Blas Ruiz

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Blas Ruiz de Hernán González or Blas Ruiz de Fernán González[1] was an explorer from Ciudad Real, Spain.

Travels[edit]

Along with the Portuguese adventurer Diogo Veloso from Amarante, Blas Ruiz was the first European to ever set foot in Laos.

Ruiz's journey to Laos started in Cambodia. In Cambodia, Ruiz met and befriended King Satha of Lovek and Veloso of Portugal. When Lovek was invaded by Ayautthaya, Satha was overthrown by his son and other nobles who allowed Ayutthaya to take control, forcing Ruiz to flee to the Spanish colony of the Philippines, the place where he began his adventure in Southeast Asia. Eventually Ruiz returned with Veloso, who had fled to the Portuguese colony of Melaka, to Lovek. When they arrived they learned Satha had fled to Lan Xang, an empire centered in modern-day Laos and consisting of Isan, Stung Treng, and small areas of Southern China and Vietnam. Ruiz and Veloso decided to journey to Laos and bring back Satha to restore his reign over Lovek.

Ruiz and Veloso arrived in Vientiane, Lan Xang's administrative capital, in the summer of 1596. They were met with a procession showing off the city's immense wealth consisting of Asian Elephants, gold, jewels, silk, exotic snakes, bouquets of tropical flowers, chanting monks, Buddhist treasures and relics, music, and beautiful women. Ruiz and Veloso were also received with a great feast. But while they were in Vientiane they learned Satha had died from an illness he caught on his way from Cambodia to Laos. Saddened and angered by the news, Ruiz and Veloso returned to Lovek and started a rebellion to put one of Satha's political allies on the throne and free Cambodia from Ayatthaya. They managed to drive out Ayutthaya forces from parts of Cambodia and create a new state but led the new Cambodian state into a brief period of chaos. Eventually Ruiz returned to the Philippines. It is not known whether he died there, Spain, or somewhere else. He was also part of Alas dey algoada, a form of Spanish secret service.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miguel de Jaque de los Rios Manzanedo Viaje de las Indias Orientales y Occidentales (Año 1606)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Miguel de Jaque de los Rios Manzanedo Viaje de las Indias Orientales y Occidentales (Año 1606) REF.: LVI-5
  • JOAQUIN MAÑES POSTIGO, LA QUIMERA DE UN REINO. DE LIBRUM TREMENS 2008. ISBN 978-84-935790-2-9 - Historical novel based on the adventures of Blas Ruiz