THE SPANISH OFFICIAL HISTORY
Translated by Jose de Olivares.* Chapter XXV.
WATER BUFFALOES. OR "CARABOAS,a OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
This animal is the universal beast of burden throughout the Philippine Islands. In its wild state and in its native jungles it is fierce and vindictive, and more than a match for the tiger; but when domesticated it becomes as docile as the ox. It is addicted to wallowing in the mud and marshy places, and it is said that if not permitted to do so several times each day, blood will ooze from the pores of the skin.
probable that the Chinese have denominated them as Islands of the Luzones, or of Luzon, applying to all of them the name of the one of most importance; because, according to Pauthier, under that name the Magellan Archipelago appears in the Official Register of the Chinese Empire, and it seems to be also confirmed in our ancient chronological documents.
Nor were they called Manilas, notwithstanding Argensolaa s affirmations, nor Celebes, as maintained by Father Grijalva. The first name that they obtained as a geographical group of islands was given to them by Magellan, naming them Archipelago of St. Lazaro, according to the pilots Albo and Pigafetta, who accompanied him in his expeditions. The name Filipina (Phillipine), in honor of Phillip II., was given to the Island of Samar by Villalobos. This name was subsequently extended to the rest of the islands of the archipelago, and it is the one that has predominated. They
a large peninsula or continent, which, starting at the north of Japan, ended at the Islands of Borneo and Java.
In the year 1517, the distinguished Portuguese navigator, Her-nardo de Magellan, disappointed in his expectations from the king of Portugal, decided to leave his country and offer his services to other rulers, who could appreciate the enterprising schemes for exploration that he had in view. These embraced the discovery of new islands in the Southern Ocean, and an effort to reach the Moluccas by sailing west. Having decided on his plans, he set out for Spain, accompanied by his inseparable friend, the distinguished cosmographer, Ruy Falero, and thus arrived in Valadolid the same year, 1517.
* This history of the discovery and occupation of the Philippine Islands by the Spaniards was copied from the official records at Manila, by Mr. Olivares, and translated by him for this work It was never previously published and contains matter of great historical value and absorbing interest. The original style of composition and orthography have been generally observed.a Editor.
Supposed Origin of the Islands.
Until the century of conquests and heroic expeditions of Spain, namely, the 16th century, the existence of this archipelago and other Australian lands was almost unknown to Europe. Undoubtedly the countries of East Asia had a knowledge of these islands, long before the arrival of the Castilians, but it is not possible to state exactly when, nor what kind of relations they had; and it is yet more difficult to say what they were named by the Chinese, Malays and Japanese navigators. This is a point which history will probably never make clear.
Regarding the names, not a few believe that Ptolemy included them in his tables under the denomination of Maniola Islands,or perhaps BarusaIslands; but this opinion has no foundation, as shown by those skilled in that matter. It is more
were also called, sometimes, Islands of the West, including among them all the islands of the Pacific Ocean (excluding, perhaps, the Moluccas), by some of the Castilian pilots.
Regarding their origin, it is not known if they existed before the great flood, but according to their geological formation they are volcanic, and their formation is very likely due to a breaking away from the Asiatic Continent, or by a cataclysm in which they came forth from the bottom of the sea.
Their general aspect and the direction of their mountains help to sustain the theory that they once formed a part of Asia, or