THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 1493 - 1898
(Edited and annotated: Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson)
I picked the topic angels from the list for no particular reason or maybe it was because I am inclined to understand how angels would be documented in a century old work. However, I was disappointed when I saw the articles because they are not actually about angels but a narrative of celebrations that included angels as part of the festivities.
According to the index, Philippine Islands has two documents for it – one on Volume 19, the other on Volume 21. The document on Volume 19 is entitled Early Recollect Missions in the Philippines. Andres de San Nicolas, Luis de Jesus, and Juan de la Conception. (Extracts from their respective works covering the history of the missions to the year 1624.) The subject angel is a description of how children were dressed like angels to accompany the procession of the celebrated image of the Holy Virgin,
“The members of the confraternity march clad in very neat white tunics with blue escapulars, bearing the attribute of the queen of the skies on pendants of the same color and embroidered at a great cost with a numerous accompaniment of children dressed as angels, who at intervals march along singing praises to the Virgin (134).”The procession was on the third Friday of Lent and solemnizes the image of our Lady of Health, which came from Mexico and believed to have blessed the town.
On the other hand, the next document I entitled Relation of Events in the Philipinas, 1619 – 20, unsigned dated June 14, 1620 and neighboring provinces and kingdoms, from July, 1619 to July, 1620. The subject angel is described as,
“Before the chariot was a band of clarion-players. They followed eight children dressed in silk garments and carrying silver candles. They represented angels with candles in their hands, singing and reciting in praise of the Virgin (66).”The citation is an account of fiestas in celebration of the immaculate conception of the Holy Virgin, where the image is brought in procession.
In summary, the documents only shows that Friars during those times are fond having festivities that would show the Filipinos of their belief and perhaps entice the pagans to convert into Christianity.