Our celebration of the fourth centennial of the Christianization of the Philippines this year focuses our attention on the evangelization and the beginnings of Christianity here.
Much has been written about the evangelization of the Visayan islands since the time Pigafetta wrote about the first Christian converts from the island of Cebu. The eminent historian, Dr. Domingo Abella, in his Bikol Annals, has written a well documented study on the bishops of Caceres and consequently has delved deep into the initial activities of the missionaries in the Christianization of the Bikol provinces. Early chroniclers of the Dominican order like Bishop Diego de Aduarte, O.P., and modern historians of the order, like my former professor in ecclesiastical history, Fray Pablo Fernandez, O.P., have written extensively on the evangelization of Cagayan Valley and Pangasinan. Except for the Historia de IIocos by Isabelo de los Reyes, practically nothing has been written about the activities of the early missionaries in IIocos. Since copies of the Historia de IIocos by Isabelo de los Reyes are not available in most local libraries, either public or private, the Filipino who desires information on the implantation of the Christian faith in IIocos has no ready material for reference.