Mariano Fernandez de Folgueras

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Mariano Fernández de Folgueras (21 February 1766 – 1 June 1823)[1] was the acting Governor-General of the Philippines from 7 August 1806 to 4 March 1810, and from 10 December 1816 to 30 October 1822.[2]

Biography

Folgueras was from Galicia, Spain.[3] He was the son of Antonio Fernández Folgueras Menéndez de Godan and Manuela Fernández Florez.[4] He married Gertrude de Irizurri Sarti on 26 January 1799.[5]

He joined the army when he was young and trained in Barcelona as an engineer.[6] He was assigned in Mallorca in 1799, and then in the Philippines. After the death of Rafael María de Aguilar in 1806, he assumed the position of acting governor-general of the archipelago.[7]

A painting by Esteban Villanueva depicting the Basi Revolt of 1807. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Esteban Villanueva/National Museum of the Philippines)

First Term as Governor-General

Folgueras strengthened the defense of Manila, in response to rumors that the British were planning to attack the city once again.[8]

During Folgueras' first term, the Basi Revolt (also known as Ambaristo revolt after the bravest right-hand man of the revolt's leader Pedro Mateo)[9] occurred from 16 to 28 September 1807.[10] The revolt started when some Ilocano military defectors staged an armed revolt against the introduction of the monopoly on spirituous liquors and the control over the production of basi (fermented sugarcane juice) in 1786.[11] Eventually, the revolt failed, and its leaders were summarily hanged and their bodies were mutilated.[12] Also, English traders began to build commercial houses in the archipelago, beginning in 1809.[13]

It was also during Folgueras' first term that the French invaded Spain and captured King Ferdinand VII.[14] News of the invasion arrived in the archipelago in February 1809, and in response colonial officials professed their loyalty to the captured king.[15] Later, the French tried to persuade the colonial government to support the French.[16] However, Folgueras did not acceded to their request.[17]

He left office in March 1810 when Manuel González de Aguilar was appointed as the new Governor-General.[18]

Second Term as Governor-General

Folgueras once again assumed as acting Governor-General when José Ramón de Gardoqui died on 9 December 1816.[19]

He reestablished the Real Sociedad Ecónomica de Filipinas on 17 December 1819.[20] This was a result of the royal orders issued in 1811 and 1813.[21] When its first session was held with Folgueras presiding, only two members of the Society were still alive.[22] Eventually, sixty new members were appointed.[23] He requested that certain immunities and advantages to encourage agriculture be granted to the archipelago.[24] He assigned administrative positions in the colonial government to the peninsulares.[25] He declared Ilocos Norte as a separate province on 2 February 1818.[26] He founded the Escuela Naútica de Manila, today called the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, in 1820.[27] He attempted to establish a school of medicine, surgery, and pharmacy in Manila, however he did not succeed in his plan due to the lack of physicians and drugstores in almost all towns in the archipelago.[28]

It was during his second term that a smallpox epidemic occurred in Manila in October 1820, which devastated villages along the Pasig River.[29] The use of water from the river was prohibited by the Corregidor of Tondo, and medical personnel from ships provided aid to the victims.[30] However, the natives saw the actions of the medical personnel as a confirmation of their untrue suspicions that the disease was caused by foreigners who poisoned the waters in order to kill the specimens of insects and other animals which they collected for scientific purposes.[31] A crowd of armed natives gathered in the square of Binondo on 9 October, attacked the houses of the foreigners, and murdered twenty-seven persons.[32] Not one Spaniard was killed.[33] The colonial government was not able to quell the riot, and it continued the following day, which led to the deaths of the Chinese living in the suburbs.[34] Folgueras sent troops to capture the murderers, but they were able to escape.[35] An investigation was conducted, however no action was made.[36]

It was also during his term that the Spanish Constitution of 1812 (also called “Constitution of Cadiz”) was in effect.[37] It took effect in the Philippines in May 1821, however it was abrogated by King Ferdinand VII in 1824.[38]

He left office on 30 October 1822 when Juan Antonio Martínez was appointed as the new Governor-General.

Death

He was murdered on 1 June 1823 by the instigators of the Novales Revolt in order to acquire the keys of Manila.[39]

References

  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Mariano Fernández de Folgueras Fernández Flores," accessed 1 February 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/9393/mariano-fernandez-de-folgueras-fernandez-flores
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 294.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  4. Real Academia de la Historia, "Mariano Fernández de Folgueras Fernández Flores."
  5. Real Academia de la Historia, "Mariano Fernández de Folgueras Fernández Flores."
  6. Real Academia de la Historia, "Mariano Fernández de Folgueras Fernández Flores."
  7. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  8. José Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," in The Philippine Islands 1493-1898, trans. Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson, vol. 51 (Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1906), 28.
  9. Teodoro A. Agoncillo, History of the Filipino People, 8th ed. (Quezon City: Garotech Publishing, 1990), 112.
  10. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  11. Agoncillo, History, 112.
  12. Agoncillo, History, 112.
  13. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  14. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 31.
  15. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 31.
  16. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 31.
  17. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 31.
  18. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  19. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  20. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  21. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 38.
  22. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 38.
  23. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 38.
  24. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 39.
  25. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  26. Quirino, Old Manila, 294.
  27. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  28. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 45.
  29. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 39.
  30. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 39.
  31. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 39-40.
  32. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 40.
  33. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 40.
  34. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 40-1.
  35. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 41-2.
  36. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 42-5.
  37. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 45.
  38. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 45.
  39. Quirino, Old Manila, 295; Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 47.

Citation

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