The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume IX, 1593-1597
by E. H. Blair
1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

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 IX, 1593-1597

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

Contents of Volume IX

Preface 9 Documents of 1593

The second embassy to Japan. G. P. Dasmarinas, and others; April-May. ... 23 Two letters to Felipe II. G. P. Dasmarinas; Manila, June 20. ... 58 Memorandum of troops required in the Philippines. [Unsigned and undated; 1593?]. ... 74 Letter to the king of Camboja. G. P. Dasmarinas; Manila, September 27. ... 76

Documents of 1594

List of Philippine villages reduced by the Spaniards. [Unsigned and undated; 1594?]. ... 81 Letter to king of Canboja. Luis Perez Dasmarinas; Manila, February 8. ... 86 Investigation of the hospital. Hernando de los Rios, and others; Manila, February-April. ... 88 Report concerning the Filipinas Islands, and other papers. Francisco de Ortega, O.S.A.; [1594]. ... 95 Decree for despatch of missionaries. Felipe II; Aranjuez, April 27. ... 120 Reply to the Japanese emperor's letter. L.P. Dasmarinas, and others; Manila, April 22—28 ... 122 Three letters to Felipe II. L.P. Dasmarinas; Manila, June 15—23 ... 137

Documents of 1595

Letter to Felipe II. Pedro Gongalez de Carbajal; [1595?] ... 147 Formation of new dioceses. Felipe II; Madrid, June 17 ... 150 Letter to Felipe II. Antonio de Morga; Manila, June 25 ... 154 Expedition to Camboja. Gregorio da Cruz, and others; August 1—3 ... 161 Instructions to Figueroa. L.P. Dasmarinas; Manila, November 13—16 ... 181 The Audiencia of Manila reestablished. Felipe II; El Pardo, November 26 ... 189 Letter to Felipe II. L.P. Dasmarinas; Manila, December 6 ... 193

Documents of 1596

Coat-of-arms of the city of Manila. Felipe II; Aranjuez, March 20 ... 211 Decree regarding the bishopric of Nueva Segovia. Felipe II; Ateca, May 15 ... 216 Instructions for Governor Tello. Felipe II; Toledo, May 25 ... 218 Letter to Felipe II. L.P. Dasmarinas; Manila, June 30 ... 259 Letter to Felipe II. Antonio de Morga; Manila, July 6 ... 263 Letter to Felipe II. Francisco Tello; Manila, July 17 ... 274

Documents of 1597

Pacification of Mindanao. Juan de Ronquillo; Tanpaca, May 10 ... 281 Memorial on navigation and conquest. Hernando de los Rios; Manila, June 27 ... 299 Letter to Felipe II. L.P. Dasmarinas; Manila, June 28 ... 315

Bibliographical Data ... 327


Autograph signature of Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, governor of the Philippine Islands; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 69 Coat-of-arms of the city of Manila (two representations); photographic facsimiles from original MSS. (dated 1683 and 1748) in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 213 Map of islands of Luzon and Hermosa, with part of China; photographic facsimile of MS. map by Hernando de los Rios Coronel (dated June 27, 1597), in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 305


The events related in the present volume (1593-97) conclude the first quarter-century of the history of Manila as a Spanish settlement. That city, although small, is gaining in importance and prosperity; it is fairly well fortified, and its public institutions are increasing; it is now the seat of an archbishop, and three dioceses are formed to be under his care. Restless spirits among the Spaniards desire to conquer neighboring lands; this is partially accomplished in Mindanao, but that island proves to be of little value. An expedition is sent nominally in aid of Camboja against Siam, but is unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the Spaniards are not free from danger: the emperor of Japan is apparently plotting their subjection; and the natives of the islands, although nominally pacified, are inclined to rebel. The increasing numbers of the Chinese in the islands render them dangerous, and various restrictions are imposed upon them. Governor Dasmarinas, slain by his Chinese oarsmen, is succeeded pro tempore by his son Luis Perez; but the latter is too young for so important a post, and the king reestablishes the Audiencia at Manila. Its president, Francisco Tello, is also governor of the islands.

In 1593 another ambassador arrives at Manila from the Japanese ruler Hideyoshi. This is Faranda, who furnishes a full account of the manner in which Fray Juan Cobos had been received in Japan the year before, and of his own appointment from the emperor as envoy to the Spaniards, on which errand he departed with Cobos. The latter perished by shipwreck, Faranda arriving safely at Manila. He professes a desire for peace and friendship between the Japanese and Spaniards, instead of the subjection of the latter; and asks that Franciscan missionaries be sent to his country. Since he brings no credentials, except letters from Fray Cobos, the governor orders an official inquiry into the whole matter, and examines witnesses about it. Juan de Solis, a Spanish captain who happened to be in Japan when Fray Cobos arrived there, thinks that the emperor is sincere in asking only the friendship of the Castilians. Solis relates the events of the father's stay there, confirming the account given by Faranda. A similar deposition is made by Antonio Lopez, the Chinese convert who comes with Faranda. But there follows a long account, apparently obtained from conversations held with this Antonio and several others, of intrigues and plots among the Japanese to subdue the Philippines, as they have done with Corea. The Spaniards are warned against the Chinese who are in Manila. Much of this is apparently the gossip of the Parian; but it affords curious side-lights on the relations between the Japanese, Chinese, and Spaniards. A letter from Dasmarinas to the Japanese emperor (May 20, 1593) announces his despatch of another envoy, the Franciscan priest Pedro Baptista.

Governor Dasmarinas writes (June 20, 1593) to King Felipe, reporting the present state of affairs in he islands. He asks for more missionaries, and states the qualifications that they should possess. He intends to found a new Spanish colony in the recently-pacified district of Tuy. All Luzon has now been explored and pacified. The fortifications of Manila are now in good condition; accordingly, the city is safe from outside enemies, and the natives can see that the Spanish occupation is a permanent one. The cathedral is so nearly completed that worship is celebrated therein; and the convent of Sancta Potenciana is well under way. Galleys are patrolling the coast to watch for enemies; but the clergy have so opposed the efforts of the governor to man the galleys that he could not equip them as well as he desired. The permission given to the Indians to pay their tributes in produce or in coin, as they might choose, is leading to the ruin of the country; for the natives are in consequence neglecting their industries and manufactures, and prices are much higher. The royal officials, therefore, now collect the tributes in produce only. Again the governor complains of the marriages of wealthy widows to adventurers, who have thus "defrauded several very honorable and worthy captains and soldiers who serve here;" he recommends that heiresses be not allowed to marry without the king's consent. He also advises that all collections of tributes be made by the royal officials, who should pay the encomenderos their dues. Another letter of the same date is especially interesting, as containing the earliest data thus far available on the first printing in the Philippines. Dasmarinas desires the king to provide some suitable design for the coat-of-arms of the city of Manila. He protests against the heavy duties levied in Mexico on goods exported from the islands. These letters are followed by a memorandum—unsigned and undated, but probably written about 1593—of "the troops required in the Philippines;" this is itemized, and gives a total of 1,517. On September 27, 1593, Dasmarinas sends a friendly letter, with gifts, to the king of Camboja, who is threatened by the king of Siam; and he offers to be arbitrator of their differences. An unsigned list (1594?) is given of the villages reduced by the Spaniards under an officer named Berramontano.

Luis Perez, son of Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, who has succeeded to his father's office, writes to the king of Camboja (February 8, 1594) renewing his father's proffers of friendship for that ruler. At this time Hernando de los Rios, administrator of the royal hospital at Manila, demands from the government more aid for that institution. Witnesses testify that there is much sickness and mortality among the Spanish soldiery in the islands; and that the hospital, as their only resource for care when ill, should receive an increase of its present inadequate income, and new buildings should be constructed for its use.

In 1594 Francisco de Ortega, Augustinian visitor-general in the Philippines, presents a number of reports and petitions to the king. The abstracts of these papers which are preserved in the Sevilla archives are here presented. The first of these documents contains a list of the islands, with a brief account of their size and population, of the number of religious already at work in them, and of the number yet needed. Next, Ortega asks for certain grants from the royal bounty for his order: a fixed sum for the building of the burnt monastery; an increased allowance for the yearly support of the religious, as prices have risen; allowances of wine, oil, and medicine for the Augustinian convent at Manila; and an increase in the number of religious provided for it. He complains that the Dominicans are, by their mission to the Chinese, intruding upon the rights of the Augustinians, and prays for the establishment of a convent of Recollect Augustinians in a place proposed by him. Ortega urges upon the king the temporal and spiritual importance of providing religious ministers, of striving to gain an entrance to China, of accepting the advances of the Japanese king of Firando, of conquering Ternate, of resisting the Japanese tyrant, and of pacifying Mindanao. He asks that more troops be sent to Cebu; that the Spanish settlement there be raised to the rank of a city; that the regidors be crown appointees; and that its people be permitted to send their exports directly to Nueva Espana. He also advises that the port of Cavite be more strongly fortified. A royal decree (April 27) orders that one hundred religious be sent to the islands.

On April 22, 1594, a council of war is held at Manila, to agree upon the reply which shall be made to an arrogant despatch from the Japanese emperor, ostensibly peaceful, but containing covert threats and accepting certain gifts as tokens of vassalage. He then reads a draft of reply, which is criticized as likely to cause unnecessary offense by some expressions therein; an amended reply is read and adopted by the council, a few days later.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas asks (June 15, 1594) from Felipe II aid for two charitable institutions in Manila—the girls' seminary of Sancta Potenciana, and the Confraternity of La Misericordia; also for the establishment and support of a temporary lodging-house for colonists, and of a hospital for the servants of Spaniards. In another letter (June 22) the governor commends to Felipe's favor Carbajal, the captain who had gone to Japan; the latter is now sent to Spain with Hideyoshi's letter. On the next day, Dasmarinas advises the king of further news and despatches from Japan, sent by the envoy Fray Pedro Baptista. The Japanese emperor professes friendship, but Dasmarinas does not trust him, and has done all in his power to fortify Manila.

Carbajal, the captain who conveyed the Franciscans to Japan, writes (1595?) to the king, to inform him of the prosperity and importance of that country, and the attitude of its ruler toward the Spaniards. The emperor has treated the Franciscans kindly. Carbajal recommends that the Spanish trade in China should be diverted to Japan. In 1595 the diocese of Manila is elevated to an archdiocese, and three new bishoprics are created—those of Cebu, Nueva Caceres, and Nueva Segovia. The king of Spain, in the decree (June 17) making provision for this, also appoints incumbents for these posts.

Dr. Antonio de Morga, sent to the Philippines in place of Rojas, reports to Felipe II (June 25, 1595) his arrival and inauguration as lieutenant-governor, and urges the necessity of an investigation (which was accordingly decreed) of the royal treasury of the islands. He encloses the various official papers establishing his appointment and inauguration in due form. In August of that year, Luis Dasmarinas is persuaded to send aid to the king of Camboja against the Siamese. This is requested in his behalf by Diego Veloso, a Portuguese adventurer who has spent ten years in that country, and who states that its ruler has protected the Christian missionaries in his kingdom and now should be aided by the Spaniards. Certain stipulations are proposed to be fulfilled by the king of Camboja in return for Spanish aid, and Veloso accepts them in his behalf.

Instructions are given to Figueroa (November 13, 1595) regarding the conquest of Mindanao. On November 26 following, the king issues a decree reestablishing the Audiencia of Manila, and appointing as its president the new governor of the islands, Francisco Tello—sending him detailed instructions as to the ceremonies to be observed in receiving the royal seal, "which are to be the same as would be observed in the reception of my royal person."

Luis Perez Dasmarinas writes to Felipe II (December 6, 1595) giving a general report of external conditions in the province. After a reference to the progress of various religious missions, he reports that Figueroa has gone to pacify Mindanao, although a dispute whether he is to be subordinate to the Manila government is unsettled. He gives an account of the projects of Veloso for assisting the king of Camboja; and states that he, with the consent of both religious and military authorities, has decided to make an attempt first against Champa, but to send a representative to Camboja in order to keep the friendship of its king. He urges the sending of a moderate force against Siam, to be provided by the home government. He announces that he is planning to send an embassy to China, with gifts; and he prays the king to reimburse him for expenses connected with the sending of this embassy. Toward the end of the letter he discusses the gifts most acceptable in China.

Felipe II grants (March 20, 1596) the city of Manila a coat-of-arms more satisfactory to the Spaniards than the one which had been previously used. A royal decree, dated May 15, 1596, regulates the status of the bishoprics suffragan to the archdiocese of Manila. Ten days later, the king issues instructions for the new governor, Francisco Tello. He is earnestly charged to further in every possible way the interests of religion, especially in the instruction of the natives, and the completion and equipment of the cathedral; and to work in harmony with the archbishop. He is to provide liberally for the maintenance of the hospitals, and oversee their management. He must give the king full information regarding the number of missionaries now in the islands, and those needed there, etc.; and shall make arrangements with the superiors of the various orders for the most advantageous distribution of the missionaries who shall be sent each year. Every effort must be made to convert the heathen Indians. Tello is strictly charged not to meddle with ecclesiastical affairs, and to maintain friendly relations with both clerics and friars. No minister of religion shall be permitted to collect from the natives any fees for burials, marriages, etc. Tello is ordered to leave some missionaries at the Ladrones Islands, for the instruction of the natives. Tribute must be collected from all the pacified Indians, whether converts or heathen. The ecclesiastics must not meddle with the collection of tributes, or oppose the governor's authority; for any reforms which they may desire, they must consult with their superiors and prelates, and send applications to the king. Tithes must be paid more fully than hitherto. The duties which the citizens ask to have repealed must still be levied. Certain provisions are made for an income for the municipality of Manila. Tello is directed to see that the Chinese be removed to quarters outside the city. No duties shall be levied on provisions and munitions brought to Manila by foreigners. Various other clauses are practically the duplicates of instructions given to Gomez Dasmarinas. Agriculture must be encouraged in every way. The convent for girls is to be aided and encouraged. Encomiendas may not be sold or transferred to other holders, but should be made large enough to support both the encomendero and the instruction of the natives. The Indians should be settled in "reductions" like those of the American colonies, where they may be sufficiently instructed. Justice is not to be severe, and litigation is not to be encouraged. Religious will be provided as needed, and hence the priests are to publish no objections to the taking of tributes. Soldiers are to be well employed, receiving pay only when they have no other income, and being exempt from arrest for debt. Captains have authority only over soldiers, and the military must treat the Indians kindly. The forts and fortifications must be maintained, and a watch kept constantly against enemies, who are enumerated, "especially the English Lutherans." Reports as to the possibility of new conquests are desired, but no such enterprises must be undertaken without circumspection and justification. As the soldiers are now fairly paid, there is no need of spoliation in conquests. The regions nearest Manila must be conquered, for there is rebellion now in the heart of Luzon. Encouragement is given to extend conquests from the Liu Kiu Islands to Java, Borneo, and the Moluccas. The expense is to be borne by the royal exchequer, so far as shall be necessary, although the plan of rewarding the conquerors from the conquered territory is to be followed. The Indians are to have the right of paying their tributes in any goods at their own option, to avoid extortion. The religious must not go to China or elsewhere, but must do the work among the Indians for which they were sent to the islands. The Chinese suffer oppression and extortion from the customs officers; this must be corrected. Encomenderos and citizens are not to leave the islands without permission, on pain of confiscation of encomiendas. Trade between the islands and China is not to be given up, in spite of objections made by the Portuguese. Effort shall be made to teach the Castilian language to the Indians. The governor must maintain cordial relations with the new Audiencia and with the ecclesiastics.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas prays the king (June 30, 1596) for permission to lade a small vessel for Peru, that he may make enough to pay off his debts. An answer is deferred until after the residencia in his case and his father's be taken. Morga writes to Felipe II (July 6, 1596) a general report. The country in general is at peace, and fears from Japan have been removed by the calming influence of the Franciscans there. Figueroa has been killed in Mindanao, leaving an estate sufficient to carry on the expedition, and infant heirs to his prospective rewards. The expedition to Camboja has gone—the tone of Morga's report evidently disapproving this; and an expedition to China has been forced to return. There has been uneasiness as to the presence of so many Chinese, and many have been sent out of the country. The lines of Manila have been newly drawn, making it easier of defense. Financial affairs require complete reform. The officials of the treasury are under suspension, pending investigation; and the revenue has been wasted for needless salaries and sinecures. The soldiery devote themselves to trade, losing their military efficiency and interfering with the business of the citizens. The city of Manila is well provided with funds, and the fiscal arrangements are just. Internal affairs are in a bad way, because of the facility and youth of Luis Perez Dasmarinas, and the lack of a regularly-appointed governor. Morga complains of the meddlesomeness of ecclesiastics. He prays for the reestablishment of the Audiencia; and reports that the country is all pacified, needing now mainly religious. He praises the plan of educating the sons of the natives at the Jesuit college. He reports the arrival of vessels from the unsuccessful exploring expedition of Mendana to the islands of the South Pacific. In conclusion, he prays that, in consideration of his poor health and the death of his children, he may be permitted to return to Spain.

Tello writes to Felipe II (July 17, 1596) a letter upon his arrival. He is pleased with Manila, although many public requirements are not attended to. The Chinese near the city require watching. The archbishop has remained in Mexico. Trade has fallen off; and soldiers should be sent yearly to make up for deaths and losses. He recommends the continuation of the Mindanao pacification at the expense of the heirs of Figueroa. In a postscript he reports bad news from the Camboja expedition.

The pacification of Mindanao (begun by Figueroa) is continued by Juan de Ronquillo. He sends a report (May 10, 1597) of the campaign to Governor Tello. After a fierce contest with the natives, in which neither side gains the victory, a treaty of peace is negotiated. Great distress ensues for lack of food, among both Spaniards and Indians; and aid from Manila is asked. Mindanao is a poor country, and will be of very little use to Spain. Ronquillo urges that supplies of troops, ammunition, and provision be sent from Manila, for the Mindanaos will certainly rebel as soon as tribute is exacted from them; and it is best to complete their conquest promptly. The missions in this island have been assigned to the Jesuits; but only one priest is now there, and more are needed at once. The encomenderos to whom Mindanao has been assigned ought to aid in its subjugation, and should be sent at once with troops to the island. A brief outline of the campaign is added, unsigned and undated.

A memorial by Hernando de los Rios (June 27, 1597) to the king of Spain urges the importance of conquering surrounding countries, notably the island of Formosa. He describes certain routes, more direct than those hitherto followed, between Spain and the Philippines, and also complains of the number of Chinese who infest Manila. Luis Perez Dasmarinas urges on Felipe II (June 28, 1597) the evils resulting from the presence in the islands of so many heathen Chinese, with their vices, cunning, and danger to the state. "Except for self-interest, we are mutually contrary and hateful." He recommends a number of severe measures limiting their activity, and placing obstacles in the way of their employment; and adds various notes recommending specific regulations for them.

The Editors November, 1903.

Documents of 1593

The second embassy to Japan. G. P. Dasmarinas, and others; April-May. Two letters to Felipe II. G. P. Dasmarinas; June 20. Memorandum of troops required in the Philippines. [1593?] Letter to the king of Camboja. G. P. Dasmarinas; September 27.

Sources: These translations are all obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: Part of the first document is translated by Consuelo A. Davidson; the rest of this, and the remaining documents in this group, by James A. Robertson.

The Second Embassy to Japan

[Statement by Faranda]

My lord the emperor Conbacondo [1] sends me as his ambassador to your Excellency, as the representative of King Philippe, to ask that we maintain hereafter the peaceful relations required by the close bond of true friendship and fraternity, for which reason I, in the name of my lord the emperor Conbacondo and as his ambassador, ask his Majesty King Philippe and your Excellency to accept and receive that friendship, as my lord the emperor desires. The letter brought by Gaspar, my vassal, was in order to ascertain whether your Excellency and the other Spaniards were friends or foes, and not, as had been imagined or understood here, that you should become vassals of my lord the emperor, and render him obedience and submission. Having learned the truth, my lord the emperor sent this embassy, ordering me to put on the garment which I am wearing, which means friendship and fraternity; for if we had come for war, as was thought, my garments would have been different, and I would have come in a different manner. It would have greatly pleased me if it had been possible for father Fray Juan Cobos to come, to present the sword which, as a token of friendship and true brotherhood was given to him to be presented to your Excellency; and to describe the kind reception accorded to him there and the love shown to him, so that I might have been more cordially received by your Excellency. Your Excellency, not being acquainted with the many things said in this city concerning my visit, is very kind to receive me in this manner, not knowing even who I am, which could have been explained by father Fray Juan Cobos if he had come.

Will your Excellency be pleased to order that a reply be given to me as soon as possible, that I may go away and take the other Xaponese who are here, because it is time to do so, and because the Xaponese who have come heretofore from Xapon are not of the higher classes, but are very low. Your Excellency should decide whether you do not wish them to go, as people of this sort are a shame to the kingdom of Xapon; and, in case provisions or anything else are required from my country, I will send them with merchants duly registered. For that purpose I ask your Excellency to give me a seal, and I will leave here one of mine, so that all our procedures may be uniform and harmonious; for it would not be right to have the people from the kingdom of Xapon come here to rob the land and occasion scandals, thus giving a bad name to our country, and especially in a country with which we have established close friendship and with whom we are at peace. I also ask that when the emperor needs the Spaniards in the wars which he may wage, your Excellency will bind yourself to send him reenforcements of men, and he will do the same at any time when your Excellency shall see fit to send to his kingdom of Xapon for soldiers.

Everything that I have asked from your Excellency herein is in the name of my lord the emperor. Your Excellency has doubted my authority, because I did not present letters from my lord the emperor. They are in the possession of father Fray Juan Cobos and give me ample authority to negotiate with your Excellency in regard to everything required to establish peace and amity. I will wait until I reach my emperor's presence and I will then send the agreements written by his own hands, and signed with my name, as a proof of my veracity.


We, the undersigned religious, state that the ambassador did sign this memorial; and I, Fray Gonzalo Garcia, certify that everything contained herein was dictated to me to be written for your Excellency in the Spanish language by his order; and I as interpreter had it written by one of the religious who here sign our names. Dated in this city of Manila, the twenty-seventh of April, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

Fray Goncalo Garcia Fray Geronimo Vazquez Fray Andres del Spiritu Santo

[Statement by Faranda]

Last year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-two, Conbacondon, the emperor of the realm of Xapon, commanded me to come to these islands to negotiate for peace and amity with your Excellency and the Spaniards residing here, your Excellency having agreed to it as the representative here of his Majesty King Don Philipe. In order to carry out my emperor's orders I went as far as the province of Sanchuma, [2] to a seaport, whence I was to sail; but while making preparations for my departure, I was attacked by sickness. Then, in order not to lose the opportunity or to disobey said orders on account of my illness, I decided to send in my place my vassal Gaspar, whom I greatly esteem, believing that he would execute the commission well, as he is a man experienced in all matters pertaining to these Islands, having been in them before; and in consequence I sent him, giving him the letter from the emperor my lord. He came and delivered it; but, as there was no interpreter, it was not understood, and he was discredited because of the little authority he had, as he was not an ambassador. For that reason your Excellency decided to send father Fray Juan Cobos and Captain Lope de Llano, who were to visit the kingdom of Xapon and ascertain the truth concerning the embassy which my said subject brought. When Fray Juan Cobos arrived in Satisma he wrote two letters, one to the emperor, my lord, and another to me as the person to whom the embassy sent to these islands had been entrusted. The said two letters were tied together, and I received them in the town of Mengoya, where the court of my lord the emperor is established. [3] For the sake of courtesy, I did not separate mine, but took both and delivered them to the emperor my lord, who read his and gave me mine—ordering a captain and myself, one by land and the other by sea, to go to meet father Fray Juan Cobos. We departed at once, I going by sea; and I met him at Geto, a place between Firando and Mangasatte, [4] where I received him with great pleasure, and brought him to the court where my lord the emperor then was. Upon being notified of his arrival, the emperor ordered one of his nobles to give him hospitality in his own home, so that Father Juan Cobos could rest there until a house could be adorned with gold, to shelter him with more pomp, because he was the envoy of so great a governor and because he is a father, and known to be a learned man, and that all his royal city might see how grand a reception was accorded to him. Twenty-five days afterward, when everything was ready to receive him, I sent six hundred of the principal men, nobles and gentry, to convey him to the emperor's presence, sending a beautifully decorated litter, on which the father was carried on their shoulders. Everyone was amazed to see such a reception, the like of which had never before been accorded to any other ambassador, although many had come to my lord the emperor, some to offer obedience, others to negotiate peace treaties. It was because the emperor knew that the Spaniards are a warlike nation, valiant and honored above all other people, that he gave them such a reception; and so it was known over all the court.

My lord the emperor was inside the fortress, and when father Fray Juan Cobos reached the palace he was bidden to enter the audience-chamber where the emperor was waiting for him, and where he received him with the greatest honor and show of affection ever shown to any man, seating him next to himself. Father Fray Juan Cobos presented him with the letter, which upon being read, showed how doubts had arisen regarding the embassy sent by the emperor the year before. My lord the emperor called me, and asked me why I had not fulfilled his orders—to which I replied that I had gone to do so, but that, while at the seaport, I had been taken sick; and in order not to miss sending his embassy, I had entrusted it to one of my vassals, a Christian. Then my lord the emperor ordered me to go with father Fray Juan Cobos to visit your Excellency in his name, and to deliver my letters and try to establish lasting relations of friendship and amity; and finally sent me away, after having given me full instructions as to what I was to say and do. To father Fray Juan Cobos my lord the emperor gave a sword of great worth and value, as a token of friendship, for your Excellency; and a letter, wherein it was written that we were to be friends and brothers.

Father Fray Juan Cobos and I departed for the port, but on arriving there he would not embark on my vessel. So we set sail, he on his vessel and I on mine. Upon leaving I told father Fray Juan Cobos that it would be better to wait for the tide, and until the moon came out; but he answered: "Your people do not know or understand the sea." I am a pilot, and, seeing that the high tide was against us, I waited until the moon arose; but the father would not wait, and so left, and I have never since seen him. The advice I gave him before leaving was so that the emperor my lord might not ask me why I had not advised him, and so that the father himself might not have reason to complain against me. I gave him two of my kinsmen to accompany him, since he would not sail on my vessel. Before he left, I asked the father to give me a letter for your Excellency, because the ocean was not safe; and I asked also for some one who would come with me to these islands, and who could tell who I was, and state the reasons why I came. He gave me Antonio, a Christian Sangley. The said Antonio asked the father for a letter to your Excellency, and he gave it to him; and so we separated, in the manner above described.

I, Faranda Quiemon, ambassador of the emperor of the realms of Xapon, state that the people of the said realms are heathen, but have already begun to accept the gospel law, and wish to become Christians; and if this desire and belief has not spread more, it is because of the lack of ministers and priests. I know that my emperor desires me to bring back some fathers, provided they are of the order of St. Francis, because this is an order and habit new to him; and our Lord Jesus Christ and he will be well pleased that I should do them this service. If your Excellency will order this to be done, you will confer a favor upon the said emperor and myself.

I beg your Excellency to favor me by commanding that ten fathers of the above-mentioned Franciscan order be sent to accompany me from this city to Xapon for the said object—the said ten fathers to be Fray Pedro Baptista, Fray Vicente Vermeo, Fray Blas de la Madre de Dios, Fray Juan Pobre, Fray Diego Portero, Father Gonzalez, Fray Francisco Parilla, Fray Joseph, Fray Francisco Ribero, and Fray Andres (an unsettled priest). Besides the fact that we shall all take as a favor the service done our lord, I promise in the name of the emperor and on his royal word that they shall be well received and well treated, and that no harm shall be done them; and if they become unwilling to stay, and are disinclined to do the work for which they have been taken thither, I promise to send them back to this city as they came.

[Letters from Fray Juan Cobos]

The bearer of this is Faranda Quiemo, a Xaponese, who goes in a new vessel, which has some red pictures painted on the poop. She is a staunch ship, carrying one hundred and twenty men, Chinese and Xaponese. It carries as a signal a red pennant at the stern. Given at Cuxi, a port of Xapon, on October 29, 1592.

Fray Juan Cobos

[Addressed: "To Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, at Manila."]

Because of the uncertainty of the ocean, I send this note by another vessel which sails together with ours from this port, so that in case it reaches your Excellency before us you will not be alarmed on our account. Our trip has been very prosperous, and, should the Lord preserve our health, we shall, as soon as we find ourselves in Manila, report to your Excellency how well we were received by the emperor and how well attended, thus honoring our lord the king, your Excellency, and our nation. Nothing more at present, as I am writing these lines only in case our ship should prove less speedy. From Xapon, province of China, [5] port of Cuxi, November 4. Captain Lope Llanos kisses your Excellency's hands; he is very ill with quartan ague.

Fray Juan Cobos

[Addressed: "To Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of the Felipinas Islands."]

The bearer is Antonio Lopez, a Chinese, who sails on the vessel of the Japanese Faranda as a token of peace, and to protect the vessel, so that no harm may be done to it.

Fray Juan Cobo

May Jesus be always with your Excellency. It was found necessary that Antonio Lopez, the Chinese, depart in the vessel of Faranda Quiemo, who is the master of the Faranda who carries these letters and was the source of all these messages. Although I leave the port in Xapon before him, the fortunes of the ocean are various, and he may arrive there first. Glory be to God that our voyage has been very prosperous, as your Excellency will learn. As this letter is only intended as a safe-conduct for its bearers (for which we are hostages), and as a permit to Antonio Lopez, I say nothing more except that I recommend your Excellency, in case he shall arrive before I do, to give them a kind reception, because we were well received by the emperor. It is worth while for your Excellency to send here for copper and hemp, on the king's account, as I shall report to you at my arrival. Captain Lope de Llanos kisses your Lordship's hands; he is very ill with quartan ague. He is not writing, because this letter is intended only for the purpose above mentioned. From the realm of Xapon, province of Chaxuma, at the port of Cuxi, November 4, 1592.

Fray Juan Cobo

Addressed to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Santiago, and governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands.


In the city of Manila, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, I, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the Order of Santiago, and captain-general of these islands, declare in the name of the king, our lord, that whereas last year some letters and an ambassador claiming to come from the king of Xapon were received here, and, moved by suspicion and fearing war, I sent the father Fray Juan Cobos with letters for the emperor; and whereas it is over a year since the said father left here, and, notwithstanding I have received letters from him meanwhile, making known his safe arrival and the prompt execution of his mission, I am anxious because he does not return; three Xaponese vessels having arrived, and in one of them a man by the name of Faranda, a Xaponese who claims to be the ambassador; and as I wish to be informed what sort of a man this Faranda is, and to learn whether Father Cobos arrived there and how he was received and sent away, and the purpose that Faranda has in coming, and what are the intentions and objects of the said emperor, and whatever else it is expedient to ask in order to disperse and clear away the prevalent uncertainties, and know whether we are to have safety and peace with that king: I hereby order that the following investigation be made, the proceedings of which shall be attached to the original letters sent by father Fray Juan Cobo and to the memorial submitted by Faranda; and I sign it with my name.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

Before me: Juan de Cuellar


In [6] the city of Manila, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, the said governor and captain-general, Gomez Perez Das Marinas, summoned Captain Joan de Solis to his presence, in order to make the above-mentioned investigation. He took the oath before God and on the sign of the cross, in due form, and promised to answer truthfully the questions asked him. The tenor of the questions having been read to him, he said that, as one who had just come from the kingdoms of Xapon, and reached this port and bay but yesterday, and who was in Xapon when father Fray Joan Cobos arrived there—where this witness was building a ship (the one in which he came hither), and work on which he left and abandoned, in order to go to see, protect, and serve the said father Fray Joan Cobo, and to instruct him in the customs and usages of the country, as the father came in behalf of his Majesty—he will relate here what he knows. While this witness was in the kingdoms of Xapon last year, the emperor resolved to send an embassy here. This he entrusted to Faranda Queymon, but as the latter fell sick at the time of his intended departure from that country, he sent in his stead a Christian Xaponese, named Gaspar, otherwise called Faranda. This witness says that what he heard and was told regarding that matter—not only by the emperor himself, with whom he conversed several times, but by other personages and nobles of the emperor's court—was always that the intention of the king of Xapon was only to ascertain, by means of this embassy, whether these Philippines Islands were friendly or hostile to him; for if they were friendly, then he wished friendship and alliance with the governor and the Spaniards, and trade and intercourse. If they were not friendly, then he would consider them as enemies, and would attack them. This was the object of the embassy, and the emperor's intention, as he himself declared three or four times in the presence of this deponent, in the following formal language: "It is true that I sent Quiemon on that embassy, for, as a man who knows that land, he gave me an account of it. But what I wished was friendship, and trade and intercourse with the Castilians, as I have been informed of the good treatment given to my Xaponese there. I do not want silver, gold, soldiers, or anything else, but only to keep them as friends." This witness, as he knew the emperor's nature, and his veracity, and the punctiliousness with which he keeps his word, thinks that he does not claim vassalage, tribute, or any recognition from this community and kingdom, nor does he intend to commit any wrong toward this kingdom; but rather this witness believes and knows that the emperor will aid this kingdom with soldiers, and whatever else might be asked from him. Therefore he thinks that he who interpreted the letter could not read or interpret it, if he asserted that the emperor demanded vassalage; for the characters used in their writing are difficult to understand. Likewise this witness declared, in regard to the arrival of father Fray Joan Cobo in the kingdoms of Xapon, that he saw that Father Cobo went from the port of Chandomar to Nangoya, where the emperor was residing, and that this witness accompanied and entertained him through the entire journey—about one hundred leguas. This witness saw with his own eyes that the city of Nangoya is a city of one hundred thousand or more inhabitants. This city was built and settled in five months. It is three leguas long, and nine leguas in circumference. It was built by order of Quambaco, by which his power was manifest. As soon as Father Cobo had arrived and was about to disembark in the port of the said city of Nangoya, a nobleman of the court came to receive him, bearing three letters—one for the said father, another for Captain Lope de Llano, and the third for the present witness. They [the father and the two captains] were borne on the shoulders of men to the house of the man who came to receive them. There lodging had been prepared by order of Cuambac. Within a week, Cuambac had the father summoned; as soon as the latter had entered the palace, the emperor bade him be seated, and received the messages that he bore. Then he made the above assertion to him with indications of great pleasure. After that he ordered a collation spread for the father, and asked him if he would like some tea to drink. The father replied that he kissed his Highness's hands. As he rose to go, the emperor ordered him to be taken to the Chanayu—a small house where the most privileged go for recreation and to drink tea [7] with the emperor. This house is well provided with gilded tables, vessels, sideboards, and braziers; and the cups and basins, and the rest of the service, are all of gold. There the emperor ordered a very fine banquet to be spread for him, and had wine carried to him. He again repeated the words above mentioned, two or three times, and then sat down. After a moment's conversation, he took leave of the father. Thirteen days after that, he sent the father a catana or sword, which is held in high estimation there in his kingdom, because of its fineness and adornments; and a letter for the governor. This letter was written on a large sheet of gilt paper resembling damask, in letters of gold. This witness saw it, and took it in his hand, and had it read many times. In brief, it contained these words: "I sent Quiemon, as he is a man of intelligence, and as he had given me a relation of that country, and the good treatment shown to my vassals there; but I do not desire silver, gold, or soldiers, or anything else, but only fast friendship with your nation, for I hold everything under my sway. In Coray [Corea] my captains have already taken the king prisoner, and are now near Lanquin, and about to seize China. I am sending you a sword now, in order that you may have some remembrance from me in that country. You shall have this written to your king, and shall send me his reply. To the lioccata of Manila, Huye Cama," (that is to say, "the great captain") The honor shown to father Fray Joan Cobo was never shown to any foreigner or native, according to the assertion of this witness, as one who has a thorough understanding of the customs and laws of that country. From all of the above it can be understood that the said father was received and his business despatched with great honor. And, as to the father not having come to this country, this witness declares that be knows that the father embarked, after receiving many presents and supplies. The vessel on which he embarked was in poor repair, and the season the very depth of winter. The sea was in great turmoil, and the winds contrary. On this account he thinks that the father perished at sea. As to the person of the ambassador Faranda, he knows him to be a man of influence in Xapon, who was recently created a lord by the emperor of that country. The emperor ordered him to come here in attendance on father Fray Joan Cobo, as one who was held in high estimation. For this reason, this witness thinks that his coming is without any duplicity, or cause for suspicion—beyond a little vanity, to show that he is a lord, and one whom the emperor chooses for things as important as this. Therefore this community has no grounds for fear of any wrong being done by that country; but should, on the contrary, esteem highly the friendship made with the said emperor; and as the latter is a friend so powerful and important, his ambassador should be served and entertained in the manner that seems most desirable to the governor. This witness asserts the above, by the oath he took, to be what he knows and what he has heard. He is thirty-eight years old. He affixed his signature to the above.

Joan de Solis

Before me:

Joan De Cuellar

In the city of Manila, on the first of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, for the investigation of the aforesaid matter, an oath was received in due form of law, before God and on the sign of the cross, from Antonio Lopez, a Chinese Christian, an interpreter. He took the oath, and promised, under charge thereof, to tell the truth. Being questioned regarding the matter, this witness declared that he went to the kingdoms of Xapon last year with Father Cobo. He saw that the father was very courteously received by the emperor upon his arrival there; for he saw Father Cobo enter [the palace] and go to meet the emperor. He saw that Father Cobo appeared very happy and cheerful, and heard him say that after a few days he was to go back with his business well despatched. He saw the father embark well and happy, with a present from the emperor of a very fine catana, or sword, for the governor of the Philippinas. Father Cobo gave this witness a letter, which he brought to the governor, for he sailed in the ambassador's ship, by order of Father Cobo. This witness knows that the emperor was very friendly to the Spaniards, and that the ambassador Faranda Queimon came to make a treaty of peace. The latter is the same man whom they saw enter and go with Father Cobo to meet the emperor. Queimon is not hostile, but friendly. This is the truth and nothing else, on his oath. He is about forty years old. He signed the above, according to his custom.

Before me:

Joan de Cuellar

Collated with the original:

Juan de Cuellar

[Endorsed: "Matters discussed with the governor by Faranda, ambassador from Japon."]

Antonio said that he heard that the emperor of Japon gave the conquest of these islands to Kunquyn. He also heard the soldiers of the house of Kunquyn say that they would like to come to these islands; and they asked him if the people of Cagayan were subdued. Upon Antonio replying "yes," they said "no," and that they knew it. He has heard that the king of Japon gave the conquest of the island of Ermosa to a Japanese; and that, when this man shall come to these islands, he will come through them, island by island, and that they had already set out. The greatest distance between any of these islands is about two days' sail by sea, and one or two nights. The Xaponese laughed when they heard Antonio say that these islands contained four or five thousand Spaniards. They said that the defense of these islands was merely a matter for jest, for one hundred of the Japanese were worth two or three hundred of us; and that, therefore, the conquest of these islands presented no difficulty. They declared that the natives of Cagayan were ill-disposed toward us; and that the Japanese would no sooner land in Cagayan, than the natives would deliver the Spaniards to them. Antonio declared further that three large ships were being built in Japon; and he could not understand why, unless for these islands, as they had no need of them for other purposes.

Antonio Lopez declares further that he heard in Japon that the king ordered this ambassador to return with the news, if the people of Lucon should submit. But if they did not submit, then he should order none of the Japanese here to return to Japon; as he would kill those who did return, for he wished them to live here. Antonio thinks that caution regarding the Japanese here should still be maintained—for, as I understand, there are three hundred or more Japanese here, and one hundred and fifty came in the ambassador's ship. According to Antonio's opinion, no confidence should be placed in the infidel Sangleys; for many of them have been in Japon, and those most evil and most opposed to the Chinese are those very Chinese. He declares that a Japanese, named Don Baltasar, conspired with Don Agustin at the time of the revolt. This was told to Antonio Lopez by a Christian Sangley in Firando. He declares that there are many of the Japanese here who came to Cagayan seven years ago, and that the pilot who has just arrived in this ship also went to Cagayan, to plunder. He has many times heard the Japanese say that they would go to Ciuteui, thence to Cagayan; and that the king of Japon ordered the inhabitants of Liutai not to render homage any longer to China. They recognized that country to the extent that, when the reigning king died, his successor had to be approved by China. All the trees in Japon are assigned to the king; and no one may cut them without his permission. Antonio declares that little confidence can be placed in the Sangleys, in the Parian; for many of them, having been promised some vassals by the Japanese, are in rebellion. In Japon there is universal talk of the abundance of gold in this land. On this account, the soldiers are anxious to come here; and are coming, as they do not care to go to Core, which is a poor country. Those who come from Core say: "Formerly when we were going to plunder their country, the Chinese immediately united with us; but now there is no one in Core who cares for our friendship, but all love the Chinese even unto death."

Antonio thinks also that "the infidel Sangleys should not be allowed to go to the Visayas, nor a Christian with many other infidels, as is the custom, but that only Christians go, on account of the acts of treachery and revolt that the Chinese, instigated by the Japanese, may attempt." He declares further that three or four Japanese asserted, in the king's court, that if they should go to Manila, the natives themselves would deliver to them the Spaniards dead. As he understands, because of this and of other things, Father Juan Cobo said that when he returned here he would confer with the governor as to the advisability of not permitting a single Japanese to remain in the country. Antonio declares that Father Juan Cobo left Japon so quickly, and at a so inopportune season, because of his fears of the Japanese; and that he had previously agreed with this Antonio Lopez to send him to Hroguyaca, on the pretext that he was going to China, but with instructions to change his course at sea, and return here.

Antonio declares that Juan Sami, a master of Chinese letters, who accompanied father Fray Juan Cobo, read the letter given to this Faranda by the Japanese emperor. It contained injunctions to subdue the inhabitants of these islands, and oblige them to recognize him as lord. If the Spaniards should not do that promptly, he [the emperor] would come soon; and had it not been for the dangerous sea for half of the distance, he would have come already.

Juan Sami, master of Chinese letters, declared that he accompanied father Fray Juan Cobo to Japon. There the father met Juan de Solis, a Castilian, who was much persecuted by the Portuguese. This same master presented a petition to the Japanese king, by order of father Fray Juan Cobo. This petition complained of the injuries that Juan de Solis had received from the Portuguese, who had stolen from him a quantity of gold, silver, and other property. He presented this petition to the king of Japon, on the day when he met him. The latter accordingly ordered one of his captains to return all the stolen articles; but as yet only five hundred pesos are paid.

Francisco de Loadi de Onate declares that he knows Juan de Solis; who is a captain of the king, our sovereign. This captain went, at the order of the Audiencia of Panama, to Macan, in order to purchase copper and other articles; but the Portuguese seized all his money and his vessel. They sold the ship very cheaply, and sent the crew as prisoners to Goa. From sheer pity, he entered his pulpit one day, and there complained of the injuries done to the captain—among others, maiming one of his arms. After this the aforesaid Solis, in company with a father of the Society, [8] who was about to go to Japon as visitador, went to the said kingdom. Without the knowledge of the father visitador, Solis, as soon as he arrived at Japon, presented [to the king] a rich gift, which according to various estimates cost seven or ten thousand ducados. He also presented certain letters in the name of the king our sovereign, whereupon he was very kindly received by the Japanese king. The latter gave Solis a letter ordering the refunding of all that had been taken from him, with interest. After this Solis obtained permission to build a vessel, which was already completed, all but stepping the masts. The boatswain was found dead one morning, and the ship scuttled. Solis, after the Portuguese and Theatins had denied that they had done this, went to Meaco. When the king of Japon asked him why he did not go, he told him what had happened; and recounted to him what the father visitador had done. Thereupon, the king began to persecute the Theatin fathers. The witness declares further that the said king gave the said Captain Solis a letter ordering that no Portuguese or any other person should dare or attempt to oppose him any further.

Francisco de Lorduy

Juan Sami declared that he saw and read a letter from the king of Xapon to the governor of these islands. Its substance was as follows: "Formerly I was a man of little renown. Now all who live beneath the sky recognize me and are my vassals. I ordered the king of Core to render me homage. At his refusal, I sent my captain to war upon him, and seize his land even to the confines of Liauton. [9] This Liauton is a land with many Chinese soldiers, near which resides the king of China. I have seized the fortress of Partho, which I have subdued, and it is very devoted to me, because I love the people of that fortress as fathers and mothers love their children. Those who recognize my authority I do not ill-treat, but I send my captains to war upon whomsoever shall refuse to submit to me. I am writing this letter to thee, so that it may prove a token, signal, and reminder. Thou shalt write these things to the king of Castilla quickly, so that he may be informed thereof. Do not delay, but write at once. I send thee that sword, which is called quihocan." He declares that this letter was given to the father while in the court; and that when the father was about to leave, he received a second of like tenor, written later than the above. In it the emperor stated that he was sending this Faranda as ambassador.

In what pertains to Corean matters, he declares that the Japanese did indeed conquer the kingdom at first, but that many soldiers came from the country of Liacaton, who harassed the Japanese greatly. After many of the Japanese had died by sword and disease, the Chinese recovered this fortress of Partho and other districts.

He declares moreover, that father Fray Juan Cobo asked him: "Why dost thou fear to have the Japanese go to China?" He answered him that the Chinese did not fear them, as there were many soldiers; and even if the Japanese should kill many of them at first, many others would come afterwards. When he asked the father if he were afraid to have them come here, to Lucon, he said that the father answered: "No, even if many hundreds of Japanese should come." He declares that it was after the father had talked with the king that the churches were destroyed.

Antonio Lopez declares that father Fray Juan Cobo showed the king of Japon the kingdoms of our king on a globe. He gave this to the king, with the names of the kingdoms written in Chinese characters, with the distances between them. The occasion for this arose, because when the king of Xapon read the letter written from this country, he saw so many kingdoms, whereupon he asked to have them pointed out to him in detail, with their size and the distances between them. The father told him that the Portuguese were subjects of the king of Castilla. The father wrote this to Hunquin, who requested it from him in the name of the king. Antonio Lopez says that he does not know whether it was on the occasion of Hunquin asking the father why he did not acknowledge subjection to him, or on the other occasion of the father coming to say that the present which he had taken to the king of Japon was not sent in the name of our king (for he did not acknowledge any superior), but that it would be from the Theatin fathers; but after the father had conversed with the king, on his return they found the churches destroyed.

Moreover, he says that at some time during this month Luis, a servant of Joan de Solis, will come here. This man served as interpreter between the father and the king of Japon, and also Hunquin.

Moreover, Antonio declares that when he was accompanying father Fray Juan Cobo one day, as they journeyed together, he asked the father: "Father, shall we have war in Lucon this year?" The father answered: "No, we shall not." The father said that he was going to Castilla this year to discuss some matters that only he could discuss there, as he alone had seen them; and that it would be advisable to send fathers of St. Francis to Japon this year, for the fathers do not desire money. The Japanese are tractable in disposition, and they greatly desired the fathers. The father said it would be advisable for him to continue diverting them for four years, when the fortresses in Manila would be completed; and then there would be war.

Letter from the emperor of Japon to the governor of Lucon

Formerly I was an insignificant man and held in but little esteem; but I set out to conquer this round expanse under the sky, and those who live beneath the sky upon the earth are all my vassals. Those who do homage to me have peace and security, and live without fear. But I immediately send my captains and soldiers to those who do not render homage to me, to make war upon them, as has recently happened to the king of Core. Because he refused homage to me, I have seized his kingdom even to the confines of Liauton, located near the court of the Chinese king. Already have I seized the fortress and district of Parto, and have pacified it thoroughly. Although the kingdoms were in revolt and about to make war, I gave them by means of my good plans, thought out in one, two, or three days, one after another, laws and decrees, whereby I pacified them; for I love my vassals as parents love their children. The kings of other nations are not as I; for although they give me but little, still I receive them. In that paper I am sending thee those words, in order that they may serve as a reminder. Thou shalt write the following at once to the king of Castilla: "Those who insult me cannot escape, but those who hearken to me and obey me live in peace and sleep with security." I send thee this sword, called quihocan, as a present. Talk with Tuquy at once, and do not delay.

Antonio declares that Firanda's clerk said to him yesterday: "Antonio, see that thou tellest the truth. It matters little that we Japanese are about. Thou shalt tell the truth." Antonio answered him that he would indeed tell the truth, and what was not true, he would not say.

Antonio declares that when he asked a Japanese friend of his, who brings a few cotton articles, why he served Faranda, and if it were better for his trading, this Japanese answered that Faranda was their ruler, and without his leave not one of them could return to Japon. If Faranda did not obtain a favorable message this year, then he would not return to Japon; but if they treated him well he would return. Antonio declares that this good treatment means obedience to the king of Japon.

Moreover he declared that Faranda's brother told him that four months are needed to go from Mexico to Lucon, and from there at Lucon to Mexico another four; and on this account but few soldiers could come from Mexico. Japan is not more than twenty days' journey distant, and therefore it would be well for us to appreciate this fact. Antonio declares that he told this to Father Juan Cobo and to Captain Llanos.

Antonio says that one Usangro, a great friend of Faranda, took him, while in Japon, to his house. This man is now sick in the ship. Antonio says it will be advisable for him to take Usangro to his house, in order to repay his hospitality. He says that he will try to find out from this man how affairs stand.

He declares that those who accompanied Faranda assert that the latter came to become governor of Manila. All those of the ship say this, and he heard it said likewise in Japon. He did not know whether Faranda were to govern only the Japanese, or the Tagals, or the Spaniards as well.

He asserts also that Faranda's servants told the Sangleys to be careful of their actions, for their master Faranda was to govern them also here at Manila.

He says that what he understands of Faranda's purpose is, that the latter promised the king of Japon that he would plan how these islands should render the king homage. His intention is to take a certain rich present with him, in order that he might say in Japon that he brings recognition. But now, as the father has not come, and as he believes that he will not obtain the present that he seeks, he is sad; and thus he will be very low-spirited, compared to his previous state of mind.

He says also that when Don Agustin, a Tagal of Tondo, and Don Baltazar, a Japanese, conspired together to seize Manila, Don Agustin gave the latter a hat, and Don Baltasar gave the said Don Agustin a morion and some cuirasses. This Antonio says also that father Fray Juan Cobo conferred with him upon the advisability of our concerting with China against Japon, in the following manner: If the Japanese should attack China, we would aid the latter; and if they attacked these islands, then the Chinese should aid us.

He asserts that the father once told him that Faranda, as he had lost his property, was about to come to these islands to confer with the governor, so that his two vessels might engage in trade between these islands and Japon. When Antonio said to the father: "Take care that thou dost not reveal the design of this man, namely, to wrest Manila from you Spaniards," the father responded that Faranda did not dare do it. Antonio says that he does not know whether the father told this to Faranda to test him, for well he knows it, but it is certain that the father knows that the Japanese are trying to have the people of Manila render homage to them.

Miguel Onte says that he has heard it reported that, about forty years ago, the Japanese were trading in China. Then they were very mild, and feigned to be very humble. But after they had learned the passages, rivers, and entrances, they came to China to plunder; and thirty-four years ago they robbed him and many others who were with him.

He says that in the time of Santiago de Vera, the Chinese said to the latter: "Take care, sir, do not allow the Japanese to come here; for if a few come now, and receive hospitable treatment, more of them will come tomorrow, and continually more, so that what happened to us will happen to you Spaniards."

He says that he has heard it reported that the father of this Faranda requested the conquest of these islands from the king of Japon a number of years ago. To this end he requested five thousand soldiers; and the king of Japon promised him ten thousand. He has felled trees and prepared timber to build vessels.

Moreover, he declares that two other vessels are about to come here now. Before the coming of the Japanese this year, there were four hundred Japanese here. These two vessels have brought almost three hundred, and another three hundred will come in the ships that are coming. Therefore much caution must be employed.

He says also that many of the Sangleys who came with Faranda declare that this Faranda wants a share in these islands, and that they do homage to him. Miguel says that he cannot understand what Faranda wants here, unless it is this thing. If something is not given him, he will not return to Japon, but will send for troops.

He declares further that, when the Japanese made their first assault in China, they were living there peacefully. One night they set fire to the town that they inhabited, and captured and robbed all the people whom they could find. Many of the Sangleys fear lest this be enacted here. For why has Faranda come here to Manila, unless for this? It is said that he is gloomy because of the non-arrival of the troops.

He declares further that what he understands of the Chinese is, that if the Spaniards, when war should break out, would make arrangements with the Chinese to give them money and the heads of all the Japanese that they might kill—giving them a certain sum for each head, and allowing them to take it to China afterwards—many of the Chinese would fight with good courage. Two or three thousand soldiers could be found, who would fight very bravely.

He says that it would be advisable to go to Patan and Sian for saltpeter and lead. Sangley Christians could go for this in their own vessels. He declares further that, in case of necessity, they might bring from the Atarrayas, whose habitations extend from here to Palanaque, more than thirty picos of lead.

I, Fray Juan de San Pedro Martir, declare that I have learned, through a very certain and indubitable medium, that one of the Japanese who accompanied Faranda, and who is in his immediate service, told a certain individual that Faranda was coming to these islands in order that they might render him homage. If they should refuse it, he would not dare return to Japon; as the king of that country would hang him, if he returned without taking Manila, or its fort. There were five hundred Japanese here for the accomplishment of this. In testimony of the truth of the above, I affix my signature. April twenty-four, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

Fray Juan de San Pedro Martir

Antonio says that he heard it said in Hunquin's house in Japon that ten banes of soldiers (one hundred thousand Japanese) would come here. When this Antonio told them that these islands contained only five or six thousand soldiers, and that here at Manila there were no more than three or four thousand soldiers, the Japanese said that so many troops would be unnecessary; and therefore that ten thousand would be sufficient.

He asserts further that his guest said, about three days ago, that three days would be sufficient for five or six thousand men to come here to Manila.

He says also that the clerk of Faranda and of the ship (who was arrested yesterday), while talking today with Pablo Rroman, told the latter that twenty Japanese were equal to twenty of us.

Antonio Lopez says also that on the night when his Lordship granted him leave to go to his house—the night of the feast of the Resurrection—Pablo Rroman was in the ship. This was told Antonio by the Sangleys, in particular by one of his cousins. Therefore they could ascertain from the father the intentions of Faranda. He says that he heard that he was going for copper.

This Antonio says also that, while he was in Faranda's house, Faranda ordered Don Pedro Leon, a Japanese, to ask a Spaniard present to fence with him. The Spaniard fenced, whereupon Faranda remarked that he was skilful. This he said in sarcastic comment on us, as was gathered from his manner of saying it.

He says also that the Sangleys who came in Faranda's ship complained that Faranda does not allow them to remove their possessions from it, and that none of them are willing to return with him.

He says also that the distance from Japon to Liutue is three hundred Japanese leguas, which are equal to two hundred Castilian leguas. In his opinion, and he says the father thought the same, ten Japanese leguas are equivalent to eight of ours.

He says also that a Japanese threatened Antonio Melo, a Christian Sangley, that, if he sold the vessel which he had brought from Japon, he would speak to Cunbaco, who would crucify the Sangley.

He says also that one sails from Luiteui [Liukiu?] to the island of Hermosa, whence he strikes Sioabuetabo, where the men go naked. If the weather is favorable, this voyage takes two days and one night, but if not, the only ports are in these islands of Liuitiui above mentioned. This Liuitiui consists of seven islands. He asked this in Japon.

He declares further that his guest told him that, if no fathers are sent to Japon this year, there will be war next year. If the governor sends a present to Cuanbaco, Faranda and Cuanbaco will be very glad; but if not, then there will be war. Father Fray Juan Cobo had discussed the same thing with this Antonio.

Antonio asserts, moreover, that he suspected in Japon that Hunquin would not allow Juan de Solis's ship to sail. He remarked this to Juan Sami, his comrade, a Christian Sangley, who had gone to Japon with him and father Fray Juan Cobo. He based this assertion on the fact that when this Antonio wished to bring the ship in which the father had come, Hunquin must have prevented its sailing; for, until this Faranda left, a servant of Hunquin remained at the port. Although this man was poor, yet Faranda respected him, feasted him, and gave him a garment when he left. His name was Hirobio.

Moreover, he says that his host told him that four or five thousand men would come in large vessels to conquer these islands, and that this number was sufficient. Only ten ships would be needed for this.

He declares that, in his opinion, it would be an advisable plan for the governor to contrive to despatch a couple of Japanese vessels without telling Faranda that he would give him any present, or any fathers to accompany him. He should show signs that he wishes to detain Faranda, in order to ascertain his intention in this way; for the latter has said that his ship must leave these islands first.

He asserts also that the Japanese emperor admits in his letter that the sword which he sent by means of the same Japanese, is called guihoccan. This is a Chinese word, which, being translated into our language, signifies: "I am sending thee that token of brotherly love. Cross the sea, so that thou mayst render submission to me." This letter gi, or word gui, signifies "love," and a token of the love which exists between brothers. This word hoc signifies subjection. Finally this word can signifies sea. Thus "the sword guihoccan" admits of the above explanation.

He declares also that his guest told him that the ships would not come to this bay; but that the soldiers would march here by land.

Miguel Onte declares that many Sangleys would buy catanas, but they did not dare, for fear lest the governor would take them away. He says the Chinese would like to sail five days ahead of the Japanese.

Antonio Lopez says that the helmsmen of the ship have told him that they and the pilot had consulted together as to the way of reaching Manila in the quickest time, and says that they will come by way of Liuteui. He declares also that he thinks that the Japanese have detained Pedro Solis's vessel and another one, which were about to sail; for surely, had they not been detained, they would have arrived. He says also that the reason why the helmsmen do not wish to return is because they know that the Japanese are coming next year, and that the latter will force them to bring them here. On this account, they wish to remain here and return to China. He says, too, that great care should be taken; for, in his opinion, it would be very advisable to detain the Japanese, and not allow them to return. For it is certain that they will try to subdue us; but if these do not return, the Japanese in Japon will be as though blind. He says further that Faranda told him yesterday that affairs were turning out well, and that they and we would be friends; and that it was very well that the governor had invited them. He also said that because the inhabitants of Core refused their friendship, and endeavored to fortify themselves, the Japanese retreated, in such manner as their knowledge of the country permitted—not being acquainted with the routes in the fortified part of the country, but only with those where it was not defended.

[Endorsed: "Ancient fears of Japon, 1593."]

Copy of the letter written by Gomez Perez Dasmarinas to the emperor of Xapon.

Last year I wrote to your Grandeur through father Fray Juan Cobo, in reply to a letter given to me here in your royal name, although I had good reason to doubt the authenticity of the embassy as well as the meaning of the words, and I have waited almost a year to receive your statement and reply; and have only received a very short and general letter from Father Cobo, stating that he sailed away from there six months ago, highly favored and with his mission expedited by your royal hands, which I kiss therefor. Two Xaponese vessels, which have been hospitably received by me, have arrived here—one of them bringing Faranda, who claims to be your ambassador, but who brings neither a chapa nor your letter, nor an answer to mine, nor anything to clear up my doubt. And now, considering the uncertainty of the sea-voyage, and the fact that Father Cobo has not come, I am more in the dark than ever, and more desirous of learning your royal intentions and wishes. For, although Faranda brings me no credentials, yet I cannot believe that a vassal of your Grandeur, and one to all appearance so honored, would dare to appropriate and use your royal name without your order. Therefore, in such uncertainty, I cannot do otherwise than hear him and speed him in his mission. I answered a memorial which he gave me, as he will show you. At present, to clear up the doubt and uncertainty, I am sending father Fray Pedro Baptista, who is a most serious man, of much worth and character, with whom I counsel and advise in the affairs most important to my king; in short, he is my comfort and my consolation, as he is to all the people of this state. He carries with him the letters which have passed between us, and the copy of Faranda's memorial, and my answer thereto, so that he may there consider the whole affair with your royal person and bring back to me the explanation and certainty and decision which are to be hoped from your royal heart. He has power from me to accept and establish the peace and amity which are offered in your royal name and requested from us by Faranda; and the treaty shall be held in force and observed until such time as the king my lord, advised of the facts, shall order me what to do. I trust that all will come out as you desire. I, for my part, shall do all I can to further this. May God keep your royal person and grant much prosperity to you. From Manila, on the twentieth of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three since our Lord's birth.

I was particularly inclined to send this despatch by one who, besides the high esteem in which he is held by me, is a member of the holy order of St. Francis, as Faranda requested this in his memorial addressed to me, wherein he said that it would greatly please you to see there fathers of this blessed order. This man is one of most strict and holy life, which alone would make him worthy of veneration.

Two Letters from Gomez Perez Dasmarinas to Felipe II


Last year, 1592, I gave your Majesty an account, in various letters (written in duplicate), of the condition of matters in this country, and of everything that had occurred up to that time of which I should advise you, and at greater length. Now I repeat that information sending with the present letter a brief summary or memorandum of the various points about which I wrote, so that, being thus reminded of what required deliberation, your Majesty may be pleased to order that all these matters be examined and suitable action taken. But lately (April 27), on the arrival at this port of a vessel from Mexico, I received no letter from your Majesty or your councils, because no fleet went hence to Mexico this year. Consequently I shall note here only what has happened since last year. Since I have had, this year, no news of your Majesty's health, may it please His Divine Majesty, that when this letter reaches you, it will find your Majesty enjoying the health needed by the interests of Christendom, and the prosperity for which we, your Majesty's vassals and servants, pray; and may this continue so for many long and happy years, so that the disturbed and embarrassed condition of affairs which now generally prevails may be reduced to order.

As I have written to your Majesty of our need here of ministers to give Christian instruction, I have great hopes that your Majesty has done us the favor to send a great force of missionaries to this vineyard and to this new field of Christendom, which so sorely needs them. I hope, too, that these laborers will not come from Mexico, but from Espana, and that they will be among those who are most needed there; for this land, so new and so distant from your Majesty's royal sight, demands such men. Likewise they should be humble, peaceful subjects, loving God and your Majesty, and attentive to their ministry of preaching the holy gospel and the salvation of souls. They should not be men with selfish interests, or have special objects or pretensions in view which would divert them from their chief aim. I am hoping for them chiefly because of the great need for them in the province of Tuy. This province was rendered obedient to your Majesty without bloodshed and voluntarily, by means of the fathers. At that time they paid some beads, and rice, and some small articles of little or no value, only as a slight token of recognition. I thought it better, according to our promises to them, not to collect any tribute from them inside of one year; and although this time has expired, still I have not thought it proper to collect the tribute, because of our lack of ministers to instruct them, and because I am thinking of founding a Spanish settlement there. This latter I propose doing, on account of the fertility of that region, and its superior climate, as well as the robustness of the Indians, and their great vigor and intelligence. They have large villages and houses, abundance of rice, cattle, fruit, cotton, anise, ginger, and other products. In that region fifteen thousand tributarios are subject to your Majesty's obedience. When the year, as above stated, had expired, I sent to Tuy, about five months ago, thirty soldiers under their leader, for the sole purpose of visiting those villages and ascertaining whether they were obedient to your Majesty's service and friendly to us. I sent them some beads, hawk's bells, and other trifles of slight value, although these things are highly esteemed among them. The people were found to be quite peaceful, obedient, and friendly, and were willing to pay the tribute to your Majesty at that time, as you will see by the accompanying information. I was unwilling to have the tribute collected until we have fathers to instruct them—or at least, until we institute justice among them and found a settlement there. For this last-named purpose I have no men, because many have died of disease during the past year. I am considering whether I shall make the settlement in Tuy, as it is the capital, or between Tuy and Cagayan; upon the arrival of the vessels, and after I have ascertained the fitness of the troops (for this vessel brought but few), we shall determine what is best.

The same need of ministers is felt in the provinces of Cagayan. And although all these provinces are so truly pacified, and the Indians therein very friendly and well satisfied, and all pay tribute, still the fourth part of the tribute is not collected, because of the lack of ministers. There is a countless number of villages needing instruction, and all ready to become Christians, and for this reason also I am awaiting ministers. I enclose information concerning the excellent condition of that region.

I have written your Majesty before of the good condition of the Zambales' affairs, and the severe punishment meted out to them, and the lack of ministers for the recent settlements made in pacifying them. Because of this lack, we have been unable to establish these settlements, as fully as is desirable—although the highways are safe and open, while in the mountain districts disturbances are but slight; so that the good condition prevails that your Majesty will see by the inclosed account. In Pangasinan and Ylocos, the tributes have been lately increased, and the whole district enjoys peace and tranquillity, as is apparent by the other account enclosed. In all these transactions in the above districts, there has resulted no confusion; on the contrary, there is universal tranquillity and accord. The same peace and tranquillity reigns in the provinces of Pintados, Cibu, and Camarines; and although, at my arrival here, on the opposite coast there were some things that needed attention and adjustment, as well as in other parts of these islands of Luzon and all this kingdom, there is now no quarter that has not been explored and that does not render peaceful homage to your Majesty.

Your Majesty will have learned from my letters of the satisfactory completion of the enclosure and fortification of this city, since it was already walled from the new fort on the point along the whole stretch of seacoast to the round fort of Nuestra Senora de Guia ["Our Lady of Guidance"]. This fort having fallen, not having been properly constructed, and so that it was of little or no use, I have reduced it to such shape that it will be of use, by joining to it a defense of cut stone, about as high as the fort, and a rampart that commands all the country and part of the sea. On the other side, I have built another rampart, small and low, for the defense of the principal gate of the city, which has been built there under the shelter and defense of the projection of the high fortification; so that fort is now safe and useful. Afterward the work will be completed on the other side. I am sending an account of this. From this gate, the wall is being continued along the land side toward the river as far as its entrance, with the same thickness, height, and shape as the other wall, and each with its traverses.

And now this city is enclosed by sea and land, so that only one small portion fronting on the river is open between that and the fort of the point. This has not been enclosed, because that open space is so small, and it fronts on the river between the fort of the point and another cavalier named Sanct Gabriel which has been built there. As these two are opposite each other and within easy distance, it is evident that no danger will enter by that place, for it is the best guarded and most secure. And, too, as this wall and fort have been built at so little or no cost to your Majesty, except from the two per cent tax levied once, and from your Majesty's monopoly of the sale of playing-cards, I ran so short of funds that I was compelled to leave this bit of the shore unenclosed. But, God be praised, the work in its present condition is so far advanced, that no enemy who attacks me can give me any cause for anxiety. Your Majesty may see what has been done since my arrival here, by the accompanying plan. [10] This wall has had no less effect for the undeceiving of the natives. Hitherto they have hoped that the occupation and settlement of the Spaniards here was not to be permanent, as was observed in a joint meeting of the religious orders and myself, held in your Majesty's fort about one month ago. At that time Fray Christoval, who was managing this bishopric, said that, less than one month previous, some chiefs of La Laguna (which is five leagues from this city) had asked him when the Castilians were going to leave. They will have been already undeceived in this regard, and the insolent and audacious designs of the hostile mestizos and foreigners will have received a heavy blow when they see this city enclosed and defended by land and sea.

Although the cathedral church was being finished when the vessels left, after the portal was built—although with opposition and a suit, as your Majesty will see by the accompanying papers—I had your Majesty's arms placed upon it. Truly, that was sufficiently contrary to the will of these priests here, who—just as if your Majesty were some foreigner, and not the sovereign, as you are, of all this land—declare that, wherever the arms of St. Peter are placed, those of your Majesty are unnecessary, to such a state has the insistence and license of the ecclesiastics here come. Finally, as to the building of the church, it is so far advanced that, notwithstanding the little still to be done, the divine offices are celebrated therein with due propriety. The canons receive their pay from their stipends, and are content therewith. There is need of a prelate—who, as I have written your Majesty, should be not a theologian, but a canonist, in order to serve suitably God and your Majesty. The work on the new convent of Sanct Andres and Sancta Potenciana for the shelter and training of girls is well under way, although for lack of money not so far advanced as I would like. However, the girls are being cared for in the house first assigned them.

As I have written to your Majesty, I have four galleys fitted up, which are actually patrolling the coast, and acting as a defense to these islands whenever needed, although they cost me abundance of complaints, both in and out of the pulpit, from these blessed fathers, who have compelled me to make the enclosed inquiries; and yet, with the rumors and dangers current at the present time, these four seem but few to the theologues. My only regret is my inability to provide and fit them with all the things that they lack, as I wrote your Majesty.

In accordance with clause 7 of your Majesty's instructions, whereby I was ordered to allow the Indians to pay their tribute in land products or in money, as they chose, your order has been observed hitherto. Experience has shown that the carrying of this measure farther means the ruin of the country; for since the Indian sees that he can pay his tribute with ten reals, which he makes in one day's gain, all the rest of the year he makes merry and spends his time in idleness and leisure, drunkenness and magabalijas, which are his sources of income. Therefore they do not sow their fields, raise animals, or weave their cloth, or cultivate the fruits of the earth. On this account no rice is found, nor one mata or lampote, [11] which is worth more than three from China. There is no cotton, wax, gold, or other article of exchange; and all the trade here in these things has been lost, as well as the great cheapness of these things when the Indians paid their tribute in produce, and not as they might choose. When it became evident that the country was falling into ruin, and the pressure brought to bear by the encomenderos in opposition to the religious orders, and the injuries and annoyances resulting from this method of collecting the tribute were seen, it was determined that it should be collected in produce, as your Majesty will see by the resolution taken there. Therefore we shall collect the tribute in accordance with this decision, until your Majesty shall be pleased to order otherwise.

The bishop of Malaca wrote me the letter that I enclose herewith. And although I answered him so briefly, and without making a decision (as you will see by the enclosed copy of the letter), because I did not like to say what I thought without first consulting your Majesty, now, because of some news and information given me in regard to matters of the commerce and navigation of those regions and of these, I lay before your Majesty, in the enclosed paper, the drawbacks and advantages on either side that I find in this matter, so that, after examining them, your Majesty may be pleased to order in all these matters what is most suitable.

I have written to your Majesty concerning the great annoyances resulting from the unsuitable marriages of widows and minors, who are wealthy encomenderas of this country. It is a fact that within the last few days, three cases of very great inequality and irregularity have occurred in the marriages of the widows of very respectable captains, with an income of more than four or five thousand pesos. One of them was of advanced age, and quite unfitted for marriage. They all married youths with little or no money, who have employed evil methods to obtain this end, and have defrauded several very honorable and worthy captains and soldiers, who serve here, and for whom such encomiendas were especially established. These women inherited these encomiendas from their husbands or fathers. This abuse will result in the complete destruction of this country, and the discouragement of its soldiers and conquistadors, unless your Majesty remedy it. This can be done by ordering that these marriages shall not be made here without communicating with you, under penalty of loss of such encomiendas; and it should be provided that the governor should not make this an opportunity whereby to accommodate and provide for his relatives and servants. Your Majesty will act according to your pleasure.

The encomenderos and soldiers of this country, who have grown old and married here, say, whenever I summon them for certain matters in your Majesty's service—whether for actual service, or only to confer with them—that they are old, that they have served sufficiently, and that they are embarrassed with wives and children. Thus I find them disinclined to any service; but, if I do not summon them, they assert that I give them nothing to do, and do not consult them at all. The worst of it all is that they all imagine themselves capable of giving counsel. Those who are capable know very well that I employ them, and consult them in matters about which I think they have something to say. For those who would complain, I leave the door open, so that they may present their arguments in regard to the mistakes made hitherto.

1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse