Make your own free website on

A long time ago in the early 15th century, a young Malay in the Southwest Pacific had a destiny with history. The island nation around the Spice Islands in Southeast Asia was what this fated young boy called home. During this time of the Golden Age of Discovery, his history was being made.

Magellan Compass

This boy's story, however, begins half a world away in Portugal. In the early part of the century, Prince Henry the Navigator's fascination with exploration led to a base for sea exploration, an observatory, and most importantly, a school for geographers and navigators. His enthusiastic promotion laid the groundwork for the development of Portugal's sea power and colonial empire. It was only a matter of time until his inspired explorers sailed around the tip of South Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, (which, unfortunately, occurred after the Prince's death.) This opened the way for European exploration to the East. Following the path of Prince Henry's sea captains, Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal was able to reach the Malakas Islands, the desired Spice Islands. Up until then, the farthest east any European had been was to Sumatran peninsula, with Marco Polo's famed overland journey through central Asia. Magellan spent seven years on the Islands, brewing ideas of new and more creative ways of reaching them. Fully understanding the roundness of the world, he started to believe that he could reach the Spice Islands from the opposite direction, westward. Upon his departure, Magellan advised fellow Portuguese Francisco Serrao as Resident Officer of the Spice Islands, with the intention of meeting him there again by arriving from the opposite direction.

But Magellan departed with idea of sailing west, for the young boy of our story entered the explorer's life. Originally named Trapobana, the young boy had traveled from his home island in the Malay northeastern Archipelago to Malaca (near the present day Singapore) Quick and intelligent, he became remarkably familiar with the region and learned the local language in addition to his native dialect. The Portuguese had found the islands only after the Muslims had dominated them and made Malaca the central city for the spice-trading colony. Malaca was a market for nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, as well as a market for slaves. Trapobana could have been considered a street-smart kid of the bustling area, but he was still one of many Malay who had been wandering about the entire archipelago for years. While in Malaca, Magellan met the young, slender, and dark-skinned boy whose proficiency with non-Native language and manners made him stand out from the rest of the people. Already well traveled in the region, Trapobana could easily serve as an interpreter and guide for his new project of journeying west. Magellan saw this in the boy and, remembering Portuguese naval tradition that allowed him to return with one captive slave, he took the boy along with his dream of discovering new land. With Magellan as his master, Trapobana, given the new Christian name Enrique, (after Prince Henry,) traveled west to Europe. The crewmembers called him Black Henry because he was so much darker than them. Others called him "muy ladino" because of his ability to learn and speak many languages.

After stopping in India and Africa, in 1512, Magellan returned to his old home and Enrique arrived at a new one. The King of Portugal at that time, clearly not an exploration enthusiast as Prince Henry was, laughed at Magellan's idea of sailing west instead of east to get to the Spice Islands. At the same time, news had spread of the Spanish explorer Balboa crossing Central America by land and discovering the vast Pacific Ocean. With Enrique at his side, Magellan secretly sought the aid of the King of Spain. By staging a Malayan dialogue between Enrique and a Sumatran slave-girl, he successfully presented the idea of circumnavigating the world to the court of Balboa's subsidizer. Having never heard nor seen anyone as exotic as Enrique, the King of Spain was both intrigued and delighted.

He provided Magellan with five ships, (the Santiago, the San Antonio, the Trinidad, the Concepcion, and the Victoria) and Spanish and other European sailors for his voyage. Magellan's crew consisted of 227 men, whose experience and talents in sailing varied greatly. Magellan's brother-in-law Duarte Barbosa, Juan Elcano, and Joao Serrano were the among the senior officers of the fleet. Enrique was listed as supernumerary on the Trinidad and highly paid at 1,500 maravedis per month. In addition he received an advance of 6,000 maravedis. Except for those Captains and senior officer his allowance was only exceeded by the ship's surgeon and the master's at arms. But there was also Pigafetta, an Italian Lombard who was perhaps the most educated of the crew.

If a loving relationship could never exist between a master and slave, Magellan and Enrique certainly defied the impossible. Magellan was a very faithful Christian and his religious mind struggled with the idea of slavery, especially for Christians. In his will, Magellan provided freedom and relief of all obligations for his slave Enrique, as well as some money. Enrique grew to love his master and served him faithfully for the many years they shared and struggled together. The two developed an unusual relationship consisting of mutual respect and affection.

"Let us go in the name of God," shouted Magellan from a bridge when he and his crew finally left Seville, Spain and begin their expedition on September of 1519. They easily crossed the Atlantic Ocean, an ocean already navigated but not nearly big enough to prepare for crossing of the vast Pacific.

They reached Brazil and Enrique, now past twenty years of age, quickly assured his master that this was not his homeland. Brazil was clearly not a 'land of lotus-eaters,' where spice would grow without much labor. But just as Magellan was a champion explorer for his race, Enrique was for his. Upon their arrival to Brazil, Enrique became the first of his kind to reach the Americas. This journey was not only a continual moment of discovery for the Europeans, but for the Malay people as well. While there, a native Brazilian woman presented Carvalho a seven-year-old boy named Joazito. He acknowledged the boy as his son, borne from his previous journey to the continent. Magellan allowed the boy, nicknamed Ninito, to join the armada with his father.

As the crew sailed south looking for a passage to the other side of the Americas, they stopped in Patagonia, what is now Argentina. Of all the tribes in the area, the most formidable, the most legendary, were the Tehuelche - known to be a gargantuan Indian race. Magellan and his men reacted to these people in fear and tricked these people into chains. Some were even forced into joining the expedition, more foreigners unknowingly and unwillingly forced to make history of their own. As the expedition continued their search to the other side of the Americas, they encountered starvation, disease, and more hostile people. Taking on a larger crew proved ill-judged, for the merchants in Seville had cheated Magellan out of the provision they carried onboard. Only after the crew had weakened and diminished did they find the secret to westward voyage, a strait that crosses the continent, later named after Magellan.

With the vast Pacific Ocean ahead, Magellan decided to steer the ships North towards the equator to avoid the cold Antarctic winds. Not only that, Magellan knew very well that the Spice Islands were on the same latitude as the equator. Still, he directed the ships even further north. Enrique, still a rather quiet player in this history-making event, knew about a group of islands very close to his home. With the education that Magellan generously provided for the young man, or perhaps with some innate knowledge of these islands, Enrique may have suggested to sail a little further north to reach them. Upon reaching the new latitude, they ventured west, companion to friendlier winds.

The Malay people, like the Europeans, were adventurous, and exploration and discovery were not unknown to them. It has been said that even a millenium before Magellan's fateful trip, the Malay had crossed the Pacific, traveling east from the other side. Perhaps not so heavily funded, perhaps with not quite as many crew and provisions, the primitive but brave expedition that the Malay people sent had landed itself on another island across the Pacific. The rugged and temperamental journey allowed only the most well endowed and toughest sailors to survive. On the 100th day of his journey, Magellan led his expedition without food now for few days to that island, now known as Guam, and encountered this group of heavyset people. These people were surprisingly as dark as Enrique, differing from him only in their build. Magellan's crew was close to starvation at this point. The two captive giant slaves did not survive the journey. But Enrique, seeing the familiar tan of the Guam people, sensed that they were near his home. He also observed the large ocean going outrigger on the harbor very similar to his ancestor's ships. With more provisions and yet another captive slave, the journey continued west.

After the losing the Santiago in a wreck at the tip of South America and the desertion of the San Antonio, the remaining three ships, the Trinidad, the Concepcion, and the Victoria, reached Homonhon Island, (in the group of islands now known as the Philippines,) on March 16, 1521. There, the new Guam slave taught the Europeans the techniques for fishing and hunting in the Pacific. A threat appeared as ten armed men on a canoe approached their ships, but they evoked a friendly spirit. Enrique, always the helpful interpreter, made equally friendly efforts to communicate with them. Unfortunately, he could not understand their language.

However, Enrique's amiability was not in vain. Several days later, the King of the island himself, adorned with gold ornaments, greeted them. Upon seeing such gold lavishings, a small feeling of greed arose the Spanish members of the crew. Magellan, demonstrating focus on his goal, a general moral Christian quality, and more importantly, an understanding of negotiation, warned his crew not to act to excited about the gold.

On the night of March 25, Pigaffeta fell into the water. He was evidently not a trained sailor, lacking the mere ability to swim even after travelling halfway the world. His presence in the voyage was still a great blessing to the world's history, for he provided the only written account of Magellan's long and famous journey. He started to compile lists of the native words he brought to Europe. H wrote the customs and habit he observed like kissing hands of the elders and person of nobility..

The ships headed toward a nearby land called Mazzava Island, still within the same group of islands. Another small boat of eight men approached them. Discouraged from the language barrier that he confronted at Homonhon, Enrique did not think they would understand him. To his surprise, his greeting in Malay dialect was returned. Reluctant to enter, the small boat stayed by the ship. Enrique was amazed at the fact that he could communicate with the people as they surrounded him, chattering, because he didn't quite realize why he could understand him. He had made it all the way around the world, back to Malay homeland that he left 12 years earlier, making him the first man to do so. Enrique's conversation with the Mazzava people definitively confirmed that the earth was round, not by what he was saying, but by the language with which he spoke. Magellan knew that he was close to reaching his goal, since he was once again amongst the Malay speakers.

Enrique, filled with excitement at being able to converse in his own language again, did not forget his obligation to his master and friend. He knew the natives' customs, relaying them to Magellan. Magellan, wishing to be a true ambassador, sought to gain acceptance from these people. In order to earn their trust, Magellan fastened a bright red cap and some gifts to a piece of wood and tossed it into the water as a peace offering. The people received the gifts, and they went to advise their king. A few hours later, two large native boats (called barangini) appeared filled with men, including their king. Enrique spoke his Malay dialect again, and the king himself replied. More comfortable with the newcomers, due to familiarity with Enrique, the king ordered some of his men to board the Spanish ships. Magellan and his crew established good relations with the natives and docked their fleet.

Perceiving how the natives were comfortable with Enrique, Magellan sent him as an emissary to the people. It was evident that they would be more likely to communicate with their own brown-skinned kind than with the white men in ghastly armor. Magellan's only worry, though an odd one, was that he would not be able to distinguish Enrique from the rest of them, especially if Enrique were in a similar loincloth. This was the land of Enrique's ancestors; to Magellan, they were all family. Ironically, Magellan desired the natives to distinguish between the Spanish and the Portuguese. Magellan sent Enrique the next day, Good Friday, with a formal greeting and gift glass beakers for their Rajah-King. Magellan himself exclaimed, "I am now in the land I hoped to reach!"

Enrique's tongue also remembered the native wine. According to a logbook on the ship, he celebrated his return home with a "drunken spree." He still fulfilled his obligation and acted as an emissary to the King. He explained that his crew had come as friends and that they wanted to buy some supplies. Because of all of Magellan's gifts, the King was already convinced of this. He presented Magellan with food supplies as well as native escorts to another nearby island called Cebu, which was an established trading port in the region. He even helped Magellan dress his ships to be immediately welcomed by Cebu.

It was an odd, almost ungainly sight that slowly sailed toward Cebu. Confused natives gathered on the shore watching the ships as they approached. The crew of a Chinese junk ship, also docked at Cebu, suspended their business for a moment to also behold the view. It was unlike anything the Cebu people had seen before. The familiar dress lines and colors of a typical friendly vessel of the Pacific was gaudily draped over European ships, ships completely foreign to them. Was this going to be like a Trojan Horse? The natives knew not whether to run or to welcome. Inside the ships, however, was a proud and excited crew. Magellan did have much to be proud of: successful negotiations with foreigners, his goal within his grasp... Enrique, hardly a boy now, stood by Magellan, equally ecstatic for he was finally home. He was a boon to Magellan and he was happy about that as well. The enthusiastic crew, perhaps overestimating the formal and native dress of their ships, did what they thought was the next best thing. They fired the ships' guns in salute.
Native boat with the house onboard

The natives quickly sped back into the village, fleeing inland to the safety. Only something dangerous and deadly could make such a loud noise as that. Formal and friendly dress aside, those ships were just too strange for them to welcome without concern. The news spread quickly in Cebu, what with natives running so quickly back into town. What were they to do about the clownish vessels that just docked onto their island? A young man came forward, but he was not like the rest of them. Enrique had found his way to the village from the shore. He explained, in a language that they were surprise to understand, that the ships had come in peace. Much like the garbs of their local Pacific vessels, the gun salute was a custom of Magellan's fleet to make their friendly intentions known to the local rulers. Enrique, already comfortable and adept at starting negotiations between his master and his native people, convinced the Cebu people and their King to meet with Magellan.

The Cebu leader, a Malay Rajah, did not appear as approachable as all the other kings Magellan had seen. The Cebu people, being at the hub of the archipelago's trade, were very acquainted with foreigners and knew how to demand respect as well as fear and awe. Their leader, short, fat, and brown, sat on a grass divan, unbothered. He was wearing a yellow turban and loincloth. His jewelry, pearls and gold rings, spoke for one who was very experienced with trade. His high cheekbones, flat nose, and intricately tattooed torso revealed his importance, as did the 12 rows of similarly dressed chiefs that stood behind him.

In addition to the leader and his chiefs, an Arab trader was standing nearby. Dressed in a silk turban and sash, cotton shoes and pants, he spelled business and may have been annoyed by the interruption of Magellan's obtrusive arrival. Enrique, still embodying knowledge of the diversity in his old Malay region, recognized the trader as Siamese, most likely the owner of the Chinese ship in the harbor. It was quite evident that the Europeans weren't the first foreigners here. The Chinese and the Moslems, just west of these islands, had apparently established trade for many years. Magellan may have felt a slight envy at the bond of familiarity that appeared between this trader and the king. The religious influence of the Muslims had not reached the area nor any strong religious bound . Magellan sensed opportunity. How can he compete without sharing the same God? History making, despite disappointment, marched onward. The two universal religions, Christianity and Muslim, had crawled around opposite sides of the world from the Middle East to finally cross at this point, with Magellan's encounter with the Arab trader.

Enrique, determined to not be intimidated by the foreboding appearance of the king and his chiefs, presented the prospect of setting up trade to provide for the European sailors. The Europeans greatly underestimated the extent of Cebu's commerce and were at first delighted with the Rajah's acquiescence. The worldly Rajah then demonstrated the complexity of his trade system and reminded them of the standard commercial trading charges.

Enrique was taken aback by the Rajah's gall to charge the European explorers, although it is to be expected from an experienced trade leader. The Rajah had power and knew it. Little did the Rajah realize that this power, as strong as it is, was confined to less than half the world. The Europeans had navies, territories, trading posts on far reaching parts of the world, and this little Rajah demanded trading charges. Although Enrique probably had more of a blood relationship with this Rajah, he still knew whom he had to support. Enrique immediately refused, confident that Magellan's men could support the refusal with harsh fighting. He let the Rajah know this, and also told him that when it came to Magellan and his men, the Rajah would have to make an exception to his standard commercial trading charges. The Rajah was a bit stirred by the jarring attack on his power, but, finally making his presence known, the Arab trader of the junk ship intervened. The Arab informed the Rajah King of these white men, enlightening the Rajah on the kind of power that they held. He also told him that, in addition to conquering everyone else, they treated everyone fair. Enrique, upon hearing the Arab speak, realized that he was talking about the Portuguese, who were battling for trade, and not the Spanish, who were sailing to propagate the Christian faith. The Arab, however, convinced the Rajah of the seriousness of the Europeans' power, and Enrique avoided mentioning the distinction. The Rajah King finally made the exception for Magellan and his men. The three freely discussed the situation in Siamese, the Arab's language, since Enrique had picked it up years ago in Malaca and the Rajah, like more of the local kings, knew more than one dialect.

The Rajah was impressed by the Spanish weapons and, actually seeing that the Arab spoke truthfully, consented to an alliance. Magellan renamed the island groups. The Rajah even allowed himself to be baptized a Christian and renamed, the Rajah Charles, Christian King of the Archipelago of St.Lazarus. Eager to embrace Christianity, the other tribal chiefs made it easy for all their subjects to convert. A large baptism occurred on the town square on the 14th day of April 1521. Living up to the Spanish mission, Magellan wore a white robe and presented the first group of newly baptized women with a picture of the smiling Christ Child, the Santo Nino. Indeed, the Muslims had a great influence over the group of islands, and had Magellan landed further north he would have encountered it. However, unlike in Sulu and Manila, there was no big Muslim stronghold in Cebu and conversion was easy, except when it came to Cilalapulapu.

For the chiefs that weren't so easily convinced of the Spanish superiority, and consequently reluctant to accept the Christian religion, Magellan used more violent forms to sway their opinions. He threatened to kill and take the property of anyone who refused to renounce old religions and honor the new Christian King. Such a threat was convincing enough for most, but Cilalapulapu (aka Lapu-lapu,) chief of the island of Mactan continued to openly oppose Magellan. Magellan lived up to his decree and sent a detachment of men to Lapu-lapu's capital with orders to burn it down. Magellan planned the violent annihilation to be an example of the punishment others would receive if they failed to pay respect to the new Christian King. Lapu-lapu, however, was willing to demonstrate the strong military reputation he held amongst the people in the area.

Awaiting military reinforcements, Lapu-lapu requested Magellan to wait until the following day before attacking. Puzzled, the captain concluded that the native leader was employing bit of preliminary psychological warfare. He assumed that it was an invitation to entrapment, where Magellan's crew, already handicapped by unfamiliarity with the site, could fall into pits dug by Lapu-lapu's men in the darker hours.

The following day, on the shore of Mactan, Magellan and his men confront the natives of

Lapu-lapu's island. Greatly underestimating the strength of the natives and the unexpected use of fierce canines, Magellan believed that the modern Spanish armor and weaponry were enough to protect them, even in close combat. Determined to defend their island, their culture, and their beliefs, Lapu-lapu's men outnumbered and outwitted Magellan's men. Later developed as a Southeast Asian battle tactic, they pulled the battle away from the water, greatly decreasing the Spanish advantage of sea warfare. Low tides disabled the boats from closing in on the islands and attacking from the shore with modern weaponry.


With intimate knowledge of their island, the Mactan natives dominated the land battle. Seeing the superiority of the Mactans, the Spanish crew got scared. Many of them fearfully broke ranks with Magellan and began to retreat. Only a handful of the crew, including Magellan, Pigafetta, and Enrique, bravely fought to the end. The native warriors used such primitive weapons, stones and poisonous spears, but used them the most practical fashion, hurling them at the unprotected legs of the intruders. Such simplicity proved to be their advantage. Some of the warriors even picked up the same spear and threw it five or six times, ultimately slaughtering their victims. This was the fate that Magellan suffered.

Though brutally wounded, Magellan bravely covered his allies as they headed back across the beach. Forty armored Spanish sat safely and dejectedly in boats only few hundred yards away, cowardly watching the slaughter. Even though Magellan thoughtfully never asked for the islanders' help, some Christianized natives attempted to come to his aid to save him. At the same time, the panicky Spaniard started firing culverin salvoes ashore. They miscalculated and hit the rescuing natives instead. The battle was iced as a victory for the Mactans, for the Spanish leader Magellan, was completely down. Wounded in the face, he died there on the beach with his sword lanced at his attacker. The other Spanish watched from their boats at the battle. When the battle finally ended, the Mactan natives lost 15 men, while the Spanish lost 20. Unfortunately, one of those 20 was their courageous leader and history-making explorer Magellan, who was undeservedly abandoned by his crew and left to die on the beach. Considering it a token of his victory, Lapu-lapu kept Magellan's body though the weeping Christian King made efforts to ransom it.

Magellan's death affected no one more deeply than his loyal servant Enrique. The wounds that he acquired during the same battle in which his master had died didn't hurt his body as much as the death hurt his spirit. Senor Duarte Barbosa assumed command of the leaderless crew, and insisted

that the mission continue. The new commander had held a grudge against Magellan's companion ever since Magellan had humiliated Barbosa with punishment. Barbosa needed trade negotiations to go on, and Enrique was the only one who could serve as an envoy and interpreter. Still seeing

Enrique as a mere slave, he tried to force Magellan's servant to maintain the relations with the natives that were still on the Spanish side. But Enrique was loyal to no one but Magellan, and he ignored Barbosa's condescending commands. In anger, Barbosa beat and kicked the Malay native, threatening to enslave him again when they returned to Seville, despite Magellan's promise of freedom in his will. Barbosa envisioned for Enrique a life of servitude for Lady Biatriz Magellan.

There was no reason to support Barbosa or Serrano, who also arose as a leader of the crew, both traitors for allowing Magellan, a very able commander, to die there on the shore of Mactan. Clearly unable to shift his affection from his loving master to a hateful new one, Enrique turned to the next best people, his kin.

Enrique went ashore to deliver a communication from Barborasa to the Christian king. His felt no obligation and the Rajah King was first disturbed by Enrique's advice: to take advantage of the weakened Spaniard fleet and retrieve their treasure. How could such deviance come from a Malay native that appeared to be so allied with the Spanish? Where was Enrique's loyalty? The Rajah king recognized Enrique's true devotion, that to his leader Magellan. Enrique briefed the Rajah of the Spaniard's plan of transferring the goods stored in the island and sailing the next day. Recalling the cowardice of fleeing Spaniards from natives and the ineffectiveness of their weaponry and armor, the Rajah King agreed to Enrique's plan. Barbosa, with a grudge and a sense of betrayal, lost trust in Enrique. He greedily planned to move the unsold goods from the island warehouses and load them onto their ships. As this plan was enacted, a court servant ran to report the sudden Spanish move to the natives and the King of Cebu.

To Barbosa's surprise, the King invited all the Spaniards senior officers for a farewell banquet, where Barbosa and his men would be given jewels to bring to the Emperor of Spain as a sign of peace. Accepting the invitation, Barbosa and his men dressed in their dinner attire, arrived at the joyous banquet, excited at the generous offerings. Carvallo saw the native prince who was miraculously healed few days earlier throught the effort of Padre Valderamma speaking to the priest. Padre Valderamma was invited to the house separating him from the rest of the party. He told Espinosa of his suspicion and they both returned to the ship. As the rest enjoyed the feast, the Cebu natives attacked all the Spanish that came ashore, sparing only Enrique. It was a brutal sight, which Don Antonio missed because he stayed behind treating a wound, much to Enrique's relief; Enrique still cared very much for those who stayed true to Magellan.


The Spanish fled the slaughter, and those that were left numbered only to 115. Without enough men for three boats, the Spanish sacrificed the Concepcion and set it on fire. The other two ships quickly cut anchor and sailed away, with little direction. Several small marauding boats pursued them, aware of the Europeans' vulnerability without their captain.

The expedition that once came in the name of God turned into one that was reduced to pirating. The crew rushed to find a new Malay navigator, who could guide them back to the Spice Islands. Carvalho was selected to command and to pilot the ships back to Spain. But such a hastened departure and selection of a commander proved wasteful: instead of travelling south from the islands, they headed west toward Palawan. They pathetically pirated a royal ship from the Luzon colony in northern Malaca, which was now two days away. The three ships finally found their way to Brunie. Pigafetta enthusiastically described the magnificent city in his accounts, comparing it to his home of Venice. The Sultan of Brunie welcomed the Spaniards. Weary and disillusioned, and very experienced with treachery and betrayal, Carvalho was suspicious. Rather than returning the Sultan's open arms with kind, Carvalho and his crew attacked. Eventually, he had to flee, leaving his own son Joaozito, the first American to travel to the Far East. Even in the midst of mishappenings, groundbreaking history was being made.

under the leadership of Espinosa, the Trinidad ricocheted across the Pacific Ocean. Espinosa and his crew sailed east toward Panama, back the way they came. They encountered harsh winds and storms in the mid-Pacific. After stopping briefly for repair on the island of Ladrones (Guam,) they returned again to Malaca. There was no future for the Trinidad, for it was then captured by the Portuguese.

On September 6, 1522, the Victoria, captained by Elcano, was the only ship to return to Spain with a crew of only 18. Being of Spanish descent, Elcano was first credited with the achievement of sailing around the world. Ignoring Magellan's accomplishments, the Spanish King celebrated

Elcano's return. The Portuguese, bitter about his betrayal, also ignored Magellan's achievement.

An expedition by Villabos revisited the Malay archipelago, 20 years after the Magellan expedition returned. In honor of the crowning of Prince Philip, the son the king of Spain present during Enrique's first visit to the Spanish royal court, the islands were renamed the Philippines. They called the natives "Filipinos," which originally applied to a "mestizo" in Spain. This was the beginning of the islands' near four-century occupation by foreigners, an occupation that ended only 100 years ago.

The faithful Enrique, avoiding the life of slavery promised by Barbosa, stayed in Cebu; he knew he belonged with his people, where history was really made.


Points of interest

1. The voyage proved the shape of the world to the satisfaction of the astromers. Magellan's westward circumnavigation would result in the loss of one day if the days on the journey were not adjusted on the ship's official records. The reverse is true going east. Victoria arrived in Sevelle, Spain in Sept 8, 1921 but her ship-log book faithfully kept indicated September 9. The Philippines used the same date as in Spain while the rest of the Malay region under Portuguese rule used a different date because since the Portuguese traveled from the other direction. It is interesting to note when the crewmembers compared notes during the return to Spain, they noticed a day's difference, an error that was corrected by a decree that December 31, 1844 be dropped. Thus, the International Date Line was created at 180 degrees longitude during the International Meridian Conference in 1844.

2. New Diseases that explorers brought to the New World almost wiped out the American Indian population because the natives did not possess a natural immunity. However, this did not occur in the Malay Archipelago to an epidemic degree. This was due to continuous direct contact between the European and the Asian continents. Great Emperors such as Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great promoted the exchange of Euro-Asian trade and culture. Trade of slaves from Africa was necessary in America did not flourish.

3. Slavery was practiced in the East Indies before the Portuguese arrived. Some historians believe that some of Magellan's men who remained in Cebu were not killed but sold to the Chinese or Arabs since they were of high value. The Malay aristocratic society maintained a Chaste System, ranging from the King to Alipin (captive slaves who were war trophies.) Pirates also were raiding slaves along the coastal islands. Slave trading was introduced to Europe and America later by the Portuguese. Magellan replenished his crew with natives as he traveled. The Moorish trader they encountered in Cebu owned a junk ship filled with oriental gold and slaves. When the only ship arrived in Spain, there were only 17 Europeans and 4 East Indians onboard. Enrique, of course, was not among them. The provision in Magellan's will reflects his deep religious belief and his relationship with Enrique. Enrique had been baptized and become his brother in faith. "I declare and ordain that from the day of my death thenceforward for ever, my captured slave, Enrique shall be free and manumitted, and quit, exempt, and relieved of every obligation of slavery and subjection, that he may act as he desires and thinks fit; and I desire that of my estate there may be given to the said Enrique the sum of 10,000 maravedis in money for his support; and this manumission I grant because he is a Christian and that he may pray to God for my soul."

4. The greatest naval battle in the world took place in Leyte Gulf, where Enrique completed the first circumnavigation of the world 423 years earlier. It was also the same location as the battle of Mactan. The amphibious warfare tactics in Mactan were the precursor of land war in Asia to come. The islanders drawing the western warrior inland beyond the artillery power of the western forces.

5. Spice Islands are the Malacca or the Malay regions now known as the Indonesian group. While in Malaca (near the present day Singapore) Magellan met Francisco Serrao. He was the Portuguese resident in charge of the Spice Island that Magellan was supposed to meet. Serrao was poisoned by a rival few months before Victoria reached the Spice Island. . Malaca has a small colony of 500 Filipinos and some believed that this was where Magellan got Enrique.

6. The religious feud between the two universal faiths that first met in the Philippines continues today, between the Christianity-based central democracy and the conservative Moslem tribes in Southern Mindinao. Western culture has taken over Manila and in the capital, not a trace of Moslem influence exists.


The stuff below is either irrelevant or have already been mentioned in the story.

4. Malay -Polynesian seafaring legend ruling the Pacific is true. Malay from Southeast Asia had been SURFING the Pacific Ocean ONBOARD THE POLYNESIAN OUTRIGGERS way before the Portuguese went beyond the Azores Island. They have sailed to Eastern Islands and probably some on them could have landed in the Eastern Shore of the South America. Because of harsh marine environment survival was rough. This explains the husky body feature of the Polynesian as you go farther west in the Pacific.


4. Christianity and Islam started for the Middle east.. Basically Christian went west from there and Moslem faith traveled east from Mecca. When Magellan Landed in Cebu..he found the moslem and the Christian found themselves meeting. (Morison theory..He is one of the best Marine Historian). Note: The Portuguese followed the Moslem route by going East and around the southern tip of Africa and sailing to the Spice Islands and defeating the Moors. Portuguese were fighting the Moors for trade and not for the propagation of Christian faith. Portuguese were the master of Slave Trade at that time. They brought the first slave from Africa to Europe and then to America later as human cargo. Their early domination of the sea made it possible.

4. Papal degree (1493) in the 15th century divided the world between the Spanish and Portuguese. The east belonging to the Portuguese and the west to the Spanish. The exact measurement of the earth was still unknown but the two countries going on the opposite direction meet again in the this first round the world trip as evident of the ship Trinidad being captured in Malaca.

7. Malaca has a small colony of 500 Filipinos and some believed that this was where Magellan got Enrique. They were the seafaring Malay-Polynesian (many islands) of the Orient. Oriental meaning people from the east , the sun rise direction relative to the western hemisphere (Europe). Magellan way was to sail west and till they rendezvouz almost on the same place of the Equator (Spice islands).

8. Some books .. Enrique was called "muy ladino" by the crew meaning he is versed and has the ability to learn language. Also while in Europe he was matched with a beautiful Sumatran slave and some believed that she was his wife.

9. The trick in the west direction is finding the passage around the South American Continent to Pacific. The same way the East direction when Prince Henry open the route throught the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Places: Philippines is between 120-130 longitude xxxx 5-20 deg latitude N

Leyte/Cebu about 125 longitude xxxx 12 deg lat N

Malacca is farther west

Molucca Isl 120-130 longitude xxx almost 0 (on the equator)


1. Magellan as the first man to go around. Magellan having traveled eastward earlier as part of Portuguese expedition reached east longitude east of the Philippines. While in Spice Island if he traveled about 200 miles north he could have reached the Philippines. So even thou he was killed in the Philippines he might traveled the length needed.

2. The first ship to go around the world is Victoria , under the command of Sebastian Elcano. Being s Spanish descent versus Magellan who is Portuguese had the Spain backing his title earlier. He was one of the Spanish officers who conspire with the mutiny but was pardon by Magellan. The King of Spain celebrated and Magellan accomplishment was ignored for a while. Portugal hated him so he was ignored there as well.

3. Enrique is known as Enrique de Malacca because Pigaffeta term for him. Pigafetta was never been to Malacca or with Magellan on his previous trip to the east.. This is where Magellan base home during his stay in the Malay archipelago. During this time Malacca was the center city of the colony and slaves were brought and sold there. Trade dominated by the Moslem and it is unlikely that Enrique was originally from there. It is possible that he was a member of the Luzon colony or from the Moluccas or as far north as the Visayan island. His palaver knowledge of some of the Visayan language supports this theory heavily.


1. Conqueror of the Seas, Stefan Zweig..

2. The European Discovery of America (The Southern Voyages) AD 1492-1616

Samuel Eliot Morison New York Oxford University Press

3. Ferdinand Magellan, Hawthorne Daniel

Doubleday, Garden City 1964

4. Ferdinand Magellan, Charles Mckew Parr

5. Magellan of the Pacific, Edouard Roditi

6. Magellan, First Circumnavigation of the World, Ian Cameron

7. First Circumnavigation of the World-Pigafetta

Various translation

Last Name, First Name. Name of Book or "Name of Article". Edition or Volume Number. Page Numbers. Name of Publisher. City of Publication. Copy Year.


Possible story telling flow....


introduction to Enrique

enrique speaks boy--the the trip.--his point of view

Enrique pass the to Pigafetta and other historian to finish to story..

Aftermath of the Circumnavigation..

1. Religion

2. Empire

3. Malay or Pacific Islanders

4. International dateline

5. Slavery

Note: There is no evidence Enrique exact birthplace. Let us assume that he is from somewhere southern philippines with out defining it. . In the beginning I said that we (readers)will find where he came from. They will have to make the conclusion when he speaks the native language of the second Island the visited in the Philippines.

When the epic making voyage left Spain..... Enrique has the lead.. since his starting point was in the Malay Archipelago.

When the Spanish returned , they accupied the Philippines for almost 400 years ended 100 years ago start of the country's centennial year of independence...

Coming to America Webpage

Nestor Palugod Enriquez