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Title: Philippine Progress Prior to 1898

Author: Austin Craig

Conrado O. Benitez

Release date: January 31, 2013 [eBook #41959]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at for Project
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Newly Designed Front Cover.
A Source Book of Philippine History
To Supply a Fairer View of Filipino Participation and Supplement the Defective Spanish Accounts
Philippine Progress Prior to 1898
Philippine Education Co., Inc., Manila, 1916

The following 720 pages are divided into two volumes, each of which, for the convenience of the reader, is paged separately and has its index, or table of contents:


I. The Old Philippines’ Industrial Development

(Chapters of an Economic History)

I.—Agriculture and Landholding at the time of the Discovery and Conquest. II.—Industries at the Time of Discovery and Conquest. III.—Trade and Commerce at the Time of Discovery and Conquest. IV.—Trade and Commerce; the Period of Restriction. V.—The XIX Century and Economic Development.

By Professor Conrado Benitez

II. The Filipinos’ Part in the Philippines’ Past

(Pre-Spanish Philippine History A. D. 43–1565; Beginnings of Philippine Nationalism.)

By Professor Austin Craig


III. The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes

(Jagor’s Travels in the Philippines; Comyn’s State of the Philippines in 1810; Wilkes’ Manila and Sulu in 1842; White’s Manila in 1819; Virchow’s Peopling of the Philippines; 1778 and 1878; English Views of the People and Prospects of the Philippines; and Karuth’s Filipino Merchants of the Early 1890s)

Edited by Professor Craig

Made in ManilaPress of E. C. McCullough & Co.The Work of Filipinos


Editor’s Explanations and Acknowledgments

This work is pre-requisite to the needed re-writing of Philippine history as the story of its people. The present treatment, as a chapter of Spanish history, has been so long accepted that deviation from the standard story without first furnishing proof would demoralize students and might create the impression that a change of government justified re-stating the facts of the past in the way which would pander to its pride.

With foreigners’ writing, the extracts herein have been extensive, even to the inclusion of somewhat irrelevant matter to save any suspicion that the context might modify the quotation’s meaning. The choice of matter has been to supplement what is now available in English, and, wherever possible, reference data have taken the place of quotation, even at the risk of giving a skeletony effect.

Another rule has been to give no personal opinion, where a quotation within reasonable limits could be found to convey the same idea, and, where given, it is because an explanation is considered essential. A conjunction of circumstances fortunate for us made possible this publication. Last August the Bureau of Education were feeling disappointment over the revised school history which had failed to realize their requirements; the Department of History, Economics and Sociology of the University were regretting their inability to make their typewritten material available for all their students; and Commissioner Quezon came back from Washington vigorously protesting against continuing in the public schools a Philippine history text which took no account of what American scholarship has done to supplement Spain’s stereotyped story. Thus there were three problems but the same solution served for all.

Commissioner Rafael Palma, after investigation, championed furnishing a copy of such a book as the present work is and Chairman Leuterio of the Assembly Committee on Public Instruction lent his support. With the assistance of Governor-General Harrison and Speaker Osmeña, and the endorsement of Secretary Martin of the Department of Public Instruction, the Bureau of Education obtained the necessary item in their section of the general appropriation act. Possibly no one deserves any credit for conforming to plain duty, but after listing all these high officials, it may not be out of place to mention that neither has there come from any one of them, nor from any one else for that matter, any suggestion of what should be said or left unsaid or how it should be said, nor has any one asked to see, or seen, any of our manuscript till after its publication. Insular Purchasing Agent Magee, who had been, till his promotion, Acting Director of the Bureau of Education, Director Crone, returned from the San Francisco Exposition, and Acting Auditor Dexter united to smoothe the way for rapid work so the order placed in January is being filled in less than three months. Three others whose endorsements have materially assisted in the accomplishment of the work are President Villamor of our University, Director Francisco Benitez of its School of Education, and Director J. A. Robertson of the Philippine Library. And in recalling the twelve years of study here which has shown the importance of these notes there come to mind the names of those to whom I have been accustomed to go for suggestion and advice: Mariano Ponce, of the Assembly Library, Manuel Artigas, of the Filipiniana Section of the Philippines Library, Manuel Iriarte of the Executive Bureau Archives, Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera and Epifanio de los Santos, associates in the Philippine Academy, Leon and Fernando Guerrero, Jaime C. De Veyra, Valentin Ventura, of Barcelona, J. M. Ramirez, of Paris, the late Rafael del Pan, José Basa, of Hongkong, and Doctor Regidor, of London, all Filipinos, Doctor N. M. Saleeby, H. Otley Beyer, Dr. David P. Barrows, now of the University of California, along with assistance from the late Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, of Leitmeritz, Dr. C. M. Heller, of Dresden, and the authorities of the British Museum, Congressional Library, America Institute of Berlin, University of California Library, and the Hongkong and Shanghai public libraries and Royal Asiatic Society branches.

It is due the printer, Mr. Frederic H. Stevens, manager of E. C. McCullough & Co.’s press; Mr. John Howe who figured out a sufficient and satisfactory paper supply despite the war-time scarcity; and Superintendent Noronha, that after the first vigorous protests against departures from established printing-house usages, they loyally co-operated in producing a book whose chief consideration has been the reader’s use. Paper, ink, special press-work and the clear-cut face chosen for the hand-set type have combined to get a great deal more matter into the same space without sacrifice of legibility; putting minor headings in the margin has been another space-saver which as well facilitates reference, while the omission of the customary blank pages and spaces between articles has materially aided in keeping down unnecessary bulk. Printed in the usual style this book should have run over twelve hundred octavo pages as against its under two-thirds that number of a but slightly larger page.

And finally, my colleague, Professor Conrado Benitez, besides furnishing promptly his part of the manuscript has been chief adviser and most zealous in carrying out our joint plan.

Austin Craig.

University of the Philippines,
March 27, 1916.



Philippine Progress Prior to 1898


Chapters of an Economic History

by Conrado Benitez, A. M. (Chicago)

Assistant Professor of Economics and Sociology in the University of the Philippines

I. Agriculture and Landholding at the time of the Discovery and Conquest.
II. Industries at the Time of Discovery and Conquest.
III. Trade and Commerce at the Time of Discovery and Conquest.
IV. Trade and Commerce; the Period of Restriction.
V. The XIX Century and Economic Development.


Filipino Writers Quoted in “The Old Philippines’ Industrial Development”:

Made in ManilaPress of E. C. McCullough & Co.The Work of Filipinos [1]




Need of more study of Philippine Economic Development.

The Spanish writers, and with them the Filipinos as well as, to a great extent, writers of Philippine treatises in other languages, have over-emphasized the political history of the Philippines. The history of this country has been regarded but as the history of the Spaniards in it, and not of its people, the Filipinos.1 Hence arises the need of studying our history from the point of view of the development of our people, especially to trace and show the part played by them in Philippine social progress as a whole.2 [2]

The study of the economic history of a country is important also because economic forces play a great part in the development of any people. Indeed, some claim that all history may be explained in terms of economic motives. This is known as the economic interpretation of history.3 Without going into the controversy centering around this theory, we can readily see that what we know as civilization has a two-fold basis, the physical and the psychical. And it is only after the physical basis is secured, that further psychical advance is possible. “Among all species, and in every stage of evolution, the extent of aggregation and its place or position are determined by external physical conditions. Even when men have become united by sympathies and beliefs, the possibility of perpetuating their union is a question of the character and resources of their environment. The distribution of food is the dominating fact. Animals and men dwell together where a food supply is found, or may be certainly and easily produced. Other physical circumstances of the environment, however, such as temperature and exposure, surface and altitude, which make life in some places comparatively easy, in others difficult or impossible, exert an influence not to be overlooked.” (Franklin Henry Giddings, The Principles of Sociology, p. 82. New York: 1911.)

We need not trace the history of early civilizations to show the influence exerted by physical factors. We need only to recall the motives, familiar to all, which led to the discovery of America, namely, the closing of the trade routes to the East through the conquest of the [3]Turks. And the history of this country itself furnishes many illustrations. Both ancient and modern writers have had a good deal to say about the strategic position of the Philippine Islands in relation to the countries bordering around the Pacific Ocean.4 It was that central geographical position which explained the marked predominance of Manila as a trade depot over all the other ports in the Orient, at one time in our history. That was, furthermore, the reason why the Spaniards kept the country; they wanted to use it “as a means to [4]be nearer, and to reach more quickly, the rich country of spices, and then the continent of Asia, Japan, and the Orient in general.”5

Finally, we should distinguish the various causes that explain historical events. For example, a good deal of what has been known as the religious question in this country, is not concerned with religion at all, but chiefly with economics. It is not always easy to distinguish these various causes; a fact which only goes to explain the one-sided point of view which has prevailed till the present. But, that the questions connected [5]with the means of getting a living were considered paramount, even long before the formal exposition of the economic interpretation of history, may be seen from the words of the provincials of the religious orders in a remonstrance addressed to the governor and captain-general of the Philippines, wherein they depicted the deplorable conditions in the Islands:

“Third, all the Christian Indians would be more steadfast and rooted in the holy faith, and would become effective and most suitable instruments for (gaining) new conversions of infidels (and) apostates, the infidels themselves beholding the abundant wealth and profit, and other benefits, of the Christian Indians; FOR IT IS THE TEMPORAL WELFARE EVIDENT TO THEIR SENSES WHICH, AS EXPERIENCE TEACHES US, STRONGLY INFLUENCES BOTH CLASSES OF INDIANS, TO BE CONVERTED OR TO MAINTAIN THEMSELVES IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.”6


Divisions of present work.

The present work is built around a group of ideas briefly summarized as follows: The first three chapters portray the industries and commerce at the time of the coming of the Spaniards; and explain the causes that led to their decline; the fourth chapter dwells upon the era of restriction, and the Manila-Acapulco trade, which, for over two centuries, dominated this country, and has had such depressing effect upon economic growth; the last chapter takes up the era of liberalism, during the nineteenth century, and shows how the opening of the Philippines to foreign influence resulted in the development of its natural resources. Any attempt to trace Philippine economic development in the past three centuries must necessarily start, not so much with a detailed account of how the industries developed as with an exposition of how they were not developed. On the other hand, the remarkable social progress of the last half of the nineteenth century, following the opening of the markets of the world to Philippine products, is an encouraging indication of probable social advance yet to be attained. [6]

1 “This modest work, which does not pretend to be without mistakes, and perhaps other flaws, has a special interest in that it treats of a matter about which the historians of those islands had hardly occupied themselves. The chronicles written by the laborious ecclesiastics, the only books of history which may be consulted about the Philippines, contain nothing but descriptions of the campaigns against the Dutch, the wars against the infidels—in the Archipelago as well as on the continent of Asia—the rebellions of the natives in some provinces, so easily suppressed, the bloody encounters with the Chinese settled in the islands, portentous miracles, progress of the missions in China, Annam and Japan, famous conflicts between the ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the civil power represented by the Governor General and the Real Acuerdo, great crimes, other notable events of different kinds and changes in the personnel and form of administration of the country.

“But in all these works, though useful and important, there is observed, among others, the absence of antecedents relative to economic and mercantile legislation, the scarcity of data to show the development of wealth of the country and of its commercial movement, the lack of a critical analysis of the legal provisions concerning such activities, and of their influence on the decadence or progress of production and commerce.” (Manuel Azcarraga y Palmero, Gobernador civil cesante de Manila, Alcalde mayor que ha sido de Cagayan y de Bulacan, Auditor honorario de Marina, etc., La Libertad de Comercio en las Islas Filipinas.—Madrid, 1872, pp. 9–10.)

2 “ * * * The result is that Spanish writers, with them the Filipinos, and to a great extent the writers of Philippine treatises in other languages (drawing hastily upon Spanish sources), have over emphasized the political history of this Philippine record. Of course, in Spain and the Spanish countries long-standing habit makes it the tendency to look to government for everything, and to think of all amelioration of evils and all incitements to progress as coming from above; while social and economic conditions in the Philippines are such as to emphasize this tendency, the aristocracy of wealth and education standing apart from the masses and being, to the latter, identified in the main with the government, with the “powers above.” Nevertheless, it is to be insisted that social and economic progress in the Philippines during the last half-century should be considered separately and studied more practically than they have been thus far.” (Le Roy’s Bibliographical Notes.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 52, 134.)

3 For detailed discussion of this theory, see The Economic Interpretation of History, by E. R. A. Seligman. Also, History of Civilization in England, by H. T. Buckle, Vol. I, Chapter II, Influence Exercised by Physical Laws over Organization of Society and the Character of Individuals. This chapter is reprinted in Sociology and Social Progress, by T. N. Carver.

4 “In many ways the next decade of the history of the Philippines may resemble the splendid development of the neighboring country of Japan. Both countries have in past times been isolated more or less from the life and thought of the modern world. Both are now open to the full current of human affairs. Both countries promise to play an important part in the politics and commerce of the Far East. Geographically, the Philippines occupy the more central and influential position, and the success of the institutions of the Philippines may react upon the countries of southeastern Asia and Malaysia to an extent that we cannot appreciate or foresee.” (Dr. D. P. Barrows, A History of the Philippines, pp. 9–10.)

“Manila was also the commercial center of the Far East, and the entrepôt through which the kingdoms of eastern Asia exchanged their wares. Here came great fleets of junks from China laden with stores. Morga fills nearly two pages with an enumeration of their merchandise, which included all manner of silks, brocades, furniture, pearls and gems, fruits, nuts, tame buffalo, geese, horses and mules, all kinds of animals, ‘even to birds in cages, some of which talk and others sing and which they make perform a thousand tricks; there are innumerable other gewgaws and knickknacks, which among Spaniards are in much esteem.’

“Each year a fleet of thirty to forty vessels sailed with the new moon in March. The voyage across the China Sea, rough with the monsoons, occupied fifteen or twenty days, and the fleet returned at the end of May or the beginning of June. Between October and March there came, each year, Japanese ships from Nagasaki which brought wheat, silks, objects of art, and weapons, and took away from Manila the raw silk of China, gold, deer horns, woods, honey, wax, palm-wine, and wine of Castile.

“From Malacca and India came fleets of the Portuguese subjects of Spain, with spices, slaves, Negroes and Kafirs, and the rich productions of Bengal, India, Persia, and Turkey. From Borneo, too, came the smaller craft of the Malays, who from their boats sold the fine palm mats, the best of which still come from Cagayan de Sulu and Borneo, slaves, sago, water-pots and glazed earthenware, black and fine. From Siam and Cambodia also, but less often, there came trading-ships. Manila was thus a great emporium for all the countries of the East, the trade of which seems to have been conducted largely by and through the merchants of Manila.” (Ibid., pp. 173–174.)

“Their position, whether in a political or a commercial point of view, is strikingly advantageous. With India and the Malay Archipelago on the west and south, the islands of the fertile Pacific and the rising empires of the new world on the east, the vast market of China at their doors, their insular position and numerous rivers affording a facility of communication and defence to every part of them, an active and industrious population, climates of almost all varieties, a soil so fertile in vegetable and mineral productions as almost to exceed credibility; the Philippine Islands alone, in the hands of an industrious and commercial nation, and with a free and enlightened government would have become a mighty empire—they are—a waste!” (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 51, pp. 74–75, Remarks on the Philippine Islands, 1819–22, by “An Englishman.”)

5 “ * * * No one who has studied this subject with care can get rid of the idea that the religious aim was not the chief basis of the activities connected with the occupation of the Philippines. It was purely commercial. It was only later that the religious element acquired greater strength. * * * ”

“ * * * In such mercantile activities, the Philippines played the role of a central market for the distribution of products between the West and East,—a work which was of greatest importance. * * * These Islands were not only a great commercial market, but also a great religious center. * * * ”

“ * * * No one who has followed the opportunities offered to these Islands, can doubt the importance that they will have, due to their geographic position, in the modern commercial market which is opened to them with the establishment of their new means of communication with the world. (Referring to the Panama Canal.) These Islands, and not Japan, or Hongkong will bind the East with the West.” (“The Importance of the Study of Philippine Geography,”—Lecture delivered by Dr. J. A. Robertson, before the Asociación Geográfica de Filipinas, November 27, 1912.)

6 Manila, October 7, 1701. (The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898—Blair and Robertson, Vol. 44, p. 139.)


I. Agriculture and Landholding at the Time of the Discovery and Conquest



At the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, agriculture in the Philippines was in a comparatively prosperous condition.1 The Filipinos cultivated rice, which, as today, formed their chief article of food. They grew also sugar-cane, coconuts, indigo, sweet potatoes, and other tubers, various kinds of bananas, the betel-nut palm, the tamarind, lansone, and several varieties of legumes,2 The hemp plant was likewise grown, [7]and as we shall see later on, was used at the time for making the so-called “sinamay” cloth.3 Cotton was [8]cultivated, and furnished the material for weaving. Among the native fruits mentioned by Morga are: “sanctors, mabolos, tamarinds, nancas, custard-apples, papaws, guavas, and everywhere many oranges, of all kinds—large and small, sweet and sour; citrons, lemons, and ten or twelve varieties of very healthful and palatable bananas.”4

With the coming of the Spaniards, very many plants which are commonly considered to be indigenous in this country, were introduced.5 The most important economic plant imported since Spanish discovery was the tobacco, which today forms one of the staple crops, though it took many years before it came to anything like its present position. The cacao nut also was imported. Among the most commonly known of the others are; maize, peanut, papaya, and, also pineapple, and sweet potato.6 All of these plants came from Mexico.7 Coffee was introduced from Europe.8 [9][10]


Live stock.

The Filipinos at the time of discovery had domestic animals, dogs, cats, pigs, goats and buffaloes, i.e. carabaos.9 “There were no horses, mares, or asses in the islands, until the Spaniards had them brought from China and brought them from Nueva Espana.”10 [11]

The Kings of Spain in their instructions to the governors-general of the Philippines were solicitous about this matter of supplying this country with sufficient live stock to carry on farm work.11 The early accounts of expeditions to find food for the Spaniards show that chickens were raised by the Filipinos.12 [12]

It has been truly said that the Filipino has been affected by the centuries of Spanish sovereignty far less on his material side than he has on his spiritual.13 For as we read the early accounts about agricultural life at the time of discovery and conquest, and compare it with that of a decade ago, we do not find any marked change or advance.14 The early Filipinos knew how to construct implements for the cultivation of their rice, such as for hulling and separating the chaff from the grain; and they had wooden mortars and pestles for [13]pounding and whitening rice. Then, the women did most of the work of pounding the rice for use, whereas today, the men do it.15 Furthermore, in the early days, the system of irrigating the rice fields that is used today was known and practiced.16 Of course, the so-called caing̃in method of cultivation prevailed, but the considerable amounts of rice which at various times were contributed by the Filipinos for the support of the Spanish conquerors could not have been produced under such a crude system of cultivation, but only by the more advanced one, which closely resembled that of the present time.17


Land holding.

The lands of the ancient Filipinos were divided among the whole barangay, so that each one had his holding and no resident of one barangay was allowed to cultivate lands in another barangay unless he had acquired them by inheritance, gift, or purchase. In some barangays the lands belonged to the chief through purchase from the original owners. In some localities the chiefs or principal personages also owned the fisheries, and their rights were respected.18 [14]

With the coming of the Spaniards, lands were assigned to the colonists, of which they were to have perpetual ownership after four years’ residence.19 Encomiendas of the Indians were also granted to the discoverers and conquerors.20 It is in connection with the administration of these encomiendas that we find in the annals of the Philippines many accounts of abuses and extortions practiced on the natives, and the consequent revolts. It must not, however, be supposed that the Filipinos were actually dispossessed of their lands by the king; for, although according to the constitutional law of the Indies the land and the soil in all [15]colonies were the domain of the king21 and, therefore, could be assigned to deserving persons, there were royal decrees intended to protect the natives in their time-honored possession.22 The question of land ownership [16]has, however, from earliest times been the source of conflicts between the religious orders and the people. Without going into the technical,—and perhaps today, academic,—question of which side had the better legal argument, the fact cannot be denied that the Filipinos had always protested, throughout the various centuries of contact with the Spaniards, against what they considered to be usurpation of their lands.23 [17]

1 “Historia General de Filipinas,” Jose Montero y Vidal, Vol. 1, p. 66.

2 “Purposely introduced species comprise those of various other tropical countries that, for reason of their economic importance, have been introduced either in prehistoric or within historic times. Naturally the first plants introduced were those of the Malayan region that were familiar to the original invaders or their successors in western Malaya, and these include such species as Job’s tears (Coix lachryma-jobi L.), the more common form of use for ornamental purposes, another form cultivated for food; sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.), as a source of sugar; lemon grass (Andropogon citratus DC), used as a condiment; vetiver (Andropogon zizanioides Urb.), for its aromatic root; sorghum (Andropogon sorghum L.), for food; Italian millet (Setaria italica Beauv.), for food; rice (Oryza sativa L.), for food; bamboos (Bambusa vulgaris Schrad., and B. blumeana Schultes), for purposes of construction; coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), for food (this species is unquestionably of American origin, but reached the Orient long before the advent of Europeans); betel-nut palm (Areca catechu L.), for its stimulating properties; sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.), medicinal; taro (Colocasia esculentum Schott), food; yam, “ubi” (Dioscorea alata L.), for food; garlic (Allium sativum L.), for food; various varieties of the banana (Musa paradisiaca L.), for food; various zingiberaceous plants (Kaempferia galanga L., Curcuma zedoaria L., C. longa L., Zingiber zerumbet Sm., and Z. officinale Rosc), for condiments, etc.; betel-pepper (Piper betel L.) for use with the betel-nut for chewing; bread fruit (Artocarpus communis Forst.), and the jak fruit (A. integrifolia L. f.), for food; amaranths (Amaranthus gangeticus L., A. caudatus L.), for ornamental purposes and food; “libato” (Basella rubra L.), for food; champaca (Michelia champaca L.), for its fragrant flowers (this may have been introduced later by the Spaniards); siempre viva (Bryophyllum pinnatum Kurz), for medical purposes; horse radish tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.), for food and medicine; sappan (Caesalpinia sappan L.), for dyeing; the tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.), for food; indigo (Indigofera tinctoria L.), for dye; “caturay” (Sesbania grandiflora Pers.), for its edible flowers and its resinous exudation; the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan Merr.), for food; the cow pea (Vigna sesquipedalis L.), for food; the asparagus pea (psophocarpus tetragonolobus DC.), for food; “batao” (Dolichos lablab L.), for food; the mungo (Phaseolus radiatus L.), for food; various citrus fruits, such as the pomelo (Citrus decumana Murr.), the lime (C. lima Lunan.), and varieties of the orange (C. aurantium L.), for food; the santol (Sandoricum koetjape Merr.), for food; the lansone (Lansium domesticum Jack), for food; some euphorbias (E. tirucalli L.), for medicine; “iba” (Cicca disticha L.), for food; crotons (Codiaeum variegatum Blume), for ornamental purposes; castor oil plant (Ricinus communis L.), for medicine; croton oil plant (Croton tiglium L.), for medicine and for poisoning fish; balsam (Impatiens balsamina L.), for medicine and for ornamental purposes; cotton (Gossypium sp.), for textile purposes; silk cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra Gaertn.) for its fibrous floss; various Eugenias (E. jambolana Lam., E. malaccensis L., E. jambos L., and E. javanica L.), for food; “papua” (Nothopanax fruticosum Miq.), for medicine and for ornamental purposes; jasmine (Sasminum sambac Ait.), for its fragrant flowers; “solasi” (Ocimum basilicum L., and O. sanctum L.), for condiments; sesame (Sesamum orientale L.) for its oily seed; the bottle gourd (Lagenaria leucantha Rusby), for food; the sponge gourd (Luffa cylindrica Roem. and L. acutangula Roxb.), for food; the “condol” (Benincasa hispida Cogn.), for food; and the “ampalaya” (Momordica charantia L.) for food.

From an examination of the above list it will readily be seen that a great number of species were purposely introduced in prehistoric times from various parts of the East, chiefly through Malaya, for one reason or another, usually for their food value or for other reasons of economic importance. It is quite certain that none of the species enumerated above are natives of the Philippines, and it is equally certain that none reached the Archipelago without the aid of man. Again it is equally certain that, with possibly very few exceptions, all these species were introduced by the early Malay invaders, by their successors, or by peoples of various other nationalities with whom they came in contact, long before the advent of the Europeans in the Orient.”—“Notes on the Flora of Manila with special reference to the Introduced Element. E. D. Merrill. The Philippine Journal of Science, Vol. VII, No. 3, Sec. C. Botany, pp. 192–194.

3 “If we exclude the abacá plant (Musa textilis Née) and the various trees yielding timbers, gums, and resins, a few palms, some bamboos, the rattans, etc., it will be found that practically all the species now found in the Archipelago that are of the greatest importance in the economy of the native, whether for food, for condiments, for clothing, for dyes, for ornamental purposes, and very many for medicinal purposes, have originated outside of the Philippines, and have purposely been introduced at one time or another.” (The Flora of Manila, E. D. Merrill, Ibid.)

4 Sucesos de las Islas Filipinos, Antonio de Morga, Chap. 8. In Blair and Robertson Vol. 16, p. 87.

“Instead of olives and other pickled fruit, they have a green fruit, like walnuts, which they call “paos.” (Pahó.) Some are small, and others larger in size, and when prepared they have a pleasant taste. They also preserve “charas” in pickle brine, and all sorts of vegetables and greens, which are very appetizing. There is much ginger, and it is eaten green, pickled, and preserved.” (Ibid. p. 97).

5 Merrill: Flora of Manila.

6 However, both Dr. Tavera (Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, p. 329), and Montero y Vidal (Historia General de Filipinas, Vol. I, p. 66.), state that the sweet potato was being cultivated here at the time of the conquest. Pigafetta also mentions it in his account.

7 The American element in the Philippine flora is of peculiar interest as showing the effect of commerce on the vegetation of a country. Even with the limited communication between the Philippines and Mexico, it is surprising to consider the number of American forms introduced here through the medium of the galleons in the years when all communication between Spain and the Philippines was via Mexico. From the time of the Spanish conquest up to the year 1815, a period of nearly 300 years, the government galleons sailed annually for Manila, first from Navidad and later from Acapulco, on the western coast of Mexico. These galleons carried not only the civil, military, and ecclesiastical authorities between Spain and the Philippines via Mexico, but also other travellers, merchants, etc., as well as large quantities of merchandise.

At an early date various Spanish officials, but, apparently, chiefly the priests, introduced here the various species of economic value, food plants, medicinal plants, fruits, etc., that were familiar to their countrymen in tropical America, most often bringing seeds, but in some cases most certainly living plants. Undoubtedly many species were introduced at that time that failed to become established here. Among the American species purposely introduced from Mexico may be mentioned the following: “Maize (Zea mays L.), introduced for food; the “pineapple” (Ananas sativus Schultes), for its edible fruit and its fiber; maguey (Agave cantula Roxb.), for its fiber; the tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.), for its fragrant flowers; the spider lily (Hymenocallis tenuiflora Herb.), for ornamental purposes; the canna (Canna indica L.), for ornamental purposes; arrowroot (Marania arundinacea L.), for food; “aposotis” (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.), for medical purposes; four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa L.), for ornamental purposes; “libato” (Anredera scandens Moq.); various species of Anona (A. muricata L., A. reticulata L., and A. squamosa L.), for their edible fruits; the avocado (Persea americana Mill.), for its edible fruit; the Mexican poppy (Argemone mexicana L.), for ornamental purposes or for medicine; “camanchile” (Pithecolobium dulce Benth.), for its tanbark and its edible fruit; “aroma” (Acacia farnesiana Willd.) for its fragrant flowers; “ipel-ipel” (Leucaena glauca Benth.), as a hedge plant; the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica L.), for ornamental purposes; “cabellero” (Caesalpinia pulcherrima Sw.), for ornamental purposes; “acapulco” (Cassia alata L.), for medicinal purposes; the “peanut” (Arachis hypogaea L.), for food; indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa Mill.), for dye; “madre cacao” (Gliricidia sepium Steud.), for hedges and for ornamental purposes; the lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.), for food; the yam bean (Pachyrrhizus erosus Urb.), for its edible root; the bilimbi and carambola (Averrhoa bilimbi L., and A. carambola L.), for their edible fruits; physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.), for medicine, as well as J. multifida L. for ornamental purposes; cassava (Manihot utilissima Pohl), for food; the cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.), for its edible fruit; “ciruelas” (Spondias purpurea L,.), for its edible fruit; “cotton” (Gossypium braziliense Macf.), for textile purposes; “cacao” (Theobroma cacao L.), the source of chocolate and cacao; acheute (Bixa Orellana L.), for dye; the “papaya” (Carica papaya L.), for its edible fruit; various species of cacti (Nopalea and Cereus), for ornamental purposes; the guava (Psidium guajava L.), for its edible fruit; the “chico” (Achras sapota L.), for its edible fruit; the “chico mamey” (Lucuma mammosa L.), for its edible fruit; the “sapote negro” (Diospyros ebenaster Retz.), for its edible fruit; the temple flower (Plumeria acutifolia Poir.), for its fragrant flowers; the periwinkle (Lochnera rosea Reichb.), for its ornamental flowers; “campanello” (Thevetia neriifolia Juss. and Allamanda caihartica L.), for ornamental and medicinal purposes; some species of convolvuli (Ipomoea nil Roth, Quamoclit pinnata Boj., Colonictyon aculeatum House), for ornamental purposes, and the “sweet potato” (Ipomoea batatas Poir.), for food; lantana (Lantana camara L.), for ornamental purposes; “dama de noche” (Cestrum nocturnum L.), for its fragrant flowers; “tobacco” (Nicotiana tabacum L.); the tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.); the peppers (Capsicum frutescens L. and C. annuum L.), for condiments and for food; some ornamental Bignoniaceae (Crescentia alata HBK., and Tecoma stans Juss.); (?) the squash (Curcubita maxima Duch.), for food; some ornamental Compositae (Tagetes erecta L., Helianthus annuus L., Cosmos caudatus HBK., and C sulphureus Cav.), and “ayapana” (Eupatorium triplinerve Vahl), for medicine.”

(Merrill: Flora of Manila, pp. 198–199.)

8 On the whole, agriculture was not the chief aim of Spanish colonization. “How little attention, on the whole, the conquistadores directed to agricultural colonies, considering their various services in the transplantation of domestic animals, cereals, and vegetables from the Old to the New World, is very clearly shown by Peter Martyr, who condemns the expedition to Florida with the words: “For what purpose do we need such products as are identical with those of southern Europe?” It is true that Columbus’s second voyage of discovery had a settlement in view, and for that reason was provided with domestic animals, seeds, etc. It was a failure, however, owing to the mutinous spirit of the Spaniards. The regions which were best adapted to agricultural colonies, as, for example, Caracas, Guiana, Buenos Ayres, were neglected by the Spaniards for centuries. (“The Spanish Colonial Policy,” Wilhelm Roscher (1904), pp. 2–3.)

“It is a strange thing that the Spaniards who go to those regions (The Philippines) honestly to make a small fortune do not engage more in agriculture, in a country where there is so much virgin land and of such great fertility, where labor is extremely cheap, and the crop easily and profitably sold.” (La Libertad de Comercio en Filipinas, Manuel Azcarraga y Palmero, p. 27.)

“ * * * the Spaniards cared but little for the cultivation of the lands.” (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. In Bl. and Rb., Vol. 28, p. 285.

9 Montero y Vidal, “Historia General de Filipinas,” Vol. I, p. 67.

10 “Beef is eaten, cattle being raised abundantly in stockfarms in many different parts of the islands. The cattle are bred from those of China and Nueva España. The Chinese cattle are small, and excellent breeders. Their horns are very small and twisted, and some cattle can move them. They have a large hump upon the shoulders, and are very manageable beasts. * * * There is abundance of flesh of wild game, such as venison, and wild boars, and in some parts porcupines. There are many buffaloes, which are called carabaos, which are raised in the fields and are spirited; others are brought tame from China; these are very numerous, and very handsome. These last are used only for milking, and their milk is thicker and more palatable than that of cows. Goats and kids are raised, although their flesh is not savory, because of the humidity of the country. These animals sicken and die for that reason, and because they eat certain poisonous herbs. Ewes and rams, although often brought from Nueva España, never multiply. Consequently there are none of these animals, for the climate and pasturage has not as yet seemed suitable for them. There were no horses, mares, or asses, in the islands, until the Spaniards had them brought from China and brought them from Nueva España. Asses and mules are very rare, but there are many horses and mares. Some farms are being stocked with them, and those born (mixed breeds for the most part) turn out well, and have good colors, are good tempered and willing to work, and are of medium size. Those brought from China are small, very strong, good goers, treacherous, quarrelsome, and bad-tempered. Some horses of good colors are brought from Japan. They have well-shaped bodies, thick hair, large fetlocks, large legs and front hoofs, which make them look like draft-horses. Their heads are rather large, and their mouths rather hard. They run but slowly, but walk well, and are spirited and of much mettle. The daily feed of the horses consists throughout the year of green provender, besides rice in the husk, which keeps them very fat.” (Morga’s Sucesos, 1609, Bl. and Rb. Vol. 16, pp. 89–91.)

11 “The islands, as I am told, need stallions, mares and cows, and other domestic animals. In order that they may be bred there in numbers, I am writing to the viceroy of Nueva España, to send to the said islands twelve mares, two stallions, twenty cows, and two bulls. You shall ask him for these as you pass there, and shall take them with you in your vessels as you go upon your voyage; and whatever you think needful for the animals can be brought from China and Japan. You shall order those farmers who are about to go to the said islands, and the chiefs, to tame and breed buffaloes, so that with all these animals there may be sufficiency to carry on the farming, and for other needful services.” (Instruction to Dasmariñas of Felipe II, Aug. 9, 1589;—Bl. and Rb. Vol. 7, p. 156.).

Also, Instructions to Tello, 1596, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 9, p. 236.

12 “There are plenty of fowls like those of Castilla, and others very large, which are bred from fowls brought from China. They are very palatable, and make fine capons. Some of these fowls are black in feather, skin, flesh, and bones, and are pleasant to the taste. Many geese are raised, as well as swans, ducks, and tame pigeons brought from China.”

(Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinos, Chap. 8.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 90.)

13 “The material surroundings of the Filipino before the arrival of the Spaniards were in nearly every way quite as they are today. The “center of population” of each town today, with its great church, tribunal, stores and houses of stone and wood, is certainly in marked contrast; but the appearance of a barrio of little distance from the center is today probably much as it was then. Then, as now, the bulk of the people lived in humble houses of bamboo and nipa raised on piles above the dampness of the soil; then, as now, the food was largely rice and the excellent fish which abound in river and sea. There were on the water the same familiar bancas and fish corrals, and on land the rice fields and coconut groves. The Filipinos had then most of the present domesticated animals,—dogs, cats, goats, chickens, and pigs,—and perhaps in Luzon the domesticated buffalo, although this animal was widely introduced into the Philippines from China after the Spanish conquest. Horses followed the Spaniards and their numbers were increased by the bringing in of Chinese mares, whose importation is frequently mentioned.

“The Spaniards introduced also the cultivation of tobacco, coffee, and cacao, and perhaps also the native corn of America, the maize, although Pigafetta says they found it already growing in the Bisayas.

“The Filipino has been affected by these centuries of Spanish sovereignty far less on his material side than he has on his spiritual, and it is mainly in the deepening and elevating of his emotional and mental life and not in the bettering of his material condition that advance has been made.” (Dr. D. P. Barrows, A History of the Philippines, pp. 106–107).

14 “The planters keep working the soil almost as they used to do three centuries ago.” Memoria sobre los Montes de Filipinas, Sebastian Vidal y Soler; Madrid, 1874, p. 74.)

15 Antonio de Morga, “Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas,” chap. 8. Rival’s note to this says: This work, although not laborious, is generally performed now by the men, while the women do only the actual cleaning of the rice. (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 79).

16 “The lands which they inhabited were divided among the whole barangay, especially the irrigated portion, and thus each one knew his own.” Customs of the Tagalogs, Juan de Plasencia, O. S. F.; Manila, October 21, 1589. Blair and Robertson, Vol. 7, p. 174.

17 See Chapter II, as to evidences of prosperity of the Filipinos at the time of the coming of the Spaniards.

Caing̃in system described: “They reported that the country was so fertile that when natives desired to plant their rice they only burn a part of the mountain and, without any further plowing or digging, they make holes with a stick in the soil, and drop some grains of rice in them. This was their manner of sowing; and, after covering the rice with the same earth, they obtained very heavy crops.” (Historia de la Provincia del Santo Rosario de la Orden de Predicadores, Diego Aduarte, O. P., Manila, 1640.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 32, p. 199.)

18 “Customs of the Tagalogs,” Juan de Plasencia: “* * * * The lands on the ‘tingues’ or mountain-ridges, are not divided, but owned in common by the barangay. Consequently, at the time of the rice harvest, any individual of any particular barangay, although he may come from some other village, if he commences to clear any land may sow it, and no one can compel him to abandon it. There are some villages (as, for example, Pila de la Laguna) in which these nobles, or maharlicas, paid annually to the dato a hundred gantas of rice. The reason of this was that, at the time of their settlement there, another chief occupied the lands, which the new chief upon his arrival, bought with his own gold; and therefore the members of his barangay paid him for the arable land, and he divided it, among those whom he saw fit to reward. But now, since the advent of the Spaniards, it is not so divided. * * *

“The chiefs in some villages had also fisheries, with established limits, and sections of the rivers for markets. At these no one could fish, or trade in the markets, without paying for the privilege, unless he belonged to the chief’s barangay or village.” (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 7, pp. 174–175.)

Also, T. H. Pardo de Tavera, Census of the Philippines, 1903, Vol. I, p. 325.

19 Expedition of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos. (Résumé of Contemporaneous Documents, Talavera, July 6, 1541.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 2, p. 54.)

20 The origin of the encomienda “was in the REPARTIMIENTO, which at first (1497) meant a grant of lands in a conquered country; it was soon extended to include the natives dwelling thereon, who were compelled to till the land for the conqueror’s benefit. In 1503 ENCOMIENDAS were granted, composed of a certain number of natives, who were compelled to work. The word ENCOMIENDA is a term belonging to the military orders (from the ranks of which came many officials appointed for the colonies) and corresponds to our word commandery. It is defined by Helps (practically using the same language of Solorzano, the eminent Spanish jurist), as a right conceded by royal bounty, to well-deserving persons in the Indies, to receive and enjoy for themselves the tributes of the natives who should be assigned to them, with a charge of providing for the good of those natives in spiritual and temporal matters, and of inhabiting and defending the provinces where these ENCOMIENDAS should be granted to them.” (Note, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 2, p. 54.)

21 “According to the constitutional law of the Indies the land and the soil in all colonies were the domain of the king; therefore the encomiendas, which were granted only to discoverers and other men of conspicuous merit, were to be considered not so much as landed estates as public offices. (Compare “Recopilación,” ’IV 8, 9, 11.) The encomendero was appointed and sworn (law of 1532) for the express purpose of giving his natives military protection (law of 1552) and of promoting politically and religiously their conversion to civilization (laws of 1509, 1554, 1580). Whoever neglected to do this lost his encomienda (laws of 1536, 1551). It is characteristic that the Spaniards so readily combined the functions of discoverers, pacificators, and founders of settlements; as a matter of fact most of the Indian races were led to civil life, in our sense of the word, by them. In order to prevent extortion no encomendero could own a house in his village or stay there more than one night (law of 1609, 1618). Not even his nearest relatives or his slaves could enter the encomienda (law of 1574, 1550, and often). He was forbidden to maintain any industrial establishment in the encomienda (law of 1621), or to take into his house any of the inhabitants (law of 1528). That the natives were free men, that they could not be sold by an encomendero, was recognized in many laws. (“Recopilación,” VI, 2, I, II). After the legislation of 1542 some of the natives were the immediate subjects of the king, and the rest dependents attached to the encomiendas. The former paid three-fourths of their taxes to the treasury, and the latter the same proportion to their landlords. The right of holding an encomienda was granted, regularly for two generations, except in New Spain, where, on account of the very unusual services rendered by the conquerors, it was granted for three and even four generations. (Ibid. VI, 11, 14.) During the 18th century many of the families of the landlords died out and their possessions were not again granted. The authorities always interested themselves in the cause of the natives, until at length Charles III abolished the encomiendas.” (W. Roscher (1904) “The Spanish Colonial System,” pp. 4–5.)

22 “Let such allotments be made without prejudice to the natives, retaining for them their arable lands, gardens, and pastures, so that all shall be cared for.” (Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila, Felipe II; Aranjuez, May 5, 1583.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, p. 292.)

“I was petitioned on behalf of the said islands, to order that encomiendas be granted with the condition and obligation upon the encomenderos that some patch of ground should be cultivated, and that the farmers and natives should be aided so that they also may till and cultivate. I charged Gomez Perez strictly in his instructions with this, and now I charge you too. You shall grant lands and homesteads, cattle and horses for breeding and farming, both to the natives, and to the settlers and farmers. Inasmuch as the execution of this is important, you shall advise me of the conditions of former days and what ordinances you shall enact, so that what is advisable may be done during your term.” (Instructions to Tello, Felipe II, Toledo, May 25, 1596.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 9, p. 237.)

(To the same effect, Instructions to Dasmariñas, Felipe II, San Lorenzo, August 9, 1589. Ibid., Vol. 7, p. 157).

23 On July 25, 1609, Don Miguel Banal, a Filipino chief of Quiapo, sent a petition to the King, for redress against what he considered a usurpation of his lands. The petition begins thus: “Sire:—In former years the archbishop of these Philippine Islands, on petition of the natives of the village of Quiapo, which is near the city of Manila, wrote to your Majesty, informing you that the fathers of the Society of Jesus—under pretext that the former dean of this holy church of Manila, whom your Majesty has lately appointed archbishop, had sold them a garden lying back of our village—have been insinuating themselves more and more into our lands and taking more than what was assigned them by the dean; and that we had scarcely any land remaining in the village for our fields, and even for our houses. The petition begged your royal Majesty to remedy this and protect us under your royal clemency, since we are natives, who cannot defend ourselves by suits, as we are a poor people, and it would be a matter with a religious order. (Nothing was heard from the King, and in the meantime, petitioner was forcibly ejected from his own lands, and a house built by him thereon, destroyed.) For I fear that I can find no one to aid me in the suits that the fathers are about to begin against me, or who will appear for my justice, since I have even been unable to find any one who dared to write this letter for me. This letter is therefore written by my own hand and in my own composition, and in the style of a native not well versed in the Spanish language. Also in the meanwhile will you order the fathers not to molest me in the ancient possession that I have inherited from my fathers and grandfathers, who were chiefs of the said village.” (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 14, pp. 327–329.)

A letter from Felipe III to Silva, refers to above petition and orders thus: “Having examined it in my Council for the Yndias, it has appeared best to order and command you, as I do to inform me of what has occurred in this matter, and is occuring, and in the meantime to take such measures as are expedient. Madrid, on the 7th of December, 1610.” (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, pp. 151–152.)


II. Industries at the Time of Discovery and Conquest



One of the most important industries in the Philippines during this period was shipbuilding. We would naturally expect this industry to be developed among the Filipinos, for they belong to a seafaring race that for centuries had been pushing their way northward and taking possession of the islands of this part of the Pacific; furthermore, once settled in this country, they had abundant supply of good timber for building purposes.1 Morga described the various kinds of ships and boats used by the Filipinos.2 There seems to be [18]no doubt that the Filipinos have forgotten much of what they knew about shipbuilding.3 [19]

The Spaniards took advantage of the abundance of materials in this country, and engaged in shipbuilding on a large scale. Shipyards were established at various places,4 and to them the Filipinos were compelled to go and work. To the honor and glory of Spain, some of the largest ships in the world at that time were built in the Philippines.5

When the role played by the Filipinos in the history of Spanish achievement in the Philippines comes to be finally written, their share, in the form of service, direct—[20]and indirect—and suffering of different kinds, will occupy a considerable part of the account.6 First of all, the many lives sacrificed in connection with the building of ships should be considered.7 Then, the [21]effect on the industries of the country was disastrous.8 Besides, very frequently the laborers were not paid their wages.9 And worse than the physical cruelties practiced on them, the Filipinos were not only helping the King in the extension of his empire, but also those who actually abused them10 to get rich. It is not strange, therefore, [22]that we should find good intentioned persons, among them the early religious men—who wrote to the King and prayed for redress.11 In this connection, it is of interest to add that the Filipinos who served as seamen in the galleons suffered as much as their brethren who built the ships.12

It is clear now why it is that the shipbuilding industry caused many revolts.13 An interesting effect of the [23]hardships suffered by the Filipinos was the migration of many of them to New Spain, and their settlement there.14 [24]



As, next to rice, fish formed an important part of the diet of the Filipinos, we find them engaged in the fishing industry at the time of discovery and conquest. Magellan and his party saw many fishing boats near the coasts of the islands passed by them. “All the shores of this bay (Manila) are well provided with abundant fisheries, of all kinds.”15 The other islands were described to have many large fisheries also.16 The inland waters, too, furnished the inhabitants with abundant fish supply.

Most of the devices used today for catching fish were known then to the ancient Filipinos. “The natives’ method of catching them is by making corrals of bejucos. They catch the fish inside these corrals, having made the enclosures fast by means of stakes. They also catch the fish in wicker baskets made from the bejucos, but most generally with atarrayas (a species of fishing net), esparaveles (a round fishing net, which is jerked along by the fisher through rivers and shallow places), other small barrederas (a net of which the meshes are closer and tighter than those of common nets, so that the smallest fish may not escape it), and with hand lines and hooks.”17 The salambao was also used.18 [25]

Fishing for pearl oysters and other precious products of the sea was also a developed industry at the time of discovery and conquest. These products were exported to other countries.19


Mining and metal work.

The early accounts abound in glowing descriptions of the mining wealth of this country. “In many (indeed in most) islands are found amber and civet, and gold mines—these especially in the mountain ranges of Pangasinan [26]and Paracale, and in Pampanga.20 Consequently there was hardly any Filipino who did not possess chains and other articles of gold, according to the chroniclers. Indeed, many of the early settlers in the country saw no other evidence of wealth but the mines and metals.21 [27]

The early Filipinos did not only know how to work mines, but also knew the art of metal working. From the precious metals they made jewelry and all kinds of ornaments.22 They also used metal for some of their weapons.23 And the most noteworthy evidence of their progress in working metals was their use of firearms.24 [28]

Chief among the industries connected with the various kinds of palms found in the Philippines was the distillation of the sap into alcohol, a process known to the Filipinos long before Spanish arrival. “They draw a great quantity of wine from the palm-trees; one Indian can in one forenoon obtain two arrobas of sap from the palm-trees that he cultivates. It is sweet and good, and is used in making great quantities of brandy, excellent vinegar, and delicious honey.”25 “Their drink is a wine made from the tops of coco and nipa palm, of which there is great abundance. They are grown and [29]tended like vineyards, although without so much toil and labor. Drawing off the ‘tuba,’ they distilled it, using for alembics their own little furnaces and utensils, to a greater or less strength, and it becomes brandy. This is drunk throughout the islands.”26

Other uses similar to those of today were made of the different parts of the coconut and other palms.27


Textile industries.

Weaving was one of the industries well-known to the Filipinos long before the coming of the Spaniards. Contemporary writers all speak of the great quantity of cloths, especially cotton, woven in the country.28 Says Sande: “All know how to raise cotton and silk, and everywhere they know how to spin and weave for clothing.”29 [30]

Besides cotton, the fibers of the abacá or hemp plant was also used for weaving; in fact, the latter must have been used even before the former.30 They wove cloths also from Piña, and from silk imported from China.31 The women knew the art of making lace and of embroidery.32


Miscellaneous industries.

That the Filipinos first seen by the Spaniards were not wandering savages, as commonly assumed by later day writers, is shown by the manner in which they built their houses—which very much resembled those of today33,—[31]and fixed their settlements.34 It is from such and other similar facts that Rizal,35 and other writers,36 claimed for the early Filipinos a higher degree of culture than they were given credit for. [32]

Among the other industries at the time of discovery and conquest were: the manufacture of gun-powder; hunting for edible birds’ nests, and exporting them to China; preparing hides, especially of deer, for export to Japan.37 “As they possess many civet cats, although smaller than those of Guinea, they make use of the civet and trade it.38 They also carved the statues of their anitos.”39



To quote Rizal, “All the histories of those first years, in short, abound in long accounts about the industry and agriculture of the natives. Mines, gold-washings, looms, farms, barter, naval construction, raising of poultry and stock, weaving of silk and cotton, distilleries, manufactures of arms, pearl fisheries, the civet industry, the horn and hide industry, etc., are things encountered at every step, and, considering the time and the conditions in the islands, prove that there was life, there was activity, there was movement.”40 [33][34]

Other evidences could be presented to strengthen the conclusion advanced here.41

The only question that remains to be answered is that asked by Rizal: “How then, and in what way, was that active and enterprising infidel native of ancient times converted into the lazy and indolent Christian, as our contemporary writers say?” In connection with the discussion of ancient industries we had occasion to [35]see that the Filipinos had neglected and even forgotten many such industries. Of this fact there is plenty of reliable proof.42

What were the causes that led to the decay of these old industries? “First came the wars, the internal disorders which the new change of affairs naturally brought with it.”43 Then, as already pointed out, the [36]effect of shipbuilding was fatal to the very lives of the people.44 Add to these the abuses practiced by the encomenderos, and it is easy to understand the reason [37]for the decline of the industries at the time.45 However, in this connection, the benefits arising out of Spanish conquest should not be forgotten.46 [38]

1 “For the above reason there is a large supply of lumber, which is cut and sawed, dragged to the rivers, and brought down, by the natives. This lumber is very useful for houses and buildings, and for the construction of small and large vessels. Many very straight trees, light and pliable, are found, which are used as masts for ships and galleons. Consequently, vessels of any size may be fitted with masts from these trees, made of one piece of timber, without its being necessary to splice them or make them of different pieces. For the hulls of the ships, the keels, futtock-timbers, top-timbers, and any other kinds of supports and braces, compass-timbers, transomes, knees small and large, and rudders, all sorts of good timber are easily found; as well as good planking for the sides, decks, and upper-works, from very suitable woods.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas.—Chapter 8, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 84–87.)

2 “Their ships and boats are of many kinds; for on the rivers and creeks inland they use certain very large canoes, each made from one log, and others fitted with benches and made from planks, and built up on keels. They have vireys and barangays, which are certain, quick, and light vessels that lie low in the water, put together with little wooden nails. These are as slender at the stern as at the bow, and they can hold a number of rowers on both sides, who propel their vessels with ‘bucceyes’ or paddles, and with ‘gaones,’ on the outside of the vessels; and they time their rowing to the accompaniment of some who sing in their language refrains by which they understand whether to hasten or retard their rowing. Above the rowers is a platform or gangway, built of bamboo, upon which the fighting men stand, in order not to interfere with the rowing of the oarsmen. In accordance with the capacity of the vessels, is the number of men on these gangways. From that place they manage the sail, which is square and made of linen, and hoisted on a support or yard made of two thick bamboos, which serves as a mast. When the vessel is large, it also has a foresail of the same form. Both yards, with their tackle, can be lowered upon the gangway when the weather is rough. The helmsmen are stationed in the stern to steer. It carries another bamboo framework on the gangway itself; and upon this when the sun shines hot, or it rains, they stretch an awning made from some mats, woven from palm-leaves. These are very bulky and close, and are called ‘cayanes.’ Thus all the ship and its crew are covered and protected. There are also other bamboo frameworks for each side of the vessel, which are as long as the vessel, and securely fastened on. They skim the water, without hindering the rowing, and serve as a counterpoise, so that the ship cannot overturn nor upset, however heavy the sea, or strong the wind against the sail.

“It may happen that the entire hull of these vessels, which have no decks, may fill with water and remain between wind and water, even until it is destroyed and broken up, without sinking, because of these counterpoises. These vessels have been used commonly through the islands since olden times. They have other larger vessels called ‘lapis,’ and ‘tapaques,’ which are used to carry their merchandise, and which are very suitable, as they are roomy and draw but little water. They generally drag them ashore every night, at the mouths of rivers and creeks, among which they always navigate without going into the open sea or leaving the shore. All the natives can row and manage these boats. Some are so long that they can carry one hundred rowers on a side and thirty soldiers above to fight. The boats commonly used are barangays and vireys, which carry a less crew and fighting force. Now they put many of them together with iron nails instead of the wooden pegs and the joints in the planks, while the helms and bows have beaks like Castilian boats.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas.—Ch. 8, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 82–84.)

3 “The Filipinos, like the inhabitants of the Marianas, who are no less skilful and dexterous in navigation, far from progressing, have retrograded; since, although boats are now built in the islands, we might assert that they are all after European models. The boats that held one hundred rowers to a side and thirty soldiers have disappeared. The country that once, with primitive methods, built ships of about 2,000 toneladas, today (1890) has to go to foreign ports, as Hongkong, to give the gold wrenched from the poor, in exchange for unserviceable cruisers. The rivers are blocked up, and navigation in the interior of the islands is perishing, thanks to the obstacles created by a timid and mistrusting system of government; and there scarcely remains in the memory anything but the name of all that naval architecture. It has vanished, without modern improvements having come to replace it in such proportion as during the past centuries has occurred in adjacent countries.” (Rizal’s note to Morga.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 84.)

4 “The shipyards of the galleons built during Don Juan de Silva’s term were thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and eighty leguas from the city of Manila, in different places; namely, on the island of Marinduque, where the galleon San Juan Bautista was built, which is forty leguas from Manila; in the province of Camarines at Dalupanes were built Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and the Angel de la Guardia (i. e. Guardian Angel), fifty leguas from Manila; in the province of Ibalon at Bagatan were built San Felipe and Santiago, eighty leguas from Manila; in Mindoro was built the galleon San Juan Bautista, fifty leguas from Manila; in Marinduque was built the almiranta San Marcos, forty leguas from Manila; in Masbate was built the royal flagship Salvador, seventy leguas from Manila, in the point where the fleets anchor; in the port of Cavite, six galleys; in the city of Manila, two.” (Sebastian de Pineda; Mexico, 1619.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 173–174.)

5 “Governor Don Diego de Salcedo, considering the many oppressions that were experienced by the provinces near Manila from the continual cutting of timber and building of galleons—a necessary evil and one in which the wrongs that are committed in it can be obviated only with great difficulty—very prudently determined to build the galleon Nuestra Señora del Buen Socorro in the province of Albay. He entrusted its execution to the commander Diego de Arévalo who was most experienced in maritime matters. He appointed him alcalde-mayor of the adjoining province of Camarines for the better expedition of the timber-cutting, putting him under greater obligations (to do well) by the future reward of commander of the galleon which he was about to build. In order that that galleon might be built more quickly and finished sooner, he sent as chief overseer his lieutenant master-of-camp, Don Agustin de Cepeda Carnacedo, who was then master-of-camp of the army of these islands for his Majesty, in order that he might live in the port of Albay. He did that with so great care that in little more than one year the largest and best galleon that had yet been seen in the islands was built—and very few so large have been seen in European seas, and extremely few that are larger. For that purpose the woods of Filipinas are the best that can be found in all the universe.” (Casimiro Diaz, O. S. A.; Manila, 1718. Conquistas, in Bl. and Rb., Vol. 37, pp. 250–251.)

6 “Those who cut these woods and build these ships and galleys are Indian natives of the said islands. They are carpenters, who are called cagallanes or pandais, in their language. Those Indians who are no more than woodcutters, and serve only as hewers and planers of wood, are paid each seven or eight reals a month, and are given daily rations of one-half celemin of rice. Those of better trades than the latter generally earn ten to twelve reals a month. Those who are masters—the ones who lay out, prepare, round, and make the masts, yards, and topmasts are each paid three or four pesos of eight reals a month, and double rations.” (Philippine Ships and Shipbuilding, Sebastian de Pineda (1619).—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, p. 174.)

7 “When a fleet was being prepared in Cavite there were generally one thousand four hundred of these carpenters there. Just now there are very few, for when the Mindanao enemies burned one galleon and two petaches in the past year, one thousand six hundred and seventeen, which were being built in the shipyard of Pantao, sixty leguas from the city of Manila, they captured more than four hundred of the workmen, and killed more than two hundred others; while many have died through the severe work in the building. And because they have been paid for five years nothing except a little aid, many have fled from the land; and so few remain that when the last ships sailed from the city of Manila last year, six hundred and eighteen, there were not two hundred of those Indians in Cavite.” (Ships and Shipbuilding, Sebastian de Pineda, 1619.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 174–175.)

*   *   *

“As above stated, it will be necessary for Governor Don Alonso Fajardo to devise immediate means for building galleons and to repair the six at Manila. I regard the present building of ships in that country as impossible. For with the former ships and fleets and with the depredations and deaths caused by the enemy in those districts the natives are quite exhausted; for, as I said above, in the former years of six hundred and seventeen the Mindanao enemy captured four hundred native carpenters and killed more than two hundred others. The year before that, six hundred and sixteen, in the expedition made by Don Juan de Silva to the strait of Cincapura, where he died, it was found from lists that more than seven hundred Indians, of those taken as common seamen (of whom more than two hundred were carpenters), died on that expedition. Before that, in the year six hundred and fourteen, the said Mindanao enemy captured in the islands of Pintados nine hundred odd Indians, of whom but few have been ransomed. In the shipbuilding and in the hauling of wood many have died. Consequently, on account of all combined, there is a lack of natives for the above works. Therefore your Majesty must order the said Don Alonso Fajardo, governor and captain-general of the said islands, that in case galleons are to be built, it should not be in the islands—on the one hand, on account of the short time that those woods last, and on the other because of the lack in that land of natives (occurring through the above-mentioned causes, and because those natives in the islands are serving in the fleets as common seamen and carpenters).” (Ibid., pp. 182–183.)

8 “The shipbuilding carried on in these islands on your Majesty’s account is the total ruin and death of these natives, as all tell me. For, in addition to the danger caused by it in withdrawing them from the cultivation of their lands and fields—whereby the abundance of foods and fruits of the country is destroyed—many of them die from severe labor and harsh treatment. Joined to this is another evil, namely, that every Indian who takes part in the shipbuilding is aided by all the neighborhood where he lives with a certain number of pesos, on account of the small pay that is given them in behalf of your Majesty. Hence many are being harassed and worn out by these methods, and a great expense is being caused to your Majesty’s royal treasury.” (Letter to Felipe III, Alonso Fajardo de Tenza, Cavite, Aug. 10, 1618; Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 130–131.)

9 “Item: That the governor be warned to endeavor to avoid, as far as possible, the injuries inflicted upon the natives in the cutting of wood and in personal services; for they sometimes draft them in the planting season or at harvest, so that they lose their fields, as I have seen. In addition to this, many times they do not pay the Indians, because there is no money in the treasury, which is continually short of funds. This often arises from the fact that they do not estimate and consider the needs of the Indians with the amount of money that is available; and consequently all the Indians complain. Finally, when the said Indians are paid, it is done by the hand of the chiefs or cabezas de barangay, who generally keep the money.” (Reforms Needed in Filipinas, by H. de los Rios Coronel.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 315–316.)

10 “The loss of so many ships caused us great sadness of heart. The greatest hardship fell to the Indians, for they cannot live without ships. When one is lost it is necessary to build another, and that means the cutting of wood. Six or eight thousand Indians are assembled for that task, and go to the mountains. On them falls the vast labor of cutting and dragging the timber in. To that must be added the blows that are rained down upon them, and the poor pay, and bad nourishment that they receive. At times, religious are sent to protect and defend them from the infernal fury of some Spaniards. Moreover, in the timber collected for one ship there is (actually enough) for two ships. Many gain advantage at the cost of the Indians’ sweat, and later others make a profit in Cavite, as I have seen.” (D. F. Navarrete, O. P.; 1676, from his Tratados Históricos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 38, pp. 42–43.)

11 ”* * * I must remind your Majesty that the islands are at the end of their resources, as far as the Indians in them are concerned; for it is they who bring the timber from the forests for the said shipbuilding. I have thought of an expedient for this, in order not to complete the destruction of the Indians; it is, to ask the viceroys of your Majesty in Nueva España and Pirú to send vessels here. * * *” (Letter to Felipe IV, by Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, Cavite, July 11, 1636.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 26, p. 289.)

12 “Item. That it be ordered that the common seamen who serve in the said ships, who are always Indian natives, be all men of that coast, who are instructed how to navigate; and that they be made to wear clothes, with which to shelter themselves from the cold; for, because they do not, most of them die in high latitudes, of which he (the writer) is a witness. Inasmuch as the factor enrolls other Indians who live in the interior, and who do not know the art of sailing, and as they are a wretched people, they are embarked without clothes to protect them against the cold, so that when each new dawn comes there are three or four dead men (a matter that is breaking his heart); besides, they are treated inhumanly and are not given the necessaries of life, but are killed with hunger and thirst. If he were to tell in detail the evil that is done to them, it would fill many pages. He petitions your Majesty to charge your governor straitly to remedy this.” (Reforms Needed in Filipinas, Hernando de los Rios Coronel, 1619–1620.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 299–300.)

13 “This has been the cause of tumults and insurrections, such as that of Palapag in 1649, and that of the province of Pampanga in 1660; and, in the time of Governor Don Juan de Silva, that of 1614, because of the considerable felling of timber which was occasioned by so much shipbuilding as was caused by the undertaking against the Dutch. Then, most of the provinces of these islands mutinied and almost rose in insurrection; and there was danger of a general outbreak, had not the religious who were ministers in the provinces reduced the minds of the natives to quiet; for they, overburdened by so heavy a load, were at the point of desperation.” (Casimiro Diaz, O.S.A.; Manila, 1718, Conquistas.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 37, p. 212.)

14 “Those islands have so few natives, that if your Majesty does not expressly order no vessels to be constructed in them, not any of their people will be left, for as a result the events that have happened in those islands for the last eight years, both murders and captivities, many of those who have been left, who are constantly coming to Nueva España, every year as common seamen in the vessels that regularly sail, remain in Nueva España. In the galleon Espíritu Santo which came last year, six hundred and eighteen, were seventy-five native Indians as common seamen, but not more than five of the entire number returned in the said galley. If your Majesty does not have that corrected, the same thing will occur every year, and should your Majesty not correct it, the following things will occur. The first is the great offense committed against our Lord, for many (indeed most) of those native Indians of the Filipinas Islands who come as common seamen are married in those said islands; and, inasmuch as they are unknown in Nueva España, they remarry here. Another wrong follows which is very much to the disservice of your Majesty and your royal treasury, which is caused by the said Indian natives of the Filipinas Islands who come as common seamen and remain in Nueva España; and if it is not checked in time, it will cause considerable injury to these kingdoms. This consists in the fact that there are in Nueva España so many of those Indians who come from Filipinas Islands who have engaged in making palm wine along the other seacoast, that of the South Sea, and which they make with stills, as in Filipinas, that it will in time become a part reason for the natives of Nueva España, who now use the wine that comes from Castilla, to drink none except what the Filipinos make. For since the natives of Nueva España are a race inclined to drink and intoxication, and the wine made by the Filipinos is distilled and as strong as brandy, they crave it rather than the wine from España. Consequently it will happen that the trading fleets (from Spain) will bring less wine every year, and what is brought will be more valuable every year. So great is the traffic in this (palm wine) at present on the coast of Navidad, among the Apusabalcos, and throughout Colima, that they lead beasts of burden with this wine in the same way as in España. By postponing the speedy remedy that this demands, the same thing might also happen to the vineyards of Piru. It can be averted, provided all the Indian natives of the said Filipinas Islands are shipped and returned to them, that the palm groves and vessels with which that wine is made be burnt, the palm-trees felled, and severe penalties imposed on whomever remains or returns to make that wine.

“Incited by their greed in that traffic, all the Indians who have charge of making that wine go to the port of Acapulco when the ships reach there from Manila, and lead away with them all the Indians who come as common seamen. For that reason, and the others above mentioned, scarcely any of them return to the said Filipinas Islands. From that it also results that your Majesty loses the royal revenues derived from those islands, inasmuch as all those Indians are tributaries there, and when absent pay nothing.” (Ships and Shipbuildings, by Sebastian de Pineda, 1619.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, pp. 183–185.)

15 Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinos, Chap. 8.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 108.

16 Relación de las Islas Filipinas, Miguel de Loarca; Arévalo, June, 1582.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, p. 73.

17 Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, Antonio de Morga, Chap. 8.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 96.

18 Report of Conditions in the Philippines, Antonio de Morga, Manila, June 8, 1598.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 10, pp. 85–86.

“The fishing is done with salambaos, and with fine-meshed nets; with which they block up the bay and kill the small fish. These nets ought not to be employed, and the size of the mesh should be regulated so that the supply of fish will not be exhausted; for already experience has demonstrated that they are not so abundant as formerly.”

Night fishing was also practiced. “What we call pitch in this region is a resin from which the natives make candles in order to use in their night-fishing, and is the same as the copal of Nueva España, or at the most differs from it very little in color, smell, and taste.” (Expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. [Résumé of Contemporaneous Documents, 1558–68.]—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 2, p. 153.)

Artificial fish-culture seems to have been introduced by the Japanese before the Spanish arrival. “The greatest of the Japanese industries, which they taught the natives, was breeding ducks and fishes for export. The rivers and coast waters of the Archipelago provided splendid feeding grounds for numerous varieties of fish and fowl, and the Japanese assisted nature’s breeding process, particularly in the case of fishes in a manner followed by present day experts. The roe were transported to safe places for development, tanks were used to guard small fish from harm, and various other precautionary measures were adopted properly to rear the fish. To the early Spaniards, the pisciculture of the Filipinos was regarded almost as a new art, so much more advanced it was than fish breeding methods in Europe.” (Commercial Progress in the Philippine Islands, Antonio M. Regidor and J. Warren T. Mason, 1905.)

19 In some of these islands pearl oysters are found, especially in the Calamianes, where some have been obtained that are large and exceedingly clear and lustrous. Neither is this means of profit utilized. (By the Spaniards, he means, as is clear from the preceding paragraph, which states that, “if the industry and efforts of the Spaniards were to be converted into the working of the gold, as much would be obtained from any one of these islands as from those provinces which produce the most in the world. But since they attend to other means of gain rather than to this, as will be told in due time, they do not pay the proper attention to this matter.”) In all parts, seed pearls are found in the ordinary oysters, and there are oysters as large as a buckler. From the (shells of the) latter the natives manufacture beautiful articles. There are also very large turtles in all the islands. Their shells are utilized by the natives, and sold as an article of commerce to the Chinese and Portuguese, and other nations who go after them and esteem them highly, because of the beautiful things made from them.

“On the coasts of any of these islands are found many small white snail shells, called siguei. The natives gather them and sell them by measure to the Siamese, Cambodians, Pantanes, and other peoples of the mainland. It serves there as money, and those nations trade with it, as they do with cacaobeans in Nueva España.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, Chap. 8.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 103.)

20 Description of Filipinas Islands, Bartholome de Letona, 1662.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 36, p. 201.

All these islands are, in many districts, rich in placers and mines of gold, a metal which the natives dig and work. However, since the advent of the Spaniards in the land, the natives proceed more slowly in this, and content themselves with what they already possess in jewels and gold ingots, handed down from antiquity and inherited from their ancestors. This is considerable for he must be poor and wretched who has no gold chains, calombigas (bracelets), and earrings.

Some placers and mines were worked at Paracale in the province of Camarines, where there is good gold mixed with copper. This commodity is also traded in the Ilocos, for at the rear of this province, which borders the seacoast, are certain lofty and rugged mountains which extend as far as Cagayan. On the slopes of these mountains, in the interior, live many natives, as yet unsubdued, and among whom no incursion has been made, who are called Ygolotes. These natives possess rich mines, many of gold and silver mixed. They are wont to dig from them only the amount necessary for their wants. They descend to certain places to trade this gold (without completing its refining or preparation), with the Ilocos; there they exchanged it for rice, swine, carabaos, cloth and other things that they need. The Ilocos complete its refining and preparation, and by their medium it is distributed throughout the country. Although an effort has been made with these Ygolotes to discover their mines, and how they work them, and their method of working the metal, nothing definite has been learned, for the Ygolotes fear that the Spaniards will go to seek them for their gold, and say that they keep the gold better in the earth than in their houses.

There are also many gold mines and placers in the other islands, especially among the Pintados, on the Botuan River in Mindanao, and in Sebu, where a mine of good gold is worked, called Taribon. If the industry and efforts of the Spaniards were to be converted into the working of the gold, as much would be obtained from any one of these islands as from those provinces which produce the most in the world. But since they attend to other means of gain rather than to this, they do not pay the proper attention to this matter.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos; Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 101–103.)

21 Memorial to the Council by Citizens of the Philippine Islands; July 26, 1586.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 6, p. 223.

“In this island, there are many gold mines, some of which have been inspected by the Spaniards, who say that the natives work them as is done in Nueva España with the mines of silver; and, as in those mines, the vein of ore here is continuous. Assays have been made, yielding so great wealth, that I shall not endeavor to describe them, lest I be suspected of lying. Time will prove the truth.”

Las nuevas quescriven de las yslas del Poniente, Hernando Riquel y otros. Mexico, January 11, 1574.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 243.

22 They are the best and most skilful artificers in jewels and gold that we have seen in this land. Almost all the people of Los Camarines pursue this handicraft.” Letter from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II, Manila, July 17, 1574.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 273.)

“During these five days, the Moros had, little by little, given two hundred taels of impure gold, for they possess great skill in mixing it with other metals. They give it an outside appearance so natural and perfect, and so fine a ring, that unless it is melted they can deceive all men, even the best of silversmiths.” (Relation of the Voyage to Luzon, 1570.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 81.)

“There are some chiefs in this island who have on their persons ten or twelve thousand ducats’ worth of gold in jewels—to say nothing of the lands, slaves, and mines that they own. There are so many of these chiefs that they are innumerable. Likewise the individual subjects of these chiefs have a great quantity of the said jewels of gold, which they wear on their persons—bracelets, chains, and earrings of solid gold, daggers of gold, and other very rich trinkets. These are generally seen among them, and not only the chiefs and freemen have plenty of these jewels, but even slaves possess and wear golden trinkets upon their persons, openly and freely.” (Reply to Fray Rada’s ‘Opinion,’ Guido de Lavezaris and others; Manila, June, 1574.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 267.)

23 “About their necks they wear gold necklaces, wrought like spun wax, and with links in our fashion, some larger than others. On their arms they wear armlets of wrought gold, which they call calombigas, and which are very large and made in different patterns. Some wear strings of precious stones—cornelians and agates; and other blue and white stones, which they esteem highly. They wear, around the legs some strings of these stones, and certain cords, covered with black pitch in many foldings, as garters.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 76–77.)

24 “The people are the most valiant yet found in these regions; they possess much good armour—as iron corselets, greaves, wristlets, gauntlets, and helmets—and some arquebuses and culverins.” (Letter from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II, Manila, July 17, 1574.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 273.)

“At the waist they carry a dagger four fingers in breadth, the blade pointed, and a third of a vara in length; the hilt is of gold or ivory. The pommel is open and has two cross bars or projections, without any other guard. They are called bararaos. They have two cutting edges, and are kept in wooden scabbards, or those of buffalo-horn, admirably wrought.”

(This weapon has been lost, and even its name is gone. A proof of the decline into which the present Filipinos have fallen is the comparison of the weapons that they manufacture now, with those described to us by the historians. The hilts of the talibones now are not of gold or ivory, nor are their scabbards of horn, nor are they admirably wrought.—Rizal.)

(Morga’s Sucesos, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 81 and note 65.)

“Since they have seen the Spaniards use their weapons, many of the natives handle the arquebuses and muskets quite skilfully. Before the arrival of the Spaniards they had bronze culverins and other pieces of cast iron, with which they defended their forts and settlements, although their powder is not so well refined as that of the Spaniards.” (Ibid., p. 82.)

“This intercourse and traffic had acquainted the Filipinos with many of the accessories of civilized life long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Their chiefs and datos dressed in silks, and maintained some splendor of surroundings; nearly the whole population of the tribes of the coast wrote and communicated by means of a syllabary; vessels from Luzon traded as far south as Mindanao and Borneo, although the products of Asia proper came through the fleets of foreigners; and perhaps what indicates more clearly than anything else the advance the Filipinos were making through their communication with outside people is their use of firearms. Of this point there is no question. Everywhere in the vicinity of Manila, on Lubang, in Pampanga, at Cainta and Laguna de Bay, the Spaniards encountered forts mounting small cannon, or lantakas. The Filipinos seem to have understood, moreover, the arts of casting cannon and of making powder. The first gun-factory established by the Spaniards was in charge of a Filipino from Pampanga.” (Dr. D. P. Barrows, A History of the Philippines, pp. 101–102.)

25 (Relación de las Islas Filipinas, Miguel de Loarca; Arévalo, June, 1582.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, p. 169.)

26 Antonio de Morga, Sucesos, Chap. 8.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 80.

27 “The coconuts furnish a nutritious food when rice is scarce. From the nut-shells they make dishes, and (from the fibrous husk) match-cords for their arquebuses; and with the leaves they make baskets.” (Relación, Miguel de Loarca; Arévalo, June, 1852.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, p. 169.)

See also First Voyage Around the World, Antonio Pigafetta.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 33, p. 105, for description of how the palm sap was obtained, oil made, and of other uses of the coconut.

28 Relación, Miguel de Loarca; June, 1582.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, pp. 34–188.

Conquest of the Island of Luzon. Manila, April 20, 1572.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 171.

29 Relation and Description of the Philippine Islands, Francisco de Sande; Manila, June 8, 1577.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 4, p. 98.

“Cotton is raised abundantly throughout the islands. It is spun and sold in the skein to the Chinese and other nations, who come to get it. Cloth of different patterns is also woven from it, and the natives also trade that. Other cloths, called medriñiques, are woven from the banana leaf.” (Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, Antonio de Morga; Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 106.)

Cotton was woven into sail. “The canvas (lienzo) from which the sails are made in the said islands is excellent, and much better than what is shipped from España, because it is made from cotton. There are certain cloths (lienzos) which are called mantsa from the province of Ilocos, for the natives of that province manufacture nothing else, and pay your Majesty their tribute in them. They last much longer than those of España.” (Philippine Ships and Shipbuilding, Sebastian de Pineda, 1619.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 18, p. 178.)

30 Relation of the Western Islands called Filipinas, Diego de Artieda, 1573.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p. 203.

Fray Rada’s Opinion, Guido de Lavezaris and others, Manila, June, 1574.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, p....

“The island of Zubu produces a small quantity of rice, borona, and millet and little or no cotton; for the cloth which the natives use for their garments is made from a kind of banana. From this they make a sort of cloth resembling colored calico, which the natives call medriñaque (Relación, Miguel de Loarca, June, 1582.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, pp. 43–45.)

31 T. H. Pardo de Tavera, Census, 1903, Vol. I, p. 329.

32 Ibid. “The women have needlework as their employment and occupation, and they are very clever at it, and at all kinds of sewing. They weave cloth and spin cotton, and serve in houses of their husbands and fathers. (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 79.)

33 “Their houses are constructed of wood, and are built of planks and bamboo, raised high from the ground on large logs, and one must enter them by means of ladders. They have rooms like ours; and under the house they keep their swine, goats, and fowls.” (Antonio Pigafetta, First Voyage Around the World.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 33, p. 153.)

“The houses and dwellings of all these natives are universally set upon stakes and arigues (i. e., columns) high above the ground. Their rooms are small and the roofs low. They are built and tiled with wood and bamboos, and covered and roofed with nipa-palm leaves. Each house is separate, and is not built adjoining another. In the lower part are enclosures made by stakes and bamboos, where fowls and cattle are reared, and the rice pounded and cleaned. One ascends into the houses by means of ladders that can be drawn up, which are made from two bamboos. Above are their open batalanes (galleries) used for household duties; the parents and (grown) children live together. There is little adornment and finery in the houses, which are called bahandin.

“Besides these houses, which are those of the common people, and those of less importance, there are the chiefs’ houses. They are built upon trees and thick arigues, with many rooms and comforts. They are well constructed of timber and planks, and are strong and large. They are furnished and supplied with all that is necessary, and are much finer and more substantial than the others. They are roofed, however, as are the others, with the palm-leaves called nipa.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 117–118.)

34 “The edifices and houses of the natives of all these Filipinas Islands are built in a uniform manner, as are their settlements; for they always build them on the shores of the sea, between rivers and creeks. The natives generally gather in districts or settlements where they sow their rice, and possess their palm trees, nipa and banana groves, and other trees, and implements for their fishing and sailing.” Ibid., p. 117.)

35 Especially in La Indolencia de los Filipinos, in “La Solidaridad,” 1890, which develops the idea advanced by Sangcianco y Gozon.

36 ”* * * As already seen, we must reject so often reiterated of late years that the early missionaries found nomadic or half-fixed clans and taught them the ways of village life. Village life there was already, to some extent, and it was upon this that the friars built. Doubtless they modified it greatly until in time it approached in most ways as closely to European village life as might be expected in tropical islands whose agricultural resources are not as yet well developed. From the first there would be a tendency to greater concentration about the churches, beginning with the rude structures of cane and thatch, which are replaced before 1700 in all the older settlements by edifices of stone, frequently massive and imposing, especially, so as they tower over the acres of bamboo huts about them, from the inmates of which have come the forced labor which built them. From the first, too, it was to the interest of the Spanish conquerors, lay and priestly, to improve the methods of communication between the communities which formed their centers of conversion or of exploration and collection of tribute. Yet to represent either the friars or the soldiers as great pathfinders and reconstructors of wilderness is the work of ignorance. When Legaspi’s grandson, Juan de Salcedo, made his memorable marches through northern Luzon, bringing vast acres under the dominion of Spain with a mere handful of soldiers, he found the modern Bigan a settlement of several thousand people; his successors in the conquest of the Upper Kagayan Valley, one of the most backward portions of the archipelago to-day, reported a population of forty thousand in the region lying around the modern Tuguegarao, and so it was quite commonly everywhere on the seacoasts and on the largest rivers. Some very crude deductions have been made as to the conquest period by writers of recent years who assume that the natives were at the beginning mere bands of wandering savages, and that all the improvements visible in their external existence to-day were brought about in these early years.” (James A. LeRoy, The Americans in the Philippines, Vol. I, pp. 8–10.)

“The friar missionaries did not bring about the first settlement and conquests under Legaspi; they did not blaze the way in wildernesses and plant the flag of Spain in outlying posts long in advance of the soldiers, the latter profiting by their moral-suasion conquests to annex great territories for their own plunder; they did not find bloodthirsty savages, wholly sunk in degradation, and in the twinkling of an eye convert them to Christianity, sobriety, and decency, * * *; they did not teach wandering bands of huntsmen or fishermen how to live peacefully in orderly settlements, how to cultivate the soil, erect buildings (except the stone churches), and did not bind these villages together by the sort of roads and bridges which we have today, though they had considerable share in this work, especially in later time; they did not find a squalid population of 400,000 to 750,000 in the archipelago, and wholly by the revolution wrought by them in ways of life make it possible for that population to increase by ten or twenty times in three centuries.” (Ibid., pp. 10–11.)

37 Relación de las Islas Filipinas, Pedro Chirino, S. J., Roma 1604.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 12, p. 188.

38 Morga’s Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 105.

39 Census of the Philippine Islands, 1903, Vol. I, p. 329.

40 In La Indolencia de los Filipinos, Rizal continues thus:

“And if this, which is deduction, does not convince any minds imbued with unfair prejudices, perhaps of some avail may be the testimony of the oft-quoted Dr. Morga, who was Lieutenant-Governor of Manila for seven years and after rendering great service in the Archipelago was appointed criminal judge of the Audiencia of Mexico and Counsellor of the Inquisition. His testimony, we say, is highly credible, not only because all his contemporaries have spoken of him in terms that border on veneration but also because his work, from which we take these citations, is written with great circumspection and care, as well with reference to the authorities in the Philippines as to the errors they committed. ‘The natives,’ says Morga, in chapter VII, speaking of the occupations of the Chinese, ‘are very far from exercising those trades and have even forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton, and weaving cloth AS THEY USED TO DO IN THEIR PAGANISM AND FOR A LONG TIME AFTER THE COUNTRY WAS CONQUERED.

“The whole of Chapter VIII of his work deals with this moribund activity, this much-forgotten industry, and yet in spite of that, how long is his eighth chapter!

“And not only Morga, not only Chirino, Colin, Argensola, Gaspar de San Agustin and others agree in this matter, but modern travelers, after two hundred and fifty years, examining the decadence and misery, assert the same thing. Dr. Hans Meyer, when he saw the unsubdued tribes cultivating beautiful fields and working energetically, asked if they would not become indolent when they in turn should accept Christianity and a paternal government.

“Accordingly, the Filipinos, in spite of the climate, in spite of their few needs (they were less then than now), were not the indolent creatures of our time, and, as we shall see later on, their ethics and their mode of life were not what is now complacently attributed to them.”

Rizal has the following, to say about the abundance of wealth in this country:

“Wealth abounded in the islands. Pigafetta tells us of the abundance of foodstuffs in Paragua and of its inhabitants, who nearly all tilled their own fields. At this island the survivors of Magellan’s expedition were well received and provisioned. A little later, these same survivors captured a vessel, plundered and sacked it, and took prisoner in it the chief of the Island of Paragua (!) with his son and brother.

“In this same vessel they captured bronze lombards, and this is the first mention of artillery of the Filipinos, for these lombards were useful to the chief of Paragua against the savages of the interior.

“They let him ransom himself within seven days, demanding 400 measures (cavanes?) of rice, 20 pigs, 20 goats, and 450 chickens. This is the first act of piracy recorded in Philippine history. The chief of Paragua paid everything, and moreover voluntarily added coconuts, bananas, and sugar-cane jars filled with palm-wine. When Caesar was taken prisoner by the corsairs and required to pay twenty-five talents ransom, he replied: ‘I’ll give you fifty, but later I’ll have you all crucified!’ The chief of Paragua was more generous: he forgot. His conduct, while it may reveal weakness, also demonstrates that the islands were abundantly provisioned. This chief was named Tuan Mahamud; his brother, Guantil, and his son, Tuan Mahamed. (Martin Mendez, Purser of the Ship “Victoria”: Archivos de Indias, Ibid.)

41 I have already said that all of it is thickly populated, and that it has a great abundance of rice, fowls, and swine, as well as great numbers of buffaloes, deer, wild boars, and goats; it also produces great quantities of cotton and colored cloths, wax, and honey; and date palms abound. In conclusion, it is very well supplied with all the things above mentioned, and many others which I shall not enumerate. It is the largest island which has thus far been discovered in these regions. As I say, it is well populated and very rich in gold mines. There is much trade with China. That part of it which has thus far been conquered and pacified, the governor has begun to allot to the conquerors.” Conquest of the Island of Luzon, Manila, April 20, 1572. (Bl. and Rb., Vol. 3, pp. 171–172.)

“This province (Pampanga) possesses many rivers and creeks that irrigate it. They all flow and empty into the bay. This province contains many settlements of natives and considerable quantities of rice, fruits, fish, meat, and other foods.” (Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos, 1609.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 108.)

(Rizal’s Note:—“This province had decreased so greatly in population and agriculture, a half century later, that Gaspar de San Agustin said: ‘Now it no longer has the population of the past, because of the insurrection of that province, when Don Sabiniano Manrique de Lara was governor of these islands, and because of the incessant cutting of the timber for the building of his Majesty’s ships, which prevents them from cultivating their extremely fertile plain.’ Later, when speaking of Guagua or Wawa, he says: ‘This town was formerly very wealthy because of its many chiefs, and because of the abundant harvests gathered in its spacious plains, which are now submerged by the water of the sea.’” (Ibid.)

“In reply to the fourth question he stated that, before the coming of the Spaniards, all the natives lived in their villages, applying themselves to the sowing of their crops and the care of their vineyards, and to the pressing of wine; others planting cotton, or raising poultry and swine, so that all were at work; moreover, the chiefs were obeyed and respected, and the entire country well provided for. But all this has disappeared since the coming of the Spaniards.” (Testimony of Nicolas Ramos, chief of Cubao village and governor of same, under oath, in compliance with order of G. P. Dasmariñas “forbidding” the Indians to wear Chinese stuff; April 9, 1591.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 8, p. 87.)

42 ”* * * Many islands and villages are devastated and almost wiped out, partly by the Spaniards or because of them, and partly by famines of which, or at the beginning of them, the Spaniards were the reason; for either by fear or to get rid of the Spaniards the natives NEGLECTED THEIR SOWING, and when they wished to sow then anguish came to them, and consequently many people have died of hunger.” (Augustinian Memoranda, 1373.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 34, p. 279.)

“After the end of the war the need of the city began, for, because of not having Sangleys who worked at the trades, and brought in all the provisions, there was no food, nor any shoes to wear, not even at excessive prices. The native Indians are very far from exercising those trades, and have even forgotten much of farming, and the raising of fowls, cattle, and cotton, and the weaving of cloth, which they used to do in the days of their paganism and for a long time after the conquest of the country. In addition to this, people thought that Chinese vessels would not come to the islands with food and merchandise, on account of the late revolution. * * *” (Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos, 1601.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 42–43).

43 In La Indolencia, Rizal further says:

“It was necessary to subject the people either by cajolery or force; there were fights, there was slaughter; those who had submitted peacefully seemed to repent of it; insurrections were suspected, and some occurred; naturally there were executions, and many capable laborers perished. Add to this condition of disorder the invasion of Limahong, add the continual wars into which the inhabitants of the Philippines were plunged to maintain the honor of Spain, to extend the sway of her flag in Borneo, in the Moluccas and in Indo-China; to repel the Dutch foe: costly wars, fruitless expeditions, in which each time thousands and thousands of native archers and rowers were recorded to have embarked, but whether they returned to their homes was never stated. Like the tribute that once upon a time Greece sent to the Minotaur of Crete, the Philippine youth embarked for the expedition, saying good-by to their country forever: on their horizon were the stormy sea, the interminable wars, the rash expeditions. Wherefore, Gaspar de San Agustin says: ‘Although anciently there were in this town of Dumangas many people, in the course of time they have very greatly diminished because the natives are the best sailors and most skillful rowers on the whole coast, and so the governors in the port of Iloilo take most of the people from this town for the ships that they send abroad. * * * When the Spaniards reached this island (Panay) it is said that there were on it more than fifty thousand families; but these diminished greatly; * * * and at present they may amount to some fourteen thousand tributaries.’ From fifty thousand families to fourteen thousand tributaries in little over half a century!

We would never get through, had we to quote all the evidence of the authors regarding the frightful diminution of the inhabitants of the Philippines in the first years after the discovery. In the time of their first bishop, that is, ten years after Legaspi, Philip II said that they had been reduced to less than two-thirds.”

44 La Indolencia de los Filipinos:

“In order to make headway against so many calamities, to secure their sovereignty and take the offensive in these disastrous contests, to isolate the warlike Sulus from their neighbors in the south, to care for the needs of the empire of the Indies (for one of the reasons why the Philippines were kept, as contemporary documents prove, was their strategical position between New Spain and the Indies), to wrest from the Dutch their growing colonies of the Moluccas and get rid of some troublesome neighbors, to maintain, in short, the trade of China with New Spain, it was necessary to construct new and large ships which, as we have seen, costly as they were to the country for their equipment and the rowers they required, were not less so because of the manner in which they were constructed. Fernando de los Rios Coronel, who fought in these wars and later turned priest, speaking of these King’s ships, said: ‘As they were so large the timber needed was scarcely to be found in the forests (of the Philippines!), and thus it was necessary to seek it with great difficulty in the most remote of them, where, once found, in order to haul and convey it to the shipyard the towns of the surrounding country had to be depopulated of natives, who get it out with immense labor, damage, and cost to them. The natives furnished the masts for a galleon, according to the assertion of the Franciscans, and I heard the governor of the province where they were cut, which is Laguna de Bay, say that to haul them seven leagues over very broken mountains 6,000 natives were engaged three months, without furnishing them food, which the wretched native had to seek for himself.’

“And Gaspar de San Agustin says: ‘In these times (1690), Bacolor has not the people that it had in the past, because of the uprising in that province when Don Sabiniano Manrique de Lara was Governor of these islands and because of the continual labor of cutting limber for his Majesty’s shipyards, WHICH HINDERS THEM FROM CULTIVATING THE VERY FERTILE PLAIN THEY HAVE’.”

45 “The Indians, upon seeing that wealth excited the rapacity of the encomenderos and soldiers, abandoned the working of the mines, and the religious historians assert that they counseled them to a similar action in order to free them from annoyances. Nevertheless, according to Colin (who was ‘informed by well-disposed natives’), more than 100,000 pesos of gold annually, conservatively stated, was taken from the mines during his time, after eighty years of abandonment. According to a ‘manuscript of a grave person who had lived long in these islands,’ the first tribute of the two provinces of Ilocos and Pangasinan alone amounted to 109,500 pesos. A single encomendero, in 1587, sent 3,000 taheles of gold in the ‘Santa Ana,’ which was captured by Cavendish.” (Rizal’s Notes to Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos, 1609, Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 101.)

“If this is not sufficient to explain the depopulation of the islands and the abandonment of industry, agriculture and commerce, then add ‘the natives who were executed, those who left their wives and children and fled in disgust to the mountains, those who were sold into slavery to pay the taxes levied upon them,’ as Fernando de los Rios Coronel says; add to all this what Philip II said in reprimanding Bishop Salazar about ‘natives sold by some encomenderos to others, those flogged to death, the women who are crushed to death by their heavy burdens, those who sleep in the fields and there bear and nurse their children and die bitten by poisonous vermin, the many who are executed and left to die of hunger and those who eat poisonous herbs * * * and the mothers who kill their children in bearing them,’ and you will understand how in less than thirty years the population of the Philippines was reduced one-third. We are not saying this: it was said by Gaspar de San Agustin, the preeminently anti-Filipino Augustinian, and he confirms it throughout the rest of his work by speaking every moment of the state of neglect in which lay the farms and fields once so flourishing and so well cultivated, the towns thinned that had formerly been inhabited by many leading families!

“How is it strange, then, that discouragement may have been infused into the spirit of the inhabitants of the Philippines, when in the midst of so many calamities they did not know whether they would see sprout the seed they were planting, whether their field was going to be their grave or their crop would go to feed their executioner? What is there strange in it, when we see the pious but impotent friars of that time trying to free their poor parishioners from the tyranny of the encomenderos by advising them to stop work in the mines, to abandon their commerce, to break up their looms, pointing out to them heaven for their whole hope, preparing them for death as their only consolation?”—(La Indolencia.—Rizal.)

46 ”* * * Doubtless if we could see the whole character of the Spanish rule in those decades, we should see that the actual condition of the Filipino had improved and his grade of culture had risen. No one can estimate the actual good that comes to a people in being brought under the power of a government able to maintain peace and dispense justice. Taxation is sometimes grievous, corruption without excuse; but almost anything is better than anarchy.

“Before the coming of the Spaniards, it seems unquestionable that the Filipinos suffered greatly under two terrible grievances that afflict barbarous society—in the first place, warfare, with its murder, pillage, and destruction, not merely between tribe and tribe, but between town and town, such as even now prevail in the wild mountains of northern Luzon, among the primitive Malayan tribes; and in the second place, the weak and poor man was at the mercy of the strong and the rich.

“The establishment of Spanish sovereignty had certainly mitigated, if it did not wholly remedy, these conditions. ‘All of these provinces,’ Morga could write, ‘are pacified and are governed from Manila, having alcaldes mayores, corregidors, and lieutenants, and dispense justice. The chieftains (principales), who formerly held the other natives in subjection, no longer have power over them in the manner which they tyrannically employed, which is not the least benefit these natives have received in escaping from such slavery.’” (Dr. D. P. Barrows, History of the Philippines, p. 166.)


III. Trade and Commerce at the Time of Discovery and Conquest

Centuries before Spanish discovery the Filipinos were in regular intercourse with the neighboring countries of China, Japan, Borneo, and others. In the work of Chao Ju-kua, a Chinese geographer of the thirteenth century, there is a chapter on Philippine trade, from which we learn that the “foreign traders import porcelain, commercial gold, iron vases for perfumes, leaden objects, glass, pearls of all colors, iron needles,”1 black damask, and other silk fabrics, fish nets, and tin, and also silk umbrellas, and a kind of basket woven from rattan. In exchange, the Filipinos exported cotton (perhaps the “kapok” or tree cotton), yellow wax, strange [39]cloth (foreign cloth: sinamay, a light fabric made from abacá,—and other textiles of the country.—Blumentritt’s note), coconuts, onions, (camotes?—Blumentritt’s note), and fine mats; also pearls, shells (i. e., tortoise-shell.—Blumentritt’s note), betelnuts, and jute (yuta) textiles. (Yu-ta seems to be the abacá.—Blumentritt’s note).2 [40]


Domestic trade.

The first Spaniards who came to the Philippines observed a lively commercial intercourse, not only among the peoples of the different islands, but also with the near-by countries.3 The chief method of exchange [41]was by means of barter,4 though oftentimes gold dust was used.

With the coming of the Spaniards, domestic trade was upset. First of all, restrictions were imposed upon trade; communication between the villages was restrained.5 [42]Though later ordinances allowed freedom of commerce between villages and provinces,6 the spirit of restriction predominated until modern times.7 [43]

Then, the government officials, though in many decrees and ordinances prohibited to engage in trade,8 used their position as a means of gaining profits in trade.9 [44]This evil prevailed till later days.10 However, as seen by Dr. Tavera, trading by the officials was not without its good effect.11


Trade relations with oriental countries.

The coming of the Spaniards opened a new market to the products of the Orient, and Manila soon became [45]the great distributing center of the East.12 “The merchants and business men form the bulk of the residents of the islands, because of the great amount of merchandise brought there—outside of native products—from China, Japan, Maluco, Malacca, Siam, Cambojia, Borneo, and other districts.”13

From China, from thirty to forty ships sailed every year usually in March, and reached Manila in fifteen or twenty days; here the traders sold their goods, and, with the exception of some of the larger dealers, returned towards the end of May or during the first days of June, in order to avoid the stormy season. Morga gives a detailed list of the goods imported from China.14 [46]

The merchandise brought by the Chinese were unloaded into champans (bancas), and taken to the Parian (Chinese quarter), or to other houses and magazines outside of the city, and there freely sold. No Spaniard, Sangley (Chinese trader), or any other person was allowed to go to the ship to buy or trade merchandise, food, or anything else. The purchase price was paid in silver and reals, for the Sangleys did not want gold, or any other articles, and would not take other things to China.

From Nagasaki, Japan, came Japanese and Portuguese merchants, who brought excellent wheat-flour and highly prized salt meats.15 The bulk of the merchandise was used in the country. Returning to Japan, during the months of June and July, they carried with them raw Chinese silk, gold, deerskin, and brazil-wood for their dyes; also honey, manufactured wax, palm and Castilian wine, civet-cats, large tibors in which to store their tea, glass, cloth, and other curiosities from Spain. [47]

From the Moluccas, Malacca, and India, the Portuguese imported many articles,16 and in return took with them to the Moluccas rice, wine, crockery-ware, and other wares needed there; to Malacca, gold and money, besides a few special trinkets and curiosities from Spain, and emeralds.

Smaller vessels belonging to natives of Borneo also came to Manila, bringing well-made palm-mats, a few slaves, sago, and tibors; large and small jars, and excellent camphor; these articles were bought more by the Filipinos than by the Spaniards. The Borneans took with them wine and rice, cotton cloth, and other wares of the Philippines.

“Very seldom a few vessels came from Siam and Camboja, carrying ‘benzoin, ivory, and cotton cloth; rubies and sapphires, badly cut and set; a few slaves; rhinoceros horns, and the hides, hoofs, and teeth of this animal; and other goods.’”17

It was the goods that were imported into Manila by the Oriental traders, especially the Chinese, that [48]formed the bulk of the commerce between the Philippines and New Spain. The only products of Philippine industry dealt with in the so-called galleon trade were gold, cotton cloth, mendriñaque, and cakes of white and yellow wax.18 By buying from the Oriental traders their merchandise, and sending them to Mexico, the Spaniards in the Philippines made fabulous profits. It is due to this trade that those engaged in it amassed great wealth in a short time, and Manila became a great distributing center of the East.19 The prosperity of Manila during the first years after the conquest is attributed to the fact that commerce was then unrestrained.20 To the same cause was due the settlement of many Chinese and Japanese and other Orientals in [49]the country.21 To say, however, that the later restrictions upon commerce killed off all prosperity, would not be justified.22 [50]

1 Chao Ju-kua’s Description of the Philippines.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 34, pp. 183–191.

Rizal, La Indolencia. (All quotations from this work are taken from the Derbyshire translation.):

“Indolence in the Philippines is a chronic malady, but not a hereditary one. The Filipinos have not always been what they are, witnesses whereto are all the historians of the first years after the discovery of the Islands.

“Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Malayan Filipinos carried on an active trade, not only among themselves but also with all the neighboring countries. A Chinese manuscript of the 13th century, translated by Dr. Hirth (Globus, Sept. 1889), which we will take up at another time, speaks of China’s relations with the islands, relations purely commercial, in which mention is made of the activity and honesty of the traders of Luzon, who took the Chinese products and distributed them throughout all the islands, traveling for nine months, and then returned to pay religiously even for the merchandise that the Chinamen did not remember to have given them. The products which they in exchange exported from the islands were crude wax, cotton, pearls, tortoise-shell, betelnuts dry-goods, etc.”

2 The method of trading is thus described by Chao Ju-kua:

“When (Chinese) merchantmen arrive at that port they cast anchor at a place (called) the place of Mandarins. That place serves them as a market, or site where the products of their countries are exchanged. When a vessel has entered into the port (its captain) offers presents consisting of white parasols and umbrellas which serve them for daily use. The traders are obliged to observe these civilities in order to be able to count on the favor of those gentlemen.

“In order to trade, the savage traders are assembled (the Chinese call all foreigners savages except the Japanese, Koreans, and people of Anam.—Blumentritt) and have the goods carried in baskets, and although the bearers are often unknown, none of the goods are ever lost or stolen. The savage traders transport these goods to other islands, and thus eight or nine months pass until they have obtained other goods of value equivalent to those that have been received (from the Chinese). This forces the traders of the vessels to delay their departure, and hence it happens that the vessels that maintain trade with Ma-yi are the ones that take the longest to return to their country.” * * *

“When foreign traders come to one of their villages, they must not touch the ground, but must remain aboard their vessel, which is anchored in the middle of the current, and announce their presence by beat of drum. Thereupon the savage traders approach in their light craft, in which they carry cotton, yellow wax, strange cloth, coconuts, onions, and fine mats, and all those things they offer for sale in exchange (for the articles of the Chinese). In case of misunderstanding in the price of the goods, it is necessary to summon the chief of the traders of that place, so that he may present himself in person, and arrange the tariff to the satisfaction of all.” * * *

3 The first thing noticed by Pigafetta, who came with Magellan in 1521, on arriving at the first island of the Philippines, Samar, was the courtesy and kindness of the inhabitants and their commerce. “To honor our captain,” he says, “they conducted him to their boats where they had their merchandise, which consisted of cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmegs, mace, gold and other things; and they made us understand by gestures that such articles were to be found in the islands to which we were going.”

Further on he speaks of the vessels and utensils of solid gold that he found in Butuan, where the people worked mines. He describes the silk dresses, the daggers with long gold hilts and scabbards of carved wood, the gold sets of teeth, etc. Among cereals and fruits he mentions rice, millet, oranges, lemons, panicum, etc.

That the islands maintained relations with neighboring countries and even with distant ones is proven by the ships from Siam, laden with gold and slaves, that Magellan found in Cebu. These ships paid certain duties to the King of the island. In the same year, 1521, the survivors of Magellan’s expedition met the son of the Rajah of Luzon, who, as captain-general of the Sultan of Borneo and admiral of his fleet, had conquered for him the great city of Lave (Sarawak?). Might this captain, who was greatly feared by all his foes, have been the Rajah Matanda whom the Spaniards afterwards encountered in Tondo in 1570?

In 1539 the warriors of Luzon took part in the formidable contests of Sumatra, and under the orders of Angi Siry Timor, Rajah of Batta, conquered and overthrew the terrible Alzadin, Sultan of Atchin, renowned in the historical annals of the Far East. (Marsden, Hist. of Sumatra, Chap. XX.)

At that time, that sea where float the islands like a set of emeralds on a paten of bright glass, that sea was everywhere traversed by junks, paraus, barangays, vintas, vessels swift as shuttles, so large that they could maintain a hundred rowers on a side (Morga); that sea bore everywhere commerce, industry, agriculture, by the force of the oars moved to the sound of warlike songs of the genealogies and achievements of the Philippine divinities. (Colin, Labor Evangelica, Chap. XV.)

Legaspi’s expedition met in Butuan various traders of Luzon with their boats laden with iron, wax cloths, porcelain, etc. (Gaspar de San Agustin), plenty of provisions, activity, trade, movement in all the southern islands.

They arrived at the Island of Cebu, “abounding in provisions, with mines and washings of gold, and peopled with natives,” as Morga says; “very populous, and at a port frequented by many ships that came from the islands and kingdoms near India,” as Colin says; and even though they were peacefully received discord soon arose. The city was taken by force and burned. The fire destroyed the food supplies and naturally famine broke out in that town of a hundred thousand people, as the historians say, and among the members of the expedition, but the neighboring islands quickly relieved the need, thanks to the abundance they enjoyed. (La Indolencia, Rizal.)

Dr. J. A. Robertson in a note to the English translation of this work says:

“There is no doubt of the frequency of interisland trade among the peoples of the Philippines at an early period. Trade was stimulated by the very fact that the Malay peoples, except those who have been driven into the mountainous interiors, are by their very nature a seafaring people. The fact of an interisland traffic is indicative of a culture above that possessed by a people in the barbarian stage of culture. Of course, there was considerable Chinese trade as well throughout the islands.”

4 “Their customary method of trading was by bartering one thing for another, such as food, cloth, cattle, fowls, lands, houses, fields, slaves, fishing-grounds, and palm-trees (both nipa and wild). Sometimes a price intervened, which was paid in gold, as agreed upon, or in metal bells brought from China. These bells they regard as precious jewels; they resemble large pans and are very sonorous. They play upon these at their feasts, and carry them to the war in their boats instead of drums and other instruments. There are often delays and terms for certain payments, and bondsmen who intervene and bind themselves, but always with usurious and excessive profits and interests.” (Antonio de Morga, Sucesos; Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 128.)

5 “The natives are free to move from one island to another, and from one province to another, and pay their tribute for that year in which they move and change their residence in the place to which they move; and to move from a Christian village that has instruction to another village possessing it. But on the other hand, they may not move from a place having instruction to one without it, nor in the same village from one barangay to another, nor from one faction to another. In this respect, the necessary precautions are made by the government, and the necessary provisions by the Audiencia, so that this system may be kept, and so that all annoyances resulting from this moving of the settled natives of one place to another may be avoided.

“Neither are the natives allowed to go out of their villages for trade, except by permission of the governor, or of his alcaldes-mayores and justices, or even of the religious, who most often have been embarrassed by this, because of the instruction. This is done so that the natives may not wander about aimlessly when there is no need of it, away from their homes and settlements.” (Morga’s Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 162–163.)

6 17. (Commerce is to be free to all Indians of whatever jurisdiction they be, throughout the Philippines; and no license is required, nor can any fee be charged. This will ensure a good supply of provisions and other necessities, and promote the cultivation of the land. Good treatment must be shown to them, and their passage from one place to another facilitated, under penalty of a fine of 100 pesos, and a charge in the residencia of the one who transcends this order.)” (Ordinances of Good Government by Corcuera, 1642, and Cruzat y Gongora, 1696.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 50, p. 203).

7 “70. (Interprovincial trade of the various products shall not be prohibited, as such prohibition is in violation of law vii, título xviii, book iv and law xxv, título i, book vi, in accordance with which laws trade is to be encouraged. The Indians may cut timber in accordance with law xiv, título xvii, book iv. The desire to gain, however, shall not be allowed to cause the Indians to send out of any province the products necessary for its conservation. This may be prohibited with the consent of the father minister, from whom the alcalde-mayor shall ask a certification for his own protection. Without the certification, he shall not make such prohibition, under penalty of the penalties of the preceding ordinance. The natives shall pay no fees for the privilege of interprovincial trade; and, if any alcalde-mayor violates this, he shall incur a fine of 100 pesos, besides the responsibility of making good all the loss occasioned by his action. This shall be a charge in the residencia.) (Raon’s Ordinance, February 26, 1768.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 50, pp. 250–251.)

This is one of the reasons adduced by Rizal to explain the decay of agriculture in this country:

“Of no little importance were the hindrances and obstacles that from the beginning were thrown in the farmers’s way by the rulers, who were influenced by childish fear and saw everywhere signs of conspiracies and uprisings. The natives were not allowed to go to their labors, that is, their farms, without permission of the governor, or of his agents and officers and even of the priests as Morga says. Those who know the administrative slackness and confusion in a country where the officials work scarcely two hours a day; those who know the cost of going to and returning from the capital to obtain a permit; those who are aware of the petty retaliations of the little tyrants will well understand how with this crude arrangement it is possible to have the most absurd agriculture. True it is that for some time this absurdity, which would be ludicrous had it not been so serious, has disappeared; but even if the words have gone out of use other facts and other provisions have replaced them. The Moro pirate has disappeared but there remains the outlaw who infests the fields and waylays the farmer to hold him for ransom. Now then, the government, which has a constant fear of the people, denies to the farmers even the use of a shotgun, or if it does allow it does so very grudgingly and withdraws it at pleasure; whence it results with the laborer, who, thanks to his means of defense, plants his crops and invests his meager fortune in the furrows that he has so laboriously opened, that when his crop matures, it occurs to the government, which is impotent to suppress brigandage, to deprive him of his weapon; and then, without defense and without security he is reduced to inaction and abandons his field, his work, and takes to gambling as the best means of securing a livelihood. The green cloth is under the protection of the government, it is safer! A mournful counselor is fear, for it not only causes weakness but also in casting aside the weapons strengthens the very persecutor!”—(La Indolencia.)

8 There were other earlier decrees to the same effect as the following:

“6. (Alcaldes-mayor and corregidors are not to accept any presents, even of food, during the term of their office, as their hands will be bound thereby. They must pay a just price for what they purchase. During the term of their office they are not to purchase a ranch or any lands in the territory of their jurisdiction; neither are their secretaries or alguacils-mayor to buy them: for many evils follow therefrom. They are to build no sailing craft under any consideration, ‘under penalty of loss thereof and two hundred pesos, applied half to fines for the treasury and fortifications, because of the great harm caused to the natives by such constructions. For when you need any vessel, you can charter one.’ Likewise they are forbidden to engage in any trade with the natives and citizens of their jurisdiction, either directly or through agents.”) (Ordinances of Good Government, by Corcuera, 1642.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 50, p. 195.)

9 “106. The chief aim of the alcaldes-mayor, corregidors, and assistants, is trade. They buy up by wholesale the products of the land, especially rice and other food supplies, exactly as is said above concerning the religious of certain curacies, and their interpreters and helpers.

“111. It is not advantageous for these alcaldes-mayor and corregidors, or their assistants or friends, to receive the royal collections, for they perpetrate the numberless frauds and cheats, both against the royal treasury and against the Indians; and there is no remedy for this, as they themselves administer justice. They hold the collections in their possession for a long time, trading with them, and the royal treasury is the loser.” (Report of Conditions in the Philippines, by Antonio de Morga; Bl. and Rb., Vol. 10, pp. 94–95.)

Referring to the religious men, Morga says in the same report:

“2. They trade and make a profit in their districts, from rice, wax, wine, gold, boats, fowls, cloth, and deerskins, to the great detriment of the Indians, as well as that of the entire country.

“3. They deal openly in merchandise of the above-mentioned articles, as well as in those of China, in the trade with Nueva España.”

“Before the governor Don Gonzalo Ronquillo came, there were not more than three or four alcaldes-mayor in all these islands; but now there are sixteen and most of them are men who came with him. As they came poor, and as the salaries are small, they have taken the Indians—as all affirm, and it is common talk—at the time for harvesting rice; and they buy up all other provisions, and many profit by selling them again. In this way everything has become dear, because, as they have forbidden the Indians to trade and traffic, they sell at whatever price they wish. Formerly the Indians brought their products to the gates, and sold it at very low prices; for they are satisfied with very little gain, which is not true of the Spaniards.” (Affairs in the Philippine Islands, Fray Domingo de Salazar. (Manila, 1593).—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 5, p. 217.)

10 Rizal, La Indolencia.—“We will not cite our own experiences, for aside from the fact that we do not know which to select, critical persons may reproach us with partiality; neither will we cite those of other Filipinos who write in the newspapers; but we shall confine ourselves to translating the words of a modern French traveler who was in the Philippines for a long time:

“‘The good curate,’ he says with reference to the rosy picture a friar had given him of the Philippines, ‘had not told me about the governor, the foremost official of the district, who was too much taken up with the ideal of getting rich to have time to tyrannize over his docile subjects; the governor, charged with ruling the country and collecting the various taxes in the government’s name, devoted himself almost wholly to trade; in his hands the high and noble functions he performs are nothing more than instruments of gain. He monopolizes all the business and instead of developing on his part the love of work, instead of stimulating the too natural indolence of the natives, he with abuse of his powers thinks only of destroying all competition that may trouble him or attempt to participate in his profits. It matters little to him that the country is impoverished, without cultivation, without commerce, without industry, just so the governor is quickly enriched!

11 Resultados del Desarrollo Económico de Filipinas; in “Revista Económica,” November, 1912:

“In imposing a tax payable in articles of food or dress, the foundations of the Philippine industry were unwittingly laid. It is natural for a person manufacturing a piece of cloth for the purpose of paying tribute with it to have an interest in making another like piece to sell or to exchange for some other needed object. At the same time, as the encomendero and alcaldes mayores engaged in trade sold the articles received as tribute, a market for industrial products was in this wise created which provoked a demand for such merchandise.”

12 Azcarraga, La Libertad de Comercio de Filipinas, p. 40.

“To this abundance and fertility was added the proximity of China, India, Japan, Malacca, and Maluco. From China they not only began to ship their riches in silks and glazed earthenware, as soon as they learned of our wealth of four and eight real pieces: * * *.” (Relación de las Islas Filipinas, Pedro Chirino, S. J.; Roma, 1604.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 12, p. 191.)

13 Morga’s Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, p. 176.

14 “These vessels come laden with merchandise, and bring wealthy merchants who own ships, and servants and factors of other merchants who remain in China. They leave China with the permission and leave of the Chinese viceroys and mandarins. The merchandise that they generally bring and sell to the Spaniards consists of raw silk in bundles, of the fineness of two strands (“dos cabezas”), and other silk of poorer quality; fine untwisted silk, white and of all colors, wound in small skeins; quantities of velvets, some plain, and some embroidered in all sorts of figures, colors, and fashions—others with body of gold, and embroidered with gold; woven stuffs and brocades, of gold and silver upon silk of various colors and patterns; quantities of gold and silver thread in skeins over thread and silk—but the glitter of all the gold and silver is false, and only on paper; damasks, satins, taffetans, gorvaranes, picotes (coarse stuff made of goat’s hair, or a glossy silk stuff; probably the latter is intended in the text. Gorvaran or gorgoran is a sort of silk grogram), and other cloths of all colors, some finer and better than others; a quantity of linen made from grass, called ‘lencensuelo’ (handkerchief). (This fabric is now called Piña); and white cotton cloth of different kinds and qualities, for all uses. They also bring musk, benzoin, and ivory; many bed ornaments, hangings, coverlets, and tapestries of embroidered velvet; damask and gorvaran of different shades; tablecloths, cushions, and carpets; horse-trappings of the same stuff, and embroidered with glass beads and seed-pearls; also some pearls and rubies, sapphires and crystal-stones; metal basins, copper kettles, and other copper and cast-iron pots; quantities of all sorts of nails, sheet-iron, tin and lead; saltpetre and gunpowder. They supply the Spaniards with wheat flour; preserves made of orange, peach, ‘scorzonera,’ pear, nutmeg, and ginger, and other fruits of China; salt pork and other salt meats; live fowls of good breed, and very fine capons; quantities of green fruit, oranges of all kinds; excellent chestnuts, walnuts, pears, and ‘chicueyes’ (both green and dried, a delicious fruit); quantities of fine thread of all kinds, needles, and knick-knacks; little boxes and writing-cases; beds, tables, chairs, and gilded benches, painted in many figures and patterns. They bring domestic buffaloes; geese that resemble swans; horses, some mules and asses; even caged birds, some of which talk, while others sing, and they make them play innumerable tricks. The Chinese furnish numberless other gewgaws and ornaments of little value and worth, which are esteemed among the Spaniards; besides a quantity of fine crockery of all kinds; canganes, (this must be the cloth and not the porcelain of Kaga, which even today is so highly esteemed.—Rizal), sines, and black and blue robes; ‘tacley,’ which are beads of all kinds; strings of cornelians, and other beads and precious stones of all colors; pepper and other spices; and rarities—which, did I refer to them all, I would never finish, nor have sufficient paper for it.” (Ibid., pp. 178–180.)

15 “They also bring some fine woven silk goods of mixed colors; beautiful and finely-decorated screens done in oil and gilt; all kinds of cutlery; many suits of armor, spears, catans, and other weapons, all finely wrought; writing cases, boxes and small cases of wood, japanned and curiously marked; other pretty gewgaws; excellent fresh pears; barrels and casks of good salt tunny; cages of sweet-voiced larks, called “fimbaros;” and other trifles.” (Ibid., p. 183.)

16 ”* * * They take merchandise consisting of spices—cloves, cinnamon, and pepper; slaves, both black and Cafres; cotton cloth of all sorts, fine muslins (caniquies), linens, gauzes, rambuties, and other delicate and precious cloths; amber, and ivory; cloths edged with pita, for use as bed covers; hangings, and rich counterpanes from Vengala (Bengal), Cochin, and other countries; many gilt articles and curiosities; jewels of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, topazes, balas-rubies, and other precious stones, both set and loose; many trinkets and ornaments from India; wine, raisins, and almonds; delicious preserves, and other fruits brought from Portugal and prepared in Goa; carpets and tapestries from Persia and Turquia, made of fine silks and wools; beds, writing-cases, parlor-chairs, and other finely-guilded furniture, made in Macao; needle-work in colors and in white, of chain-lace and royal point lace, and other fancy-work of great beauty and perfection. Purchases of all the above are made in Manila, and paid in reals and gold. The vessels return in January with the brisas, which is their favorite monsoon. They carry to Maluco provisions of rice and wine, crockery-ware, and other wares needed there; while to Malacca they take only the gold or money, besides a few special trinkets and curiosities from España, and emeralds. The royal duties are not collected from these vessels.” (Morga’s Sucesos, 1609.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 16, pp. 184–185.)

17 Ibid., pp. 185–186.

18 Ibid., p. 186.

19 “All of these things (referring to the trade of the Philippines) make life in that region pleasant and an object of desire to men; and indeed it seems a copy of that Tyre so extolled by Ezequiel.” (Relación de las Islas Filipinas, Pedro Chirino.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 13, p. 192.)

“The capital of our colony was, therefore, a few years after the conquest, an emporium of wealth which, by its commercial activity, gained in those seas the title of Pearl of the Orient.” (La Libertad de Comercio, Azcarraga, p. 41.)

“The commerce of these islands began with their second discovery and the first settlement, which was in the year 1565. However, it was at the first scanty and of little weight, until during the government of Guido de Labazarris, in the year 1576, the trade of China was introduced, and with it considerable profits, which extended it freely to Nueva España, Guatimala, Tierrafirme, and Perú, by a royal decree of April 14, 1579.” (Informatory Memorial addressed to the king, Juan Grau y Monfalcon; Madrid, 1637.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 27, pp. 157–158.)

20 “For thirty years after the conquest the commerce of the islands was unrestricted and their prosperity advanced with great rapidity.” (Historical Introduction, E. G. Bourne.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 1, p. 61.)

“As for the second point, the amount of the commerce, this was formerly without any limitation; and during the time (which was short) while that condition lasted the islands acquired what strength and wealth and grandeur they now possess.” (Juan Grau y Monfalcón in Extracto Historial by Antonio Alvarez de Abreu; Madrid, 1736.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 30, p. 50.)

This is the point of view taken by Azcarraga in his La Libertad de Comercio en Filipinas.

21 “In 1603, that is, when our colony had only thirty-two years of existence, there were already in the capital 25,000 Chinese, and the number of Japanese must have been also quite considerable, since they formed a colony which occupied the barrios of San Anton and San Miguel, at present inhabited by natives and a great portion of the white population.” (Azcarraga, La Libertad de Comercio, p. 44.)

22 “37. Accordingly the commerce of this city is extensive, rich, and unusually profitable; for it is carried on by all these Chinese and their ships, with those of all the islands above mentioned and of Tonquin, Cochinchina, Camboja, and Siam—four separate kingdoms, which lie opposite these islands on the continent of Great China—and of the gulfs and the numberless kingdoms of Eastern India, Persia, Bengala, and Ceilan, when there are no wars; and of the empire and kingdom of Xapon. The diversity of the peoples, therefore, who are seen in Manila and its environs is the greatest in the world; for these include men from all kingdoms and nations—España, Francia, Inglaterra, Italia, Flandes, Alemania, Dinamarca, Suecia, Polonia, Moscobia; people from all the Indias, both eastern and western; and Turks, Greeks, Moros, Persians, Tartars, Chinese, Japanese, Africans, and Asiatics. And hardly is there in the four quarters of the world a kingdom, province, or nation which has not representatives here, on account of the voyages that are made hither from all directions—east, west, north, and south.” Description of Filipinas Islands, Bartholomé de Letona, O. S. F.; La Puebla, Mexico, 1662.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 36, p. 205.)


IV. Trade and Commerce: the Period of Restrictions

Hardly had wealth been created by the commerce of the first years after the conquest, when the policy of restriction found its strong supporters in the merchants of Cadiz and Seville, who, accustomed to monopolize the trade with America, looked with jealous eyes upon the rapidly growing prosperity of Manila, the new center of trade. The cotton and silk cloths from China were underselling in Mexico those coming from Spain and Peru, and a good deal of the silver was going, not to Spain, but to the East; hence, the long drawn-out rivalry between Manila, on the one hand, and Cadiz, and Seville, on the other, with America as a third party, also working for her own interest. This commercial activity was the phenomenon which dominated the Philippines for over two centuries, and had such marked influence upon its whole economic development.

Before giving the various decrees passed from time to time to regulate this commerce, it is advisable to discuss the arguments advanced by the two sides. The Spanish merchants contended that the competition of goods coming from the East would destroy the manufactures on the Peninsula; and, further, that the sending of silver to the Orient, would drain the supply available for Spain, and, therefore, in accordance with the mercantilist doctrine, should be prevented. Manila answered by saying that the goods that she exported to New Spain were different from those coming from Spain; therefore, there was really no competition between them. In other words, the demand for either kind of goods was separate from, and independent of, the demand for the other.1 Other arguments were advanced to prove that [51]Manila should be treated with consideration; the driving out of the Dutch from the Moluccas by the Philippine government,2 the preservation of the missionary conquests in the Far East,3 and the maintenance of the prestige of the Spanish crown,4 all of these would result from the maintenance of the Philippines, by making it possible for her to support herself with the galleon trade. These, added to the fact that the trade with New Spain was not so profitable as commonly reported5 on account of the many perils involved in it, entitled Manila to a more liberal treatment.



The continued protests of the Spanish merchants finally led to the prohibition of the shipment from New [52]Spain to Perú or Tierra-Firme of Chinese cloths brought from the Philippines.6 “And in order that what was prohibited in one way might not be obtained in another, decrees were despatched on February 6 and December 18, 1591, ordering the total cessation of commerce between the islands and Perú. That was later extended to Tierra-Firme and Guatimala, by decrees of January 12, 1593, and July 5, 1595, forbidding the trade of China and its merchandise to all the Indias, except to Nueva España, which was left open to the Philippines.”7 In 1593 a decree absolutely limited the trade between Mexico and the Philippines to 250,000 pesos annually for the exports to Mexico, and to 500,000 pesos for the imports from Mexico,8 to be carried in two ships not to exceed three hundred tons burden.9 It was also decreed that “no person trade or traffic in the kingdom or in any part of China, and that no goods be shipped from that kingdom to the Philippine Islands, on the account of the merchants of those islands. The Chinese themselves shall convey their goods at their own account and risk, and sell them there by wholesale.”10 Further, it was ordered that “the Chinese merchandise and articles which have been and shall be shipped from Filipinas to Nueva España, can and shall be consumed there only, or shipped to these kingdoms after paying the duties. They can not be taken to Perú, Tierra-Firme, or any other part of the Indias, under penalty of confiscation....”11

“Fortunately,” says Azcarraga,12 “that tyrannical provision, meeting with the opposition of the private interests, which it so greatly injured, and among which were included those of the authorities and officials who were called upon to enforce it—was prevented from being [53]carried in force, and thus, in reality, the Acapulco trade continued unlimited until the year 1604, when, by another decree the enforcement of previous laws was ordered.”13 However, evasion of the law was a common practice, and the galleons usually carried very much more cargo than was allowed. The abuses became so apparent that in 1635, at the instigation of the merchants of Cadiz and Seville, a special commissioner was sent to Manila,14 who strictly enforced the law. And, in order to prevent all evasions of the law, it was decreed in 1636 to the viceroys of Perú and New Spain “to prohibit and suppress, without fail, this commerce and trade between both kingdoms, by all the ways and means possible.”15

The rest of the seventeenth century found Manila still engaged in a great commercial controversy with the merchants of Spain; the endless number of petitions sent from the Philippines to the king bears ample testimony to the magnitude of the problem.16

Further petition from Manila resulted in the decreeing in 1702 that in the Philippine Islands two ships should be built, each of 500 toneladas burden, which should transport the goods permitted to that trade; that the citizens should be authorized to convey in these to Nueva España the amount of 300,000 pesos in their products and other commodities, and on the return to the Philippines to carry 600,000 pesos in silver, allowing 100 per cent gain minus the duties and expenses.17 It was [54]further provided in the decree that in the enumeration of the traders should be included the Spaniards in the country, and the military men stationed in the port of Cavite, excluding, however, ecclessiatical ministers, whether secular or regular, and foreigners.18 And he who had no goods to lade was not allowed to give up his right in favor of a third person, but a new distribution was made.19

Induced by protests by Cadiz and Seville based on the ground that the galleons carried more cargo than allowed, and that the great abundance of silk in America had caused the decrease of the textile industry, thus causing the decline of factories in Toledo, Valencia, Seville, and Granada, a royal decree of January 8, 1718, prohibited the carrying in the galleon of silk, woven or raw, from China.20 The only trade which could be carried on was in linen goods, porcelain, wax, cinnamon, cloves, and other goods which were not brought from Spain.21

More petitions came from Manila, and, finally, a royal decree of June 17, 1724, repealed that of 1720, and allowed [55]once more the importation of Chinese silk.22 An attempt on the part of the Viceroy of Mexico to put a stop to the importation of Chinese silk resulted in the royal decree of April 8, 1734, which, besides allowing trade in silk, increased the amount of the trade permitted to Manila to 500,000 pesos of investment and 1,000,000 of returns.23

The galleon trade continued during the rest of the eighteenth century, until 1811 when the last galleon sailed from Manila, and 1815, when the final return voyage was made. The next period in the history of Philippine commerce is characterized by the opening of the country to foreign influence.

Before, however, going into the next period let us see who were entitled to participate in the galleon trade. The right to ship was known as boleta or ticket, and there were as many boletas as divisions in the ship. On the average there were 1,500 such divisions, each worth from 200 to 225 pesos, a good portion of which were given to the governor-general, the religious corporations, the regidores, the favorites and privileged, and the widows of retired Spaniards. Those who had no capital to invest in merchandise sold their boletas to the merchants, and in spite of prohibition, this practice continued with impunity. The cargo consisted chiefly of Chinese and Indian silk and cotton cloths, and gold ornaments, and were sold at one hundred per cent profit in New Spain.24 Almost all the merchants secured [56]loans from the “Obras Pias,”25 which were funds donated for pious purposes, and two-thirds of which loaned at the following rate of interest: for Acapulco, fifty per cent; for China, twenty-five per cent; for India, thirty-five per cent; the rest of the funds formed the reserve. Besides the merchandise and silver the galleons transported the official correspondence, arms, troops, missionaries, and public officials. The officers of the galleon were highly paid. The commander, who had [57]the title of general, made 40,000 pesos per voyage, the pilot about 20,000,26 and the mates, 9,000 each. Most of the crew were natives.27


Effects of the galleon trade

What were the effects of the Manila-Acapulco trade upon the economic growth of the Philippines? There are two answers to this question. On the one hand, those who believe that the policy of restriction was necessary in order to protect the industries of Spain, of course, say that such policy was beneficial. Furthermore, it is alleged that no other economic activity could have been possible during the early part of Spanish [58]domination because, at the time, there were no products of the country which would serve as the basis of a rich and flourishing commerce; there was no capital sufficient to exploit the natural resources of the Philippines. And to show that Manila was benefited by acting as a distributing point of Oriental goods, the prosperity of Singapore and Hongkong is cited; what prosperity would these cities enjoy if it were not for the fact that they act as entrepots of the East?28 The very retention of the Philippines depended upon its ability to support itself in part, and the profits from the trade as a whole made that possible.

On the other hand, the galleon trade absorbed too much of the attention of the Spaniards,29 and caused the neglect of Philippine extractive industries, especially agriculture.30 It attracted the Spaniards into Manila, and, thus, left the rest of the country without the benefit [59]of whatever good they could have done; and in Cebu, the point was reached when, at one time, there was not a sufficient number of persons to fill the offices of alcalde and regidores, and it was necessary to assign to the city a few boletas from Manila.31 Lastly, it enriched only the few,32 [60]and the resulting economic depression checked the growth of population.33

Not everything, however, is to be attributed to the influence of the galleon trade; a good deal of the neglect of the country’s natural resources was due to Spanish dislike of industrial activity. Azcarraga explains that characteristic by saying that the eight centuries of continuous struggle to drive out the Moors from Spain created a chivalrous spirit and a love of risky undertakings; the discovery of the New World furnished a wide sphere of action to that adventurous spirit, and the resulting emigration to the newly discovered lands depopulated the Peninsula to such an extent that labor could be had neither for the factories nor for agriculture. “The current of precious metals flowing into Spain from the mines of Mexico and Perú fascinated the Spaniards; [61]created easy-going and indolent habits; held them off the mechanical arts, formerly called servile, and all desired to gird the word and enjoy the spoils of conquest.”34 This was the real cause of the decadence of Spanish industries, and not, as alleged by the monopolists of Spain, the competition of the Manila-Acapulco trade. With such causes operating to check development, it is no wonder that Philippine industries were in a primitive state down to the last years of Spanish domination. [62]

1 “Number 96. Distinctions in products from the islands, and their qualities with respect to those of España.

“All these products that are trafficked from the islands are divided into six (sic) classes. The first is of silk, in skeins, thread, and trama. The second, the silk textiles. The third, the cotton textiles. The fourth, the products of the islands. The fifth, other small wares and articles that are brought. Of these, the last class amounts to but little, and is not harmful to the commerce of España, as it is composed of rarities and foreign products. The fourth class, namely, that of the products of the islands, by that very fact ought to be exported—a claim that is founded on justice; since it is not usual to prohibit to any province its own trade, and the exportation of its products wherever they may have a sale, even though foreign commerce be denied to it. Besides, this sort has the characteristic of the third, namely, that these wares are so cheap that their like cannot be supplied from España, as has been said, on account of the great difference of their prices. (In the margin: “In number 95.”) Hence, the wares of these kingdoms would not be used any more, even did those of the islands fail; nor less, even if there were an over-supply. For the Indians and negroes care only for the linens of China and Filipinas, and, if they do not have them, they get along without them; for they have no wealth to give eight reals for what costs them one and one-half reals. One thousand bales of linen which is shipped from Sevilla in each trading fleet always finds a sale, and no more can be carried (to Nueva España)—because that would create a lack in España, and it would, moreover, be too advantageous to the foreigners, to whom almost all this commodity belongs. Two thousand bales of cotton textiles exported from Manila are also consumed (there); and the fact that there is less or more does not cause any considerable loss in the linen made from flax and hemp, nor does it involve much money; for the two thousand bales of cotton are worth one hundred and fifty thousand pesos, while one thousand of fine linen are worth more than one million.” (Informatory Memorial addressed to the King, Juan Grau y Monfalcon, Procurator General; Madrid, 1637.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 27, pp. 200–201.)

2 Ibid., pp. 98–104.

3 Ibid., pp. 115–116.

4 Ibid., pp. 120.

5 Ibid., pp. 186–197.

6 Ibid., p. 158.

7 Ibid.

8 Recopilación de Leyes, Lib. IX, Tit. XXXV, Ley VI. In Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, pp. 30–31. Jan. 11, 1593.

9 Ibid., Ley XV.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, pp. 31–32. Jan. 11, 1593.

10 Ibid., Ley XXXIV.—Bl.and Rb., Vol. 17, p. 32. Jan. 11, 1593.

11 Ibid., Ley LXVIII.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, p. 33. Jan. 11, 1593.

12 La Libertad de Comercio, p. 49.

13 Recopilación, Lib IX, Tit. XXXV, Leyes LXXIV, LXXV, and LXXVI.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, pp. 42–44.

14 Pedro Quiroga.

15 Recopilación, ibid., Ley LXXVIII.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 17, pp. 44–45.

16 As to the effect of these restrictions Azcarraga says: “* * * thus, at the end of that century, there was nothing but poverty and discontent in the city; the white population had hardly increased; commerce, confined within the narrow sphere of periodic voyages to Acapulco, was languishing, without attempting to engage in any other kind of traffic; and poverty was reflected even in the very troops stationed in the city, who did duty unshod and without uniform (camisa), frequently committing robberies at the Chinese stores. * * *” (La Libertad, p. 54.)

17 Extracto Historial, Antonio Alvarez de Abreu.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 44, p. 231.

18 Ibid., p. 236.

19 Ibid., p. 232.

20 Ibid., pp. 256–258.

Also Azcarraga, La Libertad, pp. 58–59.

21 Royal decree of October 27, 1720, enforcing that of 1718, provides further that: “The values of the lading which the said ships are to carry from the Philippines to the port of Acapulco may be up to the amount of 300,000 pesos, which must come invested strictly and solely in the following kinds of merchandise: gold, cinnamon, elephants, wax, porcelain, cloves, pepper, cambayas, and linens woven with colors (lienzos pintados), chitas, chintzes, gauzes, lampotes, Hilocos blankets, silk floss and raw silk spun, cordage, and other commodities which are not silks.” These ships are prohibited from carrying silken fabrics, “satins, pitiflores, velvets, damasks, Pekin silks (Pequines), sayasayas, brocades, plain satins, grograms, taffetas; silver and gold brocades; embroidered pieces of silk stuff for (covers of) beds, the (hangings for) drawing-rooms (estrados), and women’s petticoats; silken gauzes flowered with gold and silver; pattern pieces for petticoats, figured or embroidered; dressing-gowns, chimones, or made-up garments; hose, ribbons, or handkerchiefs; or any fabric which contains silk.” (Commerce in the Philippines with Nueva España, 1640–1736, by Antonio Alvarez de Abreu; Madrid, 1736. (From Extracto Historial.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 44, pp. 266–268.)

22 Ibid., p. 306.

23 Extracto Historial, Antonio Alvarez de Abreu.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 45, pp. 57–59.

24 For a detailed list of the goods sent to Mexico, and as to what was done with them there, see Informatory Memorial addressed to the King, Juan Grau y Monfalcon, 1637.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 27, pp. 198–200.

“Number 95. Trade of the islands necessary in Nueva España, because of their goods.

“In regard to the first part, which pertain to the merchandise, the trade of the Filipinas is so necessary today in Nueva España, that the latter country finds it as difficult as do the islands to get along without that trade; and its lack cannot be supplied with merchandise from these kingdoms. The wares taken to Acapulco are plain and figured velvets, satins, and damasks; grograms, taffetas, and picotes; headdresses and stockings; silk, loose and twisted, in skeins, that reeled on spindles, and woven; thread; tramas, plushes, and other silk stuffs and textiles. Of cotton, there are sinavafas, fine glazed buckrams (bocacies), glazed linen (olandilla), fine muslins (canequies), and semianas; and of cotton and silk, beds, curtains, coverlets, quilts, and other pieces. (They also carry) civet, musk, and amber; gold and pearls; crockery-ware, cabinets, and articles made of wood and other things; and the products of the islands themselves, of which mention has been made (in the margin: “In number 15”). But the bulk of the commerce is reduced to the silk and cotton textiles; for there is but little else that is rare or elegant, or that has much export. From the skeined silk, and the silk thread, and trama are manufactured in Nueva España velvets, veils, headdresses, passementeries, and many taffetas, which were taken to Perú when there were ships that went to Callao, and to other parts of the Indias—where the black, brown, and silver-colored goods that are sent from Sevilla do not arrive in good shape, because the sea rots them. It is known that the skein silk of China is more even and elegant for delicate and smooth fabrics than is the Misteca which is produced in that kingdom; besides that, there is less of the latter kind than is necessary in the country. By this trade and manufacture, more than fourteen thousand persons support themselves in Mexico, La Puebla, and Antequera, by their looms, the whole thing being approved by royal decrees. Of the cotton textiles, linens (lienzos) are used in Nueva España more than any other stuff, as they are so cheap that they sell for one and one-half or two reals per vara. Therefore, they are desired by the Indians and negroes; and when these are lacking, even though there should be an over-supply of the linens of Europa, they do not want them or use them, as those are dear and not so much used by them; and they get along with their own cloths from Campeche or La Guasteca, and others that they weave.”

25 “The basis of it was, and is, the funds called “Obras Pías” (Pious Works). These are funds under various denominations, whose origin was the piety of well-meaning Spaniards, who dying rich have bequeathed large sums for the purpose of lending to deserving traders to commerce or continue their career with. The administration of these is confided to various religious and charitable institutions, or to civil associations—the trustees forming a board, at which the sums to be lent, etc., are determined. Their statutes differ in many unessential points; but their general tenor is the same, viz., that sums not exceeding two-thirds of the fund shall be lent on respondentia at certain rates of interest, which are fixed according to the risk of the voyages; and these, when repaid, shall be added, principal and interest, to the original fund. The interests are 25 per cent. to Acapulco, 15 to Bengal, and so in proportion. The total of the capitals of these establishments (there are 12 or 14 of them), amounted to about three millions and a half of dollars in 1820, of which about two millions are due to the funds on various risks, principally those of New Spain: of this the major part is considered as lost by those best qualified to judge of the subject.

“The principal employ of these funds has been in the commerce to Acapulco; and from the facility with which capital was procured, the excessive gambling spirit which this introduced, as well as the system of mutual accommodations from the trustees of different funds, and the utter absence of the wholesome restraint of public examinations of their accounts, it has resulted that more harm than good has been done by these establishments. The original intentions are entirely perverted, a few small sums being lent to young adventurers (when they have powerful friends), but far the greatest part is employed by the trustees themselves under the name of a relation or friend.” (Remarks on the Philippine Islands, and their capital Manila, 1819–1822, by an Englishman.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 51, pp. 148–149.)

26 Zuñiga, Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas.

Historia General de Filipinas, José Montero y Vidal, Chapter XXVIII.

27 It is represented that the seamen are allowed to carry each 30 pesos’ worth of goods as a private investment, in order to encourage Spaniards to enter the marine service; but this ought to be increased to 300 pesos (the allowance made to the men on the fleets that go to the Indias), for more Spaniards are needed on the Acapulco trade-route—hardly one-third of the men on the galleon being of Spanish birth, the rest being Indians—and on the rivera of Cavite.” Extracto Historial, Antonio Alvarez Abreu, 1736.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 44, Pp. 307–308.

28 Azcarraga, La Libertad, pp. 81–95.

29 “This trade and commerce is so great and profitable, and easy to control—for it only lasts three months in the year, from the time of the arrival of the ships with their merchandise, until those vessels that go to Nueva España take that merchandise—that the Spaniards do not apply themselves to, or engage in, any other industry. Consequently, there is no husbandry or field-labor worthy of consideration. Neither do the Spaniards work the gold mines or placers, which are numerous. They do not engage in many other industries that they could turn to with great profit, if the Chinese trade should fail them. That trade has been very hurtful and prejudicial in this respect, as well as for the occupations and farm industries in which the natives used to engage. Now the latter are abandoning and forgetting those labors. Besides, there is the great harm and loss resulting from the immense amount of silver that passes annually by this way (of the trade), into the possession of infidels, which can never, by any way, return into the possession of the Spaniards.” (Morga’s Sucesos.—Bl. and Rb. Vol. 16, p. 187).

“When, without risking any capital of his own, the merchant might thus share the enormous profits of this trade, with no more exertion than signing the invoices and letters (they were written by Indian clerks), and receiving the treasure on the return of the vessel, it is not surprising that for nearly two centuries they neglected all the other commercial advantages which surrounded them, or that such a commerce produced such merchants; the history of it and of them for that period may be confined to a few words:—they were agents of the merchants of Madras and Bengal, receiving and shipping their goods, and returning their proceeds, while their profits were confined to a large commission on them.” (Remarks on the Philippine Islands and on their capital Manila, 1819–1822, by an Englishman.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 51, p. 150.)

30 ”... This I say, then, Sire, that it is a most pitiable thing that there is not a man in all these Philippine Islands—Spaniard, or of any other nation—saving some religious, who make their principal aim and intent the conversion of these heathen, or the increase of the Christian faith; but they are only moved by their own interests and seek to enrich themselves, and if it happened that the welfare of the natives was an obstacle to this they would not hesitate, if they could, to kill them all in exchange for their temporal profit. And since this is so, what can your Majesty expect will happen if this continues? From this inordinate greed arises the violation of your Majesty’s decrees and mandates, as everyone is a merchant and trader—and none more so than the governor, who has this year brought ruin upon the country. There comes each year from Nueva España a million in money, contrary to the mandate of your Majesty, all of which passes on to the heathen of China. From here, in violation of your Majesty’s decrees, cargoes are loaded for the Peruvians and the merchants of Mexico, without leaving room for those of this country—especially the poor, who are unable to secure any interest therein except for a wretched bundle which is allowed them as a cargo. If I were to go into the multitude of evils which are connected with this, I should have to proceed ad infinitum.” (Letters from the archbishop of Manila to Felipe II; Ignacio de Santibañez; Manila, June 24 and 26, (1598);—Bl and Rb. Vol 10, p. 145.)

31 Azcarraga: La Libertad, p. 68.

32 “By this system for two centuries the South American market for manufactures was reserved exclusively for Spain, but the protection did not prevent Spanish industry from decay and did retard the well-being and progress of South America. Between Mexico and the Philippines a limited trade was allowed, the profits of which were the perquisites of the Spaniards living in the Philippines and contributed to the religious endowments. But this monopoly was of no permanent advantage to the Spanish residents. It was too much like stock-jobbing, and sapped all spirit of industry. Zúñiga says that the commerce made a few rich in a short time and with little labor, but they were very few; that there were hardly five Spaniards in Manila worth $100,000, nor a hundred worth $40,000, the rest either lived on the King’s pay or in poverty. ‘Every morning one could see on the streets of Manila, in greatest poverty and asking alms, the sons of men who had made a fine show and left much money, which their sons had squandered because they had not been well trained in youth.’ The great possibilities of Manila as an entrepôt of the Asiatic trade were unrealized; for although the city enjoyed open trade with the Chinese, Japanese, and other orientals, it was denied to Europeans and the growth of that conducted by the Chinese and others was always obstructed by the lack of return cargoes owing to the limitations placed upon the trade with America and to the disinclination of the Filipinos to work to produce more than was enough to insure them a comfortable living and pay their tributes. That the system was detrimental to the economic progress of the islands was always obvious and its evils were repeatedly demonstrated by Spanish officials. Further it was not only detrimental to the prosperity of the islands but it obstructed the development of Mexico.” (Historical Introduction, by Edward Gaylord Bourne.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 1, pp. 67–68.)

33 “Trade between America and the Far East all passed for a time through the port of Manila. This commerce was greatly desired by the Spanish colonists of Mexico, Perú, and Chile, but the selfish and rapacious merchants of Spain so influenced the policy of the mother country as to throttle this trading and prevent for more than two hundred years the legitimate development of the islands. From the early part of the seventeenth century until 1837 the Philippines were in the grasp of a protective monopoly, which not only prevented the productive development of the soil, but kept the Filipinos down to those necessarily restricted numbers which attend a population that raises nothing in excess of its daily needs. If there is one thing to be learned from this and every other study of increase of population in a fertile and tropical country it is that population increases in exact proportion to the agricultural production and export.” (Dr. D. P. Barrows, in Philippine Census, 1903, Vol. 1, p. 247.)

34 ”* * * All thrifty activity was regarded as despicable. No trader had a seat in the Cortes of Aragon. As late as 1781 the Academy of Madrid was obliged to offer as the subject for a prize essay the proposition that there was nothing derogatory in the useful arts. Every tradesman and manufacturer sought only to make enough money to enable him to live on the interest of it or to establish a trust fund for his family. If he was successful he either entered a cloister or went to another province in order to pass for a noble. In Cervantes we find the maxim: ‘Whoever wishes to make his fortune seeks the church, the sea (i. e., service in America), or the king’s house.’ The highest ambition of the nation in its golden age was to be to Europe just what the nobility, the clergy, and the army were to single nations. Consequently there was an enormous preponderance of personal service in the industrial organism, and much of this was purely for ostentation. Nowhere in the world were there so many nobles, so many officers, civil and military, so many lawyers and clerks, priests and monks, so many students and school-boys, with their servants. But as truly, nowhere in the world were there so many beggars and vagabonds.” (The Spanish Colonial System, by Wilhelm Roscher, pp. 3–4.)


V. The Nineteenth Century and Economic Development

Towards the close of the eighteenth century there were events which indicated the coming of greater liberty. Direct communication was established in 1765 between Manila and Spain by means of a warship which was to sail annually from Cadiz, with European goods, and to come back loaded, not only with the products of the Philippines, but also with Oriental merchandise, including goods from China and Japan. However, the innovation was not well received in Manila, due perhaps to the monopolistic habit of the merchants, and, in 1783, these annual voyages were discontinued.1

The coming of Governor José de Basco y Vargas marked a new era in the economic history of the country, for two important events happened during his term: the establishment of the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del Pais, in 1781, and of the Real Compañía de Filipinas, in 1785. These may be considered to be the most serious attempts of Spain throughout her rule, to develop the natural resources of the Philippines.


The Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País.

Basco’s idea was to make the Philippines economically self-sufficing, and not dependent on Mexico. For this reason, he encouraged the development of agriculture by offering prizes to those who would excel in the cultivation of cotton, spices, sugar and silk; those who would open up the various kinds of mines; those who invented useful things, and those who excelled in the arts and sciences. Likewise, he issued circulars and pamphlets explaining the method of cultivating the different Philippine crops. In order to get the community’s co-operation in carrying out his economic plan, he induced the King to issue a decree establishing the Economic Society. In spite of serious opposition on the part of many, the society was auspiciously inaugurated in 1782. It seemed, however, as if Basco’s ideas were too advanced for his time, for the society led a declining life up to 1822. A memoir published [63]by the Society2, and containing a list of its achievements, shows its activity to have consisted of discussions of economic subjects; the publication of pamphlets dealing with the cultivation of coffee, sugar, indigo, silk, gutta-percha, hemp, cacao, and other plants; the offering of prizes to persons who succeeded in weaving cloths, making dyes, inventing hemp-stripping machines, and contributing other useful things to agriculture; and the introduction of agricultural implements of various kinds from the United States. The Society lived for over a century, till 1890. Another means resorted to by Basco to free the Philippines from its dependence on Mexico was the establishment of the tobacco monopoly by the government. This proved to be a good source of revenue, and, at the same time, was instrumental in bringing into cultivation large tracts of land. However, the evils attending it were many; the abuses of the government officials in enforcing the regulations, and in trying to make profits for themselves; the lack of incentive on the part of the producer to improve the quality of his tobacco; the existence of smuggling and bribery, and the poverty of the farmer; all these were attributed to the tobacco monopoly.3


The Royal Company.

The second important event during Basco’s rule was the establishment of the “Real Compañía de Filipinas” by royal decrece of March 10, 1785. The capital of the company was fixed at eight million pesos divided into 32,000 shares of two hundred and fifty pesos each; the king bought four thousand shares, and the citizens of Manila were allowed three thousand. The [64]chief object of the company was to establish commercial relations among the different colonies, and also between the colonies and Spain; to supply Manila with the products of Europe, and, in return, to carry to Spain not only the products of the Philippines, but also the merchandise coming from the Oriental countries. The second important object was the encouragement of Philippine agriculture, as shown in section four of the charter, which required the company to invest four per cent. of its net profits in some extractive industries, chiefly agriculture. In order to help the company, all the laws and decrees which prohibited the importation of Oriental cloths into Spain, were repealed, and the products of the Philippines were exempted from all kinds of duties both in Manila and in Spain. Furthermore, the merchants of Manila were allowed to go to the Asiatic ports for trade, and the Chinese who came to Manila were allowed to trade freely without subjecting themselves to any restrictions. However, the old Manila-Acapulco trade was not to be disturbed, for the company could not send ships to Acapulco.

The company encouraged the production of silk,4 [65]indigo,5 sugar,6 cotton,7 and especially of pepper and other spices. For this purpose it bought lands, established posts in Ilocos, Bataan, Cavite, and Camarines, and offered prizes. It also gave stimulus to manufacturing by establishing textile factories.

In spite of the special protection and privileges granted to the company, it declined from year to year. In 1805 it was rechartered, and given fifteen years of life and the same privileges as before; its capital was fixed at twelve and a half million pesos divided into shares of two hundred and fifty pesos each; foreigners were allowed to own [66]shares; and the ships were allowed to sail directly from the Asiatic ports without stopping at Manila; and finally the three-year privilege,8 allowed to foreigners at the request of the company in 1789, of importing into Manila Asiatic goods, and exporting the products of the country, was made perpetual. In 1830 its privileges were revoked, and Manila was left open to foreign commerce and navigation.

What were the causes that led to the ill success of the Royal Company? Among the minor causes mentioned was the indifference of the residents of the Philippines; for, as Zuñiga says,9 “taught to gain in New Spain what is necessary for their comfort, without any more work than sending a memorial once every year, it is hard for them to engage in a commerce which is servile and vexatious; and, accustomed to exorbitant profits, they cannot adapt themselves to the gradual profits in a store; * * *. Furthermore, the company neglected to import the goods from Europe, such as wines and groceries, which the foreign ships brought at great profit.”

It also failed to establish direct trade relations with China and India, but depended solely on buying the goods which were brought there by the Chinese and other foreign traders; hence, it had to pay higher prices for the Oriental goods it sent to Europe. The company, too, overestimated the importance of certain Philippine products, especially spices, which were produced much more cheaply in Sumatra and Java. Though allowed to invest only four per cent of its net profits in agriculture during the first years of its existence, it invested great sums in buying lands, made advances to the producers; in other words, it engaged in much speculation, which proved disastrous. It also gave premature attention to the development of manufacturing. The chief cause, however, of the failure of the company was the fact that it was not given control of the Manila-Acapulco trade, [67]which continued to absorb the attention of the very men, who, because of experience in the country, would have helped the Company during its formative years.10

According to Dr. Tavera, the Royal Company introduced capital, which was essential for economic development.11


The opening of the ports.

Even before the coming of Basco, the taking of Manila by the English in 1762 had a good economic effect, for it acquainted England with the natural resources of the Philippines, and the possibilities for material development.12 Perhaps as a result of the information thus gained, we find an English commercial house obtaining permission to establish itself in Manila in 1809. And in 1814, probably due to the liberalizing influence of the [68]war of independence just closed in Spain, it was stipulated that all colonial ports still restricted should be opened to foreign traffic, and that foreigners should be allowed to enter, and engage in commercial activities; thus was swept away the restrictive colonial policy, which had prevailed among the European nations, and which Spain was the very last to abandon. In the beginning, however, there was need of special royal permission for each foreign house established. Later on the permission of the Governor General only sufficed.13 An earlier edict of the Philippine government, repeated in 1828 and again in 1840, forbade foreigners to sell at retail or to enter the provinces to carry on business of any kind.14 In 1842 there were in Manila thirty-nine Spanish shipping and commercial houses, and about a dozen foreign houses, of which seven or eight were English, [69]two were Americans, one was French, and another Danish, while consuls of France, the United States, Denmark, Sweden, and Belgium resided there.15 By about 1859, according to Bowring, there were in Manila seven English, three American, two French, two Swiss, and one German commercial establishments; and in the other ports, there was no European business house, except one in Iloilo, where there was an English firm of which the British vice-consul was the directing partner.16

Once Manila was opened, the advocates of greater freedom did not rest content with only one free port, because there were great difficulties in connection with the exportation of products from the places far from Manila. The products of the Ilocano provinces, southern Luzon, and the Visayas, and even Mindanao, had all to be taken to Manila, and from there, exported. Thus, the system entailed unnecessary risks, waste of time, and extra expense.17 Accordingly, at the request of the government of the Philippines, Royal Order of September 29, 1855, approved the opening of the ports of Sual (Pangasinan), Iloilo, and Zamboanga. And lastly, by Royal Decree of July 30, 1860, Cebu, which up to that time was obliged to send her products for exportation either to Manila or Iloilo, was opened.


Effects of the opening of the ports.

Taking the increase of exports as an indication of greater agricultural and commercial activity, we find that, with the opening of the ports, exports increased; [70]and these now consisted of the products of the country, instead of manufactured goods brought from elsewhere in the Orient.18 By 1839, the Philippines exported 2,674,220 pesos of her own products, as against 500,000 pesos in 1810.19 Sugar in 1782, was the only product which was attracting any attention, because at the time, thirty-thousand piculs of it had been exported; in 1840, 146,661 piculs were exported; in 1854 the amount had increased to 566,371, almost four times greater than in 1840; and in 1857 the amount reached 714,059 piculs.20 Similarly, the amount of hemp exported increased, in spite of the fact that it found its way in the world’s market for the first time only in the early part of the nineteenth century.21 [71]

The same effect that was observed in connection with the opening of Manila followed that of the other ports. The production of the regions around the new ports increased as shown by export statistics, and commercial activity was stimulated, as shown in the greater movement of ships. For example, Sual in 1857 sent abroad twelve ships with rice, and two hundred and twenty-five ships to Manila, also loaded with rice; in 1860, sixty ships went abroad, and one hundred and seventy-two to Manila, loaded mostly with the same cargo. Again, although in the first three or four years there were no marked increase in her exports, Iloilo by 1859 began to show signs of increasing productivity.22 Its total value of exports, which in 1858 amounted to 82,000 pesos, had increased to 1,000,000 pesos in 1863.

Furthermore, the opening of Iloilo encouraged production in the island of Negros. Previous to the new era the conditions there were described thus: “... before the happy event that we are considering, that island was uncultivated, thinly populated, and above all, without any kind of production to keep commerce alive; besides the Governor, the Alcalde mayor, and the curates sent by the religious orders, there were no other Spaniards; only one European, a French doctor by the name of Gaston, had settled there, cultivating sugar cane, and now and then sending some cargoes to Manila.23 Again, Jagor tells us that in 1857 there was not one iron mill to be found on the island; and that in working with the wooden mill, about 30% of the sap remained in the cane, even after it had been thrice passed through. However, the old wooden presses were disappearing, and were being supplanted by iron mills run by steam or carabao. These mills the natives had [72]no difficulty in obtaining because they could get them on credit from the warehouses of the English importers. Instead of the old Chinese cast-iron pans which were in use, far superior articles had been imported from Europe; and many large factories worked by steam power and with all modern improvements had been established. In agriculture, likewise, great progress was noticeable. Improved plows, carts, and good farming implements generally were to be had in plenty.24 After the opening, the 4,000 piculs of sugar produced in Negros in 1856 had increased to 100,000 in 1864 for exportation; there were 25 Europeans in the same year, 7 machines run by steam in the towns of Bacolod, Minuluan, and Bago, and 45 run by animal power. Similar advance characterized the other parts of the islands.25

The increased production, due to the improved methods of cultivation, had a great effect on the inhabitants of the islands, for, not only did it bring about greater welfare because of more adequate satisfaction of their necessities, but also because it developed a demand for other necessities; hence, raising the standard of living. Referring to the same phenomenon in Iloilo Mr. Loney in a report as vice-consul of Great Britain, said that the current testimony of all the elder residents in the province was that during the last few years a very marked change had taken place in the dress and general exterior appearance of the inhabitants of the large pueblos, owing [73]in great measure to the comparative facility with which they obtained articles which were formerly either not imported, or the price of which placed them beyond their reach. In the interior of the houses the same change was observable in the furniture and other arrangements, and the evident wish to add ornamental to the more necessary articles of household use.26

And since the opening of the ports, a great many people, especially mestizos, who before traded in manufactured goods purchased in Manila, abandoned their business, and, unable to compete with the Chinese dealers, had betaken themselves to the raising of sugar, and other products to the great benefit of the country.27 And, thus, the greater exploitation of natural resources gave rise to the demand for better means of communication,28 and other material improvements.

The material progress of the Filipinos wrought great changes in the social population, mind, and structure. Though not affecting the majority of the people, economic advance paved the way for the development of the spirit of independence and criticism, which characterizes an independent and stable middle class. It was [74]that class, which, because of contact with the new ideas brought by the newcomers, and of increasing material power, first questioned the abuses of the government, and demanded social reforms.29

Furthermore, the law that all the energy in the growth and activity of a population is derived from the physical world, and hence, density of population is dependent on material progress, is well illustrated by the increase of population in this country during the last century, especially its first half.30 In turn, density of population made possible further social progress.31 [75]



Why is it that writers attribute great significance to the coming of the foreign business men, especially the American and British?32 Why was it that the opening of the ports, and the coming of the foreigners, resulted in the material progress of the country? Two circumstances are of prime importance in considering the growth of new settlements, and the conditions determining their economic and social progress. The first is whether or not they possess markets for commodities which their natural resources enable the people to produce easily. This condition is important for, without markets in other communities new countries can possess no material advantage over old ones in the production of wealth. Now, the opening of Philippine ports to foreigners brought our products in contact with the world’s market, without which it would have been useless to attempt to produce any more than what was required by the local demand. In other words, the world’s demand for the commodities we produce easily, served as an effective stimulus to further production. [76]

The second circumstance affecting the growth of a new country is the extent to which the people are able to secure the co-operation of capital from older communities to assist them. There are several ways by which capital may co-operate in the development of a new territory. The first is, where capital in the form of stocks of commodities of all kinds is advanced or sold upon credit by the commercial houses. This has been used in this country. The example of Mr. Nicholas Loney, an Englishman, agreeing to be paid for his sugar machineries with the increased earnings due to the use, by the Filipino planters, of such machines, is a good illustration of how foreign capital could be utilized to advantage by all parties concerned. On the one hand, the planter improved his method of cultivation, thereby increasing his produce, and, on the other, the foreign merchant sold more of his imported machineries, and exported more of the products of the Philippines to his country.33 Furthermore, labor is not without some benefit, for the payment of higher wages is then possible. The second way by which capital may co-operate is by providing transportation facilities to connect a new country with the markets, and especially with those so necessary to [77]its prosperity; for example, by organizing steamboat companies, building important roads, and, above all, constructing railroads. This also was done in this country; the building of the Manila-Dagupan railroad, for example, has had a remarkable influence upon the economic progress of the provinces through which it passed.

Thus is explained why it is that the opening of the Philippines to the outside world caused great social changes.

1 Azcarraga, pp. 117–118.

2 See Bl. and Rb., Vol. 52, pp. 307–322. Also Vidal, Historia General de Filipinas, Vol. 2, pp. 285–297; Mas, Informe Sobre el Estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842, part II, pp. 28–31; and the Boletin de la Sociedad Económica for the different years.

3 Jagor, Travels in the Philippines, chapter 25.

Memoria Sobre el Desestanco del Tabaco en las Islas Filipinas, José Jimeno Agius, Manila, 1871.

4 ”* * * at the time of Basco there were in Camarines four and a half million mulberry trees, and this was one of the results of the industrious administration of that famous governor, and of the first patriotic attempts of the Economic Society, so ably aided by the alcalde mayor, Don Martin Ballesteros, who later became factor of the Company in said province. At the request of the Society the first seeds were sent to Manila in 1780 by an Augustinian by the name of Fray Pedro Galiano; the director of the Company decided at all cost to stimulate this production, by advancing big sums * * (and) thought of introducing Chinese laborers for this purpose, and even proposed to bring over families from Granada, Valencia, and Murcia, well acquainted with this kind of industry; and, according to report of those agents, the first crops gave good results because of the continuous sprouting of the leaves, possibly the harvesting of even nine crops in each year. They were assured too, that according to Chinese experts, the silk of the country was inferior to that of Nanking, but very much superior to that of Canton.” (Azcarraga, p. 133.)

5 “The cultivation of the indigo had already been encouraged and improved by another Augustinian, Fray Matias Octavo, with the generous aid of a worthy merchant of Manila, Don Diego Garcia Herreros, applying the method then used at Guatemala; (thus) it was possible in 1784 to make a shipment, by the warship Asuncion, which found a good market in Cadiz. With these antecedents, the Company did not have to do much to exploit this product, and limited itself to making advances to the farmers for the purchase of implements needed * * *, and buying everything that was offered for sale; thus in 1786 it was able to export one hundred and forty quintals of this valuable article, and double that in 1788.” (Ibid., pp. 133–134).

6 “With the same eagerness the Company devoted itself to promote the cultivation of the sugar cane, and very soon began to reap the harvest of its well-calculated attempts, and shipped for the Peninsula in 1786 eight hundred and sixty arrobas, and in 1788, nine thousand six hundred and sixty three arrobas for the same place, and for China and India; and thus this article continued to progress, always heading the list of exports from the country, since in a memorial or report sent to the king in 1790 by Governor Don Felix Berenguer de Marquina, it is stated that the amount of sugar exported the year before was between forty and fifty thousand piculs.” (Ibid., pp. 134–135.)

7 Azcarraga says that upon cotton, which—at different times, especially during the revolutionary war in the United States—had been recommended to the chiefs of the provinces as an article to whose cultivation they should especially devote themselves, the company placed a great deal of hope, because of its good quality; it could compete with what the English exported from the coasts of Malabar, and thus, by promoting its cultivation in great scale, at the same time that the projected textile factories of the country would be supplied with raw materials, it would supply the constant demand of China; these expectations were confirmed by the good sale which the first shipment of one hundred and fifty sacks to China had, and thus the directors adopted this article as the chief commodity for its trade. (Ibid.)

8 Text of decree is given in Montero y Vidal, Historia, Vol. 2, pp. 302–303.

9 Estadismo, Vol. 1, p. 273.

10 Azcarraga, Chapters 9, 10, and 11; Mas, Part II, pp. 31–35; Vidal, Historia, Vol. II, pp. 297–307.

11 In this way a new element was introduced which was essential for economic development: capital. Up to that time money had been scarce and it was all derived from local sources: owing to the conditions to which we have heretofore referred our community was obliged to furnish its own capital. It was necessarily small, first, on account of the slight productive forces, second, because of the easy destruction of acquired property, which was dissipated in fires and storms principally. In those first days of our history, the preservation and transmission from one generation to another of created and inherited wealth was, as it is even now, a problem almost impossible of solution. The general construction of houses, manufactured from such weak and transient elements as cane and nipa, does not leave us in a condition to conserve: it leaves us rather in a condition of easy destruction, as may be readily understood. So it is, that we get the benefit of only a small part of the property acquired by the generations that have gone before us. Where will you find even the trace of so many millions of cane and nipa houses which have absorbed the money earned by past generations? Destroyed by fire and storms. In their destruction was also involved all the industrial production, all the labor converted into capital represented by furniture, books, manuscripts, cloths, jewelry, coins, articles, of practical utility, religious, artistic and every sort of objects which ran the same precarious risk and had the same ephemeral existence as our flimsy cane and nipa houses.”—Results of the Economic Development of the Philippines.

12 “The taking of Manila in 1762 by the English had subsequently great influence on our future. They, during the occupation of Manila, had an opportunity to know the natural resources of this country, the condition of abandonment and neglect of agriculture and commerce, and the contempt that was felt for them, and realize the possibilities that existed for material development as understood by the British. As a result of such contact with the Filipinos English commerce was able to understand the conditions of our archipelago until then entirely unknown, owing to the conditions of their tutelar sequestration, and, on their part, the authorities and prominent persons of Manila had occasion to observe, during the short period of the occupation of Manila, what the English were who had been reputed as the enemies par excellence of the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion. It is said that they appropriated to themselves the money that they found in the treasury, which, on the other hand, we must assume, was found empty, both because Anda y Salazar took with him what he could find there to organize the war, and because private persons concealed their treasure. From whatever source it may have come, either brought by them as was really the case, or taken from the Filipinos, the fact was, that in order to maintain themselves, they spent a great deal of money and placed in movement the dormant activity of all whom they found within their reach.” (Ibid.)

13 Azcarraga, pp. 151–152; also Mas, under Comercio Exterior, p. 2.

14 “The first result was the collision of the new arrivals with the exploiters of the old order, whose peaceful possession of a livelihood which suited them—because nobody questioned it or disturbed it—was suddenly threatened by the competition of more active, more industrious, better prepared and richer individuals, supported by firms located in the most important centers of the commercial world. In the same manner as, by arrival of the Spaniards, the old Filipino caciques were subjected to the Spanish officials, now the caciques who dominated during the period of tutelar sequestration found themselves immediately supplanted and converted into something lower than the new caciques of the economic order. They (the former) understood that such supremacy would give them (the latter) supremacy in everything. To defend their position they had recourse to the anti-foreign sentiments of the entire community; foreigners had always been regarded as the enemies of Spain and God; they must be the enemies of the Filipinos, too. The crusade was not new; it had been used before with excellent results at the time of the English domination. This campaign was hardly started when the cholera for the first time made its appearance in Manila. Taking advantage of that event, which was also called providential, the rumor was started that the foreigners had poisoned the waters of the Pasig, with the results that in 1820 the people of Manila exterminated the foreigners who were then residing at the capital.” (Tavera, Ibid.)

15 Le Roy, The Americans in the Philippines, Vol. 1, p. 33, Diccionario Geográfico-Estadistíco-Historico de las Islas Filipinas, Manuel Buzeta and Felipe Bravo, (Madrid, 1850–1851).

16 Bowring, A Visit to the Philippines (London, 1859), p. 301.

17 Mas, under Comercio Exterior, pp. 28–29; also Azcarraga, Chapter 13.

18 “The merchants and even all the residents of Manila during the epoch of the Acapulco (trade), firmly believed that the interruption of its voyages would be the infallible and total ruin of the colony, and that upon them depended even the maintenance of the inhabitants of the farms. However, experience has demonstrated the error in which they were.” (Mas, Ibid., pp. 2–3.)

After giving a table of imports and exports for 1810, Mas says: “From this statement it is seen that at that epoch the commerce of the Philippines was reduced mostly to receiving funds from New Spain, and, in return, remitting articles of China and India; that the importation of foreign goods consumed in the Philippines amounted to 900,000 pesos, and the exportation of the products of the country, such as sugar, indigo, hide, etc., did not amount to 500,000 pesos. The gains, therefore, from that traffic, for which Manila was only a port of exchange, were divided between the merchants who had the monopoly of the galleon, but the wealth of the territory received but small advantages from it.” (Ibid.)

19 Mas, Ibid., p. 4.

20 Azcarraga, p. 18.

21 An item in the memoir published by the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País (Manila, 1860), containing a list of its achievements, is to the effect that on August 8, 1834, “abacá” was exported for the first time. (See Bl. and Rb., Vol. 52, p. 317.)

Azcarraga (p. 19) gives the following figures for hemp:

Piculs exported.
1840 83,790
1845 102,490
1850 123,410
1853 221,518
1857 327,574
1858 412,502

22 Azcarraga (p. 167) gives the following figures for Iloilo:

Foreign Countries. Manila.
Piculs of Sugar. Piculs of sugar.
1859 9,344 77,488
1860 40,176 72,592
1861 44,256 29,312
1862 102,464 98,912
1863 170,832 80,000

23 Azcarraga, pp. 168–169.

24 Jagor, (Spanish edition, Madrid, 1874), p. 255.

25 “From these dates (referring to the opening of the ports) the prosperity of the Philippines advanced steadily and rapidly without interruption until the outbreak of the Philippine revolution six years ago. To this period is due the propagation of the hemp fields of Ambos Camarines, Albay, and Sorsogon; the planting of the innumerable coconut groves; the sugar haciendas of Pampanga and Negros; the tobacco fields of Cagayan and the Ilocos provinces; the coffee of Batangas, and the utilization everywhere of the specially adapted soils for the production of these admirable articles of trade. One thing is to be noticed, and is important in estimating the future development of the islands. The money that was invested here was not brought in by capitalists but was made here. Haciendas arose from small beginnings, and this continued prosperity apparently suffered no diminution or check until it was interrupted by the ravages and desolation of warfare. * * *” (Barrows, Census of the Philippine Islands (1903), Vol. 1, p. 446.)

26 Bowring, p. 410.

“The Filipinos gave a proof of their intelligence and of their aspirations by sending their children to Manila to be educated, buying furniture, mirrors, articles of luxury for their homes and persons; buying pianos, carriages, objects imported from the United States and Europe which came their way, owing to foreign trade. These articles caused a revelation which produced a revolution in the social mind, thanks to that veritable revolution of an economic character which permitted the only possible development—the material development.” (Tavera, Ibid.)

27 Jagor, ibid., p. 256.

28 “The needs of commerce, demanded not by the poor but by the powerful, were attended to; for that reason roads were made, bridges were built, new highways of communication were opened, public safety was organized in a more efficient manner, the abuses of the dominators had greater publicity and, therefore, were fewer and more combated, the mail service was improved, Spaniards and other Europeans penetrated into the provinces, the natives themselves were permitted to go from one pueblo to another and change their residence, and the Filipinos were able to place themselves in contact with the civilized world, emerging from their prolonged and harmful sequestration, thanks to the workings of economic forces.” (Tavera, Ibid.)

29 “During the previous epoch the so-called natural resources constituting the extractive industries—consisting of the collection of the spontaneous products of nature—were exploited: whereas freedom of trade brought about the development of agriculture which had already been initiated by the Real Compañía. In Ilocos, indigo was made, in Batangas, Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna and the Visayas, sugar-cane was cultivated and sugar made; in Albay abaca was produced. Bigan, Taal, Balayan, Batangas, Albay, Nueva Caceres, Cebu, Molo, Jaro, Iloilo began to be covered with solidly constructed buildings; their wealthy citizens would come to Manila, make purchases, become acquainted with the great merchants, who entertained them in their quality as customers whose trade they needed; they visited the Governor-General, who would receive them according to the position that their money gave them; they came to know the justices of the Supreme Court, the provincials of the religious orders; they brushed up, as a result of their contact with the people of the capital and, on returning to their pueblo, they took in their hearts and minds the germ of what was subsequently called, “subversive ideas” and, later still, “filibusterismo.”

“The opening of the Suez Canal brought us nearer to Europe, and, carried along by the current of economical nature, came the ideas and principles of a political character which did no less than to revolutionize the ideas predominant in a country which had existed so completely separated from the nations of the modern world. Already the “brutes loaded with gold” dared to discuss with their curate, complain against the alcalde, defend their homes against the misconduct of the lieutenant or sergeant of the police force; such people were starting to emancipate themselves insensibly as a consequence of their economic independence. Their money permitted them effectively to defend questions involving money first, then, those of a moral character—they were becoming actually “insolent” according to the expression of the dominators: in reality, they were beginning to learn to defend their rights.” (Tavera, Ibid.)

30 For a good discussion of the growth of population since Spanish conquest down to 1903, see Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. 1, pp. 442–445.

31 This principle is stated as follows: “The beginnings of social evolution * * * are always to be found in a bountiful environment. Moreover, density of population follows abundance of food, whether the supplies are obtained from the soil directly, or indirectly, in exchange for manufactures; and other things being equal, the activity and the progress of society depend, within limits, on the density of population.

A sparse population, scattered over a poor soil, can carry on production only by primitive methods and on a small scale. It can have only the most rudimentary division of labor; it cannot have manufacturing industries, or good roads, or a rapid interchange of intelligence; all of which, together with a highly developed industrial organization and a perfect utilization of capital, are possible to the populations that are relatively dense.

A highly developed political life, too, is found only where population is compact. Civil liberty means discussion, and discussion is dependent on the frequent meeting of considerable bodies of men who have varied interests and who look at life from different points of view. Movements for the increase of popular freedom have usually started in towns.

Education, religion, art, science, and literature are all dependent on a certain density of population. Schools, universities, churches, the daily newspaper, great publishing houses, libraries, and museums come only when the population per square mile is expressed by more than one unit, and their decay is one of the first symptoms that population is declining. * * *.”—Franklin H. Giddings, The Principles of Sociology, (New York, 1911), pp. 366–367.

32 “These changes show how important it was to establish at different points, extending over two hundred miles of the Archipelago, commercial centers, where it was desirable that foreigners should settle. Without these latter, and the facilities afforded to credit which hereby ensued, the sudden rise and prosperity of Iloilo would not have been possible, inasmuch as the mercantile houses in that capital would have been debarred from trading with unknown planters in distant provinces, otherwise than for ready money.” Jagor, Travels in the Philippines. (London, 1875), p. 304.

Azcarraga, pp. 168–177; 197–198.

Le Roy, Bibliographical Notes, 1860–1898.—Bl. and Rb., Vol. 52, pp. 112–114.

33 Jagor gives credit to the two American houses in the Philippines for the development of the abacá into an important article of export. These American houses in the first years sank large sums of money in advance loans, and were only able to get the business on a paying basis when, in 1863, they were permitted to establish warehouses and presses in the provinces at the principal points where the crop was produced, and to deal directly with the producers. Jagor (Spanish edition, p. 264); Le Roy, The Americans in the Philippines, Vol. 1, pp. 33–34.

For an interesting discussion of the struggle between England and the United States for supremacy in the Philippines, and the role played by the English banks in that struggle, see a pamphlet entitled Commercial Progress in the Philippine Islands, by Antonio M. Regidor and J. Warren T. Mason, (1905).

II. The Filipinos’ Part in the Philippines’ Past


Pre-Spanish Philippine History

A. D. 43–1565

Pre-Spanish Philippine History during the first years of the conversion-conquest was tabooed because of its pagan and infidel associations. Whatever had to do with the past, the many records there must have been in a land where literacy is reported to have been general, was religiously destroyed by the missionaries. Likewise the converts, and it was almost an unanimous conversion, were exhorted to banish from their memories all traditions and recollections as they valued their immortal souls. Thus was repeated, on a much larger scale and more effectively, the Christianizing of England’s Saxons.

The possibility of classical references to the archipelago had at first to be generally ignored, even had the early European comers been educated men, which for the most part they were not. Spain’s occupation was based on discovery from the New World and it would have been considered like championing Portugal’s rival claims to circulate accounts of earlier Asiatic associations.

The contempt in which the Chinese were held acted to prevent much mention of their former knowledge of the islands though scanty references, apparently unwittingly, have occasionally crept into some of the first chronicles.

Similarly a prejudice consequent upon the 1762–3 occupation of Manila banned English histories of the Indian Archipelago. Then during the last decades of Spain’s [78]final century of rule her apologists sought to minimize the lamentable lack of progress since the first few decades by ascribing savagery to the people Legaspi found.

A suggestion of the antagonism to historical research appears in the frequent assertions of Spanish writers from 1888 to 1898 that the only Philippine history was the chapter of Spanish history dealing with Spain in the Philippines. More emphatic proof is the bitter criticism of the early Spanish historian Morga whose 1609 “Events in the Philippines” Doctor Rizal was blamed for republishing. That Spaniards were not ignorant of the Philippines’ past may be proved by Raimundo Geler, who, in a book issued in Madrid during the liberal régime of 1869, made a brief summary of what foreign writers had gleaned from Arabian sources about the early Filipinos, but with the return of the Bourbon dynasty to power he had to withdraw his work from circulation till the claim is made that only a single copy remains.

Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, the Austrian professor, seems to have pioneered in applying modern critical methods to extract the true narrative from conflicting early authorities, in the later 1880s. Isabelo de los Reyes, a Filipino born in the Ilocos provinces, tried to make deductions to fill out this narrative and supplemented it with materials from folk-lore. Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera, another Filipino, sought the aid of philology, dealing with the considerable Sanscrit element in the local dialects. To Juan Luna, also a Filipino, belongs the credit for the first essays in Philippine historical paintings, for he availed himself of European museums to depict his characters in the real costumes of their times. And Mariano Ponce, in the Filipino students’ Madrid review La Solidaridad, popularized the chief events and prominent personalities of the conquest period.

Dr. José Rizal, greatest of all Filipinos, however, excelled all the rest. His is the first history from the Filipino view point (to be found in The Philippines a Century Hence, The Indolence of the Filipinos, and his annotations to Morga’s History). His was the first systematic work by a Filipino in zoology, philology, and ethnology as aids to history; and as well his was the earliest Filipino interest in the Chinese records referring [79]to these Islands. It was in 1887, in Dresden, Germany, that Rizal conferred with Dr. A. B. Meyer and Professor Blumentritt on the Chua Ju-Kua account of Manila in the middle of the thirteenth century which had just been translated by Dr. Friedrich Hirth, an extract from the work begun in 1885 and continuing over ten years.


Pre-historic Civilization in the Philippines

By Elsdon Best

(Polynesian Society, Journal, Vol. 1)

When a powerful and highly civilized nation comes in contact with a barbaric and isolated people, who have nevertheless advanced many steps on the road of progress, it would naturally be thought that the superior and conquering race would endeavor to collect and place on record information concerning such people: their manners, customs, language, religion, and traditions. Unfortunately, in the case of the Spanish conquests of the XVI century, that nation appears never to have considered it a duty to hand down to posterity any detailed description of the singularly interesting races they had vanquished. As it was with the Gaunches of the Canaries, the Aztecs of Mexico, and the Quichuas of Peru, so was it with the Chamorro of the Ladrones, and the Tagalog-Bisayan tribes of the Philippines. The same vandal spirit that prompted the conquistadores to destroy the Maya and Aztec literature also moved them to demolish the written records of the Philippine natives, and but few attempts were made to preserve relics or information concerning them. The Spanish priests, as the lettered men of those times, were the persons we should look to for such a work, but in their religious ardor they thought only of the subjugation and conversion of the natives, and so, with the sword in one hand and crucifix in the other, they marched through that fair land ignoring and destroying the evidences of a strange semi-civilization which should have been to them a study of the deepest interest. Fortunately, however, there were a few in that period who were interested in such matters, and who wrote accounts of the state of culture of the islanders of that early date. Some of these MSS. have been preserved in the archives of Manila and have lately attracted the attention of Spanish scholars.

Such is the article from which the greater part of these notes is taken. In the volume for 1891 of the Revista Ibero-Americana, published at Madrid, there appeared a series of papers contributed by the Bishop of Oviedo, and entitled La antigua civilización de las Islas Filipinas, in which he gives a very interesting description of the natives and their mode of life. The source of this information is an old folio manuscript written on rice-paper in the year 1610 [80]from data collected at the period of the Spanish conquest of the Philippines by Legaspi. It is extended to the year 1606, and relates minutely the condition of the islanders prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The codex is divided into five books, and these again into 183 capitulos, or chapters. The writer lived in the group for twenty-nine years in order to complete his work, which is authorised by authentic signatures of responsible persons. Extracts have also been made from Miguel de Loarca’s account of the Philippines written in 1583, Dampier’s voyage in the Pinkerton collection, and Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas.

The first historical existence of the Malay proper is traced to Menangkabau in the Island of Sumatra, from whence they have spread over the islands of the East India Archipelago, and by their vigor, energy and skill have made themselves masters of the original inhabitants. At an early period they probably received instruction from Hindoo immigrants in the arts of working metals, spinning, weaving, etc. As to the whence of the various Malayan tribes of the Philippines, it is most probable that they originally reached the Archipelago from Borneo, or the Malay Peninsula. From northern Borneo the Sulu islands form a series of stepping stones across to Mindanao. As the Tagalog language is looked upon as one of the purest of Malay dialects, and contains the least number of Sanscrit words, it may be inferred from this that the race has occupied the islands from an early date. It is possible that the first settlers were carried thither by ocean currents, and that the Kuro Siwo, or Black Current, which sweeps up past Luzon, is also responsible for the existence of the Kabaran (a Malay tribe) in Formosa. From ancient times boats and men have drifted up from the Malay Islands to Japan, and W. E. F. Griffis, in his “Mikado’s Empire,” states that Shikoku and Kiushiu were inhabited by a mixed race descended from a people who had come from Malaysia and southeast Asia. It is most probable that Micronesia was settled from the Philippine Group, which thus became the meeting ground of the northern migration of Polynesians from Samoa, and the Micronesians proper. The Spanish codex before mentioned states that the Tagalog-Bisayan tribes were thought to be derived from the coast of Malabar and Malacca, and that, according to tradition, they arrived at the islands in small vessels called barangayan under the direction of dato or maguinoo (chiefs or leaders), who retained their chieftainship after the landing as the basis of a social organization of a tribal kind, and that every barangay (district or tribal division) was composed of about fifty families. Nothing definite appears to have been obtained from their traditions as to the original habitat of the race, and this may be accounted for by the supposition that the migration occurred at a remote period, and that all knowledge of their former home was lost. When a migratory race takes possession of new regions it maintains little or no correspondence with those left behind; thus in time they forget their old habitations, and their geographical knowledge is reduced to obscure and fading traditions.

On arriving at their new home the invaders must have ejected the indigenous Aieta from the low-lying country, and driven them back into the mountains. Juan de Salcedo, the Cortes of the Philippines, [81]in his triumphal march round the island of Luzon, was unable to conquer many of the hill tribes, both Aieta and Tagalog, some of whom have remained independent until the present time. The Spanish Government forbade all intercourse with these mountaineers, on pain of one hundred lashes and two years’ imprisonment, and this edict had the effect of preserving the ruder, non-agricultural hill-races.

This invading race of Malays was divided into many different tribes, the principal ones being the Tagalog of Luzon and the Bisayan of the southern isles. The Tagalog, or Ta-Galoc, were the most numerous, and were endowed with all the valor and politeness which can be expected in a semi-civilized people. The Pampangan and Camarine tribes were noted for their generosity. The Cagayans were a brave people, but easily civilized. The Bisayans were also called Pintados, or “painted ones,” by the Spanish, from their custom of tattooing the body. Within this community of tribes there are numerous differences of dialects and customs, clothing, character, and physical structure, which in many cases indicate obvious traces of foreign mixture.

As a race, the Philippine natives of the Malayan tribes are of moderate stature, well-formed, and of a coppery-red color, or, as Morga quaintly describes them, “They were of the color of boiled quinces, having a clever disposition for anything they undertook: sharp, choleric, and resolute.” Both men and women were in the habit of anointing and perfuming their long black hair, which they wore gathered in a knot or roll on the back of the head. The women, who were of pleasing appearance, adorned their hair with jewels, and also wore ear-pendants and finger-rings of gold. The men had little or no beard, and both sexes were distinguished for their large, black eyes. The Zambales, or Beheaders, shaved the front part of the head, and wore on the skull a great lock of loose hair, which custom also obtained among the ancient Chamorro of the Ladrones. Most of the tribes filed their teeth, and stained them black with burnt coconut shell; while among the Bisayans the upper teeth were bored, and the perforations filled with gold, a singular custom observed by Marco Polo in China, and which was also practised in ancient Peru and Egypt. Many of the tribes are spoken of by the early Spanish navigators as being endowed with fair intellectual capacities, possessing great powers of imitation, sober, brave, and determined. The Tagalog character, according to some later writers, is difficult to define: the craniologist and physiognomist may often find themselves at fault. They are great children, their nature being a singular combination of vices and virtues.

The costume of the men consisted of a short-sleeved cotton tunic (chinina), usually black or blue, which came below the waist, a colored cotton waistcloth, or kilt (bahaque), extending nearly to the knee, and over this a belt or sash of silk a handbreadth wide, and terminating in two gold tassels. On the right side hung a dagger (bararao) three palms long, and double-edged, the hilt formed of ivory or gold, and the sheath of carabao-hide. They wore a turban (potong) on the head, and also leg-bands of black reeds or vines such as are seen among the Papuans of New Guinea. Chains, bracelets [82](calombiga), and armlets of gold, cornelian and agate were much worn, and he was reckoned a poor person who did not possess several gold chains. Hernando Requel, writing home to Spain, stated: “There is more gold in this island of Luzon than there is iron in Biscaya.”

The Tinguianes had a peculiar custom of wearing tightly-compressed bracelets, which stopped the growth of the forearm, and caused the hand to swell. Women wore the tapis, a bordered and ornamented cloth wrapped round the body, which was confined by a belt, and descended to the ankles. The bust was covered with a wide-sleeved camisita, or waist (baro), to which was sometimes added a handkerchief. The women of Luzon were without headdress, but made use of a parasol of palm leaves (payong). Among the Bisayans the women wore a small cap or hood, and in the northern isles they were permitted the luxury of being carried on the shoulders of slaves. Both sexes wore the same dress among the Ilokanos, the chief article of attire being a loose coat (cabaya) similar to those of the Chinese. The dress of the Chief’s wives was more elegant than that of women of the common people (timaguas). They wore white robes, and others of crimson silk, plain or interwoven with gold, and trimmed with fringes and trinkets. From their ears were suspended golden pendants of excellent workmanship, and on their fingers and ankles were massive gold rings set with precious stones. The timaguas and slaves went barefooted, but the upper class wore shoes, the women being daintily shod with velvet shoes embroidered with gold. “Both men and women were very cleanly and elegant in their persons and dress, and of a goodly mien and grace; they took great pains with their hair, rejoicing in its blackness, washing it with the boiled bark of a tree called gogo, and anointing it with musk oil and other perfumes. They bathed daily, and looked upon it as a remedy for almost every complaint. On the birth of a child the mother repaired to the nearest stream, and bathed herself and the little one, after which she returned to her ordinary occupation. Women were well treated among these people, and had for their employment domestic work, needle work, in which they excelled, the spinning and weaving of silk and cotton into various fabrics, and also the preparation of the hemp, palm, and banana fibers.

The Philippine natives, with the exception of some of the hill tribes, were diligent agriculturists, this being their chief occupation. In some mountainous regions they adopted a system of terrace cultivation similar to that of China, Peru, and Northern Mexico in bygone times, and which may also be seen in Java. They cultivated rice, sweet potatoes, bananas, coconuts, sugar-cane, palms, various vegetable roots and fibrous plants. They hunted the wild carabao, deer and wild boar. The flesh of the carabao, or water buffalo, was preserved for future use by being cut into slices and dried in the sun, when it was called tapa. Rice was prepared by being boiled, then pounded in a wooden mortar and pressed into cakes, thus forming the bread of the country. They made palm wine (alac or mosto) from the sap of various species of palms. Food was stored in raised houses similar to the pataka of the Maori. The [83]first fruits of the harvest were devoted to the deified spirits of ancestors, called anito. The Bisayans, when planting rice, had the singular custom of offering a portion of the seed at each corner of the field as a sacrifice. The ordinary dainty among the islanders was the buyo or betel quid, consisting of a leaf of betel pepper (tambul or siri) smeared over with burnt lime and wrapped round a piece of areca nut (bonga).

“The Filipinos,” says the old Spanish padre “lived in houses (bahai) built of bamboo six feet from the ground.” These dwellings were supplied with cane screens in the place of divisions and doors. The elevated floor, where they ate and slept, was also made of split cane, and the whole structure was secured by reeds and cords for want of nails. They ascended to these houses by a portable ladder, which was removed when the inmates went out, a sign that no person might approach the dwelling, which was otherwise unsecured. The house was surrounded by a verandah, and in one apartment were the household utensils, dishes and plates of earthenware, and copper vessels for various purposes. They had, moreover, in their houses some low tables and chairs, also boxes, called tampipi, which served for the purpose of keeping wearing apparel and jewels. Their bedding consisted usually of mats manufactured from various fibers. The houses of the chiefs were much larger and better constructed than those of the timaguas. Many of their villages were built on the banks of rivers and the shores of lakes and harbors, so that they were surrounded by water, in the manner of the seaside dwellings of New Guinea and the Gulf of Maracaibo. Among the Tinguianes tree houses were made use of. In these they slept at night in order to avoid being surprised by enemies, and defended themselves by hurling down stones upon the attacking party, exactly in the same manner as the natives of New Britain do to this day.

The external commerce of the Tagalog tribes was principally with China, of which nation there were vessels in Manila on the arrival of the Spanish. They are also said to have had intercourse with Japan, Borneo, and Siam. They had no coined money, but to facilitate trade they utilized gold as a medium of exchange in the form of dust and ingots, which were valued by weight. Magellan speaks of their system of weights and measures. These people were skilful shipwrights and navigators. The Bisayans were in the habit of making piratical forays among the isles. Their vessels were of various kinds, some being propelled by oars or paddles, and others were provided with masts and sails. Canoes were made of large trees, and were often fitted with keels and decks, while larger vessels, called virey and barangayan, were constructed of planks fastened with wooden bolts. The rowers, with paddles (busey) or oars (gayong), timed their work to the voices of others, who sung words appropriate to the occasion and by which the rowers understood whether to hasten or retard their work. Above the rowers was a platform (bailio) on which the fighting men stood without embarrassing the rowers, and above this again was the carang, or awning. They sometimes used outriggers (balancoire) on both sides of the vessel. The laip and tapaque were vessels of the largest kind, some [84]carrying as many as two hundred and fifty men. The barangayan, a type of vessel used from the earliest times, was singularly like those of the ancients described by Homer.

Society among the Tagalog-Bisayan tribes was divided into three classes, the chiefs and nobles, the common people (timagua), and the slaves. The principal of every group, styled maguinoo among the Tagalogs, bagani by the Manobos, and dato by the Bisayans, was the only political, military, and judicial authority. These chieftainships were hereditary, and the same respect was shown to the women as to the men of the ruling families. Their power over the people was despotic, they imposed a tribute upon the harvests, and could at any time reduce a subject to slavery, or dispose of his property and children. The slaves were divided into two classes: the sanguihuileyes, who were in entire servitude as also were their children, lived and served in the houses of their masters; while the namamahayes lived in houses of their own, and only worked as slaves on special occasions, such as at harvesting and housebuilding. Among this latter class there obtained a peculiar half-bond system, which may be explained thus: In the event of a free man marrying a slave woman, and their having only one son, that child would be half free and half enslaved—that is, he would work one month for his owner and the next for himself. If they had more than one child, the first born would follow the condition of the father, the second of the mother, and so on. If there were uneven numbers, the last born was half free and half bond. Slaves were bought, sold, and exchanged like ordinary merchandise. In their social manners these people were very courteous, more especially the Luzon tribes. They never spoke to a superior without removing their turban. They then knelt upon one knee, raised their hands to their cheeks, and awaited authority to speak. The hongi, or nose-pressing salutation of the Polynesians, was an ancient custom in the Philippine Group, and on the island of Timor. It also obtained among the Chamorro of the Ladrones, who termed it tshomiko. The Philippine natives addressed all superiors in the third person, and added to every sentence the word po, equivalent to Sir. They were given to addresses replete with compliments, and were fond of music of the cud, a guitar with two strings of copper wire. In regard to judicial matters, all complaints were brought before the dato of the barangay (district) for examination. Though they had no written laws, they had established rules and customs by which all disputes were settled, and the chiefs recovered their fees by seizing the property not only of the vanquished party, but also of his witnesses. Trial by ordeal was common, the usual mode being that of plunging the arm into a vessel of boiling water and taking out a stone off the bottom; or a lighted torch was placed in the hands of the accused, and if the flame flickered towards him he was pronounced guilty. Theft was sometimes punished by death, in which case, the condemned was executed by the thrust of a lance. In some cases the punishment was by being reduced to slavery. Loans with excessive interest were ordinary, the debtor and his children often becoming enslaved to the lender. Verbal insults were punished with great severity. It was also regarded as a great insult to step over a sleeping person, [85]and they even objected to awakening one asleep. This seems to refer to the widespread belief of the soul leaving a sleeping body. Their worst curse was “May thou die sleeping.” The male children underwent a species of circumcision at an early age, which was but preparatory to further rites. Their oaths of fidelity, in conventions of peace and friendship, were ratified by the ceremony of bloodbrotherhood, in which a vein of the arm being opened, the flowing blood was drunk by the other party. Among these people was sometimes seen that singular mania for imitation called by the Javanese sakit latar, on the Amoor olon, in Siberia, inuira, and in the Philippines malimali. This peculiar malady, presumably by the result of a deranged nervous system, manifests itself as far as I can gather, in the following manner, the afflicted person is seized with a desire to copy or imitate the action and movements of others, and will do the most extraordinary and ridiculous things to attain his object. The despair induced by this strange mania and its consequent ridicule, urges the unfortunate to end his life in the dreaded Amok. These unfortunates were sometimes attacked by the amok frenzy.

It is certain that gold and copper mines have been worked in the islands from early times. The copper ore was smelted, and worked into various utensils and implements, and the gold was formed into ornaments, or used, as a medium of exchange. The ruder mountain tribes brought much gold from the interior and traded it to the lowland people in exchange for various coveted articles. Several of the tribes were in the habit of tattooing the body, the Bisayans being the most noted for the practice. The Catalangan Iraya used for tattoo patterns, and as decorations for sacred places, certain marks and characters which appeared to be of Chinese or Japanese origin. The Iraya proper used only straight and simple curved lines like those of the Aieta. The Ysarog (Issaro), a primitive race of mountaineers, who have been isolated for centuries, are said by later writers to resemble the Dyaks of Borneo. Time was reckoned in former days by suns and moons, and feasts were held on the occurrence of certain astronomical phenomena. Brass gongs were much used at these feasts, and also on war expeditions.

Such are some of the notes collected in reference to this interesting race. These Tagalogs, Bisayans, Pampangans and Cagayanes were despised by their Iberian conquerors as being ignorant savages; but, as the good old padre says in his MS., they were worthy of being placed on a superior level to certain ancient people who possess a more illustrious fame. And who shall say it was not so?

The various tribes of the Philippines were frequently at war with each other, as seems to be the invariable rule where a race is broken up into many separate divisions. The weapons used in former times were the bow and arrow, the lance, long curved knives, and in the southern isles the blow pipe (sarbacan), for propelling poisoned darts. The arrows and lances were pointed with iron and bone, or were simply hardened with fire. Their defensive armour consisted of carved wooden shields (carans), inlaid with tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl, which covered them from head to foot, and also cuirasses formed of bamboo. It is not clear whether they [86]manufactured artillery, but they certainly used cannon of iron and bronze before the advent of the Spanish, at which time the Mindanao tribes held strongly fortified positions—defended with cannon. These fortifications consisted of earthworks and stockades, sometimes surrounded by morasses. Such were the defences of the town of the Chief Rahamora when Legaspi attacked it. This town consisted of four thousand houses, and, having destroyed it, the victorious Spaniards built on its site, in 1571, the city of Manila. The poison used for the sarbacan darts was either derived from certain trees, or, it is said, from the saliva of a green lizard (chacon). The natives are said by Morga to have used this poison in order to kill the Spanish, for whom they had conceived a most bitter hatred.

The Manobos and Zambals were the most savage tribes. The Manobos surprised their enemies while asleep, slaughtered the men, and enslaved the women and children. The priest opened the breast of the first victim with the sacred knife, took out the heart, and ate it. This tribe also sacrificed slaves to the god of war, to whom the color red was sacred. They were also head-hunters, and hung these trophies to the roofs of their houses. The Zambals, a fierce and savage tribe, were also head-hunters, as their name signifies, and were in the habit of extracting and eating the brains of slain enemies. Among the Ifugaos the lasso is said to have been used as a weapon.

In regard to marriage customs, there was one peculiar form worthy of observation. When a man wished to marry he went to live with his prospective father-in-law, thus becoming a member of the household, and as such he worked at whatever duties were imposed upon him. This lasted sometimes for several years. If the family became dissatisfied with him he was dismissed, but if all went well he paid over to the parents what was known as “the price of the mother’s milk”—that is, a compensation for the rearing of his wife. During the probationary period the young man assumed the name of bagontao, and the girl that of dalaga. They were much given to the practice of divination during the period of the wedding festivities, which lasted for several days. Although polygamy did not exist in a legal sense, yet concubinage was common. The first woman married, however, was the only legitimate wife (inasaba). To the inferior wives were assigned the various domestic labors, the milking of the carabao-cows, and the rearing of ducks, swans, geese, and pigeons. The women, in paying visits or in walking abroad, were attended by a following of maids and slaves. In various tribes the Assuan, an evil deity, was supposed to exercise an evil influence over women in labor, and at such a time the husband mounted the house-roof, or stationed himself, before the door, and, with lance or dagger in hand, cut, and slashed vigorously at the air in order to drive away the dreaded spirit. Among these people also obtained that strange and world-wide custom known among anthropologists as the couvade the origin of which it is difficult to conjecture. In China and Africa, in Egypt and South America, in Malabar and Corsica, among the Basques, Caribs, Burmese, and many other races, this singular custom of simulated maternity seems to have originated independently. [87]

The language of the Philippines was divided into many different dialects, of which the Tagalog, an abundant and copious tongue, was the most perfect specimen. These, together with the languages of various outlying groups, can be traced to the same origin by unequivocal marks of affinity, both in word formation and grammatical construction. In spite of various linguistic changes it has been noted by Le Gobien that the language of the Carolines bears a strong resemblance to the Tagalog, and the same may be said of the ancient Chamorro tongue. The Battak speech of Sumatra is said to be closely allied to the Tagalog. Prichard states that the Malagasi resembles Tagalog more than it does any other Malayan tongue. The Tagalog-Bisayan-languages are said by several writers to be the most highly developed of this family, and are in a transition state between the agglutinative and inflective stages. Von Humboldt considered the Tagalog to be the parent language of the Malay type, but this was denied by Crawfurd. In the Javanese, one hundred and ten words per thousand are Sanscrit, in Malay fifty, in the Bugi, seventeen, in Tagalog one and a half, and in Malagasi there are none. It might be inferred from this that the Tagalog-Bisayan migrations from the southwest took place prior to, or about, the sixth century of our era, about which time the Hindu religion was introduced into the East Indies, bringing with it many Sanscrit terms. The native languages hold their own in the Philippines. Pickering, in his “Races of Man,” states that the Tagalog is still the chief language of Luzon, being in general use in all the interior towns.

In respect to religion, the more advanced of the tribes appeared to have arrived at the stage of intellectual progress when Nature worship begins to give place to a dim idea of a Supreme Being, a Maker of all things. This protecting genius, to whom they offered sacrifices, was called Bathalang Meicapal. These people had a vague conception of a future state in which the good were rewarded and the wicked punished. Among the Bisayans, Ologan was the term for Heaven in their ancient religion, and their Hell was Solad. The souls of their dead were said to pass to the mountain of Medias in the Oton district. Tigbalan was the name of a forest demon among the northern tribes, who was treated with great respect. In passing beneath a tree a native would invariably say “Tavit po,”—that is, “By your leave, my lord.” They practised fire worship and fetishism and paid homage to the Sun, Moon, rainbow, to animals, birds, and even to trees, and to rocks of peculiar appearance. The worship of birds appears to have been confined to two species, the bathala, a small blue bird, and the maylupa, a species of crow or kite. The trees, rocks, and headlands which were close to contrary currents, or places dangerous to navigation, were objects of veneration and dread, and the deities of these places were propitiated by offerings of food, or were supposed to be quelled by a flight of arrows being discharged against them. Influenced by terror, they venerated the crocodile, calling it nono, or grandfather, and it was sometimes tamed and cherished by the priests. These huge saurians were extremely dangerous, and many natives lost their lives by them, for which reason they constructed enclosures for bathing purposes. The Manobos revered the lightning, and believed thunder to be its [88]voice. The Bisayans held that all who perished in battle or were killed by crocodiles became divata. The divata or anito were guardian spirits, and among some tribes were represented by idols of gold, ivory, or stone. There were anito of the cultivations, of the rains, of the sea, cocoanut trees, also of newly-born children, and of children during the period of lactation. Again there were family anito, a species of household gods, who protected the family, and who were principally deified ancestors, having, it is said, ascended to heaven on the rainbow (balangao). Images representing these were kept in the houses, or in the vacant space beneath them, and slaves were sometimes sacrificed in their honor. It has been denied by some writers that the Philippine natives had any idols or images, or any places set apart for religious ceremonies, but the account of Cavendish, the adventurous English navigator, who visited the Philippines in 1588, states: “These people wholly worship the Devil, who appears unto them in divers horrible forms, and they worship him by making figures of these forms, which they keep in caverns and special houses, offering to them perfumes and food, and calling them anito or licha.” The MS. which we quote says: “These people lacked capacious temples, neither had they sacred days set apart for religious practices, but they had at the entrances to their towns, and even close to their houses, small chapels or rooms consecrated to the anito, and to the offering of sacrifices. In these places were deposited offerings of food to sustain the souls of the dead in their journey of three days which divided death from the re-incarnation which ensued. Before the figures also were placed small braziers burning perfumes, and plates of sago and fruits.”

The priests of these tribes were known as catalona in the north, and as babailan among the Bisayans. They were the sorcerers, or “medicine men,” and rude beyond measure was their art in curing, consisting generally of the imaginary extraction of pebbles, leaves, or pieces of cane from the affected part. The priests possessed great authority among the people. In their invocations to the anito they sometimes deceived the spectators by a peculiar sound produced by burning the kernels of the cashew (casuy); “and at all times,” says the padre, “they were assisted by the devil.” The secret of these frauds was transmitted by inheritance, or was sold to the highest bidder, and after being consecrated the priests did no other work than net-making or weaving cloth.

As to their sacrifices, the object of them in many cases was to gain a knowledge of the future. Among other modes, they practised divination by an examination of the victim’s entrails, and also by the stars, both widely spread customs. In the case of prolonged illness a new house was built, and the patient removed to it. The priestess being summoned, she sacrificed according to the wealth of the offerers, sometimes a tortoise, and sometimes as many as three slaves. The house was filled with small tables, on which were placed refreshments, and which correspond with the number of guests. The priestess performed a sacred dance, purified and sacrificed the victim, and with the warm blood sprinkled the most distinguished of the guests, distributing to the remainder small copper bells. After repeating an incantation the entrails were examined after the [89]manner of the Roman augurs, by the priests, who were often seized with convulsions, made grotesque contortions, foamed at the mouth, and finally announced the sentence of the death, or recovery of the patient. If the omen was of health, a revel was held, and the valor of the patient’s family and ancestors celebrated with songs. If the omen was of death, they diverted the mind of the patient by dancing, drinking, singing his praises, and persuading him that the gods removed him from this world in order to elevate him to the dignity of anito. At the close of the proceedings the priest received presents of gold and food from the guests. Sacrifices which were offered before undertaking a war or assault were conducted in a similar manner. Others, which were arranged by the chiefs, and dedicated to the principle of good, were celebrated with feasting and dancing to the sound of their primitive music. The best dancer was invited by the priest to give the fatal thrust, and the flesh of sacrificed hogs was distributed among the guests, who looked upon it as sacred food.

The Philippine natives had a firm belief in omens and superstitions of many kinds. Thus, in the house of the fishermen, new nets were not spoken of until they had been tested and found reliable, and among hunters the merits of dogs recently acquired were not discussed until they had been successful in catching game. A belief in the invulnerability (anting) of certain persons was a common superstition. A pregnant woman was not allowed to cut her hair for fear the infant should be bald. Much importance was attached to dreams, of which they were anxious to divine the meaning. In order to navigate their seas with safety it was not permitted to carry in the vessel either animals or land birds, nor even to name them; and in like manner, when travelling by land, they did not mention things which pertained to the sea. Before embarking on a voyage they caused the boat to oscillate and observed carefully to which side it inclined the most. If to the right, it was accepted as a good omen, but if to the left, it was an evil omen. They also tied together many cords, and one end being made fast, would rub the other between the hands, and by observing the manner in which the cords became entangled, they inferred the good or evil fortune which fate had in store for them.

The geogony of primitive and semi-civilized races always contains an element of interest, and that of the Philippine natives was certainly a singular belief. The creators of the earth were the sky and the kite, and the sea. After the bird had flown many times across the ocean, and found nothing to alight upon, the sky, in quarreling with the sea, caused the bird to throw huge rocks with the aim of subduing it. These rocks became islands, and the earth generally.

The tradition of the origin of man is as follows: “Two logs of bamboo, impelled by the waves, were cast on shore at the feet of the bird, which becoming enraged, began to pick them to pieces, when there appeared from the first log a man, and from the second a woman, thus proving the monogeny of the human species.” The man succeeded in gaining the affections of the woman, and from them [90]are descended the whole human race. The dispersion of the race throughout the world was caused by a family quarrel. The many children of the primal couple lived independent in the house of the parents, which displeased the father, who belabored them with a cudgel, and expelled them from the house. Some concealed themselves in the house, and from them are descended the maguinoo, or chiefs. Others went out openly from the house, and these were the fathers of the timagua (timawa) or freemen, and yet others took refuge in the cooking-sheds and beneath the house. From these last sprang the slaves. Finally, those who were banished, and never returned, became the ancestors of distant people, and remote tribes. It is worthy of note that, on the arrival of the Spanish, they were supposed by the natives to be the descendants of the last-mentioned migration. The various animals are also said by tradition to have been derived from other logs of bamboo; and the fact that the monkey came from one close to that which contained man, explains satisfactorily the resemblance between them.

Respecting their idea of a future life, the belief was, that preceding the state of happiness after death, there was a series of incarnations or purifications of the soul, which successive transmigrations took place in a cluster of one and fifty islands, on which were sheltered the souls of the dead. In those beautiful isles departed spirits enjoyed perpetual youth. In this paradise there were trees always loaded with ripe fruits, and fastened to the earth by chains of gold, which served as roots. Of gold also were the ornaments, the bells, ear-rings (panica), the cloths (isine), and many other things. The shores of the sea were formed of pure rice, and there was also a sea of milk, and another of linogao, which is rice boiled with milk or fat. Yet another sea was of blood, and on the bank of this grew plants, whose flowers had petals of flesh ready for eating.

These people held primitive notions concerning original sin, and also cherished a belief in the punishments and rewards of a future life. They accounted for the coming of death into the world in the following manner: Far back in the very night, the god Laon possessed a most beautiful fish which was his delight, also a tree which bore the most luscious fruits. The offenders killed the fish and plucked the fruit. For this offence Laon caused men to die in all ages.

Such was then the state of civilization among the Tagalog-Bisayan tribes at the time when the Malay Mohammedans, and the Spanish conquistadores attempted, from opposite points, to introduce their religions into the archipelago. The Moros of the Sulu Islands were beginning to overrun the Philippines on the arrival of the Spanish, and would eventually have Mohammedanised the entire group. The Philippine natives at this time were in a singularly interesting stage of intellectual progress. They had lived through the crude fetishism of savagedom, and were emerging from the second stage of religious feeling, during which they had evolved, out of the contemplation of Nature, one of those wonderful mythologies which are met with among so many nations. They were beginning to renounce the old Nature worship, of which the central figure was a Supreme Maker. [91]

It has been truly said that nothing requires such calm and impartial judgment as the inquiry into the moral and religious condition of uncivilized races. The co-evolution of religion and civilization is an extremely interesting subject to the student of anthropology, when he notes the gradual refinement of the national religion as the culture of the race improves, and the degradation of that religion when a race retrogrades in civilization. It is one of the many grand problems, based on the retributive laws of Nature, which confront the enquirer into that great and wonderful mystery—the development of the human race. Well it is for him who can learn from the savage Aieta, or the semi-civilized Tagalog, a lesson in the evolution of the human intellect; but, unfortunately, so many who have golden opportunities of studying the intellect and works of uncultured man are careless of those matters, and look with contempt upon the noblest of studies. They cannot interest themselves in the struggling intellect of primitive man; they no longer understand the craving of youth for advancement; they disdain to look upon the dawn of intellectual day.

These are the most interesting points procured from the aforementioned works on the Philippine Islands, a land which we call new, but in which the events of the Tagalog-Bisayan migrations were but as of yesterday. Here, as elsewhere, the rude savage retreats before a superior race, but the receptive Tagalog attaches himself to the civilization of his conquerors. He had already advanced himself to the difficult highway that leads from barbarism to a higher culture, and was thus enabled to receive the teachings of his Iberian invaders; but he who would seek the indigenous Aieta must look for him in the distant recesses of the primeval forest, or in the dark and gloomy cañons of the great ranges.


A Thousand Years of Philippine History Before the Coming of the Spaniards

By Austin Craig

The Philippine History of which one is apt to think when that subject is mentioned covers hardly a fourth of the Islands’ book-recorded history.

These records are not the romantic dream of a Paterno that under the name Ophir the Philippines with their gold enriched Solomon (10th century B. C.). There are solider grounds than any plausible explanations that Manila hemp (abaká) was Strabo’s (A. D. 21) “ta seerika,” the cloth made of “a kind of flax combed from certain barks of trees.” The shadowy identification of the Manilas with Ptolemy’s Maniolas (c. A. D. 130) is not in their class. Nor, to accept them, is recourse needed to farfetched deductions like Zuñiga’s that the American Continent received Israel’s ten lost tribes, and thence, through Easter Island, Magellan’s archipelago was peopled. Their existence saves us from having to accept [92]such references as how Simbad the sailorman (Burton: The Arabian Nights, Night 538 et seq.) evidently made some of his voyages in this region, though it would not be uninteresting to note that the great Roc is a bird used in Moro ornament, the “ghoul” of the Thousand and One Nights is the Filipino Asuang and that the palm-covered island which was believed to be a colossal tortoise because it shook might well have been located where the Philippine maps indicate that earthquakes are most frequent.

The records hereinafter to be cited are for the most part of the prosaic kind, all the more reliable and valuable because they are inclined to be dry and matter-of-fact. They make no such demand upon imagination as Europe’s pioneer traveller’s tales, for instance the sixteenth century chart which depicted America as inhabited by headless people with eyes, nose and mouth located in the chest.

The British Museum’s oriental scholar (Douglas: Europe and the Far East, Cambridge, 1904) states that by the beginning of the Chou dynasty (B. C. 1122–255) intercourse had been established at Canton with eight foreign nations. Duties as early as 990 B. C. were levied, and among the imports figure birds, pearls and tortoise shell, products of the Philippines, but the origin of these has not been investigated. “Reliable history,” says Dr. Pott (A Sketch of Chinese History, Shanghai, 1908), “does not extend further back than the middle of the Chou dynasty (B. C. 722). * * * After the time of the Chou dynasty we come to more solid ground, for at the beginning of the Han dynasty (B.C. 206) the custom originated of employing Court chroniclers to write a daily account of governmental proceedings. These diaries were kept secret and stored away in iron chests until the dynasty they chronicled had passed away; then they were opened and published, and so form the basis of our knowledge of the events that had transpired while the dynasty was in existence.”

Philippine history, however, has attracted only incidental interest in the translating of these voluminous chronicles so that while the first three mentions hereafter to be cited are well within the reliable history period they have not been verified and are valuable only as suggesting more definitely where to investigate.

Dr. von Moellendorf, a sinologist, formerly German consul in Manila, states that the Philippines were once called “Gold” in China, because of their considerable export thither of the precious yellow metal. This parallels the Malay province named “Silver” (Perak or Pilak). Further he refers to Becker’s Geology of the Philippines where (on page 90 of the reprint) F. Karusch gives a former German Consul in Manila as authority for gold having been exported to China during the third century. If the Chinese authority for this can be found it will destroy the value of Dr. Groeneveldt’s observation (Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca compiled from Chinese sources; Batavia, 1876, p. 4) on his quotation from the history of the Liang dynasty (Book 54, p. 1):

“In the time of Sun Ch’uean of the house of Wu (A. D. 222–251) two functionaries, called Chu-ying and K’antai, were ordered to go to the south; they went to or heard from a hundred or more countries and made an account of them.”


The commentator admits that “what these countries were is not stated,” but believes the “Malay islands were not amongst them, otherwise their name would have appeared at that time already in the annals of China.”

Since only a beginning has as yet been made in studying the voluminous records of China, a little further investigation may easily result in establishing this early date.

The last of the early three possible references to the Philippines, classed only as introductory because of their uncertain character, is from the narrative of Fahien, the details of whose home voyage seem to suggest that he passed in the vicinity of, if not through, this group of islands. This Buddhist priest in A. D. 400 went overland to India (Groeneveldt, Notes, p. 6) in search of Buddhist books and fifteen years later came back by sea in Indian vessels via Ceylon and Java. Shortly after his death a book was published, written from his narratives, giving “an account of Buddhist countries” (Fo Kuo Chi). After staying five months in Java where “heretics and Brahmans flourished but the law of Buddha hardly deserved mention,” Fahien embarked in May, 414, on a large merchant vessel with a crew of over two hundred and provisioned for fifty days. Steering a north east course for Canton, when over a month out they struck a typhoon, “a sudden dark squall accompanied by pelting rain.” The Brahmans felt that the priest of the rival religion was a Jonah and wanted to land him on one of the neighboring islands but were dissuaded by a trader representing the danger that would be to all on coming to China. The weather continued very dark and the pilots did not know their situation. Finally on the 78th day, with water almost gone and provisions short, they determined to change their course since they had already exceeded the usual fifty days for the run. So on a northwest route in twelve days more they reached not Canton but Shantung, nearly thirteen degrees farther north. Now this voyage on a map works out that they passed the Philippines about the time that marooning the priest on an island was under discussion, and, as St. John notes (The Indian Archipelago, London 1853, Vol. I, p. 103), “The Philippines * * * occupy the only part of the Archipelago liable to hurricanes.” Apparently the land was then unfamiliar to these early navigators.

No voyages of discovery were attempted by the Chinese but, creeping along the coast, they finally came to the Malay Peninsula and they worked from one island to another in the Indian Archipelago. (Groeneveldt, p. 1.) By this roundabout course in connection with the great island of Borneo, then called Polo and noted to have sent envoys to China in 518, 523 and 616, we find the Sulu islands suggested. The reference reads “at the east of this country is situated the land of the Rakshas (or lawless persons, or pirates.)” These were stated to have the same customs as the Poli people, unerring in throwing a saw-edged (wooden) discus knife, but using other weapons like those in China, in ways resembling Cambodia and with products like Siam’s. Murder and theft were punished by cutting off the hands and adultery by chaining together the legs for a year. In the dark of the moon came the sacrifices, bowls of wine and eatables set adrift on the surface of the water, as Bornean [94]tribes supposed to be akin to the Bisayans and Tagalogs now are doing. The Polans collected coral and trained parrots to talk, and so probably did the men of Sulu. In their ears were the teeth of wild beasts and a piece of home-made cotton cloth was wrapped about their waists, sarong fashion. Their markets they held at night and they were accustomed to keep their faces covered.

Next in point of time is a reference through Southern Formosa, called by the Chinese P’i-sho-ye, which the author of “China before the Chinese” (De Lacouperie) believes is only a miscalling of Bisaya, and former Consul Davidson of Formosa corroborates this both on Chinese authority (Ma Touan-lin) and from local traditions. (Davidson: The Island of Formosa Past and Present, New York, 1903).

“Bands of uncivilized Malays” from the south drove into the interior the Formosans with whom the Chinese earlier had been familiar. So on the next expedition from the mainland, in 605, the Chinese leader was surprised to find on the coast strange inhabitants with whom he could not communicate. His surmise that the newcomers were Malays led the next expedition to take with it interpreters from different southern Malayan islands, of whom at least one made himself understood. The immigrants kept up communication with Luzon and on their rafts raided coast towns of China, as will be later seen.

Pangasinan once extended much farther north in Luzon and Mr. Servillano de la Cruz, a University of the Philippines student specializing in the history of that province, describes rafts of bamboo bound together with vines, of a size which two men can lift, yet used on rivers and by people venturing as far as four miles from the coast upon them.

The chronological order takes us again to the south.

A “Ka-ling” mentioned in the old Chinese history of the T’ang dynasty (618–906) has been, it seems to me, wrongly identified by the Dutch scholar Groeneveldt (Notes on the Malay Archipelago, p. 12) as Java on the assumption that Pali or Po-li was Sumatra. Since it is much more probable that Poli is only an older form of Poni, Brunei, our Borneo (Hose and McDougall: Pagan Tribes of Borneo, London, 1912, Vol. I), Kaling rather should be looked for as an island off the eastern side of Borneo, Cambodia to the north, the sea to the south, and on the western side of the island of Dva-pa-tan, which might have been the old, and more extensive, district of Dapitan on the northwest of Mindanao. Directions are so general that the fixing of the spot is only guess work, yet the probability puts it within the southern (Sulu) part of the Philippine Archipelago.

The walls of the city were of palisades as were those enclosing Fort Santiago’s Moro predecessor. The king’s palace was a two-story affair thatched with coir from the abundant coco palms and the throne of the monarch was an ivory couch. Using neither spoons nor chopsticks, food was handled with that manual dexterity of which the Tondo tribune has recently been complaining as contributory to cholera. The palm wine was obtained just as tuba is now prepared.

The older history was considered vague and in its revision, called “the new history,” fuller details appear, among them another [95]name (Djava, Djapa or Dayapo (Dva-apo?)). The larger houses were covered with palm leaves and like the king’s equipped with ivory couches. Bamboo mats are also mentioned and the exports are given as tortoise shell, gold and silver, rhinoceros-horns, and ivory. The ivory might have been white camagon, since it was used for furniture, and the rhinoceros horns could have been imported. The rapid intoxication from the native drink is emphasized and, contrary to the American traveller (Rev. Arthur J. Browne) who attributed the introduction of vice here to his soldier-countrymen, a virulent venereal disease is mentioned. The alternative name of the island turns out to belong to the place on it where the king resided and he is said to be a descendant of Ki-yen who had lived more to the east in the town of Pa-lu-ka-si. Of his thirty-two high ministers Datu Kan-liung was chief and twenty-eight small neighboring countries owed him allegiance, as the twenty-eight islands would to a powerful Sulu sultan. (As to number of islands, see Saleeby’s History of Sulu, Manila, 1908, p. 15.)

A royal mountain resort overlooking the sea was Lang-pi-ya, a name for which, like the others, Groeneveldt finds it difficult to name a counterpart in Java, in this case noting “we think it advisable not to insist upon the above identification.” The latitude would seem to have been in the Sulu neighborhood for at the summer solstice an 8-foot gnomon cast, on the south side, a 2.4-foot shadow.

Between 627 and 649 envoys to China accompanied the tribute bearers from Dva-ha-la and Dva-pa-tan (Dapitan?), receiving acknowledgments under the Chinese Emperor’s great seal. Dva-ha-la also asked for good horses, and got them.

Then in 674 there was an ideal ruler, a woman named Sima, of whom a story is told similar to one remembered in Korea, and somewhat like the tales of China’s Golden Age, that a foreign king (prince of Arabs) to test the reports he had heard sent a bag of gold to be left in the road. There it remained undisturbed till the heir apparent happened to step over it. The incensed queen was dissuaded by her ministers from killing him but, saying his fault lay in his feet, insisted on cutting these off, finally, however, compromising on amputating the toes. Not only was this an example to the whole nation but it so frightened the Arab king that he did not carry out his planned attack. This variation of the Queen of Sheba-Solomon anecdotes is common in Chinese history, and its extensive use was probably due to the same sort of local adaptation as later made an orientalized Dido story of land-measurement trickery spread so quickly after the coming of the Europeans. Groeneveldt suggests the Arab prince might have been one of the Arab chiefs in the Archipelago, which would by our identification nicely fit with Bornean conditions.

Between 766 and 779 three Ka-ling envoys visited China and in 813 four slaves (Groeneveldt thinks negroes), assorted colored parrots, “pinka-birds”—whatever these may have been, and other gifts were presented to their powerful neighbor. A title of “Left Defender of the office of the Four Inner Gates” came to the ambassador [96]who, by cleverly seeking to relinquish this title to his younger brother, secured imperial praise and the coveted honor for two members of his family instead of one.

In 827 and 835 were two embassies, and between 837 and 850 an envoy presented female musicians as the tribute gift. (Account summarized from Groeneveldt, pp. 12–15.)

“The great sea southwest of Hainan,” says he, “* * * has in it Triple-joint currents (Shan-ho-lin). The waves break here violently, dividing into three currents: one flows south and is the sea which forms the highway to foreign lands; one flows north and is the sea of Canton (and Amoy) * * * one flows eastward and enters the boundless place, which is called the Great Eastern Ocean Sea.

“Ships in the southern trade, both going and coming, must run through the Triple-joint currents. If they have the wind, in a moment they are through it. But if on getting into the dangerous place there is no wind, the ship cannot get out and is wrecked in the three currents. * * * It is said that, in the Great Eastern Ocean Sea there is a long bank of sand and rocks some myriads of li (705 yards or 2–5 mile) in length. It marks the gulf leading to Hades (Wei-lu). In olden times there was an ocean-going junk which was driven by a great westerly wind to within hearing distance of the roar of the waves falling into Wei-lu of the Great Eastern Ocean. No land was to be seen. Suddenly there arose a strong easterly wind and the junk escaped its doom. (Hirth and Rockhill, Chau Ju-Kua, note 3, p. 185.)

Such superstition, like that of the Pillars of Hercules, in the Strait of Gibraltar, naturally restrained explorations so that the first voyages across the China sea came from Manila.

The earliest account of Filipino traders comes through a brief mention in a French ethnologist’s notes on foreigners in China (Henry St. Denis, Ethnographie, II, 502, according to Rockhill) that in 982 merchants from Manila visited Canton for trade. They probably were not pioneers as it is related that they came with valuable merchandise. This was about the time (between 976 and 983) when the Canton trade was declared a state monopoly. Over two centuries a maritime customs service had existed in that port, reorganized in 971 because of the greatly increased foreign trade.

From 1174 to 1190 (Chau Ju-Kua’s account, Hirth and Rockhill, p. 165) the Formosan Bisayan chiefs were in the habit of assembling parties of several hundreds to make sudden raids on villages of the neighboring Chinese coast. There murders innumerable and even cannibalism were charged against them, though perhaps there should be some discount upon these unfavorable statements as even today enemies are not always reliable authorities upon their adversaries.

They placed great value upon iron, even to the extent of attaching ropes, of over a hundred feet in length, to their spears so that these might be recovered after each throw.

Such was their fondness for all forms of iron that those surprised by them would throw away spoons or chopsticks of that metal so [97]while the pursuers were stopping to pick these up they could gain a start. Once in the house the door had only to be closed and they would be distracted from the attack by sight of an iron knocker which they would wrench off and then immediately depart with it.

The soldiers decoyed them with mail-covered horsemen and in their mad struggle to strip off the armor they would meet their death without being sensible of their danger. Bamboo lashed into rafts conveyed them over the waters and when hard pressed facilitated their escape for these, folded up like screens, were easy to lift and swim off with.

A collector of customs (the Chau Ju-Kua before quoted) of Chinchew, the port in the Amoy district later made famous by Marco Polo, from personal investigation obtained data as to the Philippines which he published in a geography written between 1209 and 1214 (B. Laufer, Relations of Chinese to the Philippines, Washington, 1907, p. 24).

Under “Mai,” an island north of Borneo, he is supposed to include Western Luzon, and the Island of Mindoro, which Blumentritt thinks (Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen, 65) had the name “Mait,” or black, from the former negrito population. The opening description, now held to be of Manila, tells of about a thousand families who occupied both banks of a water-course. Some people wore only waist-cloths while others draped themselves in a sort of cotton sheet, getting presumably much the same effect as may be seen among the feminine bathers on the Tondo beach any Sunday morning.

Little bronze idols of unknown origin were to be found in the grassy region outside the village, for Mr. Rockhill is careful to translate “idols” instead of “Buddhas,” holding that the word has the more general meaning often. Yet because the later idols of the country were of wood and clay one wonders where bronze idols would be made at that time if not in a Buddhist land. Manila was a peaceable community then, and peaceful too, for the fierce pirates of the south had not yet gotten into the habit of coming there, still less had settled, as they were to do two centuries later.

The traders’ ships anchored in front of the quarters of the chiefs, to whom they presented the white silk parasols which these dignitaries were accustomed to use. There the market was held, and the shore people at once went on board, mixing in friendly fashion with the newcomers. Nor was there fear of loss, for such then was the Manilans’ honesty that even when some one helped himself and took away goods without being seen he could be relied on in due season to faithfully account for them. The period was usually eight or nine months so that, though not travelling the greatest distance, those trading to Manila were among the latest in getting back to China.

The trade was without money, a barter of the country’s yellow wax (a medium grade), cotton, pearls, tortoise shell, medicinal betel nuts, and native cloth, for imported porcelain, trade gold, iron censers, leads, colored glassbeads and iron needles. Names of other settlements in this region may be what we now call the Babuyanes islands, Polillo island, off the East coast, Lingayen in [98]Pangasinan, Luzon perhaps used of East Luzon and (according to Luther M. Parker, a graduate student in the University of the Philippines, 1913–14) Lian in Batangas.

For the group called “the three islands,” Calamianes, Palawan and Busuanga are the closest resemblances to the curious names of the Chinese narrative, though B. Laufer in his notes to Fay Cole’s Chinese pottery in the Philippines (Field Museum Bulletin) suggests another for Calamianes.

Local customs were said not to differ particularly from the ways of Mai. The country, grand in its scenery, had many ridges and ranges of cliffs rose from the shore, steep as the walls of a house.

Each tribe had about a thousand families (which seems to be only another way of saying that the tribes were large rather than an effort at statistics) and they lived in wattled huts in commanding situations difficult of access. The sight of women bringing water from the streams in jars gracefully and easily carried on the head, two or three being borne one above another, still amazes and interests us as it did the Chinese geographer’s informant.

In more remote valleys lurked the negritoes, nesting in the trees the author alleges. They were stunted in stature, with eyes round and yellow, curly hair, and teeth exposed by their parted lips. In groups of three or five they would ambuscade some unwary wayfarer and many fell victims to their cunning and deadly arrows. But throwing a porcelain bowl would make them forget their murderous purpose and off they would go, leaping and shouting in joy.

The country folk evidently did not inspire in the traders the same confidence these felt toward the Manilans. Their ships would anchor in midstream and none went ashore till there had been sent one or two hostages to be retained till the trading was over. Drum beating announced their arrival, when the local traders raced for the ship carrying, evidently as samples, cotton, yellow wax, and home made cloth, and coconut heart mats, whatever this last may have meant. In case of disagreement over prices the chiefs of the traders came in person, when, after a mutually satisfactory settlement had been reached, there would be presents given,—silk umbrellas, porcelain and rattan baskets, probably the first two from the visitors and the last from the people. Then the barter was concluded ashore. Three or four days was the usual stop in each place when the ships sailed to another anchorage, for each of the settlements was independent of its neighbors. The Chinese goods were porcelain, black damask, and other silks, beads of all colors leaden sinkers for nets, and tin.

Polillo, on the Pacific coast, was also, but less frequently, visited, to obtain two prized varieties of coral. There local customs and commercial usages were the same as on the other side of the archipelago, but though the settlements were more populous the coral was hard to get and so there was little trade. The coast, too, was dangerous, with the sea full of “bare ribs of rock with jagged tooth-like blasted trees, their points and edges sharper than swords and lances.” Ships tacked far out from shore in passing to avoid these perils, and besides the people were “of cruel disposition and given to robbery.” [99]

Northern Formosa, during this period, was not visited by Chinese for there were no goods of special importance to be gotten there while the people were also given to robbery, but Formosan goods,—yellow wax, native gold, buffalo tails, and jerked leopard-meat, were brought to the Philippines for sale.

For 1349, in an unpublished translation by Mr. Rockhill of “A Description of the Barbarians of the Isles (Tao-i-chih-lio) by Wang Ta-yuan is mentioned the “three archipelagoes,” if that is the proper way to distinguish between Chao-ju-kua’s Sanhsu and the present San-tao. Islands were for the Chinese merely places distant by a sea route from each other rather than our “bodies of land completely surrounded by water.”

This author’s region was to the east of a very curious range of mountains if one may translate the name “taki-shan.” It was divided by a triple peak and there was range upon range of mountains which suggests to Mr. Rockhill the Pacific coast of Luzon south of Cape Engaño.

As now, the soil was poor and the crops sparse, while the heated climate was variable.

The old question of a lost white tribe, attributed so often to Mindoro, is raised by mention of “some males and females,” being “white.” Perhaps the breeding principle that a second cross sometimes reverts to the original type may be the explanation. Chinese mestizos have seemed to me whiter here than European blends with Filipinas where no Chinese strain was present. Their delicate beauty suggests the Caucasians from whom the earliest Chinese may have taken wives in the remote past before they came to the “eighteen provinces.” The first Spaniards comment also on exceedingly fair Filipinas and as the Caucasian type is the European ideal of beauty it probably resulted that such mixed marriages as occurred were with these Chinese mestizas. The prejudice of new converts against pagans, linked with the humiliation to which the Chinese residents in the Philippines were subject during Spain’s rule here, led to covering up and ignoring all Chinese relations and is a very good reason why even where known there is today reluctance to admit descent from the oldest of civilized races. Yet before the Spaniards came both in the Philippines and in the lands from which successive immigrations of Filipinos have come, the Chinese traders ranked with the aristocracy and Chinese wives were sought by royalty.

A trait by no means died out was a fondness for jewelry shown by stowaways on board junks for Chinchew. When their money was all expended on personal adornments they returned home, there to be honored as travelled personages, the distinction of having visited China raising them above even their own fathers and the older men.

The 1349 account of Mai, or Manila, credits the people with “customs chaste and good.” Both men and women wore their hair done up in a knot and clothed themselves in blue cotton shirts. Since the earlier notice, within the century and a quarter interval, Hindu influence had become manifest for a sort of suttee is related. New [100]widows with shaven heads would lie fasting beside their husband’s corpses for seven days. Then if still alive they could eat but were never permitted to remarry and many when the husband’s body was placed on the funeral pyre accompanied it into the flames. The region must have been populous for on the burial of a chief of renown two or three thousand slaves would be buried in his tomb. The imports show more luxuries; red taffetas, ivory and trade silver figuring in the later list.

Sulu comes in for mention with fields losing their fertility in the third year of cultivation. Sago, fish, shrimps and shell fish made up the diet and the people, with cut hair, wore black turbans as may now be seen in parts of Borneo, and dressed in sarongs. Boiling seawater for salt, making rum and weaving were their occupations ashore, and dyewoods of middling quality, beeswax, tortoise-shell and pearls, surpassing in roundness and whiteness, were their exports.

Laufer (Relations of Chinese to the Philippines, p. 251) gives 1372 as the date of the first tribute embassy to China from the Philippine peoples under their present name of “Luzon-men,” then designating principally Manilans (Ming Chronicles chap. 323, p. 110 according to his reference). Luzon was then stated to be situated in the South Sea very close to Chinchew, Fukien province.

The ruler of the great Middle Kingdom in return sent an official to the king of Luzon with gifts of silk gauze embroidered in gold and colors. The commentator adds a well founded caution against accepting the word “first” as meaning anything other than that the chronicler was unfamiliar with previous notices.

Laufer quotes from the Ming Chronicles of the Malayan tribe F’ing-ka-shi-lau whom he concludes are the Pangasinanes, inhabitants of the western and southern shores of Lingayen Bay, Luzon, but in earlier days apparently extending further north. Early in the XV century they had a small realm of their own, sending an embassy to China in 1406 and presenting the emperor as gifts “with excellent horses, silver and other objects” and receiving in return paper money and silks. In 1408 the chief was accompanied by an imposing retinue of two headmen from each village subject to his authority and these in turn each accompanied by some of his retainers. This time the imperial gifts were paper money for the sub-chiefs and for each hundred men six pieces of an open-work variegated silk, for making coats, and linings.

Besides a 1410 embassy from Pangasinan there was another tribute party from Luzon headed by one Ko-Ch’a-lao who brought products of his country, among which gold was most prominent. This last party came because in 1405 the Emperor Yung-lo had sent a high Chinese officer to Luzon to govern that country. Here is definite political identification with the Chinese empire. In 1407 it is probable this moral force of respect for the superior culture of what was the Rome of the Orient witnessed also a physical demonstration, for in that year the eunuch Cheng-ho set sail, with his 62 large ships bearing 27,800 soldiers, on the expedition which explored as far as the Arabian Gulf and required the nominal allegiance of the numerous countries visited during repeated voyages extending over thirty years. [101]

Ian C. Hannah states in his “Eastern Asia: A History” that outside the North of Toh Chow, in Shantung province, by a little mosque, is yet marked the burial place of a former sultan of Sulu who died on a visit to the Emperor Yung-lo in 1417.

In the same year, Sulu’s eastern, western and village rajahs with their wives, children and headmen all came to the Chinese court with tribute, and another tribute mission from Sulu arrived in 1420.

About the middle of the XV century, Doctors Hose and McDougall in their history of Borneo (Pagan Tribes of Borneo, London, 1912, chap. 1) assert, a Bisayan was king of Brunei. This Alakber Tala, later to be called Sultan Mohammed, introduced Arabic doctrines into his kingdom and the use of Arabic writing made his reign the beginning of Brunei’s local recorded history. His great grandnephew, Makoda Ragan, had Arab and Chinese as well as Bisayan blood, a fact remembered to this day by having representatives of these three races officiating at the king’s coronation, and the fourth official on these occasions is dressed in ancient Bisayan costume. Makoda Ragah, also called Sultan Bulkiah, is spoken of as the most heroic character in Bornean history and conquered the Sulu islands, and sent expeditions to Manila, the second time seizing the place. His wife, the first queen of the Philippines of whom we know, was a Javan princess. This great king was accidentally killed by his wife’s bodkin. It was this monarch or his son who died in 1575 that so impressed the chronicler of Magellan’s expedition.

Corroboration for this considerable historic association comes in the Chinese jars found in the oldest burial caves as well as prized among the more remote hill tribes as ancestral possessions, handed down from so remote an antiquity that their origin has long been forgotten and they are now venerated as objects that came from heaven (Fay Cole: Chinese Pottery in the Philippines). The four-toed dragon claw designs place them among the Chinese manufacture of not later than the last of the XIV century.

Legend is not lacking, either, for a tradition of Tapul (Saleeby: The Origin of the Malayan Filipinos, p. 1) relates that a Chinese rajah who anchored his boat at the south of their island had his daughter stolen in the night by the “dewas.” She was hidden in a bamboo stalk and there found by the solitary male who had hatched out of a roc’s egg. Their daughter, the earliest recorded Chinese mestiza, was, according to Doctor Saleeby again, the grandmother of the Chiefs of Sulu.

The very name Luzon is not the time-honored rice mortar, La-sung, but Luzong of which John Crawfurd (History of the Indian Archipelago, vol. 1, p. 324) says: “The term, I have no doubt, is Chinese, for the Chinese, who destroy the sound of all other native names of countries, or use barbarisms of their own, apply the word Lusong familiarly and correctly.” They even associate it with their famous dynasty of that name and have a joke of their own at the expense of the Spaniards (B. Laufer: The Chinese in the Philippines).

Naming in pairs is common enough by Chinese to make it seem more than a mere coincidence that these islands are called “Liu sung,” while their neighbors to the north were originally “Liu Kiu.” [102]


(Translation, by Hon. W. W. Rockhill, of a Chinese book of 1349, by Wang Ta-yuan, Description of the Barbarians of the Isles (Tao-i-chih-lio).)



It is to the east of Ta-ki-shan. (1). It is divided by a triple peak, and there are range upon range of mountains. The people live along the roadsides. The soil is poor and the crops sparse. The climate is of varying degrees of heat. Among the males and females some are white. The men knot their hair on the tops of their heads; the women do it up in a chignon behind. They wear a single garment. The men frequently get on board junks and come to Ch’uanchou (in Fu-kien). When the brokers there have got all the money out of their bags for ornaments for their persons, they go home, where their countrymen show them great honor at which even fathers and old men may not grumble, for it is a custom to show honor to those who come from China. The people boil seawater to make salt, and ferment sugar-cane juice to make liquor. They have a ruler (or chief). The natural products are beeswax, cotton, and cotton stuffs. In trading with them use is made of copper beads, blue and white porcelain cups, small figured chintzes, pieces of iron and the like. Secondary to them there is T’a-p’ei, Hai-tan, Pa-numg-ki, Pu-li-lao, Tung-liu-li. They are only noted here as they have no very remarkable products.

1) The San hsü of Chao Ju-kua were Kia-ma-yen (Calamian), Pa-lao-yu (Palawan?), and Pa-ki-nung (Busuanga?). The San-tao of our author seems to be a more restricted area, presumably the coast south of Cape Engano, which may be his Ta-ki shan. The San hsü of Chao were dependencies of Ma-i which probably included all of the northern and western portions of Luzon, if not all the island.

2) Chao Ju-kua states that in San hsü were “many lofty ridges and ranges of cliffs which rise steep as the walls of a house.”

3) T’a-pei defies identification. Hai-tan is found already in Chao’s book, it is the Aeta, the Negrito aborigines of the Philippines. Pa-nung-ki must be an error for Pa-ki-nung; Pu-li-lao is Chao’s P’u-li-lu (Polillo island) and Tung Liu-li is also in all likelihood an error for Tung Liu-hsin and may mean “Eastern Luzon.” See Hirth and Rockhill, op. sup. cit., 160, where these names are wrongly divided; we should read Li Kin and Tung Liu-hsin.

In reference to what our author says of white colored natives in the Philippines, I have been assured that such is the fact; I, unfortunately, cannot now recall on which island they have been found. (Mindoro, probably albinos.—A. C.)



The island is flat and broad. It is watered by a double branched stream. The soil is rich. The climate is rather hot. In their customs they are chaste and good. Both men and women do up their hair in a knot behind. They wear a blue cotton shirt. When any woman mourns her husband, she shaves her head and fasts for seven days, lying beside her husband. Most of them [103]nearly die, but if, after seven days, they are not dead, their relatives urge them to eat. Should they get quite well they may not remarry during their whole lives. There are some even who, to make manifest their wifely devotion, when the body of their dead husband has been consumed, get into the funeral pyre and die. At the burial of a chief of renown they put to death two or three thousand slaves to bury with him. The people boil sea-water to make salt, and ferment treacle to make spirits. The native products are cotton, beeswax, tortoise-shell, betelnuts and chintzes. The goods used in trading are caldrons, pieces of iron, colored cotton stuffs, red taffetas, ivory, sycee shoes and the like. The natives and the traders having agreed on prices, they let the former carry off the goods and later on they bring the amount of native products agreed upon. The traders trust them, for they never fail to keep their bargains.

Cf. Chu-fan-chih Hirth and Rockhill, op. sup. cit., 159–162. It refers to the custom of the people building their dwellings along the banks of streams and not in villages. It refers also at length to the honesty of the natives in their dealings with the Chinese traders. The custom of suttee was evidently introduced into the islands subsequent to Chao Ju-kua’s time (1225), brought there of course, from India or Java, otherwise the earlier writer would probably have noted it.



This place has the Shih-i island as a defense. The fields of the island of three years cultivation are lean; they can grow millet and wheat. The people eat shahu (sago), fish, shrimps, and shell fish. The climate is half hot. The customs are simple. Men and women cut their hair, wear a black turban, and a piece of chintze with a minute pattern tied around them. They boil sea-water to make salt, and ferment the juice of the sugar-cane to make spirits. They earn a living by weaving chu pu. They have a ruler. The native products include laka-wood of middling quality, beeswax, tortoise-shell, and pearls. These Su-lu pearls are whiter and rounder than those got at Sha-li-pa-tan (Jurfattan of the Arabs, on Malabar coast), Tisan-kiang (gulf of Manár), and other places. Their price is very high. The Chinese use them for head ornaments. When they are off-color they are classed as “unassorted.” There are some over an inch in diameter. The large pearls from this country fetch up to seven or eight hundred ting. All below this are little pearls. Pearls worth ten thousand taels and upwards, or worth from three or four hundred to a thousand taels, come from the countries of the western Ocean and from Ti-san-kiang (near Ceylon); there are none here (in Su-lu). The goods used in trading here are dark gold, trade silver Pa tu-la cotton cloth, blue beads Chu (choufu) china-ware, pieces of iron, and such like things. Hsi-yang chao-kung tien-lu, 1.20 (Su-lu) says, “this country is in the Eastern Sea. Its trade centre is the island of Shih-ch’i. In 1417 its eastern raja Pa-tu-ko pa-ta-la, its western raja Pa-tu-ko pa-su-li, and its village raja Pa-tu-ko pa-la-pu came with their [104]wives, children, and headmen to court with tribute. Again in 1420 there came a tribute mission from Su-lu. See Rouffaer, op. sup. cit., IV., 391. He gives us the equivalents of these names, Paduka Bohol, Paduka Suli, and Paduka Prabu. Duarte Barbosa, 203, says of the Sulu (Solor) islands that “all around this island the Moros gather much seed pearl and fine pearls of perfect color and not round.”


Spanish Unreliability; Early Chinese Rule over Philippines; and Reason for Indolence in Mindanao

Mr. Salmon’s “Modern History,” London, 1744, Vol. I, pp. 92–93.

The Portuguese were no sooner in possession of Malacca, but they discovered the Moluccas or Spice islands; at which time Magallanes returning home and not being rewarded according to his expectations, as has been hinted above, offered his service to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, proposing to discover a passage to these very Spice islands by sailing westward, which he apprehended would bring them within the Emperor’s share, according to the agreement above mentioned, that all countries which should be discovered westward should belong to Spain, as all the discoveries eastward were to belong to Portugal.

The Spaniards who lived to return home again, gave a very extravagant account of the inhabitants which has since appeared to have little truth in it. They afterwards sailed into the 50th degree of South latitude, where they pretended to meet with a monstrous race of giants, which have never been heard of since; and, among other improbable stories, tell us that their way of letting blood there was by chopping a great gash in their arms and legs with a hatchet, instead of using a lancet; and the way of vomiting their patients was by thrusting an arrow a foot and a half long down their throats.

So little credit is to be given to some discoverers, especially where they happen to be people of no judgment, and who have little regard for truth, as it happened in this case where the commander, Magellan, and most of the officers died in the voyage, and very few besides the common sailors returned to give an account of the expedition.

Magellan was killed in a skirmish with the natives; having a little before his death received intelligence that the Molucca islands, which he came out in search of, were not far distant; and his ships, afterwards pursuing the voyage, arrived at Tidore, one of the Moluccas, on the 8th day of November, 1521. In these islands they were kindly received by the respective Princes and suffered to build a fort and erect a factory at Tidore; they also left one of their ships which was leaky there to be refitted, which the Portuguese afterwards took as a prize and ruined their factory. [105]

These islands were probably first peopled from the continent of China, being formerly under the Emperor of China’s government; who deserted them, it seems, on account of their being too remote from the rest of his dominion; but their religious rights, as well as several other customs they retained when the Spanish came thither, show that the people were of Chinese extraction.

The Mindanayans are said to be an ingenious, witty people and active enough when they have a mind to it; but for the most part very lazy and thievish, and will not work unless compelled to it by hunger; but our author attributes their want of industry chiefly to the tyranny of the government, which will not suffer them to enjoy the wealth they acquire, and therefore they never endeavor to lay up anything.


Bisayans in Formosa

(Dr. Terrien de Lacouperie, Formosa Notes; Hertford, 1887, p. 39.)

There are other evidences of importance, which show that the Chinese were acquainted with the dark-skinned occupiers of Formosa as originated from the Philippine Archipelago. The Yang tchou wen Kao (v. Geo. Kleinwachter, The History of Formosa under the Chinese, p. 345) says that “the island of Tai-wan (or Formosa), which was formerly called Ki-lung, was originally a part of the Liu-Kiu state, which was founded by some descendants of the Ha-la. The author does not say what the Ha-la are, assuming that his readers are acquainted with that name, so that we must look elsewhere for the wanted explanations. I find it in the Miao Man hoh tchi (k. III, ff. 6–7), “A Description of the Miao and Man Tribes,” by Tsao Shu-K’iao of Shanghai. The entry about that people is amongst those of the South. They are described as “dark, with deep-set eyes,” a peculiarity which the Chinese stated to be that of the kun-lun men, as we have seen above. The author of the Miao Man hoh tchi says also that the Hala do not know the practice of chewing betel and he proceeds with some details on their clothes and customs in so far as they are peculiar to themselves, but they are unimportant. Now these Ha-la of the Chinese are simply the Gala, commonly Ta-gala, with the usual Ta1 prefix of the Philippine Islands and the statements agree entirely with the inferences of ethnologists deduced from travellers’ reports as to the parentship of several tribes of aborigines of Formosa with the Tagal population of the Philippines.

The Chinese ethnographical notices of the Sung Dynasty on the Liu Kiu islands, including as it does all the islands from Japan to the Philippines, states that next to Liu-Kiu lies the country of the P’i-she-ye2 in which we must I think recognize the Bisayas, the most diffused population of the Philippines, and next to the Tagalas in importance. [106]

They made a raid on the coasts of Fuhkien at Tsiuen-tchou during the period A. D. 1174–1189 and caused a great deal of havoc. They are described as naked savages with large eyes, greatly covetous of iron in any shape, using bamboo rafts and a sort of javelin attached by a long string and which they throw on their enemy (cf. Ma Tuanlin, Wen hien t’ung K’ao; d’Hervey de St. Denis, Ethnographie de Matouanlin, Vol. 1, p. 425). These people travelling on rafts could not have come from afar, and therefore may be supposed to have come over to the Chinese coast from Formosa. In which probable case, this ought to have resulted from an emigration of them to the great island.

1 This prefix does not seem, however, to be genuine in the language, so that the Chinese have mistaken the first syllable Ta for their own word (adjective preposed) ta “great”, and dropped it with their usual contempt for foreign nations. But all this is conjectural.

2 apparently Sanskrit ... some such sound as ... Vaisadja.—Parker (China, London, 1901.)—C.


The Tagalog Tongue

By Jose Rizal

Tagalog belongs to the agglutinative branch of languages. For a long time it was believed to be one of the dialects of Malay, through that language having been the first of the family known to Europeans. But later studies, by comparing the Malay-Polynesian idioms with one another, have succeeded in showing how slight is the basis for this supposition. The conjugation of the Tagalog verbs, far from being derived from the Malay verbs, contains in itself every form of that’s and besides some from other dialects.

Although in Tagalog as at present spoken and written (slightly different from ancient Tagalog), there are to be found many Sanscrit, Spanish and Chinese words, nevertheless the structure of the language still retains its own distinctive character. These foreign words are stitched to the fabric much as gems are set in jewels; they could come off and something else be substituted without the framework losing its form.

Like every other language, Tagalog has its alphabet; composed of five vowels and fourteen consonants.

The vowels are: A, E, I, O, U.

A is pronounced clear and full as in all other languages. The same may be said of I and U.

E and O only are found in the last syllable, or in the next to the last when that begins with the same vowel. In these cases E or O can be likewise represented by I or U, since the sounds of these final, or penultimate, vowels partake of both sounds. For example, in mabuti or mabute, the final I or E sounds like the final Y of the English words pity and beauty, where Y has a sound intermediate between E and I; leeg or liig is pronounced with a vowel which resembles E as much as it does I.

In the same way, O in the words dulo, ubod, look, has the value of a vowel intermediate between O and U.

The consonants are: B, D, G, , H, K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, Y. [107]


Philippine Tribes and Languages

By Prof. Ferdinand Blumentritt.

Notwithstanding the rich literature concerning the peoples and languages of the Philippine Archipelago, there is no book or publication in which are catalogued the names of the tribes and the languages, and this appears the more inexcusable, since both Spanish and Philippine writers, with few exceptions, handle these names very carelessly, so that great confusion must ensue. The prevailing bad form in the Philippines, of transferring the name of one people or family (Stamm) to another, who possess similarities of any kind with the first, either in manner of life, or even only in culture grade in the widest sense of the term, has its counterpart in a second bad fashion of making several peoples out of one by replacing the folk name with the tribal names. Only with the greatest pains and thought is it possible to extricate one’s self from this labyrinth of nomenclature. After thorough search, I am convinced that many names reported to me must be eliminated, since they owe their existence to mistakes in penmanship or printing, to ridicule, misunderstanding, or error, as I have proved in single instances. However, I have been convinced that by a closer and intelligent exploration of the archipelago, it would not only be possible to make many corrections, particularly in orthography, but that new names would also be added, especially from northern Luzon and from the interior of other islands.

I have introduced into this catalogue all the variations of published names known to me, and briefly the description of tribal locations and reports on their culture grades, especially their religion. Besides the Negritos, I differentiate only Malay peoples (Stamme) in general, because here regard for different principles of grouping and subdividing of the Malay race would appear to serve no good end and perhaps prove troublesome. Obsolete forms of names are carefully marked with a cross. Where I, as with the Talaos, Mardicas, and Cafres, take note of foreign peoples or castes on the islands, it is because Spanish authors have erroneously set them down as Philippine. On the other hand, in order to draw attention to a few names customary in the country for races and castes, I have included the following, not belonging here in strict accordance with the title of this article: Castila, Cimarrones, Indios, Infieles, Insulares, Mestizos, Montaraz, Peninsulares, Remontados, and Sangley:

Abacas.—Heathen Malay people, who lived in the dense forests of Caraballo Sur (Luzon). Warlike, probably head-hunters. In the last century they were Christianized, and in their territory the parish of Caranglan (province of Nueva Ecija) was founded, where their descendants lived as peaceful Christians. They have a language of their own, but appear now to be thoroughly Tagalized.

Abra-Igorots, Igorots of Abra.—Collective title for the head-hunters living in the province of Abra (Luzon). Belong for the most part to the Guinaanes.

Abulon.—The name of a group of wild peoples living in the mountain regions of Zambales. They are perhaps identical with the Zambales and Igorots.

Adang.—A folk with a language of their own, who dwell about a mountain of the same name in the province of Ilocos Norte. According to the Augustians P. Buzeta and P. Bravo, they are a mixture of Malays and Negritos. But the first-named element is more prevalent than the second. Their customs resemble those of the Apayaos, their next neighbors; still they do not appear to be head-hunters. [108]

Aeta, see Negrito. (Variants: Aheta, Eta, Aita, Aigta, Ita, Atta, Agta, Inagta, Até, Atá, etc., from the Tagalog, ita, itim, Malay itam, Bicol, ytom, black).

Agutainos.—Name of the natives of Malay race in the island of Agutaya, in the Cuyo archipelago (province of Calamianes). They have their own dialect, called Agutaino; are Christianized and civilized.

Alibaon, Alibabaun.—Not the name of a people, but, it seems, a title of the Moro chief, settled on the bay of Davao.

Alimut.—This name is cited in the form Igorots of Alimut. Supposed to be the tribe of head-hunters who lived in June, 1889, in the lately erected comandancia Quiangan and on the banks of the river Alimut. In this case they should belong to the Mayoyao or Ifugao family (Luzon).

Altasanes or Altabanes.—In both forms a head-hunting people of northwestern Nueva Vizcaya (Luzon) is known. The correct spelling of the name should be decided. They appear to have no language of their own and perhaps belong to the Mayoyaos and Ifugaos.

Apayaos.—Warlike head-hunters, having their own language and dwelling in the northwestern portion of the province of Cagayan (Luzon) and the adjoining portions of Ilocos Norte and Abra. Buzeta and Bravo report that they are not full-blood Malays, but mixed with Negritos. It must not be forgotten, however, that the Spanish authors have such mixtures ready made. Dark hair is a mixture of Negrito blood; clear skin or yellowish is the result of crossing with Chinese or Japanese. They are partly Christianized. Some Spanish authors declare their language to be Mandaya, but this is improbable.

Variants: Apayos, Apoyaos. (Consult also Vol. VIII, folio series of the Royal Ethnographic Museum in Dresden, by A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg.)

Aripas.—A Malay language, spoken by a peaceable people. They live near Nacsiping and Tubang (Luzon). They are heathen, but a portion of them have been converted to Christianity. With these new Christians the village of Aripa has been founded.

Atas (also Ataas, Itaas).—(1) A powerful people of unknown origin, who occupy the head waters of the rivers Davas, Tuganay, and Libaganum, and their country extends in the eastern portion of the province of Misamis (Mindanao) to the home of the Bukidnones. Little is known about the Atás; they appear to be a mixture of Negritos and Malays. They have a language of their own. Their name means “dwellers in highlands.” Variants: Ataas, Itaas. (2) A mixture of Bicols and Negritos in Camarines Sur. [On the confounding of Atás with Aetas, consult A. B. Meyer, 1899, p. 18. The Atás are not pure Negritos.—Tr.]

Até.—Name which the Tagbanuas of Palawan (Paragua) give to the Negritos.

Atta.—Dialect spoken by the Negritos of the province of Cagayan (Luzon).

Baganis.—No people is known under this name, as Moya erroneously asserts; it is the title conferred on every Manobo warrior who has slain seven enemies.

Bagobos.—A heathen and bloodthirsty people of Malay derivation and with an idiom of their own. Their home is at the foot of the volcano of Apo (Davao, in Mindanao). There are detached Christian settlements of them.

Balugas.—(1) Collective title for dark mixed people of Malay and Negrito race, derived from the Tagalog word baloga, “black mixed one.” Balugas are to be found in several portions of central Luzon. (2) Some authors identify Aetas with Balugas. Camarca calls the black, woolly savages of the mountains in Camumusan “Negros Balugas,” so it seems that in certain regions more or less pure-blooded Negritos were called by this name.

Banaos.—[In northern Luzon. See A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Vol. VIII, folio series of the Royal Ethnographic Museum, in Dresden.]

Bangal-Bangal.—The Dulanganes are so called by the Moros.

Bangot.—A name conferred on various bands of Manguianes in Mindoro, for the place and mode of life. So called are (1), by the Socol and Bulalacao, those Manguianes who inhabit the plains; and (2) those Manguianes of Mongoloid type who have their dwelling places on the banks of the streams south of Pinamalayan.

Banuaon.—Name of the Manobos tribe from which the Christian settlement of Amporo, in the district of Surigao (Mindanao), was formed.

Barangan.—Name borne by those Manguian hordes who occupy the most elevated stations in the Mangarin Mountains (Mindoro).

Batak.—Another name for the Tinitianos, especially those that dwell in the neighborhood of Punta Tinitia and the Bubayán Creek, on the island of Palawan.

Batan.—The inhabitants of Batanes Island were and are enumerated by Spanish authors among the Ibanags or Cagayanes. According to Dr. T. H. Pardo this is incorrect, for their idiom differs not only from the Ibanag but from [109]all others in the Philippines, having the sound of “tsch,” unknown elsewhere in the archipelago, and a nasal sound like that of the French “en.” They are therefore to be separated from the Cagayanes.

Bayabonan.—Name of a supposed Malay people with a language of their own, living as neighbors to the Gamunanges on the mountain slopes eastward from Tuao, in Cagayan (Luzon). They are heathen and little is known of them save the name.

Beribi.—Manguianes domiciled between Socol and Bulalacao, living on the mountains. (Compare Bangot.)

Bicol.—Autonym of those natives of Malay race who inhabit the peninsula of Camarines in Luzon and some outlying islands. On the arrival of the Spaniards they were somewhat civilized and had a kind of writing. They are Christians, still a section of them live under the names Igorots, or Cimarrones, mostly mixed with Negrito blood, in the wilds of Isarog, Iriga, Buhi, Caramuan, etc., wild, and plunged in the deepest heathendom. The official spelling of the name is Vicol. This is clear, since in Spanish the letter v, especially before e or i, is sounded like German b.

Bilanes.—A Malay people occupying, according to latest accounts, a larger area than I have attributed to them in my ethnographic chart of Mindanao, here thoroughly penetrated also by other stocks. The Sarangani islands, lying off the southern point of Mindanao, are inhabited by them. They are heathen, of peaceable disposition. Their language is characterized by the possession of the letter f. The proper form of their name ought to be Buluan, so that they have the same title as the lake. They must then at first have been called Tagabuluan (Taga = whence, from there). (Compare Tagabelies.)

Variants: Buluanes, Buluan, Vilanes, Vilaanes.

Bisayas.—Officially written Visayas. A Malay people who, on the arrival of the Spaniards, had a culture and an art of writing of their own. They inhabit the islands named after them, besides the northern and the eastern coast of Mindanao, with small intrusions of heathen populations that have become Visayised since the converted tribes—Manobos, Buquidnones, Subanos, Mandayas, etc., have been taught the Visaya language in the schools. Also Zamboango and Cottobato show Visaya settlements. Among them are to be counted the Mundos. At the time of the discovery they painted (or tattooed) their bodies, on which account they received from the Spaniards the name of Pintados, which stuck to them even till the eighteenth century. They are Christians. Their language is divided into several dialects, of which the Cebuano and Panayano are most important. (Compare Calamiano, Halayo, Hiliguayna, Caraga. Blumentritt places their number at 2,500,000 and upward. Globus, 1896, LXX, p. 213.)

Bontok-Igorots.—Collective name of the head-hunting peoples living in the province of Bontok, to whom also the Guinaanes belong.

Bouayanan.—A heathen folk in the interior of Palawan. The name appears to mean “crocodile men.”

Buhuanos, Bujuanos.—A heathen folk related to the Igorots (head-hunters?), dwelling in the province of Isabela de Luzon. They are warlike in nature.

Bulalacaunos.—A wild people of Malay race (without Negrito mixture?), having its own (?) idiom. It is to be found in the interior of the northern part of the island of Palawan (Paragua) and in Calamianes islands.

Buluanes, see Bilanes.

Bungananes.—A warlike, head-hunting (?) people, who live in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela de Luzon. Except the name, almost nothing is known of them, and in my view this is not certain.

Bukidnones, Buquidnones.—A heathen Malay people living in the eastern part of the district of Misamis (Mindanao), from Ibigan to Punta Divata (the coast is settled chiefly by Visayas), and along the Rio de Tagoloan. Lately they have been partly Christianized. The Spaniards conferred on them the name of Monteses, “dwellers in the mountains,” which is a translation of their name.

Bukil, Buquil.—Name of different Manguiana tribes of Mindoro: (1) the Manguianes mixed with Negrito blood, whose homes are in the vicinity of Bacoo and Subaan; (2) those that dwell on the spurs of the mountains between Socol and Bulalacao, and show a pure Malay type; (3) in Pinamalayan they are called Manguianes of Mongoloid type, who inhabit the plains; (4) the Manguianes who dwell on the banks of the rivers are named Mangarin. In view of the fact that Bukil is identical with Bukid, and can be applied only to tribes living in mountain forests, it appears to me that the settlements given under 3 and 4 are incorrect. [110]

Buquitnon.—A “race” by this name, on the island of Negros, until recently unknown (used in La Oceañía Española, Manila, August 9, 1889, copied from the Provenir de Visayas.) The Buquitnon are said to be a heathen tribe of about 40,000 souls that has its homes on the mountains of Negros, not massed together and not to be distinguished from the Visayas living on the coast. Whether the Carolanos are identical with them is hard to say. The name Buquitnon and also Buquidnon in Mindanao means mountaineers, upland forest dwellers, yet are the Buquitnon, of Negros, and the Buquidnon, of Mindanao, to be strongly distinguished from each other.

Buriks.—Under this name figures a pretended Igorot people in all publications devoted to the Igorots, but Dr. Hans Meyer found that Burik applies to any Igorot who is tattooed in a certain manner. I did not believe this until a Philippine friend, Eduardo P. Casal, wrote that the Igorots in the Philippine Exposition in Madrid, in 1887, had confirmed the statement of Dr. Meyer.

Busaos.—From Spanish accounts the Busaos are a separate division of Igorots. Dr. Hans Meyer has reported that the Basaos, or Bisaos, through manner, costume, and custom, are to be numbered rather with the Guiaanes and Bontok-Igorots than with the Igorots proper.

Cafres.—No native people by this name. The Papuan slaves brought to Manila by the Portuguese at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century were so called. (The abolition of slavery under Philip II arrested this traffic.)

Cagayanes.—A Malay language group. Their dwelling places are the Rio Grande de Cagayan (Luzon) from Furao to the mouth, the Babuyanes and Batanes islands, although the people of the last named are by some authors made an independent stock. (Compare Batan.) The Cagayanes had at the time of the Spanish discovery a civilization of their own. They are Christians. Their language is Ibanag. From them are to be sharply discriminated the people of Cagayan, in Mindanao, belonging to the Visayan stock.

Calaganes.—A small Malayan people who live on the Casilaran Creek (Bay of Davao, Mindanao). Partly converted to Christianity.

Calamiano.—Buzeta and Bravo understand by Calamiano a Visaya dialect which was made up of Tagalog mixed with Visaya and spoken by the Christians of northern Palawan (Paragua) and Calamianes islands. Pere Fr. Juan de San Antonio has preached in Calamiano and composed in it a catechism. The existence of the Calamiano language should therefore be unassailable, but A. Marche has declared that it does not exist.

Calauas (pronounced Calawas).—A Malay people, heathen and peaceable. They live near Malauec, in the valleys of the Rio Chico de Cagayan (Luzon), and on the strip of land called Partido de Itavés. Their language is called Itavés also, but others declare their speech to be identical with the Malauec. The portion of the Calauas who hold the Itavés land are by some authors called Itaveses. I am not sure whether there may not have been a misunderstanding here.

Calibuganes.—So are called in western Mindanao the mixtures of Moros and Subanos.

Calingas.—(1) In northern Luzon, Calinga is the collective designation for “wild” natives, independent heathen, as, in northwestern Luzon, the word Igorot is applied. (2) This term is specially attached (a) to that warlike people of Malay descent who live between Rio Cagayan Grande and Rio Abulug, and are marked by their Mongoloid type; (b) according to Semper, also the Irayas. (See Die Calingas, by Blumentritt, in Das Ausland, 1891, No. 17, pp. 328–331.)

Camucones, Camocones.—Name of the Moro pirates who inhabit the little islands of the Sulu group east of Tawi-Tawi, and the islands between these and Borneo; but on the last the name Tirones is also conferred.

Cancanai, Cancanay.—Igorot dialect spoken in the northwest of Benguet.

Caragas.—In older works are so named the warlike and Christian inhabitants of the localities subdued by the Spaniards on the east coast of Mindanao, and, indeed, after their principal city, Caraga. It has been called, if not a peculiar language, a Visaya dialect, while now only Visaya (near Manobo and Mandaya) is spoken, and an especial Caraga nation is no longer known. I explain this as follows: Already at that time newly arrived Manobos and Mandayas were settled who spoke Visaya only imperfectly. This Visaya muddle and the mixture of Visayas and newcomers are to be identified with the Caraga, if in the end, under the first, the Mandaya is not to be directly understood.

Variants: Caraganes†, Calaganes (to be distinguished from Calaganes of Davao), Caragueños (now the name of the inhabitants of Daraga la Nueva and Caraga.) [111]

Carolanos.—Diaz Arenas so designates the heathen and wild natives who inhabit the mountain lands of Negros, especially the Cordillera, of Cauyau. They appear to be of Malay stock, transplanted Igorots from Negros. Practically nothing is known concerning them. Compare Buquitnon.

Castilas.—Native name for Spaniards and other Europeans in the Philippine Islands.

Catalanganes.—A Malay people of Mongoloid type. They live in the flood plain of the Catalangan river (province of Isabela de Luzon). They are heathen and peaceable, and have the same language as the Irayas. (Half Tagala and half Chinese, Brinton, American Anthropologist, 1898, XI, p. 302.)

Cataoan.—A dialect spoken by the Igorots of the district of Lepanto, living in the valley of the Abra River.

Catubanganes, or Catabangenes.—Warlike heathen, settled in the mountains of Guinayangan, in the province of Tayabas (Luzon). Through lack of available information nothing can be said about their race affiliations, whether they be pure Malay or Negrito-Malay. They are probably Remontados mixed with Negrito blood and gone wild.

Cebuano.—Dialect, Visaya.

Cimarrones.—This characterization (“wild,” “gone wild”) is given to heathen tribes of most varied affiliations, living without attachment and in poverty, chiefly posterity of the Remontados. (See note by A. B. Meyer, 1899, p. 12.—Translator.)

Coyuvos.—The natives of Cuyo archipelago (province of Calamianes), with exception of those who belong to the stock of Agutainos. According to A. Marche, the Coyuvos appear to be Christianized Tagbanuas. For that reason would the idiom called official Coyuvo be the Tagbanua.

Culamanes.—Another name for the Manobos, who live on the southern portion of the east coast of Davao Bay, the so-called coast of Culaman.

Dadayag.—A Malay people, who occupy the mountain wilds in the western part of Cabagan (province of Cagayan). They have a language of their own and are warlike heathen as well as head-hunters.

Variant: Dadaya.

Dapitan (Nacion de)†.—Title conferred in the sixteenth century on the Visayas of the present comandancia of Dapitan (province of Misamis, Mindanao).

Dayhagang†.—According to S. Mas, before the arrival of the Spaniards, the progeny of Borneo-Malays and Negrito women were so called.

Dulanganes.—This heathen people occupy the southern part of the district of Davao. The name signifies “wild men.” It is not known whether they are pure bloods or Malays with infusion of Negrito blood. I believe that the Malay type predominates. Since they also bear the name of Gulanganes, perhaps, more properly, it is to be suspected that they form with the Mangulangas, Manguangas, and Guiangas (q. v.) a single linguistic group, or at least a stock closely related to them. This is merely a conjecture. By the Moros they are called Bangal-Bangal.

Dumagat.—A name conferred on the Negritos of the northeast coast of Luzon and by older non-Spanish writers on coast dwellers of Samar, Leyte, and Mindoro. Latterly it has come about that the Tagal name Dumagat (from dagat, “sea,” “dweller on the strand,” “skillful sailor,” etc.) has been taken for the name of a people. (A. B. Meyer, 1899, p. 11, calls the Dumagates Negrito half-breeds of the island of Alabat, quoting Steen Bille, Reise der Galathea, 1852, Vol. I, p. 451.—Translator.)

Durugmun.—The Manguianes of Mongoloid type are so called who occupy the highest portions of the mountains around Pinamalayan (Mindoro). They are called also Buchtulan.

Etas, see Negritos.

Gaddanes.—A Malay head-hunting people, with a language of their own, settled in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, but especially in the comandancia of Saltan (Luzon). The Gaddanes of Bayombong and Bagabag are Christians; the rest are heathen.

Gamungan, Gamunanganes.—A Malay people having their own idiom, and inhabiting the mountain provinces in the eastern and northeastern portions of Tuao (province of Cagayan, Luzon). They are heathen.

Guiangas, Guangas.—A Malay people in the northeastern and northern part of Davao (Mindanao). They are heathen and do not differ greatly from the Bagobo, their neighbors; on the other hand, according to the accounts of the Jesuit missionaries, their speech differs totally from those of the heathen tribes near by, and for that reason it is difficult to learn. On account of their wildness [112]they are much decried. The variants, Guanga and Gulanga, which mean “forest people,” give rise to the bare suspicion that they are a fragment of the little-known tribe who, according to location, lived scattered in southern Mindanao under the names: Manguangas, Mangulangas, Dulanganes.

Guimbajanos (pronounced Gimbahanos).—The historians of the seventeenth century, under this title, designated a wild, heathen people, apparently of Malay origin, living in the interior of Sulu Island. Their name is derived from their war drum (guimba). Later writers are silent concerning them. In modern times the first mention of them is by P. A. de Pazos and by a Manila journal, from which accounts they are still at least in Carodon and in the valley of the Loo; it appears that a considerable portion of them, if not the entire people, have received Islam.

Variants: Guinbajanos, Guimbanos, Guimbas, Quimpanos.

Guinaanes (pronounced Ginaanes).—A Malay head-hunting people inhabiting the watershed of the Rio Abra and Rio Grande de Cagayan (Luzon), as well as the neighboring region of Isabela and Abra. They are heathen; their language possesses the letter f.

Variants: Guianes, Ginan, Quinaanes, Quinanes. (See A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, Volume VIII, folio series, Royal Ethnographic Museum, Dresden, 1890.)

Gulanga, see Guianga.

Gulanganes, see Dulanganes.

Halaya†.—A Visaya dialect spoken in the interior of Panay.

Haraya.—A Visaya dialect spoken in the interior of the island of Panay, nearly identical with the foregoing.

Hiliguayna†.—A Visaya dialect spoken on the coast of the island of Panay. Variants: Hiligueyna, Hiligvoyna.

Hillunas, Hilloonas, see Illanos.

Ibalones†.—Ancient name of Bicols, especially those of Albay.

Ibanag.—Name of the language spoken by the Cagayanes. They possess the letter f.

Idan, Idaan.—The Idan, sought by non-Spanish authors on the islands of Palawan (Paragua) and Sulu, have not been found.

Ifugaos.—A dreaded Malay head-hunting people who inhabit the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela and the lately formed comandancia of Quiangan. To them belong the Quianganes, Silipanos, etc. They are heathen. Their language possesses the sound of f.

Ifumangies.—According to Diaz Arenas, this name applies to a tribe of Igorots who were then (1848) in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. The f in their name leads to the suspicion that they are Ifugaos.

Ibilaos.—A Malay head-hunting people, having also apparently Negrito blood in their veins. They are heathen and inhabit the border lands of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.

Igorots.—With the name Ygolot the first chroniclers characterized the warlike heathen who now inhabit Benguet, therefore the pure Igorots. Later, the name extended to all the head-hunters of northern Luzon; still later it was made to cover the Philippine islanders collectively, and to-day the title is so comprehensive that the name Igorot is synonymous with wild. According to Hans Meyer, the name applies only to the Igorots of Lepanto and Benguet, who speak the dialects Inibaloi, Cancanai, Cataoan, and a fourth (Suflin?), that of the Berpe Data.

Variant: Ygolot, Ygulut.

(A Chinese-Japanese Tagala group. Brinton, Amer. Anthropologist, 1898, XI, p. 302. Consult A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Vol. VIII, folio series of the Royal Ethnographic Museum, in Dresden, 1890; and Die Igoroten von Pangasinan, F. Blumentritt, in Mittheil. T. K. K. Geogr. Gesellschaft in Wien, 1900. hft. 3 u. 4.)

Ilamut.—Name of an Igorot tribe always mentioned together with that of Altsanes. If this tribe really exists, its home is in the Cordilleras which separate Benguet from Nueva Vizcaya, and is to be sought, indeed, in the last-named province, especially in Quiangan. They may be identical with the Alimut.

Ilanos, Illanos.—The Moros dwelling in the territory of Illano, Mindanao. Their name should be connected with Lanao, “lake,” since their land incloses Lake Dagum, or Lanao. This conjecture is strengthened through the names Lanun, Lanaos, Malanaos, existing in the neighborhood. (Consult A. B. Meyer, 1899, p. 18, on the Hillunas, “Correcting Quatrefages and Hamy Crania Ethnica,” 1882, p. 178, where they are called Negrito.—Translator.)

Ileabanes.—According to Diaz Arenas there existed an Igorot tribe of this name (1848) in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. [113]

Ilocanos.—A Malay people, with language of their own. At the discovery they had their peculiar culture and an alphabet. They inhabit the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Union, and form the civic population of Abra, whose Tinguian peasants they Ilocanise. Since they are fond of wandering, their settlements are scattered in other provinces of Luzon, as Benguet, Pampanga, Cagayan, Isabela de Luzon, Pangasinan, Zambales, and Nueva Ecija. They are to be found as far as the east coast of Luzon. They are Christians and civilized. (The Ilocanos of the northwest are markedly Chinese in appearance and speech. Brinton, Amer. Anthropologist, 1898, XI, p. 302. Consult A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Vol. VIII, folio series, of the Royal Ethnographic Museum in Dresden, 1890.)

Ilongotes.—A Malay people of apparent Mongoloid type, inhabiting the borders of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, and Principe, and known also in Nueva Ecija. They are bloodthirsty head-hunters. (In the eastern Cordillera, a rather pure but wild Tagala horde. Brinton, American Anthropologist, 1898, p. 302.)

Indios.—Under this title the Spanish understand the non-Mohammedanized natives of Malay descent, especially those Christianized and civilized.

Infieles.—Heathen, uncivilized peoples of Malay descent; were so named by the Spaniards.

Inibaloi.—Name of the dialect spoken by the Igorots Agnothales.

Insulares.—Spaniards born in the Philippine Archipelago.

Irapis.—After Mas, a subdivision of Igorots.

Irayas.—A Malay people mixed with Negrito blood, who dwell south of the Catalanganes and in the western declivities of the Cordillera of Palanan (Luzon). They speak the same language as the Catalanganes, and are likewise heathen. Their name seems to mean “dwellers on the plains,” “owners of plains.” To them the collective name Calinga is applied. (Consult A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Vol. VIII, folio series, of the Royal Ethnographic Museum in Dresden, 1890.)

Isinays (Isinayas, Isinay).—In the eighteenth century the heathen population of the then mission province of Ituy were so called, which includes the present communities of Aritao, Dupax, Banibang, Bayombong (Nueva Vizcaya, Luzon). It is not certain whether they are a separate people or are identical with Gaddanus, Italones, or Ifugaos.

Italones.—A head-hunting Malay people who inhabit the mountain wilds of Nueva Vizcaya (Luzon). They are heathen, only a small part of them having embraced Christianity.

Ita, see Negritos.

Itaas, see Atas.

Itanegas, Itaneg, Itaveg. See Tinguianes.

Itaves.—So used the language of the Calauas to be called; still there are authors who affirm that these two are different. Nothing certain is known concerning this name, which is also written Itaues, Itanes. From latest accounts, this is a dialect of Gaddan.

Itetapanes (Itetapaanes).—According to Buzeta and Bravo, a head-hunting Malay people mixed with Negrito blood, living on the western borders of Isabela de Luzon and perhaps also in Bontok.

Ituis.—According to Mas, a subdivision of Igorots. Nothing more is known. Compare Isinays.

Ivanha.—Form of Ibanag.

Joloanos.—The Moros of Sulu.

Jacanes, see Yacanes.

Kianganes, see Quianganes. (Meyer has Kingianes, 1899.)

Jumangi, see Humanchi.

Humanchi.—Heathen people of central Luzon (?); written Jumangi.

Latan.—Another name for the Manguianes who inhabit the plains of Mangarin (Mindoro).

Lanaos, see Illanos and Malanaos.

Lanun, see Illanos.

Laut, see Samales-Laut.

Lingotes, see Ilongotes.

Loacs.—Not a separate people, but the name of a very poor Tagacaolo tribe who dwell in the mountain forests of San Augustin Peninsula (Mindanao).

Lutangas.—A Mohammedan mixed race of Moros and Subanos, who inhabit the island of Olutanga and the adjacent coast of Mindanao.

Lutaos, Lutayos.—Moros of the district of Zamboanga and frequently called Illanos. It appears to be the Hispanicized form of the Malay Orang-Laut. [114]

Maguindanaos (Mindanaos).—Another of the Moros who inhabit the valley of the Rio Palangui or Rio Grande de Mindanao. To them belong also the Moros of Sarangani Islands and partly those of Davao Bay. (See the Maguindanaos, by Blumentritt, Das Ausland, 1891, No. 45, pp. 886–892.)

Malanaos.—Common name of those Moros, specially of Ilanos, who inhabit the shores of Malanas Lake (Mindanao).

Malancos.—A tribe alleged to be settled in Mindanao, but the name is plainly an error for Malanaos.

Malauec.—In an anonymous author of “Apuntes interesantes sobre las islas Filipinas,” (Madrid, 1870), and quoting V. Barrantes, the common language of commerce of Malaneg (province of Cagayan) is so called; but on the last named also (only) Ibanag is spoken. Other authors understand by this the language of the Nabayuganes or that of the Calaluas. The suspicion is also well founded that by Malauec is meant a lingua franca made up from various tongues. It is difficult to extract the truth from these conflicting accounts.

Mamanuas.—A Negrito people inhabiting the interior of Surigao Peninsula (northeast Mindanao). Semper and others have called them a bastard race, but the Jesuit missionaries, who have turned a great number of them to Christianity, call them “los verdaderos negritos aborigines de Mindanao.” (On the Mamanuas consult A. B. Meyer, Distribution of the Negritos, Dresden, 1899, p. 17.—Translator.)

Mananapes.—A heathen people alleged to dwell in the interior of Mindanao, possibly a tribe of Buquidnones or Manobos.

Mandaya.—In some authors this is the name of the Apayas language, which is somewhat doubtful.

Mandayas.—A bloodthirsty Malay and bright-colored head-hunting people in the comandancia of Bislig and the district of Davao (Mindanao). They are heathen, partly converted to Christianity by the Jesuits.

Mancayaos.—Not a separate people, but merely the warriors among the Manobos, who carry lances.

Manguangao.—Under this name the Jesuits near Catel (comandancia Bislig, east Mindanao) characterized the heathen inhabitants. By the same authors the heathen living on the upper tributaries of the Rio Agusan, Rio Manat, and Rio Batutu are called Manguangas and Mangulangas (forest people). Pere Pastells identifies Manguangas and Mangulangas and says that they inhabit the head waters of the Rio Salug (which does not agree with Montano’s communications). From all which it results that Manguangas is a collective name and stands in connection with that of the Dulanganes and Guiangas. Perhaps all the folk named belong to one people. They are heathen and of the Malay race.

Manguianes.—The heathen, unaffiliated natives inhabiting the interior of Mindoro, Romblon, and Tablas. Manguian (forest people) is a collective name of different languages and races. According to R. Jordana, the Manguianes of Mindoro are divided into four branches, one of which, Bukil or Buquel, is a bastard race of Negritos, while a second in external appearance reminds one of Chinese Mestizos, and on that account it is to be regarded as a Mongoloid type. The other two are pure Malay. To the name Manguianes (which calls to mind Magulangas) specially belong only (1) those Manguianes who live in the mountains near Mangarin and (2) only those between Socol and Bulacao who dwell on the river banks. The remaining tribes bear different names—Bangot, Buquil, Tadianan, Beribi, Durugmun, Buctulan, Tiron, and Lactan. The Manila journals speak of Manguianes of Paragua (Palawan). These have naught to do with those of Mindoro, since on Paragua this title in its meaning of “forest people” is applied to all wild natives of unknown origin.

Mangulangas, see Manguangas.

Manobos.—A Malay head-hunting people, sedentary, chiefly in the river valley of middle Rio Agusan (district of Swigao), as well as at various points in the districts of Davao (Mindanao). A considerable portion have been converted through Jesuit missionaries; the rest are heathens. The correct form of the name is Manuba, or, better, Man-Suba; that is, “river people.” The name in earlier times was frequently extended to other heathen tribes of Mindanao. (On the relationship of Manobos with Indonesians, an allophyllic branch of the white race, see remark of Brinton on Quatrefages and Hamy in American Anthropologist, 1898, Vol. XI, p. 297.)

Mardicas†.—In the war between Spain and Holland (seventeenth century) the mercenaries from the Celebes, Macassars, and the Moluccas were so called.

Maritimos.—The Remontados, who inhabit the islands and rocks on the north coast of Camarines Norte. (The island of Alabat, on the east coast of Luzon, is peopled by Negrito half-breeds, called Dumagat and Maritimos.—A. B. Meyer.) [115]

Mayoyaos.—A Malay head-hunting people, who inhabit the southwest corner of Isabela and the northwest angle of Nueva Vizcaya. The Mayoyaos belong, without doubt, to the Ifugao linguistic stock.

Mestizo.—Mixture. Mestizo Peninsulo, Mestizo Español, Mestizo Privilegiado, mixture of Spaniards and natives; Mestizo Chino, Mestizo Sangley, Mestizo Tributante, or mixture of Chinese with natives.

Mindanaos, see Maguindanaos.

Montaraz, Montesinos.—Collective name for heathen mountain peoples and also for Remontados.

Monteses.—(1) Collective name in the same sense as Montaraz; (2) Spanish name for Buquidnones and Buquitnon.

Moros.—Mohammedan Malays in the south of the archipelago, southern Palawan, Balabac, Sulu Islands, Basilan, western and partly the southern coast of Mindanao, as well as the territorio illano and the Rio Grande region and the Sarangani islands. Various subdivisions have been recognized: Maguindanaos, Illanos, Samales, Joloanos, etc.

(In the sixteenth century, 1521–1565, the Moros of Brunei (Borneo) propagated Islam among the brown race of the Philippines.)

Mundos.—Heathen tribes inhabiting the wilds of Panay and Cebu. Buzeta and Bravo regard them as Visaya Remontados gone wild. Baron Huegel says that their customs resemble those of the Igorots. This is a contradiction, in which more stress is laid on the testimony of the two Augustinians, that Mundos is misused as a collective name, like Igorots, Maguianes, etc.

Nabayuganes.—A warlike, head-hunting people of Malay origin, dwelling westward from Malaneg or Malanec (province of Cagayan). They appear to be related to the Guinaanes.

Negrito.—(Native names: Aeta, Até (Palawan), Eta, Ita, Mamanua (northeast Mindanao), old Spanish name, Negrillo, Negros del País). The woolly-haired, dark-colored aborigines of the land who, in miserable condition, live scattered among the Malay population in various parts of Luzon, Mindoro (?), Tablas, Panay, Busuanga (?), Culion (?), Palawan, Negros, Cebu, and Mindanao. There are supposed to be 20,000 of them. They are also spoken of under the word Balugas. The Negrito idiom of the province of Cagayan is called Atta.

(“It may be regarded as proved that Negritos are found in Luzon, Alabat, Corregidor, Panay, Tablas, Negros, Cebu, northeastern Mindanao, and Palawan. It is questionable whether they occur in Guimaias (island south of Panay), Mindoro.”—A. B. Meyer, 1899, p. 19.

Upon the Negritos, consult A. B. Meyer: The Negritos of the Philippines, publications of the Royal Ethnographic Museum of Dresden, 1893, Vol. IX, 10 pl., folio; also, The Distribution of the Negritos, Dresden, 1899; Montano, Mission aux Philippines, 1885; Marche, Lucon et Palaouan, 1887.—Translator.)

Palauanes.—Another name for Tagbanuas, perhaps their original name, from which the island of Paragua got the name Isla de los Palauanes. The u in these names equals the German w and the English v.

Pampangos.—A Malay language group who, at the arrival of the Spaniards, possessed a civilization and method of writing of its own. The people inhabit the province of Pampanga, Porac, and single locations in Nueva Ecija, Bataan, and Zambales. They are Christians.

Panayano.—Dialect of Visaya.

Pangasinanes.—A Malay language group which already at the time of the conquest had its own civilization and writing. The people inhabit the larger part of Pangasinan and various localities of Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Benguet, and Porac (?). They are Christians.

Panguianes, see Pungianes.

Panuipuyes (Panipuyes).—A tribe of so-called Igorots. Their dwellings were to be sought in the western portion of Nueva Vizcaya or Isabela de Luzon.

Peninsulares.—European Spaniards.

Pidatanos.—In the back country of Libungan, therefore not far from the delta of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, dwell, as the Moros report, a heathen mountain people bearing the name of Pidatanos. Probably they have not a separate language, but belong to one of the well-known families, perhaps the Manguangas.

Pintados,† see Visayas.

Pungianes.—Tribe of Mayoyaos. [116]

Quianganes.—(Pronounced Kianganes). A head-hunting people, settled in 1889 in the comandancia of Quiangan (Luzon), for that reason belonging to the Ifugao linguistic family. (See Die Kianganes (Luzon), by Blumentritt, Das Ausland, Stuttgart, 1891, pp. 129–132.)

Quimpano, see Quimbazanos.

Quinanes, see Guinaanes.

Remontados.—Name of civilized natives who have given up the civilized life and fled to the mountain forests.

Samales.—(1) A small Malay people living on the island of Samal in the Gulf of Davao (Mindanao). They are heathen, but they are partly converted to Christianity. (2) Another name for the Moros who inhabit the islands lying between Basilan and Sulu.

Samales-Laut.—The Moros who inhabit the coasts of Basilan. Compare Samales (2).

Sameacas.—Some authors speak of them as the aborigines of Basilan pushed back into the interior by the Moros. According to Claudio Montero y Gay, they are heathen.

Sangley.—A name borne in early times by Chinese settled in the Philippines. Going into disuse.

(It is thought that the Chinese were not numerous on the islands until the settlement of the Spaniards had established commerce with Acapulco, introducing Mexican silver, greatly coveted by the Celestials.—Translator.)

Sanguiles.—(1) Until most recent times by this name was understood a people in the little-known southern part of the district of Davao (Mindanao). The Jesuit missionaries have found no people bearing this name; it seems, therefore, that Sanguiles was a collective title for the Bilanes, Dulanganes, and Manobos, who occupied the most southern part of Mindanao, the peninsula of the volcano Sanguil or Saragana. (2) Moros Sanguiles means those Moros who dwell in the part of the south coast of Mindanao (district of Davao) lying between the Punto de Craan and the Punta Panguitan or Tinaka. They also appear to have received their name from the volcano of Sanguil.

Silipanes.—A heathen head-hunting people having its abode in the province of Nueva Vizcaya (and comandancia Quiangan). It belongs to the Ifugao linguistic family. (Consult A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Vol. VIII, folio series, Royal Ethnographic Museum in Dresden, 1890.)

Subanos.—(Properly Subanon, “river people.”) A heathen people of Malay extraction, who occupy the entire peninsula of Sibuguey (west Mindanao), with exception of a single strip on the coast. (See Die Subanos (Mindanao), by Blumentritt, Das Ausland, Stuttgart, 1891, pp. 392–395.)

Suflin.—An Igorot dialect. The f in the name would hint at Guinaanes or Ifugaos. The official nomenclature in 1865 so characterizes a dialect spoken in Bontok.

Tabanus, see Tagbanuas.

Tadianan.—Another name for those Mongoloid Manguianes who live in the mountain vales of Pinamalayan (Mindoro).

Tagabaloyes.—In a chart of the Philippines for 1744, by P. Murillo Velardi, S. J., this name is to be seen west of Caraga and Bislig (Mindanao). English authors speak of the Tagabaloyes, Waitz mentions their clear color, and Mas calls them Igorots. Others add that they were Mestizos of Indians and Japanese, and more fables to the same effect. Their region has been well explored, but only Manobos and Mandayas have been found there. The last named are clear colored, so Tagabaloyes seems to be another name for Mandayas. The name sounds temptingly like Tagabelies.

Variants: Tagbalvoys, Tagabaloyes, Tagobalooys, etc.

Tagabawas.—Dr. Montano reports that this is not a numerous people and that it is made up of a mixture of Manabos, Bagobos, and Tagacaolos. Their dwelling places are scattered on both sides of Davao Bay (Mindanao), especially near Rio Hijo.

Tagabelies.—A heathen people of Malay origin, living in the region between the Bay of Sarangani and Lake Buluan (Mindanao). Since they call themselves Tagabulu (people of Bulu), it is suspected that they, like the Buluanes or Bilanes, derive their name from the lake mentioned.

Tagabotes.—A people of Mindanao mentioned in the Ilustración Filipina (1860, No. 17).

Tagabulu, see Tagabelies, also Tagabuli.

Tagacaolos.—A Malay, heathen people. Their settlements are scattered among those of other tribes on both sides of the Gulf of Davao (Mindanao). Compare also Loac. Their name Taga-ca-olo would mean “dwellers on the river sources.” [117]

Variant: Tagalaogos.

Tagalos, Tagalog (elsewhere Tagalas).—A Malay people of ancient civilization, possessing already an alphabet in pre-Spanish times. They are Christians, and inhabit the provinces and territory of the following: Manila, Corregidor, Cavite, Bataan, Bulacan, Batangas, Infanta, Laguna, Mindoro; in less degree, Tayabas, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, and Principe. They form, with the Visayas and Ilocanos, the greater part of the native population, as well by their numbers as by their grade of culture. Their language is called Tagalog. (See Brinton, American Anthropologist, 1898, XI, pp. 303–306.)

Tagbalvoys, see Tagabaloyes.

Tagbanuas.—A Malay people mixed with Negrito blood. They are heathen, with exception of the Calmianos, and appear to have formerly stood on higher culture grade, for A. Marche found them in possession of an alphabet of their own. They inhabit the island of Palawan (Paragua) and the Calamianes. The Moros of Palawan are partly Tagbanuas. Variant: Tabanuas. (See Dean Worcester, Philippine Islands, 1898, p. 99.—Translator.)

Tagobalooys, see Tagabaloys.

Talaos.—This newly christened name belongs to no Philippine people, but is the Spanish title of the inhabitants of the Dutch island Talaut. They come to southern Mindanao to purchase provisions.

Tandolanos.—Wild natives living on the west coast of Palawan, between Punta Diente and Punta Tularan. As they are also called Igorots they appear to belong to the Malay race.

Teduray, see Tirurayes.

Tegurayes.—A variant form of Tirurayes.

Tinguianes.—A heathen people of Malay origin and peaceable disposition. Their home is the province of Abra and the bordering parts of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. They have also villages in Union (Luzon). The Tinguianes converted to Christianity are strongly Ilocanised. Variants: Itanega,† Itaneg,† Itaveg,† Tingues.† (See Brinton’s note on the identification of Tinguianes with Indonesians, an allophyllic branch of the white race, by Quatrefages and Hamy. American Anthropologist, 1898, Vol. XI, p. 297. Consult A. B. Meyer, with A. Schadenberg, in Volume VIII, folio series, Royal Ethnographic Museum, in Dresden, 1890.)

Tinitianes.—A heathen people, probably of Malay origin. They inhabit a strip of land north of Bubayan Creek, Palawan. (A. B. Meyer, 1899, pp. 9, 19, quotes Blumentritt’s The Natives of the Island of Palawan and of the Calamanian Group (Globus, Braunschweig, 1891, Vol. LIX, pp. 182, 183), to the effect that the Tinitianes are probably only Negrito half-breeds.—Translator.)

Tinivayanes.—Moros (?) or heathen (?). Said to live along the Rio Grande de Mindanao.

Tino.—Name of the language of the Zambales.

Tiron.—Separate name of those Manguianes of Mindoro who inhabit the highest mountain regions in the surroundings of Naujan.

Tirones†.—The Moro pirates of the province of Tiron in Borneo and the islands near-by are so called.

Tirurayes.—A peaceable heathen people of Malay origin. They live in the district of Cottabato, in the mountains west of the Rio Grande de Mindanao. The Christian Tirurayes live in Tamontaca. Variants: Teduray, Tirulay.

Vicol, see Bicol.—(Vicol is preferable.)

Vilanes, see Bilanes.—(Vilanes is preferable.)

Visayas, see Bisayas.—(This spelling is preferable to Bisayas.)

Ygolot, see Igorots.

Ycanes—According to P. P. Cavallería, S.J., the Moros dwelling in the interior of the island are so called. (Compare Jacanes, Sameacas, and Samales-Lautes.)

Yvgades, see Gaddanes.

Zambales.—A civilized, Christianized people of Malay origin, living in the province of the same name. Those called by different writers Igorotes de Zambales, Cimarrones de Zambales, are posterity of Remontados. Their language is Tino. [118]


The Beginnings of Philippine Nationalism

The third of a thousand years during which Spain misgoverned the archipelago that Magellan had discovered for her was a period of Philippine preparation.

Divided already so each town was jealous of its neighbors and anxious to enlist the Europeans in waging war upon them, the Filipinos were an easy conquest for soldiers whose first military maxim was Rome’s “Divide and Conquer.”

The conquest might better be called a conversion for the cross did much more to establish and maintain Spain’s authority than the sword. And the new religion formed a bond of union, perhaps the only one which could have brought together such diverse elements.

Spanish catholicism was not merely a Spanish church, the church was Spain. There was therefore no humiliation over subjugation, rather exultation in having found salvation.

The people were seafaring folk with the sturdiness such a life gives. Their chiefs were their captains, and, in waters that are the home of the typhoon, leadership, if in no other way than by the survival of the fittest, came to the most capable.

Women held high position, for with their husband so much away not only the household but all the family affairs were under their control, a condition still notable. Thus the home influence in which the children grew up was not that of the Orient, a shut-in Zenana with, for the child’s first model, a mother who had been a slave and now as mistress was a tyrant, but the youth of the Philippines earlier saw the real world and had training from mothers who knew its ways.

There were gradations of rank, but people were constantly falling from the higher to the lower so that these had ambitious persons among them seeking to regain their former estate and arousing ambition among their fellows. And the condition of even the lowest was not [119]hopeless. So well ordered was society that even slaves had rights and knew them; had too the civic courage to stand up for them against their masters. Witness the story of the surprise of the Spaniards who heard slaves saying to their masters, “What is there in it for me in this?”, when orders were given them.

Nor should it be thought that the wholesale conversion betrayed weakness of character. The islands had had a nature religion, the belief of an artistic people, that their Gods would delight in and frequent the most beautiful spots. Then came the religion of Mahomet with a system which reason readily recognized as superior, but before it was fairly established there arrived another religion which not only commended itself to reason but appealed to the artistic sense, both in larger measure than either of its predecessors.

Those who had felt exalted in the glory of the tropical sun, found comfort in the moonbeams’ softer radiance, had sought the leafy recesses of the forest for reflection and were soothed and sustained by the musical murmurs of mountain cascades found greater comfort and a higher gratification in the rites and ceremonies of a church which has ever been the patron of art and consecrates all that is beautiful in music, painting and sculpture to adorn its sanctuaries and dignify its worship.


The Friar Domination in the Philippines

By “Plaridel” (Marcelo H. del Pilar).

Three centuries have passed since the blood of Legaspi and of Sikatuna mingled in a cup of which both partook in token of eternal friendship, thus ratifying their oaths to fuse thenceforward into a single ideal the aspiration of Spain and the Philippines. But the passage of time, instead of making firmer this fusion, has only strengthened the predominance of the religious orders who have turned the islands into a colony exploited by friars.

No one is ignorant of the rebellion of the friars against the highest political and religious authorities of the archipelago; nor is anyone ignorant of the violent death of some, the coercion exercised on others and the vexations visited upon all those who in governing the country have dared to place the interests of the motherland of the Catholic religion before the convents. [120]

The immunity of those implicated and the predominance of the rebellious elements compel the unhappy belief that Spain has already abdicated the sovereignty in favor of Philippine friarism.

So it is worth while to dissipate this erroneous impression. Sad is it to think that the planning of Charles V and Philip II, the efforts of Magellan and Elcano, the sufferings of Villalobos, the prudence and the valor of Legaspi, the sacrifices of Salcedo, Lavezares, Goiti, and the others, only served as a stepping-stone for enthroning the friar orders.

The Filipino people are passing in these moments through an interesting period. Already they have manifested their aversion to the friars, and I believe the time has come to draw attention to the aspirations which palpitate in their bosoms.

On the one hand their future and on the other the attitude of China, Japan and other nations which from Europe and Asia have fixed their gaze on the map of Oceanica, offer to the thoughtful man problems of deep seriousness which perhaps may be resolved in time to forestall and smooth out future difficulties.

Luna’s palette has revived the recollection of the “Blood Compact” between Legaspi and Sikatuna, and the Filipino cannot view without regret the powerful intervention of the friar interests which, blocking every tendency toward fraternity between Spain and the Philippines, are creating a difficult situation by increasing the former’s unfriendliness and the latter’s burdens. For this they rely on the difference of language between the governing and the governed classes; and to maintain that difference, to impede popular instruction and to prevent at all cost that the people and their government shall come to understand each other is the best way to maintain them in perpetual antagonism.

How far this plan has already gone can be estimated by analyzing the relations of the friarocracy with the official institution which makes up the organization of the towns of the Philippines. As everywhere else, in the Philippines the relation of residents to the municipal officers is of the utmost importance. The petty governor, or chief of the village, in each locality constitutes the channel of communication and the agency for carrying out the ideas of the government, and according to the activity or inertness of this element the plan of the higher authorities works out effectively or suffers sad shipwreck.

The parish priest has no vote in these elections, but controls them because in his hands is the veto power. In forwarding the returns for the ratification of the election result, the parish priest makes two reports: one is public in character and is limited to setting forth the grade of instruction of the candidate in the official language; the other is confidential and under no restrictions whatever.

The candidate who has no legal impediment, unless he is of the priest’s following, will turn out disqualified in some other way, thanks to the confidential report. He will be anti-Spanish, an agitator (filibustero), separatist, and if this report cannot be controverted the candidate of the town meeting will be thrown out. The parish priest, in the final result, is master of the situation. [121]

In carrying on their municipal duties, the local authorities are dependent upon the parish priest. For a report on the conduct of a resident, a hundred of the principal men are not enough; the vital point is having the “O. K.” of the parish priest. In turning in the tax rolls of the neighborhood, his signature is necessary. For the calling to the colors of the young men to whom the lot has fallen to serve as soldiers, the parish priest’s “approved;” to validate accounts and other official documents, the parish priest’s “approved;” in everything and for everything there is demanded as the essential requisite the approval of the parish priest.

In exchange there exists no corrective provision which regulates the conditions under which the parish priest may grant or withhold this approval. He grants or withholds it according to his own free will or as he is directed by his ecclesiastical superiors. The chief local authority is the only one on whom falls this burden of regularizing his acts with the indispensable approval of the parish priest. If the parish priest refuses it, then the chief incurs the discipline of his superiors.

Manifold are the functions of the chief local authority in the Philippines. Aside from his judicial duties, he has charge of the administration, of the tax collecting, of the port, etc., and, given the dependence upon the parish priest in which he finds himself, it is not to be wondered at that the latter controls even to the official correspondence, in fact retaining the right to authorize its transmission.

Orders from above are complied with when it so pleases the Most Reverend Parish Priest. If the higher authority attempts to impose and require energetic compliance with his commands, the parish priest communicates it to one of the superiors of his order, and this obtains the overthrowing of the official. For it he has an argument incontrovertible and of magic effect, to wit, that it endangers the national indivisibility. If it is an effort to open a road and the parish priest doesn’t want it, then it endangers the national indivisibility. Or if the public health requires that dead bodies should not be taken into the church, still it is no reason,—it would imperil the national indivisibility.

And in everything, the same tendency.


Archbishop Martinez’s Secret Defense of His Filipino Clergy

(Translated from a copy obtained from the Manila Executive Bureau Archives)

Your Serene Highness: The undersigned archbishop respectfully addresses your highness, impelled by a true love of country as well as from a sense of the duty incumbent upon him of working for the tranquillity of his archdiocese. Frequently has it been disturbed and altered by the turning over of the curacies of the secular clergy which some years since were granted to the friar orders. This [122]has been the cause of an antagonism between the two branches of the clergy each time more marked, and is taking a turn which sooner or later can become untoward for our beloved Spain.

Merely to fix the time of the beginning of this antagonism do I mention the royal decree of July 8th, 1826, by which there were restored to the religious communities the curacies in charge of the secular clergy since the second period of the governorship of Don Simon de Anda y Salazar. Just as this measure, as the native priests had those parishes for over half a century and considered them then theirs, they felt it a great hardship each time when, on the death or transfer of one of their number, a friar was put in to replace him. On the death of the parish priest of San Simon, in this present year, the last of the provisions of said royal order was carried out.

One may cite, as another cause contributing to the growing antagonism, the royal order of March 9th, 1849, which takes away from the secular clergy and gives to the friars seven more parishes in Cavite, namely: Bacoor, Cavite Viejo, and Silang to the Recollect Augustinians; and Santa Cruz and San Francisco de Malabon, Naic and Indan to the Dominicans. By reason of their having become vacant five of these have already been turned over.

But what brought the antagonism to a crisis and filled the native priesthood with indignation was the royal order of September 10th, 1861, to which and to its results the subscriber has in mind especially to call the exalted attention of your Highness.

Article 13 of the royal decree of July 30th, 1859 (relative to the establishment of a government for Mindanao), arranged that the Jesuit priests should take charge of the parishes and religious duties of that island then held and attended to by the Recollect Friars of the Province of San Nicolas de Tolentino. It thus became necessary to have some workable plan for carrying the arrangement into effect, and the above mentioned royal order of September 10th was given for this purpose, besides indemnifying the Recollects by assigning to their administration curacies in Cavite Province or elsewhere (in the archdiocese of Manila according to a later provision) which had been under the native clergy. The circumstances under which this royal decree was issued deserve careful examination. In the first place, there was then no archbishop, a condition under which the sacred canons enjoin and counsel prudence, when no innovation of any kind shall be introduced; secondly the opinion of the customary ecclesiastical authority was not asked, though here on matters of much less importance numerous endorsements are the rule; thirdly, your Highness is already aware how the priest nominated to the mitre of Manila knew nothing of the anomalous ecclesiastical administration nor of the usages and customs (the reason why he would have renounced such a heavy responsibility and only did accept after strong urging) and so there had to elapse considerable time before he could learn enough of the matter to cause him to complain of it. The foregoing facts are respectfully submitted to Your Highness. [123]

When, toward the close of May, 1862, the writer took possession of his archbishopric, he found the native clergy extraordinarily excited and on every hand was urged to request the revocation of the September 10th royal order aforesaid. Unconvinced by petitions and appeals, rather, then in his heart persuaded that the Supreme Government could give him good and sufficient reason for taking so serious a step, the archbishop was disposed to comply as he has complied, cheerfully and to the letter. If he courteously declined to award the Antipolo curacy to the Recollects, it was because he understood this was a request not warranted by the royal order, and he could not have been far out of the way when the State Council formally upheld his judgment as appears in the royal order of May 19th where the formula used is “Having listened to the State Council,” one indicating action against their advice. Moreover now, after long residence in the country, with some knowledge of the church conditions and of its running and of affairs and persons, each time I see with greater clearness that the complaints of the native clergy are not without foundation, that there ought to be some effort to conform the royal order of September 10th, 1861, to the rules of propriety and equity, and that if one observes its results, one must conclude that it does not conform entirely to those of wise policy. Briefly I shall explain these assertions.

The Supreme Government was within its rights in entrusting to the recognized zeal of the Jesuit Fathers the curacies and missions of Mindanao, the law on the Royal Patronship in the code of the Indies authorizing such action. Worthy, too, of praise is it that there should be recognition of the Recollect Fathers’ services and compensation for the loss of their Mindanao religious establishments, because, although many of these were founded by the early Jesuit Fathers, yet the Recollects were then in possession of them and had made them theirs by right of prescription. But if it had been taken into account that likewise the native priests’ services merited appreciation (for under unfavorable vicissitudes they have always borne themselves as faithful subjects of Spain and in the parochial ministry as coadjutors, theirs is even the hardest part of the charge), then by no means would so deserving a class have been wronged to reward any other, and there would have been sought some gentler and equitable way of carrying out the wishes of the Government. The very diocese of Cebu, within whose borders at that time belonged the island of Mindanao, in fact offered no obstacle since it would have been only justice to have not compensated the Recollects with the parishes of other friars, for to them had been previously granted all the curacies of the Island of Negros, which belonged to the native clergy, for want of persons of that class.

The curacies of the aforesaid diocese were two hundred and thirty-seven, of which forty-eight belonged to the secular clergy. The scant resources of Cebu’s theological seminary, its lack of professors and the students’ ignorance of the Spanish language, knowledge of which is indispensable in the study of Latin and moral theology, not only prevented the preparation of a sufficient number of priests for the control of the above-mentioned parishes, but also detracted from the success of those needed as coadjutors to aid the parish [124]priests in the administration of the sacraments and the care of the sick. That seminary rightly should be called a college because the natives go to it for the purpose of learning Spanish, and most of them leave when they only have half learned the language. Suffice it to say that there have been, and still are within the former boundaries of the Bishopric of Cebu towns (not compact but confined to distant and scattered barriers) seventeen thousand and more souls where the spiritual administration rests on a single friar priest, usually advanced in years, too. For this reason it cannot be doubted that its zealous prelate would have welcomed the assistance of twenty-seven friars who could have taken charge of that number of parishes, because manifestly this would have improved the parochial administration, and still there would have been left him twenty-one curacies with which to reward those coadjutors who were distinguished among their scanty number for virtue, learning, and hard work.

Though the Archdiocese of Manila lacked ministers to attend to all the spiritual necessities of the faithful (for the force scarcely suffices under normal conditions to respond to the most urgent calls), nevertheless it formed a striking contrast in this matter to the Diocese of Cebu.

The Archbishopric had at the time approximately one million four hundred thousand inhabitants, with one hundred and ninety-one parishes served by both classes of clergy. Deduct from this number assigned to the secular clergy those which had to be returned by order of the Royal Decree of 1826, those which the Royal Order of 1849 commanded to be given the Recollects and the Dominicans, and the twenty-seven which, by the order of September 10th, 1861, the parishes and missions they had had to surrender to the Jesuits in Mindanao, and there are only twelve left to reward deserving coadjutors. The priests of this class, comparing them with those of Cebu, are very numerous, for there are not four cases where coadjutors are not provided on the scale of one for parishes of 4,000, two for 8,000, three for 12,000, and so on up to Taal, which has seven coadjutors. But let us continue the comparison of the two dioceses.

Though the diocese of Cebu has few who understand the Spanish language, there are many in Manila and adjacent provinces who speak it; and in contrast to the limited facilities of the Cebu seminary, the archdiocese has the University of Sto. Tomas and the colleges of San Juan de Letran and of San José, where numerous students are studying Latin, philosophy, theology and the sacred canons. Nor should one omit the seminary of San Carlos in spite of the fact that, because of difficulties elsewhere enumerated, it is not of a standard commensurate with the importance of the capital of the Philippine Archipelago, a land conquered and held by Spain primarily for religious reasons. Do not the foregoing facts prove that the losses suffered by the Recollects should be compensated with curacies in the diocese of Cebu, and not with those of Manila?

The spirit inspiring the Royal Order of September 10th, 1861, seems no more in conformity with policy and equity, when the native priests compare the missions and curacies relinquished by the Recollects with those they received in exchange in this Archbishopric. [125]If Your Highness will have the goodness to glance over the accompanying table, perhaps you may agree with them and also may observe, as they do, that if to the term “indemnization” (which should only mean making good the actual loss) there is to be given the broader meaning that the present result suggests, then there will be many who will want to be damaged in order to get back ten-fold the value of what they lose.

It is worthy of especial note that, despite the Antipolo parish having few parishioners, such is the devotion on the part of the towns toward the image of the Virgin venerated there, so great are the crowds who from even more remote provinces during the month of May repair to this celebrated shrine, and so many and so large are the largesses for masses ordered that this is considered the pearl of the curacies, one of the fattest parishes in all the Archipelago. So it is not at all to be wondered at that the secular clergy have especially regretted its loss, and there is good reason for asserting that the Royal Order of May 19th, 1864, is far from harmonizing with the order of September 10th, 1861.

Besides the facts above set forth, which have created and continued antagonism and animosity between the secular and regular clergy, it is necessary to add another for your Highness’ better understanding of the discontent of the native priests.

To fill a vacancy in the curacy of San Rafael, Bulacan Province, occasioned by the death of its parish priest, seventy days’ notice was given of a competition, the time expiring February 17th, 1868. The examinations were held in the manner prescribed by Pope Benedict XIV on the 21, 22 and 23rd, and seventeen candidates presented themselves. Their papers were already graded and the highest three eligibles selected to be certified to the Vice Royal Patron on March 2nd, but the day previous the Diocesan prelate received a communication from him transmitting a brief by the Provincial of the Augustinian arguing that the said curacy should be adjudged theirs.

I at once replied begging the Vice Royal Patron not to disturb the course of the competition because the secular clergy were already in possession of the curacy and the candidates had acquired a right to it by the holding of the competition while the objection had not been made at the proper time. This was to be without prejudice to later going fully into the claim raised by the Reverend Provincial, which turned upon the question of ownership. The reply denied this just petition on the ground that would prejudice the question grievously, conferring the right to possession with the title of ownership. I made clearly apparent the error which had been incurred, and received a reply that “the Vice Royal Patron was not in the habit of changing a decision once it had been decreed.”

The question of ownership resulted equally unsatisfactorily. To the case were attached the original canonical order for the creation issued in 1746 at the instance of the Vice Royal Patron and in conformity with the canonical custom and the laws of the Indies. Likewise there were submitted certified copies of the nomination of the parish priest who served the parish from the last named date to 1808, since which date as the Provincial admitted “it had been bestowed [126]on competition and appointment by the Vice Royal Patron on secular priests.” Against its having been a canonical foundation, the most legal and strongest of claims, and to a continuous, undisturbed, unquestioned and clear possession for one hundred twenty years, the Provincial offered that his order had claimed the curacy within a few days of its establishment. He did in fact submit two documents which were written by the Provincial of San Juan de Dios, to which order the hacienda of San Rafael had belonged. But in one hundred and twenty-two years it had not been found convenient to push the claim, possibly because at first the curacy had only some eighty poverty-stricken natives, herders and laborers, while now it has over three thousand souls.

Likewise it was argued that since the Royal warrant of July 8th, 1826, monastic orders had been returned to their charges in the state and conditions they had when these were secularized by the Royal Warrant of December 11th, 1776, the curacy of San Rafael must be included because of the situation within the territory ceded to them. One must, however, remember that this curacy could not be secularized, because from its foundation it had been secular, and the two Royal warrants mentioned are not applicable except by making the laws retroactive, since the curacy was created thirty years before the Royal Warrant of 1776 was issued.

These arguments, with others of the weakest character, were set forth in a lengthy and hazy brief fathered by the Administrative Council, and as the Vice Royal Patron endorsed it without changing a letter, the matter was closed, because, although the undersigned petitioned the Vice Royal Patron to submit the case to the Supreme Government’s decision, enclosing an opinion from two attorneys, he could not gain this point and out of respect to the highest authority of the Island (whose prestige he has ever endeavored to sustain) he desisted from further effort. This result produced a real scandal among the native priests and greatly enhanced their grief over so great and repeated losses.

The chief cause of the obstacles which in every direction the clergy of the country encounter is a public sentiment in vogue for some years back, which unreasonably opposes having any native parish priest. Those who think thus entirely forget the facts, allowing their imagination to freely rove in the realm of imagination. Certain is it that if the ecclesiastical establishment of the Archipelago were being for the first time set up and it were possible to bring from Spain enough priests to attend to the spiritual needs of its populous parishes, scarcely would there be found a Spaniard of any intelligence to whom such an arrangement would not seem the politic course. But the question is not theoretic, on the contrary it is eminently practical, and before it is settled there is no escape from the previous examination of others which offer serious difficulties, for example, considering the present cooling of religious ardor, what likelihood is there of obtaining a considerable number of young men willing to abandon their home country and go to lend their services in spiritual ministrations in so distant a clime, especially one which is reputed bad for the health? Could the public treasury without difficulty meet the expenses necessary for establishing colleges and [127]maintaining professors and students, and for fitting out and paying the fares of so many persons from the Peninsula to the Philippine Islands? And even if this offered no difficulty and putting aside present conditions, is there nothing to fear from keeping the native clergy in their present growing bitterness? Let anybody put himself in their place and reflect upon the series of measures heretofore mentioned and he cannot but recognize how enormous have been the damages they have suffered, and that those with which they are still threatened give over-sufficient and powerful motives that, notwithstanding their timidity, should change to hostility their former fidelity and respect for the Spaniards.

Formerly the native priests controlled the curacies of the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, and Pampanga. Of these they were dispossessed and when they felt that with the taking away of these parishes all their ills had ended, they received fresh, ruder shocks which renewed and inflamed the wound. Consequently it is no longer possible to characterise as class hatred their resentment against the friars, though that was the proper term while the natives attributed their ill fortune to the ambition and power of the monastic order. Now, after repeated proofs, they are convinced that the government is assisting the friars’ immoderate aspirations; and that in the opinion of these same priests of the country there has been adopted the policy of reducing them to insignificance, they pass over the ancient barrier, direct their glances higher, and what was formerly only hostility to the friars is changing into anti-Spanish sentiment. I do not hesitate to assert that if the Anglo-Americans or the English were to possess themselves of the Philippine Archipelago they surely would show the natives more consideration than they are receiving at the hands of the Spaniard. And so, Your Royal Highness, to escape an imaginary risk there is being created a real and true danger.

It will be readily understood that for the full carrying out of the Royal Order of September 10th there will have to elapse a period as long as that (from 1826 till the present) taken for completing the turning over of the curacies assigned the friars under the Royal Warrant before mentioned. And likewise it must be understood that as the resentment of the natives is renewed each time that they lose a curacy (as has just happened with the loss of Rosario parish in Batangas province and of Cavite of which the Recollects are going to take charge by way of compensation for the parish of Dapitan and Lubugan mission, which they relinquished to the Jesuit fathers last July) their hearts are filled with bitter grief, and so far from its finding any relief, it is embittered, as seeing themselves without any assistance at all while on the other hand the influence of their adversaries is increasing on every hand. It is more urgent to furnish prompt relief for their discontent and exasperation since if the effervescence which I noticed in them on my return from the Vatican council continues for any considerable length of time it will give an opportunity for the sentiments of the native clergy spreading among their parents, relatives, and the entire Filipino people, with whom they are in closer touch than are the friars, and so the evil might take on grave proportions. [128]

It will not be hidden from the exalted acumen of Your Highness that it is highly desirable and even necessary to put out this small fire which might by mischance change itself into a formidable conflagration, which perhaps in the first stage of slight apprehension might serve the purpose of those who are trying to spread vain terrors, and I say vain, because in spite of the strictest investigation, until now there has been no positive proof to justify the accusation latterly directed against the secular clergy, for the reason set forth that the writer is of the opinion that the Royal Order of September 10th, and the explanation thereof insofar as they affect the Archbishopric of Manila, should be changed restoring matters by prompt and effective measures to the conditions and state in which they were when the Mindanao curacies and missions were turned over by the Recollect friars to the Jesuit fathers; that the Recollect should be compensated with other parishes in the Diocese of Cebu and the Jaro Diocese, which was taken from them in 1867, according to the number of parishes supplied in each of them by the secular clergy, to make up for the lack of native priests which is experienced in both; and, lastly, that there be ordered the reference to the Minister of Ultramar of the original case instituted at the suggestion of the Provincial (now the Procurator) of the Calced Augustinians (i. e., Recollects), regarding the holding of the parish of San Rafael, Bulac province, in order that it may be investigated and reach a solution in accordance with justice, which in the judgment of the secular clergy it is now far from being.

The writer earnestly implores Your Excellency so to adjust the matter, with full confidence that it will not only calm the inquietude of their minds, but also that, reenforced by the gratitude of the never tarnished loyalty of the Filipino native clergy, it may tighten more and more the ties that unite this fruitful Archipelago to our beloved Spain.

May God preserve for many years the life of Your Highness and grant him amplest wisdom and favor for the well-being of the Catholic religion and of our beloved fatherland.

Archbishop of Manila.

Manila, December 31, 1870.

The Regent of the Kingdom.


Nineteenth Century Discontent

(In Madrid review: “La Politica de España en Filipinas” in a series. “Las Insurrecciones de Filipinas,” beginning with Vol. I, p. 44.)

1807.—The political troubles and intrigues of the Court between Godoy, Maria Luisa and Ferdinand VII reached the Philippines (as had the errors of Carlos III and those of a celebrated American archbishop, a great reformer).

In spite of the vigilance of the authorities an outbreak occurred in Ilokos, at first controlled by the missionaries, who put themselves [129]at the head of the loyal towns, but soon it broke out again, the insurgents making themselves masters of the town of Pigdig and conquering the king’s forces there. An Augustinian friar (parish priest of Batac) preached obedience to the sovereign but a woman immediately made a speech in opposition, saying not to believe the priest for they all were deceivers who in the name of God, of the Gospel and of the King only beguiled them so the Spaniards might despoil them and suck their blood; that the friars were Spaniards like the rest. The priest preached again next day and got the people to take arms, cheering for the king, march to the mountains of Patae where he maintained them all at his own expense.

1811.—In this same region, there was another uprising to change the religion, setting up a new God called Lingao. The principales (former town-chiefs—C.) and cabezas de barangay (vice-chiefs for wards—C.) conspired with the igorots and other persons, madmen and savages of Cagayan, to exterminate the Spaniards, but they were found out by the friars who informed the Government in time to thwart so terrible a plot.

1814.—At the beginning of the year, against the advice of the friars, General Gardoqui set out to publish the Constitution of 1812 and the Indians took so seriously the equality between themselves and the Spaniards that they began to rebel, refusing to pay the tribute and slight taxes placed upon them. They would not recognize the authority of the principales and barangay chiefs and in some towns of Ilokos they went so far as to set free the prisoners.

Ferdinand VII abolished the Constitution of 1812, which had so pleased the Indians, and then arose a conspiracy because the Indians believed the abolition of the Constitution was due to the intrigues of the Spaniards and the missionaries to deprive them of the equality over which they had gotten so enthusiastic. With the organic law of 1812 they had thought themselves free, happy, and independent, with no tribute to pay nor any authority to obey.

Other insurrections followed in 1820, 1828, 1837, 1844, 1854, 1863, 1869, 1872, 1883, and 1888. (Also in 1896 and 1898—C.)

The fatal consequences of the imprudent proclamation of the constitution of Cadiz in the Philippines produced a certain lack of social discipline and led to uprisings. A pitiable one was the catastrophe of 1820, when, with excuse of cholera, the Indians assassinated countless Chinese and many foreigners who were in Manila. The hatred against the French (from Napoleon’s attempt to make his brother King of Spain in place of Ferdinand VII.—C.) the pretext which caused the American conspiracies—had come even there. Let us cover with a veil the horrible picture, only saying that the ones chiefly guilty of this international crime were the acting Captain General Folgueras, weak and not far-seeing, and the Alcalde of Tondo (a position corresponding to the later Governor of Manila) who was a Spaniard of the country (creole) named Varela, more ignorant, impressionable and of worse and bad faith than any Indian.

The archbishop and all the clergy sallied forth in procession through the streets of Binondo, yet nevertheless did not succeed in pacifying the insurgents, who now commenced to attack by word the same missionaries until the peninsulars united with the friars, [130]in obliging Folgueras, who had shut himself up in the walled city, to display energy and military skill. For the affair was not alone with the foreigners and Chinese, but was taking very serious proportions.

The political events happening in the Peninsula from 1820–1823, likewise had in the Philippines their echo. A vast conspiracy was discovered by various native women who denounced it to the friars, so there were exiled to Spain several persons, among whom figured officers of the army. But there was great laxity by the authorities because they left there other conspirators, among them a creole captain named Novales who gathered up the scattered threads of the conspiracy.

The Auditor de Guerra (Judge Advocate—C.) asked that Novales be likewise exiled and watched very closely, even in exile, but General Martinez, a goodhearted fellow and more than goodhearted, simple, and unsuspecting, was content to order him to Mindanao to chase pirates in the province of Cagayan de Misamis.

Mr. Gironiere relates that Novales went to see him on the morning that he received the order to embark and told him that the Spanish Government had repented of having distrusted him. According to Estado de Filipinos he did not embark because of bad weather. According to Mr. Gironiere he returned to Manila that same night. This was June 2. On guard at the palace of the Captain General was Lieutenant Ruiz, a mestizo and a conspirator like Novales, and Novales’ brother was in Fort Santiago, the only fort of Manila. Fortunately for Spain and for General Martinez the Governor resided outside the walled limits of Manila in Malacañang Palace, as it was then the season of greatest heat. The mutineers (free from all difficulty, for the authorities, despite the warnings of the friars, did nothing to prevent the rebellion) assassinated the Teniente del Rey, Folgueras, who so expiated his weakness of the year 1820, and it was not without labor that the Coronel del Rey, Sta. Romana, escaped death, deserting his poor wife, for she then was in the family way. However the Indians, more humane than their bloodthirsty leaders were not anxious to assassinate her, and they made prisoners and kept safe many Spanish officials who had scorned and ridiculed the predictions of the patriotic missionaries.

Although it was in the late hours of the night, the shouts of “Long Live Emperor Novales” awoke the Mayor de Plaza, Duro, who bravely ran to the Parian gate and taking the guard that was there, entered with it into the barracks of the mutineers. The one who opened the door was Novales’ own brother for he was too accustomed to discipline to refuse obedience. Thus the Spanish party was organized in the artillery barracks.

The friars preached to the multitude submission and due obedience to the King and of the grave sin committed in rising against the generous Spanish nation.

Novales, who had returned to the barracks, found the door shut by his own brother and with his plans upset, took possession of the cathedral. Some unknown persons kept him out of the Government Palace, where he could have maintained himself for some time, and finally he was abandoned by his own troops. This was through [131]the efforts of the Spanish friars, for the rebels threw down their guns, fearful of the wrath of God, and cried “Long live the king.” Novales was captured at the Real Gate and Ruiz made prisoner and manacled, by the Indians themselves, in the district of Tondo. The other mutineers were easily apprehended and shot, to the number of 23.

So fell the most astute of the Filipino conspirators who, helped on by unwise reforms, tried to raise the country against the mother fatherland. At midnight he was banished, at 2 proclaimed Emperor of the Philippines, and at 5 in the afternoon shot in the back.

1828.—Had another conspiracy. Two army officers, brothers, like the Novales brothers, put themselves at the front of a separatist movement which broke out in Manila in consequence of the excitement which there was in the country because of the famous interpretations which the Indians anew were making of the Constitution of Cadiz. That was suppressed too, not without first reenforcing the army with Spanish troops which till then had not regularly and permanently existed in the country.

In 1836–1837 the Acting Governor, Salazar, had not a little to do with the consequences of the uprising of La Granjo and the uncloistering of the Religious orders in Spain.

The Indians were divided into two factions, one wanted that the friars should leave the Islands and as well the other Spaniards (castilas). The other said it was better that the other Spaniards should go away and leave the friars in charge of the Government. The missionaries appeased the trouble, saying that they and the other Spaniards were in the islands in the name of God and of the King and one and all sought only the Indians’ happiness and well being.

The imprudence of a few Spaniards of high position very quickly produced a new conflict, because while some wanted that the Constitution should be sworn to, others believed it perilous to introduce political reforms of such great importance. The excitement was increased by the appointment of General Camba who had been there before and was favorable to certain Filipinos. The relief of the general, with great scandal, came after sixteen months of administration. This was because of the suspicion of the Government of Maria Cristina who realized his undesirability and the perils which the conduct of Camba could bring to the archipelago.

A stormy passage was made, and shortly after their arrival, a meeting of the commanders of the different vessels was convened by Commodore Dewey on board the flagship Olympia, and the plans for the operations of the fleet were discussed. The bombastic proclamation of Governor-General Basilio Augustin y Davila was read over to the commanders, and occasioned much merriment. It was resolved to have copies made of the proclamation, to be read out to the men on the different ships. Mr. Williams’ narration of the position of affairs in Manila, and the hasty but ineffective measures for the defence, more especially the extinguishing of lights on the coasts and the instructions issued to neutral vessels entering Manila harbor to take a pilot at Corregidor Island to avoid dangers [132]from mines, torpedoes, etc., were somewhat lightly regarded, the latter instruction being received with much laughter as an antique dodge to frighten the enemy.

The conference concluded, the commanders departed to their respective vessels, with orders to get ready to steam off immediately. Mr. Williams, late United States Consul at Manila, went on board the Baltimore and the rebel leader Alejandrino was berthed on the transport Zafiro. Consul Rounsevelle Wildman and the two rebels who accompanied Alejandrino to the fleet then boarded the Fame. The commanders having made known their orders, the ships were weighed, and amidst great enthusiasm the fleet steamed out of Mirs Bay. The fleet left in double line, the Olympia and Baltimore leading.


The Liberal Governor-General of 1869–1871

By Austin Craig

In July of 1869 a new Governor-General arrived in Manila. He was a soldier who could prove his valor by wounds gained in many successful battles which had brought him to the rank of Lieutenant General. The nobility of his family, almost as distinguished as royalty, gave him precedence among aristocrats. Wealth, too, he had. Yet he was Manila’s first democratic governor.

Unusual were the circumstances of his coming and epoch-making were the events of his administration.

The Philippines had been loyal to the royal family of Spain during the Napoleonic wars and the withdrawal of their representation in the Cortes, which occurred at intervals for a third of a century, had not disturbed that loyalty. Yet now there had come a governor-general who represented a government in power through the expulsion of their sovereign. It was revolutionary, and the excitement over the news was increased by De La Torre’s reversal of all precedents.

The stately guard of halberdiers was dismissed and the highest official of the land mixed in society unceremoniously. A proclamation announced him to be at the people’s service at all hours for whatever complaints they might have, and deeds promptly followed his words.

The alleged outlaws, who were really persons who had been wronged in the land troubles, were pardoned and from their number under their former chief was organized a corps of rural guards which speedily brought a theretofore unknown tranquillity.

No wonder the Filipinos gave to the new administration an honor unknown to his predecessors, the spontaneous tribute of a popular serenade.

Twenty-one months passed and De La Torre was replaced by Izquierdo, for whom he conscientiously compiled an explanation of his administration that the new authority might intelligently carry on the work. But reaction came, those who had applauded De La Torre for that reason found themselves in disfavor. [133]

As a precaution Governor De La Torre had had all foreign mail examined and the list of men of liberal ideas thus obtained was the basis of the persecutions which followed the executions and wholesale exiling nominally connected with Cavite.

An old man, he retired to his family estates, once broad but sadly shrunken through his years of liberality. There from Pozorubio he wrote his defence against the charge of being responsible for the uprising of Cavite.

Contrast the brave words of the Governor-General upon his first coming to the Philippines, and his expressions after the conclusion of his office when he was upon the defensive.

“As good, honored and loyal, you are recognized as our brothers. * * * I shall indicate to you the salient features that will characterize my administration, which I hope will be as my character dictates, foreign to all kinds of repression, because command is more pleasant when it is chosen by those who are under the necessity of being affected by it.”

And on the defensive: “I have governed, with justice and, honesty, conformably to the special laws of that country, without consenting or permitting the slightest alteration in them, and what is more, without permitting in the newspapers of Manila any discussion nor even any allusion as to whether or no it were desirable to alter or modify those laws.”

Yet that was the most liberal period of Philippine history under Spanish rule. Twenty odd years later another liberal Governor of the Philippines defended himself against the charge of too great humanity by telling of how many men he had ordered shot.

Sorry indeed was Spain when a De La Torre had to save himself with his countrymen in the Peninsula by exaggerating his despotism and a Blanco found his only defense in magnifying his brutality. There’s a contrast with the present régime which marks 1898 as the beginning of different days, and the men of the old era are entitled to the charitable consideration which belongs to those who come out of great tribulation.

Biographical details and incidents of De La Torre’s administration would detract from the one great lesson which paints the past in its true colors and reveals how the Filipino people found themselves without hope and came to resort to the weapon of despair, insurrection. The outcome of the events of 1869 was the origin of the events of 1896.


The Rebellion in the Philippine Islands

(A British magazine article of 1896, by John Foreman.)

At this crisis, when the development of Japan is attracting public attention, the following paragraph in a recent issue of the St. James Gazette would be highly instructive were it based on real facts. That journal says:—

“This revolt, in fact, is really a consequence, to some extent, of the rising power of Japan in Far Eastern waters. Having acquired Formosa and become ambitious of a territorial and commercial empire, [134]the eyes of the Japanese have lately been eagerly directed towards the next islands to the south; and the weakness of Spain is regarded as the opportunity of Japan. But it is quite another matter whether the European powers will take the same view.”

Those who have been long resident in the Far East and are well informed on the subject do not take that view at all. From the facts which I am about to give regarding this rebellion it will be clearly seen that the above statement is merely a hypothetical conjecture.

A plot was formed, at the instance of rich Chinese half-breeds, to murder all the Europeans. The priests choose to call this secret society “freemasonry,” whilst the conspirators themselves style their body the “Katipunan,” which simply means the “League.” Each member, on being sworn in, made the “blood compact,” which consists of an incision in the arm or leg whence the blood was taken to inscribe the roll of brotherhood. The general massacre of whites was to have taken place on the night of the 20th of August last, but at almost the last hour a woman came to Father Mariano Gil, the parish priest of Tondo—a suburb of Manila—and paved the way for a repentant member of the League to make his full confession of the plot under a promise of immunity from punishment. The promise was given and the confession made. An hour afterwards the civil guard was on the track of the principal leaders of the movement. Three hundred known malcontents were arrested in a few hours in the capital and adjacent provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga and further arrests having since been effected daily, the Manila prisons are overcrowded with suspects and proved delinquents. Room for more is being made by the periodical shipping off of batches of prisoners to the Caroline Islands, Mindanao Island, Fernando Po, and other distant possessions. I have just learnt from the secretary of the military court that at this moment there are 4,377 individuals awaiting trial by court-martial. Many of the richest men in the colony, the leaders of Manila society, such as it is, figure amongst the promoters of this conspiracy. Pedro Rojas, a wealthy Chinese half-caste and popularly supposed to be the prime mover of the rebellion, accepted the hospitality of the Governor-General in his palace only forty-eight hours before the hour destined to witness the general massacre. The most curious fact—which no one dares to discuss in public—is that this man, denounced by all, was allowed to quietly leave the colony. He embarked in a steamer, ostensibly for Spain, but left it at Singapore and is supposed to be residing in some Asiatic port to watch events. The arch-agitator, José Rizal, who had been purging himself of his former misdemeanors by a two years’ banishment to the south, was sent as a prisoner to Spain, where he was confined in the Catalunian fortress of Montjuich for a few days and then shipped back to Manila for trial.

It appears that some months ago a deputation of Philippine natives went to Japan and presented a petition to the Mikado, praying his Majesty to annex these Islands. The petition was signed, it is said, by 5,000 natives and half-breeds. The Japanese Government, far from regarding the troubled condition of Spanish affairs as their opportunity, forwarded the petition to the Spanish [135]Government, thus the names of 5,000 disaffected persons became known to the authorities here and were inscribed in their Black Book. No measures, however, were taken until the storm was about to burst. Intense excitement prevailed amongst the Europeans as the names of the 300 arrested were disclosed, for they were not mostly individuals known to us personally or by repute. But since then three months have lingered on, with the daily arrests of so many men of position that we are prepared to meet the most startling event with perfect equanimity.

On the 23rd of August the leading newspaper of Manila published a stirring article, ringing with high patriotism, which concluded with an appeal to the Spaniards to go en masse to Government House the next day to discuss a proposal for extraordinary measures. They closed their offices and shops and went. It looked like a Sunday or a three-cross saint day. The Governor-General refused to receive them, and fined the newspaper $500, which was raised at once by public subscription. Indignation was openly expressed. A cablegram was sent to the Home Government asking for one thousand troops, etc. The reply came advising the immediate dispatch of 2,000 men, two millions of cartridges, 6,000 Remington rifles, and the gunboats Isla de Luzon and Isla de Cuba. Every fortnight, indeed, has brought fresh supplies of troops, which now make a total in the colony of about 10,000 Spanish regulars under arms.

On the 26th of August one thousand rebels appeared at Caloocan, four miles from Manila. They murdered some Chinese and took others prisoners. They were held back by the gendarmerie until reinforcements of cavalry came from the capital, but just before the squadron of troops arrived the rebels fled. The cavalry scoured the district and returned to Manila the next day. I saw them pass over the Bridge of Spain. There was tremendous excitement. Groups formed about the Escolta—the principal business street—discussing the situation. For days no one met another without having some news, real or imaginary, to disclose. Business was, and still is, much interrupted. Market people, washmen, traders of all sorts from outside, were afraid to venture along the approaches to the city. Two days passed—three days passed, there was really no fresh event. The nervous tension of the amazed population began to slacken. A reaction set in, and whilst precautions were discussed and everybody was prepared to say what he should do, the Caloocan onslaught began to be talked of as a mere filibustering expedition which would break up at the first smell of powder, and simply go to swell the ranks of the ever-existing brigand bands. The Governor-General refused to proclaim martial law. The circumstances were declared to be not sufficiently grave to warrant that measure being taken, and the public were settling down into a state of acquiescence with that view when, like a bombshell, the news of a far more serious raid fell upon Manila. On Sunday, 30th of August, before daybreak, the rebels again concentrated at San Juan del Monte, four miles from the city walls. An artilleryman was murdered, and an attempt was made to seize the powder-magazine, whilst several of the loyalists were wounded. [136]


Filipinos with Dewey’s Squadron

(Hongkong Telegraph, April 28, 1898.)

The United States Asiatic Squadron left Mirs Bay yesterday afternoon for the Philippines. It was previously arranged that the fleet should have left on Tuesday, but the departure was delayed to await the arrival of Mr. O. F. Williams and several officers who had stayed behind for dispatches. As we have already intimated, Mr. Williams and the officers were stormstayed on Tuesday and had to return to Hongkong. * * * * * * Meanwhile Mr. Rounsevelle Wildman, United States Consul at Hongkong, and Mr. Williams had had interviews with several of the Philippine rebel chiefs who were deported to Hongkong, and arrangements were made that one of their number, J. Alejandrino, should accompany the squadron, and act as the intermediary between the Americans and rebels. Yesterday morning, about eight o’clock, Mr. Wildman, Mr. Williams, the United States officers, newspaper representatives, and J. Alejandrino, accompanied by two rebel friends, started in the Fame to make their way to the fleet.


A Prediction of 1872

(From the London and China Telegraph of March 22, 1872, retranslated.) Reviewing the Cavite uprising, it concludes:

“The magnificent resources of these Islands have been neglected too long, whatever has been done toward their development is due to Anglo-Saxons whose efforts have been impeded by every possible means through the indifferent and indolent ideas of the Spanish government. As to the future government of the Philippines, could our government, or the American, be induced to accept any responsibility no one would benefit more than they from a change in affairs so necessary to the due development of the rich and magnificent products of that soil. Therefore the best thing that the inhabitants there could do would be to establish their independence under a republican form of government, making use in this of some of the Anglo-Saxons who now reside among them.

“The local government would be acting with practical wisdom did it not oppose a peaceable revolution. That a separation has to take place is inevitable. The power of Spain to govern distant colonies has disappeared, never to return.

“We cannot, however, end this article without paying a merited tribute of respect to the gallant Governor and Captain-General. His proclamation, which we published in the last issue of the London and China Telegraph, is worthy of the most exalted patriotism. He had the duty of stifling the revolution, but now it will be found that its spirit is like the fabled seven-headed serpent.” [137]




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The following corrections have been applied to the text:

Page Source Correction
1, 78, 95, 102 [Not in source] )
2 ecomomic economic
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13, N.A., 29, 70, 70, 117 [Not in source] .
14 ) [Deleted]
21 , [Deleted]
23 thet that
26, 27, 42 [Not in source]
N.A. Filipipinos Filipinos
29 Pigaffetta Pigafetta
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37 [Deleted]
41 excesssive excessive
42 thereasons the reasons
45 Gorvoran Gorvaran
54 cinammon cinnamon
N.A. manufacfacture manufacture
N.A. ( [Deleted]
82 [Deleted]
86 atime a time
88 Ms. MS.
94, 111 [Not in source] ,
95 2.4 foot-shadow 2.4-foot shadow
99 Filippinos Filipinos
103 nealy nearly
103 are are are
108 Schadenburg Schadenberg
108 ] .
110 n in
111 in habit inhabit
112 by in
112 adn and
113 Humangi Humanchi
114 Blumentrit Blumentritt
128 Recolect Recollect
136 Sates States
136 proclmation proclamation