Philippines: The Dutch and Moro Wars. 1600–1663
Philippines: The Dutch and Moro Wars. 1600–1663
Philippines: The Dutch and Moro Wars. 1600–1663
Loss of the Naval Power of Spain and Portugal.—The seizure of Portugal by Philip II. in 1580 was disastrous in its consequences to both Portugal and Spain. For Portugal it was humiliation and loss of colonial power. Spain was unequal to the task of defending the Portuguese possessions, and her jealousy of their prosperity seems to have caused her deliberately to neglect their interests and permit their decline. In one day Portugal lost possession of that splendid and daring navy which had first found a way to the Indies. Several hundred Portuguese ships, thousands of guns, and large sums of money were appropriated by Spain upon the annexation of Portugal. Most of these ill-fated ships went down in the English Channel with the Great Armada.
When the terrible news of the destruction of this powerful armament, on which rested Spanish hopes for the conquest and humiliation of England, was brought to the Escorial, the magnificent palace where the years of the king were passed, Philip II., that strange man, whose countenance never changed at tidings of either defeat or victory, is reported to have simply said, “I thank God that I have the power to replace the loss.” He was fatuously mistaken. The loss could never be made good. The navies of Spain and Portugal were never fully rebuilt. In that year (1588), preëminence on the sea passed to the English and the Dutch.
The Netherlands Become an Independent Country.—Who were these Dutch, or Hollanders? How came they to wrest from Spain and Portugal a colonial empire, which they hold to-day without loss of prosperity or evidence of decline? In the north of Europe, facing the North Sea, is a low, rich land, intersected by rivers and washed far into its interior by the tides, known as Holland, the Low Countries, or the Netherlands. Its people have ever been famed for their industry and hardihood. In manufacture and trade in the latter Middle Age, they stood far in the lead in northern Europe, Their towns and cities were the thriftiest, most prosperous, and most cleanly.
We have already explained the curious facts of succession by which these countries became a possession of the Spanish king, Emperor Charles the Fifth. The Low Countries were always greatly prized by Charles, and in spite of the severities of his rule he held their affection and loyalty until his death. It was in the city of Antwerp that he formally abdicated in favor of his son, Philip II., and, as described by contemporary historians, this solemn and imposing ceremony was witnessed with every mark of loyalty by the assembly.
The Rebellion.—But the oppressions and persecutions of Philip’s reign drove the people to rebellion. The Netherlands had embraced the Protestant religion, and when, in addition to plunder, intimidation, the quartering of Spanish soldiery, and the violation of sovereign promises, Philip imposed that terrible and merciless institution, the Spanish Inquisition, the Low Countries faced the tyrant in a passion of rebellion.
War, begun in 1556, dragged on for years. There was pitiless cruelty, and the sacking of cities was accompanied by fearful butchery. In 1575 the seven Dutch counties declared their independence, and formed the republic of the Netherlands. Although the efforts of Spain to reconquer the territory continued until the end of the century, practical independence was gained some years before.
Trade between Portugal and the Netherlands Forbidden.—A large portion of the commerce of the Low Countries had been with Lisbon. The Portuguese did not distribute to Europe the products which their navies brought from the Indies. Foreign merchants purchased in Lisbon and carried these wares to other lands, and to a very large degree this service had been performed by the Dutch. But on the annexation of Portugal, Philip forbade all commerce and trade between the two countries. By this act the Dutch, deprived of their Lisbon trade, had to face the alternative of commercial ruin or the gaining of those Eastern products for themselves. They chose the latter course with all its risks. It was soon made possible by the destruction of the Armada.
The Dutch Expeditions to the Indies.—In 1595 their first expedition, led by one Cornelius Houtman, who had sailed in Portuguese galleons, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and entered the Indian domain. The objective point was Java, where an alliance was formed with the native princes and a cargo of pepper secured. Two things were shown by the safe return of this fleet,—the great wealth and profit of the Indian trade, and the inability of Spain and Portugal to maintain their monopoly.
In 1598 the merchants of Amsterdam defeated a combined Spanish and Portuguese fleet in the East, and trading settlements were secured in Java and Johore. In 1605 they carried their factories to Amboina and Tidor.
Effect of the Success of the Dutch.—The exclusive monopoly over the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which Portugal and Spain had maintained for a century, was broken. With the concurrence of the Roman See, they had tried to divide the New World and the Orient between them. That effort was now passed. They had claimed the right to exclude from the vast oceans they had discovered the vessels of every other nation but their own.
This doctrine in the History of International Law is known as that of mare clausum, or “closed sea.” The death-blow to this domination was given by the entrance of the Dutch into the Indies, and it is not a mere coincidence that we find the doctrine of closed sea itself scientifically assailed, a few years later, by the great Dutch jurist, Grotius, the founder of the system of international law in his work,De Libero Mare.
The Trading Methods of the Dutch.—The Dutch made no attempts in the Indies to found great colonies for political domination and religious conversion. Commerce was their sole object. Their policy was to form alliances with native rulers, promising to assist them against the rule of the Portuguese or Spaniard in return for exclusive privileges of trade. In this they were more than successful.
In 1602 they obtained permission to establish a factory at Bantam, on the island of Java. This was even then a considerable trading-point. “Chinese, Arabs, Persians, Moors, Turks, Malabars, Peguans, and merchants from all nations were established there,” the principal object of trade being pepper.
The character of the treaty made by the Dutch with the king of Bantam is stated by Raffles. “The Dutch stipulated to assist him against foreign invaders, particularly Spaniards and Portuguese; and the king, on his side, agreed to make over to the Dutch a good and strong fort, a free trade, and security for “their persons and property without payment of any duties or taxes, and to allow no other European nation to trade or reside in his territories.”
Spanish Expedition against the Dutch in the Moluccas.—The Spaniards, however, did not relinquish the field to these new foes without a struggle, and the conflict fills the history of the eighteenth century. When the Dutch expelled the Portuguese from Amboina and Tidor in February, 1605, many of the Portuguese came to the Philippines and enlisted in the Spanish forces. The governor, Don Pedro Bravo de Acuña, filled with wrath at the loss of these important possessions, with great activity organized an expedition for their conquest.
In the previous year there had arrived from Spain eight hundred troops, two hundred of them being native Mexicans. Thus Acuña was able to organize a powerful fleet that mounted seventy-five pieces of artillery and carried over fourteen hundred Spaniards and sixteen hundred Indians. The fleet sailed in January, 1606. Tidor was taken without resistance and the Dutch factory seized, with a great store of money, goods, and weapons. The Spaniards then assailed Ternate; the fort and plaza were bombarded, and then the town was carried by storm.
Thus, at last was accomplished the adventure which for nearly a century had inspired the ambitions of the Spaniards, which had drawn the fleet of Magellan, which had wrecked the expeditions of Loyasa and Villalobos, for which the Spaniards in the Philippines had prepared expedition after expedition, and for which Governor Dasmariñas had sacrificed his life. At last the Moluccas had been taken by the forces of Spain.
Capture of a Dutch Fleet at Mariveles.—So far from disposing of their enemies, however, this action simply brought the Dutch into the Philippines. In 1609, Juan de Silva became governor of the Islands and in the same year arrived the Dutch admiral, Wittert, with a squadron. After an unsuccessful attack on Iloilo, the Dutch fleet anchored off Mariveles, to capture vessels arriving for the Manila trade.
At this place, on the 25th of April, 1610, the Spanish fleet, which had been hastily fitted at Cavite, attacked the Dutch, killing the admiral and taking all the ships but one, two hundred and fifty prisoners, and a large amount of silver and merchandise. These prisoners seem to have been treated with more mercy than the captives of Van Noort’s fleet, who were hung at Cavite. The wounded are said to have been cared for, and the friars from all the religious orders vied with one another to convert these “Protestant pirates” from their heresy.
An Expedition against the Dutch in Java.—Spain made a truce of her European wars with Holland in 1609, but this cessation of hostilities was never recognized in the East. The Dutch and Spanish colonists continued to war upon and pillage each other until late in the century. Encouraged by his victory over Wittert, Silva negotiated with the Portuguese allies in Goa, India, to drive the Dutch from Java. A powerful squadron sailed from Cavite in 1616 for this purpose. It was the largest fleet which up to that date had ever been assembled in the Philippines. The expedition, however, failed to unite with their Portuguese allies, and in April, Silva died at Malacca of malignant fever.
The Dutch Fleets.—Battles near Corregidor.—The fleet returned to Cavite to find that the city, while stripped of soldiers and artillery, had been in a fever of anxiety and apprehension over the proximity of Dutch vessels. They were those of Admiral Spilbergen, who had arrived by way of the Straits of Magellan and the Pacific. He has left us a chart of the San Bernadino Straits, which is reproduced here. Spilbergen bombarded Ilolio and then sailed for the Moluccas.
A year later he returned, met a Spanish fleet of seven galleons and two galleras near Manila and suffered a severe defeat. The battle began with cannonading on Friday, April 13, and continued throughout the day. On the following day the vessels came to close quarters, the Spaniards boarded the Dutch vessels, and the battle was fought out with the sword.
The Dutch were overwhelmed. Probably their numbers were few. The Relacion states they had fourteen galleons, but other accounts put the number at ten, three vessels of which were destroyed or taken by the Spaniards. One of them, the beautiful ship, “The Sun of Holland,” was burned. This combat is known as the battle of Playa Honda. Another engagement took place in the same waters of Corregidor, late in 1624, when a Dutch fleet was driven away without serious loss to either side.
The Dutch Capture Chinese Junks, and Galleons.—But through the intervening years, fleets of the Hollanders were continually arriving, both by the way of the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan. Those that came across the Pacific almost invariably cruised up the Strait of San Bernadino, securing the fresh provisions so desirable to them after their long voyage.
The prizes which they made of Chinese vessels, passing Corregidor for Manila, give us an idea of how considerably the Spaniards in the Philippines relied upon China for their food. Junks, or “champans,” were continually passing Corregidor, laden with chickens, hogs, rice, sugar, and other comestibles.
The Mexican galleons were frequently destroyed or captured by these lurking fleets of the Dutch, and for a time the route through the Straits of San Bernadino had to be abandoned, the galleons reaching Manila by way of Cape Engano, or sometimes landing in Cagayan, and more than once going ashore on the Pacific side of the island, at Binangonan de Lampon.
The Dutch in Formosa.—The Dutch also made repeated efforts to wrest from Portugal her settlement and trade in China. As early as 1557 the Portuguese had established a settlement on the island of Macao, one of these numerous islets that fill the estuary of the river of Canton. This is the oldest European settlement in China and has been held continuously by the Portuguese until the present day, when it remains almost the last vestige of the once mighty Portuguese empire of the East. It was much coveted by the Dutch because of its importance in the trade with Canton and Fukien.
In 1622 a fleet from Java brought siege to Macao, and, being repulsed, sailed to the Pescadores Islands, where they built a fort and established a post, which threatened both the Portuguese trade with Japan and the Manila trade with Amoy. Two years later, on the solicitation of the Chinese government, the Dutch removed their settlement to Formosa, where they broke up the Spanish mission stations and held the island for the succeeding thirty-five years. Thus, throughout the century, these European powers harassed and raided one another, but no one of them was sufficiently strong to expel the others from the East.
The Portuguese Colonies.—In 1640 the kingdom of Portugal freed itself from the domination of Spain. With the same blow Spain lost the great colonial possessions that came to her with the attachment of the Portuguese. “All the places,” says Zuñiga, “which the Portuguese had in the Indies, separated themselves from the crown of Castile and recognized as king, Don Juan of Portugal.” “This same year,” he adds, “the Dutch took Malacca.”
The Moros.—Increase of Moro Piracy.—During all these years the raids of the Moros of Maguindanao and Jolo had never ceased. Their piracies were almost continuous. There was no security; churches were looted, priests killed, people borne away for ransom or for slavery. Obviously, this piracy could only be met by destroying it at its source. Defensive fortifications and protective fleets were of no consequence, when compared with the necessity of subduing the Moro in his own lairs. In 1628 and 1630 punitive expeditions were sent against Jolo, Basilan, and Mindanao, which drove the Moros from their forts, burned their towns, and cut down their groves of cocoanut trees. But such expeditions served only to inflame the more the wrathful vengeance of the Moro, and in 1635 the government resolved upon a change of policy and the establishment of a presidio at Zamboanga.
Founding of a Spanish Post at Zamboanga.—This brings us to a new phase in the Moro wars. The governor, Juan Cerezo de Salamanca, was determined upon the conquest and the occupation of Mindanao and Jolo. In taking this step, Salamanca, like Corcuera, who succeeded him, acted under the influence of the Jesuits. Their missions in Bohol and northern Mindanao made them ambitious to reserve for the ministrations of their society all lands that were conquered and occupied, south of the Bisayas.
The Jesuits were the missionaries on Ternate and Siao and wherever in the Moluccas and Celebes the Spanish and Portuguese had established their power. The Jesuits had accompanied the expedition of Rodriguez de Figueroa in 1595, and from that date they never ceased petitioning the government for a military occupation of these islands and for their own return, as the missionaries of these regions. The Jesuits were brilliant and able administrators. For men of their ambition, Mindanao, with its rich soil, attractive productions, and comparatively numerous populations, was a most enticing field for the establishment of such a theocratic commonwealth as the Jesuits had created and administered in America.
On the other hand, the occupation of Zamboanga was strenuously opposed by the other religious orders; but the Jesuits, ever remarkable for their ascendancy in affairs of state, were able to effect the establishment of Zamboanga, though they could not prevent its abandonment a quarter of a century later.
Erection of the Forts.—The presidio was founded in 1635, by a force under Don Juan de Chaves. His army consisted of three hundred Spaniards and one thousand Bisaya, The end of the peninsula was swept of Moro inhabitants and their towns destroyed by fire. In June the foundations of the stone fort were laid under the direction of the Jesuit, Father Vera, who is described as being experienced in military engineering and architecture.
To supply the new site with water, a ditch was built from the river Tumaga, a distance of six or seven miles, which brought a copious stream to the very walls of the fort. The advantage or failure of this expensive fortress is very hard to determine. Its planting was a partisan measure, and it was always subject to partisan praise and partisan blame. Sometimes it seemed to have checked the Moros and sometimes seemed only to be stirring them to fresh anger and aggression.
The same year that saw the establishment of Zamboanga, Hortado de Corcuera became governor of the Philippines. He was much under the influence of the Jesuits and confirmed their policy of conquest.
Defeat of the Moro Pirate Tagal.—A few months later a notable fleet of pirates, recruited from Mindanao, Jolo, and Borneo, and headed by a chieftain named Tagal, a brother of the notorious Correlat, sultan of Maguindanao, went defiantly past the new presidio and northward through the Mindoro Sea. For more than seven months they cruised the Bisayas. The islands of the Camarines especially felt their ravages. In Cuyo they captured the corregidor and three friars. Finally, with 650 captives and rich booty, including the ornaments and services of churches, Tagal turned southward on his return.
The presidio of Zamboanga had prepared to intercept him and a fierce battle took place off the Punta de Flechas, thirty leagues to the northeast of Zamboanga. According to the Spanish writers, this point was one held sacred by Moro superstitions. A deity inhabited these waters, whom the Moros were accustomed to propitiate on the departure and arrival of their expeditions, by throwing into the sea lances and arrows. The victory was a notable one for the Spanish arms. Tagal and more than 300 Moros were killed, and 120 Christian captives were released.
Moro Helmet and Coat of Mail.
Corcuera’s Expedition against the Moros at Lamítan.—Corcuera had meanwhile been preparing an expedition, which had taken on the character of a holy war. Jesuit and soldier mingled in its company and united in its direction. The Jesuit saint, Francis Xavier, was proclaimed patron of the expedition, and mass was celebrated daily on the ships. Corcuera himself accompanied the expedition, and at Zamboanga, where they arrived February 22, 1637, he united a force of 760 Spaniards and many Bisayans and Pampangas.
Moro Sword and Scabbard.
From Zamboanga the force started for Lamítan, the stronghold of Correlat, and the center of the power of the Maguindanao. It seems to have been situated on the coast, south of the region of Lake Lanao. The fleet encountered rough weather and contrary winds off Punta de Flechas, which they attributed to the influence of the Moro demon.
To rid the locality of this unholy influence, Padre Marcello, the Jesuit superior, occupied himself for two days. Padre Combés has left us an account of the ceremony. The demon was dispossessed by exorcism. Mass was celebrated. Various articles, representing Moro infidelity, including arrows, were destroyed and burnt. Holy relics were thrown into the waters, and the place was finally sanctified by baptism in the name of Saint Sebastian.
Sulu Barong and Sheath.
On the 14th of March the expedition reached Lamítan, fortified and defended by two thousand Moro warriors. The Spanish force, however, was overwhelming, and the city was taken by storm. Here were captured eight bronze cannon, twenty-seven “versos” (a kind of small howitzer), and over a hundred muskets and arquebuses and a great store of Moro weapons. Over one hundred vessels were destroyed, including a fleet of Malay merchant praos from Java. Sixteen villages were burned, and seventy-two Moros were hung. Correlat, though pursued and wounded, was not captured.
Old Moro Sailing Boat.
The Conquest of Jolo.—Corcuera returned to Zamboanga and organized an expedition for the conquest of Jolo. Although defended by four thousand Moro warriors and by allies from Basílan and the Celebes, Corcuera took Jolo after some months of siege. The sultan saved himself by flight, but the sultana was taken prisoner. Corcuera reconstructed the fort, established a garrison of two hundred Spaniards and an equal number of Pampangas, left some Jesuit fathers, and, having nominated Major Almonte chief of all the forces in the south, returned in May, 1638, to Manila, with all the triumph of a conqueror.
Almonte continued the work of subjugation. In 1639 he conquered the Moro dato of Buhayen, in the valley of the Rio Grande, where a small presidio was founded. And in the same year the Jesuits prevailed upon him to invade the territory of the Malanao, now known as the Laguna de Lanao. This expedition was made from the north through Iligan, and for a time brought even this warlike and difficult territory under the authority of the governor and the spiritual administration of the Jesuits.
Loss of the Spanish Settlement on Formosa.—The full military success of Corcuera’s governorship was marred by the loss of Macao and the capture of the Spanish settlement on the island of Formosa by the Dutch. In the attempt to hold Macao, Corcuera sent over the encomendero of Pasig, Don Juan Claudio. The populace of Macao, however, rose in tumult, assassinated the governor, Sebastian Lobo, and pronounced in favor of Portugal. Later, by decree of the Portuguese governor of Goa, all the Spanish residents and missionaries were expelled. The Dutch seizure of Formosa, a year later, has already been described.
The Archipelago and the Religious Orders.—During these decades, conflict was almost incessant between the archbishop of Manila and the regular orders. In the Philippines the regulars were the parish curates, and the archbishop desired that all matters of their curacy, touching the administration of the sacraments and other parish duties, should be subject to the direction of the bishops. This question of the “diocesan visit” was fought over for nearly two hundred years.
The Governor and the Archbishop.—Even more serious to the colony were the conflicts that raged between the governor-general and the archbishop. All the points of dissension between Church and State, which vexed the Middle Ages, broke out afresh in the Philippines. The appointment of religious officers; the distribution of revenue; the treatment of the natives; the claim of the church to offer asylum to those fleeing the arm of the law; its claims of jurisdiction, in its ecclesiastical courts, over a large class of civil offenses—these disputes and many others, occasioned almost incessant discord between the heads of civil and ecclesiastical authority.
The “Residencia.”—We have seen that the power of the governor was in fact very large. Theoretically, the Audiencia was a limit upon his authority; but in fact the governor was usually the president of this body, and the oidores were frequently his abettors and rarely his opponents. At the end of each governor’s rule there took place a characteristic Spanish institution, called the “Residencia.” This was a court held by the newly elected governor, for an examination into the conduct of his predecessor. Complaints of every description were received, and often, in the history of the Philippines, one who had ruled the archipelago almost as an independent monarch found himself, at the end of his office, ruined, and in chains.
It was upon the occasion of the Residencia that the ecclesiastical powers, after a governorship stormy with disputes, exercised their power for revenge. Unquestionably many a governor, despite his actual power, facing, as he did, the Residencia at the termination of his rule, made peace with his enemies and yielded to their demands.
Corcuera had continuous troubles with the archbishop and with the religious orders other than the Jesuits. In 1644, when his successor, Fajardo, relieved him, the Franciscans, Augustinians, and Recollects procured his imprisonment and the confiscation of his property. For five years, the conqueror of the Moros lay a prisoner in the fortresses of Santiago and Cavite, when he was pardoned by the Council of the Indies, and appointed governor of the Canaries by the king.
Weakening of the Governor’s Power.—This power of private and religious classes to intimidate and overawe the responsible head of the Philippine government was an abuse which continued to the very close of the Spanish rule. This, together with the relatively short term of the governor’s office, his natural desire to avoid trouble, his all too frequent purpose of amassing a fortune rather than maintaining the dignity of his position and advancing the interests of the Islands, combined decade after decade to make the spiritual authority more powerful. In the end the religious orders, with their great body of members, their hold upon the Filipinos, their high influence at the court, and finally their great landed wealth, governed the Islands.
The Educational Work of the Religious Orders.—In any criticism of the evils connected with their administration of the Philippines, one must not fail to recognize the many achievements of the missionary friars that were worthy. To the Dominicans and the Jesuits is due the establishment of institutions of learning. The Jesuits in 1601 had planted their College of San José. The Dominicans, here as in Europe, the champions of orthodox learning, had their own institution, the College of Santo Tomas, inaugurated in 1619, and were the rivals of the Jesuits for the privilege of giving higher instruction.
In 1645 the pope granted to the Dominicans the right to bestow higher degrees, and their college became the “Royal and Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas.” This splendid name breathes that very spirit of the Middle Ages which the Dominican order strove to perpetuate in the Philippines down to modern days. Dominicans also founded the College of San Juan de Letran, as a preparatory school to the University.
We should not pass over the educational work of the religious orders without mention of the early printing-plants and their publications. The missionary friars were famous printers, and in the Philippines, as well as in America, some noble volumes were produced by their handicraft.
Founding of Hospitals by the Franciscans.—Nor had the Franciscans in the Philippines neglected the fundamental purpose of their foundation,—that of ministration to the sick and unprotected. A narrative of their order, written in 1649, gives a long list of their beneficent foundations. Besides the hospital of Manila, they had an infirmary at Cavite for the native mariners and shipbuilders, a hospital at Los Baños, another in the city of Nueva Caceras. Lay brethren were attached to many of the convents as nurses.
In 1633 a curious occurrence led to the founding of the leper hospital of San Lazaro. The emperor of Japan, in a probably ironical mood, sent to Manila a shipload of Japanese afflicted with this unfortunate disease. These people were mercifully received by the Franciscans, and cared for in a home, which became the San Lazaro hospital for lepers.
Life and Progress of the Filipinos.—Few sources exist that can show us the life and progress of the Filipino people during these decades. Christianity, as introduced by the missionary friars, was wonderfully successful, and yet there were relapses into heathenism. Old religious leaders and priestesses roused up from time to time, and incited the natives to rebellion against their new spiritual masters. The payment of tribute and the labor required for the building of churches often drove the people into the mountains.
Religious Revolt at Bohol and Leyte.—In 1621 a somewhat serious revolt took place on Bohol. The Jesuits who administered the island were absent in Cebu, attending the fiestas on the canonization of Saint Francis Xavier. The whisper was raised that the old heathen deity, Diwata, was at hand to assist in the expulsion of the Spaniards. The island rose in revolt, except the two towns of Loboc and Baclayan. Four towns were burned, the churches sacked, and the sacred images speared. The revolt spread to Leyte, where it was headed by the old dato, Bancao of Limasaua, who had sworn friendship with Legaspi. This insurrection was put down by the alcalde mayor of Cebu and the Filipino leaders were hung. On Leyte, Bancao was speared in battle, and one of the heathen priests suffered the penalty, prescribed by the Inquisition for heresy—death by burning.
Revolt of the Pampangas.—The heavy drafting of natives to fell trees and build the ships for the Spanish naval expeditions and the Acapulco trade was also a cause for insurrection. In 1660 a thousand Pampangas were kept cutting in the forests of that province alone. Sullen at their heavy labor and at the harshness of their overseers, these natives rose in revolt. The sedition spread to Pangasinan, Zambales, and Ilocos, and it required the utmost efforts of the Spanish forces on land and water to suppress the rebellion.
Uprising of the Chinese.—In spite of the terrible massacre, that had been visited upon the Chinese at the beginning of the century, they had almost immediately commenced returning not only as merchants, but as colonists. The early restrictions upon their life must have been relaxed, for in 1639 there were more than thirty thousand living in the Islands, many of them cultivating lands at Calamba and at other points on the Laguna de Bay.
In that year a rebellion broke out, in which the Chinese in Manila participated. They seized the church of San Pedro Mecati, on the Pasig, and fortified themselves. From there they were routed by a combined Filipino and Spanish force. The Chinese then broke up into small bands, which scattered through the country, looting and murdering, but being pursued and cut to pieces by the Filipinos. For five months this pillage and massacre went on, until seven thousand Chinese were destroyed. By the loss of these agriculturists and laborers Manila was reduced to great distress.
Activity of the Moro Pirates.—The task of the Spaniards in controlling the Moro datos continued to be immensely difficult. During the years following the successes of Corcuera and Almonte, the Moros were continually plotting. Aid was furnished from Borneo and the Celebes, and they were further incited by the Dutch. In spite of the vigilance of Zamboanga, small piratical excursions continually harassed the Bisayas and the Camarines.
Continued Conflicts with the Dutch.—The Dutch, too, from time to time showed themselves in Manila. In 1646 a squadron attacked Zamboanga, and then came north to Luzon. The Spanish naval strength was quite unprepared; but two galleons, lately arrived from Acapulco, were fitted with heavy guns, Dominican friars took their places among the gunners, and, under the protection of the Virgin of the Rosary, successfully encountered the enemy.
A year later a fleet of twelve vessels entered Manila Bay, and nearly succeeded in taking Cavite. Failing in this, they landed in Bataan province, and for some time held the coast of Manila Bay in the vicinity of Abucay. The narrative of Franciscan missions in 1649, above cited, gives town after town in southern Luzon, where church and convent had been burned by the Moros or the Dutch.
The Abandonment of Zamboanga and the Moluccas.—The threat of the Dutch made the maintenance of the presidio of Zamboanga very burdensome. In 1656 the administration of the Moluccas was united with that of Mindanao, and the governor of the former, Don Francisco de Esteybar, was transferred from Ternate to Zamboanga and made lieutenant-governor and captain-general of all the provinces of the south.
Six years later, the Moluccas, so long coveted by the Spaniards, and so slowly won by them, together with Zamboanga, were wholly abandoned, and to the Spice Islands the Spaniards were never to return. This sudden retirement from their southern possessions was not, however, occasioned by the incessant restlessness of the Moros nor by the plottings of the Dutch. It was due to a threat of danger from the north.
Koxinga the Chinese Adventurer.—In 1644, China was conquered by the Manchus. Pekin capitulated at once and the Ming dynasty was overthrown, but it was only by many years of fighting that the Manchus overcame the Chinese of the central and southern provinces. These were years of turbulence, revolt, and piracy.
More than one Chinese adventurer rose to a romantic position during this disturbed time. One of these adventurers, named It Coan, had been a poor fisherman of Chio. He had lived in Macao, where he had been converted to Christianity, and had been a cargador, or cargo-bearer, in Manila. He afterwards went to Japan, and engaged in trade. From these humble and laborious beginnings, like many another of his persistent countrymen, he gained great wealth, which on the conquest of the Manchus he devoted to piracy.
His son was the notorious Kue-Sing, or Koxinga, who for years resisted the armies of the Manchus, and maintained an independent power over the coasts of Fukien and Chekiang. About 1660 the forces of the Manchus became too formidable for him to longer resist them upon the mainland, and Koxinga determined upon the capture of Formosa and the transference of his kingdom to that island.
For thirty-eight years this island had been dominated by the Dutch, whose fortresses commanded the channel of the Pescadores. The colony was regarded as an important one by the Dutch colonial government at Batavia. The city of Tai-wan, on the west coast, was a considerable center of trade. It was strongly protected by the fortress of Zealand, and had a garrison of twenty-two hundred Dutch soldiers. After months of fighting, Koxinga, with an overpowering force of Chinese, compelled the surrender of the Hollanders and the beautiful island passed into his power.
A Threatened Invasion of the Philippines.—Exalted by his success against European arms, Koxinga resolved upon the conquest of the Philippines. He summoned to his service the Italian Dominican missionary, Ricci, who had been living in the province of Fukien, and in the spring of 1662 dispatched him as an ambassador to the governor of the Philippines to demand the submission of the archipelago.
Manila was thrown into a terrible panic by this demand, and indeed no such danger had threatened the Spanish in the Philippines since the invasion of Limahong. The Chinese conqueror had an innumerable army, and his armament, stores, and navy had been greatly augmented by the surrender of the Dutch. The Spaniards, however, were united on resistance. The governor, Don Sabiano Manrique de Lara, returned a defiant answer to Koxinga, and the most radical measures were adopted to place the colony in a state of defense.
All Chinese were ordered immediately to leave the Islands. Fearful of massacre, these wretched people again broke out in rebellion, and assaulted the city. Many were slain, and other bands wandered off into the mountains, where they perished at the hands of the natives. Others, escaping by frail boats, joined the Chinese colonists on Formosa. Churches and convents in the suburbs of Manila, which might afford shelter to the assailant, were razed to the ground. More than all this, the Moluccas were forsaken, never again to be recovered by Spaniards; and the presidios of Zamboanga and Cuyo, which served as a kind of bridle on the Moros of Jolo and Mindanao, were abandoned. All Spanish troops were concentrated in Manila, fortifications were rebuilt, and the population waited anxiously for the attack. But the blow never fell. Before Ricci arrived at Tai-wan, Koxinga was dead, and the peril of Chinese invasion had passed.
Effects of These Events.—But the Philippines had suffered irretrievable loss. Spanish prestige was gone. Manila was no longer, as she had been at the commencement of the century, the capital of the East. Spanish sovereignty was again confined to Luzon and the Bisayas. The Chinese trade, on which rested the economic prosperity of Manila, had once again been ruined. For a hundred years the history of the Philippines is a dull monotony, quite unrelieved by any heroic activity or the presence of noble character.
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