Pasqual Enrile

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A portrait of Governor-General Pascual Enrile y Alcedo by Filipino artist Damián Domingo (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ayala Museum)

Pasqual Enrile y Alcedo (13 April 1772 – 6 January 1838)[1] was the Governor-General of the Philippines from 23 December 1830 to 1 March 1835.[2]


Enrile was born in Cádiz, Spain on 13 April 1772.[3] He first became a naval guard, and later became a captain of a war ship.[4] He first set foot in the Philippines after he was appointed as segundo cabo and head of the naval bureau in Manila in 1826.[5] During his term as head of the naval bureau, he reorganized all branches of the naval service, constructed several cruisers and other vessels, and created port-captains for Iloilo, Capiz, Cebu, and Pangasinan.[6]

As Governor-General

He was then appointed as Governor-General in 1830, replacing Mariano Ricafort Palacín.[7] He personally led expeditions in the Cordilleras and in other parts of Luzon.[8] He was accompanied by his relative José María Peñaranda, a military engineer who was eventually appointed as governor of Albay on 14 May 1834.[9] The expedition led to the creation of itineraries, plans, and maps, which were used by the colonial government to construct highways and bridges and establish postal routes which facilitated faster communication between regions.[10] Such projects include the creation of maps of navigable rivers in Pangasinan; the construction highways and bridges in Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Tarlac; and the exploration of areas from east to west in Luzon.[11]

He introduced reforms in agriculture, in which he was aided by the Economic Society of Friends of the Country by giving reports, memoirs, and material support.[12] It was during his time that the cultivation of tobacco in the archipelago was expanded.[13]

He implemented strict rules to combat corruption.[14] He stipulated through a decree dated 16 February 1833 the adjustment and management of the funds under the obras pías, which was then entrusted to a committee composed of the Governor-General, some treasury officials, and the Archbishop of Manila.[15]

He also implemented the following reforms: the strengthening of the defenses of the archipelago by modernizing the arsenal in Cavite, strengthening of the naval forces against pirates, and building a new battery in Escollera and Luneta; the erection of a lighthouse in Corregidor Island; the establishment of a custom-house in Zamboanga on 9 May 1831; and the codification of the use of garrote in capital punishments on 24 April 1832.[16]

After his term

Enrile resigned from his post in 1835.[17] He was succeeded by Gabriel de Torres. He returned to Spain, where he was elevated to the dignity of prócer del Reino and was appointed as member of the Junta Consultiva de Gobernación de Ultramar.[18]


Enrile died in Madrid at the age of sixty-six.[19]

Throughout his military and political career, he was awarded with the following decorations: the Grand Cross of Charles III, the Order of San Fernando, the Order of Isabella the Catholic, the Distinction of the Navy, the Order of San Hermenegildo, and the Cartagena de Indias.[20]

Because of his deeds, a municipality in Cagayan province was named after him.[21]


  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Pascual de Enrile y Alcedo," accessed 1 February 2021,
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 295.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  4. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  5. Quirino, Old Manila, 295; 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), 50.
  6. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 50.
  7. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  8. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  9. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 55.
  10. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 55.
  11. Quirino, Old Manila, 295; Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 55-6.
  12. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 56.
  13. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  14. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.
  15. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 57.
  16. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 56-9.
  17. Montero y Vidal, "Events in Filipinas, 1801-1840," 59.
  18. Real Academia de la Historia, "Pascual de Enrile y Alcedo."
  19. Real Academia de la Historia, "Pascual de Enrile y Alcedo."
  20. Real Academia de la Historia, "Pascual de Enrile y Alcedo."
  21. Quirino, Old Manila, 295.



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