons. What we can assert and certify to your Majesty is the great zeal which Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera has always displayed in the service of God and your Majesty, and in the increase of the royal estate. For in his own life he sets an example to the most devout religious; and in his personal attention to the duties of his offices he continues without being turned aside to anything else. His actions are guided by the law of God and the service of your Majesty. He is vigilant in preventing all offenses against God, and in military discipline. It seems as if our Lord has aided him, in consequence of this; for it is in his time that these islands of your Majesty, and your vassals, find themselves in a condition of peace, without being harassed by so many enemies as neighboring nations have—who have inflicted on them so much damage through many previous [25]years, with pillage, fire, murder, and captivity. And as the most powerful enemy was the king of Mindanao, last year the governor went in person to punish him in his own kingdom; and he conquered that king and gained possession of two fortresses, the most important that he had, with many cannons, muskets, and other fire-arms. From this campaign the arms of your Majesty have gained much reputation, and all the enemies of these islands are intimidated; while the vassals whom your Majesty has in them are more established in their obedience. If that fortunate victory had not occurred as it did, there might have been much reason to fear for the allegiance that the peoples of these islands owe to your Majesty. And Don Sebastian deserves that your Majesty bestow upon him greater rewards, since in more important posts the services which he can render to your royal crown will be greater. May our Lord guard your royal person, granting you the prosperity which your Majesty’s many realms ask from God, and of which they have need. Manila, September 9, 1637. Your Majesty’s chaplains, who kiss your royal feet,

Fray Juan Ramirez, provincial.
Fray Cristobal de Miranda, definitor.
Fray Geronimo de Medrano
Fray Alonso de Caravajal
Fray Juan de Montemayor
Fray Manuel de Errasti [26]

Relation of events in the Philipinas province of the Order of St. Augustine, and of the effects caused therein by the letters of his Holiness Gregory XV in which he commanded that the elections for offices, from the provincial to the most petty official, should be made alternately between the two parties—one, the religious who took the habit in España and came to these islands for the conversion of the infidels and the direction of those who are converted; the other, the religious who have entered the order in the Indias.

This province of Philipinas of the order of our father St. Augustine has enjoyed, from the time of its foundation at the conquest of these islands, the utmost peace in its ordinary government; and it is by virtue of this that it has accomplished so great results in the service of the two majesties [i.e., God and the king of Spain]—being always occupied in the conversion of these peoples, and in the direction of those who are converted; and devoting so much care to the fulfilment of its obligations, even when the results of their labors made their devotion so manifest. In this state the order was maintained, making great progress in the gain of souls, until the year 29, in which this said province received a brief from his Holiness Gregory XV, in which he commanded that the elections in the province, from that of provincial to that of the most petty official, should be made alternately between the religious who had come from España at the cost of his Majesty, and those who had entered the order in these regions. The brief was laid before the province;2 but it had [27]been obtained by misrepresentations, and its execution was impossible because the religious who had taken the habit in the Indias were very few, numbering less than one-third as many men as were the offices which the said brief commanded to be given to them. For these reasons, the province appealed from the execution of the decree; but, although this appeal was so just and so conformable to law, the judge whom they had appointed to execute the decree3 refused to allow it, declaring that we were publicly excommunicated. Afterward, the royal Audiencia here, to whom we had recourse with a plea of fuerza, declared that the judge had committed it against us in not allowing the said petition and appeal, that it might go before his Holiness. Then the judge, compelled by the royal Audiencia, admitted the said appeal, and set a time when it should be brought before the authorities at Roma. In order to serve better the interests of this province, we appeared, through our procurators, within the allotted time at Roma, and furnished official statements presented by us, with all due solemnity.

But this was not sufficient to make the religious who took the habit in the Indias cease from disturbing the peace of the province; for they appointed, in the year 35, another judge to execute the said brief. He undertook to establish his judicature by proceeding against us with harsh and violent acts, and caused us much anxiety; for he was aided by nearly all the lay persons of this colony who were born in these islands, who took up this cause as their own. They caused many disturbances, and used language so offensive that they obliged the honorable [28]and well-intentioned people of this city to come to our defense. This was done by the bishop of the city of Santísimo Nombre de Jesus in Çubu, who was then governing this archbishopric; for as judge of the ordinary he demanded from the said judge-executor the documents by virtue of which the latter had erected a tribunal within his territory.4 Under the compulsion of censures and pecuniary fines, the said judge-executor gave up the documents; and his Lordship, having examined them, declared that they were not sufficient.5 This declaration was supported and favored by Don Juan Cereço de Salamanca, who was at that time governor of these islands; and he also interposed the superior authority of the office which he filled, to calm and quiet in their beginnings these commotions—which threatened, if they should increase, much greater troubles. They were quieted for the time; but in the following year, 36, those religious again nominated another judge6 to execute the said brief, who began to carry out this commission with even greater violence than the two former judges displayed. His conduct was such that we could not protect ourselves, although we protested that this cause devolved upon his Holiness; and we offer here the authentic testimony of our statement presented in course of appeal, the tenor of which is as follows: [29]

“By this present public instrument be it known to all that in the year of the birth of our same Lord Jesus Christ, 1631, the fourteenth indiction, the twenty-ninth day of March, and the eighth year of the pontificate of our most holy father in Christ and our lord Urban VIII, by divine Providence pope, the reverend brethren of the Order of Saint Augustine resident in the province of the Philippines, who made their profession in Spain, have proceeded against the brethren similarly resident in the same province, who were received into the order in the Indias. As filed in my office, etc.

“To the petition in the memorial and brief as presented, the reverend father Master Peter Ribadeneira,7 assistant [general] for the Spains and procurator for the Indias [or Philippines], made answer as follows: That his clients were not bound thereto, inasmuch as the said ordinances could not be carried into effect by reason of impossibility, since the brethren who were given the habit [of the order] in the Indias are fewer in number than the offices [or positions] to be filled [by the same]; wherefore the decree de alternativa8 cannot be complied with in [30]the conferral of the said offices. Moreover, that the said brief was obtained without a hearing of his clients, and therefore is surreptitious, besides being contrary to truth in that the charge was made therein that a sedition had taken place among the [brethren]. Wherefore protest has been entered that no further steps be taken unless by [due process of law], etc.

“Whereupon I the undersigned, a notary-public, have been requested to have made and drawn up one or more public instruments in reference to all and singular the above, according as may be needed or demanded.

“Done at Rome in my office, etc., of the Rione del Ponte,9 in the presence and hearing and cognizance of Don Bernardino Pacheto10 and Don Jacobo Francisco Belgio, fellow-notaries and witnesses, especially [31]called, requested, and summoned to all and singular the above.”

We also present an original letter from the general of our order, and another from the father assistant of the province of España, in which they tell us how his Holiness had already revoked the said brief; also another letter, from the procurator of this province at that court [i.e., Madrid], in which he notified us that he had presented the brief of revocation in the royal Council of the Indias. But, notwithstanding these letters, the religious who had taken the habit in the Indias persisted all the more in persuading their judge to hurry forward the legal proceedings and to urge on the acts of violence which he was executing against us; and in this importunity, and in the opposition which the said religious made to the letters and advices of the general and of the assistant in the Spanish provinces, was admirably displayed the obedience and respect that they have for their superior. At this juncture also arose disturbances made by the relatives of the said religious, occasioning many scandals; and the friars, encouraged by the support which these people gave them, could not be corrected within the convent, and disturbed it to the utmost. They made promises to the lay brethren to ordain them as priests in order to draw these into their following; and so far did they go that all of them together sallied out from the convent one morning—the second day of August in last year—more than two hours before daylight, and carried with them the doorkeeper and three lay brethren, leaving the gates of the convent open. Roaming through the streets at those hours, with [32]very great scandal, they went where they chose until daylight; and then they went to the palace, where they presented themselves before the governor of these islands, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera—demanding, under pretext of desiring freedom to prosecute their just claims, that he shelter them under the royal patronage, take them out of the [Augustinian] convent, and assign them another where they could reside. The governor, with the prudence and great zeal which he displays in all the affairs of his government, rebuked them for this proceeding, ordered that the provincial be summoned, and charged him to take the religious back to the convent, but to treat them kindly; and, although recognizing the serious nature of their act, he requested the provincial not to punish them for it, and the latter acted in accordance with the governor’s wishes.

But those religious continued to cause much mischief and trouble, and there was reason to fear other and greater difficulties. The procedure of the judge was so violent that he went so far as to issue an act in which he represented the preceding [session of the] chapter as nugatory, and commanded the provincial, with penalties and censures, to surrender within two hours the seal of the province, so that it might be given to the person on whom the said judge should see fit to bestow it. They delayed notification of this act to the provincial until sunset, so that he could not reply within the time set; and as soon as morning came, they declared that he had incurred censures. The governor of these islands, as your Majesty’s lieutenant, interposed the authority of his office; and thus were prevented the great injuries [33]that were beginning outside the order—and, within it, the disturbance and schism which had begun. This was done by means of an act issued by the judge, in which he suspended the former act, and decided that the trial of this cause should be deferred for forty days before the [next] chapter-meeting. Therewith this province remained in peace and quiet,11 and all the religious attended to their obligations—until the arrival, in this year of thirty-seven, of the bull for this province, passed by the royal Council of the Indias, in which our most holy father Urban Eighth revoked the brief for the alternativa; its tenor is as follows:

“Since, however, it has lately been reported to us by our beloved son, the prior-general of the order12 of the brothers hermits of Saint Augustine, that in the aforesaid province nearly all the brethren of Spanish blood of the said order resident therein were sent to those countries at the expense of our very dear son in Christ, Philip, the Catholic king of the Indias, in order that they might labor for the conversion of heathens and the instruction of converts; that moreover in the province and order of the aforesaid brethren in those countries there are very few [brethren] known as creoles [criolli], who are fit [34]for the charge of those peoples: Therefore in the letters presented as inserted ahead, in view moreover of the fact that it is impossible to have the law carried out since the creole brethren are not numerous enough to fill the aforesaid offices with the care of souls attached thereto, an appeal has been taken to us and to the apostolic see to have the said decrees set aside. Hence the said prior-general has humbly petitioned us of our apostolic kindness to make due provision in the premises.

“Therefore hearkening to the petition of the said prior-general, desirous moreover of rewarding him with especial favors and graces [we hereby,] in order that these presents alone be carried into effect, do absolve him and declare him thus absolved from whatsoever excommunication, suspension, interdict, and other ecclesiastical sentences, censures, and penalties incurred by law or individual court, should he in any manner have been entangled thereby; moreover through these presents we charge and order your fraternity that, should the petition be grounded on truth, you interpret benignly and recall the letters inserted ahead, to the end that by our apostolic authority the elections for the future be free, in accordance with the constitutions of the said order, the same as if the letters inserted ahead had not been issued. The same letters inserted ahead and all other things to the contrary notwithstanding.

“Given in Castel Gandolfo13 of the diocese of Albano, under the seal of the Fisherman, the eighteenth day of May, the year one thousand six hundred [35]and thirty-four, and the eleventh year of our pontificate.”

This entire clause appears inserted in the brief, after the relation which is made therein of the brief which his Holiness Gregory XV issued in favor of the alternate elections—which is the one which his Holiness [Urban VIII] revoked by the said letters, as appears by them. We presented this brief to the archbishop of Manila, to whom its execution came committed, with the cognizance of the clause si preces veritate nitantur;14 and with the said brief the attorneys for our cause presented three certified statements by the provincial and definitory of this province, drawn from its books, and sworn to and signed by all. In one of these statements is contained the number of the religious in this province who took the habit and made profession in the kingdoms of España. Of these there are ninety-three, among whom are two youths graduated in theology; ten lecturers in arts and theology; thirty preachers who completed their studies in the realms and universities of España, and in that country received their diplomas as preachers; and twenty-four preachers who came to these islands before they completed their studies, and received that title in these provinces. In another statement is contained the number of the religious in this province who have taken the habit in the Indias; these are thirty-three. Six of them should be excluded: two of these are of Portuguese nationality, sons of the Congregation of Yndia—who, by a decree of his Majesty, and the decision of a full definitory of this province, are commanded to return to their own congregation. Two others are prevented [36]from saying mass—one by old age, and the other by having been insane more than fifteen years. Another is of Japanese nationality; and the sixth is a mestizo, son of a Portuguese father and a Japanese mother. At the foot of this memorandum is a declaration by the definitory that there are other persons on the list therein who are disqualified, legally and by our constitutions, from holding offices in our holy order—whom, if it should be necessary, they will make known. In the third certificate is contained the number of offices that this province furnishes; there are eighty-four of these, in which must be counted the sixty-six convents of the order which are residences of ministers, and three others which are communities. The archbishop accepted these certified statements, and commanded, by an act which he issued officially, that the two religious who acted as attorneys for the religious who had taken the habit in the Indias should be notified of these statements; and that when they had examined and understood the papers, they must declare under oath whether these were authentic and legal, and if they had anything to add to them. After the said attorneys had examined and understood them, they declared that the statements were accurate and truthful; and likewise, by a juridical act of his Lordship, the same notification was made to seven or eight other religious of the same faction of the Yndias, who also under oath declared that the statements were accurate and truthful. Notwithstanding this evidence, the archbishop began to allow petitions from the said attorneys for the party of the Yndias, in which they promised to furnish evidence that the narration made in the said brief was false—saying that the [37]word paucisimi [i.e., “very few”], which is in the said brief, signified no more than two or three; and that the words inepti ad administrationem populorum [i.e., “not fit for the charge of those peoples”] meant unfitness of the intellect; and they endeavored to prove that they were competent and capable for the offices that the province had. The religious of España opposed this, evidence, saying that such was not the signification of those words; for paucisimi was understood with respect to the offices, and inepti ad administrationem populorum meant lack of strength in their numbers—as farther down the same brief explained it in the words: Quod dicti patres in numero suficiente apti non sint, and oficiorum prefatorum distributione.15 And as for the arguments adduced at Roma when this matter was presented in course of appeal—which were stated in the testimony, as is most clearly evident—those religious did not oppose these allegations, or many others which were made to his Lordship. To him were also presented several protests against the injuries which this province, in their general opinion and belief, had to suffer, and, as many individuals of their number thought, difficulties which might arise from furnishing the said information, as a reason why his Lordship might fail to accept this statement of the case. These difficulties appear, and in fact have begun to make trouble with persons outside of the order. The religious of España saw this; and they knew that the witnesses who gave their testimony in the case could not have knowledge of all the religious in this province who have taken the [38]habit in the Yndias, nor of their qualifications, nor for what offices they were suitable according to our constitutions; moreover, they heard that it was certain that the said fathers of the Yndias faction were representing and alleging their own suitability [for those offices]—the purpose of these efforts being to establish by them new pretensions in the two courts [of Madrid and Roma], and with those representations to cause fresh disturbances and uneasiness in this province. To obviate this mischief, and to make clear and evident the justice in the claims of both sides, and to prevent gossip by persons outside of the order regarding the qualifications of the religious, the fathers of Castilla presented a petition in which was inserted a memorandum of the religious in this province who belonged to the Yndias faction; these are thirty-three, the same as those mentioned in the certified statement of the definitory that was presented earlier. Constrained by necessity and the strait in which they found themselves, the fathers of España testified, under oath and in legal form, in what manner fifteen of the religious mentioned in the said petition were disqualified or disabled, by law and the constitutions of our order, for holding official positions in the order. They also demanded that, of the eighteen who remained, the attorneys of the Yndias faction should declare, for each separately and in detail, what learning and competency he possessed; whether he had been a student in any course of science or arts, and where and at what time; for what offices in the order he was competent, according to our constitutions; and in which of the four provinces which this province [of St. Augustine] administers—in which it is necessary to know [39]the Tagál, Pampanga, Ylocan, and Bisayan tongues, which are all different languages—each of those religious was a minister. [They were also asked to name] those who had sufficient fluency in the language to preach the gospel and declare the mysteries of the faith to the Indians; and whether there were any religious of their faction who were qualified to be preachers in this convent of Manila and in other Spanish towns and convents; whether there were any such religious capable of teaching arts and theology (both moral and scholastic), or of deciding the difficult questions that are wont to arise regarding the administration of the sacraments in the provinces. The fathers of Castilla stated that, when the truth of these matters should be ascertained, they were ready to make concessions, without the necessity of a formal investigation; and that in matters where there was any doubt, they would have the religious appear before his Lordship [the archbishop], so that before him and the professors of the two universities of this city, or before the superiors of the religious orders, they might be examined by the official examiners of this province, and their qualifications be made evident. They have made no reply to this request, and we fear that the archbishop will not oblige them to answer it—inasmuch as in the number of the said eighteen religious not eight will be found who can in strictness be considered qualified to hold an office cum cura animorum [i.e., “with the care of souls”], and not one for positions as professors or preachers in this city of Manila, while only two are well versed in cases of conscience.

The affair remains in this condition, and we do not know how it will end; for in this country justice and [40]law do not secure, to one who seeks justice, the attainment of his object. Done at this convent of St. Augustine in Manila, on the tenth of September, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven.

Fray Juan Ramirez, provincial.
Fray Cristobal de Miranda, definitor.
Fray Geronimo de Medrano
Fray Alonso de Carabajal
Fray Juan de Montemayor
Fray Manuel de Errasti [41]

1 As Gregory died in 1623, the despatch of this letter must have been long delayed at Rome or en route.

2 See chapter xlii of Medina’s history of the Augustinian order, in Vol. XXIV of this series; also Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 384–386.

3 This was the archdeacon Alonso García de Leon.

4 Pedro de Arce (himself an Augustinian), who twice filled vacancies in the archiepiscopal see of Manila.

5 It is curious that Diaz does not mention this; but he states (Conquistas, p. 385) something omitted here—that Archbishop García Serrano interfered in like manner with the judge-executor of 1629 in this case, García de León. Diaz may have given wrong names and dates for the one incident.

6 This was the new archdeacon, Andrés Arias Xirón (Diaz’s Conquistas, p. 385).

7 Presumably Pedro de Ribadeneira, a Spaniard of Toledo; he was provincial of Castilla, and assistant to the general of the order. About 1635 he was sent by Felipe IV as his ambassador to the duke of Modena and the republic of Lucca; afterward he was named by the king bishop of Cotrone (the ancient Crotona), Italy, but declined this honor. He died on August 20, 1643; and left various writings.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

8 There is frequent mention in canon law of alternativa decrees by the Holy See—a device in the interests of fairness, applied in the conferral of benefices and church offices, in order to do away with discords and displays of partisanship. Thereby in elections the preferments, etc., were to go to the opposite party, according at times, to very singular rules, applicable, for instance, according to the month wherein the said benefice fell vacant. The usage of [23n]the “alternation” was introduced in the time of Pope Martin V. (A.D. 1417–1431.)

The text of the present document concerns the extension of the alternativa rules to the Augustinians in the Philippine Islands, by force of which the offices in the order (distributed in provincial chapters every four years) were to be conferred one term on religious born in Spain, and the next on religious born in the Indias. The latter were known as Creoles (crioli)—thus in the Constitutions of the order, of 1685, where reference is made to decrees of Gregory XV, dated November 29, 1621 (confirmed by Urban VIII in 1628), with regard to elections of the brethren in Mechoacan, in Mexico. As the alternativa held in Mexico and South America—in fact, in Spanish colonies everywhere—these same papal decrees were presumably observed in all those colonies. Later, in Mexico, the statutes of the Augustinians required that in provincial chapters religious of Spanish blood should be chosen alternately with those of Indian, in the election of provincials, definitors, priors, and other officers; but this plan did not operate very satisfactorily.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

9 The name (Latin, regio pontis), of a ward in the city of Rome.

10 So in MS., but an improbable name; more likely to be Pacheco.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

11 Diaz here says (Conquistas, p. 385): “The fathers from the provinces of España interposed an appeal from the fuerza [committed] by this act, saying that the said judge had not authority to postpone the matter, but only to execute [the decree]; and from this proceeded continual disputes until the time for the chapter-meeting.”

12 The prior general of the Augustinians in 1634, the date of this bull, was Jerome de Rigoliis, of Corneto, elected May 18, 1630; he died (out of office, however) seven years later, in June, 1637, at the age of seventy and upwards. In 1636 (May 10), his successor in the generalship, Hippolytus dei Monti, was elected.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

13 Castel Gandolpho, a beautiful place in the Alban Hills, was the summer resort of the supreme pontiffs.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

14 i.e., “should the petition be grounded on fact.”

15 i.e., “because the said fathers are not qualified in sufficient number,” and “in the distribution of the said offices.”


Corcuera’s Campaign in Jolo

In my last letter I wrote to your Reverence of the result of the first attack—which was unfortunate, because the Moros repulsed us, as I told your Reverence. Not less unfortunate will be the news that I shall now relate,1 which it is yet necessary for me to tell, in order to fulfil my duty and to remove the clouds arising from rumors and letters that will go there. I am here and see everything; and there is never a lack of those who tell many new things, and exaggerate matters that are not so great as they will relate and descant there, where no one can report and declare what has happened. It is as follows.

Since that attack, we have made two others. The first was with five mines which we had made, with which we expected to blow up a great part of those walls. All of the mines were fired, and, thinking that they would cause the same effects as the others, our men retired farther than they ought to have done. Four of the mines exploded, and did not a little damage among the enemy. They, full of fear, fled down from their position; but, as the mines did not make the noise that we expected, we did not, accordingly, [42]get there in time, as we were quite distant because of our fear lest the mines do us harm. The Moros retook their position, so that we were repulsed this time, as we had been the other—with the death of a captain, while some men were wounded. The fifth mine was left, and did not explode that time. Hence its mouth was looked for, and having found it, we tried two days after that to make another assault. The assault was made after the mine had exploded. That mine was larger than the others had been, and caused much damage. But the Moros fortified themselves again, with greater strength than they had the last two times; and defended themselves in their trenches, which had been fortified with many stockades and terrepleins, so that we could not enter. We lost some soldiers on that occasion, who tried to show that they were bold and valiant. Among them was the sargento-mayor Melon, who was struck by a ball which passed through him and carried him off in two days. May God rest his soul! Thereupon, we retired to our posts, and endeavored to collect our men and carry away the wounded, who were many. We have lost four captains of renown in these three assaults—namely, Captain Pimienta, Captain Juan Nicolas, Captain Don Pedro de Mena, and Sargento-mayor Gonzales de Caseres Melon. Besides these three assaults, another misfortune happened to us, on St. Matthew’s day, which was as follows. Captain Rafael Ome, going with forty-six men and two hundred Indians to make a garo2 (as we say here), and having taken up quarters in a field, where there was a fortified house, arranged his posts [43]at intervals and ordered his men to be on their guard. But since man proposes and God disposes, the posts were either careless, or God ordained it thus; for suddenly the enemy rushed upon our men, who could not unite, as they were by that time scattered through the forest. The enemy, having caught them off their guard, made a pastime of it, killing twenty-six men, and carrying off arms, powder, balls, and fuses. I regard that event as the greatest of all our losses. Among those of our men killed there by the enemy was Captain Lopez Suarez, a fine soldier. Our men were not disheartened by these reverses, except such and such men. The governor well sustains the undertaking with [all his powers of] mind and body. He has surrounded the entire hill with a stockade and a ditch, and has sown the ground with sharp stakes so that the enemy may neither receive aid nor sally out from it. At intervals there are sentry-posts and towers, so close that they almost touch. There were six barracks along it, so that if any tower should be in need the soldiers in them could go to its defense. Some of them have six men, others four, and those which have least three men, as a guard. The enclosure is one legua long and surrounds the hill. I do not know which causes the more wonder, the fort of the Moros or the enclosure of the Spaniards—which restrains the Moros, so that they issue but seldom, and then at their peril. We are day by day making gradual advances. Today a rampart was completed which is just even with their stockades, so that we shall command the hill equally [with the enemy]. God helping, I hope that we shall reduce their trenches, and then we shall advance from better to [44]better. May God aid us; and si Dominus a custodierit civitatem frustra vigilat qui custodit eam.3 Father, prayers and many of them are needed. Will your Reverence have them said in your holy college, and excuse me and all of us for what we can not do. I forward this letter, [hoping] for its good fortune in the holy sacrifices of your Reverence, etc. Jolo, March 31, 1638. To the father-prior of Manila.

Pax Christi, etc.

I would like to be the bearer of this letter, and to fulfil my desires of seeing your Reverence and all the fathers and brothers of your Reverence’s holy college. That is a proposition for which credit may be given me, but the time gives space only to suffer; and thus do we have to accommodate ourselves to it, and to check our desires, drawing strength from weakness. I must content myself with writing, which would be a pleasant task, if I could do it at my leisure, and not so hastily as I have made known in certain letters that I have sent to your Reverence—not losing or neglecting any occasion at which I could write. And so that this opportunity should not pass without a letter from me, I have hastened my pen beyond my usual custom, and have written very concisely and briefly—although I could write at greater length, and give account of many things which I leave for a better occasion. That will be when it is the Lord’s pleasure for us to see each other. Moreover, I have no pleasant news to write, since that which I could write would all be to the [45]effect that we have not gained this enchanted hill; and that, at the times when we have tempted fortune, we have retired with loss of some men and many wounded.

Continuing, then, in the same style as the last letter, I declare that since the first assault, in which we were driven back with the loss of Captain Don Pedro Mena Pando, Adjutant Oliva, and Alférez Trigita, we have made two other assaults. One was on the twenty-fourth of March, the eve of our Lady of the Assumption. The second was on the twenty-eighth of the same month. In the first, we trusted to the mines that had been made, by means of which we expected to make a safe entrance. We would have made it had our fear of receiving harm from them matched the little fear of the enemy—who, as barbarians, did not prepare for flight, although they knew our designs. Of the five mines, four blew up; and as was seen, and as we afterward learned here from some captives, there was a great loss to the enemy. As soon as they saw the fire, they took to flight; but our men, being at a distance, could not come up to seize the posts that the enemy abandoned, until very late. That gave the Moros time to take precautions, so that when we had come up, it was impossible to gain a single thing which the mines had given us. On that occasion both sides fought very valiantly. The wounded on our side were not many, and our dead even fewer; among the latter was Captain Pimienta. We were forced to return to our posts without having gained more than the damage wrought by the mines. The loss of those people was considerable, while not few of them perished because of the severity of our fire. But with the [46]opportunity of the fifth mine which remained (which could not have its effect, because the fire-channel of the others choked it), the third attack was made inside of two days, by first setting fire to that mine, and by arranging the men better than on the day of the previous assault. They were set in array by the governor, who in person came up to these quarters on that occasion. They set fire to the mine, and more was accomplished than on the preceding days. Many of the enemy were killed; but, as the entrance was so deeply recessed, it could not be forced so freely by us, for the Moros were able to defend it from us, with so great valor that we could not take it. Our men fought with so great spirit and courage that it was necessary for the leaders to use force with them in order to get the men to retire, when they saw the so superior force of the enemy. On that occasion they killed seven of our men, besides wounding many. Among the latter was Sargento-mayor Melon, who was shot through the lung by a ball. He died on the second day, to the grief of all this army. Thereupon his Lordship made his men retire to their quarters, and commanded that the fort should not be attacked, but that they should proceed to gain it by the complete blockade of the enemy, as we are doing. By this method, I think that we shall make an entrance into the fort. Already we have one bulwark, which we have made level with their entrenchments; and we are raising our works one and one-half varas above them, so that we are dislodging them with our artillery. They are retiring to the interior of their fort. By this means we hope to gain entrance into all their forts; and, once masters of them, I trust by God’s [47]help that we shall conquer their stronghold, and that they will humble themselves to obey God and the king.

Before those assaults, on St. Matthew’s day, Captain Raphael Ome went out to make a garo, as they say here, and to overrun the country. In this island the level country is heavily wooded as nearly all of it is mountainous.4 He took in his company about fifty men [i.e., Spaniards] and two hundred Caraga Indians. The captain reached a field, and having lodged in a fortified house, such as nearly all those houses are (for those Indians of the mountain, who are called Guimennos,5 build them for their defense), he placed his sentries and seized the positions that he judged most dangerous. But since non est volentis neque currentis, etc., either because of the great multitude and the wiliness of the enemy, or (as is more certain) because the sentries were careless, and the other men asleep, the enemy came suddenly and attacked our soldiers—with so great fury [48]that they killed twenty-six men, among whom was Captain Lopez Suarez, a brave soldier. The leader and captain, Ome, was in great danger. He fought in person with so great valor that, although run through with a spear, he attacked and defeated his opponent, laying him dead at his feet. Few of our men aided him, and many of them retreated immediately, thus allowing the enemy to capture from us twenty firearms, with fuses, powder, and balls. That was a great loss, and it is certain that we have not hitherto had a greater. And if any loss has occurred, it has been due to the neglect and confidence of the Spaniard.

Today two Bassilan Indians came down from the hill to ask for mercy, and for passage to their own country. They say that they are sent by the datos in the stronghold who came from that island of Bassila or Taquima; and that, if permission and pardon were given to them by the pari [i.e., Corcuera], one hundred and thirty of them would come down in the morning. We regard this as a trick of that Moro; and, although it may be as they say, we are taking precautions, and are watching for whatever may happen. It they should come, they will be well received; and that will not be a bad beginning to induce others to come from the hill. I shall advise your Reverence of such event on the first occasion. What we know that they are suffering within [the fort] is the disease of smallpox and discharges of blood, together with great famine; because we have surrounded the entire hill with ditches and stockades, set with sharp stakes, which run around it for more than one and one-half leguas, and within musket-shot [of their fort] is a sentry-post [garita] or tower [49]in which three men and three Bantayas are staying. By that means the enemy cannot enter or go out without being seen; and, when they do that, they are given such a bombardment that scarcely does any one dare to go outside of their walls. The hill is a beautiful sight, and if it were enjoying holy peace instead of war, it would be no small matter of entertainment and recreation to survey the landscape at times. The Moro does not like to see us, and is looking at us continually from his stronghold and yelling and scoffing at us—as they say sometimes that the Spaniards are chickens; again, that they are sibabuyes;6 and again, that they will come to set fire to us all, and kill us. The Moro is a great rascal and buffoon. I trust in God that in a little while He will be ready for our thanksgivings [for the defeat of the Moros]. Will your Reverence urge His servants to aid us with their sacrifices and prayers. Those, I believe, it will be that must give us the victory, and that must humble the arrogance of this Mahometan. His Lordship is displaying great firmness and patience, as he is so great a soldier. Already has he almost raised a stone fort on the beach, for he intends to leave a presidio here, and I think that it will be almost finished before he leaves. Nothing else occurs to me. Of whatever else may happen, your Reverence will be advised on the first occasion. If I have gone to considerable length in this letter, it is because I have known, one day ahead, of the departure of this champan. I commend myself many times to the holy sacrifices of your Reverence. This [50]letter will also serve for our father provincial, etc. Jolo, April 5, one thousand six hundred and thirty-eight.

The Moro has returned today with a letter from the queen and all the stronghold, in which they beg pardon and humiliate themselves. May God grant it, and bring them to His knowledge. I shall advise you of the result. I hear that Dato Achen is dead. If that is so, then the end has come. Today, the sixth of the above month.

Pax Christi

Deo gracias qui dedit nobis victoriam per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.7 I have written your Reverence another letter, by way of Othon, telling you that it was our Lord’s pleasure to give us a joyous Easter-tide, the beginning of what has happened. His Divine Majesty has chosen to bestow upon us an overflowing blessing, by the reduction of these Moros so that they should come, abased and humiliated, to beg His governor for mercy; for, whether it was the latter’s plan to go to treat for peace at Basilan for their men, or whether they should send them all, that they might see how the governor viewed their petition, the following day they came with letters from the queen8 for Father Pedro Gutierrez and his Lordship. Therein she [51]begged the father to protect her, for she wished to come to throw herself at the feet of the hari of Manila, and to beg his pardon for the obstinacy that they had shown hitherto. The father answered for his Lordship, in regard to the pardon, that if they agreed to do what was right, they would be very gladly pardoned; but that in regard to their coming it was not time, until they would humbly give up the arms which they had taken from us, and the captives, vessels, and holy ornaments; and that, even though the queen had so great authority, so long as the king did not come, he must declare and show his willingness to accept what the queen had written. Accordingly, the king wrote to the same father and to his Lordship next day, begging the same thing and more earnestly. But he was not allowed to come—which he urgently entreated—until they should have given up the arms and other things of which they had robbed us. Difficulties arose over this point, as to which of the two things was to be done first. The Moro declared that he wished to treat first of the peace, and the points on which they were to agree; and therefore it was necessary to see the hari of Manila first of all. But Don Sebastian, as he was so experienced in these matters of war (in which God has inspired him with so wise resolutions, and given him even better results), held firm to his proposals. Two days passed, but at last the king agreed to the terms, by giving up the pieces of artillery which he had captured from us. There were four iron pieces; and, in place of one which had burst, one of bronze was requested, which many mines had buried. Afterward we found the broken piece, by opening the mouth of one of the mines; [52]and he gave it to us willingly—saying that he had thus brought the broken piece, and that he ought not for that reason to give another in its place; and that that which had been asked from him had been bought for forty basines of gold at Macazar. In order that the Spaniards might see what an earnest desire for a permanent peace was in his heart, and that he was greatly inclined to it, he sent also some muskets, although few and poor ones. In what pertained to the captives, he said that he would surrender those that he had, but that he could not persuade his datos to give up theirs; still he would ask them to give their captives. At most, he sent eleven Christian captives, counting men, women, and children. He had already spent the holy vessels, for, since it was so long a time since they had been brought, he had sold them to the king of Macazar; but he said that he and all his property were there, to satisfy the Spaniards for any injury that they had received. The king petitioned his Lordship to allow him to visit him; and his Lordship granted such permission for Quasimodo Sunday.

The dattos [sic] were very angry that the king was so liberal, and because he humbled himself so deeply; accordingly, they opposed his leaving the hill to talk with the governor. They tried to prevent it, but the king overruled everything by the reasons which he gave to the datos, and which Father Gregorio Belin gave to him. His Lordship gave hostages for the king, and ordered Captain Marquez and Captain Raphael Ome to remain as such. They asked for Admiral Don Pedro de Almonte and two fathers, but that was not granted to them. Finally they were satisfied with the two [53]said captains, persons of great esteem and worth; and the king came down to talk with his Lordship, accompanied by many chief men. His Lordship received him with such display as he could arrange at short notice, under a canopy of damask, and seated on a velvet chair, with a cushion of the same at his feet. Another cushion was placed at his side upon a rug. As the king entered the hall, his Lordship rose from his seat, and advancing two steps, embraced the Moro king; then he made him sit down on the cushion that had been prepared. Then his Lordship also seated himself beside the king in his chair, while at his right side was his confessor, and at his left stood a captain of the guard and the sargento-mayor. Grouped behind the confessor were the fathers who were in the quarters on that occasion. There were two Augustinian Recollects, and one Franciscan Recollect, and a secular priest. Then came Father Gutierrez, and Father Gregorio Belin. The king requested permission to rest a little first, for he came, one of his servants fanning him [haciendole paypay], lifting up from time to time the chinina which he wore—open in front, in order to catch the breeze, and to enable him to shelter himself from the heat, or to get rid of the fears with which he had come. His chief men seated themselves after him on that open floor, a seat very suitable for such nobility, who esteemed it as a great favor. Then when the king was rested, or reassured from his fears, they began their discourses or bicharas, talking, after the manner of these people, by the medium of interpreters—namely, Father Juan de Sant Joseph, an Augustinian Recollect, and Alférez Mathias de Marmolejo, both good interpreters. [54]The governor set forth his conditions. The agreement made was: first, that the banners of the king our sovereign were to be hoisted on the stronghold; second, that the men from Vasilan were to be permitted to leave the stronghold and go to their country; third, that the Macazars and Malays were also to leave and return to their own lands; and fourth, in order that the first condition might be fulfilled without the rattle of arms and the shedding of blood, all the enemy were to come down to our quarters, while the king and queen and their family could come to that of the governor. The Moro king did not like this last point; but as he saw that matters were ill disposed for his defense, he had to assent to everything. But, before its execution, he begged his Lordship to communicate the terms with his men and datos, saying that he would endeavor to get them all to agree to the fulfilment of what his Lordship ordered; and that in a day and a half he would reply and, in what pertained to the other conditions, they would be immediately executed. This happened, for the Basillans descended in two days with all their men and families—in all, one hundred and forty-seven. Some fifty or sixty did not then descend, as they were unable to do so. The Macazars refused to descend until they received pardon from his Lordship, and a passport to their own country. Therefore their captain came to talk with his Lordship, who discussed with him what was to be done with him and his men. The latter are very humble and compliant to whatever his Lordship should order. His Lordship answered that he would pardon their insolent and evil actions, and they could descend with security of life; and that he [55]would give them boats, so that they could go away. Thereupon the captain, giving a kris9 as security that they would come, returned, and immediately began to bring down his property and men. The Malays came with them, for all those peoples had united against the Castilians. They are the ones who have done us most harm with their firearms, and have furnished quantities of ammunition for all the firearms of the Joloans. At the end of the time assigned to the king for answering his Lordship in regard to the matters which he had discussed with him, he was summoned, in order that what had been recently concluded might not be hindered, as his Lordship had many matters to which to attend. If he would not come, his Lordship was resolved immediately to continue his bombardment and fortifications, saying that he would make slaves of all whom he captured. With this resolution, the queen determined to come to visit his Lordship; and, so saying and doing, she summoned her chair, and had herself carried down to the quarters of Don Pedro de Almonte—which is the one located on their hill, and which has given them so much to do. She sent a message to the governor, begging him to grant her permission, as she wished to see him. His Lordship sent a message to her, to the effect that he would be very glad to see her, and that she would be coming at a seasonable time. She came to the hall borne on [56]the shoulders of her men, accompanied by some of her ladies and by her casis, who was coming with pale face. She alighted at the door of his Lordship’s hall. He went out to receive her, and with marked indications of friendship and kindness led her to her seat, which was a cushion of purple velvet; and his Lordship, seated in his own chair, welcomed her through his interpreter, Alférez Mathias de Marmolexo. She responded very courteously to the courtesies of the governor; for the Moro woman is very intelligent, and of great capacity. She did not speak directly to the interpreters, but through two of her men, one of whom was the casis; and often he, without the queen speaking, answered to what was proposed. The queen petitioned and entreated the governor to desist from entering the stronghold, for the women, being timid creatures, feared the soldiers greatly. And if his Lordship was doing it to oblige her and the king her husband to descend, she said that they would descend immediately, with all their people. Thus did she entreat from him whom his Lordship represented; and I desired that she should obtain this favor. His Lordship answered her that he would do so very willingly; but that he had an express mandate for it [i.e., to gain the fort] from his king, and that, if he did not obey it, he would lose his head. “I do not wish,” said Toambaloca (for such is the name of the queen), “that the favor which I petition be at so great a price and danger to your Lordship. Consequently, will you kindly grant me three days? and in that time I, the king, and our people will descend without fail.” His Lordship thanked her anew, and added that with this she obliged him to fulfil strictly what he had promised [57]her. “Indeed,” said the queen, “I have no doubt of it; for, being in the gaze of so many nations that your Lordship has to conquer, it is clear that you must fulfil what you have promised me; for your Lordship’s actions toward me would be understood by all to be those that you would have to perform toward all.” This terminated the discussion. His Lordship ordered a collation to be spread for the queen and her ladies; and then his Lordship retired, so that they might refresh themselves without any embarrassment. Then, having dined, the queen returned to her stronghold with the retinue that she had brought. Before she left the quarters she was saluted by the discharge of two large pieces of artillery, which had been made ready for that purpose. She was greatly pleased by that, and the next day began to carry out her promises, by sending down a portion of her possessions. The Macasars and Malays also brought down their property with hers, and immediately embarked. I had written up to this point to this day, Saturday, the seventeenth of this month of April, hoping for the end of all these incipient results and expected events regarding this stronghold; the issue has been such as we could expect from Him who has also been pleased to arrange and bring it to pass. Last night the queen came down to sleep in our camp or quarters, with some of her ladies. In the morning she went to report her good treatment to her people; for she was received with a salute of musketry and large artillery, and a fine repast. All that has been done to oblige her to encourage her people, for they were very fearful, to descend immediately. More than two thousand have now descended, and our banners [58]are flying on the hill, and our men are fortified on it. May God be praised, to whom be a thousand thanks given; for He, without our knowledge or our expectations, has disposed this matter thus—blinding this Moro and disheartening him, so that, having been defeated, he should surrender to our governor, and give himself up without more bloodshed. We are trying to secure Dato Ache; if we succeed in this, I shall advise you. Now there is nothing more to say, reverend Father, except to give God the thanks, for He is the one who has prepared and given this victory to us; and to beg all in your Reverence’s holy college to give thanks that the college has had (as I am very certain) so great a share in the achievements [here]. The governor is very much pleased, and we all regard him in the proper light. The men are full of courage, and even what was carefully done is now improved. I am your Reverence’s humble servant, whom I pray that God may preserve as I desire, and to whose sacrifices I earnestly commend myself. Jolo, April 17, 1638. Juan de Barrios

All the Joloans descended, in number about four thousand six hundred, to the sea. Finding themselves down and outside the enclosure, they all fled, under cover of a very heavy shower of rain—leaving all their possessions, in order not to be hindered in their flight. Many mothers even abandoned their little children. One abandoned to us a little girl who had received a dagger-stroke, who received the waters of baptism and immediately died. There is much to say about this, and many thanks to give to God, of which we shall speak when it pleases God [59]to let us see each other. Today, the nineteenth of this month of April, 1638. Barrios

The governor sent messages to the king and queen by two casis, asking why they had fled. They replied that since all their people had fled, they had gone after them for very shame, but that they would try to bring them back and to come, and this was the end of the matter. The result was exceedingly profitable for our soldiers and Indians; for the Joloans, fearful because they thought that, if they became scattered, they would all be killed, abandoned whatever they were carrying—quantities of goods, and chests of drawers—which our soldiers sacked. Above, in the stronghold, they found much plunder. It is believed that the king and queen will return, but not Dato Açhe; but this is not considered certain.

Letter from Sanboangan

Pax Christi

I am not writing to anyone [else], for the lack of time does not allow me to do so. Therefore will your Reverence please communicate this to the father provincial, Father Hernandez Perez; Father Juan de Bueras, and the father rector of Cavite.

When our men were most disheartened at seeing that the fortress on the hill was so extensive, and that it was becoming stronger daily; that the mines and artillery had seemingly made no impression on it; that we had been repulsed four times; and that our men were falling sick very rapidly: in order that it might be very evident that it was [all] the work [60]of God, ambassadors came from the hill to beg his Lordship for mercy. He received them gladly, and asked them for the artillery that they had plundered from the Christians, etc. They brought down four pieces, which they had taken from the shipyard, and brought to us some Christians. Next day, more than one hundred and fifty people from Basilan descended, who surrendered their arms, and then about fifty Macazars, who did the same; and all were embarked in the patache.

Next day the king and queen went down and slept in the camp of Don Sebastian. On the following day (which was the day agreed upon when all were to descend from the hill), seeing that it was already late, the king and queen said that they would go to get their people. The governor granted them permission, and went to a camp that was located opposite the gate of the stronghold. All the Joloans descended, carrying their goods, arms, etc., to the number of about four hundred soldiers, and more than one thousand five hundred women, children, old men, etc. They reached the governor’s camp and Don Pedro de Francia told the king that they must surrender their arms. The latter replied that he would surrender them to none other than to the governor. Thereupon, they went to summon his Lordship; but the Joloans, seeing that they were going to summon him, fled, under a heavy shower that was falling, and abandoned all their goods. A vast amount of riches, many pieces of artillery, and versos, falcons, muskets, arquebuses, etc., were found. The cause of the Moros fleeing was their great fear that they were to be killed. On our part, since Don Sebastian Hurtado held all their stronghold, and had left only thirty men in his quarters (in order that [61]Dato Ache might not escape), and as that number could not resist so many people, the Joloans were, on the contrary, allowed to go without any firearms being discharged.

More than two hundred and fifty of the Joloans have died, and they were perishing in great numbers from dysentery because the women and children were placed under ground for fear of the balls. That and the fear of the mines caused their surrender; for it was impossible to take their fort by assault. The interior strength of that stronghold is so great that the Spaniards were surprised; and all recognize that it has been totally the work of God, and [a result of] the perseverance of Don Sebastian, who ever said that all must die or capture the stronghold. Somewhat more than two hundred Christians and more than one hundred Moro women have come from the stronghold during this time. All the Moro women are fearful. Up to date eighty-three Spaniards have died from wounds, and many of them from disease.

The killed

  1. Sargento-mayor Melon
  2. Captain Don Pedro de Mena
  3. Captain Juan Nicolas
  4. Captain Pimienta
  5. Captain Lope Suarez

Died of dysentery

  1. Captain Don Aregita Martin de Avila
  2. Adjutant Oliba
  3. Adjutant Calderon
  4. Alférez Concha
  5. Alférez Alonso Gonçalez


I shall not name others, as they are not so well known, and it will be known later. Up to date about two hundred Bisayan Indians have died, most of them from diseases. Don Pedro Cotoan died while en route from Jolo to Sanboangan, in order to take back the Bisayans, who are a most cowardly race. Those who have done deeds of valor are the Caragas, and the Joloans tremble at sight of them. Don Pedro Almonte remains as governor and lieutenant for the captain-general at Sanboangan, with one hundred and fifty Spaniards, as has been reported. Captain Jines Ros is to stay as castellan in Jolo with one hundred and eighty men—Captain Sarria being fortified in the stronghold with eighty men, and Jines Ros on the beach in a stone tower that is already eight stones high, with one hundred men. Captain Marquez is going to Buaren with fifty Spaniards, although no succor had been sent to Don Sebastian from Manila. All that has been supplied to excess is truly wonderful, for the winds have brought (and it is incredible) many champans, with more than twenty thousand baskets of rice, innumerable fowls, and pork, veal, beef, and cheeses from Zebu, which have made a very excellent provision.

They ask for Father Martinez [and] Alexandro10 [63]at Jolo [and] Father Carrion at Buiaon, but without an associate. I say that, following even to the end of the world, I do not know to what to compare these Moros of Samboangan. They have paid all their tributes. This is a brief relation. I pray your Reverence to pardon me and commend me to God, for indeed what I desire is necessary. Sanboangan, April 23, 1638.11 [65]

1 In the manuscript that we follow the letter of March 31 is given second, while that of April 5 is given first; we have arranged them chronologically.

2 Garo: probably the same as garita; a fortified outpost?

3 The translation of this passage seems to be, “If God fights against a city, he who guards it watches in vain.” The difficulty lies in ”a custodierit,” which we translate as “fights against.”

4 Sulu, the chief island of the group of that name, has an area of 333 square miles. It contains numerous mountains, some of them nearly 3,000 feet high; and their slopes are covered with magnificent forests. Of the ancient town of Sulu (the residence of the “sultan”), on the southern shore, hardly a trace remains; the present town of that name was built by the Spaniards in 1878, and is modern in style. See U. S. Gazetteer of Philippines, pp. 842–850.

5 “Four groups having different customs may be distinguished among the inhabitants of the archipelago: the Guīmbajanos, or inhabitants of the mountains, who are the indigenes; the Malay and Visayan slaves, whose descendants have intermarried; the Samales, an inferior race, though not slaves; the true Moros, who trace their origin from the Mohammedan invaders, and who dominate the other inhabitants.” “Physically the Sulu natives are superior to the ordinary Malay type, and, according to Streeter, are a strange mixture of villainy and nobility.” (U. S. Gazetteer, pp. 845, 846.)

6 Babui, in their language, signifies “pig;” apparently they called the Spaniards “swine,” as expressing the acme of contempt for their besiegers.

7 “Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

8 Combés says (Hist. Mindanao, Retana’s ed., col. 264) that this queen, named Tuambaloca, was a native of Basilan, and that she had acquired such ascendency over her husband that the government of Joló was entirely in her hands. This statement explains the presence of the Basilan men in the Joloan stronghold.

9 Kris, a dagger or poniard, the universal weapon of all the civilized inhabitants of the archipelago, and of a hundred different forms. Men of all ranks wear this weapon; and those of rank, when full dressed, wear two and even four. (Crawfurd’s Dict. Ind. Islands, p.202.)

At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held last year (1904) at St. Louis, the Philippine exhibits contained Malay weapons, in great number and variety—krises, campilans, lances, etc.

10 Francisco Martinez was born near Zaragoza, February 25, 1605, and at the age of seventeen entered the Jesuit order. Joining the Philippine mission, he labored mainly among the Moros, and died at Zamboanga on September 17, 1650.

Alejandro Lopez, a native of Aragon, was born in July, 1604, and at the age of nineteen went to Mexico, where he spent several years in commercial pursuits. On August 28, 1631, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Manila; and, accompanying Corcuera in his campaigns, was long a missionary among the Moros, and at various times an envoy to their chiefs in behalf of the Spanish governors. It was on one of these embassies that Lopez met his death, being killed by the Moros, December 15, 1655. See Combes’s Hist. [56n]Mindanao, which relates in full Lopez’s missionary career; and sketch of his life in Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 94 verso, 235, 238–247. Cf. Montero y Vidal’s Hist. Filipinas, i, pp. 296–298.

11 This letter is unsigned; but the transcript of it made by Ventura del Arco places it with others ascribed to Barrios.

See detailed accounts of the expedition against Jolo (Sulu) in Combés’s Hist. Mindanao y Jolo (Retana and Pastells ed.), cols. 349–368; Diaz’s Conquistas, pp. 388–401; Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 92, 93; and La Concepción’s Hist. Philipinas, v, pp. 334–351.

Appendix: Religious Conditions in the Philippines during the Spanish Regime

  1. Laws regarding religious in the Philippines. Felipe II, Felipe III, Felipe IV; 1585–1640.
  2. Jesuit missions in 1656. Francisco Colin, S.J.; 1663.
  3. The religious estate in the Philippines. Juan Francisco de San Antonio, O.S.F.; 1738.
  4. Religious condition of the islands. Juan J. Delgado, S.J.; 1751–54
  5. Ecclesiastical survey of the Philippines. Guillaume le Gentil; 1781.
  6. Character and influence of the friars. Sinibaldo de Mas; 1843.
  7. The ecclesiastical system in the Philippines. Manuel Buzeta and Felipe Bravo, O.S.A.; 1850.
  8. Character and influence of the friars. Feodor Jagor; 1873.
  9. The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines. [Unsigned;] 1879.
  10. Present condition of the Catholic religion in Filipinas. José Algué, S.J., and others; 1900.

Sources: The material of this appendix is obtained from the following works: Recopilación de las leyes de Indias (Madrid, 1841), lib. i, tit. xiv; also tit. xii, ley xxi; tit. xv, ley xxxiii; and tit. xx, ley xxiv, from a copy in the possession of the Editors. Colin’s Labor evangélica (Madrid, 1663), pp. 811–820; from a copy in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. San Antonio’s Chronicas (Manila, 1738), i, book i, pp. 172–175, 190–210, 214–216, 219, 220, 223–226; from a copy in possession of Edward E. Ayer. Delgado’s Historia general (Manila, 1892), pp. 140–158, 184–188; from a copy in possession of the Editors. Le Gentil’s Voyages duns les mers de l’Inde (Paris, 1781), pp. 170–191; 59–63; from a copy in the library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Mas’s Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842 (Madrid, 1843), vol. ii; from a copy in possession of James A. Robertson. Buzeta and Bravo’s Diccionario de las Islas Filipinas (Madrid, 1850), ii, pp. 271–275, 363–367; from a copy in possession of James A. Robertson. Jagor’s Reisen in den Philippinen (Berlin, 1873), pp. 94–100; from a copy in the Mercantile Library, St. Louis. Provincia de San Nicolas de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos (Manila, 1879); from a copy in possession of Edward E. Ayer. Archipiélago filipino (Washington, 1900), ii, pp. 256–267; from a copy in the library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Translations: These are made (partly in full, and partly in synopsis) by James A. Robertson. [67]


Laws Regarding Religious in the Philippines

[The following laws governing religious in the Philippines are taken from Recopilación leyes de Indias, lib. i, tit. xiv.]


Inasmuch as some of the religious who minister in the Filipinas Islands are accustomed to go to China without the proper orders, leaving the missions which are in their charge, whence follow many troubles and losses to what has been commenced and established in the instruction and education of the Indians because of the lack that they occasion, we charge the superiors of the regulars in the Filipinas Islands not to allow any of the religious of their orders to go to China, or to abandon the missions in their charge, without the special permission and order of the governor and archbishop, which shall expressly state that such religious is not going in violation of this law; and great care and vigilance shall be exercised in this. Further, we order that the religious who shall go to the said islands at our cost, and who are assigned to live there permanently, shall not go nor shall they be permitted to go to the mainland of China, or to other places, without permission [68]from the governors and archbishops, since we send them to fulfil our obligation to impart instruction to our vassals. No lay Spaniard shall give them a fragata or ship’s supplies without our special order, or the permission of the governors and archbishops, notwithstanding any privileges that they may urge.1 [Felipe II—Barcelona, June 8, 1585; Toledo, May 25, 1596; Felipe IV—in the Recopilación.]


We order our viceroys of Nueva España to give license for the preaching of the holy gospel, the conversion and instruction of the natives, and for everything else that is usual, to the discalced Carmelite religious whom their order shall send from Méjico for that purpose to the Filipinas Islands, Nuevo-Méjico, and other parts; and in order that those religious may be encouraged and incited to serve our Lord in that apostolic labor, the viceroys shall protect and aid them as far as possible. [Felipe II—Madrid, June 9, 1585.]


We charge the provincials, priors, guardians, and other superiors of these our kingdoms and of those of Nueva España not to prevent or obstruct the voyage of the religious who, after receiving our permission, undertake to go, together with their commissaries, to engage in the conversion and instruction of the natives of the Filipinas Islands. Rather shall they give those religious the protection and aid that is fitting. [Felipe II—Monzon, September 5, 1585.] [69]


In consideration of the expenses incurred by our royal estate in the passage of religious to the Filipinas Islands, of the need [for religious] caused by those who return, and of the place that they occupy on the ships, and the fact that some persuade others not to go to those parts, we order our governors of the said islands to meet with the archbishop whenever any religious shall be about to leave those islands for these kingdoms or for other parts; and, after conferring with him, they shall not grant those religious permission to leave the islands except after careful deliberation and for very sufficient reasons. [Felipe II—San Lorenzo, August 9, 1589; Felipe III—Madrid, June 4, 1620.]


We order our viceroys and governors of Nueva España, and charge the superiors of the orders—each one so far as he is concerned—to see to it with all diligence and special care that the religious sent to the Filipinas Islands pass thither without being detained. They shall not be allowed in other provinces, nor shall any excuse be accepted. [Felipe II—Aranjuez, April 27, 1594; Felipe III—San Lorenzo, September 17, 1611.]

[The following law taken from título xv of this same libro is here inserted.]


Inasmuch as we have been informed that the religious sent on our account to the Filipinas Islands for new spiritual conquests will accomplish greater results if each order is set apart by itself, we order [70]the governor and captain-general, and charge the archbishop, that when this circumstance occurs, and for the present, together they divide, for the instruction and conversion of the natives, the provinces in their charge among the religious of the orders, in such manner that there shall be no Franciscans where there are Augustinians, nor religious of the Society where there are Dominicans. Thus each order shall be assigned its respective province, and that of the Society shall charge itself with the [care of] missions; for it is under this obligation that they are to remain in those provinces, as do the other orders, and in no other manner. [Felipe II—Aranjuez, April 27, 1594.]


The Audiencia of Manila shall give what is needful in ships, ship-stores, vestments, and the other customary supplies, to the religious who shall have license and permission to enter China or Japon, according to the ordinances. Our officials of those islands shall execute and pay for what the presidents and auditors shall order and authorize for that purpose. [Felipe II—El Pardo, November 30, 1595.]


It is fitting for the service of God our Lord and our own that, when any religious are to go to preach and teach the holy Catholic faith to the heathen who live in the kingdoms of China, Japon, and other places, they shall not enter the country of those barbarians in such a way that the result that we desire should not be obtained. Therefore we declare and [71]order that no one of the religious who live in the Filipinas Islands be allowed to go to the kingdoms of China and Japon, even though with the purpose of preaching and teaching the holy Catholic faith, unless he should have permission for it from the governor of Filipinas. Whenever there is a question of sending religious to China or Japon, or permission is asked for it, our president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of Manila shall meet in special session with the archbishop and the provincials of all the orders of the Filipinas, and they shall consult over and discuss the advisable measures for the direction of that holy and pious intent. They shall not allow any religious to go to the kingdoms of infidels without a previous permission of the archbishop and governor, with the assent of all who shall be at the meeting. In order that this may be done, our president and Audiencia shall give and cause to be executed all the orders that may be necessary. Such is our will. [Felipe II—Madrid, February 5, 1596; Felipe IV—Madrid, December 31, 1621; February 16, 1635; November 6, 1636; September 2, 1638; July 12, 1640; in this Recopilación.]


Our viceroys of Nueva España shall protect the religious who go to the Filipinas Islands by our order and at our account; and the officials of our royal estate and all our other employees shall give them speedy despatch and shall treat them well. They shall collect no duty for their persons, their books, and the warrants which are given them on which to collect the cost of the voyage. [Felipe III—Madrid, September 18, 1609.] [72]


His Holiness, Paul V, promulgated a brief at our request, dated Roma, June eleven, one thousand six hundred and eight, in order that the religious of the orders of St. Dominic, St. Francis, and St. Augustine may go to Japon to preach the holy gospel, not only by way of the kingdom of Portugal, but by way of any other country; and it is advisable for the service of God our Lord that that brief be duly fulfilled. We order our viceroy of Nueva España and the governor of the Filipinas Islands, and charge the prelates of the islands, to cause it to be obeyed and fulfilled, with the conditions and licenses ordained by the laws of this título. [Felipe III—Madrid, February 8, 1610; Felipe IV—in the Recopilación.]


We order our governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands that if there are any religious there who live in great scandal, and not according to their rules, habit, and profession, and others who have been expelled from their orders, whom the provincials cannot drive from that province because of the difficulty of embarking them for Mégico, that he hasten to remedy this, as is necessary and as is most fitting to the service of God, our Lord, so that such religious may not remain in those parts.2 [Felipe III—San Lorenzo, September 17, 1616.] [73]


Inasmuch as briefs have been despatched by his Holiness, ordering the religious of the Order of St. Augustine in some of the provinces of Nueva España to elect in one chapter some of the Spanish religious who reside there, and in the next chapter religious born in the Indias, we ask and charge the superiors and chapters of the said order to observe the said briefs and cause them to be observed, in the form ordered by his Holiness—both in the provinces of Nueva España and in the Filipinas—since they have passed before our royal Council, and testimony has been given of their presentation. The same is to be understood in regard to the other orders and provinces of the Indias, which shall possess briefs for the alternativa, and under the same conditions. [Felipe IV—Madrid, September 28, 1629; August 1, 1633; and in the Recopilación.]


Although it was determined that no religious except those of the Society of Jesus should go to Japon to preach the holy gospel for the space of fifteen years, and that the others who should try to go to those parts through the rules of their order or their particular devotion should be assigned the district to which they were to go, not permitting them to pursue their voyage by way of Filipinas or any other part of the Western Indias, but by way of Eastern India—notwithstanding that the precept for the propagation and preaching of the gospel is common to all the faithful, and especially charged upon the religious—we consider it fitting that the missions [74]and entrances of Japon be not limited to only the religious of the Society of Jesus; but that the religious go and enter from all the orders as best they can, and especially from the orders that possess convents and have been permitted to go to and settle in our Western Indias. There shall be no innovation in regard to the orders that are prohibited by laws and ordinances of the Indias. Those laws are made not only for Eastern India but also for the Western Indias, in whose demarcation fall Japon and the Filipinas. It is easier and better for the religious of our crown of Castilla to make their entrances by way of the Western Indias. We straitly charge those who thus enter, from either direction, to maintain the greatest harmony and concord with one another, and to regulate the catechism and method of teaching—so that, since the faith and religion that they preach is one and the same thing, their teaching, zeal, and purpose may be so likewise. They shall aid one another in so holy and praiseworthy an object, as if all lived under and professed the same rule and observance. If the nature of the country and the progress in the conversion of its natives permit, the orders shall be divided into provinces, making the assignment of those provinces as shall appear best, so that, if possible, the religious of the various orders shall not mingle. If any of those religious who shall have been chosen are removed, others shall be assigned in their place, so that, as workers of the holy gospel, they shall labor in this work which is so to the service of God our Lord, each order separately. They shall not engage in quarrels or disputes, shall furnish a thoroughly good example, and shall avoid strictly all manner of trade, business, and [75]commerce, and all else that shows or discloses a taint or appearance of greed for temporal goods. And since it will be necessary, in the further establishment and increase of the conversion in those provinces, to have therein three or four bishops, or more, from all the orders—in order that they may confirm, preach, ordain priests, meet whenever advisable, and discuss and enact what they think will be necessary to facilitate, augment, and secure for the conversion—they shall be suffragan, in so far as it concerns them, to the archbishopric of Manila, because of the nearness and authority of that church. That division of districts and dioceses shall be made by our Council of the Indias. [Felipe IV—Madrid, February 22, 1632.]

[A later part of this law is as follows:]

Further, we order our viceroys, presidents, governors, and corregidors to publish and execute the brief of our holy father, Clement Ninth, dated June seventeen, one thousand six hundred and sixty-nine, ordering that the religious of all the orders and the Society of Jesus, and the secular clerics, shall not be authorized to carry on, personally or through third parties, trade or commerce throughout the territories of the Indias, or the islands or mainland of the Ocean Sea. In that number are included those who go to Japon, as is mentioned in the said brief to which we refer. [Carlos II and the queen mother—Madrid, June 22, 1670.]

[The following laws bearing on ecclesiastical persons in the Philippines are taken from other parts of the Recopilación:]

Inasmuch as the seculars who go to the Filipinas [76]Islands from Eastern India to engage in their labors are generally expelled and exiled, and remain there, where many are employed in vicariates, curacies, and benefices, to the prejudice of the natives and the patrimonial rights of the islands, we order our governor and captain-general not to allow any of the said seculars from those districts to enter the islands, or admit them to the exercise of duties or allow them to give instruction. [Lib. i, tit. xii, ley xxi; Felipe IV—Madrid, March 27, 1631.]

The treasurer of the Holy Crusade of Nueva España has a substitute in the city of Manila, in the Filipinas Islands, who performs the duties of treasurer. That substitute invests the money that proceeds from the bulls and many other sums, under pretext that they belong to the bulls, by which method he deprives the inhabitants of the city of the use and lading-space of four toneladas which he occupies in each cargo. That is contrary to the rulings of various laws, by which favor is granted the said city of the lading-space in the ships that are permitted, and not to any person of Nueva España or Perú. We charge and order the viceroys of the said Nueva España to cause investigation of the sum resulting from the bulls distributed in the Filipinas, and that, whatever it be, it remain in our royal treasury of the islands, and that so much less be sent to the islands from our royal treasury of Mexico. The amount that is found to have entered into the treasury of the islands is to be given to the treasurer of the Holy Crusade who resides in the City of Méjico. The money that shall be sent to these kingdoms from the proceeds of the bulls shall be registered on account of it. The treasurer and his substitute [77]shall not export or import merchandise to those islands, nor from them to Nueva España, the viceroys imposing the penalties that they shall deem fit. We order the officials of our royal treasury of both places to observe, in the execution of this law, the ordinances which the viceroy [of Nueva España] and the governor of the islands (each in his own district) shall ordain. We order the governor to cause this law to be so obeyed that the sum resulting from the bulls be given into the possession of the royal officials of those islands; and that they advise those of Méjico, so that the latter may send just so much less a sum of money to the islands than what they are obliged to send there annually. [Lib. i, tit. xx, ley xxiv; Felipe IV—San Martin, December 21, 1634.] [78]

1 See also the instructions given by Felipe II to Francisco de Tello, at Toledo, May 25, 1596, in our Vol. IX, pp. 250, 251.

2 A note to this law in the Recopilacíon reads as follows: “This law was extended to all America for the same reason, by a royal decree dated Madrid, March 28, 1769; and the prelates are not allowed to expel members of the orders except for just cause, while those thus expelled are to be sent to Spain.”


Jesuit Missions in 1656

[From Colin’s Labor evangélica (Madrid, 1663), pp. 811–820.]

List of the number of religious, colleges, houses, and residences of the province of the Society of Jesus; and of the churches, districts, and missions of Indians administered in these Filipinas Islands, this present year, M.DC.LVI.

The following list of the religious, houses, colleges, and residences contained in this province at present, and of the districts, and ministers for Indians and other nations who are under its direction, was made in obedience to an order from his Majesty (may God preserve him). It gives the amount of the incomes and properties that they possess, and the number of Indians instructed. I have deemed it fitting to add it here, so that the readers of this history may thus he informed of the present condition of this province.


The religious of the Society who have come to these islands from España and Nueva España at the expense of his Majesty since the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-one, the time of the arrival of the first, are in all two hundred and seventy-two.

One hundred and fifty-one of these were priests, [81]one hundred and ninety-eight, student brothers, and twenty-three, coadjutors.1

During the seventy-five years since the Society entered these islands, one hundred and forty-three have been received and have persevered in this province. Only three were priests; twenty-three were student brothers, and the rest coadjutors.

The number at present in the province is one hundred and eight: seventy-four priests, eleven student brothers, and twenty-three coadjutors.

Colleges and houses

The aforesaid one hundred and eight religious are distributed among five colleges, one novitiate house, one seminary-college for secular collegiates, and nine residences, or rectoral houses, with their missions—a total of sixteen.

Churches and villages

The churches and villages in charge of the rectors of the said colleges and rectoral houses, and their missions, are seventy-three in number, besides others which are being temporarily conducted in other parts, where there is no established village, although the minister and instructor in doctrine visits them.

The plan and distribution of these religious, colleges, houses, missions, villages, and churches, is as follows.

The island of Manila and the Tagál province College of San Ignacio of the city of Manila

It has generally about thirty religious—priests, students, coadjutors, and novitiates. It is the seminary [82]of all the branches of learning, where the subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught, the humanities, arts, and theology; and has authority to confer degrees in arts and theology. It is the common infirmary and hospitium for the entire province, especially for those who come new from the kingdoms of España, and even from Eastern India, Terrenate, China, and Japon—whence more than forty exiled religious came one year, whom this college received as guests and maintained for a long time. The congregations or chapters of the province are held in it. It has those who take care of the sick and dying; preachers; and confessors to the Spaniards, Indians, negroes, and other nations—who come to those ministers throughout the year, especially during Lent, when some days eight or ten religious go out to preach in various parts. This college recognizes as its founder and patron Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa, former governor of Mindanao, who endowed it with one thousand pesos income in certain house-properties and fruit-grounds, most of which have been lost with the lapse of time and the precarious character of incomes in these regions. It is at present maintained by alms, and by other new lands and properties which it has been recently acquiring, from which, although great diligence and care is exercised, the full amount necessary for its maintenance is not derived—a matter of five or six thousand pesos—and consequently debt is incurred every year.

The old church and house fell, and it has been necessary to build another and new one, stronger and more comfortable. For that purpose his Majesty (may God preserve him) gave us an alms, in the year [83]one thousand six hundred and twenty-five, of ten thousand ducados in vacant allotments of Indians. That was carried into effect by Governor Don Juan Niño de Tabora. Later, he ordered that six thousand more be given to us, which is still to be carried into effect. Until the time of Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, this college also enjoyed four hundred pesos and four hundred fanegas of cleaned rice, which his Majesty ordered to be given for the support of four priests, who were to work among the Indians, which was a great help. Although his Majesty in his piety and magnanimity orders it to be continued, the needs of the royal treasury do not allow this to be done in its entirety.

College and seminary of San Joseph

This is for secular collegiates, theologians, artists, seminarists, rhetoricians, and grammarians. Formerly, their number was thirty-five or forty; but now it has diminished to twenty or thereabout, because of the poverty of this country. It has a rector, two professors of the Society, and two brother-coadjutors, who attend to its temporal affairs. Its patron is the same Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa. Its income does not reach one thousand pesos, and that sum is used for the support of the religious, and for repairs in the building and to the properties. The fellowships that the college obtains are maintained with the sum remaining. The rest of the students pay one hundred pesos per year for their tuition. Inasmuch as the country is poor, and most of the inhabitants are supported by the king’s pay, the fellowships are very few in number. For that reason, Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de [84]Corcuera tried to endow some fellowships in the name of his Majesty, for the sons of his officials and for those of worthy citizens. That was not continued, as it was done without order of the royal Council.2

Mission village [doctrina] of Santa Cruz

This is a village of Christian Chinese, opposite the Parian or alcaicería of the heathen of that nation on the other side of the river of this city, and of some free negroes and Indians who work on the farm-lands of the college of Manila, to which the above-mentioned mission village is subordinate. There are one or two priests who are interpreters in it. The number of Chinese gathered in this mission village is five hundred tributarios, or a trifle less, and about one hundred Indians and negroes.

Mission village [doctrina] of San Miguel

This is a village of Tagál Indians, and numbers about one hundred and forty tributarios. It has one [85]priest who gives instruction. It is located outside the walls of the city of Manila, and is subordinate to the rector of that college. A number of Japanese, comprising influential men and women who were exiled from their country for the faith, have gathered in this village since the year fifteen. Among them, the illustrious gentlemen Don Justo Ucondono and Don Juan Tocuan, with some influential women, have died with the lapse of time. The Society has always maintained all those Japanese with its alms, and with the alms given by various persons who aided them generously when this city was in its prosperous condition; but now they are living in penury. This house has been the seminary of martyrs since some of the European and Japanese fathers have gone thence to Japon, who obtained there the glorious crown of martyrdom.

College of the port of Cabite

It generally has four religious, three of whom are priests, who labor among the seamen and soldiers and the inhabitants of that village—Spaniards, Indians, negroes, Chinese, Japanese, and people of other nationalities—and one brother, who attends to temporal matters, and conducts the school for reading and writing. The mission of two small villages of Tagál Indians near there—namely, Cabite el Viejo [i.e., Old Cabite] and Binacaya, which have about one hundred and thirty tributarios—is subordinate to this college. The priests who are generally asked by the governors for the fleets of galleons that oppose the Dutch, and those for the relief of Terrenate, are sent from this college and the one at Manila. Its founder and patron is Licentiate Lucas de Castro, who endowed it with an income of five hundred pesos, the [86]greater part of which was lost on the occasion of the rising of the Chinese in the year 39.

House of San Pedro

This house is located about two leguas upstream from Manila. It was established on a site suitable for the education of the novices of the province—although they generally live in Manila, as they are few in number, and this house contributes to their support. Its founder and patron is Captain Pedro de Brito,3 who gave a stock-farm and tillable lands for its endowment. Two religious live there. It has sixty tributarios of Tagál Indians, who work on the estate, to whom the religious teach the Christian doctrine and administer the sacraments. Besides that, they exercise the ministries of the Society among those who go to the said church from the lands and places near by—a not considerable number.

Residence of Antipolo

This residence has six villages, with their churches; but it has only two religious and one brother at present, because of the great lack of ministers. There are about five hundred tributarios, all Tagál Indians, now Christians, with the exception of a few heathen who wander in the interior among the mountains. During the first years while the Society had charge of this residence, about seven thousand were baptized. The names of the villages [87]are Antipolo, Taytay, Baras, Cainta, and Santa Catalina.

Residence of Silan

This residence formerly comprised five villages, which are now reduced to three. They have their churches and three ministers. There are about one thousand tributarios, all Tagál Indians and Christians. The villages are Silan, Indan, and Marigondon.

Island of Marinduque

There are two religious in this island, and about four hundred and fifty tributarios. There are still some Indians in the mountains to be subdued. In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-five, a priest died most gloriously in that mission at the hands of the heathen.4 The island is about three leguas distant from the shores of the island of Manila, opposite Tayauas. It is about three leguas in diameter, and about eight or nine in circumference. The products in which the tribute is paid are rice, pitch, palm-oil, and abacá—which is a kind of hemp, from which the best rope and some textiles are made. There is a good port in the island where a galleon was built in the time of Governor Don Juan de Silva.5 [88]

The island of Zebu and its jurisdiction College of Zebu

Formerly it generally had six religious, who labored among the Spaniards, Indians, and people of other nationalities. At present it has but four, one of whom is in charge of the boys’ school. On the occasion of the insurrection of the Chinese in Manila in the year thirty-nine, this college had lectures in theology. It was founded by an inhabitant of that city, one Pedro de Aguilar. That college has in charge the mission of the village of Mandaui, which is the family of an influential Indian, in which there are about forty tributarios. It has its own church, where the sacraments are administered to the people at times; they usually come to the church at our college, as it is near. Missionaries have gone from this college several times to certain districts of the lay clergy of that bishopric, and chaplains for the oared fleets which are used against pirates among the islands.

Residence of Bool

This island belongs to the jurisdiction of the city of Zebu, and its mission is in charge of the Society. It had many villages formerly, but now it is reduced to six, the three larger being Loboc, Baclayon, and Malabooch, which have their ministers; the other three, smaller ones, being Plangao, Nabangan, and Caypilan, which are appended to the former, being called visitas here. It has about one thousand two hundred tributarios. Those are warlike Indians, and have made plenty of trouble during the past years. However, they are reduced now, and are conspicuous among the other Indians in the exercises [89]of Christianity. They pay their tribute in lampotes, which are cotton cloths. It is said that the tribute was formerly paid in gold in some part of the island; but gold is not now obtained there in any considerable quantity.

Jurisdiction of Leyte in Pintados

This jurisdiction contains two islands, namely, Leyte and Samar—or, as it is called by another name, Ibabao. The Society has four residences in those islands, two in each one.


This island has a circumference of about one hundred leguas, and is long and narrow. A large chain of mountains cuts it almost in the middle. That and the difference of the two general monsoons, the brisas and the vendavals, cause there an inequality and a wonderful variety of weather and climate, so that when it is winter in the north, it is summer in the south, and vice versa during the other half of the year. Consequently, when the sowing is being done in one half of the island, the harvest is being gathered in the other half. Hence they have two harvests per year, both of them plentiful; for ordinarily the seed yields a hundredfold. Leyte is surrounded by many other small islands, both inhabited and desert. The sea and the rivers (which abound, and are of considerable volume) are full of fish; while the land has cattle, tame and wild swine, and many deer and fowls, with fruits, vegetables, and roots of all kinds. The climate is more refreshing than that of Manila. The people are of a brownish color, and plain and simple, but of sufficient understanding. [90]Their instruction and ministry is under charge of two residences or rectoral houses, namely, Carigara and Dagami.

Residence of Carigara

This residence has ten villages with their churches, and about two thousand tributarios. The names of the principal villages are Carigara, Leyte, Xaro, Alangalang, Ogmuc, Bayban, Cabalian, Sogor, Poro, and Panahon, which are adjacent islets. The products of the earth in which the natives pay their tribute are wax, rice, and textiles of abacá, which are here called medriñaques and pinayusas. Six religious are occupied in the instruction of those villages and districts, besides those who have charge of the instruction in the shipyards for the galleons—which are generally built in this island and district on his Majesty’s account, and because of the great ease in procuring lumber there, and the convenient ports. Two priests died gloriously in this residence, one at the hands of Moro pirates,6 and the other at the hands of the natives themselves in the district of Cabalian7—who, being the natives farthest from the chief village, are less obedient and pacified than the others.

Residence of Dagami

It has about two thousand tributarios divided among ten villages, each of which has its church. Those villages are Dagami, Malaguicay, Guiguan, [91]Balanguiguan, Palo, Basey, Dulac, Tambuco, and Abuyo. Six religious are occupied in the instruction. They pay their tribute in the same things as those of Carigara, except the inhabitants of the village of Guiguan, whose products consist of palm-oil. Opposite the village of Leyte in this island is another small island called Panamao, which has no people, but wild boars and other kinds of game, besides excellent woods for shipbuilding. Some few years ago a mineral abounding in sulphur was discovered.8

The island of Samar or Ibabao

This island is the eastern extension of Leyte, being separated from it by a very narrow strait, into which a ship can scarcely enter with the spring tides. On the eastern part it forms a strait with the island of Manila. The latter is the usual channel by which ships enter these islands when they come from Nueva España. The famous cape of Espíritu Santo,9 the first land of the Filipinas to be sighted, and which is an objective point [for the ships], is located in this strait. The natives, the products of the land, the climate, and other characteristics differ but little from those of the island of Leyte. The residences which the Society own there are also [like those of Leyte]. [92]

Residence of Cabatlogan [i.e., Catbalogan]

This residence has about one thousand four hundred tributarios, living in six villages, each of which has its own church. Those villages are Cabatlogan [i.e., Catbalogan] (where the corregidor and commandant of the jurisdiction lives), Paranas, Caluiga, Bangahon, and Batan and Capul—which is an islet located in the same channel, next to a smaller islet called San Bernardino, which gives name to this channel [i.e., the Embocadero of San Bernardino], There are five ministers busied in the instruction of those villages.

Residence of Palapag

It has about one thousand six hundred tributarios, who are instructed by five religious. They are divided among eight principal villages, to wit, Palapag, Catubig, Bobon, Catarman, Tubig, Bacor, Boronga, and Sulat. The natives pay their tributes in the same products as those of Leytey, and, in addition to those, some years ago they produced a quantity of civet. The greater part of this residence was in revolt some years ago, the authors of the revolt and insurrection having apostatized from the faith. Two father rectors of the residence—very important religious—were killed in succession by them, giving up their lives willingly in the exercise of their ministry.10 Now the war which has been waged to reduce them has been concluded. The relief ships from Nueva España have made port several times at [93]Borongan, and, on occasions of encounters with the Dutch and of shipwreck, the ministers of instruction residing there have performed very important services for the king and for the community. The two islands are much infested with pirates and hostile [Moros]—Mindanaos, Joloans, and Camucones—who take a great number of captives nearly every year. For that reason, and because of their labor in the building of galleons, and the epidemics that afflict them at times, although fifty-five years ago, at the beginning of the instruction by the Society, there were more than twenty thousand tributarios, now they do not exceed six or seven thousand. When the Society took charge of these two islands, all their natives were heathen; but now, through the goodness of God, they are all Christians.

College of Oton and the mission village of Ilog in the island of Negros

This college is located in the island of Panay, in the hamlet called formerly Arevalo, and now Iloilo. It was founded by the alms of private persons, and consequently has no patron. There are six religious there and in the mission village of Ilog in the island of Negros, which belongs to it. In their charge is the chaplaincy of the presidio of the Spaniards, and the mission to the natives and those of other nationalities belonging to this presidio. The mission village of Ilog is also located near by, and is in the island called Negros. Between the two of them there are about one thousand tributarios. The Society has had charge of this mission but few years during which time they have baptized about six hundred adults. The tribute is paid in rice. [94]

Island of Mindanao

It is the largest island of the Filipinas, next to that of Manila. A great part of it is still unsubdued. In the portion that is subdued, the Society has charge of the jurisdictions of Iligan and Samboangan. The latter is the principal presidio of the Spaniards, where we are beginning to establish a college.

College of Samboangan

This college has a rector, with five priests as workers. The villages that it instructs are those of the natives and Lutaos of Samboangan itself, who number eight hundred families. Instead of paying tribute, they serve at the oar in our fleets, which are generally out on raids in defense of our coasts and for the purpose of attacking those of the enemy. The island of Basilan, opposite the presidio of Samboangan, and two leguas away, has about one hundred families—most of whom, attracted by the efforts, affection, and solicitude of the missionary fathers, come to receive the sacraments. When the tribute is due, fewer of them appear. The Christian kindness of the Spaniards, which is most concerned with the welfare of souls, passes that by, because those people are not yet completely subdued and domesticated, and because of the risk of losing everything if they oppress them too heavily. The same condition prevails not only in the mission on the island of Basilan, but also in all the other missions of this jurisdiction of Samboangan. In the region of Mindanao these are: La Caldera, a port situated at a distance of two leguas eastward from Samboangan, with about two hundred families; Bocot, two hundred [95]and fifty; Piacan, and Sirauey, one hundred; Siocon, three hundred; Maslo, one hundred; Manican, thirty; Data, twenty-five; Coroan, twenty; Bitale, forty; Tungauan, one hundred; Sanguito, one hundred; all lying south of Samboangan, and all giving a total of three thousand two hundred and fifty-one families.

In this jurisdiction are included also the islands of Pangotaran and Ubian, a three days’ journey from Samboangan, whose inhabitants are nearly all Christians. When the fleets pass that way, the natives give them some kind of tribute. Item: the islands of Tapul and Balonaguis, whose natives are still heathen. Item: there are many islets about Basilan, the shelter of fugitive Indians, many of whom are Christians—who come to the fathers, at times, for the administration of the sacraments; and, at the persuasion of the latter, are mustered for service in the fleets. The island of Jolo belongs also to the said jurisdiction of Samboangan. There are many Christians in that island, who remained there when the Spanish presidio was removed. The father missionaries go to visit them at times, and endeavor to bring them back for the administration of the holy sacraments. Reducing all those Indians to families, there are about two hundred or so in Pangotarán and Ubian: one hundred and fifty in Tapul and Balonaguis; two hundred in the islets of Basilan; and five hundred in Jolo and its islets: in all one thousand families.

Jurisdiction of Iligan, with its residence of Dapitan

This jurisdiction extends through the eastern part of the island. Its district extends for sixty leguas, [96]which includes the nation of the Subanos,11 which is the most numerous in the island, and well disposed toward the evangelical instruction, as they are heathen, and not Mahometans as are the Mindanaos.

The village of Iligan, which is the capital of the jurisdiction, and where its alcalde-mayor and infantry captain of the presidio lives, has about one hundred tributarios on the shore; and in the interior, in another village called Baloy, there are about two hundred families, although only thirty come to pay the tribute. In another village, called Lauayan, which is on the other side of Iligan and on the bay of Panguil, fifty [families pay tribute], although there are twice as many. Then comes Dapitan, which is the seat of the residence and mission, as the people there are the oldest Christians of these islands, who went willingly to meet the first Spaniards who came to conquer them, and guided and served them during the conquest, and have always persevered faithfully in their friendship. For that reason they are exempt from tribute. They number about two hundred families; while there are about two hundred and fifty more families in another and interior village situated on the headwaters of the same river.

The villages situated on the coast in the direction of Samboangan are Dipoloc, with three hundred families; Duyno, with six hundred; Manucan, with one hundred; Tubao, with one hundred; Sindagan, [97]with five hundred; Mucas, with two hundred; Quipit, with three hundred: with a total of one thousand seven hundred and fifty families, who are computed to be included in this residence, whose instruction is generally in charge of five priests.

Within a few years seven priests have given their lives and shed their blood in this island for the administration of the holy gospel, at the hands of the Moros and apostates: two in the residence of Dapitan,12 and five in the district of Samboangan. Of these, one was in Siao;13 two in Buayen,14 a kingdom [98]of the Moros; and two others but recently in this current year of 1656, in the capital of the entire island—namely, the river of Mindanao, in the settlement where King Corralat lives and holds his court.15 There are, besides, other lathers who have been captives, one of whom died in captivity;16 and others who have died in the Spanish presidio, at their posts as chaplains.

The products of Mindanao and its islands are in general the same as those of the other islands—namely, rice, palms [sc., cocoanuts], a quantity of wax, vegetables, civet, and wild cinnamon (which is used fresh). In the island of Jolo, a quantity of amber has been found at times, and some large pearls. It alone of all the Filipinas Islands has elephants.

Mission to Borney

With the opportunity of the oared fleets of the presidio of Samboanga, which—accompanied by a number of Indian volunteer vessels from the district of Dapitan, and others of our missions—have sailed during the last few years to this great island, and [99]since our fathers have always accompanied them and acted as their chaplains, a mission has been formed there at the same time; and the ministries of the Society have been exercised in those so remote parts, with not a little gain, and great hopes of numerous Christians, since those baptized number seven hundred—among whom are some of the chiefs of the neighboring islands, who have already offered vassalage to the king our sovereign, and asked for ministers of the gospel. If God be pleased to let our arms in Mindanao be free, and if this undertaking that has been begun in Borney be continued, it will be without doubt to the great exaltation of our holy faith, and the advantage of the Spanish state in these Filipinas Islands. For, besides freeing the islands from the continual invasions, fires, thefts, and captivities by those pirates, they will enjoy the fertility, wealth, and abundance of this island, which is the largest one of these archipelagos, having a circumference of four hundred and fifty leguas. It is the way-station for the commerce of the rich kingdoms of India extra Gangem [i.e., beyond the Ganges], Pegu, Sian, and Camboxa, upon which it borders. In respect to Christianity, great increase can be promised; for the people are, as a rule, docile and of good understanding. Although the faith of Mahomet has made some headway in the maritime parts—but not with the obstinacy experienced in other islands—all the people of the interior are heathen.

College of Terrenate and its missions

The Society maintains a college in the island of Terrenate, which is the head of the missions of that archipelago, which were hitherto subject to the [100][Jesuit] province of Cochin in Eastern India. Last year they were assigned to this province of Filipinas by virtue of a royal decree despatched by the advice of the royal Audiencia, by the governor and captain-general of these islands, on the occasion of, the revolt of Portugal and India.17 At present three priests are busied in this labor: one is the rector who lives in the house and college of Terrenate, to look after the ministry of Spanish and Indians in the presidios of that island and that of Tidore, and the village of Mardicas. The other two visit in mission the many stations in their charge, as long as there is no minister belonging to each of these.

The chief and oldest mission is that of the kingdom of Siao, where there was estimated to be at the beginning, eleven thousand seven hundred Christians, while today they do not number four thousand. The king of that place has many subjects, and allies in the islands of Tabuco or Sanguil Bagar,18 the [101]Talaos,19 and in Matheo or Macasar. The Talaos number about eleven thousand souls, and their chief is a Christian. So likewise those of Maganita, Moade, Tomaco, and Sabugan in Sanguil Baçar. There are eight hundred native Christians in Calonga, the capital of the same island. A Franciscan priest lives there at present, while the Society, to whom that mission belongs, has no one to send there.

From Siao the mission of the province of Manados, in the island of Matheo or Macasar, is also visited. Formerly it had four thousand Christians, but now Christianity is almost wiped out (even the villages of our faith, and allied to us) by the raids of the Dutch and the Terrenatans, who favor another nation and one allied with the Dutch and Terrenatans. Inasmuch as the land of Manados is unhealthful, five members of the Society have perished in the enterprise of its conversion. A short distance from Manados is Cautipa, a part of the same mainland of Macasar, and subject to the king of Siao, with about four or five thousand heathen families. [102]The fathers lived among them and made some Christians formerly.

The former Christian settlements in Gilolo—Sabugo, Moratay, San Juan de Tolo, and others of Batachina—which before numbered two hundred and fifty thousand Christians, instructed by our fathers, are also destroyed by the same wars with heretics. May the Lord bring it about that that door may be again opened to the cultivation of this vineyard, through the peace of España and Olanda. This vineyard is continued, by way of this district of Batachina, by the Papuans and thence by Nueva Guinea—whose farthest bounds are yet unknown, as well as the knowledge of what God has reserved for the evangelical ministers and the Spanish empire in that unknown land.20

Father Alonso de Castro, a Portuguese, was an illustrious martyr of Christ in Maluco, for whom, after he had preached the gospel there for the space of eleven years, the Moros wrought the crown of martyrdom; in January, 1559—dragging him first through rough places, where he endured imprisonment, and giving him later many wounds; and, lastly, throwing his dead body to the bottom of the deep sea. At the end of three days the body appeared on the strand surrounded with emanations of light. See his life and martyrdom among the illustrious men of Father Eusebio.21 [103]

China and Japon

The relationship with the provinces of Japon and China ought also to be included among the ministries of this province, because of the communication that their nearness offers, and the present necessity of those fields of Christianity imposes obligations on us. The ministers there have been assisted from here, these last few years, with some alms for their support—especially in the province of Chincheo, which is the nearest—and wine for the masses, and holy oils, which those missions would not have if they were not furnished from here. They earnestly petition the aid of more ministers, as those who are there are few and aged. If many ministers come from Europa, and we have an order for it, some shall be given to them. [104]

1 This totals up three hundred and seventy-two, instead of the number given in the text—evidently a printer’s error.

2 Corcuera’s endowment of these fellowships raised a great storm in the islands, especially among the Dominicans, who claimed that it was aimed at their college of Santo Tomás; while in Spain the king and his council were equally indignant because they had not been previously consulted in the matter, an indignation that was carefully fostered and increased by the Dominicans. The lawsuit in this case was bitter, and was conducted in the supreme Council of the Indias by Juan Grau y Monfalcon, procurator of the cabildo of the city of Manila; Father Baltasar de Lagunilla, procurator-general of the Society of Jesus, for the college of San José; and father Fray Mateo de Villa, procurator-general of the Dominican province of the Rosario, for the college of Santo Tomás. The case was prolific in documents from all three sources. The Dominicans remained masters of the field, and this case contributed to the downfall of Corcuera, who was finally superseded in 1644 by Diego de Fajardo, who had been appointed some years before, but might never have gone to the islands had it not been for the lawsuit over the fellowships. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, pp. 763–781.

3 Pedro de Brito was also a regidor of Manila, whose post was adjudged to him at public auction for one thousand four hundred pesos of common gold, with the third part of what was promised from the increase. He took possession of his post June 24, 1589. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 783.

4 This was the protomartyr of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, Juan de las Misas, who met death in the last part of November, 1624 (not 1625). He was a fluent preacher in the Tagal tongue, and entered the Society in the Philippines. When returning from Tayabas to Marinduque he was met by some hostile Camucones and killed by a shot from an arquebus, after which he was beheaded, in fulfilment of a vow to Mahomet. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 791.

5 This was the galleon “San Marcos.” See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 791.

6 This was Juan del Carpio—a native of Riofrio in the kingdom of Leon—who had spent twenty years among the natives in the Philippines. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 792.

7 Domingo Areso, a native of Caller, who was killed by an Indian, April 10, 1745, because the father had censured him for allowing his mother to die without the sacraments. See ut supra, pp. 792, 793.

8 It was discovered by Father Francisco Combés on the heights of Boragüen, who reported the discovery to the alcalde-mayor of Leite, Silvestre de Rodas, at Dagame, November 18, 1661. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 793, note 1. See Jagor’s Reisen, pp. 220–223, where he describes this locality (which lies south of Buráuen, on the southern slope of the Manacagan range), and the process by which the sulphur is obtained.

9 Thus characterized in U. S. Gazetteer (p. 512): “Important point of approach from Pacific Ocean. High, and visible in clear weather 40 m., thus serving as excellent mark for working strait of San Bernardino.”

10 These were Fathers Miguel Ponce and Vicente Damián. The first was killed June 2, 1649; the second October 11, of the same year. The former was a native of Peñarojo in Aragon; the latter, of Randazo in Sicily See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 794, note 1.

11 The Subanes or Subánon (meaning “river people”), are a heathen people of Malay extraction living in the peninsula of Sibuguey in West Mindanao. See Mason’s translation of Blumentritt’s Native Tribes of Philippines, in Smithsonian Report for 1899, pp. 544, 545. See also Sawyer’s Inhabitants of the Philippines, pp. 356–360 (though it must be borne in mind that Sawyer is not always entirely trustworthy).

12 These were Fathers Francisco de Mendoza and Francisco Pagliola. The former was a native of Lisboa and was born in 1602 of a noble family. He was killed by the Moros in Malanao, May 7, 1642. He had entered the Society in Nueva España in 1621 and went to the Philippines, while still a novice. The latter was martyred January 29, 1648. He was a native of Nola in the kingdom of Naples, the date of his birth being May 10, 1610. He entered the Society February 6, 1637, at Naples. On arriving at the Philippines in 1643, he was assigned to Mindanao, where he labored in Iligan and the western part of the island, going later to the Subanos, who killed him. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, pp. 800, 801; and Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fols. 111 verso, and 154 verso and 155.

13 Juan del Campo, who was killed by the Subanos January 25, 1650, was born in Villanueva de la Vera, in 1620. He went to Mexico in 1642, where he began to study theology, completing that study in Manila. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 801; and Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 178.

14 The two martyrs of Buayen were Pedro Andrés de Zamora, December 28, 1639, and Bartolomé Sánchez, early in June, 1642. The former was born in Valencia, and in 1616 entered the Society in Aragon, and went to the Philippines in 1626. He was suspended from the Society in 1629, but was readmitted upon showing full signs of repentance. He was sent while still a novice to the missions at Buayen, where he labored faithfully and zealously until his death.

The latter was born in Murcia on St. Bartholomew’s day, 1613. In his youthful years, while attending the Jesuit college, he became somewhat wild, but later reformed; and upon hearing of the martyrs of Japon in 1628, he was fired with zeal to emulate them, and entered the Society, being received on the ship that bore [88n]him to Nueva España. Although he had resolved to return to Spain in the same ship, because of the disconsolateness of his parents at his departure, he changed his mind, and finished his novitiate in Manila. Upon being ordained as a priest, he was sent to Mindanao and was killed by Manaquior while on his way with a naval relief expedition to Buayen, after having been eleven years in the Society. Sec Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 801; and Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fols. 113 verso and 117 verso.

15 These two fathers, Alejandro Lopez and Juan Montiel, were martyred December 13, 1655 (not 1656). The latter was a native of Rijoles in Calabria. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, pp. 801, 802; Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fols. 233 verso-235 verso; and ante, p. 62, note 25.

16 The author alludes to Father Domingo Vilancio, who died in 1634. He was a native of Leche in the kingdom of Naples. He labored among the natives of the Philippines for more than thirty years. See Vol. XXVI, p. 266; and Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 802.

17 After sixty years of Spanish rule, Portugal revolted (December, 1640), threw off the Spanish yoke, and placed on its throne Joao IV—who, as duke of Braganza, was the most wealthy and influential of all the Portuguese noblemen; and he was regarded as the legitimate claimant of the throne. Spain made several attempts to recover this loss; but Portugal has ever since been independent.

18 i.e., Great Sanguil. The auditor Francisco de Montemayor y Mansilla says that Sanguil is twelve leguas from Siao and ten from Mindanao, and has a circumference of six or seven leguas. “Four chiefs rule this island, namely, those of Siao (in the villages called Tabaco), Maganitos, Tabucan, and Calonga. The latter had two villages, Calonga and Tarruma, where there was formerly a presidio with ten or twelve Spanish soldiers, solely for the defense of those two Christian villages from the invasions of the Moros of the same island. The village of Tarruma after the dismantling of our forts, passed into the control of the Dutch; and there are now, according to reports, some Dutch there, and a dominie who preaches to them. The other village, Calonga, which [91n]is governed by a father-in-law of the king of Siao, still perseveres in the Catholic faith and the friendship of the Spaniards. It is visited, although with dangers and difficulties, by the fathers of the Society of Jesus who live in Siao, when they go to visit the Christian villages owned by that king in the island of Sanguil.” See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 814.

19 The same auditor (see note, above) says that the Talaos “are four islands lying in the same district as those of Sanguil and Siao. The country is poor, the people barbarous and naked, and the islands abound in cocoas and vegetables, some little rice (on which they live), and some roots (with which they pay their tribute). Two islands and part of another are vassals of the king of Tabucan; the fourth island and part of that which pays tribute to the king of Tabucan are vassals of the king of Siao. They have their own petty chief, who was baptized in Manila; and there are now eight hundred baptized families there.” See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 814.

20 When Father Colin wrote, the Dutch had already discovered, explored, and delineated in their maps with sufficient accuracy, the coasts of New Guinea and New Holland, or Australia and New Zealand. See Pastells’s Colin, iii, p. 816.

21 Alonso de Castro was born at Lisbon. Sommervogel (Bibliothèque) says that he labored for nine years in the missions of Terrenate, and that he was martyred January 1, 1558.


The Religious Estate in the Philippines

[This survey of religious affairs in the islands is taken from the Chronicas (Manila, 1738) of the Franciscan chronicler San Antonio, vol. i, pp. 172–175, 190–210, 214–216, 219, 220, 223–226.]

Chapter XLVI

Ecclesiastical theater of the Philipinas Islands

510. Who does not express wonder that the evangelical preaching in these islands (and more especially at Manila) is so eloquent; that the worship in the temples has a veneration as perennial as it is ceremonious; that the holy orders maintain themselves in the most strict observance of their institutes and rules; that the Christian church is so happily increased; that devotion is so well received; and that justice is so uprightly administered? For, if one considers without prejudice, these are certain precious gems, so resplendent and so exquisite, that the crown of España can glory in adorning itself with them—even though it he, as is the fact, the Spaniards who shape those gems from justice. All this so ennobles these islands that they are reported as extraordinary among all these lands.

511. This ecclesiastical theater of the city of [107]Manila demands huge tomes from justice for its history, which the limits of my history do not permit; and a very ingenious pen for its praises, which is not united with my lack of eloquence. I have seen some voluminous writings on this subject, which I have no time to follow. I have seen some that are written so meagerly, that my own interest [in the subject] is offended. May it please God that my design, which confesses itself debtor to all, may now find a proper medium.

512. The first church of Manila was erected as a parochial church, under the title of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady, at the end of the year 1571, when the adelantado and conquistador, Legaspi, divided the lands and site of Manila. Although I have read in a certain manuscript that that first erection was made with four clerics, I cannot find in history anything that verifies this statement. For the printed histories of these islands state that when the adelantado Legaspi divided the land, he summoned the natives of Manila and their ruler, Raja Matanda; and, placing the fathers of St. Augustine in their presence, told them that those were their true fathers, and their instructors in the law of the true God, who had come to teach it to them; and there is no mention of any secular.

513. Further, I think that the licentiate Don Juan de Vivero was the first cleric who came to these islands. Although he came hither in the year 1566, in the famous ship “San Geronymo,” five years before the conquest of Manila, it is not proved to my satisfaction that he was ever in Manila; and it is more probable that he remained in Zebu, the first land that was conquered. Another cleric was the [108]licentiate Don Juan de Villanueva, of whom the only thing known is that he was a priest, and that he lived but a little time—and that after the erection of the church. Another cleric who came earlier [than the latter] was Don Luis Barruelo, who had been sent to Philipinas by the archbishop of México, as associate of the above-mentioned Don Juan de Vivero, so that they might be the judge-provisors and vicars-general of all the islands; for the archbishop thought that this provision belonged to his care and jurisdiction, as he was the prelate nearest to these islands. But Don Luis Barruelo arrived at the islands in the year 1577, six years after the foundation of Manila. Therefore it appears that the Augustinian fathers were the only ones who exercised the entire government in utroque foro,1 and the parochial administration of Manila and all the islands. To them succeeded, in the said government, the discalced Franciscan religious, until the arrival of the most illustrious Salazàr, first bishop of Manila.

514. This church, when first erected, was poor. Although with the lapse of time it had sufficient incomes, yet, with the fires and continual earthquakes, the church buildings were ruined. Thus, because of the earthquakes of the year 1645, the church of La Misericordia was used as the cathedral church from November 26, 1652, until June 7, 1662, when possession was taken of the new church. The latter is still standing, and was built by the zealous and costly efforts of the holy archbishop, Don Miguel de Poblete, albeit he did not leave it entirely finished. His Excellency placed the first stone April 20, 1654. [109]It was a square slab, and bore the following inscription: “The Church being under the government of Innocent X; the Españas, under King Phelipe IV the Great; and these islands, under Don Sabiniano Manrique de Lara, knight of the Order of Calatrava: Don Miguel de Poblete, its metropolitan archbishop, placed this stone, April 20, 1654, for the building of this holy cathedral—its titular being the Conception of our Lady, and its patron, St. Andrew the apostle.” It was completed later (on August 30, 1671), by the dean his nephew, the master Don Joseph Millan de Poblete, who was afterward bishop of Nueva Segovia. It is a beautiful stone building. It is forty brazas long by fifteen wide, and five high. It has three principal doors, corresponding to the three naves of its structure. Along the two side aisles it has eight chapels on each side [of the church], with two sacristies—one for Spaniards, and the other for the natives of this country. The capacity of its choir is fifty-two. Its stalls are of red wood. The steeple is high and beautiful, and has fourteen bells—a larger number and larger in size than the old bells, and lately cast anew—and has upper works of wood, which are not used. The church is under the personal care and watchful management of the archbishop of Manila who is now governing. The houses of the ecclesiastical cabildo are contiguous to the church.2

515. Gregory XIII was the one who erected that first parochial church into a cathedral, by his bull [110]given at Roma in the seventh year of his pontificate, namely, in that of 1578, at the petition of our Phelipe II, king of the Españas. He assigned it twenty-seven prebendaries of whom the king appoints those who are necessary. They consist of five dignitaries—dean, archdeacon, precentor, schoolmaster, and treasurer; three canons (the fourth having been suppressed by the Inquisition, as has been done throughout the Indias); and two whole and two half racioneros, by virtue of a royal decree given in Valladolid, June 2, 1604, countersigned by Juan de Ybarra, the king’s secretary. With the above, and two curas, sacristans, master-of-ceremonies, verger, etc., this church is very distinguished and well served, and the choir is quite crowded at all canonical hours. At its first erection, the advocacy of the most pure Conception was bestowed upon this church, and it has been preserved up to the present time.

516. The archbishops of Manila receive the salary of 5,000 pesos of common gold, by virtue of his Majesty’s decree given at Madrid, May 28, 1680; the dean, 600 pesos, by virtue of royal presentation; the four dignitaries of this holy church—namely, archdeacon, schoolmaster, precentor, and treasurer—each receive 500 pesos, for the same reason; the three canons—namely, the doctoral, the magistral, and he of grace—each 400 pesos, for the same reason; the two racioneros, each 300 pesos, for the same reason; the two medio-racioneros, each 200 pesos, for the same reason; the master-of-ceremonies, 200 pesos, by a royal decree dated February 22, 1724; the two curas of the holy church—one for the Spaniards, and the other for the natives and blacks—each 183 pesos, 6 tomins, and 7 granos. [111]

Chapter XLVII

Jurisdiction of the archbishopric

536. The archbishopric of Manila extends its jurisdiction through the entire provinces of Tòngdo, Bulacàn, Pampànga, Taàl, or Balayàn; even to Mindòro and Marindùque; all the coast of Zambales, up to the point and bay of Bolinào; Laguna de Baì, and its mountains, to Mahàyhày inclusive; and the jurisdictions of Cavite, Marivèlez, and the city of Manila.

Chapter XLVIII

Ecclesiastical tribunals of Manila

537. For the despatch of its business this archiepiscopal ecclesiastical tribunal has its provisor and vicar-general, with his chief notary and fiscals. It has a house which is used as the prison of the ecclesiastical tribunal, which has a capacious living-room, and separate lodgings for the seclusion of abandoned women.

Commissariat of the holy Inquisition

538. There has been and always is in this city of Manila a commissary of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, appointed by the holy tribunal of México.3 That commissary is the superior and superintendent of all the commissaries scattered about in the islands—namely, in Cagayàn, Pangasinàn, Camarìnes, Zebù, Ilòcos, and the island of Negros; and at Manila another private commissary for the fathers of the [112]Society, who is always an honored cleric. The tribunal here is formed of the said superintendent-commissary with his chief constable and his notary. Its council of ministers comprises various examiners of books and writings, counselors, and familiars. There are always three or four superintendent-commissaries appointed, so that in case of death or removal another may succeed promptly to the office; but only one of them exercises the office [at any one time]. From the time of the venerable martyr of Syan [i.e., Siam], Fray Juan de San Pedro Martyr, or Maldonado, the first commissary in these islands (who died December 22, 1599), until the present commissary, the very reverend father ex-provincial Fray Juan de Arechederra (a son of the convent of San Jacinto de Caracas, of the province of Santa Cruz of the Indias, and graduated with the degree of doctor from the celebrated university of México), this office of superintendent-commissary has been vested in the religious of our father St. Dominic successively, without other interruption than the short interval of seven years—when an Augustinian, Father Joseph Paternina, exercised the office, beginning with October, 1664, when he succeeded father Fray Francisco de Paula, until July of 1671. Then father Fray Phelipe Pardo, afterward archbishop of Manila, assumed the office, because of the dismissal of Father Paternìna from his office by a sentence of the holy tribunal of México, because he unjustly issued acts against and arrested the governor of these islands, Don Diego de Salcedo. This commissariat has always been a post of great honor, authority, and credit, and is for that reason eagerly sought by the most distinguished members of the order. But, the tribunal [113]of México having requested the fathers superintendent-commissaries to make investigations, in order to act as such, the Dominican fathers excused themselves, as they live here without incomes, and were unable to make investigations because of their increased expenses; and Father Paternìna being in México on that occasion, he easily obtained the office which afterward cost him so much.

Tribunal of the Holy Crusade

539. The erection of the apostolic and royal tribunal of the Holy Crusade in the city of Manila (as the capital of these islands, where the royal Audiencia resides), had its foundation in the general decree of Phelipe III, given in San Lorenzo, under date of May 16, 1609.4 In consequence of that decree, that tribunal is composed of a commissary-subdelegate-general, who performs the duties of president, and is appointed by his Majesty, with the advice of the supreme council of the Holy Crusade; an auditor, who is the senior auditor of the royal Audiencia; and the fiscal of the same body—all of whom receive a special salary for their duties. For the computation of its accounts, the senior accountant of the royal officials serves, in accordance with the terms of the above-mentioned royal decree. For their business they have a secretary; a chief notary, with a salary; and four notaries, without any assigned salary, but who receive the fees from the business transacted by them. For the expedition of the bulls (which are [114]published biennially in these provinces), the suitable number, and at all prices—bulls for the living and for the dead, de lacticinios, and of composition5—are sent from Europa, with the bundles of despatches and instructions from his Majesty and from the apostolic commissary-general. Having been first examined and numbered before the subdelegate-general, they are deposited under good security in the royal magazines of this capital, where pay-warrants are issued for the treasurer-general or manager, into whose charge this business is given.

540. From the first foundation, it was established that the preaching of each biennial term should occur on the twenty-eighth of October. But with the beginning of the year 1736 that date was transferred to the [115]first Sunday in Advent, by order of his Excellency the commissary-general, so that the preaching might be on the same date in all the kingdoms and seigniories of the royal crown.

541. The management and despatch of this concession, and the collection of the alms and proceeds from it, were regularly included, annexed, in the agreements which were made with the royal apostolic tribunal of the City of México—the treasurer-general of the kingdom naming a substitute deputy, who should have in his charge the matters pertaining to these Philipinas. When that was omitted, it was in charge of the royal officials of these treasuries, in accordance with the royal decrees which have so provided it. Certain publications intervened, which were entrusted, by special arrangement, to the inhabitants of Manila, independently of the treasurer-general of México. But lately, the dependence of Philipinas on the arrangements of that kingdom having been dispensed with, a solemn agreement was made with the royal apostolic tribunal of this capital, for the six biennials of the thirteenth concession, by General Don Joseph Antonio Nuño de Villavicencio, proprietary regidor of this city (who obtained a letter from his Excellency the bishop, an inquisitor, and former apostolic commissary-general of the said Holy Crusade); and the said contract having terminated, a new one was made by General Don Diego Zamudio, an inhabitant of the said city, who is charged with this enterprise for the six biennials of the current and fourteenth concession.6 [116]

542. For that expedition the said treasurers give bonds in sufficient form. They appoint the receiving treasurers, who attend to the expense of bulls in all the villages of the provinces that are included in this jurisdiction, and place the proceeds of this concession, as they become due, in the royal treasury of Manila, or in those of México, according to the agreement at the time of contract.

Chapter XLIX

Churches and colleges of Manila

Royal chapel

543. Inside the walls of the city of Manila, and at the extreme northeast by north section of it, stands the royal chapel, which has the title of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnacion [i.e., our Lady of the Incarnation], and contains the most holy sacrament. It is a very elegant structure, and was founded by Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera. It is used for the chapel functions of the royal Audiencia, for the spiritual administration of the royal hospital for the soldiers of the army, and for their burial. For this last purpose, the chaplains go without any subordination to the parish church, wearing the cope, and with cross carried high, through the public streets to the said royal hospital for the bodies of the deceased soldiers, which they carry with all manner of solemnity to the royal chapel, where they are buried. For the above, and so that they may serve in the chaplaincies of the galleons in this line, and for the divine worship of the said chapel, the chapel has its chief chaplain, and a number of royal chaplains, sacristans, and other ministers, who serve it with great decorum and pomp. This is a rich [117]church, and is beautifully adorned with altars, reredoses, pulpit, and sacristy; it has choir, organ, and a goodly band of singers; and rich ornaments, and sacred vessels of silver and gold—and, in particular, a monstrance of pure gold, valued at eleven thousand ducados.

Royal hospital

544. Not very far from this royal chapel, and more toward the center of the city, is the said royal hospital, for the soldiers of the Manila camp. It has its own chaplain, manager, physician, surgeon, apothecary, and all the other necessary provisions.

Royal seminary-college of San Phelipe

545. His Majesty asked Don Fausto Cruzat y Góngora, governor of these islands, by a royal decree of November 28, 1697, to inform him whether there was or was not a seminary-college for boys in Manila, for the service of his cathedral church; and that, in case there were not, he should set about its foundation and building. He was to advise his Majesty of the expenses necessary for it, and for its necessary maintenance. The governor reported; and, by another royal decree of April 28, 1702, the piety of his Catholic Majesty decided upon the foundation of a royal college in the city of Manila, which should be a seminary for eight seminarists. The sum necessary for its building and maintenance was to be appropriated from the funds accumulating from vacancies in the bishoprics of these islands, and from the tithes; and, if necessary, from the funds of the royal treasury. All was to be done with the advice of the archbishop of Manila, and his Majesty was to be [118]informed of all that was done. Everything was carried out by the governor and master-of-camp, Don Domingo de Zabálburu; and, with the approval of his Excellency the archbishop, Don Diego Camacho y Avila, the plans for the building of the seminary were begun with all possible energy. By a general meeting of the treasury tribunal, held May 22, 1705, four thousand pesos were appropriated to General Don Miguel de Elorriaga for the encouragement of this enterprise.

546. With the arrival at these islands of the patriarch of Antiochia, Cardinal Don Carlos Thomas Millard de Tournòn,7 in the year 1704, and with the stay of the abbot Don Juan Baptista Sidòti8 in the islands, until he went to Japon, that [119]work was strengthened by various alms, which the said Sidòti went about collecting for it, until he succeeded in giving it a stone foundation one vara high. The seminary was called San Clemente, in honor of the pope.9 Then writing to Madrid and to Roma the progress that had been made—namely, that the seminary was already in operation, and that the number of the seminarists exceeded twenty, and attributing that glory to the said gentlemen and to their efforts, it was advised that the said cardinal should select those persons whom he thought proper for master and rector. Pontifical commission was assigned him for that, and in fact, in the year 1707, the licentiate Don Gabriel de Istùris was appointed rector, and the bachelor Don Hypòlito del Rio as master of the seminarists. On November 28 of that year, the first eight seminarists were received by the governor of these islands, Don Domingo de Zabálburu. The archbishop and governor of these islands helped in all these plans, and, in addition to the above alms, contributions were made from the revenues of the royal treasury. [120]

547. Having been informed of all this news, the apostolic nuncio at the court of España presented himself before the Catholic Majesty in the name of the pope (who had been informed by the archbishop and the governor of Manila), asking that his Majesty would deign to consider as valid the said foundation in the aforesaid form in the city of Manila—since it meant glory to his crown to have a seminary in these islands, from which so many advantages would follow for the spread of the Catholic faith in Japon, and China, and among other barbarous peoples, by rearing subjects in the said seminary in virtue and learning as evangelical ministers, of whom there was so much need. That was to be without any expense to the royal treasury, since some of its seminarists were supported with alms, and some with the revenues that belonged to their own houses.

548. His Majesty consulted his royal Council of the Indias. From their examination of the matter a royal decree resulted, dated at Madrid, March 3, 1710, and countersigned by his Majesty’s secretary, Don Felix de la Cruz Ahèdo, and with the rubrics of five members of the Council of the Indias. In it his Majesty manifests his just anger at such innovations and prejudicial proceedings through the agency of foreigners, when his Majesty had ordained it so long beforehand; and that, with what had been done, there should be given room for such progress to be attributed in the Roman court to the active diligence of foreigners, when his Catholic zeal had sent, at the cost of his royal treasury, and maintained in these parts the great number of learned regular missionaries [who are there] for the conversion [of the heathen], and the propagation of the holy gospel. [121]He was angry also because this news had come to his royal ears by other vehicles than his vassals and ministers, and that foreigners had been allowed in these islands without his royal consent.

549. Therefore, in the said royal order, his Majesty commands that all the foreign seminarists be taken out of the said seminary, and that only the eight before decided upon be left, since those were his vassals. He allows at the most, sixteen boarders, and all those shall enter only by permission of the governor of these islands, as the vice-patron; and the building of the said seminary which his Majesty had before ordered shall be promoted. If there should be persons, who in good faith would have aided the new seminary with buildings, incomes, and other gifts, it is asked that they consent to apply these on the building of the seminary intended and ordered by his Majesty. In case that they do not agree to that, the just price of whatever can be useful for this desirable end shall be paid to them; and what is useless shall be restored to its owners, except such buildings as may not be necessary, which shall be immediately demolished.

550. By virtue of the royal decree to the royal Audiencia, and those decrees which accompanied it for the archbishop and governor of Manila, the building which (as above stated) was already begun was demolished, and today it is used as the summer palace of the governors; and all the orders expressed in the said decrees were carried out. On May 6, 1712, the course of arts was inaugurated in the royal seminary of San Phelipe (for thus did his Majesty order it to be called, and that the name of San Clemente be erased), with the bachelor Don Bartholome [122]Caravallo, presbyter, as master. He was appointed by decree of the superior government, during the governorship of the count of Lizarrâga, Don Martin de Ursua. Doctor Don Francisco Fermin de Vivàr was appointed master of theology on July 5, 1714. At his death, the master Don Ignacio Mariano Garcia, who is at present doctor in theology, canon of this holy church, and rector of the said royal college, succeeded to the office. After that time, they began to have public theological theses there, with the help of the communities of Manila. Still later, esteeming it advisable for the royal treasury, the offices of master of arts and theology were suspended, and only that of master of grammar is preserved. The seminarists who may choose to continue their scholastic studies, go to the university of Santo Thomas to hear lecturers there. That is the present course; and the said seminarists, after being present at the service of the cathedral church—their first duty—go to the university of Santo Thomas for the ordinary lectures which are given to them.

Royal professorships

551. In the year 1717, his Majesty (may God preserve him) sent three professors to the city of Manila, with suitable salaries, to erect and conduct three professorships—of canons, institutes, and laws: these were in fact, erected and conducted in this city, in one of its most notable and roomy houses. In the year 1724, because of the promotion by the king of Don Julian de Velasco, one of the professors, to the royal Audiencia of México, and as there were no suitable persons [for these chairs] the royal Audiencia of these islands communicated that fact to [123]his Majesty on June 10, 1726, as well as the small results and increased expenses that were experienced from those professorships. Therefore, the royal Audiencia had made provision, while awaiting a new royal order, for maintaining the two professorships, with the same two lecturers who held them. However, there was some change, the professorship of canons being given to the very reverend father Pedro Murillo Velarde, of the holy Society of Jesus; while the place where the lectures were given was changed to the college of San Ignacio, of the same Society, where its provincial generously assigned a room for the exercise [of these lectureships] and for literary functions. In view of that, the king ordained, by his decree of July 26, 1730, the suspension of everything enacted therein by that Audiencia—doing away, for the time being, with the foundation of the royal university; and saving the royal treasury more than ten thousand pesos per annum, which had been fruitlessly spent. Now, very recently, his Majesty, by a decree dated San Lorenzo, October 23, 1733, has determined that there shall be a chair of canons and another of institutes in the college of San Ignacio; and he also determines that there shall be the same at the university of Santo Thomas. Such is the present condition of the king’s professorships, until a new order is given.

Royal seminary of Santa Potenciana

552. The royal seminary of Santa Potenciana was built in Manila, where it is situated, in the year 1591. At that time Don Fray Domingo de Salazàr was bishop, and he aided it with his alms; while the governor of the islands was Gomez Perez Dasmariñas. [124]It was established in some houses and on a plot of ground given for that purpose by Captain Luis de Vibanco, factor of the royal treasury. There also was built the church with the title of St. Andrew the apostle, the patron saint of Manila. That church is thought to be [on the site of] the ancient chapel of St. Andrew which, as appears, was in that same spot, according to several papers which I have seen of the year 1580. The seminary has been, and is, used for orphan girls, the daughters of Spanish parents, to give them good education and rearing. It is under the royal patronage; and his Majesty takes care of the maintenance of the seminarists, and helps them as far as may be necessary. Some pupils, some servants, and even some reformed women are received also. For the last named, Licentiate Don Francisco Gomez de Arellano, archdeacon of Manila, and provisor of this archbishopric, built a separate room. He furnished the reredos of the principal altar, and gave several other alms and support for the purpose of changing that seminary to a monastery of nuns; but he was unable to attain his purpose, for God cut short the thread of his life. They have their own chaplain, their rectoress, and their portress; and they live safely retired and with holy mode of life.

Royal brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia

553. The royal brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila is composed of the members of the most prominent families of Manila. They have their overseer, twelve deputies, and a secretary, who form their executive board, besides other officers for their necessary transaction of business. They were established in imitation of the one which [125]was erected in Lisbôa, in the year 1498, by the most serene queen of Portugal—Doña Leonor, at that time the widow of Don Juan the Second, who had died in the year 1495 as appears in all the Portuguese histories. Their founder was a Trinitarian religious of praiseworthy life, one Fray Miguel de Contreras. The Misericordia of Manila is due to the pious and fervent efforts of that venerable servant of God. Father Juan Fernandez de Leon, a secular priest, a native of Gibra-Leon, in the county of Niebla in Andalucia, at the time when this archbishopric was governed by the very reverend father Fray Christoval de Salvatierra,10 of the Order of Preachers, and the Philipinas Islands by Don Luis Gomez [sic: error for Perez] Dasmariñas. This holy brotherhood was established April 16, 1594, with the liberal alms of all the nobility of Manila, and the above-named governor was appointed its first overseer. The three who coöperated for its establishment and the formation of its constitution, were Father Peréyra, of the holy Society of Jesus, father Fray Marcos de Lisbôa, a Franciscan, and Don Christoval Giràl, all three of them Portuguese. In the church of the Society of Jesus at Manila met the most reverend father Fray Christoval de Salvatierra, the venerable dean Don Diego Basquez de Mercado, and the said venerable Juan Fernandez de Leon; the venerable fathers Antonio Sedeño and Raymundo de Prado, of the holy Society of Jesus; the venerable [126]fathers Fray Agustin de Tordesillas, Fray Marcos de Lisbôa, Fray Alonso Muñoz, and Fray Juan Bautista, of this seraphic [i.e., Franciscan] province; together with the magistrates, regidors, and superior officers of the army of the city, and other persons of education and talents, both ecclesiastics and laymen.

554. Thus erected, and in accordance with its erection, the Santa Misericordia remained with the temporal management, and our province with the spiritual management, of the hospital, which from that time began to be called the Misericordia [i.e., “House of Mercy”] of the Franciscan fathers—which before had been cared for by the venerable Leon and our venerable Fray Juan Clemente; and the erection of the said hospital in proper shape was considered.

555. They built a church with the title of “Presentacion de Nuestra Señora” [i.e., “Presentation of our Lady”], and a house and seminary with that of Santa Isabel, in order to rear Spanish orphan girls with thorough instruction in Christian doctrine and with good morals. It had a rectoress to care for and govern it, and a portress. Thence the girls go out with dowries sufficient for the estate [of marriage] to which they naturally tend, for which purpose the holy Misericordia appropriates sixteen thousand pesos. The girls who study there, who all the time are supported with whatever is necessary, number about sixty, besides some pupils, six slave girls, and other servants. For their expenses and those of their chaplains ten thousand seven hundred pesos are appropriated. It is a seminary of so great reputation and honor that, although it has been used from [127]its beginning as a refuge for girls—the daughters of poor Spaniards, whom the brothers obtain from various houses and from Santa Potenciana—the best citizens of the community do not hesitate today to send their daughters there. Thence they go out to assume the state of matrimony, or as nuns of St. Clare. Their church is very capacious, of beautiful architecture, and very richly adorned. It was used as the cathedral (as above stated) until the year 1662, when the cabildo took possession of its new church.

556. Not only does this brotherhood have in charge today the support of this girls’ seminary, and of the hospital of the Misericordia (although the latter is at present under the charge of the hospital order), but there is no class of persons which does not experience the charity of this holy house, through the generous alms that its executive board distributes. If the royal Misericordia of Lisbôa boasts that 30,000 ducados of private alms and other sums, which are spent nearly every year for the redemption of captives, were distributed in one year, there is not a year that this great charitable institution does not spend 70,000 pesos in various purposes of charity, such as those already mentioned—poor Spaniards who are unwilling to ask alms, and prisoners, and masses for the blessed souls—so that it is estimated that this holy house has given 3,448,506 pesos in alms from the year 1599 until that of 1726. That sum has been produced by the pious bequests that have been left for charitable purposes by the inhabitants of Manila. To this should be added the advances that have been made to the general fund of these islands, in cases of extreme necessity and invasions by the enemy, in the [128]years 1646, 650, 653, 663 to 668, and to that of 1735. The total, according to an accurate computation, amounts to 1,069,099 pesos.

557. The Misericordia takes care of the financial affairs of twenty-nine collative and of ten laical chaplaincies; and, in the royal college of San Joseph, of two fellowships.

558. It is governed by its own special rules, and their observance imposes the obligation of mortal sin. It has remarkable and venerated reliquaries. It enjoys many privileges from the supreme pontiffs, and innumerable indulgences. It is under the immediate royal protection by a royal decree of his Majesty, dated Sevilla, March 25, 1733, countersigned by Don Miguel de Villanueva, the king’s secretary. Concession was granted in that decree to place the royal arms in their church and college; to go out as a corporation on Holy Thursday to make the round of the stations; and entire credit is to be given in all the tribunals to the instruments of the secretary of the executive board.

Other charitable institutions

559. There are other charitable institutions in Manila in emulation of that of the holy Misericordia, although not so wealthy: in the cathedral church, in the seraphic tertiary order of the convent of Manila, in that of the convent of Dilao, in [the convent of] St. Dominic, in their convent of Binondoc, in their beaterio, in the convent of the calced Augustinian fathers, in that of the discalced Augustinians, and in that of the Society. All of them serve as a refuge for the poor; for from them is obtained money in proportion to good securities, and on pledges of gold and silver, at moderate rates of [129]interest, for the trade of merchants, with which the poor Spaniards engage in business and increase their wealth. Their returns are used for the various charities purposed by the founders who placed their money there—such as divine worship; alms for the orders; dowries for poor Spanish, Indian, and mestiza girls, and for those of the Cavite shore; alms for the self-respecting poor; hospitals and prisons; and suffrages for the blessed souls in purgatory—which are perennial.

Chapter L

Curacies and employments of religious in this archbishopric


560. There are thirteen secular curacies and their visitas in all the archbishopric of Manila. In the Manila cathedral there are two—one for Spaniards, and one for natives. In the province of Tongdo is the curacy of Santiago; that of La Hermita de Guia, and that of Quiapo, the latter being an archiepiscopal house. In the jurisdiction of Cavite, the curacy of that port and city, and that of the natives of San Roque. In the province of Balayàn, the curacy of Balayàn and that of El Rosario. In the province of Laguna de Bai, the curacy of Tunasàn, that of Tabùco, and that of Santo Thomas in the mountains. In the jurisdiction of Mindòro, the curacy of Lubàn. In all those curacies there are now administered about [blank in original] souls.

Calced Augustinians

561. The calced Augustinian religious have their convent and church within the archbishopric. It is all of stone arches, and is located in Manila; and art [130]has employed all its beauties in its building, and it is of special size and beauty. There live, as a general thing, fifty religious, all of well-known talents; and they have quarters for novitiates and study, for those who need them. This was the first order which (in the year 1565) conquered these islands; through their first prelate and father of them all, the venerable Fray Andrès de Urdanèta, a Biscayan, and a son of the convent and province of México. This convent of Manila is the head of all the province of Dulcissimo Nombre de Jesus, and of all the parochial convents that are possessed throughout the province by the Augustinians, to wit, as follows:

562. In the province of Tongdo: the convents of Tongdo, Tambòbong, Malàte, Parañaque, Pàsig, and Tagui. According to the last census, those convents minister to 21,959 souls.

563. The sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Guadalùpe on the river of Manila, where there are no Indians in its charge, and where only a few religious stay for the worship of that holy image.

564. In the province of Bai, the province of San Pablo de los Montes, which has in charge 2,600 souls.

565. In the province of Taàl or Balayàn: the convents of Taàl, with the holy sanctuary of the miraculous Virgin, and of Casàysày and its administration; that of Bàuan, that of Batàngas, that of Tanàuan, that of Salà, and that of Lipà—with 14,628 souls.

566. In the province of Bulacàn: the convents of the villages of Bulacàn, Dapdap, Guiguintò, Bigàa, Angàt, Baliuàg, Quingua, Malòlos, Paombòng, Calumpit, and Hagònoy—with 23,303 souls. [131]

567. In the province of Pampanga: the convents of the villages of Bacòlor, Macabèbe, Sesmòan, Lubào, Vauà, Minàlin, Bètis, Pòrac, Pueblo de México, Aràyat, Magàlang, Tarlàc, Gapàng, Santòl (with its missions, and the new village of San Sebastian), San Miguel de Mayòmo, Candàba, Cabacsà, Apàlit—with 38,513 souls.

568. In the mountains of the same province of Pampanga, within a radius of twenty-four leguas, there is a most flourishing mission of several barbaric nations, in which 4,500 souls are converted.11

569. The order of our father St. Francis of the discalced religious followed the Augustinians in point of their establishment in these islands; but I shall leave them for the last place in this book, in order to give precedence to the guests from outside, who honor my work.

Society of Jesus

570. The holy Society of Jesus came to these islands with their two vigorous apostolic leaders, Father Antonio Sedeño and Father Alonso Sanchez—who were most helpful companions of Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, the first bishop of Manila—in the year 1581. They have their principal college in Manila, whose titular is St. Ignatius. It is a sumptuous edifice, and head of all the colleges (which are eight in number, the houses proper of the order), and of all the residences and missions of these islands. In this chief college is situated the pontifical and royal university of letters.

571. It is assured that Pope Julius III was the [132]first to concede the power of granting degrees to the holy Society of Jesus, on October 22, 1552; but only to Jesuit scholars. Afterward Pius IV extended this faculty to outside students, August 19, 1561. Lastly, it was all confirmed by his Holiness, Gregory XIII, May 7, 1578, that pope declaring that the prefect of studies could give the degrees. Urban VIII, on petition of the sovereigns Phelipe III and Phelipe IV, decreed that degrees could be given in the Indias by the hands of the bishops, in the colleges of the Society, as was once practiced in Manila by Archbishop Serrano. And because it was not continued, that college of San Ignacio availed itself of the privileges already noted, and of which mention is made in libro i, título xxii, law ii, of the Recopilación de Indias.12 Wherefore it appears that the holy Society gave degrees in Manila by pontifical and regal authority. Later his Holiness, Gregory XV, by his [133]brief Apud S. Mariam Mayorem, conceded, on August 8, 1621, the same privilege, but with the following restriction, præsentibus ad decennium dum-taxàt valituris, and that decennial was completed in the year 1631. Then on May 12, 1653, a royal writ of execution was issued, granting authority to graduate students from the college of San Ignacio or that of San Joseph. In the year 1718, the royal university was started in these islands, and it was maintained until the year 1726. As one of the professors was promoted to the royal Audiencia of México, the chair of the morning classes in canonical law was given to the very reverend father Pedro Murillo Velarde, of the same Society, who had been professor of these branches in the universities of Granada and Salamanca, as a collegiate in the imperial university of San Miguel of Granada, and of the chief [college] of Cuenca at Salamanca. But on account of the increased expenses occasioned by this royal university, and as the benefits derived therefrom, as experience demonstrated, were little, this royal Audiencia of Manila determined that these professorships should be located—as it were, in trust—in the college of San Ignacio of Manila. That was in fact done, the Society showing this courtesy to his Catholic Majesty—until, by a decree dated July 26, 1730, those professorships are now suppressed, and other provision has been made. Now, very recently, the chief college of San Ignacio has, besides the privileges above cited, two new chairs—one of canonical law, without a salary, directed by a religious; and the other of institutes, under a layman, with four hundred pesos of income, in accordance with a decree from the Escorial, dated October 23, [134]1733. The college is authorized to grant degrees in canons, laws, and other branches by his Holiness, Clement XII, by his brief of December 6, 1735. Many are taking those studies, and are deriving great advantages therefrom. Their literary exercises are very excellent, and continue [throughout their course of study] under the careful guidance of the holy Society, which is not a new thing.

572. The royal college of San Joseph, contiguous to the above college of San Ignacio, and near the royal gate of Manila, has for its origin a royal decree of Phelipe II, dated June 8, 1585, wherein the governor of these islands—who was to confer with the bishop of the islands as to the means—was ordered to institute a college, and support religious who were to teach Latin, the sciences, and good morals to those who should attend. In obedience to that decree, the said college of San Joseph was founded in the year 1595. Twelve fellowships were created, and one thousand pesos assigned from the royal treasury. A deed of it was given on condition that the college was to be called a royal college, and that the arms of his Majesty were to be placed on it. A few years afterward, by the will left by Estevan Rodriguez de Figueròa, governor and captain-general of the island of Mindanào, this college was established from the foundations in his name. It had a sufficient number of students, and a continually brilliant exercise in the branches of learning, which is flourishing in these times. Its antiquity, and its precedence to that of Santo Tomas, is defined by the royal Council of the Indias, in a contradictory judgment, which appears from a royal decree or writ of execution dated March 12, 1653. The title Real ad honorem, with [135]authority to place it on all its acts and despatches, and to place the royal arms on its gates, as we now see them, is a concession of our Catholic king, by his royal order of May 3, 1722. Therefore this college is held in esteem and has a remarkable popularity.

573. In the province of Tongdo [the Society has] [marginal note: residences or missions] in the villages of Santa Cruz, outside the Manila walls, and in San Miguel on the river of Manila; up the river toward Laguna de Baì, in the villages of San Pedro Macatì, San Matheo (with the missions of San Isidro, and Paynàan in the mountains), Antipòlo, Tàytày, Caintà, Mariquìna, Silàn, and Indàng.

In the jurisdiction of Cavìte, in the village of Cavìte el Viejo [i.e., old Cavite], and in the port of Cavìte, a college without administration.

In that of Marivèlez, in the village of Marigondòng.

In the jurisdiction of Mindòro, in the island of Marindùque, in the villages of Boàc, Santa Cruz de Nàpo, and Gàsang.

574. There is a beaterio, in the city of Manila, of respectable Indian women with their mistress, who have withdrawn from the world, and are employed in holy living and exercises. Although the fathers of the Society do not have charge of it and its government, because of the prohibition in their statutes, it is, through the common error of the crowd, called “Las Beatas de la Compañia” [“Devout women of the Society”], for they hear mass, confess, and receive communion in their church at the college of the Society.

575. The number of souls in charge of the fathers of the Society throughout these islands and the [136]Marianas, according to the latest computation (of which the fathers have informed me), is one hundred and seventy thousand.

This is all the total that I know from this point on, for the other bishoprics, which are lacking.

St. Dominic

576. The first religious of the order of our father St. Dominic who were known to have come to this archipelago were in the year 1581—the first bishop, Don Fray Domingo de Salazàr, and his associate, Fray Christoval de Salvatierra, the only survivor of a very fine mission that his Excellency brought. But the first mission that came to establish itself in Manila consisted of fourteen religious, under their vicar-general, Fray Juan de Castro, in the year 1587, on the eve of [Mary] Magdalene. This holy religion has the merit of being more strict in Philipinas than in Europa; for its members do not receive honorable titles or its convents incomes. Their habit is of unmixed frieze, and there is nothing to be asked for as a dispensation in their regular observance. They have a very fine convent in the city of Manila, which supports about thirty religious of virtue and learning. It is the chief convent of this most religious province of Santissimo Rosario.

577. The pontifical and royal university of Santo Thomas, incorporated in this holy province of Santissimo Rosario of our father St. Dominic, must recognize as its origin that venerable servant of God, the most illustrious and reverend Don Fray Miguel de Venavides, of the same order, who while archbishop of Manila, planned this so noble a work in the year 1610—giving all his library and about one [137]thousand pesos, which was the amount of his property, to begin its foundation. He was followed by Don Fray Diego de Sória, of the same order, and bishop of Nueva Segovia in these islands, who bequeathed all his library and three thousand eight hundred pesos for the continuation of this work. Consequently, by the year 1620 it already had lecturers and masters for the public teaching of the sciences, by order of the superior government and the Audiencia of these islands, as appears from the Recopilación de Indias, libro i, título xxii, ley liii.13 After that three pontifical briefs were obtained, each one ad decennium, empowering them to graduate students from the courses of philosophy and theology. But Don Phelipe IV by his letter to the count of Siruela, his ambassador in Roma, petitioned and obtained from his Holiness Innocent X the bull commencing In supereminenti, given at Roma, November 20, 1645. In that bull his Holiness erects a university in the college of Santo Thomas in due form, with all the exemptions and privileges that other universities have, under the care of the Order of Preachers. Authority is given to the rector to confer degrees, establish statutes, and appoint officials, his Holiness giving them the names proper of university, etc., until an independent university of general studies should be founded in Manila. Afterward the king, by a royal decree, dated Madrid, May 17, 1680, admitted the said university under his patronage and royal protection; and ordered the governor, Audiencia, archbishop, and orders to so regard it, and to observe its statutes and exemptions. By another decree, dated Madrid, November 22, [138]1682, the king concedes authority for the erection of the chairs of laws and medicine in Santo Thomas. By another quite recent decree, dated San Lorenzo, October 23, 1733, the king grants to the university of Santo Thomas two chairs—one of canonical law, which is held by a religious who receives no salary; and the other of the institutes, in charge of a layman, appointed by the royal Audiencia, and assigned a salary of four hundred pesos per annum, payable from the royal treasury, and to be taken from [funds arising from] the vacant sees of the archbishop and bishops of these islands. The same favor is conferred upon the college of San Ignacio of the Society. At present these two chairs are being maintained in both places. A petition having been made to his Holiness in behalf of the said university, that authority be conceded it to graduate students in the laws from it, his Blessedness Clement XII (who is at present governing the Church), concedes this, granting said chairs to the university. His bull Dudum emanarunt, promulgated in Roma, September 2, 1734, in which he inserts the letter of Innocent above cited, and the permissions and prerogatives there expressed (which are those of general universities), incorporates the said chairs, and those which may be founded in the future, so that the university may be able to graduate students in them, and so that the graduates may enjoy all the exemptions which are there mentioned.

578. Thus does the order maintain that university, and it has men there of excellent learning and qualifications for public teaching. There are a sufficient number of students and collegiates who hear instruction, illustrated in the public literary exercises [139]in the sciences, and with all the other aids necessary. Its material edifice is very substantial and large and has a sufficient number of apartments and class-rooms of goodly capacity. It is located next door to the convent of our father St. Dominic in Manila.

579. The seminary of San Juan de Letràn was started by a Spaniard of excellent life, called Brother Juan Geronymo Guerrero, who had in charge the rearing and teaching of poor and orphaned Spanish boys—whom, partly with his own money but more with alms, he was supporting and had gathered in his house. For that purpose his Majesty granted him an encomienda in Ylòcos for the support of the said boys. When he became quite old and helpless he retired, with the permission of the archbishop, to the infirmary of St. Dominic, where he died a religious, having renounced in due form his house, encomienda, and all his other property, so that he might give them to the order. The latter was to take charge of the education of the said orphans. So in effect the seminary of the said boys was given to the order of our father St. Dominic with all the aforesaid incomes, besides a piece of land one hundred brazas long by fifty wide (which they were to choose) in the Parián—free, and without paying land-tax to the city—as a help toward its support. That transfer was made by decree of Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuèra, dated Manila, June 18, 1640, as appears from the first document in the book of the foundation of said seminary. In that book is seen its erection into a seminary with the advocacy of St. John of the Lateran, as appears from the acts of the archbishop and provisor, and from the other solemnities, found on leaves 5–11 inclusive. [140]Their principal rule was the education of the said orphans, so that they might go thence as soldiers, and to occupy other posts in the community. Now most of them become priests, studying the branches of philosophy and theology; and almost all the seculars of the bishopric of Camarines, and many others in the other bishoprics of the islands, come from that seminary. From the said seminary, there have been already graduated with great credit four doctors through the university of Santo Thomas, two of whom are now canons of this metropolitan church—one, provisor of Ylòcos; and the other, chief chaplain of the Misericordia. Some incomes in the royal chapel have been added to the said seminary, and a seraphic tertiary order with which fifty collegiates are regularly maintained in education for the order of our father St. Dominic.

580. In the suburbs of Manila, the Dominicans have the hospital of San Gabriel for the Chinese, and the convent and church of Santos Reyes [i.e., “holy kings”], with the administration of the same Christian Chinese, who live and trade here.

581. In the province of Tongdo, this order has charge of the village of Binondòc and the convent of San Juan del Monte (but without any administration), up the river of Manila.

582. In the province of Pampànga, the convents and administration of the villages of Abocày, Sàmal, Oriòng, Oranì, with some visitas and missions. In these administrations they have in charge sixteen thousand souls.

In the port of Cavite, a convent without administration.

583. Inside the city of Manila, the royal beaterio [141]of Santa Cathalina is incorporated with the province of Santissimo Rosario. It was established in the year 1695, in the house and on the ground given for that purpose by Don Antonio Esguerra with some shops of the Parián for its support. Accordingly, some beatas [i.e., devout women] lived there in retreat for some years, in the care of the Dominican religious. Later General Don Juan Escaño took charge of the maintenance of the said beatas. He left a considerable portion of his property for that purpose, specifying that there should be fifteen Spanish beatas for the choir, and sufficient lay-sisters to take care of the beaterio. Today it is a house worthy of deep veneration and respect. The king has incorporated it in his royal patronage, with authority to have a public church with bells and a choir, and permission to celebrate the divine offices. They have a cloister, and profess the tertiary order of the Dominicans. The only thing necessary to perfect their lives, and which they desire, is profession as nuns.

Discalced Augustinians

584. The discalced religious of the great father of the Church, St. Augustine, entered Manila in the year 1606. Although they were the last evangelical workers, their apostolic zeal has extended in rivalry to the first ones, and they have attained abundant results from their labors, in the reduction of the most barbarous islanders, and in the exemplary lives of their reformed religious. The first convent in which they lived was the one now called San Juan de Bagongbáyan, outside the walls of the city of Manila. It was established with the title of San Nicolas de Tolentino, which is still preserved (without administration), [142]with the veneration merited, not only by their primacy but by the miraculous image of Nuestra Señora de la Salud [i.e., “our Lady of health”] who is venerated there. Later, a convent was erected in due form under the ancient advocacy of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, that saint being today the titular of that most strict province. In that convent, which is inside and near the walls of Manila, there are generally maintained thirty or forty religious. They have the reputation of being a community as well regulated as the best in Castilla, and one in which have been known a great number of fathers of holiness and learning. From that convent they go out to perform their laborious ministrations in these islands. Their houses in this archbishopric are as follows.

585. In the province of Tongdo, the convent of San Sebastian near Manila, where the miraculous image of Nuestra Señora del Carmen [i.e., “our Lady of Carmen”] is revered, and she has a Confraternity of the holy Escapular, with very fervent devotion. There are three hundred and thirty-six souls ministered to in that convent.

586. In the jurisdiction of Marivèlez: in the villages of Marivèlez, Cabcàben, Bagàc, Mòrong; and they have administration between Súbic and the point of Bolinào, which is the country of the Zambàles. They also have some missions in the mountains near by. In that district they care for 8,550 souls.

587. All of the island of Mindòro is under the charge of those religious, where in various villages, visitas, missions, and settlements, they minister to 7,552 souls. [143]

588. In the port of Cavite, they have another convent, a dwelling for the religious without any administration of Indians.

[In the margin: “Total number of souls, 16,438.”]

St. John of God

589. The hospital Order of St. John of God, although their institute is the hospital and the treatment of bodies, have not a few times served as medicine for souls, under the spur of the apostolic zeal of those charitable religious. Although it appears from a royal decree of February 10, 1617, that permission was given for ten religious for these islands, one cannot find evidence of the time of their entrance. They can only be found in the year 1649, with a hospital of convalescents in Ragongbayan, outside the walls of Manila, with their superior, the very reverend prior vicar-provincial, Fray Francisco de Magallanes.14 Cession was made to him, as the [144]head of his order, of the old hospital, which was founded by our Fray Juan Clemente. The Santa Misericordia of Manila, under the title of “Hospital of the Misericordia of the Franciscan fathers,” managed its financial affairs—as appears from the written [145]statement of the said executive board of May 13, 1656, and from the permissions of Archbishop Poblete, of May 11 of the said year, and of Governor Don Sabiniano, of March 22 of the same year. His Catholic Majesty approved that gift by his royal decree of December 5, 1659. That hospital continually suffered ever-recurring disasters, until the arrival at these islands of the very reverend father Fray Antonio Arce, in July of 1726, as its head and superior. Such has been his zeal and prudence that he has merited the glorious title of restorer of the hospital order in these islands, in its organization and affairs. For now, not only is it seen to be glorified by a very large, distinguished, and devout community, but they have built a sumptuous church from the foundations, excellent sick wards, and the house of the religious, almost to the extreme of perfection. They began so grand and vast a work November 28, 1728, when his Excellency Archbishop Don Carlos Vermudez blessed the first stone, in the presence of Governor Marquis de Torre Campo (who began that building with two thousand pesos, which he gave that afternoon as alms), and the most noble and prominent people of this community.

590. There was another hospital in Cavite, but it was swallowed up in the sea. At present a common house is used there as a hospital. The same thing is true of Zebù. All that will be remedied, as is proved by experience, if the providence of God do not fail it, as hitherto it has not.

Discalced Franciscans

591. Our discalced religious came to these islands immediately following the Augustinian fathers, in [146]the year 1577. They were the founders of the custodia of San Phelipe, which was later entitled San Gregorio. Now the province of the discalced Franciscans has the same title. Its first founder was the venerable Fray Antonio de San Gregorio, and its first custodian, the venerable Fray Pedro de Alfaro. Possession was taken of the new convent of Manila, August 2, 1577, and the most holy sacrament was placed in their church of Santa Maria de los Angeles [i.e., “St. Mary of the Angels”]. That was the first receptacle [for the sacrament], or sacristy, that his Majesty had in these islands. In this convent the community ceremonies are observed, in accordance with the rigor of the rules of España. There is a well-served infirmary, and [opportunity for] studies, when that is necessary. It generally contains thirty religious, according as the climate and other accidents of this country permit. This convent is the mother and head of this holy province, whence go religious to minister to the places in our charge. They are as follows.

592. In the archbishopric of Manila: in the province of Tòngdo, in the villages of Dilào Sampàloc, Pandàcan, and Santa Ana de Sàpa—sanctuaries very famous for the miraculous images of our Lady and of the child Jesus—where 7,900 souls are ministered to.

593. In the province of Bulacàn: in the villages of Pòlo, Meycauayàn, Bocàui, with their visitas, where 19,500 souls are ministered to.

594. In the province of Laguna de Baì: in the villages of Mòrong, Bar-às, Tanày, Pililla, Mabitac, Cabôan, Sinilôan, Pangil, Panquil, Paète, Longos, Lucban, Cauinti, Pagsanghàn, Santa Cruz (with its [147]infirmary), Pila, Maìnit (with the hospital of the sulphur-water baths), Nagcarlàn, Lilio, and Mahàyhày in the mountains. And now lately, by cession of the Augustinian fathers, the villages of Baì, and Binangonan de los Ferros [i.e., “Binangonan of the dogs”], with the settlement of Angono. In all those villages, and their visitas, 40,534 souls are ministered to.

595. In the mountains of Daraëtan, which extend from Laguna de Baì to the opposite coast of Valèr, there is a mission with about four hundred converted souls, and many others to convert.15

596. There is another convent outside the walls of Manila, at one legua’s distance, called San Francisco del Monte, without administration, but used only for the spiritual retreat of the religious, which has its guardian.

597. Near the royal magazines of Manila stands the celebrated convent of the nuns of our mother St. Clare. They are subject to this province, and are governed by their vicar, a religious of this province. Its foundation and attending circumstances are treated in the body of these chronicles.

598. Within the court or enclosure of our convent of Manila, there is a very sumptuous chapel with the most holy sacrament, for the attendance and exercises of the venerable tertiary order, administered and governed by a religious, a commissary-visitor, a son of this holy province.

599. Outside the walls of Manila, near the village of Dilào, stands the hospital of San Lazaro, whose spiritual and temporal administration is, and [148]has always been, in charge of the discalced Franciscan religious.

Chapter LI

Bishopric of Zebu

600. It has been stated above, in the list of the archbishops of Manila, that the bishopric of Zebu is one of the three suffragans which Pope Clement VIII erected for these Philipinas Islands by his brief of August 14, 1595. This is the most extensive, not only because of its territory in the islands, but because its jurisdiction also includes the Marianas Islands. The episcopal see is established in the city of Dulcissimo Nombre de Jesus (before called San Miguel)—founded in the month of April, 1565—in its very spacious wooden church, which is dedicated to the holy guardian angel (unless it be dedicated to the holy archangel, St. Michael, as is so fitting, as he was the first titular of that village). That church has its sacristy, with its cura and sacristan. There is a provisor, and some secular clergy with benefices are located in some of the islands of its jurisdiction. In that city the order of the great father St. Augustine has a convent, in which is venerated [an image of] the most miraculous child Jesus, found at the conquest of the city; a college of the Society of Jesus; a convent of the discalced Augustinians; and perhaps one or several religious of St. John of God. Toward the eastern part of the island of Zebù is located the city, with some Spanish houses—although now only one or two Spaniards live there with the alcalde-mayor, who is the governor, chief justice, general of the soldiers in Pintados, and castellan of the fort in the same city; two alcaldes-in-ordinary, [149]one lieutenant of royal officials, three regidors, two notaries, one city steward, and one chief constable. There is a district for the Sangleys, who form a Parián. The above is all that is most noteworthy regarding the city of Zebù.

Jurisdiction of this bishopric

601. The bishopric of Zebù extends, with its jurisdiction, throughout the province of Lèyte; throughout that of Zebù, with the adjacent islands, as above stated; the province of Caràga; the province of Panày, with the jurisdiction of Ogtòng, and adjacent islands; as far as the Calamiànes, and Paràgua; the northern coast of Mindanào; and the Marianas Islands.

Stipends of the bishops of these islands

602. His Excellency the bishop of Zebù receives an annual stipend of four thousand pesos of common gold, by virtue of a royal decree dated May 28, 1680. The cura of the sacristy of that holy church receives 183 pesos 6 tomins 7 granos; the sacristan, 91 pesos 7 tomins 3 granos. The other two bishops, their curas, and sacristans, receive the same stipends, and for the same reason.

Chapter LIII

Curacies and administrations of the bishopric of Zebù


615. The sickness and death of the bishop, and the distance of that bishopric, have delayed the news that I had hoped to receive of the curacies in its district. Therefore, I shall proceed with the administrations of the religious throughout that bishopric. [150]

Administrations of religious

616. In the city of Zebù is the convent of the calced Augustinian fathers—the first temple and sacred repository of the miraculous image of the holy Child that was discovered—where, as a rule, three religious live, without administration.

617. Outside the walls is the convent of San Nicolas, or Zebù el Viejo [i.e., “Old Zebù”], which was the first village conquered by the Spaniards. Hence its natives are reserved from tribute, and are ministered to by the Augustinian fathers. The number of souls reaches 3,504.

618. The administrations of the villages of Argào, Bolohòn, Cotcot (with Liluan), in the island of Zebù, whose souls number 8,666, have been lately ceded (in this year of 1737) to the fathers of the Society, with the necessary licenses.

619. In the province of Panày: in the village and capital of Càpis, and in the villages of Batàn, Mambusao, Dumalàg, Dumarao, and the village of Panày. In those administrations there are reckoned to be about 18,785 souls.

620. In the province of Ogtong, in the villages of Miyagao, Antique, Bugason, Tigbaoan, Cabutuan, Laglag, Passi, Anilao, Dumangas, the island of Guimaras, Hàro, Ogtong, and Guimbal—in which there are 52,906 souls.

621. In the two above-mentioned provinces of Ogtong and Panày, there are innumerable souls of the apostate Cimarrones, the children of Christian parents, who have fled to the mountains. Much activity has been always displayed in their conversion, [151]especially since the year 1731, and much gain is hoped from it.

622. The holy Society of Jesus has one of their colleges in the city of Zebù, and near it the administration of Mandabe. But lately the three villages of Argao, Bolohòng, and Cotcot (with its annexed village of Liluan), which were conceded to them by the Augustinian fathers, have been added to them in the same province of Zebù. And near Zebù, in the small island of Porò, the chief island of the three called Camotes.

623. In the island of Bohòl: in the villages of Loboc, Baclayon, Dáuis, Malabohòc, San Miguel de Hagna, Talibong, and Ynabanga.

624. In the island of Mindanào: in Dapitàn, with the mission of Ylàya. In Yligàn, with the missions of Layànan, Langàran, Lubùngan, Disacan, Talìnga, and others, which are being reëstablished. In Sanboàngan, the missions of Bagumbàyan, Dumalòn, Siocòn, Cabatàngan, Caldèra, Poongbatò, and Sirauày.

625. In the island of Negros, in the villages of Ylog, Cabangcàlan, with the mission of Buyônan. In Himamaìlan, Cauàyan, Ynayàuan, with the mission of Sipalày. In Iloilo, in the port, which is the capital, and in Mòlo.

626. In the island of Lèyte: in the villages of Lèyte, Palompòng, Ogmùc, Bàybày, Hilòngos, Maasim, Sogòr, Cabalìan, Lilòan, Hinundàyan, Abùyog, Dùlac, Dagàmi, Buràbuen, Pàlo, Tanàuan, Hàro, Alangàlang, Carigàra, and Barùgo.

627. In the island of Samàr: in the villages of Càpul, Catbalògan, Parànas, Calbìga, Umàuas, Lalauìton, [152]Basey, Balangìgan, Gìuan, Sùlat, Tùbig, Boròngan, Làuang, Palàpag, Catùbig, Bobòng, Catarmàn, Gibàtang, Bangàhon, and Tinàgor.

628. In the Marianas Islands: in the villages of two islands, called Agàdña, Agàt, Merizo, Pàgo, Ynaràhan, Umàtag, Ròta, and Seypàn, where there are about 2,697 souls.

629. The discalced Augustinian fathers have a convent without administration in the city of Zebù. Their administrations in that bishopric are as follows.

630. In the islands called Calamianes: in the island of Paràgua, they have the villages of Tàytày and Paràgua. In the islands of Dumaràn, Calatàn, Malampàyan, Culiòn, Linapacàn, Busuàgan, Cùyo, Canèpo, Alutàya, Bejucày, and Romblòn. In the island of Bantòn, in Tinàya and Maìnit. In the island of Simàra, the village of Simàra. In the island of Tablas, in the three villages of Cabolòtan, Odiòngan, and Lalòuan. In the island of Sibuyàn, in Càuit, and Cahidyòcan. In all those islands 21,076 souls are reckoned.

631. Throughout the island of Mindanào, and the province of Caràga; in the villages of Butuàn, Linào, Hibòn, Hingòoc, Habòngan, Maìnit, Ohot, Tubày, Tandàg, Calagdàn, Babùyo, Tàgo, Marihàtag, Liànga, Bislig, Hinatòan, Catèl, Bagànga, Caràga, Higaquit, Pahuntùngan, Surigào, Cagayàn, Hipìnon, Agùsan, Manalàga (a new village), Gompòt, Balinùan, and Tagolòan, with their missions. In the island of Siargào, in the villages of Caòlo, Sapào, and Cabònto. In the island of Dinàgat, and in the island of Camiguin, the two villages of Guinsilìban, [153]and Catarmàn. Those administrations number 21,635 souls.

632. Since the fathers of St. John of God have no fixed convent, they likewise do not have any regularly-established religious.

Chapter LIV

Bishopric of Nueva Cáceres in Camarines

633. The bishopric of Nueva Cáceres was erected at the same time and in the same manner as that of Zebù. Its see is in the city of Nueva Cáceres, which is located in Naga, and has its provisor, cura of its parish church, secretary, and sacristan.

Jurisdiction of that bishopric

634. In its jurisdiction it embraces the whole provinces of Camarines and Albay, and as far as and inclusive of the islands of Ticào, Masbate, Burìas, and Catanduánes; the province of Tayàbas, as far as and inclusive of Lucbàn; and, along the opposite coast of Maubàn, [it contains] Binangonan, Polo, Valèr, and Casigùran.

Chapter LV

Curacies and administrations of the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres


650. That bishopric possesses the curacy of the sacristy of the holy church of Nueva Cáceres; and in the province of Camarìnes, the curacies of Indàn, Paracàle, Capalònga, Caramòan, and Lagonòy, with several visitas. Those curacies number 11,984 souls.

651. In the province of Tayàbas, the curacies of [154]Pirìs, Obuyon, and Mulanày, with their visitas, in all numbering 5,161 persons.

652. In the province of Albày, the curacies of Albày, Bulusàn, Casigùran, Sorsogòn, Donsòl, Tabàco, and Malinào, with their visitas, in all 18,562 persons.

653. In the island of Catanduânes, the curacies of Bìga, and Bìrac, numbering 6,471 persons.16

Administrations in charge of religious

654. The calced Augustinian fathers possess in that bishopric, in the province of Tayàbas, the administration of the village of Tiaong, where 780 souls are reckoned.

655. The discalced Augustinian fathers possess, in the island of Masbàte, the sites of Maboò, Balinò, Palanò, Abuyòan, Camasòso, Buracàn, Limbòhan, Nauàngui, and Baràga, in which they minister to about 3,345 souls.

656. In the island of Burîas, the village of Burîas, with 180 souls.

657. In the island of Ticào, the village of Ticào, with San Jacinto, with 475 souls.17

658. The discalced Franciscan religious of this province of San Gregorio have administration in what they own in that bishopric, in a convent of the village of Nàga, contiguous to the city of Nueva Cáceres, in the province of Camarìnes. A commissary-provincial lives there, and they have a good infirmary. They also minister in the villages of Canamàn, Quípayò, Milaòrd, Minalàbag, Bùla, and [157]Bào, Nabòa, Yraga, Buhi, Libòng, Polàngi, Oàs, Ligào, Guinobàtan, Camarìnes, Cagsàua, and Ligmànan, where they minister to 52,555 souls.

659. In the province of Tayàbas, in the villages of Tayàbas, Pàgbilào, Saryàya, Lucbàn, Gumacà, Atimònan, Mayòboc, and Macalìlong, in which 13,807 souls are ministered to.

660. In the mission of the mountains of Lùpi, Ragày, and the beach of Bangon, with their village formed in Lùpi, in the province of Camarìnes, where nine hundred souls are ministered to.

661. In the same province, in the mountain of Mangirin, in the village of Santa Cruz, formed from the people who are being gathered from the mountain, where 1,200 souls are ministered to.

662. In the province of Tayàbas, in the mountains and coasts of the opposite shore, in the villages of Binangonan, Pòlo, Valèr, and Casigùran, which include the administration of the Indians, with the missions annexed to them, and where 2,500 souls are ministered to.18

Chapter LVI

Bishopric of Nueva Segovia

663. The bishopric of Nueva Segovia is one of the suffragans of this archbishopric of Manila, and it was erected at the same time as the others and in the same circumstances. Its see is located in the village of Làlo. There lives the alcalde-mayor, while the village has an infantry presidio, and a convent of Dominican religious. It has its own provisor, cura, and sacristan for that holy church. [158]

Jurisdiction of that bishopric

664. That bishopric which is called Cagayàn includes under its jurisdiction the provinces of Pangasinàn, from the point of Bolinào; Ylòcos; and Cagayàn, to and inclusive of Palànan on the opposite coast.

Chapter LVII

Curacies and administrations of the bishopric of Cagayàn


679. The curacies of the seculars in that bishopric are [as follows]: in the province of Cagayàn, the curacy of the city and the village of Lallo; in the province of Ilòcos, the three curacies of Vigan, Bangued (in the mountains of Labra), and that of San Diego, a mission of the Tinguianes—whose number I am unable to determine, although I have made extraordinary efforts to do so. All the rest of that bishopric is in the charge and under the administration of religious, as follows.

Administrations of religious

680. The calced Augustinian fathers have, in the province of Pangasinàn, the village of Agoò, with San Thomas and Aringày, whence the religious go to the neighboring mountains to the conquest of the barbarous Igorrote people; in the village of Bàuan, with those of Boua, Dalandan, Caua, and one other fine mission; in the village of Bagnôtan, with that of San Juan, and another fine mission. Those administrations number 8,875 souls.

681. In the province of Ilòcos, in the village of Namacpacàn, with that of Balavan, and a fine mission; in that of Bangar with Tagurin and another [159]mission; in that of Candong, with Santa Lucia; in that of Narbacàn, with that of Santa Cruz; in that of Santa Cathalina; in that of Bantay, with those of Ildefonso and Masingal; in that of Cabogào, with Lupog; in that of Sinait, with Badòc; in those of Panay, Batàc, San Nicolas, Leyrat, and Dingras, with that of Piric, and an extensive mission of heathen Tinguianes in those mountains, from whom little fruit was obtained until the year 1730. (In the year 1735, through the visit of our father provincial, the very reverend father Fray Piego Vergaño, they asked for religious very urgently, begging that some would live in their villages. A great harvest of spiritual fruits is hoped from that.) In the village of Ilduàg; in that of Bangui, with other small mission villages; and in that of Bacarra with that of Vera. All those administrations number 51,453 souls.

682. In the province of Pangasinàn, the Dominican fathers have their administrations in the villages of Lingayèn (the capital of that province), Binalatongan, Calasiào, Mangaldan, Manaòag, Cavili, Malonguèy, Telbàn, Binmalèy, Dagupàn, Malasiqui, Anguìo, Salàza, Sinapòg, Panìqui, Camiling, Barùc, Paniaguit, and Pantòl; with some visitas, and missions of blacks. The number of souls in all those administrations amount to about 48,000.

683. In the province of Cagayàn, in Lallo (the capital of that province): Pata, with Cabacungan and Bangan; Pia, with Maoanan; Nasiping, with Gataran; Malaueg, with its mission of Santa Cruz; Tuvao, with its mission of Tuga; Yguic, with its visita of Amulong; Fotòl, with its visita of San Lorenzo, and its mission of Capinatan; Massì; the island of Babuyanes, with the missions of the islands [160]of Batàn and Calayan; Cabàgan; Tuguegarào; Buguèy, with its mission of Vuangàc; Tabàng; Ytugùd, with the mission of Ziffun; Ylágan, with the mission of Tumavini; Aparri; and Camalayûgan. The number of soul is about 25,752.

684. The discalced Franciscan religious possess the administration of the village of Palànan, with 1,700 souls, on the opposite coast of Cagayàn.

685. There is a fine mission of several barbaric people called Irràyas, Negritos, and Aètas in the mountains of the same opposite coast; and on its shores, from Palànan to Casiguran. The religious are working in their conversion and reduction, at the expense of excessive hardships. The souls converted in various settlements there number about six hundred.

Chapter LVIII

General summary of all the Christian souls among the natives of these islands

686. I have been unable to state separately the number of souls to whom the seculars minister in the archbishopric and in the bishoprics throughout these islands. I have seen them enumerated only in common. They number 131,279 and live in 142 villages.

The seculars minister throughout this archipelago to 131,279
St. Augustine, throughout the islands 241,806
The Society, in all the islands 170,000
St. Dominic, in all the islands 89,752
Discalced Augustinians, in all the islands 63,149
Discalced Franciscans, in all the islands 141,196
Total 837,182

687. Thus, the number of eight hundred and [161]thirty-seven thousand one hundred and eighty-two Christian souls, among the natives of these islands—who are ministered to spiritually in the above-mentioned provinces, villages, and settlements—is what I get from the special lists sent me for this work by the holy orders, made according to the last enumeration, that for the years 1735 and 1736. I have supplied those which have not been furnished to me (which I have solicited by various means) from the clergy of these islands, with the number mentioned, which is placed by the very reverend father Pedro Murillo on his map.19 This, together with the account of the royal officials for the year 1735, are the citations that I offer for the proof of my account, if there should be any discrepancy between it and others. I reflect that no one can give a better account of the treasury than he who has continual care of it. It is doubtless true that all or any of them may have unavoidable errors; for the Indians are continually removing, dying, or absenting themselves. Consequently, I judge that the number of souls, of those who are at this time reputed to be natives of these Islands, exceeds one million. The temples [of God] where the instruction is given in villages and visitas are in excess of seven hundred, as was represented to his Catholic Majesty by the royal officials in a report in the year 1720. As for the number of Spaniards and foreigners, the computation is extremely difficult and uncertain; and therefore it is not safe to make a decisive statement. [162]

688. After very painstaking efforts, at the time when this book is in press I receive information about the curacies of the seculars of Zebù, in the following form. The curacy of the sacristy of the holy church, and that of the Parián of the Sangleys, in the city of Zebú; in the island of Zebú, that of Bantayàn and Baríli; in the island of Negros, in Dumaguète, Binalbàgan, Tucàuan, and Tanghày; in the island of Panày, in the city of Arébalo, Ahúy, Aclàng, Banga, Ybahày, and Culási. Nearly all those curacies are very large and need assistants. Throughout that jurisdiction and in the Marianas there are various outside vicars, who are generally the religious of those regions. Such is the information which I have obtained from the provisor of that bishopric; but he does not give the number of parishioners, as it is very difficult to ascertain it. [163]

1 i.e., “in both courts,” meaning the outer court of ecclesiastical justice, and the inner court of conscience. See Vol. VIII, p. 278.

2 For further historical and descriptive information regarding the cathedral of Manila (especially the present structure, completed in 1879), see Fonseca’s Reseña cronológica de la catedral de Manila (Manila, 1880).

3 Marginal note: “In the year 1571 the first Inquisition was established in México, and its first inquisitor was Don Pedro Moya de Contreras, afterward visitor, archbishop of México, and its viceroy; and later president of the royal Council of the Indias. See Torquemada, in La monarchia indiana, book 5, chapter 24.”

4 That decree organized the tribunals of the Crusade, and made provision for their conduct and for the care of the revenues from the bulls. Various laws on this subject are found in Recopilación leyes de Indias, lib. i, tit. xx; one of these may be found ante, pp. 76, 77.

5 Among the media employed by the Holy See in the restoration of one’s conscience to its good estate, are the bulls of composition. In the case of persons in possession of ill-gotten goods, as prebendaries who have forfeited their canonical allotments, or trustees who have maladministered estates, and the like, an arrangement (Latin, compositio) is sometimes made—only, however, when the rightful owners or heirs of the property in question are unknown (si domins sint ignoti), whereby the said “unjust steward” is allowed to keep for himself a moiety of what does not belong to him, on condition that the rest be handed over for the maintenance of church services, or institutions of charity, as hospitals, asylums, and the like. See Ferraris’s Bibliotheca, art. “Bulla Cruciatae.”—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

The bulls for the dead were placed on the heads of the dying, or in the hands of the dead—purchased by their friends or relatives in order to rescue then souls from purgatory. Those de lacticinios (literally, “for milk-porridges”) permitted to ecclesiastics the use of certain foods at times when these were forbidden by church law. The bulls of the Crusade were valid as dispensations only one year in Spain; but according to Solórzano they were extended to two years in the colonies, on account of the long time required for them to teach those distant places. See Bancroft’s Hist. Mexico, iii, p. 605. After the victory of Lepanto, Gregory XIII resumed the issue of these indulgences, and extended them to twelve years; and since then his bull has been renewed every twelve years, (E. H. Vollet, in Grande Encyclopédie, Paris, Lamirault et Cie.), xiii, p. 453.

6 Apparently the “farming out” of this revenue, by the crown, to private persons. A law of May 30, 1640, enacted that all the expenses connected with the bulls of the Crusade should be paid from its proceeds, the remainder being paid to the crown (Recopilación, lib. i, tit. xx, ley xvi).

7 Tournon was the papal legate sent to China for the settlement of the famous controversy regarding the “Chinese rites,” which had lasted some seventy years. The missions to China were entirely in the hands of the Jesuits until 1631, when Dominicans entered that country, and Franciscans in 1633. The new missionaries soon began to accuse the Jesuits of undue complaisance and conformity with heathen customs, and made complaint against them at Rome. For a time the Holy See permitted the practice of the Chinese rites, but frequent contentions arose on this subject between the Jesuits and the other orders, which were not definitely settled by Rome for many years. Finally, Clement XI sent Tournon (1703) to investigate the matter thoroughly, who condemned the rites in question as idolatrous and was therefore imprisoned by the Chinese emperor. He died in this captivity (1710), but his decision was accepted by the pope, and all Catholic missionaries to China were required to take an oath that they would resist those rites to the utmost. See full account of this controversy, with citations of authorities, in Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary (Meagher’s revision), pp. 926–928. For accounts of Tournon’s stay at Manila, and the dissatisfaction which he aroused there, see La Concepción’s Hist. Philipinas, viii, pp. 306–324; and Zúñiga’s Hist. Philipinas (Sampaloc, 1803), pp. 411–416.

8 Sidoti (or Sidotti) was an Italian priest who came to Manila with Tournon, intending to enter the forbidden land of Japan. In 1709, he succeeded in doing this, by persuading the captain of [107n]a Spanish vessel to land him on the Japanese coast; Zúñiga says (Hist. Philipinas, pp. 420, 421) that nothing more had ever been learned regarding him. La Concepción, however, writing somewhat earlier, says (Hist. Philipinas, vi, p. 82) that in 1716 news of Sidoti’s imprisonment and death arrived at Canton—the latter being attributed to his continual fasts and austerities. But Griffis relates (Mikado’s Empire, pp. 262, 263) so much as may now be known about Sidoti’s fate, derived from a book—Sei Yō Ki Bun (“Annals of Western Nations”)—written by the Japanese scholar who examined the priest, which gives the facts of the case, and the judicial proceedings therein. Sidoti “was kept a prisoner, living for several years after his arrival, in Yedo (Tōkiō), and probably died a natural death.”

9 See La Concepción’s detailed account (Hist. Philipinas, viii, pp. 315–338) of the founding of this college.

10 This was only ad interim, during the absence of Bishop Salazar in Spain, from 1591 to Salvatierra’s death early in 1595. He had come tu Manila with Salazar, whose provisor he long was; he also ministered to the Indians, and went to Maluco as chaplain with a Spanish expedition. See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 50–52.

11 In the margin at this point occurs the following: “A total of 105,503 souls.”

12 This law (which is contained in the book entitled, “Concerning the universities, and general and private studies in the Indias”) is as follows: “Permission is conceded for the cities of Santo Domingo in the island of Española, Santa Fé in the new kingdom of Granada, Santiago de Guatemala, Santiago de Chile, and Manila in the Filipinas Islands, to have halls for study, and universities where courses may be pursued and degrees given, for the time that has appeared advisable. For that we have obtained briefs and bulls from the holy apostolic see, and we have conceded those universities certain privileges and preëminences. We order that what has been ordained for the said halls of study and universities be kept, obeyed, and executed, without violating it in any manner. Those universities which shall be limited in time, shall present themselves before our royal Council of the Indias to petition for an extension of time, where the advisable measures will be taken. If no extension is granted, the teaching of those studies shall cease and end; for so is our will.” A note to this law in the Recopilación reads in part as follows: “It must be borne in mind that the universities, seminaries, conciliars, and other schools of learning erected by public authority in the Indias were declared to be under the royal patronage by a circular letter of June 11, 1792.”

13 See this law in Vol. XX, pp. 260, 261.

14 Notwithstanding that San Antonio states that the brothers of the hospital Order of St. John of God arrived in Manila at this comparatively late date, they had been often asked for by both the ecclesiastical estates. The following letter from the bishop of Nueva Segovia is such a request. The original of this letter is in Archivo general de Indias, with the pressmark: “Simancas; ecclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de los obispos sufraganeos de Manila, a saber, Nueva Segovia, Nueva Cáceres, Santísimo Nombre de Jesús ó Cebú; años de 1597 á 1698; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 34.” It would appear from the endorsement on this letter that some brothers were sent at this early date; although this instruction probably remained a dead letter. (Cf. Vol. XVIII of this series, p. 114, dated 1618.)


“Your Majesty has a royal hospital here, which is one of the most necessary and useful things in this land for the health and treatment of the poor soldiers and of the other people who serve your Majesty. Although its income is but scanty, if it had some one to distribute it efficiently, and to care for it properly, there would be sufficient aid from the many alms given by the inhabitants [132n]who can do something. It is most necessary for its good government and maintenance for your Majesty to send four or five brothers from the order called [St.] John of God, who should have authority from your Majesty and from his Holiness to be able to receive others; for now the matter is ready, and all that is necessary. Those brothers could come with the religious whom your Majesty is sending—either Franciscans or Dominicans—or your Majesty could have them sent from the good brothers who are established in Nueva España. The latter would economize the expense, and the journey would be quicker and more certain. May our Lord preserve your Majesty long years, for the welfare of His church. Manila, July 7, 1606. I kiss your Majesty’s royal hands,

Fray Diego, bishop of Nueva Segobia.”

[Endorsed: “Manila, July 7, 1606. Number 518. From the bishop of Nueva Segovia. September 24, 1607.” “Have the four brothers whom he mentions sent; have the matter entrusted to Don Francisco de Tejada, so that he may arrange this with the chief brother of Anton Martin.” “A copy was sent to Don Francisco.”]

A decree of Felipe IV, dated Madrid, November 30, 1630, thus regulates the foundation of these religious in the Indias:

“The viceroys, presidents, and auditors of the royal audiencias shall not allow any of the religious of St. John of God to live or reside in the Indias, who shall have gone thither without our permission; or to found convents, give habits to any persons, or allow them to profess. Those who may be living in the provinces of their districts, or shall go thither later with our permission, shall not take upon themselves the care of the hospitals, either of Indians or of Spaniards, or the management of their incomes and alms, unless by first binding themselves to give reports and allow inspections in this respect by the ecclesiastical, or secular judges who can and ought to make them. And they shall not be exempt from that by saying that they have a bull from the apostolic see to be religious, and that they are ordained with holy orders, and that therefore they are to be subordinate only to their regular prelate. Neither shall they be exempt from the inspection for any other excuse that they may bring forward.”—See Recopilación de leyes, lib. i, tit. xiv, ley xxiv.

15 In the margin at this point: “Total number of souls, 68,334.”

16 In the margin at this point: “Total number of persons, 42,178.”

17 In the margin at this point: “Total number of souls, 4,000.”

18 In the margin at this point: “Total number of souls, 70,961.”

19 The number of christianized natives is stated, on Murillo Velarde’s map, as 900,000. Cf. the statement by Le Gentil (p. 209 post), of the number in 1735—so in his printed text, but perhaps a typographical error for 1755.


Religious Condition of the Islands

[The following is from Historia general, by Juan J. Delgado, S.J. (written in 1751–54), pp. 141–158. The chapters here presented are from part i, book ii.]

Chapter II

Of the ministries of souls that pertain to the clerics in these Filipinas Islands

In the assumption, so certain and evident, that the clerics, both seculars and regulars, had been the primitive apostles and preachers of the holy gospel in the Orient and in these archipelagos, I commence with them to describe the ministries in these islands that have been commended to their zeal and care. In the archbishopric of Manila, the curacies of the venerable clergy amount to sixteen, besides some visitas. There is one for Spaniards, and one for natives, in the cathedral; that of Santiago, outside the city; that of the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Guía; that of Quiapo, which belongs to the archiepiscopal jurisdiction: these belong to the province of Tondo. In the jurisdiction of Cavite there are: that of the port of that city; outside the walls, that of San Roque; not very distant, that of Bacoor; and another, called Las Estancias [i.e., “the ranches”]. In the province of Taal is that of Balayán; the [164]Rosario, in the province of Laguna de Bay; those of San Pedro, Tunasán, Tabuco, and Santo Tomás, in the mountains. In the jurisdiction of Mindoro is that of Suban.

In the bishopric of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús of Cebú, there is one Spanish cura in the city, and outside the walls is that of the Parián of mestizos and Sangleys; that of Barili in the same island, and that of Bantayán (of whose jurisdiction are the visitas of Maripipi, Panamao, and Limancauayán); that of Siquijor, in that same island. In the island of Panay, the curacy of Aclán, Banga, Ibajay, Culasi, Ajui, and that of the town of Arévalo (which his Excellency the bishop, Don Protasio Cabezas, has lately conceded to the Society of Jesus). In the island of Negros, that of Dumaguete, with several visitas; and those of Binalbagan, Tugcaban, and Tanhay.

In the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres or Camarines, in the city which is the capital and seat of the bishopric, there is one cura of the sacristy, who is provisor and vicar-general. In the same province are the curacies of Indang, Paracale, Capalonga, Caramoan, and Lagonoy, with some visitas belonging to the same curacies. In the province of Tayabas are the curacies of Pyris, Abuyon, Mulanay, and their visitas. In the province of Albay are the curacies of Bulusan, Casiguran, Sorsogón, Donsol, Tabaco, and Malinao, with their visitas. In the island of Catanduanes are the curacies of Biga and Birac, with their visitas.

In the bishopric of Cagayán is the curacy of Lalo or Nueva Segovia; in the province of Ilocos, that of Vigan, and that of Bangar; and in the mountains that [165]of Abra, and that of San Diego among the Tinguianes, with some separate visitas. Consequently, the venerable clergy in these Islands have fifty-three beneficed curacies, which are new.

Chapter III

Of the ministries of the reverend calced Augustinian fathers

The reverend calced Augustinian fathers, the first founders of these missions, have one convent in Manila, which is the head of all their province of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, and of all the other parochial convents. In the province of Tondo, they have charge of the village of that name, Tambobo, Malate, Parañaque, Pásig, and Taguig, with various visitas annexed to them. On the river Pásig, they possess the convent and sanctuary of Guadalupe, where several devout religious live who have charge of the worship of the holy image. Further they have the ministry of San Pablo de los Montes, in the province of Taal and Balayán; the convents and ministries of Taal, Casay-say, Bauang, Batangas, Tanavan, Lipa, and Sala. In the province of Bulacán, they have the convent and ministry of that name, and those of Dapdap, Guiguinto, Bigáa, Angat, Baliuag, Quingua, Malolos, Paombong, Calumpit, and Haganoy. In the province of Pampanga, the convents and ministries of Bacolor, Macabebe, Sesmoan, Lubao, Vana, Minalin, Betis, Porác, México, Aráyat, Magalan, Tárlac, Gapan, Santor, together with some missions, and a new village called San Sebastián; and in addition, San Miguel de Mayumo, Candava, Cabagsa, and Apálit, with a mission of mountaineers. [166]

In the bishopric of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús of Cebú there is a convent called Santo Niño in the same city [of Cebú] with its church newly built, where the vicar-provincial of all the Visayas Islands has his residence; and outside the walls the convent of Cebú el Viejo [i.e., “Old Cebú”], and the ministry of San Nicolás. In the same island are the convents and ministries of the villages of Argao, Bolhon, Cabcat, with several visitas; the ministry and convent of Opón in the island of Mágtan, with the visitas of Olango, and Pangalanan, and others on the opposite coast of Cebú. The reverend calced Augustinian fathers made a cession of the villages and ministries of Bolhon, Opón, and Liloan to the fathers of the Society of Jesus, by their chapter of the year 1737; but afterward they recovered these, because of various just causes that they had for it, improved as to churches, houses, and silver ornaments—except that of Liloan, a small visita which remained in the possession of the Society, and was incorporated with the village of Mandaui, as it was near by. In the province of Panay are the convents and ministries of the capital city of Cápiz, Batan, Mambusao, Dumalag, Dumarao, and Panay; in the province of Otón, in the same island, the convents and ministries of Magao, Antique, Bugason, Tigbauan, Cabutuan, Laglag, Pasi, Aanilao, Dumangas, the island of Guimarás, Jaro, Otón, and Guimbal, with several missions of wild people [cimarrones] in the mountains, apostates and their children, in which the care and zeal of the same fathers has been exercised since the year 1731, and in which the gain and profit of many souls is not wanting.

In the bishopric of Camarines they have the convent [167]and ministry of the village of Tiaong, in the jurisdiction of the province of Tayabas. In the bishopric of Nueva Segovia or Cagayán, the province of Pangasinán, they have the convents and ministries of Agoo, Santo Tomás, and Aringay, with several missions of Igorrotes in the mountains; those of Bauar, Bona, Dalandán, and Cava, with another mission of mountaineers; and those of Bacnotan and San Juan, with another similar mission. In the province of Ilocos, they have the convent and ministry of Namagpacan, with that of Balauan and its missions, and those of Bangar and Tagurin, with another mission; those of Candón, Santa Lucía de Narbacan, Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina, and Bantay, with those of San Ildefonso and Nagsingal; that of Cabugao with Lapog; that of Sinait with Badoc; those of Panay, Batag, San Nicolás, Lecrat, and Dinglas, with that of Pirie; and various missions of Tinguianes and heathen in those mountains, where the same reverend fathers are commencing to form villages to the great advantage of those souls. They have that of Ilanag and that of Bangui, with other visitas and missions, and those of Bacarra and Vera. All of those ministries and convents are adjudged to the same reverend fathers.

Chapter IV

Convents and ministries of the reverend Franciscan fathers, the third to be established

The reverend Franciscan fathers reached the Filipinas Islands in the year 1577. In Manila they have in their vigilant and watchful care, close to the convent, a costly and beautiful chapel of the tertiary order of penance, in charge of a religious who is [168]commissary and visitor. There is also a convent of the nuns of St. Clare in the city, who are subject to and governed by the same religious. They also possess another convent called San Francisco del Monte, one legua from the city; and a hospital called San Lázaro, which they administer near the village of Dilao, which belongs to the province of Tondo; besides the villages and ministries of Sampáloc, Pandacan, and Santa Ana de Zapa. In the province of Bulacán, they have the convents and ministries of Polo, Meycauayan, and Bocaue, with several visitas. In the province of Laguna de Bay, they have in charge the ministries and convents of Morong, Barás, Tanay, Pililla, Mabitac, Cabosan, Siniloan, Pangil, Páquil, Paete, Longos, Lucban, Cavinti, Pagsanghán, Santa Cruz, Pila, and Mainit (where there is a hospital, called Los Baños, because of the warm sulphur-charged waters in those regions, for the cure of various ailments). In that same province are the ministries and convents of Nagcarlang, Lilio, and Mahayhay; and lastly, by cession of the Augustinian fathers, the villages of Bay, and Binangonan, with the ranch of Angono. In the mountains of Daractán, which extend from the lake of Bay to the east coast of the island of Luzón, they have several visitas and missions. In the province of Camarines, the convents and ministries of Naga, near the city of Nueva Cáceres, the seat of the vicar-provincial, together with Canaman, Quipayo, Milaod, Minalambang, Bula, Bao, Naboa, Iraya, Buhi, Liban, Polangui, Oas, Liyao, Guinobatan, Camarines, Cagsaua, and Ligmanan. In the province of Tayabas, [the ministries and convents] of Pagbilao, Sariaya, Lucbán, Gumaca, Atimonan, Mayobac, and [169]Macalilon. The missions of Lupe and Ragay, in the mountains and along the coast of Bangon, and another mission called Santa Cruz, in the mountains of Manguirin. In that same province of Tayabas, in the mountains and along the coasts of the opposite shore, are the ministries of Binangonan, Polo, Baler, and Casiguran. In the province of Cagayán, the ministry of Palanan, with a mission of Aetas and Irayas of those mountains.

Chapter V

Ministries of the Society of Jesus in these Filipinas Islands

After the preaching of the apostle of the Orient, St. Francis Xavier, in these archipelagos, as far as the island of Mindanao and Japon (as has been related already in its place), before the Spaniards were established in these islands, the first fathers of the Society of Jesus reached these islands by way of the west or by the Western Indias, coming with the first bishop of the islands, his Excellency Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, of the Order of Preachers—the city of Manila having been already founded, and that colony established in some fashion—in September of the year 1581. The first founders were the fathers Antonio Sedeño and Alonso Sánchez, together with the lay-brother, Nicholás Gallardo, the student brother, Gaspar de Toledo—a legitimate brother to the illustrious doctor, Father Francisco Suárez—having died on the voyage. For some years those fathers remained without any ministry to the natives which they could permanently carry on, busied only in preaching, hearing confessions, and aiding in what necessity or obedience ordered them. [170]Their first dwelling was in the convent of the seraphic father St. Francis, until they obtained a house of their own in the suburbs of Manila, in the location called Aguio—whence, as facilities and opportunity came, they moved, and established themselves inside the city, in the year 1591. There the Society has the chief residence of St. Ignatius, and a fine church where they exercise to great and continual crowds all the ministries peculiar to their institute. In that residence, there is a pontifical and royal university, of which we shall speak later, together with a royal college of San José,1 and the college of the fathers, established near the royal gate of the city, in which are taught all useful learning and arts, commencing with grammar.

In the province of Tondo they have the residence [colegio] of Santa Cruz, lately admitted as such, which is jointly a ministry of Sangleys, mestizos, and natives; the village and ministry of San Miguel, on the river brink; and about one legua above, the residence and novitiate of San Pedro Macati, with a ministry of natives. In the mountains, the village and capital of Antipolo, with the village and ministry of Bosoboso, where the natives of two mountain missions, called San Isidro and Pamaan, are settled together, whose administration was [there] inconvenient, but who are now better governed and cared for. In the plains, the fathers administer the village of Taytay, with a visita near by, called Santa Catalina; and the ministry of Cainta, with a visita of creoles called Dayap. Besides, they have the village and ministry of Mariquina, of mestizos, Sangleys, [171]and natives; and that of San Mateo, the village and capital of the residence of Silán and of Indang. In Cavite there is a residence of the Society of Jesus, and in its jurisdiction the village and ministry of Cavite el Viejo [i.e., “Old Cavite”]; in that of Mariveles, the residence of Maragondón; in the province of Mindoro, the island of Marinduque, with the villages and ministries of Boac, Santa Cruz de Napo, and Gasan.

In the bishopric and jurisdiction of Cebú they have a residence in the city; the ministry of the village of Mandaui and Liloan; in the island of Bohol, the ministries of Inabangan and Talibon, where is located the residence [residencia] of Bohol with the villages and ministries of Lóboc, Baclayon, Dauis, Malabohoc, Tagbilaran (a new village), and another on the bar of the river of Lóboc, also new, named Santísima Trinidad [i.e., “Most Holy Trinity”]; and, on the opposite coast of the island, the village and ministry of Hagna. In the island of Mindanao, the presidio of Zamboanga, where residence has been begun, with a ministry, whose rector is the chaplain of that presidio; those of Bagonbayan, Dumalón, Siocon, Cabatangan, Caldera, Polombato, and Siraguay. In the northern part of the same island the residence [residencia] and ministries of Dapitan, Iligan, Layavan, Langaran, Lubungan, Disacan, Talingan, and various visitas and missions on those same coasts and the bay of Pangue.

In the island of Negros, the ministries of Ilog, Cabancalan (with the mission of Buyonan), Himamaylán, Cavayan, and the mission of Sipalay. In the village of Iloilo and the jurisdiction of Oton there is a residence, whose rector is the chaplain of that presidio (as is he of Zamboanga), and the ministry [172]of Molo; and lastly, by concession of his Excellency Master Don Protasio Cabezas, the curacy of the town of Arévalo, with the Parián, was given to the Society. In the island of Samar, the capital and ministries of Catbalogan, Paranas, Humavas, Calviga, Boac, Bangajon, Tinagog, Calvayog; in Capul, the ministry of Abac; on the opposite coast in the province of Ibabao, the capital and ministries of Palapag, Lavan, Gatubig, Catarman, Bobon, Sulat, Túbig, and Borongan; on the south coast of the same island, the ministries of Guiguan, Balanguigan, Basey, and Lalaviton. In the island and jurisdiction of Leyte, the villages and ministries of Carigara, Barugo, Jaro, Alangalang, and Leite; and on the opposite coast, the residence [residencia] and capital of Hilongos, and the ministries of Palonpon, Poro, Ogmuc, Baybay, Maasin, Sogor, Liloan, Cavalían, and Hinondayan; in the north of the same island, the residence [residencia] of Banigo, with the capital of Palo, Tanavan, Dulac, and Abuyog; inland, Damagi and Burabuen. In the Marianas Islands (the jurisdiction of a governor for his Majesty in temporal affairs, and, in the spiritual, of the bishopric of Cebú), the ministries and capital of Agaña—where there is a residence of the Society, with a seminary of Indian natives—Agat, Merizo, Pago, Guajan, Inarajan, Umata, Rota, and Saipan.

Chapter VI

Administrations of the reverend fathers of St. Dominic in these islands

The religious of St. Dominic came to found a province in these islands with an excellent mission, in the year 1587, on the eve of St. María Magdalena. [173]Inside the city they have a sumptuous church and convent, which is the head of the most devout province of Santísimo Rosario. Near the same convent is the college and seminary of Santo Tomás, with collegiates, which has its own rector. There are taught all the belles lettres, commencing with grammar. It is a pontifical and royal university, and is attended by a sufficient number of students when one considers the small size of this community. The pupils of another institution, called San Juan de Letrán—which was begun by a Spanish resident, one Brother Jerónimo Guerrero, who dedicated himself to the shelter and education of orphan boys and the sons of poor Spaniards—attend the said university. After his death that seminary remained in charge of the same religious. Within Manila, there is a beaterio,2 whose pupils profess the tertiary Order of St. Dominic, although they do not make religious profession. They are numerous and of exemplary life, and are subject to the same fathers. The latter possess a convent in the Sangley Parián, for ministration to those of this nation who are converted. On the other side of the river they possess the hospital of San Gabriel, where sick Chinese are treated; somewhat farther, the convent and ministry of Binondo; and on the river brink the convent of San Juan del Monte, without administration [i.e., of converts].

In the province of Pampanga, the convents and ministries of Abucay, Samal, Oriong, Orani, with several visitas and missions; in the port of Cavite, a convent without administration; in the province of Pangasinán, the convents and administrations of [174]Lingayén (which is the capital of that province), Binalatongan, Calasiao, Magaldan, Mananay, Cavili, Malonguey, Telban, Birmaley, Dagupan, Malasiqui, Anguio, Salaza, Sinapog, Paniqui, Camiling, Baruc, Panglaguit, Ipantol, and several visitas and missions in the mountains. In the province of Cagayán, Lalo (which is its capital); Pata, together with Cavicunga; Bangban, Pia, Conmacananan, Nasipin, together with Gataran; Malauig, together with a mission of Santa Cruz; Tuvaco, together with the mission of Capinatan; Masi, the Babuyanes Islands, the missions of the Batanes, and Calayan; Cabangan, Tuguegarao, and Buguey, with the mission of Ibangac; Siffun; Ilagan, together with Tumauini; Aparri, and Camalayugan.

Chapter VII

Convents and ministries of the reverend discalced Augustinian fathers or Recollects

The Recollect Augustinian religious arrived at Manila in the year 1606, and founded their first convent outside the walls of Manila, in the suburb called San Juan de Bagonbayan. They afterward built a convent and church inside the walls, under the advocacy of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, which is the capital of their religious province. In the province of Tondo they have the convent and ministry of San Sebastián. In the jurisdiction and port of Cavite, they have a church and convent without ministry. In that of Mariveles, the ministries of Cabcaben, Bagac, Moron, and the coast of Zambales, with Subic and several missions in the mountains. They also minister to all the island of Mindoro, with all its villages, visitas, and missions. In the bishopric [175]of Cebú, outside the city walls, the church and convent of La Concepción, without administration. In the island of Mindanao, the province of Caraga, with the villages of Butúan, Linao, Hibon, Hingoog, Habongan, Maynit, Obot, Tubay, Tandag, Calagdan, Bayuyo, Tago, Marihatag, Lianga, Bislig, Hinatoan, Catel, Baganga, Caraga, Hagaguit, Pauntugan, Surigao, Cagayan, Iponan, Agusan, Manalaga (which is a new village), Gompot, Balinuan, Tagalban, with several missions.

In the island of Siargao, the ministries of Caolo, Sapao, and Cabuntog; in the islands of Dinagat and Camiguin, the ministries of Ginsiliban and Catarman. In the islands called Calamianes,3 the same discalced religious have charge of [the following]: in Paragua, the village and ministry of the same name, that of Taytay with the islands of Dumaran and Calatan, the villages of Malampaya, Culion, Linapasan, Busuagan, Cuyo, Canepo, Lalutaya, and Bejucay; the island of Romblón, with the ministry of Banton and those of Tinaya and Maynit. In the island of Simara, the ministry of the same name. In that of Tablas, the ministries of Cabolotan, Oriongan, and Laloan. In that of Sibuyan, those of Cavit, Catudyucan, with other visitas and missions. In the island of Masbate, in the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres, the ministries of Mobo, Bulino, Palano, Abuyoan, Camasoso, Buracan, Limboan, Navangui, and Baraga. In that of Burias, the village and ministry of the same name, with some collections of huts. In that of Ticao, the village of that name, and [176]the port of San Jacinto, where the ships that sail to España are provided with water and wood for the voyage.

Chapter VIII

Of the convents and hospitals of the reverend fathers of St. John of God

The Order of St. John of God arrived at these islands in the year 1641. Their religious founded their first hospital outside the Manila walls, in the village of Bagonbayan. In the year 1656, it was removed inside the city of Manila, as soon as there was an opportunity for them in the place where they are at present—which had before been a hospital begun by the reverend Franciscan fathers, and aided by the alms given by the brothers of the Santamesa4 and other pious inhabitants. The hospital brethren had the Franciscans’ old church—which was of good appearance, although the hospital was very dilapidated and threatened to fall—until the year 1726, when the very reverend father Fray Antonio de Arce came to these islands, as prelate and superior of the order. By his energy, economy, prudence, and zeal, the church and hospital are now seen to be restored and built anew from the foundations, in an elegant and tasteful manner, as well as the convent and dwelling of the religious. Those works were commenced in the year 1728, with the alms of the pious inhabitants of the city of Manila; and in the year 1749, when I was in that city, I saw them finished and completed. [177]

In the village of San Roque, outside the Cavite walls, those same religious had another hospital, the land of which was encroached upon by the sea until they had to abandon it. In the said year 1749, when I was also in that port, the religious had their sick in a private house, in which they exercised their ministries, until God our Lord provided them with a hospital by means of a benefactor who desired to coöperate in a work of so great importance and mercy. Although they had no hospital in Cebú, while I was there, there was one religious, who had charge of the poor sick people, in a low apartment, or room above the ground-floor of the episcopal residence. As the land is so poor there, it is very difficult to found and preserve a hospital; and more so since scarcely a Spanish inhabitant of importance is to be found there now, for the reasons that were given in the proper place.5 [178]

Chapter IX

General summary of the Christians who compose the ministries of these islands

I do not doubt that the souls ministered to throughout the islands of this archipelago, by the secular and regular priests, will exceed one million and many thousands additional, inasmuch as the children who are not yet seven years old are not found mentioned or enumerated in the registers [padrones] of the ministries. Consequently, I shall give attention only to the reckoning made a few years ago.

The ministries corresponding to those souls are first, as I have written, those of the venerable clerics, who have sixteen beneficed curacies, in the archbishopric of Manila; in the bishopric of Cebú, fifteen; in that of Camarines, eighteen; and in that of Cagayán, four. Consequently, the clerics have fifty-three [179]beneficed curacies, in the archbishopric of Manila and the three suffragan bishoprics. In them there are, according to the best reckoning, one hundred and forty-two villages, besides the visitas, collections of huts [rancherías], and missions. This year of 1750 the Christians therein are reckoned at one hundred and forty-seven thousand two hundred and sixty-nine.

The calced Augustinian religious have charge of two hundred and fifty-two thousand nine hundred and sixty-three souls, in one hundred and fifteen villages. The order of the seraphic father, St. Francis, of one hundred and forty-one thousand one hundred and ninety-three souls, in sixty-three villages. The Society of Jesus, of two hundred and nine thousand five hundred and twenty-seven Christians, in ninety-three ministries. The Order of St. Dominic, ninety-nine thousand seven hundred and [180]eighty souls, in fifty-one regular villages, without counting the visitas and missions. The Recollect religious of St. Augustine have charge of fifty-three thousand three hundred and eighty-four souls, in one hundred and five villages. Consequently, in five hundred and sixty-nine regular villages, not counting visitas, groups of huts, and missions, nine hundred and four thousand one hundred and sixteen Christians are ministered to in all these Filipinas Islands, as will be seen from the subjoined table.

Villages Souls
The clerics in 142 147,269
St. Augustine in 115 252,963
St. Francis in 63 141,193
The Society in 93 209,527
St. Dominic in 51 99,780
Recollects in 105 53,384
Total 569 904,116

In regard to the royal tributes, which the natives pay annually, although no fixed computation is possible because of their difference from year to year (notwithstanding the number which seems to me more regular and fixed from one year to another), on the hypothesis of the number of souls (the children who are not eligible for the list, as they have not reached the age of seven years, not being reckoned), and allowing five persons for each whole tribute—on that hypothesis, I say that the whole tributes which are collected in these islands amount to two hundred and fifty thousand, at two persons to each tribute who are eligible to be listed and of age sufficient to pay. That age is for married men fifteen years, and for single men twenty; for married [181]women twenty, and for single women twenty-five; and until each, whether man or woman, has completed the age of sixty years.

The appraisal of the tribute, according to the laws of these kingdoms, is at ten Castilian reals—part in kind and part in silver, or more commonly in what the Indian chooses to pay. Rice is received for it, each fanega of which is valued at one real in silver among the Tagáls, because of its greater abundance. It had the same price among the Visayas, where it was abundant; and, where it was not abundant, two reals. Five or six years ago, on account of representations made to the supreme government by the superiors of the religious orders, of the extreme poverty that the Indians were suffering because of the severe baguios and tempests—which had ruined their houses, fields, and cocoa plantations, and even the churches and the houses of the ministers—an order was issued by the said supreme government for rice, to be received in Visayas at the price of three reals per fanega, which is the lowest among the natives. They also pay as tribute white abacá mantas, which are called medriñaques, four brazas long and one wide, valued at three reals; and also abacá in fiber, at the rate of two reals per chinanta, which is one-half arroba. That abacá is used to whip the strands of cables of the ships and boats instead of hemp. They also pay lampotes, a kind of white cotton fabric, four brazas long and one vara wide, at four reals. In Ilocos they present thick mantas of cotton, which are called ilocanas, of which are made the sails for the ships and boats, both of his Majesty and of private persons. In other provinces, the natives offer on the tribute account certain products [182](of which the alcaldes-mayor avail themselves) such as balates and sigay, and other products which are explained in their place; and these are valued at Manila, if there are champans from China and pataches from the coast. For the balate (although we do not eat it), is eaten in China by the princes and mandarins. The sigay (which means certain shells that are gathered on the shore) is the money and coin that is current on the coast of Bengala and all those Mediterranean kingdoms. The natives give wax also in place of money, at the rate of ten or twelve reals per chinanta, according to its scarcity or abundance. Some gold is paid in certain provinces, as those regions have placers and mineral deposits.

The two hundred and fifty thousand tributes which I mentioned are collected annually throughout these islands, and are divided into two parts—one of the royal encomienda, which amounts to two hundred and thirty-one thousand five hundred and sixty-three whole tributes; while the remaining eighteen thousand four hundred and thirty-seven are from the encomiendas of private persons, whom his Majesty has rewarded on account of their useful services, granting to them that part of the royal tributes. But, from those tributes granted them, they give his Majesty two reals per whole tribute, that sum being called “the royal situado.” They also pay to the ministers and parish priests, from their encomiendas, the stipends of rice with the alms in reals that belong to them—to the amount of one hundred pesos, and two hundred fanegas of rice, for every five hundred tributes administered, and one-half real from each whole tribute for the wine used in the mass. His Majesty pays the same quantity to [183]the said ministers from his royal encomiendas; he also gives annually one arroba of wine for masses, and ten of oil for each one of the lamps which burn before the most holy sacrament, in all the ministries of the islands.

The stipends given by his Majesty to the archbishops and suffragan bishops, the dignitaries of the holy church, and other ministers are in the following form. Pope Gregory XIII, by his bull given at Roma in the seventh year of his pontificate (which was the year 1587 [i.e., 1578]), at the petition of the Catholic king of the Españas, Don Felipe Second, erected the first parish church of Manila, and assigned twenty-seven prebends to it, of which those that are suitable and necessary were accepted. They consist of five dignidades—namely, a dean, an archdeacon, a precentor, a schoolmaster, and a treasurer; three canons, the fourth having been suppressed for the inquisitors, according to custom in the Indias; two whole and two half racions, established by royal decree given at Valladolid, June 2, 1604, and countersigned by Juan Ibarra, his Majesty’s secretary. Besides that, there are in the cathedral two curas, two sacristans, one master of ceremonies, one verger, and other officers; so that that holy church is well established and the choir crowded, and their functions and feasts are most splendid.

The salaries given by his Majesty to those who fill those offices are as follows. To the archbishops of Manila, five thousand pesos of eight Castilian reals per year, conceded by decree of his Majesty given in Madrid, May 28, 1680. By virtue of the royal presentations, the dean enjoys six hundred pesos; the four dignidades, namely, archdeacon, precentor, [184]schoolmaster, and treasurer, each five hundred pesos; the three canons, namely, the doctoral, the magistral, and that of grace, four hundred pesos apiece; the two racioneros, three hundred apiece, and the two medio-racioneros, two hundred apiece; the master of ceremonies, two hundred pesos, conceded by royal decree of February 22, 1724; the two curas, one for the Spaniards, and one for the natives, each one hundred and eighty-three pesos, six tomins, seven granos, besides their altar-fees, which are sufficiently generous.

The bishop of Cebú—whose extensive jurisdiction includes the islands of Cebú, Leyte, Sámar, and Ibabao; the provinces of Dapitan and Caraga in Mindanao; the island of Panay, with its two provinces of Otón and Cápiz; with the other adjacent islands even as far as Calamianes, Paragua, and the Marianas—enjoy four thousand pesos per year, by virtue of a royal decree of May 28, 1680; the cura of the sacristy of that holy church one hundred and eighty-three pesos, six tomins, seven granos; the sacristan, ninety-one pesos, seven tomins, three granos. The same sums are enjoyed by the bishops of Camarines and Cagayán, with their curas and sacristans. Those sums are paid annually by his Majesty, the amount totaling twenty-three thousand and eleven pesos, two granos, besides the stipends, maintenance, and fourths of mass-fees, which the other secular curas receive.

Chapter XIV

Of the ecclesiastical tribunals of these Filipinas Islands and the city of Manila

The chief tribunal of the metropolitan church of Manila is the archiepiscopal. It is composed of a [185]provisor and vicar-general, with his notary-in-chief and fiscals. The said tribunal has a house which serves as a prison, and which has a separate and large part for lodgings for the seclusion of men and women; it has its corresponding officials.

The second tribunal is that of the holy Inquisition, which was decreed by the Holy Office of México. It is the superior of all the commissaries who are scattered through the provinces of Cebú, Camarines, Cagayán, and the islands of Negros—besides whom there is in Manila another and special commissary for the fathers of the Society of Jesus, who is generally an honored secular priest. The commissary has his chief constable and notary. The councils are formed of various ministers—examiners, familiars, and consultors. There are besides three or four commissaries appointed by México, in order that there may be one who may promptly succeed to the office in case of death or resignation—although the said duty is always exercised by only one. That office has always been in control of the reverend fathers of St. Dominic, successively, without other interruption than that of seven years, when the reverend father Fray José Paternina, an Augustinian, occupied it—who was summoned to México, as will be seen in due time.

The third tribunal is that of the Holy Crusade, whose creation was the work of King Don Felipe IV [sic; sc. III], as appears from his royal decree, dated San Lorenzo, May 16, 1609. It is composed of a commissary-general-subdelegate, who exercises the office of president and who is appointed by his Majesty, with the consent of the supreme council of the Holy Crusade; and a senior auditor of the royal [186]Audiencia and the fiscal of the same body who receive a special salary for those offices for the management of the accounts. As accountant serves the oldest royal official, according to the terms of the above cited royal provision. For the other business, there are a secretary and a chief notary who receive salaries, besides four other notaries who receive no salary, but only the fees for business transacted by them. The publications in these islands are made every two years. The day fell at the beginning on October 28, but since 1736 the publication was transferred to the first Sunday of Advent, by order of the commissary-general, so that the publications might occur at the same time in all the kingdoms and seigniories of España.

The brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia of Manila forms another tribunal composed of the flower of the community. It has its purveyor, twelve deputies, one secretary, one chaplain, and other officials. In their charge is the administration of the charitable funds which are connected with that holy institution. The Misericordia was erected in imitation of the one founded in Lisboa in 1498 by the most serene queen of Portugal, Doña Leonor, widow of Don Juan the Second, by the advice of a Trinitarian religious, named Fray Miguel de Contreras. The circumstances attending that foundation will be given later.

The first brothers built a church with the title of “Presentación de Nuestra Señora” [i.e., “Presentation of our Lady”], and near it the seminary and house of Santa Isabel, in order that Spanish orphan girls might be reared there with a good education in doctrine and morals. They have a rectoress to [187] govern them, a portress, and several virtuous women of mature years. Thence go forth the girls with sufficient dowries for the estate [of marriage] to which they naturally tend—for which this Santa Misericordia applies the sum of sixteen thousand pesos. The girls attending the seminary usually number sixty, besides some pupils, six slave women, and other serving-women. For their expenses and that of their chaplains ten thousand eight hundred pesos are set aside annually. Many of the inhabitants and people of the community send their daughters to that seminary, so that they may learn good morals, because of the great improvement that is recognized in those who have been reared there. The said congregation is governed by special rules, whose observance does not impose the obligation of mortal sin.6 It enjoys many privileges, indulgences, and favors conceded by the supreme pontiffs. By his Majesty’s decree, dated Sevilla, March 25, 1733, and countersigned by Don Miguel de Villanueva, his Majesty’s secretary, it is under the royal protection. In that decree the royal arms are ordered to be placed in the church and seminary. The brothers are ordered to go out in a body to make the stations on holy Thursday, and entire faith is to be given in all the tribunals to the instruments of the secretaries of that holy executive board. The charitable works administered by that holy executive board are numerous; for, besides the support and rearing of the girls, it maintains the hospital of St. John of God, of the city of Manila, with [188]generous alms. It may be said that there is no estate that does not experience its charity; for it spends annually in alms and charitable works alone, more than seventy thousand pesos for the relief of poor, self-respecting Spaniards, for those who are imprisoned, and for masses for the souls in purgatory—in such manner that from the year 1600 until the present one of 1751, in which this history is written, the alms that have been administered by that holy executive board exceed five million pesos, in addition to the supplements which it has made to the general fund of these islands in cases of extreme necessity, and at the invasions of enemies, which amounted between the years 1645 and 1735 to the sum of one million sixty-nine thousand and ninety-nine pesos. Besides the above that holy executive board is patron of twenty-nine collative and ten lay chaplaincies, and maintains two fellowships in the royal college of San José.

There are other charitable institutions in this community, although none so universal and large. They have been founded in the cathedral church, in the tertiary order of the seraphic order [of St. Francis], in the convent of Dilao, in that of Binondo of St. Dominic and in their beaterio, in the convent of the calced Augustinian fathers, and in that of the discalced Augustinians. The Society of Jesus also administers some charitable funds, of which the proceeds are applied by their founders to various purposes of divine worship, alms for the orders and the poor, dowries for poor Spanish girls, Indian and mestizo women, hospitals, prisons, and suffrages for the blessed souls in purgatory.

There is another royal seminary in the city of [189]Manila. It was established in the year 1591, while Don Fray Domingo de Salazar was bishop, and Perez Dasmariñas governor, in certain houses given for its foundation by Captain Luis de Vivanco, ex-factor of the royal treasury. It has its own church, whose titular is St. Andrew the apostle. It was intended for the rearing of orphan girls—the daughters of Spaniards—in good education and virtue. They are under the royal patronage, and his Majesty has the care of maintaining the students, and supplying them with all necessities. They also admit some pupils, serving-women, and women in retreat. A separate quarter was built later for the latter, at the expense of Licentiate Don Francisco Gómez de Arcellano [sc. Arellano], archdeacon of Manila and provisor of the archbishopric. It has its rectoress and portress, and they live with great edification and holy customs.

Chapter XV

Other matters pertaining to the ecclesiastics of Manila

The city of Manila has a rich and beautiful chapel of the incarnation of our Lady, which was founded by Governor Don Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, where the functions are performed and the feast-days celebrated that are peculiar to the royal Audiencia. It serves also for the burial of the soldiers of the army, and the ministrations for the royal hospital. Its chaplains are independent of the parish church and wear the cope and carry the uplifted cross, when they go for the corpses of the soldiers, which they bury with all solemnity in the said royal chapel. It has its own chaplain-in-chief and other subordinates, [190]who, besides serving there, fill the chaplaincies of the galleons and armies, when there are any. It has its sacristans and other assistants for the service, propriety, and pomp of the worship; and a fine band of singers, with suitable salaries. The adornment, furnishings, ornaments, sacred vessels, altars, and reredoses correspond to the reality of the name. Among all those things, the first place is given to a great golden monstrance which is worth eleven thousand ducados.

The royal hospital is located near the royal chapel. The soldiers of the army of Manila and the seamen of his Majesty’s service are treated there. It has a chaplain, superintendent, physician, surgeon, apothecary, and other followers with similar duties, and the employees required for the care and refreshment of the sick.

There is another royal seminary and college in this city that bears the title of San Felipe. It was founded in the time of Governor Don Fausto Cruzat y Góngora, to whom an order, dated November 28, 1697, was given in a royal decree, to report how the said college or seminary could be founded, so that some boys might be reared there for the cathedral service. The said governor having reported, his Catholic Majesty, Don Felipe V, determined, by his royal decree of April 28, 1702,7 to erect the college for eight seminarists. The amount of its building and maintenance was to be taken from the funds resulting from vacant sees of bishops of these islands and from the tithes, while the part lacking was to be [191]taken from the royal treasury. The archbishop of Manila was to have part in everything, and he was to inform his Majesty of what should be done. The royal decree having been carried out, while the master-of-camp Don Diego Camacho y Avila was governing, it appears that four thousand pesos were paid by general council of the treasury, held May 22, 1705, for the building. Full notice will be given of the events connected with that seminary and royal college in the body of this history. [192]

1 A full account of the Jesuit college and university is furnished by Murillo Velarde in Hist. Philipinas, fol. 125, 140, 168–171.

2 Beaterio: a house inhabited by devout women.

3 Evidently then the appellation of that part of the archipelago now included under the term “province of Paragua,” which includes not only the Calamianes Islands, but those of the Cuyos group, and part of the island of Palawan (or Paragua).

4 Literally, “holy table,” equivalent to the modern “board of directors;” a reference to the Confraternity of La Misericordia, which, as we have seen in former documents, was the main charitable agency of Manila.

5 Reference is here made to chapter xviii, book i, of Delgado’s Historia; following is his statement (from pp. 60–62) of the depopulation of Cebú, and its causes: “Near the middle of the southern coast of the island was established the city and original colony of the Spaniards; but today it has become so depopulated that it has hardly enough citizens to fill the offices that pertain to a city, as are those of regidors and alcaldes-in-ordinary; and not seldom has it occurred that some Spaniards must be conveyed thither to supply the lack of people, going in place of these who died.... At present, the city is reduced to the church and convent of the Santo Niño, the church and residence of the Society of Jesus (a building which, although small, is very regular and well planned), and, midway between them, the cathedral—which is very inferior to those two churches, since it consists only of a large apartment thatched with palm-leaves. (The foundations were laid, however, for another and more suitable building, in the time when the diocese was governed by the illustrious bishop Doctor Don Manuel Antonio de Ocio y Ocampo [who entered that office in 1733]; but his death prevented him from completing the work, and it has remained in that condition ever since.) The royal building is well arranged and sufficiently capacious, serving as palace for the commander of the Pintados fleets; he is also [164n]warder of a good stone fortress (triangular in shape) and commander of the port, and at the same time alcalde and chief magistrate of the entire province—which includes the islands of Cebú, Bohol, Siquijor, and a great part of the coast of Mindanao, with other smaller and adjacent islands.

“The cause for the city’s being depopulated, at present, of Spanish inhabitants is nothing else than the cupidity of some persons who came from Manila to the government of the province with appointments as alcaldes, whose greed did not allow any partnership, in spite of the oath that they take not to carry on trade, either in person or through another person, within the limits of their jurisdiction. These are indeed lands where no one can live without barter or trading; for not one of the Spaniards applies himself to cultivating the soil, nor do they have fixed incomes from the country with which to meet their obligations. Moreover, they have to buy whatever they need, with either commodities or money; accordingly, if the alcaldes-mayor forbid the inhabitants (as they do) from going out through the province to buy what they need, the latter find themselves in Cebú in the condition of one who is shut up in a prison, where no one can search for or find him. If vessels arrive to sell their merchandise the alcalde-mayor, near whose house they anchor, is the one who first avails [165n]himself of everything—either for his own use, or to sell the goods again—leaving for the rest of the people only what is of no use to himself. If any one has energy enough to press forward to purchase what he needs, he is immediately threatened with imprisonment, seizure of his goods, flogging, and the loss of everything from which any profit was expected—as I have many times seen, because I lived several years in that country, where only recourse to God is near, or to superiors who are very far away. This is the reason why the Spanish residents have withdrawn from Cebú, to avoid continual quarrels and annoyances—going to Manila, where they can live with greater peace and quietness, although not so profitably, on account of the choice commodities which they could obtain in the Visayan provinces for the increase of their wealth. The only ones who remain and bear the heavy yoke are the mestizos and Sangleys, who always have to share with the alcalde what they seek out with their toil and hardship, if they wish to live without unrest and fear. Sometimes, but rarely, the alcaldes share with these people that which might bring them some profit; but usually they furnish the commodities which they bring from Manila, at the very highest prices, receiving in exchange those of the provinces at the lowest and most paltry rates.”

6 Delgado has evidently borrowed much of his account from San Antonio; but in this case he inserts no, without any apparent justification. San Antonio says, y oblige â culpa mortal su observãcia (ante, p. 128); and Delgado, cuya observancia no obliga a culpa moral (the last word apparently a misprint for mortal).

7 The two decrees here mentioned are, in the printed text of Delgado, respectively 1692 and 1602—some of the numerous errors which render that text untrustworthy as to dates.


Ecclesiastical Survey of the Philippines

[The French scientist Le Gentil, in his Voyages dans les mers de l’Inde (Paris, 1781), pp. 170–191, speaks as follows of the ecclesiastical estate of the Philippines.]

Ninth Article

Ecclesiastical survey of the Philippine Islands

The first church in Manila was erected as a parish church in the year 1571, and dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Augustinians and the discalced Franciscans had charge of it until 1581, when the first bishop arrived. Gregory XIII, by a bull, dated Rome, 1578, erected the parish church of Manila into a cathedral, and Philippe II, king of España, established the chapter. It is composed of five dignitaries—dean, archdeacon, orecentor, schoolmaster [écolâtre],1 and treasurer—two whole prebendaries; two half prebendaries2 two parish priests [curés]; sacristans; master of ceremonies; and beadle. The divine office is celebrated in this cathedral with great state and majesty. [195]

The archbishop receives 5,000 piastres3 (25,500 livres); the dean, 600 (3,030 livres); archdeacon, schoolmaster, precentor, and treasurer, each 500 (2,525 livres); the three canons—namely, the doctoral, the magistral, and the one of grace or favor—and the two half prebendaries, each 400 (2,020 livres); the master of ceremonies, 1,200 livres; and last, the two parish priests [cures], each 924 livres.

The fixed revenue of these parish priests is, as one can see, very little, but they have a little in perquisites, as marriages, baptisms, etc. Not more than forty years ago, one of the two parish priests had charge of the Spaniards, while the other attended only to the Indians. Today this ridiculous distinction no longer exists. The parish priests alternate month by month in their duties as curates, and during that time they minister indiscriminately to Spaniards and Indians.

The cathedral of Manila was erected into a metropolitan in 1595. The bishoprics of Zebu, Camarinés, and Nueva Ségovia are of the same date, and were made suffragan to Manila. This archbishopric has more than two hundred livings, of which only thirteen are served by secular priests—who are subject, say the friars, to visitation; the other livings, to the number of about two hundred, are administered by the religious, who, as they say, are not at all subject to the visitation of the archbishop. We shall discuss this subject and the rebellion occasioned by this matter in Manila in 1767, while I was still there. [196]

Tenth Article

Of the ecclesiastical tribunals established at Manila

These tribunals are three in number: that of the archbishop; that of the Inquisition; and that of the Holy Crusade.

The tribunal of justice of the archbishop is composed of a vicar-general, one notary, and two fiscals. The archbishop has his prison, where there are lodgings for lewd women.

There is not, properly speaking, a tribunal of the Inquisition at Manila, but only a commissary of the Holy Office, appointed to this place by the tribunal of Mexico. He is the chief or superior of all the other commissaries scattered throughout the provinces. It is worthy of remark that the fathers of the Society had a private and special commissary, who was always a secular priest. The office of commissary-superintendent has always been filled in the convent of the Jacobins [i.e., Dominicans]. There has been only one interruption, of seven years, during which a father of the convent of the Augustinians had the commission, because the Jacobin father who was then commissary was deposed, as we were told, for having unjustly brought suit against the governor of Manila, and having had him arrested.4

At present these commissaries have no right to bring suit against anyone at all, nor even to cause any arrest. They are under obligation to write to Mexico, in order to inform the tribunal of charges [197]and accusations. Thereupon the tribunal renders a sentence, which it sends to the commissary, who has it executed. That sentence comprehends arrest. Thereupon the commissary causes the arrest of the accused person, and ships him to Mexico. The trial is conducted there, and the accused is sent back to Manila for the execution of the sentence, if there is cause therefor.

The tribunal of the Holy Crusade has nothing especially deserving that I should stop to mention it.

Eleventh Article

Which contains details in regard to the churches and colleges of Manila

Next to the cathedral of which I have just spoken, must be reckoned the royal chapel. It is used for all the feast-days and ceremonies of the royal Audiencia. It has in charge the spiritual administration of the royal hospital of his Majesty’s soldiers; it is their parish church, and they are buried there. This chapel has a chaplain, who is, as it were, the rector. He has five other chaplains under him, besides sacristans and assistants. The divine office is celebrated there with great state. The royal chapel furnishes chaplains for the galleons. The royal hospital, which is located quite near by, has its chaplain, its administrator, its physician, its surgeon, its apothecary, and everything necessary.

Formerly the royal seminary of San Felipe, composed of eight seminarists and one rector, was located at Manila; theology and the arts were taught there. These two chairs have been suppressed, and those who wish to avail themselves of the schools go to the university of Santo Tomás. Since the war this seminary [198]no longer exists; that is to say, it is no longer maintained, so that it amounts to the same thing. Its annual expenses were paid from the royal revenues, so that its maintenance depended absolutely upon the good-will of the governor. For that reason, I saw it, in 1767, without support. That lasted after the war, which caused great outcry at Manila against the governor. The archbishop was never able to succeed in reëstablishing it, although he contended that a seminary was very useful in this capital. But the religious took the opportunity to oppose it secretly, for, as they wish to extend their authority, the fewer the priests who can be trained in the archbishopric, the more need will there be of religious to serve the curacies.

In 1717, the king caused three persons to go to Manila, in order to teach the institutes and laws there; and assigned them the suitable incomes, namely, one thousand piastres (5,050 livres). These three persons took one of the largest houses in Manila, and in fact, began to teach there; but they generally had no scholars. The royal Audiencia represented to the king that since there were two universities at Manila, those three posts were useless, since the same branches could be taught in the universities. Consequently, the king had to pay four places instead of three, for it was necessary to establish a chair of canon law and another of the institutes in the university of Santo Tomás, and the same in the university of the fathers of the Society.

The seminary of Sancta Potenciana was established in 1591; it served for young girls bereft of father and mother, who were reared and instructed there at the expense of the king. They had a mother [199]superior, a chaplain, and a portress. The building of this seminary having fallen into ruins, Archbishop Roxo proposed to rebuild it, but the English prevented him from doing so. The bombs and bullets having finished its destruction, its pensioners were transferred to Santa Isabela. Santa Isabela is a sort of house or seminary designed for the rearing of young Spanish girls and orphans. The church is dedicated to the Presentation of our Lady.

That church and that house are dependent on a confraternity called the Brotherhood of La Misericordia, founded in 1594, on the model of that founded in Lisboa, in 1498, by Queen Léonore, widow of Jean [i.e., João] II, who died in 1495. That confraternity is composed of persons of the richest families in Manila, and has a manager, twelve deputies, one chaplain, and some officers who take charge of affairs. The revenues of La Misericordia are immense. They all come from legacies which zealous citizens have left, successively, for employment in charitable works. Now these funds grow and increase considerably every year, for the confraternity invest them by furnishing moneys for the voyage to Acapulco at a very large rate of interest. The cathedral, the third Order of St. Francis,5 the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the Recollects, have also legacies or charitable funds; but their funds are insignificant when compared with those of the confraternity. The fathers of the Society also have some.

All those houses have been thriving for many years on that silver that comes on the galleons, from which [200]one may judge of the immense wealth that they enjoy. We will give an idea of it here in the list of the revenues of La Misericordia. The girls at Santa Isabela have a mother superior and a portress. When they are married, they leave the college with a dowry; and La Misericordia, in order to dower them, has established a fund of 16,000 piastres (84,000 livres). There were about fifty girls aided by La Misericordia when I was at Manila. Santa Isabela also receives boarders; and for the expenses of all the necessary supplies for the support of the orphans, for the domestics, etc., La Misericordia gives 10,700 piastres (56,175 livres). Besides that, that confraternity has disbursed in alms according to a statement that I have seen for the years 1599–1726, 3,448,506 piastres (181,046,656 livres), which amounts to 142,556 livres of French money per year. Furthermore, La Misericordia has assisted the public in cases of extreme necessity, and when the city has been threatened by an invasion on the part of enemies—as happened in the years 1646, 1650, 1653–1663, 1668, and 1735. According to an exact account, it has given 1,069,099 piastres (5,612,769 livres). I say nothing of the considerable sum that it furnished in 1762, when the English captured Manila.

The house of La Misericordia has its peculiar statutes, according to which it is governed. It has many privileges and, above all, indulgences, which the popes have successively heaped on it. Finally, in 1733, the king took it under his protection.

One may judge, from the sample, of the wealth of all the convents of Manila, which, during the more than one hundred and fifty years while they have been established there, have profited from the [201]money for charitable works, without having diffused it outside.

The calced Augustinians were the first religious estate to appear at Manila; they went there in 1565. The convent has about fifty religious, and furnishes laborers to all the provinces where those fathers have livings. They have forty-five or fifty in the bishopric of Manila alone. The church of the Augustinians is a very beautiful edifice, being built of cut stone. It has suffered considerably from earthquakes.

The fathers of the Society went to the Philippines in 1581. Their principal residence was at Manila, and was named the college of San Ignacio. Those fathers had so prospered in the Philippines that they had eight other residences scattered throughout the islands. They were the spiritual masters of the Marianas. They had twenty or thirty livings in the archbishopric of Manila. Monsieur de Caseins6 took them all to Cadiz in 1770, on the “Santa Rosa,” except five or six who remained, and whom Don Joseph de Cordova took with him the following year on the “Astrea,” and with whom I journeyed from the isle of France to Cadiz. The Augustinians have inherited their possessions. The college of San Ignacio is a very beautiful building;7 in spite of its [202]defects, it is without doubt the best built and the most regular in Manila. The exterior of the church (which fronts on the Calle Real) offers an order of architecture very rustic, be it understood. The front, by way of retaliation, is frightful, without order or proportion. The interior of the church is very well planned; but the principal altar, although overloaded with gildings, does not correspond at all to the building; it is as poorly executed as the front.8 [203]There was a university, to which Pope Clement XII had granted, by a brief of December 6, 1735, rights without number. Beside the college of San Ignacio is that of San Jose; it was founded in 1585, by Felipe II, for the teaching of Latin. But since the existence of the two universities, that college is almost deserted.

The marquis de Ovando9—to whom navigation owes so much at Manila, as I have said—having seen that there was no attention paid to navigation in the center of two universities (although those universities [204]were in a maritime and commercial city), founded a chair of mathematics in 1750, for the utility and progress of navigation. He died in 1754, and his school died with him. As long as he lived it maintained its standing, but after him it declined; in 1767 that school was no longer frequented. Manila gets the pilots for its galleons from Nueva España.

The Dominicans went to Manila in 1587, in order to found a mission there. They have a fine convent, with about thirty religious. Their university dates from 1610. The Dominicans have only a dozen livings in the archbishopric of Manila.

The college of San Juan de Letran owes its institution to a Spaniard of singularly exemplary life, who took charge of the orphan children of the Spaniards, and those whose fathers and mothers were poor. He supported them and taught them at the expense of his own income, and when that did not suffice, he collected alms to assist the lack in his own funds. The king, in order to make it easier for him to exercise his humane acts, gave him an encomienda in the province of Ilocos. At the approach of old age, he retired into the infirmary of the Dominicans, with the permission of the archbishop, and died there a religious. He renounced his encomienda, his house, and all his possessions, in due form; and placed them at the disposal of the Dominicans, on condition that they take charge of the rearing of his orphans. According to the act that was passed June 18, 1640, the house was erected into a college under the advocacy of St. John of the Letran. The king added to it some revenues from the royal chapel; and the students who left that college belonged to the king, and had to enter his service, either in the military [205]or otherwise. The Dominicans have gradually changed those rules. The students of that college, to the number of about fifty who are supported there annually, are all or nearly all destined for the priesthood. Consequently they study philosophy and theology in the university of Santo Tomás.

Opposite San Juan de Letran, on the other side of the street, stands the royal community of Santa Catalina. It has undergone various changes since 1695, the year in which it was founded.10 The Dominicans had charge of it at first; while now they have a mother superior, they follow, nevertheless, the third Order of St. Dominic. They have no church of their own, but the college of San Juan de Letran serves them as one. Without celebrating there any office, they attend mass there, being separated from it by the width of the street, where they have a gallery which communicates from their cells with the church of San Juan de Letran.

The Recollects arrived at Manila in 1606. They have built a fine convent there, and so large that two hundred religious could be very comfortable in it; however, they never have more than forty. They have a dozen livings in the archbishopric of Manila.

The hospital Order of St. John of God obtained permission from the king in 1627 to send ten religious to Manila. In 1656, the board of La Misericordia made those fathers a present of their old [206]hospital. The king approved that gift, but the hospital has fallen many times. In 1726, the archbishop undertook to reestablish it, and to rebuild it again on new foundations; and that has been executed. That hospital is a vast and elegant building. The church is beautiful. The wards for the sick are large, and filled with very comfortable beds, and there are plenty of religious. Those fathers are very useful in Manila, for they are very charitable to the sick. The Spaniards of Manila and its environs send their domestics there when they are sick; and they are given especial care, and treated gratis. Those fathers are, beyond doubt, the most useful in Manila; but, in spite of that, they are poor and often in want. They live only on alms, and without the Confraternity of La Misericordia that house would find it hard to subsist.

I shall make here only one reflection, which the love for humanity tears from me. The Confraternity of La Misericordia have amassed immense wealth, but they scatter and spend it on the unfortunate who are in need: the State itself has often found aid there. The religious orders also have their treasures, but I have been assured that no one benefits by them; and that, on the contrary, like those treasures of the Igolotes, their treasures only increase each year. Also the Histoire Espagnole [i.e., ”Spanish History”], that tells of the employment made by La Misericordia of its charitable contributions, is silent as to what the religious orders do with theirs.

The discalced Franciscans went to Manila in 1577. They are allied to the Capuchins.11 Their convent [207]is superb and immense. They generally have thirty religious, besides fifty others who are nearly religious and who fill a like number of curacies in the archbishopric of Manila. Inside the convent enclosure is to be seen a fine chapel, where the holy sacrament is continually kept. That chapel is intended for the exercises of the tertiaries.

Outside the walls of Manila, and a gunshot from that city, stands the hospital of San Lazaro; the Franciscan religious have charge of its temporal and spiritual administration. That hospital is for lepers, many of whom are seen in Manila. The Spanish call that disease el mal lazaro.12

Article Twelve

Of the bishops of the Philippines suffragan to Manila; and of the general number of Christian souls in those islands.

The bishopric of Zébu is the first; it was created in 1595. Its cathedral is built of wood, and is quite large; it is dedicated to St. Michael. It has no [208]canons. There is one cura there, one sacristan, one vicar-general, and several priests. The bishop is almost always a religious. When he officiates, he is generally accompanied by two mestizo [mulâtres] priests.13 Moreover, there is at Zébu a convent of calced Augustinians, one of discalced Augustinians or Recollects, one residence of the Society of Jesus, and one alcalde. There are generally three fathers in each convent, and that is the largest number that they have ever had. The city of Zébu, which ought not to bear the name of city, is a collection of a few miserable straw shacks, like those of all Indians; the convents, on the contrary, are finely built. The latter are immense buildings, and that for only two or three persons. That is true of all the convents of the Philippines, which are seven or eight times larger than are necessary for the number of fathers whom they contain. It remains to ascertain whether that is the case because the number of religious is at present less in España than it was one hundred and fifty or one hundred and eighty years ago; or whether those buildings were erected with the expectation and idea that they would some day be peopled and filled. I have been unable to learn which is correct. There [209]was a quarter for the Chinese at Zébu, as at Manila. The bishop of Zébu receives a salary of four thousand piastres (21,000 livres), the curé, one hundred and eighty piastres (960 livres), and the sacristan ninety-one (472 livres).

The bishopric of Camarines dates from the same time as that of Zébu, and was founded in the same manner. That city is not more beautiful than that of Zébu. The calced Augustinians, the Recollects, and the discalced Franciscans are established at Camarines.

The bishopric of Nueva Segovia was founded at the same time and in the same manner as the preceding. The city (if it is one) has a convent of calced Augustinians, one of discalced Franciscans, and one of Dominicans.

The secular priests, according to a list that I have seen, govern one hundred and forty-two livings, which include 131,279 persons. The other livings, to the number of more than five hundred and fifty, are divided among the Augustinians, the fathers of the Society, the Dominicans, the Recollects, and the discalced Franciscans.

The Augustinians have charge of 241,806 persons
The fathers of the Society had 170,000
The Dominicans have 89,752
The Recollects have 63,149
The discalced Franciscans 141,196
Sum total 705,903 persons.

The above sum is for 1735, and is very exact, as it is taken from the communities and from the statement of the royal officials. There may, however, be some error in it, due to the fact that the Indians [210]change their dwelling from time to time, or absent themselves for some time. Mortality must also have some effect on it. It results always that the natives of the Philippines, the subjects of the king of España, form a colony about as numerous as the city of Paris; and that that colony, if it were well governed and well directed, might become very flourishing.

Article Thirteenth

Of the power and influence enjoyed by the religious in the Philippines

If the governor of the Philippines is absolute, the religious orders form there a body that is not less powerful. Masters of the provinces, they govern there, one might say, as sovereigns; they are so absolute that no Spaniard dares go to establish himself there. If he tried to do so, he would succeed only after having surmounted great difficulties, and removed the greatest obstacles. But he would always be at swords’ point: the friars would play him so many tricks; they would seek so many occasions of dispute with him; and they would stir up so many things against him, that in the end he would be forced to go away. Thus do those fathers remain masters of the land, and they are more absolute in the Philippines than is the king himself.

In 1763 or 1764 an alcalde of Manila, zealous for the public welfare, had a royal road lengthened two or three leagues from the city, and had both sides of it planted with trees. It produced a very beautiful effect, and facilitated the carriage of food to Manila. The fathers of the Society began a suit against the alcalde, because, they said, he had encroached upon the lands of the poor Indians. The alcalde, and [211]rightfully, paid but little attention to the suit. The fathers of the Society, upon seeing that the matter was not turning out at all to their advantage, caused the trees to be cut down by the Indians, and reduced the road to its former condition—that is to say, they administered justice themselves. Will it be believed that the affair is left in this condition? However, nothing is more certain; it was still quite recent at my arrival at Manila, and was related to me by several persons worthy of credit.

According to an ordinance of the king, renewed, perhaps, a hundred times, the religious are ordered to teach Castilian to the young Indians. But his Majesty, the Spaniards of Manila have assured me universally, has not yet been obeyed to this day, and has not been able to succeed in having the ordinance executed. Public schools are to be seen at a half-league’s distance from Manila, where the youth are taught, but good care is taken not to teach them Castilian. They are taught the language of the country. They have, it is true, little prayer-books written in Castilian, and the youth are taught now and then a few words of that language; but the chief language that the teachers try to have them speak and read well is the language of their own country. So, go one league from Manila, and you can scarcely be understood if you do not know the language of the country—a fact which I can attest, for I have experienced it. It is still worse in the provinces. Thus are the friars the masters of the Indians. A great abuse that follows from that is, that the Spaniards themselves cannot get any knowledge of the condition of things in those provinces. They would have no safety in traveling, if they were [212]not known to the religious, and if they did not have with them recommendations presented by the religious of Manila. Those recommendations are infinitely more to be preferred than the orders which the governor could give to the alcaldes or to those religious. The latter would probably not deign to receive them; while the alcaldes, who themselves need to keep on good terms with the friars, would give but faint response to the governor’s orders.

Notwithstanding all the recommendations possible, it yet happens that the friar in charge of the people among whom you travel, allows you but rarely to speak alone with the Indians. When you speak in his presence to any Indian who understands a little Castilian, if that religious is displeased to have you converse too long with that native he makes him understand, in the language of the country, not to answer you in Castilian but in his own language. The Indian obeys him; and, if you are not aware of that practice, you cannot guess his reason, inasmuch as you have not understood what the religious said. I have been assured of this by several Spaniards, among them the engineer Don Féliciano Marquès. He has several times complained to me that, in spite of his great desire to travel in the provinces, he did not dare resolve to do it, in view of the great difficulties that he saw to be inseparable from such an undertaking.

We went together, he and I, several times, on the river in a pangue—the boat of the country. Once we went up stream for three leguas. No one could understand us at that short distance from Manila, for no one knew any Castilian; neither did they even pay any attention to us. One would not believe that the [213]Spaniards were the masters of the country. That, I was told by the Spaniards, was the result and the effect of the policy of the friars.

If the religious in the Philippines have resisted the temporal power in these matters, they have not been more docile, in another matter, to the ecclesiastical power; for they have been able, even to this day, to elude the visitation of the archbishops, and those prelates have never been able to succeed in that.

The great obstacle in this matter is, that there are very few [secular] priests in the Philippines, and the majority of those who are there are Indians. The people, say the Spaniards, have almost no respect or veneration for the latter. Most frequently they are dressed like their compatriots, the other Indians, in the fashion of the country. The friars, on the contrary, are necessarily more respected, and even though it were only by reason of their mode of dress, they would inspire more awe in the people than do the Indian priests. Those religious hold the people in a sort of dependence in which the priests of their own race, and clad as they, could not hold them. But so the religious, because they know that they are necessary in the present condition of affairs, have always raised an opposition when the archbishops have tried to visit them, so that the latter have never been able to surmount the difficulty. The religious are, so to speak, entrenched or fortified in castles (encastillados, to use the peculiar expression of the Spaniards), so that all the zeal of the archbishops has been unable to reduce them to the footing of the other curas. As a rule, there are no difficulties at all in the other bishoprics; for, as the livings there are almost always filled by religious, the curas easily [214]allow themselves to be visited by a person of their own class. It is true that, since the governors have not as yet taken sides with them, the archbishops have always been the weaker party.

Monsieur Arandia, of whom I have already spoken, a man fit to govern a state, would have doubtless put an end to it had he lived. Don Manuel Antonio Roxo was appointed archbishop of Manila under his government. Don Andrès Roxo, nephew of that archbishop, told me several times that Monsieur Arandia was only awaiting his uncle’s arrival to conclude that important matter. But Arandia died before his arrival, and it is claimed that he was helped to die. However that may be, Archbishop Roxo, having lost his support, could not, although he became governor and captain-general of the islands, make the friars submissive. He wrote to the king that the briefs of the pope and the decrees of his Majesty would always be without force and validity; and that the one and only way of succeeding in regulating that matter was to issue imperative commands to the general of each order in Europe to direct their friars at Manila to receive the visit of the archbishop. In the meantime, the war comes—Manila is captured; Roxo dies, and all is as before.

Roxo was replaced only in 1767. That year the court of España sent an archbishop.14 I saw him, and even went to make him several visits when he had made his [public] entrance. He wrote to all the communities that he was preparing to visit his diocese. He had, so it was said, left Europe with the fullest authority for that purpose. He had bulls, [215]briefs from the pope, and orders from the court. He thought that he would succeed with all these arms, but he did not know that there would be an answer for everything at Manila. The friars answered then that they could not allow him to visit them; and such is their answer [to their superior]. They went, say they, first to the Philippines; they have received the care of souls, under certain conditions and certain charges that cannot be set aside; [and they said] that the archbishop might, if he wished, take away all the livings in their charge and provide the same with secular priests. I have said that the archbishopric of Manila contains more than two hundred livings, of which only thirteen are in charge of secular priests. Consequently, there are about two hundred still occupied by the friars. Now the case was very embarrassing for the archbishop, who did not then have two hundred priests at his disposal. As to the briefs, bulls, etc., consider the pleasant response that they made, and which their partisans scattered abroad in public; they said, then, that his Excellency had not brought any new rulings with him from the courts of Rome and Madrid. It was very true that there existed a bull of the pope in regard to that matter, but it would have to be looked for in the books. In order that it might, on the other hand, become a law, it was necessary for the archbishop to give notification of it, legalized by notary in the ordinary manner. Such, they said, were the laws of the kingdom, in consideration of the fact that there might be some difference in the books, either by the transposition of a comma, or by some other error that might have slipped into the printing.

Such are the intrenchments that the friars opposed [216]in 1767 to the new archbishop of Manila. In the beginning, the Dominicans and Augustinians were disturbed; the Dominicans in fact submitted, and the archbishop’s party already thought that he had the victory. But, toward the end of the year, some repented, and changed their minds; and, as a consequence, there was a schism in the convent. The Augustinians also were divided, and they came even to blows among themselves. One of the chief actors was imprisoned in his room. However, the matter was arranged, and it was agreed that all of them should assemble and be reconciled, without saying a word of what had occurred. It produced a singular effect. At my arrival the dissension had again commenced, but I am not aware how the affair terminated.

The other religious and the fathers of the Society held firm. These last especially, in appearance, were very assiduous in visiting the governor15—and that at an hour when no one is received in the houses of Manila, unless it be for matters which cannot suffer delay; that is to say, the fathers went just after dinner, at the time when all people retire to take their siesta. Having gone one day during that time, just after his dinner, to see the governor about a pressing matter which concerned me, scarcely had I begun what I had to say when a father of the Society appeared, who had ascended by a little private stair-way. I was unable to terminate my business. The reverend father took possession of the governor, who made an appointment with me for another time. I cannot be positive that that father had gone on the matter of the visitation; I only report that fact because it agrees with what was said then at Manila in [217]regard to the frequent visits which the fathers of the Society made to the governor, at times when no one dared present himself at the government [house].

I must tell what side the governor took in so delicate a matter. On one side he was pressed by the archbishop; on the other he was solicited by the Jesuits and the friars. During these contests I found him one evening when I went to see him, meditative and thoughtful. He had two letters in his hand, which the archbishop had written to him, successively, that same day. He told me, with demonstrations of feeling which showed his embarrassment, that the archbishop was writing to him letter after letter, on a matter that depended on him in no way at all. He said that he had no instructions on the matter, and that he could not exceed his powers. And, as he repeated that to me time after time, I answered him that, since he had no orders from his court, and especially since he had no secular priests at his disposal, it was in fact very difficult for him to proceed as the archbishop desired. It must be observed that I was living with a wealthy French merchant, one of whose daughters had married the secretary of the government; and I have often remarked that that secretary was not at all inclined to the archbishop’s side.

Next morning, four pasquinades16 or injurious and very defamatory placards, were found posted in [218]the city: one at the government offices; the second, on the gate of the Parián; a third at La Misericordia; and the fourth at our door. Those lampoons stated distinctly that the governor for twenty thousand piastres (105,000 livres), had prevented the archbishop from fulfilling his duty. The secretary was beside himself at the boldness of the lampoon, and especially at the one posted at his door. He spoke of it as a crime which deserved the most severe chastisement. He added that it would be better for him who had done it, if he were discovered, that he had never lived. In fact, I am quite sure that Sambouangam17 (in the island of Mindanao), which I have before mentioned, would have been his dwelling, and that he would not have enjoyed himself there very greatly.

The friars in the Philippines are, as can be seen, absolute in the provinces. It is quite true that, according to the ordinances, the governor ought to send the auditors there from time to time in the quality of visitors. But besides that that scarcely ever happens, these visitors, although members of the royal Audiencia, are obliged to take recommendations from the convents of Manila before their departure, in order to be well received. However, that great authority of the friars over the people does not prevent the latter from revolting very often in the provinces; and those revolts are nearly always followed by the death of some religious. Then there is no means of restoring order except by sending troops to reduce the Indians to obedience, for the eloquence [219]of the religious can do nothing. Such an emergency occurred in my time, at the end of 1767. Several settlements about the large lake revolted, and carried their boldness even to the point of killing the friar curas. It was necessary to send a cavalry officer at the head of a detachment of fifteen men, to make those rebels submit.

These disorders always happened when the provinces of the Philippines had at their head, to govern them, only an alcalde and the friars. I believe that it would be necessary for the court to have four or five hundred troops (or at least a sufficient number), for the sole purpose of scattering them through those different provinces, in posts of only fifteen or twenty men. That number, besides being but inconsiderable and of little expense, would be sufficient to maintain the Indians in their duty, since only fifteen men have appeased the disturbance in a considerable district near the lake.

[The following, also from Le Gentil (pp. 59–63), treats in part of the ecclesiastical estate.]

Ninth Article

Of the genius of the inhabitants of the Philippines, and the peculiar punishments inflicted by the religious on the women who do not attend mass on the prescribed days.

This article is the fourteenth chapter of the Franciscan religious from whom I have extracted a portion of my details. But I believe that it will be important to reproduce here in exact translation the text of the original.

[The extract is from San Antonio’s Chronicas, vol. i, part of chapter xl of book i; it is not, however, [220]an exact translation, but in part a synopsis. The meaning is not distorted; but we have preferred to translate this portion of the chapter, entitled in San Antonio “Of the characteristics and genius of the Filipino Indians,” directly from the Spanish, reproducing exactly the matter synopsized by Le Gentil.]

“412. Among the gifts with which man is adorned, those of the soul are the most noble and most important—for instance, the characteristics or bent, and the skill or understanding in the exercise of a man’s reasonings and mental operations. And since the soul is so dependent on the body and on its sensations, the spiritual operations are tempered by the bodily characteristics. These characteristics (in the judgment of Galen, Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates), are such or such, according to the varying climate of the [different] regions. Consequently, the difference of nations in bodily characteristics, and in disposition, genius, and morals, springs from the various climates of the regions, and from the difference in air, water, and food—in accordance with that maxim, Natura facit habilem,18 in its common interpretation. That makes evident (in distant regions) the difference between Spaniards and French, Indians and Germans, Ethiopians and [221]English. It is experienced, within distances not so great, in the many provinces of España alone. Even in Ubeda and Baèza, only one legua apart, this diversity of men and women is found. There are more marked differences of this sort encountered in Philipinas; for there are certain peoples at the mouth of one river, while at the source are others very different in complexion, customs, and languages. In the same province are found stupid and intelligent peoples; white, black, and brown; and those of distinct degrees of corpulency, and features according to the various temperatures and climates. It is a matter which is truly surprising, to see so great a diversity of temperatures and so great a diversity of men within so small a space. But that happens in districts here and there, for usually there is but little differentiation in these islands in characteristics and genius. If one Indian be known, I believe that they are all known; but God alone can have this complete knowledge.

“413. The very reverend father, Gaspar de San Agustin, an Augustinian and a native of Madrid, with the practical experience of forty years of life among those people, confesses, in a letter which he wrote concerning their characteristics—and which although in manuscript, deserves to be printed, for he understood those natives as far as it is possible to comprehend them—that it is so difficult to describe their characteristics that it would be more easy to define the formal object in logic; more feasible to compute the square of a circle; more discoverable to assign a fixed rule for the measurement of the degrees of longitude on the globe; and after the four [222]knowledges of Solomon could be placed this fifth, as impossible.19 In fact, after so many years, he says that he has only been able to understand that quadraginta annis proximus fui Generationi huic, & dixi: semper hi erant corde.20 He speaks at length and from experience and with remarkable detail. Although the letter is worth printing, my lack of space does not allow me to copy it.21

“414. Granting, then, as true the experiences that he writes, and reducing them to a brief summary I assert that the character of these Indians is a maze of contradictions and oppositions; and I believe that this is not the worst of the descriptions. For they are at once proud and humble; bold in wickedness, and pusillanimous cowards; compassionate and cruel; negligent and lazy; but for their own affairs, whether evil or good, careful and watchful; easily credulous, but incapable of understanding, and fickle, after so oft repeated sacred teachings. They are very much inclined to attend the church, and its feasts and solemn rites, but it is necessary to oblige them by the rigor of the lash to attend mass on the prescribed days, and confession and communion when holy Church orders; and are very reverent toward the ministering fathers because of the superiority that they recognize in them, while [223]at the same time they mock them, murmur against them, and even deceive them. Consequently, a religious called them jokingly ‘the schoolchildren of St. Casiano;’22 for it is a fact that they go astray in all their resolutions without the government of the fathers, and it is necessary to treat them like schoolchildren in their instruction.”

[Here we resume the narrative of Le Gentil, who italicises the words, “It is necessary to employ the lash in order to get them to attend mass on the prescribed days when holy Church orders it, and to treat them as schoolchildren,” and continues:]

This is an abuse which reigns in the provinces. The religious give the lash to women and girls with a cat-o’-nine-tails, even in the presence of their husbands, and no one dares say a word. That is not practiced at Manila, and the religious are not so absolute there as they are in the provinces; and, besides, one is able at times not to attend mass on Sunday without that act of irreligion reaching the ears of the religious or the curés.

I was intimately acquainted at Manila with some army officers, with whom I had gone from the Île de France to that city on board the “Bon-conseil.” Although Spaniards, they dared to revolt publicly against that ridiculous custom; others approved it. Sometimes the religious or fathers have their own executioners, and the church is the place of the [224]action. In this regard a singular chance procured me a knowledge of the following.

A short league [lieue] from Manila is a parish called Las Peñas (les Roches) [i.e., “the rocks”]. It is under the charge of a secular priest, and has a very small church, built of bamboo and thatched with straw. It is a charming place, and pleasure-parties often go there to dine, or walk there after dinner. I went there quite frequently with Father Melo. One Sunday, Don Andrés Roxo and Doña Ana Roxo, his wife, asked me to go there to dine with them. Don Andrés Roxo had married one of the daughters of the marquis of Villa-Mediana, a distinguished family of Spain. The marquis, who has died since my return to France, was then commandant of the troops in Manila, and was to come to join us in the afternoon. As I was walking with Monsieur and Madame Roxo in the country quite near the village, about four or five in the afternoon, we beheld a great concourse of people gathered about the entrance of that same village. We went in that direction, to ascertain what could be happening. It was a woman who had not attended mass that day, whom they were taking to the church to lash. She was led along by the executioner. He had a heavy cat-o’-nine-tails on his shoulder, which hung down to the middle of his back. The father, more black than white, went behind, and a crowd of Indians followed, especially of Indian women. Doubtless they were those of the village, who were obliged to witness the ceremony, in order to teach them not to stay away from mass. Madame Roxo, seeing this sight, was touched with compassion. She left us, forced her way through the crowd, and easily [225]succeeded in reaching the father. She asked clemency for that woman, which was obtained.

At this juncture the marquis of Villa-Mediana arrived. From as far as we could see him we went to meet him. When he asked us whence we came, Madame Roxo told him what had just happened. But the marquis, far from approving the generosity of his daughter, put on a severe countenance, and scolded her for it roundly in my presence. He told her in express terms that she had performed a very wrong action, which would be the cause of a greater evil; that that woman would not fail to commit that sin again, and perhaps several times, and the blame and sin for it would rebound on her who had asked for the pardon.

[Le Gentil concludes this article by a further translation and synopsis of the same chapter of San Antonio, which relates entirely to the characteristics of the natives—matter which will, if space permit, be embodied in this series.] [226]

1 Teacher of philosophy and belles lettres in a cathedral school.

2 The whole and half prebendaries are those called racioneros and medios racioneros in Spanish cathedrals.

3 A Spanish silver coin of eight reals, which dates from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. It is practically the same as the peso, or “piece of eight.”

4 Referring to the arrest (October 9, 1668) of Governor Diegode Salcedo. Le Gentil is incorrect in saying that a Dominican was responsible for this act; the commissary who arrested the governor was the Augustinian Fray José de Paternina, who held that office from 1664 till 1672, when he was summoned to Mexico by the tribunal of the Inquisition, and died on the voyage thither.

5 Referring to the nuns of St. Clare, affiliated with the Franciscan order as a tertiary branch.

6 Don Juan de Casens, who commanded the fragata “Santa Rosa.”

7 See Murillo Velarde’s description (Hist. Philipinas, fol. 198) of the Jesuit residence and college. It was planned by Father Juan Antonio Campion, and furnished commodious lodgings for fifty residents, besides the necessary offices; but part of the main building was afterward overthrown by earthquakes. In Murillo Velarde’s time, the college had become “an aggregation of buildings, added to the original edifice from time to time, forming a mass as bulky as architecturally irregular.... The library has no equal in the islands, in either the number or the select [186n]quality of the books, which include all branches of learning. In several of the apartments also are very respectable libraries.... In the printing-office are several presses, and various styles of type of different sizes; and there works are produced as accurate, well engraved, and neat as in España—and sometimes with errors that are less stupid and more endurable. The gallery (in which there is a truck [trucos, a game resembling billiards] table for the holidays) is a beautiful apartment, long, wide, and spacious; and so elevated that it overlooks on one side the city, and on the other the great bay of Manila. From it may be seen all the galleons, pataches, galliots, champans, and every other kind of vessels, which leave or enter the port, from America, China, Coromandel, Batavia, and other Oriental kingdoms, and from the provinces of these islands. It is adorned (as also are the corridors) with paintings, maps, landscapes, and other things curious and pleasant to the sight.... There is a school, for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic to the boys from without.... In the orchard is a house, with its offices, for the Indian house-servants, and a church; they have their chapel, very fully equipped, in which they practice various devotions and receive the sacraments.... In charge of this, a sort of seminary, is a student brother; and in it the Indians learn the doctrine, virtue, good habits, the holy fear of God, civilized ways, polite manners, letters, and other accomplishments, according to their ability. The principal patio of the college is a right-angled quadrilateral; in it there is a garden bordered with rose-trees, which bear roses all the year round, with other flowers, and medicinal herbs. There are other gardens and orchards, and seven deep wells of running water (and some of it is very good) for drinking purposes. In the library is a round table made in one piece, almost forty common palmos in circumference—an adornment worthy of the king’s own library.”

8 Cf. the enthusiastic description by Murillo Velarde (Hist. Philipinas, fol. 195 v.-198) of this “magnificent temple.” He [187n]says that its dimensions were 204 x 90 feet; and that it was surmounted by two towers, inclosing the façade—for which he apologizes, as loaded with inappropriate ornamentation; but it is, nevertheless, “a shell worthy of the pearl which it encloses.” It was planned by Father Juan Antonio Campion (who died in 1651), and was built of stone obtained from “the vicinity of Antipolo;” this doubtless refers to the marble-quarries of Montalbán and Binangonan, in Rizal (formerly Manila) province. This stone was of so excellent quality and texture that it remained, after more than a hundred years, uninjured by rain, sun, or air; and the walls were so solidly built, and the wooden timbers within so durable, that in all that time it had not been necessary to make any repairs in the framework, nor had any injury been done to the building by earthquakes or storms. The main altar was made of a single stone. The building cost 150,000 pesos; it was not consecrated until 1727. Murillo Velarde adds: “I have known men of fine taste, who had great knowledge of architecture, and who had seen the most beautiful of the famous buildings of Europe, to be overcome, as it were, with admiration in this church.”

9 José Francisco de Ovando y Solís, marqués de Ovando, who was governor of the islands during 1750–54. Le Gentil here alludes to what he has previously stated (Voyages, ii, p. 164) regarding Ovando: “He made great improvements in the Acapulco galleon; for before his time the Manilans shipped their supply of water [for the voyage] in leathern bottles or in jars which they suspended in the rigging; the water often gave out, and they were compelled to have recourse to that supplied by the rain. The Marqués de Ovando had water-casks made, and ordered that enough of these be placed aboard to supply water for the entire voyage; he framed muster-rolls, and placed all the men on allowance. In short, the Acapulco navigation was placed on the same footing as that of Europe.”

10 Zúñiga says (Estadismo, Retana’s ed., i, p. 230): “The noted beaterío [i.e., a house in which reside devout women] of Santa Catalina ... founded by Doña Antonia Ezguerra in the year 1695; and General Escaño increased its revenues so that fifteen beatas and some servants could be maintained in it. The beatas must be Spanish women, assist in the choir, and take a vow of chastity.” Evidently these beatas were much like the Béguines (founded in Belgium in 1184, and still in existence).

11 Regarding the Franciscan order and its branches, see Vol. XX, p. 91. The Capuchins were originally Observantine Franciscans, [191n]and date from 1526, when their founder, Matteo di Bassi, of Urbino, Italy, obtained papal consent to live, with his companions, a hermit life, wear a habit with long pointed cowl (capuche, whence their name), and preach the gospel in all lands. At first they were subject to the general of the conventual Franciscans, not obtaining exemption from this obedience until 1617. Early in the eighteenth century the Capuchins numbered 25,000 friars, with 1,600 convents, besides their missions in Brazil and Africa; but the French Revolution and other political disturbances caused the suppression of many of their houses. At present, they are most numerous in Austria and Switzerland.

12 i.e., “the disease of Lazarus,” referring to the beggar at the rich man’s gate, in the parable (Luke xvi, v. 20), evidently a leper. This disease was regarded, in the absence of scientific knowledge of its nature, as a direct visitation or punishment from the deity. It will be remembered that many lepers who were Christians had been sent from Japan to Manila.

13 The following law is taken from Recopilación leyes de Indias (lib. 1, tit. vii, ley vii): “We charge the archbishops and bishops of our Indias that they ordain mestizos as priests in their districts, if in such persons are united the competency and necessary qualifications for the priestly order; but such ordination must be preceded by careful investigation, and information from the prelates as to the candidate’s life and habits, and after finding that he is well instructed, intelligent, capable, and born from a lawful marriage. And if any mestizo women choose to become religious, and take the habit and veil in the monasteries of nuns, they [i.e., the archbishops and bishops] shall ordain that such women be admitted to the monasteries and to religious profession, after obtaining the same information [as above] regarding their lives and habits.” [Felipe II—San Lorenzo, August 31 and September 28, 1588.]

14 Referring to the noted prelate Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa y Rufina. He died in December 1787.

15 This was José Raon (see Vol. XVII, p. 298).

16 “Pasquin (at Rome) is a statue at the foot of which are fastened placards—sometimes defamatory, sometimes ironical, relative to affairs of the time.”—Le Gentil.

The word “pasquin” (pasquino) is derived from the name of a tailor, who was famous at the end of the fifteenth century for his lampoons. The group of statuary called Pasquino (now badly mutilated) represents Menelaus with the body of Patroclus, looking round for succor in the tumult of battle. The square in which this group stands is also called Piazza del Pasquino.

17 Le Gentil says (Voyages, ii, pp. 76, 77, 83) that Zamboanga was very insalubrious, being shut in from the sea winds, and suffering great heat. “It is still a place of exile;” and “the earthly Paradise was not there.”

18 That is, “Nature makes one skilful.”

Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A., says of this expression that it “was an old one, as old at least as the schoolmen, and means little else than the truism ‘One’s handiness comes as a natural gift.’ According to San Antonio the diversity among the races of men as regards their bodily endowments as well as those of mind, genius, and customs, arises from the diversity of climate, and the diversity of air, drink, and meat, whence the axiom that Nature varies her gifts, or man’s character is due in a measure to his environments.”

19 The passage referred to is at the beginning of San Agustin’s noted “Letter to a friend,” which is printed (in part) in Delgado’s Hist. Filipinas, pp. 273–293. He says: “In this research I have been occupied for forty years, and I have only succeeded in learning that the Indians are incomprehensible.” The allusion to Solomon is explained by Proverbs, chap. xxx, vs. 18, 19.

20 See Psalm xcv (xciv in Douay version), v. 10: “Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: ‘These always err in heart.’”

21 See Vol. XXIII, p. 271, note 118.

22 St. Cassian was a native of Imola, Italy, who was martyred under one of the Roman emperors (Decius, Julian the Apostate, or Valerian). He was a schoolmaster of little children whom he taught to read and write, and his pupils denounced him as a Christian. He was delivered over to his former charges, and they wreaked their vengeance on him by breaking their tablets over his head and piercing him with their styluses. His feast is celebrated on August 13.—T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.


Character and Influence of the Friars

[The following is taken from volume ii of Sinibaldo de Mas’s Informe sobre el estado de las islas Filipinas en 1842 (Madrid, January, 1843).]

The ecclesiastical estate

Shortly after Legaspi had discovered the islands, came successively religious of St. Augustine, St. Dominic, and St. Francis, who spread through the interior and founded convents in Manila. They were the ones who accomplished most in the spiritual and temporal conquest, as is attested uniformly by writers, native and foreign, even the least devout. Some years later, bishoprics were erected; and from that moment began a struggle between the bishops and the monastic orders as to whether or no the friar curas should be subject to the diocesan visit. Innumerable are the treatises, opinions, superior decrees, and scandalous disputes, which took place on this account, as we have already seen in the chapter called “History.” The arguments of the religious were founded on the fear of falling into relaxation of their regular observance, as they believed that they could not be good ministers without being good religious. The religious of the Order of St. Dominic, [227]discussing this point in the year 1710, resolved that, if the lords ordinary1 attempted to subject them to the diocesan visit, they would first abandon all their missions; for the province regards it as certain and evident that the ruin of the ministering religious must follow the said visit; and of this opinion have been, for many years past, grave religious and zealous and superior prelates whom the province has had. In the year 1757, Governor Don Pedro Manuel Arandia claimed, with the greatest firmness, that the regulars should submit to the laws of the royal patronage in respect to the appointment of religious for the curacies, and that they should receive the canonical installation. He first directed himself to the provincial of the calced Augustinians, even going so far as to warn him that, if he did not obey his behests and commands in this matter, the governor would proceed to his exile and the occupation of his temporalities. To that the provincial replied that he could not under any circumstances accede to his demands, adding that “he knew by proof in his establishment the ruin of their regular institute, with notable harm to souls;” and that “he was at the same time assured that the piety of the king (whom may God preserve) would not take it ill at seeing the aforesaid province [of Augustinians] reduced to their profession and subject to the same laws of the royal patronage. Those laws, although so just, do not bind the regulars to continue in their missions, which they obtain precariously, in case that all the royal patronage is impracticable to them with their [228]institute.” In the year 1767, and during the government of Don Simon de Anda, there came an order from Madrid, together with a bull from Pope Benedict XIV, requiring the curas to submit to the metropolitan. The religious of St. Augustine still resisted, which caused Anda to have all the curas in Pampanga arrested, and to send the provincial and definitors to España. In the year 1775 arrived a decisive order from the court, requiring all the regulars to submit to the visit and the royal patronage, and the restoration of the curacies of Pampanga to the Augustinians. They submitted, and from that time the regular curas have been subject to their provincial in matters de vita et moribus [i.e., of conduct and morals], of the bishop in all that pertains to spiritual administration, and to the captain-general as the viceregal patron. According to a royal decree of August 1, 1795, it is impossible to remove a regular cura against his will without formulating a cause against him and trying him according to law, unless he is appointed to fill some office in the order; and even in this case it is necessary that the consent of the ordinary and the royal vice-patron precede, in accordance with the terms of another royal decree of September 29, 1807. Perhaps this subjection of the curas to the bishops and vice-patrons will have resulted in great advantages; but there is no doubt that the relaxation of morals which the regular superiors foresaw has been verified. There are many, there are numberless faults which a director recognizes and knows positively, but which cannot be proved in a judgment, especially when one is conducting a cura of souls. Further, in a cause, it is necessary to take depositions from the parishioners, and to make [229]public matters which it would be highly important to keep secret; for scandal does more harm than the evil which one is trying to remedy, especially in a colony where the good man and the prestige of the religious is so important. And, above all, it ought to be remembered that since the will of three must unite to punish one cura, it will be very easy for the cura to find a means of securing favor from some of them. Those evils would probably be remedied by rigorously obeying the commands of Benedict XIV in his constitution beginning Firmandis, given November 6, 1744, in which it is ruled that the regular curas may be removed from their curacies according to the will of one or the other superior, without its being necessary for either to declare to the other the causes of the removal.

As a result of these continuous and obstinate quarrels between the regular curas and the bishops and civil authorities, and as if to cut the Gordian knot, the government ordered, in 1753, that all the curacies be handed over to secular priests of the country. The execution of this decree presented so many difficulties, and raised so many remonstrances that it was decided in 1757 that, until it should be ordered otherwise, none of the curacies administered by regulars should be granted to a secular priest under any circumstances, until it was really vacant, and that then the viceroy and the diocesan should agree together whether or no it were advisable to make it secular; and the opinion of both should be carried into effect, and that in equal accord they should execute the decree of 1753. By this decision, the governor-general had the power to deprive the friars of their curacies at will, since the bishops have almost [230]always desired or solicited that. Cárlos III, wearied at the obstinacy of the Augustinian religious in not submitting to the diocesan visit, ordered by decrees of August 5 and November 9, 1774, that all the missions should be secularized as they fell vacant. The governor, then Don Simon de Anda, in spite of being at open war with the friars—because they had intrigued in Madrid against him when the government was conferred on him—and of his being, perhaps, the governor-general most hated by them, inveighed so strongly against this order, asserting that it was not advisable to the service of God and the State, that the same Cárlos III resolved that the decree of 1774 should not have effect, and that the curacies and missions which the religious had filled before the decree, should be returned to them. Nevertheless the government of Madrid was so annoyed and wearied at the continual strife which the friars maintained with the bishops and authorities, that it desired to cut the dispute short, at any risk; and in this same decree it was recommended that a body of Filipino secular priests be formed, so that the curacies could be surrendered to these as they became vacant—thus carrying into effect the decree of 1757, when they should be ready for it. This same order was confirmed by another decree of December 11, 1776, and another of September 7, 1778—although in this last, in consideration of a representation of Don Pedro Sarrio, which will be seen later, it was provided that there should be no innovation in what was contained in the decree of ’76, without the express order of the Council and of the king. In 1822, in consequence of a decree of the Córtes, the curacies which fell vacant were presented at a meeting [231]of opponents. In regard to the first, which was that of the village of Malate, the superior of the calced Augustinians, Fray Hilarion Diez, made a representation; but the archbishop, Don Fray Juan Zulaybar, was interested in complying with the decrees of the Madrid government. In 1826, order was given to return that curacy to the religious, and all [others] that they had, and what was declared to them by the decree of 1776; and that the secularization of any curacy should not be proceeded with except by express order of the king.

I am going to insert what Don Tomás de Comyn said about the religious of Filipinas in a book which has not had the appreciation that it merits, and which is already rare.

“The valor and constancy with which Legaspi and his worthy companions conquered these natives would have been of little use, had not the apostolic zeal of the missionaries aided in consolidating the undertaking. The latter were the true conquerors—who, without other weapons than their virtues, attracted the good-will of the natives, made them love the Spanish name, and gave the king, as by a miracle, two millions more of submissive and Christian vassals. They were the legislators of the barbarous hordes who inhabited the islands of this immense archipelago, thus realizing with their persuasive mildness the allegorical prodigies of Amphion and Orpheus.

“As the means, then, which the missionaries employed to reduce and civilize the Indians, were their preaching and other spiritual instruments, and as, although they were scattered and working separately, they were at the same time subject to the authority of [232]their superiors—who as chiefs, directed the great work of the conversion—the government primitively established in these provinces must necessarily have shared much of the nature of the theocratic; and there is no doubt that it so continued until, the number of the new colonists, as well the effective force of the royal authority, increasing with the lapse of time, it was possible to make the governing system uniform with that which rules in the other ordinary establishments of España.

“Further, this same is deduced from the fragments which even yet remain of that first constitution in the islands of Batanes and the missions of Cagayan, which are administered spiritually and temporally by the Dominican fathers; and from what can be noted at every step in the other provinces, by whoever gives the matter but a little attention. For although the civil magistracies are regulated now, and their respective attributes determined with all precision, it has been as yet impossible to lay aside, however much they have tried to show the contrary, the personal authority which the parish priests hold among their parishioners; on the contrary, the government has indeed seen itself constantly under the necessity of making use of this same authority, as the most powerful instrument to acquire respect and due subordination. Consequently, although the parish priests are not today authorized to intervene by law in the civil administration, they become in fact the real rulers.

“It certainly is the case that, since the parish priest is the consoler of the afflicted, the pacifier of families, the promoter of useful ideas, the preacher and example of all good; as generosity is conspicuous [233]in him, and the Indians see him alone among them, without relatives, without trade, and always engaged in their greater good—they are accustomed to live contentedly under his paternal direction, and to give him their whole confidence. Master in this way of their wills, nothing is done without the counsel—or, to speak more correctly, without the consent—of the cura. The gobernadorcillo, on receiving an order from the alcalde, goes first to get the permission of the father; and it is the latter who, in strict terms, tacitly sees to its fulfilment, or prevents its course. The father concludes or directs the suits of the village; makes the writs; goes up to the capital to plead for his Indians; opposes their petitions, and at times their threats, to the violences committed by the alcaldes-mayor; and manages everything by the standard of his own desire. In a word, it is impossible for there to be any human institution, at once so simple and so firmly grounded, and from which so many advantages can be derived for the State, as that (which is admired with reason) which is firmly established in the ministries of these islands. And by the same fatality it is very strange that since the true art of governing a colony like Filipinas, which is different from all others, consists in the wise use of so powerful an instrument as secrecy, the superior government has been laboring under an hallucination for some years past, to the point of pledging itself to the destruction of a work that it is so advisable to maintain.

“In this as in other things, one may very plainly see how absurd or how difficult it is to organize a system of government which is equally well suited to the genius of all peoples, regardless of what discordance [234]may exist in their physical and moral make-up. Hence, when one tries to assimilate in toto the administrative régime of these provinces to that of the Americas, he meets obstacles at every step which evidently originate from this erroneous principle. The regime, however much one may try to assert it, must either make itself obeyed by fear and force, or respected by means of love and confidence. And in order to convince one’s self that the first is impracticable, it is quite sufficient to take into consideration the following circumstances and reflections.

“The number of the whites in proportion to that of the natives is so small, that it can scarcely be set at the ratio of 15:25,000. These provinces, infinitely more populous than those of América, are given into the care of their alcaldes-mayor, who take there no other troops than the title of military captains and the royal decree. Besides the religious, no other whites than their alcalde-mayor generally live in the whole province. He has the care of the royal possessions; he attends to the punishment of evildoers; he pacifies riots; he raises men for the regiments who garrison Manila and Cavite; he orders and leads his subjects in case of an invasion from the outside; in short, he alone must do everything, on the word of alcalde-mayor and in the name of the king. In view, then, of the effective power that the fulfilment of so great a variety of obligations exacts spontaneously, and the fact that no one assists him with what is in his charge, who could deny that it would be to risk the security of these dominions too greatly to try to rule them by means so insufficient? If the villages are in disorder or revolt, to whom will the alcalde turn his face for aid in checking and punishing [235]them? What other recourse is there for him in such a conflict than to flee or to die in the attempt? And if it is considered indispensable among cultured nations that authority always present itself accompanied by force, how can one expect that bare and unprotected law be respected among Indians?

“It is clear that it is necessary to appeal to force of another kind, and to employ means, which although indirect, are without dispute the most adequate under the peculiar circumstances of these lands; means which, by influencing the imagination, excite veneration, subjugate the rude intellect of the inhabitants, and lead them to endure our dominion without repugnance. And well can one understand, too, how ready these means are found, and how we are envied for them and have always been envied by all the other European nations who have aspired to extend and consolidate their conquests in both Indias.

“Let one listen to La Perouse, if he would know and wonder at the arms with which our missionaries captured the natives of the Californias. Let him read dispassionately the marvelous deeds of the Jesuits in other parts of América. And above all, let him go to the Filipinas Islands, where he will be surprised to see those remote fields strewn with spacious temples and convents wherein divine worship is celebrated with splendor and pomp; regularity in the streets; ease and even luxury in dress and house; primary schools in all the villages, and the inhabitants very skilful in the art of writing; paved highways disclosed to view; bridges constructed in good architectural style; and the greater portion of the country, finally, in strict observance of the provisions of good government and civilization[236]—all the work of the union of the zeal, apostolic labors, and fiery patriotism of the ministering fathers. Let him traverse the provinces, where he will see villages of five, ten, and twenty thousand Indians, ruled in peace by one weak old man who, with his doors open at all hours, sleeps secure in his dwelling, without other magic or other guard than the love and respect with which he has been able to inspire his parishioners. Can it be possible, on contemplating this, that by the efforts of foolish zealots, and by the vain endeavor that only those persons assigned by the general laws in ordinary cases shall intervene in the government of the natives, there should not only be a waste of the fruit obtained in so long a time and by so great constancy; but also that, scorning and repelling for the future a coöperation as efficacious as economical, the attempt should be made purposely to destroy the royal regulator, the principal wheel of this machine. Such is, notwithstanding, the deplorable upheaval of ideas that has conduced in these latter times to the adoption of regulations diametrically opposed to the public interest, under pretext of restraining the excessive authority of the parish priests.

“The superior government does not content itself with having despoiled the ministers of the power of themselves prescribing certain corrective punishments—which although of slight importance, contributed infinitely, when applied with discretion, to strengthen their predominance, and consequently that of the sovereign. But, in order more effectively to exclude them from and deprive them of all intervention in civil administration, the attempt has been made directly to destroy their influence, by arousing [237]the distrust of the Indian, and by separating, when possible, the latter from their side. In proof of this, and so that my statement may not be taken as an exaggeration, it is sufficient to cite substantially two notable measures which, by their tendency, were obviously intended to weaken the influence and good reputation of the spiritual administrators.

“By one measure it is decreed that, for the purpose of preventing the abuses and notorious maladministration of the fund of the saints (especially attached to the cost of the festivals and the worship of each parish, formed from the principal and medium parishes—which are contributed by each individual tributario for that purpose, and are collected and administered privately by the cura), it should thereafter be kept in a box with three keys, one of which was to be in the possession of the alcalde-mayor, another in that of the gobernadorcillo of the respective village, and the other in that of the parish priest. By the other measure, it is declared, as a general point, that the Indian who is or has recently been employed in the domestic service of the parish priest is disqualified for being chosen to any office of justice.

“It is surely superfluous to make comments upon measures of such a nature, and which so clearly speak for themselves. The only thing that ought to be said is, that means could not more intemperately have been chosen, that are more harmful to the state, to the propagation of religion, and even to the natives themselves. It is, indeed, very strange that so much effort should have been exercised in impeaching the purity of the parish priests, by degrading in passing their respectable character, just at the moment when [238]circumstances would make it appear natural that because on account of the mortality and scarcity of religious, the ardor and authority of even the few who remain ought to be encouraged by new stimulation. [This comes, too,] at a time when because the sending of missionaries to China has been suspended, and the spiritual conquest of the Igorrotes and other infidels who inhabit the interior of the islands has been almost abandoned the said Spanish laborers can neither give any help to the ordinary administration, nor prevent the transference of whole provinces to the hands of secular Indians and Sangley mestizos (as is happening)—who by their crass ignorance, disgraceful morals, and utter lack of decency, incur universally the contempt of their parishioners, making them, because of the tyrannies of these, sigh for the gentle yoke of their former shepherds.

“If it is desired, then, to keep this colony subject, and to elevate it to the lofty grade of prosperity, of which it is susceptible, in my opinion the first thing that ought to be attempted is the efficient organization of its spiritual administration. I say again, that we cannot be blind to the fact that, if the local government is powerless, because of the lack of military force and the scarcity of Europeans, to make itself duly obeyed through its own efforts, it is necessary to call to its aid the powerful influence of religion, and to bring new reënforcements of missionaries from the peninsula. For the latter differ essentially by their nature from the rest of public servants; it is well known that they neither claim nor expect any remuneration for their labor, aspiring only to obtain in the community the degree of respect to which they [239]rightfully believe themselves entitled. Let their jurisdictions, then, be preserved, let them be treated with decorum, and let the direction of the Indian be entrusted to them; and instantly, they will be seen, in turn, reconciled, and the supporters of the legitimate authority.

“Nothing is more unjust, nor of which the ministering fathers complain with more reason, than the little discernment with which people have been accustomed to judge and condemn them, representing as common to all the body the vices of a few of the members. Consequently, there is not one who does not read without shame and indignation the insidious motives and the defamatory expressions lavished against them in the ordinances of good government drawn up in Filipinas in 17682—which, although ordered to be modified by his Majesty, are now in force for lack of others, and are found, printed, in the hands of all. For even granting that in any case there can actually have existed a cause for complaint, what will it matter at the end that this or that father may have abused the confidence reposed in him, so long as the spirit that animates the whole body of the religious is in accord with the sanctity of their estate, and in accordance with the aims of the government? Why must one forever pursue an ideal perfection, which cannot be obtained, and which is unnecessary in human society?”

Even though this be matter which pertains to a chapter on internal policy rather than to religion, I can do no less than say, succinctly and in passing, that [240]in my opinion the ideas of Señor Comyn are very true; and that nothing could better qualify as men weak in affairs of state the governors or counselors who dictated the present ordinances and the above-mentioned measures and phrases printed in them against the religious. Even supposing those sentences to be very just, wise, and merited, what need would there be, what gain would result from printing them and placing them in the hands of the Filipinos?

Those who have no liking for the friars, censure them as egoists and buffoons; as living in concubinage; as gamblers and usurers; as arrogant, and ambitious for power.

In respect to refinement, it is known that the majority [of the friars] are of obscure birth. They pass from the bosom of the family to their novitiate; thence in a boat to the convent at Manila, and then to a village where there are no other Spaniards than themselves. Is it strange, then, that they are not more in the current of social forms? On that account one ought to overlook the fact that they do not know more, as is done with an honored artist or farmer. But other is the motive for this accusation of guilt. It is said that on the arrival of a Spaniard at a village the friars do not offer him lodging, and they often will not drink his health in a glass of water—or, at least, do not go to receive him; while everything is open for a Filipino. This is sometimes a fact, and has happened to me more than once; but everything needs explanation, and one must not pass judgment without hearing both sides. One must remember that there are at present many vicious and abandoned swindlers in the islands, especially of the [241]class of creoles; and that such men very often form the plan to go to travel through the provinces at the cost of the curas, either to amuse themselves or to seek their fortunes. But, for amusement, the silver spoons and other trifles of one [of the curas] have been carried away. There are various others; especially among the recently-arrived military men, who, brought up among disturbances, and accustomed to insult the religious with impunity, have no scruples about telling them what they call “the truths of the coxswain.” “Who could eat free soup3 as you do, father, without working?” “What matters to you the good or poor harvest, so long as you have fools to impose upon?” “How is the stewardess?” “How many children have you?”—and innumerable others of the same kind, and even much worse. Anyone can recognize that it is very natural for these things to happen, and I myself have been a witness of them. There are more things—namely, that many of those persons who have been in the convents take delight immediately in publishing the weaknesses of the cura, abusing the confidence that the latter reposed in him, and (what is worse) exaggerating, and even mentioning things that never occurred. If the friar, carried away by the good humor born of the company of a compatriot, drank a little and became jolly, then he relates that the friar was drunk. If he saw a woman with a child in her arms who had come to speak to the friar on any of the innumerable matters that arise in the village, then he says that he knew the sweetheart and a child of the friar. If [242]some curas of neighboring villages assembled, and engaged in playing brisca, or “thirty-one,”4 in order to pass the time, then it is said that they engaged in gambling. On that account the curas are so cautious of giving the freedom of their houses and their friendship to transient Spaniards, that they will now scarcely receive anyone who does not bring a letter of recommendation; and, considering this sensibly, it does not seem that they are to be censured for this caution toward people whom they do not know, in consideration of the fact that in Manila there is no police office, and a passport is easily given to whomever asks for it. In spite of all this, some curas—as for instance, Father Lorieri of Paniqui—without having any notice of me, received me with gratifying and ready hospitality. For the rest, the convents are usually the lodging-houses and inns of the village.

The friars in Filipinas are quite different from those in España. They are very glad to see a Spaniard arrive, when they know that he is not a malicious person. They have traveled, and they have escaped from the conversations and meetings of the convent; they are more tolerant, because they have rubbed against many Spaniards of liberal ideas; they have found that the lion is not so fierce as it is painted, and that there are respectable people in all parties, and men with good hearts—especially in that which takes for its goal the good of the country. How often would we abhor people less if we approached them and became acquainted with them! We must confess also that the hate cherished by the religious in [243]España toward the liberals proceeds in great measure from the personal insults which they have endured; while in Filipinas these are very few and are neutralized by the tokens of veneration and respect which others pay them, because of circumstances which are entirely distinct from those of España. A man without prejudice and with a suitable standard of judgment, who lives in the metropolis [i.e., Madrid], sees in a friar the enemy of reforms, of progress, and of public prosperity; but, when he is in Filipinas, he sees in this same friar the benefactor of the public, and the preserver of tranquillity and of the colony. Consequently he considers and treats the friar differently than in España, and is repaid in the like coin. From this it happens that many who come from España with very exaggerated and preconceived ideas against the religious—even to the point of never having had relations or speech with a friar—and here have to come in contact with them, are surprised to find some (and even very many) of them very sociable, serviceable, tolerant, and worthy of all appreciation; and this has happened to me myself, both in Filipinas and in Palestina.

In regard to their being gamblers, I can say that when several curas of the neighboring villages assemble on the feast-day of a village, they sometimes play to pass the hot hours of the day; but I have never seen in the houses of Spanish religious what can be called play for gaining and losing money, and, in the convents of Manila, cards are not even played for amusement. I know this positively.

As for some of them leading licentious lives with women, I will not say that it is false, although I could not say that I know of such. I believe, indeed, that [244]there is much exaggeration in this as in other things, and that not one quarter of it is to be believed. An official, not at all partial to the friars, and who lived several years in Pangasinan, told me that he never could discover that any of the Dominicans who minister there had a sweetheart; and that, if perchance any of them had one, he concealed it very carefully, since he himself had never known any trace of it. Concerning that point, I will say, although it appears evil to many, that that offense is the most excusable, especially in young and healthy men, placed in the torrid zone. Nature must struggle continually with duty. The garb of the Filipina women is very seductive; and it is known that the girls, far from being untractable to the cura, consider themselves lucky to attract his attention, and their mother, father, and relatives share that sentiment with them. What virtue and stoicism does not the friar need to possess! Let those who criticise them on this point imagine themselves to be living in a village without relatives or friends, or any other fellow-countrymen, at least with whom they can converse; and then let them be candid. Don Iñigo Azaola told me that, meditating on the reason why so many Spanish religious went mad, he thought that it had its origin in the continual struggle between nature and devotion.5 [245]

In regard to usurers, there may be some among them who are addicted to trade, since the business carried on in the provinces consists chiefly in advancing money at seed-time, in order to receive the fruits at harvest time at a much lower price than is current in the market. Surely the cura who embarks in these speculations not only fails in his most sacred duty,6 but even gnaws at and gives a deathblow to the principal base upon which rests the prestige and veneration enjoyed by the religious of Filipinas. Nothing infuses these weak and greedy islanders with so much love, surprise, and respect as does contempt for gold and for earthly goods. The generous minister, he who gives, will be considered as good, most good, and will obtain whatever he wants from his parishioners. The greedy and avaricious, he who does what common and vile men do, will, notwithstanding the habit in which he is clad, notwithstanding the sermons he preaches, be considered as mean, if he does not end by being despised and abhorred. Nevertheless, I can affirm that the religious who trade are very few, and among the [246]Dominicans, not any. And this, and their anxiety for saving their stipends and for making money, proceeds in great measure from the information which they receive concerning the wretched condition of the religious in España, and their fear of falling into the same condition.

In respect to their pride and ambition to govern, all men have that, for this is our most powerful instinct; and the priests of all times and countries have had it. The royal decrees and the articles of which we have spoken demonstrate quite clearly that those of Filipinas have not escaped from falling into this sin. Up to a certain point, one can affirm that the civil government itself—or, to speak more accurately, circumstances—have placed them in a position where they must take part in the temporal administration. In a whole province, there is no other Spaniard in authority except the alcalde-mayor, and he never knows a word of the idiom of the country (see my remarks on] the administration of justice). Hence it necessarily arises that the alcalde-mayor does not know more than the natives allow him to know; and that the gobernadorcillos of the villages are masters, inasmuch as in everything they do whatever they think proper. In order to obviate these inconveniences, scarcely is any document asked in which the government does not require the supervision of the cura; and in this way it obliges him to be acquainted with matters quite at variance with his ministry. The cura possesses the language, resides in the village, has the means of the confessional,7 and when he wishes there are but few matters, [247]even the most trivial, that can be hidden from him. On the contrary the alcalde, not having any of these advantages, can have knowledge of but few things, if the parish priest does not communicate them. I shall quote here what father Fray Manuel del Rio says on this point. “Although the temporal government of the village that he administers does not belong to the obligation of the minister of souls, but it may, on the contrary, be prejudicial to his obligation and ministry for him to meddle too much in this; yet on certain occasions it is necessary for the minister to put his shoulder to the wheel so that the village may be well governed—now by directing the gobernadorcillos in its employ, now by encouraging them and giving them zeal and energy and courage in certain decisions which they, through their cowardice, do not dare to make unless an order or command proceed from the minister; now also by restraining the audacity of the greater against the less, in order to prevent the annoyances that the chiefs practice upon their cailianes8—thereby protecting the cause of the wretched, which is one of the duties [248]that the council of Trent (in the place cited at the beginning of this work), commits to those who are ministers of souls.

“There are two kinds or modes of annoyances which the Indians who are more influential practice on those of lower rank. Some are peculiar to the cabezas de barangay, with their cailianes; others are common to every kind of rich Indian toward the poor. I shall first treat of those of the first class, and next, of those of the second.

“First, the cabezas are accustomed to impose on their cailianes certain taxes of silver, rice, and other products, under pretexts that they there feign, of service to the church or to the village. Perhaps, they cast the blame on the alcalde, who is most often unaware of such taxes and is not told of them. The remedy is that, when the minister learns of it, he causes the cabezas to be punished, and the silver to be returned to the cailianes.

“Second, when the father or some passenger pays the Indian rowers or carriers, or tanores, through the medium of the cabeza or of the government, the silver generally does not reach the hands of the Indians; but the cabezas keep it, under pretexts which they advance that the Indians owe a certain polo or tribute, long overdue, or similar things. The same thing happens with the money which the father or passengers give them with which to buy provisions, and, with the opas of those who perform personal duty for others. The remedy for all this is for the minister to solicit him to pay the money to all [the Indians] into their own hands; and especially should he do that in what he buys [from them] or when he makes the Indians perform any work. [249]

“Third, that in the polos the cabezas exempt whomever they wish, without other justification than that they choose to do so; and because those persons contribute silver, tobacco, or rice to the cabeza, thereby exempting themselves from personal service throughout the year. In that way the yoke of the polos and personal service is loaded on those of less influence. Consequently the personal service comes upon the Indians more frequently; e.g., although the village can have two months of rest (if there is order and harmony), it is usual for lack of that to have a return [of the personal service] every month, or every six weeks, if the minister does not attend to it, or intervene in the distribution of the personal service, by investigating and showing up these frauds of the cabezas.

“Fourth, in the tree-cuttings that arise for the king or for the village, all those who are cited do not go, many redeeming themselves with money which they give to their cabeza or to the petty officer [who exacts the work], thus burdening with all the work those who go—from which it follows that the felling of the timber is extended in time, and lasts longer than is necessary; and also that the petty officers or the cabezas make the Indians work for their own private interests. All of the above cannot be remedied unless the minister undertake to station secret spies, to advise him of the number of those who go, and also of those who work there more than is necessary for the king or for the village—so that those who shall be involved in such frauds may be punished, and so that they may be made to pay what they have usurped.

“Fifth, the gobernadorcillos of the villages appoint [250]the officials whom they wish to help in their government. Many of them buy off their personal attention to it with money, which they give to the gobernadorcillo, and only help on Sundays with their authority, remaining the rest of the time in their houses. Consequently, the personal service of the village falls on very few, because of these and other like exemptions by the gobernadorcillos and cabezas for money, by which they themselves alone profit. For this reason, one must assign a definite number of bilangos or constables, outside of which number the gobernadorcillo cannot assign others. It appears sufficient that in villages of five hundred tributes twelve bilangos be appointed, so that each week four may aid, together with their constable-in-chief and lieutenant. In smaller villages nine are sufficient, so that three may aid every week. In very large villages there may be fifteen or eighteen, so that five or six may assist every week. Thus in all the villages the bilangos would rest two weeks, which is sufficient relaxation, since their personal duty is not very heavy.

“Sixth, in the collection of tributes, the cabezas perform many acts of injustice; for some are accustomed to collect the entire tribute of rice, and then to collect separately what they call ‘the stipend of the father,’ as if that were not included in the tribute. Some collect from each person six gantas more than they ought to give; for in many villages they receive fifty-eight cates as a kind of half tribute, and in others they receive from one house sixty cates from one and fifty-five from another, and it amounts to the same. There is generally an inequality in the balances used for weighing there in the field, where [251]only God is witness, and the cabeza or collector, who weighs according to his pleasure. Not less is the deceit existing in the collection of oil, for double the amount asked from them by the king is usually taken, and the cabezas keep it; because they assess it among all the cailianes, although often half the barangay would be sufficient to obtain the assessment, and thus they could alternate between the two halves each year. All these troubles are usually encountered, and the worst is that they are often concealed so skilfully that the minister can learn of them but seldom; and for that reason I write them here, so that warning may be taken and the remedy procured—not only in respect to the charge on the consciences of those who occasion them, but in the matter of restitution to the sufferers, not neglecting to check these abuses, and to solicit that they be condignly punished by the civil authority.

“Seventh, others make their cailianes serve the entire year in their house or field, under pretext of paying their tribute for them. Some deliver them to mestizos or to other Indians, as if they were their slaves. In this way there are cabezas who hold many cailianes in slavery, making them serve in their houses for many years—without allowing them sometimes to hear mass or to go to the village, so that the father may not see them.

“All public works, both great and small, ought to be consulted over with the village itself which has to construct and pay for them. But it is to be noted that the village does not settle upon them, but the cabezas only. Rather they are a suspicious party, in this point, for if there is any work in the village, the cabezas are wont to have the greatest advantage from [252]it. Consequently, they are generally the first to encourage the government officials to undertake any work; for not only do they not have to work at it, but they hope to get some benefit from it by the methods which they know how to use.”

The reading of these instructions can give an idea of the internal government of a Filipino settlement, and the impossibility that impartiality and efficient justice can rule, if there is no intervention by the cura. I will add that the latter regards the village in a certain manner as his own. He enjoys seeing its prosperity and its advancement, as he thinks that this is his work. He takes an interest in its having good roads, harvests, tools, irrigation, and everything that can enrich and beautify it. Many curas spend all their money in public works, and on their churches. They rival one another, each striving to have in his own village the richest altars, the best houses, musicians, schools, and finely-dressed people. It is a sight worth seeing, a friar constituting himself overseer and director of a wooden bridge or of a causeway—administering a buffet to this one, a shove to another; praising that one, or calling this other a lazy fellow; giving a bunch of cigars to the one who stays an hour longer to work, or carries most bricks up to the scaffold; promising to kill a cow for the food of next day; and making them offers, often without any intention of fulfilling them, only with the object of encouraging them, and deceiving them like children.9 But whoever knows the country can do no [253]less than confess that this is the only means to get any advantage out of the lazy and childish Filipinos, who have no needs; and that the cura has infinite advantages over the governor, for his buffets do not offend, his requests oblige, and his love to the village and his disinterestedness captivate and interest these people, and make them as wax. Thus indeed can it be said that the cura is the soul of the village. In any province where its ruler is united with the curas, where the latter honor the alcalde and instruct him of all that happens, and he gives them the aid that is necessary to preserve their prestige—in that province, I say, there are no thefts, no disorders, no complaints, no tears, no insurrections, nor any other thing but a complete and durable peace,10 and great submission and reverence to the Spaniards. At the present time that may be seen in the provinces where the governor has the right desires and a clear understanding, and recognizes the error into which the government has fallen during the last few years, in trying to deprive the curas of the civil administration, by forcing them to reduce themselves to spiritual matters, and to tolerate irreligious acts. The province of Pangasinan, for example, finds itself in this case under the orders of the worthy alcalde-mayor, Don Francisco de Lila, a volunteer of the militia of Manila and a very decided liberal: I have traveled through this province by night, with only one servant, without arms, and quite without fear, although there was not a soldier in the whole province. [254]The horses and buffaloes were feeding in the meadows without herders; and, on my arrival at the capital, I went out with him in his carriage. In all the streets and from all the windows, we were saluted with great show of affection, and the children began to jump for joy, and to cry out, “Good afternoon, father.” The tears started to my eyes, and I said: “Ah, simple people, how little do you know the blessing that you enjoy! Neither hunger, nor nakedness, nor inclemency of the weather troubles you. With the payment of seven reals per year, you remain free of contributions. You do not have to close your houses with bolts. You do not fear that the district troopers will come in to lay waste your fields, and trample you under foot at your own firesides. You call ‘father’ the one who is in command over you. Perhaps there will come a time when you will be more civilized, and you will break out in revolution; and you will awake terrified at the tumult of the riots, and will see blood flowing through these quiet fields, and gallows and guillotines erected in these squares, which never yet have seen an execution.” “But is it not true also,” I reflected later, “that this present happiness may be transitory up to a certain point, and that a changing of the captain-general or of the alcalde can cause great evils, and change the aspect of so pleasing a picture? Yes, it is a lamentable truth; and I shall do what is in my power so that your lot may be less precarious, and so that the government which rules you may be so organized that you may be as little as possible subject to the injustice and avarice of men; and so that, wherever you see a Spaniard, you may salute him with love and call him father.” [255]

But returning from our digressions to our matter in hand, I believe that if it is useful and indispensable for the parish priest to know, directly or indirectly, the particular affairs of the village, it is evident that far from undermining his authority, it ought to strengthen it as much as possible. From the time of the conquest, the curas have availed themselves of the expedient of applying some lashes to the natives, when the fathers have believed it necessary in order to correct faults, whether religious or those of another kind; and it is known that this has contributed not a little to the preservation of devotion. It is also known that they have not been hated for this by the islanders; but, on the contrary, the friars have constantly merited their love and have enjoyed a prestige which no one doubts. Everyone knows that if the friars have shown themselves exaggerated and unreasonable in anything, it has been in the protection of the Filipinos—more, indeed, than they deserved and than healthy justice demanded. Let us listen to the following words of Fray Casimiro Diaz: “The old laws in regard to the execution of the tributes were harsh, even to the point of making slaves of the debtors, and even killing them with lashes, or mutilating them. And although these laws were abolished from the time of Constantine as wicked, and have with the law of Christ been moderated within judicious limits, this benefit has not been obtained by the Indians. The Indian is beaten for his tribute. The goods of the Indian are sold for the tribute, and he is left destitute all his life. The Indian is enslaved for the tribute; for the cabeza de barangay, under pretext that he is getting back what the Indian owes, takes his house away from [256]him, and, for the five reals that the Indian owes, makes him serve one whole year. In short, the wrongs which the tribute brings upon the poor wretch are so many, that the greatest charity which the parish priest can show him is to pay it himself.” The above shows how this good father grieves because the Indian has to pay five reals per year—five reals, which a Filipino can get by simply planting a cocoa or cacao tree at the door of his hut. How happy would be the Spaniards, or the French and English, and any other Europeans, if they had no more to pay than that! But it is not credible that Father Diaz was unacquainted with the people who so broke his heart, and that he did not know the measures resorted to in the country. A few pages farther on the same father says: “The poverty of these Indians is not their curse, but it is their own idleness and laziness, and they content themselves with little. They are not ruled by covetousness; and, although there is some covetousness, their fondness for doing nothing tempers it, and they wish to live rather by providence than to dedicate themselves to work.” What, then, would the good Father Diaz wish? that the Filipinos should not be made to contribute even the little amount that they now contribute, and that the government of España should send money there from the mother country in order to meet all the expenses of state, at the cost of increasing the heavy taxes which the Spaniards already pay? And all this, for what motive? Because the Filipinos are very “fond of doing nothing, desiring rather to live under the care of providence than to dedicate themselves to work.” For thus are the fathers all, often carrying this enthusiasm or mania [257]for protection to a ridiculous extreme—for it is the same to touch one of their parishioners and the apple of their eye. At times they make use of unjust and compromising expressions: Thus the tobacco monopoly is “an imposition” or “a bit of knavery.” The impost for elections of gobernadorcillos, the signing of a passport, or any other accidental expense which is incurred [by the Indian], is “a theft.” The services for the repairing of roads and bridges are “annoyances” or “tyrannies.” And so on all in this tenor. Many would wish that the Filipino be left stretched out at ease all day long, and that afterward the manna should fall, and he have no other work than to open his mouth. Whoever has known the country, especially in former years, can do no less than say that there is not the least exaggeration in the picture which I draw; that the letters and remonstrances of the religious are what have been influential in dictating the laws of the Indias—which breathe out in every one of their lines, so great piety and mildness that one would believe that they treat only of innocent and tender lambs which are found among wolves. These know, too, that this same spirit has always led the religious to support the quarrels that have arisen against the civil and military government, which have, for the greater part, given origin to royal orders against them, and to the indiscreet articles of the ordinances which we have cited. Notwithstanding all this, during the last years certain new arrivals from España, especially those of the class of auditors and governors-general, have been feverish on hearing that the curas of the villages have whippings administered; and decrees have been fulminated against many provinces, in [258]order to check this. In fact, they have attained that object; but the result of this most fatal error has been the increase of impiety in an astonishing manner, and there are a great number of villages where few go to mass, and more than the third part refuse to take the communion—which is probably also the cause of the increase in criminality which has been noted. But a short time ago, during the government of General Lardizabal, the religious presented a petition through the archbishop, asking that they be allowed to administer corrective punishment at the door of the church, as had always been their custom with those who were remiss in complying with the duties of religion. The government replied that the curas should avail themselves in such cases of advice and admonition, but that they should under no circumstances punish anyone corporally; and to complete matters, this ruling was circulated and communicated to the natives themselves, a measure that caused the greatest grief to the parish priests. The good Señor Lardizabal, who had an excellent heart, himself told me this incident, very well satisfied at the manner in which it had worked. We shall discuss this matter more at length in the chapter on “Internal policy.”

There are regular and secular clergy in Filipinas. The latter are more numerous, and include some mestizos, Chinese, and many full-blooded Filipinos. The bishops, in spite of being Spanish, have almost always shown themselves hostile to the friars and patrons to the seculars. The origin of this partiality must be found in the old-time fight between the bishops and the regular curas—who defend their rights with tenacity; while the natives are submissive [259]and most humble to the prelates and flatter them. Notwithstanding the protection of the bishops, the seculars have generally had a very bad reputation; and many private persons, of every class and in every epoch, have openly declared against them.

The religious now living in Filipinas, excepting those of the Order of St. Francis, are not able to fill the curacies in their charge—although there are curas who take under their charge an extension which they are unable, notwithstanding all their efforts, to administer well. The cura of Surigao has twelve visitas or dependent towns. From this condition there results, among other evils, this: that when there is any cura who is unruly or of evil conduct, there is no method of summoning him to the convent and replacing him with another. Hence proceeds the laxity which is consequent on impunity.

I have been not a little surprised to see that there is a lack of religious in Filipinas, where they enjoy the thorough protection of the government, and great consideration in the villages; where all have at least what is necessary to live with ease,11 since they are [260]able to command more from their domestic servants, and from all the singers, sacristans, and other dependents of the Church—and this while in España there is such an oversupply of them, and they live so uncomfortably. The curacy is generally worth to the parish priest one peso fuerte12 to each tribute. The ministers of villages which contain more than one thousand five hundred or two thousand tributes usually have one or more assistants, according to their wish, with the consent of the bishop. The parish priest generally gives the assistant a house, his board, and ten or twelve pesos fuertes per month; and leaves to him the fees for the masses, which are worth to him in excess of one peso fuerte every day—so that, besides his lodging and support, the assistant can count upon thirty-five or forty pesos fuertes per month. The administrative ecclesiastical division follows:

There is one archbishop in the capital, and three suffragans—to wit, the bishop of Nueva Segovia, he of Nueva Cáceres, and he of Zebú.

The archbishopric includes the provinces of Tondo, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Cavíte, [261]Laguna, Bataan, Zambales, and Mindoro. It contains one hundred and sixty-seven curacies, of which ninety-five are served by religious, and seventy-two by secular priests.

The bishopric of Nueva Segovia comprises the provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, and the missions of Ituy, of Pangui, of Abra, and of Batanes. It contains ninety-two curacies, of which eighty are served by religious, and twelve by seculars.

The bishopric of Nueva Cáceres comprises the provinces of Tayabas, part of Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Albay. It contains eighty-four curacies, of which twenty-seven are served by religious, and fifty-seven by seculars.

The bishopric of Zebú comprises the provinces of Zebú, Iloilo, Capis, Antique, Negros, Caraga, Misamis, Zamboanga, Samar, Leyte, and Marianas (three hundred leguas distant). It contains one hundred and forty-three curacies, of which eighty-six are served by regulars and fifty-seven by seculars.

At present there are four hundred and fifty Spanish religious in Filipinas, and seven hundred Filipino secular priests, or thereabouts. More than three per cent of the Spaniards die annually; so that, in order that their present number may not diminish, it is necessary for fifteen to go there annually.

As a conclusion to this chapter, I cannot resist the desire to insert the words of a wise religious of Filipinas of former days, Father Pedro Murillo Velarde, as it may be useful to the ministers of the present time who may read these pages.

“To take the mean of the proportion in the administration of the Indians is one of the most difficult [262]matters of the prudence. The parish priest must be in the village the loving father, the hospitable tutor, the master and diligent teacher of his parishioners; and as such he must not treat them as if he were a seignior of vassals. He must be dignified, but without affecting majesty. He should always strive to be loved, rather than feared. He must be affable, but not vulgar. He must not separate himself far from intercourse with his parishioners, nor be too familiar. He should visit them in charity rather than in affection. He should listen to their complaints, but not to their malicious reports. He should settle their controversies, but not in a partial manner. He should not be altogether credulous, nor despise everything. If one Indian accuses another, he should ascertain, before all else, whether they have quarreled. He must not be all honey, nor all gall. He should punish, but not flay off the skin. If the Indian knows that there is no whip near, the village will be quickly lost. A good beating at the proper time is the best antidote for all sorts of poisons; for, in the end, fear guards the vineyard. In punishments, let him show himself a father, not a hangman; and, in case of doubt, let him incline rather to mildness than to severity. Let him hear quarrels and discussions with the alcaldes, but let him not allow them to fleece his sheep. Let him defend his own jurisdiction, but not usurp that of another. Let him not become an alcalde unless the alcalde tries to become a cura. If he is unable to settle the quarrels of the Indians satisfactorily, he shall allow them to go to the alcalde, who will quickly render them harmonious by laughing at the matter of the quarrel. Let him handle [263]books, but not cards.13 Let him [not] direct the Indians in the government of his village, but let him leave them to those who govern them; for the wish to command is a sort of itch in Filipinas. Consequently, let him leave to each one the care of what God has given him. Let him check sins, but not lawful games and amusements, since thereby other and illicit amusements will be prevented. Let him eradicate drunkenness, but not prohibit all use of wine to all; for, if the cura drinks wine, why should not the Indian drink it in moderation? Let him not pour out the wine or break the wine-jars; for who has given him any authority for that? Because of some of these acts of imprudence, certain foolish laymen say that the ministers who come from Europa to become martyrs, become more than kings in their villages.

“Let him attend to the affairs of God, and not obstruct those of Caesar. Let him be the mirror of the village, so that all may imitate him; but not a telescope, to register foolish trifles. Let him get from the Indian what the latter is able to give; for he who tries to get everything loses everything. If the Indians learn that their sins are unpardonable, many will take to the hills. If the father is very harsh in the confessional, many sacrileges may be feared. In assigning penance, let him incline to mildness rather than to rigor, if he wishes the penance to be observed. Let his diligence when he preaches be not long, but fervid; for one onza of gold is worth more than an arroba of straw. Let [264]him explain to the Indians what is necessary for their salvation, and let him not play the discreet among them. Let him use similes and examples in his sermons that they can understand, and not plunge into depths of abstract ideas, for that is a jargon which they do not understand; and they especially detest Latin phrases. The statement that the Indians have no faith is a pretext of the devil, to discourage the gospel ministers. Let him do with fervor whatever he finds to do, that the corresponding fruit may not be lacking; and even when there should be no fruit, God will reward his zeal. Let him not raise difficulties in taking the sacraments to the fields, but let it be with the reverence due. Let him insist on the presence of the boys at the school, for the good that follows from that is great; but let him not urge them so much that he wearies them. Let him receive the fees of the Church, but let him not collect with the severity of a warrant-holder. Let the Indians know that the cura is looking after their souls, not their purses; and let him remember that he came from Europa to remove disease from the sheep, not to take their wool. Let him give alms, but let him not scatter the patrimony of Christ uselessly. It will be a suitable alms to provide his parishioners with medals, rosaries, catechisms, and bulls [of the crusade].14 Let him not permit idle spongers in the village, who are goblins of cursed consequences; and the whiter they are, the worse. Let the cura be found more often in the houses of the sick and dying, than in weddings, games, and dances. He should let the customs of the villages alone, when they [265]involve no grave disadvantages, for innovations alter men’s dispositions; and more than anything else must he shun causing innovation in the prayer, and in matters pertaining to the Church and the method of administration. Let him encourage congregations, devotions, and novenas, frequent confession, daily mass, and the rosary, but let him warn the Indians that these are not for obligation but for devotion, since perhaps they sin through ignorance, when there is no guilt. The soul of the missionary or parish priest has a thousand dangers in the solitude of a village; but with prayer and mortification he can overcome all. Chastity is a flower so delicate that it takes but little to make it wither: the heart of man, the opportunity for temptations, the frequency of errors, and the ease with which men stumble, are as tinder and fire, which are kindled, whoever blows. Do not believe that in this regard there is any caution that is too great in the Indias. In the external encounters that may arise with alcaldes or with others, let the cura endeavor to conquer them by patience rather than by arrogance. Let him remember that Jesus Christ says we should offer the other cheek to him who smites us; and let him reflect that in the tribunal of God, and even that of men, more is to be gained by humility than by valor. Let him reflect that he is a secular or a religious; and that the weapons of such are tears, prayer, and penance.” [266]

1 Ordinarios: an appellation of ecclesiastical judges who try causes in the first instance, and, by antonomasia, of the bishops themselves, regarded as judges in their respective dioceses (Dominguez’s Dicc. nacional).

2 These ordinances were a revision of former laws, and addition of new ones, by Don José Raon, governor of the islands; they were promulgated on February 26, 1768. This code will receive attention in a later volume.

3 Spanish, comer la sopa boba; literally, “to eat fool soup”—that is, to live at another’s expense; perhaps alluding to the former custom of maintaining fools or jesters in the households of the rich.

4 These are games of cards, the name of the latter indicating the number of points which win the game.

5 “This argument for the reason of the insanity of many friars, seems to me completely false. It would be sufficient to compare the friars who are insane with the insane found also among the other Spaniards, in order to declare quite the contrary. Quite different do I believe the origin of the insanity, both of the religious and of the other Spaniards. He who has had anything to do with the Indian will have observed that his nature is quite contrary to that of the Spaniard. The latter is generally lively, acute, and full of fire, while that of the Indian, on the contrary, is dull, somber, and cold as snow. The Spaniard who does not [229n]arm himself with patience and forbearance, is liable to become, I do not say insane, but desperate. Another reason even may be assigned, in what pertains to the religious. As a general thing, their insanity has as its primal cause melancholy; and this is very common to the regular curas who are alone, and who, experiencing the ingratitude of the Indian, his fickleness in virtue, and his indifference in matters of religion, think that their sacrifice for the natives is in vain. Consequently, the curas need great courage in order to calm themselves and to persevere in the even tenor of their life. In my opinion these two reasons can fully account for the origin of the cases of insanity among many.” (Note by Father Juan Ferrando, written on the margin of the manuscript of this chapter.)—Mas.

6 Mas here cites at length a writing by the Augustinian Casimiro Diaz, which instructs parish priests in their duties; they are warned against trading or engaging in any business or manufacture directly or indirectly.

7 Father Juan Ferrando, professor of canons in the college of Santo Tomás of Manila, to whom I gave the manuscript of this chapter to read, wrote in the margin the following note, which [231n]is very just and timely; and as such I insert it, in order to counteract the statement which has given occasion for it, and which I wrote in the heat of composition, simply through heedlessness and inadvertence. “In no way can the cura make use of what he learns in the confessional for the exterior government. By its means one may better understand the character of the Indian, but the cura can never make use of it for the investigations that the government exacts. 1 believe that it will be impossible to print this statement without doing harm to the confessional and to the curas.”—Mas.

8 “When Juan Salcedo conquered the Ilocos, he found a caste of nobles amongst them who possessed all the riches of the country, and treated the cailianes, or serfs, with great rigour.

“The common people [among the Igorrotes] are in a kind of bondage to the nobles, and cultivate their land for them. In Lepanto they are called cailianes as in Ilocos.” (Sawyer’s Inhabitants of the Philippines, pp. 251, 256.)

9 The famous bridge which joins the capital with the barrio of Binondo was directed by the Recollect, Fray Lucas de Jesus Maria. Another religious has lately constructed another bridge in Iloilo, which is said to be very fine. The government sent him a cross on that account. His name was Fray Simon de San Agustin. [237n]Almost all the advances in agriculture and the arts which have made in the islands since the arrival of the Spaniards are due to the religious, as was also the abolition of slavery.—Mas.

10 Spanish, pax octaviana, referring to the Roman emperor Octavian and the peaceful condition of his empire.

11 “This proposition, founded on the common opinion of those who have seen none except the curacies of the rich and well-populated provinces, cannot be maintained in any manner. In the environs of Manila, where the food and services cost dearer than in the city itself, the cura in charge of a village which does not number more than one thousand tributes cannot live with decency. For here also generally fails what you say in another place, namely, that the cura’s income can be adjusted at a peso for each tribute. In the distant provinces—as, for instance, Cagayan and other distant parts—since food and services are very cheap, and the cura does not have to spend anything except on the things that he requests from Manila, if the village reaches 500 tributes it will be sufficient for him, but not below the said number; and even in the first case, if he has a sufficient number of masses to apply with alms, which rarely happens. I pray you now to consider the fact that the majority of the villages of the archbishopric do not [244n]exceed 1,000 tributes, and those of the other bishoprics 500. What would you say it you knew what passes in the villages that even preserve the names of missions? The government gives them a small stipend, of less than 300 pesos, and a few cabans of palay. On this they have to support themselves, as well as the church edifice and divine worship, as there are no fees on the part of the village; for as missionaries they do not have parochial fees. Consequently, if they wish to live with some comfort, they have to engage in stockraising; and those who do not possess a somewhat regulated conscience will have to devote themselves to unseemly traffic.” (Note of Father Juan Ferrando, written on the margin of the manuscript of this chapter.)—Mas.

12 Peso fuerte or duro, the “strong” or “hard” dollar; the “piece of eight,” or peso of eight reals. See Vols. III, p. 177, and XII, p. 73.

13 Spanish, el [libro] de cuarenta; literally, “the book of forty leaves,” meaning a pack of cards.

14 Any man who is willing to work is able not only to live, but to become rich.—Mas.


Ecclesiastical System in the Philippines

[Buzeta and Bravo (Diccionario, i, pp. 542–545; ii, pp. 271–275, 363–367) thus describe the ecclesiastical estate of the Philippines:]

Archbishopric of Manila

Manila is in this regard, as in all other departments, the metropolitan city of the Spanish countries in the Orient. Its see is archiepiscopal, and has as suffragans the bishoprics of Nueva Cáceres, Nueva Segovia, and Cebú, descriptions of which can be found in their respective articles. The territory over which it presides, as proper to itself, includes the ten civil provinces nearest to Manila—namely, Tondo, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva-Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and Mindoro—in addition to the small island of Corregidor, which is found outside the said province, and which forms a military police commandancy. It is not so extensive, with these provinces, as are its suffragan sees; but it is the one that unites the greatest number of souls.

The territory included in it extends about 100 leguas north and south and 29 more in breadth toward [267]the west, the villages most distant from its capital being some 40 leguas to the north, and about 60 to the south. It is bounded on the north by the diocese of Nueva Segovia, and on the south by that of Cebú. Its western boundaries are maritime. The number of parishes of this diocese, the secular and regular curas who have charge of them, and the number of villages that they contain, will be seen in chart number 8.1

For the more efficient ecclesiastical administration of the territory included in this archbishopric, the parish curas of certain villages also extend their jurisdiction to eighteen vicariates or outside districts, namely: in the province of Tondo, that of Mariquina; in the province of Bataan, that of Balanga; in the province of Cavite, that of Bacor; in the province of Mindoro, those of Calayan and Santa Cruz; in the province of Batangas, those of Taal, San Pablo, and Rosario; in the province of Laguna, those of Limban, Calauan, and Cabuyas; in the province [268]of Bulacan, those of Quingua and Marilao; in the province of Zambales, that of Iba; in the province of Pampanga, those of San Fernando and Candaba; in the province of Nueva-Ecija, those of Puncan and Baler. The curas of the above-mentioned villages are the outside vicars of their respective districts. They receive orders and instructions indiscriminately from the vicar-general and from the diocesan, from each one in accordance with the attributes of his office. It must be noted that this division into districts is subject to continual variations at the will of the bishop who wears the miter—now in relation to the number, and again with respect to the village. When it is said that the outside vicars depend immediately on the vicars-general or provisors, one must not, under any consideration, understand that the latter constitute an authority or jurisdiction intermediate between the outside vicar and the archbishop; but that they are the means by which communication with the said archbishop ought to be held. The present prelate of this metropolitan church is his Excellency the most illustrious and reverend Don Fray José Aranguren, member of his Majesty’s Council, knight of the grand cross of Isabel the Catholic, senator of the kingdom, and deputy vicar-general of the royal land and naval armies of all our eastern possessions. He was consecrated on January 31, 1847. The cabildo of this holy and metropolitan church, the only such church in Filipinas, is composed of five dignitaries, three canons, two racioneros, two medio-racioneros, and the suitable number of ministers, whose salaries may be seen in the following chart. [269]

Chart of the revenues of the clergy of the cathedral of Manila

Personal Pesos fuertes Reals of silver
The archbishop, 5,000
The dean, 2,000
4 dignitaries, at 1,450 pesos each, 5,800
3 canons, at 1,250 pesos each, 2,690 [sic]
2 racioneros, at 1,100 pesos each, 2,200
2 medio-racioneros, at 915 pesos each, 1,830
1 master of ceremonies, 400
2 cura-rectors, at 500 pesos each, 1,000
1 sacristan, 250
Another sacristan, 150
1 verger, 190
For the archbishop’s mail, 14 6
To the cabildo, for the music, church repair, wine, wax, and oil, 2,860
To the cura of the cathedral for oil and wine, 26
Total, 25,410[sic] 6

The ecclesiastical court is composed of the most excellent and illustrious archbishop, the provisor and vicar-general, the ecclesiastical fiscal, a recording secretary, a vice-secretary, an archivist, and two notarial treasurers of the secular class. The provisorial court is formed by the provisor, who is at the same time vicar-general and judge of the chaplains. [270]He is charged with the performance of judicial acts in ecclesiastical matters, and is accompanied by notaries. This unctionary did not formerly have the investiture as licentiate of laws, and was assisted by a matriculated lawyer of the royal Audiencia. The creation of the ecclesiastical fiscal was posterior to that of the ecclesiastical courts; and his institution is due to the authority of the pontiffs, who have especially charged said functionaries with the defense of the integrity of marriages, and other duties peculiar to their employments. The charge of provisor was at first exercised constantly by the Augustinian fathers, by virtue of the amnimodo authority granted by the popes; later, their attributes passed to the Franciscan fathers, by agreement with them. But the archbishop of Méjico, considering himself empowered to appoint ecclesiastical judges (who were to be the vicars and provisors of these dominions), sent two clerics with authorization to exercise the said offices. The governor,2 however, with his rank as royal vice-patron, protected the regulars in their privileges, and ordered Father Alfaro to exercise the said office alone. Afterward, when the suffragan bishoprics were created, and that of Manila was erected to the dignity of a metropolitan, with the archiepiscopal hierarchy, the appointment of provisors was regulated.

The spiritual administration of any of the bishoprics that fall vacant devolves upon the metropolitan archbishop, and the latter is the one empowered to appoint a provisor or capitular vicar. In case that the archiepiscopal metropolitan see should become vacant also, the government devolves upon the nearest [271]bishop; and if there be two bishops at equal distances, it devolves upon the senior of these. In accordance with the terms of a royal decree dated April 22, 1705, it is ordered that the expenses incurred by the prelates on their episcopal visits are to be met by the royal treasury. The manner in which the espolios,3 are collected was determined by a royal decree, dated June 24, 1821.

The secular clergy is divided into parochial and non-parochial. In the latter class are included the persons employed in the metropolitan cathedral; to the same class belong the four provisors of the other dioceses.

The provisor or vicar-general of this diocese holds the title of judge of chaplains, but that title is not held by the provisors of the other bishoprics.

By a general rule, the provisors of the respective dioceses are directors of the conciliar seminaries; but that is not the case with the provisor of this archbishopric, who is at present dean of the cathedral. The presidents of the said establishments are, as a rule, also procurators of the same. The commissary of the crusade and the attorney-general of the ecclesiastical court are at present members of the choir of the cathedral of Manila—as are also the rector of the college of San José, and the secretary and the vice-secretary of the archbishop. But this circumstance does not constitute a general rule, as it is a purely personal favor. Among the employees of the ecclesiastical court of Manila are five chief notaries—of whom one is pensioned [jubilado], another despatches the business relative to the tribunal of the crusade, and the three remaining ones form part of the ecclesiastical courts suffragan to [272]this archbishopric. There are, further, two secretaries of the diocesan courts of Manila and Cebu—the latter being a modern creation, as are also a vice-secretary of the archbishop, and a vice-secretary of the bishop of Nueva Cáceres; also an archivist of the archbishop, a commissary-general of the crusade, eight royal chaplains (inclusive of the chaplain-in-chief), one supernumerary, and the father sacristan; and twelve employees in the seminaries of the four bishoprics, with the name of directors, presidents, rectors, vice-rectors, lecturers, and sacristans. To this number one must add ten more who proceed from the three colleges and the university—who bear the titles of rector, professors, readers, secretary, and master of ceremonies—and thirty chaplains. In the latter number are included those who serve in the detachments of the army; those assigned for the colleges, hospitals, and hospitiums; and those who are paid by certain corporations, such as the Audiencia, etc. In this number those of the royal chapel are not included; for their institution is to provide their divisions, and the boats of the fleet, with priests when those of the former class are lacking. Their total amounts to ninety-three.

Coming now to the seminarists, their number cannot be determined, for it varies every year. But by adopting an average for the students in the conciliar seminary of Manila in 1842 and 48 [sic; 43?]—namely, some twenty-five, counting priests, deacons, subdeacons, those who have taken the lesser orders, and those who have taken the tonsure—one may calculate that the four seminaries will contain about one hundred students; so that, adding these to the ninety-three preceding, belonging also to the secular clergy, the number increases to one hundred and [273]ninety-three. There are also in each one of the bishoprics some secular ecclesiastics employed under the immediate orders of the diocesans, who bear the name of pages, cross-bearers, etc., whose number cannot be determined. One is also unable to calculate the number of those who have been ordained under the title of patrimony,4 and chaplaincies5 of blood or of class, etc. By a royal decree of June 1, 1799, order was given for the curas to pay the three per cent for the sustenance of the seminaries.

Before concluding this review, we must also show that there are some arrangements that are common to both secular and regular clergy—those which make it indifferent, for the discharge of certain duties or commissions, whether they are secular or regular priests. Such are outside vicariates, and the chaplaincies of presidios, fortresses, etc.

From the founding of Manila until it obtained its first bishop there was a space of ten years. Its first prelate was suffragan to the metropolitan see of Méjico. But seventeen years after, and twenty-seven from the foundation of the city, in the year 1596, and by means of the bull of Clement VIII, despatched at the proposal of King Don Felipe II, it was separated from that see, and was erected into a metropolitan, with the three suffragan sees which it has at present. [274]

Bishopric of Cebú

Cebú, formerly called Sogbu, is a suffragan bishopric of the archbishopric of Manila, which bounds it on the north. This diocese was created in 1595, at the same time as those of Nueva Segovia and Nueva Cáceres, at the request of the monarch, Felipe II, by brief of his Holiness Clement VIII. Its first bishop was Don Fray Pedro de Agurto, who took possession of this bishopric on October 14, 1598. He who at present occupies the see is his Excellency Don Romualdo Gimeno, who is governing the diocese worthily to the honor and glory of God, and the gain of the metropolitan see, having begun his office February 27, 1847. This diocese includes at present the civil provinces of Cebú, Negros, Leyte, Samar, Capiz, Antique, Misamis, Caraga, Nueva-Guipúzcoa, Zamboanga, Calamianes, and the Marianas. Among those provinces are counted one hundred and seventy-nine curacies, of which one hundred and twelve are held by regular missionaries, and fifty-five by seculars (either Indian or mestizo clergy), as will be seen from chart number 6.6 [275]

The ecclesiastical court is composed of a provisor and vicar-general, who is at present the priest Don Esteban Meneses; of a secretary of the exchequer and of government, which office is filled by Doctor Don Marcos del Rosario; and of a notary, who is Don Pedro Magno, a priest.

In the following chart can be seen the revenues assigned to the parish clergy of the cathedral of Cebú, and the expenses for worship assigned to the same.

Chart showing the revenues of the clerical cathedral of Cebú, and their distribution for the services of divine worship

Classes Pesos fuertes Reals of silver Maravedis
One reverend bishop, 4,000 0 0
Two assistant chaplains for the throne, at 100 pesos apiece, 200 0 0
Two sacristans of the cathedral and curacy, at 91 pesos, 7 reals, and 6 maravedís each, 183 6 12
One chaplain of the fort, 96 0 0
For the wine, oil, wax, etc., which are allowed to the chaplain of the fort or fortress, 52 2 0[276]
For the alms assigned to the cathedral for divine worship, 438 4 17
Idem to the chapel del Pilar of Zamboanga for the festivities, 41 4 17
Total, 5,012 0 46

The college seminary of San Carlos, which is located in the city of Santo Niño de Cebú—the capital of the island of its name and of those called Visayas, and the residence of the most excellent and illustrious bishop, to whose authority and vigilance are submitted all matters relating to the spiritual part—has about eighteen or twenty pupils, counting seminarists and collegiates. In that institution are taught grammatical studies [minimos], syntax, philosophy, and moral theology, whose respective chairs are in charge of learned and industrious professors. The territory of the civil provinces which form this bishopric is divided into twenty-four outside districts for its better ecclesiastical administration, eighteen of which are in charge of the parish priests of the following villages: in the province of Negros, those of Jimamailan and Siquijor; in the island of Cebú, there is one in the city of that name, and the rest in Danao, Barilis, Siquijor, and Dimiao; in Caraga, that of Bacuag; in the island of Leyte, that of Jilongos or Hilongos, and that of Burauen or Buraven—the first on the western coast, and the second on the eastern; in the province of Iloilo, that of Tigbauan [277](which also belongs to the province of Antique), and that of Mandurreao in the province of Capiz, that of Manga or Banga, and that of Mandalay or Mandalag; in the province of Nisamis, that of Cagayan; and in the Marianas Islands, some three hundred leguas distant, those of Agaña, Agat, and Rota. In this number are lacking those of the provinces of Nueva-Guipúzcoa, Calamianes, and Samar, which can all be thus calculated: at one parish in the first province, as it is of modern creation and thinly populated; three in the second, as it is composed of various islands; and some two in the last. This is a total of twenty-four vicariates or outside districts. The ecclesiastics, both secular and regular, appointed to discharge these duties, exercise, in addition to the functions peculiar to their ministry, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the villages assigned to their respective outside districts, which are immediately subordinate to the vicar-general of the diocese, who is the provisor of the same. It is to be noted, in regard to this ecclesiastical division, that it is found to be subject to continual alterations, in regard both to the number of ecclesiastical vicariates, and to the curas who discharge these duties.

The considerable extent of this bishopric, which is the largest in the Filipinas Islands—whose provinces are widely separated from one another, some of those provinces even being composed of numerous islets as its separate parts—has given occasion for various petitions proposing the division of this bishopric into two parts, as a matter of greater advantage to the Church and to the State. Apropos of this, the bishop of Cebú, Don Fray Santos Gomez Marañon, declared in a respectful representation which he [278]addressed to his Majesty, King Don Fernando VII, under date of Cebú, August 25, 1831, the following, which we copy:


“The bishop of Cebú, in order to relieve his conscience, finds it necessary to relate to your Majesty with the greatest frankness, that it appears necessary for the greater service of God, the welfare of souls, and [the service] of your royal person, to divide into two bishoprics this so extensive and scattered diocese of Visayas—in whose innumerable islands there are, in his judgment, more than one million of Christian souls, notwithstanding that the census of the past year shows no more than 858,510 souls. In addition to this there are a multitude of infidels, whom it would not be difficult to civilize and convert, were there two bishops among them who could take care of their conversion in an efficient manner; for one bishop alone has too much to look after in the conservation of so many Christians, without other duties. There are three provinces in the island of Panay alone, in which there are 54 parishes and many annexed villages, who have at least 378,970 souls, besides the heathen. If there were a permanent bishop in that island, their number would quickly be duplicated.

“The prelate could easily visit and confirm the distant provinces of Calamianes and Zamboanga (whither no bishop has as yet gone, because of their great distance from Cebú, and because it is necessary to consume several months [in such a trip] by reason of the monsoons, thus neglecting other things which require attention) from his see, which could be established [279]in the well-populated village of Jaro.7 The islands of Tablas, Sibuyan, Romblon, and Banton, and the western part of the island of Negros, would belong also to this new bishopric, and Christianity would be considerably increased. The bishop of Cebú would not on that account remain with nothing to do; for besides the island of this name, those of Bojol or Bohol, Leyte, Samar, the laborious island of Surigao, Misamis, and the eastern part of the island of Negros (where a mission is already established), and various other smaller islands remain. Thus he retains charge of at least 434,846 souls, besides an infinite number of heathen.

“The bishop of Cebú is addressing his king and sovereign with all sincerity and frankness; and he can say no less to your Majesty than that it is impossible for one bishop alone to visit and confirm his people, and to discharge his other pastoral duties, in all the numerous and intricate islands of Visayas, which have been in his charge until the present—especially in the so distant Marianas Islands, which have no communication with Cebú. Those islands ought to be assigned to the archbishopric of Manila, with which capital is their only communication. [280]Even in this case, authority ought to be conceded to their ecclesiastical superior, with chrism consecrated by the archbishop, over all the Christians who live there.

“As soon as the writer was consecrated in Manila, he set out to visit his bishopric. I visited the island of Romblon, and the three provinces of the island of Panay, confirming in those islands 102,636 persons; the island of Negros and half of Cebú, in which two districts 1 confirmed 23,800, as I inform your Majesty by a separate letter. I have employed one-half year in this first visit, without the loss of a second of time, taking advantage of the good season.

“I am intending to conclude the visit for the half of this island during the monsoon of the coming year; and to continue my visit to the islands of Bojol, Leyte, Samar, Surigao, and Misamis. But notwithstanding the efforts of the bishop, and his desire to fulfil his obligations, he cannot visit Zamboanga or Calamianes, and much less the Marianas islands—so many souls remaining without the sacrament of the confirmation and benediction of their bishop, as it is impossible to visit them.

“With what conscience, Sire, will you abandon him who dares to call out before your Majesty’s throne, asking you, as so Catholic [a sovereign], and as the patron of all the churches of the Indias, to remedy this evil? The bishop of Cebú finds no other remedy than the creation of another bishopric, and the division into two parts of this most extensive diocese, as he has already declared. Consequently he proposes it, in order to lay the burden of his conscience on that of your Majesty; and so that he may [281]not have to give account for his negligence to the Supreme Judge. If your Majesty considers it fitting to approve this so useful and even so necessary proposition, your bishop is of the opinion, as he has already intimated, that the see of the new bishopric can be determined, and that it may be entitled the bishopric of Panay or of Jaro—which is a well-populated village, as I have said above. Its foundation and administration belongs to the calced Augustinian fathers, as does that of almost all the villages of that so fierce and fertile island. Your Majesty might show it the favor to allow it to be entitled hereafter ’the Christian city.’

“Since the Augustinian fathers have been the first conquistadors and founders of the greater part of the villages of Visayas, and even of those of the island of Luzon, it appears to be the most natural thing that the first bishop be a calced Augustinian; and that he should know the language of the country, so that he can sooner establish this new bishopric in better order, civilization, and increase of Christianity, and tributes.

“Accordingly, this aged bishop expects this, Sire, from the pure Catholicity of your Majesty, and from your ardent zeal for the increase of the Christian church and of prosperity in these your so distant dominions—which have always shown themselves so loyal and constant, even in the midst of so many revolutions, to their beloved king and sovereign; and he even dares, knowing your Majesty’s goodness of heart, to propose three Augustinian fathers who have accomplished much for the happiness of these Visayas Islands, so that your Majesty may choose one of [282]the three; for any one of them would completely fulfil your royal desires.

“The proposal is sent under other covers, and I am sending it to his Excellency, the vice-patron, for his approval. But the decision of your Majesty, on whose delicate conscience your bishop of Cebú places this whole matter, and [thus] relieves his own conscience, will always be the most suitable one. May God, etc.”

If the creation of a new bishopric was considered as an absolute necessity at that time, in order that the Christian church in the so numerous islands might be better attended to, with how much more reason cannot the present bishop and his successors solicit this grace from his Majesty, since the population has increased to about double what it was then—and especially since new provinces have been created, and most of their wandering tribes, scattered throughout most of the islands in the jurisdiction of this diocese, conquered for God. We believe also, with that venerable bishop, that the division of this extensive bishopric into two parts is highly advisable (for it is wellnigh impossible for any diocesan to visit his so numerous and scattered flock)—not only in the interests of religion, but also in those of the State, inasmuch as the former is preserved by their vigilance and authority purer and more incorruptible from the vices that have invaded it on more than one occasion; and the country will increase in wealth and prosperity, in proportion as the numerous nomadic tribes, who are yet wandering through the rough thickets, are reduced to the social life. [A list of the bishops of Cebú to 1847 follows.] [283]

Nueva Cáceres

Nueva Cáceres, or Camarines, is one of the three of the present ecclesiastical divisions of the island of Luzón. It includes all the eastern part of that island, and the adjacent islands, as we shall presently see. It extends from the sea on the west, at the mouth of the strait of Mindoro, where it is bounded by the archbishopric of Manila—as likewise in the interior, where pass its northern limits, the only boundaries that it has within the land—to the eastern sea in the extreme southeast of the province of Caraga,8 also the boundaries of the archbishopric. However, it has jurisdiction in the village of Baler and in that of Casiguran, in the province of Nueva Ecija; and those of Polillo and Binangoñan de Lampon, in Laguna. For the rest, it is surrounded by the sea and indented with numerous bays. Beginning at the mouth of the above-mentioned strait (where it is bounded by the archbishopric), the first part of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Nueva Cáceres is the bay formed by the point of Galban, belonging to the province of Batangas, and the headland of Boudol.9 [284]It follows the bay of Peris as far as Guinayangan, which lies in the same angle of the bay, where the province of Tayabas ends. Then follows the village of Bañgsa, which belongs to the province of Camarines, next to which is found the province of Albay. The bishopric follows the coast until it meets the bay of Sorsogon. Beyond that bay is seen that of Bulsnan and then that of Albay (which is beyond the Embocadero of San Bernardino), which is formed by the islet called Baga Rey and the point of Montufar. Then follow the bay of Malinao and the point of Tigbi, where the province of Camarines begins again. This point and that of Lognoy form the mouth of the bay of Bala. Past the point of San Miguel is seen the bay of Naga, where the city of Nueva Cáceres was located. That great bay is formed by the point of Siroma, and is seventy-six leguas round to the point of Talisay. Six leguas from that point is the bay of Daét, into which flows a river of great volume, which comes down from the highlands. Following this coast there is a small bay into which empties a river which flows from the mountain of Paracale, well known for its gold mines. About six leguas from that river is seen Punta del Diablo [i.e., “Devil’s Point”], so called because of the shoals that run out into the sea, which are very dangerous. Past that point is the river of Capalonga,10 where the province of Camarines ends and that of Tayabas begins again. At this point the sea runs inland and forms an isthmus only five leguas [wide] with the sea of Visayas. That small gulf is [285]found in the sea of Gumaca; it is very rough, and along its coast are found the villages of Gumaca, Atimonan, and Mambau [sc. Maubán]. Going north, one meets the island of Polo [i.e., Polillo?], the bay of Lampon, and the villages of Baler and Casiguran, the last ones of this ecclesiastical jurisdiction—which, as we said, are situated in the province of Nueva-Ecija. Then is encountered the point of San Ildefonso, the boundary at which meet the bishoprics of Nueva Cáceres and Nueva Segovia.

This bishopric was founded by a bull of Clement VIII, dated August 14, 1595. Four thousand pesos’ salary was assigned to the bishopric annually, payable from the royal treasury of Méjico, as there were no tithes in Filipinas because the Indians did not pay them, and the Spaniards cared but little for the cultivation of the lands. A salary of one hundred and eighty pesos was assigned to the cura of the cathedral, and ninety-two to the sacristan. Two honorary chaplains were also created, to assist in the pontifical celebration; and they were assigned salaries of one hundred pesos apiece. The bishop resided in Nueva Cáceres, in the province of Camarines, which was founded by the governor Francisco de Sande; but no other trace of that city has remained than the Indian village called Naga, which is the capital of the province and where the see is also located. It has a cathedral and episcopal palace of stone, and a conciliar seminary for the secular clergy of the country. Its jurisdiction extends throughout the provinces of Camarines (Norte and Sur), Tayabas, and Albay; the politico-military commandancy of Masbate and Ticao; the islands of Burias and Catanduanes; and the villages of Baler and Casiguran [286]in Nueva Ecija, and Polillo and Binongonan de Lampon in Laguna. In this vast territory, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Nueva Cáceres includes the following provinces, curacies, and villages.11

Besides the assignments which were made from the beginning, as we have said, to this bishopric, and which are at present paid from the royal treasuries of the colony, there is allowed to the miter 500 pesos for the relief of poor curas; 400 pesos to expend on the building of the cathedral and other objects; 135 pesos 2 reals for wax, oil, etc.—the total amount being equal to 5,516 pesos, 7 silver reals, and 37 maravedís.

The name of this bishopric is preserved solely in official documents, that of Camarines prevailing, as it is the name of the province where the bishop lives. [The names of the bishops of this bishopric until 1848 follow.]

The diocesan visits are to be made at the account of the royal treasury, in accordance with the royal decree of April 22, 1705. When the episcopal see becomes vacant, inasmuch as it has no cabildo its government belongs to his Excellency the metropolitan archbishop, who appoints a provisor or [287]capitular vicar. If the archiepiscopal see should be vacant at the same time also, the government would pertain to the nearest suffragan; and if distances be equal, to the senior of these.

The form of administering and collecting the income was prescribed in a royal decree dated June 24, 1712, as has been stated elsewhere in this work.

Nueva Segovia

This is one of the three bishoprics of the island of Luzon. It includes the provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Batanes Islands. This diocese extends throughout the northern part of the island, from longitude 123° 21’ on the western coast, where the point called Pedregales is located, to 126° 5’ on the eastern or opposite coast, where the point Maamo projects; and from latitude 16° 17 to 18° 38’. It is bounded on the south by the archbishopric of Manila, to which belong the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga, on the extreme west and northeast. On the southeast it descends to latitude 15° 30’, to point of Dicapinisan and to Nueva Ecija, with that of Nueva Cáceres or Camarines in the upper limits of the province of Tayabas. It is also bounded on the east by the archbishopric [of Manila] in the above-mentioned province of Nueva Ecija. Its boundaries on the west and north are maritime. Beginning where this last province ends (which may be considered as the point of Dicapinisan), the opposite coast offers nothing more noteworthy than the bays of Dibut and Baler until one reaches that of Casiguran; and there is nothing worthy of mention. When one leaves this last bay, [288]he must double the cape of San Ildefonso, where the ancient ecclesiastical jurisdiction of this bishopric began. Continuing north for a matter of some sixteen nautical leguas, one meets the port of Tumango, the safest and most capacious of all this rough coast. A short distance from that port are found the village of Palanan and the missions of Dicalayon, and Dauilican or Divilican. Thence, until one reaches the cape of Engaño,12 one finds nothing more than some small anchoring-places, which offer but scant refuge to the vessels, as they are all exposed to the vendavals. On the northern coast as well, which begins at the said cape of Engaño (so called because of the deceitfulness of its currents), one does not meet bay or port until he reaches the village of Aparri, some fifteen leguas away. This village is located a short distance from the ancient city of Nueva Segovia, which is known to the natives under the name of Laen [sc. Lal-ló]. A matter of fifteen leguas more from the above village of Aparri, is encountered the beginning of the Caraballos mountains, whose point, called Balaynacira, or Pata, projects into the northern sea and is the most northern point of the island. At this point ends the province of Cagayan, and begins that of Ilocos Norte, in the village of Pancian which is nine hours’ distance from that of Bangui. Then one doubles the cape of Bojeador, where the western coast of the island begins, and passes the provinces of Ilocos (Norte and Sur), Union, and Pangasinan, which abound with many villages, until the cape of Bolinao is reached—where [289]this bishopric is bounded by the archbishopric, to which belongs the province of Zambales.

This see suffragan to the metropolitan of Manila was erected by brief of his Holiness Clement VIII, August 14, 1595. The bishop formerly resided in Nueva Segovia, the capital of the province of Cagayan; but now he resides at Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur, where the town called Fernandina formerly stood. The endowment for this miter is four thousand pesos fuertes for the diocesan, one hundred and eighty-four pesos for the cura of the cathedral, ninety-two pesos to the sacristan, and one hundred pesos to each one of the chaplains of the choir. Its jurisdiction extends, as we have said, through the eight provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Batanes Islands.13...

[The name Nueva Segovia is preserved only in official documents, and it is more frequently called the bishopric of Ilocos, from the name of the province where the bishop lives. The names of the bishops until 1849 follow, and the article ends with information identical with that concluding the article on the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres.] [290]

1 This chart appears at the end of the volume, and enumerates various villages of each province, and the curas in charge of them. We reproduce only the summary, which is as follows:

Number of Held by regulars Held by seculars
Provinces curacies
Tondo 26 15 11
Bulacan 20 18 2
Pampanga 28 15 8
Bataan 10 7 3
Zambales 12 9 2
Nueva-Ecija 17 6 6
Laguna 35 27 7
Batangas 15 7 8
Cavite 12 4 11
Mindoro 10 6 4
Total 185 111 62

2 Alfaro was provisor in 1578–79 (Huerta’s Estudo, p. 441), at which time the governor was Francisco de Sande.

3 Espolio: the property which a prelate leaves at his death.

4 Patrimonio: property peculiarly made spiritual, according to the needs of the Church, so that anyone may be ordained on its foundation.

5 A chaplaincy is a pious foundation made by any religious person, and elected into a benefice by the ecclesiastical ordinary, with the annexed obligation of saying a certain number of masses, or with the obligation of other analogous spiritual duties. Chaplaincies of this class are collative, thus being differentiated from those purely laical, in which the authority of the ordinary does not intervene. See Dic. nacional lengua española (Madrid, 1878).

6 The summary of the above-mentioned chart is as follows:

Provinces Number of curacies Held by regulars Held by seculars
Cebú 45 32 12
Island of Negros 14 4 10
Leyte 14 7 7
Samar 15 14 0
Capiz 18 10 9
Iloilo 29 22 7
Antíque 11 4 7
Misamis 7 7 0
Caraga 4 4 0
Nueva-Guipúzcoa 3 1 1
Calamianes 5 3 2
Zamboanga 1 1 0
Marianas Islands 4 3 1
Total 170 112 56

7 The bishopric of Jaro was separated, by papal decree, in 1865, from that of Cebú, and contained the provinces of Iloilo, Concepcion, Capiz, and Antique (these four being included within the island of Panay); also Mindanao (excepting Misamis and Surigao, which are in the bishopric of Cebú), Calamianes, Negros, and Romblón. The Marianas Islands were assigned to the diocese of Cebú; also Bohol, Leyte, and Samar.

“The diocese of Jaro was created by bull of Pius IX in 1865, and its first bishop was Don Fray Mariano Cuartero, who died in 1884. He was succeeded by Don Fray Leandro Arúe, a Recollect religious, who died in 1897. In his place was chosen Don Fray Andrés Ferrero de San José, a religious of the same order.” (Archipiélago filipino, ii, p. 256.)

8 An evident error, as Caraga is in Mindanao; probably the writer meant to say Albay, as is indicated in his enumeration of parishes in the diocese of Nueva Cáceres, sheet [11] of appendices at end of vol. ii. The boundaries of provinces in Luzon were formerly quite different, in many cases, from the present ones. See, for instance, the map in Mas’s Informe (1843), preceding his chapter on “Territorial divisions;” Albay thereon includes not only the present Sorsogon, but the islands of Masbate, Ticao, and Catanduanes.

9 This should be Bondog; it is but one of the many typographical errors which detract from the value of Buzeta and Bravo’s Diccionario. Bañgsa apparently means the present Bangon; Bulsnan, Bulusan; Tigbi, Tiui or Tivi; Lognoy, Lagonoy. We have corrected in the text several other names incorrectly spelled.

10 The present town of Capalonga is at the mouth of the important river Banogboc, which with its tributaries drains the western half of Camarines Norte; the lower part of the river is also known as Capalonga.

11 Chart [11] at the end of the volume gives a list of the provinces and villages of the bishopric, with the names of the incumbents of the various churches. The summary of the list is as follows:

Provinces Number of curacies Held by regulars Held by seculars
Camarines Sur 38 17 14
Camarines Norte 8 0 7
Albay 35 8 22
Commandancy of the islands of Masbate and Ticao 6 0 5
Tayabas 17 9 6
Total 103 34 54

12 The extreme northeast point of Cagayan province and Luzón Island, a landmark of approach for navigators to the eastern coast. It is a promontory at the north point of Palaui Island, and is 316 feet high.

13 A chart at the end of the volume shows the various provinces and their villages, with the names of the incumbents of the curacies. Its summary is as follows:

Provinces Number of curacies Held by regulars Held by seculars
Cagayan 20 14 1
Nueva Vizcaya 16 11 1
Pangasinan 36 28 4
Ilocos Sur 25 11 8
Ilocos Norte 14 9 3
Abra 7 3 3
Batanes Islands 6 4 0
Total 124 80 20

Character and Influence of the Friars

[From Feodor Jagor’s Reisen in den Philippinen (Berlin, 1873), pp. 95–100.]

Chapter Twelve

Travels in Camarines Sur. Description of the province. Spanish priests. Alcaldes and mandarins.1

The convents are large, magnificent buildings, whose curas at that time—for the most part, elderly men—were most hospitable and amiable. It was necessary to stop at each convent, and the father in charge of it had his horses harnessed and drove his guest to his next colleague. I wished to hire a boat at Polángui to go to the lake of Batu;2 but there was none to be had. Only two large, eighty-foot [291]barotos, each hollowed from a single tree-trunk and laden with rice from Camarines, lay there. In order that I might not be detained, the father bought the cargo of one of the boats, on condition that it be immediately unladed; thus I was able to proceed on my journey in the afternoon.

If the traveler is on good terms with the cura, he will seldom have any trouble. I was once about to take a little journey with a parish priest directly after lunch. All the preparations were completed at a quarter after eleven. I declared that it was too bad to wait the three-quarters of an hour for the repast. Immediately after, it struck twelve, and all work in the village ceased. We, as well as our porters, sat down to table; it was noon. The [following] message had been sent to the bellringer: “The father ordered him to be told that he must surely be sleeping again; it must have been twelve o’clock long ago, for the father is hungry.” Il est l’heure que votre Majesté désire.3

Most of the priests in the eastern provinces of Luzon and Samar consist of Franciscan friars,4 who are trained in special seminaries in Spain for the missions in the colonies. Formerly, they were at liberty to return to their fatherland after ten years’ residence in the Philippines. But since the convents have been suppressed in Spain,5 this is no longer [292]allowed them; for there they would be compelled to renounce the rules of their order, and live as private persons.6 They know that they must end their days in the colonies, and regulate themselves accordingly. At their arrival they are usually sent to a priest in the province, so that they may study the native language. Then they first receive a small and later a profitable curacy, in which they generally remain for the rest of their life. Most of these men spring from the lowest rank of the people. Numerous existing pious foundations in Spain make it possible for the poor man, who cannot pay for schooling for his son, to send him to the seminary, where he learns nothing outside of the special service for which he is trained. Were the friars of a finer culture, as are a part of the English missionaries, they would, for that reason, have but little inclination to mix with the people, and consequently would not obtain over them the influence that they generally have. The early habits of life of the Spanish friars, and their narrow horizon, quite peculiarly fit them to live among the natives. It is exactly for the above reason that they have so well established their power over those people.

When the above-mentioned young men come quite fresh from their seminaries, they are incredibly narrow, ignorant, and at times ill-mannered, full of [293]conceit, hatred for heretics, and desire to proselyte. Gradually this rough exterior wears away; and their estimable position, and the abundant emoluments which they enjoy, make them kindly disposed. The sound insight into human nature and the self-reliance which are peculiar to the lower classes of the Spanish people, and which are so amusingly revealed by Sancho Panza as governor, have full opportunity to assert themselves in the influential and responsible post which the cura occupies. Very frequently the cura is the only white man in the place, and no other European lives for miles around. Therefore, not only is he the curator of souls, but also the representative of the government. He is the oracle of the Indians, and his special decision in anything that concerns Europe and civilization is without appeal. His advice is asked in all important affairs, and he has no one from whom he himself can seek advice. Under such circumstances all their intellectual abilities come into full play. The same man, who would have followed the plow in Spain, here [i.e., in the Philippines] carries out great undertakings. Without technical instruction and without scientific help, he constructs churches, roads, and bridges. However, although these circumstances are so favorable for the development of the ability of the priest, yet it would be better for the buildings themselves if they were executed by professionals; for the bridges collapse readily, the churches often resemble sheep-folds, the more pretentious have at times most extravagant façades, and the roads quickly deteriorate again. However, each one does as well as he can. Almost all of them have the good of their village at heart, although their zeal, and the course followed [294]by those who pursue this aim, differ widely according to their personality. In Camarínes and Albáy, I have had considerable intercourse with the curas, and they have, without exception, won my esteem. As a rule, they have no self-conceit; and in the remote places they are so happy whenever they receive a visit, that they exert all their efforts to make their guest’s stay as pleasant as possible. Life in a large convent very much resembles that of the lord of the manor in eastern Europe. Nothing can be more unconstrained. One lives as independently as in an inn, and many guests act just as if they were in one. I have seen a subaltern arrive, who, without waiting until the steward assigned him a room of his own accord, took one himself, ordered his dinner, and only casually asked whether the priest, with whom he was only very slightly acquainted, was at home.

Frequently the priests in the Philippines are upbraided about their gross licentiousness. [It is said that] the convent is full of beautiful girls, with whom the cura lives like a sultan. This might often be so of the native priests; but at the houses of numerous Spanish priests whose guest I have been, I have never once happened to see anything objectionable in this regard. Their servants were only men, and perhaps an old woman or two. Ribabeneyra asserts:7 “The Indians, who observe how the discalced friars maintain their chastity, have come in their thoughts to the conclusion that they are not men ... and although the devil has endeavored to corrupt many chaste priests now deceased, [295]and also those who still live, making use of the shamelessness of some Indian women for that purpose, yet the friars remained victorious, to the great shame of the Indian women and of Satan.” However, this author is very unreliable. He says further (chapter iii, page 13), that the island of Cebu is known under another name as Luzon! At any rate, his description does not fit the present conditions. The young priest lives in his parish as did the lord of the manor in earlier times. The girls consider it an honor for themselves to associate with him. The opportunity is very favorable for him, for he is watched over by no jealous wife; and, as the father confessor and priestly adviser, he has opportunity at discretion to be alone with the women.8 The confessional must especially be a perilous rock for them. In the appendix to a Tagál grammar (which is lacking in those copies intended for public sale), is a list of questions for the young priest who is not yet conversant with the language, which he must propound to the persons confessing. Several pages of those questions relate to sexual intercourse.

As the alcaldes are allowed to stay in a province only three years, they never understand the language of the country; for they are very much in demand because of their official business, and have no time (and usually no desire) to study the peculiarities of the province which they administer. The cura, on the other hand, lives in the midst of his parishioners, [296]whom he knows thoroughly, and whom he also represents against the government. Consequently, it happens that he is the real authority in his district. The position of the priests, in contradistinction to that of the government officials, is bespoken also in their dwellings. The casas reales [i.e., royal buildings]—for the most part small, plain, and often dilapidated—are not in keeping with the rank of the first officials of the province. The convent, however, is usually a very large, imposing, and well-furnished building. Formerly, when the governorships were sold to adventurers, whose only thoughts were to enrich themselves from that office, the influence of the priests was even much greater than at present.9 The following ordinances point out their former position better than long descriptions.

“Although certain outrageous offenses have given fitting reason for chapter x of the ordinances, wherein Governor Don Pedro de Arandia orders that the alcaldes and justices shall have no other communication with the missionaries than in writing, and shall not visit them except in company, it is also nevertheless ordered that they shall not do the latter ... on the assumption that the prelates of the church shall employ all their energies in restraining their subordinates within the bounds of moderation.... The alcaldes shall therefore see to it that the priests and ministers of the above order shall treat the gobernadorcillos and officers of justice with the proper respect; and they shall not permit the latter to be beaten, chastised, or illtreated by the [297]missionaries, ... nor shall they be compelled to serve them at table.”10

The former alcaldes who bought their posts, or obtained them through favor, and who had no previous training in official business, and often no education and intelligence, and who did not possess the necessary mental and moral qualities for so responsible and influential an office, received a nominal salary from the State, to which they paid a commission for the right to engage in trade. According to Arenas (p. 444),11 this commission was regarded as a fine on the alcaldes for transgressing the law; “for since all kinds of trading were forbidden to them by various laws,12 yet also his Majesty was pleased to grant a dispensation for it.”13 This irregularity was first suppressed by royal decrees of September 10 and October 30, 1844.

The alcaldes were governors and judges, commanders of the troops, and at the same time the only [298]traders in their respective provinces.14 They bought in Manila the goods that were needed in their provinces—usually with the money of the charities [obras pias] (see p. 14, note 17);15 for they themselves came to the Philippines without any property. The Indians were compelled to sell their products to the alcalde, and to buy his wares at the prices which the latter established.16 In such circumstances, the priests were the only ones who protected the Indians against these bloodsuckers, when they did not (as sometimes happened) also make common cause with the alcaldes.

At present the government sends men who know the law to act as alcaldes in the Philippines, who are somewhat better paid and are not allowed to trade. [299]

On the whole, the government is endeavoring to lessen the influence of the curas, in order to strengthen the civil authorities; but that will be only very imperfectly accomplished, however, unless the tenure of office of the alcaldes be lengthened, and the office be so assigned that the alcaldes will have no temptation to make money on the side.17 [300]

1 A comparison of the English translation of Jagor (London, 1875) with the original text reveals the fact that the translation is inaccurate in many places, and that it was done in a careless and slovenly manner. Consequently, it has been necessary to translate this matter directly from the German.

2 Polángui is located in the province of Albay, on the right bank of the Inaya River, and eleven miles in a general southeast direction from Lake Bató (the Batu of the text). This passage, in the English translation mentioned in the preceding note, is incorrectly rendered, “to cross the lake of Batu”—an error probably due to ignorance on the part of the translator, of the location of Polángui, although the language of the author is not at all ambiguous.

3 That is, “It is what hour your Majesty pleases.”

4 At this point Jagor adds in Spanish in parenthesis: “Discalced minor religious of the regular and most strict observance of our holy father St. Francis, in the Filipinas Islands, of the holy and apostolic province of San Gregorio Magno.”

5 As many as 900 monasteries were suppressed in Spain by decree of June 21, 1835, and the rest were dissolved by the decree of October 11, of the same year. The suppression, as might have been expected, was accompanied by excesses against the friars and [276n]nuns, and some of them were murdered, while parish priests and Jesuits were hunted over the borders.

6 This passage is hopelessly confused in the English translation, and proves how entirely untrustworthy that translation is. The reading of the original (da sie gezwungen sein würden, dort der Ordensregel zu entsagen und als Rentner zu leben) is translated “for they are compelled in the colonies to abandon all obedience to the rules of their order, and to live as laymen”—a sin against actual history, as well as language.

7 Historia de las islas ... y Reynos de la Gran China (Barcelona, 1601), chapter xi.

8 Felix Renouard de St. Croix (cited by Jagor) says, in his Voyage commercial et politique mix Indes orientales, aux Iles Philippines, à la Chine (Paris, 1810; ii, p. 157), that the curas in his day were served by young girls. A Franciscan of the lake of Bay had twenty of them at his disposal, two of whom were always at his side.

9 Jagor cites, in a footnote at this point, a portion of Le Gentil’s description of the power of the friars in the Philippines, which is to be found in vol. ii, p. 183, of that author; and ante, in our extract from Le Gentil, pp. 210–219.

10 Leg. ult., ¡, 266, §§ 87, 89.

11 Probably Memorias históricas y estadísticas de Filipinas y particularmente de la grande isla de Luzón (imprint from Diario de Manila, 1850), by Rafael Diaz Arenas.

12 See Recopilación de leyes de Indias, lib. ii, tit. xvi, ley liv (dated: Valladolid, April 29, 1549, Cárlos I and the queen of Bohemia; Valladolid, April 16 and May 2, 1550, Maximiliano and the queen; Valladolid, May 9, 1569, Felipe II), and tit. vi, ley xxvi (dated: Madrid, July 20, 1618, Felipe III; ordinance 139 of 1636, Felipe IV), which forbid alcaldes and other officials to trade, to use the money of the communal funds of the natives, or to compel the latter to serve them. Lib. v, tit. ii, treats in great part of the office of the alcalde, and ley xlvii (dated: Madrid, July 10, 1530, Cárlos I; Valladolid, September 4, 1551, Carlos I and the queen of Bohemia; Pinto, April 4, 1563, Felipe II; Lisboa, August 31, 1619, Felipe III), declares that the alcaldes and others are included in the prohibition to trade. (Cited by Jagor.)

13 By royal decree of July 17, 1754. (Cited by Jagor.)

14 Renouard de St. Croix, ii, p. 124. (Cited by Jagor.)

15 This note is as follows: “The obras pias are pious legacies, in which it was generally determined that two-thirds were to be loaned at interest for maritime commercial enterprises, until the premiums—which for the risk to Acapulco reached 50 per cent, to China, 25 per cent, and to the Indias, 35 per cent—had increased the original capital to a certain amount. Then the interest of that amount was to be applied to the good of the soul of the founder, or to pious or charitable ends (Arenas, Historia, p. 397). One-third was usually retained as a reserve, to cover chance losses. These reserve funds were long ago claimed by the government as compulsory loans, ‘but they are still regarded as existing.’

“When the trade with Acapulco came to an end, the capitals could no longer be employed in accordance with the request of the founder, and they were loaned at interest in other ways. By a royal decree, dated November 3, 1854 (Leg. ult. ii, p. 205), an administrative council is appointed to take charge of the money of the obras pias. The total capital of five foundations (or rather only four, since one of them no longer has any capital) amounts to a trifle less than one million dollars [i.e., pesos]. From that amount the profit obtained from the loans is distributed according to the amount of the original capital—which is, however, no longer in existence in cash, because the government has disposed of it.”

16 Ut supra, ii, p. 336. (Cited by Jagor.)

17 The office of alcalde falls into three divisions—entrada [i.e., entrance], ascenso [i.e., promotion], and termino [i.e., limit] (royal order, March 31, 1837, tit. i, i) The alcalde’s term of service is three years in each grade (tit. ii, articles 11, 12, and 13). Under no pretext can anyone remain longer than ten years in the magistracy of the Asiatic provinces (article 16). (Note by Jagor.)


The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines

[The following is translated and condensed from Provincia de San Nicolás de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos de la congregacion de España é Indias (Manila, 1879).]

Archbishopric of Manila

In this archbishopric the Recollect fathers have charges in the provinces of Manila, Cavite, Laguna, the district of Morong, Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales, and Mindoro.

[In the province of Manila, they have (1878) charges in the following villages: La Hermita, with 1,767½ tributes, and 6,747 souls; Las-Piñas, with 1,149½ tributes, and 4,771 souls; and Caloocan, with 2,166 tributes, and 7,511 souls.]

District of Morong

This district, which is governed by a political and military commander (who is at the same time administrator of the public funds), takes its name from its capital village, which is located on the shore of the lake of Bay. This district was created in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three. The villages of this district which are located on [301]the lake are under the care of Franciscan fathers; Angono, Cainta, Jalajala, and Bosoboso of seculars; and we ourselves possess the two following. [These are the villages of Antipolo, with 1,074 tributes, and 3,547 souls; and Taytay, with 2,479 tributes, and 8,435 souls.]

Province of Bataan

This province is located in the island of Luzón, and is bounded on the north by the provinces of Pampanga and Zambales, on the east by the bay of Manila, and on the south and west by the sea of China. It is governed by an alcalde, and is in charge of the Dominican fathers, with the exception of Mariveles, Bagac, and Morong, which are in charge of the Recollect fathers.

The missionaries of our corporation performed their first labors of conquest in this territory. Here were founded the oldest villages on our list; and here took place the first persecutions of our long-suffering predecessors, who had the glory of watering with their blood the country that they were evangelizing, the one that furnished to the province of San Nicolás their protomartyr.

Fray Miguel de Santa Maria, accompanied by Father Pedro de San José (who, although he had been a calced Augustinian, had become a Recollect in Manila), and by brother Fray Francisco de Santa Mónica, were the first to leave the convent of San Juan de Bagumbayan; and prepared by prayer and penance, and full of the spirit of God, set forth to announce His mysteries to the idolaters and heathen, sent legitimately to the mountains of Mariveles to illumine its inhabitants with the light of the Catholic [302]faith. They found those natives enveloped in the most barbarous idolatry, adoring the sun, the moon, the cayman, and other filthy animals. These people regarded certain old men, as corrupt and as deceived as the divinities whom they were serving, as the ministers of those deceitful gods. The customs of those people were very analogous to the doctrines that directed them. Every kind of superstition was practiced; homicide was a praiseworthy and meritorious action; and their sacrifices on some occasions were human lives. In that vineyard so filled with wickedness the above-mentioned fathers announced the triune and one God, the mystery of the incarnation, and the eternal duration of the future life. The missionaries suffered more than one can tell from the inhabitants, who were opposed to and stubborn toward their teaching. In their bodies did they submit to hunger, and to the intemperance and inclemency of the elements; and in their truly apostolic spirit they suffered mortal anguish because of the blindness of their neighbors, which was in proportion to the great love of God and the zeal for His glory which glowed brightly in their hearts.

[The Recollects have charge of the villages of Mariveles, with 588 tributes, and 1,852 souls; Morong, with 870 tributes, and 3,154 souls; and Bagac, with 496½ tributes, and 1,743 souls.]

Province of Zambales

This province is located in the island of Luzón, north of Manila. It is bounded on the north by the gulf of Lingayen and the province of Pangasinan, on the east by the chain of mountains called Mariveles, [303]on the south by Bataan, and on the west by the Chinese Sea; and is more than thirty leguas long in a north and south direction, and seven wide.

The preaching of the Recollects in this territory is mingled with the beginnings of that religious family in the Filipino archipelago. One may say that this was the region where the first discalced missionaries and the parishes established by them tasted the first-fruits of their evangelizing zeal, those first-fruits being offered to the Catholic church as a testimony of the purity of their doctrine, and submitted to the crown of España as its most faithful and disinterested vassals, Although they arrived at these shores in the year one thousand six hundred and six, in the following year they had already overrun this province—to whose inhabitants they taught the mysteries of our religion, and gave helpful instructions in the social life, in contradistinction to their barbarous state.

The first who sowed the seed of the gospel in the province of Zambales were the calced Augustinian fathers. Because of the lack of the above religious, the captain-general of these islands and their metropolitan cabildo entreated the vicar-provincial of the Recollects to assign religious for the spiritual cultivation of that unfilled vineyard. In the year one thousand six hundred and nine, our laborers went to Zambales, although visits had been made two years previously by those who were laboring in the province of Bataan, in order to increase the gospel seed. The meekness and resignation of the fathers in the midst of so much wretchedness and hardship arrested the attention of those barbarians; and the fathers succeeded [304]in catechizing and converting many through their gentleness and kind treatment, and reduced them to settlements.

The Recollect fathers were charged with the spiritual administration of this province until the year one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine. In that year, being obliged to go to take charge of the province of Mindoro, and to preach the holy gospel there, they were forced to hand over the missions of Zambales—eleven in number—to the Dominican fathers, who assumed charge of them.

After the lapse of some years, and without explanation of the causes which could induce the above-mentioned Dominican fathers to cease to give spiritual food to those Christian communities with their accustomed zeal, it is a fact that the discalced Augustinians again took charge of that province, by the month of October, one thousand seven hundred and twelve; and again undertook the direction and continuation of their spiritual conquests until the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, when they were compelled once more to leave it, for lack of religious. The secular priests assumed the missions, with the exception of the mission of Botolan, which was retained by the Recollects until one thousand eight hundred and fourteen. There was a residence for the missionaries in each of the villages, and even in various visitas there were suitable churches and convents of cut stone, when we left this province in the last century. On assuming it anew in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, the father provincial of the Recollects, Fray Blás de las Mercedes, attested that only ruins and desolation were found. Since that time they [305]have labored without ceasing in the beautifying and adorning of the house of God, restoring the old ruins and building anew; until they have succeeded in making the churches worthy the majesty of the Catholic worship—already having, besides, suitable edifices for the residences of their missionaries.

[The order has the spiritual charge of the following villages: Subic, with 761½ tributes, and 2,749 souls; Castillejos, with 917½ tributes, and 4,013 souls; San Marcelino, with 1,165½ tributes, and 4,847 souls; San Antonio, with 1,053 tributes, and 4,722 souls; San Narciso, with 1,564½ tributes, and 7,597 souls; San Felipe, with 1,262 tributes, and 5,063 souls; Cabangaan, with 685 tributes, and 2,584. souls; Iba, with 1,007 tributes, and 3,896 souls; Palauig, with 761 tributes, and 3,380 souls; Botolan, with 1,374 tributes, and 5,200 souls; Masinloc, with 1,647 tributes, and 6,541 souls; Bolinao, with 1,795 tributes, and 5,971 souls; Bani, with 1,036½ tributes, and 4,288 souls; Santa Cruz, with 1,753½ tributes, and 7,366 souls; Balincaguin, with 1,122½ tributes, and 4,138 souls; Alaminos, with 1,669 tributes, and 7,436 souls; Agno, with 1,271 tributes, and 4,971 souls; Dasol, with 781 tributes, and 2,697 souls; San Isidro, with 597 tributes, and 2,337 souls; and Anda, with 833 tributes, and 3,180 souls.]

Province of Cavite

Coincident with the time of their arrival at Manila, the discalced Augustinians began to labor in the conversion of the infidels who inhabit the provinces conterminous to the capital. They dedicated themselves with apostolic zeal to the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments, [306]with their gaze directed to the needs of the future. They paid attention to what would be found by experience, in succeeding times, to be a convenience and a necessity—namely, to have convents of the Observance in the most important settlements of the archipelago, in order to give shelter to the religious worn out in the tasks of preaching; while at the same time those houses were to serve as the base for their premeditated plan, to establish in these islands the corporation of which they were members, in a perfectly organized condition.

They founded the convent of Cavite, by apostolic and royal authority, in the year one thousand six hundred and sixteen. It was dedicated to St. Nicholas of Tolentino, was constructed solidly, and was spacious, with a church which was suitable for the functions of worship. Cavite was a suitable point, because of its great commerce and the foreigners who go there in throngs. Thus, with their good example and indefatigable zeal, they could do much good to needy souls.

This convent was at first supported by the alms of the faithful; and afterward it acquired some incomes of its own through the gifts of various devout persons, in houses, shops, and plots of ground.

In the year one thousand seven hundred and nine, Don Pascual Bautista and other inhabitants of that port founded the brotherhood of our father Jesus in this church.

The first prior of this convent was Father Andrés del Espiritu Santo, who was born in Valladolid, in January, one thousand five hundred and eighty-five, his parents being Don Hernando Fanego and Doña Elena de Toro. He studied philosophy there, and [307]asked for the religious habit in our convent of Portillo in the year one thousand six hundred, and professed in that convent the following year. He devoted himself to the study of the Holy Scriptures in the convent of Nava until the year one thousand six hundred and five, when he determined to offer himself for the conversion of the Indians, in the mission that was about to go to Filipinas. Having been assigned to the province of Zambales, he uttered the first words of his apostolic preaching at Masinloc in the year one thousand six hundred and seven, where he succeeded in converting and baptizing two thousand people, in founding a village, and in erecting a dwelling and a church with the advocacy of St. Andrew the apostle, November eighteen, one thousand six hundred and seven. In the year one thousand six hundred and nine, without abandoning his parish, he had to aid Father Jerónimo de Cristo in the reduction of Bolinao; and when after a short time the latter died, he was appointed vicar-provincial, although continuing to care for and to increase his flock at Bolinao, where he succeeded in converting one thousand six hundred souls. He concluded his charge in the year one thousand six hundred and twelve; and in the year one thousand six hundred and fifteen he was elected vicar-provincial for the second time. In that term he finished the establishment of the convent of Cavite, constructing an edifice of stone with a dwelling to accommodate ten religious. In the year one thousand six hundred and eighteen, at the completion of his term as superior, he was chosen commissary to the court of Madrid. There he accomplished, with great success, not only the negotiations for despatches suitable [308]for the mission, but the selection of the men whom he conducted [to Filipinas] in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two. As soon as he reached Manila he was again elected superior [and held that position] until the celebration of the first provincial chapter, on February six, one thousand six hundred and twenty-four, when he was elected first definitor. In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-six he was elected provincial; he visited the ministries during his term, and began the missions of Japon. He made great improvements and additions in the churches and convents of Manila and Calumpang; and labored greatly in repairing the church and convent of Cebu, which had suffered from a fire. He was elected provincial for the second time, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-two, and definitor in the chapter of thirty-five. In the year thirty-eight he asked to be allowed to retire to a cell, but was elected prior of Manila.

After the conclusion of that office, he was retired to the convent of Cavite and then to that of Manila, where he died holily at the beginning of one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight. He was seventy-eight years of age, and fifty-seven in the religious life, fifty-two of which he employed in the Filipinas Islands, establishing this province on a solid basis of religion.

[The villages in charge of the Recollects in this province are as follows: Cavite, with 412½ tributes, and 2,319 souls; Imus, with 3,830 tributes, and 14,439 souls; Cavite-Viejo [i.e., “Old Cavite”], with 2,658 tributes, and 8,265 souls; Rosario, with 2,005 tributes, and 6,906 souls; Bacoor, with 3,959 tributes, and 13,827 souls; Perez-Dasmariñas, with 1,124 [309]tributes, and 3,785 souls; Silang, with 2,701½ tributes, and 9,369 souls; Bailen, with 931 tributes, and 3,697 souls; and Carmona, with 904½ tributes, and 3,101 souls.]

Province of Batangas

In this rich province of the island of Luzón, flourishing through its products and its active trade with the capital, of extensive territory and densely populated, the discalced Augustinians were not assigned with the intention of a permanent stay, in the olden times, to preach the gospel to those natives.

However, present legislation regarding the service of parish churches in this archipelago has, at the same time while it has varied in a certain manner our traditional method of support, introduced us into some of the parishes of the province of Batangas; and at the same time when we have been obliged to cede villages in Visayas—which were our offspring, and had been converted by our predecessors, and whose history was identical with the ancient glories of our corporation—in exchange we have received parishes organized by the sweat and apostolic fatigues of ministers of the religion of Jesus Christ, who were not members of our religious family.

[The villages administered by the Recollects are as follows: Rosario, with 4,259½ tributes, and 17,040 souls; Santo Tomás, with 2,832 tributes, and 9,748 souls; Lobo, with 805½ tributes, and 3,200 souls; and Balayan, with 5,434 tributes, and 24,154 souls.]

Province of Laguna

The territory of this province, whose coasts enclose the great lake of Bay, had been administered by the [310]Franciscan fathers, in most of its extent, from the times of its reduction. But in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty-two, they invited us to share in the ministries on the opposite coast, in the neighborhood of the port of Lampon; and although those missions were not very desirable, on account of the wretchedness of the country and the small number of tributes, they were received as very meritorious for heaven, although but little profitable when looked at from a worldly standpoint.

The Recollect fathers Fray Benito de San José, Fray Francisco de San José, and Fray Clemente de San Nicolás having been assigned, with three other companions, to the village of Binangonan, established the first house and church, with the title of San Guillermo; and two religious remained there. Afterward they went to the village of Baler and established a convent, under the patronage of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. The third was the village of Casiguran, with the advocacy of our father St. Augustine. The fourth was established in Palanan, with the title of Santa María Magdalena. The discalced Augustinians resided for forty years in those convents founded on the coasts of the Pacific, exclusively consecrated to the service of God, and the sanctification of their neighbors, and they attained both objects with great spiritual advantages.

We had religious there of pure virtue, who were imitating the virtues of the dwellers in the desert. From those missions went forth our father Fray Bartolomé de la Santísima Trinidad, son of the convent of Madrid. He lived much retired from intercourse with men; and when he was elected provincial, in the year one thousand seven hundred and [311]one—at which time all said that he was a person unknown in Manila—Archbishop Camacho uttered these words: “The election of the discalced Augustinians has been and is, properly, an election by God and by the Holy Spirit.” While so great advance did the missionaries on the opposite coast make in their own sanctification, not less was the gain in the vineyard entrusted to their care. They made many Aetas and heathen children of the Catholic church, and directed those souls along the paths of eternal life. They had the special glory of numbering, among those whom they directed, some privileged women endowed with the gifts of heaven, and raised by the spirit of God to a height of Christian perfection which confounds our lukewarmness in His service. One of these was Sister Juana de Jesus, a native of the village of Binangonan de Lampon,1 an oblate nun of our order, who elevated herself with the steps of a giant, even to the greatest and most complete purification of her spirit, by her abstraction from worldly affairs, by her heroic practice of all the virtues, by her fervent daily communion, and by the most lofty contemplation and the most clear vision that God vouchsafed her of the mysteries of our holy religion.

In the lamentable period of the missions between the years one thousand six hundred and ninety-two and one thousand seven hundred and ten, when no religious came to us from España, our Recollect [312]family was obliged to abandon this territory which it had in trust, for the lack of evangelical laborers. That action was taken in the provincial chapter of one thousand seven hundred and four, and the missions above mentioned, which we had served for more than forty years, were returned to the Franciscans.

At present we have only the following village in the province of Laguna: [Calauan, with 957½ tributes, and 2,734 souls.]

Province of Pampanga

This province, lying north of Manila—including the district of Tarlac, which was separated from the province in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three—is bounded on the north by Pangasinan, on the south by the bay of Manila, on the east by Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, and on the west by Zambales and Bataan. In this province, which was begun by the Augustinian Observantine fathers (who still have it in charge), permission to found missions in the mountains of its territory which are on the Zambales side was granted to the Recollect fathers, by virtue of certain acts that were drawn up in the superior government without summoning the father provincial, because of the reports of certain persons and the instance of other private individuals. By those acts the conde de Lizárraga, governor of Filipinas, charged the father provincial, Fray José de San Nicolás, to assign missionaries to the localities of Bamban and Mabalacat. The said father, because of his great experience of these islands and their inhabitants, explained to the vice-patron the impossibility of those missions living, and the little result [313]that could be expected from them on account of the fierce and untamable nature of the mountaineers. His petition had no effect, and three missionaries of great merit and learning were sent. By dint of great hardships, and, by living in the same manner as the Indians, they succeeded in baptizing many; but when they learned the fickleness of the Indian nature, and that it was as easy for them to become baptized as it was to take to the mountains to continue their former mode of life, the missionaries proceeded more cautiously in giving them the benefit of the regeneration.

[In this province the Recollects minister to the following villages: Mabalacat, with 2,627 tributes, and 11,163 souls; Capas, with 564 tributes, and 1,923 souls; O’Donnel, with 308½ tributes, and 1,159 souls; and Bolso, with 144 tributes, and 749 souls.]

Province of Mindoro

This province, directed by an alcalde-mayor, includes the island of the same name, that of Marinduque, that of Luban, and others less densely populated. Its boundaries are: on the north, the strait of Mindoro; on the east and south, the sea of Visayas; and on the west, the Chinese Sea.

In its extent, it is one of the foremost islands of the archipelago. Its land is mountainous, its climate hot; and during the rainy season it also exceeds other provinces in humidity, whence results the richness of the soil. There are found all the products of the country in grains and foodstuffs. However, that most fertile country fails of cultivation in its vast areas because of the scarcity of laborers, and has not been touched by the hand of man. Its conquest was begun in the year one thousand five hundred and [314]seventy, in the district of Mamburao, by Juan de Salcedo; and it was completed the following year, along the coasts from the cape of Burruncan to that of Calavite, by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. The rest, with the exception of the mountains in its center, has been gradually subdued by the zeal of the regular missionaries. The calced Augustinian fathers began to diffuse the teaching of the gospel in this island, and founded the village of Baco, from whose convent the religious went forth to the spiritual ministry of the converted Indians, who were then very few.

By cession of the Augustinians, the Franciscan fathers entered this island. The said fathers were not satisfied with preserving that already reduced, but extended the light of the faith through the districts of Pola and Calavite, until they were transferred to Camarines and Ilocos by the orders of their superiors.

The fathers of the Society of Jesus came in to fill the breach left by the Franciscans. They founded the village of Naujan, which was governed to the great gain of those Christians by Father Luis de San Vitores, who left behind in that point a reputation for virtue and holiness which was retained for many years among the Indians. That father was withdrawn, to begin the conversion of the Marianas Islands. His associates followed him, and the Christian souls of Mindoro remained under the direction of the secular priests who were placed there by the archbishop for their direction.

When the Recollect fathers had to leave the ministries of Zambales which they had conquered and established at the cost of their blood and by heroic labors, an order came at that same time from the court of España, decreeing that the island of Mindoro [315]be entrusted to a religious family chosen from those existing in this country. The governor of Filipinas, by the advice of the archbishop, thought to compensate the Recollects for the loss of their primitive religious conquests in the province of Zambales, by conferring on them the parishes of Mindoro.

The Recollects resigned themselves to this disproportionate change, since the exertions made to avoid it availed nothing. By virtue of the order issued by his Excellency, the captain-general, Don Juan de Vargas, directed to the province of San Nicolás (decreeing that it should take charge of the missions of Mindoro), the then provincial, Fray José de San Nicolás, assigning laborers for that new acquisition.

Father Diego de la Madre de Dios was assigned to the district of Baco, which belonged to the bachelor Don José de Rojas; Father Diego de la Resureccion, to the curacy of Calavite, taking the place of Licentiate Don Juan Pedrosa; Father Blas de la Concepcion, to the parish of Naujan, replacing the priest Don Martin Diaz. All the above was effected in the year one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine.

The Recollects entered upon the preaching in Mindoro, in obedience to the orders of the government. That was their reason for believing that their stay in that territory was not to be transitory, but that they could contemplate the organization of that territory upon foundations intended for its increase and the greater welfare of its inhabitants. For that purpose they planned to make the best division possible of mother missions and those annexed, assigning for each of the regular missionaries the barrios and visitas which were nearest his residence, in order that he might aid all of them in their needs. [316]

The apostolate of the Recollects in this island continued without interruption until the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, when the scarcity of men in the province of San Nicolás forced them to renounce it. They reassumed their missions there in the year one thousand eight hundred and five, when the cause that occasioned their cession ceased to exist.

[The villages and missions in charge in this province are as follows: Calapan, with 1,335½, tributes, and 4,495 souls; Naujan, with 1,687½ tributes, and 5,408 souls; Puerto-Galera, with 544 tributes, and 1,655 souls; Sablayan, with 756½ tributes, and 2,520 souls; Mangarin, with 366 tributes, and 859 souls; and Boac, with 3,117 tributes, and 13,562 souls.]

Bishopric of Jaro

The provinces of Romblon, Calamianes, and Negros, which are administered by the Recollect fathers, were formerly included in the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishopric of Santísimo Niño de Cebú. At present they are comprehended in the bishopric of Santa Isabel de Jaro, which was created by apostolic bull dated May twenty-seven, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five. That bull was issued by his Holiness Pius IX; it dismembered several provinces of the archipelago from the bishopric of Cebú, and constituted the fourth bishopric of Filipinas, which is suffragan to the metropolitan of Manila.

District of Romblon

This district, which is composed of a group of islands, today forms one politico-military commandancy, which includes the villages of Romblon, [317]Banton, Badajoz, Cajidiocan, Odiongan, Looc, and Magallanes. All those villages can be called the creation of the Recollects, who, when they touched this territory, encountered a small number of Christians scattered through the mountains of what is now the chief district. By exposing their lives (and also losing them when the honor of God, or the interest of the monarchy of España, demanded it), they have succeeded in establishing many important villages from the wild settlements that they received.

The few Christians of those islands composed the annexed village or visita of the curacy of Ajuy in the island of Panay; and as it was very troublesome for the cura charged with their spiritual nurture to visit them, because of the risk that he ran in crossing over, and the strength of the currents, he maintained there a secular assistant who administered the sacraments.

The priest Don Francisco Rodriguez, charged with the unquiet and uncomfortable life in that benefice, being worn out, discussed with the father-provincial of the Recollects, Fray José de la Anunciación, a satisfactory exchange. He also renounced his right to the proprietary curacy, whereupon the bishop of Cebú, Don Pedro de Arce, with the consent of this superior government, gave us the spiritual administration of Romblon, Sibuyan, Usigan (or the island of Tablas), Simara, Banton, and Sibali2 (which is called Maestro de Campo by the Spaniards). The province of San Nicolás received those places, for they considered them as the [318]entrance into the Visayas Islands, and a good stepping-stone for their religious to go to the lands of Cebú and Caraga. Consequently, the Recollects began to increase and organize what had until then been useless, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-five.

[The villages and missions in the Recollects’ charge are the following: Romblon, with 1,341 tributes, and 5,858 souls; Badajoz, with 711 tributes, and 3,356 souls; Banton, with 1,181½ tributes, and 4,717 souls; Cajidiocan, with 1,304 tributes, and 7,132 souls; Odiongan, with 5,705 souls; Looc, with 5,449 souls; and Magallanes, with 283½ tributes, and 859 souls.]

Island and province of Negros

This island, located to the south of Manila, is bounded on the north by the Visayan Sea, on the south by the sea which separates it from Mindanao, on the east by the channel which separates it from Cebú, and on the west by the sea that separates it from Paragua. It is one hundred and twelve leguas from Manila; its length north and south is forty leguas, and its breadth from east to west eleven.

The centuries of the conquest tell us that already was the religious habit of the discalced Augustinians known in this most fertile province; for in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, brother Fray Francisco de San Nicolás, a native of Cádiz, made a voyage from Negros to Manila. During that voyage he suffered terrible storms, escaping as by a miracle. That voyage was on business for the service of the church, which proves that, in its beginnings, the Recollects had sown the seeds of the gospel [319]in that territory. In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, father Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio founded the convent which was called Binalgaban, and which exercised spiritual care over one thousand five hundred families. The said mission passed to the Society of Jesus. The divine Goodness wrought some wonderful events for the conversion of this island of Negros. [One of these is mentioned.]

But that germ was to produce its abundant and wonderful fruits in the nineteenth century. The observation of the prodigious improvements which four religious who entered this island with the rich treasure of religion, to promote the spiritual and material welfare of their fellows, have been able to produce, was reserved, in the designs of Providence, for our epoch. By the force of their preaching the Catholic worship is receiving an increase of a hundredfold; the villages are dividing, and the parishes are multiplying; the population is assuming a new character of culture and civilization; those Indians are becoming affable, industrious, and enterprising; and they are very rapidly attaining the moral and material recompenses due to their labor.

His Excellency, the most illustrious Don Fray Romualdo Jimeno, bishop of Cebú, under date of April fifteen, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, represented to the superior government the scarcity of native priests for supplying the curacies in this province, petitioning at the same time that the spiritual administration of the said province be entrusted to one of the excellent orders in Filipinas. The governor and captain-general, Don Narciso Clavería, conde de Manila, assented to the proposition [320]of the diocesan, and entrusted the island of Negros to the province of the Recollect fathers, by his decree of June twenty, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight. The very reverend father-provincial, Fray Joaquin Soriano, received such an arrangement with due thanks; and immediately sent the vice-patron his nominations for the curacies of Siaton, Cabancalan, and Amblan—of which those chosen assumed possession in the following year, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine.

From that date the population has increased greatly. The barrios have risen to be settled villages, and what were visitas have become canonically-erected parishes. Agriculture has received a rapid and enormous impetus; and the uncultivated lands, which were full of brambles, have been transformed into productive fields. That most fertile soil yields the rich products of sugar, abacá, and coffee, and that with an abundance unknown in other regions of this archipelago. Churches have been built, and convents for the decent housing of the Spanish priest and the holy functions of our order. Roads have been built, which have made communication easy. Solid bridges of great beauty have been constructed; the waters of the rivers have been taken to fertilize the fields; and in the neighborhood of the rivers a number of hydraulic machines and steam engines have been set up, the natural sciences being called in to adapt their most powerful aid to the work. The natives of this island, instructed and continually stimulated by their parish priests, have proved by experience the value of agriculture, when it is favored by nature and when they coöperate with their labor; and what labor can do when aided with [321]intelligence that does not become weakened before troubles, but is directed with untiring constancy and endurance.

[The villages and missions of this province in charge of the Recollects are as follows: Cagayan, with 1,251½ tributes, and 4,521 souls; Siaton, with 1,806 tributes, and 8,512 souls; Zamboanguita, with 1,060 tributes, and 4,0150 souls; Dauin, with 1,261½ tributes, and 5,855 souls; Bacong, with 1,816½ tributes, and 8,020 souls; Nueva-Valencia, with 1,400½ tributes, and 5,387 souls; Dumaguete, with 2,806 tributes, and 12,824 souls; Sibulan, with 1,222½ tributes, and 4,817 souls; Amblang, with 1,436 tributes, and 5,744 souls; Tanjay, with 1,941½ tributes, and 9,698 souls; Bais, with 752½ tributes, and 3,204 souls; Manjuyod, with 841 tributes, and 4,063 souls; Tayasan, with 987½ tributes, and 4,009 souls; Guijulngan, with 331 tributes and 1,441 souls; Tolong, with 353 tributes; Bayauan, with 51 tributes, and 291 souls; Inayauan, with 95½ tributes, and 316 souls; San Sebastian, with 148 tributes, and 436 souls; Escalante, with 2,133½ tributes, and 5,429 souls; Cádiz, with 1,187½ tributes, and 3,842 souls; Saravia, with 2,140 tributes, and 9,825 souls; Minuluan, with 1,854½ tributes, and 9,637 souls; Bacolod, with 1,905½ tributes, and 8,059 souls; Murcia, with 1,400 tributes, and 6,500 souls; Sumag, with 1,179½ tributes, and 3,772 souls; Valladolid, with 2,567½ tributes, and 9,430 souls; San Enrique, with 1,155 tributes, and 4,463 souls; La-Carlota, with 1,131 tributes, and 3,068 souls; Pontevedra, with 1,451½ tributes, and 4,683 souls; Ginigaran, with 2,185½ tributes, and 9,728 souls; Isabela, with 832 tributes, and 3,171 souls; Gimamaylan, with 1,641 tributes, and [322]6,402 souls; and Cabancalan, with 1,550½ tributes, and 6,449 souls. The missions of Inagauan, San Sebastian, and Bayauan, were established in 1868, while that of Tolon had been established in 1855. In the twenty-eight villages above mentioned, there are about forty Recollect missionaries, who are in charge of two hundred thousand souls. The fertility of the island of Negros and the opening up of the country in modern times have caused a great increase in population from the near-by provinces of Cebú, Bohol, Iloilo, Antique, and Cápiz. Agriculture has been greatly advanced and other improvements brought in by the Recollects.]

Province of Calamianes

These islands, located to the south of Manila, form in their multitude an archipelago. Many of them of small extent, are inhabited; others are the temporary habitation of the natives, who go thither to sow their fields, because those lands are suitable for farming; and others form a civil village and are religiously organized. The northern boundary of this archipelago is the Chinese Sea; the eastern, that of Visayas; the southern, the island of Paragua, which is included in this province; and the western, the Chinese Sea. The capital is about one hundred leguas from Manila. It has a military government and an alcalde-mayor for its judicial business. As regards religion, all the parishes existing in Calamianes belonged to the bishopric of Cebú from the time of their reduction until the bishopric of Jaro was erected, when all these parishes passed to its jurisdiction.

In the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, [323]the numbers of the discalced Augustinians were increased by the second and third missions who had come from España, and by certain men who had taken the habit in the convent of Manila. Consequently, they were prepared to undertake new enterprises for the increase of the faith, and to go to points distant from the metropolis in order to spread the knowledge of the Christian name to those people who were living in heathendom.

[The early details of this mission have been fully given in previous volumes. The villages and missions of this province (a number of which are islands) in charge of the Recollects are as follows: Cuyo, with 2,392 tributes, and 9,475 souls; Agutaya, with 519½ tributes, and 2,258 souls; Paragua, with 618½ tributes, and 3,219 souls; Dumaran, with 785 tributes, and 1,416 souls; Puerto-Princesa, with 573 souls; Culion or Calamian, with 871½ tributes, and 2,438 souls; and Balabac, with 581 souls. The Recollect martyrs of the province of Calamianes are as follows: Francisco de Jesus María; Juan de San Nicolás, 1638; Alonso de San Agustin; Francisco de Santa Mónica, 1638; Juan de San Antonio; Martin de la Ascension; Antonio de San Agustin, 1658; Manuel de Jesus y María, 1720; Antonio de Santa Ana, 1736. The fathers of this province held in captivity were Onofre de la Madre de Dios, Juan de San José, Francisco de San Juan Bautista, and Pedro Gibert de Santa Eulalia.]

Bishopric of Cebu

Province of Cebú

[The Recollects land at Cebú on their first arrival from Spain, and are later conceded a chapel by [324]Bishop Pedro de Arce near the city, where they found a convent. We translate:]

... In later times, the edifice has been improved and modified; the most notable of these changes was that of a few years ago, which has made the convent larger and more beautiful, thus making it possible for it to attain its object—namely, the entertainment of the religious who go to Visayas, and of the sick, who are compelled to go to Cebú to be cured of their ailments. The church is also very large, and suitable for the celebration of religious functions with the solemnity and splendor of the Catholic worship. The faithful of Cebú and of the immediate village of San Nicolás attend that church, in order to fulfil the Christian precepts and receive the sacraments. As there are always religious instructed in the Visayan language, many devout persons daily frequent the church of the Recollects....

In the beginning of its foundation, this convent had in charge the spiritual administration of the souls in the island of Maripipi, by concession of the above-mentioned bishop; but later, through the force of various circumstances that occurred, the natives of the said island went to the curacy of Bantayan, and the convent remained free and without any obligation so far as they were concerned. At present the religious of the community labor as far as possible in the welfare of the souls of those near by, moved only by reasons of charity, and by the greater glory of God, which they seek in its entirety.

[The Recollect villages in this province are as follows: Danao, with 2,797½ tributes, and 13,012 souls; Mandaue, with 2,408 tributes, and 11,034 souls; Liloan, with 1,385½ tributes, and 6,962 souls; [325]Consolación, with 982½ tributes, and 4,277 souls; Compostela, with 3,830 tributes, and 4,856 souls; Catmon, with 965½ tributes, and 4,988 souls; Carmen, with 4,259½ tributes, and 5,588 souls; Camotes Islands, with 1,158 tributes, and 5,660 souls; Pilar, with 1,145½ tributes, and 5,600 souls; and San Francisco, with 1,304 tributes, and 5,831 souls.]

Island of Bohol

Situated in the center of the Visayas Islands, and bordered on its eastern part by the island of Leyte, having the great island of Mindanao on its southern side, and being very near the island of Cebú on the north, Bohol formed an integral part of the territory of that province until the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, when a royal order dated July twenty-two was received in which the creation of the new province of Bohol was decreed.

The true beliefs of our holy order were received in that territory from the first time of the preaching of the gospel in this archipelago. The people of Bohol believed in the God of the Christians as quickly as He was announced to them, and became docile sons of the Catholic church without opposing that obstinate resistance to the good news which was experienced in the other islands, and which cost the life of one of its first apostles. If they remained in their first heathendom, it had not come to take the gross forms of a corrupted idolatry, applying the great idea of the divinity to despicable objects. Free of this inconvenience, when the majesty and grandeur of our God was manifest to them, they revered His adorable perfections. Even though there were perverse inclinations in the hearts of those natives, they were not given to polygamy; and when the holy [326]law of God was explained to them, and the respect that the sanctity of marriage (which was elevated by Jesus Christ to the dignity of a sacrament) merits among Christians, they received these doctrines without any repugnance, since they were already free from the great obstacles which perversity and corruption, elevated to their highest power—namely, to have polytheism and idolatry as their foundation and support—can present against those doctrines. In the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, the Jesuit fathers, Torres and Sanchez,3 came to this island, and very soon established the Catholic religion in Baclayon. Later, they founded a church and convent in Loboc; and then went to a site called Talibon, and overran the rest of the island, where they were able to conquer the difficulties which presented themselves in the way of submitting to their rule—born rather of repugnance to the Spaniards than of systematic opposition to the Christian faith. When Legaspi passed by Bohol and anchored at Jagna4 in the year one thousand five hundred and sixty-four, he already had occasion to observe that same thing; and the explanation given him by a Moro from Borneo whom he had found there trading, [327]was, that two years before eight vessels from the Molucas had committed great outrages, and those pirates had said that they were Castilians; and since they were of the same color and bore the same arms [as the Spaniards], the people of Bohol imagined that the Spaniards would do the same thing to them as the men of the eight Portuguese boats had done.5 When Christianity had acquired a great increase in that island, hell, angered by those spiritual improvements, availed itself of the instrumentality of certain Moros of Mindanao, in order, if possible, to choke the seed of the gospel. Knowing that the best means of attaining that object was to make them rebel against the Spaniards, who had brought to them the happiness of their souls, hell stirred up a rebellion which had the same causes, and was invested with the same forms as the insurrection of Caraga, and was of more lasting effect. The missionaries having absented themselves in order to celebrate in Cebú the beatification of St. Francis Javier, which was celebrated in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-one, two or three criminals who were wandering through the mountains seduced the tribes, as the messengers of the diguata [i.e., divinity], to refuse obedience to the Spaniards, to abandon their settlements, and to unite together on the heights in groups, to make themselves feared. Of six villages formed by the Jesuit fathers, only two remained faithful6 to the king of España; while the rest took [328]arms against the constituted authorities, and formed bands which displayed a hostile attitude in the hills and high places—so that it was necessary to employ force and violent measures, in order to make them return to the fulfilment of their duty. Exemplary punishments were inflicted, which procured a partial result. But that subversive idea was one of fatal consequences, and produced some pernicious fruits so lasting that they have come down almost to our own days.

Entrance of the Recollect fathers into the island of Bohol

If in the seventeenth century a rebel voice—which emancipated from their obedience and respect to the authorities many unthinking persons, who adhered to the sedition—sounded in the mountains of Bohol, in the eighteenth century that voice, instead of having been completely extinguished, had continued to increase. We have admitted the valiant character of those natives, and granted their natural aptitude in the use of weapons; concurrent with these were various other causes which aroused and increased their disaffection, which had been extended to a very considerable number. Captained by intrepid leaders—as for example, Dagahoy, Ignacio Arañez, Pedro Bagio, and Bernardo Sanote—they had formed a body of insurgents in the mountains of Inabangan and Talibon. That gave the superior government plenty to think about, because of the many years that the insurrection was in existence; and because it always continued to increase until Fathers Lamberti (the missionary of Jagna) and [329]Morales7 (of Inabangan) were sacrificed by them, a little after the middle of the past century. In such condition, then, was public order in the province of Bohol; and the Spanish name enjoyed so little respect in that restless and disorganized island when, inasmuch as the Jesuit fathers had left all the Spanish dominions, their administration was adjudged to us, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight. Father Pedro de Santa Bárbara was assigned as cura of Baclayon, and other Recollect religious to the villages of Loon, Maribohoc, Tagbilaran, Dauis, Jagna, Dimiao, Loboc, and Inabangan, which are the eight missions existing in that island in the above-mentioned epoch. A most difficult undertaking was offered to the zeal and loyalty of the first Recollects who entered Bohol. A great prudence united with the greatest zeal, great valor with a knowledge of all the difficulties, and a foresight of all the results, were necessary to rise superior to that so difficult situation, and to fulfil their social and religious trust in so delicate circumstances, as was advisable to the service of religion and the greater dignity of our country. When the father vicar-provincial of our new ministries, who was then the cura of Baclayon—a religious of great energy, of proved zeal, and of not common daring—found himself in peaceful possession of the spiritual administration of all the reduced villages, he thought seriously of probing to the bottom [330]the beginning and progress of the rebellion, its actual condition, and the disposition of their minds. He established correspondence with the leaders, held several conferences with them, acquired their utmost confidence, and succeeded in obtaining the submission of Dagahoy; and the other leader, Bernardo Sanote, also returned to the service of God and of his Majesty. The Recollects proceeded with so fine tact to make themselves masters of the wills of those untamable mountaineers, that, in a short time after their arrival, they no longer needed an armed force for the security of their persons—although until then pickets of soldiers were maintained in nearly all the villages for the defense of the ministers. Consequently, the soldiers were able to retire from Loay, Maribohoc, and Loon, but always remained in Inabangan, Jagna, and Tagbilaran—not for the purpose of protecting the ministering fathers, but to prevent all devastation and disorder on the part of those who were not subdued. A general amnesty was granted to all the delinquents who had taken to the mountains. That produced many submissions, although it did not wholly extinguish an evil whose roots were so old, and which responded to so many causes as had contributed to its growth. Its final consequences lasted until the beginning of the present century; and when it was believed necessary to obtain the complete tranquillity of the island and the entire extinction of the rebels, an expedition was formed in the time of General Ricafort, composed of one thousand one hundred men—who were enrolled in Cebú, and were embarked to fulfil their destiny on May eight, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven. The governor of Cebú, Don José Lázaro Cairo, commanded [331]those forces. He was accompanied by the ex-father-provincial, Fray Miguel de Jesus, parish priest of Danao; and by father Fray Julian Bermejo, ex-provincial of the calced Augustinians, parish priest of Boljoon. The outcome of the expedition was all that could be desired; insubordination ceased to exist in the interior of Bohol, and the last remnants of the emancipated came to an end in all parts of the island. The fruits of peace began to appear; and from that time all the inhabitants, at the same time while they acquired the habits of obedience and respect, began to experience a new era of prosperity, and the satisfaction consequent on the social life. From that time the population has greatly increased; and all the inhabitants remain faithful to their duties, very respectful to all authority, and faithful vassals to the king of España.

For more than one century all this island has been under the spiritual direction of our province. During that time the number of the Catholics has increased in so prodigious a manner that it has been raised to a number almost triple what it was when we received it. At that time it was an integral part of the province of Cebú. At present it forms a province by itself, and is one of the most populous of the archipelago; and its people are closely settled and compact, active and industrious, diligent and laborious.

We received eight missions in this province, which were the eight regularly organized villages which then existed. Their spiritual direction occasioned great sorrows to the ministers of that time, some of these even succumbing as victims to the insolence and obstinacy of their own children. Today we count [332]one hundred and ten years of our existence in that district, and we cannot write of those natives a single page like those of their old history, which was full of disagreeable, and some horrible, relations—whether because the Recollects had an understanding of the peculiar dispositions of those Indians, and the means suitable to gain their respect and obedience; or whether, perchance, one might say that the people of Bohol have had sufficient penetration to observe in their conduct certain manners so considerate and so full of demonstrations of benevolence, which sentiments of compassion and interest in the adversities and lack of resources of their parishioners, would cause in the minds of their new parish priests. Whichever of these may be accepted to explain the long period of our stay in Bohol, exempt from all trouble, and the steady increase in our enjoyment of the consideration and confidence of our protegés, we shall always make known the facts—very surprising and very gratifying to our corporation—that were already begun to be observed from the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight, when the first Recollects went to that island. They were received without any opposition, obeyed without repugnance, and were loved and respected; and these mutual relations have continued without any lapse until the present time.

[The towns of this Recollect province are the following: Loon, with 3,097½ tributes, and 17,202 souls; Calape, with 2,627 tributes, and 8,187 souls; Tubigon, with 2,109½ tributes, and 10,008 souls; Inabangan, with 1,568 tributes, and 7,024 souls; Getafe, with 144 tributes, and 3,912 souls; Talibon, with 1,089 tributes, and 8,558 souls; Ubay, with 669 tributes, [333]and 2,844 souls; Candijay, with 738 tributes, and 5,030 souls; Guindulman, with 1,994½ tributes, and 9,600 souls; Sierra-Bullones, with 541½ tributes, and 2,235 souls; Duero, with 1,175½ tributes, and 5,352 souls; Jagna, with 2,431 tributes, and 11,829 souls; García-Hernandez, with 1,225½ tributes, and 6,847 souls; Valencia, with 1,307½ tributes, and 7,099 souls; Dimiao, with 1,717½ tributes, and 8,280 souls; Lila, with 879 tributes, and 4,023 souls; Carmen, with 749 tributes, and 3,575 souls; Bilar, with 1,281½ tributes, and 5,669 souls; Balilijan, with 1,051½ tributes, and 5,998 souls; Catigbian, with 651½ tributes, and 2,759 souls; Loboc, with 2,469 tributes, and 11,430 souls; Sevilla, with 996½ tributes, and 4,835 souls; Loay, with 1,759 tributes, and 8,171 souls; Alburquerque, with 1,191 tributes, and 5,319 souls; Baclayon, with 2,609 tributes, and 11,142 souls; Tagbilaran, with 1,954 tributes, and 11,081 souls; Paminguitan, with 5,705 souls; island and village of Dauis, with 1,889 tributes, and 9,090 souls; Panglao, with 1,457 tributes, and 6,543 souls; Maribojoc, with 3,372 tributes, and 18,200 souls; island and village of Siquijor, with 1,740 tributes, and 7,800 souls; Canoan, with 1,465 tributes, and 7,082 souls; Laci, with 1,180½ tributes, and 5,403 souls; and San Juan, with 1,143 tributes, and 5,280 souls.]

The province of Bohol at the present time

After having mentioned in rapid survey the villages of which this province is at present composed, which are otherwise so many quiet groups of honest and industrious natives—who form, in the religious estate, the same number of parishes canonically established, each one with its own pastor, who is charged [334]to watch over them through the functions of religion, and to dispense the sacraments and other benefits of religion to the souls of his respective parish—and having enumerated the communities that make up the general total of the population of what is now one of the most populous provinces of the archipelago: a meditative mind goes back about one century with the desire of ascertaining the state of the province in that time, since now we are seeing its condition in our own time. It has been stated above, in the introduction, that the villages having regular ministers were eight in number. In regard to canonical legislation then in force, those ministers had the character of missionaries, and not of parish priests. They labored in the salvation of souls with the apostolic zeal generally recognized (and denied by no one), which is characteristic of the fathers of the Society of Jesus. But the social state of those natives was a hindrance to the abundant fruit that ought to be expected from the fervent devotion and charity of so distinguished missionaries.

The insurrections which took place in Bohol in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had succeeded in forming a considerable body of malcontents who raised the banner of rebellion and disorder; and the disorder at the same time when it destroyed the obedience of most of their subjects to the authorities, also influenced very directly the advancement of Catholicism, and gave as a result that all those who took to the mountains, thus being separated from the immediate neighborhood of the eight churches then existing, returned to the habits of heathenism at the same time when they passed to the camp of freedom. Other things also were added [335]to the causes which diminished the abundant fruits of the priestly ministry. That coldness of the people of Bohol toward the Spanish name, observed long before by Legaspi at the time of the discovery, and certain opposition inspired by some captious natives who favored but little the very zealous ministers of Jesus Christ (who were sacrificing their own existence for the eternal salvation of those souls), placed this territory in an abnormal condition, taking from it the forces necessary for its advancement and prosperity. Above all, peacefulness had left those shores, a loss which made it impossible to give signs of life and social and religious increase. One hundred and ten years have elapsed since the discalced Augustinians first entered Bohol. They did not go there as conquistadors; they did not go to preach the name of Christ to heathenism and idolatry; they did not go to make new vassals for the king of España of a people who had not sworn their obedience. The mission of the Recollect fathers to the island of Bohol was to continue the tasks of the Jesuit fathers; to preach the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as the Jesuits did; and to present themselves to the observation of those natives in their apostolic and religious bearing, as worthy imitators of so zealous priests. They also had the thorny task of inculcating habits of gratitude and obedience in discontented minds; and of reducing a considerable number of rebels to the payment of the royal tribute, who had already begun a struggle, with some pretensions to triumph. The hope of religion and society in the discalced Augustinians, in the difficult circumstances through which the island of Bohol was passing when they took charge of its administration, was that peace [336]would be extended to the remotest corners of its territory, so that the religious beginnings would have an efficacious influence on the misguided multitude, and Spanish authority would completely dominate men and things which had been separated from its beneficent influence. Facts are demonstrating with the greatest clearness that the Recollects attained abundantly the end of all their aspirations. At present we are experiencing that the reality exceeds the hopes that could animate them when they entered on their task. The universal harmony that this province enjoys in the present century, and the state of prosperity in which all the natives live, as well as the growth of population, and the increase of culture, religious fervor, and instruction that they enjoy—all this speaks very loudly in favor of the preaching of the Recollects in Bohol. These considerations also demonstrate with the greatest clearness that, even if the Recollects were not its conquistadors, they are without dispute the instruments employed by Providence for its political and religious advancement; and that they are with all propriety the pacifiers and restorers of the beginnings of Christian society in that island, which was in confusion until that time. As soon as they entered, a relation of sympathy was established between them and their protegés, as hidden as it was intimate, by virtue of which they were enabled to direct all their individual forces to the attempt at perfection and the improvements that they had planned. As they always directed these successfully, and were always obeyed with promptness, they were enabled to realize the material and intellectual transformation of that district newly entrusted to their care. There are at present thirty-three parishes [337]in this province, according to the preceding relation. In each one of them has been erected a Catholic temple, sufficient in itself alone to give glory to the hand that has directed it. In all of those parishes there is a parish house—more or less elegant, but always sufficiently solid and suitable—which is teaching to the present generation (and the future one also) the fatigues that the Recollect must have endured who placed the first stone and finished the work, in each of those parishes (which are a like number of villages), public halls have been constructed under the direction of the parish priests. In all of them schools for both sexes have been erected, where religious instruction is given to them. Since this exercises its proper influence on the minds of the youth, it has succeeded in forming the present generation—who are established in all the beliefs of our true religion, exactly observant of the practices which it imposes upon them, thankful and respectful to the ministers of Jesus Christ, and very diligent in the fulfilment of their social duties, all those who pay tribute to his Majesty being comprehended in this obligation.

The number of those who paid tribute in this island could not have been very large in the eight missions that existed when the island came into our possession, when one considers the state of insubordination in which that multitude were living, most of whom were separated from organized society and in revolt in the interior of the territory. In proportion as it continued to assume its normal state, and commenced to enjoy the peace that it has at the present time, its population continued to increase, and in the year one thousand eight hundred and [338]thirty-eight was more than one hundred thousand souls; in one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, the total of its population was increased to one hundred and fifty thousand; at present the island of Bohol, which is a province, has a population of two hundred and sixty thousand souls.8

This prodigious increase of inhabitants in an area so small, and amid conditions so little advantageous for agriculture, has no other explanation than the conscientious and constant labor of the regular parish priests, each of whom notes in his respective parish register with scrupulous niceness the heights and depths of his district, without any of the alterations that can modify the statistics of his village escaping his eye; and who assigns to their respective dwellings men and women, and youths and old people, with the correct date of their birth. From this patriotic labor it results that the obligations of the royal treasury are satisfied by all the people of Bohol at the moment when they become of proper age.

Reflecting upon the advantageous conditions by which the character of those peoples has been modified, and how they have been completely withdrawn from those untamable and savage forms of life which lasted until the last century, and that they have at present become fond of work, respectful to authority, and grateful in their social intercourse, we can infer that the ministers of the order who are at present watching over the necessities of their souls are laboring tirelessly in the confessional, are preaching the [339]word of God without cessation, and are consoling the sick in their most remote dwellings. In the midst of so many lofty occupations of the religious ministry, the Recollects have been able to study even the physical necessities of their protegés, and the ingenious manner of making these lighter. To their direction is owing the different industries proceeding from the products of the earth, which, prepared and elaborated with due intelligence, furnish other kinds of business, permitted and honorable, which afford abundant means for the life and support of those natives. If agriculture does not furnish most abundant products, because of the nature of the soil in Bohol, those natives do not for that reason sleep in inactivity; they go to seek their living where they can find it. They do not abhor work, which is the true fount of all means of subsistence. They undertake voyages by land and sea, with the praiseworthy purpose of making their living by virtue of their fatigues and labors. This is the exact description of the inhabitants of Bohol; and this is what has been obtained from those people (from whom religion and the country expected so little) by the province of San Nicolás de Tolentino, by means of the worthy children of its bosom whom it sent to that land, and through those who have continued, furthered, and perfected the arduous attempt at the culture and civilization of those natives....

The Recollects of Mindanao

[The entrance of the Recollects into Mindanao, and the earlier years of their preaching there, have been already given in preceding volumes of this series.] [340]

Division of parishes in Mindanao

Although it is clear that the fathers of the Society of Jesus entered this land in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-six to procure its spiritual conquest, by permission of the cabildo governing the vacant see of Manila, and that the call of the gospel resounded in the site Tampacan [misprinted Jampacan], when our soldiers retired the fathers of the Society had to do the same. In the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine, the Observantine Augustinians took this vineyard in their charge, and father Fray Francisco Xaraba9 went to cultivate it with a companion; but undeceived, [and seeing] that only war could open the way for their preaching, because of the exceeding ferocity of the people, they abandoned the undertaking and returned to Cebú. The missionaries of the Society returned [to Mindanao], and preached on the river of Butuan; and those who were then converted by them formed a visita of a village in Bohol.

After the deed of arms above mentioned, the Recollect missionaries, with the necessary permits from the bishop and the royal vice-patron, founded the first convent and village of Tandag, and then the convent and village of Jigaquit; a third village and convent on the river of Butuan, whence they continued their conquests and went up the river of Butuan to the interior of the island, to a lake called Linao; and the fourth village and convent, fifty [341]leguas from Butuan. Then they went to Cagayan,10 where they also founded a church and convent; whence they crossed to the island of Camiguin, where they did the same; and lastly in the island of Surigao and Bislig. Eight settlements, perfectly organized in the social order, with churches suitable for the public worship of our true religion, with convenient buildings for the habitation of their ministers—where they could practice the exercises of the monastic life, and whence issued the splendors of their edifying holiness to illumine the dark shades of idolatry and paganism, served as the original basis for the spread of the faith. After that, they continued to found many other villages dependent on the first, which were then considered as visitas or subject villages. Some of those villages came in later times to be the residences of our Recollect ministers, according to the available number of religious that the corporation possessed, or according as the necessities or growth of population in the said subject villages demanded.

Our predecessors also succeeded in getting to the lake of Malanao, and the village of Iligan, and Bayug. As there were certain questions regarding the spiritual jurisdiction, his Majesty defined them, marking out the limits of religious zeal between the two families (who were equally inflamed with the desire for the salvation of souls), by drawing a line [342]from the point of Suloguan to the cape of San Agustin, and assigning the administration on its western side to the most religious fathers of the Society of Jesus, while our peaceful possession was marked on the eastern side. Lastly, when the reverend Jesuit fathers left the islands, the administration of Zamboanga was adjudged to us in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight, as well as the villages of Lubungan, Dapitan, and Misamis (and consequently their barrios—some of which, as time went on, came to be villages).

Present administration of the Recollects

Her Majesty Doña Isabel II decreed the establishment of the house of Loyola on October nineteen, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, with permission to go to the missions of Mindanao and Joló. September ten, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, another royal order was issued, declaring that the missionaries of the Society of Jesus have exclusive rights in the planting and successive development of the effective missions in Mindanao; and that the same were to take charge of the administration of the curacies and missions already reduced by the Recollect Augustinian religious as fast as these were vacated by the death or transfer of those who serve them with canonical collation or under title of temporary incumbent. Her Majesty, desiring at the same time to concede an indemnification, and to give proof of the appreciation with which she views the services bestowed on the Church and on the state by the above-mentioned Augustinian religious, has been pleased to grant to the province of San Nicolás de Tolentino the administration of the curacies of the [343]province of Cavite or of the diocese of Manila which are served by the native clergy.

May nineteen, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, another royal order was issued, dictating instructions for the compensation of curacies accorded to the province of San Nicolás de Tolentino in return for those in Mindanao which they were to surrender to the Jesuit missionaries. In that order it was decided that in every certified instance of a vacancy in Mindanao, and its surrender to and occupation by the Jesuit fathers, indemnification therefor was to be made to the Recollect fathers, in Cavite and the diocese of Manila, with the curacy which might be vacant at that time, even if it were in charge of a temporary incumbent; and if there were more than one curacy vacant, then the wishes of the vice-patron were to be followed, after first hearing the very reverend archbishop, the provincial of the order, and the council of administration. Should there not be any curacy vacant, then [indemnification was to be made] with the first which should become vacant. As obedient subjects to the orders of her Majesty, from that date we relinquished, in the same order in which they fell vacant, the ministries that we held in Mindanao; and we handed over Zamboanga, Tetuan, Lubungan, Dapitan, Butuan, Surigao, Jigaquit, Davao, Bislig, Cattabato, Mainit, Dinagat, Balingasag, Alubijid. In exchange we received the curacies in the district of Morong—namely, Antipolo and Taytay; the village of La Hermita, in the province of Manila; Calauan, in Laguna; Cavite port, and Rosario, in the province of Cavite; Boac, in the island of Marinduque; and the villages of Rosario, Santo Tomás, Balayan, and Lobo, in the [344]province of Batangas. The sacrifice made by the Recollect corporation by ceding parishes created by it and watered with the sweat and blood of its most eminent members, nourished by the doctrine of apostolic men to be revered by us, and very worthy of our imitation, is equal to the respect with which the Recollects have always received the orders of their august monarchs, and to the obedience and adhesion with which they have always served in this archipelago as Catholic priests, and in the shade of our Spanish banner.

[The Recollect villages still in Mindanao are as follows: Tandag, with 1,783½ tributes, and 3,957 souls; Cantilan, with 189½ tributes, and 7,366 souls; Cabuntog, with 990 tributes, and 3,731 souls; Numancia, with 862½ tributes, and 3,366 souls; Cagayan, with 2,585½ tributes, and 11,499 souls; Jasaan, with 1,2821½ tributes, and 5,878 souls; Iponan, with 1,078½ tributes, and 5,570 souls; Alubijid, with 1,210 tributes, and 4,989 souls; Iligan, with 1,098 tributes, and 4,577 souls; Misamis, with 1,561½ tributes, and 6,419 souls; Jimenez, with 2,178½ tributes, and 8,616 souls; Catarman, with 1,202 tributes, and 5,105 souls; Sagay, with 1,218 tributes, and 5,482 souls; Mambajao, with 1,684 tributes, and 5,246 souls; and Mahinog, with 1,037 tributes, and 4,382 souls. In the time of La Concepción (ca. 1750), the Recollects had charge of thirty-six villages in Mindanao and dependent islands; in 1852, they had charge of eighteen, and were showing rapid increase when they were ordered to transfer them to the Jesuits. The martyrs and captives of the Recollects in Mindanao are as follows: Juan de la Madre de Dios, killed 1723; Brother Juan de San Nicolás, [345]martyred; Jacinto de Jesus y Maria, martyred; Alonso de San José, killed 1631; Juan de Santo Tomás, killed 1631; Pedro de San Antonio, killed July 21, 1631; Agustín de Santa María, killed May 16, 1651; Lorenzo de San Facundo, captured 1635; Hipólito de San Agustin, captured May 20, 1740; Antonio del Santo Cristo, captured 1754; Estéban de San José, killed by Moros, March 28, 1764; José de Santa Teresa, killed in combat with Moros in 1770; and José de la Santísima Trinidad, captured 1774.]

Marianas Islands

[These islands were in charge of the Jesuits, but after the expulsion of the Society were given to the Recollects, who had them in charge during 1768–1814, when they abandoned them because of their few laborers. The Recollects reassumed that field in 1819, and in 1879 had there seven priests.]

Tables showing tributes and number of souls in Recollect provinces and villages, at various times

In 1751, as published by father Fray Juan de la Concepción

Villages and provinces Tributes Souls Regular ministers
San Sebastian 96 366 1
Mariveles 643 2,005 3
Pampanga 74 783 2
Zambales 1,851 7,678 8
Mindoro 1,540 10,912 5
Calamianes 1,717 5,148 5
Romblon 1,220½ 5,808 3
Masbate 619 2,950 2[346]
Ticao 367 1,550 1
Cebú 330 1,500 3
Caraga 3,340 14,995 5
Curregidorship of Iligan 1,167 4,970 4
Total 12,955½ 58,665 42

In 1839, by the prior provincial, father Fray Blás de las Mercedes

Provinces Tributes Souls Regular ministers
Tondo 1,777½ 8,498 2
Cavite 2,277½ 12,228 1
Pampanga 744 5,781 2
Zambales 4,171½ 19,997 6
Mindoro 1,400½ 6,675 3
Capiz 1,793 9,544 2
Calamianes 2,959½ 15,342 5
Cebú 22,285 123,503 20
Misamis 5,046 36,591 7
Caraga 6,140 29,292 5
Zamboanga 5,704 1
Marianas 6,982 3
Total 48,594½ 278,137 57

In 1851, by the prior provincial, father Fray Juan Félix de la Encarnacion

Provinces Tributes Souls Regular ministers
Tondo 2,397½ 11,906 2
Cavite 2,858 15,271 1
Bataan 1,099½ 4,424 1[347]
Zambales 10,204½ 44,558 10
Pampanga 1,289½ 6,087 1
Mindoro 1,972½ 8,346 5
Capiz 2,640 12,519 3
Calamianes 3,251½ 16,031 4
Cebú 34,299 186,028 24
Island of Negros 6,571½ 30,391 8
Zamboanga 1,552 8,220 2
Misamis 6,936 42,334 10
Caraga 6,012 23,480 5
Nueva-Guipúzcoa 1,696½ 7,330 2
Marianas 8,435 2
Total 82,762 430,360 80

In 1878, by the prior provincial, father Fray Aquilino Bon de San Sebastian

Provinces Tributes Souls Regular ministers
Archbishop of Manila
Manila 5,083 19,029 3
District of Morong 3,553½ 11,982 2
Cavite 18,525½ 65,558 9
Laguna 957½ 2,734 1
Batangas 13,331 54,142 4
Pampanga and Tarlac 3,644 15,004 4
Bataan 1,955 6,749 3
Zambales 23,058½ 92,975 19
Mindoro 7,806½ 28,592 6
Bishopric of Jaro
Romblon 7,136 32,661 7
Island of Negros 43,870 178,937 34
Calamianes 5,186½ 21,861 7 [348]
Bishopric of Cebú
Cebú 14,214½ 67,808 10
Bohol 52,600½ 255,706 35
Misamis 14,925 62,746 10
Surigao 3,744 14,463 3
Bislig 1,783½ 7,571 1
Marianas 8,125 6
Total 221,375 946,643 164

[A note at the end of the volume states that the Recollects of the province of San Nicolás of the Philippine Islands numbered, in 1879, 1,004 deceased friars who had labored there.] [349]

1 This town is on the Pacific coast of Luzón, and is provincial capital of Infanta (now annexed to province of Tayabas). It is near the port of Lampón, which was used in the seventeenth century as a harbor for the Acapulco galleons, as being more accessible than any port in San Bernardino Strait. See U. S. Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 553, 554, 578.

2 This name is still retained, as an alternative appellation of Point Concepción, which is on the southeastern coast of Maestro de Campo Island, off west coast of Mindoro.

3 Referring to Gabriel Sanchez and Juan de Torres (Vol. XII, pp. 301, 310–313). The former entered the Society in its Toledo province, about 1589; and, seven years later, went to join the Philippine mission. He spent some twenty years in labors among the Visayan natives; and died at Palapag, aged forty-eight years, on January 1, 1617. Juan de Torres was born at Montilla, in 1564, and entered the Jesuit order at the age of nineteen. He came to the islands with Sanchez, in 1596, and the two were colaborers in Bohol. After many years of work in the Visayas, Torres was obliged by ill-health to return to Manila; he then learned the Tagál language, and labored among the mountaineers of Bondoc. He died at Manila, January 14, 1625. (See Murillo Velarde’s Hist. Philipinas, fol. 11, 30.)

4 The name of a point and a village on the southeastern coast of Bohol.

5 See Legazpi’s account of this, in Vol. II, pp. 207, 208.

6 These were Loboc and Baclayon; see Murillo Velarde’s account of this rebellion (Hist. Philipinas, fol. 17, 18). It was put down by Juan de Alcarazo, alcalde-mayor of Cebú, with fifty Spaniards and one thousand friendly Indians (1622). Murillo Velarde says: “The Boholans are the most warlike and valiant among the Indians.”

7 Giuseppe Lamberti, an Italian, was born November 25, 1691; and entered the Jesuit order October 15, 1716. In the following year, he set out for the Philippine missions; and finally was slain by the natives, January 24, 1746. Sommervogel thus mentions him (Bibliothèque, iv, col. 1412), but does not speak of Morales.

8 The present population of the island of Bohol is 269, 223, which is all civilized. See Census of the Philippine Islands: 1903, Bulletin No. 7, “Population of the Philippine Islands” (Washington, 1904), published by the Department of Commerce and Labor.

9 Pedro (according to Pérez) Jaraba was in Manila in 1598–99, and went as a missionary to La Caldera in 1603. In the following year, he died at Manila.

10 The Cagayán (river and town) of Misamis, in northern Mindanao. Camiguín also here refers, not to the island of that name near Luzón, but to one on the coast of Misamis. Bislig is on the eastern coast of Surigao province. There is no present application of the name Surigao to an island; the reference in the text is apparently to one of the two larger islands dependent on Surigao province, which are Dinágat and Siargao.


Present Condition of the Catholic Religion in Filipinas

[The following account is obtained from Archipiélago filipino (prepared by the Jesuit fathers at Manila; Washington, 1900), ii, pp. 258–267.]

The progressive increase of Catholics in Filipinas until 1898

In order to understand the present condition of the Catholic religion in Filipinas (we refer to the year 1896, before the Tagál insurrection), it will be advisable to place before the eyes of the reader the growth of the Christian population and the increase of the faithful from the coming of the Spaniards until the present time.

The number of inhabitants whom the Spaniards encountered at their arrival in these islands is not known with exactness, but it is calculated by some historians as below two millions; and it will not be imprudent to affirm that they all scarcely reached one and one-half millions—whether idolaters, who admitted the plurality of gods; or Moros, who although they professed (as they still profess) the unity of God, did not believe (as they still do not believe) the divinity of Jesus Christ, but who have, on the contrary, been instructed from their earliest [350]years by their parents and pandits to hate Christianity.

The Spanish missionaries arrived, then, and began the work of evangelization at the same time as the humanitarian undertaking to reduce them to a civilized life; for most of the Indians and Moros were living in scattered groups along the coasts, and in the fields and thickets in small settlements.

What was the result of their apostolic labors? Let us see. Father Fray Juan Francisco de San Antonio,1 chronicler of the Franciscan missionaries, gives us the following data: General summary of souls, reckoning only the natives that were reduced to Christianity throughout the archipelago of Filipinas in 1735

In 142 villages in charge of the seculars throughout this archipelago 131,279
Calced Augustinians (in more than 150 villages) 241,806
Order of St. Dominic (in 51 villages) 89,752
The Society of Jesus (in 80 villages) 170,000
Augustinian Recollects (in 105 villages) 63,149
Discalced Franciscans (in 63 villages) 141,196
Total 837,182

Father Delgado, who wrote in the year 1750, gives almost the same statistics, but adds the following:

“I do not doubt that the souls that are ministered to, throughout the islands of this archipelago, by secular and regular priests, exceed one million and many thousands in addition; for, in the lists made [351]by the ministers, the children still below the age of seven years are neither entered nor enumerated. Accordingly, I shall base my count on the enumeration made a few years ago.”

In the work entitled Estado de las Islas Filipinas, written by Don Tomás de Comyn in 1820, and translated into English by William Walton in 1821, the following is contained as an appendix:

Recapitulation of population in Filipinas

Total number of Indians of both sexes (Catholics) 2,395,687
Total number of Sangley mestizos (Catholics) 119,719
Total number of Sangleys or Chinese 7,000
Total number of whites 4,000
Total population 2,526,406

Comparison of the population in 1791 and 1810, exclusive

1791 1810 Difference
Number of Indians 1,582,761 2,395,687 812,926
Number of mestizos 66,917 119,719 52,802
Total 1,649,678 2,515,406 865,728

He concludes by saying:

“The resultant difference of the foregoing comparison, founded on public documents, shows an excess of fifty-two per cent of increase in each eighteen years; and if a like proportion continues, the population of the Filipinas Islands will be doubled in thirty-four years—an increase which could be judged incredible if we did not have an extraordinary example in Filadelfia [i.e., Philadelphia], [352]which has doubled its population in twenty-eight years, as Buffon, supported by the authority of Doctor Franklin, affirms.”

The above assertion of Comyn has been realized now in all exactness, if we are to judge by the assertions, in his published works, of Don Felipe de Pan, a studious newspaper man of Manila; for, according to that writer, the population of Filipinas exceeded 9,000,000 in 1876.

Ferreiro, secretary of the Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid [i.e., “Geographical Society of Madrid”], also calculated the population of Filipinas in 1887 at 9,000,000 approximately, a number which seems to be somewhat above actual fact.

In an investigation finished in the last quarter of 1894, the population of the archipelagoes which composed the general government of Filipinas appears in the following form:

Christian parish population 6,414,373
In concealment [i.e., refugees] 128,287
Regular and secular clergy 2,651
Indian and Spanish military 21,513
Those in asylums [asilados] 689
Criminals [penados] 702
Chinese foreigners 74,504
White foreigners 1,000
Moros 309,000
Heathen 880,000
Total 7,832,719

Finally, the secretary’s office of the archbishopric of Manila offers us the following enumeration with respect to the Catholics existing in the archipelagoes [353]of Filipinas, Marianas, and Carolinas, in the year 1898, according to the following lists:

Number of souls by dioceses

In the archbishopric of Manila 1,811,445
In the bishopric of Cebú 1,748,872
In the bishopric of Jaro 1,310,754
In the bishopric of Nueva Segovia 997,629
In the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres 691,298
Total number of Catholics 6,559,998

To whom is due this increase of Catholicism, and this growth of the population of Filipinas in general, from the time of the conquest by the Spaniards? It is due to the regular and secular clergy. One can scarcely ascribe any importance to the immigration into Filipinas during the lapse of years. The Chinese, and the Europeans (including the Spaniards themselves), can be considered, as a general rule, as birds of passage, who come to live here for a few years and then return to their own country. The Filipino population has increased, thanks to the organization and good government at the centers [of population], which were established chiefly by missionary action, at the time when the natives of the evangelized territories became Christians. The secular power, even when aided by arms, has not even attempted to form villages of the heathen; neither have the military posts become well populated or stable settlements. The center of attraction and of coherence in Filipino villages has always been, and is still, the church and the convent. The parish priest (who is not a bird of passage) is, as a rule, the most respected authority, the chief guarantee of order and [354]peace, and the most careful guardian of morality—an indubitable and most important cause of increase in the population of every country. The numerous and important settlements, which have now other powerful roots and elements of cohesion, began and were formed thus. If the center of union of which we are speaking be removed from them, especially if they are recent and young, one will see how families break up, and how the new citizens easily return to the life of the mountain.

Present state of the archbishopric of Manila, and of the bishoprics of Cebú, Jaro, Nueva Cáceres, and Nueva Segovia

In order to feed this flock of six and one-half millions of Catholics, the church of Filipinas relies on one archbishop and four bishops.

The present archbishop of Manila is Don Fray Bernardino Nozaleda, of the Order of St. Dominic, a wise and prudent prelate, who took possession of his see October 29, 1890. This archdiocese has a magnificent cathedral, and possesses a considerable cabildo, which was composed of twenty-four prebends in the time of Spanish domination. The ecclesiastical court has its offices in the archiepiscopal palace. The conciliar seminary is a fine edifice, and is in charge of the fathers of the congregation of St. Vincent de Paul;2 but it is at present closed, [355]because of the condition of war prevailing in the country. The obras pias of the miter amounted before the revolution to a considerable fund, and are in charge of an administrator. The archbishopric of Manila has 219 parishes, 24 mission parishes, 16 active missions, 259 parish priests or missionaries, and 198 native secular priests for the aid of the parish priests.

Don Fray Martín de García de Alcocer, of the Order of St. Francis, governs the diocese of Cebú. He is a very worthy prelate, and is greatly beloved by all his diocesans. He took possession of his diocese December 11, 1886. There is an old cathedral in Cebú, and another new one was erected when the revolution was begun. That city has, also, a conciliar seminary in charge of the Paulist fathers, and two hospitals subordinate to the miter. The diocese [356]numbers 166 parishes, 15 mission parishes, 32 active missions, 213 parish priests or missionaries, and 125 native clergy.

By the death of Don Fray Leandro Arrué, which happened in 1897, Don Fray Mauricio Ferrero, an ex-provincial of the religious of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, has just been appointed bishop of Jaro. The bishopric of Jaro possesses a cathedral church, which is also the parish church of the city of Jaro; and it has a court corresponding to it, and a seminary under the management of the Paulist fathers. In the diocese there are 144 parishes, 23 mission parishes, 33 active missions, 200 parish priests or missionaries, and 73 native clergy employed in the parish ministry.

The diocese of Nueva Cáceres has as Bishop Don Fray Arsenio del Campo, of the Order of St. Augustine, who took possession of his see June 3, 1888. Although it, like the dioceses of Cebú, Jaro, and Nueva Segovia, has no cabildo, nevertheless there is a cathedral church in Nueva Cáceres, an ecclesiastical court, a conciliar seminary in charge of the Paulist fathers, and a leper hospital. The bishopric of Nueva Cáceres has 107 parishes, 17 parish missions, 124 parish priests or missionaries, and 148 native priests.

The present bishop of Nueva Segovia is Don Fray José Hevia Campomanes, a religious of the Order of St. Dominic—who is most fluent in the Tagál language, and had been, for many years before, parish priest of Binondo, which parish he enriched with a fine cemetery. He took possession of his see June 19, 1890, but was made a prisoner at the outbreak of the revolution; and he still lies, as these [357]lines are penned, under the heavy chains of captivity, and not always treated as his holy character, his authority, and his personal qualities merit.3 The diocese of Nueva Segovia has 110 parishes, 26 parish missions, 35 active missions, 171 parish priests or missionaries, and 131 native priests. The ecclesiastical court resides in Vigan, where there is also a cathedral church; and a conciliar seminary which has been, until the present, directed by the religious of St. Augustine.

Condition of the religious corporations

The corporation of calced Augustinian fathers owned, before the revolutionary movement, the magnificent convent and church of San Agustín in Manila, and those of Cebú and Guadalupe, and the orphan asylums of Tambóbong and Mandaloyan; and in España the colleges of Valladolid, Palma de Mallorca, and Santa María de la Vid, with the royal monastery of the Escorial, and the hospitium of Barcelona—besides a mission in China. Its total number of religious was 644.

The corporation of Augustinian Recollect fathers owned (also before the war) in Filipinas their convent and church of Manila, together with those of Cavite, San Sebastián, and Cebú, and the house and estate of Imus; and in España the colleges of Monteagudo, of Marcilla, and of San Millán de la Cogulla—the total number of their religious being 522.

The religious of the Order of St. Francis possess in the Filipinas their convent and church of Manila, that of San Francisco del Monte, the hospital of San [358]Lázaro, the church of the venerable tertiary order at Sampáloc, the hospitium of San Pascual Bailón, the infirmary of Santa Cruz of Laguna, a leper hospital in Camarines, the college of Guinobatan, and the monastery of Santa Clara; and in España, the colleges of Pastrana, Consuegra, Arenas de San Pedro, Puebla de Montalbán, Almagro, and Belmonte, with the residence of Madrid; also a college in Roma—and a total of 475 religious, and 34 religious women.

The religious of the Order of St. Dominic, besides their missions of China and Formosa, own in Manila the convent and church of St. Dominic, the university of Santo Tomás, the college of Santo Tomás, that of San José, and that of San Juan de Letran; the college of San Alberto Magno in Dagupan, the vicariate of San Juan del Monte, and that of San Telmo in Cavite; the beaterio of Santa Catalina de Sena in Manila, for girls; that of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Lingayén, that of Santa Imelda in Tuguegarao, and that of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Vigan, also for the education of girls; and in España the two colleges of Santo Domingo de Ocaña and Santo Tomás de Avila—with a total of 528 religious.

The missionaries of the Society of Jesus own in Manila a central mission house, the Ateneo [i.e., Athenæum] Municipal, the normal school, and a meteorological observatory. They administer 37 missions, with 265 visitas or reductions, in Mindanao, Basilan, and Joló. The total number of Jesuits resident in Filipinas was only 164; but the province of Aragón, of which the mission forms a part, owns several training-houses, colleges, and residences in [359]España, besides those which it maintains in South America.

The fathers of the Mission, or those of St. Vincent de Paul, own the house of San Marcelino in Manila, and the conciliar seminary of that city, with those of Cebú, Jaro, and Nueva Cáceres.

The Capuchin missionaries have the church and mission-house of Manila, the mission of Yap in the western Carolinas, that of Palaos, that of Ponapé in the eastern Carolinas, and the procuratorial house of Madrid4—the total number of their religious being 36.

The Benedictine missionaries occupy the central mission house of Manila; the missions of Taganaán, Cantilan, Gigáquit, Cabúntog, Numancia, and Dinágit, in Mindanao; and a college for missionaries in Monserrat (España). There are 14 of them resident in these islands.

Lastly, there are, besides the religious who live in Filipinas, several houses of religious women, some of whom are dedicated to a contemplative life, as those of St. Clare; others to teaching, as those of the Asunción [i.e., “Assumption”], the Dominicans, and the Beatas of the Society; and others, finally, in [360]the exercise of benevolence, as the Sisters of Charity or of St. Vincent de Paul, who have charge of the hospitals—although the latter also dedicate themselves, with great benefit, to the teaching of young women in the seminaries of Concordia, Santa Isabel, Santa Rosa, the municipal school, Loban, the hospitium of San José of Jaro, and Santa Isabel of Nueva Cáceres.

Religious spirit of the country

After this statistical religious summary, we cannot resist our desire to explain, although briefly, what is at present and definitively the character or qualities of the religious spirit reigning in this country—which owes everything that it is, aside from the purely natural elements, to the Catholic civilization of España. This point is, on another side, very pertinent to the whole subject.

It is not to be doubted, then, that the mass of the natives who have received the direct influence of Spanish civilization are entirely Catholic. The heathen natives are yet barbarous or semi-barbarous; and the Moros, besides being without the civilization of the Christian Indians, do not retain either, from the merely external Mahometanism, more than their innate pride and treachery, and some few formalities, known and practiced by a very few of their race. Those in Filipinas who profess, or say that they profess, any other positive religion (and more especially any other Christian religion), distinct from the Catholic, will be found absolutely only among the foreign element. Therefore, Catholicism is the religion, not only of the majority, but of all the civilized Filipinos. [361]

It is also certain that the Filipinos are sincere Catholics. Their religion suits them, and is congenial to their nature. They practice it spontaneously, and profess it openly and publicly, without any objection. Far from all their minds is the most remote suspicion that Catholicism is not the true and only religion capable of bringing about their temporal and eternal happiness. All of these Indians are by nature docile to the teachings and admonitions of their parish priests and spiritual fathers. Many good people approach the holy sacraments easily and frequently; and the fact that many others do not approach or frequent them so often must be attributed to neglect, to heedlessness, or to real difficulties, but never to aversion. The ceremonies and the solemnity of the worship attract them very powerfully, and so do the popular Catholic exhibitions of great feasts and processions. They display without any objection, but rather with great pleasure, the pious objects and insignia of any devotion or pious association to which they belong; and in many places the women wear the scapular or rosary around the neck as a part or complement of their dress. It may be said that there is no house or family, however poor it be, that does not have a domestic altar or oratory. There are some careless Christians among the Filipino people, vicious and scandalous because of their evil habits; there are even some who are ignorant of the most necessary things of their religion: but there are no unbelievers or impious ones among them—unless some few, relatively insignificant in number, who have become vitiated and corrupted in foreign countries, and afterward have returned to their country. Even these latter have [362]hitherto, because of a certain feeling of shame that they retain, taken care not to let that change be seen, except among irreligious associates or those of another form of worship. Finally, the tertiary orders, brotherhoods, and pious and devotional associations, old and new, have always had a great number of individuals enrolled in the Filipinas, and even constant and fervent affiliated members.

The Catholic religion, always holy and sanctifying, works in those who adopt it, according to the natural or acquired disposition of the same. Thus it is that the defects of character in the Indians, if they are frequently moderated, thanks to the religion that they profess, wholly disappear but with difficulty, and generally even have some influence on the private life and religious character of the natives. Since they are, therefore, more superficial and more impressionable to new things than those of other races, they would perhaps be less constant in their Catholic practices, sentiments, and convictions, and would feel more easily than do others the evil influences of false doctrines and worships, if they had experience with these. They are readily inclined to superstitions, now by their former bad habits, now by their nearness to and communication with those who are yet heathen, now by their exceedingly puerile imagination, and by their nature, which is influenced by their surroundings.

This we believe is, in broad lines, the religious character of the Indians of Filipinas. Let us now see what has been said recently also in regard to this same point by another contemporaneous witness, with whom we almost entirely agree. Mr. Peyton, a Protestant bishop, said, when speaking of Catholicism [363]in the Filipinas, at a meeting of the Protestant bishops of the Episcopal church held at St. Louis (United States), in the month of last October: “I found a magnificent church in every village. I was present at mass several times, and the churches were always full of natives—even when circumstances were unfavorable, because of the military occupation. There are almost no seats in those churches, while the services last—an hour, or an hour and a half. Never in my life have I observed more evident signs of profound devotion than in those there present. The men were kneeling, or prostrated before the altar; and the women were on their knees, or seated on the floor. No one went out of the church during the service, or talked to others. There is no spirit of sectarianism there. All have been instructed in the creed, in the formal prayers, in the ten commandments, and in the catechism. All have been baptized in infancy.5 I do not know whether there exists in this country a village so pure, moral, and devout as is the Filipino village.”

Granting the above, would freedom of worship be advisable for Filipinos?

Since, then, the religion in Filipinas, and consequently their morals, is so unanimous, would it be advisable to introduce freedom of worship into this country? If one understands by freedom of worship only actual religious toleration, by virtue of which no one can be obliged to profess Catholicism, and no one be persecuted for neglecting to be a Catholic, [364]or that each one profess privately the religion that he pleases, that freedom has always existed in Filipinas; and no Filipino or foreigner was ever obliged to embrace the Catholic religion. But if one understands by freedom of worship the concession to all religions (for example, to those of Confucius, Mahomet, and to all the Protestant sects) of equal rights to open schools, erect churches, create parishes, and celebrate public processions and functions, as does the Catholic church, we believe that not only is this not advisable, but that it would be a fatal measure to any government which rules the destinies of Filipinas. If, in fact, this government should concede such freedom of worship, it would cause itself to be hated by the six and one-half millions of Filipino Catholics; for, even though such government should profess no worship, the Filipino people would consider it as responsible for all the consequences of such a measure; and therefore it would not be looked on favorably by these six and one-half millions of Catholics. These people are fully convinced that theirs is the only true religion, and the only one by which they can be saved. If any government should endeavor to despoil them of that religion—which is their most precious jewel, and the richest inheritance which they have received from their ancestors—even should it be no more than permitting the Protestant or heterodox propaganda publicly and openly, then they could not refrain from complaint; and from that might even come the disturbance of public order, or perhaps some politico-religious war, accompanied by all the cruelty and all the disasters which, as are well known, are generally brought on by such wars. [365]

Two serious difficulties can be opposed against the rights of Catholicism in Filipinas. The first is in the Americans who are governing at present, and the second is in the Filipinos themselves. The Americans enjoy in America the most complete freedom of worship; why, then, should they not enjoy that same freedom when they go to Filipinas? We answer, that every inhabitant must conform to the laws of the country in which he lives. The Chinese enjoyed in China the most complete freedom to erect temples to Buddha or to Confucius; but for three centuries they have not enjoyed a like freedom in Manila, although no Chinese has been forced to become a Catholic. We go farther and say that no Chinese has had to boast of his religion in order to trade, become rich, and return to China. The same can be said of the English and Americans. If it is necessary for the good order and government of six and one-half millions of Catholics in Filipinas, besides those who are not Catholics (one and one-half millions, counting idolaters and Moros yet to be civilized), not to permit or encourage freedom of worship, the government which rules the destiny of these islands ought to legislate along those lines, since the laws ought to be adjusted to the needs of the majority of their inhabitants. The Americans themselves who shall take up their residence here ought to accommodate themselves to that law. No temporal or spiritual harm would result to them, for they could privately profess what their conscience dictated to them as the true religion. Thus the English do in Malta, where the Catholic religion is in force; and although the island is so small, there are two thousand Italian Catholic priests in it, who are more content to live [366]under the English government than under the Italian.

The other difficulty against Catholicism in Filipinas springs from the Filipino insurgents themselves, who voted for freedom of worship and separation from the Spanish church in their congress of Malolos.6 Why, then, has not that freedom of worship been granted to the Filipinos, if they themselves ask it? We reply that they also ask for independence. Will the Americans grant them the latter because of that fact? The majority of the Filipino insurgent chiefs were inclined to Masonry. They had bound themselves, for a long time past, to work for the expulsion of the friars; and, drunk with the wine of liberty, they asked for every kind of freedom, including that of religion. How many insurgents have abjured Catholicism? Their number does not exceed two dozen. The law of freedom of worship is unnecessary for them, since they profess no religion. The Filipino people—that is to say, the six and one-half millions of Catholics enrolled in the parish registers—do not ask or desire religious freedom, or separation from the Spanish church. They are content with their Catholicism, and desire nothing else; and they will not suffer their government to take from them their Catholic unity. We have [367]heard this from qualified and accredited defenders of Filipino independence. They even deny that the vote at Malolos was the true expression of the will of that congress, which was also very far from being the entire and genuine representation of the Filipino people. The latter hold heresies, and all manner of religious disturbance, in horror. He who would introduce these into their homes would offer them an insult. Consequently, it is demonstrated that freedom of worship in Filipinas is not advisable, but adverse to the public peace.

If it is said finally, that there are some points of public interest which demand some reform, in what pertains to the religious estate of the Filipinas, we shall not be the ones to deny that. But the Church has the desire and the means to remedy these supposed or recognized evils. If, peradventure, it do not remedy them through ignorance, let anyone who is interested, and the government of the country first of all, bring them to its notice. On the other hand, this matter has no connection with religious freedom.

[From the same work (pp. 256, 257) is taken the following mention of the religious orders who recently established themselves in the Philippines:]

In all the dioceses the bishops looked after the founding of seminaries for the native clergy, not only because such were needed to aid in the administration of the sacraments in the large parishes created by the religious, but also for the occupation of some parishes which were reserved for them from very ancient times. [368]

The fathers of the congregation of St. Vincent de Paul, the Capuchins, and the Benedictines, come to the islands

For the direction of some of these seminaries, the sons of St. Vincent de Paul came from España in 1862, together with the brothers of charity, who took charge of the attendance of the sick in the hospitals, and of the teaching of young women.

The Capuchin fathers also came to these islands in the year 1886, for the purpose of taking charge of the missions of both Carolinas and Palaos, a duty which they have fulfilled marvelously, and not without the sacrifice of all human ambitions—burying themselves forever in those solitudes of the Pacific ocean, for the love of the poor natives of the Carolinas.

Finally, in 1895, the Benedictine fathers,7 of the monastery of Monserrat in España, landed in Manila for the first time, in order to take charge of some missions on the eastern coast of Mindanao. [369]

1 This name is misprinted “Juan Francisco de San Agustín” by Algué.

2 The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in March, 1833, to perpetuate the work started about 1831 by Bailly de Surcey in the Latin Quarter in Paris among the students—an organization known as “Société de bonnes études” or “Society of good studies,” and which was designed primarily for the spiritual growth of its members. The immediate cause that led to the formation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was the sneers of the non-Christians and freethinkers among the students [339n]who contended that the spirit of Christianity was dead. The objects striven for by the new society were greater spiritual growth, and charitable work—the latter extending to work among the poor and imprisoned, and the teaching of children. In 1835 the society was divided into sections, in order that the work among the poor might be carried on better from many centers. It grew rapidly, and received papal sanction in 1845. By 1853 the society had spread to England, America, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, and Palestine. In 1861, being charged with political bickerings, they were persecuted by the French government, and were ordered to accept Cardinal Morlot as the head of the general council which had been formed in 1853. The society refused this, and the general council was suspended. In 1875 there were 205,000 active members in France, and about 750,000 in the world. The significant fact in this society is, that it was founded by laymen and has always remained in the hands of laymen, though in union with and subordinate to the clergy. See Grande Encyclopédie, and Addis and Arnold’s Cath. Dict., pp. 844, 845.

Vincent de Paul, from whom this society was named, was a French priest born in 1576, who was noted for his great altruism, philanthropy, and executive ability; he founded various charitable orders, notably the Lazarists and the Sisters of Charity. He died in 1660, and was canonized in 1737.

3 Note in Archipiélago filipino: “He was freed from his captivity at the end of December, 1899.”

4 The orders in the Philippines and other colonies were wont, as still is their custom, to have head administrative quarters at Rome and Madrid, for the expedition of business with the pontiff or the king. The officer, always an expert in the management of affairs, was entitled the “procurador general,” and his business was chiefly to attend to law problems in relation to the colonial missions, to guard against adverse legislation, and to promote favorable measures. His residence, whether at Rome or Madrid, was known as “la casa de la procuración” or at Rome “la procura,” of such and such an order. Besides the “procurador general” the orders had single “procuradores”—one for each house—who were the business men of the convents, and saw to affairs of the outside world.—T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.

5 Note in Archipiélago filipino: “This assertion must be understood of those who do not live in the active missions—that is to say, of the Christian settlements and villages of more or less long standing.”

6 Referring to the insurgent government headed by Emilio Aguinaldo, erected when Manila was captured by the Americans, May, 1898. On September 15 of that year the insurgent congress assembled at Malolos, which was chosen as their seat of government; but, in consequence of the advance of American troops, the capital was removed (February, 1899) to several other places successively. In November, 1899, the insurgent government was broken up, Aguinaldo fleeing to the mountains—where he was finally captured, in March, 1901.

7 This order was founded by St. Benedict, who removed his monastery from Subiaco to Monte Cassino in 529. He prescribed neither asceticism nor laxity, but laid especial emphasis on work, ordering that each monastery have a library. The clothing was generally black, but was to vary with the needs of the various countries and climates. They were founded in France by St. Maur, a disciple of St. Benedict, and were introduced into Spain about 633. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries many relaxations crept into the order, in the reforms of which the congregation of St. Vanne (1550) and the congregation of St. Maur (1618) were formed in France. The order was entirely suppressed in France at the Revolution, but was later reëstablished there. It was also suppressed in Spain and Germany, and has not been introduced again in the former country. The order was established first in the United States in 1846. See Addis and Arnold’s Cath. Dict., pp. 74–76.


Bibliographical Data

The following document is obtained from a MS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla:

1. Remonstrance of Augustinians.“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1629 á 1640; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 8.”

The following document is obtained from a MS. in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid:

2. Corcuera’s campaign.“Papeles de los Jesuitas, to 84, no. 27, 34.”

The following documents in the appendix are taken from printed works, as follows:

3. Laws regarding religious.—Recopilación de las leyes de Indias (Madrid, 1841), lib. i, tit. xiv; also tit. xii, ley xxi; tit. xv, ley xxxiii; and tit. xx, ley xxiv.

4. Jesuit missions in 1656.—Colin’s Labor evangélica (Madrid, 1663), pp. 811–820.

5. Religious estate in Philippines.—San Antonio’s Chronicas (Manila, 1738), i, book i, pp. 172–175, 190–210, 214–216, 219, 220, 223–226.

6. Religious condition of islands.—Delgado’s Historia general (Manila, 1892), pp. 140–158, 184–188.

7. Ecclesiastical survey of Philippines.—Le Gentil’s [370]Voyages dans les mers de l’Inde (Paris, 1781), pp. 170–191, 59–63.

8. Character and influence of friars.—Mas’s Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842 (Madrid, 1843), vol. ii.

9. Ecclesiastical system in the Philippines.—Buzeta and Bravo’s Diccionario de las Islas Filipinas (Madrid, 1850), ii, pp. 271–275, 363–367.

10. Character and influence of friars.—Jagor’s Reisen in den Philippinen (Berlin, 1873), pp. 94–100.

11. Augustinian Recollects.—Provincia de San Nicolás de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos (Manila, 1879).

12. Present condition of religion.—Archipiélago filipino (Washington, 1900), ii, pp. 256–267.

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  1. 26-JUN-2008 Started.

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