History of the Philippine Islands Part 25

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Banuelos y Carrillo, in his relation to the king, says: "That the inhabitants of the Manilas should be allowed to export as many boat-loads as possible of the country's produce--such as wax, gold, perfumes, ivory, and cotton cloth [lampotes]--which they must buy from the natives of the country, who would thus be hindered from selling them to the Dutch. In this way we would make those peoples friendly, and supply Nueva Espana with their merchandise; and the money taken to Manila would not leave that city. ... Your Majesty should consider that one and one-half millions in gold go to China annually." This commerce was advantageous to the Celestial empire alone and to certain individuals of Manila. It was fatal to Espana, and harmful to the islands, whose industry was gradually perishing like that of the metropolis.--Rizal.

[403] See in VOL. VIII, pp. 316-318, a royal decree enforcing these prohibitions under severe penalties.

[404] Coa.r.s.e stuff made of goat's hair, or a glossy silk stuff; probably the latter is intended in the text. Gorvoran or gorgoran is a sort of silk grogram.

[405] This fabric is now called Pina. It is made from threads stripped from fibers of the leaf of that plant or fruit, and which are never longer than half a yard. It cannot be woven at all times, as extreme heat or humidity affects the fiber. The machinery employed is of wood, unmixed with any metal, and of rude construction. This fabric is stronger than any other of equal fineness, and its color is unaffected by time or washing. The pieces are generally only 1 1/2 feet wide: the price varies from 1.s. 4d. to 2s. 6d. per yard. Pina of a yard wide is from six reals to a dollar (of eight reals) a yard. All the joinings of the threads are of knots made by the fingers. It is fabricated solely by native Indians in many parts of the Philippines, but especially in Ilo-Ilo. The use of this stuff is extensive, and the value is estimated at 500,000 dollars or L120,000; the value of the annual export of it to Europe for dresses, handkerchiefs, collars, scarfs, and wristbands, which are beautifully embroidered at Manila, is estimated at 20,000 dollars annually. (Mr. Consul Farren, January 21, 1851).--Stanley.

In order to obtain the fiber of this plant, the fruit is first cut, so that the leaf may become as long and broad as possible. When the leaves are well developed they are torn off, and sc.r.a.ped with a sharp instrument to separate the fleshy part and leave the fiber; this is washed, dried in the sun, combed out, and cla.s.sed in four grades according to its fineness. The cloth has a peculiar softness and delicacy; and it is said that that made formerly (one or two centuries ago) was much finer than that made now.

[406] Scorzonera is a genus of composite plants, of numerous species; the leaves or roots of many are used as vegetables or salads. S. tuberosa and other Eastern species have edible roots.

[407] Delgado (ut supra) says that this fruit (Diospyros kaki, Linn.) was brought by the Chinese traders, and called Xi-cu in their language, whence is derived the word chiquey. It is a beautiful scarlet fruit, although there is another species of a yellow color. Both are sweet and pleasant to the taste. Some of the yellow variety were grown in the Visayas, but Delgado says the tree is not indigenous to the islands. The fruit is shaped like an acorn but is about as large as a lemon. The peel is soft and the interior like honey, and it contains several seeds. The tree is wide-spreading but not very tall. The leaves are small and almost round. D. kaki is the Chinese or j.a.panese persimmon; D. virginiana is the American persimmon. From other species is obtained the valuable wood called ebony.

[408] This must be the cloth and not the porcelain of Kaga, which even today is so highly esteemed.--Rizal.

[409] With very slight differences, this custom and ceremony is continued to the present [1890].--Rizal.

[410] "A three per cent duty was imposed in the Filipinas on merchandise, for the payment of the troops. We order that part of the law to be observed, but that pertaining to the other things paid from those duties to be repealed." Anover, August 9, 1589. (Ley xxii.)

"We ordain that the Chinese, j.a.panese, Siamese, Borneans, and all other foreigners, who go to the ports of the Filipinas Islands, pay no duty on food, supplies, and materials that they take to those islands, and that this law be kept in the form in w, hich it may have been introduced, and not otherwise." Anover, August 9, 1589. (Ley xxiv.)

"On the Chinese merchandise and that from other countries, shipped to Nueva Espana by way of Filipinas, an impost ad valorem tax of ten per cent shall be collected, based on their value in the ports and regions where the goods shall be discharged. This tax shall be imposed mildly according to the rule, and shall be a tax additional to that usually paid on departure both from the said Filipinas Islands and from the provinces of Nueva Espana, to any other places where they may and shall be taken." El Pardo, November 1, 1591. (Ley xxi.)

"We order that the duty of three per cent collected in the Filipinas Islands on the merchandise taken thither by the Chinese be increased by another three per cent." El Pardo, November 20, 1606. (Ley xxiii.) The above laws are from Recopilacion de leyes, lib. viii, t.i.t. xv.

[411] The agave (Agave americana; the maguey of Mexico) is found in the Philippines, and is called pita, but Delgado and Blanco think that it was not indigenous there. Its fibers were used in former times for making the native textile called nipis, manufactured in the Visayas. As used in the text, pita means, apparently, some braid or other ornament of agave fibers.

[412] The ducado of Castilla was worth slightly more than two pesos.--Rizal.

[413] These imposts and fetters, which the products of the country did not escape, are still [1890] in force, so that foreign markets must be sought, since the markets of the mother-country offer no greater advantages. According to a doc.u.ment of 1640, this commerce netted the government 350,000 pesos annually.--Rizal.

[414] The salary is now [1890] 40,000 pesos.--Rizal.

[415] Recopilacion de leyes (lib. iv, t.i.t. i, ley v) outlines the governor's and Audiencia's power in regard to conquests by private individuals, as follows: "We grant permission to the governor and president of the Filipinas Islands and its Audiencia to make contracts for new explorations and conquests [pacificaciones] with persons, who are willing to covenant to do it at their own expense and not at that of our royal treasury; and to give them the t.i.tles of captains and masters-of-camp, but not those of adelantados [i.e., governors]

and marshals. Those contracts and agreements such men may execute, with the concurrence of the Audiencia, until we approve them, provided that they observe the laws enacted for war, conquest, and exploration, so straitly, that for any negligence, the terms of their contract will be observed, and those who exceed the contract shall incur the penalties imposed; also provided the parties shall receive our confirmation within a brief period a.s.signed by the governor." Felipe II, Guadalupe, April 1, 1580; Toledo, May 25, 1596, a clause of instructions.

[416] There are eight auditors now [1890], and their salary has increased to 4,700 pesos, while that of the fiscal is 5,500 pesos.--Rizal.

[417] Recopilacion de leyes, lib. v, t.i.t. xv, ley xxviii, contains the following on suits arising from residencias, dated Lerma, June 23, 1608: "Suits brought during the residencia against governors, captains-general, presidents, auditors, and fiscals of our Audiencia of Manila, and against any other officials, both civil and criminal, shall pa.s.s in appeal and be concluded in that Audiencia, if they do not exceed one thousand pesos of the current money."

[418] The tributes of the Indians in the Filipinas amount to more than 4,000,000 pesos now [1890]; and from the Chinese are derived 225,000 pesos.--Rizal.

[419] Now since there is no exploitation of gold mines, and since the Indians have no jewels that would justify this tenth or fifth, the Spaniards subst.i.tute for this the imposts upon property, which amount to 105,400 pesos, and that upon industry, which amounts to 1,433,200 pesos. In 1640, the revenue from the above source [fifths or tenths] had decreased so greatly, that only 750 pesos were collected annually.--Rizal.

[420] Import duties now [1890] amount to 1,700,000 pesos.--Rizal.

[421] Export duties now [1890] amount to 285,000 pesos.--Rizal.

[422] According to Hernando de los Rios, the Filipinas Islands could have been self-sustaining from the beginning from their own products, had it not been for the expeditions and adventurous conquests in the Moluccas, Camboja, etc. ... In the governorship of Don Juan de Silva, the treasury owed, for the war in the Moluccas, more than 2,000,000 pesos to the Indians, besides what it must have owed to the inhabitants of Manila.--Rizal.

[423] This excellent custom has entirely perished.--Rizal.

"The president of our royal Audiencia of Filipinas and one auditor of that body, shall, at the beginning of each year, examine the accounts of our royal officials, and shall finish their examination within the two months of January and February. On finishing their examination they shall send a copy of them to our council for the reason contained in the following law. Should the examination not be finished in the said time, our officials shall receive no salary. The auditor who shall a.s.sist in examining the accounts shall receive as a compensation the twenty-five thousand maravedis that are ordained; but he shall receive that amount only in that year that he shall send the said accounts concluded to our council." Ordinance 97, Toledo, May 15, 1596. (Ley ix.)

"For the accounts of our royal treasury, which must be furnished in the usual form by our officials of the Filipinas Islands annually, during the administration of their duties, the officials shall deliver for inventory all the books and orders pertaining to those accounts, and all that shall be requested from them and that shall be necessary. They shall continue the course of their administration [of their duties] with new and similar books. These accounts shall be concluded before the governor of those islands, and the auditor whom the Audiencia and the fiscal of that body may appoint. In case of the finding of any doubts and remarks it is our will that the auditor and governor resolve and determine them, so that they may be concluded and finished. And inasmuch as the factor and overseer must give account of certain things in kind and products of great weight and tediousness, we order that that account be examined every three years, and that the concluding and settling of the doubts and remarks shall be made in the form declared. And we order that when the said accounts of the said islands are completed and the net balances struck, they shall be sent to our Council of the Indias, so that the accountants of its accounts may revise and make additions to them according to the manner of the accountancy." Valladolid, January 25, 1605. (Ley x.)

The above two laws are taken from Recopilacion de leyes, lib. viii, t.i.t. xxix.

[424] The Chinese engaged in agriculture and fishing now [1890]

are very few.--Rizal.

[425] The Rizal edition misprints fuerca e premio as fuerza a premio.

[426] The custom of shaving the head, now prevalent among the Chinese, was imposed upon them by their Tartar conquerors.

[427] A kind of stocking called tabi.--Rizal.

[428] The following law was issued at Segovia July 4, 1609, and appears in Recopilacion de leyes, lib. iii, t.i.t. iv, ley xviii: "The governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands shall ever strive to maintain friendly relations, peace, and quiet, with the emperor of j.a.pon. He shall avail himself, for that purpose, of the most prudent and advisable means, as long as conditions permit; and he shall not risk the reputation of our arms and state in those seas and among oriental nations."

[429] This port (established before 1540) was in Colima, Mexico, near the present Manzanillo. It was plundered and burned by the English adventurer Thomas Candish, on August 24-25, 1587.

[430] Thus named because seamen and voyagers noticed especially the lateen sails of the light vessels used by the natives of the Marianas.--Rizal.

[431] A marine fish (Sparus auratus), thus named because it has spots of golden-yellow color.

[432] A chart of the Indian Ocean, by L. S. de la Rochette (pub. London, 1803, by W. Faden, geographer to the king) shows three volcanoes in about 25 north lat.i.tude, and but a few degrees north of the Ladrones. One of them is called "La Desconocida, or Third Volcano," and the following is added: "The Manilla ships always try to make this Volcano."

[433] A group of islands called Shidsi To, lying in 34 20'.--Rizal.

[434] "Thirty-eight degrees" is probably an error for "twenty-eight degrees," and these islands [the first ones mentioned in the above sentence] would be the Mounin-Sima Islands, lying between 26 35'

and 27 45'; and Lot's Wife in 29 51', and Crespo, in 32 46', which [latter] are supposed by the Univers Pittoresque to be the Roca de Oro [rock of gold] and the Roca de Plata of the ancient maps.--Stanley.

For these latter islands, see VOL. XIV, p. 272, note 45.

[435] A fungous substance that grows in the sea, and contains signs of life.

[436] Probably the dogfish, a species of shark.

[437] Most of these places can be identified on the old maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and most of the names are retained today. The island of Cedros is shown on a map of 1556 (Ramusio: Vniversale della parte del mondo nvovamente ritrovata). The island of Cenizas is shown, on the old maps, in about 32, and Cedros in about 29. The Marias or Tres Marias Islands are Maria Madre, Maria Magdalena, and Maria Cleofas. Cape Corrientes is south of La Valle de Banderas and Chametla. Socatul is called Socatula and Zocatula. An English map of 1626, engraved by Abraham Goos, shows the town of Ciguatlan, north of Aquapulco, which may be the same as Morga's Ciguatanejo. Los Motines cannot be identified.

[438] Acosta in his History of the Indies (Hakluyt Soc. edition, London, 1880) says of the courses between the Philippines and New Spain: "The like discourse is of the Navigation made into the South sea, going from New Spaine or Peru to the Philippines or China, and returning from the Philippines or China to New Spaine, the which is easie, for that they saile alwaies from East to West neere the line, where they finde the Easterly windes to blow in their p.o.o.pe. In the yeere 1584, there went a shippe from Callao in Lima to the Philippines, which sailed 2000 and 700 leagues without sight of land, and the first it discovered was the Iland of Lusson, where they tooke port, having performed their voiage in two moneths, without want of winde or any torment, and their course was almost continually vnder the line; ... The returne is like vnto the voiage from the Indies vnto Spaine, for those which returne from the Philippines or China to Mexico, to the end they may recover the Westerne windes, they mount a great height, vntill they come right against the Ilands of Iappon, and, discovering the Caliphornes, they returne by the coast of New Spaine to the port of Acapulco."

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History of the Philippine Islands Part 25 summary

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