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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by meowzkingz, May 29, 2015.


    Who was the first person to travel all the way around the world? Most people would probably answer, “Ferdinand Magellan” – and they would be partly correct. However, ask almost any Filipinos about Magellan and they could tell you that he died in the Philippines fighting Chief Lapulapu.

    It was 491 years ago this month that Magellan happened to sail into Philippine waters. He didn’t survive his expedition but eventually 18 members of his original crew of about 260 made it all the way back to Spain and, in so doing, completed a three-year voyage that took them all the way around the world.

    However, one member of the crew might have accomplished this feat even before the voyage was finished. Some historians have speculated that Magellan’s Malay interpreter, known as Enrique de Malacca, was the first person to travel all the way around the earth – and some have even claimed that Enrique was a Filipino.

    Where did the first world traveller come from?

    Enrique’s origin is the subject of some debate among historians and it has a direct bearing on whether he was the first person to circle the earth.

    Back in 1511, eight years before his final voyage began, Magellan had served his Portuguese king in battles of conquest that took him as far east as Malacca, on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. There he bought a young slave and eventually brought him back to Portugal. The slave, whose true name was never recorded, was baptized and given the Christian name Enrique de Malacca, or “Henry of Malacca.”

    This was the name that Magellan called his slave but he might have just assumed that Enrique was born in Malacca because that was where he was bought. After all, Magellan’s main concern was that Enrique spoke Malay and could serve as his interpreter. Malay was the common language for trading throughout most of Southeast Asia at that time.

    A cover-up of his origin?

    Enrique’s ultimate fate is not known. He did not leave Cebu with the armada and nothing of his life after the massacre was ever reported. But for those who believe that Enrique was a Cebuano who had circled the globe, his story did not end there.

    Carlos Quirino concocted a whole life story for Enrique in 1995 in his Who’s Who in Philippine History. Quirino claimed Enrique’s birthplace was Carcar, Cebu and he recounted how pirates captured Enrique while he was fishing near Cebu and then sold him into slavery in Malacca. After the Cebu massacre he supposedly served Humabon as a Spanish and Portuguese interpreter, raised a family and lived past the age of 70 only to die just before the conquistador Legazpi could land in Cebu in 1565 to corroborate Quirino’s story.

    Quirino provided no specific source for his information about Enrique in the bibliography of his book. In March 2003, four years after his death, his son Richie Quirino claimed in a series of articles by Bambi Harper of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Magellan concealed Enrique’s true origin so that he could claim to be the first person to have circled the earth. Apparently, every one of Enrique’s contemporaries who ever wrote about him must have been part of the cover up, too, because none of them said he was from Cebu, either.

    The younger Quirino also speculated that when Magellan was in Malacca in 1511, he sneaked away from the Portuguese fleet to explore the Philippines. His return to the Philippines in 1521 would have made him (and Enrique) the first person to travel around the world but his chronicler and number one fan, Antonio Pigafetta, never recorded Magellan making such a claim – nor could he make the claim if he had been concealing the fact that he had already visited the Philippines 10 years before.


    During his earlier ventures, specifically in the Malaccas, Magellan was able to adopt, who he called a Malayan boy by the name of Enrique. Magellan had Enrique under his ward upon his being indentured to him in 1511 and was with him during Magellan’s campaigns in Africa, during his ill fates with the king of Portugal, and his being under the graces of Spain. Magellan was also able to communicate with native tribes of Humabon because Enrique spoke their language. It would then be said that, before Elcano ever circumnavigated the world, Enrique had already done so when the Spaniards landed in Homonhon.

    Overjoyed that he would be returning to his homeland, Enrique merited a berth in the Flagship, Trinidad. A fleet of five ships left San Lucar de Barrameda in Spain, in September 1519, with officers and a crew of 260 Spaniards, Portugese, French, Britons and North Africans. The expedition was beset by difficulties and disasters: inferior, inadequate supplies; three mutinies and conspiracies, furious storms, cannibals, giants, violent deaths. From Spain, it sailed south to Cape Verde, crossed the Atlantic and sailed around South America, along Brazil, came to a strait full of glaciers, and finally emerged into an endless ocean, the Pacific, the largest body of water in the world, an immensity “past imagination” which Magellan’s armada crossed under curiously perfect weather conditions. The admiral, his officers and crew were tormented instead by uncertainty, treason, despair, starvation (they ate rotten biscuits, shoes, and rats), scurvy, and the loss of two ships. They discovered Micronesia and finally landed at Guam where they were robbed of weapons and provisions.

    At last, one morning, in March 1521, the ocean currents brought them to a large majestic island, Samar, but high cliffs impeded landing, and they sailed to a smaller island, Homonhon, which appeared to have a safe harbor. They found a rainforest and abundant water. Pleasant natives appeared in a boat and gave the mariners coconuts, rice wine and bananas. They moved on to the next island which had attracted them with campfires lighting up the sky. As the Trinidad approached the shore, Enrique was ordered to communicate with the brown men on the beach. They replied in the same language with shouts of recognition and familiarity. Magellan and the other Europeans in the three black galleons were flooded with relief and gratitude, for, until that moment, they had been painfully uncertain of where they were, or where Enrique had come from. They found magnificent shelter and excellent food (fish, abundant rice, roast pork with gravy) in breezy grass huts, a native king who was decorated with large chains of gold.

    The rest has been told and retold in countless world histories which have recorded March 1521 as “the discovery of the Philippines” and Enrique as the first, true circumnavigator of the globe. He had sailed from the archipelago where he had been kidnapped to the Moluccas, from there to Europe and back again to the archipelago with Magellan.

    The First OFW

    "On a previous voyage, Magellan had purchased a Filipino slave, Enrique, who traveled with him to Spain and Portugal and then sailed on this voyage, thereby earning an equal claim to the title of first to circumnavigate the earth. Magellan's will specified that Enrique was to be freed on Magellan's death, but Magellan's shipmates ignored the will. However, Enrique escaped and returned home." --Steven Dutch, University of Wisconsin

    From the book "Magellan" by Tim Joyner:

    His accomplishment was by mere circumstance. He was kidnapped from the Visayas, eventually ending up in Malacca (now part of Malaysia) in 1511 where he was acquired by a sailor named Hernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan to many), who brought him back to Europe as a slave. He then accompanied Magellan on his voyage west to the Spice Islands, the Moluccas (Maluku in Indonesia), when wisdom of the day was that they were to the east. Thus he became Enrique de Malacca, first circumnavigator of the Earth.

    "Here occurred an event that provided clear proof that Magellan's squadron, by travelling west across an uncharted ocean, had achieved the goal that had eluded Columbus. They had reached the eastern limit of the known world. A canoe bearing eight natives came out from Limasawa to inspect the ships. To his and everyone else's delight, Magellan's Malay slave, Enrique, understood the speech of their visitors.

    "Magellan had acquired Enrique in Malacca in 1511. Pigafetta said that he was from Sumatra, but Philippine scholars have suggested that a native of Sumatra could not have understood the dialect spoken in the Central Philippines. They deem it more likely that Enrique had been raised in the Central Philippines, was captured, then sold into slavery in Sumatra before being taken to Malacca. If so, Enrique was the first human to have completed a full circuit of the Earth."
    credit source Stunning and Interesting Facts that you didn't know
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    Odlanyer22 and mybl00dylungz like this.
  2. Totoo ba ito? parang Oo mga slave lagi itinatapon kong saan-saan at ipinagbibili. :)
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