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Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa and the Founding of Tigbauan, Iloilo

A Spanish Conquistador

A Generic Spanish Conquistador

Tigbauan, Iloilo record and heritage. Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa was a important figure in Tigbauan’s background, a Spanish “conquistador” who was awarded massive land holdings referred to as encomiendas, for his products and services to the Spanish governors of the Philippines. A person of these included Tigbauan

De Figueroa was born of Portuguese moms and dads in North Africa.  Eventually he produced his way to the Spanish colony of Mexico.  He came to the Philippines as a penniless youthful adventurer as element of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s 1565 expedition to plant Spanish colonies in the Philippines.  Legazpi’s fleet of four ships contained three hundred and sixty 5 conquistadores — sailors, soldiers, officials and Augustinian clergymen.

After a cease in Guam, the fleet landed in Cebu on February 15, 1565 and established a colony there.  Although Cebu appeared a good choice, that rocky island was not perfectly-tailored for agriculture.  Therefore, in 1567, Legazpi relocated to Pan-ay in the existing-day province of Capiz, hoping that food supplies for his significant colony would be much more plentiful and the inhabitants more pleasant. Therefore, de Figueroa had his 1st glimpse of the island of Panay, a put where he would afterwards enjoy a crucial purpose.

As additional settlers and sources arrived from Spain and Mexico to assist his expanding colony, Legazpi came to think that Manila may be a much better capitol.  Manila had proven trade with China and China was a priority for the Spanish.  The evangelization of the Chinese was a  central spiritual aim, and trade with China highly profitable.  For the Spanish, colonization of the Philippines was mainly to create a staging region for Spain’s business and missionary targets in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Legazpi sent a pressure less than the command of Martin de Goiti to reconnoiter Manila, then mostly under Muslim rule.  In April 1571 Legazpi arrived in Manila and compelled Muslim chief Suleiman, an ally or vassal of the Sultan of Brunei,  to make it possible for the Spanish to establish a colony.  On June 24, 1571 Legazpi formally started the Metropolis of Manila.

Figueroa rose in the ranks, prospered as he effectively executed strategies for the Spanish Governor.  For generations the Moros executed slaving raids in the additional or significantly less defenseless Visayas. There was a all set market place for the slaves in the Malaccan sultanates to the south.  The Spanish felt that it was their obligation to safeguard their new subjects.  Perhaps extra importantly, the Christian Spaniards and the Moors experienced long been bitter enemies.  The Spanish released recurring belligerent campaigns in opposition to the Muslim sultanates, in the Philippines and in what is now Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Islam was firmly entrenched in these parts.  Spanish missionary initiatives there have been typically unsuccessful, with the exception of the Philippines.  Conflict proceeds in the southern Philippines to this day

In June of 1578, Philippine Governor Sande attacked Brunei.  Sande dispatched captain Figueroa, to Jolo.  He forced the Sulu Sultan-de-facto, Mohammed ul-Halim Pangiran Buddiman to take that he was a matter of the Spanish King and to fork out Sulu Sea pearls as standard tribute. De Figueroa also led a pressure to Magindanau, but the Magindanau datus retreated to the inside and Figueroa returned to Brunei.  In recognition of Figueroa’s expert services, he was rewarded with two intensive encomiendas which include one on the island of Panay which had 4,800 inhabitants.   I have not located a geographical delineation of the encomienda, but we know it bundled Tigbauan.

Tigbauan grew to become a Augustinian visita of Oton on 3 March 1575. Even though it had grow to be an unbiased parish in 1578, no lasting priest was assigned to Tigbauan right up until 1580, when Fr. Luis de Montoya was assigned as prior. Originally, selected Our Woman of Grace it was afterwards renamed Juan de Sahagun, after an Augustinian saint. In 1593, the parish was handed about to the secular clergy due to the fact the friar, Fr. Garcia de Quiroga, was appointed secretary of the province and experienced to leave the Visayas.

By this time, Figueroa was a wealthy male.  He supported the Jesuits in Manila, giving cash to create a new stone church and a Jesuit residence.  When Figueroa asked for Jesuit missionaries for his Panay encomienda, vice provincial Antonio Sedeno dispatched Pedro Chirino (1558-1635) and Brother Francisco Martin (1558-1620) who arrived in Panay in February 1593.

It is something of a puzzle that the Jesuits had been assigned to Augustinian parishes and that they arrived in Tigbauan the identical yr Augustinian Father Quiroga still left.  In any situation, Figueroa was a powerful gentleman in Manila and if he desired Jesuits to provide in his encomiendas, it is not shocking that he acquired his way.  While distinguished historian René Javellana of the Ateneo de Manila College writes that there is no proof that the Jesuits had been in current-working day Tigbauan, it nevertheless continues to be an open problem.  The point that the departure of Father Quiroga coincided with the arrival of the Jesuits suggests that it is feasible the Jesuits may perhaps have quickly loaded a missionary void in Tigbauan involving 1593 and their departure for Leyte in 1595.  See even more discussion of the Jesuits in Tigbauan click in this article.

Figueroa’s Panay encomienda was identified as Tigbauan (“field of reeds”) from its principal settlement, fourteen miles west of the Spanish city of Arevalo. The Visayans of Tigbauan were being explained as a settled, peace-loving, industrious folk. The men ended up farmers, fishermen, and hunters the gals wove white and colored cottons termed lompotes whose fineness and durability designed a need for them at the Acapulco (Mexico) truthful. Chirino speaks of an encomendero, potentially Figueroa himself, who cleared 150,000 pesos in a couple of yrs by delivery his tribute lampotes on the Manila galleon.

Brothers Chirino and Martin established a school for Visayan boys at Tigbauan in which they taught not only the catechism but examining, producing, Spanish, and liturgical audio. The Spaniards of Arevalo heard of the university and desired Chirino to train their boys too. He replied that he could not depart Tigbauan to open up one more college in Arevalo. but he would be happy to have the boys come to continue to be with him in Tigbauan and go to faculty there. The Arevalo dad and mom appreciated his proposal, and Chirino at after set up (1593-1594) a dormitory and college household for the Spanish boys close to his rectory the initially Jesuit boarding school to be established in the Philippines.

Philippine Governor Dasmariñas was occupied with strategies in the Moluccas.  In 1591, he proposed an amazing offer to Figueroa.  Figueroa would manage, finance and guide a campaign to conquer Mindanao.  If he was effective, Figueroa would receive a life span appointment by the Crown as governor of the places conquered.  He would be offered huge landholding there and would have the electricity to reward his lieutenants with land grants.  The offer was forwarded to the Crown for approval.  Figueroa acquired phrase that the Crown experienced permitted the offer in 1595.  At that time, Figueroa was in residence at Arevalo, Iloilo, perhaps attending to his Tigbauan encomienda.  Chirino visited him there to split the news that the Jesuit mission in Tigbauan would have to be suspended.  The Jesuits had been assigned responsibility for Leyte and Chirino was necessary there.

Figueroa’s Mindanao campaign acquired underway in April of 1596.  There have been fifty sailing vessels, 214 Spanish and 1,500 Filipino troops.  Figueroa made the decision to just take on Datu Sirongan, the most potent of the Maguindanao leaders.  The impulsive Figueroa went ashore as element of a tiny reconnaissance mission at Buayan.  He was ambushed and mortally wounded by two of Sirongan’s warriors.  Figueroa’s embalmed corpse was taken to Manila and buried in the Jesuit Church he served build.  His resting place carried the inscription, “He died by the sword, but was not vanquished by the enemy for the exact same blade that took away his mortal existence gave him and everlasting.”

With Figueroa’s demise, the Mindanao marketing campaign and Figueroa’s goals of prosperity and ability ended.

(Tailored from and with thanks to: The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768, H. de la Costa, S.J., Harvard University Push, 1961)  A excellent go through. For more about this Jesuit scholar use this connection.