The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803
Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century
Volume III, 1569-1576
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
Contents of Volume III
Preface. ... 15
Documents of 1569
Letter to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; Cebu, June 5. ... 29 Letter to Felipe II. Andres de Mirandaola; Cubu, June 8. ... 33 Letter to Marques de Falces. M.L. de Legazpi; Cubu, July 7. ... 44 Relation of the Filipinas islands. M.L. de Legazpi; [Cubu, July 7]. ... 54 Confirmation of Legazpi's title as governor and captain-general. Felipe II; Madrid, August 14. ... 62
Documents of 1570
Letter to Felipe II. Fray Diego de Herrera; Mexico, January 16. ... 69 Relation of the voyage to Luzon. [June, 1570?]. ... 73 Act of taking possession of Luzon. Martin de Goiti and Hernando Riquel; Manila, June 6. ... 105 Letter to Felipe II. M. L. de Legazpi; Panae, July 25. ... 108 Evidence regarding the Portuguese expedition against Cebu. M.L. de Legazpi; Cubu, October 21. ... 113
Documents of 1571-72
Relation of the discoveries of the Malucos and Philippinas. [1571?]. ... 121 Requisitions of supplies for the Spanish forces in the Philippines [1571?]. ... 132 Conquest of the island of Luzon. Manila, April 20, 1572. ... 141 Foundation of the city of Manila. Fernando Riquel; Manilla, June 19, 1572. ... 173
Documents of 1573
Expenses incurred for the expedition to the Western Islands, 1569-72. Melchior de Legazpi; Mexico, March 2. ... 177 Affairs in the Philippines after the death of Legazpi. Guido de Lavezaris; Manila, June 29. ... 179 Relation of the Western Islands called Filipinas. Diego de Artieda. ... 190 Letter from the viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II. Martin Enriquez; Mexico, December 5. ... 209
Documents of 1574
Letter to Felipe II. Andres de Mirandaola; January 8. ... 223 Las nuevas quescriven de las yslas del Poniente Hernando Riquel y otros; Mexico, January 11. ... 230 Two royal decrees regarding Manila and Luzon. Felipe II; Madrid, June 21. ... 250 Opinion regarding tribute from the Indians. Fray Martin de Rada; Manila, June 21. ... 253 Reply to Fray Rada's "Opinion." Guido de Lavezaris and others; [Manila, June, 1574?]. ... 260 Two letters to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; Manila, July 17 and 30. ... 272 Slavery among the natives. Guido de Lavezaris; [July?]. ... 286
Documents of 1575-76
Part of a letter to the viceroy. Guido de Lavezaris; [Manila, 1575?]. ... 291 Letter to Felipe II. Juan Pacheco Maldonado; [Manila, 1575?]. ... 295 Encomiendas forbidden to royal officials. Francisco de Sande, and others; Manila, May 26, 1576. ... 304 Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; Manila, June 2, 1576. ... 312
Bibliographical Data. ... 315
Portrait of Fray Martin de Rada, O.S.A.; photographic reproduction of painting in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. ... Frontispiece Landing of the Spaniards at Cebu, in 1565; photographic reproduction of a painting at the Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. ... 35 Map showing the first landing-place of Legazpi in the Philippines; photographic facsimile of original (manuscript) map, contained in the pilots' log-book of the voyage, preserved in the Archivo General de Indias, at Sevilla. ... 47 "Asiae nova descriptio" (original in colors), map in Theatrum orbis terrarum, by Abraham Ortelius (Antverpiae, M. D. LXX), fol. 3; reduced photographic facsimile, from copy in Boston Public Library. ... 86, 87
The documents presented in this volume cover the last three years of Legazpi's administration in the islands, the governorship of Guido de Lavezaris, and the beginning of that of Francisco de Sande. In the brief period which we thus far survey, the first decade of Spanish occupation (1565-75), are already disclosed the main elements of the oriental problem of today: the conflicting claims of powerful European nations, striving for advantage and monopoly in the rich trade of the East; the eagerness of unscrupulous Europeans to subjugate the wealthy but comparatively defenseless Chinese people, and the efforts of the latter to exclude foreigners from their country; the relations between the dominant whites and the weaker colored races; the characteristics, racial and local, of the various oriental peoples; the Chinese migration to the islands; and the influence of the missionaries. Interesting comparisons may be made between the conquests by the Spaniards in the Philippines and those made at an earlier period in New Spain.
The royal treasurer in the Philippines, Guido de Lavezaris, writes (June 5, 1569) to Felipe II, describing the Portuguese attack on Cebu in the preceding autumn, and briefly mentioning some other matters. A letter from another official, Andres de Mirandaola (dated three days later), informs the king of the wreck of a vessel despatched to Spain with a rich cargo of spices; and he too describes briefly the encounter with the Portuguese. The danger of another attack leads the Spaniards to remove their camp to Panay, as being safer than Cebu. Mirandaola pleads for reenforcements, and asks that soldiers, of more industrious sort than hitherto, be sent to the islands. He also gives some interesting information about China and its people; and asks for an increase of his salary.
A letter from Legazpi (July 1, 1569) to the viceroy of New Spain describes the difficulties between the Portuguese and Spaniards at Cebu, and complains of Pereira's hostile actions there. The settlement has been removed to Panay; they send their only remaining ship to New Spain, to entreat aid in their distress and imminent danger, for the Portuguese threaten to drive the Spaniards out of the Philippines. All the expense hitherto incurred will be wasted unless a permanent and suitably-equipped settlement be made at some good port. If supplies cannot be sent, Legazpi asks for ships with which to transport the Spaniards home, and wishes to resign his office as governor. With this letter he sends an account of the islands, "and of the character and condition of their inhabitants." The natives are unreliable, and utterly slothful. Cinnamon is the only product of the islands which can be made profitable to the Spaniards, until they can secure control of the gold mines, and have them worked. Legazpi offers practical advice as to the best methods of treating the natives, conducting commerce, etc. His title of governor in Cebu is confirmed (August 14, 1569) by royal decree.
A letter from Fray Diego de Herrera (January 16, 1570) to Felipe II gives a brief account of events since Legazpi arrived at the islands. He praises the courage and loyalty of the soldiers, and asks the king to reward them; and asserts that the hostilities of the Portuguese must be checked before much can be done to convert the natives. A document without signature narrates the events of "the voyage to Luzon" in May, 1570. It is a simple but picturesque account of the campaign which resulted in the conquest of Luzon and the foundation of Spanish Manila—evidently written by one who participated in those stirring events. The Moros (Mahometans) of Manila profess a readiness to make a treaty of peace with the Spaniards; but they treacherously begin an attack on the latter—which, however, results in their own defeat. The Spaniards capture the city and set it on fire, which compels the Moros to abandon it. The victors make compacts of peace with the neighboring villages, and return to Panay. Illustrative of this episode is the "act of taking possession of Luzon," dated June 6, 1570.
A letter from Legazpi to the king (July 25, 1570) outlines the events of the past year. He renews his entreaties for some light-oared vessels, in which he could send exploring parties through the archipelago. In pursuance of a royal order, he sends back to Mexico the Portuguese who are among his troops; but he cannot banish the other foreigners, as they include his best workmen. He asks royal favor and rewards for some of his officers. On October 21 of the same year, he despatches to the king a formal complaint that Pereira had again appeared at the Spanish settlement (now in Panay), and demolished its fortifications.
A writer unknown gives an outline of the controversies regarding the Line of Demarcation, and of the Spanish discoveries in the Philippines, and the voyages made between the archipelago and Mexico, up to 1571. Lists of supplies needed [1571?] for the struggling colony forcibly indicate the difference between the wants of civilized Europeans and those of the semi-barbarous tribes in the Philippines.
Another picturesque account of the reduction of Luzon is furnished (April 20, 1572) by an unknown writer, who claims to have obtained his information from actual participants in that campaign. He mentions various interesting details not included in the earlier account, and narrates occurrences after the conquest of Manila. Legazpi goes to that place (May, 1571) to establish his official residence; the natives at his approach set fire to the village, which they had rebuilt after its destruction by the Spaniards in the preceding year. The seat of government for the archipelago is founded there; and amicable relations (involving the payment of tribute by the natives) are established between the Spaniards and the people of some neighboring villages. Other communities refuse to make submission, and defy the invaders; but they are successively reduced to subjection by the Spaniards. After narrating these transactions, the writer gives a brief description of the people of Luzon, their mode of dress, religious rites, and various customs; and makes commendatory mention of the Chinese who have settled on that island, who are now converted to the Christian faith. He then enumerates the islands thus far explored by the Spaniards, mentioning their principal resources and products. In June, 1572, Legazpi formally establishes the Spanish city of Manila, and appoints municipal officers.
An official statement is made by Legazpi's son Melchior, royal accountant in New Spain (March 2, 1573), of the expenses attending the Philippine enterprise during the past four years. Layezaris makes report (June 29, 1573) of Legazpi's death (August 20 preceding), and of affairs in the islands since then. Allotments of lands which include the natives who reside thereon (known as "repartimientos" or "encomiendas"), are being made in the islands, as fast as they are pacified. Most of Luzon is now subdued; its resources are great, and will maintain numerous Spanish settlements. The Chinese trade with its ports is extensive, and steadily increasing; and those traders are bringing wares of better quality than formerly. Lavezaris complains of Portuguese hostility and intrigues; a Bornean king also has attempted an expedition against the Spaniards. The governor sends a cargo of cinnamon to Felipe; if only he had ships in which to transport that precious commodity, he could ruin the Portuguese trade therein. This enterprising official has sent to New Spain plants of ginger, tamarind, cinnamon, and pepper; the first two are already flourishing there. He suggests that it would be well to send to the islands Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, to continue the conversion of the natives, already begun by the Augustinians. He asks rewards for his officers, as having faithfully served the king amid great dangers and hardships—especially Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo. He advises that municipal officers be changed annually to prevent abuses.
A Spanish captain, Diego de Artieda, writes (1573) a "Relation of the Western Islands." He enumerates the islands thus far discovered by the Spaniards, describing their location, appearance, and natural resources. He adds much curious information about the natives—concerning their religious beliefs and rites, customs, mode of dress, weapons, food, industries, social condition, etc. Artieda notes all that he has been able to learn concerning Japan and China, with interesting details as to their civilization, and the skill of the Chinese as artisans; he mentions the antiquity of printing among them. He offers to conduct an armed expedition against the coast of China, if the king will supply him with two vessels and eighty soldiers. He advises that Spain abandon the attempt to establish a footing in the Philippines, or else that she ignore the Treaty of Zaragoza and trade with the Moluccas.
Martin Enriquez, viceroy of New Spain, writes (December 5, 1573) to Felipe II, announcing the arrival of ships with despatches from the Philippines. With them has come the Augustinian friar Diego de Herrera, who is on his way to Spain to inform the king of the acts of violence and injustice which are being committed in the islands—especially by the soldiers, who receive no pay and therefore maintain themselves by raids on the native villages. Several Spanish officers have been sent thence to Mexico, by way of punishment for various misdemeanors; from them the viceroy has obtained much information, which he records for the king's benefit. The resources of the Philippines are great; but "every one asserts that the chief deficiency of that land is justice; and without justice there is no safety." A new governor is needed there. Reenforcements and supplies have been sent thither from New Spain every year; but many persons die, and there has been little increase of population. The riches of China incline some of the Spaniards to plan for its subjugation to Spanish power. Commerce with that land would be very desirable; but the viceroy cannot persuade Spanish merchants to embark therein, on the uncertain and vague reports thus far received; moreover, the Chinese already possess all the goods that the Spaniards would export to them. Enriquez asks that some large ships be provided for the Philippine trade, for which he has no vessels of adequate size. He sends to the king a cargo of gold, spices, silks, wax, and other goods. He asks that artillery and rigging be sent him, and supplies for a reenforcement which he is planning to despatch next year to the Philippines. He requests the king to reward the faithful services rendered by Legazpi; and to do so by providing for his daughters, now of marriageable age, and giving to his son Melchior some grant in New Spain. The viceroy asks for orders in various matters, especially in regard to the Inquisition; and enumerates the documents he sends with this letter.
Andres de Mirandaola writes (January 8, 1574) to the king. He enumerates the gold mines thus far discovered in the Philippines, and the advantages possessed by the islands; and urges the establishment of Spanish power therein. He describes, as well as he can from reports, the extent and resources of China, and hints that Spain might find it worth while to conquer that rich kingdom.
Of much interest is the brief narrative (sent from Mexico January 11, 1574) by Fernando Riquel, Legazpi's notary, of events in the islands during 1570-73. The governor founds a town in Cebu, and allots to his followers the land and the natives who reside thereon. In April, 1571 he conducts an expedition for the conquest of Luzon (the events of which have been related in previous documents). Riquel mentions the coming of the ships, Legazpi's death, and other events. The islands are in a peaceful condition; the lands are allotted in such districts as have been pacified; there is promise of an abundant income from the tributary natives; and the gold mines are very rich. The Chinese trade is described; and Riquel thinks that China, notwithstanding its great population, could be subjugated "with less than sixty good Spanish soldiers." His narrative is followed by a list of the articles carried in the ships which bear his letters—gold, spices, silks, cotton cloth, and porcelain.
On June 21, 1574 Felipe II bestows on Luzon the title of "New kingdom of Castilla," and on Manila that of "Distinguished and ever loyal city;" and permits the establishment of a new municipal office. On the same day Fray Martin de Rada, provincial of the Augustinians in the Philippines, gives his written opinion regarding the exaction by the Spaniards of tributes from the Indians. He declares that he and all his brethren regard the conquests made in these islands as unjust; and denounces the acts of injustice, oppression, and extortion committed against the helpless natives. Rada asserts that the rate of tribute is three times as high as it ought to be, considering the poverty of the Indians; and urges the governor to reduce the amount levied to one-third of the present exaction, and to protect the natives from oppression.
Lavezaris and other officials at Manila undertake to defend themselves from Rada's accusations, writing (probably very soon after his "Opinion") a letter to the king to state their side of the contention. They deny some of Rada's statements, and excuse their action in other matters, casting the blame for many evils on the treachery of the natives. They claim that they are protecting the friendly Indians, and have nearly broken up the robbery and piracy formerly prevalent among those peoples. They assert that the natives are well supplied with food, clothing, and gold, and that the tribute levied is moderate, and not a burden on the people; also that it is regulated according to the relative wealth of different classes and regions. This is illustrated by interesting quotations of prices and values, and enumeration of goods obtained in trade, and of the products of native industry. The officials admit that the natives pay tribute only under compulsion, but say, "They like to be compelled to do so;" and they consider all poverty among the Indians as due to laziness and drunkenness. It is also far better for them to pay tribute than to be raided by the Spanish soldiers for the means of supporting themselves, as was done before the encomiendas were made.
Two letters from Lavezaris (July 17 and 30, 1574) give account of the past year's events. Juan de Salcedo has conquered the rich province of Los Camarines in Luzon; and the governor will try to found a Spanish settlement there. The town founded at Cebu was almost deserted by the Spaniards; but Lavezaris obliges them to return thither and aids them in their poverty. He hopes to establish commerce with Borneo and eventually to found a Spanish post in that island; and has other plans for increasing the domination of Spain in the East Indies. Juan de Salcedo has subdued the province of Ilocos, and founded the town of Fernandina. The Chinese trade is steadily increasing. The natives of Luzon are being rapidly converted, and missionaries are needed to care for their souls; Lavezaris especially recommends the Theatins for this work. He forwards a cargo of cinnamon to the king, to which he adds various curiosities, and specimens of oriental jewelry; and sends to New Spain certain plants and roots of economic value, which he desires to introduce there. He has been obliged to send Mirandaola to New Spain under arrest; so the office of factor is vacant, and should be filled. An attorney-general is also needful in the islands. Lavezaris complains of the Augustinian friars for opposing the collection of tributes from the natives. Some reenforcements have come from New Spain. Upon receiving this letter, the royal Council orders that arrangements be made to furnish necessary supplies for the islands from New Spain. Another copy of the document is forwarded to Spain, to which, as it goes on a later vessel, the governor adds some further items of news. Salcedo has pacified not only Los Camarines, but Albay and the island of Catanduanes. The prospect is excellent for the establishment and prosperity of Spanish colonies in the island of Luzon. The governor sends with his letter maps of Luzon and the coast of China. A letter (undated) from Lavezaris enumerates the reasons for which persons are enslaved among the native tribes. He advises that the Spaniards adopt this institution; otherwise, "this land cannot be preserved."
An undated letter (1575?) by the same official, to the viceroy of New Spain, mentions the orders given by the latter that all Indians and negroes carried from the islands must be returned. Some Chinese junks have been seized and pillaged. As a result, the trade which was flourishing between the Spaniards and the Moros of Luzon has been almost destroyed for the time—a serious matter, for the Moros supply the Spaniards with provisions. Lavezaris asks that more married men be sent to the islands. Some remarkably fine pearls have been obtained near Bantayan. He asks the viceroy to provide him with a cipher code for future communications.
Captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado sends to Felipe II (probably in 1575) a report on the condition and needs of the Spanish colony in the Philippines. He begins by narrating briefly the conquest of Luzon; then describes the island and its trade, which is carried on with both China and Japan. On account of its wealth and importance, Luzon should be thoroughly subjugated; and Maldonado enumerates the provisions that should be made for that end. Forty or fifty ecclesiastics should be sent; and to aid in their labors a prelate should be appointed, for which post the writer recommends Fray Diego de Herrera. Maldonado urges that five hundred soldiers be sent from Spain and that with these troops conquest should be made of the Liu-Kiu and Japan Islands. He asks also for artisans to build ships, suggesting for this purpose the negro slaves thus employed at Havana.
The new governor, Francisco de Sande, issues a decree (May 26, 1576) forbidding royal officials in the islands from holding encomiendas of Indians, and appropriating to the crown those formerly granted by Lavezaris. The affidavits annexed to this document enumerate the payments of tribute made by the natives, and indicate the need for Sande's action. The governor sends to the king a report (dated June 7, 1576) of his first year's work, accompanied by a letter (dated June 2). He desires to subjugate China, an undertaking which he eloquently urges upon the king. This report will be given in the next volume.
Documents of 1569
Letter to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; June 5. Letter to Felipe II. Andres de Mirandaola; June 8. Letter to Marques de Falces. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 7. Relation of the Filipinas Islands. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 7. Confirmation of Legazpi's title. Felipe II; August 14.
Sources: MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, at Sevilla.
Translations: The first two documents are translated by Arthur B. Myrick; the others, by Alfonso de Salvio.
Letter from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
This letter will serve to advise your Majesty that by the capitana "San Pablo," which left this port on the first of July in the past year 1568, I wrote at length to your Majesty regarding events which had happened up to that time; and I refer you to the letters which will go on this despatch-boat in the general budget, which is thus accidentally increased. Now I shall relate the history of this ship, and what happened to us after it left, with as much brevity as possible, both to avoid prolixity and because the governor Miguel Lopez will give your Majesty a longer and fuller relation. This ship was despatched with more than four hundred quintals of cinnamon for your Majesty, besides small wares and other articles as specimens, which would give no little satisfaction in that land. There arrived at this port of Cubu on the eighteenth of September of that year a small vessel of Portuguese, whose captain was Antonio Rrumbo de Acosta, a person who had already come, the year before, to this port with letters from the Captain-general Gonzalo Pereyra. He said that the captain-general was coming with, all his fleet to see the governor [of the Philippines] and provide him with necessaries, and that having been separated from his fleet, he [Acosta] came to seek shelter at this port, as he had knowledge of it, whence he would return immediately to seek the fleet. He did so, having first been well received by the governor [Legazpi] and this whole colony. On the twenty-eighth of that same month, he came back to this port with letters from the captain-general to the governor, saying that the former was very near the port. The governor answered his letters, and despatched them; and on the thirtieth of the same month, the captain-general entered the port with a heavy fleet of Portuguese. They came with nine sail—four ships of deep draught and five galleys and fustas, without counting other small vessels which the natives of Maluco use for the service of the larger boats. They remained in this port certain days, peacefully, during which the captain-general and the governor saw each other twice—once on land and the other time on sea. At the last visit, the Portuguese stated that he would serve summons upon us, which he at once proceeded to do. On the fourteenth of October he sent the first summons, which the governor answered. The Portuguese made answer to this reply and after that made his third demand; and on the same day when he did this, he came to blows with us, in which nothing was gained. He surrounded us at the entrances of this port (of which there are two, one to the east and the other to the west). He always endeavored to make war on us from the outside, in order to guarantee his own safety as much as possible. Many people were seen from this camp, and he captured many more, without it happening that they could take or kill any of us. He granted life to a few soldiers and boys that fled from this camp and went to his fleet. During the time of this blockade, the flagship was burned because it was of no use, and so that the nails it contained might serve for a ship that was being made. At this time came the news that the capitana "San Pablo" had been lost in the Ladrones during a storm, and while the ship was moored. All the people had escaped and came to these Filipinas islands in a bark which they made from a small boat. It was a marvelous thing that one hundred and thirty-two people should come in it as they did. May God pardon whomsoever did us such harm in losing this ship in this manner. The Portuguese had notice of this loss, and, having kept us surrounded all the rest of the year, went away from this port on the first of January of this year 69, with different ideas from those which they brought hither—because they had maintained that we must go with them to India; and the captain-general demanded in his papers or summons that we should leave these islands, since they were within the demarcation of the king of Portugal. Now because, as I said, the governor will give your Majesty at greater length the news of all this, and is sending a relation and the copy of the demands, I shall say nothing further of it. I finish by saying that the despatch-boat "San Lucas" is being sent away today, in order to request that your Majesty may send us sufficient help, suitable to our need, which is very great, as they who are going to you in this ship will bear witness; and by referring you to all that I have before explained to your Majesty. In the ship "San Juan," which left this port on the twenty-sixth of July, of the year 67, I sent certain tamarind trees and ginger roots to be planted in the more fertile districts of that Nueva Espana. Now I am sending your Majesty by Rrodrigo Despinosa, chief pilot who came in the capitana, some roots of pepper already sprouted, for the same purpose. I, as a zealous servant of your Majesty, am always, so far as my little strength permits, watchful of everything that concerns the royal service. And because I personally desire to inform your Majesty of these things, and in order that I may do it as fully as I have heard it, I beg your Majesty to do me the favor to send me your favorable permission, in order that I may do so in the first ship that may leave these parts for that Nueva Espana; and because in all things I hope to receive favor from your Majesty, in regard to all the rest referring to the aforesaid letters that I wrote your Majesty which are likewise going on this vessel. I close begging our Lord to keep your Majesty's sacred royal Catholic person, and prosper you with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's servants and vassals, desire. From Cebu, June 5, 1569. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's faithful vassal and humble servant, who kisses your royal feet,
Guido de Lavesaris
Letter from Andres de Mirandaola to Felipe II
Sacred Catholic Majesty:
With the capitana which left this port on the first of July, five hundred and sixty-eight, I sent your Majesty a relation of what had happened up to that day in this place, with the fidelity and loyalty which I owe as your Majesty's servant; and so will I do in this. It pleased God that the capitana, making the return trip from Nueva Spana  for the second time, should lose the way, and be driven upon the island of Guan, which is one of those called the Ladrones, where they were lost on account of the storm that struck them there. Assuredly this caused great sadness and anxiety in this camp, besides the great loss that it occasioned us, both because that ship was very convenient and important for the expedition, and because of its large cargo of cinnamon and other goods which would have given great satisfaction in your Majesty's kingdoms and seigniories. It carried, registered for your Majesty, one hundred and fifty quintals of cinnamon; and for private individuals more than two hundred and fifty—which consignments we allowed to be carried on the register, mindful of the misery and necessity which the people were suffering, and considering that they had nothing else with which to help themselves. On this account, permission was given to take these goods, and with the idea that if it should seem best in Nueva Espana to take them at a moderate [price]  in your Majesty's name, they would be thus taken; and advices to that effect were sent. There were also specimens of pieces of [gold], porcelain, and other things, as I have said, which would give great happiness to your Majesty's vassals and make them desirous to come to these parts to serve God and your Majesty. As I have said, it pleased God that everything should be lost, and that the men should be saved, although with considerable risk of life. Moreover, after both privations and shipwreck had happened to them in a land where they had neither refuge nor refreshment, they had to deal with the most brutish and least civilized tribe of people ever seen hitherto. Our men experienced great difficulty with those people, because of their utter barbarism and their savage manner of fighting. God, who brought them to this port, protected them, showing them his divine clemency and pity. May He give us grace to serve Him, and may He keep us in your Majesty's service.
There arrived at this island, where we had settled in your Majesty's name, Gonzalo Pereira with the fleet (of which we sent your Majesty news by the patache "San Juan"). He arrived on the second of October of the year five hundred and sixty-eight; and he came thus, with four galleons and six small galleys, which took position near this your Majesty's camp, after having gone through certain formalities and requisitions, as your Majesty will see by these letters.  The said blockade lasted three months, during which they made war on us, not as on Christians, and your Majesty's vassals, but as against infidels and tyrants. They uttered all the insults and inflicted on us all the humiliations that they could, taking away from us the entrances to the harbors, whence came our provisions, and burning the houses and possessions of our neighboring friends—which certainly gave these pagan natives a great notion of cruelty, seeing that with such wicked ways and such cruelty the Portuguese were trying to hurt and annoy us. And in this way, seeing that by fighting they might lose more than they would gain, they did not care to fight, but resolved to take, on the side toward the sea, the harbor entrances (which are two) with their ships, as they were fully aware that we had nothing with which to resist them. Accordingly, they kept us shut up; and in all this time no food or anything else could be brought in for our support, for which reason we ran a great risk of perishing and dying in great misery. The governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, acted with the power delegated to him by your Majesty, doing in everything all that was possible, as was evident by the messages and requests to which I refer, which were made in your Majesty's name.
It has pleased God that through some loss of his men, who died from diseases, the Portuguese should raise the blockade on New Year's Day of this year five hundred and sixty-nine. He went away with his fleet, without leave-taking or without saying anything more than to warn us that he would return in a short time, with forces enough to crush and destroy us. Therefore it was decided to change the site and situation of this camp to a province called Panae, where it is believed that we can hold out until your Majesty provide us with help and reenforcements, in order that your Majesty's affairs and vassals may not be so injured by the vassals of the king of Portugal- a place where no damage may be done, for never since these parts were discovered have the Portuguese resorted thither, and neither the king of Portugal nor his vassals had trade or commerce, nor can they possess anything there. Therefore your Majesty will understand how little respect the Portuguese have—in your Majesty's absence, and in a place where they can act thus—for what is due to your Majesty. They are willing to execute very correctly the conditions and clauses of the agreement, that is to say those conditions that are in their favor, but will not admit any excuse or exoneration however reasonable or legitimate it may be. We are quite certain that your Majesty will already have taken action in these matters, so that the Portuguese cannot continue to harass us. This present enterprise is of such a nature that, if your Majesty wishes to continue it—an enterprise so long desired, and in which God has afforded your Majesty so fortunate and evident a result—it offers God a great increase of his Catholic faith, which may be cultivated in these regions, and to your Majesty an increase of great kingdoms and seigniories. As I have said above, the continuance of the liberty due to our government in these lands would assure your Majesty of being served with the greatest diligence and care, such service being especially necessary. I have to report, as your Majesty's faithful servant and vassal, that the persons appointed to your Majesty's royal service are of little experience, and that any business, however light it is, gives them a fright. Accordingly, they content themselves with doing little, and continually oppose certain things which have been discussed touching the royal treasury—as has occurred in the case of the fifths, for which my companions asked, during my absence, in a certain council that was held, telling the captains that for the present these ought not to be given. And although I do not believe that the amount is yet so heavy that it could swell your Majesty's royal treasury, through the good custom and law permitted by God, which that would put an end to—the answer that I gave when they notified me of it, was that, since they were like myself, your Majesty's servants and vassals they were in duty bound to increase your Majesty's crown and royal estate, to the best of their ability, and ought to do so.
It is especially necessary that your Majesty order that the people who are to come to these parts from Nueva Espana shall be sent without regularly appointed captains, but that they shall bring a person suitable to command them as far as these islands, to the point where the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, shall reside, in order to deliver the people to him and give up the command; and that your Majesty shall assign to this duty persons who shall seem to be better qualified for your Majesty's royal service, because thus our reenforcements will come more conveniently and with less expense to the royal treasury. There will thus be an opportunity for rewarding the persons who have served your Majesty here, as being also men experienced and conversant in the business and affairs of this land, and accustomed to the hardships to be encountered here. I think that those who newly come will feel these hardships keenly, on account of this country being, as it is, very different from other regions—as your Majesty will see in the case of Diego de Artieda.  He came on the capitana, in which he wished to return immediately after having transacted his business, and having served your Majesty very little, as your Majesty will, by this time, have full information and account; and the cause, as far as it is known, has been his unsteady disposition. I say this, that your Majesty may have the most important information in this matter; and in everything your Majesty will act as suits your pleasure.
When the Portuguese were in this harbor, it was learned that they were trading and bargaining on the coast of China and Japan; and that it was a business by which they were maintaining themselves, since it was the most extensive and advantageous trade that has been hitherto seen in any place where trade has been carried on. I am certain of this from what I heard from them in general, and especially from the captain-general and other persons in the fleet that came here, mainly to learn what your Majesty is doing—a thing they strenuously denied. I make this observation as one who transacted the business with them and with the said captain-general, for your Majesty and in your Majesty's royal service. Your Majesty will understand, without doubt, their feelings at learning that your Majesty was continuing this affair and expedition—which were quite evident in the messages and summons served on us by them, and their procedures while here. One or two persons were captured in an islet, when we went to discover it, who were there with a vessel, which we chanced to encounter—in this vessel, as I have said, being these two men. They appeared to be more intelligent than the others whom we met. It was learned that the Moros from Borney had robbed them; consequently they had nothing except some gold and silver not worth more than a hundred escudos  and some other articles of no value. It was learned from these men that China is a very important country and that its people are highly civilized, engage extensively in trade, and have a well-ordered government. They tell of thirteen cities called Chincheo, Cantun, Huechiu, Nimpou, Onchiu, Hinan, Sisuan, Conce, Onan, Nanquin, and Paquin.  Paquin is the court and residence of the king. Fuchu, Ucau, Lintam, and Cencay are cities of especial note. There are in all fifteen in which they say that the king has placed his governors. The king is named Nontehe, and a son of his Taycu. This is the relation that we have been able to get from these men—hitherto, outside of the ancients, the only description of the greatness of China that your Majesty has. They say that these people are so fearful of a prophecy related to them many times by their astrologers—namely, that they are to be subdued, and that the race to subdue them will come from the east—that they will not allow any Portuguese to land in China; and the king orders his governors expressly not to allow it. Throughout his land he has enforced great watchfulness, and stored military supplies, as these Indians give us to understand. All of us your Majesty's servants and vassals are quite sure that, in your time, China will be subject to your Majesty, and that in these parts, the religion of Christ will be spread and exalted, and your Majesty's royal crown increased, and all this in a very short time.
I humbly beg and beseech your Majesty that you will grant me the favor of increasing my salary to three thousand ducats, in consideration of the poorness of the country and the fact that we have to be supplied from Espana and your Majesty's realms with what we need to maintain ourselves. Consider also the position that was granted me in your Majesty's name by Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy of Nueva Espana (whom may God keep in his perpetual glory); I have served until now in these districts as your Majesty's faithful servant, enduring great hardships and misery; and that, in order to join this expedition, I spent my patrimony and ran into debt besides, to the extent of many gold pesos.
It was agreed to despatch this patache on account of the delay there has been in sending your Majesty's despatches from Nueva Espana, and also to let your Majesty know our negotiations with the Portuguese and our great necessity; for there does not remain to us a larger boat in which we can give notice of what happens, nor supplies enough to be able to make one. In consideration of this, your Majesty will be pleased to have provided, with diligence, sufficient assistance, so that we may find out what there is in these regions; and, that God and your Majesty may be served therein, we are sure that your Majesty will have this provided for. May our Lord guard your sacred royal Catholic person and increase your kingdoms and seigniories. From Cubu, June viii, 1569.
Your sacred Catholic Majesty's faithful servant, who humbly kisses your Majesty's royal feet.
Andres de Mirandaola
Letter from Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to the Marques de Falces
On the first of July of last year, I despatched from this port Captain Felipe de Salzedo in the flagship to that Nueva Espana, to give your Excellency  an account and relation of what had occurred until then, and to carry specimens of articles produced in this land. It pleased God that the ship should be wrecked while at anchor in one of the Ladrones Islands; for it was driven on the coast and all that was on board was lost, except the crew. They returned to these islands with much difficulty, in the boat, which they repaired for that purpose, as well as they could. Felipe de Salcedo saved the packet of letters for your excellency, which accompanies this letter. A few days after the departure of the flagship from here, I heard that a Portuguese fleet was coming toward us. In fact, it came in sight of this port—seven vessels in all, sailing in a line, four galleons and three fustas. The captain-general of the fleet was a gentleman called Goncalo Pereira. At first, he declared that he came there only to see us and to inquire whether we needed anything that he could supply us; but after he had entered the port with fine words, offers, and promises both general and specific, he tried to persuade us to go with him to India, saying that he was surprised at our remaining so long in this land, when we knew that it belonged to the king of Portugal. I answered him that I had believed myself to be on land of his Majesty, but that, not being a cosmographer, and not possessing a commission from his Majesty in regard to it, I did not wish to contradict him or quarrel with him on that subject. I assured him that, on arriving in this land, I was obliged to go into winter-quarters here; and that I had despatched a ship to his Majesty with a relation of what had occurred on the voyage. I added that I had been expecting and still expected an answer to that report; and that for lack of ships I had postponed my departure from the country until they should be sent from Nueva Espana. To this he answered that, on the contrary, it seemed to him that we wished to take possession of the land of his king, with the intention of passing over into China and other regions which were likewise his, thus breaking the compact made between the kings of Castilla and Portugal. That was satisfactorily answered by me, in the above manner, and I assured him that my intention was not to injure his king in anything whatever, or to seize anything belonging to him, because such was the injunction imposed upon me by his Majesty. All this did not prove sufficient, and he said that he could not go away from here unless either he took us away, or we left the country immediately. He began to issue some written injunctions, which, together with our answer to them, accompany the present letter, so that your Excellency may know what occurred. My intention was always to avoid giving him occasion for commencing hostilities; but it availed little, for without any cause whatever he started the war, and began to demolish with his artillery some gabions we had built on the coast for our defense. He blockaded both entrances to this port with his ships, to prevent us from bringing in provisions or anything else, as will be confirmed by the testimony accompanying this letter; and declared that, if they could not capture us by any other means, they would do so by hunger. Thus he besieged us for nearly three months, and the harm which he could not inflict upon the Spaniards he inflicted upon the natives of the neighborhood who were our friends. He burned and destroyed seven or eight towns, and gave the natives to understand that this land belonged to the king of Portugal. He said that we were thieves on a plundering expedition, and that the Portuguese would destroy and kill those who befriended us. From this we clearly saw and understood the good-will with which they had come. Many towns which had been won to us have withdrawn from our friendship, especially those lying along the coast of Mindanao, where cinnamon is bartered. These towns the Portuguese injured, and captured and took away some of the people. On the New Year's Day just passed, they raised the blockade and departed; for God, our lord, in His infinite goodness and mercy was pleased, through the very means by which they thought to defeat us, to force them to depart—namely, because of lack of provisions; although at their departure they threatened to return soon and take us away by force.
After the blockade had been raised, and we saw the great need and distress into which they had brought us, the captains and leaders of the camp discussed the course which was to be taken for our defense in case the Portuguese should return hither, as they are likely to do. All agreed that we should change our location and settlement, because it would be impossible to defend ourselves here where they could, simply by closing the entrances to the port, as they did at first, starve us, on account of the lack of food on this island. In view of other causes and arguments set forth for this change, we thought that the river Panae, situated forty leagues from this place, would be a more suitable site, for it abounds in rice, and no one from the sea could prevent us from going up the river to the mountains. Accordingly we have removed thither the artillery, although the quantity of powder and ammunition now remaining is so small that the artillery can be of little help in any place. We have decided to send the companies around the river into other towns, where they can sustain themselves until we hear from the enemy.
The flagship having been lost, I tried to repair this patache "San Lucas," in order to send word to your Excellency that I have no other ship left, nor can I send further information until its return. Thus we are left surrounded on all sides by water and enemies, awaiting the mercy of God, and the help and remedy which your Excellency will be pleased to send us, for we cannot expect it from any other source. During the blockade by the Portuguese, we did not lack infamous men who, persuaded by words and promises, turned traitor and passed from this camp to their fleet. These men, whose names accompany this letter, did us no little harm. If the enemy return, may it please God that there be no more thus inclined; for, as we are poor and needy, and have not seen for many years any letter or order from his Majesty, or from any other person in his royal name, concerning what we ought to do, some of our men are much disheartened. On the other hand, they are strongly solicited by the Portuguese with many offers and promises—a thing which I most regret, and which gives me more grief than the harm which the enemy can do us. May it please God to remedy this, for he knows what we need.
Before now I have written that if his Majesty has an eye only on the Felipina islands, they ought to be considered of little importance, because at present the only article of profit which we can get from this land is cinnamon; and unless order is established and a settlement is made, his Majesty will continue to waste money—although since then I well understand that this land possesses regions which would more than pay for the money spent on them. If his Majesty desires more important things hereafter, he needs to have a settlement here with a sure harbor and port. In order that a better explanation may be given concerning what I am saying, I send to your Excellency a summary relation on the nature of this country and of the natives,  so that your Excellency may examine it and provide what is most necessary for the service of God and his Majesty and for the welfare of this land. I also send with this letter the register of the flagship, so that it may be learned what it was carrying, and what of the cargo was lost.
What we most need and lack at present is powder, ammunition, arquebuses, and pikes. We are so short of them that a third of our men possess no weapons with which to fight. I humbly beseech your Excellency kindly to favor me by sending us what I have asked for, by this same patache, or by any other which might speedily be sent. This aid, even if no men or other supplies be brought over, will, with the news of favors to be received hereafter, give courage to the men; and will make them stand their ground and defend themselves until the other supplies arrive. Otherwise, I think it will be exceedingly difficult for them to do so. If your Excellency holds a warrant from his Majesty to provide what we need here, may your Excellency be pleased to see that it be fulfilled with the haste which the matter demands, and for which we beg and implore; otherwise, may your Excellency favor us by sending vessels by which we might leave this land, and not perish here without any profit. And I am sure that his Majesty will be pleased with that, for he would not wish us to perish here for lack of ships, as long as he expects nothing else from this land.
I am sending in this patache five pieces of artillery as ballast. They are medium-sized cannon, in very good condition; and, with their ammunition cases and fittings may be utilized by the ships which your Excellency may be pleased to despatch. They will not be missed here, for we lack powder and ammunition even for the cannon which are left.
I notified your Excellency, through the flagship, that I detained Captain Diego de Artieda against his will, for he desired to depart with the ship. He has now insisted and claimed that he should return; and I, in order not to oppose and detain him longer against his will, have permitted him to depart on the patache. On the same vessel departs father Fray Diego de Errera,  who has been our prior here, and whom we shall greatly miss. Only one religious is left us, the father Fray Martin de Herrada,  and it is fortunate that he is with us. If this work is to go on, it will be necessary to send him companions and religious suited for so great and holy a work, and who might help him to sustain the charge and labors of this land, where they cannot be rewarded at present as much as in that Nueva Espana. The people who come here, whether they be religious or laymen, should be such as are willing to settle in this land as permanent residents, and not return in the same ship on which they came. Your Excellency will provide for this and in all other necessary matters. I humbly beg your Excellency to have much compassion on me, and kindly give me permission to go into retirement, entrusting the affairs of this land to the hands of one who might take them up with more energy. This will be a very great favor to me.
Before now I have written that it is best not to allow any Portuguese to come over with the other people. This matter ought to have careful attention, for the Portuguese are not to be trusted, and will profit us little. Many of them, both soldiers and sailors, came on the flagship, and I would be glad to see them far from here. I beseech your Excellency to be pleased to take the necessary measures in this respect; for it is certainly an important matter, upon which much depends. Felipe de Salzedo is coming in this patache and will give a more complete relation of everything; I refer you to him. May our Lord keep, etc.
From this island of Cubu, July seven, 1569.
Relation of the Filipinas Islands and of the Character and Conditions of their Inhabitants.
This archipelago is composed of many islands. Some of them are large, and most of them thickly populated, especially on the seacoast and all along the rivers. The mountains are also inhabited; but there are not as many large towns as along the coast and the rivers. The inhabitants of these islands are not subjected to any law, king, or lord. Although there are large towns in some regions, the people do not act in concert or obey any ruling body; but each man does whatever he pleases, and takes care only of himself and of his slaves. He who owns most slaves, and the strongest, can obtain anything he pleases. No law binds relative to relative, parents to children, or brother to brother. No person favors another, unless it is for his own interest; on the other hand, if a man in some time of need, shelters a relative or a brother in his house, supports him, and provides him with food for a few days, he will consider that relative as his slave from that time on, and is served by him. They recognize neither lord nor rule; and even their slaves are not under great subjection to their masters and lords, serving them only under certain conditions, and when and how they please. Should the master be not satisfied with his slave, he is at liberty to sell him. When these people give or lend anything to one another, the favor must be repaid double, even if between parents and children, or between brothers. At times they sell their own children, when there is little need or necessity of doing so.
These people declare war among themselves at the slightest provocation, or with none whatever. All those who have not made a treaty of peace with them, or drawn blood with them, are considered as enemies. Privateering and robbery have a natural attraction for them. Whenever the occasion presents itself, they rob one another, even if they be neighbors or relatives; and when they see and meet one another in the open fields at nightfall, they rob and seize one another. Many times it happens that half of a community is at peace with half of a neighboring community and the other halves are at war, and they assault and seize one another; nor do they have any order or arrangement in anything. All their skill is employed in setting ambuscades and laying snares to seize and capture one another, and they always try to attack with safety and advantage to themselves.
The land is fertile, and abounds in all provisions common to this region.  If at times some places lack the necessaries of life, it is because the natives are the laziest people in the world, or because they are forced to leave their towns through war, or for other reasons. The land is neither sowed nor cultivated. Another cause for the lack of provisions is, that they have so little authority over their slaves. They are satisfied with what is necessary for the present, and are always more ready to rob their neighbors of their possessions, than to work and cultivate their own land.
More or less gold is found in all these islands; it is obtained from the rivers, and, in some places, from the mines, which the natives work. However, they do not work the mines steadily, but only when forced by necessity; for because of their sloth and the little work done by their slaves, they do not even try to become wealthy, nor do they care to accumulate riches. When a chief possesses one or two pairs of earrings of very fine gold, two bracelets, and a chain, he will not trouble himself to look for any more gold. Any native who possesses a basketful of rice will not seek for more, or do any further work, until it is finished. Thus does their idleness surpass their covetousness. In spite of all this, we see that the land possesses much gold; for all men, whether they be chiefs or not, whether freemen or slaves, extract and sell gold, although in small quantities. Then, too, many ships come every year to these islands, from Bornei and Luzon, laden with cloth and Chinese goods, carrying back gold  with them; yet, with all this regular withdrawal of gold, the natives have always gold enough with which to trade. All these things permit us to infer that, if the mines were worked steadily and carefully by Spaniards, they would yield a great quantity of gold all the time. Nevertheless, in some places where we know that mines exist, the natives do not care to work them;  but, on the arrival of the foreign vessels for purposes of barter, they strike a bargain with those foreigners and allow them to work in the mines for a period agreed upon. From this it is clearly evident how slothful these people are.
There are places in these islands where pearls can be found, although they are not understood or valued by the natives; therefore they do not prize them, or fish for them. Cinnamon is also to be found here, especially in the island of Mindanao, where a large quantity of it is gathered on the headland called Quavit,  and in Samboaga and other parts of the said island. In some places we have seen pepper trees and other drugs which the natives do not value or cultivate—from which, with care and cultivation, they might derive and obtain profit.
At present cinnamon is the only article in the land from which we can derive profit; for, as I have said above, the gold supply will always be small until the mines are worked. I believe that if the land is settled and peopled by Spaniards, we shall be able to get plenty of gold, pearls, and other valuable articles. We shall also gain the commerce with China, whence come silks, porcelains, benzoin, musk, and other articles. Thus partly through commerce and partly through the articles of commerce, the settlers will increase the wealth of the land in a short time. In order to attain this, the first and foremost thing to be attempted is colonization and settlement. Through war and conquest, carried on by soldiers, who have no intention to settle or remain in this country, little or no profit will result; for the soldiers will rather impoverish the land than derive profit from it.
If your Majesty looks forward to this land for greater and richer things, it is necessary to people it, and to have a port here; for this land has many neighbors and is almost surrounded by the Japanese islands, China, Xava [Java], Borney, the Malucos and Nueva Guinea. Any one of these lands can be reached in a short time. This country is salubrious and has a good climate. It is well-provisioned, and has good ports, where can be found abundance of timber,  planking, and other articles necessary for the building of ships. By sending here workmen, sails, and certain articles which are not to be found here, ships could be built at little cost. Moreover, there is great need of a good port here, for it is very dangerous for large ships to sail very far in among these islands, on account of the shoals and tides hereabout. For this reason, it would be better to build galleys and light boats with oars, to go to the lands above-named, whence they would bring the cargoes for the heavy vessels. Thus the latter would not leave any port of these islands which might be founded for this purpose; and by this method the voyages and trading would be effected with great rapidity in every direction. The large ships would simply come to such ports as I have said, load their cargoes, and return.
I believe that these natives could be easily subdued by good treatment and the display of kindness; for they have no leaders, and are so divided among themselves and have so little dealing with one another—never assembling to gain strength, or rendering obedience one to another. If some of them refuse at first to make peace with us, afterward, on seeing how well we treat those who have already accepted our friendship, they are induced to do the same. But if we undertake to subdue them by force of arms, and make war on them, they will perish, and we shall lose both friends and foes; for they readily abandon their houses and towns for other places, or precipitately disperse among the mountains and uplands, and neglect to plant their fields. Consequently, they die from hunger and other misfortunes. One can see a proof of this in the length of time which it takes them to settle down again in a town which has been plundered, even if no one of them has been killed or captured. I believe that by peaceful and kindly means, they will be easily won over, although it may take some time to do so—because, in all towns where Spaniards have brought peace and not destruction, the natives have always begged for friendship, and have offered to pay tribute from what they gather and own in their lands. And although at times they do not fulfil their promise, it is not to be wondered at; for the country is not yet sufficiently settled and secure. I am sure that, when this is so, they will be subdued and will do whatever is justly commanded them.
These natives will be easily converted to our holy Catholic faith, for most of them are heathens, excepting the natives of Borney and Lucon (who are chiefly Moros), and a few converted chiefs of these islands.  These Moros have little knowledge of the law which they profess, beyond practicing circumcision and refraining from pork. The heathens have no law at all. They have neither temples nor idols, nor do they offer any sacrifices. They easily believe what is told and presented forcibly to them. They hold some superstitions, such as the casting of lots before doing anything, and other wretched practices—all of which will be easily eradicated, if we have some priests who know their language, and will preach to them. Certainly, there is a great opportunity to serve God, our Lord, and to expand and extol our holy Catholic faith, if our sins do not hinder the work.
In some of these islands,  the mountain regions are inhabited by blacks, with whom as a general rule, the Indians are at war, and whom the latter capture and sell, and also employ as slaves.
Marriage among these natives is a kind of purchase or trade, which the men make; for they pay and give money in exchange for their women, according to the rank of the parties. The sum thus paid is divided among the parents and relatives of the woman. Therefore the man who has many daughters is considered rich. After marriage, whenever the husband wishes to leave his wife, or to separate from her, he can do so by paying the same sum of money that he gave for her. Likewise the woman can leave her husband, or separate from him, by returning the double of what he gave for her. The men are permitted to have two or three wives, if they have money enough to buy and support them. The men treat their wives well, and love them according to their habits and customs—although they are all barbarians and have no manners or politeness.
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
[Endorsed: "There is no date." "Relation of the Filipinas Islands and of the character of their inhabitants."]
Confirmation of Legazpi's Title as Governor and Captain-General
Don Phelippe, etc. Inasmuch as Don Luis de Velasco, our former viceroy of Nueva Espana, through my orders equipped a fleet and the necessary men in the port of La Navidad for the discovery and finding of the Western Islands; and inasmuch as he was pleased with you, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and with your merits and services rendered, and named and appointed you captain-general of the above-mentioned fleet and its men; and inasmuch as (so we learn from the reports and information sent to us), having pursued your voyage and route, you discovered the aforesaid islands and settled in one of them, called Cubu; and with your men disembarked there, fought against several towns, and built a fortress for the defense of the said island and its inhabitants: therefore, in consideration of this, and of the services rendered in this expedition, and of the private expenses that you have incurred in making it; and because we believe that it is best for our service, and for the prosperity and settlement of the said islands, and for the welfare of their inhabitants—it is our will that henceforth, as long as you live, you shall be our governor and captain-general of the island of Cubu, and of the other settlements which you or any other person whatsoever may hereafter make in the island. You are also empowered to administer our civil and criminal justice, in company with the officers of justice who may be appointed in the said island and settlement. By this our ordinance, we command municipal bodies, courts, magistrates, knights, squires, officials, and good men, in all the cities, towns, and hamlets, which shall exist or be colonized in the said island and province, and our officials and others residing therein, each and every one of them, as soon as they shall be required—without any delay or hesitation, and without any further requirement or consultation on our part, and without awaiting or expecting any other ordinance, second order, or third injunction from us—to take and receive from you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the oath and formality requisite in such case, and which you must fulfil. After you have done this, you shall be recognized, received, and regarded as our captain-general of the said island and settlement, as long as you live. And they shall freely grant and consent that you fill and exercise the said offices, and that you administer and execute our justice among them—either personally or through your subordinates, whom you are empowered to appoint and shall appoint to the offices of governor, captain-general, constables, and other offices annexed and suitable to your government. You may dismiss and remove these subordinates, whenever you desire, or consider it best to do so for the fulfilment of our service and the execution of our justice, and to appoint and substitute others in their stead. And you may hear, examine, and decide any civil or criminal suit or case that may arise in the said island, or in its towns which you have founded or shall found, and in those settlements which shall be made in the future, either among our colonists or among others who are natives of the island, now or in the future. You and your said subordinates are also empowered to take the payments annexed and pertaining to the said offices, and to make any investigation you think best in cases at law, precedents, and all other matters annexed and pertaining to the said offices. You and your said subordinates shall perform the duties which pertain to our service and the execution of our justice, and to the colonization and government of the said island and towns. In order that you may enjoy and exercise the said offices and execute our justice, all persons shall yield obedience to you as to their persons and property; they shall offer and cause to be offered you all the support and help that you may request and need from them; in everything they shall respect and obey you, and shall carry out your orders and those of your subordinates; and they shall neither in whole nor in part place or consent to place any obstacle or hindrance in your way. By the present decree we entrust you and consider you entrusted with the aforesaid duties, and the enjoyment and exercise of the same. We give you power and authority to enjoy and exercise your office, and to administer and execute our justice in the said island and in the settlements that have been and shall be founded in the cities, towns, and villages of the said island, and its boundaries, by you or your subordinates as aforesaid. And in case that you should not be received by them, or any one of them, by this our decree we order any person or persons who exercise or shall exercise the authority of our justice in the towns of the said island, to relinquish and surrender it to you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, as soon as they shall be requested to do so; and they shall enjoy the same no longer without our  permission and special order, under the penalty which private citizens are liable to and incur who make use of public and royal offices without possessing the due power and authority. We hereby suspend, and already consider as suspended, all such persons. Furthermore we order that the fines pertaining to our exchequer and treasury imposed by you and your subordinates, be enforced; and you must enforce them, and deliver and surrender them to our treasurer in the said island. And further we order that if you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, should consider it fitting to our service and to the execution of our justice, that any one whosoever, now or in future, in the said island, should leave it, and should not enter or remain therein, and that he should present himself before us, you may so order in our name; and you must banish him from the island according to the ordinance governing this matter, giving to the person thus banished the reason for his banishment. And if it seem best to you that the reason should be kept secret, you shall give it in a statement closed and sealed; and shall send the same to us by a different person than the one banished, in order that we may be informed of it. But you must take notice that, when you are compelled to banish anyone, such banishment should be only for very serious reasons. We hereby give you full power to exercise the aforesaid offices as our governor and captain-general of the said island and settlements, and to enact and execute our justice therein, with all due rights, titles, and interests. It is, moreover, our pleasure and order that you shall have and receive an annual salary of two thousand ducats or seven hundred and fifty thousand maravedis in consideration of the said offices. You shall enjoy this from the day when you took possession of the said island of Cubu, in our name, and as long as you hold the said offices. We order our officials of the said island to pay you the above-mentioned two thousand ducats from the revenues and profits accruing to us in any manner in the island during the time of your rule. Should this amount not be collected during the said time, we are under no obligation to give you any of it. The officials shall take a receipt from you, and a copy of this decree, signed by a notary-public. We order that the said two thousand ducats be received and placed on the accounts every year, from the said day and henceforth. Let no person act in any manner contrary to this decree. Given in Madrid, August fourteen, one thousand five hundred and sixty-nine.
I, The King
Countersigned by Francisco de Eraso. Signed by Luis Quixada, Vasquez Capata, Molina, Aguilera, Villafane.
[Endorsed: "Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Title of Governor and Captain-general of the island of Cubu."]
Documents of 1570
Letter to Felipe II. Fray Diego de Herrera; January 16. Relation of the voyage to Luzon. [June?] Act of taking possession of Luzon. Martin de Goiti and Hernando Riquel; June 6. Letter to Felipe II. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 25. Evidence regarding the Portuguese expedition against Cebu. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; October 21.
Sources: MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The second and third documents are translated by Alfonso de Salvio; the others, by Arthur B. Myrick.
Letter from Fray Diego de Herrera to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
In the fleet that your Majesty had sent from this Nueva Espana to the islands of the West, there were among the people some religious of St. Augustine who were in your Majesty's service. By your order, I was one of them. We had a prosperous voyage as your Majesty will already have been fully informed. The fleet effected a landing, and founded a colony (in accordance with the instructions brought from this Nueva Espana) in the island of Cubu—as that place abounds in food, has a very good port and is a healthful region, as has been since found by experience; and it is very strong for defense, in any casualty that might befall us. From that place a ship was sent to discover the return route [to New Spain]. It succeeded well, although it appears that some of its men died. The people who remained there have all this time endured very great privations, notwithstanding the richness of the region, because they could make no settlement so peacefully that it was not against the will of the natives. Therefore they were disquieted, and many fled, deserting their towns; and those who remained determined not to cultivate their fields, or to sow, believing that by this stratagem they could drive us from their land. Consequently they and ours have endured very great extremities, because the same thing was done in other islands where the Spaniards went to find food—so much so that many times the natives have taken the food more than four leagues inland, carrying it upon their shoulders, and crossing creeks and rivers with it, with great risk of their lives. Then too another cause of so great distress has been the lack there of boats with oars; and the fact that, up to the present, no one has ventured to seek richer and more abundant lands—which are very near, as Lequios, Japan, and Jaba [Java], therein fulfilling your Majesty's commands. After all that, came the Portuguese fleet, arriving about the end of September of last year (1569), under command of Gonzalo Pereira. That man, although we made every possible effort for peace with him, would agree to nothing except that, in any case, we must leave these islands, or else go with him. The first could not be done, because we had no ships; nor the second, because that was very ignominious for us. Therefore as we came to no agreement, he determined to begin hostilities, and make war on us, trusting to his numerous ships—although afterward it did not turn out as happily as he thought, as your Majesty will see by the relation which the viceroy sends from this Nueva Espana.  The blockade being so long and rations so scant, the poor soldiers were in such distress that they took to hunting rats, of which there are great numbers in that land, and which are much larger than those of Espana. With all this privation, and the allurements and abundance in the Portuguese fleet, they served your Majesty with as great loyalty and cheerfulness in this war, and in all the rest, as I believe any men in the world have ever displayed in their king's service. There was nothing which gave them so great pleasure as being ordered to do things wherein they risked their lives. Therefore it seems to me that your Majesty ought to reward their services, because until this present assistance ordered to be sent them by your Majesty (which is very helpful), they have had nothing but two almudes  of uncleaned rice every Saturday (after cleaning which there remained but one), without receiving any other gratification.
I came to this Nueva Espana to give information of the great need of supplies there, and of some injuries done to the natives on account of the extremities that the soldiers suffered, and of many other things which seemed to me fitting for the service of our Lord and of your Majesty. I have informed the viceroy of all those things; so that, as he is nearer to those regions than is your Majesty, he may remedy them. I believe that he will remedy them, because he is a good Christian and conducts this business as earnestly as your Majesty would desire. Some of these things I think it will be necessary to submit to your Majesty's consideration, and I believe that this has been done. They have ordered me to return immediately to the islands, because they tell me that in so doing I shall fulfil your Majesty's service.
In what concerns the conversion of the natives, nothing has as yet been really done, until we know your Majesty's will, because so near Cubu there are lands as great and as rich as this, which belong to your Majesty—as China, Lequios, Jabas [Java], and Japan. We have heard that you will order us to go to those places and leave these other islands—which, although they have many mines and rivers of gold, are very ordinary, in comparison with the former. The people there are very barbarous, while those others are civilized. Now that your Majesty's will is manifest to us, we will commence the work in earnest, because hitherto, only about one hundred persons have been baptised. It will be a very great obstacle to conversions, if the war with the Portuguese continues. Therefore, I beg your Majesty through love of the Lord that some means and expedient be adopted to prevent its continuation; because, besides the great scandal given to the natives, it is a great pity that Spanish and Portuguese, who are so friendly in Espana, should come here to kill each other, as if they were infidels. I could advise your Majesty regarding everything else in these regions, such as the nature of the land and the nature and conditions of the peoples and what would be most profitable to your Majesty in it. A true relation of everything has been given to the viceroy, so that he may send it to your Majesty. May our Lord keep your Majesty's royal person in good health and in his service many years, and increase you into greater kingdoms. Mexico, January 16, 1570. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's least and humble servant,
Fray Diego de Herrera
Relation of the Voyage to Luzon
On the eighth of May of this year, one thousand five hundred and seventy, the master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, left the river of Panay with ninety arquebusiers and twenty sailors on board the following vessels: the junk "San Miguel," of about fifty tons' burden with three large pieces of artillery; the frigate "La Tortuga;" and fifteen praus manned by natives of Cubu and of the island of Panay. The officers who accompanied the master-of-camp were Captain Joan de Salzedo  (grandson of the governor), Sergeant-major Juan de Moron, Ensign-major Amador de Rriaran, the high constable Graviel de Rribera, and the notary-in-chief Hernando Rriquel.
After sailing northwest for two days, they arrived at the island of Zibuyan, a high and mountainous land known to possess gold-mines. Without talking to any of the natives, they left that island, which is situated about fourteen leagues from the river of Panay, and went to the island of Mindoro. Among other islands passed was that of Banton, where lived certain Spaniards, who had gone there in vessels belonging to friendly Indians. The island of Banton is about fifteen leagues from Cibuyan. It is a small circular island, high and mountainous, and is thickly populated. The natives raise a very large number of goats here, which they sell in other places. The natives of this island of Banton, as well as those of Cibuyan, are handsome, and paint themselves. From the island of Banton to that of Bindoro there is a distance of about twelve leagues. The master-of-camp reached this latter place, and anchored there with all the vessels in his charge. Mindoro is also called "the lesser Lucon." All its ports and maritime towns are inhabited by Moros. We hear that inland live naked people called Chichimecos. As far as could be seen, this island lacks provisions.
News reached the master-of-camp that, in a river five leagues from the place where the ships had anchored, were two vessels from China, the inhabitants of which these natives call Sangleyes.  Seeing that the weather did not permit him to send the large ship, because the wind was blowing south by west, he despatched Captain Juan de Salzedo, with the praus  and rowboats to reconnoiter the said ships, and to request peace and friendship with them. This step had scarcely been taken when the southwest wind began to blow so violently, that our people were compelled to put into a harbor, and to find shelter for that night behind a promontory. Four praus and the frigate, unable to do this, found shelter farther away; and, keeping always in sight of the shore, these vessels looked for the ships all that night. The next morning they were overtaken by five of the other vessels and the frigate, which were searching for them. The master-of-camp and captain Juan de Salzedo were still behind, with the large junk and the other praus. At break of day, the praus which had preceded the others reached the river where the Chinese ships were anchored. The Chinese, either because news of the Spaniards had reached them, or because they had heard arquebuse-shots, were coming out side by side with foresails up, beating on drums, playing on fifes, firing rockets and culverins, and making a great warlike display. Many of them were seen on deck, armed with arquebuses and unsheathed cutlasses. The Spaniards, who are not at all slothful, did not refuse the challenge offered them by the Chinese; on the contrary they boldly and fearlessly attacked the Chinese ships, and, with their usual courage, grappled them. This was certainly a rash move on their part, for the Chinese ships were large and high, while the praus were so small and low that they hardly reached to the first pillar of the enemy's ships. But the goodly aim of the arquebusiers was so effective that the Chinese did not leave their shelter, and the Spaniards were thus enabled to board their ships and take possession of them. There were about eighty Chinese on board the two ships; about twenty were killed in the affray. The soldiers searched the cabins in which the Chinese kept their most valuable goods, and there they found silk, both woven and in skeins; gold thread, musk, gilded porcelain bowls, pieces of cotton cloth, gilded water-jugs, and other curious articles—although not in a large quantity, considering the size of the ships. The decks of both vessels were full of earthen jars and crockery; large porcelain vases, plates, and bowls; and some fine porcelain jars, which they call sinoratas. They also found iron, copper, steel, and a small quantity of wax which the Chinese had bought. Captain Juan de Salzedo arrived with the rear-guard of the praus, after the soldiers had already placed in safety the goods taken from the Chinese ships. He was not at all pleased with the havoc made among the Chinese. The master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, who had remained behind with the large ship, showed much more displeasure, when he heard of the occurrence. As soon as he was able to cast anchor with the junk in the river of Bato (the name of the place where the Chinese vessels were found), he made all haste to make them understand that he was sorry for their misfortune, and that they had done wrong in sallying forth against the Spaniards. Nevertheless, he said he would give them, besides their freedom, a ship, in which they might return to their own country without any hindrance—besides whatever was necessary for their voyage. This was highly appreciated by the Chinese, who, being very humble people, knelt down with loud utterances of joy.
After this proposal had been made clear to the Chinese, and gladly accepted by them, the master-of-camp entrusted the chief notary, Hernando Rriquel, with the repairing of one of the ships—ordering him to have the hatchway taken out, and to send all that the ship contained to the port of Panay. Seeing that the sails, masts, and rigging of the vessels were so different from ours that none of his men had any knowledge of them, the master-of-camp thought best to ask the Chinese to send three or four of their sailors with the junk to Panay, in company with some friendly Moros of Lucon, who were with the Spaniards. The Chinese very willingly agreed to that, and provided the required men. Thus the ship was despatched with twelve Lucon Moros, four Chinese, and four Spanish soldiers of the guard.
In this river of Bato was found some green pepper  growing on trees as small as shrubs, with their clusters like agias. Here they learned that the town of Mindoro, which is the capital of that island, was five leagues from Bato, and that three more Chinese ships were there. They also heard that the Moros of Mindoro had made great preparations for its defense, and had provided themselves with a large number of culverins, arrows, and other offensive weapons, and were intrenched in a very strong fort. In consideration of this, and the fact that the Spaniards in this country have always desired to come in conflict with people who do not flee from them, they decided to proceed immediately to that island—although the natives of the river of Bato offered them peace, and promised to pay them two hundred gold taels  (the equivalent of two thousand pesos de minas in Spanish reckoning), if they would remain there a few days. The master-of-camp assured them of peace, and, telling them to have the money ready upon his return, set out for the port of Mindoro. Departing from the river of Baco in the morning, the Spaniards arrived, by noon, at the town of Mindoro, which is an excellent though poorly-sheltered seaport. The harbor has only one entrance. Its waters beat against a hill which is the first and the smallest of a chain of three hills overlooking the port. The other two hills are very craggy and thus form a defense to the pass for the natives. Many armed Moros appeared on the first hill—bowmen, lancers, and some gunners, linstocks in hand. All along the hillside stood a large number of culverins. The foot of the hill was fortified by a stone wall over fourteen feet thick. The Moros were well attired after their fashion, and wore showy head-dresses, of many colors, turned back over their heads. Many of them were beating drums, blowing horns made from shells, and ringing bells. The number of men was quite large.