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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 — Volume 02 of 55 1521-1569 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Re online

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Indians, altogether naked, covering not even the privy parts, which
men are wont to cover. They laughed aloud, and each of them made signs
inviting us to his own town (for they were from different villages)
and promising to give us food there. At break of day we coasted the
island and the next morning we cast anchor in a very good port. The
day had scarcely begun when a great number of those _praus_ appeared
about us. There were so many of them, who came to trade with us, that
some of our men who counted them affirm that there were more than four
or five hundred of them around the ships. All that they had to sell
us were articles of food, namely, potatoes, rice, yams, cocoa-nuts,
sugar-cane, excellent bananas, and several other kinds of fruit. They
also brought ginger, which grows in this island in so great quantity
that it is a thing to wonder over; and they do not till or cultivate
it, but it comes up and grows of itself in the open fields, just as
any other herb. The natives shouted at us, each one inviting us to buy
of him. The men of the fleet began to give them the face-cards from
old playing cards, and to put bits of woolen cloth and other objects
around their necks and on their heads. The Indians seeing this asked
for these articles, and adorned themselves therewith as they had seen
our men do. In these transactions many ridiculous things happened,
and many jests were played. Afterward our men began to give them
nails, which the Indians liked so well that they desired nothing else
after that. They would smell them before taking them. For each nail
they gave measures of rice containing about half a _fanéga,_ more or
less. After the rice was drawn up into the boat by means of a rope,
because the Indians would not trade outside of their canoes, and the
packages were opened, it was found that only the top layer was rice
and the rest straw and stones. The Indian who had practiced this jest
would clap his hands in glee, and laugh long and loud, and go from that
vessel to another, to play the same trick. Then again they would take
the nails, and take flight without giving anything in return. These and
many other deceptions were practiced by them. They are so great thieves
that they even tried to pull out the nails from our ships. They are
better proportioned than the Spaniards. Often they attain the great
strength fitting to their statures. One of them went behind one of
our soldiers and snatched away the arquebuse from his shoulder. When
good opportunity offered, they discharged their weapons on those who
were taking in water. Notwithstanding that some of the natives on land
were shot down, the others did not discontinue trading with our ships;
but rather those on the ships, after they had sold their goods, went
ashore in their canoes, and there with their hardened clubs, stones,
and slings (which comprise their weapons, and which they manage very
skilfully) they took the place of those who were fighting, and those
who were fighting embarked in the canoes, and came also to the ships
to trade. All this seems to be the proceeding of savages, as these
people really are, for they have only the form of men. They have no
laws, or chiefs whom they obey; and therefore every one goes wherever
he wishes. They eat no meat. A soldier who went ashore received a
wound in the hand. The wound was apparently small; and indeed it was
through negligence of the wounded man himself that he died within
two weeks. One day, after a slight engagement between my men and the
natives, we got ready at sunset to sail, without noticing the absence
of a young roustabout who, either through carelessness, or because
he had not heard the call to assemble, must have advanced too far
on the mountain. As our small boats reached the ships, the Indians,
who had not lost sight of us during the hour while we remained there,
came out upon the shore. As the boy came down from the mountain to the
shore, the Indians, when they saw him, fell upon him and in a moment
with great cruelty tore him to pieces, giving him at least thirty
lance thrusts through the body. When the men of our ships saw the
Indians discharging blows, and discovered that they did not have the
boy with them, they returned to shore with great fury; but at their
arrival the natives had already fled up a hill. They found the boy
as I have said above; and I charged the master-of-camp to punish the
natives for this act. At midnight he went ashore, and marched inland,
but meeting no Indians, he arranged his men in an ambuscade on shore,
in which he killed a few of them and wounded many others. Our men
burned many houses all along the coast. The town inland on this island
is large and thickly populated, and abounds in all things which are
raised in the island. There our men found about two pounds of very
good sulphur, and took one of the natives alive, who was brought to
the ship, and whom I am sending to that Nueba España. This island is
called Ladrones, which according to the disposition of the inhabitants,
is the most appropriate name that could have been given it. Eleven
days after reaching this island, we set sail following our course
in the aforesaid latitude. After sailing eleven days more with good
weather, we finally came in sight of Filippinas, where we finished
our voyage. According to the experiments and opinions of the pilots,
we covered more than two thousand leagues from Puerto de la Navidad
to this island, although I have heard that they were deceived as to
the distance. On the afternoon of the same day in which we came to
this land, we cast anchor in a beautiful bay, called Cibabao, and
there we remained seven or eight days. Meanwhile we sent two boats,
one south and the other north (for this island is located north and
south) to see whether they could find some good port or river. One
of them returned minus a gentleman of my company, called Francesco
Gomez, and with the report that, for ten leagues north, they had found
neither port nor river. The gentleman was killed by some Indians,
after he disembarked to make blood-friendship with them, a ceremony
that is considered inviolable. This is observed in this manner: one
from each party must draw two or three drops of blood from his arm
or breast and mix them, in the same cup, with water or wine. Then the
mixture must be divided equally between two cups, and neither person
may depart until both cups are alike drained. While this man was about
to bleed himself, one of the natives pierced his breast from one side
with a lance. The weapons generally used throughout the Filipinas
are cutlasses and daggers; lances with iron points, one and one-half
palms in length; _lenguados_, [94] enclosed in cloth sheaths, and a
few bows and arrows. Whenever the natives leave their houses, even if
it is only to go to the house of a neighbor, they carry these weapons;
for they are always on the alert, and are mistrustful of one another.

While we were in this bay, Indians and chiefs came in several
boats, displaying prominently a white flag at the bow of one of
them. Another flag was raised on the stern of the flagship as a
sign that they could approach. These people wear clothes, but they
go barefooted. Their dress is made of cotton or of a kind of grass
resembling raw silk. We spoke to them and asked them for food. They
are a crafty and treacherous race, and understand everything. The best
present which they gave me was a sucking pig, and a cheese of which,
unless a miracle accompanied it, it was impossible for all in the fleet
to partake. On the occasion of the death of the gentleman whom they
killed, the natives scattered themselves through the island. They are
naturally of a cowardly disposition, and distrustful, and if one has
treated them ill, they will never come back. They possess, in common
with all these islands, swine, goats, hens of Castile, rice, millet,
and in addition a great variety of excellent fruit. The people wear
gold earrings, bracelets, and necklets. Wherever we went we found
a great display of these articles. Although people say that there
are many mines and much pure gold, yet the natives do not extract it
until the very day they need it; and, even then, they take only the
amount necessary for their use, thus making the earth their purse.

Leaving this bay, we sailed south until we reached the end of the
island, where the land turns west. Just south of this island are
other islands between which and this island there is a straight
channel running west. The fleet passed through this channel, and on
the second day from our departure from Cibabao, after having sailed
nearly thirty leagues, we reached a port of Tandaya Island.

In this port a small river empties itself into the sea through an
estuary. Some of our boats sailed up this river and anchored at the
town of Cangiungo. The natives received them neither with peace nor
war; but they gave our men food and drink. When they were about to eat,
an Indian came to them, who spoke a few words in the Castilian tongue,
saying "Comamos" ["let us eat"], "bebamos" ["let us drink"], and
answering "si" ["yes"], when questioned by Anton Batista "Billalobos
[Villalobos]" and "Captain Calabaça." It seems that he had traded with
the people of the fleet of Billalobos, according to what was gather
from him. And because he said this, this native vexed the ruler of the
village, and never came back. The next day I wished to go to the same
village, and found the natives hostile. They made signs that we should
not disembark, pulled grass, struck trees with their cutlasses, and
threateningly mocked us. Seeing that in this case cajolery could not
suffice, we withdrew in order not to disturb them; but as we departed,
they began to shower sticks and stones after us, and I was obliged to
order the soldiers to fire their arquebuses at them; and they never
appeared again. This town has a population of twenty or thirty Indians.

On arriving at that port, I despatched Captain de Goite with a boat
and a frigate, well supplied with men and provisions, to discover
some port along the coast. On the way he was to examine thoroughly
the town of Tandaya, which was not very far from where we were, and
other towns of the island of Abbuyo. Deceived by the appearance of the
coast, he sailed on past the coast for fifteen leagues, without seeing
anything. Finally he reached a large bay on which was situated a large
town containing many families; the people had many swine and hens,
with abundance of rice and potatoes. He returned to the fleet with
this news, which gave us not a little content, for all were longing
for land-products. The fleet left this port, and in the afternoon of
the next day we reached the above-mentioned bay, where we anchored in
front of the large town of Cavalian. One thing in especial is to be
noted - namely, that wherever we went, the people entertained us with
fine words, and even promised to furnish us provisions; but afterward
they would desert their houses. Up to the present, this fear has not
been in any way lessened. When we asked the people of this village for
friendship and food, they offered us all the friendship we desired,
but no food whatever. Their attitude seemed to me to be quite the
contrary of what had been told me by those who had gone there; for
they had said that, in this village of Cavalian, which is located on
the island of Buyo, Spaniards were received and were well treated. Now
they did not wish to see us, and on the night of our arrival, we were
made thoroughly aware of this; for they embarked with their wives,
children, and property, and went away. The next day, a chief called
Canatuan, the son of Malate [95] who is the principal chief of the
town, came to us; but I detained him in the ship, until provisions
should be sent us from land (paying for them to their satisfaction),
because of his not returning to the village and because his father
was very old and blind. But this proved no remedy, to make them give
us anything but words. It was determined that the people should go
ashore. And so they went, and we made a fine festival, killing for
meat on that same day about forty-five swine, with which we enjoyed
a merry carnival - as payment for which articles of barter were given
to the chief whom I had with me. The latter sent us ashore with an
Indian, to give these articles to the owners of the swine.

This chief, Canutuan, by signs and as best he could, informed me of the
names of the islands, of their rulers and people of importance, and
their number. He also promised to take us to the island of Mancagua,
[96] which was eight leagues from this island. We set sail with the
Indian, and when we reached Macagua I sent him and three others, who
went with him to their village in a canoe, after giving them some
clothes. He was quite well satisfied, according to his own words,
and became our friend.

This Macagua, although small, was once a thickly-populated
island. The Castilians who anchored there were wont to be kindly
received. Now the island is greatly changed from former days, being
quite depopulated - for it contains less than twenty Indians; and these
few who are left, are so hostile to Castilians, that they did not even
wish to see or hear us. From this island we went to another, called
Canuguinen. [97] Here we met with the same treatment. As the natives
saw our ships along the coast, they hastened to betake themselves to
the mountains. Their fear of the Castilians was so great, that they
would not wait for us to give any explanation.

From this island the fleet directed its course towards Butuan,
a province of the island of Vindanao; but the tides and contrary
winds drove us upon the coast of an island called Bohol. Here we
cast anchor, and within a small bay of this island we made some
necessary repairs to the flagship. One morning the _almiranta_
[98] sighted a junk at some distance away. Thinking it to be one
of the smaller _praus,_ the master-of-camp despatched against it a
small boat with six soldiers, after which he came to the flagship to
inform me of what he had done. Seeing that he had not sent men enough,
I despatched another small boat with all the men it could hold; and
the master-of-camp himself with instructions how he was to proceed,
reached the boat and junk, which were exchanging shots. The junk
seeing that the boat contained 10 few men, defied them. When the
second boat arrived it found some of the men wounded, and that the
junk had many and well-made arrows and lances, with a culverin and
some muskets. The junk defied the second boat also. Shouting out in
Castilian, "a bordo! a bordo!" ["board! board!"] They grappled it, and
on boarding it, one of our soldiers was killed by a lance-thrust in the
throat. Those aboard the junk numbered forty-five soldiers. Fourteen
or fifteen of them jumped into a canoe which they carried on their
poop deck, and fled. Eight or ten of the others were captured alive,
and the remainder were killed. I have been assured that they fought
well and bravely in their defense, as was quite apparent; for besides
the man they killed, they also wounded more than twenty others of
our soldiers. In the junk were found many white and colored blankets,
some damasks, _almaizales_ [99] of silk and cotton, and some figured
silk; also iron, tin, sulphur, porcelain, some gold, and many other
things. The junk was taken to the flagship. Its crew were Burnei
Moros. Their property was returned to them, and what appeared, in our
reckoning, its equivalent in articles of barter was given to them,
because their capture was not induced by greed. My chief intent is
not to go privateering, but to make treaties and to procure friends,
of which I am in great need. The Burneans were much pleased and
satisfied with this liberality displayed toward them, thus showing
how fickle they were.

On the same day that the boats went to the junk, I despatched the
_patache_ "San Joan" with orders to go to Butuan and sail along its
coast, and to find out in what part of this island the cinnamon is
gathered, for it grows there. They were also to look for a suitable
port and shore where a settlement could be made. While the _patache_
went on this mission, I kept the boat of the Burneans and the
pilot. This latter was a man of experience, and versed in different
dialects; and he informed me of much regarding this region that I
wished to know. Among other things he told me that, if the Indians
of this land avoided this fleet so much, I should not be surprised,
because they, had great fear of the name of Castilla. He said that
while we were among these islands no Indian would speak to us; and
that the cause for this was that about two years ago, somewhat more
or less, some Portuguese from Maluco visited these islands with eight
large _praus_ and many natives of Maluco. Wherever they went they
asked for peace and friendship, saying that they were Castilians,
and vassals of the king of Castilla; then when the natives felt quite
secure in their friendship, they assaulted and robbed them, killing
and capturing all that they could. For this reason the island of
Macagua was depopulated, and scarcely any inhabitants remained there.
And in this island of Bohol, among the killed and captured were more
than a thousand persons. Therefore the natives refused to see us
and hid themselves - as in fact was the case. Although, on my part,
I did my best to gain their confidence, giving them to understand
that the Portuguese belong to a different nation and are subjects of a
different king than we, they did not trust me; nor was this sufficient,
for they say that we have the same appearance, that we wear the same
kind of clothing, and carry the same weapons.

In this island of Bohol live two chiefs, one called Çicatuna and the
other Çigala, who through the Bornean's going inland to call them,
came to the fleet. From these chiefs I heard the same thing that I
had been told by the Burnei pilot and his companions, in regard to the
great robberies that the Portuguese committed hereabout, in order to
set the natives against us - so that, on our coming, we should find no
friends. This fell out as they wished, because, although Çicatuna and
Çigala made friendship with me, we could put no confidence in them;
nor would they sell us anything, but only made promises.

While in this island, I despatched a frigate to reconnoiter the coast
of certain islands that could be seen from this island. The chief pilot
and Joan de Aguire accompanied it, and it was supplied with sufficient
food, men, and provisions. Coming to the entrance between two islands,
they were caught by the tide and drifted to the other entrance of the
channel; and, in order to return, they sailed around the island. On
this island they saw a town where the Moro pilot declared that he
was known, and that he was on friendly terms with its inhabitants;
but under pretense of friendship, the natives, treacherously killed
him with a lance-thrust. The space of one week had been given to them,
but it took much longer; for the return could be accomplished only
by sailing around the island which was one hundred and fifty leagues
in circumference.

When the _patache_ returned from Butuan, it reported that they had
seen the king, and that two Moro junks of the large and rich island
of Luzon were anchored in the river which flows near the town. The
Moros sold our men a large quantity of wax. When the men of Luzon saw
our _tostones_ they were very much pleased with them, and they gave
nearly twenty marks of gold, which they had there in that island,
giving for six _tostones_ of silver one of gold; and they said that
they had more gold, if our men would give them more _tostones_, and
that in exchange for the latter they would give them ten or twelve
_quintals_ of gold which they had there in that island. The soldiers
of the _patache_ were so desirous to plunder the junks, that they
besought permission to do so from the captain; thus importuned,
and because his own desire was not less keen, he was on the point
of granting it. Fortunately the officials (the treasurer and factor)
aboard the _patache_ opposed this, saying that it was not fitting to
his majesty's service, and that it would stir up the land and set it
against us. As the men of Luzon had put some earth within the cakes of
wax that they had sold, in order to cheat us with it; and inasmuch as
they, moreover, insisted that the natives should not give anything in
exchange for any other kind of trade-goods, but only for _tostones_,
and had uttered many lies and slanders against us - the soldiers said
that this was sufficient to justify the war; and that the war would
not be the cause of stirring up the natives, because the latter
were not at all well-disposed toward the Moros. Finally they did
not touch the Moros, being persuaded to this by the captain and the
officials. By my instructions, in case they should meet any strange
or piratical junk that proved hostile, they returned to the station
of the fleet, bringing a small quantity of gold, wax, cinnamon, and
other things. Nevertheless the natives of the island would have sold
them a quantity of gold had not the Moros prevented it.

While in the bay of the island of Bohol, I was very anxious about
the frigate, since it was to be gone but one week; while twenty-one
days had passed, and it was nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile a _prau_
which I had despatched with two soldiers and the chiefs Çicatuna
and Çigala to the island of Cubu to endeavor to ascertain some
news concerning it, had returned, bringing no news whatever of its
whereabouts. On Holy Saturday, three hours before daybreak, while
we were thus plunged in great anxiety and grief, fearing that our
companions might have been lost, captured, or killed, the shout "the
frigate! the frigate!" was heard in our fleet. Turning my glance,
I beheld it entering the bay. Only the Burnei pilot was missing;
the others looked well and strong, although they had suffered from
hunger. On arriving, they informed us that the island which they had
coasted had a circuit of one hundred and fifty leagues, and that
on their return they had passed between it and the opposite coast
of Cubu. [100] They reported that this island of Cubu was densely,
populated, containing many large villages, and among them were many
people inhabiting the coast, and inland many cultivated districts. The
above-mentioned soldiers who went to Cibu in the _prau_ with Cicatuna
and Cigala said that the same thing was to be observed on the other
coast, and that the port of the town of Cibu admitted of anchorage,
and was excellent. I decided to take the fleet to that island - a plan
I carried out, with the intention of requesting peace and friendship
from the natives, and of buying provisions from them at a reasonable
cost. Should they refuse all this I decided to make war upon them - a
step which I considered justifiable in the case of these people;
for it was in that same port and town that Magallanes and his fleet
were well received. King Sarriparra and nearly all the natives were
baptized, and admitted to our holy faith and evangelical teaching,
voluntarily offering themselves as his majesty's vassals. Magallanes
and more than thirty of his companions were afterward killed while
fighting in behalf of this island against the people of Matan, a
thickly-populated island situated near this one. Afterward the two
islands made peace privately between themselves, and the inhabitants
of the town of Cibu killed many of the Spaniards of the same fleet,
and drove the remaining few away from their land. Hence we see that all
this is sufficient occasion for any course whatever. In accordance with
this last opinion the fleet left the port of Bohol and we reached the
port of Çibu on Friday, April 27, 1565. We had scarcely arrived when
an Indian came to the flagship in a canoe, who said that Tupas, the
ruler of the island, was in the town, and that he was going to come
to the fleet to see me. A little later there came from the village,
an Indian, an interpreter of the Malay language, who said, on behalf
of Tupas, that the latter was getting ready to come to see me, that
he would come on that very day, and that he would bring ten of the
principal chiefs of that island. I waited for them that whole day;
but as I saw that the people were much occupied in removing their
possessions from their houses and carrying them to the mountain, and
that during all this day and until noon of the next, Tupas, the son
of Saripara, who killed the men of Magallanes, did not come, I sent a
boat with father Fray Andres de Hurdaneta and the master-of-camp, in


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Online LibraryUnknownThe Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 — Volume 02 of 55 1521-1569 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Re → online text (page 12 of 22)