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 VII, 1588-1591
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
Contents of Volume VII
Preface ... 9 Documents of 1588
Relation of the Philipinas Islands. Domingo de Salazar, and others; Manila, 1586-88 ... 29 Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera, and others; Manila, June 26 ... 52 Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; Manila, June 27 ... 64
Documents of 1589
Excerpt from a letter from the viceroy of India. Manuel de Sousa Coutinho; Goa, April 3 ... 79 Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera; Manila, June 13 ... 83 Conspiracy against the Spaniards. Santiago de Vera, and others; Manila, May-July ... 95 Letter to Felipe II. [Gaspar] de Ayala; Manila, July 15 ... 112 Decree regarding commerce. Felipe II; San Lorenzo, August 9 ... 137 Instructions to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. Felipe II; San Lorenzo, August 9 ... 141 Customs of the Tagalogs (two relations). Juan de Plasencia, O.S.F.; Manila, October 21 ... 173
Documents of 1590
Letter from Portugal to Felipe II. [Lisboa?] ... 199 Decree ordering a grant to Salazar. Felipe II; Madrid, April 12 ... 205 Letter from members of the suppressed Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera, and others; Manila, June 20 ... 208 The Chinese and the Parian at Manila. Domingo de Salazar; Manila, June 24 ... 212 Two letters to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; Manila, June 24 ... 239 Decree regulating commerce. Felipe II; San Lorenzo, July 23 ... 262
The collection of tributes in the Filipinas Islands. Domingo de Salazar, and others; Manila, 1591 ... 265 Bibliographical Data ... 319
Autograph signature of Doctor Santiago de Vera; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 61 Autograph signature of Juan de Plasencia, O.S.F.; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 187
Important events and changes occur during the four years included in the scope of this volume. The Audiencia is suppressed, and in its place is sent a royal governor; the instructions given to him embody many of the reforms demanded by the people through their envoy Sanchez. Extensive and dangerous conspiracies among the natives against the Spaniards are discovered, and severely punished. Trade between Nueva Espana and China is beginning, and seems to menace the welfare of the Philippine colony. A large immigration of Chinese to the islands has set in, and is already seriously affecting economic interests there. The city of Manila, recently destroyed by fire, is being rebuilt, this time mainly with brick and stone. As usual, there is much friction between the ecclesiastical and secular authorities, largely concerning the collection of tributes from the Indians; the most prominent figure in these contentions is the aged but fiery bishop, Salazar.
Shortly after the Jesuit Sanchez had gone to Spain as envoy of the Philippine colonists, a document was prepared (December 31, 1586), by order of the Manila cabildo, to be sent to him for use at the Spanish court. As this was lost on the "Santa Ana," and as Bishop Salazar regards the supply of missionaries in the islands as very inadequate, he applies (June 3, 1588) to the cabildo for another copy of such part of this document as relates to the religious needs of the natives. This he sends (June 25) to the royal Council of the Indias, with considerable additions regarding certain islands not mentioned in the cabildo's memorial. This document gives much interesting information, not only on religious matters, but on the social and economic conditions of both Spaniards and natives in the islands. In each island or province are enumerated the population, both native and Spanish; the number of Spanish troops, also of encomiendas and tributarios; the number of convents and their inmates; the religious and ecclesiastics, not only those resident, but those needed among the natives; the officials employed by the government; the Chinese immigrants and their occupations; the articles for sale in the public market; and the imports and exports at Manila. The writer relates many things of interest regarding the natural resources and products of the country, the mode of life of both Spaniards and natives, the means of defense possessed by the colony, the Indians who are not as yet under Spanish rule. All this affords a valuable and curiously interesting picture of the colony and its life; but Salazar, in presenting it, is mainly concerned with the great need of more religious instruction for the natives, and earnestly entreats the king to send more friars and ecclesiastics for the purpose.
A letter from Santiago de Vera to the king (dated June 26, 1588) gives his report for the past year. He recounts the exploits of the English adventurer Candish against Spanish commerce. Hereafter the ships which carry goods from the Philippines will be armed with cannon and other means of defense. Vera asks for more artillery with which to defend the islands, which are menaced by great dangers in their present weak condition. He has built some galleys, but would prefer some light ships for navigation among the islands. The new fort at Manila is described; it will, when completed, be sufficient defense for the city. The governor also enumerates the artillery which he has, and asks that more be provided by the home government. He has punished the royal officials for engaging in trade. Vera advises that the sale of certain public offices be deferred for some years, until the colony shall be more prosperous.
On the next day (June 27) Salazar writes to the king. He defends himself against the royal reprimand for his dissensions with the Audiencia. Further information is given regarding the capture of Spanish ships by Candish. The resulting losses of citizens in the islands are very great, and still more serious is the loss of Spanish prestige in the archipelago. In Mindanao, Moslem missionaries are conducting an extensive propaganda. The bishop complains that in his diocese the churches, as well as their furniture, are often so wretched and inadequate that they are a disgrace to religion, and are "not fit to be entered by horses." This arises from the penuriousness or the poverty of the encomenderos; nothing can be expected from the natives, who are "so harassed and afflicted with public and private undertakings that they are not able to take breath." The bishop regards the calamities that have befallen the Spaniards as punishments inflicted on them by God for their evil treatment of the Indians. He recommends that many religious be sent to the islands, who will be protectors of the natives; also that a governor be sent who is not ruled by selfish or family interests. Salazar complains of the harshness and severity shown by the viceroy of Nueva Espana, especially as the latter will not allow certain Dominican friars to go to the Philippines; and as he has injured the commerce of the islands by his restrictive measures—especially by selling the vessel "Saint Martin" to a Mexican merchant to be used in the Chinese trade. The wreck of that ship at sea he regards as a punishment from heaven. He urges that trade from Mexico to China be stopped, and that the viceroy of Nueva Espana be ordered to send aid to the Philippines, especially of troops and military supplies, and not to meddle with the decisions of the Audiencia there regarding customs duties, etc. Salazar objects to the presence of so many Chinamen in the islands.
An extract from a letter of the viceroy of India to the king (April 3, 1589) complains that some of his officers have violated the prohibition of intercourse with China and the Philippines. He has sent officials to Macao to quell disturbances there, and order has been given that all Castilians there shall be sent away. He is greatly opposed to the trade which has begun between Mexico and China, and thinks that rigorous measures should be taken against it.
Vera writes (July 13) to the king imploring reenforcements and supplies for the islands. Three Spaniards, among them a Franciscan friar, have been treacherously slain by the Borneans. This proves to be the outcome of a general conspiracy among the Filipinos, Borneans, and other peoples to attack and drive out the Spaniards. The plotters are detected and severely punished. Certain public offices have been sold, account for which is rendered by the governor. He is endeavoring to secure a small fleet of trading ships, but is obliged to ask aid for this from the royal treasury. Not only ships, but sailors and carpenters are needed, who should be paid in the same way. More artillery is needed, also to be furnished by royal aid. The Chinese trade is continually increasing. The city of Manila is being fast rebuilt, and in stone. But the land is unhealthful and the soldiers die fast, so that the islands have few men for their defense; and again the king is earnestly entreated to order that men and supplies be sent at once from Nueva Espana. The new fort has been injured by earthquakes, but Vera is building it more strongly. He complains that the friars have neglected his commands to learn the Chinese language and instruct the Chinese who live on the islands. The Dominicans alone have entered this field; they have achieved great results, and have now among the Chinese "a village of Christians." Many more would be converted, if it were not for the bishop's order that the long hair of the converts should be cut off; accordingly the king orders that a conference of religious and learned persons be held, who shall take suitable action in regard to this and other matters concerning the conversion of the Chinese. Vera complains of the arrogance, obstinacy, and high temper of the bishop, and asks that the king restrain him. There is no physician in Manila, and one is urgently needed in the royal hospital. This document is followed by the notarial record of proceedings in the trial of various Indians for conspiracy, which is mentioned in Vera's letter. The punishments inflicted upon them are specified: in each case, appeal was made to the Audiencia, which in some cases modified the penalty, but otherwise affirmed the former decision.
Gaspar de Ayala, royal fiscal in the islands, makes his report to the king (July 15). He advises that ships for the royal service be built in the islands; also that the gold used as currency there be exchanged in Nueva Espana for Spanish coin—both of which measures will be of profit to the royal treasury. He renders account of the recent sale of offices in the islands, and gives advice regarding this method of aiding the royal exchequer. Certain encomiendas becoming vacant, Ayala, as fiscal, undertakes to secure them for the crown; in this he has difficulties with the governor, who also is trying to make trouble for Ayala with the soldiers. The latter asks to be relieved from his post in the Philippines, and sent to some other. The Chinese trade is meager this year, owing to war and pestilence in China; and there are rumors that it is being diverted to Peru or Nueva Espana. If this be true, the Philippine colony will be ruined. A second plot against the Spaniards has been revealed, this time in Cebu; but the leaders have been captured. The Indians of Cagayan have also revolted, and troops have been sent against them. Ayala adds, "I am ready to certify that there are few places in these islands where the natives are not disaffected." The Spanish colony is in great danger, and imperatively needs reenforcements to save it from destruction. The galleys at Manila, now useless, should be replaced by light sailing-vessels. A further levy of tribute has been made on the Indians for the new fortress at Manila: this is an oppressive burden for them. Ayala relates at length the dissensions between the bishop and the secular authorities; the king is implored to settle the question at issue. The bishop has also offended the Augustinians, by sending Dominican friars into their field among the Chinese residents: The king is asked to send more friars, to instruct the natives. The Manila hospital for Indians has no income save of alms: Ayala recommends that the Franciscans in charge be allowed to sell a certain amount of pepper in Nueva Espana. The members of the Audiencia, and the magistrates and officials appointed during the current year are enumerated by name. A fierce tempest has occurred at Manila, causing great damage, and destroying all the vessels in the harbor except one small one. The expedition sent to Cagayan has returned without accomplishing anything except the destruction of the crops belonging to the hostile Indians, which will only irritate them and incite them to revenge.
A royal decree (dated August 9, 1589) orders the newly appointed governor of the Philippines, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, to repeal the import duties levied at Manila on provisions and military supplies, also to suppress the retail trade conducted there by the Chinese.
As a result of Sanchez's embassy to Spain, the king and his counselors decide to institute many reforms in the Philippines, and to send thither a royal governor in place of the Audiencia. For this dignity is selected Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, and the king's instructions to him (dated August 9, 1589) embody the changes to be made in the government and life of the colony. The cathedral at Manila is to be built, for which purpose the king appropriates the sum of twelve thousand ducados. Similar aid is to be granted to the two hospitals at Manila. More religious are to be sent to the islands. The rate of tribute from the Indians shall be increased from eight reals to ten; this increase shall be used for tithes and the support of troops in the islands; and the encomenderos must support religious instruction among the natives, and pay tithes. A grant of money for six years is made to the city of Manila; but the king declines to abolish the customs duties—setting aside their proceeds, however, for the payment of the soldiers stationed in the islands—except those on food and military supplies. Appointments and encomiendas must be given to old citizens, or to soldiers who have done actual service; and a list of persons who are to be rewarded for their services is furnished to the new governor. Workmen are to be paid at Manila, not, as heretofore, at Mexico. Trade with Mexico is restricted to the inhabitants of the Philippines. The question whether the Chinese and other foreign merchants are to be allowed to sell goods at retail at the ports is left to the discretion of Dasmarinas. Only Christian Chinese may remain in the islands. Agricultural colonists shall be sent thither from Spain, for whom various provisions are made; and it is expected that from them the Indians will learn the Spanish methods of farming. Cattle and horses are to be sent to the islands; and the farmers sent out shall be ordered to tame and breed the wild buffaloes found there. Agriculture shall be encouraged in all ways. A convent for girls should be established, and its inmates provided with husbands; and Indian women should be enabled to marry poor Spaniards. Encomiendas must be granted with great care, and must be provided with adequate religious instruction. Dasmarinas is advised to settle lawsuits amicably out of court, when possible. In disaffected encomiendas, only part of the tributes should be collected. Suitable instruction for the natives must be provided, and those who are dispersed should be gathered into settlements where they can be taught the Christian faith. The king appoints Bishop Salazar the official protector of the Indians; and the governor is instructed to cultivate friendly relations with him. A force of four hundred paid soldiers shall be maintained in the islands, and various provisions are made for their discipline and welfare. The minimum age for military service is fixed at fifteen years, and the enlistment of mestizos is discouraged. The city of Manila shall be fortified and garrisoned; and the governor is instructed to be on his guard against various enemies, "chiefly of the Lutheran English pirates who infest those coasts," and to build forts and galleys for the defense of the islands. He is expected to continue the conquests begun there by the Spaniards, but only in accordance with instructions furnished him. He must do all in his power to pacify the Indians in the disaffected provinces. In attempting any military expedition, the governor must consult with the most learned and experienced men of the community; he may contract with captains or encomenderos for the exploration or pacification of hitherto unsubdued regions. Provision is made for the instruction of the natives; and extortion and oppression of the natives in collecting the tributes must be checked. All Indians enslaved by the Spaniards shall be immediately set free. All lawsuits concerning the Indians shall be settled as promptly and simply as possible. Religious persons sent to the islands must remain there, except by permission of the authorities.
Of especial value are two relations (1589) by the Franciscan missionary Juan de Plasencia, on the customs of the Tagalogs. He describes their social organization, which was originally patriarchal; and rights of property, which are partly individual and partly communistic. There are three classes among the people—nobles, commoners and slaves. The status and rights of each are carefully defined, and the causes and kinds of slavery. A somewhat elaborate system of regulations concerning inheritances is described, also the status of children by adoption, which usage is widely prevalent among the Tagalogs. Marriage, dowries, and divorce are fully treated. In the second of these relations Plasencia describes their modes of burial and worship, and the religious beliefs and superstitions current among that people. They have no buildings set aside as temples, although they sometimes celebrate, in a temporary edifice, a sort of worship. Their chief idol is Badhala, but they also worship the sun and the moon, and various minor divinities. They believe in omens, and practice divination. A detailed account is given of the various classes of priests, sorcerers, witches, etc., in which the natives believed; also of the burial rites of both Tagalogs and Negritos.
A letter to the king from Portugal (written early in 1590) gives him information which he had requested from Portuguese officials in India, regarding the character and results of the trade between the Spanish colonies and those established by the Portuguese in India and the Eastern archipelago, and China. The continuance of this trade would, they think, ruin the prosperity of the settlements in India, and greatly injure the commerce of Spain, and deplete that country and her colonies of their coin. At Salazar's petition, he receives from the king (April 12, 1590) a grant of money toward the payment of debts incurred by him in procuring the rebuilding of Manila in stone. On June 20 of the same year, the members of the Audiencia, suppressed by order of the king and replaced by Dasmarinas, notify the king that they have surrendered their posts, and ask him for various favors.
Bishop Salazar writes to the king (June 24) a special communication regarding the Chinese (or Sangleys) at Manila. He apologizes for having formerly given, under a mistake as to their character, a wrong impression of that people; and relates various instances of their humane treatment of foreigners in their land. He blames the Portuguese for having spread in China false reports about the Spaniards, and thinks that by this means the devil is trying to hinder the entrance of the gospel into that land. The bishop urges that no hostile demonstration be made against the Chinese; for they are most favorably inclined to the Christian religion, and many conversions may be made among them. Most of Salazar's letter is devoted to the Chinese residents of Manila, and their quarters there, which is called the Parian. He narrates the gradual increase of the Chinese immigration to the islands, their relations with the Spaniards, the establishment of the Parian, and his efforts for their conversion. These last are ineffectual until the coming of the Dominican friars in 1587; they assume the charge of converting the Chinese, and build their convent next the Parian, which brings the friars into constant and friendly relations with the Chinese. An interesting description of the Parian and its inhabitants is given; all trades are represented therein, and the people carry on the manufactures to which they were accustomed in China, but with a better finish, which they have learned to use from the Spaniards. Salazar makes the enthusiastic statement that "the Parian has so adorned the city [Manila] that I do not hesitate to affirm to your Majesty that no other known city in Espana, or in these regions, possesses anything so well worth seeing as this; for in it can be found the whole trade of China, with all kinds of goods and curious things which come from that country." Especially interesting are the economic effects of their residence there; "the handicrafts pursued by Spaniards have all died out, because people all buy their clothes and shoes from the Sangleys, who are very good craftsmen in Spanish fashion, and make everything at very low cost." Salazar admires their cleverness and dexterity in all kinds of handiwork especially as they have learned, in less than ten years, both painting and sculpture; "I think that nothing more perfect could be produced than some of their marble statues of the Child Jesus which I have seen." The churches are thus being furnished with images. A book-binder from Mexico had come to Manila, and his trade has been quickly taken from him by his Chinese apprentice, who has set up his own bindery, and excels his master. Many other instances of the cleverness, ability, and industry of the Chinese are related; and the city is almost entirely dependent on them for its food supplies. Not the least of the benefits received from them by the city is their work as stone-masons, and makers of bricks and lime; they are so industrious, and work so cheaply, that Manila is rapidly being rebuilt with substantial and elegant houses, churches, and convents, of stone and brick. The day's wage of a Chinaman is one real (equal to five cents of American money). So many Chinese are coming to Manila that another Parian is being built to accommodate them. Nearly seven thousand of them reside there, and in the vicinity of Manila, and four Dominican friars labor among them. Salazar reports the condition and progress of the missions conducted by that order in the islands. Those who minister to the Chinese are securing some converts, but many who are otherwise inclined to the Christian faith are unwilling thus to exile themselves from their own land. After due deliberation, the Dominicans conclude to open a mission in China, and in that case to relax the rule compelling converts to cut off their hair and foresake their native land. This purpose they are enabled to accomplish, after encountering many difficulties, through the aid of some Chinese Christians in Manila; and two friars are sent to China, Miguel de Benavides and Juan Castro. The Dominicans have also built a hospital for the Chinese; it is supported by alms, partly contributed by "Sangley" infidels; and its physician is a converted Chinese who devotes himself to its service. This institution has won much renown and commendation in China. Salazar asks that the king grant it some aid, and that he confirm a reward given by the governor to the two Christian Chinese who aided the mission to China. Another letter from Salazar bearing the same date (June 24) recounts many things concerning affairs in the islands. He protests against the royal orders to increase the rate of tribute paid by the Indians, saying that the king has been misinformed regarding their ability to pay. He makes comments on the several royal decrees which have come in this year's mail. One commands that the conquerors make restitution for the damages inflicted by them upon the natives; but they or their heirs are tardy in paying the amounts levied for this purpose, and meanwhile the Indians live in great poverty and want. The bishop's heart and conscience are harassed not only by this, but by the inability of the Spaniards to pay the full amount which is due the Indians as restitution; he therefore asks the king to settle this matter by remitting part of the amounts thus required. Salazar defends himself for having encouraged the Indian slaves (who had been freed by royal decree) to leave their Spanish masters; and for obliging the Chinese converts to cut off their hair. He also explains, as being greatly exaggerated, the accusations brought against his clergy of engaging in traffic; and promises to do all in his power to check them. One of the decrees settles the question of precedence between him and the Audiencia; but, as that tribunal has been suppressed, it is now useless. Salazar takes this opportunity to defend himself against the aspersions cast upon him in this matter, and in regard to certain legal proceedings wherein the Audiencia had claimed that he defied its authority. He declares that he always complied with its decisions or commands except in a few cases, which he explains in detail; and complains that the Audiencia has at various times usurped his jurisdiction, of which he relates instances.
In still another letter (of the same date) the bishop thanks his sovereign for recent kindness shown him, and for decrees favorable to the Philippine colony. The money which the king ordered to be given for building the cathedral at Manila has not yet been paid, as the royal treasury there is so poor. Salazar comments on certain recent decrees by the king: that the friars should not leave the islands without permission from the authorities; that tithes be remitted for twenty years to new settlers in the islands; and that the processes of justice be simplified, and pecuniary fines abrogated. The bishop reiterates his complaint against the cruelty and injustice with which the Spaniards collect the tributes from the natives, and the dearth of religious instruction for the latter; he feels responsible for this instruction, yet cannot provide it for lack of religious teachers. If more priests can be sent, great results can be achieved. The spiritual destitution of that region is so great that "of the ten divisions of this bishopric, eight have no instruction; and some provinces have been paying tribute to your Majesty for more than twenty years, but without receiving on account of that any greater advantage than to be tormented by the tribute, and afterward to go to hell." If religious teachers are supplied, it will be comparatively easy to complete the pacification of the Indians who are now hostile; then the royal treasury will receive, from the increase in the tributes, far more than it would now expend in sending out the missionaries. The bishop asks that, as he is now appointed by the king the protector of the Indians, he may have also funds for the expenses and assistants necessary for this office; also that the same protection may be extended toward the Chinese, who need it even more than the Indians. A royal decree (July 23, 1590) orders that the trade with China shall be confined for six years to the inhabitants of the islands.
Next follows a long document, a collection of papers (bearing various dates in 1591) relating to the collection of tributes in the islands. The first is a memorandum of the resources and needs of the hospital at Manila; the former are so small, and the latter so great, that the institution is badly crippled. A short letter by Bishop Salazar (dated January 12) classifies the encomiendas according to the amount of religious instruction given therein, and lays down the conditions which ought to govern the collection of tributes. He declares that the encomendero has not fulfilled his obligations to the Indians under him by merely reserving a fourth of the tributes for building churches; and advises that the small encomiendas be combined to form larger ones. This letter is followed by twenty-five "conclusions" (dated January 18) relating to this subject, which express the opinions of bishop and clergy on the collection of tributes from the Indians. These define the purposes for which this tax should be collected, the restrictions under which collections shall be permitted, and the respective duties in this matter of the encomenderos, ministers of religion, and governors, They declare that restitution should be made for all tribute unjustly collected from the natives—which includes all that is taken from pagans who have not been instructed, or from any Indian by force. Another letter by the bishop (dated January 25) accompanies this document. He states that he does not desire to forbid the encomenderos from personally collecting the tributes. He advises that the amount of such collections should be reduced, and that the Spaniards should not be too heavily mulcted for the restitutions which should be made to the Indians. The governor replies to these communications, expressing much interest in the Indians and desire to lighten their burdens. The collections should be uniform in rate everywhere, and of moderate amount. Certain requirements should be made from the encomenderos, especially in regard to the administration of justice; but they must be enabled to retain their holdings. The governor wishes to adopt some temporary regulations which shall be in force until the king can provide suitable measures. On February 15 the city officials and the encomenderos present a petition to the governor. They complain of the pressure exerted upon them by the clergy and the friars to prevent the collection of the tributes; and entreat the governor to interpose his authority, and to secure a royal mandate, in order that they may collect the tributes without ecclesiastical interference, or else to permit them to return to Spain. Salazar answers (February 8) the previous letter of Dasmarinas; this reply, and the opinions furnished by the religious orders, we synopsize in our text, as being somewhat too verbose for the edification of our readers. Salazar answers the objections made to his earlier statements, and assures the governor that the encomenderos can live on one-third of the tributes, that there is no danger of their abandoning their holdings, and that the chief obstacle to the conversion of the pagans is the cruelty of the Spaniards. He urges the governor to reform the abuses practiced by them, and to do justice to the poor Indians; and says that the clergy will cooperate with him in this. The heads of the religious orders (except the Dominicans) send written opinions on this subject to the governor; and the Jesuits discuss certain measures proposed by the bishop, with some of which they disagree. The remainder of the document on tributes will be presented in Vol. VIII.
Documents of 1588
Relation of the Philipinas Islands. Domingo de Salazar, and others; 1586-88. Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera; June 26. Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; June 27.
Sources: The first of these documents is obtained from Cartas de Indias, pp. 637-652; the others, from the original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson; the others, by Jose M. and Clara M. Asensio.
Relation of the Philipinas Islands
Most potent Sir:
I, the bishop of the Philipinas, declare that to your Highness  it is evident and well-known that the greater number of the natives in these islands are yet to be converted, and that many of those who are converted are without instruction, because they have no one to give it; and because, even in the districts where there are ministers, they are so few, and the natives so numerous, that they cannot give the latter sufficient instruction. I have, moreover, been informed that in a letter which the cabildo of this city of Manilla wrote to your Highness last year there was a section in which they gave your Highness information of the districts and localities in these islands where instruction is provided, and of those where it is not, and of the number of ministers who are necessary to furnish instruction to the natives therein. This letter, with all the others which went in the said year on the ship "Sancta Ana," was lost. For the relief of your royal conscience and my own, and for the welfare of the said natives, it is best that an order be given that those natives who are converted shall be supplied with ministers to instruct and maintain them in the Christian faith; for it is well known that, as soon as ministers fail them, they return to their rites and idolatries—in some districts, because they have lacked ministers for many years; and, in others quite near here, because those religious who had them in charge have abandoned them. This is well known to your Highness, through the information that has been given your Highness many times from this Audiencia. I am ready to furnish you sufficient information in this regard, if your Highness be so inclined. It is necessary also that ministers be furnished to the natives yet unconverted, that they may teach them and look after their conversion, since all of these Indians are under the dominion of your Highness, and pay tribute, as if they were Christians and received instruction. Unless ministers come hither from Espana, it is impossible to make good these deficiencies, or to supply the great lack of instruction. In order that this matter may be manifest to your Highness, and that you may be pleased to command that a remedy be provided, according to the great necessity for instruction in these islands, I ask, and, in order that the said need may be more certainly evident to your Highness, it is fitting, that the [above-mentioned] section of the said letter be sent to your royal hands. I beg and supplicate your Highness that you order the notary of the cabildo of this said city to draw up from the book of the cabildo one, two, or more copies of the said section, publicly and duly authenticated, in order to approach therewith your royal person—for which, etc.
The Bishop of the Philippinas
(In Manilla, on the third day of the month of June in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight. The honorable president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of these Philipinas Islands being in public session, this petition was read; and after examination by the said members of the Audiencia, they declared that the request of the bishop should be granted.
Juan de la Paraya)
(In fulfilment of the above order, I, Simon Lopez, notary of the king, our lord, and of the cabildo of this distinguished and ever loyal city of Manilla,  have caused to be made, from the books and papers of the cabildo which are in my possession, a copy of the relation which is mentioned in the present memoir. It is as follows:)
Relation of the natives now inhabiting these Western Islands—those who are pacified, and from whom tribute is collected, both those who are under control of his Majesty and those allotted to encomenderos; also of the religious, and the instruction given by them, among the natives; of the number of Spanish inhabitants, both in this city of Manila and in the settlements outside of it; and of the ministers of religion who are needed here.
This city of Manilla was founded in the island of Luzon, which is very fertile and populous. Outside of it, within the circuit of five leagues, are settled seven thousand five hundred Indians; four thousand of these belong to his Majesty, and the rest, three thousand five hundred, are allotted to four encomenderos. There are eight Augustinian friars, in four residences, and in another house are two Franciscans, one of whom is a lay brother, all of the rest being priests. In order that sufficient instruction be furnished the Indians, five more religious are needed.
This city has eighty citizens. It contains the cathedral and the bishop's house, and the ecclesiastical dignitaries—the latter consisting of an arch-deacon, a schoolmaster, two canons, thirteen clerics who are priests, and a few candidates for holy orders.
The monastery of St. Augustine, which usually has seven or eight religious, four priests, and three brothers and candidates for holy orders.
The monastery of St. Francis, which usually has four priests, and eleven or twelve other professed members and novices.
Of the Society of Jesus, the father superior, with two other fathers and two brothers.
A royal hospital for Spaniards, and another (in the Franciscan monastery) for the Indians.
There are, ordinarily, two hundred soldiers in this city, quartered among the citizens and in the houses of the Indians near them. These soldiers are very poor, and are sustained by alms, as are likewise the inmates of the monasteries and hospitals—although four hundred pesos are given every year from the treasury, besides two hundred fanegas of rice, for the support of four Augustinian religious; and the royal hospital possesses an encomienda worth six or seven hundred pesos.
Fifty Spaniards in the city have married Spanish women; and some of the others, native Indian women. There are fifteen Spanish widows; also eight or ten girls who are marriageable, and some others who are very young.
The president and three auditors, one fiscal, one alguacil-mayor, two secretaries—one for the Audiencia, and the other for the government—one bailiff, one keeper of the antechamber, two reporters, one proctor of the exchequer, four attorneys and as many interpreters,  four commissioners of examination, two alguacils of the court, one prison warden, the officials of the royal Audiencia, an officer to serve executions for the same, and one notary.
The governing body of the city, with two alcaldes-in-ordinary, an alguacil-mayor, twelve regidors, bailiffs, six notaries public, two attorneys, a depositary-general, a chancellor, and registrar, a superintendent of his Majesty's works, two city watchmen, and one for vagabonds.
There are thirty captains, only four of whom have companies in this city.
All the above is confined to the said eighty citizens of this city, leaving out of account the churches, hospitals, and monasteries. Inside this city is the silk-market of the Sangley merchants,  with shops to the number of one hundred and fifty, in which there are usually about six hundred Sangleys—besides a hundred others who live on the other side of the river opposite this city; these are married, and many of them are Christians. In addition to these there are more than three hundred others—fishermen, gardeners, hunters, weavers, brickmakers, lime-burners, carpenters, and iron-workers—who live outside the silk market, and without the city, upon the shores of the sea and river. Within the silk market are many tailors, cobblers, bakers, carpenters, candle-makers, confectioners, apothecaries, painters, silversmiths, and those engaged in other occupations.
Every day there is held a public market of articles of food, such as fowls, swine, ducks, game-birds, wild hogs, buffaloes, fish, bread, and other provisions, and garden-produce, and firewood; there are also many commodities from China which are sold through the streets.
Twenty merchantmen generally sail hither each year from China, each one carrying at least a hundred men, who trade from November until May—in those vessels coming hither, living here, and departing to their own country, during these seven months. They bring hither two hundred thousand pesos' worth of merchandise, only ten thousand pesos being in food supplies—such as flour, sugar, biscuits, butter, oranges, walnuts, chestnuts, pineapples, figs, plums, pomegranates, pears, and other fruits, salt pork, and hams—and in such abundance that the city and its environs are supported thereby during the whole year, and the fleets and trading-vessels are provisioned therefrom; they bring also many horses and cows, with which their land is well supplied. For two years, merchantmen have come hither laden with goods from Japon, Macaon, Cian [Siam], and other places, in order to trade in this city. The people of those countries are consequently becoming desirous of our friendship and trade, and many of the inhabitants of those nations are being converted.
They carry to their own countries, from this land, gold, wax, cotton, dye-woods, and small shells, which latter pass for money in their country, being used besides for many things, whereby they are held in much esteem. They bring hither silks—figured satins, black and colored damasks, brocades and other fabrics—which are now very commonly seen, a great quantity of white and black cotton cloth, and the above-mentioned articles of food.
Outside of this city and the above-mentioned villages lying within five leagues of it, there are seven well-populated provinces in this same island of Luzon—namely, Panpanga, Pangasinan, Ylocos, Cagayan, Camarines, La Laguna, and Bonbon y Balayan. These include three Spanish settlements—namely, Camarines, Ylocos, and Cagayan, and have the following number of tributarios [i.e., Indians paying tribute] and encomiendas.
The province of Panpanga
The province of Panpanga has twenty-two thousand tributarios, of whom seven thousand belong to his Majesty, and fifteen thousand are apportioned among eleven encomiendas. There are eight houses of the religious of St. Augustine, and one house of St. Francis, in which are sixteen Augustinian priests and one Franciscan. In another house is a Dominican, who is a coadjutor of the bishop. All together, there are eighteen priests. In order that sufficient instruction be given in this province, twenty-six more priests are needed; because, at the very least, a thousand tributarios means four thousand people, who require two religious—and in this ratio throughout the islands, where, it is believed, there will be a great increase of people and of their instruction. This province has an alcalde-mayor, and needs two corregidors.
This province is fifteen leagues in circuit, and is situated, at the very most, a like distance from this city. Between this province and that of Pangasinan, which is adjacent to it, there are three thousand Indians apportioned between two encomiendas; they are Canbales, and many of them are pacified. Living at a distance of twenty-five or thirty leagues from this city are more than three thousand others of this same race—brave mountaineers—still to be pacified; and we have not the wherewithal to send twenty soldiers for that purpose. This entire population is without instruction. It needs six ministers.
The province of Pangassinan
The province of Pangassinan has five thousand tributarios, pacified, but without instruction. It is forty leagues' distance from this city, by either land or sea. His Majesty possesses one thousand five hundred of its tributarios, and the rest are held by five encomenderos. It has one alcalde-mayor. Ten religious are necessary.
The province of Ylocos
Five leagues beyond Pangasinan, by either land or sea, begins the province of Ylocos, which is inhabited for forty leagues inland. It has twenty-seven thousand tributarios. Of these the king has six thousand, and twenty-one thousand are in fourteen encomiendas. There are three Augustinian religious in two houses or districts, and two ecclesiastics in two others. Fifty others are needed. There is a considerable population of mountaineers who recognize no master. This province has an alcalde-mayor, and the [Spanish] population of a small town.
The province of Cagayan
The province of Cagayan has many rivers and bayous. On its principal river, by name Taxo, the city of Nueva Segovia has been founded, being situated two leagues inland. This city has forty citizens who are encomenderos. It has one Augustinian monastery, containing two priests; one alcalde-mayor, two alcaldes-in-ordinary, one alguacil-mayor, and six regidors, who constitute the cabildo; and a royal hospital, which has for its income the tribute-money collected here for his Majesty. There is a fort with seven large pieces of artillery, and an equal number of small pieces—such as small culverins and falcons—a number of muskets and arquebuses, pikes, and coats-of-mail, which constitute the weapons and armor used in this land. For its maintenance this fort has assigned to it the tribute from one village, which amounts to about one hundred pesos. It has its own governor. The forty citizens of this city maintain in addition forty soldiers, who help to pacify, conquer, and collect the tribute of the encomiendas. Ten of these citizens are married, the remainder single. Twenty-six thousand Indians, of whom seven thousand are pacified and pay tribute, are apportioned to thirty-three of these citizens—some along the principal river Taxo, and the remainder in the districts near the same. Along this river and in its neighborhood his Majesty has one thousand seven hundred tributarios, of whom a thousand are pacified and pay their tribute. This river Taxo is very broad and deep, and large vessels can ascend it even to the city. It has an excellent bay. It rises fifty leagues inland, and is inhabited along its entire course by the above-mentioned people. Its water is excellent, and the whole land is quite fertile and healthful, and abounds in rice, swine, fowls, and palm-wine; and there is much hunting of buffaloes, deer, wild hogs, and birds. A great amount of wax, cotton, and gold is collected in this district, in which articles the natives pay their tribute. Two leagues opposite the bar of the river Taxo is the dense population of the Babuyanes Islands. One island is an encomienda under the control of his Majesty, and is said to contain one thousand men. The tribute has not been collected, because the inhabitants, it is said, are not pacified. The eight other islands are distributed among the seven [other] citizens [of Nueva Segovia]. They number three thousand men, more rather than less from all of whom their masters collect three hundred tributes. All of these islands are distant three or four leagues from one another. Sixty priests would be needed for the care of these thirty thousand Indians, counting two priests to each thousand tributarios. At the present time, sixteen priests are needed for those who are pacified, as we have said. These priests are very important for the pacification and permanent settlement of the natives, and for [the spiritual needs of] the soldiers. This province of Cagayan lies seventy leagues from the mainland of China and the coast cities of that country. Seventy ministers are necessary, who, with the help and protection of the soldiers, will gather the inhabitants together and pacify them all, and seek out the rest of the people—who, as we are informed, exist in great number as far as Cagayan.
The province of La Laguna
The province of La Laguna ["the Lake"], commences at the lake—which is the body of water above this city of Manilla where the river of this city rises, as well as others in the mountain hard by—six leagues from this city.  It is about twenty leagues in circuit, and in this territory, inhabited by eleven thousand Indian tributarios, there are twelve religious houses—ten of Franciscans, with fifteen priests and nine brothers; one of Augustinians, with three priests; and, in the other house, one ecclesiastic. Two thousand seven hundred of the inhabitants are his Majesty's, and two thousand four hundred  are distributed among eight encomenderos. Of all the provinces in these islands, this one has the most instruction. It needs three more priests. It has one alcalde-mayor, and should have besides one corregidor. Near the coast of the bay of this city is the province of Bonbon y Balayan.
The province of Bonbon y Balayan
The province of Bonbon contains the people of the Lake, who amount to four thousand men, belonging to the Mariscal.  It comprises the villages of Batangas, Galbandayun, Calilaya, and the lowlands of Balayan, which amount in all to nine thousand tributarios. His Majesty has one thousand two hundred of them, and five encomenderos seven thousand eight hundred. There are four religious houses—two of Augustinians, in Bonbon and Batangas; and the other two of Franciscans, in Balayan and Dayun. These houses contain four Augustinian priests, and three Franciscan priests and two brothers. Ten more ministers are necessary.
Province of Camarines
The province of Camarines lies fifty leagues from this city. In it is located the city of Caceres, with thirty citizens, who have generally thirty soldiers quartered among them. Twenty of these citizens are married, six of them to native women. The city has its own cabildo and governing body; also a church with one vicar, one Franciscan monastery with two priests and two brothers besides, and one alcalde-mayor. It could have three more corregidorships.
This province has twenty thousand tributarios, of whom two thousand five hundred are his Majesty's, and seventeen thousand five hundred are distributed among twenty encomiendas.
There are ten Franciscan houses in this province, besides the convent of the city, with eleven priests and eight brothers in all. There are two more ecclesiastics in two districts, not counting the curate of the city. Twenty more priests are necessary. The faith has had an excellent opening in this province of Camarines, and the preaching of the gospel has shed its rays far and wide therein. The natives are especially inclined to the sacrament of Penitence; and it is a thing to marvel at, to see the churches continually filled, especially during Lent, with people asking confession.
The people of this province are simple and well disposed. Their country is delightful in its location, being healthful and very beautiful. The chase yields many wild hogs, deer, and buffaloes; and there are many birds, such as hens, ducks of many varieties, the smaller birds, and many others. There is a river where fish abound in great plenty, especially swordfish, and many black shellfish, the latter being gathered at the river. There is much fine scenery in this province, and it contains many springs and rivers of fresh, clear water, on account of which there is always abundance of excellent water in this province. Near the boundaries of the province are two volcanoes of great size and remarkable beauty—one of fire, and the other of water.  According to the report of the natives who have climbed up to the volcano of water, there are many royal eagles there, besides much white honey and wax, and fruits of various kinds.
The entire population of this province is in encomiendas, separated two or three leagues, or even a less distance, from one another; and all these encomiendas are contained within thirty leagues.
Besides this island of Luzon, there are many other inhabited islands, situated close to it, within a circuit of one hundred leagues. There are two more Spanish colonies—one the city of Nonbre de Jesus, in Cebu; and the other the town of Arevalo,  in Oton.
The city of Cubu has thirty citizens, among whom are quartered twenty soldiers. These citizens are all encomenderos, and all married to either Spanish or Indian women. Their encomiendas are located among the neighboring islands, there being thirty-two encomiendas with eighteen thousand tributarios. Here his Majesty possesses some few little hamlets, in which but little tribute is collected, and the natives of the city—who by special privilege pay no tribute, because from the very first they received the Spaniards in a friendly manner, furnishing the camp with provisions, and showing themselves loyal on many occasions. This city has a church, with one vicar; and one Augustinian monastery, containing three or four religious. In all those encomiendas there is no other instruction. Three more priests are necessary.
This city has a municipal council and alcaldes; and has a fortress provided with three or four large pieces of artillery, and some small ones, such as falcons and small culverins; and having its own governor. This fort is located opposite Burney, the Malucos and Mindanaos, and other infidel islands and kingdoms. This city has one alcalde-mayor.
The town of Arevalo
The town of Arevalo is situated on the island of Oton [or Panay], and has twenty citizens; they are encomenderos, and have thirty soldiers quartered among them. The town has a municipal council, alcaldes-in-ordinary, and one alcalde-mayor. In the islands near this settlement there are twenty-two thousand tributarios; three thousand of these are his Majesty's, and nineteen thousand are distributed among eighteen encomiendas. There is one church and one vicar, and one monastery with two Augustinians. Outside of the town, in certain of the encomiendas, are four more houses of the same order. The five houses contain ten priests. Three or four more are needed.
All of these islands, as well as those of the settlement of Cubu, abound in flesh of wild hogs and birds; and in all the above-mentioned places many fowls and swine are raised. Tribute is paid in gold, cloth, wax, cotton thread, rice, and fowls, at a valuation based on the peso of Tipuzque.
In addition to these islands and settlements, there are other islands, namely, Marinduque, Luban, Mindoro, Elen, Calamianes, with two thousand five hundred tributarios, besides a much greater number still unpacified. None of them has any instruction, except Mindoro, where his Majesty has five hundred Indians who are instructed. One ecclesiastic in the islands of Calamianes collects the tribute, in the name of his Majesty, from two hundred more. We hear of many more who are still unpacified. The rest are in two encomiendas. Six ecclesiastics are necessary.
Summary of the Above Relation
According to what is set forth in this relation, it is therefore evident that there are one hundred and forty-six thousand, seven hundred pacified tributarios in this island of Luzon and the other islands of this government. Of this number his Majesty has twenty-eight thousand seven hundred. The religious number fifty-four Augustinian priests, and thirty-eight descalced Franciscan friars—all these for this city and the instruction of the natives—with an additional number of some ten ecclesiastics, in curacies and vicariates outside of this city, as has been related. One hundred and ninety more priests are necessary for the instruction of the said natives, which number will furnish sufficient instruction, counting for each thousand tributarios two religious—priests, friars, or ecclesiastics. These thousand tributarios amount to somewhat less than four thousand people. It is quite certain that with adequate instruction, such as is indicated in the foregoing, many people, not yet pacified, will become so, and the number of tributarios in the above-named provinces would be increased to two hundred thousand. For we have heard that in the province of Cagayan there are many more people besides those apportioned in encomiendas, as also in the islands of [Ca]lamianes, Mindoro, Luban, and Elin, as well as in many other islands included in the colonies of Oton and Cebu. In all of these the Christian instruction and conversion would be extended through the territories and provinces adjoining them, and the inhabitants would be rendered obedient to his Majesty without the necessity of arms and war; whereby God, our Lord, would be much pleased and these kingdoms greatly extended. The fathers of the Society, comprising but three priests and two brothers, reside in this city, where by means of their teaching they produce the greatest results. They are studying and learning the language of the natives and of the Chinese, in order to work among them when more of their Society come hither—a pressing necessity, for which your Majesty should provide.
(This relation, in its present sum and substance, was made by the cabildo of this city, in order that it might be sent to Father Alonso Sanchez, general agent for this city and these islands at his Majesty's court. Made on the last of December, one thousand five hundred and eighty-six.
This copy was made and transcribed, corrected, and collated with another copy in my possession, among the papers of the cabildo in Manila, on the twenty-first day of the month of June, one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight, Francisco de Zarate and Alonso Maldonado being witnesses. Therefore, in testimony of the above, I, Simon Lopez, notary of the king, our master, and of the cabildo of this distinguished and ever loyal city of Manila, do affix hereunto my seal.
In testimony of the truth:
Simon Lopez, notary of the cabildo)
[The following matter is added by Salazar:] In addition to the towns named in this relation, I feel in duty bound to give your Majesty some general information concerning certain islands which are named in it without making particular mention of them; and concerning others which are not mentioned at all, which are very important, and have a large population.
The town of Arevalo, of which mention is made above, was founded in the island of Panay, which is one of the best islands of this archipelago. This island is one hundred leagues in circuit, and is well populated. The Augustinian friars had charge of it when the relation was written; but they abandoned it about six months ago, on account of having an insufficient number of friars for their houses.
Next to this island, at a league's distance, is the island of Ymaras, which is apportioned among encomenderos. It is about twenty leagues in circumference, and has six hundred tributarios. Instruction has never been furnished it, although some Augustinian friars have visited it at times.
Next this island of Ymaras, at three leagues' distance toward the south, is situated the island called Negros. It is much larger than Panay, but not so densely populated. It had two Augustinian monasteries, but they were abandoned more than five years ago, and the baptized Christians were left without instruction. The island is without instruction now, and the baptized Christians have returned to their idolatries.
The island of Bantayan is small and densely populated. It has more than eight hundred tributarios, most of them Christians. The Augustinians who had them in charge have abandoned them also, and they are now without instruction. This island is twenty leagues from Zubu.
The island of Leyte
The island of Leyte is thirty leagues south of Cubu. It is one of the most excellent islands of this bishopric, and produces much food. It has sixteen or eighteen encomenderos, and fifteen or sixteen thousand tributarios. It has never had, and has not now, any instruction.
Island of Bohol
The island of Bohol, situated near Cubu, is small and populated. It has about six hundred tributarios.
The island of Mindanao is larger than that of Luzon, although it is believed to be not so well populated. Much of it is apportioned among Spaniards, and some of the natives pay tribute. For three years, the preachers of Mahoma have come into the regions hereabout, coming from Burney to Terrenate. We have heard that there are some Moros from Meca among them. The law of Mahoma is preached publicly at the very river of Mindanao, and mosques have been built and are being built. And it is to the shame of Christianity there that it does not hasten to drive these preachers from that region, since the inhabitants are vassals of your Majesty, and have rendered your Majesty obedience for a long time. The galleons sailing from India to Maluco know that island, and obtain water and provisions there. Fifty leagues from this island of Mindanao lies the island of Jolo, which has been given over to encomenderos these many years. It is an island where many pearls are found, and where elephants are reared. The inhabitants have a king of their own, who is a relative of the monarch of Terrenate. Neither in this island nor in that of Mindanao is there much Christian teaching; nor can there ever be, unless the people are pacified.
The island of Ybabao, situated between this island of Luzon and that of Cubu, is quite large, but does not contain many inhabitants. It has a few encomenderos, is not yet entirely pacified, and has never had any instruction. The island of Catanduanes is excellent and well populated; it lies next to Camarines. There are four encomiendas on it; it contains about three thousand tributarios, who up to the present time have never had any Christian teaching. The island of Marinduque, lying about three leagues from this island, is divided into encomiendas. It has about eight hundred tributarios, who have never been instructed in the faith. From this island to the strait called Espiritu Sancto, many small islands are scatered—namely, Masbate, Capul, Burias, Banton, Conblon, Simara, Sibuyan, the island of Tablas, and many others—of which, because of their small size and scanty population, no mention is made, although all are apportioned into encomiendas and tribute is collected in them every year. They have no Christian teaching, nor hope of any.
Eighteen or twenty leagues west of the island of Panay, is located an exceeding fine and well-populated island, called Cuyo; it is very low and small. Together with seven small islands near by, it contains one thousand two hundred tributarios. Its inhabitants are rich, and the principal men live very well. The people of Burney have intercourse with this island, and we suspect that they preach here the law of Mahoma, although not so publicly as in Mindanao. Many goats, pheasants, and fowls of larger size than those of this region, are reared in this island. Its encomendero goes thither each year in the months of February and March for the purpose of collecting his tributes, and, this done, returns to his home in the island of Panay. No other communication is held with this island. It has no instruction now, and has never had any.
Lying between the islands of Mindoro and Burney are a number of islands called the Calamianes. They are scantily populated, and are under his Majesty's control. Great quantities of wax are collected therein. Their inhabitants pay tribute also to the people of Burney, because the Spaniards do not trouble themselves about them further than to collect the tribute, leaving them to whomsoever may come from Burney to rob them. They have never had any Christian teaching, nor is there hope of any speedily, because they are few in number and widely scattered.
The island of Mindoro is situated twenty-five leagues southwest of this city. From the nearest coast of this island [Luzon] the distance to Mindoro is about six leagues. This island of Mindoro is sixty leagues in circumference. It contains more than five thousand families, of whom two thousand pay tribute and are pacified. The remainder, for lack of men to subdue them, neglect to pay their tribute. Augustinian and Franciscan friars have been in this district, but all have abandoned it. There is at present one ecclesiastic there, who has the care of about one thousand Christianized tributarios. All of the remainder of the inhabitants are infidels, and without instruction.
Next to the island of Mindoro, and in the direction of this city, lies the small island of Luban, with about five hundred tributarios. Its inhabitants are well disposed, and have asked me many times for Christian teaching; but, for lack of ministers to send to them, they cannot have it.
This is the most trustworthy relation that your Majesty can have, in order that your Majesty may see clearly the great need for ministers who shall labor for the conversion of these infidels, and for the preservation of those who have already received the faith, but are falling back into their idolatrous practices, because they have been abandoned by those who baptized them. Many of the islands named in this relation I have visited personally, and concerning the others I have been informed by those familiar with them; and, although it is not possible to know the exact truth, I have tried to ascertain it as nearly as I could. All of these islands are included in your Majesty's kingdom; all pay tribute, and in sufficient quantities to entitle them to receive instruction. Since your Majesty has in your dominions so many and so excellent religious and ecclesiastics, who, if your Majesty give the order, will prepare to come hither, may your Majesty feel so strongly the ills of this land and its lack of religious workers, that you will order to come hither as many as are needed for the salvation of the great number of souls who are perishing here for want of religious teaching. Your Majesty should understand that, when we speak of such an island or town having so many tributarios, we mean married men, or two single men who make one whole tribute; so that when there are one thousand tributarios, it follows that there must be two thousand persons. And it will happen most frequently that the number will reach three or four thousand, counting one or two children to each household. From the foregoing your Majesty will realize clearly the countless number of souls under your Majesty's charge, and who are waiting for your Majesty to provide them with ministers of religion, in order that they may be drawn out of their present darkness, and placed on the pathway of salvation. At Manila, June twenty-fifth, 1585 [sic; should be 1588].
Letter from Vera to Felipe II
In the past year of 87, I sent your Majesty an account of the condition of this land, by the usual route, and also one by way of India. As the voyage is so uncertain and dangerous, another duplicate is sent herewith; and I beg your Majesty to have it examined, as it is important for your service.
On the twenty-seventh of February of this year, I had news from the Pintados Islands that, on the seventh of the said month, at one of the islands about eighty leagues south of Lucon, an English ship had been seen. With their small boat they had seized a Spanish sailor who was coasting along carelessly in a small bark. He did not flee from the enemy, as he took them to be Spaniards and friends; for it is unusual for ships from England to come here. Next day the English learned that a galleon of your Majesty was being built in the shipyard of Caigoan on the island of Panay. An attempt was made to land troops for the purpose, as is supposed, of burning it; but it was defended by some carpenters and calkers who were working thereon. By this it may be inferred that the enemy carried but a small force. After this resistance, the enemy went to Mindanao, leaving on an islet in their course the mariner whom they had taken prisoner.  From him I ascertained the fresh destruction planned for this country. He says that several Spaniards, who were his fellow-prisoners on the English ship, told him that your Majesty's galleon "Santa Ana" had been captured near California, a country on the mainland which is continuous with Nueva Espana. The galleon left this port in June of the past year, 87; and as no other ships but ours have ever been sighted on this voyage, which is through so remote regions, they have always sailed with little or no artillery, and with as little fear from corsairs as if they were on the river of Sevilla. Thus the English easily captured the galleon, plundered and burned it, and hanged a canon of our church. The other persons were sent in a small boat to land, where it is believed that some of them have died of starvation and hardships. From this galleon there was plundered a thousand marcos of registered gold, and there must have been as large a sum unregistered; twenty-two and one-half arrobas of musk, an abundance of civet, and many pearls, and the richest of silks and brocades. At this capture, the enemy took with them [from the "Santa Ana"] several skilful mariners and a pilot, to guide them to these islands. The captive mariner knew these men, and in conversation with them he learned what I have related. This ship left England with two others, and plundered sixteen ships off the coast of Piru. One of the three was lost; the remaining two captured the said galleon "Santa Ana," and came to these islands. They were separated in a storm, and only this one arrived. It brought about fifty men, most of them pilots. This mariner noticed that this vessel carried twenty-five pieces of bronze, and cast-iron artillery, and much ammunition. The ship is small, of about one hundred and fifty toneladas, staunch and well fitted. There is no doubt that they have plundered more than a million [pesos'] worth of gold, pearls, musk, civet, and rich merchandise, which all belonged in Nueva Espana. The Spaniards there would have been diligent in pursuing this corsair; but, as I received information so late, and the enemy only reconnoitered here, without remaining at any place, to inform them would have done no good. I sent word to Maluco, whither it seems the enemy directed his course, to the captain-general and to the sea-captains who might be there with their galleons; also to the petty kings friendly to your Majesty, and to the fort at Ambueno—where, it is understood, this corsair is going to spend the winter and repair his ship. Captain Francisco is at an island of that archipelago called Jula, near either Macasar or Japara. I advised the sending of a message to him, and the exercise of diligence, as they have greater facility for obtaining news there on account of the many ships which are usually near at hand. And I advised them to follow the Englishman and ascertain where he was going to winter; for it was impossible to return immediately to his own country, because the weather began to be contrary. It would be necessary to pass out through Sunda and other straits, of which the Portuguese are warned; and there it would be easy to await him and cut off his passage, as they hold him so closely. This account was given by a sailor—a native of this land—who was seized in the galleon, and carried away by the Englishman. He escaped at the mouth of the channel of these islands, and I have kept him here with me. His declarations accompany this letter.
The first time when this galleon "Sancta Ana" sailed from here, I sent by her some artillery removed from your Majesty's forts, in order to provide greater security. In Nueva Espana the artillery was taken out, and the ship returned without it. I thought that if I sent more on the ships, and it were taken out over there, the forts here would be in need, while the ships would gain nothing. Understanding that there was no danger from corsairs on the voyage, I sent the ships, as usual, without artillery. Now that I have seen the need for artillery, and the risk that they run, if it is not carried, I am sending two ships this year, each with four heavy pieces of artillery, two falcon guns, and arquebuses and other arms carried by the sailors and passengers. I am collecting what metal I can find and making thereof some pieces of ordnance with which to fill the place of those sent from the said forts. The merchants are paying your Majesty the value of the artillery, arms, and ammunition carried by one of the ships, and I have loaned the price of those of the other. They will pay this also in the coming year, and the ships will sail armed at the account and cost of the merchants. I beseech your Majesty to command the viceroy of Nueva Espana to have the artillery and arms returned by the same ships; and that the pieces carried by the "Sancta Ana" be returned to these forts, which greatly need them.
In another letter I have written to your Majesty about the general fire in this city. The powder and military supplies were burned and the artillery destroyed. Although I have had the pieces recast, using the metal which was left, there are only twenty-five heavy pieces and several lighter ones. This is but little artillery for the needs of this land, for defense and the expeditions that are made. Some copper mines have been discovered but although at first they seemed to be very rich, on commencing to work them, it was found that the labor was expensive and there was but little metal. Everything necessary could be brought from Macan, if your Majesty were pleased to have money sent from your royal treasury of Mexico for this purpose.
I have already written to your Majesty of the necessity that, for the preservation of this land, the viceroy of Nueva Espana send annual reenforcements of troops, arms, and ammunition. As this has not been done for three years, the majority of the troops have died, and there are now so few here, that if reenforcements are not supplied according to the requests of the governor and officers of the royal exchequer, great risk will be run, and what your Majesty has gained and preserved at cost of such labors and expenses will be irretrievably lost. I especially beg your Majesty to order such provision to be made that so propitious a beginning be not lost, and the door closed which has been opened by your Majesty for the conversion of so large and powerful kingdoms with untold riches and innumerable inhabitants.
According to your Majesty's commands I had some galleys made in these islands, and I have three at this port. They are of little use, because of the lack of men skilled in managing and sailing with lateen sails, and the scarcity of rowers. I have tried to keep up its crew by hiring men; but the natives are so despicable a people that they are of little use for this purpose, nor do they have sufficient strength for rowing. On hearing the report of an arquebus they throw themselves on the ground, and do not rise even at the lash. I have selected three hundred Chinese, who are stronger, and who, if allowed liberty to quit the work, and exemption from tribute, will bind themselves to serve on the galleys. But although earnest endeavors have been made to teach them, they row very badly, and have as little energy as the natives of these islands have. They row in their own country with a sort of oar which they call lios lios. By means of these the galley moves very slowly, and therefore they may be of some benefit among these islands. Better results would be obtained, however, if instead of these galleys there were small ships of from sixty to a hundred toneladas with which it is easier to navigate here. I inform your Majesty thereof in order that provision may be made according to the royal pleasure. As I have advised your Majesty, I have, in anticipation of future contingencies, commenced a good stone fort in this city, which will be entirely completed within a year. I have levied taxes therefor upon the citizens and encomenderos; the Indian tributarios have each paid one real, while one per cent has been collected for two years on the coin brought from Nueva Espana. I am sending to your Majesty the sketch and model of this fort; it is the strongest which has been built in the Yndias, although it is not of modern style. It was necessary to build it according to the condition of the country; it is round in shape, high, and covered over so as to be more capacious. The climate is so hot, the sun so fierce and the rains so heavy, that if the soldiers who must defend the place were not under cover they would perish from the heat, as would likewise those who should undertake to erect the fort. The stone for the most of the rampart is so suitable in quality that, wherever a ball strikes, the wall remains unhurt, nor is any other injury inflicted. There is no fear that an attack by a battery can do as much damage as if the stone were hard and resisting. The balls cannot be fired so as to strike, without great difficulty, as the fort is on the shore and the country is perfectly level. Within there is fresh running water in abundance; and in addition to that, wherever one digs, excellent drinking water is found. It is impossible to undermine the fort, because there is water around it, at a distance of one or two varas, or even less in some places. The city is surrounded by water—the sea on one side; on another the moat, which extends to the river; and, on still another side, the river itself. Thus the city is on an island; and, with the other bulwarks and the wooden fort, which I have had repaired, this city is well defended, provided we had sufficient troops and ammunition.
I received your Majesty's letter on the twenty-second of May of this year; and, by a royal decree of the first of December of the year 86, your Majesty orders me to act in accordance with my best judgment, as your Majesty had understood that the auditors of this Audiencia according to the present regulations, cannot visit the country out of their turn. I will fulfil your Majesty's commands and will render an account of all transactions.
By another royal decree of the nineteenth of August of said year, your Majesty orders that, if it should appear necessary to me, certain offices of notaries and magistrates in these islands should be sold, under the condition that the persons who should be the highest bidders should obtain confirmation of their title within three years. These offices are of very little profit, and of none at all in some places, as the land has been settled so recently, and there are few inhabitants and little business therein. As it is continually becoming more populous and well established, it would be more advantageous to postpone the sale of these offices for some years, until they shall be worth more. I will make the necessary investigations, as your Majesty commands me, and will advise your Majesty of the prices offered. If I find that for any of them I can obtain its value in the future I will have it auctioned. In the meantime I will make endeavors to have them sold for a price that can be profitable to your Majesty's royal exchequer.
By another decree of the twenty-seventh of August of said year, your Majesty orders me to give my opinion of the arms that are in the fort of the city of Manila, and those that are needed. In three forts which your Majesty has here, there are twenty-four heavy pieces, two small ones, and some culverins, as will be seen below.
In the stone fort there are three swivel-guns, located in the three casemates, of about twenty quintals' weight. On the first floor over the rampart, there are seven heavy pieces, extra thick and strong at the breech. Two are of about forty quintals' weight, three varas in length and carry a ball of cast iron weighing sixteen libras. Two others are of wrought iron, of sixty quintals' weight, three and two-thirds varas in length, and carry a ball of cast iron weighing fifteen libras. One cannon is of fifty-five quintals' weight, four and one-third varas in length, and carries a ball of cast iron weighing fourteen libras; one culverin, five and one-half varas in length, weighs one hundred and one quintals one arroba, and carries a cast iron ball weighing seventeen libras; another piece of thirty-five quintals' weight, three varas in length, carries a cast iron ball weighing twelve libras.
The fort at the point has one cannon weighing twenty-five quintals; three small cannon [sacres], weighing twenty-two; and a half-sacre weighing thirteen—the last, with its apparatus, being four varas in length.
The cavalier of the beach has a piece, extra thick and strong at the breech, of forty quintals' weight which carries a ball weighing fifteen libras; and one half-sacre, of thirteen quintals' weight.
At the river there is a large swivel-gun with cross-bars, weighing thirty quintals; one cannon weighing twenty-six quintals, one sacre weighing twenty-two quintals, four half-sacres weighing thirteen or fourteen quintals, and two esmeriles [a small piece of ordnance] weighing four or five quintals.
For the stone fort to be provided with artillery according to its plan and embrasures, it is necessary to have twenty-five pieces, three of them heavy, and twelve sacres and half-sacres.
The cavalier of the beach needs five pieces, two of them heavy, and three sacres.
That at the point of the sea and the river needs six pieces—some sacres, and two swivel-guns.
For the service of the ships and galleys there are needed four cannon, six swivel-guns, six sacres, six half-sacres, and some small culverins. Thus sixty pieces in all are necessary to provide the city well with artillery for defense, as well as for the galleys and ships of the fleet, and for the succor and pacification of all these islands. There are only twenty-four needed, for there are now thirty-six. In the shipyard there are now four sacres of twenty-two quintals' weight, two of which have been cast, and the other two are about to be cast. This class of arms is the best and most important for this land these and the swivel-guns. This artillery could be provided, and much more be made, for other of your Majesty's strongholds in these islands and the Yndias, should your Majesty be pleased to have six or eight thousand pesos sent annually from Mexico so that the metal could be bought at Macao in China, as it is very plentiful and cheap there.
According to the commission of your Majesty, I have proceeded against the royal officials in regard to their traffic and trade in merchandise. By the convictions of guilt which have resulted from the investigations and process of law, I have condemned the guilty to pay fines to the exchequer. There seems to have been no traffic with funds in the royal exchequer; or, if there were any, no damage or injury to it has resulted. I am sending the testimony of the sentences and proceedings to your Majesty's royal Council, where your Majesty will order their examination, if such is your pleasure. May God guard the Catholic person of your Majesty. Manila, June twenty-sixth, of the year 1588.
The licentiate Santiago de Vera
[Endorsed: "Examined, with the other letter."]
Letter from Domingo de Salazar to Felipe II
In a letter which your Majesty had written to me from Madrid, on the eleventh of January of the year 87, I see the reprimand which your Majesty gives me, on account of information that you had received that, on certain occasions which had arisen, I had had controversies with the royal Audiencia here; also that this has finally resulted in scandal and comment in the town, and that there was fault on both sides. I receive this reprimand as from my king and lord, but, although it comes from him, it is very serious and is sufficient to cause much pain; nevertheless, I have not allowed myself to feel hurt, since your Majesty judges according to the information that you have received. He who so informed your Majesty that I was made to appear guilty will give account to God for his good or bad intention, since for my own satisfaction the testimony of my conscience is all-sufficient. It is well-known in the city, and outside of it, that if I had not entered as mediator neither the president and auditors, nor the auditors alone, would have had peace. It would not have been possible for me to establish peace if there had not been friendly relations between them and me. Since they were pacified through my intercession, peace has lasted until now; and in order that this peace be lasting, and that there be no occasion for violating it, I humbly beseech your Majesty to be pleased to command the president and auditors not to interfere with me in affairs which concern my privileges—since my life is a very open one, a fact known to all. They have no cause for complaint because I sat down in my own church on the gospel side; for, besides my being the father and pastor of this state, and having in charge the souls of the auditors, it is a very usual thing for bishops and archbishops to seat themselves in that very place in the presence of viceroys and presidents, without that act exciting any surprise. For the sake of peace, I have overlooked the matter, and have not again taken my seat in that place, hoping that your Majesty would send commands concerning this and what ought to be done, since it is not right that I should leave to my successors the disputes and controversies with the Audiencia whereby results so much harm to the commonwealth. It is of no less importance that the prelates be as much respected by the people as are the audiencias. The latter make themselves feared by the power which they hold; but if the prelates are not favored by those who govern, they are speedily despised by the people. Since your Majesty sees how important this matter is, may it be your Majesty's pleasure not to leave us in controversies, but to order that each shall do his duty without prejudice to the other.
The hardships and calamities sent by God to this land make me greatly fear that we who live here have seriously offended Him. For I have been here eight years, and not one year have I seen pass without the happening of great calamities—loss of ships; death of the animals which maintained us; hurricanes, called here baguios, which tear up the trees by the roots and overthrow the houses completely, or leave them so that they cannot be inhabited; and the general fire of the year 83, of which your Majesty has been informed. Both before and since that time, this city has been burned three or four times; and now, as the last straw, the ship "Santa Ana," which left this city last year, the richest ship to leave these islands, fell into the hands of the Lutherans. With that loss, and also that of the ship "Sant Juan" the year before, which likewise was laden with goods from this country, some of the citizens of these islands are totally ruined, and others have suffered so heavy losses that it will be long ere, with much difficulty, they regain their former state.
It is very evident, and can be denied by no one, that the loss of that particular ship was ordained by God; for, three days before it reached the coast [of California], another ship—from Macao, bound for Mexico—passed the same place and was not sighted by the Lutherans. When news was received in Piru of the coming of this pirate, the viceroy sent in pursuit of them a good fleet, with many soldiers and ammunition sufficient to engage an equal or greater number. When they came to the port of Acapulco, supplies were needed; and they requested these from the purveyor who had them in your Majesty's warehouses. He was unwilling to give them; and they even say that an order was given to detain some pack-teams which brought biscuits, so that the captain of the fleet from Peru could not take them. Thus they say that, as it was not desired to supply them with provisions, and because Doctor Palacios  became dictatorial in regard to several points, they returned to Piru; while the Lutheran remained free to attack and capture, as he did. So great was our misfortune that, at the time when the two captains were debating as to who should take command, the pirate was near Puerto de la Navidad, which is not very far from Acapulco, repairing his ships. Had they attacked him, it would have been impossible for him to escape; but God chose to blind our men, so that we might be punished by this pirate. The punishment of God did not stop here; for, having set fire to the ship "Santa Ana," they left it half burnt, set sail, and came to these islands. With more than human courage, they passed through the midst of them with a ship of one hundred toneladas, where the natives venture with trembling in very light boats; but this infidel dared not only to come into our midst, but to collect tributes from your Majesty's vassals. A Spaniard was captured, and after having told him what they wished him to say to us, they put him ashore. What they said was in boast that they had left the coasts of Peru and Nueva Espana utterly ruined; and that they had robbed and burned the ship "Santa Ana," and hanged a canon who was on his way from this city to Mexico. In testimony of his prowess and our misfortune he displayed the silks, brocades, and cloths of gold which he had seized as plunder. Not content with this, he went away threatening us that he is to return soon to drive us all hence, and to destroy the nest that we have made here—meaning thereby the stone fortress built here. The grief that afflicts me is not because this barbarian infidel has robbed us of the ship "Santa Ana," and destroyed thereby the property of almost all the citizens; but because an English youth of about twenty-two years, with a wretched little vessel of a hundred toneladas and forty or fifty companions, should dare to come to my own place of residence, defy us, and boast of the damage that he had wrought. As your Majesty has here an army of captains, who, as I understand, are certainly as many as the companions of the Lutheran, he went from our midst laughing, without anyone molesting or troubling him; neither has he felt that the Spaniards are in this land to any purpose. In this matter, I do not care to blame anyone, because I understand that the governor did his duty—although I was always of the opinion that the pirate should be pursued and that the result thereof would not be so bad as some say. The belief here, however, is that God is chastising us for our sins, and is making us the laughing-stock of other nations, who have all hitherto stood in such fear of us. I must explain to your Majesty two other points bearing on this subject, although it detains me somewhat, as I consider that I do thereby a very great service. The first is the failure of the expedition to Maluco. We all had been certain that with fewer men and less equipment than there actually were, the king of Terrenate could be subdued; but, quite to the contrary, our men came back as if fleeing from an unknown foe. The Indians of this archipelago, who feared us, now laugh; and, together with those of Terrenate, threaten us. The second point is that in the island of Mindanao, which is subject to your Majesty, and for many years has paid you tribute, the law of Mahoma has been publicly proclaimed, for somewhat more than three years, by preachers from Burney and Terrenate who have come there—some of them even, it is believed, having come from Meca. They have erected and are now building mosques, and the boys are being circumcised, and there is a school where they are taught the Alcoran. I was promptly informed of this, and urged the president to supply a remedy therefor at once, in order that that pestilential fire should not spread in these islands. I could not persuade them to go, and thus the hatred of Christianity is there; and we are striving no more to remedy this than if the matter did not concern us. Such are the calamities and miseries to which we have come, and the punishments which God inflicts upon us. The reason for it, He only knows; but, as I infer and fear, it is because we have ill acquitted ourselves in this land, where it is so needful that we be upright and furnish good examples. I have written to your Majesty on this point at other times; and I think that either my letters are not read, or what I say is not credited. I assure your Majesty that I have never written anything which is not true, and free from all outward influence, or self-interest, or human considerations; but I have only done my duty. The temporal affairs of this land are in the condition which I have related to your Majesty; and I consider that there will never be improvement, since cupidity is increasing so immeasurably that neither the punishments of God nor the threats of men are effectual to produce any moderation, nor do the manifold outrages cease to be felt.