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A History of the Philippines by David P. Barrows

Returned a defiant answer to Koxinga


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. [74]

CHAPTER X.

A CENTURY OF OBSCURITY AND DECLINE. 1663-1762.

Political Decline of the Philippines.--For the hundred years succeeding the abandonment of the Moluccas, the Philippines lost all political significance as a colony. From almost every standpoint they were profitless to Spain. There were continued deficits, which had to be made good from the Mexican treasury. The part of Spain in the conquest of the East was over, and the Philippines became little more than a great missionary establishment, presided over by the religious orders.

Death of Governor Salcedo by the Inquisition.--In 1663, Lara was succeeded by Don Diego de Salcedo. On his arrival, Manila had high hopes of him, which were speedily disappointed. He loaded the Acapulco galleon with his own private merchandise, and then dispatched it earlier than was usual, before the cargoes of the merchants were ready. He engaged in a wearisome strife with the archbishop, and seems to have worried the ecclesiastic, who was aged and feeble, into his grave. At the end of a few years he was hated by every one, and a conspiracy against him was formed which embraced the religious, the army, the civil officials, and the merchants. Beyond the reach of the power of ordinary plotters, he fell a victim to the commissioner of the Inquisition.


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