Juan de Arrechederra

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Father Juan de Arechederra, OP (20 July 1681 – 12 November 1751)[1] was a Bishop-elect of Nueva Segovia. He served as acting Governor-General of the Philippines from 21 September 1745 to 20 July 1750.[2]


Arechederra was born in Caracas, Venezuela.[3] He was the son of Juan de Arechederra y Peñalosa, a relative of the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition of Cartagena de Indias, and Lusia Catalina de Tobar from Santiago de León, Venezuela.[4]

On 29 August 1696, he took the scholarship at Colegio Semario de Santa Rosa de Caracas and received the first tonsure a month after. In 1698, he studied the Arts at the same school under Nicolás de Herrera y Ascanio. He entered the Convent of San Jacinto of the Order of Preachers of Caracas in 1710. On 11 February 1707, he graduated with a degree in Theology and as a doctor at the same faculty on 27 February. He taught philosophy and theology in the convents of Porta Coeli and Puebla.[5]

He joined the Dominican mission headed to the Philippines and embarked in Acapulco on 13 April 1713 and arrived in Manila in August. On 7 May 1718, he was elected Provincial of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. Between 1721and 1725, he served as Vicar of Cavite and president of San Gabriel Hospital. In 1725, he was elected rector of the College of Orphan Children of Colegio de San Juan de Letran. On three occasions, he was elected rector of the University of Manila, where he also served as a professor. He also served as Rector of the University of Santo Tomás.[6]

On 23 July 1744, he was appointed Bishop of Nueva Segovia in the Philippines to succeed Jerónimo de Herrera y López. After the death of Governor-General Gaspar de la Torre on 21 September 1745, Arechederra became the acting governor-general.[7] The king ordered bulls recognizing Arechederra as the new Bishop of Nueva Segovia and affirmed his position as acting governor-general.[8]

During his term as acting governor-general, he adopted a series of measures to stop the Moorish thugs from their frequent acts of piracy. He also worked on the improvement of the defenses of the Philippines by having rebuilt the bastion in Cavite.

He also managed to restart the evangelization of the islands of Mindanao and Jolo. Arechederra welcomed Sultan Ali Muddin of Sulu, who sought refuge with the Spaniards on 2 January 1749 after being deposed by his younger brother.[9] The sultan was baptized by Arechederra upon his request on 29 April 1750 at Paniqui, Tarlac, and adopted the name Don Fernando de Alimuddin.[10]

Arechederra died on 12 November 1751.[11]


  1. Catholic-Hierarchy, "Father Juan de Arechederra, O.P. †," accessed 13 January 2021, http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/barech.html
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 293.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  4. Real Academia de la Historia, “Juan Arechederra Tobar,” accessed 18 January 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/10149/juan-arechederra-tobar
  5. Real Academia de la Historia
  6. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  7. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  8. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  9. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  10. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  11. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.

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