Gabriel Quiroga de San Antonio

Portrait of Gabriel Quiroga  de San Antonio

Fray Gabriel de San Antonio (1565?-1608) was a Dominican priest who wrote about the expansion of Spanish colonial endeavors in South East Asia, and counted among the first European visitors to Angkor.

Hailing from the nobiliary, he studied theology in Ocaña and Salamanca Dominican convents before becoming a preacher in Guadalajara and applying to the "Fourth Dominican mission to the Far East" ("quarta misión dominica a Oriente").

Sent to Manila (via Mexico) in 1594, Fray Gabriel acted as private confessor to Vice-Governor Antonio de Morga in the Philippines. His attempts to convert to Catholicism the local Chinese population remained mostly unsuccessful.

In 1598, on his way back to Spain, he made a stopover in Cambodia, experience that led him to lobby for more further military expeditions in order to capture the weakened Kingdom and "its invaluable wealth".

The relation of this visit, "Breve y verdadera relación de los successos del Reyno de Camboxa", was published in San Pablo de Valladolid in 1604.