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Enrique du Malacca


Sat, 26 Feb 2005 00:18:39 +0800


"mohd yusof" <> 




I am quite surprise to read from some of the commentaries that our Enrique was picked up by Magellan from the Filipino community in Malacca, when we very well know that, the word Philippines comes 20 years after Enrique had circumnavigate the earth. That was after the Spaniard come to 'revenge' the death of many royalties' and high ranking officials' sons were killed by the locals.

From the tip of current Philippines to the east and to the tip of Sumatra at the west, these are known as Malay Archipelago. Whether you speak minangkabau, Javanese, tagalog, bruneian, Indonesians, there is part and parcel of the big Malay language, the lingua franca in this region then. 

The Muslim Malay in Malaysia that we see today, including me, shared the same ancestors who where between Buddhist and Hindus or both. The first King of Malacca was a Buddhist prince from Palembang Sumatra who was afterwards, converting to Islam after marrying the princess from Acheh to obtain protection from Achehnese King for the mighty Siam. Siam was always looking south to take a picking then. Even the 3rd Sultan or King of Malacca was a Buddhist. Later on, due to the great influence from Indian, Achehnese and Arab Traders, Islam was well accepted in the Malay Archipelago. Even Manila today still has the remnants of Sultan Sulaiman's palace. Sultan Sulaiman, a Muslim was the highest King ousted by the Spaniard. The Spaniard came and our brothers in the Philippines are now mostly Christians except those down south around Mindanao areas who are Muslim.

Enrique is Malay. He must have a name given by his folks, our friends from Philippines call him Trapobana, but, the Malaysian historian tried calling him Panglima Awang. Panglima means Warrior. The Malaysian is very sentimental on this. We know from Pigafetta that our Enrique was a confidante/servant of Magellan far from being a Warrior. Anyway, Awang is a nickname in East coast of Malaysian Peninsula in calling ( addressing ) politely to someone you do not know his name.

I kind of like Trapobana, this name can be commercialized and made known to general public at large. I am to call my Bistro, Trapobana Cafe.

Just listen to a Malaysian Malay or Sumatran Malay or Bruneian Malay or Sulawesi Malay or Filipino ( tagalog ), we will find that the sound/connotation/the sickening up and down rhythm/talking like asking question all the time tempo.... are all the same. Malacca in 1521 were only popular for the port activities i.e. anything to do with the sea.If you want to be well known to sea merchants, you have to tell them that you come from seafarers areas namely the areas of Sulawesi, Sulu and the Cebu etc. to gain more respect, don't you think? Enrique/Panglima Awang/Enrique will do the same......It is stupid of Enrique to stay  recognized after what he had done to the Spaniard when he bloody well know that the Spaniard have all the capabilities to come back and slaughter him. We have to trace his wife (the Sumatran slave Magellan brought together to meet the Spanish King). If I were Enrique, I will stay in Malacca where the Spaniards will not dare to get closer, and earn my living by becoming a Consultant to the sea merchants.


mohammad yusof abdullah

Shah Alam, Malaysia

Link to---


"Roger Kidley" <> 


At the beginning of the 16th century the world was in transition. Spanish ships had just begun regular trans-Atlantic voyages and the Portuguese were beginning to transport spices, slaves and other articles of trade from the East to the West. Malacca was already established as a great trading centre where the Arabs had established a slave market (selling non-believers only). Many of the slaves were from the eastern island of what has become Indonesia. In one slave market transaction the Portuguese noblemen Fernao de Magalhães (Magellan) purchased an individual from the Moluccas; we do not know his original name, but historians refer to him as Malacca Henry.


Magellan returned to Portugal taking Henry along with him. When the King of Spain decided to finance Magellan's circumnavigation of the world Henry joined the expedition. The expedition left Europe in 1519, sailed round the southern tip of South America, and reached the Philippines (named after the King's eldest son) in 1521. This was the first known trans-Pacific voyage but in fact Magellan and the others did not know this until Henry found he was able to translate the language of the inhabitants because it was similar to his native language. Unfortunately they became involver in the islanders' politics and number of the expedition members, including Magellan, were killed. Henry was not hurt. The survivors transferred everything to two ships and sailed on. Shortly afterwards Henry reached the islands of his birth - from the opposite direction of his departure. Henry had no doubt been transformed by his experiences, but his fate is unknown. Did he disembark and return home? Did he sail back to Spain? We will probably never know, but it does seem that that the first man to sail all the way round the world originated from the Indonesian archipelago.



The following is a partial English Transalantion of a French text from website:

Fernand de Magellan

Sabrosa 1480 - The Philippines(Filipinos) 1521

Magellan thinks of finding a road towards Asia by by-passing lands discovered by Christophe Colomb. King of Portugal refuses to support his project. Charles the Fifth makes him(it) and confides(entrusts) him(her) an expedition to reach(affect) Indonesia (to get back spices there).

Of his(her) true name, Magalhães's Fernão is almost forty years old when he begins his tour of the world. Disdained by king of Portugal, Manuel 1st, Magellan gives up his(her) Portuguese nationality and offers in 1517 his(her) services to Charles the Fifth.

With a fleet of five vessels and two hundred and sixty men(people), Magellan leaves on August 10th, 1519 of Seville. These boats navigate towards the port(bearing) of Barrameda's San Lucar. There they're furnished and to verify for last time by Magellan. Indeed, he bought them in the haste and in the disastrous state. They were put back(handed) in working order, tarring them, polishing them, sealing them and polishing them. Ropes are also verified, the redone sails. 

Magellan takes with him presents for the natives whom he'll meet (mirrors, knives, bells and little spherical bells). But he(it) verifies the load because he knows that the journey will be long and difficult. This load consists of flour, beans, lenses, rice, five hundred seventy books(pounds) of pig, two hundred barrels of sardines, nine hundred eighty four cheeses, four hundred and fifty cords of garlic and onion. There's also one thousand five hundred twelve books(pounds) of honey and three thousand two hundred books(pounds) of raisins. For the morale of the sailors, there's of Xeres, and for the lighting, lanterns and candles.

Magellan reviews the crew, makes of men(people) of various nationalities, recruited in alleys or inns, in the weeks preceding the departure. He wonders about their behavior in the difficult moments which they'll live certainly.

On September 20th, 1519, at dawn, in the sound of the knocks of artillery, the fleet leaves San Lucar. In this journey, Magellan has for dream to find this passage westward which would lead him(it) towards Asia. In it, he wants to carry out of what didn't manage to make Christophe Colomb. 

" August 10th, 1519, men(people) of crew, approximately two-hundred seventy, meet at dawn for a solemn farewell mass. Fernand de Magellan received the silk royal banner and swears to claim quite the lands that he'll discover in the name of king Charles. Then, his(her) captains, pilots and leading seamen kneel down before him and promise to obey him(her) in any thing(matter). "

Two months later, November 29th, 1519, sailors reach(affect) the coasts of Brazil. On December 13th, 1519, they reach(affect) an unknown bay(berry) which will be the future bay(berry) of Rio de Janeiro. They take advantage of it to provide it and make repairs on vessels. 

The inhabitants of these lands show themselves sweet and friendly with Portuguese, even if afterward Antonio Pigafetta learns that these last ones are cannibal. But all passes well. The sailors discover new fruits as pineapple or "batates" (in the form of sweet chestnut) and the sugar cane. They can buy them for almost nothing. The sailors live peaceful moments there, amusing, even with the local girls whom they can buy (eh yes) for few.

But it's time to resume the sea. In the beginning of January, 1520, Magellan believes to have found the so looked for passage. But it is only illusion. The doubt settles down within vessels. Indeed, they meet themselves in conditions more painful than what had been promised to them in Spain, before the departure.


But this trip begins to seem long to the men(people) of crew and these last ones activate(start) a mutiny. Magellan puts an end to it, but in the violence ( beheaded, stabbed or quartered mutineers). Afterward, one of the vessels, Santiago, makes wreck during an investigation.

On October 21st, 1520, Magellan discovers an unknown bay(berry). For him, it's unquestionably about the passage which he looked for. He(it) gives it the name of the Strait of Magellan. By-passing him(it), he(it) will name(appoint) Tierra del Fuego the territories of the rib(coast), seeing numerous fires there lit(switched on) by the local populations. But a second mutiny is activated(started). Indeed, the sailors worry about new seas which they approach. One of the vessels, San Antonio, takes advantage of it to return behind.

" We leave our winter districts in October, 1520, the spring in this region, with four vessels; Santiago made wreck during a mission of investigation. In a sinister bight, in some hundreds of kilometres in the South, we find finally El Paso, the passage which we looked for, a series of profound straits and bays(berries) which extend as far as the eye can see. My boss is in the seventh heaven, so, at the beginning, as the officers and the crew. "

Enrique de Malacca

Vessels cannot get fresh supplies, not knowing too much their exact position. So, the famine as well as the thirst torment them. The scurvy makes its appearance. About twenty men(people) died.

However, as the crossing is made on quiet waters, Magellan gives them the name of Pacific Ocean.

On March 6th, 1521, he(it) reaches(affects) the islands of Marianne. They can then stock up. Magellan arrives in the Philippines(Filipinos) on March 16th, 1521, by tying up(by accosting) on the island of Cebu. His king, Humaubon, is converted to the catholic religion by making baptized, as well as the population of the island.

" Three months having left El Paso, have more scrawny than human beings, we reach(affect) finally the Philippine islands, where my boss thinks of having already come several years previously. "

  Enrique de Malacca

King of the island of Cebu sends an expedition against king of the island of Mactan. Magellan wants to participate in it, in the coasts of his new friend Hurt(Damaged) by a poisoned arrow, taken in ambush with eight of his(her) men(people), Magellan dies on April 27th, 1521. On more of those hundred men(people), only hundred and fourteen will take out there.

" I was with Magellan when he died. I fought(disputed) beside him against three thousand warriors of the leader Lapulalu, and I ran away only when they assembled around my boss brings(shoots) down, as flies on a lump of sugar, to plunge their lance of bamboo into its body. Where were they the Spanish captains, at this moment there? In safety(security) aboard their vessels, occupied with smoothing their mustaches and with throwing(casting) itself settled looks. "

  Enrique de Malacca

Deprived of another vessel, the Conception, the crew resumes the sea and reaches(affects) Moluques on November 6th, 1521. The sailors rest(base) there and acquire spices. Both vessels leave these islands on December 27th, 1521. But one of the naivres, the Trinidad, having problems, returns towards Moluques.

A single vessel, Victoria, pursues its journey of return, commanded(ordered) by Sebastian Del Cano. He(it) crosses the Indian Ocean, goes back up(raises) towards Europe by following the African coasts (they reach(affect) the cap of Good Hope on May 19th, 1522). They aren't more than around thirty sailors. This last journey is very difficult. On July 9th, 1522, then in the Cape Verde islands to find to eat, men(people) of crew are arrested by the local population.

" We ate only old biscuits reduced to powder and full of verse. We also ate skins of ox(beef) and as for rats, certain of us had no it enough. "

  Antonio Pigafetta

On September 6th, 1522, the last caravel and his(her) eighteen men(people) arrive in San Lucar's port(bearing). Antonio Pigafetta reviews this terrible epic. Sebastian Del Cano is ennobled by Charles the Fifth

This expedition carried out the first tour of the world. She allowed to confirm the roundness of the Earth, the possibility of joining the East by the West and the fact that America is indeed a continent to part. She also brings back(also reports) three hundred quintals of spices.

Some years later, in 1526, survivors of the Trinidad arrive in Spain.