Juan Antonio de Urbiztondo

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A lithograph of Juan Antonio de Urbiztondo, Governor-General of the Philippines (1850-1853) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Luis Carlos Legrand)

Juan Antonio de Urbiztondo y Eguía (17 January 1803 – 26 April 1857)[1] was the Governor-General of the Philippines from 29 July 1850 to 20 December 1853.[2]

Biography

Urbiztondo came from San Sebastián, Spain.[3] When his father died, he obtained a knighthood page on 19 May 1814.[4] He remained in the royal house until in 1819.[5] He was initially inclined to pursue an ecclesiastical career, but he accompanied General Francisco Ramón Eguía, paving the way for him to pursue a military career.[6]

Since then, he accompanied Eguía and participated in campaigns including the First Carlist War (1833 – 1840), during which he sided with the Carlists led by Carlos de Borbón.[7] Although the Carlists were defeated during the war, he attained the rank of mariscal de campo as stipulated in the Convention of Vergara.[8]

He took part in the uprising against Baldomero Espartero, after which he took refuge in France until he was pardoned in 1843.[9] He continued occupying military positions, and was promoted to lieutenant general on 10 October 1846.[10] He then participated in campaigns during the Second Carlist War (1846 – 1849).[11] For his contributions in suppressing the Carlists, he was given the title of Marquis of Solana.[12]

He was appointed as Governor-General of the Philippines on 28 January 1850, succeeding Antonio María Blanco.[13] He arrived in Manila on 27 June 1850.[14]

As Governor-General

He was known for leading a successful military campaign in January 1851 against the Sultanate of Sulu.[15] He and his troops conquered the capital Jolo, dismantled its forts, and forced the Sultan to sign a treaty that is favorable to Spain.[16]

He matched the taxes that are being collected in the archipelago with those in Spain, which led to the increase in the colonial government's revenue. He created the Banco Español Filipino or El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II (present-day Bank of the Philippine Islands).[17] The bank, which was founded in 1851, is considered as the first bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.[18]

During his term, he helped in the construction of the new hospital building of San Lazaro Hospital in Cebu. The hospital, which is administered by the Diocese of Cebu, was built during the term of Bishop Joaquín Encabo de la Virgen de Sopetrán, OAR to provide care for those afflicted with leprosy.[19] Eventually by the mid-1840s, due to the dilapidated condition of the old building which is detrimental to the health of its patients, the Diocese decided to build a bigger and sturdier hospital building.[20] The construction commenced during the term of Bishop Romualdo Jimeno Ballesteros, OP.[21] Due to lack of funds, Urbiztondo in 1850 intervened and ordered the governor of Cebu to use additional funds for the construction of the hospital building.[22] The construction of the hospital building was eventually finished four years later.[23]

He left his position on 20 December 1852, and was succeeded by Ramón Montero.[24]

After his term

Three years later, on 12 October 1856, he was appointed as minister of war in Spain.[25]

Trivia

The town of Urzbiztondo in the province of Pangasinan is named after Governor-General Urzbiztondo, who established the town during his term.[26]

References

  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía," accessed 3 February 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/4410/antonio-urbiztondo-y-eguia
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 296.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 296.
  4. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  5. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  6. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  7. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  8. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  9. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  10. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  11. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  12. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía;" Quirino, Old Manila, 296.
  13. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  14. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  15. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  16. Real Academia de la Historia, "Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguía."
  17. Quirino, Old Manila, 296.
  18. BPI, "Who we are," accessed 21 January 2021, https://www.bpi.com.ph/whoweare
  19. Celestina P. Boncan, "At the Crossroads: New Developments in Leprosy Care in Nineteenth Century Philippines," in Hidden Lives, Concealed Narratives: A History of Leprosy in the Philippines, ed. Maria Serena I. Diokno (Manila: National Historical Commission of the Philippines, 2016), 65.
  20. Boncan, "At the Crossroads," 68.
  21. Boncan, "At the Crossroads," 68.
  22. Boncan, "At the Crossroads," 71.
  23. Boncan, "At the Crossroads," 71.
  24. Quirino, Old Manila, 296.
  25. Quirino, Old Manila, 296.
  26. Municipality of Urzbiztondo, "About Urzbiztondo," accessed 3 February 2021, https://urbiztondopang.gov.ph/about-urbiztondo/

Citation

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