Francisco Ignacio Alcina

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Francisco Ignacio Alcina
Born (1610-02-02)2 February 1610
Gandia, Spain
Died 30 July 1674(1674-07-30) (aged 64)
Nationality Spanish
Occupation Theologian, Historian, Jesuit
Notable work(s) Historia de las islas e indios de Bisayas (1668)

Francisco Ignacio Alcina, S.J. (February 2, 1610 – July 30, 1674) was a Spanish historian and a Jesuit missionary in the Philippines. He served as parish priest in the Visayan islands for 37 years. Most of those years were spent among the natives whom he used to call "My Beloved Bisayans".

Early life[edit]

Society of Jesus

History of the Jesuits
Regimini militantis

Jesuit Hierarchy
Superior General
Adolfo Nicolás

Ignatian Spirituality
Spiritual Exercises
Ad majorem Dei gloriam

Notable Jesuits
St. Ignatius of Loyola
St. Francis Xavier
St. Peter Faber
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Peter Canisius
St. Edmund Campion
Pope Francis

Birth and education[edit]

Francisco Ignacio Alzina was born on February 2, 1610 in Gandia, municipality in the Valencian Community, Eastern Spain on the Mediterranean.[1] He was one of the eight boys; six of his brothers died at an early age. At the age of 14, Alzina entered the Jesuit Province of Aragon and he was only 22 years old, a cleric in theological studies when he was chosen for Philippine Missions.[2]

Missionary life[edit]

Arrival in the Philippines[edit]

In 1631, together with other Jesuits missionaries, they left Zaragoza and moved to Mexico and on that same year they left Acapulco and sighted the first land of the Philippine islands on May 15, 1632.[3] They arrived in Manila on May 26 and Alcina stayed in the City (Manila) for two and a half years where he completed his studies and until his ordination. Alzina was ordained by Augustinian Bishop D. Fe. Pedro de Arce, who had been a catechist and pastor in the Bisayan Islands for a long time.

Bisayan missions[edit]

After his ordination, he was first assigned in Borongan, Samar or Ibabao, as that eastern coast was called in olden times. Alcina dedicated most of his time in documenting the general information that is common to the Bisayans like the language, arts, science and their ancient traditions.

Alcina's assignments 1637 - 1668

Year Town
1637 Paranas, Samar
1645 - 1648 Rector of Carigara, Residence of Leyte
1649 Cebu
1653 - 1656 Catbalogan, Samar
1657 - 1666 Rector of Palapag, Samar
1667 - 1668 Catbalogan, Samar

As a missionary, Fr. Alcina documented East Visayan literature including the poetic forms such as the candu, haya, ambahan, canogon, bical, balac, siday and awit. He also described the susumaton and posong, early forms of narratives.

Notable works[edit]

  • Historya de las islas e indios de Bisayas = the most extensive and the principal region of the Philippine.
Part I = The location, the fertility and the nature of the Visayas and its inhabitants.
Part II = the Supernatural and ecclesiastical


  1. ^ Pedro Murillo Velarde (1749), Historia de la provincia de Philipinas de la Compañia de Jesus, Manila: En la Imprenta de la Compañia de Jesus, por D. Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay, OCLC 23029348 
  2. ^ Murillo Velarde, op. cit., fol. 354.
  3. ^ Robertson, J.A. (2010). The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, Volume 44. General Books LLC. pp. 44–55. 

External links[edit]