Principal Patron of the Philippines
“The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you!”
The Santo Niño de Cebú (Cebuano: Balaang Bata sa Sugbo, Filipino: Batang Banal ng Cebu, Spanish: Santo Niño de Cebú) is a Roman Catholic title of a statue of the Child Jesus in Cebu City of Philippines. The image is venerated as miraculous by many Filipino Catholics. It is one of the oldest Christian relics in the Philippines, originally given in 1521 as a gift by explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his wife when he landed on the island. (Source: wiki)
In search of spices
When Ferdinand Magellan, a veteran Portuguese soldier, returned from the Spice Islands of the Moluccas, he approached the Portuguese King with a proposal to find a westward route from Portugal to the rich islands of Spices, on the opposite side of the world. The King however, did not take advantage of the offer, and temporized. In the meantime, Magellan offered his services to the King of Spain the great Charles V, who was soon to be raised to the dignity of Holy Roman Emperor. In Spain, funds were needed for the treasury. Spices were not cheap in Europe and there is a high demand, so commerce with them is one of the best solutions for raising the necessary funds. The King of Spain thus provided Magellan with a fleet of five ships: Trinidad, Victoria, Concepcion, Santiago and San Antonio. On August 10, 1519 the fleet sailed westward from Seville in search of a passageway to the Moluccas. It was manned by a crew of 270 men and there were 2 chaplains both were secular priests: Father Pedro de Valderama and another one a French by nationality who was latter abandoned by Magellan in the coast of Brazil. After various incidents suffered from men and the elements as it sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and down the coast of South America, the fleet reached in the last days of October the passage which now bears the name of the leader of this expedition. In November they turned north to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. It took a whole year to arrive at this turn. But by this time, only three ships were left. The Santiago had sunken before they espied the strait and the San Antonio secretly sailed back to Spain.
On March 6, 1521 after an exhausting voyage across the Pacific Ocean, the explorers reached the Landrones Island group (Marianas). From here, they veered southwards in the direction of the Moluccas. But, on the 16th of March, a body of land unexpectedly aroused before their eyes, it was the coast of the island of Samar. Without stopping, they continued sailing southwards but Magellan called this the Island of Saint Lazarus for it was the Saturday before the Passion Sunday. Latter, the name was extended to the whole archipelago. The next day, they reached the island of Homonhon where they rested from the fatigue of such a long navigation. Here, they pitched their tents for the sick crew to recover, thanks to the friendly welcome of the natives who gave them fresh provisions. But on March 22, the chieftain himself came and greeted the visitors. Here, Magellan and his crew stayed for about 9 days to recover. But, at the last moment the chronicler of the fleet Antonio de Pigafetta slipped out of the ship and no one noticed him. But, invoking Our Lady whose feast it was that day (Annunciation) he was able to catch hold of the clew-garment of the main sail and latter was rescued by a small boat. Shortly afterwards, the little fleet sailed again. They rounded the southern tip. On the night of March 28, they saw a bonfire at a nearby island and they headed towards it. This was the Limasawa Island in the southern tip of Leyte. Here, Magellan was greeted officially by nine men who were joyful of their arrival. They represented the chieftain of the area. Then, seeing them, Enrique who was Magellan’s Malay slave and interpreter from Malacca, bade them to come. It was a crucial moment in the history of mankind, a solemn moment. For the first time in the history of mankind a living man encircled the globe! The indisputable proof is that these men understood perfectly and responded with the same tongue to Enrique. Magellan therefore and his Malay slave Enrique were the first men to circumnavigate the world.
The First Mass
Further on, seeing that they were reasonable men, Magellan offered them food and drink. The islanders brought with them food placed on white Chinese porcelain wares. This confirmed further Magellan that he is now truly in the East. That day, Magellan struck a pack with the chieftain Rajah Colambu. Then, on March 31, 1521, in this Island of Limawasa, the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by Father Pedro de Valderama. This Mass was attended by both the remaining crew and the natives. At the consecration, all the canons saluted our Eucharistic Lord. After the Mass, the natives expressed their desire to be Christians and for this, Magellan planted hastily a big cross on the top of the hill. This was the first Holy Cross planted in these isles, and it was the Easter Sunday when they do it!
Now that the islanders and the Europeans became friends, the islanders described the other islands like Butuan and Calangan. But Magellan did not go there. Afterwards, the island of Cebu was mentioned. He leave Limasawa on April 4, but three days latter, he entered the narrow sea between Mactan and Cebu. He ranged his ships in battle formation and saluted fired all his guns, scarring the Cebuanos. It was actually the European custom of saluting the people and honoring the king of friendly ports. On arriving, Magellan’s interpreter told the natives that they had come to discover the Malucho (Moluccas) and were here to visit the king and to buy food with his merchandise. The Cebuano spokesman told them that they are welcome. However, the king Seripalda Humabon demanded that they must first pay the tribute imposed on all incoming ships. Magellan refused to pay the tribute boasting that he represented a great king who pays no tributes. He threatened them that if they would insist on collecting it, they would regret latter. Then, a Moro trader warned the King that the newcomers were subjects of a powerful king who had already conquered Calicut, Malacca and the whole of India. Of course, he was referring to the King of Portugal and not to Charles V of Spain. But the trader knew no better and Magellan did not disabuse him. The King bade the Europeans to wait until he had consulted his advisers, meanwhile he offered them refreshments of many dishes, all made from meat and contained in porcelain platters, besides many jars of wine.
The next morning, there was the formal meeting between the Cebuanos and the European visitors. The interpreter assured the natives that they only come for trade with them. Satisfied, the King asked Magellan the token of friendship. Both put a drop of blood from his right arm into a cup mixed with wine and drunk from it. This is the “Kasi-kasi” or the blood-compact, which sealed their friendship. Magellan therefore came for trade and not for conquest. During his brief stay in Cebu Magellan mentioned many things which sounded new to the King. Then, Magellan asked the King who would succeed him. The King responded that he had no sons but that his eldest daughter is married to his nephew who is the “rajamuda” (crowned prince). This would be his successor. He added that when the fathers and mothers grew old they received no further honor, but their children commanded them. Magellan grabbed this opportunity to explain the Christian law of love and respect for parents and elders even they were old and weak. He also narrated the Bible stories of the Creation, Adam and Eve, life after death and other Christian doctrines. Because he could not leave them behind teachers to instruct them, Magellan offered to baptize them if they wanted and to bring priests the next time when they come to instruct them in greater depth of the Catholic religion.
The Cebuanos did not wait for Magellan’s return before they embraced Christianity. On April 14, 1521, a week after the arrival of Magellan in Cebu, Father de Valderama erected and blessed the Holy Cross in the middle of their settlement. There in that plaza, that same day, the King and the Queen with 800 of their subjects – men women and children were baptized. The King was given the name “Don Carlos” in honor to King Charles V of Spain and the Queen was named “Dona Juana” in honor of the King Charle’s wife. It was in seeing a wooded statue of Our Lady, a very beautiful wooden statue of the Child Jesus and a crucifix that she was overcome by contrition and asked for baptism amidst her tears. After baptism, as a gift to the Queen, Magellan gave her the statue of the Infant Jesus whom the Filipinos loved very much and called Him the “Santo Niño of Cebu”. However, Pigafetta gave a statue of Our Lady to her also. But the Santo Niño being the first to be recovered has become the symbol of the Catholic faith in the Philippines. The original statue is venerated even until today in His Basilica Minore under the guardianship of the Augustinian Fathers. If Mexico has the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Philippines possessed the image of the Santo Niño!
Don Carlos told Magellan that not all chieftains obeyed him, because they said they were as good men as he. So Magellan convoked all the chiefs and told them that unless they would obey Don Carlos as their king, he would have them killed and give all their possessions to the King. On the 26th of April Rajah Zula, one of the chiefs of Mactan send 2 goats as present to Magellan, apologizing that he could not give more since Lapulapu the other chief refused to obey the King of Spain. Rajah Zula nevertheless assured Magellan that with European reinforcements he would be able to subdue his rival. However, instead of sending reinforcements, Magellan without knowing the terrain volunteered to fight Lapulapu.
The next morning, at three o’clock, Magellan with sixty men arrived in Mactan shore. He neither took normal battle precautions in an unknown terrain, nor provided adequate fire support on the shore. Moreover, he did not strike as soon as he arrived but waited for the sunrise and even allowing the enemy to summon their allies. Thus, under the bright morning sun, the fight did not last long. The canon balls did not destroy but flew through the flimsy nipa hut. Because their guns were of no use Magellan ordered his men to burn the houses. This only made the natives more aggressive. Then, came the rain of poisoned arrows from the natives, which proves here more effective than European guns. The Europeans panicked since they are encircled in a shallow sea. Magellan ordered them to retreat. One of the natives attacked him with a bamboo spear but Magellan killed him with his lance. Then Magellan tried to grab his sword, but could only draw it halfway since they wounded him on his arm. Another dashed on Magellan and wounded his left leg with a large cutlass. Finally, falling down they immediately rushed on him with their iron and bamboo spears and their cutlasses. One wonders why so much has been said of the “heroic valor” of Lapulapu, but paradoxically, it was Magellan’s own courage and self-confidence that destroyed him. Moreover, no document mentioned that it was Lapulapu who plunged the weapon and snuffed out Magellan’s life. And even if it had been by his leadership, Lapulapu did not do so in defence of the Philippines, for that nation as yet did not exist! The life of the first man who circumnavigated the globe was thus tragically ended.
After Magellan’s defeat, the Cebuanos lose heart and repudiated their alliance killing the remaining 20 Europeans and burning their ship the Concepcion. Thus, most of them returned to their idols. They burried on the ground both the Cross and Our Lady’s statue. But they keep with them the Santo Niño whom they revered as the “Bathala”, the Supreme God. They invoke Him in time of drought, by giving a ritual bath to the Santo Niño in the seashore. In the time of epidemy, they made a procession around the village with this statue. Not everything therefore is lost in this first effort to Christianize the country. These miracles made them know that this Statue represents the one and true God.
The other two ships did arrive in the Moluccas under the command of the sub-officer, Juan Sebastian del Cano. Some months are spent to repair them, then the Trinidad left in direction of Mexico. But, it was intercepted and so, it was forced to return and to submit to the Portuguese. The flagship however of del Cano, the Victoria succeeded the epic feat of circumnavigating the globe in one journey. It docked in the ports of Seville on September 6, 1522 with only eighteen of the sixty survivors who had escaped the Moluccas from Cebu. These men survived the horrors of this travel of 52 300 kilometers of unknown bodies of water.
Encouraged by the partial success of Magellan’s expedition, Charles V sent another fleet under the leadership of Juan Garcia Jofre de Loaysa on 24th of July 1525 from the port of La Coruna. Loayza died in crossing the Pacific on July 30, 1526. The legendary del Cano took over, only to die a few days latter. Finally, Martin Iniguez de Carquizano bypassed the Philippines and headed to the Moluccas but could not break Portuguese resistance. So he anchored in some point near Tidore Island to await reinforcements.
To ascertain the fate of Loaysa and his crew, a fleet was readied in Mexico under the direction of Alvaro Saavedra de Ceron. Departing on the 31st of October 1527 the fleet sighted the islets of Surigao on the 1st of February 1528. The hostile inhabitants forced the Spaniards to sail on. On their way, they picked-up some stragglers of the Loaysa’s expedition. At Tidore one of the Spice Islands, they stopped for the spices and turned back towards Mexico. But this was a great mistake. In the lower latitudes, contrary winds blew them back and they hit Caroline Islands. There, Saavedra died and Pedro Laso took the command. Unfortunately, he died also a week latter. Thus, the crew went back to Tidore and surrendered to the Portuguese.
The unfortunate ending of these expeditions did not weaken the resolution of Charles V. Having settled the claims of the Moluccas by the Treaty of Zaragoza, Charles V ordered Antonio de Mendoza the viceroy of Mexico to prepare an armada for the East this time to colonize the “Islas del Poniente” (Isles of the West). The commander of the expedition was Ruy Lopez de Villalobos who departed from Mexico on November 1, 1542. He arrived at Baganga Bay in Davao Oriental on February 2, 1543 and named the area “Philippines” in honor to Philip the Prince of Asturias, son and successor of Charles V to the throne of Spain. Latter, this name was extended to the whole country to replace the old name given by Magellan, the Archipelago of Saint Lazarus. The lack of food and the unfriendly welcome made Villalobos’ fleet sail northward. But instead of going to Cebu, a storm brought them to Leyte. Again the islanders have a hostile attitude. So they decided to go to Tidore. They reached the place on the 24th of April 1544 and like the rest they surrendered to the Portuguese. Villalobos died in Amboina in the spring of 1546, victim of deep melancholia. They other members of the crew stayed in the East, while the others returned to Europe on board Portuguese ship. Among those who returned were four Augustinian Fathers: Jeronimo Jeminez, Nicholas de Perea, Sebastian de Trasierra and Alonso de Alvaro. These were the first priests and missionaries who circumnavigated the world.
In the year 1553, Philip II ascended the Spanish throne. As a Catholic King, he occupied himself with the temporal well-being of his subjects, but always in view to favor and to promote their spiritual and supernatural end. In Spain, there was a great deliberation concerning the “Islas del Poniente” as they called our archipelago. The Council for the Indies wanted to abandon the Philippines. But Philip II decided otherwise. He responded with an answer worthy of a Catholic monarch saying ” if the income of those islands were not enough to support one hermit, and if there were one person there to keep the name and the veneration of Jesus Christ alive, I would send missionaries from Spain to spread His gospel. Looking for mines of precious metals is not the only business of kings!” In 1559 therefore, he ordered the viceroy of Mexico Don Luis de Velasco to equip an armada for the spiritual and the material conquest of the Philippines. Now, an experienced mariner presented himself to the scene. He was once a page at the Loaysa’s expedition, but now an Augustinian priest. He is Fr. Andres de Urdaneta who told them that it was easy to sail west to reach the East and to return with the same route. So, because of his experience and confidence he was asked to join the expedition as the chief pilot. At his suggestion, a royal official of unblemished record in Mexico was chosen to command the fleet, Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
The preparations for the said fleet started on 24 September 1559 and, after some delay, the fleet set sail on November 20, 1564. There were four ships in this fleet: San Pedro (the flagship), San Pablo, San Juan de Letran and San Lucas. Neither native Americans nor women were allowed on board. While Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk separated from the Church by his heresy almost a third of Europe, four of his Augustinian confreres were to be the first missionaries of this expedition. These priests were Fathers Andres de Urdaneta (chief pilot of the expedition and Superior of the group), Diego de Herrera, Martin de Rada, Andres de Aguirre and Pedro de Gamboa. Two hours after midnight, the expedition lifted its anchors, unfurled sails and set out on the western route to the east.
The Pacific Ocean was exactly what its name signify, easy to sail. On January 8, 1565, land was sighted and the cannon was fired, but it proved to be just a mirage. Next day, actual land was sighted and was called the Barbados Island for its people were bearded. Two weeks latter, Guam was reached. Legaspi took possession in the King’s name and the crew did a bit of bartering for some of their goods. February 3, they sailed again and ten days latter, they saw the eastern coast of Samar. Proceeding to Bohol, Legazpi made there the famous blood-compact with the chieftain Rajah Sikatuna.
Contrary to what they had expected, the neighboring people were unfriendly. In Cabalian, Limasawa, Camiguin and Butuan, the natives fled as soon as the Spaniards arrived. Further on, they captured a Borneo vessel, but Legazpi ordered the cargo returned to its owners. Then, its Moro pilot explained to them the reason of the natives’ hostility: The Portuguese had poisoned the minds of the Eastern Visayans. Friendly at first and introducing themselves as Spaniards, the Portuguese were welcomed by the natives. But soon, they turned around the population, burning fields and houses and effectively turned the natives against the Spaniards. By now, the lack of food was seriously felt by the crew. Scouting groups had gone out, and two men returned with glowing reports. Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa and Juan de Aguirre said that there was a big port nearby which is called Sugbu.
The Santo Niño again
On the 25th of April 1565, the fleet entered this big port. But because the people refused to receive them peacefully, Legazpi used their cannons and bombarded the town, causing the natives to scamper the hills, leaving their houses in flames. When the Spaniards landed unopposed, they unexpectedly found a treasure and a sign from heaven. It was the soldier Juan de Camus with his friend, the bombardier Pedro de Alorza, discovered an unburned hut. Entering to this house, they found a statue of the Child Jesus with its little loose shirt kept in its cradle, all gilded, and all so well preserved that only the little cross which is generally upon the globe that he holds in his hand was missing. The statue was familiar to them for it was similar to those found in Flanders. Then sailors quickly put a rude cross atop the hut to mark it and showed the officers, Saez and Goiti and Esteban Rodriguez, who were trying to control and assemble the troops.
When this dramatic find was showed to the devout general, he was deeply moved. He took it as the touching sign from heaven to set his conscience to rest, because he had deep devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and had vowed to dedicate the first city and the first monastery to be founded to His Holy Name. Taking the little image in his hands Legazpi reverently kissed its tiny feet, and raising his eyes to heaven, he prayed : “Lord, Thou art powerful to punish the offenses done in this island against Thy majesty, and in order to found in it Thy house and Holy Church where Thy glorious Name be venerated and exalted! I beseech Thee to enlighten and guide me so that we do here may be to Thy glory and honor, and the glorification of Thy Holy Catholic Faith.”
The image was then brought in solemn procession to the temporary church and enthroned on the main altar. Everyone vowed to celebrate the 28th of April every year as a votive feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and they immediately founded the Confraternity of the Holy Name according to the constitutions and statutes of a similar Augustinian confraternity in Mexico City. This image is no doubt, Magellan’s gift to the Queen Juana on her baptism. They then immediately proceed to the establishment of the first Spanish settlement. It was a triangular town. The formal ground breaking and possession was done on the 8th of May 1565 and this part of the city is called La Villa San Miguel because it is the feast of the Apparition of the Archangel. Today, this settlement is probably the San Nicholas district of Cebu City. But the settlement was disturbed on May 23 when Pedro de Arana was murdered by Dagami a chieftain of Mactan. In retaliation, a posse set out and captured about 40 prisoners among them was the niece of the chief Tupas of Cebu. Legazpi sent the girl’s maid to tell her uncle to take the girl and discuss for peace. Tupas did not come, but the girl’s father, Simaquio did with a few slaves to ransom her for he thought that her daughter was enslaved. Legazpi assured the father that he had nothing to worry and had the girl brought out clothed as befitting a princess to the utter amazement of her father.
This won him over. No, he was not going to take back his daughter. Instead, he should tell his brother Tupas to befriend with the Spaniards. Otherwise, he would kill the chief as he had men to do it for him. This incident hardly mentioned by historians, is very important. This action taught the girl’s father a different meaning of life, the Christian way of respecting the life of the innocent. For the first time, through actions and not merely through words, the Cebuanos witnessed a nobler way of acting. As the missionaries would latter explain to them, Christianity offered a better life.
A more decisive event is to happen before the official talks of peace will push through. Now, the Spaniards faithful to their vow, immediately started to build the Church for the Santo Niño. Thus, on the 1st of June Father de Urdaneta had the final satisfaction and consolation of blessing the new church, before he sailed back to Acapulco in Mexico. That day, the image of the Santo Niño was carried in solemn procession from the hut where it was found to the new temporary church, built at a distance from the military quarters. Along the way, they were joined by two visiting chiefs and thirty men. The natives were deeply impressed by the colorful, glorious pageantry, the blaze of candles and the solemn chants. Father de Urdaneta addressed to them a few Malay words in his sermon; and after the Mass Legazpi again made offers and appeals for peace. We must say that the Santo Niño procession was the first significant step towards pacification; He had belonged to the people of Cebu for one generation. They asked Him for rain, for health in time of diseases and offered to Him fruits and flowers. He was their favorite and supreme God. And now they discovered that He was the God of the Spaniards also! Thus, the Santo Niño showed Himself as the Prince of Peace breaking down the walls of hostility, uniting both races as members of God’s family, fellow citizens of the angels and saints.
On June 4, 1565, four messengers arrived and announced that Rajah Tupas would arrive at noon that day. The Rajah finally made a peace treaty with Legazpi. At the end of the discussions, the King Tupas and the other chiefs put their weapons on the ground and knelt before the General. They kissed his hands and promised to be faithful vassals of the King of Spain. After this, Simaquio’s wife and daughters were delivered over to the men who carried them on their shoulders amidst shouting and singing. Finally, the Queen arrived with a retinue of 70 ladies to pay their respects and to all of them Legazpi gave some gifts. After this, King Tupas sent one of his nieces a widow to be instructed in the Catholic doctrine. After the course of instructions, she asked to be baptized together with her three-year old son and her two slaves, a boy of seven and a girl of eight. Father Martin de Rada who knew Bisayan dialect best explained to the royal entourage the significance of the ceremonies. The Superior Father Deigo de Hererra performed the rites and Legazpi acted as godfather of the neophyte who was given the name Isabel in memory of the his wife. As the regenerating waters flowed the cannons saluted the new Christian. But, one of the sailors, Maestre Andrea, a Greek by origin found the his heart smitten by the charms of Isabel and confided to the governor and the friars his intention of marrying her. The Governor put on a fine weeding which was celebrated with all solemnity. This was the first Christian marriage celebrated in these isles.
However, the most sensational conversion was that of the King Tupas and his son the heir, because for a long time they refused to abandon the religion of their ancestors. But, God’s grace conquered them at last. They were baptized on the third Sunday of Lent in the year 1568 amidst the outmost jubilation. Visitors coming from as far as Manila were present. The Governor became the godfather of King Tupas who was named Felipe in honor of Philip II, King of Spain and his son was also called Carlos like the king of Spain’s son. This entailed the renunciation of polygamy and the restitution of ill-gotten goods. Moreover, this broke the final barrier so that the islanders, after the example of their chief, voluntarily presented themselves in mass to be instructed and to be baptized.
Furthermore, when the Spaniards latter built the fortresses of this triangular settlement, and were also digging wells to insure constant water supply, they also found statue of Our Lady that Pigafetta had given to the Queen and the Cross of Magellan. This statue is a sign of Our Lady’s protection and is venerated until today as the “Nuestra Senhora de la Cotta” (Our Lady of the Port). It was before venerated in the chapel of the Baptistery of the old cathedral of Cebu. The holy cross can be found today enshrined in an little chapel outside the Basilica of Santo Niño.
Meanwhile, one of the ships that had come to Cebu finally arrived in the Port of Acapulo in Mexico piloted by Father de Urdaneta. By this route, the farthest colony of Spain was linked to the home government. However, the peaceful alliance in Cebu did not solve the problem of food shortage. Legazpi therefore sent his trusted officers to scout the neighboring islands. Martin de Goyti and Mateo de Saz made trips to Negros and Leyte islands. But, they only obtained little to satisfy their needs. So, in 1570 de Goyti went north to Manila and conquered it after a brief skirmish. For the mean time, Legazpi transferred his government to Panay Island.
This is how they occupied Manila. Martin de Goyti and the grandson of Legazpi Juan de Salcedo went ahead. They lost no time in establishing friendly relations with the Rajah Matanda and Rajah Soliman, lords of Manila. It was at that time was occupied by these migrant Malay Muslims from Borneo. However, the good will did not last long. Rajah Soliman, who loved his independence, plotted a surprise attack on the Spanish squadron. But, de Goyti sensed it and successfully assaulted the entrenchment capturing Soliman’s entire artillery. Immediately after, he set sail to Panay where Legazpi now an “Adelantado” awaited him. Around May 15, 1571, Legazpi arrived in Manila. He was worried because the Manilenos might be unfriendly due to de Goyti’s treatment the year before. The next four days, talks and negotiations were made with two friendly Rajahs, Matanda and Lakandula. These agreed to live peacefully with the Spaniards and beg pardon for Soliman who was disloyal to his plighted word. Latter, being assured that there would be no reprisals, Rajah Soliman also came and offered hesitantly his vassalage to the King of Spain. In view of all this, on May 18, 1571, the “Adelantado” debarked all his forces to take possession of the city in the name of the Crown of Castille. Legaspi however did not live long. While his Salcedo his grandson explored the northern parts of Luzon, the “Adelantado” died in Manila on August 20, 1572 and was buried in the Church of the Augustinians inside the walled city of Manila.
As to the conquest of Mindanao, it was rather nominal than effective. All that the Spaniards are able to do was to build strategic garrisons against the Moro pirates. They generally won signal victories over the Moslems sufficient forces however were lacking to subdue them completely. Only towards the middle of the nineteenth century were they were able to put an end of Moro piracy thanks to the steam boats which where speedier than the Moro vintas.
The other parts of the country were conquered not so much by force, but by the zeal of the first missionaries. The Spaniards remained in their local settlements while the missionaries were the one who went and searched the people and stayed with them even outside these founded settlements. For the sake of truth, we should say that the conquest and the continuance of the Philippines under Spain were rather the work of the missionaries rather than the “conquistadores”.
The ceiling of the shrine of Magellan’s Cross, in Cebu, Philippines.
The Cross encases the original Cross planted on this very site on April 21, 1521.
The scene on the left, recalls the gift of the Santo Nino, that on the right the planting of the Cross.
Republished from: sspxasia.com