Francisco Ignacio Alcina

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

Francisco Ignacio (de) Alcina SJ (also Alzina, Alçina) (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]

Birth and education[edit]

Francisco Ignacio Alzina was born on February 2, 1610 in Gandía, Valencia, Spain.[1]:I:XVI:61, III:I:211 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.[1]:354

Missionary life[edit]

Arrival in the Philippines[edit]

In 1631, together with other Jesuit missionaries, he left Zaragoza and travelled to Mexico. Later that same year he left Acapulco and had first sight of the Philippine islands on May 15, 1632.[2]:44–56 Alcina arrived in Manila on May 26 and stayed two and a half years where he completed his studies and until his ordination. Alcina 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 (Ybabao), as that eastern coast was called in olden times.

Alcina's assignments 1637 – 1668
Year Location
1637 Paranas, Samar
1645 - 1648 Rector of Carigara, Residence of Leyte
1649 Cebu
1653 - 1656 Catbalogan, Samar[3]:56
1657 - 1666 Rector of Palapag, Samar
1667 - 1668 Catbalogan, Samar

Notable work[edit]

Alcina spent most of his time documenting the general information of the Visayas and its people, including language, arts, science and their ancient traditions.

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.

  • Alcina, Fr Francisco Ignacio (1668). Historia natural del sitio, fertilidad y calidad de las Islas e Indios de Bisayas [Alcina's History of the Bisayan Islands] (in Spanish). 
Part I = The location, the fertility and the nature of the Visayas and its inhabitants.
Part II = the Supernatural and ecclesiastical

References[edit]

Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander, eds. (1905). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898. Volume 36 of 55 (1649–1666). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne; additional translations by Henry B. Lathrop. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-1103146949. OCLC 769944919. Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century. 

Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander, eds. (1907). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898. Volume 44 of 55 (1700–1736). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne;. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. OCLC 769945246. Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century. 

Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander, eds. (1908). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898. Volume 53 of 55 (Bibliography). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. OCLC 769944927. Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century. 

Murillo Velarde SJ, Pedro (1749). Historia de la provincia de Philipinas de la Compañia de Jesus (in Spanish). Manila: Imprenta de la Compañia de Iesus, por D. Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay. OCLC 643117778. 

External links[edit]