The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume 51, 1801-1840 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
CONTENTS OF VOLUME LI
|Events in Filipinas, 1801–1840. [Compiledfrom Montero y Vidal’s Historia deFilipinas.]||23|
|Remarks on the Philippine Islands, 1819–22.“An Englishman;” Calcutta, 1828||73|
|Reforms needed in Filipinas. Manuel BernaldezPizarro; Madrid, April 26, 1827||182|
|Representation of Filipinas in Cortes. [Compiled fromvarious sources.]||279|
|List of the archbishops of Manila, 1581–1898.[Compiled from various sources.]||298|
- Chart of China Sea and the Philippines, 1794, inThe complete East India pilot, printed for Laurie & Whittle(London, 1800), ii, map 114; photographic facsimile from copy inLibrary of Congress. Frontispiece
- Plan of a portion of Manila, showing new worksconstructed December 15, 1770–June 15, 1771, drawn by theengineer Dionisio Kelly, 1771; photographic facsimile from MS. map (incolors), in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 29
- Chart of the port of San Luis, in the MarianasIslands, 1738; photographic facsimile from original manuscript byAdjutant Domingo Garrido de Malavar, in Archivo generalde Indias, Sevilla 67
- Plan of the environs, and a portion of the coastand bay adjacent to the city of Manila, 1779 (?); photographicfacsimile from original MS. map (in colors), in Archivogeneral de Indias, Sevilla 161
- Plan showing outer works of Manila, drawn by theengineer Tomás Sanz; photographic facsimile from originalMS. map (in colors), in Archivo general deIndias, Sevilla 193
In the present volume, a brief outline of events inFilipinas during the period 1801–40 serves as a background andsetting for the following surveys of political, social, and economicconditions in the islands during that period. Of these, one is made byan English naval officer who had visited the islands, another by aSpanish official of long experience, and a third (presented insynopsis) by a merchant familiar with the commerce of the Orient andthe Americas. These different accounts (written at nearly the sametime) furnish most valuable knowledge of the Philippines and theirpeople, and their needs and possibilities; and at the same time theyreflect the more enlightened and liberal ideas of policy andadministration which had gained a foothold in Spain, and which therecent loss of her other colonies had made her more willing to put inpractice in Filipinas.
The leading events in Philippine history during the first fourdecades of the nineteenth century are briefly epitomized from Montero yVidal’s Historia de Filipinas. Governor Aguilaropposes the appointment of native secular priests to the curacies,regarding them as unfit for these posts. During his term, he introducespublic street-lighting, paved sidewalks, and vaccination in Manila, andvarious other beneficial measures; he attempts, but with littlesuccess, to check the piracies of the Moros, and is compelled to desisttherefrom by news of the war between England and Spain, and theconsequent danger to Manila. At his death (August 8, 1806) an officernamed Folgueras becomes governor ad interim; hestrengthens the fortifications of Manila, and quells a revolt inIlocos. He is succeeded (March 4, 1810) by the new proprietarygovernor, González Aguilar, who promotes cattle-raising in theprovinces, quells another insurrection in Ilocos, publishes the firstnewspaper in Filipinas, and proclaims the Spanish constitution of 1812.In 1813 arrives his successor, José de Gardoqui, whose rule isby no means easy; for he is opposed by corrupt royal officials, and hasto encounter revolts among the Indians caused by the publication of thenew Spanish constitution—disturbances which are aggravated by thedespotic acts of Fernando VII on regaining his crown (1814). Gardoquiprohibits the introduction and use of opium in the islands, strengthensthe fortifications of Cavite, puts down banditti and smugglers, and inmany other ways benefits the colony; he dies in December, 1816, and issucceeded by Folgueras. The latter revives the Economic Society, andfounds a nautical academy. In 1820 occurs the first epidemic of choleramorbus, which is unfortunately accompanied by a massacre of theforeigners in Manila, executed by the credulous Indians who have beenpersuaded by malicious persons that the pest was caused by theforeigners having poisoned the waters. Martínez, who becomesgovernor on October 30, 1822, brings over a number of Spanish officersfor the Filipinas regiments; this creates jealousy among the officerswho had come from America, which results in amutiny among them and part of the troops in Manila (June, 1823); thisis put down, and the leaders are shot. An expedition is sent againstthe Moros (1824), which lays waste their shores.
On October 14, 1825, Martínez is replaced by Mariano Ricafortas governor; the latter is also made chief of the treasury. The parishcuracies are, by a royal decree in 1826, restored to the regularorders. In 1827 the naval bureau is reëstablished at Manila, underPascual Enrile, who succeeds Ricafort as governor in 1830. (Both thesemen were among the most illustrious rulers of Filipinas, on account oftheir ability, uprightness, and zeal for the public welfare.) In 1828the insurgent mountaineers of Bohol are finally subdued, and reduced tovillages. Various royal decrees are obtained for the promotion ofagriculture, manufactures, and other industries; and for obliging theChinese to live in villages, like the Indians. Several importantreforms in the administration and the social conditions of the colonyare instituted by these two governors, and Enrile is especially activein building highways and providing other means of communication tobring the inland and the maritime provinces into communication witheach other.
In 1836, Governor Salazar has to enforce the laws forbidding thesale of firearms and powder to the enemies of Spain; he also makes atreaty of commerce with the Joloans, which does not, however, restrainthem from piracy. In 1837, he urgently requests the Spanish governmentto send more Spanish friars to the islands as parish priests. Thepolitical disturbances in Spain at this time are reflected inFilipinas, and a strong Carlist faction opposeGovernor Camba (who assumes that office in August, 1837), and finallyprocure his recall to Spain, little more than a year afterward. Underhis successor, Lardizábal, the status of the Chinese in theislands is determined, provision is made for the official censorship ofbooks brought to Filipinas, a school of commerce is established atManila and various important changes are made in financial andmunicipal administration. In February, 1841, Lardizábal issucceeded by Marcelino de Oráa.
In 1828 was published at Calcutta an interesting book entitled,Remarks on the Phillippine Islands, 1819 to 1822, “by anEnglishman”—as he states therein, a naval officer; this ishere presented, with additional annotations from various sources. Itthrows much light on conditions in Manila at that time, and is ofespecial value as coming from an enlightened foreigner, rather than aSpaniard. He praises the natural resources and advantages of theislands, and makes various comments on their climate (which “isremarkably temperate and salubrious”), diseases, and population;he then classifies this last, describing in succession the variousraces, white, colored, and mixed, who inhabit the islands. He defendsthe natives from accusations which have been made against them, andconsiders their defects as the natural result of the oppression andinjustice which they have suffered, and the general insecurity ofproperty in the islands. Robbery and piracy prevail there, outside ofthe new Spanish towns; and even in Manila there are numerous acts ofpillage committed by the lawless soldiery. Justice is neglected orcorrupted; and the Church exacts so many holidays, pilgrimages, etc., that the natives are obliged toneglect their fields, and tend to become idle and dissipated; they alsoare burdened by many church taxes and impositions. Our writer proceedsto describe the government of the islands, general, municipal, andprovincial, and the abuses prevalent in the last-named; then theecclesiastical administration, the character of the clergy, and theirinfluence over the natives. The sources of the colonial revenue areenumerated, with the chief branches of expense, the main part of thisbeing for the military and naval forces, both of which are mismanaged,ill-disciplined, poorly paid, and of course very inefficient.Agriculture is “yet in its infancy,” as a result partly ofthe oppression of the natives, partly of the expulsion of theJesuits—who did more than any others to civilize theIndians—and partly of the restrictions on commerce, which now areless oppressive; yet the country is almost incredibly fertile. Theimplements used in tillage are described, with the methods ofcultivating the chief products, and that of refining the sugar producedthere; and the reasons are given why Europeans have been unable toengage in agriculture with success. The mineral products of the islandsare enumerated. Commerce is, like agriculture, still undeveloped; ourauthor attributes this to the Acapulco trade, to the prohibitory systempursued by Spain and to the monopoly allowed to the Philippine Company,and criticises Spain’s policy toward her colonies. He thendescribes the condition of Philippine commerce, with statistics of1818; and the difficulties under which it labors—especially theinsecurity of property and contracts, the fraudulent dealings of theChinese merchants; and the neglect of government to preventsmuggling or to make suitable provision for reëxportation ofgoods—which have prevented Manila from being one of the greatcenters of Oriental trade.
The second part of these “Remarks” is devoted to Manila;a description of the city, its fortifications (which our writerconsiders very inefficient on the side next to Pasig River), streets,public buildings, mode of constructing houses, and the public cemetery;and social conditions there, which are unfavorable to morality and thedevelopment of character. The author criticises the colonial policy ofSpain, and regards her tenure of rule over Filipinas as precarious,especially as discontent and ideas of political freedom are spreadingamong the Indians.
Of unusual interest and value is a memorial written (April 26, 1827)by Manuel Bernaldez Pizarro, on the “causes which antagonize thesecurity and progress of the Filipinas Islands,” and which bringabout their backward condition, with the measures which he judgesdesirable for their correction. As a high official in Filipinas duringseventeen years, his opinions are of much importance, especially as hewas evidently a clear-sighted and upright statesman, a keen observer,and a logical thinker—albeit he was, like the majority ofgovernment officials, still much under the sway of autocratic andregalistic notions—and was fertile in ideas and projects forimproving the condition of Filipinas. The memorial is methodicallyarranged in sections relating to military affairs, Moro piracies,land-titles, Spanish vs. native clerics, the residence of foreigners inthe islands, character of government officials, administration ofjustice, taxes and revenue, commerce, agriculture, manufactures, etc.
On each of these subjects he presents a concise statement of presentconditions and tendencies, followed by his recommendations for change,reform, or suppression. In the army, the principal difficulty lies inthe corps of officers, partly Peninsular and partly native or American,with Indian subalterns; these classes have almost nothing in common,and the latter are dangerously near to the Indians, or are spoiled bythe tendencies of the country. Provision should be made, therefore, forsending officers from Spain to fill all posts of command. Instead ofenlarging the military force, a central location (afterward indicatedas Cavite) should be selected, and rendered impregnable to assault, inwhich the government and the Spanish population of Manila might be safein