César Falliet's trans-imperial biography sheds light on the dynamics of belonging in early modern Manila, a city that was both a cosmopolitan centre of trade and a stronghold of Spanish colonial power. Falliet's integration into Manila's social world depended on his ability to convince elites that he was Catholic, loyal to the Spanish king and useful to his empire; attributes that he proved by fighting Islamic and Protestant pirates. These credentials were ultimately tested in five theatres: Manila, Batavia, India, the Americas and the Sulu Zone. Manila's inter-Asian and transpacific ties profoundly shaped foreigners’ lives in the city.
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