The Featured Document Series presents records from the National Archives of the Philippines’ Spanish Documents Section, Section 1. This collection of about 450 fonds totaling 9 million plus pages is made up of maps, plans, and more. Items from this Section have been featured in past exhibits and publications produced by the NAP.
The ninth featured document of this series is the letter of Gabriel de Llamas to Governor General Narciso Claveria. The document is from a file on the construction in 1847 of a bridge which would be named Fuente de Nuestra Señora la Reina Doña Ysabel 2.a . It was to be builtover Bantaoay river on the Bantay-San Yldefonso, Ilocos Sur road.
Aside from the letter of Sr. D. Gabriel de Llamas, the file also contains the response of Governor General Clavería who expressed his satisfaction. There are, as well, budget and accounting documents, funding sources, lists of names and salaries of the Master builder and other commissioned workers, list of those who rendered manual services and those who failed to join the work force. Other items were certifications of the parish priest, certifications of the town and barangay chiefs of Bantay and San Yldefonzo confirming the payments made to the workers and the list of expenditures for the materials used.
After four months, on July 15, 1847 Gabriel de Llamas reported to the Governor General the completion of the project.
The letter of Mayor de Llamas is summarized as follows:
Sr. D. Gabriel de Llamas of Ilocos Sur, in a letter to Governor General Narciso Clavería dated March 15, 1847 indicated the start of the work on the Ysabel II Bridge. He noted that it will measure 60 leagues long, was to be made of bricks and hewn stones, and was to be done by workers from the towns of Bantay and Yldefonzo. The parish priest of said towns, Rev. Fr. Agustin Echavarri, committed to add a gratuity of 100 pesos for each of the workers.
After finishing the project in four months, de Llamas described the bridge as firm and solid, elegant and beautiful. The bridge was funded by the towns of Bantay and San Yldefonzo and from the gratuity given by the said parish priest. The project was valued at eight to nine thousand pesos.
The Blessing and Inauguration began at 6:00 a.m. of October 19, 1847. The blessing was given by the Vicar General of the Bishopric and Provisory Judge Sor. Don Pedro Vicente Abaya. The blessing was attended by Spanish businessmen, civil and military employees of the Capital, parish priests of nearby towns, and a multitude of people. Thousands of men and women in carriages, mounted on horses or on foot passed over the Fuente (Bridge) de Nuestra Señora la Reyna Doña Ysabel 2.a for the first time. In the church of the town of San Yldefonzo a Te Deum was sung as an act of thanksgiving to the Most Powerful Lord. A solemn mass was celebrated soon after with a sermon by D. Carlos Tolentino, parish priest of Magsingal who spoke of the advantages and benefits of the bridge for the people. Food was served to the residents of Bantay and San Yldefonzo who worked on the bridge. The serving of food started at 9:00 a.m. and lasted through the evening. There was a playlet and a presentation of a comedia.
Before permitting passage over the bridge, the letter of Governor General Clavería dated 11 October 1847 was read ordering that the names of the Master of Work, Sr. D. Feliciano Soriano, as well as Sr. D. Santiago Mateo and Sr. D. Pastor de la Cruz be inscribed on the bridge.
Plan of the Bridge
Puente de Ysabel 2.a
Espediente sobre construcción de un puente de sesenta varras de largo en el camino de Bantay y sn Yldefonso.
Ylocos Sur 1847
Ysabel II Bridge. File on the construction of a bridge measuring 60 leagues long in the road of (between) Bantay and San Yldefonso.
Ylocos Sur 1847
84.5 X 31 cm. Source: Varias Provincias Ilocos Sur 1827-1897 SDS 4278 Pages 545-578.
Contents of accompanying document: