Antonio de Morga  Spanish conquistador, governmental official, and historical anthropologist; author of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Events in the Philippine Islands). Antonio de Morga wrote the first lay formal history of the Philippine conquest by Spain.  Beginning at age thirty-four Morga was a prominent governmental official in the Philippines from 1595 to 1603 (Justice of the Audiencia). He held a doctorate in cannon and civil law. By the standards of his day Morga was conscious and upright as well as rather austere. He was unhappy with those under whom he served and was frequently at odds with the clerical order. Morga suffered military defeat against the Dutch and was accused of cowardice.
His history is valuable in that Morga had access to the survivors of the earliest days of the colony and he, himself, participated in many of the accounts that he rendered. The book narrates the history of wars, intrigues, diplomacy and evangelization of the Philippines in a somewhat disjointed way. Modern historians (including Rizal) have noted that Morga has a definite bias and would often distort facts or even rely on invention to fit his defense of the Spanish conquest. The last chapter (eight) is of particular importance as it deals with the culture of the early Filipino people. His record deals with many skills, ethics, and social patterns that had become compromised or lost due to the domination of the Spanish and the growing impact of Chinese culture.
There have been several editions of his work: H. E. J. Stanley (1868); José Rizal (1890) [CLICK HERE]; Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson (1904), and W. E. Retana (1909). A recent (1971) edited translation is by J. S. Cummins, in a series by the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, No. 140 printed by the Cambridge University Press.
The value of Rizal’s edition lies in its annotations wherein Rizal exposes Spanish duplicity and expresses the values of pre-Hispanic Filipino culture. Rizal uses this work to express his moral and national aspirations.
 Sources of Information: A book review by Peter W. Stanley of Harvard University appearing in the American Historical Review (February, 1975, Vol. 80, No. 1), p.176. Leon Ma. Guerrero. The First Filipino: A Biography of José Rizal. (Manila: The National Historical Institute, 1963 [1987 edition], pages 213-219.
 Other early Hispanic sources include: Transylvanus’ De Moluccis Insulis, Pigafetta’s Costumbres de los Tagalos, Loarca’s Relacion de las Islas Filipinas, Colin’s Labor Evangelica. Other accounts include the following foreign observers: Chua Ju Kua, Wang Ta Yuan, Ibn Batuta, Tomas Comyn, Le Gentil, Palgrave, and de Mas.