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Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803
Volume III, 1569-1576
Author: E.H. Blair
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, 1493-1803 ***
Volume III, 1569–1576
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
Relation of the Voyage to Luzon
On the eighth of May of this year, one thousand five hundred and seventy, the master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, left the river of Panay with ninety arquebusiers and twenty sailors on board the following vessels: the junk “San Miguel,” of about fifty tons' burden with three large pieces of artillery; the frigate “La Tortuga;” and fifteen praus manned by natives of Çubu and of the island of Panay. The officers who accompanied the master-of-camp were Captain Joan de Salzedo1 (grandson of the governor), Sergeant-major Juan de Moron, Ensign-major Amador de Rriaran, the high constable Graviel de Rribera, and the notary-in-chief Hernando Rriquel.
After sailing northwest for two days, they arrived at the island of Zibuyan, a high and mountainous land known to possess gold-mines. Without talking to any of the natives, they left that island, which is situated about fourteen leagues from the river of Panay, and went to the island of Mindoro. Among other islands passed was that of Banton, where lived certain Spaniards, who had gone there in vessels belonging to friendly Indians. The island of Banton is about fifteen leagues from Cibuyan. It is a small circular island, high and mountainous, and is thickly populated. The natives raise a very large number of goats here, which they sell in other places. The natives of this island of Banton, as well as those of Cibuyan, are handsome, and paint themselves. From the island of Banton to that of Bindoro there is a distance of about twelve leagues. The master-of-camp reached this latter place, and anchored there with all the vessels in his charge. Mindoro is also called “the lesser Luçon.” All its ports and maritime towns are inhabited by Moros. We hear that inland live naked people called Chichimecos. As far as could be seen, this island lacks provisions.
News reached the master-of-camp that, in a river five leagues from the place where the ships had anchored, were two vessels from China, the inhabitants of which these natives call Sangleyes.2 Seeing that the weather did not permit him to send the large ship, because the wind was blowing south by west, he despatched Captain Juan de Salzedo, with the praus3 and rowboats to reconnoiter the said ships, and to request peace and friendship with them. This step had scarcely been taken when the southwest wind began to blow so violently, that our people were compelled to put into a harbor, and to find shelter for that night behind a promontory. Four praus and the frigate, unable to do this, found shelter farther away; and, keeping always in sight of the shore, these vessels looked for the ships all that night. The next morning they were overtaken by five of the other vessels and the frigate, which were searching for them. The master-of-camp and captain Juan de Salzedo were still behind, with the large junk and the other praus. At break of day, the praus which had preceded the others reached the river where the Chinese ships were anchored. The Chinese, either because news of the Spaniards had reached them, or because they had heard arquebuse-shots, were coming out side by side with foresails up, beating on drums, playing on fifes, firing rockets and culverins, and making a great warlike display. Many of them were seen on deck, armed with arquebuses and unsheathed cutlasses. The Spaniards, who are not at all slothful, did not refuse the challenge offered them by the Chinese; on the contrary they boldly and fearlessly attacked the Chinese ships, and, with their usual courage, grappled them. This was certainly a rash move on their part, for the Chinese ships were large and high, while the praus were so small and low that they hardly reached to the first pillar of the enemy's ships. But the goodly aim of the arquebusiers was so effective that the Chinese did not leave their shelter, and the Spaniards were thus enabled to board their ships and take possession of them. There were about eighty Chinese on board the two ships; about twenty were killed in the affray. The soldiers searched the cabins in which the Chinese kept their most valuable goods, and there they found silk, both woven and in skeins; gold thread, musk, gilded porcelain bowls, pieces of cotton cloth, gilded water-jugs, and other curious articles—although not in a large quantity, considering the size of the ships. The decks of both vessels were full of earthen jars and crockery; large porcelain vases, plates, and bowls; and some fine porcelain jars, which they call sinoratas. They also found iron, copper, steel, and a small quantity of wax which the Chinese had bought. Captain Juan de Salzedo arrived with the rear-guard of the praus, after the soldiers had already placed in safety the goods taken from the Chinese ships. He was not at all pleased with the havoc made among the Chinese. The master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, who had remained behind with the large ship, showed much more displeasure, when he heard of the occurrence. As soon as he was able to cast anchor with the junk in the river of Bato (the name of the place where the Chinese vessels were found), he made all haste to make them understand that he was sorry for their misfortune, and that they had done wrong in sallying forth against the Spaniards. Nevertheless, he said he would give them, besides their freedom, a ship, in which they might return to their own country without any hindrance—besides whatever was necessary for their voyage. This was highly appreciated by the Chinese, who, being very humble people, knelt down with loud utterances of joy.
After this proposal had been made clear to the Chinese, and gladly accepted by them, the master-of-camp entrusted the chief notary, Hernando Rriquel, with the repairing of one of the ships—ordering him to have the hatchway taken out, and to send all that the ship contained to the port of Panay. Seeing that the sails, masts, and rigging of the vessels were so different from ours that none of his men had any knowledge of them, the master-of-camp thought best to ask the Chinese to send three or four of their sailors with the junk to Panay, in company with some friendly Moros of Luçon, who were with the Spaniards. The Chinese very willingly agreed to that, and provided the required men. Thus the ship was despatched with twelve Lucon Moros, four Chinese, and four Spanish soldiers of the guard.
In this river of Bato was found some green pepper4 growing on trees as small as shrubs, with their clusters like agias. Here they learned that the town of Mindoro, which is the capital of that island, was five leagues from Bato, and that three more Chinese ships were there. They also heard that the Moros of Mindoro had made great preparations for its defense, and had provided themselves with a large number of culverins, arrows, and other offensive weapons, and were intrenched in a very strong fort. In consideration of this, and the fact that the Spaniards in this country have always desired to come in conflict with people who do not flee from them, they decided to proceed immediately to that island—although the natives of the river of Bato offered them peace, and promised to pay them two hundred gold taels5 (the equivalent of two thousand pesos de minas in Spanish reckoning), if they would remain there a few days. The master-of-camp assured them of peace, and, telling them to have the money ready upon his return, set out for the port of Mindoro. Departing from the river of Baco in the morning, the Spaniards arrived, by noon, at the town of Mindoro, which is an excellent though poorly-sheltered seaport. The harbor has only one entrance. Its waters beat against a hill which is the first and the smallest of a chain of three hills overlooking the port. The other two hills are very craggy and thus form a defense to the pass for the natives. Many armed Moros appeared on the first hill—bowmen, lancers, and some gunners, linstocks in hand. All along the hillside stood a large number of culverins. The foot of the hill was fortified by a stone wall over fourteen feet thick. The Moros were well attired after their fashion, and wore showy head-dresses, of many colors, turned back over their heads. Many of them were beating drums, blowing horns made from shells, and ringing bells. The number of men was quite large.
The master-of-camp arrived with his ship, ahead of the oared praus. When the first prau arrived, he embarked in it with the chief notary, Hernando Rriquel, the interpreter, and a recently-converted Moro, who served as guide. With only these men, and one soldier armed with a shield, the master-of-camp advanced toward the Moro fort. He reached the foot of the hill, without allowing any others to follow him; and, being unable to proceed any further on account of its steepness, he summoned from above two Moros, to treat for peace. There seemed to be a difference of opinion among the Moros, as was gathered from their demeanor, for some made gestures of war, and others of peace, some of them even going so far as to throw a few stones and level the culverins. On the whole, they were not very anxious to fight. Meanwhile, the master-of-camp was so near them that they could have spit on him. All the Spaniards had already disembarked, and stood at an arquebuse-shot from the master-of-camp. The latter was so anxious to win over those Moros and gain their confidence, because they exhibited fear, that he wished to climb the hill on all fours to reach them; but his companions dissuaded him from this. At this time Captain Juan de Salzedo, the sergeant-major, the high constable, and the ensign-major, came up; and the master-of-camp, the captain, and the officials were assembled there, with but one soldier, for the master-of-camp would not allow the others to advance. The Moros having seen the peaceful attitude of our people, one of them descended the hill, almost on all fours. Our Moro guide advanced toward him; but, on account of the great steepness of the hill, he had to be helped up by the other Moro. After they had seen and recognized each other, and after the customary embrace and kiss, they descended to the master-of-camp. The latter told the Moro who had come down, through the interpreter, that he need not fear; for he had not come to harm them, but to seek their friendship. The Moro carried the message to the others upon the hill, and a chief came down; and, upon reaching the master-of-camp, said that he and all the town wished to be his friends, and to help the Spaniards with whatever they possessed. The master-of-camp answered that the proposition was acceptable; whereupon the Moro chief asked him to withdraw from that place—saying that, after they had withdrawn, he would come to treat of friendship and of what was to be given. The master-of-camp, in order to please him, agreed to this; and told the chief that he was going to review his men, and that he should not be offended when he should hear arquebuse-shots and the noise of artillery. Accordingly, he withdrew to the place where his men were drawn up in order, and there a fine review took place—the company closing ranks in such perfect order that both the friendly Indians (who came with us, to the number of five or six hundred) and the Moros were greatly frightened. The master-of-camp ordered that the cannon amidship on the large vessel be fired, although not to increase their fright. The review had not yet ended when a Moro came with sixty gold taels, which he gave to the master-of-camp—asking him not to be offended if the gift were not brought quickly, because the people had dispersed through fear, and therefore it could not be collected so soon; but he promised that they would raise the amount to four hundred taels. The master-of-camp received this gold, and had it placed in a small box, the key of which he gave to the Moro, telling him to keep it until the promise was fulfilled; but to consider that after treason nothing could be more blameworthy than falsehood. The Moro salaamed low, and said that he would not lie, and that they would fulfil their promise, little by little. And so they did, for, on that same day, four more messengers came with gold; and all entreated and begged the master-of-camp not to be offended at the delay, if there should be any. With these flatteries and promises the Moros detained us about five days, during which time we had friendly dealings and intercourse with them, although they mistrusted us to a certain extent. They had already abandoned the first town on the shore and had withdrawn to a hill about two hundred paces away. There most of them had taken their wives, children, and part of their goods, although the best part of their property was kept farther inland. This hill was so well fortified by nature, that, had it not been for the two ladders, which the Moros kept in two places, one could have ascended it only with wings. Notwithstanding all these difficulties, our Spaniards paid them friendly visits. On this little fortified spot the Moros had built their huts, as high as Mexican market-tents. They resembled a crowd of children with their holiday toys. During these five days, the Moros had, little by little, given two hundred taels of impure gold, for they possess great skill in mixing it with other metals. They give it an outside appearance so natural and perfect, and so fine a ring, that unless it is melted they can deceive all men, even the best of silversmiths. While in this port of Mindoro the master-of-camp sought information concerning the distance to Manilla and the towns which would be found on the journey. Our interpreter disagreed with the Moros of Mindoro as to the number of days it would take; but they all agreed that it was far, and that perhaps the weather would not permit us to sail thither. The natives of Mindoro added also that the Spaniards were crazy to go to Manilla with so small a force, and that they pitied us. They recounted so many wonders of Manilla that their tales seemed fabulous; they said that there were very large oared boats, each carrying three hundred rowers, besides the warriors; that the people were well armed and excellent bowmen; that the ships were well equipped with artillery, both large and small; and that any one of those vessels could attack two praus, and sink them when within range. With these accounts the Moros tried to discourage the Spaniards; but the more they attempted to frighten them with such things the more desirous they all became to set foot in Manilla. In view of this, the master-of-camp did not wait for the full payment of what the Moros had promised; but, warning them to have the remainder ready upon his return, he left them on friendly terms, and set out for the town of Manilla with all his men.
He left the port of Mindoro at midnight, and the next morning cast anchor before a small island lying between Mindoro and Lucon, where he remained two days waiting for the praus. Meanwhile, having sufficient leisure, he crossed over to the shore of Lucon, which was about two leagues distant; and discovered in that same island a wide, spacious bay. The praus went forward, in company with one of the Moros belonging to the town of Balayan, who had offered their friendship. These Moros pointed out to Captain Juan de Salcedo, who went with the oared praus, the mouth of a river which led inland to a lake, called Bombon.6 All the praus entered this river, and came upon an uninhabited town. After the Moro guides from Balayan had gathered all the house commodities that they could store in their prau, they told the Spaniards that they wished to warn their own village, so that their people should not be anxious; and so they went away, leaving the Spaniards in that river.
The master-of-camp took a different route with his junk, and cast anchor before the town of Balayan, two leagues from the river of Bombon. While anchored there, and while the master-of-camp was fretting over the non-appearance of the praus that sailed with him (since now it was already two hours after nightfall), at that very time one of them, under command of Captain Juan de Salcedo, made its appearance. He had been wounded in the leg by a poisoned arrow. Soon afterward, the other praus and vessels which had sailed in his company arrived. They reported to the master-of-camp that they had entered a narrow arm of the sea, which the land inward forms into a medium-sized lake, around which seemed to be many people and much cultivated land. The country seemed thickly populated and well tilled. Captain Juan de Salcedo advanced farther up those waters, in search of a fortified place of which information had been received on the way thither—situated on both sides of the water, and thus very high and rugged, and suitable for laying ambuscades. This proved to be true; for suddenly, and without them being able to see any one, many arrows came flying through the air, one of which wounded Captain Juan de Salcedo in the leg; and many more would have been wounded had not the prau been supplied with canvas guards. The arquebusiers immediately hastened to their posts with their medicine,7 and prevented the Moros from discharging another volley of arrows, which ceased at their coming. The captain secured an antidotal herb for his wound; and, seeing that the approach to the fort was too dangerous and that it was impossible to effect a landing, he went back to collect his praus, and to look for a shore where he could easily disembark. A landing-place was found near the town; the men disembarked, and set out on foot in search of the Moros. The latter appeared in a broad plain, covered with grass about a hand-span high. The men were divided into two troops, in order to attack the Moros, who were shooting arrows as rapidly as they could, and wildly shouting. The Moros waited until the Spaniards began to hit their flanks with arquebuse bullets; and then, seeing the rage of their opponents, they took to flight. Our men pursued them to the very gate of their town, where more than forty Moros fell under the fire from the arquebuses.
The Spaniards entered the town, and set free two Chinamen, who were kept there in chains. They learned from these men the ostensible reason for their imprisonment, as follows. Two Chinese ships had come to trade with the Moros in this river; but, hearing of our presence in Mindoro, they desired to betake themselves thither. The Moros would not allow them to go away. In the quarrel that ensued over the question of their departure, the Chinese fired a culverin from one of the ships and killed a Moro chief. The Moros assembled to avenge him, and overtook the Chinese as they were about to sail out to sea through the estuary. It seems that the vessels were wrecked on certain shoals at the entrance to the estuary, and the Chinese with all their possessions fell into the power of the Moros, who inflicted on them a severe punishment—seizing them all, and putting them to death by inches in a most cruel manner, flaying their faces, and exposing them on reeds and mats. When the Spaniards entered the town, they encountered not a few similar sights; and so recent was this deed that the flayed faces of the Chinese were still bleeding.
Such was the account given by Captain Joan de Salcedo of what had occurred that day during his absence from the master-of-camp. The Balayan Moros who had come out peacefully detained the master-of-camp there for three or four days, giving him, little by little, some impure gold. The latter, to avoid any further delay, decided to proceed to Manilla. Accordingly, he left these Moros, on peaceful terms, telling them to collect for his return what was lacking of the amount promised. Then he sailed along the coast toward Manilla, which was said to be three leagues from that town. The chiefs of this town of Balayan said that they wished to accompany the Spaniards one day's journey from their town, in order to avenge themselves for injuries and wrongs received at the hands of some neighboring communities on the coast called Tulayansi. Therefore seven or eight praus of Moros went with us, and, when we reached that coast, two praus with white flags were seen, which advanced to the ship of the master-of-camp. Upon arriving there, they declared that they were natives of that coast, and that three towns, which could be seen with the naked eye, wished to be our friends, and to give us tribute as the others did. The master-of-camp received them in peace, and assured them of friendship, notwithstanding that the Balayan Moros who came with us opposed him—saying that those people ought not to be admitted to friendship, because they were hostile to themselves for making peace with us first. These arguments were of little avail, for the master-of-camp declared to both parties, that he had come to make friendship with all, and that his friends should have no differences between themselves; that, in case they did, it would be right for them to go to the Spaniards for the settlement of them; and that the one breaking with the other would be considered as enemy of the Spaniards. When they heard this answer, both sides promised to abide by that decision, whereupon the master-of-camp dismissed them all, advising those natives who had lately offered their friendship, to have the tribute ready upon his return.
According to the men of Balayan the enmity between these towns was because a Balayan vessel, on its return from Manilla, laden with merchandise, was driven by stormy weather on that coast of Tulay, and the natives showed them so excellent hospitality that, instead of helping and receiving them kindly, as neighbors should, they stole the goods of the Balayans and killed two of them, setting their heads on stakes. Similar sights were noticed by the Spaniards in these towns, which still exhibited the cruelty of the deed.
This coast is called Tulay. It has broad shoals and for this reason, as well as for the keen desire of all our men to set foot in Manilla, they remained there only one night. Therefore at dawn they set out for the town called Menilla, which according to report was quite near. They sailed along the coast, noting many bays and ports. There were some towns along the shore, whose inhabitants and citizens had sought other shelter, taking away the best of their possessions. The oared vessels came to shore, to see what these towns contained; but, finding no people, they sailed on. The large vessel was sailing about a league from the coast. Here they met some small boats, which the natives call tapaques. They were laden with provisions, rice, and salted sardines without the heads, resembling those which are found in España. The soldiers of the praus took away a quantity of rice from the Moros, who did not defend themselves. The latter were allowed to depart in freedom, with their vessels. There were some who did defend themselves, and wounded two Spaniards and killed one of the friendly Indians who accompanied us. The master-of-camp, as he was sailing in the large vessel, was unable to put a stop to these disorders, for they were occurring in his absence. When he learned of this, and that the Moro ships were coming from the bay of Menilla laden with provisions, he cast anchor in a small port; and there, calling together all the praus, censured the men for their disorderly conduct, ordering them not to depart from his ship from that time on.
The next morning, having heard from a Moro captured in one of the tapaques that the town of Menilla was very near, all the vessels and praus set sail, taking the captured Moro as guide. In the afternoon they came in sight of a very large bay, which formed a wide gulf. It resembled a narrow sea with its entrance at that point; but the guides affirmed that the land was one, and so it proved to be when we entered the bay. We had taken with us from Panae a Moro, a native of the town of Menilla, who has had intercourse with Spaniards for many years and is well known among them; for, when the camp was in Zebu, he always came to sell them provisions. Before the master-of-camp started on this expedition from Panay, this Moro, and his wife and one son, had become Christians. He left his wife in Panay, and accompanied the master-of-camp as interpreter. He had taken with him his brother, who was likewise a native of Menilla. When we entered the bay, these men advised the master-of-camp not to cast anchor before the town of Menilla itself, for the coast was treacherous, and to enter the river it was necessary to wait for high tide. They advised him to anchor in a small sheltered port, two leagues from the port of Menilla; and thence to send word to Raxa8 Soliman, the greatest chief of all that country, with whom the terms of peace and friendship were to be made, and whose opinion was to be heeded.
Rajah Soliman palisade fort
The master-of-camp found this advice good, and felt at ease about the port; for he had been fretting over the possibility of finding shelter in all that bay, which, because it was so large and spacious, seemed almost harborless. Therefore we sailed straight to the harbor pointed out by the guides, reaching it two hours before nightfall. The land all around this bay, in the part where we anchored, and which the guides declared to be the port of Menilla, was really marvelous. It appeared to be tilled and cultivated. The slopes were smooth, and had but little herbage. In fact, so excellent indications have not been seen in this land, as were seen there. After the master-of-camp cast anchor in the small port, the praus and the frigate arrived there. On that day it was decided to send to Raxá Soliman, lord of Menilla, to request peace and friendship; and that the man appointed for this should be the brother of Mehomete, the converted Moro. It was decided that the captive Moro and a Cafre9 interpreter should go to examine the port and its position, as well as to sound the mouth of the river. These men departed the next morning, two hours before daybreak. Before leaving the ships, Mehomate's brother, who had been married in Menilla, said that he would be able to bring back an answer on the same day, as he intended to rest at his own house. The master-of-camp was so desirous of making peaceful terms with the town of Menilla that, although hasty by nature and disposition, he patiently waited there for three days after the Moro's departure. The Moro returned with another man, his uncle, who was said to be a servant of the king of Menilla. He had been sent to act as ambassador, with certain other Moros who accompanied him. He tried to make us understand, with high-sounding words, that his master was a most magnificent lord. After a great show of authority and many pauses, he finally declared that the king of Menilla wished to be the friend of the Spaniards, and that he would be pleased to have them settle in his land, as they had done in Çubu and Panay. The master-of-camp answered, through the interpreters, that he was much pleased to consider the king of Menilla as a friend of the Spaniards, since his only aim in coming was that of offering them peace and friendship. He also added that to carry out these wishes it was necessary for them to see each other. He therefore declared that he was going to set out immediately for the said town of Menilla, and said that the Moro should precede him to advise the chief of it. The Moro ambassador begged him not to set sail until he had already gone a little distance, for he wished to go first to advise his master. The master-of-camp promised him to do so, and so managed that, until the Moro had gone a considerable distance, he would not set out. But when it appeared that the Moro had advanced about half a league away from us, all the vessels set out in the wake of his prau. We sailed along a thickly settled coast. Moros came out in praus from some of the towns to complain of the Raxa Soliman, for having plundered their towns and killed many of the inhabitants. The master-of-camp was going ahead under full sail; and, receiving all of these people very kindly, we kept on until about ten o'clock in the morning, when we passed the bar of the river of Menila.
The town was situated on the bank of the river, and seemed to be defended by a palisade all along its front. Within it were many warriors, and the shore outside was crowded with people. Pieces of artillery stood at the gates, guarded by bombardiers, linstock in hand.
A culverin-shot from us, and close to the houses of the natives, were four Chinese ships. Immediately the Chinese came in their skiffs to visit the master-of-camp. They brought him brandy, hens, winnowed rice, a few pieces of silk, and knick-knacks of little value. They complained to the master-of-camp of the Moros of Menilla, saying that the latter had taken away by force the helms of their ships and the best of their goods without paying for them. The master-of-camp received them kindly; but, desiring to be at peace with all, he waived that question. Then having dismissed the Chinese, he sent the interpreter ashore to tell King Soliman that he wished to confer with him, and to make arrangements therefor. The interpreters returned quickly, and said that they would meet at the edge of the water, and that Raxa Soliman would come thither. The master-of-camp immediately landed with the Spaniards, to meet him. Immediately an uncle of the ruler, who also bore the title of king, advanced with so large a following that he was thought to be Soliman himself. He embraced the master-of-camp, and appeared to be a man of good intentions.
Soon after came the other ruler, his nephew Soliman, who was a younger man than he who first came. Soliman assumed an air of importance and haughtiness, and said that he was pleased to be the friend of the Spaniards, but the latter should understand that the Moros were not painted Indians. He said that they would not tolerate any abuse, as had the others; on the contrary they would repay with death the least thing that touched their honor.
This speech having been made through the interpreter, the master-of-camp gratified the chief with kind words; then after they had embraced each other and made a friendly compact, the Moro entered his fort. The master-of-camp returned to his ship, leaving all the oared boats and most of his men on shore, less than thirty paces from the town; and gave general orders that no man should enter the town, until the Moros, who seemed quite irritated, had regained their calm. Then leaving ashore the sergeant-major, Juan de Moron, in command, he returned to his ship to have it moored and set in order.
In the afternoon of the same day, at three o'clock, the Moro Mahomate asked permission to spend the night among his relatives, and the master-of-camp granted his request. During the day the Moros came to look at the soldiers ashore with their arquebuses and lighted match-ropes. The Moros carried their weapons and showed a rather bold attitude. They even did things which the Spaniards not often tolerate; but in order to obey the orders of the master-of-camp, and not give the appearance of starting hostilities on our side, they overlooked all the unmeasured boldness displayed by the Moros. At nightfall the men ashore withdrew to the ships, where they slept. The next morning the Moro Mahomete returned with the same ambassador who had first come. The latter bore a message from Rraxa Soliman, to the effect that he had been informed that a tribute was to be asked of him; and that, consequently, he would not allow the Spaniards to enter the river. The master-of-camp—as one desirous of peace, and in view of the orders of the governor to make peace with the said town of Menilla—in his answer, requested the messenger to tell his lord not to believe such reports, for hitherto he had not asked for any tribute from him. He added that they would see each other again, and make a friendly settlement, which would be to his taste. Thus he dismissed the messenger; and he himself, after a little thought, went ashore with only the Spanish and Moro interpreters, without notifying any one of what he was going to do. He entered the palisade, whose gates were guarded by many Moros, and was led by the Moros straightway to a small house, where he was bidden to await King Soliman. As soon as the latter heard that the master-of-camp was within the fort, he hastened to him; and both went to a house where they made a friendly compact, after the fashion of the land—namely, in this wise: the master-of-camp drew blood with the two chiefs, uncle and nephew—both called Rraxa, which in the Malay language signifies king. The Moros drank the blood of the master-of-camp mixed with wine, and the master-of-camp drank that of the Moros in a similar way. Thus the friendship was established, on the terms that the Moros of Menilla were to support the Spaniards who came to settle there; and, doing this, they should pay no other tribute. The master-of-camp asked them for a list of the neighboring towns on the bay; and they gave him the names of forty towns of those situated on the shore, besides those inland. After this friendly agreement had been made with the Moros, who promised to give some food for our men, the master-of-camp left the fort, much to our pleasure. The Moros, notwithstanding the great security given them by the master-of-camp, persisted in their hostile and warlike attitude; and, even on account of the peace made, would not lay aside their weapons—on the contrary, the number of armed men seemed to be increasing continually.
In the afternoon of the same day the chief notary went to the fort with the permission of the master-of-camp, to see whether any of the kings wished to trade for the royal testoons which he had in his charge. He went there accompanied by a boy only, and spoke of the matter to one of the chiefs. The latter received him very kindly and showed him some gold trinkets, which he wished to exchange for gold. For each gold piece the Moro asked five of silver, but the notary would give him only three. The Moro Mahomete, who was present at this trading, and acted as go-between, told the chief notary to postpone the bargain until another day; and to return to the ship, and tell the master-of-camp that King Soliman said that, in order to celebrate the peace made that day, he was about to pass in review his people, both on sea and on land, and should fire all his artillery, at which no offense should be taken, for all was in celebration of the peace. The chief notary left the port with the message, and found the master-of-camp receiving information in the above-mentioned vessel of friendly Indian rowers; they were saying that, having relatives among the Moros, they had learned that the latter were planning to fall upon the Spaniards at the first rain, when it would be impossible for them to make use of the arquebuses. From this news, and from the preparations which the Moros were making on both sea and land for the great review they said they were about to give, we saw that they were anxious to start the affray. At this time the Moro Mahomete arrived with a message from Rraxa Soliman, to the effect that King Soliman had learned that the lord of Candola, a town on the other side of the river, intended to fight the Spaniards on sea and had invited him to join in the attack; but that he, Soliman, had refused to do so. For this reason he would get in readiness, and, if the chief really came to offer battle, he would aid the Spaniards with his people, since the master-of-camp was his friend. This new message gave a full understanding of the deceitful plan of the Moros; notwithstanding all this, the master-of-camp sent his thanks to Soliman for the warning, saying that he would be pleased to fight any one who desired to fight with him. He added that if it were not so late he would immediately go to the town of Candola to fight with that chief. Having dismissed the envoy with this message the master-of-camp ordered all the men to be on the watch, and for all the crews of the praus to sleep on land. That day the sunset was so blood-red that it presented a wonderful sight. The men said that the sun was blood-stained. All that night the men, both on land and sea, slept fully armed. The next morning two or three soldiers were going ashore in a little canoe, when, seven or eight paces from land, their small canoe suddenly filled with water and the men went to the bottom. One of the soldiers, Juan Nunez, a native of Talavera, was drowned. At ten o'clock of that same morning, some sails were seen at sea, and the master-of-camp, thinking them to be the ships of those who were coming to fight with the Spaniards, despatched a prau to reconnoiter them. As the prau came near them, these vessels were seen to be tapaques, and the master-of-camp, fearing that the prau might do them harm, called it back by firing a cannon seaward. The Moros, who were waiting an opportunity for treason—but had not manifested it because it had not rained as they had expected—therefore opened the war; and without any warning, fired three cannon-shots, one after another. One of them pierced the side of the ship, and struck the cast-room, scattering its ashes among the bystanders; the other two shots were high, passing over the ship half-way aft; and one would have killed many men had the aim been a vara10 lower. The Moros had begun their treacherous work even before this; for they had seized some of the friendly Indians who had gone there to feast with their friends, had wounded the Indian slave of a soldier, beaten and frightened two or three others, and wounded another soldier with an arrow. When the effrontery of the Moros was seen, and that they could do us some injury with their artillery, it was decided to attack them.11 Therefore in the twinkling of an eye, the Spaniards attacked and took the palisade, hurling down the bombardiers with linstock in hand, giving them no chance to fulfil their duties. After this first artillery had fallen into their hands, they immediately took the town, and set fire to it, on account of its being large. The Moros abandoned the burning town, for they were unable to resist the attack of the arquebusiers, or rather the will of God, who had ordained it so—a self evident fact, since for every Spaniard there were a hundred Moros. The large ship was firing upon a Moro boat with long-bladed oars, which was far up the river. This vessel was said to have three or four hundred fighting men and rowers on board, with many culverins and large pieces of artillery. The cannonball struck the water, for the vessel was some distance away, surrounded by more than five hundred Moro praus and other large ships full of armed men, bowmen, and lancers. All these ships were scattered by the artillery of the large junk.
The town was rapidly burning. The master-of-camp hurriedly took the artillery from the Moros—thirteen pieces, small and large. He took care to protect the vessels of the Chinese, who had been greatly frightened. He ordered the return of the sails and helms which the Moros had taken away from them; and the Chinese, attaching the helms to their ships as quickly as they could, proceeded to cast anchor near the junk, so that the firing should do them no harm. The master-of-camp, having captured the enemy's artillery, fired upon them with their own pieces, while they were fleeing, thus inflicting upon them severe losses, both on land and water. About one hundred dead were found on land, having been burned to death, or slain by arquebus bullets; more than eighty persons were taken captive; and many others were killed in the praus, as they fled up the river. The rain expected by the Moros came when the town was quite destroyed by fire. The loss in the town was considerable, for it was large, and carried on an extensive trade. In the town lived forty married Chinese and twenty Japanese. Of these some came to see the master-of-camp on board the ship, before the breaking out of hostilities, among whom was a Japanese with a Theatin cap, from which we thought him to be a Christian. When we asked him if he was one, he answered in the affirmative, saying that his name was Pablo [Paul]. He adored an image, and asked for some beads; but people say that he was among the Moro bombardiers.
Among the prisoners were the Chinese wives of some of the Chinese who had married and settled in the town; and although it would have been justifiable to make them slaves, because their husbands had fled with the Moros, the master-of-camp was unwilling to do so, but simply handed them over to the Chinese of the ships. One of the Chinese women wished to come with us, and we have found since that she was insane; now she is with the governor, who will send her back to her own country. Those who saw Soliman's house before it was burned, say that it was very large, and that it contained many valuable things, such as money, copper, iron, porcelain, blankets, wax, cotton, and wooden vats full of brandy; but everything was burned to the ground with the house. Afterward the iron and copper furnished gain to whomsoever wished to take it, for a great quantity of it which this house and others contained, was found on the ground after the fire. When the prisoners captured were asked why the Moros had broken the treaty of peace and friendship, they answered that the young Soliman was to blame, for he always opposed his uncle, the other chief; that he had a malicious disposition; and that it was he who gave the order to fire, and who even fired with his own hand the first shot, which struck the ship. Next to Soliman's house was another which was used as a store-room. It contained much iron and copper, as well as culverins and cannon which had melted. Some small and large cannon had just been begun. There were the clay and wax moulds, the largest of which was for a cannon seventeen feet long, resembling a culverin. The Indians said that the furniture alone lost in Soliman's house was worth more than five thousand ducats.
After the burning of this town the master-of-camp waited two days in the river for some message from the Moros, but seeing that no one appeared, and that he had but few men with him to seek them inland; and that the bay and waterway was such that, in order to sail out of it, they needed the northeast wind (which was now blowing, although feebly); and that the southwest gales were coming, so that, as the interpreters affirmed, if the necessary steps were not taken the probability was that the large ship would not leave the place; and in order not to lose the ship and its artillery—the master-of-camp decided to leave the bay immediately after having first asked full information concerning the towns upon its coast. Thus we set sail in company with only the Chinese and their four vessels; these said that they had no articles of trade in their vessels except some large earthen jars and porcelain. Many of the soldiers bartered trifles of little value with them in exchange for wax, which the Chinese greatly value and even buy with gold. From what we could see and hear of them, the Chinese are a very humble people. It seems that they observe among themselves a certain form of politeness and cleanliness. They became great friends with us, and gave us letters of security, which consisted of white cloths that they had with them, upon which were painted the royal coat of arms. They promised to come the next year to this river of Panay, and to establish trade with the Spaniards. All that the Chinese asked was given them, which pleased them much, and they were shown the best possible treatment. Then they left us, and, according to what they said, went to Mindoro. The master-of-camp cast anchor in the port where we halted before; and there we remained another day, to see whether or not any of the natives would come to us for peace. Seeing that no one came, the master-of-camp, fearing lest the northeast wind would cease, left the harbor with his vessels, for it would not be possible to do so when the southwest wind should blow. He coasted past the towns which had made peace on the voyage hither, until the town of Balayan was reached. Thence we despatched the junk to the island of Panae with Captain Juan de Salcedo, who had not yet recovered from his wound in the leg, and five or six sick soldiers. The master-of-camp remained with the oared praus in order to win over all the towns which were desirous of peace. Thus leaving them behind pacified and assured of friendship, he returned to the camp; for the governor had sent them by sea an advice-prau on the arrival of the fleet from Nueva España. Such, then, are the events of this voyage.
[Endorsed: “An account of the conquest and discovery of Manilla.”
“May eight, 1570.” “Relation of the discovery of the island of Luçon, one of the western islands.”]
1 Juan de Salcedo (Salzedo, Sauzedo) was born in Mexico about 1549; his mother was Teresa Legazpi, daughter of the governor. He came to Cebú in 1567, and, despite his youth, displayed from the first such courage, gallantry, and ability that he soon won great renown—especially in the conquest of Luzón; he has been called “the Hernan Cortés of the Philippines.” These qualities brought him rapid military promotion; but his career was brief, for he died at the early age of twenty-seven (March 11, 1576), from drinking too much water while overheated by a hard march. He died a poor man; but his will provided that what remained from his estate, after paying his debts, should be given to certain natives belonging to his encomienda.
2 Sangleyes: derived from hiang (or xiang) and ley, meaning “a traveling merchant;” appellation of Chinese traders in the Philippines.
3 The prau or parao (a name of Malay origin) was a large, flat boat with two masts, and lateen sails; used for carrying freight, and employed in the rivers and bays.
4 Cf. Friar Odoric's description of the green pepper found in Malabar (called by the Arabs Balad-ul-Falfal, “the Pepper Country”)—growing on vines which the natives plant against tall trees for support, and bearing fruit “just like bunches of grapes;” see Yule's Cathay, vol. i, pp. clxxvii, 77.
5 The tael is a Chinese money of account, worth formerly about $1.50; now $1.68, “Tael” is the trade name in China for the ounce of silver; it also designates a weight, of 1⅓ oz. avoirdupois.
6 This lake, about seventeen miles long, is the second largest lake in Luzón. It is also named Taal, after the celebrated volcano in its midst. Its outlet is the river Pansipit.
7 Spanish pildoras (“pills”); a jocular allusion to the leaden bullets from the muskets.
8 The Malay appellation rajá or raxa, meaning “a sovereign,” is used of rulers in Manila or Tondo. See Retana's note on Zúñiga's Estadismo, vol. ii, pp. 521*, 522*.
9 Cafre (or Kafir): a term applied by Mahometans to the heathen natives of conquered countries; it means “infidels.” From this originated the name Kafiristan (“country of infidels”), applied to the region north of the Punjaub of India and south of the Hindu-Kush Mountains; its people are called Kafirs. See Yule's Cathay, vol. ii, p. 554.
10 Vara: a measure of length, equivalent to a little more or a little less (in different Spanish countries) than thirty-three English inches.
11 In the Spanish text, se acordo dar sanctiago en los moros,—literally, “it was decided to give the 'Santiago' among the Moros,”—the Santiago (“St. James”) being the war-cry of the Spaniards when engaging with Moors and other “infidels.”
Act of Taking Possession of Luzon
In the island called by the natives “Luzon the greater,” in a town and river of the same called Manila, on the sixth of June in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy, the honorable Martin de Goite, his Majesty's master-of-camp in these Western Islands, declared before me, Hernando Riquel, chief government notary, and in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, that, inasmuch as—a thing well and generally known—his Excellency being in this river of Manila, with the men and ships accompanying him, and having made peace and drawn his blood with two chiefs, styling themselves kings of this said town (by name Soliman and Raxa respectively), and without giving them cause or treating them in a manner that would make the said natives change their attitude, the above said chiefs began war treacherously and unexpectedly, without advising him beforehand; and wounded and seized certain Indians accompanying us. After that they discharged the artillery in their fort, two balls from which struck the ship “San Miguel,” on board of which was the said master-of-camp. He, in order to guard himself from the injury which the said Moros were doing him in starting the war, and to prevent their artillery from harming his men, attacked the said fort of the Moros, and captured it by force of arms and is now in possession of it. And inasmuch as the said fort and town of Manila have been won in lawful and just war, and since, according to the said natives, Manila is the capital of all the towns of this said island: therefore in his Majesty's name, he was occupying and did occupy, was taking and did take, royal ownership and possession, actual and quasi, of this said island of Luzon and of all the other ports, towns, and territories adjoining and belonging to this said island. Moreover, as a sign of real occupation, he ordered his ensign to raise the flag of his company on the fort built by the natives, had the artillery found in the said fort taken for his Majesty, and performed other acts and duties as a sign of real occupation. And when he had thus taken the said possession in his Majesty's name, he asked me, the aforesaid notary, to certify and attest it, and to draw up a statement so that the proceeding might be clearly set forth. In fulfilment of that demand, I, the said Hernando Riquel, certify, as an actual witness, to whomsoever may see this present, that the said master-of-camp took and seized in his Majesty's name the said possession in the manner above specified. And in affirmation of the above I draw up this statement, which the said master-of-camp signed; witnesses to all the abovesaid being the sergeant-major Juan de Morones, the high constable Graviel de Rrivera, the ensign-in-chief Gaspar Ramirez, and many other soldiers in the said fort.
Martin de Goite
Drawn in my presence:
Collated with the original, which is in my possession.
[Endorsed: “Possession taken of the island of Luçon in his Majesty's name.” “Possession of Luzon.”]
1 Bound up with the MS. of this document, in the archives at Sevilla, are similar official acts for “the islands of Luban, Similara, Baluyan, Helin, and Vindoro.”
Letter from Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
With Captain Joan de la Ysla, who arrived at this river on St. John's eve last, I received a letter from your Majesty from the Escorial1 dated the sixteenth of November, of the year sixty-eight, with the despatches and the favors that your Majesty was pleased to grant this camp. For these and for other things that we expect from your Majesty, all these faithful vassals of your Majesty, and in their name for all, kiss your Majesty's royal feet and hands. We pray God, our lord, to give us time and opportunity, as loyal vassals employed in your royal service, to merit being the instruments of the augmentation of your royal crown, with increase of new realms and dominions; and that in the fortunate days of your Majesty the Christian faith may be planted, grow, and increase in these lands, where the infidelity and rule of the Devil, our adversary, so long prevailed.
With the ships that left here last year (sixty-nine), under Captain Felipe de Salcedo, I sent your Majesty a report of everything that happened until then and the affair with the captain general of the Portuguese fleet. They write me that this same Felipe de Salcedo took this despatch to your Majesty on a despatch boat that was sent from Mexico, for this purpose, whereby your Majesty will have seen, learned, and understood what occurred here. We have had no word here, since then, of the Portuguese; nor do I believe that they will return, because they were much harassed, and also I am certain that none of those that went from here will have any desire to return. That, however, is no reason why I should neglect what concerns your Majesty's royal service. I await them within three months in this archipelago, which is the time in which they can come; and so I live with as much foreboding as if I had them before me.
By other letters I have entreated your Majesty, informing you of the necessity in this archipelago for boats with oars; and how important they will be for the further discovery of other things of greater importance, which until now has been neglected, through not having these boats. Twice I have sent men in Indian praus for explorations to the north and northwest of us. Once they discovered certain islands, small but well peopled with Moros; and the other time they discovered on the coast of Luçon, which is a large island, several settlements of Moros. The latter have artillery, which they themselves cast and finish, and likewise powder and other ammunition. Some of the towns received them in peace, but others would not. The possessions taken in your Majesty's name accompany the present letter. These Moros have much more trade, because they make voyages for that purpose, going among the people on the Chinese mainland, and to the Japanese. I again repeat how advantageous it would be to your Majesty's service to have some oared vessels here, because the Spanish are not accustomed to navigate with skill in those of the Indians, and run great risks by going in them. And in order that this may not occur, will your Majesty please command that what seems best to you in that case be ascertained and provided.
The Portuguese left us so badly accredited with these natives that some of them withdrew from our friendship; and it has been necessary to turn to pacifying them again, and at somewhat greater cost than the first time. In the future we shall have the greatest care in their conversion and good treatment, as your Majesty commands. We will gladly strive to bring them to the subjection and dominion of your royal Majesty, and with those who refuse and do not wish it, we shall adopt more convenient means to preach and teach to them all the evangelical law, wherein God our lord and your Majesty will be well served.
In fulfilment of your Majesty's orders, on these two ships which are going to Nueva España, I send ten or twelve Portuguese from this camp. Some still remain but it seemed to me that to avoid trouble, it was well not to send many together. I am certain that some of them are good soldiers, and have served your Majesty very well. There has not been heard or imagined of them anything that they ought not to have done, but your Majesty's order was very well considered and noted, and therefore will be executed. On the first ships that leave here will go those who remain. The foreigners of these nations can not be banished at present, without considerable inconvenience; because all the workmen, carpenters, gunners, and half of the sailors are foreigners, Some of the soldiers are Flemings, and others Italians, Venetians, Greeks, French, and so on. Wherefore no new action has been taken in this at present, until your Majesty is pleased to have the matter looked into, and shall command what you think best to be done about it.
We have had news here from Mexico that a certain fleet that sailed from Peru in your Majesty's name, to discover Nueva Guinea and other lands in those western regions, was instructed to settle all the lands extending westward between ten degrees north latitude and sixty degrees south latitude. This was incredible, because, as your Majesty knows, the fleets that have left Nueva España in your Majesty's name have discovered many islands and lands as far as the equator, and in south latitude. What I have settled, subdued and discovered in your Majesty's name commences at six degrees latitude north of the equator, and extends from there farther north. If it were conceded to those from Peru up to ten degrees, it would be equivalent to giving them the greater part of all this Filipinas archipelago, and more. I thought that I ought to inform you of it, so that your Majesty could make what provisions seemed best to you.
Melchior de Legazpi, my son, who for a long time has resided at that court, has charge of my affairs; and last year, Captain Felipe de Salcedo, my grandson, went to give your Majesty a report of affairs here. I humbly pray your Majesty to have them sent back, granting them favor so that they may come to serve your Majesty in these regions.
Captain Joan de la Isla goes to that court, and will return on the same ship on which he went. He has served and labored much; I pray your Majesty to reward him as he merits. With him I send your Majesty two bronze culverins [versos] made by the Moros of this land, so that your Majesty may see what dexterity they possess in working and casting artillery. Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty, may our Lord guard and increase the life and person of your Royal Majesty with more kingdoms and seigniories for many happy years, with victories over your enemies, as your royal heart desires. From this island of Panae, on St. James' Day, July xxv, 1570. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's most humble and faithful servant, who kisses your royal feet and hands.
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
1 The palace of the Escorial was built in the town of that name, twenty-four miles from Madrid, by Felipe II; it was begun in 1563, and completed in 1584, except that the pantheons were added by Felipe IV. The total cost is estimated at £660,000 sterling; it is one of the largest buildings in the world, being a rectangle of six hundred and eighty by five hundred and thirty feet. It is a palace and monastery combined, the latter being in charge of the Augustinian order.
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