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February 15, 1565, Legaspi took possession of Cibabao (Samar island)

In the afternoon of February 13, 1565, Legazpi cast anchor in the bay called Cibabao. Two days after Legazpi’s fleet anchored, February 15, 1565, possession was taken of the island in the king’s name.

The Philippine Islands, Volume II published the document entitled Act of Taking Possession of Cibabao:

Act of Taking Possession of Cibabao

On the flagship, on the fifteenth day of February, 1565, the royal fleet being anchored near a large islands, which the natives indicated by signs to be called cibabao, [82] the very illustrious Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, his majesty’s governor and captain-general of the people and fleet of discovery of the Western islands, appeared before me, Fernando de Riquel, chief notary of the said fleet and government of his ensign-general, Andres de Ybarra, to make friends with an Indian, a native of this island, called Calayan, who declared himself a chief; and whereas it is fitting that possession be taken of the island in the name of his majesty; therefore he authorized fully the said Andres de Ybarra to take possession, in the name of his majesty, of the part and place where he went thus with the said Indian, and all other districts subject and contiguous thereto. In affirmation of the above, he consented to the present ordinance before me, the said notary, and the witnesses hereunder subscribed, with their incidences and dependencies, annexes and rights, and he embossed the same in the form prescribed by law, and signed it with his name, the witnesses being the high constable Grabiel de Rribera, Amador de Arriaran [83] and Juan Pacheco, gentlemen of the governor, Migule Lopez.

Given before me,

Fernando Riquel_, chief notary.

And after the aforesaid, on this day, month, and year aforesaid, the said ensign-general Andres de Ybarra, appeared before me, the said notary and the witnesses hereunder subscribed, being on the river Calayan to which the said chief thus named took him, having landed in a small inlet, at the edge of the water, and containing a small bay, and that in the name of his majesty, by virtue of the power conferred on him by the very illustrious Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, governor and captain-general of the discovery of the islands of the West, he occupied and took possession and apprehended the tenure and true and actual possession or quasi-possession of this said land, and of all territory subject to it and contiguous to it. And of token of true possession, he passed from one end of that land to the other, cut branches of trees, plucked grass, threw stones, and performed such other acts and ceremonies as are usual in such cases–all of which took place quietly and peaceably, with common consent of those who were present, without the opposition of any one. And after the aforesaid act took place, the said Andres de Ybarra besought me, the said notary, to certify thereto, father Fray Pedro de Gamboa, the high constable Grabriel de Rribera and Francisco Scudero de la Portilla, [84] Pedro de Herrera, and many other soldiers. I, the said Fernando Rriquel, notary aforesaid, bear witness to the aforesaid, for it was done in my presence, and I was present at everything jointly with the said witnesses. In witness whereof I, Fernando Riquel, chief notary, affix here my signature and accustomed flourish, which in such documents is in token of truth. Collated with the original. [85]

_Fernando Riquel_, government notary.


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