Philippines: Period of Conquest and Settlement, 1565–1600


Philippines: Period of Conquest and Settlement, 1565–1600

Philippines: Period of Conquest and Settlement, 1565–1600


Manila Philippines Map 1
Manila Philippines Map
Manila Philippines seal
Manila Philippines seal
Manila Philippines Coat of Arms
Manila Philippines Coat of Arms
Manila Philippines Flag
Manila Philippines Flag


Philippines: Period of Conquest and Settlement, 1565–1600


Cause of Settlement and Conquest of the Philippines.—The previous Spanish expeditions whose misfortunes have been narrated, seemed to have proved to the Court of Spain that they could not drive the Portuguese from the Moluccas. But to the east of the Moluccas lay great unexplored archipelagoes, which might lie within the Spanish demarcation and which might yield spices and other valuable articles of trade; and as the Portuguese had made no effective occupation of the Philippines, the minds of Spanish conquerors turned to this group also as a coveted field of conquest, even though it was pretty well understood that they lay in the latitude of the Moluccas, and so were denied by treaty to Spain.

In 1559 the Spanish king, Felipe II., commanded the viceroy of Mexico to undertake again the discovery of the islands lying “toward the Moluccas,” but the rights of Portugal to islands within her demarcation were to be respected. Five years passed before ships and equipments could be prepared, and during these years the objects of the expedition received considerable discussion and underwent some change.

The king invited Andres de Urdaneta, who years before had been a captain in the expedition of Loaisa, to accompany the expedition as a guide and director. Urdaneta, after his return from the previous expedition, had renounced military life and had become an Augustinian friar. He was known to be a man of wise judgment, with good knowledge of cosmography, and as a missionary he was able to give to the expedition that religious strength which characterized all Spanish undertakings.

It was Urdaneta’s plan to colonize, not the Philippines, but New Guinea; but the Audiencia of Mexico, which had charge of fitting out the expedition, charged it in minute instructions to reach and if possible colonize the Philippines, to trade for spices and to discover the return sailing route back across the Pacific to New Spain. The natives of the islands were to be converted to Christianity, and missionaries were to accompany the expedition. In the quaint language of Fray Gaspar de San Augustin, there were sent “holy guides to unfurl and wave the banners of Christ, even to the remotest portions of the islands, and to drive the devil from the tyrannical possession, which he had held for so many ages, usurping to himself the adoration of those peoples.”

The Third Expedition to the Philippines.—The expedition sailed from the port of Natividad, Mexico, November 21, 1564, under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. The ships followed for a part of the way a course further south than was necessary, and touched at some inhabited islands of Micronesia. About the 22d of January they reached the Ladrones and had some trouble with the natives. They reached the southern end of Samar about February the 13th. Possession of Samar was taken by Legaspi in the name of the king, and small parties were sent both north and south to look for villages of the Filipinos.

A few days later they rounded the southern part of Samar, crossed the strait to the coast of southern Leyte, and the field-marshal, Goyti, discovered the town of Cabalian, and on the 5th of March the fleet sailed to this town. Provisions were scarce on the Spanish vessels, and great difficulty was experienced in getting food from the few natives met in boats or in the small settlements discovered.



(From a painting by Luna, in the Malacañan palace at Manila.)

Legaspi at Bohol.—About the middle of March the fleet arrived at Bohol, doubtless the southern or eastern shore. While near here Goyti in a small boat captured a Moro prao from Borneo and after a hard fight brought back the Moros as prisoners to Legaspi. There proved to be quite a trade existing between the Moros from Borneo and the natives of Bohol and Mindanao.

Here on Bohol they were able to make friendly terms with the natives, and with Sicatuna, the dato of Bohol, Legaspi performed the ceremony of blood covenant. The Spanish leader and the Filipino chief each made a small cut in his own arm or breast and drank the blood of the other. According to Gaspar de San Augustin, the blood was mixed with a little wine or water and drunk from a goblet. This custom was the most sacred bond of friendship among the Filipinos, and friendship so pledged was usually kept with great fidelity.


The Blood Compact.

(Painting by Juan Luna.)

Legaspi in Cebu.—On the 27th of April, 1565, Legaspi’s fleet reached Cebu. Here, in this beautiful strait and fine anchoring-ground, Magellan’s ships had lingered until the death of their leader forty-four years before. A splendid native settlement lined the shore, so Father Chirino tells us, for a distance of more than a league. The natives of Cebu were fearful and greatly agitated, and seemed determined to resist the landing of the Spaniards. But at the first discharge of the guns of the ships, the natives abandoned the shore, and, setting fire to the town, retreated into the jungles and hills. Without loss of life the Spaniards landed, and occupied the harbor and town.


The Holy Child (Santo Niño) of Cebu.

Finding of “the Holy Child of Cebu.”—The Spanish soldiers found in one of the houses of the natives a small wooden image of the Child Jesus. A similar image, Pigafetta tells us, he had himself given to a native while in the island with Magellan. It had been preserved by the natives and was regarded by them as an object of veneration. To the pious Spaniards the discovery of this sacred object was hailed as an event of great good fortune. It was taken by the monks, and carried to a shrine especially erected for it. It still rests in the church of the Augustinians, an object of great devotion.

Settlement Made at Cebu.—In honor of this image this first settlement of the Spaniards in the Philippines received the name of “City of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.” Here Legaspi established himself, and, by great tact and skill, gradually won the confidence and friendship of the inhabitants. A formal peace was at last concluded in which the dato, Tupas, recognized the sovereignty of Spain; and the people of Cebu and the Spaniards bound themselves to assist each other against the enemies of either.

They had some difficulty in understanding one another, but the Spaniards had with them a Mohammedan Malay of Borneo, called Cid-Hamal, who had been taken from the East Indies to the Peninsula and thence to Mexico and Legaspi’s expedition. The languages of Malaysia and the Philippines are so closely related that this man was able to interpret. Almost immediately, however, the missionaries began the study of the native dialect, and Padre Chirino tells us that Friar Martin Herrada made here the first Filipino vocabulary, and was soon preaching the Gospel to the natives in their own language.

The great difficulty experienced by Legaspi was to procure sufficient food for his expedition. At different times he sent a ship to the nearest islands, and twice his ship went south to Mindanao to procure a cargo of cinnamon to be sent back to New Spain.

Thus month by month the Spaniards gained acquaintance with the beautiful island sea of the archipelago, with its green islands and brilliant sheets of water, its safe harbors and picturesque settlements.

The Bisayans.—In 1569, Legaspi discovered the great island of Panay. Here they were fortunate in securing a great abundance of supplies and the friendship of the natives, who received them well. These beautiful central islands of the Philippines are inhabited by Bisaya. The Spaniards found this tribe tattooing their bodies with ornamental designs, a practice widespread throughout Oceanica, and which still is common among the tribes of northern Luzon. This practice caused the Spaniards to give to the Bisayas the title of “Islas de los Pintados” (the Islands of the Painted).

Discovery of the Northern Return Route across the Pacific.—Before the arrival of the expedition in the Philippines, the captain of one of Legaspi’s ships, inspired by ungenerous ambition and the hopes of getting a reward, outsailed the rest of the fleet. Having arrived first in the islands, he started at once upon the return voyage. Unlike preceding captains who had tried to return to New Spain by sailing eastward from the islands against both wind and ocean current, this captain sailed northward beyond the trades into the more favorable westerly winds, and found his way back to America and New Spain.

Soon after arriving in the Philippines, Legaspi’s instructions required him to dispatch at least one vessel on the return voyage to New Spain. Accordingly on June 1st the San Pablo set sail, carrying about two hundred men, including Urdenata and another friar. This vessel also followed the northern route across the Pacific, and after a voyage of great hardship, occupying three and a half months, it reached the coast of North America at California and followed it southward to Acapulco.

The discovery made by these captains of a favorable route for vessels returning from the islands to New Spain safe from capture by the Portuguese, completed the plans of the Spanish for the occupation of the Philippines. In 1567 another vessel was dispatched by Legaspi and made this voyage successfully.

The sailing of these vessels left Legaspi in Cebu with a colony of only one hundred and fifty Spaniards, poorly provided with resources, to commence the conquest of the Philippines. But he won the friendship and respect of the inhabitants, and in 1568 two galleons with reinforcements arrived from Acapulco. From this time on nearly yearly communication was maintained, fresh troops with munitions and supplies arriving with each expedition.

The First Expedition against the Moro Pirates.—Pirates of Mindoro.—The Spaniards found the Straits of San Bernardino and the Mindoro Sea swarming with the fleets of Mohammedan Malays from Borneo and the Jolo Archipelago. To a race living so continuously upon the water, piracy has always possessed irresistible attractions. In the days of Legaspi, the island of Mindoro had been partially settled by Malays from the south, and many of these settlements were devoted to piracy, preying especially upon the towns on the north coast of Panay. In January, 1570, Legaspi dispatched his grandson, Juan de Salcedo, to punish these marauders.

Capture of Pirate Strongholds.—Salcedo had a force of forty Spaniards and a large number of Bisaya. He landed on the western coast of Mindoro and took the pirate town of Mamburao. The main stronghold of the Moros he found to be on the small island of Lubang, northwest of Mindanao. Here they had three strong forts with high walls, on which were mounted small brass cannon, or “lantakas.” Two of these forts were surrounded by moats. There were several days of fighting before Lubang was conquered. The possession of Lubang brought the Spaniards almost to the entrance of Manila Bay, Meanwhile, a captain, Enriquez de Guzman, had discovered Masbate, Burias, and Ticao, and had landed on Luzon in the neighborhood of Albay, called then, “Italon.”


Straits of Manila.

Conquest of the Moro City of Manila.—Expedition from Panay.—Reports had come to Legaspi of an important Mohammedan settlement named “May-nila,” on the shore of a great bay, and a Mohammedan chieftain, called Maomat, was procured to guide the Spaniards on their conquest of this region. For this purpose Legaspi sent his field-marshal, Martin de Goiti, with Salcedo, one hundred and twenty Spanish soldiers, and fourteen or fifteen boats filled with Bisayan allies. They left Panay early in May, and, after stopping at Mindoro, came to anchor in Manila Bay, off the mouth of the Pasig River.

The Mohammedan City.—On the south bank of the river was the fortified town of the Mohammedan chieftain, Raja Soliman; on the north bank was the town of Tondo, under the Raja Alcandora, or Lacandola. Morga tells us that these Mohammedan settlers from the island of Borneo had commenced to arrive on the island only a few years before the coming of the Spaniards. They had settled and married among the Filipino population already occupying Manila Bay, and had introduced some of the forms and practices of the Mohammedan religion. The city of Manila was defended by a fort, apparently on the exact sight of the present fort of Santiago. It was built of the trunks of palms, and had embrasures where were mounted a considerable number of cannon, or lantakas.


The City of Manila

(Adapted from Buzeta Diccionario de las Islas Filipinas)


1. Artillery and Naval Store House

2. Arsenal

3. Audiencia or Court House

4. Military Hospital

5. University of St. Thomas

6. Ayuntamiento or Palace

7. Archbishop’s Palace

8. Intendencia

9. Consulate

10. College of Santa Potenciana

11. Church of Santo Domingo

12. Cathedral

13. College of San Juan de Letran


14. Church and College of Santa Isabel

15. Hospital of S Juan de Dios

16. Church and Convent of San Augustin

17. Orden Tercera

18. Church of San Francisco

19. Church of Recoletos

20. Santo Domingo Gate

21. Parian Gate

22. Real Gate

23. Santa Lucia Gate

24. Postern Gate

25. Isabel II Gate



Capture of the City.—The natives received the foreigners at first with a show of friendliness, but after they had landed on the banks of the Pasig, Soliman, with a large force, assaulted them. The impetuous Spaniards charged, and carried the fortifications, and the natives fled, setting fire to their settlement. When the fight was over the Spaniards found among the dead the body of a Portuguese artillerist, who had directed the defense. Doubtless he was one who had deserted from the Portuguese garrison far south in the Indian archipelago to cast in his fortunes with the Malays. It being the commencement of the season of rains and typhoons, the Spaniards decided to defer the occupation of Manila, and, after exploring Cavite harbor, they returned to Panay.

A year was spent in strengthening their hold on the Bisayas and in arranging for their conquest of Luzon. On Masbate was placed a friar and six soldiers, so small was the number that could be spared.

Founding of the Spanish City of Manila.—With a force of 280 men Legaspi returned in the spring of 1571 to the conquest of Luzon. It was a bloodless victory. The Filipino rajas declared themselves vassals of the Spanish king, and in the months of May and June the Spaniards established themselves in the present site of the city.

At once Legaspi gave orders for the reconstruction of the fort, the building of a palace, a convent for the Augustinian monks, a church, and 150 houses. The boundaries of this city followed closely the outlines of the Tagálog city “Maynila,” and it seems probable that the location of buildings then established have been adhered to until the present time. This settlement appeared so desirable to Legaspi that he at once designated it as the capital of the archipelago. Almost immediately he organized its governing assembly, or ayuntamiento.

The First Battle on Manila Bay.—In spite of their ready submission, the rajas, Soliman and Lacandola, did not yield their sovereignty without a struggle. They were able to secure assistance in the Tagálog and Pampanga settlements of Macabebe and Hagonoy. A great fleet of forty war-praos gathered in palm-lined estuaries on the north shore of Manila Bay, and came sweeping down the shallow coast to drive the Spaniards from the island. Against them were sent Goiti and fifty men. The protective mail armor, the heavy swords and lances, the horrible firearms, coupled with the persistent courage and fierce resolution of the Spanish soldier of the sixteenth century, swept back this native armament. The chieftain Soliman was killed.

The Conquest of Central Luzon.—Goiti continued his marching and conquering northward until nearly the whole great plain of central Luzon, that stretches from Manila Bay to the Gulf of Lingayen, lay submissive before him. A little later the raja Lacandola died, having accepted Christian baptism, and the only powerful resistance on the island of Luzon was ended.

Goiti was sent back to the Bisayas, and the command of the army of Luzon fell to Salcedo, the brilliant and daring grandson of Legaspi, at this time only twenty-two years of age. This young knight led his command up the Pasig River. Cainta and Taytay, at that time important Tagálog towns, were conquered, and then the country south of Laguna de Bay. The town of Cainta was fortified and defended by small cannon, and although Salcedo spent three days in negotiations, it was only taken by storm, in which four hundred Filipino men and women perished. From here Salcedo marched over the mountains to the Pacific coast and south into the Camarines, where he discovered the gold mines of Paracale and Mamburao.

At about this time the Spaniards conquered the Cuyos and Calamianes islands and the northern part of Paragua.

Exploration of the Coast of Northern Luzon.—In 1572, Salcedo, with a force of only forty-five men, sailed northward from Manila, landed in Zambales and Pangasinan, and on the long and rich Ilocos coast effected a permanent submission of the inhabitants. He also visited the coast farther north, where the great and fertile valley of the Cagayan, the largest river of the archipelago, reaches to the sea. From here he continued his adventurous journey down the Pacific coast of Luzon to the island of Polillo, and returned by way of Laguna de Bay to Manila.

Death of Legaspi.—He arrived in September, 1572, to find that his grandfather and commander, Legaspi, had died a month before (August 20, 1572). After seven years of labor the conqueror of difficulties was dead, but almost the entire archipelago had been added to the crown of Spain. Three hundred years of Spanish dominion secured little more territory than that traversed and pacified by the conquerors of those early years. In spite of their slender forces, the daring of the Spaniards induced them to follow a policy of widely extending their power, effecting settlements, and enforcing submission wherever rich coasts and the gathering of population attracted them.

Within a single year’s time most of the coast country of Luzon had been traversed, important positions seized, and the inhabitants portioned out in encomiendas. On the death of Legaspi, the command fell to Guido de Lavezares.


Legaspi Monument, Luneta.

Reasons for this Easy Conquest of the Philippines.—The explanation of how so small a number of Europeans could so rapidly and successfully reduce to subjection the inhabitants of a territory like the Philippines, separated into so many different islands, is to be found in several things.

First.—The expedition had a great leader, one of those knights combining sagacity with resolution, who glorify the brief period when Spanish prestige was highest. No policy could ever be successful in the Philippines which did not depend for its strength upon giving a measure of satisfaction to the Filipino people. Legaspi did this. He appears to have won the native datos, treating them with consideration, and holding out to them the expectations of a better and more prosperous era, which the sovereignty of the Spaniard would bring. Almost from the beginning, the natives of an island already reduced flocked to his standard to assist in the conquest of another. The small forces of the Spanish soldiers were augmented by hundreds of Filipino allies.

Second.—Another reason is found in the wonderful courage and great fighting power of the Spanish soldier. Each man, splendidly armored and weaponed, deadly with either sword or spear, carrying in addition the arquebus, the most efficient firearm of the time, was equal in combat to many natives who might press upon him with their naked bodies and inferior weapons.

Third.—Legaspi was extremely fortunate in his captains, who included such old campaigners as the field-marshal Martin de Goiti, who had been to the Philippines before with Villalobos, and such gallant youths as Salcedo, one of the most attractive military figures in all Spanish history.

Fourth.—In considering this Spanish conquest, we must understand that the islands were far more sparsely inhabited than they are to-day. The Bisayan islands, the rich Camarines, the island of Luzon, had, in Legaspi’s time, only a small fraction of their present great populations. This population was not only small, but it was also extremely disunited. Not only were the great tribes separated by the differences of language, but, as we have already seen, each tiny community was practically independent, and the power of a dato very limited. There were no great princes, with large forces of fighting retainers whom they could call to arms, such as the Portuguese had encountered among the Malays south in the Moluccas.

Fifth.—But certainly one of the greatest factors in the yielding of the Filipino to the Spaniard was the preaching of the missionary friars. No man is so strong with an unenlightened and barbarous race as he who claims power from God. And the preaching of the Catholic faith, with its impressive and dramatic services, its holy sacraments, its power to arrest the attention and to admit at once the rude mind into the circle of its ministry, won the heart of the Filipino. Without doubt he was ready and eager for a loftier and truer religious belief and ceremonial. There was no powerful native priesthood to oppose the introduction of Christianity. The preaching of the faith and the baptism of converts proceeded almost as rapidly as the marching of Salcedo’s soldiers.

The Dangers of the Spanish Occupation.—Such conditions assured the success of the Spanish occupation, provided the small colony could be protected from outside attacks. But even from the beginning the position of this little band of conquerors was perilous. Their numbers were small and of necessity much scattered, and their only source of succor lay thousands of miles away, across the greatest body of water on the earth, in a land itself a colony newly wrested from the hand of the Indian. Across the narrow waters of the China Sea, only a few days’ distant, even in the slow-sailing junks, lay the teeming shores of the most populous country in the world, in those days not averse to foreign conquest.

Attempt of the Chinese under Limahong to Capture Manila.—Activity of the Southern Chinese.—It was from the Chinese that the first heavy blow fell. The southeastern coast of China, comprising the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien, has always exhibited a restlessness and passion for emigration not displayed by other parts of the country. From these two provinces, through the ports of Amoy and Canton, have gone those Chinese traders and coolies to be found in every part of the East and many other countries of the world. Two hundred years before the arrival of the Spaniards, Chinese junks traversed the straits and seas and visited regularly the coast of Mindanao.

Limahong’s Expedition to the Philippines.—This coast of China has always been notorious for its piracy. The distance of the capital at Peking and the weakness of the provincial viceroys have made impossible its suppression. It was one of these bold filibusters of the China Sea, called Limahong, who two years after the death of Legaspi attempted the conquest of the Philippines. The stronghold of this corsair was the island of Pehon, where he fortified himself and developed his power.

Here, reports of the prosperous condition of Manila reached him, and he prepared a fleet of sixty-two war-junks, with four thousand soldiers and sailors. The accounts even state that a large number of women and artisans were taken on board to form the nucleus of the settlement, as soon as the Spaniards should be destroyed. In the latter part of November, 1574, this powerful fleet came sweeping down the western coast of Luzon and on the 29th gathered in the little harbor of Mariveles, at the entrance to Manila Bay. Eight miles south of Manila is the town of Parañaque, on an estuary which affords a good landing-place for boats entering from the bay. Here on the night following, Limahong put ashore six hundred men, under one of his generals, Sioco, who was a Japanese.

The Attack upon Manila.—From here they marched rapidly up the beach and fell furiously upon the city. Almost their first victim was the field-marshal Goiti. The fort of Manila was at this date a weak affair, without ditches or escarpment, and it was here that the struggle took place. The Spaniards, although greatly outnumbered, were able to drive back the Chinese; but they themselves lost heavily. Limahong now sent ashore heavy reinforcements, and prepared to overwhelm the garrison. The Spaniards were saved from defeat by the timely arrival of Salcedo with fifty musketeers. From his station at Vigan he had seen the sails of Limahong’s fleet, cruising southward along the Luzon coast, and, suspecting that so great an expedition could have no other purpose than the capture of Manila, he embarked in seven small boats, and reached the city in six days, just in time to participate in the furious battle between the Spaniards and the entire forces of the Chinese pirate. The result was the complete defeat of the Chinese, who were driven back upon their boats at Parañaque.

The Result of Limahong’s Expedition.—Although defeated in his attack on Manila, Limahong was yet determined on a settlement in Luzon, and, sailing northward, he landed in Pangasinan and began constructing fortifications at the mouth of the river Lingayen. The Spaniards did not wait for him to strengthen himself and to dispute with them afresh for the possession of the island, but organized in March an expedition of two hundred and fifty Spaniards and fifteen hundred Filipinos under Salcedo. They landed suddenly in the Gulf of Lingayen, burned the entire fleet of the Chinese, and scattered a part of the forces in the surrounding mountains. The rest, though hemmed in by the Spaniards, were able to construct small boats, in which they escaped from the islands.

Thus ended this formidable attack, which threatened for a time to overthrow the power of Spain in the East. It was the beginning, however, of important relations with China. Before Limahong’s escape a junk arrived from the viceroy of Fukien, petitioning for the delivery of the Chinese pirate. Two Augustinian friars accompanied his junk back to China, eager for such great fields of missionary conquest. They carried letters from Lavezares inviting Chinese friendship and intercourse.

Beginning of a New Period of Conquest.—In the spring of 1576, Salcedo died at Vigan, at the age of twenty-seven. With his death may be said to close the first period of the history in the Philippines,—that of the Conquest, extending from 1565 to 1576. For the next twenty-five years the ambitions of the Spaniards were not content with the exploration of this archipelago, but there were greater and more striking conquests, to which the minds of both soldier and priest aspired.

Despite the settlement with Portugal, the rich Spice Islands to the south still attracted them, and there were soon revealed the fertile coasts of Siam and Cambodia, the great empire of China, the beautiful island of Formosa, and the Japanese archipelago. These, with their great populations and wealth, were more alluring fields than the poor and sparsely populated coasts of the Philippines. So, for the next quarter of a century, the policy of the Spaniards in the Philippines was not so much to develop these islands themselves, as to make them a center for the commercial and spiritual conquest of the Orient.

A Treaty with the Chinese.—The new governor arrived in the Islands in August, 1575. He was Dr. Francisco La-Sande. In October there returned the ambassadors who had been sent to China by Lavezares. The viceroy of Fukien had received them with much ceremony. He had not permitted the friars to remain, but had forwarded the governor’s letter to the Chinese emperor. In February following came a Chinese embassy, granting a port of the empire with which the Spaniards could trade. This port, probably, was Amoy, which continued to be the chief port of communication with China to the present day.

It was undoubtedly commerce and not the missionaries that the Chinese desired. Two Augustinians attempted to return with this embassy to China, but the Chinese on leaving the harbor of Manila landed on the coast of Zambales, where they whipped the missionaries, killed their servants and interpreter, and left the friars bound to trees, whence they were rescued by a small party of Spaniards who happened to pass that way.

Sir Francis Drake’s Noted Voyage.—The year 1577 is notable for the appearance in the East of the great English sea-captain, freebooter, and naval hero, Francis Drake. England and Spain, at this moment, while not actually at war, were rapidly approaching the conflict which made them for centuries traditional enemies. Spain was the champion of Roman ecclesiasticism. Her king, Philip the Second, was not only a cruel bigot, but a politician of sweeping ambition. His schemes included the conquest of France and England, the extermination of Protestantism, and the subjection of Europe to his own and the Roman authority.

The English people scented the danger from afar, and while the two courts nominally maintained peace, the daring seamen of British Devon were quietly putting to sea in their swift and terrible vessels, for the crippling of the Spanish power. The history of naval warfare records no more reckless adventures than those of the English mariners during this period. Audacity could not rise higher.

Drake’s is the most famous and romantic figure of them all. In the year 1577, he sailed from England with the avowed purpose of sweeping the Spanish Main. He passed the Straits of Magellan, and came up the western coast of South America, despoiling the Spanish shipping from Valparaiso to Panama. Thence he came on across the Pacific, touched the coast of Mindanao, and turned south to the Moluccas.

The Portuguese had nominally annexed the Moluccas in 1522, but at the time of Drake’s visit they had been driven from Ternate, though still holding Tidor. Drake entered into friendly relations with the sultan of Ternate, and secured a cargo of cloves. From here he sailed boldly homeward, daring the Portuguese fleets, as he had defied the Spanish, and by way of Good Hope returned to England, his fleet the first after Magellan’s to circumnavigate the globe.

A Spanish Expedition to Borneo.—The appearance of Drake in the Moluccas roused La-Sande to ambitious action. The attraction of the southern archipelagoes was overpowering, and at this moment the opportunity seemed to open to the governor to force southward his power. One of the Malay kings of Borneo, Sirela, arrived in Manila, petitioning aid against his brother, and promising to acknowledge the sovereignty of the king of Spain over the island of Borneo. La-Sande went in person to restore this chieftain to power. He had a fleet of galleys and frigates, and, according to Padre Gaspar de San Augustin, more than fifteen hundred Filipino bowmen from Pangasinan, Cagayan, and the Bisayas accompanied the expedition. He landed on the coast of Borneo, destroyed the fleet of praos and the city of the usurper, and endeavored to secure Sirela in his principality. Sickness among his fleet and the lack of provisions forced him to return to Manila.

The First Attack upon the Moros of Jolo.—On his return he sent an officer against the island of Jolo. This officer forced the Joloanos to recognize his power, and from there he passed to the island of Mindanao, where he further enforced obedience upon the natives. This was the beginning of the Spanish expeditions against the Moros, which had the effect of arousing in these Mohammedan pirates such terrible retaliatory vengeance. Under La-Sande the conquest of the Camarines was completed by Captain Juan Chavés and the city of Nueva Caceres founded.

The Appointment of Governor Ronquillo.—It was the uniform policy of the Spanish government to limit the term of office of the governor to a short period of years. This was one of the futile provisions by which Spain attempted to control both the ambition and the avarice of her colonial captains. But Don Gonzalo Ronquillo had granted to him the governorship of the Philippines for life, on the condition of his raising and equipping a force of six hundred in Spain, largely at his own expense, for the better protection and pacification of the archipelago. This Ronquillo did, bringing his expedition by way of Panama. He arrived in April, 1580, and although he died at the end of three years, his rule came at an important time.

The Spanish and the Portuguese Colonies Combined.—In 1580, Philip II, conquered and annexed to Spain the kingdom of Portugal, and with Portugal came necessarily to the Spanish crown those rich eastern colonies which the valor of Da Gama and Albuquerque had won. Portugal rewon her independence in 1640, but for years Manila was the capital of a colonial empire, extending from Goa in India to Formosa.

Events of Ronquillo’s Rule.—Ronquillo, under orders from the crown, entered into correspondence with the captain of the Portuguese fortress on the island of Tidor, and the captain of Tidor petitioned Ronquillo for assistance in reconquering the tempting island of Ternate. Ronquillo sent south a considerable expedition, but after arriving in the Moluccas the disease of beri-beri in the Spanish camp defeated the undertaking. Ronquillo also sent a small armada to the coasts of Borneo and Malacca, where a limited amount of pepper was obtained.

The few years of Ronquillo’s reign were in other ways important. A colony of Spaniards was established at Oton, on the island of Panay, which was given the name of Arévalo (Iloilo). And under Ronquillo was pacified for the first time the great valley of the Cagayan. At the mouth of the river a Japanese adventurer, Tayfusa, or Tayzufu, had established himself and was attempting the subjugation of this important part of northern Luzon. Ronquillo sent against him Captain Carreon, who expelled the intruder and established on the present site of Lao-lo the city of Nueva Segovia. Two friars accompanied this expedition and the occupation of this valley by the Spaniards was made permanent.

The First Conflicts between the Church and the State.—In March, 1581, there arrived the first Bishop of Manila, Domingo de Salazar. Almost immediately began those conflicts between the spiritual and civil authorities, and between bishop and the regular orders, which have filled to such an extent the history of the islands. The bishop was one of those authoritative, ambitious, and arrogant characters, so typical in the history of the Church. It was largely due to his protests against the autocratic power of the governor that the king was induced to appoint the first Audiencia. The character and power of these courts have already been explained. The president and judges arrived the year following the death of Ronquillo, and the president, Dr. Santiago de Vera, became acting governor during the succeeding five years.


Moro Spear.

In 1587, the first Dominicans, fifteen in number, arrived, and founded their celebrated mission, La Provincia del Santisimo Rosario.


Moro Shield.

Increasing Strength of the Malays.—De Vera continued the policy of his predecessors and another fruitless attack was made on Ternate in 1585. The power of the Malay people was increasing, while that of the Europeans was decreasing. The sultans had expelled their foreign masters, and neither Spaniard nor Portuguese were able to effect the conquest of the Moluccas. There were uprisings of the natives in Manila and in Cagayan and Ilocos.

The Decree of 1589.—Affairs in the Islands did not yet, however, suit Bishop Salazar, and as the representative of both governor and bishop, the Jesuit, Alonso Sanchez, was dispatched in 1586 to lay the needs of the colony before the king. Philip was apparently impressed with the necessity of putting the government of the Islands upon a better administrative basis. To this end he published the important decree of 1589.


Moro Shield.

The governor now became a paid officer of the crown, at a salary of ten thousand ducats. For the proper protection of the colony and the conquest of the Moluccas, a regular force of four hundred soldiers accompanied the governor. His powers were extended to those of an actual viceregent of the king, and the Audiencia was abolished. The man selected to occupy this important post was Don Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, who arrived with the new constitution in May, 1590. So great was the chagrin of the bishop at the abolition of the Audiencia and the increase of the governor’s power, that he himself set out for Spain to lay his wishes before the court.

The Missionary Efforts of the Friars.—Twenty-four Franciscans came with Dasmariñas and the presence of the three orders necessitated the partition of the Islands among them. The keenest rivalry and jealousy existed among them over the prosecution of missions in still more foreign lands. To the missionaries of this age it seemed a possible thing to convert the great and conservative nations of China and Japan to the Western religion.

In the month of Dasmariñas’ arrival, a company of Dominicans attempted to found a mission in China, and, an embassy coming from Japan to demand vassalage from the Philippines, four of the newly arrived Franciscans accompanied the Japanese on their return.

A year later, in 1592, another embassy from the king of Cambodia arrived, bringing gifts that included two elephants, and petitioning for succor against the king of Siam. This was the beginning of an alliance between Cambodia and the Philippines which lasted for many years, and which occasioned frequent military aid and many efforts to convert that country.

Death of Dasmariñas.—But the center of Dasmariñas’ ambitions was the effective conquest of the East Indies and the extension of Spanish power and his own rule through the Moluccas. With this end in view, for three years he made preparations. For months the shores were lined with the yards of the shipbuilders, and the great forests of Bulacan fell before the axes of the Indians. More than two hundred vessels, “galeras,” “galeotas,” and “virrayes,” were built, and assembled at Cavite.

In the fall of 1593, the expedition, consisting of over nine hundred Spaniards, Filipino bowmen and rowers, was ready. Many of the Filipinos, procured to row these boats, were said to have been slaves, purchased through the Indian chiefs by the Spanish encomenderos. The governor sent forward this great fleet under the command of his son, Don Luis, and in the month of October he himself set sail in a galley with Chinese rowers. But on the night of the second day, while off the island of Maricaban, the Chinese oarsmen rose against the Spaniards, of whom there were about forty on the ship, and killed almost the entire number, including the governor. They then escaped in the boat to the Ilocos coast and thence to China.

The murder of this active and illustrious general was a determining blow to the ambitious projects for the conquest of the East Indies. Among other papers which Dasmariñas brought from Spain was a royal cedula giving him power to nominate his successor, who proved to be his son, Don Luis, who after some difficulty succeeded temporarily to his father’s position.

Arrival of the Jesuits.—In June, 1595, there arrived Don Antonio de Morga, who had been appointed assessor and lieutenant-governor of the Islands, to succeed Don Luis. With Morga came the first Jesuit missionaries. He was also the bearer of an order granting to the Jesuits the exclusive privilege of conducting missions in China and Japan. The other orders were forbidden to pass outside the Islands.

An attempt to Colonize Mindanao.—In the year 1596, the Captain Rodriguez de Figueroa received the title of governor of Mindanao, with exclusive right to colonize the island for “the space of two lives.” He left Iloilo in April with 214 Spaniards, two Jesuit priests, and many natives. They landed in the Rio Grande of Mindanao, where the defiant dato, Silonga, fortified himself and resisted them. Almost immediately Figueroa rashly ventured on shore and was killed by Moros. Reinforcements were sent under Don Juan Ronquillo, who, after nearly bringing the datos to submission, abandoned all he had gained. The Spaniards burned their forts on the Rio Grande and retired to Caldera, near Zamboanga, where they built a presidio.

Death of Franciscans in Japan.—The new governor, Don Francisco Tello de Guzman, arrived on June 1, 1596. He had previously been treasurer of the Casa de Contratacion in Seville. Soon after his arrival an important and serious tragedy occurred in Japan. The ship for Acapulco went ashore on the Japanese coast and its rich cargo was seized by the feudal prince where the vessel sought assistance. The Franciscans had already missions in these islands, and a quarrel existed between them and the Portuguese Jesuits over this missionary field. The latter succeeded in prejudicing the Japanese court against the Franciscans, and when they injudiciously pressed for the return of the property of the wrecked galleon, “San Felipe,” the emperor, greedy for the rich plunder, and exasperated by their preaching, met their petitions with the sentence of death. They were horribly crucified at the port of Nagasaki, February 5, 1597. This emperor was the proud and cruel ruler, Taycosama. He was planning the conquest of the Philippines themselves, when death ended his plans.

The First Archbishop in the Philippines.—Meanwhile the efforts of Salazar at the Spanish court had effected further important changes for the Islands. The reëstablishment of the Royal Audiencia was ordered, and his own position was elevated to that of archbishop, with the three episcopal sees of Ilocos, Cebu, and the Camarines. He did not live to assume this office, and the first archbishop of the Philippines was Ignacio Santibañez, who also died three months after his arrival, on May 28, 1598.

Reëstablishment of the Audiencia.—The Audiencia was reëstablished with great pomp and ceremony. The royal seal was borne on a magnificently caparisoned horse to the cathedral, where a Te Deum was chanted, and then to the Casas Reales, where was inaugurated the famous court that continued without interruption down to the end of Spanish rule. Dr. Morga was one of the first oidores, and the earliest judicial record which can now be found in the archives of this court is a sentence bearing his signature.

The Rise of Moro Piracy.—The last years of De Guzman’s governorship were filled with troubles ominous for the future of the Islands. The presidio of Caldera was destroyed by the Moros. Following this victory, in the year 1599, the Moros of Jolo and Maguindanao equipped a piratical fleet of fifty caracoas, and swept the coasts of the Bisayas. Cebu, Negros, and Panay were ravaged, their towns burned, and their inhabitants carried off as slaves.

The following year saw the return of a larger and still more dreadful expedition. The people of Panay abandoned their towns and fled into the mountains, under the belief that these terrible attacks had been inspired by the Spaniards. To check these pirates, Juan Gallinato, with a force of two hundred Spaniards, was sent against Jolo, but, like so many expeditions that followed his, he accomplished nothing. The inability of the Spaniards was now revealed and the era of Moro piracy had begun. “From this time until the present day” (about the year 1800), wrote Zuñiga, “these Moros have not ceased to infest our colonies; innumerable are the Indians they have captured, the towns they have looted, the rancherias they have destroyed, the vessels they have taken. It seems as if God has preserved them for vengeance on the Spaniards that they have not been able to subject them in two hundred years, in spite of the expeditions sent against them, the armaments sent almost very year to pursue them. In a very little while we conquered all the islands of the Philippines; but the little island of Jolo, a part of Mindanao, and other islands near by we have not been able to subjugate to this day.”


Moro “Vinta.”

Battle at Mariveles with the Dutch.—In October, 1600, two Dutch vessels appeared in the Islands; it was the famous expedition of the Dutch admiral, Van Noort. They had come through the Straits of Magellan, on a voyage around the world. The Dutch were in great need of provisions. As they were in their great enemy’s colony, they captured and sunk several boats, Spanish and Chinese, bound for Manila with rice, poultry, palm-wine, and other stores of food. At Mariveles, a Japanese vessel from Japan was overhauled. Meanwhile in Manila great excitement and activity prevailed. The Spaniards fitted up two galleons and the “Oidor” Morga himself took command with a large crew of fighting men.

On November 14, they attacked the Dutch, whose crews were greatly reduced to only eighty men on both ships. The vessel commanded by Morga ran down the flagship of Van Noort, and for hours the ships lay side by side while a hand-to-hand fight raged on the deck and in the hold. The ships taking fire, Morga disengaged his ship, which was so badly shattered that it sank, with great loss of life; but Morga and some others reached the little island of Fortuna. Van Noort was able to extinguish the fire on his vessel, and escape from the Islands. He eventually reached Holland. His smaller vessel was captured with its crew of twenty-five men, who were all hung at Cavite.

Other Troubles of the Spanish.—In the year 1600, two ships sailed for Acapulco, but one went down off the Catanduanes and the other was shipwrecked on the Ladrones. “On top of all other misfortunes, Manila suffered, in the last months of this government, a terrible earthquake, which destroyed many houses and the church of the Jesuits.”

The Moros, the Dutch, anxieties and losses by sea, the visitations of God,—how much of the history of the seventeenth century in the Philippines is filled with these four things!


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