Fr Juan de Plasencia, OSF CUSTOMS OF THE TAGALOGS
Who is FRAY JUAN DE PLASENCIA Fray Juan de Portocarrero, (Juan de Plasencia) was born to the illustrious family of the Portocarreros in Plasencia in the region of Extremadura, Spain in the early 16th century. His father, Don Pedro Portocarrero, was a captain of a Spanish schooner, who died in Naples, Italy in 1574. Juan was one in a brood of seven which included D. Alfonso Pacheco Portocarrero, D. Pedro Portocarrero, D. Rodrigo Pacheco, Doña Beatriz, Doña Ana, and Doña Inés Portocarrero.
Fray Juan de Plasencia’s work MISSIONARY PREACHER Only two months after their arrival in Manila, Fray Juan de Plasencia and another confrere, Fray Diego de Oropresa, were already preaching around Laguna de Bay area and as far as Tayabas (the present Quezon Province) converting souls to the Catholic fold. FOUNDER AND ORGANIZER His untiring work and missionary zeal pushed him further in the foundation and organization of several towns not only in Laguna and Tayabas but also in the present Provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, and these were: Tayabas, Calilaya, Lucban, Mahayhay, Nagcarlang, Lilio, Pila, Santa Cruz, Lumbang, Pangil, Siniloan, Morong, Antipolo, Taytay, and Meycawayan.
Fr. Juan’s Arrival in the Philippines Fray Juan de Plasencia together with the first batch of Franciscan missionaries arrived at a port in Cavite, a few kilometers south of Manila on the 2nd of July 1578.
AS A FRANCISCAN MISSIONARY As his biographers testify, his life was characterized by zeal, prayer, and dedicated service. When he was moving about on foot and visiting areas where the natives dwell he devoted himself wholeheartedly to their conversion. His great interest in this endeavor made him plunge himself into the laborious study of the native language and the foundation of numerous towns. He was elected as Custos (i.e. Superior) at their Chapter in May 23, 1584. He held this office until the election of Fray Pedro Bautista in 1588. After several dedicated years of hard work, converting the natives, teaching catechisms, and organizing towns and barangays, he finally succumbed to Sister Death. He passed away in Lilio (Liliw), in the Province of Laguna, in the year 1590.
Historical Background of the Article 1. This can be considered a primary historical document from an eyewitness since, Fray Plasencia personally worked and lived with the people of Southern Tagalog areas.
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- Fall '19
- Metro Manila, Tagalog language, Juan de Plasencia