This expedition, led by Ruy López de Villalobos, departed Mexico on 1st November 1542 with four ships. He sighted Mindanao in the Philippines the following February.
One of this islands, which belonged to the Visayas group, was named "Filipina" after Prince Felipe, a young son of Charles V who had been born in 1527 and would rule Spain and its colonies from 1556 to 1598 under the name of Philip II
(and also after 1580 simultaneously to rule Portugal as Philip I of Portugal).
Once he reached the Philippines, Villalobos sent three of his ships back to Mexico to obtain more food and ammunition. All three ships capsized, however, shortly after leaving the islands.
When no help reached Villalobos from Mexico, he then decided to sail to safety with his remaining ship to the port of Ambonia (or Amboyna), which was located in an area of the Indies that was controlled and defended by Portugal.
Of the three hundred and seventy men who had left New Spain (Mexico), only one hundred and forty seven survived to reach Ambonia, the nearest settlement of the king of Portugal.
Amboyna was located on Ambon Island, one of the Moluccas in the Banda Sea. It lies in the eastern portion of the Republic of Indonesia today, and is part of the Malay Archipeligo.
As Villalobos expected, in 1544 the Portuguese demanded that he surrender to them for being in their territory. The Portuguese placed the captain and crew in prison.
While still in the custody of the Portuguese at Amboyna two years later, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos died in deep melancholy. It would take another twenty years before there was another attempt by Spain to conquer "Las Islas Felipinas" (the Philippines).
While this expedition by Villalobos had originally been planned, the viceroy of Mexico, Antonio de Mendoza arranged that members of the Order of Saint Augustine would be the ones appointed as chaplains to this expedition.
As the highest official and the most influential Spanish person in Latin America, his desire was fulfilled.
Four excellent men of the Order of Saint Augustine in Mexico had been selected. The choice was the task of the Province of Spain (Castile). The leader of the Order in that Province was Alonso de la Vera Cruz O.S.A
., who previously himself had served in Mexico with distinction.
From among members of the Order then in Mexico, he wisely selected: Jeronimo de Santisteban, Nicholas de Perea, Sebastian Reina (or de Trasierra) and Alonso de Alvaro.
(Continued on the next page.)