The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIV, 1630-34
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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 XXIV, 1630-34

Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.


Preface 11

History of the Augustinian order in the Filipinas Islands (concluded). Juan de Medina, O.S.A.; 1630 [but printed at Manila, 1893]. 29

Documents of 1630-1633

Royal letters and decree. Felipe IV; Madrid, December 4-31, 1630. 183 Letter to Felipe IV from the bishop of Cebu. Pedro de Arce; Manila, July 31, 1631. 188 Royal orders, 1632-33. Felipe IV; Madrid, January-March, 1632, and March, 1633. 192 Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; Manila, July 8, 1632. 197 Events in Filipinas, 1630-32. [Unsigned]; Manila, July 2, 1632. 229 Letter from the ecclesiastical cabildo to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcetas, and others; Manila, [undated, but 1632]. 245

Documents of 1633-1634

Papal bull concerning missions. Urban VIII; Maduti, June 28, 1633. 263 News from the Far East, 1632. Fray Juan Garcia, O.P.; Sevilla, 1633. 273 Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Cerezo de Salamanca; Manila, August 14, 1633. 279 Report of archbishop on the bakery of Manila. Hernando de Guerrero; Manila, August 3, 1634. 295 News from Felipinas, Japon, and other parts. [Unsigned]; Manila, August 20, 1634. 297 Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Cerezo de Salamanca; Manila, August 10, 1634. 301

Bibliographical Data. 339


Augustinian convent at Manila; photographic view from a plate in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. Frontispiece. Interior of Augustinian church, Manila; photographic view from plate in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. 61 Map of the island of Hermosa or Formosa, a portion of China, and of the island of Manila or Luzon; photographic facsimile of engraving in Boletin de la Sociedad Geografica de Madrid, for February, 1882 (Madrid, 1882), xii, no. 2; from copy in the Library of Congress. 151 View of volcano and town of Ternate (with inset showing fortress of Gamma-Lamma); photographic facsimile of engraving in Valentyn's Beschryving der Moluccos (contained in vol. i, Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien, Dordrecht and Amsterdam, 1724), first part, p. 4; from copy in library of Wisconsin State Historical Society. 281


More than half of this volume is occupied with the concluding installment of Juan de Medina's early Augustinian history. He recounts the leading events therein, from one provincialship to another, and furnishes biographical sketches of the more prominent members of the order: and he relates various important secular events, especially those bearing on the work of the missionaries. The most striking occurrences in this period (1602-30) are the coming to the islands of missionaries from the Recollect branch of Augustinians, the assassination of the provincial Sepulveda, the frequent attacks on the colony by the Dutch, and certain revolts among the natives. Miscellaneous documents, dated 1630-34, comprise the rest of the volume. Affairs in the islands are in fairly prosperous condition, in the main; the insurgent natives have been pacified, the religious orders are at peace, the Dutch have been quiet of late, and the Japanese trade shows some signs of revival. More missionaries are needed, as also more care in selecting them. The treasury is heavily indebted, and has not sufficient income; and trade restrictions and Portuguese competition have greatly injured the commerce of the islands. Of painful interest to the Philippines are the cruel persecutions that still rage in Japan.

Medina, continuing his history, recounts the choice of Lorenzo de Leon as provincial of the Augustinian order, and his subsequent deposition; but this is stated in brief and cautious terms. In 1602 Pedro de Arce (later bishop of Cebu) is elected to that high post; Medina extols the virtues and ability of this noted prelate, and relates many things to show these. He then proceeds to give another version of the difficulties connected with the second election of Lorenzo de Leon, one side of which was told in vol. xiii; Medina takes sides with that provincial, and regrets his deposition from office, but contents himself with a statement of the bare facts, and some general comments.

In 1606, missionaries of the discalced (or Recollect) Augustinians arrive in the Philippines. The missions established by them are enumerated, many being ceded to them by the regular Augustinians; their labors extend even to Cuyo and Calamianes, and eastern Mindanao, among the Moro peoples. Leon's unexpired term as provincial is most worthily filled by Pedro de Arce. In 1608 he is succeeded by Fray Pedro de Solier, a man of great ability and zeal, who conducts the affairs of the province well, and brings the religious therein under stricter discipline. Certain differences arise between the two Augustinian orders, and an inspection of their houses and affairs is ordered from Rome. For those in Filipinas is appointed (1609) Fray Diego de Guevara, who had been sent to Europe some years before as an envoy from the city of Manila and from his order there. He sets out for the Philippines with a large reenforcement of missionaries; but not all of these are permitted to embark at Acapulco. Medina gives brief sketches of the characters and lives of these men, and some account of Guevara's proceedings as visitor of the province. The provincial Solier is exonerated from blame, incurred through erroneous reports of his conduct, but is obliged to go to Spain to render an account of it; he does this so well that he is made bishop of Porto Rico. In 1611 Fray Miguel Garcia is elected provincial of Filipinas, and administers his office very acceptably. Another reenforcement of missionaries arrives in 1613; their outfit for the journey is so meager that they barely survive its hardships. By vote of the chapter of 1611, the interval between its meetings was extended to four years. Much discontent arises at this, and the act is revoked, the next chapter meeting in 1614. An attempt is made to reduce the number entitled to vote therein; this is done, although in the face of strong opposition. At the chapter of 1614, Fray Vicente de Sepulveda is made provincial; his severity of rule is onerous to his subordinates. The Dutch send a fleet to Arevalo; the Spanish commandant there takes to cowardly flight, as do all his forces, and the enemy burn the town. The missionaries seek refuge in other places; and their convents shelter and feed homeless refugees and hungry soldiers, to the extent of their resources. After the enemy's retreat, the fathers return to their missions, and encourage the Indians to resume their former homes and labors. Another attack by the Dutch, on Oton, is repulsed by the Spaniards, after a desperate resistance; and the latter build an excellent fort there, to defend themselves from such raids.

Fray Jeronimo de Salas is elected provincial in 1617, but dies within three weeks' time, and Sepulveda succeeds to his post. His rigorous rule arouses much resentment; and he obstinately refuses, even when advised and warned, to give up his office. Finally, in August of that same year, Sepulveda is murdered by three religious of his own order. One of these escapes from the islands; the other two are hanged. Another meeting of the chapter is held (October 31, 1617) and Fray Alonso Baraona is made provincial.

Archbishop Vazquez de Mercado dies, and is succeeded by the Augustinian Pedro de Arce. The Dutch make an attempt (1618) on Luzon, but are defeated by Ronquillo at Playa Honda. Juan de Silva's death is followed by the loss of the galleons that he had taken to Malaca. The Moro pirates of Mindanao ravage the islands; a Spanish fleet is sent against them, and destroys many of their craft. An Augustinian friar persuades the survivors to surrender; these are afterward enslaved. Medina gives some account of Baraona's management of affairs as provincial.

In the chapter of 1620 Juan Enriquez is elected provincial; he administers his office with discretion and faithfulness. Various events in his term are recorded by Medina. In that period the Recollect Augustinians establish themselves in Cebu and Mindanao. An insurrection arises in Bohol, originating among the native sorcerers or priests; the Jesuit missionaries there induce the Spanish authorities at Cebu to send troops against the rebels, who are subdued by the aid of the Holy Child in Cebu. Another rising in Leyte is also put down, and the islands are saved for Spain. A severe earthquake is felt in all the islands, and does much damage. The constant danger of attack by the Dutch greatly hinders the coming of missionaries to the islands. The hardships and dangers experienced by a band of these gospelers are depicted by our writer.

In 1623 Fray Alonso de Mentrida becomes provincial, attaining in that office great renown, and displaying much ability and zeal. Medina enumerates, here as elsewhere, the missionaries received by this province from Spain. The next election raises to this dignity Fray Hernando Becerra; but his health is very poor, and he dies soon after becoming provincial. His temporary successor, Mentrida, is opposed by many, and is finally obliged to resign, the intervention of Governor Nino de Tavora being required to settle the affair. The government of the order is now taken by Fray Francisco Bonifacio, "the most pacific creature that has been in Filipinas." Medina relates some of the hardships and dangers that the missionaries in that country must encounter; the hostilities between the Joloans and the Spaniards, under Tavora; and the burning of the Recollect convent at Cebu, soon followed by the like destruction of the Augustinian convent there. Medina goes to Manila, and obtains for his Cebu convent enough aid to rebuild its house and church, and supply all their necessary equipment, even better than before. He describes the expeditions to Formosa under Silva and Tavora, the latter (a futile attempt) being accompanied by an Augustinian religious; and the burning of the Parian. The Augustinian missions at Maluco and Cavite are abandoned.

In 1629 Fray Juan de Henao becomes provincial, at which time arise various controversies in the order. To settle one of these, an envoy is sent to Rome, Fray Pedro Garcia; but he dies before reaching Nueva Espana. The archbishop of Manila is carried away by a fever; Medina eulogizes his virtues and ability. He gives an account of the unsuccessful expedition against the Joloans, led by Olaso; it "returned to Manila the laughing-stock of all the islands." The burdens imposed on the Indians for its equipment have occasioned much distress and many deaths among them; and its failure causes those of Cagayan to talk of revolt. The year 1630 is unusually stormy, and all the ships on the Acapulco route suffer disasters and loss of life. Religious are unwilling to risk their lives in crossing the Pacific, and the missions in the islands suffer accordingly. A ship built at Cavite is so poorly constructed that it partially capsizes at the time of setting sail, by which great loss of property and life ensues. Medina is so fortunate as to escape to shore—one of many like deliverances, which he proceeds to recount, as also a miracle performed by the "Santo Nino" at Cebu.

The persecutions in Japan still continue, yet religious go thither in disguise, at the risk of death. An expedition is sent out from Manila to capture any Dutch vessels that may be encountered on the coasts of Siam and Camboja. Their destruction of a Japanese junk occasions various embassies between the Philippines and Japan—the last of these in 1631, desiring to resume trade between those countries. This and some other occurrences in that year seem to have been added later by Medina to his manuscript, which purports to have been written in 1630. In 1629 an expedition is fitted out by the religious orders to send missionaries to Japan, but it proves a failure. The canonization of Japanese martyrs is the occasion for magnificent spectacles in Manila—processions, dances, comedies, etc. Irritated by harsh treatment from an arrogant Spanish officer, the Indians of Caragan revolt, killing the Spaniards, among whom are several missionaries; but troops from Cebu are sent there, and quell the rising.

Resuming the miscellaneous documents of that period, letters are sent to Manila (December, 1630) by the king regarding various matters that have been referred to him. Felipe orders that certain offices shall be sold; that the natives must pay at least part of their tributes in kind; and that the salaries of the auditors be more promptly paid. Command is given that war-ships in the islands be no longer built so large as hitherto, as they are expensive, unwieldy, and in some circumstances useless. A letter to the auditors gives directions for the method of procedure in trying certain cases of appeal; and answers some questions which the auditors had asked. Bishop Arce, of Cebu, writes to the king (July 31, 1631). He congratulates Felipe on the birth of a son; comments on some royal decrees just received; recommends a person as schoolmaster in the Manila church; and advises the appointment of the royal fiscal as protector of the Sangleys.

Early in 1632 several royal orders are despatched to the colony. In a letter of January 27, the king writes to Tavora on several matters: the monopoly of the sale of playing-cards, the sale of offices, and the salary of the acting archbishop. A decree of March 25, addressed to the municipal authorities of Manila, warns them to enforce the royal decrees as to the proper consignment and registration of goods sent to Mexico; and another, issued on the following day, orders that secular priests from India be not allowed to go to the Philippines.

The usual report of Governor Tavora (July 8, 1632) is in three sections, the first devoted to general affairs of government. He complains that the remittances from Nueva Espana are painfully inadequate for the needs of the colony and its troops; and that he needs more soldiers than are sent to the islands. The royal visitor, Rojas, is doing very careful and thorough work in inspecting the administration of the colony, but is arrogating to himself too much authority in regard to the expenditure of public moneys; accordingly, Tavora appeals to the king against some of Rojas's decisions, and argues for allowing a reasonable amount of liberty in this matter to the governor and Audiencia. This is especially necessary because the colony has so many enemies that it must always be in a state of defense, and its people cannot wait to receive royal orders when an enemy is at their gates. A controversy between the royal and the municipal officials regarding their respective rights of precedence has been duly settled. The relations between Manila and Japan, lately strained by the capture of a Japanese junk by Spaniards, are now more friendly, and some trade between the two countries is being carried on. The Japanese have shipped a number of lepers who are Christians from that country to Manila; the Spaniards accept this charge, and make room for the lepers in the hospital for natives. The king is asked to aid in the expenses of their care. Tavora describes his relations with the peoples on the opposite mainland; makes recommendations regarding certain offices; explains the condition of the vessel which sank at Manila in the preceding year; and defends himself from accusations of illegal participation in the Mexican trade.

Another section treats of military affairs. Tavora (who writes but a fortnight before his death) thanks the king for preferment bestowed upon him, but fears that he will not live to enjoy it; and informs Felipe of the heavy losses that he has incurred in coming to Filipinas and acting as governor, asking that some arrangement may be made for the settlement of his more pressing debts. Trade with the Japanese is being resumed. The post of general of artillery is superfluous, and should be abolished. Affairs in Hermosa are prospering; the province of Cagayan is pacified, and severe punishment has been inflicted on the rebellious natives of Caraga. The relief expedition to Ternate has been successful, and the Dutch power seems to be waning in those seas. But the only effective check upon the Dutch enemy is found in the Spanish establishments in the Philippines and Moluccas, for which Tavora urges more systematic and reliable aid from the home government—not only for the sake of the Philippine colony, but even more for that of all India, which is in danger of ruin if the heretics be not held back. The governor has made a successful beginning of shipbuilding for the islands, in the country of Camboja. Certain disputed matters connected with the military service are referred to the king.

Some ecclesiastical affairs are also mentioned. The archbishop-elect has had some difficulties in securing possession of his see, and the Audiencia has decided against him. The religious orders refuse to obey the royal decree as to changes and appointments of missionaries. The see of Camarines has long been vacant; Tavora suggests that this diocese be abolished, annexing its territory to those of Cebu and Manila. The religious orders are in peaceable condition. More missionaries are needed in the islands but Tavora urges that more care be exercised in selecting them. He asserts that his solicitude in this respect has incurred the ill-will of the friars toward him.

The usual Jesuit chronicle is furnished for the years 1630-32. The writer notes the general peace enjoyed by the Philippine colony, who have not been molested of late by the Dutch; also the rebellion (now being quelled) of the Indians in Caraga. The Japanese offer to reopen trade with Manila; but this writer regards all their friendly proposals as a veil for intended treachery toward the Spaniards. The persecution of Christian teachers and converts in Japan is still furious; and this subject occupies most of the document, in a letter from a Jesuit in that country, Father Christoval Ferreira, to the Manila provincial. This relates the tortures inflicted on five priests and two women, but without avail, to induce them to give up the Christian faith; also the martyrdoms of many others. This account is of peculiar and pathetic interest because its writer, Ferreira, was the only one of the Jesuits arrested in Japan who became, under the strain of torture, an apostate; this occurred a year after he wrote the letter.

The ecclesiastical cabildo of Manila write to the king (1632), urging that royal aid be given to the cathedral, in consideration of its poverty and needs. They complain that the highest positions in the diocese are filled by friars, to the neglect and discouragement of the native-born seculars who are being educated in the two universities at Manila. The cathedral needs a permanent subsidy for its current provision of wine, etc., and a special grant to finish its sacristy. Its service is painfully inadequate; to save the expense of salaries for additional canons, the cabildo recommend that some of the missions and benefices now held by the religious orders be turned over to the cathedral. They recommend royal favor for certain priests in Manila, and especially praise the labors of the Augustinian order in the islands; more missionaries are needed there, especially for the Augustinian Recollects. The writers commend also certain military officials; but they denounce the treasury officials for having permitted contraband trade of enormous extent with Mexico. They remonstrate against the appointment of Fray Guerrero to the archbishopric; and highly commend the character, abilities, and work of the royal visitor Rojas.

A papal bull concerning missions is issued (June 28, 1633) by Urban VIII. After citing previous decrees of the Holy See respecting the despatch of missionaries to Japan and the Philippines, and their journeys between those countries, Urban grants permission to the heads of religious orders to send missionaries to the countries and islands of Eastern India by other routes than that of Portugal. He also warns the religious thus sent to observe uniformity of instructions to the newly-converted heathen, "especially in matters relating to morals," and "to restrict their teaching to general principles." They must base their instruction on the Roman Catechism and Bellarmino's "Christian Doctrine." They are empowered to administer the sacraments to the Christians in Japan; and are strictly forbidden to engage in any form of trade, directly or indirectly. The superiors of orders are directed to enforce the penalties herein imposed on religious who may violate this prohibition; and disputes arising between orders are to be settled by the bishops of the respective countries, who are also directed to enforce the observance of these decrees.

A Dominican at Manila, Juan Garcia, sends (1632) to Sevilla such news as he can gather soon after his arrival in the islands. In Japan, it is said, the emperor has imprisoned many Dutchmen; and, with the decline of their influence, he has become more lenient to the Christians, sending them into exile instead of putting them to death. But any friars or preachers captured there are horribly tortured. The Dominican mission to Camboja has been unsuccessful. Formosa is being conquered by soldiers, and Dominican friars are making some conversions there. Some of these preachers have gone to China, where the field is enormous, but full of promise.

Juan Cerezo de Salamanca, governor ad interim between Tavora and Corcuera, sends a report to the king (August 14, 1633). The first section relates to military affairs. The forts and troops in the islands are enumerated. It is somewhat doubtful whether the occupation of Formosa should be maintained. More care should be taken in sending reenforcements to Ternate, and Heredia should be superseded as governor. The galleys belonging to the government are useless, and Cerezo will dispense with all save that at Ternate. There is quarreling over the legal status of the army men in the courts, which should be defined.

Another section relates to general affairs of government. Cerezo again points out the importance of the trade with China and Japan. The relations of Manila, however, with Japan are no longer friendly—a condition of affairs for which the governor blames the "zeal without discretion" of certain religious who, disobeying the royal decrees, go to Japan as preachers. He asks the king to command the religious orders to send no more friars to that country. The trade with China is falling off, mainly because the Portuguese of Macao have absorbed much of it. Cerezo recommends that their trade with Manila be prohibited. He comments on the scantiness of the male population; commends the administration of Rojas, the royal inspector; and makes some minor recommendations to the king.

In regard to the public revenues, Cerezo states that the treasury is burdened with debts; the shipyards are bare of supplies; and the contraband trade with Mexico has attained large proportions. To check this latter evil, the governor recommends that all money sent to Manila be openly registered at Acapulco, imposing on it a duty of five per cent; and a different system of inspecting the Philippine cargoes there be adopted.

In compliance with royal command, the archbishop of Manila reports (August 3, 1634) on the public bakery at Manila. He finds it well built and managed, and recommends that all ovens in the city should be merged in this bakery.

A Jesuit letter from Manila (August 20, 1634) gives interesting news from Japan. The persecution there is still very cruel, and many missionaries have been arrested lately; but the emperor is becoming for the time more lenient, through the influence of certain omens and of his cure from an illness through the prayers of the captive missionaries. The writer hopes, therefore, that Iyemidzu "may be the Constantine of the church" in Japan.

The annual report of Governor Cerezo for 1634 begins with affairs of the revenue. The treasury officials refuse to obey the orders left for them by Rojas; the governor therefore arrests them, which soon brings them to terms. Nevertheless, he excuses their disobedience to some extent, on account of the rigorous and difficult nature of Rojas's orders; he instances some of these which embarrass both himself and the royal officials. The king has ordered an additional duty to be levied on goods exported to Nueva Espana; the citizens object to paying this, and finally the matter is temporarily settled by a council of the authorities, both civil and religious, until the home government can take action. The governor reports that the royal visitor Rojas did not really accomplish much for the treasury; but exaggerated his own services. He also reminds the king of his former suggestion for checking the illegal despatch of money to Filipinas.

As for affairs of government, there is the usual conflict between the Audiencia and the governor, which hinders the latter in the discharge of his duties. They interfere with his authority, try to secure the trial of the Chinese lawsuits, acquit delinquents, and meddle in municipal affairs; and he intimates his desire that they be despatched to other branches of his Majesty's service. Cerezo asks for enlightenment in several difficult matters connected with the respective jurisdictions of himself and the Audiencia. This year the Portuguese of Macao have failed to trade at Manila, and the Chinese, although they have brought considerable merchandise, furnish but little cloth. The expedition sent to Formosa is badly treated by the Portuguese at Macao, of which Cerezo complains to the king. He describes the island of Formosa, the Spanish settlement there, the nature of the people, and the reasons why a Spanish post was established there; he regards this enterprise as useless and undesirable, and states that the soldiers in that island are needed at Manila. The persecution of Christians in Japan still continues; Cerezo doubts the supposed improvement in the shogun's attitude toward them, and recommends that no more religious be allowed to go to that country. He describes his method of procedure toward the Chinese, both resident and non-resident; he endeavors to treat them with justice and kindness, and recommends a suitable person for the post of their protector. Liberal aid has been sent to the islands this year from Mexico.

In military affairs, Cerezo recommends the abandonment of Formosa and other unnecessary forts, and the concentration of the Spanish forces at Manila. The fort there is in fair state of defense, but the wall of the city is in ruinous condition, and the governor is having it repaired and strengthened. He recommends that some galleys be maintained at Oton or Cebu, to keep the Moro pirates in awe: and that a new commandant be sent to Ternate in place of Heredia, who has shown himself unfitted to hold that office. A mutiny has occurred there, which he has cruelly punished; and he is blamed for an insurrection in Tidore which has replaced its king with another who is friendly to the Dutch. The port of Cavite must be well maintained and provided with supplies. No ships from India have arrived, probably because the Strait of Malacca and the neighboring waters have been infested by the Dutch.

Little is said about ecclesiastical affairs. "The orders are conducting themselves in an exemplary manner, except that they often usurp the royal jurisdiction, under pretext of defending the natives, and take away the authority from the alcaldes-mayor." The acting archbishop is commended, and recent appointments are mentioned.

The Editors

March, 1905.



By Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A., Manila, 1893 [but written in 1630].

Source: Translated from a copy of the above work, in the possession of the Editors.

Translation: This document is translated (and in part synopsized) by James A. Robertson.


By Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A.



Of the first election of our father Fray Lorenzo de Leon

With the fourth of May, 1596, all the capitular religious of this province of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus of Filipinas assembled, and without much debate cast their votes for father Fray Lorenzo de Leon, [1] a native of the city of Granada, and son of the house at Mejico, whose learning, ability to preach, and other good qualities made him very well known, and caused him to be elected without opposition. Accordingly he won the contest as provincial, to the general liking of all the religious of the province, both those voting and those who had no vote. All were assured that he would govern rightly because of his prudence, and beyond doubt his government was all that. The province during his term had the honor and repute that was proper. Since his method of procedure was alike for all the religious, it was necessary in the following chapter to retire the provincial to his devotion; and one may infer that in that it acted more for the common welfare than its own.

Thereupon, the voting religious being assembled, cast their votes, without any opposition, for Fray Juan de Montesdoza, [2] son of the house at Mejico, a native of the city of Utrera, near Sevilla in Andalucia. He was a most excellent provincial, for one always recognized in him a remarkable integrity of morals, and he was much given to prayer and divine worship. He endeavored as earnestly as possible to give his whole being to the order, and not to be found lacking in his ministry. He visited his entire province whenever possible; and that which has always been most annoying to the provincials in respect to its visitation—namely, the province of Bisayas—was not troublesome to him, for he visited it. He did not hesitate at the suffering or the dangers of navigation, which at times is wont to be especially perilous, because of the many storms that generally invade the islands, and the not few enemies. He was considered lost, for he was not heard of for more than four months; for they wrote from the Bisayas that he had already embarked for Manila, and he had not arrived. Finally, the Lord was pleased to bring him to our doors when he was least expected. God is a Father of pity, and attends to His children (and more to His servants) when they find themselves most in need of Him. He was received in the convent of Manila by many people, for all revered him as a servant of God, loved him as a father, and respected him as a true prelate.

On the twenty-second of April, 1602, the chapter was convened in the house at Manila. Father Fray Pedro Arce, who is now bishop of the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and who has twice governed the archbishopric of Manila, was elected in it. Father Fray Mateo de Mendoza presided at that election, while father Fray Juan de Montesdoza was the absolute provincial, as we call it, or the freed one, since now he is no longer provincial. The first definitor was Fray Agustin de Tapia, the second, Fray Bernabe de Villalobos, the third, Fray Diego de Zerrabe, and the fourth, Fray Diego de Salcedo. As visitors were elected Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya and Fray Francisco Serrano. [3] All, having assembled, as our rules ordered, enacted very wholesome regulations, and provided for the province with those mandates, which were seen to be more necessary at that time, in order to check thereby the boldness of certain men, who were giving room for the decay of the province, which in nothing loses more than by permitting it to relax in its rigor. For even there it is said that the bow must sometimes loose the string which holds it bent, in order to give it rest and so that it may not break. I grieve over this, that it is said in the order, so that at times some reasonable recreation may be allowed; but in that which touches the essential aspects of it, it does not seem right that it be lost, for never have I seen that what is once lost in point of religion is regained. It appeared, therefore, easier to our father St. Ignatius to found a new order than to reform an old one, where its members were already used to such and such a manner of life. It is a hard thing, when established, to reduce them to a greater degree of virtue. And since those men must remain in the same order, it is always an impossible thing to reduce them to that which they have never observed....

Father Fray Pedro de Arce, who was chosen at this elevation, was such a person that, were I to praise him, I think, that my tongue would do him an injury, for another pen and another language must tell his virtues. He came to this province as a lay brother. He was ordained here and completed his studies, and always gave signs of what he was to become; for his modesty, his charity, his devotion, even while a brother, appeared so conspicuous, and were increasing in such a manner, that not only were the islands full of his good name and great virtues, but they even came to the ears of Felipe III, who presented him for the bishopric of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus. While in this country, the decree of the year 1610 was sent him, which caused the holy man considerable vexation, so that he did not know what to do; for it seemed a grievous thing for him to abandon the quietness of his cell, and to exchange it for the majesty of a bishop, to which he was not inclined. Accordingly, he resigned the bishopric into the hands of the father master Fray Pedro Solier, [4] who was provincial at that time. The latter considered that if he [i.e., Fray Pedro] were to accept it honor would come to the order, advantage to the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and service to his Majesty, the king our sovereign, who having heard of the holiness of the person in question, was considering himself as very well served in that the father should accept it. Consequently, when he returned to the holy superior—whom he supplicated on his knees, with the decree in his hand, to allow him not to accept it—the provincial ordered Fray Pedro, by his obedience, to comply with his Majesty's commands, and to render him thanks for it, and that he would do the same for what pertained to the order; thereupon the former accepted, and gave up his cell, in which there was nothing of importance. Although he was prior, and exercised the highest duties of the province, he was ever the keenest advocate of poverty, and so great a giver of alms that even now, although a bishop, he must be restrained; for he gives everything away, and he has no greater happiness than when some needy person begs from him and enters his gates.

What then would this holy provincial do? One sees with how much care he would watch over his flock, striving to maintain them without quarreling, and observing in everything the entirety of the rules. With the obstinate, he was rigid and severe; with the humble, most humble; with the afflicted, he held himself as a pious father who desires their good, and consoled them. As far as was possible, he followed the advice of Fray Pedro de Agurto, his successor in the bishopric, as he was so holy and learned a man. For since the affairs of the province had somewhat declined, and in visiting he found some religious who were prohibited by the rules—and, in fact, trying to remove them—the holy prelate counseled him that such religious were men of weight, and that he should receive their renunciations secretly; and that when the intermediate chapter should be assembled, then he should show them and provide those convents. Thereby would he be fulfilling his obligation, and would also be considering the honor of those religious, who if they were removed before, would be injured, as it would be understood that it had been because of their demerits; but it was a customary thing to do that in chapter, for it was apparent to all that religious were changed at that time. He did this as the bishop had counseled him, and thus the matter was remedied as far as possible without any scandal.

He visited the entire province, and went to that of the Pintados—which was his own, where he was reared, and where he had been prior of Panay, Octong, and Santisimo Nombre de Jesus. While he was making the visitation there, it happened that news was brought that the inhabitants of Mindanao were coming with a large fleet to destroy the islands. This tidings was certain; and another fleet was prepared with all possible despatch in Sugbu, in order that the Spaniards might defend themselves, and if possible, drive the enemy from the islands. Although diligent efforts were made in this, when our fleet set sail already had the enemy rounded the island of Panay. Our fleet, which consisted of seven caracoas and four or five barangays, followed the enemy. They reached the islets of Asur, where they heard that the enemy had passed there, with the intention of burning the city of Arevalo and the village of Octong, with all their provisions. The captain and commander of our fleet was Captain Salgado, then alcalde-mayor of Sugbu. The two fleets met near Pan de Azucar [i.e., "Sugar Loaf"]. The Spaniards were very resolute. The enemy formed themselves in a crescent with sixty caracoas. So senseless were they that they untied their captives, threw them overboard, and came to attack our boats. I know not the captain's design or purpose, that made him dally with the enemy, so that the latter were shouting out spiritedly and imagining that they were feared. The father provincial and his companion, Fray Hernando Guerrero, [5] talked encouragingly to the petty leaders, and encouraged and even shamed them so much that, already late, they gave the signal to attack. Thereupon, the enemy sought shelter, and after steering their caracoas to where they thought that they had more safety, they divided. The captain did not pursue them nor do more than to go to Arevalo. On that account he lost a good opportunity and much credit. He should have continued to pursue them; for, when night fell, the caracoas of the frightened enemy remained along those coasts. The commander could easily have overhauled them with our caracoas, and could have given the enemy a blow that would have done much to finish them; but he failed to do so. The efforts that he finally put forth, and the attack, are owing to the resolution and bravery of our father Fray Pedro de Arce, in which one may consider his desire for the common good. For, although he might have sent other religious, he went in person, and put no value on his own life. [6] He returned to Manila, where he finished his term, creating the desire in the fathers to see him provincial forever.

In the chapter that elected our father Montesdoza, procurators were sent to Espana and to the Roman court. The papers and title of definitor of the chapter were given to our father Fray Lorenzo de Leon, who has just finished his provincialate. He embarked at the port of Cavite, made the trip to Nueva Espana safely, and likewise to the court of King Felipe III, of blessed memory. He did not go to Roma, but sent his papers from Espana. He was very well received at court, for the papers that he carried from the islands were excellent, and in his person he merited everything. They were very desirous to appoint him archbishop of Manila, and it is even said that they begged him to accept rewards, and congratulated him. But that shadow was dissipated instantly, as there was not wanting an evil-minded person to spoil it all by a malicious tale. For father Fray Lorenzo de Leon had ever the name of a most devout religious; and as such the province of Filipinas, which at that time was most noted for its religious devotion, elected him as its superior and provincial. But who can free himself from an evil tongue, and an ill will? For the loyal man lives no longer than the traitor desires. His hopes were frustrated, a matter that troubled him little, as he was a humble religious. He undertook to return [to Filipinas], and our king gave him commission to bring over a ship-load of religious. He received letters as vicar-general of the islands from Roma, so that he might always preside at the chapters held there. He had letters as master, and his academic degree; and brought a dispensation from our most reverend [general], so that, if elected as provincial the second time, he might serve; for the rules prohibit him who presides from becoming provincial. He reached Mejico, although without that so notable ship-load, which he failed to bring, because of various casualties; with him came, however, one who was sufficient to render that vessel glorious, and even the entire province. This was the holy martyr, Fray Hernando de San Jose. [7] Together with him came father Fray Hernando de Morales, father Fray Felipe Gallada, father Fray Pedro del Castillo, father Fray Martin de San Nicolas, [8] all from Mejico, and brother Fray Andres Garcia. The heads of the Inquisition in Mejico appointed him [i.e., Lorenzo de Leon] commissary for the islands. With these honorable titles and honors he came to Manila, one year before the chapter was held. He gladdened by his coming all the sons [of the order], and all the others, for the order knows no distinction, but embraces us all with the same love and charity. His prudence, his good government, and his great devotion were remembered; and since he bore letters ordering him to be obeyed as vicar-general, therefore the number of prelates was increased. Thus presiding in the following chapter, in 1605, he received votes as provincial, in rivalry with father Fray Esteban Carrillo [9]—one of the most eloquent preachers in the islands; and the best loved by all, both great and small, who has ever been known. Finally the astuteness, or rather, the diligence of certain ones prevailed, and father Fray Lorenzo de Leon became provincial pro secunda vice [i.e., "for the second time"].


Of the second election as provincial of master Father Lorenzo de Leon

With the advent, then, of the year 1605, in the latter days of April, our fathers assembled in the islands, as is the custom. On the Friday before the third Sunday after Easter, our father Fray Lorenzo de Leon went to take over the presidency by virtue of his letters-patent, and they were found to be such as were required. In consequence, he was received as president of that chapter, over which he presided, not only as president, but as vicar-general. The election resulted in [the choice of] his person, as above stated. In it, the first definitor was father Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya; the second, father Fray Esteban Carrillo; the third, father Fray Pedro de Aguirre; and the fourth, father Fray Roque de Barrionuevo. Father Fray Miguel de Sigueenza had the vote for president in this definitorio, and as visitors were elected father Fray Mateo de Peralta [10] and father Fray Francisco Serrano. All assembled, they ordained and enacted the acts that they judged advisable in accordance with that time. All those acts show the sincerity of those who enacted them, and they provided not only for the welfare of the order, but for that of the native fathers under our charge; for surely, under our shadow they increase and are sheltered. And if religious were lacking, what would become of them? Beyond doubt they would be like the wretched boat exposed to the fury of the winds, which has no greater security upon the waters than where the winds choose to carry it. For this one orders them, that one petitions them, and another one seizes and knocks them about; but with the protection of the religious they are free from all these annoyances. Very conformably with this, religious were established in the missions in order to teach them and often to protect them.

Our father provincial entered upon the exercise of his office with the same wisdom and prudence as in his first term, attending to it with all his might. However, his second term was not apparently so successful as the first—caused perhaps by various casualties, which have no place here, and do not affect the matter at all. In short, the affair was running badly and the body of the province was becoming laden with humors. I well believe that our father knew it all, and that he could have been less rigid, and that without dividing the forces that were forming. He thought that they were religious, and he the superior; and that all dissent, however violent, would be only murmur—just like certain huge clouds that predict great storms, but finally and at the end, the entire storm is expended in clouds of dust, thunders, and lightnings, so that that storm ends with only noise. But such did not happen here, but the matter went farther; and the father definitors, within one and one-half years, after meeting, deposed our father Fray Lorenzo de Leon. They sent him to Espana; but he remained in the province of Mejico, without wishing more than to serve our Lord, and ended his days there, as one may understand of so renowned a religious, leaving his cause in the hands of God. I leave it likewise; for, if we glance at the definitorio which assembled there, there is no doubt that it was one of the most sober-minded councils ever assembled in the province. And even were there none other in it than our father Fray Pedro de Arce, who presided in it, he was sufficient to ensure that; but it was much more creditable, for the others were very erudite. Father Fray Juan Bautista de Montoya was the most notable man in laws and moral causes that has been in the islands, and was no less a very great theologue. Father Fray Esteban Carrillo, as we have said already, was a great orator, and the other fathers were very learned. On the part of our father provincial, it was known that he was very devout, very punctual in attending to his obligations and that his first term was considered as most successful. Hence, without taking from anyone what belongs to him, we leave this matter with God, who has already judged it, and He has been pleased to take all those concerned in it. Bishop Fray Pedro de Agurto was at his bishopric in Sugbu at this time. He was desirous of remedying what was already becoming established, and even left his city for that purpose. But when he reached Manila, he found that there was no remedy. He sorrowed greatly over this blow at the order, for, as the true religious that he was, he felt, as keenly as death, whatever misfortune came upon the order. In the world this proceeding was discussed with the charity that is exercised in other things; but, when everything was over, it was also erased from memory—and more, as the government of our father Fray Pedro de Arce followed immediately, who exercised the office of rector-provincial for that one and one-half years, and his fame and well-known virtue filled everything with fragrance and good-will.

[The order of discalced Augustinians in Spain petition for leave to go to the islands in 1605. The petition granted, a number of them set out; and, after waiting at Sevilla for some time for vessels, reach Mexico, where they are entreated to found a convent. Refusing this request, however, they continue on their journey, reaching the Philippines, in 1606, under the leadership of Juan de San Jeronimo. "They were given a house outside the city in a garden [11] that had belonged to Don Pedro de Acuna, who governed these islands.... But those who treated the said fathers most generously were Ours, for we gave them our best and brightest jewel, namely, San Nicolas, allowing them to found their convent in his name. This meant wholly to enrich them and to leave us poor." Further, a layman named Don Bernardino, captain and castellan of the port of Manila, builds a convent for the new order "sufficient for forty religious." At death he and his wife also leave money to continue the work, and the new order begins to multiply.]

Since then those fathers have continued to establish convents here. For as they were the last, and the islands are in the conditions under which Miguel Lopez de Legazpi left them, there was not before any place where they could settle. However, outside Manila, they possess a small house called Sampaloc, because it has many tamarind trees. There they minister to a few Tagals, and one religious lives there generally. [12] It has a stone church and house. They have a garden with a stone house and its chapel (where one religious lives), near the walls of Manila, in the suburbs. Opposite the island of Mariveles, in the same district of Manila, they have a Tagal mission. It is but small, and, with its visitas, does not amount to four hundred Indians. But farther along the coast, they have two Zambal missions of settled Indians, which are situated nearer here than Ilocos. One is called Masinloc and the other Bolinao. [13] Each one must have more than five hundred Indians. They have also extended from here to other islands. They must have three convents in the islands of Cuyo and Calamianes, more than sixty leguas from Manila. Those islands are full of people, so that, if they would come down from the mountains, many missions might be established; for in that region the islands are innumerable. There is the large island of Paragua, and thence succeed islands and islets even to Burney, the largest island known in all this archipelago. But there is little hope of entering it, for the king and all the coast Indians are Mahometans. But those living in the upland and mountains are even pagans. By the above, the ease with which this damnable poison has extended will be apparent. Had God's mercy been retarded a trifle longer in hastening the steps of the Spaniards, the latter would have found no place to settle; for as I have remarked, long experience shows that the Mahometan will not receive the Christian law which is so contrary to his hellish customs. The religious suffered many things in those islands as they were exposed to a thousand temporal dangers, and to enemies, with whom the whole region swarms. Those missions had seculars; and although they did their best, yet at present that region has another luster, for it appears that the religious, being more in number, are more suitable for this work.

Bishop Don Fray Pedro de Arce gave the fathers another mission in the island of Negros, opposite the island of Panay. I think it their best mission, as it is located nearer us. It has two religious, who do very good work. The bishop gave them also many missions in Caraga, where they will be able to spread. Later, we shall conclude this subject with what the fathers have built in Cavite, the port of Manila, in honor of San Nicolas—namely, a house and church, which is the best there.

[About the time that the Recollects sail Father Master Solier is preparing also to go to the Philippines. He has been given "equal power with him whom the province sent as procurator, in case of the latter's death." The procurator dies at sea, whereupon Father Solier assumes his office. He sails with twenty-six Augustinian religious, eight of whom remain in New Spain—where they suffer many things, for the government of affairs there falls into the hands of the creole fathers.]

Those who remained were well received in Filipinas, where they were desired. They were distributed among the convents, as seemed best to our father Fray Lorenzo de Leon. But as soon as this contingent arrived, the discussions that had been aroused increased; so that, as we have seen, the intermediary chapter deprived him [of his office] as above stated.


Of the election of our father Fray Pedro de Solier

Our father Fray Pedro de Arce, acting with that uprightness that always characterized him, for the period that remained to govern, assembled his chapter, in pursuance of the orders of our rules, namely, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of April, 1608. In this chapter, there did not fail to be its little animosities, occasioned, in my opinion, by the fact that the province found itself so far out of swaddling-clothes, that it had enough people and workers to give and to found another province. For, as we have seen, men of grand abilities had gone from Espana and from Nueva Espana, while habits had been given to many good men in Manila. Consequently, there were many men on whom to set the eyes. Father Fray Esteban Carrillo was a man of the talents which we have already mentioned, and received votes. The father president also received them, and so grand a man was he, and so admired, that opinions were not lacking that he might become provincial. But the father Master Solier, although he was youngest of all in years, was apparently well liked for his character, and his labors in navigations, and the service which he had rendered to this province in bringing it so glorious men. Finally, God was pleased that he should win in the contest, and become provincial. The father president had to confirm this action, giving him a dispensation for the years that he lacked. Then, proceeding to the other elections, the following definitors were elected: first, Fray Francisco Serrano; second, Fray Pedro de Salcedo; third, Fray Jeronimo de Salas; and fourth, Fray Hernando de Trujillo. [14] The visitors who were elected were father Fray Juan de Villalobos and father Fray Miguel Garcia. In council with the president, provincial-elect, and the rector provincial, they arranged [the affairs of] the province, both in order to provide the convents with heads, and to-adjust other things pertaining to the spiritual welfare. And in fact, considering the enactments of other chapters, it seems that they attained so much excellence in this chapter, that if it did not surpass them, at least it shone out strongly—especially a letter which our father Master Solier sent to the provinces, so learned, spiritual, and so suitable to the times that it could not be more so. Its warnings were so necessary, not only for that time, but for any most important thing. I cannot excuse myself from writing here the chief thing, so that one may see the desires for the increase of their order, and the love with which they discussed matters touching the natives, which shone forth in those fathers. In the time of our father Solier, the province had a very good reputation, for it made itself feared and respected. Consequently, there was no difficulty in receiving his mandates and enforcing them, so that the province was greatly reformed. The great devotion of our father Fray Miguel Garcia, who was then chosen as prior of the convent of Manila, aided him. He was later provincial, and after that he went to Espana, where his Majesty presented him as bishop of Cagayan. He returned to these islands with a fine company [of religious], and in the islands was appointed archbishop of Manila....

Thus, then, as I have said, the convent of Manila did not differ at all in divine worship from the most devout house in Espana; for the exercise in the choir was continuous, both day and night, and there was no cessation, unless necessity demanded it, when some of it could be dispensed with; for so did our rules decree for that. The infirmary was so full of all comforts, and so well cared for, that truly there was nothing lacking of anything which the sick asked, or that the physician demanded. I being attacked by a sudden illness when I arrived at these islands, because of the change in climate, so great was the attention with which I was cared for that it could not have been more in the house of my parents, although they were very wealthy. Consequently, I became better very soon, and was well enough to go to the province of Bisayas; and, although I was unworthy, it must have been the will of the Lord that I should come. The fathers made strenuous efforts to have me remain there, and even our father prior himself, Fray Miguel Garcia, would have liked me to remain as master of novitiates. That which grieves me is that I have served the Lord so very little, although I have been offered enough opportunities in which to serve Him.

Two years after the provincialate of our father Solier began, a visitor-general arrived, to visit this province in behalf of his Holiness and our most reverend father-general, and to reform it. For that purpose he was given permission to bring twenty-four religious. He who came as visitor was father Master Fray Diego de Guevara, who died afterward as bishop of Camarines. He was most religious, and devout beyond belief. While living in the convent at Madrid, he was there an example and model to all those excellent men who are never lacking in the convents of the capital; and, as that place is the non plus ultra of the world, one would think that all were keeping the best men for that place.

[A professed religious of Salamanca, Guevara, after his arrival at Manila, serves in several capacities—as reader in the Manila convent, prior of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and prior of Manila. He lives an austere life. While prior of Manila occurs "the rising of the Sangleys, which was ended with so great glory to the Spanish nation. For the Spaniards were so few, while the Chinese were so many that those who assert the smallest number say that they exceeded four thousand. Finally they were killed and destroyed throughout those districts, and their possessions and houses were ruined and burned, a thing regarded as marvelous. For they might have killed the Spaniards with great ease, as the latter were quite unprepared, not expecting any such thing. The city desired to advise his Majesty of the fortunate outcome of the matter; and that in regard to those who have entered Manila through the gates, it has always been extremely fortunate, and has always triumphed over its enemies, but never been conquered. Our father Fray Diego Guevara was chosen, and he accepted very willingly what the city requested, in all having the approbation of our father provincial. It was learned that a galleon was to be despatched from Malaca to India, while it was not the season here for despatches. He took as companion a choir-brother named Fray Diego de Urive, [15] a native of the town of Consuegra in Mancha." Arrived at Malaca, they find the galleon gone. They go to Goa, thence to Ormuz, and accomplish the journey to Rome overland. "Clemente VIII rejoiced greatly at receiving him, and much more at the good news from the islands of the West." The general of the order gives Guevara a warm reception, and allows him to depart for Spain. "At that time some differences arose between Ours and the Recollect fathers of our order, who were now commencing to settle. Thereupon an ordinance from Roma ordered an inspection. On petition of the royal Council, the visitation was entrusted to father Fray Martin de Perea, an illustrious member of the province of Castilla, who had been assistant of Espana. Our father Fray Diego de Guevara was chosen as his associate. The father-visitor entrusted to him, because he himself was busy, the visitation of several convents of the discalced fathers, in which he acquitted himself with great discretion. While engaged in the said occupation, Filipinas affairs must have made some stir—and so great, that news thereof came to the royal Council of the Indias. I think that the great devotion of the fathers then in chief authority, did not appear so well to those to whom time had given more license than was fitting. Therefore they wrote imputing to their prelates what it was very fitting should be punished." The president of the Council, Count de Lemos, after consultation with Father Juan de Castro, of the Augustinian order, secures the necessary papers from Rome and sends Father Guevara to the Philippines with authority to make a general inspection of the order. He sails from Sanlucar, June 22, 1609, taking with him a company of religious, among them Medina. The voyage to New Spain is made without incident.]


Continuation of the preceding chapter

[The missionaries are well received by their brethren in Mexico. But they despair of getting vessels for the islands, "for already they were long overdue"—that is, the vessels from the Philippines, which are to return thither again. However, within a short time the "San Andres," bearing two Augustinians, Fathers Carrillo and Plaza, arrives in port. They bring a tale of storms and almost shipwrecks. "The almiranta suffered eleven hurricanes, and all had already lost hope of life. The vessel miraculously made the voyage through the courage of the pilot Toral, and that of father Fray Esteban Carrillo—who, lashed to the mizzen-mast, with a crucifix in his hands, consoled the crew, and animated and encouraged them. He always shared his food with the sick." Of the other two vessels of the fleet, the flagship runs aground in Japan, but the crew are saved. "It was one of the greatest losses sustained by these islands. Don Rodrigo de Vivero was returning in the vessel. He had governed the islands for one year, in behalf of his uncle Don Luis de Velasco. The latter sent him for that purpose until the governor should be nominated in Espana." The vessel "Santa Ana" is repaired and makes the voyage the succeeding year. "The arrival of the almiranta gave great comfort to Nueva Espana; for, as these vessels are of great profit, their loss is felt more than that of those coming from Espana. All together the latter do not in any way compete with those coming from Filipinas." The almiranta and another vessel, the "San Francisco" of Peru, return that year to the islands. The viceroy refuses to allow all the religious who have come for that purpose to embark. The following religious embark in the "San Francisco."]

1. Father Master Fray Diego de Guevara, visitor-general.

2. Fray Diego de Uribe, his associate, who afterward studied and preached in the Ilocan language. He died as prior of one of the Ilocan convents.

3. Fray Agustin de los Rios, native of Extremadura, a zealous servant of God and an eloquent preacher. He returned to Nueva Espana, in search of health, and afterward lived for some years there without it, in the hope of returning; but he died in that country, from epilepsy. But it is always thought that he, who was so spiritual, must have died to enjoy God.

4. Father Fray Hernando Becerra, one of the most learned and substantial men who have gone to the islands. In but little time he had filled all the principal offices of the order, such as reader of theology, chief preacher at Manila, associate of the provincial and of the visitor-general, prior of many convents, visitor, definitor, provincial with visitor (which he had been before), and prior of Manila. But he exercised the office of provincial scarcely two months. He was very judicious, and therefore acquired the above offices. God took him to Himself; for he left all envious of his death.

5. Fray Pedro de Herrera, of excellent mind. Although he could have been great if he had wished, like his pupil, our Father Becerra (both of them from Valladolid), yet all do not have equal fortune. This father was unfortunate. Our father general, before whom he presented himself, deprived him of his habit, but after seeing that he did so unjustly, returned it to him; but Father Herrera was much broken because of so many troubles. He was the best Tagal linguist known.

6. Fray Andres de Ocampo, of Cordoba, an excellent religious. He ministered in the Pampanga speech, and enjoyed good priorates. He died while returning to Espana.

7. Fray Silvestre de Torres, of the same company, came the next year. He was a native of Granada. He went to Japon and learned from the sanctity of the holy martyr Fray Hernando de San Jose. Later, when the religious were expelled from Japon, he came to Manila. He was chief preacher of Sugbu, and later of Manila; and had a mission among the Tagals. He died by falling from a window. And since the Lord took him in such fashion, from his piety one will understand that that was the most appropriate hour for his salvation, as he had labored so assiduously.

8. Fray Andres Jimenez, of Murcia. He came the same year as the above. He returned to Nueva Espana, but, not finding any refuge there, he came back to the shelter of Filipinas—where, partly in the province of Ilocos, and partly in that of Pampanga, he has done his utmost, according to the talent that God gave him.

9. Father Fray Juan Boan came four years ago. He has been very fortunate; for one would believe that they went to meet him with honorable duties, in which he has ever carried himself to the honor of the habit and the esteem of the natives, who have always loved him. He has made material advances for the province, acting with great mildness, and it is hoped that he will continue to do so more and more.

10. Father Fray Pedro de la Pena, a native of Burgos, and an excellent religious. He read theology in Manila, with great credit. He held excellent priorates in Pampanga, and before these held some in Ilocos, where he was vicar-general. He was elected definitor of Roma and procurator of the province at the Spanish court. He died at sea in 1631.

11. Fray Pedro de Zuniga, one of those whom we can honor most, since he obtained glorious martyrdom in Japon. I refer to his life.

12. Fray Juan de Medina, of Sevilla, missionary to the Bisayans. This is he who writes this history. I confess that the province has honored me beyond my deserts with offices and honors.

13. Fray Jose de Vides, a creole of Nueva Espana. Unfortunately he was deprived of the habit with father Fray Pedro de Herrera. He went to Roma by way of India, and it is not known where he stopped.

14. Fray Pedro de Mendoza, of Mechoacan, missionary to the Ilocos. He always refused a priorate (although he could have obtained many, had he wished), and also the office of provincial. But he is humility itself, and I think that he will give us an opportunity.

15. Father Fray Juan de Sahagun, of Salamanca. He has held priorates, and has lived up to the measure of his strength.

16. Fray Francisco Figueroa, of Cordoba, a Pampanga missionary. He has carried himself well, and is esteemed and loved by all.

17. Father Fray Juan Ruiz, Bisayan missionary in the Bisayas for several years; and then our God took him to Himself.

18. This was father Fray Juan de Ocadiz, who was hanged for the murder of our father Fray Vicente. It would appear that that murder was needful to him for his salvation, for his penance during the entire time of his imprisonment was incredible. And his preparation for death was remarkable. It has been the Lord's will to have given him His glory, since, to pardon one, He wishes repentance alone. Si autem impius egeret paenitentiam ab omnibus peccatis suis, quae operatus est ... omnium iniquitatum ejus, quae operatus est, non recordabor. [16]

When the violent murder of the provincial was divulged, an auditor went to [the fathers of] St. Augustine, by order of the royal Audiencia, to inquire into it. All the religious were assembled, and when all were in the hall of his Paternity, the auditor ordered all of them to kiss the hand of the dead provincial. On kissing it, father Fray Juan de Ocadiz began to tremble, etc., and confessed his guilt.

19. This was brother Fray Juan Bautista, a native of Genova, but a devoted servant of God, as he has proved in the time while he has lived in the Filipinas Islands, in the confidential offices that the order has entrusted to him. [17]

Our father visitor-general, seeing that many religious were necessary, and that very few were going to Manila, resolved to bestow some habits in the port of Acapulco. It served no other purpose than to bring to the table those who had to leave it next day, and to give a better passage to those who would have come exposed to the wretched lot endured by the soldiers; and, when they wish to give habits, there is no lack [of men] here in Manila. Therefore, scarcely were they come to Manila when they left. That year the first archbishop who has belonged to the islands sailed, namely, Don Pedro Vazquez de Mercado, a secular. He had been bishop in Nueva Espana, and, although any office there is better, accepted this office, as he had been reared in Filipinas (where he had enjoyed prebends and health), and because his Majesty ordered it.

No other order came then. The voyage was fortunate, for, without furling our sails, day or night, we reached Manila, June 6, 1610; and no voyage like ours has been made here since, as we sailed on March 25. Both vessels were very swift, the winds strong, and the rain-showers must have been a help.

We were welcomed cordially in Manila, as they were not expecting a company, for the procurator sent by the province—namely, the father reader Fray Juan de Pineda [18]—was detained in Nueva Espana. When we arrived, already the favor bestowed upon the province by his Majesty (in a time when, as ran the news, little was expected) was already being extended; for the news that circulated through the court was not very reliable. But his Majesty, better informed, attended to everything as a pious king. He sent religious to the province, and gave the bishopric to Don Fray Pedro de Arce, as above stated. He gave also an alms of two thousand pesos to the Manila house, and joined to it a visitor-general, with orders to attend to whatever needed remedy. His Majesty should be considered as a most kind benefactor of the orders, and very thankful for the services that our order has performed in these regions for him.

The first thing given attention was the examination of the papers of our father master Fray Diego de Guevara. When they had been examined in the definitorio, there were no objections possible. Therefore, with humble mien, the venerable father definitors were very obedient, and complied with the letters of our most reverend father. They were much beholden for the favors received from our pious king, and served him likewise in this thing that he ordered. Thus was our father visitor-general received by the definitorio. He was visitor-general for the entire province, since necessarily the body must obey the movements of its head.

Our father visitor was especially charged by the court to inquire into our Father Solier's acts; and, if necessary, he was to deprive him of his office and declare it forfeited. But he found matters quite different from those reported there, for he found Father Solier's province under his government very much reformed, and his devotion admirable. For our Father Solier was in all things a remarkable man; and by his letter to the province and his systematic conduct of it, and the manner in which he conserved it, one can see how well he played his part. Thus if he had lost any of his luster in his dispute with the chapter of the past intermedium, he more than made it up. And this being so understood by our father visitor-general, he congratulated Father Solier highly, and honored him to the utmost.

It appears that our Father Solier was obliged to give account of himself. Therefore leaving the province so well conducted with a so honored superior, who came to it to honor and to investigate it, he determined to go to the kingdoms of Espana. Accordingly, having obtained leave for this from the father visitor, he set sail that year, with authorization from the province to take care of its causes and plead them in the court. Then, accompanied by father Fray Lucas de Atienza, [19] an aged religious, and at that time prior of the convent of Ibabay in the Pintados, he set sail in the vessels which left that year, in the first part of August. The galleon "San Juan" was to sail; it had been built to fight the Dutch enemy. Gaining the victory on St. Mark's day, April 24 of the same year, it had been repaired again and was to make the voyage. One of the Dutch vessels captured was to go as almiranta; but it did not make the voyage, as it was unseaworthy. The trip was prosperous and the father reached Espana, attended by the same fortune. There he gave so satisfactory an account of himself that not only did they not find him deserving of reprimand, but honored him, by making him bishop of Puerto Rico. Later he was promoted to the archbishopric of Santo Domingo. He gave the proofs that all the order promised itself from his great goodness and fervor. His zeal in conducting the affairs of this province of Filipinas was very great. He always recognized this province as his mother, and as that from which his higher station had originated. Therefore, although now a bishop, he looked after the interests most important to him, namely, the sending of ministers and missionaries. And indeed he did this by securing a fine company, whom he sent in charge of father Fray Juan de Montemayor, a most illustrious preacher, who was living in Andalucia, and wished to come to these regions. He considered the offer made to him, to be prior of that company, as not bad; and conducted it to the Filipinas, as we shall see later.

The father master Solier appointed our father Fray Miguel Garcia (then prior of Manila) his vicar in the province of Filipinas; and left for him letters-patent, and all the authority that he could. As we have said, he could not have left anyone more suitable, nor one who more completely filled the vacancy made by Father Solier's departure. Father Garcia governed during the one remaining year [of Father Solier's provincialate], with great prudence, and proved what an excellent provincial he would have made. Yet he was not, on that account, neglectful of his house of Manila, but governed it with strictness, which even became greater. He enriched the choir with beautiful stalls of inlaid work and wood, which, after many years, are still in excellent condition. He built the largest room in Manila, namely, the porter's room. Afterward, while provincial, he aided in the further progress of the work. That house owes more to him than to any other. Our father visitor chose as his associate father Fray Estacio Ortiz, [20] who had also been his associate when he went to begin the [work of the] order in Japon. As he knew his talents and prudence through that long association, the father visitor thought that he could make no better choice of one to whom to entrust an office of so great secrecy than this man whom he considered so good. Therefore as soon as he reached Manila, he appointed Father Ortiz as such, and therein he did exceeding well. For, as has been proved, he is the most prudent man who has come to the Filipinas, very silent, very long-suffering, and above all, a most devout religious. The province, aware of this, has never allowed him any rest, but has always entrusted to him the offices of greatest weight and honor; and he has given most strict account of them, to the very signal interest of the order. He has twice been prior of Manila, which place is the rock of experience, and where each one shows his talents. Both times he labored hard, performed much, and ruled that convent in all strictness. He was prior of Sugbu, as well as visitor and definitor of the province at the same time, and prior of many convents. He ever bore the name of provincial, to which office he was not elected—not for lack of merit, but of fortune, which is not always equal; and the lots go by pairs.

Our father visitor-general began, then, his visit through the Tagal province Pampanga, and Ilocos, and kept for the following triennium what remained in the Pintados. He was not limited in time, and therefore, went slowly. Everywhere he exhibited great prudence and wisdom, as the religious recognized, and he knew how to carry himself with them. He provided what he saw was most essential to the perfection of the province, which he thought to establish with the earnestness demanded by his care and devotion, and by disposing their minds to observe what he was teaching them by word and precept.

When he was in Manila he was an excellent chorister, and in the other convents he assisted in the same manner. When he saw what was advisable, he approached Manila to arrange what was needful in the chapter affairs, for the true reformation is, that the superior be such. If the superior be perfect, then he must try to see that all whom he rules be perfect also. Qualis rector est civitatis, tales et inhabitantes in ea. [21]


Of the election of our father Fray Miguel Garcia

Since the province, as we have seen, was so extensive, and all the houses had a vote, except that there were some few convents which were vicariates, the men who collected for the chapter were numerous; and if I do not deceive myself, they were difficult to count—that is, they were more than sixty. And among so many men (although it is true that it was always thought that the province was to be for our father Fray Miguel Garcia), there are different tempers, and factions, and they say those things which afterward it were well that they had not said. They found the president inclined not to make our father Fray Miguel Garcia provincial—not because there were demerits in his person, but because he had already governed, and he considered that enough. Such discussions, although they were in good point, did not have any effect; for the waters flowed in their usual channels, and this talk served only to disquiet some. In short, our father Fray Miguel Garcia was declared elected on the twenty-third of April, of the year 1611, all votes concurring in his election with great good-will; for they saw that he was the one of whom the province had need for those times. Thereupon, our father Fray Miguel Garcia performed an action most worthy of his devout heart, namely, to kneel down before our president, and with tears to resign his office, confessing himself as unworthy and insufficient for it, while he did not have the grace or rather the age for it. This he did with so many tears that his devotion made many others weep. The bishop-elect of Sugbu, who was present, caused our father visitor to dispense him in whatever obstruction he had by reason of his age, and to confirm him in the election. The bishop cooeperated, and considered it good that the province had elected him; and the province itself insisted on it by universal acclaim. Consequently, our father visitor confirmed our father provincial Fray Miguel Garcia, first dispensing him for the impediment of the lack of age, which was but little. That lack was more than supplied by his excess of prudence.

The definitors elected at this chapter were the reverend fathers: first, Fray Francisco Bonifacio; second, Fray Juan de Tapia; third, Fray Vicente de Sepulveda; and fourth, Fray Estacio Ortiz. The absolute provincial, father Fray Diego Gutierrez, received a vote. The visitors who were elected in this definitorio were father Fray Bernabe de Villalobos and father Fray Antonio de Porras [22], the latter being adito. [23] All the above in assembly made excellent regulations, and established for that time very good acts and laws; and they charged our father provincial with the execution of them, since on that depended the universal good of all the province.

It was proposed in this chapter, and, in fact, it was so ordered, for reasons that were very apparent there, that the chapters in the future should be held every four years, and the intermediary chapters every two years. The main consideration that influenced them was the great deficiency that the fathers create in their convents during the time when they come to the election, and they deemed it advisable to obviate this injury as much as possible, since it could not be entirely remedied—concluding that the expenses, if they could not be avoided, at least would be delayed as late as possible. This was agreed upon at that time, but later it was considered unadvisable, and consequently the enactment in this matter was repealed.

After the election, and the departure of the vessels to Castilla, our father visitor undertook to go to visit the province of Bisayas, which he did very slowly. He took as his associate our father Fray Hernando Becerra, [24] then a recent arrival. He visited the island of Panay very leisurely. When about to go to the convent of Sugbu, he took as associate our father Fray Alonso de Mentrida, [25] then without office, as he had refused any. He established an excellent system in that convent, of which he had great care. He caused its annuities to be raised, for it was very poor and overburdened. Father Fray Hernando Becerra went to Manila to read theology. Although he did this only for a short time, yet he became very renowned throughout the islands, and in consequence was cordially received by the other orders. Thence the father visitor came to Manila to assist in the superior government of the province, although the government of our father, Fray Miguel Garcia, was such that, when he was there, no one else was needed.

In the year 1613, the ships with the reenforcements arrived in good shape from Nueva Espana. In them came that company of religious above mentioned as being sent by Bishop Solier. Father Fray Juan de Montemayor, their leader, who brought them from Nueva Espana, did it as well as he could; but there most of the religious, finding themselves tired out by the severe voyage, and the breadth of the land and its mildness and beauty inviting them, and that first courage having been lost with which they had left their native land and country, separated in a thousand directions, so that very few of that flock were left. These embarked and set sail in the port of Acapulco, March 25, 1613, without enough provisions; and even in what provision they had so little judgment was shown that they arrived as if by a miracle. Such was their need that when they arrived at the Embocadero, which is about eighty leguas from Manila, they had to disembark, and go from island to island, selling what few clothes they had left. There the fathers of the Society, who have charge of those missions, performed toward them a thousand acts of charity, by means of which they sustained life until, thus broken and with innumerable necessities, they reached Sugbu. Of a truth, they were ill advised; for, since they were already in the islands, they would have been delayed much less in the ships, which were retarded because of the route that they took, which was full of dangers and not a little troublesome. But the government does not learn. It is a gift given by God to those who please Him. Two fathers who remained in the ships arrived promptly and many months before their associates.

The religious in that company were as follows:

1. The father master, Fray Pedro Garcia, own brother of our father Fray Miguel Garcia. He did not come as master, but his brother negotiated that for him upon going to Espana.

2. Father Fray Juan de Montemayor, one of the greatest preachers who have been in the islands.

3. Fray Jeronimo Medrano.

4. Fray Nicolas de Herrera, a preacher, and a prominent religious.

5. Fray Cristobal de Miranda. He was the one who, together with the master, Fray Pedro Garcia, refused to disembark. That religious has been very useful.

6. Father Fray Hernando de Aguilar, a very honored religious.

7. Father Fray Bartolome de Salcedo.

8. Father Fray Jeronimo de Oro.

9. Father Fray Antonio de los Santos.

10. Father Fray Juan Cabello.

11. Father Fray Juan de Pareja Mejia, very skilled in the Ilocan tongue. I mean that the following year, when the father master went, he again sent his associate, Fray Lucas de Atienza, with some religious whom he found from the other companies whom I have already named, some of them being in my company.

Others were Fray Juan de Mena and Fray Lucas de Rivera. [26]

With this the government of our father Fray Miguel Garcia was, we might say, fortunate; for he found himself with two companies, all of whom, with the half company, numbered more than forty religious. With that number he was able to supply the missions which now were suffering for the need of workers. He was able to add new strength to the house at Manila, so that the choir could be assured—which is, as one might say, the fort of the province, where prayer is offered to God day and night for the needs of the province. There they gather those who find that they have but little strength in the ministry, where with some more rest they can attend to the profit of their own souls. Our father Fray Miguel Garcia, considering that our father Fray Diego de Guevara had visited the provinces so slowly, did not choose to cause more trouble to the convents, or to spend more on his visits. Consequently, he was not excessive in this matter, but very mild.

In the intermediary chapter held in Manila within two years, as had been determined in the full chapter, it appeared that the province complained about the [term of the] chapter being lengthened one year. They advanced not a few reasons in support of this complaint, and so many that it was ordered that that measure be revoked, and the chapter meeting be assigned for the next year of 1614. It was to be held in the house of Guadalupe, a place very suitable, in their opinion, for the chapter meetings, as it was not very far from Manila, so that they could supply their needs; and it allowed them to escape annoyances and importunities of the laymen.

This [intermediary] chapter considered that many religious were dying, and that, since the father priors always came to vote, some house must necessarily remain empty, and be entrusted to the fiscals of the villages. This appeared full of inconveniences, both temporally and spiritually, which it is not right to express, since they are so apparent. And even were there nothing else than the great danger of many persons dying without holy baptism, and others without confession, that was sufficient. But there were many other reasons, which, although not so serious, aided not a little. The expenses that would be saved were many; and this reason, that the priorates would have such persons, for the best ones would always be chosen for them. This was opposed very strongly, and the opposition alleged what, in their opinion, were not a few reasons. They asserted that this was a kind of tyranny, and that their opponents were trying to reduce the province to fewer votes in order to perpetuate themselves in the government; and that it was less easy to make sixty votes agree than twenty. The province had commenced thus and should continue thus, and it was a manifest grievance to deprive those elected by the intermediary (or rather, the full) chapter of their votes. They said that that matter was very serious, and should be carried over to the ipso pleno [i.e., the full chapter], in which, after being considered by so many, it could be determined. The whole question was put to vote by our father provincial, Fray Miguel Garcia, who held the affirmative side. With his Paternity were our father Fray Diego de Guevara (who presided as visitor-general), the father definitor, Fray Vicente de Sepulveda, and the father definitor Fray Francisco Bonifacio. On the other or negative side were father Fray Estacio Ortiz, the father definitor Fray Juan de Tapia, the father visitor Fray Juan Enriquez, [27] and the father visitor Fray Juan Villalobos. [28]

They were equally opposed. One adito, father Fray Antonio de Porras, was not there. Each side put forth its efforts, working for our Lord's service, at which all aimed, doubtless, but by different paths. The father commissary took sides with the party of our father master, Fray Diego de Guevara, as he thought that the better and more justifiable. And thus this chapter disposed of all that it had proposed. Five houses in Bisayas were left with votes, namely, Santisimo Nombre do Jesus, Panay, Barbaran, Passi, and Octong. Another five votes were left in Ilocos, namely, Bantay, Ilagua, Batac, Nalbacan, and Bauang. Thus twelve votes were taken away from the province of Bisayas, which has sixteen large convents, leaving the vicars, immediate to the chapter, with the authority and power in temporal and spiritual matters, as if they were priors. Only their vote in the chapter was taken away. Of the thirteen convents in the province of Ilocos, eight were deprived of vote. In the province of Tagalos, votes were assigned to the house of Manila, that of Guadalupe, the father sub-prior, the father preacher-general, the convent of Taal, that of San Pablo de los Montes, the convent of Bay, that of Pasig, those of Paranaque, Tondo, Bulacan, Malolos, Agonoy, and Calumpit—in all, fourteen votes. Many houses—about ten—were deprived of votes; and of these sometimes they make priorates (or rather, vicariates) and sometimes visitas. Six votes were given to Pampanga, namely, Bacolor, Mexico, Guagua, Macabebe, Lubao, and Candaba. Six other convents were left as vicariates. Thus the houses having vote numbered twenty-eight. The subprior and procurator-general, four definitors, two visitors, the discreto of Manila, the provincia and his associate bring the number up by ten [sic], and make thirty-nine; and the absolute provincial bring it up to forty.

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