These are from various pages of 3 books about Magellan....

(a) Conqueror of the Seas

(b) Magellan Circumnavitor

(c)  Various translation of Pigafetta's book.

after Homonhon Is....According to Pigafetta " we saw a small boat..With 8 men in It" Those who manned if were obviously interested in the 3 strange ships, but the boat approached hesitantly, and Enrique, shouted a greeting to them in his Native Malay. At Homonhon Island he and the native visitors had had no single word in common, and he had undoubtedly supposed that the same would be true here. To his surprise, however, they replied in the tongue in which he had spoken. "They immediately understood him," Pigafetta tells us, adding that "they come alongside the ship, unwilling to enter, but taking a position at some distance."

Obviously not entirely ready to trust the newcomers, the fascinated native nevertheless remained nearby, and Magellan, intent on convincing them that they had no need to fear him, ordered a bright red cap and a few other articles of trade fastened to a bit of wood and tossed into the water near them.

They received the gifts gladly and went away quickly to advise their king."

Within a couple of hours, two larger boats (called balangay or barangay) appeared, both filled with men, "and their king was in the larger one. ... under an awning of mats.

As they approached, Enrique again spoke in Malay, and the king himself not only replied, but even ordered some of his men to board the flagship. Magellan showed them "great honor" giving them a number of presents, but refusing to accept payments in return. When the king left, good relations having established, the ships weighed anchor and moved "new the dwellings of the king.

Now came the wonder. The Islanders surrounded Enrique chattering and shouting, and the Malay slave was dumbfounded, for the understood much of what they were saying. He understood much of what they saying. He understood their questions. It was a good many years since he was snatched from his home, a good many years since he had last heard a word of his native speech. What amazing moment, one of the remarkable in the history of mankind! For the first time since our planet begun to spin upon its axis and to circle in its orbit, a living man, himself circling that planet, had got back to his homeland. No matter that he was underling, a slave, for his significance lies in his fate and not his personality. He is known to us by his slave-name Enrique; but we know, likewise, that he was torn from his home upon the island of Sumatra, was brought by Magellan in Malacca, was taken by his master to India, to Africa, and to Lisbon; traveled thence to Brazil and to Petagonia; and first of all the population of the world, traversing the oceans, circling the globe, he returned to the region where men spoke a familiar tongue. Having made acquaintance on the way with hundred of people and tribes and races, each of which had different way of communicating thought, he had got back to his folk, whom he could understand and could understand him.

Magellan knew, therefore, that he had reached his goal, had completed his task, He was back among the speakers of Malay, among hose whom, 12 years before, he had quitted his westward course when he sailed from Malacca, to which he would be able to bring back this slave of his. Whether that would happen tomorrow or considerably later, and whether not himself but another was destined to reach the Isles of Promise, seemed indifferent, for, substantially, the deed was done in the moment when it had been irrefutably established that he who persisted in his course around the globe, whether westward following the sun or eastward against the sun, must get back to the place from which he started. What sages had suspected for thousands of years, what learned men had dreamed, were now certain, thanks to the persistent courage of this one man. The earth was round, for a man had rounded it.

The following day-Good Friday --Magellan sent Enrique ashore, it would appear as an ambassador of good will. Fortunately Enrique made a good impression, and having explained that the members of the expedition had come as friends, he asked if arrangements could be made for the purchase of supplies. The King was convince by now, and in the next few days Magellan not only obtained enough fresh food to tide his men over for a time, but also strengthened his ties of friendship with the native by his considerate treatment of them and the many gifts he made. But not content with that, he had his culverins and bombards fired, "whereat the native were greatly frightened," and later showed

The Christian king (humabon) asked magellan helps in the pacification of the region. Lapu-lapu military reputation had been high in the archipelago even before hid defeat of Magellan.

----battle of Mactan (beach shore)

----Enrique was wounded but not seriously, but more hurt in spirit that anyone else in the armada, prostrated by the death of one had been comrade rather than a master and whom he had loved with single-hearted devotion. He had been treated for his wound, and regained consciousness.

Barbosa examined his wound and decided that it was not serious, so he brusquely ordered him to return to duty. He needed the service of Enrique as an envoy and interpreter. Enrique, however, turned his face toward the wall and lay as if in stupor, ignoring Barbosa's command.

A wave of fury mounted in Barbosa, He had hated the slave in the past, for he had never forgiven nor forgotten the righteous scorn with which Enrique had looked upon him when he had twice failed in hit duty to Magellan and had had to be brought to his senses by stern punishment. Now he was the Captain General himself, and he meant to show the wretched slave his place.

Twice he commanded Enrique to get up and return to duty, and got nor response. He leaned over the prostrate figure and shook it, then dealt it several cruel blows. Enrique did not lift a hand even to cover his face. Beside himself with rage, Barbosa kicked the slave savagely, shouting at him venomously between accesses of violence. He said that Enrique might be counting upon having manumitted by Magellan's will, but he wasn't freed yet, and he, Barbosa, would see to it that he wasn't in the future. Lady Beatriz Magellan would keep him in slavery, and Barbosa would see it his future in Seville would be o bed of roses.

Then Barbosa, having vented his animosity, resumed his attitude of official authority. He sternly gave Enrique his choice, as a member of the crew, of getting up and obeying his orders at once, or being flogged for disobedience. Enrique recognized the familiar voice of naval discipline, and with murder in his heart, got up, took his orders. And morosely went ashore to deliver a communication from Barbosa to the Christian King. He felt a searing hatred toward Barbosa for yesterday's failure to aid Magellan in his extremity, and held both Barbosa and Serrano to be traitors and murderers in letting Magellan be overcome. He felt no obligation at all toward these white men; his fidelity had belonged to Magellan alone.


Here are some comments from people who are modest about Enrique's historic achievement.

JAI I QALINDOZ ( )wrote:

As Filipinos it is somewhat difficult for us not to make an emotional stake in the ultimate authentication of Enrique's roots being traced to Sugbu or thereabouts. At last year's FANHS (Filipino American Natl Historical Society) national conference in San Francisco we were told about the ongoing research in this area. No doubt our appetite has been whetted by Marina Espina's uncovering of archival material relating to the exploits of Manilamen, their introduction of tuba to 16th century Acapulco and their settling in the bayous of Louisiana by way Veracruz.

As to Enrique de Malacca, the interpreter and first circumnavigator...we have to let him go. And I am for a time one of those who have been too hung up on this Sumatran being one of our own. At that point in history there already exists more than just mercantile interlinking in the Southeast Asian region. Bornean and Manila royalty are blood relatives. The Luzon mercenary tradition is already well established as we see Luzones fighting wars for rival sultans in Malacca. The timawa, the Visayan warrior class has been on a tear for at least 4 centuries trading and raiding beyond the periphery of the archipelago. The spice route to the Mediterranean by way of India, Arabia and Egypt is already well worn. In fact a lingua franca is already in use as early as the dating of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, which is the 10th century AD. Which means that Enrique, whether Sugbuanon or Sumatran, will not have found it any trouble at all communicating with the natives of Sugbu or, had Magellan's expedition gone further north, with those of Ma-i (Mindoro) or Tondo.

Language and globetrotting did not seem to be such a big deal as Wm Henry Scott, on language barriers, would point out, "Great medieval travelers like Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta...left accounts of crossing half the countries of Euruasia without finding the problem worthy of comment."


From :JON
Well, let me have a go at this. :)

Enrique was a Malay speaker who could only communicate with other Malay speakers in the Philippines during the voyage. Due to the wide spread trading that was going on apparently many of the traders were multi-lingual with Malay being used as a sort of trade language. Enrique was referred to as being "muy ladrino", and, as such, we can assume that he had something of a capacity to pick up languages.

Read Pigafetta's account of Magellan's negotiations with the chief (not my translation) of Cebu. Magellan sent his foster-son (De Sousa) with Enrique to the negotiations. The chief (again, I don't like this word but I don't have the MS in front of me to make a better translation) had a Siamese merchant as a translator. De Sousa spoke Spanish to Enrique. Enrique spoke Moluccan (Malay) and the Siamese (who also spoke Bisayan) translated for the chief's benefit. [Ever played telephone!]

After Magellan's death at Mactan, Duarte Barbosa treated Enrique harshly and then sent him on another mission to Hamubon (the chief [datu?] of Cebu). It was here that Enrique supposedly suggested to Hamubon that they invite the Spanish to a feast and slaughter them there. In any case, a banquet was had and all who attended were killed except Juan Serrano (who was left on the beach screaming not to be left behind) and Enrique. This was the reason that Pigafetta did not trust Enrique and suspected him as you said in your post.


You are correct that the Victoria did make it past the Portuguese and returned to Spain, but Enrique was certainly not on it at the time. It is possible that he made his way back to Malaysia, but I haven't found any records which would indicate that. Hey, its your family. Get to it man! See if you can find out what happened to Enrique after Hamubon's delightful dinner. If you find anything be sure to post it. By the way, I'm getting my information from a book by Martin J. Noone which was published as Part I Volume I of a General History of the Philippines by the Historical Conservation Society (Manila, 1986).

Unfortunately I have not been able to find anything else about this society. My letters have returned saying something to the effect of nobody being at that address. (It was the Casalinda Bookshop in Philbanking Bldg in Makati).

I haven't done as much research into these things as I'd like, but it makes for interesting reading. Of course, being Kano I still get asked at family parties if I know who Lapu-Lapu is. If I answer "a king" I'm told "No, its a fish" and if I answer "a fish" I'm told "No, its a king." Ay, buhay. Jon Zimmermann -Santa Barbara, California

From:, VICTOR SAYMO who said:

I agree it's possible that Enrique was a Filipino. but I must play devil's advocate. we don't know for sure what language(s) he spoke with the Visayans. It could have been Malay, which was the lingua franca for commerce in the islands at this time. or it could have been Cebuano or Waray, right? if he spoke Malay, then he could have been from what is now Malaysia or Indonesia. of course, it's also indeed possible that he was from the southern Philippines.

ENRIQUE, Late comments

I agree that Enrique was more likely of Filipino origin than not. Duarte Barbosa mentions a community of Filipino merchants, workers and mercenaries at Malacca at the same time that Magellan acquired Enrique there.

It is very unlikely that any of the Muslim Malaysians would sell a fellow Muslim to a Christian, so the more likely source is the flourishing Filipino community.

Pigafetta's record shows that Magellan and his crew had encountered the peoples of Samar, Suluan, Homonhon and at least four other islands in the "Archipelago of St. Lazarus" (Philippines) before reaching Leyte. Yet, Black Henry was unable apparently unable to communicate with anyone until he reached the island of Limasawa. They had come in contact with a boat from that island carrying 8 men who were able to understand Enrique when he spoke to them. Obviously, communication in this region was not as simple as some suppose.

Enrique eventually sided with the people of Cebu despite the fact that they killed his master, Magellan. He stayed on at Cebu after El Cano and the rest of the crew left for the Moluccas.

Magellan's landing in the Philippines was not accidental. He had been in the region before, and had likely come into contact with the Filipino community in Malacca. In his writings, Magellan clearly seems to think that the islands of the Lequios and the Biblical "Tarsis and Ofir," were to be found at the latitudes he purposely steered towards. In fact, the official charter of the voyage states that one of the goals was Tarsis and Ofir. In a manuscript of Barbosa with annotation by Magellan, the latter crosses out the references to the Lequios and replaces them with "Tarsis and Ofir." The Lequios in Magellan's time were believed to be somewhere north of Mindanao. Indeed, the latitude given for the Lequios by Pinto would have lead Magellan right to the southern part of Leyte. Thus, it is possible that after talking to some members of the Filipino community in Malacca, Magellan realized that one of these people would make the perfect assistant for a journey that he was already planning.

Paul Kekai Manansala


Nestor Palugod Enriquez.EMAIL ME at