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June 21, 1574, Felipe II of Spain, bestowed upon Manila the title of “Insigne y siempre leal Ciudad” (Distinguished and Ever Loyal City).”

On June 21, 1574, King Felipe II of Spain, bestowed upon Manila that of “Insigne y siempre leal Ciudad” (Distinguished and Ever Loyal City) and permitted the establishment of a new municipal office, and on Luzon the title of “Nuevo Reino de Castilla”(New Kingdom of Castilla).

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Two Royal Decrees

Bestowing Titles on Manila and Luzon

Don Phelipe, by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we have been informed by the council and by the judicial and executive departments of the city of Manila, in the island of Luzon of the West, that the citizens and inhabitants of the said city have served us with much faithfulness and loyalty, and have endured great hardships; and that, after the said island was discovered and pacified, and the said city founded therein, the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (now defunct), in our name, gave to the latter the title and designation Ynsigne e siempre leal Cibdad, [“Distinguished and ever loyal City”], and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“New Kingdom of Castilla”]; and inasmuch as supplication has been made to us, for the greater welfare of the said city and the perpetual remembrance of the services of its citizens, that we order the confirmation of the said title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad de Manila, and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, and that it might be our will that they be so designated and named, or however else might be our pleasure: now therefore, we, after careful consideration of the above, and of the good and loyal services that the said city and its citizens have rendered us, do regard favorably the above supplication; and by the present we do confirm and approve, to the said city of Manila, the title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad, given it, in our name, by the said governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; and to the said island of Luzon, the said title and appellation Nuevo Reyno de Castilla. And we do consent that the said city of Manila bear forever the designation and title Insigne e siempre leal, and the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, which we, by this, our decree, grant as title and appellation, with leave and permission to be so designated and called as abovesaid, and to place the same on any or all documents that are drawn up and contracted, and on all letters that are written. And we do hereby order the same, under our hand and seal, and with the confirmation of my Council of the Indies. Given at Madrid on the twenty-first day of June, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
[Endorsed: “Registered.”]

Granting to Manila the Office of Corredor de Lonxa for the Estates of the City

Don Felipe by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we are aware of the services which the city of Manila in the island of Luzon, entitled el nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“the new Kingdom of Castilla”], and its citizens and inhabitants, have rendered us; and considering our desire for its honorable increase and colonization: it is our pleasure to bestow upon the said city
of Manila, as we do, by this present, the office of corredor de Lonxa1 thereof, for the estates of the city, for such time, and no more, as may be our pleasure. And it is our wish that in said office be vested the jurisdiction and administration of the same according to and in such manner as our corredores de Lonxa have exercised and do exercise it, in the cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms and seigniories, as well as in those of our Indias, islands, and Tierra-Firme of the Ocean Sea; we will also that there be appointed for said office of corredor de Lonxa, the person or persons whom the city may see fit to appoint; and that the said person or persons through the said appointment, and by virtue of this, our decree, shall be authorized to enjoy and exercise the said office in all cases and matters pertaining to it, in such wise as the other corredores de Lonxa of the other cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms, and of our aforesaid Indias, enjoy and exercise it. And they shall enjoy the income and fees annexed and pertaining to the said office, provided that the income which said persons shall give each year be for the estates of said city, to be expended and distributed for the common welfare of the same, and not for any other thing—for which purpose we direct the present decree to be given, signed by my hand and countersigned by our secretary. Madrid, June twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
Page 226
[Endorsed: “Registered.”]

These royal decrees confirmed these designations given to Luzon and Manila by the then Governor Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Sources: Philippine Islands Vo. III, 1569-1576. Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.

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