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A History of the Philippines by David P. Barrows

Legaspi dispatched his grandson


Soon

after arriving in the Philippines, Legaspi's instructions required him to dispatch at least one vessel on the return voyage to New Spain. Accordingly on June 1st the San Pablo set sail, carrying about two hundred men, including Urdenata and another friar. This vessel also followed the northern route across the Pacific, and after a voyage of great hardship, occupying three and a half months, it reached the coast of North America at California and followed it southward to Acapulco.

The discovery made by these captains of a favorable route for vessels returning from the islands to New Spain safe from capture by the Portuguese, completed the plans of the Spanish for the occupation of the Philippines. In 1567 another vessel was dispatched by Legaspi and made this voyage successfully.

The sailing of these vessels left Legaspi in Cebu with a colony of only one hundred and fifty Spaniards, poorly provided with resources, to commence the conquest of the Philippines. But he won the friendship and respect of the inhabitants, and in 1568 two galleons with reinforcements arrived from Acapulco. From this time on nearly yearly communication was maintained, fresh troops with munitions and supplies arriving with each expedition.

The First Expedition against the Moro Pirates.--Pirates of Mindoro.--The Spaniards found the Straits of San Bernardino and the Mindoro Sea swarming with the fleets

of Mohammedan Malays from Borneo and the Jolo Archipelago. To a race living so continuously upon the water, piracy has always possessed irresistible attractions. In the days of Legaspi, the island of Mindoro had been partially settled by Malays from the south, and many of these settlements were devoted to piracy, preying especially upon the towns on the north coast of Panay. In January, 1570, Legaspi dispatched his grandson, Juan de Salcedo, to punish these marauders. [27]

Capture of Pirate Strongholds.--Salcedo had a force of forty Spaniards and a large number of Bisaya. He landed on the western coast of Mindoro and took the pirate town of Mamburao. The main stronghold of the Moros he found to be on the small island of Lubang, northwest of Mindanao. Here they had three strong forts with high walls, on which were mounted small brass cannon, or "lantakas." Two of these forts were surrounded by moats. There were several days of fighting before Lubang was conquered. The possession of Lubang brought the Spaniards almost to the entrance of Manila Bay, Meanwhile, a captain, Enriquez de Guzman, had discovered Masbate, Burias, and Ticao, and had landed on Luzon in the neighborhood of Albay, called then, "Italon."

Conquest of the Moro City of Manila.--Expedition from Panay.--Reports had come to Legaspi of an important Mohammedan settlement named "May-nila," on the shore of a great bay, and a Mohammedan chieftain, called Maomat, was procured to guide the Spaniards on their conquest of this region. [28] For this purpose Legaspi sent his field-marshal, Martin de Goiti, with Salcedo, one hundred and twenty Spanish soldiers, and fourteen or fifteen boats filled with Bisayan allies. They left Panay early in May, and, after stopping at Mindoro, came to anchor in Manila Bay, off the mouth of the Pasig River.

The Mohammedan City.--On the south bank of the river was the fortified town of the Mohammedan chieftain, Raja Soliman; on the north bank was the town of Tondo, under the Raja Alcandora, or Lacandola. Morga [29] tells us that these Mohammedan settlers from the island of Borneo had commenced to arrive on the island only a few years before the coming of the Spaniards. They had settled and married among the Filipino population already occupying Manila Bay, and had introduced some of the forms and practices of the Mohammedan religion. The city of Manila was defended by a fort, apparently on the exact sight of the present fort of Santiago. It was built of the trunks of palms, and had embrasures where were mounted a considerable number of cannon, or lantakas.


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