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Tema: The Philippines: a Carlist Refuge

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    The Philippines: a Carlist Refuge

    The Philippines: a Carlist Refuge

    El prisionero de Chillon, por Delacroix, 1834

    It is well known that the overthrow of the Ancien Régime caused a great loss of overseas territories. Until 1898, Spain was left with the three Captaincies General of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The three Carlist Wars caused a diaspora to the remaining possessions. According to Javier Barraycoa:

    «The Philippines was also not spared from the upheavals brought about by liberalism. The most radical liberals – during the First Carlist War – falsely accused Captain General Pedro Antonio de Salazar of being a Carlist for refusing to accept the Constitution of 1812. Because the waters were so rough in this far-flung Spanish province, the central government ordered the prisoners to be scattered among the many islands of the Philippine archipelago. In 1837, for example, the members of the Carlist Junta of Cordoba, who had sailed as prisoners, were ordered to be sent to the Mariana Islands. During the mandate (1837-1838) the captain general of the Philippines, as well as certain sectors of the army, was openly Carlist. To soften the atmosphere, in a royal order of 28 July 1837, the Government provided for the amnesty of all political prisoners serving sentences in the Philippines».

    As we can see, many lay Carlists found a good refuge in the Philippines. We can speculate that one possible explanation for this phenomenon is a strong backing of the clergy who were not so affected by the Desamortization Laws in Old Spain. Here we find the Carlist stronghold of the Convent of San Juan de Dios from the book Reseña Biográfica de los Religiosos de la Provincia del Santísimo Rosario:

    Entire volumes were necessary to inform Your Majesty of what is happening here in favour of Carlism, and its spirit is so powerful and inordinate that exiles arrived, the former general Pedro Grimarest, the former prosecutor Ramón Pedrosa, the former canon Matías Jara, and the former mayor Manuel Tellería for being unfaithful and not at all addicted to the liberal government».

    Since 30 December is Rizal Day once again, let us quote a sworn enemy of Carlism whose name was taken for that day in order to demonstrate the Carlist presence in the Philippines. Although a fictitious and exaggerated account but largely corresponding to many truths due to the author’s hatred of Carlism. This is the political conflict in the village of San Diego in the novel Noli Me Tángere, depicted by the ensign of the liberal civil guard and the Carlist parish priest:

    «As we have said, Fray Salvi was very assiduous in the fulfilment of his duties, too assiduous, the alferez thought. While he was preaching—he was very fond of preaching—the doors of the church were closed, wherein he was like Nero, who allowed no one to leave the theater while he was singing. But the former did it for the salvation and the latter for the corruption of souls. Fray Salvi rarely resorted to blows, but was accustomed to punish every shortcoming of his subordinates with fines. In this respect he was very different from Padre Dámaso, who had been accustomed to settle everything with his fists or a cane, administering such chastisement with the greatest good-will. For this, however, he should not be judged too harshly, as he was firm in the belief that the Indian could be managed only by beating him, just as was affirmed by a friar who knew enough to write books, and Padre Dámaso never disputed anything that he saw in print, a credulity of which many might have reason to complain. Although Fray Salvi made little use of violence, yet, as an old wiseacre of the town said, what he lacked in quantity he made up in quality. But this should not be counted against him, for the fasts and abstinences thinned his blood and unstrung his nerves and, as the people said, the wind got into his head. Thus it came about that it was not possible to learn from the condition of the sacristans’ backs whether the curate was fasting or feasting.

    The only rival of this spiritual power, with tendencies toward the temporal, was, as we have said, the alferez: the only one, since the women told how the devil himself would flee from the curate, because, having one day dared to tempt him, he was caught, tied to a bedpost, soundly whipped with a rope, and set at liberty only after nine days. As a consequence, anyone who after this would still be the enemy of such a man, deserved to fall into worse repute than even the weak and unwary devils.

    But the alferez deserved his fate. His wife was an old Filipina of abundant rouge and paint, known as Doña Consolación—although her husband and some others called her by quite another name. The alferez revenged his conjugal misfortunes on his own person by getting so drunk that he made a tank of himself, or by ordering his soldiers to drill in the sun while he remained in the shade, or, more frequently, by beating up his consort, who, if she was not a lamb of God to take away one’s sins, at least served to lay up for her spouse many torments in Purgatory—if perchance he should get there, a matter of doubt to the devout women. As if for the fun of it, these two used to beat each other up beautifully, giving free shows to the neighborhood with vocal and instrumental accompaniments, four-handed, soft, loud, with pedal and all.Whenever these scandals reached the ears of Padre Salvi, he would smile, cross himself, and recite a Paternoster. They called him a grafter, a hypocrite, a Carlist…»

    (Noli Me Tángere, Los Soberanos de San Diego)

    God have mercy on your soul José P. Rizal!

    The Philippines is with the Holy Cause of Don Carlos VII.

    Well done, fray Bernardo Salví!
    Dios, Patria, Fueros, Rey.

    Juan Carlos Araneta,

    Círculo Carlista Felipe II de Manila

    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 23/11/2022 a las 00:15

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