The founding of Manila City
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

This was how Fr. Felipe Redondo in his 1886 book narrated the events of the transfer of seat of government of Spain headed by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi from Cebu, Panay, then Manila:

“Adelantado Legaspi returned to Panay at the end of May, and decided to conquer Luzon, he took with him the Father Provincial, Fr. Diego de Herrera. From there, he left with all his men on April 15. Upon arriving in the island of Luzon, he made a sow of his soldiers who were two hundred eight in number, among them the gallant men of his group, those of the Maestro de Campo, and those of Captains Andres de Ibarra, Luis de Haya and Juan de Salcedo. They were scattered I the new galley ship with the Adelantado, in the patache “San Lucas” and other frigates, junks and boats, totaling twenty six sailing vessels. They arrived in Manila in the month of May, and the Adelantado, who was received in peace, ordered the completion of a fort, which they had begun at a point in the river, so that His Majesty’s artillery could be placed there for the defense of the port and the town. He also ordered a house to be built with the fort premises where the Adelantado would reside; another big house as residence of the Religious, and a church in which to preach the holy Gospel and administer the Sacraments. Moreover, one hundred fifty houses, of moderate sizes, were to be built to accommodate the rest of the Spaniards in order to establish the capital city of the islands, seat and court of the spiritual and temporary government. All there were readily promised by the natives, but they did not comply all of them. The Spaniards were, thus, forced to finish the fortification themselves. On the feast of the Nativity of San Juan de Bautista on June 4, 1571, the founding of the city of Manila was begun, as the metropolitan capital of all these Islands and all others that in the future would pledge allegiance to the Royal Crown of our Catholic Monarch, (Don Felipe II at that time); and Pope Pius V, who was governing the universal Church in his fifth year of pontificate. After the Adelantado had indicated where he wanted the district of the city to be situated, he appointed two ordinary Alcaldes, twelve Regidores; one senior Alguacil and one senior Esbribano of the Cabildo and two others; he received the usual oaths of allegiance in the proper exercise of their duties. During this time, the old Raja fell sick. He was the best-intentioned of all the principal men that until then the Spaniards had met because he was very sincere and friendly to the Christians. God compensated him by opening his eyes so that he might get to know the sacred Law. Sensing that death was near, he asked to be given the baptismal waters. Fearing that he might not live, he was baptized by Licenciado Juan de Vivero, who later became Archdeacon of Manila, and the Raja was given the name of Felipe. Within a very short time, the old Raja’s soul joined his Creator showing remarkable signs of predestination, with the Governor and the Religious assisting him at this death bed.”

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