The construction of Fort San Pedro

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Here is the narration of the construction of the country’s first and smallest fort, it is contained in the book of Fr. Felipe Redondo written in 1887 and translated into English by Azucena Pace in 2014:

“After the capture of Cebu, the General thought that it was necessary first of all to erect a fort as the best defense; he thus conferred with his captains, officials of His Majesty and principal persons in his camp. Their opinion regarding the site on which to build the fort was taken into account in the work of survey and demarcation that followed. That was Tuesday, May 8, the triangular lines were placed to form the wall. To start the excavation, it was the General himself who dug the first angle, invoking the Most Holy Name of Jesus; the Maestro de Campo Mateo del Sauz dug the second, while the third was done by the two captains, Martin de Goiti and Juan de la Isla. The site for the Spanish settlement was delineated as well, and that for the church where the image of the Santo Niño was to be installed. It had been found on April 28, during the sacking of the town in a house in Cebu by a crew member of the Capitana, Juan de Camuz; he had been accompanied by an artillery man from the same nao (ship) named Pedro de Alorca. The fortunate discovery of such a sacred treasure, everyone hoped, would be celebrated every year on the day the Divine Child was found, i.e. on the 28th of April 1565. It was decreed that the new settlement would be called “Villa de San Miguel” since the founding took place on May 8, the date on which the Church celebrates the apparition of San Miguel in Mount Cargano, and also because the General was known by the name.”

The book  of Redondo was upon the orders of Fr. Benito Romero de Madridejos, bishop of the Diocese of Cebu. His assignment, among others, is to collect and arrange the pastoral letters and other decrees that have circulated in the diocese and to get them printed in order to serve its clergy.

Redondo wrote in the preface of the book that his work induced him to read books dealing with the history of the island, by reading them, he was inspired to take notes to determine the origin and chronological order of the foundation of the parishes.

Azucena Pace of Barili, Cebu, used to work with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain, where she worked and lived for 28 years. Called “Baby” by her friends, she is one of the founders and incorporators of the Barili Historical Society Inc. and is the chairwoman of the Santa Ana Shrine Heritage Committee. She also owns the Barili Folk and Heritage Museum. In 2011, she received the Cebuana Trailblazer Award from Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.


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