The word Inquisition inevitably suggests images of torture and bodies engulfed in flames. However, these stories do not correspond to such clichés. These stories are broken down from complaints and processes contained in the archives of the court of the Inquisition of Mexico, on which the offices of the commissioners of the Holy Office in the Philippines depended. In the shadows of pain and torment, we find the spells, superstitions, scandals, love affairs, illusions, longings, fantasies, festivities, and jokes that manage to creep in. Thus, in addition to introducing us to the daily activity of the Inquisition within those confines of the Spanish Empire, these stories bring us closer to the human and social reality of a surprising world.


The Inquisition x
Philippines xvi
The Inquisition in the Philippines xxi
One Hundred Stories xxvi


1 Spaniards and Cebuanas: Encounters and Disagreements 
2 Juan de Vivero, Convicted in Mexico and Ecclesiastical Judge in the Philippines 
3 Spanish Witches in Manila 
4 Francisco de Zúñiga: “Simple Fornication” 
5 Marcos Quintero, the Soldier Who Sang Romances From Brunei 
6 Maldonado and Rabelo: Two Trials for Bigamy Opened by Bishop Salazar and Annulled by the Inquisitors 
7 Dalliances and Tragic End of Canon Francisco Pareja 
8 The Young Martín de Goiti, for Mixing Dishonest Words to the Prayers He Taught to the Slaves of His Household 
9 The Enslavement of Filipinos and Madness of Juan Cromberger Maldonado 
10 Cristóbal Velázquez and the Conflict Between the Inquisition and the Audiencia Over the
Mistreatment of an India 
11 The Case of Jusepe de Ávalos or How Bishop Domingo de Salazar Ignored the Commissioner
of the Holy Office 
12 Miguel Piña, Renegade in Brunei 
13 The Brothers Jorge and Domingo Rodríguez, Wanted by the Inquisition of Mexico for Practicing Judaism 
14 Trips and Misfortunes of Hernando de Carvajal 
15 Diego Hernández Vitoria and the Awakening of Antisemitism 
16 The Transfer of the Seat of the Holy Office 
17 Constable Isidro Sánchez de Haro and His Escort 
18 Soldier’s Joke Regarding Religion 

19 Excommunication Taken as a Joke 
20 Reconciliation of Five Young Heretics 
21 Manuel Gil, Ladino 
22 Juan de Cabrera, the Man from Sanlúcar Who Changed His Name and Wrote Saying That He
Had Become a Widower 
23 Lasciviousness and Tricks of Canon Luis Salinas 
24 The Crusade Against the Solicitation of Fray Bernardo de Santa Catalina 
25 Fray Antonio de Porras and Alcalde Sebastián Madrid, Who Is More Stubborn 
26 An Improvised Secular Procession 
27 Irreverent Festivities in Manila 
28 A French Surgeon and Fire-Walking in Cavite One Night of San Juan 
29 Inquisitorial Inquiries in Japan 
30 The Farce of Doña María Zaldívar 
31 Juan de Arceo: Secrets With the Devil and Disquisitions About Hell 
32 The Devil Who Ended Up in the Hands of the Governor 
33 Pedro López Palacios, Married in Azores, Moguer, and Manila 
34 The Survival of What Is Ancestral 
35 Constable Juan Esteban Morales and the Delivery of Slaves for the Galleys 
36 The Around-the-World Journey of Sebastián Gutiérrez 
37 Superstitions, Incantations, Fortunetelling, and Spells (1616–1626) 
38 The Japanese Woman Called Úrsula 
39 The Court of the King of Ternate 
40 Bernardino Corso, His Wife’s Lover and the Ternate Malay Don Juan 
41 Hipólita de Zárate and Her Cousin Juana Gallinato 
42 Hernando de Los Ríos Coronel and Judicial Astrology 
43 Fray Rodrigo de San Miguel, Prosecuted for Determining Horoscopes and Having
Prohibited Math Books 
44 The Crime of Governor-General Alonso Fajardo 
45 Profanities, Blasphemies, and Denials 
46 Juan Domínguez Paniagua, the Artilleryman Who Did Not Want to Confess 
47 More Reconciled Heretics 
48 Complaints From a Distance 
49 Alejo de Castro, a Mestizo From Tidore With Beads From Santa Juana 
50 The Inquisition and the Conflicts Between the Archbishop, the Governor, the Friars, and the Jesuits 
51 Graciana de Valdés: the Confession Behind the Screen and Other Complaints in Cebu 
52 Those Rechristened in Mindanao 
53 Sanaga the Renegade, a Soldier in Jolo 
54 The Chocolate of the Clergyman Don Felipe de Baeza 
55 Two Complaints Against the Almighty Manuel Estacio Venegas Before His Fall 
56 Casilda de Zafra, the Sevillian Mulatto Woman Who Entered Every House in Manila 
57 Chinese New Years and Other Festivals of the Sangleyes 
58 Antonio de Rojas, Mestizo and Bicultural 
59 Tomás de Villegas, More Indio Than Mestizo and Raised in Misery 
60 Guillermo Davis, “National Heretic,” and Other Convicts 
61 Sor Juana de San Antonio, Baptized With Water From the Jordan River 
62 The Secret Mission of Fray Jorge de Luna Sersanders 
63 José de Quiñones, the Priest Who Read the Palm of the Archbishop 
64 Francisco, the Man From Makassar, Healer of the Insane 
65 The Man From Ternate Called Salvador and the Slave Mariquilla 
66 A Nativity Scene in Manila 
67 Commissioner Fray José de Paternina and the Imprisonment of Governor General Diego de Salcedo 
68 Fray Cristóbal de León, the Moneylender 
69 Tomás de Salazar, the Man Who Dressed in White and Tied His Shirt With a Rope 
70 Juan de Torres, Denounced in Manila and Havana 
71 Juan de Soto, the Lunatic 
72 Agustín de Arrieta, Convicted in Mexico and Promoted to Deacon Thanks to the Supreme 
73 Beata Luisa de Los Reyes From Pampanga and the Trial of Father Riquelme 
74 The Trial of Fray Juan Camacho and the Conflict Between Inquisitors 
75 Francisco de Tendilla, the Friar Who Kissed Two Boys 
76 Father Ansaldo’s Measuring Tape
77 The Scissors of the Holy Office and the Thieves of Manila 
78 A Joke On the Galleon 
79 Antonio Chacón, Shot After Losing the Protection of the Commissioners of the Holy Office 
80 Francisco Castelo, A Compulsive Liar 
81 “Cubiletero,” Forced in the Philippines and in Florida 
82 Fray Juan de Urquiola and the Alligator’s Oath 
83 Manuel Cañete: Visayan, Son of a Spanish Priest, Secretary to the Sultan of Jolo, and Adviser to the Sultan of Maguindanao 
84 José de Somonte, the Sweating Virgin and Ecclesiastical Justice 
85 Correspondence by Letters Between Fray Blas de Plasencia and Sor María de Nazaret 
86 Auto de Fe in Manila 
87 Commissioner Fray Juan Álvarez and the Burning of Books 
88 “El Purero,” Disappeared in Jolo 
89 Joaquín Adriano: Heretic, Blasphemer, Astrologer, Superstitious, Brooding, Liar, and Slanderer 
90 Ajofrín Versus Minglanilla 
91 The Armenians 
92 Eduardo Wogan and Diego O’kennedy, Two Irish Freemasons 
93 Reconciliation of British Heretics Before, During, and After the Occupation of Manila 
94 César Falliet, the Swiss 
95 Between Mexico and the Philippines: the Desperate Story of José Mariano de Ayala 
96 Mariana Islands: The Jesuit Reittenberger and the Congregants of Lumen 
97 The German Martin Lenz and the Mine of Francisco Javier Salgado 
98 The Outrages of Fray José Cuadrado as Commissioner of Ilocos 
99 Fray Agustín María de Castro and the Whipping Penances 
100 The Shady Story of Fray José Muñoz 




"I had never imagined that a book with the Inquisition as a backdrop which is rigorously faithfulto primary sources could be fun: rewriting history without morbid curiosity or complexes."

Director of the Instituto Cervantes of Manila

"One hundred stories of irresistible curiosity, amazement, and with multiple and varied protagonists, narrated with agility by the greatest connoisseur of the Spanish Inquisition in the Philippines."

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Científicas (CSIC) Madrid


About the author

FERNANDO PALANCO (Madrid, 1956) has a degree in teaching and a doctoratein history. As a teacher, he began his professional journey in various rural schools in the province of Soria and concluded it at the Ramiro de Maeztu Institute in Madrid. As a researcher, he specialized in modern Philippine history.


About the front cover

Painting of a sentence given by the Inquisition in Mexico during the eighteenth century. All the Philippine denunciations and affairs were transmitted to Mexico, as well as the criminals sued by the inquisitors of New Spain (Wikimedia Commons). The logo of the Holy Office of the Inquisition is a work of Manolo Campoamor.


About the back cover

Facsimile of the confiscation of the property of Juan Domínguez Paniagua. Manila,10 July 1624 (AGN, Fondo Inquisición, vol. 221, exp. 3, page 121r) : “On the said day, month and year, the property of the said Juan Domínguez Paniagua was seized. Since he was very poor, he was not found with morethan the following: an old sword that he had in his belt, of very little value.”



328 pages; 17.78 x 25.4 cm
ISBN 978-971-97-0789-9 (softbound)
ISBN 978-971-97-0790-5 (e-book)



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