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, A second take a look at the ‘discovery’ of the Philippines in 1521, Docuneedsph


FILIPINO historians not  contemplate 1521 because the yr the Philippines was “found” by  Ferdinand Magellan.

At most, Dr. Nilo Ocampo, a historical past professor on the College of the Philippines for 46 years, stated it was only a “assembly”—or an “encounter”—with our individuals then, when the Spanish armada led by the  Portuguese  explorer landed on the Philippine archipelago within the seek for the Moluccas—the spice islands.

Element from a panoramic portray of the Battle of Mactan, within the Mactan Shrine in Cebu.

“Irrelevant” was how Dr. Zeus Salazar, a revered historian and anthropologist, described the occasion because the nation marks the quincentennial of Magellan’s tragic voyage.

When the Spaniards got here to the Philippines, the native inhabitants had been uncovered to overseas affinities, from the Arabs to our Asian neighbors, who had influenced  them in buying and selling, tradition and faith.

In line with Salazar, “a substantial amount of what we now name our personal has come from a typical supply, a typical civilization previously shared with a minimum of a few of our fellow Asians (notably the Malays and Indonesians)—i.e. , from our Austronesians or Malayo-Polynesian base-culture.”

Their differing views from “conventional” historians had been hardly stunning, contemplating that Salazar and Ocampo had been a part of  the motion  that started within the early ’70s amongst educational students and intellectuals who tried to  appropriate  approaches  in  Philippine historiography, making the examine  of historic writing nationalistic and extra culturally delicate.

The late nationalist historian  Renato Constantino as soon as famous that those that had earlier documented our colonial previous had been, by coaching, “captives of Spanish  and American historiography, each of which inevitably considered Philippine historical past  via the palm of their very own prejudices.”

In The Previous  Revisited, Constantino wrote that historical past is just not merely a chronology of occasions  neither is it only a story of heroes and nice males. Historical past, he stated, is “a recorded wrestle of individuals for each rising freedom and for newer and better realization of the human individual.”

However the wrestle, he defined, is a  “collective one” and as  such  “entails the mass of human beings  who’re subsequently the motivators of change and of historical past.”

Ocampo stated it’s time to take a look at our historical past “from the standpoint of the Filipino individuals.” There may be actually a necessity to teach the Filipinos that our historical past started even earlier than the Spaniards  “found” the Philippines in 1521; adopted by the colonial years and the interval the place the Filipinos turned free, he stated.

“But till now, the framework of our historical past stays to be dominated by that of our colonizers,” Ocampo stated. He deemed such orientation of historical past as partly in charge for the colonial mentality in a rustic that was constructed via the “darkish days” of our historical past and the anti-colonial wrestle of its individuals.

Paradoxically, Ocampo’s mentor, the historian Salazar, didn’t even point out the occasions that occurred in 1521 within the Kasaysayan ng Kapilipinuhan: Bagong Balangkas, the place he divided into three intervals the nation’s historical past—the Pamayananan  (500,000/250 BC-1588), Bayan (1588-1913) and Bansa (1913-present).

‘Pantayong Pananaw’

THIS strategy in historiography, as proven in Salazar’s framework of Philippine historical past, was based mostly on the “Pantayong Pananaw”—or “Bagong Kasaysayan” (New Historical past) which he spearheaded earlier than it advanced as a well-liked motion amongst nationalist educational students and intellectuals calling for an indigenous perspective in conducting historic enquiries.

In an essay, Ateneo College historical past professor Aaron Rom O. Morlina defined Salazar’s “Pantayong Pananaw” or “PP”—“pantayo” merely means “from us-to-us” and connotes that the speaker communicates  with an viewers that can also be half  of the speaker group.

It was a technique espoused by historians led by Salazar, who acknowledged growth of the nation based mostly on the “inside interconnectedness and linking of traits, values, information knowledge, aspirations, practices, habits and experiences.”

The “pantayo” perspective, Salazar stated, might be rooted in revolutionaries like Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto, who regarded on the historical past and wrestle of the Filipinos  for independence  from an inside perspective and use the Pilipino language to speak.

The issue, he stated, was the nation that was shaped by colonialism. There was the “pangkami” perspective  (from-us-to-you), espoused  by the  Filipino “elite”  who had been seen within the technology of intellectuals educated in Spain through the time of Rizal and the propaganda motion.  Then there may be additionally the  “pangkayo” (from-you-to us),  the judgment  made by “exterior  brokers upon one’s tradition.”

On this strategy, Prof. Ramon Guillermo cited the necessity for a “talastasang bayan,” which is a  “substantial dialogical  circle” consisting of topics inside a group with a homogenous socio-politico-cultural code.  The “code” turns into the referent of study in historiography and different educational fields beneath the social sciences and the humanities.

Shattering  the ‘fantasy’

“SO why [commemorate] 1521? If we need to rejoice the implant of  Spanish energy within the Philippines, it wasn’t there,” he stated. “The Spaniards had been there for a just some weeks, and their chief, Magellan, was even killed by Lapulapu.”

At the moment, every “datu” like Lapulapu wielded energy in their very own turf since there was no idea of a nation then, although there have been already sultanates within the South.

Salazar suspected that Lapulapu killed Magellan just because he needed to get the Spanish galleon, though at the moment the ships of Butuan had been even larger than the scale of the vessels within the Spanish armada.

Magellan, alternatively, meddled in inside affairs of the island leaders, if solely to impress King Humabon of Cebu and his newfound mates on how the Spaniards can self-discipline an conceited native chieftain.

“However how can we actually rejoice, when our being a nation didn’t begin there?” Salazar requested.

Salazar additionally doubted that Christianity actually started on the time of Magellan. The indigenous individuals he encountered on the Visayan islands had been supposedly baptized and imbibed with the Catholic doctrine, when the natives couldn’t even perceive the language of the Spaniards, he stated.

He then cited historic enquiries on the picture of the Santo Niño, the oldest Christian artifact left by Magellan in Cebu. It was a present to the queen of Cebu after she agreed to be baptized.

Salazar famous, nonetheless, that when the Spanish colonizers returned to the island half a century later, they discovered the picture inside a field in a shack. He believed that the  Santo Niño was merely used as medium by the babaylan—the ladies priestess—in  calling  anitos  or their ancestors throughout their Cebuano conventional non secular rituals.

As Salazar put it, “This was a whole ignorance, I’ll say on the a part of the Spaniards, on the non secular practices of the Filipinos, whereas the latter then had no information of the Western faith.”

It was solely through the time period of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the primary Spanish governor-general  within the Philippines, that the individuals had been Christianized  for the reason that colonizers  already introduced  with them missionaries, particularly to evangelize  the natives once they arrived  in Cebu to overcome the archipelago in 1565.

In certainly one of his writings, Salazar cited a 1630 account of Fray Juan de Medina claiming that the picture was getting used for “paganism” by the Cebuanos,  as “the illustration (likha) of an anito (spirit, divinity)  related with the solar, the ocean and agriculture (as epiphanies of the ‘supreme god’ in our historic faith, in truth) and to the truth that the Filipino household  (magazineanak)—and, for that matter, the Indo-Malaysian  household (beranak)—turns across the baby (anak) as middle of preoccupation and fountainhead of life’s which means.”

Certainly, the reluctance of modern-day historians to stick to the standard historiography on the “discovery” of the Philippines may have cautioned—if not simply prompted—the  Nationwide Quincentennial Fee to advise in opposition to  particularly celebrating  the five hundredth anniversary  because the “arrival of Magellan,”  however merely  to commemorate  the primary a part of the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation within the Philippines.

Nonetheless, the federal government and the Church hierarchy maintained that this yr, the nation is celebrating the quincentennial of the introduction of Christianity within the nation and Lapulapu’s victory within the Battle of Mactan in Cebu.

Ocampo recalled the same “huge bang” that accompanied the People’ commemoration of the quincentennial voyage of Christopher Columbus to the “New World” and the way he was honored for his “discovery.” “However now, after the loss of life of George Floyd, the People began destroying  monuments of the Confederates , those that had been by no means actually their heroes,” he stated.

These myths of Western discoveries are lastly being shattered by nationalist historians.

Western view of the Magellan legacy

TO Western historians, Magellan’s expedition which started in 1519 was thought-about to have modified the world endlessly.

American historian Laurence Bergreen, creator of Over the Fringe of  the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was even quoted by the Nationwide Geographic as saying that Magellan’s journey was “the best sea voyage undertaken and probably the most vital.”

Most historians concede they merely relied on many of the accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian scholar and explorer who served as Magellan’s assistant when he sailed  together with his  250-strong, five-ship Spanish armada  from the Port of San Lucar de Barrameda in 1519. The earliest accounts, nonetheless, had been written by  Maximilian van Seevenbergen, a courtier of King Charles V, based mostly on interviews with the survivors of the expedition that first circumnavigated the world.

Pigafetta was additionally one of many 18 males who had been in a position to  full the voyage—which many Western historians declared because the “first circumnavigation of the world” beneath the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano in 1522.

The Magellan-led expedition got here at a time when the Spanish armadas, beneath Hernan Cortez, Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, had been assembly with exceptional success within the Americas, wrote American businessman Robert MacMiking in his guide Recollections of Manila and the Philippines earlier than the flip of the twentieth century.

As a younger man, Magellan, born Fernao de Magalhaes round 1480, was stated to have began in a string of Portuguese voyages designed to find and seize profitable spice routes in Africa and India at a time of intensive rivalry between Portugal and Spain to find the spices coveted by European aristocrats.

After becoming a member of the combat and touring to India, Malaysia and Indonesia, he was accused of unlawful buying and selling, and fell out of grace with King Manuel I of Portugal, who had sponsored Vasco de Gama, which led to the  discovery of  the  Portuguese Indian Armada route that assured Portugal’s monopoly on the spice commerce.

Searching for the ‘untold wealth’

BASED on Pigafetta’s account, Magellan, though a Portuguese navigator, reportedly satisfied King Charles V of Spain that by crusing south he may go the “new western world,” and could be potential to achieve the  Moluccas—or the Spice islands—of the East, which he supposed contained “untold-of wealth of their bosoms.”

The king finally honored Magellan with the distinguished navy order of Santiago and appointed him to the command of a squadron that can conquer and annex these islands to the Spanish Crown. Other than a noble title, Magellan was given  a decade-long monopoly on any route he would possibly uncover and a reduce of the earnings.

In the course of the voyage, Magellan’s crew mutinied after winter  climate compelled  his  ships to attend for months in what’s now Argentina. One ship was wrecked and one other ditched the expedition and returned to Spain. Among the mutineers had been beheaded on Magellan’s order and others had been both marooned or compelled into laborious labor.

When the voyage received again on observe, Magellan managed to navigate a treacherous passage, now often known as the Strait of Magellan.  He additionally handed via an island that was  doubtless Guam the place they later killed the  indigenous individuals and burned their homes in response to the theft of a small boat.

Based mostly on Pigafetta’s account, historians later wrote that after a protracted, perilous voyage, Magellan sighted at daybreak of March 16, 1521, the mountains of “Zamal (Samar),” marking the primary documented arrival of Europeans within the archipelago.

The next day, Magellan ordered his males to anchor their ships on the uninhabited shores of Homonhon island, “to safe and to get water and have some relaxation.”  Two tents had been arrange on the shore for the sick.

In line with the late Filipino historian and educator Dr. Onofre Corpuz, the Samar islanders gave items of bananas of assorted sizes to the Magallanes expedition. Among the bananas had been cooked. Coconuts had been additionally widespread on the island and varied applied sciences had been employed for its many makes use of.

Betel and betel nut chewing  had been widespread. Pigafetta took be aware of various liquors: palm wine or brandy drunk by Kolambu, chief of Limasawa.

They stayed for eight days on the island, the place Magellan befriended Kolambu, collectively together with his brother Siaui, the rajah of Butuan. On March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday Mass was officiated by Roman Catholic priest Fr. Pedro Valderrama, the Andalusian chaplain of the fleet, in a spot he recognized as Mazaua (Limasawa, now a sixth-class municipality on the tip of  Southern Leyte).

Rajah Kolambu and Siaui attended the Mass with their individuals who later embraced the Christian religion. A wood cross was erected on high of the hill overlooking  the ocean.

Within the presence of the 2 kings, Magellan  took possession of the island the place he had landed  within the title of King Charles V  and named the  Archipelago Saint Lazarus, for it was the day of the saint when the armada reached the island.

Rajah Kolambu was so happy with Magellan and his males’s assist in harvesting of his rice that he provided to information the Spaniards, alongside together with his brother Rajah Siaui, to Cebu the place they met Humabon, the influential rajah of the island.

Located between Manila and Brunei alongside the Canton-Malacca route, Cebu was by no means Islamized, in accordance with Salazar. At the moment of Magellan, it was dominated “within the method of the Malays,” with the rulers taking prestigious Malay-Sanskrit titles like rajah or batara.

The language and cultural overlay in all these areas had been thus Malay with “Indian” components. With Malay as lingua franca, intensive industrial and cultural contacts had been entertained by Filipinos with Dunia Melayu. In his guide The Malayan Connection: Ang Pilipinas sa Dunia Melayu, Salazar wrote that Filipinos had been perceived early sufficient as a part of the good  ethnic and cultural continuum of Oceania and Malaysia.

Corpuz, alternatively, famous that the separateness of the settlements within the archipelago was additionally mirrored, in flip, within the a whole lot of dialects spoken by the individuals, “all developed from a single mom tongue.” It subsequently didn’t shock the members of Magellan’s expedition that his Malayan slave, Enrique de Malacca, may make himself understood all through the Visayas and Mindanao.

Believed to be a Malay member of the expedition, Enrique was acquired as a slave by Magellan when he was simply 14, in all probability within the early levels of  the Siege of Malacca. Pigafetta acknowledged that he was a local of Sumatra.

The Cebu king  and his queen had been  finally  baptized into the Catholic religion, Humabon taking the Christian title Carlos, in honor of King Charles of Spain, and Juana in honor of King Charles’s mom. In that occasion, Magellan gave Juana a Flemish-style, 12-inch darkish wooden picture of the toddler Jesus—the Santo Niño, as a logo of their new alliance and held their first Mass on the coast.

On the island, Pigafetta noticed swine, goats, canine, cats, rice, millet, panicum, corn, ginger, oranges, lemons, sugar cane, garlic, honey, coconuts, jackfruit, gourds, palm wine and “a lot gold.” He additionally noticed domestically manufactured balancing scales in use.

At the moment, Corpuz wrote,  Cebu was already comparatively developed and had dealings with  foreigners. The island’s east coast was the principal buying and selling port within the central Visayas and loved the safety of Mactan Island.

The chief of Cebu, Pigafetta noticed,  was “far higher” than the 2 different neighboring chiefs that accompanied Magellan.

The Magellan tragedy

HUMABON later confided to Magellan that among the chiefs refused to acknowledge  him as their superior. It was then that Magellan determined to meddle within the affairs of the island leaders and ordered the burning of the village of Bulaia on Mactan in order that these chiefs will acknowledge Humabon as their chief.

The principal village on the island of Mactan was Mactan, with two chiefs—Zula and Lapulapu. On April 26, 1521, a Friday, Magellan received a message from Zula that Lapulapu refused to acknowledge the king of Spain. He requested {that a} boatload of armed males be despatched to him and assist subjugate Lapulapu.

However the subsequent night time, Magellan himself determined to guide his pressure of 60 troopers in corselets and helmets. Three hours earlier than daybreak, they arrived in Mactan, and instantly knowledgeable Lapulapu that if he and his individuals will acknowledge the king of Spain and pay tribute they’d be mates.  In any other case, they “would be taught the facility of the Spanish lances.”

When Lapulapu reacted angrily to this way of providing friendship, Magellan determined to do battle with the natives. In line with Pigafetta, to confront Lapulapu they had been compelled to anchor their ships removed from shore as a result of shallow water full of rocks and coral reefs. They couldn’t additionally deliver their ships’ cannons to bear on Lapulapu’s warriors, estimated to be greater than 1,500 in quantity.

Magellan and his males then waded via the shallow water to do battle with the natives. Plenty of the natives who had been Christian converts got here to their help. Upon touchdown, Magellan’s small pressure was instantly attacked by the natives with a heavy barrage of ranged weapons, consisting of arrows, iron-tipped “bamboo” throwing spears, fire-hardened sticks, and even stones.

The Spaniards had been surrounded by warriors who attacked from the entrance and each flanks. The musketeers and crossbowmen on the boat tried to offer help by firing from the boats.

Although the sunshine armor and the shields of the natives had been susceptible to the invaders’ projectile weapons, they had been firing from an excessive distance and the natives simply averted them. As a result of similar distance, Magellan couldn’t command them to cease and save their ammunition, and the musketeers and crossbowmen continued firing for half an hour till their ammunition was exhausted.

Magellan, hoping to ease the assault, set hearth to among the homes, however this solely enraged the natives much more. Magellan was lastly hit with a poisoned arrow via his unarmored legs, at which period the natives charged the Europeans for close-quarters fight.

Seeing that, Magellan despatched some males to burn their homes with a view to terrify them. After they noticed their homes burning, they had been roused to higher fury. Among the males had been killed close to the homes, whereas Magellan’s males burned 20 or 30 homes.

“So lots of them rained down upon us that the captain was shot via the precise leg with a poisoned arrow. On that account, he ordered us to a frontal assault. However the males took to flight, besides 10 to fifteen of us who remained with the captain,” Pigafetta recalled.

“The natives shot solely at our legs, for the latter had been naked; and so many had been the spears and stones that they hurled at us, that we may supply no resistance. The mortars within the boats couldn’t help us as they had been too far-off.”

Lots of the warriors then zeroed in on Magellan, who was wounded within the arm with a spear and within the leg by a big native sword. Lapulapu’s troops lastly overwhelmed and killed Magellan. A wounded Pigafetta and some others managed to flee.

Apart from Enrique de Malacca, the troopers who survived the battle and returned to Cebu had been poisoned whereas attending a feast given by Humabon on Might 1, 1521. Giovannni Battista Ramusio, an Italian journey author and geographer at the moment, later wrote in a discourse that it was Enrique who had warned Humabon that the Spaniards had been plotting to seize the king, and this led to the killing on the banquet.

Together with his grasp useless, Enrique de Malacca joined Elcano, the brand new commander of the expedition, who ordered the fast departure after Humabon’s betrayal.

In fleeing Cebu, Enrique’s presumed intention was to return to his house island. Nothing extra was stated of Enrique in any paperwork, however some historians contemplate him the primary man to really circumnavigate  the world.

In the meantime, Elcano and his fleet sailed west and returned to Spain in 1522, finishing the circumnavigation of the world in that yr.

Defiance and colonialism

LIKE most modern-day Filipino historians, Corpuz, in his guide, The Roots of the Filipino Nation, honored Lapulapu’s victory because the “first native victory within the battle in opposition to  the invaders.”

It will even be the final till the Spaniards would invade Maguindanao later within the century, the place their losses inaugurated the Muslim wars. Lapulapu’s defiance in opposition to Spain additionally triggered the beginning of Moro piracy, which lasted through the centuries of Spanish colonial rule.

Native historians agree on the  distinction  between the European piracies and the Moro piracies.  Whereas the Westerners had been motivated by plunder in gold, the Moros, because the individuals of the Muslim South had been known as by the Spanish colonizers,  had been  motivated by resistance to overseas aggression and  colonialism.

Whereas the European pirates carried gold and silver within the holds of their ships, Moro pirates carried Spanish Christians. “Probably this report of kings within the archipelago was taken as a wondrous factor when it reached Spain. This report and fabulous different tales of the adventurers of the Magallanes expedition didn’t die out forgotten,” Corpuz wrote.

The Spaniards despatched out a collection of expeditions from Mexico to attempt to retrace the route of the voyage in quest of spices  and treasure, and to overcome the heathen lands for the Spanish king and for his or her faith.

Spanish colonialism, Corpuz stated, arrested the pure growth of the native communities, however he asserted that “it additionally laid the idea for a unification of the archipelago, which was the very reason behind an awakening that might finish the times of Castilian overlordship on this a part of the world.”

*Veteran journalist Joel C. Paredes is a former director basic of the Philippine Info Company and holds an AB Historical past diploma from the College of the Philippines.

Picture credit: Namhwi Kim | Dramstime.com, Carl Frances Morano Diaman (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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