Martin Sancho: The Philippines' Unsung Hero?

Did you know that las islas Filipinas would never have become if it weren't for a chico named Martin Sancho?

On December 15, 1587 (a time when Spain was at the zenith of her power and only a few people had access to the world's most powerful monarch), Martin Sancho, a kapampangan walked into King Philip II's court and impressed the king and his dignitaries by reciting some prayers, the entire Church doctrine and the rest of the Catholic Catechism in perfect Spanish. Such was the amazement of King Philip that he agreed to keep the Philippines as a colony.

The Spaniards were at that time thinking of abandoning the useless small colony in the far east. You see before the Suez canal opened, a Spaniard thinking of migrating to the Philippines would have to cross the Atlantic ocean to get to Nueva Espana or Mexico (much like the route from London to New York), and then from Mexico, they would cross the Pacific ocean going to the Philippines, an arduous journey that could take up to 10 months providing you did not die before getting to the Philippines because of a pirate attack, sickness, hunger and/or thirst, and hurricanes.

This is the reason why there are only a few Spaniards who really came from Spain to migrate to the Philippines. Most of them were from Mexico. In fact the people in Spain paid little attention to us precisely because we were too far from them and the fact that we really didn't bring in a lot of gold to the coffers of Spain. We were even governed from Mexico and not really from Spain.

The Philippines might never have become what it is now if it weren't for that little boy. We still might be small warring Mohammedan kingdoms spread all over the islands.

That little boy proved to the king that we as a people can be evangelized and educated, and thus las islas Filipinas was born.

Viva las Filipinaz y gracias a Dios por el milagro llamado Martin Sancho!

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