A Dependent Empire: The Military Activities of the Filipino Natives in Spanish Taiwan, 1589-1642



Spanish Taiwan, Isla Hermosa, Native Soldiers, Pampangans, Formosa


In 1586, Governor Santiago de Vera (1584-1590) wrote a request to Felipe II of Spain for the pacification of Isla Hermosa (Formosa; modern-day Taiwan), and the King responded by instructing Governor Perez Dasmariñas to pacify the island for the benefit of its people and the safety of the Spaniards in Manila. However, no military expedition commenced in the sixteenth century; and only in 1626 did the governor of Manila send a force to occupy North Hermosa as a response to the Dutch occupation of the South. Half, if not most soldiers that were sent to occupy Hermosa were local soldiers of the archipelago. These indigenous soldiers, who participated in the establishment and maintenance of Spanish Taiwan from 1626 to 1642 when they were expelled by the Dutch, will be the focus of this paper. Examining the Spanish use and mobilization of local soldiers to expand the Spanish empire in Asia will serve as the objective of this research.

Author Biography

Moises Levi Orlino, University of the Philippines, Diliman

Moises Levi Orlino is a Teaching Associate and Graduate student (MA History) at the Department of History in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. In the same institution, he finished his BA in History, summa cum laude, in 2023. Currently, his studies are focused on the native soldiers and Protestantism in the seventeenth century. Most of his published works are published by TALA. The researcher can be reached through msorlino1@up.edu.ph.




How to Cite

Orlino, M. L. “A Dependent Empire: The Military Activities of the Filipino Natives in Spanish Taiwan, 1589-1642”. TALA: An Online Journal of History, vol. 7, no. 1, June 2024, pp. 41-58, http://talakasaysayan.org/index.php/talakasaysayan/article/view/176.