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Dividing the Philippines

Dividing the Philippines

The Philippines has been greatly influenced  by Christianity. The first religious groups that arrived to evangelize the Philippines were the following:

1.     the Augustinians in 1565
2.     the Franciscans in 1578
3.     the Jesuits in 1581
4.     the Dominicans in 1587
5.     The Augustinian Recollects in 1606

Being the first in the country, the Augustinians, who arrived with with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, had the entire archipelago as their mission territory. But after the arrival of the other missionaries, the islands were divided among the five orders in 1595.

The Augustinians had the prime choice and were given charge of the Tagalog provinces, Pampanga, Ilocos and Cebu and Panay.

The Franciscans took Camarines and the rest of Bicolandia, while the Dominicansworked in Cagayan, Pangasinan, parts of Bataan, Isabela, Babuyanes and Batanes.

The Jesuits in Samar and Leyte and the Recollects who were last got the outlying conquered territories of Zambales, Palawan, Calamianes, and parts of Mindanao.

This division of mission territory remained from until the end of the Spanish period in 1898, except for the Jesuits who were expelled in the 18th century. 

The Philippines is under the Spanish Empire.
Generally, Luzon was divided into seven provinces for administrative purposes. Cagayan, Pangasinan, and parts of Bataan went to the Dominicans, while Laguna and Camarines went to the Franciscans. Parts of what are now Rizal, Cavite and Laguna went to the Jesuits. Finally, the Augustinians had Ilocos, Pampanga and Taal-Balayan.

The Visayan islands were first divided between the Augustinians and the Jesuits, and later the Recollects after their arrival. Mindanao went to the Jesuits, and again the Recollects later on.

The City of Manila and the Port of Cavite were considered free zones, so the religious orders each maintained a house and a church in these areas. Also, the Augustinians, Jesuits, and Recollects had houses and churches in Cebu City and its immediate surrounding area.

With these specific mission territories, each order was able to concentrate on learning not more than four native languages. In learning the language, the missionaries were not only able to preach the Gospel in the native tongue, but also write grammar books and dictionaries that preserved these native languages.   

For more details, visit my other blog A PRIEST'S STUFF

De la Costa, Horacio. 1967. The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768.
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Phelan, John Leddy. 1959. The Hispanization of the Philippines

[first photo]The statues at the rear of the old San Ignacio Church ruins in Intramuros represent the first five religious orders to arrive in the Philippines. 
[below] The Philippines Map

This post first appeared on Priest Stuff, please read the originial post: here

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Dividing the Philippines


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