The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898; Volume 50 Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political,
CONTENTS OF VOLUME L
|Events in Filipinas, 1764–1800. [Compiledfrom Montero y Vidal’s Historia deFilipinas.]||23|
|Financial affairs of the islands, 1766. FranciscoLeandro de Viana; Manila, July 10, 1766.||77|
|Letter from Viana to Carlos III. F. L. de Viana;Manila, May 1, 1767.||118|
|Anda’s Memorial to the Spanish government.Simon de Anda y Salazar; Madrid, April 12, 1768.||137|
|Ordinances of good government. [Compiled byGovernors Corcuera (1642), Cruzat y Góngora (1696), andRaón (1768).]||191|
|Instructions to the secular clergy. Basilio Sanchode Santa Justa y Rufina; Manila, October 25, 1771.||265|
|The expulsion of the Jesuits, 1768–69.[Compiled from various sources.]||269|
|The council of 1771. [Letter by a Franciscanfriar]; Manila, December 13, 1771.||317|
|Plan of the city ofManila and its environs and suburbs on the other side of the river, bythe pilot Francisco Xavier Estorgo y Gallegos, 1770; photographicfacsimile from original MS. map (in colors) in Archivogeneral de Indias, Sevilla||35|
|Plan of the presentcondition of Manila and its environs, drawn by the engineer FelicianoMárquez, Manila, September 30, 1767; photographic facsimilefrom original MS. map (in colors) in Archivo general deIndias, Sevilla||83|
|Map of the river ofCagayan, showing town sites along its banks, 1720(?); drawn by JuanLuis de Acosta; photographic facsimile from original MS map inArchivo general de Indias, Sevilla||182, 183|
|Map of Manila Bay,port of Cavite, and Lake of Bay, showing depths of various parts of thebay, drawn by the engineer Feliciano Márquez, September 28,1767; from original MS. map (in colors) in Archivogeneral de Indias, Sevilla||201|
|Map of Guam, one ofthe Marianas Islands, in Concepción’s Historia general (Sampaloc, 1788–1792), vii, facing p.145; photographic facsimile from copy in library of HarvardUniversity||291|
In this volume is a brief outline of events from therestoration of Manila by the English (1764) to 1800; and a group ofdocuments relating to the more important topics in the first decade ofthat period. The condition of the islands and their people at that timeis well described by the able and patriotic officials Viana and Anda;and the “ordinances of good government” are an importantaddition to our sources of information regarding the administration ofjustice in Filipinas. The most important event of that time was theexpulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish dominions, although its greatsignificance in Europe was but feebly reflected in those remotecolonies.
In a brief summary are noted the leading events in Filipinas from1764 to 1800. Manila is restored to the Spanish authorities by theEnglish on March 31, 1764; a few months before, Archbishop Rojo haddied, in captivity. The brief term of the temporary governor, Torre,contains little that is noteworthy, outside of a controversy betweenthe civil government and the religious orders, occasioned by theimprudent utterances of a Jesuit preacher. In July, 1765, arrives thenew governor, José Raón, in whose term occurs theexpulsion of the Jesuits from the islands, a matter treated morefully in a later document; he also publishes a revision of the lawscompiled earlier by Arandia. The city of Manila first coins smallcopper money about this time. The old controversy regarding episcopalvisitation of the regular curas is revived (1767) by Archbishop SantaJusta y Rufina, and it is complicated by Raón’s attempt toenforce the royal rights of patronage; bitter controversies arise, andare carried to the Madrid court.
After the capture of Manila by the English, the Moros had renewedtheir piracies, and ravaged the entire archipelago, year afteryear—even entrenching themselves and opening a slave market onMindoró Island. Later, an expedition is sent to drive them outof this stronghold, which is successful. In 1770, the patriot Andareturns to Filipinas as its governor; he brings suit againstRaón and other officials for misconduct in office, which isproved against them; but they and their friends rouse bitter oppositionagainst him, and hinder his labors for the country. Incited by reportsof another English invasion, he strengthens the fortifications ofManila Bay. His appointment was unwelcome to the friars, and he makesofficial remonstrance against the abuses prevalent among them, andcalls for corrections of these. Attempting to enforce the royal rightsof patronage, all the orders save the Dominicans refuse to obey; butlater royal orders (1776) make provision for more gradualsecularization of the curacies in Filipinas, and somewhat modify theenforcement of the episcopal visitation—to secure which SantaJusta had convened a provincial council at Manila in 1771, which wasafterward disapproved by the king. Difficulties arisewith the Moros of Joló through the imprudence of an envoy sentthither by Anda, and through the military establishment made by theEnglish on an islet near Joló. The Moros seize this fort bytreachery (1775) and kill most of the Englishmen in it; this successemboldens the Moros to ravage the Spanish islands again. In thefollowing year the king sends 50,000 pesos to Filipinas for buildinglight vessels to follow up those pirates. The weight of Anda’sofficial responsibility, and the constant attacks of his enemies, causehis death, October 30, 1776. He is succeeded by Basco y Vargas, anenergetic, able, and conscientious officer. The auditors conspireagainst him, but he arrests them and ships them to Spain; he thendevotes himself to the welfare of the country and the development ofits resources. He makes all possible efforts to promote agriculture,industries, and commerce; founds the celebrated “EconomicSociety;” improves the schools, punishes highwaymen, reorganizesthe army, and repairs the forts; visits the provinces in person, andinforms himself of their condition; places the public revenues on asound basis; and checks the Moro piracies for a time. Nevertheless, heis disliked and opposed by some of the citizens, and resigns his postas governor (1787); his temporary successor is Pedro Sarrio, who findsit necessary to allow the regular curas to resume their parishcharges.
The next proprietary governor, Félix Berenguer de Marquina,assumes his office on July 1, 1788. After becoming acquainted with thecondition of the islands, he sends to the home government proposals forthe reforms which seem desirable for Filipinas. Variousevents in his term of office are related, but there is little in themof unusual importance. In 1793 he is succeeded by Aguilar. New alarmsof another English invasion oblige him to give attention first to thedefenses of Manila and the improvement of the army. In the last days of1796, a powerful Spanish fleet, commanded by Álava, arrives atManila, sent thither for the defense of the islands in the war withGreat Britain, which began in that year. Sailing to attack the Englishtrading-fleet from China, Álava encounters a fierce hurricane,which drives him back to Manila. Endeavoring to improve the navy of theislands, and to reorganize the arsenals, he encounters officialcorruption and other difficulties, and is involved in longcontroversies with Aguilar and the royal officials at Manila. In 1797,the Acapulco galleon is wrecked soon after leaving Cavite, through“its commander’s complete ignorance of nauticalaffairs,” occasioning heavy loss to the citizens of Manila.Álava is compelled, by the continual danger of an attack by theEnglish, to remain near the city for its defense; but he does all inhis power to protect its commerce and improve the administration of itsnavy, and finally returns to Spain in 1803. On August 8, 1806, Aguilardies, having held his office longer than any other governor before orsince.
A detailed statement of the financial affairs of the islands in 1766is furnished by the royal fiscal at Manila, Francisco Leandro de Viana.He aims to show how the Philippines can be made self-supporting, andeven more, by proper retrenchments of expense and by increasing therevenues of government through the abolition of certain privileges andexemptions, the establishment of variousmonopolies, and, if necessary, the increase of the tributes paid by thenatives. This last item produces 250,000 pesos annually; but nearly allof this is paid out for “the spiritual administration” ofthe Indians, so that, according to Viana, “the religious ordersprofit by and receive almost all the proceeds from the tributes.”Hence the need of the royal situado each year from Mexico, to pay thecivil and military expenses of the government. Viana enumerates theother profits derived from the Indians by the religious who are chargedwith their spiritual care, and mentions numerous other sources ofincome which they possess. In short, “all the profit of theislands accrues to the ecclesiastical estate;” the royal treasuryis heavily indebted, and cannot meet the enormous expenses; “theprovinces are at the mercy of the Moros, and everything is in danger oftotal ruin, unless suitable remedies are applied in time.”
For this purpose Viana advocates various retrenchments of expenses,especially of those now incurred for the support of the ecclesiasticalestate in the islands. He recommends that the exemptions of certainIndian chiefs and church servants from tribute-paying be abolished;that the “barangays” be suppressed, and the native villagesreduced to parishes; that changes and reforms be made in the dealingsof the provincial alcaldes with the crown; that offices be not sold,but granted as rewards of merit; that certain royal imposts beincreased; that some privileges be sold at auction; and that monopoliesbe established on playing-cards, cock-fighting, and tobacco, not onlyin Manila but throughout the provinces and islands—to all ofwhich the monopolies on wine and buyo might profitably beextended, which “would produce for the royal treasury enormoussums.” From all these sources, the royal treasury will obtainenough income “to maintain the islands with respectable forces,and to make good the expenses hitherto caused to the royalrevenue,” without the necessity of increasing the tribute paid bythe natives. But, if this last expedient be deemed necessary, he showswhat will be the proceeds from increasing the tribute from ten reals totwo, three, and four pesos respectively. The fiscal Viana shows himselfto be a capable and honest official; but he evidently must contend withforces and conditions—greed for gain, official corruption, fraud,negligence and waste—that cannot be overcome without entirereform and reorganization of the colonial administration. With all hisability, he nevertheless regards the native peoples, as so many otherEuropean officials have done, as legitimate subjects for recklessexploitation; but in the light of modern thought and investigation hisproposed expedients seem both short-sighted and ruinous. In some casesthey would be diabolical, if their author could have realized whattheir effects would be, as with the proposed extension of the viciousmonopolies (gambling, and the use of tobacco and wine) throughout theislands. He himself says, “Even the boys and girls use the saidtobacco before they are old enough to exercise their reason.”
Another document of especial interest is a report by Viana (May 1,1767) to the king and the Council of the Indias, apparently the finalone sent by him as fiscal. The subjects which it chiefly discusses are,the necessity of rendering trade free between the Spaniards and the Indians in the provinces, andthat of instructing the natives in the Spanish language. As it is, theIndians seldom understand that language, outside of Manila, and darenot use it in presence of the religious. The latter, Viana says,