In rapid survey the author passes the line of demarcation of Alexander VI, and the voyages of Magalhaes and Elcano, Loaisa, Villalobos, and others, down to the expedition of Legazpi. The salient points of this expedition are briefly outlined, his peaceful reception by Tupas and the natives, but their later hostility, because the Spaniards "seized their provisions," their defeat, the Spaniards' first settlement in Sebu, and the despatching of the advice-boat to Nueva Espana to discover the return passage, and inform the viceroy of the success of the expedition. From Sebu the conquest and settlement is extended to other islands, and the Spanish capital is finally moved to Manila. Events come rapidly. The conquest proceeds "by force of arms or by the efforts of the religious who have sown the good seeds of the gospel." Land is allotted to the conquerors, and towns are gradually founded, and the amount of the natives' tribute is fixed.
At Legazpi's death Guido de Lavezaris assumes his responsibilities by virtue of a royal despatch among Legazpi's papers, and continues the latter's plans. The pirate Limahon is defeated after having slain Martin de Goiti. Trade with China is established "and as a consequence has been growing ever since." The two towns of Betis and Lubao allotted by Lavezaris to himself are taken from him later by order of his successor, Dr. Francisco de Sande, but are restored to him by express order of the king, together with the office of master-of-camp.
Succeeding Lavezaris in 1575, Dr. Francisco de Sande continues "the pacification of the islands .... especially that of the province of Camarines." The town of Nueva Caceres is founded, and Sande's partially effective campaign to Borneo, and its offshoot--that of Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa to Mindanao--undertaken. The "San Juanillo" is despatched to Nueva Espana, "but it was lost at sea and never heard of again." Sande is relieved of his governorship by Gonzalo Ronquillo de Pefialosa, and after his residencia returns "to Nueva Espana as auditor of Mexico."
Chapter III details the events of Gonzalo Ronquillo de Pefialosa's administration and the interim of government of Diego Ronquillo. Events, with the greater stability constantly given the islands, follow more quickly. Gonzalo de Penalosa, by an agreement with the king, is to take six hundred colonists--married and single--to the islands, in return for which he is to be governor for life. He establishes the town of Arevalo in Panay, builds the Chinese Parian, endeavors, although unsuccessfully, to discover a return passage to Nueva Espana, by the South Sea, and despatches "a ship to Peru with merchandise to trade for certain goods which he said that the Filipinas needed." He imposes the two per cent export duty on goods to Nueva Espana, and the three per cent duty on Chinese merchandise, and "although he was censured for having done this without his Majesty's orders" they "remained in force, and continued to be imposed thenceforward." The first expedition in aid of Tidore is sent for the conquest of the island of Ternate, but proves a failure. Cagayan is first pacified, and the town of Nueva Caceres founded. Gabriel de Rivera, after an expedition to Borneo, is sent to Spain to consult the best interests of the islands. Domingo de Salazar receives his appointment as bishop, and is accompanied to the islands by Antonio Sedeno and Alonso Sanchez, the first Jesuits in the islands. In 1583 Gonzalo de Penalosa dies, and is succeeded by his kinsman Diego Ronquillo. Shortly after occurs Manila's first disastrous fire, but the city is rebuilt, although with difficulty. In consequence of Rivera's trip to Spain, the royal Audiencia of Manila is established with Santiago de Vera as its president and governor of the islands.
In the fourth chapter are related the events of Santiago de Vera's administration, and the suppression of the Audiencia. Vera reaches the islands in 1584, whence shortly afterwards he despatches another expedition to the Malucos which also fails. The pacification continues, and the islands are freed from a rebellion and insurrection conspired between Manila and Pampanga chiefs. Fortifications are built and an artillery foundry established under the charge of natives. During this term Candish makes his memorable voyage, passing through some of the islands. Finally the Audiencia is suppressed, through the representations made by Alonso Sanchez, who is sent to Spain and Rome with authority to act for all classes of society. On his return he brings from Rome "many relics, bulls, and letters for the Filipinas." Through the influence of the Jesuit, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas receives appointment as governor of the islands; and with his salary increased to "ten thousand Castilian ducados" and with despatches for the suppression of the Audiencia, and the establishment of regular soldiers, he arrives at Manila in May, 1590.