Martin de Goiti

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Martín de Goiti was a Spanish conquistador and founder of the city of Manila.

Goiti was one of three conquistadors who accompanied Miguel López de Legazpi and Juan de Salcedo's conquest of the Philippines in 1565. He was the leadership|leader of the expedition to Manila, ordered by Legazpi in 1564. There, he fought a number of battles against the Muslim ruler, Rajah Suliman of Manila for control of lands and destroyed its kingdom.


Battle of Manila (1570-1575)

The Spaniards arrived in Luzon in May 8, 1570 and camped on the shores of Manila Bay for several weeks, while pretending to form an alliance with the Muslim rulers. However, Goiti had other plans and tricked the natives into believing that they were only visiting and staying for a short period.

In May 24, 1570, after fighting had erupted between the two groups. Goiti marched his 300 soldiers in-land, towards Tondo where they meet thousands of native defenders. There, they defeated and killed most of Suliman, Lakandula and Matanda's forces. Goiti took the rulers as prisoners, tortured and executed those who refused to accept Spanish rule.

Goiti and Salcedo then marched their armies towards the Pasig River and captured the city of Manila on June 6, 1570, and burned it to the ground, killing more natives in the area.

After the battle, guerilla war broke out, continuing for the next 10 months. The Spanish fortified themselves in the area and erected the stronghold of Fuerza de Santiago, which became their outpost. Some Spanish forces were forced to seek shelter in their fleets in Manila Bay, when fighting grew intense.

The Spanish pressed on and succeeded in gaining full control of the settlements and putting down the rebellion on June 24, 1571, after the arrival of Legazpi in Manila, who agreed to a peace agreement.

Goiti's conquest paved the way for the establishment of Manila as a permanent Spanish settlement and capital city of the Philippines. He later explored Pampanga, Pangasinan and founded several cities in Luzon between the periods of 1571 -1573.

War against the Chinese Pirates

Goiti fought in the war against the invasion of 3,000 Pirate|Chinese pirates and warriors led by the corsair Limahon|Lim ah hong, who besieged on Fuerza de Santiago and the city of Manila in the early periods of 1574. Goiti was killed by Lim ah hong, who massacred most of the Spaniards in the city.

Most of the Spanish reinforcements came from Vigan and Cebu. Martin de Goiti's second on command, Juan de Salcedo left Ilocos Sur, after hearing the news and traveled to Manila were he discovered the city had fallen to the hands of the Chinese army. Salcedo's forces attacked and droved the Pirates out of Manila. Lim ah hong and his surviving soldiers retreated to Pangasinan were they began to re-organize their forces.

In 1575, Salcedo's army marched north to Pangasinan, in pursuit of the Pirates and besieged them for three months. The Spanish avenged Goiti's death by capturing and killing Lim ah hong and his warriors in the river of Pangasinan and burning them alive, along with their ships.


Goiti is laid to rest in a tomb inside the San Agustin Church, at his home at Intramuros.


  • Morga, Antonio de. (2004). The Project Gutenberg Edition Book : History of the Philippine Islands - 1521 to the Beginning of the XVII century. Volume 1 and 2.
  • Legazpi, Don Miguel López de. (1564 - 1572). Cartas al Rey Don Felipe II : sobre la expedicion, conquistas y progresos de las islas Felipinas. Sevilla, España.

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