Spanish East Indies
Overview
 
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 territories in Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific or Asia Pacific is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean...

 which lasted for three centuries (1565 to 1898). With the seat of government in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 and the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

, the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end...

, and for a period of time, parts of Formosa
Spanish Formosa
Spanish Formosa was a Spanish colony established in the north of Taiwan from 1626 to 1642...

 (Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

), Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

, and parts of the Moluccas. From 1565 to 1821 these territories were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain based in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, and after Mexican independence they were ruled directly from Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

.
Encyclopedia
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 territories in Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific or Asia Pacific is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean...

 which lasted for three centuries (1565 to 1898). With the seat of government in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 and the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

, the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end...

, and for a period of time, parts of Formosa
Spanish Formosa
Spanish Formosa was a Spanish colony established in the north of Taiwan from 1626 to 1642...

 (Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

), Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

, and parts of the Moluccas. From 1565 to 1821 these territories were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain based in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, and after Mexican independence they were ruled directly from Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. Following the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 in 1898, most of the islands were occupied by the United States while the remaining territories were sold to Germany during the German-Spanish Treaty
German-Spanish Treaty (1899)
The German–Spanish Treaty of 1899 was a treaty between the German Empire and Kingdom of Spain, with the latter selling the remainder of its Pacific Ocean islands to Germany for 25 million pesetas or respectively 17 million Marks.-History:...

 of 1899. The King of Spain traditionally styled himself "King of the East and West Indies" (Rey de las Indias orientales y occidentales).

History

Exploration and Settlement (1521–1643)

Spanish contact began on March 6, 1521, when the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 explorer Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 reached the Mariana Islands. He named Guam "Isla de Ladrones" (Island of Thieves) because some of his supplies in the galleon Trinidad were stolen. Magellan's crew eventually left the island and reached the island of Homonhon in the Philippines on March 16, with only 150 crewmen. There, they met the indigenous peoples and were able to communicate with them because the Malayan interpreter, Enrique of Malacca, could understand the natives' language.
The territories in Asia claimed by the Spanish crown was governed by the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. Seeking to develop trade between the East Indies
East Indies
East Indies is a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as Indian subcontinent or South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and the islands of Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines...

 and the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 across the Pacific Ocean, Antonio de Mendoza
Antonio de Mendoza
Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, Marquis of Mondéjar, Count of Tendilla , was the first viceroy of New Spain, serving from April 17, 1535 to November 25, 1550, and the second viceroy of Peru, from September 23, 1551 to July 21, 1552...

 encouraged the exploration of Spain's new territories, as he commissioned the expedition of Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

 to the Philippines in 1542-1543. Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

 set out from Mexico, and established the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines in 1565, which became the town of San Miguel. Andrés de Urdaneta
Andrés de Urdaneta
Friar Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A., was a circumnavigator, explorer and Augustinian friar. As a navigator he achieved in 1536 the "second" world circumnavigation after first one led by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano in 1522...

 discovered an efficient sailing route from the Philippines returning to Mexico. In 1570, the native city of Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 was conquered and trade links soon began in the Manila-Acapulco Galleons
Manila Galleon
The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

.

The Manila-Acapulco galleons shipped products gathered from both Asia-Pacific and the Americas, such as silk, spice, silver, gold and other Asian-Pacific islander products to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Products brought from Asia-Pacific were sent to Veracruz
Veracruz
Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave , is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is...

 and shipped to Spain and, via trading, to the rest of Europe. While Spanish-Mexican colonist brought with them Hispanic and indigenous Mexican customs, religion, languages, foods and cultural traditions to the Philippines, Guam and the Mariana Islands.

In 1606, the Spaniards established some form of trade links with the Maluku Islands
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

 and remained until 1663. Contacts with Japan
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 were also established and Sebastián Vizcaíno
Sebastián Vizcaíno
Sebastián Vizcaíno was a Spanish soldier, entrepreneur, explorer, and diplomat whose varied roles took him to New Spain, the Philippines, the Baja California peninsula, the California coast and Japan.-Early career:...

 was sent as ambassador in 1611, until Japan closed its trading post in 1630. On the north eastern coastal region of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, the Spaniards built Fort Santo Domingo
Fort Santo Domingo
Fuerte Santo Domingo or Fort San Domingo was originally a wooden fort built by the Spanish in 1629 at Tamsui on the northwestern coast of Taiwan.-History:...

 near Keelung
Keelung
Keelung City is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders New Taipei and forms the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area, along with the Taipei and New Taipei. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan's second largest seaport...

 in 1626 and a mission in Tamsui in 1628, which they occupied until 1642. Several Pacific islands were visited by Spanish ships in the 16th century, including New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 (Yñigo Ortiz de Retez
Yñigo Ortiz de Retez
Yñigo Ortiz de Retez was a 16th-century Spanish maritime explorer, who navigated the northern coastline of the Pacific - Melanesian island of New Guinea, and is credited with bestowing the island's name .-Spanish discovery:...

 in 1545), the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 (Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa was a Spanish explorer, author, historian, astronomer, and scientist. His birthplace is not certain and may have been Pontevedra, in Galicia, where his paternal family originated or Alcalá de Henares in Castile, where he later is known to have studied...

 in 1568) and the Marquesas Islands
Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands enana and Te Fenua `Enata , both meaning "The Land of Men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9° 00S, 139° 30W...

 (Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira
Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira
Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira was a Spanish navigator. Born in Congosto, in León, he was the nephew of Lope García de Castro, viceroy of Peru...

 in 1595), but they made no effort to trade with or colonize them.

In 1668, Diego Luis de San Vitores
Diego Luis de San Vitores
Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores was a Spanish Jesuit missionary who founded the first Catholic church on the island of Guam. He is responsible for establishing the Spanish presence in the Mariana Islands.-Early life:...

 established the first mission in Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

.

In 1762 British troops briefly captured the city of Manila
Battle of Manila (1762)
The Battle of Manila was fought during the Seven Years' War , from September 24, 1762 to October 6, 1762, between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a Spanish colony at that time.-Prelude:British troops stationed in India were...

 during the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. However, they were unable to establish control over areas outside Manila. Through the efforts of the Spanish lieutenant governor, Simón de Anda y Salazar
Simón de Anda y Salazar
Simón de Anda y Salazar was a Spanish Basque governor of the Philippines from July, 1770 to October 30, 1776.-Oidor at the Royal Audience of Manila and Lieutenant Governor:...

, the remainder of the islands remained loyal to Spain. The British promised support for an uprising led by Diego Silang
Diego Silang
Diego Silang y Andaya was a revolutionary leader who conspired with British forces to overthrow Spanish rule in the northern Philippines and establish an independent Ilocano nation...

 and his wife Gabriela
Gabriela Silang
María Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang was the wife of the Ilocano insurgent leader, Diego Silang. Following Diego's assassination in 1763, she led the group for four months before she was captured and executed....

 but the British force never materialized. Under the peace settlement Manila was exchanged, along with British-occupied Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, for Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

. It was handed back to Spanish authorities in April 1764.

Colonial government

The Seven Years' War prompted Charles III
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

 to initiate extensive governmental reforms
Bourbon Reforms
The Bourbon Reforms were a set of economic and political legislation introduced by the Spanish Crown under various kings of the House of Bourbon throughout the 18th century. The reforms were intended to stimulate manufacturing and technology in order to modernize Spain...

 throughout the overseas possessions. An Intendencia
Intendant
The title of intendant has been used in several countries through history. Traditionally, it refers to the holder of a public administrative office...

 was established in Manila in 1784 to handle the government finances and to promote the economy. (The plan to introduce more Intendencias throughout the Philippines did not materialize.) In a similar vein, to promote innovation and education among the residents of the islands, Governor-General José Basco y Vargas
José Basco y Vargas
José Basco y Vargas, 1st Count of the Conquest of Batanes Islands was a naval officer who served as the 53rd governor of the Philippines under Spanish colonial rule, from 1778 to 1787...

 established the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country
Sociedad Económica de los Amigos del País
The Sociedades Económicas de Amigos del País were private associations established in various cities throughout Enlightenment Spain, and to a lesser degree in some of her colonies .-History:The Sociedades Económicas were founded as part of a movement to...

.

For over 256 years, the Spanish East Indies were governed by a governor-captain general, and an audiencia. The all economic matters of the Philippines were managed by the Viceroyalty of New Spain, located in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Because the eastward route was more widely used for military purposes, in addition to commerce that included the Manila-Acapulco galleon
Manila Galleon
The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

 trade, most government correspondence went through Mexico, rather than directly to Spain (with the exception of a short period at the end of the 18th century).

In 1821 the New Spanish Viceroyalty collapsed following the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

, which resulted in the First Mexican Empire
First Mexican Empire
The Mexican Empire was the official name of independent Mexico under a monarchical regime from 1821 to 1823. The territory of the Mexican Empire included the continental intendencies and provinces of New Spain proper...

. All control of the Spanish East Indies government was then transferred to Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain, until the United States annexed most Spanish territories in the Asia-Pacific region after the Spanish American War of 1898.

The Audiencia and Captaincy General

In 1574 the Captaincy General of the Philippines
Captaincy General of the Philippines
The Captaincy General of the Philippines was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire. The Captaincy General encompassed the modern country of the Philippines and associated Spanish Pacific possessions...

 was created as a dependency of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Real Audiencia of Manila was created on 5 May 1583 and established in 1584 as the highest tribunal of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 in the East Indies, that had the Governor-General of the Philippines as its ex officio highest judge. Both institutions were created by Royal Decree from King Felipe II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....



Law XI (Audiencia y Chancillería Real de Manila en las Filipinas) of Title XV (De las Audiencias y Chancillerias Reales de las Indias) of Book II of the Recopilación de Leyes de las Indias
Laws of the Indies
The Laws of the Indies are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for its American and Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social, political and economic life in these areas...

of 1680—which compiles the original decree and the one of May 25, 1596—describes the limits and functions of the Audiencia and its President.

"In the city of Manila on the Island of Luzon, Head of the Philippines, shall reside another Royal Audiencia and Chancellery of ours, with a president, who shall be governor and captain general; four judges of civil cases
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 [oidores], who will also be judges of criminal cases
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

 [alcaldes del crimen]; a crown attorney [fiscal]; a bailiff [alguacil mayor]; a lieutenant of the Gran Chancellor; and the other necessary ministers and officials; and which shall have for district said Island of Luzon, and the rest of the Philippines, the Archipelago of China
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and its Mainland
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, discovered and to be discovered. And we order that the governor and captain general of said Islands and Provinces, and president of their Royal Audiencia, have exclusively the superior government of the entire district of said Audiencia in war and peace, and shall make provisions and favors in our Royal Name, which in conformity to the laws of this Compilation and the rest of the Kingdoms of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 and the instructions and powers that We shall grant, he should and can do; and in gubernatorial matters and cases that shall arise, that are of importance, said president-governor should consult on them with the judges of said Audiencia, so that they give their consultive opinions, and having heard them, he should provide the most convenient to the service of God and ours and the peace and tranquility of said Province and Republic".

Territories

The Spanish East Indies came to be defined as:
  • Las Islas Filipinas (today the Republic of the Philippines): Manila, Luzon, the Visayas, Palawan, Balambangan Island, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga, Basilan, Jolo, Palmas Islands, including isolated outposts in Keelung
    Keelung
    Keelung City is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders New Taipei and forms the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area, along with the Taipei and New Taipei. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan's second largest seaport...

    , Taiwan, and in the islands of Gilolo, Ternate
    Ternate
    Ternate is an island in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia. It is located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera, the center of the powerful former Sultanate of Ternate....

    , and Tidore
    Tidore
    Tidore is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, west of the larger island of Halmahera. In the pre-colonial era, the kingdom of Tidore was a major regional political and economic power, and a fierce rival of nearby Ternate, just to the north.-Geography:Tidor...

     in the Maluku Islands and Manado
    Manado
    Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. Manado is located at the Bay of Manado, and is surrounded by a mountainous area. The city has about 405,715 inhabitants, making it the second-largest city in Sulawesi after Makassar...

     in Northern part of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes).
  • Islas Carolinas
    Caroline Islands
    The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end...

     (the Federated States of Micronesia
    Federated States of Micronesia
    The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

    )
  • Islas Marianas
    Mariana Islands
    The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

     (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    Northern Mariana Islands
    The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines...

     and the United States Territory of Guam
    Guam
    Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

    )
  • Islas Palau
    Palau
    Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

     (Republic of Palau)


The Spanish used several names that are not currently used. Gran Moluccas (Great Molluccas) for the island of Mindanao and Nueva Castilla (New Castile) for Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

.

Because Spanish interest in the region was primarily focused on its use as a base for trade with East Asia, direct Spanish control over the area expanded slowly. The Batanes Islands
Batanes
The Province of Batanes , also called the Batanes Islands, is a Philippine province comprising ten islands that are located in the Luzon Strait between the islands of Luzon and Taiwan...

 were conquered in the 18th century. The highlands of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

 remained outside of Spanish control until the early 19th century, and the southernmost tip of Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

, not until the late 1890s. The rest of Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

 (Caesarea Karoli)—aside from outposts in Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga
Zamboanga City
The City of Zamboanga : is a highly urbanized, independent and a chartered city located in Mindanao, Philippines....

, Cotabato
Cotabato City
The City of Cotabato is one of the cities of the Philippines located in Mindanao. Cotabato City is an exclave of the SOCCSKSARGEN region found within the boundaries of Maguindanao province, but is independent of that province...

, and the islands of Basilan
Basilan
The Province of Basilan is an island province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula...

 and Jolo
Jolo
Jolo may refer to:* Jolo Island* Jolo, Sulu* Jolo, West Virginia* Jolo is also the nickname of Swedish author Jan Olof Olsson....

, the rest was nominally under Spanish control, recognizing Spanish rule, but left to administer their own affairs, as in the cases of the Sulu
Sulu Sultanate
The Sultanate of Sulu Dar al-IslamSometimes known as the Royal Sultanate of Sulu or Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam. was an Islamic Tausūgstate that ruled over many of the islands of the Sulu Sea, in the southern Philippines and several places in northern Borneo. The sultanate was founded in 1457...

, and the Maguindanao sultanates, as well as a number of other Lumad
Lumad
The Lumad is a term being used to denote a group of indigenous peoples of the southern Philippines. It is a Cebuano term meaning "native" or "indigenous"...

 tribes not affiliated with either. Similarly, Palau and the vast majority of the Caroline Islands were not governed by Spanish missions until the early 19th century.

Hispanic

Spain's influence on its former colonies in Asia-Pacific is significant and to this day, the majority of the people of the Philippines, Guam and the Mariana Islands belong to the Roman Catholic faith
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Many populations in these countries were given Spanish names and surnames. Also, because of the introduction of new tools, products, crops and technology by Spaniards and Mexicans in the three centuries of colonial rule, many Spanish loanwords entered the native languages of these countries. Their national cuisines also have Mexican and Spanish influences. There are alsoa small minority of descendants of Latin American and Spanish settlers, known as mestizos
Filipino mestizo
Filipino mestizo is a term used in the Philippines to describe people of mixed Filipino and foreign ancestry. The word mestizo is of Spanish origin, and was originally used in the Americas to only describe people of mixed European and Native American ancestry.- History :Spanish periodThe Spanish...

.

Filipino

A sizeable proportion of the current population of the Northern Marianas Islands (45-55%) and Guam (30-45%), as well as that of Palau (15-25%) is of Filipino descent. Some of the local peoples in the previously stated territories also use Filipino names and surnames (one example is the surname Pangelinan, which comes from the Filipino surname Pangilinan). The current Chamorro population is believed to be partly of Filipino descent, both through historic links, specially during Spanish rule, and in the present through transmigration.

External links

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