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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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Council of the Indies. It seemed to me that your highness would be
pleased with specimens of the weapons with which these natives fight;
accordingly they are bringing to your highness a Chinese arquebuse,
of which there are some among these natives. Although they are very
dexterous in handling these guns, when on the sea, aboard of their
_praus_, they carry them more to terrify than to kill. And likewise
they bring you a half-dozen lances and another half-dozen daggers,
a cutlass, two corselets, two helmets, and a bow with quiver and
arrows, all which they use. Moreover, that your highness may see how
scrupulous these people are in their dealings, I send your highness
a pair of balances and one of their steelyards. I beg humbly your
highness to receive my desire to serve you ever as a faithful servant,
and pardon my boldness.

Very exalted and powerful lord, may our Lord watch over the very
exalted and powerful and royal person of your highness, and may he
augment you with more kingdoms and seigniories for many and fortunate
years. From this island of Çubu, July 15, 1567. Your highness's very
faithful servant who kisses your royal hands.

_Miguel Lopez De Legazpi_



Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:

On the vessel which I sent to New Spain to discover the return route,
I gave your majesty a relation of the events of the voyage, and of
our arrival and settlement in these islands, up to the time of the
ship's departure. The succeeding events in this camp may be seen by
the relation which I send with this letter.

Last year a vessel [111] was sent from Nueva España for this island
with news of the arrival of the flagship which went from here. It
arrived here on the fifteenth of October of last year, in great
extremity and trouble, for on the way they killed the captain and
a son of his, and some others, and raised mutinies, rebellions,
and other troubles, as may be seen from the evidence thereof which I
send. As it brought no other assistance, nor any of the articles which
we sent for from here, nor any command or order from your majesty
(nor have these things been sent here since then); and since after
so long a time the flagship has not returned, nor have we received
the assistance that was hoped for with it - the men of this camp are
in extremities and distressed. Because it has not been permitted them
to rob, or make war upon, or in any way harm the natives, and as they
see so great delay in the sending of aid, some have not been lacking
in treacherous and damnable purposes and desires, from which God,
our Lord, has been pleased up to now to deliver your majesty's loyal
and faithful servants - who with all loyalty and zeal have served you
and are now serving you in these regions - and I hope therefore that
in his divine goodness he will continue to do so.

There have been some islands discovered in this neighborhood,
and more are being continually found of which we knew nothing, and
which are inhabited by many people. There is disclosed a very great
foundation and opening for both the spiritual and the temporal, from
which God our Lord and your majesty may derive much profit, and our
holy Catholic faith be much increased, if your majesty will give the
necessary orders, and provide the suitable religious and laborers who
may work diligently in this great vineyard of the Lord. And from what
has been hitherto seen much fruit may be had in their conversions,
without much difficulty, because there are not known among them either
the temples or the rites and ceremonies of other peoples - although they
are a people extremely vicious, fickle, untruthful, and full of other
superstitions. They all have many specimens of gold, and this they
trade and wear as jewelry; but there is only a small quantity of it,
by reason of there being no headmen or great lords among them. In some
islands we have been informed of and have seen mines of gold, which,
if the islands were peopled with Spaniards, would, it is believed,
be rich and profitable. In other islands there is an abundance of
cinnamon, of which they make little use. They make no exportation of
it, and therefore it is of little worth to them. Seventy _quintals_
of it, more or less, have been carried upon this ship for your
majesty; and there may be carried every year as much as your majesty
wishes - enough indeed to supply all Christendom.

I have resided continuously on this island of Cubu, awaiting the orders
which your majesty may be pleased to have sent. I have barely succeeded
in maintaining the forces with the least possible harm to the natives,
and I shall try to do the same until I see your majesty's command, and
know your royal will; because if we should make war upon these people,
I think that great harm would ensue, but little advantage would be
gained, and we should suffer hardships greater than those which have
been suffered, although they have been bad enough. By the blessing
of peace, we have succeeded in attracting into the obedience of your
majesty many towns. As they have come from all this neighborhood of
which possession has been taken in your royal name, the list of the
towns accompanies this letter. And as these people are fickle and
treacherous, and know not how to obey or serve, we ought to have here
a fort and a number of Spaniards, who by good treatment might restrain
them and make them understand what justice is; and who may settle in
other places most convenient for the security of all those of this
region. For this purpose married men should be sent and those who
would have to remain permanently in this land. I beg your majesty to
be pleased to have provided with all despatch what is most in accord
with your royal pleasure, and give the commission to some one in Nueva
España, who with all care and special diligence, will provide all
that is necessary, without there being so much delay as in the past.

For the security of these parts, and in order to get this needed
security, it would be fitting and necessary to have built half a
dozen galleys. For this, and even to provide them with crews there
is reasonable provision here, provided you send officers and workmen
to build the vessels, as has been written to the royal _Audiencia_
of Mexico. With these vessels all these islands may be protected,
as well as many others that are farther away from them; and it might
even be possible to coast along the shores of China and to trade on
the mainland. They would be very profitable and effective. Your majesty
will cause to be provided in this regard what is most pleasing to you.

In November of last year arrived, very near where we are, a large
fleet of Portuguese who were coming from India to Maluco, where they
must have thought that we were. Having arrived near our settlement,
they stopped a few days, giving out that they were coming in search of
us. They sent two small boats to reconnoiter our colony and station,
afterward resolving to continue their voyage without stopping here. It
may well be imagined that they were not pleased to see Spaniards in
these parts.

Farther north than our settlement, or almost to the northwest not
far from here, are some large islands, called Luzon and Vindoro,
where the Chinese and Japanese come every year to trade. They bring
silks, woolens, bells, porcelains, perfumes, iron, tin, colored
cotton cloths, and other small wares, and in return they take away
gold and wax. The people of these two islands are Moros, and having
bought what the Chinese and Japanese bring, they trade the same goods
throughout this archipelago of islands. Some of them have come here,
although we have not been able to go there, by reason of having too
small a force to divide among so many districts.

The people who remain here are very needy and poor, on account
of having had, hitherto, no advantages or profits in the islands;
and they have endured many miseries and troubles, with very great
zeal and desire to serve your majesty, and are worthy of receiving
remuneration. I humbly beg your majesty to be pleased to be mindful
of their services, to grant them all favor (since these regions and
districts contain sufficient for it), because a hundred merit it, and
have served well and will serve much more in the future. Therefore I
beg your majesty in addition, that your majesty approve the duties
and offices given and assigned for these districts, and that your
majesty confirm them to the persons who hold them, together with
the greater favors that you may confer on them; for in these men are
found the necessary qualifications, and they fulfil their duties with
all fidelity.

As this ship was about to sail, there arrived at this port two small
galleys from Maluco, carrying certain Portuguese with letters from
the captains of the fleet that came to these regions last year for
the assistance and fortification of Maluco. In these letters they
ask us to go out to their fleet, as your majesty will see by the very
letters which accompany this present letter, together with the copy of
the one I sent back to them. Some of those who came with the letters
gave us to understand that, if we would not go willingly, they would
take us by force; and that very shortly they would attack us in so
great force that we could not resist them. I do not consider that
they have any right to attack us or make war on us, since we, on our
part, are causing them no trouble or harm; and although they come,
we cannot do anything else than wait for them, notwithstanding that
we are few and short of ammunition and other war material, since help
has not come from Nueva España as we expected; and we have neither
vessels nor equipment in order to escape. May God provide in this
what he sees necessary, and as is your majesty's pleasure, - whose
sacred royal Catholic person may our Lord watch over for many and
prosperous years with increase of more kingdoms. From this island
of Cubu, July 23, 1567. Your sacred royal majesty's very humble and
faithful servant who kisses your hands and feet.

_Miguel Lopez De Legazpi_



Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:

When I arrived in these Filipinas islands in the year sixty-five,
I despatched a ship to discover the return route to Nueva España. I
also sent to your majesty a relation of the events of the voyage,
and of my colonization in this island of Çubu, where I should
await the reply that your majesty should be pleased to have sent
me; and stated that I was writing to Nueva España that they should
provide me with all the most necessary things; and those we lacked
most. Seeing so much delay on all sides, last year I sent another
ship with the relation of all that had occurred here, begging your
majesty to be pleased to order that we should be helped and provided,
with all possible expedition, with the things that we have asked for,
and which were extremely necessary and important; and that the matter
be committed to some one in Nueva España, who should provide and have
charge of it, because although they sent us reenforcements of men,
they sent us nothing else that we had asked for. They said that
they had not your majesty's commission for it, and that they were
expecting every day the warrant that your majesty will be pleased to
give in this case, so that by virtue of it they could supply us with
what was needed. This great delay has subjected us to hardship and
distress, and to great danger and risk - especially through our lack
of powder and ammunition, and rigging and sails for the vessels, of
which we are quite destitute, and of which there are not, and cannot
be, any here. I beg your majesty to have the goodness to have these
things seen to, as is most in accordance with your royal pleasure,
with the expedition required in a matter of so great importance; and
that henceforth this matter be entrusted to some one in Nueva España,
at your majesty's pleasure, who shall administer it as is most fitting
to your royal service and the good of those here.

By the vessel that left last year, I sent your majesty seventy
_quintals_ of cinnamon which we got in trade with the natives; and
this vessel about to sail carries one hundred and fifty _quintals_
more. There is abundance of it, and we could send more, were it
not for the lack of articles of barter; for those we bring are
valueless, and these natives do not desire them. There are also
other drugs, aromatics, and perfumes which our people do not know;
nor do the natives know them, for they have but little curiosity,
and care nothing for these things. In some places there are oysters,
and indications of pearls; but the Indians neither know of them nor
fish for them. There are gold mines; pepper might be had also if it
were cultivated and cared for, because pepper trees have been seen,
which some chiefs keep in their houses as curiosities, although they
value the pepper at little or nothing. The country is healthful and
has a fair climate, although it is very rough and mountainous. All
trade therefore is by sea, and almost all the natives live on the
sea-coast and along the rivers and creeks that empty into the sea. In
the interior there are few settlements, although in some islands there
are blacks living in the mountains, who neither share nor enjoy the
sea, but are most of the time at war with the Indians who live down
on the seacoast. Captives are made on both sides, and so there are
some black slaves among the Indians.

If this land is to be settled, to pacify and place it under your royal
dominion, in order to civilize its inhabitants and bring them to the
knowledge of our holy Catholic faith, for it cannot be sustained by
way of trade, both because our articles of barter have no value among
them, and because it would be more expense than profit - in order to
possess it for pacification, it is most necessary and important that
your majesty maintain here a half-dozen galleys, with which to explore
all this archipelago, and make further discoveries. Likewise they
could coast along China and the mainland, and find out what there is
there, and achieve other things of great importance. The galleys could
be built here at very slight cost, because there is plenty of wood
and timber. Your majesty would have only to provide tackle, sails,
anchors, and the heavy bolts and nails for these vessels. You would
also have to send from Nueva España two skilled ship-builders, two
forges, and two dozen negroes from those that your majesty maintains
at the harbor at Vera Cruz who might be taken without causing any
shortage. Pitch, oakum, and grease, which are not to be had here,
could be made without any further cost. The ships could be manned by
slaves bought from these natives, or taken from those places which
do not consent to obey your majesty.

Likewise if the land is to be settled, the mines here ought to
be worked and fitted up. Since at first it will be difficult and
costly and very laborious, for many causes and reasons, your majesty
ought to do us the favor of giving up your royal rights and fifths,
or a part of them, and for a time suitable, to those working the
mines, so that they might reconcile themselves to undertaking it and
expending their possessions therein; your majesty ought likewise to
give them permission to buy the slaves, whom these natives barter
and sell among themselves, and whom they can use on their estates and
for their advantage, without taking them from their land and native
home. In everything your majesty will examine and provide according to
your pleasure. May our Lord keep your sacred royal Catholic majesty,
and increase your kingdoms and seigniories for many and prosperous
years, as your royal heart desires. From this island of Çubu, June
26, 1568. Your sacred royal Catholic majesty's faithful and humble
servant who kisses your royal feet.


_Miguel Lopez De Legazpi_




Negotiations Between Legazpi and Pereira Regarding the Spanish
Settlement at Cebu - 1568-69


(I, Fernando Riquel, [112] notary-in-chief of the royal armada which
came forth to discover the Islands of the West, and to govern them
for his majesty the king Don Felipe, our sovereign, certify and truly
testify to all who may see the present, or its duplicates authorized
in public form, that while his excellency Miguel Lopez de Legazpi,
governor and captain-general for his majesty of the above-mentioned
royal armada, was located with the people thereof in this island and
port of Çubu in the said Felipinas, there came to the said port a
certain Portuguese armada, the chief commander of which, they said,
was named Gonzalo Pereira. He, after arriving at this said port and
remaining therein a few days, sent certain ordinances and documents
to the said governor, to which the latter replied sending also other
documents of his own; and the ordinances and documents of the said
commander-in-chief, Gonzalo Pereira, remained in the hands of me,
the above-mentioned Fernando Riquel; while the papers and documents
which the said governor sent in response to the said captain-general,
under his own signature, remained in the hands of the captain-general
himself. The duplicates, signed and authorized by Pero Bernaldez,
notary-public of the Portuguese fleet aforesaid, I, the above-mentioned
Fernando Riquel, possess, and do insert and incorporate them one
with another; and the copies thereof, one placed after another,
constitute what now follows, arranged according to the order in which
they were presented.)

As for the requisition and protest which I, Gonçallo Pereira,
commander-in-chief of this fleet of the king, our sovereign, do make
to the very illustrious Miguel Lopez de Leguazpi, captain-general
of the fortress and settlement which he has recently established in
this our island of Cebu: you, Pero Bernaldez, notary-public in this
fleet, are directed to lay it before him, and with his reply - or, if
he be unwilling to give one, without it - to return to me. You shall
present to him the document and documents, which I must send him,
to the effect that it is true that, coming from India in order to
favor and increase the Christian communities in these islands, which
had been persecuted by the unbelievers, I learned in Borneo that his
grace had entered into this our charge and conquest, and established
himself in this island of Cebu, and that he had entered by accident
and not intentionally through his having encountered severe storms,
and had reached land in this possession of ours. Wherefore I arrived
on the sixth of October, one thousand five hundred and sixty-six, from
Borneo, having come in quest of him to aid and assist him in his need,
as was my duty as a Christian, and because of the close relationship
and friendliness of our sovereigns which obliged me to do this, and
nothing less, in order to fulfil on our part, the compact made between
the emperor Don Carlos, whom may God preserve, and the royal sovereign
Don Joham the Third, whom may God maintain in glory. As it turned out
I did not see him, owing to the stress of weather which constrained
me to go directly to Maluco - whence I sent Antonio Rombo Dacosta and
Baltesar de Sousa in two _caracoas_ [113] to visit his grace, and
ascertain from him what he needed from our fleet, offering him most
willingly everything that it contained. From the fortress likewise,
the same offers were made by Alvoro de Mendonca its commander; but
his grace neither accepted nor besought anything from the fleet or
from the fortress. And hearing from Antonio Rombo that there was great
need of many things, through lack of which much hardship was suffered,
I left Maluco again on the thirteenth of October one thousand five
hundred and sixty-seven, in search of his grace, very well provided
with everything necessary for his aid - no inconsiderable amount - at the
cost of his highness and of his captains. And I failed again to see
him, in spite of all my efforts, in consequence of setting out late,
and having encountered a very violent monsoon. On the twenty-sixth of
August, one thousand five hundred and sixty-eight I returned to Maluco,
only to retrace for a third time my way. And our Lord was pleased to
allow me to arrive at this our port where I encountered him in peaceful
wise without any hostile manifestation whatsoever. And I did not take
from and defend against him any vessels or supplies, a thing both
easy and profitable for us to do; but, on the contrary, I favored his
grace in every way, and gave him the title of governor. But - seeing
that the fortress was being strengthened more and more each day upon
the land; and that he was trying to enter into communication with the
people about, and constraining them in some measure by force of arms
to obedience in the payment of tribute to his majesty the king Don
Felipe; and entering into agreements, in the name of his majesty, with
the people near and far to the effect that they might sail safely all
around the land and through the waters of this archipelago, - I am in
considerable apprehension, for all this region belongs to the conquest
and demarcation of the king our sovereign; and I cannot persuade myself
that his grace comes here with the delegated authority and consent of
the king Don Felipe, who is so closely connected and allied with the
king our sovereign. Wherefore I request his grace, both one and many
times, on the part of the very Catholic and Christian sovereigns,
[114] to send me word as to the cause of his coming and his stay,
and to show the commission which he brings; for if the consent of
the sovereigns is in any wise therein contained, I wish to conform
thereto, as I am very desirous to give help and favor in every way
which will be of service to the said sovereigns - as, in letters,
and in the interviews held, I have given his grace to understand
thoroughly. And if his grace is not willing to do anything in this
matter, and will not consent to come with all his camp and join
this fleet, as I have also asked him to do, I summon him, on behalf
of the very Catholic and Christian sovereigns, to depart from this
land and archipelago of ours forthwith, with all his camp, fleet,
and munitions of war, and leave it free and unembarrassed to the said
lord thereof. And otherwise I protest that all the loss and damage
which may ensue in this matter will fall upon his grace, and that he
will be obliged to give account of them to God and to the sovereigns
our lords. Given in this galley "San Francisco," in the port of Cebu,
on the fourteenth of October one thousand five hundred and sixty-eight.

_Goncalo Pereira_.


(_Notification:_ On the fifteenth day of the said month of October of
the year one thousand five hundred and sixty-eight, I, Pero Bernaldez,
notary-public for the king our sovereign in this his fleet, went at
the command of Goncalo Pereira, the captain-general thereof, to the
camp of Çebu of which the very illustrious Miguel Lopez de Leguazpi
is the commander; and I presented to him in his lodgings there,
two hours, somewhat more or less, after noon on the said day, month,
and year, and delivered to him, word for word, the demand and protest
above mentioned, given to me by Afonso Alvarez Furtado, factor of the
fleet, who was granted due authority for this business by the said
commander-in-chief. At this delivery were present the said factor
and Baltesar de Freitas, the notary of the fleet; Andres d'Ibarra,
captain; Guido de Levazaris, his majesty's treasurer; Amador de
Arrayaran, first ensign, and Graviel da Rabeira, head _aiguazil_,
of the camp - all of whom signed here with me, Pero Bernaldez, notary,
who writes these presents.


_Pero Bernaldez_,
_Alfonso Alvarez Furtado_,
_Baltesar de Freitas_.


And then the said Miguel Lopez, after the said demand had been read by
me, said that he had heard it, and begged that a copy thereof might be
given him, to which he would reply in due form; and, that there may be
no doubt about the matter, Lopez says upon another line that it will
be truly done. And I, Pero Bernaldez, who drew up this writing in the
said day, month, and year, and at the said hour, do witness thereto,
in company with the said witnesses already mentioned.


_Andres de Ybarra_,
_Guido de Lavezaris_,
_Amador de Arrayaran_,
_Graviel de Ribera_.)


_Authorization:_ Guonçallo Pereira, commander-in-chief of these
south-by-east regions: by my authorization power is granted to Alfonso
Alvarez Furtado, factor of the king our sovereign in this his fleet,
so that he may, for me, and in my name, present and require from
his highness all the papers and documents which may serve the ends
of justice, with all the powers which I myself should have in these


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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 14 of 22)