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Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898; Volume 47, 1728-1759

Editor: Emma Helen Blair

Contributor: Edward Gaylord Bourne

Editor: James Alexander Robertson

Release date: January 22, 2017 [eBook #54041]

Language: English

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



Newly Designed Front Cover.


Map of the Philippine Islands (ca. 1742)

Map of the Philippine Islands (ca. 1742)

[Photographic facsimile of original MS. map in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid]


Original Title Page.

The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898

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

Volume XLVII, 1728–1759
The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio




Preface 11
Documents of 1728–1759
The Santa Misericordia of Manila. Juan Bautista de Uriarte; Manila, 1728 23
Survey of the Filipinas Islands. Fernando Valdés Tamón; Manila, 1739. (To this is added, “The ecclesiastical estate in the aforesaid Philipinas islands,” by Pablo Francisco Rodriguez de Berdozido; [Manila], 1742.) 86
The Order of St. John of God. Juan Maldonado de Puga; Granada, 1742 161
Letter to the president of the India Council. Pedro Calderon y Enriquez; Manila, July 16, 1746 230
Letter of a Jesuit to his brother. Antonio Masvesi; Cavite, December 2, 1749 243
Commerce of the Philipinas Islands. Nicolas Norton Nicols; Manila, [1759] 251
Bibliographical Data 285
Appendix: Relation of the Zambals. Domingo Perez, O.P.; Manila, 1680 289




Map of the Philippine Islands; photographic facsimile of original MS. map (ca. 1742) in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid Frontispiece
Plan of Manila, ca. 1742; photographic facsimile from original manuscript in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid 89
Plan of Cavite and its fortifications, (ca. 1742); photographic facsimile from original manuscript in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid 107
Cebú and its fortifications, ca. 1742; photographic facsimile from original manuscript in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid 115
Plan of fort at Zamboanga, 1742; photographic facsimile from original manuscript in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid 121
Church of San Juan de Dios, Manila, in Religiosa hospitalidad, by Juan M. Maldonado de Puga (Granada, 1742), facing p. 148; photographic facsimile from copy in collection of Eduardo Navarro, O.S.A., at Colegio de Filipinas, Valladolid 177




The documents presented in this volume (which covers the years 1728–59) form a comprehensive and interesting survey of the islands and their condition—social, religious, military, and commercial—during the middle portion of the eighteenth century; and the writers of these are prominent in their respective spheres of action. The appendix furnishes a valuable description of the savage Zambals of western Luzón, written by a Dominican missionary among that people in 1680.

The first document is a translation and condensation of the Manifiesta y resumen historico de la fundacion de la venerable hermandad de la Santa Misericordia (Manila, 1728), by Juan Baptista de Uriarte. This poorly-constructed work is chiefly valuable, not for the direct historical facts that it gives, but for the social and economic deductions that can be made from those facts. For instance, in spite of the great poverty prevailing among certain classes of Manila, it is apparent that the city possessed much wealth, else it would have been quite impossible for the brotherhood of Santa Misericordia to carry on its beneficent work to so great an extent. The brotherhood is founded April 16, 1594, after the model of the brotherhood of the same name [12]in Lisboa, its first establishment being in the school of Santa Potenciana. The rules of the new organization are ordained January 14, 1597, and first printed in 1606. The favor and protection accorded it in the beginning by Luis Perez Dasmariñas is continued by many succeeding governors and ecclesiastics, many of whom act as purveyors. As might be expected, the first attempts toward charitable aid are weak, but strength is gradually attained, and the noble work of the brotherhood receives due recognition. Certain pious funds are gradually established; the brotherhood executes many wills; a hospital is early founded, under the spiritual charge of the Franciscans. In 1597, the royal hospital is taken in charge by the Misericordia at the request of Governor Tello, in order that it may be managed better. Amid all the many disasters from the time of its foundation to 1728—shipwrecks, other sea accidents, invasions by the Dutch, earthquakes, etc.—the brotherhood ever lends a helping hand cheerfully. The city is divided into three parts, for the greater good of the poor and destitute. The various amounts of the alms distributed, which are given throughout the work, show how well the brotherhood discharged the purpose of its foundation. Christianity is debtor to this organization through the aid furnished to the religious orders at various times. Generous aid has been given to the prisons, to poor widows, to orphan girls (for whom a school is founded), and to noble destitute families, and others. Its activities extend even to the ransoming of Spanish and Portuguese prisoners from the Dutch; to the care of the native, Spanish, and foreign soldiers who fight under the banners of Spain; and even to Japan. A productive [13]rule of the brotherhood is the one compelling all the brothers at death to leave something to the association. From 1619 on, many loans are made from the coffers of the Misericordia to the royal treasury, which is generally in a state of exhaustion; and these loans are always cheerfully given, even in the midst of the depressions that the association experiences. That the brotherhood has enemies is shown by citations from a manifesto which charges it with neglect and poor business management. These charges are, however, disproved by our author. Indeed, the Manila house exceeds in the amount of its alms, those given by the Lisbon or mother house. Elections are annual, and are made by ten members chosen by the brotherhood as a unit. The board is composed of thirteen brothers, chief of whom is the purveyor; his duties, as well as those of the secretary, treasurer, and three stewards, are stated. The remaining brothers of the board are known as deputies. Royal decrees of 1699 and 1708 exempt the association from visitation by either ecclesiastical or civil officials, a concession that had been long before conferred upon it by Tello. An important event in the history of the brotherhood is the completion in 1634 of its church and school of Santa Isabel, whereby it does much good, especially among the orphan girls under its charge. Confessions in the school are in charge of the Jesuits. Many of the girls of the school enter the religious life, but others marry, and to all such a generous dowry is provided. Regular devotions are prescribed for the girls; and for the brothers of the association various church duties are ordained. The girls are also required to help in the kitchen and to learn the duties of housekeeping, so that at marriage [14]they are quite ready to assume the position of wife. The number of girls and women aided in this school and church reaches into the thousands, and the expenses of the church have been considerably over 100,000 pesos. In 1656, the brotherhood makes a transfer of its hospital to the hospital order of St. John of God. Chief among the funds established for the use of the brotherhood are those by Governor Manuel de Leon of 50,000 pesos, and by the famous Archbishop Pardo of 13,000. Notwithstanding the many disasters that have occurred in the islands, many of which affect the brotherhood, the latter has never been in a better condition than at the time when this manifesto is written. In his final chapter, Uriarte gives a list of the members of the board of the brotherhood, of which he is secretary. He also gives in full various documents which he has mentioned in the body of his relation. Under charge of the association is the appointment of twenty-nine chaplaincies (apparently among the religious orders, for ten chaplaincies for lay priests are also mentioned); and a certain number of fellowships are supported in San José college. The brotherhood is composed of 250 members, whose qualifications and duties are given. The work ends with an account of the annual alms given by the association.

The condition of the islands in 1739 is well depicted in the relation furnished in that year to the home government by Governor Valdés Tamón. Brief descriptions are given of the city of Manila, and the port of Cavite, with their fortifications, gates, artillery, garrisons, and military supplies; the document contains similar accounts of all the other military posts in the Philippines, and short descriptions [15]of the various provinces in which the islands are governed. Lack of space, however, obliges us to omit the greater part of these accounts, presenting only those concerned with Manila, Cavite, Cebú, and Zamboanga.

In 1742 an additional report was made for the king in regard to the status of the ecclesiastical estate in the islands; this is here given in full. The four cathedral churches are first mentioned, with the jurisdiction, incumbent, expenses, and sources of income of each. The other religious and the educational institutions of Manila, and its hospitals, are enumerated, with statements of the aid given to each by the royal treasury. A list is given of all the encomiendas in the islands granted for such purposes, also of those granted to private persons. Another section is devoted to the missions which are carried on by the religious orders, and to the expenditures made for them by the government of the islands, tabulated statements of which are given, as in the other sections of this report. There is also a table of the amounts collected by the religious who are in charge of the mission villages as offerings on feast days. At the close are found some remarks eulogistic of the friars’ labors in the islands, with an expression of regret that they have not carried out the king’s orders to have the Castilian language taught to the Filipino natives.

The work carried on by the Misericordia was well supplemented by that of the hospital order of St. John of God, an account of which was published (Granada, 1742) by one of its brethren in Manila, Juan Manuel Maldonado de Puga. He describes the urgent need of aid for the sick there, the efforts [16]made in early years (chiefly by the Misericordia) to supply this want, and the coming of the hospitalers of St. John (1641) to Manila. The government places in their charge the royal hospital at Cavite (1642), and the Misericordia surrender to them their hospital in Manila (1656); and for a time they conduct a hospital for convalescents at Bagumbaya. A full account is given of the transfer of the Misericordia hospital, and of its history up to 1740. Some difficulties arise between the hospitalers and the Misericordia, which are decided in favor of the former by the Jesuit university. Maldonado presents a careful description of the new church and convent erected in 1727 by the hospitalers, and narrates the leading events in their history. An interesting digression by our author describes the system of weighing in use by the Sangley traders in the islands, and the substitution therefor (1727) of the Castilian steelyard and standards of weight; he states that he is the first to explain the Chinese system, and we know of no other writer who has done so. He proceeds to give an account of the manner in which the Filipinas province of the hospital order is governed, with lists of its provincials and of its present officers and members; and then enumerates the incomes and contributions of the order in the islands, relating the history of these, and similarly the grants of royal aid to its work there. In this connection is described the personal service called reserva or polo, which is imposed on the natives. Another chapter enumerates and describes the charitable foundations [obras pias] from which the hospital receives aid. Maldonado describes the present condition of the other hospitals in the islands, those outside Manila being mainly for [17]special classes—the lepers, the Chinese, the soldiers, etc.; and few of them are properly managed or served. He ends with an apology for numerous errors in his text, due to the blunders of native amanuenses.

A letter from Manila (July 16, 1746) to the president of the India Council recounts the difficulties and dangers with which the islands are threatened by the Dutch and English, who are sending goods from their Eastern factories to America, lying in wait to seize the Spanish galleons, and even menacing Manila. The writer suggests that the former trade between Luzón and the Malabar coast be resumed, and that more effective measures be taken to overawe the Dutch and English in Eastern waters.

The Jesuit Antonio Masvesi informs his brother (December 2, 1749) of the failure of the Joló and Mindanao missions, and severely criticises the governor, Bishop Arrechedera, for his infatuation with the sultan of Joló, and his lavish entertainment of that treacherous and crafty Moro, against the advice of the Jesuits. Masvesi sends also an account of these matters by a brother Jesuit, these letters being intended to counteract the influence of Arrechedera’s reports to the home government.

A curious memorial to the king, by an Englishman named Norton but naturalized in Spain, urges that that country open up a direct commerce with the Philippine Islands by way of the Cape of Good Hope, and that mainly in cinnamon. He enumerates the products and exports of the islands, and urges that these be cultivated more than they are—above all, the cinnamon, which is now purchased by Spain and her colonies from the Dutch, at exorbitant [18]prices. The finest quality of this spice could be produced in Mindanao, and Norton recommends that plantations of cinnamon be made there, thus furnishing it to Spain and the colonies at a lower price, and retaining their silver for their own use instead of allowing their enemies to get possession of it. He recapitulates the great advantages which will accrue to Spain, to her people and colonists, and to the Indian natives, from the execution of this project; and he would cultivate in the islands not only cinnamon but pepper. He cites figures from the Amsterdam Gazette to show how great quantities of commodities which might be produced by the Philippines are brought to Europe from the Dutch factories in the East; and he points out how Spain might profitably exchange cinnamon and pepper for the lumber, cordage, etc., which she now purchases for cash from Norway and Russia. He urges that Spain should no longer submit to the tyranny of the Dutch and other heretics, who are really in her power, since they must depend on her for silver. He asks that the king will appoint a commission to examine and report on his project, and enumerates various conditions which he requires in order to establish the direct commerce between Spain and Filipinas. At the end are stated the numerous advantages which would accrue to Spain and the colonies from the execution of Norton’s plan.

Appendix: Domingo Perez, one of the most noted of the seventeenth century Dominican missionaries, writes an account in 1680, from personal experience, of the newly-acquired Dominican province of Zambales, in which he describes that province, and the people in their manifold relations. He gives much [19]interesting information, for the truth of which he vouches, concerning the Malayan race of the Zambals, whose peculiar characteristics he describes, from the standpoints of their religion and superstitions, and their social and economic life; describes the changes effected by the softening influences of the Christian religion; and gives various suggestions as to their management. They are seen to possess a religion somewhat vague in its general concept, but quite specific and complex in its individual points, with a graded priesthood, to all of which, however, not too great importance must be attached. In their superstitious beliefs, they approach quite closely to the other peoples of the Philippines. Birds are a good or bad omen according to circumstances; sneezing is always a bad omen; great credence is given to dreams. Marriage is an important ceremony, and chastity is general among the women, who exercise great power among the people. Feasts are occasions for intoxication. Above all, they are fierce headhunters, and strive to cut off as many heads as possible, although they are a cowardly race. The Dominican policy of governing the Zambals is one of concentration, in which they are well aided by the garrison of Spanish soldiers stationed in the Zambal country.

The Editors


DOCUMENTS OF 1728–1759

Sources: The first document is translated (partly in full and partly in synopsis) from Manifiesta ... del hospital de la Sancta Misericordia (Manila, 1728); from a copy in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. The second, from an original MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid; part of it (of minor importance) is necessarily omitted here. The third (largely in synopsis), from Religiosa hospitalidad por los hijos del ... S. Ivan de Dios en Philipinas (Granada, 1742); from a copy belonging to E. E. Ayer. The fourth, from an original MS. in the library of the Academia Española, Madrid. The fifth, from a transcript in the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), iv, pp. 297–305. The sixth, from an original MS. (or possibly a contemporaneous copy) in possession of E. E. Ayer.

Translations: The first is made by James Alexander Robertson; the remainder, by Emma Helen Blair. [23]





Of the beginning of this venerable brotherhood of the city of Manila, in the year 1594

[The Santa Misericordia of Manila1 was founded in imitation of the association of the same name which had been established in the city of Lisbon in [24]August 1498 with the consent of the vacant see and of Queen Leonor, wife of Juan II. At the time of the foundation of the Manila branch, Clement VIII occupied the papal chair, and Luis Perez Dasmarifias was governor of Manila.]



Of the foundation of this venerable brotherhood, and the circumstances attending it

The foundation of this venerable brotherhood was April 16, 1594, the following being assembled and congregated in the church of the holy Society of Jesus of this city: his Excellency, Don Luis Perez das Mariñas, knight of the Order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of these islands for the king our sovereign; the very reverend father, Fray [25]Christoval de Salvatierra, of the Order of St. Dominic, governor of the bishopric for his Excellency, Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, its bishop, who at that time was in the kingdoms of Castilla; the venerable dean, Don Diego Basquez de Mercado; the judiciary and municipal body of this noble city; the master-of-camp of the royal army of these islands, Don Diego Ronquillo; and the majority of the nobility and citizens of the city. And they having been informed of the so holy end for which this venerable brotherhood and confraternity is instituted (in regard to which matter, a devout talk was given by the very reverend father rector of the college of the said Society of Jesus, Antonio Sedeño, who with the ardor of his spirit, informed them of the importance that the foundation of the venerable brotherhood, whose institution they were discussing for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their neighbors, would be in the time of their greatest calamities and miseries); in view of all of which, having conferred with mature deliberation and due reflection concerning the seriousness of the matter: they unanimously and harmoniously decided upon the foundation of so holy a brotherhood. From that time it was considered as established with the fixed resolution to begin the exercise of works of charity, in accordance with the rules which were made for the better government of the brotherhood, the original of which are conserved in the first book of records. Then immediately their Excellencies, the ecclesiastical and secular governors, who were present, each one for himself, in the part that pertained to him, confirmed all the abovesaid and affixed their signatures. It was agreed for the time being that this venerable [26]brotherhood of our Lady of Charity should be established in the college of Santa Potenciana in this city.

The first brothers who composed the financial board [mesa] of this brotherhood, numbered thirteen: the purveyor Don Luis Perez das Mariñas, knight of the Order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of these islands; its secretary, Don Estevan de Marquina; its treasurer, Don Juan de Esquerra; the deputies, Don Juan Ronquillo, Don Christoval de Azqueta, Don Antonio de Cañedo, Don Francisco de Poza, Don Diego del Castillo, Don Juan de Alzega, Don Juan Arseo, Don Hernando Nuñez de Peñalosa, Don Juan de la Lara, and Don Thomas de Machuca. Those gentlemen in the meeting held May 11, 1594, enacted that this venerable brotherhood should militate under the protection and favor of that of Lisboa, since that is the head of all the brotherhoods which are founded in the districts of España and of India, so that recognizing this brotherhood as its offspring, they might establish a mutual correspondence and a perpetual brotherhood, and, as faithful brothers aiding one another, obtain the chief end of their institute which is directed to the exercise of works of charity and mercy. On this matter, having written to the said venerable brotherhood, the latter responded without the least delay, congratulating it on having obtained in its foundation and brothers the limit of its desires, and despatched the rules of that house which were received by this brotherhood in 1596. And in order that they might be observed more fittingly and performed in accordance with the condition and state of the land, it was necessary to revise some of them, although only a few, but only after [27]great thought and consideration by very learned persons. Those which today are in force were ordained January 14, 1597, in a meeting called for that effect. They were given to the press in 1606. At the same time this brotherhood succeeded in being admitted and recognized as an offspring by the brotherhood of the Misericordia of the city of Lisboa.

It is not outside the present matter to mention at this place, although briefly ... the governors and captains-general for the king our sovereign, who have been brothers and purveyors of the house of the Misericordia of this city, as well as the archbishops, ministers of the royal Audiencia, the venerable deans, masters-of-camp, and others, who will be named later, in the chronological order in which they became brothers. It is as follows.

[These names are as follows: Luis Perez das Mariñas; Doctor Antonio de Morga; Licentiate Christoval Telles de Almazan, auditor; Francisco Tello; Fray Miguel de Venavides, archbishop; Luis de Bracamonte, master-of-camp; Doctor Juan de Vibero, dean of the Manila cathedral; Doctor Diego Basquez de Mercado, dean, vicar-general, and archbishop; Miguel Garsetas, chanter and purveyor; Diego Ronquillo, master-of-camp and purveyor; Juan Juares Gallinato, master-of-camp; Doctor Juan Fernandez de Ledo, purveyor; Manuel de Madrid y Luna, auditor; Doctor Alvaro de Mesa y Luna, auditor; Juan de Balderrama, auditor; Alonzo de Campos, archdeacon; Alonso Faxardo, governor and purveyor; Mathias Flores Delgado, auditor; Geronimo de Legazpi, auditor; Antonio Alvarez de Castro, auditor; Sebastian Cavallero, [28]royal fiscal; Doctor Alonso Zapata, schoolmaster; Alvaro Garcia de Ocampo, auditor; Doctor Francisco Samaniego, royal fiscal; Licentiate Juan de Volivar y Cruz, royal fiscal; Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor and purveyor; Sabiniano Manrique de Lara, governor and purveyor; Lorenso de Olazo, master-of-camp; Francisco Pasqual de Pano, auditor; Augustin de Cepeda, master-of-camp and purveyor; Thomas de Endaya, master-of-camp and purveyor; Francisco de Atienza y Vañes, master-of-camp; Doctor Diego Camacho y Avila, archbishop; Doctor Francisco Rayo Doria, dean, commissary of the Holy Crusade and purveyor; Doctor Domingo de Valencia, bishop of Nueva Cazeres and purveyor; Conde de Lizarraga, Martin de Ursua y Arismendi, governor and purveyor; Doctor Joseph de Torralva, auditor, governor, and purveyor; Doctor Phelipe de Molina, bishop of Nueva Cazeres; Doctor Manuel Antonio de Osio y Ocampo, dean, vicar-general, and commissary; Doctor Juan de la Fuente Yepez, schoolmaster; Marquez de Torre Campo, governor and purveyor.]



Of the condition and conveniences of this brotherhood in its beginning

Not a little admiration is caused upon beholding the weak foundations upon which the providence of God erected so great a work for the spiritual and temporal consolation of the poor and wretched people, who suffered extreme necessities in this community. In the beginning of its foundation, so scarce were the conveniences for obtaining the [29]desired fruit of its chief institution that scarcely did they succeed in remedying the most urgent needs of their neighbors; but, as it advanced on account of the liberal hand of God, it commenced, as a father of charity, to scatter its gifts by means of worthy benefactors of this house, the first who liberally ennobled and enriched it being the said Don Luis Perez das Mariñas, with the following concessions and alms.

1. The first concession which he conceded to this brotherhood was three toneladas in the cargo of the ships which annually voyage to the port of Acapulco in the kingdom of Nueva España, to bring the royal situado belonging to these islands, the date of its bestowal being April 30, 1594. It was confirmed by Don Francisco Tello, governor and captain-general of these islands, January 24, 1597.

2. The second was of ten shops in the Alcayceria, the Parián of the Sangleys, its date being August 29, 1595.

3. The third was of an encomienda of eight hundred tributes in the valley of Ytuy, in whose conquest the said Don Luis was taking part, its date being April 25, 1596.

4. The fourth was twenty-four young bulls which the said gentleman applied from his Majesty’s stockfarm as an alms for this venerable brotherhood.

These concessions were the principal support of this venerable brotherhood. After them followed some other alms, which in particular demonstration of their especial purpose were made by the said gentleman with the certain knowledge that by so good direction they would be distributed without the [30]slightest delay and proportionally to the need of each person.

From that instant it appears that the providence of God pledged itself in moving the hearts of men so that this so great work should take its greatest increase by means of the plentiful bequests which were left to this brotherhood, and funds which were frequently established as an encouragement of the pious ends in which its charity was exercised, committing their best alms and aids for the relief of the necessities of the poor, both families and self-respecting persons, in the best kind of bonds. The brotherhood obtained at the same time many trusts which the faithful administration of wills gained for it, which were in its charge, by the exact fulfilment which it gave to them. Therefrom there resulted to this venerable brotherhood the well-known advantages which immediately resulted to the benefit of the said poor, whose needs and their relief were the only object of all its attention.



Of the hospital which this brotherhood founded, and the Christian and charitable exercises in which it was occupied.

This venerable brotherhood imagined that it was lukewarm and neglectful in its love toward its neighbor, so long as it did not manifest it in works proportionate to its greatness. On that account its charity gave the first flights in the foundation and erection of a hospital in which poor soldiers were to be treated. Inasmuch as there was no other in whom to place the care of this so great need, this [31]brotherhood attended promptly to so fitting a relief, building it at the cost of many pesos in 1596, supplying what was possible in so little time, for the erection of said hospital. In fact, it was obtained with the happiness which its memory should make famous three years after its foundation. It gave its first attention to seeing that it was well provided with beds, good food, and other things necessary for the greatest relief of the sick, and secondly, by inquiring personally and anxiously ascertaining the lodging of said sick soldiers, so that they might immediately conduct them to the said hospital of Santa Misericordia.

So Christian and punctual and careful in their material treatment of the sick were they that this venerable brotherhood arranged for three deputies of the financial board alternately and continuously to live in the said hospital, for the better care and management of the medicines, their prompt application, and the competent assistance of physician and surgeon who treated the sick therein, as well as the good administration and management which they were to have of the many pesos which were spent for those pious ends; the seraphic order of our father St. Francis [had charge] in the spiritual of the care of their souls with exemplary zeal and love, by means of one of its religious, a priest, who was maintained by this brotherhood, and to whom it gave everything necessary.

Within three years after the foundation of this hospital, so much had the idea of the charity with which the sick were treated, and the good management which was observed in it, increased, that on December 3, 1597, his Excellency, Don Juan [i.e., [32]Francisco] Tello, governor and captain-general of these islands, sent to this financial board (which was then at Santa Potenciana) Doctor Don Antonio de Morga, who was an auditor of this royal Audiencia, and his lieutenant-governor and captain-general, who afterwards merited promotion to the royal Council of Castilla, to lay before the purveyor and deputies of the brotherhood that it was quite apparent to all the members of this holy confraternity that, in order that charity might be good it had to commence by itself; and accordingly, since this financial board and all its brothers were exercising the works of charity and mercy with so great fervor as was well known, and since they knew the needs that the hospital of the Spaniards, our brothers, was suffering, not so much for lack of means as of management, wherefore, so great a number of Spaniards died, and the wealth and means which his Majesty has given it were not used to advantage: we should consider it fitting to include that hospital with ours for the slaves, as was most suitable for us, as it was of our own nation; and to manage it in the same manner as ours of the Misericordia, so that the wealth and means which it had should only be spent and laid out for the benefit of the sick, and so that there might be order, concert, and relief, in order that by this means the so many deaths that occurred daily therein, because of the poor administration, order, and lack of relief, might be avoided; and that if this financial board and the holy confraternity desired to accept and to take charge of a matter of so great service to God, our Sovereign, and of his Majesty, as taking under our charge the management of the said hospital by way of charity, his Lordship, the governor, would be prompt with all [33]the power that he possessed and all the means that he could use to withdraw this board from all individual and general risk of giving account now or at any time of the wealth and possessions of said hospital, which his Majesty had given it, both as governor and as patron and manager. If necessary he would transfer it and resign that office to this board, and would cause and command that now and in no time should they be obliged to give account of what his Majesty had given and assigned to the said hospital for the support of the sick and the other expenses connected with it, but that with it and all that it should have, we should proceed in the same form and manner as with ours of Misericordia in accordance with our rules. In regard to this, the governor would do all that was necessary, and that his Lordship could do, for he was assured of the great service that would be performed to God our Lord; also that the conscience of his Majesty would be discharged; and that great gain would come to the community and its citizens. Thus far the proposition.

On behalf of the board, reply was made that they would convoke a general chapter of the brotherhood, in order to inform all the brothers; and that they would hand in writing to the said doctor whatever resulted in regard to this proposition, so that he might inform the governor without any delay.

In the general chapter of the brotherhood, which was held December 6, 1597, it was resolved unanimously that the management of the said hospital should be assumed by the board of the Santa Misericordia, so that both Majesties might be served therein, provided that the governor fulfilled the clauses and conditions which were set forth in [34]memorial on the part of the purveyor and deputies of the brotherhood. On their presentation, the approval of them all resulted. In accordance with and by virtue of an act and edict of the superior government, transfer of the said hospital to the purveyor and deputies of the Santa Misericordia became a reality, being given before the alcalde-in-ordinary, Don Gaspar Osorio de Moya, and the royal official judges, then Don Domingo Ortiz de Chagoya, accountant, and Don Francisco de las Missas, factor. All the above was executed January 3, 1598, and the board of the Santa Misericordia remained in possession of the said hospital as will appear more at length from the papers formed on this point.

This proposition in all its circumstances well shows the credit which this venerable brotherhood had negotiated and gained, not only in the estimation of the holy religious orders and the citizens of this city, but also in the appreciation of the governor, Don Francisco Tello, who transferred the royal hospital of the Spaniards with so great satisfaction and confidence to the care and management of this board; for his Lordship believed that by this measure, he was securing and founding a new estate of relief, assistance, and aid for the sick Spaniards of the said hospital, because of the kindness and good management of so zealous and Christian brothers.



Of the disasters which assaulted Manila during the five years from 599 to 604; and how the charity of the brothers of Santa Misericordia shone forth to the good of their neighbor.

[The years 1599 and the first four of the seventeenth [35]century prove very disastrous for the Philippines, for they are visited by many earthquakes, and suffer many other losses and misfortunes. The first earthquake of June 21, 1599, does much damage to buildings, and it is followed by other disastrous earthquakes in 1600. This year also are lost the two ships “Santa Margarita,” in the Ladrones, and “San Geronimo,” in Catanduanes; and the raid of Oliver van Noordt occurs. In 1601, two galleons are lost in a hurricane—“Santo Thomas” in Camarines on its way from Nueva España, and the second in the shipyard of Pañamao near Leyte. Two ships from Acapulco land at the islands in 1602 with goods wasted and rotten. In 1603, a fire causes the loss of more than one million pesos in goods; and the disastrous rising of the Chinese also occurs.]

This is a brief sketch of what happened during the five years in this city of Manila—events which truly cannot be read without great horror. During that time the extreme necessity of many poor people was crying out for relief, especially that of many women, who were coming from Nueva España, and wretched slaves who because of the rigor of unsatisfied hunger were yielding up their lives. A good proof of this truth is a letter (the original of which this brotherhood preserves) from his Excellency, Don Diego Bazquez de Mercado, most worthy archbishop of the holy cathedral church of this city, who was promoted from bishop of Campeche to this church, where he had before been its dean, and had been at the foundation of this venerable brotherhood as the ecclesiastical governor of the vacant see of Don Fray Domingo de Salazar. Its date is August 15, 613, and it was written in duplicate to our most holy father, Paul Fifth, and is of the following tenor. [36]

[In this letter Vazquez de Mercado informs the pope of the growth of Christianity in the Philippines, much of which he attributes, in addition to the work of the religious orders, to the work of the Santa Misericordia. He asks the pope to confirm the enclosed rules and regulations of the brotherhood. He also asks for certain indulgences in order that the rules may be followed properly.]

During this time of the most cruel miseries and disasters this venerable brotherhood made a rare show of the greatest strength of its burning charity, for it appears that, through this house of the Misericordia, God erected a new storehouse, well provided with every remedy for the consolation of invalids, the relief of prisoners, and the remedy of the sick. Thus the Misericordia attended promptly to what it considered most fitting, striving as much as possible to soften the lamentations and tears of so many poor people who begged relief in troops for their extreme need, by distributing among them daily, and when the cords of hunger pressed them more tightly, in the public places of this city vast alms, which exceeded three hundred pesos weekly. At the same time it took the most vigorous measures for the construction of new infirmaries or rooms, which were erected after the hospital of the Misericordia, in order to attend nearer at hand, and with greater and prompter assistance, the pains, treatment, and relief of so many poor women who refused to receive them anywhere else, as well as to the wretched slaves who were dying of hunger or sickness in the out-of-the-way places of this city. If this so Christian provision had been lacking those people could not have obtained spiritual or temporal consolation. [37]

With so powerful and Christian an example, this holy brotherhood moved and attracted all the city, not only to the imitation of so devout exercises but also succeeded in getting the free coöperation of many alms which were distributed for so pious purposes. All of the city was divided into three equal parts or wards, so that the deputies of the board, who were successively occupied in this, might distribute said alms, and many others which were given into their own hands in proportion to the necessity and rank of each one of the families. In this it was quite evident that the liberal hand of God was working in order to succor with so great piety so innumerable miseries. It appears that during the hard times of those five years, this brotherhood distributed more than 80,000 pesos to the benefit of all this community and its poor.

This brotherhood seeing that for the fulfilment of its principal rule of relieving the necessities of its neighbor spiritually and physically, the brothers who composed the board [mesa] were not sufficient, thought it advisable to provide that, up to the number of forty, they should busy themselves in attending promptly to the greatest necessity that called to them, in order to furnish the most efficacious relief; that it would be well to take charge of the poor sick men and women, and bring them to the hospitals; that it would be well to gather the dead bodies and bury them; that it would be well for the assistance in hospitals and treatment of the sick, to watch and find in all the suburbs and wards of this city, the persons who needed physician, surgeon, and medicines. And upon the instant they gave advice to the treasurer and almsgivers appointed by the board, so [38]that they might attend to the most important remedy.

One cannot imagine the work of this venerable brotherhood during the time of those disasters in attending to and providing for all the necessities in the two hospitals of the Spaniards and of the native soldiers of the country; to the two infirmaries of poor women, and of wretched slaves; and to the two prisons of the court and the city, which were also dependent upon the assistance and relief which their charity negotiated for them: since it is certain that besides the personal work of the brothers, in those first years, for the above purposes alone, and for other pious ends, there was spent from the year 599 to that of 650 a sum of more than 540,446 pesos, 7 tomins, which it has been possible to verify in the short time that I have had for it, and other liquidations that will be set forth hereafter. But this was done with such accounts and checks on the parts of treasurer and almsgivers of this house that a strict monthly or annual residencia was taken from them by the purveyor and other deputies, the balances resulting either against or in favor punctually. Their revision was entrusted to the purveyor and secretary of the board and immediately they proceeded to the satisfaction of the said balances of all parties.



Of the advantages and gains which resulted from the great alms which were given out by the house of Santa Misericordia for the common relief of spiritual and temporal needs.

[The brotherhood has had great influence in the increase and conservation of the Catholic faith, both [39]spiritually and temporally. Many alms have been given to the religious orders that they might pursue their work, especially between the years 1600–1650, such alms being used for edifices of worship and other pious purposes. The prisons have been a special object of care to the brotherhood, for the prisoners of the two prisons in Manila have been looked after daily in regard to clothing and other matters; and an attorney has been paid to conduct their cases, in order that they might be concluded at the earliest possible moment. For this more than one thousand pesos has been spent annually. Alms have been given to widows to the amount of four, eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, and twenty-four reals weekly; and the same is true of poor soldiers disabled in the royal service in the Philippines and vicinity, to whom alms are distributed weekly. The noble families who have been overtaken by adversity have also been aided, and that so tactfully that the asking of alms by them has cost no embarrassment. To them the weekly distribution has amounted to twenty, thirty, fifty, one hundred and more pesos. The brotherhood has always been careful to inquire into the morals of those among whom its alms have been distributed, and evil morals have meant suspension from the alms-list, to which they have been readmitted on reforming. Brothers of the confraternity found to be leading an evil life have been expelled from membership until they have given assurances of reform. Especial care has been taken in relieving members who have fallen into misfortunes. Orphan girls whose fathers have died in the royal service in the wars have been sheltered, taught, supported, and, at marriage, given a dowry. From the [40]organization of the brotherhood until 1634, more than three thousand orphan girls have been so aided.]



Of other works of charity in which this venerable brotherhood was busied for the benefit of captive Spaniards and Portuguese, and the alms which it sent to Japon and other districts, and the devout exercises in which it busied itself with great profit.

[Silva’s expedition against the Dutch who attempt to raid the islands in 1609 and 1610, which ends in the defeat of the latter, April 24, 1610 (the leader of the Dutch being one Francisco Ubiter, who was with Oliver van Noordt in his battle with the Spaniards), is a great drain on the community. The loss of the ship “San Francisco” in Japan, which left Nueva España in July, 1609, means a great loss to the citizens, and gives the brotherhood much to do. Those wounded in Silva’s wars, up to the time of his death, April 19, 1616, both Spaniards and native soldiers, as well as some foreign ones who participated therein, become a special object of care to the brotherhood. Many Spanish and Portuguese captives are redeemed from the Dutch during this period. The charity of the brotherhood reaches even to Japan, where the Christians are being persecuted so unrelentingly at this time. Lastly, the bones of members of the brotherhood who have died and been buried in the islands of Mariveles and Fortuna, and in Playa Honda and other places are removed thence and buried in the Manila cathedral.] [41]



In which are shown the alms that were distributed for masses among the sacred religious orders, to the poor of the prisons, the widows, and orphans, in dowries, food, and clothing of the daughters of the brotherhood, etc., from the first years of its foundation until the years of the great earthquakes of 645 and later until that of 60; in which are included other sums which had been paid from the treasury for the expenses of the building of the church and college of Santa Isabel and other pious purposes.

At the time when this venerable brotherhood was founded with the solemnity and attending circumstances that are mentioned in chapter ii, for its better management and government, various chapters of rules were formed. One of them was that all the brothers in the wills that they signed were obliged to leave some alms to the brotherhood. With such a beginning which gave prestige to the works of this house, the brothers tried to have their wills ready before they started for the undertakings or conquests that were undertaken during that period. Hence resulted the foundations of various works, whose capitals were invested in annuities with most secure bonds and from their rent a great part of the alms which this house distributes, thus giving fulfilment to their pious purposes. Besides this, they also ordered in their wills other sums to be distributed at the discretion of the board, and they were applied as a relief for the necessities of the poor, for this brotherhood in the administration of the many works under its charge has not pretended to extract [42]other fruit than that of serving God by relieving and succoring the miseries and hardships of its neighbor, exercising itself continually in the fulfilment of works of charity.

From the first years of foundation until that of 1650, it appears that in the pious assignment of alms for the missions of Japon, in masses which have been said by the sacred orders, in the church of the Santa Misericordia, in alms for the religious communities, in repairs of their convents, in relief for poor widows, in dowries for the girls of the schools and other poor girls of the community, in their food and clothing, and in other things, this venerable brotherhood has distributed and spent 107,125 pesos, 4 tomins, 3 granos, which have been earned and produced by the capitals of the funds invested at interest. I surely believe that this house is one of the precious stones which most beautify the crown of the king, our sovereign. But, in every way, the paragraph which follows is of more value.

In these times and, those extending to the year 660, in which the sums of pesos which entered into this house were very great, due to the liberality of illustrious benefactors (among the least not being those assigned by the governors of these islands, Don Luis Perez das Mariñas, Don Francisco Tello, Don Juan de Silva, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, and Don Sabiniano Manrrique de Lara), the sum of 356,363 pesos, 3 tomins, which the book of the treasurer for those years gives as data, was reached. In that time there were many wills which were fulfilled by this venerable brotherhood; and there were not few bequests and alms which were given to it, especially by the will of the alguacil-mayor, Don Bartholome Thenorio, who left special memories in [43]this house, the last being a principal of twenty thousand pesos which still remain while the interest therefrom from the year 702 until the present time is more than twenty-five thousand.



In which are shown in separate items the supplements of reals which the house of Santa Misericordia has given to the royal treasury of this city, during the periods of its greatest poverty and necessity, occasioned both by the raids which have been made in these islands by the Dutch enemy and for reënforcements and fortifications of this royal camp and of other presidios of the royal crown from the year 619 until that of 726 for the service of his Majesty (whom may God preserve for many years).

[The royal treasury reaches a state of exhaustion in 1619 because of the inroads of the Dutch, who harry the Spanish presidios and forts. In this year Governor Alonso Faxardo is compelled to ask a loan of the brotherhood, for which he offers good security. That loan is unanimously voted by the purveyor and deputies, on April 4, 1619, and amounts to 39,599 pesos, 5 tomins.]

October 6, 638, it also appears from a certification of the royal officials that they gave to the royal treasury by way of loan 104,609 pesos, 2 tomins, 1 grano, while Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera was governor and captain-general of these islands, as a relief for the necessity therein, and the prosecution of the conquest of Jolo and the supplies of war which would be required for its total conclusion.

It also appears by another certificate that on July [44]3, 643, the purveyor and deputies of the Misericordia paid 57,468 pesos, 2 tomins by way of a loan, by virtue of an order of the said governor, to attend to the necessities of the treasury. And inasmuch as in the said year, because of his Lordship having before received a royal decree under date of June 28 of the year 635, he wrote to this board a letter [January 28, 1643]2 which is conserved in the original with many others of all appreciation, we believe it advisable to give it here, its tenor being as follows:

[In this letter Corcuera cites the royal decree above mentioned which orders general prayers said in all the churches of the islands for the success of Spanish arms. The governor has written to all the bishops and to the provincials of the religious orders asking the command to be observed in their churches. He asks the Misericordia to have a mass said in its church every Friday for the perpetual memory of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the Spanish pretensions may prevail.]

It also appears that in the year 643, forty-five thousand pesos which came as part of the register from Nueva España, belonging to the property of the said Don Bartholome Thenorio, were embargoed in the royal treasury at the petition of Doña Ana de Zarate, his sister-in-law, and although the members of the royal Audiencia declared the said sum as free and its delivery due to the board of the Santa Misericordia, as it was his executor, yet by certain results which the fiscal of his Majesty made, it remained in the said royal treasury until its liquidation, and lastly, by way of loan until the year 705, [45]in which the final balance of the said sum was paid from the royal treasury, in order to fulfil the will of the said deceased.

It likewise appears by the reports and certifications of the royal officials, that from the year 643 and upward, there were paid into the royal treasury by order of Governors Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera and Don Diego Faxardo, 76,231 pesos 4 tomins, from the board of Santa Misericordia by way of loan. And although his Majesty (whom may God preserve) was pleased to order (by virtue of the representations given by the board) through his royal decree of March 8, 660, his Excellency, the viceroy of Nueva España, to pay the said sum given to the royal treasury in six payments of 12,305 pesos, 2 tomins, it was impossible to collect the said sum in these islands; for although the remissions of the said payments were made by his said Excellency as an item in the register for the satisfaction which was to be given to the board of Santa Misericordia, they were retained in the royal treasury of this city from the year 663 until that of 666 in order to succor the necessity of the city, during a period of so many disasters. Consequently, this new loan amounted to 61,526 pesos, 2 tomins, and both together amounted to 137,757 pesos, 6 tomins, which were employed in matters of the royal service and the benefit of these islands.

It also appears by another certification, that in the year 650, 13,740 pesos were embargoed in the royal treasury which had come consigned as a part of the register to the board of Santa Misericordia, belonging to the property of the alguacil-mayor, Don Bartholome Thenorio, by virtue of an order from Don [46]Diego Faxardo, on an occasion when the royal treasury was suffering so great necessity.

It also appears from another certification, and royal provision despatched by the said governor, which was announced for this board March 1, 653, in which his Lordship represents the great need of the treasury of his Majesty with the lack of reënforcements from Nueva España; that although exact efforts had been made, on account of the general poverty which all the citizens of this city, as was well known, were suffering, it had been impossible to remedy, not even to the extent that was necessary, so that it might endure so serious a lack; and that because it was very fitting for the service of his Majesty to seek all the possible means which might exist, so that the said royal treasury should have money with which to succor the infantry of this royal army, until our sovereign should deign to bring the royal situado of these islands; for the present he ordained etc.: in consequence of which the board of the Misericordia paid 70,601 pesos, 4 tomins to the said royal treasury, with which sum it remedied for the time being its present necessity.

Lastly, it is well known that in the year 726, his Excellency, Don Thoribio Joseph Miguel de Cosio y Campa, knight of the Order of Calatrava, and governor and captain-general of these islands, and president of the royal Chancilleria of them, finding himself in great necessity of means to succor the need of the royal treasury on the occasion of the loss of the galleon “Santo Christo de Burgos,” with the profits of this trade, on the coast of the island of Ticao, on account of a storm which forced it to beach on the night of July 23 of the said year; and [47]upon his Lordship, the Marquis, seeing himself forced to take most prompt measures for the cutting of timber for the new ship which was built in the royal shipyard of the port of Cavite, for the supplies of the royal army of this camp, and for many other inexcusable expenses, notwithstanding that the commerce of these islands was weak and its citizens in a time of the greatest necessity,—because of various supplies and gifts made to his Majesty in order to succor the need of the said royal treasury: nevertheless, the said marquis was obliged to solicit by other means the things necessary for the fulfilment of the royal service, and universal welfare of these islands, by having recourse to the house of Santa Misericordia in order to obtain forty thousand pesos, which were supplied without prejudice to the regular works of the house, and were made from some deposits which could be detained in their treasury until the arrival of the royal situado which was expected from Nueva España. He offered to pay them promptly under the royal word; by virtue of which, and the Christian efforts which preceded from one and the other parties, the said board supplied 33,641 pesos, 7 tomins, to the royal treasury, so that it might in part be freed from its greatest necessity. As soon as the royal situado of his Majesty had safely arrived at these islands his Lordship, the marquis, kept the word which he had promised by giving entire satisfaction to the board of the Santa Misericordia, in the full delivery of the said sum.

As a conclusion of all the loans made to his Majesty by the house of Santa Misericordia will serve that which it made in the year 646 to the royal [48]treasury of these islands, when its governor and captain-general was Don Diego Faxardo, on the occasion when they were rumored to be surrounded by necessities and when the Dutch enemy was at the entrances of Marivelez, as he showed in a letter which he wrote the said board on September 12, 646, which is of the following tenor.

[In this letter Diego Faxardo thanks the brotherhood for the loan of ten thousand odd pesos which it made to the royal treasury on this occasion. All the loans between the years 1619–1726 have amounted to 2,449,418 pesos, 2 tomins, 1 grano. In addition, the Santa Misericordia has paid into the royal treasury between 1629–1695, as executor for deceased persons, 14,777 pesos, 2 tomins, 3 granos.]



In which is given public satisfaction in behalf of this brotherhood for a chapter of a manifesto which has been published denouncing the rectitude and faithful administration of the brothers; and it is proved that the annuities of the house of the Misericordia not only are not lost, as is supposed, but that, on the contrary, they are in much better condition than at any other time.

[A manifesto published against the brotherhood charges lack of business ability and neglect in the handling of its funds, so that much of the money entrusted to it has been lost; and proposes that the brotherhood be made subject to inspection by the authorities—by the ecclesiastical ordinary, if the association be considered a pious body, or by the ordinary with a royal minister, if the association be [49]regarded as under royal protection. Discussing the manifesto our author shows that the affairs of the brotherhood have never been more prosperous. As compared with the religious orders, their capitals and the returns therefrom show better results, and not nearly so many arrears. The brothers are good managers and look after their business carefully. Those who have been benefited by the brotherhood are so numerous that there are but few in the community who have not been helped. From the year 1677 when the first fund was established, the brotherhood has distributed 657,383 pesos, 6 tomins, 6 granos. The purposes for which this sum has been applied are for masses for souls in purgatory, alms for the religious orders and royal colleges, dowries to poor girls, alms to widows, prisoners, and confraternities and their processions, aid to the sick, and for divine worship, the support and clothing of its collegiate daughters, support for women in retreat, and aid for the buildings of their house and chaplaincies, etc. The complaints against the brotherhood have emanated from those who have not obtained all the aid that they desired because their credit is not sufficiently good. If the brotherhood attempt to please everyone they will end by pleasing no one. No partiality is shown, but affairs are managed in a businesslike manner. Even were the brotherhood subject to inspection, it could act with no greater rectitude.]



In which a relation is given of the government and order observed by the house of the Santa Misericordia


in the administration of the funds under its charge, and the dependencies annexed to them. The alms which it gives regularly from one year to another, when there are no shipwrecks, and the account which is given annually in it.

I do not believe that any of the many houses of the Misericordia throughout Christendom, can be declared to be governed with better rules or have better accounts than that of this city of Manila. I am not speaking without sufficient foundation, since I have read with special attention the great order which rules in the house of the capital of Lisboa. That house is the mother and pattern and source of them all, to whose teaching this faithful daughter of hers, not only has not kept its great talents which I expect from her zealous care, idle, but also has been able ingeniously to exceed her in the pious indulgences of increasing and treasuring up more copious annual reënforcements for the relief of the needs of her neighbor.

1 am very certain that this truth would run no danger amid the extensive shoals of self-love, for it navigates governed by the demonstrable reality which removes all kind of doubt; it is current knowledge that the alms which are annually distributed by the royal house of Santa Misericordia of Lisboa amount to forty thousand pesos more or less; but it is not less well-known and certain that those distributed by this house of Manila, when no shipwreck happens, or other misfortunes, amount on the average to seventy thousand pesos annually, making one mass of the benefit which the funds of the sea yield, in addition to those which are produced by those which are founded in bonds, possessions, [51]monopoly, encomienda of his Majesty, chaplaincies of which he is patron, and other sources of wealth which are added to the huge mass of the said sum. This truth is so well known to all this city that it need no further support than the same certainty in which it is founded.

The order with which this house of Santa Misericordia is governed is that on November 21, the day of the presentation of our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and the day on which the brothers who have formed the board for that year, and which begins the election of other new members, the election is made by ten electors, whom all the brotherhood appoint, in the manner provided by our rules. They number in all thirteen brothers, the first being the new purveyor. [Next are the] secretary and the treasurer, the latter being the one who was secretary the previous year, who remains in that office in order to give account of the dependencies and affairs of the house since he has handled them all most intimately. After the above are the majordomo of the chapel, the general manager of the house, and all annexed to it; majordomo of prisoners; steward of the dish in which the alms are collected; while the rest of the brothers are occupied in other important duties of the house, such as visits of the treasury and of the prisons, the distributions of alms, secret investigations which are committed to them by the board, and others of like tenor.

So great is the authority and power of the purveyor of the house over all the brothers of the Santa Misericordia, and so prompt the obedience of the brothers, that it rather seems a well-ordered community of religious than of seculars, for the first [52]thing which they swear on the holy gospels when they join the brotherhood is to well and faithfully observe the rules of the brotherhood, and that whenever they are summoned by the purveyor and councilors of the board, and should hear the signal of the bells, they will go thither promptly, if there is no legitimate hindrance that they can see. The purveyor may, when in the board, command, agree, vote, talk, and keep silence, whenever he pleases. He can command a board meeting called, and a general meeting of the brotherhood at the advice of the deputies, appointing the day which he considers best. He may transfer the board and apportion among the brothers of it the duties of collector of alms, and visitors of the prisons. He may remove the chaplains if they commit any notable error in his presence, as well as the servants of the board, and the rectress or portress of the college when he thinks best. He may proceed to the correction and fitting punishment of the collegiates by means of the rectress when they deserve it, and he may (which is more than all the rest) remove with the advice of the councilors of the board those brothers who are disobedient and break the rules of the brotherhood. He may remove those who violate their privileges and those who live after a scandalous manner, if having been warned three times they do not turn over a new leaf. He may appoint others in their place, so that they may serve God our Lord in this His house. Finally, he may (although I do not) do many other things which limit of space does not permit me to write here.

The seven deputies who are named above with determined duties shall receive from their predecessors [53]the books of which each one of them has had charge, in order to enter therein the new accounts of debit and credit of all that which shall be given into their power in the course of the year, and all that shall be disbursed in order to fulfil the pious ends which are entrusted to them. This having been inferred, I say that the first thing which is asked by the new board from the new purveyors is to take charge of the girls’ school, which is managed according to past custom with allowances and expenses which are occasioned with it in the food and clothing of all the girls, the salaries of the rectress and portress, and other servants who are employed in it. And having accepted this duty, he goes ahead to arrange the provisions of rice, oil, and sugar, and other substances increased in times of the greatest cheapness and advantage; for whose constancy in the new account which is opened in the book of expenses of the purveyors, he sets down monthly the expense which is made in each one of them, and in this way he proceeds in all those of the year, placing each item down separately and procuring that the expenses shall not be increased unless there be a greater number of girls or wards, and, at the end of the year, he presents the book with his account. Its examination and review is entrusted to the present secretary, who balances it, either in favor or against, and having set forth the balanced part, the said secretary places his approval at the bottom of it and signs it, and enters it in the minutes of that day so that it may stand forth for all time.

The secretary of the board on whom devolves the greater part of the work has his new record book in which are entered all the despatches of the petitions [54]which are presented, the distributions which are made, and the applications of the alms, both of dowry for the schoolgirls, and the orphan girls outside [the school], the salaries which are paid to the chaplains of the house, the portress and the servants of the house, and the alms of the masses of Alva, 9 and 11, which are said in our church on all feast-days. Especially with great care does he enter the two inspections or general balances, which are struck at the beginning and end of each board, of all the sums of pesos, both of current funds, of dowries and alms, and of deposits which are contained in the treasury under separate headings, in order to apply them to the purposes which their founders assigned by full directions. He affixes his rubric to the memoranda which are in the sacks, with the statement of what each one contains, with the day, month, and year of the record in which they are set down. The writing of all the above with his own hand is an operation so indispensable to his obligation that he is obliged to do it under oath. In case of his absence, the same is done by the treasurer who supplies his absences by writing in a separate book whatever occurs in regard to the business matters of the house. And as soon as the secretary takes charge of the current despatch of the house, he is obliged to transfer to his book whatever shall have been decreed during his absence, so that by such a proceeding all that which belongs to the record of that year may be found in one volume. He is also obliged to enter all the sums of pesos which are received in the treasury in the books prepared for them, both of the dues collected and the usufruct which are yielded by the sea funds, besides the great number of very troublesome collections, although the love of God makes them [55]mild and easy, to whomever works for the welfare of his neighbor and the preservation of this house.

He is also obliged to adjust the appointments of the chaplains of the many chaplaincies of which the board of the Santa Misericordia is patron, by virtue of which, and of those presented as said chaplains, a collation of the chaplaincies has always been given to them so far as it concerns them, and the fitting support has been decreed and given as a relief for their poverty. In this there is no other consideration, either in this court or in other superior courts, but it is passed upon before the said secretary just as in the house of Lisboa, which has as a special privilege that the secretaries of the said house may give attestations in all and any court.

The treasurer, who has charge of the possessions of the Parián of the Sangleys, attends to the collection of their rents, and the distribution of the alms, which are distributed every Saturday throughout the year to the self-respecting poor at the door of the house of the Santa Misericordia; and also the alms in pesos for the masses which are said throughout all the months of the year by one of the chaplains of the house for the soul of the founder, who endowed it with the said possessions. And in the book which is delivered to him with the enumeration and individual account of the places and location of said possessions and of the purposes for so charitable a foundation, the said treasurer enters the debit and credit account of all the sums which are received monthly and are disbursed by them, collecting receipts of them all for the account which must be given at the end of the year, which passes in review and must be balanced like the other accounts.

The treasurer is also the one who is present at the [56]time of the two inspections or general balances of the treasurer. If between the last of the board which has just ended and the new one which is formed for its government there is any difference because of some quantity of pesos having been drawn in the interim, for any purpose for which it has fallen due, he gives prompt account thereof by the vouchers made and that appear from the preceding record book and by his receipts. In this way he continues until the conclusion of the said general review, which is generally the first thing. Following, other important points are begun by the new board without any confusion arising.

The chapel steward receives in inventory all that belongs to the church and its sacristy, with the aid of the chaplain-in-chief of the house, from the acting secretary of the board, and the past steward. In his presence, the list is formed item by item in the book of inventories, and is received by the acting steward, and when it is completed to the satisfaction of all, the four sign it, and it is placed in the first record so that it may stand forever. He has also another separate book of the new expenses, which are made in the church, sacristy, and other things in his charge in the course of the year. In it he forms the debit and credit account in minute detail, and at the end of the year he presents the book; proceeding to his resolution with the same solemnity as the others whom we have mentioned.

The attorney-general who attends to all the business and interests of the house (except those of the annuities which have a separate attorney with a paid advocate) receives in the book of suits all those which the preceding board left pending, and also [57]the writs and other papers which are to be in his charge for that year. For the better direction, management, and outcome of said suits, an intelligent advocate is appointed for him to whom he may apply in all his doubts. And in all that which he does in pursuance of this order, he gives account in all the board meetings which are regularly held semi-weekly. A secretary, who keeps the keys of the archives, is obliged to give him all the documents that he asks for, and shall keep a record of the withdrawal of such.

He also has another book, in which he enters in alphabetical order the accounts of the funds, the costs belonging to each one, which are caused in prosecution of the said suits, the signature of writs and the cancellations [chancelaciones] of them. Later he forms from them the general debit and credit account in which he places the salaries of advocate, procurator, and attorney in the royal Audiencia with the other expenses which belong to the said matters. At the end of the year, he presents it, and with it the fitting obligation of review, balances, and approval is made, as in all those above mentioned. But independently of this, he shows the book of current suits, writs, and other papers. Having been compared by the secretary, with the statement of those which were given to him at the beginning of the year, and of those which were given to him from the archives in his term, if the whole thing agrees, he is absolved from his charge, but in no other manner until the total fulfilment.

The steward of prisoners has in charge the collections of the possession of the sites of the paddy-fields, whose usufruct is distributed half and half in the [58]two prisons of the court, and of the city, for the support of the poor prisoners, and the other half in the hospital of the Misericordia, which is in charge of the religious of St. John of God, as a relief for sick men and women. Besides this relief, which is monthly, they share other large alms which are furnished from other funds administered by the house of the Misericordia. In his book of the said possessions, with the statement of their purposes, he forms his account of debit and credit, and, at the time of its presentation, gives his discharge by the receipts which he collects from the wardens of said prisons. That is generally, or always, executed with the knowledge of the minister who has charge of the inspection of the prisons and the relief of the needs experienced therein.

The steward of the dish in which the alms are collected is obliged to send it every fortnight to two brothers of this venerable brotherhood, so that on Sunday they may go out to collect alms in all the public parts of this city. They having observed this measure, return the dish and the alms to the said steward. The latter, observing the same rule throughout the months of the year, draws up his debit and credit account. The alms which he declares before the board are equal in sum to those which have been collected, according as it appears. In that conformity it is approved, the same measures as before with the others having preceded.

This is the government, order, and method which the house of the Santa Misericordia has maintained faithfully, with the punctual assistance and encouragement of the zealous, disinterested Christians. They are the work of its brothers, whose powerful example in the faithful administration of the funds [59]entrusted to them has enabled them to obtain exemption from inspection of their house until the present time. They are today more assured than ever by dint of royal decrees, the first dated Madrid, September 7, 1699; in which his Majesty resolves and declares that this brotherhood, in order that it may be maintained and continue its exercises with more encouragement, shall not be subject to visits by the ordinaries, archbishops, provisors in vacant see, or by any other ecclesiastical minister; and that it shall be allowed to make use as hitherto of its good government and to observe its rules and ordinances. And in the same vein is another decree given in Buen Retiro, under date of June 11, 1708, in which his Majesty also resolves that the decree above inserted be kept, fulfilled, and executed, exactly according to the terms expressed therein, and that no embarrassment or obstacle be opposed or permitted to be opposed to the fulfilment of its contents, as such is his royal will. In that one can see clearly how, having been well informed, his Majesty approves the good government of this house and the practice of its rules and ordinances. This is the greatest intent of this chapter, and we leave the rest so that the parties may discuss it in or out of court.



In which are recounted the new hardships which came upon these islands between the years 620 and 634, both because of the invasions of the Dutch enemy therein and because of the putting back and loss of ships, which happened in this period; and the devout exercises and alms of the house of Santa Misericordia.

[In this period four ships put back and two are [60]almost completely lost. The Dutch, however, prove the worst thorn from which the islands suffer, for they invade all parts of the Spanish colonies of the Orient. The brotherhood, during this time, works with unexampled energy in its measures for the public relief, and its work among the hospitals. In this time, too, it builds the school of Santa Isabel from certain bequests, spending in these and other things, 176,910 pesos, 6 tomins, 10 granos. In 1632, a new branch of the Misericordia is formed in Formosa, which is taken under the protection of the one in Manila. The latter sends the new branch 5,065 pesos, 5 tomins, 9 granos, as an aid to it in its work. The brotherhood also treats for the ransom of Domingo Vilancio, S.J., and Fray Juan de San Joseph, a Recollect, who are captives in Joló, and for which five hundred pesos are expended. Although the former dies, before his ransom, that of the latter is effected. For two hundred pesos, one Pedro Delgado is ransomed in Japan, the ransom money being sent by way of Macao.]



In which notice is given of the conclusion of the costly building of the church and school of Santa Isabel, and the removal thither of the girls whom this brotherhood had in that of Santa Potenciana, and in other private houses where they lived in retirement and with their devout exercises distributed through the hours of the day.

It was the year 634, in which the brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia saw their desires fulfilled in the conclusion of the costly building of the church and school of Santa Isabel, for the commodious [61]housing of the many daughters whom they were maintaining in the school of Santa Potenciana and other private houses of shelter, at the expense of many pesos which it expended for the pious ends of their clothing, dowries, and other like things; when the removal of them all to the new school was arranged with especial joy and gladness of all this city.

[The opening of the school is marked by great ceremonies, the chief event being the procession which is participated in by the brotherhood and the girls of the school under the leadership of the rectress, Cathalina de Aguirre. At the new church various exercises are held.]

The girls of this school have always been orphan girls, for the most part daughters of parents of rank and of many merits and services to the king our sovereign, who in the first days lost their lives in the service of his Majesty. They continually praise God with the general example to this city begging his Majesty for the greater conservation of the Spanish monarchy and that of these islands and their fields of Christendom. They often frequent the holy sacraments, the holy Society of Jesus having precedence in the task of confessing them. They spend four hours in the choir by day and night, and are occupied in hearing mass and reciting their devotions. They are employed by day in the work of sewing and helping in the kitchen, for which purpose two of them are chosen weekly, both so that the food may be cooked with neatness and so that they may learn how to take care of and manage a house. They are under the charge of a rectress, and the rectresses have always been persons of great virtue and example. They have a portress who takes care [62]of the porter’s lodge, as well as of the actions and decorum of the said collegiate daughters when they call them below. On Fridays during Lent they meditate and think over the devout exercises of the Via crucis inside the school. At night they recite the rosary in a chorus to the queen of the angels and at the stroke of half-past nine, taps sound and silence reigns. They all sleep together in one single, capacious, decent, and neat dormitory. They eat in the refectory and have a lesson out of spiritual books. During Lent they listen in the choir to the sermons which are preached in the church of said school on Monday mornings, as well as to the explanation of the Christian doctrine on Sunday afternoons. Those who have charge of so holy a work are those of the holy Society of Jesus, at the request of this board. Finally, since the chapters of the rules of the said school are many and various, they are omitted for the present, inasmuch as the limit of time does not allow anything else.

The brothers of this venerable brotherhood, besides the festivities and functions which our ordinances provide, annually attend the said church on the day of the glorious apostles St. Philip and St. James, and the following: in the first to celebrate the feast with greater solemnity for the health of their Majesties and the increase and conservation of their kingdoms and domains; and in the second, to celebrate the obsequies and honors for the deceased kings. For the greater concurrence, authority, and luster of so royal a function, all the sacred orders are invited and are punctually present. A catafalque of the size demanded by such an act is erected and on it are placed the royal insignias, and [63]a great quantity of wax, and the vigil mass and response are chanted, accompanied by the best music that can be found, in order thereby to make a rare showing of loyalty and love by this demonstration of piety and acknowledgment, which this venerable brotherhood has always had, and has for its kings and sovereigns.



Of the number of girls whom this venerable brotherhood has supported since its foundation until the present time; and the report of the expenses caused by the said girls during all that time; also [the expenses] in the church of Santa Isabel in their charge, and other particulars.

[Those helped by the brotherhood are the hospital of St. John of God, of which the board of the brotherhood is patron; the house of women sheltered by the ecclesiastical judge of this archbishopric; the religious orders; the public prisons; destitute widows; orphan girls; and all poor beggars. But most of all the school of Santa Isabel is eloquent in its praises, for since 1634, the brotherhood has helped 13,270 girls, scholars, wards, women, and other persons. Many girls it has sent to swell the ranks of the Order of St. Clara, while many have been married, for whom a dowry has always been provided. The sum of 508,916 pesos, 4 tomins, 3 granos, has been spent in this work. From its foundation until 1634, the brotherhood has helped many girls in the school of Santa Potenciana, maintaining besides many girls in private families. The number of such girls exceeds seven thousand, many of whom have embraced the religious life, [64]while others have married, a dowry being furnished to these latter. They have never refused to shelter abandoned children, for whom they have cared tenderly, teaching them and sending them into the life for which they are fitted.]

The spiritual welfare must not be passed by in silence, which has been and is being obtained for all this city, from the time of the erection of the church called Santa Misericordia. There, every Sunday, and day of observance, three masses are specially said: the first between 4 and 5 o’clock in the morning, from which follows the spiritual consolation which the poor share, who, by their necessity and poverty, cannot succeed in hearing it if it is not held at such an hour; the second, at nine o’clock in the morning, which is attended by the majority of this city; and the third at eleven, so that the poor slaves and servants of this city, after concluding their domestic tasks, may attend it without failing in what pertains to their obligation. Besides the above, there are many which are daily celebrated in the said church, where on many occasions of the year there is generally an open collectorship of masses, which are said with the alms which the funds of this house produce.

The expenses of this church in all that pertains to divine worship and other functions which are frequent, both of the interment of brothers, of their wives, and firstborn, and honors which are shown them, both in attendance on those executed, their burial, and other charitable exercises in which this brotherhood is employed, exceed 118,438 pesos, 3 tomins, since the time of its foundation. It excels in the adornment of its temple and in the neatness and [65]glory of the things of divine worship and in that of the priestly ornaments, and other things. This is all in charge of a deputy of the board, who is annually appointed as chapel steward, so that by the attention and care which he gives, it may all be done in a fitting manner, without there being any omission, and so that there may be no falling off of observance in said church and its sacristy.

[In addition the brotherhood distributes 25 or 30 pesos weekly to the Japanese beatas of San Miguel; and 3 pesos apiece to certain poor collegiates called “Sons of the Board [mesa] of Santa Misericordia,” who are attending San Juan de Letran. This latter sum is given to the president of the college, who looks after their education.]



In which are mentioned the various events in these islands by land and sea during the years 635–645, and supplies given to the royal treasury, and devout exercises of the brothers of the Santa Misericordia.

[In 1635, no ship sails for Nueva España “for reasons of state, or decisions of Governor Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera.” Although a ship does reach Acapulco in 1637, the citizens of the Philippines are not much benefited thereby, for the goods are all embargoed at Acapulco, contrary to the usual custom, because of certain strict edicts, and all appraised at four times their value, the consequent duties being very heavy. During this period also occurs the disastrous loss of the island of Formosa. The islands are offered some cheer by the happy [66]successes of Corcuera in his Joló campaign, which is begun in 1637. Before going on this campaign, he writes the brotherhood, under date of December 4, asking its prayers for the success of his undertaking. At the end of the expedition, the brotherhood generously gives the royal treasury a loan of 104,609 pesos, 2 tomins, 1 grano. A letter from Corcuera October 26, 1639, to the brotherhood asks it to take charge of the conversion of two of the Moro hostages who have been brought from Joló; all the religious orders also having been asked to do the same. The flagship “Concepcion” is lost in the Ladrones in 1638 on its way to Acapulco; and in the following year, the two ships from Nueva España, on the Cagayan coast. From the end of 1639 to the beginning of 1640, the city passes through a hard time with the great danger arising from the Chinese revolt. The poor are troublesome for there are many of them, and the brotherhood is compelled to labor diligently. To relieve the necessities of the royal treasury, the sum of 102,468 pesos, 2 tomins is lent it, on the occasion of the loss of the galleon, “Encarnacion” on the Mindoro shoals while on its way to Ternate with reenforcements.]



Of the great earthquakes of the year 1645, and the events that happened therein; losses of the house of the Misericordia in the works in its charge, and the adjustment of the losses of its investments, which were imposed on the houses demolished, in virtue of a general compromise.

[The first shock of the earthquake that occurs [67]on November 30, 1645, is followed by many other shocks more or less severe. By the general appraisals made of the losses the Misericordia is declared in 1648 to have had 89,855 pesos invested in houses, of which only material worth 23,177 pesos, 2 tomins, 6 granos is saved, the loss thus being 66,677 pesos, 5 tomins, 6 granos. The brotherhood further loses 2,739 pesos, 6 tomins, 2 granos, for the tearing down of ruined walls, and spends 7,725 pesos, 2 tomins, 8 granos for the rebuilding of the ruined houses, the total loss thus amounting to 77,142 pesos, 6 tomins, 4 granos. Thus the final assets of the brotherhood on the old investment are 12,712 pesos, 1 tomin, 8 granos. However, the real value of the investment of the association amounts to 159,365 pesos more. A capital of 69,510 pesos which is invested in stockfarms and farming lands of the religious orders is fortunately saved. Between the years 1634–1660 the sum distributed by the Misericordia amounts to 220,770 pesos, 1 tomin; and between 1637–1651, 72,948 pesos, 7 tomins, 6 granos. After the earthquake the brotherhood rebuilds its church, college, and the hospitals for the natives, poor women, and slaves of the city. In addition, it gives 400 pesos toward the rebuilding of the cathedral; 300 pesos for repairs on the Franciscan convent; 100 pesos for repairs on the chapel of San Antonio of the tertiary branch of the said order located in the church of their convent; 150 pesos to Fray Christoval del Castillo, definitor of the Franciscan order (40 of them to be used for his support and that of the religious in his charge in the hospital for the natives, and 110 pesos for pious works and grave necessities, namely, aid in ransoming a Recollect religious who has been [68]captured by the Joloans); 200 pesos to the father procurator of the Recollects; 200 pesos to Fray Juan de San Antonio, provincial of the said order; and lastly many alms to all the needy of the community.]



Of other new misfortunes which occurred in these islands from the year 646 to that of 673; loans given by the Board of Santa Misericordia to the royal treasury, and the great alms which it gave during that time; and the transfer of the hospital of the house to the religious of St. John of God.

[In the years 1637 and 1659 memorials are sent to Spain of the wretched condition of the islands, occasioned by frequent invasions, insurrections, repeated loss of ships, and exorbitant royal duties charged in Acapulco. The ships lost are the following: in 1646, the galleon “San Luis,” on the Cagayan coast, when coming from Nueva España, and the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza” on the island of Negros, while returning from taking reenforcements to Ternate; in 1648, the ship “Buen Jesus” is burned on its return from Nueva España in Lampon, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, and the same year are lost the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guia” in the river of Camboja where it is being refitted, and the galleon “San Antonio de Padua” in Mindoro with the reënforcements which it is taking to Ternate; October 21, 1649, the flagship “Encarnacion” on the coast of Bula, while returning from Nueva España; in 1651, the ship “San Joseph” on the island of Luban, while coming from Camboja, and the same year the [69]galleon “San Diego” puts back, after leaving for Nueva España; in 1653, the galleon “San Diego” in Limbones, while returning from Nueva España; in 1655, the galleon “San Francisco Xavier,” in the bay of Boronga, while returning from Nueva España, with the loss of many people, a new galleon which has been built in Camboja at great expense, with the loss of many people; and two merchant ships with goods belonging to the citizens of Manila; in 1656, two ships after leaving for Nueva España, put back; in 1669, two ships put back, but leave in 1670, one of them being burned at Acapulco; and in 1672, the ship “San Thelmo” puts back. No reenforcements come from Nueva España in the years 1647, 1652, 1662, and 1663. In 1662, the commerce of Macao is lost because of the Portuguese revolt against Spain; and at that time the Portuguese seize a ship with 30,000 pesos which was intended for the purpose of war supplies for the Spanish monarchy, and much property belonging to the citizens of Manila. In 1647, a fleet of thirteen Dutch ships enters the bay of Manila, where they demolish some of the fortifications, although they are finally driven off, retiring to the northward where they inflict much damage. The embassy of the Chinese pirate Cogsen under charge of Fray Victorio Risio, O.P., throws the city into a flutter, and new fortifications are pushed apace, a process which however, exhausts the treasury and the citizens. Sabiniano Manrrique de Lara writes to the brotherhood, under date of December 14, 1662, asking them to attend the octave ordered to be held in the cathedral after Christmas. The presidios of Ternate and Zamboanga are abandoned in view of [70]the approaching trouble with the Chinese pirate. An earthquake that occurs August 20, 1658, proves more disastrous than that of 1645. Insurrections in several provinces in 1660 and 1661 are put down only after great expense, as is that of the Chinese in 1672. The brotherhood gives alms of more than ten thousand pesos in 1646 for the equipment of the fleet that is to oppose the Dutch; in 1650, a second loan of 13,740 pesos for the expenses of the treasury; another loan of 7,601 pesos, 4 tomins in 1653, to aid the expenses of the royal army; a fourth loan for the equipment of fleets and presidios; a fifth of 61,526 pesos, 2 tomins: a total of 169,099 pesos, 2 tomins. In addition to these loans, the brotherhood distributes alms to many sources, between the years 1651–1690, the total sum of 172,467 pesos, 7 tomins, 6 granos. May 31, 1656, the purveyor and deputies grant a transfer of the hospital and all its properties, etc., to the hospital Order of St. John of God, on the condition that the purveyor and deputies as patrons, may inspect the hospital once each year, and if they note any defect or neglect report the same to the prior in order that it may be remedied—a transfer made because of hard times. The brotherhood continues to aid the hospital with many alms, notwithstanding its own poverty.]



Of the appreciation and esteem which the governors and captains-general, and the archbishops and bishops of this holy cathedral have had for the house of Santa Misericordia; and other particulars worthy of being read.

[Those governors, archbishops, and others who have signally aided the brotherhood in alms and [71]other ways are the following: Luis Perez Dasmariñas, Francisco Tello, Archbishop Venavides, Archbishop Diego Basquez de Mercado, Governor Alonso Faxardo, Bishop Fray Pedro de Arce, Governor Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, Governor Diego Faxardo, Governor Sabiniano Manrrique de Lara. The latter writes a letter to the brotherhood under date of March 17, 1660, excusing himself from attending certain ceremonies because of stress of work, and makes provision for the running of the school of Santa Isabel. Governor Manuel de Leon y Saravia founds a fund of 50,000 pesos for the benefit of the entire community in 1677, an action that is imitated by Francisco Coloma, who leaves a principal of 4,000 pesos. Fray Felipe Pardo establishes another pious fund in 1689 of 13,000 pesos, and in a letter of March 21 of that year, asks the brotherhood to accept the same. Fray Andres Gonzales, bishop of Nueva Caceres, writes in an appreciative vein to the brotherhood, and also founds a pious fund. April 18, 1691, the dean of the cathedral also writes appreciatively to the Misericordia. The latter, on the occasion of the destructive earthquake of 1645, offers the use of its church to the cabildo of the cathedral as that edifice has been quite destroyed. November 26, 1652, the offer is accepted and a commission appointed by the dean to settle conditions with the brotherhood. These conditions relate to church service and procedure, both the cabildo and the Misericordia making certain concessions. The religious orders of Manila have at various times made mention of the Misericordia and its good work to his Majesty, and the same thing has been done by governors and archbishops. To these good reports, which are sent to his Majesty in [72]1693, are due the royal decrees of 1699 and 1708 by which the brotherhood is declared exempt from visit by the ordinary, archbishop, provisors during vacant see, or by any other ecclesiastical minister; as well as the papal concessions that are made it. Our author defends the exemption from visit against those who oppose it. Many honors have been heaped upon the brotherhood during royal religious ceremonies. Lastly, Governor Marquis de Torrecampo has shown honor and appreciation to the association, on many occasions, even naming a new ship which he had built “Santo Christo de la Misericordia,” in honor of a crucifix owned by the brotherhood.]



Satisfaction given by the Board of the Santa Misericordia to all this city, in answer to certain words of the opposing manifesto, which charge it with omission; proving that it could not, or ought not, immediately upon the death of Captain Manuel Lobo, fulfil the terms of his will, or distribute his wealth in accordance with his last wishes, until the time that it did do so by the direction of the learned opinion of the professors of the royal university of this city.

[The faithful administration of wills has ever been one of the chief glories of the brotherhood. The above-mentioned captain dies in the Marianas, September 8, 1709, leaving the board as his executor, and his mother as his heir. In this chapter the words of the manifesto charging the brotherhood with neglect in not settling up the will above mentioned in more than fifteen years, are cited; and then [73]by means of arguments, letters and the opinion of the professors of the university, full answer is made to the charge, and the action of the brotherhood justified.]



Of the present condition of the house of Santa Misericordia, after so many and so repented disasters; beginning of its new increases in the foundation of various funds at this time; the new misfortunes which succeeded from the year 700; and alms which the house gave during this time.

[The years of bad luck experienced by the brotherhood in the loss of money and the necessities of the times, when its expenses are increased disproportionally by the repair of its church, college, office, hospital, distribution of alms for rebuilding other edifices, and the remedy of other public necessities, at last turn by the foundation of certain pious funds. The first is founded by Manuel de Leon y Saravia, in 1677, and is for 50,000 pesos. In imitation of him ten more funds are established, which produce alms amounting to 170,956 pesos, 4 tomins up to the year 1700, which are distributed for the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor, and for other purposes.]

At this time the possessions of Pedro Quintero Nuñes and those of Licentiate Manuel Suares de Olivera, as well as the stockfarm of the royal alférez Joseph Correa, fell to the house of Santa Misericordia. They have been and are of great profit to the sick poor, and imprisoned, to some of the sacred orders, for the blessed souls of purgatory, and other pious purposes. It is a fact that up to the present [74]time, they have produced in benefit to all the above, 105,258 pesos, 4 tomins, almost half of which was spent up to the year 700, which would be doubtless of great consolation and relief to the poverty and necessities of this community in times when even the citizens, ill-satisfied by the blows of the past disasters, were experiencing new outbreaks and losses in their wealth, by those which happened frequently to the galleons of this line, from their having to put back to port, and the embargo of the goods, which were embarked therein. For from the year 673 until that of 700, trade received signal injuries in the port of Acapulco, the merchandise of the trade being embargoed during the years 676 and 677, in revenge for having detained in this city at the advice of royal officials 330,000 pesos, which came in the year 675 from the citizens of Mexico in violation of royal decrees. In another decree of 678, obtained by the said citizens [of Mexico] by dint of very inaccurate reports, it was ordered that those of this city return said sum, increased by interest at the rate of twenty-five per cent. That shaving [escalfe] was made from the embargoed goods. From so notorious setbacks, other losses of greater consideration followed; and from the increase of excessive taxes which were imposed on those interested who took the galleon “San Antonio de Padua” to the port of Acapulco in the year 79, the citizens suffered very great setbacks. In the year 682 the ship “Santa Rosa” put back, and in 86, while attending to the preparation of the ship “Santo Niño” for Acapulco, news came that there was a squadron of eleven hostile ships among the islands. On that account the voyage was suspended and the ships were prepared to go out to oppose the said squadron and guard the [75]galleon which was expected with the succor from Nueva España.

[Calamities are still in store for the Philippines. The “Santo Niño” leaves Cavite in 1687, but is forced to put back in order to winter at Bagatao, and returns to Cavite with its cargo half rotten. Reenforcements providentially come from Nueva España in 1688. In 1690, the almiranta while returning from Nueva España is lost in the Marianas, and although the people are saved, the cargo is partly lost. The galleon “Santo Christo de Burgos” is compelled to put back to Camarines to winter in 1692. Sailing once more in 1693, it is never again heard of. The “San Joseph” is lost three days out from port in the island of Luban, and many people are drowned. In 1696, as there is no galleon to send to Nueva España, a patache is bought for the trade, but the 74,000 pesos that it is compelled to pay in Acapulco for duties, is so great a tax on the citizens of Manila that but little is left for them. However, amid all these disasters, there is one bright ray, namely in the pious funds that are established in the brotherhood. From 1673–1700, these funds realized 227,724 pesos, 3 tomins, which are distributed among the poor and used for other purposes. Between the years 1690–1701, the sum of 44,425 pesos, 3 tomins is realized from investments and applied to pious ends.]



Of the alms which the house of Santa Misericordia has distributed from the year 701 to that of 728; losses suffered by the funds in their charge during that time, and an account of other things.

[The brotherhood expends great sums between [76]the years 1701–1728, for the sick, prisoners, beggars, souls in purgatory, support of orphan girls, and poor widows. The interest on annuities for that period amounts to 78,115 pesos, 6 tomins; returns from commerce, to 417,202 pesos, 5 tomins, 6 granos; while for the college is spent the sum of 86,136 pesos, and for divine worship, besides the masses said and some other things, 37,345 pesos, 4 tomins, 6 granos: a sum total of 618,799 pesos, 7 tomins. During this period occurs the loss of the ships “San Francisco Xavier” and “Santo Christo de Burgos,” in which the brotherhood was a heavy loser.]



In which are contained the indulgences and favors conceded by the supreme pontiffs to the brothers and sisters of Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila, which are copied from the original briefs, relics, with which it is enriched; with its authentic royal decree which exempts and preserves it from visits by the ecclesiastical ordinaries, in imitation of the royal house of Lizboa; the chaplaincies and becas of which it is patron, the number of brothers of which this venerable brotherhood is composed and those who serve this present year in the Board of Santa Misericordia; and the report of the alms which are given annually.

The purveyor and deputies who compose the illustrious Board of Santa Misericordia at present are as follows: General Don Benito Carrasco y Paniagua, purveyor (an office he has held three times previously); secretary-in-chief for the king [77]our sovereign of this noble city and its deputation, with active voice and vote by privilege in its most noble ayuntamiento; secretary of the board, Captain Don Juan Baptista de Uriarte (author of this small work), regularly-appointed regidor for his Majesty of said noble ayuntamiento, who as ex-treasurer took charge of the office of secretary, in accordance with the rules, in the absence of Sargento-mayor Don Joseph Antonio Nuño de Villavicencio, general treasurer of the bulls of the Holy Crusade, accountant regulator, regularly-appointed regidor of this noble city and special notary of the Holy Office, as he has been promoted to the post of accountant, a royal official of the royal treasury; treasurer, General Don Miguel de Allanegui, accountant of accounts and results of the royal treasury of these islands, and familiar of the Holy Office; chapel-steward, General Don Joseph Verelo de Urbina; purse-steward and attorney-general, Captain Don Antonio de Olivarria; prison-steward, Sargento-mayor Don Joseph de Vega y Vic; steward of the plate, who looks after the gathering of alms, Captain Don Simon de Amechezurra; and deputies of the board, General Don Antonio Sanchez Zerdan, and the sargentos-mayor, Don Joseph Beltran de Salazar, regularly-appointed regidor for his Majesty of this noble city, Don Frutos Delgado, Don Antonio Lopez Perea, also senior regidor of the city, and Captains Don Domingo Allende and Don Sebastian de Arramburu.

[An act of May 22, 1728, orders a compilation to be made of the indulgences and other things, in order that the high estimation of the popes and sovereigns for the brotherhood may be apparent. [78]Indulgences have been granted by Urban VIII, Clement XI (September 20, 1717), and Innocent XIII; and the latter has also approved the Institute of the brotherhood. The latter own various relics. One reliquary, bearing the papal arms, and conserved in an elaborate golden pyx which is deposited in a tabernacle on the altar of the assembly room of the brotherhood, contains a bit of the wood of the holy cross, a bit of the swaddling clothes in which the child Jesus was wrapped, a bit of a bone of St. Isabel the mother of John the Baptist, a bit of a bone of St. Ignatius Loyola, and a bit of a bone of St. Pasqual Baylon. Other relics are another bit of the wood of the cross, a bone of St. Felix, pope and martyr, a letter of St. Pedro Baptista, O.S.F., who was martyred in Japan, and a shinbone of St. Christina, virgin and martyr. In addition, the brotherhood bears the title of Apostolic syndic of the seraphic Order of St. Francis, and as such its brothers enjoy all the privileges and exemptions conceded to that order by apostolic bulls, and all of the indulgences, privileges, etc., for all the provinces of Nueva España subject to the obedience of the father commissary-general of the order. The royal decree of June 20, 1623, confirms the rules and regulations of the brotherhood. In consequence of this decree, the brotherhood presents a petition to the governor asking him as royal vice-patron to confirm the rules and regulations. This is done by special act on September 4, 1625 by Fernando de Silva. They have already been approved by Francisco Tello, and Gabriel de la Cruz, schoolmaster of the cathedral, January 24, 1597. The royal decree of September 7, 1699, inserted in the decree of June [79]11, 1708, grants exemption from government or religious visit. Notwithstanding this decree, the effort has been made without success to subject the brotherhood to visit. The closest of supervision has been exercised by the brothers themselves. All the documents mentioned above are given by our author.]

Chaplaincies with collation

There are twenty-nine chaplaincies with collation, of which the Board of Santa Misericordia is patron. They were founded by different benefactors, so that in accordance with the conditions and clauses which were provided in their foundations, the board appoints the chaplains who are to serve them. Such appointees taking the appointments which it sends to them (in which the obligation which falls to each one is made known to them) present themselves before the proper persons within the term which the holy Council of Trent prescribes, for the approval and collation of those chaplaincies. It is intimated to them at this time that they must inform the board promptly that they have fulfilled their so necessary obligation for the good government which is demanded in this. An account must be kept in a separate book of chaplaincies, in the form which is always usual.

Lay chaplaincies

The lay chaplaincies, of which the board is also patron, number ten. They are filled in accordance with the clauses of their foundation by the chaplains whom the board appoints to serve them; in whose despatch a different style is followed since they are lay. [80]

Becas of collegiates

In the royal college of San Joseph of this city, Captain Diego Gonzalez de Arcos founded two becas with a capital of 4,000 pesos, making the Board of Santa Misericordia patron of them, with the condition that the sons of [men from] Estremadura, and especially those of Villa de Don Benito be preferred. Their vacancies are reported by the reverend father rector of the said college.

Number of brothers in this venerable brotherhood and other circumstances

The founders and brothers of this brotherhood, considering the work and business in which they had to employ themselves continually in fulfilment of the works of charity, prudently decided and decreed by a chapter of the ordinances that there should be 250 brothers for the due fulfilment of all the ordinances, in whom good report, sane conscience, honest life, fear of God, observance of His commandments, and prompt obedience to all that should be of service to God and to the brotherhood, and the relief of one’s neighbor had to be included. They declared that they should not be single, unless they had reached the age of thirty, but that being virtuous persons and of the said qualities, they might receive dispensation and be received as brothers if they were twenty-five years old or upward. But no one who was not an oldtime Christian, and no one who had any obligatory duties that could prevent him from serving in the brotherhood [could be a member]; neither could those who did not know how to read or to write. Among said 250 brothers would be always the management and government of the house, and the election of the officers, with obligation [81]to serve God by those who should be elected and appointed by the purveyor and brothers of the board if there were no legitimate obstacle to prevent that. Before they should be admitted as brothers, the secretary of the house was to enter in the book of the brotherhood that its ordinances should be submitted to them, so that having seen and read them, they might determine whether they could fulfil them. And if they were questioned by the board in regard to them, and were found with a mind resolved to observe them and to serve according to the rules in the brotherhood, an oath was to be taken from them on the holy gospels in a missal before the purveyor and brothers of the board, to the effect that when they should hear the signal of the house, or the bells, with the sign that had been arranged for the summoning of the brothers, they should come to the house to perform the works of charity in accordance with the orders that they should receive from the purveyor and brothers of the board; and also if they were summoned in the name of the aforesaid and there was no legitimate obstacle. The above was to be a matter of conscience. They were also to swear to keep the secrets of the board and the rules, when they should be summoned by the board, and were obliged, notwithstanding their oath, to recite fourteen Pater Nosters and fourteen Ave Marias for the deceased brothers, and, having done that, they were to be received as brothers, and their names to be inscribed in the book of the brotherhood.

Annual alms given by the house of the Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila

Since we have to furl the sails to this discourse, [82]because of the limits of time, and make an end to this small work in these last chapters, I thought it important to first make an extract (although with much labor) of all the alms and sums of pesos, produced by the funds which are administered by the house of Santa Misericordia, during the years when—all being complete, and no disaster of earthquakes coming upon them, or shipwrecks or other accidents, which depend on time—it distributes to the benefit of all this community. I was also moved to this interesting task by making charts of all the funds and their pious purposes, by having met in the first part of the life of the venerable and most reverend father master, Fray Simon de Roxas, a great servant of God and a member of the Order of the Santissima Trinidad de Redemptores [i.e., the Most Holy Trinity of Redeemers].3 written during the year 670 [83]by the very reverend father master, Fray Francisco de Arcos, preacher and theologue of his Majesty, and of the tribunals of his royal conscience, etc., in which he refers to a paragraph of a letter which Juan Baptista Labaña wrote during the voyage from Portugal of Don Phelipe III (of happy memory), in which he cited folio 16; and in the life of the said venerable father, a description of the alms which the royal house of Santa Misericordia of the court of Lisboa distributed in the year 619, and of those which regularly and annually it distributes in the pious ends which are contained in the said chapter, is found in book 8, chapter x, pp. 418–420. It states that those alms are about 30,000 ducados annually. Inasmuch as chapter xi of this work states that the alms distributed by this house of Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila amounted to about 70,000 pesos, I have determined to prove the said proposition part by part, passing over the circumstances which are found in the said chapter, and making a clear demonstration of their reality, without failing one jot in the truth, which is required in a matter of so great importance, and which has to yield in so great glory to the Spanish monarchy. It is a pity that in the circumstances of the present case, there should be many who opposed the truth as it did not issue so clear and apparent in all the books of the house which treat of this matter; and necessarily I am obliged to give it by imagining charts which are fitting and do not leave the least reason for doubt. [84]

This having been granted, therefore, I assert that the alms and sums of pesos received by the holy cathedral church and the sacred orders of this city, the beaterios, confraternities, the venerable tertiary order, the house for sheltered women, the hospice of San Jacinto, the colleges (without including that of Santa Misericordia, St. John of God and its infirmary), the province of Camarines, and the Indians of Marinas Islands, amount to 25,520 pesos. In the alms given for masses, 5,777 pesos are also distributed as a suffrage for the blessed souls of purgatory; among the poor prisoners of this city, 2,691 pesos; as a benefit to the school of Santa Isabel, which belongs to the brotherhood, in the divine worship of its church, the salary of its chaplains, servants of the house, support, clothing and other things which are spent for the girl collegiates (the number of those at present are 58 inmates, rectress, and portress, 9 wards, and 6 slave women, who serve in it), and repairs of said school (in which alone this present year about 6,000 pesos have been spent), they give and apply 10,700 pesos; as dowries for the said girl collegiates and other orphan daughters of noble parents of this city, 16,000 pesos; for the relief of the necessities of poor Spaniards, widows, self-respecting poor, 6,936 pesos. Besides these sums 3,000 pesos are set aside for the benefit of the above-mentioned purposes which, with somewhat more, are produced by the sums at interest, and also 1,200 pesos which are yielded by the encomienda which his Majesty applied to the Board of Santa Misericordia in the provinces of the Ylocos and Leite. Therefore totaling up the eight items of pesos above applied, the amount is 71,824 pesos produced by the [85]funds administered by this house, as is adjusted with the greatest exactness. One may see by the sums that result to the benefit of so many pious ends, the reality and truth of the said proposition, and consequently, the great succor of silver for the relief of the needs of its neighbor. Surely I believe that in this small work of rich treasures, an extraordinary splendor for the house must shine forth (with the new discovery of so abundant a mine, which has been buried in silence in the extensive field and space of 134 years); a prodigy which looks to Spain for the non-moderation of this great house of Misericordia in the most remote parts of the world. I believe that without injury to the greater (if it can be that there is another which exceeds it), it merited as panegyrist of its glories (although with more time) a nature suitable to its worth and greatness. Lastly placed in the royal crown of España, it will be one of the most precious stones which beautify that crown with its rich splendor, for the greater honor and glory of God our Lord. [86]

1 The translation of the title-page of this book is as follows: “Manifesto and historical summary of the foundation of the venerable brotherhood of the Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila, the hospital, house, and girls’ school and church of Santa Ysabel; with the accommodations and advantages for the common public welfare, particularly of these islands; the alms, succors, and dowries for the holy religious orders, and hospitals, orphan girls, widows, those in prison, and other needy persons. Satisfaction of the charitable and indefatigable task, disinterested and noble method of procedure, faithful management without interruption or any diminution in the works of charity, and the administration of the pious foundations under their charge. Favors and protection which it merited and obtained from our Catholic Monarchs. Recommendation, concessions, indulgences, and relics with which the supreme pontiffs have honored and enriched it. All compiled and extracted from the books, bulls, decrees, and other authentic instruments which are kept in their archives, by commission and order of the purveyor and deputies who comprise the present board, by Captain Don Juan Baptista de Uriarte, regidor of this most noble city, and its procurator-general, and former treasurer and present secretary of said venerable brotherhood. Printed in the college and university of Santo Thomas, with the necessary licenses, by Juan Correa. The year 1728.” The narrative is preceded by an introduction; a statement by the author to the purveyor and deputies of the financial board of the Santa Misericordia, to the effect that he has completed his task of compilation, dated June 28, 1728; thanks of the purveyor and deputies to the author, and expression of intention to print the work, dated June 30, 1728; decree to be sent to Fray Juan de Arrechedera, O.P., commissary of the Holy Office, dated June 30, 1728; approbation of latter, July 8, 1728; government license, July 9, 1728; table of chapters; note to reader.

Torrubia gives the following figures for the work accomplished by the Misericordia from its foundation (in 1594) up to 1730. “This house has endowed twenty-three thousand orphan girls, the daughters of Spaniards; it has spent in their maintenance five hundred and eight thousand, nine hundred and sixteen pesos. It has supplied to our Catholic monarch in pressing emergencies four hundred and forty-nine thousand, four hundred and eighteen pesos. It has expended in Divine worship one hundred and fifty-five thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four pesos; and it has given in alms four million, one hundred and thirteen thousand, two hundred and seven pesos. This statement of expenditures is accurate, and is drawn from the original books of the said house. In the life of the venerable Fray Simon de Roxas, book 8, fol. 418, it is mentioned as unprecedented that the Misericordia of Lisboa in one year gave in alms thirty thousand ducados; but that of Manila gives every year seventy-one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four pesos.” 

2 See other letters from Corcuera to the Misericordia, dated in 1637 and 1639 respectively, in our VOL. XXIX, pp. 172–174. 

3 The Order of the Holy Trinity was founded primarily by St. John of Matha, a native of Provence who was ordained to the priesthood. On the occasion of his first mass, he determined to devote himself to the redemption of Christian captives from the Mahometans. Retiring for a season of prayer to the cell of the aged French hermit, St. Felix of Valois, the latter approved the plan, and in 1197, they both went to Rome where they obtained the approbation of Pope Innocent III for the erection of a new order. The pope ordered the bishop of Paris and the abbot of St. Victor to draw up the rules for the order, which received papal sanction in 1198. A white habit with a red and blue cross on the breast was assigned as a distinctive dress. It received a new confirmation and additional privileges by a papal bull of 1209. The French monarch Philippe Auguste authorized the existence of the order in his kingdoms, and Gauthier III, lord of Châtillon, granted them land for a convent. Later as the order increased, the latter, seconded by the king, granted them Cerfroid, near Grandlieu, on the borders of Valois, which became the chief house of the order. The two saints founded many houses in France. Many Christian slaves were ransomed in Morocco and Spain. It was a fundamental rule of the order that at least one-third of its revenues should be set aside for the redemption of captives. It was estimated in the seventeenth century that since its foundation the order had ransomed 30,720 Christian captives. At one time there were as many as two hundred and fifty houses. See Baring Gould’s Lives of the Saints, ii, pp. 226–230; and Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary, p. 810. 



[Part I]

[Title-page:] Relation in which, by order of his Catholic Majesty (may God keep him) are set forth the towns, castles, forts, and military posts of the provinces subject to his royal dominion in the Philipinas islands. With sketches of their plans and detailed accounts of the supplies, soldiers, wages, rations, and ammunition, required to maintain them; the annual amount of these, and the product of the incomes and amounts set aside for them from which they are obtained. All these provinces are described, with information not only of essential but of curious matters, with a summary of what they yield for the royal treasury; an account of it is given, with a general résumé of the fixed income and charges of the treasury, drawn up by the field marshal, Don Fernando Valdés Tamón, in whose charge is the government of these islands. In the year 1739.1 [87]



The island of Luzon (it is also called Nueva Castilla) is the largest of all those which submit to the Catholic crown in this Philippine archipelago. Its figure is that of an arm somewhat doubled, and the latest observations give it three hundred and fifty leguas of circumference, and two hundred leguas of length. Its width cannot be accurately stated, because the land is in some places broad and in others narrow, although it is known that it is longer from the elbow to the shoulder, and in that distance it is noticed that the greatest width is forty-three leguas; and it is about twenty-two leguas from the elbow to the hand of this imaginary arm. In this remotest part, then, of the Spanish domain, in 14° 48′ of northern latitude and 158° 38′ of eastern longitude, is situated Manila,2 nearly in the middle of its mainland, in the region of the elbow of its [imaginary] figure; and there, as being the capital of all the Spanish possessions in the Philipinas Islands, resides permanently the royal Audiencia with its president the captain-general, the archiepiscopal see, and other tribunals. The number of citizens who distinguish the city is astonishingly small; these are the Spaniards who live within the walls, and in the wards of Binondoc [88]and Santa Cruz, which adjoin it; and although in these places there is an astonishing number of people, I have the idea that they are a contemptible rabble, excepting the small number of the Spaniards. It was June 24, 1571, when Manila was founded, and it recognizes as its founder the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi—a hero in truth, worthy of the greatest praises for the bravery, judgment, and good fortune by which he was distinguished in these conquests.

The site which this town occupies3 is a point of land on the shores of the sea, in a bay thirty leguas in circumference; into this falls a river of considerable size, which comes down from a lake distant five leguas from the city on the eastern side—by which it flows, surrounding the city, and in its progress washes its walls, until it pours its waters through the bar.

Up to this time the secular government has been in charge of forty governors, twenty-three of them proprietary, and seventeen ad interim. The ecclesiastical government likewise has had one bishop and thirteen archbishops. Both these numbers are carefully estimated from the list of [those who have held] both dignities.

Plan of Manila, ca. 1742

Plan of Manila, ca. 1742

[Photographic facsimile from original MS. in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid]


The fortifications with which this town is girt about are everywhere of irregular shape, in accordance with the surface of the ground. Its walls, although of masonry, are not regarded as inferior—if one considers the good quality of the stone, which is easy to work on account of being soft—to those of mud or brick. On the other hand, I am persuaded that an injustice would be done to our walls if one should deny them the advantage of the former kind and the solidity of the latter, in view of their great resistance; for in the course of more than a century since their construction, some slight decay has been noticed only occasionally, and in places here and there little sheltered from the salt winds; and this is remedied, or the wall is preserved, by applying a thin coat of lime, an idea which has come as the result of experience. Its circuit appears to be 12,498 Castilian feet, both its extremities closing in with the castle of Santiago, which, on account of its position, occupies in Manila the place of the citadel.

The bastions in its circuit are twelve, all furnished with terreplein; nine are small, and the others large, of the regular size. In one of these last, named “San Andres,” there is a powder-magazine, bomb-proof, which the present governor caused to be constructed; an incentive to building this was the little shelter afforded by a mere shed in former times, and the exposed condition of its contents to the shots of a besieger; these risks that were feared have ceased at sight of the present fortification. There are two sentry-towers incorporated with the said wall, and besides this there are a ravelin and a crown-work. All this is a very respectable aggregate, as contributing [92]to the greatest defense of the city; the situation of each of these defenses will be described in the proper place.

The gates of this city are six, two main entrances and four posterns. Of these Santa Lucia and Palacio, which look toward the west, allow passage to the shore—as also on the north side Santo Domingo and Almacenes give passage to the river. The main gates are distinguished by the names Real and Parian. The latter is situated in the middle of the curtain which faces the northeast between the San Lorenzo and San Gabriel bastions; and inside of it is its guard-station, capacious enough to lodge a company of men. Corresponding to the empty space below, in the upper part it has a spacious sentry-tower, furnished with some cannons, which, by favor of its sides defends the collateral bulwarks—a fortification which, it may be supposed, was placed here in order to make up for the defect of the extraordinary length of this curtain.

The outer works of this are thus composed: a crown-work, which masks the gate; a fausse-braye [falsabraga], which extends from the flank of the bastion San Gabriel, until it almost reaches the said gate, there leaving room for a little bridge for communication with the crown-work already mentioned; a ditch, of which we shall treat further on; its covered way, parapet, and palisade, with its esplanade, the whole regularly surrounded, so far as the narrowness of the place permits; and at its foot a quagmire, which serves as an outer ditch. At the end of this, and along its outer margin, extending toward the south, there is a grand highway, which at its beginning is joined with another but small [93]road, which lies between the outer ditch and the river; and both of these connect with a little bridge, next to a small fort which was erected for the guards stationed at the large bridge which, close by, crosses the river.

The ditch of the half-curtain (of which mention was reserved for this place, in order to avoid confusion) is formed by the waters which overflow from the river at the rise of the tides. It starts from the angle defended by the bastion San Gabriel, and extends until it is very near the Parian gate, with a counterscarp—which there leaves it, bending toward the crown-work, and thus is left almost isolated, with a small arm. This, a little farther, adds all its waters, as if on deposit, to the outer ditch already mentioned. Not thus the main ditch; for this, overflowing the right side according to the amount of water which it receives [from the river], continues its course along the margin of the grand highway, more or less closely according to its curves, until, coming close to the walls, it ends its course round about them, close to the bastion San Diego. At this place art has imposed restraints on it, having in mind, no doubt, the frequent inundations to which that vicinity would be exposed if (as was easy for it) this ditch should come to unite its waters with the sea. From this measure of prudence resulted two benefits of special importance, in which both the fortified post and the public are directly interested—the former, on account of the advantage which it enjoys (as may be seen in the plan) in the fact that the ditch serves it as a moat on the eastern and southern sides; and the latter, because it is utilized for the great number of vessels which, aided [94]by the rising tide, come up to the Puerta Real to discharge their lading.

This is one of the two principal gates already mentioned. It is located on the southern side of this town, in the curtain which defends the bastions San Diego and San Andres, although nearer to the latter; and it much resembles the gate of the Parian (although built in different style) in its convenience and its fortifications—for it has, like the former, a guard-station and watchtower, similarly arranged and equipped. It is only noted that this curtain, peculiar among all, is the only one which is furnished with terreplein; for this reason some cannons (which defense the others lack) have been placed in it.

Its other exterior works, arranged according to their order, are reduced to a bridge that can be raised, a moat with its counterscarp faced with stone [revestido], and at a little distance a ravelin in condition for defense—notwithstanding which, on account of masking the gate it is not found in front of the half of the curtain which was its proper place. Although this gate had the remaining features of covered way, parapet, palisade, and esplanade, they were entirely in ruins at the time when this government began—which induced us to plan them anew, in modern style, and of much better quality than were the old ones.

All the curtains which face the western and northern part of this fortress are, without question, the weakest part of its defenses; but on the supposition (which is believed to be a remote contingency) that European armies may move to attack it in earnest—and it may be regarded as an enormous undertaking by our enemies here, who are most laughable on [95]account of their lack of discipline and of forts—the natural defenses are apparently even more than sufficient. For it has on the west the waters of the bay for a moat, and on the north a river that is broad and deep; and with this all fears may be laid aside.

There is also maintained in this city, at the expense of the royal treasury (as being a necessity), a foundry for artillery, grenades, and cannon balls of all calibers; and an iron-furnace, where men are continually forging, according to the occasion, many hand-weapons and some firearms. The metals for these are transported from countries beyond the sea. Besides these, a scant half-legua to the south, is the powder-factory, which is enclosed by a triangular redoubt of stone and mortar, with seven mounted iron cannons, and fortified by three demi-bastions. This factory supplies gunpowder to Manila and the forts dependent on it; to the ships of his Majesty which sail annually to the port of Acapulco and the Marianas Islands; to the armadas which, when any danger from enemies arises, are made ready on the opposite shore; and to the public festivals. More than enough to cover the expense is received from those who wish to buy it, to whom it is furnished for their money. The ingredients of its composition are produced in the country, except the saltpetre, which is brought from foreign countries.

Artillery, mounted and dismounted, of this fort, with whatever is necessary for handling it

Bronze cannons Caliber Iron cannons Caliber
1 3 2 2
1 4 13 4
1 5 6 5
2 8 10 6[96]
1 9 11 8
1 14 4 10
1 16 4 12
15 8 4 14
7 20 5 18
3 22 4 20
2 24 2 30
6 25
2 stone-mortars, for moat-guards 90
43 bronze cannons 65 iron cannons

Military supplies kept in reserve, independent of those used in actual service

20,370 iron cannon-balls, as reserve for the said artillery.
18 bronze stone-mortars, with their chambers.
5 iron esmerils.
4 iron pinzotes.
458 match-lock arquebuses.
409 flint-lock guns and [hand-] cannons, with bayonets.
34 pairs of pistols.
20 blunderbusses, bronze and iron.
2,267 short swords, cutlasses, and broadswords.
1,097 iron grenades.
50,342 lead bullets, of suitable size.
800 arrobas of gunpowder, kept in reserve.

The fighting men who serve in the said royal camp of Manila comprise nine companies of Spanish infantry. The first is under command of the captain-general; the second, of the master-of-camp; the third, of the sargento-mayor; and the rest, under six captains who are appointed by this government. Each company has its alférez, its sergeant, and also [97]its minor posts of page, standard-bearer, fifer and drummer; and, in all, there are six hundred and seventy-five soldiers. There are also a captain and thirteen halberdiers, the personal guard of the governor and captain-general; two paid adjutants, and seven supernumeraries; one deputy-commander of artillery, with his head gunner, and thirty-six artillerists. There is a military engineer, and an overseer of the royal works; and there are masters and a suitable number of workmen for casting artillery, operating forges, and making gunpowder. There are also, to serve as workmen in the said shops, a company of Pampango infantry, with their captain, alférez, sergeant, standard-bearer, and two hundred and forty-three regular soldiers—more or less, according to circumstances.

The wages and rations of the said soldiers are paid monthly, excepting the captain-general, who receives his pay every four months and at the rate of 8,000 pesos (each of 450 maravedis of silver) a year. The amount each one receives is stated thus:

Officers: The master-of-camp, 137 pesos, 6 tomins; the sargento-mayor, 30 p.; the six captains, each 15 p.; the captain of the guard, 24 p.; the deputy commander of artillery, 25 p.; the military engineer, 25 p.; the overseer of works, 20 p.; two paid adjutants, each 8 p.; the seven supernumeraries, each 6 p.; the alferezes, each 4 p.; the sergeants, each 3 p.; the head gunner of the artillery, 8 p.; the Pampango captain, 4 p., 4 t.; his alférez, and his sergeant, each 2 p., 4 t.

Soldiers: The Spanish soldiers, each 2 pesos; the halberdiers, each 3 p.; the artillerists, each 2 p.; the drum-major, 3 p.; the pages, standard-bearers, one fifer, and the other drummer, each 2 p.; the [98]Pampango soldiers, each 1 p., 2 t., and some of them have extra pay; one Pampango standard-bearer, with [blank] p., 6 tomins.

To all the above are furnished respectively a ration of rice, excepting the captain of the guard, the engineer, and the overseer of works—for which purpose are used 7,4543½ fanegas of rice a year—and the wages amount annually to 34,139 pesos, 3 tomins; the latter are paid from the royal treasury of Manila, which, as it has to meet the other charges which are imposed on the amount of the royal revenues, has not, it is acknowledged, funds adequate for this purpose, as will be made manifest in the proper place.



It has a circuit of 2,030 feet; its shape is almost triangular. Its fortifications on the southern side, which faces the city, include a curtain with terreplein, flanked by two demi-bastions; it has a fausse-braye, and a ditch which communicates with the river. On the northern side, toward the entrance of the ditch, in place of a bastion is raised a cavalier with three faces or batteries; one of these fronts the sea (the anchorage included), another the said entrance, and the third the river itself. This last side of the cavalier joins a large tower of the same height as the walls; and through the tower there is a descent to a semi-circular platform or battery, at the level of the water, with which the aforesaid triangular figure of this castle is completed. Through these sides the fort has the necessary communication with the city, through its principal gate, which faces that way; with the river, and with the shore or beach of the sea, by a postern gate [99]which furnishes passage to it. All the above will be better understood by referring to the proper plan folio [blank in MS.] where also will be found, placed in their order, the guard-stations, the barracks of the troops who garrison it, and the quarters of the warden and his subalterns. The reduced size of the plan has not allowed room for showing other buildings distinctly, such as the chapel, various storehouses (among these the powder-magazine, which is bomb-proof), the dungeons, the reservoirs of water, etc.

Artillery mounted and dismounted, with the necessary articles for its handling

Bronze cannons Caliber Iron cannons Caliber
4 2 1 3
2 4 1 4
1 6 1 5
3 8 1 6
1 10 2 16
3 16 2 25
8 18 4 32
3 20
4 25
29 bronze cannons 12 iron cannons

Reserve supplies

1,534 iron cannon-balls, kept in reserve for the said artillery.
1 bronze mortar, carrying a 300-libra ball.
95 muskets.
85 match-lock arquebuses.
3,414 balls for these guns.
161 grenades.
80 bar-shots.[100]
80 lanterns (a contrivance for [using] fire and stone).
148 Turkish swords, pikes, broad daggers, hand-spikes, lances, and gun-forks.
200 arrobas of gunpowder, kept in reserve.

The troops in the regular garrison of the said castle are composed of one company of Spanish infantry, commanded by the warden (who is appointed by his Majesty), with a lieutenant-commander, an orderly aide-de-camp, an alférez, a sergeant, and five minor posts—those of page, standard-bearer, fifer, and two drummers. It has sixty regular soldiers, one head gunner, and twelve artillerymen. The fort has also, as workmen in the shops, Pampango soldiers in a company of infantry, with their captain, alférez, sergeant, the three minor posts of standard-bearer, fifer, and drummer, and ninety regular soldiers, three of them receiving extra pay.

The wages and rations of the said troops are paid monthly, in the form which is shown in the following schedule:

Officers: The warden, 66 pesos, 5 tomins; his lieutenant, 15 p.; the aide-de-camp, 5 p., 6 t.; the alférez, 4 p.; the sergeant, 3 p.; the head gunner, 4 p.; the Pampango captain, 6 p.; the alférez and the sergeant, each 2 p., 4 t.

Soldiers: The sixty Spanish soldiers, each 2 pesos; the twelve artillerymen, each 2 p.; the page, the standard-bearer, the fifer, and the drummers, each 2 p.; the Pampango soldiers, and the men in the minor posts, each 1 p., 2 t.

These wages amount in the year to 4,595 pesos in cash; and the rice, of which rations are issued to all, to 1,219½ fanegas. All this expense is met from the [101]royal treasury and storehouses of Manila; the exact statement regarding it will be found at the end.



In sight of Manila, and south-southeast of it, at a distance of three leguas by way of the waters of the bay, and six short leguas by land—in 14° 31′ of north latitude, and 158° 38′ of east longitude—is the port of Cavite, which is formed by a tongue of land, curved from east to west; it is 5,100 feet long, and 1,200 feet broad. It is the ordinary anchorage for the ships of his Majesty and of private persons, as well as for the pataches belonging to the commerce of the various Oriental peoples, who come here to carry it on every year, at regular times.

Its population is composed of the soldiers who garrison its castle, and those of other posts; the sea-faring men who serve in the vessels of the [Acapulco] trade-route, and in various other vessels, in the royal service; and the men who compose the force of the navy-yard, for the repair and the building of ships. Among so many, the citizens of most prominence are the pilots, boatswains, and other officers of the ships and the Ribera. The entire government—political, military, and social—is in the hands of a warden and chief magistrate, who is not responsible to any one except the captain-general.

Its principal fortification consists of the fort San Phelipe, the shape of which is an irregular quadrilateral; it is situated toward the point of the Ribera, at a distance from it of about 1,100 feet. It has four bastions with orillons, in old style; its western curtain, in which is its gate, has a fausse-braye; and its southern curtain, on the shore of the [102]Ribera, has a barbette battery of twenty mounted cannons. A similar account of the two remaining curtains is omitted, because in them there is nothing new for notice. The circuit of the fort is 1,410 feet; and within it are located, in due order, lodgings sufficient for the soldiers in its garrison, an armory, a powder-magazine, a water reservoir, and other offices necessary to the service.

On the western side, which is contiguous with the village of San Roque, this fort is also fortified by a curtain 540 feet long, which, with the two large towers which flank it, occupies the entire width of the tongue of land, and, with a revetted moat, leaves Cavite almost isolated; it would be feasible to make it entirely so by the union of the two bodies of seawater—with experience of fatal results, if the double defense of a counterscarp were not interposed. This curtain has, as a mask to its gate, a half-star work with its own gate, which is the one that people call Puerta Vaga; and these two entrances furnish, for the said town and Manila, the only passage by land that is found in this port.

To this fortification is added another, and of no less importance, the necessity of which was made evident by warnings; and the plan of its structure was thought out by experience. For, having noted in less than fifty years the repeated ravages caused in this port, on the north side, by the violence of the sea when driven by the north winds—which indicated its entire destruction in the future—the superior government decided to construct a stable barrier, by which the so great damage that was feared might be prevented. This was carried out by the engineer then in charge, by constructing in the [103]water a barrier of stone and mortar, large enough to be able to resist such attacks, and of height equal to that of the highest tides, on a foundation of pile-work and beams. This work extended from the point of the Ribera, on the side which was endangered, until it reached the northern tower of the curtain which is mentioned in the preceding paragraph—that is, the entire length of Cavite. Upon this breakwater he raised a parapet with its banquette, in which were formed the bastions, demi-bastions, flanks and curtains, as this line gave opportunity, and in the plan of Cavite they are indicated; but all these works were at the level of the water. For its greater permanency, command was given to cast into the water outside, at the foot of the pile-work, a number of stone-heaps; since these are always multiplying themselves, an evident benefit has resulted.

The arms and supplies for the maintenance of these forts are those which here are scheduled.

Artillery, mounted and dismounted, in the port of Cavite, with all that is necessary for its handling

Bronze cannons Caliber Iron cannons Caliber
10 1 6 1
1 2 43 2
1 3 9 3
1 4 21 4
2 6 46 6
26 8 25 8
4 10 35 10
15 12 15 12
4 14 8 14
1 16 1 16
19 18 41 18[104]
10 25 1 20
7 30
2 35
2 40
1 stone-mortar, of 300 libras.
109 bronze cannons. 257 iron cannons.

Military supplies kept in reserve, independent of those used in actual service

2 esmerils of bronze, of 8-onza caliber.
4 small iron cannon, of the same caliber.
101 swivel-guns, with 216 chambers and quoins, of iron.
16,905 iron cannon-balls, suitable for the said artillery.
207 bar-shots of iron, “diamond point.”
67 iron crowbars.
22 iron angelots.4
190 iron grenades.
142 muskets.
221 match-lock arquebuses.
16 guns, some with bayonets.
9 pistols.
1 blunderbuss.
6,672 balls corresponding to these weapons—2,910 of iron, 62 angel—[i.e., double-headed] shot, and the rest of lead.
480 hand-weapons—Turkish swords, broadswords, cutlasses [machetes], lances, pikes, halberds, partisans, half-moons, spears, languinatas, and spontoons.
400 arrobas of gunpowder, kept in reserve.


The fighting men of the said port of Cavité and its fortress (who are in one body, just as the above-mentioned supplies are considered collectively) comprise three companies of Spanish infantry—one commanded by the warden, another by the sargento-mayor, and another by a captain—with 180 soldiers in all, with their leading officers and minor posts. There is also a captain of artillery, with twenty-four artillerymen; the deputy of the castellan; three orderlies; two carpenters for the gun-carriages of the artillery; and one military notary. There is, besides, a company of Pampango infantry with its master-of-camp, sargento-mayor, and other officers, with two hundred and twenty regular soldiers, one hundred and twenty of whom are assigned to work as sawyers. All the officers and soldiers, both Spaniards and Pampangos (except the warden and the notary) receive a suitable ration of rice and their pay in cash monthly. The wages amount to 11,500 pesos, and the rations to 3,084 fanegas of rice. These are furnished from the royal treasury and the storehouses in Manila, according to the list here set down.

Officers: The warden, 100 pesos; the sargento-mayor, 25 p.; one captain of Spanish infantry, 15 p.; the alferezes, each 4 p.; the sergeants, each 3 p.; one captain of artillery, 15 p.; the deputy of the castellan, 15 p.; three orderlies, each 6 p.; one military notary, 8 p.; the Pampango master-of-camp, 10 p.; the sargento-mayor of that people, 6 p., 4 t.; the alférez, sergeant, and adjutant of the said nation, each 2 p., 4 t.

Soldiers: The Spanish soldiers, each 2 pesos; the pages, standard-bearers, drummers, and fifer, each [106]2 p.; the artillerymen, each 2 p.; two carpenters for the artillery, each 2 p.; minor posts in the Pampango company—standard-bearer, fifer, and drummer—each [blank] p., 6 t.; 220 Pampango soldiers, each 1 p., 2 t. Of the Pampangos the following receive extra pay, with the title of sawyers: three each, 4 p.; another, 2 p., 4 t.; another, 2 p.; and eighteen others, each 1 p., 4 t.

The place which is now called “Ribera of Cavité” includes all the ground from the point of Cavité to Fort San Phelipe. All this is enclosed, with two gates, [which are] at the angles flanked by the bastions—that of the powder-magazine on the northern side, and by that of Cháchara [i.e., “Chit-chat”] on the southern side. Although these passages had formerly been open, it was considered best to shut them off thus, in order to check the frequent thefts that were committed of nails and other furnishings at times when ships were being repaired or built; but in doing so a narrow strip was left, in order to furnish a path for the work-people from the Ribera, thus forming the barbette battery; and this strip has preserved the principal curtain of the fort from the continual former lashings of the waves of the sea.

Plan of Cavite and its fortifications, (ca. 1742)

Plan of Cavite and its fortifications, (ca. 1742)

[Photographic facsimile from original MS. in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid]

On this Ribera is located the shipyard, where the galleons, pataches, galleys, and galliots of his Majesty are constructed into ships; also here is the bridge which is used for careening the said ships, and others that belong to private persons. It also includes the royal iron-works, where are forged the iron tools and instruments, of all kinds and sizes, that are necessary for the said construction; and the workshops of the various artisans who are daily at work on this Ribera. [109]There are separate storehouses for the masts, anchors, cables, rigging, and other kinds of cordage; for cannon, and for gun-carriages; and generally for all the military supplies and nautical equipments, with the dwelling-houses of their principal officers. All this was built by the present government, and with so good management that in a short time, and without confusion, everything necessary for this purpose was constructed, repaired, or equipped. Other royal buildings which are not included in the Ribera are indicated on the chart of this port, for which reason I omit notice of each.

All this arrangement for the navy-yard of the Ribera, although it is planned for the benefit of all vessels, whether native or foreign, is chiefly designed for those of his Catholic Majesty, and more especially for the galleons which annually make the voyage to Nueva España; these are built, equipped, and supplied in this port and Ribera. A sufficiently detailed account of these will be given in the following lists.

Ribera of Cavité

Master workmen in the navy-yard: one captain of the Point, yearly, 300 pesos; one alférez of the seamen, 120 p.; one sergeant of the said men, 90 p.; four corporals, and one watchman, 180 p.; two chief pilots, 240 p.; two assistant pilots, 192 p.; one examiner and inspector of the royal works of the port, 300 p.; one constable for the storehouse of provisions, 120 p.; one surgeon, 96 p.; one coxswain of the galley, 120 p.; one chaplain for the galley, 180 p.; one foreman of the royal iron-works, 300 p.; one foreman of rope-making, 120 p.; one foreman of the [110]cooper shop, 240 p.; one foreman for the artisans5 of the artillery, 120 p.; another overseer of the aforesaid, 30 p.; one head overseer of the carpenters, 360 p.; another, his assistant, 300 p.; one director of works, 300 p. All, except the father chaplain, receive rations of rice.

Workmen in the navy-yard: 226 seamen (of whom 16 serve as captains), with different rates of pay according to their various employments, and, with corresponding rations of rice; this amounts each year to 5,201 p., 4 t., 6 granos; 166 common seamen, with the same pay and ration of rice, yearly 2,490 pesos; to the convicts on the royal galleys are issued rations of 516 cavans of clean rice, which with 22 p., 4 t. for oil for the lanterns, and 300 p. a year for fish, salt, and vinegar, will be worth 580 p.; eight ropemakers, with rations of rice and different rates of pay according to their different kinds of work, amounting yearly to 198 p.; 16 coopers, with different rates of pay and rations of rice, receive yearly 351 p., 9 granos; 152 men for using the augers, at various rates of pay, including rice, receive yearly 3,920 p., 4 t.; tool-grinders, at various rates of pay, receive yearly, including the value of the rice, 594 p.; 305 artisans [pandayes] (15 of them in the artillery), with various rates of pay, and the amount of the ration of rice, receive yearly 3726 p.; 33 [111]painters (two in the artillery), according to their different rates of pay, with rations, 495 p.; 135 blacksmiths, with rations and various rates of pay, amount to 4,644 p.; 31 Lascars, barraqueros,7 at different rates of pay, receive annually 709 p.; 16 carpenters, at various rates of pay, with the value of their rations, receive 1,452 p.; 4 overseers, at various rates of pay, with rations, 300 p.; the hand-sawyers and the calkers (not only natives, but Sangleys) receive, according to the day-wages for which they work, without a ration of rice, wages amounting in one year to 14,922 p., 3 t., 6 granos; the galagaleros,8 the Indians who work in repartimiento as ropemakers and woodcutters, and the raftsmen, at various rates of pay according to their work, and in rice, receive each year 2,714 p., 1 t.

All the aforesaid people in the navy-yard on the Ribera of Cavité receive yearly 49,948 p., 3 t., 8 granos, in which is included the value of 26,174 cavans, 11 gantas of rice, which is consumed in the rations given to each person; but from this are excluded the father chaplain, the sawyers, and the calkers. This amount, in summary form, is the same which the royal officials now certify, omitting the details of each item on account of the great prolixity [112]which would be caused by stating the various assignments of pay which correspond to the various offices and work, and reserving the full statement for the annual report with which the royal officials fulfil their duty.

Preparation of the ships: Since the chief employ of the navy-yard at the Ribera at Cavité is the building and equipment of his Majesty’s ships, and, specifically, those which are annually despatched to Nueva España with the merchandise that is allowed to that commerce and for the royal situado—in which construction is expended the amount from the royal treasury already mentioned—to it also belong the expenses of the entire outfit for the ships, the pay of the naval and military officers, great and small, the men for the crews, and the provision of necessary supplies. As regards expense caused by these things, it is included in the certification of the royal officials in their general statement of purchases; this brief relation refers the reader to that account, avoiding the annoyance of so long a schedule, and here is given only the list of the men assigned to this employ—the computation being now made from the two pataches, the flagship and the almiranta, which in the year 1736 were manned in this form:

Officers of the ships: The commander of the flagship (“Nuestra Señora de Cabdalonga”) with salary of 4,125 pesos; the captain of the almiranta (“Nuestra Señora del Pilar”) 2,750 p.; the chaplains of the two pataches, each 75 p., 150 p.; two chief pilots, each 300 p., 600 p.; two assistant pilots, each 150 p., 300 p.; two mates, each 150 p., 300 p.; two head gunners, each 150 p., 300 p.; two boatswains, each 150 p., 300 p.; two carpenters, each 150 p., 300 p.; two calkers, each 150 p., 300 p.; two [113]divers, each 150 p., 300 p.; two notaries, each 100 p., 200 p.; two storekeepers, each 100 p., 200 p.; two surgeons, each 100 p., 200 p.; two stewards, each 100 p., 200 p.; two water-guards, each 100 p., 200 p.; two additional pilots, each 150 p., 300 p. Total, 11,025 pesos.

The men of the crews: 64 artillerymen, each 100 p., amount to 6,400 p.; 160 mariners in the crews of the said pataches, at the rate of 75 p. each, 12,000 p.; 72 Spanish common seamen in the said crews, at the rate of 50 p. each, 3,600 p.; 120 deck-hands in the said crews at 25 p., 3,000 p.; extra pay issued to the royal official timekeeper, who made these payments, 25 p. Total, 25,025 pesos.

Adding together these amounts for pay of officers and crews, the total is 36,050 pesos.



In the island of Zebû, which is regarded as the center of all the islands of Pintados—it is thirty leguas long, twelve wide, and eighty in circuit—is the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus. It is the capital of this province, wherein, amid the evident ruins of its former opulence, is preserved, close to the city, the fort of San Pedro. It is built of stone and mortar, with a terreplein, and is situated on a point on the shore of the sea, in 10° of north latitude, and 161° 47′ of east longitude;9 it is distant from the capital, Manila, ninety-six leguas to the southeast, and is five degrees south of that city.

The shape of this fort is triangular, with three [114]bastions having straight flanks; it is 1,248 feet in circuit. Its curtains are of unequal length, and in that one which fronts the city, toward the northwest, is the gate of the fort. This is masked by an outer work of stakes, of square shape, with its gate to the city; and a palisade extends the whole length of the curtain, in the form of a fausse-braye.

This fort contains the necessary buildings, as they are indicated on its plan; it has also arms and soldiers, as herewith stated.

Arms and supplies

13 pieces of bronze artillery, caliber 2 and 4.
18 iron cannons, caliber 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, and 14.
2 bronze mortars, with iron pivots.
6 bronze stone-mortars.
12 chambers.
50 pinzotes.
250 arquebuses and muskets.
1,826 iron balls for the artillery.
14,055 lead balls for the muskets, arquebuses, and pinzotes.
294 grenades.
500 arrobas of gunpowder, with small-arms and hand weapons, are kept in reserve, as is certified by the royal officials.

All the above, with the clothing [for the soldiers], and the replenishment of arms and gunpowder, is provided from the capital, Manila, in accordance with the orders of this government.

Cebú and its fortifications, ca. 1742

Cebú and its fortifications, ca. 1742

[Photographic facsimile from original MS. in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid]

The military force

A captain of Spanish infantry, who is the alcalde-mayor, with monthly pay of 25 pesos; an alférez of [117]the said company, with 3 p.; a sergeant, 2 p.; an orderly, 4 p.; a lieutenant of the fort, 4 p.; 57 regular soldiers, each 1 p.; 4 minor posts—page, fifer, drummer, and standard-bearer, each 1 p.; 6 artillerymen, each 1 p.; a captain of the Pampango company, 4 p.; his alférez, 1 p., 4 t.; the sergeant, 1 p.; twenty [Pampango] soldiers, and three minor posts—page, drummer, and standard-bearer—each 4 t.; one position as overseer of the iron-forge, 3 p.; two others, as shoremaster and overseer of buildings, 2 p.; another as pilot, 1 p. Each one of the said persons receives a monthly allowance of half a fanega (which is one cavan) of rice.

The maintenance of this military post amounts to 1,584 pesos and 624 fanegas of rice every year; this expense is paid out of the proceeds of the tributes and other revenues which are collected on his Majesty’s account in the said province of Zebû.



This fort is in the town of Samboangan,10 a separate [118]jurisdiction with a chief magistrate, who is the governor of this military post. It is situated in the [119]great island of Mindanao, near the promontory which is called Punta de la Caldera, in 7° 4′ north [120]latitude, and 160° 30′ east longitude;11 it is distant from the capital, Manila, 134½ leguas south by east, and four degrees to the east.

Plan of fort at Zamboanga, 1742

Plan of fort at Zamboanga, 1742

[Photographic facsimile from original MS. in Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid]


This fort is constructed of stone and mortar, with a terreplein, at the entrance of the town, on the sea-shore; the beach surrounds it on the eastern and southern sides, along which it has also, externally, a palisade. On the western side, where the gate is, it has a marsh for a moat; and on the northern side, which faces the dwellings, it has an artificial moat.

Its shape is that of a rectangle, with four full bastions—three with straight flanks, and one with an orillon; it has a circuit of 820 feet, and in it are enclosed the necessary buildings, as the plan shows.

The town has its own special fortifications; for on the eastern side it has a long curtain of palisades, in the midst of which there is a semicircular platform, which defends it. On the northern side there is a long curtain of stone and mortar, flanked at the east by a bastion with orillon, called Santa Cathalina; and at the west by a cavalier of rectangular shape, called Santa Barbara. This curtain has its palisade, which ends on the western side of this town, at some distance from the said cavalier; and the rest of this said side has some marshes for defense. The said wall and curtain of this town is surrounded by a canal, full of water, ten or twelve feet wide; and it connects with the said marshes.

The arms, supplies, and soldiers with which this military post is maintained and defended are stated in the following lists: [124]

Arms and supplies of this post

24 bronze cannons, of caliber 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12.
1 bronze culverin, caliber 4.
1 mortar of the same, caliber 18.
45 iron cannons, calibers 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 18.
17 stone-mortars of the same [material], calibers 3 and 4.
58 chambers.
8 blunderbusses, 5 of bronze and 3 of iron.
11 pinzotes.
253 guns, muskets, and arquebuses.
698 grenades, loaded and unloaded.
1 pair of pistols.
2 short carbines [terzerolas].
8,407 lead and iron balls, suitable for the artillery.
39,104 lead balls, for the arquebuses, guns, and muskets.
500 arrobas of gunpowder, as regular supply.

Other weapons, for hand use, minor supplies, and all the rest that is necessary for handling [the artillery], are enumerated in a separate certified statement by the royal officials.

Military force in the post of Samboangan

One captain of the first company of the Spanish infantry, a post which is held by the governor of this town, with a monthly salary of 50 pesos; its alférez, 4 p.; its sergeant, 3 p.; an aide-de-camp, 6 p.; 74 Spanish soldiers, each 2 p.; three minor posts—page, standard-bearer, and drummer—each 2 p. The captain of the second Spanish company, 15 p.; its alférez, 4 p.; its sergeant, 3 p.; 68 soldiers, and three minor posts—page, drummer, and standard-bearer[125]—each 2 p. The captain of the third Spanish company, who commands the armada, 15 p.; its alférez, 4 p.; its sergeant, 3 p.; 58 soldiers, and 3 minor posts—page, standard-bearer, and drummer—each 2 p. A head gunner for the artillery, 4 p.; a lieutenant and paymaster for this post, 15 p.; a surgeon, 5 p.; a notary for this post, 3 p.; 2 amanuenses, hired by the day, each 3 p., 6 t.; 2 chaplains for the infantry, by the year, each 100 p. A captain of the company of Pampango infantry, with monthly pay of 4 p., 4 t.; its alférez, 2 p., 4 t.; its sergeant, 2 p., 4 t.; 100 Pampango soldiers, each 1 p., 2 t.; 2 minor posts—page, and standard-bearer—each 6 t. One master armorer, 3 p.; 2 skilled tilers, each 2 p., 4 t.; 15 supernumerary seamen, paid at various rates, by the month, [blank]. All these people receive a suitable ration of rice.

Coastguard galleys at Samboangan

At this post are maintained, as a measure of precaution by this superior government since the past year of 1730, two coastguard galleys (a flagship and an almiranta), with [a crew of] 96 impressed men [forzados], and with all the supplies necessary for their outfit; care is also taken to repair and fortify them. They have been kept up as an armament necessary at this time for checking the insolence of the neighboring Moros, who attack the villages of the territory under the royal crown. In regard to the maintenance of these galleys, and the amount of supplies and the number of soldiers and sailors [required for them], although all this is found included in the expenditures of the royal treasury as actual expenses it must be borne in mind that they [126]are not perpetual, but accidental and extraordinary, according to the movements of our enemies. For this reason, these items of expense are sometimes included and sometimes omitted in the statements of accounts, according to the differences of time and occasion.

Galliots at Samboangan

More permanent at this post are the two galliots which are, by act of the general council of the treasury, maintained there since the year 1729, as necessary in those seas, so rough and so infested with enemies, for transporting from the province of Ogtong and the storehouses of Yloylo the rice and other provisions which are needed in this post [of Samboangan]. The amount needed for the pay of these seamen is sent from the royal treasury of Manila.

The entire maintenance of this post of Samboangan amounts each year to 12,592 pesos, 2 tomins, and 7,108 cavans (which are 3,554 fanegas) of rice, according to the last balancing of the accounts. To meet this expense, a situade is sent from the royal treasury of Manila, the number of pesos corresponding to the amount of the fixed charges, and to that of the accidental expenses when there are any. The clothing, gun-powder, supplies for replenishing the storehouses, cordage and sails, other supplies for vessels, supplies for the hospital and other offices of that post—all these are provided from the royal storehouses of Manila; while from those of Yloylo is sent the rice for the rations, with other foodstuffs, in which that province abounds.

In order to meet the said expenses, there is set [127]aside the value of the ganta of clean rice which was offered, contributed as a gift, by every whole tribute (of two persons) in the provinces subject to the royal crown—those of Balayan, Mindoro, Caraga, Marivelez, Calamianes, and Cavite being exempted from this contribution—the amount of which is regularly more than 3,500 pesos a year. For the said expenses is also applied the value of the wine monopoly, which, at the rate of the last sale to the highest bidder, produces 25,000 pesos annually. To this is added the amount of the pay, rations, and supplies of the officers and soldiers who, at the time when this post was reëstablished, were detailed to serve in it, from those of Cavite, Yloylo, and Zebû. [128]


[Part II]


[Title-page:] The ecclesiastical estate in the aforesaid Philipinas islands: Its archbishopric and its suffragan bishops, and the territory which each one includes. Their cathedrals, with the dignities, canonries, and prebends, with which they are endowed; the stipends and offerings which they receive; and the amounts allotted to the other churches, colleges, and hospitals in the district. Active encomiendas which are at this present time enjoyed by the various corporations and by private persons; and those in which the tributes are collected on his Majesty’s account for the objects to which they were granted. Missions established, with a statement of their locations and the expenses which they occasion: settlements of Indians who have been subdued, distinguishing the ministries, conducted by the secular ecclesiastics and the religious; the neophytes whom they direct; what they receive on account of this, not only on his Majesty’s account, but from the natives themselves, with a summary of the total of both. Added to this relation by Don Pablo Francisco Rodriguez de Berdozido, accountant, royal official for his Majesty in [129]these Philipinas Islands, and the senior official of those who have appointments in the royal treasury therein. In the year 1742.

The holy cathedral church of Manila

It has its archbishopric, the jurisdiction of which includes the entire provinces of Tondo, Bulacan, and Pampanga; Taâl (or Balayàn) as far as Mindoro and Marinduque; all the coast of Zambales, as far as the district and bay of Bolinao; Laguna de Bay and its mountains, as far as and including Mahayhay; the jurisdictions of Cavite, Marivelez, and the city of Manila. At the present time the see is vacant by the death of his very illustrious and reverend Lordship, the master Don Fray Juan Angel Rodriguez, of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives; and it enjoys as a yearly stipend 5,000 pesos of common gold, in virtue of the decree by his Majesty dated at Madrid on May 28, 1680. The said holy church has a dean, with 600 pesos as annual stipend in virtue of another royal decree of his Majesty; four dignitaries—archdeacon, schoolmaster, cantor, and treasurer—with 500 pesos each a year, which amounts to the sum of 2,000 pesos; three canons (which include a doctoral, a magistral, and an honorary prebend), with 400 pesos each as yearly stipend, amounting to 1,200 pesos; two racioneros, with 300 pesos each as annual stipend, amounting to 600 pesos; two medio-racioneros, each receiving 200 pesos a year, which make 400 pesos; and a master of ceremonies—a post recently established by a royal decree dated at El Pardo on February 22, 1734, with 200 pesos of yearly stipend. The said holy church has also a [130]grant for its fabrica, material and spiritual,12 of 600 ducados of silver, which make 825 pesos. [Of this sum] 500 ducados are for the pay of the verger, the musicians, and others who serve it; and the remaining 100 ducados are for the fabrica [i.e., the care of the building]. It has also 400 pesos of offerings each year—by another royal decree of April 12, 1734—for the purchase of Castilian wine, with which is celebrated the holy sacrifice of the mass; olive-oil and balsam for the holy oils; and cocoanut-oil for the lamp which burns before the blessed sacrament. [131]

The holy church of Zebu

It has its bishop, and its jurisdiction extends to that entire province, and comprises that of Leyte with its adjoining islands; the province of Caraga; Panay, and the jurisdiction of Ogton and its islands, as far as Calamyanes; Paragua, and the northern coast of Mindanao, extending even to the Marianas Islands. At the present time this church is governed by his very illustrious Lordship, Don Protaçio Cavezas, who is bishop-elect; and he enjoys an annual stipend of 4,000 pesos, by virtue of the royal decree already cited of May 28, 1680. For the fabrica, material and spiritual, of the said holy church is assigned an encomienda of 1,783½ tributes by royal decree of October 28, 1670; these are collected on the account of his Majesty, and their value (which is 2,000 pesos, after deducting all expenses) is paid from this royal treasury to that prelate annually for the maintenance of chaplains, the purchase of wax, oil, and wine, the pay of singers and sacristans, and other expenses necessary to worship in the said holy church.

Holy church of Nueva Cazeres

It has a bishop, and its jurisdiction embraces the entire provinces of Camarines and Albay, as far as and including the islands of Ticao, Masbate, Burias, and Catanduanes; the province of Tayabas, as far as and including Luchan; and in the opposite coast of Maobàn, to Binangonan, Polo, Baler, and Casiguran. At present it is governed by his very illustrious Lordship Doctor Don Ysidoro de Arevalo, who is the bishop-elect; and he enjoys a yearly stipend of 4,000 pesos of common gold, conformably [132]to the aforesaid royal decree. Likewise a payment is made from the royal treasury, in virtue of a decree by the supreme government and the council of the royal treasury dated October 2, 1723, 200 pesos, for priests of the choir, at 100 pesos each, as assistants of the aforesaid illustrious lord. Another payment is made of 400 pesos, assigned to this church by the royal decree, dated at San Yldefonso on August 19, 1736, for the pay of singers, sacristans, and doorkeepers, and other expenses for worship and for the [care of the] building of the aforesaid holy church. It likewise has a contribution of 232 pesos, 4 tomins, which is paid in 6 quintals of wax, 100 gantas of cocoanut-oil, and 4 arrobas of Castilian wine, in conformity with another royal decree dated February 21, 1705.

The holy church of Nueva Segovia

It has a bishop (whose title is of Cagayan), and its jurisdiction comprises the province of Pangasinan from the promontory of Bolinao, and that of Ylocos; and Cagayan, as far as and including Palauan on the opposite coast. At this time the see is vacant by the death of his illustrious Lordship Doctor Don Geronimo de Herrera y Lopez, and this said bishopric enjoys an annual stipend of 4,000 pesos of common gold, in virtue of the royal decree cited. It has two priests in the choir, to whom 200 pesos are paid yearly for their support, each 100 pesos, in virtue of a decree of the general council of the treasury and of the supreme government, dated December 23, 1723. It enjoys a contribution of 232 pesos, 4 tomins, which is paid to it in 6 quintals of wax, 100 gantas of cocoanut-oil, and 4 arrobas of [133]Castilian wine, in conformity with the royal decree of February 21, 1675.

General summary of the amounts of the stipends, funds for current expenses [fabricas], and contributions belonging to the four cathedrals.

Cathedrals Stipends Expense funds Contributions Totals
Metropolitan, Manila 10,000 p. 825 p. 400 p. 11,225 p.
Cathedral, Zebu 4,000 p. 2,000 p. 6,000 p.
Id. N. Caceres 4,200 p. 400 p. 232 p., 4t. 4,832 p., 4t.
Id. N. Segovia 4,200 p. 232 p., 4t. 4,432 p., 4t.
Totals 22,400 p. 3,225 p. 865 p. 26,490 p.



Within the walls of this city there is a royal chapel with six chaplains, who render service in the functions of the royal Audiencia; and it was especially instituted for the [spiritual] direction and assistance of the soldiers who serve in this royal army. Its expenses are met from the payments and wages which are issued monthly from the royal treasury, deducting from each of these a certain amount called “the contribution” for the said royal chapel, which amounts during the year to 6,004 pesos, 1 tomin. From this sum are paid annually 3,020 pesos for the salaries of chaplains and the expenses of divine worship; and the remainder is held in the said royal treasury, in order with it to provide for repairs on the aforesaid chapel, the renewal of the ornaments, and other extraordinary expenses—[134]on account of which it is not brought into the computation with the other allotments.

There is a royal hospital £or the soldiers of the regiment, with two chaplains, a steward, a physician, a surgeon, and an apothecary, all salaried; and it is provided with everything necessary for the comfort and treatment of the sick. The proceeds of its endowment annually amount to the sum—which is paid to it in money, including the value of 8,400 fowls—of 7,891 pesos; 960 cavans of rice, 3 arrobas of Castilian wine, and 384 gantas of cocoanut-oil.

The royal college and seminary of San Phelipe was founded and erected by royal decrees of April 8, 1702, and December 21, 1712. It has a teacher of grammar, and eight seminarists who serve in this holy cathedral church in all its offices and functions as a class; their maintenance amounts annually to 1,520 pesos in money, including other supplies which are delivered from the storehouses—360 cavans of rice, one arroba of wine, and 192 gantas of cocoanut-oil.

The seminary of Santa Potenciana was founded in the year 1591, when Gomez Perez Dasmariñas was governor of these islands, and was received under the royal patronage. It has twenty-four inmates, daughters of Spanish fathers, with their chaplain, superior, doorkeeper, and other servants, all paid on the account of his Majesty; their salaries and maintenance amount each year to 2,476 pesos in money. They receive also 504 cavans of rice, two arrobas of wine, and 168 gantas of cocoanut-oil; in this is also included the cost of the clothing for the students and servants, that of divine worship, and other lesser expenses. And for this it enjoys an encomienda, [135]by an act of the royal Audiencia dated February 4, 1668, the income of which is collected for the treasury, and its management and administration is placed in charge of the royal official accountant.

There are two royal chairs of canons and institutes, one in the college of San Ygnacio of the Society of Jesus, and the other in the college of Santo Thomas, of the Order of St. Dominic; these were recently established, by royal decree of October 23, 1733, with two professors at salaries of 400 pesos each, which make 800 pesos a year.

The brotherhood of the holy Misericordia, and the seminary of Santa Ysabel for girls, in which a great number of them are sheltered; these are administered by a purveyor and twelve deputies, who are appointed yearly. They take charge of the incomes and charitable funds assigned to the said house, from which is produced a sufficient amount for the support of the establishment, for dowries, and for other large charitable contributions, which they distribute in accordance with the Constitutions of the brotherhood. This house is at present under the immediate protection of his Majesty, by his royal decree of March 25, 1733; and it enjoys on the account of the royal treasury only an encomienda of 963 tributes, by a royal grant of October 24, 1667, the net value of which will be set down in the proper place.

The calced Augustinians have a convent of San Pablo with an adequate number of religious, who are annually assisted by this treasury with a contribution of wine for celebrating the holy sacrifice of mass, and oil for the lamp which burns before the [136]blessed sacrament, in accordance with the late royal order of his Majesty, dated September 15, 1726—at the rate of one arroba of wine for each priest, and 75 gantas of cocoanut-oil for each lamp.

The convent of San Gregorio, of discalced Franciscan religious, is likewise assisted by the contribution of wine and oil, in accordance with the aforesaid royal order.

The monastery of the nuns of Santa Clara is likewise assisted with a contribution of wine and oil, in virtue of the said royal decree; and besides this it enjoys an encomienda, by decree of April 4, 1664, the income of which is collected on the account of his Majesty, and its net amount, which is paid from the treasury, is 583 pesos.

The convent of the religious of St. Dominic, with two colleges (named Santo Tomas, and San Juan de Letran), enjoys the same contribution of wine and oil, in accordance with the aforesaid royal decree. It has likewise 400 pesos in money, and 800 cavans of rice, for the stipend of four priests in active service, who must reside in the said convent in virtue of a royal decree dated July 23, 1639; and the said college of San Juan de Letran enjoys an encomienda of 700 tributes by royal grant of January 10, 1734, the value of which will be entered in its class.

The college of San Ygnacio, of the fathers of the Society of Jesus, and that of San Joseph, composed of students, are likewise aided with a contribution of wine and oil, in accordance with the aforesaid royal decree. They likewise receive 400 pesos, and 800 cavans of rice, for the stipends of four priests in active service who must reside in the said college of San Ygnacio, in accordance with the royal decree [137]dated February 18, 1707. And the said college of San Joseph enjoys an encomienda of 383½ tributes, on account of 20,000 pesos which were granted to it by royal decree of his Majesty dated October 5, 1703, the net value of which will be entered in the class to which it belongs.

The convent of San Nicolas of the Recollect religious of St. Augustine similarly enjoys its contribution of wine and oil, in accordance with the said recent royal decree of his Majesty.

The convent of San Juan de Dios is also assisted with the contribution of wine and oil in virtue of the said royal decree, and 50 pesos in medicines; it also enjoys an encomienda of 541½ tributes, by royal grant of July 2, 1735, the net value of which will be entered in the class to which it belongs.

Within the walls [of the city] are also contained two beaterios—one of Dominican nuns, called Santa Catharina, with sufficient incomes; and another connected with the Society of Jesus, containing poor Indian women, who are maintained by charity and do not enjoy any allotment on the account of his Majesty.

Outside the walls of this city is the hospital of San Lazaro, in charge of discalced religious of St. Francis, for contagious diseases. This is annually assisted from this royal treasury, in accordance with the royal decree of January 22, 1672, with 787 pesos, 4 tomins in money, including the cost of 1,500 laying hens, 200 blankets, and 1,500 cavans of rice; and one arroba of wine for the celebration of the holy sacrifice of mass.

The church of Los Santos Reyes of the Parian, and the hospital of San Gabriel for the Christian [138]Sangleys, and for medical treatment of them and of the infidels, in charge of the religious of St. Dominic, receive from the communal treasury of the Sangleys themselves 2,400 pesos; and from the royal treasury only the contribution of five arrobas of wine for the aforesaid celebration of the holy sacrifice of mass, and one hundred and fifty gantas of cocoanut-oil for the lamps which burn before the depository of the Divine One.

The sanctuary of our Lady of Safety and convent of San Juan Bauptista, of the discalced religious of St. Augustine, situated in Bagumbayan, enjoys only the aforesaid contribution of wine and oil.

To the infirmary which the religious Order of St. Dominic has, for the medical treatment of its religious, is paid every year 100 pesos as a contribution, in accordance with the royal order of his Majesty, dated September 4, 1667.

To the three infirmaries of the Order of St. Francis is paid every year a contribution of 329 pesos, for the treatment of its sick religious who are in this city and in the provinces of Laguna de Bay and Camarines, in virtue of his Majesty’s decree of October 30, 1600.

At the distance of one legua, or a little less, there are two houses or sanctuaries—one named San Francisco del Monte, with two chapels close by, where regularly serve one religious (a priest of the Order of St. Francis), and one lay-brother, or donado of the reformed branch, which is called “the house of retreat or penance;” the other is called San Juan del Monte, with a religious of the Order of St. Dominic—and these enjoy only the contribution of wine.

The sanctuary of our Lady of Guadalupe, of [139]calced Augustinian religious, enjoys the same contribution of wine and oil.

In the port of Cavite there is a convent of religious of St. Dominic, and another of Recollect religious; a college of the fathers of the Society of Jesus; and a hospice of the Order of St. John of God—all without [parochial] administration; and they enjoy only the contribution of wine and oil.

Likewise in the city of Zebu there is a convent of calced Augustinians with three religious, priests; another convent of discalced Augustinians, with one priest; and a college of the Society of Jesus, with two priests. In the port of Yloylo, in the province of Ogton, the Society have another college with one priest. The religious of St. Dominic have a convent with two priests in the city of Nueva Segovia, in the province of Cagayan. All these houses are without administration, and enjoy only the same contribution of wine and oil.

Summary of the amounts of the stipends and contributions from the royal treasury which are enjoyed by the convents, colleges, hospitals, and houses which have no [parochial] administration.

Convents, colleges, hospitals, and houses Cash, Rice, Wine, Oil,
pesos cavans arrobas gantas
Royal military chapel
Royal hospital 7,891 960 3 384
Royal college of San Phelipe 1,520 360 1 192
Royal seminary Sta. Potenciana 2,466 504 2 168
Chairs of canon law and institutes 800
Brotherhood of Misericordia
Convent of S. Pablo (cal. Aug.) 25 75
Conv. S. Gregorio (disc. Fran.) 18 75
Monastery of Sta. Clara 583 2 75
Conv. St. Dominic, and two colleges 400 800 23 225
Coll. S. Ygnacio and S. Joseph 400 800 20 150[140]
Conv. S. Nicolas (Recollect) 24 75
Conv. San Juan de Dios 50 2 75
Two beaterios (Domin. nuns and Indian women)
Hospital of San Lazaro 78713 1,500 1
Church of Parian and hospital of San Gabriel 5 150
Sanctuary Our Lady of Safety 6 75
Infirmary for relig. of St. Dominic 100
Three infirmaries of St. Francis 329
Two sanctuaries, S. Juan and S. Francisco de los Montes 2
Sanct. of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2
Two conv., one coll., and one hospital at port Cavite 12 225
Three conv., and two coll. in the provinces 10 375
Totals 15,326 4,924 158 2,319



In accordance with royal decrees of donation, his Majesty has assigned encomiendas in these islands to the extent of 18,041¼ tributes. Of these, 8,784¼ are assigned to four religious communities and eleven private persons, and their net product is collected by the encomenderos themselves or by their agents; and the remaining 9,257 are collected by the royal officials of these islands for the subventions and contributions which are stated in the aforesaid grants. They are separately mentioned in the following form: [141]

Encomiendas belonging to religious communities and to private persons

[Grantees] Date of grant No. of tributes Value in cash, Net receipts,
p. t. gr. p. t. gr.
College of Sta. Ysabel, this city Oct. 24, 1671 963 1,328 2 6 1,030 3 7
College of San Joseph, on account of 20,000 pesos Oct. 5, 1703 383 ½ 671 1 485 2 10
College of S. Juan de Letran Jan. 10, 1734 700 963 2 6 718 7 6
Hospital of S. Juan de Dios July 2, 1735 541 ½ 812 2 584 1
D. Pedro de Garaycoechea (2nd life) Oct. 30, 1690 1,247 1,558 6 960 0 4
D. Fernando Hidalgo (2nd life) Sept. 31 [sic; 21 or 30?], 1701 383 536 1 9 386 7 8
D. Juan Francisco de Salinas (2nd life) June 21, 1705 419 ½ 540 2 2 380 2 8
D. Balthazar de Soto (2nd life) June 11, 1709 350 ¾ 364 6 2 239 2 3
D. Antonio Gomez Quixedo14 (2nd life) July 15, 1711 640 880 540 3 6
Da. Josepha de Erquiñigo, Condeza de Pineda, two encomiendas Dec. 19, 1712 1,323 1,659 2 1,036 6 2
D. Juan Afan de Rivera (2nd life) March 6, 1715 387 ½ 406 6 271 5
D. Julian Fernandez de Guevara (2nd life) June 30, 1721 470 517 4 5 342 0 3
Da. Monica de Yturralde (2nd life) July 30, 1721 233 ½ 256 6 9 170 0 11
D. Nicolas Cortez Monrroy (2nd life) July 30, 1721 379 568 4 397 5 2
Da. Maria Manuela Rita Manzano (2nd life), two encomiendas July 14, 1738 363 425 5 273 3 3
Totals 8,784 ¼ 11,489 4 3 7,817 4 1


Encomiendas in which the collections are made on his Majesty’s account, to be applied to the objects for which they were granted.

[Grantees] Date of grant No. of tributes Value in cash, Net receipts,
p. t. gr. p. t. gr.
The monastery of So. Clara enjoys, by decree of Apr. 4, 1664 868 971 6 10 583 0 6
The seminary of Santa Potenciana enjoys for its maintenance, by act of the royal Audiencia, Feb. 4, 1668 1,437 ½ 2,078 5 4 1,492 5 5
For the pay of the lieutenant-general of the artillery, he possesses, by decree of Dec. 16, 1608 895 ½ 1,044 1 692 7 8
To pay for the wine for masses and oil for the lamps, there are, by decree of Apr. 8, 1668 4,272 ½ 5,913 2 6 4,760 6 9
For the maintenance of the building of the holy cathedral church of Zebu, it enjoys, by decree of Oct. 28. 1670 1,783 ½ 2,690 3 1 2,000
Totals 9,257 12,698 2 9 9,529 4 4

These encomiendas, although they were granted for the maintenance and existence of the five objects here stated, have had the tributes collected on the account of his Majesty with the aggregate of the other tributes united to the royal crown [the aforesaid sums] being paid by the royal treasury to the parties concerned, not only the net amount of what is due to each, but what is necessary for the existence of those for whom they are destined, obtaining from [143]other sources indifferently whatever is lacking to make up that sum. The amount of each is entered in the corresponding summaries [of accounts] as a charge upon the general fund of the treasury, according to what the parties receive—not only in cash, but in other assets from the royal storehouses—in order to establish, with the distinction and clearness which this memorandum permits, the total with which his Majesty piously contributes to the preservation of the ecclesiastical estate in these islands. It is brought in here, in the account of the encomiendas, only to show how it is applied, and not as an increased charge on the royal treasury.



There are at present thirty-nine apostolic missionaries, distributed among twenty-one active missions which are situated in various places and provinces, who are engaged in the conversion and settlement of the infidels who dwell in the mountains in the greater number of these islands. Of these, one is a secular ecclesiastic; four belong to the calced Augustinian religious; five are discalced Franciscans; twenty are Dominicans; two belong to the Society of Jesus, and seven to the Augustinian Recollects. Aid is given to them on the account of his Majesty, in accordance with his royal decrees, by the stipend of 100 pesos and 100 fanegas of rice to each missionary, and with the military escorts necessary to their protection and to the safety of the subdued Indians. Likewise they receive a monthly allowance for these men, of one peso and one cavan of rice [for each], to which is added the cost of transporting this provision to the places where they are, which sometimes [144]amounts to as much as the value of the principal. The mission which now is especially considered to have made the greatest progress and advancement is that established in the mountains of Ytuy and Paniqui in the province of Cagayàn, in charge of the religious of the Order of St. Dominic—who, penetrating into the country, a task which had previously been greatly facilitated by the calced religious of the Order of St. Augustine, have brought that province into communication with the others in this great island (something which formerly could not be done, except by sea), with great harvest of souls who have been converted to our holy Catholic faith. These costs are stated in the following summary, that which belongs to each mission being given separately.

Summary of the expenses which the active missions which are mentioned occasion to the royal exchequer.

Provinces Missionary ministers Cash, Rice, Wine, Oil,
pesos tom. cavans arrobas gantas
——15 2 missionaries of the Society of Jesus, with escorts and transportation 331 472
Pampanga 4 mission., calced Augustinians, with escorts and transportation 960 1,088
Idem 4 Dominicans, with escorts and transportation 820 1,016
Idem 2 Augustinian Recollects, with escorts and transportation 480 544 2 150[145]
Pangasinan 3 Dominicans, with escorts and transportation 537 744
Idem 2 Augustinian Recollects, with escorts and transportation 412 544
Ylocos 1 missionary, a secular ecclesiastic 100 200 1 75
Cagayàn 13 Dominicans, with their escorts and transportation 4,030 4 4,352
Laguna de Bay 1 Franciscan, with escort and transportation 189 272
Tayabas 2 Franciscans, with their escorts and transportation 616
Mindoro 1 Augustinian Recollect 151 5 200 75
Camarines 2 Franciscans, with their escorts and transportation 412 544
Zebu 2 Augustinian Recollects 200 400
10 provinces 39 missionaries, in 2 missions 9,239 1 10,376 3 300
p. t.16 cavans arrob. gantas

Ministers, and villages of converted Indians; the stipends and offerings which they enjoy on this account, according to the number of tributes to whom they minister.

All the Indian neophytes—settled in four hundred and fifteen villages and fifty-three visitas, which compose the twenty-one provinces of the territory—have their ministers of religious instruction, who exercise toward them the office of parish priests. These ministers are aided on his Majesty’s account, [146]in accordance with the regulation made by the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi while he was governor of these islands, which was approved by royal decree of April 24, 1584. They received a hundred pesos and a hundred fanegas of rice for every five hundred tributes to whom they minister, and the contribution of wine and oil which was ordained by the late royal decree dated September 15 in the year 1726—enjoying this without any limitation of time. The separate provinces and number of ministers, and the amount of expenses, will be shown in the following tables:

Summary of the stipends which each religious order is entitled to receive for the mission villages and ministries that it has.

Secular ecclesiastics

Provinces Curates, sacristans, and chaplains Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Manila 2 curas, with their sacristans 551 3 6 2 150
Tondo 3 curas, with 3 sacristans 743 2 11 200 3 225
Cavité 2 curas, and 2 sacristans 517 5 200 2 150
Mindoro 1 cura and 1 sacristan 223 3 11 1 75
Laguna de Bay 3 curas 396 1 9 57 4 3 225
Balayàn 2 curas 327 3 2 654 19 2 150
Cagayàn 1 cura and 1 sacristan 358 0 1 164 14 1 75
Idem 1 chaplain for the fort 180
Ylocos 2 curas and 1 sacristan 770 7 3 1,358 2 150
Camarines 6 curas and 1 sacristan 1,022 7 4 694 9 6 450
Tayabas 3 curas 253 4 307 3 225[147]
Albay 10 curas 1,173 2,346 10 750
Zebu 1 cura and 1 sacristan 275 5 9 1 75
Idem 3 curas 766 4 2 797 19 3 225
Ogton 2 curas and 1 sacristan 458 1 364 19 2 150
Panay 3 curas 517 7 2 1,035 19 3 225
I. de Negros 4 curas 723 2 4 1,446 14 4 300
Leyte 1 cura 79 138 1 75
In 16 provinces 49 curas, 13 sacristans, and 1 chaplain 9,338 3 4 9,764 21 49 3,675
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

Religious of St. Dominic

Provinces Ministries Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Tondo 2 ministries 391 0 9 782 4 4 150
Pampanga 5 ministries,, 220 6 4 441 14 9 375
Cagayan 20 ministries,, 1,517 0 9 3,034 4 33 1,500
Pangasinan 15 ministries,, 2,534 1 7 5,068 8 26 1,125
In 4 provinces, 42 ministries 4,663 1 5 9,326 6 72 6,150
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

Discalced religious of St. Francis

Provinces Ministries Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Tondo 4 ministries 416 7 2 833 19 9 300
Bulacan 4 ministries,, 611 0 9 1,222 4 5 300
Bay 24 ministries,, 1,492 1 7 2,984 9 28 1,800
Cagayàn 1 ministries,, 44 3 2 88 19 1 75
Camarines 18 ministries,, 1,883 0 9 3,766 4 20 1,350
Tayabas 11 ministries,, 1,312 6 4 17 825
In 6 provinces, 62 ministries 5,760 3 9 8,895 7 80 4,650
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

Calced Augustinian religious

Provinces Ministries Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Tondo 6 ministries 1,224 4 9 2.449 4 15 450
Bulacan 9 ministries,, 1,077 4 2,155 13 675
Pampanga 18 ministries,, 1,416 4 9 2,833 4 30 1,350
Pangasinan 3 ministries,, 368 4 737 4 225
Ylocos 19 ministries,, 2,843 5,686 25 1,425
Balayàn 6 ministries,, 933 1 7 1,866 9 10 450
Zebu 3 ministries,, 441 7 3 516 4 4 225
Ogton 14 ministries,, 2,164 7 2 4,329 19 21 1,050
Panay 10 ministries,, 1,098 2 4 2,196 14 11 750
Bay 1 ministries,, 122 0 9 244 4 1 75
In 10 provinces, 89 ministries 11,690 4 7 23,013 10 134 6,675
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

Society of Jesus

Provinces Ministries and chaplains Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Tondo 9 ministries 710 2 4 1,420 14 16 675
Cavite 4 ministries,, 546 4 9 1,093 4 6 300
Mariveles 1 ministry,, 62 4 8 125 4 2 75
Mindoro 3 ministries,, 212 4 425 3 225
Zebu 15 ministries,, 1,661 7 2 3,323 19 17 1,125
Ogton 1 ministry,, 112 4 225 1 75
Idem 1 chaplain for the fort 180
I. de Negros 3 ministries 238 476 3 225
Leyte 32 ministries,, 3,433 0 9 6,866 4 32 2,400
Samboanga 3 ministries,, 300 600 3 225
[Idem] and for their transportation 75
In 9 provinces 71 ministries and 1 chaplain 7,532 3 8 14,554 21 83 5,325
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

Discalced religious of St. Augustine

Provinces Ministries and chaplains Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Tondo 1 ministry 17 34 3 75
Mariveles 2 ministries,, 226 3 150
Mindoro 4 ministries,, 315 6 4 631 14 7 300
Pangasinan 4 ministries,, 265 5 7 531 9 10 300
Albay 2 ministries,, 156 3 2 312 19 4 150
Zebu 2 ministries,, 171 6 4 343 14 6 150
Panay 2 ministries,, 210 420 4 150
Caraga 7 ministries,, 606 7 2 1,213 19 11 525
Idem 1 chaplain for the fort 180
Calamianes 4 ministries 398 4 9 797 4 7 300
Idem 1 chaplain for the fort 180
In 9 provinces 28 ministries and 2 chaplains 2,728 1 4 4,284 7 55 2,100
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

In order better to understand these tables, no estimate is made, in the class of secular ecclesiastics, of the additional sums which many of them enjoy from the treasury besides the amounts from the tributes to which they minister, for the amount required for their subsistence, in accordance with the royal decrees and acts of the treasury council obtained at the beginning of their establishment; and this surplus causes the disparity which cannot fail to be noticed. In the province of Tayabas, which is administered by the religious of St. Francis, there is no charge for rice, since this is always included in the amount of cash [supplied from the treasury]—as was agreed between this order, the governor, and the royal officials, on account of the scarcity [of supplies] in that province, and the difficulties which are found in the remittance, transportation, and delivery of that commodity. [150]

It is also set forth that, after the budget for the provinces was drawn up, and the number of tributes in them realized, it was resolved in a conference of the royal treasury officials to abolish the register of strolling Indians, reducing them to a poll-list like the rest of the tribute-payers. According to these latest enumerations the amounts of the stipends are settled, and not in accordance with those which were considered in the aforesaid budget—from which fact arises the difference which is found in this one.

Summary of the amounts of stipends and contributions

Ministries Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
49 curates, 13 sacristans, and 1 chaplain—[seculars] 9,338 3 4 9,764 21 49 3,675
42 ministers, religious of St. Dominic 4,663 1 5 9,326 6 72 3,150
62 ministers, discalced religious of St. Francis 5,760 3 9 8,895 7 80 4,650
89 ministers, calced Augustinian religious 11,690 4 7 23,013 10 134 6,675
71 ministers and 1 chaplain of the Society of Jesus 7,532 3 8 14,554 21 83 5,325
28 ministers and 2 chaplains of the discalced Augustinians 2,728 1 4 4,284 7 55 2,100
Totals 41,713 2 1 69,839 473 25,575
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas


General summary of the amounts, in stipends, contributions, and grants, with which the ecclesiastical estate in these islands is aided on his Majesty’s account.

Cash Rice, Wine, Oil,
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas
Four cathedral churches 26,490
Colleges, hospitals, and other houses without administration 15,326 4 4,924 158 2,319
Grants of encomiendas, and their net product 7,817 4 1
Encomiendas in which collections are made by the royal treasury
Active missions, summary 9,239 1 4 10,376 3 300
Stipends of ministers in charge of doctrinas 41,713 2 1 69,839 473 25,575
Totals 100,586 3 6 85,139 634 28,194
p. t. gr. cav. gant. arrobas gantas

This is, in brief, what his Catholic Majesty piously expends and distributes every year from his royal exchequer in aiding the ecclesiastical estate and the divine worship in these islands, not only in money but in rice, wine, and oil—in everything conforming to the royal decrees and other provisions, on which is based the certified statement furnished by the royal officials to this government. And, in order that the total amount from both [these kinds of aid] may be better understood, I have thought it best to proceed to the reduction of commodities [to a cash basis], by which may be exhibited the actual cash value [of all that is given for this purpose]. [152]

Reduction of commodities for the computation of the whole in cash

[Class of aid] Commodities furnished Rates of cost Cash value,
p. t. gr.
Actual cash 100,586 3 6
Rice (24 gantas in a cavan) 85,139 cavans 4 tomins a cavan 42,569 4
Wine for masses (arrobas) 634 arrobas 25 pesos an arroba 15,850
Oil for the lamps (gantas) 28,194 gantas 1 tomin a ganta 3,524 2
Sum total 162,530 p., 1 t., 6 gr.

Consequently, the payments in kind being reduced to money at the prices which are indicated, according to the estimate made every five years—in which are considered the transportation expenses, items of waste, and cost of administration—the whole amounts to 162,530 pesos, 1 tomin, and 6 granos, according to the computation. This amount is annually requisitioned by the royal officials from the amount of the tributes and other branches of income indifferently, in such a manner that when the Indians fail—either in order to keep a reserve, or for some other special reason of scarcity—to pay the portion of rice which is required from them, it is necessary to make extraordinary purchases on his Majesty’s account, at the prices which at the time are current, in order to furnish the ecclesiastical estate with a suitable amount for their stipend. It is also necessary that the aid for each individual ecclesiastic be delivered, at the cost of the royal treasury, in his respective place of ministry, from which follows an increased and extraordinary expense in the transportation of these succors.

As regards the wine for masses, the royal officials [153]of this treasury usually ask those of Mexico to send in each ship 500 arrobas of wine, which, it is estimated, ought to be distributed among the communities and ministries of the religious—considering that the secular ecclesiastics are accustomed to receive this in money, at the same rate of twenty-five pesos [an arroba]. The officials of Mexico punctually fill this order, deducting from the situado the cost of purchasing the wine and transporting it to the port of Acapulco—so that, when delivered in this city, and allowance being made for the waste, the total cost never falls below twenty-five pesos [an arroba]. As the aforesaid waste is usually considerable, on account of the long navigation and carrying the wine in [mule-] loads by land—and from the amount thus sent is separated, in the first place, the wine necessary for the use of the royal chapel and of the chaplains of the royal Audiencia, [and for the celebration of mass in] the forts of Santiago and San Phelipe, at the timber-cutting [by the Indians], and in the ships of his Majesty—there is seldom enough wine to furnish the entire arroba which belongs to each priest. For this reason the net amount of what remains is divided pro rata among the aforesaid communities and ministries of religious, without keeping back the third part (as formerly was the custom) for emergency cases, on account of the urgent representations made on this point by the general procurators of the aforesaid communities—giving as their reason that this reserve would be safer and better guarded in their hands than in the royal storehouses, and there would be reason to fear that the wine would be consumed or adulterated. The matter having been considered at a session of [154]the royal treasury officials on December 5, 1738, it was decided that the royal officials should proceed to deliver the wine, obliging the parties concerned to provide for themselves whatever lack might occur in the future, to which all agreed; in virtue of this, from that time was delivered to them all that was their share in the pro rata division of the net amount of all the wine that was on hand for this purpose.

As for the cocoanut-oil for the lamps, there is seldom any change in the amount paid to the churches; for it is the current practice, in all the provinces where that tree grows, that the Indians contribute it on account of the tribute, at the fixed price of one real for a ganta, and at the same price when it must be purchased, which the natives call “bandala.” If there is any excess of cost, it is in the fact that oil is bought on urgent occasions in this city for the careening of the vessels and other special needs of the royal service—for which as regards the contributions [to the churches], only so much is levied [from the Indians] as accords with the amount agreed on [with them].

Besides this enormous amount of stipends and offerings with which his Majesty aids the ecclesiastical estate, the ministers in charge of the villages of Indian converts have generally introduced the annual collection, from the parishioners under their administration, of three reals from each whole tribute (that is, a man and wife) and from an unmarried man half that amount, as an offering, for the feasts of the titular saint of the village, the monument, and All Saints’ day; this also realizes a considerable sum for them, which may be more clearly understood by the statement which is presented in the following table: [155]

Summary of what the ministers who are in charge of the Indian villages receive from their parishioners, as an offering, for the three feast days of each village.

[Class] Ministers Villages Tributes Offerings,
p. t. gr.
Secular ecclesiastics 49 86 32,254 12,095 2
Religious of St. Dominic 42 42 23,316 ½ 8,743 5 6
Religious of St. Francis 62 66 25,520 9,570
Calced religious of St.Augustine 89 93 56,923 21,346 1
Society of Jesus 71 90 35,524 ½ 13,321 5 6
Discalced Augustinians 28 38 11,276 ½ 4,228 5 6
Totals 341 415 184,814 ½ 69,305 3 6

Consequently the 341 ministers in charge who administer the 415 villages and 53 visitas, and in them the number of 184,814½ tributes of native Indians, mestizos, and Christian Sangleys—according to the latest estimate, in which is included the enumeration of strolling Indians—receive for the aforesaid offering each year 69,305 pesos, 3 tomins, and 6 granos, according to those figures. It cannot be learned that for the exaction of this offering they have further permission or privilege than the custom itself, introduced by those very ecclesiastics and religious in their respective parishes; nor in this accountancy is there any other evidence for it than the extra-judicial information acquired by the alcaldes, the natives, and the business men of the provinces, who have seen this practice in use in the manner which is here stated. The amount of this offering added to the 162,530 pesos, 1 tomin, and 6 granos which those ministers receive in stipends and contributions on his Majesty’s account, makes the sum [156]of 231,835 pesos, and 5 tomins, which is the amount of the fixed revenue which they receive. Besides this, they have the proceeds of the occasional fees from marriages, burials, baptisms, and other parochial dues, which are collected in all the parishes that are called curacies and ministries; and no account is rendered of the value of these, because it has not been possible to calculate it everywhere for the total computation of the usufruct, but it has always been considered as a large amount. Notwithstanding all this, the religious orders have their incomes lessened by transporting a large number of religious from the kingdoms of Castilla to these islands, at least every six years. In this way they consume a great part of their means, since the passage-money which his Majesty grants them for their transportation is a very limited sum. More than all, we must not fail to remark that the fine appearance of the churches, and the care taken for divine worship and education, and the zeal for souls, which are so conspicuous in the ministries of the religious, cause more admiration than can be expressed, in places so remote as these and in a Christian church so recently formed. The point most worthy of consideration is the subordination and reverence which these natives maintain toward their religious teachers, permitting the latter to flog them, impose penances on them, and rebuke them, when they incur blame in any omissions or faults, without their being offended at the minister. It may therefore truthfully be affirmed that it is these ministers who preserve in obedience, vassalage, and subjection all the neophytes, gathered into settlements—more being due to the authority and despotic manner in which the fathers rule them than to the political [157]scheme of the alcaldes who govern them. This arises, as the Indians themselves admit, from a natural fear which they conceive for the father’s superiority, through a hidden influence which constrains them to feel thus, without knowing how, but which we understand—supernatural effects of the lofty and supreme Providence. This result is greatly aided by the care which the fathers take in instructing, encouraging, and stimulating them in labor and cultivation, and the management of their domestic affairs, in which they are thereby benefited. Would that they might devote themselves at once to suppressing the variety of languages which the natives use (which serve only to keep alive the root of their abuses and idolatries), as is done by the crown of Portugal in all its conquests—gradually bringing them to the use of the Castilian language, and endeavoring to secure instruction therein in all the schools, as is ordained by law xviii, book vi, tit. i of the Recopilación of these kingdoms, in order that its purpose, so holy and just, may be attained. But I have not been able to find a convincing reason for their not putting this law into execution, although I have made efforts to ascertain if there were any. It may therefore be inferred that some insuperable and hidden difficulty must have been encountered on the part of the religious who are ministers in the doctrinas, which has hindered the useful and desirable progress of this Christian maxim of policy.

Index of the plans, relations, and descriptions which are contained in this book

Reason for this work; with letter by Don Joseph Patiño,17 stating it. Folio 1. [158]

Concise description of the city of Manila. Fol. 3.

Description of the castle of Santiago. Fol. 9.

Plan and topographical chart of the capital, Manila, and of the castle of Santiago. Fol. 11.

Description of Cavite, with all the industries which are contained therein. Fol. 13.

Plan of Cavite, and of the castle and Ribera. Fol. 23.

Description of Playahonda, with its plan. Fol. 25.

Description of Fort San Francisco at Cagayàn, with its plan annexed. Fol. 29.

Description of Fort Santiago at Ytugud, with its plan. Fol. 23.

Description of the fortification San Joseph at Cabicungan, with its plan. Fol. 37.

Delineation of Fort San Pablo at Tuao, with its plan. Fol. 43.

Description of Fort San Joseph at Capinatan. Fol. 47.

Description of Fort Santa Ysabel at Calamianes, with its plan. Fol. 51.

Description of the fort of Cuyo. Fol. 55.

Description of the fort of Linapacan. Fol. 59.

Description of Fort San Juan Bauptista of Lutaya. Fol. 63.

Description of the fort of Culion. Fol. 67.

Description of the fort at Capis, capital of the province of Panay, with its plan annexed. Fol. 71. [159]

Description of the fortification of Romblon. Fol. 75.

Description of Fort Nuestra Señora del Rossario at the port of Yloylo, with its plan. Fol. 79.

Description of Fort San Pedro at the city of Zebu, with its plan. Fol. 83.

Description of Fort San Joseph at Cagayàn,18 with its plan. Fol. 87.

Description of Fort San Francisco Xavier at Yligan, with its plan. Fol. 91.

Description of Fort Santiago at Dapitan, with its plan. Fol. 95.

Description of Fort San Joseph at Tandag, capital of the province of Caraga, with its plan annexed. Fol. 99.

Description of Fort San Francisco at Cateel, with its plan. Fol. 103.

Description of Fort San Juan Bauptista at Liñao, with its plan. Fol. 107.

Description of Fort Nuestra Señora del Pilar at Samboangan. Fol. 115.

Plan of Samboangan. Fol. 115.

General résumé of the fortifications, their various constructions, situations, etc. Fol. 117.

General résumé of the military supplies. Fol. 118.

General résumé of the military forces, pay of the men, etc. Fol. 119.

Description of the provinces. Fol. 120.

Province of Tongdo. Fol. 120.

Province of Bulacan. Fol. 122.

Province of Pampanga. Fol. 124.

Province of Pangasinan. Fol. 126. [160]

Province of Ylocos. Fol. 128.

Province of Cagayàn. Fol. 130.

Province of Laguna de Bay. Fol. 133.

Province of Balayan. Fol. 136.

Province of Tayabas. Fol. 138.

Province of Camarines. Fol. 140.

Province of Albay. Fol. 142.

Province of Leyte. Fol. 145.

Province of Caraga. Fol. 148.

Province of Zebu. Fol. 150.

Jurisdiction of Island of Negros. Fol. 153.

Province of Ogton. Fol. 154.

Province of Panay. Fol. 156.

Province of Calamianes. Fol. 158.

Jurisdiction of Mindoro. Fol. 160.

Jurisdiction of Marivelez. Fol. 162.

Jurisdiction of Cavite. Fol. 163.

Government of Samboangan. Fol. 164.

General résumé of what is included in the description of the provinces. Fol. 166.

Notice of the royal treasury of Manila. Fol. 168.

Résumé of what is produced and expended from the royal treasury of Manila. Fol. 169.

Hydrographic and chorographic chart of all the Philipinas Islands. Fol. 172.

[A similar index is given of the second part, that regarding the ecclesiastical estate; but we omit this, as all the matter in that part is presented in the foregoing pages—save the preliminary statement of the “new reason for this work, with the letter of Don Joseph de la Quintana,19 which states it;” and, at the end, “Remarks, and conclusion of the work.”] [161]

1 The limits of our space prevent us from presenting part i of this interesting document in full; but such matter is selected as relates to Manila, Cavite, Cebú, and Zamboanga, as being the most important Spanish settlements in the islands. The list at the end shows the contents of Valdés Tamón’s report in full, and presents an enumeration of all the military posts, with the names bestowed on the forts therein. Part ii, on the ecclesiastical estate, is translated in full (save for preliminary and final remarks, and two letters of minor interest). 

2 The city of Manila is located in 14° 35′ 31″ N. latitude, and 120° 58′ 08″ E. longitude (from Greenwich). The following longitudes (reckoned from Greenwich) will enable the reader to compute the differences in maps on which longitude is reckoned from other meridians:

Madrid (Observatory), Spain, 3° 41′ 21″ W.; San Fernando (Observatory), Spain, 6° 12′ 24″ W.; Paris (Observatory), France, 2° 20′ 14″ E.; Ferro, the extreme southwest of the Canary Islands (the assumed dividing line between the east and west hemispheres), 17° 20′ W.; Washington, D. C. (Observatory), 77° 2′ 48″ W. (U. S. Philippine Gazetteer, p. 183.) 

3 See accompanying plan of Manila, obtained from the Valdés Tamón MS. in Madrid. An interesting “historical sketch of the walls of Manila” is found in the Annual Report of the U. S. War Department, 1903, iii, pp. 434–446, which contains numerous illustrations of the walls and gates, some of which show defenses which have since been demolished. A note (by Capt. A. C. Macomb) states that the map of Manila referred to in Valdés Tamón’s report is supposed to be identical with that carried to England by General Draper after the capture of Manila in 1762, which is now in the British Museum in London. Concerning the plates of the map taken to England by Draper (the famous Murillo Velarde map, engraved in 1734), see our VOL. XLIX, note 25. 

4 Possibly guns for firing chain-shots (also called “angel-shots”). 

5 Pandayes: a term adapted from the Tagal, panday being the equivalent of the Spanish oficial

6 Thus in MS., but evidently a clerical error, since the amount of pay is so inadequate for the number of men. The amounts of pay given in these lists, added together, make a total which is over 7,000 pesos short of the total in the next paragraph; it is probable, then, that the pay of these artisans should be at least 7,000 more than the amount stated in the text. 

7 Perhaps meaning men who had the care of keeping the barracks in order and repair. The word is not found in the dictionaries. 

8 A word evidently coined from the native word galagala (see VOL. XII, p. 34, note), and probably referring to the occupation of gathering the resin which bears that name. It may be added to the note above cited that this resin (also known as “almáciga” and “dammar”) is obtained in the mountains of southern Luzón and Panay, the best coming from Camarines. (Official Handbook of Philippines, p. 296); galagala, then, may be a Bícol word. 

9 Cebú is in 10° 18′ N. latitude, and 123° 53′ 05″ E. longitude (U. S. Gazetteer of Philippine Islands, p. 454). 

10 In the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), iv, pp. 335–408, is the transcript of an interesting document—“Information furnished by Don José Antonio Niño de Villavicencio in regard to the situation of the town of Zamboanga; its original subordination to the royal crown; its fortification, dismantling, and reestablishment; the condition in which it was in 1737; its expenses; and the amounts which it paid toward these.” After a sketch (illustrated by various official documents) of the early history of Zamboanga as a military post, he relates its dismantling, and its reestablishment by Bustamante; this latter is begun on April 5, 1719, under the command of General Gregorio Padilla y Escalante, and its fort is named “Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza.” Villavicencio carefully describes the fort, and presents an itemized statement of the expenses of maintaining it—which amount to 20,000 pesos annually, besides a reserve fund of 5,000 pesos which may be drawn upon for extraordinary and urgent expenses. The salary of the governor and military commander is 396 pesos a year. Two Jesuit chaplains are kept there, who receive each 100 pesos annually. There are eighteen other officers (commissioned and non-commissioned), and two hundred privates; also five other officials, including a surgeon. Besides this force of Spaniards is a company of Pampango soldiers—a hundred men and five officers; and a considerable number of men are also employed as rowers, builders, coast-guards, and seamen. Rations amounting to 9,855 cavans of rice are allowed in the budget of expenses; and the sum of 5,000 pesos is allowed yearly for ammunition and military supplies for this post. The rice and other provisions are mainly furnished from the provinces of Iloilo and Panay, on account of their fertility and their nearness to Zamboanga. A considerable part of the expenses of that post is obtained from the contribution made by the inhabitants of the subjugated provinces, each tributario giving annually a ganta of clean rice; this amounts to 109,503 gantas of clean rice—equivalent, at the rate of twenty gantas cleaned to 48 gantas of palay, to 10,950 cavans of the latter—which is estimated to be worth, at the prices paid by the royal officials, 5,356 pesos. Enumeration is made of the numbers of tributes paid in various provinces, as follows: Tondo, 5,606½; Bulacan, 4,963½; Pampanga, 8,067; Pangasinan, 10,896½; Ilocos, 8,665¾; Cagayan, 5,218½; Laguna de Bay, 6,795; Tayabas, 1,612½; Camarines, 7,512; Albay, 3,481; Panay, 6,170½; Yloilo, 10,406½; Island of Negros, 503½; Leite, 8,154¼; Cebu, 4,411½. All these are tributaries of the crown; to these are added the contributions made by “the tributaries and the encomenderos of the encomiendas independent of the royal crown,” which amount to 18,144 gantas. A deduction must be made from these of 1,105¾ gantas, “from those who in the number of the said tributes do not make this contribution, on account of being servants of the churches, and for other reasons;” the result is the total above given. The tributaries of the following provinces are exempted from the contribution: Balayan, Mindoro, Caraga, Mariveles, Calamianes, and Cavite. A further source of revenue for the expenses of Zamboanga is found in the monopoly on the wine of the country; this had formerly belonged to the crown, but had been surrendered at the petition of the city of Manila. Later, the citizens being called upon to make donations for the support of Zamboanga, the city petitioned that this be accomplished by renewing the above crown monopoly of wine. “This new monopoly having begun to be in force from the year 1731, the sum at which this contribution [to Zamboanga] may be estimated must be figured according to the successful bids [remates] at which the privilege has been leased;” it was farmed out—that is, sold at auction to the highest bidder for a term of three to five years. The first of these was Don Esteban Garcia de los Rios, for 1731–33, for the sum of 10,000 pesos a year; the second, Captain Pedro de Ceballos, for 1734–36, 15,500 pesos a year; the third, Captain José Ruiz, for 1737–41, 25,000 pesos a year. The proceeds of this monopoly, then, averaged during eleven years 16,833 pesos a year. This document is dated at Manila, February 4, 1738.

In regard to the contributions made by the Indians for the expenses (outside of ecclesiastical) of the Philippine colonies, Torrubia says (Dissertacion, pp. 98–103): “When the post of Samboangan was rebuilt in the year 1755, it was the opinion of the very reverend Father Juan de Bueras, provincial of the Society of Jesus, that the Indians of Pintados, as those most interested in the maintenance of the fort, should aid therein with a half-ganta of rice for each tribute. His opinion was accepted, but with the enlargement of the contribution to two gantas (which make one ganta of cleaned rice), and its extension to all the islands, which amount is paid up to this day. I have understood that this contribution amounts annually, on the average, to two thousand five hundred pesos. During the fifty and more years when Samboangan did not exist, it was paid just as when the fort was there, notwithstanding that the cabildo opposed it; and the Indians paid, without the motive for this imposition still remaining, at the least estimate, more than one hundred and fifty thousand pesos. The Indians are obliged to make other contributions. For the maintenance of the soldiers, they furnish rice to his Majesty at two reals a caban, and usually it is worth more; this is called the compra, and forty or forty-five thousand cabans (or fanegas) of rice are levied from them in compra, allotting it pro rata according to what each Indian sows. For these cabans (or fanegas) no more than two reals are paid, although that amount is worth four reals, or more; and it is to be noted that in the suburbs of Manila the price ordinarily does not go below three reals. The same practice is current in the compras of wheat, although it is true that in this the Indians seldom lose much. Besides this, the Indians do the timber-cutting for the ships, and do not receive more than sixteen reals a month, which they do not have even for their tools (which they carry with them); they are soldiers, they row in the galleys, and they are mariners, artillerists, calkers, and carpenters. And we know very well that in these occupations they serve in the Ribera of Cavite without pay, and likewise in the armadas, three, four, or five years, only to obtain a situation in the ship which goes to Nueva España or Acapulco. Here [i.e., in Madrid], without considering these contributions, all the expenses [of the islands] are summed up for the account of his Majesty.” He goes on to say that from the sum of expenses must also be deducted the voluntary contributions of the citizens; also that these military expenses have been unfairly laid at the door of the Zamboanga fort. The soldiers there and in the forts at Cebú and Iloilo are paid from the situado contributed by the natives themselves; and the fleets which are sent against the Moros, and the coastguard galleys at Zamboanga, are not an expense caused by the fort there; “even if they were, it is a necessary one, under penalty of the Moros eating us alive.”

Torrubia ends his Dissertacion, which is a plea for the maintenance of the fort at Zamboanga, with a scheme for the formation of a fund—to be formed by levying a small tax on each of the Christian Sangleys, and on every “tramp,” whether Indian or mestizo—which shall be regarded as an obra pia, and be placed in the management of the Misericordia; its proceeds are to be used for the support of the military posts and fleets which are maintained against the Moros, for the support of missionaries in the Moro provinces, and even for the extension of the gospel still further. This would relieve the natives from the oppressive “Zamboanga donation,” the citizens from the frequent contributions now expected from them by the government, and the royal treasury from the heavy burden of supporting the present list of armadas and forts; and the Moro pirates would be easily held in check, and the interests of both the Spaniards and the Indians protected. 

11 Zamboanga is in 6° 53′ N. latitude, and 123° 5′ E. longitude (U. S. Philippine Gazetteer, p. 928).

Zamboanga was selected as the site for the fort in Moroland, “because it was the indispensable landing-place for the hostile people; because it deprived the Mindanaos of that port, which was the most important one in their dominion, in which they built their ships, and where they took refuge from an enemy; because it was the most suitable place for our infantry; and because it was the frontier of all the islands of Moroland, where those enemies landed, recruited their forces, and repaired their vessels. It also was the point of vantage for intimidating those kings, and depriving Mindanao of half its power; and for facing (at three leguas distance) Basilan, the people of which are so valiant, and subject to Joló, so that that king also is thus disarmed of half his forces. To this was added the consideration that the post had Christian Indians as neighbors, who, free from the extortions of the Moros, would aid in the conquest [of those lands] and the extension of our power and of our faith, as has been actually done.” (Torrubia, pp. 45, 46.) 

12 Fábrica (Latin, Italian, and Spanish; French, fabrique): a technical term in church administrative usage. The ordinary and common meaning is the material building or edifice, which (technically) includes repairs, improvements, changes, etc., as well as the necessary expense for caretakers of it, as watchmen, beadles, sweepers, etc.; these people are paid from the funds of the fábrica—which might be rendered as “building-fund,” except that in ecclesiastical usage fábrica usually presupposes that the building it already reared, while the English phrase “building-fund” includes the idea of constructing it. (Yet in Latin, Italian, and Spanish the term fábrica is also used to include money for the erection of the church edifice, in cases where it has not yet been built; where it has been completed and paid for, fábrica is restricted to the meaning first given above, the “keep” of the building.)

Thus usually the term has a material sense only; but sometimes (though not commonly) fábrica is taken, as in the present text, in a spiritual sense, and implies the support or maintenance (honoraria) of the churchmen, the ministers attached to the building, as well as the maintenance of divine worship, as required by ritual. Fábrica then refers to affairs of the soul or spirit, the spiritual upbuilding or edifice of the faithful. By extension, the same term is sometimes used to mean the board of churchwardens who administer the property. In the Philippines the church property (save that belonging to the religious corporations) was in the hands of the bishop as sole trustee and administrator, a power which he might delegate to his provisor or vicar. The distribution of the fund mentioned in the text is unusual.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A. 

13 To this should be added 4 tomins, omitted in the table for lack of room; the same addition should therefore be made to the total of the cash column. 

14 This name, also Pineda in the next item, and Manzano in the last one, is abbreviated in the original; and the forms given above are necessarily conjectural. 

15 In the MS. “Tondo” was written here, but afterward crossed out. 

16 To this sum should be added 4 granos, omitted from the amount of cash stated for Mindoro, for lack of room. 

17 He was royal secretary in the Council of the Indias. In this letter (dated September 20, 1735) he states that the king desires information about the islands, and their fortresses and fortifications, because the recent fire in the palace at Madrid had destroyed many papers; he asks for plans of fortifications, and reports of troops, munitions, and artillery, and that they be sent as speedily as possible. 

18 Evidently, from the context, referring to Cagayán de Misamis, in Mindanao. 

19 At the time a royal secretary; his letter is dated at Madrid, August 30, 1739, and asks for the report on the ecclesiastical estate in the islands which is herewith presented. 



[The following account of the work done in the Philippines by this hospital order is summarized from the history written by Maldonado de Puga.]1



[Chapter i relates “the urgent reasons for the present treatise; and the necessity for, and usefulness of, our hospital order in Philipinas.” In the [162]last paragraph of the chapter Maldonado says: “These islands are in need of physicians and surgeons, as well as of medicines; for excepting the capital Manila and the port of Cabite—where we have hospitals, and where the few secular persons who exercise the profession [of medicine] can render assistance—the rest of the provinces, and the many dependent towns, are supported by Providence alone, being helped by herbs and other simples about which they have been instructed by continual use. But, as this is so complicated a matter, whenever the patient’s constitution and the dose disagree, or when other substances are added to make the latter more effective, the very article which was regarded as a remedy usually aggravates the sickness, and consequently there are continual deaths among those who make mistakes. In this capital, although there are apothecary shops, and practitioners who write prescriptions—whose charity is taken for granted, so far as they can exercise it—the crowd of patients who resort to them does not allow them to succor all, and it results that there is a great number who are unprovided [with medical aid]. Others, because their poverty cannot bear the cost of the medicines, and who have no one from whom to obtain food, find their only asylum in our hospitals—where, without any hesitation, all are received; and, making a distinction in the respect paid to them, in regard to the rank or character of various persons who have entered these houses, in so far as our abilities extend, the institution has succeeded in giving entire satisfaction. [163]Although the royal charity maintains here a hospital and chapel at enormous cost, it is understood that this is only for officers, soldiers, seamen, and Pampangos who have positions and render actual service; for the men retired from service are excluded by this rule, except by special favor of the superior government. On this account, our attention to our duties brings us in contact with a variety of people—priests, citizens, militiamen, retired officers, Indians, negroes, besides foreigners who trade in these ports. [These constitute] a great throng of patients, and convince us that if so important a charity were to fail or be neglected many dead persons would, to our sorrow, be found in the streets and entresuelos2 (the dwellings of the poor); and others, worn out by their afflictions, would be suffering the pangs of their necessities. These are relieved, in the present circumstances; but the permanency of the work demands that the superiors to whom the matter belongs shall aid us with laborers and encourage us with their support, obtaining from the Catholic royal piety what they shall deem suitable for this purpose.”]

[Chapter ii recounts the royal decrees for the aid of the hospitals at Manila, dated in the years 1590–96; the foundation (April 16, 1594) of the Misericordia brotherhood, and their establishment of a hospital, which after 1596 opened its doors to all who needed its aid; and the surrender of the royal hospital to their care (January 8, 1598), at the instance of Governor Francisco Tello—their labors [164]therein making evident the difference between the work accomplished by pure charity and that done by persons hired to do it; they also maintained Franciscan ministers for attending to the spiritual needs of the sick. In the conflagration of May 1, 1603, the royal hospital was utterly destroyed, “with the third part of the buildings of this city, a loss which amounted to more than a million of pesos.” Then are enumerated the losses and calamities which rendered this loss more grievous to the colony, the destructive earthquake of June 21, 1599, followed by lesser shocks and disturbances until the following year of 1600; the loss of two richly-laden galleons (1599), the “Santa Margarita” and “San Gerónimo;” the attack of Oliver van Noordt (December, 1600); the wreck of the “Santo Thomas” (1601), and of another galleon which was about to be launched at Panamao; the return to port of the galleons despatched in 1602 and 1604; and the revolt of the Chinese in May, 1603. A royal decree dated November 4, 1606, directed Acuña to make every effort to rebuild the royal hospital; meanwhile the Misericordia were aiding the throngs of people who, made destitute by the various disasters above mentioned, implored their help, and they spent in these exercises of charity eighty thousand pesos in five years. Another royal decree (February 10, 1617) directed the Audiencia of Manila to place the hospitals there in charge of the brethren of St. John of God, who were going thither for that purpose; but the war with the Dutch and other hindrances prevented them from carrying out this enterprise]

[Chapter iii states that about the year 1611 two [165]brethren of this order, Fray Juan de Gamboa and Fray Lucas de los Angeles, had arrived in Manila, desirous to found a hospital; but that the authorities there discouraged their plan. Some writer has stated that these brethren returned in 1621 and founded a hospital for convalescents at Bagumbaya; but Maldonado regards this as uncertain, and difficult to verify, although some circumstances would indicate the probability that they made a second attempt to establish their order at Manila. At various times requests were sent from Manila for these hospitalers, and in chapter iv are related the arrangements finally made by the superiors of the order in Nueva España to send laborers to the Philippines, which was accomplished in the spring of 1641; these were Fray Andrés de San Joseph (a priest) and Fray Antonio de Santiago (a lay brother). The warrant given them and other official documents connected with their going are reproduced in full by Maldonado.]



[The brethren of St. John of God began their labors at Cavite, in November of 1641. Corcuera provided lodgings for them in the royal buildings, and the inhabitants contributed so liberally that they were able to open a hospital of ten beds; but so great was the number of applicants for its aid that in January following, the hospital brethren asked for and received the surrender (January 30) to their management of the royal hospital at Cavite, with all its property and slaves—provided that within four years they obtain the royal confirmation of this grant. An inventory of this hospital and its equipment [166]is more curious than edifying: “The house which served as a hospital was of wood and piles, covered with tiling that was old and in bad condition; for dispensary [botica], it had a wooden framework containing various gallipots, vials, and earthen jars. In the infirmary were sixteen mattresses, ten pillows, twenty-seven sheets, two coverlets, and fourteen blankets; and its larder contained eighty cabans of rice, forty gantas of oil, fifteen arrobas of sugar, and four jars of conserves. For divine worship it had a box for an altar, hardly fit [for such use]; a chalice with its paten, without any ornament; a bell of medium size, and two small ones. For its service, it had some slaves, five men and seven women. As for revenues, it had three and a half residence lots and two lots occupied by shops, which yielded twenty-six pesos and [word omitted?] granos a month; also some woodlands, and a grazing tract in Leyton, a place near the said port, with several head of horses and cattle. The most important [of its assets] were the deliveries made from the [royal] storehouses, for these were permanent; they had been ordered when the said hospital was in charge of the religious of our seraphic father St. Francis.” These supplies, as appears from the records of the treasury board of Manila, had been furnished since January 12, 1619, at the request of the Franciscans in charge of the Cavite hospital. They asked, for immediate use, for “a dozen blankets, a dozen cupping-glasses, two syringes, two pairs of Castilian scissors, two clasp-knives, six lancets, two scarifiers; some wool for mattresses; two books, one entitled De Medicina, by the author Barrios, and the other by Dioscorides; four arrobas [167]of Castilian wine; a barrel of raisins and almonds; and half an arroba of rosado sugar.”3 For regular annual supplies, they asked two hundred fanegas of cleaned rice, as hitherto they had had no amount allotted for the hospital; six hundred fowls, since they received only little more than two hundred a year from those assigned them by his Majesty in Balayán; and three hundred pesos from the royal treasury, to be spent for meat, sugar, flour, and eggs, drugs from China, clothing for the slaves and servants, and other needs of the hospital. All these were granted them, and paid regularly until the hospital was placed in charge of the Order of St. John of God (1642); “from that time there was a gradual diminution, to such an extent that, by another general conference of the treasury officials in 1657 the whole was reduced, so that by way of contribution [from the government] only two hundred pesos should be given, in the articles which should be required each year, and this [only] in the interval until other provision should be made.” At the time when Maldonado wrote, all government aid had been taken away; moreover, in 1645 the brethren had been obliged to vacate the royal buildings, in which they had been conducting the Cavite hospital, and were incommodiously quartered in some poor shops of the Sangleys; but in October of that year the authorities granted them the use of an empty building belonging to his Majesty; it was constructed of nipa and bamboo, and had been occupied by some fishermen. The Cavite hospital was rebuilt [168]four times by the brethren of St. John: “the first time, by the reverend father Fray Francisco de Magallanes, which lasted until the year 1682; the second, by the reverend father Fray Marcos de Mesa, a priest of the order, which lasted until the year 1699; the third, by the reverend father Fray Juan de Alarcòn, a priest, which lasted until the year 1728; and lastly, the one which is being built by the present superior, Fray Antonio de Arçe. There is no doubt that this will be established in so good order that it will be an improvement on the previous ones; and meanwhile a house has been made ready, with sufficient space for lodgings. This was given as a contribution by Captain Don Miguel Cordero; and in it are maintained eight beds, and the corresponding offices. The title of this hospital always was, and still is, that of St. Joseph. All its receipts in the year hardly reach two hundred and sixty pesos, a support so scanty that it is not necessary to emphasize the straitened manner in which the religious who minister in it must support themselves; the one who directs it has the appointment of prior.” The sick soldiers and seamen at Cavite are sent to the royal hospital of Manila for treatment; if the money which they cost there were handed over to the Cavite hospital it could take better care of them than they now receive.]



[A little more than two years after founding the Cavite hospital, the hospitalers undertook to open a hospital for convalescents, where these could have the dieting, rest, and care necessary for fully regaining their health after they were discharged from the [169]general hospitals; for lack of these, many persons had before perished. Accordingly, they obtained from Governor Corcuera permission (April 16, 1644) to erect or buy a house for this purpose, to be situated on the Pasig River above Manila; but circumstances afterward induced them to locate it at Bagumbaya, a suburb south of the city, outside the walls—permission being given for this by Faxardo in the following September. Here, as in other places, Maldonado mentions this enterprise as a revival of the one supposed to have been undertaken in 1621. It contained two wards, one for men and one for women, in which twenty persons could be cared for. This work was continued but a short time—partly for lack of hospitalers, who had to devote their main energies to the hospital in Manila; and partly because the Bagumbaya house had not sufficient facilities for the entertainment of its inmates, who quickly grew tired of remaining there and of the strict dieting necessary for their full recovery, and went away—in the majority of cases, to die.]



[The religious of the order then devoted themselves to the Cavite hospital, and to the one established by the Misericordia in Manila, which that brotherhood placed in their charge in March, 1650; they took possession of it on May 31 following. The conditions of this transfer are given by Maldonado in full (pp. 86–93). The donation is full and irrevocable, including all the property, servants, and incomes of the hospital. The hospitalers are obliged to treat poor women who are ill, both Spaniards and [170]mestizas; also the slaves (both men and women) of the citizens, who in such cases are expected to make an offering to the hospital of three pesos each—save that for slaves belonging to the seminary of Santa Isabel and to the Misericordia this offering shall not be made. The latter institution shall be regarded as the patron of the hospital, and shall aid it every year with such contribution as is in its power, for necessary expenses and the support of the sick. The women who are inmates of Santa Isabel shall be treated by the brethren of St. John, so far as possible in the seminary itself; and the medicines needed for these patients shall be provided by the Misericordia, to the extent of two hundred pesos a year in advance. The officers of that confraternity may visit the hospital, and shall have the right to notify the superior of the hospitalers of any deficiency or neglect they may find therein. Any charitable person may erect a church or additional ward or wards in connection with the institution, and be regarded as a patron thereof; and such addition shall not be under the control of the officers of the Misericordia. The hospital, however, shall retain the name of that brotherhood, and alms or contributions for its benefit shall be asked in its name. All property, incomes, rights, and credentials of the institution shall be surrendered to the brethren of St. John, who shall not be expected to give account to the Misericordia of any contributions which they may receive; that association shall also use all its influence with the authorities to secure their aid and favor for the hospital in all ways, and to defend it from any objections or difficulties which may arise against it, particularly from the Franciscans, who formerly had been [171]connected with it. In case the hospital order shall lose all its laborers in the islands, the Misericordia shall administer the hospital until the provincial of St. John in Nueva España shall be able to send more of his brethren to Manila; and provision is made for the final settlement of affairs between that order and the Misericordia, in case they decide to sever the present relations. The latter association shall pay at once to the order eight hundred pesos in cash, for the necessary expenses and equipment of the brethren in opening their hospital labors. All the documents regarding this affair and other important transactions of the Order of St. John are reproduced in full by Maldonado. On taking possession of the hospital (May 31, 1656) the hospitalers equipped three wards, with twelve beds in each, where men and women might be cared for separately, and the Indians and Morenos apart from the Spaniards. A small church was also erected, with lodgings for the religious of the order; these buildings were injured in the earthquake of July 19, 1664, but were repaired for use until new ones could be erected. A new and large church was built, but this also was wrecked by an earthquake in 1674; a new church and convent were then built, which lasted until 1727, when they were found to be in so bad condition from the repeated seismic shocks which they had undergone that they must be reconstructed. This was accordingly done, the new edifice being dedicated on May 10, 1732 (see chapters ix and x for full description of it). This was the building which was standing at the time of Maldonado’s writing, and it had three wards, each containing more than twenty beds; that for the women is especially praised for its comfort [172]and convenience. “During these last twelve years” [Zaragoza’s approbation states that the book was written in 1739] “there have been admitted sixteen priests, secular clergy, one religious of our father St. Dominic, two other religious of our seraphic father St. Francis, seventy-six students from the four colleges which are in this city; and from the laity, the licentiate Don Juan Francisco de Velasco, auditor of this royal Audiencia, and a large number of citizens—not to mention eight thousand poor persons of inferior condition and rank. This appears from the books of registration, from which this enumeration has been made. Attention was given to all these patients, in accordance with their respective stations; and with the same consideration burial was given to those who died.”]



[Later, doubts arose as to the exercise of the right and title of patronage which was reserved to the Misericordia in the foregoing agreement; and certain individual members of that association, “moved (as it is inferred) by pious although very indiscreet zeal,” stirred up these doubts and made officious inquiries. Although they did no harm, it was thought best to consult the heads of the Jesuit university in regard to the objections thus raised; and their opinion (undated) is given by Maldonado. Those learned professors declared in favor of the hospitalers, saying that any official visitation and inspection of their work could be made only by the archbishop of the islands; the officers of the Misericordia might visit the hospital, but could not, even as its patrons, exercise any legal authority or compulsion [173]over the brethren of St. John, or bring against them any legal claim. The Jesuits refer to such a stipulation in the original document transferring the hospital (chap, vii); they also remind the Misericordia of the wretched condition in which the hospital was when that association gave it up—for this purpose citing the inventory made at that time of the property thus transferred. Some curious particulars are found therein. The old hospital had but one ward, under which was “the old chapel, where the dead were buried.” One of the items is, “Twelve head of slaves, most of them more than fifty years old, and some past sixty.” Its equipment of bedding, etc., comprises “four old tents of medriñaque; seven mattresses, made of Ilocos blankets, with their outside badly worn; ten pillows, with their covers of medriñaque, old; two tables, with tablecovers, with six napkins, old; twelve sheets of Ilocos weave.” Various articles for the use or adornment of the altar in the church are listed, most of them characterized as “old;” while an image of St. Joseph and the Holy Child is “old and battered.” There are “nine old cots for beds;” “a large chest, old, without any key;” “an old wooden table, on which the food is distributed;” “two old chairs for seats;” “four large cots, for Spanish women;” “two old books which treat of medicine” (evidently those asked for by the Franciscans in 1619); “one hundred and twelve porcelain vials, empty;” “sixty-one gallipots of Chinese porcelain, empty;” “two stone kitchen mortars, without handles;” and some few other articles suitable for hospital use, that are presumably in good condition. In view of these facts, there is no ground for bringing complaints against [174]the brethren of St. John, especially since they were not obliged by the document of donation to conform to any given standard in their management of the hospital, nor was any provision made therein for summoning them to give account thereof to the ordinary. The labors of conducting the hospital and providing means for its support are quite arduous enough for the order, without imposing upon it the burden of keeping accounts of all the receipts and expenses—a charge which it probably would not have accepted, and which cannot be now imposed upon it. The income of the institution from the property surrendered with it—a legacy from the late Captain Nicolas de Luzurriaga—does not exceed a thousand pesos, which is a very inadequate endowment for meeting all the expenses which must be incurred for the patients sent to the hospital by the Misericordia, even if these number no more than eight; and its scantiness prevents that association from making any just claim to the exercise of authority over the hospital. Indeed, the Jesuits censure the Misericordia for having done so little for the institution since they surrendered it to the brethren of St. John. Further: “Apparently the mistake of the Board [of the Misericordia] consists in their being surprised that the sick are not better treated or regaled in the said hospital, when they see that the Order of St. John of God has an encomienda granted by his Majesty the king (whom may God preserve), a ranch of cattle and cultivated lands, some lots occupied by shops in the Parian outside the walls of Manila, and other considerable revenues—which, as evidently appears, are all considered as possessions of the said hospital of the Misericordia, of which [175]they are patrons—[a mistake which arises] from seeing that all these are possessed by the religious of St. John of God, but not making a distinction in regard to what belongs to that order as an order, for the support of its brethren. Such is the ranch; when, in the year 49, Captain Don Pedro Gomez Cañete lay sick in the hospital for convalescents at Bagumbaya, without the walls of this city, he made a donation, by a clause of his last will and testament, of the said farms to the said religious order. Suit having been brought by Captain Geronimo Fuentes for a sum of money which the said Captain Don Pedro Gomez Cañete owed, the aforesaid properties were placed at public auction, and the said religious order secured in the said auction, for a bid of 12,100 pesos, the said ranch and some shops in the Parian—nineteen of them upper, and twenty lower; and eight other shops for the peddlers, with their lodging-rooms above. The said order also obtained at public auction eight residence lots in the locality of La Hermita and Santiago de Bagumbaya (which were the ones where they started their work), and some others which they bought. The site and locality where the church and convent of the said order are at present built were the houses which belonged to Captain Don Alonso Parrilla; these also were secured at auction, for the price of 3,000 pesos, by paying in cash (as it did) 2,650 pesos, and the remainder of the 3,000 was left in a mortgage that could be paid up, the said order paying the amount due every year to this same Board of the holy Misericordia. Another [resource is] a chaplaincy of masses to the Holy Ghost and the Conception, which was founded by Doña Hypolita de Zarate y Osseguerra. [176]These incomes have nothing to do with the hospital as a hospital; and therefore, in accordance with this, the members of the Board cannot require that these revenues be subjected to official investigation, any more than in the case of other contributions and incomes which other benefactors had left to the said hospital, even though the proceeds of these are handled, and surrendered to the said religious, by this same Misericordia as administrators for the said benefactors; for the members of the Board have no rights as patrons over any of these, as is clearly stated in the agreement made in the conditions of donation.” “From all this, the fathers rector and masters of this university of the Society of Jesus conclude that only with the gravest scruples of conscience, and at the risk of defaming the said religious order by accusations of omission or negligence in fulfilling their obligation to render assistance to the said sick persons, can the members of the Board on this pretext demand before the illustrious archbishop that the said religious be visited, and account be demanded from them of the expenses and receipts, and of other matters pertaining to the said assistance—not only in regard to all the incomes which the hospital order, as such, possesses, noting down the contributions from all the benefactors of it; but as little even the proceeds which by the said donation the religious received from this same brotherhood of the holy Misericordia—since that is expressly contrary to the agreement made with the said religious order in the instrument of donation, and would be a very heavy and onerous new burden upon it, if imposed now, after sixty years, on a donation which was originally free, complete, and irrevocable.” [179]This opinion is signed by Joseph Hernandéz, Antonio Arias, Pablo Clain, Nicolas de Zarate, and Joseph de Bobadilla.4 It brought about a cessation of the controversy, and afterward, the hospital and its labors grew in public esteem and many favors were bestowed on it.]

Church of San Juan de Dios, Manila, in Religiosa hospitalidad, by Juan M. Maldonado de Puga (Granada, 1742)

Church of San Juan de Dios, Manila, in Religiosa hospitalidad, by Juan M. Maldonado de Puga (Granada, 1742)

[From copy in collection of Eduardo Navarro, O.S.A., at Colegio de Filipinas, Valladolid]



[These chapters are devoted to a history and description of the church and convent erected in 1727, an account of the solemn functions annually celebrated therein, instances of miraculous intervention by the Virgin, etc. The church was dedicated on May 10, 1732, with festivities and solemn ceremonies which lasted during eight days. On the last day an oration was delivered by the Dominican Fray Juan de Arrechedera, who is styled by our writer “the Tullius of Manila.” The church measured one hundred and fifty feet in length, and forty-two in breadth; Maldonado describes it, both within and without, with much detail, and presents a large illustration of the exterior of the edifice, which is herewith reproduced on a smaller scale. Among the notable donors to the adornment and furnishing are Don Buenaventura Morales, a physician in Manila; Don Juan Monroy, court secretary of the Audiencia; General Antonio Gonzalez Quijano; Don Joseph Antonio Nuño de Villavicencio, a regidor of Manila; General Miguel de Allanegui, secretary of the government; Doctor Joseph Correa Villareal, an [180]advocate of the Audiencia; and General Joseph de Morales.]

[In chapter xi occurs a curious digression in the midst of the descriptions of the solemn functions solemnized in the hospital church; enumeration of the instances of miraculous aid afforded by the Virgin to her devotees gives occasion for an account of the system of weights used by the Chinese traders in the islands, and the change made from these to the Castilian system. General Joseph Antonio Nuño de Villavicencio “also relates that commission had been given to him to abolish the use of a certain make of steelyards [pesadores] customary with the Chinese and other foreigners, with which commerce had been carried on in this city from the earliest times; and to establish [a system of] weights and measures modeled on the Castilian, according to the provisions of the laws of both kingdoms. He recognized that the serious nature of this charge demanded the most extraordinary exertions, or else that the hindrances should be removed which had hindered it from being effective on occasions when, at various times, the [same] attempt had been made. But, being also stimulated by his own reputation, in order not to be conquered by the difficulty without a previous investigation, and being incited to close application by his interest in a transaction as much to the service of his Majesty as to the general welfare of the commonwealth, he proceeded to the consideration of the importance of this business (the serious inconveniences of which might defeat his efforts), and of the risk incurred for his reputation if, after he had accepted the commission, he could not fulfil it; and the more he thought about it, the less did he unravel the tangle. [181]At last, in his anxiety he found no recourse more certain of success than to offer himself to the divine favor [as expressed] in that sovereign object, the holy image [of the Virgin]; and in this confidence he carried on the enterprise, heedless of any risk, and succeeded in his object, to the satisfaction of the many who before were disparaging it as chimerical, or who regarded it as impracticable. He gained the approbation of the royal Audiencia so thoroughly that it conferred upon him new powers for [introducing] the same arrangement in all the provinces of its jurisdiction in these islands, where the same injurious effect was experienced; and he executed this commission with exactness, sending [to all places] carefully regulated models and instructions for making it effective.” Maldonado then goes on to describe the mode of weight formerly in vogue among the Chinese traders, as well as the Castilian system, thus:]

Form of the Chinese balances

Let me be the first to explain the construction of the Chinese balances which were in use; they were called da-Chens. In shape it resembled a steelyard [romana]; the yard or beam was made of a kind of wood which they call palma brava,5 and in its form was like a mace for playing truck [trucos]—except the butt, which at the extremity was thicker. It had a sort of frame of copper, octagonal in shape, with its movable pointer in the middle [con su espiga en medio de movimiento], and some pendent hooks. [182]For indicating the weights, there were certain points marked by nails, set at proportionate distances, but without any numbers or any other characters to show the weight definitely. For counterweight there was a piece of metal or of stone hanging by a cord, but without any sign or mark by which the dachen or balance could make known what was entrusted to it.6 To this badly-constructed instrument the handling of all kinds of merchandise had been reduced, and the trade was carried on [by it] among Spaniards, Chinese, Indians, and Morenos; and through necessity they—even the superiors and prelates—employed this balance on all occasions that arose, from the earliest times of the conquest until the year 1727, when the measure that is here discussed was carried into effect. This was not because the project had not been brought forward repeatedly, and at various times, but because the difficulties which hindered it could not be obviated. But, to continue the subject, so well known was the uncertainty of those dachens that even the very Chinese, although it originated in their own country, stipulated beforehand for every transaction the balance by which [the goods] must be received or delivered; for each one of them regarded the balance which he himself used as the better reckoner. There were small ones, for weighing gold and silver; and others that were larger, for bulky goods. The weights by the smaller ones were computed in taels, each one corresponding to twenty adarmes of our Castilian weight. From the tael [183]there was a diminution down to granos, of which six were worth one adarme; but these names were never common in our language.7 The chief weight consisted of cates, each about twenty-two onzas; the chinanta, which was equivalent to about ten cates, and in our Castilian weight to thirteen libras and twelve onzas; the quintal, which was worth about eight chinantas, or eighty cates, and corresponded to about one hundred and ten libras of our weight; and the largest was called pico, which was reckoned at ten chinantas, or one hundred cates, and in our weight five and a half arrobas. But as this correspondence of weight to weight was prevented as people understood more thoroughly the lack of accuracy in the said balances, and the [cause for] suspicion of the way in which they were managed by the Chinese—a people of such cunning that in their own land fraud is a science, in which degrees are given—the Spaniards found themselves compelled to depend on computing the equivalent [in Castilian weight], according to the greater or less skill of each person [in reckoning]; but the ignorance of the Indians and the common people, exposed [as they were] to the insatiable greed, lack of piety, and unscrupulousness of the said Sangleys, who gained great profits from this practice, aided the subtlety of the latter.

Difficulties which arose in regard to the introduction of new weights

This fact being established, from it follows the reason of the difficulty, which is the subject (and to this end the considerations) on which argument arises. In order to suppress the use of the said dachens, it [184]was necessary to have in reserve other weighing instruments, with which the commerce, both wholesale and retail, could be regulated. In order to establish the Castilian weights, there must be specimens of the original standards which had to be followed, according to the royal decrees, to which weights must be conformed; and a factory must be established for the number of instruments which the new order of things would require. There was an absolute lack of everything; and therefore it was necessary either to permit the use of the dachens, or to make a general prohibition of commerce in the commodities for which the said balances served. To adopt any expedient less onerous was not allowed in the commission; that the former [i.e., the use of the Chinese weights] should be continued was the very thing which he [i.e., General Villavicencio] was ordered to prevent; to deny trade to the people would be ridiculous and ineffectual. The custom was as old as the Spanish occupancy of the country; the serious danger of disturbances, [if he undertook] to regulate steelyards by guess, without observing the exactness [required by] the laws, was a new difficulty; delay [would be ir]remediable, and the general injury irreparable! Let the most discreet person, then, infer from these circumstances whether the undertaking was an arduous one, whether the least [in]advertence would be conspicuous, and [what were] the risks to his reputation for good judgment; and whether recourse to sovereign aid would be urgent for his success....

Castilian weight

The reckoning of our Castilian marco in accordance with the laws which prescribe its form originates [185]with grains of wheat. The weight of thirty-six grains is computed as an adarme; sixteen of these make one onza, and sixteen onzas one libra; twenty-five libras make one arroba, and four arrobas the greatest weight, which is a quintal. Laying aside the declarations that wheat may not be used to supplement the established weights of metal (a custom of various ports and provinces), it appears that, with only this information, a corresponding standard could not be made in Manila, since it was deficient in that species of wheat to which the laws refer, and although there is likewise a harvest of these grains in Philipinas, and quantities of wheat are also brought hither from China—some [having grains] of larger size and less weight, and others that are small and compact—the variety in them arouses great uncertainty, for a matter so delicate. Certain it is that, whatever might be taken for the origin [of this computation], it must produce a system corresponding [to the Castilian]; and, by being made general for both buying and selling goods, it would furnish due fulfilment to the form prescribed in the respective laws. But, as that system would always be deemed more conformable to the intention of the laws the more [nearly] its ratios were identical [with those of Castilla], and when the variety of weights and measures (which, considering the laborious nature of mercantile operations and the interests at stake in them, is at times a very onerous burden) in the provinces with which trade is carried on should be reduced to a common basis: as these islands possess the trade with Nueva España, the importance which any unforeseen disagreement might indicate could not be overlooked. This consideration led to the most careful [186]investigation of the basis to which the matter could be reduced; and, in order to find the system equivalent [to that of Castilla], various standards were adjusted to one another, from which a safe conclusion might be drawn. Accordingly, grains of lentils (which give name to the marco8 of Aragon) were taken, and search was made for grains of wheat whose weight would correspond, with the difference of one-eighth. The same was done with grains of alberjones9 (from which sort originated the marco of Venecia), and it was found that the weight of each one agreed with that of four grains of separated wheat. The same was done with chick-peas [garvanzos] (from which the marco of Flandes took its origin), and it was found that one of these weighed the same as thirty-six grains of wheat. As a result, through the weight of the aforesaid legumes, in the respective ratios of the marcos of Aragon, Venecia, and Flandez, and the corresponding weight of the grains of wheat, to which reference is made by our Castilian marco, sufficient basis was formed on which to make the standards [of weight]. In fact, they were made by this rule, weights of metal being made which should correspond to one, two, and three grains of wheat, and which together should weigh as much as the weight which is called a grano of silver; another of one, two, and three granos of this sort, the aggregate of which should be equivalent to the [187]weight of one adarme; and by this [were established] the rest of the weights corresponding [to those of Castilla], as far as that one which would contain one onza, from which resulted the greater weights of libras and arrobas. Metal weights were also made equivalent to half a grain of wheat, and to one-fourth, one-eighth, one-sixteenth, and one-thirty-second of a grain, which last is the same as the eleven hundred and fifty-second part of the adarme; or, if this latter weight were divided into so many and small parts, each one of them would alike agree with the weight made for the thirty-second part of the grain of wheat.

The standard of weight kept in the repository

This careful attention to details is better set forth by a statement of the skill and delicacy [displayed] in the construction of the weighing instrument which serves as standard in this capital, and is kept in the archives in the building of the municipal cabildo; it is a work which for its elegance might be valued in any one of the principal cities of España and of the Indias. It is a small one, such as is required by the weights which it carries; it is made in the form of a cross, of rich tombac10 and the finest gold. In the semicircle which indicates the play of the index needle, a pendent pearl serves as ornament. The scales are of the same metal, gold and tombac, and the silken threads which sustain them of silk dyed red. The whole instrument works with so rigid exactness that when the smallest weight—a [188]thirty-second of a grain of wheat, or the eleven hundred and fifty-second part of an adarme—which is an almost imperceptible amount, is placed in either of the said scales the index of this steelyard shows the difference.

Remarkable agreement of weights

[That which had been] the physical probability of conformity of this construction [with the standard of Castilla] was rendered certain with remarkable exactness. Commission was given by the cabildo of this city that twenty-five steelyards should be sent from the kingdom of Nueva España; and, these having been brought hither at the time when the aforesaid steelyards and the weights, both large and small, were already made, [the cabildo] proceeded to make the comparison [between these and those] with judicial solemnity and the assistance of experts. This transaction having been completed with the exactness which its importance rendered urgent, the two sets of steelyards were found to agree so closely that it appeared that in those sent from Nueva España the scales were balanced by the weights made in Manila, or that these were the regular weights for the said steelyards!... This measure, be it worthy of record, began with the benefit to the common people of these islands in the suppression11 of the da-chens, or Chinese steelyards; for the easy and continual fraud therein was computed by an official [189]as being, in the limits of Manila alone, more than thirty thousand pesos a year—an evil so deeply rooted that few persons supposed that it could be remedied. So far did this go that the Marquès de Torre-Campo, then governor of these islands (whose prudent moderation was always honored), at the time when permission was asked from him for the publication of the proclamation by which the new usage was established and the old one prohibited, made very sententious remarks expressing his opinion that the said effort would be useless on account of the difficulties which, he inferred, would obstruct its effectiveness. But experience proved that he was mistaken; for in twenty-four hours [from that time] it would have been difficult to find any Chinese steelyard, if search had been made. It appears from the original acts—and these have been furnished to us for this relation, which in everything punctually follows and refers to them—that before reaching this last step, the publication of the prohibition of Chinese weights, the authorities caused to be made as large a number of properly regulated steelyards as the shops and guilds which use them might reasonably be expected to need. Then the Chinese were notified that the da-chens which they used should be brought forward; these were retained [by the authorities], and Castilian steelyards were given [in place of them], with printed instructions for observance by those who used them; and steelyards for the use of the public were set in various places, with trustworthy persons [in charge], who could instruct persons of little understanding. And it is generally known that, although this was a matter of so serious tendency, and included every class of persons, not the [190]slightest disturbance arose; for all knew its importance, and in order to enjoy the convenience [of the new weights] submitted to learn the first rudiments of knowledge [about them]; and perplexity [on this point] lasted but a short time, or was not evident at all, for in matters which concern one’s interests close application makes progress, even in the dullest persons.

[In chapter xii are enumerated the distinguished persons who have been buried in the new hospital church since its erection. Among these were five infant children (1728–36) of Villavicencio, the regidor who had so liberally aided the institution; at two of these funerals disputes arose over the rights of certain officials to precedence as pallbearers. Another benefactor, General Allanegui, was buried in the church (April, 1736); and three years later General Don Gregório Padilla y Escalante, who lived in the village of Binondo. A sad tragedy is hinted at in the record, although it is mentioned chiefly in connection with ecclesiastical quarrels over parish dues and the disputed right of interring the poor corpse. On January 26, 1736, a Spanish girl of about fifteen years was brought to the hospital; she had been found stretched on the ground near the door of the seminary church of Santa Isabel, bruised and senseless, and died in about an hour, without recovering consciousness. No one knew who she was; but her body was placed near the door of the hospital church, to see if any person would recognize it. Several identified it as that of Doña Josepha de Leon, a pupil in the said seminary, who in a temporary insanity had flung herself from the roof of that building to the street below.] [191]



[This chapter is devoted to an account of the government of the province of the Order of St. John; a list of its provincials, with their terms of office; and a list of all the members of the order therein, at the time of writing this history. This province had always been subject to the very reverend commissary-general of the order resident in Nueva España; and, as its funds did not permit it to bring men from Europe, the superior at Manila would admit novices who wished to engage in the work of the order. These, when sufficiently instructed, if they showed a true vocation for that work were received into the order, and thus its numbers were sufficiently recruited to sustain its labors. The choice of a provincial for the islands was always reserved to the said commissary at Mexico, who usually reappointed the same man, when he had been found competent for that office; this appointee was regarded as the vicar and visitor for the commissary (except in the matter of authority to grant dismissory letters to members of the order), and those titles were bestowed on the prior of the Manila convent (the principal house), regarded to all intents and purposes as provincial, but with the modest title of “superior” [prelado]. The province had four houses: those at Cabite and Manila, and two others, at Bagumbaya and Zebù respectively. When Maldonado wrote, the two former alone remained. The prior at Cabite was nominally appointed by the commissary at Mexico; but the uncertainties, delays, and costs caused by the distance thither and the long and dangerous voyage rendered it necessary to leave this choice practically in the [192]hands of the superior at Manila. The brethren of the community met every three years to elect councilors and transact other business. The superior appointed a procurator-general, manager of the hospital, and other minor officials. Besides the priests and brethren of the order, certain men called donados were admitted to its ranks for the service of the poor and for the commoner duties of the convent. In the month of November of each year, the officers of the Misericordia visited the hospital officially—it being definitely understood that they had no right to meddle with its management in any way. On New Year’s day of each year, the community assembled and chose by lot a patron saint for the coming year.]

[Following is the list of superiors (not counting Fray Juan de Gamboa, who came in 1621, because his attempt to establish the order proved abortive): (1) Father Fray Andrès de San Joseph, a native of Mexico; his patent was dated February 20, 1641 and he ruled the province until August 3, 1643. (2) Father Fray Francisco Magallanes, a Portuguese; he received his credentials on March 10, 1643, but did not go to the islands that year; he took possession on August 3, 1644, and held the office until August 4, 1662. (3) Father Fray Francisco Cardoso, a Portuguese; he immediately succeeded Magallanes (by whom he was appointed, under special authority conferred by the commissary), and held the office for four years. (4) Father Fray Christoval Nieto de Salazar, a native of Mexico; he ruled from September 4, 1666 until August 9, 1669. (5) Father Fray Marcos de Mesa, a native of Tescuco, Mexico, held office from August 9, 1669 until [193]his death in 1682. (6) Father Fray Luis de la Cruz, a Canari by birth, next held the office, from 1682 until his death on January 25, 1683; he came to Manila as alternate for the regular appointee, Fray Fructuoso de Texada (who died three days after he reached the port of Cavite); opposition to his rule arose in the order itself, but he was finally placed in possession of the office by the provisor of the archdiocese, aided by military force. (7) Father Fray Phelipe de Jesus, a native of Manila, was superior from January 25, 1683 until September 2, 1684. (8) Father Fray Antonio de Robles, a native of Mexico, ruled from September 2, 1684 until 1687; he then went to Zebù, and was ordained a secular priest (9) Father Fray Phelipe de Jesus, as chief councilor, took the place of Fray Robles, and held office for three years. (10) Father Fray Domingo de Santa Maria, a Vizcayan, governed the province from July 16, 1690 until 1692, when he also entered the secular priesthood. (11) For the third time, Fray Phelipe de Jesus held the office of superior, this time from July 21, 1692 until July 8, 1694. (12) Father Fray Manuel de San Romàn then took his place, ruling until August 13, 1697. (13) Father Fray Francisco Beltràn, a native of Manila; as chief councilor, he took the place of Fray Phelipe de Jesus, who died after having been appointed superior by the commissary; Beltràn held the office only one year. (14) Father Fray Geronimo Nadales, a native of Habana, was sent over by the commissary, and ruled from August 28, 1698 until his death, January 20, 1703. (15) Father Fray Ignacio Gil de Arevalo, a native of Mexico; as chief councilor, he took Nadales’s place, which he filled until his [194]death in 1706. (16) Father Fray Francisco Hurtado, a native of Mexico; he was second in the council, and became superior through election by the community after the death of Fray Gil; much opposition arose from a disaffected faction, but Hurtado held the office (although with some subsequent limitations of authority) from 1706 until August 11, 1708. (17) Father Fray Juan de Santacruz, a native of Manila, was superior during the next three years. (18) Father Fray Francisco Hurtado secured the commissary’s nomination, and held the office from August 11, 1711 to July 13, 1720; “in his time there was a notable decline in this province.” (19) Father Fray Santiago Gutierrez, a native of Manila, ruled from July 13, 1720 to August 12, 1724; he was then deposed and secluded by the archdiocesan ordinary: Maldonado regrets the injury thus inflicted on the order and its privileges, but discreetly refrains from open censure of this proceeding. (20) Father Fray Lucas de San Joseph, a native of Manila; he was prior of Cabite, and took the place of Fray Gutierrez; he entered the office on August 19, 1724, and ruled only two months, being requested to resign, as a result of various discords among the brethren. (21) Father Fray Eugenio Antonio del Niño Jesus, a native of La Puebla, Mexico; he was chosen by the community, in place of Fray San Joseph, and held office from October 3, 1724 until June 17, 1726. He restrained the discontent and disputes which were rife in the order, and his firmness and good management prevented what would have been great disasters to the province. (22) Fray Antonio de Arce, a native of Mexico City (the superior at the time when Maldonado wrote); [195]he was sent by the commissary with additional powers, assumed his office on June 17, 1726, and completed the good work begun by his predecessor; he restored harmony in the province, replaced the dilapidated buildings with new ones, and secured for his order the respect and prestige which it had largely lost under inefficient superiors. Maldonado eulogizes Fray Arce’s abilities, energy, and good judgment—qualities which have advanced the order in Manila to equality with the others there.]

[Our writer enumerates the minor officials of the order at the time of his writing. There are three chaplains and preachers: father Fray Marcos Beltràn (who made his profession in 1740), a native of Cabite; father Fray Juan Manuel Maldonado de Puga, a native of Quautla, Mexico, who came to the islands in 1727; and father Fray Raphael Fernandez (professed in 1732), a native of Manila. The two councilors are father Fray Santiago Gutierrez (professed in 1700), a native of Manila; and father Fray Joseph Hidalgo (professed in 1732), a native of Mexico. The hospital is in charge of father Fray Joseph Guerrero, a native of Chalco, Mexico, who came to the islands in 1726. The procurator-general is father Fray Joseph Mariano (professed in 1722), a native of Manila; and the chief sacristan is father Fray Joachin de San Joseph (professed in 1729), a native of Mexico. The prior of the Cabite convent is father Fray Diego de San Raphael (professed in 1724), a native of Octumba, Mexico. The list of brethren then in the convent is as follows:]

Conventual religious.—Father Fray Eugenio Antonio del Niño Jesus, former prior of this convent (where he professed on March 8, 1709), a native of [196]the city of Los Angeles in Nueva España; it has been ten years during which he has remained in a continual suspension of natural motions—his head bowed, in profound silence (not speaking, unless he is questioned, and then only what is strictly necessary); he is, in the opinion of many, crazy, but, in the judgment of those who direct his conscience, he is sane. Father Fray Jacinto de los Dolores, a native of this city; a son of this convent, where he professed on January 15, 1717. Father Fray Lucas de San Joseph, a native of this city; formerly prior of this convent, where he professed on July 25, 1717. Father Fray Andrès Gonzalez, a native of Mexico in Nueva España, from which he came to this convent in the year 1726. Father Fray Francisco Diaz de Rivera, a native of Mexico in Nueva España, from which he came to this country in the year 1735. Father Fray Pedro de Noroña, a native of Queretaro in the archbishopric of Mexico; he professed in this convent on October 24, 1730. Father Fray Francisco Varaona y Velazques, a native of Mexico in Nueva España; he professed in this convent on February 20, 1735. Father Fray Thomàs Bernardo de Herrera, a native of Zafra in Estremadura, in the bishopric of Badajòz, in the kingdoms of España; he professed in this convent on June 13, 1736. Father Fray Pedro Ladron de Guevara, a native of Mexico in Nueva España; he professed in this convent on June 13, 1736.

Junior religious.—Fray Bernardino de Vilches y Padilla, a native of the city of Sevilla in the kingdoms of España; he professed in this convent on March 7, 1739. Fray Lorenzo Velasco y Castroverde, a native of Mexico in Nueva España; he professed [197]in this convent on May 7, 1739. Fray Feliciano Leal del Castillo, a native of the city of Zebù, the chief city of the bishopric of that name in these islands; he professed in this convent on April 26, 1739.

Brothers who are novices.—Brother Santiago Mariano San Ginès, who comes from the port of Cabite in the Philipinas Islands; he took the habit on December 7, 1739. Brother Juan Maldonado, a native of this city of Manila; he took the habit on the said day, December 7, 1739. Brother Nicolàs Mariano del Rio, a native of the village of Binondo, outside the walls of this city; he took the habit on the said day, December 7 of the said year, 1739. Brother Perez de Albornòz, a native of the City of Mexico in Nueva España; he took the habit on the said day, December 7, in the said year.

Brothers who are donados.—Brother Salvador de la Soledad, a native of Bacolor, in the province of Pampanga; he is punctual in obedience, silence, and humility, continual in prayer, very austere, and of fervent charity. Brother Francisco de los Dolores, a native of the city of Gorgota, in the kingdom of Vengala, in the territory of India. Brother Luis Casimiro, a native of this city. Brother Cayetano del Castillo, a native of this city. Brother Juan Ferrer, a native of this city. Brother Pablo Bertucio de San Antonio, a native of the village of Biñàn in this archbishopric.

[Maldonado makes special mention of a few distinguished members of the order in Manila, who have flourished in recent years; regarding others, he states that he lacks information. Father Fray Marzelo del Arroyo, a native of Manila, entered the [198]order at Cabite, and died at Manila, past the age of ninety years; he was “an excellent physician, and a strong defender of the privileges of the regulars;” and he filled with distinction all the offices of the order except that of superior. Father Fray Francisco Alabes, a native of the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, was the first who took the habit of St. John (1647) in these islands; he rendered excellent service in the Cabite hospital, and assisted Father Magallanes in founding the one at Bagumbaya. Father Fray Juan de Alarcòn had many gifts; he was a noted orator, who was called “Golden Mouth,”12 a famous poet, and a zealous defender of the order; for a long time he was physician for the entire city, and administrator of the convent at Cabite and of the ranch of San Juan de Buenavista, belonging to the order; he died at an advanced age. Father Fray Bernardo Xavier, a native of La Puebla in Mexico; he had held the chair of theology in the Jesuit university in Manila, and his brethren there called him “a sun eclipsed;” in disposition retiring, humble, austere, devout, and charitable, he was attracted to the labors of the brethren of St. John, and entered their ranks on November 25, 1671; he died on August 14, 1720. Three religious of this order were slain by the natives: Fray Antonio de Santiago, manager of the ranch, slain by the savage Negritos (probably before 1650); Fray Lorenzo Gomez, killed while traveling in Ilocos by the savage Tinguianes of the mountains; Fray Juan Antonio Guemez, killed with lances by the native bandits “who infested our estate of Buenavista.” Maldonado suggests that some member of the order act as recorder of its annals and labors, so [199]that hereafter these may be kept in remembrance, and published for its benefit.]



Incomes and contributions which belong to the hospital order for its maintenance and that of the religious in this province.

[Estate of Buenavista.—“By donation from Captain Don Pedro Gomez Cañete, various farm-sites and cavallerías13 of lands belonged to us in an estate called Buenavista, Pinaot, and Bolo, in the jurisdiction of Bulacan, provinces close to Manila. But as the donor when he died left debts behind, the lands were appraised, with preference of the legacies to the debts of justice;14 and the said property being placed at royal auction, with the offerings of other benefactors, the highest bid was made on the part of our order, in the sum of twelve thousand one hundred pesos. Afterward other lands were added to this [200]estate, by donations and purchases which were made, and questions arose over the boundaries; but, as we have for our defense the just titles, the crown15 has maintained us in the legitimate possession of the lands, which is evident from the records and decisions, which are here set down verbatim, and which declare it.” Here follow the documents which show that Cañete received a grant, April 4, 1629, of two farm-sites and three cavallerías of land in the village of San Miguel, the former part of the grant being opposed by the Indians of Candaba; another was made to Gonzalo Ronquillo Ballesteros, September 26, 1601, of “two farms for horned cattle, and four cavallerías of land, in the district of Alatib, toward Candaba, close to Canagoan;” and the boundaries were settled by acts of the Audiencia, March 2 and May 14, 1715. “These said lands, those which were likewise obtained by the accountant Pedro de Almansa, and others which belonged to the monastery of Santa Clara, were sold to the aforesaid Don Pedro Gomez Cañete, and are among those which were purchased, as was related in the beginning [of this book]; and afterward were added to it other lots of land, all which compose the estate of Buenavista, which belongs to our order in these islands.” In 1715 the hospital brethren complained that the Augustinians had intruded upon their lands, and were even building a house thereon, paying no heed to the repeated remonstrances of the superior of St. John; but the acts above cited confirmed the order in its possession of the lands, and ordered the Augustinians to cease work on their house and give account [201]of their procedure. “In this estate there are arable lands, pastures for the many cattle with which it is stocked, fruit-trees, and woodlands where the trees are cut for lumber. It was always maintained with one religious, who, as administrator, had charge of its produce; but when an opportunity to rent it occurred, it was considered best, and even more profitable, to do so. For it we receive five hundred pesos, and three hundred cabans of rice, annually for the period of five years, which is the present agreement, and it is well guaranteed.”]

Irrigated lands in the district of Polo.—By a donation which Fray Thomas Ortiz, one of our religious, made to this convent—it belonged to the lawful share which he inherited from his parents—we possess certain irrigated lands16 in the place which is called Colòn, within the limits of the village of Polo, in the province of Bulacàn. The co-heirs brought suit in regard to these lands; but this, when tried in the courts, was declared in our favor. The said lands yield forty pesos as yearly rent.

Grainfields in Bonga.—By purchase made of six quiñons of land, [irrigated?] grainfields,17 in a place which they call Bonga, within the limits of Balivag, a village in the said province of Bulacàn, [our order] enjoys the usufruct of one hundred and twenty pesos, which these lands pay as annual rent. [202]

Lots outside the walls.—By the donations and contributions of different benefactors, we possess eight lots in various places, from the village of La Hermita to that of Bagumbaya; these pay in land-rents eighteen pesos a year. In this land is included the original site on which was located the hospital for convalescents, which was founded by the first religious [of our order] who came to these islands, as is elsewhere related.

Properties in the Pariàn.—In the Alcayzerìa, the Pariàn of the Sangleys, outside the walls, were purchased two properties, on which there are forty-seven shops and upper lodgings; these, when occupied, yield ninety-seven pesos a month, which amounts through the year to one thousand one hundred and sixty-four pesos.

Lots in Manila.—For two houses, and two lots besides, which belong to this convent within Manila, are collected thirteen pesos a month for rent, which amounts to one hundred and fifty-six pesos a year.

Contribution from the brothers of our order.—The present superior, father Fray Antonio de Arze, by his great affability established the roll of lay brothers devoted to our order. Those who at present appear on it regularly number one hundred and thirty-four and each one has a certain day for supplying food to the sick; this he compensates with six pesos, which he contributes as an offering, the amount being thus regulated—in all, amounting to eight hundred and four pesos a year.

The contribution-plate.—The contribution-plate which, with the image of our holy father,18 [is carried] through the streets to ask for offerings gathers [203]during the week at least eight pesos, which amount to two hundred and eighty-eight pesos a year.

Contribution for the feast of our holy father.—For the feast-day of our holy father two of our religious go out a few days before, as representatives of our community, to ask for contributions among the citizens; and they collect very nearly two hundred pesos a year.

Contribution of rice.—In the month of October in each year a religious is despatched to the province of Ilocos, in order to push forward the collection and remittance of the proceeds from the encomienda which is assigned to us in that province, and at the same time he asks for contributions among the farmers of that region; he carries, by way of precaution, some medicine, and benevolently exercises the office of his calling; and if the harvests are good he collects offerings of about seven hundred baskets of rice. And so great is the esteem felt in that province for our religious, as they have acknowledged, that when they go away in the month of March (which is the time of the monsoon) the people display to them their regret that they must lack the consolation which they receive during the stay of our religious, in the assistance given by them to the many persons stricken by disease.



[This chapter is devoted to enumeration of the favors extended by the crown to the hospital order. Maldonado states that the royal grants to the ecclesiastical estate in the islands (in stipends and contributions) amount to more than 81,000 pesos a year, without counting over 11,000 pesos more which are [204]allowed to the royal chapel and the hospitals. The brethren of St. John share in this bounty, to a liberal extent. A royal decree of June 19, 1680, granted to the order an encomienda of 500 tributes for twenty years, in order to repair the injuries caused to the hospital buildings by the earthquake of March 15, 1676, and to aid in carrying on its good work. In accordance therewith, Governor Cruzelaegui assigned to the order (February 9, 1685) the following encomiendas: “The rest of Purao and Tagurin, and the village of Pedic in the province of Ilocos, which consists of 115 tributes, vacant by the death of Captain Don Nicolàs de Ibar, who was enjoying it for the second life. Also the encomienda of three-fourths of Pilitan and its subjects in the province of Cagayan, which consists of 287 tributes, vacant by the death of Juan de Robles Aldaba, which he was enjoying for the second life. The two amount to 402 tributes;” and they were adjudged to the said order, for the repair of its buildings, etc., with the charge of paying from the amount thus collected the amount allowed by the crown for religious purposes and the stipends of ministers, in the same manner as other encomenderos must. This grant was afterward extended (by decrees of September 17, 1705, and July 2, 1735); but the assignment of tributes in Cagayan was later exchanged for another in Ilocos. The net annual proceeds of this encomienda amount to 500 baskets of rice and 250 blankets; “but if those who make the collections dispense with the fees through charity, and if the aforesaid goods are conveyed to us at Manila in the same way, these favors amount to over 100 pesos more.” On November 5, 1704, the treasury officials of Manila assigned to the brethren [205]of St. John an annual allowance of two arrobas of wine and seventy-five gantas of cocoanut oil for the use of their church, in the same manner as to the other churches of the city, with the customary provision that royal confirmation must be obtained within six years. This was done, but the papers were lost in shipwreck, and the grant was therefore extended another six years. A royal decree dated June 29, 1707 (evidently a misprint for 1717), ordered the treasury officials at Manila to pay the hospital order annually the value of the said oil and wine; this was received at Manila in 1718, and from that time the brethren of St. John were paid from the treasury fifty-nine pesos three reals a year. Governor Zabalburu allotted to the hospital the services of twelve men from the “reserve,” a form of personal service which is thus described:]

This grant, which is called Reserva, and among the natives is distinguished by the name of Polo, takes substantially this form: The natives, or Indians of the four provinces which are next to Manila, are under this impost (besides the tributes which they pay to the king), that their laboring men must render service, at the tasks assigned to them, for the time of one month in each year. By this measure are furnished [the men for] the timber-cutting, shipbuilding, and other royal works. To this end, [the names of] all stand in a very detailed enumeration, each being numbered for the alternation [in such service] which belongs to each one, and the apportionment, which is made according to the number of laborers which each village has. From this levy no one can escape, or excuse himself; for their mandons, or headmen, even when they find the laborers [206]hindered by other occupations compel them, since any deficiency affects the service of the king, to pay for other men to act as substitutes in place of those who obtain excuses. This is all the harder because the substitutes do not content themselves with the wages which are assigned to them in the occupation itself, but collect three pesos besides, at which amount the bonus is settled (unless those who manage the business have somewhat more for their share) ; and it is an established custom that this bonus is shared by those whom their turn exempts. Request is being made to the authorities that for the churches and other unavoidable needs men be granted for service, to the number stated, [but] with exemption from these oppressive circumstances; and that, as a just concession, the warrant for this be issued, in which is stated the number [of men] and the village from which they are assigned to this [service, which] is distinguished by the title “reserve.” As a fact, those who have to render this service remain exempt from the turn and apportionment [of service] of which mention has already been made, without any obligation to furnish a substitute, or to pay for others to serve. With this, and with the wages which are paid to them for their labor, we succeed in obtaining people to assist us.

By other grants, also from this government, there have been allowed to us fifty “reserve” vagrants, in order that our ranch may be cultivated. This is different [from the other], because the distinctive vagrant is understood as not having a fixed residence, and not being included in the enumerations of the men liable to polo; but they burden the lists on account of tribute in double pay. These men are [207]governed by certain officers, who also impose upon them various works for the royal service; but those who by means of these “reserves” reside on ranches remain exempt, and therefore are occupied in the cultivation of the grainfields. From this it results that there are laborers for gathering the harvests, the commonwealth is furnished with provisions, those men gain the means for their support, and our estates are not lost to us by lying untilled.

Allowance for the dispensary.—By this superior government, and in an ordinance of September 27, 1709, fifty pesos were applied every year in medicines for the medical treatment of the sick in our hospitals; and, the expenses of the royal dispensary having been permanently charged [on the treasury] from the year 1717, Bachelor Don Miguel de la Torre, a physician of this city, besides the known saving of expense which he made easy for his Majesty in this respect, made the offer to increase the allowance for medicines to a hundred pesos, which was not [formally] assigned, and remains verbal. This he has fulfilled, but so liberally that without any limitation all the medicines which have been necessary for the treatment of the sick have been furnished to us; and our order, always mindful of this kindness, recognizes the aforesaid Don Miguel de la Torre as one of its special benefactors.

These are the grants and allowances which this province at present enjoys, and, most grateful therefor, in all the spiritual exercises we ask and implore the exaltation of our pious king, a munificent patron, and we make such return as is possible in our estate of poverty. For, although in the royal hospital the soldiers receive treatment, this provision is not extended [208]to their children and wives, or to the mariners of Cabite when sickness prevents their passage [from that place to Manila]; but all these find succor in our infirmaries, where they are aided with the comforts which are permitted by the scanty donations which we obtain. And although we know well how little merit there is in our labors, as being the proper function of our Institute, we nevertheless take comfort in this, that in the large number of those who in these islands are maintained at the royal expense, we cost the royal treasury least; nor do we count in this the cost of transportation, or other extraordinary expenses (of which thus far we have had no benefit [from the crown]); for, as has been stated in the proper place, this humble province has always maintained itself by asking for alms.



[Herein are enumerated the charitable foundations (obras pias)19 placed at the disposal of the Misericordia or of the brethren of St. John. The earliest of these (although its date is not given) appears to be that of General Thomàs Garcia de Cardenas; he gave the Misericordia 12,000 pesos, of which 6,000 should be invested in the Acapulco trade, and the profits applied to different charities—among them, 100 pesos being given to the hospital, which sum is still received by that institution whenever [209]the Acapulco galleons make successful voyages. Another and similar one was founded by Governor Manuel de Leon, with 50,000 pesos of principal; from the returns of this, 400 pesos were to be applied “for the care and comfort of the sick in our hospitals.” Master-of-camp Thomàs de Endaya in 1703 gave 8,000 pesos to the Misericordia, one-half to be invested in the Acapulco trade for the benefit of various charities; among these, the hospital was to receive 100 pesos for purchasing rice for the sick. Abbot Juan Bautista Sidot (by other writers written Sidoti) in 1705 collected among the citizens of Manila 12,000 pesos, which he invested in trade—one-third each in Nueva España, China, and the coast of Yaba (i.e., Java)—the returns on all these being held and added to the principal until they should be equal to 40,000 pesos, which sum was to be invested in the same manner, and its proceeds devoted to various charities. Of these, the hospital was to receive 240 pesos annually, thus: 100 pesos for the salary of a physician, 100 for the cost of the dispensary, and 40 for the salary of a surgeon. The further sum of 1,100 pesos a year afterward was assigned to the hospital, since some of Sidoti’s plans for aiding other works proved abortive. A fund of 50,000 pesos, similarly invested in the Acapulco trade, was given in 1706 by Fray Andrès Gonzalez, O.P., bishop of Nueva Cazeres, from which 400 pesos a year were to be given to the hospital; he also made provision for distributing every year certain sums to the curas and missionary fathers in his diocese, to be spent in aiding the sick poor in their charge—“for the reason that, having asked permission from the royal Audiencia of Manila to found a [210]hospital in this city of Nueva Cazeres and this not having been granted me, I desire that, since there is no actual hospital, there shall be one in substance.” From this wording Maldonado argues that, in case a hospital should be founded there, the fund left by Gonzalez for his diocese—1,305 pesos, presumably for each year—might properly be claimed for the aid of such institution; “with the said contribution, and if the natives of the said province would agree to give [each] a ganta of rice or of oil, or some other little offering of that sort, a hospital could be supported which was suitable for aiding the many necessities which those helpless people suffer.” Sargento-mayor Don Antonio Basarte, a citizen of Manila, established another foundation for the Misericordia in 1708; he left 50,000 pesos for this, but after the claims of his legal creditors were satisfied, only 9,849 pesos remained; this was duly invested, but the proceeds did not reach the amount of the original 50,000 pesos until 1726, at which time the returns became available for charitable uses; among these, 250 pesos were allotted for the meat necessary for the support of the sick in the hospitals. Captain Manuel Martinez Lobo left a bequest to the Misericordia;20 in 1727 this yielded the net sum of 3,300 [211]pesos, which was invested in the trade of Acapulco and Yaba; from the proceeds the officers of the Misericordia were to apply 50 pesos annually for the poor of the hospital, at the time when they should make their yearly visitation of that house. In 1727 [212]General Don Joseph de Morales (then steward of the Misericordia) gave 600 pesos to be invested in trade, from the profits of which 100 pesos annually were to be given for comforts for the sick poor in the hospitals. The same officer at dying left a bequest for charities, in which were included the brethren of St. John; they were to receive (presumably from the returns made on each galleon) 100 pesos for buying shrouds for the sick who should die in the hospitals, 100 for clothing for the religious, and 100 for certain religious functions to be celebrated in their church. Morales’s successor as steward, General Don Domingo Antonio de Otero Vermudes (who was also chief alguazil21 of the Inquisition), in 1729 founded an obra pia with 3,000 pesos; from its returns 100 pesos were to be applied for the support of the poor sick in the hospital. Doña Maria [213]Joachina, the unmarried daughter of Sargento-mayor Don Juan Antonio Collantes y Peredo, having property in her own right, left 4,000 pesos for charitable purposes, which included the payment of 500 pesos yearly for the convalescents from the hospital; this became available in 1736. Licentiate Manuel Suarez de Olivera and Doña Maria Gomez del Castillo (his wife?) left some real estate, on which shops were located, at the place called Los Arroceros (i.e., “the rice-mills”), outside the city walls; its proceeds were to be given in equal shares to the hospital and to the poor who were confined in the prisons. The aforesaid shops “fell into decay, and were rebuilt in 1714, with the stipulation that from the rent of them should be deducted the third part in order to repay the amount spent for that construction;” this was accomplished in 1722, after which the full amount was received by the beneficiaries. It is estimated that this aid amounts to over 150 pesos a year, and its value is greater or less according to whether the shops are all occupied; but “we receive only what is handed over by the deputy steward of the prisoners,” to whom the collection of these rents had been entrusted by the Misericordia. Antonio de Arisiga placed 4,000 pesos at interest, for the aid of various charities; from the income of this he applied 50 pesos annually for the comfort of the sick in the hospital; but in the course of time this foundation was impaired by various losses, and the Misericordia divided its income pro rata among its beneficiaries. Juan de Moxica placed at interest 6,750 pesos, from the income of which should be given twelve reals for three masses every week, and the rest for the hospital and treasury [214]of the Misericordia; this income also became diminished, like the preceding one, and what was collected was applied to the aforesaid masses—although, in Maldonado’s opinion, any money in excess of Moxica’s requirement ought to be applied in equal parts to the hospital and the Misericordia.]

[All the foregoing funds are administered and controlled by the board of the Misericordia; but the hospital has the benefit of certain others in the hands of the Third Order of St. Francis. Don Manuel San Juan de Santacruz established a fund in that order, for investment in the Acapulco trade; the income was applied to various charities, among which the hospital was to receive 100 pesos a year. In 1711 a similar fund was given by Sargento-mayor Don Diego Thomàs de Gorostiaga, also in the Acapulco trade; from its income, the hospital was assigned 100 pesos a year. In 1721, another fund was established by Sargento-mayor Don Juan Lopez, on similar terms, the hospital receiving from the income 50 pesos a year. A like foundation from Don Jacome Maria Balestra, made in 1724, brought to the hospital 120 pesos annually. In the same year and in like manner, another fund was given by the licentiate Don Gabriel de Isturis, which added to the hospital’s income 150 pesos a year. In 1728, an obra pia was established in the Third Order by some unknown donor, under the title of San Raphael; from this 80 pesos were given, half to the convent of St. John, and half to the hospital. A year later, a similar fund was established under the title of San Miguel, by Captain Don Miguel de Caraza; among its beneficiaries, the sick of the hospital [215]received, for their food on certain holy days, 25 pesos a year. All those named in this paragraph were administered by the said Third Order.]

[Certain funds were established by benevolent women for charitable purposes, to be at the disposal of our writer, Maldonado. “Doña Margarita Luysa de Avila, who was the widow of Sargento-mayor Don Nicolàs de Rivera, from the residue of her property set aside a principal of 700 pesos for the establishment of a charitable fund, which should be invested by halves in the trade of Nueva España;” to this Maldonado added 1,000 pesos more, given to him by various other benefactors, and invested the whole thus, until its product should bring the fund to a total of 3,362 pesos; it was then to be divided into three parts, and again invested, its income being thus apportioned: “130 pesos, as the offering for 156 masses, which are celebrated in the church of our convent at Manila, three on each Monday in the year—one with an offering of one peso, and the others with one of six reals each; beginning after half-past six in the morning, and not before, nor shall they be said at one time—as suffrages for the souls in purgatory; and this stipend can be applied to the fathers belonging to this community who are priests. Thirty pesos, in order that the reverend father who is prior or superior of this convent may arrange for chanting a solemn mass with vigils, and with the assistance of the community, on one of the days in the octave of the dead, in the month of November, the suffrages being applied in behalf of the founders. One hundred and fifty pesos, in order that the reverend father who may be prior or superior of this convent may distribute [216]this sum, as is stated in the foundation of the said fund, for the expenses at the feast of the gozos22 of the blessed ever-virgin Mary, our Lady; these must be celebrated in our church as a seven days’ feast, which begins on the day of the patronage of the blessed St. Joseph, who is honored as the father of Jesus Christ our Lord—that is, the third Sunday after Easter. Sixty pesos for the offering for eighty masses to be said, with the stipend of six reals each, which the reverend father who is or shall be the prior or superior of this convent is to arrange for being celebrated during the said septenary—fourteen on the first day, and eleven on each of the other days, and inviting for this function priests by whom it can be completed, since this community has not a sufficient number of priests therefor—in order to fulfil this obligation in the manner which is prescribed, and the intention of [the founders; the] said masses must be applied as suffrages for the souls in purgatory, and for those of the founders. Twenty-five pesos, to be distributed during the said septenary among the poor, both men and women, who may be in our infirmaries. Twelve pesos, to be divided as alms among the women servants of the infirmary for women in our hospital. Twenty-eight pesos, to be divided, on the first day of the said septenary, among fourteen Spanish widows, at the rate of two pesos each. Fourteen pesos, for the cost of wine for masses, so much as is deemed necessary for the celebration of those which are mentioned in this foundation. Forty pesos, which must be kept in reserve [217]every year for the repairs on our convent of Manila, according to occasion. This foundation began to operate in the year 1738, and would be in condition for distribution if it were not for the loss of a galleon and another misfortune, which retarded the distribution until the year 1745; and request has been made that its administration be entrusted to the venerable arch-confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament that is established in the church of San Gabriel at Bin[on]doc, a mission village in charge of the holy Order of St. Dominic, outside the walls of this city.”]

[Another fund in Maldonado’s hands is that which “Doña Josepha Ortega, who was the wife of General Don Antonio Sanchez Cerdàn, set aside from the main part of her estate, the sum of 2,500 pesos as a principal, in order that a charitable fund might be established, at the disposal of the religious who writes this. According to the instructions communicated to him by the said foundress, the said principal must be invested in the trade with Nueva España, its product accruing to it until the fund should reach the amount of 7,818 pesos 3 reals; in that case it should be divided into three parts, each of 2,600 pesos 1 real, with which principal the investment should be continued in the said trade with Nueva España; and the income of this fund, usually amounting to 1,042 pesos, be distributed in this manner: Ninety-two pesos for the offering for that number of masses in the chapel of the ward [used as an] infirmary for women in this hospital of Manila. Twenty-five pesos for the expenses of the function of [the Virgin’s] Solitude, which is solemnized in our church on the night of Good Friday in each [218]year. Eighty pesos for the offering for as many masses, which are to be solemnized in our church during the septenary of the most glorious patriarch St. Joseph, at the feast of his gozos, which begins on the fifteenth day of October. Twenty-five pesos for the redemption of captives. Thirty-six pesos, to be divided, during the said septenary, among the sick poor, both men and women, in our hospital of Manila. Twelve pesos, to be divided, during the said septenary, among the women servants of the sick-ward for women in this hospital. One hundred pesos, to be distributed, during the said septenary, by the superior of this convent and one of the father chaplains, among deserving poor widows and orphan girls, especially those who are present in our church at the said festivity. Thirteen pesos, for the same purpose, among the poor beggars who are present in our church at the said festivity. Twenty-five pesos, for a hundred bulls for the living; these will be given as alms by the fathers who assist in the confessionals in our church during the said septenary, and who can ascertain the poor who are in need of this favor. Twenty-five pesos, for the alms of a hundred bulls for the departed, [to be given] on the day when their memory is celebrated in our church in the month of November, the suffrage being applied for those who shall have died in our hospital. Sixty-four pesos one real, for the function of masses, vigils, and responses for the cemetery, which has been established in our church as a suffrage for the dead, in the month of November of each year. Twenty-five pesos, for the holy places of Jerusalem. One hundred and fifty pesos for the cost of chocolate,23 with [219]which sum arrangements are made to furnish it to the religious of this convent of Manila. One hundred pesos, which are to be reserved each year for [220]the material fabrica of our convent and hospital of Manila, as occasion may require. One hundred pesos for the expenses of the arch-confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament at Binondo, which has been asked to take charge of the administration of this fund. And 134 pesos one real, in order that this sum may be separately invested, and with its accrued products form another foundation, until it shall contain 1,717 pesos one real as principal; and then, divided into three parts, it may be ventured in the galleons of the Nueva España route, and with its returns the following assignments be made: 300 pesos for two dowries, of 150 pesos each, to fatherless girls, the daughters of Spaniards, of virtuous lives—which dowries are to be allotted on one of the days of the septenary, in the manner which will be explained. Forty pesos for the Christmas masses [missas de Aguinaldo] which are celebrated in our church of this convent of Manila. Eleven pesos, for the expenses of the entertainment which must be given to those who meet in the committee which must be called together for the choice of the orphans to whom are to be allotted the dowries aforesaid, during the septenary of St. Joseph, the arrangements for which in detail are punctually set down here. In order that embarrassments arising from personal considerations which intervene may be avoided, [221]heed must be taken in the award of these dowries that the names be presented of those who are needy; and, this having been ascertained by a special conference which the father who is or shall be the superior of this convent shall have with the father priests—and if there are not two, he shall substitute the chief councilor—it shall be declared by the majority of votes who ought by right to be admitted from the persons who make claims; and, this settled, the choice shall be made among those who shall be thus accepted, by drawing lots, and the two dowries shall be awarded to the girls who shall draw the fortunate lots. The method of the said drawing shall be, that the names of all those who are accepted shall be written, each on a slip of paper; and an equal number of other slips, blank, shall be made, and on two of these shall be written the words, ‘May I be endowed by the glorious St. Joseph.’ Then in one urn, or other suitable receptacle, shall be placed the slips, folded, on which are written the names of the candidates; and in another urn or receptacle like the other shall be placed the blank slips—which, as already stated, shall be equal in number to those containing the names, and shall include those on which was written the fortunate lot, as has been explained—and both urns shall be shaken. [This shall be done] in the afternoon of the first day of the septenary; in the body of the church shall be placed a table with a neat cover, and some chairs, where the superior [of the Order of St. John] shall sit as president, accompanied by the priestly fathers who may belong to it; in case there should be no more than one [of these], the chief councilor shall assist him. With the aid of the father councilor, a slip shall be drawn from [the [222]urn containing] the names, and read, and then another shall be drawn from those that are blank, the writing on the slips being read aloud, and recorded on a paper which the said secretary shall keep by him; after this manner the other slips shall be successively drawn, until from the names those are chosen which the lot shall indicate; and, as it follows that there will be present in the church at this function the parties who are concerned, or some one who can act in their behalf, such person shall be summoned, and the order for payment handed to her, so that she may obtain her donation of 150 pesos for dowry. And for the orderly management of this business there shall be made a book of common paper, in which shall be written the [names and proceedings of the] special committee which shall be called together to investigate the claims; and they shall endeavor, before the choice is made, to gain accurate information, in order that the appointment may be confirmed in accordance with the intention of the said foundation. At the said committee-meeting the [claims of the] parties shall be presented, and especially of those admitted to the drawing, without any opinion being expressed regarding those who shall not be admitted, or any previous information regarding the decision being given to the parties concerned. Those admitted to the drawing shall be notified to come together on the day prescribed, and on the same day these regulations shall be read, when the superior shall have reported that he has carried out all their provisions, as appears from the book of the committee; and the other arrangements that are made for the fulfilment of this charge shall be put into practice in each successive [223]year, the full record thereof being afterward made in the book, with full evidence that to those who were chosen by lot the donation that was assigned them has been paid.” Maldonado expects that the income of this foundation as a whole will be available within six years, if no disaster be encountered; but the provision for dowries will have to wait twelve years. He states that two things must be considered, in estimating the value of the funds enumerated in this chapter: first, that when they were founded the profits on the Acapulco trade were reckoned at fifty per cent, but at the time when he writes have diminished at the rate of forty per cent; accordingly, the incomes of the funds have been distributed pro rata to the various beneficiaries. Second, as these incomes depend on the perils of the sea, they have encountered many losses from shipwrecks; or the failure of the vessel to complete the voyage, or even to obtain a cargo at Manila; or the delay in receiving the returns from Acapulco, caused by an unsuccessful fair there, or by other embarrassments.]



[This matter is found at the end of chapter ii of Maldonado’s book (pp. 25–29), but is transferred to this place as being more appropriate in orderly sequence; he describes the condition of those institutions at the time of writing his book.]

Present condition of the royal hospital of Manila

The new royal hospital being reestablished, and all the expenses necessary for its maintenance being [224]provided for in the royal treasury, for its business management and the assistance of the sick there were allotted a steward, a physician, a surgeon, nurses, and the other servants who were deemed necessary; and for its spiritual administration the discalced religious of the holy order of our holy father St. Francis, in the province of San Gregorio of these islands—which arrangement was approved by a royal decree, dated at Madrid, May 20, 1624. It has continued in this manner up to the present century, when, on account of the lack of religious for the Indian villages dependent on the Franciscans, and other just reasons, they were released from the ministry of the said royal hospital, and the government appointed secular priests as chaplains, with a suitable income. The cost of maintaining the hospital in its present condition is reckoned at 6,841 pesos, thus: The chaplain, steward, and physician, at 300 pesos each; the surgeon, 240;24 the chief sacristan, three nurses, one assistant surgeon, the keeper of the wardrobe, the cook, and the doorkeeper, each 96 pesos; with this the ordinary expense, 1,368 pesos. [It also requires] 960 cabans of rice, 384 gantas of cocoanut-oil, and 8,400 fowls; also 2,000 pesos, at which amount the provision for medicines is permanently fixed, and 215 pesos besides, which sum is allotted for the cost of wine for mass, wax, and other expenses which are incurred for the titular feast day, which is All Saints’ day. Interments are made in the royal chapel of this garrison, which also has for the year’s expenses 3,220 pesos more, without [225]counting the extraordinary expenses which are necessary during that time in the hospital, for beds, tents, and other needs, and in the royal chapel for ornaments and the other requirements of the divine worship. In the said royal hospital, without a special order from the superior government no other persons are received, whatever their rank may be, besides the officers and soldiers who are in actual service; and, although some mariners resort to this institution—and these are few, on account of the distance of their residence, which is in Cabite—it has not, either, a ward for women. The steward, the chaplain, and the chief sacristan (who usually is a priest) have their residence in the said hospital, and are continually on duty. The physician and the surgeons are present both afternoon and morning, to visit the sick and give prescriptions for what seems necessary. The nurses and the other servants lack the intelligence which is required [in such work], for those who are occupied in it are poor persons, who have no other situations; and, as the employment is arduous, they do not remain long in it. Several high officials, in discussing this matter, have showed their preference that this responsibility should devolve upon our religious. It is certain that the object of that same institution calls for different service, and might also excuse some [further] expense to his Majesty; but as this depends upon the royal command, it has not proceeded beyond mere talk.

The hospital of our religious order—of which mention will be made further on, as not limited to a special class—is a general one, for men and women of all classes; and in this same holy exercise of their [226]ministry is secured the relief and general consolation of the needy who resort to this charity.

Hospital of San Lazaro

Without the walls of Manila is another hospital, with the name of San Lazaro, in which are gathered all those who are stricken by the contagious disease of the same name; it is administered and cared for by the religious of our holy father St. Francis, and his Majesty has assigned to it, by virtue of a royal decree of January 22, 1672, a contribution of 1,187 pesos 4 reals every year—500 pesos in cash, paid from the royal treasury; the rest is the estimated value of 1,500 cabans of rice, 1,500 fowls, 200 light Ilocos blankets, and one arroba of Castilian wine for the holy sacrifice of mass.

Hospital of San Gabriel for the Sangleys

There is also another hospital outside the walls; it is under the protection of St. Gabriel, and in the charge and administration of the religious in the venerable Order of Preachers of the province of the Santissimo Rosario of these islands; it is designed solely for medical treatment for the Chinese (or Sangleys) who reside in this country. For its maintenance at the beginning, there was assigned to it by his Majesty the ferry across the great river which flows between the said hospital and this city; but this allowance ceased at the building of the great bridge which afterward was constructed, and by royal decree of November 26, 1630, the said allowance was commuted to the sum of 2,000 pesos each year, which is paid from the communal chest25 which the Sangleys themselves maintain. [227]

Hospital of Los Baños

In the village of Los Baños, in the jurisdiction of the province of La Laguna, which is distant five leguas from Manila, was founded another hospital at the account of his Majesty; it was for the convalescent soldiers, on account of the specific properties of the waters of that district, particularly for venereal diseases [Galicos]. But the institution has been steadily declining with the course of time, and at present there remains only one religious from the holy order of our holy father St. Francis, who is assisted from the royal exchequer with 120 pesos a year.

[Royal] allowances for infirmaries

In virtue of a royal decree of September 4, 1667, every year are issued [treasury] warrants for 300 baskets [sextos; apparently misprint for cestos] of rict and 200 fowls for the infirmary which the holy Order of St. Dominic maintains in the convent at the village of Lalo, the chief town of the province of Cagayan. By another royal decree, dated January 18, 1706, there are also issued to the holy order of our holy father St. Francis 100 pesos for medicines, and the value of 129 pesos in various commodities, and 800 fowls, for the infirmaries which it maintains in this city, [in] Pagsanhan, the chief town of the province of La Laguna, and [in] Naga, the chief town of the province of Camarines. It is understood, however, that this aid is only for the treatment of the sick religious belonging to the said holy communities. [228]

Hospital of Zamboanga

In the fortified town of Samboanga is maintained a dwelling for the sick soldiers, who are assisted by a practitioner with the title of surgeon; for this occupation he is paid four pesos four reals monthly, and for the treatment of the sick a chest of medicines is sent from Manila every year. The lack of skill on the part of this practitioner or surgeon, and, moreover, the fact that less provision is made for the entire amount of assistance [there given] than the hospital order requires, enable one to see what the men in garrison there will suffer. But it is inferred that those are in worse condition who serve in the garrisons of the fortifications of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Iloylo, San Pedro in Zebù, Santa Isabèl of Paragua in Calamianes, San Francisco in Cagayan, and San Joseph of Tanda in Caraga—not to mention many other posts that are dependent on these principal fortresses—where there is no attendance of surgeons, and no medicines are sent thither. Our community, knowing this, shares in their affliction, by not being able to aid them for lack of the permissions from superiors and the adequate assistance which were indispensable for the proper care of the soldiers.

[The book ends with another chapter, headed “Digression xvii,” which contains an apology for the deficiencies of the work, and an account of two miraculous interventions (by their founder St. John and by an image of the Virgin) at their convent in July, 1739. On the former subject he says: “I avoid repetition of the reasons for the lack of elegant [229]style and exactness of terms, and will conclude by saying that various other deficiencies that may be encountered are irreparable; for these natives who serve as amanuenses are so averse to all orthography that even the greatest exactness in pointing out their errors, in work of this sort, cannot prevent them from making mistakes. Some words they separate [from those] to which these belong, and others they do not divide; they write proper names with a small [initial] letter, and place capitals in the midst of any word; sometimes they set down the words without the least understanding of the punctuation. On this account it is necessary that the reader discreetly supply what [deficiencies] of this sort he may notice; and if this [manuscript] be transcribed for any purpose, that it be corrected beforehand—for this effort has already been made, but has not been sufficient; nor would it be, even if the manuscript were copied over and over, for what is thus made correct in one place is compensated by a new error in another place.” He ends with the usual protestation of loyalty to the doctrines and precedents of the church, dated at Manila, July 10, 1740.] [230]

1 The title-page of this book reads in English thus: “Religious hospital work [conducted] by the sons of our pious father and patriarch, the father of the poor, St. John of God, in his province of San Raphael of the Philipinas Islands: a condensed epitome of its foundation, progress, and present condition, in succinct and instructive style. Dedicated to the very reverend father Fray Alonso de Jesus y Ortega, general of the same holy hospital order, by the reverend father Fray Antonio de Arze, vicar provincial and visitor, and prior of the convent at Manila—in obedience to whom it was written by Fray Juan Manuel Maldonado de Puga, a religious and priest; preacher, master of novices, and chaplain rector in the same convent of Manila. Year of 1742.” The dedication to the general, by Antonio de Arze, is dated at Manila, July 14, 1740. The book is approved by Fray Pedro de Zaragoza, of the same order, at Ocaña, February 26, 1742; and permission for its issue is given by the general of the order at Granada, September 28 following. It is approved by Father Martin Garcia, S.J., “synodal examiner of this archbishopric and that of Sevilla, and of the bishoprics of Malaga and Barzelona,” at Granada, on September 20; and the license by the ordinary is dated at Granada, on September 26. The approval of the book by the Inquisition is signed by Fray Pablo de Ezija, a Capuchin, at Granada, June 12 of the same year; and finally, the permission of the royal Council to print it is dated at Madrid, on July 9. The colophon reads: “Printed at Granada, by Joseph de la Puerta, printer and seller of books: year of 1742.” 

2 The same as French entresol; apparently equivalent to the English word “basement,” and referring to the space left under Filipino buildings. 

3 Spanish, azucar rosado; described by Dominguez as “sugar cooked to the point of caramel, to which is added a little lemon juice, so that the sugar remains [granulated] like sponge sugar, thus serving, with water, for a refreshing drink.” 

4 These signatures indicate that the opinion rendered by the Jesuits dates back of 1717, since in that year Clain died; it is probably earlier than 1708, since in that year Arias and Bobadilla went to the Palaos Islands (Murillo Velarde, Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 377 verso). 

5 Palma brava: the common name of Livistonia rotundifolia, of the order Palmæ; see Merrill’s Dictionary of the Plant Names of the Philippines (Manila, 1903). 

6 Of interest in this connection is Herrmann Sokeland’s “Ancient Desemers or Steelyards,” in Annual Report of Smithsonian Institution, 1900, pp. 551–364. It is well illustrated with engravings of various primitive weighing instruments which are preserved in the museums of Berlin, Germany, some of which came from Thibet and India. 

7 Apparently meaning here, not the Castilian language in general, but as spoken in the islands. 

8 The marco is a weight equivalent to the half of a libra, and is used for weighing gold and silver. The marco of gold is divided into fifty castellanos, and that of silver into eight onzas. (Barcia.) 

9 Albarejo (or alberjon): a provincial term (used in La Mancha), applied, like the Catalan candeal, to a variety of white wheat. (Barcia.) 

10 Spanish tumbaga (from Malay tambâga, copper): an alloy of copper and zinc, or a species of brass, with an excess of zinc; also known as “Dutch gold” and “pinchbeck.” 

11 In the Spanish text, extension; but this is apparently a misprint for some other word, for which, in accordance with the obvious meaning, we substitute “suppression.” At the beginning of Maldonado’s work is printed a list of errata therein, thirty-two in number; this is followed by the naïve remark, “There are some others, which the discreet reader can correct.” 

12 Spanish, Pico de oro; the same as the Greek Chrysostom. 

13 The word caballería has many meanings, but probably only two are here involved; these are found in the supplement to Domínguez’s Diccionario nacional (ed. of 1878). One is, “In the Indias it is understood as the distribution of lands or seigniorial domains granted to the settlers or conquistadors in a country.” It is possible that the text refers to some of those military allotments, which might have descended unbroken to Maldonado’s time; but it is much more probable that he uses the word in the sense of a measure for land. Caballería, in Andalusia, means also the area of sixty fanegas (or 3.8758 hectares) of land. 

14 This sentence sounds somewhat contradictory to the following one; but it is the literal rendering of the Spanish, se graduaron con prelacion de los Legados à las deudas de Justicia. This is but one of many uncertainties in the text of Maldonado’s work which presumably arise from the blunders of native amanuenses which he mentions at the beginning of chapter xvii; the translation is as close as possible, but in various places has been necessarily made more free than is usual in this series, in order to render intelligible involved, elliptical, or even apparently erroneous phraseology. 

15 In the text, Escudo—a rather surprising and foreign use of this word instead of corona

16 In the text, Tierras Tubiganes: tubigan is the Tagal word for Spanish aguanoso, meaning “wet,” or “irrigated.” 

17 In the text, simenteras tabalcanes; but the word tabalcan does not appear in Tagal dictionaries, and is probably a misprint for tubigan, as a result of some error by Maldonado’s native copyists. Quiñon in Spanish means “share” or “portion,” usually of profit in an enterprise; but here it is evidently the Hispanicized form of the Tagal qiñong, which is defined by Noceda and Sanlucar as a land measure equivalent to 100 brazas square of area. 

18 That is, the founder of the order, St. John of God. 

19 Montero y Vidal says (Hist. de Filipinas, i, p. 463, note) of the obras pias: “In 1880 they possessed a capital of 2½ millions of pesos, belonging to the following religious bodies: Discalced Augustinians, 127,938 pesos fuertes; idem at Cavite, 33,117; Order of St. Francis, 500,840; Order of St. Dominic, 205,092; the [archiepiscopal] see, 88,155; House of Misericordia, 811,154; the city, 37,272; the privileged confraternities, 97,617.” See our VOL. XXVIII, p. 298, note 138. 

20 An interesting account of this legacy is given by Uriarte in his history of the Misericordia (q.v., ante). Lobo, a native of Viana, in Portugal, died on September 8, 1709, at Agaña in the Marianas Islands, “having executed a power of attorney for disposing of his estate, in which he left the board of the holy Misericordia as his executor, declaring his mother, Isabel Gonzales Lobo—a widow, and a resident in the said town [i.e., Viana]—the heiress of his property, in case she had survived him. If not, he named his soul as his heir, with the declaration that although he had in the said town married Victoria de Silva he had no children by her, nor had she brought him a dowry at the time and when they contracted matrimony.” The Misericordia made inquiries in Spain to ascertain whether the mother were still alive, and the wife brought in a claim for part of Lobo’s property; it also appeared that the deceased had left a sealed will with his uncle, Francisco Martinez Casados, in Viana. Not until 1723 did the papers arrive from Spain to settle the difficulties attending this will; it seems to have been decided earlier that Victoria de Silva was entitled to one-half of the property gained by Lobo during the period of their marriage [bienes gananciales], but the Misericordia refused to pay out any money until the said documents should arrive from Spain; also that board administered a large sum of money belonging to Lobo, which was lent to General Miguel Martinez at interest, and could not be repaid for several years, especially as his estate was long in probate and greatly decreased in value. “Accordingly, even if the conveyance of the share belonging to the said Victoria de Silva could have been made, there was no opportunity for it.” Nothing further is said about Victoria, but the inference is that she had by 1723 died, or dropped out of sight, or was unable to push her claims further. At all events, the Misericordia, according to Uriarte, sold the property and distributed the proceeds according to the terms of Lobo’s will—having first consulted the learned doctors of the Manila universities as to their justification in doing so, who fully sustained the board’s course; it followed, then, that their procedure was lawful and Christian, and that they were not to blame for the delays which occasioned the final disposition of the estate of Lobo. The opinion of the Jesuit university is reproduced in full; it is dated November 2, 1727, and signed by the licentiate Don Francisco Fernandez Thoribio (apparently an auditor who held the chair of civil law in the university) and Father Pedro Murillo Velarde, and is fortified by numerous citations from canons. They decide that, Lobo in his last will “having left his soul as the heir of his property, that means only the direction that all of it may and should be spent in suffrages, alms, pious foundations, and other ways which can result for the relief and welfare of his soul; and in saying that he ‘gives to the honorable steward and deputies of the Board all his own faculty, amply and sufficiently,’ he means that he leaves to the judgment of the said Board the disposal of his goods, in such manner as shall, according to the circumstances, appear most to the pleasure of God, and the welfare and relief of his soul. Accordingly, in virtue of the said power and faculty the said honorable steward and deputies have authority to proceed to the execution of the will, in the manner which we propose.” They approve of the bequests made by Lobo for three chaplaincies; for the aid of the seminary of Santa Isabel and the support of orphan girls; and for masses for the souls in purgatory. They recommend that the girls of Santa Isabel set aside the masses and prayers of a certain day for the repose of Lobo’s soul, for which shall also be said a thousand masses; and that an offering be yearly made from this estate for the aid of the home for wayward girls, in which a day shall also be observed with prayers for Lobo’s soul. No mention of Victoria de Silva is made in this opinion. 

21 Alguazil: one of the many words of law and administration derived by the Spaniards from the Arabs. The word was originally, according to Dozy, al-vacil, which was from al-wazir, “vizier.” Under the Arabs it was used to denote an officer of high rank, equivalent to dux. The governors of provinces under the Ommiade Khalifs sometimes received the title by way of extra dignity. The Christians used the word down to the fourteenth century as an equivalent to judge of first instance. Descending lower, in time it came to designate an officer of the court, the bailiff—in which sense only alguacil is now used. (H. E. Watts, in note to his edition of Don Quixote [London, 1895], iv, p. 14.) 

22 Gozos: “verses in praise of the Virgin or of the saints, in which certain words are repeated at the end of every couplet” (Velázquez). 

23 In 1686 the Dominicans in Filipinas were strictly forbidden to drink chocolate. This ordinance was observed for several years, until chocolate became so cheap and so generally used (even by the poorest Indians and negroes) that it came to be regarded as a necessity rather than a delicacy, and the prohibition was removed from the friars. (Salazar, Hist. Sant. Rosario, p. 379.)

The culture of the cacao (Theobroma cacao), from the seeds of which chocolate is prepared, was introduced from Nueva España into the Philippines under the rule of Governor Diego de Salcedo. Murillo Velarde accredits this to the Jesuit Juan Davila (Hist. de Philipinas, fol. 395 v.): “He cared for both the temporal and spiritual good of the Indians, endeavoring that they should possess some means of gain which would cause them to remain permanently in the villages, in order to remove the difficulties which ensued from their wandering hither and yon—for, going about in this manner, they were not instructed in the Christian doctrine or in Christian morals—besides other damages which they cause. For this purpose he interceded with the governor, Don Diego de Salcedo, to cause to be brought from Nueva España some shoots of cacao, in order to plant them in Bisayas. The governor accordingly obtained them, while the father was at Carigara, where a plantation was begun with good results; and from that place it has spread to other villages and islands of Pintados—with great benefit to those Indians, and to the general advantage of all the islands; for this beverage is more necessary here than in other regions. It is especially so for the ministers [of religion], who go about in continual voyages and navigations, very often without having the comfort of having any other provision or nourishment.” Father Davila was born in Sevilla in 1615, entered the Jesuit order at the age of fifteen; and was ordained in 1639. For a time he was minister in the college for Irishmen in Sevilla. He came to the islands in 1643, and labored in the Bisayan missions for many years; he died in Ylog, Negros, June 20, 1706. For seven years before his death he suffered from a malignant cancer in the face. Concepción says (Hist. de Philipinas, ix, p. 150): “Chocolate is a great aid to feeble stomachs; and cacao is now produced in such abundance that it serves as the common beverage of every class of people, although it is true that some islands produce it of better quality and richness than do others.”

The introduction of the cacao which was made in 1670 (see VOL. XX, p. 198) is reconciled with that by Davila thus, by Blanco (Flora, ed. 1845, p. 420): “It is very probable that with the remittance of cacao plants which came from America at his order, some others were brought over by private persons; and thus, at the same time when the cacao was spreading through Carigara (where Father Davila was laboring) and through other regions, it would also be cultivated by Tagals. In the year 1674, when Father Ignacio de Mercado was parish priest of Lipa, he says that he distributed seeds of this tree to many persons.” The allusion here to Tagals refers to San Agustin’s statement that the plant of cacao brought over by Pedro Brabo in 1670 was stolen from him by an Indian of Lipa, named Juan del Aguila, who hid and cultivated it; and thence it spread throughout the islands. 

24 There is some uncertainty in the Spanish text, which reads, Cirujano dozientos; y quarenta el Sacristan Mayor. Apparently there is some typographical error in the punctuation; but there is no means of verifying the fact involved. 

25 The money in the communal fund of the Chinese in the Parián was called Lapuat, and in 1718 amounted to more than 20,000 pesos (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, ix, p. 234). 



I wrote last year to your most illustrious Lordship, by way of Nueva España and Portugal, mentioning the pleasure which I felt at the news that your most illustrious Lordship held the presidency of the Council of the Indias; for besides the affection which I profess to your most illustrious Lordship, ever since I experienced your kindness in Balladolid, I have looked for the like success in the management of the important affairs which are entrusted to the Council, and I hope that these unfortunate and remote regions may have a share in the good results which their government needs.

In regard to the troubles which have afflicted this commonwealth: The Dutch, keen to avail themselves of opportunities to extend their commerce, sent hither a warship in the year forty-four, under pretext of an embassy; it was in charge of Monsieur Duvins, the second factor in their trade with Japon. He carried letters from the governor and council of Batavia for the governor and Audiencia here, in which it was stated that he came to look for a bark named “Cathalina Magdalena”—for which a Swiss heretic had given pledges to the Company at Batavia with his own person; it had sailed from here with [231]the name “Sancta Ana,” and a commission from the governor here; but it was sold to the Company, who changed its name, and in the charge of the same Swiss it came back here to trade, with consignments belonging to the Dutch. And since, in order to send the squadron to China,1 the departure of the vessels which were in this bay was prohibited, the said bark was compelled to winter here; and, under pretext of looking after these [commercial] interests, the Dutch sent their envoy with credentials. He carried himself, while here, with the air of an ambassador, and claimed that we should treat him as such, that we should give him audience in a session of the royal court, and that the auditors should visit him; but in polite terms he was given to understand that without express order from his Majesty he could not be treated as he desired; and it was resolved that answer should be made to the letters with entire [232]courtesy—stating that no such bark as the “Cathalina Magdalena” had landed at these islands; but that, if through stress of any storm it should enter our ports, it should receive succor, and our friendly relations would be maintained in all things. His principal topic, however, was that free trade should be permitted to him here, and that the Dutch should bring us all the merchandise necessary for us. But, as he found no opening for a proposition of that sort—on account of the prohibition [of commerce] in the laws [of the kingdoms] and in the treaties of peace, and because of the damage which would ensue to the islands from admitting within them the different religion which neighbors so cunning and so powerful [as the Dutch] would undertake to impart to them—he returned home much disgusted, publishing to the Dutch that Manila could be captured with five hundred soldiers, and even urging this enterprise as an easy one on Barnet, the commander of the English squadron which was then at Batavia.

The Dutch, not discomfited by this repulse, or by the loss of 50,000 pardaos2 (which are 37,500 pesos)—which as they write from Batavia, the above-mentioned ambassador expended—made an agreement with an English corsair who was at Batavia, with a ship of fifty-two guns and another of thirty, to the effect that under his own flag he should escort four Dutch ships, which they despatched to Acapulco last year with merchandise. And in order to hinder the galleon from leaving this port they deceived a Frenchman,3 who was very well known [233]here, hinting to him that the squadron of Barenet [sic] and the corsair were going to attack Manila; and they hastened his embarkation, at the cost of 4,000 pesos, in order that he might notify us here. Then they gave orders to the corsair, with two other ships of their own, to let themselves be seen at the entrance of Mariveles, in order to throw Manila into alarm and hinder the sailing of the galleon. By [causing] this fright they succeeded in their purpose to prevent the sailing of the ship, which was lightened of its cargo as soon as the information which the Frenchman gave reached us; and the 4,000 pesos were paid [to him] for the cost of this warning. The said four ships sailed to leeward, and sighted the coast of Ylocos, whence we had news of this. But they could not attain their principal object; for when the six ships had come together in China, and were laden with [goods worth] 900,000 pardaos (each containing six silver reals), they expected the vessel which, after having given that warning here, was to cross over to China4 and carry to the Dutch [234]a pilot for the navigation to Nueva España; but it could not reach China, and was obliged to go to Batavia. The four Dutch ships and the two [English] corsairs, resolved to carry out their project, sailed from Canton on the fourteenth of September, bound for the coast of Nueva España and Perú to carry on illicit trade,5 and the English to make reprisals. But God, who chose to punish so mischievous a design, permitted that a hurricane should [235]attack them, when they were four days out from Canton; and as a result the two corsairs were driven back to China—the larger vessel dismasted and battered, and the smaller one badly damaged. The four Dutch ships, badly leaking, spent twelve days in searching for an anchorage on the coast of Ylocos, in order to make repairs; but not finding one, they went back to Batavia, with their goods damaged. According to what is written to us in a despatch that is just received from Batavia—from a person who was sent there from here to make observations on the condition of the English piratical squadron—the Dutch lost on their merchandise half of its value; and the corsair sold for 17,000 pardaos his ship of fifty-two guns, with all its military supplies, since it was no longer fit for navigation, while he went with the other and smaller ship—it is said without [stopping for] food—to another port to repair it. [It is also reported] that the squadron of Barenet had departed for Bombain, toward the Persian Gulf, to cruise against the French, from whom he seized at the Straits [of Malacca] nearly a million pesos. The person who was sent from here to Batavia (who is a Malabar) with a balandra was detained there under the pretext that the governor had gone away, and orders were given that he should not be permitted to depart until the governor’s return. But he informed us of everything, by a vessel which he despatched with six men and a French pilot; and he reported that three Dutch fragatas were being equipped and laden with merchandise in order to carry on illicit trade at the entrance of [the Gulf of] Californias, carrying [respectively] forty, thirty, and twenty-five cannon. In his opinion, this was [236]the cause of his detention, in order that, by news [from him] not reaching Manila, the galleon should not sail for Nueva España, and their intention not be known here.

On account of all these advices, and those which we had previously received by way of China making the same statement about the English, it was resolved here that, since the chief [cause for] fear, which was the said squadron—which occasioned the letter with order from the Marqués de la Enseñada,6 to give warning that a ship should not sail from here with cargo—had ceased, and since the commonwealth was in the most deplorable extremity, with a shipment of goods which had been driven back to port, and laden and unladen the second time, and in evident risk of being lost, a final effort was made by dividing the [237]cargo between two ships equipped for war. One of these carried seventy cannon and the other fifty-two (seventy and forty [respectively] being mounted), and a corresponding number of men, resolved to defend their property and with sufficient force to make resistance to the entire squadron of Barenet, whose ships carried fifty-two, forty-five, forty, and thirty cannon. For the cost of this enterprise the body of merchants offered to aid with 50,000 pesos in Acapulco; and this effort seemed necessary, for, as the viceroy of Mexico had orders not to allow any money to come here, he understood them so strictly that last year he sent a bark7 without one real. Nevertheless, he was not ignorant that the situado had not been sent here for three years: that with this, and the failure of the [Acapulco] trade, the treasury of the islands ran short 60,000 pesos each year in customs and anchorage duties; that the citizens would necessarily be reduced to poverty, and that these domains were utterly helpless; and that by despatching the aid in November it would arrive here in entire safety from the English—who only through general lack of military foresight were able to secure the prize which they made; for these islands have various ports where our ships can land (thus mocking the enemy), as occurred in the late war; but when they come by the ordinary route and the artillery is in the hold, no other result [than their capture] can be expected.

The damage, most illustrious Sir, is already done, [238]but it calls to heaven for a remedy for the future. That which I propose is, that, since [the merchandise for] this commerce was formerly supplied, either by sending our barks to the Malabar coast, or by Armenians, Moros, or Malabars coming thence with their ships and goods—only tolerating that they might bring some French pilot—orders be given to observe this plan so strictly that warning be given to the Audiencia, the archbishop, and the city [of Manila] that they shall give information if the governor shall contravene those orders, and some exemplary punishment be meted out. For the despotic power which the governors, under pretext of their services, have assumed is great; and the freedom which they have given to the English and the French8 has arrived at being general license. [239]From this prohibition it follows that they cannot gain so much knowledge about the country and its forts, and that they cannot so greatly injure this commerce, [240][as hitherto]; for the Asiatics are never so shrewd as the Europeans, and their only concern is for their business, without meddling in observations of our forts or our forlorn condition. To this remedy I add that which I have proposed to the Council, and which on this occasion I repeat.

Observing the aforesaid freedom, the Dutch have ventured to come [against us] with the ease which the Swiss heretic had represented to them; and if this Swiss had not been allowed to come here with his bark, he would not have involved us in such difficulties with the Dutch, for they, in pique, undertook to introduce their commerce into Nueva España—tempting the viceroy with 300,000 pesos which they carried thither last year, planning to give him this money so that he should tolerate [their trading]. And since they are now returning I fear that they are planning to occupy some port in California,9 [241]in order that it may serve them as a magazine—like the island of Curazas [i.e., Curacoa] in the North Sea—and to make arrangements for carrying on their commerce from Batavia with the same ease as from here. And in order to prevent these or others from undertaking such a scheme (which would be the destruction of America), I have collected testimony regarding all which can aid the Council to realize how, without any expense to the royal treasury, and with the men of whom we have here more than enough belonging to the navy-yard and ships, [Manila] can be fortified for that part of America, for the security of both these and those domains; but I hope for the success of the former proposition, in order not to pile up schemes. I assure your most illustrious Lordship that this can be pushed forward in a way which will be very useful to the nation; because, in order to keep the Dutch under control, it is enough that they know that we keep in readiness the three galleons each of seventy cannon, which the commerce ought to have, and four fragatas besides, with which we can disturb the commerce of the Straits for the inland regions. This is especially easy to do with the English, because, even though they send squadrons from Europa, many of their men die, and they use up their men as fast as they gain ground; and in this country they can never do us harm if we do not give way [to negligence], as hitherto [we have done].

I hope that your most illustrious Lordship will [242]pardon the annoyance of this, as springing from my zeal10 for the service of the king and the welfare of the nation; and I confide in the inborn devotion [thereto] of your most illustrious Lordship, whose life I entreat God our Lord to preserve for the many years which I desire and need. Manila, July 16, 1746. Most illustrious Sir, I kiss the hands of your most illustrious Lordship. Your most devoted and humble servant,

Pedro Calderon y Henriquez (with rubric)

[Addressed: “To the most illustrious Señor Don Joseph de Carbajal y Lancaster, of the Council and cabinet of the Indias, and president of the Council.”] [243]

1 War had been declared by England against Spain in October, 1739, in consequence of injuries inflicted on British commerce in the West Indies; but letters of marque and reprisal had been issued by the English government in July preceding, under which Captain Edward Vernon captured the city of Portobello (November 22, 1739), and the castle at Cartagena. Captain George Anson also was placed in command of a large fleet, to harass the Spaniards along the coast of Peru, then to proceed northward, attack Panama, and capture the Spanish treasure-fleet, in which proceedings Vernon was to coöperate with him. Anson’s fleet was broken up by storms and sickness, and the two commanders failed to make connections; so Anson, after various depredations on the western coast of South America, sailed to China, where he repaired his ship. Then he set out to meet the Spanish galleon from Acapulco, the “Covadonga;” and on June 30, 1743, Anson captured this vessel after a hot fight, with over 1,500,000 pesos of silver, mostly in coin. To avenge this loss, a squadron of four ships (the one here mentioned in our text) was despatched by the Manila government in pursuit of Anson; they went to China, but could not find the Englishman, who had sailed for his own country. 

2 Pardao (or pardo): a coin used in Portuguese India, worth 3 tostoons 3 vintens (Michaelis). This is equivalent to 360 reis, or to very nearly 35 cents in United States money. 

3 After Governor Torre’s death (September 21, 1745), the government of the islands ad interim was assumed by Fray Juan de Arrechedera, bishop-elect of Nueva Segovia. His first care was to inspect the defenses and supplies of Manila, in view of the dangers which menaced the colony from the English; and he sent to Batavia for cannon, guns and ammunition, his envoy being a Frenchman who was well accredited in the foreign factories, named Antonio Piñon, who is probably the man mentioned by Calderon. Piñon returned to Manila with those supplies, to the value of 38,995 pesos. (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, xi, pp. 305, 306.) 

4 It is clear that the name China (which the French and Italians pronounce Cina) is not the original name of that kingdom, but is one imposed upon it by the foreigners who went thither to trade and barter; it was adopted by the Portuguese, and afterward by our people of the Philippines. Father Julio Aleni, a Jesuit, in a book written in the Chinese language says, in discussing this point: “China, according to foreigners, signifies ‘the country or kingdom of silk;’ and, since there is so great abundance of that commodity therein, those who sailed thither to buy it would say, ‘Let us go to the country of silk,’ or ‘to China,’ which means the same. The like statement was made to me by Don Fray Gregorio Lopez, bishop of Basilea, in whose charge is now the church of China, a religious of ours, and a native of that empire. To this opinion also incline Trigautius and Kircher.” The most common and ordinary name which those people give to their empire, not only in books but in conversation, is Chung Kue, that is, “the kingdom in the middle.” In former times they gave this name to the province of Hò Nan, which lies almost in the middle and heart of that empire; from that region it was afterward applied to that entire country. Others say that the Chinese regarded their kingdom as being in the middle of the world, through their ignorance of the many kingdoms that the world contains. For that reason they also call it Tien Hia, that is, “the world,” or, “the largest or principal part of the world.” Another name they very commonly give to it, calling it Hoa Kue, or Chung Hoa, which means “flowery kingdom,” or “garden, forest, and pleasant place of the middle of the world.” In the time of the emperor Xun this name was much used, and it is still used in literature. It is a very suitable name for that empire, for in truth it is throughout a beautiful garden and a peaceful and pleasant forest. (Domingo F. Navarrete’s Tratados historicos, pp. 1, 2.) 

5 See Raynal’s account of “the settlements, wars, policy, and commerce of the Dutch in the East Indies,” in his Établissemens et commerce des Européens, i, pp. 151–260. An interesting description of Batavia, the capital of the Dutch possessions in the Orient, is given in pp. 221–228; and an account of the organization, administration, and policy of the Dutch East India Company, in pp. 158–161, 228–255. The foundation and early history of the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope are related in pp. 201–213. 

6 Apparently a member of the royal Council; he sent orders that during the war with Great Britain no galleon should sail from Manila for Acapulco, stating that the king thus decreed in order to prevent those rich cargoes from falling into the hands of the English. The merchants petitioned Governor Arrechedera to suspend this decree, at least by permitting them to send to Acapulco the goods which had been registered for that port three years before—which were already damaged by this delay, and would be ruined by a longer one; he did so (with the advice of his counselors), and the galleon “Rosario” and the patache “Pilar” were sent with cargoes in June, 1746. To accomplish this, in the exhausted condition of the colonial treasury, the merchants were obliged to contribute 50,000 pesos for the outfitting of the ships and other expenses; and the royal officials, with the consent of the ecclesiastical cabildo, borrowed from the funds in the treasury belonging to the cathedral 29,805 pesos. The ships were manned with crews of 500 and 350 men respectively. They made the voyage safely, and returned to Manila with the situado for that year and 30,000 pesos on the arrearages in those of previous years. The “Rosario” was again despatched with a cargo, and with request for the situados which had been held back in Mexico; as these amounted to six, the islands were in great need, and the royal treasury almost empty; but the vessel was ill-constructed, and was driven back to port by storms. 

7 Concepción says (Hist. de Philipinas, xi, p. 237) that this was “a little vessel, which was in the service of the missions and presidios in California;” the viceroy sent it because, having heard nothing from Manila for a long time, he feared that Anson had caused destruction there. 

8 Raynal devotes book iv of his Établissemens et commerce des Europées (t. i, pp. 400–548) to the “voyages, settlements, wars, and commerce of the French in the East Indies.” The first voyage to India undertaken by a French commercial company (1601) was commanded by Pyrard de Laval, whose account of his adventures in the Maldive Islands has already been cited in these volumes; but this enterprise was unsuccessful. After various abortive attempts by Frenchmen to engage in the Oriental trade, an East India Company was formed in France (1664) by the great Colbert, with an exclusive charter and many special privileges. The company made a settlement in Madagascar, which was abandoned in 1670, and the French ships then went to India, where they established a post at Surat, and afterward one at Pondicherry. At first the trade prospered, especially at the latter post; but after a time the affairs of the company were mismanaged, its funds diminished so that ruinous expedients, only temporarily successful, were resorted to; its markets at home were spoiled by the sale of India goods, taken by French privateers from English and Dutch prizes, at very low prices; for lack of money, the company could not keep up its purchases in India; heavy duties were laid on all India goods; the conduct of the home government toward the company was, although vacillating, generally oppressive, and its administration corrupt; and the company long struggled on the brink of ruin. At the end of the fifty years’ term of their charter, they secured (1714) an extension for ten years more; and in the period of “frenzied finance” engineered by John Law (1716–21) various other trading companies were merged in this one, which later was substantially aided by the French government. For a time the company acquired great power and extensive territories in India; but war broke out between France and England, and in 1761 Pondicherry was captured and destroyed by the English. Afterward, from 1764 to 1769, the company conducted a prosperous Oriental trade; but its affairs had long been mismanaged, and the government had meddled with these unduly, while there had been much corruption among both its directors and its officials. It was found to be heavily indebted, and its finances fell into almost hopeless confusion; and finally a royal decree dated August 15, 1769, suspended the exclusive privileges granted to the Company of the Indies, and gave all Frenchmen liberty to navigate and trade beyond the Cape of Good Hope. The company thereupon undertook to liquidate their affairs, and made over to the government (April 7, 1770) their property, the latter assuming the debts and obligations of the company.

In the period 1725 to 1770, the East India Company of France sent out 761 trading ships, an average of 17 each year; the number in 1725 was 33, but it dwindled toward the close of that period until, in 1769, it was but 3; the ships, during the 45 years, were manned by 87,223 men, an average of 115 to each ship. The amount of merchandise carried to the Indias varied from 7,800,000 livres’ worth (in 1769) to 612,000 (in 1764), and for the entire period was 133,000,000. The vessels that returned to France numbered 585; they carried thither goods which had cost 344,000,000 livres in the East, and which were sold in France for 636,000,000: the years in which these sales produced most profit were: 1741, a gain of 12,327,000 livres; 1752, 13,719,000 livres; and 1755, 12,785,000 livres. During the first decade, the company paid on its sales, as duties to the crown, the sum of 25,000 livres annually; then until 1765, with a few exceptions, 3,000 livres a year; and during 1765–71, sums varying from 538,000 to 126,000 livres a year. The annual dividends varied usually from eight and a quarter to three millions of livres; steadily decreasing (in groups of years) to the latter figure; in 1746 the dividend was 15,000,000, but in that year the company borrowed the large sum of 25,000,000. In 1765 the dividend was but 766,000 livres. Its capital in 1725 was 100,000,000 livres due from the crown, and 39,835 in its ships and other assets. In June, 1747, the government increased its obligations to the company to 180,000,000 livres, in compensation for depriving it of the monopoly of the sale of tobacco, and engaged to pay it the interest on that sum forever at the rate of five per cent. (See a tabulated statement of the affairs of the French company, at the end of the atlas volume of Raynal’s work.)

After the exclusive privileges of the company were suspended, the India commerce was carried on by private persons, and steadily flourished. Raynal presents another table, showing the net product of this private commerce, as indicated by the sales at the French port of l’Orient, during 1771–78 inclusive, of merchandise brought from the Indies, China, and the islands of France and Bourbon; it shows a regular and large increase, save in 1778. The amounts of these sales vary from 10,336,000 livres in 1771 to 27,509,000 in 1777; in the following year the amount was but 14,026,000. The total sales for the eight years amounted to 149,273,000 livres, an annual average of 18,659,000. 

9 “[Lower] California serves as a way-station for the vessels which sail from the Philippines to Mexico; Cape St. Lucas, situated at the southern extremity of the peninsula, is the place where they halt. They find there a good port, fresh food, and signals which warn them if any enemy has appeared in those places which are most dangerous for them. It was in 1734 that the galleon landed there for the first time; and the orders given to it, and its necessities, have drawn it to that place ever since.” (Raynal, Établissemens et commerce des Européens, ii, p. 106.) 

10 The writer of this letter was one of the auditors of the royal Audiencia at Manila (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, xi, p. 295). 



As the ships which in the years 47 and 48 sailed from here to Acapulco were driven back to these islands, the letters which in those years I wrote to my brother could not be despatched. This obliges me to avail myself of a safer opportunity, that afforded by the voyage of the father procurators, Pedro Murillo1 and Bernardo Pazuengos, who for many and important reasons are going to Europe by way of the coast (that is, the Orient) in a French ship which is going from here to France. In the letters which I wrote in past years, I informed my brother of the enterprise of the missions in Joló and Mindanao, in which we were involved by the governor of these islands, Fray Juan de Arrechedera, by the hasty remittance of the letters despatched from Don Felipe (whom may God keep) to the sultans of Joló and Mindanao, and with his own energetic exhortations and promises to our provincial—so that he gave no opportunity to take any counsel, or to furnish means for avoiding the most serious difficulties. [The worst of these] was, as we soon perceived, that at the very time when he despatched with embassies the [244]letters of our king to the said sultans, the said Governor Arrechedera sent an urgent invitation to the sultan of Joló to come to Manila, where he would be hospitably received and entertained. We all knew that the object of the governor was, that the sultan might bring here abundance of pearls and gold; and we also knew that with the departure of the sultan from his kingdom the mission would come to an end, as has actually happened.2 At the time we were only mistaken in one thing, and that was, to feel sure that the fathers would not leave Joló or Mindanao; for we reckoned that if the sultan should leave Joló the natives would kill the fathers of that mission, and the sultan would easily justify himself because the act had been committed in his absence, and he could even pretend great sorrow for the deaths of the fathers; and in Mindanao, when it was known that in Joló they had killed the fathers, they would do the same there to those engaged in the Mindanao mission.

In reality the fathers had arrived at Zamboanga. When the Moros found themselves obliged to receive the fathers in their kingdoms, according to the promise which they had given in their replies to our king and to the governor of Manila, the two sultans agreed between themselves that after they had admitted the fathers [to their countries] they would treacherously kill them, and so that their murder could not be attributed to the influence of the sultans. The means which the sultan of Joló took was, [245]that after he left his kingdom they should kill the fathers—although God our Lord disposed affairs otherwise from the schemes which the sultan, with unheard-of craft and perfidy, had plotted.

In order that my brother may be fully informed, and may correctly relate everything to all those whom my brother may think expedient to tell of it, I send that enclosure which Father Ygnacio Malaga wrote to me; this account is worthy of entire credence, since he was almost an eyewitness of everything which he relates, being one of the missionaries appointed for Mindanao.

If what Governor Arrechedera is doing here in Manila with the sultan of Joló could be known in Madrid and Roma, and in every other country, people would have no difficulty in believing the enormous perfidy, treachery, and deceit of the said sultan and other Moros. It is nearly a year since the said sultan of Joló arrived at Manila, accompanied by three concubines and several slave-girls. At his arrival the artillery was discharged; and he was lodged very magnificently, in a house provided beforehand for this purpose, outside the walls of Manila, with a continual guard of soldiers, whose captain was always under the orders of the sultan. The entry of the sultan into Manila was arranged with so much pomp and ostentation that everyone said no more could have been done for the entry of the prince of España if he should come to Manila; but all that is told is less [than the reality]. The governor seeing a scarf woven with pearls and ornaments in gold, immediately his eyes and his heart went out toward the scarf and the many other pearls and jewels which he knew the sultan carried. At this the [246]governor entirely closed his eyes to all the information that was given to him—not only that furnished by the fathers of the said missions who had come back to Manila, but the letters which the governor of Samboanga had written to him—openly saying that he placed more confidence in the king of Joló than in the fathers who sent the information. What causes most general sorrow here (and especially to the archbishop)3 is, that on account of the governor not being willing to listen to anything against the sultan, that is coming true which the fathers said to his Lordship—that the said sultan from Manila would cause the ruin of these islands, causing the Jolóans by piratical raids to carry away many Christian Indians as captives, and to destroy churches and villages. This is what they are actually doing, as is written by the fathers in Visayas, whose letters I have seen within a few days, and the governor will not permit that a word be uttered in order that it may not be said (although it is well known) that the Moros are destroying the island with the gunpowder and balls which have been sent them from Manila, and the sultan is paying for them with the pearls and gold which he has given to the said governor. What continually renews the grief of all is, that not only [247]is no remedy applied to so dire evils, but that the governor continues to entertain the sultan in Manila as if he were our friend or defender, while he is the greatest traitor and enemy that this Christian church has had; and we greatly fear that by this time the said sultan is making himself master of the post at Samboangan.4 [248]

It is sufficient to have pointed this out in order that my brother may gain knowledge of the condition in which affairs are. What concerns the mission in Mindanao is made sufficiently clear in the letter from Father Ygnacio Malaga, and everything that he says is the simple truth; but, in order that this truth may not be smothered with the reports which this governor of Manila is sending to the court at Madrid, I have sent my brother that letter of Father Malaga, entreating him to please show it to the father procurator-general Pedro Ygnacio Altamirano, and to any other person whom my brother may think best, for the sake of the credit of this province and of the entire Society—for they do not lack many rivals, who are not willing that the ill-success of the missions of Joló and Mindanao should be attributed to the perfidy and malice of the Moros; but they try to charge it to the very fathers of the Society.

My brother will also please tell the father procurator Altamirano how the father provincial Pedro de Estrada had written to inform his Reverence that all the letters of contract on our side in favor of his illustrious Lordship Fray Arrechedera could not be worded otherwise, since we found ourselves obliged to this by the urgent request of the governor himself, and he had to see all of them. But in reality the course of the said governor cannot in conscience [249]be approved [abonar] except with the reflection that Father Altamirano knows very well that our letters on this matter were being misconstrued, and that his Reverence would not be influenced to bind himself in virtue of them to favor the said Señor Arrechedera. In order to make this more certain, the said father provincial Estrada wrote a letter in order that the said Father Altamirano should not pay any attention to this undertaking of ours; and I, as his secretary at the time of the said father provincial, wrote the third letter, as I did all the rest.

Now it is evident to me that the archbishop of Manila is informing his Majesty very thoroughly of the proceedings of the said governor; and certainly it would go ill with us with the king and his Council, if our reports should be presented in favor of the said governor, while those which the archbishop is now sending are entirely contrary to this. Here we are, as if in Limbo, for we have not had mails from Europe for more than three years, except the news which came from China and Batavia.

The father provincial Pedro de Estrada died at the end of the year 48; his office was temporarily filled by Father José Samaniego, and in seven months he also died. God our Lord has freed these islands from the scourge of the English, for the squadron of forty-three ships which was destined for this coast undertook first to seize Pondicheri and Madrás (which they thought would be an affair of a few days), and then go on to Philipinas; but they did not capture either Pondicheri or Madrás, and much or even the greater part of the squadron was destroyed in a fierce storm. If they had come here, [250]it is certain that now this country would be in the power of the English; for all the precautions that were taken here for our defense were festivities with the sultan of Joló and his concubines, to the profound sorrow of the community; etc. Cavite, December 2, 1749.

[Addressed: “To my brother Pedro, the abbot.”] [251]

1 Evidently referring to Pedro Murillo Velarde, extracts from whose Historia de Philipinas have already appeared in this series. The phrase “the Orient” alludes to the route via India to Europe. 

2 Full accounts of this mission may be found in Ventura del Arco MSS., iv, pp. 447–591, in letters from the Jesuits Pedro Estrada and Juan Angles, dated June 25, 1748, and June 18, 1749, respectively—with letter from Felipe V to the sultan of Joló, and the latter’s reply. 

3 This was Fray Pedro de la Santisima Trinidad Martinez de Arizala; he was a native of Madrid, and had been an auditor in the royal Audiencia of Quito for seventeen years, and was an honorary member of the Council of the Indias. But, “disillusioned with the world, and weary of honors, his sensitive conscience found room in the estate of a Franciscan religious, taking their habit, and professing their austere life.” He took possession of the archbishopric of Manila on August 27, 1747, at the age of fifty-two years. Difficulties arose between him and Arrechedera; but he contented himself with laying these troubles before the court at Madrid. He died on May 28, 1755. (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, xii, pp. 38–40, and xiii, pp. 338, 339.) 

4 See the detailed account of this episode, and of events connected with it, in Concepción’s Hist. de Philipinas, xii, chaps, ii–v, which may thus briefly be summarized:

In 1735 Maulana, sultan of Joló, abdicated in favor of his son Mahamad Alimudin. This youth was “brought up in the school of his father,” in matters of craft and policy; he had spent some time at Batavia, where he became proficient in the Arabic and Malayan languages, and in the Koran—“which he explained with so much erudition that the Joloans gave him the title of chief pandita of that kingdom,” and he attained among the Moros “an authority almost supreme.” He negotiated for peace with the Spaniards, which was effected in 1737; he promised to restore the Christian captives, but his datos resented this, and refused to obey. In May, 1740, a Recollect priest, Fray Hypolito de San Agustin, was captured by Moro pirates; but certain Joloans—especially their pandita, one Yaloc—rescued him and took him to Joló, where he was kindly received and cared for. The sultan demanded a ransom of 12,000 pesos for him; after many difficulties and negotiations, and some aid from the Jesuits, the captive priest secured his liberty by binding the Recollect province to pay the amount demanded for ransom. Soon afterward, the sultan was persuaded by Commandant Zacharias and the Jesuit Isasi at Zamboanga to commute his claim to 1,000 pesos, which was gladly paid by the Recollects. The peace made with Alimudin stopped the invasions by the Joloans, but the Tirones from the Bornean coast continued their destructive raids. Remonstrances being made at Madrid by the representatives of Philippine interests, the king wrote the letters to the rulers of Joló and Tamontaca (the latter being Ameril Mahomenin Campsa), which have been previously mentioned in this series; they were received at Manila in July, 1746, and were sent to their destination by the hands of the Jesuits Isasi and Arcada. These envoys conducted various negotiations with the sultan, who demanded (and received) from the Manila government aid of money, guns, and iron—for Joló, to repay him for the expenses which he had incurred in aiding the Spaniards against the Tirones; for Tamontaca (or Mindanao), to aid in the war with Gula, the son of the rebel Malinog. Arrangements were made for the opening of Jesuit missions in Joló and Tamontaca; but they soon came to naught. In September, 1748, a rebellion in Joló unseated Alimudin, and sent him a fugitive to Zamboanga; and, Ameril and Gula having become reconciled, threatened treachery sent the Jesuit Moreno back from Tamontaca to the same refuge. Alimudin went to Manila, here he was received with much éclat by Governor Arrechedera; he was there apparently converted to the Christian faith by the governor’s persuasions. 




To the king our sovereign Carlos III:1

Sire: The pressing obligation which rests upon all good vassals to render some service which shall be profitable to their sovereigns encourages my faint-heartedness [252]to lay at the royal feet of your Majesty this work, which I offer with the utmost submission, with the assurance of my most loyal desires that your Majesty may enjoy the most prosperous and glorious reign over these dominions. [I am also urged on by] my own practical knowledge [of the subject], and the demand of the entire nation, especially of the mercantile interests—although little do they suspect that I have undertaken the enterprise with so much energy from persuading myself that my good fortune would gain for this act your Majesty’s kindly regard, which, coming to the knowledge of your loyal vassals, will be received with the utmost satisfaction, [253]and as a proof of your paternal affection and your sincere desire for their advancement.

I entreat our Lord that He will grant you all success and prosperity, and a long life, in order that these realms may enjoy for very many years the felicitous rule which the nation ought to expect from the distinguished qualifications possessed by your Majesty, from which it hopes to become more glorious than ever.


Prologue to the Reader

Commerce is contemporaneous with human society, from whose necessities it was born. [The author here sketches the origin and development of commerce among civilized nations, and states how in his undertaking this work he received the approval of the late king of Spain Fernando VI.]


Commerce of the Philipinas Islands; the benefit and advantages which the said islands ought to yield to his Majesty (whom may God preserve).

[This will seem] a strange statement when it is considered that the Philipinas Islands since the year 1565 have caused to España every year a very great expense, without affording the least temporal advantage; and when I now try to demonstrate the advantage and benefit of them to the crown of España some will say that it is already time to stop; and others will ask, “Who is this newcomer2 who so [254]boldly tries to persuade us that the Spaniards have neglected their duty for one hundred and ninety-two years?” But so it is, and now is the time to warn them of this neglect; and, although ignorance attempts to prevent this, it shall not make me desist from the undertaking. I desire that his Majesty (whom may God preserve) may have positive knowledge of the treasure which he possesses in the Philipinas Islands; and I am undertaking to place before his Majesty plain and clear evidence that they can and ought to furnish very great profit, and maintain themselves from their own products.

I make no pretensions as an author, nor do I claim to have the ability for that; therefore let us lay aside panegyrics, which are so unprofitable; for, even if this little work deserves them, that does not comport with my purpose, which is simply the service of his Majesty and the advancement of his realms.

As regards all that I shall be able to state of the products of commodities which the said islands yield, in order that every one may know that I do not advocate something that is not so, I recommend (although various persons have written on the subject) to the curious the two books of the reverend master Father Pedro Murillo Velarde, of the Society of Jesus, entitled Historia de las Islas Philipinas and Historia geografica of the same Philipinas Islands.

These are worthy of attention, and in regard to what is theoretical can furnish much light; as for what concerns the practical, and the experience [255]which I have acquired at the cost of much money, labor, and application, I must make evident all the following.

First: We must consider what commodities or products these islands contain or produce, as well as the fact that we do not have to build castles in the air or proceed on fanciful assumptions; all that I assert shall be from my own knowledge.

Second: Whether the products or commodities can be used, and to explain and demonstrate how we can avail ourselves of them; and all that I shall say on this subject will proceed from the long experience which I have had.

Third: The advantages and benefits which will redound to his Majesty, to the Spaniards settled in those regions, and to the Indians themselves.

The first point: As the products of the Philipinas Islands are enumerated by the reverend Father Murillo (whom may God keep in Paradise), whom I have cited, and those of each island separately, in order not to extend this little work needlessly I will state the most important ones, which are the following: Rice, sugar, cotton (of choice quality and very fine), indigo, sulphur, siguey, balate, wax, pepper, coffee, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl; gold, mines of iron, and mines of copper (like that of Japon); tobacco, brazil-wood [sibucao], and pearl-fisheries; oil, cacao, birds’-nests, and ebony wood; lead (I believe that, as for the soil in some parts of Bisayas,3 it melts into lead, just as in the island of Mauricius, which belongs to the French, it melts into iron); [256]cocoanuts, which produce abundance of oil;4 horses; deer and buffaloes, from which the people make what they call tapa [i.e., dried beef], and also use the sinews; and bichuca, or rattans.5

The above-mentioned products are very abundant, and exceedingly easy to collect. I do not, however, wish to include the following, for the reasons which I have mentioned: Lead, [of which] I have not personally actual experience, although I regard it as being as sure as all the others; coffee, which, as it is not cultivated, is not abundant, and its consumption is small for exportation, less than it would be for España or Europa; iron, [the working of] which, although it is very abundant, they have not yet succeeded in perfecting; the pearl-fisheries, which are not operated; copper, the mines of which are not worked; and cocoanuts, which are little used outside [the islands] except for oil and nails.6

The second: The commodities that I have mentioned are exported to the places that are enumerated as follows, and sell at prices that are very profitable[257]—although commerce has, as in all regions, its ups and downs [sus altos y bajos]. To various ports of China: rice, sugar, cotton, indigo, bichuca or rattan, balate, pepper, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl, brazil-wood, ebony, tapa, the sinews of cattle, birds’-nests, and lead when they have it. To the Malabar coast and Persia: sugar in large quantities, which is sold for money. To the Coromandel coast and Bengala: sugar, indigo, brazil-wood, sulphur, pepper, siguey, birds’-nests, cotton, and often rice.

The third: The advantages and benefit which will accrue to his Majesty from the commerce and exportation of the commodities and products of those same islands are various, to wit: The more that the commodities which they need from outside can be supplied from the native products of the islands themselves, the more silver remains in the [Spanish] dominions. The more commodities or fruits are exported, so much more land will be cultivated, and many more people employed; and consequently the tributes imposed by his Majesty can be all the more easily collected, and from that time the royal exchequer will be better filled; and the vassals, by being kept busy, become more obedient and more loyal. The Spanish traders who are established there are favored [by such policy]; for they obtain their profits on both the exportation and the importation, and if one of these fail, the other will be able to supply the deficiency; but the advantage will be the greater if it can be obtained from both sources of gain. When commerce is flourishing, his Majesty will obtain greater profits from the customs duties, for which reason it is highly expedient that his Majesty encourage the cultivation of the land and the increase of its products—a thing which I do not [258]consider difficult of accomplishment, as I have already demonstrated in another little work, which I have placed in the hands of the ministers.7

In order to demonstrate clearly how much the people of Manila could avail themselves of the products of the land, I will relate what occurred with myself (and it is a circumstance which proves what I advanced in the second point), to wit: When I was at Manila the exportation of sugar was rigorously prohibited, so that hardly could a ship carry away enough for its own supply, [the authorities] telling the vessel-owners that it was against the ordinances of his Majesty. I remained for some time under this delusion, until I had carefully examined the said ordinances, from which it was clear to me that his Majesty had decreed everything in favor of his Indian vassals, and that his royal will was, not to oppress them therein. It caused me, then, much pain to see that this thing was so entirely misunderstood, since this prohibition was diametrically opposed to it; for it forbade the people to enjoy the benefits of the country which God had given them, which the king never had intended to take away from them—especially as this [commerce] is the only means that they possess by which they can pay their tributes. Finally I undertook to establish generally the exportation of sugar. Having been warned of the difficulties, I went to the province where it8 greatly abounds (which is called Pampanga), [259]and did what I could; it was agreed that I should make an experiment, in order to please his Lordship. I consented, on the condition that a certain Don Francisco Salgado, a careful and industrious man, should be appointed my assistant; as I had not the time to execute this plan, I only gave him all [necessary] information and instructions. At last we succeeded in making indigo so good that it stood every test, the severest and most certain that are known being those of water and of fire. I sent specimens of that quality to China, the Coromandel coast, Persia, and Londres [i.e., London]; in the first three places they were anxious to obtain it, and offered good prices, and in the last-named one the indigo that had cost 500 reals vellon was sold for 2,600 reals. They will be able to manufacture every year such quantity as they desire.

I believe that I have succeeded in what I undertook to demonstrate, which is as follows: First, to make known the abundance of the products of the Philipinas Islands; second, to prove from my own experience that it is easy to secure the benefit of these; third, to set forth the advantage and benefit which will accrue to his Majesty, to the Spaniards settled in those regions, and to the Indian vassals generally.

I can say that charity has induced me to make known what I have already related from my own experience, seeing that all that has hitherto been written [on this subject] is very superficial; nor can the most intelligent man form from those books a stable opinion of what these islands are capable of yielding from their so abundant products.

This little work is condensed, but those who are capable of comprehending it will see that it is [so] [260]on account of being written out of thorough understanding and knowledge of what I write about, and not for lack of a very broad field in which I might descant, for it cannot be denied that there is material for filling a volume.

Nevertheless, I do not claim to lay down the law, nor do I presume to change any system; my intention is only to depict things as they are, in order that his Majesty may have actual knowledge of the treasure which he possesses in these islands. No advantage results to me, nor do I expect more than to be a man ready to communicate [what he knows], and desirous to do what shall depend on a limited ability, for the greater benefit of his Majesty and the advancement of his realms. But it is already time that we show in what consists the advantage and benefit which will accrue to his Majesty from the Philipinas Islands.

What precedes this serves only to demonstrate that the Spaniards settled in Manila have a broad field for carrying on a flourishing commerce, and even it would redound much to the advantage of his Majesty. But what I am earnestly advocating is cinnamon, and it is of great importance to his Majesty and worthy of his royal attention; and if I say that no one has hitherto, or since España conquered the Philipinas, made a proposition so certain, so well founded, and so advantageous to his Majesty, and to all his dominions and his vassals, it is not much to say. For it is no exaggeration when I say that it is more than the conquistador accomplished; he succeeded, with honor and glory, in conquering the islands, but they have always cost España most dearly for their maintenance. For not only do I [261]aim to relieve those expenses, which are so large, but those islands can in a few years become a benefit to his Majesty, and to his vassals, both Spaniards and Indians. I do not ask these gratuities,9 nor that the king should spend one maravedi; my chief object and desire is, that a stable commerce be allowed from those countries to these kingdoms by the most direct route.

No one is ignorant of the vast amount of silver which goes every year from España to the Dutch for the supply of cinnamon, for it is not less than many millions of pesos duros each year, as they have estimated; but I affirm that this is because they [i.e., the Spaniards] are willing to let the silver go out [of the country]. España might with as good reason send to Olanda to buy her wine as her cinnamon. I will not undertake to argue whence it comes, although I know it very well. What I am trying to do, without offending any one, is to remedy this lack which España suffers, that the Spaniards may use their good judgment and their reason and become true patriots. What a pity it is that his Majesty, possessing so noble a commodity, and being able to place it on the market—with as good success as that of Ceylán, and even at less than half of the price—should permit so many millions of silver to pass every year from his dominions to the Dutch! which is to furnish that people with arms for carrying on war when opportunity may offer. It is well known that España consumes more cinnamon than all the other nations; can there, then, be greater folly? In order (as I suppose) to humor the Dutch, España [262]leaves unused the cinnamon which she has in her own house, in order to buy it from those enemies and the destroyers of the holy faith in those countries; I say that this is opposed to the Christian religion, and I prove it in a few words: if España would avail herself of this product which she could so easily dispose of, the Dutch could not maintain [their establishments in] the island of Ceylon, and then España could even introduce missions in that island. But what foolish talk! The Dutch maintain Ceilon? The Spaniards support it; they pay for its ships, its fortresses, and its garrisons which the Dutch have there—although in order to destroy these the Spaniards need neither balls, nor gunpowder, nor war. If any one thinks that this is a sweeping statement [es adelantar mucho], we are of differing opinions, because to me it seems a moderate one.

I am known as a man who has accomplished much, who has traveled in many lands, and who has not passed through them heedlessly; nor have I stopped to consider the expenditure of money, or the risk to health, in order to satisfy my curiosity and obtain well grounded knowledge of all things wherever I have traveled. To the point: Samboanga, the capital of the island of Mindanao, is the place which could produce cinnamon as good as that of Ceylon, if our people knew how to cultivate it; I have already made the experiment, and it will yield the amount that I shall require. The Dutch are well aware of this, [as appears] by evidence which can be verified by me; for they, with their trained and accustomed cunning, placed in the said island a stone with the initial letters of [the name of] their company [263]engraved on it, like those which they are wont to place in their bales of goods, etc., by way of manifesting that these belong to the said company. The said stone was brought to Manila while I was there, and was delivered to the Marques de Obando; and his Lordship, knowing that I understood the tricks and policy of those gentlemen, sent to call me, and, showing me the stone, he said, “What is the meaning of this stone, which they have brought to me under such-and-such circumstances?” I replied to his Lordship, “It is nothing; it is a mark which the Dutch are wont to set up in order to have a pretext, when opportunity offers, for laying claim to the lands in which they have placed the said stones.”10 No one, then, who understands that people—keen, mercenary, and always on the watch—will fail to agree with me, that they do not set up these stones in barren islands, unless it is evident that, on account of the location of these islands, it will not suit the Dutch to have [other people there as] close neighbors. When they abandoned the island of Maurisius, considering it uninhabitable on account of its sterility, they left no engraved stone in it. It is a circumstance which deserves attention, and is even [264]worthy of coming to his Majesty’s knowledge; and likewise those who have or have had practical knowledge of these matters regard them in this way. Finally, I have compared the quality of the soil at Samboanga with that of Ceylon, also the leaves of the cinnamon tree; still more, I have gathered the bark of this tree at Samboanga and made certain experiments with it, and when I compared it with that from Ceylon they were of equal value. I consider, then, [from] the manner of making these experiments with the cultivation of the soil and the culture of the cinnamon, [that] it will prove to be equal [to that of Ceylon]. Finally, in commencing the experiments which I have made—with the greatest application and industry, and enormous expenses—they are quite sufficient to prove that it will be possible, in the term of five or six years, to produce a large part of the best cinnamon which comes to Europa. This I have learned from the experiment with a quantity of chocolate which I ordered to be made in my own house at Manila; this product has been greatly liked by the ladies, and by people of taste and understanding, in the said city.

In view of these proofs, which I have from actual knowledge of the method of cultivating and preparing this product, it causes me surprise that his Majesty is losing a source of profit so extensive and lucrative; and I am persuaded that if full knowledge of them could have reached the officials who might have authority to examine the subject, they would have taken suitable measures to secure this benefit—although it is certain that it would not be considered that no one hitherto has attained it [i.e., such knowledge] except that which is here explained [265]by myself, which is the simple truth. And as for what concerns my part, I can serve, if desirable, in carrying out a work so national and so advantageous to his Majesty—in which honor and fame spur me to place myself at the disposal of his Majesty, without causing him the expenditure of one real of silver; for, thanks to God, I have the means for travel. Nevertheless, I shall never weary in the acquisition of the precious treasures of honor and truth; for God only knows the exceeding satisfaction which I feel in being the first and only person who has had the good fortune to furnish this information, so clear and plain that, if it were published to the world, I am sure that the rest of the nations would conspire against me; for they know its great usefulness, and the little difficulty which I would find in carrying out the plan.

I have been assured that the clove is found in Mindanao. I have made every possible effort to investigate this, and I believe that it is certainly so, although I cannot assert more than what experience has taught me. But I can affirm with more certainty that the nutmeg grows there, and needs only to be cultivated; also pepper of the best quality, and most delicious, can be had in abundance. At present the only thing left for us is to reflect upon the many advantages and incredible benefits which will accrue to his Majesty, and to his dominions and vassals, both Spaniards and Indians, without costing him a real vellon to establish this commerce. The English and Dutch, on the other hand, will spend millions to prevent the success of this great project, for which reason it is evidently necessary to maintain the utmost secrecy regarding it. [266]

Recapitulation of the advantages and benefits of this commerce

First: The millions of pesos duros which now pass out of the domains of his Majesty, with which the Dutch are enriching themselves and promoting their main commerce, that of the cinnamon; they will have so much less for hostilities against España, the more that this matter of the cinnamon is pushed in that country, thus rendering it impossible for them to carry away the silver thence.

Second: Great numbers of Indians would be employed who now have no way in which to make a living or to pay their tributes; by this means not only would they be relieved [from their burdens], but it would be with great increase to the royal exchequer; and through their application and gains they would consequently be more faithful and constant vassals, while now idleness and vices prevent them from being such.

Third: The Philipinas Islands are suffering severely from the lack of communication by a direct route with España; this could be easily secured by arming the ships there, which need from España more people than a few officers; and it would be very desirable to transport for those islands some artisans whom they will need for promoting and cultivating the various products of the land.

Fourth: The more that the lands are cultivated and their products made available, the greater will be the number of men and of infidel Indians that will be needed; and consequently they will submit [to Spanish authority], and be converted into loyal vassals and friends, and Christianity will be increased [267]in those regions, without any fear that the Moro and infidel enemies can disturb them.

Fifth: It will be possible to equip every year three or four ships of six hundred to a thousand toneladas each, and despatch them for Europa with cinnamon, pepper, and other spices which will be produced there; and in return they will go back with various commodities and fruits, the products of España, which the people of Manila always find themselves compelled to buy from the English and Dutch, carrying away the money for them. In this manner not only will these gains remain within the dominions of his Majesty, without the other nations being able to draw thence the money with which they carry on war, [to the] injury of the commerce of España, but by this means the [Spanish] dominions that are so remote will come to be to a large extent dependent one upon another; and as the intercourse between them would be mutual and friendly, the Indians consequently would have occasion to see and experience the greatness [of the Spanish power]. Thus they would come to be more faithful and loyal vassals, and returning to their own lands, would influence their countrymen to be the same.

Sixth: No one will deny my statement that the cinnamon would [thus] be obtained at a much less cost [by the Spaniards] than that at which the Dutch can sell it, unless [they encounter] less risk and danger—[which are] so manifest that for the preservation of this commerce they find themselves compelled to maintain a great number of troops and keep up many forts and garrisons, solely to defend themselves. Let to all this be added the governors, and the enormous number of people whom they have in [268]their service, with some very large expenses which arise from the various opinions of the companies—the costs of which, so ill applied, render the cinnamon more expensive (although in reality its cost is low), and it is certain that their commerce in spices does not prove to be so profitable as the nations assert. Very differently, then, will it be in favor of España when she reaches the cultivation of the cinnamon; for in place of the great expenses which his Majesty has had ever since he took possession of the said island, without its producing any benefit, he will obtain the greatest advantages without spending a real vellon more than at present. Especially, labor will be found as cheap, and the cultivation of the soil as easy, as in Ceylon; and the navigation can be made with the same advantages that [other] nations [possess], or even greater. For this reason the cinnamon will cost the merchants forty or fifty per cent less than they have actually paid hitherto. It is certain that it is a very serious damage which España generally suffers in her commerce, from paying, through this negligence, the freight charges of the Dutch ships, and the cost of their officers and seamen; and they even maintain their fortifications, etc., with the money which they obtain from España for this product of cinnamon.

Seventh: Likewise, there would be great advantage to España in the ships which would come from the Philipinas, as I have said (in the fifth point); for they would return laden with many fruits and products of these kingdoms of España.

Eighth: The Americans would likewise share in this great benefit; for the cinnamon, for which they are today paying so exorbitant a price, they would [269]obtain at very nearly the same price at which it is usually sold in Cadiz.

Ninth: If the cinnamon should become cheap, much chocolate would be consumed by the poor; and consequently the duties would amount to much more, to the advantage of his Majesty.

Notwithstanding that the greatness of the enterprise is clearly demonstrated, and no additional information is needed, two things ought to be noted. First, that no damage or expense can result to his Majesty. Second, that from this arrangement, it is evident and positive, not the least injury or disadvantage ensues to España or to America; rather, it is a triple benefit, and indispensable—which, [however,] without general experience and practical knowledge it would be impossible to bring about without each dominion injuring the other; for in this consists the superiority of a man who is an expert.

[The writer then proceeds to mention the spiritual advantages which would result from the temporal; but his argument becomes somewhat lame here, reducing itself to the “hope that, with the help of our Lord, a firm and permanent peace with the Moros may be secured” He makes an interesting statement regarding the extent of the ravages committed by the Mindanao pirates: “I am certain, from accurate information, that during the government of the Marqués de Obando he cost the king eight millions of reals vellon [for this purpose], although he proceeded with the utmost economy and care in the manner in which he used the royal revenue; and, having made in the year 1755 a calculation of the expenses which these piracies were [270]causing to his Majesty and his vassals (both Spaniards and Indians) from the ravages made by the Moros and infidels during the eight years preceding, it amounted to about eighty millions of reals vellon,” not to mention the killing of priests and native Christians. Of course, if peace is secured with the Moros, the progress and extension of the missions in the islands is assured. The writer again declares his devotion to the service of God and the king, his readiness to explain his plans further to those who desire more information, and his confidence that they will command the confidence of men of understanding, judgment, and patriotism.]

Although through experience (tempus edrax rerum) one can come to know the utility and advantage which will accrue from the execution of this so vast enterprise, I trust that I have demonstrated it quite sufficiently to render it worthy of the consideration of his Majesty; nevertheless, seeing how much is involved, it is fitting for my honor to furnish proofs, the most detailed and circumstantial. This induces me to quote part of the lading which came in seventeen ships of the Company of Olanda, as published in the Gazette of Amsterdam, dated on July 3 of this present year, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine—products which are and may be those of the very islands in question; and in order to show how very important it is to give attention to what is herein proposed, each commodity is valued at the regular price which it can bring in the ports of Cadiz, Alicante, etc. [271]


Libras [Commodities] Reals vellon per libra reals vellon Total,
4,672,746 of pepper 7 32,709,222
50,000 of nutmeg 39 1,950,000
60,000 of mace 70 4,200,000
360,000 of cloves 50 18,000,000
375,840 of cinnamon 58 21,198,720
3,000 of candied nutmeg 60 180,000
2,398 of candied cloves 70 167,860
883,142 of sugar 3.9411 [3,424,000]
40,490 of camphor 16 649,840
6,582 of benzoin 22 134,936
10,500 of borax 15 157,500
12,146 of gum-lac 12 145,752
3,000 of gum myrrh 12 36,000
3,514 of gamboge 16 56,224
20,049 of indigo, superior 30 601,470
[Total,] eighty-three millions, six hundred and eleven thousand, five hundred and twenty-four reals vellon. 83,611,524

I have taken into consideration the objections which may be brought forward by persons who are little acquainted with trade, and these are reduced, substantially, to the following: That the consumption of these commodities in the dominions of his Majesty cannot be regulated by the above calculation. [272]They speak glibly; but, in order not to lose time with these persons, I answer them, that one is compelled to encounter ignorance, but the only concern of great souls is to serve faithfully their kings and nations, and endure the calumnies which are uttered against honest men—imitating the stars, which, no matter how much the dogs bark, do not cease to shine down upon them and to follow their own courses. Accordingly, let us proceed to truths which are plain:

First: that the Dutch carry these commodities in large quantities, as is above stated—a proof that there is a consumption for that amount, and that this is a profitable trade. Second: that the calculation which I have made cannot be defective, since the [amounts of the] commodities agree with the figures published by the Dutch themselves; and the prices are obtained from the Company of Druggists, in accordance with what they pay for the goods at the ports. Third: that the greater part [of these commodities], and the most important ones, if not [all], can be the products of the Philipinas Islands. Fourth: that these commodities must cost much less than in Olanda, or in any other country, is manifest and undeniable for this reason, that the Dutch are obliged to incur enormous expenses—for governors, members of council, lesser servants without number, and many troops—in order to maintain their establishments; and these expenses increase just so much the prices of their spices, so that, if they buy these from the [Eastern] nations at ten, the goods are worth to them twenty-five. This would not occur with us, because the king does not need to increase the expenses in order to secure the advancement of the islands. It would be entirely different; for, if [273]these plantations are established, thousands of Indians who now are suffering the utmost poverty without having any opportunity to work, and for the same reason cannot pay their tributes, would have a means of gaining their living and of paying their tributes, and on this very account it would serve much for the increase of the royal revenue.

As these Indians are not paid for their labor at higher rates than are those among whom the Dutch reside, we must reckon, for the reasons here stated, that those same commodities would cost much less, and that the Spaniards could sell them at lower prices than do the Dutch; and, as the merchant in every country buys where he will find his greatest advantage, España would be the fair for these commodities which have already enriched so many nations. But let us proceed to reveal the cunning of the Dutch, who furnish only three millions, seven hundred and fifty thousand, eight hundred and forty libras of cinnamon—which, at the rate of sixteen onzas a libra, make six12 millions, thirteen thousand, four hundred and forty onzas. The rule for making chocolate is to take ten libras of cacao, ten of sugar, and eight onzas of cinnamon, or even less, and on account of the waste13 it is computed that the result will be [274]twenty libras net; consequently, from the three millions, seven hundred and fifty thousand, eight hundred and forty libras of cinnamon could be made [275]fifteen millions, thirty-three thousand, six hundred libras of chocolate.

Although it is folly to make such a proposition, I ask whether there are not in España,14 all America, [276]the Philipinas Islands, and, in short, all the so various domains of his Majesty, counting all these together, four millions of persons who drink chocolate sixty-four times in the year, in accordance with the rule of one onza for each time. Even the most ignorant or malicious person will not deny my proposition; this makes, then, the consumption of chocolate sixteen millions of libras, and for making it there will be needed four hundred thousand libras of cinnamon.

Hence are drawn two conclusions. One is, the extreme craftiness of the Dutch, in not furnishing more than the said quantity in order to supply the Spaniards, and in making them believe that they will be left without chocolate; and thus they succeed in obliging the Spaniards to pay for the cinnamon at the very high prices which the Dutch have fixed in these recent years—for it is a hundred per cent more costly, and fifty per cent worse in quality; therefore there is an increase of a hundred and fifty per cent in favor of the Dutch, and of three hundred per cent to the injury of España, who without reason endures this tyranny. Therefore, if the Dutch are not mistaken in the estimate of cinnamon which they published in the Gazette, and as the consumption [of that spice] in España is as I have made evident, there will not be cinnamon to supply all the nations; nevertheless, there will be no lack of it in any of them.15

Second: since it is so evident that in the dominions of his Majesty there is consumed in [the beverage [277]of] chocolate alone (without counting the numerous kinds of food in which use is made of it) sixteen millions of libras, and in order to make it there are needed four hundred thousand of cinnamon, at the rate of fifty-eight reals vellon that quantity will cost twenty-three millions, three hundred thousand reals vellon, which is the least that España could advance for the execution of the project. Moreover, I do not know any reason for not admitting the commodity of pepper—which not only is so exceedingly abundant in the islands, but I persuade myself that, since it is so excellent in its crude state, it would with skilful treatment be better than that of any [other] country. It is also plain to us that the Dutch bring [to Europa] four millions, six hundred and seventy-two thousand, seven hundred and forty-six libras of it; they assure me that only because of the great abundance of garlic16 in España the pepper brings no more than seven reals vellon a libra—[at which rate] the above quantity will amount to thirty-two millions, seven [hundred] and nine thousand, two hundred and twenty-two reals vellon. This added to the twenty-three millions, three hundred thousand reals [for cinnamon] will make fifty-six millions, nine thousand, two hundred and twenty-two reals vellon.

People will say, “Where would we consume so much pepper?” Then where does Olanda consume it, I would like to know? “[And there are] Francia and Inglaterra; do they bring much less [to Europa]?” Do not those who ask such questions [278]know how much the king is paying to Norbega [i.e., Norway] and the northern countries for lumber, cordage, etc., for the construction in his royal navy? and that, if it happens that care is not given in time to the planting of oak groves, he will need much more [from those countries]?—At present these commodities are paid for in ready money, which would not be the case if we could give the merchants there the pepper, etc., so cheaply (or at less expense than [if purchased from] another country), on account of the great consumption of pepper which there is in those countries, and because this would be a [form of] trade that is mutually advantageous, as I have already said, for the day-laborer and the shepherd. It would be permanent, and many millions of reals which now leave España would remain here, to the greatest advantage not only of his Majesty, but of his vassals. I say, then, that no one is able to deny these two propositions, of which his Majesty will be best able to judge. Have I heard some one argue that España has17 need of preventing thus the exportation of silver? Such arguments are foolish, and one should laugh at them.

Do we not know that Olanda commands that a very large part of the spice product be burned and destroyed, in order that a commodity which brings her so enormous a profit should not, through its excessive abundance, contribute to her loss? I say, then, that if España reaches an excessive abundance of silver, it would be far better for the king to command that the mines be closed, or to fling the silver into the sea, than to let it pass into the hands of those who [279]tomorrow can avail themselves of it to carry on war [against España]. Others I have heard talk [on this subject], so frivolously that I was astounded, hinting at the resentment of this other nation if España should profit by what is her own—that is, the execution of the proposition [that I have made]. That is the same as to say that Inglaterra or any other nation could declare that España shall not cultivate the ground or sow the wheat, because it suited that nation to supply it; it is to talk very heedlessly, without knowing that España can limit the commerce of Francia, Inglaterra, and Olanda whenever she desires, without cannon-ball or gunpowder, by the prohibition of silver alone. If she chooses to deprive any one of those countries of this advantage, she has only to calculate what she owes to the other two for the net balance of their trade, and then not allow any more silver to go out to those countries; and these, needing it for themselves, will not be able to supply the other one. I can assert that España, if she would avail herself of the rights which God has given her, would make herself more worthy of respect by depriving the [other] nations of what is essential, not only for their commerce, but for waging war to advantage.

I believe that no one will dispute the advantages and benefit which can accrue from the Philipinas Islands, and it is this which from the outset I have attempted to demonstrate, although I omit, for the sake of brevity, the explanation of many things.

Keeping in mind how much I owe to the infinite mercy and goodness of supreme Providence, in the second part of the work alluded to, which I presume to present to his Majesty, I have treated at length [280]of the ravages which the Moros have committed during very many years in those islands, and of the exceeding damage which they thus cause to our holy Roman Catholic and apostolic faith, for I cannot do less. Indeed, it is evident that God has assisted me with His divine Grace; and therefore I certainly ought to defend and, if it should be necessary, die for His cause. Accordingly, in whatever concerns the subjection of the Moros, and consequently the protection and advancement of the holy faith in those islands, I hope to deserve that his Majesty will do me the honor of appointing six lieutenant-commanders—three from his royal navy, and three from his army—in order that they may examine with the utmost care the plan upon which I have based my proposition, giving their opinions in writing for presentation to his Majesty, in two copies, one for his Majesty’s royal Council of the Indias, the other for myself.

When this examination shall be made, and the plan approved by the king if such be his royal will, I will immediately proceed to furnish the plan of the whole matter which I have drawn up for the execution of the project—from which, after further investigations (which are very just, and perhaps will be quite unprecedented) his Majesty can more easily decide what shall be most expedient in this matter, as also the selection of persons for the said purpose.

As for what pertains to the commerce, for greater certainty I deemed it expedient to communicate my intention to Don Antonio Butlert [sic], formerly a merchant of Cadiz—since he is distinguished not only for his great success in business and his genuine friendship to this nation, but by his long experience in and thorough knowledge of the commerce of these [281]dominions—asking him to give me his disinterested opinion on the subject, in which he should consider with the utmost attention the general welfare of these dominions; and this opinion I have, in writing, and signed with the name of his firm, which reads “Butlert and Matheos.”

Some persons who are little acquainted with affairs so vast, and who have still less ability to make ready for the great things which remain to be done, will suppose that the execution [of this plan] is easy, to one who has the writings which I have already furnished; nevertheless, if they engaged in the undertaking they would find themselves much mistaken, and the result would be greatly to the detriment of the nation.

Warned by what I have passed through, and dreading [the effects of] ignorance and malice, I have reached the decision to supplicate the king to grant me the honor of this examination—desiring, whatever may fall to my lot, to prove that I have no other purpose than to serve faithfully both Majesties and their vassals, and entreating them for this end to dispose of my life and person, of which I will gladly make sacrifice in proof of my loyalty and sincere devotion.

Extracts from the proposition of Don Nicolas Norton Nicols; the conditions which he requires; the benefits and advantages which will accrue to his Majesty and his vassals, on whose account his Majesty was pleased to issue a decree on the twenty-third of February last.

The aim of the said proponent is, to establish in the Philipinas Islands plantations of cinnamon, pepper, other spices, etc., and to open a direct commerce [282]between the said islands and Cadiz, by way of the Cape of Good Hope.

Conditions.—That he shall be permitted to undertake the said route from Cadiz, or may go to the said islands and make the voyage from there to Cadiz, as he shall find most convenient. If he shall set out from Cadiz, on account of not having time to build ships he shall be permitted to buy whatever vessels [he may need], without excepting those of foreigners. The cargo from Cadiz must consist of different fruits, liquids,18 and commodities that are products of España and of her commerce, as on the return voyage it must be from the various products and commodities of the said islands and of their commerce. That his Majesty remit the duties for the first voyage, and that the proponent be permitted to embark freely at Cadiz the silver that he needs to defray the purchase of his return cargo. On the second voyage he shall pay at Cadiz not only the five per cent duties but the three per cent of the silver which he shall thereafter embark, as is done with the [traders of foreign] nations. In order to obviate any objection, he will not enter any port belonging to his Majesty or to any power of Europa; he shall, however, be permitted to enter and anchor at any one of the Indian ports, whether in these or in those seas, and therein buy, sell, exchange, or lade the goods which shall be offered to him.

The advantages, etc., will be the following: His Majesty will not subject his royal revenue to any expense, nor will it be exposed to the evil designs of men, or to the doubtful patriots who pretend to [283]have knowledge. There is no treaty that can be set against him, as he can prove. By the most moderate computation, the Dutch annually export four millions of pesos for the spice-trade; this, therefore, is to make them powerful, to the injury of España. Norvega, St. Petersbourgh, and other countries demand a great amount of cash for lumber, pitch, cordage, sails, etc., for the royal shipbuilding, the greater part of which would be paid for in spices, as these are greatly liked in those countries. Equivalent injury to España, as is stated above.19 The commodities and products of España would have a much larger market. A strong stimulus to the cultivation of the soil. His Majesty would experience much relief in the expenses of transportation for the missions. This navigation would serve as a nursery for the navy, as is found by experience in other countries. The direct communication would serve as a check on a thousand abuses, not only in the government of the islands, but in other matters. If his Majesty should grant this privilege to the said islands, it would be most just that the commonwealth of Manila should carry on its commerce with Acapulco at its own cost, without laying the burden of it on his Majesty. By not possessing this commerce when she can have it, España is maintaining thousands of strangers in place of a like number of her own vassals; [the latter would] redound to the increase of the royal revenue, and in the course of years to the propagation of the holy faith. The Moros, who now are by their wars destroying the felicitous progress of [284]the Christian religion, when they found by experience how much more it suited their own interests to maintain peace and commerce with the Spaniards than to wage war against them, would inviolably observe their treaties; for, notwithstanding the cruelties which the Dutch practice against their Indians, the latter tolerate them on account of the advantages of their commerce. The people of Manila will, when they have a market for their products, cultivate the land; they will establish family estates, and enrich themselves; and their riches, like those of the Americans, will finally come to España. The duties which your Majesty would receive from this new commerce would in a very few years amount to very considerable sums. It would be a stimulus to other new commercial undertakings, which would be beneficial to his Majesty and his vassals.

The whole matter in small compass

His Majesty, without risking anything, is going to gain infinitely more than what has been [here] stated. The method of securing these vast benefits is the easiest and safest which can be put into practice, and itself makes plain the useful and salutary design of the proponent.

Don Nicolas Norton Nicols [285]

1 “By the marriage with Elizabeth Farnese (ancestry normal), Philip V had, as an heir, Charles III, of Spain, who was the best of the more modern sovereigns of that country—in fact, the only normal one since before the days of the Emperor Charles V, now seven generations in the background. Not that Charles III inherited any of the ancient genius, for that had gone, never to appear again. He was, however, ([to cite] Hume), ‘an enlightened, generous, and just king and a noble and magnanimous man,’ and (Rose’s Biographical Dictionary) ‘possessed abilities as a monarch, and virtues as a private citizen, ... was a popular sovereign and a great economist of time, scrupulously methodical in all his operations.’” Thus writes Dr. F. A. Woods, in his Heredity in Royalty (New York, 1906), pp. 155, 156—a book which endeavors, on scientific lines, to ascertain the influence of heredity as displayed in the royal families of Europe. The chapter on the rulers of Spain is found at pp. 124–171. He says (p. 138): “The origin of the well-known insanity in the Spanish and Austrian houses, perpetuated over thirteen generations and involving more than a score of individuals, is a very interesting question. It cannot be traced with certainty prior to Isabella, the Queen of John II, of Castile. This Isabella was out and out insane, according to the English alienist, W. W. Ireland; and from her, onward, the insanity passed along in one form or another by the very intermarriages which their pride and political motives caused them to arrange, with the intended idea of making permanent their world power, but with the inevitable result of losing that same prestige by placing it in the hands of the unfortunate children whose inheritance was necessarily mental weakness as the result of such unwise wedlocks.”

For account of Carlos III’s reign, see Manuel Danvila y Collado’s Reinado de Carlos III (Madrid, 1894). An interesting description of this monarch’s character and mode of life may be found in the Dublin Magazine for April, 1763, pp. 238, 239; it is written by a clergyman named Clark, “chaplain to the Earl of Bristol, late ambassador at the court of Madrid.” He says, among other things: “He is the greatest Nimrod of his time: he sacrifices everything to this favorite pleasure; he was disgusted at his public entry, because it hindered him of four days sport. He stayed three days at Toledo, and killed six wild mountain-cats, which, as I was well informed by those who had calculated the expence of that expedition, cost him exactly 1000 l. a cat.” “It has been imagined that he is a very weak prince, and of little or no understanding: Ir is a great mistake; he has some parts, but is mulish and obstinate to the last degree; and, by being constantly flattered, he imagines that he has more understanding than he really possesses. He is reserved beyond the common reserve of princes, has no confidant, and communicates his will only by his orders to put into execution. He can neither be led nor driven; all must come from himself.” “He allows no minister to remonstrate or argue with him.” “He arrested and banished the inquisitor-general, and sent him prisoner to a convent. He engaged in the present war with England, contrary to the sentiments of his ministers, and in direct opposition to the voice of the whole nation.” 

2 A copy of the naturalization papers of Nicolas Norton y Nicols as a Spaniard exists in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla; its pressmark is, “Est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 13, libro 12, fol. 226b-229b,” and the document is dated at Aranjuez, August 3, 1758. Norton became a Catholic, and was allowed to trade in the Philippines. The allusion to “192 years” is somewhat incorrect, if he refers to the first discovery of the islands, which occurred in 1565; or else he may have begun to write out this proposal to the king as early as 1757, which would tally with the above numbers. 

3 In the text, Bisarjas, evidently a clerical error. This, and a few similar discrepancies in the MS., strengthen the conjecture that it is not written by Norton’s own hand; it was probably dictated by him to an amanuensis. 

4 See articles describing the cocoanut, its uses, culture, etc., in Census of the Philippine Islands, iv, pp. 53–76; its uses are thus characterized (p. 72): “Briefly summed up, its timber can be employed in every form of house construction; its foliage in making mats, sacks, and thatches; its fruit in curry and sweet-meats; its oil for medicine, cookery, and illumination; its various uses in the manufacture of wines, spirits, sugar, and vinegar.” See also various scientific articles regarding the culture of the cocoanut palm, its enemies, and the qualities of its oil, in the Philippine Journal of Science, Manila, 1906 (published by the Philippine government). 

5 Spanish, cañas, which (as sometimes elsewhere) indicates that this name was bestowed indifferently on the bamboo and the rattan; but the latter is here meant, of course, as being named bichuca (for bejuco). 

6 Spanish, clauos; apparently meaning that the natives used in their housebuilding wedges made from the wood of the cocoanut tree as a substitute for iron nails. 

7 Probably alluding to a document which is preserved in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla, by Norton y Nicols, dated at Madrid, September 2, 1757; it will be mentioned in the bibliographical section of this series (VOL. LIII). 

8 The context would imply that sugar is here referred to; but the writer does not mention it again, and seems to have abandoned his attempt to export it. 

9 Spanish, estas ayudas de, followed by a blank space, doubtless intended to be filled by costas

10 Concepción mentions this stone (Hist. de Philipinas, xii, p. 25), found on a site selected by the Dutch; they had marked “a stone with the letter T, which, as it was interpreted, signified, ‘annexed to Terrenate.’ This same token they had placed in other uninhabited islands in the vicinity. This marked stone was dug up by the sultan of Mindanao, who sent it to the governor of Samboangan, Don Pedro Zacharias. Two Dutch chalupas went to call the Mindanaos to account for this act, intending to obtain satisfaction for it by placing the marked stone in the locality of Silangan, on the mainland of Mindanao; but Radiamura courageously drove back the Dutch who made a landing—who, in retreating, swore to return with adequate forces for that enterprise.” 

11 There is some confusion or error in these figures, which read, in the MS., “35 = 3.94 @ 2,82:600.” Without them, the totals amount to 80,187,524; subtracting this from the entire total, there remains a balance of 3,424,000, apparently indicating the value of the sugar—save that the total for benzoin is erroneously figured in the MS.; it should be 144,804. The MS. is also uncertain on some of the other totals. 

12 The writer (or more probably his amanuensis) has made an error in transcribing these sums; “six millions” should read “sixty millions,” and at the end of the paragraph the amount of chocolate should be “one hundred and fifty” instead of “fifteen” millions. The remaining figures are correct. 

13 “In 1618, according to the testimony of Dr. Marradón, of Marchena, to one hundred cacao-beans must be added a pound and a half of sugar, two onzas of cinnamon, fourteen grains of Mexican pepper, a half-onza of cloves, and two reals’ weight of anise and annotto; and one might add almonds, nuts, and orange-flower water. Years afterward Dr. Colmenero of Ledesma modified this formula, making the paste in the proportion of one hundred cacao-beans, one-half libra of sugar, two granos of pepper, anise, cloves, Alexandrian [i.e., white] roses, logwood, cinnamon, almonds, nuts, and a sufficient quantity of annotto to give it color.”

Until the end of the eighteenth century chocolate was prepared mainly by hand-labor. “In the seventeenth century, the preparation of the chocolate was made by artisans, who received twelve reals and an azumbre [i.e., about half a gallon] of wine for preparing each day the portion of chocolate from sixteen libras of clear cacao. The chocolate, thus prepared and sold under the name of ‘health chocolate,’ often contained special ingredients, chosen on account of the fashion, or of the taste of the consumers; and if in those times great praise was given to the chocolate which contained aromatic essences—vanilla, amber, and orange—certainly not less famous on that account was the chocolate of Madrid with its doradilla [i.e., ceterach], that of Ávila with its pimentón [i.e., a large variety of pepper], and that of Pamplona with its pepper and ginger. Fray Manuel Ordoñez says, referring to the paste which we are considering, that ‘in the past century it was sold only in the apothecary shops, like physicians’ prescriptions, for our cure;’ and from this citation we may infer not only that chocolate was regarded as a special medicine, but that it was considered as a therapeutic agent, worthy of being kept by the pharmacists of the seventeenth century. Later, in the eighteenth century, the preparation of chocolate began to be made by the guild of spice-dealers, its ingredients being reduced to the cacao, cinnamon or vanilla, and sugar; and the custom became somewhat general of adding to the paste some biscuit-dough, in order to make it thicker when it was diluted with water. At the same time when the ‘health chocolate’ was sold in the spice-shops, a medicinal chocolate was prepared in the apothecary shops, in which the principal products of the pharmacopeia entered as ingredients. As the preparation of chocolate had become general in the convents, in attempting to compete with the spice-dealers the friars did not think of making it of better quality; but, in order to sell it more cheaply, they subtracted from cacao and cinnamon what they added in ingredients that were not always harmless for the parishioner’s health. In order that the importance of this adulteration may be estimated, it is sufficient to cite some of the additions most used, as wheat flour, rice flour; ground lentils, peas, beans, and maize; starch, potato starch, and dextrine; olive oil, sweet almond oil, yolk of egg, tallow of veal and mutton; storax, chestnut [flour], gum tragacanth; cinnabar, red oxide of mercury, red lead, carbonate of lime, etc.” The manufacture of chocolate has been conducted almost entirely by machinery during the past century, and has accordingly thrown out the majority of the artisans who made it by hand. (José del Carmenal, cited in Gräfenberg’s Spanisches Lesebuch, Frankfurt, 1899, pp. 7–11.) 

14 At the end of the atlas volume in Raynal’s Établissemens et commerce des Européens is a tabular “Enumeration of the population of Spain, prepared in 1768 by order of his Lordship Conde de Aranda, president of the Council of Castilla.” The population is given separately for each of the eight archbishoprics (which contain 48 bishoprics, 2 of them “exempt”). The lay population was thus classed: married persons, 1,724,567 men and 1,714,505 women; unmarried (presumably including children), 2,809,069 boys and 2,911,858 girls; total, 9,159,999. Add the number of the clergy (both regular and secular), which was 147,805, and the entire population numbered 9,307,804. Two curious discrepancies may be noted: the number of married men is greater than that of the married women by 10,062, and the girls exceed the boys by 102,789 (this latter an excess of about 3⅔ per cent). The only region in which the number of married men is practically the same as that of married women is the archdiocese of Valencia, and the only one where the same thing is true of the boys and girls is the archdiocese of Zaragoza. The greatest discrepancy in the numbers of both these classes is found in the archdiocese of Burgos, where there were 197,064 married men, and only 185,997 married women; and it had 330,428 girls and only 310,545 boys. Highly significant is the enumeration of the privileged classes, of whom in the total population there were 846,657, thus classified: those enjoying royal privileges, 89,393; in the department of finances, 27,577; in that of the Crusade, 4,248; in that of the Inquisition, 2,645; in the nobility, 722,794. It is to be observed that three-fourths of all the privileged class are found in the archdiocese of Burgos and the two exempt bishoprics—in the former, 324,661; in the latter, 306,378. Not less interesting are the statistics of the ecclesiastical estate. In the 16,427 cities and villages were 18,106 parishes, which were served by 15,641 curas. There were 2,004 monasteries, containing 55,453 religious; and 1,026 convents with 26,465 nuns. All these religious orders employed also 8,552 persons as procurators and treasurers, and with the orders were affiliated 26,294 laymen. In the service of the churches were 25,248 laymen; and besides the curas there were 50,246 chaplains and beneficed priests. The total of all these items is 147,805, the number above given. 

15 A literal translation of the text; but there seems to be some omission or confusion in the statement. Possibly the writer intended to make it contingent on the success of his project for making cinnamon plantations. 

16 In the text, aljoresesite; there is no such word in the lexicons, and it probably is an error (perhaps of an amanuensis) for ajo aceite, the name of a pungent preparation of garlic, oil, etc., which is used in the southern countries of Europe as a condiment. 

17 Thus in original, but the context would indicate that “no” was omitted here. 

18 Spanish, caldos: a term applied to the wine, oil, and brandy that are transported by sea (Dominguez). 

19 The somewhat fragmentary nature of these statements indicates the probability that they are but memoranda, and the whole MS. a rough draft, which was to be presented to the king in revised and improved form. 



The documents in this volume are obtained from the following sources:

1. Santa Misericordia.—From Manifiesta y resumen historico de la fundacion de la venerable hermandad de la Santa Misericordia (Manila, 1728), by Juan Bautista de Uriarte; from a copy in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago.

2. Survey of the Philipinas.—From a MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid—pressmark, “24–4a.–1.735;” various plans in it are here reproduced.

3. Order of St. John.—From Religiosa hospitalidad por los hijos del ... S. Ivan de Dios en Philipinas (Granada, 1742); from a copy in the possession of Edward E. Ayer.

4. Letter to president of Council.—A copy, furnished by Sr. D. Roman Murillo, Madrid, of the original MS., which he, as librarian of the Academia Española, Madrid, found among other papers therein, this being the only one relating to the Philippines.

5. Letter by a Jesuit.—From Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), iv, pp. 297–305.

6. Commerce of the Philipinas.—From a MS., either the original rough draft or a contemporaneous copy, in the possession of Edward E. Ayer. [286]

7. Relation of the Zambals.—From a certified copy—procured for us by Sr. D. Manuel de Yriarte, chief of Division of Archives at Manila—of the original MS., which is preserved in the archives of the convent of Santo Domingo in Manila. [287]



By Domingo Perez, O.P. MS. dated 1680.

Source: A certified copy of the original MS., which is preserved in the archives of the convent of Santo Domingo, Manila.

Translation: This is made by James Alexander Robertson. [289]




The very reverend father, Fray Baltazar de Santa Cruz, prior-provincial of this province of Santo [290]Rossario of the Order of Preachers in these Philipinas Islands, having visited the villages (which we have today united and their inhabitants reduced to the said villages) and us two ministers who for the space of nine months have been busied in the reduction of said Indians, said reverend father provincial ordered me to write a treatise on the site whence we have drawn the Indians whom we have reduced, their customs, and mode of living.

In order that the evangelical ministers who have to work in this mission may be able more clearly to direct those souls redeemed by the blood of our Lord Christ along the true pathway of heaven from which they have strayed so far for so many years blinded with the darkness of infidelity and idolatry; also in order that this paper may be used so that the ministers of justice of the king, our sovereign, may subject said Indians and establish them under the obedience of his Catholic Majesty: although it is true that for more than sixty years they had ministers of the gospel, neither said ministers nor his Majesty have been able to succeed in getting them to live in a settlement so that they may be administered or have justice as today it is hoped that they will be. The most that it has been possible to obtain with them was that distinct bands of them should unite on various occasions in the mountain on the plateau where the ministers had a house and church. But they immediately [291]broke up again, said division occasioning the wars which those Indians generally wage among their different bands, and the alcaldes-mayor were unable to punish the guilty and ungovernable because of the greater distance from the chief cities where the alcaldes-mayor live to these places, and because the coast of the sea is so rough during all the time of the vendavals and south winds, that it is impossible to navigate along it, while the road overland is so rough and blocked by mountains full of black enemies (those mountains being very rough in parts), and in the ravines there are very great rivers with very strong currents, so that in the rainy season one can have no communication from this place, with Pangasinan, or with Mariueles, or with Pampanga; and during the dry season these Indians are generally with the blacks in the mountains trading wax: consequently, they have never been obedient to the alcaldes-mayor, and hence, neither to his Majesty nor to the gospel ministers whom they have hitherto had. Although they have had ministers of great virtue and most ardent zeal for souls, as can be seen in the annals of their sacred order and even today, there are ex-provincials who have been their ministers whose signal virtues are apparent to all the community.


Of the site and district of Playa Honda

Playa Honda begins at the doors of Mariueles and extends along the mountains which border Pampanga to the point of Sunga and near Pangasinan, which is distant more than forty leguas from Mariueles to the visita of the Christian Baga Indians who are administered by the minister of Mariueles. They perform their duties toward the Church every [292]year, notwithstanding that they show very many imperfections, a fact which is not surprising, since the minister cannot be with them all the time that he would like, as the coast is inaccessible all the time of the vendavals. During that time they must necessarily live without a minister to instruct them. That visita has thirty tributes. Although they have a village laid out with its church and house for the minister, they do not live in the said village except when the minister goes to visit them. They live in their rancherías whence they get molave wood in abundance. They have sufficient fields in said village for all, and for twice as many more if they cared to cultivate them, but they apply themselves more earnestly in cutting said timber than in farming their fields. They get considerable help for [cutting] said wood from the blacks of the mountain, for those blacks are excellent woodsmen. All those blacks are tributary and pay twelve reals annually for their tribute. The tribute is managed by the Indians, and the encomendero does not meddle with them in the collection of the tribute from the blacks, but the Indians pay the said tribute for the blacks. Hence the black serves the Indian all the year, without the black having other profit at the end of the year than his tribute paid. This is the reason why the village is continually without people, because the Indians, on account of the profit from the work of the blacks, go to live with the blacks, or near the pass of the mountain, where said blacks live, in order to assist them in the work, for the blacks unless assisted physically do not work. Four leguas from this visita toward the north is another visita called Mariyumo, administered also by the said father minister of Mariueles. Its people [293]are Christians, although very bad ones, and seriously lacking in the faith, and have very many imperfections. They have very many superstitions and are much given to omens. Not all of them are very fit to receive the annual communion. They also have a village laid out and a church and house for the minister. However, they do not live in the said village, but in their rancherías, much divided among themselves as are those of Baga; although they are not such absolute masters of the blacks as are those of Vaga, they also have blacks under trust on which account they receive many vexations from the encomendero, for it is the regular thing for them to pay the tribute for the blacks. The latter are more free than the blacks of Vaga, for they have more land where they can spread out, which those of Vaga do not have. Those Indians also possess considerable molave timber, but they are lazier than the Indians of Vaga. Consequently, there is no one to cut the wood unless the corregidor of the island who administers justice to them, forces them to cut said wood. It would be doing a great service to God to unite the latter Indians with those of Baga, so that our holy Catholic faith might be well administered to them. They number about forty tributes, and, if they are united with those of Vaga, they can have a minister in residence where they will be well administered, and where they have lands sufficient for their farming, and timber in abundance. In such case there would not be so great a scarcity of that product in the city of Manila.

One legua from Mariyumo begins the bay which lies back of the mountains of Abucay and Samal, where we commenced to get the Indians whom we [294]have collected in this Nuevo Toledo. The said bay has plenty of fish. Its mouth is about one legua wide, and is closed by a small island surrounded by many reefs on the southern side, but on the north it is very deep—so that any sized ship can enter even when laden. But the said bay has no port and lies in the course of all the vendaval and the south winds. It is five leguas long stretching toward the east, and as many wide. Along all that bay, which it will take two days to coast, were scattered twenty-two families, who are today living in this village of Nuevo Toledo where they have their houses and fields. Having passed the said bay and entered the mountain, one legua inland in the mountain, one enters a very level and long plain. One-half legua inland in the plain, is situated the first village called Nuevo Toledo. That plain is six leguas wide and eight long. It is bounded on the east by some very rough mountains which lie between the province of Pampanga and that plain; at the foot of those mountains were the rancherías of Balacbac, which has fourteen families; Lacnipan which had seven; Sigle which had fourteen more; Aglao which had thirty-three. All those families were scattered, so that in no ranchería did five families live together. The sea properly called Playa Honda bathes its western coast. On the sea-coast were thirty-six families of very pernicious Indians, all of whom we collected into the village of Santa Rossa de Banguen, where they possess their houses and fields. Those Indians were scattered along the creeks and carrizals3 near the sea, along six leguas of coast and level land beyond the plain running toward the north two leguas. At the foot of [295]some very rough mountains between the sea and Buquil, there were fourteen other families whom we have also collected in said village of Santa Rossa de Banguen, which today consists of fifty families. That said village of Santa Rossa is six leguas from that of Nuevo Toledo over a stretch of level land in which there is a very great abundance of game. Many were supported by that and had no fields and wherever they caught the deer or carabao they stayed there until they finished eating it. But at present they possess their gardens in the village, and since care is taken in this, they will not be lazy, and will live in the village where, having their gardens and the food from them, they will not have so great need of the hunt. Six leguas farther on in another site called Nalso, a plain where are stationed the presidio and fort of Pinauen in a corner of said plain at the foot of the mountains of Buquil, was a little village of about forty families, which the very reverend father, Fray Joseph de la Santísima Trinidad, ex-provincial of his order, had collected in said district. There were there, moreover, twelve families who had recently descended the mountains of Buquil, whom, since they were far from the fields, and the flight to the mountains was very near and five families had returned to the mountains, and there was no assurance of the others if left in said site, we transferred to the visita of Alalam, which is now composed of eighty families. The latter place is seven leguas from the village of Santa Rossa de Banguen. Those who have had most difficulty have been the thirty-three families whom we moved from the site and district of Aglao, as they were very wild Indians, and little or not at all softened until the present, and said [296]site is distant six leguas from the village of Nuevo Toledo where we stationed it. Three leguas of the road are very bad, and there is not a drop of water to be found for four leguas, during all the dry season. The road is over sandy ground which is very large and full of rocks left by the river which flows from the mountain of Pinatuba; and in those places where there are no rocks, but only the sand, the road is also very wearisome because that sand has no cohesion, and the least wind that blows lifts the dust which blinds the travelers and has thus cost the greatest hardship to those of this district who take that road in going and coming between the village and the mountain. In the month of January of this year of eighty, we had them all ready in the village, and I, taking them to the mountain so that they might bring down their possessions and rice to the village, and each family having brought down five baskets of rice, one-half the distance along the road, more than half of the people fell sick, because of the great labor which it cost them to pass the said sandy ground. On that account I ordered them to abandon their rice and possessions and to bring it down little by little, and in order that they might make their gardens before the season should expire, and so that they might finish their houses. They have already finished them, and their gardens are at a musket-shot’s distance from the village, according to the edict which Governor Don Juan de Vargas Hurtado, knight of the habit of Santiago, changed for them for that purpose. Even in these slight things, his Lordship has been active on account of his so great desire that the Indians be reduced and be reasonable, if we may so say, for as will be seen in their customs in which they [297]have been reared until the present, they were wandering very far from nationality and civilization.

The village of Nuevo Toledo was composed of more than one hundred families, and that of Santa Rossa de Banguen, of fifty, in the month of January of this year 1680. All declared themselves before Adjutant Alonso Martinez Franco, superior commandant of the fort of Paynauen. The latter, at the evident risk of his life, and with the continual watchfulness and zeal of a fervent religious, without heeding his own interest which he would have had if he wished to pay no heed to the order of his superior, and to receive the offerings of gold which the Indians made to him so that he should not oblige them to leave their recesses, has aided us to his own great credit in collecting the Indians whom we have today in the two said villages. He made lists of the people who were in the two villages above mentioned, who amounted to seven hundred and seventy persons. Those people persevere even yet in the said two villages, and will persevere so long as the efforts which are being made to reduce those who are yet intractable in the mountains, do not cease. The said adjutant and superior commandant of the said presidio also formed the new village of Alalam by withdrawing its ancient inhabitants from the places where they lived before, and brought them within a musket-shot of their fields. They were before that one legua distant from their fields. That site has a small bay, which the sea forms there, where there is very good fishing, and where boats can safely enter. The said village did not have such a bay before, in the former site. He also made lists of the Indians whom he brought to the said village, who are the ones of Nalso [298]who were located at the foot of the mountains of Buquil, and those who descended said mountains. I was not present when the said lists were made and hence do not know the number of the persons there, but it is evident to me that those gathered in the said village number more than fifty families. I have seen their houses which are already finished, and are excellent buildings, made of strong and hard materials. Those Indians also will retain in the said village, which is large, the horror which they have for the Spanish arms, and more, if the raids of the Spaniards on the Indians who still keep to the mountains are repeated.


Of the idolatries of all those Indians

Having to treat of the idolatries, superstitions, and customs of the Zambals, I think I ought first to mention that my purpose is not to discourage the ministers of the gospel, who have to plant our holy Catholic faith among those Indians, but to impart to them the brief information which I possess of the little which I have ascertained in respect to the great amount which there is to ascertain, and which will be discovered with the lapse of time, concerning the customs of that blind people, who have lived so misguidedly and so far from reason at the doors of the true evangelical light which we profess. Although they are surrounded by provinces whose inhabitants are excellent Christians, such as the provinces of Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Mariueles, yet notwithstanding they have been influenced very little or not at all for the good by the customs of the Christians, on account of their lack of communication with them; for they only go to the said provinces to trade [299]and traffic for a brief space of time, and then, if anybody is careless they cut off his head. Hence, as I have said, they have but little communication with reasonable people. On the contrary, I think this paper of mine will serve as a stimulus for us religious, who, leaving our convents of our fatherland España and our friends and relatives, being moved by the zeal for souls, come to these Philipinas Islands to publish our holy Catholic faith, to preserve it, and teach good morals. All this drags us from our provinces in España, and deprives us of our fatherland. Here, then, among these miserable Zambals, we shall find much to do. It is unnecessary to go to seek infidels in other kingdoms, for we have them here, although few; and at the same time we have one to subject them for us and place them under our obedience. I say then that this paper of mine will serve as a stimulus to the ministers of the gospel to come to employ themselves in the service of our Lord and His holy Catholic faith, when they consider the great evil that there is to tear out and eradicate from the hearts of these Indians, and the great good that they lack to make them Christians. And although there are very many baptized persons among them, yet in nothing at all are any of them different from the others, if one considers their customs and mode of living. Those baptized are as idolatrous as those not baptized. I am not surprised at this, for until now the former ministers have not had any opportunity for living in residence among them, since they have not cared to collect them into a settlement. And if they have collected them, it has been for a short time only, and their evil customs have taken them again to the mountains and recesses [300]whence we have drawn them, but today according to the efficacy which the governor of these Philipinas Islands places in the spiritual and temporal good of these wretched creatures, we have excellent hopes that they will persevere in their settlements and will be able to be taught the true pathway to heaven.

These Indians have their priests and priestesses, although such have no jurisdiction over the others; for here everyone is master of his own will, and they alone recognize superiority in one in so far as he gives authority to the other priests and priestesses for some special sacrifices. This last is done to the one who pays well for it. This priest is called bayoc, and he dresses like a woman. He wears a tapis4 or apron, and ties up his hair like a woman, although above the tapis he wears and girds his catan, on the left side, and on the right side, his yua5 as other men. Those are the weapons of all these Indians and no one goes without them, even though it be within his own house. The idol to whom this bayoc principally offers sacrifice is called Malyari, which means “powerful.” This idol is made with a wooden head and its body and hands of straw. They dress it up like an image after their manner, place it on its altar and niche, then light for it torches of pitch for lack of wax candles. All the people of the ranchería assemble to make the sacrifice. Having built his altar, the bayoc takes his spear in his hand and makes three holes in the earth with it. Those holes are filled with wine, and the spear, having been thrust into the [301]ground, the bayoc begins his sacrifice, with a leaf of wild anahao or wild palm in his hand. He commences to shiver, his whole body trembling, and making many wry faces by means of his eyes, he generally talks, sometimes between his teeth, without anyone understanding him. Sometimes he contents himself with the wry faces which he makes with his eyes and the tremblings of all his body. After a few minutes he strikes himself twice on the knee with the hand in which he holds the palm-leaf, and says that he is the anito to whom the sacrifice is being made. At this the sacristan (for the devil has even in this the semblance of God and wishes to resemble His Divine Majesty) explains the need of the person who orders the sacrifice made. The bayoc promises to fulfil the desire of the person who is having the sacrifice made, and immediately the bystanders begin to sing certain songs in praise of the anito or idol. While they are being sung, they give the bayoc and the sacristan something to drink, and after those two, all those present drink. But no one drinks or eats anything that has been offered in the sacrifice until the bayoc eats or drinks, for they say they would die if they ate or drank before the anito, and for the anito to eat or drink is no other thing than for the bayoc to eat or drink.

The office of sacristan, although the bayoc gives it to whomever he wishes, is not of great estimation, and in the absence of the one appointed for such office, the bayoc substitutes in his place the first one he lays his eyes on. But the office of bayoc is held in high estimation among them, and I am not surprised, for it possesses such advantages that for certain honors which he performs for a deceased person, [302]they generally give him ten taes in gold. Those honors are performed so that the soul of the deceased may leave its relatives, for they say that the said soul always follows them until said honors are shown it.6 Those honors are not shown to all, because all people do not have the means for those expenses. When they are performed, all the relatives and friends of the deceased are invited to be present at them. They offer food made of rice, buyo, tobacco, and wine to the amount that seems sufficient for the guests. Then clothing Malyari as abovesaid, and presiding over the ceremonies in a two-fold manner,7 there is pure disorder. Some lament, some sing, some play their musical instruments, and some dance after their manner. But whatever those who lament and those who sing, lament and sing is in memory of the deceased. Finally, what is offered is consumed, and when they finish eating and drinking, the sacrifice is finished, and each of the guests takes his cup from which he has drunk, although some are accustomed to leave them, but they are the fewest. Consequently, if one hundred persons attended the honors one hundred [303]other cups would have to be obtained for each person to take his cup. It is to be noticed that they do not always dress the anito Malyari, for only the bayoc has it, but whenever said bayoc offers sacrifices for any deceased person he dresses it, although some sacrifices are also made to other anitos without dressing said Malyari.

They also have their kind of baptism, which only the bayoc has authority to administer, first making a sacrifice to Malyari in the abovesaid manner. At the same time, they clothe the one baptized according to their fashion. He looses his hair and hangs at the ends some small pieces of gold. The sacrifice having been finished, in place of water the bayoc baptizes him with the blood of a hog, either of the domestic or wild variety. The relatives of the one baptized stand all about him and the former on top of a rock. The ceremonies having been finished, the bayoc cuts the ends of the hair of the baptized person, from which hang the bits of gold, and flings them aloft, and the bystanders collect them hurriedly. That gold is afterward held in high estimation and with difficulty will they let go of it. Consequently, those nearest the one baptized and his relatives, while the ceremonies and the sacrifice are being performed, sing certain songs, and all those who are present answer them. However, there are also very few who are baptized in this manner, because the fees which are given to the bayoc are large, and generally amount to eight taes of gold. If while the sacrifice or the ceremony of baptism is being performed, the bystanders make a great racket, and if after the bayoc has ordered them to keep still, the noise does not abate, then the bayoc takes some bran, dust, or sand, [304]and flings it into the air over the heads of those who are making the racket, and after that is done no one dares to open his mouth and all the racket stops.

The method exercised by the bayoc in delegating power to the other priests of the idols is not less ridiculous than all his other affairs. The new anitero or priest-to-be collects much wine, and the bayoc attends for one or two days a great drunken revel which must last for the space of seven days without cessation. In that revel everyone who enters or goes out, has leave to drink, and they are so long-winded in that matter that as many as gather there have to get drunk, and until he falls down and becomes dead drunk, they do not allow him to leave that place. Then the bayoc thereupon proclaims such and such a miserable wretch as master of such and such an anito. As soon as the seven continuous days of the first revel are finished, they begin another seven days counting every second day; and when those second seven days are ended, they begin another seven, counting every third day. If any of these circumstances are lacking, the bayoc says that the idol or anito will punish them, and such anito will not obey the priest. The pay which is given to the bayoc for his assistance and proclamation to the new priest of his priesthood is according to the anito which he takes; for the anitos have their hierarchies among themselves. There is one anito which costs eight taes of gold, some that cost six, some four, and some three, according to the anito which each one wishes.

Acasi. The anito superior to all seems to me to be the one called Acasi; for they sing him a song which says “Mag yaman man a Malyari monagon si Acasi,” namely, “Although Malyari is powerful Acasi gets the first fruits.” This is the refrain when they sing [305]in the sacrifice which is made to this idol. That idol has few priests, for the authority given them by the bayoc to be able to offer sacrifice to him costs them a great sum. That idol, they say, is useful for the sick, and for works of importance. All his priests declare that they talk with Acasi, but no one says that he sees him or does anyone of the bystanders hear him talk. The same is true of the other idols and their priests; and all become good and drunk whenever a sacrifice is made, and the priest tells them that the idol has told him the lies that he makes up, and the others believe them as truth. This is universal among all the other sacrifices which are made to the other idols.

Manglobar. There is another idol called Manglobar. They say that that idol pacifies angry hearts. Hence, when anyone commits a murder, he sends to the priest of that idol to have him pacify the relatives of the murdered man, and to reconcile them with the murderer. That reconciliation consists in the murderer giving gold or something worth it to the relatives of the murdered person, according to the rank of the latter. If the murderer has no gold, then he gives a slave, who is generally some Negrillo of the mountain, whom they capture for that purpose. And if he cannot do that the priest kills a son of the murderer or a very near relative. If the murderer cannot do any of the above things, they kill him. The party offended also generally has recourse to such priest in order that the offender may be reconciled with the offended, and that is very general when the offender is more powerful than the party offended or has more kindred to protect him. Only a priest is able to uncover that idol.

Mangalagar. There is another idol called Mangalagar. [306]Of that idol it is said that he accompanies the priest wherever he goes on all occasions when they invoke him (good guardian angel!) when they have to make any garro or mangao, which means to cut off some head. If they have made a catch, they give thanks to such idol, and make him a sacrifice. This is so closely followed that they will under no circumstances mount into their house without first offering some sacrifice to such idol; for they say that they will be punished by that Mangalagar, if they do not make him a feast before entering their houses, and they will have no luck another time in cutting off any other head. All those feasts are made with wine and drunken reveling. That idol has many priests, but not so many as do the anitos whom they have for their paddy fields.

Of the anitos which they have for their rice, I have not been able to discover more than five, as follows:

Aniton Tauo. He seems to me to be lord of the winds, and superior to his four associates whom I shall immediately name. They offer the pinicpig, which are the firstfruits of their rice to that one. They gather the green rice and pound it, and afterwards parch it in a jar or kettle and offer it to him, first making their bit of an altar where they hang some handfuls of rice in proportion to the devotion of each one. They call that method of offering mamiarag. Then follows Dumagan, who they say causes the rice to head well; then Calasacas, who makes it ripen; then Calasocos, who they say dries it. Accordingly, they sacrifice to him so that he may not dry it up. Then follows Damolag, who they say keeps it from the hurricanes when it is in flower. Those anitos or idols have very many priests and [307]priestesses, although, as I have said, no one sees the said idols or talks with them. They do not even paint them or have their images; but what the priest or priestess says to them they consider as an oracle and say that it will not fail. Every class of people have recourse to those sacrifices; although some Indians do not believe in it at all, yet, notwithstanding, all attend them, Christians and heathens, without excepting anyone.


Of the superstitions of the Indians

I believe that the errors which they possess in this matter of superstitions are not less than those which I have mentioned of their idolatry, although I have not investigated it as thoroughly as the matter of their idolatry. But with the lapse of time, they will be discovered and ascertained. There is a bird which they call salacsac. Its beak is red, as are also its feet. Some of its feathers are green and some blue with black and white spots. That bird gets its food in the river. If it appears on the right hand of any one journeying to any place, he returns, for he says that some accident will happen to him, or some great trouble on the road, or in the place where he is going, such as being killed, or being shot with arrows, or something similar. If the said bird appears on his left hand he says that the same thing will happen to those whom he leaves at home, such as his children, wife, father, mother, or very near relative, and on that account he also returns. However, if the bird sings like a man who is laughing, then he goes on, and says that that bird is favorable to him. But if the said bird sings or croaks in any other way he returns, for he says that it announces some very great [308]danger to him. There is another bird smaller than a gurrion which they call pasimanuquen. They say the same of this as of the salacsac. They say the same of the tocó, so called by the Tagálog, and chacon by the Spaniard. If they go to the mountain or near it and any tree falls, they say the same as of the chacon and of the two birds above mentioned. If they go on a journey and hear anyone sneeze they also return, and if they are prepared and about to do anything, they leave it then if anyone sneezes. If they hear any crow cawing at night, they say that it announces the death of a very near relative. If any dog which belongs to them breaks any of its teeth or falls down, they either kill the dog or give it to some one; for they say that it announces some death to them. If the dog jumps out of the window when it wants to leave the house, they also say that it announces the same thing. If they dream that the clothing that they have is ragged, they throw it away because they say that they will die. If they dream that the house falls down on them and burns them, they destroy it, for they also say they will die. The devil also has attempted to discredit the holy rosary among them, and when they go hunting they take it off, for they say that the dogs will bite the deer or wild boar if they wear a rosary. Not one of these Indians eats if he is alone, because they say that they will die. Consequently, what they do is generally to make their food ready and carry it until they find a company before whom they may eat. They have also dedicated some places of the mountain and bamboos to the anito, and, consequently, they cut nothing there, for they say that they will die and that the anito will kill them, although they do not know to [309]what anito it is dedicated, or who dedicated the said mountain or district to such and such an anito, and know only an old observance which they have received from their ancestors. In their marriages they also have their superstitions. After any marriage has been performed, husband and wife go to the mountain to seek the salacsac or the pasimanuquen, and if the bird sings well they return very happy; but if it sings badly they return very sad. If it sings well they carry along the road a bombon or pitcher of water, and by means of the said water, which is drunk by all the bystanders, the two newly-married people will have children. For the bird to sing well, it must sing on their right hand and in the manner of the said bird which laughs. To sing ill means nothing else than to sing on the left hand, so that the bird is somewhat hoarse and sad. In such case they say that said marriage will have a bad ending, and that one of the two will die in a short time. If they do not see the bird, they say that they will have no children.


Of the customs of these Indians

Although those Indians have their kind of rank, since some are chiefs, and others not, and there are others who are descended from slaves, yet notwithstanding that they have no obedience one for the other. The poor man does not obey the rich, nor does the chief have any authority over him who is not a chief. Those who are obeyed (although but little) are the old men, when they assemble as if in council or meeting of the old men. But, in private no one dares to order another one, neither the chief him who is not a chief, nor the rich man the poor [310]man; for here every one is master of his own will, and each one thinks that he is greater than his neighbor. Their method of governing is by fear, and accordingly each one tries to make the others fear him more than any other. In order to accomplish that each one endeavors to beat the others in committing murders, so that the others may fear him. They commit those murders by treachery. In order that the relatives of the murdered man may not slay the murderer, the latter pays such and such a sum of gold to the kindred of the murdered person, according to the rank of the deceased. For if such deceased was a chief or had many kin, his murder costs more and is redeemed by a greater sum. The lowest price with which a murder is generally redeemed is five taes of gold. If the murderer has no gold, he redeems the said murder with silver at the rate of eight pesos per tae of gold, although gold is valued at ten pesos per tae among those Indians; for it is very low grade gold, and as I have heard said does not reach fourteen carats. The little gold that they do possess is much adulterated with silver, copper, and bronze. But if the said murderer has no gold or silver with which to redeem the murder that he committed, he goes to the mountain and deceives some black or steals him and drags him to his ranchería, and delivers him to the relatives of the murdered man so that they may slay the said black. There is [no] great difficulty in this for in mountains there they have many acquaintances among the blacks. Those blacks are not without their enemies in some rancherías of the blacks themselves, where they go to make the seizure. And since the blacks are very revengeful in taking vengeance on their enemies, they aid the Zambals to [311]capture them. The Zambal gives the black, whose services he has used for that purpose, some arrows or machetes.

But it must also be noticed that they do not always kill the black who is thus captured, for sometimes they let him live, and he is made a perpetual slave. There are many such slaves today, and I even believe that all the slaves whom they have are of this kind. If the murderer gives a slave in this way, he redeems the murder that he committed. Even if he cannot give gold or silver or a slave he kills one of his sons or delivers him to the relatives of the murdered one so that they may slay him. They never hesitate to kill that son thus delivered up, for when he can bear arms he will rebel and return to his father. If perchance the child of the murderer given for ransom of the murder which he committed is a daughter, when the said daughter is married she will go to the house of her father or relatives with her husband. For among the Zambals the woman is greater than the man, and the men sometimes obey the women. The latter are very haughty, and when the husband does not obey his wife, marriages are unmade very easily. If we reach such straits that the murderer has neither gold, silver, nor anything of value and cannot get a slave in the mountain, or a black, which is the same thing for that purpose, and has no son or daughter, or very near relative, such as some small orphan child, then in such case his kin themselves help him in ransoming himself, for in any other event, the relatives of the murdered person would infallibly kill him.

Accordingly, these Indians esteem it highly to have kinship, and, although they be very remote [312]relatives, they treat one another as brothers because of the need which they have one of the other, so that they may be aided one by the other in such cases. Notwithstanding the said estimation which they have for their relatives, we see an evil and perverse custom which they have which is worse than the most blood-thirsty beasts, namely, that Zambals are not accustomed to have more than two children, one a male and the other a female. Consequently, if they already have one male child, they kill all the sons at birth until a daughter is born. Then after they have had said daughter scarcely is the woman pregnant when they already arrange to kill the son or daughter, as soon as it emerges from the womb of the mother. But if any one begs said son or daughter, even while yet in the womb of its mother it is given to such person. But the one who has asked for it must pay its mother all the time that the said mother is occupied in suckling such boy or girl; and afterward it is considered as the child of that person at whose account it was reared and kept alive. However, I know many in this manner who have great love for their true parents. Since we discovered said custom among them, we had delivered from death three children, although to the great sorrow of their parents because they had not killed them. But as soon as we find out that any woman is pregnant, we warn her that she must not kill the son or daughter that she brings forth, for we will punish her very severely, and they, for fear of the punishment, allow their children to live.

They also have their mourning for very near deceased relatives. That consists in wearing a cloth on the head, which they are accustomed to remove in no [313]case until they have committed a murder. And as long as they wear the said mourning which they call balata,8 they are not accustomed to sing, or dance, or play their musical instruments; nor will they attend any feast among them. Those feasts are always made with wine, and their musical instruments are played at them. But when they have cut off some head, or committed some murder, then they remove the balata, or mourning. For that purpose the relatives assemble and a great drunken revel is made where much wine is consumed and some days spent in this occupation. Accordingly, it is necessary that among these Indians many murders must be committed, for no mourning is removed until some murder has been committed, and then the relatives of the one who has been recently murdered in order to remove the previous mourning, also put on new mourning, and in order to remove that it is necessary to commit another murder. Hence, they mutually kill one another, and they are always wearing mourning, except when the murder is committed far away among the blacks, or among the Indians subject to his Majesty in the neighboring provinces. And in order that they may not proceed ad infinitum in this manner, they try to commit the murders which they do commit secretly, when it is not in their district, so that the said murder may not be attributed to them. But, having committed the said murder, then they tell it to their neighbors, and they make merry, sing, and play their music, for as long a time as they ceased to make merry during the time when they wore the balata. [314]Thus it is commonly said that three-fourths of those who die among these Zambals die violent deaths, and one-fourth and even not that much, die natural deaths. But whenever there is any death, be it violent or natural, there is the balata which must be removed by another death, either by killing another Zambal, a black of the mountain, or an Indian of the provinces, near the said Zambals, or a black of the mountain, or an Indian. I know a man who is said to have committed sixty murders. I do not dare to assert as true that which is told me of that Indian, but what I know is that those Indians do not get angry or take it as an affront among themselves to be so cruel, but on the contrary they highly praise and assert those customs, and are vain of the murders which they commit. Thus, as among the Spaniards, one speaks and talks with courtesy of “my associate so and so,” “my neighbor,” “my comrade,” etc., and it is a kind of discourtesy to say “Juan Fernandez” “Pedro Sanchez,” etc.; so also among these Indians it is a discourtesy to be called by one’s companions only men. It is a high and good politeness to be called by the name which signifies in their own language, “an accomplice in a murder” that title being “Araoc;” and thus they say Araoc Juan, etc. And as they are little given to flattery, they never give the name of Araoc to him who does not really and truly possess it; for it is regarded among them as making a jest at one to whom the said title is given, if it does not belong to him, just as among us it is a jest to give the title of a brave man to one who does not dare to draw his sword from his belt.

Their marriages are not made between relatives, but on the contrary they try to marry those who are [315]not related to them; and I believe that the reason therefor is to acquire new kinship by means of marriage, for we see that he who has the most kindred is the most powerful, is the one held in highest esteem by all and commits more murders in which consists their greatest estate, for he has more and greater opportunity to go scotfree from those murders which he commits. Marriages are not performed until the relatives of both parties are assembled, and order the two contracting parties to eat together from one plate. All the other preceding preparations and ceremonies belong to the contract of the marriage and the betrothal. Said marriages, moreover, are [not] made by virtue of the wish of the contracting parties, for they are married from childhood when most of the contracting parties do not even have the use of their reason. The reason that has been given to me for this is so that they may be raised together from childhood, and contract love one for the other. But we see that very many marriages result badly, and after marriage the parties separate, although in this regard the men are very patient, for among these Indians, as among all those of this land, it is the custom for the man to give the dowry to the woman. Among the Zambals, it is the custom not only to give the dowry to the woman, but also another kind of dowry to all the relatives of the said woman. They call the latter dowry sambon. Among the Tagálogs it was also formerly the custom and was called sohol. That second dowry among these Indians is generally larger than the first, which is the one that is given to the woman. If husband and wife quarrel, and she wishes to separate from her husband and marry another man, and if the cause of the quarrel has been [316]given by the man; they are divorced and he loses the dowry which he gave to his wife, as well as that which he gave to the relatives of said wife. But if the cause of the said quarrel proceeded from the wife and she wishes to be divorced, she must return all the dowry, and in such case her relatives also return that which was given to them. And since it is of some consequence to them whether the two married people live at peace or at war, it is very common for all the woman’s kin to take her side, in order not to return what was given to each one. Consequently, although there may never be justice, the woman always has the argument on her side to do that which she wishes. And since there is no other justice here than the yua, bows and arrows, the tanca, and caraza, the greater kindred and those most interested always prevail; and since these are the relatives of the woman to whom the dowry was given and the husband is alone, and at the most is supported by his brothers, always or generally the argument is on the side of the wife, and the husband has to give up both dowries. Consequently, the poor Zambal, in order not to be left without wife and dowry, endures whatever his wife wishes. Besides, these Indians are not so barbarous that they do not know when they are right in what they ask, and when they are not right. Consequently, the wife will never say that she wishes to be divorced unless it is when the husband was the evident cause of the quarrel. However, sometimes they are accustomed to make friendship between the husband and wife, on condition that the husband commit a murder. In such an event he leaves the house and does not come again into the presence of his wife until he commits said murder. The murder having been [317]committed, and said wife hearing of it, before the husband reaches the house, his wife goes to receive him with a new bajaque in her hands, in order to present it to her husband in sign of congratulation for obeying her. But in such an event the wife and her relatives have to make good the damage which follows from the said murder, and the husband is free. The ceremony of the wife going out to meet her husband with the present of the bajaque on said occasion is of so great importance among these Indians that the husband will be grieved if his wife fails in this ceremony or courtesy.

The married women have one good custom, and that is that they are chaste and loyal to their husbands. Scarcely can a married woman be found among the Zambals of whom it can be said casually that she has had lascivious communication with another, although it is very common for all the people to sleep together in one hut or thicket, and all, both men and women, are intoxicated. But there will be no occasion for a man to jest with a married woman, and more, in the presence of others. But I also believe that that chastity or less incontinence in this matter was not taught by the devil for the welfare and honor of these Zambals, but to give them more opportunities to commit more murders and to make them more turbulent, for the married men are very jealous of their wives and in no case do they leave them. Wherever they go, they go together, and do not lose sight of one another. When they go on a journey, they take all their possessions and the wife carries it all in a basket which she bears on her back by means of a cord from the head. The man with his bow and arrow escorts her. They are accustomed [318]even to carry the hen and its chicks in the said basket or under the arm, so that they carry all that they can of the possessions which they have in their house except what is not portable, and those they hide in the thicket. And if the husband absents himself because of any occurrence, and cannot take his wife with him, and if, during the said absence, the wife weakens in her chastity, and it comes to be common property in the ranchería, for if she has been weak it is very difficult to keep such news from her husband, for these Indians cannot keep a secret: then in such an event the husband kills without any remedy the one who has offended him by sinning with his wife. And having killed such a person, he informs the relatives themselves of said wife of the treachery which his wife has committed in order that they may kill her; and if the said relatives neglect to kill such a wife, then, in that case her own husband kills her and can kill also any relative of the said wife without being obliged in that account to pay anything. Notwithstanding this custom, that quarrel is generally patched up with gold, but they must have much gold among them for that means. I know a principal woman, one of the most influential of said Zambals, whom one of these contentions cost more than thirty taes of gold and two slaves whom she delivered up so that their heads might be cut off. But it is to be noted that the offender of the wife, or the adulterer [mancebo], gives said gold to the husband of said wife, and the wife gives the gold to her own relatives, if they are her cousins and brothers. That woman and chieftainess is called Monica Corosan and was married in facie eclesia [i.e., with the rites of the Church], and because she has been weak and little [319]or not at all faithful to her husband, it cost her the sum above mentioned, and she was divorced and separated from her legitimate husband, by whom she had a son, and was remarried to her adulterer. He already has three daughters. But although the said quarrel was patched up by means of the gold she has not dared to appear before her relatives for more than twelve years. Consequently, the fact that said women are so chaste proceeds from this rigor which they exercise in this matter. If they value their husbands and relatives so greatly, it is because the latter may take vengeance. I believe that the single women are also chaste, although some are generally careless; but both the woman and the accomplice pay with their lives if the fact is learned. If any woman is pregnant, her relatives force her to tell who is the accomplice of her pregnancy, and if the two do not marry, the relatives kill them both without being obliged to give any compensation therefor.

Burials. In their burials, they are not wont to shroud the deceased but to clothe him. If he is a chief they put two dresses on him, according to their manner, and two robes. If the deceased has any share in any inheritance of gold, before they bury said deceased, the gold is divided before the corpse itself, and the part which belonged to him is placed in the grave with the said corpse with his store of certain articles of food. I have heard it said of the natives of Buquil that if the deceased is a chief and has any slave, they kill a slave and bury him with his master. I have had very little to do with the natives of Buquil, and, consequently, I do not know how much truth there is in this, and I do not affirm it. I have also heard another thing said which would [320]horrify the ears were I to tell it; hence I do not dare to set it down on this paper. For, as I say, I have had but little to do with the natives of Buquil, as they have not allowed us to enter there, and if I were to qualify it as true when I was not sure that it was true, if it afterwards appears to be false, it will be inferred that there is but little truth in this paper of mine. Consequently, I will not mention it.

There is a kind of contempt which is very great among the Indians for one who has not murdered anyone. Consequently, those who have some little gold with which to pay for their murders are much given to this vice of murdering. They generally buy slaves or negrillos of the mountain so that their little sons might kill them. Binding the wretched slave or black they take said sufferer into the presence of their sons from three to seven years old and there kill him, and by that means their minds and all their being become acquainted with the idea of blood, so that when they are grown they may have so evil a custom. It is a curious thing that they generally buy many blacks or slaves for that purpose, and if one cannot do it, or has no wealth for the purpose of buying a black or slave in order that he may kill him alone, he unites with others, and thus many together buy said black. One buys the right to give the first lance-thrust or stab, another the second, another to take away a quarter of the head, another another bit of it, another half the head—according to the amount of the capital of each one—and he who wounds him with greater ferocity, that one has the best lot. I will relate a matter in regard to this, which happened to me when I was vicar of Abucay. Once I had about five little Zambal lads in the convent whom I was [321]teaching to pray and read. It happened that the fathers of three of them came to see them, and that gave the children, who were seven or eight years old, a desire to return to Playa Honda with their fathers. I gave them permission, for their parents begged it of me. I did not give permission to the other two, and, consequently, they remained in said convent with me. While the other little fellows were returning in company with their fathers and passing by Mariyumo, which is a visita of Mariueles, it happened that the Indians of that visita, who are also Zambals and but very little different from those of Playa Honda, had that day caught a black of the mountain, whom they were about to kill on the following day. The Zambals and the children, their sons, stayed for the feast in celebration of the killing of the black. For their joy in being present at a death of any person in such a manner is as great as it is for Spaniards to attend a zarza or play or all to play at ring.9 That news came to the ears of the children, who remained under my care in Abucay, two months afterwards. They were told of the feast which their three companions had had in the village of Mariyumo when they were at the killing; and so great was their sorrow that they had not returned on that past occasion with their three companions that they began to bewail their lack of luck because they [322]had not returned with their companions so that they also might have been present at the killing. Hence, one can infer their so great inclination for this vice, for those who have never seen nor known any better customs learn to kill from early childhood. And in case that anyone has entire information concerning the peace and quiet into which the Christians come by means of the Catholic faith, since they have to live among Indians of such customs, they must always have death in their hands or before their eyes, for one can trust no one, since they do not trust themselves. For every step that they take is at the risk of their lives. Often they kill from necessity, as they believe, so that they may not be killed, as happens when they see in their rancherías any person or persons whom they do not know. Since they do not know whether such persons are about to kill them, they anticipate them and take away their lives, but it is more usual to kill for revenge and to make oneself feared and famous in this matter. There are many of them who, when they have committed fifteen murders, place on the hams of the legs certain strings of a small white fruit of an herb which they call bantacan. When they have killed seventeen persons, they place the said fruit very close together in the manner of a rosary which they call tigdin. When the number has reached more than nineteen, they take away said fruit and in its place wear certain very highly colored sigueyes. But it is to be noted that, although twenty men take part in one murder, in order that they may wear that regalia, which they consider as tabi,10 each one claims said murder as his, as if he had done it alone. They also generally tie a long [323]narrow strip of anahao, or palmleaf, on the hilt of their dagger or yua. That token shows that he who carries it was the first one to strike the person that was killed on that occasion. Notwithstanding the abovesaid, if anyone goes to their rancherías in company with another Zambal of their number, he is sufficiently safe although he might be still safer at Manila.


Of the change which we see today in these Indians

He who considers their barbarous customs, idolatries, superstitions, and the natural and great inclination for killing which these Indians possess, and in which they have been reared; and hears of the so great change and the difference which exists at present in all their customs, when compared to those that they possessed in their recesses and rancherías: will easily understand that already God is walking among them, and that He has already taken pity on the souls and wishes them for Himself. The immortality of the soul has already been explained to these Indians in their mother tongue; as has also the reward which God has for those who keep His commandments and those of our holy mother Church, and the punishment reserved for those who break them, and that, for as many sins as man commits he has to take his punishment in this life or in the next; and the unity of God, His eternity, and at the same time that which the Christian man must believe in order to be saved.

It has been father Fray Domingo Escalera who has already learned their language, and has gone communicating it from one to the other, until there are now very few who do not understand this. When [324]said father explains to them something of which they have not heard, all look at one another, as if surprised to hear what they are hearing. I have not had the capacity to do as much as the said father, but I have managed to explain it also in the Tagálog tongue to those who understand it. But they do not understand many things, and I cannot tell them to them. Consequently, I trust, God helping, that said father will produce great fruit among these Indians, as he has learned their language. These Indians did not observe any festivals or Sunday, or Lent, or vigil, or Friday. Consequently, although there are many Christians baptized from childhood, it was the same as if they were heathen, and there was no difference between heathens and Christians. Having explained to them on one occasion the seriousness of the sin of breaking feast days, one of them went to the mountain and one Sunday while cutting some bamboos he hurt his foot. The rumor spread among the Indians that God had punished that Indian because he worked on Sunday, and from that time they have observed feast days and Sundays. On another occasion, namely, Ash Wednesday, the said father told them that they ought to abstain from eating meat throughout Lent, and that God would punish whoever broke said precept. Next day an Indian went hunting, and having killed a carabao calf, while he was cutting it up and carrying it to his house or to the village, the mother of the calf came out of the thicket and killed the Indian. Thereupon, the father took occasion to again charge them to abstain from meat during Lent, Friday, and vigil. All through Lent there was scarcely one Christian or heathen who dared to eat meat. For about eight months we lived in a small house which [325]had scarcely room for the two beds of two religious. We had three Indians of Abucay who built us another larger house where we could live with some freedom. There was no Indian who would be so kind as to aid them in their customs in anything, until they saw that the presidio of the Spaniards which is located twelve leguas from the village where we united these Indians, had already about forty men, and as soon as they heard the arquebuses in Buquil, which was ten leguas from the said village, they moved quickly, and no longer answered a dry “no quiero” [i.e., “I will not”], for whatever we commanded them, as they had before answered us all the time. I have already said above that the devil had discredited the rosary of the most holy Virgin, our Lady, among these Indians, and although some had rosaries which some faithful ones or religious had given them, in order to incline them to that holy devotion, yet no one of them could recite it, for there was no one who knew anything of the prayer. They only kept it in order to show it to those who went to trade and traffic at their rancherías, in order that they might consider them as Christians, as it is a kind of affront among them not to be a Christian. On the contrary they believed that nothing good would happen to them if they wore the rosary about their necks. But seeing the esteem which we had for those sacred beads, and that in their sicknesses when they asked us for any remedy for their attacks in which we do not apply any other medicine except the sacred rosary, and when they recognize that they recover miraculously from their illness by the use of the rosary alone, they believe that the devil had deceived them, and are growing very fond of this holy devotion, so [326]that now very many of the married men, the single youth, indeed, the old men, wear the rosary about their necks, some recite it in their houses, and others attend church morning and afternoon to recite the rosary with the lads, and very many of them already know the whole prayer, and recite it at night in their houses in a loud voice. They formerly obeyed no one, but now they show great respect to their gobernadorcillos, to their chief, and to the old men, so that, if they are seated anywhere and their gobernadorcillo arrives, they all rise, and no one sits or covers his head until his gobernadorcillo is seated. Father Domingo Escalera has lived for a short time with the Indians of Nuebo Toledo, since they were gathered together. Having come to the said village during the last days of the past Lenten season, and seeing the so great change that God had produced in them, he said: “At the rate with which God is changing the hearts of these Indians, they will be better Christians than those of Masinloc before ten years’ time, although said Indians of Masinloc have been Christians for more than sixty years.” When we reached their districts in the beginning, the children and even the women fled from us, but today the women are very affable and those who have anything to wear go to church and scarcely can we keep the children away from us. When we go to the village, they come down from their houses and accompany us, and we can scarcely walk, because they seize us by our habits, and place their scapularies before our eyes. Every morning and afternoon they go to the church to pray and to hear mass. Before mass we recite the rosary, and after mass the whole prayer. In the afternoon we leave the church in the manner of a procession in two choirs, and the father sings the prayer and they [327]answer until the prayer is finished. And on entering the church again candles are lighted to our Lady, and the holy rosary is also recited.


Method used in getting these Indians to persevere in said prayers

The Zambals are the most cowardly people in these islands, although they have hitherto been considered by the neighboring provinces as a people of great courage and warlike. Their cowardice could be proved by many examples, but that does not concern the present matter. Their whole strength consists in fleeing, and their courage in hiding. From that cowardice it proceeds that all the murders that they commit are by treachery. It never happens that if, fighting face to face, the enemy escapes and is on his guard and watchful, they commit any murder, because of their great timidity and cowardice. Accordingly, in order that those whom we have assembled in the three villages above mentioned, may persevere in their settlements, the most efficacious fear and the one most suited to their nature is that the Spaniards of the fort and presidio of Paynauen of whom they have a very great fear, may come very often to the said villages and overrun the land, and penetrate even into their old recesses where they formerly lived; and if perchance they should find anything planted in the said recesses that they would destroy it and cut it down without leaving them anything. And so that they may see that the father protects them, when the said Spaniards come to the village, the father opposes them and takes the part of the Indians.11 But it is always necessary in this [328]matter for the soldiers to conquer, and the father is always very careful to always inform the Spaniards by whom and where anything is planted which it may be necessary to destroy, and that the edicts which his Lordship, the governor, sent them be carried out. These are to the effect that no one should plant anything in the old rancherías and that in the village each one should plant one thousand feet of gabes, and five hundred of sugar-cane; that said soldiers are to continue to make raids through the whole plain as I say, very often; yet, whenever the soldiers come to the village, they are to ask the gobernadorcillo and cabezas (for whom already they have some obedience) for permission to go to look for those who have become fugitives, and the father is to go along in order to assure such fugitive. As said absence has proceeded a trifle from fear of the Spaniard, the Indians of the village themselves are to go to seek those who should have become fugitives, in order that they may not go in company with the Spaniard to the mountain, for the fear which they have of the said soldiers is inexplicable. They are to oblige said Indians to make their gardens and fields in the village, where they have fine lands, very fertile for fields and gardens. If any are found to be neglectful in this, such persons are to be bound in order to keep them and take them to the fort so that they may pound rice for the soldiers. By those measures, there is no man who dares to return to the mountain. After they have lost their fear of the Spaniards, the latter are to try to excite trouble between the Indians and the [329]blacks of the mountain,12 but at all events said Spaniards are to make no trouble for the Indians whom they find in the villages, but rather must treat them well.

In order that this may have effect, it is necessary for the governor to send twenty or thirty horses to the said district, so that the Spaniards may get over the country, for the roads are intolerable, especially from the fort to Santa Rossa de Banguen. That is a distance of six leguas of very troublesome sandy ground without a drop of fresh water in the dry season. There is a distance of six leguas also from Santa Rossa de Banguen to Nuevo Toledo, where one cannot find a tree under which to rest. Accordingly, without the said horses, nothing can be done, for all those who should go to the said places run great risk from the sun, as happened when Adjutant Alvaro Martin Franco went to the said villages to hold the elections, when almost all the Spaniards who accompanied him fell sick. Said horses will be of great use to the soldiers in hunting, for this country has abundance of game. With the horses also they can overrun the land of Buquil, and terrorize intractable persons. Since said Spaniards often go to and fro between these villages and to Buquil, no Indian will go to the mountain, since no harm is done to them in the village; and those of the mountain considering their restlessness and that they are not safe and that the Spaniards destroy their fields will descend to sow and to live in the settlement. For today, if those of the mountain do not descend, it is because they fear [330]that the Spaniards will punish them for not having descended before.

In order to suppress all their bad customs, after having preached against them, proving them with natural arguments which are very easy and clear, with some examples which cause them horror, the most efficacious means which I find is for the father to investigate all their customs, and to understand them thoroughly, so that he may know them all; and then to make fun of the Indians because they do not know that that is bad. If this is not sufficient, it is efficacious for the father to make them afraid that he is going to retire because they refuse to learn good customs, and abandon their abuses and atrocities, so that in such an event the Spaniards may come upon them and kill them all; and by means of the fear which they have the father can do whatever he wishes with them.

I assert that I have investigated thoroughly whatever I have written in this paper by the aid of some Christian Zambals who are very good Catholics whom I have had under my care for four years, and whom I have been teaching to read and have instructed in our holy Catholic faith by means of the Tagálog books which have been written for that purpose by the zealous ministers whom that Tagálog nation has had. One of these Zambals is the son of a priest of the idols, who was reared in a ranchería where sacrifices were often made to the idols. An uncle of this lad whom I also have under my charge was formerly bayoc of the Zambals, so that he knows all the ceremonies, superstitions, and sacrifices, and is also thoroughly conversant with their customs, for he lived among the said Zambals for about twenty years. Besides this, for three years I have had with [331]me another child about ten years old who also knows the customs of these Indians, because he was born and raised among them, for he is the son of Zambal parents. All of those persons tell me what passes among the said Zambals. Besides this, I have also managed to prove it from the children of the village who, since they do not realize my purpose in questioning them in regard to these things, tell me it all. But if I ask any of the old men, or anyone who is very maliciously minded, he will not tell me anything unless I ask him secretly.

Consequently, I consider as true whatever I have written here, and I have refused to write anything of which I am doubtful.

Fray Domingo Perez

[Below is added by another person:]

Until the year 1682, said Zambals were reduced and softened by the vigilance and attendance of the father missionaries of the order of our father St. Dominic. May our Lord prosper everything as He is able.

Afterward in November, of the year 83, a bold Indian with another who accompanied him, waited in a concealed thicket for the father-vicar, Fray Domingo Perez, who was journeying from one village to another, and shot him with an arrow, so that he reached his village badly wounded and died in a short time, after confessing to father Fray Juan Rois. Since that time the Zambals have been in revolt. May it be the Lord’s will that they grow quiet. Now since the assembly of 84 the fathers have been living cautiously and near the fortress. The vicar is father Fray Gregorio13 and his associate [332]Fray Juan Navas,14 errant. In Masinloc the vicar is Fray Juan Fernandez15 and his associate Fray Juan,16 errant.

[Copy endorsed: “The undersigned, provincial archivist of the province of Santísimo Rosario de Filipinas and conventual of the convent of Santo Domingo of this city, certifies that the preceding copy is faithfully copied from the original, which is preserved in the third archives of martyrs—cajon 8, legajo 1, no. 2. In order that the above may be apparent he signs the present in this convent of Santo Domingo, January 3, 1906. The archivist,

Fray Julián Malumbres (rubric), O.P.”]

[Endorsed: “A copy.

Manuel de Yriarte, chief, division of archives, ex-officio notary public.”]

1 Wm. Reed (Negritos of Zambales) says, (p. 27): “Everything in the history of the Zambal people and their present comparative unimportance goes to show that they were the most indolent and backward of the Malayan peoples. While they have never given the governing powers much trouble, yet they have not kept pace with the agricultural and commercial progress of the other people, and their territory has been so steadily encroached on from all sides by their more aggressive neighbors that their separate identity is seriously threatened. The rich valleys of Zambales have long attracted Ilokano immigrants, who have founded several important towns. The Zambals themselves, owing to lack of communication between their towns, have developed their separate dialects.... [but] Zambal as a distinct dialect is gradually disappearing.” “The Zambals, however, lived in so close contact with the Negritos that they impressed their language on them so thoroughly, that no trace of the dialect of the latter people remains in Zambales” (p. 28).

As pointed out in a recent communication from James A. LeRoy, the Zambals were mountaineers, kin to the Igorot of today, and of Malay origin. They probably formed a portion of a very early migratory movement from the south who were pushed back into the hills. They must not be confused with the Negritos, who are not Malayan. The Malayan origin of the Zambals can be easily seen from Perez’s description. 

2 Fray Vicente Salazar in his Historia, chapter xxx, pp. 134–138

(“Description of the province of Zambales, and the genius, customs, and ceremonies of its Indians”) makes use of this document by Perez, which he greatly condenses. Indeed, it forms his sole authority on the Zambals. In the two following chapters (“Fruit of the preaching of our religious in the changing of the customs of the Zambals;” and “Of some miracles which our Lord worked in this mission and reduction of the Zambals”) also he uses considerable of the material of Perez. 

3 Carrizal: land which is full of reed-grass. 

4 Tapis is a Tagálog word, being the name of a garment worn by women as a skirt. See Noceda and Sanlucar’s Vocabulario de la lengua tagala

5 Iua: a Tagálog word for a weapon resembling a dagger. See ut supra

6 Wm. A. Reed (Negritos of Zambales, p. 26), commenting on Salazar’s description of the Zambals, which is condensed from Perez, says: “Of course it is impossible to tell how much of this is the product of the writer’s imagination, or at least of the imagination of those earlier chroniclers from whom he got his information, but it can well be believed that the natives had a religion of their own and that the work of the missionaries was exceedingly difficult.” In this connection, it is interesting to note that Perez later vouches for the entire truth of whatever he has written. 

7 The original reads: presidiendo las ceremonias Bis. The transcriber of the document for the present editors has added the following note: “The structure and meaning of this word is not well understood.” It is the Latin word Bis, meaning “in a twofold manner,” indicating that the god Malyari presides over both the feast and the honors to the deceased. 

8 Balata is also used by the Tagálogs to signify “abstinence from something in memory of any person.” See Noceda and Sanlucar’s Vocabulario

9 The Spanish for “to play at ring” is correr á la sortija. This is an equestrian sport, which is played by taking an iron ring as large as a Segovian ochavo (a small brass coin). This ring is fitted into another piece of iron, from which it can be easily withdrawn. The latter is hung from a cord or pole a few feet from the ground, and the horsemen and others who take part in the game, taking the proper distance, go toward the ring at a run. The one who bears off the ring on his lance is declared the winner. See Dominguez’s Diccionario

10 A word of respect in the Tagálog dialect. 

11 Even when I was a missionary to the heathens from 1882 to 1892, I had occasion to observe the said policy, to inform the chief of the fortress of the measures that he ought to take, and to make a false show on the other side so that it might have no influence on the fortress. (Note by Dominican transcriber.) 

12 The same thing was advised by father Fray Remigio Rodriguez del Alamo to Don Narciso Claveria y Oscariz, in respect to the different tribes of Ifugaos. (Note by Dominican transcriber.) 

13 This was Gregorio Giraldez, who reached the Philippines in 1679. He was a Galician by birth and professed in the Dominican order August 31, 1666. He was immediately sent to the province of Zambales, being appointed in 1682 vicar of Alalang, and in 1684, of Paynaven. In 1686 he became superior of the Manila convent. He filled the offices also of procurator-general, president of San Juan de Letran, and vicar-provincial. His death occurred at Manila, May 28, 1702. See Salazar’s Historia, p. 130; and Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 215, 216. 

14 Juan de la Nava went to the Philippines in 1684, and was assigned immediately to Masinloc, in the province of Zambales, which post he filled for four years. In 1690 he was appointed vicar-provincial there, at the same time having in charge the house at Paynaven. His death occurred August 24, 1691. See Salazar’s Historia, pp. 583, 584, and Reseña biográfica, ii, p. 252. 

15 Juan Fernandez was born in the province of Asturias, and professed at Valladolid, September 8, 1674. Reaching the Philippines in 1679 at the age of twenty-six, he was sent to the province of Zambales, being assigned in 1680 to Masinloc, where he remained until 1686. He was also vicar of Santiago Apostol de Bolinao (1688–96) and of Santa Catalina V. y M. de Agno; vicar-provincial (1692–94); at Bolinao again (1696–98); superior of Manila convent (1698–1702); president of the house of Santa Mónica de Marihumo, in Zambales, from 1702 until his death in the first half of 1703. See Salazar’s Historia, p. 130; and Reseña biográfica, ii, pp. 223, 224. 

16 This was Juan Rois. See VOL. XLI, p. 250, note 76. 

Table of Contents

DOCUMENTS OF 1728–1759 21
I. Of the beginning of this venerable brotherhood of the city of Manila, in the year 1594 23
II. Of the foundation of this venerable brotherhood, and the circumstances attending it 24
III. Of the condition and conveniences of this brotherhood in its beginning 28
IV. Of the hospital which this brotherhood founded, and the Christian and charitable exercises in which it was occupied. 30
V. Of the disasters which assaulted Manila during the five years from 599 to 604; and how the charity of the brothers of Santa Misericordia shone forth to the good of their neighbor. 34
VI. Of the advantages and gains which resulted from the great alms which were given out by the house of Santa Misericordia for the common relief of spiritual and temporal needs. 38
VII. Of other works of charity in which this venerable brotherhood was busied for the benefit of captive Spaniards and Portuguese, and the alms which it sent to Japon and other districts, and the devout exercises in which it busied itself with great profit. 40
VIII. In which are shown the alms that were distributed for masses among the sacred religious orders, to the poor of the prisons, the widows, and orphans, in dowries, food, and clothing of the daughters of the brotherhood, etc., from the first years of its foundation until the years of the great earthquakes of 645 and later until that of 60; in which are included other sums which had been paid from the treasury for the expenses of the building of the church and college of Santa Isabel and other pious purposes. 41
IX. In which are shown in separate items the supplements of reals which the house of Santa Misericordia has given to the royal treasury of this city, during the periods of its greatest poverty and necessity, occasioned both by the raids which have been made in these islands by the Dutch enemy and for reënforcements and fortifications of this royal camp and of other presidios of the royal crown from the year 619 until that of 726 for the service of his Majesty (whom may God preserve for many years). 43
X. In which is given public satisfaction in behalf of this brotherhood for a chapter of a manifesto which has been published denouncing the rectitude and faithful administration of the brothers; and it is proved that the annuities of the house of the Misericordia not only are not lost, as is supposed, but that, on the contrary, they are in much better condition than at any other time. 48
XI. In which a relation is given of the government and order observed by the house of the Santa Misericordia in the administration of the funds under its charge, and the dependencies annexed to them. The alms which it gives regularly from one year to another, when there are no shipwrecks, and the account which is given annually in it. 49
XII. In which are recounted the new hardships which came upon these islands between the years 620 and 634, both because of the invasions of the Dutch enemy therein and because of the putting back and loss of ships, which happened in this period; and the devout exercises and alms of the house of Santa Misericordia. 59
XIII. In which notice is given of the conclusion of the costly building of the church and school of Santa Isabel, and the removal thither of the girls whom this brotherhood had in that of Santa Potenciana, and in other private houses where they lived in retirement and with their devout exercises distributed through the hours of the day. 60
XIV. Of the number of girls whom this venerable brotherhood has supported since its foundation until the present time; and the report of the expenses caused by the said girls during all that time; also [the expenses] in the church of Santa Isabel in their charge, and other particulars. 63
XV. In which are mentioned the various events in these islands by land and sea during the years 635–645, and supplies given to the royal treasury, and devout exercises of the brothers of the Santa Misericordia. 65
XVI. Of the great earthquakes of the year 1645, and the events that happened therein; losses of the house of the Misericordia in the works in its charge, and the adjustment of the losses of its investments, which were imposed on the houses demolished, in virtue of a general compromise. 66
XVII. Of other new misfortunes which occurred in these islands from the year 646 to that of 673; loans given by the Board of Santa Misericordia to the royal treasury, and the great alms which it gave during that time; and the transfer of the hospital of the house to the religious of St. John of God. 68
XVIII. Of the appreciation and esteem which the governors and captains-general, and the archbishops and bishops of this holy cathedral have had for the house of Santa Misericordia; and other particulars worthy of being read. 70
XIX. Satisfaction given by the Board of the Santa Misericordia to all this city, in answer to certain words of the opposing manifesto, which charge it with omission; proving that it could not, or ought not, immediately upon the death of Captain Manuel Lobo, fulfil the terms of his will, or distribute his wealth in accordance with his last wishes, until the time that it did do so by the direction of the learned opinion of the professors of the royal university of this city. 72
XX. Of the present condition of the house of Santa Misericordia, after so many and so repented disasters; beginning of its new increases in the foundation of various funds at this time; the new misfortunes which succeeded from the year 700; and alms which the house gave during this time. 73
XXI. Of the alms which the house of Santa Misericordia has distributed from the year 701 to that of 728; losses suffered by the funds in their charge during that time, and an account of other things. 75
XXII. In which are contained the indulgences and favors conceded by the supreme pontiffs to the brothers and sisters of Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila, which are copied from the original briefs, relics, with which it is enriched; with its authentic royal decree which exempts and preserves it from visits by the ecclesiastical ordinaries, in imitation of the royal house of Lizboa; the chaplaincies and becas of which it is patron, the number of brothers of which this venerable brotherhood is composed and those who serve this present year in the Board of Santa Misericordia; and the report of the alms which are given annually. 76
Chaplaincies with collation 79
Lay chaplaincies 79
Becas of collegiates 80
Number of brothers in this venerable brotherhood and other circumstances 80
Annual alms given by the house of the Santa Misericordia of the city of Manila 81
Artillery, mounted and dismounted, of this fort, with whatever is necessary for handling it 95
Military supplies kept in reserve, independent of those used in actual service 96
Artillery mounted and dismounted, with the necessary articles for its handling 99
Reserve supplies 99
Artillery, mounted and dismounted, in the port of Cavite, with all that is necessary for its handling 103
Military supplies kept in reserve, independent of those used in actual service 104
Ribera of Cavité 109
Arms and supplies 114
The military force 114
Arms and supplies of this post 124
Military force in the post of Samboangan 124
Coastguard galleys at Samboangan 125
Galliots at Samboangan 126
The holy cathedral church of Manila 129
The holy church of Zebu 131
Holy church of Nueva Cazeres 131
The holy church of Nueva Segovia 132
Summary of the amounts of the stipends and contributions from the royal treasury which are enjoyed by the convents, colleges, hospitals, and houses which have no [parochial] administration. 139
Encomiendas belonging to religious communities and to private persons 141
Encomiendas in which the collections are made on his Majesty’s account, to be applied to the objects for which they were granted. 142
Summary of the expenses which the active missions which are mentioned occasion to the royal exchequer. 144
Ministers, and villages of converted Indians; the stipends and offerings which they enjoy on this account, according to the number of tributes to whom they minister. 145
Summary of the stipends which each religious order is entitled to receive for the mission villages and ministries that it has. 146
Summary of the amounts of stipends and contributions 150
General summary of the amounts, in stipends, contributions, and grants, with which the ecclesiastical estate in these islands is aided on his Majesty’s account. 151
Reduction of commodities for the computation of the whole in cash 152
Summary of what the ministers who are in charge of the Indian villages receive from their parishioners, as an offering, for the three feast days of each village. 155
Index of the plans, relations, and descriptions which are contained in this book 157
Form of the Chinese balances 181
Difficulties which arose in regard to the introduction of new weights 183
Castilian weight 184
The standard of weight kept in the repository 187
Remarkable agreement of weights 188
XIV. CHAPTER XIV Incomes and contributions which belong to the hospital order for its maintenance and that of the religious in this province. 199
Present condition of the royal hospital of Manila 223
Hospital of San Lazaro 226
Hospital of San Gabriel for the Sangleys 226
Hospital of Los Baños 227
[Royal] allowances for infirmaries 227
Hospital of Zamboanga 228
Prologue to the Reader 253
Commerce of the Philipinas Islands; the benefit and advantages which the said islands ought to yield to his Majesty (whom may God preserve). 253
Recapitulation of the advantages and benefits of this commerce 266
Extracts from the proposition of Don Nicolas Norton Nicols; the conditions which he requires; the benefits and advantages which will accrue to his Majesty and his vassals, on whose account his Majesty was pleased to issue a decree on the twenty-third of February last. 281
The whole matter in small compass 284
Of the site and district of Playa Honda 291
Of the idolatries of all those Indians 298
Of the superstitions of the Indians 307
Of the customs of these Indians 309
Of the change which we see today in these Indians 323
Method used in getting these Indians to persevere in said prayers 327



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The following corrections have been applied to the text:

Page Source Correction
57, 85 [Not in source] .
86 Tamon Tamón
149 [Not in source] and chaplains
185 ; ,
247 . ,
N.A. hindred hindered
323 himself Himself