Francisco Ignacio Alcina

Francisco Ignacio (de) Alcina SJ (also Alzina, Alçina) (February 2, 1610 – July 30, 1674) was a Spanish historian and a Jesuit missionary in the Philippines. He served as parish priest in the Visayan islands for 37 years. Most of those years were spent among the natives whom he used to call "my beloved Bisayans."

Francisco Ignacio Alcina
Born(1610-02-02)2 February 1610
Died30 July 1674(1674-07-30) (aged 64)
OccupationTheologian, Historian
Notable workHistoria de las islas e indios de Bisayas (1668)
Theological work

Early lifeEdit

Birth and educationEdit

Francisco Ignacio Alzina was born on February 2, 1610 in Gandía, Valencia, Spain.[1]: I:XVI:61, III:I:211  He was one of the eight boys; six of his brothers died at an early age. At the age of 14, Alzina entered the Jesuit Province of Aragon and he was only 22 years old, a cleric in theological studies, when he was chosen for Philippine Missions.[1]: 354 

Missionary lifeEdit

Arrival in the PhilippinesEdit

In 1631, together with other Jesuit missionaries, he left Zaragoza and travelled to Mexico. Later that same year he left Acapulco and had first sight of the Philippine islands on May 15, 1632.[2]: 44–56  Alcina arrived in Manila on May 26 and stayed two and a half years where he completed his studies and until his ordination. Alcina was ordained by Augustinian Bishop D. Fe. Pedro de Arce, who had been a catechist and pastor in the Bisayan Islands for a long time.

Bisayan missionsEdit

After his ordination, he was first assigned in Borongan, Samar or Ibabao (Ybabao), as that eastern coast was called in olden times.

Alcina's assignments 1637 – 1668
Year Location
1637 Paranas, Samar
1645–1648 Rector of Carigara, Residence of Leyte
1649 Cebu
1653–1656 Catbalogan, Samar[3]: 56 
1657–1666 Rector of Palapag, Samar
1667–1668 Catbalogan, Samar

Notable workEdit

Alcina spent most of his time documenting the general information of the Visayas and its people, including language, arts, science and their ancient traditions.

Alcina documented East Visayan literature including the poetic forms such as the candu, haya, ambahan, canogon, bical, balac, siday and awit. He also described the susumaton and posong, early forms of narratives.

  • Alcina, Fr Francisco Ignacio (1668). Historia natural del sitio, fertilidad y calidad de las Islas e Indios de Bisayas [Alcina's History of the Bisayan Islands] (in Spanish).
Part I = The location, the fertility and the nature of the Visayas and its inhabitants.
Part II = the Supernatural and ecclesiastical



External linksEdit