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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 - Volume 5 of 55 1582-1583 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descr

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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803

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 beginning of the nineteenth century

Volume V, 1582-1583

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


Preface 9 Documents of 1582

Letter to Felipe II. Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa; Manila, June 16 [1]Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas. Miguel de Loarca; [Arevalo, June, 1582) Letter to Felipe II. Fray Domingo de Salazar; Manila, June 20 Letter to the viceroy. Juan Baptista Roman; Cabite, June 25 Letter to Felipe II. Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa; Manila, July 1 Papal decrees regarding the Dominicans. Gregory XIII; Rome, September 15 and October 20 Report on the offices saleable in the Philippines. [Unsigned; 1582?]

Documents of 1583

Complaints against Peñalosa. Gabriel de Ribera; [1583?] Affairs in the Philipinas Islands. Domingo de Salazar; [Manila, 1583] Instructions to commissary of the Inquisition. Pedro de los Rios, and others; Mexico, March 1 Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (to be concluded). Felipe II; Aranjuez, May 5

Bibliographical Data


Map of South America and Antilles, showing Strait of Magellan (original in colors), in _Beschryvinghe van de gantsche Custe_, by Jan Huygen van Linschoten (Amstelredam, M.D.XCVI); reduced photographic facsimile, from copy in Boston Public Library Autograph signature of Domingo de Salazar, O.P., first bishop of Manila; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla


The period covered by this volume is short--only the years 1582-83, which close the second decade of Spanish occupation of the Philippine Islands; but in that time occur some events of great importance, and certain influences which deeply affect early Philippine history are revealed. The coming (in 1581) of the zealous and intrepid bishop, Domingo de Salazar, was a red-letter day for the natives of the islands. The Spanish conquerors are ruthlessly oppressing the Indians, caring but little for the opposition made by the friars; but Salazar exerts as far as possible his ecclesiastical authority, and, besides, vigorously urges the king to shield those unfortunate victims of Spanish rapacity. Various humane laws are accordingly enacted for the protection of the natives; but of course this interference by the bishop occasions a bitter hostility between the ecclesiastical and the secular powers--perhaps never to be quieted. With Salazar come Jesuit fathers, who establish in the islands the missionary work of that order. In 1582 Japanese pirates begin to threaten Luzón, but are defeated and held in check by the Spanish troops. In 1583 occur two most notable events: one of these is the appointment for the islands of a royal Audiencia, or high court of justice--especially ordered by the king to watch over and shield the Indians; the other is the opening there of a branch of the Inquisition or Holy Office. Fuller details of all these matters are herewith given in the usual synopsis of documents.

In a letter dated June 16, 1582, Governor Peñalosa reports that the conversion of the natives is making good progress, but there are not enough missionaries. He recommends that a convent be established in every city and village; and that missionaries be sent directly from the mother-country, rather than from New Spain, as in the latter case they soon become discontented after coming to the Philippines. He complains because the Franciscans have gone to China; he renews the plea advanced by former officials for the conquest of that country, but regards the present Spanish force in the Philippines as inadequate for that purpose. Meanwhile, he is endeavoring to strengthen the colony, and has founded the town of Arévalo in Panay. Another new town is being established--Nueva Segovia, in Luzon. Peñalosa has sent an officer to Maluco, and the Jesuit Sanchéz to Macao, to pacify the Portuguese there when they shall learn of the change in their rulers--the dominion over Portugal having passed to the crown of Spain. He criticizes the administration of his predecessors, saying that they followed no plan or system in disbursements from the royal exchequer.

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